Solo The Bloodied Barcarolle

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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

The Bloodied Barcarolle

Postby Caspian on March 10th, 2019, 2:13 am

11 Spring 519

The chilling water that seeps along the seams of the ravosala creeps and pools at Caspian’s slack fingertips. In his dreams, the creaking of the gently rolling barge that had thrummed in harmony with the melody winding through him suddenly turns discordant. Eyes shooting open, he retracts his hand and jolts upright, and in his flailing nearly sends the entire craft pitching over.

The ravosalaman, of a bearing and countenance completely foreign to him, swears loudly and with hasty maneuvering, manages only narrowly to keep the whole of them from going awry.

“Have you lost your petching mind?” the ravosalaman snarls at him, holding his oar aloft and threatening very plainly to drive it down into his cranial lobes.

Staring up at what still seems at this point to be entirely unwarranted and contextless rage, Caspian freezes, but the stranger still hasn’t lowered the weapon hovering just inches away from Caspian’s eyes, so Caspian throws his hands up over his face in an instinctive flinch he finds impossible to suppress. The sudden movement from him locks them both in a reactive loop, in which the ravosalaman only grows angrier and falls further into the definitively offensive, and Caspian, in his drunk-high befuddlement and dizzying alarm, thrashes more haphazardly, sending the boat rocking with dangerous force, which in turn does very little to mollify the ravosalaman in his fury.

A few more moments of this, and had the ravosala not already been so proximal to a dock, Caspian’s reckless floundering would have sent the three of them straight into the lake. But the hull slams against it, the gilded wood grinding piercingly against the iron-wrought, rope-latticed posts, and Caspian scrambles backwards over the ledges and seats and wrangles his body onto the closest thing for miles to be considered land. It’s not the cleanest of escapes, his left foot dipping clear into the obsidian waters, the chill a shock that stabs and snakes through his system. The ravosalaman gets a clear knock and a swipe with his oar too, hard enough to bruise, but there’s time later for taking inventory. The saving grace here is that categorical division of territory, debatable though it might sometimes be, with the way the tides can encroach upon the city’s extremities – but as Caspian predicts, no matter his ire, the ravosalaman isn’t leaving his watercraft unattended for even a moment.

Fearing very little, the ravosalaman swings his oar directly at Caspian’s temple, but with its momentum encouraging the boat to drift further, and Caspian’s well-timed and completely unintentional stumble, the strike misses him completely.

The message it intends to send, though, is clear, and the two of them resort to shouting at each other over the wavering lake.

“You crazy vagik,” the ravosalaman screams, furiously paddling towards him to close the distance, swinging his oar straight for Caspian’s head again. “I was only trying to get you from Point A to Point B. You hired me. I should have let you drown in the canal where I found you!”

“Vagik?” Caspian ducks on unsteady feet. “Vagik? Right, I’m the vagik, while you scrape algae and bottom rot for a living,” he screams back.

It’s night now – no, it isn’t, it’s dawn, and the light is breaking across the darkling mirror on which they float, that light illuminating very little, and vanishing into its depths. The sky above has taken on shades of rose deepening to clementine, that demure serenity marred by Caspian and his alleged savior casting unveiled vulgarities at one another at fever’s pitch.

It’s the ravosalaman who gives up first. That’s what Caspian tells himself, at least, as he throws one last unseemly gesture over his shoulder, and turns to stalk the streets where he’s just been dumped.

From the posters littering the walls and the inescapable iron pavilion lined with fetters domineering his field of vision, though, it’s with a greater chill than the lake could ever give him that he realizes he’s made himself privy to the early hours of The Slave Market in the Plaza of Dark Delights.

Not open for business, from the hour and the looks of things, though business turns and burns in its machinations in preparation. There’s a trio of young women being dragged from one end of the market to the other, all blindfolded and gagged, and another trio taken in quick succession, and another, and another, procession to a ceremony he’s never taken any pleasure in witnessing. It doesn’t help that he’s not, how might one put it – not entirely in his right mind at the moment. The bleary confusion in which he’d awakened in the ravosala hasn’t left his system yet, and in his stilted consciousness, the consistent mantra keeping him upright is that this isn’t a safe place for him, isn’t really ever, and especially isn’t now, and he needs to leave. Immediately.

