Closed [Halloween Challenge] When A Ghost Walks The Night

The Meraki have an unwanted visitor.

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role playing forums. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

While Sylira is by far the most civilized region of Mizahar, countless surprises and encounters await the traveler in its rural wilderness. Called the Wildlands, Syliran's wilderness is comprised of gradual rolling hills in the south that become deep wilderness in the north. Ruins abound throughout the wildlands, and only the well-marked roads are safe.

[Halloween Challenge] When A Ghost Walks The Night

Postby Kelski on October 29th, 2019, 3:13 pm

Image
60th of Fall, 519 A.V.

A late fall windstorm raged outside, turning the night into a roaring beast. Leaves blew from trees, swirling in air currents that danced over the waters of Matthew’s Bay and circled the tower that perched above a lone sand beach well outside of Zeltiva. The air was tinged with the hints of the winter to come, as if the world was giving a last curtain call to all things warm, asking them to take a bow and exit quietly stage left. It was late, well past midnight, and Syna hung low and full in the sky. The tower was stoic, watchful, and very very deeply disturbed.

The Tower hadn’t been ‘awake’ very long. Her awareness was relatively young, only about a year old, and a transplant from Sunberth no less. She often didn’t understand everything about the old bones she now occupied. The tower had stood a long time before she’d been joined to it and awoke with it as her form. She liked it, especially the view, and her denizens as well. The trees and mountains around her made her happy. And of course, there was a second Architectrix to keep her company. But sometimes there was a restless presence in her walls. It was a presence she didn’t understand very well. Forms that were half realized sometimes walked her floors, traversed her stairs, and exuded a restlessness she could recognize but did not understand.

There was one in particular that disturbed her more than the others. It seemed stronger somehow, and though she’d flared her fireplace once when it crossed close enough to be burned, the flames had no effect on it. Her Mistress knew them as ghosts, and was terrified of them for what The Gem knew was a good reason. She’d witnessed the condition her Mistress had returned in one day after having been missing four cycles of sunrise and moonrise. She’d been beaten, abused, and had killed a man that had not stayed dead. He’d returned to stalk the streets outside of her then storefront. He’d been discussed and seen walking alongside Kelski and Dessarian the first day Dess had turned up at The Gem.

Dessarian had been far less bothered by the specter than her Mistress had been. So, when the figure appeared at the foot of his bed where the two Arch Mages lay entwined and asleep, it was to him that The Gem spoke.

Dessarian.

The Gem’s voice was soft and insistent, pitched to penetrate the fog of his sleep and arouse him firmly but with a forewarning. The pair of bonded mages were buried under furs, bodies still entwined, with Kelski using Dess’s chest as a pillow. Asleep, she looked far younger than she did awake. The Sea Eagle had learned to relax in her bondmate’s presence and the sleep she got was full and thorough when he joined her at night. This was their room now, not his nor hers. Theirs. And The Gem watched over their sleep. However, tonight, there was an invader and it was something she simply did not understand.

Dessarian. Wake up. Wake up quickly and quietly. There is danger.

Looming over the couple at the foot of the bed, the specter was a good six foot tall, and a stout tatter of shadows. It paced, without actual legs, back and forth at the foot rest, all but shapeless, without a face and without a voice. It simply existed, as a presence half in the world and half out of the world. But without a doubt it was wanting something from the duo.

Kelski woke abruptly. It wasn’t due to a voice in her head. The Gem didn’t bother her unless it was an extreme emergency. She woke because the firm relaxed sleeping body acting as a pillow tensed all at once. She felt his alertness abruptly and his caution tinged with fear and concern all at once radiating down their bond. Without opening her eyes, Kelski inhaled deeply, found an odd earthly scent in her nose, and then gradually opened her eyes. She was unarmed under the furs, naked, and weapons were close but not within immediate reach.

Slowly she lifted her head, letting a thick pelt slide off her, and looked around the room. Her vision was far sharper than her sense of smell and immediately her eyes locked on to the one thing that was out of place in the room. She froze, terror radiating down the bond between her and Dessarian. Every muscle in her body locked up as her entire form stiffened and she stared at the ghost.

Kelski went to open her mouth to speak, but found she couldn’t move. In her mind, she shrieked at her bondmate, knowing they had an unwanted visitor… a ghost.

Words: 797
Last edited by Kelski on October 30th, 2019, 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1427
Words: 1837945
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: The Wildlands of Sylira & The Empyreal Demesne
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Trailblazer (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1) Power Fork (1)

[Halloween Challenge] When A Ghost Walks The Night

Postby Dessarian on October 29th, 2019, 7:58 pm

Image

The roar of the wind had proven potent when it came to easing Dess into sleep. Perhaps because it brought into stark contrast the security of the tower, of the Gem surrounding them, of Kelski wrapped comfortably around him. Dess never used to sleep well, and never deeply. Danger seemed to be near, always. He was often alone, with no one to watch his back, to look over a sleeping warrior.

But in his home, for that's what it was, the Gem and Kelski were home, Dess allowed himself a measure of ease. But that did not equate with unaware, or unprepared. He couldn't change who he was, the training drilled into his being. Even in sleep, sweet sleep that crept over him in the arms of his lover, even as the wind tore at the face of the Demesne, Dess slumbered with his awareness settled just beneath the surface. Danger would never leave them alone, he feared. Damazar and K'etir, though names they had chosen to leave in their past, still meant something to enemies out there in the world. And eventually, someone would come to challenge the Meraki as well.

But Dess was no spiritist. The apparition that languished at the foot of their bed went undetected by the sleeping couple, until a diligent voice nudged Dess' conscious. Danger. Then, the human's keen awareness awakened. But discipline, and the Gem's admonition, told him to be still. Azure eyes opened, and in the dim illumination, a shadowy, frightening figure loomed. Or rather curiously, paced. It was instantly apparent that it was otherworldly, and the hair at the back of Dess' neck rose in protest, his mind attempting to reconcile the material world with a being that seemed beyond the corporeal.

