Closed To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

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To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 22nd, 2021, 6:37 pm



11th Fall 521 AV - Open Sky Bazaar

One of the few things that he remembered as direct advice from his mother was about researching something, or just being thorough in general when it came to anything. It was part of why he took a methodical approach to investigating things, even if it were just something that tingled at his curiosity. He always liked to try to know something inside and out and back to front. If he was going to invest his time into something it only made sense. Besides which he disliked half-finished things, they had a way of coming back to bite you.

“Remember little one, she said, that you must start from the end to understand the beginning,” he muttered to himself as he wondered where the best place to start from was, “and you cannot know the parts until you have the whole”

He had pondered the words many times and he thought he understood them at least in part, or enough to be confident that he had a good general method in place for assimilating knowledge quicker than many others might. He had no way of measuring but he was still alive and that counted for something in Sunberth’s streets. At least he had a good companion for the journey, whatever the result. He paused at the end of the Courtyard Cantina, waiting for her to ready herself though he fancied she was likely more ready than he was. He fiddled with the ring around his neck.

“I don’t even know where to start. Do they have stalls where you can ask about lost memories? I’m sure I’d have seen that before, couldn’t easily miss it after all. I suppose…the market?” he asked aloud to see if she would provide an affirmative.

It made sense in a way, it was the largest part of the Outpost and like as not would have someone there who would know, if anyone was going to know. As they made their way there, shoulder to shoulder at an easy pace, he knew it was unlikely to find what was needed immediately. But he had searched for seasons and had almost given up, now there were new options and he’d search another set of seasons if needed. He was glad Tazrae was there, she provided him with a measure of courage that he was not sure he truly felt but in her presence was able to summon up as they stepped into the Open Sky Bazaar and lingered at its fringes.

“I assume that you have never had cause to search for a recovery of memories in your quest for the best tavern in Syka?” he asked her with a wry smile. The question was rhetorical of course as his eyes scanned the tumultuous crowd and the stalls that he could currently see. Nothing jumped out at him.

“Well…in for a copper in for a gold” he said as he began the search.

Tazrae helped as she had promised, but it was all he could do to filter out the growing noise and keep close to her as they made enquiries, he wasn’t able to hear every word that was said if she asked anyone any questions. It was strange considering they had just met but he trusted that she would make it obvious if anything of note presented itself. He began by walking through the market itself, mapping it in his mind as best he could. It was difficult as it became apparent as he searched that there were markets within markets and stalls were hidden behind all sorts of fabrics, screens and goods. Still he made the attempts as he felt sure that there had to be some sort of rough order to the bazaar – it made little sense to not have at least general areas of similar produce. After a while he gave up, he had managed to see much of the bazaar but had found not pattern that made sense to his mind.

This market must’ve been ordered by an eccentric one indeed he sighed to himself internally as he changed tactics and instead pressed on, asking questions as he went this time.

“Hi, would you be able to he-“

“Excuse me but do you kno-“

“I just need a bit of direc-“

He lost count of the number of times he asked someone who was out for the shopping and was ignored. He was not sure why as he wasn’t being rude or outlandish but Ovek was not with him when it came to passer-by’s. He switched tactics once more and instead started asking the vendors. They proved to be more amenable – likely because they thought he was about to buy something – but they largely gave non-committal answers or vague response once they realised he was not there for business.

“Good afternoon sir,” he said to the next one with his best smile, “would you happen to know anything about rings?” he asked – he hoped so as it seemed like he was selling some of them.

“Of course lad, of course! What’re you in the market for?”

“I was wondering if you have any like this one? I was looking for a similar one” he said, offering up his ring and its leather necklace.

“Oh no lad…no no no, I don’t buy I sell and I don’t give stuff out for free”

“Please, you look like you know much, you have such fine wares, best I’ve seen in the bazaar,” at that the man seemed to squint at him before drawing in breath as if puffing himself up, “I only want a moment of your time and a fraction of your expertise”

The man harrumphed, clearly knowing he was being buttered up but accepting it for now and taking the ring. He pulled out some kind of glass device that Alric did not recognize and peered at the ring through it for some time, turning it this way and that way. Alric held his breath and gripped the edged of his cloak as he waited for the potential verdict.

“Where’d you get this lad?” the man peered at him with a gaze Alric could not read.

“Inherited it…from my fa-“

“I know what inherited means,” the vendor snapped, “but you sure you didn’t inherit this with those light figners of yours?”

“No, of course not! It’s…it’s the last thing of my parents”

“Well well….not sure but could be Djedline. Not an expert lad I just buy and sell but its strange markings like that aren't no pattern for looks. Looks awful"

Alric nodded and decided to ask the next logical question, he had little to lose.

“Please, do you know anything about memories…getting them back?”

The man looked at him with a raised eyebrow and then brushed him away as if he were mad and Alric was once more back into the fringes of the crowd. He slipped the ring around his neck and looked at Tazrae briefly, the suspicions confirmed if no leads had truly presented themselves. Honestly though it still was no confirmation, he knew, just the possibility stated by two people. It was hardly a breakthrough.

He was still possibly a mage and if that was true then he was not sure he liked himself as much as the day before. He took a deep breath – holding out some hope that a rational explanation would present itself that did not involve magic – and continued the search. The ring was apparently only going to lead to the same answer, he reasoned, and so he switched to memory questions instead.

“Excuse me, do you know anything about treating memory loss?”

“Ah yes, hello dear lady I was wondering if you knew anything about lost memory?”

“Hit in the head you say? Well I’m not sure about that but did they ever get their memories back? No? Ah well thank you for your time”

“So this will sound strange but I can’t remember my childhood and I was wondering if you knew of a way to remember? A drug perhaps even? No? No medicine at all for it?”

“I’m just going to come out with it, I am apparently strange because I can’t remember my parents though I definitely know that I knew them and I was just wondering if you knew somewhere you could…fix….that…of course, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to scare the little one”

On and on it went as they weaved through the crowds, asking at a stall here or a passer-by there and finding little in the way of revelation as to his memory problems – though he had learned a lot about ointments, fine leather jackets and some forms of entertainment he felt sure that other species would enjoy but he was not sure he would.

“Does no one know anything about memory loss and getting memories back?” he asked the bazaar in general, to some odd glances and shaken heads, “I thought this was a place you could get anything?” he finished with a tinge of sadness in his voice.

He was not sure why, it was early days yet and he had been searching for years. Yet somehow now that there was the flicker of hope it seemed all the more frustratingly distant despite being closer than he had ever been.


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To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

Postby Tazrae on November 25th, 2021, 6:53 pm

Taz gathered her thoughts and her things, shouldering her backpack and leaving a generous tip for the server on the table. They’d lingered far past the meal and the young woman appreciated the fact that the server hadn’t given them a hard time for lounging. Taz looked thoughtfully at Alric when she joined him, mulling over what he asked.

“I think they have stalls for about everything here, but that might be a bit too specific.” She said, joining him with a smile. “Memory stalls? Surely, they have stalls for making memories, things like artists that sketch and paint portraits, but recalling things forgotten seems to me to be a bit of a stretch… a niche profession.” She said thoughtfully. Then she searched back ironically in her own memories and recalled something specific.

“When I was little, my mother told me stories of her mother. As she aged, her mind got twisted around and she forgot things often. Sometimes she’d be perfectly okay, knowing who everyone was and even simple things like how to bake a pie. But my mother said at other times, she wouldn’t know my mother’s name or even where she was. And once she told me a story where her mother was convinced she was still a young woman and when my mother produced a hand mirror to show her what she looked like, she got extremely upset. It was a disease, you see? Something about our minds decaying as we grow older. The doctors in Riverfall were a help, but it wasn’t something they could solve. But the point is… I know things like old age and even a hit on the head can affect our memories. My father’s best friend had an accident where a team of horses hit him in the street and he forgot his name for almost a full season. There’s a place here… and they are supposed to have really great healers… lets start there and see if the healers know of any place who can help with lost memories?” Taz suggested, knowing that Alric’s issue wasn’t due to old age and a failing mind, but it could be something along a similar vein.

It was a place to start, especially if it prevented them from wandering the market in an exhausting heat that bore little fruit for the effort. She wanted to see him remember something… or at least reclaim a bit of his past. She couldn’t imagine her past without her memories. How did he stand it?

Taz pulled a rolled parchment from a side pocket in her backpack and studied the map of The Outpost that the helpful greeter in the Dovecote had handed her. It’s called something weird here… the healers place… “The Redynn…. I think we should start there. And perhaps stop and talk to any jewelers we might see along the way.” She added, tracing the route from the Cantina to the Redynn and looking to see what was listed along the way. There weren’t any specific shops or booths from the Bazaar on their way, but instead parks, interesting little places to stop and see things, and a lot of gathering/lingering places.

“It looks like its fairly close.” Taz said, leading the way. Her soft soled sandals were almost soundless on the cobbles as she set off after turning to Alric to make sure he saw where they were going on the map and agreed with the course of action.

There was a trinket shop or two along the way and Taz stepped in to ask quick questions both about Alrics ring and whether there were any jewelers around that specialized in signets or jewelry for mages. If he listened closely enough, he’d likely overhear some of the same names spoken aloud and quick directions given to mainly places in the Open Sky Bazaar. She thanked each one, sometimes taking a moment to purchase a trinket or two in the various shops they stopped at. Nothing was expensive, but more a token of thanks for the information and things she could give as small gifts to people in Syka who often had very little of their own.

Alric asked his share of questions as well, especially when they skirted the bazaar’s edge and ran into far more merchants. The man had his successes and failures at asking questions of people. Some ignored him altogether and some indulged him briefly. One jeweler gave him more than the time of day for which Tazrae was grateful. She moved to stand at Alric’s side as the two men conversed. Taz recognized the moment the man decided Alric wasn’t a customer and was more of a pest because he seemed to close up. She even felt a bit of a temper rise in her when he called Alric’s ring ugly. Of course the man didn’t use those terms, but he said the same thing in essence.

