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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Creativity Forum --> Personal Creations --> Prelude - Fates of Fortune
Parent thread: The Fates of Fortune
GM for this game: Merideth
Players for this game: Eol Fefalas
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Merideth
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Prelude - Fates of Fortune

((OOC: I have been working on cleaning up Cay and Nyx's story before they begin their work tailing Kat, here is the progress. Enjoy.))

Drasnia
10 Years Earlier

The night that had settled over the great city of Drasnia was as thick and heavy with impending doom as it was dark. Those who had even the slightest gift of premonition tossed in their beds until they could stand it no longer and then went to the window, staring out into the inky darkness as if waiting for the world to end. As the sky slowly turned ashen and then exploded with the brilliance of dawn and nothing seemed to have transpired they sighed in relief and went back to their lives. The night would forever stain their thoughts though as they wondered what calamity was avoided. Little did they know that nothing had been avoided. Events transpired that night as they had been fated by some dark power that while seeming small and insignificant at the time would have a profound effect years later on all of the Braudian Empire. For this would be the night that Nyx Shyndyn would first lay eyes upon Cayrimisa Etellenya.



Two amber colored eyes flitted up toward the darkness behind that rose above their mistress. For a moment she thought she had caught the slightest flutter of something from up there. All that greeted her, however, was the distant flicker of stars that peeked out behind a thin veil of clouds. She squinted a moment and looked at those stars a bit longer than she had meant to. The small diamond-like specks seemed more distant and muted here in Drasnia. It was if they had purposefully pulled themselves away from the city, perhaps the very heavens were disgusted by the city.

This was not altogether surprising she mused to herself. Drasnia was not a pleasant place by many measures. It sat on the western edge of the Braudian Empire, a large tumor surrounding the fetid smelling ports that kept it well nourished. Like any so called civilized area of Braudia it was officially governed by the humans, although there were tales that once it had been shining mecca for the gnomes. Any gnome with enough drink in them would proudly take responsibility for the lighthouse that illuminated the port and the system of walls that helped protect it from the violence of the seas beyond. But that was a history that had long fallen from the official histories of the humans. They had rewritten nearly everything after the wars, and to suggest that anything other than human minds and the back breaking work of the lesser races, usually under slavery, created anything in Braudia was blasphemy. Most of the other races had pressed back when the humans began their demanding sweep over the known world, the elves giving them their hardest fight, but in the end their force was not enough and everything fell. Elves felt the yolk of this new regime the most of all due to their strong defiance.

It was that yolk that Cayrimisa had hoped to shake from her own shoulders by coming to Drasnia. This dream was much harder to attain in real life than she had originally planned. A truth that was just settling over her, and was further punctuated by the metal disk that weighed so heavily in her hand at the moment. The stars that had pulled back from the vile city reflected in the near tears that welled up in the corners of her eyes just then, as for a moment she wished she could join them. She wished she could find a way to get away this world that had been nothing but cruel to her, perhaps most of all she wished she could get away from herself. Such a wish could never come true though. So with a deep breath she pulled the tears back and set her sights back on the streets before her, the large brown edge of her hat casting a wide shadow across her face and hiding the determination to bring this city to its knees before her.

She made a very interesting figure as she marched through the winding streets that scarred Drasnia. As best as she could figure she was somewhere near thirty years old. An age that for a human was nearing middle age, but for an elf was barely out of adolescence. As she was neither elf nor human and yet both at once that left her hovering in a space that was near adulthood. She walked with the simple grace and arrogance that spoke of her elven blood, but not with the height that normally accompanied it. A slender figure was artfully hidden beneath the peculiar clothing she had adopted, oversized boots, thick striped leggings, a dress that was more like a burlap sack, a dirty mens shirt and of course the large frumpy hat that topped the look off. Somewhere under that hat a pile of auburn hair had been piled, but few ever saw more than a few loose strands of it. Just as the public was also not often privy to the slight slope of her ears or the gentle tug that lifted the corners of her eyes. This was how she often dealt with the blaring truth of her half-breed blood, by hiding the signs of her elven heritage.

If those elven features she so despised were passed down from her father or her mother was something she never knew. Etellenya was the "name" she had been called by most of the elven tribe that had raised her. The name was more a variant of the elven word for "foreigner" and that was mostly accurate. She had simply been found, wrapped in a blanket, nearly frozen and starving on the side of a road by the vagrant group of elves, not more than a few days past her birth by all accounts. The high quality of the blanket she had been wrapped in was the only clue about her parentage she ever had. Beyond saving her life she was not offered many kindnesses by the tribe that she grew up with. A fact that helped to plant and then nourish the seething hatred of elves she was now nurturing into a full blossom.

To coax that sharp red flower out of its bud she would first need to visit an apothecary who was said to perform any number of unscrupulous surgeries for the right price. The pocketful of blood stained coins in her pocket she hoped would be enough to convince him to do what she wanted. Soon she would find out.

Just ahead a plank of wood dangling from a nearly rusted chain had the following printed in faded blue elven hand:

Fallaner

Fallana qualmellie, en'quenat, en'fea, ar'en'nowellidol

Eldalie ar'Human

(Healer, Healing your agonies, of body, of spirit, and of mind, Elven and Human)

She wrapped her thin fingers around the handle and pulled on the door, half expecting and perhaps half hoping that the door would be locked and that the apothecary would have already called it a night, and she would have to work up the courage to do this again tomorrow. The door creaked open under her pull however and the warmth that was inside began to spill out against her face. Golden light flickered in a fireplace across from the door, the obvious source of the heat. Between the door and the fireplace was a small room with stone walls and a roughly cobbled floor. Books, potions, furs, and trinkets of unknown usage piled atop a few wooden tables and bookcases. The only table that was not completely littered, if you did not count the tankard of ale, five books and what looked like the horns of a goat atop the oil cloth, was the table centered in the room. Around that table four chairs were squared, and in one of them a hunched over elf sat, his face to the fire and back to the door. His long straight platinum colored hair was pulled into a braid down his back, a dark purple ribbon woven into the plaits and a lovely silver clasp tying up the bottom of it. He wore a dark brown robe and other than that Cay could tell very little about him yet.

As the door opened a soft bird whistle resonated through the little room and the elf shifted slightly in his chair, letting her know that her presence was known. Cay looked around, but could not find a bird amongst any of the clutter in the room, at least not one that was alive enough to make that beautiful chirp, the one hanging upside down by it's talon in the steamed over window seemed incapable of this feat. It occurred to her that it was likely an enchantment on the door that made the sound and her lips twisted a little bit. Leave it to an elf to use the sweet sound of a bird as an alarm to his abode.

"This is a late hour for visitors, melamin." His voice rasped, obviously that tankard of ale on the table was not his first of the evening.

She narrowed her eyes and let her hand stay on the handle of the door. "I need some assistance, perhaps from you, but not if you call me that."

He turned in his chair, a pair of bright blue eyes shone despite the ale and pierced right through her. "Someone does, why not me?"

Immediately she felt nausea sweep through her midsection and a wave of vertigo to go with it. Something was happening in this room, it was palpable, but exactly what that was was beyond her comprehension. "No. No one calls me that."

The bright blue eyes blinked and then a smile crept onto the elf's face. He was starting to show wrinkles around the corners of his eyes and mouth, but otherwise he carried the same smooth ageless features of all the elves, with their thin lips and nose, the slight tilt to their eyes and the unmistakable turn to his ears. "I stand corrected, no one calls you that, yet." His eyes flitted to the steamed window, looking beyond the dead bird and out into the darkness of the night she had just stepped out of. "One day though, I feel there is one who might, and perhaps he is closer than you would care to know."

