Sing a Song of Sixpence

Soren, Ox's Bellow Tavern

The cities and villages of Melrath are as varied and diverse as they come. The capital of Raelia is the the jewel of this western kingdom, playing host to a merchants, artisans, Aesir priests, as well as a cut throat political landscape dominated by the nobles of Raelia. To the south in the depths of the Myrkvior Forest lies Melrath's second largest, and oldest city, Fensalir. Here people have learned to live alongside spirits and the natural world by maintaining their loyalty to traditions laid down the first Melrathi. To the east lies the small fishing village of Noatun, and to the western mountains rests the Mer city of Verimeer, the brewing town of Alivilda and the alpine village Vormund.

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Sing a Song of Sixpence

Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:35 pm

25th of Vhalar, 719
after this

Hart stalked from the Ox's Bellow. He heard the doors slam open behind him, heard the woman calling out. But he did not turn to look at her. He kept walking.

Hart turned a corner, then another corner, and abruptly stopped. He wondered if the guard would be after him. He wondered if he would be tossed from the city and have to live in the woods. He wasn't prepared to live outside of the city; he had very little experience staying in the wilderness, and he didn't have many if any of the supplies needed. He had very little left.

Outside the city, he wondered, how was he to live?

It had to be in the city, he told himself. But Hart didn't have a job; he had fucked that up. If the guard came for him, would anyone hire him? He stood where he was, his whole body tense, and bowed his head.

That was where they found him.

Two men turned the corner and stepped past Hart, then stopped and turned towards him. "You," one of them said, "Look at me," and Hart looked up at him. "That's him," the other said, and Hart's hands began to tremble.

He had surveyed the front room of the tavern. These men were not from there.

"What do you want?" he asked in a low voice. The men stepped towards him.

"You're the thief from the Ox's Bellow," one of the men said, and Hart took a sudden, sharp step back and away from them both. The men hesitated when he stepped back, perhaps in preparation. Perhaps expecting him to run. They weren't expecting him to move his hand as if reaching for a weapon.

The moment he did, one of the men lunged at him. The man caught Hart round the shoulders and neck with his forearm, and drove him back into the nearest building, hard enough to hurt. In the scuffle Hart dropped what he had been reaching for; a simple pair of gloves. The other man bent and picked the gloves up, bemused.

Hart pressed the palms of his hands to the stone of the building behind him. "Do not touch my hands," he said in warning, and the men laughed. The one pushed him harder against the building. Hart kept his hands pressed against the stone.

"I'm trying to warn you," he panted. "Do not touch my hands. I can't control what may happen."

The man shoving him against the building only laughed again. But the other man looked down at the gloves he had picked up from the ground.

He tossed the gloves at Hart's feet.

"Hold off him," the man said, and the one pushing Hart to the wall didn't move. "Hold off," the first man said again.

"What if he runs?"

"I won't run," Hart said tiredly.

"He won't like it if he runs," the first man said at the same time as Hart. The second man shoved off him.

Hart reached to pick up the gloves. His hands were trembling such that they were hard to put on. The men watched him the entire time.

The moment his hands were covered, they attacked. The men started to drag him, the one trying to hurt him in the process, and Hart shoved at that one, trying to get free of him. That only caused the man to try and hurt him more. Hart abruptly went compliant, trying to avoid making them hurt him. The men, not expecting this, again hesitated. But Hart didn't try to run.

"I won't run," he said again. "Take me to the guard." If he was to be the thief from the Ox's Bellow, he might as well take whatever punishment there was to be had and be done with it. He was sure resisting would be worse.

"We're not taking you to the guard," the one who wanted to hurt him said, and laughed. He grabbed Hart hard by one arm, the other man grabbed him as well, and they started walking him back the way he'd come.

So it was to be the tavern, then.

Hart tried to settle his expression, though it was difficult. He tried to remain compliant. But at the last bit he couldn't stop himself from giving some resistance, and they had to drag in him through the doors. They shoved him forward, into the Ox's Bellow, and Hart stood where he was and didn't try to get away.

Instead he looked for Soren. If Soren was there he would fix him with a flat stare.

Underneath the gloves, his hands burned.

