Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Astaroth, Aug 21, 2014.

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  1. That day,

    in our special place,

    I asked you...

    "Why can't we go back?"

    Do you remember what you told me then?

    I wanted you to lie.

    I wanted you to forgive me.

    I didn't want this.

    I can't explain,

    but I miss you...

    You've haunted me ever since.


    Please say you won't forget me.

    I don't want to be alone.


    The town of Dormarth lies at the foot of a hill.

    It is a small, sleepy town steeped in tradition. Progress is slow here. The shops are family businesses, handed down through each new generation. The local schoolhouse is a single room which scarcely seats thirty children at a time. The largest building in town- obvious at a glance from its dark spires- is the Azure Abbey; this grand stone monastery is home to Dormarth's unique religious sect, the Order of the Azure Hand.

    It is in the Abbey that Zydras Shyamar was born and raised.

    That is not to say that he has spent his life in seclusion. He knows the townsfolk, is privileged to know them in ways that the uninitiated and un-ordained likely never shall, and they are dear to him. The Shyamars have led the Order for hundreds of years. Zydras is proud to follow in the footsteps of men like his father, honored that he has been named as the newest Head Priest.

    Of course, part of him is nervous, as well.

    Of all the ceremonies that he has overseen, none is quite like the Ritual of Severance. This religious observance is of the utmost importance, held above all others. It seems simple enough. He has seen his father conduct the rites so many times over the years that Zydras would know the steps by heart. But something in his father's absolute fervor that the rules must be adhered to, the forcefulness in his words and the fire in his eyes... it has always struck him, has always left a sense of unease that Zydras cannot shake.

    Zydras has never told anyone this. Even in his head, it sounds like blasphemy.

    Many of the villagers do not take the ritual quite so much to heart, he knows. To them it is just another holiday, just another excuse to drink and feast. Zydras looks out of the window of the Abbey's tallest spire and sees sprigs of azure and silver adorning doors and windows, children playing in the square (allowed to roam the streets tonight, far later than any other evening), men and women purchasing new trinkets from street merchants to replace those they will soon discard.

    Dusk is even now beginning to bloom as the sun sinks behind the hill, streaks of orange and pink behind the blues and greys of the yew grove. Once all the sky has dimmed, it will be time to light the pyre on the Stone Circle and begin this year's Ritual.

    Zydras wets his lips and rolls a small talisman between his fingers. It is polished and carved azurewood, shaped like a human hand and strung on a leather thong. Every initiate of the order bears an identical trinket. Every initiate casts the same talisman into the flames every year, for they have nothing else to sacrifice but the symbol of their faith. It has been so for centuries, and Zydras feels that this above all else is what he likes best about the ritual. He cannot imagine what it must be like to choose what to forsake upon the pyre, to not be connected so inextricably to a greater part of their town's history.

    Connection to the past, he thinks, is a strength.

    With that thought held fast in his heart, he heads down the stairs and out into the streets of Dormarth to make that strength become his anew.


    #1 Astaroth, Aug 21, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
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  2. There was something incredibly soothing about the smell of old books. An injured heart like this one could easily find momentary comfort in the subtle scent of leather bound tomes. Parchment old and discolored with years rich in life if not history filled these tomes, waiting ever so patiently for his gaze to look upon them. The books were by the tens and easily within his reach, coating every available spot on his desk and some even piled upon the floor around the perimeter.

    His very own book island.

    And where most would find this style of reading dull and tedious, Saeja found it captivating because what could be more interesting than life that had and was still happening? Stories were wonderful, yes, but fiction. These records, these journals and notes were each a piece of a complex puzzle he was desperately trying to solve. But that was only half of the appeal.

    If it weren't for the town Historian, his "boss", telling him when enough was enough, Saeja would have read on and on, ignoring the world until the oil in the lamp had been burned dry. He wasn't just seeking an answer to a confusing network of questions. He was seeking a distraction; something to immerse himself completely within in order to hide from an unbearable pain.

