[SE]Morning comes quick bringing tragic goodbyes
Maea Valair
Loreseeker

Age: 22 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 5 (Level 1 Attuned) - Strg: 13 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 11
SHII - Regular - Will-o-Wisp
Played by: Chan Offline
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Posts: 2,069
MP:
#15
Maea
And time it waits for no one
It heals them when you die
With her eyes on the lantern as it slowly began to take form under her fingers, it was easier to listen to Amalia. Her tale was as bleak and full of angst as Maea's had been. Mistakes, overconfidence, striving to do more than one was capable of... She could relate.

"What is a tulmhainar?" she asked, the word unfamiliar to her. There was no judgement in her voice, only quiet understanding and a vague curiosity. "You always did want to save everything... I liked that. It was very refreshing, because no one else ever talked with so much hope. At least not around me." She had always been the hopeless case...

When Amalia mentioned having seen her family however, Maea's head snapped up sharply and her eyes were wide as she gazed on the young woman beside her. Desperate hope turned quickly to pain and longing, then faded into some quiet understanding... "Thank you," she whispered. A little hoarse. "I knew that Noah... but not the others. Thank you."

She had to look away again, needed a moment to compose herself. The grief was still so near. For everyone else it had been two years since they died, but Maea didn't have that sense of time passed. It was no longer yesterday, not with Longheat come and gone, and Leafchange upon them. But it was still only a year. Not even a year, in her mind.

The comment of Ludo made her blink though, and return her gaze from Jyoti's stars to the lantern. "It did? Seems like Ludo has been cruel to most people... except me. It only ever helped me.... And it confused her to no end, which showed through in the slight frown, the shake of her head.

"Ha, but you know my father would disapprove. All these magic users running around; he'd curse us all for fools and act like he wasn't Abandoned himself, just because he never used his gift.

"Just goes to show, doesn't it? We can only be us. They had their challenges, we have our own. It can't even really be compared."
And soon you are forgotten
A whisper within a sigh
Permission granted for magic/violence, short of killing.
Unless otherwise stated, Maea is always wearing Ludo's Rags around her shoulders.
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: 1,971
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#16
Amalia
the shield of safrin
"It's a... a world turtle." She doesn't have a better descriptor. A fond, bittersweet smile ghosts across her face, happy at the memory of the one she met, saddened by the inevitability of the one she lost. "The Voice... she trapped one in the Spire. And we tried to free it, but... only one can exist in the world at a time. And there was already one in the Greatwood. So..." Well, Maea already knows the ending to that story. With a soft sigh, Amalia turns her face up to the cloudy sky. "That's why Safrin broke through the Spire. So it could see the stars one last time."

She gives Maea the time she needs to collect herself, taking the moment of silence to find her own center as well. "You're welcome," the Shield answers softly, looking back down at Jyoti's starry back. There had been so many lost souls, familiar and unfamiliar figures scarified to the monsters of the night. It had been devastating to see them all, ghosts among the trees... but it had been beautiful, too. At least they would be with Ludo, she'd thought. And now, with the barrier down? They could be with Mort.

It's Amalia's turn to glance up sharply, surprised by Maea's assertion that Ludo is cruel. "Has it?" she asks, genuinely curious, blinking large black eyes. "Who was it cruel to? Everyone I know has had good experiences- well, except for Remi. But Jigano, Kiada, Melita, even Adam..." The last name trembles as it falls from her lips, the memory of that stupid horn earning another strained smile. He'd been such a fool, filling it with ale, but she'd given up her favor from Ludo to have it emptied again.

And then he'd filled it up with water, to try and save her when the guild burned down. An idiot again. And the best friend she could ask for.

Blinking back tears, she turns back down to the milling crowd. "Remember the puppet shows my nani used to put on for the festival of lights? We did one last year, because it asked, and Ludo played Safrin. It was pretty great... maybe we'll do it again this year. For you to see."
someday we'll find what we're looking for
or maybe not
maybe we'll find something much greater
Maea Valair
Loreseeker

Age: 22 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 5 (Level 1 Attuned) - Strg: 13 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 11
SHII - Regular - Will-o-Wisp
Played by: Chan Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,069
MP:
#17
Maea
And time it waits for no one
It heals them when you die
Amalia explained what the tulhaimnar was, and it left an ashen taste of guilt on Maea's tongue. She thought of the turtle she had encountered in the basement of the Spire. Recalled the frenzy of combat, of a snapping beak severing a head from a body, splattering irridescent liquid - not blood - over stone floors, and how rusted iron nails had sunk deep into dark, wise eyes... Bile rose in her throat and she swallowed hard, quickly turning her head away. "I... I see." And if her voice was thicker than it ought to be, perhaps it could just be written off as sympathy for Amalia's plight.

