Closed To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

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To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

Postby Alric Lysane on December 5th, 2021, 12:02 am



They were speeding again, this time down a different cord of a similar but not exactly the same colour as his own. His mothers was his guess though he was only sure when they stopped moving and the first scene coalesced into view. He did not understand what he was seeing at first and blinked several times before averting his eyes as the figure in the clothing that was a mockery of modesty was proven to be his mother. He didn’t want to see her like that, but he had asked, his eyes kept being drawn back to her, to her stomach and the clear condition that she was in. Had they moved on from him? Had they had another child after some tragic separation with him that they could not rectify? He didn’t like that if so but it at least meant that they had survived the attack upon them and had escaped despite the dire circumstances.

It was only when he noticed the figure in the shadows of the corner that he started to lose his grip on the situation and the floor felt like it was being pulled out from underneath him. His father was chained to the wall and clearly had been there for some time by the look of his clothing and the feel of his energy. No…no this wasn’t what he expected at all. When the other man, the arrogant and mercilessly powerful one, walked into the room Alric still didn’t comprehend. Not because he was unable to, or didn’t know what was happening, but because his mind rebelled at it – refusing to accept the horrific and tragic events. It was only as his mother fell to her knees that accepted realisation sparked inside his mind – for a brief, few seconds there was a profoundly grim and grisly understanding.

Then all he could do was watch as everything unfolded, wishing he could turn away but too numbed to be able to do so. He had asked and Douglan had answered…he wished he hadn’t but it was too late now. He took it all in, every horrible moment – even the stillness of his parents being alone and free was terrible. It wasn’t freedom to live after being used and discarded. He had thought Sunberth was cruel but this…this was beyond comprehension. Animals were treated batter. Slaves we treated better if they were seen as valuable, because they were expensive to replace. His mother…she had been important as an idea, a contribution….but the way she had been treated…it went beyond cruelty. He was not sure there was a word for it. He didn’t know one, he had never thought anyone could be so…so…evil.

He was beyond angry, beyond scared…beyond anything. He was too overloaded with these appalling revelations and degrading scenes. The stillborn babe and the throat slit midwife. Kalas looking on unable to do anything for a broken Serana. The casual callousness grated against his very soul and he couldn’t stand being in the same room, even in a memory he had never been a part of. It was as if the man…the thing was sucking the humanity from the air around them.

Beneath the numbness now there was a revulsion and a growing sense of panic and fear. He could feel his chest grow tighter as if his heart were smashing into his lungs and making it difficult to breathe. He could imagine that his fingers were tingling with adrenaline fast lending wings to an already overloaded mind and soul. It was all he could do to maintain even a few moments of minimal control before everything surged and there was nowhere left for him to go. His energy was erratic and mangled now that he wasn’t even sure he had any left. At the mention of his own hunt being commenced he felt his throat catch and the last lights of rational thought blinked out, the very notion that he would be broken and degraded in that way shattering the last remnants of control.

Then they were rushing, pulling out and reality hit him like a stab in the heart.
Breathing in sharply, a rasping gasp as his eyes widened and he felt his body and its emotional meltdown tenfold compared to the dream world his body involuntarily jerked him up and out of the chair, crumpling to the floor beside it. His heartbeat felt erratic and too large, his thoughts were fragmented and he felt raw, an exposed nerve feeling crackling across his entire being. It was all he could do to curl into a protective ball as he could feel burning streaks of tears across his face. His muscles were tensed and locked him in place as he babbled without even realising he was talking.

“I didn’t know, I couldn’t see, I’m sorryhowcouldhe….howcouldhehowcouldhehowcouldhe…Ididn’tknowIcouldn’tsee….Iwon’tIwon’tIwon’tIwon’tIwon’t…can’tcan’tcan’t…”

He managed one cogent word but there was no meaning to it within the maelstrom of overwhelming feeling, it was just something he knew had to be said.

“Wherewherewhere”

He was shivvering, rocking and shuddering all at once which only served to heighten the sense of panic and stress, which created the vicious cycle that drew him deeper down into a deep, dark blackness he had never faced before. He had nowhere to go, nothing that he could do to save himself and he was lost there, unable to find a way back to calmer waters for his shattered psyche. His words turned into sounds as he held his head in his hands and his breathing became difficult . It wasn't just the last few visions - it was everything from the two journeys mixed together in a massive clash and clamour - the enormity of the information gained that now came with a barbed arrow to the gut battling for the horrors of the cobin scenes vying for supremacy and the right to end Alric's mental stability.


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Alric Lysane
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To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

Postby Tazrae on December 5th, 2021, 4:22 am

Douglan was wide-eyed, and staring at Alric as if he suddenly had grown a second head. She wanted to comfort her friend, but there was something that needed to be done first. A skill she didn’t know she had until she’d moved to Syka and started living in the wilds, Tazrae was above everything level-headed in the face of absolute terror. It was something she’d discovered when the eyelash viper bit her. It was something she’d reaffirmed when she’d walked into the clearing full of dead men and Ixams. She thought fast and sat up on her couch, even as Alric struggled with his reality, and turned to Douglan.

