People Like Us

Once the epitome of advancement and wonderment, this ancient city has suffered an apocalyptic catastrophe and now drowns deeper into destruction as schemes and further disasters threaten to tear it asunder. Hope has long since left the land... but some have refused to surrender their place in the sun
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Alistair
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People Like Us

Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:41 pm

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9th of Zi'da, Arc 718

Secluded to the very corner of the tavern floor -- outfitted with a simple white button-up shirt, some beige linen slacks and a pair of wide-framed reading glasses -- was a man. He appeared particularly consumed by his thoughts, delving into the pages of an exceptionally grandiose book, pressed onto the surface of the faux-marble table. The book had an impressive leather-bound black backing, and a symbol equating to that of an archaic conception of time, with words written in the Ancient Tongue. Though unknown to others, it was the Compendium of Immortal Wisdom, given to him by Ralaith . . . and he was, through it, exploring memories. Words became images, selectively to his mind. Even animated ones, with fully lucid colors that bled into his thoughts. It was like he was there, again, in the past.

Each page turned was filled with volumes of memories and information. He could remember things so much more clearly since he'd acquired this thing -- trivial facts offered to him by friends an arc ago had become inherent pieces of knowledge, things he could recite off to others with such tremendous ease. Flipping through the pages brought a smile to the corners of his lips, as he delved further and further through. By the time he'd arrived at the forty sixth page, however, he noted that the Compendium was empty and much of the less meaningful things had been discarded. The man therefore began to log interest things about Quacia; about the Creep, its weaknesses, its nature. He wrote of King Arkenstone and his demeanor, and whether or not he believed he was personally fit to rule.

He wrote of magic and its contributions to society, and even its faults, despite his ideological presuppositions. And all of this was with his mind, and a tracing over the text of the book with his finger, allowing pictures and memories to flood in through his own door to time. Alistair looked delighted as the pages filled, the remaining establishment-goers refraining even to look at him, as some delusional madman pressed to the corner of the room. But the information really was there, flowing in from his thoughts. Ink bled onto the pages, and the pictures he painted were so vivid that they almost felt real.

One of the Chapters, or so he called it, was introduced in the Compendium with a large real image of King Arkenstone, surrounded by an embroidered gold border like much of the most noble inscriptions weaved into a book. Looking into the image, he could almost view memories directly, conversations held and anecdotes shared. He was reminded of his time as an adviser - a position that would last for however long, until the wind carried him elsewhere.

It was nice to be able to log his memories. To be a Chronologer for Ralaith had given him an immediately more fulfilling life, and for that... he was grateful.

With a sigh, his mind remarked on the purpose for coming here. He'd been looking for connections - taverns like this in the Gleam were for networking, and to be the odd man with the burly tome in the corner of the room was not appealing to potential business partners. Alistair quickly slipped it away into its own sliver of time to a vanishing effect, as if nothing had ever occurred, as he waved down one of the tavern barmaids to his particular seat.

"Venora Rose," he demanded. The woman nodded at once, inquiring about his fancies for a meal. The mage shrugged his shoulders, pressing the core of his palm into his chin. "Steak. With vegetables. Also -- twenty nel to you if you find me a drinking partner. It appears I've scared away all the other guests as a result of my big, magical book," Alistair nodded, with an almost discomforting grin. His mood now was rather melancholic, diving into memories of old. Many of the pages recorded tragic things, the brunt of his life of late. And Quacia was all business, and everyone was eminently a critic.

Still yet, he was here to make friends. And learn something new - perhaps to record that, as well, into his tome. As the woman took his offer in stride, he observed her movements, quite pleased to witness her approaching a tall man with his request. Alistair immediately began to snicker, wondering how she'd word it; it imparted a cringe onto the edges of his lips as he stared, and she sputtered her words awkwardly. Twenty gold nel was a hefty sum for a barmaid, so . . . it was worth the embarrassment.

