• Closed • Food For Thought [Andraska]

After being rescued, Freya travels with Andraska back to Rynmere.

Beyond the city of Rharne lies the Stormlands, which is home to a number of farms, forests, fields, Lake Lovalus, and the River Zynyx. This subforum also includes the Stormwastes to the south.

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Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:38 am

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Common Rakahi Pailtic Hussian
69th Trial of Ashan, Arc 717

It had been some time since Freya felt the wind through her hair— even longer since she felt the roll of the ocean as the haul of the ship sailed over stormy waves. But this… this was entirely new. The rush of large wings as the beast she found herself atop of batted at the wind currents, fighting to ride them smoothly and steadily high above the ground. Everything looked small up here in the air and she clung to the strange man that helped rescue her from the prison in Rharne.

If they hadn’t been in such a rush to leave, Freya wouldn’t have climbed atop this thing. They didn’t even stop for a bit so she could properly vomit from the rush of wind and adrenaline cycling around her. Like a helpless, scared woman, she turned sharply, nearly dragging them both off, and let loose the only thing she had that day: water.

She was thin and pale. Her bones stuck out more than they should have and her cheeks were hollow, defined. Freya looked lifeless, but the only thing bright about her features were her irises. Thick strands of blue and silver swirled beyond her lashes, never mixing with one another, but appearing as luminescent as colored lanterns in the night sky. Her eyes were the home of auroras and she could not stop them from telling the tale of her heart. Agony and betrayal gripped her heart. There was nothing she could do but wallow in the misfortune that befell her.

Gorroc… She thought during quiet moments, I’ll kill you one day…

Andraska. That’s what her rescuer’s name was, at least, that’s what Freya understood it to be. The biqaj didn’t say much to him, she had no reason to talk really. He only trusted her as far as he could throw her and she… well, Freya had contemplated cracking him over the head and making a run for it. However, weakness gripped her bones. For 68 trials, she was barely kept fed, beaten, and then thrown into a musty, dark cell with nothing more than water. She didn’t have the strength to conquer him, not violently anyhow. Maybe if she didn’t look like a walking skeleton, Freya would have tried to seduce him, but even then her spirit would not have been into it and would have, quite possibly, made things worse.

Instead, she did as she had done for the last season. If he told her to dismount, she would do so. If he told her to stay put, she would do so. If he told her to rest, she would do so. Being that her comrades had betrayed her so readily, Freya cared not where she ended up. She only knew that some noble family in Rynmere was interested in her particular skill set and while the woman was broken to a degree, she still valued her life enough to want to escape captivity.

So here she was now, dropping a small stack of sticks she’d collected from the surrounding area next to a newly made fire. Her blue-silver eyes turned to Andraska’s as she waited for his attention before speaking, “Is it enough?” She pointed to the stack, her Ne’haerian accent thick. Common was not her first language…

Upon his response, she would settle herself down by the fire, staring into the dancing flames.
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Andráska Venora
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Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:04 am

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69th of Ashan, 717

Andráska was peeling off his jacket, inspecting it for any vomit when the woman tossed down some sticks and stood waiting. He was slow to give her his attention, mind somewhere far away from the beach they sat on and when he looked up, he blinked slowly, taking in her words and then glancing at the sticks.

“Is it enough?” she asked, and truthfully, he had no idea.

“Yeah.”

His green eyes rose slowly to glimpse at her own orbs, and in different circumstances, he would have been far more curious. Instead, he leaned back and laid upon the sand, staring up at the clouds that lingered overhead, focusing on the pain that throbbed throughout his body. Every part of him seemed to hurt, and he looked far more worse for wear than perhaps any other time in his life. While Andráska was not known to be as well dressed as the rest of his family, he had always had a sort of charm to him. Now, he simply looked tired and battered. His left arm was cradled against him in a dark sling, his fingers and hands wrapped tightly, and he shifted uncomfortably in the sand.

Everything just felt... surreal. He had fought a Sessfiend, had his life saved by Pier and Pre, helped a woman escape prison, flown on the back of a Volereon, and now was laying on the Stormlands coast. He rolled over, and saw his bag along with his shield leaning against some driftwood. Closer to the loam, the mount rested curled up and enjoying the soft breeze and he felt the itch of his bandages and realized what he needed to do.

