• Closed • The Hunger

From Tried's Mouth to the mysterious Tower, the waters around Scalvoris and the island itself hold a vast array of secrets, just ripe for discovery. Here are landmarks and small villages of note.

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Qit'ria
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Race: Sev'ryn
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Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:12 pm

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Ashan 55th

Qit'ria awoke in a sweat, her heart racing. Her mouse eyes darted around the tent she was in, on the eastern end of Sweetwine Woods near the coast, tucked in under a budding nut tree on the banks of Ol' Tuck's Run. She was starving, which was odd, she'd had a large dinner, for a mouse, before bed. She sniffed at the air, detecting the sweet scent of the dried berries that were in her pack. She sniffed about, her big ears twitching, seeing Kashehino laying there, feigning sleep. She hopped over her bed furs, and climbed up into her pack. Diving head first into the bag with the berries and gorged herself on their deliciousness.

But it wasn't enough. She was still hungry. Hopping out of her pack, she began the painful shift back to her Sev'ryn form. It was quicker than it had been last season, as she was getting more used to coming back to this form. Kneeling there, naked as a jay bird, huffing from the pain, as she took a moment to recover. The hunger was growing stronger by the moment. She slipped out of her tent, not bothering to dress as it was no longer too cold to warrant them. She moved over to her smoking fire, yanking off a large slab of meat that was drying there, and voraciously bit into it. She chewed it up and tried to swallow it a bit too fast, gagging and choking a bit before forcing it down. She tore into the meat until there was nothing left.

Her stomach was so full, she couldn't possibly fit anymore food in there. She'd never been able to eat a lot in a single sitting. But still, she grabbed another slab of meat and tore into it, trying to sate that unending hunger. And soon, she was retching, as she vomited everything in her stomach up, splattering upon the stones around her fire. Something was wrong. She knew it. She was hungry and yet food was doing nothing. Panic was beginning to set in. What was happening? Was she ill?

She had to calm down, she knew that. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. She focused on her breathing, taking one through her nose in a long, exaggerated motion, and holding it deep down, before exhaling lightly out her mouth. She repeated this over and over, until she felt it stir within her. It. Her spark. It was hungry. Not her. She'd noticed its hunger before, but it had never been this strong, this overwhelming. And she didn't know how to feed it. She'd already changed once. That usually abated it before. But it was a drop in the bucket now.

Kashehino mused as she sauntered near, "Go find another form darling. A new one." Qit's spark seemed to "smile" at this idea. Qit threw on her loin cloth, shirt, and weapons straps, and left her camp, heading eastward for the coast. She didn't know why, but the water was calling to her right now. She needed out of the forest, it was suffocating. So she made her way that direction, the hunger growing and her spark excited at a new prospect.
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Rynata
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Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:03 am

Sailing off the coast of Egilrun, Rynata took a moment’s break to look out over the waters. Today The Gilded Siren was safely docked and she had been hired as a last minute addition to a shorthanded crew. Something about an emergency delivery to the next town over. It took a little extra time to get used to a foreign ship but she managed to pick it up along the way. The rest of the crew, however, seemed tired and worn thin with the weather fouling to match their mood. Even when they had turned out of the port the waves had been choppy. Now, there were suspicious clouds rolling in on the wind.

Gazing at the grey horizon, she spotted a line of churning white foam scouring across the water’s surface. It was headed toward the ship, seeming to run faster and faster as it approached.

“Uh, captain? Captain!” Rynata whipped her head around to the helm where the captain was busy checking receipts, but too late.

Wham!

There was a horrible creaking as the small ship was buffeted sideways. Several sailors lost their footing and Rynata’s hand whipped out to grab the railing in order to prevent her from being tossed across the deck. This, ladies and gentleman, was what happened when you sailed on some other ship with a skeleton crew, she thought, tamping down on her own alarm as the ship laboriously began righting itself.