As they walked away, Taz shook her head. “Your ring is lovely.” She stated, then shook her head.

Alric changed tactics, asking about memory loss as they went, growing closer and closer to their destination. Taz watched him react to everything and wondered how out of place he felt among the crowds. She personally couldn’t wait to get back to the quiet of Syka. This kind of big city scene wasn’t her cup of tea at all. The noises assaulted her ears. The crowds were bothersome, and every face was a strangers’ face.

The social aspect was confusing too. Everyone was from everywhere else and that meant a lot of people were dressed all different ways. Taz heard a multitude of languages she couldn’t understand and saw a whole lot of goods that she’d never seen before.

As they walked, she felt herself sticking closer and closer to Alric. She’d only known him a few bells but he was a familiar entity in the maelstrom of diversity that existed in The Outpost.

Before long, they turned a corner on the street and came across The Redynn that they’d been looking for. It wasn’t what Taz had been expecting. She was familiar with the medical facilities in both Riverfall – which was huge – and Syka – which was bungalow-sized. This one was something vastly different. Its building was sleek, one-story, and elegant like it was some sort of manor house. They climbed the stone steps and walked through its welcoming doors into what Taz would have considered the lap of luxury.

It was decorated like a posh resort with a long hall and comfortable elegant seating on the left. On the right seemed to be private curtained rooms for various purposes – most of them holding beds with some occupied. Taz glanced down and could see her reflection in the polished stone of the floor and immediately felt like the dirtiest thing alive. Everything was clean and the whole place smelled fresh and bright – not heavy with the cloying odor of sickness she was used to at Riverfall’s Medical Center.

She waited in what she considered was the lobby until a lovely Konti woman walking by on the way to somewhere stopped and smiled politely at them. “Do you need some medical assistance?” The woman asked, then introduced herself as Murine. “I’m Murine… one of the healers here.” She added, glancing both at Alric and Taz together, as if taking in their stance, expressions, clothing, and dismissing them immediately because they didn’t look local.

“We are not in need of aid at the moment, but we did have some questions about memory loss from one of the doctors here,” Taz said, looking thoughtfully. “We have a…. friend… who cannot remember their childhood. They don’t know of any trauma that might have caused this and have had no accidents or got hit in the head with anything. Their childhood is just gone…. Like it was stolen away. We were wondering if there were any herbs, medicines, or anything a healer might know about to help such a happening…. They want their memory back.” Tazrae said to the other woman, the healer, in hopes she might have information.

The healer looked thoughtful. “There are certain herbs that will stimulate memories of the past.” She said, and pulled out a little packet from her apron pocket and slide out a single piece of stiffened parchment that she took and walked over to a sort of reception desk and sat down. She pulled a quill pen from its holder and uncapped a small brass ink bottle. Dipping the pen, she wrote across the scrap a name and a small recipe for what looked like a tea.

Margath Tuvas - High Hopes Teas – Memory Blend


“She knows what the memory blend is and can make it. But let me warn you, it’s a strong potent brew and you won’t be yourself for a time. It gives you access to your mind in ways you might not want to access… it loosens your inhibitions as well, so it can be quite dangerous if say you are a bit bloodthirsty or lacking in morals. You’ll only be in your mind for a bell or two, but the rest of the day you won’t exactly be yourself. I suggest you be somewhere safe when you take it and with people you trust.” She added, handing Alric the slip of paper with what Tazrae could only assume was a sort of tea house apothecary’s address on it. The woman glanced at Taz and smiled. “If he takes it and you stay with him you’ll probably learn more about him than you want to know.” She cautioned, then switched topics.
“There’s also a place you can choose to visit if you don’t want to go the route of the tea. Or if say the tea doesn’t work. There is a man that has a large stone-colored tent near the back of the Open Sky Bazaar that has silver trim on it that shimmers slightly. He is a Dreamwalker. And for a sum… depending upon what work you want him to do for you, he can take you back so you can see those missing memories and relive them. His services start at around ten gold and go into the thousands.” She added, giving them a brief description of where the tent was and how to approach it.

“A long chain hangs from a pole on the outside of the tent doors and one simply pulls the chain twice to summon the Dreamwalker and be invited in to discuss business. Good luck.” Tazrae made note of the instructions and locations for both places, then thanked Murine thoroughly before she departed the healing facility with Alric.

“Well… those are definitely two interesting choices. What do you think?” She added, having no idea what he’d prefer and what he’d choose to want to do, if any or both.

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To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 26th, 2021, 4:38 pm



“Memories within memories to help find memories that will lead to a moment that will then be a memory” he said in an amused tone of voice, looking at her with some measure of admiration.

She was helping him despite their new friendship. Fated or not that told him much more about her character than her own words and descriptions ever could. He was not sure he had ever met someone like her. Certainly he was not sure Sunberth had anyone like it at all, let alone close. He certainly didn’t think he could measure up and he wasn’t what he would call one of the bad ones. At times he could even be rather good. Yet he still felt unsure as to whether he would be as good an ally had the roles been reversed.

Perhaps one day we will find out he told himself, not for the first time this day hoping he might rise to the occasions if they came.

“It sounds a tragic fate, I hope that whatever is the cause of my lack of memory is not some warning about such a future,” he supressed a mild shudder, “I think that I could withstand much but that…I am sorry to hear that your grandmother had to. Though it sounds like she was cared for. I suppose there would be no one to do that for me, so there was some kindness…after a fashion”

He was not sure there was much else he could say and he felt awkward saying it in the first place, there was nothing to be done to change it and he felt sure Tazrae had whiled away at least some time thinking about it herself after having heard the story. He felt somewhat foolish that he had not thought of a healing place, or the map, and merely nodded silently in agreement. She clearly had a better head on her shoulders than he, which did not surprise him given his rather loose attitude upon life.

He smiled at her comment about his ring, she had shaken her head too and looked at the man he thought but he didn’t know why. Still they forged onwards, close together and making some progress despite their strange quest. She seemed to grow less sure perhaps, though he couldn’t be sure. Still, upon reflection as they made their way onwards he supposed he was used to the hustle and bustle of jingled purses and exchange of goods – reasonably or otherwise. Her description of Syka had sounded as if it were quieter, but then she had spoken of Riverfall and so he had assumed she knew cities. He slowed down a little, no quest was worth losing the smile of his newly found friend.
At least that was until they arrived at the Redynn and she was confidently discussing his affliction and making enquiries better than he might have done.

If anything he felt so out of place surrounded by such luxurious cleanliness that he would likely have had trouble just speaking. Instead his clothing felt even more drab and impoverished than usual and he picked at his rough nails with too much grime under them. His reflection spoke of uncouth and rough standing. He rubbed his arm nervously, his eyes darting this way and that as if he thought he were about to be shouted at in a moment or two. The place felt peaceful…but he didn’t belong there. He would probably never belong somewhere so grand.

As he listened he appreciated how Tazrae tried to keep it under wraps that it was his problem being discussed and warmed to her further. It was fated to fail though, the Konti healer had clearly dealt with many people with many stories as she saw through it quite easily. She was nice about it though and some only a slight redness came to his cheeks. At the talk about the tea being powerful and likely her learning more than she’d care to know of him there was a slight nervousness. He had nothing to hide as far as he could see it but that didn’t mean he didn’t worry about her having all of the darkest flaws and things about him revealed at once. It struck him that if that happened with anyone the other might just jump out the window to escape then and there regardless.

Not that I have many choices though…I suppose this would be fated too. Lhex always did have a sense of humour he mused to himself silently. He winced at the price tag of this Dreamwalker though, he was far from wealthy. Before long they were back outside and he was scratching his chin thoughtfully at her question.

“I think that despite the warning you may not like me after,” he gave a thin smile at that, “I think I’d rather enjoy a cup of tea with you. Why not try the least extreme and expensive option first, eh?” he said.

In truth, as they made their way towards the location they had been told, he wasn’t sure that this Dreamwalking wasn’t magical – it certainly sounded like it. He was a practical man and if he had no choice then he’d use them but old habits died hard and despite his heritage and its whispering revelations he’d rather not walk down that road. But drink a warm brew? That was a job even he could do well enough. He hoped that it worked. It wasn’t too long a journey from the healing centre to the tea shop. Once the parchment piece was handed over there was a thoughtful look at him and then at Tazrae and back again.

“I assume you’re Margath Tuvas? I can’t remember anything before the age of…eightish? We were sent here by a pretty Konti healer at the Redynn…Murine? Yes Murine that was it”

“I am Margath Tuvas, and you are?”

“I am probably the least important Alric you’ve ever met and this is Tazrae” he said, gesturing to his company.

You know what this stuff can do to you?” she asked him but it seemed clear that the question was more for Tazrae.

“Apparently it means that she might learn more about me than she’d care to know. I’m starting to feel my honour is being impugned. Or I would if I had any”

There was a deep cackle at that and a twinkle in Margath’s eyes as she looked between them both again, arms crossed across her chest for a few moments. She seemed to be asking a silent question of Tazrae but he didn’t turn to see what her face revealed but instead kept his gaze on Margath who eventually consented and went about making whatever she needed to make to prepare for the Memory Blend. He breathed out a sigh of relief and turned to Tazrae, taking the break to look around the shop. It was full of old and sturdy wooden shelving with an uncountable number of glass jars and wax packets filled with more teas and others things than he knew even existed.

“Well…at least some people trust me. You sure you want to stick around for this? You’ve done so much already and Sunberth isn’t known for its…morals. I wouldn’t hold it against you to just lock me in a room with the brew” he chuckled.

“You know I never even thought about this many types of tea, this place is nice. Think you could grow some of these in your Syka? Might be ones in here with even more amusing effects. Could be good for a fun inn night from the rain, no?”