But he’s not going home, though it’s not far – not like this. Not with Taalviel likely to be home and waiting for his full report as to what he’d been sent to go and witness and take note of, and it’s not that he didn’t accomplish those things, he just didn’t carry them off as neatly as maybe a spy ought to have – he’s in one piece, though, and isn’t that what matters?

Home’s off the list. There’s another place he knows, though, one not very far either, and most importantly, that place isn’t here, where the morning light is only growing and more people with both more and less to lose are beginning to filter in, and if someone notices him, damask torn and bedraggled and his face near-Benshiran and then if they look closer and somehow divulge from his eyes that his sister’s also a bird there’s very little that he or anyone can do, if someone so chose, to clap him in irons and gag him all the same. And along he would be forced to go after those trios of women, dragged up onto that pavilion for his future to be decided and torn apart without his own volition -

In an unassuming, dilapidated unit across from the House of Immortal Pleasures, the façade stained with the expectorations of the brothel’s patrons whose nights have taken worse turns, Caspian stumbles across a threshold and into open arms that grip and cradle him through his high, into thoughtless, dreamless sleep, rocking him with the same ease the lake had, before it had turned against him in its icy slithers.

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The Bloodied Barcarolle

Postby Caspian on March 10th, 2019, 6:01 pm

The next time Caspian wakes, it’s with considerably less flailing. There’s less damage to be done here, in Saticath’s velvet bower, and she’s there by Caspian’s side the moment he’s jerking back to consciousness.

At the sight of Saticath – a face he thankfully recognizes – Caspian allows himself to relax by several degrees.

“What time is it?” he asks, finding his voice hoarser and subsequently flimsier than he’d like it.

“Don’t you mean ‘what day is it’?” she replies, grinning down impishly at him.

At this, Caspian drags himself fully upright, pulling at handfuls of the crimson velvet drapes that have been cast over her sofa and enveloped him in its swathes. “Days?” he echoes. “I’ve been out for days?” Immediately, he thinks of his sister Taalviel, who by now must be livid

“-no, no, not days,” Saticath hurries to reply, though there’s still plenty of mirth in her expression from having put him so easily into a state of shock. “Sorry. I was kidding. It’s been a day – no, half, if you can even call it that.”

Only one of the two of them has recently been bashed about by a raging ravosalaman – so Caspian doesn’t feel bad for maintaining his glare. “I’ve only got so much of a sense of humor at – whatever time this so happens to actually be,” he retorts.

“It’s a little past noon,” she finally reveals, looking him up and down with more bemusement than he feels she’s earned.

So he’s been out for seven or eight bells, maybe a little more, if he’s correctly assumed the early hour at which he’d found himself on the landing of the Slave Market.

And seen the train of young women with their heads bowed, forced to parade past –
“-so what were you up to all night?” Saticath asks.

The groan that escapes him derives from several sources, not least of which is his having been on the receiving end of a brutally weaponized paddle – and the potency of the chemicals he’d chosen to contaminate his system with the previous night.
Chosen is a malleable word here – though he had not, in fact, outrightly said no when the lot of it had been proffered to him.

And proffered, too, is a designation little more than debatable –

“You know the barge?” Caspian says.

She raises her eyebrow. Understandably, though – they’re in a city littered with them.

The barge,” Caspian goes on. “The Lark’s?”

“The greenery?” Saticath’s expression furrows. “With the aviary, and the Ukalas shrine?”

“That’s the one.” He suppresses a cough, inadvertently exacerbating the roughness in his throat he can’t push past.

Naturally a winsome hostess – and it helps that over the past year, she’s only grown fonder of him – she retreats to her kitchen and returns with two glasses of something meady and dark. “Must have been some party. And you’ve been dying to go to one of those for a while, haven’t you?”

