Closed Once upon an Isur (Ialari)

Two Sykan's get to know their curses in a totally not harmful way.

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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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Once upon an Isur (Ialari)

Postby Cleon on April 7th, 2022, 7:25 pm

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23rd of Spring, 522 A.V.

It was during one of those strange breaks in the rain that Cleon decided to have a bit of inebriated fun on the beach. On a clear patch out in the middle of the commons he found a fine enough place to whittle way his time, conning seagulls. The grift was a simple one. From where he sat along the beach there was a space just in front of him that had been cleared, and around that in a rough semi-circle was a flock of gulls chanting “Again. Again.”

Dutifully, he flipped a golden rimmed miza into the air as he shouted, “call it.” Dozens responded with contradictory call outs but he only paid attention to those that deposited the pieces of multi colored seashell that they placed in the rough pile before him. Stifling a smirk, he caught the miza on the back of his hand, and held it out in front of them dramatically. Head’s of course referred to the M being right side up, and tails the opposite. He wasn’t quite sure if the birds had made that distinction quite yet or just waited for him to call it. It didn’t much matter anyways, the game was fixed. Instead of flipping it, he’d been tossing it into the air and causing it to slightly wobble like it had been turning end over end. He shouldn’t have even bothered to do that much as he quickly came to assume they wouldn’t even notice that much. Alas the finer parts of this trick was lost on him, but it was a way to pass the time.

Slowly opening his hand, he called “Heads!” and then doled out a slice of pineapple to the gulls who won while raking in the shells of those who lost. He pretended to look chagrined during all of this to placate the crowd as it were whom were already chopping at the bit for another game. Cleon however had other ideas as he spotted a familiar face, though not one he’d introduced himself personally to yet. It belonged to a rather handsome woman, as short as she was stout, with curves and muscles in all the right places. Truthfully, she could have been flat as a board on both sides with a face that belonged underwater and he still would have looked, so hard up was he.

Without really meaning to, he whistled at the woman as he caught a glint of that special arm of hers, and then promptly stood up to hand out the rest of his mango to the birds after scooping up his bits of shell into one palm. When he had deposited the contents into his belt pouch, he brushed off both hands on his trousers before he decided to make his way over to the woman to see whether she had heard him or not. He decided quickly that she reminded him a lot about a woman he once knew back in Sunberth. A real professional, though without the strange arm of course, but just as strong. The woman he had known had more facial hair, so by comparison this one was a far sight better. An improvement actually.

While he was wondering about other more entertaining uses for that arm of hers, he started trying to remember her curse and was drawing a blank currently. There were so many to keep track of, and he had been drinking so naturally, the finer details escaped him on that bright morning as he approached the Isur.

“Hey, Ialari isn’t it? Pleasure running into you here.” He said, smiling a little as he reached to greet her.

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Last edited by Cleon on May 4th, 2022, 4:06 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Once upon an Isure (Ialari)

Postby Ialari Pythone on April 10th, 2022, 9:31 pm

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So much had been going on over the past several days that Ialari found herself in desperate need of an escape. The cursed state of the settlement had created a fog of sorts that hung heavy over Syka. So many people were having their lives upended by the phenomenon although Ialari's focus was on her own. While it had become clear that only she was able to perceive her altered state, that realization did little to ease her mind. The smell of death was always present and the discomfort of walking around in a decaying corpse was ever constant.

Despite suffering from the effects brought on by the strange curse, she couldn't help but see a bit of irony in it all. What would have otherwise been something that may drive her insane was tempered by the fact that her life up to that point had been filled with many experiences that helped her to better deal with what was happening. Being possessed by ghosts, having her mind, body and soul violated; broken and remade a piece at a time, knowing what is like to be crushed to death and even eaten alive, living among the unliving, all helped her to deal with currently being trapped in a rotting corpse.

Knowing that what was happening to her was caused by some mystical warping of her perception of reality, only went so far however. In an effort to mitigate some of the symptoms, she used some mango oil, spread under her nose, to help with the smell. While it did not eliminate the horrid odor, it did make it tolerable. As for what she saw when she looked at her own body, she tried to imagine what the nuit she'd spent so much time with thought of their own condition. She did what she could to think of it as just another state of being; a means to an end. She tried to convince herself that living in such a state of decay would bring her closer to her goal of understanding her own complicated existence. This was just another obstacle to be conquered. Although it didn't fix things, it helped her to create and maintain context.

In an effort to focus on something else, she'd decided to do something productive while preparing for her attempt at discovering the cause of the curse; gathering some materials for some new experiments.

Thus it was that she passed through the Syka Commons on her way to the beach. She was dressed only in a simple black silk chest wrap and a black silk loincloth with a belt and attached pouch. She had a dagger hung on loop of leather as well. Her mind on other things, she barely heard the whistle from the boy lounging about nearby. With a delayed reaction, she paused and turned toward the source of the sound. It was a boy, a child by the standards of an isur. As he approached, she noted how worn his body looked for one so young. Her perceptive gaze also caught the slight exaggerated uneasiness in his motions, something she noticed frequently among the citizens of Syka whom engaged in the consumption of a bit too much alcohol.

She did not know the boy's name though she recognized him as one of the newcomers who had come to the settlement onboard the Veronica. As he greeted her and extended his hand to her, she glanced at it but did not accept it. Although he would not know it, the clasping of hands was not as much a greeting amongst the isur but more of a sealing an agreement. She also had the momentary thought of the curse and how it may be spread. She could have acquired it through touch or perhaps it is empowered through touching others who are also cursed. It was just a theory but not one she was ready to test. Instead, she acknowledged his greeting with nod of her head.

She spoke with a thick accent but consciously slowed her speech with focus on enunciating words in the common language. There was some word substitution and pronunciation errors but the meaning of what she said was easy enough to understand. "Hello. It's...not unpleasant to see you as well. Forgive me though, while I have seen you around, I do not recall your name. I'm on my way to the beach to gather some things. Would you like to join me? I wouldn't mind the company."

