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Auris Tel'Avi

"We are judge, jury and executioner."

0 · 166 views · located in Calisma

a character in “Calisma”, as played by Frozen Soul

Description

Gender: Male
Age: 38 (Minimum 18.)
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Height: 6 feet
Race: Human
Class Third
Skills:

"As the eagle was killed by the arrow winged with his own feather, so the hand of the world is wounded by its own skill." - The words of his teacher would forever loiter, much like a fathers daunting lectures. He was but a youngling when the saying first took to his ears, yet stubborn, he sought means to deny its meaning, no matter a lack of its proper understanding. The ways of the sword had long since posed an enigma to him, nor did the shadows frighten him still. Was he not a child of the night? Nevertheless, few have managed to hone both body and mind in an equal fashion. Whilst emerging an envied warrior, Auris had abandoned other criterias deemed by some far more important, such as social skills. Logic and ration outside of a battle-field were also lacking, perhaps to a worrisome degree. "Unneeded." - he would often hear himself proclaim, stifling what could be seen as remorse for past ignorance. Few were the times when, not met with a sword in hand, the man would take to the ways of the land, cooking and alchemy, brewing what mediocre recipes he grasped from his early teachings. "Your stew tastes worse than your potions do, my son. But at least this time you could actually trail the boar." Leaving aside the above, the Third also became well versed within the arts of magic manipulation, specifically two means of subduing his targets through both negation of magic use and physical torture directed at the magic wielder, which, unfortunately, bore its toll on the caster as well.

Weakness(es):

Few are aware of the exact levy a Third pays for the use of such significant strength, fewer still speculate that it differs from one to another. Never were they known to discuss such issues between themselves, perhaps out of fear of traitors, perhaps out of a simple disregard for such trivial matters. In Auris' case, though, it comes twofold and dripped in irony: albeit capable of nullifying even the strongest of wizzards, even a mediocre spell would cause severe damage to his body. Thus, each and every hunt taken must ensure the demise of the hunted before the predator takes its place. But once had he fallen from a touch of frost, a mere crack of a log the herald of his advent to a mingy sorcerrer; two days and two nights it took for the great warrior to stand on his feet. As for the second, while using his more potent binding, Enforcement, Auris must ensure that no damage is brought to his body. In the event of such a situation, the Third would risk loosing the link with the process, binding himself and rendering his own abilities usseless in turn. Afterall, nobody said hunting mages would be easy. Mayhap a great loss must be risked in order to wield great power.

Equipment:

- Long sword
- A journal used to both chronicle and log daily activities and events of interest
- Several manuscripts carefully detailing the traits of past, current and future marks
- A ragged leather pouch neatly placed across his pack meant to hold two days worth of nourishment
- Bindings (Chains used in the process of enforcement)

Personal Quote: "We are judge, jury and executioner."

Description:

Standing at slightly above 6 feet, Auris Tel'avi, the Evening's Howl, is as imposing as a man can be. A robust body carefully tucked beneath worn armour stands as witness to countless battles across the years whilst oil-slick hair frames haggard cheeks and cracked lips. Charcoal eyes lodged by thick eyebrows complete the Third's features, painting the image of one which could be described as either a king or a rabid beast. Finger deep cuts and arm long rakes lay neatly distributed across his chest-plate, sheltering what once was the gleaming insignia of the notorious division which enforces the proper use of magic throughout the land. Amongst the phletora of items composing his battle gear, the naked eye could clearly spot a red linen cloth hanging from beneath his chain vest, perhaps meant to add a drop of colour to the rather morbid attire. Spiked knee-caps and shoulder blades offer protection for critical joints, whilst the spinal column stands guarded by his only tool of combat, the long-sword. Last, but not least, a leather pouch clumsily mounted atop a broad back holds both journals and logs of daily events.

Personality:

"Have I ever met a Third? Once, when I was still but a boy, tangled by the marvels of a life at Court. Ah, I remember it as if it was yesterday. Obviously, it wasn't! I was still but a lad, tang-.. Do not interrupt me! Darned be who sent you. Now, where was I..; oh, the Third! Yes, yes, I can clearly see him now, marching past wooden doors which led inside the council, plate and sword drenched in crimson red. Blood! It was a metaphor! Stop interrupting me, by the Gods. Do you want to hear the story or not?! ..Now, what you must understand about this particular Third is that, he was as fierce-looking as a gladiator and as horrifying as a banshee. The very air surrounding him brought about a stench of death, hollow eyes capable of toppling even the most violent of tides. His voice? Like thunder, like blizzard!

