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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Recent posts by Reralae
Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: The one that Aranwen encountered...

Is more like this

Posted on 2019-11-12 at 01:11:06.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Sylvari Puppet Reference

Just so we're all on the same page for looks, the puppet kind of looks like this, but with greater detail and more realistic shape, also a few more complex joints

Posted on 2019-11-12 at 01:06:12.
Edited on 2019-11-12 at 01:06:39 by Reralae

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Not quite yet

The cloak obscures the limbs - damage the cloak more, and the limbs become more visible. If they can see the doll's major joints in particular, they can see the threads inside of the ball joints

Though, a careful examination of the hand would show the threads in each ball joint there too

I didn't even design that to work out this way, but it makes me giggle that the enemy Aranwen couldn't defeat is one that she could have been able to with Kithran's help. Yay synergy!

Posted on 2019-11-12 at 00:57:47.
Edited on 2019-11-12 at 01:02:31 by Reralae

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Morgana's tactics...

With the loss of surprise as her usual and generally most effective tactic, her intention now with the puppet is to maintain a hold on either Ch'dau or Kithran for long enough to bind them by spell and thread (think hold person, but as a maintained touch to establish it and with threads rather than a mental paralysis effect), but with the appearance of Ch'dau she's switched target to primarily be aware of him. The single puppet is at a disadvantage with both Ch'dau and Kithran on the offensive. That said, somehow she still keeps track of Kithran's movements while inside of the apothecary.

Of course, the crux of this encounter is how she's able to keep track of Kithran, preventing her from striking precise enough to cut the strings that keep the puppet animated... like one of those dolls with strings inside the limbs for controlling them.

Alternatively, if her puppet is knocked back long enough for Kithran and Ch'dau to retreat from the apothecary, she does not pursue.

As you can also tell, she also tries to unnerve them enough to make some manner of mistake. Given she's not actually in the battle herself, she has the luxury of not being in danger while she tries to psych out the two of them.

Let me know if you need a specific response from her; otherwise, this should not actually take that long to wrap up, as far as encounters go. It's a retreat or incapacitate type encounter - Morgana cannot be killed here, but her puppets can certainly be made to stop moving, if temporarily.

Posted on 2019-11-12 at 00:50:23.

Topic: The Adventures of Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun
Subject: Let's play a little game and have fun

With the impact forcing Kithran to the ground, the puppet wasted no time stepping over her and then kneeling down, pinning her lower body with its weight.

Looks like I have won, Kithran.

One hand went towards its face, but the puppet was suddenly yanked off of Kithran. In that instant where its feet weren't touching the ground, it seemed to flop backward like a limp doll, before it found its footing once again. Not even a moment later, and Ch'dau's strike hit true. A mortal wound on any living humanoid. Yet, instead of flesh, the blade struck wood, and the head on the puppet twisted completely around to look directly at Ch'dau.

The shopkeeper still hid behind the counter, but her veil was just visible over the lip as she watched the commotion unfold, backed up against the shelving and making herself as inconspicous as possible, her hands held in front of her in a pitiful defensive posture.

So, this is the cat... Ch'dau, if I heard right... Yes. I do see why she desires you so.

The puppet's arms bent at an impossible angle for a Sylvari, revealing that its limbs were not so limited in mobility. The actual structure of the puppet seemed akin to a poseable mannequin akin to those used by artists, but much larger, and shaped far closer to that of a Sylvari. It reached forward in an attempt to grab Ch'dau, but a retaliating slash against the outstretched hand served to repel that attempt.

Hm, she neglected to mention the extent of your physical strength. Little wonder Aranwen trusted you two to be safe enough without her.

One hand reached back towards Kithran quite suddenly, as though it could still track and see Kithran even with the mask turned towards Ch'dau.

No matter. What will you do now, Kazari? I trust you'll find me far more... durable... than those low grade mercenaries you slew earlier. And I only need hold you long enough to subdue you.

Posted on 2019-11-12 at 00:28:22.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Oh yeah

As with all her masks, this one does have a high quality gem in the forehead - this one being emerald

Posted on 2019-11-11 at 20:27:02.