OOC: Just to be clear- when Hart loses control, his hands burn and he knows if he touches anyone, they will be Blissed. So that's why the gloves.
word count: 837
"I know what it's like to hurt. I know what it's like to no longer know who I am.
Many times in my life I have forgotten who I am; many times I've thought I am what I am not."
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Soren Kvistson
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Re: Sing a Song of Sixpence

Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:16 pm

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"You are free to choose,"



Soren looked up from his work as Hart was escorted, or rather, shoved roughly, into the tavern. Soren, smiled at the men, "Now now, there's no need to be so rough. I'm sure it was just a misunderstanding on Mr. Hart Eda'quoat's part. Perhaps in a land such as Rynmere, an outsider's land, it is considered normal to not pay for what you order. I think a simple discussion with him will help to clear it up. Shall we go for a walk? It's such a nice trial out."

Soren turned back to his bartenders, "A mead or wine for anyone who wants it. An apology for the disturbance this whole situation has caused." He looked to the two men who were escorting Hart, and nodded toward the door. They manhandled the man out into the street, a hand each gripping Hart's upper arms like
steel vices. Soren directed them down the road, then down an alley next to his tavern. They moved past the tavern windows, coming up on a ramp that went down from the stone alleyway, to a basement beneath the tavern. Soren moved ahead of them, pulling a ring of keys from his waist, unlocking the heavy doors. He dragged them open, and directed the men into his storage area.

Soren grabbed a lantern from the wall, taking a moment to light it, showing the large expanse of rooms, filled with barrels and crates. He pulled out one of his coin purses. "Twenty golds for bringing him to me. Oh Hel, I'm feeling generous today. Twenty each, though maybe I can purchase your silence for the extra?" The men smiled, nodding in agreement. "Perhaps one of you can go back to the tavern on an errand for me? Go upstairs in the front room, all the way to the end of the hall on the left, and knock on the door. Tell the person you find in there that I'm in the basement on business and I would greatly appreciate if they would join me. Do be rather polite."

The man holding Hart's right arm let loose, leaving to go run the errand. Soren shut and locked the door behind him. Now the only person in the world who had access to the basement was his partner Navyri. "Shall we?" Soren led the way with the lantern, moving through the large basement warehouse, moving off to be beneath the Back Room, which was already getting loud, as a bard had set up in there for the day. He was playing some ridiculous instrument, some bag of air. It was loud and to Soren, a bit annoying. But many of the patrons that had come were fans of it, and there was much singing and cheering to the music.

Soren grabbed a coil of rope, normally used for tying empty barrels together for transport. "Could you tie up our friend here please?" The man shoved Hart forward into a crate, grabbing the rope, he spoke to Soren, "He's very concerned about his hands. He seems to think that if he touches us with them, something terrible will happen. Didn't want to take a chance, left his gloves on."

Soren looked over at Hart with a higher interest, "Oh really now? That's most interesting." Soren was now playing the waiting game, waiting for his friend to tie up the thief, ignoring anything that may be said by the man, waiting for his business partner to show up. After all, security was her side of the business.



"But you are not free from the consequences."
word count: 637
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Re: Sing a Song of Sixpence

Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:12 pm

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“The basement?”

Navyri groaned, still dressed from the night before. Having just taken her boots off and hair down, the thought of sinking into the mattress had been the final delight of her evening, but as the sounds of the tavern patrons grew louder and the sun brighter, why should she have thought anything would ever be so simple? “Fine!” she snapped, “Not like I had plans or anything anyway.”

Navyri dismissed the errand runner, muttering Grovokian curses and gave a last forlorn look towards the bed, before slipping on a pair of heels and trudging towards her summoning. She paused briefly to listen to the music in the main room, not particularly moved. The sound was lively and loud for such an early hour, but made her nostalgic for dancing. No decent partners, though. She moved on.

Finding the basement was easy, each step growing colder in her descent. The Naer stood before the door, debating whether or not she should actually show. She did have the right to say no… But what if it was important? What if it was about the little Naer problem? Sighing again, she unlocked and turned the handle, her silhouette lingering in the doorway. From her vantage point, blue eyes located Soren in the far corner with a lantern, tagged by an entourage.

“What’s this?”

Her heels clicked methodically with every step across the large space. Slow. Patient. Approaching the flame, the warmth of the fire flushed across her smooth skin, shadows fled her face. Attention stopped on the man tied up. He looked fearful and the way he had stared at Soren had been absolutely hateful. She was beginning to understand where this was going, “A gift?” Blue eyes glanced at her partner, but she resisted the smile.

Navyri’s calculating gaze resettled on the brunette bound in rope, “Why are you tied up?”

Yet, it was the hired muscle who spoke, eager to please, “He’s a thief, miss.”

“I wasn’t speaking to you.” Navyri’s lip curled in disgust and her eyes flashed in warning.

