Family Reunion

The fortress-capital of the Ivorian Empire and the seat of the Immortal Ethelynda, which she protects alongside her Mortalborn children. Known as the safest place in Idalos thanks to its iron-clad military presence, it offers a welcoming hand to all honourable visitors.

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Family Reunion

Postby Tessa (Celeste) » Wed May 09, 2018 5:39 pm

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61st Ashan 718

She looked different in the light of the trial. It wasn't just that, of course; the fact that she wasn't working meant that her clothing was different. Her skirt was still short but it was to her knees. The vest top she wore showed all the bruises, of which there were a lot, but it was a loose vest and that was that. The market was bustling and the young woman wove her way through the crowds. There was a double criss-cross sling across her chest and, nestled there against her were the twins.

Tessa was thinner than she'd been when Celeste was kidnapped. The bruises were purple on sunken in shoulders, thin cheeks, but she was clean, as were her clothes. The same could not be said of everyone here, this area of town was a slum-like area with ramshackle hovels piled high together. But she was mking her way to the hustle and bustle of the market and so the streets grew busier and busier as she walked. Unaware for the moment that anyone watched her, those who did might notice that her make up sought to hide the marks on her face. Since the night before, Xander would notice a new black eye, but as she looked down at the babies held against her, she smiled an entirely genuine smile. Beneath it all, in that expression she looked exactly like she always had.

That Tessa looked different was not in doubt. So, too, did the babies of course - they'd grown. But both of them were healthy, well fed, clean and well wrapped up. Whatever else she did, however she survived, her babies were obviously her priority. "We're gunna go'n get nice food fer Papa, yes, we are." She chatted to them as she made her way around one market stall which sold fresh produce. Her interactions with the stall owners were polite and friendly, she had a smile on her face and she was always deferential and respectful. Physically, she was jumpy and, when someone touched her arm for example, she physically jumped.

At the stall where the woman sold flours and grains, Tessa stopped and asked about quantities. "I wanna make some onion bread, Martha, an' I thought th'moisture in't onion would mean I should change it up" Martha nodded and explained that yes, but it depended on how she was cooking the onions first. Tessa looked surprised at the prospect of doing so and Martha chuckled, then scribbled down a recipe for, presumably, onion bread. People in this area knew her, as a customer, they were friendly to her. None of them looked at her bruises, it was like they saw past them.

Or, of course, didn't want to see them.

By the time she was ready to make her way back, Tessa was starting to think that she'd bought too much, but Benji had given her a list. With the two babies, though, it was hard work carrying the goods. She didn't use the sling for anything other than carrying the babes and so, the produce was carried in bags and, as she struggled through the streets, back towards home, she felt the burning in her arms and legs. As one of the bags tore and spilled out the contents over the street, Tessa let out a cry of despair as people kept walking, some of them even treading on the produce and ruining it. "Oh, no, please no," she said, trying to retrieve the spilled vegetables, all the while not disturbing the babies or dropping anything else.

Please note: As of Ashan 718, Celeste Andaris has been kidnapped and has disappeared. Following the events in this thread she believes herself to be Tessa Anders, a streetwalker in Ivorian.

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Family Reunion

Postby Xander Andaris » Sat May 12, 2018 5:24 pm

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The hammering echoed down the dark hallway of the Inn. Xander's fist thudding against the solid wood of Torqin's door as he stood there impatiently hoping for the man to answer. Once he did so Xander paused to catch his breathe, a look of new found hope in his eyes. "I found her Torqin, I found her." He leaned against the door frame, he'd sprinted all the way here, desperate to tell his companion. "There is, however, a problem."

Xander stepped inside the other man's room, ready to reveal his findings to the man. The ex-noble moved over and looked out of the window, scanning the road outside for anyone watching the room. He had been careful to make sure he was not followed when he found her and as far as he could gather he had not. Reaching forward he drew the curtains shut and sat on the edge of Torqin's bed.

"She doesn't remember anything true about before, she thinks she is someone else." The wolf bit his lip as he thought, wondering what exactly had happened to her. It was obvious some sort of mind alteration had taken place but how and what the purpose of it was Xander was not yet sure. The obvious option was that they wished to cause him pain but it seemed too simple of a reason for what they had done exactly. "She thinks she is a prostitute by the name of Tessa Anders, married to some wife beating low life."

