Solo The Tragedy of Lady Fish

As told by a cat.

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The Tragedy of Lady Fish

Postby Arinel on November 13th, 2018, 10:12 pm

Fall 27 518 AV

Laughs echoed through the courtyard as Arinel crossed from the kitchen. It had been another successful dinner, and everything had been cleaned properly, put away, locked up. She had double checked the lock on the pantry before she left, as she had been warned about the kids sneaking in there to try to get snacks, especially in the dark of the night. Some things in Sunberth were taught young and were seemingly normal. The ties to thievery and lies really set Arinel on edge, but they were kids, trying to live in the hash Sunberth. At least, they were not on the streets. At least they were behind the wrought iron gates that secluded and shielded the orphanage from the rest of the wilds of Sunberth. At least here, there were some rules. There was order, and the children had some structure in their lives. Arinel took comfort in that fact. There were some rules. Here she could try to make a difference.

The walk from the kitchen to her apartment in the Sunset Quarter was not a far one. Though the further she got from the orphanage, the darker the shadows became. She pulled her cloak tighter around her.

“LADY FISH! LADY FISH!”

The first yell made her stop. The voice sounded like one of the kids, and only the kids of the orphanage called her that. It was a nickname that she did not like but had come to accept ever since she started working there. The kids adored it and got a lot of laughs from calling her that. So, maybe, it was not so bad? It came from behind her, and so she turned and saw a pair of kids, a boy and girl, running towards her.

“Lady Fish!”

The boy called again, before slowing his pace. He was holding something. It bounced in his arms as he came up to Arinel. The Konti took a few steps towards the pair and knelt down a little. The boy and girl exchanged grins as they reached her, and Arinel looked at the thing in the boys arms. It was orange and fluffy, small, and did not look half amused to be held by the boy like that. It was an orange cat. The same orange cat that she saw when Jillene was introducing her to the kitchen and her workspace.

“Lady Fish! This is Asher!”

The boy was proud and held the cat up even more, towards Arinel.

“Jill thought,” the boy looked to the girl, “That you would like to meet Asher. So, I caught ‘em!”

The boy brandished the cat out in front of him, in a very ‘ta da’ fashion, “So here he is! Asher, The Thief Lord!”

Arinel looked to the boy and then to the girl. Her eyes settled on the cat, grumpily being held in the boys arms. Its look of displeasure was quite evident on its grumpy little fact. It made Arinel laugh a little. The Thief Lord looked a little out of place in the boys arms. What a silly name for a cat. At least the kids seemed to nickname everything they liked.

“Why don’t you put him down?” She asked the boy.

“Asher will just run away!” The boy put on a face, “And we don’t want him to sleep outside again!”

The girl, Jill, smiled at Arinel, “That’s why I wanted you to meet Asher! You live alone in that apartment, right? It must be lonely! We thought that…”

She grew quiet, and Arinel smiled at Jill, “You thought that maybe I’d let Asher sleep in my apartment?”

“Ye-yeah!” Both kids chimed in unison.

Arinel couldn’t get over how considerate the kids were being, to bring her a cat. Even if it was a grumpy looking cat. The konti smiled and nodded, “What a wonderful idea.”



The felines purrs filled Arinels ears as she sat on the bed and idly pet him. He was oddly affectionate the moment the boy had given him to her. His fur was soft and orange, and the purr was infectious. It was the perfect way to destress from a long days work.

“The Thief Lord…” She mused to title aloud as she pet the kitty.

“Do you like to steal fish?” She asked, “you know, the children call me Lady Fish?”

Her smile widened a bit more as the cat rubbed his head eagerly against her petting hand. The tail flicked back and forth contently, “Is that why you like me so much?” She asked the cat, “Because I’m a Fish Lady.”

It made perfect sense to her. She yawned, “Well, its time for bed Mr. Thief Lord.” Her voice carried a playfulness to it as she moved the cat off her so that she could blow out the candles which lit her small apartment.

