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Phaedara last won the day on April 2 2015

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About Phaedara

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    The Nightingale
  • Birthday 08/20/1989

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    Writing (duh), drawing, reading, video games (primarily PC), board games, exploring the wilderness, airsoft, medicine and cuddling all the animals! Oh, and definitely rain. I love me a good thunderstorm.
  • Occupation
    Veterinarian Technician

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  1. Silent was the tireless effort of their task, occasionally punctuated by simple commands and the oscillating ring of glass and metal instruments. With the most critical moment now passed, Ysgrid found herself stifling a sigh of relief, the escaping plumes of warm breath a grim reminder of the oppressive chill besieging them. Valerie had yet to explain what happened here. Her mind rattled with questions, such as why was the spring tempest inviting itself inside her deceased father's broken study, and how did her mother come to care for the three unconscious bodies of Valjer's ghosts? Ysgrid stole a glance at Renkor. Two unconscious bodies, she surmised. Not once since her arrival had Valerie addressed the elf, which meant one of two things: Renkor was already dead, or she wanted him to be. If Renkor was gone, then it was only sensible to focus their efforts on the living, just as they were. But, Ysgrid still remembered a day long ago she tried to forget. She remembered Renkor holding her--comforting her--while she attempted to shut out the screams and sounds of tearing flesh within the old Valmer farmhouse. She remembered the coldness that followed in her mother's voice, more frigid than the wind that currently battered her frozen cheeks, as she exiled the three heroes. She remembered the icy fury of Renkor's gaze as he declared his threat of hostility on Valjer--on Valerie--in light of her betrayal. It was no surprise Valerie might want him dead. Renkor once had been a kindred citizen of Valjer. He was one of them, revered as a ranger with the expertise that easily rivaled their own best and brightest. But now, no one spoke of him. It wasn't as if they had forgotten Renkor nor the woman he claimed to be his wife. Aelyria became a resident of their town for nearly two years while comatose, cared for relentlessly by Valerie and herself after he left on a winter's breath and didn't return until she had awakened. The rumors that followed him plagued Valjer for months--years even. Yet now, they didn't dare utter his name. Ysgrid wondered if it was the fear of invoking his wrath that paralyzed their tongues, or was it the shame? Ysgrid carried the burden of such questions with the same solidarity as she carried Ted down the stairs. She rarely complained of such things, sheltering herself in ignorance. What she lacked in raw strength and courage, she made up with a fierce resolve to never disappoint her mother. They settled the bodies before the hearth and retreated, leaving the remainder of their task to time. She took her mother's lead and sunk into the wooly fur of a sheepskin chair, willing the tension of aching muscles to melt away with all her fears. Seldom did those fears ever leave voluntarily. She began to pluck absent-mindedly at the dried blood crusted on her fingertips, stopping only when a glass of amber manifested on the table beside her. Although she cared little for the taste of whiskey, it gave her mother comfort knowing they could bond over such things. So, Ysgrid lifted the spirit to her lips and sipped, sinking back into her chair and trying to make herself small and invisible as a grimace etched across her face from the unpleasant burn that ignited her nose and numbed her throat. She could almost taste the ironwood cask that the liquor was aged within, and it made her stomach churn to think she would forever be stuck drinking, eating, and breathing Valjer for the rest of her life. Then, it happened. Ysgrid's stomach lurched forward as her fingers curled tightly around the glass tumbler, just shy of firm enough to crack it. They were back again, the voices. Disembodied whispers called out to her, murmuring things she couldn't understand as they overlapped one another, impatient and starved for her attention. They tugged on her mind and flooded her senses, clearly agitated but without reason as to why. Her eyes flit about the room, desperate to pin down the source while the rest of her remained still, trying not to alert Valerie. Then her gaze settled on the fur laden bodies beside the hearth, and they became louder and louder until they were nearly screaming. Oh, how she wanted to howl with them. But there was one voice within the discord that stood apart from the rest. Initially, it was nearly impossible to hear with all the clamor surrounding it, but eventually, it rang clear, resonating sweetly like the first bell that declared summer's arrival. Don't listen to the wolves. The voices ceased abruptly, subdued by those words. A tenuous ring trailed in the wake of the sudden silence, sharp enough to bring a dull ache to her ears. "Oh, Ysgrid... What am I supposed to do?" There was no mistaking the corporeality of Valerie's voice as it rooted her back into reality. Disoriented, Ysgrid turned to her mother and struggled to fish out a reply. She could feel the terror and confusion swelling hot tears in her eyes. She hastily batted them away with her sleeve to quell Valerie's growing concerns, but unwittingly provoked the opposite effect. Her mother shifted in the chair to stand, but Ysgrid quickly intercepted her, rising first and waving her down. "P-please don't get up," she croaked, brushing away a persistent tear and then following it with a heavy sigh. "I-I'm just tired after everything that has happened today. It's just been a lot." Ysgrid could see Valerie wasn't buying into it; she would have to act fast. She sucked in her lips and licked them from the inside, stealing a glance at Ted and Aelyria before eyeing the door. When her gaze returned to Valerie, she almost turned to stone, the scrutiny of her pale eyes haunting. Ysgrid took a step back and cleared her throat. "I don't... know what you should do," she admitted while fashioning an ill-attempt at a reassuring smile. "But I can go check on Mirtha and see if the soup is ready. I'll bring some for us to share too with a little extra." Would that be enough to convince her? She set the nearly untouched glass of whiskey on the table and turned to leave, praying that was.
