The Taller they Stand, the Harder they Fall

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Lady Sabine, Nov 24, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. The Elven Empire of Silthador collapsed two hundred years ago but in the Red Hills, evidence of their presence is everywhere. One out of every three people is a slave; of the slaves, the most highly regarded are the Gladiators.
    Of the five Free Cities of the Red Hills, Nephael is the largest, wealthiest, and most famous. The Grand Pit of Nephael is renowned the world over as the finest of the fighting rings in the city, and its Champion is known far and wide as the fiercest fighter in the world. He is a Berserker, with blood magic that activates when he begins to fight. Berserkers were long thought to be a myth or legend, but he has proven them wrong for two years running, slaughtering any who dared to stand against him. As Champion of the Grand Pit, he is treated very well: food, wine, women, entertainment, famous guests, all the luxuries he could ask for. Nevertheless, he is not content.
    The second most famous slave in the city is the Oracle Cassiphaea. A slave of the Great Temple of Astroph, she has another ability thought lost to the ages: prophecy. She can see the potential future of people and objects, a valuable talent that has made her temple the wealthiest and most respected in the city. While it is not a foolproof talent, she has gotten rather good at determining the likely from the unlikely outcomes.
    It was only a matter of time before the Temple struck a bargain with the Champion's owners. Two slaves of such magnitude would obviously produce offspring of equal or greater ability, would they not? With the bargain struck that any child of the union would be given to one owner or the other based on ability, Cassiphaea was sent to the Champion's quarters.
    When there, something unexpected happens. She glimpses a future where he stands over the city of Nephael as it burns, holding a bloodied sword and surrounded by his fellow slaves, broken chains dangling from their wrists. It is not a very likely future, but she wonders if she can change that. More unlikely things have happened, after all... and she would love to see a future which sees her free to use, or no use, her abilities at her own whim.
    For the next few weeks they plot, and the vision becomes reality one rainy night when the pit fighters' chains are broken. By the next morning the slaves have overthrown their masters and Nephael is a true Free City, with the Champion and the Oracle at the head of it all.
  2. Cassiphaea
    The Silver Oracle
    Shortly after birth, it become apparent that Cassiphaea was completely blind. Of course, there is no place for a blind slavegirl in a working household, so as soon as she was weaned Cassi was given as a gift to the Temple of Astroph. It was here that she discovered that, in her dreams, she could see. What she saw there caught the attention of the priests, and when she was six years old Cassi was made an Official oracle, the first one in over a century. Sixteen years have passed since then, all of them spent within the safe confines of Nephael, mostly within the temple. Nobles bring in their babies for prophecies; merchants come by with crates of goods to see if they will reach their destination; mothers bring in their son's wives to see if she can bear children; warriors bring their swords to see if they will win them glory.
    It is a simple life, but it is the only she has ever known. While she is not mistreated, getting glimpses of other peoples' lives has aroused in Cassi a great sense of adventure that she feels she will never be able to satisfy. How can a blind slavegirl travel or change the world?
    Her mother was a renowned bedslave, and from her Cassi got most of her looks, though she is nowhere near as ravishing. She is lovely by most standards, skin like alabaster and hair a pale grey-blonde and eyes evenly between blue and green. Her face is round and almost girlish, showing every bit of her innocence, which goes well with her somewhat short stature, just 5'4 with a touch of extra weight around her belly and thighs. Small, pouty lips and a pert nose finish off her appearance. She could just as easily pass for 14 as 22, and looks more a citizen than a slave, were it not for the silver collar around her neck with its little silver bell that peals whenever she moves.
    Raised in the temple, Cassi has learned a variety of skills, most of them fairly useless. Her voice is beautiful, and she has memorized most of the religious songs & hymns, as well as prayers and chants and invocations. She has also learned to play the flute, which is the traditional instrument of Astroph, and is an expert in the yoga-like ritual stretches and exercises which He instituted for daily health. While her lack of sight prevents her from being much of a healer (that, and the risk of contagion) she has memorized the uses of many herbs and potions, and often advises junior priestesses and slaves in their studies.
    Cassiphaea is kind, especially to her Masters in the temple, who have always treated her well, and to the other temple slaves, who do not treat her as kindly. This good nature is as intrinsic in her as her blindness, though her timidness is a learned trait. As a girl she was more outgoing and willful, but learned quickly that such behavior was not appropriate for an Oracle, and learned to be demure and unresistant. She tends to be sympathetic and tries to see both sides of every issue, unfortunately, she can sometimes have trouble picking a side. Indecisiveness, timidness, and fear of making anyone unhappy cripple her when it comes to giving negative feedback, and she rarely says anything that could offend anyone.
    All of this means that when it was announced she would be bred with the renowned pit fighter Irenmund, she nodded demurely to her Masters and thanked them for giving her such an opportunity. In her chambers that night, in between soft sheets and beneath thick blankets, she allowed herself quietly to weep, but that was all. She would do her duty, because it was what she had always done.
    #2 Lady Sabine, Nov 24, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  3. Name: Irenmund Bjornskoll

