Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

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Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SarahGracie on Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:35 pm

One more sweep of the wooded outskirts and she'd circle back around to meet with her relief. It was noisy in the forest this time of year. Dozens of late summer insects and tree frogs singing out their evening song in preparation for the approaching night. Under the canopy of thick tall trees it was almost deafening and nearly impossibly to pick out anything that didn't belong. The Protector had to rely heavily on her vision to observe with limited view of her surroundings for any signs of trespassing or trouble. Not that she expected to find anything outside the sleepy town of Narconia, she still took her roll in the village seriously. This earnestness of hers has the woman checking and double checking every possible nook and cranny along the paths and beyond. A thorough check that she knew the other Protectors rarely troubled themselves with.

This evening, just like every other evening, there would be no sign of excitement. No monsters. No trespassers. No hint of a threat or otherwise. That should be a good thing, a relief or at the very least satisfying to a person who's job it is to protect and guard the small outpost. For Constance there was a sense of disappointment. An emotion she would swallow down as she banished away any creeping thoughts of the time that adventure was her future. It was a short lived burst of excitement, one that turned out to be illusion. A small taste of sugar in a world filled with salt. They were thoughts she did not like to linger on. Those times were over. The opportunity missed. It was irrational to even dream of in her wildest of dreams. But still... In her most secret thoughts, the woman held on to some hope. Some hope that maybe one night during these uneventful rounds she might encounter the legendary beast once again.

The transition between two guards goes about as monotonous as always. The same reports given as usual. The exchange of banter. A dig or two about Constance being the only female Protector. The same repressed words of fire that bubble in her throat. Eventually she is free of the guard duties and can finally begin her rounds of a more personal nature. Along the route to her home she checks in on friends. An elderly woman named Faylyne who always has trouble lighting her lamp. A middle aged woman named Bridgette who husband is almost singlehandedly responsible for all alcohol consumption in all of Narconia. A widower named Husson who never remembers that his wife is no longer there to make him dinner. It goes above and beyond what is asked of a Protector but to Constance it should be commonplace for them all. A change that may be slowly taking hold in a town so known for it's unwavering ways.

She owed her position, the small changes and subtle acceptances, to one person in particular. The one who changed her life in over the course of a few short days. The beast that took her hostage in the night after spilling blood in their small town. The beast who turned out to be the most wanted criminal in all of Ri'atal . A dastardly villain who turned out to be nothing of the sorts. She smiled as she walked the dimly lit roads through her town. A hidden smile that a person who went through such a tragedy should not wear when remembering their captor. Everyone in the outpost thought Constance a survivor, a victim and even a hero for managing to escape the clutches of the most dangerous of all species and races. Ah, what they didn't know...

A distant rumble of thunder had the woman pulling out of her distant, yet so fresh, memories. Lips pulled into a grimace. They needed the rain for it had been a dry than normal summer. Yet often times these late Summer storms could mean trouble of a dangerous nature. High, terrorizing winds, fierce lightening and extreme flooding. The outposts' town center was on high enough elevation with adequate drainage but the surrounding farms and homes could sometimes have trouble when the creeks and narrow rivers ran high. No, there was no telling what this storm in particular would bring.

Constance managed to get her horse in the Protector's stable just as the winds began to pick up. It wouldn't be long before she would be feeling those first fleeting droplets of cool rain. She didn't mind the whipping breeze as she rushed to her small cabin just outside of town. It had been a scorching day even now as darkness was but minutes away. One of those Summer nights that would have been sweltering had a storm not decided to blow in. It was a short hike to her home yet she was barely half way there when those pregnant clouds suddenly burst. A downpour that had her brisk strides now in an outright run.

A crack of lightening illuminated her house just as she began up the cobblestone steps. She threw herself inside a mere second before a boom of thunder made the world around her tremor. Constance laughed out loud as she leaned against the closed door catching her breath, safe inside and out of the rain, lucky that she did not draw the straw for night shift this evening. It would have been miserable. No, instead she could ride out the stormy night in the solitude and sanctuary of her own home. The place still felt new to her. A single female living on her own. It was unheard of, controversial even, yet here she was. Perhaps another thanks to a certain someone for helping to make that happen. It wasn't much, barely three rooms but it was hers.

A hour later later she had peeled off her wet uniform and boots and was letting them dry on a hook by the door. She had opened the windows to let in the moist breeze in attempts to stifle the sticky humidity inside the cabin. A lantern was lit by a comfortable chair, a book and a glass of water sat on the side table. Constance had combed out her damp curls, twisting them into a knot before securing them in place. Ever the rebellious woman, she wasn't one to sleep in long stuffy shifts, instead favoring a light and airy cotton shirt and pant. Bare feet padded across the wooden floor as she brushed a wayward curl back into place before sinking down in that fluffy chair with a sigh of content. She was quick to lift that book and dive in. A thick thing she had purchased from a traveling merchant not long ago. It was an assortment of tales penned down by a Vokurian hunter. Should make for an interesting read. Until she was likely to get discussed with it and delightfully use the pages as kindling for a fire. It was possible she, just a girl from Narconia, perhaps knew more about Volkurians than this hunter would ever know.
A successful novel should interrupt the reader’s life, make him or her miss appointments, skip meals, forget to walk the dog. - Stephen King

The same should apply for an RP.

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:09 pm

It had been an interesting couple of weeks.

Rohaan liked to travel and needed to often in order to not get caught or hunted down. And unlike humans, he could travel very fast if he wanted. Sometimes he did, though sometimes he simply enjoyed the solace of an otherwise empty forest, or a high peak that looked over all the land. It wasn't so odd, then, that he found himself back in familiar territory. There, amidst a sea of lush forest and thriving farmlands was the small outpost of Narconia, a bumbling little place where little of import ever happened. The days went by and gave only the small-town drama of affairs, rowdy drunks, and other small scandals.

Of course, that wasn't the case two years ago. On a cold winter night, Rohaan decided to pay the guard post a visit. Except it hadn't really gone to plan, and what was supposed to be a small incident became...something else. He had thought, back then, that a new chapter of his life was about to open. He'd spent most of his life in the company of a trusted few--either his blood family or, after they died and he found himself in an unfamiliar port city where he didn't speak the language, he had joined Berlin's crew. And though he had kept in contact with Berlin and another member of the crew named Uban, he had spent the last several years more or less alone. And then she had come along.

He never really did know exactly why he never came back after that night. Why he never sought her out again. The answer he stuck with was that he figured it would be better for both of them if they went separate ways. He was a highly sought after criminal with absolutely no place in society, and she had a whole future. Who was he to ruin that? Truthfully, he did seek her out. When he finally thought maybe he ought to find her and catch up, he'd gone back to Narconia and carefully gathered some information over the span of several days. She was a Protector now, and from what he gathered she seemed like she was doing well for herself. People talked, of course, remarking on the oddity that was Constance, but he knew she wouldn't have it any other way. He knew her that well, at least. Rohaan told himself he would find an opportune moment to sneak in and find her, perhaps on one of her patrols. Maybe he'd try and hold her hostage for old time's sake, though he guessed now that she might actually try to knife him this time.

Rohaan never went. It wasn't that he didn't want to. He did. But...he just...hesitated. Like he was afraid of what would come of opening that box again, or maybe that it just wasn't wise, or...

He had excuses on excuses. So he at last made up his mind to leave her be and to leave Narconia behind, but fate, it seemed, had other plans. He went North, stole a few very expensive bottles of wine and whiskey, got caught doing it and instead of dealing with the usual terrified guardsmen, he actually encountered a hunter. One of some renown, and it was not the first time he and Rohaan had met. In fact, Rohaan thought idly that this man might have been waiting for him, almost. Either that or following him. Still, Rohaan knew how to deal with these sorts. He'd been fighting to survive nearly his whole life. The battle wasn't difficult. Of course, this hunter had a cooler head than most and actually managed to land an arrow in his leg. It pained him horribly, but it wasn't the worst thing he'd ever endured. An arrow to the leg was really a simple thing if cared for properly. He'd just need time to lay low and heal. Or so he thought.

Rohaan came to somewhere south of the outpost of Iber, where he'd been shot. The thunder woke him, though he hadn't noticed the rain and the roar it made on the leaves of the trees until some time after he gained consciousness. He felt immensely dizzy. Rain tapped at his face and was, for a while, the only thing that kept him aware and alert. Somewhere nearby was a stream, hissing as the droplets plunked down into it in a crescendo of tiny little plops. Everything felt sore. Not just his leg either, but his head throbbed miserably, his left wrist smarted if he moved it, and a persistent sharpness radiated from his ribs somewhere on his right side.

It took him a very long time to piece it together, but he realized at some point that mid flight (what form had he been in? A cyradan? He didn't rightly remember) he had lost consciousness, reverted to his natural state and dropped from the sky like a stone into the canopy of trees. A possible head injury, a sprained wrist, and definitely one or two cracked ribs. Could have been worse. He tried to sit up but the world spun violently under him and he dropped back down ungracefully. That wasn't right. Everything felt fuzzy and to his surprise, his skin burned. Fever...? And then it came to him. Poison. The arrowhead was poisoned.

Damn, he thought. He was too far from Cauric to make it to Berlin for help, and he did need it. But...if he remembered correctly...Narconia wasn't all that far away. If he could manage the spinning feeling and favor his leg, he might be able to get to her. In his current state, he didn't dither on about whether or not she wanted to see him, or whether it would be a good idea for either of them. He just knew he was in a bad way and she was the only person for miles who would help him. The decision was easy.

Rohaan was glad it was late, and even more glad of the rain. It cooled his unusually warm brow, but more importantly it shooed away citizens who would much rather be dry, and it washed away the trail of silver blood he left as he dragged himself towards where he knew her cabin was. He was glad he'd asked around earlier (stealthily of course). By the time he made it to the door of the little cabin, he was nearly delirious, though whether it was from the building fever or a direct influence of the poison, he didn't know. The only benefit was that he didn't really register pain as well as he should, and that helped him to keep moving.

He'd collapsed at the door. He hadn't even knocked when he went straight down to the ground after his knees gave out (again) and lay flat on the wet paving stones. He lay there for some time, nearly giving up then and there and allowing himself to slip back into fever dreams or unconsciousness, but a thunderclap brought him out of his stupor. All he had to do was get up one more time, knock on that door, and he could let himself slip into blissful rest. Okay. One more. Here we go.

