The Aftermath

Lani seeks answers to the death of the unnamed Dek and meets her first ghost, finding more questions than answers.

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The westernmost tip of Kalea, Wind Reach is home to an amazing group of people and their giant eagle mounts. [Lore]

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The Aftermath

Postby Lani Stranger on December 10th, 2018, 4:44 am

55th of Winter, 518AV

It felt like an unusual morning in the Warrens as Lani skimmed the side of the large passage ways. She wanted to stay out of the Inarta’s way for the most part. She was a Chiet, a commoner, and yet with the recent tensions that seemed to have sprung up with the season, she didn’t trust the caste system to outweigh her foreign eyes and hair. Something inside her stirred with the memory of a djed that she knew that she could call forth and dissuade their fears by letting the white seep into her eyes, let color fade through her black hair, things that would set the Inarta at ease.

She had witnessed the fight the day prior, and now her curiosity dragged her towards the Tomb of the Fallen. She had not heard of a death in the city yet. Although she was sure they happened, she was not close with enough Inarta to mourn any of their losses. Her three (possibly now four) friends were alive and well and she cared not for anyone else. The Foreigner did not typically work jobs where any of her fellow Chiet would find accident or illness and pass, so she was blissfully unaware of the burial practices of these bird-worshiping people. Except now she had watched someone die. She had watched the life drain from his eyes in her very arms, and she wanted to see how he would be mourned, if he would be mourned.

Lani had gone to work as usual, done her work as usual, and yet still had the odd empty feeling of unfinished business. She had not witnessed violence and callous manslaughter so easily brushed off before, and so she did not let the shock of the event interrupt her life, but she could still feel the adrenaline of the day prior and knew that it had affected her more than she wanted it to. The foreigner had the rough directions from Kavisan, who thought her request to be odd but had obliged to tell her. She had just finished her work day and while she should be going to get food before the times were over for her to do so, she wanted to see the burial, and she doubted it would wait for her, if for some reason it had not happened yet. And so she found herself wandering to the far recesses of corridors that the foreigner rarely had reason to go through or down, and as she watched the lamps flicker next to the warm volcanic stone, a sense of fear settled in her. She wasn’t welcome in these parts. There was not much of this city she was welcome in, but the long corridors ahead sung haunting rhythms to her heart as it picked up its palpitations in anticipation for the certain danger that she would meet if she continued further down. Luckily she had reached her destination, and so she ducked into the entryway of the Tomb of the Fallen, escaping the eye of the Inner Warrens.

What she was met with underwhelmed her. There was an immediate embrace of heat, stronger than any other part of the volcano which the half-Eypharian could immediately suspect meant there was a open shaft to the magma that lay below. Her flowing pants and cropped top suddenly felt too constricting in the heat, but it was still bearable. She walked further into the dark cavern. There seemed to be no lamps in here, but rather a large gaping hole in the center of the room that produced more than enough light for her to see that beyond the smooth walls, nothing was there. This was surely the location she was given, Kavisan had described the large magma hole that rested in the room, but there was nothing else. No bodies, no caretakers of the dead, not even a stone or note to mark their falling. The foreigner paused inside the room, realizing how utterly alone she was and how not even the dead were there to comfort her in the place that they were supposed to be.

It was then that the realization settled in on Lani’s chest. Her throat constricted, perhaps with the heat, perhaps with the reality of the situation. The Inarta did not bury their dead. They did not give them ceremony, or if they did, they would not for a Dek. He had been mercilessly disposed off, burned up in the fiery grasp of the mountain, disappearing from the world forever, ready to be sent into the reincarnation cycle to his next life. But there remained no trace of the unnamed Deks’ existence in the physical realm, not any more.
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The Aftermath

Postby Lani Stranger on December 10th, 2018, 4:44 am

”Where are you?” The words croaked from her mouth and Lani did not know who she was talking to, but something crumpled her knees below her, and she felt herself sink into the hot floor. The stone was uncomfortably hot, not burning, but she wouldn’t be able to stand it for long. And yet she felt as if she was being melted in the fire before her, unable to will her bones to straighten. Unwilling tears swelled in her eyes as she watched the roiling liquid stone before her, and the foreigner had to wonder if she was crying for the unnamed Dek, for herself, or for someone else. Someone greater than she, she mourned someone that owned the domain to which this magma belonged to. Ivak.

