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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Recent posts by Reralae
Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: In the mind of the butterfly


The stairwell leads into a larger assembly hall or something similar. The doors are open. Kithran and Ch'dau look to either side, but don't see any enemies. The group goes to enter...


And Morgana's felt dolls of Kithran and Ch'dau slam the door shut from behind the door, after Kithran and Ch'dau pass - Mosic's size and natural dexterity let's him make it through the doors, thankfully.


Admiring my handicraft? So easily distracted; I'd look up if I were you. 


Sound of fingers snapping... 


And the skespider that was held on to the ceiling by Morgana's threads release, dropping it on top of them


Was what I saw in my mind anyhow 



Posted on 2019-12-27 at 12:49:00.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Excellent lead in


And then all heck breaks loose?




Posted on 2019-12-27 at 12:26:47.

Topic: Hidden Corruption: Aftermath
Subject: Hiding the Cracks


11th Bre Tola, 453 E.R. 


Samuel and Sara's house - Noon


Sara knelt before the planter, this small little garden that was her own. She smiled as she examined the small sprouts inside. Donning a set of gardening gloves, she hummed to herself as she began sifting through the topsoil, searching for errant sprouts that weren't of the ones she planted.


"That is a lovely melody. Did you make it?" Ella asked, leaning over the fence as she listened.


Sara's breath caught in her throat as she looked up towards their neighbour, and her hands shook. Mercifully, her hands were obscured from Ella's view by the planter's sides. 


"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you," Ella offered with a gentle smile. 


Sara shook her head, and averted her gaze to her hands as she replied, "It's alright." 


She's not… She's not… Kithran, Sara repeated to herself. She took off her gloves to stall for a moment and steady herself, before she stood up to return a warm smile to their half-Syl neighbour, and answering, "I'm not the composer. The composer is a kind man who I briefly met on the road."


Ella tilted her head a bit, "Do you sing?" she asked, "If your humming is able to capture the melody that well, I can't help but wonder what it's like if you used your whole voice."


"I'm afraid not," Sara replied, sadness underscoring the smile she held for Ella, "I lost that ability a while ago."


"Lost?" Ella asked, her head tilting towards one side as she wondered how that might be possible, "But your voice… there doesn't seem like there's anything wrong." 


Sara sighed, "Song takes more than a good voice," she held a hand to her chest, "I haven't been able to sing, not since, not since I lost my daughter," she whispered with a shuddering breath.


Ella's hand went to her lips as her eyes widened, "Is she… Dead?" 


Sara shrugged her shoulders, "Lost," she repeated, "I don't know which is worse," she murmured with a sigh, "I'd rather… I'd rather not talk about it."


"Ah…"


Sara shook her head and sighed once more, before looking back at Ella with a gentle smile, "I apologize, that was a long time ago. Would you like some tea, or was there anything I might be able to help you with?" 


"Maybe later," Ella smiled, "I should see to my own lawn before that."


"No rush; whenever you'd like," Sara offered with a nod. She watched as Ella turned to return to tending her lawn, waiting a moment before sighing. She set down her gloves beside the planter, and slipped away, moving to beside the cottage, the side opposite any passerby and Ella's view. 


When they settled into this cottage, it took a few days to tidy the place up. During the tidying up, the old wooden handle on the broom Sara had used snapped near the head. At the time, she had said she'd toss it in for firewood. As she approached the window sill, Sara reached out her hand, taking the broken handle in hand. 


It wasn't a blade. It didn't sing. It didn't weigh the same. It didn't move the same. But for all those reasons, she could use it without her hands shaking. Taking a deep breath, she brought herself to a ready stance. 


When the past threatened to overwhelm her, she pushed it all away by doing this. The same training exercises she remembered doing for years at Megilindor Nost. There was no past, only the present and the next motion in the routine. 


Sara could still feel the symmetry in the exercises, something she didn't feel when she was just learning, and she took some comfort in that. Even if the chaos in true battle meant that the stances and steps couldn't be adhered to, going through the motions was still valuable to hone muscle memory, and for the benefit of the exercise itself. A pattern of four swings combined with one of eight steps - thirty-two different notes for the body to play in the song of battle. Even if she could no longer sing, she still knew the notes, the motions, and recall the feeling of the song. 


At the end of her routine, she sighed, taking a deep breath as tears fell from her eyes. Sara imagined she looked rather silly, or perhaps pitiful. An oathbreaker swinging around a broken hilt, as if that might regain all that she had lost.


It was why she had tried to hide her exercise from Samuel. 



