black out days, i don't recognize you anymore
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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#1
AmaLIa
shield of safrin
A new portal.

A new world.

The ocean.

It is so much bigger than Amalia imagined, this vast and glorious and terrifying thing. Bigger than the mountains, deeper than the sky, full of life and emptiness- it captivates the girl. She stares upon it, riveted, her black eyes wide with the majesty of it, gold hair buffeted by the the warm tradewinds. She can taste the salt upon her tongue, smell the brine wafting through the air. It's incredible.

And she is afraid to touch it.

She'd flown through in her owl shift, but now she sits in human form. Her legs stretch uselessly before her, dangling over the edge of the cliff; she leans back on her hands, taking it in and trying to figure out how to feel about it all. She ought to feel guilt for letting this happen, but if she's being honest, Amalia can't. She has given so much to try and help the world already, and for what? Nothing she does seems to make a difference, and now she's lost the use of her legs.

For once, just once, the Shield would like to enjoy the beauty of the outside world without reflecting on how her sins will contribute to its demise.
you can't choose what stays
and what fades away
Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 30
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
Played by: Honey Offline
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#2
is there a price to burn this paradise?
Cloud manta screamed when they were shot out of the sky.

Ronin knew this, and Amalia was about to learn it too, given that one of the majestic creatures had been flapping marvellously over the shore when a star bolt took it down. Screeching and wailing, it attempted to right itself through the suddenly lopsided trajectory of its path, blood raining down upon the lighthouse cliff (and Amalia too if she were unlucky).

Eventually it crashed to the ground a short distance away from the Shield, twitching in its death throes. Ronin wasted no time - having been hunting the creatures from the shoreline, he was already clambering his way up to the lighthouse on bare feet, his shirt tucked into the back of his pants, bare torso tanned and scarred and flecked with manta blood.

Humming a rough tune under his breath, Ronin already had a knife (hooked and wicked sharp) in his hand, prepared to carve the jewel from the manta’s forehead. If he noticed the woman dangling her legs over the cliff, he paid her no attention, too busy in his work.
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:
#3
AmaLIa
shield of safrin
Would it have been better if she hadn't seen the creature before its terrible demise? Would the shock have been less, the blow not so painful? It looks like a distant cousin of Jyoti's, the flat and leaf-like creature that dances delicately through the sky. Indeed it is Jyoti who notices it first, the little whale swimming back from her adventuring with an excited trill and drawing Amalia's attention up.

"Oh," she breathes, wonder and awe lighting up her weary face. "Oh, Jyo, it's-"

And then, the scream.

Is the manta screaming, or is Amalia? Terror, disbelief, shock and fury flash across her features, followed swiftly by horror and disgust as the creature crashes out of the sky. The rain of its blood catches her squarely, leaving smears of red on her cheeks and hair; she would scramble away if only she could move.

As it is she can only paw the ground uselessly, dragging her legs back as her body half-shifts in its alarm, arms growing feathers in preparation for wings, claws and fangs sprouting from nails and teeth. "What the fuck?!"
you can't choose what stays
and what fades away
Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 30
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
Played by: Honey Offline
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Posts: 1,509
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#4
is there a price to burn this paradise?
Ronin was in the middle of digging the gorgeous gem out of the cloud manta’s forehead when the gods awful screeching reached his ears. He’d managed to free the jewel at least, tucking it into a satchel belted to his thigh and rising to his feet to hoist the creature’s corpse up and onto his shoulder. Only then did he turn to face the noise, the manta draped over him like a beautiful, bloodied half cloak.

”Now is there really any nee— oh, it’s you.” His demand was cut off in the recognition of Amalia, feathered and clawed she might be. Dipping into a mockery of a noble bow, Ronin shrugged the manta a little higher onto his arm. ”Welcome to Torchline, Amalia. How was the portal trip? How’s the fight against the Voice going? Good?”
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
shield of safrin
She hadn't recognized Ronin at first, too caught up in the shock of the sudden death, the spray of blood that rained from the sky. Now, though, she blinks rapidly up at him, as though trying to determine if she isn't hallucinating this whole damned event. "Ronin?" Amalia questions flatly, wishing desperately she could scramble to her feet. There's something terribly frightening about him, the casual violence and dripping mockery reminding her of the day they fought, when he was mad with blight.

She remembers, too, the fall of the temple, and Aoife's broken form.

