Open A Kingdom of Lights

Yvaleth spends time listening to the people of Lhavit.

(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!)

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.

Moderator: Luminescence

A Kingdom of Lights

Postby Yvaleth on November 3rd, 2019, 2:49 pm

14th of Fall, 519AV
Lhavit was a spectacle at night. Yvaleth had been genuinely unprepared for the sight of it.

Most places obeyed the ebb and flow of daylight, working and commuting during the day and retiring at night. Torches only burned for so long, and nightwatchmen could only patrol so far. The surface races possessed poor eyesight in low light and feared the creeping things that moved unseen in the shadows.

Wise. Sometimes those creeping things were Symenestra.

Long after the sun had dipped below the misty horizon, Yvaleth stalked the streets of Zintia Peak. But in Lhavit, the city glowed around him. The skyglass structures here luminesced in the moon and starlight, shimmering in emerald green, smokey blue, and rosy hues. Even the hanging gardens, which were common, but lovely spectacles during the day, glimmered in ways he’d never seen before. The entire city was a surrealist dreamscape of lights. Yet easy on his sensitive eyes.

In the distance, he could see the glowing bridge leading off to another Lhavitian Peak, which he couldn’t recall the name of. Tentin? Even from here, Yvaleth could make out the distant gleam of the architecture. Overhead, the stars glittered brightly in reverence to their Lady, the Alvina Zintila, faithfully attended by the lonely moon.

How had a place like this existed for so long, so close to Kalinor, and yet Yvaleth knew so little about it? Yvaleth had heard of Ethaefal, and of the Alvina who supposedly resided here. But the thought of divinity had always seemed so far from Kalinor. Even Viratas was only a nominal presence.

It felt like this had been intentionally hidden from him. Somehow, Yvaleth felt lied to. The surface was not the barbaric, filthmongering wasteland as he’d been led to believe.

The thrum of strings sounded nearby. A busker played his lute and sang a haunting tune on the corner, at the edge of the Surya Plaza. A wide brimmed hat sat at his feet, eagerly awaiting monetary appreciation. Yvaleth stalled for a moment, and then he passed on by.

“The Shinya had no right.” A young woman’s voice noised from a stand nearby. “He only used magic to defend me. Did you hear what that μπάσταρδος called me?”

Yvaleth tilted his head. Perhaps this would be a good time to eavesdrop on the locals. There were large swathes of the Common language he still didn’t understand. He paused at a booth, overlooking various fruits on display, pretending not to listen.

“If he’s a mage, why didn’t he register?” The stand operator seemed familiar with her.

“That registry tripe is μαλακίες. It only exists so the Shinya can control you.”

“I don’t know…”

“He’s really sweet! Most of the time...”

“Hey.” This voice came from the booth in front of Yvaleth. He glanced upward. A bearded Lhavitian merchant glared at him from beneath a bushy brow. “I don’t do business with Widows. Get moving.”

The merchant briefly brushed aside his robe, revealing the hilt of a long dagger at his hip.

Yvaleth lingered momentarily locked eyes with the human. For a second he wondered what his whip would look like wrapped around the human’s neck, pinching so tightly that the veins began to pop out of his skin. How his choked cries would sound as he apologized and begged for mercy. How his foot would feel planted on the man’s chest.

“Fine," was all he said.

The Symenestra turned and moved on and the direction of the Mhakula Tea House.
Last edited by Yvaleth on November 6th, 2019, 3:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Yvaleth
Player
 
Posts: 16
Words: 15161
Joined roleplay: October 30th, 2019, 4:50 am
Race: Symenestra
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes

A Kingdom of Lights

Postby Madeira Craven on November 4th, 2019, 10:06 pm

Image
"Mercy! I Yield!" The usually prim, dignified Madeira looked quite ridiculous in that moment, crab crawling away across a padded tatami mat, tripping over the overlong sleeves of her borrowed fighter's robe. The woman standing over her cackled, matching her pace and holding a blunted dao sword to the side of her throat. Madeira's own cane sword was several meters away.

