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Wall Crumblings


Wall Crumblings

Post by Farius Masello on

May 20, 122 PW

Farius was sick of this. He'd been hauling rocks and shoveling...other questionable material for hours now and try as he might, he couldn't get permission from Odelina to remove his sweat-drenched guard tunic. It's insanely hot. Panting, Farius looked up from his work for a moment past Sisara's patient silence to the wall. Farius wasn't sure what to think about the wall. Pointless. I'll probably end up doing some menial task to get it put up in any case, which I suppose is better than this shit. Quite literally, it seemed.

And...Odelina. That woman went from prospective pickup to being worth as much as...whatever he was shoveling currently, in record time. Such a hopeless cause, and it was infuriating because she has some good qualities, and she's got it going on but man, there's some irredeemable fuckery going on in her mind. Shovel, shovel, shovel, rest, sweat, shovel: that's how this day was going. Such a waste of resources. Just like that wall. Shovel, shovel, sweat, rest...

Re: Wall Crumblings

Post by Odelina Meltzer on

Lina was standing at the shadow of the wall, staring at nothing in particular. At first there had been a certain level of entertainment value in watching Farius sweat, but it had long since worn thin. She hadn't slept much the previous night, and it was getting ridiculously hot. I swear there's a storm coming. With our luck, we'll end up getting soaking wet.

She exchanged a glance with Sisara. Lina still could not understand why the woman had insisted in coming to keep company to Farius, when she for once had the chance to be far away from the little tit. He is bad for you. And such wasted potential. What a, well, waste. She realised she was shaking her head, and stopped. In her head she had filed Farius under lost causes, but unfortunately he was still a part of the guard and had to be handled.

There were other workers nearby, hoisting large rocks on the top of the wall. Real workers, not undisciplined guardsmen being disciplined. There were probably convicts working at the wall as well, although none that Lina could tell. Professionals, cheaply paid manual workers, and the scum. All working together to protect the city. How very poetic. Until you realise that only one out of three actually cares of the quality of the result. No wonder it hasn't been a roaring success.

It had been a boring, sweaty, sleep-deprived morning, and it was turning into a boring, sweaty, sleep-deprived afternoon. Don't I really have anything better to do with my time? Today, after everything that has happen, I don't have anything better to do with my time?
Last edited by Odelina Meltzer on Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Wall Crumblings

Post by Sisara on

The wall was, well, there was no really good way to describe the place. It was torture for anyone who had to work there even for those who only have to supervise. Sometimes she wasn’t sure whether the boring task of watching others shovel.. dirt.. was better or worse. There was nothing to do, absolutely nothing. Or so it seemed to Sisara.

It might not have been her best decision ever to switch shifts with someone just so she could keep Farius, and incidentally also Lina, company in this menial task but oddly, it did her well to do some proper physical work rather than walking around a specific part in town and watching the same people over and over again to make sure nothing untoward happened.

Farius was clearly unhappy, and if it wasn’t the look on his face when he wasn’t looking at her, it was the look she snatched when he did look at her, not to mention the annoyed breathing – or so it sounded to her ears.
Lina wasn’t fairing any better if the latter’s glance was anything to go by.
Sisara, oddly, didn’t feel so bad. Or maybe it was just different for her because she wasn’t doing this day in day out for countless endlessly long days.

“Anyone up for a break?” she asked, wiping the sweat from her brow, though it was a futile gesture. Who was going to yell at them for interrupting their shift? Certainly not Lina, whether she was their superior or not; the woman looked as though she would happily leave all this behind within the blink of an eye.

Re: Wall Crumblings

Post by Gilith Greenwood on

Grab the leather harness, warm and soft, heave the stone up, cold and coarse. With a slight grunt Gilith hoisted his load of stone on his back, breathing deeply as he walked with creaking and complaining leg joints. Gilith felt relieved as sweat slid down his bare back, having discarded his shirt long ago due to the intense heat. He hoped that his shirt would remain off the filthy ground so he could wear it again, but he wasn't going to take any chances in this heat. Casting a glance to the guard he imagine was being forced to shovel the filth of this place in his tunic; he thanked his lucky stars that he wasn't being forced to do the same thing. If such a thing was commonplace among this lands guards Gilith was certainly thankful that he had been rejected so heartily by them. Though as it was he truly doubted that, and imagined that this was a special torture devised for this individual due to a reason, unknown to him. Gilith would have pitied this man, if he had been of another station. As it was, he was still sore from his defeat and embarrassment at the hands of these guards, his pity was thus minimal.

