Healthy Wife, Happy Life

The farms and houses of Shim, a single inn known as the Red Chalice, and an old manor on a hill overlooking it all to the north.
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Breda Dreaughan
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Re: Healthy Wife, Happy Life

Post by Breda Dreaughan » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:42 pm

Shim. Bloody finally. It had been a long walk from the forest after a couple of very, very long days. She would have given quite a lot to be home and in her own bed, but right now a chair at the Red Chalice would just have to suffice.

Entering the village, she realized it had been ages since she had last visited. She'd only ever come here on business. There had always been a few customers who had been bold enough and proud enough to want their "escorts" in their own beds, and some of those beds had been in the village.

Maybe the father lives here
. The thought didn't stir any emotion. Over time, she'd lost the interest towards the identity of the father of her unborn child. She'd settled with "probably human", and that would have to be enough. Also for the child.

Exhausted and preoccupied with her own thoughts, she hardly noticed the people hurrying out of the inn. Only after stepping inside and seeing Kori with the broken table, Saruna and the barman looking at him, and Ran standing on the stairs, did she realize she had walked right in the middle of a scene.

Oh, bloody brilliant. What is it now?

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KoriStronghammer
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Re: Healthy Wife, Happy Life

Post by KoriStronghammer » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:43 pm

Kori rolled his shoulders, the popping sounds loud in the quiet of the inn front room.

"As I've said before, I'm sorry for that happening to you. But until you've been put in a little cage, so small you can't stand, can't lay your body out, watching as dark bruises appear on your skin because the bars make it look like you are a ham tied with string while they make a new cage, and then they drive you into that new home with spears, and all before you are 16? You have no idea what I went through when they did what they did. No idea what happened in my head when they shut that door and then I heard the locks click and the chains rattle. You want to talk about people dying in the dark. I'll show you something that means to that."

With that, he jerked at the laces that held his leather bracers together, yanking them free and tossing them to the ground. The linen under them was a rusty and brown color, damp even from where others stood to see them. They stank of copper and old blood. He rapidly unrolled one, his breathing becoming hitched and uneven. When he was finished, they could see punctures and teeth marks, like a horse bite, judging by the flat teeth indents.

"They ain't stupid, them bastards in there. They seen what happened when they left me in the dark. So they took me to another bottom level. No lights, not even from the door. And they threw me in. Six steps, heel to toe, from side to side. Five of those same steps from front to back. If I bent my knees almost all the way and tilted my head to the side, I didn't have to sit completely down. No food. No water. No light, no sound, no breeze. When they pulled me out, I was chewing on my wrists, trying to open my veins up. Chewing into my wrists and bashing my head into the walls. Would have slit my own throat with a sharp enough rock. Thought about breaking one of my teeth, pulling it out and doing it. But it wouldn't have been long enough."

He continues on, mechanical, like he's not even there. He removed the simple tunic that covers his chest, and all can see the marks of a lash, even a couple that look like hot metal pressed to flesh.

"Two days. It took two days to make my eat into my body. Told 'em to go fuck themselves when they told me to give 'em information the first time. Didn't even know what they was yammering about, but they wouldn't have believed me if I told them. That's when I got the lash. They offered to take me out of the pit, if I would just tell them. Offered me food. Bishani. Women. Said they would find me women who wouldn't be scared to touch me, wouldn't be afraid the barbarian would hurt them. Wanted to know about you, about what had happened here. Again, told 'em to fuck off. That's when they took a hot piece of iron, poked me with it a few dozen times. I know it was iron and not heated steel because of the way my skin sizzled when it touched me. Even brought in that bastard Melagone, remember him? Aye, the battle mage Melagone. Let's talk about what it was like to feel your heart seize up, like it wasn't going to beat anymore, only for him to shock you again and it start beating, like a sparrow trying to outrun an eagle. You want to talk about the evil of Marn? Look at my back and you'll find it. Feel my broken ribs, and you'll see it there too."

Kori reached into his pocket and pulled out a little sack, bouncing it in his palm.

"30 Bishani. 30 to buy me and ask me to spy for them." He threw it down at her feet, even that simple act making something in his eyes go dead. "Use it. Fix the table, fix your little fight, fund whatever you want to fund. Pay my bill while you're at it. I'm out of it. I'm going to my forge. You can visit sometime, when the wounds heal."