Posted on 2019-12-27 at 12:22:13.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: I imagine


Passive patrols loosely two skeletons per patrol group. No live guards. One will engage, the other runs, presumably to sound an alarm, though I don't expect our group to let any of them run away successfully


Will be *extremely* smooth going for the group...


Until they reach the main hall large open area where Kithran and Ch'dau encountered the skespider before


I imagine Ch'dau and Kithran being in front with Aranwen as rear guard



Posted on 2019-12-24 at 13:55:57.
Edited on 2019-12-24 at 14:01:11 by Reralae

Topic: HC: Aftermath QA
Subject: You know...


Perhaps Davena would actually have that spell if she were a priestess of Meillyah... 


Just saying



Posted on 2019-12-20 at 14:15:52.

Topic: HC: Aftermath QA
Subject: Nope


No one can replace Kithran 


But to give kindness that she feels is owed Kithran to someone else because she can't give it to Kithran right now? Maybe... To ease her mind even a bit, perhaps



Posted on 2019-12-19 at 19:39:17.

Topic: HC: Aftermath QA
Subject: Well, now that you mention it...


I'm starting to wonder if Sara makes a point of avoiding Ella, or the inverse... I'll need to figure that out.... 


As for exercise, yeah enter training montage mode when Aranwen recovers



Posted on 2019-12-19 at 17:57:11.
Edited on 2019-12-19 at 17:58:49 by Reralae

Topic: Hidden Corruption: Aftermath
Subject: Fallen Petals, a few days prior


7th Bre Tola, 453 E.R.
Mhera’s Apothecary - Morning


“Sara, pay attention,” the elderly Cidal woman spoke sharply, “When you work with herbs as long as I have, you get a feel for certain things. You have none of that, so we must cultivate it.”


Sara nodded, her longer, flame-tinged hair curling about her face for a moment as she took a breath. As harsh as Mhera was, at times, Sara had come to learn that it was her way to emphasize just how important it was that she learn properly. A misprepared remedy, tonic, or salve had the potential to cause more harm than good. In her years of experience and practise, Mhera had seen both good and bad remedies, and did her utmost to give Sara the knowledge and intuition she’d need in this field.


For her part, Sara put Mhera’s words to memory and parchment both, doing her best to learn what she could from the elder Cidal, whose hair was so white she seemed as if she were a wisp that would go out at any moment.


“Don’t underestimate the value of a good cup of tea,” Mhera told Sara, “A warm brew can warm the heart, and ease aches that don’t appear to the eye. Here, let’s see you cut these flowers.”


Sara approached the cutting board, but stopped as she reached a shaking hand for the small metal knife. She felt her breath catch in her throat, and a chill along her spine as her fingers grazed the handle; she could not take hold of it. Mhera’s gaze turned from scrutinizing to sympathetic as she looked up at the Sylvari beside her, “Still can’t, hm?”


Sara nodded with a sigh, placing her hand upon the counter to make it cease trembling, “I don’t know why-”


“You do,” Mhera interrupted Sara, “But you need not tell these old ears. Kith-Jora knows, I’ve enough burdens on my small frame already. The flowers still need to be split, however; the water will not take the essence of the flowers otherwise. So, we will work with what we have. If not by knife, use your nails to tear the petals. Carefully, mind you.”


Sara nodded once more, taking one of the flowers in hand. With methodical precision, she split each petal as she would have with the knife. As she worked, the scent of the flowers had become stronger amongst the many earthy aromas of Mhera's store. It took longer, but she had the flowers prepared as Mhera had asked. Mhera scooped the petals into a small strainer, examining them closely.


“Ideally, you would use a knife for this,” Mhera commented, “You can see where the petals were squished between your nails. It works for tea, but for something where you don’t want to bruise the plant, that will be much harder for you.”


Mhera paused for a moment as she regarded the golden-red hues of Sara’s hair, “You do show promise, though,” She acknowledged, "Even with the difficulties you have."


Sara blinked, looking to the elderly Cidal with surprise, “How do you figure that?” She asked, “I didn’t think I was picking things up that quickly.”


“You aren’t,” Mhera chuckled, “But, the mixture you’ve used to paint your hair, I can tell it was well made. Your hair looks healthy, and the colour vibrant. It must have taken you several attempts to get that right. That, my dear, takes dedication and an eye for detail, both of which are invaluable in our craft.”


“Persistence?” Sara asked, a small smile tugging at her lips.


“Aye, same meaning,” Mhera nodded, "Now then, let's finish this tea."


After preparing additional leaves and adding them to the herbal mixture, Sara set the kettle to boil. With a side glance to the white locks framing Mhera's face, she paused in thought.


"You've a question?" Mhera asked, looking up at Sara with a sly smile.