She was not really looking for company but figured that it would offer a bit of added distraction. A part of her; the part that usually remained hidden, was feeling a bit hungry for something different and that was a feeling that...tickled a bit.

Assuming the boy agreed, Ialari led him to the beach where she proceeded to look for useful things to gather, the first being a piece of driftwood laying a short distance from where the water currently licked its way up the sand. It was about three-feet long and two to three inches in diameter. Picking it up, she looked it over and smiled. She proceeded to run her metallic fingers up and down the length of the stick; feeling the curves and imperfections in its shape and form.

"You are new here. What do you think so far of the settlement; twisted curses and current strangeness aside?" Ialari used her metallic fingernails to begin shaping and sculpting the piece of wood in order to clean it and straighten its overall form. The wood peeled away with ease; seemingly bending to her touch.

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Once upon an Isur (Ialari)

Postby Cleon on April 13th, 2022, 4:08 pm

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Cleon caught himself staring as the woman turned around, his mouth slightly agape at the eerily beautiful woman. He found himself recalling the last time he had seen her, standing before the crowd of Sykan’s and revealing that she suffered from some sort of strange decomposition. He could see what she meant now in the broad light of day. Her skin had an odd bluish purple sheen to it, and was threaded throughout with raised silver veins. Then there was that unusual arm of hers to consider, a chiseled black mass where those silver veins of hers came out in a more pronounced fashion. It reminded him vaguely of a dark colored marble. Marble often being a comparison he’d heard made with cadavers, he supposed it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that his mind went there.


Despite her illness, he still found himself strangely attracted to her as she cut quite the figure wearing as little as she was. An that short silvery hair was doing things for him. Cleon gulped, and put down his hands when he realized she wasn’t going to clasp his in return, then he took a moment to consider his own appearance before looking at her again. Today he was wearing, well he was wearing the clothes he came in with, holes and all. Although he had better clothes to choice from ones borrowed and ones bought for him he found himself often defaulting to these well worn trousers and shirt which had long ago faded into a washed out grey as the fabric had never kept its colors for very long.




That said, it wasn’t the comfortable to be wearing out on the beach and aside from what felt like a bucket of sand that had settled in the seat of his trousers, there was a noticeable dampness down the front and back of his rough spun shirt., and along his waistline as well. Absent many ways to make himself look presentable, he settled for combing away the long strands of blond hair that had fallen in front of his face as he flashed the woman a smile.


He tried first meeting her eyes, but the slight ridge of bone was distracting so his eyes settled between her nose and lips which were probably the most normal features of his face.


“Tsk, uh Cleon. And yours? What do I call you?” He asked as he fumbled with a hole he had worn in his waistband. “I would, yeah that would be great. I mean its fine with me.” He stammered. Why couldn’t he talk straight with a woman anymore? It was more than a little frustrating, and pinching the bridge of his nose, he let out a slow breath through his mouth. Why had he decided to start drinking so early anyways? He knew that one wasn’t going to be enough, or at least, his body wouldn’t let him stop at just one and yet here he found himself not quite sure of what he was really even doing anymore.


When they finally started making there way to the beach he was happy enough to follow, if only for something to do that was slightly more productive than gambling with seagulls. He was wondering just what she wanted to do on the beach when he watched her pick up a large piece of driftwood, and put together the rest on his own.


“Y’know, I’m something of a carver myself and..” He let the words die on his tongue as he watched her proceed to carve the wood with her fingernail, which stunned him enough that he almost missed her question. Still he had to blink several times and force his eyes away from the scene before he could respond. “Wha.. oh yeah, I like it well enough. The people have been kind, kinder than could be expected considering all that has been transpiring. Its uh, quite different to Sunberth and some of the cities I’ve passed through on the way here. Quite unique really, and um yeah, I’m rambling aren’t I?” He mumbled, and after they walked along a few more paces, he continued with a question of his own.


“I.. well how have you been holding up with your own curse? Has the decomposition stopped any?” He asked gesturing to her skin briefly. “That can’t be easy to deal with. I’ve got my hands full enough with these.. Fixations and uh yeah, its all been just very distracting. An uh, your arm, is that um part of your curse as well?” He asked, and then impulsively reached to grasp it if she didn’t stop him.

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Once upon an Isur (Ialari)

Postby Ialari Pythone on April 18th, 2022, 12:14 am

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Ialari smiled at Cleon’s apparent awkwardness. She also offered a brief response as to what to call her, ”You can just call me Ialari.” As she led the way along the beach, she continued to shape the piece of driftwood with her metallic hand. Although it was already smoothed from its time being tossed around the waves and rubbed against the sand of the beach, she continued to trim it with her fingernails; the wood effortlessly giving way to her touch. She would occasionally turn the wood in her hands and carve the occasional line into the surface. The more she did this, the more the various lines began to come together in the form of geometric shapes and patterns.

She listened as Cleon mentioned being something of a carver; it was a minor detail but one she took note of. Although she did not have a lot of recent experience socializing with others, she was always noticing various details about those around her to be recalled later when needed. Despite his difficulty speaking, Ialari did not outwardly show any signs that she noticed it as they continued their walk.

At his mention of Sunberth, Ialari paused and looked at him. “Sunberth? I don’t think I’ve heard of the place. You say it is different from Syka? Not as kind? I find many places outside of here suffer from not being kind. People too wrapped up in their own selfish lives to see anything different…anything better.” Ialari then seemed to notice something just behind Cleon and casually walked up next to him. Kneeling, she reached down just behind his foot to scoop up something from the sand.

She then stood and opened her closed hand to show him what she’d picked up. In the palm of her metallic hand, a bit of wet sand falling away, there was a slimy mass; a jellyfish. ”While the people of Syka are kind, the surroundings are not always so much. If you would have stepped on this, it could have killed you.” Ialari tucked the stick of driftwood under her arm and reached into the pouch at her side. She produced a small, shallow glass container with a bit of string tied around it that held it closed with a lid. She placed the small jellyfish in the container and resecured the lid with the string before putting it back in her pouch. She wiped her hand on the bit of fabric around her waist and returned to manipulating the stick.

