• Closed • Tall Tales & Truth

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

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Tall Tales & Truth

Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:37 pm

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10th Saun, 718
The day after this
"Have we got enough, d'ya reckon?" Vega asked, as they finished packing up the last of their things. They'd camped here the night before, though he'd hardly slept but that was the nature of Arlo anyhow. Her own sleep had been broken and she'd found it hard to settle, but she didn't say anything; he knew, he was awake and could see that she didn't get much rest, but there was no point worrying about it. The night before he'd teased her , kissed her and then got on with what they were doing. She'd been stewing since and it wasn't getting less.

Vega was coming to the conclusion that she was possibly just the most unreasonable person in the world or, more precisely, she simply did relationships different. Or wrong.. She was difficult, she knew that, demanding and obnoxious too, but was her version of the world so very different from other peoples, from his? Sometimes, most of the time, she thought that she and Arlo saw the world the same way, but right at this moment she really wasn't sure. Surely, by now, things shouldn't be like this with her feeling this way and him knowing but not saying, not asking, just ignoring it and letting it go away? Yet, there was one thing that she was sure of, and that was that there was no point talking about it. She'd say how she felt, he'd tell her she was wrong and, furthermore, putting words in his mouth and it would end with her being wrong for feeling what she felt. There was no point to that and she was tired of it, so she said nothing. She wished, sometimes, that her eyes didn't give her away so much, that their colour didn't tell him what she felt, but they did and that was that. There was nothing she could do about it so she just kept her focus on what she was doing and maintained her turquoise gaze on the packing. It boiled down to the simple fact that she loved him, so if this was how it was going to be when she felt like this, well then that was how it was.

"So, let me get it straight, then," she said, looking at him briefly. "We're gonna tell 'em that Cassion saved them, put them here in unity an' there's no call for them to be fightin' each other?" There was more to the story than that, of course, but he was going to be the one to tell most of it, so she just needed to know the basics. "An' Cassion did this. Alright." Pursing her lips slightly, she turned her gaze back to him; worry about the shade of her eyes over ridden for a moment. "I don't like lyin' Arlo. I'm not good at it. You're gonna have to lead this one, an' I'm jus' goin' to keep as quite as I can. Hard to believe though that is." She smiled a brief smile, which faded as quickly. "That a'right, qau'ma?" She didn't want to not support him, she said, it was just she knew that she'd mess it up, somehow.

Once they'd got that sorted, it was back out into the dawnslight of the new trial and back towards the small village-like settlement. When they were outside, she slipped her hand into his and walked with him. "So, is there anythin' you wanna tell them specific about Cassion?" Vega wondered, "I mean, like, all of it, I guess. Travel, adventure, crazy risk takin' guy an' food?" Telling them all of it might take some time, she said with a teasing expression. "But we've got all the time in the world, nowhere to be, so we can tell them what you want." With a grimace, though, she added. "So long as I don't have to go back into that hut, that is. I'm tryin' real hard to be a better person, you know. Shout less, be difficult less. Argue with everyone" him, that was. She didn't care about anyone else, "less an' just... I dunno, be a better person. But one more comment about my wide hips an' I'm gonna start thumpin'." It was a fleeting smile and her eyes didn't shift colour but she was genuinely teasing him when she added. "I mean, I'm doin' my best, but lets not expect miracles, you know?"
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Re: Tall Tales & Truth

Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:28 pm

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10th Saun, 718
"I s'pose so, yeah," Arlo said when Vega asked if they'd gotten enough. If they hadn' managed to get enough of a good story out of the drawings on the walls down in the temple, imagination would surely fill in the rest. If he couldn't manage that, then he was a poor follower of Cassion indeed. His response when she asked however had been short and sweet, absent much of anything at all in the way of elaborating. She'd been moody the trial before, for mysterious reasons Arlo couldn't begin to fathom, on through the night and into the morning. And in spite of his resolve to give her the space that he thought she wanted, it was contagious.

Maybe it was this island, he'd thought. Maybe there was something about it and if there was, he'd be happy when they were finally sailing away from it. Something was bothering her. But just the trial before she'd told him that when she got quiet, to just give her the room to brew in it...or something to that effect, till she was ready not to any more. Arlo was fairly sure that was a terrible, terrible idea. It left him with no idea when the silence would end, and unsure if she'd ever tell him what it was that had gotten under her hide. And without him knowing what the pitfall was, sooner or later he'd be tumbling into it all over again.

