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RentedRed

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  1. RentedRed

    The Final Beginning

    A drake? Caliben hung on the words for a brief moment, as he tried to imagine the creature he had only heard of in rumor and folk tale. He approached closer to Milde as they continued through the brush and vines, his face narrowed from the mistaken words he must've heard. "No, there is no such thing. Drakes are just creatures to amuse and scare kids." He gestured slightly with his hands near his side, as Milde turned with the same cold expression she had shown him after uttering the beast. "Yes, there is. I have seen it myself. Taen will surprise you of it's creatures, if you remain ignorant." She raised a finger to point at Caliben, but her face relaxed as though the notion of how serious she was had found it's way into Caliben. But Caliben was too busy looking at a blur behind Milde that slowly began to take form as well signal it's oncoming approach. The lizard came upon them in a frenzy best described as a feline screeching in heat relentlessly as it flew towards Milde. Which surprised Caliben as the woman was caught off guard by the creature as it landed on her face and clutched her by her cheek and hair. The woman screamed bloody murder as she reached up and grabbed to yank the creature off of her, but struggled against the pain of having her hair pulled in conjunction with the lizard. Caliben quickly attempted to pry the beast off of her, as Milde screamed, "It's got my hair! MY HAIR!" Caliben looked to find it's claws had indeed found hold in her hair, and seemed determined to not let go. He grabbed at it, and channeled Fire, attempting to scare the lizard off with a burning sensation. And it had worked. The lizard screamed in a high pitch as it wiggled it's claws out of Caliben's grasp and leaped onto the floor scurrying away from them both. Milde quickly reached to to unholster her pistol from her waist belt, and fired upon the lizard as it disappeared into the thick flora. Milde scowled, not knowing for certain if her bullet had hit it's target. But Caliben's guess is that she did, if she is as skilled as she carried herself with her rifle. Caliben didn't look to see the condition of the attacking lizard, but instead found interest in the sound of bending and snapping of foliagecoming towards them. Caliben readied himself as he prepared to fight against the unknown that had been attracted by the commotion, noticing Milde had done the same. She dropped the box and readied her rifle over her shoulder in one smooth motion. Her body sway stopped as though she had turned into a statue, awaiting anything that would appear before them. My luck seems to be getting better.. No later than the thought had escaped his mind, Aeylria came rushing out of the clearing in front of Milde and Caliben, although with sword in hand and ready to strike. Caliben turned to Milde, and to his surprise, had lowered the rifle in a more relaxed position to her side. "Anymore of you coming?" Milde asked, as she readied her rifle once again to her shoulder, awaiting Aeylria's reply.
  2. RentedRed

