Open [Open Sky Market] Games Aplenty (Alric)

Tazrae steps outside her comfort zone to find some games for her Inn in Syka.

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[Open Sky Market] Games Aplenty (Alric)

Postby Tazrae on November 14th, 2021, 7:52 am

The young Innkeeper nodded to Alric’s words. The man took just bits and pieces of information and strung them together for larger pictures. she noted. Taz wondered if that was a trait of a Sunberthian or if it was simply a quirk of the man across from her. He had a sharp mind, for certain, but then again what he described of Sunberth probably meant that those who were stupid or slow didn’t survive long. The picture he painted of Sunberth was bleak, and though she made no comment about it, Tazrae wasn’t sure why anyone would stay in Sunberth.

Instead, she said… “Your city must have some draw – some good – to keep it well populated despite all the bad you say about it. The lack of rules and how dangerous it is having to be balanced by something. It can’t be freedom, because I can’t see how those who are weak have any freedom from those who are strong… monetarily, physically, mentally… the children for example. How do they even manage to grow up?” She wondered, looking thoughtful. Tazrae didn’t have children of her own, but she knew that most cities were full of kids. Syka’s lack of them was telling…. It was newly settled and not a place for families – not yet at least.

What she really wanted to ask him was what the draw was for him. He’d talked a good talk, so far, but he’d not really said why he was a resident. Anarchy meant the booze was free flowing, women were probably readily available, and the strongest thrived. Alric had a presence, but it wasn’t one of what Tazrae would consider a leader. He struck her as more of a sidelines guy that kept watch and learned without making waves. She’d been in the presence of leaders and Gods… and there was something about them that set them aside and higher. Alric had that potential, but she looked upon him with wizened eyes and noted he hadn’t reached it yet. Something told her… a nagging voice in the back of her head… that he was still deciding on who and what he was. Was that why they met? If she hadn’t accepted the charge of Guardian of Syka, taken the mark of one, and agreed to serve the Gods alongside the other Guardians… she wouldn’t have seen it. Taz didn’t know how she saw what she saw, but she was certain the responsibility Taz had accepted allowed her to see such things. Tazrae saw it clearly now.

She was supposed to meet this man. She was supposed to see his potential. Something greater than the need to pick up a bunch of idle times games had led her to The Outpost and her meeting of him. Everyone had guideposts and crossroad moments in their lives. Taz wondered if this was one for Alric. The young Innkeeper had no allusions that she would be an influence in his life, but maybe there was something she was supposed to say or do that would help him somehow. Or… maybe there was something he was supposed to say to her or do that would influence her own life. Was her pathway at a crossroads too? She was too new at her role for Syka to truly understand. But she knew enough to understand people didn’t gravitate towards one another for absolutely no reason. There was a reason here, even if she didn’t know what it was.

Tazrae reached out and picked up a Kabob and began nibbling at the beef chunks strung on the wooden skewers, delicately pulling off a bite of meat with her teeth. It was truthfully delicious and something she should think of preparing for one of her own specialty meals at The Protea. While one part of her brain got busy ruminating on the situation she just realized moments before, another part of her brain started reworking the kabob recipe she was nibbling on. With Syka-infused flavors and tropical fruit, Tazrae had no doubt she could improve on the dish. She thought about the delicious recipes she could make with shrimp, tapir and even pineapples and coconut. The beef was savory, but with a lighter meat like chicken she could easily convert it to a sweet jungle specialty. The thought made her even hungrier than she was, so the woman sug into the food.

Her brain was full. Her thoughts were busy. But she knew enough to recognize the circular logic whirling around in her mind like a treacherous deep-water whirlpool. They were supposed to meet like this but for him? For her? And then the new recipe ideas. Tazrae had to put the brakes on her runaway thoughts as Alric began speaking once more.

He promised that if he ever had a reason to leave Sunberth, he’d come see her. She smiled at that and nodded. “You’ll have a place to stay then, for sure, no charge.” She said in return. “I’ll look you up if I ever find myself in Sunberth, though I don’t travel often.” She knew that was the truth. Taz rarely traveled. Syka was the first place she’d been to outside of Riverfall. It was probably the reason she was lacking in geography. While she was here, she’d attempt to find a world map in the bazaar. Taz, true to form, made another mental note to look for such a thing. “There’s always here though. Where the world meets….” Taz quoted with a grin. It was one of The Outposts’ tag lines. Thankfully, Syka had no cheesy sayings. Lhavit, she’d recently learned, was the Diamond of Kalea.

Taz abruptly pulled her attention back to Alric and suppressed a smile. Taking another sample of the cheese on the platter before them, Taz nibbled at it as she listened to Alric. They both enjoyed the conversation ebbing and flowing back and forth, a variety of topics coming up, and found they were like minded on a lot of things. Freedom was another thing they seemed to be on the same page about. Clothing, it turned out, was another.

When he said ‘It’s a date…’ for their meeting next time, Tazrae grinned abruptly. She could easily acquire a few things for him from Syka at little to no cost to her other than the promise and delivery of a few free meals. “I’ll definitely have your things…. let’s say in a ten day from now? Tendays have a significant meaning in Syka. Can you imagine someplace so isolated and scattered that the residents make it a point to gather every ten days to get a head count on who is still alive and to exchange news? We call them tenday gatherings. We just have one yesterday… its usually devolves into a community party.” She added. “Let’s plan to meet here on the …” She paused, as if to contemplate the date. “Let’s meet here on the twenty first… at this very spot.” Taz added with a grin. That will be easy for me to remember since it’s the next day after our next tenday.” She added, as if that wasn’t confusing enough. A crooked grin crossed her face.

“Tendays sounds confusing talking about them openly.” She said, reaching up to tap the side of her head. “They make sense in my thoughts and decidedly in reality.” Taz mused before she took another sip of her wine.

Her blue eyes widened when he described the Slag Heap for her. With words he painted a huge smoking scary picture in her mind of a city being dominated by a pile of … what trash? Old mine tailings that burned and burned. “That’s one incredible landmark. I didn’t know people could build fires that never went out. I bet you can see the smoke for miles.” Taz said, shaking her head at the massive extent of the fire she could not dream of being so big it never got put out. “At least your slag heap is practical.” She said with a smile because of the thought of people warming themselves near it. It sounded menacing somehow, and not your everyday standard hearth fire. She thought out loud, far more verbal perhaps the introspection merited. Taz paused then, took a drink of wine.

Alric spoke to why he was at The Outpost, but he honestly gave her no true answer. It might have been he didn’t know why he was there himself and was just here happenstance rather than demand.