I remember it even now, that lingering chill which crept up my spine as he addressed our beloved Monarch. An odd individual he was, mechanically voicing each and every action he did: 'We are now handing you the journal, ruler of Calisma', he would say, 'We are now informing you of the lack of need for gratitude; No, we have not yet chosen a wife, yet your inquiries are making us uncomfortable'. What an odd creature, indeed. I could never understand why he would always refer to himself in the second person, yet perhaps they are truly haunted by the malevolent spirits of mages slain. Or perhaps he was simply insane, one could never tell. Withal, it was certainly an encounter worthy of your book, young man. Women shall bite their tongues and men shall grip their hilts at the sound of such a terrifying existence. May the Gods be with the unfortunate souls he hunts." - Albert Vardi, Chapter VIII: Magic and its downsides.

Auris Tel'avi would be, difficult to describe, at best. Upon first contact, one could quickly assume the lack of touch with society had turned the man to a wild beast which barely kept to his own calling. It was not (entirely) true. In honesty, he simply cared little for what pleasures the great cities had to offer, nor was he adamant in experiencing any of them. Even so, Albert Vardi stood not far from frank words. His demeanour brought about an almost ghastly anxiety, voice and eyes veritably the human equals of a chilling winter. Calculated, Auris spoke more through the use of snarls and smirks, amply akin to a grumpy elder. Perchance, the only human trait one could not deny would be his avid adoration of spring. "The season of rebirth often gives us another attempt to walk upon the righteous path." - the saying went.

History:

Few things could be said about Auris, fewer still which he remembers. Born in the midst of a mountain settlement, he lived his early years secluded from civilisation and the schemes a modern society brought with it. Child of one loving family, he displayed unusual agility and strength as a youngster, having taken his first step at the fragile age of 10 months. Joyous were his days, blissful innocence keeping the boy from partaking in the bloody massacres which erupted like plagues passed the mountain tops. Never would have he noticed, was it not for the kin which vanished like nightmares at daylight ever so frequent. Often would he ask of play-friends, brothers and sisters which shared the same bowl and sat at the same table: "They shall soon return, beloved child." - the answer came promptly, both mother and father lacking determination to explain the heartaching certainty.

And so it was that in the spring of this 7th birthday, the eve came to take his mother. Silent and lacking in omens, war had slithered to the heart of their very doorstep. Men were slaughtered and women raped, rivers of blood bathing the bodies of cursed sorcerrers with demonic grins curling up on thin lips. Maddened and scared, he ran, ran past creeks and brooks, past forests and woods, past swamps and cities, never to be heard from by the man which cradled him as a newborn. The years leading after the event were harsh, the Third swiftly discovering that not all lands were as welcoming as his own. During the day he partook in humble labour for those which would have him, the boy refusing no duty as long as it would bring either coin or sustenance, whilst during the eve, he sought to find asylum in whatever hole would have him.

At the age of sixteen, he was chained and charged with the crime of poaching on royal grounds. Oh, what a dreadful experience it was for the still blossoming boy, to have been ripped from the utter freedom which he so adored only to be thrown inside gritty dungeons. Yet, it was within those very dungeons that his true destiny came to be, heralded by the unexpected visit of one later known as Mauris Wildhammer, a Third. Not until this very day does Auris understand what it was that drew the inquisitor to him; nonetheless, eternal praise has always been given.

His freedom stood granted the very day, and withal, the boy no longer dreamed of frozen peaks and lush hills. Oh no, he was much to drawn to the man in polished armour which towered above heads left and right. And so they set off, embarking on what would be the adventure of his life. The years passed, as Father Time never sits still, the boy now strong and fearless, forged by the trodden hands of the elderly counterpart. The world no longer held secrets from him, nor did war of any sort. As he reached the age of 27, the pair parted ways, few words having been spoken. A firm embrace alongside a blade, plate and letter were the only keepsakes left behind by the mentor which had freed a caged bird many, many days passed.

"Do not open the letter, Auris, until you shall find one to free, as I found you."

Anything Else: Other details of note.

Auris cares little for conversation, women, alcohol or vices of any sort. That, in no way, means he couldn't be tempted into having them by the right voice.


Image

So begins...

Auris Tel'Avi's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Auris Tel'Avi
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Auris Tel'avi



Then.

