Solo Thinking game.

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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]

Thinking game.

Postby Maore on February 17th, 2020, 4:39 am

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    15th Winter 519 AV
When Ciraaci awoke the fifth day after Ennoia's last visit, she did so at an ungodly early hour well before the daily shifting overtook her and brought her into the divinity of her celestial form. It was dark in the cell, the candles outside currently unlit. It was cold in her cell, her moist straw bed and the stone underneath leeching away her heat every moment she lay against it. Being awake in this way without even the distant comfort that the sun would surely rise this day spooked Ciraaci right up out of bed and to her feet.

Everything ached as she stood there. Her bones were tired and her skin pulled tight over the taut muscle underneath just barely holding it all together. Her fingers were sore from clenching tight into her palms overnight. Her eyes watered like they'd been open while she slept and she couldn't ever moisturize them again. Her head pounded with the start of a headache born from dehydration and chronically poor sleeping conditions.

Were this a common establishment, say in Kenash or Riverfall, Ciraaci would have graciously commented to the owner of the building about the poor quality of amenities provided and then ride away onto the open Sea where she belonged and never look back at the inn again. A stay in the cell of some dark god's city merely further impressed upon her the simple truth that men were not meant to live stagnant like this, that she was not meant to live like this.

She'd trade just about anything to have fresh saddle sores again as opposed to these nasty itchy lice and bed sores.

There was nothing to do at this hour in the pitch black of her cell so Ciraaci did as she used to do when she first began her stay here: she paced. It started with carefully measuring the space with her arms out and every step cautiously taken to prevent stubbed toes, something learned after trial and error on the earliest sleepless nights in the starless dark.

The cell was about five of her strides across and just under six in the other direction, but she assumed that both sizes were similar and she should aim for five. With this in mind she lowered her arms and started properly pacing in four-stride intervals across the room avoiding both corners with her straw pile and chamberpot. As her captors hadn't been feeding her over the last two days and they hadn't emptied it in more, she had no desire to vomit out whatever fluid was still in her stomach over the smell.

As she paced, the Drykas woman that Ciraaci had become pondered the things that Ennoia had last said to her for the nth time in the past few days. She obsessed over his words nearly to the point of madness in an attempt to pick out new meanings from them.

He'd mentioned other gods-Forsaken creatures like her which, as she'd previously assumed, meant Ethaefal had come to the city which itself meant that the city was near a significant enough body of water to produce a pitiful thing like her -- although she was far from versed in the means of Ethaefal 'birth' in Mizahar as she'd encountered only one in her life and they'd never exchanged the means of their arrival. She had experience with her own, of course, and that was the only thing she could be certain of.

But she had questions.

Was the sea they came in as rough as the Suvan? Did they come in storms, tossed against rocks and half-drowned under wild whitecaps as the gods fought to kill them? Did they ever make it to shore? Why would they want to stay in a city that must reek of the shyke kept in the basement of a building like this? Did they live better lives in the mud and brick houses of humans? Were they slaves?

Oh, they must be slaves. It made sense that they would be.

Ciraaci wheeled around with a sharp turn and nearly collided with the wall she'd inadvertently angled towards. Fortunately it was one of the two corners without signs of habitation so she didn't have to worry about a mess, but she cursed nonetheless.

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Thinking game.

Postby Maore on February 17th, 2020, 4:56 am

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It didn't make sense that Ethaefal would like it here if they knew the terrible things being done to the Kelvic captives, but if Ciraaci were wholly honest herself and not trying to protect herself from the horrors of realization she'd acknowledge that the average citizen, someone like one of the red-capped guards with little authority, would probably see a different face of this place than she did. It was not too incomparable to the state of what a slave experienced with the Drykas, though she felt that the slaves there were fortunate that they weren't being forced to breed with the Kelvics that ran with the Drykas herds.

She was still thinking about it when the sun rose and her shift happened. It was never not a marvel to fascinate her but today she was a little more than bitter about the deceptive sparkle that came with the change and the smooth texture of the unmarked skin revealed. At least it was still dark in the cell; she couldn't acknowledge the appearance aspect and if she pretended the pain of her damaged horn and the area around it was just a headache she could go back to the delusion of being wholly Drykas.

She'd never wholly be able to convince herself, though, especially now that she knew why she'd been kept here and used to mate with Kelvic men. Her captives had wanted her for these traits she'd long ago tired of having. They wanted her horns, her skin, possibly her connection to the sun goddess. They wanted it and it was just her luck that it was something she couldn't give. The only thing she'd been able to provide them was the product of a half-term pregnancy and its corpse once she'd tossed it aside in horror.

Noise outside of her cell in the corridor that crossed in front of it alerted her to the guards beginning a set of rounds and lighting the candles that offered fragile illumination into the dark little box Ciraaci was confined to. Naturally she approached the door, honing in on the sound and following the instinct to avoid any invisible obstructions to her path. When she was able to look out, warm light flared just beyond the door and bathed her face in its soothing glow.

Ciraaci would never grow tired of seeing the tiny little flame of a scentless candle.

Long shadows drew across the wall her cell faced and took form as a duo of armoured men talking in hushed tones about whatever activities the city afforded them to partake in. She understood only one or two words in the jumble of their conversation but it was never going to be enough to actually understand and participate. As they carried on, the ethaefal sighed and withdrew from the barred opening that allowed the light in, retreating to her corner with her hay.

Maybe she'd start turning it over a couple days early. If the god of luck smiled upon her, she may be able to beg fresh hay off the first guard to enter.

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Thinking game.