They moved back into the realm of games in their topic of conversation. Tazrae found his explanations simple enough she could follow them, nodding each time he explained a step. Taz watched him shuffle, deal out the first round of what he called Rummy, and talked about the moves and card values. Tazrae enjoyed the challenge of learning something new. “You are a good teacher.” She commented at one point, after a few hands had been delt and played out, the pair taking turns at the table. Taz didn’t remember all the rules at first. She asked a few questions, struggled through a few hands, and slowly got the hang of the game.

Obviously enjoying herself, Tazrae focused on the rules… but it was soon evident that the game wasn’t her forte. Most card games probably wouldn’t be, Alric could easily see. They relied in the player taking chances with their hands and making bold moves based on probability. She was calculating with too much caution that caused her to lose hands – his two knocks in a row causing her to frown – before she managed to win the next three rounds… picking up three knocks. Laughing, not because she could tell she was a poor player at cards but rather because it was a lot of fun to muddle through the game, she said…. “Are we counting rounds as wins or just who wins the whole game?” The young Innkeeper asked, noting they hadn’t clarified going into the game itself. She’d suggested the challenge before the games had been explained either. “Because if we are counting rounds… I get two questions of you… and you get three of me.” She added. “And are we saving up to the end or are we asking during the rounds?” Taz added.

“I forgot I know another game the Svefra taught me… I’ll teach it to you once we get Rummy mastered.” Taz offered, frowning down at the cards she had remaining in her deck. “It’s called Velispar Shit and it involves lying….” She said with a twinkle in her eyes. “I have my first question, though, if you are ready for one yet?” She added, then leaned forward, tucking her cards next to her chest to avoid accidentally flashing them at him. “I wondered if you followed any of the Gods… and if so which ones?” She said thoughtfully. Odds are it would strike up another conversation as they played Rummy back and forth, sometimes knocking, sometimes passing up the chance to see what was carefully being concealed on either side of the table.

Taz would have liked trying a dice game or two, but she was too busy enjoying the Rummy while it lasted. The bottle of wine was steadily dropping to an indecently shallow depth causing the waiter to wandered past and drop off a second bottle which Taz studied with a slight bit of amusement. “Where did the entire first bottle go?” She asked curiously. “That doesn’t count as a question, btw… that was more rhetorical.” She said with a laugh, though she did have a second question ready… the third would depend on his answers to the first two questions.

“Since Winter is coming… I always make up some goals to get things done. What is one major goal you have for this following year?” She asked, more curious if he had a long-term plan for his life than if he just simply lived day to day, trying to survive. Her face was genuinely curious now, not judgmental or scornful.

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[Open Sky Market] Games Aplenty (Alric)

Postby Alric Lysane on November 14th, 2021, 3:28 pm



Alric paused at her question, it was a good one but unexpected, he mused for a time. He supposed that he had never truly thought about it before, his mind was usually filled with what he was going to do next. How he could earn something here, what he might want to take there, who he should avoid where. Recently he had begun to question the city he lived in, what it represented and whether it was sustainable. Mostly though it had been a questioning of his own past and possible future, as if he were intertwined with the city itself – he had never thought otherwise, it was just a given for him.

You just are a Sunberthian, you exist and are part of it he thought, the idea that he would not be somehow alien to him. Perhaps in time it would be different, he conceded, he had never really experienced other cultures or people much outside of a tavern context. He cast his mind back and sought for a reason, wondering whether he could find the words.

“I suppose I have never thought of it, I just am a Sunberthian. It’s almost ingrained. I think though, now you ask me to consider it, that for all of the dirt and grime the lighter things shine brighter. Simple things like the orphanage, well liked by all and protected. It raised me alright and gave me a home. Sometimes Tall Johnny might give out some free gold to help those least fortunate. Even the simple folk that just want to get by can help each other, creating a sense of community amidst the anarchy for a time. There have been times when I have been down on luck and others have stepped in to help and I am ever grateful”

“Though you are right,” he conceded, “there is a balance. The people decide. They put up with a certain amount and then bring down those who would be rulers down if they step too far. There is a strong sense of…identity I suppose? We spent so long in the past under the boot of others that we don’t like that boot. I suppose, though, I have begun to question whether that is enough. If I could change things I might do so, for the better – whatever that might be – but then would I be any better than the others who have tried? Perhaps Lhex has written Sunberth’s story to be never ending in its quest for ascension”

He couldn’t really articulate what Tazrea likely wanted to hear, which was why people like him stayed, it was an almost unaccountable thing, nebulous. More a feeling than a reason. He felt that he was meant to be there, if at least only for a while longer. He had his own business that was yet to be resolved – he had made a promise to himself to discover what particular hole, or ruin, his parents had vanished in, if only for his own sense of closure or self. But was that the real reason or just a reason to stay? He had no answers, only questions of his own that he hoped time and the journey would answer.

“There are many old places in Sunberth, most of them too dangerous for someone like me but perhaps one day I will venture to find them and bring them back to the city. Perhaps there are revelations that could make people try to be less…dismissive of the lives of others. Or, perhaps, there are secrets that will make me see that Sunberth is not where my fate will leave me. The idea of such things is attractive if also overly romanticised”

Still, she spoke to him with her words, reinforcing the ideas he had started to have. The timing was curious, as if he were being nudged and spoken to by other things outside of his skull or her lips. They all tangled together, eventually to be woven into one whole narrative, consistent and meaningful. Whatever his future it was not yet ready to arrive but something tingled at the edges of his senses as if it might be soon.

“I suppose that I feel that I should be there. I can’t speak for others of course but I suspect that might be the case for many. We don’t really have much involvement with other places beyond trade, it is possible that if we did then some things might change. Perhaps this…where the world meets…will sow the seeds of that change,” he said with a fondness for the idea, “with each meeting a new idea or potential future. Certainly I am glad that I found this place” he said with a smile.

At the mention of the tendays ritual he nodded in approval, he wondered whether if Sunberth did the same they might appreciate the losses more profoundly and seek to lessen them. The idea that you might meet one tendays and several people may not be there who had been the time before was a familiar one in a sense. Yet he knew they likely had an abiding sadness that was more personal should it happen to them.

“It sounds practical, though perhaps nerve wracking and sad should the worst happen. This Syka sounds as dangerous as Sunberth yet you stay. Beautiful landscape and community aside, perhaps we are more alike than at first it appears. Or stubborn,” he chuckled at himself at that, “but agreed, I will be here. Same seat. Maybe I’ll stay here until you get back, it is quite comfortable after all”

“As for the fire…I don’t know but I’d imagine so. I’ve never been out that far to be truthful. You can see it quite well from the cliffs above the city I know, smoke by day and red glow by night. It is a comforting constant, at least one thing that never changes”

His musings upon his future and why he stayed in Sunberth faded for a time, lost in the back and forth of the game. He accepted the offer to learn Tazrae’s game readily, he liked learning new things and it seemed a fair trade – though he thought it suggested their meeting had changed from a teaching of knowledge to an exchange of two equal partners. Yet he felt he was not being equal, she had offered him clothes and food and he had little but words to give her in return. Still she didn’t seem to notice and he did enjoy the time spent with her – he couldn’t remember the last time he had spent time as enjoyable.

