Training white crippled wings
Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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#1
"So," one of them had remarked to the other, "we're in an army now."

Two children of a snow-globe world.

Rory had thought about it for a while as he went back to his farm, doing his work, the same as he did year after year, the relentless summer sun beating down on his bared back. Through stories of a wider world he knew of the concepts: riot, queen, army.

But to him, personally, they were meaningless, arbitrary, like a toothless wolf or just words describing someone's shadow. Was it a riot if no one got hurt? What even was an army? What did it do? What was it like? He knew it was a collection of soldiers, warriors, something that was supposed to.. to kill, to die, to bleed, to follow without question, to suffer just because someone told them to.

At least, that was what he remembered from his childhood stories of foreign nations marching over foreign soil at the command of foreign tyrants. It wasn't like Rory planned on ever doing that for Zariah, but.. He sighed as he skulked through the streets of the Settlement, headed for Deva's Bakery.

What was supposed to be a dangerous place was the safest for him now: just another sheep in Zariah's flock, keeping his head down (when he could convince himself not to snap that he was Abandoned, thankyouverymuch) and his eyes bright. Training hadn't officially started yet, and he wasn't looking forward to it, but it had to be done.

And besides, it was a little satisfying to get his enemy to train him...

With a furtive glance to make sure that he wasn't followed Rory opened the door to the bakery's basement, and stepped into the cool, dim space beyond. He paused for a while to let his eyes adjust to the dark before proceeding down the stairs.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,949
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#2
Amalia
A deeper conversation is all I want from you-
So. We're in an army now.

There is a great part of her that regrets her actions, believes that signing up to enlist in an army is the paramount of many foolish decisions she has made. Who is she, a baker, to learn to fight, to try and defend them from some unknown danger? And what danger could exist that is greater than what they face within, the tumultuous world they currently inhabit which curls in upon itself, threatening to devour them all whole?

What does an army even do? Will they be asked to abandon their jobs, their homes, to devote themselves to a march of meaningless carnage, training by day and camping by night in service of a queen they do not believe?

In truth, Amalia has no intention of fighting anybody, except perhaps Zariah herself. She has no intention of letting her friends fight, either, of seeing them set off on some foolish mission to overtake an unknown and invisible let foe. The only conceivable enemy they might face are the Fae, and the girl knows better than anyone else how woefully unprepared they would be, how easily they would succumb to the magic and blades of the small, superior people. Delah could evicerate them all without a thought; Adruinna has already laid Remi's sight to waste.

But they are in an army now, plotting to kill the serpent from within.

If they do not implode, first.

Sighing, the girl continues to clean, to make the basement more hospitable, more hidden. Their first meeting had ended in raised voices and harsh dismissals, the wrong people interested in power and control. Their second meeting, they need to be better: she needs to be better, because she has built this budding disaster, gathered them all on a childish whim. And meanwhile they are in an army, Outlander and Natural, farmers and bakers. She wonders if she ought to run away, to leave the Hollowed Grounds and live with Ianto, lean herself further on the Fae's goodwill. There is no part of Amalia who wants this reality.

There is no part of her that could leave it to her friends alone.

She is stretching, preparing to train again, when Jyoti announces another's presence, her call of warning cutting through Amalia's reviere. She tenses, suddenly awake, unsure (because that is what they are, now: frightened animals, afraid to find their neighbors at the door), before relaxing as a familiar figure descends into view. Amalia relaxes, but does not smile: Rory presents a new wealth of conflicts, insecurity and embarrassment itching beneath her skin. "Hi, Rory," she greets him softly from her place in the cleared out side of the basement, a makeshift training area where she sits upon the floor. She does not stand but stares up at him, dark eyes curious and uncertain, hair pulled back in a long gold plait. "Is everything ok?"
- I want the words you're afraid to say:
the lonely ones you keep hidden
between the folds of your heart
Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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Posts: 395
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#3
He didn't know what he expected, honestly—he just knew that what he hadn't expected was Amalia sitting on the floor, dark, unreadable. She seemed feline in her human body, something that was potentially dangerous: not in this moment, but in a similar moment in the future, perhaps.

"Amalia," he responded, something dark pricking his heart. Change, how it was being forced upon them... Less than a year, and everything he had ever known, and taken for granted as absolute truth, had been turned upside down. The arrival of the Outlanders, the fall of the Spire, and now, this. And there they were: two children of a snow-globe world, but the world wasn't a snow-globe anymore.

