Closed Cloudy imaginings (Oralie)

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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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Cloudy imaginings (Oralie)

Postby Cleon on April 8th, 2022, 8:27 pm

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60th of Spring, 522 A.V.

Drip. Drip. Drip. After a short, hard rain it felt like there was enough moisture in the air to take a bath. A cold one at that, as the temperatures had plummeted during the night and Cleon found himself shivering on the deck, pulling his cloak in close. Through the late evening twilight he could make out a thin mist shrouding the jungle floor in the distance which didn’t do much to improve his mood. Faye was-had changed again. Another day, another twist to this infernal cycle she was caught up in and he wasn’t any petching closer to resolving any of it.

Balling his hands into fists, Cleon leaned against the railing, letting the dregs that still dripped from the roof drop on the top of his head, and flinched a little as the icy little drops ran down his back. He clentched harder, turning his knuckles white before shutting his eyes as well till the darkness tingled with other muted colors. Griding his teeth, he let out a long, slow breath through his nose as he pounded his fists on the railing and choked out a sob before abruptly straightening.

Snorting back whatever had been on the verge of breaking loose, he wiped at his eyes with his fist, and blinked several times till his eyes cleared. Getting emotional wasn’t going to help. What he needed to be was doing, but what exactly escaped him presently. He, well there wasn’t exactly much he could get into at this odd hour and his schedule was a little bit skewed because of his curse. He had learned how to adapt as best he was able over the course of this season, but that meant he was often times at odds with what others were doing, though that was not necessarily always the case as the curses had set everyone on edge it seemed. Still, it seemed foolish for him to just go out expecting someone to be where they probably weren’t and he didn’t necessarily want to go all the way out to the outpost at this hour.

Instead he settled on preparing a bowl of Syliran tobacco and wasted no time puffing away at it as he watched the last of the rain dribble off the roof of the Protea inn. Even with all of this curse business, he looked a far sight better than he had coming into Syka. For one, he’d grown quite a bit in the time he had been here, standing at six feet, three inches where it seemed he was bound to remain as he had seemingly stopped growing several days ago. He also weighed considerably more now, and had had a healthy filling to his body now, though he’d yet to develop his muscles in any sort of definite way. That could wait he supposed for when he didn’t have to juggle all of these fixations, if they did indeed leave him once all of this chaos was solved. He had serious doubts on that account, which he mulled over as he continued to draw from his pipe while looking out towards the jungle.

Even the Inn had changed considerably since his coming here, with their being several notable new additions thanks to their cursed Innkeeper that he could never remember anything about aside from the sign she had posted at every gathering place in the commons. Out of all of them, he felt truly bad for her as he knew what it was like to be forgotten, at least in a figurative sense, though never to the degree she had. He didn’t know what or how he’d feel if Faye forgot about him, though it did occasionally feel like that when she entered her infant stage. Speaking of, she should be entering that any day now, a moment he was both hopeful for, and at the same time deeply saddened by because he knew how psychologically wearing all of this had to be on her.

All throughout her life he had done his best to shield her from the horrors of this world, and he thought he had by bringing her here, only to plunge her into a crazy bit of shyke he couldn’t even have dreamed up in his wildest day. After this was all over, he was going to get her a pet or something. Anything to get her mind over what had transpired and onto whatever their new normal was going to be. He was starting to realize there were a lot more what ifs in these thoughts that he would normally have the stomach for, but he didn’t have much of a choice in that anymore. It felt like he had lost all control over everything in his life, their lives, so there was little else to do but rely on hope, and maybe the chance he would come across something significant to their plight.

There was a noise behind him, and Cleon twisted to see Oralie coming onto the deck, looking quite stressed. “What’s a matter?” He asked, then “You look like you could use a smoke.” It wasn’t something he said flippantly, keeping his tone even and a matter of fact as he tapped out the ashes of his pipe and filled it with a pinch of Blue Vision, making sure to pack the bowl tight before he picked up the candle he had borrowed from the inn and used it to light the end of his pipe. After getting a proper cherry red glow going, he coughed, and breathed the rest of the smoke through his nose before offering her the pipe, and listening to whatever she had to say, if she felt like speaking to him that is.

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Cloudy imaginings (Oralie)

Postby Oralie on April 9th, 2022, 2:41 pm

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The small pieces of the shattered seashell jingled together as Oralie gathered them up in her hands. She stood, staring at the tiny fragments in her palms, her hair the only part of her moving as a gentle evening breeze strolled through her room. With a sigh she upturned her hands, dropping the shell onto the top of her cabinet.