“Fecking shite! Get that sail under control!” Someone, presumably the captain, bellowed over the freak wind and a few of them scrambled to the main sail. As Rynata caught hold of a line she noticed another slip out of the hands of the fellow beside her. It tangled on itself as the wind started carrying it out of reach. Jumping up to grab it, she unbalanced herself just as the ship gave another violent jolt. In a second, it had pitched her clean off the side of the craft. The moment seemed to hang in the air, her breath freezing in fear as suddenly there was nothing between her and the water.

Before she knew it, and frankly before she was ready, Rynata had plunged into the rough waters. The sudden cold shock triggered a reflexive gasp that had her taking in a mouthful water. The next few seconds of coughing and spluttering didn’t help matters either. Fighting to keep her head above the oncoming waves, her first hope was the ship. Sadly, whether or not they had thrown a line, the gale was quickly carrying them away.

Dread setting in, Rynata could feel the color draining from her face. Though the cold probably had something to do with it as well. She’d done it this time. She was well and properly screwed. She was going to drown out here and it hadn’t even been her ship that had tossed her overboard. Already her clothes were dragging down on her, sticking close and making it hard to move. It was obvious that right now, sea monsters were the last of her worries. Taking a deep breath and allowing a wave to dunk her, she took the time to kick off her heavy boots. Never let it be said that she hadn’t tried.

Spying the dark outline of the Scalvoris landmass in one direction Rynata kicked off. Hoping and praying that the tide was with her.

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Feel free to assume Rynata reaches the beach. Because otherwise...you know.
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Qit'ria
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Fri May 04, 2018 2:10 am

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Qit'ria slipped from the tree line, her feet carrying from the harder dirt, into the softer grass, and finally into the silky sands of the coast. The winds were carrying the salty scent her way, and she looked out over the sea. There were some pretty brutal clouds of black and grey way out in the distance. A storm. Qit couldn't tell if it was coming closer or not though. She hoped it might, she enjoyed a good storm. It reminded her of the night she met Bear. It had been storming then too.

Her eyes passed over the waters, seeing that it was bit choppy today. And then her eyes fell on something there, just at the edge of the tide coming in. A lump. Something unnatural to the coastline. Qit'ria looked up and down the beach, not seeing any other predators or onlookers, she plodded over toward it. As she got closer, she realized it was a person. Or rather, probably a corpse. Drawing a knife, just in case the person wasn't dead and got defensive, Qit'ria crept over.

It was a woman, dark of skin and hair, much like herself. Her clothing was still soaked, and there was seaweed draped over her form. Qit'ria eyed the woman's clothes, wondering if any of them might be worth salvaging. The boots were a definite no, Qit did her best to never wear any form of shoe. The white shirt looked uncomfortable, clinging to the woman's form from the wetness, under some other... piece of clothing she didn't know the name of. Some sort of half way open shirt... thing. But the black pants, those were something she could use. Her own breeches were brown, good for blending in the forest during growth seasons. But black would go well for when she hunted at night.

Qit knelt down next to the woman, and began undoing her pants, her fingers deftly working to undo them. Just as she hooked her fingers in the waist, to pull them off, she saw a slight movement in the woman's chest. She was alive! Qit pulled her fingers away. She was no thief. Taking from a corpse didn't matter, but from a living person was stealing. She leaned her head down to the woman's mouth, putting her ear close. It was faint, but she could hear the breaths.

As she turned toward the woman's face, there was a deep pang of that insatiable hunger she'd been feeling. It longed for this woman. Something from deep within. Then she realized what it was. Her spark. It wanted something. It wanted... fed. She didn't know what it ate though, how to make it feel full. But its hunger was her own. And it was growing rapidly in the presence of this incapacitated woman. A tendril of influence extended from the center of Qit's being and moved upward, within her, reaching her lips, dancing there within them, unseen, but there.

Following instinct, Qit'ria leaned down and pressed her lips to the dry and cracked lips of the unconscious woman. Through that connection, she pushed the spark's tendril of influence into the woman. Her spark was elated. The tendril snapped to the center of Rynata's core, right into her soul. It then began to 'suck' ether out of Rynata's soul, and pumped it into Qit'ria. As the ether filled Qit's soul, she could feel her spark feasting. It wanted more and more of this power. One of Qit's hands grasped the side of Rynata's face as this kiss of death continued to suck out the sailor's soul. The one with the knife in it was held away from the body, almost forgotten about.