He was alarmed, and his muscles tensed instinctively, though Dess had no idea how he would combat such an ethereal being should it prove treacherous. His arm held Kelski a bit tighter out of reflex, and she began to stir. Dess felt his mate's senses awakened, and Dess knew any moment she would see the ghost lingering by the bed. He didn't want to speak, to coax the ghost to change its current lack of threat to something more perilous.

Dess knew better than to try to restrain Kelski physically. Instead, as she sat up, his hand rested on her arm, a gentle but very present contact. She would feel his calming presence even as her fright resonated through the cord of their bond in fierce desperation. He knew well her abject fear of ghosts. Dess remembered well that night in Sunberth, when Kelski found him. Kelski, brave, strong and willful, had been rendered a terror-stricken, drooling mad woman, the ghost of her tormentor pursuing her until she could run no more. It was the night they both found some freedom.

It's not threatening us. His voice spoke into Kelski's mind. Dess held his own profound unease at bay, his skin crawling as the shambling figure turned to look at the couple sitting up in the bed. Dess had no idea what the revenant could do to them, if it chose to harm them, or what he could do to hurt it, should it prove malevolent. His fist were useless, he could see it was neither solid nor trasparent. His fire? Probably useless. What would burn if there was no solid matter?

It came to us, of all in the tower. It wants something. He sounded again in Kelski's mind. The ghost tarried, staring out of a black shroud of shadpw at Kelski and Dess, as if ensuring it had the couple's attention. The tatters of its dark appearance moved as if brushed by a non-existent breeze. After a moment, the figure then turned, as if to go, but upon reaching the opening to the stairs the ghost paused. It turned to cast an empty, unseen gaze at the human and Kelvic, as if waiting.

Dess looked to Kelski, but asked the Gem, Are there more? A strong hand brushed across his bondmate's bared shoulder, his head leaning closer to her ear. "I think we should follow. There are still things we don't know about this place, like where the tower came from. But it...it might know. It had to come from somewhere close, we need to know." He encouraged in a low voice. "You don't have to go, if you don't want to." Dess could still feel the fear coursing through Kelski. He slipped from beneath the furs and slipped on a pair of pants laying by the bed and stepped into his boots. he slung the belt holding his father's wrist razor over his shoulder, if only to feel armed, in spite of the weapons probable uselessness.

He padded towards the stairway, looking back to ascertain Kelski's intent. Dess did not go near the tall spirit, and it's attention turned towards the male as his course was made apparent. It then glided into the stairway out of view. Dess moved to the top of the stairs and peered down. At the turn, the ghost waited again, patient, watching. It had moved past the entrance to the third floor, where the women of the Demesne slept. It seemed uninterested in entering there.

Words: 874
Last edited by Dessarian on October 30th, 2019, 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Dessarian
Player
 
Posts: 84
Words: 107624
Joined roleplay: June 18th, 2019, 4:04 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets

[Halloween Challenge] When A Ghost Walks The Night

Postby Kelski on October 30th, 2019, 5:43 am

Image
Had Kelski been alone, she would have been gone in an instant. Naked, in her tower sanctuary, she could have taken wing and been gone in a heartbeat. But she would not leave Dess to the intruder and she would not leave The Gem to an invader. But that didn’t stymie her reaction. Her body still began to quake involuntarily and her gaze locked on the apparition with an unblinking terror. Dess didn’t restrain her, thankfully, or things would have gotten ugly fast. She didn’t like to be tied up, held down, and had bad memories of both things especially linked to ghosts like the one at the foot of their bed.

She froze in place, focusing on the emotion coursing through the link from Dessarian. He was calm… far calmer than she would have expected. She couldn’t hear his words, of course, for they had no mental link that allowed the telepathy. But she could feel the tone of what he was trying to convey. Not that she agreed one bit with him. His idea of threatening and her idea of threatening was vastly different. She was threatened just by the presence of the being. Dess seemed not as affected. His whole stance seemed to be one of ‘wait and see’. She knew he was no coward, but he also wasn’t one to act rashly when waiting might gain him more information or more advantage.

His hand on her arm dominated her attention, kept her grounded, and made her hold her flight more than his mental connection and more than his stoic presence. It took a lot for her not to move though, and that strain came out in the trembling.

Yes. Many more. But none so solid as this one. The others come and go, brief thoughts or feelings or even maybe just a chilled spot in a random corner. This one is more real somehow… I do not know why. I try to keep them away from her. She is not… good with them.

It might have been the understatement of the year, but it was The Gem being kind to some of the shortcomings of her Mistress.

I think she’s going to run. And there is no need. This creature has lived here a long time. He’s spent many an evening up here.

The Gem warned and advised, and indeed everything in Kelski told her to flee. But the Kelvic remained where she was, watching the ghost, baffling at the speculative curiosity that seemed to be radiating down Dess’ bond. She turned and looked at him sharply, like he was insane, before she whipped her head back to study the ghost as it turned and went to the stairs.

Her face soured in displeasure at Dess’ words. Kelski was normally agreeable but she wanted to be ANYWHERE else but close to a ghost, let alone following one. But Dess… Dess didn’t need to be left alone with something that had unknown powers. She trusted nothing about the dead, nothing at all. So, when the ghost paused at the top of the stairs, she slipped out of bed at her mate’s words and began to dress quickly. Her weapons were loaded onto her bandolier- which was slipped across her chest - along with her backpack of supplies she’d quickly learned never to potentially leave the tower without.

“I will go with you.” She said simply, half terrified, half angry that her home was being invaded and that there was no real defense for them. There was no doubt about the fact the ghost was waiting for them nor was there any doubt the ghost was leading them somewhere. Kelski padded light-footed downwards, the ghost floating down the curved stairway only as fast as the pair trailed it. Kelski wished for some soulmist or at least the secret to making it. The stuff simply didn’t stay good for long periods of time. And no one had been around to make any in ages.

