Read all about our outage on this thread.
 
Go Back   Aelyria > The Archives > Aelyria Archive > Enamoria > Daltina

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old April 24, 2013, 11:48 PM   #1
Tiyribi Andares
Fire & Ice
 
Tiyribi Andares's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,775
Wealth Tier: Adamantite
Tiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious Superhero
[Charisme Basilica] All That Remains

Continued from here.

“The road to Aeternia, is after all, paved with good intentions.”

The realization that there was nothing left to write, and, therefore, nothing left to say, was the moment it all became utterly real to her at last. The feathered quill rolled out of her hand with total disregard to float off to the edge of the polished wooden desk. Her eyes wandered the curves and lines of what her fingers had so deftly scribed to paper, seeing it all and yet truly reading none of it. Words had their end, just like all things. At some point, there just wasn’t anything left to say. She wondered, then, if that meant that there was nothing of significance left to record of her existence, too, but she didn’t dwell on the thought for long.

Instead, Tiyribi shifted her weight in the high-backed chair and folded one hand delicately inside the other. It was quiet here, which she had found over the last eras of her life to be one of the greatest of life’s boons. In a way, then, she should have been thankful for the reprieve from the bustle of the Concordia Incola in Primus Gaudeo; at least here demands were delayed enough by time and distance that only the greatest ever made it through on courier’s back and the inane details of a public servant’s life faded into the background.

But what remained? She glanced again at the last word she had written, intentions, and heard it yet again spoken in the cracked, aged voice of Cardinal Abategiovanni with all the worry and fear and high-strung sense of self-preservation that had begged her to reconsider her presence here. At the time, she had found his compassion kind, if only by its comparison to the pretensions, unfeeling natures, and manipulative schemes of the Maeve that kept her. But now it seemed that the cardinal’s words, more than any other, were driving the sense of hollowness that had begun as a dull gnawing sensation at the corner of her heart, and was now threatening to overwhelm her entirely.

“You are here, because inside you, there is a scintilla of doubt.”

Oh, she doubted very much. Certainly hadn’t been a luxury afforded to her for decades now, and its lack made even more sharp and strong when her family’s safety had come into question. Had she done the right thing, ever, by siblings and cousins, husband and child? Had she let personal interests override the love she claimed to foster, and had ambition and pride spoke louder and driven her actions to conclusions that caused harm rather than protected those she should have cherished?

And what about here? A frown appeared in the corners of her lips, an expression that was quickly growing commonplace about her features, and she stood up on one full, graceful motion. Fluidly her loose, long skirts followed her as Tiyribi paced anxiously to the window, glancing out with all the mournful resignation and longing that had become her song since arriving at the Basilica. Blood debts, the cardinal had called them. Blood needs to be spilled, Freya had agreed. There were costs to everything, Tiyribi now understood, and some prices could only be marked satisfied if given back in equal measure.

A title, a betrothal agreement, a public declaration of fealty and legitimacy for her house—and what had the Maeve gained in return? A show of just how volatile the creatures in which they had put their trust were and how unpredictable their vassals could become? Or had they instead taken a near-fatal blow to their pride, and now were consigned to whimpering in the shadowed corners like a wounded animal to try to lick their wounds? News of the outside world had been scarce since she had first arrived in Daltina, and now was no different. She had no sense if the empire had changed as drastically as her nightmares warned overnight, or perhaps nothing had altered at all—and instead, in the cruelest twist of fate it could muster, it had simply forgotten her entirely, just like she had always intended.

But intentions, no matter how good, were not the same as feelings, and the cardinal himself had warned Tiyribi to especially not confuse them with justice. What she had offered so freely she still missed. What they had accepted so eagerly still left them wanting. There was no equality here and no satisfaction—only more of a debt, more of a steep incline, and a black abyss of wailing and gnashing of teeth all awaiting them at the bottom.

She shuddered at that, something deep that spoke to the way her once-great resolve was now shattering and how her captivity here, no matter how gentle and honorable, was now leaving heavy scars all over her soul. Her hands pressed hard against her eyes. Her head spun, fast and furiously, and she felt suddenly faint.

“What we gain too easily, we esteem too lightly.”

Intentions were thought, but not action. Action was permanent, but irrespective of consequence. And consequence? That was what burdened her the most as even now she couldn’t delude herself to believe that this decision made would solve anything, would heal anything, or would help anything—because it would be sinful and wrong of her to hold on to hope now when she knew well that she was betraying the most precious things in life to her.
__________________
And yet I strove, and I was fire, and ice;
and fire and ice were one in one vast hunger of desire.