She returned to bed and was surprised to find the feline waiting for her. As she settled in, Asher did too. The Konti couldn’t help but smile as the warm, fluffy body of the Thief Lord pressed against her. Maybe she was a bit lonely, and maybe this cat wasn’t so grumpy or threatening. It was one of the small enjoyable things that she had found, thanks to the children. A small light in the darkness of Sunberth. A fire to nourish her own inner flame. She took the kitty and held him against her. So warm. So nice. Her grip allowed the cat to get free if he wanted, she was not going to keep him against his will.

Sleep found her.

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The Tragedy of Lady Fish

Postby Arinel on November 13th, 2018, 10:14 pm

Asher sneered, his knees pinning inwards biting into Arinel’s sides. He straddled her tightly, and despite her trashing, the ropes bit into her wrists and ankles, she could not free herself. Try as she might, to call out, to scream, the gloved hand over her mouth muffled the noises, and besides… This is Sunberth. Screams heard in the night were as common as the howling of the starving dogs. This city was a starving dog itself, and Arinel but a piece of meat.

“Shhhh!”

Arinel had woken up when she tried to move, to stretch. There was a chill in the room and she tried to pull the blankets up some more but found herself unable to move. That was how she found herself tied to her own bed, with a strange man on top of her. Though she also heard giggles in the background, the familiar laughs of kids. Her eyes widened, and she struggled against her bindings as the sleepy haze dispelled from her mind.

The red headed man seemed annoyed. Was it her resistance or was it her lack of progress in freeing herself? His eyes narrowed, and brow caved in. The light of the moon and play of the shadows made it hard to make out distinctive properties of this man. His clothes were dark and seemed to blend in well with the night. If he were standing in the dark, it would be hard to spot him.

“If you were in worse company, they would have already had their way with you. Then you would been drug off, chained up, beaten until that starry-eyed look in your eyes fade, and then sold to the highest bidder. You slept like a lamb, made it easy for me.”

His hand reached behind him. Then a glint in the moonlight, a silver line in the air in front of her. It came towards Arinel, and all she could do was pull back, and tug on her restraints. She felt the cool steel, the flat of the blade, pressed against her cheek.

“Though you’re not human, so they would probably have a bit more fun than that with you. Maybe, Lady Fish,” he smiled as he called her by the nickname the children sang in their song, “those with a darker mind, a darker soul, would, for curiosity sake, peel a scale. Or maybe two. Three.”

Asher moved the blade slowly up her cheek to her forehead. By now Arinel, heart was racing, she was sweating and struggling without rest. The blade rolled over the skin and touched the scales.

“Maybe a scale for his daughters. Or some for all his friends.”

Asher shrugged his shoulders, “You never know what they could be worth to the right person. Your scales might be good luck.”

Arinel felt that she was going to be sick. Her stomach churned and rolled. She could feel her heart in her throat. Ba bump. Ba bump. Ba bump. Fear gripped her. Hot streams could be felt down her cheek, rolling down her face.

“Don’t cry.” Asher leaned in, “I haven’t done a thing to you yet.” Well, ‘cept tie her up.

The blade left the konti. Arinel was astonished, she hadn’t even realized that she had been crying. That tears were forming. She had been too busy bracing herself to feel the bite of the dog, the starving city of Sunberth. The dagger itself might as well be a fang.

“Since we have so much time, let’s do something fun.”

There was silence for a moment, Asher licked his top lip. Arinel’s face contorted and she felt her heart beat even faster. She kicked against the restraints, but they held her fast. The hand clasp on her mouth muffled her sounds of protest. The bite of the rope into her wrists and ankles reminded her that escape, especially with the feline on top of her, was impossible. Not impossible, but improbable. The wood creaked, groaning in protest to Arinel’s tugs on the rope, and she thrashed as she could with the man on top of her. More wet tears streamed down her face.

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The Tragedy of Lady Fish

Postby Arinel on November 13th, 2018, 10:15 pm

“I know, how about a story?”

His smile was as wide as it could. A real Cheshire grin then.

”A story!”

They were not alone. Another child’s voice popped in, seemingly in agreement. Was this all a game to them? How many of them were here? Arinel could not see since Asher was right on top of her.

