Baekoth: Revolution of the Heretical [IC]

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Baekoth: Revolution of the Heretical [IC]

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby That One Guy on Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:45 pm

Kurokiku wrote:ImageImage
Dorelith

Dorchaidhe - The Red Spindle Inn

Evening

Ephraim of Theren and The Seer



Rise and fall, that is what kingdoms and men do, and it is what the chest of the seer did as he stood in his dark corner of the inn’s bar. His hood hides his gnarled and deformed face, one where eyes do not exist and his lips are black as old clotted blood. Completely still, he stood, waiting or watching for something, as all seers do. When the moment was right, his staff shot out to stop a beanstalk of a man from walking past him. He regarded him with his nose, stepping forward to smell the air around him, he nodded, confirming something he thought. "You reek of it." his gravelled voice rasped. "Long have I lived and you reek of it more than any."

Dorchaidhe was a small city in the far southwest of Dorelith, notable for not being the kind of place where someone called the Messiah-Queen would ever want to live, nor indeed for being the kind of place that someone technically a daemon had to worry too much about being rounded up and forced to fight in an arena for the pleasure of others. It was, therefore, about as perfect as a population center this large could get. It smelled of unwashed skin and salty sweat, mixed with saltier ocean and dubiously-fresh fish, and the people were about what he’d expected from such a place, but they mostly ignored him, which was nice. Unless, of course, they were aggressively trying to sell him something, in which case his usual recourse was to duck his head politely and wave his hands in a noncomittal sort of way until they took him for a mute or an idiot, perhaps both, and let him go on his way, taking his awkward, twitchy half-smiles with him.

He doubted anyone looked twice, and that was the way he liked it. He was only here for some arrowheads and raw leather anyhow, and the less fuss, the better. Cities were better than smaller settlements for anonymity, because they were not inherently wary of strangers. They also, unfortunately, had more people, and that meant there was still more chance of running into something disastrous. Certainly, those chances were small, but bad luck had a way of finding Ephraim, and he didn’t ever trust his chances.

Which was perhaps why, when he ducked into an inn for something to eat and nearly tripped over the staff leveled at his legs, he wasn’t exactly surprised to note that the object belonged to an older person whose face was shadowed. At least it wasn’t a crone with half her teeth missing this time—something about those ones just gave him the shudders. They weren’t always so dramatic about stopping him though, and he winced when the staff cracked into his left knee. Or rather, his knee cracked into the staff. The man spoke in a voice weathered by… well, some combination of age and experience, probably; that was usually the case. Unless he’d been smoking a pipe his whole life—that tended to do it, too.

The words immediately set him to looking around the room, which was crowded and loud, hopefully enough so that nobody had heard the man speak. Why was it that no matter where he went, he drew these people out of the woodwork? It was like anyone who figured themselves half a seer was pulled to him like a moth to some kind of flame, and they always felt the need to tell him about it. “Er… I’m sorry? That I reek, I mean. And for hitting the, um—the staff. I just came through the fish markets; I was going to change shirts later?” Maybe it was some heroic force of dauntless optimism that made him try to play this off as something entirely different, but mostly he was pretty sure it was just vain, vain hope.

"Go about reeking like that and everyone will know what you are." The seer mumbled to himself more than to Ephraim, ignoring what he said and pulling him by the shirt to a table close to them. "Sit fool boy." His tone did not suggest he was asking or suggesting. Seated, the seer began to have his say, "I do not know why I see what I see, nor did I ask for this, same as you. Yet here we are, each with our own afflictions." His hood pulled back slightly when he leaned in to speak, showing his marred face in full to Ephraim. "You have been allowed to wander as you please without purpose for longer than you ought to have, but you won't be allowed to do so forever." His voice lowered, "The gifted are not born into this world by accident, each time they come they are born for great or terrible purpose. Sometimes both Ephraim. When they come it means war and justice and miracles and blood." Oh yes the seer knew his name and what he was, there was much the seer was forced to bare witness to. Too much in his opinion.

Of course not. It was never simple with this, was it? It was probably ironic, that the one whoreson—technically whorenephew—that was absolutely fine with never amounting to anything more than a vagrant with a modest trade and a lot of miles under his boots was the one who was apparently not allowed to retain his very modest status. He’d never wanted anything more in his life than he wanted the magic gone, but it seemed that no matter how low he ducked his head or how persistently he ignored what it whispered to him, he could not escape its hold. He tried very hard not to let his eyes dart about too suspiciously, but he was still afraid that they were going to be overheard, and that in his experience never ended well when this sort of thing was the subject.

