Open Missing: Ian Zaniah Caldera

The abduction of Shiress's son

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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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Missing: Ian Zaniah Caldera

Postby Shiress on November 5th, 2022, 7:56 pm

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The moment she stepped into the darkened interior of the bungalow, Shiress knew something was wrong. Like stepping through a wall of warm water, wrongness washed over the doctor and clung to her, heavy, burdensome, and overpowering. The small hand in hers slipped free as she stagger forward and fell to her hands and knees, unable to move as the unseen weight of something pressed into her. She heard her son cry out, startled by his mother's reaction a tick before Eenie's beastly form snapped into being, letting out a violent roar.

Slow, deliberate footsteps sounded from within the bungalow's shadowy depth, joined a moment later by a soft, feminine voice whose words had Ian's protective monkey backing down, shifting, then gone.

Booted feet, smaller than a man's, Shiress absently noted, came into view of her downcast eyes, paused, then the sound of creaking and shifting black leather. A form knelt before her, a hand tangled in her hair, lifting her face. A stranger's face peered back at her, eyes dark and shining within the cowl of shadows.

No, not a stranger.

"Hello, Shiress," Isabella Crowley said, looking down at her old friend as if she were something to be pitied and put out of their misery. The so-called doctor tried to speak, tried to draw in a breath, only to find she could do neither. The look of terror on the wretched woman's face made Isabella grin. "Ah, so you've noticed I've picked up a few tricks since last we met," she said, letting go of Shiress's hair and standing, "I must say, Sayana had it right. The hypnosis craft is quite effective but" the woman lifted a heavy, booted foot and slammed it into Shiress's side, satisfied at the pained grunt it caused the whore to emit as she slumped to her side, "there's still nothing quite like inflicting physical pain."

Isabella knelt once more, waiting patiently for Shiress's glazed eyes to focus on her, "Kind of like the pain you caused me when you gave birth to a son that should have been mine," she smiled wickedly down at the woman held captive under her control, "no matter, that little boy has a bigger calling than you or I could have ever imagined," leaning down, she added in a faux whisper, "Listen closely dear Shiress, and you'll hear Rhysol's calling, too."

The soldier's grin stretched into a smile when she saw Shiress's eyes widen and shift frantically in search of her son, "I've sent Ian off to pack," Isabella paused, letting those foreboding words sink in, "Ian will be leaving with me tonight."

Shiress felt as if her skin would split from the fear and anger mounting within her. There was no outlet, no way of expressing the emotions consuming her. She couldn't move. She couldn't fight. She couldn't even scream. Shiress could do nothing but watch as her docile, obedient son walked from his room with his backpack filled to bursting, stopping by Isabella's side and looking up at her expectantly, not even a glance in his mother's direction.

The woman leaned in, speaking softly to Ian. whatever she said had her son nodding, then he turned and walked from the bungalow. Tears streamed sideways down Shiress's face as she watched her world walk away from her and could do absolutely nothing about it. The dark-clad figure stepped in front of her face, cutting off her line of sight. Isabella said something that didn't make it past the roaring in her ears. Shiress closed her eyes when she felt tugging at the thin garment covering her upper body, a pause, then the tell-tale shlink sound of a blade being pulled from its sheath.

Blinding, burning pain sliced across Shiress's chest and arms that seemed to last an age. whispered words flowed quietly around her and the blade sliced.

In bloody lines across Shiress's exposed breast and belly, the leather-armored female soldier carved a rudimentary likeness of the Ebonstryfe symbol; a sun pierced through by a blade. On her forearms, the words HE IS MINE NOW leaked crimson rivulets.

Ian Zaniah Caldera and Isabella Crowley slipped silently into the night and disappeared.

Exactly two bells later, the agonized screams of a bereaved mother filled the night.
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Missing: Ian Zaniah Caldera

Postby Taln on November 6th, 2022, 7:48 pm



People drifted from the Tenday celebration in pairs and small groupings, well fed and community faith fully restored in each other. Conversations drifted on the warm evening air, adding to the overall contentment in general. It had been quite the occasion as several orphans had been adopted, new babies were welcomed and passed from hand to hand, a few additional homes built and new people welcomed to Syka's safe harbor. Taln hadn't been there long but so far, the place and the people had been a good fit for exactly what he needed right now at this place in his life. The redhead kept mostly to the outskirts of the party, not to be standoffish but rather to avoid the loudest of the noises.

He was given the gift of space to be, go and do as he chose. To find his direction without orders and make decisions on his own while he gained his footing in a new place. The people were helpful without being in your face pushy. Space was respected here.

