who saves you
For Amalia
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
General of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 Abandoned, Level 2 Attuned - Strg: 20 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 16
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 764
MP:
#1
DEIMOS
the reaper
Most of his impending trepidation didn’t lie along the ominous vitriol of the Spire: he understood a majority of the stone’s prowess and might, the tenacity of venom slipping into lungs, the rippling effect of demolition and devastation. There was a goal in mind beneath its enmity and hostility, its open, scarring wounds, its infectious plague upon the rest of the world: the blight had to be eradicated, extinguished, for lives upon lives upon lives; individuals, gods, and worlds alike.

The dread was in telling Amalia their intentions of going back down again.

The Colossus truly debated on telling her at all: sneaking into the chambers without her knowledge, instigating and invoking deadly force, minatory enchantments, upon some hostile plants, and returning. But he knew there’d be no way all of them would come back without some form of marred moment, some emblem of massacre, some strand or folly that would give them away. The beast had done things for so long on his own, that the consideration almost felt right, almost felt normal, almost felt like the king on his throne, indifferent towards how many bellowed at him to cease and desist; destroy, destroy, destroy.

But she wouldn’t forgive him. He probably wouldn’t forgive himself either; furtive, specious, duplicitous, and secretive machinations were not the greatest standards for a relationship.

A portion of him also feared she’d want to go with them, straight back into the denizens of hell, the Stygian river with its smoke, fumes, and warrens. He couldn’t let that happen either.

So it was with growing disquiet and unease that he found himself in front of the bakery, Zuriel behind him, the usual haughty look removed from her features. As he glanced back at her, he only saw her nod, an imploring movement, maw indicating the door, trust pervading into his senses; her tone quiet, ardent, faithful. He sighed, turning back towards the aperture, wondering if it’d be better if he just hit his head against it. Instead, his hand went to the knob, and with the smell of pastries informing him she was inside, he opened the entrance, poking his head in. “Amalia?” The call was an affectionate murmur, not giving away the unease postured over his shoulders.
I am comfortable with violence
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 8 - Strg: 26 - Dext: 25 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 26
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,101
MP:
#2
Amalia

For my part, I know nothing with any certainty
She is making apple cakes when he arrives, the last batch about to slide in the oven as soon as there is enough room. It has been a productive day for Amalia, and she is in a good mood, humming as Deimos enters the bakery, black eyes glittering happily as she takes in his behemoth form. She wears his apron like a badge, the notebook abandoned on the small table in the front of the shop, a recipe half-scrawled within, lines crossed out and ingredients changed. She does not know why he is here, but she is glad to see him nonetheless, her heart swelling easily with affection for the man.

Hands white with flour and a streak on her nose, Amalia is a heathen, barbaric thing, wearing the warpaint of her profession with something akin to pride. She glances up at the sound of his voice, a smile spiltting her usually anxious face, love and love and love again written in the lines, the curves, the blood. "Deimos," she greets on an inhalation, slipping lightly around for counter, her bare feet silent on the wooden floor.

Like a wraith, a wisp, the girl appears, materialising easily into his orbit, comfortable and keen in his near embrace, her arms draped comfortably over his shoulders, tiptoed and ardent in the quiet shop. "I need to finish this bake. Have a seat?" A kiss is offered, ghosting over his lips before she once more pulls away, leaving flecks of flour in his beard. Slipping back to the florid ovens Amalia cautiously opens the door, looking to see the state of her current pastries, perhaps a minute from being cooked.

"Jyo is... Around," the baker hums. "There's some apples from Rory on the counter. And cake should be ready soon."
but the sight of the stars makes me dream
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
General of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 Abandoned, Level 2 Attuned - Strg: 20 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 16
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 764
MP:
#3
DEIMOS
the reaper
He watched the aura of contentment and productivity along the bakery, the hum and reel of movement, listening to the reverberations cast by her lips with another sensation of dread – eyes catching the apron she wore, emblazoned and molded from his hands, his magic, the notebook out, open, lines scrawled across pages, manifestations of their little nuances and assurances with one another. Revulsion and disgust contorted along his mind, to think that he was about to ruin the buoyancy and exuberance surrounding the threshold, that he was going to alter moods into condemnation instead of light, instead of cheer, instead of serenity. He had already disturbed the tranquility just by being here, mountain and shadow, shoulders pressed and weighed down by the impending topic and distortions; the way the earth shifted and turned in rapid, rapacious rhythm. At the love, adoration, and affection reflected on her features, his heart twisted and turned, the nefarious chambers and sinister angles flickering away from their stoic, blackened regions; but it still hurt, it still ached, it still presided with an agonizing fervency.

