{SE}{O} Asleep From Day
Exploring a new place~
Nate Wrenzaok
the Lone (Free) Ranger
"Doctor" / Guildmaster

Age: 33 | Height: 6'1" | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Nomadic
Level: 10 - Strg: 55 - Dext: 45 - Endr: 50 - Luck: 46 - Int: 1
PEMOTA - Mythical - Starwhale (narwhal) RAMOTH - Mythical - Dragon (Biopulse)
Played by: Johnnie Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,779 | Total: 4,111
MP: 87
#1
NATE

Walks through the Wilds of Kings End aren't anything new for Nate. They're part of living quietly, part of being peaceful. Long, doddering walks with his husband and their children, various companions and animals both accompanying them. Though, two babies and a hatchling dragon (not to mention whichever dogs they have at the moment) generally mean anything but peace.

Not every walk is meant to be a grand bonding affair though. Sometimes, he wants some time alone. Sometimes, he wants to check out something that looks too dangerous for the whole family. And sometimes, he wants to kill two birds with one stone.

The labyrinth isn't anything new, not really. Hell, the Grounds has one, and Nate can only imagine this one is going to somehow be much more irritating to navigate. Still, he's not deterred, Ramoth around his neck and Pemota hovering around his shoulders, a bag hanging at his side with various supplies.

It's honestly almost disappointing though. Maybe he's just good at this kind of thing, but he stumbles upon the centre of the maze in less than an hour. Or at least, what he assumes to be the centre. The bowl of fire is certainly the most exciting thing he's come across yet. It's weird though, something about it is familiar, the feeling sticking his feet firmly to the ground, eyes narrowed at the obsidian structure the flames dance in.
Like a bullet through a flock of doves
To wage this war against your faith in me
No permission needed to power play
Feel free to use non-lethal magic/force against Nate
Speaks with a light New Jersey accent that gets more obvious when he's strained

Hotaru Kaito
the Valkyrie
Masseuse

Age: 29 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Greatwood
Level: 6 (level 4 attuned) - Strg: 19 - Dext: 24 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 22 - Int:
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,369 | Total: 3,179
MP: 1177
#2
mama bore a girl with a gun for a mouth, teeth dripping lead and lips bleeding red
The center of the maze is the only place Hotaru has not explored in Kings End - as a whole of course. The countryside is vast and full of secrets, and though she’d only stayed here a short time with Phoebe, it calls her back time and again. Deimos has rooted himself back to Torchline for the sake of the guild, but it is almost habit now to take her respites from motherhood in these lands over any other.

The weight of all that this season has already presented her with weighs on her shoulders. Even flying cannot seem to dissolve the chains she feels that keep her shackled to human woes below. By time she finds the center of the maze, it’s clear she can’t outrun her own thoughts, and she touches down on two legs beside the flaming bowl. Its warmth is oppressive when combined with the summer warmth omnipresent regardless of where the sun is in the sky, so the Valkyrie doesn’t entertain the idea of approaching further. Unsure if the legends and wives tales would even apply when she has tied part of herself to Frey.

Sighing, Ru begins to reach for that thread inside her that lets her change, when the arrival of another makes her pause. Some sort of inherent curiosity she’ll never shake even on days like today when company sounds more burdensome than enticing. She regrets not doing it sooner as soon as Nate’s unmistakable figure appears on the other side of the fire, shrouded by the flickering of flames but as familiar to her as her own reflection. Hotaru freezes, torn. She wouldn’t consider her bridges repaired with Sunjata - he’d still throw her to the wolves even with the strange vacillating closeness they’ve acquired - but she hasn’t even seen Nate since…her imprisonment maybe?

She wants to - but her desires don’t matter. She doesn’t want to keep hurting him. Him more than anyone. So she takes a step back, hoping he hasn’t noticed her and she can shift and take to the skies without ruining his day of peace. And in the cliche to all cliches, one of the hedge branches snaps under her foot, and she curses internally. “Sorry,” she says just loud enough to be heard. “I’ll just -” comes next, because shifting seems rude, and instead she turns and tries to pinpoint one of the openings to the center of the labyrinth - except the only one is on Nate’s side of the fire, and she grits her teeth, indecisive.
Nate Wrenzaok
the Lone (Free) Ranger
"Doctor" / Guildmaster

Age: 33 | Height: 6'1" | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Nomadic
Level: 10 - Strg: 55 - Dext: 45 - Endr: 50 - Luck: 46 - Int: 1
PEMOTA - Mythical - Starwhale (narwhal) RAMOTH - Mythical - Dragon (Biopulse)
Played by: Johnnie Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,779 | Total: 4,111
MP: 87
#3
NATE

Familiar, enough that he wants to sink into it, enough that it tugs at his mind, trapping him in the sticky swirl of… nostalgia, but not. Just close enough that he can’t look away. The flames feel important. The bowl feels important. Just as he feels like he might be getting close to a breakthrough, like maybe he can start tapping at the shell around this thing he knows he knows, it’s startled away.

Nate’s head snaps up, fear surprise flickering briefly across his features, the predator caught out like prey. Recognition is slow to spark in his eyes, click click clicking without catching, at least until Hotaru speaks. It’s quiet, almost too quiet, if he still relied on his base senses. He’s above those now. The shift is almost unnoticeable, blue eyes blinking, closing his face off from his thoughts and replacing his heart with a facade, a mask.

