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Author Topic: Escape From Quilien [M] [Open]  (Read 203 times)

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Offline zilarra

Escape From Quilien [M] [Open]
« on: October 04, 2017, 07:19:54 AM »
(Hi pals! Me and my RPartner Ary are both new and sort of shy, but we would love to have people join us! This thread (and the both of us) are therefore super open for everyone. Our characters are currently on the run, time and setting in the middle of the desert, in the middle of the night. Feel free to stumble onto us <3)

The Moraki Desert, Ajan has learnt, is a place of masterful deceit.

On first glance, it's a place of wonders and beauty the likes of which few has never seen before. Its infinity rivals that of the universe, with dunes of sand piling up into mountains as well as stretching into plains that reaches out into the horizon of every direction. When morning comes and the yellow sun wanders towards its throne on the top of the sky it paints the entire sky orange and reflects red on every grain of sand the rays can reach. Sometimes the sky remains colored in the hues of fire for an entire day, sometime it brightens into a clear blue. Sometimes the night brings a breathtaking display of the galaxy in all its full glory, sometimes the moon is the only light the heavens provides. Sometimes the wind is nothing but a whisper- a gentle breeze that caresses bare skin and stirs sands into a serene dance, but sometimes the wind is more of a roar of fury that lifts the small grains and throws them around like a child throwing a temper tantrum. But most of the time, the Moraki Desert is nothing but an infinity of mind-numbing, desolate, silence.

And that, Ajan has learnt, is the dangerous duality of the Moraki Desert.

It enchants you with a plethora of breathtaking views, a never-before-experienced serenity and that feeling of being the only speck of life in a completely lifeless place- but that couldn't be further from the truth. These things are just what comes before the storm that is The Moraki Desert, making you unsuspecting and vulnerable to what happens when the desert unleashes its full power and shows its true side. It becomes hostile. Ruthless.

Deadly.

Because the truth, Ajan has learnt, is that the Moraki Desert never stops hunting. At every given moment of every given day- the Moraki Desert is out for the kill. If it's not the poison of some huge arachnid that kills you, you will most likely die of thirst, or starvation, or of the heat that Ajan has heard will drive the weak to insanity.

Or, Ajan thinks, it's a night like this one that kills him. A night like this, where the moon's light is pale and the air is freezing in that sort of dry way that nips at fingers and noses and makes the warmth of the fireplace feel less warm. Those nights, where neither the warmth of his multiple layers of clothes nor his sisters body-heat feels sufficient

Those are the nights that makes Ajan wish he had a home.

Offline Kalak

Re: Escape From Quilien [M] [Open]
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2017, 09:59:49 AM »
(Welcome to SotE, you two! I hope you have fun here! I have a wandering character that would be great for this situation that I think you'll like very much. Just follow the light!)

The night had descended much more quickly than the old man expected. He planned to be well within sight of the great desert city by the time the sun left the sky, if not at its gates. Biting his lip in disappointment, he weighed the options before him: press on, or stay the night.

If he so chose, the man could continue his trek well through the night, as he had done for some nights before this one. He was no stranger to the cold of the desert's dark. The biting sensation, albeit not deadly to him, was still a great nuisance. One he had simply accepted during the journey. However, the days and nights of continuous travel up and down mounds of loose, shifting sands had taken their toll. The man did not tire easily, despite his appearance an an elderly man. Yet, the fatigue of continuous travel began to grow as he stood still in contemplation. Perhaps the decision had been made for him.

The old man climbed to a clear spot atop a flattened dune, taking a moment to admire the scenery around him. It was actually quite a beautiful night. The pale moon shone down from the darkness above, accompanied by a host of seemingly infinite stars. Their pale lights painting the sands below them, making the surrounding desert seem as a frozen sea of rolling waves. Many saw the desert as desolate and unforgiving. But in this light, it was its own single slumbering entity.

If you're QUITE finished... I'm FREEZING!