Qit'ria was in a euphoria as the ether made her a bit high. It would take several trills to finish this process, but it seemed that this woman wasn't going to wake up any time soon, and Qit was strong. She moved to straddle the woman's torso, her lips never breaking the connection, her hand dropping the knife and moving to grab one of Rynata's arms, painfully, holding it down in the sand above the sailor's head. Qit continued to breathe loudly and heavily through her nose, her eyes closed as she took in the sweet, delicious ether. Somewhere, in the back of her mind, she knew it would be over soon, that the woman would die by her hand. But Qit, despite having never killed anyone, despite having no desire to kill anyone, didn't care. This euphoria, this fire growing within her, giving her strength, giving her spark power, was all she cared about right now.
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Rynata
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Fri May 04, 2018 6:58 am

Finally, finally. She struggled the last distance to the beach and a large wave unceremoniously deposited her onto the sand. Gasping and coughing wetly, Rynata barely managed to crawl a little further up shore where the sea water lapped harmlessly at her hands and knees. Their innocent movement was rather mocking, considering she had almost drowned in them. But she was alive. Really alive. Despite her body burning hot and cold, she had somehow made it. Tumbling over onto the sand, Rynata lost consciousness from collective exhaustion and relief.

She didn't think she dreamed of anything. That or she was much to tired to care. It was probably the latter. Nevertheless, there was always the background sound of crashing waves and the occasional squawk of a sea bird. She didn't know how long passed like that. Vaguely, Rynata concerned herself with the incoming tide. It would be no laughing matter to be taken out by the creeping waters. Not when she had fought so hard all this way. However, the thought was like a voice yelling at her across a vast canyon. The echoes of it shattered and only shreds of worry made it across to her in her deep sleep.

All of a sudden, something began poking and prodding at her prone form. Naively dreaming that it was help on the way, she let herself fall back into comforting darkness. Good. She was too tired to move, anyway. However, next moment she was jolted out of her rest by something terrible.

Once again, she couldn't breathe as something seemed to worm itself into her very being. Instinctively, Rynata recoiled from the invader but there was only so far she could retreat. Whether the sensation of wrongness was coming from her head or her heart she didn't know. All she knew was that she wanted to get away. Yet her sluggish body refused to move. She felt like she was trapped in a nightmare, her will to wake up not quite registering in her limbs. All the while, something clawed ravenously at her insides. It was the only way she could comprehend the attack as her essence seemed to be pulled away from her. Every thought that formed was tossed into a swirling vortex of inner panic with everything accompanied by cacophonous sounds. It was like an angry ocean, but stranger and far more concentrated. A blizzard of noise screamed by, stripping Rynata of all her inner defenses, quickly draining the life out of her.

Something or someone had pinned her arm in a vice like grip. Gradually the physical pain registered in Rynata's mind, the only concrete thing to anchor her through the internal chaos. A small, confused and frightened whimper escaped her lips. She might have screamed had that been possible at that moment, but all she could do was curl up deep inside of herself and try to edge away from the battering force.
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Qit'ria
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Fri May 04, 2018 10:05 am

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Qit'ria was too busy relishing in the deliciousness of Rynata's soul that she was failing to pay attention to her surroundings. Nor was she paying attention to really anything else. If she had, she might've been able to sense the connection in her spark to the one she received it from. But she didn't. She ignored the whimper of the woman beneath her that was now wriggling as she awoke. Qit'ria wanted all of it, it was just what she needed to hit that spot within her. Her lips pressed tighter against the woman's as she continued to consumer her soul.

She didn't hear the challenging roar of a large, angry beast. Nor did she see the large, furry beast running full steam at her. She didn't hear the massive paws thundering over the sand, didn't see that her soulmate had arrived, in the form of the large bear. But she did feel when the massive grizzly head slammed hard into her ribs, and threw her tumbling ass over tits into the surf. She rolled through the water, sputtering. She immediately recovered, getting her feet beneath her, a hand planted in the watery sand.

