Completed [Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light III

Tazrae is caught off guard and touched by true darkness.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light III

Postby Tazrae on December 26th, 2021, 11:23 pm

Timestamp: 70th of Winter, 521 A.V.

Continued From: [Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light II


Taz nodded slightly even as Kami moved down, examined her rib, and winced. She had Taz raise her bound arms off the small of her back as she probed her torso with her hands and finally jerked the broken rib back into place. Taz felt white-hot pain lace her body, momentarily blinding her, starting up the pounding head all over again, and almost causing her to faint. When she was done, Kami had begun to wrap her ribs tightly, which actually helped the pain rather than added to it.

“I can’t believe you didn’t break anything else… an arm or leg. This rib will slow you down plenty though.” Kami said, reaching into her pack and pulling out a small bag. She handed the bag to Cedar who had been watching the tending with narrowed eyes. “Brew this into tea, will you? It will clear her pain without muddling her thoughts. Nico should be back this evening, and she’ll need to be ready for him. He’ll want to question her and if she’s not gone by then it will get ugly.” Kami said softly, studying Tazrae intently for a moment.

“Nico is a monster in human flesh. He’s one of my grandfather’s most loyal subjects and frankly, my grandfather treats him like a son. He’s a good fighter and if he had any sort of magical ability, my grandfather would probably give me to him permanently. But the man is bone dry of djed and useless for any of my grandfather’s long-term plans.” Kami said softly, moving on to attending to some of Tazrae’s other injuries.

Now that she had lost her boots, one of her toes had a cut on it, one she hadn’t noticed before. Kami bandaged it and took most of the bruising out from around it. “My Grandfather feels the same way about me too. I’m not magical gifted. And healers he has by the dozens. My djed is of a different sort, all tied up in Rak’Keli’s power and claimed by her, if only by one mark so far.” Kami said, offering up more of herself.

“I don’t know what happened to me.” Taz said thoughtfully. “Or why I’m even here. One moment I was in the jungle riding Bree, and the next moment … I was… somewhere else. Here.” She said, confused still who these people were and why they were helping her. They were saying a lot, but not much of it was making sense to her.

Cedar spoke up then, answering that question for her. “You came over the top of one of Nico’s gathering parties. They shot down your Ixam with bolas. It’s simple really… and how they acquired most of their mounts here. You fell from her. It was a hell of a surprise, I might add, that they encountered one that had a rider way out here. They were so busy securing you that your mount got her legs untangled and got away. I’m afraid she’s probably long gone from here.” Cedar said, studying Tazrae thoughtfully.

“That is, if she wasn’t hurt. I wasn’t there when they brought her down and I didn’t see.” He added, holding out a mug of tea that smelled pungent. He wasn’t offering it to her to take, but rather holding it out for her to drink.


Words: 553
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"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


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Tazrae
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[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light III

Postby Tazrae on December 26th, 2021, 11:27 pm

Taz shook her head, then leaned forward and sipped the beverage that Cedar held out, her hands still bound. “Then they don’t have Bree? Good… that’s… a relief.” She said swallowing, glancing up at Kami. “I don’t think she would run far though. Not her. She either went for help or is close. She’s not like the other Ixam here.” Taz said thoughtfully, leaning back in and taking another long drink of the quickly cooling tea that Cedar offered.

Then she shut her mouth. Even though this woman was healing her, did she really know her? There was no guarantee this was any sort of ally. These people looked like enemies of her enemy, but did that make them her friend? And why was Nico an enemy anyhow? Who was this Grandfather?

“What is Nico even doing here? And how … I mean… I … who is your grandfather?” Taz asked again, her blue eyes meeting Kami’s green ones. This woman… she had a striking appearance. And Tazrae would even have said the pair of them looked alike. She looked very akin to the woman amid all the fine desertbred horses that had handed off the babe to Marketh that day from Taz’s time with Alric and the memories they’d experienced. Taz stared at her, looking closer, and seeing things she wanted to deny.

“Florentin Arcadius” Kami answered softly, glancing at Cedar. “I’m a hostage to him to keep the desert tribes from all-out war. He’s a Kois and my father is a Lisuli. My mother is war chief of the Kois. My father is Talsis Lisuli, third in line to the Lisuli leadership. They had a clandestine romance that couldn’t last.” Kami said softly. “My Grandfather pulls the strings of the Kois, though his son who is my uncle is its leader.” Kami added.

“Matari. Your mother’s name is Matari. You… you are my sister.” Tazrae said abruptly, remembering clearly the family tree that Alric had salvaged for her, giving it back to her that second day. “We are… twins. Not the kind that looks alike... but twins nonetheless.” She said softly, putting two and two together. “Florentin Arcadius is my enemy.” Tazrae said in no uncertain circumstances. “He’s looking for those with power in their blood to add to his. You said your djed was dedicated to healing… and that Nico had no djed at all. “ She said, rolling these facts around in her head, trying to put more of it together.

