Home is Behind, the World Ahead

Shiress seeks Alric's aid on behalf of Syka

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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Home is Behind, the World Ahead

Postby Shiress on April 19th, 2022, 4:16 pm

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75th Spring 522
Sunberth, Midday


The rest of the flight from Syliras went on without any problems, though it rained the entire time we were in the air. I lost myself watching the rainwater roll off Len's feathers as if it had never been there. It took another five hours before we flew low enough below the dark clouds that Sunberth came into view. Even from the sky, this place looks like death and decay.

Once I spotted the Slag Heap, my heart started pounding the inside of my chest like a frantic bird trying to escape its cage, and it hasn't slowed yet. I saw the Slave Market, too, and it made me cry. Oddly enough, though, my eyes didn't shed any tears. I think it was just my heart that cried.

Lenorov and the rest of the Wing Eagles landed just outside the city about fifteen chimes ago. Even the birds don't want to sully their feet in this place. We will stay for two days here. I nearly went all out Rhysol on the man who told me. I might have, had I had the energy to.

I feel strange, and not just because I'm feverish, either. I feel hyper and hot inside but with no energy to act on it. Like I have so much to do but don't know where to start, but it's all inside. Strange, right?

Okay, maybe it is the fever.

Jordan has gotten, I think, stronger is a good word. He's home, after all. I think he was trying to pull me out of the saddle during the flight, but I held on for dear life. Ha! See what I did there?

He slapped my face so hard just before we landed that I think my ears are still ringing. My lip split, and Darrin asked about it. I told him I hit it on the saddle. Pretty sure my eye is bruised, too. At least I should fit right in here with a cut lip and black eye and skinny as a rail.

I can't stop thinking about my brother. I last saw him here in Sunberth.

I think I might go to



"Shiress?"

Shiress glanced up from her journal to see Darrin staring at her, his blue eyes creased in concern.

"You've been staring down at the same page forever. You, okay?"

Shiress gave the Endal a soft smile, shoving the small book and pencil into her bag.

"I am," she replied, "Just tired and kind of...out there." she laughed.

"Okay, then," he returned her smile, "We are going to walk into town for a bite of lunch and get our rooms. You want to walk with us?"

Just the thought of food made Shiress's heart summersault, her stomach followed suit, and she had to swallow hard.

"No, thank you, Darrin," she said, rising from the log she had been sitting on, "I have someone I need to find first."

With that, Shiress began walking in the direction of the city proper and to the area she knew to find Ruby's. From behind her, she heard Darrin call out, "You sure you're okay?" but the doctor ignored it, throwing a hand over her shoulder in lieu of a reply. No, she wasn't okay, not by any measure, but that burden was hers to carry, no one else's.

Shiress trudged for nearly a mile before she reached the city border, and up until then, her path had been wet grass and leaves and the occasional puddle, which on her better days, she might have jumped. Today, she walked around. Now, however, her path became a cesspit of wet clay, thick mud, and other unsavory puddles. Shiress did her best to follow the ruts of wagon wheels, but it did no good. Her feet were already covered in mud and worse up to the ankles, and she had only taken a half dozen steps back into the wretched city.

Lifting the hood of the borrowed cloak, Shiress plowed on through the mire, Jordan at her back, ever taunting her with his serpent tongue. At one point, the ghost shoved her hard, and she went down on her knees into the mud, one hand flung out to catch her fall, and she winced, feeling her palm scrape over something sharp hidden beneath the mud. Shiress pulled her hand free and studied the wound, but all she could see was a definite gash, which didn't look too deep, but mostly all she could see was caked mud. Climbing to her feet, Shiress tried to fling as much of the stuff from her hand and her legs as possible and walked on, chest heaving like a bellows. Weak legs and thick mud made for a hard pace.

When the doctor halted about ten feet from Ruby's entrance, Shiress's leather cloak was nothing but mud from about the knees down. Her hands were likewise filthy, though more caked under her fingernails than anywhere else several lines of dirt streaked her face. Surely Alric will turn her away for a beggar at first sight of her.

