Our Son

Rising from the stony plateau overlooking the rivers and plains of the western continent, and growing wealthy from the gem stones pulled from this same rocky soil, Etzos is a bastion of independence, eagerly spreading its belief that man should rule Idalos, not be servants of the vain Immortals who nearly destroyed it. But can the different factions set aside their agendas long enough to see this through?

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Our Son

Postby Alistair » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:59 am

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18th of Ashan, Arc 718

It had been nearly an arc since he'd seen the man. They had gone to Etzos together, anxious to find their son, who was being held ransom by the surrogate they'd hired. She looked a great deal like Alistair, as much as a woman could at least, and she had a sharp wit and a strong propensity for scholastic interests. Of course, she was the perfect candidate. She only needed to take on this job to help fund her admission into Viden University -- or so she said -- and so there wasn't the chance that she was actually a prostitute who would pass on copious diseases.

But unfortunately, as time came closer, they realized she had disappeared from Uthaldria. The next thing they knew, they received a letter demanding five thousand gold nels for the safe return of the child. Alistair and Fridgar were both furious -- she had given birth to their boy, and was now demanding extra wealth on top of it all? She had conned them - they did not even know if she really had the child, or if she'd just miscarried, or... what. And they weren't going to pay her thousands of gold nel only to receive a follow-up letter asking for even more. They knew that if they showed that they would give anything for their son, she would ask for everything.

So they went to Etzos, via sundial, and they found her. She was no longer pregnant, and she didn't have the baby on hand. So they demanded answers, and they finally received one. She had killed the boy - their boy - their precious son. In anger, Alistair diced her; she became an unrecognizable fit of mutilated flesh. Then, attempting to calm himself, he blinked far away and unleashed his fury in a scream and fit of magical devastation.

And that should've been the end of it. They should've moved on, accepted it, tried to have another child. They should've found a different surrogate who - perhaps - they knew as an individual, not as a contracted womb. But when Alistair tried to return to that place, to find Fridgar, he could not. The man was gone, and his magical tether to him began to flicker and go awry. It would send him in any opposite direction, and no matter which line he followed he could not find him. In one day, he'd lost his husband, and their son.

Renly was going to be his name, after Alistair's firstborn son of his past life, when he and Fridgar were Azzas and Aedan. It was a meaningful name that carried a great amount of weight for the mage. The name alone had memories of love, failure, and change all strung into the letters, and the awakening of a greater understanding between he and Fridgar. That child was his method of moving on, choosing a new life. He told himself that once he had that child, he'd forget it all. All of the damage dealt to him so early, all of the damage he'd done to his own family.

But Renly was lost.

And so was Alistair. He sat, in the corner of an alley, lamenting his loss. Begging the Immortals to at least grant him one thing: his son. Everyone he'd ever loved had passed on, and apparently the cruelty of this world did not even spare the fragile frame of a child.

He wanted to find that boy. Even if he was dead, he needed to look. What had she done to him? How did he die? How long had he lived for, and did he ever know love?

Alistair wanted to know. But every time he thought about it, he broke down in tears, unable to move. So instead of searching, he sobbed, lost again in that dark corner in the city where his son had passed on.
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Our Son

Postby Finnegan O'Connor » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:26 pm

Our Son

18th Ashan, 718


The last few trials had been filled with endless toil, odd jobs most of them, bringing this letter to the other part of the city, minding a stack of crates, being an outlook, helping setting up a stand. It didn’t pay much, and yet he worked tirelessly, ensuring that as soon as he returned home and kicked of his boots, he’d sail straight into Emea where he wasn’t so haunted by the memory of Molly.

Now there was a lull in the stream of jobs and he found himself sauntering through the city, finding little mirth in the idle activities he’d enjoyed less than an arc ago. Kicking loose stones across the streets seemed pointless and hadn’t the slightest desire to play with a bunch of younger children who bounced a ball up and down the street. The pet shop ran by an elderly woman where he’d often taken refuge to pass the time had already closed down and he’d given up after few polite knocks.

What little coin he’d alloted himself that day he’d already spend on some sweets in the morning and so visiting the bakery was no option. He could go to Tagley’s office of course, the man would surely appreciate some help moving stacks of paper around, but the mere thought of such a dull task was already far worse than wandering around aimlessly, hoping for some opportunity to cross his path.

His mind always returned to the same questions. Why had she gotten involved? Had she heard his warning? Why had she been killed? No answers. Either no one knew or no one wished to tell him and so he was left to grasp at thin air, never once coming closer to any satisfactory answer.

