Karhast goes to take a drink

KarhastKarhast EnorianMember Posts: 131 ✭✭✭
Background: Everyone's favorite troll maiden has been feeling down for a while. His tekal form scares small children, he's been smacked down by his guild, ditto by his Order, and life just sucks.

The troll:

He is a muscular Tekal of Troll heritage and does indeed look like one to have come from such a people: large, broad-shouldered, and built up from copious muscle, the evident characteristics of a troll are visible on him, though his ascended nature of a Hollow One is also unsettlingly visible. Grey in tone, thick, and worn as though it is, the man's skin is visible mostly in what lies below instead: as if shining through the troll's skin with streaks of deep red and dark blue, the veins and musculature of his body are visible underneath his hide, every clench and contraction met with the red lines underneath thickening,deepening in colour, every heartbeat having the veins inside bulge as blood flows through. Over the chest and stomach, the troll's ribs faintly obscure a beating heart and twin lungs that expand and shrink for them to draw in the air, the definition of his muscle below the midriff instead depicting nothingness: noveins or blood are visible below at all, the dark, red-brown definition below instead seeming cavernous and hollow. As befits his heritage, the muscle below does stretch and bulge with evident strength, and the blood flowing through his veins does so in great, rich quantities, the sculpted flesh and musculature heldbelow that revealing skin rippling with sculpted power. Jugulars again flush with blood, a multitude of tiny veins are visible again on the troll's head. Tusked underbite and firm jawline maintained, the troll's visage further has a nose of dubious straightness, as well as two eyes which stare out blankly, lacking any iris or pupils whatsoever. Similar to these eyes, the troll has no hair whatsoever, bald-pated and without eyebrows or facial hair also.

The log:

The Broken Tower Tavern (55803) - The city of Enorian (428)
The Broken Tower Tavern is a colorful, raucous place, filled with the smells of smoke, drink, food, and the odor of the many workers finding entertainment aftertheir shifts and serve as its primary clientele. Worn and repaired stools stand along the edge of the bar, while small, clustered tables allow servers to weave their way through the densely packed furnishings. The walls have been painted, at every available inch, with murals conveying the totality of the Orcish, Ogrish, and Trollish experience, ranging from dramatic renderings of folk heroesto the work of everyday shipbuilders. Light is given by a magnificent chandelier, hanging from the ceiling high above the common room, constructed from horns and antlers, boughs of wood from across the continent, and broken blades. Built largely from stone, the floor has nonetheless been constructed from cheap pinewood, the stained slats creaking beneath their constant duress.
An incineration alcove has been set into the wall here, blazing with obliterating heat. Darxa, the Orc bartender is at work serving patrons. There are 2 Orc youths here. There are 3 Daru firebrands here. There are 9 shrouded Kingbound soldiers here. There are 3 steadfast Templars here. There are 4 Ascendril mages here. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground. Resting on the ground is a cube-shaped silver sigil. The shining figure of a guardian angel floats in the air here. You see a sign here
instructing you that WARES is the command to see what is for sale.
You see exits leading northeast, east, south, up, and out.

Karhast strides up on the counter, fists leaning onto it as he addresses the bartender: "No fellows, no company.. Nothing but money to spend and baseless memories!" Sure enough, the troll goes on to shell out much coin for his drink.

You drink from a crude, tinted shotglass full of Stonebridge Eruk, the liquor sharply burning as you swallow. Strong anise flavours are paired with the burn, marrying in a strange combination of comfort and violence within your gut.

You drink the last drops from a crude, tinted shotglass with traces of Stonebridge Eruk, the anise flavour lingering after the burn of alcohol finally subsides.

(Illuminai): You say, "..."

You drink from a crude, tinted shotglass full of Stonebridge Eruk, the liquor sharply burning as you swallow. Strong anise flavours are paired with the burn, marrying in a strange combination of comfort and violence within your gut.

You drink the last drops from a crude, tinted shotglass with traces of Stonebridge Eruk, the anise flavour lingering after the burn of alcohol finally subsides.

Shaith arrives from the out.

(Illuminai): You say, ".. It's all flat."

You drink from a crude, tinted shotglass full of Stonebridge Eruk, the liquor sharply burning as you swallow. Strong anise flavours are paired with the burn, marrying in a strange combination of comfort and violence within your gut.

Shaith is waylaid the moment she steps in the door by an Arqeshi man. He grasps
her arm, and she stops to lean down as he says something to her. She smiles,
laughs, and says something that cannot be heard over the din of the tavern; she
lifts a hand in greeting to the other men who sit at the table with him before
she steps away to join you.

Shaith takes the seat next to you, flashing the bartender an apologetic look. "Should I be here?" she asks, her chin tilted down.

