Swimming in the Stars

Known colloquially as the "Realm of Dreams", Emea is a mysterious place accessed primarily beyond the realm of consciousness as the mortal body sleeps in Idalos. The mind travels far at night and Emea's not without its unique risks and dangers, though Jesine's vigilance keeps mortals mostly safe.

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Sun May 06, 2018 8:26 pm

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75th of Ashan
Daeva had been promising for weeks to show him Emea, and now he had the chance to see it. She had been reticent because of the dangers, and she sensed that Alistair would not approve of such a thing. He'd probably yell up and down about how Jon could be destroyed in half a dozen different ways, but this was Jon's deepest want and Daeva couldn't deny him. She waited until he slept, and entered his dreams. Emea was her domain, she had been born and bred here. She would grant a little of her power to Jon, to sharpen his senses within the dream and make things seem much more real. Hopefully he would retain most of it when he woke.

Jon sat up sharply in a field. A strange field on the edge of a wood. The grass felt...oddly wispy, and when he examined one of the crushed fronds under his fingers he realized it was growing upside down. The roots extended to the sky in large, white clusters that made the field look like cotton, while the stems burrowed deep into the earth. A stream bubbled along a little to his left, but it was strangely thick and viscous. It shifted and moved, shimmered and twisted like a living thing. Where in the hell was he?

'Welcome to Emea. It is nice to see you're a little more impressed with it now that you can see most of it.'Daeva looked amused as she padded through the grass toward him, and lowered her eyeless face down to look at him. She was much larger than Jon, and towered over him by at least two feet. More, when she was standing to her full height. Her strange, velvety, wrinkled coat looked very much in place in this strange world. So did her lack of eyes, really. She looked like she belonged here. Jon reached his hand out tentatively and placed it on her forehead.

"...I can feel you." he said quietly.

'Of course you can. We are in my country now, not yours. I can only appear in yours, but I live here.' Daeva told him. ' You must be careful visiting here. Mages are popular targets among my kind. But exploring for a little while is not out of the question. I know how badly you wish to see it. Perhaps one day you will be strong enough to bring things back out of this world and into yours.'

"I can do that?" Jon stood up, putting his hand on her shoulder. He could feel her muscles shifting under the thick, strangely loose carpet of her skin. "When?"

'The more you dream the stronger you get within it. Ask Alistair, he will know more.'

"Dicam"

"Dicam"
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Tue May 29, 2018 7:42 pm

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It should have felt strange.

She had been walking along a grassy field with fog surrounding her totally in its misty embrace just before coming upon large wooden pedestal in the middle of nowhere. There was nothing else around her, only the pedestal served at the focal point for her attention. Something about it was familiar to Sephira, it was tangled with a memory she couldn’t quite recall.

She blinked and the scene changed, but only slightly. There was now a sword buried tip first in the pedestal at an angle. Not just a sword, it was a saber, and a very familiar one at that.

Her sword Wyvern stood there gleaming in the silvery light that managed to filter through the fog. It’s dragon shaped brass basket hilt was a thing of beauty to her. She had always been envious of Elias when the blade had belonged to him. The mage had coveted it for a long time before it had fallen into her keeping upon his death. Why though was it here, stabbed into the pedestal?

It was then that Sephira stepped forward, her red angular wool coat drifting in the wind as she came to the realization that the blade was dripping with blood. The Element felt strange; there was a sadness buried deep within her that quivered at the image of that bloodied saber. Driven purely on instinct she swiftly paced forward and snatched the weapon from the pedestal, the blade coming free from the wood with a sharp pop.

She blinked, and again the scene changed. An old man was now kneeling on the pedestal, his shoulder weeping blood, yet he was not moving. He was frozen like a statue made of marble rather than a man made of flesh. His creased aged eyes peered at her without really meeting her own. There was no light in those eyes, no movement or remote hint of life. For all intents in purposes he was a statue; a man frozen in time.

A single undiluted memory flowed into her mind, like a drop of ink in water. It spread outwards in a cascade, pushing aside the fuzziness in her mind that was brought on by the fog. This memory was fresh, brand new and still painful to bear. She couldn’t remember everything in total detail, but she could remember his name, and her part in his fate.

Volker...

Sephira took a steadying breath as she sheathed the bloodied saber, feeling once again the comforting weight of the weapon on her belt.