It was a little while, spent inspecting this and that and chatting idly together, before the Memory Brew was finished. He had caught Margath watching them intently every so often. He didn’t blame her, he looked awful and Tazrae looked fine and she no doubt felt a duty to not give out debilitating items to random ne’er-do-wells who might use them for nefarious purposes. He had nothing to hide and so he just continued being…him.

“Be careful with this, and don’t let anyone get hold of it. It’s for you and I’ve a reputation to uphold you hear? And if I find you’ve done anything terrible whilst using it you’ll get no more business and a good clip around that face of yours” Margath said as she handed the packet over and was given mizas in return.

“I assure you that this will probably embarrass me more than anything else by the sounds of it”

“One dose at a time, somewhere comfortable and safe. Quiet if possible. No more than that and no less. I’d advise somewhere you can’t be easily disturbed like and inn or similar if you’ve no house to go to”

“Thank you mistress of the teas,” he said as he slipped the packet into a pouch on his belt and turned to Tazrae, offering his arm, “would you care to join me for tea?”




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To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

Postby Tazrae on November 28th, 2021, 3:05 pm

Tazrae was crazy. That’s all there was to it. She was shadowing a man she’d just met on an insane mind bender adventure she couldn’t quite wrap her brain around. When Alric said “Memories within memories to help find memories…. all while making memories” that about summed it up neatly. She grinned, then laughed outright, because he’d just vocalized what she’d been thinking as they departed the Redynn. And that man was admittedly from a dangerous place with a shady past and a dubious present. She understood now what he was by what he had described of his city and lifestyle, and she was frankly surprised at herself that it didn’t matter to her at all. He was at best a sell-sword with his job and at worst a thief or at least had been in his past.

And here she was, walking briskly beside him, looking forward to what they decided to do next. The day had moved on from the lazy morning and the crowds wandering about had grown thicker. She wasn’t hungry for the food and wine had filled her up thoroughly, but she was in need. Taz could feel it growing in her just as hunger could. She had a slow burning desire to know what had happened to Alric and why he’d turned up at an orphanage at eight years old – just a child really – with no memory at all.

She came to The Outposts for games… to entertain her guests during rainstorms and quiet nights of jungle noises and cool sea breezes and instead she found herself a friend… perhaps a dangerous one. And one she oddly wanted to take by the hand as they wove through the crowd. Attraction? He was good looking, but it was more than that. Taz was surrounded by single good-looking men in Syka and hadn’t had this much fun in ages. But it wasn’t mirth, not in the way fun usually was. Instead, it was a challenge to her mind. This was doing something to help someone who hadn’t probably actually known they’d needed help at first.

And while she was under no allusions that Alric couldn’t do this by himself – he absolutely could – she was glad to accompany him and tag along as moral support. Had the roles been reversed, unless the past was very very dark, she wouldn’t have wanted to take this journey alone either. While she was musing, he slipped a bit ahead of her in the crowd and she trotted forward a few steps to catch up, weaving by a rotund little lady that was wielding a rather heavy basket… obviously shopping. When she drew alongside him again, she gave into the urge to touch him and reached out to lay a hand on his arm as they walked.

“If I forget to tell you later, thank you for letting me take this journey with you. It’s been just short of amazing so far. Tea… Dreamwalkers… I can’t imagine where this will lead us.” She added. The way she said it to him, quickly almost shyly, didn’t lend for him to respond… and she was glad he spoke of her grandmother instead.

“You can look at it like it was a tragic fate, but honestly, I’m glad she lived a long full life and it was only in her very ancient years that she faltered mentally. Most people aren’t that lucky to survive that long and who knows… maybe she enjoyed the past feeling young and full of life more than the reality of the present so she went and stayed there as often as she could.” Taz said with a smile, shaking her head. “Regardless, I was told she died peacefully in her sleep at near a hundred turns of the wheel.” Taz said, smiling. “I hope I am spry enough to live that long. I know the jungle life agrees with me.” She said and then chuckled as a dog raced by chasing a rooster that then turned on it and started to give it a thorough schooling on poultry etiquette.

They were off to the tea makers with Alric set on trying what he considered the cheapest and easiest way first. Taz began to plan for it…. they wouldn’t be themselves for a while if they took tea. Was she going to take it with him? A good friend would simply let him brew it and watch over him while he did so, but Taz didn’t want to step outside the adventure and become observer. She wanted to experience it with him. They’d need a safe place to do so, an Inn with a room or something, she decided. It was too bad she couldn’t take him through the Dovecote and back to her place where someone like Bree could watch them both and summon help if they got in trouble with the herbs.

“Do you have a hesitation about the Dreamwalker? I know you said you were a bit cautious of magic.” She said, having yet to admit to him that she knew a little magic herself and that he was well within his rights to be wary of it. Magic was dangerous, especially if wielded carelessly. It could hurt the wielder and everyone around them.

They were there before Alric could really answer her question, but she knew he’d dwell on it and open up about it after they purchased the tea if he really wanted to talk about the other option. Taz was open to things like going to a person specializing in memories. But she understood Alrics distrust and his willingness to turn to herbs first. Herbs had great power in and among themselves… they could heal, poison, and do tremendous things… even open shut doors in ones mind it seemed.

Then they were speaking to Margath, and she was giving them all the same warnings that Murine had given them.

Taz frowned at Alric. He always tore himself down, even if his tone was light and joking. He had honor, and he certainly had integrity.

At Margath’s pointed look, Tazrae nodded once. “We’ve been told. The healer Murine at The Redynn recommended you. She explained the dangers and that we would not be well for a time after our tea.” Taz added, glancing thoughtfully at Alric. “But it’s important that he remember, and this is just a first step in making that happen. We aren’t even sure it will work.” She added, studying the tea woman thoughtfully. “If I take it too… the same would hold true. It’s not a one-sided risk, I assume.” She added.

The Tea Maker who was obviously an herbalist nodded. “True enough.”

She could tell Alric was growing nervous. He made a joke about giving her guests these kinds of herbs to pass the rainstorms with. She snorted and shook her head, rolling her eyes a moment and then laughing. “My guests are all ages and beliefs. I don’t think many of them would embrace such an experience because they are traveling and far from home. But I think I’ll reserve any judgements until I see what it is like myself.” She added, then thought to ask the woman one more question.

“This isn’t addictive, is it?” She wondered, hoping it wasn’t a true drug. While Tazrae had heard of drug addiction and had saw it in Riverfall once in a while, she’d seen enough travelers as a child in her parents Inn to understand both drug and alcohol addiction for what it was.

The tea woman shook her head as Alric made his purchase. Taz, being one to support businesses of all kinds, roamed the room and selected a dozen different varieties of teas with labels that were fantastical and exotic. She took advantage of the shop to obviously stock her Inn with more fanciful stuff than the jungle provided. Each jar she slipped into the backpack she unshouldered for the purpose, seemingly having no end to the room of what it could hold with all the games included.

Once they concluded their separate business, Taz slipped out onto the street with Alric and had the map in hand looking over their options. “There is an Inn here. You purchased the tea, I’ll spring for a room for the day… maybe overnight if we get too … “ She paused then, glanced over at him, her eyes full of question. “That is, if you don’t mind. It feels rather intimate and we just met, but I suspect renting a room since we have no other residences here, would be an option.” She added. The truth was, Taz could use a bit of peace and quiet after the bustle of the city. It was all getting on her nerves. And truth be told, she didn’t mind getting a room with Alric, even if the plan was to drink a potent tea that she was told would loosen their minds.

“It’s close.” She indicated, giving him a moment to answer before she set off if he was in agreement. Taz glanced at her map, at the streets, and began a pointed stroll that headed them in the right direction. She was walking faster now, her mood elevated at the thought that she’d be out of the crowd for a bit. They manuvered the twists and turns of the outskirts of the Bazaar and finally came to a business built into the wall of The Outpost itself.

The Khamsin Inn had a stylized wind on its sign and looked to be about as posh of a residence as Taz had ever seen. Walking into the lobby, she noted how it had a proper front desk – something her Inn lacked – and was seemingly designed to pamper its occupants. The main entrance was gated and opened into a courtyard that belied the width of the walls since rooms – no suites really – radiated from that courtyard, built into the very wall itself. The dimensions of The Outpost made no sense to Tazrae and she often marveled at how structures built into the boundaries of The Outpost seemed to defy what Taz considered basic construction and mathematical laws.

Pausing at the front desk, the pair were greeted by a friendly Innkeeper who introduced herself immediately. “Hello, welcome to The Khamsin. I’m Pashina. How can I help you?” She asked, glancing between Alric and Tazrae. The young woman’s eyes lingered on Alric and then turned reluctantly back to Tazrae who had unfastened her belt pouch and pulled out eight gold mizas after reading the sign. “We’d like a large room for the night. And if possible, a tea service delivered with hot water. We have our own tea selections.” She added, pushing the coins towards the woman.

The woman nodded, produced a set of keys – one for each of them – and passed them over. “I’ll have the tea sent over in ten chimes. The service comes with refreshments as well. I’ll put you in the Malachite Suite, she said, indicating the elegant stonework on the handle of the keys. Both had lovely deep green swirled stones set into the face of them. “Just head out into the courtyard and look for the dark green door…. those keys unlock it. It’s one of our largest suites that aren’t already rented. It has its own water closet and bathing chamber…. the taps attach to cisterns on the roof so your water should be nice and hot if you require bathing. There’s towels and soaps aplenty as well as other luxuries should you need them. Just come to the front desk if there is anything special you require.” She said with a knowing look, then passed over a guest book titled Malachite Suite for Tazrae to fill out.

Taz diligently put their names in the registry, where they were from, and that their stay would be one day possibly overnight. She passed it back and headed out into the courtyard with Alric. They found the door that was indicated and unlocked the lion-headed lock before stepping into what Tazrae could only describe as upper crust living.