Topic: Star Trek: Veiled Chimera

Stardate 2365.02.22
U.S.S. Peregrine; Deck 3 - Starboard Holodeck – 0720

Lt. Tal stretched her limbs, standing on one foot then the other, reaching one way, then another, and twisting the full of her body about as she warmed up. The room she stood in was very plain, reminiscient of a large gymnasium, with various apparati arranged around the floor. As much as she didn't like the holodeck's portrayal of living beings, which she simply could not shake the feeling of how fake they felt, it still served a very good medium for these sorts of exercises. And it felt good after a shift on the bridge, particularly in the Big Chair. She generally maintained a healthy alertness of the state of the ship during her shifts, but though her mind was alert, her body was seditary; she always found afterwards that she needed to let go and move.

In a leap, she cleared the edge of the raised platform, walking to stand at one corner of the wide, square mat, and raised her arms above her head. With practised ease, she ran forward, leaping into a somersault and a flip, before landing on her feet on the opposite corner, her arms once again raised in a mirror of her starting position. She repeated this routine several times, occasionally changing the pattern as she felt like it.

At the beeping of her PADD, she took a deep breath, wiping the sweat from her brow as she walked over to where the PADD lay.

"A priority change in mission?" Tal frowned, "Distress signal response... the Serapis... I'm not familiar with that name. We will need further details... which will be upcoming in the meeting."

Any other questions she had would be better to hold until 0900, she reasoned, and with that set aside in her mind, Lt. Tal turned back to the room, this time moving aside the square mat and leaping upon one of two twin bars, using her momentum to swing around and balance herself up above them.

Posted on 2019-11-11 at 19:46:53.

Topic: Star Trek: Veiled Chimera Q&A
Subject: =)

Please be patient with me as I ease into trek-ese; I'm more used to the science role, so tactical will be a bit of a jump sideways

If I err too badly on a call or protocol, please let me know and I can amend my post appropriately. I'll do my best as Lt. Tal though  

Posted on 2019-11-11 at 16:58:06.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: Aranwen's mind...

Aranwen is in a very dark place in her mind now. But despite immediate appearances, her will and resolve are not gone. She's in a corner, with no way out, but she's not dead. And she intends to make full use of this fact in whatever way she can.

Posted on 2019-11-11 at 14:29:13.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: For the record

I got a 97 on the roll for Morgana ambushing Aranwen. As Aranwen expected, Morgana isn't inclined to attack Aranwen because she's not one of the targets. What she didn't expect was what Morgana said...

Posted on 2019-11-11 at 14:22:14.

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: Final prayer

Aranwen was silent, almost deathly so. She made no movements save those which proceeded her in line with her captor's expectations. Only when the cell had been locked, and all visible enemies had left them in the gloom, Aranwen sighed her head tilted towards the ground.

The man had said that they could not reach the gods from here, but that didn't stop Aranwen from kneeling, holding her hands together as she prayed. Perhaps the first time she had ever done so.

O' Solinari, Nim'megil, and Rrowl
I am no priestess, no cleric, no holy woman, but I beseech you here and now
By my choices and false leadership, I have stolen honourable death in battle from those who followed me
I have made what may be my final gamble, with lives not mine to cast
Suffering lies ahead for us, of that I am certain
So I beseech you, in memory of Arthras and Midge, for the sake of Cedric, Gib, Ch'dau, and Kithran
Even should they come to forsake you in the suffering to come or already done, I beg of you, do not forsake their souls
If anyone must be forsaken, let it be me
Let it be me

Aranwen was glad for the darkness. All the better to hide the tears that flowed from her closed, golden eyes.

Posted on 2019-11-11 at 14:16:08.

Topic: The Adventures of Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun
Subject: Ding dong, here I come to find you

Earlier, on the Dravnor streets...

Aranwen ran and wove through the streets, not going towards somewhere specific. She was only putting as much distance as she dared between where she was and where she knew Ch'dau, Kithran, and Mosic were. Then she'd put the cloak back in her bag and doubled around. At least that was the plan.