Blinking a moment at being called out, Sara nodded, "You say many burdens. How do you carry them without being crushed underneath?" 


Mhera shrugged her shoulders, "Couldn't say, myself. I suppose I think of it as upside down."


"Up-side down?" Sara repeated, lifting a hand beneath her chin in thought. 


"Aye. Changes the entire picture, doesn't it? Same with trees. Flip one upside down, and can you tell it apart from its brethren if it grows leaves either way?" Mhera mused aloud, "So if I think of the burdens as not in my branches, but in my roots, then I feel differently about them."


Sara frowned a bit, struggling to picture it in her mind. 


Mhera chuckled, "Give it a few more decades, or centuries in your case. I imagine you'll figure something out. But right now, we have tea."


The tea had a lovely, fruity flavour to it that didn't overstay its welcome on the tongue. Sara gave a contented sigh as she enjoyed the cup she held, and Mhera gave a warm smile. 


"See what I mean?" Mhera chuckled, "The satisfaction of a good cup of tea."



Posted on 2019-12-18 at 13:34:35.

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


Funny you should say 'shows her face' - Davena's not the one with an animate mask



Posted on 2019-12-17 at 23:46:18.

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


Just, look at Aranwen here. Gracefully swinging her blade around and defending our little band. All is well. Or at least as well as she can be at this point.


Now, look at Aranwen in HC-Aftermath. She can't even hold a knife! Let alone fight, or lead... she's gone to early retirement with her broken spirit.


And you say you can't wait?



Posted on 2019-12-17 at 23:30:41.

Topic: The Adventures of Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun
Subject: Ingress


The kazari sighed, then, and nodded to the slowly encroaching creatures even as he handed Aranwen back her rope. “Mind these,” he chuffed, “or make for the house. I shall fetch the kibibi and be close behind.”


Aranwen nodded, “Be swift,” She returned, “We must be sure not to let ourselves be surrounded, or separated.”


With a soft grunt, Ch’dau pushed himself away from the wall and quickly rounded the corner Aranwen had indicated. He had scarcely turned that corner when he saw the door which Kithran had opened and made his way to it, meeting the dark-haired half-syl just as she sought to exit.


 Aranwen beckoned to Mosic to follow her, “We still have some time, and are undiscovered as yet, best for me not to join battle as of yet. Bladesong is not exactly subtle.”


She crossed the path from the separate building to the larger keep, not at a swift pace, but slow and methodical, as if she were meant to be there, another guard or someone in Adedre’s employ. She didn’t want to move too far ahead of Ch’dau and Kithran, not when the risk of being surrounded was great.


And on that thought, she saw skeletons noticing her approach to the keep, their clattering bones and chittering jaws growing louder in recognition of a target. She swore under her breath, “Mosic, stay close!” She repeated, not that she expected Mosic to need reminding.


Righting her grip on her blade, Aranwen began her song and flipped the edge around so that she sliced with the dull of the blade, rather than the edge. Thankfully, the skeletons were arranged in a marching pattern for securing the perimeter, not the interior, and that made their approach staggered.


Though the dull of the blade resisted the air more, and made the blade give a flat note as it sliced, Aranwen matched the note with another that give it a harmony, weaving about Mosic in her footwork as she smashed one skeleton, then another. An arrow flew past her, nearly grazing her hair, to embed itself in the socket of another skeleton. Looking to the source, she could just make out the gleam of Kithran’s grin from where she stood in the shadow of the detached building.


“You picked that up fast,” Aranwen complimented Kithran, “But I don’t think arrows work too well on these things,” She called back, bringing her blade down upon the one Kithran struck, which had been staggered but not felled, “Get to the door!”


Kithran stowed her bow and sprinted for the door, glad that someone was finally able to admire her bowmanship. Not that she had meant to shoot that close to the bladesinger, but she hit her target . . . it had been some time, after all.


You though, she thought as she reached the door and rummaged once more for her lockpicks, her eyes locked on her target, you are mine. Kith crouched before the door, and at the continued sounds of sword on bone behind her, she went to work.


As Kithran rushed past her, Aranwen bit her lip, concerned for Ch’dau for a moment. But just before she could voice her concern, she heard the deep growl of the Kazari, and felt the rush of air beside her as Ch’dau landed in a leap beside her.


“I was just about to check on you,” Aranwen smiled up at the Silver Cat, seeing Ch’dau looking significantly more comfortable with the equipment he had come to be used to for a long time.


“Worried?” Ch’dau asked with a smirk even as he cut down another skeleton that had approached.


Aranwen shook her head, “No, but even so, I refuse to leave anyone behind.”


As they made their way towards the door, Aranwen suddenly stopped several paces away from where Kithran was working the lock.