Cay gripped the handle tighter, getting ready to flee as she also tried to keep the floor from slipping out from under her. "Stop speaking in riddles old man. I am here on business. Do you want my business or not?"

His smile deepened. "Oh, I think I do, I think that assisting you will prove to be a very interesting exercise. Don't you?"

"I'm not sure I know what you mean." But she felt more at ease now that the discussion was on what she came in for.

"Not important for now. Please come in and we can discuss what you wish for me to do tonight." He waved his hand toward one of the empty chairs, a thin hand with long pale fingers, decorated with as many rings each bearing elven runes on their faces.

Cay let the door close behind her and stepped into the room, feeling the warmth of the fire wrap around her as she slid into the chair. Once down he adjusted his own chair so they were facing each other squarely and then looked at her waiting for her to begin. With effort she cleared her throat and began to recite the statement she had been long rehearsing in her mind, going over in detail what it was that she hoped to achieve this night. The apothacary listened quietly, his blue eyes dancing and his fingers mindlessly caressing over the runes on his rings. When she finished she too sat, waiting for the expected response, "why by the Gods would you want to do that?" She had an entire sermon worked up to spit back at him the moment it left his lips and she was almost trembling in anticipation of that question. But it never came. Instead he sat there, looking her over a moment longer before finally speaking.

"An unusual request," He began, and she edged toward the front of her seat, "I am unsure how to price such a procedure. Did you have something in mind?"

The words she had prepared stuck in her throat, a wad of angry bile that seemed to have no where to go. Fire crackled beyond their little play and the moments ticked by. "Yes..." the word finally found a way around the maze stuck in her throat. From the inside of her cloak she pulled out the little bag of coins that she had just taken off the slave hunter. Her fingers tried to tug the oily string that held it closed but they fumbled over the knot uselessly.

Without a word the elf reached over and took the bag, he undid the knot and spilled the coins on the table. The blood that streaked across the fronts of half of them caught the light of the fire and seemed to glow like rubies. She watched as he reached out and ran his finger across one of them, the blood immediately turned dark on his skin.

"Yes I think this should do," He muttered and then wiped the stain onto the oil table cloth.

"Good. And lets get this clear, I don't want any of that Elven magic use on me. Is that clear?"

His brow rose, "Elven magic?"

The fuzzy feelings she had been experiencing since she walked in were washed away with a surge of indigence, it felt good to finally feel angry again. "Yes... is that clear?"

"I am a bit unclear about what Elven magic is exactly." He said shaking his head.

"You know what I mean, magic, all magic, it's all Elven. And I don't want any of it, not for the procedure, not for the healing. I'll handle the pain, I'll handle the wound... just no magic."

"Since when was magic Elven?" He asked simply, ignoring the rest of her prostrations.

Her head shook in exasperation and she sighed, "Since forever. Everyone knows that, now can we please get back onto the subject here?"

"No. Not yet. Let us not be in such a rush to mutilate yourself. I am still stuck on the fact that you seem to think that magic is elven. Do not other races use magic, gnomes and dwarves for instance?"

She sank back into her chair, giving into to this little sidestep toward her goal for the moment. "Sure, they know a few basic incantations, enchantments barely, and most of which are said in the Elven tongue, so obviously they were taught the trick by elves." Then with a sideways look into the fire she muttered quietly, "And it is not mutilation, it is improvement..."

A wave of his hand dismissed her mutterings and he went back to the meat of his discussion. "Not exactly correct melamin."

Snarls crept back over her face. "You know I really don't care."

"But you should. Magic is strong with you."

The snarls intensified immediately. She rose out of her seat and stared down at the older man. "You know I have killed one man tonight, for mistaking me as an elf," gesturing toward the blood stained coins as proof, "do not make me do it twice."

He looked up at her, unmoved by her sudden threat. "You did not kill that man, maimed him yes, but killed," shaking his head, "no. Nor will you kill me. Instead you will sit down and you will listen to what I have to say, quietly from here on out. When I am done we can get on with your little procedure. Until then sit and learn something, and know that what I have to say has nothing to do with blood, not yours, not mine, or any other race for that matter."

Cayrimisa found herself sitting back down as ordered, feeling dizzy and fuzzy again.

He went on as soon as she was settled, "Magic just IS. It has always been, you see, since the first stars breathed life into the world, perhaps even before that. Perhaps it was around when the world was little more than a pile of rocks floating under a dark sky. And someday when we have all died and the plants and animals reclaim all of this, when they die and the world returns to the dark desolate place it began the magic will still remain. It crackles unseen by most in every crevice of everything. It is beyond anything that your mind has ever considered. More powerful than you can dream of. Once everyone knew it. The elves, the humans, the gnomes, the dwarves, the orcs... it did not matter, each of them had it in their lives, they knew it, they practiced it, the lived with it. But over time things changed and some began to achieve things without magic and slowly they began to forget. Humans have mostly forgotten all of it, only a few even dare to believe that they could lasso it. Only the elves kept it in their memories, and thus it is through them that we can still access it. But it is not theirs, and I do not believe that they hold the only gateway to it, I believe that if one became good enough one could channel it through other means, but at the moment the elven ways are the only way known to start. Like all things on this world some people are born with a gift for it. As some people are born with a gift for cooking or building, some are born with a gift for magic. This has nothing to do with their race... I have met gnomes and dwarves and even a human or two that carried this gift. But being born with a gift is not enough. The gifted cook will not accomplish anything if he is never put in a kitchen. So it is with magic. But given the tools and with enough practice the gifted can accomplish much. Just as you could. You," he reached over then and took her hands in his own, "are greatly gifted in this matter. Attuned to the working of magic in ways I have not seen in some time, you would have to find it though... find the magic and work with it... and then..."

He closed his eyes then and let her finish that thought for herself.


Posted on 2013-12-17 at 20:16:40.
Edited on 2014-12-22 at 14:01:28 by Eol Fefalas

Eol Fefalas
Keeper of the Kazari
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Karma: 453/28
7551 Posts


Didn't expect I'd leave this alone, did you?

The job was done. The most immediate evidence of that fact, now, was the still-damp spatter and smear of blood that streaked the assassin’s coat. Any other confirmation that Death had visited Drasnia in such a foul manner tonight would not be found until the morning at the soonest…

By some fishmonger’s wife scrubbing her laundry in the river, likely, that assassin smirked to himself, imagining that very scenario playing out… some over-painted, over-round breeder woman knelt on the banks of the fetid Reyal, trying to scrub fishguts and the like from her aprons and skirts, the fabric going fouler as opposed to refreshed as the blood-filled water seeped through it, the squeals and screams of her horror as the shredded bodies bobbed to the surface… That would be a glorious sight, yes?

The shadow-cloaked Mith’ganni stopped his transit across the cities rooftops, now, and, standing at the edge of a precariously pitched gable, cast his yellow-eyed gaze skyward. His pale lips (stained dark, now, by the charcoal he had used to paint the semblance of a skull upon his sharp featured face) split into something of a comforted smile as his eyes picked familiar constellations out of the cold night sky. He sank into a crouch, then, there, at the edge of the roof, forced his gaze from the heavens and let them pan across the nightscape of Drasnia… One day, the elf swore to himself, his sight falling on the river that bisected the city, I shall fill that river with their corpses and then it will flow with even more filth than that with which Men have already soiled her!