Gilith turned his attention back towards his job at hand, something he'd rather not be doing, he tried to blink the sweat out of his eyes as it fell from his forehead. Blasted sun, throwing it's merciless heat at him, Gilith thought to himself. He normally wouldn't have minded working in the heat, or working hard. But he had been thrown in with the undesirables of this crowd. Not a artisan, nor even an honest laborer, no, he was an outsider and the only use for him was the grunt work, commonly given to the criminals. Gilith's strength made the job manageable, but not easy, and sometimes he envied the guard that he pitied most of the time. Sure he was forced to work in this ungodly weather suited in his tunic. But at least that tunic was a sign of higher station, and was still looked upon with respect and even admiration! Scowling at the taste of these bitter thoughts, Gilith dropped the stone he had been moving in the site where the stones were supposed to be deposited. Gilith got down on one knee and wiped the back of his moist and filthy hand on his pants, they weren't much better off but it was something, then ran his hand across his forehead to try and wipe away the grime and sweat gained from work.

Sighing Gilith looked down at the heavy rock, and set about removing the leather harness from it that was supposed to make it easier to carry. Gilith was thankful for the tool, it wrapped around the heavy cut boulders and made them manageable thanks to it's handles. He was even glad that it slowed down the pace and gave him time to rest after every load. Gilith knew that he didn't need it in order to do this job, and on a different day might have refused to use it for the sake of his pride, but this sun had managed to dry up every last drop of it in his body. He felt as if it had all leaked out of him with his sweat, and reduced him to a humbled withered husk.

Gilith made his trek back to pick up more stone in order to move it towards where it would be added to the wall. He thought for a moment to take a sip of his water skin, and maybe pour some of the liquid on his face. He knew there wouldn't be much water around a place like this, and besides that, it wasn't even cold enough to make a difference on his skin any more. Gilith took out his skin and opened the top, he placed it to his lips and closed his eyes as the water ran out of the container and down his parched throat, grateful for the feeling of refreshment if for but a moment. He placed the skin back along his belt where his sword would normally go, though today he did not wear it. He knew it would only get in his way as he tried to do his job, and if worse came to worse he still had a knife on him. He hoped that his equipment would be alright in his room at the red chalice inn, he didn't imagine that that town was the kind where a lot of crime took place. But just to be careful he had placed them in a locked chest, the key actually hung around his neck by a length of twine.

Another small grunt sounded as Gilith got down on his knees again to place his tool around another rock. For the first time the tediousness of this activity started to bother him. He wished there was something to take his mind off his work, but this crowd was a dull one, and he didn't think he could get any of them signing. He doubted they would know the same songs anyways. As Gilith was about to heave another rock up on to his back he suddenly stopped at the mention of a break. He didn't know or care who said it, but his eyes came to rest on their supervisor, wondering what her decision would be. He knew, or at least assumed she didn't like this either, and he hoped that her own disdain for watching them work would be enough to let them all off to save herself as well.

Re: Wall Crumblings

Post by Farius Masello on

"Alright, I'm taking a break." Farius wiped beading sweat from his forehead with one hand and haphazardly discarded the shovel with his other. It fell to the ground with a soft thunk that didn't do its weight justice. I can put up with a lot, but just not today. Dunno what's wrong with me. Might be what happened last night. Best just to put it at the back of my mind. I don't care. I don't care. Farius walked straight up to Odelina, the back of his hand now wiping the rest of his face down. He tried his best to look absolutely nonchalant about demanding things from his superior, and on any other day he would be genuine about it. Something's up. I don't want to be here a second more than I need to. For a second, everything was silent, Odelina right into his sight, annoyedly meeting his gaze, Sisara in his peripheral vision, looking falsely relaxed. Sisara, stop being so tense all the time.

Farius, his face relatively clear, used his freed hands to motion with both arms away from the work site, as if to say 'lead on'.

Re: Wall Crumblings

Post by Odelina Meltzer on

"Oh, you are?" Odelina responded with the annoyed tone that had become habitual around Farius, but she was feeling too hot and tired to put any real emotion into her words. Besides, the other workers seemed to be heading for a break. Even though he was being punished, it would not look good to obviously overwork Farius. And perhaps there was still enough guard left in the man to make him feel as awful as she did about the previous night's events.

So she turned on her heels and joined the crew of workers slowly dragging towards water and shade. They received some passive looks from the working crew but nobody said anything, at least not loud enough for her to hear. Someone actually passed her a half-full water skin, so she sipped a mouthful and passed the bottle on to Sisara.

She watched idly as the workers spread themselves on the grass. They looked just as apathetic as she felt, numbed by the heat and the events of the past night. Slowly the construction site quieted down, and the wall was, for the moment, empty.

