footprints in the ashes
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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#1
amalia chandrakant
Every day, it went like this: after dropping off the daily bake, Amalia always returned to the Antheneum. She would stop at the doorway and say a prayer to the Absent Gods, thanking Mort for her life, Rae for the life given to make her loaves, Vi for the lives who would eat her bread, and Caido for it all. Then she pushed open the doors, slowly, carefully, with reverence each time. Before fully entering she would pause, and inhale, breathing in the musk of books and earth. It smelled like home.

It did not look like a home, however. Though the walls were tall and the tomes within bountiful, few dared to venture into the Antheneum - few besides her. Or so it had been for the past two years: the girl, a wraith, floated through the lonesome aisles, straightening and sorting but afraid to affect change. This place was full of history, haunted by phantoms, their voices the rustling of parchment in the breeze. Why disturb the quiet, the musings of old ghosts? Instead of leaving an imprint herself she studied the history and tracked the past while the present continued to decay.

So it had been, until the day the girl returned to find something not right. A candle, half-burned; a book, unreturned; she followed these signs, excitement and trepidation a rising beat within her chest, until a story grew clear. There in the dust, among the footprints of voles, lay a new set of impressions: heavy boots, men's boots, heals and toes pressed like exclamation points into her dust, her home. The girl's pulse quickened, her breath catching fast. Why had they come? Were they still there? Were they raiders, hunters, pillaging kleptomaniacs? It would not be the first such visit, though few raiders came there now - there was little of value within the Antheneum, save the books, and what use were books to illiterate thieves?

No, the place did not seem desecrated, just disturbed. Perhaps fellow Spirelings- ? But it seemed improbable that they would not wait for her return, or at the least leave a note. Still excited, still perplexed, the girl set her lantern down on a nearby shelf and began to rearrange. Whatever had happened, it would not do for the books to remain out of order. The ghosts may grow anxious, the specters unsure, and one would not want that. As she worked she hummed, her deep voice a resonant lullaby within the echoing halls. Best to keep busy. Best not to dwell too hard on the possibility of patrons, and how exhilarating that might be.

"Talk."

i could build a big machine, draw pictures for the walls
HANG UP ALL MY FRAGILE THOUGHTS, DISPLAYED THAT YOU MIGHT SEE
image || coding
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:
#2

Deimos the Reaper
You can't take back the cards you've dealt on this
long and lonely road to hell
the throne must be such a sad and lonely place

Curiosity had always been one of his more favorable vices. As a boy, he’d gleaned and chased, hunted and played, with inquiry in mind. He’d tried to discover the depths of creations, spent many an hour behind alchemist’s chairs, perusing, studying, mesmerized by the flicker of potions, by the rustle of enchantments, by the streak of invocations. He’d attempted to copy his father’s soldier motions, grabbing hold of wooden blades and gesturing, screeching, howling his vanguard approaches, delighted when they met their mark, stretching for the days when they drew blood instead of laughter. He’d alternated from book to book at his mother’s insistence, as she taught him to read and write, as she hoped her son would be more than a mercenary, more than a beacon of destruction. He’d watched as a healer wove her herbs into threaded pinnacles and settled them in the tidy nestling of her house, waiting for the day they’d come to good use. He’d studied packs of wolves and their constant, predacious movements, wondered if he could embody the same hostile, ravenous ministrations, if one day he’d become something grand, something great, something besides shadow and storm. Perhaps all the enduring interest hadn’t outlasted his intertwined fate: no sooner had his explorations grown to new depths did he discover the ways he could fade away life, how he could take and take and take and never look back, how he could bend and break without ichor, last breaths, last pulses, last flickers, gone into oblivion. Then all the intrigue turned to necromancy, turned to chilling, nonchalant pulses, turned to grief and anguish and pondering how he could get everyone and everything back. You can’t the gods had whispered, had laughed, had struck him down before he’d even raised his head from their altars – and then he’d simply seethed, tormented rage, formidable damnation, pledging and vowing sedition in the awakening wrath.