In a narrow ally, her foot caught on a tripline, and she nearly stumbled forward. Aranwen heard the line slip, and followed the sound up. A net was coming down directly at her.

In a fluid motion, she drew her blade, cleaving through the threads so two halves fell to either side of her. Aranwen was about to sheath her blade and keep moving, but a voice chilled her to her core.

Ah, so you switched clothing. Clever.

Looking behind her, Aranwen saw one of the same manniquins she had fought from thirty years ago approaching her, and she took an unconscious step back.

"You!" Aranwen gasped, "No, oh no."

Though she had spent the past thirty years inconsistently attempting to track down Morgana, now that she was face to mask with one of those puppets, Aranwen faltered, at a loss of what to do, and her blade likewise shook in her unsteady hands. The mannequin seemed to shrug its shoulders, head tilting to one side as the mask seemed to be even a bit more smug in its smile.

So, it is you. I couldn't help but wonder. That you've kept strength of will these past years is very... promising.

Hearing Morgana's voice snapped Aranwen out of her fear, "What are you doing here?!" She demanded, her blade steady as she held it ready between her and the puppet, "Don't tell me-"

Much sharper than you used to be, too. Yes, I happen to have a contract in the area. You, however, are not part of it.

Aranwen bit her lip. She knew Morgana had more than one puppet at her disposal, but perhaps, if she could just keep Morgana's attention...

"What did you do, thirty years ago?" Aranwen asked, taking a glimpse behind her with the reflection of her blade to make sure she wasn't being flanked by another puppet, "I want to know."

The mannequinn shook as if laughing, though Morgana herself didn't. Afterwards, it straightened up, lifting a hand to its chin as if in thought.

No. You really don't. But while we're on the subject... I wonder... might you be interested to hear a... proposition?

Aranwen's eyes narrowed, and she forced herself to keep breathing steady, "What?"

I wonder if you would be interested in... a deal.

* * *

Aranwen's blade shook in her trembling hands, though whether in fear or rage she couldn't say. The edges of her lips twisted between snarl and passive shock as she mouthed words she didn't put voice to. Finally, she spat at the puppet, "No. You cannot promise the impossible," she raised her blade, "How... How dare you" she whispered, her golden eyes burning with molten fury.

Your reaction is an understandable one. But you must realize that you do not know me. Nor what I am capable of.

The puppet suddenly stopped moving entirely for a moment, and Aranwen frowned, once again using her blade to glance behind her and be certain that she was not being ambushed. Then the puppet moved again, shrugging its shoulders. 

It seems I must cut this talk short, my dear. Think on it, won't you?

The puppet turned its back. This time Aranwen moved to strike it. Keep it distracted. But her feet would not move. 

"Ah! What?" Aranwen looked down, and saw that the loose threads of the net had coiled about her ankles. 

Still don't look at what is already there, do you? Farewell, my dear. 

Aranwen could do little more than glare at the puppet as it left the alley and disappeared from her sight. 

Posted on 2019-11-11 at 13:49:57.
Edited on 2019-11-12 at 11:56:24 by Reralae

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: The face of the enemy

It's one of Morgana's masks... impact of the steel against the unknown material is like scraping against something very smooth.

Well, aren't you rather fiesty, dear Kithran?

The lips don't move when she speaks...

Posted on 2019-11-11 at 13:21:45.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A

And it's a Syl shape for that matter - I didn't even think about that when I picked that shape, I just had the thought that Morgana was using a shape similar to Aranwen to get close

Speaking of Aranwen...

*sound of rolling dice*

Posted on 2019-11-11 at 13:11:14.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A

Not to mention, such a jury-rigged belt wouldn't have been too functional; I've tried something similar before, and the individual pieces just don't like working together in a cohesive unit

One puppet has arrived. Unlike the other ones that Morgana has used, this one is decidedly more lifelike in appearance, to better hide its nature, but is still a construct and the wood smell is probably what most gives it away. Given the objective to capture, it is only going to initially target Kithran, mostly to grab and keep hold of. Best to think of it in terms of like a wood golem - generally sturdy, surprisingly quick in its movements, and it does have a slam attack, though it will soften its blows (ie non lethal) on Kithran (also Ch'dau should it recognize its other target and strike him).