There were piles and piles of over lapping rugs covering the stone floor. Furniture was scattered throughout, all low to the ground in fashion popular at The Outpost. The main room was a thousand square foot, at least, with one area blending into another. Everything was open to everything else besides a closet door Tazrae suspected was the water closet. There was a tub, for sure, large enough for four or five people. There was also an open tiled shower in one alcove that offered no privacy from anyone else in the suite. There was a small kitchen area, with an elegant stove and ice box, a multitude of counters, and a big sink. A dining table dominated the middle of left side, separating the kitchen from the rest of the residence. There was a large fireplace on one wall with two overstuffed low couches flanking it.

Taz swallowed hard as she saw the enormous bed resting imposingly on a far wall, a long matching bench resting in front of it. The Innkeeper wandered into the room, pacing around it noting everything including that the bathroom area had fluffy robes that looked brand new hanging off the end of shelves that held rolled up towels and toiletries of all kinds. There was even a vanity off to one side with a lovely set of candle holders on each end of it where a woman could get ready and decorate her face with cosmetics.

“This isn’t a brothel, is it?” Taz turned, almost whispering to Alric, as she made one more round of the room – observing everything = and ended up right before him.

Before he could answer, a knock on the door sounded, and since they hadn’t locked it behind them, a waiter pushing a tea cart entered. He moved the cart over to the main table, and redistributed its contents onto the table, including a steaming tea pot. There was a keg of honey, bowls of sugar cubes, and a small craft of cold clotted cream. To this set-up he added a tray of fruit and pastries of all sorts, including dark blocks of smooth almost clay-like substance the water pointed out as chocolate.

Taz tipped him a silver coin and he departed swiftly. Looking over the Tea Service, taz took off her backpack and wrap until she only wore her tank top, long flowing skirts, and her sandals. Then she looked at Alric and smiled slightly….

“Shall we?” She asked, seeing no reason to delay doing this, especially if it might put them out of commission for a good part of the day. “We have the place until tomorrow if we need it overnight.” She added, unnecessarily, as she picked up a small brick of what the waiter had called chocolate and sniffed at it. “I think we have this in Syka. It’s called cacao though.” She added, nibbling off a corner just to see if it was the same. “Yes… it’s the same.” She said, then replaced the portion she hadn’t nibbled off to rest by the tea service.

She was about to do some heavy drugs with a total stranger. It was conclusive. She was crazy.

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To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 28th, 2021, 4:45 pm



“Not at all, thank you for being the first person to actually give me a clue,” he said in response to her words, slightly taken by surprise at the pronouncement of what she clearly felt, “if this leads where I hope it leads then I could not ask for more, nor ever repay”

It was true but he was not entirely used to beautiful women thanking him for a lovely time, or for his company. His response was suitably fumbling but still filled with sincerity. Not that there was much time to dwell upon it as they continued upon their adventure. He considered her words about her grandmother and he could not fault her logic. He would likely be lucky if he even made it to fifty, let alone as long as one hundred. Even then he doubted after the wear and tear of Sunberth, even if he managed to stay alive that long, he’d likely not be half as hearty as her grandmother had been despite the mental lapses.

As to the jungle life suiting you I suspect it does indeed he noted privately to himself and clearing his throat as they made their way.

There was little time to dwell upon the fact that Tazrae had a bag that seemed to house a house. He had thought it roomy before but as she stuffed jar after jar into it he couldn’t help but feel his eyebrows raise and his mind rebel at the activity. He would have to ask her, his curiosity was too great, but it was fated to be later, perhaps once they had some time to themselves he made the note to himself. In the same manner he left the answering of her own question for once they had arrived.

Once they arrived though and had stepped through the newly unlocked door his mental list took a critical hit and momentarily fell apart like a house of cards. What he saw he had no words for. He had thought the healing centre lavish but this…this single room dwarfed everything he could ever have earned in his entire lifetime – which wasn’t much granted but still he felt smaller than small and grubbier than dirty. He had no time to answer Tazrea but if he had had time he’d have told her he hoped it wasn’t a brothel otherwise he’d been overcharged his entire life. Then again, he’d probably have stumbled over it, got embarrassed and then said something terribly inconvenient about a man having needs. All in the presence of a woman too good for a brothel to begin with.

All in all he was grateful for the knock on the door.

He set about preparing the tea, though in truth Tazrae helped and really just told him how to do it – he had never made tea before as far as he could remember. There was a short period of time where it had to be left to steep and fully infuse and he opted to spend that time answering her previous question. In the process he threw his cloak over one of the low sofa things, which left him wearing pretty much the only clothes he had and looking rather drab in a rather grand room. At least he was cooler.

“I…well I don’t really like magic. Most Sunberthian’s don’t. There was a time, about a hundred years ago give or take, when mages tortured and ruled the city. It is not something which has helped us trust mages. I am probably less hesitant than most, I tend to be practical – they leave me alone I leave them alone. If this doesn’t fully work then I’ll go – answers mean more to me than old traditions. But they make me…uneasy…I suppose” he shrugged.

“Speaking of which, where can I get a bag that looks like it could fit me in it? Asking for a friend. Could be useful” he said, smiling slightly. She was a vision to behold and she was apparently willing to risk her own wellbeing to help him, he was not sure his distrust of mages would outweigh that – magic bag and all. No, he suspected he’d trust Tazrae for a long, long time indeed.

There was a period of conversation, answering questions mostly but the tea did not take too long to be ready and cool enough to start drinking. He clinked his cup with hers in salutation before breathing on it until it was a bit cooler and downing the whole thing in one go. It was still overly warm but not enough to burn. His lips twisted as he swallowed the taste and placed the cup down once again. He sat upon one of the couches by the fire and felt the warmth of the flames upon his feet. Kicking his boots off to garner the warmth further he watched the flames.

“You know, I never thought I’d ever be in a place like this. I mean I had hoped but…never really thought it’d happen. If only for one night I get to live like someone important” he sighed, watching the flames.

He felt something begin to stir, he was not sure how long had passed but his senses seemed to be growing both more distant but also more acute. He fancied he could hear the echo of the fire and it made him chuckle. The flames seemed more alive than before, blending and changing colour, becoming more vibrant.

“Never thought I’d end up sharing it with someone like you either,” he chuckled, or giggled perhaps, “today has been a good day. Much better than most. An honour to share the journey with such loveliness”



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To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

Postby Tazrae on November 28th, 2021, 8:00 pm

Taz heard him when he spoke about mages and Sunberth. She really heard him. The fear of magic was ingrained in his society of Sunberth due to a history of oppressive rule. It wasn’t surprising. And it was as solid of a reason behind a dislike as Tazrae had perhaps ever heard. She watched him fix the tea, finding no fault in his approach, though she did add a bit of honey and cream to her own once he offered her a cup. It was troublesome that he disliked magic. It made her believe he disliked mages just as much. And it made her think of other things.

“You know, my mother once told me she hated weapons. Her dislike of them was always clear and no one could bring them into our home. But it made no sense to me because just laying on a table for example… the weapon causes no damage.” She said, trailing her fingers across the long fine grains of the quality wood the table beneath the tea set. “So many hands could pick up that same weapon and do countless things with it. A knife in a chef’s hands can create masterwork meals. A knife in a child’s hand can create tragedy. That same knife could be used to heal by a healer or kill by a warrior… but none of that is the knife’s fault. It is only the fault of those using it. The same could be said of a rope to secure a horse or hang a man. A simple thing like a field stone can be used as part of a stone fence or to end someone’s life striking their temple.” She said, thanking him as he handed her the tea. She sniffed at the cup while letting it cool off. Since living in Syka, Tazrae had learned to enjoy her beverages at room temperature or even better cold. It had been ages since she’d tasted a hot drink.

The tea had a smooth rich texture that reminded Tazrae of the scent of pines and ginger. Its scent hinted at spices both exotic and expensive, and its deep reddish-brown color hinted at blood spilled on wood. She glanced up at him with her turquoise eyes, watching his reaction to his own cup. Alric had wandered to the main seating before the fire and settled.

Tazrae put her own cup down on the small coffee table in front of the couch and went to the fire to light it. It took her only moments, pulling a small flint and steel from a belt pouch and striking it to tinder provided for that purpose in a small bucket next to the hearth. Once she got the flames going, she added bigger logs in an unusual pattern that would keep the fire burning for ages.

“Fire might be good. Sometimes it helps to have something to look into or stare at if we are going to be … doing this thing.” She added, then joined him on the couch on the opposite side. Alric clinked cups with hers and began to drink his tea.

“Believe it or not I got my bag off a dead man.” She said softly, sipping the brew that was only gently warm now. The Innkeeper cupped her hands around the porcelain cup and took large drinks, just shy of gulps. “I found him in the jungle, dead, and his mount nearly so. I cut her free of the tangle… there were so many dead men and Ixams in that clearing. His things were still on her tack, you see… and I took her home with me to nurse back to health. She was young… a jungle Ixam which are what you would consider large riding lizards. Her name is Bree… and she’s as intelligent as you and I. She’s mine now, and with her came the bag and all her tack. She’s my best friend, actually….” Tazrae admitted softly, smiling slightly at the thought of Bree. “I think she’d like you as much as I do. You and her have the same soulful blue eyes that sometimes are incredibly guarded and sometimes hold your thoughts in them.” She said, completely unphased at the forwardness of it. It was almost like Tazrae spoke without thought or care, her body completely relaxing back into the cushions where she sat.

Taz kicked off her sandals and tucked her feet up beside her, habitually pulling her skirt over her legs. It was a habit she had developed lounging on the beach in Syka, to keep the sun from burning her already burnished skin. She spared a glance at Alric as she took another large drink of her tea. No one had said how much one was supposed to take. One cup? Two? So far nothing seemed different to Taz as her muscles slowly relaxed and her mind opened up. She noted sharply that Alric looked equally relaxed and seemed to equally enjoy the taste of the tea.