"Right," he said when she asked about the story that they'd be telling the natives. So far as he was concerned, it was the most reasonable approach to a problem that had developed because of others being prideful and unreasonable. Cassion would be pleased, he figured. But more than that, well worth it if the fabrication ended a feud that had been going on for so long, that two tribes comprised of several generations each, were in danger of dying out. All their things were finally packed up, and they were ready to head back the way they'd come. "It would help maybe," he suggested as they picked up the path they'd followed the trial before, "if maybe you could stop calling it lying."

Neither of them really knew, Arlo pointed out, what story was told on those walls. They were guessing, at best. "And besides, there's always a little bit of truth woven into a good story, but the larger part of it by far is imagination." As a follower of the Storyteller himself, it would be like saying that all of storytelling was a farce, the stories lies and the tellers of stories, charlatans and sellers of snake oil. "If you'd rather I tell the tale, yeah, it's alright," he said, adjusting his bag across his back, and he smiled a little when she did.

He'd tell them about Cassion for sure. The adventurer, the storyteller, the lover of food and all the rest of it, Arlo told her. After all, if the tribe's ancestors had ended up shipwrecked here, they might have been adventurers themselves, and explorers. Chances were, it was probably the case. They might have even worshiped Cassion openly. Maybe they even prayed to him for deliverance when the storm hit...The one that had wrecked them on the island's deserted beaches.

Of course, it was a ways back to the village, and it was awfully quiet along the way. And even though he'd spent a great deal of time alone in the wilderness before they'd met, that same level of silence wasn't his preference. At least not right at that bit. But hadn't she told him not to push or press when she was bothered about something? He'd agreed, except that it was theory then and this was practice. He was finding it to be a dubious one and didn't care too much for it. Eventually it became too much, and when she slipped her hand into his, he had to ask. "So, I know I'm not s'posed to ask. But are you going to tell me what's bothering you before we get there, or after we leave?" he said.

Then Arlo paused on the path, turning towards Vega with a frown but taking her hands in his. "I mean you say you want to shout and be difficult less...But I'm not sure it's the better way," he said, and couldn't help smiling. 'I'm not used to the silent treatment and I don't think I like it much. How am I supposed to know what the problem is, or if I've done something to upset you, if you won't tell me what it is?" he asked.
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Re: Tall Tales & Truth

Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:14 pm

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He'd been quiet all morning, and Vega knew he was irritated at her. More and more, she was annoying him but she also just didn't understand what he wanted from her. She was doing her best to be who he wanted her to be. What more could she do? Apparently, she could stop calling it lying, even though it was just that. Vega looked at him and listened to his explanation, what he meant and she nodded. She wasn't going to call it lying in front of them, she was just trying to explain to him why she was concerned she might end up saying the wrong thing. Which, apparently, was saying the wrong thing and accusing him of being a charlatan. What an ironic experience life was. So, she nodded her head, "A'right. I won't call it that again." But yes, he was right, they had no idea what those people had believed so long ago. No idea at all and maybe their prayers were to Cassion.

Good for them, she thought with an internal huff.

They walked in silence together, whereas usually they'd chat, but that was fine and she slipped her hand into his. At which point he asked her a question and then stopped and spoke. Was she going to tell him what was bothering her? Vega considered asking him how long he had but she kept quiet. Then, though, he told her he didn't like the 'silent treatment' and why it wasn't good for him, and that was it. That was the straw.

Standing there on the dirt path which was barely a path at all, she stopped and she looked at him. And for the first time since Scalvoris docks, Vega looked truly and completely angry at him. "Yer an ass, Creede. An unmitigated, absolute and complete ass. Let me tell you why," Her gaze was furious and she glared at him and then opened her mouth to speak before closing it again. Without pause, she stepped forward and grabbed him by the shirt, pulling him to her and kissing him - all fire and passion and not the more controlled and careful gestures she'd been tending towards in all moments except their most intimate. "Cos of this," she said, breathlessly pulling back from him with eyes a deep indigo. Then, she thumped him. Hard "An' this. An' this too." Each one, a thump and, if he blocked it, she'd kick him and do her damnedest to just land a blow on him.
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Re: Tall Tales & Truth

Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:34 pm

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Vega said she'd stop calling it lying, the story they'd tell to the natives when they returned to the village. But judging by her tone, clearly her opinion hadn't changed any. It felt a little like a personal affront, considering so much of who and what he was, was storytelling. As a result he itched to wonder aloud, would she rather just go back and tell them all the blunt and unedited truth...that their holy place was nothing more than a wall where their ancestors had passed the arcs drawing pictures for their own amusement, and then watch them all continue to feud until after a handful of decades, they finally died out?

