never let them drain the river of your soul
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 5 Attuned - Strg: 21 - Dext: 21 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 18
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 930
MP:
#1
DEIMOS
Promises built on predilections and precipices had somehow managed to conform and exist – not a vow severed or a conviction unhinged, but alight, capable of being guaranteed. It was a measure of satisfaction and endeavors, a light sigh of relief when everything was done and completed, when they’d survived, when they no longer breathed in poison and venom, when they’d returned no lesser or seared then when they’d started. Between earthen tomes and lightning crashes, scathing burns, banners of death, and astral projection, they’d conquered, they’d devoured, they’d swallowed and consumed, instead of the other way around – and it was relishing, it was scintillating, to be able to walk with his head held high, instead of downcast, forlorn, and dejected; the weight on shoulders not so heavy, not so burdensome, not so substantial, carrying it without the dreadful consternations maligned on his brow.

Because maybe there was a hope that they’d done something for the greater good, and there would be change in the air, and poison wouldn’t spread from the basement, out into the void, and the King could be healed – and things could fall into place.

There hadn’t been time beforehand for congratulations, for an extension of his pride towards the Harpy’s efforts at the Cloisters, and in the zeal of success and achievement, Deimos thought about setting it to rights. Along the morning thrall, he’d melded and molded a blade from his hands, carving an intricate hilt into its pommel, decorated and adorned with mountain peaks and wolves, an elegant flourish of feathers and plumes etched into the beginning of steel. Thereafter, he followed the same pattern with a shield, though unlike Amalia’s star-patterned titanium, Kiada’s was anointed with antlers, spread out from the center and elongating to the sides – a representation of Auni, and a combination of all her other elements, except fire. On an afterthought, he sculpted the fringes like flames, so they rose along the tips of the guard like embers had once burned on her back. Upon completion, he placed both artifacts in his bag of holding, carrying it over his shoulder, and then, accompanied by Zuriel, made his way for Kiada’s house.

She was nearby; which was intriguing, because maybe both of them had a knack for avoidance of people, placing and tracing their foundations on the fringes of streets, her home easily distinguished by the lantern floating at the front. He presumed it was a marker for Ru’in, twice lost, once amidst shades of destruction, once in the harpooning void of LongNight. The impending notion of that particular event rising again loomed at the back of his mind, but he chased it away for now. There were other moments to consider, almost-Guardians and plant-killers, and for once he was in a good mood, a rarity not to be diminished or slashed away in an instant.

The warrior lifted his hand towards her door, glancing over his shoulder, looking for Amalia, nodding at Zuriel, who’d taken to guarding the exterior (i.e. grazing), and swiftly knocked.
He was something solid
to lean against
violent and fierce and unmoving
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 10 - Strg: 26 - Dext: 27 - Endr: 27 - Luck: 28
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,328
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#2
Amalia

For my part, I know nothing with any certainty
Amalia, too, has meant to congratulate, wanted to offer Kiada praise, to hum her pride into her ear and soothe her wounds with balms and faith. Delah's onslaught had been expected, but painful nonetheless, leaving the baker wincing in her place among the stands. But Kiada had responded with maturity and poise, and the leopardess felt a fierce pride for her cub, for all the girl has overcome and all the mountains she has yet to climb.

She had meant to tell her all these things, but time was never on their side. Spires to plunder, plants to kill; they have been busy at every step, tangled up in new misadventures until there is no time to breathe, no room for anything to push and push, because if she stops moving then others might drown, and that cannot be allowed.

Still, Amalia is grateful when Deimos comes to fetch her, immediately agreeing to visit Kiada, to congratulate and regale her with their success. Plants are slayed, Spires crumbled; the Sword and Shield survived it all, along with all their friends. It is not a solution, but it is a step, and Amalia prays that at least for now it will be enough to offer respite, to help if not quite save their world.

