A Port Unseen [Open]
Renaud Cartier


Age: 22 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander
Level: - Strg: 10 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 10 - Luck: 3
Played by: Nate Offline
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#1
Renaud seemed to suddenly appear a few feet above the dirt, almost suspended for just a moment.  The momentum of his previous moment - his previous life - seemed to carry him forward, and though he landed on his feet he actually tumbled forward and crashed to his side in the black dust surrounding the spire.  In an instant he was on his feet, hair flinging from side to side as he turned himself back and forth in desperate, furious confusion.  He had been seated, just a moment before ... no, not quite, not a seat, a creature - a horse.  His horse.  He and his men had been in the thick of a pitched battle, the sides fearfully even and the consequences of defeat grave.  What had taken place?  Had he been struck, knocked unconscious?  Had he spent weeks unconscious, only having just wandered from a military hospital in a daze?  Was he dead?  Was this heaven?


The young officer suddenly found the presence of mind to look down at himself.  He still wore his uniform - blue double breasted coat, white pants, and black boots.  Upon discovering that the sheath on his hip hung empty, Renaud suddenly recalled his sword had been in his hand whenever this transformation took place.  He must have dropped it.  Of course his carbine, previously slung over his shoulder, had also disappeared in one way or another.  What in hells had happened?  Cartier forced himself to ignore the slash on his left outer thigh, taking no time to assess its depth.  He felt a liquid pouring from the wound and mistakenly assumed it would be blood.  He took no time to check, but if he had he would have noticed its clear nature.  Renaud didn't know it, but he would never bleed red again.


Renaud spun again, and saw finally some tall building extending into the sky.  Couldn't be heaven, he thought, his gaze trailing slowly up the height of the tower, you don't go to heaven with wounds.  Must be I've found myself in hell.


He didn't know it, but the right side of his head was caked in gunpowder, sticking to his cheek and caking his hair to his head.  Falling upon his arrival had also left black dirt across his right side, leaving his uniform stained and ruined.  Stumbling around some feet from the tower, Renaud seemed almost like a dying man one might witness emerging from the thick fog of a furious battlefield.  He was lost, stunned, and desperate to return to his men and his battle.  His face was frozen in a look of maddened calculation.  Further, he could feel something...burning within him.  Almost like his insides were heating up.  This deeply confused him, and he could feel himself getting weaker and weaker by the moment.  He needed answers quickly.

Renaud speaks with a thick French accent.  It is very important to me that you know that.
Rathskeller Owner

Age: 19 | Height: 6' | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 11 - Luck: 8
Played by: charks Offline
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#2
i like it when you take control
Own me, I'll let you play the role
You've been investigating the big black dick in the sky, because when there's a big black dick in the sky why wouldn't you investigate it? Granted, it looks a little worse for wear: crumbly as all shit, and apparently hollow, like maybe it'll fall apart under a stiff breeze. Mentally, you make a note to tell Kiada to kill you if any part of you ever starts to look so awful, especially your dick.

Anyway. So you're sitting on a rock and eating an apple (of which there is a surplus in this shithole, but ask for a pomegranate and they treat you like you're insane) and admiring the BBD when *pop!* some poor sap appears out of nowhere, filthy as all fuck and looking like he just stepped out of a war. Not your type, but hey, you have a soft spot for the lost and lonely.

And you're bored.

Hopping down from your rock, you saunter toward the man, your long-sleeved black dress clinging to your curves. Stopping a solid ten feet away (you're not a moron; you know to be safe), you tilt your head, taking another bite from your apple and sizing up the man. "Well, then, soldier boy, don't you look a fright."
EZRA
i'll be your animal
Renaud Cartier


Age: 22 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander
Level: - Strg: 10 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 10 - Luck: 3
Played by: Nate Offline
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#3
Renaud hadn't had the presence of mind to consider for a moment that someone else might be around.  Quite a failure of instinct for a trained officer, but then again this was an entirely unique circumstance.  Cartier took a step toward Ezra, perhaps too energetically but not threatening - not intentionally, anyway.  He was surprised that the familiar stab of pain did not shoot through his leg, but assumed his nerves were preventing him from feeling much of anything.