“You can’t tell anyone about this. This has to remain a secret.” She whispered furiously, knowing she didn’t have coin enough in the world to keep the Dreamwalker’s mouth shut. He practically knew everything about Alric and herself, and even if there was something unknown, their chavi had tangled together on this day for this meeting and the Dreamwalker could always find either of them again. Had Tazrae been more cutthroat or perhaps skilled, she would have ended the man’s life to keep her friend’s secrets. Yes… secrets. For there was more than one, wasn’t there?

Douglan shook his head. “My gift is God-Given. I do not tell what is mine to tell. And I am a trice-marked Priest of Nysel. I see how dangerous this knowledge is. While one marked can read their own Chavi and twice marked can read more. Three times marked can alter their chavi. I will remove all knowledge of you both from my timeline and untangle our chavi so you cannot be found through me. There is too much of him in yours to erase now easily and without danger, or I’d offer you the same thing. Go. Take him with you. And never speak of me to anyone. Leave no trace back to me, and your secrets will be yours to keep.” He said gently, calming now, as Tazrae slipped up off her fainting couch and moved to Alric’s side.

“Alric.” She said sharply, then did something that even surprised her. She reached out and grabbed him by the shoulders and gave him a gentle shake. The second one was more forceful, jolting his head back and forth. “I need you here in the present. Now. What we witnessed was … Gods… I don’t know… fifteen years ago? Twenty? I don’t know how old you were or how much time has passed since Serana had the last stillborn child. It has to be years… years and years. He hasn’t found you yet. He didn’t know where to look. For right now, you are safe.” She said, the calculations in her mind coming quickly. “If he hasn’t found you in all that time, odds are he’s given up or followed a lot of false trails. You didn’t know, which kept you safer. But now that you do know, we need to …. take a moment and think.” She affirmed, reaching out and tugging him to his feet.

She nodded to Douglan and gave Alric a moment to compose himself, before she slipped with him out of the tent. The suite was still rented at The Khamsin Inn, so Tazrae headed there with Alric in tow. Along the way she purchased two large wineskins and draped them over her shoulder along with her backpack, not bartering over the price at all. She simply grabbed the two full skins off a rack and handed the coin to the merchant without breaking her stride. Tazrae looked intent. Her motivation was to get him someplace where he was alone and could think.

Skirts swaying, she led him through the crowd, past gardens, and parks, weaving them through merchant isles and past trees that drank more water than they should in the desert. She didn’t talk to him nor ask him questions. She simply led him onward, hoping to Kihala that he had all his questions answered and didn’t want to do any more tea or visit any more Dreamwalkers. It had been a long time since Tazrae had felt unsafe, but every step she took from the Dreamwalker’s place made that sensation become more and more overpowering. She started studying faces, wondering what Florentine Arcadius looked like these days. Was he here? Did anyone know who he was? Alric had some half brothers roaming around too, and she wondered if they were as evil and twisted as the man that kept Alric’s father hostage was.

Alric’s parents were alive… as was hers. But his… his were living no life at all. Gods… it made Tazrae’s stomach turn to think of what Serana had gone through and what Aradicus would do to Alric if he found him. She had avoided looking at her friend the whole time they were departing The Dreamwalkers and getting back to the Inn. But the moment they entered the courtyard and she plastered on a smile, they walked across it – passing a few of its denizens – and unlocked their own suite slipping in.

Tazrae pushed him down in the closest most comfortable chair and left a wineskin on his lap. She pulled another big chair over to where he was, opposite of it, and set her backpack aside. She didn’t reach for the wineskin, not yet, but instead just studied Alric. She waited, taking on a patient countenance, and waited for him to recover enough to speak. She should hug him, she thought, but she wasn’t sure it would be welcome. She wasn’t sure he wanted to be around anyone right now for that matter, even herself. If he gave any sign, showed any need to be alone, she’d slip out for a bit and give him some time to himself.

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To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

Postby Alric Lysane on December 5th, 2021, 10:35 am



The shaking jarred him into a more silent form, the babbling ceasing and being replaced with a silence that stretched onwards. It was less comforting, the words had been a distraction from the terrible truth and now they were gone there was little left but emotions and thought clashing and blending together. They felt too large for him, like when you overfilled a cup and just kept on pouring. He was many things but he had never thought of himself as a coward but he had nothing that could stand against such darkness of character.

He went through the motions as Taz helped him up and they made their way back to the inn. Her conversation with Douglan registered with him but everything else was too significant to address it in the here and now. In that moment he knew she was far too good for him, better than anyone he had met before, still trying to help him despite what was sure danger whatever anyone said. The steps were slow and methodical, his kind elsewhere, plumbing his own depths. What could he do against such evil? She had said they had likely stopped hunting him, he didn’t believe it. The many had felt like the blackest of oils, skimming the thinnest surface of humanity and darkening it wherever he touched.