Feral, angry eyes peered through dripping strands of jet black hair at the bear that now stood defensively over Rynata. He was massive, and Qit hadn't seen him for several seasons, having suspected him to have been hibernating during winter. But it seemed he was here now. And he was angry, attacking her. She could feel it in him, through their connection. And in her state, her unbroken feasting, her own spark was furious, and so, she was as well. She snarled viciously at the bear. He was taking her kill. She had to take it back.

She drew a javelin, spinning it about in her free hand until she snapped it facing forward. She charged forward, her teeth bared, the sand slipping beneath her feet, as she ran toward her only friend in the world. The bear charged forward, kicking sand up over Rynata. Qit'ria hiked her arm back, holding the spear steady as she ran. She pressed forward heavily as she heaved it, aiming for the shoulder, hoping to pierce deep enough to hit a lung or heart behind the dense muscle there.

But the throw missed, for Bear Unleashed, changing forms suddenly as he leapt toward Qit. In the bear's place was a large tortoise, flying at her like a stone thrown by a giant. It tucked its head into the shell as it slammed into the woman, throwing her backward into the surf, her chest exploding in pain. As she tried to recover, she found herself pinned under the beast, her lips just barely above the choppy surf. She took in a deep breath before another wave crashed over her.

Another gasp, another wave, her limbs flailing, trying to remove this damned tortoise from atop her. But her blows on him did nothing. She was in full blown panic now, thinking Bear was about to drown her, as the air between waves grew more and more fleeting. Her spark sang out, and she tapped into the totem on her wrist and ripped out the essence from within it, stuffing it into her soul. Immediately the pressure was relieved as she Unleashed, becoming the aye-aye mouse, her first form. She kicked away from the tortoise, swimming awkwardly toward the surface.

Her mouse head with big ears broke through and she took in several gasps. Then the tortoise's beak picked her up by the tail and dangled her out of the water. The tortoise then began walking toward the beach. Qit fought and struggled, squeaking loudly, flailing about, trying to shake free. But the Unleash, an ability she'd only used once before, took a lot out of her. She already had a headache, and after several trills, the flailing stopped, for an aye-aye mouse can only handle so much panic before it just shuts down. Bear lowered the mouse to the sand, then shifted into his human form, naked, hairy, muscular, ginger.

He knelt next to Rynata, "Are you okay?"

He knew she wouldn't be. Surviving a flaying was likely one of the worst things one can experience. It traumatized the very soul of a person. He knew she'd be scared, weak, and he was there to try and calm her down, all the while keeping an eye on his errant pupil's still form.

Eventually, Qit'ria came to, groggy, whiskers twitching as she took in the cacophony of smells that came with this form. Bear was sitting in front of her, cross legged, staring at the mouse very sternly. "Change back. Now. Run, and I will kill you Qit'ria, I swear it." Qit'ria was sore all over, her head throbbed and vision blurry, as she nodded her little mouse head. Slowly, she shifted back to her Sev'ryn form, appearing in front of Bear, naked and ashamed under his glare.

She saw her belongings in a pile next to Bear, but she said nothing. She didn't know what it was she did, but she knew she'd crossed a line.

"If she dies, so do you. Flayers cannot be tolerated Qit'ria."


Bear got up, and went back over to Rynata, scooping her up easily, carrying her back over to where Qit'ria sat, and gently laid the partially flayed woman before him, cradling her gently. He spoke softly to her, trying to coax her into full consciousness, praying she recovered. He was there for her, ready to comfort her, to answer any questions she might have.