A basket of treats upon her arm the baker steps out into the sun, slipping her hand in Deimos' own as they make their way through town. She knows the way to Kiada's home, though more often the Harpy comes to the bakery, makes herself busy assisting the shield. Standing blinking as the behemoth knocks, she raises an eyebrow and smiles slightly, surprised by the formality of the act. Without any ado Amalia steps forward, pushing into her young friend's house, a starwhale darting in ahead. "Kiada? Are you home?"
but the sight of the stars makes me dream
Kiada Njovu-Reyes
Mercenary
Age: 22 | Height: 5’7 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 14 - Luck: 10
AUNI - Regular - Luxere
Played by: Skylark Offline
Change author:
Posts: 468
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#3
shield for a heart,
and a sword for a tongue
The Trials had happened, and she had lost. All things considered, she had come to terms with it. She had been welcomed to the woods, and there was nothing more than being able to feel the freedom of the Greatwood winds sing their songs beneath her feathers. But she had gotten tired quicker, sick quickly, and it had happened so fast and suddenly since the Cloister she just didn’t have time to tell Amalia or Deimos.

Or worry them from their huge task ahead.

And she had sulked and worried, sick and trembling beneath the catacombs of the ruins when she stumbled across Jigano, a conversation she had wanted but still couldn’t get it right. Still, she didn’t follow Jigano’s suggestion, choosing to nurse her wounds in the privacy of her own home. The bakery felt too lonely with everyone gone, and she had nowhere else to go. So it had been here that the sickness began to overcome her, skin pale and clammy, and gods how she wished for the warmth of her fire magic at a time like this.

It was Auni who wakes her as soon as Deimos knocks on her door, and she sits up slowly, groggily, as Amalia steps in and calls for her. Kiada wraps the blanket around her torso as she sits back and sends Auni to retrieve them, a couch sitting opposite of her. “I’m in here.” She calls to them as the blanket shifts and shows a healing scab of a wound, tinged with black on her shoulder from where Melita’s arrow struck. A few other scratches mar her cheeks and have begun to heal, but all the Harpy wants to do is sleep.

Auni rushes toward the front door, a bit frantic in knowing his companion isn’t the same, and he uses his now growing antlers to corral them into the next room over where Kiada sits, pale and exhausted, stifling a yawn the best she can. But Auni can’t help himself as he noses the bag with interest. Interest enough that Kiada’s attention and command go unanswered. “Were you successful?” She asks in regards to the Spire, a brow raised, some flame beneath the cold — but the bright spark to her icy gaze is gone, replaced by something dull, something sullen.
KIADA
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 5 Attuned - Strg: 21 - Dext: 21 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 18
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 930
MP:
#4
DEIMOS
While Deimos was formal in most regards to anyone’s home, Amalia didn’t seem to mind barging in, and at this he only gave the slightest inclination of his brow, a smirk quickly vanishing away – attention diverted and segmented back upon why Kiada has not emerged. She’d called, answered, but it didn’t cease the sudden dismay on his skull, the strange apprehension ghosting over his soul. Auni’s appearance, imploring, frantic, distraught, far more zealous energy than he’d ever instigated or insinuated before, plucked at the strands of the warrior’s machinations. His stare went to the baker, and he swallowed down the bile coating his throat; not saying anything, but the misgivings, disquiet, and tension already riddled through his jaw.

Something was wrong.

An old sense of terror struck over him – because there’d been too many damned times he’d been too late, too caught up in something else, to afford the adequate measures, to apply the necessary means, to ensure someone he cared for was well. It was a monolith of regrets and rancor, safety and sanctuary a consistent, constant thought for him, calculated in the regions and ranges of wars, battles, skirmishes, where the misery had no end until bodies were sunk into the ground and dirt covered their forms. His calculations didn’t go to catacombs immediately, her voice still clamored on the walls, but the alterations, the nuances, had already chiseled their way into his chest.

He didn’t require Auni to pressure him forward, swift and quick, leaving the bag at the door, attention completely riveted on Kiada. She was upright, but seemingly barely; pale, pale, pale, like snow instead of fire, ashen instead of embers, worn, dulled, no blade to her mettle, no sword crossed over her heart. She appeared ill, drawn, fatigued, exhausted – and at first he wondered if it had been from the tournaments, the trials weighing on her, Delah’s ignition and vitriol difficult to conquer even now. Or was it something more?