What is he wearing he thought, robes?  Renaud had certainly never seen a man dressed in such a way, but he had heard of those in the east wearing robes.  Perhaps this was something similar.  Had Renaud been stolen away somehow, across a continent?  Cartier's head was spinning.  He felt that he could pass out at any second.  His insides were suddenly like a pot of water boiling over low heat.  It was so odd.  There was no pain, not quite, but he was intensely aware that something was happening to his insides.  Suddenly, some distant voice from within his head seemed to whisper to him.  Indoors, the voice seemed to say, go indoors.  


"Du ... Bonjour, je suis un -"  Renaud had begun in his native tongue out of habit, ignoring the stranger's comment on his appearance.  Then, realizing he had been addressed in another language he understood, he repeated; "Hello, I am -  I need to know ... where am I?  Is this ... Milan?  Piedmont? I need to return to the army."  He forced himself to ignore the stranger's odd dress, as well as the unique way he spoke and carried himself.  The young officer had never seen anyone like him.


Cartier's voice was shaky as he spoke, his nerves and weakness testing the learned confidence and strength with which he had taught himself to speak.  The fluid leaking from the wound in his leg, though colorless, was beginning to soak through the fabric of his uniform pants.  He forced himself to ignore a deep instinct in the back of his mind that was telling him the fluid itself seemed to be warming at a slow yet constant rate.

Renaud speaks with a thick French accent.  It is very important to me that you know that.
Rathskeller Owner

Age: 19 | Height: 6' | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 11 - Luck: 8
Played by: charks Offline
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#4
i like it when you take control
Own me, I'll let you play the role
Ooo, he speaks another language, isn't that exciting? Instantly the little soldier gains like ten points your eyes, though he was starting pretty low so there's still quite a bit of room for improvement. Fuck, but he looks like shit. You appraise him again, taking in the weird clear liquid wound and the dirt on his face and the fact that he looks like he's about to collapse at any minute. Poor little buck.

Wounded and lost, but at least he speaks common. You shake your head sadly at him, remembering this whole nightmare like it was last season (it was). "No, honey, you're in Caido. A magical fantasy shithole with unicorns and way too many trees and a big 'ol dick in the sky." You point a thumb at the offending structure rolling your shoulders in a languid shrug. "You came in through a portal, and now you're stuck here with the rest of us. Hope you like apples."

Stepping closer, you raise a hand to touch his cheek if he'll allow it, smiling sadly. "Don't worry, you'll figure it out. Or you won't." It really doesn't matter so much to you, now that you're sure he isn't dead. Though maybe Lucas will like him. Maybe you can bring him home.
EZRA
i'll be your animal
Renaud Cartier


Age: 22 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander
Level: - Strg: 10 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 10 - Luck: 3
Played by: Nate Offline
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#5
Renaud squinted his eyes as this stranger before him outlined his situation.  Caido? What ... Fantasy unicorns?  A portal?  Cartier was subconsciously shaking his head as the stranger spoke, although of course it wasn't for long.  Apparently this person thought it was a simple matter, or one that did not require much explanation.  Renaud, as was to be expected, did not feel the same way.  He began to speak, but was interrupted by Ezra's approach.


When Ezra neared Renaud, the officer's first instinct was to regain the former distance that had separated them.  However, before he could leap back, Ezra's hand was upon his cheek.  He should've felt it, but ... he couldn't.  His brow furrowed as he reached up and took Ezra's hand and, if allowed, moved it off of his face, holding it for just a moment before letting it go and taking a step backward.  For the brief seconds that Renaud had held Ezra's hand, he had been only distantly aware of the warmth in it that embodied all living creatures.  But the details - the creases of his palm, the ridges of his knuckles - were completely gone, as if Renaud's hands had gone blind.  He immediately ran his hands across his uniform, over its folds and buttons, until his hands found their way to his own face.  He felt nothing, no sensation from his fingers or response from his face.  


Cartier began to feel the icy tendrils of panic wrapping around his brain, almost squeezing it like a fruit.  Frustration was the immediate symptom.  "Sir," he said, his voice wavering, "I shall demand that you begin to make sense at once.  I do not know where this Caido is, I do not know what you mean by 'unicorn'," Renaud assumed it must be a mistranslation, a fault in his own understanding, but had no desire to take the time to clarify, "and have no time for your magical fantasy!  I lead a squadron of cavalry in the Republic's Army of Italy and I will be directed to my post at once or I shall have to write immediately to the army chief of staff!"