A sinister laughter erupted in his mind at that and, as the night seemed to cool all the more, the assassin shrugged his cloak about him and wrapped his arms around his knees as he turned his eyes toward the glittering night sky. Perhaps… in time… the voice that followed the laughter said as the Twilight Elf’s gaze paused on the spray of winking red stars known as ‘The Threadcutter’s Axe,’ but not until I say, Shyndyn. I allowed you your fun in Labaram… Drasnia is to be different… There are many threads to be severed, here… and in that number, I’m sure that you will find more than one opportunity to slake your thirst for vengeance… But you will cut each of those threads only by my guidance… Should I have need for you to kill all of Drasnia at once, I will be certain to let you know.

“Of course,” Nyx whispered, his expression as cold as the inky sky that blanketed the city, “O’ Executioner.”

Good, the voice answered, already dwindling away, Stare at your stars, then, Mith’ganni… and mind this city… I have much work for you here…

“Wonderful,” the assassin muttered in reply, “I do so love Drasnia.”

Drasnia.

Jewel of the Empire if one listened to the descriptions given by the round-eared, monkey-faced breeders that crawled the place like so many paching roaches. A shining hub of culture and commerce; a thriving tribute of breath, blood, and gold to their gluttonous god, Naxir, on the continent that this breed of so-called Men had renamed Braudia… Or was it Ellis East...no matter… when their infestation began. The gnomes had called it ‘Untii’nân’ when the industrious little folk had laid the city’s groundwork centuries ago and, even before that, his own people had known this continent as Tuu’palurin.

None of these Men would know that, though. None would as much as care. It meant nothing to their own history; had no bearing on their designs or desires; nor would either… ever. No, Men cared for nothing more than their singular selves and the accumulation of wealth and status. To Men, those of the lesser races – Dwarves, Gnomes, even Elves – were of little more use or consequence to them than were the copper, silver, and, sometimes, golden coins which they tossed one another so impulsively… just a commodity to be bought, sold, or traded for something the previous owner found more desirable… or reliable, as it were. Either way, it’s certainly an economically sound and ethical trade for all parties involved, isn’t it?

Even Nyx knew this… that everything had its price…Nyx had learned this from Men; that all things were commodities - land, grain, food, water, wine, and gold, livestock (both animal and humanoid), even death… yes, death was big trade among Men, he knew… Nyx should have known… Nyx dealt in death…and Nyx hadn’t been in the company of Men long… had been in Drasnia even less time… and he hated it. Were it not for the guidance of the stars (and the direction from his god), the Mith’ganni, doubted that he would have tarried here any longer than it took to confirm that Lyssa was not anywhere to be found within this stinking place’s walls. But the stars had led him here and Prien, of course, kept him busy (and his thirst for vengeance satisfied) with threads to sever and so he stayed… and silently bemoaned moments like this one which found him alone with the stars that had drawn him here.

Why here? he demanded of them for perhaps the thousandth time, crouching at the roof’s edge and letting his gaze wander the constellations in search of the answer he was beginning to doubt could ever be gleaned. Only the Threadcutter’s Axe seemed ever to wink in reply and, all in all, that reply was unnecessary… he knew that he was here to kill but there had to be more. All his life the stars had given him direction and reason and, for all his life, he had never questioned that guidance, but it had been so long since they had led him away from Shanurdir… so long since they had brought him to Drasnia… he had begun to wonder if the sea had somehow stymied the stars and, as such, he would languish here until Prien decided to sever his thread and he would never know… “Why here?” he whispered to the sky… and, above him, the Eyes of Ulareene flickered… and, below him, the scrape and thud of boots that were too large for the feet that wore them snatched at his attention.

Nyx’s moon-colored eyes abandoned the stars, then, and flicked down to the alleyway to catch sight of the curiously garbed figure that, too, seemed to have just given up on its… her… own perusal of the Drasnian night sky. The large brim of the hat she wore, as she turned her face from the sky and back to the path before her, obscured her face from view all too quickly but Nyx had seen enough to discern the hint of elven-wrought features…

Curious, Nyx thought, his gaze following as the woman proceeded gracefully (despite the sound of those too large boots) along the thoroughfare towards the door of a shop… the faded sign that hung in front of the place hawked the skills of the healer within… Rare enough to see a free elf on these streets… at this hour… Rarer still that her manner of dress isn’t… something more, yes? Even the poorest of Drasnia’s free (or freed) “sub-humans” seemed always to find the coin to dress themselves in attire that was, at least, clean and in keeping with some semblance of fashion, but this poor creature’s choice of apparel was… Curious, indeed.

He hadn’t truly realized that he was following her until he found himself perched on the roof of the building that was her destination… and it wouldn’t be until many years later that he would understand exactly why he had followed her to begin with… Peering down at her from the shadow cast by the crumbling chimney of the place, Nyx watched in oddly rapt fascination as she tentatively opened the door of the Fallaner shop and, it seemed, almost hesitated to cross the threshold once she had. It was in that moment that he, too, felt some sharp pang of the trepidation that seeped from the young woman on the stoop below and, in that space between heartbeats, scolded himself for being distracted by something that was obviously nothing to begin with…

Why bother yourself with the likes of this? Because you find her garb off-putting?

Pach! The boredom induced by this place addles your mind, Shyndyn! You would be better served filching a skin of wine and finding a place to rest until you are needed again… Why care what this one is up to? Eccentric free-elf or escaping slave, most likely… and, whether one or the other, neither concerns you.

That round-ear graveyard west of here, though, that could bear another look, couldn’t it?


…Nyx had started to slink away from the roof’s edge just then, content to leave the woman below to wallow in her indecision, but she didn’t wallow. Instead, she squared her shoulders into a more determined set and, as he heard her suck in a steeling breath, stepped through the doorway… and Nyx, again, found himself profoundly curious as to what this odd girl could be up to at an apothecary at this late hour…

The things I do to spite monotony, he smirked inwardly as he moved closer to the roof’s edge rather than away. As the door below closed with a muffled bang, Nyx stepped into the void above the alleyway, turned as he fell, grasped the edge of the roof as he passed and, in so doing, swung himself through an open window on the apothecary’s upper floor. He landed softly in what was, apparently, a bedchamber and lingered there only long enough to assure himself that no one had been made aware of his arrival. When no alert was sounded and there was not even the sound of the footsteps of someone coming to investigate, the Mith’ganni crept from the room and, sometime shortly after the murmurings of conversation reached his ears, found himself prowling the darkened fringes of the building’s ground floor.

“An unusual request…” Nyx heard a male voice, notably accented by predilection toward a native elven tongue, say, “I am unsure how to price such a procedure. Did you have something in mind?”

There was a pregnant pause in the conversation, here, and Nyx, having just made his way to a darkened spot between two rows of well stocked shelves, halted his progress. He was stealthy enough to escape human detection easily enough in this city, he had no doubt but, given that the two he was currently stalking were of elven descent, he worried that his whisper-silent steps might be heard even above the crackle and pop of the fire on the hearth. He was in a position, now, that, should he be able to adjust some of the sundries on one of the shelves, he might be able to have a better view of the pair, anyway, and, with each crackle and pop of the fire during that lull in dialogue, he would reach out and slide a bottle this way and a box that in order to construct a suitable peep-hole…

“Yes…”

The woman he had followed into the place answered just as Nyx’s fingers, first, nudged aside a phial labeled in the script of wood elves as ‘Nightshade’, then, as if in afterthought, closed around the thing and slipped it into a pocket within his coat. The removal of that phial provided the last bit of clearance he needed to actually see the pair seated across the table from one another and he watched as the woman, her face still veiled in the shadow of her hat’s brim, extracted a coin purse from beneath her cloak. Her fingers tried to tug the oily string that held it closed but they fumbled over the knot uselessly.