So instead, he braced his hands on his knees, picking at a loose thread on his breeches with what appeared to be the utmost concentration, the nervousness of a jimmying leg suppressed into the bruising worry of teeth on his lower lip, patternless, nervous, consummately uncomfortable. His eyes occasionally flickered up to the old man’s marred face—black lips, scarred eye sockets, looking like something horror had dragged out of a bog and set on land. Well, it wasn’t like he was one to judge—he looked like a scarecrow animated out of a field, made to think it was a man. He shuddered at the sound of the word blood, just a fine little tremor, drawn from his spine by the cadence of the words in that raspy voice.

“But I don’t want any of that,” he said quietly, and even to him, it sounded weak. Pathetic. Spindly fingers danced over a knobby knee, and he sighed, casting his eyes once more to the floor, tapping that silent, frenetic rhythm still on his leg. The birds in the sky wish to be as free, as free as me, when I dream… A relic of his childhood, that. “I don’t want to be terrible. I don’t want to bring war and blood to anybody.” His lips twisted into a wry sort of grimace, and he met the place where the seer’s eyes would have been, had he any. “I’d be fine not being great, either, if it’s all the same. Great people usually die, in the end.” Even despite his protestations, he could feel the weight of the pronouncement, in a way that he usually did, but could also usually pay no mind to, at least once he was back out on the road. He could only hope that the same would prove true, this time. He did not like the way this felt as a call to arms would. The way it stirred something in his blood and marrow and skin.

The seer took hold of an half empty old cup that was not his from the table, studied the contents with sightless eyes for a bit and drained it in one go. He smacked his black lips indifferently, it was unclear if he retained any of what Ephraim said, "All that and more happens when just one of you is born, and now.." The seer tipped his cup, letting three drops fall to the table. "...there are three." The way he said the words was like condemning the world to its fate. "If I could feel pity for any other than myself I would feel pity for you. The other two are not as you are, war and blood is what they desire, and if you do nothing, it will be too late when your hand is finally forced." He slammed the cup on the table, as if to make his point. "Make your choices wisely, align yourself with the good in this world, act." The seer stood up, not without difficulty, he had said his piece, the gods could demand nothing more from him, he was too damn old for this horseshit. Before he turned away he added, "Griffons are not unwise to follow." A hint of amusement in his voice.

The seer departed, and Ephraim pushed a little groan of air out his lungs, hunching over and scrubbing his hands down his face. The magic was whispering in his mind again; something about this particular old man had agitated it. Or maybe it only went looking for excuses to be agitated. There were two other people like him? But what was he in the first place? As far as he knew, he was just a man with too much magic and an itch to travel. He could only assume the relevant part of that was the magic thing, but lots of people had magic. Well, maybe not lots, but it wasn’t exactly rare, either. He really didn’t like where this was going.

The city suddenly seemed like far too congested a place, closed in by those walls and those cliffs, but his other choices were the forest or the sea, and while he’d come in through the former, he wasn’t so sure he wanted to tangle with the Kraken at this point in his life. It occurred to him that he was doing it again, seeking an escape route. Why, he couldn’t really even say—it wasn't like any amount of distance had ever stopped these portents and half-mad longsighted types from finding him before. And now he was getting specifically directed. “’Make your choices wisely,’” he echoed, a touch of melancholy coloring his tone rather blue indeed. “As long as they’re the ones we want you to make.” Not that he had any idea who the we was… but there was definitely a we.

He had the sinking feeling he’d be finding out eventually.
(°□°)┻━┻
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Re: Baekoth: Revolution of the Heretical [IC]

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Ezarael on Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:59 am

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Dorelith

Darkwood

Early-Morning

Ila’ra Tashael





A massive, slobbery tongue served to awaken Ila’ra from her peaceful sleep, the sand-papery slab dragging across her left cheek slowing and with such a force it nearly threatened to roll her over. ”Lumps, stop that you know how much it tickles.” As if to reinforce this statement a delicate hand reach out to try and lightly shove the troll companion’s face away from her own, a quiet chuckle escaping her lips at the same time. This was the usual routine, unless there was danger in the forest they called home, that greeted the Daemon early every morning. The only real way she knew it was morning time when this happened was from the few times they slept near the Darkwood’s edge, most of their time was spent secluded within the much darker, inner forest where sunlight rarely dared to go.