She took a deep breath. Reset. To Soren, she breezed past the interruption, “I was going to bed when you called,” Unspoken, ‘And this better be good.’

“So I would like to hear what the guest has to say.”

Fingers unclasping the rose-gold brooch molded in the shape of a sparrow at her neck, Navyri shrugged off the fur-lined cloak and laid it across one of the barrels with a leisurely pace. A chill of goosebumps ran down her arms as the cold hit her wings and she rubbed her hands together. She smoothed out her silk blouse, blue, “Let’s try this again,” her voice was friendly enough, even hinted with a lilt of concern. She moved closer to Hart, leaning against one of the barrels. She studied his face, his clothing. Memorizing the details. She wanted to savor this, commit it to memory. A smart woman, Navyri had already pieced two and two together but the best gifts were meant to be enjoyed, “Ignore them. Why don’t you tell me what happened?”

OOC: Grovokian
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word count: 533
"At last. It has been too long since I have walked the face of this world. Too long have I been locked there, awaiting my champion to release me. My champion... This is you, daughter of Audrae. You have, whether knowingly or not, released me from my self imprisonment, and are here to fulfill the destiny I have seen written in the tapestry of nature. You, daughter of Audrae's daughter, will be my foothold in this world." - Belaera to The Nightingale, after the 600 arc imprisonment
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Re: Sing a Song of Sixpence

Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:22 pm

Hart was okay when they walked him from the tavern, though he started to get nervous when they took him into an alley. That nervousness turned into a clawing panic when he saw the cellar doors. "Stop," he said, trying to control his voice. It came out strained. He had the urge to break the men's hold and run. He was certain they wouldn't be able to stop him.

But he didn't run. He didn't.

He struggled uselessly as they led him down into the cellar.

The basement wasn't as cramped as it could have been, and Hart spent long moments trying to wrest control of himself. He was trying very hard not to seem as panicked as he was. But he hated this, perhaps more than anything they could or would do to him.

When the doors shut, he once again fought the urge to run. There was only one man holding him now, the other had left; it mattered not either way. He could get out of here. He could.

He didn't.

He did, however, refuse to be tied quietly. When the man shoved him against the crate, Hart tried to scramble back to his feet. The man descended upon him. It took some swearing and struggling on the man's part to do as Soren had said. Hart's hands were tied, tightly -too tightly- behind his back. Then he was left sitting there.

There was the click of high heels.

A woman approached, beautiful and dark-haired and well-dressed with great white wings. Hart looked between her and Soren; the man who had tied him was somewhere behind him. The woman didn't like being interrupted, it seemed, and she didn't seem entirely keen on Soren, either. "Ignore them," she said, and Hart -in this place- had no method of trying to figure out who she was.

"Why don't you tell me what happened?" she said.

Hart considered her silently.

Then he spoke, quietly but evenly, in clipped sentences.

"I was trying to get a job at the tavern. Kvistson offered me a drink while we spoke. I accepted. If I had known it would be like this, I wouldn't have taken it. I couldn't pay for it. Kvistson tried to strong-arm me into- I don't know. Paying off the cost of the cup."

At this, Hart looked momentarily incredulous. He understood how everything had happened. But how it had escalated so that he'd ended up here? It didn't make any sense. It was a cup of coffee. Soren should have called the guards and been done with it.

"I didn't comply with Kvistson. I had my own reasons why. I told him to tell the guards if he must and I left."

"After I left two men brought me back here. Kvistson paid them to do so. I thought better not to resist, to confront the issue, but-"

He looked at the winged woman. He didn't look at Soren.

"I would just like to resolve this," he said. It was almost a sigh.
word count: 535
"I know what it's like to hurt. I know what it's like to no longer know who I am.
Many times in my life I have forgotten who I am; many times I've thought I am what I am not."
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Re: Sing a Song of Sixpence

Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:37 pm

Image

"You are free to choose,"



Soren kept his face and body impassive as he heard Navyri approach, one click of a heel at a time. He heard her question in her native Gravokian and he responded fluently, "Yes, a gift." He kept the jest out of his voice, not wanting to laugh at her own joke. This was a time to be strictly professional. Which clearly the temporary minion did not understand. But not his fault, he was an idiot. He would not be hired beyond this. The only reason Soren included him in this is so that he could spread the rumors of what had happened. He participated, so the word would only be spread among those of... less than legal aptitudes.

