• Mature • Ruinfall (Burnett Twins)

Edalene and Aeodan are recruited for a short expedition

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.

Moderators: Basilisk, Pegasus, Plague

User avatar
Plague
Developer - Staff
Developer - Staff
Posts: 1125
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:53 am
Race: Mer
Renown: +260
Office
Personal Journal
Templates

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Staff

Ruinfall (Burnett Twins)

Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:21 am

Image
"History does not repeat itself, it rhymes" - Ralaith


7th Ashan 717


"SHIT!"

The shout echoed along the corridors of bookshelves and out into the foyer of the University Library. Scholars paused in their research to gaze back toward the circulation desk and the offices beyond. Solemnity was rarely breached in a place as hallowed as this, stack upon stack of ancient scribbling waiting for another bright mind to draw them together. This was a place of discovery, not some open forum.

"Shit." The voice came again, quieter, almost apologetic. "Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit."

"Professor, please...we're in a library." came a softer reply. A blonde woman emerged from behind the circulation desk, hair pulled into a severe bun while her abdoman swelled almost painfully with child. Behind her, abashed, a middle-aged man with grey in his temples and copper wire glasses followed. He was a portly man, belted and swaddled with the clothes of his trade. Archeological tools hung from sown straps in his coat and festooned his belt, three long lacquered scroll cases bounced against his back. Adjusting the small frames he took the off and wiped them hastily, following the waddling woman to one of the side offices.

"Malena, you're jesting. You jest. You joke and although I've noted some improvement in your wit, this was a poor attempt indeed."

Malena leveled a long, withering look at the smaller man and sighed, closing her eyes as the ire melted away from the corners. "Thomas, I'm not joking. I'm clearly not joking. The midwife said only a matter of days now, and the rigors of your ruin hunts would be dangerous for the child." She laid her hands across the swell of her stomach protectively, but her eyes were not cruel. "Ask the board for another, surely you can get along without me."

"Without you?" Thomas reeled, as if struck, shoving the glasses against his face so hard it appeared he almost snapped the bridge, he winced "My Malena, my TA, my orderly, intuitive, perceptive Malena, my sun, my light, my-" Malena cleared her throat and Thomas scowled, "I'm lost without your organization, you know that. I simply cannot do it without you. Can't we just..." he leaned in close and mimed a knock above the swell of her abdoman, "Tell the bloke to wait several more trials? Surely nine would be plenty to conduct our research and..."

"The danger, Thomas, you forget. Besides, I can't go scaling ruins in this state," She indicated her stomach, "It's like carrying a pack from the front, but I can't simply remove it. Ask the board for another, my answer is a firm no." Thomas collapsed into one of the desk chairs, pressing his hand over his entire face and groaning into it.

"My ink will end up in my canteen again, I just know it will. Curse it all, Curse the ba-" he stopped, looking up at her sheepishly. "I didn't mean it, of course, I take it back my dear, my flower, my brilliant pupil. I'm just sunk, you know? Sunk without someone of your skill. Besides, a new student? Some stranger skulking about my research? I can't have that...you know the appetite of the academic rivals the great Cassion himself. Why, I'd wager eight of ten...no...NINE of ten discoveries in the last ten years alone were stolen from their rightful authors! Plagiary, Malena, We are besieged by cutthroat sycophants!" He thrust suddenly, out and to the side as if holding a cutlass, "Scalvoris would be proud of our high-seas banditry and, my dear, I am not cut out for daring-do of a corsair...certainly not in these unfriendly waters." Reaching up a hand she took it and ran her fingers along the back of his hand. Thomas seemed to calm and slumped, ruinous. "Malena, tell me what to do? A dig site or a classroom, give me that stage and I'll be your grand commander but in the intervening places...I won't survive."

Malena continued to rub his hand, rolling her eyes toward the ceiling. When she found no answers she closed her eyes and massaged a temple. "Thomas, a moment from your tragedy? Please? You want me to help and I'll help, but I cannot endure your melodrama today." He glanced up at her, burying a frown in an embarrassed flush. He held up his other hand and rotated his wrist, urging her to continue. She ground her teeth, only a moment, before finding her compassion. "There is a woman who works here, always punctual, exacting, organized. She's a bit of a sardonic and takes little patience with..." she searched for the word and shrugged, "Well, melodrama like this, but she'll keep your books and journals exactly as you need them. I can go and have my child in peace and you..." she dropped his hand and slapped it lightly, "Can stop this bellyaching and get back to your job. Every little setback is a cataclysm for you, isn't it Thomas?""

"I resent-" he started to reply, thought better of it and waved it off, "You're right my dear, of course. I lost my head, again. You know how I am." Her frown was not an indictment, but she nodded the smallest of forgiveness. Thomas was all smiles again, bounding to his feet so fast Malena almost stumbled backward. Quicker than a man of his girth should, Thomas caught the small of her back and guided her to balance, chuckling. "Yes, yes, well. Must be careful, yes? Must be whole and healthy to bring another scholar into our lovely world." He hopped away from her, giving Malena the time to regain her composure and waddle to the door. She leaned, slightly, pointing out at the long haired, thin woman who had taken her spot behind the desk.

"Her name is Edalene," she said, frowning, "And if you don't conduct yourself like a proper professor..." She let him fill in the threat but Thomas was already nodding.