The warrior was uncertain over where to stand, and instead, lingered in front of her, then crouched, eye-level, striving not to fret, but his piercing, penetrating gaze was on her stare in an instant. “We were.” It didn’t really matter anymore though; any and all triumph, all conquest, replaced by a spiraling consternation, one anguish, one melancholy, to another; no rest for the wicked. “I wanted to congratulate you on your Cloister success,” he tilted his head, nearly raised his hands to lift her chin, thought better of it, and stilled. “But perhaps now is not the best time.” He maintained a very poorly wrought version of detachment, narrowing his eyes in speculation. “Do you require healing?” Zuriel was outside; whatever ailed her might be diminished within an instant.
He was something solid
to lean against
violent and fierce and unmoving
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 10 - Strg: 26 - Dext: 27 - Endr: 27 - Luck: 28
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,328
MP:
#5
Amalia

For my part, I know nothing with any certainty
Perhaps it is a side effect of growing up in a small community; perhaps it is simply the easy comfort she finds in the girl who she has come to see as part of her pride. For whatever reason, Amalia feels no shame, no consternation in opening the door, pushing her way into the Harpy's abode.

The smile on her face quickly fades as they are met not by Kiada, but a frantic luxere, his antlers glowing in the dim light. Something is wrong. Amalia can sense it, too, turning a worried look up to Deimos as Auni pushes them into the house, her mouth going dry with a sudden disquiet, fear apparent in her onyx eyes. Is she still wounded from the Cloisters? But it's been so long, too long for those wounds to fester and last.

No, there is something worse at work here, something Amalia does not want to name, but recognizes immediately as they grow closer and Kiada's pale hands begin to shake.

Amalia drops to her knees by Kiada, wasting no time in placing her hand on the girl's skin, a palm pressed gently to her cheek, checking for more signs of the illness, more evidence it is everything she fears. Her blood is as icy as the girl's pale skin, a chill settling into her as certainty falls through her mind like a weight. Deimos offers healing, and the baker shakes her head, onyx eyes never leaving the icy blue of her beloved friend, her voice soft and matter-of-fact. "It might help a little, but it won't matter in the end. Kiada has the blight."

Laying a hand on the girl's knee, Amalia tries to maintain her composure, to keep the panic from her mind where Kiada can clearly see it. "How..." She swallows, glances away, looking to Deimos for comfort, for strength, before turning back to the invalid. "How long have you had symptoms?" How long do we have?
but the sight of the stars makes me dream
Kiada Njovu-Reyes
Mercenary
Age: 22 | Height: 5’7 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 14 - Luck: 10
AUNI - Regular - Luxere
Played by: Skylark Offline
Change author:
Posts: 468
MP:
#6
shield for a heart,
and a sword for a tongue
The swift sound of the thud of shoes along her floor toward her keeps the Harpy from falling back asleep, and her head lifts just enough to look up to the Reaper as he approaches first – his eyes sharp and piercing, watchful, (regretful?) as they linger on her. She tries to give him a small smile, a small bit of the flame beneath the cold, but she can’t – and she tightens the blanket around her shoulders as he crouches to be eye level with her. And her eyes find his just as easily.

She gives him a smile when he tells her they were successful, breaking the gaze only to look to Amalia as she approaches, the smile lingering just briefly along her pale, scarred body, before she looks to Deimos when he speaks of congratulating her. She shrugs her shoulders, the blanket falling off slightly to show the way the wound is healing – scabbed over from Melita’s arrow, but around the skin is black. The scratches along her spine from colliding with the wall are much the same. She nods gently until he mentions that now is not the time, and she shrugs her shoulders briefly again.

He asks for healing, and suddenly Amalia’s eyes are on hers, hands on her cheeks, and she turns to focus on her as her voice rings through, speaking the fears that Kiada had wished weren’t true, but knew deep within her that it was true. A knell, a toll, a death sentence. Amalia’s hand lands on her knee and Kiada’s head swivels back to Deimos with a slight frown, nodding in agreement before her eyes drop to the floor. “I noticed… the tremble in the Cloister.” She admits, biting on the inside of her lip.