Still focusing on her speech and her accent; her meaning relatively clear as she spoke, Ialari continued. “As for rambling? Have no worry. I find myself that the common tongue is not always that easy to put words together in; especially with people you’ve really just met.”

Slowly continuing the trek along the beach, Ialari winced slightly at Cleon’s mention of her curse. While the effects of her curse could not be seen by anyone other than her, she realized her description during the rather open gathering that was the last Ten Day might have been enough that people could imagine what it was she saw. Even as Cleon spoke of it, Ialari could see the horrific decay that infested her flesh and permeated her entire body. The stiffness of her joints, the feeling of dead skin pulling and tearing with each movement was something that she was still struggling to get used to.

“My curse…it is going about as well as…as can be expected, I guess. I’ve been through worse but that doesn’t make it any less…concerning.” She quickly focused her thoughts away from what was happening to her body and listened to Cleon speak of his own.

“Fixations? I’m not sure I understand.” Her grasp on the human’s language, although serviceable, lacked in some areas. “Do you mean urges? Like you have distracting urges that make it difficult to think clearly?” As far as curses went, Ialari imagined one such as that as being more of an annoyance than debilitating or uncomfortable. She unconsciously licked her bottom lip lightly in hopes of tasting a bit of salt from the air that may better the terrible taste of decay in her mouth.

When asked whether her arm was a part of her curse, Ialari giggled slightly in surprise but did not immediately pull away when Cleon moved to touch it. The skin of her arm felt cool to the touch and was solid like metal. It was jet black in color, smooth with slightly raised silver veins. Starting at her shoulder and extending down to her elbow was an elaborate geometric pattern that wrapped around it. It too was slightly raised and held a hint of chromatic coloring that was noticeable only when the light hit it just right. She allowed him to touch her arm as she said, “My arm? Cursed? By the gods no. It is a divine blessing from the Divine Father, Izurdin, God of Strength. My people are created in his image and our arms are a symbol of that.”

She would let Cleon touch her arm for a moment or two before gently pulling it away.

“Through our arms, we are connected to Izurdin and can shape things like stone, metal and wood as if it were little more than clay. These things bend to our touch and can even be imparted with mystical qualities reflected from our own inner self.” Ialari held the stick in her flesh hand and reached down to pick up a small stone from the sand. She tossed it lightly in the air, caught it and squeezed. The stone squished in her fist with the material sliding out between her fingers. She held it out for Cleon to take. If he did, he would find that the malformed stone was as solid as it was before she reshaped it although its form was vastly changed.

Ialari looked at her metallic hand as she moved it with her wrist and flexed her fingers. She then looked at Cleon. “It is the whole idea of connections that draws me to Syka.” She turned and motioned with her arm to their surroundings.

“You see, whether you realize it or not, whether you think you understand it or not, all things are connected in ways that are very difficult to know with a mortal’s limited ability to perceive the world around them. Here in Syka, we are surrounded by so many different forms of life; all of them connected in unfathomable ways. These countless connections come together to form in an endless cycle.”

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Once upon an Isur (Ialari)

Postby Cleon on April 20th, 2022, 6:48 pm

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“Ialari.” He repeated, trying to get the inflection just right. It was a strange name, but not nearly as complicated as trying to speak an Akalak’s name. Those had a way of really twisting up his tongue where as hers just seemingly rolled off of it. Unlike his own name, which Cleon had mixed feeling about. However that was beside the point, as what she was doing with her hand was far, far more interesting than word play.

It was as if she had tools built into her fingers, small enough that he couldn’t see them from his angle, or maybe it was just her fingers that were the tools as unbelievable as that sounded. Whatever it was that she was doing, she did it well Cleon noticed as her work began to take on a more obvious design to it. While he didn’t know exactly what she was trying to carve, he could admire the symmetry to her work which was better than he could do currently with the proper tools equipped.

He said his two cents about carving and then went on about where he was from before listening quietly to her reply, still eying that strange arm of hers. It was quite remarkable as much of her was. She had the sort of look that would be hard for anyone to forget. Then her eyes went down, he tried to follow when she crouched down. He almost took a step back, then froze in place as she reached for him as he was curious to see where this odd behavior was going. He stayed like that, his foot half raised off the ground as she brought back something that looked a little like gooey water. Vaguely he recalled seeing birds pick at those little piles, but he had never figured out what they were until Ialari told him right then.

At that, Cleon felt his pulse race for a moment as he turned a more careful eye to examining the beach in front of him. Sometimes it was easy to forget how dangerous this place can be, even when out on the beach.

“Uh um, thank you. I didn’t know they were quite so serious, but I realize my mistake now. You made a good point though, just before about all places having the good and the bad. I think I left Sunberth because I couldn’t stop looking at the bad, and it was preventing me from seeing anything else. That’s on me, and it doesn’t stop me from looking for the good now, even if I am a long way from home.” Cleon reasoned, then added with a little laugh. “Though I suppose this is my home now, so I ought to get busy finding what’s valuable to me and my sister here.”

“Say what are you going to do with that jellyfish anyways?” He asked curiously, hoping he wasn’t prying. His next question would be poised a little more cautiously, or not at all if the former was dismissed out of hand. “Also what other languages do you know besides common?”

Traveling across the breadth of Mizahar to come here had instilled within Cleon a bit of wanderlust, and although he seen a great many people in his travels, he had mostly kept to himself during the trip in an effort to keep Faye safe for the course of their journey. He’d learned his lesson after having been thrown overboard, and hadn’t been keen on potentially making any more unnecessary enemies along the trip. Still he couldn’t help be curious about the variations he saw, and Ialari’s variations were very distinct. He was interested in learning more about the woman he realized, if only to understand a bit more about this potential neighbor.

