Completed [Challenge] The Length Of A Day IV

As it turns out, a whole year can pass in the span of a day.

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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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[Challenge] The Length Of A Day IV

Postby Tazrae on October 21st, 2022, 5:31 am

Timestamp: 45th of Fall, 522 A.V.


The Kois Quas Dominion : Gold Lake (first season)

Tazrae had never given much thought to waiting. She always kept busy and had things to do, places to go, and people to see. In so many ways, she was a restless soul. It was a trait she’d always had, fussing over her little courtyard garden in Riverfall or the fold of a set of sheets over a mattress. But once she’d moved to Syka, she had roamed far and wide to keep her spirit thriving and happy. Here though, her life was vastly different.

She had no feelings for the people she spent time with. The morning runs made her body tighten up, re-muscle, and lose its jerky stiffness. Her body agreed with the exercise. So too did her appetite. She felt hungry and devoured breakfast. Her mind was more occupied too because Lira had decided to keep her busy throughout the day instead of leaving her alone for vast amounts of time in her rooms.

The problem was her mind rebelled. Every morning was the same. She greeted the sunrise in the same spot on the distant sunbaked red mountains. She saw the same stars in the sky at night. She noted the same bird fly across the same landscape at the very same time as she walked out on the balcony each morning. And the runs that had been added to that routine had all the same situations too.

The same cluster of petals drifted from the same bunch of blooming trees and formed whirling little dervishes of color as the three joggers loped by. They scattered the same birds off the same trees each morning. The fountains in the gardens gurgled the same way each morning, to the point that Tazrae memorized the splash patterns of the flung droplets. She saw the same reflected clouds in the ripping water and felt the same cool morning breeze before the heat became unbearable.

The only thing that changed was her. She grew stronger, and lost the languid static feeling in her body she’d grown to expect in the first months of being here. And time… time passed oddly. To Taz, the year was passing by without the seasonal transition one would expect in the desert. The days were almost endless and bland in their sameness. The sun wasn’t migrating through the sky. Animals weren’t migrating. Leaves weren’t turning and falling. The sky didn’t get heavy with snow and then dust the land with piles of it. Even in the jungle, there were changes.

Here, there was nothing.

Her nails and hair grew longer, and Lira trimmed both. She was given lessons in the whip and unarmed combat, punctuated by sessions with a machete that was nothing like Sweet Refrain. Her instructor seemed to enjoy her prowess with the blade, but she took no joy in it. She took no joy in the whip or unarmed combat lessons either. She didn’t hate them. She just learned, did what she was told, and had no opinion on it.

The collar was a constant grip around her spirit. But she remembered when Nyle had buffered her skin from its influence and how overwhelming she’d felt by the waves of emotion that hit her over and over again. Wake. Run. Eat. Train. Eat again. Train. Relax in the evening. Sleep. Then the whole process was worked through again. Then again, and again, and again. She finally asked Lira how much time had passed.
Last edited by Tazrae on October 25th, 2022, 3:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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[Challenge] The Length Of A Day IV

Postby Tazrae on October 21st, 2022, 5:33 am

Lira had paused, looked at Tazrae thoughtfully, and shook her head. “Don’t worry, Tazrae. No time is passing in the real world. You’ll return before you are missed. Here though? He’ll keep you until you give birth, maybe until you finish nursing and wean the child. Then I think he’s going to let you go. He wants you in the world as a backup, but I don’t think he wants to keep you here.” She mused, possibly speaking more than she should have.

Tazrae thought on that a moment, simply nodded, and tried to feel something… anything. Yet there was nothing. There was so much wrong with not feeling anything. She needed the rage, and it didn’t come. She needed the hopeless feeling and there was nothing. Taz shifted as Lira seemed to watch her. She flexed her neck as if testing the binding around it and gritted her teeth. In her mind, she was envisioning the necklace as a choker, a collar, something warping her spine and disfiguring her body. The Wildling was in a cage and she couldn’t even muster up a dislike of it. It was interesting, too, that she felt the need but nothing else. In her evenings of thinking, Taz spent a lot of thought on what the difference was. She used to think emotions and needs were the same things, but they decidedly weren’t in terms of how Sran’tuka’s magic acted.

She was far more emotionally aware than she had been before. Taz had never taken the time to be aware of her feelings, what triggered them and what limited them. The magic around her throat gave her the detachment to do so now and she gave it lots of thought. Taz pieced and parted, finally deciding in her own mind there was almost an emotional intelligence that she could tease out of her mind allowing her to understand by her memories what made her become more or less reactive and more or less interactive with how she was feeling. It was clear cut to her that reactiveness was an impairment and interactiveness gave her control she’d never have over herself when she was processing things that made her feel.