And the first tears began to roll down Qit'ria's face. She didn't understand, didn't realize just how much Bear's opinion mattered to her, but she knew she'd disappointed him. She didn't make a production of it, but the tears wouldn't be stopped. Tears that hadn't flowed since her sisters died, over ten arcs ago.
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Rynata
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Fri May 04, 2018 1:31 pm

Suddenly, the force pinning her down was ripped off of her. The horrible draining sensation and unearthly racket in her head disappeared as well. This was a great relief, but still, everything about her felt wrong. Rynata felt desperately hollow, as if she would cave in on herself at the slightest provocation. On top of all that, her thoughts were still rabbiting around in panic. She couldn't think straight, or much at all, really. While the ground around her shook and angry sounds of fighting filled the air, she managed to curl up on her side and brought her hands up to shield her face, screwing her eyes shut against the unknown. She took in deep shuddering breaths as her heart fluttered like a terrified bird. Though she seemed to be taking in air, it did nothing to ease the emptiness she was left with.

There was a gentle voice over her. It helped call her back to the present, but she couldn't concentrate on their words and meaning. Someone picked her up and carefully laid her back down again. The slight movement made her dizzy but Rynata forced herself to crack open an eye. Self preservation was kicking in. She had to wake up properly and figure out what was going on. Opening her eyes took a good few attempts. Everything was too bright and stabbed painfully into her weak eyes. Raising trembling arms to shield herself from the light and anything else that might try to do her harm, she slowly returned to wakefulness. All the while, the same gentle voice spoke near her, encouraging and reassuring.

When she finally managed to peer out at the world, the first thing she tried to do was sit up, only to discover she couldn't do that very well. It was unnerving to be so vulnerable when she had no idea of what was going on. Looking around through the wave of dizziness didn't bring a lot of comfort either. She was still on the beach. She'd passed out here after falling from the ship, after all. Now, however, a large naked man and an equally naked, wild looking woman were gathered around her. This, was definitively the strangest sight she had ever woken up to.

The only reason she was able to assume that these people weren't going to kill her immediately was because she was at last able to identify the man as the source of the gentle voice. That, and the fact that if they had wanted her dead they had had plenty of opportunity to finish the job. Even now, it was not as if the sailor could have much say in whether she lived or died. She tried to speak of course, but her throat and chest were tense. After a few gasps, she managed to find what was left of her voice. That didn't mean she had collected all her thoughts, though. What came out was a confused jumble of words.

"I don't... What? Who?" Forcing herself to pause and take a breath, Rynata started again. This situation...where to even begin. Settling on the most all encompassing question, she asked weakly, "What happened?"

Able to take in her surroundings a bit more, Rynata became even more confused upon catching sight of the tears rolling down the other woman's face.
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Qit'ria
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Wed May 16, 2018 12:01 am

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Bear stared hard at Qit'ria, "I have a waterskin in my pack at the tree line."

Qit'ria nodded, and quickly went to fetch it, kneeling next to the poor woman, unable to look her in the eyes, and guided the cooling liquid to the woman's lips. She still wasn't sure herself what had happened, remembering more about how it felt more than individual actions. She remembered the unquenchable thirst, the one that was always there, and yet this time, it had become unbearable. She remembered the sweet allure of this woman. A smell, but not one that she could smell with her nose that called to her spark. And she remembered the rush of.. hurting her. The power it gave her. It made her feel invincible, confident. And when it had been interrupted, angry, so terribly angry.

But now all she felt was shame.

"Look at her Qit'ria, look what losing control did."

Speaking to Rynata now, Bear continued, "I do not know how my pupil here came upon you, but you must've been in quite a dire state. She's a Bec--" Qit'ria reached out to silence him, but was stopped by his stern glare, "She's a Becomer. She uses magic, the same magic I use. And all of us that use magic, develop a Thirst for something... more. I don't know why this happens, just that it does, and is something that every mage must be vigilant against."

His eyes grew soft as he looked at Qit'ria, "But I failed my student in her lessons. I never taught her about the thirst. Never taught her the dangers of it. I made the assumption that out here, she would never be tempted. But the Spirits are a fickle bunch, and bring people together in interesting ways. What she did to you is called Flaying. Basically, she was consuming your soul. It strengthens mages, but at great cost. It is highly addictive, and kills the person Flayed. It can only be used on those close to death. Did she... did she attack you before she flayed you? Do you remember? Because if she did, then her ability to control is far worse than I feared, and I will put her to death, here and now. Flayers are abominations. They can never be tolerated."