After all of that, talking about their curses was certainly a little harder as Cleon struggled to put into words just what this magic compulsion felt like. “I mean, well I don’t suppose you’ve ever been strung out on the drink, but its, uh like that kind of, only different. Ah.. Petch how do I say this. Its more than that. I can go a whole day and be fine, but if a see a bottle, a pipe, a deck of cards, a pair of tits, or any of these other accursed vices, its going to be in my head until I do one of those things. A constant, intrusive thought that won’t go away until I indulge, an if I try to resist, there are uh, physical consequences as well.” He started muttering towards the end as he looked down at his hands circumspectly. They had a slight shake to them, an unavoidable byproduct of his indulgences carried a little too far.

He was quite surprised to learn that her arm was not a part of her curse, and began to wonder how much of the rest of her he had mis-attributed to her curse. Wisely he decided to hold his tongue on that account as he reached to gently touch the Isur’s arm, marveling for a moment at the solid feel of it before she pulled away.

“Oh wow, that is, well that is really amazing. I didn’t know such things existed.” Cleon admitted as he listened to her carefully while watching as she effortlessly squeezed the rock apart. He had the sudden impulse to take a step back from the woman he’d just a few moments ago mentioned tits to, but resisted the urge as he didn’t want to potentially insult her either way. A woman who could do all that with just her hand deserved all the respect he could muster, as buzzed as he might be.

Gulping, Cleon nodded hastily. “You’re right. I’ve been feeling connected to this journey ever since Laviku pulled me from the water. Since then I feel like I have been kept alive for a purpose, and that purpose is here for me to find, or fashion though these connections you mentioned. The most obvious connection I can see right off the cuff would be all of these curses that link us to our struggle, an I’ve been trying to figure out ever sense why we have all been connected in such a way, but so far I have come across many people with a variety of backgrounds that don’t have a significant connection that I have been able to see so far. Or perhaps I am just not looking hard enough.” Cleon mused, scratching his chin as he turned to look out over the water briefly.

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Once upon an Isur (Ialari)

Postby Ialari Pythone on April 28th, 2022, 2:59 am

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Ialari gave a knowing nod to Cleon’s mention of Syka being his home now. When asked about the jellyfish, Ialari offered a smile and said, “It’s something of an interest of mine; studying poisonous plants and animals. This creature’s venom can cause something as simple as a skin rash, the swelling of the throat shortness of breath, vomiting as well as blinding pain and death. I will use it to try and create something to treat those things and maybe even protect against them.”

She paused a moment and added, “I also may try to increase the strength of the venom. You never know when a powerful poison could be useful. Another…what do you humans call it…hobby?”

Ialari replied to the question about language by saying something in Isur. The sound of the words ranged from smooth and soft to biting and harsh. She then spoke again in the common tongue, “I have learned a bit of the common language over the years but some of the words I struggle with. I know a few words in Kontinese, the language of the Konti but not many.”

His description of the urges he felt from his curse caused Ialari to raise an eyebrow as she contemplated what it must be like to be consumed by such desires to the point they became undeniable needs. A part of her liked the idea of letting go and giving in to desire; it was a part that occasionally whispered in her ear to let go of control. “I think I understand a bit of how you must feel; like an unseen force pushing you to stop trying to control yourself. It wants you to give up and if you don’t, it makes life…difficult. So, you find keeping the balance gets harder and harder.”

Ialari listened as Cleon spoke of his own thoughts on the idea of connections. When he took a moment to look out at the water, she took the opportunity to get his attention by reaching out to place her metallic hand against Cleon’s chest.

“It isn’t always about seeing the connections. Take this simple physical connection for example. You feel my hand on your chest and I feel the shirt that covers your skin, the bones behind skin and the beating of your heart. This physical connection, perceived by our sense of touch creates other physical sensations and even thoughts which are then rolled around in our mind as we try to create meaning. Now imagine a bird flying through the air, its wings lifting it and moving it forward. This is possible through the connection between the bird’s weight, muscles, feathers and the air around it. Its songs are heard by other creatures around it, thus creating more connections. A snake stalks a mouse along the jungle floor. The snake can taste the mouse in the air and can feel the vibrations of the mouse’s movements. It can see the heat given off by the mouse’s body and can see its movement. These are all connections formed between the mouse and snake.” Ialari moved her hand along Cleon’s chest, tracing the bones of his torso with her fingers.

“When I do this, you feel sensations. The movement of my hand over your chest creates connections that your body can feel. Your mind breaks down these feelings and the connections continue to grow. Simple movements like this, just like with the bird, snake and mouse, create connections that go beyond the physical.” Ialari traced her fingers up to Cleon’s neck where she wiped a bit of sweat away before bringing a finger to her mouth to taste it.

“Your sweat, created by your body reacting to the heat around us. It has a taste which is perceived with my tongue. Yet another connection. Now imagine just these tiny few examples multiplied countless times over and then imagine how many of these connections exist in a place like this.” Ialari motioned again to their surroundings.

“This brings me to the stick. A piece of wood that is otherwise dead. While it used to be part of something alive, it has since been separated and discarded. You may think that it no longer holds any connection to the world around it other than what is created by it simply being tossed around the waves only to be washed up on the beach.” Ialari held the stick up in her metallic hand and reached to place it in Cleon’s.

She then reached to belt around her waist and to the dagger tucked in it. She pulled the dagger free and brought the blade across the upper palm of her flesh hand; deep enough to draw a good amount of blood. She then took back the stick in her metallic hand and began wiping her blood on the stick, coating as much of the wood as possible.

“The thing about these connections I speak of is that they exist EVERYWHERE. The stick, long dead with most of its connections severed, now finds new ones.” As she spoke, the piece of wood in Ialari’s hand, its shape refined with geometric patterns etched in its surface, seemed to soak up the isur’s blood. As it did, the stick seemed to move on its own; twisting and rolling in her hand. The surface of the wood rippled and with each ripple, the wood was replaced with what looked like…scales. Within a few short moments, the piece of driftwood was no more. In its place, curled around Ialari’s arm, was a living snake. The snake was as long and big around as the stick had been but was colored just like Ialari’s metallic arm; jet black with silver geometric patterns decorating the length of its body. The snake’s tongue darted in and out of its mouth as it rested peacefully around Ialari’s arm.