She seemed to frown at the game to begin with, stepping through the rules almost as if testing them out. He helped her when asked and corrected if needed but mostly he simply watched her frown turn from confusion to concentration and then vanish with the triumph. He fancied she had a bright aura indeed, exuding from her very posture, when she won her rounds. Enjoyment seemed to come after a while and if that was all he left her with then he’d call it a win, she’d take the game and spread it to her Syka. He hoped it would help her business alongside her community.

“Rounds is fine though usually the winner is at the end of a set number of rounds, best of if you will is easiest. But rounds gives more questions and so more fun,” he agreed, “as to when, whenever you like”

When the questions came he didn’t mind, she was right they had agreed no rules and besides that he felt no reason to conceal. He made a note to himself about agreeing rules beforehand though, that sort of thing was more important outside of their friendly context. He was surprised by her question though and gave it some thought before answering.

“I wouldn’t say that I follow any gods, if by follow you mean worship formally. I have heard tell of people beloved by the gods and gifted things by them but I have never known such favour. I suppose you need to be important for such things, which makes sense. I suppose the gods leave me alone and I admire some of their qualities from afar…would be the best way of putting it,” he said after thinking for a while, “I give thanks or ask for help at times. Not sure if that counts as praying. Ovek for luck, Akajia for surefooted stealth, Yshul for skilled fingers, Dira that she not find me, Xyna for good business...and this place of course. Other for other things, you get the idea” he looked around for a few moments, noticing that most of the other guests had changed whilst they remained.

“I suppose the closest it comes to following would be Eyris, the goddess of knowledge and wisdom. I remember my mother spoke of her often. She admired knowledge, she thought it more important for the present than anything else. She was always reading scrolls, journals, whatever she could find. Or begging my father to distract me so she could. I didn’t listen to her when I was young…and then she was gone, along with my father. I thought I was more like him than her for the longest time…now I am not so sure. I have recently begun to see the value of what she spoke of. Not that I have the faintest idea where to start. Mostly making it up as I go along. But yes…Eyris would be the closest I’d guess. As for the others…I know there are many more but I don’t know much of them. I’d like to learn but we don’t have what you’d call a…scholarly outlook in the city. Still, I have been meaning to put aside some time to do so. Hopefully after this season I will have enough put by to be able to devote more of my free time to such pursuits”

“You asked me so I can guess that you think of such things more often and deeply. Are you priestess then as well as a hostess?”

“As for a question not asked in turn…what are you most afraid of, and why?” he asked, he had found that you could find out much about someone by what they feared – often times more than when you asked them what they liked. Weaknesses were more intimate knowledge, fears were often irrational at first but deeper down held roots unpondered. He was interested to see what a woman who had started a new life, walked naked and vulnerable on the sands and probably ventured into a dangerous jungle once or twice could possibly be afraid of.

“I don’t know,” he grinned at the wine comment, “sounds like a question to me…are you sure? Fine fine. Ask away”

Her second question was not as unexpected as the first, he thought she had seemed to be dancing around finding more out about him. Truthfully he had told her more than anyone else of late but she wouldn’t have known. He was not accustomed to telling everyone his life and means. Beliefs were definitely not talked about with others until now. She was curious about him though he knew not why. Perhaps he was wrong in his reading of her, she was a self-admitted hostess and so it could be her way of talking ‘shop’ but he thought there was an edge of something beyond that, of true curiosity. He liked that feeling, he knew it well. She was laughing too, quite merrily and he too had not noticed the empty bottle and chuckled in turn – a good sign for a first meeting.

“I have already stored food away for emergencies and prepared for hard times as best as I could, usually those are my goals,” he said thoughtfully, fiddling with his cards and continuing the game as he spoke, “but I have always wanted to learn a few things – what happened to my parents being one, the origin of the ring I was given a second,” he said, poking it so that it swayed this way and that, “but I think really the first might never happen and the second would probably be disappointing” he frowned slightly, thinking further.

What did he want? He had asked himself that often and still had no firm answer.

“I think that mostly, right now, I want to live beyond survival. Perhaps make help others to do the same in time. But first I need to make sure that I am secure and have a foundation from which to do so. So I need to figure out a way to convert my skills into a stable source of income. The only other option is to dive into an adventure of sorts and leave the results in the hands of the gods I suppose”

“But that is a means to an end, not really a calling. Perhaps then what I’d like is to find a calling, something to be rather than do” he said, half question and half statement, clearly working it out as he went through it and still uncertain as to the conclusion’s firmness

He looked at her directly then, leaning back and waiting for the last question to come – she had one more by his reckoning and assumed that it would be asked. Though he was not sure how good a job he was doing at answering them.

"You have one more question by my count, what else would you ask of me Tazrae?"




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[Open Sky Market] Games Aplenty (Alric)

Postby Tazrae on November 15th, 2021, 12:50 am

The card game was entertaining, though Tazrae suspected with the different company it might be more serious or less engaging. As they played and talked, Taz listened to what Alric had to say. His answer to her question on what Sunberth’s draw came as a surprise. So there was kindness and charity in such a bloodthirsty place. She said as much, smiling as she nodded. “I’m glad to hear that even in a rough place like Sunberth, there are decent people that are trying to better the world.” It reassured her on a level that she hadn’t realized she’d been disturbed on. His city sounded unreal, with its built-in violence, and what had he called it? Gang rules? She shook her head. Tazrae was well educated, as any Riverfall lady should be, but still, some things came as a surprise hearing first-hand accounts rather than reading about things in a book. No one, not once, during her upbringing had mentioned Sunberth. It seemed to her it should be required reading as both a warning and threat as to what a city could become if left to its own devices. Surely it had some form of government though? Who picked up the trash? Who policed the streets? Lawlessness was good in name only, it seemed, but the reality had to be something else entirely.

“You grew up in an orphanage?” She asked, having picked up on that little tidbit. It was the first time he’d really stated that out loud. It was something Tazrae knew happened to people, but not something she had direct experience with. He was the first person whom she had the pleasure of meeting that hadn’t been raised by a family. She also made the connection that the orphanage was in Sunberth. Interesting. The two seemed incompatible, but according to Alric things weren’t as bad as the picture he had painted earlier of the far-off city and its perpetually burning slag heap.

“I’m not sure it’s a quest for ascension though. If you do any reading at all, you will learn places like Sunberth have their reasons, underlying darkness’s, especially if there is cultivated light. Usually, such things are only allowed to produce more shadows and make the illusions of what it is all the more believable.” Tazrae said softly, willing to bet cold hard mizas that his city had dark secrets that prevented it from rising up. Usually, the Gods were behind such things, if all the old tales could be believed. And since she was a small girl, sneaking off reading tales too advanced for her age, she’d believed in the truths that philosophers proposed about struggles for good and evil, and all those that got in the way of the balances of power.