  2. Once, not so long ago, the basement situated below the great Valmer estate was a haven for a much younger--and much more naive--Ysgrid. Often she would sit here before the hearth, just as she were now, taking in the comfort of its warm glow during these blustery spring blizzards. It offered her a place to organize her thoughts while addressing the typical worldly troubles often expressed by any other girl on the cusp of maidenhood. But now, the basement was a prison for the young, blossoming woman. Where it once was warm and inviting, it was now as cold and indifferent as the raging storm swirling above. The abrupt crack of a splitting log reeled Ysgrid from her hollow reverie, the tightness of her throat further pulled taut as her heart grew heavy with bitter grief. Was she being punished for not leaving when she had the chance? Had Tommen been right all along about Valjer? About her mother, Valerie? It’s a frozen wasteland, Ysgrid. Frozen in time, space, and spirit. The only way to change that place is with fire and Valerie knows it. She’ll watch you burn alive and still somehow convince herself she’s done the right thing--the only thing in her mind--in order to save you. Ysgrid once thought the bitterness of his message through the crystal transponder--a gift he had acquired since his tenure in Union City--was due to his expulsion as healer’s apprentice to Valerie for his near-fatal mistake in medicating a patient under her care. But now she wasn’t too sure and it was likely too late to ask. Two weeks passed since his last correspondence requesting, for what might’ve been the last time, that she leave Valjer and stay with him in the great midland capital. All that followed after her refusal was silence. It was too late. Even if Tommen had responded this very instant, she couldn’t bring herself to leave her mother, not now when she was needed most. Ysgrid knew she couldn’t tell the regent what she had seen in the hall in front of the foyer moments before she retreated to the basement. She knew she couldn’t tell her that she had stood face to face with the creature that now rampaged throughout their home town, blood trailing in its wake. After all, how could she? Valerie had enough to worry about than what nightmares might roam in the head of a sixteen-year-old girl. Ysgrid closed her eyes and remembered. Hot, rancid breath pooled around her head and infiltrated her senses as it gazed into her watering eyes with two great amber discs. Warm, trickling blood splattered at her feet as it dripped from its wide, snarling snout freshly wet with the innards of the guard who brazenly attempted to protect her. Just when she thought she was about to meet a similar fate, the creature spoke one word. Dronigg. Then it bowed and swept around her to breach the foyer doors whilst she scrambled underneath a hallway table, tucking herself small and praying she could just disappear. But Ysgrid’s prayers often went unheard and when Valerie did finally come to check on her daughter, she knew what role she would have to play. Dutiful, obedient, and pure. Something worth protecting and Valerie’s last purpose when all else was lost. A tremor startled Ysgrid from the memory, her eyes wide as the stone walls briefly shifted and dust broke free from the floorboards above to rain upon her head. She listened for further disturbance, but nothing came. Then moments later she heard her mother call. “Ysgrid! Start a pot of soup and then come help me, quickly!” Like a marionette jerked suddenly by its strings, she sprung to action as her long wiry legs cleared the steps in a but few bounding leaps. Ysgrid paused, struck by the sight of blood that soaked the halls. A woman she recognized as one of the ranger’s wife, was scrubbing the floor with a red-stained rag, sopping up the congealed mess with tireless effort. “Mirtha,” she beckoned having recalled the woman’s name. “Could you get the water started for soup? I want to make sure my mother is alright.” Ysgrid could tell the woman looked relieved to be given a different task that was far less gruesome than the one before her. She nodded and wiped her hands ‘clean’ on her crimson marked apron before discarding it to the side and retreating to the kitchen. With a shuddering breath, Ysgrid steeled herself for the worst and climbed the staircase, willing her churning stomach to settle when greeted by the sight of more blood. She could only imagine what the rest of the town looked like. But when the young woman charged through the open study’s door to only be slapped full force by the chill of an unexpected wind that poured into the room from a gaping, splintered hole in the wall where once a window occupied its space, her mind went blank. The two guards that flanked Valerie looked just as dumbfounded, their hands resting precariously on the hilts of their swords as they hovered to look down at the bodies littered on the floor. Ysgrid inched closer, uncertain if her eyes served her correctly. Was that… Renkor? And was that woman Aelyria? And the other? Who was he? It only took one determined glance from Valerie to cast aside Ysgrid’s bewilderment and get to work. Blankets, towels, a water basin, and Valerie’s medkit. She gathered these things, leaving her mother to bark orders at the guards to either help move the bodies or get out of the way and let them work. There was room for useless people in a mender’s presence.