Rohaan staggered upright on his wobbling legs, favoring the right one which was still bleeding around a broken-off arrow shaft, and with every ounce of effort he had left, he knocked on the door. The moment it opened, he saw a distorted figure, a mere shadow in the warm light, tried to speak but only made a soft, muffled noise, and then he went down again. He felt his knees hit first, bruised now from all the other times he'd collapsed, and then he was aware of something hard and flat against his cheek. Ah, the floor.

The blood and the broken arrow were the most obvious problems, but then there was the full body shaking, faint but present, and the way his eyes, though open, never really seemed to see her or anything in particular. Even when the raindrops rolled off his face, it became moist with sweat. He kept trying to speak, but all that came from the effort were noises, breaths of air given voice.

Distantly, Rohaan hoped he had the right house.

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SarahGracie on Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:13 am

It didn't take long for the pattering of the downpour to lull tired heavy eyes into drooping into sleep. The book barely even cracked open. It was a dreamless sleep that one falls into after a long day's work. Peaceful and quit. There was no telling how long had passed when a sound rustled Constance from her slumber. Green eyes flying open at the unexpected noise so late in the night. It took her moment to realize the sound had been a knock at her door. Brows pulled together in confusion as eyes narrowed. Who could be out in this rain at this hour? And for what reason. One could only conclude that something horrible had happened. Someone sick? An attack? Scenarios run rampant in her thoughts as she quickly sprung to life. The book sat to the side as she stood from the chair. A sprint to the door about to swing it open when a nagging thought had her reaching for a knife that she kept conveniently by the threshold.

"Who's there?" She called out followed quickly by a, "What is it?" When there was no answer, suspicion rose and bubbled inside her leaving her with that wave of jitters that tickled at her stomach. Knife ready in right hand, she reached out to undo the latch and open the door. What she saw on the other side was enough to freeze her in place as her jaw dropped in a small gasp. At first glance it was merely the shape of a man, could be any from her village. But as she squinted and the light from her flickering lamp fell on the figure's features just right there was no mistaking the identity of the man at her door. No sooner than she had it figured out, was he crumbling, knees hitting the wet threshold. Instinctively she reached out to try and catch him, but his fall forward was too quick, leaving him sprawled half in and half out of her house.

Constance sucked in a breath only to let it out in a short puff of air, looking down at the collapsed figure. For a moment that felt longer than the mere seconds that passed, she could only stare, wide eyed in a state of shock. Could this really be happening? Could this really be him? She didn't give her much time to process the logistics of the situation because while her eyes swept over his form, she quickly took note of the spatters of blood coating him arms and pooling at his leg. A major wound there that she now stooped down to inspect with a closer eye. The sight of the arrow injury sent her into action.

"Oh my gods." It was all she said for the time being, moving to try and pull him inside. Once she managed, she shut and locked the door behind her. She moved to close all the curtains and blinds in her house with sprinting feet. Anything she could do to help him wouldn't matter if he was discovered. Crouching down next to him now, tender hands moved to brush back soaking wet blonde waves from his scraped and battered face. That moment was when she was truly sure just what this storm had brought her. Aside from the familiar face and features the one that stood out most was those impossibly blue eyes staring back at her. Just the one look, even they seemed to look more through her than at her at the moment, was enough to knock the air straight from her lungs.

"Ro? Ro, can you hear me? Can you speak?" It seemed he wanted to, even tried, but no words came out. It was then she noticed the hand on what should have been a cold rain drenched forehead was hot to the touch. Her voice softened into a whisper, as she made a move to try and get him to sit up and eventually stand enough for her to move him, "What have you gotten in to now?" It took some struggling and much coaxing but eventually she manged to get him to her bed. She worked to removed his soaked shirt, even his boots and socks. She sighed knowing the pants would have to go too. They were soaked in silver blood and needed to get better access to that injury.

"Don't get any ideas," she teased to the unresponsive male, though there were hints of nerves and perhaps she was merely talking out loud for her own sanity. She was quick to cover most of his body with a thick blanket, leaving his leg exposed. Again she did a quick assessment of what seemed to be his immediate needs. The arrow wound of course, she would need hot water, rags, bandages. The thought of slaughtering the wound made her dizzy for reasons of their shared past. She did have a needle and thread. His fever. He was shivering like a leaf in the wind. She had already placed a cool rag on his forehead and bundled the blankets high around his neck. His other injuries that she could see seemed minor enough that they could wait for tending.

With haste she went about preparing a fire, and fetching water to boil. She'd never removed an arrow from a leg before but she had seen similar wounds be treated. She was fairly confident she could do it anyway. What other choice did she have? To let him die? To risk him dying on the road to find someone else to help? No, never. Those options were not even such. No, she'd have to do this. She's have to at least try. Once everything was prepared and sitting ready by the bed, she stole one more moment to look him in the eyes as he tried to speak but yet no words were coming out. It was curious that an arrow wound to the leg was already having this effect on him. Maybe if he'd had the things for days... But it seemed to be more on the fresh side.

"It's okay, Ro. I'm here. I'm... I'm going to fix you up." She forced a smile before dragging her eyes away from his face and toward the task at hand. There was no time to think about nagging questions at the back of her mind. Why did he come here? What was he doing here? How did he know where she lived? Had he known all along. No, no time for those questions. She had an arrow to remove...

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:35 am

He'd thought he was finished. Not dead, just spent. He thought he had absolutely no energy left, not even a clear idea of which way was up or down except for the press of the floor on his cheek. It was warm. Too warm against his already warm face. He didn't want it there but he also didn't want to move. Every time he did everything spun and twisted like he was severely drunk. Cool hands touched his face, sweeping the stray curls away from his damp forehead. He could hear her. The words took a long time to really reach him, but he could hear her. He'd made it.

Rohaan felt relieved, enough that he was willing to fully surrender to the floor, to become one with it for all eternity if it asked him to. But those hands kept grabbing him, moving him, pulling him. It jostled his other, lesser injuries and in doing so pulled him away from the edge of blissful oblivion. No! Hadn't he fought hard enough already? Couldn't he just enjoy the rest he'd so doggedly earned? Yet even as he groaned, grimaced and growled, he found that his limbs were accepting the coaxing, coming back to life, supporting his weight. The pain of his cracked ribs made it hard to breathe while she maneuvered him, though it all seemed so abstract at this point. Then his legs went loose and his back met something else, something soft, and he felt like he was falling. He was falling. Yes, and the wind had torn his shirt loose yet he still burned, burned as he fell. The wind was speaking to him softly, urgently.

I'm here.

But where exactly was 'here'? At first the wetness and heat he felt made him think of the little tropical island far, far to the south that he once called home. Where his mother and father once lived. No, they were killed, he remembered. Was he below deck of the Borealis? That made sense. Everything pitched and lurched like the ship did in a storm. But that wasn't Berlin's voice. Some very childish part of him wanted Berlin, wanted to call out for him, wanted him to be there beside him. But no. He wasn't there, she was. She...was....someone he knew. He'd come here looking for her. Yes! That was it. He'd come here looking for--"

"Con...." it was all he could manage, but it was the first lucid thing that came out of his mouth. He felt like he was floating. A breeze through the window caressed his bare toes. When had he lost his boots...? Had the wind taken those too? A horrible, rending pain in his leg brought him a moment of forced semi-clarity and he remembered the man with gray hair drawing back his dark bow, aiming, firing, men coming at him...

Where once there had been a man, a sable wolf lay, and this wolf lunged and snapped with his white teeth snapping together with an audible clack heard even above his mix of a yelp and a vicious snarl. It was a good thing he was delirious; those jaws clamped together a good six inches away from her face and a little too far off to the right. He couldn't hold the form though and suddenly the man was back and the wolf gone. He remembered where he was again and silently apologized to Constance for his sudden snap. He'd done that to Berlin on at least three occasions, except he'd been lucid then and his aim had connected. Berlin still had at least one scar.

Rohaan briefly lost consciousness for no more than a minute, then his eyes came half open again as the pained growls began again. The stitching felt like nothing after pulling the shaft out, but he was still miserable. He needed to tell her he'd been poisoned. He didn't think it was the deadly variety--he guessed that if it was, he'd be finished a long time ago. Someone wanted him alive, but down. Still, he needed this to end. He didn't know what kind of poison it was and so finding a specific antidote was impossible, but maybe there was something that would help. He heard rumors that charcoal cleaned the blood, or maybe that was the stomach?

"P...oi...s...." That was all he could get out before his head spun even more. Stars above, let me sleep! He felt like he'd been tied to a wagon wheel and was going around, around, around. Not falling anymore. His eyes closed; he couldn't open them again. His face felt hot and he wanted to take the blanket off of him, except he was shivering like he was cold. Maybe he felt cold too? He wasn't really certain. It had been raining. But he made it. He made it. He finally went to see her.

Darkness.

--

When he found himself in a bed in the timid darkness just before it gives way to dawn, at first Rohaan was confused. And then the pain hit him and suddenly it all came back. Well, not all of it. There were gaps, distorted sections of his memory that didn't really seem to make sense, like a bad dream. But he did piece it together. The arrow, the poison, the drop from the sky. Constance. Constance! His lapis eyes snapped open, blinking. He didn't exactly feel great, though he didn't feel like he was at death's door either. The world didn't spin, he could see clear shapes instead of light and shadows and blurry forms, and he was keenly aware of just how much he hurt. But he'd survived. He always survived. That said, he did not feel inclined to move.

"Constance?"

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SarahGracie on Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:16 pm

Rohaan was still scorching to the touch. Teeth worried at the inside of her lower lip as she dipped the cloth for his head in some cool water, ringing it and replacing it. Shushing him, a soft chastising as he attempted to speak her name. He appeared to be out of it. His mind taken with fever. Constance waited till the man seemed to fall back into something resembling calm before she made her move to begin the work on his leg. A worried grimace plagued her lips before she inhaled a deep breath and let it out slowly. An attempt at calming her nerves in preparation.

Just as that last bit of air was escaping her lips, the human leg before her shriveled and morphed into that of a a dog. Skinny and hairy, a dark brown though still coating with the shimmering silver blood. The woman did not have much of a chance to react before the head of that wolf came snapping near her face. A startled cry of surprise was all she could manage as the wolf narrowly missed sinking it's sharp teeth into her cheek. Just as quickly as the wolf took the place of the man that the man was back again. Shaking hands came up to clasp around her mouth, muffling panicked breaths. She knew that he could shift, could turn in to practically anything, but seeing it again and having the creature take a snap at you did little to reassure her. Perhaps she should tie him down? No there was no time, she needed to get this done!