Tucking her dagger back into her belt, Ialari positioned the snake so that it could rest around her neck and shoulders. She then retrieved a strip of cloth from her pouch and wrapped it around her wounded hand. “It is the nature of Syka that allows for the discovery of so many of these connections; the magic of this place is like nowhere else. I agree that these curses are connected. I also think that because of what Syka is, it's part of why all of these curses have been able to flourish.” Ialari beckoned Cleon to follow as she moved to travel further down the beach, a little further from the core of the settlement before stopping and walking closer to the water where it would lick her feet as it came up on the beach.

"These curses, while obviously connected, are so different from each other. It's hard to understand what exactly connects them. If we could just figure that part out, we may be able to better fight them. For me, I feel and look like a walking corpse; every movement bringing some discomfort in some form. While nobody else can see it outwardly, I fear they can still perceive it in some way…perhaps through the very same connections I just spoke of. I feel distracted at times and look for ways to distract me from those distractions…if that makes any sense. This snake for example is one of those distractions. She takes my mind off what I feel I'm becoming and reminds me of who and what I am. She is an extension of me; I can feel her connected to me just like an arm or a leg. One of many things I've discovered about myself while spending time in Syka.” Ialari felt a strange stirring in her chest; it was the same feeling she had when her connection to the Seed of the First Tree was awakened; the whisper urging her to let go.

Turning her thoughts outward rather than letting them dwell within, she cleared her throat before speaking. "You mentioned your sister. What is it that led the both of you to Syka?"

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Once upon an Isur (Ialari)

Postby Cleon on April 28th, 2022, 6:52 pm

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Not quite knowing what to make of what she said, Cleon did his best to keep his face neutral as she spoke of her work with toxins which while useful, made him more than a little bit uneasy. Ialari was definitely not the sort of woman to be trifled with, and he wondered just how careful he needed to be around her.

“I was advised to be careful about sleeping on the ground in these parts. There seem to be a great many small things that can cause trouble around here, and I suspect more than a few big ones as well.” Cleon mused as he considered the underside of his fingernails, picking away at a loose nail. Even though they were of a height with one another, the more he learned about this woman the more she intimidated him. It wasn’t just that strange arm of hers, or her other unique physical characteristics that did it for him. It was her confidence. The certainty behind her words and movements, something he sorely lacked. An going off of prior experience, he felt that confident people usually had a good reason for it, and this was certainly not any sort of false bravado on her part.

Though he supposed if he had been born with an arm that could manipulate as easily as hers could, he guess he would be confident as well. He just had to wonder what else that ability translated to, though he decided wisely to hold his tongue on that account for now.

Blinking several times, he smiled gingerly at the phrases she had just uttered, not understanding a word of it. “Wow. Kontinese can be very guttural. It would go well in a song though I think with that range of tones.” He said, misconstruing what she had said to be the language she had mentioned. Whatever it was, he just knew it sounded completely different to that odd manner of speech Svefra sometimes took around their kin although he much preferred that language to the one that Ialari just uttered. Not that he was dumb enough to bring that up just now.

At her analysis of his curse, he found himself nodding in agreement as there was a ring of truth to what she said. “I think you hit the nail on the head with that. I’ve been trying, and trying to put it into words but its hard with something so.. Out there. Its not like I formed these habits overtime, but like they were thrust upon me all at once and my thoughts have just been playing catch up trying to sort the mess out.” Cleon reasoned as they went along, then she touched his chest and everything seemed to stop for a moment as his heart started to pound loudly in his ears, blood rushing to his face as those fingertips traced along his skin.

As her hand moved with her words, his breath caught in his throat as he tried to interpret the flood of signals and listen to what she was saying at the same time. It was hard to quantify just exactly what he was feeling at that moment, but it was safe to say he no longer felt in control of his body at the moment as he went rigid till it was listening was all he could do as his eyes followed hers down to the hand that trailed up his chest to his neck before she brought that hand to her mouth and he found that he could finally breath again.

Plastering a nervous smile onto his features, he hesitantly nodded to what she had to say. Mutely, he grasped the stick that was handed to him, and admired the symbols that were carved into it with a blank stare. He didn’t know what was happening right now, or how it related to what she was saying, but it seemed important so he did what he was supposed to, handing it back to her after watching the woman slice open her palm.

Before he could quite comprehend what she had done to her hand though she smeared her blood across the stick of driftwood, and Cleon’s eyes widened as the blood seemed to rapidly evaporate- no, it was more like the stick was drinking up her blood becoming more lifelike with every passing tick. Before his very eyes he watched as that stick became a snake that wrapped around Ialari’s arm until she replaced it around her neck and shoulders. Cleon’s jaw dropped.

“How did you do that? Is your blood magical or did it have to do with those symbols you carved on the stick?” Cleon blurted out before he had a chance to catch himself, and right afterward he had the presence of mind to look chagrined for his outburst. “I’m sorry. I’ve just never seen anything like that. You hear stories y’know, bad ones usually meant to keep you in line, but I never really believed them because I didn’t much like the mouth they were coming out of, but what you did was real, as real as this beach we are walking on, perhaps even more real than this curse has ever felt for me. I was just.. Yeah.. You don’t have to answer it.”

“I think I get what you were saying though. It seems to me that these curses were tailored the the person they were meant to affect. Like whoever is responsible knows enough about each of us that they know a good fit when they see one. Take Dawn’s and Tony’s curses for instance. Those are the most obvious examples I can think of off the top of my head, but I think if you dug into the past of each and every one of us affected by a curse you’d find that connection you speak of. What I want to know though is how could they possibly know so much about us and why can’t they affect the priests the same way as the rest of us. Theres probably an obvious connection there, but I’m just too dumb to see it.” Cleon said with a slight grin, scratching at the side of his head while he splashed down his feet into the surf. It felt good to have a bit off cool water lick up his calves and calm down the heat that Ialari had stoked within him with her little demonstration. Fortunately his stick didn’t make an appearance but it might have had she not transformed that stick into a snake.