So old habits brought him to the forefront of the ruined exterior; partly exploration (for all he’d known thus far was a tavern, and even if he yearned to spend the majority of his time there, it couldn’t account for his entire life), and partly the riches of an intrusive, meddling cranium. It had seen better days, like the rest of the lot, caved in on one side, as if it’d taken blow after blow, assault after assault, siege after siege, but remained strong, enduring, an obstinate mass of stone and marble. He could respect that – he was the same: a persevering titan, an emboldened figure waiting to return the next strike. He took a few steps into its wares, peeled his gaze away from the destroyed, crumbled portions, and back to the more opulent features: grand in scale, domed, made from some supreme architect who’d clearly wanted the world to appreciate their opus. Deimos might have even stared at the sky there for a while, gaze inching over the polished remnants, the mottled designs, the warped, sculpted, and carved panels, before the depths of his cold contortions finally landed upon the tomes.

His movements weren’t quiet; they echoed along the still boundaries, a savage refrain, not as hushed, not as listless, as he would’ve liked to portray. He was driven to distraction by several works displayed in front of him, raising his fingers to brush away dust and soot from spines, tilting his head to catch the names, the titles, detailed on the side. They consumed his prying, questioning glances so much so that he barely noticed another meandering through the columns, the light of a lantern, and singsong, a hum, curling through the back of his mind.  


Photo and Table by Time
Photo taken at Hero's Square in Budapest, Hungary
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:
#3
amalia chandrakant
She enjoyed humming to fill the silence - not that the Antheum was ever silent, per se, with its many inhabitants, both rodent and divine. At times she liked to imagine the gods lived here as well as the ghosts; that if she sat just so she could feel their presence, the cool fingers of Mort and the warm breath of Rae. This was sacrilege, of course, for which the girl felt some shame, but who was going to judge her here? It was only her and the ghosts in this ruined hall. Her and the ghosts and now, him.

The ghosts exhaled as the stranger walked in, their voices a whispered breeze that fluttered through the towering stacks, rippling through parchment and stirring up dust. The girl, ever curious, turned toward the sound- but the man had already rounded a corner, and all she saw was a flutter of shadow that may have been a dream. She was ever a daydreamer- lost in the stacks, lost in her head, lost in general; and who would blame her? It was easy to get lost when you lived among stories instead of people, when you spent your days in the company of ink and paper rather than flesh and bone. Had she dreamed this, too, the disturbance of her sanctuary?

Was she dreaming the footsteps echoing down the halls?

Carefully, quietly, the librarian followed, her own feet light upon the dusty floor. Yes, definitely footsteps, steady and certain, heavy and firm. And their bearer? From between the cracks in the neighboring stacks the girl could all but make out the features of the form, a towering phantom wrapped in furs. The figure stopped, and Ama froze in tandem, her heartbeat a steady roar through her ears. Could he hear it? she wondered, dark eyes wide. Would he see her there, sense her perhaps, betrayed by her own anxieties and lit by her own self-doubt?

Better to cast the dye herself, to take the initiative and throw the first stone. Steeling herself, she inhaled sharply before skirting around the tower of books, rounding the corner to face the man. Dressed in light linen and padded shoes, she made little noise as she moved, but her deep voice rang like a bell. "What do you want?" she demanded, coming up behind him, one of many ghosts in these haunted halls. She did not mean to sound so sharp: harsher than she intended, an accusatory query in her voice, a cautious curiosity in her eyes.

i could build a big machine, draw pictures for the walls
HANG UP ALL MY FRAGILE THOUGHTS, DISPLAYED THAT YOU MIGHT SEE
image || coding
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:
#4

Deimos the Reaper
You can't take back the cards you've dealt on this
long and lonely road to hell
the throne must be such a sad and lonely place

For the moment he was an aloof, nonchalant predator, fully aware another was in his presence, but not bothered by the essence sketching its way through the stacks, muffled mouse steps layered in soft, dulcet motions. They weren’t heavy or violent, potent or condemning, so it appeared as if he paid no mind to the movements of another; cold and detached, gaze focused entirely on tomes, his hand reaching to snag a dark covered volume, brushing his fingers against the hardened exterior. Some of the inscriptions had seen better days, paper thin and light, portions mottled and yellowed with age, but the character of its topic remained, and his eyes stole across several lines of the passage, body leaning towards lantern light and the day’s shrinking rays, hoping to catch more of the depths and fathoms while the stranger pressed nearer. The Reaper felt her intonations, sharp, rasping, and caustic as it reverberated through the desolate room, forcing him to lift his gaze from the pages and settle the piercing, penetrating depths on the woman behind him.