    Age: 28 winters

    History: Iren grew up in the frozen north, raiding tribes of men were his family. He fought from an early age, his peoples secret having become his own. The art of being a berserker, the magic within his blood was fed by blood. If it starved he died. He had to fight to build it, to face death from a young man to the arena he now fought in. He had been captured on a raid gone bad, the forces had been waiting for his kind's arrival on their lands. His brethren were killed but not without a price, the legends of the berserker's were true. He killed four score of men before his gift failed him, it used blood, his blood. It was a shield as much of a sword and on this day it was two edged. He went down, captured and beaten before he was thrown into the ring. They threatened to starve him out in a cell, deep and dark where a slow death would be his refuge. So he fought, killing so many every time the gate rose. Now he wanted away, to return to a life of the north.

    Ability: His blood seeps through cuts he has received, either self inflicted or from enemies, it forms protective rune like lines along his body, acting as a flexible shield. The more he is hurt the harder it is to kill him. With that he is able to bury himself in the fight, not caring about defense as his body forms it's own. It only lasts as long as he has the blood to sustain it, each hit to the armor makes him lose that blood. To an extent he can manipulate it as well, letting it grow hard over impacting points to act as metal to cause damage with.

    Personality: Quiet, retrospective, an idealist. As much as he enjoyed the fray he has grown tired of it, almost bored of it. A hint of regret lay in the deepest recesses of his mind.

    Appearance: [​IMG]
    #3 Mako Torriblaidd, Nov 24, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  4. Night had fallen. She could tell by the smell of the air, the seaside breeze that swept over the city once the sun went down. The Grand Square was quiet, almost too quiet, for all the evening services had just ended. By the chiming of the bells at the temple of Enorchaea, it was the tenth hour of the night, the Lovers' Hour. Fitting. She could hear lovers by the temple of Saph, murmuring to each other too low for her to make out the words, which were obscured by the whisper of wind through the tree in the center of the square, the tree representative of Gaea, who was the mother of Gods. She could hear the smiths still pounding away in the temple of Kaan, who was warrior and smith and master of metal and blood. There was incense in the air from the temples of Enorchaea and Vior, and spicy foods lending their aroma from the temple of Odessos, the traveler. There were seven gods and goddesses, and she knew them all by heart and name, and said a small prayer to each of them as she walked through the square, flanked by a small child and two old men.​
    The child was Zia, a girl no older than nine, who was assigned to be her handmaiden for the night. The two old men were Zephoe and Aenaes, High Priests in charge of the slaves and the finances of the temple respectively. From what she understood, her children would be valuable commodities. If she bore a strong son, he would be raised a gladiator. If she bore a dreamful daughter, she would be raised a priestess. They hoped, she knew, for an Oracle or a Berserker or both.​
    She hoped he would be gentle, and that it would all be over soon.​
    When they exited the square, a palanquin was waiting. It was forbidden for any sort of vehicle or beast of burden to enter the square; all men must walk on their own honest feet in sight of the gods. Outside, though, she was grateful to be carried the entire way. Her handmaiden lifted her skirts of soft linen and helped her find a seat, fussing with her hair once they were underway, while the priests talked softly about matters of the purse. As for Cassiphaea, she just wrapped the soft cotton shawl tighter around her shoulders and resisted the urge to rub at the kohl around her eyes or the rouge on her cheeks and lips. The gown she was in was lower-cut and tighter-fitting than she was used to, and delicately embroidered about the hems. She was barefoot and without smallclothes, no doubt to make her more appealing to the man she was to meet.​
    When the palanquin stopped, she knew the time for doubting was over. Letting the shawl fall from her shoulders and gather around her mid-back as the priests had asked, she followed the voices of the priests and those they had met down a flight of stairs, into a room with stone floors and, by the sound of the echo, either stone or tile walls as well. The sudden drop in temperature made her shiver, and she hoped there would be a hearth in the room. Abruptly the others came to a stop, and her breath caught in her chest as the sound of a slightly rusty set of hinges filled the room.​
  5. Iren wasn't pleased with what he heard, the fact that they were trying to breed him with an oracle didn't sit well in his stomach. He had been told only hours ago, some expected the gladiator to be keen on such a forbidden fruit. He was not. He didn't want a woman who had no say in the matter, at least the prostitutes that were often hired were allowed to choose who they wanted for the night. This priestess was granted nothing as far as he knew, this was a meeting of business not pleasure. For that he was to play the part of the whore he was told. He was bathed, shaved clean save for his face and hair, the guards knew better than to trifle with his heritage. The male received a musky oil, just to make him that much more the man.