Navyri set him straight. It was good that she did. Scared criminals spread better rumors, and would not want to act against you in the future. At the next statement directed to him, Soren did not answer. He believed it to be worth her time, but if not, they would hash that out later. Would be terribly unprofessional to do so in front of the thief. For now, he stood, watched, and listen, showing no reaction, his eyes locked on the tied up man.

He listened to Hart's words, finding one slight fault in them. Not a lie, but an intentional omission. The words he had spoken were entirely truthful. He has his own reasons why? Soren wished to smile now, but kept it forced down. His reason was that he was completely and utterly broke. He walked into a business, without a single nel to his name. Some might call that a loiterer, and Soren had called him a thief. Both were true, though Soren found Hart's... arrogance of committing such a faux pas to be insulting. The real answer was that Hart was a man who wasted people's time.

If Soren had let the crime go though, it would've reflected badly on his business, on him, on Navyri by extension. His time, her time, were valuable. If Hart had not walked in, had not had empty pockets, had changed a million things about his fate, Soren would not have to be seizing this opportunity to send a message. Hart had attempted to waste his and her time. It was only because of Soren's ability to capitalize that he would turn it into something useful.

Still, it was annoying.

If Navyri sought a confirmation, he would give it with a single word in Gravokian. Yes, Hart was speaking the truth. Soren did not find the truth to be any less damning though. This was her time now. She would make the decision as to what would happen to Hart, if anything at all. Soren would be happy with this, if only to scare the waste of air away from his tavern forever. Pointless people were worse than thieves, were worse than loiterers and liars and every other criminal type out there.

And so, Soren waited for Navyri to make her decision.



"But you are not free from the consequences."
word count: 541
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Re: Sing a Song of Sixpence

Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:08 pm

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“True?”

“Yes.”

Navyri unlatched the buckle of her belt and slid the leather from her waist with a hiss, laying it across her coat. Hands disappearing behind her back, when they returned to view, two daggers were in each palm. These she set aside as well, “It is unfortunate that you’ve been treated in such a manner,” Deft fingers straightened the blades, each one an extension of herself as she looked upon them lovingly. A mother with her children, “All seems a bit dramatic, does it not?”

Newly unarmed, she had her doubts that he had covered everything. Soren - or Kviston - as he was being called today, had given her a job without hassle. Yet he had gone through all the trouble of having this man dragged back, bound and dragged to the basement for… questioning? Punishment?

“I am curious…”

She moved around to the front of the barrel, lacing her hands together, “You didn’t think to ask for the money? Charm someone? Sing a little song? Gamble, fight or fuck?” Navyri reached out, cupped Hart's face. He had delicate features and full, bow lips. At least one man or woman would have offered to buy him a drink had he thought to do so. The options for obtaining the payment hadn't been limited to dubious means, but something about the situation had made him feel superior. So for what reason would he deny the chance to prove his competency in any way he knew how? After all, he had come to them.

“Your lack of creativity is rather disappointing, but fear not-” Navyri walked around the backside of the barrel, hands roaming along his shoulders, claws nipping lightly at the nape of his neck, “I think I have enough for both of us,” Navyri reached into her pocket, producing an onyx nel and held it out over his shoulder, rolling it across fingers with a voice like a secret, “I could be your second chance.”

The blue-eyed thief never stopped, hands forever moving while the eyes were distracted. With her free hand she removed the first top three buttons of her blouse, “Kviston has the tavern jobs, but what I have is much more interesting. Nothing dubious… Nothing hidden,” Navyri hooked a long silver chain with her finger and began to pull the necklace free from the slope of her breasts. Twenty needles hung from respected rings and rang out delicately when clinked together, “You see, I’m learning a bit of alchemy and I could use an assistant. For now, a drop of blood - a pinprick - is all I ask and you’ll be free to go. I think that should cover a simple cup of coffee,” She pulled back, snapping a needle free from her necklace while the nel seemingly vanished from her hand like magic.

Gracefully, Navyri draped herself across Hart's lap and listening should he begin to speak, she buried the metal into his thigh.

OOC
Congrats, Hart. You've been stabbed!

