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

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 29 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 28
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 1,819
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#1
DEIMOS
Stronger. He had to become stronger.

Once, he believed himself to be utterly capable of anything thrown his way. Arrogant, defiant, confident, proud, and irreverent, he’d stepped before enemies and adversaries with intimidating, overbearing statures and reticent blades, waiting for their weaknesses to override their instincts, waiting for their ineffectual natures to curb their assaults, waiting for the world to bow at his feet. He’d been an enduring, malicious force, a thing to be feared, a machine, meant to serve king and country, until he occupied the throne, and then simply served the realm. He chased down demons who thought they could swindle him and his tactics, he mauled fiends who dared to defy his role, and he bludgeoned those who set foot within his sovereignty. The Reaper had been an unrelenting parallel of scythes and scabbards, of malevolent, acrimonious condemnation, a means to an end – and his unholy, bestial form had occupied, served, as sword, as ax, as executioner –

Until he died.

Then somewhere along the way he’d lost those tarnished emblems of power and might. The beast was reborn, but missing the brawn, the vigor, the prowess, the potential – starting over, beginning again, a resurgence of something he could hold within his bare hands. And for a while, it worked – he trained, he grew, he developed skills the old machine would have already honed in instinctually; then he went to war, put his work to practice, to dominion, to persistence and rigor. Most of the time he was victorious – in that he hadn’t succumbed again – but there were intervals where he lost, lost, and lost. He’d had no choice but to raise his head and continue onward, again, again, again.

This was one of those moments, stretched out and bleak, desolate and stark, where ordinary individuals would hover in between, then decide to cease and desist. He simply wasn’t one of them.

The warrior grabbed a pair of daggers and wandered down familiar roads and streets in the morning, after dawn, stuffing them within his satchel laden with other weapons and munitions, uncertain of what the baker would require or intend to use. Because they both aspired to become better; shields and swords, drawn along the crossroads, not yet pinpointed on any direction. Because there was no use in bowing his head down anymore, brooding and brewing, feeling sorry for his ineptitude, for his ineffectualness. Because soon, they wouldn’t be hidden at all, and something besides anger, hostility, and fervor would have to step into the light.

He stepped towards the bakery door and drove his knuckles into the door, three knocks in a ridiculous pattern, a signal, a sign of his arrival, before maneuvering himself towards the back, along the stretch of her garden. Deimos considered a particular distance and stretch of lawn, so they wouldn’t back into the flowers and produce, before laying down his bag, and pulling out the contents from within. Slowly, approaching from the woodline, was a darker creature too - horned and all - watching, waiting, a little more cautious.
i'm in the mood to dissolve in the sky
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: 1,963
MP:
#2
Amalia
A deeper conversation is all I want from you-
Shield.

It began as a low whisper, a rarely repeated refrain. Shield of Safrin- as though she we're worthy of being anyone's shield, had strength or conviction enough to stand guard against the rising tides of ruin, protect the world she loves. Amalia does not see herself fit to be anyone's shield, their hero, their bastion. She has not done enough to earn the faith and blessing of Vi.

Not yet. Not yet. But soon.

She recognizes his knock: another game, another dance, a symbol shared for them alone, a secret language with unsaid rules. Amalia is awake at dawn, baking being a morning sport, a job best done before people wake and begin to worry about how they will sustain themselves for the day. Today the girl is simply attired, brown breeches and a blue shirt, her long hair pulled back in a plait. Barefoot, with her staff in her hand, she slips away to the back of the shop, trusting the bake to finish itself.

She has a date, after all.

Amalia steps out into the leafchange morning with a deep inhale, relishing the cold air as it fills her lungs. Jyoti is happy too, delighted that the weather is finally cooling down and she does not need to hide indoors. Starlit and star-wreathed, the pair approaches the early morning behemoth, a smile on the girl's face and a happy song from the little whale.