“Mosic, it will be soon,” Aranwen cautioned the priest, “Ch’dau, focus on any that get near Kithran; I’ll stand here to protect Mosic.”


“I’ll want my cloak back, cat beast,” Kithran said, her eyes still focused on the door.


Mosic nodded, and with shaking hand brought his holy symbol to his chest as he began to pray. Aranwen wove around him, with her blade, almost weaving an elegant dance with the flashing silver of her blade. In contrast, Ch’dau leapt from target to target, almost crushing each skeleton underfoot, but finishing them with a swipe of either blade. Together, they kept safe Mosic and Kithran as each worked at their respective task. She could swear she could hear Kithran muttering in irritation under her breath.


Just when they were about to be overrun, Aranwen nodded, “Mosic, now!”


A ripple of divine energy spread outward from Mosic as he finished his prayer, and one by one the skeletons immediately around them collapsed upon themselves into inanimate piles of bone. Aranwen took a breath, and looked over her shoulder to see Kithran get the door open.


“Inside!” She called, taking up position as the rear guard as they entered.


Once they had crossed the threshold, Aranwen kicked the door shut, into the skulls of the skeletons that had begun to pursue them inside.



Posted on 2019-12-17 at 20:03:21.

Topic: HC: Aftermath QA
Subject: I mean


Here's my full grocery bag from the other week



Soooo... I know you said that in jest but.... let's be honest, I am a fairy that subsists on chocolate



Posted on 2019-12-17 at 13:51:39.
Edited on 2019-12-17 at 13:51:59 by Reralae

Topic: HC: Aftermath QA
Subject: Coffee, bleeeeh


Fairies can't stand the taste


Or at least this one can't  


Now sufficient quantities of chocolate on the other hand... 



Posted on 2019-12-17 at 12:10:50.

Topic: HC: Aftermath QA
Subject: Of course I am



Just let me wake up fully so I can find the link to send



Posted on 2019-12-17 at 11:38:11.

Topic: HC: Aftermath QA
Subject: So cute


They are a lovely trouble-seeking duo



Posted on 2019-12-16 at 19:03:58.

Topic: HC: Aftermath QA
Subject: In the fairy mind


It's a bit funny how Admara came about... I knew that Aranwen was retrieving the metal from the home she grew up in, but initially just thought she'd do what she expected - enter and leave with none the wiser.


Then I heard Admara investigating the sound of footsteps, and... well, that's what happened.


It does make sense that Admara wasn't mentioned by Aranwen before since, as she said, Admara was very small last she saw her several decades prior, and Aranwen has been generally out of contact.



Posted on 2019-12-16 at 16:33:13.

Topic: Hidden Corruption: Aftermath
Subject: Old Steel


18th Ternoth Ore, 453 E.R. – Late Morning


Central Sylvari road north of Alfarin


Crossing over into the Three Kingdoms was akin to diving into the depths of the ocean to Aranwen. For all the familiarity the forest held for her, it also held regrets and no small amount of apprehension. She seemed even more withdrawn whenever they passed by Sylvari, whether a part of the border patrols, or villagers and townsfolk, barely speaking if at all to the Syl.


And yet, as Ch’dau brought the wagon deeper along the path between the Central and Southern Kingdoms towards Meadowbrook, quite out of the blue Aranwen spoke up, “Melamin, please, stop here a moment.”


When the wagon came to a halt, Aranwen’s head, hidden under the cloak she wore, turned towards the right, towards a path to the side of the road. Her breathing was quicker in her hesitation, and her hand found Ch’dau’s paw to steady herself, “There is… something… I’d like to do.”


Such vagueness was strange, coming from Aranwen. Even in her most delusive state, she tended to speak in definite terms, things she knew, things she felt, things that she remembered, or misremembered as the case may be.


“Just say the word; what is it?” Ch’dau asked in return, giving the small Syl hand a gentle squeeze in his paw.


Aranwen bit her lip, her hand trembling a bit, as she replied, “We are passing by Alfirin,” She replied, “I’d like to… stop there a moment. Not long… I hope.”


Though curiosity tugged at the corners of his face, Ch’dau nodded, guiding the wagon onto the side road towards the quiet Sylvari village of Alfirin. Aranwen’s place of birth.


Aranwen looked up towards the sky, taking in the position of the sun, “They will be in the garden about now,” She mused, “Front or side door?” She wondered, “Or do I go to her directly?”


Aranwen’s other hand went to her face, pulling the hood just a bit more over her eyes, “No, no no. Just in, and out. Fewer questions… questions I can’t answer.”