“Do you drink? I always assume people from a rough place like your Sunberth must be would never settle for water or tea… but always have ale. We drink a lot of wine in Syka… we get it across the water in Riverfall. That city has a climate for grapes.” She said, her attention suddenly caught by the fire.

The flames seemed to be dancing higher now, flickering like an Ixam’s tongue from the wood upwards towards the flute. And the colors that were swirling in the flames mesmerized Tazrae as her own eyes glazed slightly. Color streamed out of the flames and wrapped around them where they rested on the couch. Taz laughed softly, almost breathlessly, at the sight of it. She set her now empty cup down on the low table in front of them and reached out, as if she could play with the strands of color. “Do you see it?” She asked Alric quietly, glancing at him just in time to see the color expanding from the fire engulphed him as well, and jump between them as if a giant spiderweb had hopelessly bound the two fo them together with its iridescent spider silk.

She gasped because the light show became a pathway, woven between them and leading off into the spot where the fire had burned. Taz rose immediately, but turned to stare behind her. She still sat on the couch beside Alric, though her head had slumped downward where her chin rested on her chest. She held up her hand and noticed it was only made of light and color, not flesh and bone. She turned there and stared at Alric and reached out, taking his hand. She pulled and tugged his arm up… not the flesh and bone one, but the one made of light. He was remarkably light and pliable as she linked her fingers into his and drew their joined fists up to stare.

Somehow, someway, she’d pulled him from his solid form and he stood before her as a body of light and color as well. She grinned, her form wavering a moment, and looked pointedly at their joined hands. “Would you believe I wanted to take your hand all day? Now I’ve done it.” She said, and turned with him, staring at the road of light beneath their feet, leading off into the distance.

“Now what?” She asked, wondering what came next. She stepped forward, hand still in Alaric’s, and thought about what they wanted…. and why they were doing this. It was hard to form a solid thought though. She was relaxed and happy and the whole world was breathing colors. The posh suite had disappeared into nothing and so too was the hot dry air of The Outpost. She didn’t have to breathe here. She didn’t have to think. She simply existed.

But why?

Because an eight-year-old had showed up at an Orphanage in Sunberth. And just like that she was suddenly standing before an ancient crumbling two-story brick building. It looked to have been more than two stories at one time, but the upper levels were gone, destroyed by some unknown disaster or war. It looked like someone had made an effort to create a habitable establishment for the living in the last remaining two stories, though the patchwork didn’t look all that sturdy. Taz wondered if it would withstand any substantial windstorm. It looked like it definitely leaked in the rain.

Taz turned a wide circle and took in the city around her. It was well past sundown and the only light came from the windows before her and around her, simple candles and the luminous glow of hearths. The air was acrid, with tendrils of smoke drifting on unseen breezes in seemingly random patterns. It had been raining, though not currently at the moment. Puddles of dark mud and feces, putrid and acidic, reflected the candlelight from the windows. They looked like glowing river cobbles reflecting the light of a burnished moon.

Taz gripped the hand that held hers and turned as a wagon splashed through the muck, pulling up to the front of the Orphanage. She knew it was the Orphanage by the dilapidated sign hanging from one hook by the gate leading up to it. Two figures, both men, sat in the sprung seat. One hopped down and circled around to the back of the wagon as the other secured the horses. He dropped the tailgate on the wagon and reached inside to pull out a large bundle. It was a boy wrapped in a blanket. She knew because one of his arms slipped from the wrapping and hung almost lifeless from the swathed form.

“Here… leave him here. When he wakes, he shouldn’t remember a thing.” The first man said, his voice gruff and broken, as if he’d spent his life drinking whiskey and heavily smoking cigarillos. The second man nodded, carried the bundle past Tazrae and Alric, and dumped it on the front steps. The boy whimpered, shifted, and was still again. The man who had carried him froze as the boy moved, then shrugged as he settled. He turned his back on the whole thing, walking back across the front of the building, through the gate, to climb back on the wagon.

“Our mistress will be pleased this business is done.” The second man said to the first who snorted in response.

“When is she ever pleased? Think about it… this is just another chore in a long line of chores.” He grumbled, flicking the reins and setting the team of horses into motion. The wagon bumped along finding a rhythm as the pair drove it out of sight.

Taz turned to Alric. “Was that you? Is this the place? Why didn’t we go back further?” She asked, thinking to remember the past they had to be in the past. “Don’t we want to know what happened before this? You lived this so you know it….” She added, then chastised herself with a little chuckle for being so dumb. “You lived the rest of it too… what you can’t remember. Can we go there? Like we came here?” She added, eyebrows lifting as her gaze met his. Even like this, in luminous form, he was still handsome, still comforting and familiar. Even as she took a step closer, maybe to see deeper into his eyes, she saw the colors return in a swirl around them, drawing them away from the scene… drawing them back.

This time she reached out, off balance, and let go of his hand to grab him by the forearms. Facing him, she shut her eyes as they both seemingly dissolved into individual colors. She could see his, rich earth tones shot through with emerald and sapphire, hints of topaz and diamond further deepening what he became without even a body of light. Her own colors swirled, rich jewel tones of purple blue and a blazing hot magenta. Sunny yellow, a cheerful and bright hue, made up her backbone as the two merged swirled and reformed into what Tazrae was starting to think of as their light bodies. They were somewhere else.

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To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 28th, 2021, 9:26 pm



For a second he had to blink, and then blink several times and stick his little finger into his ear as he could have sworn he had momentarily flashed back to a few days prior when he had been talking to a much less attractive person about a similar topic. It was one that was becoming more and more blurred this season. It was almost as if something were driving him to change his mind about magic. It was not that he was terrible closed off to the idea, just that he thought other places in the world could seemingly argue from their positions because they hadn’t been enslaved by them. Still his resolve was eroding further as the season went and he felt so relaxed all he could do was giggle and then give her a big grin.

“Moritzitzitz said that too…though less…good? Called me mental…mantallaly….no no no no….mentally deficient,” he laughed and his voice turned singsong in nature, “do you think that because my eyes are like this I can cast fireballs from them?” he giggled again until he sighed a contented sigh and recovered.

“I don’t know. I used to be more…strong in my opinions. These days what do I know? I am just a street ruffian. I have no magical skill, no business and no tutors. I don’t hate anything really. I just wish people could keep the world going for more than a generation without using some terrible thing to ruin what was built, you know? Weapons…see weapons can be useful but if you know how to use them you rely upon them too much…eventually too much. Magic is just a more dangerous weapon. I don’t hate mages really I guess…just that it’s too easy for just one to ruin a city”

“People weren’t made to be incorruptible,” he sighed as he watched the flames dance, “I should know, look what happened to me” he smiled sadly at that.

His head was beginning to feel heavy, his eyelids drooping but he forced them open so that he could watch her even as the rest of him seemed to feel more leaden, thicker and somewhat numbed. He listened to her story, nodding along as she spoke, he knew seeing dead bodies. Saw them every day. Maybe not lots close together but regular, like a ticking clock. Sometimes it was all he found some days with which to barter for food. Sometimes he found more. Had never found a magic bag or Ixam before though. He mused that perhaps he was just unlucky but there was a big smile at the end.

“Ah ah, you are the one with big, shiny pretty sparkly eyes. Like fire when speaking on things you like. Deep pools of…deep pools…turquoise stones. Light up sometimes, dimmed other times. One day and I can see that,” he said, eyed dropping dangerously close to obscuring her form now, though he noted she had brought her legs up.

He took a few moments of flickering consciousness to truly look at her now, before there had been more clothing, tables, people at the market, her bag and other things in the way. Not to mention a new meeting. Here, on this low couch, drinking tea with her by a warm fire there was a certain vulnerability. Not that he thought she was weak or anything like it, but with her legs curled up and watching him she wasn’t an inn owner or a card player. Not even a jungle maiden Ixam and snake carer. Her divine marks were there still but no…she was a woman. And she was a lovely one at that.

“I drink,” he said, managing to force his arm up and point his finger skyward before it flopped back down beside him, “to forget. And I forget to drink. Sometimes for comfort. Companionship. Not many friends, most died. Ale or rum. Doesn’t matter. Never had wine. Maybe come have some one day”

And with that he felt like he vanished inside of himself. He could no longer feel his body but he was alive…he thought. He could think and he knew he wasn’t asleep, not really. A slight panic set in as he tried to force his body to move and found that it couldn’t. Was he dead? No that wasn’t mentioned so surely not. He wriggled his fingers and felt them pass what he saw as the outline of his body and he was startled. A moment later he was yanked out of his body with some force and he felt like he…rippled…for a moment before he settled and he held up his other hand to look at it curiously, looking at both of their bodies and then at Tazrae. Or rather her ethereal form he supposed.

“I had no idea, I mean I’d rather have an arm around you…wait…is that even possible here?” he said, looking around, “what am I saying of course it is if you’re holding my hand. This…is…weird. But! We did it! It worked it worked it worked!” he said, spinning them both round briefly. He was truly happy that it had worked, he had had a slither of doubt and had braced himself for another terrible failure deep down.

“Oh” he said sadly as the scene shifted and melted, lights blending and throbbing but the end result was something familiar – the orphanage.

He watched the scene unfold with a stony gaze, watching as he was dumped like a cheap sack of potatoes. He stepped forward, feeling the beginning of something he was not overly used to – anger. The men he did not remember but he studied their faces, such as they were, and he knew he would remember their voices. He looked at himself upon the floor and he knew it was him, he just knew. Something scratched at the back of his mind, as if it were trying to gouge its way out of somewhere deep inside. It would have made him shudder had he been in a real body.

“That is me…and they aren’t my parents. This is the orphanage. And they stole my memory from me. They stole it. Did you hear them? I won’t remember they said! Oh I will remember and I’ll find out who they are. I must know right?”