"Good morning," she murmurs, letting her fingers graze over his before rising on her toes to offer a kiss, her lips ghosting gently, happily, over his. A hair from his mouth, she pulls back just enough to gaze mischievously at his face. "What's the agenda for today?"
- I want the words you're afraid to say:
the lonely ones you keep hidden
between the folds of your heart
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 29 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 28
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,819
MP:
#3
DEIMOS
By the time Amalia has responded to his summons, his provocations, his kindled, incensed motions, the beast has already drawn his wild hair back into a bun, out of reach, and sorted out the various states of weaponry. They resemble an outline, a pattern, much like the ones kept in his home, ranging in size and shape, in order and function, but all every bit as deadly. The wooden training swords were first, plain but simple, necessities when one was at the genesis of their trials, and the others meandered on sanctions of daggers with ornate hilts, broadswords, a rapier, and then odds and ends: throwing knives, tinier stilettos, and one of his hatchets he used for cutting. He admired them for a moment, studying a couple of their edges, feeling the fringe of being watched from a distance, Zuriel in the background somewhere, likely presuming he was about to enter into another fray.

She wasn’t entirely mistaken – but this one held a glean of solidarity, camaraderie, and affection, unlikely symbols of most foreboding duels and challenges.

The baker had come for battle, soft footfalls and appearances only given away by Jyoti’s indulgent songs, the Reaper raising his head and disembarking from his crouch amidst the munitions as she approached. The starwhale reached him first, constellations and cosmos circling around his head, and he didn’t hide his smile, even as his gaze rounded away from the arching companion and down towards Amalia, riveted again. The depths of his stare caught the staff in her hands, slightly bemused that he had nothing to match it – but before he could consider channeling one between his fingers in a gilded glow, she’d pressed her lips to his. “Morning,” he rumbled in return, phantoms and wraiths between mouths, amusement flickering off billowing breaths; if he invoked and incensed, he figured they’d never actually start training, distracted and fettered into other things. Today’s efforts were already sketched and laden – this was his realm now, hallowed halls of victory and violence, of vehemence and action, of discord and upheaval, of insurrection and bleeding, mutinous schemes.

Not to be outdone in the arrays of mischief, he stepped back, allowing her to view the armory he’d brought. It wasn’t everything – most still remained on display or clustered in various drawers, closets, and empty floorboards within his domicile – but certainly enough to dive into the purpose of their date. “Depends on your preference,” and a nod of his head indicated she’d be allotted free choice, or if she wanted to keep her staff, already comfortable with its weight and feel.
i'm in the mood to dissolve in the sky
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: 1,963
MP:
#4
Amalia
A deeper conversation is all I want from you-
She does not notice the unicorn, but Jyoti does, her senses keener (less embroiled, less obsessed, less blurred and crowded by the sight of him in the morning, his hair pulled back off of his face, his shoulders rippling beneath his shirt, his hands, his back, his arms-). Having greeted the human who owns her bonded, the infant starwhale coos a curious call, swimming off toward the edge of the garden where the tantalizing presence of a new friend lurks. Jyoti is not afraid – fear is not something she ever learned, growing up among the cosmos, a child of time and infinite stars. So she hums and croons, calls and serenades, swimming off on invisible tides to greet this newest family member, entice and entrance her closer to kinship, an infinite affection in her cetacean heart.

Amalia, too, would be infatuated, were she not absorbed in the sight before her. A note of displeasure is hummed as he leaves, her body growing cold once more without his blazing heat. It would be easy to throw aside their purpose, abandon productivity in favor of play: they have done it before, more than once, entangled themselves within each other and let the world spin idly on. Selfishly, she wants more moments like that, to forget about the roaring seas of society, the debts and burdens and responsibilities she wields, carried on her shoulders as Atlas wields the world. Except hers is not a punishment; she has willingly taken it upon herself to always uphold others, been blessed with purpose and expectation, given stars to coax into glorious life. How could she shrug off that burden, lay it aside in favor of wanton pursuits? Yes, she longs to run away, to escape the confines of a crumbling world - but the world will still be there, still crumble, and those still within will have a greater challenge with fewer hands.