He sighed under his breath and suddenly sat upwards. Shifting his weight and rising to his full height, he strolled to where his stuff sat and began to rummage through it before pulling out a jar and some fresh wrappings. And then... he hesitated. How was he to do this? He looked down at his broken arm and knew changing the bandages around his rips and chest would be nigh impossible alone, but...

He looked to his main traveling companion – the murderer. Would she try to kill him? Andráska straightened... Did he want to live? Glancing at the items in his hands, he realized how unarmed he was, and wondered if she could, or would, attack him. He estimated he had at least 6 inches on her in height, and she was a frail little thing. It was hard to imagine slave trafficking and cold blooded killing as her forte.

“Will you-” he spoke before he realized what he was doing, and cleared his throat, hating to feel so helpless, “Will you help me? I... can't change this one.” Using his good hand to show her what he meant, he lifted the corner of his shirt and revealed the intricate binding that covered his ribs and chest. Green and purple bruises decorated the rest of his muscle in uneven splotches like paint on a canvas, wrapping around his waist and to his back. While he had worn armor when fighting the beast, he had been dealt a great beating, and his body clung to the reminders of his sins.

He just wanted them to go away... he wanted to forget... and when he looked to Freya, he tried not to look as disheartened as he felt.
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Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:53 am

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Common Rakahi Pailtic Hussian
Freya watched the fire, her eyes lost within the flames while off in her peripherals, she noticed her companion uncomfortably moving about on the sand. He seemed like he was trying to relax, yet was restless. It was a toss up, she thought, between him finding discomfort in traveling with her, the wounds he had all over the visible parts of his body, or both. She couldn’t decided, and frankly, didn’t really care too much too until he rose to his feet and shuffled away from the fire.

Behind her, the large creature let out a kind of breathy rasp that caused Freya to turn her head and spy on the thing. It was strange. She’d never see one of these before and didn’t bother to ask the man what it was. It looked docile enough, but the only thing the Biqaj trusted with her boat and its sails. Anything and anyone else met with barriers.

Turning back to face the flames, her blue-silver eyes looked up just in time to catch green as items were held up in the air. He was requesting her help? She notice him straighten, as if that would somehow put on a front to her, but Freya remained expressionless and staring.

Her memory jogged past her vision for a moment at the sight of his bruised ribs and the color of his skin; the hunched form of a person with dark hair clutching a huddle of something as she sailed by the shores of Rharne, watching through the slight holes within her “cell”. Andraska looked familiar when Freya met him, but she couldn’t place it until now when he asked for her help.

He had been that man.

A bit passed and then she too found herself upon her feet and approached a large rock settled off from the camp fire. Nodding her head toward the rock, she took the jar and bandages as he moved to sit. Setting the items on the same rock, Freya bent down to help ease the shirt from off the man’s torso without so much of a warning, so if he found hesitation with this, she would lean back for a moment before apologizing.

Surprisingly, Freya was gentle with removing the shirt, easing it around the sling his arm was in and doing away with the wrap until his torso was naked for the wind to caress. She was sure he must have looked attractive before, but even she couldn’t help grimace at the wounds that marred his flesh.

“By the Fates…” Freya muttered in Rakahi, turning from the sight of the bruises. Who could have done this?

She walked off from him and paused, steadying herself before bending down to sift through his bags.

“Do you carry the kit?” She asked, referring to the first aid kit she thought he procured the items from. She saw none, however, and dug deeper. Her fingers touched cool glass and with surprise, she pulled the bottle from its home, stroking it with tempted eyes. Prison was horrid and freedom had been a distant dream, even more so the pleasure of alcohol and other things… Eyes turning downward, she glimpse another sight that caused her to stiffen. Wrapped loosely in cloth were joints, the ends poking out to laugh and beckon to her. Freya found it hard to step away…

It took her a moment, a very long one, and then she was back to Andraska. Popping it open, she handed him the bottle stiffly, “Drink.” She offered and watched when he followed suit. “More, drink it.”