As Aranwen fretted over making her half-thought through plans, Ch’dau let go of her hand to reach his arm around her, “Relax, m’penzi,” He offered with a soothing purr, “Whatever is there, there is nothing to be worried over, yes?”


Aranwen sighed and gave a slow nod, “I just don’t know what I would say.”


All too soon for Aranwen, the wagon reached the outskirts of the town, and Ch’dau brought the wagon to a stop. To his surprise, Aranwen slipped off of the buckboard, unaided, before he had done the same, “I will… I will be right back, melamin,” she offered.


Ch’dau gave a frown, “Will you be okay on your own?”


Aranwen shrugged her shoulders, “I don’t know,” She admitted, “But… I want to… Need to do this.”


The cloaked Sylvari woman, though not as proficient with staying to the shadows as Ch’dau or Kithran were, walked forward, keeping to the trees to keep them between her and the village proper. It was all so familiar to her, no matter how long ago it was. Over a hundred years. She remembered which house to go to. The Galandel estate, so to speak, a humble two floor house beside a small plot of land that served as a large garden.


Keeping to the shadows of the house, Aranwen looked aside towards the garden. As she expected, she saw two older Sylvari there, methodically tending to the garden with care. Though she wanted to approach them, to see them, perhaps put at ease any worries they had for her, she couldn’t bring herself to. Instead, she took the side entrance, opening the door slowly while leaning on the hinge. A small trick she learned when she was little to keep this particular door from squeaking as it opened.


Inside, she breathed a sigh of regret. This is what she had left behind, over a hundred years ago, a peaceful village and a peaceful life, to pick up the blade and song. She wanted to protect her family, she wanted to put what strength she had towards helping others. Much like Saeriel. She walked further inside, one hand on the old wooden railing as she walked upstairs, wincing as one step creaked underfoot.


“Forgot about that one,” Aranwen muttered to herself, moving on and walking into her old bedroom. It was about as it had been left, undisturbed, but still well kept with the absence of dust.


Kneeling down beside her bed, she reached under it, and dragged out a long, wooden case. Her hands shook as she picked it up, and she could feel the sweat trickling down the side of her face. Her face twisted in pain as she wrapped her arms around the wooden box, holding it close to her. She didn’t even notice the soft footsteps behind her.


“Who’s there?” An oaken haired, and verdant green-eyed Sylvari asked, brandishing a broom.


Aranwen tensed at the voice, but immediately relaxed when she recognized it, “Don’t worry, Admara.”


The broom fell out of Admara's hands as her eyes widened in shock, “Aranwen?!” 


“Shh!” Aranwen turned to the other Syl, holding a finger to her lips, “I’m not here, okay? I’ll be gone in just a moment.”


Admara shook her head, “You think I’m going to let you go that easily?” She asked, stepping forward and grabbing hold of Aranwen in a close embrace, “It’s been far, far too long, sis.”


Aranwen tensed in Admara’s embrace, but having been caught by her little sister, she sighed and relented, letting the wooden case go in order to hug her sister properly.


“You’ve grown,” Aranwen smiled.


“Ara,” Admara paused, looking into Aranwen’s eyes, “Your eyes…”


Aranwen averted her gaze, and Admara lifted a hand to Aranwen’s cheek, “You don’t look very good,” the younger Galandel spoke softly, “Are you sure you have to go? You could rest here.”


Aranwen nodded, “Melamin is waiting for me, I told him I wouldn’t be long.”


Admara’s eyes widened, “‘Him’?” She asked. Aranwen nodded once more, and Admara gave a cheeky smile, “Well, I’m not letting you go until I meet him.”


With a sigh of resignation, Aranwen nodded, “Okay, but I wasn’t here, got it?”


“Just like you were in bed all those nights a century ago, and not out in the woods with a pretend sword after dark?”


Aranwen groaned softly as she rubbed her forehead, and Admara gave a soft laugh, “Don’t give me that look. Your secrets are safe with me, as always,” she smiled, keeping Aranwen in a warm embrace.


With some effort to untangle herself from her younger sister, Aranwen picked up the wooden case, and the two of them quietly slipped from the house. As they approached, Aranwen couldn’t help but feel a pang of guilt as she saw Ch’dau pacing beside the wagon. She was gone longer than she had meant to be.


“Dear Adaron, he’s huge,” Admara’s eyes widened as she saw Ch’dau, and she gave another cheeky smile to her sister, “Sooo, how long?”


“We met the other year,” Aranwen replied.


Admara’s viridian eyes sparkled mischievously, “That isn’t what I was asking.”


Aranwen stopped mid step and glared at her sister, to which Admara laughed, “Come on, lighten up, sis,” And seeing the Kazari’s eyes wander over to the two Sylvari approaching, Admara waved, “Hello sis’s future husband!”