If it enters the shop unimpeded as it intends to do, the shopkeeper ducks behind the counter because nope, and then it will try to grab and pin Kithran.

Posted on 2019-11-11 at 12:22:14.
Edited on 2019-11-11 at 12:23:22 by Reralae

Topic: The Adventures of Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun
Subject: Exit - Stage Right | Apothecary

Aranwen's golden eyes looked to Ch'dau with a hint of confusion within them, her head tilted slightly towards one side. She wasn't sure the title she was being addressed by, but she could tell it was something significant, by the way Ch'dau's voice seemed to echo the hint of something important about the word native to him. I'll have to ask about that later, she observed. It was strange to be addressed by a title, all things considered; she had never had one before.

I only hope I am worthy of what you call me, she thought. Making her way to the front door, Aranwen could see the crowd still gathered outside, of those who hadn't seen what had happened, those who had and were just hoping to go back to their meal, or those who just were curious.

"Out of my way!" Aranwen lifted her voice a bit as she shouted, just to try to sell the deception even a bit better as rushed headlong into the crowd, holding the cloak's hood close to obscure her features.

Though the crowd didn't part before her, she didn't wait, pushing people apart left and right as she went through the crowd. She felt a hand grab the cloak at some point, but she kicked back to push them away, and disappeared into the side streets of Dravnor.

* * *

For a mercy, no group of bystanders had clamoured about the kitchen entrance, and though rightfully wary, no danger appeared to pursue the others as they approached the Lovely Lavender apothecary.

Entering the shop filled the nose with a myriad of pleasant, earthy aromas. Behind the counter sat a human woman, idly counting out dried herbs on a sheet of parchment, her face, obscured by a white veil. Rows of organized shelves sit behind the shopowner, all of them with different plants and powders. Displayed openly around the store are many potted plants and a shelf with incense, and another shelf with tea. The woman immediately perked up on seeing customers, lifting her hands together and clapping them happily.

"Please, come in," The woman greeted Mosic and Kithran, her voice warm and welcoming, and perhaps even a touch relieved. Mayhap it was a slow day for her thus far, "What might I be able to help you with today?" She asked.

"Good morn," Mosic replied with a smile, "I am looking for spare bandages and perhaps some balms or ointment to help soothe sutured skin. Anything also that you might recommend for treating open wounds or cuts."

"I see," the woman nodded to Mosic, "I do hope you remember to look after yourself as well. I've known one or two devotees to Falloes who look after others even to their own expense..." she then turned, seeming to look more directly at Kithran, "Oh! Might I interest you, my lady, with perfume? I know a variety of recipes. I can provide a sample if you would like," She offered keenly.

Kithran sighs inwardly and turns away from sniffing at the incense to face the woman. She points to the Cidal before her, then to her throat, and makes a series of gestures indicating that unfortunately she was unable to speak, but that the priest she was with could take care of their business. Without another glance she bends back over to investigate the interesting smells, waiting for Mosic to take the apothecarian's eyes away from her.

"Oh dear," the shopkeeper lifted a hand to her lips, "My lady, are you unwell? Please, tell me of her symptoms. If there's something I can do to help..."

"She, err," Mosic looked back at Kithran with a slight confused look on his face, and receiving a return glance from Kithran he looked back at the shopkeeper, "It's that she can't speak. From since she was a child."

"That's terrible," the shopkeeper leaned back, "You're sure there's nothing that can be done?"

Mosic shook his head, and the shopkeeper seemed briefly at a loss of how to proceed, clearly wanting to sell something to Kithran, but taking advantage of an ailing woman seemed to give her pause. Only for a moment however, since she looked back to Mosic, "Does she have any pain? Do you need any throat medicine? May I take a look at her throat?"