Rambles of something that sounded like regret and apology poured from Rohaan's lips and again she attempted to sooth him. He seemed to lose his grip on consciousness again and Constance used that window of opportunity to plow through the dreaded task. No more delays, she gripped the now broken arrow and pulled it free. A wave of nauseous guilt nearly had her head spinning but she managed to swallow down as she deposited the broken bit atop into a bowl. Quickly she went to work cleaning the wound with warm water and nearly all the rags she had. Once she had the bleeding somewhat controlled she set about stitching up the small hole, first one side and then the other.

As she worked, Rohaan came to again with an attempt to make more words. Again her voice took on a low whisper meant for soothing. "Rohaan, shh. I've got you. You will be fine." Perhaps her words worked for soon he was out again. Now that he wasn't struggling or mumbling, she wrapped a bandage around his leg. The ribs went ignored as she didn't know they were damaged, but she did clean and dress any other scrapes and cuts that she could visibly find. When she was finally done, Constance's hands and her night shirt were stained with metallic evidence of a Vokurian. Moving as if someone would burst through the door any minute she gathered up all the soiled towels and clothes, even her own top, as well as Rohaan's clothing. With fresh water and harsh soap she scrubbed till her hands were sore and raw. Anything that she couldn't get the infamous silver blood out of was tossed into the fire. The rest were laid out to dry.

She scoured her small cabin, even the outside stone and door, making sure all traces, all evidence that Rohaan was inside was vanished. She scrubbed the bowls she had been using, her needle, the thread. It took what seemed like hours, all the while checking on the man. Changing out the cool rag on his forehead and trying to gauge if his fever was lessening or worsening. It seemed to be just as bad as when he'd came in. Constance looked over his most serious wound, the arrow injury. It did appear to be infected and she had been as clean as possible. What could be causing his body to react this way? Only then did she remember Rohaan's muttered attempt. Pose? Poise? Poison? Poison! A poisoned arrow tip could most definitely be the cause of this reaction.

Sadly she did not have much on hand that she knew for sure would help without knowing what kind of poison the arrow was dipped in. She moved to where she kept a random selection of ointments and salves and oils, homemade remedies by their local doctor as well as some things she had picked up from merchants over the years. A small collection she saved and had at the ready in case any one in the village fell ill and couldn't pay for the doctor's services. It happened more often than she could count. However the ailments she usually helped treat were minor compared to poison. Poison that was surely running rampant in Rohaan's blood. Constance finally selected a medium sized corked bottle that she vaguely remember the merchant saying could help cure intense infections. An anti-something the merchant had called it, to be taken in large doses till the patient showed sighs of improvement, then smaller until they were cured.

A long shot for sure, but it was perhaps her only shot. Making her way back to the bed, she uncorked the bottle. The smell made her nose crinkle. It reminded her of an severe infestation of damp mold. The contents were a grey powdery substance. Without hesitation she spooned out a heaping dose. Squeezing Rohaan's cheeks together, she poured the powder into his mouth, followed by a few splashes of water as she worked her face muscles gently to coax the man to swallow. Finally she was able to get the substance in him. With a sigh she sat the bottle, spoon and water on the bedside table.

He seemed to be sleeping now and there was nothing else she could think to do. It was a waiting game now, she feared. Wait for him to wake up and hope that he would be lucid enough to tell her what happened and help figure out what else could be done for him. Since that knock at her door, Constance allowed herself a moment to breath, to relax tensed muscles as she sat perched on the edge of the bed. He was really here. She reached up to tuck the fresh blanket up around his neck. He looked so much the same as he did two years ago. A faint smile played at her lips as she remembered their night in the cave. Drunk and injured then. Now only injured but much the same appearance. Sighing, she finally stood and moved to near collapse into a chair that sat in the corner of her bedroom. From here she could keep an eye on him and be close for when he awoke.

It didn't take long for the adrenaline to wear off, for that fear and anxiety and worry to whittle her down to exhaustion. Fighting the sleep that wanted to badly to take hold, she forced her eyes to quit drooping. Much to no avail. Within half an hour she fell into a rigid sleep. Resting yet ready to spring to action at the least little noise that came from her bed. Prepared for when his voice rang out, quiet under the still pelting rain, she was quick to lift herself from the chair. Bare feet moving quickly across the wooden floor till she was able to sink into the edge of the bed. She had kept a lamp burning through the night, softly so that they both would be able to make out the space around them. One hand came up to rest gently on his chest with a reassuring pat while the other slipped the now dry cloth from his forehead.

"Yes. It's Constance. Hello Ro." She attempted a small smile, though it was weak both from the worry and lack of sleep. "You're safe. You're in my home." She stopped there, not wanting to bombard him with questions and information that he might not be ready for. Once she dropped the dry cloth into the bowl of water next to the bed, she used that hand to feel his forehead, holding her palm against it for a few seconds before gently gliding down to his temple. "How are you feeling?" A stupid question it might seem, but she wanted to know what his complaints were so she'd better know how to assist him.

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:52 pm

A gentle hand settled on his chest and he heard her voice; it was as if some hidden anxiety he wasn't aware of melted away, because he let out a breath he didn't know he was holding and let his eyes shut for a moment again. Safe. He'd made it to the right house. He couldn't rightly remember exactly how he got there, but he did vaguely remember showing up at the door and just tumbling inside like someone had leaned a ladder against her door that fell inward when she opened it. He remembered hazy, distorted dreams and a horrible spinning sensation, and then some pain. That was about all he clearly recalled.

He gave a soft little smile. "Hi..." His tone was a little sheepish. He opened his eyes then, looking at her clearly for the first time. Okay so not perfectly clearly, as his vision was still a little blurry, but he could definitely make out her face this time. She looked nearly the same. A touch older perhaps, more mature, but he remembered those green eyes and her dark hair, the shape of her mouth when she smiled. He wondered if she was thinking the same about him.

He tried to lift his head and immediately gave up the effort, clamping his eyes shut and grimacing sharply. "OH stars above, no, no, nope." The dizziness had lessened, but it hadn't left him. He kept himself from retching by sheer force of will. His own voice sounded hoarse; had he been talking all through the night? He didn't remember yelling. Maybe it was some effect of the poison. A few steadying breaths and then he answered her question. "I feel...not great." That was an understatement. "Still really dizzy, but I don't feel like I'm constantly falling or spinning anymore. Just...dizzy. Disoriented. Ah..." he took a moment to assess his condition, starting with the obvious leg wound and moving on to explore more minor injuries. He flexed his left wrist and found it quite sore but ultimately not permanently damaged. Gingerly he peeled back the top part of the blanket to look at his ribs; a white bruise blossomed around the cracked ribs and there was some swelling. Rohaan prodded each of his ribs to find which ones were damaged. No, no, no, "Gyah!" he gasped, grimacing. Too much prodding. Much more gently he touched the next one and grimaced again. Those were the only two that felt injured. His hands shook a little too, though more out of general fatigue and weakness than shivering.

"Probably just cracked," he explained. "They don't move, so that's good. Generally just sore everywhere. I think I..." he struggled to think. "Yeah, I...think I fell. Had a crash landing. Yeah..." he started to nod to himself but he regretted that immediately. "Maybe I imagined that, I did dream I was falling. There's a lot of details that I either don't remember or don't make sense." He was still warm to the touch, though not sweating and burning like he was before. The fever had broken but he had yet to fully come down from it.

"That was....among the more horrible things I've endured. Not the worst but...somewhere on that list. When I was ten I got shot with a miserable thing called a rifle. Colonist navy had 'em. Like a canon but smaller. Berlin pulled the iron ball out," he tapped the pendant of the necklace he wore, which was a thin leather strip that went through a metal ball that had a hole drilled through it to accommodate the leather. "But it turns out rum is not great for cleaning wounds at sea. Got seriously infected, I nearly died. This...this was right about at the same level as that." Pain, fever, delusions. It had been a similar experience, though not quite as intensely disorienting as this. "Damn poison. Whoever made it deserves to be hung," he joked. Not that he was one to speak of crimes...

His mouth felt dry and there was a horrible taste that lingered on his tongue so he asked, "Water...?" After he'd guzzled down a large amount, he relaxed, letting his eyes drift shut again. He was silent for a bit and looked like he might fall back asleep, except he said softly, "It's good to see you again. I um...meant to find you earlier. I was here about two weeks ago and I asked around when I could manage to hide my eyes in darkness or under a hood, or I listened in to chatter. I hear you're a Protector now." He smiled, the pull on his lips spreading slowly as he cracked his eyes open again. "I ah...did mean to come see you. I mean it, I did. But I um...well it just seemed...seemed like you were doing really well. And I'm not really the kind of company you want to be seen with. So I...went to Iber instead." He gave a dry chuckle. "Looks like fate had other plans. It really is good to see you...I'm just sorry it had to be like this."

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SarahGracie on Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:03 am

That softly spoken greeting and his smile done wonders at lifting the corners of her own lips. The same feeling of relief blossomed within her as well. Just that small two lettered word gave her hope that he was indeed going to be alright. That she must have done something right throughout the night to allow him to wake up this early morning. Satisfied that his fever was seeming to subside, Constance pulled the hand on his face back into her lap. Her other was soon to follow after one more gentle pat of reassurance. Two years might have passed but it was still fresh in her mind how Rohaan usually recoiled from her touch. And a kiss had driven him away. A guilt that still worked knots in her belly every time she thought about that day.

That easy smile faded into a tight frown as she watched him try to lift his head and quickly discover that it was too soon. Constance almost reached out to comfort him with a soothing touch, one that would urge him to relax, but she resisted and soon enough he done so on his own. The frown remained as he explained how he was feeling. It did not come as any surprise. It would likely be a while before he felt well. Last night has frightened her more than she realized and now, just to hear him speaking plainly, making sense and being self aware. He was incredibly better than when he first showed up at her door mere hours ago. She watched intently as he surveyed his ribs, internally cursing herself for not checking them last night.