She turned, her gaze falling onto the shadow being hovering on the other side of the room. She wanted to scream at it, throw things at it, strangle it. But she couldn’t. Even if she could, she doubted that it would make any difference at all.

Oralie sank down onto the edge of her bed, her head tipping forwards into her hands. She was so tired. She struggled to remember the last time she had gotten a full and unbroken night of sleep. The shadow was relentless now, disturbing her every single night. Its new trick of putting so much pressure on her chest when she was trying to sleep terrified her. Somehow she didn’t think it was trying to kill her. She didn’t think it wanted to at all - it seemed to exist just to torment her.

She raised her head a little and peered at it. It had not moved an inch, hovering silently and unblinking, always watching her. At first it had appeared to be relatively harmless. Aside from a sense of wrongness that emanated from it, the shadow had just followed her about wherever she went. But as the season had progressed, it had changed. Noises at first, small annoyances that got under her skin. Then it had started to toy with her possessions, swapping random objects around when she hadn’t been looking. Now though it actively and physically affected her. It would not let her sleep and it had started trying to hurt her. Or more accurately, get other things to hurt her, including herself.

Oralie winced, hissing through her teeth as she had clenched her hands into fists. She had a deep slice on her left hand on the palm pad below her thumb. The shadow being had shoved a chair into her back the day previous as she had been preparing her breakfast. She had been holding a large knife at the time and of course the inevitable had happened. A frustrated growl rose up her throat before she stood. There was no point in trying to sleep at the moment even though the sun had dipped far below the horizon now. She was far too keyed up.

A chime later Oralie was stepping out onto the main deck at the back of the Inn. She was actually somewhat relieved to see Cleon already there - the shadow tended to behave a little more when others were around. Sure enough, it drifted past her to hover somewhere off to the right. She raised an eyebrow at his comment.
“Stressed, tired, at my wits end… take your pick.”

She pinched the bridge of her nose and joined him at the railing with a sigh. Cleon seemed to be doing much better recently at coping with his particular curse. He was so far from the distant and somewhat unhinged young man that she had first met all those days ago. Oralie was glad for it, and not only because it meant things were easier for both Faye and herself. If he could cope this well during this time, then she imagined that he was likely a very capable person outside of all the madness.

Oralie looked dubiously at the pipe Cleon held out to her. She had never tried smoking before and hesitated before taking the pipe from him. She took a puff and immediately started to cough, her eyes watering. Wordlessly she handed it back to Cleon and scrubbed at her eyes. “How on Miz can you smoke that without coughing up a lung?” Perhaps it was something one simply got used to.

The Kelvic turned to the firepit and stocked it with dry tinder and logs before setting about lighting a flame. It wasn’t super dark out on the deck, there was a little light coming from inside the Inn and the moon and stars offered a silvery glow. It was always nice to have something for the atmosphere though and she couldn’t be bothered to light all the tiki torches.

After a handful of chimes she had a small fire going, enough to leave it alone to fend for itself. She dragged a couple of chairs nearer and flopped into one. Oralie watched Cleon for a moment before speaking.
“I’m glad to see that you seem to be doing well recently.” She gave him a smile and then stifled a yawn. “Hey, I’m sorry if you were about today and heard or saw the state of the kitchen.” She poked at the logs in the firepit with a long stick. “The shadow has started… well, it’s causing proper chaos these days.” The dark shadows were stark under Oralie’s eyes in the flickering light of the fire. She chuckled wryly. “I’m losing the plot as you seem to have found it. Randal said you’ve been doing great at the board shop… I’m happy you’ve found a place here finally. And Faye too…” Oralie trailed off, thinking about the girl and she looked over at Cleon a little sadly. “It’ll be any day soon now, right?”


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Cloudy imaginings (Oralie)

Postby Cleon on April 9th, 2022, 3:25 pm

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Cleon knew all to well the signs of abuse. The distant look they got in their eyes while their whole body seemed tense to jump at the slightest provocation. He saw those signs in Oralie then, bits and pieces that tugged at him. Had it really gotten that bad? Working his jaw till he felt it click, he relaxed into a pose that kept his shoulders aligned with wherever she moved, keeping his movements slow and intentional while his eyes avoided direct contact.

“We’ll find a way to return back to normal. All of us.” Cleon said with a bitter smile before taking a strong tug on the pipe. He let the smoke fill up his lungs completely before he withdrew the pipe from his mouth, and let the smoke spill out slowly through his nose. His eyes watered slightly, though if it was from the smoke currently blowing in his face or something else he couldn’t really tell beyond how numb he felt to it all.