- CIR - Letters - SOF -
Tiyribi Andares is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 25, 2013, 09:55 PM   #2
Tiyribi Andares
Fire & Ice
 
Tiyribi Andares's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,775
Wealth Tier: Adamantite
Tiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious Superhero
There was a knock. She turned about, startled, and instantly flushed in embarrassment when the figure of the tray-laden maid assigned to her since her time at the Basilica appeared. She had shown too much, Tiyribi admonished herself again. She wasn’t collected. She wasn’t aloof. There were too many cracks in her mask of apathy now, she realized, and they were gathering too much information by all the little betrayals that expression and timbre of voice and inflection gave away. They would all come back to haunt her soon and make her pay for their loss. She knew that as keenly as she knew her next breath.

So she took a moment to pause before her eyes met those of the human woman carrying delicately-clinking silver and porcelain. She breathed in once, then out once, and then let her hands smooth down the narrow curve of her waist and then disappear into the folds of fabric before coming back to rest together before her. Her gaze then settled on the arrangement of place settings, covered dishes, and an assortment of utensils before forming a question across her pallid features. “I didn’t ask for this,” Tiyribi demurred, slightly confused.

The maid glanced up once, and then chose to settle the large, heavy tray on the knee-high coffee table in the room’s center before answering. “My lady missed pracenda. The Baroness sends regards and inquiry as to your health.”

Pracenda? One glance over her shoulder at the now-dusk lit window proved the servant’s point. When had afternoon fled? Tiyribi didn’t remember. Minutes, it seemed, always proved most slippery things when they were in short supply. “Please return my apologies to Their Graces.”

It wasn’t surprising that they had noticed her lack of appetite. After all, they noticed everything about her; it was part of the function of sitting as captor, Tiyribi surmised. Since arriving in Daltina, Tiyribi had felt a growing wave of sickness that she had originally put down to a combination of the stress of the last cycles and the lingering after-effects of her daughter’s birth. The nausea hadn’t abated though and the headaches had steadily grown worse, and she found herself somewhat repulsed by the very idea of eating at all.

Yet images had to be maintained, she reminded herself, and thus she steeled the last of her will and began a slow, deliberate walk toward the dishes provided. She’d touch it, maybe shift a few things around and make a show of eating, but with the great knot in the pit of her stomach and the weak listlessness she felt in every limb, she strongly doubted it would make much of a difference.

The maid settled the last of the pieces for the makeshift meal and, satisfied, stepped back with hands gently folded before her stomach. Her eyes, those piercing orbs that had become the lens through which Freya and Bertrand Maeve had kept watch over their charge, followed Tiyribi’s every move, recording and criticizing it silently all while she maintained the demeanor of the most perfect of servants.

Tiyribi sat, still silent, and moved to make a show of picking up a nearby fork and then settling it quickly down on the edge of its neighboring plate. “You do not have to stay. Thank you,” was directed at the still-hovering maid. It unsettled her, this woman that was meant to meet her needs and yet clearly had none of her interests truly at heart, instead willing to betray Tiyribi at the slightest hint of doubt in service to her true masters. She didn’t need eyes hear. She didn’t want them. More than anything, she just wanted to be left alone.

If the serving woman was fazed by her appointed lady’s curt manner, she didn’t show it. She also didn’t move. There was stubbornness in both posture and voice as she said back shortly, “The Lady Baroness must eat.”

The Esh’lahier’s lips pursed at that, clearly displeased. Again she was reminded that this was not her home, not her province, and she was not to be mistress here but rather captive, hostage, and a pawn to be pulled out and put away as the great Maeve deemed fit. She said nothing though, feeling the breeding that she had long-practiced since her claiming of the name Andares eras before come to the forefront again. She made another exaggerated show of putting a bite to mouth, and then another, before the churning in her stomach became unbearably worse and forced her to stop once more.

“Is there something lighter?” Tiyribi asked, again her gaze darting to the maid in inquiry. The latter nodded and gestured toward the covered bowl in the corner, whose top Tiyribi soon removed to reveal a small collection of colored fruits inside. Tiyribi nodded her thanks and then again dared another small piece or two of the main dish—some Enamorian concoction that smelled far too strongly of garlic, as if the cook had put in more than asked to cover up another taste—before she sat back and sighed.

“And how much exactly would satisfy Their Graces’ concerns for my health?” Again the question was directed toward the maidservant, and again the cutting, heavy accent came out in full force. Her tone was only a few clicks away from complete sarcasm, but the pressure and the feelings of illness now welling up throughout her was eroding her normally-legendary self-control.