When she was satisfied by the amount consumed, she moved back to his wounds and removed any bandages that may have covered the rest from her view. Taking some of the clean bandages, she watered that down with the booze she gave Andraska before cleaning away any dirt or sweat from around the marred areas. “This will help clean.” She told lightly, taking her time with it.

The woman should have been more distant than she was, but for some reason, the sight of his infliction brought a sense of similarity to her… and pity. Once she finished cleaning what she could see, Freya grabbed the jar and popped it open, spooning out ointment and layering that over the marks.

“So…” She pressed softly, “What happened to you..?”
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Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:21 pm

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69th of Ashan, 717

Andraska wasn't sure what to expect, but gentle hands hand not been one of them. Carefully she organized the supplies by setting them on the rock beside them and began to peel away his shirt, keeping his sling in mind. He tried to help by dipping his head and tenderly twisting his torso, the fabric peeling off and the wind sending chills over his body. Seeing her expression of shock – or was it disgust? - wasn't necessary for him to fully understand the depth of his injuries. His survival had been nothing short of a miracle – divine intervention and he watched her bright eyes look away as she swore softly.

She words had been Rakahi, and he recognized only one word – Fates. Her footsteps kicked up sand as she moved to his bag, leaving tiny prints behind her. “Do you carry the kit?”

Kit? What kit? He watched her for a moment, wondering if he understood her accent correctly and then shook his head, “Uh, no.” Eloquent.

She began reaching into his pack and pulled out a bottle, and the sound of it being opened caught his attention. Pushing it towards him, she was clear on her instructions, yet he hesitated, but only for a moment. He took a tentative sip, tasting its distinctive flavor and then leaning his head back to allow the liquid to flow down his throat freely. It burned his throat like wildfire, and he embraced it.

Silently, he handed it back to her, and her medical treatment began. One by one, layers of his binding was removed, and he looked down at her hands, still gentle in their treatment of him. Where these the hands of a murderer? Then to his own... Were his? She lifted the liquor and the muscles in his stomach clenched when she poured it on his wounds, his face twisting in pain but no sound came out. He was tense and still, a statue as she began to wipe away the grime. Andráska watched her, his green eyes following the movements of her fingertips. When she set it aside and began to spoon the ointment on his skin, he finally relaxed, releasing a sharp breath.

Andráska had been focusing on the cooling sensation of the medicine when her curious voice lightly addressed him. “So... What happened to you?”

His eyes lifted, flashing as they stared into her own,“I died.”

He was silent for a long moment before he looked away and pointed to the piece of metal on the beach. It was a heater shield, large and imposing with a symbolic rose imprinted upon the front. Beneath it, in elegant script were the words “Shield of the Gallant”, half singed and raked with long claw marks that shattered the image. It was a haunting reminder of his guilt – a symbol of beauty and nightmares.

Andráska knew he didn't want to talk about it, but he was stuck as she repaired him, and he began burrowing his hand in the sand as he thought of the right words. He remembered what he had been told in Rharne – 'A Sessfiend, a monster made and cursed by Syroa, had attacked.' And no one knew that monster had been his sister. Just him and the immortals.

“I came to the ports...” his words were slow, not to insult her intelligence but because he didn't plan on telling this story more than once, “There was...a monster, like a dog. Two heads... Breathing fire. Sessfiend.

Zvezdana. Zvezdana. Zvezdana. He pinched his eyes closed, to rid himself of the memory as he steeled his voice. He looked at his wrist where the fragment had been jutting out, and remembered how he felt when he pulled it free, plunging it into the beast's heart. How... how he had smiled....

His expression hardened and he lifted his arm to show off his other bandage. Beneath it was precise stitching, unseen “We fought, and,” his voice lowered to a dark whisper, and he leaned in, tapping Freya right beneath the collarbone, sorrow creeping into his voice, “I stabbed her in the heart.”

Lifting his hand, he still watched her, hand going to pick the bottle back up and take another swig, leaning back to have his treatment completed. It was clear he was finished on the topic, and so he decided to ask her an equally challenging question, looking at the water. “Are you innocent?” he nodded towards the sea, where somewhere past it, in the far distance, Rharne sat, waiting. Mocking the both of them.
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Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:08 pm

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Common Rakahi Pailtic Hussian
Her hands never paused even as she watched his body tense in pain. Freya knew that if she took her time tending the wounds, it would only cause him greater agony. She knew the scorching heat these kinds of wounds brought, having come close to death herself from a dagger to the shoulder. Nevertheless, she continued unflinchingly until the ointment had covered nearly all of the wounds it needed to.