"Of course, of course, Malena...I shall be the picture of the prim and proper university staff. See how I strut and preen, I can look the part of any headmaster, you just watch." Malena opted not to answer that, as any moderation to his usual eccentric behavior was preferable, regardless of how melodramatic he interpreted it. Thomas strutted from the room and across to the circulation desk. Other scholars watched him warily, prepared to stand and leave should the short man fly into hysterics. He did not mask his approach, heavy footfalls as he navigated around stacks of yet unsorted return books.

"Edalene, yes?" He asked, sidestepping into her periphery and affecting a short, bobbing bow, "My name is Professor Thomas Theodore Terrance, from the Archeology department." He brought both his hands together a moment and then extended one, "My assistant, Malena well, she's in a family sort of way you see and I need a scribe and aid for a short expedition-" He paused, waving his hands, "Two or three days at the most, I assure, to examine claims of some ancient ruins outside Andaris. Malena suggested I speak to you about possibly taking her place and I assure you I can speak to administration about perhaps..." he considered it, "A quarter of a credit hour for your participation?"
Image
User avatar
Edalene
Approved Character
Posts: 407
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:15 am
Race: Human
Profession: Seeker
Renown: +39
Character Sheet
Prophets' Notes
Plot Notes
Player Review
Templates

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Ruinfall (Edalene)

Tue May 02, 2017 5:57 am

Image

Edalene shook the hair out of her face, frustrated, and reached for the ribbon around her wrist, only to find it was not there. Drat. Scowling, she pushed her long, frazzled hair behind her ears, and looked down at the book on the desk, only for it to fall forward again. She sighed. Looking through the strands of her hair, Edalene strained to see the name of the book on the desk. The Rise of The Eternal Empire. History. Edalene took the book, and added it to one of the many teetering piles of books, before turning to the uncategorised ones, the ones that needed to be returned to the stacks.

She was exhausted. The night before, it had been late, and barely any sleep. But still, there was a peace in her, a peace she had not felt for many arcs. They had given Godryn a resting place, and she had spent an entire evening with her love - even if he did not love her back. And they were leaving this wretched town, this place of ghosts and horror, and who knew what they would find at Viden? Her heart stuttered at the thought. Viden. A land of knowledge, of libraries, of silence and thought. Aeodan looked so excited when he spoke of it, and how could she not give him what he needed, what he wanted? If only Narav decided to come with... but no. She squashed that thought. No. No. He would come. She did not need to worry. It would all work out.

And so she worked. The department were none too happy to be losing one of their most dedicated researchers, but they had let her go. Transferring from the University to the Academy was easy enough, but it was almost as if they were giving her the most boring jobs out of spite, or resentment for leaving her. But still. She worked at them silently, grateful in a way for the easy work, tiring as packing and preparing to leave was. So she catalogued, and would not let herself dwell on Narav. No. It would all work out.

And then someone interrupted her work. She looked up with a scowl, but it transformed into a look of bewilderment when she saw the bowing, bobbing little man with a ridiculous name. He spoke at a hundred miles an hour, and it took a moment for Edalene to catch up. A moment of silence followed while her brain worked.

"Yes, I'm Edalene..." she trailed off. An expedition? With the Archaeology Department? It was more up Aeodan's field, but he struggled with physical activity, and besides, it was a credit... She swallowed, made a quick decision. They weren't leaving for a few trials. She could do this one last thing. Better than categorising books, anyway. "Yes, sir. I'm available. What do I need to do and where do I meet you?" She paused, and made a split second decision. "Sir... is it alright if my brother accompanies us? He works with the Anthropology Department, and I know he'd be an asset on this trip..."
[/align]
User avatar
Plague
Developer - Staff
Developer - Staff
Posts: 1125
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:53 am
Race: Mer
Renown: +260
Office
Personal Journal
Templates

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Staff

Ruinfall (Edalene)

Tue May 23, 2017 6:46 am

Professor Terrance frowned, even before he could temper it to look polite. It was a brief cloud of annoyance that darkened the sun of his beaming enthusiasm, gone the moment it appeared. "Yes, well, no." The storm of his discontent was met with the icy fury of Edalene's own stare and that tension held for only a moment before Thomas relented, swinging his hands, palm out, between them as if banishing some frightful image. "I mean yes, of course, should be fine. Siblings after all, I'm sure it can be..." he trailed off, reaching for something, lost it and gave up, "You have a cruel gaze, my dear Edalene, a cruel, cruel gaze." Snapping his fingers he hopped away from her and gathered up two books from the return pile, "You'll need it! By the Immortals you'll need some steel in you for what we are about to endeavor."

Thomas had almost crossed back toward the office when he paused, comically pirouetting on his forward foot to face her again. "Speaking of! Yes, the expedition! You wanted a taste, hmm? A little nibble before the feast? Of course, of course, I can sympathize." His fingers scurried across the scroll canisters on his belt, pausing at each one only briefly before dancing to another. In the end he settled for one sticking faintly from an interior jacket pocket. Snatching it up he presented it to her inspection before snatching it back and uncorking the copper top, fishing out a yellowed parchment between two fingers. Gently he laid it out on the desk and waved her over to look. Gone were the random tremors and tics that made the man who he was, he was reverent now, holding out a rough map of the forest around Andaris. There was a place with a blot, a strange mark that bled through the page. Apart from that, it seemed no different from any other primitive piece of scrawling. "You can't see it, my dear, but this is where we're going. There is wonder to be found here, something worth discovering. You'll have to take my word for it, but I imagine they will write books with our names as chapter titles when all is said and done. How exciting." He rolled the map up deftly and deposited it back in the case, slipping it in his pocket.