    Dressed in simple cloth he was moved to a free wing of the gladiatorium, it was more for the priests sake, no one wanted to have the rest of the ravenous best called gladiators eyeing up a priestess. He was placed on a thin bed, more or less plain with off white blankets, a single pillow at the head. Nothing but a few candles to light the room. It was at lest warmed from the floor, the waters of the bath beneath kept this section warm enough for comfort. Once again he heard the threats if he decided to be obstinate, told he would have to do this until a child was conceived. The thought made him sick, he had to wonder what she thought. If she was looking forward to a night with the berserker, many women of higher blood wanted this, a few paid for his services even, there had been no passion, much akin to how this would more than likely end.

    He was placed against the wall, a heavy iron collar around his neck. The guards were taking no chances. A small table near the door held the key to the manacles on his wrists, keeping him to the wall. She would be the one to release him if she saw fit. No one wanted to dare have him break her or kill her. So he sat, shirtless, letting scars show while he sighed. The guards outside giving him a knock to let him know that she was coming. A slight smirk crossed his lips, lowering his head. "All for money eh?" He asked himself as the doors opened, revealing the male to her and her guardians.

    His eyes lifted, falling upon the female first, so this was the one. "Timid?" He questioned, voice deep and raspy. The slight jingle of his chains coming in response as he shifted. His eyes trailed to her guardians, priests. "Are they staying girl?" He questioned once more, this time a chuckle escaping him while he relaxed a bit at the look of restrained outrage on one of their faces. One would grab the key, reaching to place it in her hand before muttering about it's use. The male simply sighed, a whole night with something that most men were forbidden, interesting.
  6. She flinched when she heard his voice for the first time. It wasn't a big flinch, and it was totally involuntary, but she knew somehow that everyone had noticed. The deepness of his voice, the gravelly quality and the way it rasped against her ears, drew to mind an enormous barbarian, fierce and brutal, who would as readily snap her over his knee as bed her. The key was all the safety net she could expect, and it seemed very fragile. As the priests left, Cassi ushered her handmaiden out as well. "This is not for your eyes, child," she explained to stifle the child's protests. "I won't need a handmaiden for this, Zia." Well, that might not have been strictly true, but she doubted the little girl would be of any help, and would likely be scarred for life if she were left to witness.​
    When everyone was gone, the Oracle took her time getting the lay of the room as best she could. She snapped her fingers, listening to the echo. She took a deep breath of the air, nostrils flaring as she took everything in. Bare does curled against the ground, feeling the radiant warmth. The young woman took a pace forwards, faced her to-be lover, and nervously began to speak.​
    "This room is a small chamber, maybe ten paces by sixteen or less. It is made of a rough stone with a sandy texture, perhaps granite. Beneath us, baths run around the clock and keep this level warmed. There are between two and six candles burning- tallow candles. The blankets on the bed have just been taken out of storage. You are perfumed, with pine and salt and smoke and musk," Cassiphaea described, turning the key over and over in her hand. "This, and that you are manacled, is all I know. Will you let me... let me t-touch your face? I... I would know your features, if it please m'lord."​
  7. The male looked a bit confused for a moment, slowly realizing she was blind while she snapped her fingers. An interesting gift, to be able to gleam such information from sound alone. It left him intrigued to say the least. His form shifting once more to sit up straight while he watched her fiddle with the small bit of metal that made the key. "Five... five candles..." He spoke, his voice taking a slightly more gentle tone. It hurt him to know this was the one he was supposed to bed, he felt bad for the girl after all, she was young, had a chance at life and was reduced to a slave. She was attractive, that was what truly surprised him. Those from his lands with such a gift as an oracle were twisted beings, magick that corrupted their flesh coursed in their blood.