Deimos half-expected a dagger to come shooting from her stare or garments; would’ve welcomed it, most likely, eager and fervent for a fight, for a distraction, from anything other than the ravenous listlessness grasping at his figure. He wasn’t entirely sure what he was being accused of, but the more he studied, the more he examined, still, silent, a quiet, stoic, reticent shadow, he noted and noticed a certain apprehension and wariness in her vigilant glare. It was a familiar look directed at him, the general public forever unsure, concerned, presuming he was there to wreak havoc, to devastate, to savage and mutilate the surroundings. Depending on the location, he might’ve done just that, but not here. He wouldn’t disturb the sanctity of knowledge, took to it because it was wisdom and sagacity, hovered and remained there because he craved awareness, comprehension, and cognition of this world he’d entered, of this sovereignty that held him tied and tethered. He yearned for proficiency in many things; ignorance was not a thing to murk and meddle around in. “Information,” he proceeded, turning back to her (where the sun peeked its rays at her and he noticed more than denunciatory tones: gold and angles, sharper outlines and sketches) with an arched brow, then lowering his focus back to the text still honorably held in his palms, as if he intended to resume his reading without further interference.

Then, in a blinding light of the obvious, the Reaper realized she might’ve been more than an interloper; a guardian of the shrine, sacrificing her time and patience to deal with one she assumed was there to proceed in either violence or nonsense. He fought the urge to roll his eyes, and lifted the layers of impassivity from his stare, tilting his skull in another act of idle curiosity. “Do you run this library?” The words were coated in the lightest of reverence, as if the athenaeum were not partially destroyed, as if the study didn’t hold states of ruin, beheld in admiration and awe.


Photo and Table by Time
Photo taken at Hero's Square in Budapest, Hungary
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 chandrakant
there is a color that shines through your skin
Like the moon on the wind
He is a glacier, cold and untarnished; she strikes him like sunlight, unyielding yet impotent. She glares at him, her dark eyes sharp, tracking the sinew of his figure, each quiver of his lip, willing him to bow to her, to melt beneath her gaze. His evident indifference intrigues and infuriates: how dare he come here, into her library, and paw at the books with such wanton abandon, his large hands carelessly caressing their pages, fingers tracing idly down leather spine and inky words. His voice rumbles in the empty halls, an avalanche of sound among the whispers of the ghosts. She tries to peer at the tome in his grasp, an evidently fascinating piece of literature. She tries not to imagine what those hands have done, what they could do to her books... to her.

He speaks again and her head snaps up, black eyes darting to meet his icy gaze. A flush spreads across her cheeks; she is taken aback by the weight of his question, though he need not know her turmoil. "I..." do!, the girl is desperate to confirm, her voice rising with impassioned wishes: wishes for power, for passion, for authority and the promise of a place that is hers. Do I run the library? In a sense, she supposes- but only in that there is no one else, nobody but her to uphold these hallowed halls. In the end she cannot claim it, cannot bring herself to allow him to think so highly of her. She lacks the qualifications, the knowledge and experience (or perhaps simply the confidence) to claim ownership of such a sacred place. "I... care for it," Amalia replies, deep voice firm with honesty. "There hasn't been a true librarian in years."

She is quick to swallow the sting of this fast, sharp eyes glancing back at the book in his hands. "What information do you want?" the girl asks again, less accusatory and more inquisitive: his interest in knowledge soothes her ruffled nerves. "Perhaps I can assist." She wants to say more, to offer, inquire, to debate and engage, but her tongue catches in her mouth and she falls silent once more, anxious interest written clearly on the angles of her face. Her eager gaze turns back to his; she is unabashed in her inspection, and though it strains her neck to look up at him, she does not turn away. Her manners have rotted, her grandmother might have said, but she cannot help her stare. He scares her with the promise of something interesting, something dangerous, something new

the night is full on behalf or your evaded mask
And the rings round your eyes
image || coding
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:
#6