    The Final Beginning

    Caliben slowly opened his eyes as he slipped back into consciousness, his head and neck was throbbing from pain that he could only guess was prolonged suspension by the trap that sprung earlier. He tried to move, but was met with resistance. As he noticed he was tied around a tree by the upper torso, restricting his movements, but still letting him kick and squirm. He looked around to see if his hunter or whomever was still nearby, but he did not see anyone or any thing that would have had kept him here. Caliben tried to squirm and maneuver his way out of the rope, but was not given any quarter to do so. He begun to panic, but relaxed himself soon after. So, how to get out of this mess. Caliben had never been "caught" before, so his experience of escaping was very little. But, he had mentally prepared, or at least imagined what he would do if the situation would arise. Just need to talk myself out of this one. He looked around, but still saw no one coming to check on him still. And decided to make some noise so that the individual would come over, so that he may get out of these ropes as soon as possible. "Hello?.." Caliben said softly, not expecting to hear a reply, but the intimidation of the unknown was still present. He swallowed what felt like a rock that was stuck in his throat, as he spoke louder. "HELLO?.." He nearly shouted, as his heart raced, bracing himself for his captor to appear and silence him for being so loud, or to eat him now that he is awake and ready to be boiled. "Please.. be quiet, I was taking a nap." A soft voice spoken above Caliben on the same tree he was tied too. He arched his neck up to see someone in a pine colored cloak, and what looks to be light leather attire adorned with belts on the legs and hips. Caliben couldn't quite see the face underneath the hood, but replied to what the person had said. "Oh, here I thought I would be spending this fine day a-alone." Said Caliben, as he struggled to keep his voice calm, as he kept constant view of the person. Not long after, they lurched upwards and stretched exaggeratedly and turned to him to reveal that it was a she. "No, no. Taen is a foreign place to be certain. But there ARE people here, just need to know where to look." She jumped from branch to branch gracefully until she finally landed beside Caliben, but turned to something else on the floor, walking away from him. "It seems my lack of knowledge is apparent?" Caliben said, as he noted the woman was wearing eye wear as well had dark brown hair that was cut very short, but kept her bangs long that was parted to he right side. She leaned down into the bushes and pulled out a a small backpack, as she rummaged in it trying to look for something. "As is your eloquent demeanor." She pointed at him, but kept her eyes on her backpack. "It does not pair well with your attire." Caliben saw her her lips curve into a smirk, as she pressed on and finally found what she looked for and stood up walking towards him. "Y-You're right, I'll drop the act. I'm just a humble man, travelling with his companions in search of a fri-." "What's your name?" She interrupted. Turning to look at him, her face complimented the stone chiseled gaze she had upon him. As did her eye wear, nearly covering her hazel eyes but complimented her eyebrows that narrowed to the frame. Caliben hesitated, not knowing what name to think of. His eyes were still recuperating from the intense use before, so his time was limited. "C-Caliben.." He said, surprised by his own words as his name spilled from his lips. She didn't react, but kept her gaze upon him, as though trying to find any trace of a lie. In time she relaxed and took off her glasses, and folded them to be put inside the case she had withdrew from her backpack. "Caliben, haven't heard anyone by the name before. You really are not from around here are you?" She relaxed her shoulders, as she pocketed the case, and got closer to him. "No" Replied Caliben. "I am from Union City, and as I said, I'm here to find a friend." Caliben waited for her to ask whom the friend was, but instead, she folded her arms. "I am Major Milde Battler, Commander of the Spade Unit." Her smile easily uncovered her personal admiration for her rank, as Caliben groaned. I HATE military.. "Nice to meet you Major. Now, could you please untie me?" Caliben nodded at the ropes that bind him, and her smile had vanished as she unfolded her arms and approached him slowly. Caliben's nervousness had eased away, although he did not know how aggressive this military was, he guessed that it was not too contentious. As she got closer, she slipped a knife from behind her back and started to cut the rope. As the ropes were cut, she stopped and eyed him, as though she was trying to judge his intentions once more. "Don't do anything stupid." She said, as she cut on more rope, loosening the rest. She held the knife's point to Caliben, awaiting any surprise attack. But Caliben breathed in deeply, content with the ability to breathe fully once more. He stretched and swung his torso around back and forth in an attempt to crack the knot that had formed. After doing so, he looked back to see her returning to her possessions near the bushes. Finally noticing that her age did not match the rank she had said. "You're pretty young Major." Caliben folded his arms, looking her over as she turned and beamed, taking the observation as a compliment. "Yes, the youngest in Taen history." She cleared her throat, as she tried to recover what modesty she had lost, and hoisted the backpack over her shoulder. "If you need a guide back to Lunaris, I wouldn't mind doing it. It's not too far from here. I'm on military leave, err.. Vacation, right now." She turned to the side, and lifted a long wooden case from the green covered land. Almost three quarter's her own size, she positioned the strap around her chest, wearing the seemingly uncomfortable thing along her back. Caliben cocked his head inquisitively, more interested in knowing what the thing was she was carrying. And as though she read his mind, she pointed to her back. "If you're wondering, this is a Magic Rifle, made for long ranges." She signaled him to follow her, as though she had received the yes to her previous question. "You shoot bullets? Like a pistol?" He said, eyeing the case as he tried to imagine the weapon. I faced off against a pistol in Valjer, was incredibly fast and powerful. But, I can still dodge it.. Milde nodded. "Something like that, just imagine a longer barrel on a pistol with some magic added in to the bullet." She flashed her hands apart, as though she attempted to simulate the magic escaping the rifle when fired. How OLD is she?.. Caliben thought, wanting to ask but noting the impoliteness of it. Or was customs here different from Genesaris? He followed behind her and attempted to keep the atmosphere light. "So, if you are on vacation. What are you doing out here?" He looked around, still taking in the beautiful sight of the jungles of Taen. But being sure he did not lose company this time. "I'm hunting, a rare creature was sighted in Taen. Foreign to the land, but capturing or felling it would bring a big price." She turned to look back at him, her face glowing with excitement. "A rare creature? Must be formidable for you to hunt it." Caliben played along her tune, hoping to use her for their benefit. I'm sure they'll be surprised to see her.. "Quite." Milde caught herself slipping once again, and bundled up her joy as the moved forward towards Lunaris. Caliben could vividly see the spring that held tight, awaiting for him to ask the question. I guess I'll play along.. "What creature is it?" She turned and stopped, and looked him in the eye with her cold gaze once more, surprising Caliben by the sudden shift of character. "A Drake."
  3. RentedRed