“We didn’t set out to come here. We left wanting to get as far away from Sunberth as possible, and somewhere along the way things.. Changed. I had never paid much attention to any god or goddess before, but now I sort of owe one my life.” Cleon said, emphasizing his remark by pulling up his sleeve to properly display his gnosis mark from Laviku. As he watched, it appeared as if the mark had been in the process of crawling down his arm, likely seeking a bit of open skin. He touched the mark briefly, letting the water swirl around his finger tips and leaving his sleeve up as he went back to what he had been saying.

“Laviku got me back to my ship after I was thrown overboard. I suppose that is why when we reached this place, I knew this was as far as we were meant to go. Something about it just feels right, I don’t really know how to explain it. Just an impression I get from the people here, the land, and the sea.” Cleon said, pausing for a moment to let that sink in before he continued. “What about you? What brought you here?”

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Once upon an Isur (Ialari)

Postby Cleon on April 28th, 2022, 6:52 pm

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Not quite knowing what to make of what she said, Cleon did his best to keep his face neutral as she spoke of her work with toxins which while useful, made him more than a little bit uneasy. Ialari was definitely not the sort of woman to be trifled with, and he wondered just how careful he needed to be around her.

“I was advised to be careful about sleeping on the ground in these parts. There seem to be a great many small things that can cause trouble around here, and I suspect more than a few big ones as well.” Cleon mused as he considered the underside of his fingernails, picking away at a loose nail. Even though they were of a height with one another, the more he learned about this woman the more she intimidated him. It wasn’t just that strange arm of hers, or her other unique physical characteristics that did it for him. It was her confidence. The certainty behind her words and movements, something he sorely lacked. An going off of prior experience, he felt that confident people usually had a good reason for it, and this was certainly not any sort of false bravado on her part.

Though he supposed if he had been born with an arm that could manipulate as easily as hers could, he guess he would be confident as well. He just had to wonder what else that ability translated to, though he decided wisely to hold his tongue on that account for now.

Blinking several times, he smiled gingerly at the phrases she had just uttered, not understanding a word of it. “Wow. Kontinese can be very guttural. It would go well in a song though I think with that range of tones.” He said, misconstruing what she had said to be the language she had mentioned. Whatever it was, he just knew it sounded completely different to that odd manner of speech Svefra sometimes took around their kin although he much preferred that language to the one that Ialari just uttered. Not that he was dumb enough to bring that up just now.

At her analysis of his curse, he found himself nodding in agreement as there was a ring of truth to what she said. “I think you hit the nail on the head with that. I’ve been trying, and trying to put it into words but its hard with something so.. Out there. Its not like I formed these habits overtime, but like they were thrust upon me all at once and my thoughts have just been playing catch up trying to sort the mess out.” Cleon reasoned as they went along, then she touched his chest and everything seemed to stop for a moment as his heart started to pound loudly in his ears, blood rushing to his face as those fingertips traced along his skin.

As her hand moved with her words, his breath caught in his throat as he tried to interpret the flood of signals and listen to what she was saying at the same time. It was hard to quantify just exactly what he was feeling at that moment, but it was safe to say he no longer felt in control of his body at the moment as he went rigid till it was listening was all he could do as his eyes followed hers down to the hand that trailed up his chest to his neck before she brought that hand to her mouth and he found that he could finally breath again.

Plastering a nervous smile onto his features, he hesitantly nodded to what she had to say. Mutely, he grasped the stick that was handed to him, and admired the symbols that were carved into it with a blank stare. He didn’t know what was happening right now, or how it related to what she was saying, but it seemed important so he did what he was supposed to, handing it back to her after watching the woman slice open her palm.

Before he could quite comprehend what she had done to her hand though she smeared her blood across the stick of driftwood, and Cleon’s eyes widened as the blood seemed to rapidly evaporate- no, it was more like the stick was drinking up her blood becoming more lifelike with every passing tick. Before his very eyes he watched as that stick became a snake that wrapped around Ialari’s arm until she replaced it around her neck and shoulders. Cleon’s jaw dropped.

“How did you do that? Is your blood magical or did it have to do with those symbols you carved on the stick?” Cleon blurted out before he had a chance to catch himself, and right afterward he had the presence of mind to look chagrined for his outburst. “I’m sorry. I’ve just never seen anything like that. You hear stories y’know, bad ones usually meant to keep you in line, but I never really believed them because I didn’t much like the mouth they were coming out of, but what you did was real, as real as this beach we are walking on, perhaps even more real than this curse has ever felt for me. I was just.. Yeah.. You don’t have to answer it.”

“I think I get what you were saying though. It seems to me that these curses were tailored the the person they were meant to affect. Like whoever is responsible knows enough about each of us that they know a good fit when they see one. Take Dawn’s and Tony’s curses for instance. Those are the most obvious examples I can think of off the top of my head, but I think if you dug into the past of each and every one of us affected by a curse you’d find that connection you speak of. What I want to know though is how could they possibly know so much about us and why can’t they affect the priests the same way as the rest of us. Theres probably an obvious connection there, but I’m just too dumb to see it.” Cleon said with a slight grin, scratching at the side of his head while he splashed down his feet into the surf. It felt good to have a bit off cool water lick up his calves and calm down the heat that Ialari had stoked within him with her little demonstration. Fortunately his stick didn’t make an appearance but it might have had she not transformed that stick into a snake.

“We didn’t set out to come here. We left wanting to get as far away from Sunberth as possible, and somewhere along the way things.. Changed. I had never paid much attention to any god or goddess before, but now I sort of owe one my life.” Cleon said, emphasizing his remark by pulling up his sleeve to properly display his gnosis mark from Laviku. As he watched, it appeared as if the mark had been in the process of crawling down his arm, likely seeking a bit of open skin. He touched the mark briefly, letting the water swirl around his finger tips and leaving his sleeve up as he went back to what he had been saying.

