Topic [A]<Blood of Arathor>[RP] 'Till the Wind Dies
Edited by Llyrae on 10/17/12 2:31 PM (PDT)
He rides across the nation--the thoroughbred of sin. He got the application that you
It needs evaluation; so, let the games begin....
A heinous crime, a show of force,
(A murder would be nice of course.)
The Evil League of Evil is watching so beware. The grade that you receive'll be your last; we swear! So make the Bad Horse gleeful, or he'll make you his mare.
You're saddled up. There's no recourse.
It's HI-HO SILVER!
*laughs* Sorry...I couldn't resist. Your post made me think of this. <3 Also, we did get your app! :-)
In the Quiet Burns a Flame
Llyr had returned to the camp that day to look after the man they'd fished from the ocean several nights before. Fever had set in shortly after she'd done her best to heal his injuries, and it had only been today that she'd gotten the fever to break. Now, she was headed back through the camp toward the cave and the portal to Stormwind, but something she overheard stopped her--a conversation.
"Sounds like treason to me." This from a brown-haired soldier, barely more than a boy. He had brown eyes, too, and his tan named him for one who had done labor out in the fields or docks.
Gathered with him were three others, soldiers too.
"Think we should report him to the Marshal?" That was spoken by a blond-haired fellow sitting next to the first. He had that earnest expression that people wore when they wanted to be accepted by their peers, and his blue eyes were gazing toward the other two seated across from them who were obviously older and more experienced.
The first was a rather large man who bore the scars and marks of one who had seen more battles than most. He had a broken nose and a few broken teeth, and his eyes showed a simple nature--one that didn't contemplate much more than the moment before him. The last was a wolfish looking fellow, thin and unkempt with black, straggly hair that hung down about an unshaven face. He had dark, cold eyes and had been picking at his teeth with a well-worn dagger. And it was he who spoke up, then, alerting the others to Llyrae's presence.
"Seems we have a little minx here to spy on us, lads." His voice held a certain cold amusement to it.
But rather than back away as she might normally do, Llyrae instead stepped forward. Though she was unable to meet any of their gazes as they turned to look upon her, she had to know of whom they'd been speaking just a moment before. Her voice shook slightly as she spoke up. "Who were you talking about?"
It was the man with the broken nose and not a great deal of intelligence that spoke up to answer her, a simple bit of a smile on his lips as he said, "Meyer Highgard, that new fellow come to serve in the Blood. Seems he--"
Before any of his friends could tell him to shut up, however, and before the man could continue with whatever he had been about to say, Llyr had lifted her gaze and was looking up at them. "Meyer?" A disapproving frown came to her features then as she said simply, "No." There was a pause as she regarded them, anger beginning to rise up within her. "Meyer is no traitor. He has served Lord Talwind loyally since he arrived here."
Before they could interject, she once again spoke. "Do you even know him?" Her eyes raked across their faces, eyes narrowing as the anger began to show itself. "Well? Do you!?"
There was a brief span of silence before she simply continued, too angry now to let them speak. "Let me tell you something about Meyer Highgard, then."
She stood up a little straighter, hands clenching into fists, "-He- is an honorable man, unlike the lot of you who go about spreading rumors and slander about your fellow soldier."
By this point the anger had taken hold of her, and she found words spilling from her lips that she would later regret. "If I -ever- hear such things again, I will report the lot of you to the Grand Marshal and ensure that you are all placed on night watch for a month!"
And then she turned on her heel, too angry to care what they might have had to say in their defense, heading once more toward the cave and the portal, hands still clenched into fists as she made her way there.
The men who were left at the camp as she walked away looked, at first, shocked and then uncomfortable and annoyed.
"!@#$%," the brown-haired fellow spat.
"Yeah," agreed his blonde friend. "Who the hell does she think she is?"
"No one. That's who," added broken-nose, not wanting to be left out.
But it was the wolfish man who spoke up last who got their attention. "Yes," he said, his voice dark and gravelly from the light sticks he favored smoking. "Perhaps someone ought to teach her," and here he smiled a rather cold, leering smile, "to know her place."
There was silence for a moment, before broken-nose spoke up.
"Serve her right." He, too, had adopted a cruel grin to match the wolf's own.