"Bright and early, my dear Edalene, you and your...brother, should he choose to come. Pack for travel! But do not pack too hardily! I will have more than enough to share for our short venture into the unknown!" With an exaggerated bow, Thomas bounded out from behind the desk and towards the office, vanishing down a hallway.

With his absence the scholars collectively breathed relief, returning to their work and leaving Edalene to process the information.

"SOUTH GATE!" Thomas hollered from down the hallway, drawing frustrated glares, "A MILE OUT, BEND IN THE ROAD, CAN'T MISS IT!"

His echoes faded, but his presence...that took so much longer to truly dissipate.


The Next Trial


Morning had been thwarted as the sun sought solace in a sanctuary of heavy clouds. Gloom shadowed the road outside the Andaris gates and the promise of rain whispered on the unseasonably chilly breeze. Thomas Theodore Terrence was exactly where he had said he'd be, his shape engulfed by the leather canvas bag strapped to his frame and towering over his head. It was a small wonder that the small man had such muscle hidden beneath his paunchy exterior. He stood at the threshold of bark and loam, and on approach a curious sound snuck around the professor to find their ears. It was a piping sound, lilting and sweet. It was almost the song of birds, but far more orderly. Thomas held a small pipe pursed between his lips, his fingers dancing along the delicately carved holes down its slender shape. His eyes were closed and he didn't seem to detect anyone coming up behind him. The music was cheery, but it didn't take long for them to realize that it was only part of a song he was playing. Perhaps it was the coda, but just before he might switch to the main melody he took the briefest of pauses and began the coda again.
Again. Again. As if he were searching for the rest of the song in the worship of repetition.
Image[/align]
Image
User avatar
Edalene
Approved Character
Posts: 407
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:15 am
Race: Human
Profession: Seeker
Renown: +39
Character Sheet
Prophets' Notes
Plot Notes
Player Review
Templates

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Ruinfall (Edalene)

Wed May 24, 2017 1:08 am

Image

Edalene held the professor's gaze easily. He was a bumbling man - obviously not a fool, but still, Edalene would not bend on this. She needed her brother; and she needed him to have the same opportunities she did. It was unfair that Aeodan was looked over so often purely because of his health, and Edalene had decided many arcs ago that she would be his champion. She stared at Terrance, and when he wavered and allowed Aeodan to come, a brilliant smile broke across her face. "Thank you, sir. You won't regret it. He's brilliant, I swear." Success.

Excitement rose in her as he scrabbled at his belt, pulling out an old and rusty cannister, with an even older map inside. Reverently, he unfolded the map, spreading it out on the desk. Edalene quickly moved the books out of the way, bending in to peer at the map. It was old - she could tell. As Terrance spoke, she observed the map. Strange markings, and an even stranger mark in the middle of the map, as if blood was pooling through the parchment. The back of her neck itched. She wanted to ask more, but he rolled up the map and began to speed out the library, shouting out things he seemed to have forgotten as he went. A rueful smile twisted on Edalene's lips - this was an odd man - but she began to pack up her things and head for home. Excitement ran through her. Yes, they would write books about her and Aeodan. Of course.

The Next Trial

Edalene trudged wearily with her pack along the road in the grey and cold morning. She was alone, and upset about it. Aeodan was too tired, too sore, from the packing and upheaval from the last couple of trials. She could tell that he was upset about it, too, but Edalene had truly wanted her brother with her for this adventure. He deserved it. Aeodan truly did.

She approached, hiking her pack up, and then she heard it. The mournful tune from the professor's pipe circled endlessly through the wind as Edalene drew closer. He barely seemed to notice her approach, and as shew drew nearer, she could tell he only played the same few notes. "Sir...?" she said as she drew near, not wanting to surprise him. "I'm sorry. My brother - his health, well, he's not up to the expedition. It's just me." She paused, wondering what to do now. "Your playing is beautiful." She looked to the edge of the forest, the copse close by, and she itched with excitement. "Will we be leaving soon?"
[/color]
[/align]
User avatar
Aeodan
Approved Character
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:31 am
Race: Human
Profession: Sojourner
Renown: +30
Character Sheet
Templates

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Ruinfall (Edalene)

Wed May 24, 2017 10:23 pm

Image


Aeodan bit his lip as he heard Edalene leave the house, saddened by her departure. He was exhausted from the previous trials, but something tugged at his heart at the sound of the closing door. There was a finality in the crash, and one that caused his heart to skip a beat. After a moment of indecision, he swung the covers from his nearly-naked body, hauling himself to his feet.

As soon as he did, a wave of pain exploded through his legs, weaving its way up like cobwebs in an attic. He grabbed the post of his bed to steady himself, and then steeled himself to the ache. He knew that there was likely going to be much aching ahead, so he would have to just man up and muscle through. Hastily, he hobbled about the room, collecting his clothes and stuffing them in a bag. Throwing on shorts and a light shirt, he set out from the house only eleven bits after his sister. Granted, he would not cover the ground as quickly as she, but if he was lucky, he'd catch the group before they moved on.

