Open The 5th Tenday of Spring, A shot in the dark.

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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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The 5th Tenday of Spring, A shot in the dark.

Postby Cleon on April 11th, 2022, 4:11 pm

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50th of Spring, 522 A.V.

Cleon woke that day much as he frequently had throughout this season. Covered in a cold sweat, with the covers tossed away from him at some point during the night. It was yet in those darkest hours before dawn, but he could not go back to sleep no matter what he tried. So rather than remain and continue to disturb Faye, he got up to go for a stroll around the Inn to calm his mind. Before he exited the Protea however, he dropped by the common room to see if he might grab a snack. Then about fifteen chimes later, he exited the Inn with a piece of bread stuffed into his mouth and a thick sheaf of parchment in his hands though he did not remember picking up either. Confused, he looked around, doing a quick spin until his eyes fell on a note that had been left near the main entrance, and there was a thought that he felt like he should be doing something now. Sliding the parchment into the waistband of his trousers, he carefully read the note which helpfully listed the curses that plagued Syka with a special note about the owner of this particular establishment.

Chewing thoughtfully, he had a sudden idea that maybe, probably that was why he couldn’t remember going to the common room he had only just left. Which left him in a bit of a curious position as naturally he felt the impulse to go back in and see if he could apologize to whoever this Tazrae was before he quickly realized that wouldn’t do him much good, and he’d just be back to where he was. Not only that, it would probably be fairly frustrating for the owner of this establishment whom had enough on her plate dealing a full inn of guests who couldn’t remember a petching thing about her.

Still, it was another chime before he finally decided to walk away from the inn and try to forget about that confusing interaction. He would just have to add it to the growing list of petched up things that had happened this season, and call it a day, er.. Morning? It was too early to write off a day that had yet to begin, and didn’t they have some meeting today? He counted on his fingers, nodding along as he confirmed that it was indeed a tenday, his fifth one in fact, and then continued on his way walking down the beach, listening to the chorus of waves slapping against the beach. It was almost enough to make him want to wade into those dark, salty waters yet he resisted as he didn’t really relish the idea of having to change his clothes with Faye still sleeping. She needed all the rest she could get from this waking nightmare.

As a bit of a compromise, he kicked off his shoes and stepped carefully across the packed wet sand, letting the water lick at his toes as he made his way along the shoreline. He had pointedly came out this way to avoid the other side which seemed far more popular with the Ixam that had come to take a liking to Syka. He didn’t really have a problem with the giant lizards, but that didn’t mean he wanted to take any chances he could avoid. His luck wasn’t exactly the greatest, and neither was he the keenest mind when it came to animals.

In the distance, along the curve in the beach opposite him, he saw a distant figure walking along the water’s edge much like he was, and he supposed that he wasn’t the only one who was having trouble sleeping lately. He supposed then that he should be surprised there were not more people doing the same, especially with some of the curses they had been afflicted with. It almost made Cleon feel lucky to only have to deal with his, but that wasn’t quite the right word for the sentiment. He didn’t have a proper one actually, just a vague sort of sadness that he could only feel in a detached sort of way.

As he walked on, he and the figure drew closer to one another till he recognized that it was Randal who had the unfortunate burden of looking more beastly by the day. Acting like it too, as more than once Cleon had caught him at the shop pawing at the ground or snorting in a way that was decidedly inhuman. His curse Cleon hadn’t quite managed to wrap his head around, but he felt bad for the man regardless. If you’d asked him if he would have felt the same way when he had first come to Syka, the answer would have been an easy no, but now, after so much had transpired between them. Well, suffice it to say the man had his respect, and Cleon found himself often looking forward to the day when he could get to know Randal sans curse.

When they drew alongside each other, Cleon raised his hand in greeting, nodding with a slight smile he wasn’t so sure could be discerned in the twilight. If there hadn’t been a moon out, he’d probably have been left wondering at a silhouette until they drew closer, but as it stood he had been able to make out enough details to discern who it was even leaving out Randal’s distinctive gait which had a sort of bounce to it. Seeing him up close in his full glory with flattened nose, and thick horns curling out the sides of his tangled mass of hair, Cleon tipped his head slightly towards the man.

“Ello Randal. Couldn’t sleep as well?” Cleon asked, straightening his clothes unconsciously and feeling something light fall down the length of his left trouser leg. Confused, he dropped to a crouch as he felt along his leg and then there was the unmistakable crinkle of parchment underneath his hand. Immediately he fished it out through the bottom of his trouser leg, and then held out the curious set of papers before him, although he struggled to make out the handwriting with just the moonlight to go by.

“What’s that?” Randal asked in a thick voice, that was somewhat muffled by the large, flat teeth that featured prominently in his mouth now.

“This was a letter I got from the Protea Inn. I think the owner gave it to me, but I forgot to read it, or forgot I read it.” Cleon said slowly before he started to fold it up.

Randal snorted, then made a sort of chuffing sound as he dug the his heel into the packed wet sand. “Well aren’t you going to read it?”

“I can’t the light’s to poor.” Cleon argued, although he didn’t put the letter away quite just yet.

“Its probably important if they gave it to you. Come on, theres a torch lit not far away.” Randal said after rolling his eyes, and Cleon decided it was in his best interest to follow the founder.




* * * * *



As it turned out, he should have read the message while he was still outside of the Protea for its contents were of immediate interest to all of the residents of Syka, himself included. While Cleon was beating himself up for his foolish delay, Randal went to gather the other founders to let them know, and to get this tenday meeting started as soon as possible. With one caveat that Cleon didn’t like in the slightest. He was to open it, in front of all of the people of Syka. Oh petch, why did it have to be him of all people.

Waiting for everyone to gather up didn’t help in the slightest as Cleon read and re-read the note over and over again, not truly believing what had been dropped into his lap. It felt almost like he hadn’t woken up this morning and he was still fast asleep. It would have been better for him if that was true, however he wasn’t that lucky. The chimes continued to tick on as more and more people were summoned out on the beach in front of the central part of the commons, and the dreaded moment loomed ever closer. More than once Cleon thought about sampling a few drinks while he waited, but he resisted that urge as the last thing he wanted to do was to be slurring his words in front of a crowd. He’d never recover, although it was hard to keep a firm eye on the future when he had this unpleasant task ahead of him.

At last the time came, with James walking onto the stage to address the people gathered there, and Cleon standing their off somewhat to the left trembling with his sheets of parchment. Although he had grown well over a foot during the course of this season, he still felt like a small boy standing there in front of so many people.

“Welcome everyone to the fifth tenday celebration this season. We’ve gathered you all up here early because some very important information has recently come into our hands, and we all agree that it is prudent to get this out there as soon as possible so we can all start working towards a solution for these curses. So without further interruption, here is Cleon who will be presenting the letter he received this morning. Please keep quite until the full thing has been read, and then we can have our discussion about it afterward.” James said, and Cleon watched as the man turned to gesture him forward.

With a dry swallow, Cleon nodded nervously before taking his position, holding the parchment shakily between twitching fingers.