Despite her and the other trolls’ preference of living closer to the center, away from prying Human eyes, sometimes they had to journey closer towards the edges. The Darkwood had been abuzz for the day, at the least, about the presence of Outsiders; there was always a palpable stirring of the wildlife whenever those who shouldn’t be there ventured into the woods. Most of the time these travelers could go to and from in peace, without the worry of being attacked by the savage beasts roaming the landscape, but this time was different, Lumps knew there was danger coming soon and she wanted to stop it if possible. While anger had been the primary motivation for the trolls to flee to the Darkwood and turn it into a living fortress, someplace the Humans couldn’t defile, hatred and magic had twisted the hearts and minds of many of the forest creatures.

The delicate lady grudgingly lurched up from the leafy canopy serving as a makeshift hammock, throwing her arms out wide and arching her spine in an enlivening, relieving stretch to loosen up any stiffness from last night’s slumber. ”Ok Lumps, time for us to get started isn’t it, so how is the forest doing today?” She leapt onto her friend’s back, clasping her arms around his thick neck so she wouldn’t fall of during their descent from the tree tops, not that they were especially high up at the time, but she always hated starting off the day bruising her rear. Ok, maybe it wasn’t that hard to climb down from where she slept, but it was early and she wasn’t in full control of all her capacities at the moment.

During their descent it was much easier to communicate with Lumps given their proximity to one another; she could feel the anxiety built up in him, like it had the rest of the Darkwood, and that ever-present wrath lurking just underneath the surface. She tightened her grip in a much more hug-like fashion than the utilitarian grasp it had previously been, ”It’s okay Lumps, I’m sure nothing bad is going to happen today. You shouldn’t get angry like that you know, none of us should.” She could feel the tension in his body relax somewhat, as it always did when she comforted him, but she was just as nervous as he was. There was no telling what could happen at times like these, whether it was the Darkwood or Outsiders who made the first wrong move didn’t matter, it always ended up in something getting hurt.

A soft, muffled albeit not unquiet, thud greeted the duo as Lumps let himself drop to the forest floor from about as twice as high up as he stood, his hands and feet sinking several inches into the moist dirt and sending ripples through the thick fog coating the ground. Ila’ra loosened her grasp and slid down the troll’s lumpy back to plop softly onto the ground, a wave of sensations flowing into her mind from her companion. The forest spoke to the trolls and Lumps spoke to Ila’ra. Sights and sounds of a number of Humans, all relatively close, but three seemed to garner the most attention from the forest. A fiery red-headed girl, a tall, gangly youth, and a golden-haired man clothed in armor. Everyone was so close, but in the Darkwood you were always a thousand miles away if you weren’t right next to someone, there was so much that could happen today, the Daemon only hoped that she could prevent any bloodshed.

”Ok Lumps, where should we start?”
Isn't it strange how Decidedly we
will chasE such an iNdefinable concept
That cannot truly descrIbe us no
maTter how hard we trY?
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Re: Baekoth: Revolution of the Heretical [IC]

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Kurokiku on Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:47 pm

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Dorelith

Darkwood

Nautical Dawn

Ephraim of Theren and Evelyne



The Darkwood was aptly named. Even now, at first light, it carried an air of permanent dusk about it, the trunks and branches of the trees usually a dull grey or even blackened, twisted and gnarled beyond what was generally considered normal for whatever their species be. A thick fog swirled along the ground, reaching thigh-height even on someone as tall as the traveler that now moved through it. He couldn’t see where his feet were landing, but he didn’t need to. He just sort of… knew where they should go, but if ever he stopped to consider the how and why of it, he immediately started to trip and stumble, so he didn’t bother giving it a lot of thought. Somewhere overhead, a raven cawed, the grating sound the only one in the silence about him. Occasionally, a shadow would pass overhead, but such occurrences usually brought a slight smile to his face more than anything. Sure, griffons might be good things to follow, but that was assuming they were willing to lead. Osiris seemed more inclined to follow him than anything, at least for right now.

Dark and gloomy as it was, Ephraim completely missed the trap until he’d stepped into it, abruptly finding himself suspended, upside-down, from a rope tied to the branch of a tree, like a rather unfortunately-large rabbit. The reverential silence was shattered by the undignified yelp that escaped him upon discovering this predicament, and he swayed slightly on the line holding him. Perhaps, if he’d weighed more than the average pile of twigs, his heft might have snapped the line, but whomever had made this trap had made it well, and it was holding most admirably.