His mind was unclear on exactly what they would do next but then he supposed that was to be expected. "I gave her some money with the hope it would keep her from harm tonight and told her to go home, I can only assume she is there now, unfortunately where that is I don't know." Xander realised that was a slight error but moved past it not needing it to become an issue. "I have to check on Ala'ni, I will take you to find Celeste tomorrow." With that he left heading to check on is sleeping daughter.




Xander waited outside of the Inn in the morning for Torqin sword by his side and his spring-loaded blade hidden up his sleeve. "Morning." Xander didn't wait to head off leading the bodyguard down the streets towards the rougher end of town. "I found her down by a market, sort of like the bad parts of Andaris low town." His walk was brisk as they headed towards where he had found her the night before.

His eyes scanned around from the corner where she had tried to pick him up, searching for her familiar features among the crowds of people near the busy market. "There she is." Xander pointed her out among the crowds in the stalls carrying the two babies along with her groceries. Taking Torqin's arm Xander stepped back into the shadow of the ally, inclining his head and looking at the floor as she passed by. "Cross the road and we will follow her from each side."

The wolf gestured for the bodyguard to do so as he himself walked along the houses lining the streets, keeping his head down and a fair distance. Xander struggled to hold himself back, his babies and his lover there before him yet who knew what they now remembered. Perhaps the babies had been influenced too.

He watched as the bag split, items tumbling out onto the road as people showed little care and proceeded to trample them. They clearly showed no regard for others belongings and no one came to help her. He felt a tear run down his cheek as he watched her struggle, a woman he loved who believed him to be a stranger. He couldn't stay back any longer as he stepped forward and knelt down to collect the onion that had rolled over in his direction.
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Family Reunion

Postby Torqin » Sat May 12, 2018 9:24 pm

Torqin awoke in a haze, his head throbbing as someone beat against his door with what sounded like a log. He sat upon his bed, looking down at the splotches of blood from where his face had lain. Every night since he'd first found Celeste, he'd returned to the Alley to try and find her again. And every night he'd fought, so they'd have to say his name, so that maybe she'd hear it again. There was... something there. She was sick or scared or under threat. Something was wrong with her. But she was here. That was what kept him heading to the slaughter at the Alley. He was getting stronger, but that just meant stronger opponents. But he was at least becoming known as a nightly regular. Not many fighters came back so often.

Torqin approached the door, gingerly pulling on his shirt. He took a deep breath, putting on his face he wore for nobles, metaphorically at least, for his face was pretty busted up. A serious, professional line of neutrality was worn upon his face, "Come in." He'd long since dropped the petty titles of My Lord and such, to better maintain their cover. Torqin listened. Tessa Anders. Prostitute. Married to an abusive spouse. Just what in the world had happened to her? So many questions without answer. But Torqin knew one thing for sure. The moment Celeste was back to safety, the children as well, this husband of hers was a dead man. Every beating Torqin had brought upon himself since arriving, he would deliver to the man a thousand fold, and prayed that the Immortals would keep him alive for every moment of it.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow they would find her.




Torqin wore his cloak over his shoulders, covering the shield he kept strap to his back, his club swinging heavily from his belt, as he met Xander out front of their inn. They departed and Xander spotted her first, pointed her out, though Torqin wished he'd not actually pointed. They might not be the only ones keeping an eye on her. They'd not caught a single whiff of who'd kidnapped her in the first place. Some low life abusive husband didn't have the means to pull this off. Torqin wondered if he'd even know anything should they interrogate him about the Webspinners.

Torqin listened to Xander's plan, and immediately set it into motion. The bodyguard strolled across the street, walking without real purpose, trying to look around with exaggerated motions of his head and shoulders, as if he were new to the area, and taking in everything. But what he was really doing was trying to look for anything or anyone out of place. This whole situation, not just totrial, but all of this journey. It just felt like there was something massive they were missing. Something waiting to bite them in the ass.