"How dare you show weakness in front of your opponent! Have you no honour, Professor?" Chiona Dusk's tawny eyes sparkled impishly, and she laughed. Reaching down between them she helped the younger woman to her feet. "Don't be discouraged, Madeira. I really think you're getting better!"

"Well, thanks for being patient with me", the Spiritist forced a pained smile, stalking over to retrieve her disarmed blade. Hers was not a dao sword, but a thin straight blade meant to be concealed in a cane. She had had it for years but had never bothered to learn how to use it. When Chiona had learned of this she had insisted she join her on an excursion to the Mhakula Tea House after class, where she regularly practiced with her own weapon under the guidance of Yhavao. The Tea House had had a secret underground fight training since the dark days, she had explained, that was no longer quite so secret. Chiona, an expert fighter herself, would be happy to teach Madeira the basics.

But Madeira, having a distinct aversion to all things physically taxing, was less than enthused about the idea. But there was no way she was going to give up on an opportunity to spend quality time with the woman who she was conspiring to one day be her wife.

Guzo Yhavao himself was in another corner of the training room, working with a second member of the underground fighting ring. The master had taken one look at Madeira as she came in and declared that Chiona would be perfectly capable of handling her, and left them to their own devices. The ping of his and his trainee's swords glancing off each other, the blades themselves almost too fast to see, was not making the Spiritist feel any better about herself.

"Again?", Chiona squared up on her end of the mat, her blunted weapon in a low ready position. They hadn't bothered to blunt Madeira's sword.

The frail Spiritist wearily squared up on her own end, sliding back into a position Chiona had showed her before, with one hip facing her opponent and her sword extended with one hand, showing as little surface area to her opponent as possible.

"Good, Madeira! Remember, keep that front foot loose. I'm going to come at you and you'll need to sidestep and deflect. Ready?"

"Ready", Madeira swallowed.

Chiona took a step forward, her blade flashing in a big arc that must have felt painfully slow to her. But Madeira panicked, reacting too quickly and attempting to sweep the weapon away with the very tip of her sword before she even begun to move. Without meeting the resistance she expected on the blade Madeira's balance loosened and she was forced to plant both feet to regain it. During which time Chiona took another half step towards her and disarmed her with a flick.

"Hey, you made it to the second move that time!" Chiona beamed like a proud mom, spinning her sword idly as Madeira's fell with a thud behind her. "You probably need a rest. Want to pick this back up another time?"

"Yes, of course!", Madeira chirped, trying not to weep with despair as she retrieved her fallen sword yet again.

Once the two had cleaned up, Chiona wrapping herself back into her Lhavitian robes and Madeira into her gown, gloves and many gaudy jewels, the two ascended the basement stairs together. The plush, comfortable but small teahouse opened up above them, steeped in a delightful smell of delectable Lhavitian tea. To the left was the front door, but before the two chatting women could reach it another customer stepped inside.

It was a man, tall and thin, wearing a loose hood over his shadowed face. But his hands gave him away, past his sleeves the fingers were long and needle like, tipped with sharp black claws. It had been an awful long time since Madeira had seen a Symenestra.

The server at his post by the door went visibly white.

"Sorry! We're full right now. Come back another time", the server nodded sharply, though behind him there were clearly empty tables.

Madeira's sheathed black cane tapped across the wooden floor. "Oh no, really? Are you sure you can't you squeeze us in somewhere, sir?", Madeira found herself speaking as she slid in to stand beside the tall stranger, much to Chiona's obvious confusion. Madeira couldn't quite articulate why she was stepping in. It could be curiosity, she supposed. Symenstra's were a rare breed even in Lhavit after all. Or maybe her collectors nose was sniffing out a shiny new opportunity. She had lost her old Symenstra ally a long time ago, maybe it was time to try her hand at finding another.

The server blinked. "Sorry?"