Renaud's voice had risen almost to a scream, the combination of his confusion, his wound, the odd heat within his body and his sudden lack of sensation proving too much for his mannered upbringing.


"So, Sir, I shall ask you once again; Where! Am! I!"

Renaud speaks with a thick French accent.  It is very important to me that you know that.
Cera Novik
Metalsmith / Medic

Age: 22 | Height: 5'5 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 6
Played by: Brit Offline
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#6
Cera was not one to leave a debt unpaid. Too many years guiding lost souls into safety, sharing his wisdom and comfort, had left him with the yearning to continue such endeavors no matter the realm he ended up in. In many ways he us blessed to be as adaptable as he is after facing years of change and upheaval. In others, it leads to situations like, well...this.

He's traveling through the outer lands of the Spire when he hears the shouting, large ears pricked and sensitive to the decibel of sound that rises in panic and distress. From the snippets he catches of the accented words, whoever has just arrived is much more disoriented than Cera had been. His stiltlike legs carry him swiftly across the leaf-riddled earth, urgency digging its talons into his muscles and yanking him along. There's little time to waste, if the man is not alone then he's not the only one in need of help.

He shifts before he reveals himself, the man yelling seems distraught enough and Cera doesn't want to set him off. But he approaches with his hands bare and at each side, trying to appear as unobtrusive and harmless as possible. "Hey, it's okay, let's calm down alright?" he speaks softly but firmly, ready and willing to try and take control of the situation. His verdant eyes fall to the bloodied garments on one of the men, and he steps a little closer, hoping to draw his attention. "Sir, you are wounded. I am a medic, will you let me attend to you while we all figure things out?" He uses his healer voice, keeping it soft and comforting, hoping to draw the frenetic energy away from the man's mind.

He seems ancient in time and dress, and Cera knows firsthand the confusion of that. With a glance of his eyes he gently inclines his chin at Ezra, hoping to signal for the man to move further away. "My name is Cera, can you tell me yours?" If he could get him calmed and talking, perhaps they could figure things out.
Cera
The worst in me could bring out the best in you
Rathskeller Owner

Age: 19 | Height: 6' | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 11 - Luck: 8
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#7
i like it when you take control
Own me, I'll let you play the role
I'm sorry, did he just scream at you? Um, yeah, no fucking thanks.

Blah blah blah fantasy, blah blah blah Italy, blah blah blah chief of staff. Oh, man, were you this obnoxious when you showed up here? At least you didn't scream at anyone, confused as you may have been. Rude. Disgusting. Obnoxious. Un-hot. Stepping away from the filthy disaster, you cross your arms and wrinkle your nose. "You're in Wonderland, darling, high as a kite. Maybe consider laying off the opium, hm?"

Luckily for the both of you, an incredibly short little man appears out of nowhere to step in. Not your type, but you're happy to have some backup at least. "I am calm, Munchkin," you reply imperiously, turning up your nose and stepping further away. "He's the one who's an un-hot mess."

You're ready to be over this, but something stays you a moment, something you noticed but didn't register at first. Glancing back over your shoulder at the pair, you lower your brows a moment, frowning. Curse your perfect heart of 24 carat gold. "You know, Rainy, your blood isn't blood. Pretty sure you're in danger of catching on fire, if you stay out in the sun."
EZRA
i'll be your animal
Renaud Cartier


Age: 22 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander
Level: - Strg: 10 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 10 - Luck: 3
Played by: Nate Offline
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#8


Renaud narrowed his eyes at the stranger across from him.  "Opium?  I shall have you know -" ... He was suddenly interrupted by a third voice, belonging to a small figure that had appeared so suddenly.  Cartier glanced over at the newcomer for a brief moment, his irritation with Ezra almost clouding his eyes, but something forced him to take a second look.  His eyes became fixed on the stranger, some odd force almost demanding that Renaud give this new person all the attention he could muster. This new man entered the situation with an apparent desire for peace, his voice soft and warm:

"Hey, it's okay, let's calm down alright?"