  3. Waking in the early morning did not suite Elios Culthaniel well, particularly whenever he was rudely interrupted from a pleasant dream. He grumbled as he shifted on the knobby mattress, pulling the covers over his head as if the paper thin quilt were sufficient enough to stifle the clamor from outside. It did not. "Gods-damned scaremonger", he muttered with half-hearted bitterness, his mind still blurred from sleep. "If demons really do come, I hope they devour him first." Beside him on the bed, he heard a muffled reply. He turned and blinked leisurely at the sprawled woman, buttery blonde waves tangled in a messy array on the feathered pillow. Her words were unintelligible and slurred, the exhaustion from last night's entertainment still deeply set in her bones. The sight of her, tanned and shamelessly exposed, was enough to stir him from the final haze of slumber. Elios crept closer to the woman, reeling her in close despite her lazy protests. She giggled girlishly as he trailed her neck with hungry pecks, roused by the sweet musk of her dewy skin. He brushed his slender fingers down the youthful bronze skin of her arm, inviting a trail of goosebumps along the curve of her firm muscles. Once his palm was seated with in hers, he grasped her calloused hand, pinned it above her head and-- It was then he realized this was not the same woman from the night before the last. The hand he held was rough with tales of toil and strife, lacking the delicacy and plump of the pair he held before. He did not lay in the same, though equally lumpy, bed by a window situated over the market square in Dougton. And the room was much too bright to be in the same place. He sat up and scanned the young woman pinned beneath him, her walnut eyes grinning eagerly. He then recognized the wheat farmer's daughter and his stomach dropped. It occurred to him that the shouting from outside was not the doom merchant's cries of demons and conspiracies. No. Those shouts came from a very angry and very real threat. Elios kicked himself free from the sheets and hastily scrambled for his trousers. The farmer's daughter gasped in dismay, cursing him for his carelessness as she narrowly missed receiving an elbow to the face. She armed a pillow to throw at the back of his head when it dawned on her. The color drained from her cheeks, eyes wide and desperate as they searched for any scrap of clothing that was hers. With his trousers partially fastened, he caught her frantic eye and spun in place, knowing he had seen her dress somewhere. He found it buried underneath his cloak and belt and unceremoniously tossed it to her. Then, the house shook. The dark haired elf froze in place to brace for the quake, though it was gone as quickly as it had come. The pounding of heavy laden boots rocked the wooden floorboards, and Elios could swear the whole ground was shaking with each raging step closer to the bedroom door. There was no time left to think. The door burst open, a hinge snapping from the brutal force. The wheat farmer, a towering man with a lifetime of hard work and labor fortifying the sinewy lines of muscle trailing his arms, blocked the doorway. His face was a bright and alarming shade of red that would've been easily mistaken for a sunburn if it weren't for the sheer rage swirling in his eyes. The girl cried out and feebly attempted to cover herself up even though the farmer was oblivious to everything but Elios. The elf was sure he would catch fire any moment under that heated gaze. But before the farmer could reach out and wring Elios' neck free from his body, a loud crackling snap pierced their ears and the room turned white. Blinded by the sudden, glaring brightness that burned into their corneas with a painful ache, the man and his daughter screamed and shielded their eyes from the unknown source. The farmer grunted after he was roughly shoved upon against the door frame, and he groped aimlessly for his attacker but found nothing. When the light finally dissipated and after a series of blinks to wash away the seizing after images, he looked back into the room to find the elf gone. With a thunderous bellow, the farmer raced through the house, tripping and stumbling as his vision was still spotty from the flash. But when he erupted from the front door, heaving and panting with uncontrollable rage, Elios was no where in sight to receive it. --- Half-naked and sweating profusely from the escape after one of the many--but not any less frightening--attempts at his life, Elios paused to survey the area behind him. No one was chasing him, as far as he could tell, and the roar of curses that had followed him were now silent. All that trailed him now was the whistle of the wind and the soft music it played weaving through the tall grass. He was alone. Elios sighed and set the bundle in his arms down, his gear clattering and rolling as the cape unraveled. He turned and searched for any signs of Dougton, but found his view obstructed by grass and shrubbery that landscaped the fields. Taking the opportunity to don his gear, he secured his boots and slipped on his tunic and the accompanying accessories to his wardrobe, lastly fastening his belt and cape. With one final check to ensure he would leave nothing behind, the elf set out to find the closest road that might lead him back to town.
  4. Kelisette touched the pen's end against her lower lip as she scoured the list for any details she might have missed. It looked to be mostly in order, the pros and cons carefully outlined and ready to be weighed against one another. She almost seemed ready to make a decision when the startling sound of a fleshy slap broke through her concentration. Annoyed yet curious, she shot a glare at the two men seated a few tables across from her. The boisterous one had his back to her while he blathered shamelessly at the tavern woman, and the other seemed to be avoiding her gaze entirely as if ignoring her presence would be enough to pretend his companion wasn't such a nuisance. Trying to not let their thoughtlessness distract her, Kelisette sniffled and then drew her attention back to her pen and paper in attempt to resume planning the route for her final destination. But once distracted, she found it difficult to refocus. They were just so loud and there was not enough white noise in the idle tavern to drown them out. She had half her mind convinced to retreat to her lodgings upstairs, but the space was so cramped and uninviting that she could feel the brim of her mind edging towards madness. Although she wasn't quite yet claustrophobic, she was sure at the end of her visit here she would be. So, instead she bit her cheek and steeled her thoughts against the grating noise, diverting all possible attention by scribbling even if nothing legible was produced. Then, a familiar name caught her attention. "Eyidal?" the boisterous man queried. "Or do you want specifics?" Her scribbling paused, eyes still drawn down but ears open in their direction. As Kelisette continued to eavesdrop, she found she could admire the cautious man's diligence in wrestling information from his companion and felt sympathetic to his plight. After all, the other man appeared to be quite the loose canon and in her experience, such people rarely made things easy. But despite his easy-going attitude, there was something about what the flagrant man said towards the end that struck her. Not only did it seem to make some sense, it also sounded familiar. After a moment of reflection she realized why. Not all that you can learn will come from books, Scholiast. You could spend a lifetime with your nose buried between the pages and come out no smarter or wiser than you had been when you first started reading. She had mulled on those words bestowed to her by Grand Archivist Leon during the journey to Eyidal. They were spoken during the most recent exchange they shared before her departure. It was one, she feared, that would be the last. After all, he was aging rapidly and his health declined considerably during the last few months of her studies at the Carnethian University. She could feel her throat tighten at the thought of him and shook her head forcibly to displace it. Maybe it was sign, she thought, that a similar message would be spoken by someone else. Although Kelisette often pretended not to believe in such things as fate and destiny, Grand Archivist Leon often told her to trust her instinct once in a while instead of her head. Not all things can be reasoned with, he'd lecture. After all, the heart isn't reasonable, just as it is meant to be. Kelisette practically leapt from her chair, determination strewn across her face as she flicked olive eyes in the direction of the two men. The tavern woman was startled by the abrupt display and nearly toppled over the plate of grilled lamb, fresh from the kitchen, onto the floor. "Oh my," she gasped, attempting to regather her wits. "Is there something wrong miss? With the tea perhaps?" The scholar couldn't quite find the right words to reply with and merely shook her head. Instead, she approached the two men, having inadvertently drawn their attention, and stood beside the table without a word. There was an uneasy air that lingered in the space between them as she tried to muster what to say. Conversation was most definitely not her forte. But she had let the silence stray too long and one of the men looked ready to break it. Panicked that she was about to lose her opportunity to set the tone of the dialogue, Kelisette hurriedly dug through the satchel slung over her shoulder and withdrew a velvet pouch. With a satisfying clink and clatter of metal, it landed on the table with a heavy thud. "Take me," she demanded, the words weighted and awkward on her tongue. "Take me to Eyidal."