I’m sorry, I wanted to be sure before I told you. And I didn’t want to tell you when you were at the Spire, I didn’t want you to worry.” For all the brimstone and flame, the caring and uncaring nature of the girl, she finds the words that come from her mouth to be sorrowful and sad, pathetic, an echo of what she had become. And she lets the blanket fall back to rub her face with her twitching hands, a deep inhale. “At first it was just the tremble, and then the mood swings. And now I’m just so horribly tired and cold all the time.” She admits before letting her hands fall to look to Amalia and Deimos, wondering if maybe in another life they would have been the best set of parents anyone could have asked for.

And she inhales before she tears her gaze away from blues and blacks, to look toward Auni as he returns with Deimos’ bag, sniffing through it and pulling the armor and gifts out of the bag from behind them while they’re distracted, before sniffing at it and dragging it into the space behind the couch. The Luxere moves quickly, stuffing the bag away without raising alarm as though he’s simply exploring it. Kiada’s eyes drift back toward them, raising an arm to rub against the scar along her neck. “Never in everything I’ve lived through, have I ever felt this horribly weak.” There’s a hint of flame and fury under the words, but it’s like a match in comparison to her usual wildfire. And her eyes seek out Amalia and Deimos with a small frown. “I’m sorry.” She says again.
KIADA
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 5 Attuned - Strg: 21 - Dext: 21 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 18
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 930
MP:
#7
DEIMOS
In the grand scheme of things, did anything they tried ever really matter?

It was a frustrating nuance, a noose, slipping down over his neck again, scraping away at his throat, at his breathing, until he can only feel it tightening over his chest; a war against ineptitude, ignorance, and everything else in between. Kiada has the blight, just like Ronin, just like any other scorched, scarred inhabitant, and it scathed and seethed, rapacious and tormenting, down the edges of his soul. The destruction of the plants had done nothing – it hadn’t bought them time, it hadn’t bought them mercy, it hadn’t bought them one damned thing except another dead end, a wasted avenue, while the rest of the earth kept burning at both ends. And in the time it took to ravage poison and believe they’d been successful, the world ensured they’d been doomed to fail.

It was maddening, maddening, maddening.

The cold malevolence, the chilling bitterness, the rancorous knives, smoldered beneath his skin and bones. His jaw clenched, and his eyes drifted down, listening to Amalia, listening to Kiada, frustration and ire gnawing at his marrow. What were they supposed to do? He had nothing to slay, nothing to devastate, nothing to ruin anymore – just Kiada, firebrand consumed by sickness, and them utterly incapable of doing anything about it.

When had he become so helpless? So useless? Or had it always been that way, and he’d just never truly realized it until now, when it smacked him in the face and he had naught to contribute, naught to do but warp his mind back to machinations already churned over and spit out.

But even in the midst of complete ineptitude and ineffectualness, he was still determined.

Because she wouldn’t die. Because he wasn’t going to lose her again. Because that was what they did – twisted and turned and still found a way.

Didn’t want you to worry - too late now - trembling, mood swings, tired and cold, his machinations cataloguing the symptoms, knowing full well they wouldn’t really give them much clarity but time. He just didn’t comprehend what to do or where to go, if they’d missed a clue, some foundation, some fortification, they hadn’t roamed over. Should they return to the Spire? Was the source even in there? And if it was – what were they do with the knowledge? They’d believed the venomous vegetation to be the source, and it’d only led to broken roads and feral ends.

The beast wanted to tell her she was strong, that she’d win, that she’d conquer – because in some way she always had, and this was just one more perilous trial and tribulation they’d found themselves traversing down. His eyes drifted downwards, then over to Amalia – uncertain of where to go, how to proceed, his offerings so minimal, so pathetic, so empty, so worthless. “You have nothing to apologize for,” he murmured, voice strong and enduring while the rest of him fought off an anguish longing to fester, to return, to conquer. Instead of burrowing down into the bleak deviations, he attempted to remain above the surface, swallowing the bile, the depravity, the wild, unholy beasts coming to claim him again. “So what else can we do? What do we know?”
He was something solid
to lean against
violent and fierce and unmoving
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 10 - Strg: 26 - Dext: 27 - Endr: 27 - Luck: 28
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,328
MP:
#8
Amalia

For my part, I know nothing with any certainty
She listens, her dark eyes never leaving the girl, as much as she wishes to look away- as much as it hurts and aches and tears her apart to see her failure in one she loves so dear. Kiada deserves better than her fear, than her failure. Kiada deserves stalwart strength and reassurance, fondness unfailing, for them to try.