Kelski stalked down the steps beside Dess, light footed and watchful. She had her focus on the specter but also scanned around looking for others. The Kelvic tapped her well, drew forth djed, and filled her gaze with auristics, looking more carefully, wanting to see if the creature had power. As far as she could tell, once the djed pooled in her eyes and weighted in her gaze, nothing revealed itself other than the sheer unfocused space the ghost seemed to occupy. The Kelvic, unsatisfied, dropped the auristics abruptly and focused the djed still in and around her eyes into transforming them as she walked slowly down the steps. It was a morphing move she’d practiced a great deal. She used the djed to build an extra set of eyelids that slipped down over her silver gaze, giving her infravision much like the Akalak enjoyed. It was then she could see the extreme temperature difference between where Dessarian and herself stood verses where the ghost stood. The ghost existed in a pool of cool space that was distinctly different than the air around the rest of them.

With her new eyelids in place, Kelski glanced at Dess – appreciated his warm living appearance – and followed him following the ghost further. It led them downwards, through the third floor, to the second floor, and finally into what passed for their kitchen currently. There it lurked a moment, turned, and the whole kitchen went dark.

More forms appeared out of nowhere. They were dressed oddly, shrouded in shadows and keeping to the margins of the room. They crept, as if in secret and not observed, through the doorways, even a few coming through the windows. Kelski had no idea what was going on. She tried to look everywhere at once, finally turning to put her eyes back on the figure they’d been following.

He was no longer shrouded in shadow. Instead, he was a younger man, in his prime and handsome in health. Their kitchen was gone, and instead a shadowy laboratory filled the space. It reminded Kelski of some of the equipment they had cleared out of the tower to make room for their furniture sets. The specter turned almost whole man sat at a desk writing, not seeing the invaders.

Kelski had the oddest urge to call out to him, to warn him, but the scene itself played out like a passage written in a book of history, already set in stone and not something mailable. Kelski turned to Dess, not understanding that they’d stepped inside of a memory… the memory of the man’s last few moments of life. He was engrossed in his writing and did not notice nor hear any of the six invaders come forward.

The Kelvic hissed to her bondmate. “What in the world is this?” She asked, her voice tight with tension and fear. This wasn’t their tower any longer… but somehow locked in a memory of events that had obviously happened a long time ago.

The scene, obviously a murder, continued to play out before them.

Words: 1178
Last edited by Kelski on October 30th, 2019, 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1427
Words: 1837945
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: The Wildlands of Sylira & The Empyreal Demesne
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Trailblazer (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1) Power Fork (1)

[Halloween Challenge] When A Ghost Walks The Night

Postby Dessarian on October 30th, 2019, 2:22 pm

Image


He had to follow. Dess simply didn't know what else to do. He would never have been at ease knowing that thing was wandering the tower without resolution. Was it unwise to simply follow it, without knowing anything about it? Most certainly. But the safety of everyone in that tower was upon his shoulders. To know that anything that was not invited into their home wandered the floors freely, even if Dess had no idea how to deal with it, was unacceptable. He knew Kelski felt the same way, in spite of her deep fears.

The Gem's words were unsettling, and Dess' footsteps faltered. To know the ghost had been there all along made him feel... violated. And to know there had been others, no matter how faint or small, was like learning your bedroom floor crawled with rats while you slept. It made his skin tingle and challenged his sanity. He prayed the Gem didn't share that knowledge with Kelski. But the Architectrix creation knew its creator, and he believed it would be silent on the matter.

Dess felt Kelski's strong feelings seep through his being. Fear, anger, and momentarily restrained panic resonated through the bond. She didn't like that Dess had chosen to follow it, possibly alone. But Dess heard her affirmation and the sound of the Kelvic donning her gear. With Kelski at his side they descended the steps after the apparition. Dess murmured. "The Gem doesn't believe it intends to harm us." The sentient structure was by no means an expert on the dead, but Dess hoped its opinion would help Kelski maintain her composure

But the male could sense Kelski already harnessing her magic to make her own assessment. He didn't feel exactly how she did it, only that she was seeing things he could not. In silence they continued, until they stood in their kitchen, where the thing halted.

Light failed, but sight didn't. Dess' body tensed, his knees bending slightly, feet shifting in an instant, instinctively readying himself for...something. The shadowing figures that crept into the room set off his nerves, and he reached back under his hair, fingers finding the gnosis mark etched in his skin, his djed pooling, ready to be used to fuel muscle or form res. But the calloused fingers hesitated over the mark of Wysar as the very room around them changed.

The tables, shelves and other furnishings of the kitchen and dining area vanished. What appeared made Dess think of a lab in the K'etir manor. Dess' brain raced to overcome the impossibility that reality had changed. He strove to stand firmly on the understanding that the room around him was not real. The stone of the tower was still firmly beneath him. But his hand lifted to brush against Kelski's hip, to reassure himself he was still in the tower, and his bondmate was still beside him.

Widened eyes swept around the room, finding the nefarious intruders still stalking. He could not tell exactly what they were, but their intent was clear as blades dulled black appeared in their fists. The assassins ignored the mortals, ghosts themselves in a sense, simple visions reliving the past for the stranger's eyes. Their prey became apparent. The ghost had taken the form of a man, no longer engaged with the current residents of the tower, but preoccupied by his work.

Dess felt Kelski's gaze and tore his own away from the unfolding scene to meet her vexed eyes. "The past." He offered in a quiet voice. "His end." The tawny haired head nodded to the man at the desk, his assailants drawing near. Somehow, he believed the ghost was revealing something to them, something of the past. Something about the ghost himself.

Helpless to change history, Dess watched as the malefactors crept closer. The man's gaze lifted, seemingly too late. But when his lips moved without sound, and his hand raised with flexing fingers, an electric blue wave emanated from the lifted hand, sweeping over the mysterious intruders. Sparking energy danced across the shadowy attackers as they collapsed to the flagstone floor.

Yet one appeared, rising behind the man's chair. A moment later, a blade jutted out of the seated man's chest, the tip glimmering where his own flesh had wiped away the weapon's masking ash. The long curved dagger withdrew, only to be plunged into the dying man over and over, until the body tilted from the chair and crumpled to the floor, a pool of dark blood gathering about the corpse.