  5. "What now Aelyria?" The words rumbled through her ears, muffled and foreign. It was a strange feeling, recognizing someone and yet not really knowing who they were. The knot in her chest tightened at the sight of man, pale and fatigued as he sunk into the stone beside the precious cargo they searched and fought for so bitterly. Yet the feeling waxed and waned while the Urge remained in control, the hunger it commanded impossibly insatiable. Without thinking, she moved forward, twin blades pulsating with aching anticipation. The Mork'Outh, uncertain but determined, shifted to intercept the woman, orange mist swirling though faint as it crept across his skin. The Urge paused and with it, Aelyria. Aelyria could feel the dark presence in her writhe uncomfortably in the presence of the Mork'Outh--a true Mork'Outh and not an illusion pressed against her mind by the Xer'Orian queen. Slowly, the Urge began to relax its tethers to Aelyria's body, relinquishing its control but not quite ready to remove itself from the forefront of her conscious. The shadow blades evaporated from existence, black tendrils of vapor seething from her hands like trails of smoke that lingered after extinguishing a flame. Although the dark aura that haloed her now retreated, her eyes remained unchanged, their unnatural beauty penetrating the Mork'Ouths gaze. Seemingly satisfied with her disarmament, the horned creature stepped aside and the orange mist subsided. With her sense of self returning, Aelyria turned her attention to Ted and the corpse that lay beside him. A rush of emotions surged, her erratic heart pounding uncontrollably against her rib cage. She could feel her chest rising and falling rapidly, nearly on the verge of hyperventilation. Just when she might become dizzy and collapse, the Urge gripped her senses. It's not over yet. Aelyria blinked, still dazed. "What do you mean?" For a moment, Ted looked as if he were about to answer, confusion etched across his face. But the distance in her eyes gave him pause. Aelyria wasn't speaking to him. She knew he must think her insane then, but she had no idea how else to speak to the Urge that occupied the domain of her consciousness. It probably could understand her thoughts without speaking, but it felt incomplete to not have them occupied by the sound of her voice. You can still save him. "What?" she snarled, angry at the suggestion. "He's dead. How can I save him if there is nothing left to be saved?" The Urge chuckled, a throaty sound that resonated through her mind. Oh, you humans. You boast about how different you are from other creatures, how your command over logic and reason makes you superior over all other living things. Yet, you are no better in command of your own instinctual and primal drives than those that you look down upon. It sighed, contented rather than annoyed by its observation. The line between us is much finer than you realize. Aelyria shook her head, even more confused than before. "What do you mean? What does that have to do with anything?" You've forgotten what you are. You've forgotten how you and I have become to be. It was no coincidence, no dumb luck. You and I are trapped with one another because I cannot leave on my own and you will not forfeit yourself onto me. No matter our spoken pact, the truth is, Aelyria, you have bound us together. You died that day when you lost your child, when I first manifested. You died again when the magestorm came and sparked my powers to manifest a second time. Each time, I failed to take over. Why? Because instinct saved you. Your powers saved you. "My powers?" She twitched her hand to look down, but a scoff interrupted her. That? No. Child's play that, your ability to manipulate fire and heat. Hardly worth the effort you've put into learning it. Even with my aid in empowering your abilities, it is nothing compared to what you are already capable of. A tinge of jealousy twined with admiration lined its thoughts. There is no greater power than that over life and death. The Urge was met with silence. Aelyria, unsure and skeptical of its observations, was unwilling to accept or even begin to understand what it meant. It gave her an audible sigh, burying itself deeper into the throes of her mind that she could practically feel it digging around the inside of her skull. Let me show you. The world shifted suddenly. The terrain disappeared all around her and only blackness remained where lines of rock once were. However, it wasn't all black--in fact, this new world was bright and furious with light. She blinked, startled by the brightness that surrounded her, sourced from floating orbs that hovered over where the many bodies of Xer-Orians lay strewn across the cavern floor. It took her a moment to realize they were moving, slowly inching closer to Aelyria as if drawn by an invisible force. The closer they got, the faster they came until eventually, they were absorbed by her--or rather, the Urge. You know this part, it tittered. You kill, I eat. Aelyria did know this part, but she had never seen it so clearly before. Occasionally, she'd swear she could see a flash of light from the corner of her eye after a kill, but figured it a figment of her imagination or something fluttering by her eye such as a stray hair. Now it made sense. She looked to where the scattered orbs came from, and could make out the faint outlines of the bodies that they emerged from. When she turned back to the Mork'Outh and Ted, she found that they were glowing, life still safely seated deep within them. Renkor's body was dark. Panic gripped her chest when she didn't see an orb hovering over him, but the Urge grinned. Step closer. As ordered, she moved forward. The glow of the Mork'Outh stepped back while Ted remained where he was, too exhausted to move much other than to grip the dead man's arm protectively. She knelt beside him and saw it then. It pulsed weakly, this gauzy, fading mote of light, though it seemed to shine briefly as if to greet her. She reached out to it and familiar warmth enveloped her hand. She gasped lightly, choking back the tears that welled in her luminescent eyes. "There you are," she cooed softly to the orb. "I'm sorry it took so long to get here." Aelyria found she no longer needed the Urge's guidance for what would come next. This borderline abominable task she set out to do came instinctively and the depths of its intricacy was not a thing she could begin to comprehend. Yet, she moved with purpose, gently grasping the orb and lowering it to his chest. Rotating her wrist, she turned her hand palm down, guiding the light downwards, encouraging it to return home. It resisted a moment. The heart was damaged badly it warned, and it would not last in this body for long without repair. This body will suffer with each passing day until then, the orb cried, and regardless, the man would forever be changed. Well find a way, Aelyria thought. We will fix you, Renkor. Just come back to me. And so the orb returned, the palm of her hand pressed firmly against the valley of his chest. The golden discs of her eyes receded, returning to their turquoise hue, and the last thing they saw before the darkness of unconsciousness veiled them was the brilliance of light that illuminated Renkor's body from within. [End "The Final Beginning"]
