Training against the tide
Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 27 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 30
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
Played by: Honey Offline
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#1
RONIN
The Longheat days got longer and hotter, and Ronin began to resent the name of the season for being so damned accurate. Still, he was nowhere near up to top form again yet, and so he had taken himself out to the Stonesong to train and (hopefully) keep cool at the same time. This particular stretch of the river was notorious for its quick current, and Ronin was learning firsthand just how powerful it could be.

He had taken refuge (aka crashed into) one of the large, smooth stones that jutted out of the water and sang with the ebbs and flows, catching his breath and sweeping wet hair out of his face. Already lightly tanned from catching the sun - ingenious, yes, and he felt it - he would undoubtedly be even more so by the time the river was done with him.

Feeling that he had taken too long a break already, the ex-captain swam back out into the middle of the current, swimming hard against it in an attempt to keep himself relative to the riverbank where he'd entered the waters. So far, so... average.
a star in someone else's sky

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Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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#2
DEIMOS
Delivered from the blasts
Arduinna’s efforts and gifts granted them free reign – and he took it, avaricious, covetous beast – wandering down pathways like a curious juvenile. For the most part, he remained entirely guarded, taut, rigid, capable of exploding into some sort of frenzied, savage movement or motion the moment it became necessary. His weapons were still within his reach, aligned on his belt or in his hands. However, when we wasn’t occupied by the constant what-if measures or the eyes of the forest blinking at him, he ensured his mind took in the sights, the sounds, of the world around him. It was familiar and foreign all at once; because he’d once lived in a realm with rolling mist and nettled fog, where the expanse gaped and shuddered beneath layers of cloaks and daggers, where the cliffs met the sea in crashing, rolling tides, power within power, glory within glory. This kingdom had the same atmosphere, but more of an enigmatic, dangerous plunge – a coaxing decibel, a sirensong, ensuring that it would lead to doom and damnation if one took a wrong step, snares and oblivion, traps and scandals. It was beautiful, but only just so – too much temptation and enticement, and he knew better.

He did follow the sounds and decibels of the river, inquisitive beneath the rubble lacquer and the nonchalant veneer; finally arriving down a narrow pathway leading to the rushing current. The Reaper’s gaze landed not on the water first, but the leaves and boughs, half-expecting them to launch and leer as he approached, believing in vines snaking around or shoving individuals into the gnashing course to be consumed, devoured, by either the rocks or the water itself. He’d already drowned multiple times; he had no intention of committing to it again.

However, there was another inhabitant amidst the river – swimming against the barrage of water. Deimos arched his brow, and curiosity enabled him once more, inclining himself further until he was along the embankment, tilting his head as he recognized the person: Ronin, the one who’d died amidst the Spire and been renewed, resurrected, placed right back on this earth.

The Reaper knew something about revival and restoration as well, but now was not the time.

“You all right?” He hollered and howled out over the thunderous tides, pondering if the man had managed to find himself in a treacherous situation yet again – slinking patterns of treachery and disaster. Deimos could write a tome about those notions too.
the last of a line of lasts
Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 27 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 30
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
Played by: Honey Offline
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Posts: 1,290
MP:
#3
RONIN
Limbs and lungs burning, Ronin had been pushing himself perhaps a little too far in his game of strength against the current, and the voice that rang out to him and grabbed his attention might well have saved him from the danger of over-exertion. He stopped his fight against the water, letting the current take him back to the stone which had previously acted as a life support, the guildmaster panting heavily and clinging to it.

Only once he had caught his breath and swept his hair out of his eyes did he blink up at the man in the riverbank. Deimos - Ronin had heard his name in the settlement too, and he smiled sunnily at his fellow warrior.

”I’m doing fine!” he called, grinning. ”I was just testing myself against the Stonesong. So far it’s a worthy opponent. Care to join me?”
a star in someone else's sky

Coding base by Sky!
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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#4
DEIMOS
Delivered from the blasts
There was no need to rescue anyone today either, no sooner had Deimos’ call rang out over the rush of the current, than Ronin answered back, responding that he was fine. The warrior shrugged then, intending to meander his way down the river and explore a little more, curious and intrigued by thousands of other questions and nuances floating along the expanse. He wanted to know about the lay of the land, where snares were kept, what dangers lurked within crag and copse, but Ronin continued, proffering explanations for his present state. Testing himself against the Stonesong? The beast’s eyes lingered back along the rushing, rolling river, how it bit into rocks and embankments, scoured and scourged, how it plagued and washed away all synapses and senses. Long before, when lives weren’t entirely tragic and diminishing, he’d roared beside rocks and cliffs, howled like the ocean waves. He’d run across moonlit tides and sunk beneath its horizon, grinning and bold, chasing pockets of light and secrets of rocks, rubble, the ebb, and the glow, of potent, powerful clarity. He’d listened to the stupor, the tunes, of the water and its babbling lifeforce, its ichor, its surface, become enraptured and entangled by it. Then, when everything fell away, he avoided it; a recollection of misery rather than the once powerful symbol of its majesty and domination. His father had been fire, but his mother had been water, the sagacity, the wisdom, the calm, unperturbed vision of control. He’d loved the rain, then the sun – all the elements touching and stoking the aspirations, the ambitions, suddenly curling over his flesh and bones.

