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Old June 15, 2015, 01:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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[River Gloria] Kelp Forests of the Surface (Dargin)

TIMESTAMP: SUMMER ERA XXII

Enamoria. Not Demios, no. Not the Fire Isle. Not home. ‘But home for now’. Elle would coo, soothing and quiet. And here was Thelyri Brix, with webbed feet tucked in leather sandals. Snap, snap, snapping the twigs underneath her. Surface sticks. So dry. So noisy. That’s what Brix thought. Webbed fingers tended to stark white hair, pulling her bun a little tighter. Nervous and twitchy, that was Brix outside the water. That was Brix outside the comforts of her studio. She hadn’t stayed long in the province, but it was deemed a temporary home, as business pursuits had kept her from retreating back into the sea. Back to the Fire Isle.

And so another snap of a twig. And flinching now with a nervousness. That was Brix’taielle. Nervous and twitchy and anxious. At 5’1, the elf was lithe and delicate. Lightly boned with white hair and washed out cerulean blue skin. Bright aqua eyes, inky black sclera. A feathering of gills down the sides of her neck. She wore a loose cotton dress, a large burlap sack over her shoulder. ‘Time to move Brix, time to move.’ Elle would remind her. Time to get to it now.

Blinding was the sun, as it always was. But not entirely bothersome here, in the shade of the family of trees. Her chin lifted, inky eyes following the length of the nearest tree trunk. Gulls were the fish of the skies, in the same way trees were the kelp forests of the surface? They were rigid though. Stiff and unyielding. The surface was brash. The surface was foreign. A flutter in her chest, as the reminder that she was not safe filled her consciousness. A moment, fleeting but still a moment, of debilitating fear. ‘One foot in front of the other now, one foot in front of the other.’ Was what Elle would tell her. And so she did. A sandaled foot forward, and then another. Slow and steady...

Until a smell. Not salty like the sea, but similar. The smell of wet earth and leaves. Of mud and river weed. ‘We did it!’ Elle cried. The river, it was just up the way. Pace quickening to a trot now, she’d find the river and it was time to get to work. Fresh water oysters would yield lunch and pearls to be set in a ring, or maybe a pendant. Sea glass would be impossible, but perhaps river tossed stones could be a fair comparison here.
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Old June 15, 2015, 04:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Destruction. Despair. Anarchy.

To most, such times were disheartening, but Dargin smelled opportunity.

Olympia had grown tiresome quickly for the Cether. Finding the dark underbelly of the city had proven easy enough, but as with other times, he found his kind were merely tolerated if not ridiculed. He had hoped to learn from one of the masters - to perfect a craft so few knew and none would advertise. One might have thought a child-like creature like him might have found a willing teacher - his race were often mistaken as largely harmless beings who could sneak or meld into situations that permited much ... actions... to be conducted. Instead, that same contempt for Cether's had led to more ridicule and deepened hardship. Frustrated, Dargin had moved on. He knew his anger would eventually get him into trouble, or worse, killed. The latter prospect was to be avoided at all costs.

So it was, during his journey south across Aelyria that he had heard of the devastation wrought by the Xet - of the countless thousands left dead, of cities and towns destroyed. Of the chaos and lawlessness that now reigned in many regions to the west. All of this news had cheered the Cether - he knew it was his chance to finally prove his worth. Excited, he had immediately set out towards his new destination - the areas most affected by the Xet - where he might get lost in the devastation and work on perfecting the craft he so desparately wanted to pursue.

It was this purpose that had him travelling along the banks of River Gloria on this very brightening. Certainly he could utilize this opportunity to test his blades against the throats of those who still survived. Pity they only lived long enough to become one his next prey!

Dargin smiled at this thought as be bent down to the water where the banks came low to a stoney curve in the river. Placing his waterskin beneath the surface, he listened to the gurgling sound as it began to fill. Water. Food. Necessities of life he would do without if needed. They only hindered his purpose. Once complete, he took a quick swig before replacing the waterskin in his pack. Time to move on, further down the river, closer to ultimate goal.

'Snap'

Lifting his head up quickly, Dargin stopped all movement. What was that sound? He suddenly felt horribly exposed. He hated being out in the woods, but the protection afforded by the trees was the better option over the main road that brigands and other malcontents travelled. Yet, being out in the wild made him cautious and alert. A snap could mean anything - a branch falling from a tree. A small rodent running through the underbrush. A horde of orcs prancing through the woods.

