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Kerani Vasilescu

"Did someone just say they wanted to dance?"

0 · 185 views · located in Tansla

a character in “The Gemgiant Chronicles: Starphel”, as played by WendyDarling

Description

Name: Kerani Vasilescu
Nickname: Rani
Place of Origin: Ashae
Age: 23


Physical Description: Kerani has skin the color of warm bronze, and bright green eyes that are always laughing at something. Long black hair is usually braided, with a few adornments woven in here and there that coordinate with the gems or rings in her nose and eyebrows. She wears layered clothing, revealing nothing below the neck, in varying bright colors and touches of embroidery. It looks as if she's wearing a dress, but it's wound cloth that ends near her thighs on one side but near her knees on the other. Her legs are covered in sturdy pants, with soft knee high boots laced at the front and fit for dancing at any time. Despite the layers, it's obvious that she's strong enough to travel but still loves to eat, with more curves than angles in general, and stands at 5'6. A traveler's pack is on her back with several arrows sticking out, and to it is affixed another satchel carrying a violin and an archer's bow. A few wide belts are buckled around her waist, carrying different pouches of varying sizes.

Personality: Kerani loves to talk and dance, and sing, but her singing is only average. Her violin playing is much better, and she practices any time someone wants to start dancing, or for any reason at all. She has no boundaries, and has often gotten into trouble because she seems like she's being nosy when really she's just interested in people's lives and used to being among her father's people, who speak openly of whatever is on their mind. She's a generally positive person, quick to laugh or joke, and willing to help anyone that needs help--even if they don't want it. Of course, like most people, she has a portion of her secrets she only shares with close friends, and even if it seems like she says everything she thinks it's probably only half of what she's thinking. Charming and friendly, insults don't bother her unless they're targeted against her family, and then watch out.

History: Her father's family were traveling entertainers, going from city to city, making a decent living. Her father met her mother in Ashae, whose family was much more conservative and had never left the city, being wealthy silk merchants themselves. And so her mother ran away with her father, and raised a child who was all entertainer, with some traditional views and a mixed cultural style. Kerani's family visits Ashae regularly as a sort of home base, to rest and re-supply and make money from the crowded city. But the competition is fierce in Ashae for entertainers, so they never stay long.

Kerani grew up learning all the entertainment skills of the Vasilescu's, with the ability to survive on the road, and to that her mother added archery, part of her own family culture. Gemfall is not that important to the Vasilescu's, but the older women of the family do gather specific types of gems to use for their fortune-telling and the casting of runes. Kerani doesn't completely believe that she can actually predict the future, but she does it out of habit and an odd sense of whimsy, so she also collects gems that fit her specifications for that purpose as well as to decorate herself. Her belt carries pouches with gems carved or set for these purposes, and she often uses them to make a bit of extra coin, or for when she wants to make a major decision. Or a Tuesday.

So begins...

Kerani Vasilescu's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ebony Lynn Nightshade Character Portrait: Hale Rian Character Portrait: Princess Dawn Character Portrait: Alvie Ander Character Portrait: Shona Asmea Character Portrait: Kerani Vasilescu Character Portrait: Oarden Tiaold Character Portrait: Ser Gerrion Character Portrait: Ritzia Darnell Character Portrait: Devlin Moore Character Portrait: Caithness Jang Character Portrait: Theron
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#, as written by Lialore
...In the gutters of Ashae lay more than just soaked gemstones, as there would usually be after a downfall. The drains ran a diluted red. Scattered was the debris of a fallen city. There were no tentative heads poking out of homes, for homes no longer existed in Ashae, and most had already fled. And failed.
...This was a downfall like the people of Tansla had never seen before. This was the downfall.
...The capital had been destroyed. By gems the size of small houses, raw, uncut, giant stones which rained down, crushing all in their path and cratering the streets. Then came the fists. Fists as big as the gem comets, but more precise and unforgiving in their sentience. Their owners, the Gemgiants, brought utter ruin.
...They came from the sky, emerging from the more elongated gems which were, in fact, chrysalises of an ethereal kind. Beasts, monsters, aliens. Humanoid; four limbed, bipedal, a torso and what seemed to be a head where two, glowing spheres imitated eyes, cascading their otherworldly light down upon Ashae. They emitted no sound. But they were heard in their crashing claim of the city.