He had been a mage, an aberrant that she had been tasked with investigating. It had all been a terrible ordeal, a mix of poor decisions, his own dismal past and her actions that had led him here...to that pedestal. Sephira would be lying if she said that she felt no guilt for his death. Volker had been given a sad start in life, forced into magehood at a young age and given no other alternative.

Magic was...complicated. It made you dangerous and unpredictable, but no less deserving of mercy and understanding than anyone else.

The mage blinked again, and frozen figures of Earth Elements now stood over the unmoving old man with weapons drawn. Like puppets from a scene in a play they seemed to have put on display for she alone.

At least she had presumed herself to be alone, until the soft murmur of voices emerged from behind her. Perhaps this scene was not just for her eyes, but for the eyes of another as well.



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Tue May 29, 2018 9:11 pm

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Jonathan was enjoying his dream. He was in the field with Daeva, and he was enjoying her company. He could touch her here. He could feel her short, velvety fur and walk next to her. He bit his lip and looked over at her; he was sorely tempted to ask something he had wanted since he'd first seen her. She looked over at him and sighed, lowering herself down on her front legs. Jon blushed a bit, but climbed onto her back just behind her shoulders. Who knew when he would get the opportunity to ask again? He held onto her loose skin like handles as she lurched back to all four feet. "I'm not hurting you am I?" he asked. Daeva looked back at him, twisting her head on her elegant neck. Jon faintly thought she looked like some eyeless noble woman with a headscarf, wrapped neatly around her neck and shoulders.

'Just my pride.'Her tone was a little sour. Jon cleared his throat. He was a little sorry for making her compromise her dignity but he couldn't give it up. It was an incredible feeling. He had to hold on tight as she walked; her skin was so loose it threatened to slide him straight off her shoulders or tilt him to one side. It was like riding a horse bareback with only a wet sheet of oilcloth for a saddle. He ended up gripping her with his knees, which earned him a sour look, and posing himself a little more comfortably closer to the bottom of her neck.

"Sorry." he muttered, an apology she ignored as she nimbly crossed the stream and headed into somewhere... far different. Fog rolled in around Daeva's feet, disguising her paws from view. Jon could hear her whispering footsteps, but that was all. The fog had that same cold, disfiguring quality it had in the real world. A pedestal was the only thing rising from the fog, and Daeva was making her way straight toward it. If Jon had been alone he might have been frightened, but he was with his Harvester. There was no evil here she couldn't destroy. It was her homeland. She was the huntress here, not any monster or beast. She was slightly more aware, however. Her footsteps were much more careful, and she'd raised her head a little bit to get a good view of her surroundings.

She seemed perfectly content to pass the pedestal until Jon noticed what was on it. A man. Kneeling and older. It was so...so normal. Gruesome and normal in this place of oddity that he was drawn to it. He slid off of Daeva's back into the grass. He startled when the scene shifted; men were around the prone old man. Drawing weapons. Pointing them at him, already bleeding and injured. Jon's knee-jerk instinct was to protect him. Half an army for an old man already wounded? He glared at the frozen apparitions. He hated them. What were they? Highwaymen? Robbers? Daeva frowned a little, peering closely at one of the ghosts. 'We are in someone else's nightmare. These are memories. Look at the detail. These men still live, and dream, perhaps elsewhere in Idalos.'she pointed out to Jon.

He followed her advice and looked closely at the men. She was right. Dream-beings had an unusual quality to them. They didn't have arcs of suffering or story written on their faces. They were strangely unblemished. "We're safe?" he asked her. Daeva nodded.
'For now. One is never truly safe in Emea. Harvesters have been known to make traps like this for dreamers and mages. People think they are so safe in their own heads.'

Jon shook his head. Through the fog he almost ran into the dreamer. Standing so still, she seemed to be yet another apparition. He got far too close until he realized she was much too animated, and he took a few steps back. Daeva was coming up behind him, stern looking and shifting her split jaws back and forth. Jon recognized her desire. A mage. This was something Harvesters hunted in Fractures and dreams above all else. He put his hand on her chest. "Wait." he urged her. "Hello?"
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Tue May 29, 2018 11:08 pm

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Sephira’s memories of Volker slowly returned to her, clearing away the oppressive fog clouding her mind. She could remember their first meeting and how it had led them both down a dark path that had ended on that pedestal together. She had been there at the moment of his death, holding him transfixed, skewered on her blade while the other Elements approached to complete the sudden execution. The mage had been forced to do so, to protect the people present at that trial. She had taken no joy from it but had merely reacted instinctually. However, it had taken all the discipline she possessed to hold the old man there while he was slain. The thought sent her stomach churning while her hands faintly trembled.