But did she mourn the Inartan God? Could she? He was free now, alive and well, and he had caused the terrible Valterrian that had ruined the world, the only world that she knew. She did not know the story of the emotional God, but she did not pity him. The half-Eypharian had very quickly assumed emotional maturity as a sign of age and growth, and whatever could cause a divine being such as himself to grow into such a rage to tear apart the reality as they knew it, it was unforgivable. But he was free now, merely six years ago that had happened. And so she did not pity him.

And yet she could not stop crying. Bawling on the floor of this hot cavern as it the heat weighed down around her, put pressure on her head so that it began to ache. Sweat was steadily trickling down the curve of her spine from where she knelt, and whatever had crumpled her would not let her go.

”M-Maybe you’re right.” She sobbed aloud to the God that she did not forgive. ”M-Maybe whatever you did was just for your reasons. But what were you thinking? What caused this?” She looked up towards the hot magma before her once again as if it would transfer her message directly to Ivak. He had destroyed the world all those years ago, and then again when he was freed, and now all the mortals did was suffer. This winter, even without Morwen’s icy walk, was nothing but survival within the confines of the city. Tensions rose and competition reigned as resources weened. Even the communal nature of the Inarta were not immune to the difficulties of trying to make it in this unforgiving world. This world that Ivak had created. Did she dare speak anything more to Ivak? If she did not praise him would he be displeased? Surely she was not the first mortal to grieve the destruction of her world at his hands. Her hands rested on the porous stone beneath her and were beginning to scream and burn with the agony of the heat she forced them against. This chamber was not meant to hold her for long, and it was clear that there was nothing there for her. No funeral for the Dek, no minder of the Tomb. Just a hole of fire and despair in the ground.

Slowly, as if her skin did not broil in the heat and demand an immediate respite, Lani raised herself so that she could stand. She did not leave immediately though, watching the crackling liquid for a few more ticks. She wanted to say something final to Ivak. To praise him or to offer a semblance of a real prayer. She was not sure what had overcome her in that instant, perhaps the heat had had some effect on her body that she interpreted as an emotional outbreak. Perhaps she had actually grieved the unfairness of the death and burial of the unnamed Dek. Perhaps she was genuinely overcome with Ivaks’ domain that she beckoned his presence without knowing it. Lani wasn’t sure, but she could only stand to watch the magma for a few ticks before she turned to leave the cavern, stepping back out into the cool airways of the passages without another word or thought for the God of Fire.
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The Aftermath

Postby Lani Stranger on December 10th, 2018, 4:44 am

From the heat that she had just suffered the passageways seemed cool and forgiving. Stagnant air that usually drove the half-Chaktawe to claustrophobia and madness caressed her sweaty gilded shoulders with the comforting promise of cooler environments. The Chiet found her feet drawing her across the passageway to another darker entrance that the lamps directed her to. She thought it was the Shrine to Those That Have Passed, but before she could enter the cavern and truly see for herself, her hand found the stony wall of the passageway beside the entrance. The stone here was much cooler and her skin craved the release, and she found herself crumpling into the wall. Whatever uncalled for emotional outburst had drained her, and she shrunk into a sitting position, knees propped up and her back leaning against the wall. She could still feel the foreboding warning of the inner warrens calling to her, but she also felt the soft song of the Shrine that also beckoned to her, only she felt no ill intent from this place. Still she could not bear herself to go into the room and look for the answers that she had come down her in the first place for. Not Yet.

”How are you?”She heard the distinct Nari beside her, and Lani raised her head slowly to look at who was speaking. A strange ethereal form sat beside her. A gasp flew from her mouth, and she immediately stood up, hand on her talon sword as if it would do anything to the Ghost.

”What? How--?” She took in the face of the one armed Dek who had gotten too close to the fight between the Endal the day prior, and had lost his life as a result.