'Snap'

Again the sound - with movement this time - and whatever it was, it was coming closer. Dargin was certain something large was approaching the river and the thought of remaining where he was suddenly seemed unwise. Of course, a Cether of his diminutive size would find many things larger than himself in this world - most of them not entirely pleasing. Deftly, he moved back into the woods, far enough to be hidden, but still remain within view of the river bank. Should it be anything of concern, he could sneak away or climb a tree. Hopefully it was not a denizen of these woods that found Cether particularly appetizing.

It was not long after he had hidden himself that a young woman with blue tinged skin appeared by the river bank. She was small and waifish, nearly as short as Dargin, and moved with a carelessness that Dargin noted was extremely dangerous.

'A good way to get yourself killed,' he thought, fingering one of his knives. It seemed the prey had come to him for once.

Yet, he made no further motion, perplexed as he was by this woman's appearance. Dargin was a bit dumbfounded - who was she? And more importantly, was she alone? Listening a moment longer, Dargin made sure she was not being followed or travelling with others. When he felt it was safe, he slowly reached down to grab a nearby branch that had fallen to the ground, pulled out one of his knives, and began wittle away at the wood. If she was dangerous, he would be prepared with weapon in hand. If not, his work on the branch should hopefully appear less threatening.

Moving out from his hiding place, Dargin made sure to snap a branch or two to announce his presence while he kept a good distance from the strange woman as he nodded his head in greeting. "Serale, friend," he started, forcing himself to smile a toothy grin. He figured he should at least try to appear harmless and ... shudder ... friendly. "It is an odd chance to find someone else wandering these woods this brightening."
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Old June 16, 2015, 12:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sidling up to the edge of the river now, that was Thelyri Brix. Webbed toes slid out of worn leather sandals, her burlap sack up and over her head. Anxious, anxious, was Brix now, but as the nerves from being above sea level began to settle, the anticipation of cool water filled her instead. She could feel it now, filtering through her gills. Cool and calm and safe. Webbed fingers met the edge of her dress, but as she began to pull them upward, to free herself of this clothing the land dwellers were so partial to, there was a noise. Fingers released her dress at once, inky black eyes searching... Searching. Twitching this way and that. Weak eyes, that’s what the sea elf had. And especially in the mid-brightening sunlight.

”We are not friends.” She corrected, eyes still fluttering to place the voice. Thelyri Brix had no friends. ‘But we are friends Brix. We are best friends.’ That’s what Elle would say. Finally, placing her target. A small creature. With the voice of a man but the stature of a child. ‘What a peculiar looking thing. Can we keep him?’ Elle would remark. ”It is?” Her voice was flat, if only for the hint of inflection to assume her statement was in fact, a question. ‘Can we keep him Brix? Can we dress him up and play with him?’ Elle was babbling.

A cautious step toward the river now, her legs finding strength, finding power. Knees bending, recoiling like a spring. A firm grip on her burlap sack. She was not familiar with the man child. Not familiar with his race or demeanor. Her head cocked to it’s side, curious. ”Are there more of you?” If she needed, she would retreat to the river, swim upstream. Another tightening grip on her bag. If needed, she would pull her dagger. But for now. A stand off.
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Old June 16, 2015, 07:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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'What is with her hands?' Dargin stopped his wittling, his eyes widening at what he saw. Why did she have skin between her fingers? What was she?

Dargin was suddenly concerned he had indeed come across a forest denizen - one that may be more dangerous than he first thought. While she appeared fairly harmless, he felt a bit uneasy about this situation and wondered if he had been foolish to rush out into the open to announce himself. Too late to quibble over that decision.

We are not friends.

Once she spoke, Dargin began to wittle the branch once more, permitting himself to at least appear at ease and confident. Indeed, they were not friends - nor were they likely ever to form such a relationship. Friends were too much trouble - they expected too much of your time, too much of your energy. They expected you to ... care. The thought reviled him. It all seemed so petty and false.

No - a friend was not what Dargin needed, but he could see how, at times, others could prove to be useful. Tools to advance oneself towards their ultimate goal. Like a client seeking Dargin's specialized skillset, or an informant possessing necessary information on a target. In those instances, Dargin had to admit, he required some social interaction.