“So uh.. Yeah.. Here it goes.”

"Dear People of Syka,

My name is Alric. I have spent most of my life, up until the past few seasons, living in Sunberth. Now I split my time between that anarchic city and the Outpost, where I have an apartment that I share with others, and bought with a resident in your village. I don’t really like talking about myself, but I find myself in a position where I have little choice but to do so, otherwise it feels like things will not get better. Suffice to say I have my motivations for this letter, but I also don’t like people’s freedom of choice being removed from them. Especially in such a cruel way as has been described to me.

Some of you I know, and so you will know me, others I have only heard of by name and can put no face or persona to it. It matters little at this time, beyond the fact that those who know me will be able to vouch for the truth of who I am, and what is found below in this letter.

Oralie and Bree both know me, and I believe none can say they are dishonest souls. Bree can hardly keep her words in sometimes, but she is a Shellmate - I have missed you by the way, you should come visit one day - and Oralie is a friend who has visited me here, in the Outpost. I have met Shiress, Shade, Cleon and Naadiya in passing. I do not believe that any of them should have a reason to say that I would be untrustworthy. If so…well I can’t please everyone.

Oralie, and Tazrae if you are there and not in the jungle wilds, I give you full permission to share with everyone, everything about me, if that’s what it takes to solve this and convince people. I don’t care anymore, it is time that I accepted it anyway. I do not write it here because if it is not required then it makes things less…complicated. But tell them, if they need to know who is doing this writing in the full.

Tazrae is the one amongst you that I knew best before this, one who is far dearer to me than any of you can know, and none of you will remember her. She is cursed to be forgotten by all, not just all of you there in Syka, but by myself also. She owns the Protea Inn and has kept many of you in food and board for many seasons. She is a good soul and this season has brought suffering that I would end tomorrow, if I could. This curse reaches beyond the borders of your village in a jungle paradise and, frankly, it is getting bloody annoying for me, let alone all of you.

On the 1st of the season this all began, as far as I can figure it, and I learned this through Tazrae. We have been corresponding by letter regularly, seeing as it is the only damned way that I could remember things involving her at the beginning of the season. She thought of The Letterbox, and I think that you will all owe her for that instinct in the future. I know it was the only way that I could try to figure out, alongside meeting some of you, what might have been going on, why and…more importantly…how to potentially fix this nightmare. But first, the short version of my story this season.

On the 1st I was paid a visit by Tazrae, who I had forgotten, but who somehow managed to talk me around to listening to the absolutely, crazy tale of the curses visited upon all of you. Proof of her existence in my life prior to the 1st was found in my own writings (and a picture of her I drew in Winter – a copy – is enclosed for anyone who wishes to look at it, excuse my terrible drawing skills) and so, The Letterbox correspondence was formed as a way of both staying sane – or as sane as we can be – and the exchange of information about Syka, and these curses. I was also given a list of those afflicted, later in the season, and have pondered upon them for some time now. So long I suppose I’ll be told when this is over that I have too much free time and should be put to work.

But the letters weren’t enough, there was a hole within that was empty…like having something cut out without my knowing…and a sense of profound loss. It was impossible to let it go, and given my own proclivity for puzzles and seeking of knowledge, it was impossible not to meddle. I am marked by Eyris – only 1 mark but still – it allows me to…read Djed stored upon things, get insights, flashes of images and intent sometimes. If any are marked among you then they can verify what I’m saying…if not…well, you’ll just have to believe me.

Anyway…I spent every day, in every spare bit of time, trying to read everything in my home. It took a long time, and did not always give me the answers that I looked for, but eventually I could build up a picture of who Tazrae was, how she felt, what mattered to her, how she was…and so on. Not detailed enough to know all of her really, perhaps, but enough to know her and trust her. I have written that she suggested I share this with you all, but I am unsure how much I was allowed to share, so Tazrae, I am sorry if I shared too much. But you mean enough to me that I’ll gladly accept the telling off, if this works. By doing this I have shown that it is possible to see past the curses upon you all, and that divine magic is the key required.

I would come and try to read your whole village if I could, but I cannot get there in time as stepping on a ship would take over a season. Whilst I would willingly do that tomorrow, I fear that to take that long to undo what has already been done in Syka would mean catastrophe. There is an urgency here at play that I can feel, like the shifting sands in an hourglass. I think…I think you need to resolve this by season’s end…or it will only get worse. You need each other now, more than ever, so if there is any strife there, then I suggest you all stuff it where Syna won’t grace with her presence, until this is all over. Pride was the downfall of some of my ancestors, I would see it not happen to you all.

You will need to find someone closer to you all to do this reading, but do it quickly so that you can begin the counter-stroke of this game, a game that is for keeps, I think. Recently I have become...entangled…with the Gods and Goddesses…in ways that have not always been to my liking. I suppose that I could call one a friend, another one who has helped and the third, a long distant relative. Eyris is one…Vas is another…I have it noted down that at least one of those is familiar to some of you. And Croix…well he helped save my life. I tell you this not to brag, because honestly others can verify, I’d rather have peace and comfort, but to show you the scope of what is at stake, what is playing out.

In my last meetings with some of them I was told of another God, one who was responsible for the shattering of our world – at least in part, for we mortals are our own worst enemies also – Rhysol. God of Evil, Chaos, Betrayal and Lies. I capitalise these words for a reason…because you are, all of you, I think being screwed with by him. I have sent a copy of the ‘curse list’ with this letter, though I am sure there are copies there for you to read also. Read them all, all of you. Read them out after this letter, if you must. When I first read the list, I was confused as they seemed arbitrary, random…almost mad in their specifics. Why have that curse and not another? Why go for a lack of direction rather than a crippling blight that would wipe Syka out in a score of days through lack of sustenance?

Founders…you know your people best and they probably trust you more than they would me…which is right. Is there a pattern there? Because having met Tazrae and others I have been left with the sense that these are very personal, and that they are meant to make you suffer. Rhysol feeds off of the seeds of the chaos these curses sow, and I would be surprised if he wasn’t able to see them playing out somehow, enjoying the show of his own sowed destructions. Divine magic must be fought with the divine…there is no other way.

There are two amongst you who have no curses, and they are priests. That seems too neat to be a coincidence to me, and so feels like a confirmation of my thoughts. I do not know if you can summon your divines to you, but it would seem an apt time to do so if you can. I assume, though, that you have already tried but it has not worked. Perhaps, if you can locate the threat then the Guardians could do the rest on behalf of Kihala. But…I do think he is the one to blame, given the scale of what is happening, and that it will require the divine to push back, on some level. But I have never been wise, so check my words against your own hearts.

"You need to find one who can see through the lies, read the path of the curses and feel the motivations behind this evil. Find yourself a Lykata marked, protect them, and let them walk through your world and tell you what they see. Let them track down the source so that you know what you can do to stop it. But most of all, you need a united front. I can only imagine how you have all suffered, and how fractured things might have become, from before when all was well.

Work together, not just to survive, but to strengthen the bonds that are an anathema to this magic. Become the opposite of who the bastard is and, perhaps, with the help of your own divines you can kick this back into the ocean and live as free people once again.