He halted suddenly, almost tripping over a hissing black cat, shooting off into an alleyway. “Whoa,” he muttered under his breath, tracing the starved, anxious little thing into the alley. He’d already started to turn his head away when the strangest sight caught his eye. The shadow of a large man sat slouched against a low wall, his frame shaking as though he was-

...crying?

Didn’t matter. Some poor sod who’d lost a brother in a muggin’ perhaps, or some jacked up beggar. Wasn’t his business either way and so he moved to walk on. Except-

There was something familiar about the silhouette. Frowning, he edged a little closer to the alleyway, unable to recall the last time he’d seen an adult weep. It wasn’t until he’d practically entered the dim alley that he finally recognized the man’s unmistakeable features.

“Alistair?”

There was no doubt about it now.

“Alistair!” A few trills of hurried footsteps later he threw himself at the Rynmere noble, forgetting as usual the man’s preference for proper conduct and etiquette. It didn’t matter, he was glad to see a familiar face and he unabashedly embraced the mage.
It didn’t last long.

“What’s the matter?” he said in a low voice as he gave Alistair some time to recover from the sudden assault. Finn bit his lip, concern marred his brow. One arm still rested on Alistair's broad shoulders. It had to be bad if someone so strong and determined was reduced to a puddle of salty tears. He feared the worst.

“Where’s Fridgar?”
Defier's witchbrand:

A frigid, salty air accompanies Finn, his hair is dark as if wet and his skin is clammy to the touch.

Common, Ith'ession

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Our Son

Postby Alistair » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:46 am

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In his despondence, a boy peaked into the alleyway, curiously poking about as children often did. The mage heard him, perceived of him, but didn't look much through the closed fingers that covered his eyes and brows. He split them for a moment to see a muddy silhouette, the tears within his eyes obscuring his vision. At his glance, though, he realized that the boy was getting closer... and then running closer.

Alistair? he questioned, confusedly. He recognized him? The mage immediately wiped his eyes, only to be ambushed by a hug. The boy that jumped him felt... like the sea. The air around him was salty, with a certain moisture. He felt sort of wet, like he'd just been rained on. But Alistair's body heat was enough for the two of them, so he blindly embraced him back, recognizing his voice and his passion before it had clicked. But then it did.

"Finn?" he questioned. When he realized who it was, it seemed like the sogginess peeled back from his eyes, as the young boy came fully into view. He'd gotten older, bigger, but he was still the adorable kid that the mage had always adored. Finn was to be his son, at one point. But then he left, and Alistair hadn't found him again. That had always been a driving sense of worry, and seeing him now was a great and immense relief. He was okay. He wasn't eaten by beasts or sold for his organs. He was... completely fine.

"Finn, you're alive!" he exclaimed, joyfully, before picking up the boy and standing up to his full height. Finn was suspended off the floor and held firmly by the mage, who was suddenly and oddly happy. He'd been searching for a silver lining to everything, and the health and safety of Finn meant a lot to him. He had to hug him to make sure that he was actually real, as on many occasions he would still see the vision of Fridgar approaching him, only to fade the more he believed in that vision.

It was only after his brief celebration that the boy's other words rung into his ears, the questions being heard but sidelined as he validated the young boy's existence. What's the matter? Where's Fridgar? Alistair frowned. Finn knew Fridgar just as well as he knew Alistair, and he knew that the two of them didn't like to stray from one another. He'd seen the sobbing and yearning, and Finn wasn't unintelligent. He immediately put it all together, and he knew immediately. Fridgar wasn't there, wasn't anywhere. In all likelihood, he had passed on.

"Fridgar is gone," he said. "I don't know where he is. I've searched for cycles, now. It will soon be an arc that I've worried," he confessed, looking away from the boy. "We had a child together, and that child was born in Etzos," he nodded, breathing evenly to keep himself calm and grounded. "Right around here. But the mother was a witch - she demanded money for him, and she even killed him. I've never seen Fridgar since then, and I never even found the child. I couldn't even hold the body of my baby boy as he went onto the next world," he sniffled, more tears flowing from his eyes onto his damp cheeks.