So she lets him leave and sets to work, looking down upon the weapons with a mixture of fascination and dismay. Is it wrong for her to want to use these tools, enemies of life and wielders of pain? Not to kill, to maim, to slaughter, she thinks- to protect, defend, be a better shield. Biting thoughtfully at her lip, the baker lays her staff down gently, her long fingers tracing over shafts and steel, iron and glass, until at last they settle on the hilt of a dagger and she draws it up, inspecting the weapon through unreadable eyes. "This one," she murmurs, glancing back at him, the knife extended for him to inspect. It is a personal weapon, defensive and close: to hurt someone with it you would have to know, to truly intend to inflict the wound. And then, on a silly, foolish whim, the girl adds with a crooked grin: "Do you have any shields?"
- I want the words you're afraid to say:
the lonely ones you keep hidden
between the folds of your heart
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 29 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 28
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 1,819
MP:
#5
DEIMOS
Zuriel was a quiet force, surveying, scrutinizing, not unlike her bonded – but quicker to erode from the distance and detachment. The starwhale’s approach was noted with a dip of her noble head, recognizing stars and cosmos, constellations and celestial beings, pieces of the heavens where she’d been christened and anointed amidst the regal earth. She was old as time too, one of those primordial things who’d willingly sacrificed her freedom, her liberation, to another beast – the depth of her eyes lingering on Deimos in the outer arena of the garden, then sliding quietly back to the advancing Jyoti. At the croons, at the songs, she raised her head, embarked a soft nicker in return, stepping out from the shadows in light, petalsoft movements.

The Reaper could feel the unicorn remaining on the outset, but was further distracted by the being in front of him. If the baker kept looking at him like that: seductive, wanton, deliberately yearning, longing, smoke and fumes of desire, there’d only be training of the carnal kind. An inkling in his mind expressed that their future endeavors would be more difficult than he surmised; not for her lack of violence, but because he was going to be driven to constant, potential diversions. The temptation was already listlessly there, toying in his nefarious, iniquitous mind, replacing the notion of swinging swords with more seductive qualities, and he willed his notions to spiral back into vehemence and not intertwined forms, moans, gasps, whispers of skin-

He shook his head and watched as she chose one of the daggers he’d brought, selecting its twin a moment later, grasping hold of the smaller weapon in his calloused grasp. It was lighter than his broadswords and cutlasses, a more intimate munition, and he arched his brow at her selection, pondering over the wiles likely brewing along her cranium. He’d promised her training, but never asked why; presuming it wasn’t because it was one of his favored activities, stoking and inciting savagery and barbarity, an explosion of movement and motion when he required its cruel efforts. She’d never expressed any outward sign or enjoyment towards force and fervor – in fact, he figured she’d be amidst the few who shrank from it, committed to repose, peace, and prosperity. But maybe, with all the recent entanglements, from the rise of the Merciless, to the Spire’s collapse, and the capturing of her soul, and others, from the Fae, she’d simply been pushed into this role. The world had altered, morphed, and restructured itself; they had to do the same, protecting their brethren and themselves. Even if she didn’t take to the conditions of fighting, of breaking apart one’s adversary, of mauling and stabbing and lacerating, just having the ability to defend herself would give the warrior a sense of relief.

The Reaper’s stare segmented back to the weapon extended before him. “Good,” he acknowledged her decision, and only gave her a slightly flattened look when she required a shield as well. He hadn’t brought any of them with him, his bag would’ve been overloaded and a chore to slog down the roads with another range of hilts, hues, and weights for her to consider. Within a moment, he’d pressed his hands together and then pulled them apart: between the sizzling canals of gold and gilded ether, a steel formation took shape, until it was a metallic shape, edged, several dips at the top, then angled and sketched downwards. It was all silver, made purposefully light, easier for her to maneuver, the etching skilled and outlined in stars. He passed it to her without fanfare, then stepped away from the piles of weaponry, left there in case she changed her mind later. He tossed the dagger back and forth, flipping the handle, then catching it on the rotation swiftly, quickly, reminding his muscles, his hands, his grasp of  precision, days of old, meant to be rekindled and brought to the forefront. It surged with a discordant harmony, singing its malevolent tune beneath his skin.