Seven days and seven nights had withered by since he first took to her scent, a hound in the midnight's breeze trailing a banshee's footsteps. Twisted swamps and boundless valleys stood barrier, parting lost 'lovers' from dear touch. Victoria - ah what a cruel witch she was, freed by the imprudence of prior jailers, her very name a peer to the most horrid of crimes. Hankerking was his pursuit, insatiable lust for murder tied to the one he sought with such burning passion. Agile feet slithered passed every root, darted passed each slough, words of plea tugging at strained limbs to endure, endure until his blade would at long last lay resting within the confines of her heartless chest.

Shivery gusts teased his nostrils, bringing with the perfume of she which now drew closer to his reach; an omen to herald the coming finale. Fingers took to sword and knees bent as he arched his frame onward, naked metal only to be met by the absence of flesh. "You tread far from your den, wolf. You lack courage to bare teeth within the safety of your domain, yet chose to do so when found in mine. Your arrogance shall be your death." - Victoria hissed, hands hung far above her head, velvet tongue conjuring the most vile of charms in aid. And oh such dark sorcery it was, earth trembling, oaks twisting, the timber itself seeming to reap wind from wanting lungs.

In the midst of chaos he sat, brow furrowing before the spectacle which would vantage proportion, lips no longer pursed: "Terra Incognita." - in a mere breath did wood and soil turn to prior matrix whilst Victoria took to her knees, hand clutching sore chest, soul void of magics. "We are no wolf, crone." - Auris impassively spoke as feet dragged closer to his victim. "We are an incubus, liberated from the blackest of borders to alleviate humanity of your sins." - "What witchcra'.." - eyes twinged and query posed mute as steel hilt drove to her shoulder, fracturing her humerus. "Mercy, I beg thee! Mercy for she which knew not who's ears her words would reach. Pity for she which has but a fragment of your power!"

"Power?" - he questioned, fingers angling blade at waist. "We hold no power. We are an but an insect when matched with those of veritable strength." - and so did waver bring forth crescent slash, right arm severed from joint. Terrifying howls broke from aching throat as hands splintered bones and sword parted frame of members, her body twirling in speechless agony when met with his torterous pleasures. No quarter was given until Victoria's toil ceased, windpipe crushed under the weight of iron boots. No prayer stood spoken, for he knew not many, no grave dug, only a wild flower placed atop her mutilated hands.

Now.

"Why must we bother with such trivial tasks." - Auris absently questioned, arms forging path through the bustling crowds. "We are curios to lay eyes upon this royal child. Has he taken to his parent? Ruler at such a fragile age. Yet another who lacks understanding of matters and needs. Alas, it is of no importance to us. The throne shall forever be wed to those which are incapable of comprehending its machinations." - he continued, oblivious to heads which turned when met by outspoken monologue. Waltz turned to sprint whilst he darted from one boulevard to the next, abruptly halting when faced with majestic gates besieged by ever-present guardsmen. Journey had reached an almost tangible end.

A brief grunt was deemed the only claim to grant access within the inner courtyard, eyes idly scouting for the expecting party which, to no vivid surprise, was soon to be located departing palace stairs. "We are unmistakably late." - acknowledgement quickly came, coercing legs to dash forward, distance traversed in the blink of an eye as he now sat between assemblage and entrance. Adopting proper stance, head inchly bowed before royals, sombre cough announced his arrival: "We are now introducing ourselves. Auris Tel'avi, Inquisitor in the Guild's service. The Thirds welcome and congratulate the new ruler of Calisma. We regret our delay." - and with no more to add, the man stepped to the side, granting passage to those still in wait.

Ah, how he dreaded politics.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rydas Errion Character Portrait: Azevrec Character Portrait: Auris Tel'Avi
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"Allright now try standing" this was the fifth time in the day that someone had come to see him, word had spread fast that there was more weight to the words of this eerie church that was suspected at first, Azevrec could not blame them really, when he first met the priest Akdov he would have never believed a word of it, he believed the man believed in what he said but when the things that could not happen began to happen, that was when Tom Chalk fully embraced his beliefs and became Azevrec "Does it hurt?.

And now Azevrec had to deal with the tasks that some others would frown upon, he was one of those priests that was quickly gaining the approval and affection of the low people, he did his best to heal the wounded, tend to the sick and nourish the hungry, but in all honestly the people he aided were bright like a sack of bricks, Azevrec unlike other priests had yet to do anything flashy, he could not shine like the moon or make water into wine orm ake the blind see, all he did was bandage the wounds, make some splinters, clean the infection, put salt into the soup and prepare medical tea... but the people already spoke in whispers and behind his back that he could do all sorts of things, everything he did took a wild spin when he wasn’t looking "How did you do this to yourself anyway?"

