an imprint of dust
for Bartie
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Warden of Halo / Guildmaster

Age: 33 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Hybrid | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 14 - Strg: 72 - Dext: 72 - Endr: 73 - Luck: 80 - Int: 3
BELIAL - Mythical - Peryton (Blend) ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
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Posts: 6,628 | Total: 10,727
MP: 10254
#1
DEIMOS
ache first, but then let the cuts close
spit out the blood
Days after their latest hunt, he finally had the time and opportunity to saunter into the midst of the guild. His steps were quiet echoes, for it seemed most of his fellow constituents were out and about, and he checked the bounty board, running his eyes over more sightings, more ventures, and more quandaries than ever before. Wrinkling his nose only slightly at the new, but still confounding information, he aimed to go add to the other journals. Even if they were all frustrated by the ongoings, and lack of reasons, he could at least tend to what they were grasping – though it seemed to be only straws.

Climbing the stairs and heading towards the library, he ensured the hearth was ignited and alight, before procuring the most recent inclusion of void creature journals. Bringing the various notebooks over to the largest table, he centered them squarely amongst the dark wood, beginning to thumb through the familiar pages, heading straight to the nuances, records, and accounts on ursur.
watch your body pull itself back together
then let your soul do the same
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Bartie Briar
Scholar

Age: 21 | Height: 6,7 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 0 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 8 - Endr: 10 - Luck: 7 - Int:
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#2
Bartie had not been home in over a week. This was the ideal configuration of things, for the company of the monster hunters was far preferable to the eerie quiet of home. She’d become another piece of furniture in the Guild’s library, making more than one passing guild member jump in fright upon realising she was there in the shadowy corner, reading despite the dim.  

She’d gladly ignore the rest of the world, but thought it wise to look up at the sound of any newcomers. Despite not having been a member of the Guild lone, it had already managed to earn some ill-will from some thanks to its usual want of social grace, or any real repertoire for being likeable.

It surprised her, then, when one particularly loud ‘thunk’ drew her attention to none other than the Guildmaster himself, Deimos. It shouldn’t surprise her. He was, after all, not the sort of Guildmaster to consider himself above mingling in communal areas, at least as far as she’d been able to observe. It surprised her anyway. She had admired the Guild from afar for some time, even more so those who had survived their fair share of encounters with creatures monstrous and strange. That she now sat in these halls and would on any one day be with a chance of encountering heroes and, more importantly, experts on all things monstrous, had not yet lost its novelty.

She watched from her corner as the Warden flicked through the pages of a book, proceeding with the narrow focus of a man on a mission. To think of all he must have seen, firsthand. She’d read hundreds of books on all kinds of monsters, but to have knowledge that could not be found in the confines of a book…

Her body moved without thought— a more regular occurrence than she would like to admit. Quite without her noticing, she found herself at the table of Deimos, a man who had only recently been out on a hunt, out there, learning everything Bartie wanted to hold within herself.

She did not sit, but stood, wayward. What she wanted to say was ‘tell me about monsters’, nothing more complicated than that, but she feared the Guild might well kick her out for just demanding something so brash of its master and one of Halo’s Wardens.

So, instead, she tried for that social tact she’d heard legends about, and said, “Can I be of any assistance, Warden?” A shockingly smooth start, so much that she blinks in surprise at herself.  “You must be. Busy.Tell me about monsters. She wished wanting something badly enough could make it happen. “I could. Help. If you're looking for something. Or someway else, if you need. You know. Assisting.
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Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Warden of Halo / Guildmaster

Age: 33 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Hybrid | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 14 - Strg: 72 - Dext: 72 - Endr: 73 - Luck: 80 - Int: 3
BELIAL - Mythical - Peryton (Blend) ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 6,628 | Total: 10,727
MP: 10254
#3
DEIMOS
ache first, but then let the cuts close
spit out the blood
The other had been noticed, in the manner that quiet things had their nuances and shapes, their existences amplified even in the surrounding sections of sanctums and sanctuaries. But with his purpose driven into notations, perhaps he’d been none-the-wiser in polite pursuits, and still allowed his eyes to widen a fraction when the voice echoed through the chamber. Maybe he’d been hoping, in one of those hard-fought notions, that he’d be left alone.