Deimos the Reaper
You can't take back the cards you've dealt on this
long and lonely road to hell
the throne must be such a sad and lonely place

Very rarely had his eyes ever sought out the sun; warm bits of light had faded away in time, in misery, in melancholy, shifting off his icy demeanor, his indifferent artifice, with keen grace and understanding. Don’t bother with this one the world would say, wounds already too deep and festered, stranded and forsaken in the depths of his immorality. He narrowed his gaze when she strayed too far in – he preferred the soothing, solemn coating of rain, the passing of droplets cascading off his sullen brow, the drowning deluge threatening to consume him whole (it had once; he’d let it wholeheartedly, enjoyed each and every moment until it collapsed and gave way, until the clouds parted and he was alone again). He didn’t expect ochre to be staring back – had presumed fire and gold, tarnished amber, weights of a million daggers pinpointed back to his face, telling him to go, to stray, to leave. The flush spreading across her cheeks was intriguing, and he quirked his brow at its rosy appearance, but left it out in the open, not drawing her embarrassment or chagrin into the ruins. Perhaps it wasn’t truly hers and the telltale signs of her aggravation were written along her features; someone else had been given the authority, and they’d let it waste, let it rot, let it sink back into the ground. It was a shame, because tomes were privileges sometimes rarely afforded, and wisdom was a wondrous, ravenous thing – he’d stalk it just as much as an enemy or adversary, grasp it in both hands and refuse to relinquish. The Reaper noted the small moment of deflation, the way the scorching embers pop, whistle, and refuse to ignite for the slightest of seconds, and her words only confirm the suspicions. For his part, he nearly spoke against the bestial fool who ran the broken-down wares, but refrained, shaking his head instead, disapproval for those who couldn’t care for what they promised to tend.

The intonation echoed through his skull, and he felt it stab him all the way down his spine.

Shrugging the hypocrisy aside in her eagerness, he lifted and shifted the spine so she could read it; no sense in hiding the inevitable, because he was eroding from ignorance, and by unholy determination sought to relieve the corrosion. Rexanna’s stories and tales had rankled him, had incensed, had kindled, because he understood the message of some dreams (mountains and rivers, streams and snow, high-rising peaks with thunderous battle cries), but not the reason, not the outline, not the details; wondered how far sketches crossed, and if fates were too intertwined. The Reaper fought against the inclination; he made his own steadfast path, but sometimes it seemed familiar, sometimes it seemed scattered, sometimes it felt like a pattern, a repetition of doom and destruction, of corruption and distortion, and he balked simply out of habit. His jaw clenched for a moment, pondering how to word his interest, wondering how deep she’d end up prying, how many secrets he’d have to spill to get the information he required (or if that mattered; if he’d be just as lost as when this all started – cruel and vindictive, vengeful and brooding, a damned mess). “Reincarnation.” His eyes darted to the other tomes lined up nearby, hands itching to grab another for something to do. “The blending of past lives.”


Photo and Table by Time
Photo taken at Hero's Square in Budapest, Hungary
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:
#7
amalia chandrakant
there is a color that shines through your skin
Like the moon on the wind
His willingness to overlook her lack of credibility is a relief, his apparent empathy for her plight as warming as any token of friendship. She regards him with favor despite his status as an interloper, and though he remains elusive, buried deep in ice, the copper girl wonders if he isn't prone to warm a little under the right light.

The book he holds is old, and as he shifts it toward her she reaches up to stroke the spine, as though tactile sensation might stimulate her memory, lend her familiarity with the ancient text. "Reincarnation?" the girl echoes, her deep voice thoughtful, her gaze distant and quiet as she considers this reply. The word is lush upon her tongue, a glittering river in her mind, as her thoughts and knowledge on the matter quickly assemble to form an image, an interpretation. Her hand falls back; she turns from him, attention both within and without, interest burning bright circles in her brain. "There are books on that."

Wraithlike, silently, she drifts away, slender fingers reaching up to grasp a book and collect it into her arms- and again and again. As she works she speaks, softly, as though to herself, though loud enough that the soldier might hear if he lingers close. "I've heard it said that reincarnation is a way of letting us atone for past mistakes- that we are born anew to face the challenges previous versions could not overcome. My grandmother would say it is for Mort to judge us when we die, and Vi to give us another chance, while Rae builds the world we are meant to grow within."