She said nothing though… not willing to share that part of herself with him, at least not yet. Tazrae regretted holding her tongue though, for in the next instant he spoke of old places in Sunberth and how he’d like to bring them to the light… to let them not be forgotten. His reasoning was solid too. The lessons of the past could change people’s views of the future. The young woman agreed there were secrets. The world was full of them. And with her eyes aglow with his words ringing in her ears, she nodded and simply said…

“This world is built on the ruins of another. I believe there is so much out there to rediscover and a whole lot we as a people used to know that we don’t understand now. I’ve never known what life was like before the Valterrian, but I have a longing for something lost like it should be important but isn’t today. I’ve always felt that way, since being a small girl and sneaking off to read adult things in my father’s library. He was an Innkeeper, but he had a taste for antiquities too and would often go out with the Archaeological Society on their digs and explorations. The stories he’d tell about the ruins they explored….” Her sapphire eyes were luminous with her interest and wonder. A half grin played across her face and she elaborated about her own life for a moment.

“Syka has food everywhere…. groves that don’t seem natural. In the wild food doesn’t grow in groves, but a tree here and there randomly planted by a bird’s discarded droppings. That was my first clue that things were not as they seemed. Syka has been built on the ruins of an old city. It even has a name… Pavena. It used to be a science and learning center. There are people there, in the city, that are half Velispar and half Human… they are called the Verusk. They have scales and strange names and live a long long time. They are not from Mizahar though. One told me… that they came from another world. And that Pavena used to explore those worlds… there is a gate in the jungle… one I have yet to find. But I keep looking – learning bushcraft and survival so I can explore more – it's called a World Gate. You can pass from our world to others and back if you know how to use it. The Verusk have said so.” She said, dropping her voice almost to a whisper.

Tazrae loved speaking of these things – absolutely loved it. She had her father’s heart and soul as if her mother had contributed nothing to her but her looks. “It’s one of the reasons I left civilization to go start an Inn on the edge of the world. I wanted to see more places, learn more things, and understand the answers to questions I often ask myself.” She added, taking yet another sip of her wine. The waiter dropped off a second bottle, and they’d sat now for more than a bell, their food well eaten with all of Tazrae’s kabob’s gone. The tray of fruit and cheese was well picked over too. The girl didn’t miss any meals though she worked hard enough she kept herself fit.

“It’s good you feel you need to be in Sunberth. I have learned to heed the feelings I get as well. Sometimes that inner voice is a good guide.” She added, completely understanding what he meant by feeling his place was there. He spoke more, and it was almost as if he was stating what Tazrae had wondered before. Was it predetermined they meet? Become friends? She hoped so. Taz wanted Alrics friendship. He was so easy to talk too, and far more open-minded than she would suspect a man should be that was from a dog-eat-dog city on the eastern edge of the world.

The conversation continued. Taz told him about tenday celebrations and he commented about the practicality of it all. It was nice exchanging culture, learning about how Sunberth did things helped her understand Alric a bit more as well. He agreed to meet her, which pleased her to no end. She offered him a smile at the jest of him staying in his seat keeping comfortable but they both knew he’d return to his city. She could tell by the fondness in his voice he was as loyal to his location as she was to hers.

“You should go see your famous fire, Alric. You live right there. You should stand before it and face it if it is such a prominent feature of your beloved city.” Taz suggested, not understanding how he could live in a place that had a fire that burned day and night and hadn’t approached to see it first hand.

More cards were played, which she lost gloriously to until she picked up on the rules a bit more. They played a little fast and loose with the rules – more for the sake of socializing than anything else – and she got to ask him some questions she would have asked him anyhow… though somehow the ‘wins’ gave her more courage to ask deeper things.

She found his take on religion interesting. And she could definitely follow his logic in an appealing enough way. Ovek she didn’t know, nor had she heard of Akajia. Yshul she could guess at being a thief, and everyone had heard of Dira and her realm of death. Xyna was someone Tazrae knew of due to the Outpost, though she had very little business in Syka because no one operated on a coin unless it was just the tourists. “Yes, I see how you relate to them. It’s interesting. I’ve only heard of about half of those deities.” Taz added, not liking her own ignorance and making a strong mental note to pick up a book on religion in the bazaar before she left.

Eyris was someone her father had prayed to. He was a scholar and it made sense. It just surprised Tazrae that Alric looked to the Goddess of Knowledge and Wisdom himself. She figured he’d followed whoever dictated luck and streetwise survival. Taz suspected Alric was better at a few things than he let on because frankly, the way he downplayed his skills meant he probably shouldn’t be alive and he clearly was… and thriving.

“I am not a priestess, no…. for one would have to be marked three times by one God or Goddess. I do have several marks, one of which is a gnosis mark. The God of Music marked me… Rhaus. I sing and play several instruments.” She said softly, then partially turned, lifting up her ponytail of caramel curls to display what looked like a musical notation that was just below her hairline on the back of her neck. She let the hair fall after a moment and returned to her position facing him. “I met him on the trip over to Syka from Riverfall. I thought he was just a normal passenger on my ship. Turns out he wasn’t.” She admitted, looking a bit thoughtful. “But I follow Kihala as well. She’s the Goddess of Life and has claimed Syka in her name. I built a shrine for her there – the whole settlement all worked on it – after she gave the city five guardian statues to protect it from invading forces. She also gave five of us… the ability to control the statues which come alive and have powers… in the event that we are threatened as a settlement. I was one of those she gave the ability to.” Taz admitted, inverting her left wrist and showing him the raised pulsating mark on the underside of her left wrist. “There were others with these abilities too but some have moved on, one died… she’s looking for more guardians,” Taz said softly, not sure what Alric would think of that. It sounded fantastical; truth be told. But she remembered the event as it happened like it was yesterday.

His next question startled her. She smiled, flipped her hand back up, and showed him another scar. “An eyelash viper struck my hand and bit me hard when I was working on planting the shrine. Syka is lucky to have a skilled healer that was on hand to assist me… but I drifted in and out of consciousness for an entire day. I used to be terrified of snakes, but at that time, I learned a powerful lesson about the interconnectedness of the jungle. Now I raise snakes… Mussurana… which are black snakes with an incredible rainbow iridescence to their scales. I breed them, hold them safe until they are of a proper size, and release them all throughout Syka. They eat pit vipers of all kinds… eyelash vipers are one of their favorites. They are venomous snakes, of course, but their fangs are in the rear of their mouths so when they bite, they only envenom what they swallow, and it's not toxic to humans. It's deadly to other snakes though.” Taz admitted, finding it strange she was interested in herpetology when she almost died of a snakebite. “I keep a reptile garden on the backside of the Inn. The tourists love seeing these beautiful snakes, most of which are tame enough to handle.” She added, a soft smile on her face.

