Empty Moons

A settlement east of Rynmere across a stretch of water called 'the eastern trench' broken into three regions: Welles, Oakleigh, and Berwick.

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Alistair
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Tue May 08, 2018 9:48 pm

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82nd of Ashan, Arc 718

Where have I gone?

I've fallen so far.

Each fortnight, a different spirit. A different man. I wear only one face, now, but my heart is for many. Doran, Jonathan, Patrick... Fridgar. And more - I spill in so many directions, like a broken glass. Outward, each and every way, flowing. Perhaps I am broken. Yes... I believe I am.

My allegiances change. My beliefs falter. I want, desperately, to belong... to do something. To be someone. But who am I? At this point -- who am I?


He laid in the darkness of the eve, his sides pressed into the ground, muscularly nude form revealed beneath the subtle hues of lights shone from far away. Town was not utterly distant, but... he was alone in the night. Predator, prey, transient; he could be anywhere, do anything... it didn't matter. The moon was not risen in the sky, though the sun had come to set. It was very, very dark, and the creatures that thrived off such blackness thrived in the now. He could hear the lynxes prowling, the bobcats roaring... even snakes slithering among the grass. He'd gotten so well at noticing everything around him, but... so late to react to it all.

Before long, he found himself gnashed upon by a violent insect, a flying buzzard biting at him in sudden motions before withdrawing and swinging by to strike. The mage swatted it away - it wouldn't go - so he grabbed it into his palm and crushed it, the beast biting at his fingers as much as it could. It didn't matter. His skin and flesh were strong... and though the pain was there, and it stung, it was minor. He would recover soon - his torturous form always made sure of that.

Alistair stood from the grass and stared out, watching as the moon seemed to rise in the distance. So - late. The beasts of the field already had their fun.

His lips parted, and he began to sing beneath his breath. A short tune, to be sure, lasting only a few trills... leading into a despondent hum. As he continued, he grew only more emotional, and the words came out once again.

"You, will be mine; I'll be yours... 'til the dying of our days. I... will be fine, even more, when you turn and go to war... just... come back... just come back... Fridgar. I'm not fine, Fridgar. I'm really not," he whispered, beginning to whimper, as the wind blew through the fields... trees swaying in the distance, and brazier's flames nearly extinguishing from the nearby town.

The mage lamented. No matter how hard he tried, and for however long, nothing could ever repair the hollow. Nothing. The damage was irreparable - and his heart would never come back untorn.
Last edited by Alistair on Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nir'wei
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Sat May 12, 2018 6:07 pm

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Even breathing. Slow steps. Watch your footing; mind the branches. Watch your prey, but watch your feet, keep low and in the shadows. But it was all so hard, it felt like he didn't have enough eyes. How could anyone know what they were doing in such darkness? He squinted, trying to peer through the muddy blackness into the featureless ground, but by the time he looked back up, the bobcat was gone; he'd spent so long finding the perfect spot and lining himself up, he'd let his prey walk away unchallenged. It wasn't his fault, though. Hunting wasn't something he'd really needed to for himself in a while, and he'd never been particularly good at it from the start; though tonight they'd once again return home without anything to show for it, a few trials ago Jasper had caught not one, but two reasonably-sized fish in a river not far from their territory, and the smoked and salted remains would make for a small but decent meal. Traveller was away, but he always brought something back when he left on long ventures, almost like an apology gift. Or more likely because he didn't think he'd able to care for himself in that time, and needed to bring some food for his groomer lest he starve.

"Hey, you didn't scare it off this time." The lack of condescension in his voice was appreciated, but it didn't make him feel any better. The wolf felt that, too. There were very few things that the wolf couldn't feel... he wasn't sure if that really made it better or worse. "Now you're over-complicating things again."