    "Saeja. If only for this night, please..." said the elderly man softly, his voice sanded smooth and gentle from many years and much wisdom. In the setting sun his snowy white beard and bushy eyebrows took an orange tinge not unlike the hue of drink he'd already been sipping since noon. Make no mistake, the man was not a drunk, and although his memory was incredibly faulty, he was an otherwise upstanding citizen. But today there was cause for drink. Well, for the rest of them anyway. "Go out and have fun. I know you're a withdrawn boy but you're one of us now. It's time you are included in Dormarth's traditions. Come now, child."

    Gently those weathered hands closed the tome Saeja had been pouring his attention over. They gave his shoulders a pat before slipping away, back to the old man's sides as he turned to leave the room. Doleful amber eyes watched his subtly hunched back disappear through the doorway before settling on the empty space where the tome had been. Scarred wooden tabletop sang to him about its many years of use, his fingertips faintly stained with ink trailing along the surface.

    He could go.

    He'd wanted to learn more about the ritual before evening but if he was going to learn any more about it, he would have to wait.

    And hope that someone was foolish enough.

    Hiding a yawn behind his hand, the young ebony-haired man stepped out of the Historian's abode and that heavy-lidded gaze swept up and down the cobblestone street, watching the townsfolk slowly heading toward the festivities, searching for the one face that, aside from the Historian, he didn't mind seeing for more than a few minutes at a time.
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  3. Valora.png

    There wasn't a time to remember, for Valora, a ragamuffin of a child, held fast to the dismal daze of Dormarth. She sat in an alley between two closely built homes, staring up to the Pyre, or at least where she knew it was settled. She knew exactly where it was, no matter where in Dormarth Valora stood, point in the pyres very direction, she could. The stairs that lead to it weaved lazily and lopsided into the earth itself. Her large, dark eyes peered into the very eerie silence of the town against the subtle calm rain that made the air thick and moist. In her tiny hands she held a locket and often people in Dormarth would hear the melody. This was that time of the year they would hear it play.

    (Press Play for Atmosphere then Continue Reading)

    The people would never talk about it, and when asked by newcomers, they would shy away their face or hastily change the topic. The song had been around for 5 years, but some say that somewhere in the town there was someone who knew exactly what it was. He wasn't a very friendly man and the children all called him ''The Hateful Old man''. His name?.....Ustice, and Ustice hated people. He hated Domarth. He hated, and hated, and hated...and the hate, one day, decided to settle in the many, many wrinkles upon his face. There was a time, when Ustice was a young boy, But those days were far far behind him.

    ...or so Ustice thought.

    Time came over the village in a whirlwind and like anything, given its time, changes. Days of old were a medieval next topic, and what was once a very old, attracted the new. Ustice is living proof that, with his age, perhaps Dormarth itself had the days of old living in it's very own backyard. The Old man certainly and morosely had his reasons for his hatred, the things he has been harboring for decades were enough to shrivel the very sun that barely shown through the overcasting clouds and ,lest we forget, as well as the oldest Human in Dormarth at the ripe age of 103. Everyday looked like that day. Like that day had come when he would croak over, but no, this old man held fast to the hatred and everyone was convinced. It was all that kept him alive anymore.


    As the Music box resonance leaked into the air many would feel that urge to listen, conceivably, follow it's notes. Most in Domarth are yet to know of Valora's reasons for staying. She avoids contact at all costs. Rarely is she seen, but some children have approached her at the bottom of the steps to the Pyre and give her pieces of their bread, yet...even the children do not know about her locket. Only one person in this dreary, mossy, dilapidated town knows that there is only one person that makes that melody. The beautiful timbre struck into the heart and a woeful euphony resounded tragedy that only grew more piercing threw the lithe rain.

    Valora pushed her self up and carried away with her that haunting and listless melody.

    Poor child really. It's a sad story.

    Alas, the story of Valora and Ustice would, in time, be told.