“So, my fear used to be a snake and their bites, but I think I’ve overcome that altogether.” She said, failing to mention the numerous magical jewelry that alerted her to the presence of snakes and protected her from another snakebite that she never took off. “Now, I suspect it is more that I fear being alone, maybe lost somehow… either in the sea or the jungle. I’m working on my jungle survival skills and can go out alone. The sea is a different matter. Sailing makes me nervous. I don’t like being alone… anywhere. I much prefer company.” She added, not sure if that was an actual fear or not. Taz felt loneliness acutely though, and sought company often when the summer days in Syka grew long and there was no one about. That lead her to fish with the Founders, go on long jungle treks with the Rangers, and even help load and unload the ships she’d talked to Alric about already.

“Can I see your ring?” She asked, curious now that he mentioned it. She had no illusions that she’d recognize it, but it might be something magical, and she’d seen enough of that sort of thing to know when something was valuable.

“So you have no idea where you come from?” Taz asked abruptly, picking up on his curiosity about his parents and what happened to them. She had assumed, when he said he grew up in an orphanage in such a dangerous city that his parents had been killed or even murdered. Maybe they had, but he didn’t seem to know for sure.

“I know what you mean about wanting to live and not just survive. That’s why I left my mother after my father died and moved to Syka. I didn’t want to waste away behind the walls of my step-father’s estate. Women are stifled in Riverfall.” She said shaking her head.

“Konti have callings, you know. They hear them out of the blue one day and are moved to act on them traveling to exotic places or suddenly deciding to learn things like medicine or how to build ships. It's incredible. I didn’t know humans can have callings. But if Konti can, then why can’t we?” She asked, looking thoughtful. “I guess I could consider my whim to board James’ ship and sail to Syka a calling.” She said, a slow smile spreading across her face.

Looking at him, she nodded thoughtfully. “I hope you get yours, Alric. If that’s what you truly want.. a calling will find you.” Taz said, sure of herself in this one. She was no fortune teller or seer into the future. But once someone opened themselves up to new possibilities, those said possibilities rained down on them liberally. She’d seen it time and time again.

Another question? Taz tilted her head and looked thoughtfully at him. It seemed unfair to ask him about fear. But she liked balances and knew about his dreams and hopes for the future. She wanted to know if there was darkness in his past.

“I suppose I should ask you something before I teach you about Velispar shit.” She said with a laugh, not faltering over the name of the game one bit. “You’ve spoken of hopes and dreams and what you like and dislike… but I want to know what the worst thing is you’ve ever done in your life. You say you live in Sunberth and have told me about the city. Perhaps that has led you to true darkness. If we are going to be friends… which I really think I’d like… I want to know about the darkness in you like you’ve shown me the light.” She added, not sure if he would answer. And not sure if she would like what he had to say. Had he committed murder? Had he raped? Was he a light finger who took coins and possessions from others without thought? Maybe he would lie and say there was no darkness in him. Taz would recognize that as a lie for everyone had darkness in them, even herself.

She covered the awkwardness of the question with a rather lengthy drink of her wine from the newly opened second bottle. It was a blood-red variety and she somehow approved of it after the white wine they’d shared during the meal.

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Tazrae
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[Open Sky Market] Games Aplenty (Alric)

Postby Alric Lysane on November 15th, 2021, 6:49 am



He nodded at her comment about people trying to do better, or make the world better, it was a strange thing in many ways he supposed – that people would carry on trudging doggedly, bit by bit outlasting the vagaries of their lives. Then leave bones upon which others would then do the same. Leaving meat on the bones and so on. Even in Sunberth there seemed a desire to transform and build. It was as if it were ingrained. True enough Sunberth was perhaps more anarchic and slower in its building – as well as periodically tearing some things down – but perhaps if he could have travelled a hundred years into the future he’d see a Sunberth different to the one he knew.

But Tazrae seemed to have found a positive note upon which to see what he had been trying to say and so he left it at that, instead casting his gaze across the food that they had all but demolished and the wine they had consumed. Truly he couldn’t remember the last time he had spent time in such an enjoyable way. He was relaxed, not worried about getting mugged or in a fight and sat opposite a charming woman who voluntarily gave up her time. It was a feeling that scratched at the back of his mind, whispering of times only half-remembered.

He thought upon her words of ascension, mulling them over. It was likely true that some things were allowed and others not because of their relationships, perhaps cultivated by something as yet unknown. Yet it was difficult for him to not believe that it would be possible, if extremely difficult, to tip the scales towards one way or another. It was just a matter of finding the right key, or lever, to do so. Still, he had no real factual reasoning upon which to base this feeling and as soon as he was about to talk upon it his mind was sent staggering back with her revelations.

He said nothing, simply listening as he eyebrows climber higher and higher at her words. On the one hand it was so fantastical that he was initial inclined to dismiss it. Even for his own whimsy he was not sure he’d have been able to invent such a tale. Which led him to start believing what Tazrae was saying. She clearly believed it with great conviction and he had no reason to believe she was lying. Truthfully he had no reason to think she was not speaking fact as she saw it. Indeed she seemed to have taken a legend and pursued it far enough that she had been given answers. He was impressed but also emboldened – it showed success was possible. He was not sure what to say in response and so he continued to listen, absorbing the knowledge she imparted so passionately and feeling the tingle of knowledge that was important, beginning the journey of curiosity that had started to be familiar this season so far. These legends and tales of Velusk and their knowledge, this World Gate and other worlds, old cities in the jungle long forgotten and the wonders that existed before the Valterrian. They both enthused and terrified – on the one hand the chance to discover in one fell swoop ways to engineer a rising up of the embattled but alongside the knowledge that if the mighty who had passed could not save things then how could he have the chance to do so?

Perhaps they were arrogant? Or did not truly value what they had for never having not had it? Either way the world is clearly deeper, older and stranger than even I thought. If so then there is hope for some dreams, even if the road will likely be long, hard and bloody he thought to himself with a certain sense of satisfaction as firmer ground seemed to be provided after a fashion.

“Your Skya sounds more and more like a wondrous place. I have never heard such tales. I hope you find this World Gate and uncover the treasures of this Pavena. Just make sure you come back when you find it. It would be a shame to never see such an engaging woman again”

And then she became even more engaging as she spoke of her own divine perspectives, revealing her marks and discussing how she got them and the responsibilities she had been given. He wondered idly why one would wander off if they were so blessed by the divine. He also wondered if these leavers had incurred the wrath of this Kihala. He hadn’t met a woman yet you wouldn’t be angered by spurned favours but then again this was a goddess so he had no special claim on their psychology. It seemed sad to him that her Rhaus mark was hidden behind her hair but then her hair itself possessed its own charms and so it was an amiable trade off. He asked to see her Kihala mark and if given he’d take her hand to see the pulsating design, tracing it with interest, but truthfully he was impressed simply to see them. And somewhat shamed.