Shiress staggard up the steps and all but fell through Ruby's entrance. As the door swung back and closed with a soft click, she closed the distance between herself and the first person she saw. A woman, obviously a worker, scanned Shiress from her toes to her tangled mess of hair, and judging by the wrinkle of the whores nose, found the doctor wanting.

"Alric," Shiress's voice cracked with emotion, and she cleared her throat, "I need to see Alric Lysane, please."

The dark-haired woman did another quick head to toe, sneered, turned on a heel, and disappeared deeper into the brothel. Shiress swayed to the side in an attempt to escape Jordan's verbal lashings but otherwise stood stoic in her filthy, feverish, and exhausted state and waited.

She'd made it. By all the gods, she had made it and was so very close. Shiress didn't think a mountain could stand in the way of her will and Syka's need.

The sound of heavy, booted footsteps crossing the wooden floor stopped just behind her and Shiress slowly turned, pushing back the hood from her face with trembling, bloodstained fingers. The doctor was filthy, pale, and beads of sweat carved filthy lines down her grime covered face, but those emerald eyes of hers searched the male's face that stood before her with ferocity. When they found recognition, Shiress had to fight her body from rushing forward and throwing her arms around Alric's neck or just falling at the man's feet.

Shoulders sagging, a wave of exhaustion and sweet finality hit Shiress so hard that she had to lean heavily against the wall behind her. All the doctor could do was stare at those so very familiar, storm colored eyes momentarily, before she finally found the breath enough to speak.

"Remember me? I've come a long way with a message." Shiress said softly, almost hesitantly, "Alric Lysane, Syka, and her people need you desperately."


Word Count - 1198
Last edited by Shiress on May 12th, 2022, 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Home is Behind, the World Ahead

Postby Alric Lysane on April 19th, 2022, 5:14 pm

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“Remember your footwork….footwork…don’t cross your damned legs like that. Why? Because this” Alric said, gently pushing Lys’ shoulder and watching her tilt sideways, flail her arms and them fall upon her ass on the floor.

“Hey, no fair! You said you wouldn’t get physical yet” she protested with a pouting scow as she pushed herself up to her feet once more, Nessilie smirking and snickering at her outburst.

“There are no rules in a fight, Lys, why do you think so many don’t make it?”
“Because they suck at fighting like me!”

“Wrong…dead wrong. Because they don’t think right. You can beat a better fighter, if you don’t let them set the rules. Set your own, let them react to you. It’s more important than how strong you are. Go on, try to hit me”

“What?!”

“You heard”

“But why wo-“ she began but a damp cloth that was normally used for removing cosmetics was put across her face with a gentle throw.

She scraped it off and threw it back, which he ducked, before glaring and charging at him. Sidestepping he dragged a stool into her path with a hooked foot and her knees smacked into it with a stream of street curses even he was proud of her for. She lunged for him and he stepped back, holding out his palm to rest against her head and she swiped at him but didn’t make the distance.

“You’re too big!”

“No, you’re not thinking properly. What did I do?”

“Cheated!”

“Exactly,” he said, letting go as she pushed forwards and pivoted so she thumped into the wall, “come on Lys, you’re smart…think

“Alric, there’s a woman here to see you. Knew you helped strays but this some a dire case even for you now”

“A woman? I’m not expecting anyo-“ he began, before his distraction was used by Lys to throw the cloth back at his face, hitting home and then surging forwards to thump into his stomach, sending them both sprawling to the floor.
He could hear the two women laugh and he was already grinning as he pulled the cloth from his face, threw it away and looked down at Lys who was laying atop him panting. He shoved her off bodily before rolling and pushing himself up to his feet.

Better!” he said with a chuckle, “much better. First lesson learned. Proud of you” he said, ruffling her hair because he knew she pretended not to like it and reacted by shrugging him off, but he caught her smile as he was turning away.

“Alright, show me this visitor” he sighed, stretching his muscles for a moment before following the woman back to the front door.