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  4. Silence filled the room cutting through the thick choking scent of the incense, the man of the house was sound asleep in a pleasured oblivion. Just hours before his brocade had been tossed aside, his trousers removed and forgotten. Following suit, the brilliant violet of a woman's well made gown draped over a wooden chest. The room was nice, well lit with fur rugs and fine woods that were stained with years of a husband's heavy black boots and a wife's soft bare feet. However the woman that lied beside the man was far from his loyal wife. Instead with head of scarlet and hollow grey eyes, is Tamerial. The town whore in all the wrong ways, but that evening she was different. It was not the strand of pearls that then adorned her neck, or the red raise on the innermost part of her thigh. Nor was it the empty feeling in her chest and heavy weight deep in her soul.

    Tonight is the night of the Severance Ritual girl, perhaps I shall set you afire witch.

    Severance, a ritual to free the heart of regret. Soul's Passage, a tradition to forgive mistakes but to never forget the past. For years the Vyce women had gone to the ritual, even when Tamerial decided upon her less than tasteful profession and when her mother began to suffer from disease. Without fail, Tamerial and Laviette attended and offered their memories less they forget. Each night she would stand before the pyre in blue robes and hood, careful not to let the red of her curse escape. Tonight would be no different, the fire would be set ablaze and then celebration would pursue. Men would chase her, beckon to her, and she would flit about until finally a man would catch her interest enough to cease the night's good fun.

    Turning into the muskiness of the sheets beneath her, the woman forced herself to sit up. The candlelight caught the powder on her skin that was beginning to fade revealing the irritation beneath. Each night she would scrub herself bright red with scalding water in order to rid herself of the memories of every man who has ever touched her. Looking away from her arms in disgust she stood and reached for her gown and slippers, both a gift from another man and quite expensive by the look of it. Normally her body ached and she longed only to be left alone, but tonight she just felt as though she moved by some unseen force. Perhaps a force of dread. Clothed, the red haired courtesan left her bed mate to rest undisturbed as she wandered the neat home in search for an exit. No other soul was seen, his wife and child most likely still attending the festivities in town. Turning a corner she happened upon the front door and a man dressed oddly in a suit. "Madame, Sir has requested you leave at once upon payment." His thin voice grinds the nerves as she balls her fists slightly, then she remembers she asked for this.

    A medium velvet pouch heavy with coin is held in her hand as she walks proud as a peacock from the sweet family home not too far away from the Abbey. Stopping she looks up to its dark spires and sniffs, The Azure Hand holding no sanctuary for the child of even their most faithful soul. Continuing to walk past the monastery, Tamerial watched for the blue decorations and children to begin appearing and true as daylight they did. Bright faced children ran and played, screaming gleefully as their mothers watched on exchanging stories about the item they soon will be offering. Mothers so confident in their roles as caregivers to the legacy their husbands created. As Tamerial passes by, the conversation halts almost immediately as the two women both stop to stare.

    Whore. Disgusting woman. Degrading. Low. Filth.

    Its still the same tune after all these years, and to think the passing emotion of respect almost plagued Tamerial. Deep down the hope that they would still continue to treat their own children with love and affection was there, but the acknowledgement of politeness and manners disappeared. With a deft movement, the neckline of her gown was swept much too low to be even slightly modest. There were soft gasps of disgust to follow as the women were forced to see a little too much skin for their traditionalist liking. However low Tamerial had fallen, whatever redemption she had lost, there was only one thing that could have kept her going. A promise she had made a long time ago. A promise she would bear until the day she wasted away.

    As the sun set, the scarlet haired dancer was then dressed in the wild blues of night and she dripped with gold. Tamerial joined others as music filled the night, and then she danced with the energy of a fire. Even though what kept her going was a little less then terror. With eyes sharp as a fox's, she prowled the festival goers with a wicked smile and in return she received appreciative claps for her grace, or lustfully hungry glares for the desire that she wore like armor. The eve of Soul's Passage had begun.
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  5. [​IMG]

    Euclid sat alone, on the back steps of his parents' clothing shop. The store had closed for the rest of the holiday; it had only been open for a few hours in the morning, to complete a few last minute orders. The store was rarely open for Severance, though Euclid would not be surprised if his father returned several times throughout the day; his father was forgetful, sometimes. Euclid wished he could forget things half as well as his father could. The boy blinked and his grandfather's face flashed before his eyes, those dead eyes glaring at him, blaming him. Euclid rubbed his fists into his closed eyes, harshly, scrambling the image, wishing he could banish the memory, but it lingered on.