His appetite sated, for now and not quite ready for sleep, he sat cross-legged on a large rock and merely watched the people around him. Syka had its magical quirks but maybe that was part of its appeal to him. He knew the Gods were very close at hand at all times and Taln felt with unshakeable certainty that there was something important about this place. Some mysterious secret buried within it that called out. He might not be able to know or hear -yet- what those things were, but it didn't make them any less obvious. Djed was in everything and the magical hotspot practically glowed in Syka. Magic didn't just lurk here. It gave the impression that it was a long sleeping beast that finally began stirring itself awake. Immense power was on the verge of bursting open and he'd witnessed the cracks in the magic sliding through everyone here.

Eventually as full darkness set in and Leth rose in the velvety brilliant night sky, the majority of the groups of people had scattered or moved off to pursue their own interests, or each other. Some of the most social like Rainmere, some founders and a myriad of musicians were just gearing up for the next set, ready to play the night away. Their laughter set the moods high and several voices were upraised to join in with the singing.

Despite everyone knowing it was a shared day, a few people hadn't joined in the festive time and Taln joined the loose group that went to go visit and check in on those that hadn't attended.

Mathias suggested that new comers like the redhead should help check in with other residents to keep the Syka cycle going. Taln listened to the directions and was handed the name Shiress. He nodded as he accepted the map, ready to meet someone new and see why they hadn't joined in the Tenday festivities. Maybe they were sick or too busy and could use a hand?

For some odd reason, the night birds had gone silent and not a single insect stirred its wings. It was unusually quiet for a place like Syka at night. A woman's tortured scream rent the night air in a heart wrenching wail and Taln ran toward the sound, shifting his long stride to a flat out run. That didn't sound like purely a physical hurt!

He estimated that the sound most likely originated about half a mile west of his current location and he urged his legs to go faster toward it. His feet thumped against the sand in a rhythmic pace, and he searched the sands ahead of him for anything unusual. No predator showed itself nor was there any flashing beacon of light to help him figure it out.

Getting closer to the place that he'd gotten directions to, he paused and listened intently, his molten eyes scanning the area for any sign of movement. Still nothing. Taln looked to the sky and whispered fervently,

"Ivak help me to help them if someone is hurt!"

A faint noise sounded like something in pain that was gasping? Angry? Just around the bend, a neat home presented itself looking like any other cozy place to live. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary but Taln approached cautiously, his left hand over his Talon sword. He approached on silent bare feet, listening as hard as he could before trying to enter.

There was the sound again! Pain and rage!

"Are you alright? Are you hurt? Do you need help?" he called out, moving toward the threshold of the door to look inside.


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Missing: Ian Zaniah Caldera

Postby Tazrae on November 6th, 2022, 10:34 pm

The two women danced together in the firelight, a gentle swaying motion that was shared with a tiny infant that was passed back and forth between them. Anyone seeing the two women together would know them as sisters because their features were so closely matched. The only difference was that one had flawless thick dark hair that fell straight off her shoulders. The other one had equally long hair, but hers was a caramel color that was more sun-kissed than shadow-touched and fell in loose curls. The quieter of the two sisters tended to like to capture and spring back the curly-haired sister’s locks.

One sister was flighty, wild, and rarely stopped moving. The other one harbored a stillness that was almost supernatural. The latter knew the value of being unseen and unnoticed, while the former had too much energy to practice such quietness. They were well-matched, with one being a mage and one being a healer. And having exchanged their stories with each other, the fraternal twins were raising a singular daughter between them. One hadn’t wanted to give birth and one couldn’t. But between the two women, the baby girl would never go without a strong female presence. It hadn’t been an easy truce. But it was one they reached nonetheless.

And Khari benefitted from it. She never had to go without when her mother had to run in the wilds. And her life was full of music and laughter when her quieter aunt had no ability or desire to fill the silence with words. She was coddled, changed, bathed, and played with to a degree that no little baby in the world had before afforded. And conversely, she had powerful guards when she slept at night.

Both women had gone to the Tenday together. Taz had dropped by the Panacea and had demanded her sister go with her. Otherwise, Kami would have declined and stayed home. Both women weren’t much good at being sisters and were plenty good at arguing with each other… one loudly and the other with dark looks. But together, they almost made a whole normal person who knew how to get their way when they put their minds to something.

One had baked her heart out for the Tenday. The other had premixed and prescribed hangover remedies and antacids for those that had eaten too much and were suffering the effects of Stu’s current experimentations. And now… now one had roped the other one into dancing to music playing in the distance as they laughed and entertained a newborn between them. Almost all were good in their world besides the fact that one was missing a husband and one was missing a son.

All was well, that was until Shiress’ scream split the night’s merriment. Even the assorted Ixam that had shown up to get hand-outs and leftovers were startled out of their full stomach napping’s with a jerk of their heads, and some jumping to their feet. One large green and sapphire female hissed and ducked towards the women. A golden yellow one also followed.

Taz immediately secured Khari in her sling as Kamrae grabbed her medical bag and they both sprinted in the direction of the scream. The Ixam cut them off, dipping shoulders, and suddenly both women were riding. Others came in their wake, some on foot, some riding, and even some taking other more alternative routes. The Ixam made short work of the path to the bungalows and skidded to a halt in front of Shiress’ place.

