Closed Entering Enemy Territory

Earning a place in Lhavit.

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Entering Enemy Territory

Postby Yvaleth on November 2nd, 2019, 12:08 am

Date 519 AV
9th of Fall, 519AV

Here it was at last. The final stop before returning home.

The Symenestra hesitated at the dock, gazing out into the rocky mountainscape of the Unforgiving while the half dozen other murmuring passengers brushed by him. Familiar shrubbery and trees dotted the jutting cliffs, flora that he could at last identify by name. The Sartu and Zintia Peaks towered far into the misty sky, disappearing into the shroud of thick fog these mountains were known for. The other peaks were hidden in the haze somewhere beyond.

Yvaleth would only have to remain here until another ship arrived flying the crest of Viratas. A vessel friendly to his kind. That was the plan, he told himself. That was how things went.

Mercifully, the swirling fog swallowed most of the piercing sunlight and made the morning easy on his sensitive eyes. He paid a departing glance to the ship that had been his home for much of the past season. The crew was already at work pulling in the sails and unloading their cargo, wasting no time to enjoy solid ground before they got underway. Local workers had already brought in Okomo to help carry the load.

The Symenestra pulled his hood over his brow and turned back, following the trickle of traveling souls who had bought passage aboard the ship. A jolly figure ahead greeted the newcomers outside an otherworldly looking skyglass shack, looking out of place in this cold, untamed landscape.

Yvaleth hefted his bag onto his shoulder, digging his claws underneath the strap, and kept in tow, hoping as he usually did to blend into the drab company of the surface-born.

“And what brings you to Lhavit?”

The Symenestra turned his head, brow quirked. The old man had appeared beside him. Either he was some sort of mage, or the fog was dulling Yvaleth’s senses. Surprise subsided to a wave of irritation, but that was promptly swallowed.

“Failure.” Yvaleth replied with a thin smile. “Failure and cowardice.” A corner of his cloak, which concealed one of his limbs, flicked in the direction of the old man’s brilliant cottage. “And the skyglass is nice too.”
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Last edited by Yvaleth on November 11th, 2019, 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Entering Enemy Territory

Postby Luminescence on November 7th, 2019, 4:46 am

Hachia squinted at the slender figure wrapped in a cloak, suspicion tingling. He may be old, but he wasn't stupid, and his eyes were still sharp; he caught sight of long black claws gripping the edge of a hood, and recognized the figure for what it was. Symenestra were indeed a rare breed in Lhavit; Hachia had to wonder if the spider would even make it past the gates. But that wasn't his business; his business was making sure the Symenestra simply reached them.

He made his way over with a question, listening quietly to the bitter reply, and chuckled at the addendum. "It is very pretty, isn't it?" He agreed, amicably enough; his old but sharp eyes peered at the Symenestra, looking him up and down, but the traveler showed no sign of aggression.

"Well, plenty of failure and cowardice in one's life, it happens to everyone. It's what you do to make up for it that counts," he noted, then turned away, letting out a whistle. A nearby okomo perked up, ears flicking, then trotted over, letting out a low snuffling sound as it bumped its head against Hachia's side.

Hachia chuckled, stroking the goat-like creature's neck. "These here are okomo," he explained to Yvaleth. "Sacred beasts, they are, and very useful. She'll help us up to the top of the mountain. Unless you'd prefer to walk," Hachia smiled, raising a brow. He was aware of how fragile the spider people were, and after the inevitably long travel to Lhavit, knew Yvaleth must be tired. The climb to the gates was long and steep even for those who had skill in mountain climbing.

"My name is Hachia, by the way. And yours?" The okomo reached its neck out, sniffing tentatively at Yvaleth. Its nostrils flared, ears angling backwards slightly, but it otherwise did not shy away from him, though if he tried to pet it, it would take a side step away.

Hachia shushed the okomo, and with practiced ease, hauled himself up onto its back, settling himself comfortably. Silently, he held his hand out down to Yvaleth, an invitation. The Symenestra was welcome to take it and ride the okomo up to the gates, but if he refused, Hachia would not push the matter.

If he chose to accompany Hachia, he would have the chance to ask any questions he might have on the way up. Regardless, Yvaleth would eventually make it to the top of the path, the towering gates of Lhavit rising above him; either relaxed if perched precariously on an okomo behind Hachia, or sweaty and possibly bruised and definitely exhausted on foot. If he had accompanied Hachia, the old man would linger on the okomo; he would have refrained from saying such, but he was prepared to bring the Symenestra right back down to the docks.

"Hail," Called one of the guards by the gate, approaching the pair. "What brings you to...oh, petch," he swore in surprise, upon recognizing Yvaleth as a Symenestra; and not just a Symenestra, but a male, at that.

Immediately, both guards let their hands drop to the hilts of their respective weapons, the air changing as they tensed, becoming almost palpably charged with tension. "And what is one of your kind doing here?" The guard who had approached asked Yvaleth, his voice frigid and sharp. "Tell me, why should I let a spider into our city? Explain yourself well, widow. If you don't give a damned good and satisfactory answer, you'll have a very cold night sleeping outside while you try to find passage elsewhere."
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Entering Enemy Territory

Postby Yvaleth on November 10th, 2019, 3:50 pm

Date 519 AV
“It's what you do to make up for it that counts.”