...Hale Rian had borne witness to it all from his position on the palace balcony. They crushed in what seemed to be a mindless game; and there were so many. The rain stopped but the devastation did not. A symphony of panic washed over Ashae, he could hear it as he stood, frozen in his shocked stupor, as screams joined the sound of material wrecking. These monsters did not distinguish, or if they did, they felt no compassion, for humanity seemed no more than part of the city structure. And that, they seemed intent on bringing to the ground.
...Those within the palace had begun their retreat. The sky cleared. The sun shone, bringing glittering beauty to the terrible beasts. But the thunder of the downfall still sang below. Escape was surely impossible.
...The spindly scholar stayed. And no one cared to notice.
His mind was away, north. Or away - above.
Hale Rian knew.
Yet, the most important epiphany in the history of Tansla was overshadowed.
...A dark shape swooped over the ruined city of Ashae. A gust of wind seemed to come from nowhere, racing, billowing flags, twisting up dust, stirring the hair of the victims who lay, part of the damage, whose fate had been sealed as soon as the rain had started. Then, calm. Everything settled.
...Hale Rian drew in a breath. It sounded so loud. And his heartbeat, perhaps the last one remaining, beat crazily.
...The Gemgiants could find no more to destroy in the lower levels of Ashae. Their heads turned, all at once, as if controlled by one mind. And their glistening gaze fell on the palace. Their watch seemed greedy, hungry. They were soaking in the glitter of the palace, which stood the only proud remnant of the capital of Tansla. But it too would feel their wrath. The Gemgiants set to march.
...A roar. A deafening roar that shook what was left of Ashae came from above. But this roar did not unsettle Hale. For he recognised it. Another gust of wind whistled by before the palace took an almighty blow. And with that, he finally moved. Scrambling off the balcony and into the halls of crystal, feet betraying him and sliding everywhere. He ran for his life, making for the city gates in a flailing mess of robe and gangly limbs.



...Atop the crystal spire of the royal palace sat the true queen of Tansla. Her blue and silver scaled head regarded the approaching creatures with curiosity. She had lay claim to the gemstone palace as it had been abandoned. There was no way for her to harvest it, but she had coveted it for such a long time. And now it was hers. And now these alien creatures, these strange, senseless beings who knew nothing but apparent hatred and destruction sought to take it from her. She roared again, showing them her prowess. The Gemgiants gave her no recognition. And this enraged her.
...A hurricane was released as the Starphel dragon’s wings batted her back into the air. She cast her shadow upon her new dominion. Finally, in a whirl of claws and teeth and vengeance – she attacked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hale Rian Character Portrait: Princess Dawn Character Portrait: Alvie Ander Character Portrait: Shona Asmea Character Portrait: Kerani Vasilescu Character Portrait: Oarden Tiaold Character Portrait: Ser Gerrion Character Portrait: Ritzia Darnell Character Portrait: Devlin Moore Character Portrait: Caithness Jang Character Portrait: Theron
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Ebony coughed, trying to keep quiet. She had retreated underground into a cellar of the home she was staying in when the monstrosities attacked. Seeing how they crushed everything this is what she saw as the safest action. Finding a dip in the floor she had crouched there when the giants attacked. She trembled keeping as quiet as possible hoping the crashing sounds hid her soft screams.

When it was over she found that she was semi trapped and could see through a small hole in the building. Then she heard a roar and smiled, knowing there was a dragon near made her feel better. That lady dragon will show them. she thought to herself and she silently thanked Mikhail for sharing his family with her. She could now pick out male and female dragons. Seeing that the Giants were heading to the castle she figured now was her prime time to escape.

Sliding the board quietly off her she sat up and looked around to get her bearings and where the gates were. Standing up she noticed that there wasn't much of her dress left, sighing, she picked her way quickly and quietly towards the gates, dashing between the meager cover there was for her to hide behind. Seeing the gates in view she looked around and seeing none of the giants near her she bursted forward running as fast as she could and made it to the gate and tripped over a stray cloth of her dress. She went down tumbling and ending up in a ditch. She stayed still hoping she wasn't seen or heard.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Kerani Vasilescu
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The aunts were squabbling again.