She turns to her companion, a contemplative look upon her face. "These three books may help you get started," Amalia murmurs matter-of-factually, her arms outstretched to offer the tomes: all old, all, worn, but all rich and beautiful with knowledge. "I'm sure there are more; the Atheneum is vast. I could help you look-"

Her voice breaks off, suddenly self-conscious, suddenly aware of the rise of authority where she wields none. He has not asked for help, nor any intrusion into his thoughts; yet in her eagerness to find companionship she has offered and, indeed, insisted. "-If you like." She steps back, cheeks hot and uncertain, eyes hopeful and bright.

the night is full on behalf or your evaded mask
And the rings round your eyes
image || coding
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:
#8

Deimos the Reaper
You can't take back the cards you've dealt on this
long and lonely road to hell
the throne must be such a sad and lonely place

There’s half a second where he nearly hoped no information was relegated to the subject; a strange fear underlying the meticulous road he traversed. Perhaps he was better off leaving enigmas to their wake, stewing in existence, decaying over time, festering and withering away with adequate distractions. But Deimos knew himself too well – the beast would always harbor the curiosity, the intrigue, of interwoven lines, of things he’d supposedly done, of thrones he’d supposedly held, of betrayals inked before the present, of singed marrows and flayed sinews. But she assured him that these texts existed, and now he had no stopping point, no reason to flee the scene, to raise his walls, guard his temple, and pretend these moments never occurred. He could’ve lived his life free of the burdens, of the nuances, of the notions of a world beyond this one (but the mountains would still pull, the memories would still linger, and he’d constantly yearn to know).

She disappeared back into the legions of tomes and text, and he was alone for a few moments, pondering the treads, the pathways, leading him down these broken fringes and edges. Her voice curled over the library’s abyss though, and without his notice he followed it, listening to the decibels ring with hushed intonations, as if she dared not raise animosity or acrimony again. The wicked nature of his ravenous, avaricious hinges didn’t give him any pause, he surged onward, catching the softened decibels, a hunter stalking prey.

Then her words hit, bludgeoned, punctured down into his roots, and he bit down the growl threatening to unravel from his throat. Was he so easily read? She’d managed to burrow a thorn straight into his soul – for there were so many things harpooning his dreams, sinking him into twilight, into the gloom, into oblivion. A chance to atone…, as if he didn’t have a thousand sins unfolding in the current lifeline: swords stabbed deep into the hearts of other men, and not caring, completely, utterly indifferent to their plights and crusade when he had his own to fulfill. His parents, gone because he wasn’t there to save them, off waging war for a sovereign who collected living, breathing weapons, and the mist, the rain, trying desperately to wash way all those unholy moments, to absolve, to liberate him from the chains, the tethers, the manacles dragging him down – it hadn’t mattered. His efforts had been in vain. Maybe it was punishment for the life prior, for the bleeding ambitions and the violent ambitions, the upheaval still pulsing, still raging, through his muscles, his flesh, his bones. Maybe it was just a vicious spiral, born to rise in vehemence and sedition, doomed to die entombed by his errors, by his flaws, by all the mistakes rising up to meet him in one glorious noose. Maybe he didn’t want to be redeemed, to reconcile with anyone or anything, to live with his measures and means wrapped in wrath. The Reaper nearly snorted at the notion of Gods too; they’d left him behind ages ago, struck by death provocations, by the nefarious enchantments bound to his existence. “Apparently I have much to amend,” he uttered in the dark, looking away from anything and everything, glancing up at the gaping holes in the walls, drawing his ramparts back over his features, safeguarding any further thoughts from prying eyes, from sunshine niceties.

But she offered three books, and he had to accept; clenched jaw, detached face lingering back on hers, hands gently taking hold of the texts, looking for a table, a desk, somewhere to place them, to read their inscriptions, to dive any closer to miserable dreams and bestial machinations. Deimos missed her apprehension, the reasoning behind the concern. “These will suffice for now. Thank you.” But she appeared to want to be useful, and so he granted her another avenue of assistance. “Is there a table or desk available?”


Photo and Table by Time
Photo taken at Hero's Square in Budapest, Hungary


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