  6. Gingerly, Kelisette raised the cup of tea to her lips and sipped. The taste of it shocked her tongue's buds, not because it was unpleasant, but because she hadn't expected it to be so good. Though admittedly the milk was richer than what was suited to her usual tastes, but the malty flavor of the bright tea was overall a delight to her senses. "How is it?" The shepherd's wife stood nearby, eagerly awaiting for her approval. Kelisette set the cup down on its matching saucer plate with a soft clatter. The porcelain china was pristine and finer than she would've ever had expected to find out here in the far reaches of the Empire, and she suspected it was removed from its retirement solely for the purpose to serve her. Either she had won the woman's favor with the generosity of her payment, or the opposite was true and the woman was attempting to earn Kelisette's favor in hopes of replicating such generosity. "It's nice," Kelisette admitted. "Refreshing. I don't think I'll need any sugar for it either." Kelsha smiled, a twinkle sparked in her eyes. "Ah! Good! I'm glad to hear it! The leaves and buds are native to the north--I doubt you'd find anything like this down south towards Carneth. It's good for your spirits!" Kelisette feigned a polite smile, and nodded. "Yes, I doubt I would. Thank you again." "Of course, of course! Let me know if you need more! I have it in a pot in the back, kept warm and ready to pour." Again, she nodded, relieved when the woman walked away to pick up her broom and resume sweeping. Kelisette had dreaded the possibility of carrying a conversation, particularly small talk in which she had nothing to contribute. It meant she often seemed disinterested or cold even to those who approached her, which was rare in itself for the same reasons. No doubt her aversion for friendly conversation contributed to the dissension between her and the soldiers that had left, but she brushed those thoughts aside. There wasn't time to think about what she could or couldn't have done. She had to make her next move. Kelisette unfurled the wad of parchment, working the length of her fingers to smooth out the creases. She flipped the page to its blank backside, procured a pen from her satchel, and began to write. Eyidal is still some distance away. At least a few days worth journey if I can find someone to take me. She paused her scribbling and bite the inside of her lip. If I can even find anyone who will. She resumed, the nib of her fountain pen scratching furiously against the parchment's smooth grain. From there I'd still have to wait however long for the soldiers to return or I could find a guide there sooner--assuming there is one. I could risk going myself, but... She sighed, pausing to look over her list and then adding to it. Going alone is a death sentence. If something happens... Kelisette shook her head. Unfortunately it might be my only option at this point. Consumed by the task at hand, she hadn't caught the sound of the door creaking open and was only alerted by the newcomers' entry to the tavern by the joyous ring of the tavern wife's voice. "Oh! Welcome there," Kelsha exclaimed, setting aside her broom. "Come on in--sit, sit!" Kelisette, unconcerned for the newcomers, focused her attention to developing a plan, pausing only to take a sip of her tea.
  7. Urgeant business a few towns away. Going to investigate. Will be back in a few da weeks. Find pasage to Ei Eya Eyidal and wait there. - Aithan s'Romo The scribble was hard to decipher, made more difficult by the insurmountable number of sloppy errors and lazily drawn letters on the smooth parchment. It was a short message and straight to the point, but it was either prepared in considerable haste or the author had little care for legibility. Kelisette figured both were likely true. Her thumb brushed against the etchings to feel their depth, and she remarked on how easily the pools of ink gathered at the points of each character. The man who wrote the note was heavy handed from what she could discern, and although she shouldn't have been surprised by his spelling errors, Aithan had been the more intelligent of the two soldiers that accompanied her here. Somehow, that made her expect more out of him. But now she was alone. Admittedly, she had growing expectations that this might happen. The two men often thought she was fast asleep when they spoke behind her back. Little did they know, she always had difficulty falling asleep since she was a child and even considered herself a borderline insomniac. When she'd finally wake the next morning, they'd greet her with smiles and the usual pleasantries. She'd smile in return and pretend as if they hadn't just the night before groaned endlessly about the tedium of being forced to play the wet nurse to a deranged scholar. When the tavern owner's wife reemerged from the kitchen, Kelisette kept her olive green eyes glued to the note, feigning ignorance to the conversation that passed between the woman and her husband. Most people rarely knew how to properly carry a private conversation in secret and were easily deceived by their own voices. After all, ignorance often festers in the presence of vanity. Eventually the inky trails began to blur before her eyes as Kelisette's mind wandered. She knew this was going to happen, so why didn't she plan for it? Had she been so distracted by her goal that she couldn't be bothered to consider it might go sideways? Frustrated, she clenched her fist shut, crumpling the sliver of parchment with a loud crunch that startled the sweeping woman nearby. It seemed a waste to ruin such fine membrane that might have once been worthy of becoming a page in a book found at the great Carnethian libraries. Instead, it fell from her opened palm and lay mistreated on the water stained table. "I just need a new plan," she muttered. "Another way to get there." "What was that my dear?" Kelisette nearly jumped, caught unaware that the tavern owner's wife--Kelsha was it?--had been slowly approaching her. "Ah, it's nothing. I just--wait, no. Actually, I was wondering if there was anyone in town familiar with the ruins in this area? Someone who would be willing to be my guide?" The woman seemed confused, not by the question, but as if she couldn't understand why anyone would need such a thing. "There aren't any ruins around here that I know of. From time to time the children come across some odd things here and there, but none of it has ever sounded worth exploring." She paused and turned her eyes upwards as if to consider something and then nodded. "I can ask around the village and see if anyone knows anything, but I think your best chances of finding a guide would be in Eyidal." Kelisette stifled a sigh and nodded. "I'll consider that then, thank you." "Of course. Anything else I can do for you?" "Tea, perhaps? With milk." She drew a gold coin from her pouch and set it on the tabletop. "For your services so far. Keep the change." "All we have is ewe's milk," Kelsha said, quickly setting aside her broom and hungrily scooping up the small fortune. "Is that alright miss?" "It'll have to be," she said, eyes fixated once more on the discarded note. "Not like I have many other choices."