This is probably the only time, outside of my own family, that I’ve even partially told people what to do. I prefer people to live their own lives and do as they wish. I don’t generally like to take responsibility for others, an irony given how I’ve been told I take too much for myself. But over half the season has passed and I have slowly been losing the thing that matters to me most…so I feel I have no choice. If we ever meet, please know that I do this as I see no other choice.

"And get a damned move on it, please…I want to remember again, and I would like to come see Syka one day. I never was one for dreams, but I was given one recently, and now I’m fighting for it the only way that I can. I wish that I could stand beside you in this fight…but I can’t. I have done all that I can…the rest is up to you.
May the odds be ever in your favour, and Eyris grant you the wisdom to see through the veil. "

"Good Luck,
Alric
Son of Serana & Kalas"

"P.S. for Tazrae - I mean it Tazrae, if they demand to know before they will listen, you tell them everything about me. I’d rather lose my anonymity than lose you. And they found me once already anyway, so what’s the point now? When the curse breaks, as I’m sure it will, come and see me.

P.P.S for Oralie – There is a courage in you that you have yet to realise, perhaps. The shadow exists because of the light you possess within. I thought upon your curse a bit more as I know you, I think it is supposed to be a mockery of Priskil’s affection…you are stronger than it by far. Use her light to rise above, and carry the light for others in their time of need

P.P.P.S for Shiress – I have healed well from the fights. Lys healed ages ago from the bite, and is back to haranguing me. I may require healing again one day, but for now we are fine. You have a gift for healing. Now, I offer the chance for healing to you"








When the letter had been read in full, Cleon awkwardly bowed to the assembled people and promptly departed stage right where he practically ran for the booze as he heard James take his place behind him.

“Now, not all at once, we’ll do this in an orderly fashion as this has given us all a lot to think about. Raise your hand if you wish to speak at this time.” James said behind him, but Cleon was no longer listening to much of anything now, and he had eyes only for the mug that was in his hands now. It was blue, sweet with a slice of mango protruding from the top. The perfect beverage for the perfect view this self ascribed loner was currently enjoying of watching the everything unfold.

Namely the three shapely backs of women with decidedly different tastes in dress. There was Juli in the middle who was wearing a loose isuas skirt that fell at an angle down the back of her legs, while up top he could only see the simple strap of a bikini. To her right there was Indigo who still managed to give him a good view even while wearing more, as she was clad in a pair of thick trousers, boots, and a long sleeve blouse. Like many of the times he had seen her of late, she seemed to have all her possessions near at hand as Cleon distantly recalled she was prone to getting lost due to her particular curse.

Finally on the left there was Dawn who unlike the other two could not wear the clothes he was familiar seeing on her, and instead wore an over sized linen shirt that had slipped half way down her right shoulder, and a colorful linen skirt that went almost to her calf. Recalling that she had a problem with Isuas he still found himself a bit curious as to why she hadn’t altered already these clothes but then again, who was he to judge on such decisions. Perhaps she like he was hoping for a quick solution to all of their ills, and thus felt like altering these garments would somehow make it all the more real.

Cleon frowned at the though, and took another drink. It wasn’t like him to look so deeply into things, but it was better then letting his mind tarry on what had just transpired. Speaking of distractions, he realized quickly when Indigo noticed his leering because suddenly he was ducking out the way of a thrown rock, spilling his drink all over himself in the process. Juli didn’t turn around, but Dawn made an uncomfortable observation before turning back towards the gathering leaving only Indigo glaring at him. Having been down this road already once before, Cleon hesitantly walked over, picking up the rock along the way and then when he was just a few paces shy of her, placed the rock gingerly in her hand.

When he looked up. Well.. She. Was. Fuming. Her nostrils were flaring as she gave him a wild eyed stare and simply pointed at a spot away from the gathering where there would be a reasonable amount of privacy. Looking over at that spot, then back at her, and back at the spot again, Cleon reluctantly nodded, and started to walk over, grabbing a drink before he did so.

He managed to get a few gulps in before they got over to the spot, and Indigo slapped the mug out of his hand. Then in one smooth motion she pushed him, Cleon felt his back slam into the ground, and rolled to dodge the kick that was surely coming. Too slow. Hee felt it glance off the back of his hip, and he winced as he froze, feeling her standing over him although he couldn’t see much more than a thin, flickering shadow.

“What have I told you about perving on me? Have you already forgotten what I said I do the next time I caught you?” She growled, and with the edge of her foot, rolled him over. Cleon didn’t resist, rolling over with the momentum and finding himself in the uncomfortable position of looking up at Indigo towering over him. It was kind of hot if not for the fact that he was about to get pummeled.

Cleon flinched and held his arms crosswise in front of himself as he prepared for blows that were to come. One chime. Two. He opened his eyes and Indigo was still there but she hadn’t moved an inch. Instead, when their eyes met she dropped down to crouch over him, and while looking him dead in the eye stripped off his belt pouch and started rifling through it.

“I’ll let it go this time, but I’m taking something in return for sparing your face.” Indigo said tersely as she took both pouches of his pipe weed, and his pipe before throwing the bag on his chest. She stood up then, and after stowing the objects seemed to think for a long moment before a smile to her lips. A smile that scared him more than a little bit. Before he could even register what was happening, she pulled off his trousers and then turned to go jogging back to the gathering, folding them as she went.

For a long, long while, Cleon laid there stunned as he tried to comprehend the scene, and ended up just shaking his head as he started to feel a little angry, then a lot at just how petched up this all was. If she wanted to play that game, he could play that game. He thought petulantly as he stripped off his shirt and undergarments before stomping back towards the gathering to get a drink at one of the tables.

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The 5th Tenday of Spring, A shot in the dark.

Postby Gossamer on April 13th, 2022, 4:25 am

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Tendays in Syka were usually boisterous events. There was music, dancing, free-flowing drink, and a sense of community where everyone visited and checked up on everyone else. The potluck was a community affair with everyone bringing their favorite dishes or looking forward to having their favorite treats that others brought. However, by the fiftieth day of this Spring, the Settlement was finally getting big enough to be called a city and now seemingly had the aura of desperation about it. Each and every individual was incredibly self-involved, though not through any fault of their own. What had been a completely community-driven group had metamorphized over the last fifty days and everyone was focused on their own issues.

Trapped in nightmares, haunted by specters, sex changes, being forgotten, bestial features, and being incredibly disorientated or flat out lost. The division between what was once a strong dedicated community was at an all-time high because people couldn’t get past their own problems long enough to band together to solve what was destroying the Settlement and de-evolving it into chaos.

There wasn’t the usual food. The faire was plain and uninspired. Even Stu’s brewing – though he was unaffected – was uninspired… just a plain beer made from imported grains rather than a lovely delicious rum. He had two kegs of it, and no one was drinking. Everyone was standing around soberly, not talking, and there was a noticeable lack of interaction and chatting.