It had been too good to be true. Being alone with his thoughts reminded the old man just how unpleasant those thoughts were. The crass and angry voice echoed in the man's subconscious, impossible to ignore in his solitude. With a sigh, he got to work. The old man kneeled down at the center of the dune's summit. He dug into the sand, still somewhat warm from the baking sun that shone upon it hours ago. The "work" did not take a long. A small and shallow basin was all that was needed for a basic campfire. The wind was thankfully not very strong this night, so a fire would be much easier to maintain.

With the hole dug, the old man was able to sit at last. It felt so much more refreshing that he had anticipated. The true nature of his exhaustion made itself known then, and the cold air became more harsh. Focusing on the hole before him, the man created a great and brilliant flame. An advantage of this terrain was that there was little to no plant life to destroy with this big a fire, or any danger of the flames spreading. Unfortunately, this also meant a lack of kindling for those without the gift of this degree of fire magic. The man was finally able to relax as the fire shown warm and bright on his face. It illuminated the surrounding area like a beacon spiting the night's cold shadow. He stayed awake, but only just barely. Without fuel, the fire would fade if he fell asleep...

Offline Arany

Re: Escape From Quilien [M] [Open]
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2017, 01:42:55 PM »
(Thanks for the warm welcome and for joining, we will make sure to give Mr. Ikka a warm something as well!)

A few nights into their escape and Arany had already decided that the cold was not her thing. It was almost a bit humorous how, up until just a bit more than a week ago, Arany hadn't even experienced the sensation of feeling her body gradually grow numb as coldness seeped into her skin.

The first week of their escape had been surprisingly merciful; with mild temperatures during both day and night and no sandstorms to speak off, much to the siblings' great joy. Their travels, despite being uncharacteristicall y kind on the two of them, had been far from pleasant, so not having to worry about their pursuers sneaking up on them in a sandstorm was a welcome relief. But even this was a small comfort when the nights grew longer and the temperatures dropped lower, making each night an increasing struggle. A struggle which only got worse as Arany grew weaker and her holy powers diminished- leaving her powerless in multiple meanings.

She suspected Ajan wasn't doing too well either. It was painfully obvious how his brooding face darkened by each night; just as the dark rings that were starting to form under his eyes. Neither of them were sleeping especially well- neither of them were sleeping at all- and it was beginning to show.

"We can't do this anymore," Arany admits aloud, more to herself than anyone else. Ajan, who is lying by her side in the small cot they dug out from a dune of sand in order to keep warm, doesn't even react to her whispered words. He keeps on staring up towards the stars as if waiting for a sign from above, his body shivering almost violently as he does so.

"Ajan," she repeats, her voice growing more desperate, "we need to keep on walking if we're going to make it."

Without waiting for any kind of confirmation from her brother, Arany crawls out of their small cot and closer to the warm flames of the fire. For a few seconds she does nothing but stare into the brilliant blaze, drawing whatever power she can from the light. After a few minutes of consideration she stands up, pulls her scarf over her head and ties her pouch around her waist, getting ready to leave. She gazes out into the horizon as she plans their route in order to avoid as much climb as possible, knowing they need to conserve as much energy as possible.

It's only then that Arany sights it: a beacon of light, not larger than the campfire of their own, only a small distance ahead. Her first reaction is to panic- thinking the source of the light must belong to the Quilien knights that have been pursuing them ever since the disbanding of their Holy Guard, but it doesn't take long for her to realize that there is neither horses, banners, nor any other signs of the camp belonging to the Quilien knights. No, that is the campfire of another wanderer.

Without a second of hesitation, Arany returns to Ajan's almost-sleeping form and begins shake him, feeling entirely revitalized by the prospect of company, warmth and guidance.

"Ajan," Arany nearly laughs in excitement, "a light. There's a light! We're getting help."

She doesn't wait for Ajan to react before taking down camp, almost tripping over her own robes in her excitement to get to the other, desperately hoping whoever they are isn't just another lost soul in the desert.