  8. The coolness of the tavern was a welcome change as Takus emerged in the doorway, rays of sunlight breaking through the musty air around his broad silhouette. Motes of dust, previously unseen, danced and twirled in the bright, warm pillars that illuminated the quaint lounge. Takus stepped through and let the door shut behind him with heavy thud, returning the tavern to its somber atmosphere. The shepherd turned to regard his wife who was busy sweeping the hard oaken floors, but paused when one of the guests--the only guest--caught his eye. Dressed in the Carnethian style that was so rare in these remote parts of the Empire, the woman seemed vastly out of place, like a paper doll put into the wrong scene. She was young or at least she had seemed much younger yesterday when he first met her. Today, something was different, and Takus could swear he could make out a plume of an ominous cloud hovering over her head. He caught sight of his wife waving him over to the bar, finger pressed against her lips. Curious, he obliged and followed her as she waddled through the kitchen door, hand on her belly, until they were out earshot of their troubled guest. "What is it Kelsha?" He asked louder than intended, voice urgent at the concern for such secrecy. She reprimanded him with a sharp shush, shaking her head. "You best learn to control that volume of yours before the baby is born, lest you want to sleep outside in the pasture with the sheep." Takus winced, having the good sense to look apologetic when it came to his wife's threats. No one in this sleepy town dared to consider them idle, and more than once he served as proof that they were not. She peeked through the wool drapes that concealed the kitchen from the barroom, spotting their guest seemingly unaware of anything but the thin object in her hands. "The soldiers left this morning," his wife finally said, clicking her tongue disapprovingly. "Didn't leave a single coin to pay for their stay and only gave me a letter to give to her when she got downstairs." "Didn't pay?" Kelsha shot her husband a look that chilled him to the bone, and it was enough to remind him she meant to keep her promise if he didn't rein his boisterous tongue. "Err, well," he stammered, voice strained to a whisper. "We knew it was like to happen. The Empire is good at skirting bills. Do you think we can get her to pay?" "I sure hope so," she huffed. "First patrons we get in ages and they think they're too good to pay? We ain't running a charity and have an extra mouth to feed here pretty soon. I used the good mutton too for their meals." "Then we'll make sure she does. She looks well off enough to pay for everything and more, with all that finery on her. We don't owe them anything." With a nasally sigh, she clicked her tongue, this time to a more sympathetic tune. "Though I feel awfully bad for her. She's been staring at that note ever since I handed it over. They just went and left and didn't say a thing to her." "Yeah, well," the shepherd sniffed. "We ain't a charity like you said. We can feel bad all we want, but feelings aren't going to get our sheep back." "I know, I know. Let's just wait though a little longer though, just until lunch. We can remind her then that our services aren't free if she cares to eat what we have to offer." In agreement, the shepherd nodded to his wife and she returned to the bar to resume her sweeping. He found a pitcher of water and poured himself a glass to drink before sneaking out of the rear exit and returning to the fields to tend his flock.
  9. KELISETTE D'ERCO, The Wayward Scholar ** Background Info Pending ** BASIC INFORMATION Moniker: Keli Alias(es): Scholiast Kelis Sobriquet(s): The Word Breaker Gender: Female Actual Age: 28 Apparent Age: 25 Race: Human Orientation: Straight Profession: University Epigraphist PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION Height: 5’4'' Weight: 120 lbs Figure: Hourglass shape with soft musculature Complexion: Fair with cool undertones (Porcelain) Hair: Dark Golden Brown Eyes: Olive Green Voice: Tight and refined in unknown company, but sweet and bright when comfortable or excitable. Tattoos/Brands: None Scars: None Other Identifiers: Low straight eyebrows, upturned eyes, thin bowed upper-lip, low-bridged nose, and round-shaped face MENTAL STATE Demeanour: Borderline obsessive-compulsive, she is academically driven with an insatiable curiosity. Ambitious but private, she is goal-oriented and rarely wastes her energy on endeavours that do not contribute towards achieving those goals. She’s not socially inclined as she generally prefers solitude and often appears rude if not arrogant during her interactions with others. Although a starry-eyed idealist to the core, she is governed by logic and is prone to over analyzing certain matters, especially those pertaining to the heart. Likes: Literature (non-fiction and scholarly works), solitude and quiet places where she can study or think in peace, and has a particular fondness for furry creatures Dislikes: Social gatherings, drinking, gluttony, idiocy, and general laziness. Desires: To study and translate as many ancient texts as possible and be the first to unravel the secrets of humanity’s dark past. Phobias: Astraphobia (Fear of Thunder and Lightning) Motivations: To understand the past so that we may know how it will affect the future. Quirks: Sneezes when she’s nervous or anxious, and sniffles if she’s upset. Hobbies: Singing, particularly songs from old folklore. Talents: Fast learner and quick thinker, adept at solving puzzles or riddles, keenly observant, can speak multiple languages. TYPICAL ATTIRE AND ARMAMENTS Casual Headwear: Maroon wool hooded shoulder cape with mink fur lining Protective Headwear: None Casual Upper Body: Sage green scholar robe with intricate golden embroidery fashioned after the imperial style with a wide open neck and black sheer underlining. Protective Upper Body: None Casual Lower Body: Robe extends downward mid-thigh, with sheer leggings and a black modesty petticoat underneath. Protective Lower Body: None Protective Footwear: Sage thigh-high boots secured by belted straps and trimmed with golden embroidery after the imperial style. Typical Armaments: None Accessories: Wide black leather belted bodice with decorative buckle, chandelier earrings, and the golden tassel of servitude to the Empire. BACKGROUND INFORMATION Father: Salvin l’Erco. Town blacksmith, specialization in tools. Mother: Isa l’Atheiu. Wife of a blacksmith, head of household. Siblings: Jakin l’Erco, blacksmith apprentice. Selv s’Erco, Imperial soldier. Anesse Erco, daughter and youngest sibling. Other Significant Relatives: Distant relatives that she has had little interaction with. Hometown: Erco, a small town a few hundred miles northeast of the Imperial capital.