As she slipped before him, an easygoing movement, a portion to their dynamics now (besides the challenges, the teasing, the taunting – he didn’t have any of those motives in him presently), all he wanted to do was drop his head against hers and offer a thousand apologies, regrets, and rancor, the bitterness sticking to his teeth and tongue. But then she was a ghost, a wraith, a phantom in flour, proffering a kiss that he took because he was afraid (a stupid emotion for him to reside within: when he’d seen and experienced so much and this was what bound him to trepidation and consternation), indifferent towards the flecks of ivory suddenly burdening his beard. It wasn’t the first time.

She floated around again, like a sprite, like a fey, and he thought about slinking out the way he’d come, and she could try to explain the entire situation as one of his mercurial moods; but it would’ve been cowardly and shameful. So instead he slunk towards a chair, silent in his stewing and brooding, the melancholy void threatening to consume and devour him all over again. He should’ve been used to the sentiments, and for the most part he was; just not when it involved others. His hands toyed with one of the apples, batting it back and forth from palm to palm, precise and measured, a way for him to move while he thought about what to do or say. In the end, it was blunt, like most of his speech, his gaze solely riveted on her. “Vai, Remi, and I are going back down into the Spire.” He swallowed, waited for the anvil to drop, for the consternations to cease, but they just kept building, building, building, a piercing blade in his back. “We intend to kill the poisonous plants.”
I am comfortable with violence
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 8 - Strg: 26 - Dext: 25 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 26
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,101
MP:
#4
Amalia

For my part, I know nothing with any certainty
It would be nice for the world to remain peaceful, for tranquil love to permeate her bakery, their lives, if only for a day. Deimos takes his time to sit, silent, stoic, a stalwart shield; she can feel the uncertainty rolling from his figure, that there is something deeper at work, and she tries her best to ignore that knowledge, to push the fear away. Perhaps if she is vibrant enough whatever ills him shall simply fade; perhaps she can swallow despair and doubt, replace and repair it with passion and ardor. A day without turmoil is all she asks. A day where they can simply be.

Alas, such halcyon moments are fleeting now, wrapped in the darkness that threatens them all, issues and dangers bigger than them, purpose and plots and trying, always trying. Her back is to Deimos when he finally speaks, having just pulled the first batch of cakes from the oven, the second one ready in her hands, the scorching heat threatening to curl her hair, leave her as scorched without as she feels within. We are going back in the Spire. We are going back down. Fearful, furious, and a little bit resigned: they all play across the face turned away from him, her displeasure evident in the way she stiffens, frozen for a moment before the oven door. "Oh."

It feels pointless sometimes, to continue pretending normalcy is something they will ever have.

She says nothing more as she slides in the pan of cakes. She says nothing more as she turns around. And she says nothing more as she begins to remove the cooked goods from their ramekins, depositing them onto a cooling rack with surgical precision, her eyes never leaving her work. There is something dangerous in her silence, unusual, hard: it is a mask she does not wear very often, but one that slips on with no little ease. Behind it her mind is a frenzy of activity, emotions waging a deadly war, intention ripping through her heart, her bones.

"When?" Her voice is calm, if a little shaky, alto clipping slightly as she voices the syllable. Not why - she knows why, though why him rings and echoes through her skull, howls along with the rest of the storm.
but the sight of the stars makes me dream
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
General of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 Abandoned, Level 2 Attuned - Strg: 20 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 16
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 764
MP:
#5
DEIMOS
the reaper
There were days where Deimos had charged down the mountainside, persistent, a predator chasing prey, nothing at his back but the wind, but the stars, but the peaks. It’d never been a thought for himself – but those of his kingdom threatened, by shadows, by grasping hands and claws, by the ramifications of some other treacherous whim. No one would’ve cared if he disappeared, lost beneath savage predilections, brazen, emboldened rapacity, and daring blackguards. No one would’ve have gone to find him, the living, breathing weapon, finally buried in a tomb somewhere, irreverence and debts paid back in full; blood in the water, bones bleached on the paths. He made very little difference except in protection and brutality, those moments scattered along cliffs and glaciers, integral only to mercenary motivations, while the rest of the world changed, shifted, and evolved; he adapted to further desolation, to ice, to rancor.