Without a word the elder, silver-haired elf reached over and took the purse from her, effortlessly undid the knot and spilled the coins across the table. Nyx smelled the coppery tang of the blood that the healer now touched, and, as the old pharmacist assented to accept the payment and wiped the blood from his finger onto the oil-cloth that covered the table, the Mith’ganni quirked a brow and studied the young woman in the new light which the blood smeared coins had cast upon her…

“Good,” the strangely dressed girl said, then, “And let’s get this clear; I don’t want any of that Elven magic used on me…”

That quirked brow climbed a bit higher at that. Elven magic?

“Elven magic?” the apothecary’s words echoed Nyx’s thought to a word even if the tone was different.

“Yes,” the woman answered, her tone edging away from uncertain to angry, “is that clear?”

“I am a bit unclear about what Elven magic is exactly.”

Nyx, too, was interested in her answer for some reason…


“You know what I mean,” the girl retorted, “magic, all magic, it’s all Elven. And I don’t want any of it, not for the procedure, not for the healing… I’ll handle the pain, I’ll handle the wound… just no magic.”

…and the healer’s reaction to that answer…

“Since when was magic Elven?” He asked simply, ignoring the rest of her prostrations.

Is it the magic bit she takes issue with, Nyx wanted the old elf to ask, or the Elven part? He had seen enough of her face, by now, to have realized that, while the blood of tel’quessir did run in her veins, there was a certain fullness to her features and a roundness to her eyes that betrayed the taint of human blood, as well. The girl was a half-breed.

The brim of her hat flounced as her head shook in exasperation and she sighed, “Since forever. Everyone knows that, now can we please get back onto the subject here?”

“No. Not yet. Let us not be in such a rush to mutilate yourself…”

Mutilate yourself? Nyx’s scowl deepened. I have missed a good deal of the bargain, it seems… His yellow gaze ticked, as limited as it was in the confines of the peep-hole he’d constructed for himself, between the half-elf girl and the old pharmacist, and he wondered what sort of ‘mutilation’ the former might have requested and, if he truly considered it mutilation, why the so-called healer, was even giving the request his consideration, at all… What is it that you plan on having this ianter do to you, little cousin?

“… they know a few basic incantations,” the peredhil had said in resigned rejoinder to the old man’s query as to other races having their share of mana-slingers, “enchantments barely, and most of which are said in the Elven tongue, so obviously they were taught the trick by elves.” Then with a sideways look into the fire she muttered quietly, “And it is not mutilation, it is improvement…”

Something dark swirled in the Mith’ganni’s gut at that and that dark thing enticed a rage in his mind that, had he succumbed to it, might have meant the death of both the “healer” and his “patient” in that moment. As that bloodlust swelled, though, so, too, did the remembrances of the stars that flickered in answer to his question, not so long ago on this very night, of ‘why here’ and, so, he swallowed his wrath for whatever reason and forced himself to remain still and attentive as the conversation continued.

“Not exactly correct melamin.”

“You know I really don’t care.”

“But you should. Magic is strong with you.”

Nyx’s eyes narrowed further at this revelation from the old, silver-haired elf, though whether from distrust of magicians or given the fact that something about the girl’s amber eyes and the tendrils of her auburn hair that escaped her hat blinded him when they caught the light, even he wouldn’t know for quite some time. Regardless of the reason, the Mith’ganni assassin held his secreted position and continued to watch and listen as the old one cowed her into listening to his lecture on the origins and use of magic… and, then, waited… for whatever might transpire next…



Posted on 2013-12-18 at 23:47:48.
Edited on 2016-05-04 at 09:30:57 by Eol Fefalas

Merideth
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But of course not my dear...

Magic he had said. Spells, incantations, curses… power. Magic was something she had known about all her life, being raised by a tribe of elves. There were shamans in the tribe, healers, priests, dream readers, even a woman devoted to love potions. She had been personally hurt by magic as a child in the form of punishment by the adults or bullying by the children, they had then healed her with magic. Magic had been used to protect the members of the tribe, and it had been used for daily tasks as well. The practice of the art had always been forbidden to her though, the shamans had all proclaimed that her impure blood made her incapable of the delicate practice. Not that she had ever wanted to. If practicing magic could only be done by the elves she would have nothing of it. But what if that was all wrong?

They lied to you…

The little voice that had been guiding her life for sometime now spoke up again. Perhaps it was right. If this man could see something in her, something powerful perhaps, might the shamans she grew up with have seen it too. They might have seen it and feared it. Squashing her talent before it could even begin to flourish. If the arts were not elven, as they always claimed with great pride, then what right had they to discriminate?

Her eyes danced around the room, looking over the implements of magic all around her, listening to them to see if any began to sing to her. Perhaps there was an omen of some kind that would cry out to her and tell her if what this man was saying was true, or if it too was just another cruel lie she was being told. Oily bottles, little curls of drying parchment, dried herbs, dusty books… nothing sang to her. Until her eyes happened upon a certain small leather book, tucked neatly into a small crevice near the door. Elven lettering in silver danced along the supple cover, spiraling around a red and white rose in full bloom. Her heart nearly stopped when she saw it there. That rose. She had been making that rose for most of her life.

The tribe she had been raised with were known for their tapestries and she had been allowed to pick up that art. They all signed their names to their pieces, and Cayrimisa had chosen the rose as her signature. Something about that flower had always called to her. The bright red of the petals, so much like blood, the lovely full symmetrical bloom, the thorns that covered its branches. Not many other elves connected with the rose especially the more domestic and lovely rose. Some of the more wild variations were found in elven art, but rarely the rose she had chosen. It took too much care, pruning, feedings and constant attention. Such a plant was more akin to humans, who settled down and grew gardens. Elves, the ones not forced to tend to those gardens, were travelers who found beauty in the way nature caused things to be on its own. Seeing her sigil on that book made the decision for her.

This is all very interesting… but what are you going to do right this minute?

The voice called out to her and reminded her that she did have to say something to the elven man sitting in front of her. Admitting that perhaps he was right and that she did need to consider magic as a course of study was not something she looked forward to doing. There was more going on here than just the issue of magic…

“You have the sight.” Flinging her gaze back onto the elf before her. “You knew I was coming tonight.”

Bright blue sparks lifted up from under his lids and he gave her a slightly sad look now. Without another word he shifted the books on the table, hiding under them was a small leather bag, carefully he procured a set of heavy scissors, a fine bladed small knife, a curved needle and finally a spool of waxy looking thread. “I even saw what you would ask me to do…”

The teasing aspect to his tone was gone and she too felt more somber now that the implements of the surgery were laid out so plainly on the table.

“Then tell me. If I take this path, this path you have laid out for me, what will come?”

A pause then, “Blood, pain… death… suffering…” the man’s lips curled into a disgusted snarl as he shook his head slightly.

She blinked and before she could think further on this nasty prophecy she furiously demanded an explanation, “Then why!? Why send me on this path if it will only bring me these things? Why not send me down some other path?”

A sigh escaped his lips and he turned his eyes to the fingers rubbing the runes on his fingers, “I ask myself the same question, over and over again… there is no good answer, melamin.”

Anger was welling around her, starting to spark little lights in her vision. “Would you stop calling me that!!”

“Hmm? Oh… melamin? I’m sorry, I do not know your name, only what he calls you. Or will call you.”