Cleon watched her carefully as she took a cautious puff of the pipe, his bitter grin softening somewhat as he watched her cough and held his tongue until she made her comment. At that, he had to laugh, though it was absent any humorous notes. “Before this curse I had a similar problem.. Problems.. I worked past them, but fate has a twisted sense of humor, doesn’t it? I don’t suppose you had any shadows back in Syliras?” Cleon asked, his tone laden with sarcasm. Then somewhat regretfully, he laid the pipe down on the railing as he rocked back on his heels to lean against it with his palms out.

“I’m sorry, that was unkind. I suppose we’re all a little stretched thin lately.” He mused, smacking his lips to taste the evening air. Cleon always enjoyed the smell of a good clean fire. It had a way of reminding him that he was not back in that shyke hole he used to be in when everything else started feeling a little too similar. Brushing his hair from his face, he took the opportunity to get a better look at her in the warm glow coming off the fire, and noticed that she was more than a little disheveled. Part of him felt bad for her. Part of him felt guilty, not because he felt in someway responsible for her spirit, but because he’d unfailingly been an arse to her since they had first met while she had been unfailingly kind. He wondered if that had something to do with her heritage or if there really were kind people like her in the world. He’d like to think the later, but found he couldn’t really push his faith that far.

Her next words chilled him a bit, but he did his best to keep his expression relaxed and friendly, even if it did come off as more than a little strained.

“Yeah..” He said simply to buy time while he chewed over her words for a moment, trying to put himself in the shoes of what a better man would do or say in this situation. It was a fleeting grasp to avoid thinking any more about his sister by trying to ‘fix’ what he saw in front of him. Of course, old trends, grooves he’d long since worn in his mind came to the fore then as he thought about what he had done in a similar situation, years ago. He wasn’t yet that comfortable with Oralie yet, but perhaps there was something to the method still.

“I’m sure everyone understands by this point, after you tell them at least.” He stopped himself from saying more, and instead switched to a more jovial tone. “Have you ever drank before? Because I know that look, and I certainly think it would do you some good. Petch it might even get this curse off your back for a little while. I’ll stay near at hand if it tries anything sneaky.” Cleon said as he pushed away from the railing and walked over to his bag that he had leaned against the wall near the entry way. After Tazrae had mentioned keeping a ready bag just in case he needed to go in the jungle on a moments notice, Cleon had started doing just that, and bringing it around with him. An occasionally, although it was not very wise to be using pack space, he’d also stow a bottle or two to bring along with him.

Just then he drew out a dark colored bottle of Bluevein Gold, and popping the cork with his teeth, he walked back over to Oralie. “We could do it by the cup, or we can drink straight out of the bottle. I’m not partial either way.” He said, setting the bottle down between them. If she asked, he’d go retrieve a couple of cups for them, or they would just get started there, with Cleon letting her take an experimental swig before posing his little game.

“Alright, so I’ve got a little game in mind that might help you let off a little steam. It certainly has helped me on occasion so I figure why not share, right? So, I’ve got this miza here.” He said, pulling out a gold rimmed miza from his belt pouch and placing it on its side with the M facing her. “Its a simple game, not too many moving parts to it ‘cept this one.” Cleon gave the miza a little spin, the gemstone coin glinting azure in the fire light.

“So, I’ll flip it, and catch it on the back of my hand and both of us will call heads or tails, heads being the M, tails being the W, and if you call it incorrectly, you have to vent about one thing this curse has been doing to drive you up the wall this season. If you want to pass, you take a drink. If you call it right, you take a drink. Deal?” Cleon asked with a wry smile as he gave the miza another little spin. “Here I’ll go first.”

He flipped the coin then, and caught it on the back of his hand, covering where it landed with his palm. “I’m thinking Tails” Then he raised his palm and it was heads. He considered his response for a moment before he shrugged. “I really.. Really hate the headaches that come along with this petching curse.” He said with a grin, and then quickly gave the coin another flip before catching it on the back of his hand. “Your turn.”

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Cloudy imaginings (Oralie)

Postby Oralie on April 9th, 2022, 5:47 pm

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Oralie met Cleon’s gaze and held it for a few ticks before nodding once. “I hope so.”
She set her mouth in a sympathetic half-smile as he took the pipe back from her. It made sense, she supposed, that he was able to cope now because he had done so before. She had forgotten that Faye had briefly mentioned his struggles back in their old home of Sunberth. She huffed a laugh, though it lacked the tone of humour, and shook her head lightly.