"Don't hurt them anymore. Just relax. I'll get something to wrap them. Just... take it easy, okay. You scared me to death last night." Constance hadn't really intended to give him that last bit of information but it just fell from her lips. To which she quickly stood up and turned away from him to search for a wrapping for his cracked ribs. As she crossed the small room to rummage through a chest of drawers, She listened to Rohaan begin to retell an old story. It had that smile returning to her lips as she found a suitable wrap. The woman often thought about all the stories Rohaan had told her about his old crew and Berlin. She had not realized how much she missed them. That and it was a sure sign that he was feeling like himself again.

Returning to the bedside, she took her seat and simply listened shaking her head toward the end. "All I know is that it was horrible. I was so worried... But I got you cleaned up and gave you some medicine. It seems to be helping. It's supposed to help with infections." She motioned to the glass bottle on the bedside table. Beside it Rohaan would also find a cup of water. She would wait till he would have his fill of the cool liquid before trying to urge him upright to wrap his torso. For now, she simply watched him. There was a distant look to her. One that was almost disbelieving what was right in front of her. That same mind that haunted her thoughts nearly every single day for over two years was now lying in recovery on her bed.

Constance watched as Rohaan rested his head back onto the pillow and shut his eyes. If he was drifting off, she would wait even longer before doing the dressing. He still needed rest but it seemed he had more to say. Her head canted to the side as he confessed that he had been in Narconia only two weeks before. Those forest greens narrowed in the slightest as if she doubted him. Surely she would have heard about a stranger asking about her... But yet how much could she doubt when he was in fact here now. When he opened those stunning blue eyes again, he'd find her grinning weakly. She gave him a soft shake of her head.

"It seems appropriate that this is how you'd come... A flair of dramatics, injuries and poison. Never a dull moment with you Ro..." Her voice trailed as she met his gaze. There had been a hint of a teasing tone as she spoke the words, yet a touch of sadness hidden in those eyes. There was a long pause before she spoke again, this time softer and more serious, "I'm glad you came. And I'm glad that I could help you. Gods know what could have happened if you didn't."

Inhaling a quick breath and letting it escape with a sigh, Constance smiled once again, "I am a Protector now. And it's incredibly dull. Though that could be chalked up to the outpost and not simply the job." That smile took on a slightly more coy tone as she added, "Though I suppose things will pick up a bit if word gets out that there's a Vokurian about. Maybe I should turn you in just to spice things up. Maybe get myself a promotion..." Peach hued lips grinned down at him as she unthinkingly reached out to tuck wayward blonde curls behind his ear, eyes dancing over his features as if confirming yet again that this was real. That Rohaan really was here with her. Her voice dropped to a hushed whisper, "Don't be sorry Ro... Let's get you sitting up so we can wrap those ribs. Think you can manage with my help?"

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:58 am

Rohaan grinned, fully now, and it was the fist time that he looked like his usual wild, mischievous, cocksure and jubilant self. There was that twinkle in his lapis eyes that just challenged the world to try and stop him or bring him down. "Think about it. If someone wasn't scared to death when they encountered me, would I really be Rohaan Ja'aisen? And I make a habit of keeping my few friends in constant worry, after all. Just ask Berlin." This was overwhelmingly true. When he did receive letters from Berlin or Uban, usually they began to the tune of something like 'Are you still alive?'. The old sea captain would say that the vokurian was the sole reason he had gray hair, and Rohaan had never known any part of his life before the age of eight to be uneventful in a non-nail-biting sort of way.

Rohaan realized also that he had not been scared. He was still trying to decide exactly why...was it because he wasn't even in his right mind and could barely distinguish up from down, much less have emotions like fear? Or was it because he'd brushed death so many times that it didn't feel so new anymore? Had he simply prepared himself for that eventuality and accepted it? Maybe all of those things.

Rohaan very slowly turned his head to look at the contents of the bedside table. It was a horrible lurching feeling, but after a moment of sitting perfectly still it seemed to steady a bit. He saw the bottle there, filled with a strange gray powder. Curious. He might have to get himself some of that. Making a sour face as he rolled his head back to a neutral position, he stuck his tongue out a little as if trying to spit out a hair. "Ugh, so that's what I taste...seems to be doing good things though. The good thing is my body tends to go through things quickly. Alcohol, poisons, food, cactuses that make you hallucinate...would not recommend trying those, by the way. I'll be steady real soon, but I can't say the same for my leg...that's gonna take some time."

She had a point about his melodramatic entrance. It was very...him. It was one of the reasons (one of many) why he liked the cyradan as his favorite form. Not only was the streamlined dragon built for speed, maneuverability and stealth, it was also surprisingly flamboyant. Cyradan had bioluminescent stripes in patterns down their bodies that pulsed red when allowed to glow, and their dual-pitched roar like two separate voices overlapping, one high, one low, was incredibly loud and unsettled foes. The cyradan was his tulivar, his 'true alternate' as his people called it, or the one form besides his own that he was most comfortable with. It was a good thing he hadn't picked that shape when he'd snapped at her in the night.
Wait...
Rohaan put a hand to his mouth. "Oh...oh stars above...was that real? Did I really try to bite you? I didn't get you did I?" He looked genuinely guilty. "I'm so sorry. That um...happens sometimes. A product of my youth, unfortunately." He smiled. He was glad to know that she wasn't upset he'd come and that she wanted to see him. He had been so worried she wouldn't and had convinced himself that appearing there would only cause trouble. He told himself she was probably married or courting some young lad, or maybe the reality of him kidnapping her finally dawned on her and she resented him, or maybe she resented him for leaving instead. The excuses went on, yet here she was, happy to see him even under the worst circumstances.

He could see a little hint of...was that longing? in her expression as she told him about being a Protector, and at her teasing suggestion that she turn him in, he gave the faintest nod, moving his head as little as possible. "You know, that might not be a bad idea. I'd have some fun, you'll get promoted, It'd be a good time." Rohaan wasn't even joking. That was the sort of thing he would do, easily. What took him some time to notice, however, was the fact that she'd reached out and touched his face and that it, shockingly, didn't seem to bother him. He was baffled by this sudden revelation, as he'd always been uncertain about her getting quite so close. Hadn't that been why he left two years ago? What changed?

Rohaan sighed, knowing he should get those ribs wrapped, but it was going to be awful. "Yeah, alright. Let's do this." Rohaan grimaced and, with her help, he managed to get into a semi-upright position and stay there while she bound his midsection. His head lolled like a ball on the end of a chain as the dizziness took him powerfully; he started muttering what sounded like curses in his own rapid language and for a moment he lost all sense of orientation or direction. he felt like he was falling again and only when he was lowered back down and he felt his head on the pillow did he register fully that he was still in the bed. That poison was powerful stuff, it seemed. And he was not so far from total delirium as he thought. The job done, his eyes stared kind of emptily up at the ceiling and he made an almost involuntary little noise as he tried to focus on orienting himself again.

Finally he spoke softly. "I don't think it's done with me yet. Damn. Not sure what sort of poison it is but it's clearly meant to debilitate and not to kill. Which means there's probably someone looking for me right now, thinking they'll find me in the woods like a downed deer. Rohaan Ja'aisen doesn't give up that easily!" He smiled, his eyes coming slowly back into focus. "So...things are good? With you, I mean? You've been doing well?"

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SarahGracie on Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:38 pm

Constance did not fully realize just how much she missed that arrogant smile till she saw it again in person, felt the beaming attraction and contagion of it. It summoned a smile of her own as she settled in next to him, listening as he seemed to regain some of strength and much of his attitude. It was a world of difference than the way the Volkurian had came to her last night. It was a relief, a bit of that weight of worry lifted from her shoulders.

Looking to the medicine as he did, she shook her head, laughing softly at his comment about the cactus. She wasn't even sure what a cactus was... But she didn't say as much, just listened. "Hopefully it will help. It seems to be helping at least. Just... Try to take it easy. I could make you some tea? Might help with that taste." An offer she was about to make good one before he's suddenly looking at her with remorse, reminding her of the snap he had taken at her the night before. "Ro, you were out of it. Don't be sorry. I probably would have done the same under your conditions... Just with less fur and teeth." Constance attempted to lighten the mood on the subject. Yes it had terrified her more than she would ever admit but she had not been thinking of her own safety at the time. She just wanted to save him.

"I was only teasing about turning you in. That's not going to happen." She knew that he knew that she had only been teasing, but there was also a part of her that knew he would be crazy enough to do it. And he'd probably get away unscathed, but Constance would never risk it. He was too important to her. More important than her career. She knew he wasn't the danger that everyone painted him to be. Rohaan had told her as much years before and she had come to believe him. Perhaps it may have been whimsy, dreams about all the things that she could have seen and could have done with him, things and times she might still long for, but she never doubted him for a second after he left. Assuming, telling herself, that he done it for her. To protect her. It may not have been true but it was a sweet notion that helped her carry on.

Constance made short work of wrapping bandages around his torso, though the closeness, the heat coming from him, coming from her did make it challenging to concentrate. Hands that she willing not to shake as they brushed exposed warm flesh tried not to fumble as she secured the ties. The woman did not even realize she had been holding her breath nearly the whole time till it was done and he was falling back onto the pillow. Quickly she brought her hands back to her lap where they could lace together in attempt to hide her nerves due to the closeness. Forest green eyes even looked away, toward a shaded window where little light was starting to peep through the thick curtain, any where but him.

His words, the admission that he was still feeling bad, had her cutting her eyes in a side long glance. The idea that someone was out there hunting for him certainly had crossed her mind during the night. And now as he mentioned it as well it sent a slight chill down her spine causing an involuntary shiver. Her words are shaky as they come, "I was thinking along the same lines. If someone is out there looking for you, they'll surely come to Narconia. We're the only Outpost out this way. I think you should stay here as long as possible. Get back to your full health so that you can..." Her throat tightened there as she was about to speak the obvious. This was only temporary, right. He had only come out of need and eventually he would have to leave her. Swallowing a heavy lump and concentrating on that window, she tried to shake off the pain that perhaps too strong for someone who she hadn't seen in years, for someone that had left her. "I've have been well. Not as exciting as I'd hoped around here, but..." Shoulders lifted into a shrug as finally she couldn't resist anymore and her eyes drug back to him. "I've manged after you left."

There was a pause there as lips parted with words that caught in her throat. "Why didn't you come back for me, Ro? I wanted you to come back..."