He reached down and grabbed his tunic, straightening. All of the loud noise and sharp reactions had been an act. Acting like he was whole, still a warrior. It had cost him too much, and he was just so damn tired of it. He didn't care anymore. He could feel a scab on his back, broken open and sheeting blood. Turning, he walked to the door, lost in his own mind. Before he left, he spoke once more.

"Your Father did die down there. I heard his voice. I heard all their voices, down there in the dark. Blood drenched darkness, you see? It's all I ever see when the light is gone. Your father died down there, and my spirit never left. Just a shell, Miss Saruna. That's all I am. I wish they had ended it. I wish I was brave enough to do it myself. But I'm not. And you may not blame the men who took him, but I would. They knew what was right, and what was wrong. And so did Fayane. There's a difference between what a man is supposed to do, what he will do, and what he actually does. Some would say I'm blaming a sword for it's owners work. Well, who ever buys a sword to do anything but kill, eh? No one."

He finally exited, walking away from the Red Chalice.

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Fayane
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Re: Healthy Wife, Happy Life

Post by Fayane » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:18 pm

She hadn't been asleep long - only a couple minutes - when that crack of wood shattering woke her. She was up and out the door in seconds, adrenaline pushing her as the only thought in her mind was to protect. Thankfully her mind caught up and halted her at the top of the stairs and had her stare at Kori, listen to his words, and cry for the large man's pain. She wanted to run out and tell him she had no choice, that he'd gone and got himself recognized in Shim which allowed someone to report him for a handful of coin... but she couldn't, it's was too soon and she was too weak to defend herself if he went berserk. So she slowly made her way down the stairs when he left, her eyes fixed to Saruna's form.

"Saruna." She drew the woman's attention to herself. "I thank you for defending me, but something must be done. No one deserves that kind of torture, especially not him." Fay's voice was cracking but she ignored it and the tears that were slowly rolling down her face. She heard Jerial come up behind her, felt comforting arms support her, and did her best not to shrug them off. That was when she heard the heartbeat. She turned her head and felt her eyes widen.

"Breda? Is that you?"

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Tanobi Durant
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Re: Healthy Wife, Happy Life

Post by Tanobi Durant » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:36 am

Tanobi had been passively observant to the situation he had found himself embroidered into listening with the small shifts of the wood at his back or to the voices that chatted below. Given no reason to exert himself un-necessarily as Fay seemed to disregard her needs for rest upon a regular basis, he remained upon his rump with his traveling stick leaning upon the walls for a chance at a quicker rise should the infirm cease to remain composed and upright as she is recovering from her attempted assassination. If Tanobi was honest with himself he would continually think heavily upon how Fay seemed to recover quicker than most humans he had encountered and wondered in a brief respite of imaginative musing of a possibility of a second poison that prevented her from resting properly.

"Breda? Is that you?" he heard the lady Fay utter in a questioning manner, a testament to a new guest in the Inn, someone he had no doubt he would meet eventually anyway. Surely he thought that he could allow himself this one moment of rest before introducing himself?

'Oh damn it all' he cursed his weary bones as he arose from the floor once again, his chivalrous paranoia taking a hold of his precautions firmly in their almost ethereal grasp as he moved to the stairs bereft of all but a tired smile. At the top of the stairs to his surprise was a dwarf engaged in conversation with his charge, the traveler looking tired but not unwell his suspicions seemed all the more childish and superstitious, going unvoiced and leaving him naught but the motivation to change where he sat, the top of the stairs would do for now as he watched his charge engage in conversation.

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Saruna
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Re: Healthy Wife, Happy Life

Post by Saruna » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:20 pm

Saruna stared after Kori. She hadn't truly heard him, not really. In her mind's eye was the selfishness of her own bitter life as daughter, wife and mother, and what had transpired in those dark cells. Kori's suffering was the template upon which the scars of families were beaten into being. The thought of it made her mute, speechless.