Arlo kept it to himself however. It would probably blow over and when she reached out and took his hand, he figured that maybe it had. Which was all the more reason he'd probably come to regret asking what was bothering her. She blew like a kettle left on the fire too long, one with a faulty whistle stop. And then she called him an ass, but not before she grabbed hold of his shirt and kissed him. Caught by surprise, Arlo was left wide eyed but not exactly protesting as he held her tight to him and returned the gesture and passionate sentiment in kind. Very much in kind.

So much that when Vega pulled back in order to strike at him with fists and feet, instead of trying to duck out of her way, Arlo reached out and grabbed hold of her to pull her flush against him again. Close as they were, his arm snug around her waist, she wouldn't have the room she needed to strike at him again.

"Stop it, Vega," he said calmly, so close that his breath moved the stray strands of hair across her forehead. "You want to rail at me, suit yourself but do it from close quarters," he added. "Or we could try something novel for a change. You could tell me why it feels like you're mad at me more of the time than used to be, and we talk it out, without all the shouting and kicking and throwing things. Something different...Might be fun?" Arlo suggested.
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Re: Tall Tales & Truth

Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:36 pm

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It wasn't what she expected, in all truth and as he grabbed her and pulled her to him she gasped in surprise even as she struggled, briefly. He was so much stronger than her, and she knew that she was uncommonly strong for a woman. A deep frown creased her forehead as she looked at him and her eyes swirled in just about every colour there was, all moving at speed; so many colours all at once gave a strange effect, kaleidoscope-like and a little jagged. He sounded so calm and she knew he wasn't. Ceasing her struggling Vega looked at him with tears suddenly in her eyes.

"Mad at you? I'm not mad at you. Well, I am right now, but mostly I'm mad at me, Arlo," She didn't want to cry, she wasn't going to cry she determined, even as she felt tears start to fall. "I'm mad at you right now cos you're an ass. I told you that." Something of a circular argument, she figured, but there it was. "I'm jus' tryin to keep up an' be who you want an' need, Arlo. I'm not mad at you, I jus' .. I dunno," which was, of course, a lie. She did know, but she didn't say it. Looking at him with eyes which were turning black, she pulled her arm free and wiped angrily at her tears.

And then she said what she knew, but didn't want to be the case. "Things 'aven't been right since Scalvoris, have they?"
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Re: Tall Tales & Truth

Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:41 pm

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To be honest it wasn't what Arlo had expected either. He surprised himself a little when he grabbed Vega up in his arms. Ordinarily he'd have given as good as he was getting. Not the hitting and kicking, but the shouting...there'd have been plenty of that. It had just occurred to him though, out of the blue, that maybe this time was different, and was more important than one getting to believe they were right, and that the other was wrong. But no. He might be presenting the very picture of serenity in contrast to his usual. Except that Arlo wasn't feeling serene, and it was requiring a monumental effort to go the reasonable route. It was that sense again, however, that this was important.

She said he was an ass, and it was why she was mad at him. Then she was mad at herself, and Arlo frowned deeply, clearly confounded by it. Except this time he didn't question her. He sensed that if he waited, she'd supply the answer anyway. She did, though it left him as confused as before. "What do you mean keep up? And why do you have to try and be what I need, as if you weren't who and what I want already? What have I said or done that's made you think I want anything else?" And Scalvoris? Well if he was honest, she was right about that, and he nodded. "Since we left there, since you got hurt, sometimes it feels like like I'm saying or doing things to upset you more than I'm not. Or not saying or doing them. But I don't know why, and I need you to tell me what it is, Vega. I can't make it right if I don't know what it is."
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Re: Tall Tales & Truth

Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:43 pm

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Looking at him, feeling his arms around her and his breath tickling her skin, Vega cursed her tears and her weakness. This wouldn't help, there was no point to it, it would go to the same place and yet she pulled herself close to him. When he asked what she meant, she shook her head, stubbornly and looked at him with swirling eyes. "It's me, not you" Wiping her hand across her face she glared at him, trying to be angry, trying to be defiant and stubborn, but not managing it in this moment.