When the man decided to confess his story, she had to admit, Freya was surprised. Kept so long in the dark, even about the simplest thing like when her next meal was, it was an odd sort of feeling when those honest words spilled forth from his lips. She knew them to be honest by the look in his eyes and the way his hands shook softly when he spoke of it. The wounds were painful, yes, but this was even greater torture and for a moment, Freya regretted asking.

“Sessfiend…” She hissed, her words painted with hatred and fear even though they were uttered in rakahi. Stories told of the Sessfiend were always horrendous, like living creatures from the nightmares of a madman, but to think Andraska had encountered one and survived without losing even one limb was a miracle indeed.

Freya’s eyes found the shield he mentioned and, for a long moment, they both sat quietly contemplating such events. Then she felt his finger tap her lightly on her chest and, slightly flustered, her eyes snapped to his as he finished his confession.

‘Through the heart…’ She thought and for some reason, the memory pained her. Not the memory of the Sessfiend that was so vivid behind Andraska’s eyes, but her own memory… Freya struggled with the blade Qyona held above her… She fought to save Wendell, to save the slave from truly becoming one… And then the blade plunged into her and twisted with all the hatred her crewmember held for her. Freya cried out in the mix of the fight, the boat rocking violently and sending the woman atop her rolled. Adrenaline rushing through her veins, Freya gripped the dagger and yanked it forth in agony. There was blood everywhere… Silvery, metallic blood. It poured from her like a waterfall but in that moment, all she thought of was trying to save Wendell…

Freya blinked away the memory and leaned away from his touch subtly, capping the jar quickly before moving to wrap the clean bandages around him once more. When he spoke again, the question he asked didn’t surprise her. She’d been asked that question several times. Even her own thoughts pondered of the truth in dark moments.

Bits passed as she wrapped the binding a bit tightly around his torso before answering.

“No.” Was all she gave, tying the last of the bandage up before taking the items and placing them back into his bag. Her hands brushed the joints and, ever so slightly, she tucked them within the loose arm sleeves of the prison rags she wore. Standing and turning, making sure to keep her arm pressed to her side, she asked, “Is that all you’ll be needing?”

“I will fetch us food, as I don’t suspect you’ll be able to pull fish in with that arm…” And with that, the woman carried herself down the beachfront, away, away… far away from the man. The hours would pass as she worked to start her own small fire just so she could light and smoke the joints she swiped in peace, groaning as the taste of the smoke coated her lungs.

Then, surprisingly, Freya would find thick, flexible branches to tie into a kind of basket, weaving it tightly together until a reed-like cage appeared.
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Wed May 03, 2017 3:39 am

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69th of Ashan, 717

”Are you innocent?”

“No.”


Freya's skillful hands tightened the bandages around his body, and Andráska grunted as his injuries were squeezed and she pulled away suddenly, and shut the jar. Apparently she was done with conversation as well and her back moved towards his pack, leaving him to shake sand off his shirt and rise to his feet. When she turned around, she would find him standing, distant once more and eying the bottle in his hand.

Was that all?

He shrugged, his wrist relaxed as he brought the bottle to his mouth and admired the ocean, “Yeah.” He stood awkwardly before her, swishing the rest of the liquid and heading away from the beach. Freya seemed more than content to be by herself, and so far she hadn't been one for idle conversation. It was refreshing, especially when he knew the kind of acting he'd have to do in Rynmere... And... the responsibilities.

Andráska had a whole barony now... Oh, the thought made him nauseous, and he glanced at Freya who had begun to disappear down the shore and wondered if she had any idea what this meant. Well... He hadn't visited his piece of Venora since he was a child, but he knew wherever he was placed, it would be overly excessive. He tried not to think of exactly why Alistair had interest in the smuggler, and knew he needed to find out if she would be shipping her off to his brother or not.