“It’s okay.” She sighed. “No shadows, though… I dreamed of it before it appeared so… who knows.” She’d mused before on how the curses seemed to be incredibly personal, crafted just for the person afflicted. The shadow being fed into Oralie’s old paranoia about being followed and found by her master. James, the Founder who sailed The Veronica, could no longer navigate his beloved ship without getting incredibly lost. Dawn and Tony were unable to work; the Isaus hurting the seamstress and the gardener killing any plant he touched, specifically the Isuas they needed.

“It has been a long season already hasn’t it?” It felt like they had been dealing with it all for a lifetime already. Still having another thirty days of the season left… Oralie hated to think about the amount that could happen in that time. She tipped her head back, resting it on the back of the chair she was slumped in. Golden eyes trailed her gaze across the sky, drinking in the twinkling stars above.

The corner of her mouth twitched in a small smile at Cleon’s tone. She could tell that he was trying to comfort her in some way. “Unfortunately they seem to be finding out before I get a chance to tell them. It hurt poor Naadyia a few days ago. It was aiming for me but it missed.” Oralie hoped the Benishra woman's face was healed by now.

She levelled her head and turned to look at Cleon as his tone and the subject changed. An eyebrow rose again as she listened to him. Since moving to Syka Oralie was no stranger to alcohol anymore, though she had never indulged like some did. She watched him curiously, head tilted, as he rummaged in his backpack. “I’m not sure you can call yourself a Sykan if you haven’t drank…”

The Kelvic had often wished she could run away from her curse. Of course, that was impossible since the shadow could follow her anywhere it wanted to. The next best thing would have been to change into an ocelot and just stay that way until things went back to normal… if they ever did. But she couldn’t. Somehow Oralie had ended up with more responsibility than she could have ever imagined. With the Innkeeper - Tazrae according to the lists pinned everywhere - mostly absent, she was practically running the Inn at the moment. If Cleon had an idea that might help ease her mind, even just for an evening, she was all for it.

She took the bottle he offered her to try and took a small sip before handing it back. It was warm and fruity, and she nodded appreciatively. “That’s nice.” She leaned forward with interest, watching as he showed her the single gold miza. Oralie laughed as he explained his rules and sat back in her chair again. “Okay, deal.”

She watched carefully as he flipped the coin, seeing how he balanced it and flicked it with a thumb. A smile wound itself across her mouth at his grin, though she suspected that headaches were far from the worst of Cleon’s annoyances.

“Hmm, I also choose tails.” Oralie looked at the coin as he revealed it to see she’d guessed correctly. She paused for a tick to remember the rules before reaching to pick up the wine bottle from the floor between them. She took a drink, licking her lips before setting it back down. “Here let me try for you.”

Oralie carefully balanced the coin on her hand before flicking her thumb up to hit it. It came towards her rather than going straight up as it had done for Cleon, but she managed to catch the Miza and quickly place it on the back of her hand. Once he had made his choice, Oralie revealed the coin to him and waited while he took the appropriate action before handing the Miza back for her next go.

This time she guessed wrong. “Tails again.” She blinked at the ‘M’ that faced up and shrugged. “I would really, truly love to have a whole night of sleep. Actually scratch that, I’d love to have even a bell of uninterrupted sleep.”

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Cloudy imaginings (Oralie)

Postby Cleon on April 9th, 2022, 7:03 pm

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Cleon smiled, though there was little joy to the reflexive gesture. “I’ve never trusted hope much. I live off what I can make happen with my own two hands, anything outside of that is inconsequential.” He said in a way that was more for himself than it was for her. As if he was challenging whomever or whatever transpired to bind the Sykans in such a way. Whatever was responsible was more devious than he had ever been on his worst day, he had to give it that. Past that begrudging respect though was the deep hate he felt when he personified his pain, their pains he had to remind himself.

As what she said next agreed with his own supposition he didn’t find himself immediately thinking too deeply about it, just nodding along as if was all in the cards, just a part of the deck they’d all been dealt. It seemed that way, didn’t it? The way they’d found themselves affected each in their own unique way, though for all the thinking he had done, he still couldn’t figure out why which seemed a more important question to answer or rather the only question he felt capable of answering with no leads on the other particulars.

“Dreams are funny things. Mine always end up being shards of my past glued together haphazardly in an confusing mosaic.” He over pronounced that last word, and felt it linger on his tongue for a long moment afterward. It was a pretty word he’d learned from a pretty girl he’d long since forgotten the name of but as he stood across from Oralie, he found himself vaguely missing those soft blue eyes of hers. “I don’t think there is anything magical about dreams, but maybe I’m broken.” Cleon laughed to diminish the seriousness of his tone. He’d been trying to not be so dour lately, to mixed results.