With what, you ask? The lovely silver tooth once belonging to an Anak of mutilation! An alchemical reagent, it can imbue the property of temporary madness to a liquid (causing those affected to resort to immediate and severe self-harm according the mod who awarded it). With Hart's magical Mortalborn blood.... who knows what will happen? Aren't you glad we tied you up now? xoxo
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word count: 576
"At last. It has been too long since I have walked the face of this world. Too long have I been locked there, awaiting my champion to release me. My champion... This is you, daughter of Audrae. You have, whether knowingly or not, released me from my self imprisonment, and are here to fulfill the destiny I have seen written in the tapestry of nature. You, daughter of Audrae's daughter, will be my foothold in this world." - Belaera to The Nightingale, after the 600 arc imprisonment
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Re: Sing a Song of Sixpence

Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:46 pm

The woman disarmed herself, and Hart watched her with exceeding caution. She stepped near to him, near enough that he couldn't stop himself from leaning back. But he was sitting on a crate and he couldn't pull away from her properly, not without anything to lean against.

"You didn’t think to ask for the money?" she asked. "Charm someone? Sing a little song? Gamble, fight or fuck?" She cupped his face in her hand, sharp nails against his cheek, and Hart looked up at her because he had little other choice. The spacious basement suddenly seemed a lot smaller with the woman so close. When she let go of him he grimaced and turned his face away.

But she wouldn't let him look away from her. Not for long.

She sauntered around behind him, her hands brushing over his shoulders, those long nails touching lightly at his neck, and he had to look at her, to see what she was doing. She held out an onyx nel.

Whatever she wanted, he doubted she would pay him.

She had removed her belt when she had been disarming herself; now she began to unbutton her shirt. Again, Hart looked away. But he had to look back to see what she was doing.

There were needles on a necklace, strung around her neck.

"A drop of blood," she said, and Hart grimaced as she slid atop his lap. The onyx had gone; he hadn't expected it to stay. He looked at the needle in her hand and said, "Do what you must." Then they would let him go, he lied to himself. It was best to resolve this, their way. It was best-

She rammed the needle into his thigh.

Hart jerked, half from the stab of pain and half in an attempt to get the woman off him. "That's it?" he asked, breathing hard. "If that's it, then please, just-"

Just let me go.

The words died before he could speak them.

Hart hesitated, looking surprised. He seemed, temporarily, to have lost the ability to speak. A feeling like despair and chill horror crept through him. Terror. Hate. He was terrified of these people, this place. And he hated them. He hated them. He hated-

-himself. He hated himself.

He was afraid of himself.

The surprise was gone from his face. There was something like resignation there. Or something like agony. He made a low strangled noise, choking, or a sob.

He began to struggle.

The woman was still too near to him and he struggled to get her away, or to drag her near, or at least to get his hands free. His hands Needed to be free, they were burning, burning, and all of him was burning, and he wanted to burn.

But his damn hands were tied.

He struggled harder and then snarled with a sudden, startling ferocity, "Get the fuck away from me."

"Get away from me. All of you. All of you." That strangled, choked, sobbing. "I will hurt you. I will hurt you." It was a certainy. He would hurt them. It was what he did. He would hurt them.

"Immortals stop me," he whispered. "Please, please. Stop me."

His wrists bruised as he struggled, then the skin rubbed raw and bled, and bled more, and he tore and wrenched at the rope tying him. But he couldn't tear himself apart that way, and it wasn't enough.

He looked at Soren. "You could stop me," Hart said. "From hurting anyone else." He couldn't stop himself from speaking. The words fell from his mouth. "I came here, to Melrath, to be stopped. To put an end to it. I thought, I thought-" He sobbed again, breathing much too hard and fast. He could hardly get the words out. "I thought if I just tried," he said, and laughed. The laugh was not happy. It hurt. He laughed again, and it was like crying.

And then he stopped struggling, and a strange expression crossed his face, and he looked surprised again. "Oh," Hart panted, and his breathing slowed and quieted. "Oh," he said again. "You can't stop me."

"It has to be me."

He Wished to hurt himself.

He Wished to suffer. To suffer. To suffer.

He Wished, for himself, unending pain.

He Wished for destruction.
word count: 739
"I know what it's like to hurt. I know what it's like to no longer know who I am.
Many times in my life I have forgotten who I am; many times I've thought I am what I am not."
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Re: Sing a Song of Sixpence

Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:32 am


Toxic poison spread through the needle into the mortalborn’s bloodstream. It went fast with the hostile and invasive intention of the spirit, aimed for mutilation of mind and heart. The son of Edasha, in the land of spirits, would receive no rescue from his beloved Immortals who could not hear or see him, nor reach him in time.

Hart was at the mercy of the tavernkeep and his winged partner.

Driven to the darkest depths of his troubled mind, Hart wished - not for death, not for granted release from the mortal coil - but for harm and suffering, for unending pain, and only then for destruction.

Yet, he already had enough emotional anguish to last him for centuries.