But who on earth would be laying traps in Darkwood? He thought he was one of few people stupid enough to even dare traversing the place—locals liked to say that the mist would drive you mad if you breathed it long enough. Ephraim didn’t really believe that, but he knew that lots of other people did. Anyone who’d dwelled here long enough to bother with snares was probably crazy, but the mist wouldn’t have anything to do with it. Well… his pack was a bit too far away for him to reach, and he had the sneaking suspicion that Sir would only find his predicament funny, so it was try to wiggle out on his own or hope that perhaps the owner of this trap was a benevolent kind of crazy, and not the man-eating kind.

“Uh, hello?” he called out into the forest. The sensation of blood rushing to his head wasn’t really pleasant, but the fact that circulation was slowly being cut off in his ankle was worse, so he wasn’t going to try moving himself too much to fix that. “I seem to have found your trap, and I’d feel really bad if I had to destroy it or something, so… can I get a little help here?” He really had no idea if the maker of the trap was even close to his location, but he was finding that his magic was being just as unresponsive as the forest, so he wouldn’t just be breaking himself down anytime soon.

Stupid magic.

Ephraim's only immediate answer was the creaking of the tree that bore his weight. The ambient sounds of the forest soon returned once his echoes died out, leaving only him and the woods around him. At least, that's how it was for a time. Roughly ten minutes passed before the peace was broken by a loud exaggerated sigh. Though her feet made no sound, a hooded girl stepped out from behind a wide tree in front of him. She stared at the spectacle before her before closing her eyes and chuckling. "D'ye believe it? I sit the trap well out of his way and still he finds it," She said, finally breaking the silence with the sound of another voice. The only thing was... She wasn't speaking to Ephraim, but to the tree at her side.

Finally turning her attentions squarely on the man in the trap, she moved forward and pulled back her hood revealing a flowing mane of red hair. She knelt to get a better look at his face, clutching both sides of his head when the rope threatened to spin him in the circle. "Stop spinnin', let me get a good look at ye," she demanded like he had any choice in the matter. She stared at him for a moment before she resumed chuckling. "How're ye still alive?" She asked, unaware that she was running her fingers through his hair. "There nastier things in these woods than some rope. Ye lucky I was here before somethin' came up and ate ye like a trapped... Well, like a trapped rabbit. A big rabbit. I mean, really, ye need some sense about ye in these woods. Ye need to look where ye goin', maybe watch where ye droppin' ye big ol' feet every now and then before ruinin' a poor lass's trap. Serious fella, it's dangerous in these woods. Did ye not see--"

“Um.” It was an inelegant way of breaking into the one-sided conversation, but it was just about all he could do. Ephraim, for all his experience with the strange and the awkward, was very sure he’d never been in a position quite like this one before. Usually he was at least right-side-up when thoroughly embarrassing himself. “You know, normally, I’d say you were absolutely right and everything, but the mist down here does make it awfully hard to see the ground.” Also, he’d been daydreaming again, but he wasn’t going to mention that. It was a bit of a feeble excuse, and he knew it, but he felt it worth pointing out all the same. He wasn’t sure why—he had no pride or dignity to defend, really.

As for the part where the lady who had found him was actually touching his person, well… he just considered it to be good fortune that she was being relatively nice about it. And that he’d washed his hair the day before. Sending his (potential) help away in disgust was not exactly going to be of benefit to him here. “Also, if it’s not terribly inconvenient, would you perhaps mind letting me down, miss? I don’t want to break your trap, you see, and I can chance the guess that it was not meant to hold such, um… l-large rabbits.” He tried for a smile of some kind, but it came out more a grimace than anything.

"Oh? Oh! Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sure," The girl said as a blush crept into her face. Finally taking her hands out of his hair, she slipped behind him which had the unfortunate side effect of letting him start spinning again. Her hands went to the creaky cedar tree bearing Ephraim's weight and found a dark rope that looked like a vine at a distance. Once again, she began to speak to the tree as her hands began to work the knot. "Y'did good, but I cannae keep what ye caught," She said, casting a glance backward to Ephraim, "Just as well, he looks too stringy to eat anyway." As the note came undone, she gave Ephraim one last warning before he found the ground rush upward to greet him. "Watch ye gourd! ye comin' down."