"Are there more of you?"

Her question caused him to narrow his eyes in suspicion. It may have been an honest inquiry from one concerned about her own safety, but to Dargin, it sounded like a threat. Her mannerisms, strange as they were, bore no malicious intent, but there was something about her eyes that made him cautious. Let her think what she may, for now, but he would not answer her question.

"Friends, no, I agree," he responded, taking a brief moment to inspect his handiwork with the branch, which had now been carved to a small point. "We are certainly not friends, though it does seem to be customary amongst many to provide such greetings when two individuals meet for the first time. I confess, you are a bit of a curiousity - I have not met one such as you before and so I felt emboldened to approach."

'Curious enough for me to let you live - for now.'

"And I dare say your cacophony of sound through these woods could awaken any manner of beast neither of us would desire to meet. Perhaps ..." Dargin rubbed his chin in thought, pondering his next words. What was he thinking? To help her? No, it would be so unlike him be kind, but he could not deny that he was intrigued by her - or at least, by her race. Should he come upon another of her kind, it would be useful to know their strengths, and more importantly, their weaknesses.

"Perhaps we can be of assistance to each other. I would know of you and your kind, for knowledge is a pursuit of mine. And I... Well.."
He glanced around the woods surrounding them on either side of the river. "I can show you some manner of how to travel safely through these woods - without making such noise."
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Old June 17, 2015, 09:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Whittling away at his branch now, that’s what the little surface creature would do. An artisan, this one was. A crafter of wooden spears. Was he a hunter? Eyes fluttered to his left, to his right. Looking, searching for others. Were they alone? Was this a trap? That’s what her paranoia would ask. Coiled and tight, those were Brix’s legs now. He did not answer her, which furthered her suspicion. Brix blinked once, then twice. Then once more, with her second eyelid. Usually only used for swimming, but forest creature’s wood dust was getting in her eyes. Bothersome, the wind was.

And now the thing retracted his friendship. No, they were not friends. Customary? Was that the way of the surface? To declare friendship upon meeting and then retract it again? ”I am not aware of such customs.” She knew family, those brothers and sisters in the sea. But this was not Thelyri. This was not safe. A curiosity she was, or so he claimed. What was the surface saying? Curiosity killed the cat? Let man child be butchered then. That’s what Brix would think.

‘But heed his warning.’ Elle would whisper. ‘Learn the ways of the surface. Do not snap the twigs. He is trying to help. A confidant Brix, he is trying to help you.’ That was Elle, so trusting. So warm. Dark eyes would squint, careful and suspicious. What could he offer her but to be careful and quiet in the dry kelp forest? Would she awaken a beast? She was not aware of the surface beasts. Perhaps then, he had a use.

”I am Thelyri.” What more did he want than that? ”Now how do I not make the snap noise? This kelp forest is too dry.” The surface in general was rather noisy. Rather loud. She didn’t trust him, as he whittled away on his stick. But she didn’t trust much.
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Old June 17, 2015, 08:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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'Thelyri...' Dargin placed the name in his mind seeking to recall where he had heard the word before. Eras gone by, to a time in his youth, when his parents, the Aether help them, tried to keep their only child under control.

'Be wary, young Dargin, or the Thelyri will drag y'to the sea!' his mother would often say, waving a pudgy finger at him.

Monsters - that is how the Thelyri had been descirbed to him. Creatures beneath the waves that would take unsuspecting, and often troubled or disobedient, children down into the depths of the ocean. Feasting on them as one slowly drowned. Even though their village had been miles from the coast, as a Cether youngling, the threats had some impact. Now, these memories returned unbidden, causing Dargin to inwardly curse his mother and father for their incompetence as parents. Further trickery to keep their troubled child from his true path.

'The Thelyri will getcha, son.' Another treacherous lie. Might he bring his own treachery down on their heads? Perhaps - if they still lived.

For the truth was now before him - the blue tinged woman was of that kind and certianly no monster stood before him. No, she was remakably far removed from that description. She could, of course, be speaking falsely, attempting to deceive him, yet he did not detect any sort of malice or hesitation. He had to assume it was the truth.

'I need not be so skeptical.' he thought, though being suspicious was a big part of his nature.