He realizes, at about the same time she does, that through some quirk, some cosmic middle finger, he blocks the only exit. Nate doesn’t let his gaze waver, just straightens, and rolls his shoulders back. Stares at her, then let’s his jaw tip to the side, gesturing over his shoulder with the least movement possible. “When did you start lettin’ me stop you from doing stuff, huh?” His voice is just as quiet, as unyielding and neutral as his face. A freezing iron backhand, wrapped up in a velvet glove, just so he has the excuse of civility.
Like a bullet through a flock of doves
To wage this war against your faith in me
No permission needed to power play
Feel free to use non-lethal magic/force against Nate
Speaks with a light New Jersey accent that gets more obvious when he's strained

Hotaru Kaito
the Valkyrie
Masseuse

Age: 29 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Greatwood
Level: 6 (level 4 attuned) - Strg: 19 - Dext: 24 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 22 - Int:
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,369 | Total: 3,179
MP: 1177
#4
mama bore a girl with a gun for a mouth, teeth dripping lead and lips bleeding red
Shutters fall across his face, and she had prepared for it enough for the hurt to be dull and removed. Admittedly Hotaru has had to face the consequences of her actions in many ways throughout her life. Nothing has ever been something so distinctly painful and personal as this though. An appropriate penance, then.

Her hands remain folded with almost militaristic neatness before her, one hand gripping the opposite wrist until the knuckles bleed white. If she holds herself like this, she can control any reaction her body might want to make without her approval. It’s a good thing she does. His words are an icy slap, and she tilts her chin higher, bearing it with as much grace as she can. As much allowance and grace as he deserves.

“Contrary to popular belief, old dogs can learn new tricks,” she murmurs. Letting her eyes unfocus just enough to let the fire warp his facial features to make it a little less painful to meet his eyes. “Now seems as good a time as any to change things around. Can’t make anything worse.” And maybe she’s not perfectly able to control herself, because she can’t help the slight challenging rise to her tone at the end. She bites her lip and frowns slightly in the wake of it, frustrated at herself for being unable to do even this much.
Nate Wrenzaok
the Lone (Free) Ranger
"Doctor" / Guildmaster

Age: 33 | Height: 6'1" | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Nomadic
Level: 10 - Strg: 55 - Dext: 45 - Endr: 50 - Luck: 46 - Int: 1
PEMOTA - Mythical - Starwhale (narwhal) RAMOTH - Mythical - Dragon (Biopulse)
Played by: Johnnie Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,779 | Total: 4,111
MP: 87
#5
NATE

They stare at each other, Nate growing more and more impotently restless with each passing second. He will not move, at least not any more than a slight shift of his jaw, and his chin tipping up. And with with each passing second, he grows less and less sure of what they are to each other. What roles they stand in; predator, victim, martyr; as if this is some grand story, some scheme he can flip to his advantage. It should hurt less like that, shouldn't it?

A rough bark of laughter grits out between his teeth, held stubbornly together and making his grin seem more like a snarl. "What's this trick then, hn?" If he doesn't open his mouth fully, doesn't release that pin, he won't blow up. He doesn't know what that means, doesn't know what he'll do, so he focuses on the things he can control. On keeping his teeth grit, his eyes blank.

It doesn't hurt, it doesn't, standing here isn't like holding his hand on a hot stove.

The snarling thing in Nate's chest snaps at the challenge, making his nose curl for a second before he can tame it, another second passing between that and his words, his eyes staring right through Hotaru, not seeing her. Not seeing anything but her. "No." he says, though he means to think it, "I guess it can't make anything worse." It's his turn to speak so softly it's nearly impossible to hear over the crackling between them, his voice sneaking into the air and trying to vanish as quickly as possible. "Doesn't mean it's getting better either."

He's always been a sucker for self-flagellation, more a masochist than even he knows, so he stands still, working his jaw and grinding his curiosity out through it. "What exactly is it you want to change?"
Like a bullet through a flock of doves
To wage this war against your faith in me
No permission needed to power play
Feel free to use non-lethal magic/force against Nate
Speaks with a light New Jersey accent that gets more obvious when he's strained

Hotaru Kaito
the Valkyrie
Masseuse

Age: 29 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Greatwood
Level: 6 (level 4 attuned) - Strg: 19 - Dext: 24 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 22 - Int:
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,369 | Total: 3,179
MP: 1177
#6
mama bore a girl with a gun for a mouth, teeth dripping lead and lips bleeding red
She wants to lunge through the flames and get her hands on him so badly the joints in her fingers ache. Even Hotaru isn't sure what she would do if she did. Shake him? Punch him, to wipe that look off his face? Drag him down to her level to kiss him? Despite having hurt him far more unintentionally, somehow the ties between them are so much more convoluted than the ones tying her and Sunjata these days. It leaves her wrong-footed and off-balanced, and Hotaru hates to be so unsure of herself.

"Keeping my mouth shut," she snarks back, though it's nearly too pathetic to warrant such a word. Seems it's the only trick she has left to learn these days. One that will hopefully ensure she doesn't hurt Nate any more than she already has. Any flicker of fire that may have been is extinguished by the soft blankness of his words, the far away quality of his eyes. Hotaru drops her own, staring at the flames in the bowl, too stubborn even at her worst to let her gaze drop any further. Unwilling to move closer, but unable to leave any other way, the Valkyrie works her jaw and self-consciously crosses her arms. It feels too telling, but the jump of nerves in her veins won't allow stillness for any longer.

"Don't...don't ask something so vague from me. I'd change everything if I could," she says just loud enough to be heard, only brave enough to say it because she isn't looking into his eyes. The lack of clarity in his question is too open-ended, too inviting a chance for her to say everything she wishes she could change, when Hotaru knows they are not possible. "The only thing I can change is myself, that's all I'm trying to do. Change how I am around you. Give you the choice." As she'd taken the choice from him so many times before. "Nothing more." No tricks, no lies, nothing but what she is already presenting to him. Aware of how little right she has to expect him to trust that, but incapable of anything else when she is stuck here with no polite way out.


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