Ran understood. The sickness was in him, twisted to different paths, but he knew the look. Homesickness struck him so suddenly, so completely, in the wake of the stranger's disaster and the too-close remnants of his own. "Wait!" He blurted out, realizing too late it was in his native tongue. Even as he took a few steps after Kori, a sickness deep in his gut, he knew the other man would not listen even if he had understood. Ran was left, a puppet on cut strings, when Kori had spoken his piece and left. Norroenirlund, he thought, and how truly ridiculous it was: the both of them so far from home and haunted by tragedy. How unfair.

He turned away from the door and the memory of the wounded man, secluding himself from the trio of women and the patiently watchful man. He went to the bar, and gave himself a moment's balm of shutting the whole of it out.

Saruna watched Ran, once the door had closed, because she was too shocked to do anything but pay heed to the nearest moving object.

"Saruna," Fayane said, and Saruna turned to acknowledge the words with a blank stare. The younger woman was crying, but for once Saruna did not have any words to offer. She bent down to pick up the sack of coins, ignoring for the moment the tortured strain of her body.

"It isn't safe here," Saruna said faintly, obediently moving to give the barkeep the coins. "We should find a safe place to talk."
#biologicallyconscientious||Characters and threads.

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Breda Dreaughan
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Re: Healthy Wife, Happy Life

Post by Breda Dreaughan » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:42 am

Breda looked away as the big man stormed past him. He'd seen that expression before, the expression of a man broken, and not long enough time ago.

It's real. It's actually happening, and all the bloody time. "All the voices?" How many people would that be? How many people weekly? Daily? Wait, did he say 'Fayane'?

And then someone came down the stairs. She turned to look, eyes widening. It was Fayane, but it took Breda a moment to recognize her. The pale, weeping woman looked rather different to the strong, daring guard who once had saved her life and promised her protection.

A strange man appeared behind Fayane, supporting and comforting her in what looked like a rather intimate manner. Breda stared at him, then turned to glance at the doorway, through which the broken man had already disappeared.

What is happening? Whose side is she on? Who are these people?


Fayane spoke, and the dwarf turned towards her again. "Yes," she replied hoarsely, trying to smile. "It's me. I'm - uh - I'm sorry." She motioned towards the broken table and the door. "That's probably something I shouldn't have seen."

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KoriStronghammer
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Re: Healthy Wife, Happy Life

Post by KoriStronghammer » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:30 pm

Kori sagged briefly as he walked out the inn door, almost knocking over one of the roof supports he shoulder slammed it so hard. This was completely on accident, his body was just so tired. His back bled and cracked, and his muscles hurt. His heart hurt, and had since the torture of Melagone. It beat funny and hard sometimes, making his chest truly feel pain. It made sense though. It had been restarted after stopping. The staggering enormity of it hit him.

He had been dead. They had brought him back, just to torture him more. He wanted nothing to do with the guard, or the battle mages. He wanted to charge the streets, take over the cell blocks, free the criminals, then go down to the dark with torches, and bring light to the screamers. He could hear their voices. Their screams. They screamed for fresh air. For room to move. For light. Even in his pain, the red haze began to rise, and he could feel it strengthen him as it always did, before he killed something and was then as week as before.

"NO!" He fairly roared to the air. He would not succumb. He would not fall victim to it. He would stay strong. He would lock it away, like he walked away the memories of the dark. The screams. The dead voices.

"They would always come for you at night. Dead, dead, dead, Rising up to your ears and filling them. The spirits of Hel. They stuck in your head, wailing and screaming for loved ones. I heard her father there. He screamed for her. 'Saruna, Saruna' " he mocked, hating every second of it " 'where's my darling Saruna!' Yea, I heard it. Heard my mother too. Strange, she didn't die in no soft jail. She died trying to kill those who killed her. He had went berserker for the first time that day, and had killed many. His mother did not survive, and his father and hot been long for this world after. Sitting down, on instict, he realized he had walked home, to the forge. Here, he could hang his head and cry.

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Jerial
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Re: Healthy Wife, Happy Life

Post by Jerial » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:15 pm

Jerial needed time. He still didn't know most of these people, but from their magical signatures, none of them were like him, not even in ancestry. He let people know that he hated other races, but his predominant emotion was fear. Fear of others. Fear of the unknown. He felt like someone else was controlling his actions; they had to have been, because Jerial had no desire to be in the presence of these...he had no words to describe them. He hid behind Fayane, who was feeling very different emotions.