    The boy shuddered, though not from cold, and hugged himself, listening to the faint sound of the festival drifting through the town. His mother and sister would be at the various carts, wandering the streets and meeting with friends. He should be with them, he knew. They had tried to get him to come, softly, mindful of his recent withdrawal, but he had only shaken his head and said, "No, thank you." His mother had said okay, that was alright, and gently touched his face, smiling that kind and worrying smile.

    "Do you have your item?" She'd asked.


    "What is it?"


    And Euclid had seen it in her eyes, an anxious
    curiosity. He could sense she wanted to know, but didn't want to push him, didn't want to cause him to withdraw further. His stomach had clenched and he had feared she was going to ask, feared that he was going to spill his secret. The words, the confession, pressed against his lips, his teeth, sat heavy on his tongue. But his mother had only smiled and said okay, and taken his sister by the hand. Euclid had watched them go, not sure if he wanted to laugh or cry or scream.

    And so now he sat, counting the minutes until Severance, until the ritual that would free him from the sick feeling in his stomach, in his heart. It would be over soon, and he would be able to stop worrying about discovery, stop regretting, stop fearing. Wouldn't be much longer, now, and they would be at peace, he and Granpa both.

    The photo of his grandfather was tucked into his coat pocket. The boy fancied he could feel it through the fabric, scratching at his flesh, but he knew that was a stupid thought. Still, he'd checked to make sure and found nothing but smooth, unbroken skin. No rash, no scratches, no redness. Yes, a stupid thought.

    Tapping his fingers against the steps, counting the taps, waiting for the time to make his way to the ceremony. He didn't want to go out early, didn't want to mingle. He didn't want to greet friends and family, to listen to them and be expected to talk amiably with them. He just wanted to be done with tonight.

    But as he sat, he thought he heard a gentle melody on the air. After a moment, he recognized it and a chill went through him. He hardly remembered a Severance without that tune on the air, making the adults hush for a moment, and then carry on as if they hadn't heard. Adults were strange creatures, forgetting things and pretending to forget things. Euclid wished he could do either one, but he couldn't. And he couldn't sit still, listening to that tune in the quiet of his parent's shop. Part of him wanted to follow it, wanted to find it, but the way the adults acted when they heard it . . . he wasn't so sure he wanted to follow it after all.

    Tapping his fingers against his coat buttons, the boy stood, brushed off his pants, and carefully wound his way towards the festival.
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  6. Soul's Passage Eve was often a dark time for many of the villagers in Dormarth. Though the Ritual of severance was meant to help let go of the past and honor the souls of the dead, it seemed to bring about a melancholy. This was not the case for Melody. The freckle-faced girl was a bright warm smile in a sea of somber faces. It was difficult not to feel your spirits lift when she was around, and this she knew and used in full advantage.

    With a basket full of chocolates packed in to little blue paper bags and tied with silver ribbons, she wandered the village square sharing her treats with little ones and old ones. Mothers and fathers. Family and strangers. Melody was not a strong woman, nor was she incredibly intelligent. She did not have money, and was not religious. But what she could do was give people a tiny bit of joy and a friendly face.

    "That is such a dark expression for such a small boy." she remarked in passing by Euclid. Out came one of her bags of chocolate, of which she dangled out to him at eye level. "Did you know that on Soul's Passage Eve you can eat as much chocolate as you like? Evil spirits are terribly afraid of chocolate. It makes your blood too sweet."
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  7. 2010_23_by_r06613-d460ika.png

    Sitting at a crooked window, an elderly face reflected a stare that even coldness would freeze from. Emptiness within the twink-less eyes set above thin and straight lips. Ustice looked upon the pyre from his window's pane as a small robot clanked usefully about the room, collecting dust and dirt that was never truly there. The time had come in Dormarth for that day of release. For him this day, of all days, and all the days of severance, was the one to forget. This day he was to finally let go of what once distracted him from his obsessions.