Fear hung over everyone – fear of what was next and what the day would bring – and it was sobering. And truthfully, no one singing, playing, dancing or even giving any community announcements had everyone thinking of packing it up and heading home. It was even leaving the question open if there’d be a 6th Tenday this season.

The crowd listened to Cleon’s impromptu announcement, then the reading of the letter, and there was stunned silence. Then conversation broke out and everyone started talking at once. People elbowed each other, looked around, and Mathias and Stu stood up at the front to get everyone’s attention. They were going to take comments one at a time, like usual, but the pair were rudely interrupted after their announcement asking for comments on the letter. Two kids ran into the Commons, both screaming and covered with blood.

“Help! You need to come and bring help!” The younger of the two said. It was Dalton and Axim and both boys were frantic, eyes wide and gesturing wildly. “It’s Mistress Hess.” Half the crowd took off running, the three Founders included. The whole collective of the Settlement beat feet back across the Commons, under the covered seating area and into the Children’s Pavilion area.

Mistress Hess lay there, half a dozen children surrounding her crying, with one boy leaning over her. It was little Luke, the reclusive Iyvess child James had rescued from midsea. He was pressing his hands over Michaela’s throat, where her jugular had been cut. The boy was openly weeping and was trying to hold in her blood which seemingly had sprayed out all over. He was whispering ‘No.. No.. No!” Over and over, and when the pressure on her neck wasn’t enough, he made cupping gestures, like he was trying to pour the blood pooled in his hands back into her throat.

Mathias was over at Luke immediately and was picking the boy up, cuddling the nine year old blond against him and turning him away from the sight of the obviously dead woman. James was tending to the others, while the local Akalak doctors Jansen and Kalum Alavarth knelt down beside Michaela and checked her over.

It was obviously too late though, too late by far, though Jansen could have done something if Michaela hadn’t already been dead. The wound looked like a knife wound straight and clean across her throat, and one could see both edges of her esophagus gaping wide… as well as a glimpse of the bones of her neck. Someone had hit her hard with the cut – hard and fast – and she’d died ugly but quickly. Most of the children standing around were bloody as well and the sand was flaked with the spray.

Mathias stood in stunned silence, cradling Luke and crooning soft reassurances to him. The boys head was buried in his neck and he was sobbing openly now. James met Mathias’ stare over the boys sobs, and he reached down to pull up Michaela’s sleeve. There, on her arm, was the double mark of Eyris. She was, as far as the Founder’s knew, the only one in the Settlement who was thusly marked.

Uta took charge then, along with Juli, and they covered the body and discussed what to do with it. Michaela didn’t know the Jungle so a burial in the wilds was not appropriate. They decided they’d turn the Tenday bonfire into a funeral pyre and hold Michaela’s last rights then and there. Bodies couldn’t sit around in the tropics, not with the heat and the humidity. And quickly, Buraga organized a search to see if anyone had any knife on them that could remotely be the weapon that cut Michaela’s throat.

It turned out everyone had an eating knife that was sharp enough and long-bladed enough to do the deed.

There was still time for people to speak, for folks to speculate, share knowledge, and be together. Michaela wasn’t well known, but the kids all loved her and seemed traumatized by the happenings. They were quiet, subdued, and a woman no one could remember took charge of them, leading them away from the Children’s Pavilion to the local Inn followed by a small lounge of Ixam. She would look after them, dry their tears, and let them talk to her if they wanted too. And she’d stay up with them all night cooking smores by the fire and teaching them a small assortment of games she seemed to have found at the Inn.


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The 5th Tenday of Spring, A shot in the dark.

Postby Shiress on April 16th, 2022, 5:17 pm

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Shiress sat on the ground, leaning back against a tree trunk, knees drawn up against her chest, her glassy eyes tracking her son as he played. Shade stood close by, stoic and watchful as ever. The doctor briefly wondered what language he had woken up speaking. Shiress hadn't attempted to talk to the monk yet today; she didn't think she could, thanks to the ghost, so she had no idea what Shade's language for the day was and lacked the energy to pull herself up to go find out.

The doc had planted herself away from all the others gathering for the Tenday meeting, having no wish to converse with any strangers, but had chosen a spot close enough to hear what was said. Besides, Shiress was currently in no condition to be making impressions on anyone, first or otherwise.

Fifty long, torturous days of being cursed had taken its toll on everyone in the small community, and Shiress could only hope for the meeting was that the founders had finally found a solution to the curses plaguing Syka. Her own fifty cursed days had definitely taken their toll, and, despite the hot sun and odd looks, she had wrapped a blanket around her bony shoulders in an attempt to hide most of it.

Elijah Jordan's ghost had become quite creative in the ways it tortured her in the night, and the last thing she wanted to do was try and answer awkward questions or explain away her injuries. Many people knew of her curse, but only Shade knew of the true horrors that she had endured on the nights Jordan's ghost was particularly angry and violent. On those nights, Shiress would scream out, and the monk had to have heard her, but he knew just as well as she that he could do absolutely nothing to help her.

The night before had been one of its more angry nights. The ghost had managed to use the bedsheets to bound Shiress to her bed and strangled her until her vision had blackened. When she woke to Syna's rays and Ian singing happily to his monkey, Shiress had nearly panicked at her lack of clear vision, though a quick look in the mirror and the doctor discovered why.

The ghost had choked her so forcibly that the tiny vessels in both her eyes had ruptured and leaked into the whites of her eyes, filling the right entirely with blood, making its green iris stand out stark against the bright red; her left eye had only hemorrhaged into the corner, closest to her nose, giving the impression she would cry tears of blood. Gaze dropping to her neck, to the outline of fresh bruises forming, Shiress's shoulders had slumped, and she could do little else but wonder why Jordan's ghost seemed to get very, very violent on the nights before the Tenday meetings.

Breakfast had been a shock this morning as well, particularly after finding what looked to be a severed baboon penis buried beneath the mounds of her oatmeal. Shiress had gagged and heaved painfully with nothing in her sour stomach to bring up. The ghost had apparently upped its torturous meal games since the last had only been only two eyeballs swimming in the stew she had been served for supper the night before. At least there hadn't been any more hidden human fingers, tongues, and several toes that had left the doctor heaving and frightened that someone she knew had been mutilated by the ghost.

There was some comfort in Shiress knowing, hoping, that the bloodied appendages left for her to find in her meals were just some vicious hallucinogenic game to raddle her. Though, at this rate, Shiress was bound to die of ghost-induced starvation if the appeal of dragging the sharp end of a scalpel along the nearest and most accessible artery didn't gain strength within the doctor's battered mind first.

Fifty days in and Shiress's body had diminished into the sharp angular curves and shadows of protruding bone beneath areas of her flesh that were once supple and well rounded, her mind emasculated and frayed to the point that surviving right here, right now, was all the once vibrant and shrewd doctor could manage. It had been a fortnight since Shiress had trusted her skill with patients and little less than that since the Zeltivan had begun to forego ventures outside her room at The Protea, choosing instead to send her son with Shade, blatantly ignoring the monk's arguments.