A redheaded man was already standing at the doorway. Taz and Kam were on his heels, with Kam pushing past declaring she was a healer at the sight of the blood on Shiress’ chest and arm. Taz held back, an arm protectively over Khari tucked up against her. “What’s going on?” She asked of the strange red-headed man, then looked around for Ian. She didn’t see him and slipped inside to broaden the search. It only took her a few moments to determine the little boy wasn’t in her bungalow.

“Shiress? Where’s Ian?” Taz asked staying well back, letting Kam work. Her twin was a twice-marked healer of Rak’keli and was busy pressing her hands into Shiress’ body, closing the obvious knife wounds and reducing the lines to nothing but faint scarring. Shiress had other issues – bruises and a hard knock to the floor – that Kami took care of as well. However, there was nothing she could do about the woman’s fear. When Shiress was blood free and pronounced healthy, the healer stepped back with the crowd pausing only to offer Shiress a hand up so she could pull the woman to her feet.

“What happened!?” Taz asked again, to no one in particular.

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Missing: Ian Zaniah Caldera

Postby Alric Lysane on November 8th, 2022, 6:26 pm

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When the scream rent the night Alric was busy doing not much at all. The Tenday was still going on, though it was perhaps in the inebriated and winding down phase for some. He was not much of a dancer, leaving that to those who were possessed of the ability to dance without accidentally tripping someone through someone else. Instead, he had taken the time to talk to some of the Verusk that had attended. His curiosity about them was great, though they seemed hesitant to share everything with someone they had only just met – an understandable caution. Still, he had managed to grab the names and faces of some of the more sociable, and hopefully important, members of their kind – Seladonna, Seraya and Zed seemed to be some of the more important and so he had tucked their names away for another time.

After that he had retired to a quiet corner, close enough to the fires that it was warm but peaceful enough that he could enjoy a good smoke whilst watching others, a most interesting hobby that never quite went out of fashion for him. As the smoke curled, he watched the dancing, laughing and feasting with a small grin. Syka certainly knew how to throw a party, and for once there were no apocalyptic things to worry about, as far as he knew. The season had been one of healing for him, with no small measure of interesting events – even if they were also sad at their core in many ways. His introspection had been shattered by the scream and he tapped his pipe empty, slipping it into its pouch as he ran in its direction.

Oh no…Shiress’ place he noted to himself as he arrived, far from the first, and the scene opened up before him – the ending of the peaceful season, just in time for the last of its days.

Eyes scanning the scene – a red haired stranger, Shiress upon the floor with bloody writing across her that he couldn’t make out, Tazrae there with her sister, the healer attending to Shiress – as well as the crowd that was gathering. He found no immediate danger, yet he still pulled Zhyad out of its scabbard to ensure it was ready, pulling upon his Djed and letting it flood into him, his senses, and he used it to tap into his Auristics. He swept the area, stepping back outside and circling the place as best he could, taking care not to look to closely upon the now gathering throng. He found nothing magical, no separate aura that might indicate something, or someone, trying to elude them. He did, however, sense something…uneasy.

“This place feels…wrong. I think I’ve felt something similar before…like an ink upon the surface of clear water. Something dark was here…and not just violent dark…soul dark,” he muttered, almost o himself, but he looked at Tazrae as he said it, leaning in as Shiress was tended to, “I see no Ian…not even hiding somewhere…” he trailed off, not wanting to finish that sentence and its implications.

He sheathed Zhyad once more and let his Djed go, his emerald gaze rippling and dulling back into its normal azure one. He took up a position out of the way, he had no skill with medicine and so he was simply a detriment until it was all over. He crossed his arms and leant into he wall, watching the scene with a frown of concern, hoping that things were not about to go as sideways as he feared they were – he didn’t hold out much hope, however. The revelation of Taz’s children was still a new one, one he hadn’t fully acclimated to, yet he tried to put himself in the position of a mother, their child missing…he wasn’t sure he wouldn’t just burn the world down on a warpath. He was mentally bracing himself, that much was clear.

Lys! There is more than one important child in Syka he thought to himself.

“She is fine Nymkarta…currently picking pockets with Lexi…they have been told to return what they take afterwards. I think they thought that more of a challenge. I am sorry I gave them the idea”

Alric nodded to himself, mindful that none could see, or hear, Jade but himself, meeting the impassive stare for a few moments in thanks before returning his attention to the scene before them. Waiting. After a while of feeling useless he closed his eyes, steadied his breathing, and began a slow circuit of the area – fingertips tracing the planks, fixtures and fittings, tapping into his Lykata as best he could given the situation, in an effort to see if anything else might reveal itself for the betterment of the situation.


