[SE] sky full of song
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 36
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 2,202
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#1
Amalia
I took the stars from my eyes, I made a map
Thoroughly embarrassed, her face still red, Amalia grabs Deimos' hand and leads him away from the Devas stall and prying eyes, the laughter of old ladies following in their wake. Her heartbeat is a wild thing, thundering in her ears; she wonders if he can see it there, pounding beneath her breast. She needs to get away from it, to find somewhere quieter where she can hear her own thoughts. Flitting in and out among the throngs, she wonders if he will follow as she maneuvers closer to the edge of the gathering. Does she want him to? She is not sure.

At last the girl stops her flight and turns to face the man. Her slender hand, if he has not cast it out, is still tucked comfortably into his large, rough palm. Realizing this she pulls it back swiftly, suddenly aware of how cold and small her fingers are, how little of her there is. She is a waif before him, clad in leaf green and cream, barefoot as a baby and awkward as a teen. What could she possibly offer, that he would ever lack?

Not sure what to do with her now-free hand, she reaches up to adjust her hair, tucking a stray lock away beneath her golden comb. "You don't actually have to dance with me," Amalia half-laughs, half-murmurs, looking at the ground, the crowd, anywhere but his face. Her heart is still pounding, hard enough she is sure he must hear it. She wraps one arm across her chest as though to shield it, pulling absently at the opposite sleeve. "I'll still get you some bread. I'm a terrible dancer, anyway."

When is the last time she danced with someone who was not a family or friend? Not that he is not a friend- he is a friend, as surely as Evie or Rory, and she would not hesitate to dance with them.

So why does this feel so different, so new?
And I knew that somehow I could
find my way back
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Guildmaster

Age: 27 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 10 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 32 - Luck: 31
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 2,186
MP:
#2
DEIMOS
And in your darkest hour,
I hold secrets flame
The Reaper followed, dutiful and compliant, dragged along with little complaint. His mind was bellowing and howling anyway, struggling to decipher where lines were being drawn and where the next precipice lay. He’d always been one to glance over edges, to see along ridges and borders, to examine and scrutinize boundaries and how he could conquer, or retreat, behind them. The uncertainty segmenting itself into his skull made him shy almost entirely away from it, not twisting or turning to perceive the endings, the in-betweens. He focused on the tangible instead: her hand was small in his, easily enveloped by rough, calloused palms, by the force of his nature and mettle, grit, and determination. They would never be smooth and virtuous like hers, coating righteous and pure lines, sketched by moralities, and canvassed by irreproachability. His had long since complied to ruin and annihilation, shield in one, sword in the other, butchering and battering his way to front lines and sieges. The weight of a blade would always fit in its sanctions, familiar and accustomed; but hers conformed there too.

Then it was gone, pulled away and back into her own shelter, the rest of her visibly retreating before his eyes. He stepped away, presuming it was his presence suddenly making her uncomfortable, gaze shifting off of her withdrawing form, inhaling and exhaling an uncertain breath, apprehensive of how to proceed. There were several lines written in his head, on his lips, tucked right behind his teeth, bending and swaying on the nuances and nooses, pondering how he could convey it all correctly. He wished she’d raise her head and portray the grand strength she possessed, the might and potency he’d seen day after day, the sagacity and wisdom she readily granted and gave the inept, the ignorant. He wished she could visualize it for herself, brightening instead of dimming, emboldened and radiant, the way everyone else saw her. He wished for a lot of things for the baker who strived and worked and blessed the rest of the earth.

But he wouldn’t force her either, wouldn’t make her take part in something that caused her unease, wouldn’t be the malicious, ominous demon roaring in her ears. Her voice was enough to assure him the situation had been pushed too far – she didn’t want to dance with him - and he swallowed the strange sensation clawing its way through his chest. It was a struggle to name, but it felt like disappointment, anticlimactic, emptying and hollow. Instead, he stepped further back, his shadow no longer blocking her light, only tipping and bending his frame lower and lower, so he had an opportunity to meet her eyes as she stared only at the ground, never at him. “I am likely a worse dancer,” he offered with a grin, the barest hint of devilry tucked at its sides, masking the letdown. The only dancing he’d ever done was on the battlefield, and the songs had been different, never majestic, never illustrious, never invoking merriment; screams and war-cries, echoes of pain, of torment, of merciless, unrelenting forces.

No wonder she didn’t want anything to do with him.

He was only the embodiment of violence and upheaval; undeserving, unworthy, a soldier left to his own brutal devices.

The depths of his glance ran to her feet, bare, proffered her an easy-way out. “Your toes would be in danger, anyway.” He laughed, a chuckle that didn’t quite meet his veracity, tucked away in pockets of regret and derision. The beast still allowed the barest glint of mischief, one last saving grace, last ditch efforts, staring out at the great expanse of those gathered, a laugh on his tones. “We could see how many people we could run over.”
master of nothing place;
of recoil and grace
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 36
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 2,202
MP:
#3
Amalia
I took the stars from my eyes, I made a map
His smile, once infrequent and fleeting, rises so easily now to his lips, breaking through that icy facade like a beam of sun on a summer day. How is it that he is now the vibrant one, a lighthouse for the lost girl who lives awash at sea? Yet lighthouse he is, warming and guiding, a firm beacon through wild storms that threaten to engulf and consume. Despite Amalia's deep discontent she cannot prevent the laugh which rises, deep and unbidden from the depths of her soul. Sable gaze flickers up to meet his face before retreating back to the grass between her toes. "I very much doubt it," comes the dry rebuke, sly sharp humor slipping through her insecurity, teasing and taunting, a careful unveiling of a bright inner form.