Now, now he couldn’t because he had too much and he didn’t want any of it to leave, to disappear.

Maybe there were too many things to do in this world, to ever believe in repose. One could find it in less bitter, rancorous seasons, where the end didn’t seem so beckoning or looming, when the defiance wasn’t so vivid, when each individual had taken a collective sigh of relief, work done and accomplished. As soon as it was in the palm of one’s hand, it was gone quickly thereafter, and somewhere along the lines they must’ve missed it – between Zariah’s disappearance, musical crowns, abdications and rebellions, blights and poison and dying stars – the opportunities had been sizzled, frayed, and stranded. It was too late to wish, yearn, and long for them to return. They’d already come upon a new cycle, a looming, stark shroud, with stones, with marble, with known dangers and unknown omens. The chances were gone, fleeting.

He watched and waited again, brewing back into silence, and she must’ve done the same; conforming into hushed realms. He hated it – how the strings of serenity had all been destroyed and discarded because of his proclamation, and maybe he shouldn’t have come here and ruined the spell; perhaps he should’ve just gone into the tower and when he didn’t return…

His eyes and head dropped down, staring at the counter, at the tables, and then at the floor, listening, breathing, incapable of cutting the tension. He’d instigated it, and was being lacerated by it now, the soft oh in frozen motions, the inevitability of her discontent, how he really couldn’t solve any of it – damned and doomed to walk down the steps, straight into oblivion, all because of the enchantments sizzling between his veins.

Her quietude was damning, and he briefly wondered if that was how everyone else felt when he rendered into soundlessness; except hers was more threatening, more ominous, more daunting, so infrequent. The beast wanted to do something, taut and rigid, but then a calm clarity seemed to part from her mouth, a singular question. His eyes narrowed, and a sigh pulsed through his chest. “As soon as I can get fire from Rory.” Which seemed a strange statement, until he rifled through his pockets and produced the amulet Remi had made; laying it across the counter, the onyx stone beaming back at him. “Remi and I have already created the gas masks.” He paused, suddenly the one trying to fill the void, the abyss. “Zuriel and Isla will come too. We will leave them on the stairs and heal when necessary.” Because it would be, because they were going into an abyss they already knew well. Then the monolith didn’t know what else to add, the apple in his hands forgotten, only lifting his eyes to look back at her.
I am comfortable with violence
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 8 - Strg: 26 - Dext: 25 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 26
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,101
MP:
#6
Amalia

For my part, I know nothing with any certainty
She leans on the counter as he speaks, still dangerously quiet, her black eyes flinty, firelit steel. He does not say the thing she fears, the thing she knows lurks behind his words; and Amalia does not ask the question, does not push for the denial she knows will come. Her hands continue to work the cakes, muscle memory fueling the actions, comfort found in the routine. As soon as I can get fire from Rory- she watches as he slides a rock across the counter, not moving to grab it, not asking the questions on her tongue. Let him explain. Let him do the talking.

Amalia is done being the one to speak. She is done trying every time.

He continues to explain. Masks from Remi, unicorn guards, and still no barring of her participation, no threat or ultimatum that she cannot come. Slowly the baker begins to soften, unwinding a little, easing down. Perhaps she misjudged the behemoth; perhaps he knew the pointlessness of trying to keep her from this next misadventure, to prevent her from standing at his side.

"I will bring my staff," she states simply, looking at the apple in his hand. "Remi made the healing stronger." Her dark eyes rise to meet his blue, an unspoken challenge, the last of her defiance. Try and tell me I'm not coming. Try and make me stay behind.
but the sight of the stars makes me dream
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
General of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 Abandoned, Level 2 Attuned - Strg: 20 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 16
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 764
MP:
#7
DEIMOS
the reaper
The hushed precipices scalded, but he waited, waited, waited, a shadow, pressed and backed into the corner of his own making. Silence was a routine, to be still and stoic while the rest of the realm damned itself; but he’s the one orchestrating oblivion now, his own, others, and it burned and twisted its way into his gut like a knot, gnarled and distorted. He didn’t say all the words pressed into his skull, the things bordered and laced with fear, with apprehension, with recoil, with experiences tethered into his mindset. But they spiraled and shifted no sooner than her softening, not bringing her eyes to him at first, at her I will bring my staff saying far more than the lone phrase (you can’t stop me when he craved and yearned and longed to do just that). The clipped tones and syllables pushed and sizzled against him, a vehemence coursing through his veins, on the air hastened by sharp inhales, on his lungs, on his heart, on his soul. I do not want you to come; predictable, a prelude, a preamble, to everything else falling apart. I want you to be safe.