The assassin stepped into the shadows, and in the doorway stood another figure. Tall, cloaked, a many-ringed hand clutching a gnarled stick. The killer had moved to overturn a table, then pulled a rug aside to reveal a trap door. The same one Kelski and Dess had discovered, leading to the underground chamber. It threw open the door, and under the gaze of the hooded man, his features shrouded in the cowl, the assassin dragged the slain man to the opening and tossed his body down descending after it.

The last figure walked into the center of the room, and the room again went dark.

Words: 859
User avatar
Dessarian
Player
 
Posts: 84
Words: 107624
Joined roleplay: June 18th, 2019, 4:04 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets

[Halloween Challenge] When A Ghost Walks The Night

Postby Kelski on October 30th, 2019, 5:10 pm

Image
His hip bump did a great deal to reassure her as much as it did to reassure himself. Kelski drew her calm from her bondmate’s perplexed and curious position. Oh, he was frightened as well, but it wasn’t the deep-seated terror she experienced. He tempered it with intellect that a creature such as herself had troubles with in times of instinct. They stood hip to hip watching the past unfold and understanding suddenly that there was a story here, something untold and something haunting, that had happened in the past.

Dess’ brief words brought further clarity into the scene. He didn’t need to say much, his voice barely a whisper.

She was glad the man fought back. He had been a mage then… a person much like themselves. And he’d defended himself, or so he had thought. His quiet writing had hidden a watchful vigilance that bespoke that he knew his tower had been invaded. Kelski felt for him then, something not unlike kinship, as she watched his final surprise ending. The invaders had anticipated his magic then and had planned to divide his attention.

She winced when the blade parted the man’s flesh, tearing a hole in his chest and ending his life. Pitch came to her hand then, unnecessary for the past could not be changed, but wanted none the less for its comfort and the symbol of security it offered.

Silver eyes covered with strange infravision lids turned to the figure in the doorway. She noted his rings, all of them, and the signet that looked like a twisted stylized D. It was somehow familiar and yet she was certain it was nothing shed ever seen before. She marked the metal of each, the stones twisted into each design, and in an instant could reproduce each and every thing on his finger. Eagle vision was a handy thing, even locked in a ghost’s nightmare.

The scene faded. But its vanishing held no relief for Kelski. Her heart still pounded. The urge to fight and defend The Gem and her mate still coursing through her blood. The quietness of the tower settled back over them with The Gem’s calm undisturbed presence still in the back of both of their minds. Over the trap door that Kelski knew Dess had discovered their first day, the ghost stood. He was less scary now, less tattered, and wore the form of a man. He had cinnamon brown hair and golden hazel eyes that pleaded a request that was unspoken. He instead reached out… fingers splaying out in a show of some sort of magic or illusion Kelski was unfamiliar with. In the air he traced a few words.

HELP ME. HELP ME TO REST. HERE THERE IS ONLY MEMORIES. I WISH PEACE.

And with that, he faded, gone between one breath and the next. Kelski turned to Dess, then glanced at where the trap door was. She moved to the space, threw the rug back off it, and opened the door carefully. She paused a moment at it, as she always did, remembering when she’d perched on the side of the opening, feet dangling, and Dess had come to her and they’d exchanged soft words. The memory flashed in her mind of their foreheads touching and she looked at him once more, her eyes softer now.

“You found no body though when you found this place. There were no signs of a death was there?” She said thoughtfully, and then went to retrieve a lantern. She held the lantern out to him, its window held open… “A light would you please?” She asked, having picked the thing up off its hook on the wall and the kitchen hearth itself unlit for no one was cooking or warming the tower because of the storm winds outside.

Once Dess had lit the lantern with his power, she’d lead him downward, the stairs being wide only enough for one person, and began to circle the small cellar room with the dirt floor. Once down in the cellar, she looked at Dess thoughtfully, once it was obvious no ghostly body was going to manifest itself on the floor as the man himself had done. So she stood back, looking around, making use of the infravision and gasped.

“Dess… the walls….” She said, turning to him. She gestured to three of them, the three that backed and sided the stairs. “They are warmer than the one opposite of the stair… it looks significantly cooler, like it isn’t an original wall…. like maybe there is more cellar behind it.” She added, looking thoughtful. Kelski blinked, dismissing the infravision she’d acquired through morphing, and used her eagle eyes. She tilted her head right then left and decided immediately while the same stone was used on all four walls, one set indeed looked newer.

“Can you see what I see? The stone, though the same, looks newer. I never noticed before because its subtle and there is grime and age covering all four walls… but that’s definitely a newer wall. Do you think there’s a space behind it?” She asked, walking to the wall and beginning to push at it. There was no way she could use just her weight and bare hands to push through the rock, they would need to go for tools.

“I’ll be right back.” She said, intending to fetch shovels, and at the very least a sledge hammer and a pick. Her fear was all but forgotten. She was in full Nightstalker mode… a curious mystery before them, a secret to be revealed. The entire cellar was one big shadow thrown into the light, so there was no way she could walk through the wall into the unknown without knowing there was a shadow there. And oddly, no shadows presented themselves for advice in this instant. So she went, to get tools, and work through the wall the old fashioned way. Kelski would return with what she wanted to fetch, and was glad for everyone putting everything away when they were done.

Word Count: 1010
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1427
Words: 1837945
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: The Wildlands of Sylira & The Empyreal Demesne
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Trailblazer (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1) Power Fork (1)

[Halloween Challenge] When A Ghost Walks The Night

Postby Dessarian on October 31st, 2019, 12:16 pm

Image

The illusion, which Dess had no reason to doubt, revealed a glimpse of the tower's very history. From the time the people of the demesne began to occupy it, there was suspicion that the isolated tower housed that which was out-of-the-ordinary, from the remnant of furnishings and items found within. Before them was the ghost of the previous resident, indeed no common man. The mage was killed in the room where they stood. The stones they walked on every day had drunk his shed blood, and his ghost had lingered there all the while.