The other woman took it in stride, and merely gestured toward the tray with a quick jut of her chin. “As much as would satisfy my lady’s appetite,” she politely returned.

Tiyribi frowned, and then girded whatever remained of her determination to at least get through this forced, awkward meal. It would probably be candlemarks at her current rate, but it would happen—eventually, and if only to get rid of the annoying presence of the maid once and for all.
__________________
And yet I strove, and I was fire, and ice;
and fire and ice were one in one vast hunger of desire.

- CIR - Letters - SOF -
Tiyribi Andares is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 28, 2013, 12:59 AM   #3
Tiyribi Andares
Fire & Ice
 
Tiyribi Andares's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,775
Wealth Tier: Adamantite
Tiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious Superhero
Time passed in silence, dragging itself out with every next tick of the clock, with neither woman particularly inclined to break the tension. It took far longer than it should have given the ever so small volume of food she was able to consume, but eventually the light click of the fork against the edge of the porcelain plate served as a most appropriate conclusion to the endeavor. Tiyribi sat back, still poised with the same unmoving coldness that had become her refuge over the last few days of her stay in Daltina.

She then stood, firmly, and took a moment to settle her hands quietly in front of her before casting a look in the maid’s direction once more. “Now, I believe, you may go.” The pinch in the sides of her mouth and the way her eyes ever so briefly, and yet noticeably, narrowed when she spoke betrayed the cutting bite only somewhat hidden behind the forced politeness of the words. Then those violet orbs that had, at least for a moment, flickered brightly, turned dull again and wandered away, followed soon by their owner. A few steps took her to the nearby darkened window, and again she stared out of it to see unseeingly the world that stretched beyond.

The clatter of dishes being moved drew her attention back to the room again, though she didn’t initially move. “Please, leave it here.” That time, the politeness was genuine. Yet it wasn’t accompanied with a sign of gratitude or any sort of real acknowledgement—all things that under other circumstances in her life before would have been commonplace, expected, and habit.

With the great breeding that showed well her extensive training and self-control, the maid paused. A questioning look was shot toward the Esh’lahier in the comfortable privacy that the sight of the latter’s back afforded, but then was washed away with the same blank expression as before. The woman stood, curtsied out of habit, and then asked, “Is there anything else that I can get for you, my lady?”

The other began to shake her head and then suddenly changed her mind. “A cup of tea, perhaps. I fear I feel unwell tonight.”

That state of being didn’t seem to be particularly unusual, the maid reflected, but voiced none of her errant opinions. She bobbed another quick act of obeisance and then disappeared out the door, leaving behind both of her burdens for the time being.

“I was so utterly in love with you by the time we got here that the only thing I could think to talk about was tea.”

Her hands fell and her shoulders were quick to follow suit. In one instant all the strength vacated from her body, and Tiyribi was forced to stagger backward from the window to the nearest chair. One hand pressed against her forehead and the other sought to be the only thing still keeping her upright. Everything felt so empty and so hollow now, faced as she was with the realization that all was totally lost to her. Once she had believed herself to be untouchable and above such petty concerns of life and sentimentality, but now she knew that deep well of emotion was both the thing that cut the deepest and the only thing still keeping her alive.

It was him, of course. It had always been him. She’d never know how she had survived living without him. And now she couldn’t have him. Freya’s last proposal still rung in her head like a church bell, and again Tiyribi could feel that poisonous nausea sweep up from the pit of her stomach. They had thought Tiyribi capable of betraying Faust. They thought she could be used to bait a trap from which they would ensure that there would be no escape. They had believed that she could neglect those sacred vows she had exchanged eras before in Medonia out of the interests of self-preservation and tempting ambition.

They were so utterly, completely, and terribly wrong.

“But I’ll love you forever, and I promise that I’ll always take care of you, I’ll always protect you, and I’ll always strive to become a man worthy of you. I know I don’t deserve you, Tiyribi, but I would gladly spend every day of the rest of my life making sure that you’re happy.”

She breathed once. Then she took a second breath. By the third, the sound had grown crackling, hoarse, and dangerously weak. The maid would be returning any minute now, she knew, and there were things she had to do before the other woman did, but no longer could she fight the oncoming tears.
__________________
And yet I strove, and I was fire, and ice;
and fire and ice were one in one vast hunger of desire.