The Wishes unfolded, unspoken to the pair who witnessed what occurred next:

He Wished to hurt himself.

Hart bit his lower lip. It wasn’t a conscious choice. His body acted against him. He bit his lip until the teeth dug in. Blood welled to the surface, then dribbled down his chin. He rocked forward, then back, only constrained by the winged woman - if she remained on his lap despite his prior outburst - and the rope around his wrists.

But this was not mere physicality. It was not a simple mortal who’d gone mad from the poison.

Hart’s skin flaked around his face. The flesh peeled apart into raw thin strips as if he’d scratched his nails into his brow and cheeks though his hands had gone nowhere near the areas. Blood welled in his mouth, dripped from his nose, and trickled out his ears.

Though it could not be seen, Hart felt cramps through his muscles. His entire body tensed and fought against the unnatural pain caused by his First Wish. His stomach ached like the worst illness he ever had, and his guts twisted up while his heart strained to beat against dreadful pressure. Stars danced in his blurred vision. Cracked sounds of his joints, popped in ways they shouldn’t, emanated from him. Hart felt his ankles stab with sharp pain as if he’d twisted them both at the same time. He felt his wrists bend dangerously to near-breaking, but not quite.

Hart hurt. His entire body rebelled against existence.

His First Wish had been granted.

He Wished to suffer. To suffer. To suffer.

Then the Second Wish started.

Every memory of every wrong, every moment when Hart had done something, said something, decided something that caused harm to others, that caused pain to himself… it all played before him in rapid recapitulation. Hart saw himself for the worst of what he believed, the very worst of everything as if it’d been all confirmed…

…but how simple would that be for suffering? To know his worst beliefs about himself to be confirmed would only grant solace when the Last Wish would be granted. He intended to suffer.

So, Hart’s visions changed before his milky-white eyes as they clouded over with what only he could see. He saw the moments of good, now. Blurred with his regrets were his intentions, his hopes, and then he saw the people he knew - people like Wren and Faith - people he’d left behind to come to Melrath to be stopped.

He heard every single encouragement ever given to him from another person, every spoken support and compliment, whispered against his bloody ears. He felt every caress a lover ever slid over him, every affectionate kiss upon his lips, every arousal and embrace.

Hart saw the abyssal bed of his personal hell, but felt the sublime bliss of everything grand in life. He found himself unable to surrender to any objective inevitability that death was what he deserved. Even his suffering seemed questionable now. Nothing was certain. Any purpose he believed in, vanished. Every anchor Hart had, every belief and knowledge, unmoored and left him in not only an account of his entire existence but existential confrontation of what it was he deserved or needed or even was. What was right? What was wrong? Would he ever find the answers? How could he ever know?

Thus, the Second Wish granted and though Hart saw and heard and felt all, the witnesses saw very little except the odd twitches of the mortalborn’s body, the blush of his ruined skin as it freely bled with the pulse of the memories as they drifted through his various physiological reactions.

In good time, the Third Wish fell into line.

He Wished, for himself, unending pain.

Unending. Pain.

The First Wish had caused harm, but now these wounds of his would never heal and yet, he would never die from them.

The Second Wish had caused blindness in his eyes and deafness in his ears; for he could only see his greatest regrets and hear his perpetual doubts and feel the mocked presence of his closest loved ones encouraging him despite these regrets and doubts.

Ragged, ruined, and for something to be unending - it had to also be undying, that or follow the soul into death. No solace was offered, neither first nor second wish lifted from him.

Hart had wished himself into a bleeding mess made blind and deaf by his own actions and choices.

The Fourth Wish warred with the Third.

He Wished for destruction.

They traded blows, then came to words, and eventually compromised.

Hart experienced destruction.

He felt it in a way indescribable to any who would ever ask him about it.

For in the reality of Idalos, only four trills passed. For Soren and Navyri, all they saw was the wretch they’d poked into such feats over a mere cup of coffee. All Soren and Navyri saw was the misery of a broken man, slumped forward in the chair, bloody and blind and deaf.

But for Hart, it was as if four eons rushed through his soul and he "saw" so much more.

Every part of him separated. From his body, to his emean vessel, to his soul, to the particles and ether and everything that made up those things.

Hart, surely, thought he’d died at this point. After all, he rushed away from Idalos - and through Emea - and then out of Emea and into the Beneath - but he did not stop. He went past there, to the other worlds and places yet unexplored. In blurred colors and sensations - some of which didn’t even exist in the world he knew - he journeyed to the very edges against the border of universes...

