Completed Cold to the Bone III

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Center of scholarly knowledge and shipwrighting, Zeltiva is a port city unlike any other in Mizahar. [Lore]

Cold to the Bone III

Postby Rohka on December 1st, 2020, 5:04 am

Continued from here...

Asking someone to go for a walk is usually pretty simple, with no real need for more of a closer and deeper analysis of the ask. However, for Rohka, asking her mentor this question right after the knowledge she gained from seeing into her past more clearly...

She felt strange. It almost felt wrong. There was a true sense of ice enveloping her heart as she braced herself to get up again.

"Roh," said Markham, seeing the blues returning in her aura. "Take it easy. Of course we can go for a walk. Just don't expect it to be as simple as it was for you before. You'll need to build strength. You'll need time... to heal those wounds." The traveler kept his voice measured and balanced, his deeper truth telling him that he was speaking to more than they both knew at this point. He figured it would be as good a time as any for her to brace herself for what she was about to carry, if his hunch was right.

Or, more accurately... if the magic was right.

Markham pointed to her bracelet and spoke up again.

"You'll notice that there's another charm there. I guess you were distracted by what you saw when you touched the 'x'. Look closely," he said.

She looked down to the bracelet and saw the little triangle that was now glowing as it dangled on her wrist. She brought her hand up closer to her face to examine it, marvelling at the blue-ish white glow that emanated from it, as if some viscous, luminescent liquid was swirling inside the charm. Entranced, she touched this too, wondering if it had a similar effect as the 'x'. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Markham shaking his head in a way that confirmed her suspicion. This charm was different.

"Why is it glowing?" she asked.

Markham took in a deep and slow breath, his brows raising. He didn't want to answer this question. Deciding to go with his first instinct, he fluidly swung his feet out of the bed they were in and placed them on the ground of the room they were in. As he stood up, he answered in earnest.

"You should be able to figure that out as we go for a walk. At most, I can tell you that you probably found things difficult to do at times because of the situation that is making that charm glow. I'll bet that you'll have an easier time doing things when that charm isn't glowing. For now though, I'll help you walk out of here. We can talk as we walk. Do remember, even though you're here to heal, you're not here to mooch. You'll need to pay your way in this city, 'cause the food supply isn't great. Plus, the journey over here took an awful lot of work, so I'll expect you to hold your end of the deal on behalf of The Mystic Eye.

And look, I trust you'll find it all worthwhile. I'm a betting man. Besides, I'll know how to find you and bring you back to work with me if you don't do what you need to do here. So there we go, I'll do my best to answer your questions with what I know, and then hopefully you'll remember enough of it to come back here and write it down if you need to. Does that sound good to you?"

Rohka gave him a smile. She was eager to get up and go. The medicinal meal from earlier had been almost miraculously good at bringing some strength back into her mental state. "Yes," she answered, readying herself.

Suddenly, she remembered something she'd written down earlier.

"Can we walk outside as well?"

Hearing this, Markham gave it some thought. Having just gotten up so recently from unconsciousness and learning what she needed to learn from him, he figured that the young woman might become a bit overwhelmed if she walked outside so soon. Experience had made him understand that overstimulation was absolutely a phenomenon to be keenly aware of avoiding by all means necessary. Rohka had always been an eager one. She was frankly reckless at times too, from all that she'd done on their Saique together. It was almost like she never learned what a limit really meant, or that she never even believed a limit could exist. It was sweet at best and entirely a pain to handle at worst.

"Later. We'll stroll the centre first." He walked around the bed to come and stand by her side while she slowly but surely moved to bring her feet to touch the ground again. Markham sensed the difference this time in comparison to last time. Rohka, on the other hand, felt slightly nauseous. She didn't want to tell him that. The sybil resolved to hold in her feelings and choose to put one foot in front of the other.

One step at a time.

The thought came into her mind easily, and she remembered her note to herself. Despite the coldness inside, she gently stood up. Rohka stood steadily. She took in a breath as deep as she could, completely filling her lungs to its fullest capacity before letting go. The air rushed quickly out of her mouth in the exhale.