When he nodded his head, acknowledging that she was right, things hadn't been right since Scalvoris, Vega swallowed, her mouth suddenly dry. Was this where he told her it was enough, no more, they were done? Her hands tightened on his shirt. "You can't put me right, Arlo, I'm not sure either of us can an' sayin' 'it'll be fine and fixed' isn't workin' this time, so we're lookin' down the shaft of 'an' this is how things fall to bits if it's not,." The last thing she wanted was him taking any responsibility for what she saw as her problem. "I was angry at you, because we found the risk you won't take." She motioned back to the direction they'd come and tried to just.. stop crying. Shaking her head, she tried to explain. "I know how I am, an' I know it's frustratin'. It's why I'm tryin' to be calmer, not yell an' stuff. It's not workin' great so far." Lifting her hand to his cheek, she gently moved his hair to behind his ear and she smiled sadly. "I love you more'n I have words for, but I'm jus' makin' you unhappy."
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Re: Tall Tales & Truth

Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:45 pm

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It's me, not you? Arlo frowned suddenly and while he didn't let go of her completely, he put his hands on her shoulders and stepped back so he could look her in the eye. "You, not me. That's what people say Vega when they're trying to let someone down easy. It's right up there with let's still be friends. Is that what this is?" he asked. "Is this a letting me down easy thing?" Is that what this was? And him still with no idea what he'd done or hadn't done? Had her experiences just before they'd left Scalvoris changed her to the extent, or at least how she felt about him, that he wasn't what she wanted any longer? All the questions shone in his eyes, but he didn't ask them. He worried he wouldn't like the answer.

"What's broken that needs to be fixed?" he asked. "What is it you think I want or need that I don't already have. I fell in love with the one that shouts and throws things...and I love that one just as much as I ever did, and more, and all the other parts of you too. The only difference is that lately, I'm never sure what I've done that's making you unhappy, or has made you think that I'm not. Or that somehow I want you to change."

The risk he wouldn't take, however, took him a trill or two to grasp, and frowning, he looked back in the direction they'd come. "What are you talking abou....You mean children?" Arlo asked incredulously as it finally dawned on him. "Risk? What do you think we've been doing every trial since we got together? Twice a trial?" Three times even, now and again. "If I was thinking that a baby with you was the worst thing that could happen, well it wouldn't have been every trial, that's for sure." So in one instance, he said to her, he'd told her about what the natives had told him, that even twins were a very big possibility, and that maybe they ought not to tempt fate...."And I'd been mostly teasing you besides...and now it's a risk I won't take for you?"

"Vega, how am I supposed to know how much agreeing with you is too much," he asked. "You spent half the trial, yester-trial, after we left the village, talking about how much you didn't like or want any children. Grubby. Parasites that leech on like incontinent limpets. Remember that?" Arlo reminded her. "Squeaking, sticky termites. And me? Bondmate...Stupidest bloody name you've ever heard. What am I supposed to think? You're always quick to knock down your family's references to children or us marrying, and anyone else's that mentions it too, right with me seated beside you." He'd walk into a firestorm for her, he'd give up his own life in a heartbeat, and yes, if they were to conceive a child or even a dozen of the sticky, termite like things without meaning to he told her, they'd name them alphabetically, he'd love them all and do the same for them, and love her all the more. "It's hard to imagine you think very much of me Vega, if that's what you thought."
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Re: Tall Tales & Truth

Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:46 pm

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She shook her head, immediately, as he put his hands on her shoulders and looked at her. "No! No, Immortals, it's never that for me, Arlo." Fresh tears sprang to her eyes as he thought that, that wasn't what she was saying but damn he was quick getting there. "I'm sayin' the fault's mine cos it is," she said and she sounded utterly miserable. "That's all. That's the only reason. Why do you always do that, think I'm pushin' you away when I'm jus' tryin' to hold on to you?" She sighed and looked away, over the landscape and to the distant sea and for a moment she just looked, not speaking but simply trying to sort out her emotions.

