I say your name
I say I'm sorry
Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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#1
RORY
He was twisted into shapes: knots and tangles and sharp edges, every piece of his soul sticking out through paper-thin skin and between hollow bones. He was a thousand snakes coiled up within his flesh, writhing, writhing, writhing, poison and anxiety, the high-strung energy of an idiot horse with nowhere to go but every desire to run.

He was sick with worry, ready to vomit, unable to eat, cold and trembling even as he rebuilt his embers with hesitant and careful hands, rocking back and forth and trying to remember what time it was. Always so careful with his time-keeping, with his carefully made candles, one for each day, the ones he had watched with a heavy, dispassionate heart and failed to light the next once the current sputtered out—

He was lost in the darkness, adrift and restless, unable to eat, unable to sleep, unable to think. The only thing that fit within his mind was Karlia, the sound of her voice, the tapping on the door, the words little brother like a blessing and a curse through the wood, slipping through the cracks.

He knew it was getting close to sunrise.

So he built the embers into a careful fire, Ludo's lantern a sort of second-hand shield sitting on the table, trembling fingers heating coffee and pulling out two mugs. He set them on the counter.

He waited.

He paced.

His heart was bursting in his chest, dread and worry and love a potent mixture searing his veins and sending shivers down his taut back.

Until finally he felt it, and peeked behind the edge of the blinds, seeing stars and the first touch of cold, cold blue in the east. The darkness was lifting: dawn was here.

He didn't think. Didn't even put on shoes. Just flung on a thick wool scarf and turned the lock and then he was outside and if he processed what he saw (was the snow disturbed? had she truly been there?) he didn't know, for he had only one thing in mind: throwing open the barn door, to see if his sister was there.
as if you were on fire from within,
the moon lives in the lining of your skin.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face


Age: 1 | Height: | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: - Strg: - Dext: - Endr: - Luck:
Played by: Admin/Moderator Offline
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#2

random event

If it was a monster, then it truly lived up to its name.

Instead of finding the livestock mutilated, instead of finding Talys' flanks carved with little brother and the mare left to bleed out...

...there was only a blanket and an indent in the straw where it looked as if someone had indeed slept the night before. The animals were not riled, and in fact, if Rory paused enough for his senses to properly account for his surroundings, he'd smell the aroma of leather conditioner hanging sweetly in the air. Indeed, a few of the bridles and the harnesses looked newly polished.

But Karlia was not there, nor was the answer of whether or not she had been real.

Could monsters do this? And if they couldn't, had she then, wounded by her brother's dismissal of her, decided to leave?
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#3
Amalia
the shield of safrin
The first thing she does when the sun comes up is look for him.

She couldn't have gone sooner (I should have gone sooner), couldn't have know he would stay home (I should have asked), couldn't have forced him to come to the Settlement (I'm stronger now, I should have made him), couldn't have protected him and the others as well (I should have at least tried).

Couldn't and shouldn't don't matter in the light of day. In the end what matters is that she didn't- and that it may be too late, now.

She does not adopt a spectral shift as she marches through the dawn, doesn't shield herself in feathers it fur. The morning after LongNight is always cold, and though the sun is up its light is almost painful, harsh as it illuminates the ones who are left - and the ones who are not.

(Please don't let him be among them, please don't let him be-)

And when she sees him? When he's there, blonde hair lit by the early light, standing before the open barn door, his back to her and his feet bare in the snow? When he isn't gone, isn't a ghost, isn't one of the countless friends who have disappeared into that longest of nights?

Relief is not a big enough word for the feeling that swallows Amalia whole, leaving her tongue heavy and her heart racing and her legs weak.

"Rory!" Her voice strikes the air like a match struck at midnight, shattering the stillness that lingers on the air. A flurry of movement; Amalia surges toward him abruptly, throwing her arms around his neck without the hesitant anxiety that might have marked the girl a mere year past. "You're okay" the baker exhales against his hair, smiling, shaking, happy and relieved. "Gods, you're- you're okay."
someday we'll find what we're looking for
or maybe not
maybe we'll find something much greater
Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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Posts: 395
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#4
RORY
His heart was a runaway train pounding in his chest, the cold morning air a flame searing his lungs: his knees were weak and he fell against the door's frame, letting it take his weight as he took in the silence

the

silence

Just the munching of what hay and straw still remained, the whuffle and snuffle of content animals, the swish of a pony's tail against some barely-annoying itch. It was peaceful and calm and on any other first morning the only sound he wanted to hear but what he wanted now was her voice, her bright, warm cry of little brother, the sound of her feet shuffling straw aside and her strong hand clamped on the back of his neck as she demanded her morning coffee—

The fucking coffee sitting and steaming in its pot over his fire

(The gaping wound in his heart)

But all he had was his empty barn, his cold feet, a blanket he didn't recognize and an indent where it laid, the smell of leather conditioner and the sight of some tack he knew he hadn't left out. His fingers trembled against the rough wood grains of the massive door, his heart a violent fist against his ribs—he felt sick, he felt stunned, dizzy and desperate and so confused.