The memory of corrosive air filling her lungs persisted when Amalia reacted to her comment about Ludo, and Maea shook her head, retracting her statement; already regretting the words before they were fully off her tongue. "Poor choice of words," she admitted. "It was Remi's experiences I was thinking of... and something Jigano said last season, that made it feel as though he wasn't as happy as... But no, I don't think Ludo is cruel. Not at all. Though perhaps encouraging anyone to commit genocide is not very kind either..." Perhaps the fault was in trying to pin such mortal words onto a god.

The reminder of the puppet shows made her smile, hands stilling where they worked on the lantern. Memories of those were bittersweet to her. Small glimpses of happiness and joy in an ocean of dreary loneliness, of fever sweat and coughs and the bitter taste of medicine. Of a father's disappointed face when the brief spell of good health crumbled away, of a brother's ceaseless attempts to cheer her up while hiding his own worries away... of friends turning up to visit for a moment, only to leave again all too soon.

"I remember," Maea nodded... but again there was a conflict in her when Amalia said it had been last year, because... because hadn't she been there, too? She ought to have been, and yet... "It played Safrin, eh? I'd love to see that."

Setting the finished frame of a lantern aside, Maea dragged a hand over her face. Suddenly filled with that awful weariness that plagued her right after returning from wherever she had been. "I wish... I could have seen it... wish I'd been there. For all of it. I'm sorry, Amalia. For not.. for not being around. And for what I said to you, before." When she'd visited at the infirmary. When she'd stormed in, happy and hopeful, wanting to make amends for things in the distant past and found her friend more occupied with the present.
And soon you are forgotten
A whisper within a sigh
Permission granted for magic/violence, short of killing.
Unless otherwise stated, Maea is always wearing Ludo's Rags around her shoulders.
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: 1,971
MP:
#18
Amalia
the shield of safrin
Maea recants her words quickly enough, and though Amalia considers saying more the Shield holds her tongue. She more than anyone knows how fulfilling it can be to believe one holds an ultimate place in the affection of the gods; if the older girl falls prey to hubris from time to time, who is the baker to comment or judge?

Instead she asks a question she hopes never to have to answer herself: "What would you do, if it asked you to do it?" Her expression bears no judgment, only open curiosity, genuinely interested to know the answer Maea will give. Chosen of Ludo, shepherd of Death... Could she be its weapon as willingly as Roana had? It feels impossible for the Maea Amalia grew up beside to take up a reaper's scythe, but then the older girl has changed a lot in the time since they fell apart.

They both have.

Amalia's fingers tighten on the bench when Maea bring up her mysterious absence again, but she manages to hold her tongue. Mending bridges means keeping fire away from the dry and exposed wood, as her grandmother would have said; if nothing else, she owes it to her Nani to try. "I'm sorry, too," Amalia says softly, staring into the falling snow. "I was... Not my best, when you came to see me."

Running a hand through her gold hair, the Shield turns back to Maea with she shadow of a grin. "Does this mean you're not going to beat me up?"
someday we'll find what we're looking for
or maybe not
maybe we'll find something much greater
Maea Valair
Loreseeker

Age: 22 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 5 (Level 1 Attuned) - Strg: 13 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 11
SHII - Regular - Will-o-Wisp
Played by: Chan Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,069
MP:
#19
Maea
And time it waits for no one
It heals them when you die
It was a very difficult question, and one she had asked herself quite often. Thoughtful, Maea turned her eyes to the crowd, to distant people passing by wrapped in their own lives. Strangers, some with faces she had begun to recognize. Would she do anything, for Ludo? Even if that anything meant more gruesome tasks, that might mean staining her hands with blood?