Lifting his head to glance her way, he paused in turning the pages, arching a brow so it wouldn’t become narrowed and furrowed. He wasn’t entirely certain how she could help, but he’d honed in on dry humor long, long ago, and the rumble in return was something mustered in slight amusement. “Always,” by matter of being ‘busy’, though he’d been better about carving out portions of time for himself and Evie, family, and friends. “But your assistance depends – do you have any notion of why some of these void creatures are so massive?”

A slight smile followed, before his attention dissipated back to the tome, eventually finding the ursur notations towards the back. With a piece of charcoal, he began sketching over another outline in addition to the many unfurling there, though the picture of this figure was far larger than the rest of the constituents across the parchment. “Bartie, right?” He made it a habit to know each and every one of his guild members, perhaps not personally, but certainly names and attributes.
watch your body pull itself back together
then let your soul do the same
Reply
Bartie Briar
Scholar

Age: 21 | Height: 6,7 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 0 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 8 - Endr: 10 - Luck: 7 - Int:
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#4
BARTIE
alone
at last
Staring back at Deimos (Bartie rarely remembered to make herself blink, and just as often forgot that other people could find such an intense gaze uncomfortable), Bartie was quiet a moment. Were she as humble as her awkwardness could oft make her seem, she wouldn’t dare presume to be able to answer a question such as this, from the guildmaster himself. Her quiet had little to do with humbleness.

Monsters, and now especially void creatures, occupied all her heart, mind, and body. She had a breadth of thoughts on the subject, some more far fetched than others. It was the enormity of all she had to say to such a question that silenced her, each theory fighting to come out first. She trembled with it, just a touch. To get to talk about such things aloud with others didn’t come easily to her; she didn’t much invite interest from others. And to talk about it with someone who had seen so many creatures up close? She didn’t look it —quite the contrary, her expression more resembled constipation— but she was for one moment brilliantly, exquisitely happy.

Bartie sat, shifting from its walker to the seat opposite to Deimos, and leaned across the table. It watched him sketch, enjoying too that he worked as he spoke instead of putting the conversation first. It did not like conversing without some kind of activity in the middle, and better still when someone else introduced that buffer themselves. “Bartie. Yes,” she answered, curious that he knew her name. She didn’t yet have a measure of the man, and filed this, his knowing the name of a subordinate and a new, inconsequential one at that, away for future study.

Watching him sketch allowed her to compile and order her thoughts. "I have some ideas, though they derive more from the laws of biology in general than they do from observations of the void creatures proper. I’ve almost never left the Citadel, so my first-hand experience is… lacking. However, if we consider species native to our planet, unaffected by the void, those that are especially large usually have two reasons allowing such things. One being that they have some kind of energy source that allows them to sustain such an enormous form, the other being that their environment facilitates such growth. Different conditions. Different limits. I’ve read that deep in the ocean, creatures can take on all kinds of fantastical forms not possible on land.

Bartie wasn’t a talker, but when allowed to run away with her own passions and interests? It was difficult for her to stop herself, and really, Deimos had asked such an interesting question. "Perhaps, whatever the void’s influence is, it allows creatures to experience our world differently, so they are not impacted by the same restraining forces as our native species are. Or it provides a source of energy that means the creatures do not immediately starve. I couldn’t answer you why some specimens are affected by this more than others. Perhaps, like us, it’s a question of will. You’ve heard the… speaking, in our heads. Perhaps some things join the family more readily than others. No family has all its members equally comfortable in it, does it? No real family, anyway.
terribly, completely
alone
Reply
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Warden of Halo / Guildmaster

Age: 33 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Hybrid | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 14 - Strg: 72 - Dext: 72 - Endr: 73 - Luck: 80 - Int: 3
BELIAL - Mythical - Peryton (Blend) ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 6,628 | Total: 10,727
MP: 10254
#5
DEIMOS
ache first, but then let the cuts close
spit out the blood
It seemed Bartie did have some theories, and he was all the more grateful to the sudden unfurling of legions of information, of coinciding observations, of boundless conditions he didn’t have to calculate himself. He only paused momentarily in his writing and drawing to listen, placing his attention upon the makeshift scholar and hunter, allowing his mind to conjure and take part in the notions at hand – different conditions, different limitations, of worlds where all of this was entirely normal. “So, in theory, Caido provides the resources for all of this, regardless?” Truth be told, they’d seen massive creatures before – in many intervals. Some weren’t threatening. Some were merciless and unrelenting. Some were stoked in between, and likely never seen if they were smart enough.