The object of most of those emotions was the Northern man, which was common between them. Jerial felt like killing him, just to rid the fear. For once, however, Jerial did not feel confident that he could kill someone. The men of the North were fierce, and this man named Kori, Jerial could not imagine what would have caused what had just transpired without a serious past behind him. Yes, Jerial would steer clear of him in the future.

Jerial excused himself quietly in Fay's ear and retreated to the mental safety of the dusty, oaken floor of his room. He could hear further conversation in the hall, but he forced his ears to close to it. Full retreat into his mind, the safe place, away from dwarves and maternal figures and rabid men and lame doctors, and...yes, even Fay must stay out of this inner sanctuary, as much as it broke him to do so. Peace.

Self.

Breath.

The creaking open of the door shattered his meditation, eliciting a gasp and a spike in blood pressure that accompanied the flinch that brought him back into the world.

((Sorry for the bad post. It happens.))

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Fayane
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Re: Healthy Wife, Happy Life

Post by Fayane » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:30 pm

She nodded to Saruna and smiled weakly at Breda.

"Don't worry, Breda, it's just been a very... trying time. She heard Jerial's whispered pardon as he left her standing alone, though she could feel his tension and smell his fear. It was then that she remembered his hatred for races besides their own. The urge to smash her face against a hard surface rose, though she shoved it down.

"I agree Saruna. " Fay said to the older woman, brushing away her tears for now as she drew herself up. "Breda, I know you've caught us in am... interesting state, you could wait and Jerial," At this she gestured upstairs to show her mate, "or I can escort you home." She hated to volunteer Jerial, especially since he likely hated Dwarves as well, but she had no choice. She could see the swelled belly and the doubled heartbeat, and knew she couldn't allow the pregnant dwarf to wander alone, not when her protective instincts were screaming.

"I will gather Jerial and alert Tanobi. Where we go to is your decision, I will follow your lead, Lady Saruna." Fayane told the older woman as she moved up the stairs, gritting her teeth at every step upwards. She relayed her plans to Tanobi when she spotted him before heading into her and Jerial's room. Jerial hadn't been gone long - meditating from the looks of things - yet he jumped when she opened the door. Fear-filled eyes peered into her own and she allowed herself to collapse by her mate, quickly pulling him close and cuddling him.

"I'm sorry for everything I have, and will, put you through." She murmured into his ear before kissing his temple. "But I thank you for everything you have and will do for me, love. For now, we must leave, we're following Lady Saruna to a safer spot... Chances are I'll have to shift halfway there, but I'll try not to." He nodded, quiet. She kissed just below his ear - a gesture of thanks and affection - before pushing herself to rise once more. She swayed, fought for balance, before leading Jerial down the stairs once more - her fingers intertwined with Jerial's.

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Tanobi Durant
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Re: Healthy Wife, Happy Life

Post by Tanobi Durant » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:07 am

Tanobi remained where he sat after being approached by the lady Fay and silently listening to her plans of travel. as she passed him a frown crept upon his face 'neath a furrowed brow both hidden slightly behind clenched hands the grip of which grew tighter by the second. Unseen teeth clenching within his cheeks signified his disapproval of the course of action this group seemed to take upon them in excess. Tanobi's thoughts turned to the outcome of the rashness of travel to the extreme turning more grim by the second.

A small body lie upon the side of the road grasping with rigamortis at an even smaller bundle, a mother and her child lost to the world. Two figures lie in heaps in the street- a body wracked with a reunion with a tenacious slow-acting poison or collapsing from exhaustion with her companion whom lay motionless from his attempts resuscitating her from using a power he currently held no clear dominion over and less understanding over principles of the body for which his self destructive desperation was willing to embrace for what little strength he had left. An aged silhouette lie against a tree motionless with a small boy grasping at her clothing even as his form lie motionless at her side indicative of his inexperience in survival.
Finally his thoughts came to the large figure of a man whom simply lie still next to a forge a wound to his heart from a freshly molded dagger with no hilt that still lie within his flesh protruding from his heart his hand lie within his lap palm up with specks of coagulated blood as if the wound was self-inflicted.