"No-no pain," Mosic held up his hands in an attempt to slow the woman's ceaseless questions, "And I've spare in my satchel. Please, the supplies, if you would."

The woman seemed to sigh inwardly, before nodding, "Yes, of course," She began to examine the shelves behind her, "Let's see, so you'll be wanting things to help stem blood flow, something for pain..." She pulled out a compact bundle of bandages from one shelf, placing it on the counter.

"I do believe I see a sparkle of fine jewelry under that veil you wear," Mosic observed, "Why do you wear something to obscure it?"

The woman gave a chuckle, "You wouldn't believe the number of patrons that come by asking for poison. I'd rather such individuals didn't know my face when I lock up and depart in the evening," she replied before returning to the shelves behind her, examining the labels she had put on the shelves.

While the woman was searching through her collection of wares... on the street a tall, Sylvari looking figure garbed in a brown cloak that hid their features approached, and walked directly towards the door. Their head was slightly bowed, as though to conceal their face, but they moved with certainty of purpose. If one were to examine them closely, however, there was definitely something off about the way they moved. They had no scent save the strong perfume they wore, which served to mask the wooden smell underneath...

Posted on 2019-11-11 at 12:11:45.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Well...

He was just about unarmed just a few minutes ago. I can imagine he feels significantly better with even these looted things; weapons and armour are far more valuable than clothing for a Kazari, aren't they?

Writing up Aranwen's exit now

Posted on 2019-11-11 at 11:49:18.

Topic: Star Trek: Veiled Chimera Q&A
Subject: Sneaking a Sunday post...

I'm still in the process of developing Tal's personality, but what better way to do that than by posting?

I've still yet to amend her profile to the Tal I see in my mind's eye, but for now I've made the easy adjustments - closer to average height, built more like a gymnast than a weight trainer. Not physically overwhelming in presence.

One thing of note is that as a betazoid, the Tal I'm playing is an empath to a degree. But it's not as though she can say 'Reina in the corner of the canteen is particularly frisky this evening' from the doorway. For the sake of full transparency, I imagine it much like scent; she might be able to tell the overarching mood in a room, but everyone, including herself, adds to the atmosphere. Proximity might allow her to feel more specific things, but it isn't guaranteed unless she's basically physically side by side someone, or only with one other person.

She also does have the ability to influence emotions around her to a very minor extent. She has given her pledge to Captain Drake not to use this ability save life or death of the ship and crew situations, as her own method of preemptively putting at ease people's nervousness about being around a betazoid. In some ways it could even be thought of like a placebo - is the character just a bit less anxious because she's providing a hint of calm to the storm of emotions in the room, or does thinking she might be trick the mind into being less anxious and more able to act?

In any case, I have already considered that the extent of her personal ability is like the metaphorical gentle hand or nudge at the shoulder or back, some very small degree of reassurance that comes with feeling like someone supportive is directly at your side, to help in mitigating the anxiety and stress response of a particularly chaotic sequence of events. Maybe it helps, maybe it doesn't; it's not a fix all emotional turmoil button, and I must emphasize that it isn't supposed to be one.

And if we find that it detracts from anything, I will revise it to where it's just a personal sense, and not something she can do

Posted on 2019-11-10 at 14:26:09.
Edited on 2019-11-11 at 18:46:05 by Reralae

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: Group hugs?

Group hugs sound like a good thing. Oh Ch'dau...

Posted on 2019-11-10 at 13:41:49.

Topic: Star Trek: Veiled Chimera
Subject: Let's review this, shall we?

Stardate 2365.02.21

USS Peregrine, Deck 3, Port Holodeck 0515

“Computer, where the hell is everybody?” Garner said to the air in front of him. A silver haired betazoid leaned towards him in response.

"Pause recording," Lt. Tal frowned, examining Garner's face and expression from a few different angles.

She would have preferred to have been in the bridge at the time of the exercise to get a sense of the reactions of the crew present first hand, but that would have defeated the purpose; Garner would have deferred to her and wouldn't have benefited from this exercise. So she had to look at the results second hand, with the holograms she wasn't particularly fond of.