The notions of the Family were enough to chisel his nonchalant features into one of vivid disgruntlement; though mild, with a slight wrinkle to his nose as he returned to his sketch. “I have wondered if they had a choice at all. If it was something in the air,” making a gesture towards Torchline in general, far away. “Or had come from Starfall beforehand. Like when we had that meteor crash.” A moment of dissipation, flickering into particles and traveling across the world.

He didn’t make a comment about kin in general; for he always tried to keep his tight-knit, close, protected, shielded, strong, and enduring. Valued – at the forefront. “Maybe those Family members traveled here because we had the advancements they required,” for what – other than power – he couldn’t be certain either. A musing and nothing more, not now.
watch your body pull itself back together
then let your soul do the same
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Bartie Briar
Scholar

Age: 21 | Height: 6,7 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 0 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 8 - Endr: 10 - Luck: 7 - Int:
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#6
BARTIE
alone
at last
Watching Deimos draw, Bartie listened. She had little love for her own voice; if others were talking about her interests, she’d just as gladly hear them speak. The Guildmaster’s directness appealed to her, as did his ruminations.

When he spoke of choice, and the family, she hummed in vague annoyance, not so much at him but at the slipperiness of language. “Choice was the wrong word… Affinity, perhaps? My understanding of the void and the family is that they hijack a preexisting organism– parasites, in short. In the case of the family, it seems to involve hijacking the mind.

Looking at the drawing Deimos was constructing, Bartie felt a quiver in her chest. It wasn’t terror. She wasn’t foolish enough to think fear was the only thing driving her to obsess over monsters. Etched in charcoal, the drawing took on a fantastical, gothic element that stirred something in her, something deep and low and wanting. When she spoke, it was in a hoarse voice, working to keep that something out.  

I don’t know if choice plays a role… I don’t know if it can be resisted. But even for more run of the mill parasites, some hosts are more hospitable than others. Wherever the parasite binds to may be more or less complementary to its binding methods.

She fell quiet when Deimos spoke again, mulling over, feeling how much she’d talked in such a short period of time. Words frustrated her more than anything in all the world. Words always failed her, or tricked her, eluding her grasp. Deimos was inscrutable to her, as she tried not only to listen, but to deduce if a line had been crossed. Many had mocked her before, and Deimos had more grounds than most.

What do you think they want from us? The family, I mean,” Bartie asked, curiosity driving her, the pretence of offering help seeming sillier by the minute.
terribly, completely
alone
Reply
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Warden of Halo / Guildmaster

Age: 33 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Hybrid | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 14 - Strg: 72 - Dext: 72 - Endr: 73 - Luck: 80 - Int: 3
BELIAL - Mythical - Peryton (Blend) ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 6,628 | Total: 10,727
MP: 10254
#7
DEIMOS
ache first, but then let the cuts close
spit out the blood
Describing the Family, with what little they knew, as parasitic gave him pause once more. While he dictated notes on the side about the massive void ursur encounter, his mind reeled, eyes narrowing as machinations and calculations took their more severe turns. He’d known people similar to such notions; little leeches creeping and crawling, desperate to get their hands on whatever they could snag from those in control – some conquered, some were stomped upon, some weren’t worth the effort of even glancing upon. Others managed in whatever facets they could surmise, grasp, and snag, and then disappeared, finding new plans and manifestations.

Tilting his head, his gaze eventually rounded back over to the scholarly guildmember. “What do most parasites want? Power? To take? To drain? Until they can move on to another?” Had this Starfall landed upon their world to do exactly that – snagging, intertwining, until there was nothing left? Then why turn the people? Was it easier to obtain what they craved, in those regards?

If he noticed the alteration in the individual’s voice, he didn’t comment, though the vague arch of his brow returned, before sliding back to its usual nonchalance. “I have a difficult time believing there is nothing to resist it. Perhaps we have not found it yet.” Brushing and smudging the charcoal to add more elemental facets to the beast, he extended a long, slow breath. “From what we know already, some of the celestial powers,” those from Safrin herself, most likely, “did not work. But we have been using many elemental means against these creatures,” tapping on the bear, “and they seem effective.” He left the inferences and musings out in the open, for Bartie to snatch, grab, and utilize at her leisure.

