Fantasy Character Castle Chronicles n.1
April 24, 2021 at 6:09 pm #133283
Jericho was watching the others keenly, waiting to see if any had tales they wanted to share first. She noticed Nithel’s shoulder seemed stiff and he caught her eyes a moment before looking down and rolling his fingers. Concern crossed her features. “My friend,” she said, standing to approach and inspect his shoulder, “you needn’t put on a brave face if you are in pain. If you ask, I will help.” The cut wasn’t deep, but clearly there was more to it than appeared.
The woman gently laid her hand on Nithel’s shoulder and inhaled deeply. She closed her eyes and let pure, unbridled compassion course through her mind and heart. Something tugged in her core. For Nithel the pain gradually receded until even the sting of air touching the scratch was gone. Because the scratch itself was now gone.
Jericho slowly exhaled, opening her eyes and returning to her seat. She smoothed some creases in the folds of her robes before meeting the gazes of the others. “Shall I tell my story or would someone else like to go first?”
"Remember, you go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you." - Rev. Peter R. HaleApril 25, 2021 at 12:15 pm #133307
“Can I try something?”Alessio whispered, and Nithel’s eyes lifted to his friend.
Nithel winced, flinching. Alessio had touched his shoulder. It stung, badly.
Then Jericho called him friend again, and rose to her feet, face concerned. Egad… Nithel was stunned, and warmed. They cared. These people actually cared. And though Alessio’s hand on his shoulder hurt, Nithel was moved deeply.
Alessio melted back as Jericho knelt beside him. Nithel felt bad, and determined to get close to Alessio again.
“you needn’t put on a brave face if you are in pain. If you ask, I will help.” Jericho spoke, and again reminded him of Vinia. Her tones… She looked at Nithel’s shoulder, apparently assessing.
I ask. But Nithel said nothing.
Her hand then touched him, and his chest tightened again. Her touch was soft, but it still hurt.
The pain then started to fade. The ache in his arm slowly retraced, then condensed at his shoulder. Like a ball, then that started to dissipate. Nithel stared at the woman, shocked and in awe. So many emotions rushed him at once. He didn’t know… The pain was gone.
Jericho slowly exhaled, opening her eyes.
Nithel was stunned, lips parted slightly. Thank you. He needed to say it. “Thank, thank you miss.”
Then she had stood, and was returning to her seat. Nithel stared at her a moment, then the ground. He wished to weep, but refrained. He wished to embrace this woman, but also Alessio. Alessio, his friend. And this woman, who called him friend.
“Shall I tell my story or would someone else like to go first?” she asked, and Nithel’s chest moved a bit.
Tell your story. Not just a story. Though, people were known to have slips of the tongue. Or mean things completely different.
He glanced back to Alessio, in the shadows, just out of reach of the light of the fire. It would be colder there. But his friend… had been slightly stood up. Even though, Nithel looked back to the woman, and nodded, Thank you. And he truly wished to hear the story.
Nithel then scooted to where he was beside Alessio again. He waited silently, moving his arm, shocked that it was healed. “Thank you Alessio.” He said softly.
Passion = A Willingness To SufferApril 26, 2021 at 10:19 am #133320
“Thank, thank you miss.”
Jericho smiled warmly in acknowledgement of the thanks. “You are always welcome, my friend,” she said softly.
There was quiet a moment.
Then, realizing they were waiting on her to speak, she nodded once, almost to herself. “Very well, I will tell my tales,” she said, “though I warn you; my people are storytellers, and this is an old story we have passed down. It has since been embellished and lengthened and is now told in an order different from that in which it happened.”
At the continued expectant silence of the others, Jericho smiled, and began the story.
I suppose it began with a dragon. The mighty Kiaan, oldest and wisest of the dragons, the first who learned to speak. He towered over the others, for he was the first to live so long and grow to such size. He was the first of the greater dragons. And he was the first to learn the ways of shakti, of the gift. It was a power within him that he could wield to boil seas or raise mountains. And he taught this gift to the humans of the land.
Once those gifted with shakti had learned how to harness their power, two groups had formed. The Bairi, who used their gifts for destruction and self-gain, and of which there are always only two; and the Shanti, who tried to use their gifts for the good of those around them.