“It seems that you have been living your life fully and have been blessed for it. I would ask what it was like to meet them but I suppose it was a personal thing. Did Rhaus say what the mark means? Does it do anything special?"

"Perhaps one day I may find out for myself. Certainly, you have shown me that I should be trying harder to make something of myself. We seem to be of an age and yet you have achieved so much,” he said thoughtfully, wondering to himself where his own time had gone and not for the first time realising he had wasted much of it, "I would like to hear you play one day perhaps. I have never been musical unless songs or shanties count. Not that I know many, it's mostly whenever travellers come - sailors usually"

As he learned of the story of the snake bite he frowned slightly, he didn't like the idea of snake poison, that a life could be taken so easily and early. He supposed it was sort of like the streets but at least you could talk down people. Usually. One couldn't negotiate with a snake and if you didn't know what you were doing then it seemed Syka was quite deadly. He was not sure he had fully believed it but if Tazrae, who seemed knwoledgeable, could almost be lost then he conceded that he had perhaps not seen it correctly. What was more it seemed that their meeting had become more froe-ordained. She had given him much to consider and it seemed he had been lucky indeed to mmet her for it to happen.

“Remind me never to metaphorically bite you then, it would seem to be a poor life choice given the way you dealt with the snakes” he said with a little amusement despite the sympathy he had for her story, “thank you for telling me the story. I think you need not worry about being alone though, if nothing else you have the divine walking with you.

“Most of what I remember of my childhood was at the orphanage, though I know I didn’t just get raised there. I was taken there when I was around eight…or nine…I can’t be sure,” he said, looking off to the side thoughtfully, pouring a glass of wine as he did so, “before that I remember flashes of my parents. I can’t seem to remember more than that. But the flashes are clear as day. I have tried to remember more. I was shown meditation briefly, I was thinking of trying it when I have a few more things taken care of to see if it helps” he said, remembering with mild amusement the day a few past now that he had been introduced to the concept.

“As for where I am from, I had always assumed Sunberth. I have no reason to think otherwise,” he said, slowly passing over his ring, pulling it from around his neck, he was hesitant to hand it over briefly but if she somehow recognised it then it would be worth briefly giving it up, “but I suppose they could have brought me from somewhere else. One day they left and they never came back. It was a while before anyone found me, they say, but there is a gap there for me. Chalk it up to age” he shrugged.

There was no pain when he spoke, he had squared away with the feeling of his past long ago now. He had had no choice really. Yet there was still that pang of ‘what if’ and ‘what happened’ – a sense that a story left without resolution was not really a story at all. It didn’t sit right with him and it was important that he find out. He couldn’t really put it into words, he just needed to discover the why. Perhaps if he did, he might discover the where and then unlock his own heritage.

Her last question took him by surprise, he had not expected her to ask one of its nature. He supposed he shouldn’t have been surprised as he thought upon it, after telling her of Sunberth’s rough around the edges nature – and inside the edges, its heart and probably its brain too – it was natural to want to know whether the man across the table from her were one of the ‘bad ones’. He watched her take a long drink and smiled slightly. Had she felt strange asking her question? He was not sure. He took his own drink and held it, looking into its depths thoughtfully, casting his memory back.

“I suppose it would depend upon what your definition of darkness is,” he said after a while, sipping his drink, “but I suspect that that is a cheap answer and unworthy of your honesty”

“I have been many things – liar, cheat and thief spring to mind. The use of laxatives to make people leave gaming tables to pocket what was on them could be considered poisoning I suppose. Those would be considered bad in other places. I tell myself that it is required to survive and to some extent it is but that is not the whole truth. The thrill, excitement of larceny is attractive. You could call me weak for giving in to it. I suspect that if I directed my energies elsewhere I’d survive and not have to do such things. Honestly I never thought about it until recently, it was just something I did and did reasonably well”

“I’ve been in fights. I don’t think I’ve killed anyone, at least I never meant to and never found out about it. There is no reason to do so - it makes enemies and escalates quickly. It’s hard to see in the darkness of side alleys and warrens of streets though and I've never stuck around long after. I’ve visited brothels rather than find meaningful company. On occasion I've drunk too much and become surly”

“But I’ve never enslaved and never targeted children,” he continued, “though I suppose you could say it is bad not to put a stop to the slavers. Not that I could but still. And I’ve always tried to target the strong, or wealthy, or gang members. Not the weak or the helpless” he finished. In reality there was no percentage in it anyway despite his personal ethics on the matter - they had nothing to take.

He was not sure what Tazrae was specifically looking for with her questions and there was no one incident that stood out. In his experience he found it was best just to tell the whole truth and then she could decide what she wanted to make of it. He had his own little code he stuck to but he didn’t pretend that made him a wholesome individual. It just was what it was.

“In many ways the worst thing I ever did was be a weak man in Sunberth,” he said after a moment of silent reflection, looking at her then, “no one incident is so terrible that it stands out to me but collectively I don’t pretend it was a good thing. If you no longer wish for friendship I shan’t take offense and still be thankful for the gifts of knowledge that you have given but I will regret that prior actions cost me such charming company. Perhaps that would serve a ruffian right, no?”



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Alric Lysane
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[Open Sky Market] Games Aplenty (Alric)

Postby Tazrae on November 17th, 2021, 3:02 am

The young Innkeeper was pleasantly full and to the point she was only pushing things around on her plate and sipping at her wine. Taz couldn’t remember the last time she’d met a new person and had such a good time just talking and getting to know them. Alric had a lot of facets, like a gemstone finely cut. Most people Taz met were more like river rocks, roughhewn and coarsely worn by time and the action of water over the earth. She almost smiled at the analogy in her mind. He would not welcome it, not being a son of Sunberth. But was he really? Taz suspected though he survived there, he wasn’t either from there or truly thrived there. In a way, it was how she knew she belonged in Syka. She’d survived in Riverfall, but had never really thrived there. Once she’d made the change, she’d thrived… and that had made all the difference in the world.

Had someone told Taz she would have ventured to The Outpost this morning, and by midday be spilling her story out to a complete stranger, she would have called them a fool and a liar. But she found words tumbling forth that had no business discussed over casual dining and wine. What was even more startling was that Alric didn’t call her on the tales she told – either claiming they were false or blown completely out of proportion. He either believed her or was too polite to interrupt. Studying him, she tried to decide which it was and could not.

When he expressed his hope that she finds the World Gate, Taz smiled and nodded. “Thank you. I’ll have to come back though, right? A story can’t have the ending untold.” Taz mused, grinning at him because she felt somehow accepted. Opening up to someone could leave the person vulnerable in profound ways. But Alric’s words had instead reassured her instead of mocked, unexpectedly. He was not what he claimed nor what she anticipated after learning his origins.

