[Treth] Performance or Lies

Tei'serin

Since the birth of the city, Ne'haer has struggled to maintain peace with the territories surrounding its borders. While some of the other territories work with Ne'haer in search of peace and protection in the region, others resist, determined to fight back against Ne'haer and what they perceive as an attempt of colonization. Ne'haer and the territories exist in a constant tug-of-war that threatens the very region.

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[Treth] Performance or Lies

Sun May 21, 2017 7:29 am

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Bonus experience approved by Jade, to be given to the following character(s) involved in this thread, only upon the completion of the review, where the character(s) demonstrated celebration of the holiday, Performer's Day, on Ashan 105th, Arc 717. The details of this this holiday include: Anyone with an acting skill awaits this day with great excitement. Dancers, singers, actors and all other kind of performers walk the streets to show off their talent. The goal is to show the diverse skills among the people of Ne'haer, as well as getting some potential recognition for their work.

Bonus Experience Upon Review Completion:
Knowledge
Ne'haer Holiday: Performer's Day
+2 Bonus Skill Points
Bonus Character Title (To be approved by Jade. Please PM.)
Free Item: A costume created by a fan who witnessed your performance. This cannot be sold or given away.
105th of Ashan, 717
midday

It had taken a fair amount of sleuthing for the past ten days or so, but Quio had finally found word of one of the men who had attacked and slain his mother. This man, whose name the Yludih hadn't been able to pry from his source but whose face Quio was certain he would remember, was said to be working as a driver, delivering wagons full of goods between Ne'haer and Treth. At Yanaqi's insistence, Quio had made the short journey out to the country.

It had been a long, long time since his mother's death and only once had Quio ever felt himself motivated so dearly by hate.

His sister kept trying to entice him to vengeance over what had happened, and he didn't like it because he didn't want to hate anyone but he felt helpless to it. Yanaqi herself seemed quite intent on it, eager to sink her claws and fangs into the man who had done Quio and his family irreparable harm, but then again Yanaqi was a monster. She cared little for people who were different than herself and she had murdered before. Quio...

Quio didn't yet know what he was.

It was true he had killed, both before the immortals' war and during. It had always been out of necessity and even now he had dreams about it. He supposed in some ways he was little better than his sister, or maybe he was worse. He didn't know how many he had killed in the battle at Treidhart after all. He hadn't been counting and wasn't that awful, not to have counted them?

And then, of course, there was what had happened to Hart. Even if it had been Yanaqi who had done it Hart's death was on Quio alone. He shouldn't have loved.

But he still didn't know if he wanted to hunt down and kill this man.

Quio had first entered the gates to the small farming community late last night, and now he had to wonder, looking around, how it was he had ended up in Treth on a holiday. All around were people in masks and costumes, people drinking and singing what sounded to him like a hundred conflicting songs, or trying to out-play one another on their instruments. He passed a choir of schoolchildren and then a small wooden stage set up for people to do acts. Banners hung around the town which claimed this day as a celebration of performers.

As a child he would have been enraptured but he was not a child and he was not in the mood for this. It complicated things; what should have been morose was discolored with surrounding bursts of celebration.

But even as he tried to ignore the performers a nearby tune caught at his ear and he stopped walking altogether. It was a woman's voice, singing.

Once I gazed upon a distant shore~

He looked around. Not quite believing it, but the song sounded so familiar.

Watching sea birds as they filled the sky~

The lyrics hit at his mind and struck a memory within him. There had been a woman singing this same song the last time he had been to Ne'haer as a boy. Only days after that his mother had been killed.

Standing out there in the misty air how I wished that I could fly~
The water is wide, I cannot cross o'er
And neither have I the wings to fly
Give me a boat that can carry two
And both shall row, my love and I
Quio looked around for the person performing it. But no matter which way he turned it was impossible. There were so many people, even for such a little town...

He felt almost panicked at having heard the song. It was too much of a coincidence and suddenly he felt he had no control over his own feelings or his own heart. Hearing it he was a child again, only this time lost in a crowd. His sister Yanaqi had come with him to Treth but she had gone off in her wild dog form through the streets, scenting for the man they were looking for. He was alone and he skittered on nervous feet towards a nearby building, leaning one hand against it and listening perhaps as hard as he had ever listened to something in his life.