"I'd like to say there's nothing I wouldn't do, if Ludo wished it done," she said slowly. The girl Amalia knew was still there, for the most part. A little less timid, a lot more outspoken now that people actually seemed willing to listen... but a few seasons did not change the core of a person so easily. "I'd like to, but... I think there might be limits, to what I could do without losing myself. If I was tasked with the kind of genocide Roana had been encouraged to commit... I'd have to ask myself if the approval of my god weighed heavier than the love I hold for friends and acquaintances I've made. There are people among the Ascended I value more than my own life... how could I harm them?" There was the notion that Ludo knew more than her to consider as well. Was her own love and life worth more than the purpose to which she might be sacrificed? Was that a price she would be willing to pay?

"I think... I will only really know when I'm faced with that kind of decision," she eventually said, with a shrug. "What about you, Amalia? You're the Shield of Safrin... what kind of burdens come with that fancy title?" Though she poked fun of it, there was genuine respect in the glance she offered the younger woman. Perhaps a touch of envy, too, but mostly just admiration. Amalia had come far indeed.

The returned apology was accepted with a deeply grateful nod. When she was asked whether Maea still wanted to beat her up however, she was met with a rather toothy grin, an almost feral look of eagerness that definitely never crossed her face in the past.

"I'll admit, I wouldn't be adverse to trying," she replied, amused by the idea, "but something tells me it wouldn't be as easy as I think. Would you like to give it a try? There's an excellent training area at the Academy... or we could find a spot out on the tundra, with no people around to watch." Now, or later, or save it for some other day; it was all fine with Maea. But the offer was sincere; no doubt they both had enough pent up frustrations still churning within to make it an interesting spar.
And soon you are forgotten
A whisper within a sigh
Permission granted for magic/violence, short of killing.
Unless otherwise stated, Maea is always wearing Ludo's Rags around her shoulders.
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: 1,971
MP:
#20
Amalia
the shield of safrin
She listens silently to Maea's explanation, her expression inscrutable as the other woman speaks. The answer is a non-answer, but it's clear in Amalia's dark eyes that she doesn't judge the pale girl for this: the truth is she doesn't know, either. They are from a world impossibly different from that which Roana was born into, that of three hundred years before. Genocide, murder, war... they are far removed from the Shield's understanding of the balance of life and death.

But it's an understanding that's been challenged of late.

Maea's question is a teasing one, but Amalia's expression remains serious, her eyes drifting once again to the milling crowd. What does it mean to be Shield of Safrin? "I'm still not sure." Jyoti trills and rises from her lap, moving to settle on the girl's shoulders while Amalia runs the tines of the comb under her fingers again. "When Vi- when He gave me the stars to leave for Safrin, when people first started calling me that... He asked if I could walk the line of mortal folly without falling over it. If I could do the work of Life without... without resorting to death. So I guess it's that. Trying to value all of life, even the parts that hurt."

Amalia shrugs, but there is a faint smile on her face, a glow about her at the memory of that long-ago, incredible night. She'd thought the world was falling apart around her, that she was at the epicenter of their greatest yet disaster. Instead she had been lifted, given purpose and reaffirmed.

How could she not love her gods after that?

Her wistful happiness fades beneath Maea's immediate, earnest and feral response to the joke Amalia had made. She hadn't expected such aggressive enthusiasm, and it takes her aback a little, sets the Shield on edge. "Ah... I'm not much of a fighter, honestly." Rubbing her neck, she looks away again, a little bit bemused. "And I wouldn't want to hurt you," she adds, wincing, remembering the frailty of Maea when they were growing up.
someday we'll find what we're looking for
or maybe not
maybe we'll find something much greater
Maea Valair
Loreseeker

Age: 22 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 5 (Level 1 Attuned) - Strg: 13 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 11
SHII - Regular - Will-o-Wisp
Played by: Chan Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,069
MP:
#21
Maea
And time it waits for no one
It heals them when you die
Her eyes widened at the realization that her friend had met with, spoken to Vi himself. The awe completely overshadowed any jealousy this time, to the point where Maea felt goosebumps rise along her neck.

"What... what was he like?" she asked, a desperate longing in her expression. Maea leaned forward, eager to hear everything Amalia might reveal. The same way she had listened to Delphia as she described Mort.

Amalia did not respond with the same kind of eagerness to the idea of a fight - or even a spar - and the soft suggestion that she didn't want to hurt her made Maea's hackles rise for a moment. Before she realized, that her oldest friend perhaps had more reason than anyone else for thinking her in need of protection. That made the ire drain away as soon as it had flared up, and she sighed, reluctantly giving up on the idea of a bout. At least for today.