“I don’t know why I don’t remember but they do. But where are my parents? They wouldn’t just abandon me” he said, he felt certain of that much at least.

He was not prepared for the next part, the part where she stepped into him and the world became incandescent. He wouldn’t have said no to a long cuddle or something else but this was something far beyond his reference. He didn’t know what to do. He could feel her energy, pulsing and warm, a certainty of character and an inner strength even he had not suspected. He floundered for something to make something happen. His mind latched onto the few flashes of his parents that he could remember, a camp fire, the smell of the smoke, the hushed words and the rain…the cold.

There was a rushing and he felt as if they were slipping down a rapid river, doused in tis cold waters with only each other for warmth against the current. Tossed this way and that, the world melting and melding, the lights flickering through thousands of shades and colours as they went until it started to coalesce once more, the scene coming together to show a cave that he was not familiar with. He held tight to Tazrae, his rock in the spirit realm until things started to stop rippling.

“There I am again, there by the fire. I don’t know…I must be five? Six maybe? And those…those are my parents” he said with a sigh of relief and happiness.

He was seeing them properly for the first time that he could remember.
His father seemed much like him, though older and dressed as if he were more of a world-weary warrior. A mercenary perhaps what with the armour and weaponry. His mother was where he got his eyes from now, he was that. He smiled at Tazrae before watching what was being revealed.

“We cannot keep running like this Serana, it’s too much. We’re barely scraping enough by for the little one not to mention you or me. We’ve been moving for years now, is there no place that we can at least buy some time of safety? Some ruined tower no one know about in the wilds or something?”

“What would you have us do Kalas? You know they will never stop. We knew what would happen when we decided this path. I don’t know of anywhere they won’t eventually try to find us. The mistress doesn’t take disobedience well”

“Well then can you at least stop scratching at that parchment long enough for us to get underway and further away?”

“I have set shields and we are as safe as we can be. These writings will make sure people know. Alric is of our blood, my blood, and he will know of his family, of us, if I have to make copies and elave them in every city before I die”

“You mean when we die. How does that help us now though?”

Alric watched the back and forth continue for a while, the words growing distant and echoing, distorted as if he either couldn’t remember them of as if his child self had stopped paying attention to another of his parent’s discussions. Eventually he heard himself talk.

“Mummy, I’m cold. Daddy stop shouting”

From there they both looked at each other, ending their own attentions with each other and came to sit by him at the fire, wrapping him in a blanket and cuddling up like a family actually should with much shushing and teasing and playing. Then the scene transitioned into one of his few vague memories and if he had been awake he felt sure he’d have had tears upon his cheeks – as it was his gaze was sad and long. Simple play between parents and child around a fire.

“No wonder I like watching fires so much,” he sighed, turning to Tazrae as the scene began to ripple again, “they were running. That much is clear. This…mistress…I do not know. But…this is too far back. Help me try to find the right place”

And with that he stepped into her this time and the familiar lightshow began to burn and crackle around them. He was not sure how long they would have but time seemed strange on this journey together, as if it truly didn’t matter. He felt his energy this time slightly dimmed, tinged with the sadness of loss and he hoped she would understand and it would not mean that whatever energy this was it meant he lessened hers in any way.


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Alric Lysane
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To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

Postby Tazrae on November 28th, 2021, 11:57 pm

She was getting used to him; used to this togetherness. Their travel was completely unconventional but the memories they were riding upon felt very real to her even though they were his. He felt very real to her even though he was without form and shape now, only an idea and a collection of energies. She saw the world in a swirl of colors, his mingling and tangling with hers as they moved further backward in time. The campfire flickered, flames dancing, as his parents talked. Their words were not angry, but were instead laced with desperation. Her chest tightened though it housed no heart at the moment.

She wasn’t even breathing and she wanted to gasp for breath, so deeply buried they were in his memories. She felt him, all of him… the sharp hard bite of his anger not directed at her but at the men. She felt the despair and aloneness he felt. It wasn’t the same as being lonely. He was adrift, purposeless, and far from any path, he should be taking. That was the feeling she had of him, even as the sorrow rose up at his recognition of his parents.

Alric’s father was a salt-of-the-earth type man. He looked as worn and useful as a comfortable favorite leather glove. He radiated confidence and self-assurance, as if he knew who he was. He also broadcast his duty to the woman on the other side of the fire. Taz could tell he guarded her, not in a possessive way, but in the way a man had about him who knew the worth of his possessions. The woman was one of his possessions… his most precious. Taz could tell by the way the woman looked at him. They could be in a crowd of people and she’d still only see the man; only him. Taz half-smiled at the sight.

His mother was something else though. Tazrae saw it immediately. She moved and spoke like someone highly educated. Her body wasn’t that of toughened leather like the man, but of fine-boned well-bred beauty. She belonged among silk and furs with servants hovering in attendance and wine flowing freely. Here, in the cave with the rough-hewn man, she was as out of place in that particular time as Alric was in his current life.

Like mother like son, Taz thought, as she watched on, still tangled in Alric’s energy and colors.

His mother was a writer. Taz noted that immediately. She had ink-stained fingers and a collection of quills laid out along with her writing supplies that made Taz sure of her judgment. The Innkeeper was no record keeper. Paper rotted in the jungle just as books did, but her father had been a writer and a lover of books... so much so that Taz recognized it in others. He’d had those same ink-stained fingers, for certain.

Serana and Kalas. Earth and Air. Taz turned, sensing Alric more than looking at him. She didn’t have eyes to look anyhow. Instead, he felt like water to her fire. She left the parents then, drifting away from the adults to study the child. Willful and brought up to be precocial. Taz could tell just by observation. He had sharp intelligence in his eyes and worry for his parents, though she understood immediately through Alric that he had no understanding of what the worry was. How could he be? He was only a child.

Taz was just trying to puzzle out more when Alric’s energy swelled and overwhelmed her. She didn’t understand what he did, but suddenly instead of two separate beings, they were one creature once again. He wanted to go further back, his awareness everywhere around her and within her, and though Taz had no idea how to do such things, suddenly her will rose to mesh with his, and the world with the cave and trio by the fire slipped out of focus and they were tumbling again.

This time the space was elegant. Tazrae had no idea where it was, or even when it was, but she was overlooking another fire and Alric's mother, a bit younger, reading a letter by its light. As Serana turned one of the pages of the letter over to continue reading, Kalas moved in the shadows. Tazrae would have never seen him save for the fact that he held a nearly blackened dagger in his hand that cast no reflection due to its matted surface. It did, however, cast an odd shadow that had drawn her attention as the man-made what seemed to Tazrae as a nervous gesture, twirling it silently in the dark.

He'd been watching the woman a long time. How she knew, Tazrae could not have said, but this didn’t seem to be the first instance and it felt like it would not be the last. Their energy… Taz decided… touching their energy gave off this information as neatly as hearing actual words would. Once more her energy parted from Alric's as they became two beings – two witnesses – as a knock sounded at the door across from the fire. Kalas grew utterly still in the shadows as a servant came in, oblivious to the additional person in the room, and set a tray on the side table where Serana sat reading.

“Will you eat, Mistress?” The woman asked, concern filling her elderly eyes.

Serena looked up at her, glanced down at the tray, and shook her head. “I can’t. Nothing sounds good. I probably won’t until I figure this out.” She said determinedly. Involuntarily, the letter crumpled in her hands. “He won’t stop writing.” Serana whispered, glancing at the servant as if she would have answers.

“No, love, I didn’t think he would. They grow angrier, don’t they? Each letter he sends?” The older woman whispered, worried and just a little afraid.

“Yes. He wants my dowry. He wants my body. He wants what my name and lands will bring him. That’s all he sees. He doesn’t see me. And now… now he writes that he will pool all his funds and make sure my name appears at the top of some hit list.” She whispered, her eyes brimming with tears. “If my parents were still here, they’d know what to do. They’d stop this madness. But it’s like this man won’t accept no for an answer. It’s my life, my choice, and I’m not going to give in to his threats.” Serana said softly.

The Servant’s hands were shaking as she poured out the younger woman a glass of wine. She offered it to the younger woman who took it gratefully.

“Serena, he doesn’t want your money, your lands, or your heart. He wants your blood. He wants the mother of his children to be as powerful as he can find so his children will have the gifts and right blood.” She paused then for a moment before carrying on. “We… all of us here… think he arranged for your parents’ accident. We think he killed them because they would have never let it come to this. He’s a very dangerous man, love. I think… we all do… that if you keep refusing him he will do one of two things. He will take you by force or kill you.” She said, the fear bleeding out into the room. Its energy mingled with Tazrae’s and the woman’s very carefully controlled terror… and it too made Tazrae afraid.

Serana stiffened, though not because she was shocked by what the servant said. Instead, it was more that she realized that her own fears uttered out loud gained more power.

“It is said that he is related to The Mistress of the Mortanis. They are assassins. If they come here, you will die.” The woman said, her voice laced with terror. “They might already be here.” She said, glancing around, though her eyes failed to see the shadow that was nothing more than darkness and death.

Tazrae moved closer to the shadow. She wanted to get a good look at it. She wanted to know the source of Serana’s fears. So she drew closer, dragging Alric’s energy and light with her. Together they advanced until they all but stood before the tall figure swathed in midnight. The fire sparked, just a brief instant, and it lit the shadow’s face just enough for Tazrae to properly see his face.

Kalas stood there, frozen, stroking a matte black dagger intended for the Serana’s heart. Taz saw something then, something in those blue eyes that were so eerily like Alric’s own. She saw compassion and sorrow and the beginnings of a rebellion. The man had watched the young woman for a long long time, enough to know her ways and means, and certainly enough to judge her character. He did not want to do this thing. He did not want to take this life.

And together Tazrae and Alric stood witness as Kalas made a decision – perhaps the last he’d ever make as a Mortanis – and decided to give life instead of take it as he stepped out of the shadow, pulled back his cloak that must have been laced with magic because once the cloak was pushed back, he manifested completely… clearly to be seen by all in the room.