"Give me... a moment," she said, closing her eyes. "Just... praying. Need to... prepare," she said, whispering.
Last edited by Rohka on April 5th, 2021, 4:11 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Cold to the Bone III

Postby Rohka on March 1st, 2021, 2:12 am

It's the food. Gods, thank you.

This thought made her face twist into a grimace. Something was bubbling up inside of her now.

"Good," said Markham, matching her whisper. "It's working." He spoke up, reaching out to gently hold her shoulder. "Thank the Gods. Top-notch healers here. Let it come up. I'll explain when you see it."

She followed his words and allowed whatever it was that was surging upwards through her throat and into her mouth. A flashing image of a mother bird feeding its children came rushing through her mind before she gagged, retched, and practically chucked up a think, oozing substance. Markham quickly grabbed the empty soup bowl and brought it to her mouth so that she could regurgitate it all into the bowl. The gel-like substance began to glow as soon as she laid her eyes upon it.

Rohka kept purging out the substance. It took another couple chimes before she finally felt done.

"What the petch, Markham?" she asked, almost on the brink of tears. He glanced at her wrist, seeing the glow in the triangle begin to fade. Suddenly, Rohka felt a lot lighter, and a lot less tired than she did just a few ticks ago. Something very clearly shifted in her state and it caused her to take a moment to stare into nothingness... in disbelief.

"I feel better," she said. It was stated so matter-of-factly that it made Markham grin like a kid.

"Yea. I bet you do. Come with me. We'll leave that bowl here. A kind Spiritist in the Healing Centre came up with that particular recipe, and that's what made you emit that gel from your body. The gel is called Soulmist. You'll need the recipe before you leave here, so that you can continue to help yourself heal."

"But-"

Markham shushed her. The sybil frowned at having been silenced by him so quickly, just when he was starting to explain what was going on with her. He walked over to a plain wardrobe in the corner and took out folded clothes and a pair of boots.

"Put these on and then we'll head out."

____

Markham and Rohka stood in front of a staircase. She held the railing with one hand and her journal in the other, looking up at the winding marble structure. It was eerily quiet inside. They’d only walked a short distance before moving past a doorway that was tucked and practically hidden in a corner. The Drykas man had nodded to an old woman in a white coat who had nodded back to him, as if they’d exchanged some kind of mutual understanding while they passed by patients and healers with no questions asked.

Having just experienced an old memory with Markham, Rohka let the moment go by without inquiry. She knew she was here to heal, and it was clear enough that Markham had things in order. He had the key to the large, wooden, heavy door that allowed them to pass through into their current space.As the sybil looked up, she could see that there was a skylight at the very top in the shape of a circle. The area itself was like being inside a stone cylinder, with the spiralling staircase leading out to doors on the walls to the right and left of where she stood.

“This is where you’ll do your daily exercises,” said Markham, out of the blue.

The sybil furrowed her brows, eyes squinting, her head tilting towards him in an effort to be sure she was hearing him correctly. His voice was certainly loud enough though, especially in this fairly narrow space where his tone reverberated around her. She waited for him to continue.
Last edited by Rohka on April 5th, 2021, 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Cold to the Bone III

Postby Rohka on March 8th, 2021, 6:09 am

"Okay," said Rohka, feeling the steady beat of her heart in her ears. She watched her mentor’s gaze move quickly to scan the walls, almost as if he were assessing them just by looking at them. His entire stance became a solid presence. Just then, she could feel an overwhelm of a sudden ferocity within the silence.

Deafening.

“This is a lot,” she said, whispering.

“Just climb.”

With that, they began the ascent.

They walked up slowly, with measured steps. Rohka was surprised that it felt like she was doing this type of movement… this ‘climbing’… for the very first time. It felt awkward. She found herself telling her legs how to bend so that it could balance her weight evenly as her feet moved to the next step. The sybil could feel Markham’s eyes on her now, and she hissed, unconsciously. The sound of herself caught her off guard and she looked up at him, brows quizzical.

“The door is right over there,” she said, pointing to just a few steps ahead of their current level of spin. “Can I open it?”