Death, bloodshed, they were familiar to Dess. He had seen death, and he had killed. But there was something about the murder that seemed heinous to him. The last thing they saw was the mysterious person behind the murder. His bearing was intimidating, denoting power. Dess' human eyes were not as keen as the eagle's, missing the details Kelski could see. But he saw enough. The just seemed to crave power. But nothing more was revealed of the cloaked man.

When the scene faded, the ghost remained, less shrouded in shadow, but more distinct and human. Dess sensed Kelski's anxiety wane, giving way to her curiosity. They both watched the spirit scribe his magical message. It was not the strange nature of the writing that still unnerved Dess, but that fact that they were communication with a dead man. And not just the spirit of a dead man, but one they had seen die, if only in the likes of a dream.

Then he was gone. But the ghost left a distinct plea for final rest. Dess looked to Kelski, meeting the ever stunning gaze of his bondmate. He didn't have to ask, seeing Kelski's agreement in her features. They could not rest in their home, until the ghost found his peace. It was Kelski who took the initiative then, revealing the trap door. Dess too remembered the moment they had shared there, when the demesne was no more than a big pitched tent. He remembered, in the opening to the lower level, the first time they shared what would become a treasured gesture of affection between them, when Kelski first gently pressed her forehead to his.

"No,there was nothing but the building supplies." He replied as the Kelvic fetched a lantern. Dess had made a cursory examination of the room early on, but found nothing out of the ordinary. There had been some left over stone block stored in the room beneath, most of which was used to remodel the fourth floor, when it was Kelski's suite. He and others had been down there plenty of times to move the stone. The crones also stored some food items in the chamber that kept better in the cool, dry environment, like tubers and apples.

Kelski presented the opened lantern, and Dess displayed the first trick he mastered after he received Kelski's res. He drew a small bit of that substance into the palm of his hand, worked it into a small sphere and gathered it on the tip of his finger. Then, with a focused thought,Dess willed it to ignite. A small flame flickered at the end of his digit and the mage touched it to the wick of the lantern. The oil-damp cotton took the flame eagerly and spread its light in a pool around the couple.

Dess descended the stairs behind Kelski. The new mage's gaze again swept the room. It looked little different then it had at anytime before. But now he sought inconsistency in the floor, or walls. There had to be something. The ghost last lingered by the trap door, where his body had disappeared with the assassin. There had to be something the ghost wanted them to find. Dess suspected it was his own remains.

Then Kelski called out. Dess looked to her as she held the lantern away from her, her gaze peering into the darkness. When she raised the light again, Dess could see the strange shading on the Kelvic's usually bright silver eyes. A moment later the covering disappeared and those eyes returned. Dess followed her words, glancing at the wall across from the steps, the one the Kelvic said was different. He couldn't see it at first, so he drew closer until he stood right before the wall, the orangey light of the lantern illuminating the stone block. He reached to run a finger over it, brushing aside layer of dust. Moving over to the right, to another section of wall, Dess did the same thing. There was more residue and grit gathered on the pad of his finger.

"Yeah, you're right. That section seems to be newer." Kelski was already convinced of it, turning eagerly to fetch some tools. In her absence, Dess pounded on the stone blocks with his hand to determine any further details, but it was solid. In short order, his bondmate returned with an armful of tools. Dess reached for the maul, hefting the heavy iron hammer, taking hold of the haft with both hands. With a moment of focused thought, djed was gathered between his shoulders, infusing the muscles of his back and shoulders, bleeding into his upper arms and entwining with the fiber of his tissue.

Planting his feet, Dess lifted the sledgehammer and pulled it back, then he put the force of his Flux-powered body behind the swing of the solid metal head. The maul slammed into the block at the center of the suspected section of wall. The stone cracked. Another swing and the block gave way, the fragments breaking free and tumbling into a dark space behind the wall. The stone above it also fell loose and fell into the shadows.

Pausing, Dess leaned forward to peer into the hidden space, but all was veiled in blackness and stale air. Looking back to Kelski, he quirked a brow. Using the sledge like a battering ram, Dess knocked out several more blocks, enough for the couple to enter the room if they stooped. He reached back to take the lantern from Kelski, then held out his other to take her hand. Dess climbed into the hidden chamber.

Within, they could stand. It was a small room dug out of the earth, the walls lined with hastily laid block without mortar, enough to keep the earth from caving in. The first thing that caught Dess's eyes was a pile of something in the corner. Raising the lantern, They could see it was a tangle of rotting cloth and ivory bone. A skull stared blankly back at them.



Words: 1099
User avatar
Dessarian
Player
 
Posts: 84
Words: 107624
Joined roleplay: June 18th, 2019, 4:04 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets

[Halloween Challenge] When A Ghost Walks The Night

Postby Kelski on October 31st, 2019, 4:35 pm

Image
The Kelvic stepped back as the Damazar took a swing at the wall and started busting through it. Her eyes widened slightly and then a slow smile crossed her face. She stayed clear of his swinging and gave him room until it came time to remove the debris and clear the opening so they could easily move through it to investigate the room beyond. She used a shovel to not scoop up the broken stone, but to scrape it to one side, piling it up against the ruined wall out of the way of the new ‘door’ that lead into the darkness beyond.

“Who was he?” She asked no one in particular, a more rhetorical question to herself than to anyone else. Neither Kelski nor Dess could deny the pile of cloth and bone beyond was more than likely his remains. She slipped in behind Dess and while Dess searched the body, she searched the room. Now that they’d found the body, Kelski hadn’t thought they’d see the ghost again. She assumed the ghost wanted his corpse buried, but she wasn’t sure where or how. There were some beautiful places around the Demesne, places that would make lovely final resting places for any of them should they die. She wondered if he could be buried there?