Thoughtful, she nibbles on her lower lip, not sure what she wants from him but hopeful nonetheless. An image rises impishly to the forefront of her mind: his hands on hers, his laughter booming as he sweeps her out of her dram cocoon and into the light she so desperately yearns for. She wants to be captured, rescued, held--

Amalia shakes her golden head, dispersing those childish dreams. Deimos is not her savior, her lighthouse. He is more lost than she, uprooted from a life and home and left here, in this prison. No doubt he is aching to return to whatever it is he was torn from. Family, friends- a course grander than this, the small petty thing they call living.

Her movement aligns with his next statement, and so she is able to recover, to mask the sudden storm of doubt beneath a fair response. "They are hard to catch." Why? Why is she doing this, clinging to each crumb like a starved child, holding onto hope that he wants this, wants her, that her friendship means more than warm bread on a winter day?

And yet he planted the lavender, a small, insidious voice remarks, snagged on the memory of their pleasant afternoon. He came to your party. He agreed to dance.

And another adage from her grandmother appears, spoken, again, in her warm, teasing voice. Do you really think so little of others, to believe they'd waste their time on someone they despise?

And so the golden baker uncoils, turning her head up to stare at Deimos, dark eyes cautious and hopeful as she surveys his face. "A bottle of cider says I will wound more?" Half a question, half a statement: and Amalia extends a slender hand, giving him the choice to lead her from her darkness, to pull her along with him into the sun.
And I knew that somehow I could
find my way back
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Guildmaster

Age: 27 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 10 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 32 - Luck: 31
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 2,186
MP:
#4
DEIMOS
And in your darkest hour,
I hold secrets flame
The Reaper would never consider himself a beacon. He was a shadow, blocking out patterns of light and waves of rectitude, marble monolith sculpted by lines of loss and vehemence. He was a black hole, swallowing, devouring, and consuming the wayward souls daring to stray along his path – long since admitting to himself he was ruined. He’d sunk into the mire and tread forward, aligned himself with the mud, the earth, the rocks, the rubble, maneuvering Colossus meant to stay in the pits and pendulums, to breathe animosity, to seethe, to ripple, to eventually wither and decay. The latter had been his plan all along, when everything fell apart, when everything scattered into demise, when he had nothing left to hold, to cherish, to give. Before the portal took him, snagged him, thought him ideal for this world, he’d wandered down a steady path of heartache and shambles, a damned mess assigned for desecration and annihilation. He’d hung his head and snarled, growled and smoldered, waiting for the next opportunity to send him straight into hell, eternal suffering on the cusp of his ambitions. Maybe he could pick a fight with a demon, lose his head, see naught but ash and the river Styx. Maybe he could become wholly diminished, bleached bones, forgotten traces of a life torn apart by loss, loss, and loss. Maybe he could flicker apart, drink himself into a stupor, lie down and wait for the inevitable to claw out his insides. Everything else already had.

He’d had beacons though, beautiful flares and commanding voices, his father’s flames, his mother’s sagacity, his commander’s efficient demands. He’d followed each one of them, not siren sonnets, not beguiling measures or calculating lures, but intonations meant to instruct, to comprehend, to ensure there was more to life than the endless barrage of suffering coiled in his chest. They’d eventually gone out – beatific banners and flares, reaches sputtering before his eyes, no matter how loudly he called out, how much he begged, how much he pleaded, how much he dared to defy the rest of the kingdom.

But as Amalia’s light sparked, scintillated, back to life, Deimos considered following this one too.

He smirked at her response, amused, content, to be stirring her away from the shades and apprehension, a tease, a barb meant to rankle but not distort its way further. The warrior thought about pushing her wholly into the sunshine, along the light, into the blooming radiance and watching it all play out – an unfurling of strength and dominion, absorbing grandeur and warmth. He was no one’s savior, no one’s hero, emancipator, or champion; a soldier garbed in erosion, finally starting to peel away the apathetic layers clinging to his skin. At the very least, he was ready to stare at the sun, at the stars, at the heavens (his eyes didn’t leave her).

Maybe he owed this realm a lot more than his disdain and contempt.

Caution and optimism, an intriguing blend, reached forward and gazed back – the mischief emboldening him surrounded his presence in waves, no longer so stoic, no longer so dispassionate, a nestled den of devil-may-care and wickedness blazing in return. He’d coaxed the sun to come out again, and that was enough – everything else was pure amusement and satisfaction, tranquility bristling along the incoming storm. The beast lowered his head, the same iniquitous grin still chiseled along his mouth, before billowing a whisper against her ear. “Game on.”

His right hand curled around her proffered palm, and his left grabbed hold of her other hand, far more gentle than his usual, barbaric movements, and placed it on his shoulder. If the height difference was too much, she could always lower it along his ribs or his waist, a balancing act; and with a rumble in his chest (a roaring laugh, it boomed and echoed from his lungs with hardly a thought), he moved.