It was a short walk, but even before he had gotten there he could see who had been mentioned, leaning against the wall as if propping themselves up, covered with mud and grime. They seemed familiar in the way they moved, even if slightly, but he knew no one who was that down and out in Sunberth – and that was saying something. It was only as he got close enough to discern features, even though they were drastically altered since the last time they had met, did he manage to connect the dots. The last few steps were quicker as he all but ran to help proper her up with a hand to her shoulder as she started to tilt. Pushing back the hood he was horrified at what he saw, she was so changed from even the tired doctor that he had met only earlier in the season.

“Shiress? Of course I remember you, you patched up Lys. But that was the Outpost. What the…Shiress…what in the…what happened?” he asked her, stepping in to put one of her arms around his neck and his under her arms, “Lys…Lys! There you are, get a private room together. Water, food. Something for Shiress to clean herself with. No one in or out but us, understand?”

“What about Ruby?”

“She can come harangue me later, she’s busy riding a special client for the next few bells anyway”

It was a quick walk to the room, she felt so light it was almost as if she weren’t there at all. There were groans and complaints but he ignored them until she was sat in the most comfortable chair Lys could find and the door was closed. He sat in a chair next to her fingers tilting her chin up to look at him as he pushed her hood back and saw the terrible patchwork of bruising – new and old, alongside the split lips and eyebrows. Whatever had happened to her had been over a long period of time, that much was certain.

“Who did this to you? You’re the healer, tell me what to do, let’s not lose you before we lose Syka. Tell me about this message whilst we sort you out” he said as Lys returned with some basics – first aid, medicines, food and water. There was a steaming cup of tea there too, Lys had grown fond of such things during her own recovery.
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Home is Behind, the World Ahead

Postby Shiress on April 19th, 2022, 6:46 pm

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Shiress had an instant to revel in her stoicism before Alric had swooped in and started guiding her away.

"I can walk. Alric, no, don't-" she muttered, but it fell on deaf ears, "You don't have to--oh, gods, no food." she groaned but managed a half-hearted snort at Ruby's riding of a new customer.

Before the world could stop spinning, Shiress had been propped into a chair and was nearly overwhelmed by Alric's concern for her. It had been a long, long time since anyone had treated her as if Shiress were valued and important.

"My curse did this," Shiress explained, then shook her head with a sad smile, "Nothing you can do for me" she added, looking anywhere but at the bowl Lys had just sat down on the table by her chair. To anyone else, it looked like a steaming bowl of stew. To Shiress, it looked and smelled like a steaming bowl of horse shit and...oh gods..

Shiress slapped one hand over her mouth as she reached out with the other and slapped the bowl off the table, spilling chunks of stew -shit- all over the floor. Shiress tried hard to lean past Alric. She honestly did but didn't quite clear the man entirely, and what little of her belly's contents splattered all over the front of Alric's leg.

Shiress coughed and spluttered her way through apology after apology, trying to sit up, but the trip through the mud, coupled with the fever, and throupled with just how weary the doctor was, she made it back up to the man's thigh and pressed her hot cheek against him, just above his knee.

"I'm so sorry, so sorry. Can't eat," she panted, "Petching curse is killing me, Alric."

Shiress eased up her head and gradually sat back in her chair, eyeing the water cautiously, before reaching for it. Taking a sip, her will strong to keep it down -its not pee, its not pee-, she met Alric's gaze.

"It's far worse than you think in Syka." she swallowed, licked her lips, head falling back as if it was too heavy for her neck, "Syka's people are dying, if not their bodies, then in their minds."

Shiress took another sip of water, then shakily returned the cup to the table before speaking again.

"I um..was a slave, here in Sunberth", she huffed a laugh that had no humor, "I killed my master, and now my master is trying to kill me. I see....stuff that isn't food," she blocked a nauseous burp with the back of a hand, grimacing, "even now his fingers are wrapped in my hair and he's pulling so hard that my neck might break."

Just as the words left Shiress's mouth, her body lurched forward, Jordan's fingers slipping from their hold to grasp his slave's dagger left lodged in his chest when Shiress sent him to his death. Elijah Jordan's ghost pulsed once, twice, each time becoming clearer until the Shiress's master smiled a bloody smile and slid the blade from his body with a wet schlick.

Jordan's pale, colorless eyes met Alric's storm-colored gaze as he sliced a line across Shiress's cheek almost too fast to see. Shiress cried out, startled by the pain, and slapped a hand over her cheek. Jordan was gone before Alric could do a thing.

