Blood War (Peregrine & xSiryn)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Peregrine, Jul 27, 2015.

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  1. All his life, Careth had done his best to avoid listening to the strange voice that whispered in his mind. His mother had one, as had his mom's father, and probably his father before him. Everyone in his family knew that the voice only ever led to trouble. All the same, as Careth grew older, that task became harder and harder. Back when he had been a child, the voice, Idir, as it called itself, had only spoken on rare occasions. In those instances, it was easy enough to disregard what it had to say. But, when Careth had become a teenager the voice had started talking simply to talk. Or, perhaps more because it began to realize that Careth had a harder and harder time not listening the more it talked. Sometimes Careth would respond just to get it to shut up.

    "You listenin', Doe?" Careth flinched, ducking his head to try and cover up the grimace of frustration that had involuntarily crossed his face. Back when he had just been a kid, before he had started running with the Red Arrows, Careth's mother had called him deer-eyes, in reference to his large, soft brown eyes that always seemed so kind an innocent, even when Careth was plotting. The one time he had accidentally let that slip to one of the gang was all it had taken; before the evening was out the name had spread all over the group. It hadn't taken long after that for people to start calling him Doe.

    "Yesir." Crow, a glowing nineteen year old, gave him one final look before continuing on the plan. After many years as a kid gang, the various members of the Red Arrow were getting old enough that they were starting to look a threat to the bigger gangs. Crow was making plans to gather together a large tithe to appease whichever gang came first, and then make a bid to join in.

    They are coming.

    "Be quiet!' Careth hissed.

    "You got som't to add, Doe?"

    Careth flinched again. "Nosir."

    "Then keep your gorram mouth shut and get to work."

    Despite being 18 years of age, Careth still looked barely older than fifteen. Combine that with a little bit of dirt on his face, a hack-job of a hair cut, a solid limp, and a slight quaver in his voice, Careth was still one of the most successful beggars in Elosa. If you put it just in his own age group he was the best ten times over. Of course, Careth could find other lines of work, but he had a tithe to pay, and it seemed a poor idea to push his way into a new field when he had one that already paid well enough for him to give his dues to Crow, and still have a bit left over.

    The gang of young adults scattered, and Careth went with them. They split up through the streets, some heading towards the rich quarters, others heading towards the slums, and the rest, Careth among them, making their way to the market. Some there would steal merchandise, some would pickpocket, some would try and beg.

    By this point, Careth's routine had become so familiar that he could practically do it in his sleep. As he got closer to his usual busy corner, a place he was able to defend because of his age and his ties with the Red Arrow, Careth slowed, affecting a twisted foot and a limp. He knew the game well. Be desperate but polite, never make the mark feel guilty, always accept food with grace, and eat it while the mark is still looking, and take full advantage of blows or shouting. Pity was one of the greatest motivators.

    The one problem with falling so completely into a routine was that Idir always seemed to take it as the perfect opportunity to start bothering Careth.

    Your life is about to change.

    Shut up.

    Just over half an hour from when Careth had started begging, a giant, rich looking man passed by. Careth moved forwards, soft-eyed and pleading. The man was clearly rich, and just as clearly in no mood to tolerate beggars. Dragging his leg, Careth moved forward slowly. "please, sir..."

    "Out of my way, filth!" The man's bodyguard moved forward at the man's gesture, and struck Careth across the side of the head. Careth threw himself sideways just an instant before the blow struck, getting the full sound but easily quartering the force. It looked good, and it left little more than a faint sting across his face. It wouldn't even bruise. In an instant Careth's eyes filled with tears, most of them faked, prepared to graciously accept the courtesy of whoever came to aid him.

    They are here.

    Careth looked up in surprise, eyes still filled with the fake tears, right into the chest of a finely bred horse. On his back had to be by far the finest man Careth had ever seen. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the other members of the Red Arrow, circling in close with greed filled eyes. It wasn't hard to imagine what was happening. This was one of the Lords, the members of a powerful and magic family who ruled somewhere around a third of the valley. There were others behind the horse in front of him, all likewise mounted. Every single one of them was staring right at him.