Turning to better face him and cursing her worthless legs, she tries to sit up straight enough to mask her trembling fear. "How... how did you get here?" It's the first thing she can think to ask him; she doesn't know what else to say. Are you okay has an answer as obvious as the reckless grin and the hint of madness behind his blue eyes.
you can't choose what stays
and what fades away
Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 30
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
Played by: Honey Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,509
MP:
#6
is there a price to burn this paradise?
"The one and only," Ronin drawled, tossing Amalia a lazy salute for her trouble and moving as if to saunter past her; why she wasn't getting her lazy ass on her feet was beyond him, and he (obviously) didn't care enough to ask yet. Down on the shoreline was a small cart, within which lay two other cloud manta corpses, their gems similarly burrowed out for later sale or use.

As for how he got here, pray tell? "Exiled by Safrin as far as I know. I haven't visited any shrines to be bothered to find out for sure. Landed on the beach with Remi and my daughter's little broken body, and that's been about it from there. How about you? How did you get here?" As if they didn't both already know, but since they were asking those sorts of questions, whatever.
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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Posts: 1,949
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#7
AmaLIa
shield of safrin
She's not sure what's more disconcerting: his bizarre, blase mannerisms, or how close it all feels to that day in the Labyrinth when they fought each other.

Except that time he'd been the weakened one, and she was whole and strong.

He walks past her unceremoniously, and oh but she wishes she could grab him by his collar and give him a good shake- but all she can do is sit and stare uselessly, half relieved and half afraid. "Of course she did," Amalia snaps, then bites her tongue at the stupidity of the barb. He's lost and suffered so much more than her, done more, deserves more-

-but fuck, it hurts to know that he was rescued while she was left to die.

His question is a flint to her sleeping fire: "Nothing so fancy," she snaps in reply, desperately willing him to turn back around. "I flew. Through the portal. Since I can't walk anymore because you dropped a building on my spine."
you can't choose what stays
and what fades away
Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 30
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
Played by: Honey Offline
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Posts: 1,509
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#8
is there a price to burn this paradise?
Amalia snapped at him and Ronin stopped dead in his tracks, cold blue eyes flashing across to fix on her. The cloud manta dropped to the ground with a whump as the hunter released it from his shoulder, and he moved to crouch in front of her, elbows propped on his knees, blood still drying on his hands. "I'm terribly sorry," he said softly. "Did you want to come instead? Did you want to scoop a child's tiny little body up into your arms and place it ever so gently onto a pyre in the middle of nowhere and watch her burn?" His voice had risen by several degrees as he spoke until he was all but shouting, and by then any consideration for Amalia and her spine had completely dissolved from his mind.

"If I remember correctly, I was at the Temple and it was nothing to do with you. You shoved your nose in, like everyone else with a fucking hero complex in the Hollowed Grounds, and that's on you." Straightening up again, he shook his head at her. "Don't blame me for poking your nose where it doesn't belong again, especially when it comes to me. I promised to make the most of life for you, I became a king for you, and now - yeah I guess, if it suits you - I dropped a building on you."
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
shield of safrin
She regrets her tone as soon as she speaks, wincing in her guilt at each lash of his retort. He's right, of course - the loss of her legs is nothing compared to the loss of his child, and she cannot imagine the agony he faced, the fear and rage of it all.

But to destroy something ancient and beautiful in that pain and fury? To destroy her?

Amalia sits in silence as Ronin straightens up, following him with dark, hard eyes, lost for what to do. Somehow the Dark Star has the uncanny ability to pull at each of the darkest anxieties within her, the things guaranteed to make her angriest despite her insecurity and guilt. "I was protecting my home," she snaps back before she can stop it, fists clenched in her frustration, an expression of aggravation on her face. Digging furrows with her claws, she licks her lips and shuts her eyes. "I'm sorry, Ronin- I'm so sorry. You... what happened was terrible."

I promised to make the most out of life for you. "Do you regret it?" she whispers, looking up at him because there is nothing else she can do. "Do you regret being king? Or living a fuller life? Or... or being alive again? Being chosen by Safrin?" She's legitimately curious, because she regrets everything on a regular basis as well.
you can't choose what stays
and what fades away
Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 30
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
Played by: Honey Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,509
MP:
#10
is there a price to burn this paradise?
With words like whipcracks, it was undeniable to say that it felt good to Ronin, to get all that bile and vitriol out of his system. And whilst Amalia’s steadfast nature in the face of it did take the wind out of his sails somewhat, it was still good to just say it. But now that it was all out there, all off his chest... well. He was just empty now, wasn’t he? Staring down at Amalia, all the while hoisting the cloud manta back up and onto his shoulder, he regarded her quietly.