"He's been growing stronger ever since I left Syka," she said calmly, used to Jordan and his tortures, "He's even stronger now that I have found you. He's furious. And if my curse is getting stronger, then the curses of everyone else's back in Syka are too."

Shiress lifted her eyes and met Alric's gaze imploringly.

"Please, please come back to Syka with me, Alric, as soon as may be. Help the Founders find the one behind these curses because if the curses continue, there will be none in Syka left alive or sane."

Shiress reached out and grabbed his hand, squeezing, "I came on a Wind Eagle, and there's an eagle for you and Lysandra. You could pack your things and leave them at your home in the Outpost to get later. You would only have to stay until next season when the Eagles come back to Syka; a Founder has promised you and Lys a ride home then if you wish it."

"I have a son," Shiress choked on her words then, emotion finally seeping through the brittle visage of strength, but she pushed through, "I have a toddler son who will be an orphan this time next season if you don't. And you have a beautiful woman waiting there who loves you and needs you so desperately."



Word Count - 800
Last edited by Shiress on May 12th, 2022, 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Home is Behind, the World Ahead

Postby Alric Lysane on April 19th, 2022, 7:56 pm

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Before he had much time to register her words about her curse managing to force her into the terrible shape she was clearly in before she knocked the bowl aside, spilling what was reasonably good stew by Sunberth standards, as she doubled over and fell. It all happened in moments, leaving him not too much time to realise her vomit streaming over his leg until it was done, the smell hitting his nostrils with a burning sensation before the dampness set in and he swallowed, carefully trying to repress his own gag reflex. He succeeded mostly, though there were a couple of gags before he forced it under control once more.

“That’s the second Sykan to do that…I need new clothes again…and boots, gods preserve me,” he sighed, pushing back his irritation given the circumstances, patting her head in what he hoped was a soothing way, “did my idea not work? I thought at least it would’ve offered something to work with. I know what happened…but still…from my writings before the season started, I thought Syka was a place people came together…worked together” he watched her carefully, a sadness in his eyes.

Eyes that widened and then flashed with anger as the image of a twisted, dark man appeared, flickering and pulsing, clearly grabbing Shiress and forcing himself upon her. His hand came up to begin using Reimancy, Res surging and solidifying into an obsidian dagger that flew towards the spectre, for what good it might do, but he was gone before it even hit the thing, a thin red line seeping blood across the woman’s cheek. He inhaled sharply, blinking a few times as he processed what he had seen, Lys standing behind him and gripping his shoulder tightly. He opened his mouth to say something but then it closed without comment, there was nothing he could truly say to what she was telling him, and what he had just witnessed.

Instead he reached forwards and brushed the blood away, gesturing at Lys to lock the door and start tending to what wounds she might be able to with her limited knowledge. Whilst she was doing that, he silently summoned up his Djed and with both hands gestured over Shiress’ body, a faint silvery shimmer appearing over her in waves, the weave not solid but malleable, yet tasked to remove mud – a sample of the mud he scooped up with the tip of a finger and used to perform the tasking. He began to ripple it across her body, the mud sliding off and piling as he did so.

“I’m sorry about the slavery. Sunberth…many places…aren’t very good to some people. I’d do away with it all if I could, but no one should have that kind of power. People will either stop tolerating it – maybe with a nudge – or not. But you…you I can try to help. You aren’t going to get back to anywhere if you’re dying of infected wounds and whatever else. There is time to clean and get new…not ruined clothing. A bell or two, I think we can be forgiven”

“I’ll go with you to Syka, on this Wind Eagle…I assume those are like the legends of giant birds…and I will od what I can. But I’m doing it for the people I know, and love, more than the strangers…though I don’t want them dying either. So, you will take some time to help yourself, then we will both help everyone else. Our things are already in the Outpost, the things that matter anyway, so we can leave right after getting some new clothing and supplies for the journey”