…and he felt the thrum and hum of everything. Everything. It was more than a mere ant looking up at a great tree, or even a forest. Hart was a dust speck, drifted in universal space, to look upon the infinite spread of stars - each a sun - each with their own little worlds and moons and confused men like him, and monsters far from anything like him, and everything in between.

Then everything came back together.

Hart felt his particles, which had separated in every which direction, funnel back inward. He spiraled along the rhythm of the worlds as he traveled back through them. Hart heard the chime of bells and the ringing of otherworldly music. He heard the chants of mystics past, the primal mantra of an Aesir monk, and the dance of spirits through the fabric of Idalos.

When he returned to the broken bleeding body, it no longer felt like his. How could he have done something so needless? What were these feelings that roiled about? These thoughts were no longer his own and no longer made sense. It was almost comical how ludicrous his prior logic seemed, now. Every instinct he had before, detached. He was, after all, a mere dust speck and these were the thoughts of someone who didn’t understand that.

Hart turned his Wishes onto himself, to harm and cause suffering and pain, and in the final fourth trill of his Fourth Wish for destruction, Hart destroyed his ego.

His blind regrets disappeared and he could see again. His hearing returned as his doubts vanished. His skin remained torn up, to mend at a natural pace. But for as long as he lived, he would feel the deep ache in his muscles and joints as reminder of the trial when he Wished himself destroyed.

Ethereal light bled outward as four fracture scars made their way in various spots over his bloodied skin.

 ! Message from: Strange
Well, Hello there!

Hart, Hart, Hart…
  • Hart used Four Wishes in this encounter. Please update your CS ledger.
  • Hart will always have muscle soreness and achy joints. This can be relieved by medicine, drugs, etc. but it can never be fully cured by natural means.
  • Hart has Wished himself into Ego Death; essentially Hart destroyed himself through the removal of his subjective self-identity. He now lives in a trance-like state of perception, having let go of a self-centered existence (the trance nature can last for as long as you'd like, brief or long-lasting). Hart will be unable to sincerely identify with what his personality was and the reference points that made up the man known as "Hart". While he can behave similarly, if you'd like, it will not feel sincere and more like acting/wearing a ridiculous costume, and he'll be aware of this distinction. You may explore this concept however you wish. Please PM me if you have any questions or concerns. This has the potential to allow for Rebirth themes which might be able to be used for Ymiden favor.
Soren and Navyri;
From your PCs perspectives, very little was observable by ordinary means. Since Hart didn’t say the Wishes aloud, it probably doesn’t make much sense - other than seeming like magic, mark-based, or likewise.

This mod post was a one-time, unless something else comes up, so y'all may continue the thread... enjoy.
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Soren Kvistson
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Re: Sing a Song of Sixpence

Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:59 pm

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"You are free to choose,"



Soren watched Navyri more carefully during this process than he watched Hart. He wished to improve his own technique. He cared not for Hart's subtle reactions, if there were to be any. She had a subtle way of moving and speaking. To him, it was like telling a story, but with one's body more so than with the words of old. He wondered if she was so adept at this from practice, or was it something ingrained from learning Euthic Sign. He watched her tease and toy with him, and he could see she was of similar mindset to his own. There were plenty of ways for Hart to have prevented this, he'd only needed to try.

He wondered how much she was enjoying it. He suspected a fair bit. He watched her use the onyx nel, and he wanted to laugh. All of this was over a silver coin, and her she was, tossing about an onyx as though it was nothing. Taunting his poverty. It was cruel, but well deserved in Soren's mind. He heard her refer to him by his surname. Not that it mattered, since Hart knew his full name from introductions earlier, but it did make it sound more professional in his opinion. It was a nice touch.

Alchemy and blood. Spooky stuff. Not something he'd ever dabbled in, but that wasn't about to cause him to stop her. Perhaps he could learn more about it. He'd heard so many tall tales about alchemy, it seemed as though it could do anything, good or bad. It was hard to know what to believe. He made no outward reaction when she stabbed the man with the needle she'd procured from her bosom, though he'd wanted to flinch. It took a fair bit of control to not. Nothing to show weakness in front of her, in front of him.

He'd never seen a man so unwilling to fight for himself before. To just give up on everything. What was wrong with him? To not even try, it's insulting to those who live life. He just wanted to receive his punishment and be done with it. The man clearly wasn't learning anything from this. He didn't care what he did or who he hurt, especially if that person was himself, it seemed to Soren. A despicable waste of life and breath and time. Part of him wondered if this man should just be killed, so as to stop wasting the rest of the world's time.