Postby Maore on February 26th, 2020, 4:09 am

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A guard eventually did come and the sound of him unlocking the heavy door was a beautiful song she'd have loved to dance to, exclusively because he'd brought the smell of food with him and she would have done anything to eat.

The guard wasn't alone, either. With him came Ennoia and his candle and a third guard carrying Ennoia's thinking chair. Ciraaci subconsciously curled her lip to which the man tutted as he settled in. The first guard handed the food to Ennoia and the second left. The candle warmed the cell with its faint light from the floor but the ethaefal's eyes were on the tray the human carried.

She didn't say anything for the first few moments. It felt like she needed to let him instigate the conversation, like it was something he expected and she'd do well to acknowledge it. That was an unspoken demand Ciraaci easily followed.

"I was told you weren't eating," Ennoia started once he'd drank in enough of the silence. He plucked a strip of fragrant meat from the tray and held it out to Ciraaci, reaching into the dark where she'd pushed herself to stand. Something about the gesture really rankled the ethaefal and reminded her of a dog being fed scraps.

"They aren't feeding me," she responded. Everything about her body language was frustrated. Her fists had balled up, her shoulders hunched forward, her eyes narrowed, her body leaning just forward enough. Ennoia must have read the danger signs but dismissed them as he shook the strip of dried meat at the woman. When she refused to take it he sighed and popped it into his own mouth.

"Sounds like what they told me," he said as he chewed noisily through the tough strip of jerky. "You're not eating, they're not feeding you. Same song from different artists."

Ciraaci grit her teeth and looked away from the self-assured sparkle in the man's eye. He was savouring the meat and she was increasingly frustrated. It had been days. Days! The smell helped her realize just how weak she'd been feeling. Her stomach rumbled and her throat ached and her eyes watered but she didn't trust him.

He swallowed and cleared his throat, coaxing her to look at him. With her gaze on him, Ennoia offered a smile he must have thought was reassuring and extended another piece of jerky. "You can trust me," he said. "I want to make sure you are in good health. Please, trust me."

She didn't want to trust him. She didn't trust him. Ennoia was one of her captors, and if not, then he was a man who worked for them. She couldn't properly parse his motivations for coming here and talking with her like this, with assuring her that he meant no harm, but she didn't like it. She didn't like it.

Her arm extended without her wholly meaning to. She reached for the offering slowly, afraid he might smack at her if she got to close, and once she'd touched it her fingers grasped and her arm snapped back. With her prize, Ciraaci returned her back to the wall and greedily shoved the jerky into her mouth. It wasn't much but it was enough that her whole body vibrated with the sensation of food on her tongue.

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Thinking game.

Postby Maore on March 4th, 2020, 2:33 am

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The amicable silence between them broke when Ciraaci eventually spoke again, through dry swallows and hard swallowing. The water would have helped but she weathered the ache fairly well, in her opinion, crediting her refusal to succumb to gagging and choking on the need to understand. It was once often said that motivation could keep a man out of the hands of Dira, and in her experience, this was sometimes true.

"Why do you keep coming?" The ethaefal had asked quietly, surely a worthy question for breaking such a companionable silence. On her end, it had been significantly less so; she was very aware that their 'relationship' was wildly imbalanced in his favour and that he could, within whatever limits were imposed upon him by his employers, do whatever he wanted with her. She was acutely aware of the danger, every time he entered her cell, and it felt like this time, the third, would be the appropriate time to ask about his intentions.

Ennoia hummed a thoughtful sound. Ciraaci thought that he may be trying to soothe her nerves, which had her fingers flexing her hands into fists every few seconds and her legs twitching near uncontrollably, but it just put her further on edge, made her knees bounce and her hands grip like talons into the skirt of her dress.

"I am here to observing your growth," Ennoia said, a sentence that briefly threw Ciraaci off; growth like plants? She made the connection with time, but snorted, a reaction that caused Ennoia's placid smile to drop into a sour frown. He was in the midst of offering her another strip of meat, but dropped it moments before it touched her hand. He then kicked it towards her with a hushed scoff.

"You do not laugh at me," he said. "I decide if you stay or go, Ciraaci. You need to trust me, be kind to me." His voice grew impassioned, demanding, angry, and she flinched away as expected of her, pressing tighter to her wall and flattening herself there, like it'd help her seep through the cracks in the stone.

He let her stand there like that for some time then, catching his breath and refusing to look at her. What she read from his response to his own outburst was that he was ashamed of himself for losing his 'calm', something she at least hoped was true. He was ashamed, and he was a coward. He couldn't even stand up when he faced her.

Was this fire kindling in her chest the result of anger, joy, or compassion?

"I'm sorry," she murmured without wholly recognizing the thing she'd been apologizing for. 'Hurting his feelings' was a concept beyond her Drykas raising. The horsemen were often blunt and if they found something funny they would laugh. If that tickled someone's feelings then they'd get up and show it, perhaps confront it, grow from it, use it to harden themselves. Repression did not apply to emotions in her family unit. Whether for better or worse, Ciraaci would never know for certain, but she would always think better.

Dishonesty was just disgusting.

That's why she was sorry. She was sorry he was ashamed, not because he'd misused an adjective and she'd had the gall to laugh. Ciraaci would not beholden herself to coddling a human man's 'feelings'.

Ennoia sighed at her apology but she didn't relax. She watched as he kicked the strip of jerky to the side and downed half the glass of water, a glass she accepted when he offered so she could wash away the dry in her mouth and watch him the entire time out of one glittering green eye.

"I will be your Common teacher, if my employers permit. I think it'll get you better out of here."

That sounded like the first note of hope burning pale and yellow within the dry kindling of her heart-wood.

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