Men like him didn’t just give up Alric knew, deep down in the most sunken part of his heart. He had hunted his parents for eight years, or thereabouts, and had wanted his mother for longer than that. Fifteen years was nothing to a man like that, not when it came to his quest for power or blood…or both. Perhaps he was safer than most, living in a chaotic city with no real footprint to follow beyond a name. But names help power and they were enough. Sunberth was not a child’s city so it stood to reason if Kalas had loved his son then it wouldn’t be a place he took him – which meant that perhaps they just hadn’t searched there first. There were many cities after all, and searches took time.

Were they just searching everywhere else first? Such thoughts tumbled through him as Taz managed to get him into a chair and dumped a wineskin in his lap. He didn’t look at her, not yet, this had not been his finest hour and the thought of her having to have the conversation about this being too dangerous for her now was not one he thought he could have at that moment.

He was less fragmented now, the revelations settling and forming a shaky scaffold of patchwork memories and feelings. It was enough for his breathing to return to normal and his mind to settle and sift more rationally. It didn’t help but at least he was less of a problem for Taz to handle. He thought through the last day or so and found that his life was a ridiculous parody, an irony too large not to be found amusing. He disliked magic and so of course it stood to reason he was from a powerful magical lineage. So magical that an evil mage – and probably his half-brothers – wanted him captured to sire more magical children. He was a thief and vagrant and so of course it stood to reason he was descended from a mantle of royalty, cast into a darkest and most chaotic parody of the back end of the Alahean Empire. He disliked weapons but now the idea that he would need to have them crystalized in his mind…because otherwise he was a dead man. He tried to be a reasonably decent man, by Sunberthian standards at least, and so of course he’d be dragged into a terrible darkness that even a fool could imagine would compromise his integrity, or at the very least make him a hypocrite by his standards only a handful of days prior.

And all of it because of his own curiosity, by his own hands and doing. He had followed the leads, he had all but demanded Douglan show him, he had been the one to push things beyond a natural ending where things might have been nicer – if less aware of danger. His lips curled back from his teeth for a moment before he started to laugh. It was too much, there was no release except for laughter or tears and he had had enough of tears. It went on too long and it was clearly driven by a desperation it was impossible to put into words. After a while it subsided, aftershocks bubbling up every so often before falling silent, and took in some wine with shaky hands and toyed with the ring at his chest.

“Fifteen or fifty he won’t stop. He was…is possessed. Hunting for a long time matters not to someone like that. You saw his eyes, felt his…shadow,” he shuddered and drank some more, “there is nowhere to hide, my parents showed me that well enough. Besides which I don’t have their…talents. I could crawl into the darkest of holes and eventually still be found. No…this is…it’s too much. Bloodlines and magic and weapons and evil deeds…I…I don’t even know how someone like that can exist without tainting the very soul of the world” he said, his words were imperfect in expressing how he felt but given events he forgave himself and slumped back into his chair.

Finally he looked at Tazrae, so pretty and decent, she didn’t deserve to get caught up in this.

“I’m sorry,” was all he could say, there was nothing else and he was not sure that was sufficient, but he continued, “I…putting you in danger was the last thing I wanted. I didn’t know…” he trailed off and drank some more wine. He had the feeling there might be a lot of it in the coming seasons.

“What do I do Taz? Do I…plan for the worst? For the first time I don’t know what to do…can I even stay in Sunberth? Do I try to find my parents? Do I dare? If they’ll find me eventually, if they hunt still, should I prepare and train?”

He had so many questions, more than he had had before, and he didn’t have the wisdom to know which was best. He was spilling it out to Taz but he wasn’t sure she would know any better than he. She was being his rock and the guilt that right then he wasn’t able to be hers very well gnawed at him. He drank some more wine and cleared his throat.

“Thank you Taz, for being you…but I am not the only one to have revelations…are you...okay?” he asked tentatively.

He was sure there was little he could do but the notion of reciprocating in kind for her was something that was not a dark shadow threatening to cover his life and so he flocked to that light like a moth to a candle. Besides, if she decided to cut her losses and escape the dangers then this might be the last opportunity before trudging the road alone and against whatever it was he felt sure would come.


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Alric Lysane
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To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

Postby Tazrae on December 5th, 2021, 4:17 pm

Taz curled up in her chair, Syka style, legs tucked under her rump and skirts concealing her skin. She leaned back, her own wineskin in her lap, and studied Alric. She needed as much time as he did to really understand the events of today. But unlike him, she knew there were no coincidences and that the whole story still wasn’t clear. It just felt like there were gaps. Where had Florentin Arcadius been for the whole of Alric’s life? Who were the men that dumped him at the Orphanage? Truthfully she wanted more time at the Dreamwalkers, but she understood Douglan’s fear and why he pulled them out. She had more questions, but wasn’t sure she had enough coin to compensate the man for his work on their chavi’s.