”It’s okay, it’s okay. I know I’m not supposed to be here, I just wasn’t ready to go yet.” He spoke slowly, but still in Nari, and she was trying to understand what he was saying. Not even ghosts spoke her language. She let her hand fall from the sword but did not sit beside him again. ”I wanted to say thank you.” He spoke now, and she understood the phrase in Nari.

”Thank you?” She questioned, catching the last of his words. Sweat was starting to dry on her spine, but one last drop found its way down her neck, sending chills across her shoulders and head.

”Yes, thank you. For trying to keep me alive.” He spoke, the incorporeal form standing now so that the one armed man could talk to her better. She recalled the traumatic events of the day prior. She saw none of the wounds on his face and neck that had ultimately lead to his death. He still missed the arm that had lowered him to a Dek caste, but he was otherwise how he would have seemed just prior to his death. The one-armed man chuckled then. ”You did a terrible job, but that is okay. You tried, when no one else would touch me.”

She had a hard time understanding his Nari, but he seemed to be thankful that she had tried. ”You’re welcome?” She answered, hoping it was the correct answer, unsure of how she was speaking to the ghost in the first place.

”Yes,” He nodded towards her, and then he turned towards the Shrine, pausing in the door frame and motioning her in. ”Now, I can pass on.”
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The Aftermath

Postby Lani Stranger on December 10th, 2018, 4:45 am

The Shrine of Those That Have Passed was a remarkable room. Although not very large in width, it was extraordinarily tall, stony walls raising high into the mountain. Statues and clocks decorated the room, but none of them were settled with the thick layers of dust that stood a sign of neglect. There was a morbid looking Dek polishing the statues, balancing on a rock outcrop far above, and no other living souls in the room. She could feel the chilly aura of the ghost beside her, but her ebony eyes were being captured by different ghostly beings. She was uncertain if she was actually seeing them for they were but wisps of icy blue here and there, dragging her vision across the room falling on various shrines. It was as if they wanted to call her attention to their resting memorials, without actually drawing her attention. Having never been near so many ghosts before the mixed blood was wide eyed and spooked by the whole event, settling into a constant state of eerie curiosity.

”I brought her,” The ghost who had guided her in seemed to be speaking to someone else that she could not see, and as Lani was beginning to pull herself together she used the chance to use her auristics on the cavern surrounding her. The pool of djed that welled in her stomach seemed to cement into a hardened clay block with disuse. It did not weigh her down or inconvenience her in other ways, but it required her to work and coax the djed out if she had let it go unused for so long.

Lani found herself steadying herself on a statue of an Inarta and her bow, closing her eyes and working on the pool of djed within her. It took a few ticks of concentration but she was able to coax a slight wisp from her banks, guiding the curious djed up her abdomen and attempting to assign it purpose. She felt the thick sensation want to travel to her tongue or her finger tips in different forms of magic that were of no use to her now, but she kept dragging it until it reached the base of her brain, just behind her neck. As if triggered it spread across the whole of her head, and just as she realized it had done so, she could see the world around her. She had not yet opened her eyes, but she could feel the rest and serenity that filled this place. It was a calm presence, not quite as she had felt out there, and the mixed blood got the distinct signature of an icy blue. She could picture the dark figure of a spider lazily creating its translucent web, and that image told her what she needed to know of the place. It was not made of agony and fear of the dying, but of the peace that came with entering into the reincarnation cycle, the rest that all deserved when they passed from this world and moved on to their next life.

”Hello,” The new voice dragged her out of her auristic trance, and Lani’s eyes flickered open. She tried to hold onto the djed, to read the woman who now appeared before her with it, but the finicky sensation flickered out when she left her small trance, and she could feel the ill-feeling snap as it retreated back to the brick that seemed to rest near her stomach, forming back into its hard clay exterior making her work to retrieve it again.
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The Aftermath

Postby Lani Stranger on December 10th, 2018, 4:46 am

The woman before her was pale with glossy white hair, iridescent scales, and mossy green eyes. She would have recognized her from a mile away. Although she did not know the woman personally, she knew a Konti when she saw one.