Aranwen held one hand to her forehead with a deep sigh, even as her cheeks flushed red, and as they reached Ch’dau, she gave the Kazari an apologetic look, “Ch’dau, this is Admara, my little sister. Admara, this is Ch’dau, the Silver Cat of Coria,” she introduced each other.


Ch’dau’s ears twitched and flattened all at once at the Sylvari girl’s call, and his tail coiled with the apprehension. Tentatively, he drew back his hood and extended a paw to Admara, “Well met…” He blinked and turned his eyes to Ara, then, “You have never told me you had a sister…”


Aranwen rubbed her forehead, “She was only about this tall, last I saw her,” She replied, holding a hand to below her waist height, “And it’s been-”


“Waaaay too long,” Admara interrupted Aranwen, poking her older sister in the side. As she took Ch’dau’s offered paw, she leaned forward as if to gossip, “Can you believe she was trying not to be seen? If I didn’t know better I’d say she was avoiding me.”


Aranwen sighed, taking the long oak box she had carried with her and placing it on the wagon, “Not you, specifically,” She replied, averting her gaze, “Has there been word from Ertain, here?” She asked.


Admara’s playful smile faltered, and she nodded, “Yes. Mom and dad are worried sick about you. We didn’t know where you were, even if you survived. It really is good to see you.”


Aranwen nodded, “Then…” She bit her lip. She had a lot she wanted to ask, but she was also afraid of the answers that she might receive.


At the mention of Ertain, Ch’dau instinctively stepped toward Ara and put an arm around her. He wondered, of course, about the box but, before that, he worried over Aranwen’s state of mind, even when she, herself, broached the subject of what had broken her.


Admara sighed, “Look, sis, I don’t know what’s going on with you, but I know you. Thirty-two years ago, you came home, with that box in your arms, and you hid it under your bed. You never touched it since, and I never opened it. Suddenly, you to come back, now, and take it…” She tilted her head, “Are you okay?” She asked.


Aranwen averted her gaze, shuddering a bit in Ch’dau’s arms. Admara’s eyes softened, and she nodded slowly, “Ah…” She stepped forward, once more wrapping her arms around Aranwen, “Sis, I might not know what’s going on, or why you’re hiding, but you don’t have to hide from me, okay? You haven’t been yourself in thirty-two years. At least, tell me where you are going. Even if you have your reasons to hide, I want to know where you are going to be, so I can see you later.”


Aranwen nodded slowly, “Meadowbrook,” She replied, “We were just on our way there.”


Admara nodded, “That’s not too far, at least,” She breathed a sigh of relief, “Your secrets are safe with me, as they always have been,” She repeated, her voice reassuring and gentle, “Are you sure you don’t want to stay and rest here? Even for a bit? Mom and dad are worried.”


Aranwen shook her head, “I can’t,” She replied, her voice cracking, “I don’t…”


Admara sighed softly, “You don’t want them to see you like this,” she murmured. At Aranwen’s nod, Admara hugged her closer, “Okay then. I’ll still visit you, at least. Take care of yourself,” She offered, before looking up at the large Kazari beside her, “And I’m trusting you to take care of her when she doesn’t,” She winked.


Ch’dau tilted his head as he regarded the youngest Galandel. This strange woman who seemed so different in personality as Aranwen, and yet, as he looked between Admara and Aranwen, and saw the genuine concern and caring nature in Admara’s eyes, he could see how they still resembled the other. He nodded his head, “I will,” he promised to Admara.


“Good,” Admara smiled, “Well, I’d best let you get going. But don’t think I’m not going to come by later to get the stories!” she gave a playful grin.


Aranwen rubbed her forehead once again, as she had several times before in recent moments, “They’re not all good stories,” She spoke softly.


Admara shrugged her shoulders, “I know that,” She replied, “But I still want to know. And I want you to know that you are not alone,” She smiled up gratefully at Ch’dau, “You have your love,” She looked back to meet Aranwen’s eyes, “You have your confidant of a little sister, and I know there has to be others.”


Aranwen couldn’t reply, as she leaned beside Ch’dau, her eyes closed as she cried. Soft, gentle sobs of relief. Admara gave a wave, before turning and dashing back to the village, with a skip in her step.


“So, that was your sister,” Ch’dau chuffed, shaking his head at how different Admara was from Aranwen.


“A little whirlwind that upends everything she runs into,” Aranwen chuckled, a smile tugging at her lips, “She’s much taller now, but she’s still much the same. She may yet become one of Haren’salkya’s Maidens,” She whispered, “When she comes of age.”