    Stand up.

    Shut up!

    "This is the one we are looking for? There must be some sort of mistake."
    #1 Peregrine, Jul 27, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  2. Riandur Cirorc, or rather Rian to nearly everyone but his paternal grandfather and those of his ilk, always spent a good portion of his mornings at temple, praying to the Goddess Vallana, the very goddess that had blessed him from his birth. It was said that the Cirorc line, a cadet line, had risen to prominence when the Great Lady Vallana blessed Rian's ancestor, granting the man the strength of three men, the reflexes of a hunting feline and the innate skill of battle be it by hand or by weapon. His ancestor of that time had been the fifth son of the then lord of the family and given that there were plenty of heirs, Rian's ancestor had chosen to strike out on his own, something rather unheard of even today. In any case, the Cirorc line had grown in numbers and eventually regained favor with the family. They were still fairly far down the line in terms of inheritance but it didn't mean that they weren't beholden to the family.

    "You can't be serious, Grandfather." Rian's older cousin, Taran, said incredulously.

    The old man, Ciarnan Cirorc, merely glanced through slit eyes, as though weighing the younger man's worth before flickering away dismissively. "It does not matter. We have been summoned and therefore we shall attend the heir-lord ritual. It is only fitting and is as dictated since the days of our forefathers."

    "Shut up Taran." Taran's sister, Breyna, hissed at him.

    The boy reluctantly shut his mouth, swallowing whatever retort he was ready to spew. Grandfather had kept a suspiciously cool look at the man for days after but Rian couldn't care less. Just like any other family, it was the survival of the fittest and if Taran wanted to run his mouth, Rian would simply let the man build his own scaffold, watching as Taran gave himself enough rope to hang himself. The Cirorc family was not one that was guided by primogeniture but rather on who was most capable among their generation, unlike their cousins' lines.

    That had been barely a week ago Rian's grandfather had issued his instructions. In three days time, they would depart for Elosa. The scent of burnt incense was a heady one and the low chanting by the monks and the abbot was a comforting hum as Rian bent his head forward, making his own murmured prayers and chants to the Great Lady Vallana.

    Accordingly to his parents, he had been blessed by the war goddess, a blessing that had been granted to men and women who were considered worthy. Rian was unsure as to what the goddess might have seen in him when he was just a newborn babe but he knew better than to question a deity's motives, instead devoting a portion of his time to prayers and giving her offerings, especially during feast days.

    Rian had been leaving the temple, stopping near the entrance to accept the offer of a sweet tea when his vision swam, the world blurring, forcing Rian to clutch at a pillar to stay upright. The field mouse cometh. Assure his ascension and thy family shall remain bountiful in blessing. Rian staggered as odd flickering images flashed in his mind - large, brown irises, a flash of green, two swords crossed in battle and a mop of dark hair.

    "Young man, are you alright?" The monk looked at him with curious eyes.

    A vision? Was it possible? Rian shook the last of the cobwebs from his woozy mind before giving the monk a quick smile. "It is nothing. Perhaps I have overindulged on the smoke once more." Rian lied easily. Visions were meant to be kept closely guarded until the events were long passed. That was about to become extremely troublesome for Rian for it meant he could not confide into anyone about this and yet he felt like he was out of depth with this situation. Rian scowled. It appeared that he would be doing plenty of reading in the next few days, if only to try and figure the strange event.
    #2 xSiryn, Aug 7, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  3. The man who took Careth off the streets and to a classy carriage left just outside of town declared himself to be Weyse Du Partic au Kaplain. It was a name that Careth was very familiar with, as was everyone who lived in the trade city of Elosa. The Kaplains were the current leaders of one of the three royal families that lived in this area, and fought for dominion over the land by exterminating the other houses. The Kaplains and their extended family were not known for the showy, impressive magic that characterized the Kydanos, who could shed blood to draw extraplanar creatures into this realm, or the domineering, terrifying magic of the Heluswin, who could destroy a man's will and make it their own. The Kaplain's power was internal, never able to spread beyond themselves as the other two families could, but they were the dominant family in the valley because their powers were versatile, ranging into a variety and versitality that neither of the other two families could match.