She was right about it being a long season though, one that certainly could use a bit of enforced levity. It was the kind of churn he didn’t like, the chaotic kind that left one wondering when the knife in their gut was going to appear. He felt he was still waiting for his even after suffering this curse for most of the season already. Oralie didn’t need to hear all of that though, so he did his best to keep his bleakness inside and off his face as he took a distinct breath of the evening air. It was refreshing in a way, carrying hints of the fire mingled with the salty breeze that came off the sea.

“Well if it hits me I’ll not hold it against you. I might prefer it does actually.” Cleon joked, a terrible one, but one he felt the need to humor with a quiet chuckle as he shifted gears to hopefully lighten the mood somewhat. He was pretty well fed up with sulking after all, weren’t they all?

To his pleasant surprise, Oralie was game after all, and he found himself conceding her point with a slight shrug. She was right again. Sykan’s were- or at least had been a pretty carefree lot when he first arrived before everything had taken root. They were some of the most open people he had ever met, and they didn’t seem to pass up any opportunity to gather together. It had been one of the defining reasons for him deciding they were going to stay here. One which he hadn’t yet regretted despite everything that had transpired.

Feeling like his mind was going in circles on this issue again, he readily committed to this game of theirs, and watched with some private amusement as Oralie tossed the coin in the air. At first when she asked he wondered if she had heard about his coin antics, but from her face, he didn’t think so. Not that he was the best at reading people, but Oralie had an honest look about her that didn’t make him think she had the capacity to be deceptive.

“Tails.” He called out, smiled then took a drink. It didn’t go down quite as smooth as it would if he hadn’t been drinking, but if he was honest he kind of liked the burn. As she flipped it again, calling it, he listened intently as she spoke.

Unconsciously, he found himself leaning forward as she vented, his curiosity piqued. “What does the spirit do if someone else is in the room with you, like Faye? Does it leave you alone or does it continue to pick on you?” Cleon asked, then mock bitting the end of his tongue he slapped the edge of the table. “Sorry if that was intrusive. I’ve been smoking, and I didn’t mean it to be suggestive in any way.” He stammered, and then gestured for the coin. “Anyways we were playing a game. I’ll give it a spin.”

Hastily he flicked up the coin, and caught it on his hand again, and thought about it for a second before calling it. “Tails” Raising his hand he saw the W, smiled and took a drink. He gave it another two flicks before putting the coin between them, one for her and then another for him which came up Tails again, only he’d picked heads so he supposed he should give it another shot.

“I can’t wait till I can throw this pipe into the sea, and all of my clothes as well. Coming home smelling of smoke, I feel like crawling under a rock most nights, which would probably help with the whole sleep thing.” He joked.

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Cloudy imaginings (Oralie)

Postby Oralie on April 10th, 2022, 9:02 am

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Oralie looked at Cleon for a chime in silence. The Kelvic had a different relationship with hope to most others. Being blessed by Priskil meant that the whole concept of hope was a core part of her very being. She subconsciously flexed the fingers of her left hand where both the shimmering gnosis mark and her new wound were located. Oralie understood what he meant by his words though, for it was a good statement to live by in this world. Things rarely came to people without hard work - Oralie herself had clawed her way out of slavery to be here in Syka. But she would never have managed it without her hope. “I think there is a place for both.” She smiled gently, for her words were not a challenge.

She tilted her head as she listened to him. The Kelvic didn’t tend to dream all that much past the nightmares she’d experienced during her first season here. Or at the very least, she rarely remembered what she did dream about. She shrugged. “Honestly, I don’t put a lot of stock in them either most of the time. That one felt different, I woke up in the dream and was sure it was for real.” She shuddered lightly, the memory unsettling her.

Another brow raise was directed Cleon’s way, Oralie’s mouth set in an amused line. “Be careful what you wish for. It’s gotten more creative of late.” The shadow being seemed to enjoy trying to get Oralie to hurt herself recently, rather than being direct about it.

After a couple of coin tosses, Oralie took a moment to study Cleon in the flickering light of the fire. He had come a long way from the angry, distant young man she had first met. His face and posture were relaxed now, and she could see his youthfulness easier. Despite the curses, Syka had been good to him and she was glad. Life certainly wasn’t as easy here as it may seem on the surface, but it turned out that it was an excellent place for reinvigorating fresh starts.