"T-that man requested to be seated with you," she stated - not an entire truth, but not a lie either. "I believe he'd like to pay for your meal," she said, looking back to the mage with a vindicated smile. Alistair's brows rose in unison, shocked at her temerity. He quickly afterwards nodded in response, validating her offer. It was obvious that she'd chosen the only other foreigner to be seated with him, and that was fine. He didn't much like Quacians in general, and the underbelly of their society - migrants - had been much the source of his fulfillment of late.
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Kyryk
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Re: People Like Us

Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:18 pm

Dirt under his fingernails, it was always there. No matter the amount of cleaning he did, there was always dirt. It was as if he were always clawing his way out of some dung heap or another, though that was seldom the case now. Since his arrival in Quacia, he'd found little to interest him. The people were foreign, or perhaps he was, as they always stared at him. Of course they would, as Thetros' chosen were not often seen in the city. In fact, he found more stared at him here than any city he'd previously visited, and he was accustomed to their stares by now. Perhaps they were intimidated by his size; or the stare he gave them. It made no difference to him.

The knife, which was supplied by the tavern, dug deep under the nail, filing out a clump of dirt onto the fading wood of the bar. The tavern wenches looked at him in disgust as they passed, but he paid them no mind. Nothing sat in front of him, no food or drink, but just a gathering pile of grime. The next clump was red-flecked. Brown now, but it was red at one point. He brushed it off onto the floor, prompting another disapproving glare from one of the tavern wenches. He just snarled in her direction.

Finally, one of them had the courage to shuffle up to him. A withering glare caused her to falter, but she finally stammered through what she had to say. Though his grasp of the Common language was limited mostly to 'yes' and 'no', he understood when she turned to look at the man who'd made the offer. Primal eyes followed her gaze to him, and Kyryk was surprised by what he found.

He wasn't the typical sort in this area of Quacia. He was clean, for one, well groomed. Rich, most likely, which would attract many of the denizens of the Heaps but did nothing to sway Kyryk. Instead, the Lotharro just looked at the man for a brief moment, then turned back to the wood in front of him, not even looking at the tavern wench.

"No," he said. It was deep and guttural, but it was understandable. When his eyes moved up to meet her face, he saw her shocked, but she said no more. Instead, she scurried way, her task completed. Presumably, she was off to collect whatever reward he'd offered her to make the gesture. Kyryk wondered if it were a trap, a trick to pull him to the table for ridicule or even an attack. Lotharro were not always welcome in the city, as he'd found out the hard way a few times. After a brief moment though, his large frame twisted to look back at the man, who was still looking at him. He contemplated for another minute or two, then stood from his spot.

The path to the man's table was clear, though he advanced slowly. Standing in front of the well-groomed man, Kyryk towered over him, though he got the impression that his size did not matter. Without a word, he pulled out the chair offered to him and sat, the wood creaking beneath his weight. Both hands were on the table, the right pinky slightly shorter than the left, and he made eye contact with the man. They were... different.

"What, little man?" He asked in Haltunga, a harsh language made even more harsh by his upbringing with Clan Valendale. He stared into the man's eyes, and even if he did not understand, he would understand the intent. Of course, Kyryk did not expect him to understand, and would be surprised if he did. So few spoke the language of the clans in this area, it was likely the man would ask him to repeat it in Common. Which he doubted he could do.
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Alistair
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Re: People Like Us

Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:40 am

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His first and only word was a considerable surprise. 'No,' he said - to which Alistair's lips parted as a surprised, almost satisfied gasp escaped his lips. The mage begun to contain a laugh, strongly, as the barmaid nearly bounced back from the man's intimidating, low voice and the callousness with which he regarded her. The mage continued merely to sip at the chai flavored tea he'd been initially given, as the waitress returned to him to whisper of the man's reluctance. Passing her twenty gold nels regardless, Alistair returned to his thoughts, somehow gratified by the rudeness of the Lotharro. It reminded him a little of his home.

Of course, he fully expected that the other would eventually respond to his offer. Few could resist the temptation even to ask, and so when 'no' quickly transformed into 'yes' and the burly man shuffled over to the dining table, Alistair's eyes met his, a grin transforming the corner of his lips. "A man of his word, I see," he quipped. Kyryk shortly after questioned him in Haltunga, an abrasive tone to his voice. He sounded Western... like a Valendale, or one of the western Jarldoms. Tantervale, and the like. The mage couldn't precisely put his finger on it for certain, but he wagered he was correct.

The words he spoke to him, though, were of interest. What, little man?