She didn’t say anything to Duncan, not at first. What could she say? “I’m sorry…” Didn’t seem to cover the entire midden pit of shit his life had been or was going to be due to his parents and something they got tangled up in unrelated at all to his actions. It was a bitter thing to have to happen. It was worse still that they had no idea where he stood in Florentin Arcadius’ eyes. Was he still hunted? Was he being watched and had they already located him? Tazrae wasn’t sure and could feel paranoia encroaching on all sides.

People just didn’t learn secrets in order to ignore them. Secrets came out when they couldn’t be concealed anymore or the Gods were warning them to take heed. She couldn’t help but feel that Alric was in danger… but what kind of danger was he in? Who in the world had the destiny of being captured and used as some sort of …. Taz cut that line of thinking off, not able to even remotely think of what they wanted Alric for. He was wanted for his bloodline… for …. She swallowed hard again. Taz had grown up being basically prepared to be sold as a broodmare to the Akalak. Or so that’s what her mother had hinted at though she’d never actually said that. Her new father-in-law had actually shown her a contract to familiarize her with the process. She was paid coin, kept in a nice place, and the only drawback for her – he’d explained – was she had to make her body available for the man who signed the contract any time he had a desire to touch her. Once she got with his child, his rights to her body ended, and she agreed to remain healthy and carry the child to term for him. The child, of course, would be handed over to the father and all rights to it belonged to him.

Taz took a pull from her wineskin, drinking deeply, needing the sustenance. She thought back to her dreamwalk, with Douglan teasing her Chavi, moving along it until she’d seen the moment she’d set sail as a child. She was missing something. Two tribes came together uneasily for the departure, but her birth had been celebrated. Why? They’d missed something… her being called a Child of the Gods. Why?

The young woman remained quiet, her head full of thoughts, staring at Alric and knowing his fate if he was caught was no better than that of a stallion… locked up until he was wanted to cover a mare. How could they even get him to do it if he wasn’t of the will to do so? Taz supposed there were drugs and other means. Serana did what Florentin Arcadius said because they held Kalas and that was enough of an incentive to keep her docile and pliable even when she should have fought. What would they use Alric for if they caught him? And why hadn’t they caught him before now? Surely he was old enough? Surely if they knew where he was they would have gotten him out of there because of his risk of death.

She ran her hand across her face and tangled her fingers in her curly hair. She finger-combed the mass of caramel curls and thought of Florentin Arcadius. It gave her nervous fingers something to do while facing Alric’s silence. Arcadius reminded her of someone… not in his mannerisms but in his looks. She tried calling up his face again, and did so with a clarity that surprised her. He looked a little like…. Marketh. She frowned at the thought, but the line of the jaw and the sharp handsomeness of his features had that echo about it. Marketh never used his last name, and she had no idea what it was. Her ‘father’ was young when he died; nowhere near the age a man should be that grew ill. Her actually father looked identical to Marketh, though somewhat harder and more chiseled in his appearance than Marketh was. Twins then. But why was she in danger? Why was she taken out of the desert?

Taz blinked as Alric finally spoke. Was he apologizing? She shook her head. “I didn’t know either. I still don’t know a lot of it.” She admitted, then shook her head. “You need to stay away from your parents. If I were him… and waiting for you… wanting you for what he wants you for… I’d let your parents go and bait them as a trap for you. He’d expect you to want to meet them. He’d know you’d want to talk to them, so he’d leave them alone and have them watched all the time. And at the first sign of you showing up, he’d spring a trap.” She said softly.

Why? Because that’s what she would do. It was easier in the jungle to let prey come to you instead of looking all over for that prey. “It might be why you are still free.” She said softly, thoughtfully. “You’ve never asked the right questions before and found out about your past… and once you did… go running towards it to investigate. He’d have you then… in a heartbeat.” She said thoughtfully. “It’s what I’d do. It’s what the jungle has taught me. Lure the prey in… don’t look all over for it yourself.” She said, shaking her head. “Hunt smarter not harder.” She said, then paused when he thanked her.

She nodded. “I’m okay. I’m still letting it all sink in. But I still feel like… I have only part of the picture.” She said, shaking her head. “There’s parts missing…. big parts. Why were those men that dropped you at the Orphanage? Why couldn’t my parents keep me, yet two tribes showed up to see me off? That’s what I saw, you know. In my own past.” She added, shaking her head.

“I’m okay. But I’m not letting this be it. There’s more.” She insisted, knowing she was right.

The knock at the door caused her to jump, just a little, before a familiar voice called out from beyond the thick wooden door. It was the person that checked them in and they had a delivery for them. Taz rose assuming it was food or some sort of guest complimentary thing. Instead, when she cracked the door open, a scroll was passed in, along with well-wishes for a good day. She looked at it curiously, and saw that it wasn’t just a singular scroll, but two wrapped together. It was made of hide. One, on the outside, was smaller. Tazrae read what it said aloud.