As he walked, Aeodan's mind wandered to the task set before them. This was exciting stuff, and Aeodan was glad that he made himself get out of bed. How many times had he allowed Edalene to go on without him because he was sad or sore? No, not this time. This time, he would go with her and show her exactly how strong he could be. With a smile, he trudged on, poorly ignoring the exhaustion and pain in his legs. This was not the time to fail.

As he approached the group, he could vaguely make out his twin's form, and the sight of her bolstered him. He increased his pace, breathing steadily through the pace. When he was close enough, he broke out in a wide smile and called to her, far enough behind her that his voice would sound slight in the wind.

"Edalene!" His voice sounded further away than he was, and it wasn't made better by the heaving in his chest. He knew the pace would be grueling, but he was going to share this with his sister. In fact, he wanted nothing more than for the two of them to make some earth-shattering discovery and become the source of the texts they read for their jobs. With the thought in mind, he rapidly approached her and wrapped his wiry arms around her.

"I'm sorry I couldn't catch up with you." His eyes shone in their excitement, and the silvery mark over his eye seemed to shimmer in the sunslight. He gave her a quick peck on the cheek and held her at arm's length. "So let's get going, shall we?"

From the corner of his eye, Aeodan saw Thomas. Quickly, he turned to observe the eccentric man, a wide smile on his face. This should be interesting, he thought.

Image[/align]
User avatar
Plague
Developer - Staff
Developer - Staff
Posts: 1125
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:53 am
Race: Mer
Renown: +260
Office
Personal Journal
Templates

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Staff

Ruinfall (Edalene)

Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:30 pm

Thomas could see the gangly shadow of the young man making his way down the road behind her. Sickness, infirmity, while they were words held like battle standards whenever a professor was asked to add a new class to their schedule, they were forgotten in the field. Oh yes. Young Aordan would cough blood at every step and still heft the pack against his narrow back, they both would. Scholars. The warriors could scoff all they like from behind a curtain of blood and swagger but a scholar would march with both feet in the grave, just to see the wonders over the rise.

Slowly he dipped the small instrument from his lips and replaced it in his front pocket. It already hung, fastened, to a chain around his neck. "So lovely of you to say," he murmured quietly as Aordan approached, "It's, 'A war of Two Bridges, Uthaldrian, third century.' " He did not continue, or explain where the rest of the song had gone to. Instead he shifted and hefted his own towering pack in a rattle of metal and fabric. Above them, the sky had darkened with clouds, settling in from the North. Thomas eyed them and grinned, drawing a hood up over his mess of hair. Plucking an old brass pocketwatch from one of his many pockets, he checked the time and clicked tongue against teeth.

"Welcome, welcome," He said to them both, stepping back far enough to rest an arm against one tilted oak spilling over the road, "You have the fortune of being part of a most auspicious expedition, a most curious venture." Up came his index finger, as if something in the sky were nodding off at its desk, "Today we will not be studying Rynmere history or even a Rynmere sight. No, no my bright-eyed scholars...We will be plunging head first into a time before the word Rynmere ever crossed the lips of the men who settled here." He paused in his lecture, waving an impatient hand at Aordan, "Young man, I read your treatise on historical Rynmere dialects. Lovely work, lovely. The comparison you drew to the common spoken in Southern Ne'haer was a clever bit of linguistics. I felt, perhaps, your section on Khrome could have used a few more sources...and I lament you did not have the time to visit some of its farthest villages. Remarkable people there, truly. Did you know that three hundred years ago, erm...It would be three hundred and twenty two by my count, but really a speculation of course." Both hands went out, came back to his side and he leaned in conspiratorily, "A man claimed he was visited by a Great Bear that had come South from the woods. Fashioned a sort of folk religion out of it, Beghesh, I think...quite fascinating indeed." Waving it away, Thomas switched hands, "All dead now, of course, put to the pyre by Lord Khrome of the time, heresy and apostates and all, you know the rigamarole...but yes, fascinating people out there."

He turned back toward Edalene and shrugged, straightening and embarrassed, "Apologies, my dear, but you're not really in my department. I hadn't the time to read anything you've done but I'm sure you're marvelous, yes, marvelous, I saw it straight away." Yanking out the pocket watch again he checked it and grinned.

"As to when, my flower, my young scribbler," He nodded to each in turn, "We are to be off now! Step lively and step carefully. Plenty to go wrong on this leg of the journey and OH! How you would lament the discovery you'd missed. Start on time, end on time, we've a long day of hiking ahead."

Turning with a spin, surprisingly light on his feet for a man so burdened, Professor Terrance started off through the trees. Within ten strides his voice bellowed back to them, deep and resonate, scattering the birds like dandelion seeds and masking even the crash of their progress through the woods. He sang, but not in a language Edalene was familiar with. It took a few moments for Aordan to settle on familiar words. It was an anthem, from the Eternal Empire, very old dialect of Sulnysian, a rare language on its own. Thomas roared it as if the language were his and his alone, the chanting rhythm easily applicable to their own marching gait.

