Closed The Silence that Follows (Hope)

Trouble lingers in the aftermath of Operation: Blinded Sun.

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The Silence that Follows (Hope)

Postby Kynier on December 9th, 2018, 3:37 am

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5th of Winter, 518 A.V.

9th Bell


There had been plenty of rumors rolling of everyone’s tongues for the past four days about the incident at the Western Heights. Some sort of battle that had occurred between two of the major gangs. This time, it was the Sun’s Birth and the Night Eyes. There was a bit of amusement to be had based off the stories that he had been told. The end result of this battle was that a whole squad of Dragoons had been attacked and only the three senior ranking members had survived. It was almost amusing with how sad it was. The Sun’s Birth, known for their more militant structure and training, were consistently being bested in their fights with the Daggerhands as well as the Night Eyes. Early this last summer, five high ranking and very experienced fighters of the Dragoons, Wardens, were all killed in the same fight against the Daggerhands.

To Kynier, it sounded as though a great deal of their force were fodder. During fall, he had done his best to avoid unnecessary involvement with any of the gangs. Being the unknown subject of a man-hunt, required him to reduce his meddling. With the beginning of a new season, he was traversing the streets and alleys more to gain as much intelligence as possible. Today, he was wearing his black Mohair wool cloak despite how there was no rain. The clouds were clearing and allowing Syna to bath the city in her light. That did not prevent him from having the hood raised over his brow. The cloaks unique magic kept him at a comfortable temperature.

A dark green vest rested over the gray cotton shirt. Steel vambraces protected his forearms, but the rest of his armor he left at home. Two cold iron short swords were strapped to his belt, as well as a dagger that rested at his lower back beneath the cloak. Black cotton pants were tucked into his high dark boots, one of which kept an assassin’s dagger tucked on the inside against his ankle. Inside the vest were four hidden pockets where he kept the majority of his coins. The small pouch in his pant pocket was full of silvers, but no gold mizas. There was also an ornate blue and white feather tucked into a separate pocket. And a small locket with a lock of hair in another.

Tension was thick in the air as Kynier roamed the streets of the Western Heights. While not utterly quiet, those on the streets seemed to be in agreement to make as little noise as possible. The silence resembled that which occurred after a battle, when the last foe was slain. A dead silent that felt tangible. Hazel eyes scanned the road and the side alleys as Kynier walked down its length. The street urchins were scarce. More scarce than usual. Both them and the beggars were his primary means of information gathering. The younger urchins around the city had taken to calling him “Silverman”, due to his policy of granting out silver coins to anyone that provided useful information.

Kynier half expected to walk across the scene of the attack and find the bodies still strewn about. Yet, as he weaved through the district, there were no corpses to be seen anywhere. Odd. Sunberth tended to just abandon the bodies and their worthless possessions wherever they fell. While he had not heard how many of the attackers had succumbed, there had to have at least been a dozen, if not more, to best an entire squad of Dragoons. But he did not see any sign of that. Even as he passed by Dagwood Metal near the edge of the city and the district. And still, he did not see any street urchins or beggars to question.

Perhaps they were all being intelligent and had relocated to a place that was less violent. The Sun’s Birth had been actively working at reclaiming the district since the beginning of Fall. Even now, most of the people he saw roaming the streets were Dragoons. All of them in pairs at the very least. As the mage weaved through the slightly higher than average quality of buildings, he suspected that the Western Heights was not going to be the best place to collect information. The aftermath was still too fresh, and everyone was still on edge. With a sigh, he turned to head east and continue with his day.

That was when he heard a noise from an alley as he walked by it. His head sharply twisting to peer down it. It there were stacks of wooden crates and a half-demolished wagon. No movement caught his eye, but the silence emanating from the alley was awkwardly forced. Kynier changed his course to slowly walk down the length of the alley. Half-suspecting it was some sort of trap, or an ambush of some kind. As he entered, he drew both of his cold iron short swords, and allowed the blades to hang at his sides, underneath the cloak. Each step he made was lightly placed to avoid disturbing the silence. As he approached the stack of crates and the wagon, he felt certain that someone was there… even if they were hiding.