    The voice politely instructed Careth that Weyse was the right hand man of Roderan Kaplain, the current lord of the Kaplain family. Whatever Roderan wanted, Weyse did. He was the descendant of a brother of Roderan's ancestry, a rather agreeable relationship that had not failed for four generations. Careth did his best to ignore the voice.

    Careth also could not deny a certain level of fear as to why Weyse had come for him. He was a nothing, a street-rat from Elosa whose mother and father had been street-rats before him, and their parents before them. Yet Weyse sat staring on the other side of the wagon, staring, wide eyed and clearly irritable.

    You must speak to him.

    Fearing the looks he would get from the rich man, whose purpose seemed far from benevolent, Careth did not dare to answer out loud. He therefore had no way to quiet the voice, even temporarily.

    You have ignored me before, and I've learned to work with it. But there is no time for you to ignore me now. Matters are moving much faster than anticipated, and I cannot help you if you will not listen to me.

    Careth bit the inside of his cheek, trying to drown out the voice that was pounding louder and louder through his head, until he was nearly falling over sideways from the overwhelming pressure. The side of his mouth flared in pain, and the taste of blood filled his mouth.

    Fine. You want to fight me? Let's fight. I've never put my full pressure on you. I've never even come close. Let's see how much you can bare.

    The pounding in his head grew. His hands began to tingle, before twitching spasmodically. This was nothing like the pressure of the voice. The voice had never left his head, never been anything more than a hallucination. This wasn't anything like a hallucination. It was like something was trying to invade his body, sending silver threads throughout every nerve, and tugging until he felt like nothing more than a puppet on a string. His mouth opened, and he forced it closed. His tongue flipped through his mouth, running against his teeth, and his jaw muscles began to strain from how hard he was having to clench his teeth to keep his mouth from opening.

    The pressure in his mind began to grow as well, but with the puppet strings running throughout his body he could show no signs, not even give the faintest impression, of the agony that was coursing through him. There was nothing for him to do. Finally, after an almost unbearable time that felt like it lasted forever but could not have really lasted more than a couple moments, Careth folded. He'd never done that before. It was almost humiliating, were it not for the fact that he could not think of anything right now.

    He began to speak, although it seemed like his own voice was crossing a great chasm, like he was listening to himself speak through someone else's ears.

    “What do you want from me?” He had to speak loudly to be heard over the sound of the horses' hooves and the wooden wheels bouncing along the rutted dirt road.

    Weyse Du Partic Au Kaplain's eyes narrowed even further in indignation, until it seemed a miracle that he could see anything at all. “I am certain that there has been some sort of terrible mistake or miscommunication, and I am sure as soon as I get you to the manor all this will be resolved and you can go back to whatever hole in the ground you came from.”

    “What mistake?”

    “My, you suddenly got talkative, didn't you.” The scathing remark would have normally shut Careth up, put him in mortal fear of a pending beating, but the voice (could it really be called just a voice anymore?) did not seem to feel the least bit of fear. “What mistake?” Careth could not help but admire his own tone. It was not demanding or harsh, but was open, friendly, curious, and seemingly perfectly oblivious to the threat contained in Weyse Du Partic's voice.

    “You don't know when to give up, do you? Fine. It almost embarrasses me to say this, but somehow people have become convinced that you are a member of the Kaplain family.”

    Those simple words sent Careth reeling. Him? A member of the most powerful family in the entire valley, a family with magic in its blood? Impossible.

    “It is, of course, impossible. Even if there was some of our blood in your ancestry, after so long there is no way you could posses a true God.”

    That's what you think. The voice sounded almost smug.

    “As I said, this is all a mistake, and as soon as we have reached the manor you will be tested and this whole matter will be settled. Now, if you have had quite enough questions?”

    The voice did not seem inclined to say more, and the puppet strings slowly receded from his muscles. Careth slumped sideways.

    “Good.” Weyse said. “Should the urge strike you again, quell it. Please refrain from any further conversation.”

    Neither of them spoke for the remainder of the carriage ride.
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