Post by Rosen Stele on Sept 1, 2015 11:24:54 GMT -7
The Sun was high in the sky, it's light cutting through the trees in jagged patches. There was a serenity in these woods that Cadence had missed since her last near-death experience. She saw a fox scamper by and into a fox hole. A pair of birds chirped and flitted about in a nearby oak. She hummed lightly to herself as she walked at a steady, but slow pace. Just enjoying the nice weather of Eno in the late spring. A smooth wind like a tide rolled through the woods, swaying branch and bough, and bringing a yawn to Cadence's lips. She covered her mouth as she did so, and took in a deep breath. As she reached the top of a tangle of roots that carved out a make-shift stair in the dirt, she found herself standing on a bluff overlooking the shallow Seirei Basin. The city's spires and rooftops were visible over the trees, perhaps a league or two yet before her. The craggy bluff would be an easy decent into the basin, but instead Cadence sat on its edge overlooking the scene and pulled off her pack, withdrawing her meager lunch of Halfling trackloaf, her own smoked jerky, and a pair of apples she had picked from a ripe tree a few miles back. What a grand setting for lunch, she thought.
Post by The Confidant on Sept 1, 2015 14:18:46 GMT -7
Cadence wasn't the only figure currently residing at the bluff, though perhaps her not noticing the other figure was only a matter of the nature of the thing that was nearby. The Sunwraith, Virces, remained still as a statue on the bluff, which may well have been an apt way to consider it, consider the stonelike nature of his carved body, his eyes glowed like small torchlights as he stared across the Serei basin himself, unmoving, his body in a meditative position, legs crossed, fingers crossed by his thumbs, though his ring fingers and pinkies remained outstretch. He didnt move, he didnt even utter a word, perhaps owing tot he fact that he wasn't even aware that some-one had approached, the sound of the passing winds had buffeted his ears, but his mind lay elsewhere.
A small bird had fluttered down to his shoulder, scarcely aware that it stood upon a living thing. it hopped down to the arm, pecking at the stone curiously, hopped further along and fount itself sitting on the ring made from his thumb and fingers, tail flitting up and down as it found balance. Another wind brushed by, making the cloths he wore on his lower body flutter and ripple, but he remained motionless, gaze still drawn to the distance, down towards Serei. He'd been wandering again, something his people were never too fond of, it certainly annoyed them that one of their named Archfiends would just travel into Human[i/] territory like this. It was always a risk, but strangely fun for him, or so he would always say, that never went over well..
Post by Rosen Stele on Sept 1, 2015 16:10:14 GMT -7
How could she not have noticed? She had wandered this path before, but perhaps it was a new addition? The stone statue that drew her attention was a little further down the bluff than she was. She sat with her hands in her lap, a bit of jerky sticking out of her mouth. She had completely lost her train of thought, even to the point of forgetting she was eating. What an interesting landmark. As an explorer, she couldn't help but get a closer look. So, leaving her equipment where it lay (with the exception of the bow and quiver attached loosely to her hip), she stood and approached the figure. It was very lifelike, yet it didn't make the slightest movement even as a small bird alighted on it.
That same bird took aloft at first sight of the pale-haired girl. The Hair and clothes of the figure rustled in the wind that rose over the vale, and Cadence drew in a quick breath, expecting the figure to move. But it did not. She knelt on her knees next to the statue, and examined it's intricacy, enthralled. . If it was a statue, it was a remarkable one. If it wasn't, then she was probably in grave danger. But in either case, the mystery astounded her. She reached out a tentative hand, too curious to contain it, and touched the figure's cheek lightly.
Post by The Confidant on Sept 1, 2015 16:22:02 GMT -7
The statue had remained unmoving as the woman approached, still enthralled by the vision before it, the fluttering of the bird hadn't bothered it, nor the movement to his side, he found it was actually quite easy to fool people like this, by simply being an unmoving statue. Which in and of itself was by far one of his greatest, most favored tricks and pranks. Now in the most typical situation, he would have exclaimed boo, or moved swiftly to scare the person, but not having been aware that they were there at all, he was only awakened form his meditative daze once her fingers had pressed against his cheek.
Not a moment afterwards the statue did indeed move, but barely even a little, as he spoke, "You know," He started, "Where I come from, we show statues a little more reverance and respect." He added, fingers uncurling, though he didnt turn suddenly or even try to get up, instead resting his hands on his knees as he stared down the valley still. He knew one thing would probably bother this person to his right, the fact that his face was in a perpetually angry position, so the grin he pulled after speaking probably looked a little crazed, "If you're a fellow Aeliavim I'd ask why you're also here, if you're a human then.. Greetings human..? Are you enjoying the view?"