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:23 am

"Mm, tea would be nice. You got mint tea?" Rohaan always liked mint. It grew prolifically around his home island and as a child he had been delighted to discover that Berlin knew about mint too, and also made tea with it just like his mother had, except the sea captain put sugar in his. His little island did not have sugar and they did not trade for it, so he didn't even know what it was until he met Berlin. They did have honey, however, but it was never put into tea. Rohaan made himself sit up a little bit, just enough that with his head propped against the pillow and the wall he could drink unassisted. Even moving such a small amount like that made him dizzy all over again. That poison, whatever it was, truly was heinous. "I'm sorry for snapping at you all the same. Can't imagine that was very fun for you, even though you do know me. My reputation was earned, after all. Mostly. And nobody really takes a mouth full of teeth very well when they were supposed to be looking at a man." He smiled, knowing all too well what effect he had on people when she shifted.

Rohaan looked to the curtained window and the light peeking through it. Someone would come, and this hunter he'd encountered was no amateur. And Rohaan got the distinct impression that this man didn't just want any vokurian, he wanted him. He would come, and he would surely do more than walk through the outpost and look. "Aye..." he said thoughtfully. "He'll come. And since I'm in no condition to be going anywhere anytime soon, that's going to get interesting. If you haven't already, you'll need to purge the house of anything with silver blood. You may even want to find a strong soap, something that's got some fragrance to it or something, and work that into the spots that I ah, you know, bled all over." He grinned sheepishly. "He'd be the type to have hounds. This hunter...he seems...experienced. Do you have a plan for what you'll do if he comes knocking?"

Of course, he did not ignore the weighty implication at the end of her sentence. So that you can leave. Truthfully, Rohaan hadn't actually thought through his next step. He never had time. Both of them knew he couldn't stay--Rohaan was doomed to be separate from society, not a part of it. But would he just...walk away? Leave her again? He supposed he didn't have any right to be in her life still. She had a life here, and a good one. A dull one according to her but Rohaan knew what intrigue cost. Who was he to ruin that for her again?

"I wanted you to come back."

His breath actually caught in his lungs as he looked at her, searching those emerald eyes. Did she still? Did she still wish that now that the excitement was over and done with? Did she know what he'd been doing these last two years? How many close calls he had, how many fights he'd been in, the fact that he'd nearly been hanged..how many men he'd killed? Would she want any part of that if she knew? And yet, looking at her now even in the face of that question, he realized that deep down, he did not want to just walk away. He did not want to leave her again. But Berlin had told him from a young age that he would have to deal with being largely alone for most of his life because of what he was. Who he was. And that someone else would have to be wholeheartedly willing to stand beside him and all that he'd done and what he was. He had explained with a hint of sadness that those people would be few, if any. Rohaan understood. He had loved once and look where that got her.

He frowned, squeezing his eyes shut. There were many things in life that he simply could not have and never would, and he had reconciled and accepted those facts. Perhaps a woman needed to be on that list, too. It was better if they did not stay with one another. It was better if they went their separate ways. It was better if he just...left.

Rohaan found himself staring into those eyes again, lost in them. And though a second before he made up his mind about it, he found his resolve wavering right before his eyes. He had never admitted it to anyone, not even himself, but leaving her two years ago tore at him. Not at first, as he had been convinced of his reasons. But even a week later, alone in the wilderness--always so alone--the decision and the guilt clawed at him. What had he turned away? What could have been? And why had he felt so profoundly empty afterwards?

"I ah..." How long had he been staring at her silently, not answering her question? He cleared his throat. His mind swam with excuses, the ones he told himself so long ago as cold winter nights fell around him. They were right there, and yet when he reached for them they felt like vapor. Insubstantial. The silence dragged like his breath had been stolen away, but in a sudden burst of honesty he admitted, "Because I was afraid. Of...of a lot of things." Yes, he was afraid. There, he'd said it. "I was afraid that if you came with me, you'd get hurt. It...wouldn't have been the first time." That was true, though it had been the obvious, easy answer. "I...I was afraid that...that you had a false idea of who I was. That even after I kidnapped you, you still thought I was a good person. I'm not, Constance." And he meant it. "I'm not the demon the stories make me out to be, no, but I'm not a good person. I'm a thief. A murderer. The blood of many stains my hands and I regret none of them because it was either them or me. And there are so many, Constance. And I was afraid that you wold come with me and then you would see me for what I really am and would realize your mistake too late. And..."

Rohaan knew the answer. He'd always known. Yet when he tried to face it he found that he never wanted to, that he wanted to leave it buried like cursed treasure best left forgotten. But not this time. She deserved the truth, and though he had given her parts of the truth a moment before, they were not the whole truth. Still, he couldn't quite make his lips form the words, and trying hurt more than he expected.

"I...never did tell you what happened when I was nineteen, did I...? I never did tell you...about..." Come on. Say it. Say her name. "About Harper...?" The name came out like a breathless whisper, like it had taken everything in him just to give voice to those sounds. He hadn't spoken the name in five years and it came out of him like something fragile and disused. He couldn't look at Constance anymore and instead picked a spot on the ceiling.

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SarahGracie on Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:23 pm

Mint tea. Constance could manage that easily enough. It would give her something to do, to fuss over, to focus on instead of what she really wanted to do right now. Without further hesitation she was up and moving. Her cabin was small. The main room attached to the front door held both the kitchen and dining area as well as what was considered the common area by a fireplace. Directly attached to that was her bedroom, small as it was and to the side of it an even smaller bathing room. Thus when she left the bedroom and headed into the kitchen area, she could easily hear him still speaking as she left the door open. Could even steal a few glances through that open door to look at him as he spoke and as she worked.

She was silent a few moments after he asked he if she had a plan. The short answer was no, she didn't. Hadn't had time to think that far ahead with the high energy events of the night. Now she was thinking about it though as she filled a kettle with water and sat it on a stove top that didn't take too long to light a small fire beneath. It was only after fetching a cup and filling a infuser with a leafy mint mixture that she paused and looked back through the bedroom door. "Honestly, no. You haven't given me much time to come up with anything... But I've taken the measure to erase your blood from outside my house and inside as well. I'll go out when it gets more light out and make sure there is not a trail. Hopefully this rain has washed it away by now. Could help to throw off any dogs too..." She was thinking now, pausing to worry her lower lip as visions of this hunter coming to town filled her mind. No, she wasn't sure what she would do, but one thing she was sure of is that she would protect Rohaan.

The soft whining whistle of the kettle pulled her out of those thoughts for a moment and allowed her to busy her hands with making Rohaan a cup of tea. It was only moments before she was back in the room delivering the warm cup and offering it over. Eyes swept over his new position, still full of worry that even that small motion could be over doing it considering his injuries. That and it was apparent her last question had throw him into some emotional turmoil. Constance felt guilt for even asking and as she sat down beside him once again, perhaps a little closer this time. Perched on the edge of the bed next to his thighs, she looked down toward her hands and folded them tightly in her lap. Perhaps it was the emotion rolling off of him that caused her not to evade his eyes for long, bringing them back up slowly to meet his for a long moment. Just as she was about to tell him not to worry about it. That they had other things to worry about right now than the past, he spoke.

Entranced by his words, by finally hearing from Rohaan himself why he never came back for her, Constance could only stare and listen as he explained. Forest green eyes cinched in the corners as his words brought her pain. Yes, he reasons were as much as she suspected but hearing them tore open those long healed wounds. It should have been her decision to make. Her mistake, as he put it, to make. That and there was a small part of her that feared that Ro was right. What if she would have changed her mind or things did become too dangerous or intense. Of course the part of her that was being more controlled by the feelings she got when she looked at them man was steadily threatening those thoughts to stand down. Even as he stated again the horrendous acts he committed, that part of her still was unwavering. The part that knew he was just as good under all that pain and turmoil and trouble.

Constance was frozen as he started to reveal more of his past. She distinctly remembered their fight when she had asked about the loves of his life, asked if there was someone special. Younger her had perhaps been fishing for information on how available Rohaan was, but now... Now things were starting to piece together. Their conversations about the topic, overhearing him and Berlin speaking... The pain he felt. The fear he had towards her. Yes, now Constance was almost sure that it was fear. When he asked if he had told her about Harper, she shook her head softly, throat tight and unable to speak just yet. Though he might not have caught it due to his eyes being locked on her ceiling. Constance willed the words out of her mouth, "No... You did not..."

Part of her wanted to hear this story. Wanted to know his past and why he was so broken, so held back from letting someone else get close to him. Then the other part of her did not want to see him hurt. Did not want to see him have to relive that pain just for her sake. "No. And you do not have to tell me now, Ro. You... You don't owe me any explanation." It was true. Who was she to him, other than a girl he captured to save his neck one time? A girl he almost had an adventure with. But at the end of the day, she knew that was not enough. Swallowing down that hard lump in her throat, she nodded to the cooling cup in his hands. "Drink your tea."

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:36 pm

"Let's both be thankful we had a storm last night. It will throw off the dogs, if I know anything about scent tracking..which...is more than most people." He grinned, though the expression faded as he began to think more about this hunter. "It should wash away a visual trail too, but I don't know if I was seen last night. Nobody was out, so let's hope, eh?" He knew that if someone did come to the door he wouldn't necessarily be immediately seen, but if they decided to search the cabin...Rohaan would just hide. He was good at that, and though hiding from dogs was difficult, he had a few tricks to throw them off.

For a while, he wasn't sure exactly what she made of his admissions. Was she angry? Or did she feel differently now? Did she believe him? Yes, he decided. She did. He had never lied to her before and thus far, aside from being Ri'atal's most wanted criminal, he had never given her any reason to suspect he would. But he didn't miss the way she froze when he said Harper's name. In a way it felt...good to speak it again. Freeing. He didn't know how exactly he would go on, but he had to. He just had to. But then she stopped him, and a silence fell over the room as he lost his momentum. Maybe she didn't want to know? Or was it that she didn't want him to dig up things that hurt to disturb?