“The Mortanis are already here. I’ve been here a while. But I’ve seen more than enough. Who is this man, and why did he hire my people to kill you?” He asked carefully, calmly, while making a show of sheathing his dagger before both of the frozen women. The servant recovered first, throwing her now empty silver tray at him like a sideways guillotine. It made a silver arc through the sky, which the man intercepted with a matte black bracer, knocking it to one side.

“If I was going to kill you, you’d already been dead.” He said dryly, his attention already turning from the servant to her mistress. “Now, tell me what you know so I can better keep you alive.” He added, striding towards them to close the gap.

The young woman, Alrics mother, lifted her head proudly. “My parents and I, before their deaths… were some of the last blood members of the Nymkarta. We ruled Alahea before the Valterrian. He wants me for that blood, its affinity to magic, and the longevity it grants its members. But Alahea is dead. The Empire is no more. It has been dead for five hundred and twenty-one years since my ancestor agreed to marry the Emperor of Suva even though she was already in love with a God. He wants what that God wanted. He wants what that Emperor wanted. I’d choose death any day over giving him what he wants.” She said softly.

The Mortanis froze. He simply stopped breathing. It was a chime or two before he took a breath, before he even remotely reacted. “They were all supposed to be dead.” He said softly, in almost a whisper.

The servant shook her head. “No… not all of them. A goodly number of them survived the Valterrian. Ivak was not as random as he seemed when he destroyed the world. Kova’s child survived and thus her bloodline, and so did her sister, aunts, uncles, practically everyone not responsible for Kova’s death lived through the Valterrian. Serana here is a daughter of the line that was Kova’s sister’s get. They’ve been hunted for the last five hundred years because people either want them dead for destroying the world or they want to infuse their own bloodlines with the power they hold in their veins. Serana doesn’t want to give him what he wants. Will you help her?” The servant asked, bluntly, the desperation in her voice clear cut.

Taz was lost to the scene. She knew the world’s history. She knew how Kova had died with a spear through her heart and hung up on the gates of Suva for all to judge. It was supposed to be the end of the war – a marriage to end all wars in fact. But Kova wasn’t pure. She’d taken a lover young before she had promised herself to the Emperor of Suva, and she’d born that lover a son. No one knew the lover was a God and his vengeance for Kova’s death was the destruction of the world.

Tazrae turned and looked at Alric with fresh eyes that were not eyes. She looked at him with her energies suddenly understanding the implication. This was Alric’s mother. This was not just the story of his mother, but the story of his mother’s family. It was the story of the whole world, in fact. He might not have been the son of Kova and Ivak, but he was of her line… of her family. And he hated… no simply feared magic.

The irony of it…

Tazrae wanted suddenly out of here, gone from this place, to someplace else where the world was smaller, more intimate, less … life-changing. She thought of her own mother and how much she had disliked her and the world vanished around her again. It happened just as it happened before, except this time she was back at the old Inn where she’d grown up.

She saw her own mother standing there, holding the baby girl that was fussing and needy. The woman wrinkled her nose, held out the child as if it would poison her, and glared at the man who stood watching. “She hates me. She knows I’m not her mother. Why in the worlds are you making me pass her off as my own?” Tazrae’s mother snapped.

And in that instant, Tazrae understood. The child wanted her mother and the woman holding her was not that person. She looked close enough to her mother to pass for her mother, but it was not her mother and the infant knew it.

Her father sighed. “She won’t settle if you continue to hold her like that. You look like you want to drop her like a sack of grain.” He said tiredly, like every nerve in his body had been stomped on and there was nothing left to give.

The woman frowned, sniffed the air, and abruptly and roughly dropped the infant on the hard surface of the table, taking no care with her unsteady head. Luckily the blankets swaddling the infant protected her little head from injury. “She shit herself. You’d better change her. I agreed to do this, but I did not agree to clean up shit.” She snapped and marched off, leaving the baby struggling in its swathing clothes up top the table. One breath, and then another, and Tazrae knew the infant would begin to wail.

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Tazrae
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To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 29th, 2021, 4:53 pm



As they both parted once more, after the momentary swimming into focus, he was left more confused than he had been before. He had been trying to imagine the fat of his parents, the ultimate moment of revelation but instead he saw his mother, her very being radiating fear and tired exasperation burying a core of stubborn hopelessness. It pained him to feel her that way. He might not fully remember her but he was his mother and somewhere , deep down, he had always wished he could save her – have saved her – from whatever fate had befallen.

Sadness turned into bafflement and then into shock and the sense that things were being turned upside down, the he was being turned upside down and inside out. He followed Tazrae with his eyes, however that was possible, and noticed where her gaze was drawn to. He looked around the place that his mother had clearly called home at one time in her life. He wouldn’t have believed it had he not been seeing it – wealth. Not the shiny and gaudy wealth of new and ostentatious purchases but the old style that spoke of accumulation because you had an oaken table that lasted centuries and never needed to buy another.

He paused to look down upon her face, studying every facet of it and reaching out to brush her cheek but meeting nothing. He could not read the parchment, the names were not his to know it seemed. He was not even sure how they had managed to come to a time where she was even younger and perhaps had not even been his mother. He felt his resolve harden – this was not fair, he didn’t need their echoed words to know that. Her life had been unfair, his life had been unfair…and now he knew there had been a cause. He would discover it, that promise he made to the universe as a whole.

He followed Taz then, his already shaky sense of certainty completely fracturing with the next series of revelations. Seeing his father, a black blade and magical cloak signifying himself as his mother’s would-be killer was enough to rock the foundation of what identity he had carved for himself. He saw the same jutting jaw of determination, the same flash of independent thought and disobedience in his eyes…but this was not the father he remembered. He felt cold, hard and as if ruthlessness had only just been breached by another thing – love. Even if his father had not fully known it in that moment of rebellion.

This IS the cause of their fate…this moment…when they both decided to not give in and blindly follow. The firs ripple that led to a tidal wave of misery at its ending…how can Lhex be so cruel. They did the right thing! They made a choice… is thoughts trailed off, his energy flickering and dimming with the enormity of what he was being shown.

His birth had clearly not been planned, they had likely been forced to start running after this moment of defiance. Even if they had held ground, wherever this place was, for a while it clearly had not worked. He was not planned but not unwanted and in a way that mattered more to him. But to know of his bloodlines…it was too much. It was too tragically comical. He, who had spoken of dangerous mages and trying to live by a code…the son of a Mortanis and the family that killed the world. He would’ve laughed manically but he had no lungs to do so. His mind reeled and started to rebel, the vision beginning to collapse as he felt it trigger the snapping of some old bond, the collapse of an old wall…he felt sure when he woke he’d remember more though not how much.

“They treated me like a joke…those men…whoever these killers were…like something to laugh at. Taking a..a…,” he would’ve swallowed, “would be mage king lineage with an honour killer father…and erased it all…they made me clueless and then dumped me into a city that hates mages and glorifies anarchic dishonour…they mocked my parents even beyond the grave…I…” he was at a loss for words and he felt his form start to waver.

He was losing control, spiralling and fragmenting until there was another explosion of colour and they joined once more to flash and crackle down a rainbow line and be flung out somewhere altogether more normal. It provided a certain balance on solidity. This was not his memory, it was Taz in control now. He was not against it given what had just been discovered. He was not sure he wanted to discover anymore. Looking around he felt out the surroundings. It felt like familiarity, like companionship and merriment. An inn…her father’s inn.

He looked upon the scene and listened and as the words progressed he felt a sharp pang in his chest before realising they were still joined after a fashion – this was hers. He went for the whatever energetic equivalent of an arm around her shoulders was. This was too cruel. He had been wanted but seeing the woman hold the tiny Tazrae at arms length as if she were diseased was beyond cruel. She was just a baby.

He looked at her would be mother closer and felt her out – she was a cold and hard woman but not in the way his father had been. No, this was a coldness born of a lack of caring, of sympathy. Or was it empathy? She felt like she was all edges with nettle in the way of a solid heart as a core. She had never wanted Tazrae, that much was clear, and she resented her…chore. He could’ve spat the word at her had she been real.

Her father, by comparison, was warm and generous. He felt more like he thought Tazrae felt, a warm fire of generosity and kindness. A deep well of reliability and conscientiousness. He was tired, so tired, as if the woman next to him had ground him down. Or as if some terrible event had asked him to give his all and he now needed a long rest but knew he would not take once for the sake of his new daughter. He felt of her as a daughter – that much was cure, his gaze was fond and warm as it lingered upon the little one, even if it was cracked red from tired sorrow.

And then the woman dropped Tazrae and his anger rose up. Already close to the edge emotionally it was too much to see – even the hardest men in Sunberth knew there were lines that shouldn’t be crossed. The orphanage was loved because so many had been one and they knew the innocent defenceless nature of a child in the cold, dark streets.

How could her parents leave her in the charge of such a horrible woman!? he felt the question burst forth from him and it was as if a wave broke, his emotion lending it power perhaps, he wasn’t sure.

But they were moving again, flashing and crackling, whirling and melding. He was almost getting used to it and would not have been surprised if they would wake up sharing a leg. But they whirled on, deeper they went into the sea and he noticed how the seas colour had changed, the river or whatever it was now held Tazrae’s colours and was warmer than his had been. Did they have different paths in more than just name? He had little chance to think further as they were almost catapulted out at force and he felt his feet slide on the ground if strongly enough to leave a groove with their heels. He held fast to Taz until they came to a stop and he was even more puzzled.

All around them was…..sand? Sand in all direction but one, a collection a lights from shelters nestled between several high dunes that seemed to act as shelter from the winds whipping the rest of the desert, rippling the sands into wavy patterns. He stepped and they were now within the settlement. It was larger then it first looked and now they were closer it was clear the large dunes around it were no accident – stone tunnels were cut into them that spoke of a depths in the sand that he longed to explore but he was pulled away and they both flickered and were now surrounded by people.