Post by Rosen Stele on Sept 1, 2015 16:35:10 GMT -7
Cadence, who hadn't realized she was biting her lip slightly, winced in pain as her jaw set in surprise. She opened her mouth, feeling the tears well up in her eyes from the stinging sensation, but only for a moment. She quickly withdrew her hand, though she wasn't sure what to do with it once she had, so she just let it fall into her laps. "Oh! I'm sorry!" She exclaimed with surprise. "I was just--You're very interesting to look at, is all." That must have seemed extremely awkward.
His next comment caught her off guard however. The stern look on his face, and the strange grin that followed, made her wariness peak. She felt the hair prickle on the back of her neck, and her shoulders stiffen in apprehension. She thought back to the Gargoyles...the destruction...needless, all of it. Instinctively her hand reached for her bow, but before she could grasp it, she caught herself, slowly bringing her balled hand to rest on her knee. She said the only thing that she could think of to say. "Wait, you're...Aeliavim?" Did that sound too accusing? too meek? She felt at once as a mouse begging a cat not to eat it. But she couldn't help it. If he was Aeliavim, and he was in a mood to end her life, then she was sure it was over. That fear, thought she fought to conceal it, whitened her face and her knuckles.
Post by The Confidant on Sept 1, 2015 18:14:47 GMT -7
The statue-like Aeliavim in question remained where he was, however the words of the female caught him slightly by surprise at first, especially how she considered him interesting to look at. That was certainly.. A different reaction to what he was used to, though her quesiton of him being an Aeliavim made him stare at her. The smile was gone, simply leaving the frown on his face, at this point it just looked like sheer disappointment before he replied, "What was the charming expression that one human used..? Oh yes; You look like a possessed statue with fire in place of eyes!. It's kind of obvious, would you not think?" He questioned her, though the expression had been spoken in a slight accent, in mock mimickry of the man he was copying.. Though he then chuckled, "The reactions of you humans are always interesting. Though often similar. Do not worry young human, I'm not interested in killing you, eating you, or.. Other things.." He looked towards the basin again, seeming to muse over something as he rubbed at his chin.
"Let me guess. You're probably looking at my face and thinking; He looks angry, he says he's not angry but he definitely looks like he wants to kill me. Or something to that effect, right?" He pondered aloud, grinning again and chuckling once more, positively tickled almost as he dropped his hand, "Dont take it too seriously, human, I always look like this." He struck a closed fist into his other palm, coming upon a realization, "Ah! There's another charming human expression.. How does it go..? If you pull that face while the wind changes it will be stuck like that?" He half nodded to himself "Think of it like that, except instead imagine you're born with a constant expression that you can never change completely. That's what it's like for my clan."
Post by Rosen Stele on Sept 2, 2015 16:10:47 GMT -7
The Aeliavim's demeanor did assuage Cadence's mood a little. She sat listening to him, sure she should have known what he was when she saw him. "In honesty, I haven't seen much of the Aeliavim in my travels until a fortnight ago, when a horde of them attempted to destroy the Halfling city of Pinecrest," She replied honestly. She always tried to meet others without prejudice from former encounters, but in this case it was not easy at all. The things she had seen...
"So my reaction has nothing to do with your appearance. Actually, your face set in that perpetual frown reminds me a lot of my Twin brother, Jason. His face always looked like that too, although i think it is more a guise for others than the natural shape of his face." Her tone was somber as she spoke of her brother. That was one wound time had not healed. "Are others of your clan as...conversationally inclined as you are?" she asked, attempting to bring her quickening pulse to normal. He didn't seem evil. Perhaps the Aeliavim were just like Humans, holding within their scope both Good and Evil...Free to Choose?
Post by The Confidant on Sept 2, 2015 20:55:30 GMT -7
"Oh I wouldn't recommend trying to see too many Aeliavim at this point in time.." He replied briefly, grinning to himself, reassuming the medicative position he'd been in before, "The majority still follow the mindset of conquer or kill, or at least that's how it seems to me, I would say it troubles me but I'm not sure if I'm telling the truth or not." Virces was sure it didn't entirely make sense, if anything he never believed it to make much sense, he'd certainly never believed himself to be a paragon of sensibility. He stared over at her again, pondering a little about this supposed twin brother she had, to think some-one here had a perpetual face like himself, curious indeed, "Well, it's still not what I am."
He stared out towards the basin again, smiling to himself when she asked about how conversational he was, now that he thought about it, he'd never had a full conversation with a human before, at least not that he could recall, this one seemed fine though, "Well.. I'd say we are..? We discuss art.. We consider literature, sometimes we even sing." He paused briefly then smirked, "Though I suppose they aren't used to conversation with humans.." The statue-man shrugged to himself but then pushed himself to a stand, using his knees as leverage before he stood tall, resting his hands on his hips and still staring discernedly down at the valley.