When he pressed into an open area, beckoning her to join him, he examined her assumed stance. “What do you already know?” Had she already learned how to defend herself properly? How to ground her frame? How to duck and evade? How to stab? How to condemn?
i'm in the mood to dissolve in the sky
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: 1,963
MP:
#6
Amalia
A deeper conversation is all I want from you-
Amalia smiles crookedly at his glance, ever pleasantly bewildered that she can ignite that burning passion behind his eyes. But their attention is shifted now, brought down upon meaner, less beautiful things. Swords and daggers, maces and knives; she stares at the blade she has selected, an unpleasant lump still in her throat. She is not a fighter, a warrior; she is not so bold, but she is terrified, worried, concerned for her friends. The world is changing, and Amalia must with it, if she is to protect the ones she loves.

She watches as Deimos works his magic, a shield appearing between his hands. Manifested from nothing but ether - it never fails to awe the girl, who has known such things her entire life. Silver glitters in the space between them, starlit and beautiful, delicately wrought. "Oh," she breathes her quiet delight, reaching out to take the gift, to hook it over her left arm and settle it against her chest. "Oh, it's perfect." Light, comfortable; it eases some of the tension from her shoulders, and she glances up with a radiant smile, grateful he did not question her, laugh at her discontent.

She follows him into the open space, her bare feet pressing into the early morning dew. "Not much." Staff stances, mostly, how to fall and roll; things her late mother once imparted, forced the girl to learn and know. Standing across from the towering figure, Amalia cannot help her sensation of inadequacy, the awareness that she is woefully unprepared and far outpaced.

Still, the girl will do her best. With the dagger in one hand and the shield in the other Amalia adopts a fighting stance, her shoulders squared, her feet wide-set, her arms entirely unsure of where to go and so held out as she might the staff, dagger high and shield low.
- I want the words you're afraid to say:
the lonely ones you keep hidden
between the folds of your heart
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 29 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 28
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 1,819
MP:
#7
DEIMOS
Deimos’ form of poetry, musings, painting, singing, or dancing was blended into battle. Music was in the rhythm of the drumbeats, in the outcries of the burdened and distraught, singing in the trumpets blaring their actions, their movements, the waltz one of pure abhorrence, greed, and avarice, swords cutting, men dying, nefarious interloping gathered amidst fields, brushstrokes staining them red. It didn’t terrify him. It didn’t concern him. It was as natural as breathing; too instilled, too ingrained, too impressed upon his soul to even think for a moment about the abject cruelties, the rippling tides of war – still there, still there, still there, after he’d buried countless friends in the ground. These were his masterpieces and oeuvres, stanzas for the dead, for the living, for the enduring, for the persevering, for the ones who’d never cry again and for the ones who relived the horrors behind their eyes.

And now, it was protection and defense. He’d teach her as much as he could, as much as she was willing to grasp; not to make her a murderer, not to make her a soldier, not to make her as unholy, as irreverent, as blighted and scarred and immoral as himself, but to ensure she was safe.

They were fine lines – but he’d make sure he was the only one who crossed them.

He watched as she accepted the shield, as he took naught in his hands but an empty grasp and a dagger in the other, as she took hold of a fighting pose. “Daggers, unlike swords, are for close combat. So they are treated differently. I will show you a few attacking and defensive manuevers,” he uttered. He tilted his head, inclined towards her, fingers light and gentle as he drew her shoulder blades back, lifted her shield high too. “This one is for assault purposes. You already have a good, solid stance with your feet. Engage your core as you draw your shoulders back. You can use more power that way. Keep your shield high. It will give you an opportunity to block my dagger.” He mimicked the stance, going to stand in front of her, weapon poised in his hand, other up high, ready for when she followed through – his munitions wouldn’t touch her, wouldn’t maim her, but he wanted her to see the motion.