She had now knowingly led to the deaths of four mages. All were kills that she would make again if necessary, because in every instance she had been protecting either herself or the people of Scalvoris. It was still a bitter pill to swallow when Sephira had once held such idealistic views of mages and their place in society. The woman had seen what Sparks could do first hand, she herself knew how her own grew more entangled with her emotions trial by trial. It was a constant worry for her, that perhaps one trial in the distant future, she too would become one of those monsters.

If only mages could work toward bettering society, or at least curtailing the damage that they caused. There was no denying that mages were incredibly useful, but the cost of such power came with a high price.

Sephira was broken from her stupor by the voices just outside the range of the fog. Her eyes flared with winding tendrils of silver, blue and whispering threads of black. The bloodied saber was in her hand before she had a trill to properly consider her options. All she knew was that a man and a sinuous beast were only steps away from her. The creature itself appeared almost beautiful, but bore strange, unnatural proportions that instantly indicated something that was not of Idalos. She moved with a predatory grace that Sephira recognized, having seen it before in both felines and serpents. The beast’s jaws then unhinged in a horrifying way that sent her back a step. Immediately the mage’s instinct was to run, to tear open a portal and escape but the man himself made her give pause. He had kind eyes, the sort you only saw from time to time in softhearted scholars and well-meaning travelers. There was something about him that was so utterly opposite the beast prowling behind him that it caused the Rupturer to hesitate.

The soldier held the crimson stained sword between them, her eyes narrowing intently at him.

“Who are you, and what is she?” The young woman asked warily, eyeing the creature with an intense gaze. It was only then that something clicked into place. With the memories tied to Volker emerging into her mind, also came the few memories she possessed of his Harvester. That spirit had also been an unnatural looking creature, although far more human and skeletal than the beast before her. But the way the massive beast responded to the man...it reminded her of the old Aberrant and his companion.

Behind them the frozen scene remained the same, no longer changing now that Sephira was distracted from focusing on it.



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Wed May 30, 2018 3:01 am

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Daeva growled at the sword held between them. Not that much would deter her. With her size and strength, and this being her domain, she was more than ready to attack the Rupturer. Jonathan knew it. The Harvester only saw the woman before her as food, but their relationship was close enough that she would stay her hunger at Jon's behest, if only to let him satisfy his curiosity. He looked at the woman, holding out a hand to her. "Daeva is not going to hurt you." he told her, even if he wasn't quite sure if that were true or not. Daeva certainly acted like she wanted to hurt the other. Even as she stood her claws flexed into the ground, little curved scythes that emerged from her skin folds to tear into the grass.

"Listen to me. You're in Emea. This is the realm of Harvesters and Nightmares. I really don't suggest you attack me." Jon said slowly and calmly. "My name is Jon. This is Daeva. I'm an Aberrant. That's the only reason why she's following me. We were walking from my dream and happened to stumble into yours. Why...I'm...not sure." He also wasn't sure why he felt so confident saying what he was in front of this woman. Perhaps because, in his mind, he could simply mount Daeva and away they would go. Or, alternatively Daeva would be allowed to carry out her natural instincts with so much ether in front of her. He chewed his lip, and glanced at the scene behind her. "Is this your dream, or someone else's? Daeva tells me the people here are alive. They're real. Not some apparition."

'This is a memory. Yours?' Daeva asked. 'It is very vivid. So often humans forget little details. Here and there, things are blurry. Your eyes refuse to focus on them. Colors are lost. Here..it is near perfect. The man on the pedestal, you remember everything about him. But something is missing, isn't it?'

Jon lowered his hand, and looked at Daeva in confusion. The Harvester nodded to the man on the pedestal, and Jon followed her gaze. What did she mean?

"Talkin"
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Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:01 pm

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The mage began to lower her sword slowly as Jon spoke, although she visibly stepped away from him when he spoke a single word.

Aberrant

Volker’s face flashed before the Element’s eyes and she visibly bristled. Aberrants were dangerous mages whose craft quickly ate away at their soul. Rupturing had a similar cost, but Aberration seemed to do far more damage in a shorter amount of time, all for the sake of power.