“Certainly has the spirit of one, it seems,” Ch’dau observed, his eyes roaming to the oak box that now lay upon the wagon, “What was it that you brought back with you?”


Aranwen looked up into Ch’dau’s eyes, her own eyes damp with tears, “Materials,” She replied, “If you wish to work with metal, this is perhaps the best steel as we may be able to get. If they can be made into new things, tools to tend to crops and life, then… I think… I think that will be good.”


Aranwen laid one hand on the oak case, and averted her eyes, even as she slid the lid off of the box.


Inside were two beautiful blades, one overlaid upon the other, made of finely wrought steel.



Posted on 2019-12-16 at 10:05:48.

Topic: HC: Aftermath QA
Subject:


With all of the detail and life put into the church Gib is part of, it is inspiring me to consider a priestess character at some point  


As for Aranwen... Yeah...



Posted on 2019-12-13 at 14:20:20.

Topic: Hidden Corruption: Aftermath
Subject: The sound of silence


It was quiet, but for the sounds of Adaron's creatures nearby. At least, that's what it seemed to any passerby. Aranwen twisted and tumbled in that not-sleep she had slowly grown accustomed to.


She was back in the dark underground. Her hands swollen, raw and bleeding from the stones she pulled from the path towards the surface. She dug, and she dug. The others even had to bind her to force her to rest on occasion. But the others were what mattered. She had to get them out of there. It was all she could do.


Then, when they finally broke the surface... The others were relieved and stepped out into the sunlight, wincing from the harsh sunlight hitting their dark acclimated eyes. But Aranwen hadn't moved. When she spoke, her voice was hollow, defeated, without heart. 


"I am an oathbreaker. By rights I should be dead."


Though she didn't make a move to leave, she didn't resist when Ch'dau picked her up...


Aranwen panted, uncovering herself of the blankets around her. With shaking limbs, she staggered to her feet, and slipped out of the tent. She covered her eyes from the blinding sun, the right eye, and looked towards the ground as she made her way beside a tree nearby.


As she leaned against the tree, she sighed. She felt the bark, and thought of the forest she was born in. So very long ago. A little girl who pretended to be a bladesinger, branch in hand and voicing off key notes while running around.


Aranwen paused in recollection, leaning over to pick up a tree branch of roughly appropriate size. 


All at once she was no longer in the Sylvari forest, and instead in the dead forest at Crandel. Her hand clenched tighter, and the dead wood cracked in her grip. In her mind and her movements, she relived that ill fated battle. The branch snapped against a tree in her path, and she heard the thunder of Davena's spell.


She threw herself forward, as if to grab the priestess and bring her to the ground, stabbing downward with no care should she stab her blade through her target and into the ground... 


And she sobbed as she stabbed the ground, again, and again, with a broken branch in hand. 


 



Posted on 2019-12-13 at 13:36:40.

Topic: The Adventures of Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun
Subject: A Lost Child (no, not that one)


378 E.R, Uialfinde, Londelirinen


Delegation to patrol held something of a mixed feeling to Aranwen. On the one hand, she could understand it - by having new hands aiding where they could along the paths through the Three Kingdoms, it gave them experience without entrusting them to dangerous ventures, as well as greater familiarity with the place they sought to protect and keep safe. But on the other hand, Aranwen was impatient; she wanted to prove herself, as she always had since first arriving at Megilindor Nost. Her drive to succeed which had seen her through her training, now was a hindrance in her mind.


And yet, as she walked the trail with Saeriel beside her, she felt herself relax. She watched as the scattered sunlight passed over Saeriel's hair, the red catching the light and giving her an almost ethereal glow about her. As if feeling her eyes, Saeriel turned, amethyst eyes meeting gold, and gave a gentle smile.


"Just relax, Ara," Saeriel offered, giving Aranwen's hand a gentle squeeze, "There's no rush, and it's a lovely day for a walk."


Aranwen nodded, returning the smile, "Yes, it is," She replied, leaning in to give Saeriel a kiss.


They continued their border patrol, and the two bladesingers found themselves in the town of Uialfinde. Saeriel tensed her shoulders, and as Aranwen looked to see the Sylvari of the village in a haste, moving back and forth, looking this way and that, she could feel the apprehension as well. Aranwen nodded to Saeriel, and they quickly approached one of the villagers.


"Excuse me, excuse me! What's the matter here?" Aranwen asked.


The woman turned to look at Aranwen, panic at the edges of her eyes, "Oh! We can't find []'s child anywhere!"


Aranwen leaned in, placing a hand on the woman's shoulder, "Take steady breaths. Be calm," She offered, before she asked, "Where were they last seen?"


"[]'s garden. They were helping out tending the flowers."


