Snippet #2765704

located in The West, a part of Exalted: A Tale in the Time of Tumult, one of the many universes on RPG.

The West

A vast expanse of Ocean that stretches into infinity, broken only by scattered islands that grow fewer the farther one goes. Many myths tell of what lies beyond it, but few that venture that far return.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Astrid Grünewald Character Portrait: Lux Fiala Character Portrait: Calliope Lordes
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By this point, Calliope was on her own. She had long since excused herself from her satisfying meal, but not without shoveling leftovers into a small knit bag she had folded up in her pocket. Calliope packed the bag with non-perishable items, such as dried fruits, and cured meats. She shoved a few embroidered napkins in her pockets as well. She wasn't a total animal!

Toting the bag of food with her, Calliope contentedly went to retrieve her things left strewn on the floor outside of the mess hall. She attached the food delicately to the outside of her weapons bag, and then lobbed the monstrous bag back over her shoulder. She longed to stretch and exert herself. It had days since she sparred or even practiced her sword arm.

Before she knew it, she had been wandering the vast halls aimlessly. She had hardly noticed how far she'd come, or when she'd left. Time was escaping her with ease. Calliope paused for a moment to try and memorize her whereabouts, but it would do her no good. Only two minutes later she felt like she was in the same place. She wasn't sure what floor she was on. Above and below, stairs seemed to go on forever. She was never any closer to the top of the spire. Calliope couldn't even remember where the dining hall was. Was it above her? Below her? She turned around to retrace her steps, but it just over complicated things, and she was already lost. No matter! She would press on.

As she descended several flights, Calliope was greeted by the familiar sound of steel. Where did it come from? It had to be only a floor or so beneath her. The Noble followed the enticing sound eagerly.

She was overcome with nostalgia. It reminded Calliope of her first time in the local sparring hall of her village. The realm of combat swept her away like an ardent lover. She could almost taste the gunpowder in the air, and the vapor of sweat at the end of a long day of combat practice. Oh, those were the good old days!

One more flight, and what appeared before Calliope was an archway leading to what could only be the sparring hall. Next to the door, emblazoned in gold lettering, was some kind of language she could not read. She approached the majestic stone-carved doorway, ambient light spilling out and across the stairwell, the silhouette of one? Maybe... two combatants?

The clashing sound flooded the hall, along with the masculine grunts and growls of what she could only imagine was a mercenary preparing for his next battle. At last, a kindred spirit she could relate to! Without any hesitation, she rushed in to see the fearsome warrior.

What?

The sight she was greeted with was not what she had expected, to say the least. Where she imagined bulging biceps and broad shoulders, she was greeted by scrawny arms and a small frame. Before her was a small man, laboring over a wood post, attempting to hack it cleanly in half...and failing miserably.

What she didn't expect was his complexion. He was... "Rose!" Calliope sputtered.

The tawdry man across from her shared her skin color. The rare rose complexion, prized by the royal family. While Calliope stared agape, the man appeared irritated.

"If you don't mind," he said shortly, lowering his short sword, "I'm trying to get some work done."

"But... but- you're... you- we share the sammmme commmplexion." She struggled to reply.

"Easy there with the 'M's, miss. What? This?" He said, gesturing to the skin on his forearm. He chuckled, cooly. "It's just bad rosacea or somethin'." He fell back into an attack stance, ready to resume his study.

"That you have had sinnnnce birth?" Calliope persisted.

"Alright, let me level with you. I'mmmmmm," he started, patronizingly, "busssssyyyyyyyyy, got it?"

"What businnness have you in this estate?"

"Oh Creation, I could ask you the same thing! Didn't your folks teach you any manners?"

"Why yes, they did! Annd if you lived up to your commplexion by annny stretch of the immmaginnation, you'd knnow, I, of all creatures, have the best of mmannners!"

"What is with your interest in complexion? What are you? A dermatologist?"

"I know not this Tribe of Dermatologist you speak of! I am Calliope Lordes, Daughter of Titania, Soul Air of the Gladommain Emmpire, and a descendannt of the dear blood linne which grants you that Noble Hue."

The man seemed to soften at the sound of Calliope's name and title, but instead of inquiring further, he raised his short sword. "You know, impersonating nobility is a royal offense." His tone was less playful and more stern. He approached her menacingly, sword in hand. Calliope almost thought he was ready to attack her. Her hand fell on the hilt of her ōdachi.

"Sir, are you a citizenn of Gladomm?" She asked urgently.

Without reply, the man pounced on her. Unable to dodge his attack, she unsheathed her long sword and blocked the strike. In rush of adrenaline, Calliope overpowered him, gaining enough leverage to shove him to the ground. He was stronger than he looked.

In no time at all, he was on his feet again, and with a sweeping slash, he went for Calliope's stomach. She felt hot, searing pain, as the tip of his blade sliced through her robes in into her abdomen. She cried out. Clutching her stomach for a moment, before growling, "Assaulting nnobility is a royal offennse." She spotted the glint of fear in his eyes, and smiled.

Calliope leapt forward, aiming to shove him, once more, to the ground, but he dodged just in time, regaining his balance instantly and catching her in a grapple. The two struggled until they were just at the edge of the nearest staircase. He held her over the edge, his sword to her throat. Beads of sweat poured down her face, as she fought hard to maintain her stance...but in a last ditch effort to free herself of his grip, she willed the majority of her weight over the railing, taking the traitor with her -- over the edge.

They clattered to the ground, their weapons flying every which way. It was clear the air was knocked out of both of them, as the writhed on the ground side by side. She must have hit her head, because she was seeing three of everything.

Out of the corner of her eye, she caught him reaching for a concealed weapon on his person. Rolling over, Calliope struck him again, this time, cleanly in the face. She stumbled to her feet, kicking the dagger away, and in one last smooth motion, she unsheathed her second sword, extending it out to his throat. She grazed the bottom of his chin with the blade.

"Surrennder, and I will nnot execute you. I will- I will not repeat mmyself again. I am Lady Calliope Lordes of the Gladommain Emmpire, are you a citizen of Gladomm?"

The, now trembling, man swallowed hard and nodded. He was far more likely to believe her now. She clutched her stomach, assessing that the wound wasn't too bad. "I will take you into my custody," she muttered, almost fainting. She swayed, and swayed, and as her vision began to go black, she recalled looking out to see a door to the courtyard, and two very inebriated women standing in it.

"Lux?... Astrid?"

cron