I cannot bear to lose you hung in there too, said once before, only to be rebuffed, rebuked. It still stood, gathered in his eyes.

He would like to have been a barricade, a wall, a fortress, not allowing her to pass, to wander straight into the midst of treachery and danger; but then, there was that blinding double-standard, the hypocritical venture to those measures. She was strong. He’d always told her that – brandished and beholden, anointed and consecrated, with convictions, with persistence, with beliefs, faith, and creeds – and here, when she was starting to smolder it against him, he was going to ask her to suspend it?

How many times had he asked warriors of his legion to come along with him? To strike out against terrors threatening their kingdom? To embolden, to lacerate, to demolish, and to diminish an adversary? Had he ever second-guessed them? Had he ever thought them weak? Had he ever thought them not up to the challenge? Had he ever faulted or doubted them? Had he ever shoved one aside because they weren’t enough? Tooth and nail, they’d driven onslaught after onslaught, side by side, waging and wreaking havoc.

The differences here were loss and love, too much of one, and not enough of the other.

I cannot bear to lose you, haunted and hovered again, a whisper in the anarchy, a truth in his vulnerabilities and absolutions.

The warrior was torn between protection and predilection – but as his stare went back to her, and he recalled all the moments, the instances, the events, that had tried to strangle them and failed. He surmised about how this world made soldiers of them all. He thought about being back-to-back, the sword and shield, careening into the realms of the unknown, blistering, condemning, and devastating those in their way.

“What else can you bring?” He asked, instead, instead, instead of the weight on his shoulders, the rigid contortions to his spine – he’d followed her into doom, and she’d follow him, and he clenched his jaw at the notion that one day it wouldn’t work anymore. Defiance and defiance and defiance, rooted and fortified in their blood, in their actions, in each and every spark of sedition springing past their lips.
I am comfortable with violence
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 8 - Strg: 26 - Dext: 25 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 26
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,101
MP:
#8
Amalia

For my part, I know nothing with any certainty
He wants to stop her, to tell her she cannot go. Amalia does not need to hear the words, to be told and threatened and begged to know- she can hear it in his silence, not the normal comfortable stoicism but the muted pressure of a winter storm, weighing down upon the bakery with weight to rival her electric still. Amalia does not need to see him fret, to watch him pace or puzzle to know- she can see it written in his silence, his reticent stance, the way he passes the apple through his hands, not eating, not settling, a storm beneath the stoic mountain, an earthquake in the deep.

Amalia does not need him to make his desires obvious, because his reticence and hesitation are fears they share between them, because if she could keep him from going back she would give her heart and limb and life, sacrifice to keep him safe. I cannot bear to lose you is a chord between them, tenuous and unsaid, tight and tautly wound. Why should you give yourself to the world, when you belong to me?

How can I claim to love you, if you don't?


Their eyes meet from across the shop, stone sinking into the sea, and all the unsaid things are a hurricane raging through her mind, louder than any cry or shout, silent as the grave. Her fingers clench upon the counter, her toes curl tightly on the ground, as she waits for him to judge her statement, to accept or defy, question or command. Stubborn, stalwart, she hunkers down, prepared to make her final stand, to push and plead and fight against him, to prove her worth again and again. I can contribute, I can help. Let me be your shield. When he opens his mouth at last to speak she is ready for denial, ready to be shot down, ready to rally against his protection, ready for anything except-

What else can you bring?

It is all Amalia can do to keep from flinching, a flicker of pain running across a face which quickly closes, angular lines as hard as stone, something sharp and cold in her eyes. So she had been wrong, all this time- it was not fear for her which made him falter, but a lack of faith, a hidden knowledge that she is not enough. What else can you bring, because her love, her ardency, her staff, her faith, these are not enough. It hurts in a way she did not expect, twists and lashes on her soul, because she thought, she thought, she thought, that he of all people saw her as enough.