“Well,” Asher began he twirled the dagger in his hand, playing with it idly, an instrument of inspiration apparently, “There once was a woman who came from the sea. Her face was fair, and her hair shone in the sun a silvery-shine. Her smile never faded, and her heart was made of gold.”

“She appeared one day, out of the blue, to work in the kitchen. You see this woman who came from the sea was a cook. Oh yes, she could cook. She could bake as well. Bread and honey with some porridge, she served for breakfast. The children were delighted. Their smiles were almost as bright as hers. They never tasted anything quite like it. The children celebrated the Lady from the Sea, and since she had pretty scales on her face, they called her “Lady Fish” and made -glug glug glug- noises around her.”

“This lady, who came from the sea, who worked as a cook, whose heart was made of gold found a place where she thought she could help. Where could make a difference. Where her happiness could spread, and her smile never fade. Little did she know, the ship she sailed in ported at Sunberth, and the place she found was The Orphanage. Sunset Quarters Orphanage.”

“So she cooked and she cooked, blissful and ignorant of the truth of the city. The culture. The people. They were not used to a woman from the sea, whose heart was made of gold. The people, they see gold and they want it for themselves. As Sunberth is a lawless place. The strong survive and the weak are taken advantage of. In Sunberth if you are not strong, if you are not clever, if you have your head up in the clouds like Dear Lady Fish, then you will be taken advantage of. You will be stolen from. You will feel steel in your gut, and if you are a pretty lady like the lady with the heart of the gold, who came from the sea… You will be used like a common whore, perhaps even worse. If you cannot defend yourself, if you cannot run, if you cannot be clever, then that is your fate.”

“Lady Fish didn’t know about Sunberth and refused to learn about Sunberth. She thought that a smile could change a person, but the only thing a smile is good for in Sunberth is to lie. In Sunberth smiles are not trusted. They are things of deceit. The Lady Fish, with the heart of gold, her smile never faded, and she went blissfully about her work…”

There was a moment of silence.

“Then one afternoon, Lady Fish was walking in the The Commons, you see, she needed to get fresh meat for the night’s dinner. She could not let down the children. Evening came, and Lady Fish was not found at the Orphanage. Lady Fish never left The Commons. Her body was found by an unfortunate cat, who was sent to look for the foolish Lady. Her smile never faded. Her smile would never fade.”

He put the dagger to her neck, the flat of the blade and drew it across slowly.

“Her smile never faded. Her clothes were torn, but she still smiled. Her miza was gone, but she still smiled. The food she was going to prepare was gone, but she still smiled. Her heart of gold was gone, but she still smiled. Across her neck a Dust Smile.”

“The Lady who came from the sea, with a heart of gold, was no more. Her cooking never to be enjoyed again! And that is the Tragedy of Lady Fish.”

There were a few giggles and claps around the room as the kelvic finished his story.

“Brings a tear to the eye.”

It was more taunting than anything. The tone of his voice was playful, and his eyes never left Arinel. His hand flicked the dagger, until it spun, and the tip pointed downward. He sheathed it. The gloved hand left Arinels mouth.

“Now it’s back to bed!”

Asher looked over his shoulder and the children in the room and scanned the faces in the room. He smirked at them all.

“Quietly now! If you get caught by the caretakers, it’s not my fault.”

The kids didn’t move until Asher got up, standing on the bed, he jumped down and landed on the floor. They all giggled and opened the door the Arinels apartment and left. Leaving Lady Fish and the cat in the room alone.

Asher turned and walked to the edge of Arinels bed.

“Let the story be just that. A bed time tale.” He said, putting a hand through his hair, “The kids don’t need to lose another person in their life. Especially when they are just starting to warm up to you. Arinel, let it be a story, not a prophecy.”

He sat on the edge of the bed and leaned over. Quickly his hands worked and untied the knots that bound her hands. Once Arinel was free, the first thing she did was take a swing at Asher. It was a fast swipe, but Asher was quicker to react, catching the woman’s wrist. He held it in the air, gripping it tightly. It made her wince.

“I’m just trying to give you advice, little lady. You will have to do better than that if you wish to strike me. The kids told you right?” He smiled at her, “I am Asher Scythe, The Thief Lord.”