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The Silence that Follows (Hope)

Postby Hope Hildebrandt on December 11th, 2018, 11:23 pm

Hope Hildebrandt


As one of the few lesser skilled Night Eyes, Hope had been far away from the carnage that had occurred only a few days past. S'vantia, the old yet ageless Konti mentor from the Night Eyes, had, of course, told the teenager what had been planned, albeit keeping a few of the details quiet whilst simultaneously discouraging any action on the novice's part. Night Eyes were often curious individuals, and Hope was no different, but she'd relinquished the notion of 'being in the area', no matter how silent or out of the way she'd be. If only to appease the kind older woman.

Yet four days after the incident in Western Heights, her interest and curiosity finally got the better of her. Not that she was trying too hard to keep the attack off of her mind in the first place. Hope had figured four days was enough for the area to quiet down and be safe to travel. The Dragoons surely wouldn't return for fear of another attack, and the Daggerhands were likely in the same boat, as they undoubtedly had heard of the battle.

At least, that's what she had hoped. It only seemed logical for people, especially gang members, to keep away from the site of a fight until the dust had completely settled.

Either way, Hope was dressed for a more stealth-like approach. The utter black of her light clothing would allow her to blend into the shadows of the alleys and side roads easier. Her black coat was fastened closed quite tightly so that it flapped open only minimally, and her hood was up to cast a shade over her pale face. It limited her field of vision noticeably and made it a bit more important for her to turn her head, but it was the best she had until she'd gained more money and could be better quality equipment. Either way, her only weapon, the cold iron dagger that was once her mothers, was strapped to her hip, easy enough to draw but still concealed under her jacket.

The silence of the Heights felt welcoming yet somehow out of place. Hope had rarely been, probably only once before, but she felt that it wasn't often as silent as it was today. She could feel the stress and anxiety from the way the odd individual walked, their stance closed off, unwelcoming, and rather cold. As if they were scared to be the target of another attack. Hope felt safe knowing that the Night Eyes weren't on the move today until the thought caused her to belatedly realize that the Night Eyes wasn't the only dangerous group in Sunberth.

It was as if someone had suddenly switched on the light in a dark. She grew paranoid enough that she almost stared down each person that she saw, unconsciously moving towards the nearest darkened alley. Her pace was fast, faster than it had been, and she glanced over her shoulder every so often to make sure she hadn't been followed into the alley. Almost like one of the madmen the felt like they were being followed by evil chickens or such.

The lack of vision she had with the hood up ended up causing her to run leg-first into a crate with a grunt of pain, one on the stack falling with a noise louder than she liked. She almost immediately fell back against the wall, crouching down with her back to the wall, hiding behind the remaining crates. She drew her dagger and held it, if only to give her some sense of security, as drops of sweat she hadn't noticed rolled down her pale nose.

To the novice Night Eye, the silence was unnervingly pregnant. She couldn't hear anyone, nor had she the sense to feel the presence of the man walking closer to her hiding spot, but she pulled her hood down and leaped from her hiding spot, her dagger held in front of her, half-expecting and wholly-hoping to see no one but instead standing dagger-first in front of a tall, cloaked man.

"Petch are you doing, sneaking up on a girl like that? You tryin' to take a dip in Shyke Creek?" She challenged him in a lame and slightly obvious attempt to hide her frightened state.

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The Silence that Follows (Hope)

Postby Kynier on December 12th, 2018, 2:09 am

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Despite how the knocked over crate lay more in the center of the alley, it was the half-demolished wagon that took his focus. With the partially shredded canvas cover and wooden sides, it would have been easy for someone to take cover in there. Even as he slowly prowled closer, he kept the blades of his weapons by his sides. Hazel eyes gave quick glances to other parts of the alley but did not notice the urchin until she had hopped out of her place behind the crates. A trio of cold iron blades arose. His two short swords and her dagger. Kynier had the tip of one pointing straight at her eyes while the other hovered closer to his body for a guard.

As he looked her over, the tension was already beginning to fade. The girl did not appear to have reached full-adulthood and was rather… petite. Nearly a foot shorter and thin, she looked as though a strong gust of wind could knock her on her rump. He took in her manner of clothing. A dark coat that fit tightly around her torso, pants that matched in color, and a hood that had been lowered. Kynier narrowed his eyes slightly after his examination. Perhaps she wasn’t an urchin. Definitely not associated with the Sun’s Birth though. A single dagger would not be consistent with how they equip their ranks.