He was unstoppable, implacable, it seemed that no break could be short enough (Although he took several to accommodate the less physically inclined students). Thomas was a study in extremes. One moment he leaped with such joy it might simply carry him above the trees themselves, and some hours he was a silent guide, pointing out various obstacles and dangers neither student would have been perceptive enough to see. Given his figure, Thomas should have tired long before he did, but the portly man seemed indomitable. Even as the rain fell in scattered sheets through the tall trees above them, Thomas did not tire. Mud seemed incapable of holding him in its bind and his voice eclipsed even the thunder in some rare moments. He was every bit the force of nature that unfolded around him.

To Edalene and Aordan, the trek was a difficult one. The terrain was not particularly challenging, but the pace of the small professor began to wear against their endurance. Edalene gritted her teeth against the wet and the damp, but less for herself and more for Aordan. She could almost feel the struggle her brother went through just to keep up with them both. Padding next to Edalene, silent and invisible to her brother, her bear granted her some measure of resilience against the exhaustion settling in her bones...but this was nothing she could confer to her brother.

When they finally paused in the dreary wake of the storm, the whole forest dripping around them, Thomas examined the lengthening shadows and pulled out his watch again. Tapping against the lid he bit his lower lip, looking off at some unseen destination through the curtain of branches before finally shrugging.

"Oh, I suppose this is far enough for the day," He said, clearly without agreeing to his own statement, "Shall we pitch our expedition camp beneath these lovely sycamores?" Patting one, running his hand along the bark, he chuckled, "Oh my, quite the age our dear protector has. Worry not, my pale guardian, we shall not be cutting you down." Thomas lifted a finger, still talking to the tree, "I may, however, impose on you to borrow some of your scattered branches? Surely you were finished with them anyways."

Turning back on Aordan and Edalene, he clapped both hands together.

"Yes. Right. Now for the parts the explorers never write about. All fire, blood, and discovery...yes? Never anything of the work. One of you shall fetch wood and strike a fire, and the other shall begin to pitch your shelter for the evening. I shall pitch my own and see if I cannot find us something tastier than rations, yes?"

He winked, slinging his huge pack off his back and leaning it against the sycamore. "Do not wander too far and remember to breathe deep! Breathe deep and long! This is the scent of adventure! This is the smell of discovery and new grounds. Can you feel it, perhaps?" He bent down and ran a hand along the dirt, his voice dropping to a whisper, "Ancient men have walked before us."

With a wink he turned to the forest, vanishing between the trees with barely a sound to mark his departure.
Image[/align]
Image
User avatar
Edalene
Approved Character
Posts: 407
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:15 am
Race: Human
Profession: Seeker
Renown: +39
Character Sheet
Prophets' Notes
Plot Notes
Player Review
Templates

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Ruinfall (Edalene)

Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:56 am

Image
Mere moments after she caught up with the professor, she heard a very familiar voice call her name. Whirling around with a grin on her face, she laughed. "Aeodan!" she cried, rushing over to him and slinging an arm around his shoulders. She knew he had been in a decent amount of pain these past few trials, and while worry for his health tugged at her chest, she couldn't help but be glad he had turned up anyway. "What are you doing here? I thought you weren't coming! How are your legs? Your health?" The last two questions she asked in an undertone, not wanting the professor to overhear, but she couldn't help herself - Edalene would always worry about Aeodan.

Edalene eyed the coming clouds skeptically, unused as she was to fieldwork. She was aware she'd only been asked on this expedition as a last resort, but in all honesty - study was study, and wherever it took her, Edalene would go in the pursuit of knowledge. As Thomas praised Aeodan, Edalene stayed silent, feeling uncomfortable. Even though the two of them had come by chance, it seemed Aeodan would be the one more suited to this quest than she - but she could never feel resentment towards her twin. He was intelligent, and deserved the praise he received.

A wry smile twisted on her lips as Thomas pulled out his pocket watch. As a Shirvain, she had no need of clocks - the one on the back of her neck keeping her wholly aligned with the time without effort. "That's quite alright, sir," she murmured. Of course he hadn't read anything she had written. And with this expedition irrelevant to her field of research, why should he? But the mention of the past, going back before even Rynmere, Edalene couldn't help but feel
a twitch of excitement. This - this is what Ralaith and Ti'atha had seen in her. With her move to Viden upcoming, Edalene couldn't help but feel certain her heart was leading her to study a field beyond Rynmere, and far into the past.

A smirk to Aeodan as they set off, that she knew he would understand - the professor was so eccentric it made her want to giggle. She was sure at some point Aeodan and her would do just that. She might even make her brother laugh with a poor imitation of the man's idiosyncrasies. And with a careful glance to Aeodan, they set off through the woods.

Edalene found the hike easier than she would have normally. Her great forest bear shimmered visible only to her, and she drew strength from him, imbuing the usually weak student with fortitude and endurance she might not have normally had. Still, she was grateful to the professor for the breaks he took - not for herself, but she knew Aeodan was struggling. One look at his scrunched face, and Edalene knew his legs were giving him trouble - the rain certainly not helping. And so she walked closely to him, reaching out a hand to him whenever he wavered. Always, always there for him when he needed it.

When they stopped, wet and soaked, not even her beloved bear could keep her strong. She was weary, and knew Aeodan would be in agony, but still the professor bounded with seemingly endless supplies of energy. Edalene watched open mouthed as he disappeared. There was a moment of silence, and she turned to her brother. "Are you alright?" she murmured, bending to him and wiping his fringe from his face, where it clung to his forehead dripping with rain. "What hurts?" and she rubbed her hands along his legs, wishing she could take the pain from them and fling it into the sky.