  10. Roleplaying goals? Shit. I never really thought about it, but suppose now is as good as a time as ever. OOC To develop my writing skills, and consequently, my confidence in them. I had a dream as wee girl to become an author one day, but had that dream smashed many moons ago by a less than pleasant teacher. Since then, it's been a while since I took writing seriously enough to put some conscious effort into it. Although now I am trying, it's evident I've still got quite some ways to go but I'm enjoying the journey in it. Maybe one day, when I can commit some solid time to the forum, I'd like to carve a little piece of Valucre for my own to create a place for the enjoyment of others! I love world building and can really get lost in it if I'm allowed to. Of course, that ties into my aforementioned dream to becoming an author. To continue to share and collaborate in stories with others, encouraging each other to grow while enjoying these moments where we can just escape in these daydreams. Master time travel or human cloning so I can have more time to write. Preferably time travel. I fear for humanity in which more than one Phaedara exists in that universe. IC For Aelyria's story to end tragically and suddenly. There are some days I love her and others I want to wipe my hands clean of her. For Eleri to finish her debut thread. I blame school and my negligence. For me to finish any debut thread with any other character I designed. I'm terrible at this BTW.
  11. Wisps of smoke penetrated her senses, lingering in her flaring nostrils with a draughty prickle. An aspect of Aelyria's conscious was concerned and wanted the Urge to relinquish its grip long enough to let her look back towards Ted. But, that was like trying to convince a dam to crumble in the presence of a trickling stream. The course was already set and their target was the Queen. The initial throng of Xer-Orians was smaller now though they continued to spill from the fissures lining the dome above and from tunnels that surrounded them. She seemed to be calling them from deep within the caves and there was no telling how extensive of an army she commanded. On occasion, a soldier might pause as if contemplating whether rushing to its inevitable death to protect a Queen that was abandoning them was worth the price. The Queen's psychic control was teetering as evident by the subtle glimpse of hesitation in the soldiers' beady eyes. Aelyria struck down another soldier, losing her spear to the thick layers of chitinous plate on its thorax but quickly recovering by flicking her wrist and spawning a pair void blades into her palms. They didn't have the same pestilent effect that the crystal spear--now shattered into a scattering of fine twinkling dust--had, but they wouldn't find themselves lodged as they offered little to no resistance. She could be wilder and faster with her attacks, though accuracy became more critical to achieve as she could no longer leave her victims behind to mutilate themselves. However, the finesse of combat was not something the Urge concerned itself with. It was primal and uninhibited by the fears and consequence of pain, so it acted without forethought. It made Aelyria alarmingly efficient in striking down their foes but careless. The tip of a soldier's spear flayed through supple leather and buried its head deep into her hip. Pain erupted like fire for a fleeting moment before becoming subdued by the Urge's call. Another Xer-orian soldier sought to take advantage of the moment, charging with an unintelligible chittering war-cry before being felled by the shadowy blade, its wicked magic splitting the arthropod down its center, leaving a trail of smoky black in its scintillating wake. With demonic fluidity, she redirected the blade to her successful attacker, severing its triangular head free from its segmented body--a clean and regretfully quick death--while the blade's twin fended off another soldier by disarming it of both the weapon and the claws that wielded it. It screeched more with dismay than pain at the loss of its limbs but swiftly succumbed to silence as it met its fate on the end of her sword. The onslaught did not stop there, but as Aelyria jerked the spear free from her side and peered towards her final target, she saw an opening widen like the great maw of devouring beast, beckoning her forward into its spasming gullet. Enraptured by its call, she rushed forward, ignoring the stream of weapons that reached forward to stop her, splicing and tattering skin and gear alike. She twitched only to barely avoid the tip of a spear that sliced laterally against her cheek, leaving a fierce yawning gash from cheekbone to ear as her reward. A pair of consorts turned to deal with her. They sputtered something akin to surprise as she leapt in front of them, inhumane speed and strength granting her the might to nearly bound clear over their heads, using their shoulders and hunched backs as bouncing boards to close the distance between her and the Queen. She landed in the midst of the retinue of hulking consorts, mere steps behind the smaller Xer-orian female they guarded. The Queen scarce had time to react and mentally bark orders to her guards when Aelyria spun in place. A spray of crystalline needles darted outwards from all around her, battering the consorts and Queen indiscriminately, protruding from their hard carapace like the quills of a porcupine. It took a second from the initial lurch of pain for the pestilence to take hold. Almost as if their demise was choreographed, they screamed excruciatingly in their alien high-pitched wails, a sound that even prickled Aelyria's sweating skin. The consorts were first to fall, grasping at their thick antennae and snapping them free from their heads as if somehow that would stop the pain. Next, shards of exoskeleton were liberated from their bodies, a pretty collection of grey iridescent husk littering the rocky ground. They dug and gouged at their exposed innards, searching for the source of their torment among the blackening organs and muscle. They did not die quickly and the Urge had little patience to wait until they did. Aelyria faced the Queen, her many crimson-speckled claws clinging to the needles that pierced her carapace. If she were surprised to see the Xer-orian leader resisting the Urge's poison, she did not seem show it. However, the Queen was not entirely infallible to its blight as she twitched uncomfortably, large black eyes glassy with the