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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Recent posts by Reralae
Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: To be honest


I was half expecting Aranwen to have to defend herself against two morning attacks - Ch'dau of course, as we discussed, but also Kithran for waking up to a Syl woman



Posted on 2019-10-16 at 12:17:31.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Whoo backstory


Now that is a chance encounter... quite mysterious. And clearly she's had sticky fingers for a very long time


With regards to Ch'dau... I feel it makes a lot of sense for him to more or less pass out once the danger has passed and he's no longer being moved. He might say something before doing so, but it might very well be a half thought out ramble with the adrenaline leaving his system. It also makes sense for him to lash out on waking. He may actually fear the events of the previous day were but a dream and that he is still captive even.


No matter how it happens, Aranwen will do her best to catch Ch'dau's claws when he starts upright and swings out, taking the hit as she needs to, while speaking in a calm but firm tone. In this regard, she actually does have a lot of experience about grounding someone after a 'bad trips' so to speak, which is an odd coincidence how it works out.


"You are not there! You are here. Easy! There's no enemies here. You are okay. You are here, you are safe. Rest, relax. Your wounds need to heal. You are here, not there. Hear my voice, feel the ground beneath your feet, hear the sounds of the city outside. We are not there any more."


It'd be things like this she'd keep trying to tell Ch'dau until he recovered, though I'd be surprised if she survived such an awakening unscathed, especially without Little Kitten intervention



Posted on 2019-10-16 at 01:30:22.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject:


Kind of curious... did you suspect I might have picked Mithwen's name intentionally?


Also looking forward to those sketches, take your time For me when I end up carving, there's times where it's just, pick up the knife and whoops seven hours have passed.



Posted on 2019-10-15 at 19:24:42.

Topic: The Adventures of Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun
Subject: Respite


Kithran spoke quickly between heavy breaths and the strain of the feline around her shoulders, “The witch, necromancer, she was, was torturing him, I think. I found him in a cage and we’ve been pursued by her undead monsters” she glanced back behind her, “like that thing, as well as her guard. Do not trust them to let us go easily.”


"Unfortunate," Aranwen muttered, "If that is true, my ruse as a member of the city guard won't suffice to keep them at bay. I'll still try at least."


* * *


A guard inside the gate doors spotted the mottly three immediately, and wasted no hesitation, “They’re here! They’re here!” He drew his sword and raced toward them, the guard on the outside of the door slipping in for back-up.


The armored woman lifted the large Kazari arm off of her shoulders, and helping to lower him to the ground. Kith stayed knelt beside him, “I apologize, I may not be much help here, can you manage?”


Aranwen nodded, her golden eyes sympathetic, "Rest, let me weather this attack."


Striding forward, she drew her blade, and took a breath, "If you value your lives, I strongly recommend finding employment elsewhere," She said, her tone cold as the steel in her hand, "But if you want them, come and claim them!"


Though Aranwen could see the flickers of doubt in the guards' eyes, they did not stop their pace. She nodded, taking another breath as she rushed forward to meet them head on. Though the first lunged with his blade, she wove to the side, her voice audible as she begun her song, bringing her blade around her to deflect the sword harmlessly to the side. In a rising crescendo, she didn't stop her movement, her back leg coming up to kick the shield back into the guard, forcing them apart. She observed him wince at the impact, his shield arm weakened by the unconventional assault. In staccato, she pushed forward once again, parrying a hastily raised blade and grabbing the shield with her free hand, pushing hard. She forced the shield aside even as she followed his blade upward, slashing across with her blade. The slice cut deep into the guard's shoulder, just striking through joint of the shoulder armour, and he recoiled back once more, into the second guard that stumbled with the dagger through the knee. Seizing the opening, Aranwen brought her song to a close with a charge, running past and slicing at the exposed necks of both stunned guards.


Wiping the blood from her blade, she sheathed it, before returning to Kithran.


Kith already had Ch’dau’s arm around her shoulders by the time the Syl returned, “That was incredible.”


Aranwen gave a smile, "So was your aim," She returned, "Not much help, hm?" She gave a playful smirk


Together they made their way into the streets of Davnor, still helping Ch’dau, though he seemed to be able to get his feet under him a little better with each alleyway they put between them and the clutches of the Undolithe estate. They eventually found themselves resting against a building in one of those alleys, attempting to find some breath before moving forward.


“Have you any quarters in town, Bladesinger? I have a place close to here if we need it. It should work for now, but it isn’t great.”