There had been this time he simply poured more water and potatoes into a soup to feed the hungry and the next morning people were speaking about how he had somehow managed to grow potatoes to feed an entire street and that he had the ability to instantly fill a pot with food, it was troubling him how his message of peace and reconciliation was getting forgotten in the wake of the needs of the lowlife of the city, some of which was rarely ever pleasant and educated folks "Was chasing a puss across dem roofs sir, not the helpful kind"

"That’s good, try walking now dear" Aze held the girls hand as he saw how she limped forward cane in hand, he was on his way to meet the prince and the ones who had been with his mentor, Akdov, in his final hours, but then a girl had fallen from a roof and they had gone to the nearest miracle maker "Id wadger I can get goin´" she said as she placed the weight of her left leg on the cane, Aze patted her head and gave her one last advice "Very well girl be careful now and try not to find pets in the rooftops all right?" she spat back an answer so fast that it made clear that it was what she had in mind "Actually sir, was catching meself some dinner"

******

He arrived late, thus he feared, starting his relationship with the royalty with the proverbial left foot.

It could be worse, at least he was stepping up into the stairs with the left foot, he could be stepping into a pit with bloodied spikes that had flesh eating scarabs nested on its depths, o how well he knew that kind of opening

Either things were taking a turn for the worse or he was not the only one late, he recognized a member of the third, it was strange to see one of them like this, Aze guessed it was rare for their members to meet royalty and that they had to make some kind of impression, the priest had his experiences with the third, they were like guards, a good one would make life easier and a bad one would make it short or painful, or both... the man did not seemed familiar to him, but then again that was how most of them worked, they either were fully devoted to their organization or if they feared for their friends and family wore elaborated masks when under duty, this one had to be a crucial member, if he was going to be the face which would identify the third with the royalty then the weight that his organization placed upon him could be similar to the one he felt, he always wanted to make the world a better place, he just wasn’t sure that being the top dog of a church on one of the world´s most important cities was the thing he had been born to do.

"Good evening"
he realized that the man was standing aside allowing others to go through "Glad to see the thirds can be civil enough to work it out with representatives instead of steel" the prince was there as well, with something else in his mind as he did not seem to be noticing his surroundings "Hail, Rydas Errion your majesty and soon to be king, the church of Deud is steadfast in its support to our ruler and defends and acknowledges your sovereign" he cut short there, in the speech he had read there was more words but he suddenly had forgotten them, it would be best if he didn’t began to speak of nonsense, he bowed and continued "I am Azevrec, the highest ranking clergy member of the church of Deud and I have come to extend the support of our people in what form in might be presented or delivered your majesty"

It was good enough, he had not stumbled, shambled, shaken, tripped or any other ill fortune that might stain his first impression "If I might be so bold, I was told that some others from the endeavor to retrieve the fable Panacea are here to offer their support as well?" he could barely contain the excitement "I would look forward to talking to them if it was possible your majesty, I have so much unreliable fables and tales that speak about how you met a dancing crocodile or how one of you wrestled a giant firespitting ferret, frankly I believe most of those are utter nonsense and it would be great to find out the truth about it all"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cord Braxton Character Portrait: Auris Tel'Avi
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#, as written by Adantas
There were a lot of people to put it simply, some loud and boisterous, others that kept more to themselves. It was a little overwhelming. Since the time Cord had first met these people she had grown accustomed to their complicated ways. However, spending time with the cheekiest of children wasn't exactly the way to boost her socialising skills. But she enjoyed the company of the child and found it much more innocent and honest then speaking with adults. But maybe because of it she was able to start speaking that little bit clearer. Her messages not so confusing and riddled with... well riddles! Of course, in her state there would never be a truly lucid moment where she would understand everything that was going on but things were definitely changing, for better or for worse that was undecided.

As for now Cord was simply lost in the grandeur of the palace. Her gaze wandered everywhere, leaving no detail unseen. So caught up that she didn't even notice that Acacia had departed her company. She twirled around somewhat dizzyingly, her arms outcast to keep her flurrying self from falling over. Brilliantly designed glass stained windows that fractured the light casting the wonderful colours everywhere. they mesmerised her, but as soon as she followed on detail it led to another. Soon she was inspecting the sides of the walls. The great granite stones had small carvings in them and as Cord grazed her hand over the top shivering slightly as the roughness scratched at her hand she couldn't help but smile. Everything she did, racing from one part of the entrance way to the other was done out of reaction, not thought or interest but simply action. There was nothing to it. While her mind was away with the spirits, uncomprehending or even acknowledging this plane of existence that she, her physical self was inhabiting. Her soul that was brighter and truer than the bravest and selfless of heroes could feel and love and do. But there was no thought process to her actions, no way that she could actually analyse or evaluate situations and life. Yet in the same token that didn't mean she could enjoy herself, it was what she did and despite her mental capacity exceeding anything possible, she lived life.