On his way towards the loam, he replaced the bottle with the crossbow that had been sitting next to the shield and a few bolts. Freya was right – he was useless when it came to fishing, but his arm wasn't the problem. He had simply never done it. As a noble, when did he have to ever go to the ports and get his own food? He could just buy it. But... hunting? Andráska wasn't quite sure what could be around, but it was better to be safe than sorry.

He pushed into the wilderness, through the tall grass and then the thin trees and bushes. He hadn't been gone long, maybe thirty or so bits when he realized how little wildlife there was. Or was he simply bad at this? “C'mon.” he muttered, feeling awfully useless if Freya was the only one to bring in any food.

No squirrels and no rabbits, but he tried to lighten his footsteps as best he could, using the support of trees to shirt his weight better. His leg was still a little weak and it made him clumsier. He nearly tripped and fell into a bush, stumbling. It was a blessing in disguise, as he noticed the bright purple berry clusters hidden under waxy leaves.

Huh.

He slung his crossbow on his good shoulder an plucked one from its spot, smelling it and rolling it over in his hand. He remembered what his old nanny used to say: 'Andraska! You can't just eat every berry you see! They could be poisonous!' Around the bush he prowled, arching a brow when he spotted some tiny footprints leading up to the bush. He nudged it with his toe to make sure there was nothing else still hanging around before crouching and inspecting the prints.

He couldn't tell what they belonged to, but they were small and padded. Probably a small furry mammal, and he eyed the berry again. If animals eat it... gotta be safe, right? And if it wasn't safe?

Andráska popped the berry into his mouth and chewed experimentally. It was sour, and the skin was easily broken. He smacked his lips together, finding it tolerable. He took a few more when he didn't immediately start foaming at the mouth and grabbed another handful, tucking them in his pants pockets. They reminded him of the juniper berries he used to steal from the kitchen, and he pressed on, deciding not to deplete the bush too much.

He meandered around more trees and bushes, yawning. Once or twice he thought he saw a squirrel, but every time he took a step, the animal bolted into a bush and up a tree and he slowed with a long sigh. Resting against a tree, he sunk to the ground with his back against it, feeling very tired. His limbs felt heavy and he loved sluggishly.

And then, with the sunlight flickering through the thin tree tops and the sound of of waves soothing in the distance, he yawned again.... It didn't take long for him to fall into his dreams, floating in a state of in between as he rolled over and passed out.

Andraska Venora began to dream.

Strange contorted images, the sensation of being chased, of being in darkness and hearing voices whispering around him. Judging him. How do you view this man? Guilty.

He gasped, bolting upright, a headache splitting in his head and he cradled his skull. Shit. Andy scrambled to his feet as best he could realizing he had fallen asleep. He raced towards the beach. How long had he been knocked? The sight of the Volareon curled up in sleep and his stuff immediately brought relief and he moved towards his bag, needing something to take the edge off. Looking down he saw that a patch of his pants was now indigo, having stained as berries must have burst in his pocket. He cursed, still groggy and reach inside his bag, fingers touching a piece of cloth and then... nothing.

His brows furrowed and he yanked his bag closer, rummaging and then realizing... his drugs were gone. And he blinked. This had never happened before and he looked blankly at the bag and then his eyes traveled upwards. Far in the distance, on the other side of the beach, he saw campfire smoke rising and glanced at his, which was nothing more than dwindling embers. Freya had been in his stuff, must have seen it earlier. His head continued to throb, fueling his need for a release when he gripped the handle and began to feel an anger souring the pit of his stomach.

She had stolen from him.

Son of a bitch.

He threw down the bag, boots digging into the sand as he made his way down the beach, fury churning. With each step his expression darkened until he was before her and her little basket, “Freya,” he said, voice lifting deceptively as he bit his tongue to not immediately launch into a series of much crueler names. The headache blaring through his head made it hard to concentrate. He needed at least one of those joints and he dug his fingernails into the palm of his hand, “Darling.”

Like a politician, he waved a hand approvingly, “You've been busy.” He nodded, unable to pretend any longer. His terse smile disappeared and he glared at her from across the flames, his voice ice, “Where are my drugs?”
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Last edited by Andráska Venora on Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Wed May 03, 2017 4:38 am

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Common Rakahi Pailtic Hussian
When the fire was started, Freya smoked through one of the joints greedily, the taste of whatever it was, hitting her as if it was the first time she'd smoked in arcs. She felt the kick of whatever drug this was bleed into her body and it brought back a sense of life to her limbs, one that had been missing for seasons.