Renaud blinked twice, his being seemingly ripped in three or four different directions.  He almost didn't register Ezra's characteristically sardonic replies.  The stranger in black had spoken before Renaud could muster the ... ability?  The courage?

Ezra mentioned something about catching on fire.  Renaud wanted to push for an explanation, but before he could the third stranger had identified himself.  His name was Cera, and he wanted Renaud's.  

"I am Cornet Renaud Cartier," he said with as much dignity as he could muster.  Cornet was a low rank, essentially the lowest an officer could have, but perhaps these strangers wouldn't know the difference.  He made an attempt to take a step forward, but it was with his wounded leg and the step became something more of a stumble. He retained his footing, but only just.

"This ... gentleman has not the manners to answer my questions directly and insists on playing games.  Time is not on my side so you shall forgive me if I must demand frank and honest information.  This man appears unwilling to give me such a thing.  He speaks, if you can believe it, of magic, unicorns, and now of catching fire in the sunlight?"  Renaud nearly choked on the end of his sentence.  Some small part of him, hidden deep away within his heart, seemed to be screaming at him that there was truth to Ezra's comment about catching fire and having ... bloodless blood.

"You seem civilized, Cera, so I will turn my questions to you.  Where am I?"  He cleared his throat.  

"And, du... you may do what you can for my wound.  I hate to impose but it must be more severe than I at first thought.   I find myself feeling quite weak at the moment, physically speaking."




Renaud speaks with a thick French accent.  It is very important to me that you know that.
Cera Novik
Metalsmith / Medic

Age: 22 | Height: 5'5 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 6
Played by: Brit Offline
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#9
Everything hangs tensely for a moment, though the long-haired fellow seems to rebound with a quick and careless grace that is - while annoying in some ways with his choice of words - at least a relief, as clearly Cera doesn't have to try and help him as well as the newcomer. Though at his little quip, Cera can't help but send a wry smile his way. "Height can be a deceiving measure of size," he quietly snips back. Of all who found him short, Cera was the number one. His original form had been so tall and long-legged, it had been a confusing change to suddenly be so...vertically challenged. He'd heard every joke in the book though, so the man's comment rolls off like water on a duck's back.

Instead he turns his full attention to the stranger, who is blinking slow and still clearly distressed. Cera turns to face him fully, leaving Ezra to wander off wherever his whims take him as he was clearly fine. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Renaud," he says softly instead, mustering a warm but cordial smile. Cera can't help but jerk forward in instinctive desire to grab and help support Renaud when he stumbles, but he withholds his touch at the last moment.

His heart aches as the man despairingly lists the admittedly hard to swallow list Ezra had given him, the pinch of his face squeezing in Cera's chest. He is so lost, so unsure, and Cera relates so much but he knows the news he has to deliver will only be marginally better worded than what Renaud had already been told. Some battles are not meant to be won, some wounds cannot be stalled, and he knows this. He is a wise, aged soul despite this youthful body, and though he wishes to spare Renaud from the pain of displacement he knows he cannot in good faith do so.

At Ezra's parting words his shoulders stiffen, realizing exactly what he's dealing with past his own suspicions. "First let's get to some shade, I may need you to sit to wrap that wound. Do you need help?" If Renaud is truly an Ascended, Cera needs to get him out of the sun. He offers his elbow and shoulder for Renaud to take if he desires, but otherwise does not speak until they can get further under the canopy of the trees by the Spire. He can't risk spooking the newcomer with knowledge he does not want to hear, and sending him further off into the woods.

"I know what I am going to say will sound confusing, but I ask that you trust I'm only telling you the truth," he prefaces. "This land is called Caido. I'm afraid you have arrived here through means we cannot explain well, but this is not, ah - what did you call it? - Italy. I know that is frightening, but I will answer as many questions as I can, as quickly or slowly as you need them." He's wary of giving too much information at once and overwhelming Renaud, so he leaves it at that for now. Renaud had seemed more concerned with knowing where he was and how to return to his post, and hopefully the answer to that will settle him enough for Cera to wrap his wound.