Before, in her life, her emotions were controlling her. She thrived on them, reacted to them, and acted according to what she felt or wanted to feel. Now, with her emotions cut off, she was beginning to understand the role emotions played in her life and why they were useful to her. She slowly, thought back, remembering how anger or love or happiness felt, what happened or what she’d done in her life to make those things happen. She often acted irrationally and was dependent upon them to act.

Tazrae cooked, for example, because she loved the way it made her feel to feed people with the food they really loved and satisfied their palettes. She pursued love because she wanted to feel needed and desired. Kissing Alric had been a heady euphoric feeling she’d never wanted to end. She cultivated friendships because she liked people and liked interacting with them. She’d spent her whole childhood starved of socialization, sheltered, and used as a quiet unseen servant in her parents’ Inn. In her own Inn, she was front and center and part of it all.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
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[Challenge] The Length Of A Day IV

Postby Tazrae on October 21st, 2022, 5:35 am

Taz spent a great deal of time picking apart the emotions she remembered, trying to understand how they were useful to her and how she actually used them unconsciously as a tool to get what she wanted. She also picked out a lot of hidden emotions in her life, driving her actions. There were secret messages in every one of her emotions. Her happier emotions had obvious messages, but her unpleasant darker emotions hid their messages well.

Taz realized, gradually, that much of her life actions were fear-driven or in reaction to the need she had for security. One of her greatest fears, she decided to examine her life, was of being abandoned. Those abandonment fears had a richness to them that made her go out of her way to keep people with her – for example being the best cook she could be – or in Alric’s case, putting herself out there to keep promises and remain by his side. Tazrae realized intimately that the quality of her emotions determined the quality of her life. Without them, her life was limited and flat. She decided that the way she experienced or expressed her emotions didn’t reflect on her emotional capacity, but rather it reflected on her own limitations.

Having them bound did that much for her… let her see how necessary they were in her life. And intellectually, she realized why Sran’tuka cut them off. Her hand strayed to her abdomen and she stroked her still-flat stomach thoughtfully. The man that trained her found her that way and stopped in the doorway to watch her as he caught her completely lost in thought.

“What has put that far-off look on your face? I’m going to need you to concentrate today.” He said, walking closer, studying her intently.

“He took my emotions so I would not bond with this child. He took my emotions so I would not build connections with people here. I don’t even long for… home.” She added, glancing up at the man. She hardly paid attention to him. He was her trainer and he told her what to do. She did it, relying on her body to learn the muscle memory of the moves he taught her. And she realized she hadn’t actually taken the time to get to know his face. She literally couldn’t have described this man or Lira to anyone outside of this strange limbo she found herself in. She couldn’t have even described anything about Nyle, despite never having seen him, and having been intimate. Even her grandfather’s features were a bit vague to her. She’d know him, but she didn’t look at the shell, she looked at the monster rolling and undulating beneath the Benshira skin.

“I wonder absently… distractedly… if either of you two … you and Lira… wonder what I was like before he did this to me. I… feel nothing. I am nothing. I’m just a shell.” She added, shaking her head as if she could shake the collar. She couldn’t. If she tried, the man terrorizing her entire clan would ‘do worse’. She didn’t know if the thread was a hint at death, but she wasn’t afraid. She had no capacity for fear now.

“But it was deserved. I should have known better. Who accepts jewelry from a stranger and tries it on?” She asked, without inflection.

The man snorted. “Kois women. You are no different than any of them in that. They love beautiful things and he sent you a necklace with stones that would appeal to you. The man who holds you knows more about you than you know about yourself. The creature within him is very old, very cunning, and in many ways is overconfident. He does his research. But he is not all-powerful.” He said, turning to Tazrae and reaching into his pocket.

He pulled out a small velvet pouch and slipped a small disk out of it that looked like thin-cut metal. He also pulled out a vial and a small brush. He uncapped the vial, dipped the brush in it, and carefully coated one side of the thin metal disk with what Tazrae assumed was glue.