Rohaan sipped quietly at his tea, and for a long, long time it had seemed like he had given up on the subject. But then suddenly he burst out, "No, no, I do need to tell you." He held up one hand to preempt any protest, and something in his azure eyes were alight with determination. "No, I have to do this. Partly because I need to say it, but also because I don't know what's going to happen once I heal and I won't leave here until you understand." His energy leaked away from him and he deflated, speaking much more softly now. "I just...don't really know...how." Deep breaths. He fought back a small wave of minor dizziness as a new silence settled over them. How was he going to put this? How was he supposed to explain? How--

"Harper was my wife." It came out suddenly and as uncontrollably as a hiccup. "She was part of the crew, and we called her Hunter...she was great with a bow. We married when I was eighteen." He reached up and took hold of the little braid that hung just in front of his right ear; at its end were two coins, one silver, and one bronze. He lifted the bronze one out of the way to show the silver. "But there was...this man. He thought himself something of a scientist, a physician. And he...wanted to...wanted..." A steadying breath. He had to get this out now or he'd never do it. "Wanted to..experiment. On me. But he couldn't get to me, so he--" his throat tightened suddenly. "Got her. To get to me. And he killed her." He let the bronze coin drop and it fell against the silver one with a harrowing clink. "I broke." His voice was a hoarse whisper--any more and his throat would rebel against him and tighten to silence him. "And I...I never really dealt with...never recovered from losing her. And that night..."

Rohaan looked up at her finally, his eyes sparkling with tears that streaked his face. "That night, you kissed me, and I didn't stop you because I didn't want to stop you, and I knew that if things went on, I...I don't know how you did it, Constance but you had me and that had never happened, not since her and I didn't know if I was ready to move on but I was but I wasn't and I couldn't let them kill you too, I couldn't do it, so I ran like a coward when I should have just told you I wasn't ready yet and I convinced myself it was for all these reasons when really I was just afraid of what you did to me and how you made me feel and I..."

He had been ranting with increasing fervor. He wasn't really sure which way was up anymore (he was thankful he'd set down his tea on the bedside table before he lost track) and his eyes were a little unfocused, but his heart rang true and solid. He hadn't realized it, but he'd slumped over to one side and his head was now smooshed into a blanket that mopped up his tears. He did not sob but instead held his breath as he lay there, occasionally sucking in measured, hitching gasps of air. There. He'd said it. He'd said it all. Berlin would have been so proud.

He thought maybe he lost consciousness for just a minute, but he couldn't really recall coming back, and he wasn't sure unconsciousness was much different than his previous state, so he really didn't know. He did know he didn't want to move anymore. Damn, what was that poison? He wasn't exactly sure where she was except that she was nearby, so he reached out a hand; he felt like he needed an anchor, something solid to ground him when everything spun.

And yet, after all that, even through his dizzy misery and his own tears, he cracked the tiniest, faintest little smirk and said "That counts as an explanation, right?"


---

Rhylan Castille studied the broken foliage for the last time, shaking his head softly with a sigh. His quarry was supposed to be there. That compound had great success in testing and he thought for sure that when Rohaan Ja'aisen allowed him to get a shot in, it would be the biggest (and last) mistake of the criminal's life. And yet he was nowhere to be found. Sure, there was evidence of him. Silver-tipped leaves that had not been rinsed clean by the night's rain under dense, leafy canopies, smashed and snapped branches both up high and down low...but no arrow. No bandages. No medical supplies of any sort.

"You don't think he had help, do you?" Trish, one of his current mercenaries, asked. He didn't keep her around for brawn, but she was a good shot and an even better woodsman.
"Doubt it. Ja'aisen operates alone. He did have some associates many years ago, but they all seem to have gone to ground. Besides, do you see any evidence of another person? Tracks? Hoofprints? Anything?"
Trish shook her head. "No. But he can't have made it far."
"No," Rhylan agreed. "I developed that compound myself and I know for certain it's debilitating. It did take him out of the sky, after all.." he looked up to the broken branches above him. "I might have underestimated him, but he's not gone..."

Rhylan took out a map and studied it, thinking of possible places he would go. Would he find shelter in the wilds? Or would he seek an Outpost? No one there would help him, but he had proven himself a worthy thief many times over. He could have gone to pilfer supplies. Narconia, then. From his research, he'd discovered that Ja'aisen had been there once before roughly two years ago and had caused a bit of a stir by kidnapping a young woman. She returned unharmed not long after, or so he heard. Curious. Had it been some kind of con? Or had he genuinely let her go? What had that experience been like...? He might need to find her and ask, as the information would aid his research which ultimately would lead to the capture and death of Rohaan Ja'aisen.

"We head for Narconia. Caidan, put your dogs to work again."
The big man called Caidan shifted his weight a little. "Er...after the rain, Mr. Castille, sir, there might not be much scent to track."
Rhylan smiled politely, which was never a very good expression to see on his face. Someting about it struck Caidan as condescending, almost. "Well then. We'll just have to try, won't we?"

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SarahGracie on Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:08 pm

Two years had passed yet here she was again, right back in the emotional state of that night. It was a bizarre feeling to be plunged into again. She had thought that she was fine, had overcame it even. Thought that she had moved on from that sinking feeling that riddled her gut for over a year after he left. That anxiety of pain and loss that kept her up at night wondering, agonizing over the what ifs. She had grown to live with it, to push it down and outright even ignore it as she moved on with her mundane life. But that was just the thing. Before Rohaan she didn't view her dreams and goals as mundane, it was him that changed that for her. That introduced the possibility that she could do more. And it was him that ripped all those budding dreams from her and stopped them out. Yes she had spent the better part of those two years looking over her shoulder, a part of her still clinging to that hope that he would come back. But as days turned into weeks and weeks months and months years, that hope had been chiseled away and perhaps even replaced with something resembling bitter hurt.

Many times Constance had played over in her head the scenarios of what would happen if Rohaan showed back up, what she would do. In all of them, even when she was feeling the most hurt and disgruntled, every single time she chose him, went right back to being that trusting girl that would blindly follow him into the unknown. But those were fantasies, daydreams of a younger version of herself who was perhaps even naive. One who didn't want to know, to really understand, what the dangers of living this life on the run with a known monster would truly entail. In her head she had built up the grandeur of wild adventures, seeing all the things she'd only ever heard told on a traveler's tongue, visions of Rohaan literally showing her, giving her, the world. She had fell for him in that short time. Fell for the fantasy of it all. Got caught up in the rush of something new and exciting that stood out in such bright spectacular contrast to her unremarkable existence.

Yes, now, after all this time, the hurt, the confusion, the rejection, now that she was finally going to hear the reasoning behind his decision to end their time together... She was fearful. She did not want to hear it. It was easy to come up with melodramatic reasons that justified her hurt but to truly know... To finally take swallow it down and be forced to accept why he chose to be alone, to leave her behind... To forget her. She couldn't bear it. The woman panicked. That selfish part of Constance equally wanting to protect herself just as much as she desired to protect Rohaan from reliving his past before her.

A silence lingered between them, heavy and oppressing as Constance fought to keep her eyes dodging any chance of meeting his while he busied hands and lips with the simple task of sipping tea. It was a drawn out agony that neither of them likely knew how to end. Seconds from simply rising and leaving him, Rohaan finally shattered the quiet with a burst of protest. He was going to tell her, apparently whether she wanted to hear it or not. She made a move to escape and his hand was quick to shoot out to stop her. Not touching but perhaps begging her not to move. To stay. To listen. It worked, for now, the small notion seeming to freeze her in place.

"No, I have to do this. Partly because I need to say it, but also because I don't know what's going to happen once I heal and I won't leave here until you understand." He said. "I just...don't really know...how."

Why? Why was he insisting on this? A new wave of panic was rising in the woman, surging through her limbs, urging them to flee, to protect herself as his words cut through her. The meaning behind them. He was going to leave her again. Once he healed. Once he spoke his explanations. After that what would keep him here? Keep him with her? Nothing. There would be nothing left unspoken. No wounds left to heal. He'd have no reason to stay. No need for her anymore. Constance was rising before she could even think about it what she was doing. She had to leave. She needed air. She didn't want to hear this. She wasn't ready.

"Harper was my wife."

Constance had barely made it two steps before those words had her freezing. Rohaan had a wife... A sharp breath of air was sucked too quickly in her lungs to hold as eyes grew wide. That was not the words she had been expecting to hear... He began to explain in harsh clips of struggling words as she slowly turned around to face him, lips parted in shock, surprise... Pain for him as he lifted that silver coin woven into his braided hair. The same coin that had caught her eye so many times during their short time together so long ago. Everything was beginning to make sense now as Ro gave the tragic details of his marriage. And the death of his wife...

Constance could only stare, tears of her own stinging her eyes as she finally releases that held breath in a sharp exhale. She could feel her heart racing in her chest, that fluttering sinking feeling flipping inside her stomach as one hand came up to press against her abdomen, the other pressing too hard against the center of her chest as if she could hold it all in. Keep all of her own emotions locked tightly away inside of her. How was it possible to feel her heart breaking for him, for his loss and his broken heart while also having the same heart feel so full?

"Ro... I... I'm sorry. I didn't know. I wouldn't... I wouldn't have..." Her words were barely above a whisper. Not even sure if they were making sense or even reaching the man as he twisted in agony. Bare feet felt frozen to the floorboards as she watched him hitch in breath after breath. Her mind felt as if it was running at full speed yet stalling as she stood there in nothing less than shock.

It wasn't until he moved, saw that hand reaching out that her eyes left his face. Blurred vision focuses in on that hand and before she could stop herself, Constance was moving. Fueled on pure emotion as she reached out to grasp Ro's hand, entwining her fingers tightly around his own. Felt herself sinking into the bed beside him, wanting to give him the comfort and closeness that she thought he needed after he released all that raw pain, that admission. She nestled down, curling herself until their foreheads were pressed together in a gentle touch, drawing him in as woven fingers clung to his own.

"Yes," a feather soft whisper into the space between them as she shut her eyes tight, still fighting hot tears of her own. Constance wanted to be his anchor. To be his rock. To be strong enough for the both of them to see them through his past, their past and what was to come in the next days. It all made sense now... Why he left. Why he made the choice he did that night. Why he had been so distant yet so close. Even when he left again at least she would know why. He was trying to protect her. To protect them both.

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:23 am

All the world seemed to be a spinning wagon wheel, swirling and whirling and tumbling just like it had last night. Was he falling again? So maybe this was worse than hallucinogenic cactuses and being sick with a festering wound. At least his current wound was clean and though painful, wasn't spoiled. He felt a cool hand take his and he squeezed it tightly like it was his lifeline and he was drowning. It felt good to have someone again. Growing up, he had his parents, and then after a short season of feral desperation he had Berlin. And then...her. And when she was gone he had been so alone. Alone like he had been as a child on the streets of Tavalor. And then there was Constance. Just having her there, having someone who he felt understood him, even a little, was a relief he couldn't put into words.