Nimble worker's hands dive into his satchel to pull out gauze from the Infirmary that he'd started carrying around, as well as a small vial of witch hazel to clot the...fluid. He's unsure how the clear fluid works for Ascended beings, but it's better to at least try. Gesturing with the gauze, Cera waits for a physical response from Renaud before he gets close enough to begin treatment.
Cera
The worst in me could bring out the best in you
Renaud Cartier


Age: 22 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander
Level: - Strg: 10 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 10 - Luck: 3
Played by: Nate Offline
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#10

Renaud gave a polite smile and a nod to Cera, grateful for the stranger's kindness and efforts.  When Cera offered his arm, Renaud took it against a desire to appear independent and competent.  Truth was, consciousness was beginning to run away from his grasp.  It was all he could do to lean on Cera's shoulder and hobble to the shade of the trees without collapsing.  He wasn't sure he could muster any words for that time, so he didn't try.

When they reached the shade, Renaud essentially crashed against the trunk of the tree and slid to the ground.  His vision was cloudy and his insides felt as if they might catch on fire at any moment.  The liquid seeping from his wound would be especially warm, almost hot, to the touch.  Still, his feeling was improving with every second they spent in the shade.  The instinct in the back of his mind, previously a blaring alarm, had mostly subsided.  Renaud wouldn't notice for some time, but he wasn't breathing.  An affect of his deeper transformation of which he was not yet aware.

He seemed to calm, and allowed his eyes to truly survey the surrounding territory for the first time since he had arrived.  The spire, now some distance away, climbed into the air until it was hidden from his vision by the beginnings of his tree's canopy.  Black dust coated most of the ground around it, at least up until the beginnings of the forest.  Just before him was Cera, a kind and soft presence despite undeniably masculine features.  Cera did not match the conventions of his time, but Renaud's usual prejudices were buried away for respect of the stranger's generosity and kindness.  Cera reminded Renaud of those pristine marble statues he had seen in the capital of his home country - they had always possessed an otherworldly beauty, Renaud had thought, and Cera did too. Of course, the little Cornet wouldn't have quite put it that way, but I've done it for him.

Then Cera spoke further, and tore Renaud from his dreamy thoughts about statues and beauty.  Cera confirmed the most essential facts of what the previous stranger had told him - confirmed that Renaud himself was a man out of time, stripped from his own destiny and life and thrust into a new one in this Caido.  His eyes flickered down to the ring on his left hand.  The little band of gold had never meant much to Renaud, but all at once it seemed to symbolize much more than his loveless marriage.  The ring seemed to hold in it everything he had ever known - all his friends, his enemies, his parents and siblings.  He even missed his wife, cold though their romance was.  Tears welled in his eyes, the same liquid that oozed from the wound in his leg and at the same temperature.  If Renaud could feel pain, he likely would have slapped the tears away as the heated liquid fell from his eyes and touched his cheeks.  But he couldn't, and so he allowed himself to cry slow little solitary tears in the shade.

Noticing that Cera was waiting to begin tending to his wound, Renaud gave him a polite but distracted nod.  His gaze had floated up towards the leaves in the trees as his fingers absentmindedly fiddled with his wedding ring.

"Caido."  He repeated the name quietly, turning it over against his teeth.  His new home.

"Caido."  Renaud sniffed, and wiped a tear from his face.  It had already been long enough in the shade that he was feeling mostly good as new.  Even the wound in his leg was no bother, but he knew that logically it would be best to handle a gash like that even if he couldn't actively feel it.  And Cera was here, apparently happy and willing to give him aid, so he had no desire to say no.  The cornet spoke as his leg was tended to.

"I suspect at any moment I shall awake in my bed and give my wife a terrible fright.  Or in paradise, perhaps."  He gave a sad little laugh, his sharpened canines briefly flashing out from behind his chapped lips.  "Or perhaps this is paradise." Or purgatory.  It made more sense than any theory Renaud could find.  He had arrived here through unknown means, feeling no pain despite a wound on his leg, and without his weapons.  Cartier figured it might as well be the afterlife, and Cera might as well be an angel sent to guide him through to rest.  Something told him this wasn't the case.