Shiress was holding on, but barely, every day a struggle, but every day that she awoke, Shiress would look into her baby boy's storm-colored eyes, see that beautiful smile, and, somehow, she would find enough strength for just one more day. Ian was Shiress's life, her meaning, her will to fight back against this curse and the ghost of Elijah Jordan stood no chance to break the will of a protective mother. None.

James's voice rang out, startling Shiress back from dire musings. Had she dozed off?

Shiress shook her head and glanced around. Ian was near the same spot, laughing heartily as Opal jumped about in front of the toddler, kicking up little dust clouds to Ian's squeals. Shade was nearby, though he had moved closer to Ian and Shiress gave the monk a thankful smile. She never thought she would actually be grateful for that man, but she was, very and truly.

Hearing her name spoken, Shiress's head shot up, squinting her abused eyes toward the stage where Cleon, bless the young man, was nervously reading from what looked to be a paper. Grimacing, Shiress pulled herself to her feet, tightened the blanket around her shoulders, and picked her way to Shade's side, motioning to her mouth to ask what language he had woken up speaking.

"Who did he say the letter was from?" she rasped, coughed, and attempted to clear her sore throat as she glanced over at Shade before quickly averting her gaze back toward the front when the man got a good look at her blood-filled orbs.

"Strangled me rather hard last night." she wheezed by way of explanation, wincing at the sting speaking caused, "hurts to talk, but it'll pass." she added, then frowned, "Who is Tazrae?"

The letter was long and informative, Alric's words sounding almost hopeful even while counseling those in Syka to be cautious.

"Do you know who is Eyris?" Shiress asked Shade, keeping her eyes on the stage.

When Cleon's voice called out the name of a specific, very familiar God, Shiress nearly squeaked and darted her gaze around those standing closest, sure that every eye would indeed be fixed on her, accusing and distrustful. But Shiress knew that only one soul in Syka was aware of Shiress and Rhysol's past, about Ian and that god's be damned cursed toy monkey, but there was no way Shiress would look Shade's way at that moment, not for all the gold in Mizahar.

Shiress looked at Shade, scowled, and looked back toward the stage.

Bastard...

As the letter went on, Shiress grew more and more thoughtful, contemplative, and by the end, she was downright irritated. That was until, shockingly, Shiress's name was called again, and as she listened to Alric's message to her, she couldn't help but smile behind the bruises and thinness of her face at the Sunberthian's last words.

"Now, I offer the chance for healing to you."

Oh, but that man had no idea what those words meant to Shiress.

As a multitude of voices all started conversing together, Shiress turned to Shade, motioning for the man to lean closer so she wouldn't have to raise her damaged voice to be heard.

"Alric sounds so sure that he may have found the solution to the curses, doesn't he?" Shiress whispered, hand going to her throat as if the gesture could soothe its rawness, "Like he's telling the Founders what they need the knowledge of something when he already knows it." she shook her head, "Such a waste of the time that I don't think we have, Shade." The doctor's bloodied eyes lifted then, pinning the monk with a sad, telling look, [b]"I'm not sure who will be left come the season change."

A sudden commotion drew Shiress attention back to the front, where two frantic kids came running into view, screaming and crying and begging for help. Leaning over, Shiress plucked Ian from the ground and hurried as best she could in the same direction a wave of Tenday attendees were now rushing in. Once the three of them had caught up to the wall of onlookers bulging from the Children's Pavilion, Shiress handed Ian to Shade, then pushed her more petite frame through the crowd toward the front, of a mind to offer help if needed, but as Shiress broke free of the now gasping and shocked Sykan's she knew there would be no help required from anyone.

Sweet Mistress Hess lay motionless, eyes wide and unseeing, nearly decapitated. Shiress watched the Giant Akalak doctors as they moved skilled hands over the Mistress, and when they had cleared a spot, She knelt and gently ran a hand up the woman's pale arm, whispering her own goodbye. Shiress stood, turned to push her way back toward Shade, and came face to face with her master's ghost and his bloody toothed grin.

"You're next, slave, and then little Ian can join all those other little pitiful orphaned kids." the ghost sneered.

Before Shiress even had the chance to form a thought, Jordan's pale, cold hands shot forward, slammed into Shiress's chest, and sent her stumbling back. The heels of her slippered feet caught on Mistress Hess's body, and Shiress went down, twisting her momentum instinctively at the last moment to try and catch herself. Blinking open her eyes, Shiress realized she was nose to nose with the dead woman and would have shrieked had her raw throat allowed it. Shuffling backward, she threw off the hands that had helped her to her feet and fled back through the crowd, not stopping until she buried her face into Shade's arm.

"I need to speak to a founder, Shade," she wheezed, "today."


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The 5th Tenday of Spring, A shot in the dark.

Postby Antelokes on April 16th, 2022, 7:16 pm


Antelokes sat in silence, trying to pay attention to the reading of the letter. He perked up when he heard the man was from Sunberth, the city where he had gone through most of his adolescence. The letter’s author sounded intelligent enough, and he seemed intent on helping the Sykans. Antelokes found it difficult to focus completely on Cleon’s reading though. His visions had unfortunately chosen this moment to strike.

Most of the time the visions swept him away into some other sphere of awareness and were clearly distinguished from reality. This time though, they blended with the world around him in subtle, unsettling ways. As the letter was read, the sky was alight with terrible omens. Bright ribbons of flame snaked their way from horizon to horizon in a frightening aurora. If he stared at them too closely, the amorphous shapes resolved themselves into vivid scenes of death and destruction all depicted in the harsh oranges of a searing inferno.

Antelokes did his best to ignore the sky. Instead he fixed his eyes on the inhabitants of Syka, trying to read their reactions to the letter. Fear and desperation rolled off the crowd in waves. It was some of the strongest emotion he had ever felt through his gnosis. It was a comfort—however small—that his mark still worked. Despite the visions’ lies his patron god had not abandoned him. Not totally at least.

The letter ended, the crowd burst out, but Antelokes forced himself to remain stoic, observing them closely. When pushed this close to the edge frenzied crowds could be dangerous. Most of the folk in Syka were a sensible lot, but he’d seen too many Sunberthian riots to let his guard down. This type of energy would be very powerful if directed correctly, but if not then the pressure would find some other way to release, and that was unpredictable.

The flaming omens in the sky grew more intense, broadening, deepening, and flickering as if to match the intensity of the crowd. A chill ran through Antelokes as he saw that they wove together now to display images not of violence—but of a thousand laughing faces. As he looked up at the omens he remained acutely aware of the fear from the Syka Tenday crowd. The pressure was building. Something had to give, something had to snap.

The release began with the arrival of the children. Like the rest of the crowd, Antelokes followed them, then stopped cold when he saw the corpse of Mistress Hess. He wasn’t sure at first if it was real. His visions had shown him corpses before, even corpses of people he knew. However, as he saw the wailing children and felt the strength of their grief through his gnosis, he knew that this was no vision.

Murder.

Cold blooded murder.