The descriptions of the illness only confirms her suspicions, each symptom one she has seen in her studies of Ronin, of animals and plants affected by Blight. It is here, in their home, in their loved ones, insidious and insistent; as Kiada speaks her right hand clenches, fury kept only just at bay from flashing in her eyes. Why, why, why, is nothing they do good enough; how much harder do they have to fight? Samples and explorations, the death of plants and the salvation of the Tulmhainar- all of it has been for little, for naught, a pointless endeavor into the abyss. Each time she tells herself it will be enough, that this time, this time, they will succeed.

Yet here they are, fresh from the last fight, and nobody has been saved.

She is surprised by the gentle reassurance that leaves her lover's throat, glancing fondly at the monolith and nodding in agreement. "Nothing," she echoes, ardent and impassioned, squeezing gently on Kiada's knee before pulling herself up to stand. Deimos continues to question, to ask what to do now- and again, Amalia knows the answer, as loath as she is to say. Nothing, nothing, we can do nothing-

"Let's make some lunch for now," the baker says pragmatically, falling back into the easiest, the safest thing she knows: food. "I brought sandwich supplies. Deimos, can you find some plates? Kiada, let's get the ingredients together. Come." She extends a hand to the invalid, a smile on her lips, reassurance and love and strength and support pulsing through the Attuned bond. You are strong, and you are brave, and we are here for you.
but the sight of the stars makes me dream
Kiada Njovu-Reyes
Mercenary
Age: 22 | Height: 5’7 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 14 - Luck: 10
AUNI - Regular - Luxere
Played by: Skylark Offline
Change author:
Posts: 468
MP:
#9
shield for a heart,
and a sword for a tongue
Deimos’ jaw clenches, and she has half a mind to reach up and study the bone beneath the bearded skin, to touch and tell him with her trembling hands that she’ll be okay – but she doesn’t even know herself how deep it goes. It feels everywhere, it feels like it clings to her soul and is dragging her down, down, down. He listens to Amalia, and her own head tilts toward her mother figure – despite being older, Amalia aside from being Safrin’s Shield, is her shield too.

Deimos, aside from being the Resurrected Sword, is her sword too.

And suddenly, she feels as though she wants to cry – a feeling she doesn’t give into much. And she withdraws, pulling her legs up before Amalia’s hand meets it and pauses her in the action, icy hollowed eyes lifting to look to the Shield, nodding to her suggestion, though she isn’t hungry. She feels as though she should wither away into nothing. To keep them from worrying, perhaps mourning was better.

She knows it isn’t.

Because she feels it every day, too. Side by side with the pain of the sickness, the frustration of her trembling hands that can’t throw a knife in a straight trajectory, the rages that plague her, and the tears that find her late at night.

Still, Amalia drags her out of it, the light in her darkness, the better edge to her sharpened knife.  It is near a demand, and she doesn’t wish to fail in yet another quest. Her gaze drifts toward Deimos with a light shrug, showing that somewhere she’s in there, and she lowers her knees and legs again to let her feet meet the ground, shedding the blanket to reveal the short near tank top shirt she wears – Melita’s wound on her shoulder black edged but scabbed – the burn marks along her spine and the back of her neck in full view, as well as the deep dimples of the scars from where her armor in the Rift had punctured and been attached to said spine.

She moves toward Amalia, hearing the words through their bond, reaching the Leopardess with a trembling hand and letting her take her to the Kitchen. “I love you Ama.” She tells her quietly, through their bond, before she turns her head just enough to look at Deimos and include him too, because maybe she wouldn’t get a chance to say it again. And she wants him to know how much he means to her, too. “I love you Deimos.” She says quietly before she follows Amalia to help.
KIADA
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 5 Attuned - Strg: 21 - Dext: 21 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 18
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 930
MP:
#10
DEIMOS
He didn’t want to make sandwiches. He wanted to rip something apart with his bare hands and blister, sear, and scorch the earth. He wanted the world to know exactly what it felt like, in these hollowed, carved, empty moments, to harpoon and savage, ravage and pillage, plunder every ounce of his seething predilections with cold, brutal precision. He wanted an echo of the pain Kiada felt in his flesh because he couldn’t do anything but bear the brunt of everyone else’s weight, trying to hold it together when he longed to sink; couldn’t, couldn’t, couldn’t because there were too many barely floating above the current. He wanted to peel marrow and tissue from bone and sculpt out lacerations until the trumpets, the war drums, sent him home in either a damned grave or in the fog, the mist, the death knells, carrying, carrying, carrying, multitudes of mayhem composed into things he couldn’t understand until they were too late. The beast craved war and all they received was pestilence; not the favored apocalypse, not the one he could solve, not the one he could mutilate and bend and topple to the ground. They’d tried, they’d followed him down into that damned Spire and it hadn’t mattered at all – because Ronin was sick and Kiada was sick and the burden of silence stretching over him ensured the soldier that he was as damned useless as he’d ever been.