Aranwen shook her head, "I've none," She replied, "I only arrived to this city today. If you've a place, I'd appreciate being some place low profile myself."


Kith nodded and pushed herself off one wall and into the door on the other side, fumbling with the picks hidden in her armor, “My place is very close, I should say.” With little effort the door swings open to a few stone steps leading down into a dark cellar. She swayed a second at the realization that sleep would soon be upon her, but shook her head for now and turned back to the other two and the bladesinger’s mixed expression of question and strain.


The three gingerly made there was down into what the others could now see was a wine cellar. Kith lead them to a wall with a thin mat against it, and she and the Syl lowered Ch’dau onto it. She then trudged back to the door and made sure it was locked, lowering a wooden bar in place as well. When she turned back only the question remained on the woman’s face.


Kith leaned back against the wall and slid down next to Ch’dau’s head, “When I first arrived in Davnor, I needed a cheap place to stay, so I stole several of the most expensive bottles of wine from this cellar, stashed them quickly, and then returned to the storefront as a customer.” She took out the dagger she had lent to Ch’dau and examined the worn handle as she spoke, “As you can imagine, they were in a bit of disarray, why, they had just been robbed of their retirement plan! Well Shinara’s favor shined down on them that day because I just so happened to work in finding things and people, at a price or for a favor.” She untied the sheath at her hip and continued, “Long story short, I took care of those who had wronged them and returned their prized possession. I am truly kind, you know. And they were so happy, they offered me the world, but a humble traveler and smile-finder like myself, I simply needed a place to stay. They couldn’t offer much, but it’s home. I must simply remember to put the bar down when I am here for the night.” Kithran placed the sheathed weapon on the Kazari’s chest. Whether he was conscious or not was a mystery, but he was alive and she was grateful.


"Very resourceful," Aranwen complimented with a chuckle, "I see you know your way around the night quite well, and how to make a space for yourself."


She tilted her head back against the stone and closed her eyes, “I apologize, bladesinger, I cannot stay awake much longer. Thank you, for--” a big yawn muffled the rest of her words and as her head began to tilt into sleep, she mumbled, “Ah, you may call Kitheran . . . or Kith . . . if you must.” And she was gone.


Aranwen's golden eyes widened for a moment in shock, "Mith-" But she paused, averting her gaze and she shook her head realizing she had misheard, "No. Kithran," She looked back and gave a gentle smile, "Rest, young one," She offered to Kithran in whisper.


She looked between Kithran and the Silver Cat, slumbering peacefully, "She looks so young," Aranwen mused, "For a Syl to adapt and learn so quickly to night walking and subterfuge... but why are you here, and not home in Sylvari?" She wondered, before she regarded the kazari, "And you, Silver Cat, what path did you tread to see you here? A captive?"


Aranwen shook her head, "What a strange day it has been."


After she was sure the others were asleep, she looked at Kithran once again, "I know it's not her, but... are you influencing my path from the forest beyond, Sae?" She whispered.


Aranwen did what she could to tend to both Kithran and Ch'dau's remaining wounds, doing what she could not to wake them. She was left with no more supplies to treat her own injuries, but hers were far less than theirs. With that done, let herself rest against the opposite wall, placing her sheath in the door's handle to bar it closed, before allowing herself to succumb to sleep.


* * *


When the others awoke, they'd most likely find Aranwen checking and replacing their bandages.


"Good morning," Aranwen offered, her golden eyes mostly looking relieved to see neither of them succumbed to their injuries.



Posted on 2019-10-15 at 19:02:21.
Edited on 2019-10-15 at 19:03:56 by Reralae

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: Locked doors are always suspicious


The polymorph trap is so well known as a thing from 2e D&D I somehow know about it despite never having encountered it


In any case, Kithran, still got any lockpicks handy?


If so, I vote wooden door first



Posted on 2019-10-15 at 16:28:10.
Edited on 2019-10-15 at 19:21:31 by Reralae

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Describe what you see...


Maybe I can draw them?


As you had noted that Ch'dau had previous knowledge of bladesingers, it only made sense for some stories of him likewise finding their way to the order, I thought  



Posted on 2019-10-15 at 09:38:38.
Edited on 2019-10-15 at 09:41:42 by Reralae

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: I imagined


Adedra's keep is actually within the city walls - Aranwen went from outside the city, into the city, then into the keep. After we leave her keep, we'll be well within the city, but adjacent a residential district.