There was a snap as the tension gave and Ephraim found fresh ground beneath him again. The girl went to his feet and began to undo the rope that bound him there, and continued to collect the rope wholesale, coiling it around her shoulder. "Eh, you ruined my spot anyway," she explained, "All ye floppin' scared all the animals within the mile. Shh, listen," She said, pausing what she was doing and holding up a finger, urging him to do the same. "Hear that? Nothin'. We're eatin' light tonight. A shame, ye look like ye could do with a decent meal," She said, moving back where Ephraim was, and giving his ribs a light pinch.

Catlike reflexes he did not have, but that wasn’t so bad, considering he was pretty durable. He’s fallen from worse heights, sometimes quiet memorably. At least he didn’t fall directly on his ‘gourd,’ though landing on his back still knocked the wind out of him for a minute, during which he wheezed a little and then managed to haul himself into a sitting position, trying to ignore the way the world spun around him as his blood reoriented itself right-way-up. He was still tingling at the extremities, though, and only caught enough of what the woman said to understand that she was talking about food. “Umm… sorry?” He actually didn’t know if she’d accused him of anything or not, but he generally found that apologizing for his existence rarely went awry, so he defaulted to it. “Food, uh… there’s food in my pack still.” Dried travel rations, mostly, but definitely edible. He did sometimes know what he was doing, and travel was one of those things he could do with some competence.

Gradually, Ephraim got his legs underneath him, pushing himself back up to his awkward height, such that he was towering over the woman and blinking down at her with all the mild confusion of an especially large, lean dog. Maybe one of those racing hounds the fancy lords had sometimes, for retrieving fowl taken down in the field. Actually, now tat he could see properly, woman might not be quite the right word. She looked somewhere just between that and girl, not that he was one to judge. He still looked halfway like a kid himself, at least where his face was concerned. Her hair was really red, though—he wondered if she ever had concealment problems.

Dismissing the question as irrelevant, he brought a hand up to the back of his neck. His aunts would be ashamed at his manners, honestly. “Thank you, by the way. It’s, ah, appreciated.” He stuck his other hand out, offering a shake. He didn’t really know how to do the whole elegant lordly greeting thing, and he suspected it would be even more awkward anyhow. “If, erm… if you care to know, I’m Ephraim. Of Theren, that is. Not sure if there are others somewhere else. Probably. I’ll… shut up now.”

A moment was spent staring at his outstretched hand, her head tilted as she examined it. Only a moment, however, as a smile slipped into her face and she took the hand with the roughness of her own, giving it hardy shake. "Eh? Of Theren? Where's Theren? Never been there before, is it far away? Is it fancy? Never met another fella who was named of some place, less another Theren. Are ye nobility? Ye don't look like a lord--" Her mouth worked for a moment more before she stopped, feeling that there had been a line she was dangerously close to approaching. If he was a lord, then she just inadvertently insulted him. Her lips slowed and pursed while her cheeks reddened. "Oh, uh... Sorry. I didnae mean any insult," She apologized, acutely unaware that she was still shaking his hand, albeit slower than she had been. "Maybe it's my turn to shut up," She said with an awkward chuckle.

Running her other hand under her cascade of red, she looked back to the tree for a moment and shrugged, turning back to him. Rather, turning up to him. She hadn't noticed when he was upside down, but Ephraim was tall, easily towering a foot over the the girl. "Bloody geez Eph, yer a tall one, aren't ya," She with a furious shake of her head and another reddening of cheeks. In an attempt to play it off like she said nothing at all, she launched into her own introductions, "I am Evelyne. Of the Aecian. Sorta. Really, I don't have a title. Or a surname. The mountains are just where I was born. Though me friends call me Evie, so that's somethin'." Finally a moment a silence passed between her teeth, and she seemed to slow down a fair bit. With a breath of fresh air in her lungs, she began again, though this time her words came slow enough for him to understand.