    "You may..." He replied simply, his head dipping slightly while he shifted to pull his legs up under him to give her room. His eyes trailing along her, watching, observing while he let her observations roll in his mind. She was certainly something. "You needn't call me a lord... I am a slave like you, nothing more than flesh, sinew, and bone..." He spoke, letting a certain kindness rest in the violence that was his voice. His mind slowly working over if he would even take her, how could he, she didn't deserve this. No matter how many he killed, how cold he became, there was always a soft spot for the innocents. Perhaps it was memories of his siblings, perhaps it was just his good nature, he didn't know but he couldn't justify this.
  8. She sensed that no one had told him what to expect from her by the hesitation in his voice. Well, she was hardly surprised. No one had seen fit to tell her what to expect either, except for him being a fearsome fighter, a berserker from a foreign land, harsh and fierce and strong. It wouldn't surprise her at all if he had been told nothing more than that she was the semi-famed Silver Oracle, if even that much.

    "I am called Cassiphaea," she mentioned as she stepped towards him, silver bell tinkling daintily as she knelt before him, holding the key between her teeth as she reached out with both hands, her fingertips coming to rest on his cheeks as she used his breath to guide her. Ever so slowly she traced his features, lips twitching slightly as though to mimic the map she made of his face. High cheekbones, strong jaw, flat brow... and, as she used this brief connection to take a passing glance at his future, his features came to life. He was so unlike her- where the bridge of her nose was low and flat, his was prominent. She was all curves and gentle slopes, he was all angles and lines.

    With her exploration done, she once again fingered the key, trying to decide whether or not she ought to unlock him, and deciding that she might as well trust him. He did not seem to bear her any malice, after all... and she did so hate collars and manacles and shackles and chains.
  9. "You may call me Iren... my full name is Irenmund..." He spoke with a nod to her, even if she couldn't see it the gesture was the same, instinct drove it. His eyes watched hers, looking for any signs of vision, anything to make him feel better but he found none. As she touched the scruff of his beard he released a sigh, closing his eyes to allow her hands to trace his prominent features. Her touch, the gentleness, sent a shiver up his spine, goosebumps on his arms. It was something he had longed for, the gentle touch of a woman. A small smile danced to his usually stern lips while she worked her way up. He could smell her, a long breath took it in. Sweet, soft, a woman.

    "Do you find things pleasing?" He questioned, voice coming soft as a whisper, opening his eyes to look to the key in her finger. He cared not if she unchained him or not, he wouldn't bed her, not now. No he wanted to know this girl first. She wasn't a common whore or noble wanting a rough lay their husband was incapable of. She was something delicate, something he couldn't mar. "How did you come to this life... being a slave Cassiphaea?" He questioned, a canter coming from his head while he observed her kneeling form. He wanted to touch her, to console her, but for now he waited.
  10. She could feel his reaction to her touch, and wondered at it briefly. For a moment she worried that he found her repulsive, but she quickly realized his reaction was of pleasure, not distaste, and even dared to smile a bit herself. His name passed from her still-smiling lips, repeated in her soft, vaguely lilting voice that half-sang the unfamiliar word, testing it against her tongue. It was a fine name, strong but easy to say and respectable without being harsh.​
    His question, though, removed the smile from her face as she pulled back a little. "I... I was born a slave," She admitted after a moment. "My mother was a bedslave, and when she fell pregnant from my master, he... well, he was somewhat less than happy. When I was born blind, he had no more use for me, and made me a gift to the Great Temple of Astroph. There I discovered my gift as a girl, and was declared the next Oracle, a gift from God. And there I have been ever since." Daughters of a freedman and a slave woman were the decision of their masters whether to make free or enslaved; she had been on the unlucky end of the bargain. She sensed his own story was more unfortunate still, and after a moment's hesitation, reached forwards and unchained him. "You were not born into these chains," She guessed after a moment.​
  11. His features frowned, wishing deeply that she had known a life free of this before. A sigh escaped his lips while she unchained him, the closeness making him catch his breath in the back of his throat for a second. The primal urge was there but his conscious wasn't. "No, I was not born a slave..." He spoke softly, learning that her abilities were not fabricated while he rubbed his wrists. Shifting he found himself a more comfortable position before speaking. "I was born in a small village, a few dozen people, far to the north... I was captured on a raid... my brothers struck down around me, only my magick kept me alive... I wish it hadn't." A low sigh escaped him while he shook his head.

