Descent into Chaos Part 1: Reminders of Youth

Warren teaches Alex a lesson

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Vluharqih
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Descent into Chaos Part 1: Reminders of Youth

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21st of Zi’da, Arc 716
Alex sat down at the table, clasping her hands in front of her. The chair creaked alarmingly, but somehow held her weight.

“What do you mean?”

Her father stood, rubbing his hands back and forth. “I-I need you to understand. Since that night...when your mother died, I felt the need to make it right,” he said, swallowing past a lump in his throat as memories came crashing back.

“That night I didn’t sleep till 4th break. When I did, I found myself in a white expanse, as far as the eye could see. I was naked, in my true form, not this flesh-bag, two Immortals in front of me. They wore the form of young women and I didn’t know them, but their presence was so...” he trailed off, unable to find words.

“They passed judgment on me and found me wanting. I- I begged them to reconsider, pleading for what felt like my very life. They looked from one to the other, and a brief flash of images burst into my mind. It’s hard to explain,” Warren said, stopping his pacing. “Do you believe me?”

Alex had followed so far, but hadn’t seen the ‘so what’ of his story yet. She had never heard of Yludih dreaming before. Usually they either went to Uleuda or slept dreamlessly, though she didn’t know why one would waste their time doing so. At least in Uleuda you could research, gain some knowledge, do something with your time.

“Good enough for me,” he said after Alex didn’t respond. “Not running away screaming is a good starting point. I can work with that.”

“They were arguing. One wanted me dead, but the other won out. They told me I was instructed with a task. Judgement.”

The word fell from his lips with a gravity that told Alex he truly believed in his role. The silence hung heavily, thickly between them as Warren weighed his next words.

“I was given a job. As long as I continue to do it well, they let me live out my trials in peace. Should I fail in my duties, they promised me they would return, and I had no doubt which of the two would win the argument in that case. My job is to cull the herd.”

He struggled with the words again, starting several sentences before cutting them all off. “Those who use the law as a shield, slinking around in the darkness to commit terrible deeds, or those who fumble at the teat of society, always greedy to leech off the work of others. Those are my targets. That is my job.”

Alex raised a single eyebrow and studied her father’s face. He had come to a stop in front of her, sitting and leaning forward earnestly. She wasn’t much for detecting signs of lying, but she saw none of the typical tells she was expecting. No twitching corner of his lip, and his open, almost pleading attitude hinted that this was something real.

“Assuming I do believe you, what does it have to do with me?”

A relieved smile broke across his face, the tension in his shoulders bleeding out as his whole body relaxed. “You do, don’t you. I can see it in your face, your eyes. No matter how good you get at disguising yourself, Vlu, I can always tell.” He lay a hand atop her clasped ones, squeezing gently.

He stood again, and resumed his pacing. The story part was mostly done, but this was the harder of the two things he had tried to sell that night.

“I did research after that dream. I had dismissed it at first, but it was so vivid. I talked to, Immortals, must have been hundreds of Yludih in Uleuda asking if any had ever experienced dreams. No one had. Not one of hundreds. That meant I was special, for better or worse. More research in the real world and countless temple visits, I learned the names of my task givers. Pier and Pre, a pair of sisters dedicated to judgment and justice, among other things.”

Alex’s eyes widened imperceptibly at this. This wasn’t simply an odd occurrence? Sure, she had never had a dream personally, but what were the odds he was the only one? She leaned forward, her interest growing.

“Over the arcs since, I have seen the effects of it. I have seen, first hand, what this task does. This is a good task. I... I want you to take it up. Not under duress, as I have, but of your own free will. Use the freedom you have earned, and chose this.”

His voice dropped in volume as he spoke, nearly whispering at the end and unable to look at her face.

“I- I don’t know if I can agree just like that. How do you know who to kill? How do you kill them?”

A part of her hated the idea. It wasn’t free will- it was serving someone other than yourself, and Alex had never liked that. Even as she thought that, she rebelled against it. Her father wasn’t forced to kill any specific person, and who is to say he wouldn’t do that anyway? But did that make it right?

She snorted at the thought; she was hardly one to be questioning the morality of killing someone. To protect herself, Alex had slaughtered many, usually in cold blood. Aelig’s Balls, she was here to murder an unsuspecting woman by poison!

Her father took the snort the wrong way, however, and his expression grew stormy. Thick brows furrowed over his eyes, and hard lines appeared across his skin. He stood quickly, knocking over the chair.

“There’s no need to be rude, girl. I-”

Alex cut him off with a wave of her hand. “No, it’s not that. I was...never mind. I’m trying to think this through.”

He slowly returned to his seat, cautiously as if afraid he was being tricked. It was so unlike her father, that Alex’s train of thought was hijacked. He was so incredibly...vulnerable at that moment.