Claw-like nails carve into the counter; fur rises over her neck, and her eyes begin to change, the leopardess rising from her fury, her pain. Somewhere outside the shop a cat yowls, and another one appears in the doorway, tense and bristling and staring at Deimos with the same intensity of the wounded, enraged girl. Remi and Rory, Ronin and Vai- these are the people he values, the ones he would take to battle at his side, and she?

She is nothing but a worthless girl, a baker playing at higher purpose, a wraith behind a shield.

"Nothing," she curls into the silence, her alto voice smoke and brittle glass, fangs behind her curled lips, ears laid flat upon her skull, an ocean of agony held at bay by the simmering wall of her wrath. "This is all I am. But I guess that's not enough."
but the sight of the stars makes me dream
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
General of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 Abandoned, Level 2 Attuned - Strg: 20 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 16
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 764
MP:
#9
DEIMOS
the reaper
Communication had always been one of his biggest flaws: words strained, rendered only when he felt the need, otherwise impassive, otherwise stoic, otherwise drawn into a reservoir of thoughts, phrases and syllables collected for the next interval. It was difficult to surmise everything and anything; so he rarely tried, brewing in silence, in fortitudes, regaining those glacial walls everyone knew he hid behind. Then no one could hurt, could maim, could devastate, could ruin, could bludgeon with vulnerabilities, with spoken vows, with broken reassurances. The only sentence he’d managed to utter here and now had been a colossal mistake, misinterpreted and disregarded in a passionate display of feathers and fangs, of fur and vitriol, of all the vehemence he’d always encouraged, all the convictions, faith, and belief – but blistering back at him.

It was the second time in a matter of days that his speech had been altered, reformed, for someone else’s prerogative. A pattern, a cycle; in the end, if these had been the occasions and circumstances, and he the common factor -  it must have been him at fault.

This was why he closed himself off. This was why he built up fortifications. This was why his expressions turned to ice and stone, cool, calm, chilling, a vibrancy of acrimony only on the inward slope of his heart, his lungs, his bones, his soul. Because this hurt. Because this lacerated, because this anguished. The enmity and discomfort crawled there now, visibly recoiling, tangibly pressing behind one of the many thresholds he’d laid down for her and slamming the door shut, safer without the exposure, without the shame, without the scathing nuances flying at him.

From her.

Colder and colder still, the depths of his eyes riveted back to hers – the tempestuous storm raging in their center, all the chiseled dormancies, all the restless intrigues, all the exhaustion and fatigue and the burdens of the world pressing down along the cluster of blue. He wondered if they would ever be beyond misunderstandings, or if they should’ve simply always hovered in mischief, away from the disasters, from the mayhem pushing and pulling them along. He wondered if he could phrase anything else as poorly as the previous statement, if they were revolving around and around and around the unspoken quandaries because it was easier than diving headfirst into what wasn’t being said out loud. He wondered if anything he said ever really mattered, or if it just bit and tore more, prospering acceptance, watching it become a spark to kindling.

The sword breathed, keen and blunt, but not baring his edges and fringes at her. He dropped the apple entirely, and reached across the counter to ensnare one of her hands, the claws and talons digging into flesh. “That is not what I meant.” His voice was calm but his hands were shaking, whether with rage, with consternations, with upheavals, or a combination of everything clustered and coiled within. He sunk into the smoke, the fumes, the fire, because it was what he’d always done, for an eternity, for lifetimes, for seasons and cycles, allowed her vehemence to pierce and pulse and pervade, swallowing the agony. “Is that what I said? That you were not enough? Were those the words that came out of my mouth?” Because he’d be damned if another being sought to snare him into a web, into a trap, into specious depths - never had he ever insinuated that she wasn’t enough, for him, for anyone, for the world. He’d actively encouraged her to pierce and to devastate, to ravage and savage, to be bold, to be audacious, to be strong. Had his support ever gone away? Had his devotion ever swayed?

Did she think so little of him?

Maybe he was right, and he wasn’t worth it in the end – undeserving, inept, ineffectual, everything he’d ever proffered cold, unbidden things – maybe she saw that now.

“I am terrified for you, and for everyone else going with us, because of the things that linger in this world, because of the danger around every corner. Because you have died before, and so have I.” His eyes narrowed, and the clamor stoked, fueled, funneled, rapacious, reverberating behind his teeth, along his tongue. “I only wanted you prepared. With a dagger, with a shield, something.”