Any remaining skeletons that have left her keep are almost certain to have drawn the attention of the city guard, which ought to occupy them, if they're not just chasing civilians around. If we do encounter an enemy that attacks us though, Aranwen will go on the attack, telling Kithran to keep steady while supporting Ch'dau and begin the bladesong again. 


I'd imagine Kithran would have determined a few possible hideouts within the city itself, but if she either hasn't or doesn't remember at the moment, Aranwen did effectively save the lives of a number of civilians. The possibility that one may lend shelter is surprisingly not zero  



Posted on 2019-10-15 at 05:45:15.
Edited on 2019-10-15 at 05:50:46 by Reralae

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Oh yeah


Does Kithran hide her ears or half-Syl heritage in other ways? I'm thinking Aranwen will initially mistake her for Syl if she can see her ears



Posted on 2019-10-14 at 23:45:36.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: All action and no introductions


Course, in her mind, she sees you two in mortal peril, so she figures introductions are secondary to taking action and helping you both survive


Sorry I wrote in Kithran reaching for Ch'dau by the hand first; after the fact I'm not sure that's what she'd do and I can redo that section appropriately based on what you think


Aranwen is just full of questions now though


If you're wondering about the spider, in my head it's in the inner courtyard a bit confused at its targets being gone. Couldn't exactly see where we went through the tiny window, after all. Gives a momentary reprieve to make emergency first aid, I think



Posted on 2019-10-14 at 23:40:06.

Topic: The Adventures of Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun
Subject: An Unexpected Fall


Aranwen opened a door to make her way into the inner courtyard, and found herself in the midst of a skeleton search party, thankfully smaller than the last. She held a few wounds over the encounters she had faced, and drawing breath once again, she steeled herself, her resolve, her blade, and rushed forward once more.


Sweeping the blade in reverse, Aranwen struck a ringing blow against one skeleton's head, cracking it with the flat of her blade. Around in an arc, she brought the blade down, ducking underneath another skeleton's swing as she struck at the joint between upper and lower legs, removing its mobility. With a twirl, she brought the blade back up, narrowly catching the blades of the remaining skeletons. The combined force of the blow forced her back, and she knelt outside one of the manor windows, before she lifted her voice in crescendo and lept forward, twirling her blade around to slice through both skeleton's necks.


Turning around in case they had survived the attack, she readied her blade, but was shocked to hear the window smash above her, and a large grey creature and a humanoid landed hard on the ground. Both were covered in blood.


“Take… her… rrow’ka,” Ch’dau wheezed as the surprised Syl peered down at him and the bone-spider’s front legs appeared in the broken casement from which they had toppled, “Get her… free… of this place…”


Aranwen looked to the young woman, who looked more than a little delirious, by her opinion. Her head snapped back up, her golden eyes narrowing at the creature they had clearly run from. She could see the wall buckling as it pressed its weight against it. Taking quick stock of the situation, she nodded, before she looked at the woman, "Can you stand?"


(( ))


"Then help me with him!" Aranwen told her as she sheathed her blade, "You take his right side, I'll take the left. By Adaron's grace, the path to the front gate should be clear as I left it."


Aranwen shook her head as Kithran went to pull Ch'dau upright by the hand, "Not like that," She quickly instructed, "Here, follow my lead."


She knelt down, carefully drawing Ch'dau's arm across her back until she could feel she had a good position with his shoulder, before she nodded at Kithran. Once Kithran had Ch'dau in a similar position, she nodded once more, "Now, lift with your legs," She told her, carefully pushing herself and Ch'dau to his feet, "Up you get, warrior. I won't relinquish you to death."


By this time, the skeletal spider had started bashing at the outer wall, but with Ch'dau now balanced between Aranwen and Kithran, they were able to leave the courtyard just as it broke through.


"When we get to the front gate, I'll get the guard there to let us back out," Aranwen told the others as they started making their way through the outer keep, "I can't believe you two are still able to move at all, judging by the amount of blood on you," She observed, "Just what happened here?" She asked, "And you," She looked up at the kazari, a faint recognition dawning, "Hm, Silver Cat?" She asked, now getting a good look at him without the distraction of being chased, "I see your reputation is well deserved. We need to treat both your injuries as soon as we can, but I'd sooner do that outside of this skeleton-infested household than within. That said, we need to stop."