"The last human I encountered was tough.. I enjoyed fighting him.. But I dont know his name or where he even is.." He wondered aloud, but then stared at Cadence, "Human girl!" He started, almost as if demanding something but his frown only deepened, "No wait.. That's not right.. Oh yes, a greeting, greetings are a human thing too. I am Vircesol. But most call me Virces. Some call me Vir. You have a name, yes? Yes, that's right, humans do use names too.." The latter part wa smuttered to himself in consideration as he animatedly pondered it, rubbing his chin whilst doing so with the arm that sported the melted-on metal.
Post by Rosen Stele on Sept 8, 2015 14:25:56 GMT -7
Cadence's heart sank a little as he reasserted her fears. Conquer and kill. For what reason? didn't everyone have enough land? enough death already? She sighed as he stood, deliberating on these things, almost missing his words, and letting him finish speaking. So the Aeliavim enjoyed such things as art, literature, songs, just like humanity? surely there were things that could be used to bring peace.
The Man's bold calling to her startled her to her feet. "Uh-um Nice to meet you, Vircesol." She worked out the name, making sure to pronounce it correctly. She was good at other languages. "My name is Cadence. Cadence Rosenstele." She stated matter-of-factly. "If you don't mind me asking, why is it that the Aeliavim wish to dominated or destroy the other races? It seems so unnecessary to me for a race that knows beauty to create such needless misery."
Post by The Confidant on Sept 8, 2015 15:28:42 GMT -7
"I think you're confused." Virces replied almost sternly, it was probably hard to tell with the stern look on his face, "My clan is particularily fond of art, literature and music. We prize such things, as much as we prize our dominance of the region we live in. But we would be mor elikely to listen to your tales of adventure than to try dominating you. There are other clans whose cultures differ to ours, many more violent, but Aeliavim are linked at the hip, a brotherhood of brotherhoods." He explained this things calmly, politely, keeping a steady gaze on Cadence as he did so, but he then folded his arms and stared across the basin again, "But if you're asking me why the Aeliavim, why all Aeliavim are this way, I believe it's a concept of belief. The belief that they are chosen, the first intelligent creatures, that all else is inferior. Humans appeared mundane and simple in comparison to us. And then you proved the Aeliavim entirely wrong."
The stone man held his fists out infront of him, lcneching them and pulling them closer with a grin, "Magnificent.. Absolutely magnificent, you slapped the Aeliavim square in the face and refused to bow. That's what I love about you humans, you dont just kneel and accept it, you stand up and fight, it's glorious." He grinned, chuckling to himself, though the smile faded, leaving the same, stern look and he sat down once more, resting his hand on his head, "But still.. Asking only me exactly why the Aeliavim do what they do is like if I asked an ant why it builds an anthill. Even if we debated it for hours we would be nowhere further along than when we started. But here's a more pertinent question between us; why are you up here? Are you traveling, Cadence?"
Post by Rosen Stele on Sept 10, 2015 17:29:45 GMT -7
Cadence eased as the Aeliavim spoke. There was more to them then at first she thought, more than the stories of humans would tell, but then, what stories would and ant speak about humans - apart from the ones about being stepped on? She sobered as he spoke, and knelt beside him as he took a seat again. "I see. Of course the measure of one clan would differ from the measure of another. That makes all too much sense. The fear surrounding the Aeliavim keeps humans from realizing that, I think. Most of our brightest and wisest still consider the Aeliavim dangerous in almost every circumstance." She admitted, looking with him out over the valley.
"For my part, I am not sure how much of a fighter I am. I set out to see the world and all it's secrets and wonders, but what I have found has been violence and disappointment. Life on my own has not been as easy or as liberating as I once thought it would be. As it is I was nearly killed by a Winter Wraith, and then again by a horde of gargoyles." She lamented, sighing. "Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment. I am Travelling," She added at the other's question. "I guess I have been my entire life. I grew up in a travelling entourage known as the Oscillia, and then as hunters we followed the game. And now I explore. Guess I just don't really know how to only be in one place. Restless spirit or something." She finished, though she thought it might sound like she didn't really know herself at all. and perhaps she didn't. perhaps that was the point.