The man explained that this was a dream, and that she was not in the real world of Idalos. Sephira glanced warily around her, noticing the strange fog and the way the land around her seemed to vanish at the edge of her perception. Maybe she was dreaming, but then how did he seem so lucid? Was he simply something conjured up by her mind, or was he real? His image and the outlines of the creature beside him were crisper than everything else. Curious indeed.

Sephira finally lowered her saber with a wary look at the other mage, her eyes flashing through an array of colors as she tried to discern if he was a friend or a foe.

“Fine Jon. I’m Sephira.” She uttered firmly, steeling her nerves against the thought of fleeing through a portal.
“I’m going to presume you are telling the truth, because little else makes sense here.” The Rupturer quipped coldly.

When Jon gestured toward the scene behind her Sephira blinked as if she was seeing it for the first time. Memories came flooding back into her consciousness and she recalled the events that had happened earlier that trial.

“Yes.” She replied whilist looking distantly at the image of Volker pinned down on the pedestal by a slew of Elements. “A memory...my memory.”

As Daeva spoke something seemed to change in the air and the mist began to swirly rapidly around the pedestal , fuller colors bloomed across the faces of the Elemenets as if the memory was being brought into focus now that Sephira knew where she was. Everything was made ever sharper and clear. Then the scene began to grow, like ink weeping down a canvas. Stands filled with the common folk who had been watching the trial appeared to the left and right of the pedestal and in front of it now stood a blue skinned mer judge with a gavel in hand. She and the newly rendered crowd were also frozen as if trapped in the same moment as the man on the pedestal and the guards holding him down.

“This man died to-trial.” Sephira said softly as the scene grew outwards to fully display the area where Volker’s trial had taken place. The guards, the judge, the crowd were all perfectly represented. There was also now a dark haired women at the base of the pedestal wrestling with him to clap strange manacles on his wrists.

“He was a mage, an...Aberrant.” The soldier said quietly, glancing up at Jon. There was a tinge of regret in her eyes, a sadness that she could not quite communicate with words.

“It shouldn’t have been this way, but it was. His path was long, and full of darkness but it ended here.”

At that moment the scene began to reverse, Sephira stepping back as the guards holding the old man down were pulled back to their starting position on the walls. The judge was brought back to her seat and her whip was stowed back at her hip. Volker was now standing rather than being held down as if the someone had reversed time five or six bits into the past, just before the moment of his death.

There, just beyond the now empty podium was a woman standing at the witness stand. It was Sephira, or at least an illusion that looked just like her from during the trial itself. She carried a box and a sheaf of papers that she set on the stand. The scene was playing forward in real time, with sounds and movements playing straight from her memory.

The illusion of Sephira opened her lips and began to speak, her voice echoing strangling, probably because her words were being drawn from the mage’s memory.

“I met the defendant first on the fifth of Cylus.” The illusion said.

The real Sephira was standing nearby, and she turned pale as she watched the phantom of herself begin reciting her witness testimony.
“I don’t want to see this again.” Sephira whispered. But it seemed that the dream had other plans as the scene continued to unfold, all before Jon and Daeva’s eyes.

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Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:49 am

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Jon watched the scene with unbridled fascination. It only grew as Sephira added more and more details. The stern-faced judge. The crowd of the public that made Jon uncomfortable...this was a spectacle. A mage on trial, held down like an animal. Everything in him hated this. The man had died brutally and unnecessarily, and Jon felt nothing but pity for him. He walked around the scene, looking at the facets of it. Everything seemed so wrong. For an older Aberrant, which was rare enough in itself, the man wasn't violent. With Jon's power, he could have destroyed everything in that room. Yet he hadn't. Jon frowned. "I would have liked to meet him. An old mage is rare enough. An old Aberrant is unheard of." he said quietly, and stood back from the old man as the scene shifted. Jon watched with every fascination, going up to the vision of Sephira on the witness stand. This was the dreamer. She looked so...frightened and haggard.

Jon listened. He frowned, glancing inside the box and looking at the Aberrant. It was such a strange picture. The man on the stand seemed to have very little want to commit violence and yet here Sephira stood with evidence of it. He had a thousand questions to ask Sephira, but before he could open his mouth to ask any of them, another figure walked through the fog. Daeva backed up and snarled, her skin bunching up around her shoulders and her teeth bared. The other spirit glared at her. It looked like a wizened and burned corpse, with no eyes or lips. It was clothed only in a burial shroud hung around each elbow, and as Jon watched it put a hand on the memory of the old man.