"Come on, I got camp set not too far away," She began. "We can talk there, and ye can meet Meister. Then we'll see about gettin' ye where ye need to be goin'." Still refusing to relinquish grip on his hand, she led him into the forest. She strode through the trees and branches with ease, her pace slow enough to allow Ephraim to keep up. To the uninitiated, it appeared that Evie just picked a direction and began walking in it, but soon it was revealed she knew exactly where she was going and what exactly was the easiest way to get there. What Evie led Ephraim to was a small clearing, about fifteen feet in diameter with a bay horse loaded down with a saddlebag grazing on the outskirts his reins loosely wrapped around a branch. Finally allowing Ephraim's hand to become his own again, Evie went to the horse and... Presented him to the man. "This is Meister. Meis, this is Ephraim. Of Theren. He's goin' to be our guest." She lowered her tone and moved closer to Meister's ear and spoke in a hushed tone. "Be nice to 'em. He's had a hard day gettin' caught in our traps."

Ephraim decided not to mention that, the odd occasion of stepping into a trap excepted, he was actually quite capable of navigating the forest on his own, and had done so many times before. It would… probably just result in a lot more apologies or something, and he felt very strange, being apologized to. Was this possibly how he made other people feel with his habit of the same? He had to admit that when looked at this way, it was entirely possible. If so, he hoped they never told him, given that he’d most like apologize for it.

He was beginning to realize that he didn’t talk nearly as much as he thought he did, or, perhaps, nobody could find much room to talk when Miss Evelyne was filling up all the silences on her own. There was finally a pause long enough to say something when he was being introduced to the horse, and really, this was perhaps one of the least weird things about the situation. So he bobbed his head agreeably. “Nice to meet you.” He took a moment to scan the campsite. Minimally invasive, very efficient. The sort of thing that spoke of a lot of experience navigating wilderness. He wondered about that—few people ever wandered about in the Darkwood, and those that did really usually preferred to skirt the edges on their way to Dorchaidhe, or else take the most established path the forest had—that to and from the Keep. Why anyone would want a Keep in the Darkwood, he had no idea. It was probably some lord thing he would never understand anyway.

“By the way, you don’t… uh. You don’t have to always say the ‘of Theren’ bit. It’s not a title or anything like that. Farthest thing from it, actually. You get the town name if you don’t have a proper one.” He shrugged, a gesture that somehow made him look even more like a scarecrow, and ran a hand up the back of his neck, inadvertently fluffing the hair in the back of his head. He was the furthest thing from a nobleman, really, and that was counting some of the slaves, at least the ones who got to live with the noblemen. Not that he'd ever envy them that. He was more or less content; he doubted very much that many of them were. There was a bit of an awkward pause, and then he figured he might as well ask. “So… n-not to sound rude, Miss Evelyne, but… what exactly are you doing here? I almost never run into people in the Darkwood. Or traps. I suspect those two things are related, actually.”

"Not bein' called Miss Evelyne, that's for sure," she said with a hearty laugh. She took the spool of rope from her around her shoulder, Evie tied it off in the middle to ensure that it didn't tangle in transit and slipped it into a saddlebag for later use, and retrieved a strip of dried meat from a different pack. Letting the meat hang from her mouth, Evie took a seat on a nearby root and gestured for Ephraim to do the same. "I told ye, Eph, I dinae have any titles, only Evelyne. Though ye call me Evie-- everyone else does, Right Meis?" She said, calling back to the horse. Meister, seemingly used to her banter, subsequently ignored her and continued to chew on the hard grass of the forest. For Ephraim's actual question, Evie watched him for a moment, chewing the jerky in her mouth and contemplating how to best answer him. "Could ask ye the same thing, Eph."

Her tone lowered and she watched him in an effort to judge him. "The Darkwood is dangerous y'know?-- no one goes through her just for an evenin' stroll. The few that do know what they're doin'. She's harsh, These woods. She's got rabbits with fangs that can take a chunk out of ye leg, d'ye know? Evil critters, they are. Ye lucky it were me trap you tripped into and not a spider's," She paused for a moment and arched an eyebrow. She gave the meat another chew or two and before pausing and blushing again. "Not... Not that I'm ye mum or anything, ye see? It's just.. Right. Forget I said anything," she said defeated. Rubbing her forehead and forced herself back to Ephraim's question. "Why am I here?" She repeated his question, just to make sure they were back on the same page.

"Well, uh... because we're followin' ye?" She laughed at that, giving it the impression that it was a joke. She decided to not tell him how serious she was. Evie had been following him for the past few days, checking his progress and making sure he didn't get himself lost. Like she had explained, the Darkwood was a dangerous place, and to travel it alone was either brave or silly. But she had to admit, he seemed to know what he was doing, traversing the woods well enough for someone who wasn't a Ranger. She decided that it was probably best she didn't tell him that, for that would be too terribly awkward for even her to handle. But neither could she tell him the truth, at least not yet. Though her heart wanted to, her head told her she couldn't trust a man she'd just met.