This story starts, when it is told traditionally, after the fall of the Shanti when they had been all but wiped out and an Empire had conquered most of the land. At its head were two Bairi; one, the Emperor, and the other, his apprentice and stalwart enforcer. He was called Tarak. And we begin with him capturing a princess, Anayah Bhasin, because she was a leader of the rebellion against the Empire and a spy. One of her entourage escaped Tarak, however; a thief by the name of Ekavir who had been enslaved for his crimes and put in service of the princess. Anayah had managed to speak with Ekavir before her impending capture, and told him to seek out Kuvadhuh, one of the last Shanti who remained in hiding.
After a few misadventures, Ekavir found himself in service to a small farm outside of Samaveh in the desert. The couple that ran the farm were stern, weather-worn, and set in their ways. They would not be easily persuaded to help in his plight. But also on the farm was their foster-son, Raj Daraya, a slip of a youth with an adventurous soul. Ekavir told him of Anayah’s beauty and the danger she was in. Raj did not know Kuvadhuh or where to find the old Shanti, but he did know of a hermit who lived not far from the farm by the name of Kivadh. And so the following morning Raj and Ekavir departed to seek Kivadh.
Meanwhile, Tarak had realized one of Anayah’s entourage had not been captured, nor was his body accounted for amongst the dead. So the dark warrior sent his soldiers into the desert to search for Ekavir in case he carried information that could be used against the Empire.
When Raj and Ekavir found Kivadh and explained the situation, asking if Kivadh knew where they may find Kuvadhuh, they discovered that Kivadh was, in fact, Kuvadhuh and had used the name Kivadh while in hiding. Kivadh told Raj that his father had been one of the Shanti like Kivadh, and that Raj also carried the gift of shakti within him. Ekavir and Kivadh tried to persuade the boy to help in their rescue of the Princess. But Raj’s responsibilities to the farm were weighing on his mind and he went back, against Kivadh’s warnings.
When he arrived Raj discovered that the farm had been ruined, the two burned bodies of his foster-parents lying just inside the door. Tarak had traced Ekavir to the farm and had it destroyed. This was all that was needed to persuade Raj to join the quest, as now he would also be gaining vengeance for his parents. The three thus went to Samaveh and recruited a pair of mercenary merchants – Azad Agar and Balveer – to help them escape from the imperial soldiers in the region and get to the imperial prison outside of Alamut, the Princess’s city, where they believed she was being held.
Outside of Alamut, Tarak was attempting to learn what information Princess Anayah had acquired by means of brutal persuasion. Outside of the prison was a mighty standing army, equipped with all manner of weapons and war machines. Tarak had imprisoned the people of Alamut threatened to have Alamut razed to the ground if the Princess did not tell where the rebellion resided; she relented and told him of an abandoned city in the desert. Tarak then had the Alamutians slaughtered and the buildings destroyed, despite his earlier word.
When Raj and his companions arrived only rubble remained of the city, but the Princess was still an important leader and strategist of the rebellion. So a daring rescue plan was hatched. Before Tarak had joined the Bairi as the Emperor’s apprentice, he had been one of the Shanti, and Kivadh had been his master. Kivadh entered the army’s encampment and antagonized the soldier, causing great chaos and disorder among the ranks. Raj, Azad and Ekavir meanwhile snuck into the prison while everyone was thus distracted, and after many misadventures, escaped with the Princess back to where Balveer awaited them.
But Kivadh’s antics soon drew the attention of Tarak, who challenged his former master to a duel. Raj caught sight of it, and, entranced by the flashing of damascene blades as the warriors performed their deadly dance, could not help but watch. Many of the imperial soldiers also paused what they were doing and merely watched the spectacle with amazement. Tarak and Kivadh were evenly matched, gaining then losing advantages like the rising and falling of tides. But as the fight wore on Kivadh left an opening, and Tarak took the opportunity. He struck down his former master.
Azad and the princess had to drag Raj away from the scene so they could make their escape to where the rebellion truly resided, for Anayah had lied to Tarak earlier. Upon their arrival Anayah gave the information that she had learned, and it was soon discovered that the Empire had followed the princess and her companions to the rebellion. An attack was impending. Azad and Balveer, mercenary as they were, simply took their reward for aiding in the Princess’s rescue and would soon be gone before the battle started. Raj, now having no home to go back to, joined in the rebellion and fought for them. In the battle that followed the rebels surprised the Empire by attacking their camp, destroying their war machines and forcing the soldiers to flee into the night. Raj became engaged in combat with Tarak and when it seemed the young man was about to be felled, Azad returned and blocked the blow, forcing Tarak to follow his men. Thus the day was won.