What came out of his mouth was entirely unexpected.
"Shut it, pussycat. I didn't come here for you." the corpse bristled at Daeva. "Unless you want to be a scrotum-skin coat you'll back the hell off."
Jon knew he was far too close. This was another Harvester, and he'd been claimed by another. Harvesters usually wanted only one thing, but this one seemed completely and utterly distracted by the memory. Jon slowly backed away from it, toward Sephira. That proved to be the wrong move. The corpse sighed and made its away toward her. "What are you doing dreaming of this? When you know goddamn well I'm still mourning? You trying to shove this on my doorstep, Element?"

Jon stared, and the pieces fell into place. This was the old mage's Harvester. "...he was yours?" Jon asked quietly. Oor glanced at him. He had a funny way of expressing himself, given he had no eyes. His eyebrows seemed to be the chief way he communicated where he was looking.
"I raised him. Those animals killed him." The Harvester folded his arms across his chest. His voice was pensive, sad, and full of regret. Jon was instantly drawn in. He hadn't known a Harvester could feel that way, but the way Oor was looking at the memory spoke of nothing but pain. "I told him to wait for me." Oor muttered softly.

Daeva stepped toward Jon and Oor immediately bristled at her. She settled back. Jon took the hint. Clearly Oor was more powerful than his own Harvester, to put her in her place like that.
"Talkin"
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Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:27 pm

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While the scene in front of the woman was captivating enough to draw her attention fully, she turned almost immediately on her heel at the sound of a familiar voice. Sephira’s Biqaj eyes swirled through an array of hues, from rich greens and blues so a wash of silvery gray at the appearance of the second, and very familiar Harvester.

“You.” She said simply, her voice calm if not a little hoarse around the edges. Sephira hadn’t intended to see the Harvester ever again, certainly not after the death of Volker. He look very much as he had on the day that she had met the Aberrant, when Oor had manifested in the middle of a public street. That’s what had started everything. He had shown himself to the public of Scalvoris and the Element had been ordered to launch an investigation. It was later that she came to understand the full extent of Volker and Orr’s crimes, but she also came to understand why they walked such a dark, dismal path. Volker had been initiated as an Aberrant as a young child, so he hadn’t been given the chance to grow and develop before taking on the mantle of magehood.

Sephira watched with an intense gaze as Oor came to place his gnarled hand on the illusion of Volker that had been manifested from her memories. He might have been a merciless killing machine, but the Harvester clearly had cared about the old man. They had been together for many arcs, being each other’s only company. No wonder he appeared to be garbed in a funerary shroud.

The soldier stood her ground as Oor approached, looking at him with a distant stare, seeming to look through him and at the memory beyond.

“I’m sorry.” She uttered heavily, the syllables in those two words were burdened with meaning and true sympathy.

True, Volker had done terrible things but he had never been given a chance to be anything else. The Elements had been willing to give him that chance, but that trial had devolved into chaos before anything else could be done.

In the background the illusionary memory continued to play forward in time. The voice of the other Sephira echoed outwards as the version of her from the memory continued to recount the details of her investigation.

“According to his own testimony this mage was initiated into Aberration at the age of nine.”


Sephira’s eyes were drawn to the copy of herself as the memory continued to press forward.

“He has been a mage since he was a child, he knows no other way of life. His mother died when he was very young and his father was not present in his life for very long. This is not a man who kills because he enjoys it, but because he has a compulsion due to his identity as an Aberrant. I only ask that the court consider all the facts in this case before proceeding with sentencing."


The Judge began speaking once Sephira’s illusionary clone finished her testimony, the blue skinned Mer offering assistance to Volker since his actions were due more to his identity as an Aberrant, and not because he actually wanted to kill for the sport of it.

Sephira glanced toward Jon, studying him silently while keeping Oor in the peripheral of her vision. “I was charged with investigating the Aberrant in this case.” She explained with an eerily calm voice.

“We mage’s aren’t well tolerated by the public, and Aberrants are especially hated. However, in this case, this man was killing quite often in order to satisfy his thirst. We were forced to act.” There was no shame in her voice. Volker had been a danger to the safety of the public; she had been doing her job to protect the citizens of Scalvors.