"Stay here," she said, straightening. "I will go to get firewood, and try to start a fire... but with all this damp, I have no idea how I'll manage to do that," she shook her head in exasperation. "If it hurts too much, stay seated - I'll build the shelter when I come back." Edalene bent and pressed a tender kiss to her forehead, and with a smile, turned and went to the woods.

She did not go far, only skirting around the clearing. She managed to find several pieces of firewood, not too damp, that had been sheltered a little by the storm. She collected leaves and sticks, as dry as she could find. She did remember to bring flint with her, so as long as they were dry enough, she should be able to start the fire. After a few bits, Edalene returned to the camp, and bent down, smiling at her brother.

"Come on," she muttered to herself after arranging the wood into circles. The rain had mostly slowed, but it still took several bits of striking the flint with a machete. Several times the kindling caught sparks, but it felt like ages until she was able to fan that into a flame. A grin on her face, and she knelt before the fire, grinning as it grew in size. "Aeodan!" she called. "I did it! Come here, and get warm. It'll help your pain."
[/align]
User avatar
Aeodan
Approved Character
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:31 am
Race: Human
Profession: Sojourner
Renown: +30
Character Sheet
Templates

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Ruinfall (Edalene)

Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:45 am

Image


Aeodan smiled as he approached Edalene, the happiness radiating from his cheeks in ruddy splotches. He huffed as he drew close to her, but even his aching illness couldn't prevent him from sharing in his sister's jubilation.

"I very well couldn't miss this, could I?" He smiled and hugged her tightly, before turning back to the professor in order to receive the instruction.

The professor was a strange man, Aeodan could tell from the very beginning. He was eccentric, but in a way that many would find uncomfortable and, perhaps, annoying. Aeodan, also pedantic and eccentric, did not find him so. Instead, he confused Aeodan with his dazzling brilliance and flamboyancy, and he was off before the Burnett boy could really comprehend the praise flung at him so haphazardly.

"I... Uh... Oh-Okay." Aeodan watched the professor set off, hurrying faster than the aching boy could ever hope to. He looked at Eda with a slight smile, knowing that the trek ahead was going to be vigourous. When they set off, Aeodan wrapped a thin hand through Edalene's, using her pace to help set his own. The trek was breakneck, especially for the boy Burnett, but Aeodan held his own despite the pace.

In fact, the fire in his legs offered him incentive to keep up. Obviously, the professor was unconcerned with Aeodan's condition, and the change was nice. Aeodan rather enjoyed that Thomas did not care for his pains, and that he expected Aeodan to carry his own weight as much as he would any other participant on the expedition. Aeodan was determined to rise to the professor's challenge, and would prove to his sister and Thomas that he was more than prepared to undertake the vigours of field work.

Each respite only hardened Aeodan's resolve. The time they took increased the pain in his legs, and each time he resumed the pace, the searing spikes in his legs returned. Gritting his teeth against the pain, Aeodan kept up with Edalene. He would be lying if he said he wanted to make camp, but he'd never say it out loud. And he did his best to keep the physical signs of his pain a secret; the last thing he needed was Edalene worrying about his legs. She always did, and he felt like he was holding her down...

And finally, the professor brought them to a grove of sycamores. Edalene and Aeodan set their packs down, and the professor instructed them to divvy up their responsibilities to more efficiently make camp. Edalene, though, concerned herself with ensuring Aeodan's comfort, prompting the younger twin to sheepishly push her hands away.

"I'm fine, Eda... Eda, seriously, I'm fine. Gerroff me, Eda..." She was used to his fighting her, and she continued to try and help him anyway. Smiling despite himself, Aeodan pushed her hands away. He was thankful when she rose to gather the wood, and Aeodan nodded.

"I can put the damn tents up, Eda. Don't worry so much about me. I'm not a little boy anymore..." And with that, he pushed himself to his feet. The tent the twins brought covered the space for the two of them, so he luckily had to only put up one shelter. Still, Aeodan had never erected the shelter before. When he was younger, and his parents would take the twins into the forest, Eda always did the physical activities.

Still, Aeodan was determined, and an academic mind like his should not be foiled by a simple tent. Planting the first tent pole, Aeodan went about unfolding the heavy canvas. His legs ached, and he stood trying to visualize how the tent should look when completed. Being able to see the finished product would allow the Burnett boy to complete the project... Or so he hoped.

As long as it took Edalene to gather the wood, Aeodan struggled with the tent. She came back into view, and it spurred Aeodan to perform at a higher level. He planted the last pole and erected the heavy canvas tent, finally able to lie underneath it. As Eda sparked the fire, Aeodan relaxed under the tent. The weightlessness of his legs hurt more than being on them, as they were wont to do. Groaning, Aeodan rubbed his thighs firmly.

"I'm warm, love... Do you see Thomas?" He craned his neck to look for the professor.
User avatar
Plague
Developer - Staff
Developer - Staff
Posts: 1125
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:53 am
Race: Mer
Renown: +260
Office
Personal Journal
Templates

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Staff

Ruinfall (Edalene)

Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:44 pm

Image
"Sight, my boy," Came the voice from the shadows beyond the flickering fire-light, "Can be a lovely deception. Trust your instincts and your mind, they shall not fail you." Thomas stepped from the darkness and wiped a hand across his rain-slick forehead. A cascade of damp curls clung to his forehead but his smile had never wavered. By the ears he held five rabbits, their glassy eyes caught in the firelight but seeing nothing.