    He slowly reached forward, letting his fingertips dance across her cheek and jaw, feeling her soft skin, so different from the scars upon his own. Thick, almost leathery, the skin of a warrior. "I won't bed you, not tonight... no you don't deserve such treatment." He spoke, even if he lacked her gift he could read character. His eyes softened softly before his raspy voice spoke again, this time a whisper. "We will need to put on a show, a vocal performance... for those outside... but that can wait." A nod escaped him while he moved his hand from her cheek, falling to his lap while he simply grinned.
  12. Her own skin was so soft, so delicate, obvious proof that she had never done a day's labor in her life. The flute was the most strenuous activity she had put her hands to; she had only even touched a knife to cut her food. The scars on his hands were as alien to her as his own powers. "You are a berserker, no?" She murmured as he mentioned his magick. It was a power she was unfamiliar with, though the name gave her an idea. While she flinched at first at his touch, she soon accepted it, feeling the tenderness in his rough hands.

    The thought of being free made her fearful, but also excited. It was an unknown, a forbidden fruit, and though she feared the poison in it she also longed for the taste. He had been free, though, and now he was not. Was it worse to have that freedom taken away when one had known it so well before?

    "I... I thank you," Cassi murmured after she had digested his final words. It was hard to understand what he was proposing, but she rather liked the sound of it. "But I would not wish to bring punishment on either of us... and I wouldn't know how to, to... perform..."
  13. The male cantered his head, a bit of a chuckle escaping him before he spoke again. "You needn't fear reprisal on me... they won't kill me." He spoke softly, wanting to reassure her that little harm would befall him. His eyes fell across her small form, so much smaller than his large and broad one. Oh she was a beauty though, any man would be willing to kill for that beauty. He caressed her face once more before he shifted, scooting to the side so she could sit beside him, a small tug at her wrist showing what he wished.

    "It's not hard..." He spoke with a nod, if nothing else he could get her to do it for herself. "Just give a small squeak like you're in pain and then breathe heavily, make soft moans... and you're done... but not yet..." The male gently patted her head when she would join him, looking at the door with his arms crossed. He had to wonder if they had ears to it, waiting to hear it all. A low sigh escaped him while he shook his head.
  14. When she realized what he wanted, Cassi shifted position, sitting next to him on the wall. She scooted close to him, close enough to feel the heat off his body for she felt he would like that, but she was not half bold enough to actually touch him, though she almost wanted to. His gentleness, his kindness, the tone he addressed her with... in spite of herself, she almost felt safe around him, warm even. He gave her something no other man (or woman) ever had. He didn't seem to care that he was the Oracle, or that she was blind, or even that she was beautiful.

    "I... I suppose I can try," She agreed reluctantly, not very confident in her own abilities. More than a virgin she was a complete innocent, knowing next to nothing of the relations between men and women. Just the thought of it brought a sudden rush of color to her cheeks. Suddenly, she thought perhaps it would be best to change the subject, before he noticed her reaction.

    "Um... so, Irenmund..." The young woman began after a moment, voice wavering slightly, "what... what is the life of a gladiator like?"
  15. He kept his hands close to himself, head leaning against the wall while he released a contented sigh. His eyes falling closed, content to spend a bit of time in quiet relaxation, going over how to at least try to trick the priests into thinking they had done the deed. He was about to question her, ask what she thought of it all before her own cut his mind short. The life of a gladiator, well that was a hard thing to explain but he would try for her, try to explain this to her.

    "My life... the life of a gladiator... is just violence... we live to fight and die in the arena..." He started with a small frown, crossing his arms across his chest. "I have killed more men than I can count, my ability as a berserker has made it near impossible to kill me... so I just kill, no names, no pasts, that's what they have to be to me... I despise it, the violence against those who have never known their freedom, the violence for the sake of entertainment... it sickens me." He spoke, distaste in his voice while he shook his head.