“Laviku got me back to my ship after I was thrown overboard. I suppose that is why when we reached this place, I knew this was as far as we were meant to go. Something about it just feels right, I don’t really know how to explain it. Just an impression I get from the people here, the land, and the sea.” Cleon said, pausing for a moment to let that sink in before he continued. “What about you? What brought you here?”

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Once upon an Isur (Ialari)

Postby Ialari Pythone on May 5th, 2022, 12:07 am

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Ialari nodded at Cleon’s mention of being careful with his surroundings. “There are many things here, not all of them natural, that can be dangerous.”

When he mentioned Kontinese being guttural, Ialari furrowed her brow in confusion before realizing that once more her limited grasp on the human tongue had failed somewhat. “No, what I was speaking was my native language. Kontinese is more…musical really. Soft and melodic in ways. I picked up a few words from a friend of mine who was Konti. Though, she was anything but soft. She is one of the strongest non-isur I’ve ever known.” She cocked her head to the side for a moment before adding, “As for my language being guttural…I guess it could be harsh to human ears. It is a language that existed back when humans were using sticks and stones to club their food to death.” There was no anger in her tone as it was more of a simple statement.

At his surprise at the “birth” of the snake, Ialari smiled. “No need to apologize for your reaction. She is of my blood. It is one of the many things Syka has revealed about who and what I am; another reason I’m drawn back to this place time and time again. Some years ago, I discovered that my blood could give life where none existed…in the form of the serpent.” Ialari stroked the smooth scaled skin of the snake that casually rested on her shoulders.

“The symbols and patterns I carved on the stick were meant to give her unique patterns to her appearance and help her…with adapting to the place she will soon call home. She, like her siblings, are a part of me…I believe you call it an extension. She is like an arm or a leg, I can feel her just like I do parts of my own body. Even if separated over distances, I can still feel her and even track her down and the opposite.” Ialari paused for a moment and stared out on the ocean.

She fidgeted a bit as she plucked something unseen from her arm; a maggot that only she could see. She tossed it aside and turned her gaze back to Cleon.


“You are not dumb in your inability to see the connections between these curses. Someone or something has spent much effort on concealing such things. As for digging into the past…I have considered just such a thing although by the time I did so, who knows how far this all will have gone.” Ialari knew her words would be confusing and though she was normally quite secretive, she was working on changing that…at least somewhat.

Catching Cleon’s eyes with her own, she looked deeply. Her dark brown eyes were almost black but Cleon could see a hint of a sapphire blue rings around her irises. When he caught sight of the rings, they flared slightly, becoming quite obvious. Looking into her eyes, he could see fleeting glimpses of his past; ever-so-brief images of his time in Sunberth, of his earlier years with his sister and their experiences.

“I am…how do you say? Complicated. I am marked by Tanroa, Goddess of Time. I can travel upstream on the River of Time and view events that have already happened. It is limited and I can only observe but I hope to use this to try and find anything that I might have missed the first time around. It is dangerous and I need to be familiar with the place I am going back to see. That is why I am wandering around like this. Maybe I can find the connection to all of it.” Ialari blinked and the blue rings faded although now that Cleon had seen them, they were still obvious.

Ialari smiled again. It was not something she was used to doing but she was finding it coming more naturally the more she interacted with actual people. She listened as Cleon spoke of Sunberth and his journey away from it. His revealing of his mark to Laviku and how the god has saved him, reminded Ialari of how the various deities who marked her had, in their own way, saved her at different points in her life.

“I know of Laviku but I’ve not been blessed with knowing him the way you do now. The way you describe your feeling of this place being…right…I understand.” Ialari took another look at Cleon and noted in greater detail the toll his past had taken on his body. For one as young as he, it was obvious that he had been through a lot.

Then of course there was the obvious follow-up question as to her own reason for coming to Syka. Ialari glanced down at the sand for a moment and curled her toes in the sand; relishing the wet, grinds upon her flesh.

“What brought me here? As with anything about me…well, again, it’s complicated. See, I met Mathias years ago in Riverfall when he was just starting to gather people to join him in his quest to create the place that we know as Syka. Fate it seems led me down a different path and I did not join him.” She chuckled before adding, “I guess in a different reality, I could have been one of Syka’s founders.”

Turning her head, she leaned her face close to the snake and nuzzled the side of its head. “It would be a couple of years before I would seek out this place. As I mentioned, I am able to feel connections between…well, pretty much everything. Picture it like this; you are a spider sitting in the center of a great web. You can feel the vibrations caused by things touching the threads of that web. Some things, you just know what they are because of the way the threads vibrate. A small leaf lands in the web causes a single, simple vibration. Nothing of concern. A bug gets trapped in the web and you can feel its struggles to free itself. These are small things that are…well…they just are and you know them because, you’re a spider and that is what you know. Then there are those rare things that hit your web, shake it with great…intensity…and even rip it apart. That is what I felt while in meditation one day. I felt threads of the great web shaken and snapped in a way that I couldn’t ignore. So I searched for the source of this…dis..disturbance.” Ialari sat down in the sand and beckoned Cleon to join her.

“My search brought me here…that was…oh bother…how long ago? A decade maybe? Even with the ability to see time as I do, I sometimes lose track of it. Anyway, when I arrived here I saw that Mathias had indeed succeeded in finding his dream. It was still early though…there were fewer people and it was nowhere near as…how do you say…realized? When I arrived, I did not find what I was looking for exactly. The source of whatever had shook that web was nowhere to be found. I could still feel its echoes but it remained just out of reach. After a time, I left only be drawn back as the threads were shaken again. This happened over and over and I came and left a number of times. Each time I returned, I did not find what first brought me here but each time I discovered more about this place and myself. I discovered the power of my blood among other gifts. I also discovered the World Gate; an actual gate to another world and was one of the first to meet our Verusk friends. Still…it was not what led me here to begin with.” Ialari looked down at the sand before snaking her metallic hand over to brush against Cleon’s.