Jericho smiled at her audience. “That is but the first part of the story,” she told them, “but I do not wish to make you sleep. I will tell more at another time, perhaps.”
- This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Skylarynn.
"Remember, you go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you." - Rev. Peter R. HaleApril 26, 2021 at 8:19 pm #133424
“My friend, you needn’t put on a brave face if you are in pain.” Jericho said, walking over to Nithel. Alessio backed out of the way, watching her warily. “If you ask, I will help.”
Alessio couldn’t hear a lie in her voice but…She placed a hand on his friend’s shoulder and Alessio tensed, but after a moment he could see the wound knit closed as she let out a breath. Consciously Alessio relaxed, she was probably an ability-born of some sort, at least she didn’t seem like a wizard or a witch…
“Thank, thank you miss.” Nithel managed with as much stunned emotion as Alessio felt. Jericho stood, accepting his thanks with a few words and returning to her seat, while Alessio followed her every motion with his eyes, not sure what to think. He had a very hard time trusting people, but maybe, just once, things were somewhat alright.
“Shall I tell my story or would someone else like to go first?” She asked and Alessio perked up a little. Storytelling was something he genuinely loved, and he had so little opportunity to enjoy things it almost went to his head like wine.
Abruptly Alessio was aware of a movement beside him and glanced up to find Nithel close to him, testing his arm some. Alessio stared at his friend’s arm somewhat fascinated somewhat wincing uncertainly as if any moment the injury would be back. Was it ok, did it still hurt?
“Thank you Alessio.”
“What?” Alessio said blankly, not fully grasping the words for a couple seconds. Was there a mistake or inconsistency or…? With a baffled expression he glanced at Nithel, feeling his cheeks burn. It probably wouldn’t have done anything anyway, fire isn’t a healing element or anything and he also has no idea how it works.
“Very well, I will tell my tale,” she said to the group “though I warn you; my people are storytellers, and this is an old story we have passed down. It has since been embellished and lengthened and is now told in an order different from that in which it happened.”
Slowly Alessio moved closer to his friend.
“If you treat yourself like you’re worth nothing you’ll attract people who believe it.” He whispered, peeking up at Nithel with warm, careful gaze that was almost trusting.
That was all he said for several moments, listening to the story or trying to. And failing, but he loved tales of danger and adventure, at least he used to, he really did. His mind couldn’t focus on anything except a pervasive, restless anxiety like something was going to happen or he had to do something. It was mostly because he knew he wanted to talk to Nithel but he couldn’t find words.
He’d only been half listening to the story but something in her voice piqued his attention. The ‘gift of shakti’ was what they called her powers? And the level of detail she was using, most stories would negligent to admit most the origins of a farm boy become soldier, and how would she know the Princess only betrayed the location of the rebels after Tarak threatened to raze Alamut? Those bits of information and that the Emperor’s apprentice was once Kivadh’s apprentice were all the kind of facts that wouldn’t have made it to the public. His eyes twinkled with fascination as he imagined the scenes. He made a mental note that Tarak ‘struck down’ Kivadh, not necessarily killed hi…her? His mind was whirring breathlessly over every facet of the story, gleaning as much as he could about Jericho from her tale…
“Thus the day was won.” Alessio paused and glanced over everyone a little uneasily. So…we’re all telling our backstories here. “That is but the first part of the story, but I do not wish to make you sleep. I will tell more at another time, perhaps.”
Nobody’s going to ask me to tell a story anyway…probably.
He looked up at Brendin, wondering if he’d tell his story next. He doubted Malvat would participate. But Alessio really did love tales and he wanted to keep listening, it’d been a while since he’d heard new stories.
Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underageApril 26, 2021 at 9:50 pm #133434
“You’re Kithnaryin,” Brendin said quietly after Jericho finished her story.
Surprised, albeit pleasantly so, the woman smiled. “Yes, I am.” Worry caught in her mind a moment. It was unlikely, but if he knew of her people he might know the legend she told. And if he knew that much, he might know who Jericho was.
“Falkidarin,” Jericho corrected. “My grandmother was Falmari.” She analyzed him in turn now. He spoke with a slight accent she had difficulty placing. But the grey eyes and red-blonde hair… “And you, my friend, are you a Kelt?”