"Yes, the forest is dry," he started, having a greater understanding as to why she travelled so noisily. If she was one of the ocean, being on land was likely foreign and strange. "But one can move quietly if they take the time to practice the art. The placement of one's foot lightly on the ground with care, ensuring you are not stepping on twigs, branches or leaves - can greatly reduce the noise one makes."

Though his own skills of stealth were better suited for more urban environments, it was not difficult to understand how those same skills might be applied in the wild. He bent down to pick up a stone lying by the bank of the river.

"A simple rock, such as this, when stepped on can shift and create sound. Brushing oneself against a branch can create a rustling heard for some distance by keen ears. It just a matter of first, understanding your environment, and second, knowing how to manipulate yourself and your movements to reduce the sound you make."

He paused then, thinking more on what he should say. He had grown even more interested to learn more about this strange woman. "Thelyri, you say? I must admit, what I see before me belies the tales I have been told of your kind. It is true you come from the sea?"
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Old June 18, 2015, 08:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The art of walking? Brix’s head twitched to one side. A jerky, but inquisitive movement. Perhaps a little too vigorous on land, as Brix was rather used to the pull of the water. Moving on the surface. It made her feel light and heavy all at the same time. Peculiar. Peculiar. Taking a webbed foot off the ground now. Flexing her toes, wiggling. Wiggling. And setting them back down easy now, carefully. Placing such a foot ever so carefully in between the twigs and branches, on the earth. A twitch back to surface fellow, taking a point with her index finger. See? Look. No noise. ”The earth is dusty here.” Another spreading of her toes.

And now, another lift of webbed toes. The opposite foot this time, spreading toes away, those fleshy bits of skin stretching thin. Aqua eyes searching, for the right spot... No twigs, or branches or leaves. Aha! And now setting that foot down ever so carefully. Ever so carefully and just so down to the dusty earth. Aqua eyes shot back to surface fellow. ”This will take a very long time.” She said flatly. ”This travel. It is slow when not making the snap noise.” Quiet, perhaps. But slow.

For once, it seemed Elle was content to just sit back and watch. It could be said she was amused now, Elle was. Watching Brix talk to someone. ”Tales are narratives. They are stories.” Thelyri Brix heard many stories. ”One would be foolish to believe such fiction as truth.” What man child heard was not important. Brix was not a curious creature. ”I am from the Great Sea. Just east of the Fire Isles.”

”And you are... Smallish human? I am not familiar with the surface races.” ‘No Brix he is gnome! We’ve met one, you know, that odd fellow at The Red Sky!’ Brix shook Elle away. No. She did not remember. Brix did not make a habit of following Elle’s trivial pursuits. Taverns... Pointless. Elle pushed and prodded from within, competing for space. ‘When is it my turn?’ Whiny and squeaky. That was Elle.
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Old June 19, 2015, 02:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The Cether could not help but chuckle at her attempts. Her hesitation was obvious - she truly did not feel comfortable moving on land. Fascinating creature. The blue skin, webbed hands, strange eyes - he wondered what it would feel like to slide his blade between her ribs? Did she bleed like other surface races? Dark thoughts that he shook from his mind.

'Now is not the time,' he chided himself.

"True, moving in such a manner is slow," he nodded in agreement. "But when practiced, it can be accomplished much faster." At that, Dargin began to move lightly towards her, moving carefully, but quickly, tryng to make as little noise as possible. Stopping a few steps away, he hoped his demonstration had proven useful. "You should be aware of your surroundings - it is not always necessary to move quietly."

Closer to her now, Dargin could see how the skin between her fingers was replicated with her feet. He pondered their purpose - he could only imagine how uncomfortable it would feel to not have the freedom to wiggle your toes without resistance.

'One would be foolish to believe such fiction as truth'

As she spoke, Dargin could only nod again in agreement. One learned best from firsthand experience, which is why he was so interested in this Thelyri woman. She was a bit .. odd. He had a deep appreciation for the oddities of the world.

"The Fire Isles, you say", tapping his chin with the pointed stick. "You are indeed far from home. What brings you so far south?"

'Human? Is that what she thinks of me?' Dargin wondered whether he should play a little game with her - let her believe he was a human. A deception that might gain him some advantage somehow at a later time. Her journeys out of the water had clearly not taken her far for Cether were prevalent enough. Or perhaps she had always thought Cether she had seen during her travels thus far were small humans.