Not so much the violence – but she already knew that about him: what he was capable of, how he’d destroyed, how he’d massacred, how he’d willingly do it again for anyone he’d sworn to guard.

In one swift descent, he thrust the dagger downwards, along the air in front of her neck, as if it were to go through her throat, then continued the maneuver, away from her skin, away from her form, but allowing her to visualize the outcome: a mess for an enemy, an onslaught of torn veins, muscle, and flesh. Given no defense at all, the likelihood of a flayed chest or abdomen was high, and depending on the amount of brawn and strength in the individual, it could be quite costly for their adversary. He backed away from her, portraying the stance once more, lifting his head in a gesture of good faith that she wouldn’t decimate him. “You try.”
i'm in the mood to dissolve in the sky
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: 1,963
MP:
#8
Amalia
A deeper conversation is all I want from you-
She listens intently as he speaks, the color draining a little from her face. She is clay beneath his hands, easily assuming the appropriate stance, soldering and strengthening, her shoulders falling back, her shield raised high, her feet set apart. But she does not like it, the feeling of the blade against her palm, and her fingers grip and pulse unhappily as she regrets the steps that have led them here, the call for violence and misery.

Then he is in front of her, his blade raised high, and Amalia finds herself looking up into the glinting silver and swallowing, her throat suddenly dry. He is a patient teacher, steady and calm; it sets the girl a little at ease, makes her breathing still and relax despite the thundering of her heart. She has to remember that it is him, Deimos, her Deimos, that he is strength and stability and patience and would not hurt her nor ask her to hurt. Still, she is aware of the scars on his arms, and for the first time considers what those mean. Has he given one out for each he bears? More - or worse, taken a life? What has the cost of survival been, for one from such a world of hardship and war?

Amalia swallows and raises the shield, wincing at the sound of silver striking steel.

His motion is violent, aggressive, frightening, and the girl knows that she looks pale, knows the appall upon her face. Still she tries to soldier on, swallowing down her hopeless dismay, ignoring the image of blood and viscera spilling so easily over his hands. It is her turn, next, as much as she loathes it. Licking her lips and steeling herself, the baker nods her silent assent. Return the motion, repeat and retort- it is a constant in any sort of training, translatable between sword and staff. She tells herself that as she adjusts her footing, repeats it like a mantra as she raises her arm. It isn't real, it isn't real. It isn't real.

Slinging her arm down in a fluid motion, Amalia replicates his strike.
- I want the words you're afraid to say:
the lonely ones you keep hidden
between the folds of your heart
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 29 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 28
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,819
MP:
#9
DEIMOS
His gaze watched as her face drained of all its color, and he understood that there was doom and damnation written across the daggers, the bloodlust not in her mind, the worry, the weariness, flanking her in all directions. Maybe it was something else too: that she was seeing him for what he really, truly was (monster, heathen, fiend, soldier, warrior, blackguard, beast), reconsidering their connections, intending to back away, find a soul not as marred and damaged, as dangerous and lethal.