Aranwen nodded at Kithran, before kneeling once again, "I can feel blood seeping through my shoulder armour. Take the small satchel out of my bag. There should be wrappings in it; take them and bind his wound as best you can. We need to stop the bleeding."


She tilted her head a bit to look Ch'dau's in the eye, "Stay with me," Aranwen told him, "Hear my voice, and feel your breaths. Slow your breaths, and breathe; the fight is done."


Though she was not trained in the ways of the healer as Saeriel was, Aranwen did know enough to have learned that the most dangerous thing for a bleeding creature was their own heartbeat emptying them of blood.



Posted on 2019-10-14 at 23:24:53.

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: The path forward


"That feeling is chilling, my friend, I am glad you are so much stronger than I."


Aranwen shook her head to the half-Syl beside her, "It's not a matter of strength," She replied with a chuckle, "Just my heritage, it seems, nothing to do with who I am," she shrugged her shoulders, "Strength is what we each develop through our experiences."


She nodded at the open door, her golden eyes narrowing in distrust at the green light beyond, "I know not what manner of magic or substance is needed to tint those lights green, but I don't like it," Aranwen noted, looking to the others, "If you've a free hand to carry a torch and wish to do so, go ahead and light it. Whatever's here has seen fit to do away with darkness, so we need not be stingy about shedding light of our own," She reasoned


"Kithran, and everyone, please be mindful of the building around you, including the floor and the walls," Aranwen commented, "This is architecture we cannot be sure of. Though I don't believe they'd put something that'd hinder their own passage, there's things that won't hinder them but will harm us, as we've seen with the door. Aside that, we proceed as we have been."


(Aranwen will light a torch herself, and offers a spare if someone else wants one)



Posted on 2019-10-14 at 15:05:09.
Edited on 2019-10-14 at 15:12:49 by Reralae

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: The other detail being...


Should they find themselves overwhelmed and really need to back off, they can always follow Ara's song. Reason being Ch'dau has heard enough of Adedra's gloating to recognize her voice and the singer is definitely not Adedra, and someone unknown in a place that tries to control everything that happens inside can be reasonably assumed not to be part of the enemy group  



Posted on 2019-10-14 at 12:32:55.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: Will do


I can put something together to move us forward  



Posted on 2019-10-14 at 12:27:32.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject:


"The style is so named due to the strange music caused by the wordless, soulful tunes which are sung as these warriors rip their whistling blades through the air." - from the class description 


 yes, they are literally singing while they fight


Not too surprised this is a detail Blackthorn missed, or perhaps omitted. But if you go to my first Current Aranwen post, the bandits do hear her too, and I wasn't being hyperbolic about it echoing through the hall she found herself fighting in, in the keep 


I even played with the idea of some enemy calling her 'banshee' as a result


For her current singing, she is doing her best to make a strong song to match the strength she wants in her swings, but it is still tinged with heartbreak



Posted on 2019-10-13 at 17:47:13.
Edited on 2019-10-13 at 18:22:36 by Reralae

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: That is definitely..


One spooky mixture being mixed there  the lighting effect is perfect



Posted on 2019-10-12 at 12:22:03.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Dreamsynthesis


I like to call my projects collectively as 'dreamsynthesis', the act of taking something from a dream and making it in reality  


Here's the thread I've posted some in if you would like to see 



Posted on 2019-10-12 at 11:43:16.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: It's kind of weird to say but


Sometimes I miss nightmares for the kinds of things that can be seen in them. Sometimes they can be quite intriguing after the fact. 


I would be working on my Halloween cosplay, but I actually finished it in September.


Maybe I should try designing a real prop of Aranwen's sword... 



Posted on 2019-10-12 at 11:31:05.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: I imagine it varies


from skeleton to skeleton


Some might have a bone blade sharpened from some older skeleton that had since fallen into an unanimated state. Others might carry the metal equipment they held when they served alive. Others still might just claw with unnaturally sharp bone fingers. Doesn't seem like the kind of thing Adedra particularly made certain for there to be a set equipment/uniform for her undead legion in the making.



Posted on 2019-10-12 at 00:02:40.
Edited on 2019-10-12 at 00:07:25 by Reralae

Topic: The Adventures of Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun
Subject: The bladesinger and the skeletons


Aranwen walked through the market stalls, passing by all manner of people interested in all manner of wares. She had to admit that the sheer variety of goods on display was more than she had anticipated. There was one thing in particular she was on the lookout for, a black mask. Probably would be marketed as an antique or something, she was sure. If she could track down its place of origin, then maybe...