"I asked him to meet me here. I'm going to feel guilty if I made him come all this way for nothing. How about that table right back there?" She pointed to an open table and smiled, daring the server to turn her away. Behind her Chiona was looking back and forth between her and the stranger. And while the server might not know who Madeira was, he certainly knew the woman who's company she kept.

"I'm...I'm sure we can squeeze you in", she server relented, defeated. "Please, enjoy yourselves." He bowed and nervously scuttled away without walking them to their table.

"You know each other?" Chiona finally came out and asked, hand on her hip. The streets were dangerous for known magic users these days. She wasn't willing to leave Madeira alone with a stranger, and certainly not with a Symenstra stranger.

"Of course we do, don't we?" she shot a loaded smile up at the stranger, catching sight of inhuman purple eyes that nearly glowed in the dark under his hood.

WC: 1031
x
User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1601
Words: 1402855
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

A Kingdom of Lights

Postby Yvaleth on November 6th, 2019, 3:15 am

Yvaleth’s legs ached. No Symenestra was meant to do this much walking.

His native home of Kalinor was suspended from the ceiling of a massive cave, possessing several levels in three dimensions. This allowed the city to remain relatively compact. Symenestra moved between its various, teardrop-shaped structures upon “roads” of corded silk suspended over the black gorge beneath. Commuting wasn’t so much walking as it was climbing. Tragically, this was probably the reason their race was sometimes likened to spiders.

Lhavit, on the other hand, existed upon sprawling, level planes. Most sunborn cities were. This meant that everything had to be spread out and allotted its own plot of land. Tedious. Walking from one point in the city to another, navigating through an exhausting labyrinth of roads, could take all day. It was little wonder that many humans recruited horses and other beasts of burden to do their walking for them.

Still, Yvaleth was determined. The existence of the Mhakula Teahouse had stuck in his head since he first heard of it at the Cosmos Center. While he might never see his beloved Nanisa again, at least he could still pay a visit to his first love: tea.

It was his good fortune to find the teahouse before collapsing from exhaustion. Like every other locale in Lhavit, it was a luxurious structure, domed and gilded. In spite of his stubborn disdain for the surface world, Yvaleth could not help but admire the architecture as he headed inside.

Stepping through the door, he nearly bumped into two young women on their way out. He looked them over briefly, assessing their value out of habit, before moving on.

A server hurriedly welcomed Yvaleth in the manner he was quickly becoming accustomed to.

"Sorry! We're full right now. Come back another time"

The Symenestra felt his eyes narrow. He looked beyond the server at the vacant tables. The soothing aroma of hot tea seemed so close, but he should have expected this. Very well. There were other teahouses.

Before Yvaleth could turn to leave, one of the women rushed to his side and inexplicably began to vouch for him. Startled, he gaped down at her in befuddlement. She was a delicately built creature, clad in dizzying extravagance. Yvaleth could not tell whether she was wealthy or simply an eccentric fashionista.

For a moment, he was paralyzed by indecision. It was a good idea for him to avoid the company of young women if he wanted to prevent a meeting with the business end of a Shinya sword. But here it seemed, he had no choice.

At least the other woman looked as perplexed as he felt.

"You know each other?"
"Of course we do, don't we?"


“...Old friends,” he replied at last, drawing away his hood in a single motion. His stark white, undercut hair was drawn into a neat tail.

He looked beyond them both to the table she had indicated. Gods, how he longed to just sit down.

“Shall we take our seats? We have much to catch up on.” Apparently. “You must introduce me to your delightful friend.” He laid a clawed hand across his chest. “My name is Val,” he added, mostly to corroborate his new ally’s farce.

Yvaleth felt eyes upon him as he allowed his “friend” to lead them to their table. He kept his eyes firmly ahead, focused on her peculiar black cane. He was quickly growing weary of this sort of attention, but at least fear and unease were normal reactions to a Symenestra. This strange girl was something entirely unexpected. What was her motive? Normal people didn’t thrust themselves into awkward situations with questionable characters. There must have been something she was after. Something she wanted from him.