But she came at him anyway, followed through on his instructions, and his open hand aimed to catch at hers, turning into her, blocking, before any damage could seethe and ripple along his throat, chest, abdomen, or any other parts determined to catch and destroy. “Good. You can raise your arm even higher for effectiveness,” he responded, but it was followed on a quieter, gentler, a rumble in his chest, without the harsh intonations. “You do not have to do this,” he proffered, giving her another chance to back away – to evade, to escape, those darkening threads, those harsh lines, those drawn blades that invoked a step in treacherous directions. He’d already been there, on that side, for too long to ever think about leaving – a part of him, sculpted and molded and whittled into his essence (vehemence, fervency, the keen edge of a blade cutting its way through crowds and enemies). She could say the word and they'd be done - because too many portions of him worried, wove their way into his gut, that she'd either be unprepared, unwilling (an understandable plight), or move to no longer align herself with him altogether.
i'm in the mood to dissolve in the sky
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: 1,963
MP:
#10
Amalia
A deeper conversation is all I want from you-
His instructions come again, softer now, gentler, as though he can sense her hesitancy, can see the things she thinks and feels. Does he know how weak she is, how terrified and insecure? Can he see the scene that plays out behind her eyes, blood spraying out into the dawn, staining the moment (every moment) they share? The deep timbre of his voice is a lifeboat in her storm; she clings to it, gazes up into his eyes, seeking solace in the color of the sky. Save me, she screams into the silence, I don't want this, I don't want this.

"I do have to," the girl replies, something hard and brittle in her voice.

Once upon a time Amalia could be ignorant, innocent, innocuous, wrapped between the pages of books, in the safety of prayer. She could live on stories, thrive on myth, hide from the sun, overlooked and forgotten, lonely and alone but at least safe. You cannot lose anyone when you have nobody left to lose; you do not have to protect the world, when you've shut the world out.

But while Amalia wasn't looking, distracted and fascinated by the light in his eyes, the world has crept in, insidious, cruel, leaving her once again exposed.

Her fingers clench around the knife, and she remembers why she chose it, what it said to her in those moments. If she is to hurt anyone, to cut and wound, she has to mean it - it has to be intentional, and she has to be ready to live with the memory of holding their blood against her hand, seeing the intimacy of their pain and knowing it is a choice she made. "Again." Her voice is a whisper, a plea, resigned: I have to do this, help me through this, I hate it but I have to try. Raising the blade as he instructed, the Shield brings it slashing down once again, higher this time, faster, trusting him to catch her, hating the way the metal sings as it dances through the air.

Hating herself, because somewhere deep down, a part of her enjoys this.
- I want the words you're afraid to say:
the lonely ones you keep hidden
between the folds of your heart
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 29 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 28
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 1,819
MP:
#11
DEIMOS
There’d been a few soldiers in their regiment who hadn’t wanted to be there – for some reason or another, they’d still signed their lives away, put their names to paper, packed their bags, and trained amidst their group. There had always been a hesitancy; perhaps lacking the drive to maim, maul, and mutilate, perhaps never intending to go so far. Some had left of their own accord. Some had been asked to vacate. Some had ground their heels in, raised their chins, and spoke of how they would do it, they could do it. A portion of them had ultimately forged on, swung their swords into another’s chest, paralyzed the world with their inherent abilities, honed from days of fighting on the ground – because when those moments came, those darker, vivid, seditious shards of hate, of menace, of venom came raining down upon one’s soul, they either fell apart or fought – to live, to survive.

They’re not too far into it here and now – but the clamor, the din, the match has been set, and the kindling was ready, eager, to burn.

He just didn’t want her to lose herself.

The warrior saw the resolution in her grasp, in her eyes, heard the spark of revolution in the edgy clusters of her tone; and he nodded. He wouldn’t ask her again.

She wanted to protect, and so did he – squalls and tempests, barrages and sieges, a customary motivation, a blinding aspiration, a bristling, unwinding ambition. It made brave beings falter even in the lightest of hours, but he’d ensure, somehow, someway, that she’d be properly trained for the days ahead. He wasn’t sure what they’d face, but none of them would be alone. The Reaper was amongst those who always put his figure into the storm.

The metal slashed through the air, a follow through on his instruction, and he waited for the opportune time to block, pushing his dagger into hers, blade against blade, listening to the crash, the decibel, the scraping of power and undulations. What sounded like music to his ears was likely a rough cacophony to hers, so he plucked it away quickly, thought of another direction. “Better.” The length of his gaze pinpointed to her stature, to the lithe accord – presumed she’d make quick work of his next direction. “Let me teach you to disarm.”

