❇ P O R T E N T S ❇

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Eve, Mar 22, 2015.

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    A memory. It was on the festival of the summer solstice. The town of Xarath was located in the hollows of valleys, where the mists were heavily charged with magic. From end to end of every post, roof and balconies were streamers and banderoles of many different colors. In the very heart of the town was a fountain, made from obsidian black marble, with the occasional streaks and specks of white. There were only two tiers. One was for the wide pool---it was big enough to fit four people across it and nearly twenty around it---of the same circular shape, and it would catch the sacred waters. And the next tier. The statue that towered over the fountain was their one deity: Named Azappho. It was a marble white figure of woman kneeling with her eyes closed and a bowed head. With long hair that reached her hips and covered her breasts. Her arms were raised above her shoulders, and her hands were pressed together in prayer, locating it right in the center of her forehead. She was stark naked. Other than the hair, plants and crawling vines, blooming with flowers, clung on her thighs and shoulders. And her wrists and ankles were bound in real golden chains and bracelets, a necklace made from an array of brilliant gems hung low to her collarbone.

    This fountain spewed forth crystal clear, and sapphire blue liquid all around the circular base of the statue.

    People crowded around it as the sky was turning blue with nightfall. There was clapping and chanting. A young girl with wavy, lightly pink hued hair tried to join in with the cheering. She could see the priestesses twirling and dancing in the pool. They tried to imitate their deity with the long hair and some jewelry and ornaments on their bodies, but of course they were clothed. The depth of the water they waded in was shallow, as the water only reached below their knees. And their arms were raised every time they faced the statue, as if they were throwing out something in the air. They spun and threw their arms up in perfect synchronization, and in complete harmony with the chant. The girl was completely mesmerized. The insistent tug of her mother brought her back to reality. She’d been discovered.

    “I don’t want to go! Can’t I see them just this once? They just started!” she said sullenly, when the older female grabbed her by the arm and dragged her away. Then she received a smack to her shoulder for discipline. “Oww!”

    “What did I tell you? You can join when you’re of age. Not now, you hear? Your uncle just came back. He wants to see you, so you better behave.”

    “Okay, I will, just let go already,” she yanked her arm away from the grip.

    Her uncle was a trade merchant. Every other year he went out, traversing mountains and plains to reach other larger towns and cities. And when he came back, he often brought some other souvenir or item as gifts to the relatives. This was most especially true for the younger family members. And so she tried to console herself with the fact that she’d be getting something out of this family affair. Even if the homecoming feast turned out to be one of the most boring events she ever sat through. The elderly talked amongst themselves while the younger adults (which was most of her cousins) went off to celebrate the ritual. The children around her age were often mean and bratty, but that wasn’t to say that she herself was nice either. They just didn’t click.
    As she went home, little did she expect a different kind of gift to be brought home. She was too young to understand the concept. And her town, a relatively peaceful one, was a little late on catching up to the service trade. It came off from the traditions of a warring village to the far west of her hometown. They were still regarded as items, property, those slaves.

    When she followed after her mother, she was greeted by the long, rectangular table full of food in their guest room. Surrounding it were many other smaller ones, where her other relatives ate, drank and talked. “Nyx!” she glanced at the cheerful call of her name, and her mother gently pushed her in the direction towards her uncle.
  2. A small brown elf boy sat around in the luggage area of a caravan. The inside was pitch black, not even a sliver of sun was able to penetrate the cover around him. He was held down by heavy chains attached to his ankles and hands to prevent escape. The boy figured it was the naturally smart thing to do if you were carrying a slave, but they didn't need to put it on him. After all, he had already accepted his fate as a slave. The caravan stopped. Sunlight filled the inside as a flap opened up. As a natural reaction, the boy shielded his eyes from not seeing the sun after so long.

    "Come now, don't be afraid little one." An older voice called out to him and stuck out his hand. "Allow me to take off those unsightly chains. You're in a new home now. A better one, if I do say so myself."