Aranwen looked to Saeriel, mouth open to speak, but paused as she saw Saeriel with her eyes closed and a hand at her forehead. She instantly recognized that posture, and moved over to embrace Saeriel, holding her steady in case she fell, feeling how she shook on her own legs, "Sae, what is it?"


"So many lights. I can't see," Saeriel whispered, "It's all blurry... I can't... see."


"Are you alright? What ails you?" The woman asked.


Aranwen shook her head, "Don't worry. It's alright. Please, tell us of them. Do they carry anything with them, always? If not, what are they wearing?"


"They have a pendant they wear, oak carved in the shape of a leaf."


Saeriel nodded, her brow furrowing as she leaned into Aranwen's arms. After a moment, she took a breath, and opened her eyes.


Aranwen quickly looked over Saeriel, breathing in relief to see her violet eyes focused and alert, "Did you see anything?"


"I think I know the direction. We need to hurry."


Aranwen nodded, giving Saeriel a gentle nudge, "Lead us there, Sae."


Taking a glance around to get her bearings, Saeriel drew a deep breath and started along a path, with Aranwen following close behind. They moved at a brisk pace through the foliage and trees, moving further and further from the village.


"Did they really go this far out of the village?" Aranwen asked.


Saeriel nodded, "I think so. But to them, they never left."


They came to an opening in the forest, and there, not a few paces away from them, was a young Syl walking slowly as though in a trance.


"Wait!" Aranwen called, "Stop!"


As Aranwen drew the attention of the child, Saeriel darted forward, her blade coming clear of its sheath as she swung over the child's head. There was a few sharp, startled cries, and a few shapes obscured by light dove out of the way of the steel blade, swerving away quickly into the forest.


The child looked around in shock, "W-where am I? Where's mom!?"


Aranwen approached slowly as Saeriel sheathed her blade and knelt down beside the child, her violet eyes lingering on the leaf pendant they wore, "Shh, shh," Saeriel hushed the child, before replying, "She's still at Uialfinde."


"Where am I? Who are you?"


Aranwen gave a gentle smile, "You're not too far from the village. We're bladesingers on patrol. Come on, let's get you home."


After retracing their steps back to the village to see the child safely returned home, Aranwen and Saeriel both shared a sigh of relief. Though they were offered to share dinner, Aranwen and Saeriel declined, and returned to their route, walking once more on the woodland path.


"What did you see?" Aranwen asked, after the village had begun to be obscured by the foliage behind them, "That seemed different for you. More intense."


Saeriel nodded, "I saw small creatures of light dancing around me. It was as if the world moved beneath my feet while they were leading me somewhere," she sighed, "It was all I could do to stay standing, even with you beside me. When you asked about what the child wore, things became clearer. And then I could see where they were headed, and I could vaguely feel the direction it was in. To their eyes, they were still in the village, but that was only an illusion held by those creatures."


"Where were they headed?" Aranwen asked.


"They were headed to a ring of mushrooms, just a bit further in that clearing," Saeriel's violet eyes were distant as she recalled what she had seen.


"You mean..." Aranwen's eyes widened, and she took a breath, "Thank goodness that didn't happen."


Saeriel nodded, "It's strange. We've both heard those stories and proverbs when we were very little, but to see it actually happen... it's a bit surreal. Like something out of a nightmare."



Posted on 2019-12-12 at 22:23:40.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Alternate details


Reading on some of the Audalis deities, and I can't help but wonder if Saeriels' visions were a product of Alvereon or Lysora.


I had already established that Saeriel has always had visions from a very young age, which lines up with Alvereon's tendencies. Showing the present rather than the past or the future also seems another way a goddess of fate may obfuscate their touch, keeping the knowledge shared out of the realm of prophecy because it is already happening.


But I could also see Saeriel potentially considering becoming a priestess of Lysora, at least before she decided she wanted a proactive role rather than a reactive one, and decided on her path as a bladesinger instead.


It might not matter too much at this point, but it is something interesting for me to think about



Posted on 2019-12-12 at 12:20:46.

Topic: HC: Aftermath QA
Subject: A priest hmm?


Wanders off to do some research




Posted on 2019-12-12 at 11:51:34.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Yes!


That is what I meant - fraternal twins



Posted on 2019-12-11 at 20:11:26.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Hmm shall we...


The idea of twin cubs, just onset of puberty, is rather appealing for a few reasons - not the least being that gives a good opportunity for showing how they may look similar and different at the same time. And just overall cuteness



Posted on 2019-12-11 at 20:04:31.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: As if we needed any more reason...


... to bug Olan about Sylzari



Posted on 2019-12-11 at 19:00:06.

 


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