He strolled idly at a distance, watching Celeste chase after produce she'd dropped, seeing that the babies were with her. They could snatch her, here and now, and be done with it. But if she truly didn't know them, she would scream, thinking she was being kidnapped. Torqin continued to fan his vision over the busy street, unclear what he was looking for, people watching Celeste, or Xander, more obviously than him at least. He watched as Xander moved in to help her, choosing to stay back for now. He was the backup, the ace in the hole, in case anything went wrong. And so, he watched on, as his lord moved toward the woman they both loved, a sinking feeling settling in his stomach, though the cause of it couldn't be pinned to any one thing. Torqin continued his duty, for her. And so, he watched. He waited. And he stuffed down the pain inside. For her.
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Postby Tessa (Celeste) » Sun May 13, 2018 7:04 am

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61st Ashan 718

She felt terror building in her as she watched the produce roll away. "Oh, no, no.. please." Benji knew every copper nel that went into or out of that house and if she had to go back and buy more food because of her clumsiness, she'd be in all sorts of trouble. Anxiety made her hands shake which, in turn, made her more likely to drop things. Her heart beat louder and louder in her chest as she felt panic start to rise and she reached a shaking hand out to collect a carrot which was laying on the ground when one of the babies, and then immediately the other, started to cry. Tessa immediately forgot the vegetables and the trouble she was going to be in. "Oh, shush, beautiful, it's a'righ', did Mama wake you? I'm sorry, baby. I am. Shush now, shhhhh..." As she talked to them both, Tessa became aware of another person kneeling there and she looked up.

Kneeling on the ground, gently comforting her babies which, unknown to her were their children, Xander's wife looked up at him and genuine, unashamed and unabridged delight lit her face. Of course, it was hard to tell around the bruises and, since he'd seen her the night before she had a swollen lip and one eye was newly blackened. Yet still, she looked pleased as could be to see him. "Ser Knight!" Tessa smiled at him, though she winced as she did from movement of her lips. "Wot're you doin' 'ere?"

One hand lifted, self-consciously, to her face. "It's not as bad as it looks, sir, 'onest itsnot. Oh, look, these are my daughters." Their crying had stopped now and as Tessa lifted Katherine up slightly to see him, and him to see her the baby let out a gurgle and then a giggle. Tessa looked down in surprise. "It's like.. well, I've never 'eard either'f 'em make that noise fer anyone but me." Her brown eyes turned to him and once again she felt that sense of calm washing over her. Like he was safe. Tessa didn't understand it, but she was both confused and pleased to see him. Maybe the twins felt the same way, she reasoned. That made sense, after all.

Solemnly she took the onion from him and she gestured to the mess. "That's gone an' wrecked it," holding the onion up, though she gave the best smile she could and spoke, "thanks fer the save. What're you doin' 'ere? Oh!" That at the sudden realisation of what she thought he was here for. "I'm not workin' sir, not with th'babies. If ya come by tonigh' I can give you what I owe ya." Nestling the babies back down, they both started wailing again and Tessa looked down and frowned. "It's like they wanna see ya. Strange, innit? They like you, I guess." She liked him too, she had to admit and she felt better when he was there.

"I was jus' on m'way home, sir, these girls need feedin'," she wasn't showing him where she lived, Not for all sorts of reasons. Mostly because if he saw it there, she'd die and if he met Benji, she'd die twice. "There's an outdoor cafe jus' there. D'ya want a cup o'tea? It can be my treat," she was already going to get into trouble for the food she'd have to buy twice and, in a rare flash of disobedience, Tessa decided something. "Migh' as well be 'ung fer a sheep as a lamb, innit?" Her eyes searched his. "If you'd like to, sir. Which you prob'ly don't. Sorry." It suddenly struck her just how unlikely it was that this man would be wanting to spend time drinking tea with her. What a foolish notion, a truly foolish one. "Or I can go 'ome an' get these babies abed an' then you can 'ave what ya paid for," which was much more likely to be why he was there, she reminded herself, trying to comfort both fussing babies and retrieve what food she could.

Please note: As of Ashan 718, Celeste Andaris has been kidnapped and has disappeared. Following the events in this thread she believes herself to be Tessa Anders, a streetwalker in Ivorian.

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Family Reunion

Postby Xander Andaris » Sun May 13, 2018 8:22 am

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He forced a smile as he noticed the fresh wounds to her face, feeling his grip tighten around the onion in his hand. It stopped though as he began to feel it's many layers shift slightly under the force. "I see my money did not do as intended." His smile became more genuine as Katherine was raised slightly to see him, a fatherly sparkle in his stark blue eyes. "She is bigger than I remember her." He murmured as the babe let out the adorable sound.