“You knew I was coming but you do not know my name? You knew what I wanted done but not my name? And what do you mean… what he calls me?”

Pinching his fingers together tightly, “Let me clarify. I do not know who you ARE. I only know who you may be. If you take this path you will someday encounter a man, and I have seen you as he will. To me your name is melamin because he uses that word for you, and with such sweetness and tenderness that it has nearly broken my heart to hear it whispered in my dreams…” Firelight flitted across his face and for a moment Cay is almost certain there were tears welling on his bottom lids.

“But… you said blood… and pain…” Her own heart was pounding now. Nothing was making sense anymore.

“There is that. And love.” Finally his eyes rose to hers and he spoke with great seriousness. “All of the paths open to you are soaked in blood melamin. That is who you are, there is no getting away from it. I have long suspected that you would not be a good woman, and now that you are in my presence I know I was right. But only by going down this path will you meet him. All those other paths, soaked in blood, you will walk down alone.”

“But…” whispered tenderly into the small space between them, “who is he?”

Shuddering as the question is finally posed he shook his head. “I know not. All I know is that he too is dark and blood soaked. He would have to be to love you in such a way. But I do not see him, I only see you, through him. I fear that the joining of your paths will start Drasnia down a nightmare from which we will only awake from with your deaths.”

Compelled now she grasped his runey fingers in her own, voice rising sharply. “Then why!? I beg of you again. Why set me down this path?”

The old elf shuddered as a leaf in breeze. “I cannot help it. After seeing the depths of his love for you… I simply cannot beg you to go down a path where you end up alone. I should. I should not have said a word about magic, better yet I should have locked my door tonight and gone for a drink around the corner chanced this meeting between us to never happen… but I couldn’t.

“I know you saw the book. Take it when you leave. I will do what you have asked, I will take your payment for it, and you will leave. And don’t ever return. Think on what I have told you, seek the stars for guidance… en’sina aa’Seldarine poikaya amin.”


Posted on 2013-12-19 at 02:34:24.
Edited on 2016-05-04 at 09:33:37 by Eol Fefalas

Eol Fefalas
Keeper of the Kazari
RDI Staff
Karma: 453/28
7551 Posts


Well good... because I'm not! ;)

The Mith’ganni listened as the ianter droned on about magic and his high minded ideals of how, at one point, it had belonged to all people regardless of their ethnic heritage… about how it still belonged to all but some had chosen to forget… and it bored and angered him all at once. Nyx had very little use for magic. Although he, himself, had learned a trick or two that were helpful to his work along the way, he thought of them as just that… tricks, illusions, sleight of hand… not true magic. That sort of thing, to his mind, was best left in the hands of so-called shamans and scholars and others of their ilk… the selfish, the weak, and the useless…

The Jolbane possessed some of the most powerful magic on the Steppes, after all, and what good did it do him, a dark inner voice reminded him, It didn’t save the clan when the round-ears came for them, did it? No, he didn’t even bother to so much as utter the beginnings of a spell to try and save them, did he? Just ran away and hid in that cave because he was so much more important than the others… even Lyssa…

…From his hiding place, driven by something in the memories evoked by that malevolent voice inside, Nyx was glowering, now, at the old elf and was very nearly imagining that the ancient point-ear was the Jolbane and the girl across the table was Lyssa… they might have been sitting by the stove in the old shaman’s epele, sharing a mare’s milk and, perhaps, having a conversation similar to this one… and when the slavers stormed the camp, the old shaman would piss his pants and flee… leaving his own daughter there to…

…And magic didn’t save him when you came for him, either, the phantom voice interposed itself over Nyx’s imaginings, did it? No… you took his hands off before he could sketch the first sigil in the air… took his head before a single word of power could be spoken… where was the magic to stop that, hm?..

His fingers, he realized, were curled around the hilt of his blade and were on the verge of drawing the thing forth, and Nyx had to bite his tongue in order for the “Dina lle” he willed at the voice not to escape his lips as audibly spoken words. Clenching his teeth while forcing his fingers to relax and let go of the blade, the assassin settled back on his heels and tried to focus on the conversation between the apothecary and the girl over the sinister laughter that echoed through his mind at that moment…

“You have the sight. You knew I was coming tonight.”

…he hugged his knees in an attempt to keep his hands clear of his weapons…

“I even saw what you would ask me to do.”

…shut his eyes and rested his head against his knees, too, trying to will away the fantasy images of Lyssa and her father that he’d superimposed over the pair in the room beyond the shelves…

“Then tell me. If I take this path, this path you have laid out for me, what will come?”

Blood. Pain. Death. Suffering.

“Blood, pain… death… suffering…”

…Nyx looked up, then, blinking through the makeshift peephole through the sundries on the shelf when the old apothecary’s words echoed those which Prien had just murmured… I believe I would like to have this thread, Shyndyn, the Executioner’s voice decided even as it diminished in his mind, collect it for me, won’t you?…

“Then why,” the peredhil was demanding of the old elf. Her amber eyes were ablaze, dancing with a fire light by confusion and, perhaps, anger, and they veritably glowed with light even though they were veiled still in the shadows cast by the brim of her hat. “Why send me on this path if it will only bring me these things? Why not send me down some other path?”

“I ask myself the same question,” the apothecary sighed, “over and over again… there is no good answer melamin.”

…Of course, my master, Nyx murmured, at last, as an inward and, somehow, distracted response to Prien’s parting request…

“Would you stop calling me that!!”

…The death god hadn’t been specific as to which of these souls he wanted reaped…

“Hmm? Oh… melamin? I’m sorry, I do not know your name, only what he calls you. Or will call you.”

…but Nyx was fairly certain by now which one he would be taking…

“You knew I was coming but you do not know my name? You knew what I wanted done but not my name? And what do you mean… what he calls me?”

“Let me clarify. I do not know who you ARE. I only know who you may be. If you take this path you will someday encounter a man, and I have seen you as he will. To me your name is melamin because he uses that word for you, and with such sweetness and tenderness that it has nearly broken my heart to hear it whispered in my dreams…”

…Pach! A once tedious lecture on the arcane has devolved into some syrupy, love-sick minstrel’s farce!…

“But… you said blood… and pain…”

“There is that. And love.

All of the paths open to you are soaked in blood melamin. That is who you are, there is no getting away from it. I have long suspected that you would not be a good woman, and now that you are in my presence I know I was right. But only by going down this path will you meet him. All those other paths, soaked in blood, you will walk down alone.”

…Moon-yellow orbs rolled jadedly in the charcoal-painted sockets of a mith’ganni skull…

“But…”

…as the young woman’s voice whispered so softly into the air, though, those same eyes fixed on her and, it seemed, his cynicism had turned into a hard lump in his throat that demanded swallowing…

“…who is he?”

“I know not,” the old elf answered, “All I know is that he too is dark and blood soaked. He would have to be to love you in such a way. But I do not see him, I only see you, through him. I fear that the joining of your paths will start Drasnia down a nightmare from which we will only awake at your deaths.”

…Drasnia’s nightmare is already here, Nyx sneered, his hand once again resting almost languidly upon the hilt of his blade…

“Then why!?” the girl’s tone rose as she snatched at the old healer’s fingers. “I beg of you again. Why set me down this path?”

…Begging, the Mith’ganni smirked despite somehow – and for some unknown reason – feeling some empathy for the half-breed girl, Pathetic…

“I cannot help it,” the old elf replied, and audible tremor affecting his voice, now, “After seeing the depths of his love for you… I simply cannot beg you to go down a path where you end up alone. I should. I should not have said a word about magic, better yet I should have locked my door tonight and gone for a drink around the corner chanced this meeting between us to never happen… but I couldn’t.”