That much is true, had been true. The circumstances of his finally having edged himself into some form of invitation to a private party on the Lark Family’s Floating Botanicals weren’t as dazzling and sweeping as he’d always imagined they’d be. It’s not shame he feels now, or necessarily of loss, because it hadn’t been a loss, what he’d done, just… didn’t turn out to be as fruitful an operation as it ought. So it’s a touch of humiliation that he faces now, not that Saticath would ever jeer at him, but there are enough reflective surfaces here that he’s caught sight of himself from more than one angle, and is undeniably and repeatedly confronted with a more crumpled vision of himself than when he’d set out. That setting out having taken place less than 24 bells’ past.

It helps that Saticath knows who Caspian is, the parts that he’s chosen to share with her over the past year, which are considerably more than he’s ever shared with anybody.

“I was on a job,” he says, when he’s managed a sip. It’s practically syrup, and harder to keep down than anything declaring itself edible should be, but after two mouthfuls he finds it revitalizes him more than he’d expected.

“Was the money good?” she asks.

“Get this. It was, what do you call it? For free.”

With an exaggerated gasp, she claps her hand over her mouth, and kicks her feet up and into his lap. “The F-word? Caspian, darling, you know how we feel about that.”

The story isn’t hard to tell because it’s complicated – no, it’s far from complicated, it’s just –

Maybe, in fact, just a little hard and somewhat complicated, because Caspian himself makes it so.

This is happening, as it so often is, because of Taalviel.

(At this, Saticath snickers – they’ve met, and besides that she’s heard plenty. There’s no love to be had.)

The whole affair had been a favor to Taalviel, to the family he left behind in Sunberth. As so often comes with the territory of being a mercenary, his stepfather Taaldros has a long list of individuals who’d prefer it if he were dead, that preference of course being mutual from both ends. There had been a certain individual who Taaldros had crossed off his list some years back, a seafarer by the name of Moyran who had made the fatal mistake of trying to rob him – how fatal that actually ended up being, however, now the point of question.

Taalviel had been sure, as she hovered one day over the Southern Trading Post, that she’d seen Moyran in a cycle of loading and unloading cargo - the live and bound kind - from one of the many docked vessels run by the Larks. In her ways, which she’d naturally not bothered elucidating for Caspian, she’d learned of someone close enough to the Larks who knows Moyran, that same someone scheduled to be in attendance at the party, the murk of which Caspian has only just now managed to dredge himself from.
Without consulting Caspian, she’d already written to Taaldros of the news, and in the reciprocal missive he’d demanded that the two of them drop every other priority they may have to investigate.

Investigate, and then…?

“Your dad wants what, exactly? For you to find this Moyran, and then toss his body into a canal?” Saticath says.

“He’s not my dad,” Caspian replies, as if any appended prefix might make the connection more palatable.

“Close enough,” Saticath says idly, because this is an exchange they’ve had more than once before.

But they’re too many steps from that moment for Caspian to feel that he ought to pay it any more mind.

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The Bloodied Barcarolle

Postby Caspian on March 10th, 2019, 7:17 pm

The person Caspian had tracked to the party on the impossible, bountiful vessel was an Alann Taire, a seasoned merchant with a burgeoning fleet, kept in business almost exclusively due to regular contracting with the Larks. According to Taalviel, Moyran is regularly in Alann Taire’s employ, and appearing to do quite well for himself for it.

(“New shoes,” she’d noted to Caspian. “And he’s always got on a couple lengths of gold. He eats at least three times a day, too – and it’s always well. Sometimes, even, with a woman.”

“You’ve been watching him for… how long?” Caspian had replied incredulously – and that, naturally, she’d not bothered answering.)