Qit'ria shook as the tears rolled more heavily, though she stifled any form of sob. She was eating the woman's soul? The very thought of that nauseated her. It disturbed her deeply. She'd violated a person more heavily than if she'd raped them. Than if she'd killed them. At least in death, the soul could move on. But eating the soul? She had no idea that was possible. And she was a monster for having committed such a monstrous act. She knew why Bear might kill her now, and at this point, she would accept it. The soul, spirits of nature, these things were sacred to Qit'ria, more so than her own body, than her own life. How far across her own line had she crossed?

Her hand dropped to her lightly swollen belly, and Bear's eyes followed, widening. "You're with child?"

She nodded meekly.

Bear set Rynata gently against the sand and crawled over to Qit'ria. He pressed a hand to her stomach, "Pregnancy is very dangerous for a Becomer, and a Becomer's child. Have you felt the baby move yet? You mustn't change! You could kill it, or yourself! You're lucky you haven't yet already." The baby within her stirred, as it had been doing the past few days. It seemed to still be alive, and she hoped that it was still healthy. She hadn't consciously shifted since she discovered her pregnancy, but those two today had been on instinct for survival. The depths to her shame only deepened.

She looked at Rynata through tear filled eyes, and sputtered out, "I-I-I so-so-sorry."

Bear looked back over to Rynata, "When you're a bit stronger, I will take you back to my cave. I can help you recover before sending you to wherever your home is. After, we've dealt with my pupil, one way or another."
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Rynata
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Wed May 16, 2018 9:28 am

Accepting the water offered to her, Rynata slowly downed an amount that she thought she could manage at the moment. Thankfully, the sensation washing down her throat was refreshing, and she hoped that it would do something to ease the migraine now beginning to kick around in her head. As the man continued to admonish the woman he called Qit'ria, Rynata peered nervously at the one who wouldn't meet her gaze. She felt a muted pang somewhere in her chest. Worry. Worry for the woman and for what she had done.

It was a lot to take in. Rynata might as well have been knocked out for a hundred arcs considering the sheer newness of what the man was now explaining to her. Becomer, magic, Thirst, mages, and Flaying. When he reached the bit about consuming souls, Rynata's eyes widened in fear.

"My soul?!" she squeaked, both incredulous and terrified.

That piece of information was not comforting at all. The half drowned and flayed Biqaj clutched tightly at her chest, as though that would help at this point. She couldn't be blamed for she didn't really know how souls worked. She doubted most people did. More importantly, pressing questions buzzed around in her mind. Was she dead? Going to die? One couldn't live without their soul, yes? Yet her concerns took a back seat as Qit'ria's immediate execution was brought to the table.

"What? No!" she cried out a little too loudly. The sound shot through her aching head and she hunched her shoulders in regret.

"No," she tried again. "Please, just... nobody kill anybody. It wasn't like that, anyway. I think, no, I was unconscious. I remember falling overboard."

She knew that what the woman had done was serious. It was probably a graver transgression than either of them understood. Still, she didn't think she could stomach Qit'ria's death. Especially when it became clear that she was pregnant. If only hating her attacker was an easy thing. Had they been a cackling monster that delighted in causing pain and destruction, Rynata did not think she would have had the strength of will to stop the man from putting an end to her. However, the person before her seeking forgiveness was not that loathsome monster. In fact, from what the man said of his student, Qit'ria must have been as confused as she.

Rynata passed a hand over her eyes. She took a breath to say something but immediately trailed off. What she had wanted to say was 'it's alright' or 'I forgive you', but those would have been lies. Her forgiveness would have been something born from the confusion of the moment. On top of that, she was starting to feel the effects of anger through the numbness. She was hurt that she'd been preyed upon and her vulnerability betrayed. Frustrated at the unfairness of her plight. This woman, this mage, had dabbled in strange arts beyond her comprehension and it was Rynata who paid for it. A moment of someone's lost control had cost her very soul, it seemed. That reality was, however, that she knew throwing harsh words would not right the situation. Qit'ria could thank her victim's Biqaj upbringing for that. That and the fact that shouting didn’t agree with Rynata’s current energy levels. Gazing searchingly into Qit’ria’s eyes, she tried to confirm if this was a mistake that would never be repeated.