Kami nodded. Cedar simply watched on, even as Tazrae leaned forward and drank the last of the tea from his hand. There was a thankfulness in her eyes as they finished clearing of their blur and the pounding in her skull receded. “Florentin is not a good man.” Kami said softly, then reached forward and stroked Tazrae’s cheek. “I knew you the minute I saw you. I just had no idea how you’d be out here, in the jungle, among Falyndar’s Wilds.” She whispered, blinking.

“Mother sent you away to protect you from Florentine. She claimed you had no power. And she told Grandfather you were dead… of the sickness that claims children sleeping in their cribs. She said you stopped breathing, but he never believed her. He found it suspicious her own twin disappeared the same day you died. And so too did Talsis’ brother Marketh. Mother told me Estra was in love with Marketh though he never gave her even so much as a grain of sand of attention.” Kami said shortly. “She agreed to silence and a life away from the desert in exchange for him… a life with him.” Kami supplied, filling in so many blanks that were mysteries in Tazrae’s mind.


Words: 621
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"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


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Tazrae
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[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light III

Postby Tazrae on December 26th, 2021, 11:29 pm

“I had a series of letters from Estra and Estra’s new husband after Marketh had died and she became a Nakivak. It arrived more than a year after I came to Syka. In the letter, she confessed to me in that she had Maketh killed by inviting a Shroud to come live with us for most of a season. We all sickened, but Marketh more so and he died. Of all of us, he spent the most time with the Shroud. It was… some sort of revenge for Estra. I… I think she wanted Marketh to love her and he never did. She confessed it all to me in her own hand-delivered on my birthday. There was a second letter to me in there, from her new husband. She… took her own life after she miscarried a second son to him and was barren. He’d taken a new Nakivak to replace her.” Taz said slowly.

“She was your Aunt.” The young Innkeeper said, meeting Kami’s eyes. “She was not… a good person. She tried, I think, but Estra was selfish. Marketh barely tolerated her. He… he was a really good man. He was a good father too. I don’t know Talsis Lisuli, but Marketh could not have been a lesser man than he.” The young Innkeeper added.

Kami nodded. “I didn’t know Father either. Just by reputation, not by first-hand appearances. I’ve never met him or any of the Lisuli. I know Grandfather hates them. They move faster and have more territory than we do in Eyktol. They have power he doesn’t have there, and it makes him crazy.” Kami said softly, then even though Tazrae was still bound, began to carefully wash the rest of her. It was an odd experience, because Tazrae wasn’t sure what Kami’s motivation was. Why was she helping her?

“From what I know of Florentin Arcadius, he is crazy.” Taz whispered, turning her head to the side as Kami wiped mud off her bare neck. The Innkeeper wondered how she would have done this a year ago or more when she hadn’t completely embraced Syka’s habits of casting clothing aside. She wasn’t self-conscious of anything but her bound hands. And she was wondering why the pair hadn’t freed her yet. They seemed to be helping her, but not in the way she would have liked.

Cedar had risen, washed up the mug in a pitcher of water, and replaced it by a wine and tea service Nico evidently kept for himself in the main tent. It was most likely used to host guests. He moved with ease, and now that Taz was looking at him more carefully, he seemed younger despite the older face he wore. “When Tazrae heals more, Nico is going to see the truth of your relationship for himself. You are not identical sisters, but even I can tell you are related closely by blood. Carried together in the same womb, I imagine, at the same time. Matari and Estra were twins as well, fraternal like you both are.” He said, shaking his head.

“He won’t be pleased. Especially if there is someone here that can identify Tazrae for what she is… the twin that got all the power. He’ll use you against Florentin, Tazrae. Especially if he knows.” The old man said, shaking his head.

Words: 555
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"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


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Tazrae
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[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light III

Postby Tazrae on December 26th, 2021, 11:33 pm

“Cedar is Nico’s Bard. He’s acting as a recorder and cataloger here on the expedition. We’re gathering spell components for House Aradacus.” Kami supplied, shaking her head.

“He’s also probing Falyndar in hopes it would be a place to expand his power out of the desert too. So far, though, he’s lost half his men to snakebites, illness, and accident.” She added, knowing Nico was not happy about the losses or how Florentin would respond to them. “We are getting a decent yield though. I’m just not sure if Grandfather will think it’s good enough for the tradeoff of lives… unless the men he sent here are discards anyhow. ” She mused.

Tazrae was still in a state of shock that had nothing to do with her knocked-around skull. She was facing her twin sister. And she was feeding Tazrae answers to questions the girl had not even known she needed. They were willing to talk to her, both of them like she wasn’t an enemy.