"What about this place changes the senses?"  Renaud dropped his head to look at Cera, attempting to catch his eye if the stranger wasn't too busy with his work.  "My wound, I cannot feel it.  None of your work so far as elicited even a tinge of pain or irritation. Why is that?  I have been wounded before, much lighter wounds than this, and even they stung in the healing.  Even the grass beneath my hand, I feel nothing, no tickle of the blades against my palm.  What causes this?"  He spoke with a sense of calmness which he had not possessed since arriving.  His tone was almost that of a man condemned.  His voice had the low, slow melancholy of one who knew death had come to claim him.  He spoke steady, but lifeless.  He waited for Cera to speak.








Renaud speaks with a thick French accent.  It is very important to me that you know that.
Cera Novik
Metalsmith / Medic

Age: 22 | Height: 5'5 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 6
Played by: Brit Offline
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#11
Slight though his form was in this realm, Cera gives all the support and strength he can to the man who takes his arm. He may not be able to provide emotional tethering in the way Renaud needed, but this at least - the machinations of healing and preservation - was something within his control.

At least beneath the boughs of the tree, in the shade where the sun could not harm him, the displaced man seemed more at peace. Cera did not dare to interrupt the flow of his thoughts, the weight of all he had to carry from such a discordant arrival to Caido. Instead he focuses on the bandaging, the clearing of the wound, biting his lip as the heat of the fluid temporarily burns as he exerts pressure upon it. It is a distraction from the ache in his heart when he glances up to see listless tears dripping silently down Renaud's face. There is so little he can do, and it hurts to be helpless in the face of such pain and grief.

As he ties off the bandages he sits back on his shins, kneeling before the crying man with a look of deep sympathy on his face. One hand remains overtop the bandage, unable to part physically, needing the closeness for his own sanity and hoping it would not set off the stranger too badly. Masculinity had weird laws that Cera did not understand, had never understood. Marriage, however, he did. Though no lover of his had ever stayed, always drifting away when he tried so hard to make them love him as deeply as he did them, he could understand the grief of losing a partner. Or at least that is what he assumed had spurred the tears, the romantic that he was.

"It's not an impossibility," he offers softly, tucking hair behind his ear to better regard the man beneath the dappled sunlight. "But it is...unlikely. I don't wish to give you false hope, nor lie to you even to temporarily ease your pain." Sometimes Cera wished to be taken away, swept back to a place where his family remained. But where were they, if anywhere? Together, scattered as he was? How much time had passed? Did they remember him at all, or was it just a vague recollection as some of the other Helovians recounted? He could not wholly relate, having so many loved souls out there like ships in the night instead of one steady beacon to want to follow home.

At least Renaud seemed intent on more information, and Cera folds his hands in his lap and stares down at his wringing fingers for a moment before lifting to catch the man's intense, breathtaking gaze once more. "We are not all the same kind of person in Caido. There are differences between us, abilities that some have and others do not. They each have names, groups they belong to. Accepted, Attuned, Ascended, Abandoned." He lays them out slowly to emphasize their importance. Fae could wait till later - he barely knew of them in passing himself, and as an Outlander it was not something Renaud had to concern himself with yet. "I am an Attuned. I can shift my body into that of an animal at will. It is a reflection of my soul, and many who come through to Caido in the manner you have find themselves in one of the four categories without their own input.
It's so difficult to say in simple terms, ones he hope won't send Renaud into another fit or a breakdown.

Taking a deep steadying breath the golden man grazes a palm over the bandaged wound. "You are an Ascended. Sunlight will hurt you until you grow stronger over the years, and your senses are...dulled. That is why you cannot feel the pain, or the pressure of my hand. I'm not the most well-versed on Ascended, but I will do my best to help you find someone who may teach you if you need?" It's more of a kind gesture to offer than anything, because Renaud needed a guiding hand. One Cera, as an Attuned and an Outlander at that, could not provide. No matter how much he wanted to, if it meant easing the handsome man's burden.
Cera
The worst in me could bring out the best in you
Renaud Cartier


Age: 22 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander
Level: - Strg: 10 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 10 - Luck: 3
Played by: Nate Offline
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#12

Renaud narrowed his eyes as Cera spoke, teaching his lessons of races and abilities. It was quite a shock to the young soldier. He could understand cultural and aesthetic differences between peoples, but this sort of thing had absolute no counterpart in his own time and place. Cera could ... transform himself? Into animals? Cartier's immediate instinct was to accuse Cera of lying, or at least of stretching the truth, but his new friend had given no indication that he was up to no good. His words, Renaud thought, must be the truth.