Not like this; not bashing and tormenting one another.

He hung his head then, tired, the overwhelming weight pressing over shoulders and down the length of his spine – always a ferocious force, but capable of bending and breaking too. But his words rang loud and clear, so she could hear them over the drums of her anger, over the tension mounting and skimming along the bakery walls. “You are more than enough.” I am the one who is not.
I am comfortable with violence
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 8 - Strg: 26 - Dext: 25 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 26
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,101
MP:
#10
Amalia

For my part, I know nothing with any certainty
The moments stretch and strain and linger, so many, too many, her anger ticking like a time bomb, her insecurity rising like a tide. Misinterpreting and misunderstandings: they were inevitable, bound to come at some point, his reticence and her over-analysis crashing at last into glorious chaos, smoldering beacons of good intentions decaying into wicked ash. Her faults are carved into the wood, each claw mark another sign of her weakness, her anxiety and ineptitude swarming through her mind. I am not enough, I was never enough, I wanted to be enough, I can never be enough- the mantra has sustained the girl, as familiar as breathing. They are the words she repeated to herself when her grandmother died, when her mother left, when she stood on the bone bridge and wondered if she ought to follow in kind, when she stood before Ludo and wondered why she had been allowed to taste oblivion and had it snatched back. They are the beat of her heart, an ache in her bones, and he does not know, he cannot know, but oh, she wishes he did.

Her dark eyes drop as Deimos draws near, nails curling into her palms as he takes her hand in his. Don't, she wants to snap, to howl, to sob against his chest. Don't pity me, don't placate me, don't give me kindness I don't deserve. His limbs are shaking, a sign of the storm, and she wonders a moment if he will snap, if anger will roll from the glacial expanse, if at last he will tell her he has had enough. He asks if that is what he said- "I can't read your mind-" she snaps without thinking, a wounded animal lashing out, feral and ferocious and stupid with pain. The remorse is instant, and her hands curl tighter, pinpricks of blood springing up on her palms where leopard claws cut into human skin. But the implications cannot be swallowed: they linger, brazen, in their midst. She licks her lips and hangs her head, feline features still persistent, wounds and wishes behind her teeth. "I can't read your mind," Amalia whispers, her strong brows furrowed into a frown.

But neither can he read hers.

They are broken things in the silent shop, tense and coiled, broken and breaking, the fragile beauty of their bond threatening to tear away.

She wants to recoil from him then, not from any wound he inflicted, but because of the countless she's left on herself. She wants to save him from her insecurity, to release him from a contract signed without understanding of all that she is. A child, a small and simple and stupid; a bundle of anxieties and trauma and nerves. She wants to explain, to bend down, to beg, to be forgiven for the sins that she has committed, to be chastised and chagrined, for at least if he hates her she will be absolved of having to try.

Sometimes, it is easier to be lonely than to be loved.

He does not chastise. He does not rage. Amalia does not look at him as the behemoth begins to explain, confessing to fear with greater courage than she could ever muster. He tells her honestly what he means, and she knows that it is difficult, and she knows that he is right, and oh, she wants to run away, to sequester herself in silence and cry into the dark. She is not brave, she is not strong, she is not the things he thinks, the things he is. How can he not see her terror, every moment of every day? How can he not know how little she amounts to, how weak and pathetic and woefully small? It would be easy to retreat, to vanish into her own anxieties; it would be easier to yell, to let her anger flare and rage.

"I'm sorry."

It would be easy, but it would be wrong, because he is brave and bold and generous, and he deserves her honesty, if nothing else.

"I'm scared, too." The first confession is whispered, exhaled, fervent, and her shoulders slump. She tries to bring her limbs back to her, to wrap her arms around herself, not meeting his eyes, not yielding to his touch, not taking the blessings she does not deserve. "I'm always scared. Every day. I'm scared of everything. And I- I keep trying to be better, but I.." Her head shakes, curtains of hair falling over her face, obscuring the closed eyes from view. "It's not that you don't believe in me. It's that I don't believe in me. I've never been strong. And I've always been afraid. But- please, Deimos, I have to try. I have to do whatever I can. For Safrin, and Ronin. And for Remi. And for you.

"I can't lose you, Deimos. I can't."