Or was it? She glanced up, shielding her eyes from the sun, as a shadow seemed to move along the partially built battlement.

Re: Wall Crumblings

Post by Sisara on

A handful of workers weren’t so far off from them and had obviously taken the suggestion of a break to heart, and both Lina and Farius were more than ready to get out of the heat and dust as well.
If only it weren’t so hot...

When Farius gestured at them to take the lead, Sisara gladly followed Lina and the throng of workers all trying to escape the sun. “There should be laws against working in this kind of heat,” she muttered, as she gladly accepted the waterskin her superior passed to her. She took a long gulp, revelling in the sensation of the cool liquid finding its way down to her stomach, before she passed it on to Farius with a small smile.

There wasn’t a lot of shade, but it was enough for those currently on break, and without further ado, Sisara quite simply sat down on the floor, wiping sweat off her forehead once again. Just about to slip into some easy banter, she noticed Lina’s gaze. “I’m sure the wall isn’t all that interesting to warrant such an intense stare. Is something wrong?”

Re: Wall Crumblings

Post by Gilith Greenwood on

Letting down his current burden Gilith was quite happy to see the collection of worker's had taken up the suggestion of a brief rest from this job. Which alone was painstaking, but put together with this ungodly heat it became just a purely miserable experience, and even with the payment he'd receive for doing this, if every day ended up like this one he didn't think it would be worth it. Gilith stretched the tendons and muscles that he had been working on this job to relieve them at least a little bit of their soreness and their stiffness. He closed his eyes and let his head roll slowly in a circle to stretch neck as well. Just being able to concentrate on his own person for a minute without worrying about the next massive boulder he had to move was pure bliss if for but a moment. Gilith opening his eyes grabbed his shirt from where he had placed it and moved to take his place in the now lingering crows of workers as they departed this blistering field. He was glad that his skin had developed a deep tan recently, so that he wouldn't have to worry about burning so easily in the sun anymore. But how long could any man truly last in this weather? Regardless of his complexion Gilith doubted very long, and before he would do anything else he was going to find some shade to get under.

Much to his annoyance he could not find such a commodity near him, and he feared that he would just have to settle for a small rest on the ground and maybe if he was lucky he could find some colder water. Before he moved further he put his shirt on and taking his leather water skin from his side, now very warm and quite light. He put it to his lips and lifted it towards the sky, feeling the soft material deflate to an even greater degree as the liquid flowed in to his mouth and quickly down his throat. Washing away the taste of dust, the kind of dust that permeates the air when a mass of stone is disturbed and moved and then thrown down to be broken apart and chipped away with iron for hours on end. Something that Gilith was very thankful for, yet something that he would regret having to do again. Now having emptied his skin he set it once more at his side and started walking again. Turning his head from side to side as he looked around for a somewhat suitable place to rest, he found little early but as he traveled he did manage to find some water. This, much cooler, infinitely more refreshing, and very pleasing to the throat as well as skin. Finally he settled on taking his rest on the ground near to a few other workers. Lying on the ground with his arm under his head for comfort and closing his eyes against the sun. Maybe in a few minutes he'd get uncomfortable and have to move again but for now with the cool water in him and with the time to give his muscles a break from their work, he felt quite content.

Re: Wall Crumblings

Post by Gil Agathos on

When the glaring sun reached its zenith, as those on the wall withered under its gaze, a strange fizzing sound was heard from within a recently completed section of the wall. Some workers called out to their supervisors, who clambered down the scaffolding to investigate, but none were able to determine the cause.

A few minutes later, as more came to listen to the strange noise emanating from within, it was replaced by a horrendous cacophany of cracking sounds. It was as if thunder rolled through the stonework itself. Then came the screams.

Most of the dying citizens' shrieks were short-lived as stonework and mortar exploded outwards from where the sounds had originated. Those who witnessed the disaster from a distance would later comment how the spray of mortar and stone dust seemed to cover a straight line along the wall's mid-section. For those immediately present, though, it was a nightmare of deafening sound and deadly shrapnel.

Some of those present were crushed by crumbling masonry, some shredded by whistling shards of stonework. And yet the death throes of that section of wall did not account for all casualties: some choked on an excess of dust in their lungs, some fell fatally from collapsed scaffolds. Many of those who survived in proximity to the explosions were still partially, and some permanently, deafened by the roaring sound of the destruction.

Although there were no leaflets left for this egregious act of demolition, the proximity in time to the previous night's explosions marked this bombing as another deadly blast of breath from The Dragon Awakened.

Re: Wall Crumblings

Post by Farius Masello on

In the future, though his memories of this time in his life had been somewhat repressed, Farius would often try to remember what he was doing when the Wall went down. To the day of his death, he never succeeded. Strangely, everything else was in clear, sharp focus.