Swallowing the meat, she interlocked her fingers and laid her chin to rest on top. "I'm sorry Eph, we cannae answer that." Evie looked saddened by that fact. A small, apologetic smile crept into her lips as she continued, "But if ye want... We can travel together 'til we leave these woods. If ye have a mind about it, anyway. We dinae wish to intrude where we aren't wanted."

“Oh, uh, no, that’s completely fine, really.” Ephraim lifted both hands into the air by his shoulders in a gesture of harmlessness. “I didn’t mean to pry, I just…” Well, he wasn’t quite fool enough to admit that he had no idea how else to start a conversation, and one had felt… called for, maybe. He was a little taken aback that she offered to accompany him out after telling him that she couldn’t divulge why she was here in the first place, but if he’d ever met anyone who didn’t make him the least bit suspicious, it was probably her. He paused to consider that for a moment, wondering if it should be a red flag all its own, but in the end, the combination of his guilelessness and what seemed to be hers bade him relax at least a little, and the line of his shoulders eased visibly. He flicked a little, twitching smile, then nodded.

“If it’s really not a bother, I don’t mind. A little company might be nice, for once.”
The Canticle of Fate: Silver Lion Stanza
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"Though I am flesh, Your Light is ever present,
And those I have called, they remember,
And they shall endure."

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Re: Baekoth: Revolution of the Heretical [IC]

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby almostinsane on Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:48 pm

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Dorelith

Darkwood Keep

Early-Morning

Theo Vale


The sword was the perfect weapon in Ser Theo Vael's mind. It was not as clumsy as a mace or an axe. Nor was it as simple as a spear or a pike, though Theo certainly knew how to use a polearm. The sword was versatile. Each sword was different. They could range from quick rapiers to large claymores that scarcely differed from warhammers. His own longsword was a happy medium, though it was more on the lighter side.

Theo smiled as he stood in the courtyard outside his family's ancestral home. Around him, a half a dozen of his own soldiers lay in the dirt save for one. His old swordmaster, Brom, stood before him with his own sword tilted overhand in position. Theo held his own in front of him with both hands, having lost his shield.

"You were much too hard on the lads, Theo," the older man noted lightly, having no need for formalities with the man whom he had known since he could barely hold a sword, "That Light of yours hasn't addled our fighting senses at least."

"Mock all you want, Master Brom. I seem to recall seeing you at the service this morning," Theo jested, lunging forward with a quick flurry which the older man easily deflected before responding with a riposte which Theo dodged.

"Hmm... Taking in an old cult of pacifists who hail you as their god's champion. Somehow, I'm not surprised you started believing it."

Their blades collided again. It was clear that Brom was slower, but he had experience on his side while Theo showed no sign of fatigue at all as they engaged in feint after feint followed by a riposte.

"I know what I saw. I was dead, Brom," Theo replied as their blades collided once again, this time with the two trying to overpower one another.

"You saw what you thought you saw. You didn't need a new god to tell you that this Aule of the Messiah Queen's is evil or fake. Besides, you don't know whether that Slave Princess lives or where she is. You've done enough by sheltering apostates and "heretics." Don't let a dying dream lead you to your own death."

Theo grunted lunged forward with all his might to overpower Brom only to receive a kick in the gut. He fell to the ground and felt Brom's sword at his neck. Theo sighed in frustration at falling for such an obvious trick.

"I am going to patrol our lands," Theo told him, heading for the stables. It was fortunate they were training in full armor.

****

Theo rode through Darkwood in silence. In his haste, he had chosen not to take a guard, but he was fine with that. He knew these lands like the back of his own hand. He was no ranger, but he grew up in Darkwood. In silence, he prayed.

Oh, Light of Creation. Guide me.

He had taken in members of the Faith before the Inquisition could discover him and he had recounted his vision and experiences to the priests before being initiated, but he felt that he was meant to do more. Sheltering heretics and heathens was all well and good, but the Messiah Queen still ruled and through her, the Deceiver held sway, imitating the Creator in his corrupt manner.

He knew that the true Queen of Citha lived and there there were rebellions, but they were concealed from him. He knew he had to aid them. He just didn't know how.

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