The slave trade is a lucrative one, a fact as readily touted and reinforced as the hours at which the sun rises and sets. Not so out of the realm of possibility that a sailor directing his career chiefly in that sector of the Syliran economy might also come out of it with regular dividends. He’s trusted, then, in his circles, in Taire’s. They run on loyalty, on the anxiety of its degradation, of its notes of absence – on the who-knows-who and who-knows-who-did-what. And that’s how Caspian had found his way in, on a long chain of knowings and further claims to them that for the most part had luckily gone untested – because it turns out that his relationship with Thancerell was a good thing and not entirely a waste of time, as Taalviel had tried to vocalize to him at every opportunity.

Thancerell’s a ripe picking straight from the merchant class. His father does something in the way of kitchen stoneware and ceramics, a good deal of it imported, those bits bearing shapings and colorings that the typical Ravokian might regard as exotic. Not nearly so successful as Taire is, who deals in flesh, but he does well enough, and accordingly he has a handful of handsome and serviceable gliders at his disposal. In the course of their relationship – the most innocuously tractile term is, perhaps, the best one to use here – Thancerell’s taken Caspian out on the lake several times for all manner of amusements, and it had been no great stretch to ask him if he might lend it towards this endeavor instead. It hadn’t been particularly instant, and had taken a good deal of pushing on Caspian’s part – because Thancerell’s a lot more for hacking and slashing through the Wildlands, fancying himself a hunter and trapper over a socialite – but the proper invite was made, and in the false name Caspian had chosen for himself for the length of the operation.

(“Tell me I don’t look like a Briavar,” Caspian had twittered.

“You don’t, really,” Thancerell had replied flatly, and Caspian might have made his irritation at this known, if the fact of the matter hadn’t been that he’d just been done an enormous favor.)

In the late afternoon the previous day, on the glider the two of them had gone, Caspian dressed darkly at Taalviel’s insistence, but with more gold shimmered across his eyelids and cheekbones in an open display of counter-compensation.

Thancerell left Caspian at the dock to the Floating Botanical, and promised, despite his unveiled concern, to reappear at an appropriate hour to fetch him back.

But Caspian had not made himself available to be fetched back, and instead –

Well, one roundabout way after another, and he’s here instead.

There’s a knock at the door, and someone calling plaintively after Saticath.

At the sound, Saticath rolls her eyes, and leaves Caspian for a moment to let in a young woman with her hair bedraggled and worn, in a short, gauzy dress threatening to slip off both her shoulders.

“Sati,” she says, yawning and rubbing her eyes, and not interested in Caspian in the slightest, “I’ve got a client coming in by the third bell today, and-“ A series of widening yawns overcomes her. Mumbling absentmindedly, she gestures at her hair and face.

Saticath turns to Caspian. “Sorry, darling. It’ll only be a moment. You can keep talking – I don’t think she gives a petch.”

Caspian doesn’t know enough about Saticath to say whether the living arrangements here, being directly across from the most renowned brothel in Ravok, or the brothel itself making the vacancy an attractive deal led to her regular employ as a stylist and dresser for many of its hosts. She’s quick at what she does, and quite good, brushing down and through the girl’s lank hair until it’s of previously unseen volume and gloss. There’s a closet she welcomes the girl to rifle through too, and a well-loved kit of glitters and powders and paints, and before the bell is up her ministrations bring together a picture of loveliness and captivation.

The girl scrounges through her left boot for a pouch of mizas, pays Saticath accordingly, and is out the door in a freshly perfumed flounce.

“And they say magic is hard,” Caspian says, energy restored enough to allow him his usual wryness.

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The Bloodied Barcarolle

Postby Caspian on March 12th, 2019, 12:37 am

The next unexpected visitor to Saticath’s home is a very harried and irate Thancerell. Unlike the ingenue who’d just flitted off to tend to whoever’s waiting for her attentions in the brothel across the way, Thancerell quite barges his way in, and without so much of a proper greeting to Saticath, once he catches sight of Caspian behind her.

Caspian glares at Thancerell reproachfully from his spot on the sofa, from which he hasn’t wandered far, except to retrieve another mugful of the molasses-dark drink that’s done wonders to settle his stomach.