…Oh, just get on with whatever it is the slitch is here to do, Nyx started to fume, There is work to be done and the preparations must be made!…

“I know you saw the book. Take it when you leave. I will do what you have asked, I will take your payment for it, and you will leave. And don’t ever return. Think on what I have told you, seek the stars for guidance…”

…Yes, the Mith’ganni agreed, look to the stars for guidance, little cousin. Perhaps the wisest thing this ba'er has said all night. The stars will provide better guidance than anything in that book…

The old elf then said; “en’sina aa’Seldarine poikaya amin.”


…and Nyx almost laughed. Oh, the gods will cleanse you, old one, that much is certain… I do not, however, think that you’ll much enjoy the process… nor the particular god with whom your audience has been arranged, yes?


Posted on 2013-12-19 at 15:41:34.
Edited on 2016-05-04 at 09:36:09 by Eol Fefalas

Merideth
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Karma: 177/13
3127 Posts


Mutalations

"Lets get on with it then..." she muttered, feeling oddly numb right now which might be for the best.

Without another word the elf went about preparing for the upcoming 'surgery'. While in her chair Cay began her own preparations. She removed the hat from her head, a snake of braided chestnut coiled around her crown. Those half elven features shimmer in the golden light thrown off by the fireplace. For one last time she strokes the slight points that her ears come to and then closes her eyes as her hands come to rest on her lap. Carefully she begins to control her breathing and lets her mind begin to wander to a safe place, falling into a trance to help with the pain she knows is coming soon.

A forest of red and white trees grows around her. Dimly she is aware of the cloth being placed on her left shoulder, and a bit of smoothed tree limb wedged into her mouth. There is a tug on her left ear. One tree comes sharply into focus, its own limbs stretching high above her toward a naked moon. Then it happens. A stab of pain threatens the trance she has built as it tears into the upper curves of her ear. The pain is excruciating and small tears begin to well in her eyes, but instead of screaming she bites down harder on the bit in her mouth. She had anticipated the pain, however she had not anticipated the wet popping noise that accompanied it as the cartilage broke under the pressure of the scissors. Grimaces left her throat. She could feel the elves fingers pulling at the separated bit of flesh, the point of her ear brushed up against her hair and the scissors slipped further into the groove there before they again bit down and finally cleaved the tip of her ear. The trance finally broke as she realized that she could no longer feel the tip of her ear, that had always brushed against the softness of her hair, not even over the flame of pain that burned on what was left. A soft squishy noise thudding on the floor beside her told her where that small part of her had gone. Moments later the skin that was left, slightly slack now that it could fully give into the pull of gravity, was pulled up by the tinge of a needle and drawn toward the skin on the backside of the ear. Through the burning fires she felt the tugs and pulls as he started stitching her ear back up. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she worked on regaining her forest, the trees there were being licked by blue flames, crackling and smoking as she watched on. The forest fire grew and grew into a scorching blaze as the elf moved to the other ear.

Minutes later the forest lay in cinders at her feet and she could feel the cooling touch of a poultice being smoothed over her fresh wounds and then soft silken batting pressed over that. A strip of linen encircled her head, keeping everything in its place for the healing process to begin.

Slowly she opened her eyes, the amber sparks in them gone muddy with the effort to contain the pain her body suffered. The bit fell from her mouth and down to the floor where the bits of her ears had gone.

Looking pale and sick the elf stood before her, his hands stained a bright red. An off white cloth was draped over them, also bathed in the sanguine color, two little stumps of flesh the edges curling and crusted with drying blood lay in the middle.

"Burn them..." the two words were small and frail.

He simply nodded and wrapped the linen around them before tossing them into the fire, turning his head and closing his eyes as he did.

The transaction was done, now she only had to leave. It took her a long trembling time but finally she managed to rise, stuff her hat into her belt, traverse the few steps to the door, collected the book with the rose on its cover and stepped back out into the dark cover of the night. She barely made it one block before she finally gave into her body and sunk down into an alley, squatting there in the fetid puddles as she leaned forward and vomited between her feet.


Posted on 2013-12-19 at 20:05:26.
Edited on 2016-05-04 at 09:38:05 by Eol Fefalas

Merideth
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Karma: 177/13
3127 Posts


Recovery

Heavy darkness was giving way to the murky grey of dawn when Cayrimisa finally got back to her feet. Leaving the congealing leftovers of her stomach on the cobbles she began to make her way to the building she was currently laying her head at. A few short blocks over she stepped onto Wharf Way, which was just beginning to stir at this early hour. Not wishing to get any further attention drawn to her she painfully tugged her hat back on her head and began sulking her way down the familiar road. No one paid her any mind as she had hoped and soon she turned onto a side road down near the docks.

The building to which she headed was a large factory. Two stories tall with ‘Vergel Sea Port & Fish Factory’ written on the side in blue paint. The main floor was a large room where the workers diligently pickled small fish in large clay pots before they were shipped out the back dock all over the empire, the signature blue ‘V’ painted on their bellies. The upper story, most easily accessed by a skeleton staircase running along the outer wall was used for storage.

Cayrimisa clamored up those stairs and pushed open the thin door, it was never locked as she had found out only a few weeks before and the storage room appeared to hold nothing that was regularly used. Inside the old crates that filled most of the space were still cloaked in shadows. One of these shadows held the blankets and a handful of personal items she had brought with her, into this one she sank.

Laying down was too painful and so she propped herself up in a sitting position and tried to come to terms with what had transpired this past night. Across from her a bucket sat on the floor, directly under a weak spot in the roof, it would capture water when it rained, currently it was only catching those first feeble rays of dawn.

-Well you have done it now…-

Her voice spoke the truth. The tips of her ears were finally gone, it was something she had been thinking of doing for a long time, but it was not until last night that she had finally gotten up the courage to do it. The donor of the blood soaked coins was her inspiration.

There were few free elves in this city, or in any city in the Braudian Empire to be precise. Those who had not been wrangled into slavery generations ago after the great wars usually stayed clear of the human settlements. Of the population of free elves few were newcomers to the city, a new elven face amongst the crowd drew attention and suspicion. Hers was a new face and she had certainly been gaining a lot of unwanted attention in her first few weeks here.

The first few encounters she easily sidestepped and went on with her way. The encounter earlier did not go as favorably.

Cayrimisa had rolled into Drasnia with a collection of tapestries, blankets and other woven trinkets that she had been hoarding for months before leaving the tribe. Expenses in Drasnia proved to be more expensive than she had anticipated and the price of her wares had likewise been less than expected. The last set of napkins had been sold and she had used the profits to get a hot meal and a few glasses of hot mulled wine in a tavern. One last legitimate meal, from that moment on her life in Drasnia was bound to take a more criminal element. So she had stayed until late and spent every last coin she had earned.

Shuffling back toward the fish factory she happened down a dark alley.

“Hey! I see ya there…” a large male voice broke through the quiet darkness.