Offline zilarra

Re: Escape From Quilien [M] [Open]
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2017, 11:14:00 AM »
By the time Ajan is out of their make-do sleeping cot (which is literally nothing more than a hole in the sand and a small rift in a rock of sandstone), Arany has already begun throwing things into her leather satchel. Ajan, who is still a tad groggy from his sleepless night, can do nothing but stumble after her, hurriedly trying to gather his own items as he does so. He mutters a few curses under his breath as he scorches his hand while trying to extinguish their fire, but promptly ignores the small burn in order to chase down his sister.

"Arany!" he hisses, trying to keep his voice down in order not to wake anything that is better off sleeping. While the two of them haven't encountered any creature of notable danger yet (with the exception of the stubborn bastards who are tracking them down), Ajan has heard the rumors of what looms in the unknown of the Moraki desert and frankly, he isn't too keen on finding out if they were true.

But at the moment, Ajan's biggest concern isn't monsters, cold or even the blood-thirsty pursuers of his past. The more pressing issue of his is the fact that his sister is most likely hallucinating. Because what other explanation could there be to a mystery light? Only fools, or those looking to escape something, wander the Moraki desert. So when Ajan looks into direction in which Arany is running, he isn't expecting to see the same light But, alas-

There it is.

Ajan briefly considers the fact that he might be hallucinating as well (considering his lack of sleep it actually isn't too hard to believe), but he so badly wants it to be real so he takes to running after his sister, trying to keep up with her quick pace.

As they approach the light, which upon closer inspection turns out to be a campfire, Ajan is finally able to make out a humanoid figure that lies by the fire. He stops his sister, shoves her behind his back, hands on the hilt of his sword as he watches the mysterious figure. While the darkness obscures most details of the cloaked figure, Ajan's interest is captured by the strange fire that burns in a hole in the sand. It wouldn't be out of the ordinary if not for the fact that the fire seemed to burn by itself, its light stronger and more brilliant than any fire he or Arany ever created.
 
Ajan can't stop the snort that escapes him.

"Looks like I might be hallucinating after all." he says.

Offline Kalak

Re: Escape From Quilien [M] [Open]
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 05:28:43 PM »
The man sat beside his fire for what seemed like hours. The bland monotony of its dance was hypnotic in a way, lulling him nearly into a restful stupor. As his eyelids grew heavy, the flames began to wane. It was only the hissing voice in the back of his mind that pushed sleep away.

Some are coming...

Despite the contempt the man held this voice, it was his own subconscious. It brought to his attention what his ears had passively sensed. Before him were the sounds of feet shifting the sand beneath their steps. For better or for worse, he was about to have company.

The man straightened his back in a confident and elegant pose. The fire's revitalized glow reflected like two golden orbs off his thick glasses. He merely watched as two humanoid shapes crested the top of his dune and looked upon him. In silence he evaluated them, uncertain if they were to be friend or enemy. Their cautious nature as well as the way the male gripped his sword almost suggested the latter. That is, until his statement and reluctance to draw it worked against that theory. The man decided to handle this as he normally did, with courtesy and caution.

"It is no illusion... Come and sit." he called with arm outstretched.

Offline Arany

Re: Escape From Quilien [M] [Open]
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 11:13:23 AM »
The man that they find sitting in front of the fire is elderly in comparison to them, at least judging by his thin, slightly greying hair. There is something about him that Arany finds slightly off-putting about the other; if it is the attire that covers most of his body as well as his eyes or the slightly fluctuating aura he emits, Arany can't quite tell. In all honesty, she doesn't quite care either. The absolutely worst case scenario she can imagine is the man suddenly snapping and attempting to kill them, but she also realizes that that's a risk she must be willing to take. After all, it seems increasingly unlikely that she and her brother will survive their escape without the help of someone else.

Besides, the way the man speaks in a way that is void of any traces of hostility (with the exception of the expected caution) and doesn't seem threatened by their presence, despite Aran's defensive stance. Then again, she can't imagine the two of them looking especially intimidating. After all, they are nothing more than two lost, tired and underfed younglings.

"Thank you," Arany replies, lowering her head in a polite greeting, "I apologize for my brother's wariness, we aren't used to company."

When she passes her brother on her way to sit down next to the other man, she shoots him an accusatory glare and bumps her shoulder into his with quite some force. Don't, she mouths, than tugs his arm in a silent order telling him to take a seat as well.