"I am no human," he answered, the thought of being such a being leaving a bad taste in his mouth. It was at human hands that he had suffered the most ridicule. "My kind are called Cether, or to lesser races, halflings." He spat out the term as he spoke - it was a derogatory description towards his kind. "Of course, the bigger races think little of us, which suits me fine. Better to avoid notice - there are distinct advantages for one who can remain hidden in plain sight of others."
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Old June 22, 2015, 09:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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As Brix’taielle placed those toes down ever so carefully, man child chuckled. ”Did I make a joke?” Was surface humor like surface friendship? She was not sure. These creatures... They were strange and new. The elf had been on land for a few eras now, but certain factors had caused the elf to follow a rather introverted lifestyle. Her condition for one, kept her mostly in the sea or her studio. And Elle... Well once she shared Elle’s presence friendship was often retracted. Brix never knew why... Elle was rather pleasant most times.

Just then, man child moved. Coiled legs twitched and hands were made to fists as the sudden movement frightened her. Quiet was the man, but closing in on her and only stopping when he was just a few paces away. Be aware of your surroundings... He would warn her. Well aware she was. Absolutely and positively aware that a strange creature was standing in her space. Tempted to take a step back, to create more distance between them. But no. Thelyri Brix would stand her ground. Thelyri Brix was just a moment away from the river. From safe.

Her posture stayed stiff, but straightened slightly as he mentioned the Fire Isles. ”Business.” She would say simply, pride imminent in her voice and erect posture. ”I am a artisan of sea jewelry. A metalworker.” Initially a brief visit, but upon meeting Thelyri Ko’Riel, her stay in Enamoria had been lengthened. ‘Is he from here Brix? Ask him, is he from here?’ Elle was nudging, prodding from the inside. Elle was pleasant most times, but also bothersome most times. Either way, Brix ignored such trivial requests. It was not of her concern where man child hailed from.

‘You’re never going to make friends if you stay so frigid Brix...’ Elle snapped. Pleasant most times. Bothersome and rude all the others. And now... Oh. Man child was not human. Brix would stay expressionless, for it made no difference to her. But at the mention of his actual race, a race that was not gnome, Elle perked up. ‘Cether?! Well I could have sworn he was gnome!’ And pushing now, shoving Brix away. Competing for space, that was Elle now. Shoving and poking and elbowing her way into the front now. That’s what Elle would do.

A heavy blink of her eyes, and those coiled legs softened. That stiff, erect posture visibly relaxed. Her shoulders falling away from her ears, her muscles becoming softer. Those twitchy movements that were so characteristic of Brix left now, being replaced with fluid, lighter gestures. Gestures, of Elle. ”Cether you say!? Well that’s curious, I could have sworn you were Gnome!” Elle’s voice was much different too, squeakier and undulating. ”You learn something new every day don’t you? Well, what’s your name then? Elle.” She quite boldly took a step to meet the man, offering him a blue hand to shake and looking quite pleased with herself. The introductory gesture was just taught to her a few darkenings previous, and she was eager to use it.

Taking her eyes off the man now and to her dress. Clothing. Such a silly ritual the land dwellers kept practicing. Constricting and scratchy, that’s what clothing was. And with that, fingertips took to the edges of her dress and she pulled them upward, taking them up and over her head and revealing a very bare, very blue Thelyri. Not skipping a beat, Elle would continue. ”You don’t have a cigarette do you?” She asked feverishly.
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Old June 24, 2015, 12:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Dargin took notice that he was making her nervous and tried to appear more at ease. It would do him no good to have her flee when he thought he still had much to learn. He had no way of knowing that his education was going to get a rapid upgrade.

"A metalworker, you say? An odd trade for one who lives beneath the waters, no? Is this common for those of your kind? Is there much need for metal in the Fire Isles?"

It was genuine interest, no more. He was not trying to make fun of her in any way, but honestly wanted to know. A rare occurence for him.

"A gnome?" he snorted, laughing out loud despite himself. "No, I am neither human nor a gnome. Though, I suppose I can see how you might make that mistake. It appears there is much you could learn about the surface world."