It’d been so long since he’d swam beyond anything but his own flaws and defects, struggling to surface, to breathe, when he’d drowned in the weight of his miseries and melancholies. The brooding had lifted lately – and so he wondered if he should venture back out into those thunderous reaches, where the tide could pull him over and drag him to the bottom.

Or where he could triumph, strong and enduring, reminding the world just who they were dealing with.

He considered, he calculated, gaze riveted on the outcrops, the rocks, all the underlying threats. Then he grinned, a minatory, menacing upheaval of a smile that suggested vigilance, violence, and that Ronin might regret the invitation; eager and ready to overcome a legion of demons bellowing in his skull. “Sure.” Because he wanted to train, because he wanted to be stronger, because he wanted each and every realm to see him and know, understand, that he was not to be trifled with.

He stripped and left his clothing along the bank, completely, utterly confident in his figure, before diving in, remembering the feel of the water along his muscles, the chill clawing its way over his form and he just didn’t give a damn, grinning again when he resurfaced near Ronin. “What is the best way to conquer it?”
the last of a line of lasts
Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 27 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 30
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
Played by: Honey Offline
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Posts: 1,290
MP:
#5
RONIN
Ronin could only blink up at the stern and silent man above him, awaiting his response. And it was one he was pleased to hear - indeed, the hunter found himself wondering if he might coax a more carefree grin from his companion on this little expedition. Only time would tell, and Ronin released the rock to tread water as Deimos surfaced nearby. "Oh," he said airily, "you know. Pure strength of will and body. This river is determined to test me, I think. And I'm determined to let it."

With a laugh that was still a touch breathless, Ronin used the stone to propel himself back into the middle of the Stonesong, swimming hard against the current to keep himself parallel with his landmark (water...mark?) of the rock he'd rested upon. One of his hands managed to flail in something like a wave after a moment, as if inviting the other man to give it a go as well.
a star in someone else's sky

Coding base by Sky!
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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#6
DEIMOS
Delivered from the blasts
A test was exactly what he required; how far he could push until the earth resisted, how far he could descend until his lungs burst, how far he could simply exist until the world decided enough was enough. He was rebellion even in the lightest of hours and days, a scourge, a plague, a damned ruffian chiseling his revolutionary tendencies straight into the hearts and bones of the kingdom, and he dared because otherwise he wouldn’t have anything left.

He listened, nodding, obliging, watching as Ronin propelled his form into the midst of the Stonesong’s swell, cresting over the current, waving haphazardly, an invitation to join. The beast studied and examined first, trying to decipher and find a noteworthy technique, something favorable so he wouldn’t immediately fail, but then the lure of the water kept hastening, kept imploring, kept sending him onward. He clenched his jaw, a confirmation as good as any towards his intentions, then moved forward too, a little ways beyond Ronin’s reach.

His muscles bit into the cold clarity, his form and figure implored and urged, an insistent plunge beckoning him onward and onward, arms reaching forward again and again, demanding, commanding, and dictating. He turned his head to catch air and then swept on and on, crashing against the waves, the currents, challenging a river to machinations, pride, and resolve. His limbs uncoiled and jettisoned, and it was wonderfully chaotic, a discordant harmony akin to his place on the battlefield, where he seized and assaulted, where he fought to have the upper hand, where he cast aside all thoughts and feelings, and became a mighty, maneuvering fortress.
the last of a line of lasts
Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 27 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 30
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
Played by: Honey Offline
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Posts: 1,290
MP:
#7
RONIN
Well shit this guy was strong. And big. And... well, Ronin defended himself internally by reminding himself that he'd come back from the dead weak as a kitten, and that was why he tired so easily.

But there was no getting around the fact that Deimos treated the water like it was an object to be moulded, and it moved out of his way with ease. Ronin, though - well, in fairness he'd been here for a long time before Deimos showed up (his pride appreciated the attempt to soothe it), and so he was definitely the first one to yield, bobbing back to the stone for a rest.