”Do I prefer this to living as a star in the sky?” he asked softly. ”No, I don’t. This is horrible.” Quite what ‘this’ was could be debated, based on the sudden solemnity in his expression, in the silence after his fury. Was what had happened to him horrible? Or was it the way it has made him treat other people? Was it the person he could feel himself slipping into?

”I wasn’t aiming for you,” he said suddenly, offhanded. He might have been talking about the cloud manta and the blood. But he also might have been talking about the Temple.
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:
#11
AmaLIa
shield of safrin
Living as a star. Being saved, again and again; being beloved, being loved. Envy bites at her heels like wolves, frustration with how easily he has always taken it all for granted. She remembers those early conversations, when she pushed him to be all that Safrin saw and he resisted, ever pushing back. And for what?

Did she truly create this monster? Is she responsible for what he has become?

This. What is the This he so regrets? "And the rest of it?" she asks him softly, desperate for and terrified of the answer. "The parts before this? If you could go back and undo it... would you?" Maea had asked her a similar question once, not very long ago, and Amalia had said she would. Now, though, looking at Ronin, reborn because of the fallen barrier, she wonders if maybe the other girl was right.

"I know." There is a heavy sigh, a tension released; her fury resides with the simple words. Deep down Amalia knows that Ronin wasn't aiming for her, not with the temple, not with the manta, not with his barbs now. She is not her demon, and he is not  her savior. They're just two broken people, two pawns of the same god.

Gesturing with her chin to the corpse of the cloud manta, Amalia swallows down her bile. "Why were you aiming for that?"
you can't choose what stays
and what fades away
Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 30
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
Played by: Honey Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,509
MP:
#12
is there a price to burn this paradise?
Before whatever this was? "Some days yes. Some days no. Right now I don't care about much more than what the next sunrise brings," Ronin said with a shrug of one shoulder, the other draped with the colourful corpse of the manta he had brought down. For him the question was not so loaded, blinded as he was by the situations that had brought him to this point. "What does the past matter? It can't be changed. I'll still wake up and be in this life tomorrow, and the next day, and the next." Something he was quite certain she could relate to.

I know, she said, and Ronin felt nothing. Surely some part of him should feel relieved that she understood whatever it was he was trying to awkwardly convey? Surely he should be even slightly relieved? What was wrong with him?

Ah, but back to safe territory. "I was asked to," he said. "Job for someone back in town. Their meat is apparently delicious, and the jewels in their forehead can allow a human to breathe underwater. They only wanted the one, but with three I get one too, and there's another to sell on."
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:
#13
AmaLIa
shield of safrin
She wants very much to press him further, to fling sympathy and anger at him in equal measure. But she remembers when she lost her loved ones, how grating the endless questions and pity could become, and so she holds her tongue.

It doesn't hurt that she's more than a little bit terrified of him, too.

Instead her dark eyes track his progress, leaving him to return to the corpses stacked up by the shore. "They're beautiful," she says distractedly, before registration snaps her wide gaze back to him. "Breathe underwater? In... In the ocean?" Breathless and a little alarmed, she looks again at the glittering water. "It's... It's so big. What if you get lost?"
you can't choose what stays
and what fades away
Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 30
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
Played by: Honey Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,509
MP:
#14
is there a price to burn this paradise?
Unburdened by further questions, Ronin indeed wasted no further time in carrying the manta corpse back down to the beach to flop it into the cart with the others. He wheeled said cart back up the hill with him to the lighthouse, lest any seabirds get any ideas about the fresh meat on the shore. He didn’t really know why he’d even come back - he might have disappeared along the shoreline and Amalia would barely have known he was gone. Still, even though she had lost the use of her legs, he didn’t fancy being henpecked by an owl on the way home.

“Probably,” Ronin said of them being beautiful, but it was of little consequence to him. He had forgotten, briefly, that Amalia had never been anywhere near the ocean (or any body of water larger than the glade), and he nodded dumbly. ”Or anywhere yeah,” he confirmed. ”And I suppose if you get lost you would... be lost forever. Unless you stayed near the shore.” He shrugged. ”Listen, it’s been grand, but I’m sure we both have better things to do.”


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