As she gracefully takes her place between the two men, Arany takes the opportunity to remove her headscarf and show her entire face. It's not a polite gesture in the way it's basic manners for people of her culture; it is often said that the ears are the most expressive part of an elf and concealing them would be to admit to having secrets.

"My name is Arany Arquen, this here is Ajan." she says, gesturing back to the moon elf as she does so. She can practically feel the other's glare in her neck as she reveals their identities, knowing  her brother won't be too fond of her trust. It isn't too hard to ignore him and his constant need to protect her, it is almost as if she has gotten used to it over the years, so Arany continues her conversation with the stranger.

"Dangerous, traveling on your own." she remarks, almost shyly. "We've heard rumors of what roams the desert at night.

Offline Kalak

Re: Escape From Quilien [M] [Open]
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2017, 09:42:43 AM »
"There is no offense, I assure you. Some who roam the desert are more... hostile, than others. Precautions are necessary."

This man was very solemn in his speech. His guard dropped almost completely as the girl sat beside him. There was no need to fear as far as he could tell. They were only two young elves, wandering through the middle of the vast Moraki desert.

"Pleasure to make your acquaintances. You may call me Mr. Ikka."

There was still some tension from what the old man could sense. The she-elf seemed amiable and trusting, but he could not get a reading on her brother. Not yet. Any mistrust would not be completely unwarranted, for strangers always carried an aura of mystery that many found intimidating. If these two had known Mr. Ikka's true nature, the one he desperately tried to ignore, they would be extremely less than courteous. Still, the old man attempted to soothe any tension with polite conversation.

"Most are just that. Rumors. There are some beasts that prowl these sands, but they tend to avoid fire for the most part."

He turned to look at Arany, eyes still obscured by thick glass. An opportunity had presented itself to learn more about his visitors...

"Yet... despite such rumors, you two travel the desert with only each other? I assume that means you are skilled warriors, no?"


Offline zilarra

Re: Escape From Quilien [M] [Open]
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2017, 10:30:07 AM »
Despite his best efforts, Ajan can’t bring himself to get upset at how quick to trust her sister is. After all, he knows she has always been too compassionate and trusting for her own best. While her ability to see good in everything and everyone is what he came to love about her, it is also flaw that he knows can be lethal in the great expanse that lies beyond Quilien’s walls. It is because of this he has always vowed to protect her, especially from things such as curious. But there is no denying that he too is growing tired and that he knows that arguing amongst themselves would be a waste of energy they can’t afford. Besides, the mysterious stranger might be their last hope of escaping not only their home of Quilien, but also the seemingly infinite plains of the Moraki Desert.

That doesn’t mean he is going to be happy about it though, he thinks as Arany practically drags him down to sit next to her. He settles for leaving the almost translucent white fabric that is acting as a headpiece on, finding a little comfort in obscuring a bit of his face. While his facade of hostility might be growing weaker by each second, he refuses to let down his guard fully.

”What does skill matter?” he answers Mr. Ikka, his voice more hollow than intended as he does so. ”Even the mightiest of warriors can’t fight the cold, and even the strongest of men must drink.”

With a sigh, Ajan falters. His bones are aching and while he can’t tell if it’s due to fatigue or cold- the dull pain is enough to make him want to crawl in on himself and give up. He lowers his gaze from the other man’s glasses to his own, tanned hands, barely paying any thought to how they seem to get weaker by each day. A small laugh escapes his lips as he speaks.

”Skill or no skill- only a fool travels the desert by choice.”

Offline Arany

Re: Escape From Quilien [M] [Open]
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2017, 01:14:55 PM »
Even as Ajan spoke, voice heart-wrenchingly hollow and so, so tired, Arany had a hard time looking away from the mysterious stranger. It might be the thick glasses that succeeded in entirely obscuring the other's eyes, or the simple fact that the other was wandering the desert alone, but for some reason she couldn't quite get a reading on the other. He seemed trusting, yet Arany couldn't shake the possibility that the man was more than met the eye. Attempting to use her powers to get a better understanding of the bespectacled man was always a possibility, though one she refused to submit to. Not only because she refused to use it for her own gain, but because it could ruin whatever trust the two of them had gained. Besides, she wasn't even sure she could invoke her holy magic now, when her powers (and herself) were weaker than ever. Therefore, she settled for simply observing the other with her head tilted and her golden eyes wide in curiosity.

