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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Vhalar 28th, 717
The half-breed wandered the streets quietly watching the way that the people moved. Her presence was greeted with anything ranging from a nod to a glare to a small smile. She took a deep breath as she walked, letting the chilling air flood her lungs. Nothing really interested her as she meandered along, most people seemed sedated as it was early enough in the morning. Until she noticed something a bit more peculiar. She would have said it was a young couple that sparked her interest, but the male portion of the pair was anything but young. He was old with spectacles sitting on the tip of her nose and a sour look on his face. The woman walking beside him kept her head down. The half-breed would have been tempted to say they were father and daughter if it wasn't for the matching pair of wedding bands that sat on each of their fingers. The girl didn't look happy. The half-breed tried to get a good look at her without seeming as though she was staring, but the man seemed to be guarding her against view almost selfishly.
There was something obviously wrong with the scene. It spiked the curiosity of the half-breed but also sparked something a bit more dangerous. This situation was abnormal, the kind of abnormal that spoke of a wife beaten into submission and taken by a man double her age to basically be a trophy and a child incubator at best. Stress relief at worst. Her intuition could have easily been wrong, but that half-breed didn't like it. Not even slightly. So many red flags were going off the half-breed could practically hear air horns going off in her head. Perhaps it would be best if she tailed along. Bad things could easily happen to a young woman who knew no better. She wasn't property, but she wasn't aware of that fact. As far as she knew, from the moment she married, she became property. And in a lot of marriages that was unfortunately how things worked. Perhaps that was why the half-breed could never marry. On top of dating Noth, making the idea of marriage highly impossible, she couldn't lower herself to being someone's property.
Even if she was wrong, it would be best to keep an eye on this pair just in case. She didn't have to go throwing herself in or anything. She just wanted to keep an eye on the situation and make sure nothing bad was happening. Pragmatism. Besides, it looked like the pair was going to same way she'd originally been intending to head. If she followed at a distance and looked as though she was minding her own business then perhaps she wouldn't be noticed. And if she was noticed... well, as long as no one started a fight with her all should be well. She knew just how bad it might look for a half-avriel of all things to be stalking a couple. Of course, given her nature and the reputation she'd amassed, it might not look as bad as it had a couple seasons ago. Back then it would have been a death sentence to get caught, but now most were fairly set in their opinions. They either saw her as a hero or the reincarnation of some horrible and dastardly immortal slave that was created to end the world. No, honestly, that was the exact thought process of some of the people living in Etzos. Which was to say they had no process. Just a bunch of negative adjectives thrown onto a word they didn't particularly like and they called it an insult. At least have a little more class than that. If you're gonna start yelling slurs at someone, get creative. She was sick of all the Flapper comments.
Shaking her head quietly to banish the thoughts she'd allowed a little distance to build between herself and the couple with her musings. That was good she supposed. It was safer to follow at a distance anyway. The farther she was from them, the more out of sight she was from them, the less likely they'd be to connect her presence with themselves and begin to think that something was perhaps up. If at all possible she wanted to avoid confrontation in an open area. In seasons past the moment, she'd thought something was wrong she had marched right up to the source of whatever she thought might be wrong and demanded it is fixed. The tactic wasn't the most effective and often just ended up causing more fighting and mayhem. The half-breed worried that jumping into this might just make it more dangerous for the woman. There was no telling what the older man might do if he felt threatened, let alone if he felt his power was being questioned.
Eventually, the pair wandered into a tavern. It was a nice looking tavern than the ones that Night tended to frequent. It was mostly for the resting of weary travelers more so than it was for the drinking of bored mercenaries. It didn't have restaurant quality food, but it certainly was cheaper. Night waited outside the door for a couple moments after the pair had walked in, pulling out a small pocketbook to pretend to be glancing over as she waited before she walked in. Eventually, after a couple bits she closed the little book and put it back into her pocket before pushing open the door. Her eyes scanned the surroundings and the surroundings scanned her back. Slews of eyes that weren't used to the presence of a half-avriel within their midst. Her gaze was entirely dedicated to hunting out the woman, which she found sitting alone at a table in the back.