Soon Cord found herself alone, while she had occupied a great deal of time and managed to keep away a few of the servants from guiding her away, she realised that there was in fact nothing else she could do. Something about not doing something, anything, made Cord uneasy. It was probably the fact that it was easier to listen to the quiet buzzing of the spirits chattering and confusing her with their mostly incoherent words. Her arms that had been extended out as if floating, gracefully swaying as if following the motion of water, slumped to her sides. Her dance like posture, raised on her toes also came back to being flat footed. She stood loose and somewhat slack, her eyes busily taking in the people around her. There were few left but it seemed all of them were in small groups or pairs and while Cord had no qualms about bursting into their conversation she had this niggling feeling that she actually wanted private company. That's when she spotted a lone figure near the doorway. Anyone else would have stayed away. Anyone else would have seen this daunting and rather terrifying looking man, with his deadly armour that striking flash of red that could easily have been mistaken for blood. But then Cord didn't see that. It wasn't that she didn't physically see this brooding man with all of his hardened attire but there was an air about him that was different to the others. While she couldn't see his face, hidden by the shadows and his mop of ashen hair, she felt like there was something familiar. Of course there was no way of pinning down that feeling as their was no mind to interpret and know it's meaning. So without any hesitation she approached the man.

With dainty steps, almost as if dancing, she reached the rather tall and rather menacing looking fellow. She planted herself right in front of him, effectively making it difficult for anyone wanting to get through, but that was irrelevant. She looked up, her piercing grey eyes staring intently into his shadowed face attempting to meet his own dark and mysterious eyes. Not even seconds passed and she was soon engulfed by a force. It wasn't malicious but it definitely wanted it's message through. The spirits were unpredictable, and in the case of Cord she couldn't even begin to guess when or why they would suddenly strike her. It was at that moment that one decided she would feel or witness something. In that instant there was a gentle warmth wrapping around her body, soon to follow was the sweet scent of flowers and a freshness that could only come from recent rain. Then there was a swift and tender wind that blew through when in reality there was none to be found. Everything she was sensing was the essence of spring. Her eyes fluttered, it was him. It was the strange dark man who caused this. Her hand rose and ever so gently reached to his cheek, not quite touching but leaving the faint feel of skin. With it she exchanged the feel of spring into him. A benign smile spread across Cords face as she shared the wonders of spring with him.

"Is not the weather of innocence and bliss? To carry such freshness and just, if only it were more of the comely and t'was spent in joy, a time that is maybe of past for you. Richness of painted yellow hue, vibrant blue and warmth of fiery red all blooming in the meadow. Daisy, tulip, poppy, bluebell, gardenia, marigolds. Such is the time for mewling life, is such a time is spring!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Azevrec Character Portrait: Cord Braxton Character Portrait: Auris Tel'Avi
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[font=Cambria]
Auris Tel'avi



There he sat, circled by frolicking patrons and crowned heads. Confusion was but one of the many cogs which designed bewildered expression, Auris discernibly perplexed by guests which stood neither beggars, nor kings. "We note: during spare time, inquire as to what scope such odd individuals present at court." - per usual habits, the Inquisitor adopted proper stance nearby the entrance, arms folded across tabard whilst invitees took to castle corridors. Eyes sketched each figure, no matter size, no matter shape, details docked in the depths of own thoughts, all of significance to further tasks. "Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock." he mumbled, annoyed by those which still lingered nearby, an imagined impediment which sat between himself and aforementioned goal. Yet, patience is key. Rotating briefly as to offer hind to curios sight, hands clutched at his sash, fingers removing journal from place ahead of searching amidst disparate notes.

Page 288 produced sought after record; mere 7 words, scribbled in black ink: "Ruler. Calisma. Journey. Tommyknockers. Results. Jury. Ceremony." - in honesty, a preposterous lack of detail posed itself as hindrance, yet such issues had grown a custom, means to surmount it long found. Gingerly lacing logs at belt, body now turned to face doors when intentions stood abruptly halted by a foreign voice. A priest spoke, conviction palpable in words. Head angled to side, gaze caved atop the petite frame which obstructed his movement. Reply first lacked, though neither was it asked for. If judged by own concern, Auris had little beyond grunts and smirks to offer, more so to one absent of manners. Notwithstanding, body stilled and ears perked, attention given (if ever so shortly):

"Good evening. Glad to see the thirds can be civil enough to work it out with representatives instead of steel" -

"We lack understanding of your affirmation. Our metal is not meant for those of your kin, yet it shall not stand far from your heart be it required. Such a tiny man, with such curly hair; perhaps a woman, and we are mista'.." - yet before query saw end, Azevrec had turned to greet proud Rydas.