Deimos could embody and coil hundreds of different motions – from savage, sinister steps,  quiet, hushed, unholy denizens, to a thunderous wake, a mercurial ricochet meant to warn, foreboding and ominous. Today’s was like that of a rampaging bull, full of merriment and ridiculousness as he led the gilded baker towards an ignorant crowd. “Ten points for slow dancing couples.” He nodded towards some who clearly didn’t care about the beat or time of the music, lost in their own little world, incapable of perceiving the wild tempest brewing before them. Thoroughly savage and entertained, he wound them towards the closest pair, bumping the edge of his hip into their plodding frames. “So sorry,” he proffered, before bounding and carrying them away, intonations clearly not apologetic in the slightest.
master of nothing place;
of recoil and grace
Amalia
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 36
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,202
MP:
#5
Amalia
I took the stars from my eyes, I made a map
His voice is a stormcloud in her ear, the rumble of thunder before spring rain. Somehow she manages to keep from shivering, though electricity dances unhindered down her spine as she tilts her face upward to meet his eyes, finding roguish devilry within. Who is this playful behemoth, this demon arisen from shadow and flame, cracking like smoke through glacial armor, filling her face, her lungs? She breathes him in and he smells like fire, strength and sweat and leather and earth.

His right hand envelops her left; his left brings her right onto his shoulder, where it hovers a moment, ghostlike, not quite willing to touch. Part of her knows this is the last escape: if she runs now he will not drag her back, will go on to greener pastures and prettier partners, will find a friend who knows how to dance. She could easily slip from his embrace, laugh this off as a foolish mistake, sacrifice her chance at haven from the storm and let him find a better ship to harbor, a full frigate with gilded figurehead instead of a battered, tattered sloop.

But when his left hand lands on her waist, Amalia knows her fate. It does not matter if she should escape: she will not, can not release this light, this soft and supple whatever-it-is that the soldier extends like water in a desert, so close she can touch it, so hot she is afraid.

The baker's fingers grasp his shoulder, and the dark-eyed girl nods, her own laughter bubbling up to echo his as the world falls away and they move.

His hands are firm on her; she feels secure within his grasp, and so she stops trying to direct him, escape him, instead letting the bestial creature carry her into the crowd. Wild and reckless Deimos cavorts, and Amalia laughs with childlike delight as she pursues him, her footsteps echoing his, her body a shadow to his vibrant cavorting, crashing and coiling, a ship on the waves. The smile which cuts her cheeks is fearless, flush on her face warm and alive. She clings to him gladly, her bare feet scarcely touching the grass as they twirl and canter, scuttle and glide.

Deimos is quick to refocus their antics, aiming with solemn purpose toward one oblivious couple, his large figure moving with unexpected ease. One eyebrow raises as he names his price, a brazen response written in the baker's angular face- though she does her best to reign it in, appropriately apologetic when the offended pair turn glares upon the quick retreating duo. "Five each for groups," she raises, audacious, gesturing with her head to a conga line which has formed off to their right. Releasing his shoulder she whips away, dress unfolding like a verdant flower as she twirls beneath his hand.

With her right arm she catches the first of the line, progressing to the second and third as she spins before drawing back against him, a tactfully planned retreat. Her hand lands on his broad chest; for a moment she is flush against him, his body a bulwark for her wild abandon, his ribs a sounding board for her heart. "Fifteen," she breathes against his neck before at last retreating (a beat too late, a second too reluctant). Looking up, the girl grins, triumph and challenge glittering in her eyes.
And I knew that somehow I could
find my way back
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Guildmaster

Age: 27 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 10 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 32 - Luck: 31
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,186
MP:
#6
DEIMOS
And in your darkest hour,
I hold secrets flame
The warrior was altered, frigid walls collapsing beneath his notice, munitions, fortifications drifting asunder. It could’ve been the sunlight in his hands. It could’ve been the radiance contorting and cavorting along his fingertips, emboldened and brazen before him, rounds of warm laughter like sprigs in his senses, sending him onward. He was precision and recklessness, the ramparts cast aside, left along whatever lonely, wayfaring path he’d followed here, pushed and pushed and pushed again into a series of foolish, silly, exultant intricacies. He didn’t back or balk away from it either, rushing headlong like before, when he hadn’t lost everything, when the world hadn’t abandoned him, when the only thing he needed to worry about was training, scaling heights, or how to lacerate an opponent properly. It should’ve made him feel stripped, bare, naked; and instead he was wicked, impish, bits and pieces of the old Deimos before collapsing spires and treacheries. He acknowledged the current, the undertow, and let it glide him along, tides rippling along his sides and buoying him closer to shore; they rampaged, they charged. Unbound, unrestrained, unchained, untethered, unmoored, naught held him back, and he wouldn’t have let it, didn’t fear drowning, didn’t fear cracking and crumbling, not here, not now. His breaths were calculating, his movements were a barrage, a mere hint of what he might’ve been on the battlefield (the Colossus, the monolith, a sudden, swift force for all his size), muscles rippling and rolling beneath her touch; could’ve easily conquered mountains and summits in her grasp.

If she was afraid, he couldn’t ascertain it. Perhaps she should’ve been, because sometimes he was useless, inept, ignorant, and utterly ridiculous – other moments he blended straight into savagery, dragging rapier blades through flesh and stone and snares. But she didn’t fade or escape, and it was acceptance again, belief, confidence, credence in his bestial nature, in the devilry infusing the ground he scourged. He wouldn’t let her regret it.

Deimos yearned to be a battering ram – assail and assault and siege his way through the threshold like a barbaric shield – but the laughter rolling through his chest belied his more malicious intentions. It’s all mischief now, the pursuit, the intrigue, the relentless chase, and he hunted, he stalked, he persisted, invoked by her smile, by her responses, iniquitous encouragement. The announcement of groups foretold bombardments left him with another snicker tracing his mouth, bowing his head to hide the chuckle unfurling past his lips, one eyebrow arching as she spun directly into the line.