    Where the Skeletons Dance

    Caliben's heart raced as Aeylria moved away from him after intensely studying his eyes. He didn't mind the interest, but he had not had anyone so close in such a long time. His hands shook, not listening to the orders of his mind attempting to calm himself down. She's not going to bite idiot. She's just interested in what magi-tech you are using for your eye sight. Caliben still shook, but the attention fortunately was not on his hands but on his eyes. He still felt her intensity when she had stared into his eyes, as though she was trying to solve the riddle of how it all came together. How the magic work with the technology that had granted him more than just vision, but a path to unforeseen strength. As Caliben's mind began to wander, Aeylria reeled him back in as she spoke. "Sorry. I... I shouldn't have done that, the ordeal you suffered must have been painful. I can imagine it must have been terrifying too." She looked away, as though she was trying to avoid looking into his eyes. "I don't think it's absurd--your story that is. Actually, I always thought that my story was the one that sounded absurd; sometimes I wonder if really even happened." She said, as Caliben looked to her, nodding silently to the person who knew him more than anyone else in the world. Caliben sat silent but listened intensely as Aeylria had begun to unravel her story. The shadow creatures, 'Harbingers', the savagery that followed suit after being struck. So immensely different from my life, as I had ran away, she confronted her obstacles. All for naught it seemed, which makes the loss much greater.. Caliben's eyebrows raised as she conjured the dark flame from her palm, holding out unknown power, tainted by the shadow. "I'll never be free." These words struck Caliben, as he knew the feelings too well. He had turned his eyes back towards the flame, although Aeylria had tempted his gaze once more with a question. "Thundermasters?" Said Caliben, taking a moment to best describe from what he had discovered from his own evidence and ideas. "Yes, and.. No.." Caliben stood up and grabbed the stick he had put aside to stoke the dying fire. "Yes, my abilities were granted by lightning. Somehow it had shocked my eyes to correctly work, but the abilities were a side effect." Caliben poked the fire more, seeing the wood split as the flames started to disappear slowly. As he looked into the flame, recalling what happened that day. "My magical abilities were awakened forcibly by the lightning. But, the night was miscalculated by my father. Instead of a regular lightning storm, it was a magestorm." Caliben looked at Aeylria. "And you have history with these storms it seems as well." He set the poker back down, and sat back down at his seat, his elbows resting on his knees and hands clasped together under his chin. "The storm was considered sacred by the inhabitants of Stormward City, and my father was only allowed to study with the use of lightning, as long as he shared any discovery with the Temple of Zare. And, healing your son of his sight with magestorm is punishable by death, to him and me." Caliben slouched downward, looking to the ground. "And his death is on my hands, If I was more discreet with my new vision.. Than no one would have questioned us, and we would still be fine." Caliben gripped his hands together, and looked up to Aeylria. "As you said, we'll never be free. And I'm afraid that more than just Thundermasters are after me." He sighed, thankful for the moment of peace. "To think, two fucked up people like us coming together." He looked at her, and smiled. He felt his breath escape slowly as he stared at her, the fire giving her just the right lighting for Caliben to stare at the surprising beauty before him. He didn't break his stare when her eyes met his, he no longer felt nervous around her. He knew her, and she knew him. That was something he desired, someone close enough to see Caliben as he was once again. Eventually he broke off his gaze, and turned to where he had left his bedroll beside the tree.
  4. RentedRed

    The Final Beginning

    "Yes! Well... while you two were taking your sweet time getting through the portal, I secured a local guide to take us to the only town in this forsaken land." Said Ted. How long was I in that portal for? Caliben stared deeply into the grass as he tried to measure the time he had spent in that forsaken portal. He knew he had flared his Aether considerably, not for observation, but as a knee jerk to save his life. No more than a couple seconds.. Caliben snapped out of his own trance to hear Ted scream. "Wait! Monsieur Frond! We can't run that fast!" As Caliben looked in the direction that Ted had ran off to, he sighed and followed the two as best as he could while his eyes recovered. If Aeylria's curse wasn't a clue, the tracks made by them both showed their path inside the dense jungle. He dare not chase them, but instead kept a reasonable distance from them as he looked around his surroundings to soak in the new land before him. It's as though the jungle is a maze, created not by the gods, but by nature itself to entrap outsiders within it's thorns. Caliben moved a vine aside, as he continued following. If this jungle is so big, the creatures here too must have adapted to it. Caliben felt a chill run down his spine as the fear of the unknown settled in, becoming increasingly alert from his own fears. But another fear had hit him straight in the face before him. There's two tracks?! Had they both parted ways? Caliben eyed both directions, trying to figure out what had cause the split. He knelt down, and tried to solve the mystery within the dirt. No sign of surprise, their feet would've scuttled. He looked to the other path, and saw that the grass had been disturbed with smaller strides. They were chasing the guide down.. Right? It occurred to Caliben that he did not even have a glimpse of the individual. Caliben cursed under his breath, as he wish he hadn't put so much strain on his eyes. Caliben knew he hadn't much time, and followed his gut. This way! Caliben took the path veering to the left and ran to cover the distance he had lost. Effing Ted, running around when we aren't even prepared to keep up with one another, AND in a new location.. His progress was slowed by the pathway into some dense vines and tall flora, and the occasion fauna that had perked his interest by it's patterns and colors. He forced himself to remain focused as he jumped over the path of thorn covered plants. And than suddenly, something grabbed him by his ankle and threw him upside down by his feet. The force of Caliben's body being swung upwards and the blood that seep downwards towards his head; eased him into darkness..
  5. RentedRed