"Little man?" he responded in Haltunga. "I'm nearly as tall as you, and I'm certainly larger. You forget that not all humans are Heaps, and some of us raise even heavier fists than you." Another sip of tea came straight after - an irony to be drunk so casually by a warrior, and one so willing to rebut and demean the ego of a Valendale. For the remainder of the conversation, the mage would speak in Haltunga, uninterested in the surrounding gossip of the locals and their crude imitations of the guttural tongue. It was within the Gauthrien tongue that he felt most at ease - a harsh, quick natured language filled with emotional volumes and passionately strung together sentences. And every ounce of slang.

"Alistair var Radomir. Or Venora. I'm of Clan Nordhoff - was married to one from it, some time ago. Are you a Valendale?" he asked. "I was a part of an expedition there, once. Harrowing land, with hardy people. I was most impressed by your anarchist cults and nomadic blood tribes. Entirely sensual practices, to a mage like me," the mage laughed, faintly. By his old standards, the Valendale would've been considered a whole broad civilization of savages - barbarian headhunters with strange and uncanny sensibilities. Ones that could never function in the civilized world.

But he stopped minding a while ago. Society grew to be a bore on his shoulders, and within it he was dissatisfied. It seemed that Kyryk felt much the same, with the grim, sulking way in which he aggressively drug his body from one step to the next. The mage only wondered if the man could be any more miserable, in this stone city... without the liberty of a forest creek, or the rolling of the plains.

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Kyryk
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Re: People Like Us

Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:02 am

There was certainly a flicker of surprise when the man responded in Haltunga, though it was masked almost immediately by a brooding stare. The man's grasp was strong, and even before he announced himself, Kyryk was sure he'd spent time in the Fields. Heavy eyebrows raised, though, and Kyryk's mouth set a hard line against his face.

"A heavier fist doesn't make a tougher foe," he said, watching Alistair for any reaction. Still, though, the Lotharro seemed slightly more at ease, if he ever could seem that way, and when Alistair introduced himself, Kyryk didn't scoff as he did at the humans around him when they tried to approach him. The Lotharro got the sense that Alistair had seen more than these fools, and that he knew more than what he let on.

"Kyryk mac Domnhaill of Clan Valendale. Sharp ears, Alistair var Radomir. Though I'm not surprised a Nordhoff, through marriage or no, was in Valendale land. Long have our clans been allies," Kyryk confirmed, as if Alistair's admission had somehow garnered him some good faith. It was obvious the man knew what he was talking about, and the mention of magic caught Kyryk's attention, though he let it rest for the time being.

"Any warrior would seem hale compared to the weaklings found in this city, though I suppose it does have its merits. The danger here is different, but you can smell it in the air when the streets are clear. It seems monsters don't need the Fields to stalk their prey, though I doubt many here are truly aware of what danger is." His words were hard, jaded, and Kyryk waved the same serving wench over to order a mug of beer. She was quiet, mousy, and the two men watched her as she scurried off to carry out her task.

"I would have been surprised to be invited over, if the other patrons weren't so... unimpressive," he said, looking around at the few who stared pointedly away from the men. One, a younger man with a reddish beard, was staring at the two but averted his gaze when the cold stare of the Lotharro met his. "It must be a comfort to be around someone more similar."

He saw the mage's nebulous eyes then. They were interesting, but the Lotharro wasn't one for staring in awe, and the serving maid returned with his drink. He took a large swig, wiping his beard and pulling his lip to reveal slightly sharpened teeth. Surely, Alistair had seen the bestial traits of the Lotharro and it wouldn't unseat him as it did the humans of the city.

"To Gauthrel," Kyryk suggested and raised the mug again, draining it this time. The smell of sweat and stale ale wafted off him, but it was the fresh beer that was the most poignant.

"What brings you to the city, Alistair var Radomir of Clan Nordhoff? Surely there are closer places to raid," Kyryk joked, knowing full well that the man wasn't here for sport. Turning his head, the red-headed man was looking again, and Kyryk chose not to stare.