He needed to figure out who was singing the song. If only so he could make them stop.
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[Treth] Performance or Lies

Tue May 23, 2017 3:41 am

Performance Trial was a trial that Tei'serin had very mixed feelings about. She had always been very shy, and she still was; very much so. Oh, it was easy for her to be herself around her students, but they were just kids. Kids could be trusted. It was adults that could cause you real pain if you weren't careful; men, especially. Feeling the way she did, Tei'serin hated to stand out. And what else was this holiday but an excuse for everyone in the village to try and out do each other in feats of song, dance, acting, juggling, and acrobatics?

If it were up to her, she would probably stay at home, and read a good book, or go out into the woods looking for more herbs. But it wasn't up to her. Not unless she was willing to disappoint her students, at least. Several of them had wanted to sing, and a number of others wanted to do skits, or tumbling acts. It was important to her students that she be there to watch them because she was their teacher. Her opinion mattered to them. So it was for them that she had come into the village for the festival.

One of the older girls was practicing singing a popular song, and Tei'serin was trying to coach her through a fit of nerves.

"Who's that, Ms. Nji'ryn?" one of her youngest students asked nervously.

Tei'serin looked over to where the young girl was pointing. A man she had never seen before was leaning up against a nearby building with a stricken expression on his face. Tei'serin frowned, pensively. She didn't want to intrude on whatever was clearly bothering the stranger. Nor did she wish to risk the man's anger if she disturbed him. But it was clear that her students expected her to do something to fix whatever was wrong. And really, it was her duty as a teacher to make sure that the stranger wasn't a threat to her students. So it was with considerable reluctance that she slowly made her way over to the stranger.

"Is something wrong?" she asked softly, in Common.

"You look troubled."

Several of her students gathered around her to look at the stranger curiously.
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[Treth] Performance or Lies

Wed May 24, 2017 3:13 am

He had stopped breathing as he listened, a technique he had learned to use to calm himself in the most dire of straits. Breathing was one of the most emotional body habits, besides perhaps the beating of one's heart, and that he couldn't stop.

It worked a little. Soon as the air wasn't rushing in and out he no longer felt, oppositely, like he couldn't breathe. But something of the panic was still there; the ring of light around his forearm, granted to him by the immortal Qylios, had flared up bright and thrummed in tune to his heartstone.

The song continued to filter in through the rest of the crowd, and he thought maybe a second voice had joined the first now, offering up the same words in a different round.

The water is wide / The water is wide~
I cannot cross o'er / I cannot cross o'er~


He was paying so much attention to the music that he hadn't noticed a young woman approach. When he glanced up she was there in front of him, and perhaps comically he backed up a step as if afraid before his mind reoriented.

Now that he looked at her again she was little more than a girl. Perhaps she was the ring-leader of a gang of children or perhaps their caretaker because a couple younger kids followed after her. They stared at him with bright, curious eyes.

Quio sucked in a deep breath and made himself stand up straighter. "N-Nothing," he lied when she asked if something was wrong. It was his instinct to lie, and the word wobbled as he switched his mind from Rakahi to Common.

"I was-- I wasn't-- do you mind if--" He wasn't making any sense. "N-No, no-mind," he stuttered. He wanted to tell them to stop looking at him.

But the eldest girl seemed like a kind person, and she'd asked if he was alright, which meant that she might be willing to help him. Though she was just a girl, if she was a native she would probably know the city and the people who lived and worked here. She might know of the man he was looking for.

And if she could take him to that man Quio would be able to leave this gods-forsaken 'celebration' sooner. He would be able to get that awful music out of his head.

And neither have I / And neither have I~
The wings to fly / The wings to fly~


"Will you help me find a person?" he asked. Putting one hand up to one of his ears as if to block out the sound. He had to breathe to speak and he was soon breathing too fast again. Damn this. Where was Yanaqi?