He should’ve (but didn’t) expected her to crash back into him on such a whirling coil, didn’t think her hand would find its way to his chest, frame aligned with his, breath fanning over his neck. There was no way to guard himself, no shield, no armor. He shuddered and shivered beneath the whispers, the murmurs, eternally unsaid things, one undulating roll of his muscles, a growling rumble kindled in his lungs when she maneuvered away. The smirk earned its way back, a quick, calculating air ensuring he’s losing, and he’s loathed to admit he has no intention of falling, of failing.

The Reaper’s steps were a bit more ambitious now, more thunderous, more ignited, more nefarious, piercing eyes sliding away from gilded crowns, and towards a strident sound clawing its way through his senses. “Fifteen for horrendous singing.” His nod indicated his intended direction, the only hint she’d receive, before turning her into the first of the pair harking their lyrics and stanzas (not a single harmony between the two of them; it’d be bloody spellbinding in its absurdity if it didn’t remind him of nails on a chalkboard). He spun on the same cue, knocking into the second with a vicious smirk indicating he still wasn’t sorry, and despite their hissing, argumentative tones, he simply maneuvered them further away, incapable of restraining his laughter.

Passing by another couple, likely to be deemed the next victims if they didn’t pick up the pace, one of his hands only released her for a few seconds to snatch the flower crown adorning the other woman’s head. It was swift and sure, blindingly quick, hints of soldier skills and survival adornments, before placing it on Amalia’s head – stolen blossoms enriched in pinks and yellows. “Five for every crown remaining by the end.” He shook his skull, listened to the blossoms shake against one another, a little crumpled but still embedded along his cranium.

master of nothing place;
of recoil and grace
Amalia
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 36
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,202
MP:
#7
Amalia
I took the stars from my eyes, I made a map
For a moment she thinks he might hold her there, but no. She draws away easily enough, her hand reclaiming its place on his shoulder, her heartbeat still pounding (from dancing, she is sure). It is a strange thing, their game, wild and without pause or judgment, a far cry from how she thought she might spend this festival, but not at all unwelcome. She watches his face calculate and contort, new machinations written in his grin; her own is an echo, wily and bold, the bloom of youth and trouble sparkling merrily in her eyes.

He declares their next target with pointed purpose, and Amalia only has a moment to catch the off-tune notes before she is spun to face their victims, the drunken revellers wholly unsuspecting of their fast approaching demise. The baker clips one with her hip, sending him reeling in stupid surprise before Deimos crashes into the other, who blubbers and sputters his vehement rebuttal.

A flash of guilt snaps through the girl: how would her grandmother respond, seeing her delight in the bullying of others, compete to cause poor strangers harm?

But her grandmother is not here, and for once Amalia is happier to turn instead to her mother's ghost. She can imagine Rishima crowing her amusement, the dark woman cackling as festival goers are thrown asunder. In this moment Amalia emulates her mother: reckless, ruthless, unafraid.

"I suppose you're claiming those both as yours?" Her voice glitters with merry teasing, a wry curl pulling at her lips. Then they are off again, and the rules are changing as Deimos reaches out to pluck the blossoms from a stranger's head and crown the girl instead. Not the fairest turn, she thinks, eyeing the blooms on his own towering head. But a thought occurs to her, brazen, foolish, but too good to give up- if only he will help.

"Lift me!" And without giving him time to consider the girl springs up, both hands reaching over his shoulders to deftly pluck the lilac rings from two unsuspecting passersby.

Except they aren't unsuspecting, and as the girl's feet land on the ground she sees them spin to face their assailants, indignant confusion in their faces. "Run!" Amalia cries to her compatriot, laughter pealing from her lips as she slips the treasurer over her left hand and recaptures his around her right. Setting off at a jaunty pace, she turns around to make sure he is following, too gay with the thrill of the chase to notice that their presumed pursuers remain in place, staring after the retreating pair with bemused and unperturbed shrugs.
And I knew that somehow I could
find my way back
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Guildmaster

Age: 27 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 10 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 32 - Luck: 31
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,186
MP:
#8
DEIMOS
And in your darkest hour,
I hold secrets flame
These were the things he’d concocted as a boy, the wild, wicked chase, the silly, deceitful games, the mischief warped and twisting through his frame. They’d been innocent, to a point: snagging pastries from the window where they’d been left to cool, posturing diversions and antics where children hid and lunged at one another with great enthusiasm, kings and queens and knights for a day, hurling snowballs at each other, digging trenches along the moonlit tides and waiting for another to fall in, rescuing them moments later, laughter ensued amidst the iniquity. It’d been before they’d all grown up and chased after dreams of glory, chuckling and telling stories by campfires and ivory tents, cleaning blood off their swords. It’d been before they were all scarred and beaten, erased without a trace, dumped unceremoniously into wastelands and sepulchers, their dying echoes a constant refrain in the deepest, murkiest depths of his nightmares.

But that’s not now; just a careful reminder of how far he could push and shove and flank the world in sin, in melancholy – he refused to have it slink down into his spine, curl against his cords, his flesh, his sinew. His mother would’ve rolled her eyes, his father would’ve encouraged and laughed alongside the rest of the heathens, and his friends would’ve been there in the midst, cheering them on, placing bets, throwing their drinks into the air and clinking cups together.