Someone cried his name and for a split second he thought it was her.

But she wouldn't have said Rory, she would've said Aury, and the arms wrapping themselves around his trembling body were not his sister's (well, they kind of were&mdashWink but someone else's, and he found himself in conflict: so relieved and so disappointed that he wanted to punch the door and scream—

Which, to his own surprise, he actually did.

Then he turned in her arms, ignoring the startled animals and the dogs streaking out of the house like confused sentinels, barking and looking for the danger; he grabbed her with his cold and aching hands and collapsed into the snow with his back against the door, hoping to tug her with him. "Oh, Amalia," he said—groaned—trying to hold her as tight as he could. "I-I think she was here."

[ where can I get a monster that polishes my tack??? please ]
as if you were on fire from within,
the moon lives in the lining of your skin.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,949
MP:
#5
Amalia
the shield of safrin
Of all the reactions she anticipates, him coming to blows with the barn door is not among them. Amalia might have pulled away, recoiled swiftly from whatever mistake she has made to elicit such a reaction from her friend (angry at her for being absent, disappointed by her presence, told by Jigano of her many sins), might have vanished back into the insecurities that rise so easily within her mind- except that before she can he turns against her, clings to her with a desperation so fierce it nearly breaks her heart.

They fall together into the snow, their backs to the door, their arms around each other, one of them broken and both of them fragile. Gently Amalia pulls him closer, easing him to lean against her, to let her lean her head against his hair as he places his head against her chest. Can he hear the thundering of her heart, the fear and anxiety as she checks that he is well, surreptitiously passing hands along his form to check for wounds? What happened, what happened, what happened it beats, begging to find understanding entwined with his.

Can he hear the way that heartbeat changes, catching and leaping as she finally makes sense of the words that leave his agonized lips?

"Oh-" She was here. Was. She can feel her throat close in understanding, an uneasiness rolling in her stomach as the memory thousand LongNight losses flood her brain. She was here- "Was?" you whisper, knowing that there are a thousand things this word could mean. "Did you see her, Rory?" Are you sure?
someday we'll find what we're looking for
or maybe not
maybe we'll find something much greater
Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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Posts: 395
MP:
#6
RORY
There were a thousand rational thoughts he should've paid attention to—the knowledge of a life survived in the Hollowed Grounds, every little detail that kept him on this side of Mort's domain. He should've known better, but all he could think of was this: she had been here and he hadn't let her in—

It would've been so easy to open the door. His fingers had been upon the lock and the handle, his heart begging, half for her and the other half for anything to make him feel alive in that bottomless black, a darkness so compact it had swarmed his soul. Somewhere, he knew that he would've welcomed death, had it worn his sister's shape and spoken to him in his sister's voice.

(Fuck, he would've welcomed death in any shape)

What he should tell himself was that it couldn't possibly have been her, and even if it had been, she wouldn't have been so stupid as to come during Long Night.

What he was telling himself was that he was a horrible brother and that he still had no answers and why was she gone and—

Amalia's heartbeat was thunder in his ears, her pulse a wild animal under his cheek, her breath a warm cloud in the frigid morning—a morning that was barely bright yet, the last of the natural darkness clinging to the western sky.

The question she asked made sense

(more sense than anything else so far)

The question she asked made him want to close his eyes and perhaps pretend he hadn't heard it, or else just cry, because what could it mean except that she was dead?

"No," he admitted after a silence that felt too long, weighed down by the war he had waged against himself: to admit what a fool he was, or.. or to cling to some shred of hope that things had been different this year?

"She was up on the porch," he went on, his heart heavy, voice dead, nose full of the smell of leather conditioner, "by the door, so.. so much herself... She knew things... I..."

I wish I had opened the door. I wish I could've known, if just for a moment.