“After what you did,” she said in defeat, “I can’t trust you. But if you do feel sorry, prove to me that you can control yourself. I don’t know about magic or Thirst but if I ever hear you flayed again,” Rynata gestured to the huge man, “he will be the least of your worries.”

It was big talk for someone half dead, but she meant it. Should she die, Rynata would stay behind to keep her word. If Qit’ria eating her soul posed an obstacle to that, she’d simply haunt her from inside out.

“Thank you,” she smiled weakly, acknowledging the man’s request. Her expression quickly clouded, however. “What happens to people like me? Will I recover?”
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Sat May 19, 2018 11:30 pm

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Kashehino Text
Bear let out a slight sigh of relief at hearing that his pupil at least hadn't attacked her first. He could see how it played out in his mind now. This woman had washed ashore, nearly dead, and Qit'ria found her. Helping her? No. Looting her. And if she'd been having a bad day with the thirst... It would've been instinctual. The woman's words held truth and sense. While still not great, at least he wouldn't have to kill her.

Speaking to Rynata now, "Yes, you'll recover. We'll go back to my camp now, to help you, both. Recovery will not be easy."

Qit'ria hadn't said anything to the woman at this point, her throat too constricted to even attempted audible speech. She just nodded at the woman's commands and hadn't yet ceased. Qit'ria had taken in Bear's words and immediately stood up, and began collecting their things, including bear's pack from the woods. She dressed, her clothes still damp from the surf. Bear dressed as well, then picked Rynata up in his arms, handling her a bit roughly, for he was a large man, but he was being as gentle as he could. He set her feet to the ground, "Come, you should be able to walk a bit, your soul was damaged, but your body is fine. Just try to focus on each footstep for now."

Bear gave ample time for Rynata to try walking on her own, fully prepared to carry her if needed. It was hard to say just the extent of the damage. Flaying was rare enough on its own, but partial flaying even more so. Usually it didn't get interrupted. All three of them had been lucky. Bear took the lead, traipsing through the woods, Qit'ria following behind Rynata, keeping an eye on the woman. Along the way, Qit'ria recovered her pack, and looking around, realized that Kashehino was significantly absent. Where had she gone?

Bear traveled in a far different method than Qit'ria normally did. The huntress preferred to move unseen, unheard, slower, careful through the woods, dipping from shadow to cover, always looking out for prints she could follow for a meal, even if she was too busy to partake. Bear though, he simply exuded power and strength, traipsing through the woods. He knew his strength, and seemed to be daring any creature to have the gall to challenge him. They took frequent respites for Rynata's sake, but after several breaks of travel, they came to large camp at the mouth of a cave. Bear's camp.

Qit'ria had never been here before.

Bear gestured to a few carved up stumps for seating around a large fire pit, that was currently cold. "You're both going to need to stay here for a few days. To work together. For the same thing that will help you to fix your soul," staring at Rynata, "Is the same that will help Qit'ria gain control over her thirst."

He sauntered off for a moment, letting them mull on the information, before returning with a waterskin for each of the women. "You're going to need to meditate. This is not something to be joked about, so please do not take my words lightly. Meditation heals the soul, calms it down, brings it back to balance. And there is no catch all to it. What works for Qit'ria may not necessarily work for you. Nor does it work overnight. Just as your body takes trials to heal a wound, so does the soul. I'm going to go fetch us some dinner. While I'm gone, I want you both to give it an attempt. Calm the mind, calm the body, and the soul will follow. If something is distracting, try to tune it out, and if you can't, remove it."

With that, he took off, Qit'ria watching him begin the transformation into his large bear form, taking his clothes with him. She didn't know that could be done, her eyes widening at the prospect. She wanted to try it. And then her baby shifted within her, and she remembered that she couldn't. And she mustn't. She needed to focus on the task at hand.