“Engaging? That’s not really it, Alric… is it? You have a knack for listening. I mean, you don’t just hold yourself quietly and let another person speak. You have a way about you that invites openness and rewards for it. I thank you for your … acceptance of what I have said.” She didn’t want to say ‘belief’. Taz still wasn’t sure he believed her…. but she could tell he accepted that she accepted what she said was real.

The wine in her system made that thought process twist a bit in her brain, causing her to pause a moment and stare into the distance, letting the thoughts run their course. It took a full chime, but once the woman blinked and offered him a smile, he could tell she had her mind back in order.

When the conversation turned to Rhaus, Taz nodded to Alric’s question. “He marks those he considers his bards. We become something of his eyes and ears. Rhaus is often called the heartbeat of the world. They say he sets the rhythms of life… and is even the heartbeat of the world. Those he marks get the gifts of Relative and Absolute Pitch. We understand Ultrasound and Infrasound… and it makes us gifted musicians and well able to pick up new types of instruments or styles of music quickly. But above all that… it gives us the ability to listen. We can hear the words between words and understand the stillness of silence. You would say we have really good hearing… in crowds, through walls, among other things.” She added, not elaborating on any of it, but open if he had questions or thoughts on the subject. “Meeting him was life-changing. There is something about his style… like he was wise beyond belief. He didn’t look at you… he looked into you. And you heard his voice in the air around you, but also in your heart and mind. I’m not sure its easily explained. But I could feel the pulsing of the world – like it had its own heartbeat – when I was in his presence.” Taz said ruefully.

“What I achieved could be attributed to the fact that I met the right people and got help from them along the way. The same could be said of you landing in an orphanage instead of on the streets. Our very survival depended on the paths we have taken. I had hands reaching out to steady me everywhere along my journey…. giving me life, luck… even the courage to say yes and step foot on a boat that would take me further than anywhere I’d known.” She added, shaking her head and reaching across the table to gently touch the back of his hand.

“We are not so very different.” She added when he joked about metaphorically biting her. “And it's not so much that I have the divine walking with me. It’s that….” Taz paused then, tilted her head, and then met his gaze a moment. “I’m comfortable with who I am. I got to know myself… and am still getting to know myself. I’m nothing like the person others said I had to be or even the person I wanted to be. I don’t think it’s that way for you either. I think you are still getting to know yourself.” She added, certain of the point.

She interrupted him when he started talking about the orphanage. “Alric, most people have memories from when they were very small. I remember things from being a toddler and very young. Eight… you only remember from when you were eight and older? That’s very strange.” She said, furrowing her brow in thought. “I wonder if something happened that made you want to forget…. a trauma…?” She said questioningly.

She took the ring briefly from him, turned it about in her hands, and got a really good look at it. It wasn’t something she was familiar with, but it was distinctive enough that someone should know something about it. “I’ve seen rings like this before. I’ve seen symbols like it… “ She paused, then looked thoughtfully at him. “I can’t be sure but I think that’s a djedline ring… or a family line.” She mused, knowing it wasn’t anything she’d actually seen before. “Djedlines are a mage thing, Alric.” She added, not knowing how much he knew about magic. “If it’s a family line, it would be a signet – usually a symbol of some sort - that depicts the head of the line. They use them or all sorts of things… to identify themselves, to press into wax to seal personal correspondences. You should take it around to the jewelers here…. or look at the design on the top and see if there are any records places around here that might have a registry of everyone’s family or djedline.” She said thoughtfully.

“You said you never thought about it. But when you actually do think about it… really think about it… does it feel like Sunberth is where you are from… or is there an itch in the back of your neck… a nagging sensation that is whispering ‘no…’ in your ear?” She asked, looking thoughtfully at him.

“Have you asked at the orphanage? Most places like that keep records as to where the orphans came from… what they learned while they were there… they should have had some kind of log, way back when, that recorded when people were dropped off or born there… who their parents were… that kind of thing.” Had he even asked his Orphanage? The quickest way to learn about the past was to carefully and methodically retrace the pathway leading backward.

The conversation moved on and Tazrae listened intently to Alric as he spoke next.

The man quietly began listing what Alric himself thought was the worst of himself… his actions and faults. Taz listened quietly, not willing to interrupt or to inject her own opinion. His words were full of subjective thought, and did not necessarily take into account the situation or circumstance. When he slowly came to the end of his recitation, drawing his own assumptions as to how Tazrae would react, she simply smiled.

“Honesty is a character trait I hold in high esteem. I know many people, in both Syka and Riverfall, but I call very few of them friends. It is not that I don’t like having friends. It’s that having friends takes work, dedication, and the ability to be open and honest with that person you are friends with.” She said thoughtfully. “I know I’ve only known you several bells, but I am really not one to toss a potential friendship based on the fact that at least one of us is a little rough around the edges and lives in a place that dictates a certain sort of behavior.” She said softly, shaking her head.

“Besides…. There’s a connection between the two of us. I don’t know what it is, how deep it goes, or what it means… but it's there. Can’t you feel it too?” She asked, curious, and decidedly taking a chance on spelling out something that seemed so obvious to her… “The turn of phrase is… ‘The elephant in the room.’ ” She added, then leaned back, curious as to how he reacted to her words.

“We met for a reason. We are here sharing all this with each other for a reason. I feel no unease, boredom, or even out and out discomfort spending most of the day chatting with you. I had no problem doing this… and believe me, this is not something I do.” She added, then nodded towards the ring he still held. “And that… that looks incredibly important. And those missing years between you being a very small child and eight…. Are also incredibly important. This is the Outpost. There has to be someone here that can help you with your missing memories. Do you want me to help you look for someone?” She asked carefully, not sure he was wanting to know what those missing years held.

It would have to be up to him…. but this was The Outpost. Every good and service known to mankind was available here. Surely there was someone that could retrieve lost memories.

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[Open Sky Market] Games Aplenty (Alric)

Postby Alric Lysane on November 17th, 2021, 1:18 pm



Alric reflected upon her words for a time, a silent smile upon his lips and eyes turning into an internal gaze as he did so before returning his gaze to match her own. She seemed to be slightly…surprised…or relieved perhaps that he had accepted her words. He was not sure whether people back in Syka had caused her to doubt them. Or perhaps she wanted to know if speaking them aloud would cause someone to laugh in her face. Truthfully he had no evidence to support her stories but she believed them and sometimes belief was enough. There was likely solid foundations to them otherwise they’d not exist as stories and so he found it normal to assume that she was telling the truth.