He took a seat by the flames and pulled out a long hunting knife, setting to the task of skinning the creatures. The task took some time, but he completed it with few words, focusing as the light bled from the sky almost entirely. Reaching into his coat he retrieved a small bundle of cloth, tied at its corners, and deftly freed it. Within, a small mound of blackberries and cleaned mushrooms gleamed in the fire-light. From his own pack, Thomas fished out a pot and several other vegetables, onions, carrots, and celery that each made laid out to dry from the damp in the glow Edalene had cast them.

"You will remember only two meals of this expedition," Thomas told them quietly as he continued to prepare, "You will remember the first, with the scent of wood and loam thick in your nose, the promise of discovery thrumming in your chest and you will remember the last. Successful or not, you will remember that the meal you have upon arriving home will be the best you've tasted in recent memory." Thomas retrieved a clay jug from his pack and poured the clear water into the pot, suspending it over the wood and poles with a few deft knots and an apparatus made from sticks. Into the pot went the ingredients, diced and intermingling. With a knowing wink, Thomas retrieved a a small pouch and opened it gingerly, taking a pinch of ruby-red flakes and casting only a few into the water after the meat and vegetables. "We may eat many times, Cassion willing, during our travel, but only once will be the first and only once will be the last. I can tell you the first and last meal of every expedition I've had..." he patted the swell of his stomach appreciatively, "And I was fortunate to find a rabbit warren to share a stew with you tonight." Out came a ladle, wood and carved of some unfamiliar dark complexion. He gave the pot a few stirs and stood.

"Our food must be given some privacy to prepare. Edalene, my flower, see that the fire will not for for want of fuel in our absence. We should be gone only twenty...no." He cocked his head, as if considering, "Twenty five beats and twelve trills." He said the last looking at Edalene, as if the two of them shared some private joke, and dusted off his hands. "Step up and step lively. We cannot be on time if we do not rise to meet the schedule!"

Off the professor went, bobbing and ducking through the trees. He did not slow his pace for Aeodan, but did manage to always stay within the young mans sight-line. Thomas went without lantern or torch, relying only on the starlight that had pierced the veil of clouds only a few breaks before.

Edalene, slightly faster than her brother in the gloom, especially with her companion, almost ran into the professor. He stood, stock still, gazing down at something in the gloom. "Ah. You've arrived. Splendid, splendid." He spoke quietly, reverently and knelt. There was the sound of something striking against something else and the glow of flame suddenly snarled into the night.

Before them rose a curious object. Time had worn the stone to a shadow of its former self, but not enough so that the base could not be measured. Fully twelve feet in circumference, the remains of an ancient monolith struggled through the vines of the forest floor. In the roots around its base, bones had been laid, ritualistically. None of them were large enough to be human and all appeared to be game animals of some kind. Thomas retrieved a bag from his cloak, the remains of the rabbits he'd skinned, including bones and laid them out with the others. The blood gleamed in the light as he straightened.

"Long ago, this monolith was dedicated to Cassion...or a deity like him. It was a way point for travelers who came a long way, a kind of marker to indicate that their journey was nearly at an end or..." he turned and smiled at them, the light casting hollow shadows against his face, "That it had just begun." He turned back to the monolith and drew a different blade from his coat, a much smaller one. With a deft stroke he slid it along the back of his hand with a quiet hiss. Blood pooled immediately and the professor turned his hand upside down to let it drip upon the stone and his offering. "An ancient custom," he explained, "In those days travel was much harder. Gods and Demons walked the lands in earnest and most adventures ended far too early to finish even an opening chapter. To travel from ones home was to consign your fate to a higher power...and to form bonds with those you journeyed with. Back then it was customary to offer the bones of your first meal at markers like these and offer your blood to the deity that acted as guardian to it, that you might win its protection." He drew his hand back and slid the knife back into a pocket, pulling a length of cloth and wrapping it quickly around his injured hand, careful not to jostle the lamp he had lit. He drew out the knife again and offered it first to Aeodan, "The blood is for the gods. The bones are for the road. And for your companions, you must tell them a deep and terrible secret."

He laughed then, suddenly, breaking the enchantment he had cast with mirth. "Not that I imagine you have many terrible secrets between you. The custom dictated that a personal truth must be revealed to your companions. This truth must be in your mind when you shed the blood. Dishonesty is the ruin of any great adventure and this sacrifice of truth ensures we will step with integrity. It is...of course, an old ritual and neither of you must do anything. I find that to properly explore, I want to step into the shoes of those that tread before me...to know them better. I trust you will make the choice you are most comfortable with." He stepped away from the monolith to allow them both a chance to inspect it, "Rather unorthodox, but then now you know why I'm not chair of the department." He allowed himself a titter of mirth. "We need not speak the Truth here. I find stories of such weight are best in the company of good food. He left the lantern on the ground behind them and started off through the trees again, "Follow the light...it should be dark enough to draw your path by the fire our delightful Edalene has made. I will return to administer our first meal and you will both decide what Truth...if there are any you can divulge, you are comfortable sharing."

