• Graded • An Ending

Atop a stony plateau overlooking the lands of central Idalos, and growing wealthy from the gem stones pulled from the rocky soil, Etzos is a bastion of independence; firm in its belief that man should rule Idalos, not be servants of the vain Immortals who nearly destroyed it. But can the many factions set aside their conflicting agendas and see this through?

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Nightshade Eld
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An Ending

Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:10 am

Ashan 20th, 709

Night could feel a sense of sinking dread starting to build up. It has been three hours since her father and the Master went off and told her to wait in the other room. She'd heard more, thanks to the loud crashes and yelling. It was a horrible feeling, being caught in the dark like this. She had no clue what was happening to her father or what was being discussed about her. She was at the mercy of the fates. No, not like the sea snake controlled, pure and simple fate. This was a different kind of fate that no amount of luck could change, only fighting, and she wasn't strong enough to fight these kinds of currents. So that meant all she could do was pray and hope. It was senseless trying to wade through waves so powerful when you could barely lift your arms. Doing such would only get you hurt, possibly drowned.

The analogies to water were well intended to reflect the most fear inducing aspect of her world. Finally, after a long and painful wait, the door swung open. Her father stomped away from the angrily screaming Master, grabbing the half=breed by the wrist and pulling her along. "We're going," he said with a deep and throaty growl.

"You are going nowhere," the Master said, reaching out and attempting to grab the half=breed. The more powerful man quickly snatched his daughter away from his grasp.

"Don't you dare touch her you disgusting fuck! You inhumane bastard, you don't even deserve to be called a human being anymore. Now get the fuck out of my presence before I slice you down the middle, we are leaving and that is final," her father snarled with a narrow of his eyes.

"If the two of you try to leave I will send every guard I have on that daughter of yours and make sure that if you leave, you leave alone," the Master returned. His voice dripped with just as much venomous hate as the half-breed's father did.

"Fucking try me bitch," the man said. A smile actually began to grow on his face, a confident 'no shits given' kind of smile that actually made him look threatening for the first time in Night's entire life. No matter how scary her father got she'd never been actually scared of him. He was her father, her protector, her champion and her knight long before her mind had created imaginary friends to fill the voids of real ones and by extension her knightly Lionheart Leo. But that smile chilled her, deep down right into her bones she could feel the aching cold and hateful attitude that one smile promised. In the face of such cold, the half=breed couldn't help a small shiver wreathing its way up her spine that brought goosebumps to her skin.

"Papa?" She muttered quietly as the older and larger avriel pulled her along, quickly slamming a door in the master's face and locking it.

"Alright, that could have gone better. Are you okay my little starling? Has Ivan done anything to you before, I want you to be completely honest with me," the man said looking at his daughter with concern.

"He... He tried to do something to Grace once so I smashed a pot over his head and clawed him. Then he tried to corner me so I crushed his finger with my teeth," she muttered. That sounded a lot more violent than the situation originally had been, it really painted the blame on her. But by the look on her father's face, he wasn't upset with her. More so his eyes glinted with hints of anger towards Ivan as well as sympathy towards her. "The Master has done worse," she muttered quietly.

"I see..." he said with a sigh, turning away from his precious little chick for a spare moment. His wings had curled around them both slightly when the half-breed wasn't paying attention, a protective measure.

"Dad, what's going on?" She finally asked after plucking up the courage.

"The old bastard came to me and tried to get me to let his son marry you. I'm sure he's already come to you with this demand, judging by what he said. Or Ivan did. Either way, I told him no and he got upset at his "servant" denying his demands. So he tried to pull the "I'm the master" bullshit and I might have maybe punched him in the face." Her father said turning away slightly. That explained the anger, as well as the new bruise.

"Daaaaaaad," the child groaned. Her father had the mouth of a sailor, the demeanor of a wolf, and the patience of a typical avriel with the pride only showing when he was put under great distress. There was no amount that could be assigned to the number of trials he'd spent trying to master his own nature. Of course, the half-breed's mother had helped.

According to her father, her mother's nature had lent itself well into the making of the half-breed's mind. On several occasions, her father had admitted the child to be far more rational than he ever had the capability of acting. That certainly helped the situation... "Starling, raven, my little hawk. Blackbird, I need you to do me a favor. Leave," he said. The half-breed's eyes flung wide open. What did he mean. "I know you're going to be upset to hear this, but Grace brought up the idea of you running away before. She came to me because she wanted help planning it. She must have known something was up, and she knew that if the worst actually came to the worst you wouldn't listen to her. You would try to stay with me. But you need to know, I'm strong. I have my wings and the wind is always at my back. Immortals know I'm not going down without a fight," the man said. "Eth would be ashamed if I did," he quickly muttered under his breath, glossing over the words. The half-breed didn't quite understand the muttered reference to the Immortal of honor. "She surely must already be disappointed enough..."