He lay there for a while, his forehead against hers and their hands entwined. As he began to regain stability, he said softly, "Thank goodness because I've never told anyone that story in my life." There was that stupid grin of his again, but he was no less earnest because of it. Berlin knew, the crew all knew, but only because they had been there and lived it. No one else knew the story. Rohaan had never spoken of it in full. To anyone. "It feels better to have it out, you know." His voice was soft and he didn't yet open his eyes, content to have even a semblance of stability. "I've kept that inside for so long but I finally said it. You needed to know. I hope you understand." But he felt, instinctively, like she did. And that encouraged him.

"Did I ever thank you for taking me in? I owe you one. Big time. And after how I left you and, you know, I did still kidnap you. I owe you one." He seemed deep and serious for a moment, but then he opened his lapis eyes and gave her the most devilish grin. He even gave a laugh, though he sniffled as he did it and brought his free hand up to wipe the tears from his face. There was something going on in his head, but he wasn't going to reveal that now.

"I was worried you'd hate me. You'd be angry. You wouldn't want to see me. I'm glad you didn't leave me on the doorstep." He smiled again. "But enough about me! I've never been so sappy in my life...I don't think either of us expected to um..." he sniffled again, "get so real and the sun is barely even up...and like how long have I even been lucid?" Another laugh; the dizzy spell was releasing its hold finally.

Just then there was a knock at the door, and Rohaan's street-wise instinct told him exactly who was at the door. "Damn," he breathed, his voice barely a whisper. "Unless you're expecting someone, then I've got a good idea who that is...Don't worry about me. I'll hide myself well enough. Won't even tell you where so he can't read your face...he seems like the kind that might try. You just go out there and do what he says, cooperate with him. Don't be a hero, alright? Promise?" He looked at her, eyes sharp and clear again, begging her not to do anything stupid.

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SarahGracie on Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:18 am

Constance was content to lie there for a while as well. The woman felt physically and emotionally drained. The few moments rest she'd had the night before where long forgotten and the stress and anxiety of Ro's condition, the possibility of him being hunted, the pain or torture of his past, the sweet relief that came with his admission. It had been a wild ride that was finally taking it's toll on both her mind and body. Eyes that were shut tight began to loosen their lids, still shut but with softer features as she nuzzled against Rohaan.

Constance had never been close to anyone, not like this. Sure, she had Alexander, her brother, but as they aged they grew apart. He had a family of his own now. A tender young wife with a little one on the way. Her father was not an intimate man. The most affection she got from him was a meaningful nod. Sure there were people in town that were kind to her and considered her a loyal friend and fierce Protector, but even her closest friendship could not hold a candle to what this felt like. Lying next to Ro, bodies barely touching as she felt the breath from his lips tickle against wayward strands of her unruly hair. Her hand never left his, never let up on that clutching cling even as the rest of her seemed to relax into something resembling comfort.

His words made the corners of her lips lift into a gentle, tired smile, finding his perhaps nervous tone endearing. She nodded that she understood, a motion he'd feel against his forehead as hers dipped and returned. She did understand, as much as she could anyway. Constance had never experienced that sort of loss. She had never loved, truly loved anyone, outside of her immediate family however she had seen it firsthand. Seen how her father changed when he mother fell sick and was taken from them. What it must have felt like to have that life extinguished in such a fashion. To have the person you loved killed because of you. Her heart ached for him, despite hearing the smile in his voice.

Rohaan asked if he ever thanked her to which she shook her head, another soft motion that he would feel as she kept her eyes closed. "No, you didn't." word were soft with a sleepy sigh to them as she could feel herself being drawn to the idea of resting. Rohaan's laugh however prompted heavy lids to flutter open just in time to catch that devilish smile. Her brows furrowed in momentary confusion, before lifting expectantly when he didn't provide an explanation, "What is it? What do you owe me?" Constance thought maybe she had missed something. That perhaps her sleepy state had caused her to glaze over his words. She forced her eyes open a little more to really look into those beautiful blue eyes. It almost took her breath away, much like the very first time he'd let her get close enough to have a proper look.

The man continued to ramble on, earning him an easy smile from the woman as she looked into his eyes. "I never hated you, Ro." There's a gentle squeeze to his hand that she's still holding firmly. "I was angry... A little. Hurt mostly. And I always wanted to see you. I missed you..." When he settles into a soft laugh, she finds her eyes drifting again. If she could just lay her a few more minutes. Let that sun rise just a little more. Then she would go out and make sure he trail was covered. Surely the hunter could move as quickly as Rohaan did... Even if he was poisoned and injured...

A sudden knock at her door as her sleepy eyes flying open as her whole body tensed. Fear and worry spread across her features as she stared into Rohaan's eyes. She shook her head that she was no expecting anyone. Even Alexander visiting, this early in the morning, was a rarity. It wasn't time for his baby to arrive and today was her day off of shift. There was no logical reason that she could quickly come up with to calm her worst fears. Fears that Ro all but confirmed. No. She wasn't ready for this. There wasn't enough time. They didn't have enough time. Ro seemed to regain a part of his old self back in that instant, focused and clear, laying out a plan as he read the anxiety on her face. Constance finally nodded, confirming to him that she understood, that she would do anything in her power to keep him safe.

Stealing one more look at those beautiful blues, she pushed herself from the bed, not releasing his hand till the last possible second, hands already starting to shake. She had to calm down! To not jump to conclusions. It could be anyone. And it was most likely just another person from the outpost needed her services perhaps. Constance swallowed as she stood, straightening her posture and tearing her eyes away from Rohaan so that she could stride out of the bedroom. She grabbed her still damp coat off the peg and swung it around her shoulders. She was still in her night clothes after all. Messy hair, rumpled bedclothes, likely red eyes, perhaps she could pass for just waking up. She had to remember that even though she held the title of Protector of the Outpost, she was still a single woman living alone on the outskirts of town center.

Constance came up to the door making quick work of the coat's buttons. She cleared her throat and tested in a tired voice, with just a hint of annoyance, "Who is it? What's happened?" That would be her normal answer before opening the door so early in the morning. True most people she knew of would have followed that knock with a shout of who they were and what they wanted. The silence from the other side told her that whoever it was, was not someone she had ever seen before. She steeled her nerves, took a deep breath and placed one hand on the knob and one of the latch... Waiting for an answer.

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:29 am

Rohaan just shook his head very very gently, not wanting to move a lot after his most recent bout of dizziness. He laughed a little too and only answered, "It's...nothing, nothing. Don't worry about it." It was like it was some private joke only he was allowed to know, and he hadn't answered her because he was still silently debating to himself if he should or not. No, he would wait. Now was not the time.

As Constance got up and went to the door, he gave one soft little groan as he moved slowly to a sitting position and took a few steadying breaths. That hunter was almost certainly at the door and it was now time for him to do what he did best: perform under pressure. And he could feel the pressure now as he shifted around on the bed. He was still weak, and he hadn't thought much about his leg since he'd been so wrapped up in many other things and sensations, but as he slid his feet onto the cool wood floor, he could really really feel it then. Rohaan stood, putting all his weight on his uninjured right leg, and before Constance could get to the door, the man standing there had 'disappeared'.

--

From the other side of the door, there was a soft snuffling sound against the wood, and then the unmistakeable excited baying of a hound. And their handler could be heard clearing his throat in an attempt to mask his own excitement. And perhaps, if Rhylan was being honest with himself, a bit of alarm too. The voice that had called out to him was female, and if Ja'aisen was in there, it could mean trouble for her if he didn't act quickly and with extreme care. His quarry had kidnapped someone at least once to save himself and Rhylan knew he'd do it again.

"Morning, madam. Sorry to bother you so early but I wouldn't if it was not so important. A word please, if you will? You might not realize it but I have reason to believe you're in danger and I'm here to help. May I come in?"

The way he spoke was crisp, clear, and it suggested a wealthy background and good breeding, not to mention education. But his very slight accent was just a bit different than most in the region, which seemed to correlate with his appearance. He wore odd clothes, tailored and clean despite his tramping through the woods not long ago, though his boots showed this with mud. The cut was not common, if seen at all in this area, and he had a very strong 'city' feel to him in general. These things combined, it was clear that he was no Outposter but had likely come from a Colony. Rhylan was unfailingly polite, even when he was going to slight someone and that pegged him as someone of high society. A smaller-framed man, he was not particularly intimidating except by merit of his own cool confidence and the strange wood-handled object with an engraved metal barrel tucked in his belt. Black powder technology had not made it to the outposts except in the coastal ones in the form of cannons, but this far inland they were entirely alien.

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SarahGracie on Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:04 pm

Constance knew that this random morning visitor was not simply just a someone from the town as she heard that baying of a hound. A scathing chill lurched down her spine and nearly had her frozen on the other side of that door. Fear and panic was threatening to consume her as her thoughts raced clumsily through her mind. Could she do this? Could she face the person who was hunting Rohaan? Could she handle this with enough poise and convincing lies to keep him safe? Simply, she had to.

That voice rang out confidently from just outside. A voice that turned Constance's blood to ice. A voice she had never heard before. A stranger. Rohaan's hunter... She wanted to grab her dagger. But she stilled her hands, instead forced them smoother over her coat. Trembling hands brushing over the emblems that would show to the man on the other side what her position was in town. Forcing those same hands to stop shaking and become made of stone as she reached out to grip the handle and the latch. One more deep breath held and she was unlocking and opening the heavy wooden door just enough that they could see each other.

Constance stood rigid, putting just enough suspicion and unease to her features to let the man know she was doubting and wary of him. What girl living alone in the woods wouldn't be of a stranger at her door at such an odd hour? Her eyes squinted in confusion as she took in his appearance, lingering both on his facial features and on his dress. There was one thing that held her attention more so. The long thin metal contraction he brandished, held firmly in his hands. A strange thing. Something she had never seen before but somehow instantly knew that it was dangerous. A danger meant for Rohaan. She couldn't help but scowl at it. At him.

"Forgive me of my manners, Sir..." Constance began her tone filled with suspicious and adding a touch of fear that would be normal of a young woman regarding a strange man asking to come into her home. "But I am not accustomed to letting men, strange or otherwise, in my home. At least not without a familiar escort." At the mention of danger she actually looked around him, to the sides and beyond him as if this danger would present itself. "What danger would that be?" She opened the door just a little further so that the man could clearly see her coat and what it would mean. What it represented. To him either that she was a member of the local law enforcement and protection or at the very least she was close enough to one that she felt comfortable to dawn his coat over her night clothes.