- CIR - Letters - SOF -
Tiyribi Andares is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 2013, 10:08 PM   #4
Tiyribi Andares
Fire & Ice
 
Tiyribi Andares's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,775
Wealth Tier: Adamantite
Tiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious SuperheroTiyribi Andares is a glorious Superhero
At least out here propriety didn’t matter, the maid mused, and thus she muttered a few choice words underneath her breath about the unfairness of her assigned charge. The presence of the Esh’lahier lady had sent the entire staff of the Basilica on edge, an attitude that had only been exacerbated by that same tension felt at the highest echelons from their master and mistress. She wasn’t supposed to be here, some of the kitchens whispered. She came from the gaol in Daltina, others said, and she should have stayed there. Her presence was a bad omen, the feeling in the maid’s gut whispered, and she had best tread carefully or else find herself permanently out of a job, or worse.

Serving the Maeve had suddenly grown into far more of a chore than she ever remembered in the previous decades of life. A frown appeared at that, and she took a moment to stop right in front of the doorway to the elfin woman’s assigned chambers to right a teacup on its curved saucer and touch the side of the matching painted pot gingerly. Of course, she could have been them, she admonished herself, taking half a moment of silence in respectful recollection of those souls lost at the city estate in what seemed like a lifetime ago. It was an odd twist of fate that she was now attending to the needs of the lady that seemed to be at the heart of all that fiasco, but it also wasn’t something she could particularly dwell on if she wanted to see to her job.

She managed to free one elbow to make a delicate, gentle knock on the surface of the door. In truth, though, it was more a courtesy effort than anything; she didn’t actually expect a response, particularly from the taciturn pale elf under her charge. That same elbow slid down and pushed open the knob and the door all at once. She moved in backwards at first with the heavy tray balanced between both hands and let habit take over as her feet led her to the same table in the center of the room.

…that was there no longer.

Again her high training came into play and stayed her tongue, but the expression of surprise crossed her face nonetheless as her eyes widened to see the table turned topsy-turvy on its side and the once-neat dishes, food, and place settings now strewn unexpectedly across the floor. She lowered herself to the ground on one bent knee and set the tray gently off to the side as she began to inspect what remained of the dinner and its accessories.

It was then that she saw the unnatural shimmer of pallid skin against the carpet on the far end of the table. The maid gasped, and gathered up her skirts over her ankles to get up and over quickly to the other side of the room. The Esh’lahier was sprawled, unconscious, whose fall had apparently been the cause for the upsetting of the table. Moments drew out to torturous depth before the maid was able to make it to the elf’s side, calling out, “My lady?!” repeated times as she did.

Adrenaline took over in her veins, and the maid grabbed either side of the elf’s head and put it gently in the flat of her lap. That, though, apparently merited no response; the Esh’lahier’s eyes were still closed, and the touch of skin-on-skin had left a terrible chill on the maid’s warmer surface, warning that there was something terribly wrong. Already there was a slight discoloration around the edges of the elf’s lips. Her chest, though, was still moving steadily up and down—visibly, too, and with a gentle rhythm, and so had apparently suffered no trauma.

A cursory inspection ensured the maid that there seemed to be no blood or any other sign of a wound. A look at the nearby windows and the doorway into the innermost parts of the chambers assured her that they were all closed and tightly-fastened. She was growing frantic now out of equal concern for the unconscious woman as well as her sense of self-preservation, given that this had been her charge, and her responsibility, and something had happened. “Oh gods,” she cursed out loud, looking around her frantically.

Finally her eyes settled on a nearby golden tassel attached to an embroidered cord that she knew would ring a bell down in the servants’ quarters. Moving the elf’s head gently off her lap and again taking a moment to reassure herself that Tiyribi was still breathing, the maid moved over toward the tapestry and yanked on it, hard, time and time again. “Help!” she called out, nearing the border of control and its utter loss with each and every passing moment. She’d only been gone minutes, the maid consoled herself—not nearly enough time for anything unnatural or untoward to have happened. And the lady had looked unwell since her arrival in Daltina. She’d even complained of tiredness on a regular basis and even came close to fainting before.

This was just that, she told herself again and again. This was just that.
__________________
And yet I strove, and I was fire, and ice;
and fire and ice were one in one vast hunger of desire.

- CIR - Letters - SOF -
Tiyribi Andares is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:47 PM.


 
 
Terms of Use :: Feedback

Aelyria ™ Version 3.4.1
Copyright © 1989-2019 Play by Post LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Aelyria ® is a Registered Trademark of Play by Post LLC.
Created by Juan Gonzalez and People Like You.