She’d almost made a turn of the room and was focused on her investigation while Dess explored the corpse. Not paying attention in front of her and instead studying the walls and floor, Kelski almost ran straight into the ghost again. He’d rematerialized into the space in front of her, drawing her up short. Dess would know instantly by the spike of fear that radiated down his link to Kelski, even if he was focused on the remains themselves.

Kelski stepped back, studying the ghost, that looked more solid now… more the man with cinnamon hair and hazel eyes. He raised his hand again and gestured, pointing at the wall beyond her. It was made of the same stone the rest of the room was. He turned, his fingers lighting up, and he circled what looked like a non-descript stone on the wall. Kelski noticed then that it had a faint rune etched in it. It looked like sigil, though she couldn’t be sure. She watched as he made to push it, but then his hand passed through it. Stepping back he gestured towards her then the stone.

The Sea Eagle kelvic nodded quietly, her fear easing considerably, and she stepped forward to press the stone mimicking the gesture the man had made. There was a notable click, the wall pushed back and slide open, revealing what looked to be a small office beyond. Kelski, not wanting to take the lantern from Dess’ gaze, set it down so it was still illuminating the room with the corpse, and stepped through the open wall. “Dess… look. A room beyond….” She said softly, and walked into the darkness, her vision allowing her to see within.

“Greetings Nightstalker.” A shadow whispered, oozing out from behind what appeared to be a desk, chair, and shelf after shelf of books that had all but rotted away. A huge chest lay against one wall, untouched by the decay, along with several items on the shelves themselves that weren’t paper and ink.

“Have you come to lay Albastin K’etir to rest?” It asked in Makath, circling around and brushing up against Kelski. She looked startled then, turned to glance at the ghost that was still lurking by the doorway, and said abruptly….

“You are a K’etir?” She said abruptly. "Albastin K'etir?" She said more for Dess' benefit than for her own. The ghost nodded slowly, bowing slightly in a mockery of a greeting. His arms splayed out in a mimicry of a showman’s gesture. Then he seemed to wait, as if he were equally awaiting the answer to the shadows question.

Kelski nodded. “Yes. Definitely. We are here to see him to rest. But where… where does he want us to bury him? That’s what he wants isn’t it? Not a funeral or a burial… right?” She wasn’t sure and she glanced back out of the room at Dessarian, to see what he was thinking of all of this. The ghost stood stoic, unmoving, but the shadow spoke.

“He wants to be with his family. Where the rest of them are laid to rest. You are not the first of your kind, either of you, to make a home here. Find their plots, overlooking the sea, and lay his remains to rest there. He will settle and finally be with his wife and children. She was taken too early, with the birth of his first son.” The Shadow said, circling the room, causing its dark form to flicker like there was a fire in the room casting shadows or as if the lantern was sputtering.

Kelski turned, knowing Dess couldn’t hear the Makath. “There is a shadow here….” She said in common. She says his man is Albastin K’etir and he wants to be laid to rest with his family in a plot overlooking the sea near here. I’m not sure its exact location.” Kelski said softly, then glanced over her shoulder as the ghost gestured again. He started to walk – or rather float – out the little hidden office door, through the blocked up chamber, and into the main cellar. He floated up the stairs.

The shadow whispered… “Follow him, Nightstalker. He’s going to show you.”

Kelski turned to Dess. “Come with me. With us.” She said softly, and turned to follow the specter. It was on the move and wasn’t floating slowly. At the top of the stairs and across the room by the door outside, she paused to throw on a cloak and allow time for Dess to do the same. Then she took his hand and together they followed, at such a brisk walk it was almost a run.

The ghost lead them through the woods that grew just past where Vasin had cleared the land. There was a trail – of sorts – more animal track than anything else. It wound through the woods, along the top of the bluffs, and finally out to a point that held clusters of stones. Kelski at first thought the stones were natural because they were artfully carved and placed seemingly at random. But there were flowers planted among them that grew wild and as she passed what looked like a low stone wall, she could tell it was a cemetery of sorts. The ghost paused then, by one of the largest stones, and laid his ethereal hand upon it. There was space to its right, though to its left was smaller stone. Kelski approached, pulling Dessarian with her, and gasped. As the stone came into view and into the light, she could make out a carving on it. The name stunned her.

Vivian Damazar K’etir.

She reached out, ran her hands across the carved stone, and then turned to look at Dessarian. “Do you know who she was…. who he was?” Kelski asked, glancing up at the ghost. His eyes were shining, as if full of tears, making him hard to look at. The Kelvic traced her hands further down, running into more carving. It was a date… over a hundred years past. She squatted down, resting her rump on her heels, as her eyes widened more. “Beloved wife, mother, and mage.”

Words: 1229
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1427
Words: 1837945
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: The Wildlands of Sylira & The Empyreal Demesne
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Trailblazer (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1) Power Fork (1)

[Halloween Challenge] When A Ghost Walks The Night

Postby Dessarian on October 31st, 2019, 8:08 pm

Image


Dess knelt next to the remains, surveying them first with only his eyes. He was certain it was the murdered man, as all clues seemed to indicate the skeleton's identity. The clothing was practically dust, and broke apart with the smallest poke of his finger. But the scraps of the shirt had a dark stain over the front of it, and a clean tear in the center. The Damazar then carefully looked through the remains for any item. Dess was not pillaging the body, but looking for anything further to identify the man, and subsequently the ghost left behind. But there was nothing, no rings, no charms, nothing. If there were, he was sure the killer had plundered them.

His head spun around when the string of Kekski's fear strained taut, tugging at her bondmate. The ghost returned, choosing to appear disturbingly close to the kelvic. Standing to his feet, Dess watched the interaction between the specter and Kelski. She followed the spirit's instructions, activating a hidden door. The sound of grinding stone and hidden iron mechanisms filled the silent room as the portal swung open, another dark space beyond.

Dess reached for the lantern, which Kelski left to enter the room without illumination. He knew she could see, but he didn't like that he couldn't tell what might be waiting for her. He paused, near the ghost, no longer afraid of the spirit, cooperating with it instead. Kelski stopped just inside the room. She stood in silence for a moment, then spoke, but she didn't turn to address Dess, she faced the darkness, as if addressing someone within.