"There is a man I'm trying to find. I don't know his name. I met him long ago and I want to find him again. See if I, if I rememeber him right, if he is the same. He works for a shipping company." He said the last two words in Rakahi without realizing, automatically switching over when his mind couldn't come up with the words quick enough in Common. "And he takes wagons full of goods from here to Ne'haer. That is all I know, other than what he looks, sorry, what he looked like."

He described the man. It had been so long but especially now, with the inexplicable fear coursing through him, it was easy to remember. Quio had been afraid, very afraid the last time he had seen this person.

"He's tall but thick and it makes him look shorter than he is. Big belly from drinking." He had put a knife into that belly. "Bad voice, like smoke and anger, an angry man." He stopped. Looking at the children again and wishing they would disappear. His voice grew softer. "B-Brown hair, no beard. Small dark eyes. Bird eyes." Sharp and unforgiving like a raptor's. What else? "He was a hunter."

It was something to start with, at least.
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[Treth] Performance or Lies

Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:29 pm

When she asked the stranger what was wrong, he said "nothing." But his voice shook a little when he spoke, and Tei'serin was reminded of the way some of her older students acted when something was very much wrong, but they were trying...and failing...to deal with it themselves. Although she knew that she could be wrong, she was pretty sure that the man was lying. Even so, it was a clear dismissal of her help, especially when added to what he said next. Tei'serin was about to turn away when he stopped her with a question.

The man wanted help in finding someone. Someone. Tei'serin wasn't sure how ho respond to that. She was about to ask for more detail when the man continued. He didn't know the name of the person he was looking for, but he did have a fairly detailed description of what the man looked like. That, added to what the man told her of what the person he was looking for did was enough to send chills of dread running up and down her spine. Tei'serin knew the man this stranger was looking for. She knew him very well, much to her dismay.

Tei'serin took a step back, her posture stiffening. She needed a few trills to compose herself, and the space in order to do so. Sorin saw her distress, and quickly ushered the younger students away with the distraction of a juggler that he wanted to show them. Tei'serin gave him a grateful look as he called his friends over, and took charge of the class. When they were far enough away to be out of earshot, Tei'serin turned back to the stranger.

"I'm sorry. I haven't introduced myself. My name is Tei'serin Nji'ryn, and I'm the teacher here in Treth. Unfortunately, I know exactly who you are looking for."

She hesitated for a few trills before continuing.

"His name is Tedrik, and he works for someone I know."

Tei'serin had no intention of telling this stranger how she knew the man Tedrik worked for if she could possibly avoid it.

"I don't know for certain if he is still here, but I did see Tedrik here in Treth three trials ago, so he might still be here now. He's the type who would take any excuse to drink, and a festival would give him one; even a festival that is more about entertainment than drinking. If you'd like, I can help you search for him?" she offered.
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[Treth] Performance or Lies

Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:08 am

The change in her posture was immediate and Quio knew she knew the man. Tei'serin Nji'ryn, she said a moment later, introducing herself and Quio blinked at the same. He was somehow surprised by the Biqaj surname before he realized that this was Treth, near Ne'haer-- there were bound to be a lot of Biqaj names here.

Still, he couldn't help but murmur out, "Seeker of Stars." After a moment he pressed a hand to his chest and said, "Quio Qy'ihadi. Clan of Dreams." His name, taken from Hart, had always been somewhat ironic; he was not truly one of the clan of dreams, he was not a person, not in the same way as most, and he did not go to the dreaming world at night. He went to the hell world of the Yludih.

Still, the commonality between them made him feel slightly better. And suddenly he realized, with a start, that whoever had been singing before was singing no longer. He let out a breath.

Even as Quio eased into the interaction the girl seemed to tighten up, as if his emotions had been tranferred directly to her upon the mention of the man and her response of a name: Tedrik. Quio tasted the word, wanting it to mean something, but it was nothing to him. He had not known the man's name before.

"If you'd like, I can help you search for him?" The girl, Tei'serin, was frightened or upset by this man, Tedrik... and yet Quio was too weak of character to leave her in peace and go seek out the man alone. He did not know what he might do to the man should they meet. Or what the man might do to him, should he recognize who and what Quio truly was.

"Please," he said simply, then nodded for her to lead the way. "Thank you. I'm, I'm sorry." All the common words of etiquette, wrapped up in such a short delivery. Please help me. Thank you for staying with me. I'm sorry but I can't go alone.