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Missing: Ian Zaniah Caldera

Postby Ialari Pythone on November 12th, 2022, 2:50 am

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With the arrival of the night, Ialari prepared for her nightly ritual. As she did nearly every evening, she prepared her bungalow for a bit of meditation and divine communion. She laid out the large pillow that she sat on for comfort. It was a simple thing, a silk cover stuffed with feathers. With so many birds in Syka, feathers were plentiful. For this particular night, she decided to attempt a conversation with Izurdin. As a favored of the Divine Father, she would often receive various degrees of insight from the god in the form of visions and occasionally a messenger. With all that had been going on over the course of the Season, she was feeling the need for some direction.

With the pillow laid out in the middle of the bedroom area, Ialari proceeded with the placing the object that would serve as her shrine to the one she'd spent a lifetime with. As she did, she told herself that she was in desperate need of a true shrine. Unfortunately the bungalow was not best suited for such a thing. In the meantime, she placed her magecraft hammer on a makeshift holder and sat in in front of the pillow where she would be sitting.

She then took her place on the pillow and tried to get comfortable. When she felt that she'd found just the right position, she closed her eyes and proceeded to clear her mind. She imagined in her mind's eye, the hammer as being massive and pictured herself hovering before it. With the imagine locked in her mind, she imagined herself floating around the hammer while focusing on the various details of its construction. She noted the angles and curves of the head and the texture of the wrap that covered the handle.

She was immediately torn from the image at the sound of a scream. Although the sounds of the sea were quite loud, the scream pierced the background noise of the waves. Disorientated for a moment, Ialari righted herself and groaned with a bit of frustration. Syka always had something going on and it seemed that this particular evening was no different. From the sounds of the scream, it was quite close; perhaps a nearby bungalow.

With some amount of urgency, Ialari stood and reached for her robe that lay folded on the chest at the foot of the bed. It was her Sentinal robe; light black silk embroidered with the silver trip and flames licking their way up from the bottom. Even though the heat and humidity of Syka hadn't faded with the otherwise cooler season, she decided that after all that had been going on around the settlement, a bit of extra security was necessary. The robe was enchanted with a variety of gifts which she wish she would have embraced earlier in her time in Syka.

Donning her robe, she secured her dagger and slung Stormslinger over her shoulder. The Verusk weapon, powered by Stormgems, was quite the weapon with its ability to contain and projected the force of lightning upon a target. Her frustration at being interrupted in her communion was quickly fading at the possible danger that incurred the rather painful scream that pierced the air.

Feeling as prepared as she was going to get, Ialari hurried out of her bungalow and tried to identify where the scream may have come from. Obviously, it wouldn't have come from the direction of the sea which left one of three directions; back to the mainland or toward the east or west of her own bungalow. With the power of her robe flowing through her body; feeling like a secure blanket tickling her flesh, she flicked her tongue into the air before touching it to the roof of her mouth. A flood of sense-based information filled her mind. She tasted all the things one may imagine coming from the surrounding sea. With that however, she also tasted a traumatic mix of emotions. Going with those sensations, she rushed toward the bungalow a few buildings to the east of hers.

When she arrived, she saw that there were a handful of others gathering on the deck, a couple being familiar. As Ialari approached, she saw Shiress looking...not like she was in good condition. With the others gathered in mind, she slowed her pace and approached. Her black robe fluttered in the night breeze; her otherwise deep brown eyes flecked with explosions of blue that; while slight; shimmered in the night.

Her accent thick while her speech was slowed a bit for comprehension, she said, "I see I'm not the only one to hear something troubling. What has happened?"

Ialari of course recognized Tazrae and Alric although she did not recall the other man who was there.

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Missing: Ian Zaniah Caldera

Postby Shiress on November 16th, 2022, 6:09 pm

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The soft ruffle of fabric, the heavy thumps of booted feet descending wooden stairs, Ian's euphonious, little boy voice raised slightly in question; Isabella's whispered feminine reply sharp but not unkind.

One by one, sounds surrounding Shiress and the small bungalow that she lay in dwindled until all she could hear were the forlorn calls of jungle creatures, the shrill, incessant trill of night insects, and, closer, louder, her own erratic attempts to fill her lungs with breath fully. Still, Shiress's ears strained desperately to hear her baby boy's voice. But Ian was gone.

The only thing moving in a steady rhythm, parting the stillness of the bungalow, was Shiress's heaving, blood-streaked chest and the unwavering torrent of tears that a slow blink of emerald-colored eyes would dislodge and send cascading from its corner, down Shiress's temple, disappearing into her hair. A voice or bark of laughter from the Tenday celebration would carry on the air and occasionally rent the silence. Shiress's eyes would try and track the sound, a plea deep within her gaze, but that sound, too, would fade, abandoning her to the silence once again.