Impassively reverting to prior mission, legs set forth when yet another deemed fit to interrupt. Golden locks lined porcelain face whilst feet waltzed with not but a care, petite frame planting herself before his towering body, denying both passage and escape. Presented in quaint vesture, she gave away the image of mediocre insanity; by chance a whim of irony to be paired with he which lacked knowledge of women. Withal, notice paled in seconds when gap parted both and own being lay besieged by her aura. A magic wielder; a capable one at that. Reflex drew steel inch by inch from nest, adrenaline intently grasping hold of motions. Ah, such chaos boiled in her bosom, such latent strength still to be tamed. Mayhap sword would have taken to neck if not for what was to follow: spring.

Joy. Light bathed the body whilst winds took carries past seas, the scent of tulips tingling nostrils ever so gently. What bliss, what delight, to be ever-present in the midst of the most wonderful of seasons. For a second had he forgotten of duties and posture, lips parted, eyes wide, figure mazed by unprecedented gift. What burning lust caged tongue from voicing gratitude for she which bestowed the most precious of pleasures upon him. Alas, ecstasy withered, countered by the very magics which had slain the witch, Victoria. In an instant had his hand rested on her chest, hushed chant to shatter charm and silence voices within, quarter void of magics for Cord and others alike. Firm expression draped as mask, veiling shock at lack of guard, only to calm and have soft murmur break shackles of wizardry once more. Grasp clutching garments, Auris drew her inches from self:

"Insolence. How dare you, shaman, bewitch us? We would shove sword down throat this very moment be it not for the amount of explanations we would have to offer." - harsh were words, yet voice torpid.

'Twas as if fist prayed to crack skull but mind gave no tell, a constant struggle between ardour and apathy. What an odd individual he was. No bidding came after, no quarrel to be had, hand parted from garb to rest at side. Ignorance given to dinner invitation, he sat unmoved, eyes tending to the one before him. Heart still boomed, blood still rushed, even so, reason lacked for given presence. What was it he wished from her? Another eluding trip to realms unreal? Such occurrences were not be to repeated, nor be taken lightly. Nevertheless, there he was, arms once more folded across tabard, lips pursed, idly awaiting.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Cord Braxton Character Portrait: Auris Tel'Avi
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#, as written by Adantas
Silence. No eerie mutterings, nor haunting whispers. The pressure on her chest was the cause of it. It was like she had been forced underwater. Everything felt muted and distant. It was so overwhelmingly strange that Cord went limp, her shoulder's sagged and her legs slumped, barely able to hold herself up. She stared unseeing into the lacklustre face before her. She blinked, once, twice. It seemed all she could do. Then the firm grip on her clothes drew her closer. An involuntary squeak escaped her in which she normally would have begun giggling at. Instead she tilted her head to the side, slightly off balanced by being risen to the tips of her toes. Then the words came, so different to any she had heard. Unlike the ghostly sayings of the spirits and the straightforward speakings of the people, this mans words was as if he were with another, but lacking any sort of emotion that she had become so accustomed to in hearing from anything. Her eyes came into focus with the aid of more blinking, but still she was uncomprehending of what he spoke. The threat failed to sink in, life and death were beyond her grasp and so it remained irrelevant. However, were it to come to any sort of physical offence against her, her body would react accordingly no matter the skill level of the opponent. That isn't to say it guarantees her survival.

Bewitch? To her granting him the sense of spring, which had effectively come from him, was giving him a view of how she felt and lived through life. She just felt, there was no foolery or trickery. It was the basest of nature to her.

For the first time she was was just naturally hearing the world around her, no need to acutely tune in to specifics but just listen. It was wondrous and breathtaking, but a cold shiver shocked down her spine at the oddity of it. It changed nothing about the state of her mind but it came as a loss. Now she had nothing. There was no method to her madness and something inside of her, even though it was for a short period, cracked because of it. A different kind of insanity might erupt from prolong exposure to this silence. She began to dislike it, and every second that passed as the man held her in the quiet she grew just that little bit more frantic.