"It always is intimidating to be unsupervised," She mused, "And that's why this kind of exercise is extremely important. Holograms may serve useful practise tools to an extent, but when you enter this room, there's a false safety that comes with it. It's not real. If you fail you can just try again. That small bit of reassurance in the back of your mind that you are not in danger, nor is anyone else. Of course, the same can be said of drills to an extent..."

"Still, those are what we have available to us. And if the drills serve to provide confidence, then all the better," Tal nodded to herself, walking away from Garner and to the tactical console.

Tal stepped behind the console, consulting the readings herself, "Officer T'Darren, hm?" She looked at the Rigelian's hologram, before consulting her PADD, "Your suggestions here seem to be quite at odds with what your record suggests they would be. Did the unconventional nature of the enemy attack lead you to assume they had an unseen advantage somewhere in attacking a Saber-class vessel? Or was it the shock from an ambush?"

The Rigelian's face was passive, and Tal's eyebrow twitched in slight annoyance. She had tried to learn how to read expressions for the sake of examining holographic records such as this, but it was as if she were half deaf and trying to hear someone whispering to her from that side. Shaking her head, Tal made another note in her PADD, "While Ensign Garner's performance was easily due to inexperience and freezing in expectance of receiving orders from a superior that didn't arrive, what caused you such trouble?" She wondered, "Garner may have been calling the commands, but they are at the recommendation of the supporting crewmembers on the bridge."

Lt. Tal rubbed the back of her head with one hand, running her fingers through her silver hair, and giving a sigh, "Are you truly certified for this position, T'Darren?"

"I suppose I will be the judge of that," she keyed in a meeting with T'Darren at 0730, "Computer, end replay."

USS Peregrine, Deck 3, Lt. Tal's Quarters 0730


When Officer T'Darren entered her quarters, the Rigelian wasn't entirely sure what to expect. The room was dark, and Lt. Tal wasn't visible from the door. The Rigelian's face scrunched a little in confusion, walking in hesitantly.

"Behind you!"

T'Darren rushed forward in surprise at the sudden shout, before twisting around to see what might have warranted such a call.

"Lights," Lt. Tal calmly spoke, and the room's lights flickered on, revealing her position beside the door, tapping on her PADD.

"What the f-" T'Darren stopped and straightened himself up, though not quite able to keep the shaking from his hand, "Er-I mean, if I may, what was that about, Sir?"

"I'll tell you in a moment. Come, sit," Lt. Tal offered, leading both of them to the table in her room.

Once they were both seated, Lt. Tal looked over at T'Darren, "I was not privy to your reaction at the time of the exercise, so I had to improvise," The betazoid explained, "I wanted to better understand your performance earlier."

T'Darren swallowed, but his face stayed passive as was his usual, "Well, it all happened so suddenly. I wasn't certain of the best option to take, and the shields-"

Lt. Tal lifted a hand, "Relax," She gave a gentle smile, "Would you like tea or anything?" She offered. When T'Darren shook his head, she continued, "It seems I was correct in my hypothesis - when you are startled, you seem to fall back on old exercises, protocols learned at the time: to give yourself space from an aggressor, dodge and avoid being hit. Those protocols work well for scientific and other vessels, which are less capable in combat. But this is not that kind of a vessel. We must be ready to be an aggressor in even unfavourable situations."

"How will I know which suggestion to provide?" T'Darren asked with a frown.

"There is a critical moment," Lt. Tal replied, "Between when you know you are under attack while lacking of knowledge of the situation, and when the commander makes the call to a specific action. The best we can do at that time is to disclose to the commander our present options. Whether the enemy is in range of our own offenses, status on shields, and trajectory of the attacker or attackers. Their threat capacity if possible, but such may not be easily determined in that moment. Leave the call to counter attack, defend, or flee to the commanding officer."

"I will assign you certain hologram programs for training," Lt. Tal continued, "in them, there is a probability of being ambushed, or coming across an enemy, or no encounter happening. It is my hope that this curriculum may serve to hone your initial response to these situations. Any questions?"