Sephira’s eyes flicked to Oor for a trill as she continued. “I found the body of a child in the Aberrant’s home; he had to be brought in to face trial. My only regret was that he was not given the help that he needed.”

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Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:20 am

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Oor watched her like a hawk. Jon didn't know how she was staying so calm. He was only calm because Daeva was at his side. Sephira had nothing. If Oor wanted to, he could tear her limb from limb in this dream. He could make it into a true nightmare. Jon listened to the testimony, his eyes sad. The age of nine? He'd been initiated in his early twenties and he'd thought it difficult! How had Volker coped, being raised from a young child by something who knew very little of humans? A million questions rose in his head, mixed with the righteous anger of an academic. Volker would have been a fascinating man to study. Even more so because he was more Harvester than human.

Oor sneered at the illusion of Sephira. 'What did you know, anyway, talking like that? You'd spoken to him twice and both times were to threaten his existence. I am the only one of my kind to know regret, and love. I raised him. I taught him how to defend himself. I rescued him more times than I can count. Humans don't kill their weak. They rape them, and torture them, and sell them to each other like objects." Oor sighed. "All the good begging for leniency did you, woman. They were set on killing him from the beginning. Nothing anyone would have said would have changed that."

Jon could sympathize with the Harvester's pain, but...in a way it set Oor apart. As Volker became more and more a Harvester, Oor had become more and more human. His style of speech, the way he moved. It was likely that Oor was just as much an outsider amongst his own kind as Volker had been among his. "Ah yes, I forget, a panic attack and hiding behind a podium like a scared child is construed as a threat. He never raised a weapon. All that drove him mad was separating our connection." Oor growled at her. "Talk sense, woman. All he wanted to do was hide."

Jon folded his arms, and listened. The body of a child. If Volker had been raised by a Harvester, with a Harvester's morals, he'd likely never have learned human morality. "Harvesters..." he said slowly. "...don't think like humans, Sephira. Their young are left to grow in their own power. They're opportunistic hunters. It's likely this child you found just wasn't paying attention, or wasn't closely watched by his parents. It was an opportunity taken by a hunter. Nothing more. I don't think a trial was the right move. Someone raised by a Harvester just...wouldn't understand. If I tried to put Daeva on trial for something, she'd listen, then do what she liked anyway."

Oor snorted. "Listen to the pup over here." his tone was condescending and dismissive, but the fact that he didn't argue outright gave Jon some indication he was right. "I am the only Harvester to feel the way I do. You realize what it's like for me now...trapped here? I've spent more time in Idalos than I have in Emea. I've considered going into Faith's head to give her dreams of rabbits raping her eyesockets, but even that idea gets old. No. Sephira, what I want from you is to set his soul to rest." Oor separated from them and walked up to the judge. "This cunt. Needs to die."

Jon curiously stepped forward and studied the Mer. The arbiter of this fellow Aberrant's doom. He chewed his lip. This was a fifty year old case he would have given his eyeteeth to study. Volker had probably learned more about Harvesters and Emea than any other human being on Idalos. Possibly ever. Being an Aberrant gave one a window into the spirit world, but being raised by one? Jon was surprised Volker hadn't turned into a spirit himself upon his death. All that pain, loneliness and suffering. Would he turn out like that, if he managed to live to Volker's age? He considered Oor's urging. Part of him wanted to do the Harvester a favor. He couldn't imagine what it had been like for the old man.

Watching the memory, he saw the panic attack. Oor was right. All Jon saw was fear. If someone had trapped a wild fox and turned it loose in the courtroom the reaction would have been very much the same. They'd simply misunderstood, and killed him for it. Oor had been the last thing tethering Volker to sanity and humanity. Without him, their bond had snapped back like a whip on the poor mage. "He couldn't feel you?" he asked Oor softly.

"No. That bitch didn't sever the connection but she damaged it. I couldn't speak with him to calm him." Oor's voice was stony. The memory was hurting him more than he let on. Jon watched it progress, and watched a very tall woman attempt to speak with Volker. The man calmed, and that was when he was killed.

"Who is that?" Jon indicated the tall, dark-skinned woman.