Muscles strained beneath the doctor's skin as she struggled against her own body to move, causing the shallow slices across the flesh of her chest and arms to ache and burn. The futile attempts were only to exhaust her more, her body held fast by unseen and unfelt tethers. Anchored and bound tightly to the consuming quiet of creeping shadow and fading light, Shiress's mind writhed with guilt and utter hopelessness when not completely shattered by terror. Her son was gone. Someone had come into their home and stolen Ian from her, leaving a gaping, dark chasm in the center of Shiress's world.

Shiress wanted to scream and sob. She wanted to claw and tear at the grief and utter devastation boring a deep hole through her chest, her soul, her very being. She wanted to rip the world apart and everyone who stood between her and her son. She would kill them. She would kill anyone who dared take her baby from her.

Sweat broke out across Shiress's forehead, teeth clenching and grinding as her body strained against the unseen force holding her down. Emotion churned and roiled like a beast disturbed from a long slumber. Her back arched, her mind snapped, and suddenly She was drawing in a breath, filling her lungs, then releasing it with a strident scream, the agonized sound of a suffering soul moaning for its child.

A voice, a male's voice calling from the doorway, was perhaps the sweetest sound Shiress had ever heard. She would forever remember that voice and those words. "Do you need help?"

"Please," a whispered plea was all Shiress could manage.

The small bungalow was suddenly full of voices, all asking the same worried question, but all Shiress could do was breathe. Breathe through the sharp stabs of sorrow in her heart. A face appeared in her line of sight, kind eyes peering down at her through a curtain of dark hair. Kami. Shiress could feel the warm tingling of healing suffuse her. Off to the side, she heard Tazrae's voice alongside another, both soft-spoken and concerned. Shiress couldn't help it; her sobs strengthened upon hearing the familiar kindness.

The healer pulled Shiress from the floor, and as soon as her feet were beneath her, she made a lurching stumble toward the bungalow's doorway, absently pushing away Kami's hands that attempted to halt her, "We have to go...I have to go...I have to find him," she said, fighting the healer's hold, the aching desire to look for her son driving the mother relentlessly forward.

"Shiress, stop, please," Kami's voice was gentle and stern at the same time, but it was the woman's arms that came around her that made Shiress pause, though her eyes never left the doorway her son had gone through, "You have people here willing to help you, but you need to tell us what happened so that we can."

Shiress's gaze roamed those standing around the doorway of the bungalow, her green eyes round, imploring, and full of sorrow as she took in Tazrae, Alric, Ialari, and an auburn-haired stranger who Shiress immediately knew to be the owner of the male voice that had called out to her. "Help me," she said, but her eyes had locked on Alric as he leaned against the doorframe, "You were supposed to protect him! You promised that you would protect him, Alric," Shiress screamed, irate, pulling against Kami, "Shade!" she bellowed, "You liar! You promised! You both promised, and you lied!"

Kami spun Shiress around and held onto her with strength that Shiress didn't know the petite healer capable of, "Shiress, you have to calm down and tell us what's happened," she said again, then softer asked, "has someone taken Ian?"

Despair slammed into Shiress with such force it doubled her over and would have dragged her to her knees had Kami not held her up. Shiress nodded shakily, then sobbed, "yes! She took him! She took him! Oh, Gods, she took him!"

A moment passed, then Kami asked gently, "Who took him, Shiress? Who is she?"

"Isa...Isabella...Isabella Crowley took Ian," Shiress sobbed, "She's from Ravok. A soldier, Ebonstryfe soldier, and she took him," Shiress felt like she was going to vomit from the taste those words left in her mouth, "She said Ian had a calling," she paused, hiccuping, then continued almost in a whisper, "That Rhysol was calling and Isabella..." Shiress looked up, staring at Kami with hopelessness, "...she...she could control Ian's monkey."

When a look of confusion came across the healer's face, and she shook her head, not understanding, all the fight drained out of Shiress, and her body sagged into the healer's hold. For so long, Shiress kept secret the origins of Ian's protective monkey, Eenie, especially after the events in Spring. Now, Shiress had no choice but to divulge exactly what the monkey was and to whom he belonged.

Shiress turned her eyes up to the three faces watching her, gaze lingering apologetically on Tazrae, the closest thing to a friend she had in Syka. The friend that she would now undoubtedly lose. Dropping her eyes, she began to cry as she said, "The only ones capable of controlling Eenie, Ian's monkey, are Ian...and Rhysol."


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Missing: Ian Zaniah Caldera

Postby Taln on November 16th, 2022, 8:11 pm



'Help me.' her soft anguished words brushed against his ears in a heartfelt plea, her forceful eyes expressing far more than the two mere words she uttered. Cloaked in blood, the woman's posture had spoken more eloquently than what she'd spoken.
'Please.' Gold eyes locked on to hers and he wished fervently to Ivak that he could at least bring her an iota of peace amongst the recent trauma and the sudden slew of voices and people. Tazrae and her sister Kami competently and instantly took on a strongly shared leadership of the situation, with one actively healing and the other keeping the brunette woman feeling safer and more focused.