”Hello, who are you?” The Kontinese words dragged from Lani’s mouth, and she let her hand fall from where it had steadied her against the statue. The woman before her fiddled with a length of beads in her hand, and seemed genuinely surprised to hear her mother tongue from the Chaktawe looking woman before her. Once the shock seemed to pass on the woman’s face, she answered Lani.

”Whisper. I am the keeper of the shrine. How do you speak Kontinese?” She asked, momentarily forgetting about the ghost they were both seemingly there for. Lani could no longer see him in her peripheral vision, but she was also interested in this Konti woman, and so did not search for him.

”I am the daughter of a traveling Konti.” Lani explained herself, not quite as used to the question as she should be, but not surprised by it. She was swallowing the last of her djed and growing ecstatic that this Konti spoke her mother’s language. She understood it and spoke it better than the Nari that she had been practicing for so long.

”Oh.” Whisper said, accepting the answer as if she had no more questions. As Lani looked down on the shorter woman, she could see the shock still registering on her face, and so Lani let her digest the new and confusing information. She knew she was an oddity here, even to a Konti. Although Whisper was likely confused for different reasons than the Inarta were, she was still confused by Lani. People were always confused.

”Why am I here?” She asked the Konti, drawing her back to the subject at hand, the unnamed Dek.

”I-I’m not sure. Isav wanted to speak with you before I helped him pass on. He doesn’t want to stay in this place, but he had something more to say.” The long flowing words of Kontinese were comforting for the daughter of a Konti to hear once again, and she was happy that she did not find her understanding of the language to be rusty.

”I think he said it. Isav? Is that your name?” Lani turned towards the small clearing in the center of the room, and the Konti turned with her. Lani began looking towards where she had last seen the ghost, trying to see if he approved of the Konti’s words about him, but she could not see him. Wherever the one-armed Dek had gone, he was no longer visible to the living. ”Isav?”

”Yes?” His form flickered back into her vision directly in front of her, and she jumped slightly at his sudden appearance, and then smiled. Looking at him like this, without wound, and smiling, she almost forgot the horrific scene she had witnessed so closely the day prior. She could still feel his warmth in her arms, but it did not trigger visions of blood and bone in her vision, but rather a comfort that one mortal can supply another through touch.

”Have you told her what you needed to?” The Konti whistled in Nari, and the ghost turned to her nodding.

”I just wanted to thank you.” He turned back to Lani, speaking in slow common. ”And I wanted to know your name, in case I meet you in the next life.”

”Lani Stranger.” She hesitantly reached her hand out. She wondered if she was offending him, if he could take it and shake it. He looked down at her hand and laughed at her. But it didn’t feel malicious or offended, merely amused by her assumption. She retracted the hand, watching him carefully for further reactions.

”It is wonderful to meet a soul like you Lani, I look forward to my reincarnation now, because I believe I will be blessed to be around you once again.” A twinkle of happiness glowed in his translucent eye, and Lani let a soft smile light her lips, still concerned with the whole of the events that were happening. Blessed was a strong word to be used in reference for Lani, and it made her uncomfortable. Whisper was already starting her work, laying the long string of beads that she was fiddling with in a circle around Isav. It seemed that she was used to whatever process this was, but before she could complete the circle around him, he put a hand out, stopping her.
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The Aftermath

Postby Lani Stranger on December 10th, 2018, 4:46 am

”I don’t think that will be necessary.” He said, turning away from both of the woman and looking at something in the distance, past the reality of the cavern they stood in. ”I think I can see him, his office…” Whisper seemed unconcerned with this, and began picking her beads up once again.

”Good Luck, Isav.” She murmured, straightening to stand beside Lani, reeling her beads back into her palms and twisting them around one hand to keep them from tangling. The mixed blood was not quite sure what he meant. See who?