Tanobi was a man who has dealt with the worst case scenario many a time before, back whence he came a power that many citizens in the lands of Thar Shaddin possessed would be akin to seeing a gifted shaman preforming before their very eyes. But City's like that of Marn show signs of desperate fear, a fear of change that they can only be silenced with rivers of blood and control over the populace- or Revolution. As a man of medicine Tanobi knew he would be one of those whom would have to pick up the pieces after such an event and as his musings upon the group he has entangled himself with provide him clues that point briskly to an inevitable confrontation with one of these groups, he still had no indication of where or when. That however was a problem for which a doctor could prepare, and right now Tanobi had a group of Exhausted travelers to look over.

His decision made the aged physician took his walking stick in hand and slowly lifted himself from the top steps of the second floor stairs, the looks of his formerly grim disposition melting into determination and finally reforming into a coy smile as he turned to the intertwined Jerial and Fay. Leaning his body against the wall and pressing his walking stick tightly against his chest with his crossed forearms he asks in a fatherly voice:

"i certainly hope you were not planning to travel without me coming along?"

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Saruna
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Re: Healthy Wife, Happy Life

Post by Saruna » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:22 pm

"Tomorrow," Ran interrupted, suddenly loud as he turned from his deeper thoughts to stare at Saruna. His lips shifted into a disapproving moue as he swept that same, critical gaze over the rest of the ragtag group strung out along the bar like so many disparate rocks. "There is too much exhaustion among you, and too little sense to go with it."

Saruna did her best to not sag in relief at the thought of taking rest, and she nodded back to him. She ignored the bitter note in his voice, and the pain that had etched itself within the lines of his face since Kori had left. Perhaps she should not be so surprised he had found a sort of kinship with Kori, after everything the both of them had been through.

They agreed to meet at the edge of town in the morning. Sleeping arrangements were made, and soon enough Saruna had her rear end firmly planted in one of her own chairs, with Ran having finally made the trip to the well and back with the water they'd started the day out needing to get. They were both tired, but even as stubborn as Saruna was she could not deny that her body had finally given up on her. There would be no more feats of strength for the remainder of the day, for her.

Ran poked at the reluctant fire, tension still catching at his movements. Saruna waited him out patiently, recognizing the need to speak even in someone she hadn't known more than a handful of days. He sat back in a chair opposite hers, and they both watched the fire's hypnotic glow for a time. When Ran spoke, his voice was low and rough. "I would like to go to Kori, tomorrow."

Saruna was more than a little surprised, given his recent avowal of devotion to her, but his mute pain in the Red Chalice was hard to forget.

"It will be dangerous."
Ran looked at her, eyebrows raised.
"For more than one reason, child," Saruna amended with a short and rueful smile.
"It's dangerous for him, is it not? You've made no attempt to disguise the danger of this. He defied your government publicly. Won't they know where to find him?"
Saruna didn't respond immediately. She could feel Ran's hard gaze upon her, but there was no easy answer to give to him. The spot in her heart she held for the large northerner warred with the dedication to the cause she had taken up, and knowing what she had to do barred her from going to him. Not that Kori would appreciate it, even if she did.

"I owe you a great debt, Saruna, but this is something I must do. I will return here, once I have talked to him. I will play whatever part you deem necessary after."
"They will be watching him."
"I know."

Ran's eyes were intense with the passion of the young when Saruna looked up at him, and for a moment she thought longingly of her sons. And Derin. Hard thought, that one. She knew Ran was right, and there was some guilt in the pit of her stomach for not doing the task herself, but she knew too that Kori would not welcome a motherly figure. A peer who had experienced violence and struggled with it might have leeway where she would not.

"Very well, have your way. Be careful, and watchful. Tell Kori. . .please encourage him to leave, if he can. There is too much risk now for him. Unless he bends to them, he will be hunted."
"Yes, mother," Ran said, but the forced joviality in his voice fell flat into an uncomfortable silence. Saruna knew he would do none of those things, not in the way she would like.

In that silence she stood up slowly, and he stood as well. He was such a good boy.

"Good night," she said.
"Good night."
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