She trembles as the words leave her lips. It isn't what she meant to say, and she isn't sure it will make sense, but it is all she has, all she is, sharp edges and jagged knives slicing wounds that never mend. There is blood on her hands, and it is hers, because nobody can hurt her more than she has already hurt herself.
but the sight of the stars makes me dream
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
General of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 Abandoned, Level 2 Attuned - Strg: 20 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 16
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 764
MP:
#11
DEIMOS
the reaper
I can’t read your mind fluttered and battered, a whisper, a snap, and they were both feral, both wild, both savage, caught in the throes and throngs of their own broken, embittered, brittle contortions. I can’t read your mind pummeled like an echo, like the claws on her fingers, like the formidable weapons that had long since left their scars on his skin. He wouldn’t want her to – to see the woes, the trials, the tribulations, the awful, barbaric intricacies, the catacombs and graves beneath his feet, the haunting, dreadful things stoked and kindled, incensed and infernal, the notions he bit and swallowed and consumed, the hell he saw every evening. Everything contained within was under lock and key, cloak and daggers, and very few could ever claim to have witnessed all. Beneath the plans, the strategies, the war-frames, the munitions, the snares, and the brutality, were just peeks of vulnerability, the architecture of lonely particles collapsing in on themselves; a sensation of desolation, of loss, of despair, of self-inflicted torture, of melancholy, of all the restless souls that had left him behind. A vessel, a shell, wrapped around enigmas and shards, collected fragments of nefarious hearts and their decayed chambers, their frozen channels, their bleeding veins; that’s all he’d ever been.

Sometimes he caught the rays of the sun and thought himself alive, whole, for an instant, for a second, for a brief, beatific moment.

It was easier to be lonely, to stretch himself out across an abyss and simply remain – existing, corporeal, tangible, unattainable, the Reaper on the mountains, brewing and brooding those chilling voids and formidable, intimidating condemnations.

But that didn’t mean it was better.

For all his abhorrence, havoc, and enmities, the sentiments finessed back into their own iniquities and shadows, sharpened on his reticence. Deimos shouldn’t have been that way, shouldn’t have hid, shouldn’t have tucked himself and froze from the inside out. But it was so innate, so inherent, so routine, to breathe in heathen brushstrokes and to smolder in his own wake, poised to annihilate, not comfort, to unveil meticulous predilections, not hang his head when the terrors of yesterday spoiled the present. Yet, if he was not allowed to run, to bolt, to retreat, to evade, to slide off into the distance, to slip away into his own mind, where the carnivore intentions would rather tear into torment, then neither was she. So while she gripped and seethed into her own palms, his fingers worked beneath them, intertwining, trying to pry the claws and talons from prickling into her flesh, trying to ease the anguish, the despair, when he didn’t even know how to fix his own.

He’d carry the world on his back for all of them – for any of them, cumbersome load upon load, not complain, not utter a single damned word, Atlas with broad shoulders, Colossus with eternal strength – until the day he fell apart and remained on the ground, covered in dust, earth, and ash.

So they’d both languished in fear – not for themselves, but for one another, for the rest of the inhabitants who attempted and dissolved just as much as they did – lashed out in anger, because it felt better to raise hackles than shake and tremble, because it felt easier to scrape and whittle away into nothing than ever give it a voice. He listened to her confessions, to her anxieties, to her concerns, to the worry that always seemed to plague her, to the lack of strength in her soul (he wanted to immediately refute, wrong, wrong, wrong). What was he supposed to say in response? What was he supposed to do that wouldn’t be rebuked, scoffed at, denied, or rejected? The little times he’d invoked concern, when ominous threats had beckoned, when warnings had pressed their scythe into skin and flesh and bone, had all been dashed away – as if they didn’t matter.

“Those actions make you brave.” He started, he inhaled, he exhaled, he sighed, he clenched. “That is what courageous people do. They are afraid, but they go and try anyway. That is all we can do.” He blinked, lowering his head, tilting it in attempts for blue to meet black, so there was a connection beyond the shaking of fingers, of hands, of forms and figures. “Think of all the things you have accomplished.” Just since he’d known her – and from legions and years before that, before Outlanders wandered into her midst, into her home, into her realm. “Think of all the lives you have made better.” The soldier could feel his lacquer peeling away, and he wanted to stick it back to his flesh, not reveal the depths, the bones, the clusters of coiled nuances and sentiments, hide, hide, hide, so no one could see, so no one could know.

Except her.