“Do you have any idea where I’ve been?” Thancerell demands, breathing heavily, nostrils flared, trampling greenish-ghoulish mud across Saticath’s intricately hooked divan.

“Scampering about, from the looks of you,” Caspian replies, and it’s not the right answer, rightness as determined by leading Thancerell to look less overtly murderous - his flippant response accomplishes quite the opposite, and from the doorway, Saticath watches the frenetic pacing with an expression that reads that she’s half a mind to call for one of the city guards.

“I looked for you. Everywhere.” Thancerell runs his gloved hands through his ruddy hair. Any more of this, and he’s liable to start wrenching.

“And so you’ve found me, haven’t you-“

“-right, yes, on the off chance! And of course it’s here, of all places, and instead of letting me know you’re still alive, you’re - drinking and playing dress-up!”

There’s no real refuting that - the whole of it, as so kindly declared, has an unfortunately undeniable ring of truth to it. After the ingenue had taken her leave, Caspian and Saticath had, as they so often do, fell to rummaging around in the closets to amuse themselves, and Caspian had found his way within the makeup case into pots of silver dust and peachy rouge.

“This isn’t alcohol,” he decides to clarify, because what else is there to say, that he’s -

Oh, right.

That probably is exactly what his lately-lackluster love’s holding his breath for.

So Caspian uncurls from the sofa and the plush crimson throws that he’d wound about his limbs, sets the syrup down and rises to wrap his arms around Thancerell, and look him squarely in the eyes.

“You gallant thing. I’m sorry to have worried you. I wasn’t in my right mind up until a bell or two ago - I would have gone to you eventually. Promise.”

That last part’s a bit overkill but Saticath’s not been happy with this latest development, and Caspian can tell that all she wants from him is to rein the situation in to some modicum of peace and quiet. The least he can do for her, he supposes.

“Combed the whole petching north of the lake looking for you,” Thancerell huffs, but with temper noticeably abated, and when he tips Caspian’s chin up and pulls him closer for a kiss, Caspian relents.

Over Thancerell’s shoulder, Caspian catches Saticath rolling her eyes.

“Did you find out what you meant to, at least?”

With a sigh, Caspian reclaims his comfortable and still warm seat, and the sugary concoction that’s started to grow on him. “Not really,” he says, though the best espionage doesn’t always yield the most instant results. “It turns out I’m not exactly Alann Taire’s type. He didn’t want very much to do with me. None of them did, actually, so I was stuck in some far corner beside a heavy-breather who only had eyes for the platters of cheese.”

“Right, and skulking about alone is also how I get three-sheets-to-the-wind plastered,” Saticath scoffs. With Thancerell visibly mollified, she’s deigned to rejoin Caspian on the couch.

Caspian’s brow furrows. In actively being prompted to recount the events of the previous night, the hangover that had dulled his senses and memories into a vaporous haze begins to lift. “He had an assistant. Taire did. Sort of, I mean – it was his niece, and her name was –“

“Marcelyne?” Thancerell finishes for him. “Marcelyne Taire?” At Caspian’s disbelief at his having known that, he supplies, “My father’s a merchant too, remember? I’ve met her before – I came away from it convinced she had daggers for eyes.”

The assessment’s not so off the mark. Marcelyne had appeared to be fairly close to Caspian’s age, though still the youngest in attendance, and on having spotted Caspian conspicuously untethered, had decided to spend the duration fairly – well, daggering him with her attentions. Those attentions took the form of an impressive stash of most nearly every drug available under the Ravokian sun, as predictable of someone her age – and as especially predictable of someone of both her age and wealth. Learning of her proximity to any of the Larks and their industry compelled him to follow suit; the revelation of her direct connection to Alann Taire served to further compel and also nauseatingly repel.