A wry smile twisted Oor's features. "That'd be Peaches." he said. A little less aggressively toward her, Jon noticed. He did cock an eyebrow at the name. "So named for her perfectly succulent posterior end. Councillor Amaris to you. If you ever see her tell her I regret not seeing her turn around before the judge hit me. Had all the right ideas. Nonthreatening, slowly moving, spoke to him. He might have calmed down if trigger-finger over here hadn't given the order." Oor jerked his head at the Mer.

Jon nodded. He could see it.

"Talkin"
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Sephira
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Posts: 372
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:40 pm
Race: Mixed Race
Profession: Flame Element
Renown: +230
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Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:15 pm

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It was a hard thing to continue to live after your loved ones have passed. Sephira understood this better than most. The last few Cycles of her life had been deeply affected by the death of her mentor Elias. He was the one who had made her into the mage she was today, giving her the gift and curse that was Rupturing. Thankfully he had also initiated her into Attunement, to make finding her way a little easier. But it was no replacement for losing him so suddenly. Elias had been killed by a Defier, there was little doubt in her mind. With Rupturers there is an incredibly strong metaphysical bond created between master and student. She had felt him die that night after he had begged her to leave Faldrass to hide from the ones hunting him. Within trials of his death she was in Elements Hall, sighing up for a career that would decide the course of her life for quite some time to come. Sephira knew what it was like to lose someone, and to lose a person so tightly bound to your own soul. She pitied Oor, she pitied that he felt such emotion that he mourned Volker’s loss. Perhaps it would have been easier if the creature was more like the other Harvester standing behind Jon. Regardless she understood his pain, as well as his need for vengeance.

However, although she understood Oor at least in this respect she could not agree with the Aberrants in their defense of their reckless killing. There was a balance to death and life, predator and prey but the insatiable hunger of the Aberrant could wreck a civilization if left unchecked. It was no wonder to her that Volker had been filled with Notes of Loneliness the man had been on the move his entire life with no other companions save for his Harvester.

“I am not defending how we treat our own.” Sephira replied firmly, her swirling Biqaj eyes rising to look at the desiccated skull of Oor’s head. “I have defended against mortal violence just as I have fought against the damage wrought by mages. There is little difference to me. My job is to protect the people of Scalvoris; I pitied your mage, Harvester but I also have a role to fulfill. ”

Her eyes softened faintly at Oor. “I know what it is like to lose someone close to you, and to be pushed toward madness by your grief.” The woman took a steadying breath as the scene continued to play behind them. The Judge had stood had just cracked her whip at Oor as he stood on the witness stand. The echo of that sound was distant as if coming from down a long hallway but it made the Element flinch all the same.

When Jon spoke, the Element flicked her eyes up to him as he sought to defend the killing of children.

“Harvesters might not think like mortals, true, perhaps that makes the killing of a child excusable to you, but when he and his mage walked into that city, they came into my purview. “ Her expression grew intense, and almost heated.

“I warned them to leave, once I discovered what they were. Mage to mage, I warned them that if we met again that I would act.” She was almost breathless before gathering control of herself once again.

Sephira looked down at her hands, flexing her right hand as she gently tugged on the reality around her extended fingers. Their air warped faintly for a few trills and gave off a subtle crackle of crimson energy.

“I know the cost to having this power; to be a mage. I understand the struggle with our nature. So I gave them a chance, because I understood what it can make you do. I have felt the push of my Sparks every trial since I became one.” The woman turned back to Oor, her voice firm and unyielding.

“So I gave them a chance.”

Then Oor made a request that Sephira knew she could not accept. Her eyes hardened, she understood that need for revenge, but she couldn’t be the hand that delivered it for him.

“You know I can’t do that. But if I can I will tell Amaris about meeting you here, and what you said” The Element was unaware that Oor and Volker had known Councilor Amaris. It was equally strange since Amaris was known to be such a soft-spoken and measured person. However it was a request that she would be more than happy to fulfill.

In the background the judge was now speaking, her ethereal voice echoing amongst the dreamscape.

“"I say that Volker is indeed a victim of circumstance. Special Assistant Blackwood's words have shed some light upon this poor man. Latched onto as a child by this... Harvester. And it seems this man, Volker, while through non-conventional methods, does try to help. He tried to help Blackwood, tried to help Councilor Amaris, to help this... being of death and consumption, often to his own detriment. And I know that he needs help, and the Elements are able and willing to provide that help to this man. For our laws, they apply to people, to help them, to protect them from harm to the best of our ability. To protect and help the people. And it seems that we have the opportunity to do that now."

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