"We look at the bar, then?" he asked as they began to walk. Making their way slowly through the crowds. For a moment it looked like the gaggle of children might follow, but the moment passed and reluctantly they let their teacher go. Looking worried that she was heading off with such a strange man, and maybe disappointed that she was leaving them behind. He thought he heard one of them protest, one of the younger ones, but soon enough the sound of small voices was lost in the din of the crowds.

If the man was a drunk like Tei'serin had said he would be at or somewhere near the bar, should the town have one; most towns did, even little ones like Treth. Honestly Quio should have thought of it sooner. It was a simple leap of logic, but he just wasn't feeling right today. As they walked he grew more and more full of nervous energy, and kept glancing around for Yanaqi but the dog was nowhere in sight.

He tried to persuade himself that it was better this way. Should they find this man, one of those responsible for Quio's mother's death and the Yludih's own ruination, well. Yanaqi would tear into him here, in the middle of the celebration, in front of everyone. She might literally eat him alive.
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[Treth] Performance or Lies

Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:45 pm

"Seeker of Stars," the man said when she introduced herself to him. Was he connected to them in some way, as she herself was? Or possibly a half human, half Biqaj who resembled his human parent more? She had no way of knowing either way. Perhaps he simply had a Biqaj friend, or an interest in learning languages. Tei'serin was more interested in the meaning of her name than in how this man knew what it was. She took careful note of what he had said, repeating it silently in her head until she was certain that she would remember it.

When the man...Quio Qy'ihadi told her his own name, and gave her its meaning, Tei'serin tried to memorize it as well. Clan of Dreams. Although she knew very little of her adopted father's native language, she found Rakahi to be both beautiful, and very descriptive. She hoped to master it one day. It would give her one final tie to the man she had called father.

"Clan of dreams...it's a pretty name." Tei'serin said with a shy smile.

"Do you know Rakahi well, then?" she asked curiously.

"My adopted father was Biqaj, but I was young when he died. I never really got the chance to learn much of the language from him. It's something I have always been interested in, though. I know that this is a strange request coming from a complete stranger, but...if you know Rakahi well, would you be willing to teach me a few words? It is very important to me that I learn Rakahi."

Normally, she would never even consider making a request of a strange man. After all, if he agreed, then she would owe him, and she might not like the price he chose to collect. Although, perhaps instead of her owing him should he agree to her request, Quio's teaching her could be seen as fair payment for the request he had made of her. If not, perhaps she could repay her debt by helping him find the man he was looking for, should he choose to take her up on her offer.

And he did accept her offer. To be honest, Tei'serin had been hoping that he would not. The less she had to do with Tedrick, the happier she would be. Still, she had offered, and she would hold herself to it. So she nodded in agreement.

"Yes, the tavern is a good place to start looking. I'll take you there." she said simply, as she began walking towards the tavern slowly.

Then she hesitated.

"May I ask why you are looking for Tedrik?" she asked softly.

Tei'serin was instantly horrified at having asked the man about his business involving Tedrik. If they were working together, then they were allies. Getting involved would only mean trouble for her. Especially if her guardian ever got word of it. And if they weren't working together, then it really wasn't any of her business.

"I'm sorry. You don't need to answer that. I shouldn't have asked you. It's just that...well...Tedrik isn't a very nice person. He has a violent temper, especially when he's drunk. Most people here try to avoid him."
Last edited by Tei'serin Nji'ryn on Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[Treth] Performance or Lies

Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:57 pm

Her words on Rakahi were a welcome distraction from the nervousness twisting in his stomach, and so Quio listened perhaps more intently than he usually would when she asked if he knew the language and if he might be willing to spare a few words.

"Yes," he responded in the Biqaj tongue, "I know Rakahi. Better than Common, better than anything." Then, translating, he repeated the words as best he could in Common.

"I don't know Common as well," he admitted a moment later. "I can speak most Common words if they're short and easy, but longer ones confuse me still. But I've always been able to understand Common better than I speak it."

"Words in Rakahi," he mused then, and pulled up short as the smell of alcohol and cooking meat washed over him. He looked around.