He wished he could take them now, the three of them just run away with them. Of course that was not possible he was a stranger and no doubt she would not just come quietly with him. "Your welcome." He began to collect what else was still salvageable from the mess that had dropped from the bag. Some things had survived the drop and avoided the bottoms of people's shoes. "I am not here for that, you don't owe me anything, I told you the money was to protect you. It seems, however, its intended use was ineffective."

"I would love to have tea with you, however, I think it best you hurry home and feed them as they sound hungry." He reached a hand forward and stroked the cheek of Zara, the girl baring an irrefutable resemblance to him. Her wailing stopped as his finger gently ran along the curve of her rosy cheeks. "We will run into each other again, that I am sure of." He smiled as he handed her the other items he had managed to save.

The wolf stepped back and inclined his head, hating this but knowing he needed her to walk home freely. She would reveal her home to them. Torqin would follow he was sure, if not it would still be okay as he intended to double back down a parallel road. "Go on now, get you and the babies home and fed." Xander raised his voice hoping the bodyguard would hear and pick up on the idea.

Taking his false leave Xander turned and headed back towards the market. He quickly disappeared among the stalls and the crowds of people, covering his walk to a second road that ran parallel to where he had met Celeste. Various alleys linked them which he could use to cut back across and resume stalking his prey. Celeste would lead him to the Anders household where he could finally get a look at the monster who was disguised as her husband. What would happen then he did not know.
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Postby Torqin » Sun May 13, 2018 2:49 pm

Torqin hadn't seen any threats yet so far in his scanning of the street. Maybe he was worrying too much. After all, they were out in the public, with dozens of people around. Anything out here would likely be seen by many, stir up a mass panic, or even invite strangers to help them. But still, he couldn't let himself relax. To do so put her at more risk. He pulled up his hood, tightened his cloak around his shoulders, and set to moving forward, his eyes side glancing as Celeste and Xander spoke.

He sauntered forward, stopping at the same stall that Celeste had shopped from, purchasing a few things, really just at random. A few vegetables and a hunk of cheese. Carrying them in a wrapped bit of paper, he continued forward, close enough now to hear them speaking. He caught the tail end of it, picking up the signal Xander cast his way. He watched as the man slinked off, giving Torqin the opening he'd need. And so, the bodyguard gave his surreptitious attention to Celeste. He saw her black eye, her bruises, her busted lip. If it wouldn't further traumatize his charge, he'd have her speak of every injury this man, and all the men who'd used her, had inflicted upon her. Recount every single one. And Torqin would inflict them all upon her deadbeat husband while she watched.

But he wouldn't. She needed taken away from all this and fixed. Made whole. Made safe. Any vengeance upon those that did this to her, would need done outside of her ability to witness it. He doubted Xander agreed. He suspected the man would simply lop the husband's head from his shoulders the moment they met. Torqin took an onion from his purchase, bit lightly into the skin and peeled off the outer layer with his teeth, spitting it to the road below. He was two people away from her, behind her and a bit off to the side. He took a large bite into the onion, saving the sharpness of the juice, chewing on it, much like some people might an apple. He'd stay close, though not enough to scare her if he could help it. Just another guy carrying groceries in the same direction as her, to find out where she lived. And he was sure Xander would be close, watching from a hidden vantage point.

And so, he walked, and ate his onion, and watched the battered love of his life with her two beautiful children. And he ignored the tightness in his chest.
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Postby Tessa (Celeste) » Sun May 13, 2018 3:16 pm

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61st Ashan 718
His money hadn't done as intended? Tessa shook her head, quick to reassure him. "No, sir, thassnot why, sir. I.. " lowering her head she half mumbled her words. "I bring it on m'self sir, an' I'm so careless an' clumsy. I broke his cup, sir, it weren't nothin' to do with you. You was very kind." And Benji had said that he thought the man must be a bit of a crazy person who just had a fixation on saving people. He'd been unkind, very unkind in his words about the knight who'd given her money and demanded nothing for it, but there was no more to it than that. It was the breaking of his mug which had sent him into a rage.

Watching him as he looked at the babies, Tessa frowned. It so strange, they reacted like they knew him, like they looked at him and recognised him and the way he looked at them? It melted her heart, truly it did. "You've got a righ' nat'ral way with child'n, Ser Knight. It's nice t'see." He reached out to stroke the baby's cheek and Tessa gasped at her reaction to the sight of it, let alone at how calm and happy Katherine was, cooing and gurgling, laughing as he touched her face.