Nir'wei chose not to say anything as he exhaled sharply, straightened up and re-cased his short-bow. "Come on, let's just go," he said aloud, hearing snippets of distant rustling as small animals fled at his voice. "I'm done for the night." He needed more practice, desperately, but there were just so many other things consuming his time. So many! Development at the new land was painstakingly slow. The Skye Verath Lodge demanded his attention more than ever, with Skyriders deployed at breakneck paces for reasons they refused to go into details on. It struck a nerve. He was the one looking after their mounts, the least they could do was give him the common courtesy of conversation, but the one that talked to him at all seemed to suddenly jump conversation whenever it came to their daily work, what their assignments were. Even with prompting, even with pleading! He needed to know what to prepare in case they came back with an arrow-wound from chasing down a bandit, or a sword-wound, or... "This isn't the place I left, Greyhide."

"You're not the same man who left. Things change." The last time they'd been in Rynmere, the wolf had still been human, technically. That change was something he didn't think either of them minded. This was different. This was... odd. "It's only different because you don't understand it; it's only odd, because you don't accept it." He really didn't like it when the wolf answered his thoughts; it felt like the wolf was just sitting inside his head, watching everything that went through it. "That's because I am." Stop that! "You don't mind it when that dumb squirrel does it!" He didn't care what that dumb squirrel thought about his inner monologue, though. Archailist... was a strange entity. One that he'd never understand, one that he even now struggled to accept as a true part of himself. Greyhide felt more a part of his soul than many things. Bound in a way that nobody would ever understand.

Warm breath tickled his fingers as the wolf pressed his head into his palm. "Karem did more for us both than I think even she realises." They stopped, staring into the empty darkness. Silent as they fed in one-another's presence. Archailist was there too, always there, but silent and dormant, his own form of sleep, or perhaps meditation. And in that silence, a soft singing trickled over them all, like droplets of rain.

It came from a man. A naked man, lying sprawled in the grass; he'd never seen him on the way, he'd probably have missed him on the way back. Nir'weis eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness as he drew nearer, and he noted heavy, rippling muscles; a bouncer perhaps? Surely not the victim of a robbing, though a smaller man would have looked the part. Perhaps just a drunkard, though he smelled no alcohol. He could have kept walking, but instead he sat down next to the man and laid on his back, staring up into the sky as he did. He was supposed to be helping people, after all. That was what Faith would have done. "You want a drink?" A white shirt and dark brown trousers were all he had on hand, otherwise he would have offered something perhaps a little more useful. "Only got water, I'm afraid." He untied the waterskin from its loop on his hip and offered it to the stranger, still more than half-full. He'd hoped for a longer hunting expedition and packed accordingly with his bow and many leather loops to display his kills, but with so many empty spaces on his belt, he must have looked quite an idiot. As he settled, Greyhide padded around them both and started sniffing curiously at the man's face.
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Alistair
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Tue May 15, 2018 10:45 pm

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It was strange, to have someone . . . lay beside him? He immediately grew uncomfortable, and wondered, looking at the other man with a suspicious bewilderment as the mage curled his chest forward and wrapped his arms around his knees, concealing much of the portions of his body that did not . . . entirely need to be seen. He then lowered his head into his forearm to wipe his eyes, sniffling once as he cleared his throat.

Who was this man? Why would anyone elect to join him in this state? He thought, perhaps, that if someone were to see him . . . they would simply move on. He was surrounded by grass and nothingness, with the only touches of civilization lights in the distance. Out in an open field in the middle of a vast nothingness, he knew he appeared more bizarre and untangled than any.

But someone did come, and despite his presupposed expectations, the man was . . . somewhat kind. He offered him a waterskin, though the magister immediately shook his head. "No, that's... quite alright," he said, replying promptly and without the same traces of sorrow in his tone. He had normalized, as much as he could through the duress and embarrassment of laying nude in a field, now accompanied by one other.