How could anyone claim to cherish and accept him, when he was so brutally ineffective and inept, incapable of doing anything that mattered?

The monolith yielded, for there was naught else he could do (though there were a few seconds where he deftly considered removing himself from the scene entirely and creating punching bags or targets to brutalize).

They were all scarred and broken and it was so ridiculous that the world just kept barbing them with more.

He maneuvered into the kitchen, hunting for plates like one would seek prey, striving to keep his mind off of blights and the sinking pitfall in the abyss of his failures, not chancing a glance at Amalia, jaw locked and tight, movements rigid and carnivore-craven, eyes pinpointed and narrowed, hands searching in cabinets. The beast opened cabinets and eventually found a stack, grabbing hold of them without bashing them into the floor (like he longed) or launching them into a wall (like he wished). He lowered them to the counter, taking his time to ensure some form of occupation that didn’t, couldn’t, afford violence, when Kiada’s quiet murmur threaded its way towards him.

His head snapped, riveted straight to her – and for a breathless interval he cannot fathom how or why these people, these wonderful, ridiculous people, have come to him and proffered their devotion and ardor. He didn’t deserve it. But he’d take it – greedy and avaricious for things he’d never had or held, extending a hand to ruffle her hair as she followed Amalia, almost out of his reach (like everything else that mattered; brushing across calloused palms and reminding him what it was like to burn). “Love you too, kid,” was a hushed whisper, words he’d rarely spoken to anyone or anything now uttered as if they were so simple (and they weren’t, they weren’t, not to this man, not to this beast, who clutched them as precious beacons and hoarded them like treasure).

And as if he couldn’t bear to linger in the threshold of what ifs and bygones and hazardous, treacherous disasters, he hollered over to them, purposefully, tactfully, taunting fire and vitriol. “Your mother is getting married again.” He waited for it, some modicum of bitterness or flame to erupt, the smallest of ruffian, impish smirks wiling its way to his mouth. “To Bastien.” The last notes were on a shrug, small, because the Ascended was not the Elephant King or any other nasty individual Rexanna had managed to pick up through her sojourns. “She asked me to give her away.” Then a head tilt, gaze flickering over to gauge her reaction – the you will be going not hastened yet, but heavily implied.
He was something solid
to lean against
violent and fierce and unmoving
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 10 - Strg: 26 - Dext: 27 - Endr: 27 - Luck: 28
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,328
MP:
#11
Amalia

For my part, I know nothing with any certainty
It is a near demand, a requirement, an order for them to do something productive, something good, something other than spiral and crumble into the vast abyss of hopelessness and letting the darkness win. Standing is a victory; cooking is a victory; eating is a victory, and she will take all she can get, cling to them greedily like rays of sun on a winter's day, warming them all with all the radiance she can possibly muster, all the light she can produce. Every shred of joy she has she has because of them, this strange and makeshift net of family and friends, strangers a mere year ago now close to her as kin. They have given her so much, and she will give it all back, again and again and again.

Kiada's hand is cold in hers, but the baker does her best not to notice. She has seen the littering scars before, heard the stories behind many of them, tended to wounds of body and mind. She has seen Kiada crumble before, but never seen her weak, and it is agony to the ardent Shield, sharp wounds like ice on her breast. Still Amalia holds her smile, glancing at Deimos as he maneuvers toward the kitchen, a flash of uncertainty in her face. She watches him sidelong from the corner of her eye, noting his stiff movements, the set of his jaw; another thing she cannot fix, but can try to at least outshine.