All her clothing was dark, despite how it was the earlier part of the day. While he was not one to judge since his preference was for the darker tones, it was a characteristic of the Night Eyes. Kynier had met three of their members before and all of them had the black cloaks, even in the heat of Summer. This girl did not possess the same sort of presence that they did. Relaxing a little, Kynier lowered his guard blade to hang by his side again, while maintaining the other to stay level with her eyes. Height, reach, and bland length were all in his favor. Unless she decided to throw the only weapon she had, he didn’t expect her to initiate any aggressive actions.

It was ironic that she chose that phrasing, as he lived near the Mudway. “The next time you decide to jump out at someone with your dagger out, you may want to consider waiting for them to walk by.” He rotated the short sword slightly as he tilted his head a little to the side. “Unless you enjoy facing difficult odds like these.” After a moment’s pause, Kynier looked beyond the girl to see people walking across the alley’s opening. He gave a glance back to the other end behind him. He quickly lowered his weapon and set both blades in their sheaths.

He had no reason to engage with this girl. And being seen with his weapon out could cause trouble. The Sun’s Birth were trying to claim the district for their own. Kynier didn’t want to be seen as opposition. At least, not yet. His relationship with the Sun’s Birth was almost friendly by comparison to his standing with the other two major gangs. Still, he didn’t like the idea of them having a stronger hold on the city. Kynier looked back the girl. “Put that away, before someone sees it,” he said in a scolding manner. Kynier wasn’t going to turn his back on her while she still had it out, otherwise he would have left already.

It was hard to gage her, whether she would comply or take advantage at the new vulnerability. As a means of distracting her… “That’s an interesting dagger,” he said with a slight gesture at her cold iron blade. “How is it that someone like you managed to get a hold of a rare weapon like that?”

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The Silence that Follows (Hope)

Postby Hope Hildebrandt on December 12th, 2018, 3:32 am


"Shyke," she thought to herself as she suddenly found herself staring at the tip of a rather menacing looking blade. It was obvious how outmatched she was in every aspect; except speed, perhaps, but she couldn't tell how thick or thin the man was underneath the cloak, so there was a bit of tricky hope flickering behind her eyes.

Despite all of this, however, she never lowered her dagger, and never dropped the fierce, guarded expression. Hope knew that a lot of people in Sunberth, while wholly willing to defend and kill for their lives, avoided the outright violence that the more crazed individuals did. She hoped he wasn't one of the crazies, though he didn't appear to be. As far as she could tell.

What she could see, he wasn't one of the poorer residents of Sunberth. His cloak wasn't in tatters or particularly grungy. She couldn't quite tell the material, but it looked... Different from anything she'd seen before. Nicer than the clothing materials she was more used to. His boots looked a bit nicer than average, though her eyes hadn't looked him over for that long, what with a sword pointed at her face.

Not quite a connoisseur of weapons, she didn't put much stock in his swords past the fact that he had two of them, which was about one and a half more than she had. She narrowed his eyes at his words, though the truth of them wasn't lost on them. Hope mentally acknowledged that she'd acted more like a jumpy orphan looking to get killed than a Night Eye, but it wasn't anything she'd admit aloud. Especially not to a rather dangerous-looking stranger.

"I'll jump out at anyone I want to and whenever I want to," she said defensively but not without a touch of brattiness. She backed away a step or two, her dagger still held up and poised to strike as best she could. She watched with slightly less aggressive eyes as he lowered his blades and sheathed them, revealing the vest underneath for no more than a second. She couldn't tell exactly the material, the look was far too quick, but being able to stick her dagger into his torso seemed a bit more dubious, and something she was relieved she didn't have to worry about.

Now that his swords were away and she was able to stand a bit more neutrally, her own dagger lowered to her side, but not sheathed, she looked the man over. He wasn't Sun's Birth, that was for sure. He didn't wear the usual gear their ranks did and, while she couldn't see a tattoo on his hand - or lack thereof - she was fairly certain he wasn't.

As for being a possible Daggerhand... She wasn't sure. He wouldn't be one of their lower ranks, as well-equipped as he looked... And she doubted the intelligence in walking around by yourself and being higher up on the ladder of any gang, but she couldn't be as certain as she was about him not being one of the Sun's Birth. Perhaps he was just some commoner, though the thought could've made her laugh. He was a bit of an oddity to the orphan, and she didn't quite like oddities. Dangerous.

Though her eyes narrowed at his tone - he sounded as if he were chiding a younger relative or a random child. Almost pointedly, she kept the dagger down at her side, clutched in her hand. She had always been rather rebellious, even when it wasn't her best option.