He felt the concussion hit him before he really knew what happened, then his mind connected the noise, the enveloping quake, the sudden presence of choking dust all around, and Farius realized what had happened. He didn't know for sure, but he knew what it might be, and that was enough for him to grab Sisara's arm and turn to run. He realized as he began to flee that continuing to clamp down on Sisara would cause her to fall. He thought he saw her trip, but when he saw she was still running, he turned away again and ran. At first his sprint was aimless, but soon the smoke and dust and debris cleared enough for coherent thought to return. Darius' first realization was of pain. Upon further inspection, he had been hit in the temple by a sizable piece of debris, leaving a thin, hot line of blood running down past his cheekbone, mixing and caking with the dust from the explosion. Neat. That's just wonderful. Farius felt a tinge of frustration that his concentration on the situation would still lapse to give a snide remark, even only to himself.

Once out of immediate danger, Farius turned and checked to ensure all his belongings were still on his person. He couldn't see Sisara at first. Oh, shit, he thought in a sudden panic, she's gone. She got lost and tripped and fell and she's in danger but I don't want to go back but I have to.

Re: Wall Crumblings

Post by Sisara on

The heat... It was unbearable... It was a cruel punishment to work here, it really was. And she had been stupid enough to volunteer, merely for the sake of being with her friends. For a brief moment, she wondered if it had been worth it, but when she glanced at Farius, she dismissed any negative thoughts. Of course it was worth it. She would go to the ends of the world for him.

Before Odelina got a chance to reply to her question however, whether something was wrong, something suddenly was very much wrong.

The wall blew apart, sending mortar and shrapnel flying in every direction, hitting people so fast, there was barely any time to react. Screams suddenly filled the air along with the terrible sounds of a bomb going off and Sisara jumped to her feet, panic making her heart race, only to be hit in the stomach by a flying stone. Air rushed out of her and she bent over in a frantic attempt to breathe, only to feel like her lungs were filling with dust rather than oxygen.

Unable to think or digest what was happening, Sisara felt someone grab her arm and pull her away. At first she wanted to struggle, because she had to get to Farius. She needed to find Farius!! Until she realised it was Farius who was dragging her along in a frantic attempt to get out of the danger zone. She blindly followed his lead, tripping every now and then but always following the figure in front of her. When the air finally seemed to clear a little, Sisara wanted nothing more than to take a deep breath of actual fresh air. Straightening up from the slightly crouched run she had adopted in an attempt to shield her body, she had half a heartbeat to realise that she shouldn’t have done that before the stone that hit her in the head caused her to fall and lose consciousness.

Re: Wall Crumblings

Post by Odelina Meltzer on

The first thing she noticed, when she opened her eyes, were the clouds finally rolling in, covering the infernal sun. What took you so long?

The second thing she noticed, when she turned her head, were the rocks and boulders scattered around her, all the fragments of the wall. All that work for nothing. The builders must be so frustrated. Her thoughts were slow and sluggish, like a bumblebee crawling in maple syrup.

The third thing she noticed, when she focused her eyes on a brown lump by her left shoulder, was her own boot. She had a vague feeling that the fact that there was still quite a lot of leg sticking out of the boot should have warranted some personal interest, but she felt rather too exhausted for that.

The fourth thing she noticed, when she started to hear the distressed cries at the edge of her hearing, was the fact that she had been almost completely deafened by the explosion. I wonder what I’ve missed. I wonder if someone has been calling me.

The fifth thing she noticed, when she tried to rise on her elbows, was the pain, and then the darkness came back.

Re: Wall Crumblings

Post by Farius Masello on

He had to run back. Sisara wasn't there behind him, and changing that was priority number one in Farius' mind, and number two, and three. The heel of his boot slipped a bit on the dusty ground, but he dug in and regained traction. Shrapnel was still flying, but the larger pieces had already fallen and now littered the ground, leaving smaller bits and wafts of dust circulating throughout the area. Catastrophe and its observation, however, were second to finding Sisara. A limp form surrounded by rubble which Farius did not immediately discern from the stone itself. When he recognized the human shape, he knelt to observe it, fearful it was Sisara. It was only after he realized it was Odelina that he saw what had happened to her leg. He couldn't bring himself to help her immediately; Sisara was still missing.