As he took in the scene, the anxiety that had been building in Antelokes for the entire meeting formed into a knot of quiet rage. Curses were one thing. He didn’t understand them, and so their origin had seemed less real to him. This was different though. This was the simple, terrible, intentional extinguishing of a life. An enemy had done this.

Antelokes began to feel a note of morbid satisfaction. Whoever this enemy was had tipped their hand, revealed their presence. Unlike some mysterious dealer of curses, this perpetrator could be caught. Then… they could burn along with the corpse of the kindly old woman they had killed. Hopefully it was painful.



As soon as he could, Antelokes approached Mathias and the little boy Luke he was holding.

“Mathias,” he said, doing his best to keep his voice level but not entirely masking the molten core of anger that burned in his chest. “The boy was at her side. If anyone saw something that could point to the murderer, it would be him.” Antelokes paid careful attention to the child’s emotions as he spoke. “We need to know what he knows—while it’s still fresh. If he has any clue how this happened… well then maybe vengeance will help him deal with his grief.”
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The 5th Tenday of Spring, A shot in the dark.

Postby Crylon Stonecraft on April 16th, 2022, 8:12 pm


While Crylon had not been in Syka long, he had been there long enough to have gone to multiple tendays. Held, as the name implied, every ten days, this tenday was the fifth of the season and meant they were more than halfway through spring. And over half a season since the Isur had arrived in Syka.

In some ways he felt like it had been longer, in other ways much shorter. Regardless knowing what the day was and the proper time arriving Crylon made his way over to were the tenday was held. Though as he approached even he noticed the change in mood since earlier in the season. In fact, each succeeding tenday seemed a bit more dismal, a bit more desparing, than the last, which from how it normally was at the beginning of the season or even before he had arrived he felt meant the mood of the settlement had suitably changed to match this.

While most of the inhabitants were human unlike him, they seemed a nice enough sort, and many reminded him of the people in the Demesne he had left. Different, but similarly people of character and spirit and overall decent folk. He certainly wouldn't wish any trouble upon them, but he as yet had no idea how to help, and had his own condition to deal with. Though, he admitted to himself, being a random hugger wasn't so bad compared to the conditions many others had.

As everyone seemed keen to gather and listen to something Crylon made his way over as well and tried to see what all was going on. An Isur his eyes were well adjusted to seeing in the dark, albeit in a limited range compared to normal vision he could certainly see much better in the dark than a human. So he had no trouble seeing the people close by, nor after some shuffling of people the person reading off a paper.

While Crylon was unsure what was going on exactly, nor who this person was, not even who the person who wrote the paper was, he listened all the same.

And what was said... Was a bit surprising, albeit not immediately helpful. But still, it was better than nothing, and since they were at nothing in dealing with everyone's conditions any bit of info was of help. He did however know a bit about Sunberth, having lived there for a time, and for a Sunberthian the man seemed well spoken and well written. Or at least, he seemed so based on what this other man was reading.

He also recognized the name Rhysol from having spent time in Ravok, since most of the people there seemed obsessed with worshiping that divine being and trying to get him to do likewise.

That had been quite some time ago, and he had lived in several places for years since he had left, but he still recalled the name.

Thinking to the pack on his back Crylon recalled the statue held within its confines, currently asleep but waiting on a prayer. However as Tideon was marked by Laviku he did not expect much help from him... Nor his own marking from Izurdin, which involved crafting things... Neither would be of help in this case.

Crylon was considering such things when the meeting was disturbed by a pair of children... A pair of children drenched in blood... While he was no healer Crylon still wanted to help if he could, and he ran along after the group though a bit behind some of the speedier runners of the group, so by the time he arrived the rest of the group had already settled on the spot and was examining the woman. The woman who, it seemed soon enough, was dead.

At some point he had ended up hugging one of the distraught children who was still cradled in his arms, a girl named Darcy, and rather than fighting the curse he accepted it at this moment and continued to stroke the child's head to try to calm them down with his arms still around them protectively.

It seemed, on inspection, that while everyone else was being informed of the letter at the tenday, someone had killed this woman... Which meant either someone had none others would be distracted by the letters contents... And possibly knew about it or the situation in advance... Or perhaps someone had just lucked upon the distracted people, and taken their chance to act. Neither gave a motivation for killing the woman, but could explain the how....

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The 5th Tenday of Spring, A shot in the dark.

Postby Moritz Craven on April 16th, 2022, 8:52 pm

50 Spring 522

While Moritz was somewhat annoyed by the comings and goings of the curses and things affecting everyone, the Kelvic by comparison to most at the tenday seemed downright chipper. In truth he was not really much different than his normal self, whereas everyone else was down in the dumps, and so it only appeared like Moritz was in high spirits by comparison.

But then, one thing that defined Moritz and Okomo in general as anyone in Lhavit would know was a sense of stubbornness, perhaps with a bit of unchangeableness. He was who he was, and a little thing like a series of curses affecting most of the settlers including himself and forcing him to lie constantly wasn't going to change who he was at his core.

That being said he was somewhat more lonely than normal, not really able to have many proper conversations and even then the ones he had were less than satisfactory, and so if one thing was affecting the Kelvic it was a pent up need to talk. If things ever were worked out and his condition was reversed or removed, Moritz knew he was liable to make up for all that confusion and silence by talking their collective ears off.

That being said Moritz looked about at the numerous people at the tenday, gathering up to hear some kind of speech or announcement, and pulled at the cloth on his arm with his star studded hand as he stretched himself. As normal for a tenday he was not overly dressed, just wearing sandals and his one piece suit and otherwise not bearing anything to burden him. He wasn't expecting to have to fight, nor run off into the woods, and he did not doubt with their numbers others would be better able to do such things, and so he had not brought any additional weapons. At least besides the one embedded in his hand that he could summon if needed.

He was surprised to hear once the announcements were beginning and someone began to read off a letter that it was penned by Alric, someone he had met a fair number of times int he Outpost and new reasonably well. He had found the man insightful in the past, and so took what he said to heart and thought about each fact critically. He wasn't going to just blindly trust what was said, but what he was hearing did make sense and without anything better as an alternative it seemed pretty convincing.

For a moment he wondered why Alric had not mentioned him since he had named quite a few other people in Syka he had met, all ones Moritz had met on occasion as well, but then recalling his particular affliction realized mentioning himself would do little to help boost Alric's credibility. After all if he tried to say what he thought on him, that he seemed decent, trustworthy, and a deep thinker, he would end up lying and saying the opposite.

He was less clear on who this Rhysol was, but if he or his powers was affecting Syka in such a way then it was clear he was not a good divine, but clearly one who wanted ill for them.

That the man would think up an inventive idea to resolve the problem or missing memories did not surprise him, the man seemed keen and good at adapting. Though being able to adapt and figure out inventive ways to get by and fix a problem probably had something to do with living in Sunberth, anyone who called that place home and survived had to be adaptable.

Moritz was wondering if there was anything he could do to help, when he and many others were distracted by yelling for help. Moritz bolted off along with many of the others at hearing someone was in need and needed help, racing along with the group to see what had happened. On the way he willed the djed into his eyes and opened his Iraso sight, hoping it might help him suss out some threat or thing others could not see.