    The Final Beginning

    Everyone feels something different. Caliben chanted in his mind the words Aeylria had told him before they had taken the plunge towards the Taen. He had hoped she would back out last minute, but it seemed he couldn't count on her to turn tail whenever he needed it. He focused on the silvery portal, as it reflected the light and ground off it's near water like shape. He had channeled Aether to be sure nothing would surprise him, but the pattern he came to realize was that of water rippling outward from a drop in the center. The mesmerizing part, was the way it seemed to be tugged like a cloth being lifted from it's center near instantaneously. The better understanding thanks to Caliben's gifts, gave him no assurance that everything would be alright. Sweat started to form near his brow, as he knew he could not stay too long on this side. How long had it been? 10 seconds since Aeylria had stepped in? Move dammit, MOVE! His voice of reason fought against his spineless body. Knowing full well he can't stay on this side. The ability to cross into another realm and disappear was too good to be true, as any pursuer after Aeylria or Him would lose track. Caliben reached up with his hand and moved forward towards the portal, attempting to reach into the other side first before committing his whole self. His heart beat rapidly against it's cage, his hand quivered as he moved closer inch by inch. His natural reaction to focus Aether from danger had made the simple task take nearly forever, his eyes burned with a mixture of fear and determination. Than it pulled him. The portal sucked in Caliben, pulling him through as though someone had hold of his hand. He looked around in distress, and saw a a near infinite horizon of white around him. The other side of the portal coming into view quickly as Caliben looked at his hand, now gone. No, disintegrate like a wind blowing away the sand of a child's constructed monument into the air. His forearm slowly disappeared into the nothing, as Caliben stared in fright as the rest of his body would inevitably receive the same fate. He tried to reel back what was left of himself, but the force that pulled him to the other side gave no quarter. His arm now gone, Caliben flared Aether as an act of desperation. He viewed to the side, still seeing nothingness as though it circled from one side to the other. The final moment coming close, his mind fired over thoughts and memories, imagining pain from the limb he had lost, as though it had burned to the bone. He couldn't scream, as the distortion of time is what kept him alive. It is coming closer, the end. He screamed internally, the rush of adrenaline finally pumped into his heart. Than darkness. Caliben felt the ground impact him as he was thrown into the other side, feeling the ground scratch across his face and hands, trying to stop his momentum. I'm.. Alive.. Caliben shook, too afraid to open his eyes. For he was certain he had worked them past it's limits once more. He felt the mixture of blood and tears run down his cheek, as he finally took in a breath of air. He felt the bile rise from his stomach, and lurched over to expel the fear that had been payment for the travel. Caliben quivered, as he gripped his hands together. Incredibly happy to feel once more in the hand he was certain had vanished before him. He fought the urge to purge once more, and instead heaved as a act of defiance. I'm Alive. He rose to his knees, and felt the warmth of the sun upon him. Caliben rubbed the dirt and blood from his face, and fought to open his eyes. The view before him was that of kids stories. The lush vegetation, the blue of the sky. So clear, and so colorful. He held back tears from it's beauty. The sight of Taen was incredible. It's beauty could only be described as natural. He looked to the side to see the landscape, the mountains to the east rose incredibly high, reaching the clouds, as though it's presence was that of a god. Caliben shook his head. Got to find Aelyria and Ted.. Caliben glanced left and right, till he was able recognize Aelyria and Ted near a tree looking at him. He rose, and cleaned himself off of the dirt and grass that had stained his new leathers he had meticulously picked out among so many others. It wasn't because he was picky, but the time Aeylria and Ted spent together was too entertaining. He had finally agreed on a dark grey hooded leather coif that went down his shoulders. A dark brown pea coat made of a thin material he hadn't the slightest clue. When asked why a coat by Ted, he simply replied he liked the pockets. And asked the tailor if he could sew in a pocket in the right sleeve for the usual dagger. Ted had groaned, but it was what he needed. The rest of his attire was brown leather boots that were suited for long hikes, brown loose fitted leggings, and black leather gloves that were double padded on the knuckles. He felt complete, but the emphasis of trying to maintain it's quality had now vanished. He looked at Ted, and shrugged. Not a coin of mine at least. Caliben walked to the others, and waved as he approached. "I finally arrived, wasn't so bad." Caliben squinted his eyes, as the pain resonating was near tolerable that way.
  6. RentedRed

    The Ties Left Behind

    He eyed Ted as he clinked Caliben's drink that had finally arrived, gulping down the contents quickly in a nearly admirable fashion. how easy he believes in the power of money. Caliben's frown slowly vanished as he viewed the expression upon Aelyria's face as Ted threw his arm over her. It gave Caliben a sense of relief, as though the frozen atmosphere from their encounter had begun to chisel away. Either way, I shouldn't trust this person. Aeylria pried off his arm slowly and brushed off what Ted had left behind on her shoulders. "Sure, let's do that," she said and turned to Caliben. "You needed gear, right? Might as well take what you can as long as it's up for grabs." "Err, that's right." Caliben replied softly, while looking down, feeling his toes touch the ends of his boots through the holes. Any upgrade to this would be better, heck new boots would make this trip worthwhile. He Looked up to see Aeylria already moving to the door, who turned slightly to speak to Ted once more. "And aside from details, we might need to readdress that low-ball offer of yours. I've got a few ties left behind in Union City that I'd like to see knotted, and I'll need a little more than five hawks to see that through." Said Aeylria, reminding Caliben of the people they had left back in Union City. Any hawk given to them would be incredibly appreciated, for the amount of inconvenience we gave them while we fled. Caliben looked to Ted, and leaned in with his right arm on the table to get in closer. "I'll be glad to look at that cache, but if there is anything else I require, I do hope Renkor's coffer can make due." He stood up, catching the chair before it fell to the floor from his sudden movement. And pointed to the direction to where Aeylria was standing and waiting for them. "If we don't catch up, she'll just leave us behind." Caliben smiled, and walked towards Aeylria. Knowing he wouldn't be leave her side anytime soon.
  7. RentedRed