"Damn," he panted, grinning and sweeping his hair out of his face. "You're fucking good at this. You swim a lot?"
a star in someone else's sky

Coding base by Sky!
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,618
MP:
#8
DEIMOS
Delivered from the blasts
Long before, the water had been another source of respite, peace, and repose. It had been brushstrokes of power and condemnation. It had been crashing, gnarled waves singing of oblivion and prowess. It had been roaring, then gentle, a varnishing of his senses as he dove beneath its rippling invocations, as he strived to make it his own. Then it’d been another source to recall his loss, and he’d turned away from it – built plagues and gravesites overlooking its wares, but only because the rain had needed it, required it. Now the sun poured its way in and reminded him that loss wasn’t always so damned permanent, that it in order to grow and prosper he could afford himself the luxury of looking up into the light.

The ache in his muscles nettled along his senses, and he took one last shuddering sigh before treading water, maneuvered by the waves, by the currents, by the flow of time and space. It was a stark reminder of how everything eroded except the undulations themselves. He was eventually pushed back along Ronin’s favored rock and rubble, allowed the water to coil around him and send him back from where he’d came (but with a promise that he’d return – determined, a jaw set, a resolve mustered). He swept his tangled mane out of his eyes with one hand, rested his back against a boulder, and finally heard Ronin’s voice, snagged with a grin, over the thunder of the rushing deluge.

He hadn’t expected a compliment – and blinked several times, water sweeping along his cheeks and dripping along the surface of his nonchalant features. Then his apathy wore away, a slight grin sculpting its way through the corner of his mouth. “I used to.” It’d been great for strength, for endurance, for fortitude, lost somewhere along the way. After that, his heart had been set upon swordplay and vanquishing every other foe sent to scar him, make him suffer. “Going again?” The warrior nodded towards the rivers outset, the rolling tide continuing its onslaught; never tiring, unlike them, for it had no other burden than to make it to the sea, to unite its one massive oeuvre.
the last of a line of lasts
Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 27 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 30
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
Played by: Honey Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,290
MP:
#9
RONIN
Ronin watched as Deimos finally relented and came to rest against the rock with him; the hunter was allowing the smooth surface of the boulder to take all of his floating weight, shamelessly. His eyes drifted shut for a moment to enjoy the way the water rushed and flowed around them, washing through the fatigue and the ache in his muscles - or at least, it felt like it was. The second he went back out into the waves, he'd be quickly corrected.

But that didn't mean he wasn't going to head back out there, and his eyes fluttered open to offer the other man a crooked smile. "Always," he said, taking a few long breaths before pushing off from the rock to test himself in the Stonesong once more.

Whilst he would only tire more quickly, the longer he trained, it was a rhythm he was coming to thoroughly enjoy. Rest and work, rest again and work again... it wasn't a bad way to spend an afternoon at all. In one such instance where he had dragged himself to the bank to properly catch his breath, he gazed down the river and tilted his head. "Where do you think it ends?" he asked.
a star in someone else's sky

Coding base by Sky!
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 1,618
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#10
DEIMOS
Delivered from the blasts
The pattern repeated, a cycle unfolding between the two, one forging ahead while the other rested, testing the pinnacles of might and glory, the glory of their muscles, the sting of fatigue. Deimos breathed in and out along the natural incline of water, drank in the rushing impulses, felt as they fanned against his skin and pulsed almost in a broad sense of familiarity, back again? they mused in faint praise and welcome, all the liquid eventually the same, recurrent from land to land, from ocean to ocean. He snorted, lowering himself as he leaned along the chosen boulder, absorbed in the streamline and pressing current as it glided over his mouth and nose, came to slide almost at the bottom of his eyelids; a home he’d forgotten he’d had. It wasn’t ice or stone. It wasn’t mountains or cliffs. It wasn’t moonlit tides or the quiet, stoking ambience of ruins. It wasn’t fire and brimstone, melancholy or the void. It was power and prestige, presence and oblivion, a promise of resolve and determination, chiseled and sculpted deep down into his bones. Don’t forget it hummed and simmered along his skin.

When Ronin tired again, floating along the embankment instead of the rock, Deimos pushed off the great monolith and became a loose anchor, whittling his way back up the tide. It wasn’t as easy this time; the slate and cringe of his muscles reminded him it’d been a long while since he’d committed himself fully to this certain task; he’d been dutiful in precision, in practicing with blades and knives, in aligning his invocations to certain aptitudes, but swimming and endurance had slunk away in those hours. He’d be returning then, sooner rather than later, a pledge and vow to himself, to the river, to the tributaries funneling off the sides of summits and glaciers. But he still pulsed and presided, arms coming over his head and then channeling the same function and movement as before, breath even and diligent, a series of motions repeated over and over and over again. It was a rhythm, restless and fervent, eager and diligent, an all-consuming mission occupying his mind. He swam and he swam, clawing his way through the breadth and fathoms, always, eternally daring.