    How many times has he heard this already in his short life as a slave?

    While the world may think of him as a poor soul who has lost everything, his life as he knew it wasn't so bad until he became nine years of age. His mom was a slave while the father was secretly one of the owner's sons. Taking after her looks however, he lived a relatively work-lite slave life with his mother for a good nine years. Suddenly, while he was nine years old, his mother ran off from the house. Keeping him only because it had kept his mom happy and willing, the boy quickly found himself sold to another house at a bargain price.

    "I have a niece that you will be serving from this day on, okay?" The brown boy nodded in understanding.

    Since that fateful day, he found himself going from house to house in being sold. Typically he would be worked like cattle for a month or two before being sold again due to him still only being a child. After a year or so, he grew accustomed to this. While he still never stayed with a house for more than a month, he grew in experience and became capable of doing a lot of odd jobs around the house, which increased his value, surprising for one who was still only a ten year old boy.

    Scared of his new environment after his last owner. The boy held onto the older man's shirt and clung closely as he followed him around.

    He normally wasn't so scared of going to new places, he had even became used to it after his fourth owner. It was his previous owner who had scarred him. His previous owner was a pretty woman who had bought him to act as a servant around the house for her and her husband. After a messy break up, she began to take out her anger and frustration on him. She succumbed him to all kinds of torture, from physical to mental. She even went as far as branding a mark on his right shoulder just so when he gets sold, he could remember that she owned him for the rest of his life.

    Hearing the older man call out a name, the boy hid behind the man.

    "I bet you're wondering what present I got you this time huh? Well your uncle knows a good number of people thanks to his job, and I was able to get you this!" He looked over his shoulder and down at the boy. "Come on now, now's not the time to be shy boy!"

    The brown elf poked his head out from the man's side. His ears were almost as expressive as his face as they showed conflicting signs of both curiosity and caution. Slowly he shuffled his whole body into sight, still clinging onto the man with one hand.

    "The people told me his name was Ran. He's going to be your personal servant from this point on."
  3. "What do you mean?" Nyx tilted her head to one side.

    "Remember Mivida?"

    "Aunt Sofia's sister."

    "No, but I can see why you'd think that. They do look alike, don't they? But Mivida is your aunt's attendant. She goes around and does everything your Aunt Sofia tells her to."

    "Oh...," she blinked. Recalling the servant girl in her memory. Early twenties, short hair that inched past her chin, sometimes carrying heavy loads for the food stocks, or carrying all those sculptures and pottery her aunt was prone to buying on a whim. It made sense. If one compared the rough, callused hands with her aunt's dainty, smooth ones.

    Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion. Nyx stared at the shy kid in front of her. "But he looks weird...," she complained, unused to the unfamiliar complexion of his skin, and the shape of his ears. Then she thought of Mivida. Sturdy and strong hands, but the one her uncle presented to her looked like he could break at any moment. Then bluntly, "And he looks so weak too!" she frowned and crossed her arms.

    "Now, be nice Nyx. Trust me when I say he's very much capable, he'll adapt. This isn't his first time being in service. And from what I heard, he's had a rough time with his last owner. So it's better, for both of you, if you make him feel at home here... think of him like's a new part of the family, okay?"

    A long silence. "Fine. But I don't need him doing anything for me. I can carry my own stuff, thank you," she finally agreed.

    The man chuckled, relieved. There was a reason why she had to be one of the most challenging nieces to deal with. And her attitude easily translated to the other youngsters avoiding her presence. Somehow, he pitied her. "Good, good. I'll leave you two then, show him around." With that, he gently pried Ran's hand away, nudging the boy forward. Once her uncle turned to leave, chatting up one of her other relatives, Nyx took on a haughty air.

    "Look, I'm not going to hurt you... So don't be afraid of me. Wait... actually, if you stay on my good side, then maybe I won't bite. If you annoy me, hmph, then you're in trouble," she smiled smugly, as if some idea just popped into her head.
  4. Ran was quiet throughout the whole exchange. He did however eye the girl who was to be his master without making direct eye contact. Nyx was going to be his youngest master by far, but that wasn't why he stared. Maybe she was... unique? He wasn't sure of how quite to put it.