His question, however, made her put it away with a haste. "That's none of your business, now, is it? Don't go around asking questions you don't need the answers to," she snapped. Despite knowing how difficult a fight with this man could be, she seemed adamant about keeping up her own difficult attitude. She liked to act as if she were six foot four and wielded a sketchy-looking hammer.

"Who are you? And what are you doing creeping around here? I don't think the Suns would like anyone with that much steel walking around their parts," she said, as if the battle only days prior hadn't happened and there were Dragoons walking around. A scare tactic, but flimsy one.


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The Silence that Follows (Hope)

Postby Kynier on December 13th, 2018, 12:19 am

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Whoever she was, she was clearly still unnerved by his presence enough to keep her dagger out. Though it hung down by her side now. Not ideal, but better than having her point it at him after he had resigned his advantage. As for her response to his inquiry, it wasn’t far off from what he had expected. Although, there was a little amusement in her advice about not asking questions. As a Nightstalker, asking questions was almost second nature. Trying to discover things that people didn’t want known, or information that had been lost. One may as well tell the sky to stop being blue.

Now she had put the dagger away, which was what he had wanted. While his first instinct was to walk away and leave her in the alley, Kynier instead crossed his arms and observed her. The girl was a bit of a curiosity. Even as she made her astute observation about the sort of treatment he could expect from the Dragoons, Kynier couldn’t help but feel they’d treat her the same for such a dark attire. “So much for asking questions you don’t need the answer too,” he said in a quiet tone that was clearly full of challenge.

Did he want to grow involved with this girl? Kynier considered the options. Right now, she was just a stranger that he could walk away from. But something inside nagged at him to not do that. That he should do something, what that was he had no idea. Half of him felt like answering while the other half cautioned against it. “I have plenty of enemies, why should I give you my name? For all I know, you could be associated with them. As for the Sun’s Birth,” he gave the ends of the alley another glance. No one had taken notice to them yet. If they stayed in the alley too long that was likely to change. “They don’t own the Western Heights yet.”

Kynier turned towards the end that he had come from. He paused midway and looked at the girl with a gaze of consideration. “If you want to learn my name then I’ll give you a chance to earn it. Otherwise, you can continue to skulk in the alley. But you tend to draw less attention when you’re out in the open and pretending you have nothing to hide.” He tucked his arms under the cloak before turning to leave for the alley. He listened for any sign of the girl following him, as well as paying attention to his Sunberth senses incase she chose to put the dagger in his back.

But before he could really worry about that, a pair of Dragoons turned into the alley at the end that Kynier was walking towards. Shyke. Kynier didn’t slow his step and hoped that they paid him no mind. As the distance between them shrank, the both of them were examining Kynier intently. The mage gave both of them a quick examination. One was a little on the younger side. Not far out of his adolescence and lacking the steely gaze of the woman he was walking with. Even though she was nearly a head shorter, she had a powerful presence about her. One that intercepted Kynier’s path out of the alley.

“What’s your business in the Western Heights?” she demanded as she obstructed his way with her body. The only reason Kynier didn’t run into her, was because she had held out a hand for his chest to run into.

“I’m on my way to Dagwood Metals,” he said calmly. She did not seem very convinced by his response and leered at him harder. After a moment, she stepped aside and he walked by. Kynier could feel the hard gaze on his back as he stepped out of the alley. He stopped and turned back to see what the girl was doing.

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The Silence that Follows (Hope)

Postby Hope Hildebrandt on December 14th, 2018, 2:15 am

Hope's eyes only narrowed as he deflected her inquiries with a light jab at her earlier remark. Though she didn't deign a response, it was a bit obvious from the way that her nose flared and her cheeks reddened that she didn't take quite too kindly to challenges, however slight. But she wasn't stupid - she was outclassed, and in a place like Sunberth, playing it safe was better than leaving your life to luck. At least, that was only applicable if you actually liked your life.

"I doubt that anyone you'd call an 'enemy' would be standing here, talking to you," she admitted, and it was for that reason that she hadn't long since run out of the alley the way she'd come. Though she might not have been the best Night Eye to take up the task of gathering information on this odd stranger, she was the only one here. And some foolhardy part of her juvenile mind reasoned that she was skilled enough to survive if things got dicey, which didn't help the matter.