This was nothing new, but the the dust falling around them as they huddled in the shop, rubble blocking the doorways and merchandise strewn about, was. Most of the family was here, save the Vasilescus who had left the city three days ago for Casma. Her parents had been among them, but much of the older generation had stayed in the city to finish resupplying their caravans--also known as gossiping furiously with their many friends in Ashae. Kerani, too, had stayed behind to finish packing and decide where she wanted to wander next.

Her family hadn't kicked her out, no, nothing so drastic, but there was a time in every Vasilescu's life when they had to decide whether to tie their fate to the family caravans or leave to forge their own path. Kerani had chosen the latter, but love of family and an ingrained sense of duty had kept her too long in Ashae. When everything started breaking and falling, people screaming in the streets, she had wished that she had hurried herself and her family out of the city with the rest of the caravan, but Vasilescus were as stubborn as they were garrulous.

The great-aunts along with other matriarchs of the family were arguing about something that would have been hilarious, Kerani knew, and she would have a good laugh about it later once they were no longer trapped. Their cousins down the street would come and help, she knew, but it might take them a while so she was stuck listening to their heated arguments about who exactly had predicted this catastrophe. Aunt Luludja was in the lead, currently, as she'd seen in her thrown runes that morning that something of mortal peril was upon them, but Aunts Tsura and Kizze vehemently disagreed, saying that Aunt Luludja had actually predicted the breaking of an old family heirloom teapot and that they had, instead, correctly divined that the Gemgiants would come.

At last, Aunt Sophronia, the oldest among them, interrupted. "Enough! We must get our family out of this mess and worry about who was right later. Besides," she said, chuckling a bit hoarsely around the pipe that was never far from her, "when I cast my own gems this morning I saw that those made of them would be upon us." The others tried to interrupt and disagree, starting the argument anew, but she raised one wrinkled hand, covered in rings. "No. It matters not. Set your sons to moving this rubble so we can get out of the city. We have family elsewhere, we can recover there before setting out on the road again."

There was still grumbling, but everyone agreed. No one disagreed with Aunt Sophronia, not if they wanted to avoid her sharp tongue and sharper nails pinching and tugging at their ears as she made them understand the error of their ways. "Kerani!" She called. "We can take care of this. The Vasilecus have survived much worse and told the tale to many a crowd. You chose to go, so go."

It sounded cruel, and part of Kerani wanted to believe that it was as it would make things easier, but she knew it was just her Aunt's way of ensuring that Kerani followed what she believed her destiny was meant to be. Her supplies had been untouched by the tumult, so she had no excuse to stay. Bowing her head she submitted to the order, and slipped out through a crack in the stone that her cousins had made. "Goodbye!" she called out, listened to the farewells that were returned, and as she started to pick her way towards the city gates around the rubble, she could hear the arguing start right back up again. She didn't know where she was going, but Ashae held nothing for her, especially now. The Gemgiants were still in the city, she saw with horror, and she started to run.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Kerani Vasilescu
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Kerani's flight had been stopped by a small child, grubby but unhurt, who was crying for his mother. Their small house, squeezed into an alleyway between two larger buildings, had been protected from most of the destruction, but getting out was another matter. The boy had managed to get out, urged on by his mother, but there hadn't been enough space for her to follow him through the narrow opening.

"Don't worry, little one," Kerani said, patting him on the head. "I'll get her out." He nodded, tearfully, with trust in his big blue eyes.

She put down her pack, asking the boy to keep an eye on it, and examined the wreckage. It looked like one of two thick pieces of wood were holding up the rubble, keeping the woman trapped inside, but she couldn't quite tell which one was safe to jar free. Shrugging, she pulled four engraved gems from a pouch on her belt and concentrated for a moment before throwing them in the air. Catching them, she opened her hand and saw which symbols were face up. Nodding, she went for the left beam. She'd been inclined towards that one already, but it was a matter of both training and habit to use the runes to make decisions, especially if the outcome could be dangerous. Her Aunts said reading them correctly was a gift, that telling the future was just something her family did, but she wasn't sure it was anything more than a parlor trick for crowds.

Pulling at the beam, she called, "Stand back!" to anyone in the vicinity, and then leapt backwards herself when everything started to move. When the dust settled, she could see a bigger opening into the door of the house, and a woman's face came into it.

"Is Henry all right?" She asked as she started to pull herself out.

"He's perfectly fine," Kerani glanced at him and then grabbed her arms to help her. "See?"