Helplessly, he gestured towards the open barn, the blanket, the cleaned tack. "How else would you explain this?" he whispered, broken.
as if you were on fire from within,
the moon lives in the lining of your skin.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,949
MP:
#7
Amalia
the shield of safrin
She was on the porch. She knew things. A shiver tears hungrily down Amalia's spine; she has heard this story too many times. I heard her voice, he called my name- the things she was warned of as a child, the tricks and lies so readily employed. "That doesn't mean that it was her," she tries to remind him gently, hand reaching idly to stroke the hair that has matted, damp, upon his face.

She remembers the last Night, when it was she who wished to follow the dead, when guilt and pain were her symphony and he sat beside her through it. She had wany so much to follow her family, to find a place where she belonged, even if it was in death. How much it hurt to give up that dream.

How much it hurts, even now.

She exhales softly, her lips against his skull and her arms wrapped around him: the way she might have held her brother, had she been anything but alone. "Rory... What did she say to you? Was she frightened? Did it sound like she was in danger?" There are no calm voices outside at Long night, especially if they come from human throats.
someday we'll find what we're looking for
or maybe not
maybe we'll find something much greater
Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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Posts: 395
MP:
#8
RORY
"That doesn't mean that it was her," she said, the voice of reason, the voice of life, and everything he had tried to tell himself during Long Night but now he knew why people died in the dark. Now he knew why they opened their doors, unlocked their windows—because hope and love are a foolish, potent, wicked combination, a drug that speaks to every reckless cell and deadens every bit of reason. It's the stuff that makes your heart ache and your imagination run and like Rory you ask yourself 'what if' and hope always fucking wins

He wanted to be sensible. He wanted to say I know, to admit what a fool he was (to admit that his heart was raw and bruised and alive and full of love), to say that he was sorry for being so close to being such an idiot—

But he couldn't speak because his throat was constricted, a painful lump lodged in the back of his mouth, tears spilling from the corners of his eyes to slowly dry and freeze-burn upon his cheeks.

It would've been easier if he had known she was dead.

Then he couldn't have believed...

"No," he answered, muffled, defeated, his bare hands were cold and his fingers trembled as he held the folds of her clothes in them like a lifeline. He sniffled gracelessly, rubbing his face against the shirt of his upper arm, grappling with his grief like a wild animal: part of him wanted to give in to it, to scream and yell and cry, the other tried to return to practicality. Logic. Calm. "She said.." that it had been too long, but she was here now he laughed, but it was mirthless and sad, defeated and hopeless, "She said that it was different this year. Calmer. I don't..."

He felt the lock and handle under his hands still, ghost imprints. "Ella was so confused why I wouldn't open the door for her," he said at last,

and felt something wither and die inside his heart.
as if you were on fire from within,
the moon lives in the lining of your skin.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,949
MP:
#9
Amalia
the shield of safrin
Gentle hands raise up to caress the locks of his hair, stroking, soft, her fingers soft as she eases the long strands into some semblance of order. He does not speak immediately, and she lets the silence last as long as he needs. How much it hurts to wonder what happened, to see the aftermath but not the evidence. There are no bodies left when LongNight ends, nobody to bury, no answers to be had. The sun rises cold on the morning after the longest night, and the ones who remains are the real ghosts.

A part of them dies each year.

"It wasn't different." Her voice is low, a straightforward murmur, but the strain of it is palpable, tight and tense as the words leave her throat. "Remi and I... we went out. We tried to protect people. And there were still so many deaths. Caiside. A boy named Cera. Roana." She leans her head back against the wood, feeling her hair catch in the grain and knowing it will hurt to pull away and grateful for the promise of pain.

It reminds her that she is alive.

Black eyes flutter closed; she sighs, a long exhale of pain and failure, the darkness of the past week curling in the steam around her face. She remembers the day after another LongNight, when it was she who ran home and found it empty, an unbelievable disappearance in the silence that prevailed. She remembers falling to her knees in denial, sobbing, screaming, searching for the lost.

She remembers feeling terribly alone in the days and months and years that followed, and she does not want that for him.

"I can stay with you as long as you need. And when you're ready, we can look for her. Or... or light a lantern. Whatever you want." She knows she cannot be Karlia, cannot be the sister he lost and needs. But she can still give him all he has, the way he did for her. She can be strong for him today, and maybe, for now, it will be enough.
someday we'll find what we're looking for
or maybe not
maybe we'll find something much greater


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