He wasn't here to collect on what he'd paid for? Tessa looked at him in relief, and then admitted something she'd never said aloud. "I hate it. I wish it could be like in th'stories I tell the girls." Shaking her head she looked at him and motioned to her face. "See 'ow I go on? No wond'r I drive him to't." Zara too gurgled and chuckled at the sight and touch of her father, and Tessa looked at him with confusion on her face. He wanted her to go? He didn't seem to want her to go, yet he was clear. "A'course, Ser Knight. Thanks fer savin' my onion. It's appreciated." Hoisting her bags again, she made her way, continuing to walk towards home.

Glancing behind her, she made sure that he wasn't following her, because he seemed like a nice man to her, but Benji had said that he might be a crazed stalker. But there was no sign of him, so Tessa made her way quickly home. Where she lived was a little hovel in the very poorest part of town. It was in a state of disrepair but it stood out from every other house in that run-down street where refuse flowed in the streets and houses hung over each other - it was clean. Windows and shutters, walls and the door. The gate was broken, but clean, the small patch of dry earth out the front was neat. She couldn't repair the shutters or the door, but she could wash them and scrub them and she did that.

Making her way into the house, Tessa set about putting the groceries away and then she moved to the kitchen table where she could sit and feed her babies. There was no one other than her in the house at the moment. Benji would be in the Tavern. It was Game Night for him, so that meant he'd come home happy because he'd won or unhappy because he'd lost. She never knew and so she made sure that the children were fed and changed before the sound of him opening the gate had her running to greet him. She'd know what the outcome of his time at the Tavern had been judging on whether he roared her name in fury or was so drunk he could barely stand. Putting the babies down to sleep, she hoped for the latter.

Very much so.

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Please note: As of Ashan 718, Celeste Andaris has been kidnapped and has disappeared. Following the events in this thread she believes herself to be Tessa Anders, a streetwalker in Ivorian.

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Tessa (Celeste)
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Keep it in the Family (1) Legend In Waiting (1)

Family Reunion

Postby Xander Andaris » Sun May 13, 2018 5:32 pm

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He could see her as he passed each alley, he had jogged round to make sure he did not lose her. This allowed him to follow her and remain likely impossible to spot. The distance was two houses long and the other people passing on both their streets were a useful cover. He traced this around three more allies before cutting across and rejoining with the original street. They were definitely in a rough part of town, home to what seemed the poorest of the poor and the smell was appalling.

Carefully avoiding the raw sewage he watched from there as Celeste approached a run down, yet surprisingly tidy house, and entered it. Seeing the clearing Xander crossed the road, coming up by the cloaked onion eating Torqin. "Are you eating an Onion?" Xander looked at him unexpectedly amused at the sight. "Never mind." He shook his head and looked towards the house, seeing movement through the windows and broken shutters. "We did it, there it is, there she is." A hint of longing was laced in Xander's tone.

"So now what?" Xander had no real plan, in truth he had not expected them to find her this quickly it felt too easy. He was waiting for something to go wrong, it felt inevitable. "I hadn't anticipated so few issues or obstacles, of course we still have the issue of her altered mind." He tapped the hilt of his sword, finger circling the pommel as the mental cogs turned over in his head.

Of course neither of them could have anticipated what happened next. The arrival of the group of four men was unexpected and began to send Xander into overdrive as he realised the danger Celeste was possibly now in. The men were clearly drunk as they laughed and stumbled their way up the path, one of them nearly pulling the gate from its hinges as he used it for balance. Xander watched the group, fearful for the safety of his wife and children.

"Shit, I knew this was too easy." He watched as they entered. For a moment he thought he recognised the last one, younger than the rest he was the odd one out and something about him was familiar. Before Xander could place them though they were gone, in the house and out of sight. "We have to get in there." Xander turned to Torqin, a fire lighting within him as he began to feel the adrenaline enter his bloodstream. It was like his body knew what was coming next.