The eyes of the woman were tilted downwards and the half-breed could see the shiver of her shoulder associated with what the woman could only assume were tears. The man had disappeared, assumably upstairs for who knows what. Nothing good, that was to be certain. The half-breed thought quietly for a moment, trying to judge how to approach the situation. If she wasn't careful she could easily make it worse, but the woman was on her own so she was bound to be easier to talk to than if her keeper was present. It would be out of the half-breed's scope of capability to help with the man present, but she could get a lay of the situation easily enough and possibly intervein now that he'd left the poor girl alone.
The half-breed walked up, looking at the woman curiously. The girl jolted slightly as the half-breed sat down across from her. "Any reason, in particular, you're shivering?" She asked quietly in as gentle a voice as she could manage.
"I'm fine," the other woman said as she tilted her head downwards.
"You don't look fine. Where's your husband gone?" The half-breed said quickly changing to the topic as the woman across from her started to look a bit more defensive.
"He's doing business," the woman sounded unsure as she spoke like she wasn't entirely certain as to what her husband was doing.
"Does business have red hair and pretty green eyes?" The half-breed asked. She remembered seeing such a figure disappear upstairs not too much earlier. The other woman flinched slightly and turned away from the gaze of the half-breed. "You know, a real man doesn't marry someone half his age let alone beat them," the half-breed said as she rested her head against her hand.
"He does it because he loves me," the woman whimpered in a voice that was almost broken.
"That's what most abusers say. But I'll tell you something. Abuse isn't a form of love, it never is no matter how much the other person tries to convince you. It's toxic and it's dangerous, and it's a situation you should get out of as soon as you possibly can," the older of the pair said in a quiet voice, her eyes soft and also sad as she looked upon what she could have been. If Night had stayed with the Master is this the kind of creature she would have become if she married Ivan? Perhaps not, Ivan had been closer to her age and Nightshade had been vicious towards him if he tried to get near her. It would have taken many years to break her stubborn nature if it was even possible for the likes of Ivan.
That did bring a more worrying question. A couple of her own relationships currently bordered on being toxic. Not the kind of abusive that this woman was undergoing, but it still remained a fact that Night's relationship with Noth was unhealthy. And an unhealthy relationship that couldn't be patched up... needed to be abandoned. The thought hurt but the half-breed didn't want to be looking in a mirror as she watched the panicked expression in the eyes of the woman across for her. If she couldn't fix it, she had to leave. "Just walk out the door, and don't ever look back," the half-breed said with a tilt of her head.
The woman glanced at the door before looking down. A couple trills later she stood up with a definite nod and ran towards the door. She didn't come back. What could only be breaks passed before the man wandered down. It didn't take too long for this screaming and throwing things to get him arrested. It was always best to leave a toxic relationship. So how much longer until she worked up the courage to leave Noth?
word count: 1669
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien
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Investigation: The existence of tact
Persuasion: Convincing someone that abuse isn't a form of love
Persuasion: Convincing someone to get out of a toxic situation
Stealth: Following at a distance
Stealth: Conveniently going the same way as someone else
Stealth: Waiting to walk in
for breaking apart a marriage; there are whispers she did it out of spite, but others refute it, claiming the man was abusive. No one really knows for sure.
Oh! Interesting twist on homewrecking! Jokes aside, it's a pretty clear example of Night's ideas of justice and mortality, extending them onto other people she knows nothing about. I think it's very true to her character, wanting to do the right thing but not going so far as to think everything through first. The reflection on her own relationship was great, and like all instances where we write our PCs doing things should be (in my opinion), is a really excellent jumping point to dive into something even deeper with Noth. I'm interested to see where it takes her!
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