A strong and confident Isur woman arrived, asking about the sudden emergency and Taln turned to her to respond.

"It looks like Shiress is hurt badly and an Ebonstryfe soldier, Isabella Crowley, took Ian and that Rhysol is involved in it." He answered as fully as possible.

"There's lots of people here now and we're all going to find ways to help you. You're not alone in this Shiress." Taln said, in an attempt to assure her in a quietly intense tone of voice to reassure the distraught and traumatized woman.

In less than a chime, a healer and a small cluster of people gathered around the stricken woman in a flurry. He couldn't heal her so that wasn't an option in any way. If nothing else, he could at least let her speak, knowing that people were there, and maybe a glass of water would ease things.

With firm but caring empathy, Tazrae and Kami gave Shiress the urgently needed physical healing, close contact and the deep reassurance that the others in the room could not. Or didn't choose to. It gave the woman the release she desperately needed which finally allowed her to break through the barrier of unexpressed feelings to speak more clearly. They had moved in with calm and steady leadership to control the situation and keep things moving forward.

Not too fond of the onslaught of abrupt noise and people, the tall redhead strode to what looked like a kitchen and listened to them speak. He had no close relationship to the woman nor was he a healer so he did what he could, in giving her the space she needed most importantly right now. With large sure hands, he gathered up the nearby pitcher of water and swiftly filled a glass to bring to Shiress.

If nothing else, he knew from first hand experience, that drinking anything at all after something traumatic, would force you to calm your breathing so you -could- drink. He paused just outside the circle of people that obviously knew the distressed woman quite well. She looked at each of the people around her, especially at Kami and Tazrae. The strong woman allowed Kami's hands to work their deep healing magic. Her gaze filled with rage as she looked over at Alric. When the dark haired man moved back, Taln's molten eyes flared brightly at seeing the scars on Shiress' back and he inhaled sharply. A kinship instantly formed within him and he understood at an unspoken level that she alone would be the only person he knew of in Syka that could understand that part of him.

Alric, the dark haired man spoke coldly and analytically of dark souls which definitely left the redhead confused. The anguished woman was soaked in bloody gaping wounds screaming and pleading help me and sobbing and yet the guy's face, voice, posture and behavior displayed nothing more than a distant and remote detachment from anything going on.

'Help me.' she'd said again, looking with deep anger at the dark haired man.

Taln moved quietly to her side, pressing a cool glass of water into her hand, urging her to drink before she continued to speak. If nothing else, Taln hoped that it would help a little to lend another calm presence for Shiress to come down enough to fully explain the situation.

"The more details you can give us, the more able we are to figure out what to do about this." His fiery eyes held Shiress' own, silently affirming his support, regardless of whatever form it took.

The tall redhead had no idea who Ian and Eenie the monkey were, but he felt confident that Tazrae was a close enough friend to understand the situation better.


WC 739 Total WC 1,514

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I do NOT consent to any reproduction or publishing of my writing or its content in regards to Taln or any characters I've created on this site. Copyright attaches at the moment of online publication. Aug. 5, 2011, 8:52 pm. DMCA
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Taln
Ivak's will be done
 
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Missing: Ian Zaniah Caldera

Postby Tazrae on November 20th, 2022, 4:32 am

Tazrae watched her sister work, in her element and calm and collected even though Shiress herself seemed to be falling apart. She stared at the scene, somewhat transfixed, as Kami slowly pried the truth out of Shiress. Ian was gone? Missing? Someone… someone named Isabella Crowley had taken him? Taz didn’t react for a moment. She tilted her head sideways, listening to Shiress, letting her words sink in.

Taz didn’t know about Eenie, though she had seen Ian with a pet monkey. Shade muttered about it often enough, but no one had told her anything at all about it. It was stuffed… what in the world did a stuffed monkey have to do with anything? Then she realized that there was something else about it, something sinister, as Shiress seemed to confess that the monkey was only controlled by Ian and Rhysol. Taz frowned, uncertain… wondering.

“Shiress… what about Ian’s monkey? That stuffed toy? What do you mean Ian and Rhysol and now this lady control it?” She asked, her voice clear, rising above the other questions.

Her eyes flicked around and she saw Alric using his Lykata, trying to determine answers. She wondered what he’d see with his touch, hoping he’d let someone know if he found anything of interest.

Taz turned around, scanning the area, thinking hard. “She wouldn’t have taken him into the jungle. That’s a death sentence for anyone not familiar with the area. She couldn’t have come through the Dovecote since she’s someone not of this place, right?” Taz asked not knowing having not seen the woman. “That leaves the beaches maybe?” She asked, hesitantly. “How fast can someone move with a five-year-old? He’s old enough to carry, but that’s a burden for anyone.” She added, glancing around.