He assumed his stance again – nodding at her to mimic the same. “Now, when you go to swing your weapon,” and here he gently encouraged her blade to slash downward again, “You can aim for their wrist.” Slowly, so she could see it, he brought his dagger, placed lightly, to the underside of her wrist, where an opponent would be forced to drop or cease their action, too distracted by pain or impending doom. “However, if you miss, there is always the opportunity to get them from behind.” He brought his knife back up, pretending as if it had merely glanced over the fringes of her skin, using momentum and movement to twist his hips, and maneuver his feet, so he ended up behind her – a dagger potentially to her back.

Then he retreated, placing himself in front of her again, arms raised in their featured posture. “Try.” That’s all he cared about – she didn’t have to draw blood from an enemy, from an adversary – he merely needed her prepared, ready, for whatever daunting thing came for them.
i'm in the mood to dissolve in the sky
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: 1,963
MP:
#12
Amalia
A deeper conversation is all I want from you-
He catches her blade as she knew he would, the sound of metal meeting metal a ringing, haunting tone. It reverberates unpleasantly through her ears, a laughing and callous reminder of what she's doing, why she's doing it, how the world has come to represent so much more and so much less than what the girl grew up with. It has always been dangerous, always been frightening- there have always been monsters, darkness, loss.

But the demons they faced were always demons, faceless and monstrous, unknowing and unknown. Now, though? Now the demons wear faces: friends and neighbors, new and old, and that is more terrifying to the girl than any invisible beast.

Disarming is better than disemboweling, and Amalia's look speaks of relief as she shifts to reflect his stance. Still pale, still brittle, she listens intently, her expression unreadable, her dark eyes hard. Can he see the weakness that rests within her, the barely held together pieces trembling, fit to break? Her arm arcs down compliantly, slower this time, though the action is steadier than before. If she has to practice this - if the time comes when she needs to fight - will she be able to hold so steady, to act with the cool precision he embodies, to make anyone (to make him) proud? He raises his hand, the cool metal ghosting lightly over her skin; for a moment she considers pressing into it, seeing if she can make the knife draw blood, because then at least she will have something else to think on, outside her thoughts.

What would her grandmother say, to see her practicing violence and bloodshed in the garden she maintained?

He disappears behind her, and for a moment the mask breaks, despair and fear and anger and self-loathing dancing vibrantly across her face. By the time he returns, though, she is composed- or as composed as she can ever be, the edges still blurry, the remnants still there. Try, he says, and she nods, and swallows, waiting for him to slash at her (how many people has he killed this way, how much violence has he reveled in, does he imagine her fallen and bleeding on the grass, her fire both mercilessly and mercifully put out?) before raising her arm in turn, the blade a healthy distance from his wrist but the idea of it there.
- I want the words you're afraid to say:
the lonely ones you keep hidden
between the folds of your heart
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 29 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 28
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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#13
DEIMOS
Kindness wasn’t a weakness. Beneficence and compassion were strengths very few held in the world, to regard themselves in a pious, stalwart light, instead of blending into the darker, brutal reverberations of life. It was so much easier to decay and fester, to wither and fall apart, find the nuances, the nooses, the tethers, the strings, the strands, that tore another into shards and fragments, that made them twist and turn into moral and iniquitous lines. He’d decided long ago to walk over it as though it were nothing – and it hadn’t been, not by a long shot – but the warmth was absorbed, befuddled, shorn, and cut away; no time for its tenderness, for its generosity, for its indulgences, not when he’d become so numb and calloused, so isolated and detached.

He’d always admired her ability to simply tolerate and accept anyone in her path. But he wanted her safe too – this world had lost the considerate, altruistic intervals, the sway of repose; brought on by throngs and dins of commands, of promised chains. Besides hovering over her constantly like an overprotective guard, he could do this for her, give her some idea, some methods, some means to counter those willing to crush, demolish, and devastate.