Farius rose once more and came upon Sisara before too much more time had passed in the dirt-clogged air. She was clearly unconscious. Practiced hands (if only from years of training) performed a quick triage, finding no broken bones or other major injuries that would restrict how she could be moved. As his fingers brushed the back of her head, his stomach dropped to the ground. They pulled away sticky and covered in dark, warm blood. Upon closer inspection, Sisara's hair was matted down over the area, where blood caked with dust. The heat caused sweat to begin to mix with the bloody cuts on Farius' own head; he barely felt the sting, courtesy of his sympathetic nervous system's flooding of his entire body.

Assessing that the damage wasn't life-threatening, Farius rolled over Sisara's body, hastily but carefully, and scooped her into his arms and turned back away from the source of the explosion. Farius had to force his eyes away from Odelina's still-unconscious body as he passed. I can't rationalize this. This is wrong. But this is what I'm going to do. And, resolutely, he continued out of the dust storm, constantly blinking the thick irritating debris from his eyes. Where am I going to go?

Re: Wall Crumblings

Post by Gilith Greenwood on

A deafening roar set out across the area, like a dragon of stone rearing it’s fearsome head and proclaiming it’s gruesome intent to the nearby onlookers. Gilith’s eyes widened drastically as he bolted up, this was foolish however. The dust cloud which came the terrible and destructive shrapnel was flying towards him, so fierce and monstrous it seemed that Gilith thought at first that a dragon truly was attacking them. But as the dust struck against his face blinding and gagging him, his mind began to search for more sensible reasons for this. As best as he could figure the entire blasted wall must have fallen down!

His face in tatters as the piercing minuet brands struck him, he was still able to take a blind run away from the assumed direction of the disaster. As he got up to do so a larger chunk of the rock, which he had spent so much time moving personally, took it upon itself to strike him in the back of the head. At first, a glancing blow, nothing but a wound to the temple, but then as he fell he placed his left hand out in front of him to cushion the fall. It struck the ground hard, and at an awkward angle, he heard a small crack, or rather, he felt it, and imagined there must have been a crack. But that ringing, that ear shattering ringing drove out to the sounds of all but the loudest most wretched screams.

Some more rubble fell, another larger rock hitting his shoulder, bruising that badly, and while that would be the majority of his serious injuries, the countless bloodied lines and scratches form the tiny projectiles that had found their way to him seemed uncountable, and almost, to decorate him in a rich plaid, outlined all the more so by the dusky complexion which the cloud of dust had left on him.

He got up, no time to concentrate on his pain, and started running again. Bobbing this way and that, he tried desperately to clear his eyes, to scream, to shout out for help. But the dust refused to go away, it burned his eyes, and it gagged his throat, blistering inside of him like the spark of a fire. He could do nothing but cough viscously, and attempt to see through haze before him.

Gilith managed through luck to find his way outside of the deadly hail raining down around the wall, for the most part. He had been a lucky distance away from the wall, but not nearly far enough to escape rather serious injuries. It did not help that he had been bare chested the entire time. Just that small layer of clothing would have saved his skin from many of the cuts adorning him.

When finally Gilith was sick, from what, he could not say, though he imagined it was probably out of the incredible fright that struck him throughout this all, and his desperation to clear his throat. He began to holler out, calling for someone, asking if anyone was there. He couldn’t think to do much more than that, until he noticed that in his right hand he had held on to his water skin with a grip of Iron. Without missing a beat he poured the water in to his eyes, and then down his burning throat. He made sure to keep at least a quarter of it for later, but with the addition of the water, oh the blessed water. Came a small sense of relief, something to dull the pain, to just take the edge off. It was enough. Enough for now at least. The adrenaline pumping through his veins would take care of the rest for a bit. He was not even aware of his broken finger at this point.

Calling around once more Gilith began to try and find the wounded, for he sure they would be many.

Re: Wall Crumblings

Post by Sisara on

While Farius carried the unconscious Sisara off to safety, the initial shock and chaos of the explosion finally began to settle a little along with the majority of the dust from the wall crumbling to bits. Only to make way for the next step of utter chaos.

Guards and other spectators were swarming towards the place of the accident, unsure what had happened, shocked by the evidence once they came upon it. Small bits and pieces were still crumbling down from the wall but this was just an aftermath of the ear-shattering explosion which had left a few stones loose here and there.

Gillith finally received a few answering calls, weak as they were, but with the help of the newly arrived guards, the wounded were quickly starting to be tended to, including the still unconscious Odelina. Healers were called for as some of the wounded could not be moved without causing considerable damage in addition to what these people had already suffered.

Another few sets of guards were examining the wall and starting to piece together what had happened, spreading out in all directions to try and pin down a possible culprit.

The area was in complete and utter uproar. But with all that was going on and despite the many people on the lookout for any suspicious activity or behaviour, nobody noticed the actual culprit slip away, and nobody stopped Farius either.




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