Better days, he promised in the back of his mind. These would be better days because he defied the binding shackles and fetters warping the delicate intricacies, scaled rock walls and turrets, howled not in acrimony or vehemence, but amusement and delinquency, feeble fiends. It was wild and zealous, foolish and ridiculous, and that was why he liked it – no rhyme, no reason, calculation without true purpose except to drag the sun out of the clouds, except to melt glaciers, expect to accept. He took her boldness and applied it to the canvas, the tapestries, the woven veneers and annals; pressing his feet into the cobblestones with such a malicious, menacing decree, it was an oeuvre in Cheshire tactics and ruffian columns. The teasing curved, meandered, and snaked around him, urgent, demanding, subtle commands in their competition, and like a starved, feral beast, he ate away at it, grin widening, stare narrowing. “I will be fair,” his voice slid, acting wounded, as if she believed he’d act without honor; a subterfuge and pretense, considering the current circumstances.

Lift me coiled at him, and before he can consider the reasons why, he adhered to her demands, hands winding along her ribcage, fingers teasing; his shoulders suddenly occupied by her might, reaching over him entirely, and he’s given a view of many things and it might’ve been enough to make his eyes widen in minute, curious fractions, had he not been distracted by the blossoms instantly in her grasp.

Oh, so she wanted to play that way?

It was a challenge, a call to arms, and he growled again, less sinister notes and more barbaric intonations, an eyeroll cast to the side, stare already considering the other factions and individuals lined on this poor brigade. The indignancy and shock cast by the victims pooled into the diversion, and he glanced down at her, his mouth drawn into an almost mocking, scolding line. “I was not caught,” gesturing to the woman still spinning around without her laurels and wreaths, and perhaps that will reward him with extra points, fine details and matters relevant seemingly only to him; there was an outcry of run giggling its way into the grounds. Not to be left behind, or frankly outdone, his massive form was a smoldering, seething bull again, arms reaching around to lift her once more, place her on his shoulder, hands wrapped around her waist for scarce, fleeting seconds so she could right herself, settle as what she craved, as they fled the latest branch of casualties in their wake.

He also took the opportunity to grab two more crowns from random passerbys, their antics ignored by a scarce few now. The diadems rested along his palm, then maneuvered their way down his arm, so for an instant, he was trapped and snagged by flowers, by the sun, by absolute foolery.
master of nothing place;
of recoil and grace
Amalia
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 36
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,202
MP:
#9
Amalia
I took the stars from my eyes, I made a map
A grin splits her face at his promise of fairness, tawny eyebrows arching high in delicate surprise. "Then I am still winning!" Amalia attests, delighted, unaccustomed to being the victor in such affairs. Her voice is a challenge, a teasing, taunting dare. Catch up! it coaxes, unspoken words in the lilting notes, the glitter of her eyes, the beat of her breath. Catch me, if you can!

Her next command is met with compliance- another pleasant surprise. His hands are guards upon her waist, anchors to the world and harbingers of the sky. She springs, and he catches, wrapping around her narrow middle and bringing her to new heights. For a moment all else is forgotten: there is only the sun on her neck, her hands on her waist, the notes of their laughter bleeding together as the girl so moored to the past takes flight, anxieties left to wither and decay.

Then she is back upon the earth again, the grass beneath her toes and a rosy bloom on her cheeks. Her victims sputter their indignation, spinning and stalking, deprived of their crowns, and Deimos chides her for her indiscretion, his scolding voice steel in their aureate game. Prone so easily to recoil, Amalia falters a moment, abashed, a glimmer of doubt shading her face, her smile dimming beneath the taunt, eyes retreating to the ground. There are rules, it seems, which have gone unspoken, lines she has crossed and errors she has made. She has failed, fallen, ruined the fun, crashed upon the dangerous rocks which lurk below the surface of their sea. She was a fool to think she could fly, she who wears the weight of the world, she who aches beneath past sins...

No. The girl bites her lip, raising her eyes again to his, a hopeful prayer underlying the doubt. Is that humor in his eyes, the remnants of a smile at the edge of his lips? Is chiding truly mockery, consternation in jest? She wants it to be, wills it to be, needs it to be--

Do you really think so little of others, to believe they'd waste their time on someone they despise?

And so instead of running away from him, Amalia invites him to run alongside, praying he will not leave her behind--

And when he releases her hand she feels cold, not surprised but resigned, accepting, hopeless and hapless, refusing to stall in her flight away from her errors, her sins. Of course she has failed, of course he is done, of course he will leave her to her own devices, her feet in the cold grass, a ship without a guiding star--

And then she is off the ground, strong arms wrapping around her waist and flinging her up and around, over his shoulder, back to the sky. "Eeeep!" Amalia exclaims her protest as her vision flips and she is suddenly behind him, sort of, facing the bewildered expressions of her victims as her stalwart steed barrels through the crowd. Too shocked to protest, the girl only laughs, plucking another crown from a stranger as they make their way through the bemused onlookers, afloat once again in the shelter of his embrace, her woeful fears and plaguing uncertainty abandoned upon the ground.
And I knew that somehow I could
find my way back
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Guildmaster

Age: 27 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 10 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 32 - Luck: 31
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,186
MP:
#10
DEIMOS
And in your darkest hour,
I hold secrets flame
How many times had he been challenged? The memories folded over, behind his eyes like phantoms and wraiths, serpentining, intertwining, with the beckoning, untamed facets (stolen beasts, comrades taken by shadow and knives, the desecration in his steps, the promise of his molten iniquity, smoldering vengeance and abominations bursting within his veins). How many times had he won? How many times had he lost? How many times did he still sink into the lure, into the beguiling snares, tempted and intrigued? It made him a beast, it made him a fiend, it made him a heathen – and then it made him brave and bold and daring, bestial plains of mayhem and pandemonium, patron sinner anointed in disorder and disarray; the smirk a dead giveaway for his irreverent raptures. To a point, this game should’ve signified nothing; it was silly and diverting, amusing and chaotic, but there were no swords stabbing into lungs and sides, no daggers thrust into hearts, no vanquishing of foes and adversaries, no kingdoms pillaged, no villages plundered. And still he dove straight into the melee like a voracious wolf, ravenous predator, carnivore amore, unleashed from his makeshift fortress and prison, chasing down sunbeams and radiance as if he hadn’t seen them in years, in decades, in eons. He wanted to triumph in so many ways, and didn’t know which path to take, which rubble-laden road to sojourn upon, which stone to overturn, which trail to blaze – so he simply kept choosing hers.