There, nearby, was a building that was most obviously a tavern. It had an interesting layout, perhaps laid out specially for the festival going on. Tables had been set up outside, ringed by chairs, and a half-dozen people, mostly men, were sitting and drinking and eating. Only a couple of the patrons appeared to be exceptionally drunk.

Quio recognized the man he was looking for immediately.

As soon as he saw him, big and fat and angry-looking even as he roared and choked with booze and laughter, something, some feeling that felt like lightning went through him, and unthinking Quio reached out and pulled himself and Tei'serin to the side, into the nearest alley and out of sight of the man. There he released her and pressed his back to the nearest wall, breathing hard once more. For a long moment he squeezed his eyes shut. Then he opened them and began talking again in a voice that was obviously trying to be steady.

"R-Rakahi," he breathed, and then in the language itself, "That is the man that killed my mother."

In Common he said, trying now more than ever to distract himself, "W-What words do you want to know? Yes and no, more than that? You tell me and I'll tell you. Yes," he said, and then in Rakahi, slowly so she could make sense of the word, "Yes." Then the same with no. "No. No."

"Help." That was more to himself.

"May I ask why you are looking for Tedrik?" she had asked before, immediately retreating on the question, and he had thought he would not answer. But that feeling of lightning inside when Quio had seen the man had just been so unpleasant. A feeling of total and utter shock.

"He--" Quio started, and swallowed, trying to gather himself and the words together. "He hurt me as a child. And hurt my mother. He and some other men."

"I came to find him but I don't know--" Another pause. "I don't know what I'm supposed to do. If I'm supposed to just let him go or--"

"Or do something else."
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[Treth] Performance or Lies

Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:45 am

Quio told her that he understood more of the Common language than he could speak. Tei'serin nodded in understanding. It had been that way for her with Xanthea before she had mastered the language. Xanthea was a beautiful language, but the pronunciation of some of its words was tricky until you got the hang of it.

When they reached the tavern, Tei'serin saw that Tedrik was indeed there, as she believed he would be. The man didn't seem to notice them, much to Tei'serin's relief. But Quio stopped, and stared at the man. It was obvious that he recognized him. He said something in Rakahi. Most of it was lost on Tei'serin, but she did pick out the words "mother," and "killed." From that, she guessed that Quio was telling her that Tedrik was the man who had murdered his mother. She didn't know how to respond to that, so she simply nodded in acknowledgement.

In what appeared to be an attempt to distract himself, Quio taught her the Rakihi words for yes, and no. Then he said what Tei'serin thought might be the word for help, but she wasn't entirely certain. That last was said more to himself than to her, so she didn't know if Quio was teaching her the word, asking for help, or something else entirely.

After a while, he told her that Tedrik had hurt him, and killed his mother, confirming what Tei'serin had guessed earlier. He seemed lost to her. Uncertain whether he should let Tedrik go, or try to seek some kind of revenge. Memories of what she had suffered at Tedrik's hands flashed through her mind. If Quio were to send the authorities after Tedrik, or even take matters into his own hands, then she would be free of one of her tormentors. Tedrik couldn't hurt her anymore if he were imprisoned, or dead. And yet...Tei'serin couldn't find it in her to suggest that Quio kill someone. No matter what Tedrik had done, murder was still wrong. Taking him to the authorities wasn't, but Tei'serin didn't know what they could do, if anything unless Quio had a lot more proof than his word on the matter. Especially if Thorin decided to get involved to protect his man.

"I don't know what to tell you, Quio. I wish I had some advice to offer...but I don't." she said softly, her tone apologetic.

"Tedrik has hurt me, too. If there was a way to make sure he was punished for his crimes..."

Tei'serin shook her head, indicating how unlikely she thought that was.

"Without an awful lot of proof...nothing can touch him. He's a powerful man, Quio. He is also very dangerous. And he works for a man that is far more dangerous than him. If you brought the authorities down on him, and they didn't have enough proof to act...Tedrik and his boss would likely make sure that you didn't survive for long after that. And they are not kind men. If they decided that you were their enemy, you would be in for a great deal of pain before they got bored, and allowed you to die." she warned softly.
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[Treth] Performance or Lies

Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:37 pm

Tedrik had hurt her too, and Quio looked at Tei'serin as she spoke of what the evil man could do. Pain before death, he told himself, something Tei'serin had offered as a warning and yet--

Was that what those men had done to his mother?