“I promised you I would erase what I know from my chavi and alter my memories. That much is still true. But I felt like I did less than the job I was paid to do so I went back for a second look. We all missed something big when we looked backward, something that it took me less than a half of bell to tease out once I went back again myself. By the time you get this scroll, I won’t know you anymore and I won’t be able to answer any of your questions. Please don’t come to me again. It is too dangerous for both you and my safety. But this last bit of information you need to know.” He wrote then signed the small parchment note with a flourished D.

Taz tossed that one into the fire and came closer, perching on the edge of the bed to unroll the larger scroll. She blinked, for the lighting wasn’t the best in-suite with all the windows closed and only the firelight for. Unrolling the parchment, she saw that it was hastily drawn. At first, she didn’t know what she was looking at. It was names and lines and connecting brackets with more names and lines. The handwriting wasn’t the greatest either. Then slowly, as her eyes roamed across the parchment, the names became clearer, and she saw that it was lineages. This was a family tree of sorts. It told who sired who and how many kids they had, who married who, and who and died off with a slash through their name.

The young woman wasn’t sure how linages were written out, but she saw two names clearly that she recognized, then more as she traced the area around them. Florentin Arcadius’ name was in a prominent position near the top, listed as part of the Kois tribe of the Benshira. He had other blood to him, she decided, as she traced upwards and saw the names of his parents with his mother listed as Kois Benshira. His father was noted as Human and was an Arcadius’ too. Tazrae saw Serana’s name connected to Florentin’s by three lines… no five… but two had slashes by them and she saw the two with slashes were listed as unnamed son and unnamed daughter. Connected to Florentin’s name was multiple other women, but one caught Tazrae’s eye because it was before Alric’s mother’s lines and before many others. The woman’s name was Armini and she was noted as Lisuli Benshira. From her came two lines that were connected together at Florentin’s name…. both boys… Marcus and Marketh, twins. From Marcus Lisuli’s line, two other lines stretched out. One listed the name Tazrae Arcadius and the other was Kamia Arcadius, another set of lines much like Marcus and Marketh had been. Taz guessed twins. Wait, what? She had a sister? A twin?

Suddenly she shoved the parchment away from her, covering her mouth with her face. She then dropped her arms and wrapped them around herself, staring at Alric in horror. Her father that she loved, the one that raised her wasn’t her actual father but was her uncle. And both boys were Florentin Arcadius’ sons according to the parchment. Tazrae was the granddaughter of a monster, if that was the case. If …. If Douglan was right. He’d copied the parchment fast, furious, sliding in and out of the chavi, she suspected. Maybe he was wrong. Maybe he got the men confused. Florentin Arcadius had looked in his late thirties when he’d held Serana captive. Her father had been in his early twenties when he’d died.

Was it at all possible?

Had Florentin Arcadius been far older? Magic could do that to mages. Some of them had discovered immortality or at least ways to slow aging according to the old stories Mathias sometimes told. She’d never known her ‘father’ Marketh to be anything but an Innkeeper. But he had spoken so many languages, including Benshira, flawlessly. Estra… Estra had never talked about her past. Rashna was noted as Kois… and it was obvious the two tribes did not get along. Was Aradius infusing more of his mother’s blood into his line through her? And he wanted the Nymkarta. But he hadn’t been the one to find Alric. She had.

Taz looked up, caught Alric’s eyes, and whispered. “I think the Arcadius line has already found you.” She said softly, not touching the parchment, not wanting him to see it. Instead, she sat back in her chair and shook her head, as if to rid it of this new information. Douglan had obviously thought it was important or he wouldn’t have sent it to them.

“There’s something I haven’t told you….” She said, dropping her eyes back to the parchment that had re-rolled, curling upon itself on the floor between them like an offering. “I’m also a mage.” She said, covering her face with her hands. Her entire childhood had been a lie. Her family had been a lie. Her mother hadn’t even been her mother. Her real mother had sent her on a ship away from the desert and her father had let her. Her birth had been celebrated, but why? And now Alric…

Taz suddenly wanted to go home. She wanted to go home in the absolute worst way possible, with such an intense longing for the sun and the sea and the protective cloak of the jungle. She wanted to slip up onto Brees back and ride the Ixam through the canopy, leaping from branch to branch, climbing trees and traversing down mountains, high up into the cloud forest or maybe higher still to the places they hadn’t yet explored.

No one there had heard of these names. No one there kept track of bloodlines. No one there bred babies for power instead of out of love. At that thought, her face still covered in her hands, she bowed forward and half coughed half sobbed, her emotions not sure which way to take it yet. She’d either be physically ill in a moment or cry. And Tazrae almost never cried.