Why she didn’t tell him to leave and disintegrate, wither and decay, was beyond him.

But Deimos was not one to abandon another; despite the title, despite the forlorn canvas emblazoning through his flesh and blood. Forsaken by the gods never meant he was a menace to his men, staring out against the vast sea of enemies and retreating away from the onslaught; they were terrors and so was he, howling and roaring amidst the war-torn fields and the ichor-stained rocks, menacing and malicious until the very last scream and outcry fizzled into nothingness. The warrior had often been the last one amidst the rumble, the din, of war’s feral dais; when everything collapsed and finished, the ground shuddered and moaned, and his compatriots laid out against the bare ground, he searched and searched and searched for survivors until someone else pulled him away. While the rest of the world turned away from him, he strayed and stayed, remained chiseled and intangible, the unattainable monolith and stone, untouchable because his armor was thick and lacquered to his skin, because when they begged and pleaded for someone, for something, to relieve them, to aid them, to assuage them all, naught ever answered. He listened to their final words and songs. He watched last breaths unfold and pulse into the midnight sky. He remembered their names, etched like scars across his spine. He’d be the least likely to renounce a friend. An enemy was a different matter.

But she wouldn’t know that; his eyes cut across her features and witnessed them falter, dissipating in their humor and bliss, and he concluded he’d errored again somehow, joked a little too far, pressed too close, and he thought about backing away, giving her space, no longer occupying the expanse. Perhaps she was done with him, like most others, granting him a quick departure, the sun gone out and behind the clouds, and the bits of radiance were bound to discard him again. It set him on edge, piercing eyes widening for a few seconds, before he simply defied.

For that was what the Reaper was made of: sedition and anarchy, refusing to bear any more damned proclamations and adherences, committing to actions instead of eloquence, striving and trying even while he was starving for so many other things he couldn’t have, couldn’t reach, couldn’t savor. Maybe it wasn’t right. Maybe all he ever did was one wrong maneuver after another; but her laugh sparked and fizzed behind his shoulder again, and he loosened a breath, released the scowl threatening to cloud over his eyes.

He charged, chuckles plucking in deep chords from his chest, from his throat, gliding along the breeze, plotting their getaway and deliverance with great efficiency, one hand grasping hold of two more crowns resting on a drunken man’s head (perhaps he’d been collecting too). Before long, his lengthy, swift strides carried them to a sidewalk furnished with bright banners and lacking a massive crowd. His gathered laurel and bloom diadems rested on his arms, quivering slightly at each gesture, as his grasp went to her waist, tugging her off his shoulder and down to the cobblestones. “There. We escaped.” One brow arched, mouth barely restraining a laugh, before glancing at her, at the crowns practicing their balancing acts, thoroughly damaged in their absurd journey. “Shall we proclaim a victor?” His mind whirled to the poor people they’d savaged, then to the circlets gathered in his stead, not counting the one he’d started with, pretending he wasn’t completely covered in blossoms and blooms. “I have 50.”

master of nothing place;
of recoil and grace
Amalia
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 36
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,202
MP:
#11
Amalia
I took the stars from my eyes, I made a map
They charge and cavort like the wild things they are, adults reduced to childish capers by gaiety and mirth. Amalia snatches at the crown on her head as it threatens to escape, displaced by too much jostling madness, her laughter a staggered peal as she struggles to cling to her prize. She might be worried about her own position, too, terrified to be released and slip down to the distant ground- but the hands that hold her are steadfast and firm, and the girl feels safe in their embrace.

Slipping her wreaths around her left arm, she snakes out to catch another, catching one thrown by a cackling child. "Thank you! she laughs back into the wind, catching more attention from the bewildered crowd. Another passerby entertained by the show attempts to lasso her arm, but a shift in position leaves her hands empty, her victory unassured. "You did that on purpose!" the girl exclaims, beating mockingly at the behemoth's back, her indignation tempered by laughter as they continue their merry retreat.

At last they slow their slapdash retreat, reaching the edges of the dense, merry crowd. Amalia slides neatly off Deimos' shoulder, her bare feet lighting lightly on stone as she stumbles, reaching out thoughtlessly to grab his arm and steady herself. It is a strangely intimate action - unexpectedly so, considering their recent proximity - and she drops it as soon as her senses settle, pulling bashfully away.

Still dizzy, delighted, the girl spins away, toes in pursuit of greener pastures. As the glacier takes count the baker collapses, falling breathless upon her back in the soft, warm loam. "I can't do math standing," Amalia declares, a wholly facetious proclamation, and pats the earth at her side. A flower crowned in vibrant gold, she grows into the earth, tawny hair messy and splayed around her, a messy halo of light. She is breathing heavily, her narrow chest heaving against the thin green cloth, the curve of her diaphragm nearly visible beneath its negligible weight.