Thankfully he released her, to the point where her high strung muscles were able to take the sudden weight and balance herself again. She teetered slightly but her arms, returning their fluidity, flew out to set herself more gracefully in front of the terrifyingly interesting man. With the nature of her movements return as did a sudden and vigorous crashing of the spirits. They were no louder or busier or more than before but simply having them back after the startling silence was overwhelming. A sigh, deep and full of a mixture of relief and something like weariness, steadily flowed from Cord. It was the last part to her returning to normality. As the last gust of air blew out, with delicate eyebrows furrowed she looked up to the giant. Eyes boldly meeting his, lips slightly pursed.

"Trepidation! The audacity and flurried harrows to set unto the bidden folds. Another to the spoken from with standing before here? Two from the silencer? And how to thy yearn but intern and coerce the dances of spring? The summoner of silence doth defect of feel. Craving, betrayal in the sights of your own. See to see." She made a small to and fro movement with her hands from her eyes to his. It was so clear to her that he had cherished the moment of spring she had given him but it confused her immensely as to why she had closed the connection and then forced her into silence.

She took a step back slight, leaving on foot extending straight and bending from the hips slightly. To her it was a gesture of truce. Cord, the mad woman herself, found this warrior man of near oddity as her own and that fascinated her. While she wasn't impressed that he could effectively shatter her very consciousness she did, like everyone she meets, want to befriend him. Despite his obviously prickly exterior towards her.

She impatiently waited for him to speak or do something. Even though her intrigued was rather high concerning him, the silencer, as she was beginning to consider him as, her attention span was starting to wane and soon she would be off again, exploring where the servants had been trying corral her to. Maybe even find Oats on the way.

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"The brown fox leaps over the lazy dog." - arm swiftly lowered. Palm tagging knee, index pointed outwards whilst thumb and middle propped hand against joint. Frame angled parallel to ground. Sibling fist extended whilst spare leg took about his back, figure held in a semi-crucifix. "Body to iron, so will may guide hilt."; inhaling, leg now cycled to side. With torso darting forth as to coerce limbs to sides, fingers were brought together in instant with drumming blare. "A steady mind outpaces a hurried heart." - left arm coiled backwards. Elbow pillaring ulna to the heavens with wrist slanted, its twin now lengthened forward. Rotulas forced feet into crooking right and left: it was unadulterated beauty. Draped in mastery of physique and combat, the result of years spent astray from the wordly, forever bound to the tasks of nightmares.

"Many eves have vanished from sight. Yes, many indeed. Yet time has come for us to pay visit to young prince. We are curious to lay eyes upon this royal child. Has he taken to his parent? Ruler at such a fragile age. In spite, another who lacks understanding of matters and needs. Alas, it is of no importance to us. The throne shall forever be wed to those which are incapable of comprehending its machinations. Why must we bother with such trivial tasks? It is our duty; we have been designated. Such inquiries prove to be but waste of time; even so, they must be given, as an answer is sought. A ball. We've heard invitees drape features with masks and hide identity, posing as that which they are naught. Perhaps to ease tiresome task of veiling the toll of liquor from own face. Nevertheless, let us."

Frame resumed proper stance, head bowed in silence for the most fleeting of seconds. Sight flickered, chain glinting solitarily against brush of night-light; 'twas abrupt, the motion which eludingly curled legs. Toes burrowed nails in boots before first vault stood taken, body fading from sight in mere instant. Movement came hushed, a trait honed lovingly, for when presence equaled advent of death, it lay best arriving mum. Not a single strand of cloth stroke leaf, blade kept against body, drive unhindered by terrain. A veritable machine of flesh and bone. Muscles tensed, breath cut short, lungs renouncing claim at proper sips for fear of strain on posture. Lonely soul amongst beasts, a shade of the land itself, the very essence of the gifted few able to adopt such nature in concious calm: Thirds.

She was felt: "Bare fangs and cease hounding, witch. Your rotten stench sates chest and aches nostrils."

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Fingers grasped sword, figure urged onward. Yet naked steel arrived lull, absence of flesh now evident. "You tread far from your den, wolf. To traverse my domain without paid toll is arrogance. Meet your demise." - She hissed, hands hung far above head, velvet tongue conjuring vile charms in aid. Such dark sorcery uttered by foul mouth, earth trembling, oaks twisting, timber itself reaping wind and breath in agony. Sat in the midst of chaos, brow furrowed. Spectacle vantaged proportion, withal, lips no longer paused: "Terra Incognita." - in instant blink wood and soil turned to prior matrix, hag on knees. "We are no wolf, crone." - Voice thundered when closing to crumbling victim. "We are an incubus, liberated from the blackest of borders to alleviate humanity of your sins."