    The Ties Left Behind

    "Forest, I think you will be surprised to find our friend Aelyria to be far more attached to Renkor than you suspect. The man has a way of getting under your skin." Said Ted I think she'll surprise you if you assume anything of her. Caliben hid his smile behind his bitten lip, as he started to look over the two men holding him. Noticing the stark differences between the two. The burly man showing almost no emotion, as though he put his entire focus to the task. As for the other though; his hand shook ever since he put his hand on Caliben's. Was he nervous? Or had a early morning recreational pick me up? His face did not do him any favors in thinking otherwise. Wonder how long the money given to him will last? Caliben was beginning to get comfortable of the situation when he overheard a familiar voice. Oh, I suppose he guessed right. Caliben sighed, too upset to look at Ted who he was sure of giving him a "I told you so" look. He shifted in his chair, to prepare for the entrance Aeylria was about to bring. And with her, it could go anywhere. Aeylria approached the table in a stern manner discernible to Caliben even with his back turned to her. And in his peripheral he saw the hand swing down with all the emotion she held in since Ted had introduced himself. Caliben braced for the impact, as the sound echoed across the inn. "I swear, if this is just some elaborate ruse--whether it be of your own device or of both you and Renkor for whatever reason it may be--I will cut those little marbles that you call balls off your member and string them on a pretty little necklace for you to wear so that you will always be reminded of who not to fuck with." Aeylria shouted at Ted, grabbing the attention of almost everyone in the Inn. Caliben smiled. It was rare for Aeylria to stick out, as well her attack on Ted may end up with no conflict. But, these newly hired goons seem to know no price. How far does Ted's pocket goes? The prospect of such high payment really peaked Caliben's curiosity, but there will always be another Renkor to rescue. Caliben coughed, grabbing the attention of the two. "Even though the idea of wearing one's family jewels as a necklace seems intriguing. I am sure our new friend here does know who he is dealing with. He must have heard the tales of our escape of Union City, as well our venture in Valjer should jog anyone's memory." Caliben said, showing a smug smile to Ted with an eyebrow half raised. Trying to judge the reaction of the man, to see how much he does know of them both. "Those White Wolves aren't given enough credit as the stories describe them." Well, I doubt even anyone here has heard of us. News doesn't travel very fast when the results are only cared by the few.
  8. RentedRed

    Where the Skeletons Dance

    Caliben had taken some of the soup into his bowl and made back to his seat as Aeylria disclosed her past. The start of it all by running away from home during a way, and getting mixed up IN the war. If the story had any tone, it seemed this woman had an overtone for her life. One could describe it as unlucky, but somehow at the right place at the right time. Must've been a smart plan, if they were able to escape. He took a spoonful of the owl, perking his eyebrows in the taste being better than expected. He listened closely as Aeylria continued. "But, not without a price." Said Aeylria, as she looked downward. S-Shadows? Caliben had heard of monsters and such from local tales and campfire stories. But for there to be actual creatures that rose from underground, and attacked? Caliben realized he was sitting on the edge of his seat, with spoon in mouth waiting for more information regarding the fiends. But was instead met with Aeylria's intense eyes, as she spoke once again. "What invention did you father create that changed your life forever, Caliben?" Caliben sighed slowly, trying to keep his reaction to a minimum. As this was the farthest anyone has gotten to know him, even the woman he had been with didn't ask him. He figured she refrained from asking out of politeness, as well he was touchier on the subject. Caliben maintained his look at her, and placed his bowl to the side, so that he wouldn't knock it over as he talked. "His greatest invention was my sight." Caliben gave her a moment to let the information sink in, before jumping back. "I was.. Actually blind when I was younger. My father, he created an invention that could restore sight with the help of lightning." Caliben stood up, and moved his arms hands around as he described how the invention worked, at least from what he knew. "My father installed these rods on my temples, that were pushed inwards to connect to my eyes. I'm fuzzy on the actual details. But, the idea was to catch a lightning strike and to send it to the rods. Charging my eyes with lightning magic, per say." Caliben waved his hands around, imitating the lightning coming down and striking his temple, his face scrunched up in reaction to the pain re lived in memory. "Days later, I awoke. To darkness, but I saw it. The presence of light, as though masked by shades of darkness. I called out for my father who was beside me, and unwrapped the bandages.." Caliben looked down, and smirked for a moment. "The rush of excitement and emotion between us both is unforgettable. And I remember the first thing I had wanted to do, was to repay my father for his help. And so I eagerly requested to help him when we get home, excited to see his office in the basement, as well everything else I had only known through my own imagination and silhouette.. And, to my surprise. When what felt like home, was not the home I had imagined.." Caliben sighed, and shrugged off the pressing emotion on his shoulders as he reached back for his bowl to place it beside the near empty pot. "So, my father's invention changed my life. Taken my life of ignorance, to a life of awareness of how everything is Black and White." Caliben looked at her, his thoughts and memories slowly consuming his state of mind. Wanting to know more and more of Aeylria, but knowing the more he moved for more, the deeper his sunk, like quick sand. "Well, there's always more to tell. But, I'll give you just a sample of my autobiography, for your sake. Some have gone crazy just listening to it's absurdity." Joking to defend myself again. Will I ever just let me guard down someday? "But enough about me, you must be curious how your island is doing now. or at least the mainland." Caliben sat back down away from her, implying he isn't trying to poke fun at her anymore. "If the war is over, what's going on over there?"
  9. RentedRed