    "What about you, being an oracle?"
  16. She frowned slightly as he described his existence, her mind troubled by what she heard. Gladiatorial games were foreign to her; no one would take a slave to one and she wouldn't have been able to see one in any case. The thought of killing for killing's sake sickened her as well, and her mouth twisted in distaste. Death was a distant concept, violence even more far from her world. It was hard for her to imagine such a life.

    Her own life, on the other hand...

    "Dull and easy, I suppose, compared to yours," She admitted softly. "I am available on certain days for prophecy. Old women bring young women in the hopes that she will be fertile. Young women bring children to see what their babe will grow to be. Old men come to see when they will die and their sons come to see who will inherit. Lovers see if they will wed and enemies see if they will die. Merchants have me look at ships and cargo, warriors have me look at their swords. When I am not prophesying, I work in the temple with the other slave acolytes, or learn of scriptures and verse and song, or play my flute."
  17. He was interested in her life, in a peaceful life. Knowing what his people's nature brought on him and on so many he would have liked one. "Perhaps you will sing me a song.... I doubt this will be the only night we meet and I would like something soft in my life right now..." He spoke with a smile, content to have her company for a few nights. Sure, here entire presence was soft but he didn't want to rush into things. One night, one night they would do the deed but he wanted more than that alone. Once she was pregnant they wouldn't meet again, he didn't need a gift to forsee that fact of the world.

    "I do wonder, what is in my future." His eyes fell upon her once more while he cantered his head, wondering if she would see his death, see his freedom, anything. Anything would do as long as it wasn't continuing to fight in the games until death decided to take him.
  18. Peace was perhaps the only thing Cassi had in abundance, and she would have traded near all of it away if it meant adventure. She longed for a life of doing instead of watching, of being instead of seeing. No, death and violence held no sway for her, but she was so childishly certain that there were great explorations and great discoveries that required no blood be shed. While her own life was kind and comfortable, kindness and comfort were boring her near to tears on a daily basis.

    "Everyone wants to know the future," She replied with a soft smile of her own, hearing his by the way his lips formed the words. "In all truth, my gift is art. I am trying to make something out of what I am given; I don't construct futures or have an exact way of interpreting what I find. Half of what I see is disjoined image, half of what I see is metaphor and symbol. Let me sing for you, Irenmund. That I can do and know what is right and true from what is false."

    She cleared her throat, sorting through the songs she knew before settling on one of her favorites. It was called The Hayfields of Summer; a lullaby in all truth, soft and slow and warm and sweet. In the soft, high tones of her voice the tune came to life, echoing from the hallway in a haunting way.
  19. Iren cantered his head slightly, surprised by her response this time. Was she just skirting the question or did she truly not know his future? It was something he silently pondered as she began to sing, the soft tune making a smile form upon his features while he closed his eyes. He leaned against the wall enjoying the soft sounds. He found himself swaying to the melody with her wonderous voice carrying it so well.

    It nearly brought a tear to his eye while the beauty swallowed him whole. It moved his very soul and he was amazed by her ability to do so. It was hard to break the stone wall that was the male but she managed. A single tear falling before he placed a hand to her arm, just to silence her before she tore down all of his defenses. "That is... amazing Cass..." He spoke with a small sigh, composing himself.
  20. She stopped when he rested his hand on her arm, shocked to hear the depth of emotion in his voice, and shocked slightly more by the future that presented itself unbidden when he first made contact. Two hearts, beating as one. A song sung to the beat of sword on shield. Her head on his bare chest, resting there, listening to his heart like it was the meaning of life itself. His arms around her, lifting her out of a claustraphobic pit of cotton and honey into an infinite world of ash and blood and soil. Her head spun with the sudden input, and she shook her head as though to clear away what she had seen.

    "I... my voice is the only real skill I have," She admitted softly. "My gift was given to me by the gods. My voice I have trained for years. I am sorry that it affects you so... but I am glad it does indeed have effect." Vocal training was surprisingly strenuous -well, perhaps not compared to gladiatorial training- and she had been working at it harder and longer than anything else. Her voice was naturally good; it was years of practice that made her better.

    On sudden impulse she lifted her hands to his cheek and caught the single tear on her fingertip. Bringing it back to her own lips she tasted it, half on impulse again and half from years of training. "You do not often shed tears, Irenmund," she mentioned softly. "Especially for a man who's very occupation sows pain and reaps sorrow."
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.