He shook his head. “My father was, I believe.”
“And your mother?”
“The Northern Marshal.”
“Ah.” So he was from Haven. “You are a duke, then.”
Brendin nodded and a silence fell. He soon noticed Alessio gazing at him in anticipation, and realized they were waiting for another story. His story. A sudden unease crept upon him. “If you wish to hear my story,” he said quietly, “I’m afraid I’ll disappoint.”
Intrigued, Jericho quirked a brow. She had suspicions, but they were yet to be confirmed. “How so?” she asked.
The man shrugged, clearly somewhat uncomfortable. “I know only fragments of it. I remember little.”
"Remember, you go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you." - Rev. Peter R. HaleApril 29, 2021 at 3:13 pm #133505
“If you wish to hear my story, I’m afraid I’ll disappoint.” Brendin said quietly. Alessio dropped his gaze, trying very hard not to look disappointed.
“How so?” Jericho asked
“I know only fragments of it.” he replied uneasily “I remember little.”
Was it because of magic? Alessio’s memories had been selectively buried until he hadn’t even known he had powers until he suddenly activated them. His jaw tightened at the thought. A lot of his mind had been invaded and twisted so even when it was over there was so much damage. Even now he didn’t know for sure whether all his memories were really in place.
Alessio’s gaze slid back to Brendin, wondering if he was ok, and if there was anything he could do to help. Brendin had taken the time to help him when he panicked after Malvat’s mind-reading powers. But Alessio didn’t know what to say or what to do, nothing he could think of seemed particularly helpful or comforting. So he thought if he couldn’t do anything for Brendin at least he could give him space by shifting the unwanted attention.
“I heard a story once,” Alessio whispered, staring at the floor. “I can’t remember where but…”
He took a slow, careful breath and didn’t look up.
“There was once a Tree, one of the most slender and beautiful trees in the forest. It was taller than canopy of leaves around it so it could see the Sun.”
The fireplace flickered a little, whirling up almost as if reaching, but Alessio didn’t move.
“No matter how much it grew or how far it stretched it could never reach the Sun. But the Tree never stopped reaching. Every day, birds and animals wondered how it couldn’t be content with its own due, after all, it was a shining tree, so tall it was amazing to look at. However tall it
was it kept reaching for the Sun, even when it was the dead of night or raining too hard to see, the Tree always reached after the Sun.”
By now the flickering fire fluttered almost into shapes, its light refracting gold the corners of his dark eyes. For a couple seconds a dash of flames sputtered into branches, giving a low crackle like a lullaby. Alessio had an odd but familiar sensation burn through his bones, but he wasn’t really paying attention to it, his head still mostly hidden under his hood as he kept his arms wrapped around his knees.
“The Sun had light and warmth that simply wasn’t natural or possible for the Tree, but it was drawn to the Sun, so strongly it could never stop reaching. Then one day a storm hit,” Alessio said. Their campfire became even more agitated, snapping at the roof of the cave, almost spinning in circles. “A bolt of light hit the Tree, destroying it. It burned and burned for three nights before there was nothing left of it but charred ash.”
Abruptly the fire puffed out, then returned to a small, crackling flame.
“I was told there was a lesson there, other than not reaching for things too great for you…” He murmured, peeking up for a second, before giving a fractional shrug and curling in his legs uncomfortably.
Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underageApril 29, 2021 at 4:32 pm #133510Joelle Stone@joelle-stone
Malvat curled his bulk around the cavern, wishing it would enlarge like the tunnel had. Despite his power-enforced hide, the spikes lining the walls, floor, and ceiling made it uncomfortable. He should just grind them into dust, or break them all off and toss them into the fiery inferno beyond the tunnel, but he decided those actions might invoke a more violent response from the Castle. He couldn’t risk either Bearer being destroyed.
Speaking of which, the mankind were seating themselves around a small fire and beginning to spin yarns. The one with the deep eyes spoke first, telling a tale of a star and the “Star-Breather”. Malvat suppressed a wave of anger and slight fear. Why did Kening keep showing up? It was beginning to be about as annoying as the war between Life and Death inside him.
The woman went next, her story that of a captured Princess and a young farmboy who went to save her with the help of the villain’s former master. Malvat let his head be consumed in the shadows beyond the firelight, trying to keep the mankind from seeing the rage sparking in his eyes. He would have his fight with his apprentice, as Kuvadh did, and he would not fall.