    Where the Skeletons Dance

    "What are you, five years old?" Aeylria said, throwing a soft, playful punch to his shoulder. "Well, at least now I know you do see me as a 'girl'. Because, you know, I was seriously concerned those special eyes of yours were screwed in backwards." Caliben smiled at the response, as he rubbed the place where she punched as though the hit actually hurt. It seems she has a decent sense of humor, that's good. This trip won't be too boring than. Caliben's attention was taken as Aeylria started to speak up from the silence. "You're somewhat right about that," she concurred with a light nod of her head. "Except you're missing some context there in front of 'girl'. In my homeland, a girl of my station wouldn't have been taught skill in weaponry. We're taught to avoid combat by all means--our jobs is to care for a household and birth children. Not fight." She peered over to Caliben and offered him a meandering smile before turning back away. Caliben never knew the culture of women, he always assumed the job they held was something of choice. But to not be able to pursue one's dream because of their own sex? Am I really that ignorant? Well.. Yes, he was ignorant. He just never cared. He only wanted to be sure he had what he wanted before he did anything else. And at most times, what he wanted was usually just out of reach. Caliben caught himself before he daydreamed about life luxuries he's seen, as the current place and time was not appropriate. Caliben shuffled, making sure no extremities fall asleep on him. "But I never really was a good daughter, according to my father, so I thought--hell, fine. I won't even bother trying to be." She said in a demeaning tone, flicking away a piece of dried leaf from her shoulder. "So with the help of my eldest brother, I learned how to use the rapier. It was a decorative weapon to be sure, its sole purpose for dueling back in the olden days when it happened regularly, but I learned a few basics at least through him even though I was poor at the fine art of it. However, it did help me pick up things a lot quicker when I actually started to learn how to use a real sword for combat on the battlefield during the wars." W-wait, wars?! Caliben's eyebrows raised suddenly as though something had set fire to their feet. She fought in a war?! He eyed her, almost not believing the words she spoken. But, there was no hint of exaggeration to her tone. As well, their experiences before in combat did provide some evidence to the knowledge she may have gained on the field of combat. Caliben tried to imagine her in a uniform, but smiled and shook the thought. She probably was a mercenary or something, so she didn't need to wear a uniform. As well, someone so free spirited as her couldn't be possibly affiliated with an army. Still, Caliben took sometime to see if any war wounds still shown. "But what about you, hm? The last time I had seen you in Valjer, you said you could slow your perception of time to account for your crazy reflexes. Then, in Union City...see through walls and channel the magic to your hands--something you said you had to 'unlock' by letting go of your past. What exactly happened to you while you were out there between Valjer and Union?" Her cut in with the question brought back Caliben from his own hypnotic gaze to find some sign of pass combat. He cleared his throat as he tried to remember the trip between Valjer and Union City. "Well, After we had split our ways. I had a plan to keep heading east. No idea if any city or town was in the direction. But I knew that the thundermaster that was following me would've tracked me easier if I headed back towards Union City. So I kept heading East, until i made it to Sunset Way." Caliben smiled, and looked down as he twiddled his thumbs. "I was able to find a ride with someone who was heading to the city, a traveling merchant he was. Told me about the city as we approached it, and the more he said, the more I was excited to arrive." He looked at Aeylria, and gave her a stone look. "The city allows almost anyone to learn magic. Even hones on their specific they have the most potential on." He illuminated his hand once again, but snuffed The Fire out quicker this time. "So, I learned I was already tapping into a magic source, and had potential to use another. Hence why I can use fire magic now, and kind of see through walls. If we ever make it back from Aelindra, I'd like to take you. It's a gorgeous city, with incredible amount of people willing to teach and guide you." Caliben felt an immense heat coming from his stomach, as though the experience he had over there was something he'd never forget. "But, I had to leave. The Thundermasters were getting wind of my trail once more. If I didn't leave.. Well, I don't know what kind of damage he would due to others, nor did i want to take that gamble." Caliben looked down, the realization he had ranted for sometime and dinner was starting to get overcooked. "So, my next question." Caliben said, while standing and moving away from Aeylria, to pull some food off of the fire before it would become nearly inedible. "When did you join the war?" Caliben poured himself some of the broth, tasting the delicious owl.
  10. RentedRed

    The Ties Left Behind

    The whole event had happened almost so well, he wouldn't doubt that everyone who was involved had been rehearsing after work hours. He couldn't fight off the strength of the taller man, nor the smaller mans knife that was exposed to intimidate Caliben from trying to pry his way out. He looked to Ted, already disgusted in the man's smug look he gave to him as he drank his mead. "Now, Forest, I think perhaps we have gotten off on the wrong foot. Let's try to get past that and work together now? Hmm?" His lips quirked up in a saccharine smile. "Do you think Aelyria will come back for you?" Caliben raised an eyebrow, and smiled at the question. "No, of course not. I was merely going outside to get some fresh air. I apologize for the rude behavior, but one can only stand a port's smell for so long before one fears of it staining one's clothes." He eyed the men he "hired" to keep him seated. "And to think you'd introduce me to your colleagues! Well, I do say. I must apologize greatly and ensure you that it WON'T happen again." Caliben tried to loosen the larger man's grip on his shoulders by tugging at them, but the man didn't give. Caliben looked at him, giving him a look of blood lust. But still, the man did his duty. He sighed, and looked back at Ted. "Now, I can not answer for my travelling partner. I've never been able to predict what she'll do. And if I tried, she'd do the opposite of what I would have expected. So if I HAD to answer, I would say no." Caliben looked at the hawk on the table, and nodded slightly to himself. She never made any notion she cared about money. As long as she has purpose to get up tomorrow.. Caliben locked eyes with the bartender who couldn't seem to tear his interested away from them, and signaled him to come over with a swing of his head. He arrived nervously as he looked at Ted and the two new partners of his. "If you could, I'd like some water. Or a stiff drink if it's too early in the day.." He laughed at his own joke, but the man didn't laugh back, but instead nodded his head to the order and turned to the bar. "I'll need a straw! It seems I have lost the ability to control my arms." He looked to the others, but no one smiled. "Oh please, lighten up. I'm going now it seems, so best get to know me."
  11. RentedRed