T'Darren shook his head, finding his gaze not meeting Lt. Tal's eyes.

"Don't worry. If your record is accurate, I do know your capabilities are well able to grasp the intricacies of many tactical situations. See that this particular kind of situation is added to that," Lt. Tal gave a smile, "The real thing is far different than reading about them in records and hypotheticals, isn't it?"

"Yes, Sir," T'Darren agreed, feeling relieved that was all as far as the reprimand went.


After T'Darren left her quarters, Lt. Tal lifted a hand to her temple, "That much worry over the results of an exercise. You'd think he was being dismissed from the crew," She shook her head.

"If Captain Drake asks me if we are combat ready," Lt. Tal reviewed the notes she had taken in her PADD, "I can certainly say not on Sundays. Perhaps I might recommend T'Darren be relieved of bridge duty at tactics for the interrim until he finishes that curriculum..."

Posted on 2019-11-10 at 13:34:38.
Edited on 2019-11-11 at 18:45:46 by Reralae

Topic: The Adventures of Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun
Subject: Side by side

338 E.R, Megilindar Nost

Aranwen laughed as she tumbled over, in spite of the aches in her body that made laughing hurt. Landing on the grassy forest floor, she looked up at the tree canopy above. The sunlight shone beyond the leaves, painting stars upon the few leaves that allowed the sunlight through. A shadow loomed over her, their long, red hair giving them a warm glow about them in the sunlight.

"Are you okay?" Saeriel asked, concern writ on her face as she offered a hand to Aranwen.

Instead of taking the hand to get back to her feet, when Aranwen grasped Saeriel's hand she pulled quite suddenly. Saeriel's violet eyes widened in surprise but she couldn't keep her footing, and she fell into Aranwen's arms.

"Must you do that every time?" Saeriel asked, her lips pursed in a pout as she shifted over to lay beside Aranwen.

Aranwen shrugged her shoulders, her golden eyes with a mischievous glint, "You always look so stiff and proper; you really should try to relax more often," She suggested.

Saeriel smirked, "And you should try to yield before you get so hurt," she replied, lightly poking Aranwen in the side and watching Aranwen wince, "This is form practise, not endurance training," Saeriel pointed out.

"It's all the same," Aranwen replied with a sigh, "The others seem to get into it so easily. They can last longer, strike quicker, more accurately..."

Saeriel shrugged, taking Aranwen's hand in her own, "It's not a competition. You've nothing to worry about."

"Another of your visions?"

Saeriel shook her head, looking over at Aranwen and giving a warm smile, "I don't need a vision to know that. If you were going to give up, you'd have done so already. It's been a couple of decades since you arrived here, right? Do you remember?"

"Don't remind me," Aranwen covered her eyes with her arm, "That was so embarrassing, I think it took me several months to get used to the layout of the fort. To learn which practise area was which, and so on."

Saeriel gave a giggle, her voilet eyes distant in remembering, "Well, think of it this way. If you weren't such a klutz, you wouldn't have knocked me over in the library, and then we wouldn't have met."

"I'm sure we would have," Aranwen pointed out, "The Blademaster pairs us as partners for training most often."

"Okay, but it wouldn't have been as... cute," Saeriel giggled again.

Aranwen uncovered her face, her cheeks flushed red as she looked over at Saeriel, "You didn't think it was cute - as I remember you were very annoyed that you lost your page!"

"At the time," Saeriel admitted, before she gave a warm smile, "But, in hindsight, was it really such a bad way to meet?"

Aranwen leaned back, and returned a shy smile, "It was just us in the library that day. And I was curious about you, having seen you there several times, always lost in some book," She looked back at Saeriel, her head tilted towards one side, "Why do you bring it up?" She asked.

Saeriel's smile seemed to get warmer, and her violet eyes refocused on the Sylvari beside her, "Look at where you came from, to where you are now. Can you imagine your past self being proud of you for what you have been able to learn and do?"