He noted her change - she was suddenly expressive and more at ease with him. A step closer and she was now introducing herself. Though he thought the suddenness of the change strange, he could not understand that he was now speaking with someone 'new'. Placing the stick he had carved in his other hand with his knife so that each was still held in a manner to be used, he reached forward and grasped her hand lightly, giving it a quick but firm shake.

"Dargin", he responded, keeping his eyes fixed on hers.

And then, just like that, she was naked.

Dargin was not one to be bashful. He had found little use in the opposite sex during his lifetime, though he had a memory from his youth when he had some fun with a Cether female of his age who lived near his family's home. So, as Elle removed her clothes, Dargin did not avert his eyes. Sure, he found her sudden change in disposition strange and her willingness to disrobe at odds with what was considered normal, but he didn't ogle her like some perverted freak of a human seeking a prostitute in Prime. No, he examined Elle's body carefully, like an artist painting a picture, taking note of what made her unusual and where her weak points might exist. Such knowledge could prove useful in any future encounters.

He noted that the blue tint of her skin was all over her body. Was this a common trait in all of her kind? That the webbing was only on her hands and feet. What might happen if the webbing was severed? That she had strange markings on her neck. What purpose did they serve, and could they be used in a manner for torture? The shape and size of her breasts... The flow of her body down to her hips. The ...

Okay - now he was ogling.

'She is not of your kind,' he scolded himself, looking away towards the river. It was not that he thought they would couple, but he could not deny that the female form was attractive even in some of the other races.

"Cigarette?" he responded, looking back up at her, keeping his gaze fixed on her face as he tried to figure out why, at this moment, she was making such a request. "No, Elle, I do not have any. Perhaps we can find some for you? We could travel to a nearby town - I am sure we might find some there. I can tell you more about my world if you would share more about yours."

Ultimately, he hoped she would get dressed once more. By this time, he had enough education regarding her body to satisfy his interest, but was increasingly intrigued by her demeanour and changing personality. Perhaps she was one he could use and manipulate for some dark purpose. Or, if for nothing else, he could gain her trust before testing some of his theories he had already formed about Thelyri weaknesses.

'All in good time, Dargin.' he told himself, keeping such dark thoughts to himself.
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Old June 26, 2015, 10:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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”No.” Brix offered flatly. It was not common for Thelyri. How would one work metal under the water? That was absurd. ”It was something I picked up after I surfaced.” Not why she had surfaced, of course. But something to stay afloat. And jewelry. It was a therapeutic process to make things so beautiful. It calmed nervous feet and shallow breath. Kept her focused. ”There is always a demand for jewelry. It is a luxury worth having.” Was that an ample answer? Because that’s all she would say on the matter. Brix herself would be bare of jewelry now, if not for just one ornate bracelet to her wrist. A fork it appeared to be, coiled and fastened to fit her wrist. Curious indeed.

Elle grinned widely. ”Yes, still so much to learn. The surface is a curious place, I like it very much! What do you do Dargin? Are you from here?” It was not unlike her to be naked, and her mannerisms would tell Dargin that she was completely oblivious to any ogling (or lack thereof). It was just not something Thelyri were ashamed of. Nudity. They didn’t wear clothing, as it was bothersome to swim in and pulled in the water. It could be said Brix was not partial to clothing either, but was more modest than her counterpart. Stuffing her dress into her bag now, that’s what Elle would do. A frustrated grumble escaped her. She’d wish Brix would just let her bring her tobacco with her for times like these, but Brix despised the things. Said they made her hair stink and her lungs hurt or some silly nonsense. ”Yes I would like that very much.” She exclaimed, her head bobbing feverishly.

Slipping her feet back into her sandals now, and pulling white hair from it’s bun. Brix always kept her so tightly coiled, it gave her a headache most times. Her face twisted as she ran her fingers through her hair a few times, fluffing it and allowing it to rest across her face. "Let’s go then Dargin the not Gnome, off to town!” She so boldly gestured him to lead the way.

”Do you have tiny children too?”
She would ask rather abruptly, eyes to the treeline and clearly enjoying the view.
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Old June 28, 2015, 10:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Dargin could only agree. There was a demand for jewelry and other baubles with shiney gems or glinting metal. Dargin understood the desire of having such items, in terms of their monetary value, but had little interest in such items otherwise. He never adorned himself in such items - they could get caught on things or make unwanted noise, which could prove fatal in his line of work. No, he only desired such items to maintain himself - to be wealthy enough to pursue his craft in peace. With enough coin, he could hide away and have his prey brought to him.