The brown-haired boy shifted then, uncomfortably, rising to his feet. "Think I'll go check the duty roster. See when my next shift is."
The boy beside him stood, as well. "Yeah, ...think I'll go with you."
And as they headed off, they left the other two to plot the ruin of the young Miss Llyrae Whitecross the next time they caught her alone within the camp.
(Written while listening to: "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" -- The Offspring, and "12" from Ghosts II by Nine Inch Nails.)
Time and time again, the heart grows weary;
Eyes are full of tears; the world is dark--
But then there is your voice, so warmly speaking,
That rising upward calls the Light--a morning lark.
Lifting up of eyes, they see you standing,
A guardian of Sense as shadows mass;
And grey eyes watch the storm clouds slowly gath'ring,
As quietly, you through the sphinxes pass.
How bright your star that shines within this darkness;
How beautiful your calm and quiet eyes;
How far away you seem though never distant,
And yet, it's you that this one heart itself denies.
Why it had comes to this, Kazrador did not know. Returning from his spot on the Cove's shore, the old Dark Iron made his way over to the campfire where the North-Men sat and told tales of old Arathi. Kazrador listened interestedly for a time, drinking and starting a the fire as he did so, before taking his leave to go to his tent so he could draw up Plans for the defense of Thanol Span and the Port, something that would have to go on regardless of his exile from the Vanguard. Sitting down on his bedroll, he began to write out battle formations on the map he had gained from Dun Algaz, wondering idley what the Manling Lord Talwind would think of the situation when he returned...
The handwriting on the page is a little sloppier than the other pages, as though written in a less focused state.
You ruin me--
I would give you the world if I could,
A thousand men...
All the gold that I could find,...
But I have none of these.
You destroy me--
That moment when you chose to question my trust;
It wasn't what was best for me.
It was what was best for you.
But I'm still here.
You degrade me--
Those people gathered there with you,
They see more in me than you; how is that even possible?
How is it that they are more willing to have faith,
But you are not?
I showed you the part of myself--
That beautiful thing that is more of me than everything else--
And yet, you still doubt; you still turn away,
And I am left with pain
Becuase I believe in you.
(Because I love you.)
Edited by Alezander on 10/24/12 10:58 AM (PDT)
((The following story is pretty much entirely an RP from yesterday night, and as such I would like to give all the credit due to Saryhn for the awesome. I just had the easy job of turning it into story format after. Thanks Sary :) ))
Alezander barely remembered the gryphon-back ride, so engrossed was he with the beauty of the land for which they fought. The rolling hills, the grassy plains, the archaic ruins of ages long fallen; all these things still had as much wonder for him – as much as it had when he was a young boy riding his first horse across the plains with Father and Brother and the men of House Talwind.
It was too soon that talons touched down upon fields of yellow and green, the feathered creatures vocalising their happiness at a chance to rest their tired wings. So it was, only moments later, that the birds were unsaddled and left behind to graze in the relative freedom of the highlands. The path of Lord Alezander Talwind and his companion, Lady Saryhn Rockridge, led elsewhere.
It wasn't long until they were within the shadows of the same towering, ancient cairns before which Thaelan of Darrowshire took his oath only days earlier. Their feet were not the first to tread thos particular sacred ground of the Highlands. Truth be told, they weren't even the thousandth. Certainly, they would not be the last.
It was then that, in his almost innocent excitement, Alezander sped ahead of the sorceress. Just a few steps, really; the only noise heard being the clang of his cane upon the chaotically assorted stones lining the ground of the circle. Now leading her by naught more than several steps he turned and spread his arms – gesturing to the wonder which had them locked on all sides.
“These are known as the stones of binding...” He began to explain to the woman, his voice holding pride hidden somewhere in the depths of the serious, reserved tone the noble tended to adopt. “Few know of them, save for those native to Arathi, yet they've stood here for generations upon generations. In truth, no one really remembers. Though, like anything, they have spawned more stories and legends than....” He smiled lightly, even his proud form unable to hide the amusement at some of the childish stories he had heard. “Well, suffice to say that some highlanders will tell you that nightmares are imprisoned below. Another still will inform you that one cannot speak words untrue here. A third will happily prattle on that breaking an oath made within this place will lead to disaster...”