“You can try. I will not stop you.” As much as he wanted to; as much as the notion of that horrendous Spire loomed in the distance, poison and venom collapsing in on lungs and smoke, on their broken frames, on their unspoken vows, on the realm of reassurances that couldn’t be salvaged. It was for Ronin. It was for Remi. It was for a goddess. It was for everyone else who suffered, who had no idea that they were embarking and sojourning for their cause, their plights. His voice was quiet and hushed, looming in between the warmth of the pastries and the wounds they wore. “But I will protect you as best I can.” Sword and shield, shield and sword, not one without the other.

Hadn’t he told her before? I cannot bear to lose you. He’d fall apart. He was held together by so little now, the way her claws pricked at frayed strands, at portions he thought knotted and stable. He’d sink right back to where he’d been before, lost and diminishing, biding his time until hell swallowed him up again. “All I have ever done is lose.” His eyes narrowed down to the counter, to the desserts, not seeing them – not picturing anything but the fragile pieces and beacons pulling him along their haunted crawl. He lowered his head, breathing across their expanse, uncoiling, unraveling. “So we will triumph. Together.” And he had to believe it.
I am comfortable with violence
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 8 - Strg: 26 - Dext: 25 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 26
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,101
MP:
#12
Amalia

For my part, I know nothing with any certainty
His words are sweet, well-meaning, and unhelpful, but Amalia appreciates them nonetheless. She is calming, finally, soothed both by her outburst and by Jyoti's arrival on the scene, the little starwhale summoned from her sleep by the baker's clear distress. Spreading starlight and soothing sighs the girl's companion circles the pair, clearly agreeing with Deimos' assessment no matter how her bonded may not.

It is hard to stop being lonely, when loneliness is all you know; hard to believe that you are wanted when you've spent so long not wanting yourself. Leaning her elbows onto the counter, Amalia exhales a shuddering sigh, her eyes still downcast but her hands uncoiled, though red dots her palms and left upper arm. Fingers that are no longer claws intertwine into his; teeth that are no longer fangs click together as she clenches and shifts. She wishes she could open her mind to him, to let him feel her through the Attuned bond, but she fears it, too, for what would he find?

Maybe it is better if he does not know.

Amalia leans forward as he at last assents, gratitude and guilt in her chest. She does not want to worry him, but she has to do this, and he must understand. Pressing her forehead cautiously against his, the baker closes her dark eyes, trembling slightly as she seems his solace, their first fight not something she would like to repeat. They are too busy saving everyone else, too caught up in a grander war, to go the battle against each other.

"We'll protect each other," the gilded baker promises. "I'll be your shield. You be my sword."

And together, together, they will fight for the world.
but the sight of the stars makes me dream
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
General of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 Abandoned, Level 2 Attuned - Strg: 20 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 16
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 764
MP:
#13
DEIMOS
the reaper
For all the good his words measured, he might as well have remained silent, and it was half his intentions to do so again and again, replace every single wall torn down so no one could look in. He wanted to slide right behind fortifications, ramparts, and munitions, already disheartened by the barriers toppled and rebuffed, scorned upon and against, because neither wanted the other harmed, the other broken, the other barbed and marred. But life had its inevitable sway, its uprooting measures, its malicious excursions, and he knew, he understood, that he couldn’t control her, he couldn’t persuade her, to stay away from danger or treachery. How many times had they wandered into its midst already? And he’d be a hypocrite to say he hadn’t done the same – marching straight into flames and fury to guard others, no thought to himself.

All he could do was ensure she was safe when they were together.

The monolith shifted into her again, rapacious, ravenous sigh sinking into the air, as heavy as the burdens carried on their shoulders, on their spines, on their skulls. Their fingers were entwined, no claws, no talons, no vitriol or vehemence keening, furious and fervent; tired, exhausted, as if the world pushed, pushed, pushed, and forgot about its weight. Her forehead pressed along his, gentle, hesitant, and then he leaned in further, reciprocating, and closed his eyes, fatigued by the mess they’d rooted themselves within. The beast always fought, always resisted, a stubborn, tenacious brute, but she was not his adversary, not his enemy.

“Yes,” he agreed amidst Jyoti’s starlight and soothing, assuaging croons, swallowing down the barbaric fear encroaching through his chest, striving not to regret the agreement, suffocating, choking, stifling. Blade and foil, guards and security, provided for one another, and not left out in the dark.
I am comfortable with violence


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