”Hopefully I will see you soon, Lani.” He said simply, and then his incorporeal form stepped forward into something, and flickered out of existence again. The half-Eypharian hadn’t really had the time to understand what was happening or realized that the one-armed Dek had been trying to pass on. Did he only stay to say thank you? For trying to save him? As any decent mortal would do? It seemed a shallow reason to keep a soul, but Lani was not adequate enough to question it.

”What? Isav? What just happened?” Confusion painted her face and she turned to see what Whisper could tell her of the events she just witnessed but had no explanation for.

”Isav passed on, he is going to enter the reincarnation cycle now.” The short Konti shrugged as if it was common knowledge. The words were not foreign to Lani, she was a sane person who understood the reincarnation cycle as much as anyone. She had known about it since she was old enough to question what death really was, it was common knowledge. Still, hearing the dry explanation and applying it to the events that had just happened made them seem more surreal than real. Lani was sure this was one of the smoothest passing-ons that could be witnessed, Whisper could tell her of that, but it seemed odd and out of place, like it should not have happened.

”Oh,” The universal word fell from her breath and she still watched the place where Isav had been, Whisper was moving again away from her, but returned when she realized the foreigner was not moving.

”Its’ normal, that was good. As far as ghost staying, he had a simple and easy purpose and it didn’t hurt him. You did the right thing to try and save him, it just didn’t work, and that is okay. He is with Lhex now, and he will return to this world in another form, a better form than what he was given this time around.” She soothed the foreigner with her Kontinese. While Lani understood most everything she had said, she did not pay close enough attention in order to respond properly so she merely nodded at the words meant to be comforting. It had been a hell of an experience, watching a stranger die in your arms, and then seeing they had waited for you to watch them pass on too. Without knowing anything about Isav she felt as if she was intimately close with him suddenly, much to her displeasure. She would rather not have gotten this familiar with a stranger, especially one that was now dead.

His passing on pleased her that he would not suffer, but put a sour taste in her mouth now. There was a soul somewhere in the world, possibly being born at this moment, who had touched her own soul. Forever they would be intertwined, even if that connection was minuscule. She did not know the inner workings of how souls connected and mingled within the immortal realms before they came to the mortal ones, but she felt as if she had no choice but now to remember this man, as if he meant something to her. You’re happy that he passed on peacefully and did not suffer too much in death. She reminded herself, feeling the hollow feeling of shock and lack of concern settling in her throat and she turned away from Whisper.

Any other day she would have stayed and talked with the Konti for bells, but at the moment she had much to digest and think over, and question. She didn’t want to do it here, with the memory of Isav still so fresh in the atmosphere. ”Thank you, Whisper.” She bowed slightly to the Konti and then strolled out of the Shrine, her eyebrows set in a concerned fashion as she attempted to digest what she had just witnessed.
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The Aftermath

Postby Ssezzkero on January 2nd, 2019, 4:53 pm

Stealth +1, Philosophy +2, Land Navigation: Subterranean +1, History +1, Socialization +2, Auristics +1, Meditation +1, Self: Distrusts the Inarta, Stealth: Going unnoticed in a crowd, Wind Reach: How they dispose of their dead, Tomb of the Fallen: Not just for burials, Location: The Shrine of Those That Have Passed, Speaking with a Ghost, Ivak: God of fire and emotion, Lava is hot, Inarta: Do not bury their dead, Inarta: Do not give funeral ceremonies to the Dek, Praying to Ivak, Location: The Inner Warrens, Emotional Maturity: A sign of age and growth, The Valterrian changed the world, Socialization: Conversing with a Ghost, Whisper: The Konti spiritist of Wind Reach, Race: Ghost, Ghosts are spirits that have not reentered the reincarnation cycle, The Shrine of Those That Have Passed: Spooky, Auristics: The Aura of Ghosts, Meditation: Focusing on Auristics, Race: Konti, Socialization: Conversing in Kontinese, Ghosts: Can materialize in and out of sight, Self: Speaks Kontinese better than Nari, Isav: The one armed Dek, Isav: Deceased in Fall 518AV, Observation: Watching a Spiritist work, Observation: Watching a ghost pass on, Name: Lhex, Philosophy: The intermingling of souls through the reincarnation cycle
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