Calmly Taz turned around and headed towards the beach. She moved deliberately, hoping the others would keep Shiress calm or people like Ialari and Alric would decide on a plan for everyone to follow. Taz had the strongest urge to strip off her clothing, take her Ixam shape, and run in order to find them. But truthfully, she had nowhere to run at the moment. She had no direction, no hint at where a woman – a solider – could disappear with a child. So, she calmly walked down towards the hard sand near the water, looking for tracks and finding multiple ones. The beaches were used here, especially near the bungalows. So, the tracks could belong to anyone, including the children of the Children’s Pavilion.

The Innkeeper, deeply concerned, walked further then folded her legs under her and sat down on the sand. Taz slowed her breathing, took in air, held it, released it, and took in more air. The young seeker cleared her mind, cleared out all the worry, and took advantage of what Caiyha and Kihala gifted her with. She reached out with her Wildling senses, casting her awareness wide, looking for creatures up and down the sand. Time passed. There were a few gulls, but often their information was useless. She’d hoped for basking seals or a highly intelligent raptor overlooking the strip of land between the jungle and the waves.

She found nothing for quite a while… causing her to stretch further and further, a small frustration growing. And finally, unexpectedly, her senses slammed into a flock of oystercatchers. The tiny black and white birds had bright orange beaks and scattered across the sand, eating bugs as the morning grew later. Taz threw her awareness into them, letting that awareness ricochet around the individuals, studying the world from their awareness. Then she asked, very quietly, in the language of the wilds – Nura – if they’d seen a woman and a child. As a unit, the birds answered.

South… walking south along the water. A woman, a child, and out in front of them was an odd monkey with black and white fur.

Taz rose from where she had settled into the sand and jogged lightly back up the beach to the bungalows. When she got there, she paused a moment and finally shook her head. “The oystercatchers down the beach a ways say that they saw a woman and child trailing a small black and white monkey. They were headed towards Stairstep Falls… maybe further. Would that be them?” She asked, not certain, but then again, the birds had never seen the woman, child, and monkey before.

Hopefully, by the time she returned, everyone would have gathered it together enough to form a plan.

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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."


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"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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Missing: Ian Zaniah Caldera

Postby Alric Lysane on November 21st, 2022, 9:30 pm

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“Nothing seems untoward here through the mark...the same feeling of uneasiness at times. High emotions...some good...some bad...”

Shiress’ reaction was understandable given the situation, but it didn’t make it any less of a flaying to his heart and soul. He flinched, his hand curling around Zhyad’s hilt as a kind of reassurance and his Lykata explorations broken, his face returning to as decent a mask as he could put up given the circumstances. It wasn’t the only time of late that his failings were made clear and he was both sad and growing slightly numbed to the whole process. He didn’t have the energy to spare to explain to anyone why things weren’t as clear cut as they thought they were anymore, instead letting them believe what they wanted to, as was their right.

Besides, doesn’t make anything true, nor false. Nor does it make it any easier...words are wasted these days it seems he thought to himself and he closed his eyes, took a deep breath and tapped into his Djed, listening to Zhyad’s music to calm himself – it was soothing this time, as if sensing what he wanted, though the ensemble was still the same instruments and combinations thereof. It was quickly growing to be one his closest and most valued bonds – a fact which he would not have bet upon before.

“That wasn’t fair...but she is right. You did promise in a way” Jade’s words slipped into his ear and he nodded, gesturing with his head to the outside as he voiced the first thought that came to mind, “perhaps someone should do a circuit out there, a tracker who knows how to actually track. They can’t have gotten far” he finished, Jade getting the message and disappearing in a search, Taz coming to the same conclusion and leaving around the same time – she was a Ranger after all and probably well suited to the task.

He tried to center himself, calming is nerves and letting Zhyad’s music wash through him. It was a balancing act, but he was used to it now, getting the communicative and expressive music but not giving in to it. After a while, he let go of the hilt, his musing upon what had been revealed done, and the music faded, the physical bond broken. He took a deep breath and turned it all around in his mind, thinking it through and wondering why this had happened. Was it Rysol’s revenge for the spring and the priest’s failure? It was possible, but it seemed more personal. Shiress knew the name of the woman, which meant the reverse was true and so motive was perhaps more human – spite or revenge. His eyes scanned the people assembled and wondered if they found the information about the monkey as strange as he did.

“Bloody Rhysol...again. He just doesn’t want to let go of this place,” he sighed after a while, eyeing Shiress and thankful she was physically okay if not mentally so, or emotionally, “we will get Ian back. No doubt that means this Isabella will also get what is due. I am sorry that he was taken Shiress” he said after a while.

“We need a plan, and quick. The more time passes the further away this kidnaper gets. The more time they have to set up traps, get ready and the rest. I don’t know anything about this...this monkey...Eenie...but I do know that snakes that get time to make a nest – or settle into one again – are bastards to dig out. She probably has been here a while and probably has a plan already...but first we must search”

“I doubt a stranger could take another’s child towards the heart of the settlement. So I agree, up or down the coast will probably be where she goes. So maybe we split up, go both ways, send runners back when we find something?”