The Kelvic puffed out a breath at his question before smiling with a quick shake of her head. “It’s alright.” She twirled the coin in her fingers before answering. “The shadow tends to behave a little more when others are about.” She glanced to the side where it lurked, watching her as usual. Oralie wondered if it would get up to anything tonight. “When Faye is with me it seems to mostly limit itself to pressing down on my chest which means I wake up because I can’t breathe properly. Otherwise it quite often throws my sheets about and makes a racket.” She stifled yet another yawn and shook her head. “It’s never targeted Faye once. I don’t think you need to worry about her in that regard.”

Oralie watched Cleon take another drink and then waited while he flipped the coin for her. She took the bottle from where it sat and had a drink of her own, savouring the taste of the sweet wine while she watched the coin twist in the air once more. Oralie chuckled at the young man’s next words. “I mean, clothing is basically optional here anyway, you can get away with that one if you want!” She paused and looked at him sidelong, before mimicking his comment from earlier. “No suggestions there either.” She grinned and pushed the coin at him for her next turn.

“Heads.”
She looked at the W he revealed to her. “Hm… It would be nice to be able to do my job without it being undone behind me.” Oralie narrowed her golden eyes at the shadow being. “Honestly, I have to learn how to bake tomorrow because it ruined the cakes that I presume the Innkeeper made for everyone.” She shook her head. “I hope there’s a recipe book somewhere… you may want to stay away from the baked goods for a couple of days.” The Kelvic chuckled before perking up.

“Speaking of cake…” She rose and headed back into the kitchen for a moment, reappearing with some sweetbread on a plate. “Hungry? I know I am.” She set the plate down between them and tore herself off a piece. “I didn’t make this one, it’s safe.” Another grin and she popped the bread in her mouth and chewed before picking up the coin.

With it carefully balanced on her hand, Oralie flipped it, satisfied to see it spin straight up this time. She slapped her other palm over the Miza once she’d caught it and looked at Cleon, waiting for his guess.


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Cloudy imaginings (Oralie)

Postby Cleon on April 10th, 2022, 3:13 pm

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Oralie was more curious than he initially gave her credit for. There was something in the way she said both that made her really believe her, although he certainly wasn’t going to admit that now. His position was more than pragmatic, it was a shield to protect himself against needling doubt in a world that had seemed bent sideways and against him from the start. Oralie was such a fighter, he could see that now, only she had found a different weapon, one he was not confident enough to wield. He smiled somberly. He was glad Faye had a friend in her, and belatedly wished he had gotten to know this woman earlier.

At her joke he had a laugh, vaguely entertained by the idea that this.. Ghost? Would throw something at him. “Hey, it would give me one hell of a story to tell in an outpost tavern. Might even earn me a few free drinks.” He said patting his thigh and moving on with their little game. It felt good to let loose like this with her after so much ill had transpired between them. Like he was releasing a pressure he hadn’t realized was there, and the for the first time, he started to feel truly relaxed around this woman with her unusual eyes. Having a few drinks in him certainly helped things along in that regard as the lines blurred between game and confession.

It came as more than a relief to know that the shadow was at least somewhat tame when his sister was over, although that hadn’t been where he had been going with that question. “If someone was holding you, do you think you’d still feel the pressure on your chest?” He asked curiously, before he smirked chagrined at his comment. “You don’t have to answer of course, or even try it, but could be a curious test and who knows you might actually get some decent sleep that way. Certainly could the way we are going.” Cleon said, thinking about how that was practically the only way he got to sleep these days. It wasn’t the healthiest, but it wasn’t like he had a lot of options.

They each took another few drinks before it came time for another confession, and a humorous reminder for Cleon about how carefree everyone here was when it came to clothing. That was how he knew right off the bat that there were no thieves in Syka because they wouldn’t last long dressing like this. Still he took the suggestion like a challenge, and partially an excuse to get some air as he was feeling suddenly hot under the collar. “Well I don’t know, but a couple of more drinks, and I might start for every flip I get wrong. My blood always runs a little warm.” He mused, flipping the coin for Oralie, then sitting back as he listened. At her suggestion his stomach growled.

“I could go for a bite.” Cleon admitted, and figured afterward it would be good to soak up some of the alcohol. When she’d left to go get the cakes, he sneaked a swig of the bottle and started playing with the coin until she came back with the platter. “I trust your judgment.” He chuckled as he took a cake and slid the coin over, taking a bite thoughtfully, then swallowed. “Heads!”