Mother and son rushed to embrace each other, but the roars and screaming still hadn't stopped. "We need to get out of here," she said urgently. "The city is still being destroyed, and there are too many casualties already."

The woman picked up her son and, together with Kerani, they all started to run towards the gates. The Southern Gate wasn't far from them, only five or so streets down, but the rubble and the giants would make it more difficult. The priority had to be getting out of the city, and getting everyone else out with them to flee to the forests and open land to better hide from the giants.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shona Asmea Character Portrait: Kerani Vasilescu
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Had this been any other situation, she would have loved such a chance to witness a dragon in action. Her experience with the beasts was.. well.. she hadn't any, to tell the truth. They were always these frightening and awesome figures in the stories she would hear as a child, and she had long wished for a chance to see one. Perhaps this was not quite the way she would have preferred, but she reckoned it was more authentic than spying on one that just happened to be perched nearby. The dagger of fear driven through her heart certainly served as a perfect motivator to continue moving as quickly as she could, as well. The great lizard swooped low overhead, the tips of her wings slicing inches from the crumbled crowns of emptied buildings as she swung about for another pass at the giants. Shona needed to resist the sudden urge to throw herself to the ground as its shadow briefly darkened the world about her. With a thundering whoosh! and a rush of wind, it was gone again. Dust swirled up from the ground in dense clouds, pushed outward against the buildings.

Shona glanced up at it, hesitating on the next step, and very nearly tripped over her own feet. She stumbled and managed to right herself, swinging her arms wildly both for balance and as if to propel herself with greater haste. Whenever she reached an obstacle, her eyes flew about instinctively in search of any nearby threats. Fortunately, it appeared the roads around her were largely devoid of the monstrosities plaguing the city.

A collapsed column bisected the road she was currently traversing, laying amidst a pile of smashed stone and glass. Thick, settled dust was spread all around it like a rug, softening the sound of her footsteps. After a cursory sweep, she kicked off the ground to jump the obstruction. In her haste, she failed to notice her coat had become hung on a jagged edge propped amongst the debris. It ripped through her coat, but not before stopping her dead. All her momentum went was suddenly diverted straight to the ground, and she smacked it hard. She barely reacted in time to raise her hand, which probably spared her a serious head injury.

She coughed out a mouthful of dust, a groan rumbling deep in her throat as she slowly pushed herself up, arms quivering. Even managing not to spill her brain on the flags, she had hit her head. Her vision was a pool of colors, hazy and muddled, and she had yet to feel the trickle of blood slowly painting a river down her forehead. Once she was on her knees, Shona caught a glimpse of her palms. They had been torn up by tiny shards of stone and glass, many now embedded in her bleeding palms. The knees of her pants had been torn by the fall as well, red pinpricks already forming on the naked patches of skin.

Spitting out more of the dust filming her tongue, Shona released a disconsolate sigh. "An ounce for my life. I shouldn't argue," she grumbled, slowly getting back onto her feet. Her footing was not quite as firm as before. The abrupt tumble amidst the storm of adrenaline in her system had culminated in a bit of a shock, and she still recovering. Like water coming to a boil, it took her a minute or so before she was up to speed again, rushing onward for where she believed the gates were. She was rounding a corner when the sound of a crash caught her ear, and she immediately ground to a halt.

Terror shot through her veins and tightened her throat, expecting to see one of the giants just ahead and bearing down on her. Instead, it was only more survivors. Three, by the looks of it. Two women and a child, one of the former dressed in brightly colored garb. They set off down the street together, the same way she had been going. Her heart swelling with hope, Shona fell into a run with renewed vigor in her step. Maybe this was the right way, then. She decided against calling out, just to be on the safe side. That would have been a terrific joke on fate's part. Dying when she could have easily prevented it by just keeping her mouth shut.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Ebony Lynn Nightshade Character Portrait: Alvie Ander Character Portrait: Magnus Serrahr Character Portrait: Shona Asmea Character Portrait: Kerani Vasilescu Character Portrait: Oarden Tiaold Character Portrait: Collin Foaly Character Portrait: Devlin Moore Character Portrait: Caithness Jang
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Kerani vaulted nimbly over a fallen pillar, herding the mother and child along with her, noticing that there were others running with them. She hoped the gate was still standing, for the walls of the city were too high to climb, and even if the stairs to the guard stations still stood, she feared going up that high would bring them to the attention of those attacking the city. Perhaps the gods of her father's people, notorious for games of chance and luck, were with them, for straight ahead was an open gate, free of rubble and no giants or dragons to be seen.