She turned, lowering her head so the brim of her hat would cover most of her face as she tried to get a glance at the man summoning her. He was a brute, a large bald man with tiny eyes and massive hands. Obviously the man had some money, but little taste, the outfit he wore was made of expensive materials but in colors and cuts that would have made the upper crust balk. The club and the coil of thin rope protruding from his belt would have further raised eyebrows in the nicer sections of this town. In this part of town it simply meant that he was a hunter. Not the kind that shot arrows into deer out in the forests of Vaharon, but the kind that prowled the cities looking for runaway slaves. He would bring the slave back to their owner if they could be determined or to the Ministry of Properties if they could not. They were thus delivered, alive or dead it made little difference, and the hunter would receive a reward for all of his work. To differentiate between the free elves and the enslaved elves the Empire devised a brand to mark the unfortunate souls. Many hunters carried branding irons, and were known to ‘create’ slaves when no honest ones were found. Seeing one behind her made her heart quicken in her chest. She would not be sent into slavery just a few months after leaving the tribe.

“Just heading home…” she tried to imitate a local accent, failed and hoped that at least it would not sound too elven in origin.

“Home… now just where would that be, bunny?” The man strode confidently toward her.

Inwardly she winced, he had discerned her elven heritage all right. “Got a room, down by the docks…”

“Yeah? Which inn? I’m staying close to there, maybe I could walk ya home, dangerous city at night ya know?”

“Valhyne. And I think I’ll be alright, thanks for the offer…” and she tried to turn and leave.

“Oh no ya don’t!” He cried and tried to lunge his large figure her way.

Cayrimisa was one step ahead of him, having dodged many attacks by elves that were might lighter on their feet than him. Immediately she dropped to the ground, spreading her arms so her cloak billowed out around her and would not tie her up as she made her next moves.

The hunter too far into his lunge to change course pummeled into the space she had just filled and began to arch into a fall over her. Just as he brushed against her hat she pulled the dagger out of her boot and jerked it up toward the hulking shape above her. The strike was by no means targeted, but it was effective. The dagger dug along the shadow until it landed in a cursing pile just behind her.

Springing to her feet Cay turned and eyed the man laying in the mud. His bright blue vest was cut and a trickle of blood was already seeping into the fine material. The slash was across his ribs though and she knew she had not penetrated any of those, it might leave a nasty scar he would forever have to stare at but he would live. She pounced on him then. Digging a knee into his groin, and enjoying the high squeal it made him expel, and using the other knee to press against one of his arms. Fingers danced along his belt and the vest, searching for anything worth stealing. A small leather bag near the gash she had administered held coins and found its way onto her belt. And another satchel on his belt contained the Bedine branding iron she had so feared. This too was secreted into her possession.

She stared into his face for a moment, twisted with pain and surprise. Hate and envy welled up inside of her as she looked into his small dark eyes, the sweaty skin turning blue in the moonlight, round pudgy face and even rounder ears. Then she spit into it.

“I’m not an elf, you got that? Not an elf and certainly not a slave…” Her message given, and hopefully received, she got back up and disappeared. An hour later she was opening the door at the apothecary's, determined to get rid of at least one trait that she shared with those squalid sniveling elven bunnies.


Time would tell if the drastic measure would actually have any effect on how the rest of the world would see her. However, she felt already that it had changed how she saw herself. It was as if those two tiny bits of pointed flesh weighed several pounds as she suddenly felt lighter now that they were gone. It was as if she had shed at least one part of the heritage she had been cursed with. Despite the pain she could not stop herself from smiling at the thought.

The night had given her more than a lighter load, there was the chance that her life could now go in directions she never thought it would. With great care she lifted the small book out of her cloak and fingered the cover delicately. Magic. She would have to use the guttural elven tongue to get it started, but perhaps if it could give her the power he promised then it would be worth that. After all she could always wash the bad taste of that language away with a glass of wine.

Tonight she had gotten away from the hunter, but eventually her luck would run out. Preparing herself to face whatever was going to be thrown her way would be smart.

There was also the prophecy of the man, a great love… she shook her head at the thought. No one would ever find her worth loving. Nor did she really desire it, living out her life alone was best. That was probably just some cunning little carrot that the elf had dangled in front of her, assuming that she like all women would desire a mate and that she would then bend to what he was suggesting. He had misjudged her, as so many had, he had only needed to tempt her with the promise of overwhelming power over others. There was nothing else in this world she desired more.

Noises from downstairs let her know that the work day had begun. Workers would soon be cracking open large crates of fish brought up from the docks and begin packing them into the clay pots along with the vinegar and other seasonings that they would ferment in.

To start practicing magic she would need a place to stay, to really stay. A place to gather her tools and feel safe and secure. Her eyes drifted toward the floor and to what she imagined went on below her and as she closed her eyes and began to drift off into a sleep she wondered what it would take to empty the factory out so she could make this place her own personal sanctuary. Dreams and plans for her future overcame the pain and soon she was asleep.



Posted on 2013-12-21 at 03:54:58.
Edited on 2016-05-04 at 09:40:07 by Eol Fefalas

Eol Fefalas
Keeper of the Kazari
RDI Staff
Karma: 453/28
7551 Posts


Mutilations of another sort

“Let’s get on with it, then,” the half-elf girl insisted as she, at last, lifted her hands to remove her hat.

In the shadows of the shelf rows, the assassin shifted in his crouch, again, his pallid fingers both at rest and at the ready on the tool of his trade as the older elf across the table from the girl readied the tools of his own. Nyx heard the peredhil’s lingering trepidation as a shudder in her next inhalation of breath… nearly felt it as a faint vibration in the air as her heart thudded a bit quicker in her chest in anticipation of what was to come… and, as his yellow eyes narrowed and slid, once more, toward the apothecary, he wondered, again, what sort of ‘procedure’ she could possibly have requested. Had he known, had he gleaned even a hint from the way she touched the delicate tips of her ears at the same moment that her breathing calmed, he would have stopped it before it so much as started… would have killed them both, then and there, for even considering it rather than remain in the shadows and watch it all unfold. As the fates would have it, though, Nyx hadn’t known… couldn’t have known… and, as such, when the old elf draped the cloth over the girl’s shoulder and took his scissors to the tip of her ear, the mith’ganni felt a sharp pang of shock in his heart that must have matched the fiery pain which surely now blossomed in the half-elf girl’s flesh.

His eyes, for an instant widened by disbelief, now narrowed as his teeth clenched tightly in order to forestall a suddenly angry growl that threatened to well up from the knot which had tied itself into his guts…

“Wait,” the voice that was not his own whispered in his mind.

…A pained grumble from the girl’s throat floated into the air over the thick snipping sound of the scissors and lingered in his ears for far longer than it lasted and his pale fingers curled anxiously around the hilt of his blade. A heat built at the base of his skull and he shifted his wait a fraction…

“Wait.”
The tip of the girl’s left ear came away, the tiny bit of flesh clenched in between the apothecary’s fingertips. The scissors and the ear tip were laid aside as the old elf set about stitching her ruined ear. A shuddering breath escaped around the bit between her teeth and another was sucked in again as the scissors were taken up once more.

…His jaw tightened, grinding his teeth together and, in the process, caused him to bite the edge of his tongue. His eyes narrowed all the more as the taste of blood filled his mouth. The heat at the base of his skull built and spread. The angry snarl that had been shaping his features contorted, now, into something more akin to a wicked smile…

“Waaaaaiiiit.”
Soon, the tip of the girl’s right ear joined the left on the strip of linen atop the table. The old elf then set about mending the damage he’d caused and, finally, hid the work from view with a generous wrapping of bandages about her head. When the entire horrific affair was finished, the apothecary looked even older than when it had begun and the girl… The girl…

She is ruined, His own voice murmured in his boiling mind, now. Had he expressed it aloud, Nyx would have spat the words.