The noble paused, his gray-eyed gaze suddenly falling to one of the 'giants' rising out of the ground, as if out of nowhere expecting every rumour ever created of this place to come to life before his eyes. Yet, still, no stone stirred from its eternal rest and the Lord was forced to continue, “In truth, I don't know. It may do nothing at all or something different for each person.” He shrugged, “All I know is that this is where the most honoured vows to chiefs and lords were taken since times immemorial. It is where Thaelan took his own oath...”
He would have continued speaking, yet he just now noticed that the sorceress stood nearly spellbound in her spot, having barely breathed in the time that he spoke.
Saryhn's chest rose and fell slowly as she inhaled deeply through her nose, looking for all intents and purposes as if this place invigorated her. She sensed a magic here, though she couldn't identify it in any way she was used to. Certainly, it was nothing specific; feeling nothing like a spell or ward or anything so organised. It felt wild and ancient. Not necessarily strong or powerful, yet something that had persisted tirelessly through ages upon ages.
It was only as his piercing eyes continued to watch her that she turned back to him, the pale skin standing out clearly against the soft shadows all round. “And this is where I will take my oath.” She supplied; softly, calmly.
Alezander actually smiled at the clever assessment; his reply unusually light-hearted, at least in words. His tone rarely changed. “Or simply enjoy the sites. As I have said before, to kneel or not to kneel for the first time is your choice. It may or may not be the only choice you will ever get. But it is yours.”
“Right now?” She asked, not wishing to seem overeager; her brows arching inquisitively.
Alezander nearly broke his serious mask by laughing at that, only his nature keeping his face composed. “If you wish,” He replied, “Though I dare-say the damn rocks will be here tomorrow too.”
Saryhn lowered herself then, and for the second time in one night kneeled to him, but this time at his feet with her head bowed. “As much as I would love to enjoy the sights with you, this is far more important.” She proclaimed with soft cheekiness.
Alezander did not reply. Instead, he drew his sword slowly from its scabbard, the blade clanging loudly in the silence of the night; its sound reverberating with the echo of millenia off the stones by which the two were surrounded. Slowly he lowered the blade until its point was embedded firmly in the ground before him. He then leaned upon its hilt, the weight of his body tilting forward as both hands rested upon the handle of the weapon; the man's cane fallen by the wayside, forgotten.
Perhaps it was some symbolism, or more likely still he simply did not wish to see through such a moment with his back bowed and his side limping. There was a pride to be had here, after all. A seriousness of the oath. As much for him, as for her.
Lady Saryhn Rockridge looked up at him, momentarily, to find that he was looking back down at her with that weight of expectation on his face. This seemed to puzzle her for only a moment, and she tilted her head to the side as she regarded his proud stature before she seemed to realise – as though for the first time – what he was expecting from her.
Again her head bowed, and again her thoughts were serious. “You ask for my loyalty; for me to follow you, Lord Alezander Talwind, wherever you shall lead me. You ask that I obey whatever commands you bestow, whether you travel in light or in darkness, and that I see you through even if you should waver in your path, until you are once again on the right path. You ask me to bind myself to you by both honour and blood, until you see fit to release me from that service.” It was only then that she finally raised her eyes to his – gray meeting vibrant green.
“This, I understand. Esarus thar no'Darador.” She finished, solemnly.
And thus the pledge was made.
Gethy was all ready gone when she woke up--off to hunt and do what growing worg pup's did. After tending to her morning needs, Llyrae headed up to one of the rocky outcroppings, pulling her cloak about her to ward off the chill. The sun had all ready risen, and its light pooled down around the hills and waters of the cove. It was a rather peaceful scene, but she couldn't find a place for herself within that peace.
Last night she had seen what the world made of itself; in the absence of leadership, a thousand warlords sought to control that which had never really been tamed. The Arathi Highlands were not a place for the weak or the weak-willed, but it bred an aire of stubbornness in its people--a stubbornnes that was liable to break them.
Stromgarde--the fallen city. Once a bastion for the people of the Highlands, it had since fallen to ogres, the Syndicate, and more recently continued attacks by the Horde.
Once, it had also been her home.