    Suddenly, the man nudged him forward and left Ran to his new master. With the uncle gone, she seemed rather full of it. Just the way she said she wasn't going to hurt him made her seem like some sort of iron-fisted queen.

    "Y-yes master. I pray to stay on your good side at all times." The boy meekly replied as he bowed. His voice was a little hoarse from it being such a long time since his last words.

    Her smile instilled a little fear into his mind. Serving so many people in his life already, he had a little experience in figuring out facial expressions. That was the look of an idea in one's head. It faintly reminded him of the smile he last master used to have. Already, he was preparing for the worst.

    "Your w-wish would... be my honor to follow."
  5. "You're so formal." She tilted her head, staring blankly and pondering for a second or two, on the tone of his voice, not exactly the words he spoke. Then she turned and beckoned him with a hand, "Come on." Nyx maneuvered her way past the guests, pausing only when some of her relatives would grab her by the shoulder to greet her, or to give her a kiss on the cheek, much to Nyx's annoyance. When she finally escaped from the packed crowd in the center, the girl trotted over to the table laden with food. She glanced left and right, then swiped up two muffins into one hand when noone was looking.

    Next was finding a seat. Which took quite some time. When she finally found a table with a few empty chairs, she sat on one and nudged the other one closer with her foot. "Sit," she said with a grin. But before he could make a move, she extended one arm and offered one of the pastries in her hand. "You look so thin and small, aren't you hungry? Bah. Take it anyway." She started listing things off her head, but at the same time, she was a little skeptical. Would he really do anything she asked him to? She'd ask it later. But perhaps it was also possible that her uncle wasn't serious about it.
  6. Quietly, Ran followed behind Nyx as she walked around. Seeing her grab two muffins made him chuckle a little on the inside. He figured she was probably a glutton who didn't want people seeing her eating too much. Of course, when she turned and offered one to him, a surprised look appeared on his face. "R-Really? For me?" Slowly, a smile began to form as he slowly moved to take the pastry from her hand. He was half expecting her to pull it away from him as a kind of joke, but it seemed she was actually giving it to him. "Thank you!" Being asked to sit, he took the seat next to her.

    He was ready to bite into the muffin before a sudden realization came into his head. This pastry was for the guests, not the slaves. The elf was too distracted by the kindness and made almost made a grave mistake! Ran leaned close to her and whispered "I don't think I should be eating this. The food was made for people after all, not slaves. The cook might get angry at the waste of food." He said, not concerned with how severe he just belittled himself. Perhaps this is a test to make sure I know my place the boy over analyzed to himself.
  7. "What? I really don't get you. I'd rather think it more of a waste that you won't eat it," she said after gulping down the bite she took from her muffin. "So eat it." Nyx nudged the pastry towards him, then a menacing smile formed on her face. Not that she meant the sinister look, it mostly came from the myrtle green eyes that narrowed down, like she was glaring at him. "And before you begin with this slave business, I'll have you know that I don't want to hear anything about it," the girl shrugged, grasping his hand and flattening out his palm, "Nor will I want to understand it. You're not too different from the rest of us. Are slaves a sort of race or... bah, its confusing."

    "Here." She plopped down the muffin on his hand. Turning back to face the crowd in front of her, Nyx took a few more big bites. "Y'know, I've got no idea where you'll stay. I guess you're staying in my room then. I'll show you there later," she mused nonchalantly, not at all bothered by the difference in class between them. In her mind, she can't see him as anything other than a new acquaintance as of the moment, with the only difference being that he was bound to do anything she asked him to. "Did you bring any baggage with you?" she asked, glancing around for any sign of it. It never occurred to her that slaves might not be allowed extra possessions. After seeing her relative's slave, who barely looked like one, she assumed that they'd be as well dressed as her aunt's servant.