“Can you both tell me something….” Taz asked, knowing it was now or never for this question… one that had bothered her since she’d Dreamwalked with Alric and taken that tea. “Why is Florentin Arcadius trying to get the Nymkarta bloodline into his family? Our… family? I’ve seen some things… in the past. He stole a woman who wasn’t his and did things to her, got her with children, until she could have no more, and is looking for her son that she had prior to his capture. She was a Nymkarta.” Taz said softly, curious.

Kami said nothing, her face twisted into anger and sadness though. There was something there, something she wasn’t saying.

Surprisingly, Cedar did answer. And what he revealed was shocking.

“Florentin isn’t a Nuit, but he’s older than even the Valterrian. He’s stolen something, something that doesn’t belong to him, and it allows him to… move from body to body like a parasite. He wasn’t originally of the Arcadius line either. He is something far older. But he’s taken it on as his own. And now he owns the whole of the bloodline, those that originally claimed it long gone. He wasn’t aiming for the Arcadius originally though. He wanted the Nymkarta. They were too smart and too powerful for him to take on until Kova was slain and they were scattered, mostly dead, via the Valterrian. He’s been tracking down the members remaining, one by one, and trying to bring their power into his own collective. Ivak thwarted him by Champion the Nymkarta line that was directly from Kova.” Cedar paused then, took a breath, and continued.

His voice was full of resonance and made Tazrae pay attention despite her pounding head. “But Kova wasn’t the only sibling of that generation and her family passed through the Valterrian mostly unscathed. Her brother’s sons and their sons have all had strong djedline infused children until there was only one left and he got a child on a woman of another strong djedline. She gave birth to a daughter they called Serana. Serana was taken by Florentin because it was easier to infuse her djedline into his through breeding rather than magical means. Serena also had a son, by a very powerful Mortanis, before she was taken and that boy is at risk of being Florentin’s next host. It is assumed the boy has as much or more power than Serana due to his father’s line. And if he has more power than Florentin’s current form, Florentin won’t suffer him to live long without taking him as a host. If he switches forms, both you girls are at risk, especially Tazrae since she got the djedline that you lack, Kami.” Cedar added.

“Though it’s known to skip generations, so that’s why he keeps you close, Kami. If he gets the Mortanis’ child, he’ll use you just to experiment with.” The bard said softly, his dangerous words not matching the gentleness in his voice.

Words: 664
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"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn
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Tazrae
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Posts: 904
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Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
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[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light III

Postby Tazrae on December 26th, 2021, 11:38 pm

“How do you know all this?” Tazrae asked, looking thoughtfully at Cedar. He wasn’t what he seemed, that much was for sure, because she could hear the power coming off him through his voice, even though there was a doddering older man’s form overshadowing that power.

“My people and I have been subtly countering Florentin’s moves from the beginning. That’s why you got a gift of a book, Tazrae. And that’s why you met a certain man from Sunberth in The Outpost and became friends. You could have hated him, or you could even have been his demise. But you befriended him, and we aren’t certain where that is going from here. Not one of us anticipated you’d be allies. He’s the one Florentin Arcadius’ wants. And if he gets him, it will be hard to contain him. We had thought to simply kill Alric; to take him out of play completely.” Cedar admitted, probably giving Tazrae too much information.

“But he’s more interesting and might prove the one instrument that could take on Florentin Arcadius one on one. Any of the Nymkarta could before the Valterrian. But things have changed since. We thought the blood was too thinned. But even now, through him, Serana and Kalas fight on. We had no hand in their meeting, but the fusing of their two ancient bloodlines has created a Nymkarta that can rival those of the old days. One thing we know, Florentin Arcadius is in check in Eyktol because there are too many power bases for him to fight. If he gets a foothold in Falyndar, there won’t be any stopping him.” Cedar said, turning to look at Tazrae intently. He had knowledge in his eyes, of how much she loved her new home and how protective she felt of it.

“The Myrians won’t counter him unless he interferes in their lands, and he’s too smart for that. The Dhani won’t counter him, because they are too harried by the Myrians. That leaves him zoning in on Syka, now that its half tamed, and its up to anyone there to stop him. And they aren’t even warned of him. I suspect that’s half the mission of these little expeditions lead by Nico. You turning up there was not by chance. James was told to retrieve you and get you there. Besides Kami here, you are the one person of the Arcadius line that will actively defy him on multiple fronts. And we are going to help you as much as we can. But first, you have to survive Nico and get free of this camp. Don’t expect help, though we will give you any assistance we can.

“No, they don’t know everything you’ve just revealed. But I warned them. I told them about Alric, and Florentin Arcadius’s want of him... and how I am related and he might be coming here looking for me.” Tazrae told Cedar, more and more certain she knew him. “All the Founders know, so too do Akvin and Vas, their guests. And I’ve prayed to Kihala about guidance for it.” She whispered, hoping beyond hope the Goddess listened.


Words: 522

Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn
User avatar
Tazrae
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 904
Words: 1290006
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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