A battle had been fought there recently with the Horde. It had also been the beginnings of something much darker. The Bishop had alluded to it at tea, though he seemed more interested in garnering the good-will of her Lord's people. Still, she had no idea whether it would be wise to trust the college or to hold on to her misgivings. They had seemed too entwined in the political machinations of the region to be solely interested in ministering to the souls of the Blood.
She supposed, at the very least, that was honest. And their true purpose would become clear in time. For now Father Carres' invitation would do no harm. And perhaps it might do more good--at least insofar as knowing what the Clergy were truly after.
A wind gusted in off the water. Winter storms would be starting soon. Supplies and ships would take longer to arrive at the coast from the ocean. That was always the way of things. She idly wondered if they'd been stockpiling anything in the eventuality that the portal ended up lost--yet another thing to talk with her Lord about.
She'd been trying very hard to avoid thinking about him--the way his hand felt against her skin, the taste of his lips; the way he looked at her, years of muting his emotions almost hiding the desire there....
She sighed, lowering her gaze. Her cheeks had reddened slightly, but everyone would just think it was from the wind, at least.
The trouble with thinking about him, however, was that inevitably, it led her to thoughts of Lord Rahl. The night of that dream still left her feeling uneasy, and not hearing from him left her wondering if she had in some way upset him--or if he even cared at all.
He confused her, and she didn't like leaving such confusion unresolved.
Another long sigh left her lips as she looked back out at the water once more. Abram would come to collect her soon--assuming he had made it back from the Cathedral, of course. And then they'd talk for a while of politics--about the conversation with the Bishop the night before, how she'd acted, how she could have acted better and more befitting her dual-station, the role of the Church in politics, and other such things.
She would remind him about needing to meet with each of the Nobles of the Blood, and that he would need to speak with Lord Alezander about last night's events--as if he would forget that.
And then she'd stand there and watch, and listen--and hate that for as close as she might be to her Lord, they would never be as close as they had been that night.
But she was learning.
That was one thing, at least.
Rising to her feet, she retraced her steps toward the camp to listen, and watch, and help where she could until it was time for her lessons once more.
Edited by Llyrae on 10/30/12 3:31 PM (PDT)
A Quill to Remember Me
You gave me a quill with that simple smile--
A gift unasked which could not be returned in kind;
Yet, looking to it now, I am reminded,
And I wonder where that simple smile has gone.
I watch you as you wander in the shadows,
And I wonder if you know the games you play;
And I worry for a friend who gave not flowers,
But a quill, as though he knew me and my secret love.
I will not forget a thoughtful gesture,
And I will be here should you fall;
For, I have looked into those shadows,
And in my heart, I know them all.
Edited by Llyrae on 10/31/12 2:51 AM (PDT)
The Tempest and the Shield
"How dark the night. How cold the moon."
Kyriel stood alone upon the hill, her eyes looking to the Mother Moon--the goddess they had abandoned in their dreaming infancy. The cloak upon her shoulders billowed away from her as the wind caught its edges and drew them out.
"We lost our way, and the world paid for our sins."
Clouds began to roll in the from the north, and a crash of lighting sillouhetted the water far below, the echoes of its waves crashing upon the rocks rising upward to bathe the hills and cliffs.
"Broken, we sought solace in the light of another, and the Sun washed away our impurities."
The clouds continued to advance toward her, the wind beginning to sing and drive her cloak before it with irreverent glee.
"And we found ...a home."
She turned her head, then, eyes taking in the shadows of a castle on the cliffs. Torchlight flickered across its battlements, and towers graced its corners like loyal sentinels guarding the approach.
"But the storms came, and our hearts grew weary of clouds that hid the sun's light. And so we sought ...company in our exile."
There was a profound sadness in her blue eyes as she turned them away, looking back to the storm once more. The moon was being swallowed by its darkness, and the stars disappeared from the sky.
"We taught them, and in time, we grew to love them--our Children. And in our ignorance, our curse spread."
She bwoed her head, tears in her eyes as the storm consumed the sky above her. Lightning thrashed against its clouded prison, and its thunderous desire for escape echoed overhead.
"I became the shield against the storms. I fought against the darkness we had created."
"But it was too late."
The wind plucked away the tears from her eyes before they could fall and replaced them with tears of its own.
"And now it waits for us--waits for the day when the shield falls."