There was a pure darkness lingering over him. He was not far from taking his own life, and the thought of doing so cycled endlessly in his mind. Fridgar, and the promise of a family, had always kept him going. The search to find him had kept him going, too. But now he really believed that Fridgar was dead, and without Renly, there was no purpose for him living. The Coven would get to him, anyway - they'd flay him, torture him, mock him as he bled. Why not now, he wondered? Why not just let it all go?
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Our Son

Postby Finnegan O'Connor » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:19 am

Our Son

18th Ashan, 718


In that moment, as Alistair picked him up and swung him around, he remembered why he’d stuck around in Uthaldria for so long. Fridgar and Alistair had given him a taste of what it felt like to be wanted, to be cared for, to be loved. But the magic hadn’t lasted. While he now counted as one of the most experienced among the litter of children roaming the streets of Etzos above and below the ground, in Uthaldria even children many arcs younger than himself had been just as hardened. Its society was so entirely different, so unwelcoming to a foreign boy that he’d soon started to yearn for home. Besides, he refused to give up on his parents. For many arcs now couples of all walks of life had shown interest in adopting him, and he’d always deliberately screwed it up because the moment he let anyone adopt him was the moment he’d give up on his father and mother. That was why he had said “no” to Fridgar and Alistair that day, because he’d been scared that if he said yes, he’d lose all hope of ever finding his parents again.

When Alistair put him down again, Finn’s smile faded along with the memory of Uthaldria

“Gone?” Finn reiterated. “How do you mean gone? You couldn’t have just lost him, you were married!” There had to be some other explanation, the Fridgar he knew would never leave Alistair’s side, would never disappear without a trace, but Alistair gave no other answer, offered no further elaboration, it really was true then. Fridgar was gone.

He wasn’t given much time to contemplate the matter as Alistair revealed the purpose of his sudden and unexpected visit to Etzos. A child? Finn thought. There was a sting of jealousy, however brief at the idea that Fridgar and Alistair had moved on, taken matters into their own hands and opted to have child of their own instead of-

He banished the thought from his mind before it fully formed and set his gaze on Alistair instead.

“I’m sorry,” he muttered, hesitating a moment before giving Alistair a light pat on the back. “I know how you feel, I lost someone too.” For so long he’d remained quiet on the subject, mulled things over in his head instead. There were only a handful of people to who he dared to make himself so vulnerable, and Alistair was among them, especially now that fate, yet again, had brought them together.

“I know it doesn’t feel like it now,” he started, “but it will get better, eventually, though it never really goes away.” He sighed. This was about the last thing he’d expected to be doing this trial and the gloom hanging over Alistair was starting to affect him. He scooted a little closer to Alistair as tears started to flow again, splashing down on the indifferent cobblestone beneath. His arm moved up around Alistair’s broad neck, his digits touching the noble’s left shoulder, giving the occasional, comforting squeeze. It seemed best not to say anything and he lacked the words necessary anyway. A few bits passed before Finn stirred again, a light frown playing at his brow and lips. “Look, I don’t know if it’ll help but…” He bit his lips. It probably wouldn’t work, Alistair had said the child had been killed after all and he had no cause to doubt that story. Except… it didn’t make sense. Why would this supposed witch have killed the child? Why go through the effort of birthing it and risking the vengeance of Fridgar and Alistair who were both powerful and intimidating figures in their own right.

“There isn’t that many witches here. Heck, there isn’t that many at all. I don’t know any myself but maybe…” He fell silent again. This was a gamble doomed to fail, and yet he couldn’t shake the thought. He’d heard the name of Nightshade Eld mentioned several times over in idle conversation and drunken chatter alike. There were many stories of her good deeds and how she helped the city. If anyone in this city could help Alistair, it had to be her and she, unlike the witch, wasn’t hard to find.

“Come on,” Finn said as he stood up suddenly and tugged at Alistair’s sleeve. “I’d like you to meet someone.”
Defier's witchbrand:

A frigid, salty air accompanies Finn, his hair is dark as if wet and his skin is clammy to the touch.

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"He's as creative as a thumbtick in a world of magnets" - Robin The Unkilled
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Our Son

Postby Nightshade Eld » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:27 am

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The half-breed could often be found in one of a small handful of set locations. The Broken Blade, The Smarter Charts, and sometimes wandering (or flying) in a patrol around the city streets, more typically than not in the outer city where she was needed the most. It all depended on the number of the trial and the weather they were experiencing. However, more often than not her coming was usually heralded by some form of conflict. Angry shouting and curses were usually the precursors to her coming. Not many understood how she was so quick to appear, but if a fight was starting to break out in one of her regular areas there was at least a 70% chance the half-breed was bound to show up.

On the half-breed's part, she was only so good at appearing because she knew where fights were most likely to break out. Places with large concentrations of people like the citizen's market, or places where people could get drunk and insult each other. Narrowing down the options it was easy enough to predict where most fights were bound to break out and roughly at what time if you took things like happy hour or sales into account. She had done what she could to break it down into a science, and combined with her mobility on wings it was easy enough to hit up all the most dangerous spots in a timely manner. It wasn't like a fight was bound to break out every trial either, it could be a while or a break before the next fight broke out, though she did the best she could.