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To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

Postby Alric Lysane on December 5th, 2021, 5:24 pm



It was too much, even the will of the most fickle of the gods was not this precisely malevolent. He had sat for what seemed like an age, far beyond his years it seemed, but he had listened. He had not believed but he had listened, he owned it that much. But what was being said made no sense. His eyes widened at her words and his nostrils flared, drinking down the last of the wine so that he was slightly numbed before surging out of his chair to read the offending parchment, as if he could make it say something else. He snatched it from Tazrae’s hands, not wanting to signal rudeness but he would not believe unless he read it himself.

As he read he paced back and forth, a caged animal that had temporarily forgotten the situation that it was in and was instead purely primal in its actions. There was silence for a long time as he read it, over and over again, checking for errors, studying the fine lines and looking for a mistake. He looked for anything that might help him dismiss it as a terrible prank. He came up empty and for the first time that he could remember he was filled with rage. Pure rage. Not the confined and limited thing that cared about anyone else but the fire that burned and you liked it because it meant your enemies died even as you suffered.

The parchment fell to the floor and the soft sound still seemed to echo far louder than it was supposed to.

“Gods….dammit” he shouted.

He had paced to the writing desk as he had read and his fingers grasped at its wood, white knuckles firming before his entire form shifted sideways and writing implements were sent flying in his anger, arms sweeping everything aside before he was left breathing deeply, nostrils flared and trying to maintain what little control he had.

He failed and he picked up the entire desk and in his rage managed to somehow send it flying to smash against the wall before standing, fingers flaring and not knowing what else to do except breathe as deeply as he could and try not to ruin everything around him. It was too much of a joke, the fact that even the only woman who had shown him any kind of attention beyond the purchased…no the only person who had bothered to get to know him…that it was all linked.

“Bullshkye” was all he could get out of his lips at her mention of being mage, “no…why would you not tell me? You knew how I felt” he almost whispered at that.

He grabbed the parchment and read it, again and again he read it before he crumpled it up and threw it into the corner. He was manic, filled with such a murderous rage that he didn’t know what to do. It was one thing to know he was at danger but now his only friend was and she was related to the Arcadius….no it was far too much. He felt like he might catch fire and burn the entire inn to the ground.

“What do you mean you’re a mage?” he definitely hissed that, his back to her and unable to see how she was reacting.

He turned and saw her curled up but not comprehending why. He was too lost in his anger, he wanted to see the world burn but had no way of achieving it. Instead he felt his inner resolve firm and he knew what the ending was going to be. It didn’t matter at that point what the events were between this moment and the end one. He would kill Florentin…and every abetting Arcadius. He didn’t care who it was, or what station they possessed – academic, politician, gang leader or admiral…they would all die. He would purge the entire lot of evil from the world and he felt righteous in his desire to do so.

“I’m going to kill him. Him and all of his bloody sons! I’ll burn the whole tower to the ground if it kills me! He wanted me and he’ll get me. Not like I’ve got much to live for anyway…I’ll put an end to this. No more slaves, no me breeding, no more breathing…he deserved nothing better. This is what happens when mages go bad…Moritz can take what he said and shove it up his skyglass horns!”

It was only as he became aware of Tazrae in tears that he felt anything other than the desire for wrath. The sight of her that way softened him briefly, he had not desired her to be brought to this. As far as he was concerned, family being bastards aside, she was alright in his book. He doubted she had anything to do with the matter given she would have been in danger and her memories had been just as pen to him in their shared journey. No, she had been just as puzzled which meant she was probably one of the few allies he had. But his anger would not be ended. He raged for a while longer before stopping, her sobs cutting through everything.

And he felt ashamed. There was little he could do but slump down beside her upon the bed and sit in silence for a time, the ramifications of everything - including his own words – becoming solid. She had helped him, he reasoned, she had pushed him. She had stood by him and even threatened the Dreamwalker after a fashion. If she wanted to kill him or turn him in then there were easier ways.

“You go back to your Syka Taz…I…mage or not you’ve been good to me…better than the best of friends…I can’t…I can’t lose someone else,” he faltered, it was impossible to tell her he didn’t want her involved but at the same time his previous feelings were invalid given their bloodlines and so he paused, silent for a few ticks, “go home to your Syka. Live your life and be happy. This is my fight…he wants me…he will find me,” he sighed and felt the jaws on inevitability grow bolder, “he will find me in the end, no matter what I do…I will make sure he finds something he’d rather not find”

He picked up the rest of the wineskins then and finished most of them he put the rest into Tazrae’s lap and stood. He suspected this would be the last time she’d ever want to see him and there was little he could do to disagree. Even so he held her until she would push him away. It was likely to be the only closeness he would get for some time, perhaps until he fell for good.

The path he had been put upon, he doubted it would have a happy ending. Perhaps that was fitting given his ancestry, but he could remove a few dark souls along the way and he would if he had a say about it.