“Don’t you want a question answered first?” asked Markham with a grin.

“Oh right,” she said, mumbling, opening up her journal. “Let’s see. How about…”

Rohka scanned the list. The words blurred as she found herself getting a bit dizzy. She decided to rely on her newfound memory instead. There was encouragement from within, to get him to tell her the truth about what happened to them. It seemed simple enough to ask.

She closed the journal and clutched it by her chest, resolving to do her best so that she could ultimately leave this place.

A blankness fell over her mind, a fogginess that she tried to shake away, her head moving side to side, attempting to stretch out her neck to release whatever it was that kept her from asking anything that would get her closer to the truth she was seeking.

“Why did I throw up?” she asked, feeling almost immediately defeated when she realized it wasn't anywhere near close to what she really wanted to ask him.

Markham smirked, his face hidden from her view. She’s obfuscating purposefully, I doubt she even realizes it, he thought, suddenly feeling proud of her.

“Well Maya, Krish was possessing you.”

Rohka stopped in her tracks immediately.

“What did you call me?”

“Maya. Now open the door.”

She did as she was told.

There was no handle, so the sybil assumed she needed to push. The plain wooden door was smooth, an even colouring and grain of a light brown, with no special marking and a simple arched frame at the top. When she pushed it open, she could smell fresh bread immediately. Chatter ceased as the door creaked open.

“I think I…” Rohka peered around the room, the faces, the beds, the flowers, the stained glass windows with figures she couldn’t name and poses she didn’t recognize… and yet…

“MAYA!” A little girl screamed, her blond curls bouncing as she ran towards her. “It’s you, it’s really you,” she said, her sparkling voice of joy echoing against the walls. The others in the room laughed, one of the older women standing up from her own bed. Rohka watched the scene playing out, in shock, worried over her state of mind.

She immediately closed the door before the girl could get to it.

Her heart was now racing. Her dark eyes were wide open, and she stood there, frozen, incapable of processing her thoughts on the matter.

“I’ll save you the trouble of asking,” said Markham behind her. “The patients here are going through similar troubles. This is the ward for those suffering the trauma of perennial love that is locked away in ethereal forms, never to leave, or at least not until some impossible quest is first met and somehow fulfilled to maximum satisfaction. The men, women, and children here are nothing short of what most people in Zeltiva would probably call ‘crazy’. It’s not uncommon for patients here to recognize each other in different ways. Apparently that’s just how the system of this type of connection works. The healers here know better, but I’ve been learning as I go. It helps, with some of my work in Sahova.

“Anyways, don’t worry about how you’re feeling now. You’ll have a healer talk this through with you when you’re back in your room. I was told to walk you up this exercise by myself first, so that you have someone you can feel comfortable enough with to ask anything you like. If I can’t answer something or if something I say doesn’t help you, just ask it again to the healers who visit you. I know you never checked, but just like your own room, the patients in here are not able to open their doors. It can only be opened from outside.

“Patients who are in the appropriate process of recovery are then allowed to exercise their ability to communicate with the others who are here. The main objective, as far as I understand it, is to help the patient release their duties to their loved ones who refuse to let go of them. The harder the patients hold on, the deeper they delve into their traumatic history. Sometimes, that’s a good thing, because it allows the patient to gain the best understanding required to give their loved ones a happy ending to every story they’ve written, so to speak. Other times, the strong hold can cause serous wounds in all areas: physically, mentally, and spiritually.”

Markham paused for a tick, considering where he left off.

“So there you go, the first look into the people you’re connected to, now that you know you’ve been possessed by Krish since you first met him. You threw up because the healers made you food that would allow you to create the food that Krish needs to feel, well, like he’s capable of doing things. That man was hungry, believe me,” said Markham, a slight growl in his voice.

“Man?” asked Rohka, the slow intake of information catching up with her immediate curiosity. “Krish was…” she paused, trying to remember who he really was.
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Cold to the Bone III

Postby Rohka on April 5th, 2021, 2:37 am

She touched the ‘x’ of her bracelet to begin to remember the last time she saw who ‘Krish’ was.