This trial wouldn't be different from any other trial. She was on her way to the Smarter Charts, hopeful that she could take a glance at how things worked business wise while she herself was working when she heard some loud shouts coming from the direction she wasn't supposed to be heading. Well... At least technically it was her day off and she was just doing it for the experience. Hopefully, no one important would miss her. Spreading her wings she threw herself into the sky to get a better look around, smacking the air with the powerful black appendages. As soon as she was higher than the buildings she could see what was happening a couple streets over. They must have been furious considering they were loud enough to carry that far, not to mention over the buildings. Their shouting match only seemed to get louder and louder as they both turned red in the face.

She glided over coming to a quick landing. She'd done well to wear her talon boots today and there was a slight screech of metal as she landed. She'd need to get some more commisioned one of these days. Or figure out how to make the talons themselves. She almost laughed at the idea. Like that was going to happen any time soon.

There was a metallic click as she walked closer, her eyes narrowing upon the two. "What in the name of Parhn is going on here?" Her voice was accusing and sharp, but neither one noticed. An irritated growl bubbled from the back of her throat when one of the spectators spoke up.

"They're arguing over who gets the last piece of bread!"

The half-breed came to a complete stop. "Are... are you kidding me? Are you feking kidding me right now?" She asked and the man who'd shouted simply shrugged like it was normal to get into a shouting-almost-fist-fight over a piece of bread. Welcome to Etzos, please enjoy your stay.

The half-breed could feel the growl starting to turn into a hiss as she sized the pair up. They were both squaring up to turn this into a fight, and the half-breed was just tempted to let it happen as long as it never got bigger than the pair. Still, though, that wouldn't be a very good job of keeping the peace. She knew she needed to step in, even if she loathed the idea. "Hey!" She shouted loudly over the pair, stepping forward in elongated strides so she got closer faster. "What do you two think you're doing?" She accused as she tried to muscle her way between the pair. They looked like they might know how to fight, but she didn't have it in her to actually care what they did or didn't know how to do.

"Stay out of this you stupid bloody flapper!" One of the men accused. He was missing an eye and had the hands of a miner. "I'm going to fight this asshole for what he dun!"

"No, you two are going to keep the feking peace or I'll give you a real fight," she snapped back. The miner apparently didn't like her tone so he pulled out a sword, his face turning into an ugly yellowed snarl as he seemed to take this as a challenge. The second man had taken a quick step back when she appeared. He was just as apprehensive and had the feel of a lumberjack about him, but he was also apparently more aware of Nightshade and who he was judging by the hesitance on his features at the idea of fighting her. "So you want to do things this way huh?" She asked as she took a quick step back. She pulled out Love Struck, the burgundy blade glinting. The gift from the immortals had served her well and hadn't tasted a fight for a while now.

The man charged her with a screech, hungry for blood himself, the half-breed vaulted herself into the air and landed on top of him. The talons of her feet wrapped around his neck and the man completely froze as the sensation of cold steel rested on his neck. So many people forgot about the talon boots.

"I would recommend putting the weapon down and walking away. Of course, I have no qualms about finishing the fight if you actually fancy the fact you could win," she said simply. When the man dropped the sword she let go and propelled herself off of his back. He picked the sword back up and ran at her, like an idiot. The halfbreed this time parried with her own sword, the cried of metal jumping outwards into the open air as his sword seemed to whimper. Or own cried and sung viciously for glory and victory, it's song almost as sweet as the sensation of knocking the man's sword away. In one quick movement, she smashed her sword against his and there was a crack, the man's sword breaking slightly as spider webbing appeared across the metal. It would take a couple of hits to break completely but it was enough to widen the man's eyes in fear. He turned tail quickly when he realized how easily she could break him and his sword.

The other man at some point had disappeared and there was a cheering from those who had come to surround the dueling pair, almost like it was some kind of show. Perhaps to them, it was. Most fights would have ended with someone else getting hurt or dragged into the mess, but the half-breed took care to make sure there were no casualties outside of the pair who managed to start the entire mess. "Show's over folks get back to work. And tell the oaf to buy a better sword the next time you see him, the Smith conned him," she shouted.

There were a couple disappointed sighs when there was a realization that the fighting was already over and the crowd slowly dispersed. It seemed she would not be getting to work on time, better not to go at all. Perhaps she could find some other form of a job wandering the streets.

"Common"

"Ith'ession"
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien


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