Everyone looked to the older Bearer next, the one named Brendin if Malvat gleaned thoughts correctly. But instead of taking hold of the opportunity, Brendin said, “If you wish to hear my story, I’m afraid I’ll disappoint.”
Odd. Malvat narrowed his silver eyes. Was the Bearer shy?
“How so?” the woman inquired.
Brendin shrugged, waves of tenseness flowing from his body. “I know only fragments of it. I remember little.”
This got Malvat’s attention. If the Bearer only remembered some of his past, then he would be easier to manipulate. Brute force would not be necessary to win him to Malvat’s side. Malvat could slowly shift his worldview to align with his own. Then he would only need a Water Bearer, and mankind would fall.
Alessio jumped in, relating a short tale of a tall Tree who tried to reach the Sun. Malvat watched the dancing flames over the heads of the mankind as the boy spoke, observing how they reacted to his words. This must be the Bearer of Natural Flames, then. He would do if Brendin fell short.
When the story was completed, Alessio curled his legs up and muttered, “I was told there was a lesson there, other than not reaching for things too great for you…”
Pride goes before Destruction, Malvat thought. It is true.
“If you wish,” he offered, keeping his voice low. Despite his efforts, the stone walls of the cavern echoed with the deep-throated rumbles. “I have a tale. It is not a happy one, although I hope it ends well.”
"Lacho calad! Drego morn!"April 29, 2021 at 5:59 pm #133511
Alessio moved closer to Nithel, and his heart warmed, eyes gaining some peace. Happiness.
Then the youth spoke, in just a whisper. His eyes were careful, testing as they stared at him. “If you treat yourself like you’re worth nothing you’ll attract people who believe it.”
Nithel looked down, heart swirling. Was he believing that for himself, or me? Nithel’s eyes narrow with a small sadness as Alessio looks to Jericho. He believed it for anyone.
Nithel tries to focus on Jericho, for he cares about her. He tries but he’s stuck thinking about that word from Alessio. Considering. He hesitantly looks back to his friend, Do you wish to speak to me Alessio? His eyes ask, but the youth doesn’t look at him readily. He would ask him when it would not be rude.
Jericho finished her tale. Of space travel, Fie! May it never come to pass, a farmer, and a villain, and the villain’s mentor, before he became a villain. A regular suspense. Very intriging.
Then Brendin made an excuse. Pity seized Nithel’s chest. He didn’t remember? Nithel’s eyes lowered, and he considered a moment.
Then Alessio began to speak.
Nithel smiled inside, listening. Expecting something grand. Then the fire began to move.
Nithel’s eyes widened, and his heartbeat quickened. Noy. That- The flames almost touched the ceiling, then they died. Almost to embers, but not quite. The tree destroyed. How… awful.
Happy. Happy. Happy.
Then the dragon spoke, low and rumbly. Yes. Nithel thought, staring at the fire. I wish to hear.
But he glanced to Alessio, whispering, “Would you like to speak my friend?”
Passion = A Willingness To SufferApril 29, 2021 at 8:51 pm #133514
Jericho smiled, a pleasant and friendly smile, when Alessio finished his story. “That was quite a display,” she told him warmly. “You have a gift for telling tales, my young friend.”
“I have a tale. It is not a happy one, although I hope it ends well.”
“I am sure it is a tale worth sharing,” Jericho said, “but I am beginning to think that we should leave this barbed cave before the castle changes and traps us here. I am sure such would be of most discomfort to you.” Her tone was congenial, though there was a thread of some foreign emotion in it.
"Remember, you go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you." - Rev. Peter R. HaleMay 1, 2021 at 8:26 pm #133554
“That was quite a display,” Jericho said warmly “You have a gift for telling tales, my young friend.”
Alessio blanched and then reddened, stammering something like thanks and turning an even deeper shade of crimson, not sure what to do with the compliment. He fell silent, bewildered, not knowing where to look.
“Would you like to speak my friend?” Nithel whispered. Alessio blinked, and stared up at him. He still couldn’t imagine anyone caring enough to ask him what he wanted. But, Nithel was… nothing like the people he used to know. Nobody here was.
I want to. It was too much, there was too much, he couldn’t think of anything to say. He’d never had a chance to speak safely before. For several seconds all he could do was stare at Nithel trying to articulate words in his mind. There was so much but it all went blank.