The man making a strange noise brought Soren's attention back to him, then the man began fighting against his restraints. That was curious. Curious. That's what Navyri had said. What exactly did she do to him? And then the man began to growl as if he were someone to be concerned about. Strange. He'd gone from the most harmless, useless of individuals to someone with fire in their heart. What a turn around. There was definitely something strange going on here. The man seemed confident in his ability to hurt them from his situation, yet seemed reluctant all the same. Why was he warning them?

He begged to the Immortals, at which Soren wished to roll his eyes, but still, he just simply stood and stared and learned. The man just wanted to be stopped. A life full of pain on others perhaps? Regrets? Bad luck? He looked at Soren, speaking about being stopped, that Soren could stop him. This man thought if he tried? Tried at what? He hadn't tried at anything as far as Soren had noticed.

And then the man changed again.

Just what was going on here? None of this made any sense to the tavern owner. Then the man began to harm himself. Biting his lip, blood flowing. Then the man's face began to peel, like old paint on an abandoned barn. Blood began to flow from every hole that Soren could see. Whatever poison Navyri had used on him, for it had to be some form of poison to do this, surely, it was nasty stuff. The man's body was tensing and tightening, joints were popping in quite uncomfortable ways.

The man was quite effectively broken. And then, through some of the breaks in his skin, he glowed. Well now. That was definitely something unusual. Soren could no longer contain his curiosity. He had to know what was going on. He hated to interrupt her work, but he simply had to. So, in their shared Gravokian, "Why does he glow like that?" There was much more to the story of this poison she had used and this man who had been broken by it. Soren still hadn't discounted potentially just killing this man, though it was less desirable now. At least until Soren learned that which he wanted to know.



"But you are not free from the consequences."
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Navyri
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Re: Sing a Song of Sixpence

Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:59 pm

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Navyri began to pull away as he fought back, aware he might break from his restraints should he be strong enough. But then he slackened and his face began to peel. She watched him, transfixed, drawing closer. Hart’s smooth skin cracked and fell away, agony blending with misery within eyes that were filled with blood. Then they too began to diminish and she stared into their glowing light, the rays illuminating her face and humming with pain. So many emotions on one man, her hands slipped beneath his jaw and she held him while blood dribbled where teeth had sunk in. Beneath her, she could feel his joints splinter.

What had she done?

The shadow woman forgot the room around her, absorbed in each and every detail of his despair. Nearby Soren spoke and she blinked, reluctant to pull her gaze away, although the worst of it had seemed to pass, “I don’t know,” she answered honestly, glancing back at her partner, “This did not happen to me.”

There was indeed a story there, but she wasn’t sure how much to share, “He must be different.” Weaker, certainly, but there was something fundamentally peculiar about this one. She had only stabbed him with the remains, whereas her and Garizma had experienced the agony first hand straight from the spirit source. Why had his punishment been worse? They had all suffered greatly yet in the past it had been all by their own hand. This man had been bound and still broke, shattered from the inside out.

Sliding from his lap, Navyri rubbed her fingers together now coated in crimson and then leaned over to pluck the silver free from Hart’s muscle, a squelching sound resounding from the quickened movement, “A mage perhaps?” She studied him, knowing he was in quite the ordeal in days to come.. Even now, the memory of the Miasma haunted her from time to time, “He’s quite special in his own sad way, don’t you think?”

Navyri buttoned her blouse, tucking the necklace beneath the silk where it belonged and slipped the tooth into her pocket once it had dried. She shot a steely gaze at the brute muscle, who had now shrunk as far away as possible, horror written on his face. She silently dared him to speak, wanting a reason to strike. He hadn’t enjoyed the show, it seemed.

“For services rendered,” Producing the onyx, Navyri dropped it into Hart’s lap not sure if he could hear or see it, “And second chances, as offered.”

She turned to Soren, reaching for her belt with decisive finish, “He’s paid what’s due as far as I’m concerned,” The smallest tinge of resistance kept her feet from moving. She wasn’t sure if he could recover, “Yours to play with now.”
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"At last. It has been too long since I have walked the face of this world. Too long have I been locked there, awaiting my champion to release me. My champion... This is you, daughter of Audrae. You have, whether knowingly or not, released me from my self imprisonment, and are here to fulfill the destiny I have seen written in the tapestry of nature. You, daughter of Audrae's daughter, will be my foothold in this world." - Belaera to The Nightingale, after the 600 arc imprisonment
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