    Where the Skeletons Dance

    "They've been chasing me for 12 years, I don't doubt they will ever stop chasing me." Caliben said bluntly, as he channeled The Fire through his palm once more, letting it grow fiercer as he let out his anger, the initial confrontation ran through his mind, but was once again buried deep within. "But, they aren't anything I can't handle. If anything, they are just a bunch of flies that warn me a pile of shit is building up around me." Or, that you have remained in a place for too long again. Caliben looked to Aeylria, noticing her locks of hair had been arranged differently. She certainly give obvious signs for when something is bothering her. Caliben had a devious thought, and stood up. "But, Aelindra does sound very interesting to visit. If not the magic, the magi-tech will help me solve some questions I had about my fathers research.." Caliben started to move slowly towards Aeylria's area, doing his best to not look at her as he approached. For any sign of shock or nervousness would pull a hidden string that would change his inscrutable expression to one of mischief. "You see, with the help of an invention my father created. It had changed my life forever." Caliben moved over almost beside Aeylria and found a pile of leaves to sit down on, still avoiding eye contact with her. "But that's a question for another time.. I'm more interested in you.." Caliben paused, than interjected. "And your skill with the rapier, seems like something no girl.. Would be taught normally." Caliben finally turned to Aeylria, his face no longer able to hold back his inner laughter.
  12. RentedRed

    The Ties Left Behind

    Caliben pushed his way past the occupants, merchants and workers alike as he made his way to Aeylria. He couldn't decide to whether to shout her name to grab her attention, or just simply catch up to her by surprise. As he maintained sight of her bobbing head, he squeezed, ducked, even twirled past people. Even with his ability to slow time for himself, the sea of people was a force that stopped any progression he tried to make. Caliben was about to simply give up on the idea of surprising her with his presence and shout to her when he heard someone shout behind him. "Thief! Thief! That man stole my gold!" Ted pointed frantically at Caliben. "Two Merlins to the man, or woman, who brings that man and my Hawk to The Bumbling King Tavern and Inn!" Caliben saw the people before him look towards him like waves of wind rolling through a grass field. This, can't be good.. And suddenly, the sea was upon him. Reaching and screaming at him, trying to pull him down like a wave in a stormy sea. He turned to run, ducking and dodging hands as they attempted to grab his clothes, but his ability helped aid off any grapple attempt. But, the mass of people were too great. Caliben grunted, kicked, and screamed as he was pulled towards the inn he had exited. His heart sank when someone pulled the Hawk out of his inner side pocket of his coat, holding it above for the crowd to see the man was right. "Thief! Thief! Bastard!" Men and women shouted and bawled, as some spat in his face or sneaked in a kick or punch. Caliben reeled in pain as he was pushed further towards the Inn. If I survive this.. That man..
  13. RentedRed

    Where the Skeletons Dance

    Caliben just stared blankly at Aeylria as she told her tale of woe of her son being torn from her arms. His heart felt the pressure of having someone you loved just taken away from you.. Just like what happened to me before.. But that's behind me now.. He sniffed, trying to break the dense atmosphere after what she said, and attempted to chime in with empathy, but was cut off. "But," Aeylria said as she looked towards Caliben once again. "There has been something bothering me ever since we left Union City. See, Auron--that big muscular baldy guy that was leader of my crew if you remember--had pinned down your location when I met up with them after you left the orphanage. You were in this house in the Pits and when you stepped out of it... it was in flames. I can only assuming you're the one who set it. But why?" Caliben raised his eyes, surprised how easy he was easy to follow. Well, the flames would have grabbed anyone's attention. But, I need to remember there are people who are extraordinary trackers. He stared back at Aeylria, as he clenched his jaw and swallowed a rock. Well, my story isn't as bad as the one she told. Right? He relaxed his shoulders and looked to the floor. "I used to live in Union City, under the protection of a crew called "Spider". A simple name yes, but the crew worked as a network. Spreading information from one location to another, to aid anyone trying to hide or leave from Union City." Caliben looked back into the flames, seeing the house burning before him once more. "They were successful with hiding me from the Thundermasters that chase me everywhere. And, in being successful, I was able to live an actual life there, at that house. Without trying to run from anything, and being able to grow attached to something I thought would be impossible. But, they made it happen." Caliben looked away from the fire, and back towards Aeylria, smiling at the golden flecks shined from the flickering light of the fire. Her pursed lips gave the perception she was caught in his tale. "The reason why, was because the night I had left home, was the night the crew that was protecting me had died." Caliben kept his focus on Aeylria, not breaking his gaze as a way to show the intensity of the night that happened. "Someone, or something. Had attacked our crew after a short scouting mission with the crew leader and I. The attacker took C-..Cerise and Hughes from us. As though, he had torn their essence, or soul right from their bodies and enslaved what was left for his own use. The leader, Velyn tried to save them, but was cut down by his own friend. And Cerise, was no longer herself. Just a body twisted into pure instinct of whatever that thing placed into her." Caliben broke his stare, and looked back into the fire. "I got away cause It let me.. Saying how I'll always be on the run, and I'll never find a home. As though it's always keeping an eye on me, just observing me." He shuddered. Sounding worse out loud than what he's been thinking in his head for so long. "I returned weeks later, to find Cerise was still there. Tossed aside like some doll, that was no longer played with by it's owner. I moved her upstairs, and had kept her there. She never decayed, so I just used her as an anchor for my own excuse. Never seeking another home, always moving from place to place to avoid the wave of conflict that would surely come crashing into me." Caliben sighed, and looked back at Aeylria. "So, that's why I burnt down that house... OH, and also to obtain my magic." Caliben put forth his hand palm up towards Aeylria, and emitted a small flame outwards. "It seemed the past had wedge itself into my heart, so deep that I couldn't channel magic into my hands. Which makes things much more convenient." He smiled. "I'll teach you magic if you want to learn, it's pretty simple if you are a natural." He puffed out some more fire, enjoying the sensation and view. Before he stopped instantly, and looked over his palms to be sure no damage was done. "So Aeylria, what will you be doing after we reach Aelindra?"
  14. RentedRed