Xander faced the house and placed his hand on the sword. With a slow slide he removed it from the scabbard, the steel ringing softly in the air as it was released from its casing. "Are you ready?" Xander looked to Torqin, his sword in hand as he awaited the other man's all clear.
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Postby Torqin » Sun May 13, 2018 6:11 pm

Being in this part of town wasn't so bad for Torqin. When he'd been in the Eastern Settlements, he'd lived in both squalor and splendor. This was nothing. And the chomping on the onion kept the smell of shit and other detritus out of his nose. Plus it was delicious. So when Xander commented on it, for the first time since this adventure began, Torqin had the slightest hint of a grin. He looked on at the house and was beginning to realize something else. Celeste had to be on the very ragged edge of exhaustion. If she was walking the streets every night, dealing with babies, with an abusive husband, getting the groceries, and making this house the most well polished turd on the street, surely she had to be at the end of her rope. This wasn't just burning a candle at both ends, this was tossing the damn thing in the fire. Her ability to put up with it all was both impressing and saddening.

Listening to Xander confirm their lack of a plan, and that it all felt a bit too easy, Torqin's eyes watched her movements as she passed the windows, putting away her groceries. He looked up and down the street. There were no guards, patrolling or otherwise, they probably didn't venture into these parts, despite them being where they are most needed. And then he saw four men, drunk, rowdy, one singing horribly off tune, heading down the road, and stopping in front of the pristine, perfect little shithole. Once that door slammed shut behind the men, Torqin felt something snap in him. This was enough. More than enough.

He was already moving toward the house as Xander asked if he was ready. He ripped his cloak off, tossing it into the yard, and pulled his shield off as his walk became a jog. He pulled his heavy club from where it was swinging on his belt as his jog turned into a charge. His boots kicked up dirt as the charge became a full fledged sprint, shield braced against his wielding shoulder. Torqin had seen that the door opened inward. He slammed his shoulder driven shield into the right side of the door, opposite the hinges, with his full weight at a dead sprint.

With a thundering crash, the door splintered open, shattering the wooden door frame. Torqin had actually expected more resistance from the door as he found himself flying up and over it into the room he was now in, tumbling ass over heart. He heard cursing, and a groan. It seemed one man had been near the door, and was thrown by the arrival of the Lotharro. The man wasn't disabled but wasn't an immediate threat. From the kitchen, two of the other three men stumbled in, eyes wild with fear and anger. Torqin was already up on his feet, and smacked his chest with the corned of his shield, grunting loudly, taunting them toward him. Taunting them toward him, their backs to the door he'd come through. But more importantly, taunting them away from Celeste and the children in the kitchen.

And off to Torqin's right, the stunned man had found his feet, making the Lotharro surrounded, with a wall at his back. He tightened his grips, lowering his center of weight, and waited for the first to come to him, his club down, but ready.
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Postby Rafael Warrick » Sun May 13, 2018 11:49 pm

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61st Ashan, 718There was little about Rafael Warrick that betrayed his noble heritage. His dark hair was roughly cut, the result of tossing one of few remaining coppers in the direction of an old toothless lady on the streets who was almost certainly blind in one eye and could barely hold her big, rusty scissor steady with her shaking, wrinkled hands. The clothes he wore were of equally rough make and had already started to fray at the edges, but he simply couldn’t afford new ones.

It didn’t have to be this way. Since the day he could carry a blade he’d been trained in its proper use, like any other noble. Except he was nothing like them. Pompous fuckin’ pampered prats, what did they know of the world outside? Nothing, they hadn’t the slightest clue, they hadn’t been to Ne’haer when the Shadows had attacked, they hadn’t seen Augiery with their own eyes. All they cared for was more servants, more land, more power, more bloody wine!

It didn’t have to be this way. There were many mercenary companies who’d gladly take him on and would pay him a good wage too, at first, that had been how he’d gotten by since his return to Rynmere in Zi’da of last-arc. Was that his purpose? To live on bloodmoney, to kill and kill and kill again leaving pain and death and daughters and sons crying for their butchered parents in his wake. This was not the way, this could not be what had been intended for him.

He was the living reminder of his father’s sins, for he possessed not just the blood of house Warrick, but that of House Venora too. He’d sworn not to tell anyone, and it was for that reason alone he hadn’t sought refuge with his mother the moment he’d returned to Rynmere. Instead he'd wandered, alone.

Ned Warrick’s bastard, a once proud lion cub had been reduced to a thin, stray dog living on scraps to get by. There was only one friend he dared to speak to and even then it was only in letters that would take a season or more to arrive. He no longer had the echo scroll, but Faith had ascended to great renown. She, a slave had risen to fame while he, who had been guided and cared for had fallen lower than the lowest of the low. He wrote her but he didn't want or expect replies. It would be too painful to be reminded of his biggest failure. Why hadn't he ben honest with her sooner? Perhaps things would've been different then...