Arinel did not take kindly to that. His smug smile, that hand that held her wrist, the story he just told her… Everything was coming together, fear was turning to an emotion that she had not experienced in quite some time, anger. She felt angry that she was such an easy target for the cat. She felt angry that she couldn’t do anything and had to listen to the cat’s story. She felt angry that the feline and the kids felt they needed to do this to her. Mostly she was angry about herself, and just how helpless she had been. They were right. They were right, but she wanted to spite it all.

She took her free hand and balled the fist in another attempt to try to hit Asher. She let out a little yell to accompany the strike, an angry sound. She wanted so badly to feel contact between her fist and that guys face. Though Asher was expecting that one too. He quickly blocked the strike with his forearm, stopping it short from hitting in his face. The cat laughed.

“We have a little fight in you after all, Lady Fish.”

He was only one that seemed amused by this at all. His laugh, that smile he carried, the way he blocked Arinels attacks, all of that only made her angrier. The burning in her gut twisted, she felt hot pain knot inside her, unable to express herself any further, she was blinking through hot tears trying to get through to Asher.

The kelvic released Arinel and got up off her bed. He crossed the room and looked over her shoulder at the woman crying on the bed.

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The Tragedy of Lady Fish

Postby Arinel on November 13th, 2018, 10:16 pm

“We just want you to be safe, Arinel. Sunberth is a dark place, filled with thieves, murderers, and rapists. You are gold on legs, and tears won’t save you from the truth.”

He slinked over to the door. Opened it just a crack.

“If you want to change that, I can help you.”

The offer was left right there. Just like that. The door closed as silently as it was opened, and Asher was gone from the room. It would not have been right to bother her any more than he already did tonight. He supposed he should go report what he had discovered to Jillene. She would like to know the state of her newest employee.

Arinel crumpled on her bed and curled up. This place was so dark. So very dark, she did not know to respond. If it wasn’t Asher, what would have happened? If it wasn’t the kids playing a trick on her, what could have happened? The thoughts of the many possibilities rolled through her head. She acknowledged each of the realities that Asher had ushered upon her tonight, turning to the story. She could have been raped. She could have been beaten. She could have been sold into slavery. She could have had her scales peeled off one by one and sold as good luck charms. All those fates were not desirable in the least.

She shook her head and rolled over. Asher had not hurt her. She looked at her wrists where were red marks from all the struggling against the rope. The rope burns were hot to the touch and tender. She frowned. Wiping tears away from her face, as she had been humiliated enough tonight. She wondered what she could do. Asher told her that the Orphanage needed her, and that they did not want to lose her. Should she learn how to fight? Especially from that back-alley cat…

The Tragedy of Lady Fish. She could not let that happen. It was like Asher said, let it be a warning not a prophecy. The choice of words was quite particular. Was Avalis trying to send her a message? Did her goddess see misfortune for Arinel unless some change was made? Was Asher an unwitting mouthpiece, a warning in itself? Did the happenings tonight have deeper meaning? The thought was profound to Arinel. She decided to take it as a warning. She did not want to be anybody’s victim and did not want the children to worry about her. Her presence here was supposed to be a light, she was supposed to be encouraging and bringing them joy and happiness. Improving their lives and showing them how to live better.

She was going to take Asher up on his offer. She was going to learn what the cat could teach her.

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The Tragedy of Lady Fish

Postby Kynier on December 1st, 2018, 4:34 pm

Grades!


Skill Rewards
  • Escape Artist +1
  • Observation +3
  • Socialization +1
  • Unarmed Combat: Brawling +1

Lores Learned
  • Asher: The Thief Lord
  • Asher: Wants her to be safe
  • Lore: The Tragedy of Lady Fish story
  • Self: Nicknamed Lady Fish by the children
  • Self: Would learn how to fight


Other Notes
Gnosis Warning: Those blessed by Rak'keli to be Healers can only fight in self-defense. Taking aggressive actions (like attacking someone that's releasing you) put you at risk of losing your Gnosis Mark.

If you have any questions or concerns about your grade please feel free to PM me.
Sometimes the only way to win is by relinquishing a superior position.

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