“Sure.”

Yvaleth was too tired for platitudes. He was staring distractedly at the large, goatlike animal. It looked thankfully tame, but anything with hooves was typically avoided by Symenestra. One well-landed kick could be a bone-shattering death blow.

The old man, Hachia, offered the Symenestra a ride atop the animal. Inwardly he balked, appalled at the thought. Another glance at the mist-choked mountain path however convinced him to reconsider. The beast looked tame enough, and if he was riding tandemly with Hachia, there seemed to be less of a chance that he might get bucked off violently.

“Yvaleth,” he responded to Hachia’s question. Yvaleth continued staring at the animal as it nosed forward curiously. By some latent childish impulse, he couldn’t help but lift his arm and reach out to touch the animal. Untrusting of the Symenestra, it drew back quickly. The Symenestra frowned, feeling affronted. “My friends call me Val.”

After watching Hachia mount the beast, he carefully positioned himself along the side of the animal. He tentatively reached for the saddle, still expecting an errant hoof to fly out and kick his ribs into so many shards. Finding that he was still alive even after getting a solid grip on the animal’s harness, the Symenestra lifted himself up and over the creature. Being light of build with hollow bones and the ability to stick to surfaces, Yvaleth found the task surprisingly easy.

The animal began to amble forward, which the Symenestra found alarmingly uncomfortable. Riding an animal was not as easy as it looked, because it was not a level plane to sit upon. The animal’s body was soft and yielding, and rocked along with its haunches. Yvaleth found he had to move himself with the beast’s gait if he wanted to stay seated on top, a practice which made his groin and waist ache before too long. For balance, he couldn’t help but hold onto Hachia’s robes.

Still, it did seem better than walking.

He was silent for the journey up, except for occasional apologies for having to grab Hachia’s arm or shoulder when he felt like he was about to fall. Gods, he’d never sat this close to a human male before. The ride up to the gate was quite possibly the most physically uncomfortable activity he’d done in his entire life.

He knew Hachia was very kind to offer, at least. It was the most hospitality he’d been offered since that ship captain took every copper miza he had (that he could find) to allow him to board to Lhavit. Hopefully, he luck would hold out when they reached the city’s gates.

“Hail!” The guards at Lhavit called a greeting. "What brings you to…” Yvaleth slid off the animal and landed on both feet as he dismounted. “...oh, petch.”

In enormous pain by the end of the okomo ride, Yvaleth immediately hit his knees and knelt down to the ground. His back was screaming, and as he held himself upward with one arm, the other was employed to soothe the inside of his upper legs, which had been strained while trying to stay mounted on the animal. He ached in muscle groups he didn’t even know he had. It was going to take days to sleep this off.

No longer concerned about the brisk winds, the thin air, or the sorry, inescapable predicament he found himself in at this point in his young life, Yvaleth groaned. Knowing the guards ahead of them had reached for their weapons, he lifted his head and tried to fish for his thoughts out of an ocean of agony.

One of the guards approached Yvaleth in killing range. The Symenestra, still knelt upon the ground, sat back on his haunches.

"And what is one of your kind doing here?”

Yvaleth stared up at the man, defiance in his eyes, as he fought to catch his breath.

“My name is Yvaleth Larkspur Hyacinth,” the Symenestra told him breathily.

"Tell me, why should I let a spider into our city? Explain yourself well, widow. If you don't give a damned good and satisfactory answer, you'll have a very cold night sleeping outside while you try to find passage elsewhere."

Gritting his teeth, he leaned forward and began to push himself gradually to his feet. He leaned on his knees for a long moment, still aching in every muscle inside his legs, particularly the inner thigh, and then his straightened to his full height.

It was an insult that he be demanded to explain himself to this human. If Yvaleth wanted to get into Lhavit for some nefarious purpose, he wouldn’t have tried to go through the front door. Ideally, no guard would know he was there until it was too late to ask him stupid questions. Any Symenestra attempting to conduct a Harvest this way was not only self-sabotaging imbecile, he was also sabotaging the success of any other Symenestra seeking to enter the city for any cause: peaceful or not.

Unfortunately the world was full of imbeciles.

“I am a traitor to my people.” Yvaleth unhooked his whip from his belt, and then tossed it down to his feet. He held up his clawed hands, showing they were empty. His words burned in his throat, but this was about survival. “I have rejected our savage ways and I am no longer welcome in my ancestral home. I come here seeking only peace and respite." He closed eyes. "Please. I have nowhere else to go. I will do anything you ask of me to prove I have no ill-intent.”

He could have lied. Yvaleth was not some radical Esterian that wished to cause the demise of his own people. However Yvaleth had never been a master of deception. The guard looked keen, like he could smell a lie if he heard one. Any of them only needed an excuse to run the Widow through and pitch him off the side of the cliff.

Perhaps Yvaleth should have let them.
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