He had never seen their kind before, they were covered with colourful and elaborate clothing that yet seemed simple but elegant in shape. Everything seemed to be decorated, even the bowls they drank from were carved and clearly made with skill. The men were hardy and well formed, the women wore cosmetics that were upon their faces and hands in intricate designs he was not sure he would have the patience to put on himself. There were tents amongst what appeared to be some sort of clay brick style of building covered with brightly colourful veneers of something he was not familiar with. But what he noticed after a while was that they had the same skin tone as Tazrae did – almost bronzed and possessed of a healthy glow. And their eyes…they were not blue like hers but a mixture of golds and ambers, browns. But the brightest of honey yellows were ones he had never seen before.

They were celebrating. The younger ones were dancing together as drums and rattles made a rhythm for a stringed instrument he did not know but could appreciate the tones from. The men were shirtless, showing off their hard carved muscle and the women were swaying, almost like water as their hips made movements that made him briefly wonder about another’s hips before he needlessly cleared his throat and looked to the elders. They were gathered around a larger fire, with various ages either side of what he presumed were the celebrated couple…no….there was a child also.

He flickered and was before them now, looking down upon one he was growing to know quite well – it was Tazrae. She had been from this desert place? Was that why she liked the sand? This music, did she play it at her inn and dance as the women before had without knowing but feeling a deep almost resonant imperative of instruction? He did not know but he was sure of one thing – the little one was she and she was in the arms of a laughing and much more loving woman this time. There was a resemblance to the face and for a moment their eyes locked and he could have sworn she saw him as if he were there.

Her eyes were blue and her hair the same colour as Tazrae’s, perhaps lighter. But she felt…different…to the ones around her. As if she were from another place. Her energy felt…greater? Was it that she had magic perhaps? Or a life force stronger than those around her? It was easy to see why the clearly more local man beside her was so devoted to the woman, she was magnetic and drew them in, but not in a manipulative way. She cared, she was devoted in kind. It was a mutual celebration of a birth.

“A child of the Gods!” a chant went up and rippled out so that they all took it up for a few moments in time with the music.

It didn’t seem like the usual celebration of the birth of an infant he thought, they were filled with a frenzy of delight almost. No this was special, he could feel it in their energy. There was an exuberance that was also tinged with something else…sadness? A parting would happen soon…was that it? They would be leaving the tribe, there was something important that had been set in motion. The little Tazrae was the nexus for it, her connection to being this ‘child of the gods’ had decreed something from Lhex and it would alter her path, putting her out of reach of her people of origin…but not without chance of return.

“You are a child of the gods?” he asked her as he pulled her closer, “look, it’s you. And your actual mother…she looks so happy” he said with a little smile.
There was a crackling in the air as they took up the chant again, some clearly slurring their words now, and he was getting the sense that they meant it more literally than he might have originally assumed. He was out of his depth and he cast around for some clue as she had helped him to find. And then a name was called and the woman looked up with a smile.

“Naveisha!” and the name was chanted with love and devotion by all.
He looked at Tazrae then, the world seeming to grow brighter and flickering around them.



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To Follow Sifted Memory [Tazrae]

Postby Tazrae on Yesterday, 6:21 am

There was so much to take in; so much to learn. Tazrae was having a hard time absorbing it all. The drug that linked them and sped them along the backwards path towards history was doing a real number on her mind and body. Alric was a rock of strength and she was glad that where they traveled, neither one of them traveled alone. It would be terrifying, she decided, seeing all this without someone there anchoring you and reminding you that you are not crazy. It was odd too, because as she was with him, he helped her preserve her sense of self. She knew where she ended and he began even though to Tazrae’s experience, they were both a wash of color and sensation, interwoven and interlocked.

Watching his parents first meeting was eye-opening. From what Tazrae understood, Alric had no knowledge of where he’d come from and no idea he was anything more than what Sunberth called street rats. Raised in an Orphanage… and he was Nymkarta. Taz didn’t know what that meant initially, but from watching the scene unfold and hearing the word used in context, she had a better understanding now. Alric was some sort of royalty, a long and truly lost member of a dynasty that everyone thought died with the Valterrian. The word echoed in and out of her awareness and caused Tazrae to turn and look at Alric with new eyes.

Her one burning question was what happened to Alric’s parents? Were they still alive? The scene gave them so many answers, but then raised so many more questions. And truthfully, with every question fleeting through her mind, Tazrae found it harder and harder to hold onto them. Taz suspected the drugs were muddling her because each of a million thoughts seemed to spontaneously burst into existence and then flee her mind, almost like a quietly perching flock of birds suddenly rising out of winter-bare trees to take flight in all different directions.

More pointedly was Alrics emotions. They channeled through her in waves. She felt what he was feeling when he felt it. And she knew without him saying how enraged he was that his mother had been forced to endure through no fault of her own but rather by an accident of birth. Tazrae knew life was like that. She had learned that lesson early and well. Alric should have too, growing up in Sunberth in an orphanage of all places.

Tazrae couldn’t help but admire the couple. They had both bucked traditions, gone against others wishes, and made their own pathway in life. Were they still alive? Gods she hoped they were. His mother a royal from the old world and his father … some sort of paid killer. Though, Taz did note, that Alric’s father was not without conscious and not without morals.

Taz heard Alrics words, and turned, her colors and energy swirling against his, joining with him. She took his words and turned them about absorbed them, and gave them back to him as something different. “Regardless of how they treated you… you are no joke. They thought they tossed you away into a trash heap you could never survive. But they were wrong, weren’t they? What they did made you stronger… stronger than you’d ever be growing up among all this wealth.” She said, indicating the décor around them.

“No one thinks a grown man picking on a child – abusing one even – as a joke. No one.” She said fiercely, trying to calm his whirling colors and his thread-bare emotions. And when she did that, the scene swirled and changed.

They were in her Father’s Inn.

Taz witnessed the scene and understood things she’d never thought to question before. She knew the truth of the scene. She really did. It was like a replay of every memory she’d had of her mother and her mother’s strange coldness.

Strange no more… that much was certain.

A sudden frozen quietness streamed out from Tazrae. Her warm presence dimmed and faded, as if being in the mere presence of the woman trying not to hold the baby tore her down. It was a familiar feeling for her. It was as if she gathered up all her emotions and shoved them back into a tiny box somewhere in the vicinity of her heart. It was a habit she’d developed over years of dealing with a woman who had no compassion and certainly no love.

Taz gasped as Alric seemingly took charge and moved them again. She was dizzy with it this time; unsteady in ways she didn’t understand. But it made her realize Alric’s own feeling of off balance was the same. There was something wrong about witnessing one’s childhood trauma as an adult. And the feeling of being out of place was strong. She glanced towards the swirl of color that formed Alrics rough outline and saw that he to was feeling it.

The warm dry air hit her like a slap in the face. The smells, the textures, the colors all brought memory flooding back. She was small, incredibly small, but she remembered this. She remembered these people dancing; her people.

She looked as Alric did and saw what he saw. Her eyes drank up the sight, trying to firmly lock it all in her memory. Benshira. Tazrae was sure of it. This was some sort of gathering of one of their tribes in celebration of the infant just born. The colors and music overwhelmed her with joy, lightening her mood. Her non-existent heart began to pound, it’s beat matching with the drumbeats. She hummed whatever they were singing under her breath, joy radiating outward.

She saw her real mother then, with the same brilliant blue eyes and the hair that never could quite decide between golden brown and blonde. Tazrae smiled and broke off from Alric, moving forward and trying to draw nearer the woman. She wanted to be with her people. Tazrae belonged with them. She could feel it in her soul and knew it was the truth because her colors were reaching out to their colors, both drawn to each other magnetically.

But Alric pulled her close, back, away from the dancers. He meant nothing by it, for she could feel his need to be with her which equaled her own need to be with him. And for a moment the two urgers – him or the tribe – set to warring with each other inside her until she picked and stayed wrapped in his energies.

“I don’t know what I am. I certainly didn’t know any of this… I was too young to remember. Far too young.” She said thoughtfully. She could feel the power in the air, the djed the group pulled from the sea, the clouds, even the dancing had its own patterns and purpose. But their purpose was not her purpose, at least not yet or not at that time.

Taz whimpered at the name they gave the child. It was beautiful and striking and everything a child of the sands should be. Why hadn’t she grown up here? Why hadn’t…..

A multitude of questions ran through her mind, but she could sense they were out of time. The pull back to their present was strong as the tea waned in its effects. Tazrae felt herself yanked along with Alric, tumbling and swirling in an unseen vortex that drove them towards the here and now.

It was hard coming off the tea. Taz was shaking by the time sense returned to her. She felt the crackle of the fire at her back and and the softness of the couch beneath her knees. Strong arms held her by the shoulders as her own loosely circled around someone’s neck. . Something warm was pressed against her forehead.


Slowly, she lifted her head and opened her eyes.

They were back in the Khamsin Inn’s posh room. The fire had burned lower than Tazrae would have liked, leaving only the occasional tiny flicks of flame. The fire crackled in a very subdued way, putting on a light show with its embers.

It was late, past sundown, which surprised Tazrae. One could tell because nothing but darkness streamed through the windows. She latched on to the thought of it being a late hour because that was easier to think about than where she was. Alric was seated on the sofa in a normal position while Tazrae was sitting in his lap facing him. Her forehead had been resting against his as she’d taken the journey with him.

This time she wasn’t a presence… an observer to memories. This was a memory they were making together in the present.

She refused to think of how much she enjoyed that moment when she returned to herself. And rather than squirm or panic, she only offered him a smile and said quietly…”That… was something else.” Taz whispered and leaned forward once more, touching her forehead against his.

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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 554
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Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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