At last, his knees thanked him as he slid into a seat. He folded his long, thin arms on the table in front of him. In the far end of the teahouse, the servers were whispering to each other. Perhaps deciding which of them would be saddled with having to wait on the Widow’s table.

“Thank you for your intervention.” Yvaleth threaded his fingers together as he looked between the women. “I don’t seem to be very popular here since my arrival a week ago. Eto vastya.*”

He locked eyes briefly with the younger girl, wondering whether she intended to keep up her lie or generously include her friend in the conspiracy. He chose his words carefully, allowing her to decide for herself.

“Now then, what is it that I can do for you?”


* :
Approximation in Symenos: “It’s a pity/What a shame”
User avatar
Yvaleth
Player
 
Posts: 16
Words: 15161
Joined roleplay: October 30th, 2019, 4:50 am
Race: Symenestra
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes

A Kingdom of Lights

Postby Madeira Craven on November 8th, 2019, 3:55 am

Image
“...Old friends."

The Symenestra went along with Madeira's act rather reluctantly. Pulling back his hood, he looked down unsmiling upon them. It was an expression the Dusk heir returned.

"Chiona", she answered shortly to his introduction, not waiting for Madeira to introduce her.

Madeira, for her part, was the only one smiling, all be it in a rather self satisfied sort of way. She led the three to their appointed table, tucked away into an intimate corner of the tea house. Chiona followed but made no move to sit and join them. She stood with her hand on her hip, ignoring Val and his question completely as she focused on the Spiritist.

"I can't stay, I'm expected at the tower. Madeira, are you sure you're okay walking back alone?"

"I'm never alone", Madeira reassured her, drumming her hollow evocation rings on the table to punctuate. "I'll be fine. Good night, Chiona. Thanks for the lesson. I'll see you in class tomorrow, okay?" She stood to embrace the woman, and stood respectfully as she gave Val one last long look and left. Chiona wove gracefully through the tables and let in a dry, warm draft as she went out into the night. Madeira returned to her seat.

She found herself remembering Dexius, her first and only Symenestra ally, as she sat there alone with Yal. The two had remarkably similar eyes; the same almost luminescent shade of reddish purple. Dexius had been her fighter and her protector for the short time she had him. He was a talented fencer, smart and tactical, but snarky and disrespectful with it. Even years later she still found that she missed butting heads with him. But more than anything she regretted what happened to him. A violent possession had overcome him while he accompanied her to a suspected haunting, and that stress on his mind along with her attempt to exorcise him left him traumatized. He was driven mad, seeing horrors in every corner, and shut himself away in his cottage. Dex killed himself less than a year later.

She wasn't going to make that same mistake again. She was going to take better care of her things. She licked her teeth, her own pale blue eyes meeting his with open curiosity and a touch of something that might have been hunger.

"You're new to Lhavit, then. I suspected so. I don't forget a face, and I certainly would not forget that face." her eyes glittered impishly in the low light. She lent her cane against the wall behind her and pulled her gloves tight against her wrist. She wore yellow silk and a gold collar dripping with diamonds. There was a rosiness of exertion in her cheeks but had otherwise recovered from her regretful foray into swordplay.

"What can you do for me? Absolutely nothing. But I suspect I can do something for you. My name's Madeira Craven, and I guess we're friends now" She laughed as she reached her right hand across the table, gloved in spider silk and spiked with many different rings. The middle of which looked to be made of brass, and was cast in the shape of a pair of hands playing cats cradle. If he made contact with her the Affiliation Ring would tell her if this man was involved with any families, gang, businesses, or even religions. Madeira considered it a necessary tool when meeting new people.

At that moment their server, a much braver man, stopped at their table.

"Your menus", he offered, placing one first in front of Madeira and then Val. "I highly recommend the black teas, as this dry weather has given us some very fine yields this year."

"I'll have the spiced black tea and a scone, please", Madeira made her order without opening the menu. "With whatever seasonal jam you have."

"Very good. And you, sir?" The server nodded to the Symenestra.

WC: 652
x
User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1601
Words: 1402855
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests