The Curse of Aelia

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by MomentoMori, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. A young girl with oddly white colored hair and skin as if she had never entered daylight sat on the old brick sidewalk, holding a small book and reading aloud to a few children. She wore a simple brown patched cloak, one that almost seemed too large for such a frail individual. Her soft-spoken words flowing out with quiet confidence.

    "In this world there exists many a folk tale. Tales of evil and corrupted beings; witches, worshippers of all against righteousness, night crawlers which seek to rend the flesh of mortals unlucky enough to cross paths with them. Most of those are only stories however, but some, may be more real than your mothers and fathers have told you, so to make you arrogantly unafraid of what may kill you next. Here in these lands, the lands of Ralnae, there is a personification of death that has been in the back of every soul's mind for a while.

    A figure in a cloak of blood who's identity is sheilded by a white mask.

    It is said the character has been around for many a century, as there are stories dated back from when our ancestors had discovered the fertile lands we live on. They say that some evil force had been brought by ship and killed half of their men before finally escaping. Since then the figure of blood has watched over and killed without warning. Victims are founds lying in a pool of blood, skin bearing gruesome boils and blackened vanes which nearly burst through, and eyes which look as if they had been almost melted from their position in the skull. A most unbearable sight, but since no killer is ever found, such a scenario has been marked off as a deadly disease called Melt Syndrome."

    "Nonsense!" Exclaimed a young man standing nearby. "I have a relative who died from that syndrome and that is all nonsense! Do not read such vile things to impressionable children, you street lurking outcast!" Finishing the accusations, he swung a hand, propelling the book across the sidewalk. She turned her head away from the man, only watching the now dirty book sitting in the road. The man's yelling had brought the attention of others who were walking by, along with the children who had jumped to their feet. They bowed their heads and in unison, apologized for associating themselves with the girl, and ran off as if it was the normal thing to do. And it was.

  2. Masks, murder and mystery.
    Such things were not foreign concepts to the young male sitting on the rooftop above the pale-skinned girl, his legs dangling aimlessly above her, kicking nonchalantly against the wall as people focussed more on their daily lives. His hair, while unkempt and prominently displaying how it had failed to stay completely straight, still managed to maintain its ink-blackness. Eyes of cobalt blue centred on her as she read, her tale enamouring him. His slender frame matched his just-above-average height, his muscles toned - but not especially developed. The clothing he wore was a simple ensemble of mediocre-quality materials, plain and inconspicuous. The fit was snug, yes - but was by no means tight. His torso was covered by an off-white woollen shirt, and this in turn was covered by a leather vest, mud brown in hue - the hide it had been made from was indeterminable to him, but this did not trouble him. His trousers were woollen as well, though they were a slightly darker shade than the leather he was wearing Also of leather, and of a matching shade, were his shoes - rigid, and the only pair he had found reliable.

    He clambered down, utilising various barrels or crates as platforms to land on as he descended, and picked up the sullied book. Though his face had displayed a displeased frown at how it had been cent flying, he had returned his expression to one less unwelcoming upon facing the item's owner. It was held out to her, a comment added by him in a hushed tone.
    "If it's any consolation, I don't like to believe or disbelieve things, until there's definitive proof of its existence - or non-existence."
  3. Upon hearing the footseps of the accusing man walking away to lead the children home, she released a faint sigh, gently retrieving the book from the boys hands. "There is little need for consolation; i expect no less. One may not believe anything without the proof. As anyone may see it, this," she wove a hand about the rattled novel, "is only as you choose to believe. Therefore it is only a story, nothing more." Her oddly colored eyes, each half an albinism-carried shade of red along with a shade of the daytime sky, gazed about his young form, and felt a familiarity in his appearance, though it was difficult to pinpoint where they had met. Perhaps they hadn't. "What is your name? You are from this area, correct?"​
  4. Though she felt some vague recognition towards him, he himself felt nothing - a girl with such a distinct appearance would surely have left a lasting impression on him, if he knew her as more than a passer-by. As such, as he was also unwitting of her vague recollection of that she knew him somehow, he did not see the significance of her asking his name. Irrespective of such circumstances, he decided to allow her her requested information, considering it only polite.
    "Richard. Richard Baker. And yes, I am from the area."
    Though he had said he was from the area, there was little chance he would specify where - not because he did not remember, the place was engraved into his mind. Simply for the fact that telling her such information was probably unwise, for the both of them. Him revealing his name and openly talking to her was a risky decision as well, given the type of business he took part in. "May I ask yours?"
  5. It did not raise any ideas as to where he was met by learning the name, though it was originally a hope that it would. Having not heard where he was from due to her drifting mind trying to find an answer, she halted the thought and threw it aside in time to hear the question of her own name. It was odd having something asked unrelated to her stories, due to habit of spending time away from society's gaze. Her head tilted to the side for a moment, looking down at the book she now held in her lap as if sifting through her mind for an answer. "Lia," she murmured plainly, never in the introduction meeting eyes with this new character. "I am called Lia. Among with other names, but it seems that name is more useable for the time."
    She looked towards the street to see a few passing groups, some heads turning to marvel at her and the boy. "I do not like these streets." she voiced suddenly, eyeing the group with a nearly indetectable hint of scorn. "There are too many roaches."
  6. She seems... Odd. Maybe it'd be better if I just backed away now.