A light touch caused her to stop in her tracks, and she looked down at the little girl who had placed a hand on the wooden scabbard she carried.


"Pretty!" The little girl ooh'd, letting her hand run along the engraved wood.


With a soft chuckle, Aranwen knelt down, "Where are your parents, little one?"


The girl gave a shrug, "That way maybe?" she made a vague gesture, pointing further into the city, "They let me wander. I'm looking for toys!"


Aranwen frowned. By all rights, she was certain that it was not safe to let a child wander alone, "Here, let's go find them," She offered.


The girl gave a wide smile, "Okay!"


Passing through the merchant district, Aranwen and the girl started towards the residential areas. As she vaguely wondered who the girl's parents might have been, that's when she heard it. Screams.


"Stay back," Aranwen warned the girl, "Find your parents, and tell them you need to get home quickly."


"What's wrong?" The girl asked, her eyes widening a bit


"I don't like those sounds," Aranwen muttered. But before she could take a step, the girl placed a ribbon in her hand.


"Okay, I go. Good luck, Miss!" The girl offered before she ran off.


Aranwen tilted her head, before looking at the ribbon she was given. It was loosely tied in a bow. She shrugged her shoulders and put it in her bag, before she advanced forward, her pace quickening.


She only had to see the skeleton charging at other civilians to act. Drawing her blade, Aranwen advanced with a gentle hymn, hardly raising her voice as she sliced into the skeleton's rib cage. Though resilient to her blade, the attack had the intended effect - the skeleton turned to her and swung with a jagged bone blade, easily parried with her own as she lifted her voice, then descended to piano as she followed the blade with her own and brought it through the skeleton's neck. It crumpled under the attack.


"Get off the streets!" She told the people she had just saved, "Where'd it come from?" She asked.


So Aranwen pursued, from one set of people to the next, chasing the skeletons back towards their point of origin in a chain of misfortune and blood. Eventually she stood at the gate of Adedre's keep.


"I can't let you-" The guard spoke, but Aranwen cut them off.


"I've reports that undead are coming from this gate," Aranwen spoke, brandishing the voice of authority as she had been trained to do so in the past.


"We know of no such-"


Aranwen hurled a broken rib at the man, "Explain!" She commanded.


"I er, that is to say,"


"Is this something you can't explain?" Aranwen asked, her golden eyes boring into those of the guard.


"I-I only guard the gate, ma'am," He replied


"Then do your duty and open it! We haven't all night! There's skeletons in the residential district and if they aren't from here, I'd like to verify that so we can find out where they are actually from!" Aranwen retorted.


Wincing under duress, the guard finally acquiessed, and opened the door.


"Thank you," Aranwen spoke in a tone that made clear her disappointment at the delay, "Now, where do I go to get to your employer?"


A shaking hand directed Aranwen as the guard meekly provided some directions to the bladesinger. She nodded her thanks, and stormed into the keep proper, inwardly breathing a sigh of relief that her ruse had worked. She had no reason to assume this had any relation to her own reasons for coming to Dravnor, but she knew one thing. Bodies had to come from somewhere, and that somewhere might be connected to the slavers she fought. Or she hoped, anyhow, even as she made her way further into the keep at a brisk pace.


Aranwen rounded a corner and found herself face to skull with more skeletons.


"Well, were I actually a city guard, I'd say I found my proof," She observed.


Bringing her blade forward, she drew herself into a fighting stance and took a deep breath. Aranwen began to sing, deep, strong vocals of a wordless language that echoed around her and through the halls as she rushed forward to meet the skeletons head on.



Posted on 2019-10-11 at 23:49:55.
Edited on 2019-10-12 at 01:01:51 by Reralae

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: It also makes sense to me


With regards to the fact she's trying to draw on primal energy, especially using Ch'dau's blood. And what is more primal than the biological urges?


Looks like Aranwen has a few bones to cut to size...



Posted on 2019-10-11 at 22:14:16.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Group hugs


Hugs for everyone



Posted on 2019-10-11 at 16:54:26.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Some perhaps important context


To a Bladesinger, their personal code, those oaths they take, I feel those hold more weight to them than a code does to a Paladin, as shown by the class description.


"Code: The Bladesinger must live up to the strict standards of their own code. Discipline is usually ingrained to the point where any individual would rather die than break even the smallest tenet (i.e., a dishonored sword is left on the battlefield, regardless of immediate danger). However, a Bladesinger that breaks his or her vows can expect to be hunted down and executed by the rest of the order."