“I have no reason to disbelieve you and I don’t think you would lie. You know your land better than I and so I trust what you say is true,” he said thoughtfully, “you have said many fantastical things but the world was once much more fantastical. I claim no mantle of knowledge, though perhaps I could aspire to do so one day, and so I’d rather see you animated and alight than discourage for no good reason other than contrariness”

“Besides Sunberth talks about ghosts around ever corner, monsters in the mines and a manor filled with ancient constructs and terrible secrets when no one I know has even looked into them because of fear. I’d say the words of a courageous and travelled woman are more sensible than those stories”

As she started to tell him of Rhaus and her encounter he listened, but his thoughts were also occupied with her – her nature and the way she talked, moved ad thought. He couldn’t read her mind but he was getting a sense of they way she thought, her interests and personality. He was not sure why someone like her would spend so much time on him, nor tell him things so personal – not that he objected of course, with each telling she grew more complex and filled out a bit more of her sense of self for him. His analogy of her being akin to a fire still felt accurate to him, even down to the fact that if not treated with proper respect she could burn. He wondered if she would go out if not tended appropriately, if her loneliness – such as it might be – ever became too much. He hoped that it would never come to that.

Yet, there was a playfulness there too that was becoming apparent as the conversation continued and strode down varying pathways. It seemed natural rather than cultivated which was unusually refreshing in his experience. A kindness too as she sought to reassure him that he could find his own way in the world and succeed and the breaching of physical barriers in the attempt. He wondered if it was a portion of the wine that had relaxed her but he didn’t think that was entirely it even if it was, she could have left at any time and had chosen not to. That spoke of the desire to linger. He nodded thoughtfully at her depiction of Rhaus.

“I think I know what you mean about that. Sometimes when you are sat near a market you can hear the people working, walking, bustling – their clothing rippling and brushing against each other. They can blend together but if you concentrate then you can pick out sperate sounds, and they all make up the whole…music. The heartbeat of the market if you will,” he said with interest, “though I can also see that being able to hear the same arguments – or more embarrassing things – through walls over and over again might become…testing” he chuckled.

Useful though in some cases he noted to himself, knowing that had he had that gift years ago he may well not have used it in such an admirable way as she was discussing.

“But you are probably right. Courage plays a role and if you spend all day thinking about other things or other people it is easy to forget about yourself,” he conceded with a wry smile, “but I suppose I don’t have that excuse anymore or you’ll set the Mussurana on me…a terrible punishment indeed and one which I will try to avoid”

He passed his ring over for her to inspect. Despite their newfound connection he felt somewhat awkward doing so, as if he were handing over part of himself. It seemed fair though, given how much she had shared with him. He said nothing and just eyed her with interest to see if she would give a different answer to others who had been shown it in the past.

“As to the orphanage, sadly there was a fire about ten years ago now. I was still there and thankfully was not harmed. Helped rebuild it a bit. A lot of the records of the times before are gone. Or if they aren’t then they vanished somewhere. I did ask to see if the new owner remembers but she didn’t seem to know and the old one…well she died. It was a sad day for all of Sunberth” he said with a touch of sadness, “as for trauma…I don’t know. What flashes of memory I have seem to be normal family things, reasonably happy. But I could be wrong…or it could have been sudden”

The sadness was quickly replaced with an incredulity though and his face would show clear surprise at the idea of him being a mage – or related to mages. He didn’t say anything at first as the last person from outside Sunberth he had talked to about it had called him mentally deficient and he did not wish Tazrae to think the same. He breathed in deeply through his nose and exhaled through his mouth, trying to centre himself as best he could at the potential idea that he would be one of the mages. There was little mental footing but he found it in her sincerity and belief in him.

“Djedline? Mages? No...that would mean...I hope no one in Sunberth finds out if so,” he said with a slight shiver and complete certainty, “I’ll be a dead man walking, they don’t like mages much in Sunberth. I…I don’t know if that is the case then. At times I thought I was a bit stranger than most but I just thought that was because of the orphanage and things. But a mage line? I can’t imagine a mage line staying in Sunberth willingly, it would have to be a big reason given the risk. I…” he fell silent then, not panicked but startled certainly.

He thought about it and he couldn’t fault the logic, if she were correct she likely knew more about such things than he did. Taking it to a jewellers seemed like a good idea but now that it might reveal that he had a target on his back he was not sure he wanted to know. There was a silent battle warring within in the following moments, one which would potentially decide his fate. He had asked for it but that didn’t mean he would like it and, on this occasion, Lhex seemed to have a sense of humour. Eventually his shoulders relaxed and muscles he hadn’t known were tense followed suit, his gaze returning to Tazrae and his ring. Blinking once he smiled the smile of a man standing upon a crumbling ledge.

I said ‘they’ instead of ‘we’ didn’t I? he noted to himself, realization creeping up on him bit by bit, resisted or not.

“I did ask for it didn’t I?” he asked with an amused toned to his voice, the need to know and discover the secrets winning out as he took back the ring and put it around his neck once more, “it would seem fitting given the state of my life that I had wasted it searching the wrong damned city” he laughed then at the idea.

He realised now that there was a slight weight removed from his mind, a weight that had been nagging at him since his meeting with Moritz. He had seen the logic of what the lad had said but now it seemed it had come back to mock him and smack him in the face for good measure. Perhaps it had been an attempt to get him to listen and when he had not done so the beauty before him had been sent to make him listen. Or perhaps there was even more to it than that for their meeting…he hoped so.

“But yes, I think I know what you mean, ‘elephant in the room’ and all. Though I am not sure what such a thing is. Here is to many more meetings, scary revelations and a friendship much desired and enjoyed” he said, saluting her with his drink and finishing it.

No one said I had to be stone sober when finding out he thought to himself.

“It would be an honour to have my fate revealed with the help of a Guardian of Skya, Hearty Hostess and Golden-Maned Jungle Trekker,” he said, noting that it seemed to him much like there was a river to be caught up in, to dive into and see where the current took and that there was little that was to be done about it but begin, sooner or later, “into the unknown then fair Tazrae”

Though his words were ones of leaving and action he did not immediately stand up or run into the crowds of the Outpost to find the revelations. He waited for Tazrae to be finished – with her food, her drink, retrieving her cards, anything to buy those extra few minutes as the Alric Lysane who was oblivious to his past. He doubted that man would return and that going forward things would be both more interesting but also more difficult. He had to admit that he was equal parts eager and terrified, it was inevitable. He had lived in dirty and criminal ignorance for so long he was not sure what it would be like to not do so.

All he did know was that Tazrae was right, it was too much to ask that their meeting – for all its teachings and merriment – be chalked up to purest chance. It seemed to fit too neatly, her with her possible and actual answers for him and he with his teasing out words she perhaps had wanted to say to others but hadn’t done so. No, destiny was coming…he just hoped it was a nice one.



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Alric Lysane
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Joined roleplay: October 29th, 2021, 5:41 pm
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