    This thought was quickly dispelled from his head, by the sheer fact that he had little else to do, other than accompanying Lia to a less roach-riddled area. Now that he thought about it, the streets did seem to be little more than a conglomeration of pig-headed individuals - he thought that had just been reserved to the higher end of civilisation.
    Or am I just thinking too deeply into this? Oh, forget it.
    "Yes... maybe moving from here would be a good idea. Though, I must ask you, have you any idea where we should be headed, if the streets and general public are found unsavoury?"
    Richard's tone held a sliver of vacancy in it, his thoughts seeming to meander as aimlessly as he had been doing, heading in an indeterminate direction to find an answer to whatever he pleased. Should there be any need, he had a meagre helping of coin hidden discreetly under his shirt, a recent acquisition that had taken him little effort to come by. He did not want, however, to spend them just yet. With what he had, he could afford a small meal - two, at a stretch, and with a little haggling. He had quite the stash hidden away, but that was for another time. these thoughts dissipated into nothing as well, his mind wandering back to where they should situate themselves, in order to escape prying eyes.
  7. Thinking for an area she looked off in the distance and immediately thought of her usual spot for when she felt the need to keep from sight. He seemed a bored individual, perhaps a bit of scenery is in order. "It is a while off, but, this place has a more comforting set of scenery, unlike the city's grey visage." She used the wall behind her to bring herself to her feet, setting her book into her pocket. Shifting barrels and various boxes into a position appearing as a set of steps, the thin young girl stepped to the tin of the house's roof, and knelt to speak to the boy in what she felt was a genuine tone. "Surely you do not mind the obstacle, seeing as you had appeared from here anyhow. If you feel the need to stay do not hesitate to; not that I'd intend to bring you into any danger."
  8. An eyebrow was cocked, and Richard looked to her in a somewhat quizzical manner.
    "You question whether I will follow you? I suppose I am at a loss as to what to do, in regards to keeping myself occupied. Very well, then, lead onwards. I await this location of yours with bated breath."
    Though his words implied great excitement at what was held in store for him, should he follow, his actual tone was one more of vague intrigue. Not that he did not wish to follow her - it was only that he longed for something more exciting to occupy the remaining daylight, so that he was able to engage in his moonlit crusades. The assortment of containers were traversed with ease, with him climbing and bounding with little more than an inaudible grunt escaping his lips. He clambered unto the tin roof, rolling his shoulders, waiting nonchalantly for the signal to be off.
  9. Taking off almost as soon as he met with her, she took speed and leapt to the next building, her feet tapping against the old tin roofs in subtle weight. A hand kept to the hood of her cloak as to not let the breeze catch it and displace it from it's position as she made the steadfast efforts across the vicinity. She then made to one building, greatly higher than herself, which had a tall iron ladder attatched to the side. Unfased by the obstacle she bounded across the way, hitting, quite forcefully might I add, and grabbing onto the ladder, climbing up it's length to the top with little breath wasted. She then looked about the town, finding a seemingly strong clothing wire leading to the next building. Training herself not to mind height she took a step, casually crossing the tightrope, foot over foot. Down below was a busy market, townspeople bustling about. A young child's voice was barely heard over the crowd, calling and pointing the girl out to his mother, though she seemed to dismiss the boy and carry on buying her various groceries.
    The line seemed quite long, though through wind pushing and pulling at such height, Lia set foot to the other side before swiveling to face the direction in which the accompanying Richard would emerge.
  10. Though more accustomed to moving through streets unnoticed, as opposed to navigating above them, Richard followed suit. Though noticeably less agile, his movements seemed to compensate in that he was able to utilise a higher level of strength, able to launch himself and pull himself up with greater ease. The rope, however, was something he felt he dared not test his luck with. He was agile, yes, and had a decent grip on keeping his centre of gravity. This was not to say, however, that he would be able to traverse such a thing with ease - if at all. His eyes scanned the area for other potential crossing methods, until he settled upon a marginally better - for him - option. Recent winds had knocked down a nearby clothes-pole, but it had not yet been disposed of. Richard decided to put it to good use before its final days were over. One end was held in both hands, and a running start was taken. If it was not clear what he intended to achieve, it was crossing the gap via pole-vaulting. He was successful, in the sense that he crossed the gap, with the pole falling indiscriminately to a less-occupied part of the hustle and bustle below. However, he himself did not make an especially grand entrance, having to roll a few times in order to soften the impact.