He was trying so hard to be strong, to try to be what he felt that at times he had lacked in his life – a solid rock to provide stability. It was difficult, though, just the thought of Tazrae suffering cut him deeply. Even without the memories that had been stolen there was something there, deep down, and his writing and his own moments had shown him all he needed to know regarding his feelings towards her. Then there was the fact he was being asked to walk into the fray, again, and this time with Lys…willingly. Lys was plucky but he knew she was scared of the things between gods that had cost them both much. Shiress looked like she was holding herself together through sheer will…and as for everyone else in Syka…it felt like too much for his shoulders. When she spoke of her son a crack appeared in his armour and he paused in his magical weaving, meeting her eyes with those of one who wasn’t sure he wasn’t being asked to die for others…for her son. He blinked and looked away, clearing his throat and nodded silently, finishing his weaving so that she was now dirt, grime and mud free.

“I will save him, and he will have his mother. And you can spend many years together. You know what you’re asking, though? You came all this way, so I imagine you were told who I am…who we are? And what this might do to everyone? You’re asking me to take responsibility for a whole settlement…pissing off a god,” he met her gaze for a few moments, reading the emotion there and sighed, nodding slightly, wondering if he would ever not do what others might consider to be insane, “I love Tazrae, even without my memories of her…which would amuse many I am sure. I would go to Syka if it were only just for her. But…who can say no to a mother’s plea? Especially of orphans who never really knew much parental love they can remember?” he asked, putting an arm around Lys and squeezing her shoulder slightly.

“But firstly you need a bath, or cleaning at least, and some wound tending. Tea if you can, Rugberry and others we have…medicines and so on. You’re the expert so I’ll leave that to you. Lys can sort water for you. I…I need a smoke…and we can chat for a while as friends…then I’ll go get new clothes, supplies, and we’ll leave immediately after”
Last edited by Alric Lysane on May 7th, 2022, 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Home is Behind, the World Ahead

Postby Shiress on April 21st, 2022, 6:34 pm

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"The second? Who else puked on you?", Shiress asked, then frowned, "I can buy you some pants if you need them and some boots. I don't mind. It's my fault you need some new ones anyway."

Shiress had to think about Alric's next question. She had gone straight to Mathias after Alric's letter had been written, so no one had the time to try anything. She hoped that knowing his idea wasn't even put into play before it was decided to bring him to Syka wouldn't change Alric's mind about coming.

I..um..went to a Founder right after I heard your letter," she shrugged, "I just thought it would be better for you to come instead of hoping someone else could manage to learn to do what you already knew."

Shiress couldn't help the flinch she gave when Alric reached for her cheek. Significantly few male hands had come at her with nonviolent intentions lately. She went very still, body tensing, as the man's magic slid across her skin a moment later. Shiress's wide emerald eyes flicked up and fixed on Alric with an irritated glare for an instant before sliding closed.

Being a mage's plaything for more than three seasons in Ravok hadn't endeared the doctor to the craft or their users, especially not when they used their crazy spells on her. Knowing the mage wouldn't have known this. However, Shiress endured the considerate deed and said nothing, giving Alric a smile and a quiet "Thank you" when it was done.

"I'm okay, Alric," Shiress snapped, irritation making her tone harder than she had intended. Sighing, she scrubbed a hand down her face and promptly winced, having forgotten about the new injury to her cheek. With a deep breath, she added softly, "I've been dealing with this curse since the first day of Spring, and this isn't even the worse I've been. I actually had a fortnight of respite sleeping at a Founder's home. Otherwise, I'd probably be...not here...to get you."

Shiress nodded an affirmative to Alric's assumption about the Wind Eagles, but his following statement gave Shiress pause, hearing it as ''I’m doing it for the people I know, and love, more than filth, like you.'

She didn't exactly know why the perception of Alric's words warped in her ears, but they had, and she couldn't meet the man's gaze again, afraid to see his disgust looking back.

Eyes still downcast, Shiress mumbled a reply to Alric's question.

"I know who you are," she confirmed, an odd little smile playing at her lips, "Nymkarta, a prince among men, I was told."

As the man spoke on, the doctor's anomalous irritation grew until the point Shiress thought she'd burst from it.

"The people of Syka ask, not me!" Shiress yelled, jumping to her feet with a dangerous sway, "and I am hardly the only mother of Syka pleading for their child!"