    The Ties Left Behind

    Caliben stares in awe at the coins being slowly placed into his coin purse. 5 Hawks glittered from the light that sneaked in through cracks, only increasing the brilliance of the amount of wealth before him. "Two months pay, plus hazard pay to cover medical expenses should you be injured, if the trip takes longer you will be reimbursed when we return, let's check out the local cache for equipment, if you can't find what you need there we can purchase it at the local market." Said Ted. Caliben gawked Two months?! How did this man live, to use up that much money in two months?? Caliben nearly lost his breath, as he pulled out 5 more Hawks and placed them on the table for Aeylria. This is more than enough to get far away from here. Caliben couldn't help but notice many eyes now upon them as the coins laid on the table, beckoning the call of greed and jealousy to every person within eyesight of them. Caliben stared at the coins, trying to figure out what to do with the money. Running around in circles, trying to choose priorities over desires, and failing at each thought as his mind wandered further and further. Only snapping out of his own trance as he saw Aeylria pushing her share forward towards Ted. "Thank you for making the time to come find me for this little...rescue mission of yours, but I regret to tell you it was in vain as far as I'm concerned. Luckily for you," Aelyria said while tilting her head in Caliben's direction. "We happened to be traveling together so it would seem not all your efforts were entirely wasted." She then turned to Caliben and smiled. The smile was forced. It was easy for Caliben to discern the difference after being with her, and the rush of future prospects suddenly fell as though a bucket of cold water had hit him. The cost of a friend?.. Caliben attempted to interject, but was cut off by Aeylria. "But as for me," she said, while touching up her attire. "I have a boat to Aelindra to catch. So, if you don't mind, I won't hold up you fine gentlemen any longer so..." Aeylria gave a half-arse salute, and turned on her heels. Leaving the two of them, as she made way towards the exit. Caliben looked at her as she left, and turned to Ted, who seemed to still be comprehending the rejection Aeylria had made. Caliben sighed and took his coin purse in hand, and turned it over on the table atop Aeylria's share, pulling it up revealing the coins Ted had given him just moments ago falling atop of the others. "Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to understand that we are a package deal. She CAN be thick headed at times." Caliben smiled and raised his eyebrows as he got up from his own chair and turned to follow Aeylria. He gripped the coin purse in hand, and placed it back in his pocket, making sure that he wouldn't drop the Hawk he had held on to in the purse. Even if we can't do the job, I'm sure this much will make the transit to Aelindra much easier.
  15. RentedRed

    Where the Skeletons Dance

    A wave of information flooded Caliben's mind, as he tried to organize his thoughts and feelings from what Aeylria was telling him. The back and forth idea was a good one, he had many questions to ask her after the door was open to her past. But how much would he be okay with showing her? As well, she came to Genesaris because she was searching for her son. And the trail turned cold, and she made this continent her home. Caliben couldn't meet eye to eye with a woman who was showcasing her sorrowful past, not because he would be seeing the face of a mother torn from her son. But because of his own expression would show similar truths he had in his own closet. He played with his thumb by circling it around the tip of the pointer finger, feeling the callouses from their travels. As he was about to speak, Aeylria interjected. "Turns out, I was never meant to find him. Turns out I had lost him long... long ago," She said, quickly looking back up to Caliben with a smile. "But speaking of family, you said you had a father who was an inventor," she exclaimed, interjecting before he could speak. "So my question to you is, what kind of inventor was he?" Caliben blinked. He's never been asked about his family since he was a kid. And back then, the mere thought had him forcing back tears. Today though, Caliben just gripped his right hand into a fist. "My father.." Caliben took a moment to recall the memory. He didn't want to lie, there was no reason to. "Was a inventor of Magic Technology.. Err, Magi-Tech as some would call it. His specialization was bridging technology and magic together, so that the technology could be used to further advance our quality of life." Caliben looked up, and closed his eyes, opening them slowly as he talked. "He was not a genius, but he understood the basics to help others with their research." Caliben shook his head and laughed. "To think, I wanted to be someone like him. Stuck in a office all day." Caliben stood up and walked towards the pile of sticks they both collected, and tossed one into the fire. "But, I do believe I answered your question. So tell me, Why did you think your son was taken? And, how did you lose him long ago?" Caliben turned back to his resting area, and leaned down to pick up a bowl and spoon, turning on his heels to partake on some owl, before Aeylria had taken all of his favorite parts again.
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