Saeriel's oaths included "to protect those who cannot protect themselves," a very dangerous promise to make. Even if the order had decided she was not at fault, as a personal code it's more important how the individual feels of themselves...



Posted on 2019-10-11 at 16:35:18.

Topic: The Adventures of Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun
Subject: It isn't how it is really meant to be


422 E.R, Northeastern Sendria Forest, Sendria-Sylvari border


Before them, Saeriel and Aranwen saw a wooden mannequin with a tattered cloak around it, adorned with an almost featureless black mask. The only feature it had was the bright red lips it wore.


"How?" Aranwen grit her teeth, "Did you hear anything approaching, Saeriel?"


You are both keenly observant, well trained soldiers. But even you don't look at things that are already present before you arrive. It's in my interest to watch over my things.


Saeriel took a breath and drew her blade, as Aranwen drew hers, "What are you, demon?"


I am no denizen of the abyss. Nor would I care to become one. I am Morgana, and you may have the pleasure of enjoying this as your last performance.


Raising its hands, the mannequin's fingers grew longer and visibly sharper, until they were as blades, gleaming silver and red by the setting sun. That was the only warning before it had rushed the bladesingers. Metal rang against metal as Saeriel and Aranwen blocked a hand each, beginning their duet once again. It was different this time, however. Neither of them could read the movements of this construct. It moved as a humanoid, but without any of the tells, no tightening of muscle, not even seeming to care for center of weight as it jerked about erratically with dangerous blades.


Swipe after swipe, the creature forced the bladesingers back. Neither Aranwen nor Saeriel were willing to let it go unchallenged, however, as they together sliced into the creature's wooden body, again and again, sending wood chips flying with each successful strike. But they could not prevent the creature from returning the favour, as it landed a hard slash into Saeriel's right shoulder, and Aranwen's left forearm. For a mercy, neither were the dominant arms of the respective bladesingers, but as they felt lifeblood leaving their body, their strength also began to wane. It was a race to see what would happen first - would the construct be broken by their combined efforts, or would it land a grievous blow first?


The battle was interrupted by a scream.


Always looking forward, like good wooden soldiers lined up in a child's toy army. Never do you look at what you want to protect.


Aranwen turned and felt her blood go cold. Mithwen was futily stabbing at the arm of another mannequin, one that had gotten a firm grip on the Syl's shoulder. The mannequin's free hand went to the mask it wore.


You are MINE.


The black mask was placed on Mithwen's face, smothering her scream even as the mannequin collapsed harmlessly beside her. Mithwen reached up, but her hands stopped short of the mask, frozen in place. She was breathing rapidly; her breath was not smothered at least, but the rest of her limbs didn't move even as Aranwen could see muscle straining and even her hands twitching as she struggled against something unseen.


I would have preferred you brought to me, but I must not be stingy about exerting myself as the need arises.


Mithwen and the black mask appeared to shimmer in the air, then they were gone.


Saeriel brought a hand to her lips in horror, "Dear Adaron, she is- no!" She clutched her forehead, training barely keeping the grip on her blade, "What is that? No! The child!" The colour drained from Saeriel's face, and she fell silent.


"She's... gone? What happened to her?" Saeriel finally asked.


Hm? You can see things beyond where you are? An interesting gift. I imagine you don't think of it as such right now.


Aranwen grabbed Saeriel by the shoulder, quickly taking her blade with her own, "Sae! You're here, not there. Snap out of it!"


Saeriel slumped to the ground before Aranwen could support her, tears flowing from her eyes.


Well, that's unfortunate, Morgana gave a long sigh, You both showed such strong will. I thought I might be able to claim all three of you for my trouble. But it seems I was mistaken. I need not waste my efforts then.


As the mannequin turned its back, Aranwen so desperately wanted nothing more than to strike it down, but she relented, glaring at it as it moved away. It was more important that she and Saeriel were no longer in danger. Sheathing her blade, she sat with Saeriel, and gingerly returned her sword to her sheath, before carefully embracing Saeriel, avoiding her wounded shoulder, "Sae? Sae? We're here. You're with me. We're still alive."


"But we failed," Saeriel whispered, her voice hoarse.


Aranwen shook her head, "No, we did everything we could," She tried to give a reassuring smile, "Come on, lets patch ourselves up."