"But Dad, what if they hurt you because I left!" The girl whined. Maybe they would set her father free if she agreed to do it...

"Hush now Buzzard! It's wrong to prey on the corpses of false hopes," the half-breed slightly flinched at the chastisement. "These fools couldn't touch me if they dared. I am the king of birds, the strongest predator to own these skies. I'll break the head of anyone who dares touch my chick! My ax has no mercy!" The pure avriel barked puffing out his chest to emphasize his point. "Now my little raven, please, hold your head high. You're my child, and you're also her child. I won't have any of this dis confidence for you. You have my strength and all of your mother's smarts. Never was there a stronger willed woman to walk the face of Idalos, so give honor to her blood. It runs strong in you. After all, she was the actual fighter in our relationship. I don't think I would have survived among humans if it wasn't for her flare. I would have ended up killing someone out of sheer spite and pride like us avriel do," the man laughed bitterly. "Perhaps I'm going to need that spirit for what comes next," he muttered.

The half-breed finally crumbled against the requests of her father. "Alright. Go get Grace, I'll leave with her," Night finally conceded. The man smiled.

"Good girl, I'll be back in a moment," he said standing up. With a sweep of onyx feathers, the man was gone, leaving Night alone with her thoughts. trills and bits ticked by in silence as the child waited. Anxiety started to burn at the back of her mind. What if they'd captured her father when he left the room? What if she was next? The door to the room slowly began to creep open, Night's heart quickly jumping out of her chest. She swallowed hard and every muscle in her body tensed with the preparation to run. The door swung open fully and Grace was the one to launch herself into the room.

"Oh Night," she cooed in a saddened voice. Night's father was the second one to enter the room, closing it behind her. "This is horrible, I knew it was going to happen one day but not so soon," the girl just shy of a woman told her companion. Nightshade nodded bitterly, her head hanging downwards. Grace's expression was soft, deep green eyes that made Night think of new life bore into her own. Grace had been ready for this day because she had no reason to fear the world. She was, after all, an embodiment of that which was good. With long soft light brown hair and a beautiful figure. Grace was life. And then there was the half-breed who was best off described as death. No one in the world would ever want her around, she already knew it. There was no way she'd believe otherwise either, humanity was cruel and judged those who were different. She would be judged, she would be hated, she would be despised. But perhaps if she was able to live in the glowing shadow of Grace's majesty, she might just make it out alive.

"Right, we need a way to get you out of here unnoticed. Hmm. Hunch forward slightly," Grace said after taking a quick look over Night's figure. Night did as commanded and Grace threw a cloak over her. "There, now you look like an old lady!"

"Excuse me?" Night growled quirking an eyebrow upwards.

"The guards are going to be looking for an Avriel. Your wings are too identifiable. But doing like so, you look like an old lady that's a hunch back! This way we can slip through unnoticed," Grace said with a giant smile.

"Lovely, but how do we get out?" This plan was starting to look like it had more and more rather fatal flaws.

"Easy. We just stay out of sight and follow the road until they hit the tree line. Once we get to the forest it's our territory. We can ditch the cloak and make a run for it. Maybe find some people heading to Etzos. Worst comes to worst you know how to fight," Grace said pointing towards Night's waist. Subconsciously the half-breed's hand flew to the hilt of her sword at its mention.

"I suppose you have a point. But you still haven't clarified how we get out," Night huffed.

"I believe, I can help with that," her father said. To her amazement, he went over to book shelf and began to push it. A dark tunnel opened its mouth and the older avriel smiled at the pair. "Follow it all the way down and you'll get to the cellar. For there I'm sure the pair of you know the way out. Be safe," he said. He turned to Grace, his eyes hardening. "You better keep her safe," he said in the most menacing voice he could muster. It wasn't really much after how Night just saw him address the Master. A silent conversation seemed to pass before the pair as Grace nodded. Night couldn't figure out for the life of her what was going on, but before she knew it Grace was darting over and grabbing her by the wrist.

"Quickly now," she said as her voice took on an edge of excitement. The pair ran through the darkness, Grace always keeping Night as close as possible.

"Why are you doing this?" Night asked out of the blue.

"What do you mean?" Grace asked. Her face crinkled in confusion at the sudden question.

"Why are you helping me? Why do you care? It's not like anyone else does..." the girl's voice trailed off as she tilted her head downwards.

"Because we're friends. It's what we do for each other, that's all," Grace said. She turned away from her supposed friend, her cheeks taking on a slightly more rosy tint and the way her eyes shifted about implied that there was more to it than that. Night didn't question it though, they both had better things to be worrying about.