He paused, the darkness had nearly swallowed him now and his voice seemed ominous, echoing. "Remember, students. The power of a Sacrifice relies on its importance. Give something of no weight and you will find no weight returned. Give something of power and expect that power will follow you."

With those words he left them, alone with the old monolith and the wind whistling through the trees.
Image
User avatar
Edalene
Approved Character
Posts: 407
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:15 am
Race: Human
Profession: Seeker
Renown: +39
Character Sheet
Prophets' Notes
Plot Notes
Player Review
Templates

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

Ruinfall (Edalene)

Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:05 am

Image
Almost as soon as Aeodan asked, the professor appeared. Edalene whirled, confused by his sudden, soundless approach. Though the rain would have dampened the undergrowth, Edalene thought she surely should have heard some sign of his approach - though, of course, she didn't really have any knowledge of fieldcraft. She sent a bemused smile and a shrug to her brother at the professor's enigmatic wisdom. It seemed he had a fondness for proverbs. It was strange, but Edalene wasn't about to say anything to her employer.

"Can I help you with that?" she asked, crouching by Thomas next to the fire. But he seemed content to work quietly, skinning the rabbits of their fur efficiently, with the practiced hand of one who had done this many times before. As the sun darkened over the camp, the wind chill picked up. Edalene sent a glance to her brother, eager for him to come from the tent and sit by the fire. Even if it was in silence, it would be good for his pain to be by the warmth. If need be, she'd march over there and bring him to the fire. Honestly, sometimes it seemed that she was more concerned for his health than he was.

Edalene was wracking her head for something to say, something to break this awkward silence, when Thomas began to speak to the pair of them. She was briefly confused, wondering why they would only remember two meals - was that a threat? Her spirit bear rose up cautiously, but it seemed to be yet another proverb. Edalene stared at him, bewildered, but it actually made sense in a weird way. Perhaps, when Edalene and Aeodan were old and grey, they would speak beside a fire in Viden with warm memories of this - strange stew that Thomas seemed to be making.

She wondered how to reply, but then he shocked her. His flower? Irritation ran through her, and she nearly snapped at the unwelcome petname. She hated being called such things by men who did not know her. They didn't own her - she wasn't anyone's. She opened her mouth to say something, but then remembering he had employed her, simply closed her mouth and nodded tersely. A tight smile at the professor's joke - so he had noticed her mark - and she collected the fuel she had retrieved, and began to pack the fire more tightly in preparation for their brief trip away.

"Ready," she murmured, standing and brushing the dirt from her dress. She held a hand out to her brother. "Are you up to this, love? Edalene murmured to Aeodan. She wasn't trying to embarrass him; but his health came first and always would. No matter what he said, Edalene would take her brother by the hand and match her pace with his as they walked through the forest; no matter how swiftly the professor forged ahead.

It was a short walk through the dark forest, and Edalene nearly ran headlong into the professor. "Sorry, sir," she murmured, before looking around curiously. It seemed an innocuous part of the forest, and Edalene wondered how he had known it was here. Perhaps he had chosen the campsite for this very purpose. And then, light - and she saw it.

The obelisk was strange, worn down and vine wrapped, bones littered around the obelisk - but organised, as if they were meant to be there. Either there was a strange magic in the air here, or they were sacrificed. It was answered for her as the remains of their dinner were laid reverentially before the monument by the professor. He seemed less bouyant, and more sincere in this place - this place of old, strange, power. Edalene felt her mark itch, and she was nearly compelled to step forward and touch the monument. This - this was a place of history. This place had the power of time.

She considered arguing, refusing to cut herself for this old god, whoever it was. But one look to the obelisk and Edalene knew she had to honour history, even as she watched Thomas pour his blood onto the bones below. A small part of her worried for Aeodan, but this, right now, this was about time and history, and Edalene could never say no to that. Edalene watched with a smile on her face, small and sincere, as the professor went back to camp. And this time, not even his pet name bothered her.

"I'll go first," she said suddenly into the silence. Edalene took the knife from her brother. She did not look at Aeodan as she stepped forward towards the monument, aware of the crunch of sacrificial bones before her. In another time, she might have questioned this - thought critically, argued, debated - but now, with the faith of the Immortal of Time in her, she knew she had to honour time and tradition.

She drew a deep breath, and focused on a terrible truth. There was only one she could think of, and Edalene knew that her brother would know what she was thinking. With a swift moment, she sliced the back of her palm, perhaps deeper than she needed to, and with Godryn's dying face in mind, she spilled her blood onto the monument. Closing her eyes, faces flashed through her mind. First the shocked, gurgling face of Godryn as he fell. The smile of hope from Allan as she gave him that lie of a kiss. Aeodan, and his tears when she told him. Ralaith and his presence of time. Ti'atha, her soft smiles and colourful heart. And Narav, Narav, Narav. Always in between, Narav.

Edalene breathed unsteadily, and then stepped back. She mouthed a silent prayer to Ralaith. Wisdom, Ralaith - on this journey of time, I need to know what is wise stepping forward. Another moment, and with a bleeding hand, she stepped back to her brother. With a hand that did not shake, Edalene held the knife out for her brother.

"You don't have to do this, Aeodan," she murmured, looking for signs of pain, but then she paused. "But I'm glad that I did."
[/align]
Post Reply

Return to “Andaris”