Rohka immediately found herself standing on the rocks, watching steam rising from the waters below her. Secluded and alone, she re-experienced this part of her journey as if she was right there, in the very moment, stepping into the waters and letting herself settle in the warmth that reached through her skin, her flesh, and straight to the bones of her body, alive and well. The sybil breathed in, the nerves now beginning to rise in her.

She dunked her head under the waters, just as she was told.

Rohka was in Mura. This was the place that Lelia had wanted her to visit. They were given permission to enter The Vision Springs, after a talk with the Konti who were present. They’d whispered around her, smiling, giggling somewhat, as if they knew something that she didn’t. Markham encouraged her to continue, and one of the younger Konti women told her to relax, and that they were aware of a spirit travelling within her.

That she would use this time to speak.

She was told that the spirit would speak within her first, and then it would materialize beside her. She was told not to panic, and to do her best to focus on the spirit’s words. She was then told that she would be made to forget this memory of the spirit, due to the higher calling of her own.

None of it had made very much sense to the young Calico, but she was determined to fulfill her promise to Lelia and do all that needed to be done in order to get to Zeltiva. To get to her grandfather. To help her family find out the truth.

And to find every means necessary to destroy the stupid bloodstone necklace around her neck.

Having been the last task given to her by The Mystic Eye, it had been a burden all throughout the journey thus far. Rohka remembered, in that moment, being in the The Vision Spring, holding the necklace and waiting for whatever spirit needed to speak through to her.

There was a wind. A distant chirping of birds. Her slow breaths, the inhale, the exhale. She found herself meditating in that moment. Counting her breaths. Becoming hyper aware of herself, her body in the water, her wet hair across her shoulders, the beads of condensation rolling down her cheek. Rohka shifted herself lower, letting the surface of the warm waters come up to her chin. She closed her eyes and waited.

Roh.

The voice in her mind was male, deep, foreign to her. Her heartbeat quicker in fear.

I couldn’t stay behind. I needed to follow you.

Rohka decided to speak aloud. Her voice was soft, just above a whisper, the curiosity growing with every moment.

“We’ve met?”

Yes. At the Temple. You have my necklace.

“Krishveth… but how are you… you were a child… and now…”

There was so much confusion in her mind. So much to process.

I possessed a child to get you to do the ritual for me. It was the way I wanted it to be.

Rohka’s mind was now racing through all the possibilities of what went wrong and how she could escape from this turn of events. Would it make sense to just step out of the waters?

I need you here, Roh. I need your help.
Last edited by Rohka on April 5th, 2021, 2:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Cold to the Bone III

Postby Rohka on April 5th, 2021, 2:37 am

“You don’t trust me to just complete the destruction of this thing on my own? What’s the point of this? You wanted to marry Maya, didn’t you? How are you going to do that in this state? What are you? Why do you need me?” she asked in a fervour, her tone betraying the accusal nature.

I have to see it done. I have to see it with my own eyes, Roh. And with that, an image formed beside her, and the feeling of something leaving from within her.

There, in the waters next to her, was the face of a man she’d never seen before. The same, if not similar cerulean eyes, dark hair, and a pale face almost tinged blue, with sharpened angles. He seemed not much older than herself, and yet the solemn emotion on his face seemed to hold a kind of experience that was beyond her years.

“I do trust you. I wouldn’t have asked you to do this for me if I didn’t. I’d heard of your work through the grapevine, and there was this feeling…” he said, his voice trailing off as his gaze left hers.

“Your memory of me from today will be erased because I’d asked a Dreamwalker Konti before we arrived. I just wanted to talk to you once, as myself, before we arrive in Zeltiva. I’ll explain myself when we’re there. How are you feeling?” he asked, abruptly, having caught the confusion in her eyes.

“You talk to me as if you expect me to understand all of this. I barely understood any of this while we were in Ravok,” said Rohka, still finding the words to express the disdain that was beginning to rise in her. She stood a bit, then floated closer to him, no longer afraid of his being.

“What are you?”

“Dead,” he said, a grin beginning to form as he rose to look down to her. “A ghost of who I once was.”

“And who was that?”

“Krishveth Odia, at your service,” he said, bowing.