Realizing what she had said and the tone with which she had said it, the doctor's head jerked up and met Alric's gaze with unadulterated terror that he would beat her for her insolence, lips working soundlessly a chime before she could speak.

"I'm...I'm sorry," she said, licking her dry lips, "I don't know what came over me. I.." her gaze shifted unsteadily to Lysandra, "I'm..can we go? I just...I'll follow you."

A bell and a half later, Shiress had bathed, changed into a clean, light blue top and brown riding breeches, and sequestered by Lys onto a couch, a cup of rugberry tea sitting untouched on a couch nearby table. The young girl hadn't spoken much after leaving Alric, and Shiress couldn't blame her, not with the irrational way she had been acting.

She didn't know where the emotional outburst had come from, but she had a pretty good idea of who, or what was behind it. Shiress also had a pretty good idea of what she could do to at least try and deafen the voice of her master constantly beating away her.

As soon as Shiress was fairly certain she had been left alone, she threw off the blanket, got up, wrapped her cloak around her shoulders, and grabbed two oil lamps, both looking as if they had been recently filled with the flammable liquid. Lamps in hand, Shiress left the apartment and headed for the dovecote.

Once back on the streets of Sunberth, she lifted the cloak's hood and walked the fifteen chimes that it would take to get to the house. The house she spotted from Lenorov's back was now desolate, broken down, and full of terrible and nightmarish memory. The house where she had lived as a slave. Her master's house.

Walking down the long, winding road that led to the slaver's house, Shiress's thoughts began stalking the fringes of caged memory of a time that Shiress had driven away into the dark recesses of her mind, locked away and forgotten, much like she had once been.

Standing outside the front entrance, once slave fought back the urge to scream out her intentions and give in to the rage-fuelled hysteria the curse constantly whispered in her ear. Instead, though, Shiress resolutely picked her way through the lopsided, broken front door and stepped into a large open room that had once been the gathering area for guards and fellow slavers. A place where Jordan would meet with peers and parade his stock of human flesh.

Now, the room lay in shambles, turned over and abandoned by Sunberth's greedy vagrants and robbers. That which was found valueless lay broken and in pieces, strewn across a filthy, splintered wooden floor. A floor Shiress could vividly remember scrubbing clean until the fingers and palms of her hands bled raw.

A heavily padded chair once favored by Master Jordan to bend his slaves over and whip lay on its side, two of its thick, curved legs missing. Its twin missing all four elegant legs, lay beneath it, padding ripped open and spilling onto the floor. At her foot lay an oil lamp, what little fuel remained sloshing back and forth within its base when she pushed a toe against the glass. Shiress bent and pulled it from the floor, considering it a chime, before hurling it into a corner, watching as slick rivulets of oil ran down the filthy wall to the molding.

Pulling the wick from one of the stolen lanterns, the doctor liberally doused both armchairs with oil. Holding the lantern out by her side, she set out walking the circumference of the large room; the lantern tipped and leaving a generous trail of fuel in her wake.

Entering the kitchen area, Shiress did the same slow walk, only stopping briefly to ensure the cabinets and counters were well coated. Exiting the kitchen, she rounded the corner to the stairwell. She ascended the cracked stairs slowly, deciding to hold back the accelerant for this particular area until her trip back down. Finally clearing the rickety stairs into the loft where her master had once slept, Shiress, chest heaving like a bellows, had to lean back heavily against the wall to try and catch her breath.

Arson was hard work for one so weak as she was.

With one last prolonged intake of air, Shiress held the lamp out and again set off at a slow pace around the room, having to dodge broken pieces of furniture and give a wide berth to several gaping holes through which she could see the living area downstairs. The loft had only one window that overlooked a large field. Shiress had worked that field alongside fellow slaves from sunrise to sunset and would oftentimes look up toward the house and see her master standing there, watching over his property as one might watch over their cattle.

She stared at that window and saw only emptiness that only Syna's rays filled now. Rays that seem to come alive with floating dust particles shining and dancing within them. Walking again, something caught Shiress's eyes, a glint or shine off to the side, just under a chifferobe that had been split down the middle.