Saeriel nodded finally. They took their armour off and Saeriel pulled out a satchel of bandages. She carefully applied them to Aranwen's arm, and Aranwen returned the favour for hers. Once they were sure the bandages were set and they had done what they could to make sure they wouldn't bleed out, the two bladesingers donned their armour once more and stood.


"We should head back," Aranwen spoke.


Saeriel averted her gaze, before shaking her head, "Aranwen, look."


Aranwen turned back to Saeriel, for a moment uncertain what she was supposed to be looking at, then she saw it in Saeriel's trembling hand, "No..."


Saeriel no longer carried the full of her soul's blade. The elegant curved blade of a dancer had snapped in pieces, and all she held left was the hilt.


"You understand, don't you?" Saeriel looked into Aranwen's eyes, desperation etched into her own violet eyes.


Aranwen shook her head, "No, no, you just need... you can reforge it! That's something that's done right?" She asked, "Please, I won't tell them. It can't be like this."


Saeriel sighed, looking helplessly at Aranwen, "My oath is broken; my blade is undone."


Aranwen shook her head again, unable to keep tears from her eyes, "No. How many times before have I thought I failed, for you to hold me up and keep going? Please, let me do the same. Just tell me what to do. You know those blades. You know the spirit. You're a seer, an artist, a warrior, and my wife. Please, tell me how to help you!"


Saeriel gave a hollow laugh, "Even if I knew how long it'd be until I could make new oaths and reforge that blade, pretend it never happened, how long could I hide that fact from the others? You know what I'm talking about."


Aranwen grit her teeth, "There has to be something. This isn't right!"


Saeriel sighed, "I have three options. I can return and accept my fate, accept the judgement of the order. I can run and be branded a deserter and oathbreaker. Probably die alone somewhere to some other bladesinger's sword."


Aranwen clenched her fists, "I'd sooner fight them to protect you. What's the third option?"


Saeriel looked directly at Aranwen, her eyes damp and with a sad smile, "I can choose to die here. At least then I'd spend my last moments with you."


"That's NOT AN OPTION, Sae!" Aranwen screamed, before she fell silent, "And what, what of my oaths?" she clenched her hand at her chest, "I can't even fathom-"


"Your blade won't break here," Saeriel replied, giving a smile, "I don't think yours can break. You know, you made yours with far greater foresight than me. It makes me happy to be one small part of it."


"Stop talking like you're going to die, I won't let you die here," Aranwen spoke firmly, "I won't-"


Saeriel sighed, taking a long breath before she drew her sword, "Don't hold back. Please."


"Sae!" Aranwen recoiled, narrowly dodging a diagonal slash from Saeriel's blade. Saeriel's movements weren't as quick or fluid as they used to be, but her swings were still wide and arcing like a graceful dance, "Sae, stop! Stop!"


Saeriel had closed her eyes, using muscle memory alone to weave her sword around recklessly. She winced but didn't stop when she inadvertantly cut her own leg with the blade. Finally, Aranwen drew her blade, parrying a slash that she would not have dodged. Saeriel opened her eyes, "Ara," she spoke, her voice cracked, far from the confidence she held as a singer, "Don't die for me."


"Then why do you get to?!" Aranwen retorted, bringing her blade upward into a counter slash. If she could just knock the sword from Saeriel's hands...


But Saeriel dropped her blade, and walked forward into the strike.


Aranwen's hands went to her mouth in horror, sword forgotten as both it and Saeriel fell to the ground. Her own blade cracked as she watched Saeriel cough in pain, her body unwilling to give up even as her spirit had.


"Ara?" Saeriel whispered.


Aranwen was at her side in a heartbeat, tearing at the leather armour Saeriel wore, and already pulling the bandages from Saeriel's satchel. The bandages dropped from her hands when she saw the wound.


No more words were said. Aranwen took Saeriel's hand and held it to her chest. She stayed that way until she felt it limp.


She screamed into the night sky.



Posted on 2019-10-11 at 16:16:49.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Well if you're sure


I was considering holding it until some time later, buuut if you're both keen on it... grab a friendly plush or pillow or whatever suits you and I'll get this copied over



Posted on 2019-10-11 at 15:56:19.
Edited on 2019-10-11 at 15:56:46 by Reralae

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Oww....


I did it. I managed to write Aranwen's worst memory. I'm not even sure I have the heart to post it to be honest.



Posted on 2019-10-11 at 14:47:00.

 


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