She was doing it again. What followed he heard little of, and understood less. Dess could not hear the shadow she spoke to, but he knew it was there. Her tongue spoke syllables that seemed to defy human speech. But what she had spoken in Common had already laid hold of his heart.

Albastin K'etir. A familiar name, he thought, but couldn't recall any detail. Dess nodded as Kelski relayed the shadow's message, providing another piece to the mystery of the ghost. He didn't delay when Kelski hurried after the apparition, donning a cloak over his bare chest as they hastened out into the windy night to follow the ghost, the lantern held up to light their path.

Dess mulled over the new revelations. The man was K'etir, and had not been alone. He tried to recall any stories about a K'etir man that might have lived out there, though he had nothing to give him a frame of time during which the mage dwelt in those lands.

The ghost lead them to an overlook, where it tarried. The couple carefully stepped through the overgrown cemetery, easily overlooked as random stones if just passing by. The ghost hovered over the graves, a plot clearly left for his own body to be laid with the others. Hand in hand, Kelski and Dess paused before the stone the ghost brushed, or tried to, with his ethereal hand. Leaning close, the lantern lifted to provide light, they read the name carved into the rock.

Vivian Damazar K’etir.

Dess fell to his knees. His lips parted, brows furrowed as his finger reached to trace the "D" in Damazar. He didn't move when Kelski squatted next to him, reading the rest of the inscription. Dess nodded when she asked of his knowledge of the name. He heard the tale as a young man, from the lips of an old aunt who treasured the history of the family.

"Vivian Damazar's first husband was killed in battle. They had a son, Danal. Later, she fell in love with a K'etir man. Albastin, though I couldn't recall who he was before, I do now. The family heads disapproved of their relationship, it did not fit the order of things. So they left. The price of freedom from the Order was that their son would remain with the families." Dess paused, his finger tracing the date on the stone. "Danal Damazar was my great grandfather. Vivian Damazar was my great great grandmother."

Dess reached out his hand to rest on Kelski's thigh. "We live in their home." His gaze lifting to the ghost. "I am sorry." He offered his condolence for the death of Albastin's wife and son a century too late. "You will find rest with your family. I promise." Dess stood, facing the ghost.

Words: 735
User avatar
Dessarian
Player
 
Posts: 84
Words: 107624
Joined roleplay: June 18th, 2019, 4:04 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets

[Halloween Challenge] When A Ghost Walks The Night

Postby Kelski on November 1st, 2019, 9:17 am

Image
The Sea Eagle in human form watched her mate fall to his knees from where she rested on her heels. There was an emptiness to the bond that did not convey emotion. She expected fear or surprise or something, but instead Dess went to his knees. It was a surreal physical reaction to an internal shock that he had no way of processing for a heartbeat or two. She watched him reach up, trace the D in the Vivian’s name, and watched over him protectively. The Kelvic guarded her mate as he reacted, herself unsure of what was wrong and what to do. She didn’t know if he needed comfort or defending or even just someone standing stoically there between him and the ghost as he learned something monumental.

But then… Dess answered her question. He did know. He knew exactly who these people where.

This was history… his history and a bit of hers as well. It arose all around them, engulfed them, and demanded they be part of the story. She didn’t like the feeling. It felt a bit like an old story that was seeking them and just when they pulled clear of it, the story would draw them back in. Kelski cut off that line of thought, believing that sometimes such thoughts gave reality power and she herself was unwilling to manifest something that could not be real.

Dess’ voice was soft. He named names. Danal. Vivian. A dead man, lost in battle. A love story with a K’etir man no one approved of on either side. This was his grandmother’s grave.. his great great grandmother. Kelski tried to wrap her head around it, and for a moment she thought they were both related. Family and their relationships were difficult for her to wrap her head around having never had much of one. But then she realized he’d said he was related down the line of Danal… the child from the first marriage, not the K’etir marriage.

She glanced over at Dess as he rested a hand on her thigh. His words washed over her. They lived in a Damazar and K’etir Tower. Kelski didn’t believe in coincidences. She never had and she never would. If something was linked, it was linked for a reason. Her eyes reached out to the ghost mage, meeting his ghostly gaze as Dessarian apologized to him and then made promises. They were promises Dess could keep. And Kelski understood why.

Then something struck her, something she’d seen in the figure in the doorway with all the rings on his hands. “That man… the man whom the others looked to for leadership. He had a ring on his finger that was a stylized D. Was he a Drust?” Kelski asked quietly, worried.

The ghost, who had just inclined his head to Dess in thanks, then turned to Kelski and inclined his head in agreement. Both gestures were vastly different, but she understood the intent nonetheless. The Kelvic rose slowly, stretching her long legs, and offering Dess a hand up. She kept her gaze on Albastin, reminding herself he was a person – of her family – and somehow that didn’t make it any easier. She was still afraid, though it was tamped back now… cautiously. She still didn’t trust them. She still didn’t know him. “Are we related?” She asked quietly, curious. “I… well, you probably wouldn’t know. My last name is K’etir as well, though I do not know my own parents’ names, let alone grandparents or great grandparents.” She said softly. She knew her brother’s name because of Ember’s letter and Ember herself. But she’d never asked her niece for that information, and Dess hadn’t volunteered it himself. He didn’t speak of her parents, only of her brother, and that not unlike Ember’s actions. Kelski honestly felt lucky that he’d opened up as much as he had about their family dynamics. That had been enough to take in as it was.

“The Drust still hunt us. One of our people here said they attacked both families last season and all but wiped them out. I do not know why there is such hostility between our families. Nor why the Damazars and K’etir stuck together and the Drust opposed both of us.” She said softly, shaking her head. It evidently hadn’t started with her family’s generation and probably not even with Albastin’s.

The Ghost held up a hand a moment, and like the magic before that had rocketed them back to the past, the ghostly mage did it again. The land around them faded, the rocks and wind, and even the taste of salt in the air denoting the sea vanished. The scene unfolded, artificial yet real enough Kelski stared around her.