Moving closer, she peered down through sharp splinters of broken and shredded wood and saw a shiny silver charm dangling from one of the splinters of wood. Setting down a lantern, Shiress leaned over and carefully weaved a hand down through the splintered wood, pulled it free, and held it up to inspect the small shackle carved into silver, remembering the times the like had been used on her. Shaking her head, she slipped it into a pocket for further scrutiny later. Right now, she had more work to do.

Pulling the flint and steel from her bag, the doctor turned arson, knelt, and began striking the flint against the metal until sparks ignited the oil on the floor with a satisfying woosh. Leaving the flames to grow slowly, Shiress made her slow way back to the stairs and had just stepped down onto the top step when a cold hand slammed into her back.

Groaning, Shiress attempted to uncurl herself out of the heap she had awoken in at the bottom of the stairwell, gasping at the pain the movement caused, and promptly choked and fell into a coughing fit when her lungs filled with smoke. Lifting a hand, she probed a cut just above her right eye, then forced her eyes open, a cold dread slid its way down Shiress's spine when she saw nothing but red flames licking and dancing up the walls surrounding her. She pushed her way up to her elbows, then hands, squinting through the wall of heat pressing against her.

A cacophony of cracking wood and a loud crashing came from upstairs and sent hot sparks and burning embers cascading down the stairwell. Shiress pulled herself to her feet and stumbled several steps toward the front door just as the roof collapsed down through the back of the house.

Thick smoke came rolling into the room from the collapse, engulfing Shiress. Falling to her hands and knees, She coughed and gagged as she started to crawl toward the door. She shrieked when something fell across her leg, burning her skin, but didn't pause her flight to inspect the wound.

When Shiress finally made it out the door, she climbed to her feet and limped as fast as she could from the house, only stopping once she reached the edge of the muddy road and looked back. Shiress watched the old house from her memory burn, the fire flicking and shining in her emerald eyes and reflecting off her soot covered face. Then she slowly lifted the hood of the charred cloak and turned away.

The walk back to the dovecote was a long one, but it wasn't until she had reached The Outpost and stepped out onto the path that she caught several wanding gazes and pointing fingers. Ducking her face deeper into the veil of her cloak, she walks on, ignoring them all.

Once back at the T&T, as Lys had called it, Shiress paused at the door, unsure if she should knock or just go on in, but decided quickly on the latter and pushed the door open. The doctor limped into the apartment, bloodied, covered in black soot, and smelling of smoke. She pushed the door shut, leaning back against it, and bowed her head

"Now, I can go home," she whispered to herself.

The ghost of Elijah Jordan laughed.



Word Count - 1921

Last edited by Shiress on May 12th, 2022, 2:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars

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Shiress
Every path has a few puddles
 
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Home is Behind, the World Ahead

Postby Alric Lysane on April 26th, 2022, 10:21 am

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“It’s fine, they’ve been covered in so much blood and grime at this point puke is mostly decorative,” he snorted to himself, “as for the first…Cleon. Decided to drink pints of coffee, alcohol and stuff his face with sweets…all at the same time…didn’t end well. A woman, Bron, she puked in my water barrel once…even so she is a better woman than she gives herself credit for…maybe I should start carrying some kind of…digestive? Is that the right thing?”

“Well…it was a good idea. I had no way of getting to Syka outside of a boat, so for this you have my thanks. For what you did for Lys you already have my friendship. I only wish that this kind of moment didn’t come with such cost” he said truthfully.

He blinked at her snapping tone, but said nothing, it was clear that she was at her wits end in many ways. He wasn’t sure, if he were honest with himself, whether he’d have even held up as well as she had under such sustained terror. The very idea that she was actually better than she had been, given how gaunt and exhausted she seemed, filled him with a rare flash of deep anger – this whole thing just wasn’t fair. He was well aware, that he perhaps complained too much to himself about his lot in life, especially since learning who he was, but this was a different sort of anger – it was one for the injustice of it. He was doused with some metaphorical water, though, when she called him a prince amongst men and snapped at him once more about the people of Syka. He took a deep breath before answering.