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Alric Lysane
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To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

Postby Tazrae on December 5th, 2021, 7:48 pm

The Innkeeper curled in on herself when Alric rose and began pacing like a beast. He snapped up the parchment and read it, seeing what she saw, understanding what she now understood. Tazrae let her hands fall away from her face flipped the desk. He was dangerous, so dangerous, and it was just then that she saw Kalas in him. He was still young, untrained, but what he could become was something far worse than the pure rage that was scaring her now. Had he turned on her or made one single move in her direction, she would have answered with fire. But she knew how he felt and she understood it was not directed at her. The anger was poison inside himself and he was purging it as best he could.

Then he picked up the desk and hurled it. And she saw him stand still then, fury in his eyes, seeing nothing else but what had come before and what might come after.

She took a deep calming breath, then another, more reassured by the moment that his hand would not strike and that his anger or his blame would not turn to her. Tazrae had had enough of that from Estra. She did jump when he spoke, spitting out the curse, then the demand.

Tazrae only nodded. Now was not the time, not the place, for a discussion of magic. Like him, she wanted the pain lanced, not growing in her breast like it had been before she made her confession. She also knew that since she knew how he felt that was the one reason why she hadn’t told him.

His attention turned back to the parchment. It was her lineage, but at the same time, it was his family as well. They were related, in a twisted way, with his half-brothers being her half-brothers. She was so glad her grandsire’s blood didn’t run in his veins. And she was glad too that there were now no secrets either known or unknown between them. Their chavis were tangled. Douglan was right. Florentin Arcadius had seen to that neatly. He’d interwoven their lives together in ways he could not have foreseen had he plotted it out neatly. The vile sack of cow manure would have never foreseen that his only granddaughter – according to the parchment - would have bumped into Serana and Kalas’ son in The Outpost and had one of the best two days of her life with him.

The irony wasn’t lost on Tazrae.

Alric’s next words shocked her. His vow to kill the whole of Arcadius’ line …. stunned her. “Blood doesn’t make people bad, Alric. Actions do.” She whispered, but wasn’t certain he heard her. And that he mentioned Moritz’ name surprised her. She knew a Moritz as well, one from Syka, a Kelvic. And it had to be the same one, for sure, because Moritz did indeed have skyglass horns. But she knew better to interrupt a man in his pinnacle of rage. And she suspected Alric was just getting started.

She didn’t move, letting him rant, pace, rave and destroy. Instead, she cried, even though she not being one prone to tears. Her eyes were huge, brilliantly blue, and she remained silent, leaking tears that she didn’t notice as she watched him pace back and forth and make his plans for the demise of the Arcadius line… her line. Occasionally she gasped, like a beached fish, gathering more breath because she did not take any between tears. She followed him with her gaze, hurting for him and for herself, and knowing there was absolutely no comfort she could give him.

When he abruptly dropped down beside her, Tazrae nearly jumped out of her skin. When his arm came around her, pulling her into his side, she froze wondering if this was how death was going to find her. But he simply hugged her, in the way of a man not used to giving comfort to a woman would, and let her cry a bit more.

When he started to speak, she relaxed a little and turned so she could tuck into him and wrap her arms around the hard muscles of his chest. Tazrae did so slowly, hesitantly, as if she were not sure of the welcome despite his words. She spread her fingers out across his back, stroking the length of his spine and finding comfort in the action. Then she held him tight because he was familiar and felt safe, for all his raging today. She held on and breathed with him, letting his shorter calmer breaths calm the heaving gasps she had going. He let her hold him a while, then he stood telling her to go home; to live her life and be happy.

“Don’t… “ She started to tell him, not to drink, that the liquor would not solve his issues. But he wasn’t band-aiding his problems and drowning them with a drink. The draining of the wineskins was something.

One he dumped in Tazrae’s lap and she could have laughed.

“You should take your own advice, Alric.” She said abruptly, suddenly, sure of herself. “Syka is at the end of the world, so far from Eyktol and any forests that look like where Florentin Arcadius lives. You should come to Syka because it is lousy with mages who would all hear your story and teach you out of the goodness of their hearts. I am going to go home. I’m going to carry on with my life. I’m going to build, and train, and know that something horrible could come for me at any moment. I’m going to tell the Founders of Syka what happened here so they are warned if anything ever comes their way from Florentin’s actions. You should come with me…” She said abruptly.

“It would be the biggest insult to that man ever if his granddaughter teamed up with a man who may very well be the last Nymkarta alive to destroy him.” She said softly then shrugged. “But you can’t come with me. The Dovecote doesn’t work that way. But know this, it would take you very little time - less than a season - to make your way south and west to Syliras and then south to Riverfall… it's a two-day crossing to Syka by ship from there. If you can’t find what you need in Sunberth, come to Syka. Ask for James and a ship called The Veronica in Riverfall. They will both bring you to Syka safely.” She said, standing then.

He was leaving, that much was obvious, and she’d be left to apologize to the Innkeeper for the desk and the mess. At least one of those things she could deal with. So, she began to work to clean up the room instead of facing him and the fact he was going. She righted the desk, stronger than she looked, and picked up the things he’d swept from the writing desk, her anger rising.