A Lark slave weighed down in equal parts by both rubies and chains had approached with a glimmering mirror of a tray as staggeringly laden down with drinks as chartreuse as the foliage of the artificially crafted Jungle surrounding them just as Marcelyne passed him another hit, and as he’d taken it he’d marveled that this was the more expensive sort, in which she was practically dripping, the surplus of it possible because she’s a Taire, because the Taires deal with most exclusively the business that had brought the slave here, and maybe they had brought that specific slave here, condemned it to walking through this artfully and inorganically erected paradise, one that Caspian could leave whenever he chose and did and which that slave likely could not -

He doesn’t tell them this, Thancerell and Saticath. It had occurred to him in the upswings of his high that night, the part that brings some things sharply into focus and other things to a forefront only to render them an object of complacency, and it occurs to him now more manifestly in retrospect, having accidentally run headfirst into the Slave Market just hours before.

Slavery’s a fixture of this city, and it’s not that he hadn’t seen plenty of it in Sunberth, he’d been threatened with being thrown out and onto a market floor more times than he can count – but there’s something unsettling about it occurring here, and watching it promenade past sometimes in garb finer than his own, in silks and furs and sometimes also in three’s –

“So she knows Moyran?” Thancerell prompts.

“Well, she – “ Caspian sighs. “I assume she does?”

“How can you not know, after all that?”

“What was I supposed to do, ask?”

“I – I suppose? Or I suppose not?” Thancerell flounders. “I don’t know, I’m not the petching spy here!”

“Leave him alone, you lout,” Saticath interjects airily. “I promise you Caspian’s aware of his catastrophic failure to accomplish anything except pollute the lake with regurgitated fine vittles, and start a row with a ferrier. He’s been sulking about it all day.”

“I accomplished plenty,” Caspian growls, rushing to the defense of his integrity now that it’s being questioned into jeopardy. “As was reasonable. I can’t have Alann – I learned that within five chimes. But I’ve got her, and she’s been in the family business of slaving since she could stand and point at whatever poor sod she wanted for a chambermaid. There’s no one he allows as close and often to his ships as she – so if there’s anyone to know Moyran’s comings and goings, why not her?”

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The Bloodied Barcarolle

Postby Caspian on March 12th, 2019, 12:39 am

It happens in stages, this profession – that’s what they don’t understand. Saticath might, though, but not Thancerell – he’s of the more comfortable class, the notably upright, of straightforward transactions where things are bought and sold and there’s not much in the way of fortune and wiles. Whimsically painted dinnerware and curlicued knives don’t exactly come with territory one might consider fraught.

“Thank you for looking after him,” Thancerell says to Saticath, half-conspiratorial, half-hushed, as if Caspian is the unruly one here, incapable of looking after himself and in need of the two of them, of all people, to be kept in line.

Were his whims to dictate so, Caspian might have protested harder at Thancerell’s tugging him off the couch, and spend the rest of the day watching Saticath darn and doll the hosts from the House of Immortal Pleasures who choose to flit in. There’s one already, poking her head in the parlor and ambling in upon Saticath’s beckoning with graceful stride – but he’s troubled Thancerell enough, and takes the manageably docile route after him out the door.

“I don’t want to go home,” he says the moment they clear Saticath’s threshold. It’s only mid-afternoon, the sun still hanging almost directly overhead. Already there’s sizable foot traffic filtering into the brothel not a dozen paces away.

“What do you want to do?” Thancerell replies readily, always too compliant no matter the ways Caspian chooses to irk him.

They end up on Thancerell’s glider again, the cozier one made for quick trips and lunching. The weather’s fair, and though the winters in Ravok under Rhysol’s guidance are never cause for concern, there’s something heartening about being able to sense the air’s rise in warmth.

They’re drifting westward, Caspian resolutely not looking towards The Docks when they pass the rows he knows to barely conceal his own apartment. The image of Taalviel waiting for hours for him, alone, strikes him suddenly as something worth his consideration. It’s a feeling of retrospect, much as he’d had when confronted by that Lark slave in rubies, not to mention the dozens of others trapped in servitude upon the Floating Botanicals – that retrospect informed this time by a peculiar set of moments he’d had while wandering in the grand vessel’s Aviary.