His body nettled and thorned its aches again, and he gave in, throwing his head back and letting the water take him back to the stone. In the distance, he could hear Ronin’s inquiry, and he turned his cranium back towards the reincarnated man; smiling hap-hazardly. “At the sea, would be my guess.” He had half a notion to follow it down, in some way, shape, or form, so he could view the ocean again, so he could be drenched in sea-salt air and gull cries, so he could imagine home (the first; born of fire and water and animosity and love).
the last of a line of lasts
Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 27 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 30
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
Played by: Honey Offline
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Posts: 1,290
MP:
#11
RONIN
"Quite," Ronin said dryly, smirking and gazing down the river, the light of the sun shattering across its currents and waves.All rivers led to the ocean eventually, and there was no reason to believe that this one would be any different. "I wonder whether we'd be stopped by those elemental storms if we let ourselves float far enough, or if the river would just carry us to the open sea." He smirked, sitting up and leaning back on his hands to better see Deimos.

Vanya had been in the sea when he'd first laid eyes on her; he'd been painting her ship, bobbing along the horizon. Not that he'd been any good at it back then, but he'd still done his best. A soft, wan sort of smile had appeared on his face as he thought of his lost love, of the daughter they shared who napped away the heat of the day at home, and Ronin had to force himself to shake it off. "I hate to say it, friend, but I think I'll keel over if I go back in there. You're welcome to it, though - and thank you, for training with me!"
a star in someone else's sky

Coding base by Sky!
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 1,618
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#12
DEIMOS
Delivered from the blasts
There was a telltale mischief corresponding and traversing along the air, he felt its sting and devilish consternations, arched his brow and supplied his own sensation of audacity, the boldness shaping and shifting its way through his form – tidal waves and mercurial, tempestuous demons. “Perhaps, once we have trained more, we should see.” He wondered what it would take to stop him – if the elementals would ripple and scorch his figure all over again, if they would try to drown him in their wakes, if they would unfurl the careful stitches and seams, if they would pry him apart, piece by piece, shard by shard. It was a vow and declaration too, for the resurrected being to come and find his bestial form and they could test the world when they were potent and powerful enough to dare and conquer its movements, its motions. The Reaper smirked too, tangled in the river, tempted by the current.

As a last volley, he roamed out further again; the undulations of his core, of his strength, pulsed in his persistence, but certainly warned; solidified efforts would be rewarded on a gradual pace, not full steam ahead. He knew better, so he only lingered in those brief steads, not gliding as far out, not stretching himself to maximum capacity. It took a few more turns and swivels of his arms, hastening them to twist and revolve, until the itch and pull of aches, of omens, caused him to cease the chase. The warrior was breathless again, lungs, sides, and ribs heaving, but in a good modicum, the way one finished in battle, still alive, still whole, still standing. His head twisted back to Ronin, who admitted he was done for the day too, and he nodded, completely understanding the notion. It would have to be another day, another series of moments, before he was back to full fruition and strength. “You are welcome. Thank you for the invitation.” It’d been what he needed; and he inhaled, exhaled again, leaned against outcrops and eyed the embankment calling his name. “Find me if you wish to train again,” he offered, an extension of hospitality and beneficence that these residents always seemed to prosper upon him, even when he didn’t deserve any of their compassion or generosity.
the last of a line of lasts
Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 27 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 30
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
Played by: Honey Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,290
MP:
#13
RONIN
"Perhaps we should," Ronin agreed, his voice much more enthusiastic than his body was in the present moment. Still, his smile was bright and energetic - to swim to the sea, indeed. Well, while he might be struggling, he had no doubt that Deimos would be able to do such a thing. Hopefully they could train together more and he could get up to par with the other man. "Anytime. It was a pleasure to train with you - even if I do feel a bit jealous." he said warmly as he found his feet at the side of the bank, smirking down at the other man.

"I most certainly will. I look forward to our next bout - give it a few tries, then we'll head for the sea." Winking and sweeping his damp hair back from his face, Ronin picked his way back up to the dirt path and stretched, waving goodbye to Deimos as he did so. In but a few moments the forest had swallowed him up, just in the same way the Stonesong had when he'd been testing himself against it. It was a long road back to where he'd come from, but he would get there. One day.

{END}
a star in someone else's sky

Coding base by Sky!


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