It didn't take them long to get to the cellar and the way out into the world from there was something both could easily remember. From playing down there to hiding from Ivan, the dark and damp room full of fermenting alcohols had become a safe haven. Especially during the hotter seasons. "Alright, we have to remember to keep our heads down," Grace reminded. "Neither of us is very good at lying so it would be better if we didn't have to lie at all," Grace huffed. Night's ability to lie was something that had always been up for debate, neither one really wanting to say Night was good or bad at lying because either one came with an assorted box of issues.

The two exited the cellar quietly, trying to stick to the side lines and avoid prying eyes. When at all possible, they stuck close to things that were easy to hide behind and areas where they didn't stand out.

"We're in the home stretch," Night whispered as the forest started to come into clear view after what seemed like an eternity of avoiding others. Of course, luck had always been fickle for Nightshade and just as they were nearly clear they had to be caught.

"Hey! You two!" A guard called catching the attention of the pair. They both turned around, Night trying to cover up her face as best she could. The guards' initial reaction was to regard Night with disgust. "Have either of you seen a half avriel running around here?" He asked, his glare never leaving Night.

Grace shook her head no. "Alright, what about you. Granny." The guard's expression turned even angrier. Was he already seeing right through her?

Two things came to mind. Act like she was an old man, and don't look suspicious. "Of course not deary, just me and my granddaughter here!" Night tried to make her voice sound old but it just sounded like a child trying to impersonate an old woman. Or maybe she sounded like a pig with a cold. They sounded pretty similar. In a movement that was too fast for Night to react the guard reached out and wrenched the cloak away from her.

"I thought so!" He roared as he lunged at the pair, drawing a weapon. Grace reacted faster. The man lashed out with his sword. Grace moved in front of the way of the shell shocked half-breed. Grace was bleed. The man was yelling. Grace was falling to the ground.

Just like that reality and relax kicked in. After watching her friend fall to the ground with a gash in her side the feathered creature roared and reared, pulling out Red Brand. She lunged angrily with a feral and vicious noise. The guard couldn't react fast enough, and like that the half-breed had stolen her first life. She didn't have time to linger on thoughts of her own actions, instead turned to Grace and sheathing her blade. "Grace! Talk to me!" The half breed whimpered as she pulled the bleeding woman closer to her.

"Oops," Grace said as she held her bleeding side. "Guess I finally paid you back for protecting me against Ivan," Grace laugh sounded easy, almost like she wasn't bleeding out and Night was just imagining things.

"How is this fair!?" Night said, her voice rising to a hysterical pitch.

Grace laughed again. "Because I owe you for so much more than that," she said with a gentle look.

"What could you possibly owe me for? All you've ever done is defend me from all the bullies around me. If anything I still haven't paid back you," Night whimpered. her own heart rate was starting to spike with panic.

"I owe you for your laugh, your smile, the strength you hold in every day. I owe you for all the times you took beatings in my place. I owe you for all the times you championed my name and cried out the fact that I was a good person. I owe you for the strength you gave me to want to leave this place and follow my dreams," the brunette said. She laughed once more, but this time it sounded forced. She was in obvious pain, that much was enough to see.

Night felt something break. She wasn't exactly sure what it was or why it broke, but she could tell when it snapped. "No. No, no, no, no, no! You are not allowed to dump that on me and then just die! What the actual hell Grace? This isn't fair, not fair at all!"

"Life isn't fair," Grace retorted. She smiled, the look was all too familiar to Night. It was the kind of smile that spoke more words than a minute talking ever could. It said to deal with life as it came, because when everyone was a player there was always going to a cheater rigging the game against you. It was a rueful and bitter look for the way the game had played out. It took everything wrong with the world and said 'look at me because I'm reality'! without giving a damn what others would think of the proclamation. And it was also the smile that Night had came to adore with every fiber of her being. "Now get out of here, I can here the guards coming. Oh don't start crying, look, the wound isn't fatal. I'll ham it up and say you gave it to me after you killed the guard. Maybe they'll patch me up," Grace said, winking at the half-breed. "After all, I am the better lair."

Night hadn't even realized she'd started to cry until Grace pointed it out. "Right," she said in a quiet voice, standing up on shaky legs and taking off at a run. She could hear the shouts of guards behind her as they ran after her. It was a miracle she hit the woods in time, running as fast as her legs would carry her until they burned. She could feel her lungs starting to burn as well. But she didn't care. Her father's only wish. Grace's only wish. All they had wished for was her to live. She wasn't going to disrespect that.

word count: 3205
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien
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Prophet of Old
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An Ending

Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:32 am


Points Gained: 10

Deception: If your bad at lying, avoid situations where you have to lie
Deception: Don't be suspicious
Disguise: Wings make for a good fake hunchback
Disguise: The wings aren't helping
Disguise: Play the part
Intimidation: Sometimes smiles are scarier than glares

Comments: Wow. Just wow. This thread was emotional, it was raw... I loved it. I will ask that you proof-read your work a little. Other than that, I'm a huge Nightshade fan.

word count: 90
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