His friend just told them his story, he deserved…Everyone here had been so kind to him, kinder than anybody he’d ever met. He wanted to trust Nithel.
“I…don’t know how to,” Alessio had to admit. He looked up at his friend, still struggling to formulate his thoughts. His gaze dropped to his hands and then at the fireplace. How could she have complimented him for that, didn’t it scare her, nobody had ever just accepted his powers before. And Brendin and Nithel, he could tell it scared Nithel, he could see it in his eyes, pure panic whenever his fire burst out, but Nithel didn’t abandon him if anything he came closer.
There was so much. He didn’t want to ruin this telling too much too soon.
“It’s…” Alessio swallowed, and let out a slow breath before glancing at Nithel with a sad smile. “I guess…most people treated you differently whenever you said who your father was. And if there’s something…different enough about you a lot of people forget you’re still human.”
He fell silent for several moments. Numbly he rubbed the side of his jaw, staring at nothing visible. He couldn’t go there. Not yet. There was just too much that had happened…
“He wasn’t all bad you know,” he murmured finally “my…father. Actually, he probably knew I wasn’t his even before…but he treated me like his own. He was more proud of my brother, because he was a warrior. He couldn’t allow for anything less than exactly what honor dictated. Probably would’ve killed me himself if he knew about–” Alessio motioned to the fireplace with his eyes “…that.”
He faded off again, pressing his arms around his knees uneasily. This wasn’t even important, he just wanted to forget. Why was he even bringing this up? He wanted to trust Nithel, they’d been so kind to him and open. If they were so open with him why couldn’t he at least try…?
“I’m sorry,” Alessio whispered instinctively although he wasn’t even sure what he was apologizing for. He just …wanted to know what it was like, to not have such deep, crippling memories. What was it like for it to be normal to feel safe, or loved? And he couldn’t do this, he just couldn’t be open or trusting not after…
“If you wish, I have a tale. It is not a happy one, although I hope it ends well.” The dragon rumbled suddenly, surprising Alessio. Normally, he might’ve been uneasy about Malvat, but stories were never unwelcome. Usually. Alessio loved storytelling…
“I am sure it is a tale worth sharing, but I am beginning to think that we should leave this barbed cave before the castle changes and traps us here.” Jericho said “I am sure such would be of most discomfort to you.”
There was something in her voice he couldn’t quite place right now. Swallowing a little disappointment and trying very hard to not look disappointed, Alessio obediently got to his feet and picked up their supplies suddenly noticing the chocolates. Nithel…brought them? Alessio stared at the box in amazement, a small wondering smile flickered in his face. He peeked back at his friend and then at the box, suddenly finding himself trying to contrive some clever way to get Nithel to try a chocolate.
Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underageMay 3, 2021 at 1:06 am #133576
Alessio blinked, staring up at Nithel.
Nithel’s chest ached for him, and he held the youth’s eyes as he thought. Take your time my friend.
It’s alright, Nithel was about to think, you don’t have to. When Alessio spoke.
“I…don’t know how to,”
Nithel’s chest dropped, filling with sorrow and concern. You don’t know how to. Nithel’s eyes lowered for a fraction of a second, before they lifted to meet Alessio’s.
The youth’s eyes searched Nithel’s. It’s alright. Nithel tried to put comfort into his face. I won’t leave you.
Alessio swallowed, “It’s…” he struggled, then gave Nithel a sad smile. Nithel returned it the smallest bit, forehead crinkling. “I guess…most people treated you differently whenever you said who your father was. And if there’s something…different enough about you a lot of people forget you’re still human.”
Nithel’s brows lift the smallest bit. Are you speaking about me, or you, Alessio? Memories rush him, but he pushes them down, eyes locked on Alessio’s face. Brows lowering again.
Alessio looked away, rubbing his jaw. “He wasn’t all bad you know,” he murmured finally “my…father. Actually, he probably knew I wasn’t his even before…but he treated me like his own. He was more proud of my brother, because he was a warrior. He couldn’t allow for anything less than exactly what honor dictated. Probably would’ve killed me himself if he knew about–” Alessio motioned to the fireplace with his eyes “…that.”
Nithel’s chest ached a bit more. Like a needle was being twisted in it.
Alessio faded off, pulling his knees to his chest again, wrapping his arms around them.
Nithel’s eyes look like he’s being cut.