Waiting for his answer, she attempted a more casual stance, radiating annoyance and suspicion. Surely this man wouldn't except a girl to let him in her home? Surely in the city like colonies this was not a common occurrence? She'd never been to one, so she did not know for certain. "Have you been to our main station? The jailing house in the town outpost? Voiced your concerns about this danger?" She tried to seem curious... Even concerned at the potential threat of something off, as it was her job to do so... Even if she was suspecting the only danger to her was perhaps the man standing before her.

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:24 pm

Rhylan smiled, an admittedly crisp, polite smile. And yet something about it felt insincere. Not that he was suspicious of Constance--he really wasn't at all. But he had a job to do, and it was a dangerous one. His prey was wily, treacherous, and according to the dogs, he was close. This poor woman had no idea what she was in the middle of.

"Oh, excuse my impropriety! I apologize, really. It's just...I wouldn't bother you if it wasn't really important. Perhaps I...should introduce myself?" He gave a gentle bow. "Rhylan Castille, I'm a professional Sanguine Hunter--ah, sorry, I forget my location. You might call them silverbloods? Vokurians. I make a living tracking them down and seeing that they don't bother society again. I, and my hounds, have reason to believe there is one in your home, miss. I have been tracking him all night and I am confident we've picked up his trail again. Living here I'm sure you've heard of Rohaan Ja'aisen...?"

He was being unfailingly polite but he was tense, ready for action. Two others, one male and one female, came into view, both shook their heads subtly at him. The man was clearly hired muscle and had a sword at his side, while the woman had more of an earthy, woodsy vibe to her. There was a bow in her hands, strung and ready. "Now I know what you're thinking," Rhylan said with one placating hand held up. "There's no one in your house and you would have known about it if there was, right? But miss, these Sanguine are deceptive creatures. May I send a dog in? Or perhaps Trish can come inside? You should step out and allow Caidan to protect you? We have been to the command post, they seemed quite alarmed to hear he was back. I hear he took a young woman hostage. Caused quite a stir." Nothing about his tone suggested he knew it was her.

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SarahGracie on Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:36 pm

Constance did not return the polite smile as the hunter made his introduction. Instead she met his gaze with a dead pan stare as she tried to control her emotions. A complex swirl of heated anger that prickled at her chest and icy fear that sent dancing needles down her spine. It was a struggle to keep a look of disgust from crossing her features as he explained who he was, what he did, leaving her to fill in the blanks about just how he done it. Again her gaze slowly drug to the steal piece in his hand. Constance fought a wince as he mentioned Rohaan's name. Of course she would have heard of it even if she didn't personally know the infamous Vokuiran criminal.

Forcing her eyes away from that imposing weapon, she narrowed her lids to slits as she met his gaze again and gave a small knowing nod, "Yes, I've heard of him." One of the hounds dared a little closer as she spoke aiming to sniff her hand, the very hand that was just wrapped tightly around Rohaan's. Instinctively she jerked it upward, out of the dog's reach hoping the action might translate as a fear of the animals. How could she hide his scent if these dogs were good enough to track him through the rain? Even though she had cleaned all the visible traces of blood from the inside of her cabin, the smell of him was all over the bed sheets, the pillow, the teacup, her.

It was then that the other two figures made themselves known coming out from opposite sides of her cabin. She felt her heart stall at the site, the fact that she, Ro, was vastly outnumbered. Carefully she looked them over, suspicion and doubt still radiating from her eyes and rigid stance. Rhylan's words stole her attention from the pair as he began to explain further, an attempt at easing her anxieties perhaps. A worthy attempt that might have worked on a lesser woman, a naive one who perhaps didn't actually have anything to hide. Constance tilted her head to one side as if she was actually considering his words yet when he mentioned the part about the kidnapping incident she froze, eyes widening against her will.

He's lying... He has to be lying about having went to the command center first. If that was truth than her father or her brother or at the very least some other Protector would have accompanied the hunting party here. And he knows exactly who she is. Rohaan never told his full name to anyone else other than her. He had proclaimed himself to be Rio that night and Constance never told a soul, not even Alexander, Ro's full name, the actual name of the man that took her. Perhaps they had their suspicions, ones that didn't make since when she made it out of the whole ordeal alive, but neither had ever voiced as much. Still, neither was here now. Her father would not let a strange man, uppity high class hunter or otherwise, roam about his town without an escort of Protection. Especially if he knew his only daughter's home was on the list to be searched.

Constance's gut instinct was deny Rhylan of his requests. To tell him in more or less words to get the hell away from her home. Anything to viciously protect what, who, was hidden away inside. But... She couldn't shake the echo of Ro's words... 'You just go out there and do what he says, cooperate with him. Don't be a hero, alright? Promise?' That look, serious and pleading from his gorgeous blue eyes, almost fearful as she pulled away from him just moments ago. Had Ro had enough time to hide? To run? She felt like if she let any of them in her home that she was signing over Rohaan's life, serving him up on a platter. It was a heart shattering feeling that had her struggling to breathe. Her lungs started to burn and she felt a sting in the corner of her eyes.

Afraid of them seeing the small drop in her straight face, she took a step back, further opening the door in a slow, controlled pull. "Your female companion may come in and may look around all she needs. I'd rather your filthy dogs stay outside my home..." She tossed the hounds a disapproving look, a tight frown as if she simply just detested the beasts. Constance would stay glued to her spot by the door as the woman came inside. Even if she had nothing to hide, only a fool would let a stranger take over their home. These people claiming to be hunters could be thieving murders for all anyone could know, and Constance was trying her best to send that message of distrust.

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Re: Adventures in Ri'atal Part 2

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:59 pm

The hound that sniffed Constance's hand bayed suddenly, its voice echoing through the still morning like cannon fire. Rohaan cringed--inwardly anyway, as sparrows could not cringe. He liked dogs in general...just not hounds. Of course, they never liked him. They sensed what he could become, the other shapes that were just as part of him as his regular one, and like most animals, they feared him. He'd spent a lot of time figuring out how to avoid the freakishly accurate noses of hounds and he had learned that changing shape threw off the trail if they were only tracking from footsteps or clothing. A cat would give off a different scent than a person, after all. But these hounds had blood. And seeing as how he had an open wound, there was nothing he could do to throw them off now.

They would have to crawl onto the roof to find him, and if this genteel Rhylan character decided to do that, Rohaan would be impressed. But he didn't like how long they lingered, and he was very aware of the small flintlock pistol at Rhylan's side. Rohaan knew just how horrible those were. If he was careful, quick, and moved with precision, he could effectively block an arrow in his favorite form of a cyradan. They were not heavily armored among other species of dragons and were in fact known for being sleek, smooth, and agile creatures--something he liked. But they did have smooth matte scales and their hides were thick. An arrow broadside at any real distance might prick him but not pierce fully through. Guns, however, were a different story. It amazed him how something so small could cause so much damage, but someone had once explained it had something to do with weight and momentum. Even if Rohaan was a cyradan, Rhylan would not have to be accurate and shoot for a wing or an armpit. Any shot from that horrible thing would bring him down.

He needed to do something before Constance got in any kind of trouble.

Trish nodded, nocking an arrow before she cautiously entered the cabin. She was thorough in her search, including lifting up containers, peering into the rafters, up the chimney as best she could, and under the bed and covers. Outside, Rhylan was quiet and tense, hand closing around the pistol with a tight grip. He knew for a fact that Ja'aisen had been there, but whether he was still there or not remained to be seen. He hoped Trish would flush him out, make him nervous. He had a sense though...an inkling...

"Ja'aisen..." he called, his voice almost darkly musical. "I know you're here. Leave this poor woman alone and come face me like a man, Rohaan Rio Ja'aisen." He gave a little laugh. "That's right. I know your names. You've got another, I hear, but I can't seem to find it out. The truth is, Sanguine, I know a lot about you. More than you think."

Caidan, the man wielding a sword (which was now in his hands) suddenly made a liquid gurgling sound and dropped his sword in order to put numb hands on a profusely bleeding throat. Rohaan was there behind him holding Caidan's own knife he lifted from his boot without the man even noticing. As the mercenary dropped, still gasping wetly, Rohaan shook his head at Rhylan.
"Only one of those names is for the likes of you, and you won't get the third. Asshole." He saw Trish at the door and threw the knife; it missed its mark and stuck into the doorframe, though whether his target was supposed to be Trish or Constance was unclear. This was intentional--one last effort at giving Constance plausible deniability.

Rhylan was quick to draw his pistol and fire but Rohaan was ready for him; the man disappeared in the blink of an eye and a sparrow flitted away. Rhylan's shot, which echoed with a loud crack like a very near thunderclap, missed by at least a foot and half, though it would have hit Rohaan's chest if he hadn't shifted as fast as he did. And he was fast. Rhylan saw which direction he had gone but amidst the trees he couldn't pick out the form of a little brown bird.

"You look like you had a rough night, Ja'aisen...feeling...under the weather?" He smiled wickedly, his green eyes alight.
"I've had worse!" A distant voice called through the trees, accompanied by the crunching of foliage to the cadence of a very heavy limp. That gave Rhylan some satisfaction even though he was baffled and frustrated by how poorly the poison had worked. He had tested it. He had seen how long it held on...how was he still standing? Once again he realized he had underestimated his target--a mistake that other hunters did in the past when tracking Ja'aisen. Most of those ended up dead like poor Caidan.

The dogs went wild, sprinting and baying and howling as they plunged into the trees after him, Trish at their heels. Rhylan held back for a moment as he reloaded his pistol; he looked at Constance. "Miss, you should stay inside. It's not safe to be out of doors for the moment. You were very, very lucky today." And then he sprinted off after Trish.

Rhylan did not know who she was, or that she'd been harboring the fugitive.

--

It was at least two hours later when Rohaan returned. It was broad daylight now and people were milling about, so he couldn't just knock on her door. He didn't have the strength to anyway. A sparrow flew swiftly into Constance's open window and a man awkwardly crash-landed face down onto the bed with his legs hanging off one side and his head dangling off the other. He tried to roll over and made an incoherent noise like he had the night before, and then his head lolled down to the pull of gravity and he went silent except for occasional soft noises as he breathed.

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