Dargin shook his head, maintaining as much focus on Brix's face as possible. "No, I am not from here, but from the capital, Prime, over the Khardran Mountains."

That was no entirely true, but to Dargin, Prime is where his life truly began. Where he had met the Vysstichi who showed him a world, a path, he had never considered before. Strange to owe so much to such a dark being, but Dargin was grateful for what the dark elf much had shown him, and it seemed harmless to tell her this lie. Not that she would know the difference.

"As for what I do."

Again, what should he share? What would she think if he told her about his passion for killing, that being an assassin only helped satiate his hunger for taking life. Twirling his knife in his hand, he placed it back in its holder, the temptation to show her his work an urge he had to keep fighting. It was during these thoughts that Brix, or Elle rather, stuffed her dress into her bag.

Dargin blinked.

'Well, that is.. unexpected,' thinking again he should just end this encounter with a quick strike of his blade. He could not be sure if she was a little crazy or just trying to get under his skin. Or she may have no clue. Yet, he could not deny he was continuing to be intrigued by her odd behaviour. If she was willing to put her skin at risk of being scratched by the underbrush, who was he to stop her. She would certainly present a challenge when they reached the town, which might be interesting to watch. Dargin decided he was determined to see where this chance encounter might lead them.

"I.. uh.. what I do is whatever is asked," he stated finally. "I do odd jobs, ones that others might not want to do themselves."

Shrugging his shoulders, he grabbed his bad as Brix organized herself. "It keeps me busy, and on the road. Which is to my preference. I think it best to not remain in one place for too long."

Not to mention his actions may get the attention of those who are best kept in the dark. But he did not say that to Brix. The Not Gnome? Shaking his head, but offering a chuckle, he motioned down the path he had been travelling, bidding Brix to follow.

"I believe a town is only a few candlemarks east of here," offered, stepping ahead of her, moving lightly on his feet as he moved up the path. What was that she said?

Children. He nearly stopped in his tracks, the thought completely outrageous to him. He almost laughed - almost.

"Children? No, no children." he said instead through clenched teeth, keeping his face forward so that she could not see his expression. "What of you, Elle? Any little ones waiting for you?"

Casual conversation - he hated it normally. Even now, his hand twitched, reflexively reaching towards his knives.

'Fight it, Dargin, not now.'
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Old June 30, 2015, 12:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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”The capital.” She repeated. ”It is very noisy there.” She had not been personally of course, but she could imagine how busy the district was. Something Elle wouldn’t mind perusing through one day, but she expected Brix would have none of it. Bland and boring, was Brix. Bland and boring and dull.

Eyelids went blink, blink, blink towards the Cether as he hesitated. Did he not know what he did for a living? But soon, he explained... Rather vaguely. ”Ah. You are a servant then?” A tiny servant, scuttling away as he completed his chores with the utmost attention to detail. She wondered if he wore a tiny suit. She wondered if he also carried a tiny duster with him. Oh a road servant. That was nice. Perhaps she’d appoint him to shucking the oysters she had found, it was a rather tedious job alone.

”Well east we’ll go then. Which city is this Dargin? Is this the Port Alyxandrya?” That’s where Elle had stayed with Brix. That’s where she had been working. ”Let’s get you a tiny suit then, I think you’d look quite dapper in a tiny suit. Do you like the color blue?” She chattered and chattered away. Naked as the day she was born without a care in the world. For being Brix’s protector, Elle was rather frivolous. Rather careless.

As they walked through the underbrush, she pulled too closely beside a bush and it nicked just under her ribs. Flinching now, a sharp pain shooting through her side. ”Ouch! It bit me Dargin. Be careful, the surface kelp bites.” She squeaked. Inspecting her side now, a shallow strip of blood glowed against azure skin. ”If I walk more carefully, will they stop biting?” Maybe she was being too noisy, maybe surface kelp was trying to sleep.

Oh and children. ”Ha! No, no. I am far too young for children.” She cast a glance to his hand, which reached back toward his sheathed knife. ”You are making me nervous Not Gnome. Leave it alone.”
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Old July 1, 2015, 10:06 AM   #14 (permalink)
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'Servant? Tiny suit?' Dargin broiled inside as she spoke, yearning to put an end to this inane chatter.