Between his long legs and size and pushing himself he was in he first half dozen or so people to arrive at the scene, but soon enough he realized he and the others were all too late... The woman was dead. Eyeing the woman in his Iraso vision he realized she was the first person he had seen dead in his djed vision. While he had seen animals before who were dead since gaining it, never a person... The view of her djed was certainly different, no longer shining with the deep light of a living person which almost hummed to his eyes.

As the others checked the woman and attended to the children Moritz froze, unsure what to do or where to pitch in. Everything happened so fast, and within a few more moments the back of the pack was arriving and beginning to crowd in.

Suddenly though an idea struck Moritz, as he looked at the many paths before them which only he could see. Their djed trails, remnants of their passing only his eyes could see. And, something he had tried a few times, the trails of objects. While harder than people... Could he trace back the woman and the weapon used on her? The longer he waited the worse it got, as the more people moved about the more it cluttered his vision and made the trails into more of a confusing snarl... He was unsure he was skilled enough, but he would try all the same.

"I don't have eyes, so I can't see it...."

Having seen the womans djed after staring at her for a time when he saw her corpse, he traced that trail back the way it came. Had she been dragged there? Or had she just dropped on the spot where she was stabbed? Either way he would try to track the body back and watch for where she was attacking, hoping to either find the intersecting pathway of the person who had attacked her, or at least the pathway of the weapon as it struck her...

If he could manage either, which he was uncertain of, then he would be able to track the trail back to either the murderer or their weapon! At least, he hoped, and he concentrated his eyes and tried to pick through the many djed trails which were increasing by the chime as more people arrived and moved about to do just that.

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The 5th Tenday of Spring, A shot in the dark.

Postby Oralie on April 18th, 2022, 4:32 pm

Oralie stood a little way back from the stage, watching with curiosity as Cleon made his way onto it. She shot a questioning glance at Randal, but the Founder just nodded in the direction of the young man by way of a response. She rubbed at her eyes roughly, trying to collect her focus before turning her attention back to Cleon. The Kelvic had permanent dark purple circles beneath her eyes these days, a testament to the sleepless nights her constant companion put her through.

It was hovering a couple of arm lengths away from her, just on the edge of her peripheral vision. The shadow being stared only at her and not at any of the many other residents who had gathered, its molten silver eyes unblinking as always.

Pointedly ignoring the shadow, Oralie put all of her attention on Cleon. Even in the dim light she could easily see his hands trembling with nerves. She stilled when he started to read, when she heard Alric’s name. At the start of the season she had spoken to the man about their curses and he had said that he would try and find information for her, for Syka. Could this be it?

As Cleon read the letter, mentioning her by name, Randal moved through the gathered crowd to her side. She briefly twitched her mouth into a smile of acknowledgement before focusing on Cleon again, though she did speak under her breath to him so as not to interrupt the reading. “Alric is a friend who can be trusted.” Randal nodded once. “The man who taught you auristics?” “The very same.” Another nod from the Founder.

Oralie let out a small noise of realisation when Cleon read out the details about Alric’s mark and its way of extracting information about objects. When Rhysol was mentioned Oralie’s brow furrowed. It was not a name she had heard before. She turned to Randal to ask, but the Founder just placed a hand briefly on her arm before quickly heading back to speak with Mathias. It appeared that Rhysol was a God, one of chaos. It made sense, when she thought about it given the nature of what was happening. What didn’t make sense was why he would want to individually curse the denizens of Syka.

The Kelvic blinked in surprise when Cleon read a note addressed just to her. Her brows pulled together a fraction and she glanced down at her palm, looking at the shimmering mark swirling on her hand.

As multiple conversations broke out around her, standing near the edge of the crowd Oralie heard the footsteps racing across the sand before she saw the children. Her golden eyes widened as she took in the two children covered in blood and screaming frantically. She followed them as they ran along with half the settlement, stopping short when her vision filled with the ugly scene of murder. Oralie covered her mouth with her hands. Their troubles had become more than just mysterious curses from an unknown source. There had to be a real, physical someone among them now, a someone who could hurt, who could kill. Her gaze flicked to the shadow being, but she knew it was nothing to do with it. The thing had been in her peripheral vision the entire time, and it had only ever targeted Oralie herself.

The words written by Alric still fresh in her mind, Oralie edged around the crowd still reeling over the Mistress to find Mathias. He was holding a child and had another man with him, one of the new settlers she had not yet had a chance to meet. While she was not entirely sure that vengeance was something to give a child, the man was right about one thing. “It looks like most of the children might have seen or heard what happened. I um, I might be able to help him calm if it will help.” Oralie hesitantly held out her left hand, Priskil’s mark glowing gold on her palm.

Whether or not her light was needed Oralie continued on with her thoughts. “Mathias, speaking of my mark… There are many of us here with God blessings, aren’t there? I am sure you know of most, if not all. Do you think, if it is Rhysol as Alric suggested… is he a God who would mark people too? Could one of his be here with us?” She hesitated. “I don’t know how much help I would be with two from Priskil, but if her light will help push back the shadows, the evil… then I will do all I can. I know that evil shies away from it.”

Regardless of what the Founder said, Oralie briefly closed her eyes and thought a quick, silent prayer for her Goddess.
Priskil…if you are able to help us against this darkness, we need you now. Tell me what I can do…please. Help me bring light to comfort those suffering and lighten the path forward.


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The 5th Tenday of Spring, A shot in the dark.

Postby Shade on April 20th, 2022, 1:09 am

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Shade stood among others, stoic and subdued, listening to the letter. He was almost embarrassed for the people here. A stranger was inadvertently taking them to task and telling them what must be done to save their community. Shade had never heard of the Gnosis, and didn’t want to think about all of this being a Gods-driven war, but there was enough truth in the message he was starting to realize they might be out of their league on finding a solution.

The monk shook his head at Shiress’ question. He truly didn’t know who Eyris was. Nyka was insular and they didn’t often talk about outside Gods. And he was a terrible study at religion, though that needed to change. When the letter mentioned Rhysol by name, Shade slowly turned and studied Shiress. His blue eyes narrowed and he watched her reaction. She didn’t turn to face him nor did she seemingly react at all. Instead, she just stared at the reader. When she finally looked at him, he had earned a scowl, and then a dismissal.

Shrew. She knew more than she was letting on.

“You are right. We don’t have any time. And yes, you need to talk to the Founders. You need to tell them, Shiress… tell them all of it. It’s not a coincidence, you being here and this happening. I don’t believe in such things. You need to go see them immediately and tell them about Ian, the mark on him,, and the Monkey.” He hissed between tight lips in a tone that said if she didn’t, he was going too.

Then the children where there, Shiress was thrusting Ian at him, and she was gone just like that. He followed, less frantically. He knew death when he saw it, even from a distance and too late was too late. What he didn’t expect was Shiress to tumble face first into that death. Someone plucked her off the corpse, and she careened into him. He snorted, knowing it was too late not to get blood on him, and nodded at her frantic whisper. “Go… I would suggest finding Mathias. He’s probably with that boy still.” He added. “I’ll keep Ian with me.” Of course, he would. The woman treated him like a built-in babysitter already.