“I still don’t know if I agree with all of that, but I think with time I might come around. I’m sure I’ll have questions, and-”

“Come with me. Let me prove it to you,” her father said imploringly, reaching out a hand. His voice had gone soft again, asking Alex to trust him and take the leap.

Her heart in her throat as Alex took his hand and he pulled her to her feet.

In a blur, he shifted into a pudgy, balding redhead, looking like a merchant to her eyes.

“Do you have another form?”

Alex looked down, and shrugged. “I don’t really need one, but yes.” She quickly shifted too, and Valyeria shook out her feathers.

“Nice,” her father snorted facetiously, his vulnerability gone suddenly. “That won’t attract any attention here.”

She folded her wings up tightly, and threw her mirror cloak over her shoulders. Together they left their small shack, bundled up enough to be hidden, as Warren quickly led Alex through Mid-town to the market. He pushed his way through, and led to a small alleyway where he stopped.

“Wait here, and watch. Tell me if you see what I am waiting for.”

Dutifully, Alex cast her eyes on the crowd and watched. For breaks they sat there, waiting, before Warren stirred.

“There. That guard.”

Alex followed the subtle thrust of his chin to see a regular looking knight glancing around furtively.

“Wait for it....wait for it... there!”

Alex caught the barest glimpse of brown cloth being passed from someone in the crowd and it was quickly tucked away. The guard looked around casually, but there was too much tension in his actions for it to be natural.

“See. It’s a bribe. Everyone is out for themselves, and this one is using the weight of the law to threaten people. I don’t like guards to begin with, but ones like this turn my stomach. He’s blackmailing half the houses on our street with some secret or another. A knight, one who is supposed to be out for the good of the so called government is taking it from those same people. His greed and self-indulgence have become too much, and he is the next one. Watch- I’ll be right back.”

Before Alex could react, Warren had slipped out from beside her and vanished in the crowd. Knowing where he was going, Alex kept an eye on the guard. There was no way she could stop Warren, and truth be told, she wasn’t sure she wanted to.

Alex looked down for a moment, scratching her leg against the rough stone wall, and screams broke out in the market. The guard had collapsed and knocked down a stall, a hand pushed tight up in his armpit. Alex saw a trickle of blood make a line down the man’s armor as the market suddenly became empty. Everyone knew of Rynmere’s laws, and no one wanted to stick around to prove their innocence. With a snort, Alex realized that all of those who scattered were possible targets. They were all weak, their terror overpowering common sense and justice. According to Warren, they all deserved judgement, and Alex searched inside of herself for that same idea. Hidden down somewhere deep inside, Alex thought she felt it, and her hands began to tremble.

“This way,” he muttered as he appeared at her side again, and tugged her arm. They carefully made their way down the alley, the stomps of boots and shouts of the knights blocking off the small market following them.

Warren moved fast, Alex half-jogging to keep up with him. They made it home without issue and after they had barred the door, Alex turned to Warren.

“What did you do with the knife?”

He snorted, a wicked smile stealing onto his face. “Left it on one of those who decided to run. I left a scrap of his cloak in the guards fist too. No chance they’re going to be coming after me, and one more immoral off the streets. The law should be able to handle this one, and if not, I can find him again.” His face bared into something resembling a smile, but it was far too feral.

It was cruel, to be sure, but there was a certain justice to it. He ran, scared for his life, disregarding the rules he had agreed to. By disregarding the laws, he had taken his protection into his own hands. The idea dawned on Alex like the sun breaking over the horizon, casting light on her thoughts.

Of course. That was how it worked. The truly innocent had nothing to fear. The government protected them, and they provided for it. But those who thought themselves better would soon find a bitter truth.

Justice and Judgement. It was an enticing call.
OOC
So some clarification for the reviewer. Yludih cannot enter Emea unless brought there by a Nightmare, and this was not one of those.

What happened was Aelig’s influence, creating an illusion that made Warren believe Pier and Pre had visited him.
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Descent into Chaos Part 1: Reminders of Youth

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Vluharqih


Peer Review

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 0/5
Structure: 5/5
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Awarded Knowledge

Humans: Everyone Out for Themselves
Immortals: Pier & Pre
Innocents: Nothing to Fear
Mortality: How Father Dealt with Mother’s Passing
Pier & Pre: Judgement and Justice
Pier & Pre: Sisters
Power: Corruption

Extras
Loot & Losses [/color]xxxxxx Injuries
None [/color]xxxxxx None
Fame [/color]xxxxxx Devotion
None [/color]xxxxxx None



Comments


I gotta say, I struggled to understand this thread a little bit. If, for that reason, you feel like there is anything I have missed that you want Knowledge for, please let me know!


As you can see, I have provided feedback and reasoning behind my review. If you have any questions, comments or criticism about your review, feel free to send me a PM and we can discuss it.
Thank ye.
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