Her breath caught, the girl draws herself back up, rising on narrow, dirt-stained elbows and searching for her challenger with bright, gleeful eyes. "A tie, then!" she declares boldly, raising her three crowns in proud display. Setting them down, the girl grabs one and begins absently decimating it, gathering the least crushed blossoms neatly in her lap and throwing the rejects innocently at the man.
And I knew that somehow I could
find my way back
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Guildmaster

Age: 27 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 10 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 32 - Luck: 31
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,186
MP:
#12
DEIMOS
And in your darkest hour,
I hold secrets flame
Everything was light, bright, defrosting and softening, melting away the frozen, chilling synapses across his features well before he’d ever noticed – staring into the beams of sun and slanted effervescence without looking away, eclipsing and emboldening his frame. His shoulders were not so heavy, his mind was not so maligned, his thoughts not so corroded and rancorous, different but comfortable, an ease on his lungs, on his heart. He watched her spin away, nestling into the grass, laying back and soaking in the repose after the mischief; he wasn’t sure if he could ever be at such peace, free and liberated, pulled away from the hundreds of iniquities nettled into his sides. His stare shuffled out into the crowd, a predator’s narrowed gaze, hovering upon onlookers and potential threats, because he’d forgotten to do so for so long before, tangled up in ferocious, fierce, wanton chaos, and the mere thought of it coiled along his mouth again, a smaller, more satisfied glimmer of amusement. No ominous beacons lingered in his vision, no one came to claim their lost blooms, no sputtering, indignant, exasperated patrons arrived, begging to duel. He sat down beside her, exhaled a long, lingering breath (no ghosts on it, no wraiths pulsing back into the sky, no auroras pervading from its sanction – the here and now, uncertain what to do when he wasn’t presiding in the past, when he wasn’t wounded and marred, bent and broken).

Deimos caught the edges of her tasseled halo and pondered about venturing deeper into those notions, into those sentiments, why she lingered close by, why she didn’t refuse his presence, why she didn’t tear off into the rest of the gathered when given ample opportunities. But then, the finality of the situation sprung against him, and he clenched his jaw out of habit, anticipating the desolation, the forlorn expanse. The game will end, and he’ll be left to his own devices again, following the same rituals and routines, ignorant and inept, tracing lines of hunting, of wandering, of chasing specters, of savagery with naught to wrap his hands around. He struggled not to feel the knot tightening in his chest, the dread, the apprehension, curling and fanning itself through the scars and lacerations. He could’ve picked at the strands, but didn’t know what he’d find underneath (and a part of him sat and simmered in the ignorance, in the unknown, because it’d always been safer there, frustrating and irksome, but still safe). So the Reaper remained in silence, awaiting the inevitable, the provocations ceased and dying off, cooling embers, immobile, turned back to stone and recoiling – perpetual and persistent in his reflexes. It was a guard. It was armor. It was a shield.

Then the effervescence flickered back upon him, onyx stare elated, declaring the affair a tie. He withdrew from his shell just as quickly, a laugh on a warm puff of air, solid and real, corporeal and tangible. “We cannot have that,” he shook his head, allowed the blossoms to fall around him, completely indifferent to how inane and silly he must’ve appeared. Deimos latched onto the appeal with avaricious, greedy, covetous claws, wanting more and more and more because that was all he’d ever done – standing upon ramparts and fortifications and wondering just how far he could push and assail – but she was a different matter altogether, and his mind was whirling on the intricacies, the delicacies. Some of her rejected blooms landed in his beard and he wore them proudly, tempted to roll his eyes that Kiada’s intentions might come to fruition by mere happenstance, but segmented the piercing, puncturing gaze (blue and blue and blue; ice and rime, and the ancient, rushing, roaring waves) directly back upon her. “We need another challenge.”

master of nothing place;
of recoil and grace
Amalia
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 36
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,202
MP:
#13
Amalia
I took the stars from my eyes, I made a map
She has given him an opportunity: go, escape, leave me behind and find a better ship to harbor. Sprawled upon the damp, green grass, she waits, breath baited, to see what he will do. The game has ended, and the man is free, the debt he swore repaid in full and then again. Amalia has had more gleeful fun in these past minutes than in many months, and she is grateful to him for the sacrifice, the gift of his time and boisterous laugh. To ask for more would be greedy, avaricious, and she dares not strain the tenuous bond they have forged from mischief and merriment.

And yet. And yet she wants it, burns and aches, yearns to bask a little longer, to envelop herself a little further in his light. So she reaches out in invitation, an effort to tug him a little closer, to keep in his orbit for a little more time. And when he sits beside her Amalia feels herself bloom, something warm like summer song sitting on her chest.

So delighted is she that her senses cloud, or so she will tell herself later. Declarations and challenges are issued, uttered- and then mentally redacted a moment later. It is not a tie. She realizes this as soon she says it, looking at the trio of crowns in her lap, re-running calculations behind onyx eyes. Her final count is forty-five, not fifty. He has won, has defeated her, has achieved his ends. He really is free then, and she should release him, should confess her miscalculation and take the punishment of isolation in stride. As he turns those piercing eyes on her (blue like lighting, blue like glaciers, blue like a sky she can finally see) Amalia resists the urge to recoil, to wither and weaken beneath his inevitable loss.

We need another challenge.

"Yes." What else can she say that is not already written in her smile, sung by the flush of her cheeks, the light of her eyes? Does he know? Does it matter?

He wants to stay.