…The bit fell from between her teeth, clattering to the floor as her tear-reddened eyes opened and lifted to the old apothecary. She blinked at him and her eyes fell to the bloodied rag he held out to her, presenting her with the pieces of her he’d cut away.

“Burn them,” she said after a moment…

Ignorant paching slitch. The mith’ganni’s weight shifted again… and then again… and once more. His fingers danced on the hilt of his blade.

Wait!
…The old elf did as she requested and, averting his gaze, tossed the bundle into the fire.

It took a long span of moments before the girl gained her feet, composed herself, and, gathering the book the apothecary had insisted she take, at last, took her leave of the place. The old elf expelled a tremulous sigh of his own, the sound of it washed over by the door banging shut in the jamb and metallic clicking of the latch. His hands, trembling much like his breath, began to lift to cover his mouth but stopped and shook all the more when his eyes registered the blood that still stained his fingertips.

“Sea and stars,” he whispered, dropping his hands after a long moment of blinking at them, “what have I done?”

“Drawn the entirely the wrong sort of attentions, yes?” whispered a decidedly dark voice behind him.

The old elf stiffened, his breath caught in his throat, and, though he thought better of doing so more than once, turned to face the source of that grave-dirt tinged voice. He swallowed that caught breath when he found the mith’ganni looming over him… nearly choked on it as, when a savage grin split the Twilight Elf’s skull-painted visage, it’s yellow eyes blazed with a hatefully cold light… and finally managed to catch a new breath as he unconsciously took a step back… “You,” he mumbled on that breath, “it’s… you!”

“Mmm,” the sound came from the mith’ganni’s throat as his head canted to one side, a hint of amusement or perhaps curiosity working it’s way into the sinister grin. The moon-eyed terror reclaimed the step between them as the razor-sharp grin spilt in the wake of a terse nod; “Amin,” the assassin concurred.

The apothecary, in his continued effort to put some distance between himself and this dark intruder, now took a very conscious step backward and, in the doing, bumped into the chair recently occupied by the girl. The chair clattered, the apothecary flinched, fought to keep his balance, failed, and, as a result, rather unceremoniously, found himself claiming the seat for his own. He grabbed at the sides of the thing, hoping to keep from toppling out as, under his weight and momentum, the chair skidded backwards another inch or two. The legs of the chair squealed out a protest against the wood planks of the floor and the apothecary cringed when he noted that the sound seemed to act in concert with the widening of the mith’ganni’s malevolent smile… His breath caught again as the chair came to a stop, the assassin no farther away from him now than he had been an instant ago.

“Lle nowa a’sinta amin,” the mith’ganni queried in that growling, whispering voice as he slithered closer still, yellow eyes glinting coldly from within their black-painted hollows.

The old elf swallowed and shook his head. “No,” he managed to rasp the response from a throat gone too dry, “I don’t… I don’t presume to know you… I…”

“Tuulo’ i’bethea lle quenye,” the mith’ganni interrupted, his eyes flicking from the old elf to something on the floor, for an instant, “ta’lamye vee’manka amin moina a’lle…” Even as his eyes slithered back to the apothecary, he offered a faint shrug and, in the same motion, stooped to pick up whatever it was on the floor that had caught his eye, “…Amin uuma malia. Lle sinta sii’amin.”

“I…” the old apothecary opened his mouth to finish his previous thought or, perhaps, say something else, but, found himself silenced as the bit was forced into his mouth.

“Dinalle!!!” Nyx’s voice was anything but a whisper, now, and any hint of amusement had been burned from his eyes in a conflagration of rage and hate. “Amin feuya ten’lle!”

“Ah’ng howwee,” the old elf tried to apologize around the bit between his teeth, “Ah…” All it earned him was a backhanded slap from the mith’ganni, the blow delivered with such fury that it knocked the bit from apothecary’s mouth and nearly sent him flying from the chair.

Nearly.
Nyx’s hand flashed out, caught a handful of the apothecary’s robes, and hauled him back into the seat before the old elf could even register that he’d begun to fall out of it.

“You cannot even speak to me in your own tongue,” the mith’ganni snarled, his skull painted face now less than in inch from the apothecary’s, “but the language of the round-ears comes to your lips easily enough, yes?”

“Amin… hiraetha,” the old elf stammered, trying in vain to blink away the terror that filled his eyes. He felt the front of his robes, still tangled in one of the mith’ganni’s pale, blood-stained fists, pulled away from his chest and, then, violently returned as that fist drove the fabric hard against the old elf’s sternum.

“The time for your apologies, yaaraer, has long passed,” Nyx growled over the apothecary’s wheezing as he let go the fabric of the old elf’s robes and filled his fist, now, with the hilt of a blade. “Should you have told that half-point slitch ‘I am sorry but I cannot do what you ask,’” he continued, the register of his voice lowering, again, to the grave-dust murmuring as he gestured pointedly toward the door with his blade, “your regrets may have met something, yes?

But that is not what you did, is it?”

The apothecary managed a fractional shaking of his head, unable to tear his own eyes from the malevolent yellow ones that had him transfixed… until those moon-yellow orbs waxed full above that hateful smile, again, and danced from one side of the old elf’s head to the other.

“No,” Nyx whispered, giving voice to the old elf’s unspoken reply, “No. Instead, you filled her insipid little head with your… your… how is it said in your round-ear tongue?... horse s***, yes? Told her that elf and man were equal, hm? That magic could be shared and wielded with equal effect by either race,” the tip of the mith’ganni’s blade hovered before the apothecary’s face, pointing accusatorially, “and then you took her ears!

It is gwaith such as you that made it so easy for these short-lived, round-eared breeders to infest our world and make us their slaves… Nadorhuarim such as you that have cursed me to come into these poisoned lands and do the things that you are all too proud and noble to do for yourselves…”

If it was possible, at that moment, the old apothecary’s face went paler than it already was. His eyes went wide and his lips trembled as they struggled to suck in an airless breath.

“…Ahhh,” Nyx grinned, some of the amusement trickling back into his voice and visage at this, “Now, you know me, yes?”

The old elf tried to nod but wasn’t entirely sure that he’d managed to do so. He sucked in a breath, now, that was too full of air and, as the mith’ganni’s fingers entangled themselves in the hair at the nape of the apothecary’s skull, managed to rasp out; “Yes…”

“Yes,” Nyx echoed, wrenching the apothecary’s head back, “Then, say it.”

“You are… the nightmare,” the old elf croaked, “the kinslayer…”

“Say it!” Nyx demanded, pressing the ebon-bladed dagger to the old elf’s neck just below his left ear.

“…Death.”

“Death,” the mith’ganni nodded, sliding the blade purposefully upward, now…

((OOC: Break time! This got a bit longer than I’d imagined it would and I’ve still got a bit to do, yet… Figured that this might be a good “fade to black moment” and give Meri a chance to read at least something before Christmas.

More to come, of course, just not sure that I’ll get it done before or after the holiday. That said, translations of the “elvish” in the post above are as follows:
Amin - Me

Lle nowa a’sinta amin? - You presume to know me?

Tuulo’ i’bethea lle quenye, ta’lamye vee’manka amin moina a’lle… Amin uuma malia. Lle sinta sii’amin. - From the words you spoke, it seemed as if you knew me…. It doesn’t matter. You’ll know me now.

Dinalle!!! - Shut up!!!

Amin feuya ten’lle! - You disgust me!

Amin… hiraetha. - I’m… sorry.

Yaaraer - Ancient one

Gwaith - people

Nadorhuarim - cowardly dogs
Enjoy… see you soon! ))



Posted on 2014-12-22 at 13:52:15.

   
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