"I'm sorry, um - cultural ritual," he stated, excusing his actions with an awkward grin. He decided to play it up, lie about it; he could do no better than that. "In . . . Uthaldria," he started, knowing that the realm was isolated and relatively unknown, "we like to lay nude among the fields; our bare forms, built of nothing but clay, as we stare into the sky and pray in whispers. For everything - everything we've been given. And, in that moment, if we are preyed upon by some foul beast of Gauthrel . . . we'll know in our coming life that we have done wrong." He stated this with what felt like whole truth to it; Alistair had always found that his ability to fake a story was, at least, quite good.

The noble only become better, too, since acquiring the blessing of the Tempestuous.

"I apologize, though - it is... rather embarrassing in these parts," he added, cracking a broken grin in an attempt to supplement the false nervousness that was - truthfully - being fed by actual nervousness. Alistair then turned to the other man, examining him. He had... long hair, darkly colored, with medium olive skin and considerable features; a strong brow, piercing gaze, and generous facial hair... though not quite on the same degree.

He looked unique, in Rynmere. A Sev'ryn, very likely, though the man could not be wholly certain.

"I'm..." he started, before realizing he couldn't finish. Not Alistair; too blatant. Not Kieran, either, as he didn't want this face linked to that name. "Ali," he simply called himself. It wasn't a lie, but not the breadth of his noble name. People would know him as Alistair Venora, or as nothing at all. "And you?" he questioned, keeping himself locked in his curling position. He was certainly not comfortable with flashing the goods to just anyone.
Last edited by Alistair on Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nir'wei
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Fri May 25, 2018 2:58 am

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He'd never had the chance to really look close, but as the man suddenly curled in on himself in a display of embarrassment, he had time to really observe. He was cute; handsome in that way only a man with the thick corded muscles like his could be. He could do with a beard though. A hard jaw, barely any hair apart from a bare few inches at the top... and clean shaven everywhere else, to boot. Not a wildling, as he would have thought... as he probably looked himself. Despite his obvious raw strength, he really wasn't very intimidating, especially as he tried to awkwardly explain himself with unsure, lopsided smiles. More of a lost boy than a tribal warrior. All of a sudden, a cacophony.

"He smells clean," Greyhide muttered in amusement. He already knew that, of course; that's why he'd already discounted the drunkard explanation. "No. Cleaner." He wasn't really sure what that was supposed to mean, but he assumed it meant this guy had taken a bath recently, at least.

Archailist's presence seemed to pop suddenly into existence, like a veil had been lifted. "Forget what he smells like, I want to know where his clothes are." Nir'wei didn't look up, but he was suddenly aware... he hadn't seen any clothes, folded neatly or otherwise anywhere near him. Did he walk from... wherever he'd been, all the way here, completely naked and never get stopped? Certainly sounded weird.

Greyhide wasn't swayed. "Maybe he left them hidden." Made sense, nobody wanted their belongings stolen while they, y'know, sat in the middle of a field singing to themselves and waiting for imaginary monsters to come and rip them open.

"In where?" Archailist retorted. "It's an open field with nothing around! Go and look if you don't believe me." He didn't know what happened after that, but there was an odd moment of silence before the wolf spoke up again. This time with a little more concern in his tone, mixed with genuine confusion.

"He's too clean to live nearby... couldn't keep any clothes there... this is weird." Nir'wei had his own thoughts as well that simply weren't adding up, but he'd dismissed them on the count of 'other cultures are weird' logic. Now he really wasn't so certain, and he was beginning to see the pattern that the wolf and squirrel were both struggling to piece together themselves. Or, well, part of it. He never would have seen it at all if not for the extra two pairs of eyes watching the same thing he was, pointing out the details he'd missed. Where would he be without them? On second thought, that avenue was better left untouched.