When she began to construct the basket, she lit another joint and took care to enjoy this one. As she folded the reeds into an 'x' and tied them together at the center, she wove more of the reeds around the ones that protruded from the center, tying them tight into the shape of a bowl. Once she was done, she crafted a top for the basket— a kind of funnel that would lead fish into the basket and prevent them from swimming out. Throughout this process, she lightly pulled at the join and set it atop a small rock to keep from being smothered out by the sands.

Once the basket was made, Freya finished the second joint and headed for the ocean water with basket in hand. Her feet touched the icy waves and for a moment, she pulled back. It was cold... very cold. But somehow she didn't care. She was smiling and wading in like it was the middle of Saun. The ocean welcomed her and slowly, she found a small nook that had a rock barrier for her to nestle the basket into and trap the fish.

Then she was at it, thigh high, scaring small fish as they popped out from the rocks. A few times, the waves would crash into her backside and send her stumbling into the water but she didn't mind. She actually laughed and floated for a bit before going back to fishing for their food.

After so long, her limbs couldn't take the icy waves and so, she dragged the basket up out of the water and sluggishly made her way back to the beach front. Her hair and rags were dripping wet. The dress she wore came down to her knees and was utterly stained and ripped, showing parts of her skin some women would be embarrassed for others to see. The sleeves hung off her forearms and the collar was too big to settle on her shoulders properly.

Freya looked like a drowned rat fighting for life, but the blue-silver of her eyes had changed to blazing gold and somehow, that seemed to bring vibrancy back to her.

The fire still blazing, Freya had nothing to scale the 4 fish she caught and 3 crabs, so instead, she smashed the head with rocks and poked sticks through most of them to rest over or sit next to the fire to cook. After that, she laid back against the sand and rested.

The biqaj couldn't fall asleep, even though her body begged her to. Instead, she stayed curled on her side next to the fire, her golden eyes peering out at the ocean as if it was the last time she would see it. Her thoughts turned back to the last joint she'd left next to the pile of reeds. She'd just started to rise from the sands when the mention of her name caused her head to snap to the side and suddenly, Andraska was standing over her. His expression was contained fury and no matter how he tried to play it in his voice, his eyes were dark and accusing.

Did he just call her darling?

She'd suspected he was an addict, the slight ticks he would make giving her the impression. It wasn't until she discovered the joints at the bottom of his bag that the woman was almost thankful she was right. All it came down to now was whether or not to cough up the last joint.

Maybe it'd been the drug that made her do it, but Freya was surprised when she found herself standing to wander over to the small pile of reeds. Grasping the joint, she hesitated for a moment before turning, remaining where she was. "It's been—..." Pausing, as if struggling with what to say, Freya fell quiet and approached him, dropping the joint into his extended hand before moving back to the fire.

"The food is done," Her voice carried, "Will you be eating?"

When her damp form settled next to the fire again, golden eyes narrowed on the indigo stand of his pants and suddenly, old habits (and curiosity) kicked in.

"What's in your pocket?"
Last edited by Freya DuCarinos on Sun May 14, 2017 8:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Fri May 05, 2017 1:39 am

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69th of Ashan, 717

Would she lie? Deny him what was rightfully his? Andraska Venora was a statue, unmoving with a face solidified by anger and he held out his hand like that of a furious god. Freya shifted, turning away from him and her thin back curved inward as she struggled with the truth, “It's been...” Something in voice sounded strained and the fog over his vision cleared. Freya turned, placing the rest of the joint in his palm and he glanced down at it. It was half smoked, and he arched a brow. There was supposed to be two.

He pinched it between his thumb and forefinger, eyeing it speculatively. This was going to make the next few days very difficult, and he exhaled, disappointed and then took in her rags. She had suffered in her own way, without any sort of release... He scoffed, turning towards the new fire and crouching, quickly poking the tip of the joint into the flame and pulling away before burning his hands.