“Then, just a few short days ago, I met someone. I know I did although I’m having difficulty remembering who they are; maybe part of these curses? I can still feel them; I can still feel the connection although it is…tied in knots if that makes any sense at all. That connection, it has some of the feeling that I had years ago when those first threads of that web were disturbed so. It is funny how time works. Years ago, I felt the ripples in the River of Time created when meeting this person in what was the future and now the present. The maddening thing is that I can’t remember who they are.” Ialari gave a dry laugh.

“I know I sound insane. It is part of…or maybe the reason why…I tend to keep people at a distance or just leave and go back to the things I know. I am as far from normal as I imagine a sentient being in this world can get.” Ialari unconsciously rubbed her non-metallic arm and the mark of a great tree. Its roots wrapped around her arm while seashells dotted its base with a triskelion symbol prominent on the trunk. Cleon would also see at one point, in the palm of her hand, the obvious divine mark of a sickle. Inwardly scolded herself for allowing so much weakness to escape, Ialari shook her head softly. “Syka definitely has a way of making a complicated life even more so.”

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Ialari Pythone
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Once upon an Isur (Ialari)

Postby Cleon on May 7th, 2022, 2:19 am

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Cleon blinked, eyes widening in surprise and more than a little bit of embarrassment over his mistaken assumption. “I didn’t mean anything by that of course, I just, I don’t have much experience with languages and I shouldn’t have assumed.” Cleon said, rubbing the back of his neck as he took a deep breath to calm himself. Although there was none of the expected irritation in her tone he found himself overly conscience of his next words as he stopped to consider what she had said. If someone else had called his own language guttural he probably would have taken offense to it, the degree depending on the source but he didn’t really sense that from Ialari which somewhat mollified his anxiety.

In any case, his mind did not linger long on the subject for the snake Ialari manifested took all of his faculties to comprehend, and then some. Eerily, he knew exactly what she meant by extension for the sea was to him what the snake was to her. So it wasn’t hard for him to believe that she shared such a connection with it. In fact, that was the easiest part to wrap his head around. The rest was significantly more muddled, and brought up more questions than he dared to ask. There was one idea though that was hard to shake.

“Are you a goddess?” Cleon blurted before he could catch his tongue, and chastened, he hastily apologized. “I’m sorry, that just sounds like something a goddess would be able to do.” Although this conversation had done much in the way of sobering him up, his grasp on his impulses remained slippery, exasperated by the nature of his curse. Worse, if he was only just noticing this now then how bad had he really been during this conversation. A part of him steeled himself for her response while the other part was busy admonishing himself, urging himself to keep a tighter hold on his tongue.

Eventually though the conversation continued, and Cleon listened carefully as she spoke of their common enemy before her eyes caught his. It was then that he noticed something most unusual about them, a blue ring around those deep brown irises that pulse with light before he saw his father’s face reflected back at him. His mother’s, Farren, and a torrent of unspeakable things that flashed by before he could look a way. When it was through his face was a good deal paler, and his tongue like dry sand in his mouth as he swallowed hard.

As she explain her connection to a goddess he hadn’t even known existed, Cleon caught himself staring with his mouth slightly ajar. The snake thing was enough to leave anyone feeling disquieted. This left him feeling lost, and so very small. His world was changing more drastically by the day while he remained relatively unchanged. He knew from prior experience that this feeling was false in a way. One never stopped changing, but this was some last gasp for who he had been before seeing all of this. There was no stopping change, all he could do was brace and hope that he would be able to ride it out like he’d always had.

He quickly decided to say something so that he felt a little less alone in that moment. “I hope you find it, or them.” He said quietly still looking at those eyes of hers, wondering why he had seen what he had. Touching the side of his face, he scratched at a bit of stubble as it came time to speak about his past, on Laviku and then the conversation inevitably worked its way back to her and how she had ended up in Syka with the rest of them.

Again he was surprised that she had known one of the Matthias before Syka had even existed, although it retrospect it made perfect sense that Matthias would seek out someone like her. As far as he knew, she was the strongest person he had ever met so of course she would have been thought of to help make a settlement on the edge of the jungle. However his surprise didn’t end there, in fact it continued to grow as he learn a bit more of her life before coming here, not fully understanding all that she alluded to, but understanding the gravity of it well enough. Verusk, world gate, they were unfamiliar words but they carried weight in the context of what she had said and they lingered on his mind for sometime as Ialari continued.

At some point he had sat down beside Ialari, feeling strangely a part of her story because of it. Cleon didn’t know how long they had been sitting there. He’d lost track of time a while back, but when she slightly brushed against his hand he came back to the present, suddenly very aware of her body and it’s close proximity to his. It wasn’t a particularly intimate touch, but combined with what she was wearing and a particularly persistent part of his curse, he couldn’t help but have a reaction that he did his best to disguise by pulling up his legs.

With that hopefully taken care of, he listened as she touched upon something familiar to him. Keenly familiar although like her he could not place a face or a name. If it hadn’t been for the note he wouldn’t have remembered an inkling at all of what she touched upon, but as it was, he was very aware that there was someone in the Protea Inn that he could not remember. An after all of their talk about connections, he knew this wasn’t just a coincidence. He smiled just a bit at her laugh as he himself was considering who this strange person they had in common was.

Still very were of her body, he watched as rubbed at a mark that reminded him a little bit of the tree near Kihala’s shrine while on her palm he saw something that gave him a bit of pause before he started speaking his mind.

“Strangely, I think we have something in common. You see there is a person I can’t remember, and I know they know I can’t remember them because they helped me write a note some time ago in order for me to remember what we had arranged. I think this person you want to meet runs the Protea Inn, although good luck finding them with such being their curse. I.. Well, I hope you don’t mind but are those also gnosis marks. The tree and the strange blade.” Cleon said, gesturing slightly around her but not at her directly. He was still very conscious of his reaction and not giving it too much play. On anyone else, Cleon might have suspected that they were part of an elaborate tattoo, more so before he was marked but on Ialari, his guesses ran quite the opposite. He was inclined to believe that every symbol he might find on her form would be magical, if not her very bones and flesh given all that he had experienced so far.

Leaning forward arms crossed over his knees Cleon took in a deep breath and sighed as he looked away out towards the sea.

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