He crossed the space to her, sinking down on the floor; cross-legged and dark, a shadow there next to her. "I'm alright. You?" Because there was something in her face, in her eyes, something he noticed but couldn't place: he leaned against her shoulder, thinking of the world above and beyond—of his wide-eyed wonder each time he entered the bakery as a child.

Of all his longing for the world beyond, for something more, when all he needed was right there.

He sighed, softly.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,949
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#4
Amalia
A deeper conversation is all I want from you-
"I'm fine." It's a lie, of course. When did she become a liar? Somewhere between the barrier falling and Zariah's self-proclaimed queenship, perhaps- or maybe it was even earlier than that. Maybe she was born with a little bit of a liar in her, and it is that quality that allows her to always try, to fool the world into believing she's worth something.

To fool herself into believing that one day it will be true.

Rory sits beside her, and Amalia reaches up instinctively, wrapping her arm around his shoulders, placing her head on his. When did they become a family? Long Night? The Spire?

Or maybe that, too, happened earlier. Maybe everyone born in this place is family, in a way. Sometimes distant, often dysfunctional, but family nonetheless. Their world has always been too small for the people inside not to be a family, because if they turned on each other there was no escape, no recourse or room for wars and turmoil when the world is a snowglobe with murderous walls.

Now, though? Now the snowglobe is shattered open, and the liquid is gone, and they don't know how to breathe. Now the family is turning in on itself, eating from the inside out, poisoned by outside hatred and conflict until nobody knows who they can trust.

(Amalia trusts him.)

"Do you think it will be okay, Rory?"
- I want the words you're afraid to say:
the lonely ones you keep hidden
between the folds of your heart
Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
Change author:
Posts: 395
MP:
#5
He wasn't sure that he believed her, but it had never seemed very loving to him to always demand absolute truth. Sometimes, you don't want to pull all the grit and the blood and the pus and the scars to the surface, and perhaps it was enough that he thought he knew the truth. Perhaps the knowing was the important bit, and not the words coming past her lips.

So he closed his eyes when she leaned back against him, an odd and distorted reflection of Long Night, but he found that he did not mind the similarity. After all, family meant being there, especially when things were tough. And this.. this was tough. Tough times. They knew Long Night and its monsters, yet had gone up against them all the same.

This monster they did not know, and this time they were cautious instead of brazen, but they were rising up all the same.

Did she know how brave she was?

Should he tell her?

But the words escaped him; seemed too inadequate, unable to capture the feeling. So he remained quiet, content to sit there, at peace, even if only for a moment. Something tight and coiled in him had relaxed, an ache in his chest he noticed only as it disappeared.

He wanted to give the world the finger, and stay against her in the bakery until the world ended.

"Do you think it will be okay, Rory?"

He thought about it. He thought about what she might want to hear. He thought about what he might be expected to say.

He thought about what he really thought: that this was frightening and horrible and uncomfortable and made him so uneasy, like he could trust no one, and dare do nothing. His teeth fidgeted with his lower lip, and then he heaved a small sigh. "Yes," was what he said in the end, rubbing the heel of a boot against the floor. "Yes, I think it will. It might take a while, and it will not be easy, but.. yes. Eventually, I think it'll be okay." He was no shining beacon of optimism, no preacher of joy: if there was a dark undercurrent in his voice it was because he knew that it will be okay wasn't necessarily the same as all of us will survive.

Perhaps they could have one, but not the other.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,949
MP:
#6
Amalia
A deeper conversation is all I want from you-
She shudders as he says the words, releasing a breath she did not know she held. "Okay." It is barely more than an exhalation, slipping between her fragile lungs, but it means more than it says. It's a statement of faith as sure as any prayer, a declaration that if he says so then she will believe.

The world may be fucked, but at least they are in it together: nearly strangers a year ago, and now as close as kin. They are orphans, the pair of them, lost children in a broken world.

Amalia pulls at the helm of her shirt, content for a moment to fidget in the silence. The weight of her terror off her shoulders leaves an empty space between them, and the number of things she could use to fill it are nearly too numerous to list. How long has it been since they last spoke? How much has she failed to tell him about; how much does she not know? Has he been well? Does he know about her capture?

Has he missed her, like she missed him?

She settles at last on the most important, the one he alone might understand. "I met Vi. He told me to keep protecting life. He... He was beautiful."
- I want the words you're afraid to say:
the lonely ones you keep hidden
between the folds of your heart


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