She didn’t have to become him. She didn’t have to become any of them.

The Reaper had already seen her dead once – carried her still form into Vai’s threshold and waited, waited, waited. There’d been hundreds before her, once vibrant grins and loud, raucous laughter, days before the inevitable plunge into demise and execution, into disaster and annihilation, and no amount of his abhorrence, his wrath, his contempt, had saved any of them. Even when he’d gone and plunged his sword into those that had felled his brethren, when he turned back, their hearts had pumped their last beat, their lungs had shuddered their last breath. He couldn’t bury them again – not the souls here, not the souls there, not the souls already cast aside into purgatory, waiting for his descent into hell.

Amalia managed to compose herself, managed to conduct the activity, and he didn’t care if her heart wasn’t in it (it didn’t have to be), he didn’t care if she never wanted to commit to it again (she didn’t have to), just that the option was there. The beast would be willing to continue his tradition of slaying anyone in his path, in her path; she wouldn’t even need to say the word.

They followed through on lines and movements, on slashes and possible disarming, her blade sliding beside the air near his wrist – then he committed the same, intertwining limbs into motions like clockwork, like rituals, like habits, refined in the art of mayhem and menace. “Let me show you another way,” and he set them up in the same stance as before – slowly, carefully, artfully dragging his dagger so that it caught at her wrist instead of embedding into her skin. “You can do this to stop your opponent as well,” effectively blocking her knife from coming towards him, and he flipped his dagger as if he were wrapping it around her the smaller portions of her arm. Edges didn’t catch; a smooth transition, trapping her motions, her weapon. Then he pulled down, both of their arms descending, except he pushed forward, following through, into her frame, capable of striking her with the pommel of his dagger, should he push it up towards her face.

Then he backed away, throwing up his arm, intending for her to take up the new movement.

Because that’s what they were going to do – react, react, react, until they were finally somewhere, no matter how uncertain.
i'm in the mood to dissolve in the sky
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: 1,963
MP:
#14
Amalia
A deeper conversation is all I want from you-
Another way, another act. At least Amalia is easing into it, growing a little more relaxed. Some of it comes from repetition: as her muscles learn and re-learn the movements they become easier, natural, less like violence and more like dancing, the knife becoming an extension of her arm.

Most of it comes from him. With anyone else the girl would have faltered, fading and retreating into herself. She would have shuddered at being watched and judged, either for weakness (why can't you do this?) or commitment to violence (why do you still try?). The threat of disappointing would sit on her shoulders, weighing her down into the loam, crushing her into the grass, the dirt, until she was nothing, until she collapsed in on her own mistakes. Instead, she has him: he who holds her through the storm, who keeps her from falling, from sinking, from fear. As long as she has his eyes to sink in, the baker will stay afloat.

Nodding tersely, Amalia waits, her arm rising as she assumes the stance, waiting for his cue to strike. This time his blade catches hers and pulls; the girl takes a breath as his hand shifts and the knife flips, momentarily bemused, her dark eyes wide enough that she does not fully expect the retaliation, too caught up in admiring him as he perfects his art.

When her turn comes to repeat the movement the baker does not hesitate, though her action is a little different, and significantly less refined. She catches his blade and pulls it down, but does not flip the knife. Instead, Amalia replicates his earlier action, neatly sidestepping to come behind him, her hips twisting, her body flowing, perhaps not quite a soldier's dance but the only one she can do. A clatter; the knife falls from her hands, which instead rise up around his waist as she buries her head between his shoulders, taking in a shuddering breath. For a moment she lets the silence stretch, holding him tightly, taking solace in his warmth. "I don't think I'm meant to fight," she confesses into the space between them, her voice shaking, a gentle sigh. "Even pretending to hurt you, I... I hate it, Deimos. I'm sorry."
- 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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