She moves to the third crown, still extracting the nicest flowers, a mountain of petals growing steady in her lap. Her refuse has left him awash in color, and Amalia finds herself aiming for his beard, snickering with satisfaction whenever a blossom catches in his mane. Without asking, she steals another from his pile (bold, brave, a small defiance but one that thrills her nonetheless), extracting superior blooms from this, too. Also set aside are lengths of twine, the salvaged tools for some craft of her own device, a devious creation only she can see.

"We used to play a game, as children." Deftly her fingers begin to weave, crafting a dense mesh of flora, colors vibrant and petals relatively unbruised. "Where we went behind strangers and danced. The goal was to dance as long as you could without being caught." She adds another stalk of lilac to her creation, looking slyly through lowered lashes at the behemoth of a man. "Though it might not be fair, given that we were smaller then..."

And though she will never admit it to even herself, the girl's gaze darts briefly over his body, wondering at the musculature, the toning, the strength hidden beneath wool and furs--

Quickly she turns her eyes back to her flowers, trembling hands and crimson neck the only remnants of her brief and startling foray into scandalous thoughts.
And I knew that somehow I could
find my way back
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Guildmaster

Age: 27 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 10 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 32 - Luck: 31
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,186
MP:
#14
DEIMOS
And in your darkest hour,
I hold secrets flame
He’d never thought about escaping, hadn’t given it any consideration. He’d wanted to stay, back in the beams of sunshine, turning his face towards the skyline and horizon without any rumination of returning to the shadows, drawn back into veils and shrouds of encroaching darkness. The beast had been there enough, molded out of its walls, painted in bestial brushstrokes, maligned and scarred in its blackened blades, sinking and simmering, breathing and wasting away. The light was a welcome sanctuary, a haven he hadn’t immersed himself in for lifetimes, stretched in the basking glow, in the enamored radiance, well and truly beguiled by the striking, bright figments blinding his vision, persisting throughout the barriers, the barricades, the specters, catacombs, and sepulchers. In the sanctum, he wasn’t a monster, he wasn’t a heathen, he wasn’t a fiend; mischievous and wanton, chaotic and wicked, but not drenched and soused in the bewildering sense of constant iniquity. The sins he’d committed weren’t gone or erased, forgotten or abolished, but pushed aside. He inhaled freedom and exhaled levity – the burdens chased off, the encumbrances sunken into some other port or mire, muscles warmed by an exposure to something other than vehemence and villainy. The Reaper wasn’t a complete fool; when she didn’t chase him off into the Stygian warrens, he stayed, foreboding, ominous, and impudent just the same. Insatiable, gluttonous, and voracious, taking, taking, and taking, never quite sated or satisfied; the slyest smirk embedded into his lips. He’s victorious, in one way or another.

His gaze slid back upon hers – the boldness resurfacing, scorching, enticing, captivating, and he found himself leaning into it because he lived for daring and audacity, wanted her to see the courage and pluck stored in her obsidian gaze, wanted her to know and understand and feel the power, the might in its hold. She shouldn’t duck or hide, shield or retreat; lift her head, defy and instigate. He didn’t admit that he’d always done the same thing – tuck and shutter himself off, watch and watch and watch until something pulled or pushed him into nefariousness, into action. Without warfare, without barbarity, without viciousness, Deimos hadn’t been forced into motion, into anything but a frigid, damned glacier; chilling and calculating, coldblooded. He didn’t say Amalia was the catalyst this time. He probably didn’t have to.

She didn’t recoil, she didn’t flinch, she didn’t draw back into the ether: provocations rumbling in his chest, inciteful in his mind, waiting for the inevitable, assured and certain to take part simply because she was there and mischief was to be had, finessed, fine-tuned into devilish perfection. He listened as she mulled over possibilities, more blooms and blossoms tossed in his direction, sticking to his beard, his face, his hair, until he shook his head like a lion, and they fluttered around him in withered, paling disarray. She even snagged and took from him, one of the more maintained crowns that hadn’t been crushed and mauled in their escapades; a part of him wanted to tug it back simply for amusement, but the other contortions to his form allowed it, sanctioned it, because he’d rather see her audacity spark and sizzle than be condemned. A brow arched in response, however, so she knew he was aware of her actions. His gaze ghosted down to her fingers, making quick work of the hues and colors, uncertain what she was creating, curious nonetheless, leaning closer to spy and examine.

The children’s games sounded diverting – especially since they’d been acting around that particular age range – he nearly told her of all the things they’d played as boys, racing around, hurling rocks amidst their slingshots. There hadn’t been much dancing, except warfare and blades swinging around their heads, wooden swords well-equipped to design bruises across their skin instead of lacerations. It sounded like something he was about to lose merely because of height differences – her smaller stature would be more devious and underhanded. His presence, Colossus that he was, would be noticed within a moment, too menacing, too malicious. Perhaps it was entirely on purpose, so she could claim victory, so she could triumph. He snorted. “Sounds like you will be at an advantage.” His glance focused on the crowd, swarming again in the rush of music and beats, urgent rhapsody making them forget their woes, their trials, their tribulations, or the rush of their prior antics; accepting and tolerant of mischief because they hadn’t been exposed to it within Longnight. Could he deceive them? Or would he be fighting upstream once more, constantly against the current, lacquered and varnished in his ignorance? And would it make any difference, when that was how he’d lived most of his life?

“Show me.” Deimos turned back to her, his turn, his opportunity, to be the inciteful, the provoking, demanding instigator, piercing eyes seized in goading measures, the depths of his smirk deepening.

master of nothing place;
of recoil and grace
Amalia


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