She remembered each of the times she meditated when she was creating her totems, now fumbling with the finger bone that dangled around her neck. Her finger bone. With each of those, she'd meditated on the creation of it, on herself. She'd poured herself into them. What would she focus on if she had... nothing?

Qit'ria fidgeted, not liking the seat she was in, nor her damp, sticky clothes. They irked her something fierce. Following his advice, she stood from the stump, and promptly stripped nude again. She then looked around the camp, trying to find a better place to be. The cave wasn't right. There were some bushes, some stones but none of them called to her. Then she saw the large tree, the leaves starting to bud. It was a biggun, though not nearly like those back home in Desnind. Qit'ria faced it, bounced on the balls of her feet, and ran toward it. As she approached, she put a foot against the trunk and pushed off heavily from the ground. Just like a squirrel, she pressed her foot hire up the tree, using it to give her a bit more oomph.

Hand gripping around the lowest branch, she swung back and forth, until she got herself upon the branch. It even had a nice little crook in the branch for her swelling belly. And there she laid, on her side, eyeballing Rynata for a bit, curious about this woman she'd violated. But then she closed her eyes. To meditate. Something her people back home took very seriously.
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Rynata
Approved Character
Posts: 262
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:28 pm
Race: Biqaj
Profession: Ferryman
Renown: +155
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Mon May 21, 2018 12:58 pm

As Bear set her down, Rynata discovered that her legs were indeed in working order. Still, she thought "fine" was a bit of an overstatement. All the muscles in her body were fatigued from her previous ordeal and for awhile she wobbled around like a newborn foal. Following Bear's advice, however, she focused on each individual step, willing her legs to support her. With the group's patience she was soon able to set a slow but steady pace through the woods. That didn't change the fact that the physical activity was alarmingly draining. Her feet dragged, causing her to stumble across the forest floor, and she grew out of breath fairly quickly. On one of their stops, Rynata picked up a straight branch that was sturdy enough to help support her.

She didn’t like having Qit’ria behind her as it made her nervous. At the same time though, she thought having to actually see her attacker would be distressing in a different sense. Trusting that the man wouldn’t let her be murdered, Rynata plodded onward by leaning on her walking stick.

When they finally arrived at the camp, she collapsed into one of the seats by the fire pit, and breathed a sigh of relief as the walking finally seemed to be over. However, Rynata was less enthusiastic when her rescuer announced that there was still more work to be done. Meditate? She just wanted to rest. She was even less pleased to know that she would be here with Qit’ria. Still, the man needn’t worry about her taking the matter lightly. This whole situation was anything but light and she welcomed any advice on how to overcome it. It was just that she was so tired.

As the man shifted into a bear and lumbered out of camp, Rynata could only watch transfixed. There were far too many strange things that she saw today. Once the man turned bear disappeared from sight, however, Rynata turned apprehensively to keep the person he had left her with within view. She still didn’t like this idea, and even though she had spoken brave words back at the beach, she was scared of what the other woman could do to her. When Qit’ria stood, she flinched back in her seat, heart speeding up involuntarily. Rynata swiveled around in her seat to keep the yet again naked woman in sight as she boosted herself up a tree. She could feel the strange mage watching her from the branches so she dragged herself to the base of a tree on the opposite end of the camp. Keeping her back to it was somewhat comforting and soothed the nerves that were already stretched taught.

The man had said to meditate, but Rynata didn’t know what to meditate about. Though, she supposed that was a stupid question. Tucking in her arms and legs, she put down her head and curled up into a small ball against the tree trunk. Her clothes were sticky and covered in sand due to the half dried salt water, but she found that staying still made it less obnoxious. Putting down her head helped shut out information from her over stimulated senses, as well. She couldn’t do much, but she’d try to calm down as the man had suggested. Still, this was going to be some feat. Focusing on breathing normally, she grounded herself to small comforts like the soft ground and sturdy tree behind her.
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