She shook her head in response to his statement, though. "I'd never be stupid enough to wear their colors," she scoffed, an almost offended expression crossing her features. "They don't own Western Heights yet because they're too weak to take it, but... They're still walking around, so it's not like you're exactly safe," she said, though she also looked at either end of the alley as the man did. He seemed awfully concerned with watching his back or waiting for something, which didn't help her own paranoia.

But she looked back as he spoke, offering her a chance at information. But earning it... She looked him over. He somehow seemed far more sketchy than before, if it were possible, but she didn't want to pass the chance of gaining valuable information on a potential threat to the Night Eyes. Accordingly, she began following him, her hand back and closed around the hilt of her sheathed dagger. Just in case of any problems, of course, an example being the new problem waltzing into play on the backs of two Dragoons.

She would have cursed under her breath if she was alone, but instead, she continued following the man at a slightly faster pace. Her hand had dropped away from dagger now, as it might look a bit suspicious, and she slowed as he stopped. "Damn melonheads," she mentally cursed, watching the cloaked man for his reaction. She half-considered booking it out of the other end of the alley, hoping that they'd be occupied with him for at least the few seconds she'd need to gain a lead on them, but hadn't moved as she still wanted to find out exactly who this new person was.

As the lie (or was it?) slipped from his lips and they allowed him past, she started forward, a hand up as if to grab him. "You're walking too fast, father," she said, quite loudly, as he turned to look back at her. Hope rather boldly, roughly, shouldered past the Dragoon boy, outright ignoring the two. "My feet hurt," she grunted as she stopped in front of him, looking up at the taller man. Her back was to the Dragoons, now, so they couldn't see the slightly wide and worried expression on her face. She was putting far too much trust in this man and, as misguided as she often was, she knew that she was.

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The Silence that Follows (Hope)

Postby Kynier on December 16th, 2018, 3:06 am

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It was more than a little unnerving to hear someone call him that, even if it was just to establish a ruse. What made it worse was how the girl seemed to think that he was old enough that the ruse could actually work. He wasn’t that old. Did he look that old? Kynier squeezed her hand unnecessarily hard and gave that wider-eyed worried look of hers a glare. Had she called him brother, it would have been more convincing. “Come one then, it’s not far,” he said trying to feign exasperation to her remark about her feet.

Walking back out onto the main street, he had to implement a lot of self-control to not look over his shoulder to see if the Dragoons were following them. Part of him, most of him, was sure that they were being followed now. To darker dressed individuals that had been wandering a backstreet. If Kynier were a Dragoon, he’d follow them. His mind began to race through how to ensure that he… they… weren’t being followed. If this girl could manage to keep up with his efforts, then she likely would’ve earned the right to know who he was.

The challenge was that there was a limited number of options for how to lose any unwanted followers. The Western Heights only had a few abandoned structures. None of which were familiar enough to him to trust using. Other undesirable people could also be making use of them. And there were close to the heart of the district now. Running would likely cause any Dragoon that sees them to give chase to them. And if they did not head straight to Dagwood Metals, then they’d have to start running. Or the could confront them. Of all the options Kynier could think of, seeking refuge in one of the few abandoned structures was the most favorable.

While he was walking in the general direction of the shop he had mentioned, Kynier veered from the main street to a side alley, dragging the girl along with him. Once they ducked into it, he released his hold of her hand and pressed himself against the corner. “Father?” he asked quietly, but with an incredulous tone. “How old do you think I am?” He lowered his hood for a moment as he peeked around the corner at the way they came. Both Dragoons were marching down the street towards them. Kynier broke himself away from the corner and walked as fast as he could down the alley.

At the other end, he only gave a quick glance in either direction before venturing out onto the street. His eyes scanned the buildings to orientate where he was exactly in the district while trying to recall where the abandoned structures were. If his memory was still correct, there was one on the next street over. With another scan of the street, Kynier noted no one else was facing them. Seizing the moment, he took off at a run for the nearest backstreet that cut across. His long legs propelling him at a sprint.

Kynier ran into the backstreet and down to the opposite end. Before he ran out onto the street, he slowed himself back down to a walk, and struggled to make his breathing appear normal. As calmly as he could, he walked over to the abandoned building two buildings down and slipped through the door. Quickly, he searched the place to ensure that no one else was there. When he was satisfied, he perched himself at a window to discretely look out at the street as he caught his breath.

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