And from beneath that billowing cloak came up a black shield, a white cross blazing white like the sun upon it. She held it upward toward the tempest, and the darkness seemed to recoil from its light, the lightning becoming enraged as it crashed to the ground all about her--never quite able to reach her.
Kyriel knelt, the shield drawn up before her, and the storm around her seemed to grow quiet--as if listening to her words.
"We shall not fall, my love."
The storm grew quieter still, though the waves below still crashed fervently against the cliffs.
"We shall not fall."
The sun spilled through an opening in her tent's flaps, well and truly risen, and Llyr groaned in protest.
The dream...it was fading all ready, and she didn't want to lose it. But like so many other things touched by the sun, it was all ready beginning to wither away.
Still, the feeling it had left her with--an inner well of strength--that she held on to--that and the image of the Lady Kyriel Silverthorne framed against the night sky, standing tall against the storm.
Rolling onto her back, Llyr found she was still clutching the necklace in her right hand, and a soft sigh and a faint smile caught at her lips.
We shall not fall, she thought as she gazed at the necklace, thinking of him and his cause.
Kyriel had quieted a tempest with her shield. And Llyrae would shield them all from the tempest that swirled around them--the politics and the in-fighting--the little dramas and the grand schemes. And even if she couldn't make the storm disappear, she could at least be strong for them--for all of them.
Even if she was only a mouse.
((Written while listening to Escape! -- by Phillip Glass))
A Little Excursion
The trip to Refuge Point was strange, and beautiful, and wonderful--a ride through rolling hills and steep valleys as day found its way over the mountains. Llyr's talk with Lord Kingsmith had been enlightening in some ways, and just as confusing in others.
He seemed a simple man of simple pleasures, and yet his dress and manner belied that. His demeanor was one of youthful optimism, and yet his appearance was that of an old man. And he spoke of his home with a warmth that any person who had ever loved a place deeply would understand, and yet didn't seem touched with worry or sorrow by its seeming loss--or at least the loss of the towns and farms that surrounded it.
She'd forgotten the name he'd given the place by the time they arrived at the Refuge, but the excitement of getting a chance to shop and talk with other people was far too much to resist, and she soon forgot about those things which confused her in the joy of chatting with merchants and looking through their wares.
Refuge Point wasn't really a trading hub, though, and the selection was limited; even so, ...to her,... this place was a little reminder of what home had once been.
There were soldiers that went on patrols, a large bonfire, traders and merchants that could live off the work a camp like this could provide, but very little else.
Llyr was surprised and delighted, however, when one of the merchants called out to her, "Little Lady Whitecross! By the misted mountains, is that you, girl?"
She had turned then from a conversation she was having with the camp quartermaster to find herself face to face with a memory from her past--old Mister Tompkins (who hadn't really been old, but to a girl, everyone seemed so back then.)
Excusing herself for a moment from the quartermaster, she headed over to greet him properly, but the man just pulled her into a hug.
"Never thought we'd be seein' you out here again after yer mother..."
He smelled of sweat and ale and a few weeks without a bath, though she didn't mind that so much. Still, it brought a pain to her heart--the good sort--where memories of better days jostled with the present realities which seemed worse by comparison.
As he let her go, she pulled back and smiled up at him bashfully. "I didn't think I'd be back either. But...home is home, after all."
He nodded, still wearing that same warm smile that somehow marked a good tradesman from the rest. Back when they'd lived in Argent Place, Old Man Tompkins and his wife, Hildegarde, would drop by from time to time with news and spices, tea and cloth--all the little things that seemed to make a house run just so.
"Aye. So it is," he replied, waving for her to come back with him to the little shop he'd set up by his wagon. "How is she, yer ma?"
"Well enough," she replied as she followed him, "though I...haven't spoken to her much of late."
"Oh?" he turned a concerned gaze back to her as he moved back behind the table which fronted his canvased "store".
"She's staying in Stormwind." She would let him draw his own conclusions to that.
"Aye...safer there, I suppose," he agreed, ducking his head in something akin to a nod.
She considered mentioning the cultists and the plague, the strange night of dreams, Deathwing's torching of the Park District, and all the other little troubles of being in the city, but decided it was better to simply let the matter be. People always liked to believe there was somewhere safe in the world--even if it was just a conceit.