And this meant that he was wholly different, wholly unhuman and perhaps permanently. Oddly enough, after the day he had had so far, the news hit him with a dull thud rather than a sharp stab of panic or fright. He nodded slowly once or twice as Cera finished speaking, allowing a lull to settle over the conversation as Cartier dealt with the weight of the words he had just been given.

"You are very kind," he finally replied, "and if it would not be too great a bother I would very much like to have some words with an ascended. It seems vital to learn what they - what we, are." He sighed, his gaze growing aimless as his thoughts began to consume him.

All at once he seemed to snap out of it, his eyes darting up to meet Cera's. A fire had been lit in his belly, the kind of which he had only felt a few times in life when a choice or potential action seemed of monumental importance.

"My friend, you have done more for me than I ever could have rightfully asked for. I am in your debt." He pressed his back against the tree, giving it his weight as he pulled himself to his feet. Renaud maintained his gaze on Cera, whether the blond Attuned had remained kneeling or risen to his feet to match Renaud.

"If you know another Ascended, I would be further indebted to you for bringing us together. Failing that, I shall like to have a look at a map of this Caido if at all possible. Are there things like libraries here? Or museums? I shall also require new clothes at the earliest convenience, not only to protect myself from the sunlight but also because these are filthy just now ... but without money or employment I imagine that shall be quite difficult. Say," he glanced back at Cera. His rapid word vomit had drawn his gaze inward, away from the man ahead of him.

"Does this Caido have an army? I don't suppose my talents are suited for much more than warfare. It is of no matter, I shall find some means of employment." He looked back at Cera. His voice was even, his speech quick and low almost as if he was only talking to himself. When Renaud looked at Cera, the previous wonder and admiration behind his eyes was gone - not eliminated, but perhaps buried beneath a sudden wave of motivation to gather his bearings and figure out what he would do next. Renaud the Soldier had taken over, leaving Renaud the Scared Boy behind at least for the moment.

"Apologies my friend, I've given you no time to give me any reply at all. Do you know an Ascended?"




Renaud speaks with a thick French accent.  It is very important to me that you know that.
Cera Novik
Metalsmith / Medic

Age: 22 | Height: 5'5 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 6
Played by: Brit Offline
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#13
Renaud was a patient listener, but Cera could not help but gnaw on his bottom lip nervously at the pervasive stillness of the man before him. Beyond the reality of the fact that he didn't need to breathe anymore, there was a look of impending shock about him for a moment. Cera couldn't imagine the inner strength it took, the trust in him that it took, for Renaud not to scream in his face that he was a liar and take off into the unknown lands. It was certainly a lot of information to say the least. He was just grateful that he had been in the right place at the right time, to comfort and guide with his own gentle hands instead of the double-edged cruelty and humor of the previous man.

When he finally speaks, Cera's shoulders droop in relief, and his smile turns shy. He has found that the long curtain of his hair is a wonderful wall to hide behind, and ducks his head to let it conceal him once more. You are very kind. It's not the first time he has heard it, and he supposes that's something to be proud of. Still, it strikes him to the core every time. How harsh had the world been to Renaud, that bandaging him and giving him vital information was a kindness to be commentated upon?

"It would be no bother to me at all to help you find another Ascended," he assures confidently, lifting his gaze and feeling more settled in his skin at the prospect of a direction, a purpose. More than just empty words and a spare strip of bandages. It all felt so small in the momentousness of Renaud's arrival, the weight and burden placed on the soldier's mantle. This at least was a path to tread. A way to do more than fill the man's ears with fanciful words and send him on his meandering way.

Cera is too startled to stand, though he rises on his knees, hands out in concern as Renaud rises. He's not sure he can catch the man comfortably if he falls but he will certainly try. Luckily there is no need for it, so eventually he drops his hands and rises as well, uncertain what the man hopes to do next. "You don't owe me anything," Cera insists in the space between sentences, adamant that what he had done was not worth such grandiose responses. He only wanted to put good into the world, and perhaps it would find its way back to him. Debt was too much of a power imbalance to the blond man.