It was so odd having no emotions. Tazrae inherently knew she should be curious, but she was not. There wasn’t an ounce of curiosity in her. She didn’t speculate nor feel fear or excitement. What in the world was the trainer doing?
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1245
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[Challenge] The Length Of A Day IV

Postby Tazrae on October 21st, 2022, 5:37 am

“That collar you wear is going to do no good for you nor your child. You will not take action wearing it, and yet you cannot take it off. You can’t gain back all your emotions at once. Everyone here heard about your breakdown with Nyle.” He said, leaning close. He forced a finger between the collar and her throat, causing Tazrae to choke and start to struggle. Instinct not emotion warred in her and she started to struggle until he said… “I’m not going to hurt you.” He said as she froze, studying him. He slipped the disk between her skin and the choker in the space his wedged-in finger created. He aligned it with one of the medallions and fit it against the metal backing. Then he waited, seemingly counting, choking Taz as he waited for the adhesive to dry. The choker had ten stones in it, set in metal medallions. And he’d just covered one with something… some sort of barrier.

“The stones have the power. Where they touch your skin, that makes the connection and makes the magic active. I’m only cutting its strength by ten percent… but as time goes by, I’ll add more.” He said, releasing his grip on the metal choker and stepping back. “Slowly you’ll regain your emotions, as I add a null layer behind the stones proper, buffering the medallion. No one should notice if you don’t draw attention to it. We can’t move too fast because you have to get very good at not showing it. He won’t know, not at first, and so long as you aren’t stupid enough to tap your well and use your djed.” He said, studying her thoughtfully.

“I don’t know where you are at power-wise, but if he wanted you and wanted your bloodline, you are truly an Arcadius daughter and have more than most.” He said. “You should feel a trickle… now and then. You’ll feel more when I add more. We’ll train. You’ll follow your routine. I’ll add more slowly so you can keep control. I need you to understand this, Tazrae. This is the only way I can think of to save you and save your child.” He said softly.

“Sran’tuka is aging in the body he has now. It will take him a great effort to move into a new vessel. He’s acting at the last bell to even hope he can start over with an unborn child. Odds are before your baby is old enough, he’ll have to move into a new temporary vessel. And it will cost him power and if he can’t get into a powerful mage with a strong young body to hold over in, he’ll never recover enough djed and strength to move into your child’s form. We thought he had a Nymkarta, but that man has disappeared. You have a chance to rid the world of him if you can keep this child from him and he finds no other options.” The man explained.

“I’m willing to make that happen. But I can’t do it without your total cooperation. And you certainly can’t protect yourself against him without my help.” He said firmly, watching her as he paced quietly now back and forth in front of her. “Is that working? Are you feeling anything?” He asked, studying her.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
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[Challenge] The Length Of A Day IV

Postby Tazrae on October 21st, 2022, 5:38 am

There was no point in lying. “No. I don’t feel any different. I don’t feel anything at all.” Tazrae replied, rising and pacing around a bit, looking away from the man, and getting space from him. She trailed her hands down her side and across her abdomen, sighing softly and then inhaling deeply. Nothing… there was no difference.

The man nodded. “It will be subtle at first. It will take you a while to realize there’s a difference. I’m not surprised.” He added, once more pacing around her. “And to the other thing? Your cooperation? Can I have that?” He asked, intent.

Taz thought deeply and then asked a question. “Why? Why are you helping me?” She asked, not sure why she wanted to know.

He reached up, rubbed his jaw slowly as if he were under a great amount of pressure, and shook his head. “I’m a Kois as well. We are family. Your grandfather was the heart of our clan when he was still his own person. Now the heart of our clan is a monster. We need that monster dead, because our clan is weakened, and members go missing routinely. Our entire lifestyle and security have been upended and subverted. It continues or ends with you and anyone else he can utilize to extend his life. If we could kill him, we would, but none of us has the power that’s needed or knows exactly how. Many of us are mages, but the stronger ones he couldn’t control have lost their lives one after another right under our noses. This situation might be our last chance. We need to be bold, and take it.” He said simply. It wasn’t a speech, but Tazrae noted that it was a practiced reveal, as if he’d thought it over so many times, he could recite his reasoning from memory.

Tazrae nodded at this response. “I will cooperate.” She said, a spark of something tickling at the back of her mind. It took her memories a moment to label it. What she felt for a moment, a split second, was hope.

Her lessons that day were fierce, extra long, and something she would have called brutal prior to her current condition. The man took no heed of the fact she was pregnant and worked her as hard or harder than he had yet to work her. She was covered with sweat, breathless, and bruised by the time he was done with the unarmed combat. Her wrists were all but broken by the time he got done putting her through her whip practice. And when she finally sat down to eat – though she was famished – she was literally to tired to do so. And if she were honest with herself? It was a good feeling, one that put a pleasant smile on her face.

Words: 2870
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1245
Words: 1808031
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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