"What sorce.." - sight twinged and query posed mute, steel hilt fracturing humerus. "Mercy, I beg thee! Mercy for she which knew not who's ears her words would reach. Pity for she which has but a fragment of your power!" "Power?" - query risen, clutch craned blade at waist. "We hold no power. We are an but a lamb when matched with those of veritable strength." - waver brought with crescent slash, right arm rend from apex. Terrifying howls broke from aching throat as hands splintered bones and sword parted frame. Soul twirled in speechless anguish when met with macabre pleasures. No quarter gave until heart skipped beat, windpipe crushed under weight of boots. No prayer stood spoken, for not many were known, no grave dug, only a wild flower placed atop mutilated hands.


Now.


Waltz turned to dash whilst darting from one boulevard to the next. Abruptly halting when faced with castle gates, journey had reached an almost tangible end. A brief grunt was deemed the only claim to grant access within the inner courtyard. "We are unmistakably late." - own acknowledgement quickly came, coercing legs to jog forward. Distance was traversed in blink of an eye, stairs and levels well memorized. "We are delegate of the Thirds."; sentence murmured dim, eyes vigil atop guards. Passage given, steps idly ferried into grand chamber. Instinctively did vision shut, lips cracking in attempt to whisp ankles of dozen sources of magica. Such wielders were ardently sought, for each root may once need removal. And with search so did his advent pose blatant to them, nimbus undulating towards users alike claws.

Whilst one and other knew not of respective positions, each gained unmistakable knowledge an Inquisitor now joined ranks. "Insects."

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Melisande slipped into the masquerade, wearing a scarlet half-mask and a long dress that was paneled to reveal a gold layer underneath. The pattern on the long scarlet gown was of frolicking gold dragons, and the mask was evocative of a dragon's face, the nose wrinkled a little like a muzzle. The sumptuous red dress had flared sleeves and a sweetheart neckline, accented with a gold and ruby necklace and matching earrings. The tips of red shoes occasionally peeked out beneath the long skirts as she wandered around the ballroom. A glass of wine made any party more enjoyable, so she smoothly grasped one from a table and drained it before putting it back down. Better to take someone else's than risk getting her own, of course. Less chance of a nasty death that way. Not as if she couldn't brew an antidote, but why waste the time when there was a party going on? Besides, brewing required sobriety, and this was not the time for that sort of ridiculousness.

The couples stepping around the floor in intricate patterns looked like a rainbow of masked frivolities, like fairies whose only power was to have a good time and decimate a quite impressive spread of food. Speaking of, she was a mite peckish, she thought, as she glided over to the food tables. Sampling here and there, she noted that there must be a chef from outside of the country working in the kitchens, as some of the spices, although elegantly used, were not common in these parts. Melisande hummed a little in pleasure and then, with a twinkle of a handsome man's eye, was swept into the dance. Back and forth, round and round, through and about other couples, hands together and apart, it was all part of the beauty and rhythm. She laughed as her partner missed a step and she nimbly brought them back into the pattern, her long black hair fluttering with her movements. Blue eyes, hers, dancing in her red mask, winked at another dancer who was pretending to listen to his partner's chatter. He winked back. What fun!

The dance ended, and the musicians paused for a few moments before starting again, their fingers flying on their instruments. With a regretful sigh, Melisande resigned her partner to an undoubtedly unskilled dancer with an impressively expensive dress and turned her mind back to business. It had been a long journey to the castle, with precious little time for pleasure on the way. One might hope that a journey's end would contain a masquerade such as this one, but without the unfortunate duties that came along with it. The man she was looking for had been described to her, but he hadn't been dancing, or at least not near her. Continuing her scan of the ballroom, she at last located the rather grim visage of her... well, not precisely her quarry. At least, she hoped he would never be her quarry, as she had the unsettling feeling that she would not come out alive in that particular battle.

Taking another glass of wine on the way, again not her own but not belonging to anyone important, she smoothly substituted it for a new one and walked around the edge of the room to the man. Sidling up to his left, she took a note out of a pocket in the rather brilliant dress she'd ordered in town and passed it to him in silence. Another sip of this quite excellent wine and a bite of something delicious she grabbed on the way would pass the time until he made his next move. Melisande wasn't sure if this course of action would mean good things for her, but it was her duty nonetheless, and there was always some fun to be found no matter the difficulties in a task.