It is wrong to kill, Quio thought, something he had felt to be true the entirety of his life, but terror and uncertainty had finally given way to something like anger. It felt like going insane, how fast the anger had come.

He stood still like a statue, and hardly even breathed.

He's dangerous, Quio tried to tell himself, powerful. Tei'serin seemed to think it unwise for him to act and he knew she was right. He couldn't go to the authorities; what did he have except his word? There were only his memories and a burnt-down cottage out in the woods.

And how would he ever explain why the men had killed his mother without risking his own safety in the process?

He had nothing.

He was shaking his head now but the gesture was meaningless, perhaps a last-ditch attempt to convince himself to stop, now. But he had already peeled himself away from the wall. His face had gone flat.

"Tei'serin, thank you." For that moment his expression softened again, and he looked sad and frightened and uncertain as he had before, and then he looked away from the young girl, stepping around her. "Now please leave," he said, and was gone.

He didn't know what he was planning; there was no plan. If he was smart he would call for Yanaqi, or, better yet, he would wait and watch and follow the man home, but he did neither of those things. Instead he rounded the corner in long, even strides
--fast, faster so he couldn't stop-- and didn't take a breath until he was standing at Tedrik's side.

"Wha' you want?" the man asked, and Quio looked at his face, looked at him and said nothing, and that was when he noticed what was on Tedrik's hand.

For a moment it felt as if his very heart had stopped.

Then the anger became perfect madness and he heard his voice say, "Give me that ring,"

"Wha'?" the man asked, and later Quio couldn't remember what he'd said next or done.

He and Tedrik were on the ground. Tedrik's chair had been knocked over, his ale spilled over the both of them. The glass he'd been drinking from had smashed into a thousand pieces and scattered the ground; Quio could feel it under his knees.

Men were shouting but Quio couldn't make out what they said; there was only his hands around Tedrik's throat, the man's bloodied nose running like a faucet, his little eyes staring back up at him. Then Tedrik breathed out and said a single word, the only word he could manage to say while he choked, which sounded like, "Don't."

"Don't," Quio said, and throttled him.

A trill later and he was being hauled off the man and he bucked and threw himself against the restraining grip, fighting as he was pulled back. Two men had either of his arms, dragging him away, telling him, "Calm down, son, calm down," and Quio said, "Give me that ring-- give it to me! That's my mother's ring, that's my mother's, that's my--"

Mother, he thought, and the ring he had seen on Tedrik's finger was made only of crystal, like the crystal that made up Quio's body, his heart.

His mother.

Tedrik was being pulled to his feet by a pair of men as well, but these were there to help him, to hold him up, and though the man was dazed he was angry, and as soon as he was steady he moved forward, pushing blood from his face with one hand, and now they were trying to hold him back as well.

"Ted, no!" someone said, and Tedrik pulled back and gave the person a swift right hook to the jaw. The person went down, Tedrik was free, and Quio tried to rip his way out from the men's hands still holding him.

"No!" someone else said, and then Tedrik had punched Quio in the gut. Quio kicked out at the man, wheezing, but didn't land a hit.

"You fuck!" Tedrik said and punched him again, this time in the face. Then two other men had reclaimed him, and Tedrik let them hold him back though he snarled and spat like a cat.

"What's this all about?" someone was asking, and when Quio had his breath back he gritted his teeth and hissed out, "Give it to me."

"You want this fucking ring?" Tedrik asked, holding his middle finger up to show it off, his lip curled, blood in his teeth, and again he spat. "That's my mother's ring, that's my mother's," he mocked, and then abruptly went quiet as Quio twisted once more against the hands binding him, trying harder than ever to get free.

"Mother's--" Tedrik said, eyes narrowing on Quio's face.

"You," he said.
"Speaking in Rakahi"
"Speaking in Common"
"Speaking in Ulehi"
I D E N T I T I E S
Quio
Freeman
Ruq, Korim, Iaan
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