He was simply suggesting and didn’t really expect anyone to follow what he said, he was more a stranger in Syka than most of the rest of those gathered, but things had to start somewhere. Even if collectively it was decided to do something else possibilities could be eliminated quickly and a decision made. It was as the discussions were ongoing, and Shiress being calmed and attended to, that Taz returned with her own information.

“That settles it then, we know where they are going. I’d not want to run headlong into a viper’s den, but what choice do we have? I say we get more hands – fighters and trackers – mount up if you can and start the hunt. Trackers ahead to deal with traps. I don’t know Ebonstryfe, but I know evil buggers and they like to fight dirty” he finished, waiting to see what the thoghuts of the others would be.


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Alric Lysane
Carry On My Wayward Son
 
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Missing: Ian Zaniah Caldera

Postby Ialari Pythone on November 25th, 2022, 7:42 pm

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Ialari listened as the others gathered in the bungalow filled her in on what had happened. Shiress was a wreck and it took some time for the general sense of panic to soften. Shiress’ revelation of a link between Rhysol, Ian and a monkey was odd for sure. As everyone seemed to be trying to figure out what to do next, Ialari stood aside; leaning against the wall. She was no healer and she wasn’t quite ready to jump into action. While the others worked on some cursory investigation of the bungalow and surrounding area, Ialari, still leaning against the wall, remained calm while tasting the air with her tongue. Touching the tip of her tongue to the roof of her mouth, the magic of her robe flooded her mind with information.

She could taste the scents of those present and could feel the mix of emotions coming from them; Shiress’ being the most prevalent. She could also taste the scents of three other sources that were not around. Although they were growing faint, she could tell they were likely a couple of bells old. One tasted slightly gamy; the monkey perhaps? Another tasted similar to Shiress albeit different enough to tell that it was likely Ian. With the last one, Ialari tasted a bit of sourness. Likely someone who hadn’t bathed in a while, sweating from the heat and humidity of the area. There was something else that she didn’t recognize at first. Tasting the air again, her tongue flicking to capture the scent before touching the roof of her mouth once more. She tasted blood that did not belong to Shiress.

Stepping away from her place against the wall, Ialari continued to listen as various ideas for what to do next were being spoken aloud. Tazrae had returned from outside and said that she believed this woman of Ravok had taken Ian along with his monkey south, in the direction of the Stair-Step-Falls. A calm smile spread across Ialari’s face.

When the opportunity to speak presented itself, Ialari offered her own thoughts on the matter.

Always aware of her accent when speaking among others, she focused on her words so as to be best understood, “I know this may seem difficult but patience is important right now. I know of three individuals who are not here now but were a couple of bells or so ago.”

Ialari offered some additional information to that which Tazrae had shared. “If they are headed toward the falls, it will indeed take them some time. They will be traveling with only the light of Leth to guide them as not to be easily seen. Traveling with a child will require a bit of...effort as well. There is also something else that will slow them...the woman is under the effects of nature’s cycle. She is bleeding. So there is that added discomfort that will also delay them somewhat...while also making it very easy for me to track her.”

Ialari paused for a brief moment then said, “As for this whole Rhysol connection...I feel we should, how do you humans put it, circle back. There is a lot to pick a part with that one.”

Finally, Ialari, the calm smile still on her face, added with a slight struggle over a word or two in the common tongue, “Now, for the part that helps my patience in all of this. If they are headed in the direction of the falls, we have a rather big...advan….advantage. At the top of the falls, there is a cave with a very special door inside. It is a bit difficult to explain and the details are not needed at the moment but I can open that door from my rancho.” She motioned to her overwater rancho just a short distance from Shiress’ bungalow.

“We can get to the base of the falls and to the beach slightly ahead of them. All that is required is, a bit of trust. Of course, if any of you are set on a different plan, it is possible that we may still be able to catch up to them yet this woman will have more of an advantage. I will be taking the faster route.” Ialari presented her plan and left it to the others to decide what they wanted to do. If any of them chose to follow her, she would lead them to her rancho.

There they would enter the main living area. Ialari lit a lantern offering a rather unique sight. The walls and floor were covered in geometric patterns and strange glyphs all contained within the outlines of differently-sized doors. Everything was drawn with what appeared to be a mix of charcoal, various paints...and blood. She walked over to one particular “doorway” and pressed her hand against a bloody handprint on the wall. As her hand and the print made contact, the outline of the door along with the various patterns and glyphs inside it, illuminated with a reddish glow. The doorway then shimmered and rippled before vanishing. In place of the wood that the doorway was drawn on was something akin to a window. On the other side, lit from above by the light of Leth, appeared to be a cave.

“This is where that part about trust becomes important. If you want to reach the falls this very moment, just take a step through the door. Once there, we can decide how best to continue.”

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Ialari Pythone
I'm Poison.
 
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