“I’m sorry,” Alessio whispered, and Nithel shook his head the smallest bit.
No. Don’t be. Please, Alessio… He wanted to press his forehead to Alessio’s shoulder. As… he had been taught. Heart aching.
“If you wish, I have a tale. It is not a happy one, although I hope it ends well.” The dragon rumbled. Interrupting.
Nithel’s teeth ran over each other, brows lowering, and he tried to lessen his frustration. You, who can read minds, know-
“I am sure it is a tale worth sharing, but I am beginning to think that we should leave this barbed cave before the castle changes and traps us here.” Jericho said, “I am sure such would be of most discomfort to you.”
Nithel presses his lips together, and swallows, ire lessening, though still upset. I’m sorry. Nithel breathed, and stared at Alessio. While we walk friend.
Alessio was already on his feet, and grabbing the supplies. A shock of regret touched Nithel, he’d missed carrying the supplies again.
The youth then smiled at something in the sack, surprising Nithel. He stared at Alessio, The youth could smile. And it didn’t seem fake. It was like a ray of light touched Nithel, and he smiled sadly. Carefully, he pushed to his feet, glancing at his arm again.
Passion = A Willingness To SufferMay 3, 2021 at 10:03 pm #133608
Jericho led the party through the winding tunnel. As they walked the walls shifted from prickling spikes to carven stone, lit every few meters by brackets of ever-burning torches. She did not know where they were going but she hoped it would be spacious enough she could keep her distance from the large reptile accompanying them. He made her uneasy.
Though I suppose that isn’t difficult, Jericho thought, careful to shield it from the dragon. Her trust was hard-earned, after all.
Beside her Brendin walked with a wearisome slowness. He appeared lost in rumination, and Jericho found herself wondering what had drawn his mind away. Her gift did not grant her the ability to hear the thoughts of others. But she could sense a weightiness to his mood. Something was pressing on his conscience, something to do with his lost past she guessed. He would likely be deep in thought for some time. So the woman left him to his dwelling and focused her attention on the two others in their company.
Jericho glanced at the flagstones beneath her feet and did not lift her eyes for some time. The boy was her junior by a greater number of years than he’d know, yet something about him resonated with her. She too had been lost before. She had little family to speak of and more than her fair share of secrets to keep. And she had had her trust broken time and again.
When she finally lifted her head Jericho’s eyes were glittering with an old pain. She slowed slightly and fell into step with the boy as Nithel walked on his other side. Surreptitiously, Jericho slipped her hand into Alessio’s long enough to give him a (hopefully) comforting squeeze. Warmth, compassion, kindness, affection – all of them she projected towards him. Then once more she strode ahead and matched step with Brendin
- This reply was modified 3 days, 2 hours ago by Skylarynn.
"Remember, you go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you." - Rev. Peter R. HaleMay 5, 2021 at 8:44 pm #133706
Alessio caught Nithel’s look of regret as he hefted their supplies, and gave a little smirk without surrendering the bag. They began to move and Alessio kept as close to Nithel as he could while keeps as much distance from Malvat as possible. Jericho led the way with Brendin, Alessio was still trying to think of some way to share the ‘chocolate’ with Nithel without embarrassing him. Half his mind was still carefully blocking memories, he felt like a fake around these people, it was just so little they really knew about him and somehow they accepted him. What if he was just as empty and false as…
Alessio never even thought his name after everything, trying to erase every trace of him from his mind. As if that changed the damage.
Then a hand slid in his as Jericho fell in step beside Alessio. His eyes widened at the touch. It…nobody had given him any form of positive touch in…he didn’t know. Warmth surged through him so suddenly Alessio froze up, slapped by how much he craved any kind of affection. Most people had just respected the deeply entrenched boundaries between him and any connection and treated him as something untouchable like a leper.
He stared down at his hand in disbelief, almost desperate to keep the lingering ghost of physical contact.
Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underageMay 5, 2021 at 11:59 pm #133757
Nithel had tensed the smallest bit when Jericho touched Alessio. Then he felt relief as Alessio didn’t pull away.
She was being kind to him. Nithel smiled a bit, sadness touching underneath it.
But the way Alessio stared at his hand when Jericho released… Nithel blinked several times and swallowed hard, smile evaporating. Nithel ached so much for his friend, so much… Tears were in his eyes as he looked away. Pondering.
Passion = A Willingness To Suffer
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