He watched the tip smoke and catch flame and he blew on it gently as Freya asked him about eating dinner. He looked up, frowning and eyed the basket. She had done all that? Meanwhile all he had managed to gather were some dubious berries, “I don't have much of an appetite lately,” he muttered, looking at the reed basket – new, handmade. She had caught enough, more than enough he realized, and Andras glanced at the joint again, taking another deep hit and visibly relaxing as the smoke entered his lungs and slithered out his nose like a dragon.

With every breath, his anger lightened, no longer fueled by the idea of losing his sanity. Freya looked up at him, the campfire catching the indigo in her eyes. Andras watched her quietly, noticing the damp rags that clung to her frail body in odd ways. A reminder of where she had been... Prison... Sentenced for execution.

He flicked away ash and took another hit, holding it in his lungs and looking at his pants regarding her question. The euphoria entering his system was beginning to amplify, having resisted most substances for a few seasons. This had felt like the only solution...

How long had it been for her?

The throbbing in his head seemed to lighten, replaced with a sweet lightheartedness and he moved to Freya's side, holding the rest of the joint out to her and finally exhaling the cloud of toxins, “Don't steal from me again.”

It was a simple warning, but a the offering was friendly. He was not opposed to sharing, but one needed to ask. Once the joint was from his grasp, he reached into his pocket and pulled out the partially smashed berries from his pocket and made a face, “Knock out berries,” he muttered, having no idea what they could really be called. He was no herbalist, “I thought I could help...” he felt kind of embarrassed, “Ya know, with dinner. These taste alright, but they'll put you to sleep.”

Suddenly he chuckled, finding it strangely amusing that he found a treat with such repercussions and he tossed one in the fire, watching it writhe and shrivel, before his smile faded and he stared silently at the flames. Suddenly, he asked, “Do you have any other clothes?”
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Freya DuCarinos
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Sun May 14, 2017 8:46 am

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Common Rakahi Pailtic Hussian
She watched him from across the fire as he settled down and lit the remainder of the joint. When he inhaled, Freya became envious, wanting to experience that same hit again and again. Even the smoke looked tempting… Her hands fidgeted with the hem of her ripped dress. As if sensing this, his eyes caught her and quickly, blue orbs glanced back to the flames dancing in front of them. Freya could feel him watching her, contemplating on a thought that was slow to resolve. The air was quiet and somehow, the woman felt tense… As if this was a moment that would decide her future.

When he spoke again, Freya grabbed a stick with a small, cooked fish on the end and began to blow on it, sinking her teeth into the meat moments later. “If you don’t maintain your health with regular meals and water, those wounds will take even longer to heal.” Her voice explained lightly. “The more time it takes for you to heal means the more pain you will endure.” Pausing to pick a bone from her teeth, she flicked it to the sands and tugged the fabric on her shoulder down enough to expose the mangled scar there. “Trust me, drugs will only help so much.” Pulling the collar up again, she nodded to the food. “Eat, please…”

It didn’t help that her rider and escort was a noble of Rynmere, even more that he was seriously wounded and still moving about when he should be in bed, resting. On top of this, he wasn’t eating and instead, found pleasure and relaxation in burning out the rest of the joint. What if he passed out while they were flying? Freya didn’t know how to control that beast of a creature.

Grabbing a stick from the fire with cooked fish on the end, Freya leaned over to pass it to the man, not realizing that he’d done the same to her. Brunette brows rose in surprise when he offered up the last of the joke and, suspiciously, the biqaj tilted her head in question.

“Don’t steal from me again…” He’d told before handing her the joint. Not a word passed her lips as she brought the joint to them and pulled gently, slowly. The smoke from the joint filled her lungs and she could sense the burn of fire just upon her fingers as she wore the blunts down. Putting it out in the sand, Freya held the smoke inside for a very long while until she let her go— the smoke a slithering cloud rushing past her teeth.

“Thank you.” Came sighed gratitude from the woman before she settled back on her elbows, her eyes closed while the her head was tilted back, enjoying the slight high from the recent hit.

Knockout berries? Freya thought she might take some once she knew Andraska was awake enough to allow her some rest. She felt like she hadn’t slept in over an Arc… Blue eyes opened to look at him in question again, surprised that he was even conversing with her at all.