But it is Kiada who saves the mountain, four words that mean the world breathed into the air. Amalia pulses a return of affection to the harpy across the bond, wordless affirmation and return of the love that is offered, protective and paternal, steadfast and endlessly deep. She snaps up, though, when the same is said aloud, turning to Deimos to see how he will take it, if her will reply. The whispered reply is enough to bring a true smile to her face, followed by something shattered; she glances away before the tears can rise, before they can see the agony that has suddenly gripped her heart.

Amalia has everything she has ever wanted. And it is all about to be lost.

The baker busies herself with collecting supplies, letting Kiada and Deimos carry the conversation as she begins to fix up lunch. Rexanna's marriage is news, her choice of bridegroom unsurprising (theirs is a small community), though the baker raises a skeptical brow. "Isn't he an Ascended?" Amalia asks, biting her lip a moment and shaking her head. To each their own, but the baker could never tether herself to someone who chose to exchange the gifts that Vi had given and become something less than whole.
but the sight of the stars makes me dream
Kiada Njovu-Reyes
Mercenary
Age: 22 | Height: 5’7 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 14 - Luck: 10
AUNI - Regular - Luxere
Played by: Skylark Offline
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#12
shield for a heart,
and a sword for a tongue
The Harpy doesn’t know how Deimos will take her words. She knows Amalia will approve, she knows the leopardess, baker, shield, will always find it in her to love her — even if she had yet to apologize for the events of the Cloister. She hopes Amalia knows she’s sorry for it too, and that she’s tried, even if she can’t come up with the words to accurately say just how much. Instead, the love and affection that beams through the bond to her is enough — really the only thing she’d ever wanted to have in her life, aside from her twin, aside from Ru’in.

The girl wants family that will not abandon, will not leave her to figure out her life on her own. She she has found it with the two of them here, and she holds onto it tightly as she looks to the Reaper, with his set jaw, the anger that pulses from him, and she tells him she loves him too. There’s a slight smile along her exhausted face at his reaction, akin to his eyes nearly popping out of his head, causing her smile to edge a bit deeper, to show some of the spark is still in her, even if she’s exhausted.

But he lifts his hand, and ruffles her dark crown of hair, and says it back and she’s certain Amalia can feel the love and warmth radiating from her. But it shatters as soon as Deimos speaks next, a hint of surprise crosses her face and feathers begin to sprout along her shoulder blades, radiating out from her spine to the tops of her shoulders as she tilts her head to him. Amalia’s voice pipes up and smooths her feathers slightly, but she doesn’t let her gaze leave Deimos’. “The painter?” She asks tiredly, confused.

But she nearly groans when Deimos mentions that he will be walking her. It makes sense to the Harpy, but that also means she’s going, whether she wants to or not. And her head shifts toward Amalia while she helps with the sandwiches. “Rumor has it she is Ascended and Abandoned now, too.” She says softly, before shooting Deimos a fiery look. “And I suppose I have to be there?
KIADA
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 5 Attuned - Strg: 21 - Dext: 21 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 18
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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#13
DEIMOS
His family had once been strictly in blood: along crags and tides, beneath moonlit wonder and breathtaking awe, pieces of shells, sea gulls, and waves, under watchful gazes of fire and water, ultimately stretching to neighbors and the other villagers, the children laughing alongside him, into coves and out of currents, mischief unrivaled. Then it molded to comrades, brothers in arms and war, where they blasted the world to smithereens to crusade onto glory, to wipe the smirks off of adversaries’ faces, hollering and howling into the night with drunken crescendos and inebriated aspirations. Ultimately, both fell apart – and he should’ve been Deimos the Useless, Deimos the Inept, Deimos the Ineffectual, for all his efforts to save them all – too late for his parents, their homes in ash, in cinders, in rubble, not fast enough, not quick enough, for swift enough, for the rest of his brethren, fading into their final heartbeats when he slashed at their foes.

Then it was the Basin, makeshift thresholds where he only seemed to be the shadow, the drifter, the savage in the dark, the nefarious beacon who guarded, who protected, who attacked, who assaulted, who never got too close because he was afraid of what loss would do to him again. He didn’t abandon. He didn’t forsake. The beast was merely cold and stark and terrified, lunging at the realm when they dared to come too close.