“They dove at me,” Caspian murmurs to Thancerell. They’re lying on the glider’s deck soaking in the easy sun, Thancerell flat on his back, Caspian curled up against him in the crook of his arm. “Right for my eyes. There were three pairs of those birds, tails flowering, with scarlet wings, all of them huddled in the furthest corners of the Aviary they could find. One of the Larks shoved a slave after them. The slave brought a rake, and tried to wave and prod, and the lot of them started screeching, suddenly – and then they flurried and took flight.”

The swarm had set something in motion. Around them, the partygoers’ Kelvic slaves had gone into a frenzy. When Caspian shuts his eyes and turns his face from the sun, he can see it playing over again in his mind – and when his focus reigns he realizes, in soft exclamation to Thancerell, that the frenzy had been divided into panic and prowling, the panic performed by a throng of Kelvics identified as a warren of Rabbits, and the prowling by leering Hawks and Wolves.

“In their human form too,” Caspian says, and leans in when Thancerell runs his fingers through his hair. The touch, though, goes on longer than he’d like, and he rolls away. The sight of the city from a distance, slight as it may be, is enough to still draw breath from him. It’s spectacular and horrifying that they can see the spires of the Temple, even from here, piercing over the skyline to immutable heights.

“Tell me something about that party you did like.”

If Thancerell had any capacity for nuanced insight – if he really knew Caspian at all – he’d have known that Caspian hasn’t the mettle to go on talking much more.

He means well, though.

Almost invariably he does, no matter what Caspian may do to lay claim to deserving otherwise.

“The music was alright,” he replies after a long beat.


No matter where he looks, the Temple reaches into the furthest peripherals of his vision.

“…it was absolutely lovely.” And he smiles at this, to himself, despite his growing feeling of foreboding.

Two string quartets in the Aviary; a circle of drums and flutes spliced with metal in the Jungle. The harpist in alabaster by the Reflection Pools.

How he’d envied them all.

The glider rocks with the water’s lapping, in evenness, in time, and Caspian finds himself counting along in rhythmic hex –

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 –

“I –“

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 –

With his ear pressed against the deck, Caspian can sense the water’s depths, its murk, its swallowing itself by the tail and how it’ll slake him down too, if he’s not careful, all in 6/8 time.

“I’m glad you’re alright,” Thancerell says, but Caspian hardly hears him, thinking of his apartment, and she who lies in wait.

When next he sees Taalviel, will she, like the scarlet Aviary daws, inexplicably scream and claw after his eyes?

It’s farfetched, fantastical – just as the Floating Botanicals and everything he’d seen. But the fear of it, the sights he’d taken in, the everything – all of it wanes and weeps away, replaced by the pulse of the lake that couples and swoons in swathes of three’s, that sings through his bones in endless and bloody barcarolle.

WC: 935
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Joined roleplay: August 12th, 2018, 11:26 pm
Location: Zeltiva
Race: Human, Mixed
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The Bloodied Barcarolle

Postby Madeira Dusk on February 29th, 2020, 6:49 pm

Grades Awarded!

Don't forget to edit/delete your grade request!


  • Observation: 4xp
  • Socialization: 5xp
  • Storytelling: 4xp
  • Acting: 1xp
  • Rhetoric: 1xp
  • Meditation: 1xp

  • Location: Slave Market
  • Alann Taire: slave merchant
  • Acting: faking gratitude
  • People: Marcelyne Taire
  • Marcelyne Taire: an investment
  • Meditation: counting to calm the mind

Awards & Retribution

I'm a big fan of this framing device, with Caspian telling the story of the party. It's super introspective and intriguing.

Unfortunately because the actions aren't happening "on screen" I can't award you the XP for them. I talked to the higher ups and they confirmed that if you're telling not doing, you don't get the skills. Instead you're getting IRL points for creativity and the gratitude of a grader who's so excited to see something different. :)
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Madeira Dusk
long may she reign
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Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
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