Aranwen blinked a few times, letting her mind wander as she thought about the question. For a while the two bladesingers in training just lay there, listening to the sounds of others' practise and the gentle wildlife nearby. Finally, Aranwen nodded, "Yes, I think so," her voice relieved as she thought more about it.

"It's the same for me," Saeriel added, her voice gentle and soothing, "I'm slow to learn, but I wanted to be a bladesinger rather than a seer, and I'm getting there, bit by bit. Myself before I arrived here wouldn't have been able to imagine herself able to wield a blade at all. I might not be that good yet, but that's okay. If there's something we have, it's time."

Aranwen smiled, "No rush..."

Posted on 2019-11-09 at 16:21:42.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: *browsing music*

... hmm, this one. Yes, this one. If her resolve stays true, and she survives until the dawn, I've Aranwen's theme for the finale.

It is always darkest before the dawn...

Posted on 2019-11-09 at 11:38:43.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: This song...

When I originally felt that this song fit Aranwen's story, I didn't think it would foretell these events... that's one heck of a coincidence.

Specifically these lyrics:

Gaining by losing always haunt us
To our dying day stuck in the haze
How did it ever come to this

Edit: As Aranwen and I both anticipated, I'm sure Gib is the first of a few to be disappointed in her choice here... whew, I think I'm going to hide on Cal'ele'miur for a bit.

Posted on 2019-11-08 at 20:18:57.
Edited on 2019-11-08 at 20:35:27 by Reralae

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: Yes...

It was how she reconciled that choice. Either she fought until the end, and the sword fall with her. Or she gave up. To give up was to go against what she knew was wanted by everyone else, to die honourably in battle, to not give the enemy any satisfaction of playing with their lives any further. Either she died physically, or she died in her heart by potentially betraying everyone else's desires. Not something a leader should do. Not something she wanted to do. She accepted her death as the unwavering leader, and with that, accepted that the blade was no longer hers to carry; it was dishonoured before it touched the ground.

This actually marks the second time in her long life that she's lost her blade.

Posted on 2019-11-08 at 14:55:19.

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: Standing alone

Aranwen gasped, her throat almost raw from the song she had been singing until the combat stopped so suddenly. Her blade wavered in her hand, the tip unsteady and moving back and forth with her panting.

Though she stood beside Cedric, Gib and Ch'dau's bodies, she felt more alone than she had ever been. The walls echoed her lonely song back into her ears, taunting her with that hint of a second song, as if she were in the duet she longed to hear once more. Her eyes barely registered the man before her in her fatigue, her body shaking, her armour worn, her flesh rended and bleeding. She staggered, landing on her knees, her training barely keeping her blade from touching the ground as she gasped for breath.

Perhaps to die wouldn't be so bad. She knew one day it would happen. One day she'd have no more strength, and fell by battle. But... was this really the battle she wanted to be her end? To fall in battle was almost guaranteed for her, a soldier, a blade singer, guided by her emotions and resolve. If she had to die in battle, she wanted it to be one where she fought alongside friends until the end. Their unmoving bodies robbed them of their agency. Not a death she'd desire, especially for Ch'dau... and if she died here, perhaps... perhaps... on the other side...

Don't die for me

The most important of her promises rang in her ears, and she knew. Presented with this sadistic choice, Aranwen knew which option she had to choose. It didn't matter if breaking her oath now would result in a quick death. Only by staying alive could she hope to make things right. Only by staying alive could there be hope, that she had the chance of making safe this path so filled with peril.

It felt like a betrayal.

A betrayal of the three who still lived. And she made this choice for them, without their consent or will. And she knew they would not like it. Maybe they wouldn't forgive her.

Aranwen looked at the blade in her shaking hand, chipped where it had struck bone. The blade the others had followed freely. A blade she didn't deserve if she made this choice.

With what strength she could muster, she staggered up to her feet, bringing her sword up. It was no combat stance; she held it horizontally in front of her.

The clang of the blade falling to the ground echoed through the chamber, otherwise silent aside the ghouls and their incessant, sadistic giggling.

Posted on 2019-11-08 at 14:35:38.


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