    I remember that day. the sun shone down and I had not any cares or woes to pass me. I was a clean cloth, unstained by the bitterness of fear and desire. Blind? yes....very Blind was I to that very unforeseen circumstance, and were any of you in that way, you would know of the things I aver.

    I cannot extirpate her completely from my mind. She will forever be a domicile of my sanity and a mark of my existence. "She cannot remain with you here now" I said looking back into the beclouded corner. There in that corner stood my veiled secret. That Moment I held onto more than any other moment I lived. That face etched into mine own recaptures. Nothing could I do to escape its allure and mystery. What I know is more than anyone...yet I know nothing at all.

    "Forgive me, Catherine" I prayed to the corner of the room,""

    Ustice has never never, in all of his days, been brave.

    Coward. Malingerer. Cur.

    This was soon to change, as he cherished the last moments he would have with hiswedding band. A golden glow stuck in its shape.

    The wrinkled man stood shakily from his chair, turning away from the window, towards the secret he kept.

  8. "Hush, Thomas. Let Alyss speak."

    A grubby little boy crossed his arms and turned away, his cheeks as red as his extended lower lip in the classical pout that Rhiamon was all too familiar with. The evening chill settled upon Dormarth in the form of a thin mist, causing the little one to shiver and pull his thin jacket closer to his body, yet Thomas was ever the stubborn one and sought the cold over the half-elf's beckoning arm. Sighing, the woman acknowledged the other child, this one tugging on her skirt and rubbing her eyes as if to force the tears from falling. It would be a late night for these ones, and so trouble was anticipated.

    Rhiamon stroked the blonde girls hair, shushing away the sobs and wiping the wetness from another pair of rosy cheeks. Glossy blue eyes opened to look at the half-elf. In them was a reflection: a red nose, tired sunken eyes, disheveled hair and watery, faded skin. Not an ounce of beauty to be found- my mother hadn't seemed to pass that trait down. Not one, single ounce...

    "...and Thomas pushed Alyss-"

    "-I did not!"

    "-her doll fell-"

    "-we looked everywhere-"

    "-Thomas pushed her, Rhia! I watched him-"

    "-I did not push her!"

    "-Alyss has nothing to burn on the pyre!"

    "-I can give her my bracelet-"

    Rhiamon turned to the crowd of children, a headache threatening to open the floodgates of a stern talking-to. Severance was a solemn holiday, one that deserved utmost respect, and perhaps a moment of silence if she were lucky. As she had it, luck, it seemed, was present tonight. Just as her lips parted, a familiar mechanical tinkle crept into the air, cutting through the fog with it's dissonant ringing. The children paused, as if the clockwork song had halted time itself.

    It was always that way. In the corner of her eye, a glimpse of stained white fabric. A small child's shadow just turning the corner. And now, the fateful timing of what has become the unofficial theme of Severance... and the theme of Valora. Sometimes, Rhiamon thought, I wonder if she watches me just as much as I watch her...

    Without a word, the half-elf took a few steps toward the melody, her keen eyes capturing a small shape turn into an alleyway. It wasn't that she was afraid of the child- no, quite the contrary. Months ago she fought for the very child's privilege to stay in Dormarth when the villagers finally expressed their discomfort. The devotees had attempted to change her stance, claiming that the girl had "a bad way about her". But even the preachers of faith could not overpower motherly determination. Her dedication is to all the orphans in town, not just the ones under her roof.

    And this girl was special.

    With that in mind, her feet brought her to the edge of the darkening alleyway, where she stumbled over something too soft to be part of the worn cobbled streets. Exhaling a puff of misty breath, Rhiamon looked down. She blinked, squinting slightly. After what felt like an eternity, she retrieved the item and made her way back to the still-gathered children, eyes scanning the blackness of the alley one final time.

    The melody faded away, replaced with the sounds of the nearby market stalls once more. Thomas crept toward the half-elf, hesitantly weaving ice cold fingers around her own warmer counterpart. There would be no more arguing tonight. In the distance the bell tower rang. Severance's somber atmosphere finally encapsulated Dormarth- the pyre was ready.

    Rhiamon handed Alyss her doll.
    #8 heliacalRebirth, Sep 17, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2014
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