    "Right then," he said, as if the entire fiasco had not occurred, "Shall we?"
  11. She couldn't help stifling a grin at the seemingly clumsy acrobatics performed by Richard. "Quite a nimble one, aren't you," she remarked, then climbing up a very steep board between the building and the next one. The boared creaked slightly under the weight, but was very thick and refused to break. After reaching the top she turned to the scenery for the final time in the parkour-esque journey. In the distance of the view they could see the end of the town, but even farther than that was nothing but mountanous terrain and trees, and above was the changing, reddening hue of the setting sun. The fiery orange orb was nearing the position to hide behind the snow-tipped mountains, and if you looked close enough, the mountains seemed to be more than that, but naturally shaped rock formations and in the center a cave which resembled that of a roaring panther's head.
  12. A noncommital shrug was the sole response she received, followed by the lad in question resuming his tailing of this new acquaintance. Roofs and a - surprisingly sturdy - board were but insignificant obstacles to him, navigated with ease. To him, this was quite the experience - not because of what he was doing, but who with. It was refreshing to see someone who he could run with, who wasn't in his little circle of co-workers. She was someone he saw as a challenge, someone he'd have to work to keep up with, someone he could have fun with.
    given his history, it was only natural that Richard saw little outside of the buildings and the perpetual smog crowding the streets. To see what lay beyond, then, was something that left the boy awestruck, his eyes twinkling as he stood, staring casually out.
    "Nice view."
  13. She smiled and gave a short nod. "It may take some energy to get here, but as you can see it is worth it. Most people in this city have little knowledge of what lies outside the walls that seperate them. But from here, if certainly does make you want to leave this place. Just to see what lies out there." She let an outstretched hand point towards the odd cave in the center. "How about there, in the Panther's Jaw?" It seemed to be a prediction of his own question of why it existed, if he was wondering. "There is one person who has entered that cave from this town and came back out. At least the only one who remembers it. There are rumours that certain rituals and ceremonies had taken place there, and the results of such things are what caused this city to build a wall, separating us from the outside, more specifically the cave."
    After a few moments of silence, she continued. "As strange as I may seem, and as superstitious as my stories may be, it still doesn't make a whole lot of sense to block the world off. They could have just collapsed the cave."
  14. "Maybe the walls aren't just to keep us in - maybe they're trying to keep something out, as well. But, your point still stands - why not just collapse the thing? Ah, who can fathom the inner workings of those bloated pigs who are in charge of all these things."
    Richard closed his eyes, and inhaled the marginally fresher air at the spot he was standing in. Given where he had been all his life, the difference was stark, and his nose reacted as such. He then opened one eye, as what had been said was beginning to sink in properly now. "So, what did they say was in there? Actually, why don't we try and find out?"
    The prospect of something exciting to do had Richard practically salivating at the mere thought that his daily schedule would be broken. A deadly cave, a mysterious girl, and acts of great agility - this was turning out to be a better day than he thought. If he was lucky, he reasoned that there may be some loot in there, something to stop him having to depend on other people. Something to let him keep himself clothed, fed and watered sufficiently. His eyes were focussed on Panther's Jaw, each glinting with the sense of adventure brewing in him.
  15. It would be an interesting adventure, she thought, although it would also have many possible penalties. Lia turned her head towards Richard, her face nearing a look of panic as a voice interrupted their conversation. The man was dressed in the attire of a high classed citizen, a dark mohagany coloured suit and a cane adorned with a golden handle which was intricately designed in the form of a dragon. He was a handsome-looking man, aside from the evil, red-eyed glimmer in his gaze, which pierced the two with accusation. If any citizens had been watching, it would have seemed quite a wonder at how he had reached them, though the air about him suggested there was something different. A sense of paranormal mischief that Lia familiarized with.
    "What," his eerie words had been directed towards the girl, "you mean leave? Oh, what a loss that would be! Haven't I informed you not to put these thoughts into the poor people's minds?"