"I quite like it," she shrugged. "Sunjata has been teaching me archery, and how to use daggers. Deimos gave me some help on how to build strength and stamina too... It seems fighting might be something I'm actually good at." She threw Amalia a sideways glance.

"I've had some help figuring out why I've been sick all this time. Seems there's something in my body that doesn't work properly; the parts that fight sickness is too weak to do its job. But Loren has been healing me regularly ever since I came here... I haven't been sick like I used to be for a long time." Which was something of a miracle, seeing as she'd always been down with something or other.
And soon you are forgotten
A whisper within a sigh
Permission granted for magic/violence, short of killing.
Unless otherwise stated, Maea is always wearing Ludo's Rags around her shoulders.
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: 1,971
MP:
#22
Amalia
the shield of safrin
"He was beautiful." Amalia's voice is reverent, distant, the adoration and awe clear in her expression and tone as she recalls her meeting with Vi. "The most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Being near Him felt... it felt like I was touching a piece of the universe. The only thing I could compare it to is seeing the ocean for the first time, but even that feels small next to Him." It had been everything to the pious baker, a lifeline she clung to in the days that followed.

She is almost loath for the topic to change, wrinkling her nose in distaste as Sunjata's name comes up again. Though Deimos' earns a very different expression, a smile curling unbidden on her lips, cheeks flushing happily at the thought of her partner. "He's good for that," the Shield agrees, thinking of the many times the Sword had attempted to teach her the same.

And when Maea suggests she may be good at fighting, well... Amalia shrugs. "It makes sense. You spent so long just trying to live. All that fight has to go somewhere, now that you're well. I'm glad, by the way. That you're doing better."
someday we'll find what we're looking for
or maybe not
maybe we'll find something much greater
Maea Valair
Loreseeker

Age: 22 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 5 (Level 1 Attuned) - Strg: 13 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 11
SHII - Regular - Will-o-Wisp
Played by: Chan Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,069
MP:
#23
Maea
And time it waits for no one
It heals them when you die
She could think of a myriad questions to ask, and the wistful expression on Amalia's face gave her the courage to actually put them out there. "What did he look like? What did he say?" she asked, unable to let the matter drop without at least trying to find out more. This might be the closest she ever got to the creators of the world - to hear tales of them from others - and Maea was eager to find out as much as she could. When she could.

"Thank you," she said, a little abashed when the subject landed on her well-being, the improvements she'd made. "I'm glad you're on your feet again too.. did I already say that? If I did then... well, it's that true." Her gaze shifted away, a little awkward at getting so emotional. It was far easier to contemplate the softness of her friend's voice when she talked about the General, the flush and the smile... Maea knew that expression too well not to notice it. Had worn it all too often recently.

"Did I miss something here?" she asked, a half smile tugging at her lips as she raised a brow at the other woman. "Are you and Deimos..?" They seemed an unlikely pair, but then again, so did Sunjata and her. Was it true then, as they said, that opposites attracted one another?
And soon you are forgotten
A whisper within a sigh
Permission granted for magic/violence, short of killing.
Unless otherwise stated, Maea is always wearing Ludo's Rags around her shoulders.
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: 1,971
MP:
#24
Amalia
the shield of safrin
"Strong. He was... his skin was dark, darker than my grandmother's. He had a beard, and flowers grew from it... he sat so close I might have touched him. It was incredible." Amalia shakes her  head, a little bit breathless with the memory. Truth be told, Vi's appearance had made less of an impression upon her than the general fact that he was there. "I'd gone to him to pray for Safrin to be cured, to make sure she would be well after the Spire. He didn't know about the blight, but the roses appeared soon after. And he gave me infant stars to make into a shrine for her - that's why we built the shrine in the Fields.

"He asked whose work I did, and I said his. And that I always would. And he said he would be watching."


The question about Deimos is a stark turn of subject, Amalia coloring further. Running a hand through her hair, she bites her lip, unable to meet Maea's eyes. "Ah... yeah. A bit over a year now." A smile curls at her mouth, happiness that at least in darker times one thing has been held constant for her. "He's... he's a really good man. I'm happy."

Despite the leopard fur she's starting to feel cold and awkward, sitting here on the bench. Shifting her weight, she tucks the comb back into her pocket and glances back at Maea. "It's getting late... I should go home soon. It was good to see you, Maea."

{fin}
someday we'll find what we're looking for
or maybe not
maybe we'll find something much greater


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