He could scarcely guess at what Dahlia, or any of the so-called others, wanted. Other than notions from prior statements, he could meander and wander down a myriad of paths. “If they truly are exploitative, maybe they see Caido as a resource.”
watch your body pull itself back together
then let your soul do the same
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Bartie Briar
Scholar

Age: 21 | Height: 6,7 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 0 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 8 - Endr: 10 - Luck: 7 - Int:
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#8
BARTIE
alone
at last
What do most parasites want? It was a thread that, despite all her ruminating, Bartie had never thought to follow. She understood the Family as parasites, and knew that they wanted (or, at least, claimed to), but she had never thought about tracing want back to their parasitic nature.

With each moment Deimos further indulged her, she was forgetting his rank and its relation to her own. She watched him now, seeing him through the only lights she really cared about; as a man talking to her of monsters. Unblinking, she watched him intently, fascinated to watch the gymnastics of his mind play out in his actions and countenance. “I’d never thought of that,” she confessed. “I’ve never thought of parasites as wanting. Leeches pursue blood, I suppose, but I don’t know if they want. I find anthropomorphising lives so different from our own does them a disservice. On what basis am I to presume they work like myself, or others? But I never thought to question if the Family wants. It could be more… instinctual.

Full of new thoughts, new ideas, Bartie only half listened as Deimos spoke further, not out of disinterest, but because this was fun. Tonguing the back of her snakebites, she nodded along both to his words and her own racing mind. Everything Deimos was giving her was being drunk in, dissected, and interpolated into the libraries she’d built within herself. If she could take this conversation and hold it within her mouth, she’d savour it like a boiled confection, the itch to bite gnawing at her but resisted just to cherish such a rare pleasure.

Mm. I agree. Nothing in nature is without a weakness. Often, it’s the reverse of the mechanism that also makes it powerful, built into the method of survival. When you say elemental means have worked,” She drew her gaze out of the middle distance and stared him straight in the eyes, “how? Which? How, exactly, did they respond?” A second passed, before even she remembered herself and blushed. “Apologies. You probably came to write all that down. I can read it, the same as everyone else. This subject is… I find it…” Words, when it came to feelings, often failed her. She trailed off, and just looked up at him, braced for a scolding.      

terribly, completely
alone
Reply
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Warden of Halo / Guildmaster

Age: 33 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Hybrid | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 14 - Strg: 72 - Dext: 72 - Endr: 73 - Luck: 80 - Int: 3
BELIAL - Mythical - Peryton (Blend) ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 6,628 | Total: 10,727
MP: 10254
#9
DEIMOS
ache first, but then let the cuts close
spit out the blood
Whether it be through fighting, calculations, sieges, assaults, or scholarly endeavors, Deimos actively encouraged thought in any of his friends, family, or compatriots. He wouldn’t have all the answers, and neither would they, but collaboration and independent rationales went farther than the collective threshold of the unknown. Which was why he never scolded someone for asking (unless the inquiry was abysmally numb), or trying, far more willing to let someone fumble and fail and muster through, than do naught at all.

So he lifted his head once more at Bartie’s response. Animals had basic needs – but didn’t pursue things the way each human seemed to. Perhaps that was why he’d already classified the Family as a distinct anomaly in his mind – already geared towards power, control, and the spread of their…afflictions? “Is it instinctual to crave sovereignty?” His brow arched; he didn’t find it in his blood to do so, but the ranks kept landing on his shoulders, regardless. “If this Dahlia has already coveted Stormbreak…one would have to wonder why. What is in it for them?”

As for the other notions, his head tilted again, attention diverting between sketches, outlines, and notes, and rounding back over to the information. He’d give and grant it freely, as he often did with his constituents, because it was something they needed to know, and be aware of, in their travels across Caido. Knowledge was protection when he couldn’t reach them.

His vocals remained calm, if momentarily amused. “No need to apologize. I am writing it down, but I can do both,” in discussing and notating. “We set multitudes on fire, stabbed them with ice shards, and struck them with lightning.” The descriptions urged him to parse these pieces down too, and their range of effectiveness. “They kept coming, regardless, until they were killed.” Just as vicious, and even in their agony, as unrelenting.
watch your body pull itself back together
then let your soul do the same
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