They were in a great hall. Many people were there, most of them seemingly broken into family groups. She recognized no one, but there was a massive banner on the wall above the main hearth at the end of the hall. It had a stylized D on it. Kelski’s sharp eyes scanned the group and saw that it was a celebration of some sort. A man and woman stood on a makeshift alter to one side of the hearth on a raised dais. A priest of some sort was conducting a ceremony. He turned to the crowd, asked a question, and the hall fell silent. There was a pause and even though she could hear the noise of the gathering, it was muttered and muffled, so individual words were not immediately or readily understood.

After the priest asked his question, and the crowd grew silent, a man stood in the middle of the hall and started to speak. He spoke loud and clearly, though again Kelski could not understand the words. He pointed at the man on the alter and then the woman right next ho him. Once the man was done speaking, the hall erupted in chaos. There were arguments breaking out all over, and the woman on the alter began to weep. The man beside her turned a dark shade of red, balled up his fist, and broke her jaw.

After that, the scene turned brutal. Blades came out, magic flashed around the room, and the floor soon ran red with the death that occurred within the great hall. Kelski didn’t recognize the people, the situation, but she could tell the various groups within were fighting over what was said, and in essence a full-fledged war had broken out. Some fled, but most stood and fought.

The scene faded abruptly and Kelski looked around wide-eyed. Albastin looked significantly less substantial, as if he was burning through energy to show them scenes and communicate.

“We need to get you laid to rest.” She said, glancing at Dess. “Shall I go get the tools and start digging? Perhaps here beside Vivian?” Kelski asked, gesturing at a smooth piece of ground beneath the rock marked with his mate’s name where traditionally a male would be buried.

“Dess? Can you bring his bones?” She asked softly, trying to formulate a plan. It wasn’t a fantastic plan, but it was definitely a next step. She had more questions, so many more, but without having some fool proof way to keep him substantial, she didn’t want him loosing all his energy at once.

Words: 1220
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1427
Words: 1837945
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: The Wildlands of Sylira & The Empyreal Demesne
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Trailblazer (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1) Power Fork (1)

[Halloween Challenge] When A Ghost Walks The Night

Postby Dessarian on November 1st, 2019, 5:15 pm

Image

Dess was letting it sink in. In the scope of things, it had little impact on their lives. It was history, after all. The people, Vivian and Albastin, their son, would have remained forgotten, had not the ghost appeared. But Albastin's ghost had made his life, and those of his family, significant to Dess and Kelski. Maybe they could make right what their families had made wrong by ostracizing the couple. How could Albastin and Vivian have know, though, that they would make a home that would shelter an ancestor, or ancestors, when they needed it most.

It was not only the Damazars and his own connection Dess reflected upon. Kelski very well could have been related to Albastin. The K'etir, like the Damazar, was a limited family. They were small, and centralized. He knew Kelski's parents, knew of her grandparents. But he didn't know anything of earlier K'etir generations. He had not spoken to Kelski much about her own family, outside of who she knew, Kalistan and Ember. Dess had left that for her brother to share with her, when he arrived. But he hadn't, and as the seasons passed, it was less likely he would. She and Dess had focused so much on their own bond and on the Meraki. That was their present family. But it was not fair for Kelski not to know everything. He had promised to tell her everything, and since Kalistan was missing, and Ember was too young to know, perhaps it was time he talked to Kelski about it.

And it seemed the ghost's revelations were not spent. Kelski brought up the Drust in her questioning. Their surroundings shifted again, and Dess slipped his hand into Kelski's as yet another drama was laid out before them. He watched in silence as the tragedy unfolded. A wedding, meant to be a celebration of love, turned into a gruesome display of anger and violence. It made his stomach turn. Even without understanding what was said, Dess pieced together the tale. It was the genesis of the Drust/K'etir/Damazar feud. He could only guess the transgression of infidelity had been revealed during the ceremony. But whatever it was, it lead to hatred. As it turned out, it was not rivalry, nor competition for magic, nor some ideological rift that made the Drust an enemy. It was betrayed love.

Solid, grounded, practical, stable. Dess was a man disciplined in all things, including emotion. But the truths that had been uncovered that night had affected him viscerally, deep to his core. He had thought he had rather easily left his family behind, resolved to make a new one out of the ashes of his slain relatives. But it seemed he had not let the Damazar go. Maybe he wasn't done yet being Damazar. Maybe Kelski was still K'etir.

The sea eagle's voice brought him from his pensive musings. "Yes, we have a promise to keep." Dess answered her, finding he did not want the ghost to go. "There is room next to...her." He added as he turned back towards the tower, moving with determined, quickened steps.

In the tower, Dess took one of their blankets and again descended the stairs to the underground rooms while Kelski gathered the tools and began to break ground on the grave. Setting the lantern near the remains, he laid the blanket out next to the skeleton. His azure eyes lifted to the darkness of the second hidden room, curious of what was in the blackness. There would be time for that later.

Carefully, Dess knelt near the skull and slipped his hands under the pile of bones and dry-rot cloth. He gently gathered them and moved them to the blanket. Then he moved to the other end, shifting the folded leg bones and pelvis over as well. The skeleton had come apart over the years, but Dess tried to make some respectable order as he prepared to move them. Folding up the ends of the blanket, Dess removed the belt from which the wrist razors hung. The weapon was a Damazar heirloom, and he wondered how far back it went, whether Danal or Vivian's first husband had wielded it.

The weapon was laid aside to retrieve later. The belt was used to gather and bind the corners of the blanket together. Then Dess took the lantern and managed to hold it while lifting the wrapped remains in his arms. With near-reverence, Dess ascended the steps and retraced his steps to the grave site. If Kelski was still working on the grave, he would tenderly lay Albastin's remains aside to help her dig.

Words: 763
User avatar
Dessarian
Player
 
Posts: 84
Words: 107624
Joined roleplay: June 18th, 2019, 4:04 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests