Solo Child’s Play, Part 1: Hard Lessons.

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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]

Child’s Play, Part 1: Hard Lessons.

Postby Alma Blackwell on November 17th, 2019, 12:23 am

It was a beautiful morning in the floating city of Ravok. A gentle breeze carried the mixed scent of early morning baking mingled with the soft scent of spices being ground down for the day’s use. On a normal day young Alma Blackwell would have loved to stand downwind of the bakery and enjoy the smells until her father called her in. Today was not a normal day, and instead of greeting the morning with a smile she found herself facedown on the harsh planking that acted as a street. She fought back tears of frustration and shame as the young boy stood over her, pocketing a silver mizha from her scarce personal savings. Her father had just started to pay her as she worked around the shop, and apparently word got around.

Kaden Highwater was the local bully. Alma had no idea why, but if there were small delinquent acts of trouble going on, odds were good that Kaden and his cowardly crew were behind it. The boy was tall for a sixteen-year-old. His lifestyle of stolen sweets had him pear-shaped and the cruel hand of puberty had gifted him with patchy spots that he called a beard and everyone else called fuzz. No one was quite sure why he had such a chip on his shoulder, but the way he strutted the streets ensured that everyone in their little corner of Ravok knew it.

All of this had started when he showed up and demanded the pittance that was her pay. She had not expected to get punched in the face when she said no. The hit had taken her off guard and she went down onto her butt, her meager coin purse popping open and its single coin rolling over to him. The only reason she had turned facedown was to hide her shame, hide her tears, and give herself a moment to gather herself. She promised herself that next time would be different.

Only a week later Alma’s promise was put to the test. She was making her way back from the mender with her father’s apron, the straps holding it up having had to be mended as they were worn from daily use. The comfortable weight of the hard leather on her shoulder always reminded her of working the store and so even the ruddy stains that came from years of use had their own, simple charm. She had turned her way down an ally way when she caught sight of Kaden, and he of her. There was no way around it and from the growing grin on his face there would be no talking her way out of it.

“'ey you gotta come this way? You gotta pay the toll!” Even his stupid voice grated on Alma's nerves. There were no tolls in Ravok, and if there were they sure would not be run by him.

“No! Go away!” was the only response she could get out. Her hands were clenched, she was incensed, caught between the touch of fear that reminded her of what happened last time and her desire to act this time.

When she had returned before, black of eye and short of coin, her father had demanded the name of the one who had done it and Alma had not told him. Honestly, it would not have done any good. If she had told, he would have gotten in trouble, maybe she would have gotten her money back, and then it would have gotten worse. Her father was used to his headstrong little girl and had given her something more valuable instead; he taught her how to throw a punch.

The planks creaked under Kaden as he approached her, and all Alma had time to do was to drop the smock and raise her hands before he was on her. Much to both their surprise Alma actually got out of the way of the first punch and Kaden alone was surprised when Alma followed through and caught him right on the nose in response. Kaden groaned as he stepped back holding his nose a moment, more in shock then actual pain. Her father may have taught her how to throw a punch, but there was a lot to learn about how to properly follow through with it. When the bully reared back and threw a second one, and a third one, and a forth, Alma ended up being a lot less lucky, and soon she was driven to the ground. At this point she had lost track of the kicks that came in and was left groaning on the floor. In a short while she would be properly black and blue. Tears burned in her eyes as she listened to the sound of her meager purse being opened and another single silver piece being pulled from it. Soon the receding stomping of Kaden’s flat feet told her that once more she was hurt and alone.

It was a cold, breezy evening that saw Alma sitting on a crate. She held a chunk of bread in her hand and was slowly pulling pieces off before pushing the chewy substance in her mouth. The normally delicious bread turned to ash on her tongue, such was her mood. She was watching Kaden and his posse of two off in the distance, celebrating their most recent victory with a handful of sweets, no doubt bought with the money they exacted as their 'toll'. Alma hoped they choked on it.

Alma had been watching them for an hour now as they laughed and talked. It was very obvious who ran the group. Kaden bossed them around almost as much as he bullied his victims: where to go, what to do, even who they were allowed to speak to. The only thing that seemed to cow Kaden were the older kids. He would talk and laugh and taunt, yet when an older, larger group showed up, he would play it off and look the other way. She chewed on the bread with renewed zeal. If Kaden was not dealt with soon, it was likely his little group would grow, and it would get to the point where he couldn't be dealt with. She leaned back on the hard crate. “But what can I do?” Alma muttered aloud. What could she do? He was bigger, he was stronger, and it would take several seasons for her to learn to defend herself in any practical way. She sat back up, grinding her teeth in frustration. She watched Kaden and his goons step away from another group of teenagers and mutter to themselves as they passed. Alma watched this with fresh interest, chewing on her lip. Maybe, just maybe Alma herself didn't have to do anything to solve this problem. An idea started to take hold.
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Alma Blackwell
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Joined roleplay: November 9th, 2019, 8:15 pm
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