"We must hurry," she urged, picking Henry up again and rushing forward. "We've avoided the city's attacker's so far, but I don't believe our luck will hold much longer. Street to street, dodging the rubble and feeling like a rat rushing out of a sinking ship, crowded with its fellows. Other people ran, too, some clumsier than others, and passing Henry to his mother she helped one or two when they'd fallen, tugging them along so they didn't get trampled in the emptying of the city.

But at last they and the small crowd with them pushed through the gates, most including her temporary companions fleeing towards the forest. Kerani stepped quickly to the side, hiding behind the wall and out of the gateway so she could rest for a moment. Her breathing was labored from the run, and as she leaned against the stone she listened to the distant roars of the giants and dragons still inside the city.

Oddly enough, the question of where to go next had still not been answered--fleeing for one's life was hardly a good time to make important life decisions. She considered, fingering the bag of runes attached to her belt. To the North? The South? There were so many options far away from Ashae, and she would rather avoid her family for a while to strike her own path, so Casma would not be her next city. A brief lull of silence, and her breath returned to her, she looked around. It seemed she wasn't the only one who had escaped to the outskirts of the city but hadn't gone further.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ebony Lynn Nightshade Character Portrait: Alvie Ander Character Portrait: Magnus Serrahr Character Portrait: Kerani Vasilescu Character Portrait: Oarden Tiaold Character Portrait: Collin Foaly Character Portrait: Devlin Moore
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Seeing as the man was being helped by someone Ebony relaxed, her eyes still clear and calm. She tugged at the sweater, pulling it down consciously as she waited on them to decide when they would leave. A few more people emerged from the gates and headed directly into the forest, paying no head to the horses and stables by the gates. She guessed they either didn't care and were too frighted to waste time grabbing them or that they figured the horses were already gone.

One of the people running broke off from the group, no doubt to catch her breath. Watching her for a few more moments, she waited until the girl looked over at them. Still pulling the sweater down she walked over to her away from the horses, her curiosity getting the better of her. She smiled as she approached her eyes bright.

"this is fate you know? Out of all those people running into the woods, it is us few who have stayed behind. Though, there are not enough horses for all of us, there is enough to carry those of us here who are injuries. The horses can't run anyway. I'm Ebony, Ebony Nightshade." she said and held out her hand to the woman.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ebony Lynn Nightshade Character Portrait: Alvie Ander Character Portrait: Magnus Serrahr Character Portrait: Shona Asmea Character Portrait: Kerani Vasilescu Character Portrait: Collin Foaly Character Portrait: Devlin Moore Character Portrait: Caithness Jang
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Kerani shook her hand. "Fate. Yes, she is a fickle friend, but I'm not sure if our fate has been improved or sealed by these chance meetings. We're still far too close to the city's destruction for my taste."

She watched a beast come out from the dust and get shot by a nearby archer. Taking the bow off her back, which thankfully was still strung from earlier when she'd been playing with her cousins, she nocked an arrow."I'm up for either,"she responded, loosing one and hitting the beast in the knee, slightly higher than where she was aiming. She blamed the commotion and nocked another one, aiming more carefully. "But whatever it is, we need to do it soon!"

Again, she attempted to hit the beast, and this arrow landed where she intended it to, right in the muscles where it would hopefully hamper the thing from following them, or at least make it slow enough to make escaping easier with the injured and few horses. "Running, horses, fighting, or whatever, but I think flight would be the wiser choice! This is not the only thing in the city that wants to eat us for dinner!"

Taking a few steps back, she counted the horses. It was true, there wasn't enough for all of them, but she could run. Besides, walking long distances was nothing new to her, there was usually not enough room in the wagons for all the Vasilescus and, being the youngest, she was usually kicked out to walk. Or chose to, simply to avoid the constant arguing and fighting, because what was sore feet compared to the bruises her rough male cousins gave each other and everyone in their path? A bruised bard was a poor bard, and she needed her pretty face to succeed in her trade. Thus, flight versus fight, for flight preserved the pretty and fighting was usually unnecessary. In this instance they could hardly clear the city on their own, even an army couldn't do that, so getting everyone out had to be the priority in her eyes.