She opened her hand, and seeing he got it right, he washed down the bite with another swig while he watched her do another flip before passing it back to him. Brushing the crumbs off on his trousers, he picked up the coin, and spun it on the table briefly before taking it carefully in his hand. They’d gotten a few drinks in them now, so he wanted to try something to see if she would notice, and have a little bit of fun at the same time. Instead of flipping the coin the standard way, he made it look like he did, but really just tossed it up in the air after brushing the edge with his thumb to make it look like it flipped when it went up into the air. Only when he caught in on the back of his hand, he knew what the side would be when he called. “Tails.” It was heads.

Smiling, Cleon set the coin down and shrugged. “I’ll be glad when I can get through a work day without stopping for a smoke or to make a drink, or fixating over a drug I’ve never experienced before. To go for a run without thinking how much better it would be to lie down. Really that is the worst part of this curse, how lethargic it all has made me.” He mused as he pulled his shirt off and tossed it to the side. Catching the look from Oralie, he flashed her a grin. “Well I did say I was going to start doing that every time I got one wrong, right?” He said. Underneath his shirt he was lean, but not very muscular, with a bit of wispy blond hair on his upper chest. An just below his left peck, drawing the eye in the firelight was Laviku’s mark making its slow transit across his stomach, its waves slowly lapping over one another in continuous slow motion.

Putting his fingers on the table, he slid the coin over towards Oralie, and then tapped it as he waited for her to flip.

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Cloudy imaginings (Oralie)

Postby Oralie on April 10th, 2022, 8:23 pm

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The Kelvic shook her head lightly, amused with the thought that someone would actually want the shadow being to throw things at them. There was not a lot out on the deck for it to wield thankfully, but she had long stopped underestimating the creature. Her one comfort was always that it didn’t appear to want to kill her, it just used her for entertainment. She had never been more thankful for her cat senses and reflexes.

“Huh…” Oralie leaned back in her chair as she considered Cleon’s next question. “I have no idea, to be honest. I don’t even know how it does that in the first place, being a shadow and all. I even tried sleeping sitting up and it still managed it.” She met his gaze, an eyebrow quirked yet again at his words. “We will see.” She chuckled but it sounded more like a sigh. “It would be nice to get a decent bit of sleep.” It was a curious idea, one that had not yet crossed her mind. Oralie had always been alone, had never even considered sharing a bed or even a room with another person until Faye had entered her life.

Oralie savoured another large bite of the sweet bread as Cleon took a drink after making a correct guess at the coin. The Innkeeper really was a stellar baker. It was a shame Oralie couldn’t remember her at all, for she would have dearly loved to find the woman and ask her to teach some of the sweet recipes she had clearly mastered. A sad frown briefly flickered across Oralie’s brow as she remembered a visit to Alric earlier in the season where she had learned that the pair of them were actually close friends.

Cleon pulled her attention back to the present as he readied another coin toss. She rested an elbow on the arm of her chair, leaning her head on her hand as she watched him. Oralie could feel the fuzz of alcohol starting to creep into her thoughts now. They’d been making a good headway through the bottle with the game and the Kelvic was not quite used to drinking like a lot of the other Sykans were.

She was watching, but not paying enough attention to notice when he made the trick coin toss. She tilted her head as she listened to his next confession. “It sounds very distracting.” It seemed like it was a miracle Cleon managed to get anything done at all. She didn’t envy him his curse despite her own, for it seemed like a heavier burden to bear. “Imagine all the extra time you’ll have when this is all done. You’ll not know what to do with it all!”

She tucked her chin, looking at Cleon with slightly raised eyebrows as he unbuttoned his shirt and discarded it. Oralie huffed out a chuckle. “I guess you did.” She pointed at him. “I’m not joining you though, since it’d be totally unfair.” She had on a dress, and nothing else. Besides that, even though she had no qualms any more with being unclothed, it was not something she did so casually in recent days. The more skin that was covered, the more protection from the shadow she had.

The shifting wave mark on his torso drew her eyes and she watched it move. She reached out slowly and picked up the coin from the table. “That mark, I’ve seen it on some of the Svefra. It’s a Gnosis, right? Since it’s moving and all.” She held up her left hand, palm out to him. Aside from the nasy cut on the pad of her thumb, Oralie’s palm shimmered with a vortex of swirling golden lines. “What does yours do?”

Oralie flipped the coin into the air, pleased she seemed to be getting the hang of it now even if her head was a little fuzzy. “I’m calling… heads.” It was, and she picked up the bottle that was now getting rather low on content. She took a long sip, for it really was good, and set it back down and then rubbed at her eyes. “I guess this stuff,” Oralie nudged the bottle with a toe. “Also takes getting used to.” She was referring to the pipe from earlier.