Post by The Confidant on Sept 13, 2015 7:27:40 GMT -7
"They are right to fear the Aeliavim, that's a logical response to a threatening outside factor. If you weren't that smart, you'd already be under Aeliavim rule." Virces rubbed at his chin softly, however he then reached up to his cheek thoughts stirring back a little to when Cadence had poked him, that odd curiosity that drew her to do that, it brought a wry smirk to his face, though he listened to her still as she explained why she was traveling, "Perhaps you've simply been exploring in the wrong places. Not every corner of the world is filled with darkness," he shrugged, if there was anything he wanted to do, it was to show off the home of the Sunwraiths to outsiders. They always brought back their own tales, but he couldn't recall any outsiders visiting in his lifetime, "I grew up in the caves of my people. It isn't quite what it sounds,"
He smirked, saying that they lived in a cave tended to confuse some people, they didn't understand that Sunwraiths could thrive in any darkness, "We carve the stones and grow plants, we shed our own inner light to nurture and we meditate, or we fight, those of us who fight are sent to wander the world outside, but by far the most glorious thing we ever experience is stepping out into the light and seeing the sun in the sky." Virces placed his palms together briefly until light emmited from between them and he spread his fingers, opening his hands to reveal a perfectly contained orb of flame, "We finally understand the fire that makes up our core." Virces then sloed his hands around the fire, extinguishing it, "You and I are alike in that we are restless spirits, but I do find meditation can keep me still, do you humans meditate?"
Post by jasondemac on Sept 13, 2015 11:01:07 GMT -7
|^| A Girl and Her Statue, and the Clown Watching Them |^|
A dully armored man had been started awake from his afternoon nap by a sudden conversation breaking out beneath him. He had saved himself silently from falling to his death out of a tree, and cast his gaze downward, drool caking the inside of his steel mask. Something must have moved into the area while he was out, as some kind of creature now rested almost directly beneath him.
He watched as the womanhad an exchange with what looked to be a statue. What's more, it was a statue with a voice. Either Stok was crazier than he thought he was, or the woman below him was actually talking with a statue.
"Well isn't this interesting..." The scratched smile of his mask described his expression underneath perfectly, as it so often did. Stok, despite living in this world for a very long time, had never seen such a thing. The only thing he wondered, Is it really made of stone? Without a second thought, Laughingstok produced a small bone sewing needle the length of his finger and closed one masked eye. A clear substance dripped from it's surface, a mixture of venoms from countless snakes anywhere Stok could find them. With a flick of his wrist he sent it flying towards the crouched figure, and it would likely strike it on it's head.
Post by Rosen Stele on Sept 16, 2015 14:28:29 GMT -7
Cadence watched with awe as the man spoke of his home. They seemed like an interesting people, the group he belonged to, though she had to admit she didn't know what they were. "Um... your 'people,'" she asked. "What are you called?" It sounded like an awkward question in her head, but she had always been told that asking questions when you didn't know something made you more intelligent. Or something like that. "I think I'd like to visit some of those caves one day." she admitted, wondering.
"I don't meditate, personally, but i have known those that do, and get quite the result from it." Cadence responded to his question. "Whenever I have tried, my mind always tends to wander to things...unpleasant and otherwise. I am not really sure what it's supposed to do for me, but it always makes me a little lethargic." She said, embarrassed by her own candor.
[she hasn't noticed the dart yet; she is not a combatant person. She will react after seeing Virces' reaction.]
Last Edit: Sept 16, 2015 14:29:29 GMT -7 by Rosen Stele
Post by The Confidant on Sept 19, 2015 9:16:18 GMT -7
Virces rubbed at his head a moment when asked what they were called. The literal translation was a little hard to say in human tongue, the infernal language wa smuch easier though he condensed it in his mind after a moment, "Well, I think the proper term in human language is Sunwraith, or at least that is as close as I can get to making sense of it. Otherwise the whole spiel is something more along the lines of 'Spirits whose core burns brightly as the sun'," he grinned again, Cadence's take on meditation was as much as he expected, it wasn't as common a practice as he often would have liked to see, though thinking about it, he did wonder where the practice was first learned for his own people..
It was at this point that the needle was soaring towards Virces, however he leaned his head to the right, as if loosening his neck up, the poisonous dart sailed right past his ear whilst he calmly rubbed at his neck with his left hand, letting off a soft groan, "Would it be in bad taste to say I feel a little stiff?" He asked, chuckling a little, "I've seen human statues, I certainly couldn't hold some of those positions all day long without a few complaints," Virces stated, sitting straight again and lowering his arm, face still in a grinning expression, "By the way, is the person sleeping up on the ridge behind us awake yet? I was going to ask him first if he knew where I could find a human named Leon. I didnt want to pester him when he was sleeping so soundly, that's the polite thing to do, yes?"
Credit to the original artists of all displayed artwork. Themes designed by The Maven.