But there was that question and she didn't know how to answer it, she truly didn't so she was still trying to work out when he asked her if she meant children and she nodded her head - she would have answered if he hadn't blown at her. She listened to everything he said, wide multi-hued eyes regarding him as he talked about things that she had no idea had even entered his head. She felt the energy of anger leave her and she stood and looked back at him, his hands on her shoulders. She'd been crying since this had started and she felt defeated.

"You told me not to get ideas, that the little one I carried out wasn't a puppy. They're there, tellin' me I'll be a proper woman if I give you what you don't want, an' you're tellin' me you don't want it. So I supported you." But that was fine, because they were united. "Until we're not doin' that no more, it's risky. An' I went along, cos it's what you want. But I guess I got that wrong." No, she said, she hadn't thought he was teasing. Why would she think he was joking when he followed through on them remaining separate all night? How long had it been since they'd done that? "An' as for with my family, I'm jus' tryin' to show that we're together, make them focus on me, not put pressure on you to go gnawin' off your foot an' do somethin' you don't wanna do. But I got that wrong, too." It had become a habit, she said, getting it wrong. "I adore you. But I'm not enough. Cos you jus' keep changin' for the better, an' I just get kidnapped an' burned an' beaten up. an' slowin' you down." Shaking her head she looked back at him and spoke, finally, the truth of the matter "An' I'm terrified that I'm jus' not good enough for you. That you'll meet the woman who doesn't shout an' can read an' who you want to marry an' have children with one trial. Who you can dream with an' study with an' doesn't mess it up all the time. Maybe you'd even set Cassion straight for her if he told you to not tell her somethin'." She shrugged herself out of his grip, hating how vulnerable she felt. "An' I'm jus' tryin' to be her. But I keep gettin' it wrong." There was a sudden flash of defiance in her eyes, though, when she looked at him. "But I'll fight her, an' I'll fight dirty, an' she won't love you like I do, so I hope she's prepared for a scrap cos no one will ever love you like I do. Please stop tellin' me that you think I don't, Arlo, it breaks my heart."
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Re: Tall Tales & Truth

Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:50 pm

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"It's sort of felt that way lately. A little...Sometimes," Arlo admitted when Vega asked why he was thinking she'd pushed him away. But that wasn't the thing that had brought him up short. "Why?" Why the feeling that she needed to hold onto him, he meant. "There's never been a chance of it being any other way for me. Have I done something to make you think that way?"

But then she reminded him about what he'd said, back at the village and Arlo's brow lifted with genuine surprise. "Vega, the thing about the puppy was a joke. Before you'd gone in the hut, you'd joked about it too, that I shouldn't get any ideas. I wasn't telling you I didn't want it...It was a joke." Clearly one that hadn't been very well told, he guessed, since she'd taken him seriously. But now? Now he was confused. "What do you mean going along with what I want, but now I don't want it?" His head was spinning now, as the topic went round in circles that he couldn't quite keep track of.

And no, she hadn't gotten the thing with her family wrong. They were in agreement, the two of them, about how they felt about marriage and that sort of thing. It was just, well, sometimes she was so quick to put them straight, it makes it sound like being married to me would be about as appealing as a plate of cabbage boiled in dishwater. There was his pride to consider, after all. But then of course they got to the root of the matter, and he was more surprised by that, than anything else. "What do you mean that you're not enough or not good enough. What sort of foolishness ever gave you idea? Have I done something to make you feel that way?" It wasn't an accusation, not even remotely. It was a genuine worry that he'd somehow caused Vega to feel that way when nothing could be farther from the truth.

"How am I better? Cause Cassion's done me a favor or two?" he asked her. "Vega, those are all external changes. Those things that have happened to you, they haven't made you weaker or slower or anything less in any way. They've shaped and reshaped you, they've made you stronger. They've forged you into who and what you are and I love you even more for it. The changes that Cassion caused with me...sure I'm hungrier and physically stronger and all those things. But he hasn't changed the part of me that loves you and needs you. How can you slow me down? You don't. You life me up and keep me going."

He didn't want her to be anyone but who she already was. Because she was the one that he'd fallen in love with. There wasn't and couldn't be anyone else. Not ever. "There's no one to fight," he said, and leaned in to kiss her before letting go of her shoulders. "Never will be. It's just you for me and that's all I've ever wanted." Not even Cassion himself could change that.
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