“I think you’ve been talking to very generous people,” he said slowly, watching her cast her eyes down and feeling a twinge of pain at the idea she might not want to look at him for who he was, “if I were a prince I’d not be dishevelled in a muddy city of anarchy. And I’d be making the world a better place, rescuing damsels, slaying monsters…no I’m not like the old tales…but yes I am Nymkarta”

“You don’t need to apologise Shiress…you are right. And you’ve had a difficult season. Far more than most might ever be able to survive, you should take strength from the fact that you have done so. I was telling the truth in my letter Shiress…I will help save Syka if I can. I won’t pretend that I don’t want to go there, to be with certain people…loves…and friends like you. But yes…let us leave and get somewhere a bit nicer to take so time to prepare for the return journey”

It was a slow walk back to the Outpost, and then to the T&T apartments, largely held in silence as Lys and he exchanged glances and kept an eye upon Shiress. They weren’t concerned she was dangerous, instead they were worried that the one whom had healed them was on the verge of succumbing to something they could do nothing about, and feeling helpless they did what they could. Lys helped Shiress settle, bathe and then sleep with some Rugberry tea. Alric, instead, headed to the Bazaar to acquire various things for their journey – padded breeches and new clothing, leather jackets and gloves, bandanas to protect against Syna’s glare and Zulrav’s winds, scarf in case things got truly cold – and a small rucksack each that was filled with provisions and would be able to hold their clothing if not being worn.

Upon returning he found that Lys was asleep and that shires was missing. He hesitated about going to try to find her, she was weak, but she was still her own woman and he doubted that being cooped up in unfamiliar places was wat she wanted. He had assumed that she was walking the Outpost and getting some fresh air, but when she returned with the smell of smoke and further injuries, finding him puffing away at his pipe upon the couch, Lys with her head rested against his leg, he raised an eyebrow curiously.

“Did you have fun?” he asked, smoke curling around his face, “if you are now ready we can go, I bought things for the trip. For you also, to protect against the ride back. But it looks to me like you’ve just had another fight with a spectre? What was it this time, he tried to set you alight?”
~ Thanks to Gossamer/Shiress for post Boxcodes ~
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Alric Lysane
Carry On My Wayward Son
 
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Home is Behind, the World Ahead

Postby Alric Lysane on May 18th, 2022, 10:16 am

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Your Grades


Alric Lysane

Skills

Acrobatics – 1
Brawling – 1
Interrogation – 3
Leadership – 2
Philosophy – 2
Reimancy – 1
Rhetoric - 2
Shielding – 1
Socialization – 3
Teaching – 1
Weapon: Unarmed – 1

Lores

Lys: Alric’s Unarmed Student
Shielding: Task – Block Mud
Shiress: Stronger Than She Thinks
Shiress: The Elijah Jordan Curse
Syka Bound: A Decision Made That Cannot Be Undone
Teaching: Basic Unarmed Techniques
Teaching: Rules Don’t Exist In A Fight

Items Gained
2 x Padded Brown Fine Wool Breeches
2 x Azure Ramie Bandana
2 x Leather Jacket
2 x Leather Gloves
2 x Fine Wool Emerald Scarf
1 x Rucksack

Items Lost

Cost for all clothing to be deducted from Ledger

Shiress

Skills

Endurance – 5
Interrogation – 1
Persuasion – 3
Psychology – 1
Rhetoric – 3
Socialization – 3
Storytelling – 2
Writing – 1

Lores

Alric: Mage
Alric: Nymkartan
Arson: Expunging One’s Past
Endurance: Ignoring Mental Images
Endurance: Soldiering On Despite All Odds
Persuasion: Emotional Plea
Psychology: Self-Reflection
Rhetoric: Forming A Noble Argument
Shiress: Insurmountable Willpower When Required
Sunberth: City Of Death & Decay
Sykan Curse: Elijah Jordan Changes Perceptions To Torture


Items Gained

Shackles Charm
1 x Assorted clothing described, if desired (cost these up and to be deducted from Alric’s Ledger
~ Thanks to Gossamer/Shiress for post Boxcodes ~
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Alric Lysane
Carry On My Wayward Son
 
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