pain. The soldiers had begun to back off, the tether that bound them to their queen weakening and blind loyalty waning. You... The Queen reached out into Aelyria's mind with hesitance, as if somehow the parasite that consumed the human before her could pass through this mental channel. You do not know what it is that you carry. Such darkness... The Queen seemed to grin then though it didn't show on her mandibles. At least I will die with the comfort of knowing all you hold dear will eventually die with you. A sultry laugh defied the fear that held her. By you. The Queen wobbled and cackled again. You're destined for destruction. It will follow you like the very-- Aelyria waved her hand dismissively and river of intrusion ceased to flood her mind. The Queen jerked, surprised yet expectant. Then, the Xer-orian's eyes widened and she trembled, appendages buckling and giving way as she toppled over gracelessly. Her wings sputtered uselessly, their pearly film punctured by the crystal needles that bore through them. She saw something in those last moments before her death, something that only her mind could see. The Queen didn't seem to be looking at Aelyria anymore but instead at the thing that stood behind her, guiding the woman's arm as the blade came down, arcing to her neck. She stared into its grinning eyes and knew she had made a terrible mistake. She screamed internally and then all went black. The Queen's head tumbled for a while before coming to a stop, blank eyes regarding her soldiers one last time before they scattered--at least those who still could. The consorts had eventually bled themselves to death, though one still groaned nearby, inky ichor bubbling from its jowls. Aelyria ignored it and turned, golden discs regarding Ted and the Mork'Outh before settling on the burden they carried. Renkor.
  12. Gonna pull this thread from being buried. I love seeing everyone's music interests! It's an opportunity to explore for new inspiration! Edit: ? Supernal beat me to it by a minute.
  13. I'm so thankful for the school break. I can finally live again and write! PURE BLISS!

    1. princeben07





      Well wonders NEVER cease to exist!!! THERE SHE IS!! My LOST and Found RP buddy!! how in the Seven Earths ARE you dear?




    2. Phaedara


      Could be better, but taking one day at a time! I'm trying to get my gear rolling here back into writing, but it's so hard! I thought I had a four day weekend to rejoice in, but unexpected surgery at work ruined those plans >_< Where did all the free time go, Benny?!!?! Save me!

    3. princeben07


      Maybe a little RP can get your mind away from the Triffling things in LIFE. It might help you relax while you recover from surgery???


      Hit me back...Let's whip something up!!!! I'm always DOWN for a good story!!



  14. The fanfare upon their return to town was unexpected to say the least. Eleri, despite the decent repertoire of fulfilled missions under her belt, had never before experienced this degree of ostentation for a job well done. Regardless, she relished in the temporary stardom from such simple town folk, even if at the same time, she became increasingly self-conscious, making futile attempts to pin the dusty brown flyaways that strayed from her head. With all the noise and commotion that swarmed them, Eleri almost hadn't caught sight of the two men prying about Ashelewyn's saddle bags. Instinct jolted her nerves and she reached for one of the longswords pinned to her left hip. However, it hardly made a handspan's breadth free from the scabbard before softly clinking back into place after the men had been shooed away. She sighed with relief but remained unsettled with how acute she had been willing to act. He's is carrying precious cargo, she thought in attempt to excuse herself. There's no telling what this town would do if they discovered what else we had brought back. Eleri snapped from her introspection at the mention of her presence. She nodded solemnly to town governor and then raised an eyebrow at Ashelewyn. Excellent help? She decided not to argue the point and accepted the compliment. After all, Eleri had still yet to determine the full nature of their working relationship. The governor soon left them to their designs, and she eyed the elf suspiciously as they made their way free of the crowd, walking beside his steed. There was something about the tone of his voice in that last sentence to the town leader, and she didn't have to wait long to find out why. "I'll stay with Rhaast tonight. You should go and enjoy the celebration." Eleri scarcely heard the rest before coming to her own opinion. "Yeah, that doesn't work for me," she objected flatly. "As much as I'd love free reign on your share of whatever rotgut delicacy they pass as booze around these parts, I... I'm not the one who they should be celebrating." Eleri knew she was passing on an opportunity for not only free drink and dine but for recognition. This was her chance to weave the story into a fine tapestry that might later be appreciated by others, specifically those who could open doors to other avenues that she long sought to explore. But, as she skirted her gaze away from Ashelewyn's penetrating scrutiny, she thought, perhaps, that wasn't so important right now. A cough cleared her throat. "I mean, you know. You're the one who struck the final blow. And, this originally your mission alone. I just happened to get in the way and be of some use." Her cheeks and neck felt hot, but she tried to conceal her embarrassment with an inflated smile and shrug. "Plus," she trailed, her voice taking on a different tone. "I have a feeling you might find more than one kind of banquet awaiting your arrival. This might be your opportunity to show off that," she paused and waved an open palm exaggeratedly in his direction. "Natural visage of yours." Eleri didn't care for the suggestion, but she was not about the admit her disdain especially when she couldn't think of what else to say to convince him to go. By no means was she willing to confess that she was merely anxious in attending the celebration all by herself. "Gauging by the number of young, bright-eyed maidens looking your direction, I'd say you have quite the selection to chose from. I might even seen a few eager lads, if that's your thing. So, you go. I'll stay and and keep Rhaasty company. Hopefully when I see in the morning, I'll still have all my fingers!"
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