“No…” She said after a long pause, “My things, along with my ship, were left behind when I was… captured. No doubt those treacherous bastards have already sold my valuables within the black markets by now..” It bothered her, knowing this. Knowing that she was left behind for gold. Both her and Wendell, only she’d escaped with her life.

“I…” The word died as a hush on her lips, so soft, she thought she didn’t say it at all. Looking down, her fingers picked up some stray blades of grass sticking up from the dirt and sand and pulled it free of the soil, tossing it into the fire. “I’d hired a crew to help me smuggle drugs into Rharne... “ Her eyes fixated on the fire, Freya continued in a low voice, “They were scum, I should have known from the beginning, but I held onto hope because it was all I had left…”

“Those scum kidnapped a citizen from the city when we departed and I only found out several days into our voyage when they tried to mark him a sex slave, to be sold into the trade… I was infuriated and sickened… We aren’t taught to embrace slavery in Ne’haer, but deny it. As if drug money wasn’t enough, they wanted to sell another man’s soul into Famula’s service…”

“So I protected him the only way I knew how to… I marked him as my slave.” Freya’s eyes blazed bright blue, mixing with silver flakes to seem unnaturally bright as tears beaded in her eyes. “I tried to protect him… I thought I killed the scum that was after him but he came back.” Sucking in a sharp breath, she lowered her head and turned from the fire, using her hair as a curtain to hide the tears falling from her eyes. After a long pause, she spoke again, though her expression was turned toward the ocean, “I have nothing now. I suppose that makes me either entirely pathetic or... a very dangerous person.”

Letting the words fill the silence, she finally turned to the nobleman, “That person— the one who helped me escape. You know them.” It wasn’t a question, “Why are they helping me? Why are you?”
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Andráska Venora
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Fri May 19, 2017 2:32 am

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69th of Ashan, 717

He extended the joint in the same moment she offered him fish. His dark brows rose, surprised by the perfect timing and he smirked at her nagging. He needed to eat, rest, or else he'd feel more pain? 'Well,' he almost said, 'Wouldn't that be the point?'

After all, he deserved it.

She pulled the piece of her shirt down to reveal a scar. He looked at its sheen in the firelight, the sky above them growing dark quickly. “Trust me, the drugs will only help so much. Eat, please...” The order pulled a sharp chuckle, that quickly died on his lips and he took the cooked fish, turning the skewer over in his hand.

With bruised fingers he plucked off a piece of meat, “Oh, I know,” he said softly, a glimpse of his old humor peeking through as the burn in his lungs settled “Before this whole knight in shining armor gig, I was quite the enthusiast.” Smirking, he looked at his food and took a bite, careful not to get any sand on his fingers. The fish was hot, delicious in its simplicity of flavor and would be fine for the night. After a few bites, his body seemed to catch up, and a hunger settled in him, and he had to be mindful not to choke on the bones.

He nibbled on his meal when Freya offered him a thanks and he nodded, prepared to settle back into the quiet that had haunted them this trip but then she did something interesting – she began to open up, telling him her stuff was gone and then the real story of how she arrived in prison. All of this he listened to intently, paying attention to the details and her body language, but as far as he could see... she was telling the truth. She had suffered, and a small kinship sparked within him. He hummed in acknowledgment, not quite sure how to answer her final question as his mind swirled, “He thinks you have some answers... But he's asking the entirely wrong person.”

Andras knew why Alis was helping Freya. He thought perhaps she had information on their sister, where she had gone. Where Alzorn was. Truth is, word of the baby could be swirling around, since Andras sent it on the first boat back to Rynmere along with a wet nurse and reliable guard. But no matter how many people his brother questioned or freed, only he had seen the life go from Zvezdana's eyes... knew who she was and how they had let her body burn to nothing but ash for what she did to the city. He swallowed, tossing the bones of his fish into the fire and stepping back rather abruptly. “It might get cold tonight. I have an extra shirt if you want to get out of your wet clothes. You should get some rest soon.” He tossed a few of the berries on the sand between them, wondering if she was as tired as they both looked, “Goodnight, Freya.”

Once again, Andráska Venora retreated, unable or unwilling to connect.
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