Failing his brief interlude, Cera has no room to speak or answer any of the multitude of questions Renaud spouts. Instead of growing exasperated he merely smiles, amusement dancing like firesparks in his eyes. It gave him hope and peace to see Renaud's fire returning, the pallor of his face fading into a healthier gleam, his eyes bright at having a goal in sight. This was the man beneath the shock, the defensiveness, the wandering. It was heartening to see him bloom. And when at last he realized he had been speaking too swiftly and apologized, Cera only laughs and pushes his hair back, enjoying the cool breeze upon his face as the stress and anxiety of their meeting faded away.

"I've only met one, her name is Wessex. She is rather short at times, but not unkind when I met her. We can find her together," he pledges, already trying to scrounge up bits of street information he'd garnered after their run-in with the dirt monster in the outskirts. Then he begins to answer the deluge of questions he had been drowned with, as patient here as he had been when they had first met moments ago.

"There are no libraries, and I don't think the land is old enough to host a museum. However there is a guild, a group of knowledge and lore seekers, and they would likely be more than happy to answer any historical or geographical questions you have." Jigano at least would be an asset to the man, and Cera trusted in his quality of character. If he was patient enough to walk Cera from the shadow of the Spire to the Settlement while hopping from branch to branch as a raven, he likely wouldn't mind sitting and weaving information around Renaud's busy questions.

"There's not much by way of currency here, it's more of a bartering system. Don't worry, I can hunt very well in my other uh...shape. I don't mind exchanging some meat to get you some clothes," he assures, already doing the mental math and eyes skirting up Renaud's body to visually measure how much fabric would be needed. He was certainly no seamstress, but his ability to visualize and measure in a three-dimensional space as a crafter at least let him know how much he'd have to offer to get Renaud more than basics. "You'll likely need long sleeves, a coat, some new boots, perhaps a wide-brimmed hat..." he murmurs to himself, stepping forward to peer closer at Renaud, thumb rising against his lips in his habitual manner as he mumbles. Only to jerk and remember himself when his gaze finds Renaud's wheatfield hazel eyes, glancing away immediately.

"I'm not certain about an army..." is admitted cautiously, or perhaps thoughtfully. Cera had spent his entire life raised by a General, then a commander. Such machinations were well-understood, though he couldn't help but despair at the idea of Renaud going right back into a dangerous situation. "But I'll have to stock up on medical supplies if you're intent on getting yourself into more trouble," Cera decides to say instead, smile finally returning. It was what he'd always been good at - being the one to come home to.
Cera
The worst in me could bring out the best in you
Renaud Cartier


Age: 22 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander
Level: - Strg: 10 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 10 - Luck: 3
Played by: Nate Offline
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#14

Renaud, knowing he had taken plenty of time to speak for himself a moment ago, waited patiently as Cera spoke.  He felt as if he was in a commander's tent pondering maps and battle plans on the eve of a great fight.  His fears and worries were being forcefully buried under a wave of drive to get something done.

As Cera began to discuss new clothing, Renaud wanted to open his mouth and make it known that something was unnecessary and certainly not anything that Cartier had a right to ask for, but then Cera took a sort of unconscious step forward and the words caught in Renaud's throat.

There was an odd fluttering in his chest as Cera's eyes flickered away from the soldier's gaze.  The long-haired man continued, seemingly unaffected, joking about medical supplies.

"Well ... "  Renaud's voice wavered as he began to speak again, an odd instability having reached into his chest and taken hold of his heart, "That, uh -" he cleared his throat and continued.  "I suppose you shall 'stock up' if you like, but I have not made a habit of getting myself wounded.  Present circumstances notwithstanding."  He smirked, and glanced around at their surroundings.

"You offer more help than I could ever ask you for.  I would very much like to meet this Wessex, and this guild."  A to-do-list was building in his mind.  

"And clothes ... It feels unfair for you to spend time hunting and bartering just to procure me new boots."  A wide smile appeared on his face as his eyes flicked back to Cera's. "However, I will need some different clothes to fit in, I suppose.  Not to mention the nip in the air."  He laughed quietly. "And these are filthy, aren't they.  If you wouldn't mind too much, Cera, I would accept your help."
Renaud speaks with a thick French accent.  It is very important to me that you know that.


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