Damnit, he couldn't believe he was doing this. But the two of them had piqued his curiosity far too much to back down now. "I'm Nir'wei. The wolf is Greyhide." Greyhide gave a small sniff and then sat down, staring at the two of them from overhead with bright eyes matching his own. "So... that's, well. Quite a cultural ritual." He didn't want to insult the stranger, but... this really didn't add up. "You... came to this field naked, walked all the way from your home then? Because I don't see your clothes folded anywhere, and I mean, you don't exactly look the type to be living nearby, in this neck of the fields. Also, far be it for me to question cultural beliefs, but... erm. You guys seriously just lie down in the middle of nowhere and hope a hungry animal doesn't eat you? I hope that's not a regular thing." Whatever monsters they had in the Fields of Gauthrel must have been wildly different to what he'd expected. "You don't even bring a weapon with you to defend yourself, you just lie there... die? Like that, because you might have done something wrong?"

He shook his head and sighed. He was being far too hard on the guy. He'd clearly been through... something, Karem knew what, and here he sat grilling him over the stupidest of things. "... Nevermind. I'm sorry, I was speaking callously." It was Archailist and Greyhide that had sparked this, damnit! "I've got a place nearby and some spare clothes if you need them." And the troupe grew bigger, he thought to himself. "Just... look, I won't judge you, I promise. We all do weird things or have weird stuff happen or... or whatever. Just tell me what happened on the way so I can see what I can do to help. Okay?" Gods, now he really needed to perform to make up for his shitty remarks earlier. Insulting another culture? What was he thinking!
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Alistair
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Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:12 pm

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As Nir'wei introduced himself, the mage's demeanor lightened, pleased to know that despite his embarrassing state, the other man still regarded him enough to offer his pleasantries. Nir'wei, Greyhide. A wolven companion, much like a Krome. Alistair had always found such beasts enchanting in their companionship, and never had he found himself fully able to tempt the loyalty of a truly significant animal companion.

As the Sev'ryn - who was obviously so - began to... dig further insight into his claim of cultural ritual, Alistair stared quietly with a flushed expression and simply allowed for the man to lambast him. Getting into character, perhaps as a Sesser would, he almost felt personally offended and flustered as the man digged at his cultural tradition, even though in truth it didn't exist. Though it sounded like something a Lotharro would do, he too had to reckon that they were not so suicidal as to merely lay down among the grassy knolls of Gauthrel and be eaten by a Feron, or a Scython.

Or even, of course, a sodding Stekir.

You don't even bring a weapon with you to defend yourself, you just--

He stopped him there.

"My fists are all I need," the man stated, confidently before he began to laugh at... himself. This was so ridiculous. And of course, he was wading into another conversation with another stranger... beginning with a lie. No. He had to correct himself. Alistair stood from the barren grass and untouched soil, revealing himself fully without realizing, with a placated look upon his lips, and cheeks. Nir'wei's introduction had been... entertaining, to say the least, as he poked all of the logical holes that he could, and questioned the man's purpose for coming here in the nude just to risk his life.

"I was lying," he stated, honestly. "It's not a cultural ritual, though I have dwelled - for some time of late - in Gauthrel. Their melodrama, and fondness of bare bodies and want of nature, did make me comfortable enough being here in the state that I'm in. I -- it's good to meet you, Nir'wei," he stated, extending a hand as he stared fondly to the Sev'ryn. He had fully disregarded his own compromised state, far too focused on the man before him, and what kindness he had already offered. A home. Clothes. Solace. He was... a good man, Alistair could already tell.

"As for what happened on the road here? Well. That story could go on for hours; all my grief and sorrow have really compounded of late. That's why... I'm in this embarrassing state, where I am now. But it's okay -- somehow, in your own way, you made me feel better. I appreciate it." His smile was light, and earnest. Though as he glanced downward and witnessed the full breadth of his embarrassing appearance, he bit his lip, a gut-wrenching embarrassment truly setting in.

"Perhaps we should, after all, go to your home. That might be wise," he said. "Or," he offered, "we could stay here. Bare, both of us; ventilating all our woes and worries. There are so many in this world. I feel no true shame in being as I am, splayed out before the sparks of light resting in the sky. If there is anything to be reviled on Idalos, it is not my naked humanity, but the foul heart that lies within it. I wish we could all be rid of these vices."
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