She rolled the coin across the table to Cleon so he could continue to flip it. After his next go, Oralie guessed hers wrong. “I’ll be glad to not be on edge all the time.” She stared at the fire for a few ticks before looking back over at Cleon. Her pupils had dilated to thin slits and they quickly expanded again as her gaze shifted to the young man. “I was like that before, when I first came here. Then I wasn’t anymore and now here we are again.” She blew out a breath and frowned, mostly at herself, before the cork from the wine bottle bounced directly off her forehead.

She snapped her head round to stare at the shadow being. The Kelvic was so used to all-out and painful violence from it that she actually laughed. She picked up the cork from her lap and turned it over in her hands, the laughter turning into an uncontrollable giggling. Oralie raised a hand to her mouth to try and muffle it unsuccessfully as the shadow drifted away toward the railing. With a shake of her head, the giggling trailing off a little, she tossed the cork into the firepit.

“That got way too melancholy for me.” She stood, swaying ever so slightly as she did so and cast her gaze out over the beach. “Want to go and run through the surf?” That was always a good way to let off some steam and she was starting to feel like she needed to move. “Your bottle is empty now, so…”

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Cloudy imaginings (Oralie)

Postby Cleon on April 12th, 2022, 8:14 pm

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“Oh I’ve got a few ideas.” Cleon said, mulling over her words. “For one I’m going to do something no one in my family has ever done. I’m going to build a house that is going to last for generations, so my grandchildren’s grandchildren can one day still have a place to call home even if they might be far away.” He said. It didn’t matter that he didn’t know a lick about construction or carpentry. He would learn once this was all over of course. Naturally he expected his physical contribution to the project to be mostly symbolic but there wasn’t really any need to dive into the details with Oralie.

Cleon had a good belly chuckle at her next comment. This was fun. He hadn’t exactly intended for her to join him, only tease her a bit as he hadn’t thought very far beyond that. However, now that the thought was out there he couldn’t help but to look her over briefly as his imagination filled in the gaps. Then feeling slightly embarrassed, he pointedly looked at her eyes as they continued their conversation.

She said something then that drew his eyes to the mark on his body that his little stunt had unexpectedly revealed. He grinned soberly, reminiscing. “I got it on the way over here thanks to Faye. She did a lot of praying, enough for the both of us apparently. It might just have been Faye coming here otherwise.” Cleon said, refraining from elaborating any further. The person he had been before that moment had been an entirely different person that was almost a stranger to him now. His eyes then flicked to her mark which was quite beautiful. If she allowed it, when he leaned forward he would hold out his hand gesturing for hers so that he could gently grasp the backside as he got a closer look in the flickering firelight. If not, he would admire it from where he was before settling back into his lounger.

“To be honest, it sort of connects me to the sea. Its hard to explain, but its like I have another sense. I always know where it is, and there are water spirits I can sense as well when they’re near. Otani they are called. Also if I need to, I can drink from the sea. How about yours? Who’s mark is that and what does it do?” Cleon asked, more than a little curious now that the conversation had turned divine. His own experience had been earth shattering, so he was wondering if she shared something similar.

As they continued to talk and drink, Cleon almost forgot they had been venting about their curses. He had been drawn to the way her eyes were curiously contracting when suddenly a cork bounced off her head and he was suddenly reminded of her shadow. His face darkened for a moment before softening when she started laughing, though it didn’t soften much as he knew that sort of laughter. He stood up, then suddenly realized there was not much to do when it came to whatever this.. Was.

So of course he nodded when she made her recommendation. “That sounds like just the thing to burn off some of this energy.” Cleon agreed and then accompanied her to the beach. It was not a far walk, and as the soothing sounds of the waves lapping in the darkness grew louder, he almost closed his eyes to enjoy it. Just before they walked onto the packed wet sand he kicked off his shoes, and then stripped out of his trousers before walking onto the wet sand and digging in his toes. It felt cool under his soles. “Want to race?” He asked with a grin, then before she could answer he started running down the edge of the beach, the water occasionally lapping at his heels and splashing up his legs as he ran. Keeping his hips loose, he kept from going full sprint unless it looked like she was catching up to him at which point he would try to run as fast as he could manage down the closed packed sand.

Eventually when she either passed him, or he ran out of stamina, he would stop and roll onto the sand till he was flat on his back looking at the stars as he panted for breath, blackness teasing at the edge of his vision as he propped himself up on an elbow to look over at Oralie. “Petch, you’re fast. What do you win?” He joked.

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