Dargin turned on Brix suddenly and quickly, unsheathing the knife he called Anger and pushing her roughly against a tree. He gave her a cold and calculated look, a dark smile forming on his lips.

"Now, listen Elle," he started, holding the blade up under her chin, his arm pressed hard across her chest. "I believe we've both had enough of this idle chatter, don't you think?"

He held onto her tightly, not permitting her to get free. He took his blade and ran it lightly down her chest and stomach taking care to not cut her skin. "I am no servant, nor will anyone be dressing me up in anything dapper. No little suit or any such adornment. You see, precious Elle, the services I provide are best left unknown, but suffice it to say they are well paid for."

The blade stopped where she had cut herself as he inspected her wound. "Now, little Thelyri Elle, we surface people do wear clothes to protect ourselves from such happenstance. Surface kelp has a way of scratching your skin. Our clothes ensure such kelp is held at bay."

Releasing his hold on her, he took several cautious steps back, not sure how she might react. Whether he intimidated her or not was of no concern. He was merely tired of her petty comments and the frivolous conversation. Servant. He'd never permit himself to fall so far. It was better she know his mind so they could speak of more important things.

"Now, Elle, as you can see, the surface world is dangerous, but I will not hurt you, you have my word. It is not in my interest to do so, but there is no need for us continue our travels together without a keen understanding of who we are. I am, as I said, no servant, but I provide a necessary service to those not suited to act on their own. We may find that we have much to offer each other. Port Alyxandra is indeed close - we certainly will find your cigarettes there, and perhaps along the way, we can further delve into our needs and wants."

Dargin waited guardedly for Elle to respond his knife held low in a non-threatening manner, but out in case she chose to attack him.
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Old July 3, 2015, 08:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Elle was contemplating whether powder blue or royal blue would suit him best, when Not Gnome quite forcefully shoved her against the base of a tree. Her eyes fixated on his as the blade of the dagger was pressed up against her chin. Cool was the metal, even in the summer heat. A blade to her chin and a firm hand to her chest. And Elle would only stare back into the Cether’s eyes, squinting and firing a displeased, albeit surprised look.

There was a small motion to struggle, but it was clear Not Gnome Dargin would not permit her to leave until he was finished. She was not sure what had caused the outburst, but perhaps he did not like blue. Perhaps Dargin Not Gnome was more a burgundy fellow. Regardless, these sorts of outbursts were not likely beginnings for friendship. A frown passed the Thelyri’s lips. Did Not Gnome Dargin not want to be friends? The blade was moving from her chin to her chest, down to her stomach. Finally settling just at where surface kelp bit her.

”Surface kelp was maybe sleeping Dargin, maybe surface kelp was just surprised. But you.” He had released his hold on her. He said he wouldn’t hurt her, but eyes slit quite small again, suspicious. Skeptical. It was unlike Elle to be so. ”You have no excuse.” She smoothed out non existent clothing, taking the time to put herself back together. A sandaled foot stepped closer, closing the distance between them. It was a very close distance now, one might even have considered it intimate, if they did not see their previous engagement. ”I will tell you though Dargin Not Gnome.” A lightly webbed index finger poked him rather thoroughly in the center of his chest. ”You can offer me nothing. You may not fear me, but there are others that I will set loose if you so much as lay one Not Gnomey finger on me again.”

It wasn’t like Elle to reveal the others. Mostly, because of the looks. The questions. Then they’d make an excuse about needing to water their plants... Or having to wash their cabbit. And they’d leave. But Elle didn’t care now. Dargin was not her friend. Pulling the dress from her bag, un-wrinkling it. ”You will not be seeing me again, but I will be watching you Not Gnome. And if you touch her, I promise, you will not like what follows.” And with that, she pulled the dress over her head, and Elle was gone.

Brix pulled arms through arm holes, fidgeting burlap sack back over a shoulder. A confused look, and white hair went promptly back in it’s bun. Aqua eyes to Not Gnome, ”So you are Cether?” She said quite casually, picking up just where they had left off. She had not been invited to Elle’s previous escapades. A hand to her side and a cursory inspection revealed a faint pink streak of blood along the thin fabric. ”Why am I bleeding?” A wary look to Dargin. Did he do this?
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