"And is he following you or me?" The Haltunga was quick, heated, as if Kyryk's anger were rising. The man seemed to understand them, at least somewhat, and was paying far too close attention for the Lotharro's comfort. "Perhaps you should finish your milk so we can see if he really is following us," Kyryk suggested, knowing full well that whatever was in Alistair's cup was not alcoholic.
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Alistair
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Re: People Like Us

Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:40 am

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The man laughed lightly in response to the Lothar's... proverb. "Indeed, you're correct," he said. "Even when I was much leaner than I am now, I was more than capable of throwing Valendale hunters to the ground in a spar. A heavier fist certainly did not equal toughness, for them." Alistair teased, though a sort of teasing that was familiar and - he hoped - comfortable to the both of them. It was replenishing, to speak again in such a way. To meet someone who'd shared in the same eccentric world that he once had, epically far from the stoic heart of this place. To do so almost felt like meeting an equal, an uncommon experience in Quacia. The Heaps were wildly ignorant and buffoonish, and those within the Gleam tended towards all the drab excess of aristocracy, only sprinkled with zealotry over a vile religion.

The two of them were evidently lone men in a place like this. A fact Alistair's mind clung to; it would be better to keep friends where he could.

"Tally for me, guessing your Clan," the mage stated, grinning. "To be truthful, Kyryk, I believe Quacia to be in a position far more precarious than that of Uthaldria, or any of the localities of Gauthrel. The land itself has turned vicious, a waking thing that drains the vitality of the trees and the soil. The plant-life itself - they call it the Creep - is violent. Can you imagine such a thing back home? It would be the death of the Horde. Of any nation. Quacia's only survived by scrounging from the mud." And that statement was, truthfully, almost quite literal. They'd taken to farming underground, and half-starving their citizens. The Heaps were gaunt chattle-slaves, and the actual slaves... well.

"It's a comfort to meet someone who understands. The people here are so content in their misery - but men like us will never be. I can already see your passion from the few words we've shared, and I respect that. To Gauthrel indeed," the mage raised his cup, meeting the man's mug of beer with the brittle china of a ritzy tea. Still, their glasses clunked, and the mage drunk deep of it - almost to the bottom. It was then he noted Kyryk's quick aggravation at being stared at so intensely, by a man Alistair had noted earlier to be passing them occasional glances.

At first, he decided not to acknowledge it. The mage really didn't care for stares; he'd gotten them a lot since he came here, largely as his arrival was much the commotion: a foreign noble now advising the King, and advising him often. A man who'd bought out a small estate of the Nobility in the Gleam, belonging to the Ashvanes. And a doctor who'd converted the East End of the Ashvane property into a hospice, one cornered into submission by the Guild. There was much to whisper of, and many exasperated locals who frowned at the thought of a foreigner acquiring more power and influence than they ever would.

Which led, imminently, into his answer - spoken in Haltunga, the only language with which he could safely speak it.

"I'm here to acquire power, Kyryk." His words were as blunt as they could ever be - and he felt, for a trill, that only a Valendale could understand. It wasn't about the ideology, or the good deeds, or the image. It all came down to that one quantity: strength. And the mage wished for more of it. "We stand in the ashes of two dying Kingdoms. The Kingdom of Quacia, and the mantle of the Seekers, the supposed ruling authority on magic for the last five hundred arcs, headquartered in this place of all things. Quacia and the Seekers are both on the verge of collapse - and I am here to relieve them of their demise. I've sought for a long time to unify mages under my banner, and craft a rigid institutional structure of my own. Quacia allows me the opportunity to become a hero, and a Mage-King. I am endeared by the title of both."

Whether that made him sound like a maniac, or a pragmatist, or simply one driven by their ambitions and confident in their ability to perform... it didn't, so much, bother him. Those were his intentions. They would become more clear as the cycles continued - even to the King. And he would not present his desires in enmity, but as an opportunity for all he'd aligned himself to. Alistair had lost his ambitions at conquest.

"I don't know," he stated. With a final sip of tea, he was - regardless - officially done with the 'milk'. "I'm fine confronting him, but . . . I don't particularly care for his motives. Why don't you figure out what he wants? I'll watch your back."
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Re: People Like Us

Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:03 pm


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Alistair

Alistair Venora
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Kyryk

Kyryk
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Notes: If you return to Kyryk, PM me or post a request for up to 6 skill knowledges for this thread.
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Little man, not a lot of people can say that to Alistair... but if anyone can, it's a rough-and-tumble Lotharro! Nice to see a Valendale around in Quacia too, shame the thread got abandoned.

Enjoy your rewards!

PM me if you have any questions, issues or concerns.

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Review Request Link: viewtopic.php?f=242&t=16103&p=115215#p115216
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“A piece of writing is like a piece of magic. You create something out of nothing.”

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