“A slave?”

“Far from it, sadly,” he began, looking away from her. “I was part of the Lark family, though. Before I died. I’ve told you the truth about my troubles, Roh.” He settled back into the waters and was now face to face with the sybil.

“I still need to protect Maya. Give her the security she needs,” his voice was low again, and it stirred within her.

Rohka took a moment to think before bridging with another question.

“So she’s alive, then,” said the sybil.

At this, the ghost smirked.

“She’s you.”

Rohka made a face of disgust.

“You in a past life. I told you the truth, but it was about our lives from many years ago. The child I possessed was indeed from the Lark family, and does in fact have a mother who owns slaves who visited Lelia before for a reading. I kept watch and stole the child’s body in order to get to you. I had to get to you. You never had a life in Ravok before you were sold to the city. Though you were reborn as a free citizen, you were never truly free. Not while you were in Ravok. You and I are not natives to that place.”

“Krish, this is a lot of information to process. You’re saying that I was Maya? I am Maya? I don’t see how that can be true. I’m Rohka right now. I don’t think it should matter who I was in a past life. I love—“

And at that moment, both their minds went dark.

These were The Vision Waters. With the time they’d spent here together, immersed in the mystery of it all, the djed of the springs seeped deep enough to provide the two beings with a view into what they needed most.

Rohka experienced herself in profound bliss, her arms wrapped tightly around another form. A form she knew. Fully. A form she could only recognize by feeling… the same feeling felt in the presence of a ghost she’d never seen before, just moments ago. The scene quickly shifted to a bright light, rings exchanged, and the feeling of absolute joy radiating from all parts of herself, and seeing it in the eyes of the one looking back at her. The scene shifted again, and this time, three children… then a fourth, a fifth one… some she knew as her own, some she grew fond of, one that was a complete stranger but she knew she loved with the wholeness of her heart. And again, the feeling…

Of the ghost.

Krishveth.
Last edited by Rohka on April 5th, 2021, 4:21 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Cold to the Bone III

Postby Rohka on April 5th, 2021, 2:39 am

OOC :
Messy mind is messy. Writing to clear the mess and bring this chapter and season to a close in my mind. Done with Fall. Grading it all... and hopefully there will be some sense. Some character building. Some growth. Some imaginary fantasy. Rambling to myself.


“I can’t keep climbing, Markham,” said Rohka. Sitting down on the steps. Her arms and legs shaking with the amount of shock running through her system.

“Krishveth is here, isn’t he. He’s possessed me all this time.”

Markham took a deep breath in. The bracelet worked. It was doing what it needed to do.

_________

Rohka did manage to do the exercise eventually. She climbed over and over again. She opened the doors, she saw the people, she talked and talked and talked. She didn’t know that healing meant she needed to talk that much more.

Talking was not enough though, and she knew she needed to find employment soon, now that she was stabilizing. Krishveth was put under surveillance and shifted away from Rohka’s quarters.

The effects of him still lingered on her. There were still days where she thought she was speaking with someone within her, even though there was no one there at all. She knew, too, that she would need time to work through this with him, but all she really wanted was some space before she could deal with that mess again.

Rohka couldn’t bear to remove the necklace, however.

It stayed on her body as an ever present reminder of her duty.
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Cold to the Bone III

Postby Rohka on September 8th, 2021, 9:49 pm

GRADES


XP
Logic +2
Observation +2
Endurance +1
Interrogation +2

LORE
Zeltiva: Must pay your way, food supply is not great
Spiritist at the Healing Centre makes a gel called Soulmist
Healing Centre has a Trauma Ward
Trauma Ward Objective: Release duties to loved ones
Rohka: Created Soulmist for Krishveth
Rohka: Was possessed by Krishveth
Mura: The Vision Springs
Krishveth followed Rohka to Zeltiva
Krishveth possessed a Lark child
Dreamwalker: Can erase memory
Krishveth Odia: Dead, was part of the Larks
Rohka: Was Maya in a past life
Rohka: Was sold to Ravok as Maya and reborn as a citizen
Rohka: Experienced a Vision

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