And now he faced the same situation, none of them sharing heritage or legacies; but devotion, affection, and love. He couldn’t be so lucky, not again, and the notion riddled and scorched, marked and chiseled its way into his form. Already one of their own was sinking and he didn’t know how to help her swim, could only give her stones and arms and brawn to alight her along the surface (and for how long?). What did his fondness sow? What did his care display? Or were they all so damned that no amount of his bestial, barbaric efforts would ever really come to fruition – the writing on the walls, dastardly and cruel, vicious and unraveling, frayed ends incapable of being tied back together? He carried the plates over and finally glanced at Amalia, swallowing down the maddening rush of defeat and pushing it aside (madness too, to think he wouldn’t fold and fall apart like the rest of them, straightening out his rigid form as if a mere battle of wills couldn’t shake him to the core). But she’d already looked away, and if she thought to be out of reach his irreverent ease into devilry conducted itself into a fine fervor, arm brushing alongside her, a bow to his head and neck as he sought for their gazes to lock –

Then there was a bristling inferno behind him, and he’d won, he’d won, he’d won, triumphant in the zealous, furious gaze for a few, petulant seconds, a ruffle of feathers, surprise in Kiada’s avian skull-tilt. He wore a smirk like a boy, impish and delighted in a game of fury, where his composure in the sedition could spread and torment, taunt and tease. It was a distraction from hellholes, no matter how irritating or vexing, purposefully meant to gnarl and gnash and bludgeon her away from the fissures, the cracks, the ravines. The warrior listened to Amalia’s intonation too, pondering if she was displeased, pondering those measures into account. “Yes,” he addressed the Harpy, brow arching, arms folding where they lacked plates and a purpose other than rankling and infuriating, should’ve been given more to do, already hastening to touch and graze fire. “She is. She did it to escape Zariah’s clutches.” He’d congratulated her too – proud she was no longer under anyone else’s damned spell, outwitting the Merciless, just as she’d done to so many others amidst mountains, peaks, and summits, rising along prominences and artifices with dastardly ease. He leaned against the counter, eyes taking on a wicked, roguish haze. “You may choose whether or not to go.” The snicker, the smirk, the defiance lacquered in his features, however, warned there was only one true option in the matter. He wouldn’t force her; Deimos controlled himself and no other, but he was also not above machinating means and ends. “I am certain she would appreciate the gesture.” Family was family. Quiet support would not kill either mother or child. Then they could both be on their way; crossing paths when they deigned it appropriate.
He was something solid
to lean against
violent and fierce and unmoving
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 10 - Strg: 26 - Dext: 27 - Endr: 27 - Luck: 28
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,328
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#14
Amalia

For my part, I know nothing with any certainty
What would it be like, to learn your mother (who is scarcely older than you, by looks and magic) is remarrying a man you barely know? Amalia cannot imagine, never having had a father to begin with, never having had much by way of men in her life at all. Part of her is jealous of Kiada and her surplus of fatherly figures, but it is a small and rather petty part, and she knows better than to indulge those feelings.

Instead she listens silently, continuing to put together lunch as Deimos and Kiada exchange barbs, a smile quirking at her lips. That Rexanna has become Ascended dampens her mirth for a moment; why anyone would choose to be as such is far beyond the girl. Unliving, unbreathing, and dead to the sun- but it is not for her to judge the reasons, especially when the one who chose is family to these two.

Again, Amalia cannot help but feel a little left out, the outsider of a history she will never understand. Biting her lip, she goes back to her work, offering smiles when appropriate as she fixes sandwiches of smoked meat and preserves. She does not look up until the exchange about attendance, suddenly realizing that she does not know if she is invited as well.

A question for another time, she supposes.

Placing the sandwiches onto plates, Amalia sets them around the table, pulling herself into a chair and waiting for them to join. "While we eat, maybe you can tell me what it means to give someone away?" she suggests, glancing up at Deimos. "And we can talk about what kind of food to make for it, Kia-" automatically assuming the role of Caido's Wedding Caterer.
but the sight of the stars makes me dream


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