The head of a little girl peered around a barrel of something behind the counter just then--all brown curls, blue eyes, and flushed, highland tan. The sight of her made Llyr smile, the pain of past memories fading. The merchant followed her gaze, his features spreading into a soft, tender smile--touched with a bit of pride and full of happiness.
"Ah, Em...don't be shy now. Come and say hello to the Lady Whitecross."
Llyr found herself laughing a little as the girl darted half shyly toward her father's side. "Hello, there! Emily, is it?"
"Hello," she replied, ducking behind her father's leg a little as he lay his hand gently to her head. She couldn't have been more than three or four, though Llyr couldn't remember ever seeing Ms. Hildie pregnant. Still, they'd seen little of anyone that year before her mother decided to move to Stormwind.
"Aye, Emily," her father replied proudly. "Smartest little dragonfly in aaaaall the highlands."
Llyr couldn't help but feel her heart lighten a little as she watched the two, the little girl glancing up at her father and then laughing a little at his words. But the sight of the two of them also brought to mind his wife, and although she didn't want to ask, she found the question posed just the same.
"Where is Ms. Hildie?"
Tompkins ruffled his daughter's hair as a sadness stole over his eyes. "Ah...she died, m'lady, shortly after this little one was born. It were all the chills and storms, I think. Just couldn't recover, a'guess."
And even though Llyr had known the truth of it before he'd even said it, she still felt a sadness well up within her, as well. Hildegarde, or Ms. Hildie as she used to call her always had something sweet in her pockets for good little girls and boys, and like her husband, she had a simple warmth and honesty about her that could charm even the darkest of rooms to life. "I'm so sorry..."
"Aye...don't be," he said looking to her, pulling his daughter to his side in a gentle hug. "There's nothin' in the world that will make me forget her, but Em here brightens things up a lot, and I know she's watchin' over us when we travel--my Hildie. She was always lookin' after folks."
Llyr found herself smiling a little as she brushed a hand to her left eye to wipe away a tear there as she looked to little Emily. The girl was lovely and ran off as soon as her father let her go, heading back to the wagon to do whatever it was that children did while their parents were busy.
Likely imagining herself a princess, Llyr thought as her smile deepend. She then looked back to Tompkins. "So you're still traveling, then?"
"Aye," he nodded as he looked away and straightened up a few things, a hand brushing to his own eyes, which Llyr discetely "didn't see". "Always someone needin' somethin' around here, and you know we could never stay in one place too long."
Llyr nodded as she looked down at the few wares the man did have--salted fish, barrels of oil, a few trinkets--jewelry and pins, ink, wax. There were bolts of cloth, too--some of the patterns of which were more fanciful than could possibly be of use to anyone here.
She moved over to examine one of them. "I've never seen this before," she commented, her fingers lightly pressing against the softest pink and blue silk she had ever seen. It had patterns on it of flowering trees, and strange, long-legged birds--dragons that seemed to stretch forever through the air in shades of green.
"Ah...now that, my Lady...that's from Pandaria. Can't really believe I managed to get some of it, but I did. Softest silk you will ever find in all of Azeroth."
He had come over to join her while she was looking at the patterns, and had a touch of reverence in his voice when he spoke of the cloth.
Llyr looked up at him. "How much do you want for it?"
"All of it?" the merchant asked with a bit of surprise in his tone that made Llyr grin and then laugh bashfully.
"No...just enough to make a few dresses, perhaps? I know Mom would love it." And even though Llyr knew her mother could probably get it cheaper and in more variety in Stormwind, she knew that the news of Old Man Tompkins and Ms. Hildie and little Emily might help remind her of home--and help pull her from her pain, if only for a little while.
Tompkins touched a finger to the side of his nose with a bit of a grin. "Ah well..now fer yer mom, I am thinkin' I could sell you a little more than that. And maybe I could send along a little letter, too, ya think?"
Llyr nodded. "I'm sure she'd love that."
Tompkins nodded his head and smiled at her, placing a hand to her shoulder fondly. "Right then...you get back to your other business (I saw you hagglin' with that quartermaster over there)..." He winked, "...and I'll get that cloth and letter all bundled up for ya."