Then, while Shiress was going off, he joined the group deciding what to do with the body, in case he needed to volunteer to grave dig or something. A pyre was decided on and the body was carefully hauled away to be cleaned, blessed, and wrapped before the pyre got started.


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The 5th Tenday of Spring, A shot in the dark.

Postby Gossamer on April 20th, 2022, 1:57 am

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Mathias paused at Anteloke’s words. He glanced down at the boy in his arms and at a woman standing off to one side seemingly gathering them up to take to the Inn to be seen too. “Antelokes, go with that woman… the one with the curly hair. She’ll take them to the Inn and clean them up and feed them. Question them, but do so gently. He said, then simply transferred Luke to Anteloke’s arms after some minor coaxing. “Antelokes. Children… don’t understand vengeance. They barely understand grief and what it is to loose someone. The best way to help him deal with this happening is to make him feel safe.” He said carefully, then left the younger man to go off with the Innkeeper and get the children settled.

He himself saw that others had taken the body into their own care and were planning a pyre for her later. That was as it should be, he decided, and then he walked the length and breath of the clearing where this had all happened and scanned the possibilities. There were so many of them and they lead off in a thousand directions. He missed Xhyvas’ company then… and wanted him here fiercely. But his absence was telling.

The Settlement was being tested. Kihala had already staked a claim here, and Caiyha had backed it up. So it was confusing to Mathias why they were letting Rhysol run rampant here. For to him, it was obviously the work of Chaos. Someone was utterly enjoying themselves at the expense of his settlers and unless they found him soon… they wouldn’t be able to fight much longer.

He headed back to his porch to think. And then a bit later he got ready for Shiress’ visit.

Meanwhile, back at the clearing, while others stood around musing, Moritz was attempting to use his Pathfinding. A dead woman’s djed faded fast, and that was no difference with Michaela Hess. Djed trails lingered long after the person laying the trail had passed. But in death, that djed sought release and dissipated quickly leaving nothing behind as the universe stole back what could not be created or destroyed. However, since he looked quickly, and saw before her body had cooled, he could see the faint outlines of the pathway that seemingly lead from the Children’s Pavilion to where she died.

The djed trails of the children, however, were still strong, and he could tell that almost all of them were right behind her, as if she’d been leading a procession of them across the jungle and sands to the party that was about to unfold. He could easily track individual trails both two and from the Children’s pavilion, including the ones that were being gathered up to take to the Inn to be cleaned up and fed.

It almost looked like, by the djed trails, that there had been no one immediately with her when her throat was slashed. Instead, it looked like all the djed trails joined her own and swirled around her fallen form after the fact.

And it was at that point, when the Akalak Healer and his assistant Kami lifted the body that they made a grisly discovery. A knife lay beneath Mistress Hess’ body, her own from an empty sheath at her back. And it was covered with her own blood. The pair of healers froze, and while the Akalak took the weight of the woman upon himself solely, the human woman knelt and gingerly picked up the knife. It matched the scabbard at Hess’ back and pointed to the fact that she in fact slit her own throat.

At Oralie’s words, Mathias turned to the young Kelvic and nodded. “Do what you can for them, of course. Yes, there are many god marked here, though none by Rhysol that I know of. Your luminance may be a comfort to many here, especially with your second mark.” He added, offering a smile. “It will not chase the darkness and evil away though. It will only offer hope and comfort, and a sort of shield around you of goodness.” He said with a knowing smile. “Once, long ago, I was married to a Priestess of Priskil. I am very familiar with how much hope can do for one.” He said with a smile of thanks to Oralie.

As the morning turned to afternoon and everyone carried on, as usual, Svefra tied up at The Docks and the crowd gathered, expecting a tenday party and feast. The Svefra were frequent party crashers, always needing very little excuse to show up at Syka and do some trading and socialization. A couple of pods even called the Settlement home away from home now.

Among those Svefra was a passenger, not related to their pod. The woman was older, perhaps fifty, and had a striking resemblance to Michaela in dark rich nut-brown skin and pale white hair. She had a more serious expression on her face than Michaela had ever worn in her life and there were lines of fatigue showing in her eyes. She asked for directions and immediately headed for the local Inn to check in. She had wanted to get to Syka earlier, to make sure her sister had settled in okay. But her work had kept her from traveling before now. As she’d promised, Lily had brought the rest of Michaela’s things and her pet cat, Munch, with her.

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The 5th Tenday of Spring, A shot in the dark.

Postby Cleon on April 21st, 2022, 4:49 pm

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After an unsatisfying sip of tepid beer, Cleon sought out Indigo who was currently in possession of his pants. Then the screaming started and the whole affair went tits up. He rushed along with the rest of them only to find a tight knot of people forming a rough semi circle around the woman before they completely enfolded the area. Cleon did his best to edge his way through the gathering which was particularly difficult given his state of undress. Try as he might not to rub up against anyone, he must have brushed across half a dozen people on his way to the front before by happenstance he wound up near Indigo. Face flush, and with a body that felt like it was on fire, Cleon snatched his trousers from her hand and found no resistance there. Indeed she didn’t even look back at him as he hastily pulled on his trousers before following her eyes to the scene that had captivated everyone. His jaw dropped open slightly. Hess..

Cleon felt a coldness spread through the pit of his stomach as he took in the gruesome sight. It wasn’t like this was his first body, but it had never occurred to him that something like that could happen here. Sure, they were always talking about how the jungle was dangerous but the commons? He didn’t understand, couldn’t what was before his very eyes, and yet there she was. Touching his neck, he shuddered to imagine Faye in such a spot.

Looking up, he cast a suspicious look over the gathering, wonder who was responsible as he suddenly wished he was far from this moment in a soft bed with a bottle in hand. As that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon, Cleon took a step towards where Matthias was talking with an older man, listening to their conversation briefly as he looked over the children. He felt uncomfortable looking at their blood streaked faces so he ended up turning his head away toward the crowd of onlookers, hoping to see a familiar face. There was one he saw in the form of his sister’s older features. She was in her early twenties now thanks to her curse, something he suspected he would never get used to as he slid sidelong through the group till he stood at her side.

Wrapping his arm around her shoulder, he watched as the children were eventually lead away, and then the body too, till there was only a handful of stragglers left on the beach. Still, Cleon didn’t say anything as he continued to watch until his own curse got the better of him. This time by making him more than a little restless, with a thumping behind the eyes that threatened to get worse if he didn’t do something about it soon. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he let his arm slip off of Faye as he turned towards her slightly.

“I’m uh.. Sorry you had to see that. If you need to talk later, find me. I need to take care of a few things.” Cleon said before walking away back towards the tables where he could find his shirt and undergarments before indulging in a bit more of that tepid beer. Afterwards he decided to seek out a bit of peace and solitude around Kihala's shrine where he would be more likely to collect his thoughts.

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Last edited by Cleon on April 24th, 2022, 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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