Or the Lament of Sober Morf.
Seated on the shores of Lake Lovalus, Rharne serves as the home of the Lighting Knights, the Thunder Priestesses, and the Merchant's guild. This beautiful trade city is filled with a happy and contented people who rarely need an excuse to party.
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62nd of Vhalar 720
It's Midnight, and Yeva is walking home from the Glass Quarter after the Mummer's Ball. Honest folk have abandoned the streets, yet there are a few derelicts about, staring at the bottom of empty flasks and tankards, rattling a few nels in their cups in an attempt to illicit pity from passersby.
Strange enough that the filth had travelled upriver as far as the Glass Quarter, but the improvements made upon the Dust Quarter had perhaps emboldened some, and driven out others. At any rate, however strange it might've seemed, there were a few beggars about in the Glass Quarter, who thought to ply upon the heartstrings of those fortunates who were wealthy enough to attend fancy balls and parties.
However Yeva reacted to these people, she'd notice a dusty old stand at the end of the street. It would wait there for her, but something about it caught her eye. Something that might've been a dream, or something she remembered from the Beneath during her brief time as a ghost. A singular bottle stood on the surface of the stand, oddly untouched by any of the beggars who were now crowding the streets.
Below the stand, a man who looked as if he might as well have been dead sat, his head downcast and looking at his lap. He might've seemed dead if he wasn't shaking, whether from sobbing or from the cold, or some foul malady, nobody could tell at a distance.
Yeva would have to investigate his state if she had any interest in helping him.
word count: 270
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62 Vhalar 720
After having spent so much time alone, Yeva hadn't expected to request privacy. Especially not so soon. In the Beneath, the young woman had obsessed over the life she once had, the emotions, the sensations, the feeling of someone else there. She had missed it all with such desperation, why did her body feel so strange? It was hers, roughly, and yet... She struggled to identify any one feeling. There were many, yes but they felt so muted - comfortable - when compared to her former self. As a ghost, a being without true form, there had been no limit, no ceiling to what she was allowed to feel. At least not internally. She could grieve with enough sorrow to fill entire rivers, but on Idalos her tears were limited to water in her body, her screams only as strong as her lungs, her body only as restless as the legs she stood upon.
She contemplated her own existence, closing her eyes and tilting her head back to feel the mist of the evening's rain on her flushed cheeks. Her emotions might have been tempered, but there were wonders still. She could see the stars, the shifting shadows of the flickering street light and the rich color that painted shard of stained glass in her hand. A remnant of the shattered windows of the old dance hall, Yeva lifted it to peer at the reflection of her eye. A dark iris watching through a hue of opaque ochre, cradled within white, gloved hands. Protected from the sharp and jagged edge of a shattered image, for now. A chill wrapped itself around her like the wings of a bird and she relished its cold touch. Killed by fire, her soul had been struck aflame, a match raging in the darkness, damned to burn itself to madness and ethereal ash. Yeva hadn't thought she would feel cold ever again - and she leaned into the breeze, fascinated as her living breath rolled from her lips in fat wisps of frosted white.
'No.' The thought needled its way into her mind, a scratching whisper against her mind.
Yeva snapped her lips closed and sped up along the paved road, her boots - yes, boots - stomping unbothered through the puddles left behind. She needed to get home, and she veered down the crossroads where beggars had taken to the streets like vultures. Her steps slowed but she did not stop walking. Beggars were uncommon in the Glass Quarter... Had something changed during her death?
The sounds of their cups, rattling for coin echoed down the street, and she kept her gaze shifting,. 'Don't look them in the eye', she told herself, distressed at having nothing to offer. While her feet kept her moving before she could be ambushed by those in need, she imagined herself running in the ballgown. How far could she make it in silks and satin?
Her pace picked up and she was almost jogging, jerking to stop at the sight of a booth and a lone bottle. Beside it sat a dead man. Why was no one helping him? Yeva looked around wildly but it was as if he were invisible. There was something... familiar... about this. Was it the booth? Had she purchased from something here, in her former life? Was it him? Her head swirled with foggy memories and she clutched head head again, head aching, heart pounding.
And that's when she noticed that he wasn't dead at all.
He was shaking.
"Are you hurt?" she asked like she had so many times before, knowing that while she had no coin, she still had her skill and a lot of fabric that could be made into bandages of luxury. She moved closer and her hands began to gather up her skirt, "Can you stand?" Just as she began to approach and crouch before the figure, she seemed to notice that despite the dreary weather, his stand was coated in a layer of dry dust.
Something wasn't right. Her heart thundered and her voice was a soft whisper, scared to hear the answer, "What's wrong?"
word count: 713