Tazrae wasn’t sure who she was pissed at. Herself? Her parents for lying to her for the whole of her life? Her grandfather? The tribes that cast her from the sands? What did any of it mean anyhow? She didn’t belong here. She didn’t deserve this shyke. Was she angry at Alric, for being here and being who he was and leaving? No… she was mad at herself. That much was clear. She was mad at being drawn in caring and demanding that life be easier than it was.

With the room put back in order, Alric was lucky he’d done no lasting damage and broke nothing. Finished, she turned, caught his eye, and nodded. “I know you have to, but I don’t want you to go. Thank you for all of this and for being here. Come to Syka or don’t, the invitation is open. And remember, you already promised to meet me again here.” With that, she picked up her backpack that held way too much for its size and shouldered it.

“I’ll be back the thirtieth. This suite. Come if you can.” She said, stopping in front of him. She leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek then brushed past him and out the door. There was an apology already on her lips for the Innkeeper and for the noise, and plans for arrangements to renting the suite on the thirtieth and when she might possibly see him again.

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Tazrae
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To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

Postby Alric Lysane on December 6th, 2021, 12:14 pm



When she pushed past him, kissing his cheeks softly before leaving he had never felt so terrible. Not because he disliked it but because he didn’t deserve it. There were many excuses he could have given for losing control of himself, it had been a long and emotional day or two. But even had he had the audacity to speak them aloud they would ring hollow within – he had no excuse for it and regretted that she had seen it. He touched his cheeks, almost with surprise, and watched her leave. He wanted to call out, but it would have achieved nothing…besides which she was probably safer not being around him.

“I’m…sorry,” he sighed, walking to the corner of the newly made up room and picking up the crumpled piece of paper with the family tree before slumping down to the floor in front of the vacant hearth, “I’m sorry for everything”

It would be a lie to say he had wished she had never met him, but it seemed selfish not to feel that way. Had she never met him she’d not have learned dark truths or found herself…and her entire settlement she had mentioned…potentially in danger. Yet she wanted him to join her in her Syka, to bring his shadow to what seemed a paradise with enough dangers already. No he was wholly selfish he thought, that he liked that idea more than he should have done. He spread out the parchment and gazed upon it again for a while.

“Even if I want to I can’t, I gave my word to someone else I’d do something for them,” he said to the empty room, “and even when it’s done…why would you want me to bring my troubles to you?”

He didn’t understand and he wasn’t in a fit state to puzzle it out. Instead he folded the parchment up and stuffed it inside his jacket before anyone else could see it and trace things back to Tazrae. He owed her more than that, but it was all he could do in the moment. He owed her the largest, and probably the most sincere, apology he had ever given anyone. He owed her for lending him courage even if he had faltered at the last. And he likely owed her his life for however long it lasted. The more he turned it around in his head the more he felt sure this wasn’t about them learning of each other and forming a bond he hoped he had not damaged too badly…not it seemed a warning too.
The knowledge that things might be lurking for them.

Much as he loathed to admit it, she was right about going to his parents too…they were likely watched even if from a distance. He wanted so terribly to turn up and have him seeing them for the first time in almost two decade to wake his mother up and get what years of happiness they could. But if that were to happen at all it would have to be later, likely much later. It grated against his entire being but he forced the urge down into the most numb parts of him.

Where did that leave him then? Sunberth. Or Syka. Zeltiva was not far but it was a dangerous place for him now, he had heard it was a scholarly place and no doubt there would be some there who would recognise his ring, put things together. But if he went to Syka Taz had said he could learn magic…and his mind rebelled at that also. He leaned back and cradled the back of his head in his hands before slumping to leave his back upon the floor, staring at the ceiling. He couldn’t see him learning magic, even if he had it in his blood. The idea was so foreign that despite all revelations he couldn’t accept it. He pushed it aside.

It still left him with few options and feeling much lesser for having lost her company. Returning to his warren of a home city suddenly felt less appealing than the day before.

“You know she doesn’t deserve you” came the voice of the woman who had manned the desk, clearly coming to check in and seemingly surprised everything seemed in order.

“You have no idea”

“You come back here and I hear raised voices like that again you’re out for good, understand?”

“I understand,” he sighed and pushed himself back up slowly to his feet, “she made plans then?”

“She did”

“Why?”

“That is something you should ask her”

With that the woman was gone and Alric nodded, making his way out of the door finally, giving one last glimpse to the room where so much had been forged and discovered. As he left the Outpost he wasn’t sure wat he would do, there seemed no neat solution to these new problems. He didn’t want to put her in danger but he was sorely tempted by her offer. Could he possibly be that selfish? Would she see it that way? He knew probably not but that didn’t make it feel better for him.

He sighed as he approached the Dovecote…all he knew for sure was that he couldn’t leave Sunberth until he had finished some business and determined how it was he could try to be a better man.


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Alric Lysane
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