  16. In the attire the newcomer was wearing, it was highly possible that Richard would mistake him for someone else. However, this misconception was immediately rectified, his supposed recognition of such a figure quelled promptly. The initial frustration in his eyes turned to a look of pessimistic curiosity, the air the 'man' was giving off being enough to warrant both intrigue, and caution. He instinctively stepped back, not bothering to try and fathom how he had found his way to where they were, instead focussing on what to do now. In the absence of any smart ideas, he decided to retort, despite not being addressed with anything more than an accusing gaze.
    "Oh, you say that, but I've been wanting to leave this waste-clogged rathole for what feels like a century. That aside, I highly doubt a strange girl and a common urchin would make much of a difference, Mr..."
  17. "Lucian," Lia answered, taking a small step in front of Richard as if the man would attack. Glaring at the well-dressed man she gave her own retort. "I did not intend to do such things. As he said, he already wanted to leave. I'm sure anyone here with a mind thinks the same. At least anyone whom you have not gotten to manipulate yet." His unpleasant smile then fell to a displeased frown, though his gaze would not falter. As if to back his threatening stare, the hand which grasped his cane seemed to grow an eerie, dark aura about it. The power that could create the most troublesome endeavor amongst a physical or even mental state of any creature or human.
    "Disrespectful children." He shot back,though keeping his temper under control. "Miss Chronos, you of all beings know precisely what I am capable of. Your disobediance will not go unpunished, so I advise you to think before your next words. I have commanded you long ago as a part of our pact that you would never leave our wonderful Ralnae."
  18. "Erm... I'm kind of lost, as to what's actually going on. Does anyone here mind filling me in on the details?"
    Though fear - or something similar - could have been the expression embedded upon Richard's face, the most he displayed was a look of bemusement. And that was really all he felt - the aura around the cane was giving him the chills, but the fact that a well-dressed individual had cropped up out of seemingly nowhere, sort of warranted knowledge that he should expect something strange to happen. His gaze flitted between the two, his blatant interruption either a display of bravado in the face of intimidation, or brazen stupidity in the face of an unknown adversary. Irrespective of this, he wanted to know what was going on, given that he was supposed to be leaving on an expedition with the girl in front of him, not be held up by some pompous stranger. He so desperately wished for a weapon - not that he had the gall to actually murder a person, but it would make him feel a lot safer.
  19. "We'll be leaving." She stated strongly, taking Richard by the arm to navigate down the board on which was the only escape. Lucian stepped in front of her, holding a palm which radiated in energy to her forhead as her eyes suddenly immitated a look of shock, letting go of Richar's arm. His voice became deep with anger. "You aren't going anywhere, with anyone." His malicious glare moved to Richard. "Kill him."
    Lia's head whipped around in fear, shouting abruptly. "RICHARD, GET AWAY-!" She was barely able to get the words out before her flesh seemed to boil, soon being molded over with a form like a white mask. Her eyes, which were barely seen through the mask, were clouded over and dark. Energy which had been created from thin air enveloped her form in a blood-like cloak, and as the wind picked up, such a texture stained the rooftops efortlessly. The heat seemed to derive from this new being, the red liquid itself seeming to boil. It was a wonder no one would notice the occurance, but it seemed that to other mortal eyes, these acts were not actually happening. Lucian's laughter filled the air as this 'Lia' threw itself at her new companian, unable to resist the sudden takeover in control.
  20. There were many things that Richard expected to happen when she Lia was told to murder him, but her turning into what she was now was not something on the list. However, the process for what he was supposed to do was embedded in his mind, a standard protocol for when he was caught, and when fighting was not an option. He knew how to handle himself, but it was two on one. That aside, he couldn't hurt Lia, if this was possible in the first place. He threw himself desperately to one side, grazing his palms in the process - though, this mattered but a minuscule amount to him. Negligible, even. Hastily, he moved onto his feet, and dared not to look back, instead plotting an escape route. He couldn't go through the crowds just yet - there was no telling what Lia would be made to do if she had to get through civilians to get to him - so he thought. The rooftops would only be a temporary measure, as though he was able to go up ladders without a great deal of stress, he was less able to get down efficiently. He'd have to hide, or use trickery and cunning. Once he was able to, he'd be in his element - if there was anything he could use, that was.
    Richard's legs began pumping, and pushed him off the ledge, just fast enough to be caught. He wanted to help her, he really did - but he couldn't fight her. Not now.