At some point he’d realized with the utmost clarity that this was not the right path. His place was in Rynmere, not out here on the streets of some backward country. But who would welcome him home? Who of his family would embrace the stupid bastard boy that had attacked Celeste Andaris, the very same that had left his training, that had sought to work with the Qe’dreki, the one that had aligned himself with Labrae’s spawn. He had to make things right.

Celeste Andaris held the key, the key to his redemption, the key to his return. But she was not in Rynmere when he started looking for her. She'd vanished and there was no trail of her. But there was a trail of Xander, the young wolf had not yet learned to hide his tracks. And so he’d wandered again, strayed again, fled again, and this season he'd arrived in Ivorian,down to his last coppers but no less determined to find Celeste Andaris and seek her forgiveness, no matter the price.

That price was five coppers. With it he'd purchased a round of piss poor ale for Binji and his fuckwit friends. It had been a happy accident that he'd stumbled into the same inn that Binji frequented only a trial after he'd learned of the man's existence and his role in Celeste’s disappearance. The man boasted of his creativity, how he'd fucked his wife bloody, how he'd hit her with a belt, a fireplace poker, a cane, how he'd made her pay for breaking his mug by shoving that firepoker up somewhere it shouldn't. His only regeert was that she didn't sob as much as she used to, but he'd found a way to solve that by “taking the little runts” and threatening the same fate would befall the wailing infants if she didn't please him whichever way he wanted.

Course he wasn't the only one shoving his prick up her fanny, for just a few coppers he'd let others have their fun with his plaything and for friends, well friends could join for free.

And so Rafael had become his friend. He'd laughed at every joke, he'd paid their last round of drinks, he'd even made some gruesome suggestions as to what other experiments could be conducted on Binji’s Tesstoy. It helped that Binji had had a good night gambling, almost tripling the weight of his purse even after having vastly overpaid the gaunt looking innkeep for what was supposed to pass for ale. By the end of it Binji had slung a heavy arm over his shoulder and asked if he was still a virgin. He'd given his first truthful answer and drew a rambacious laugh from Binji who insisted that his condition be immediately rectified. The word immediate had a rather flexible meaning to Binji and his pissed buddies for it took them half a bell to walk a few bits worth of distance. Of course Binji lived in the shittiest part of town. He was probably raised right in those stinking, overflowing gutters.

The passed through a little gate that hinged on misery before stepping inside the tiny, but surprisingly clean hovel. Binji shoved Rafael forward. “I'm too sodding pissed ta-,” he burped as he leaned heavily into the nearest wall and undid his belt. “Too sodding pissed.. H-here…” He shoved Rafael toward the kitchen of the little shack, though not before handing him his heavy belt. “Tell- tell her hi from me… “ he blurted a great deal louder than necessary.Rafael accepted the rolled up belt with a sheepish look, knowing full well what Binji meant for him to do. One of Binji’s friends stumbled and rested his hands on his kneecaps as though on the verge of…

“NOT IN MY FOOKIN HOUSE YOU FOOKIN CUNT!” Binji spun around and leapt toward his drinking buddy, slamming him violently into the nearest wall which, by the looks of it, had seen plenty violence already. Rafael hurried into the kitchen and locked the shoddy door behind him.

It was her. It was undoubtedly her. She looked dreadful, even worse than him and that was saying something. For one godsbedamned trill he froze, his back pressed against the door.

Then he saw the little babies, and she undoubtedly saw the belt in his hand, smelled the ale on his breath, maybe even noticed the hunger in his eyes. For the briefest moment he considered bounding forward, ripping her skirts open and give her a good old stabbing.

And then it was gone.

“Celeste,” he breathed, “I'm here to help.” No sooner than he'd said so, a fresh bout of violence broke loose in the hallway. Except… this was different. In a flash he drew his sword into his left hand and turned around to face the door which, though locked, couldn't hold for long if someone wanted to barge in.

“Stay behind me, you have to trust me.” He even threw the belt her way so she'd have something to defend herself with.
Life is a dark comedy, only you're not in on the joke.
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Rafael Warrick
Approved Character
 
Posts: 311
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:47 pm
Race: Human
Profession: Noble, Aspiring Rebel
Renown: +58
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Medals: 5
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