"So we were told. But what to we actually know about the desert? We've never gone beyond the walls of our village, we can't tell rumors from the facts. " Arany mused, more a reply to her brother than anything else. She knew he was protective and overly-cautious to the extent of keeping himself from revealing anything about them or their past, yet she knew they had to be honest if they wanted to gain Mr. Ikka's trust and his own stories.

"Back in our home, there was a saying that goes 'no one walks the desert without purpose'." Arany began, "We're no warriors. At least not anymore. We've been on the run ever since we found left our home. It wasn't much of a choice."

Her eyes fluttered briefly to the ground as the memories of their escape flashed fresh in her memory, yet she was quick on shaking them from her mind. When she looks back to Mr. Ikka she flashes him a gentle smile, waving a hand in a dismissive fashion.

"What's your purpose?"

Offline Kalak

Re: Escape From Quilien [M] [Open]
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2017, 09:23:20 PM »
"My... purpose?"

The man found himself softly repeating the question, taken somewhat off guard by it. Despite the expectation to be asked something like this, the wording itself triggered something inside him.
Something deep down...

It took only a second for the old man to compose himself and offer a reply.

"Why, I have no purpose. I travel as I may, fate guiding as it sees fit."

His gaze found the fire again. He was genuine, offering the truth to those who seemed to trust him. After all, there was no reason to lie to the two travelers. Not yet, anyway.

As he focused on maintaining the great flame, there were now four sitting around it. The newest addition to the circle was seen only by the man, however. It was a familiar apparition, one that regularly harassed him: A monstrous cat-like beast, colored a deep grey with black stripes reminiscent of a tiger. It sat on the sand as the old man did, glaring menacingly with sickly blue eyes. The man ignored the evil vision as best he could, taking comfort as always in the fact that it was not really there. In fact, he envied the two elves for not being able to witness such a sight.

When its presence alone proved ineffective, the cat monster spoke. Its words nearly sent a chill up the man's spine:

What's your purpose...

Offline zilarra

Re: Escape From Quilien [M] [Open]
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2017, 02:51:24 PM »
Ajan observes the other man in silence, trying to distinguish any emotions through the dark glass of his spectacles. He finds the other's story strange, seeing absolutely no reason for anyone to travel alone through the Moraki desert of all places, yet he can't deny the fact that the other sounds totally genuine. He doesn't know what to comment, nor can he think of something to ask. When he looks over to Arany, he finds her golden eyes transfixed on the stranger. It's very typical her, in a way, and in all honesty- it wouldn't come as a surprise to him if he finds out that Arany is getting ready to adopt their new acquaintance into an adventurer group of sorts.

Maybe that's not too bad of an idea, Ajan thinks, the two of them could use some directions. His thoughts are interrupts by a yawn of his own, his own fatigue finally beginning to catch up to him.

"I guess we're sort of in the same seat then," he says, stretching a little as he does so. He looks over the other two one last time, before turning his eyes upwards to the starry night sky and carefully hosting himself onto his back.

"Truth to be told, I don't even know where we want to be heading." he mumbles, then once again turns to the stranger, who seems to have begun zoning out just a bit. "Have you ever been to Essyrn?"

Offline Kalak

Re: Escape From Quilien [M] [Open]
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2017, 07:06:57 AM »
"Essyrn?" asked the old man, his attention drawn from the monstrous vision beside the fire.

It still sat there, glaring angrily at the dismissal of its inquiry. This was a manifestation of the deepest part of Mr. Ikka's mind. The part of it he despised. It pained him to have no answer for it, for himself. The man continued the conversation, in an attempt to distract himself from what sat before him both figuratively and literally.

"Oh, many times! In fact, I am headed to the city now. Maybe you should join me?"

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