10. Karhast: ".. It's all flat."
11. Elliana: "Uhhh."
12. Tacitus: "....huh?"
13. Elliana: "Karhast....are you...drinking?"
14. Karhast: "Jo *hic* mMe *hic* . Itffs home.. jjcuT iiT'be mlLl fkat. pnnd graszsesz *hic* . Anj shhrrubm. Iit shouhhld -not- bbe soomL.."
15. Shaith: "Yes, he is."
16. Karhast: ".. But hSoMe. Home *hic* all th *hic* e saamms."
17. Elliana: "...hm."
18. Lehar: "He's homesick, but for places with different land features than his home is, in a nutshell."
19. Tacitus: "Sorry, Karhast."
20. Elliana: "I...see..."

"Shaith!" Karhast slurs that name heavily, ramming a thick fist into the bar's counter even as he sways with a dangerous heave, having to grab and steady himself with the bar firmly. "Y- yes! Yes, stay, stay and.. Home. Talk about h-home," the man goes on, incoherent and well.

Tacitus tells you, "Doing alright?"

You tell Tacitus, "Homejhick.. So homesicck."

"You're going to hurt yourself," Shaith hisses. The look she is giving you is mixed, a lip curled in disgust, but eyes widened with concern. "What's gotten into you?" she demands.

Tacitus tells you, "Is drinking helping any of that home sickness?"

You tell Tacitus, "Yeessh!"

You tell Tacitus, "They bB *hic* boit me!"

Tacitus tells you, "Sorry, I cant decipher what you just said to me."

You tell Tacitus, "Joooin Me!"

Karhast's first response is to meet Shaith's hiss with a growl, backing down not at all, teeth in fact baring. The question has this anger dissipate somewhat, and the man blinks once, twice, coming to offer out a palm as he makes his explanation.

You say to Shaith, "Iillm so.. *hic* Alone. Aylhrrneeee Skaittth... *hic* But *hic* now I ieel HHomejic *hic* Z - homwnSiickk, and I dxn't j I don't kknow whereto! ALoone, and homi is goonE, a *hic* ndd tIie city is hArrsh, and I.. I dOn't..Q I hxaawwe n *hic* o ideea annyy more, Nno mo *hic* aaes not *hic* a *hic* Tt all."

Tacitus tells you, "One moment, sorry. I'm trying to maximize my hunt, but I will join you."

You tell Tacitus, "Oh... Oh,, but - Theen jjjunt! Hunr and bee sPtronnng a *hic* Nd guod And seeee mx laTerr, yeyH."

Tacitus tells you, "Alright, I will!"

Shaith's about to spit something back at you when the Arqeshi man at the door bellows something while his companions whoop and bang their fists on the table. Shaith yowls something back at them, letting loose a long string of words in her own tongue, which earns further baiting cries and laughter from the men. She smiles, however briefly, before she turns her attention back on you. "You're making a fool of yourself," she says, "Can you stand? Do you think you can make it out to the garden?"

Eyes widening, blank as though they are, you say, "Stand! I standkk SmaIthi I stan *hic* d and d *hic* rink qnD think *hic* of.. *hic* Of plainsh, anh fields, *hic* andd..p And. Horsseeis? *hic* AAnd.. Wwhat... I never - no, *hic* , no.. That Doessh notx. Why? What -am- I evfn.. Telll me, SHaith, wkat I *hic* S thhis home aandq tHes *hic* he, tthEsee b *hic* lasted... Memo *hic* ries and GAHh!"

Even as he speaks, Karhast reaches down. One hand begins to itch and scratch at his stomach, right below the ribs, as if he were in some great fit of aching.

That Arqeshi man shouts on last thing, causing Shaith, however distracted she is with your sorry state, to shake her head and laugh. "Come on," she urges, taking you, very tentatively, by the arm; she's offering support, if you'll take it. "Let's go out to the garden. Maybe the fresh air will jog your memory."

Karhast allows for Shaith to draw him along, though he does bring with him one final, full glass. It sways precariously along with the troll as he does anything other than lean on the bar, even standing upright rather hard for the man to do.

Shaith's strong, and almost as tall as you. She gets your arm across her back and her shoulder up under your chest, partly leading, partly supporting, and partly dragging you out of doors.

A quiet herb garden (60535) - The city of Enorian (428)
Opening behind the bar and into the busy kitchen, this vast, quiet garden grows. Herbs and vegetables provide the tavern with fresh supplies for their meals, as well as a quiet respite for the business' employees. Leading from the western bar, a cobblestone pathway leads a safe distance from the growing plots towards an eastern outbuilding, the public sleeping quarters sequestered from the tavern's noise and watched over by a rather fierce gardener. Soft lamps akin to the ones scattered throughout the city illuminate the garden after dark.
The shining figure of a guardian angel floats in the air here. Hiale Shaith Erthokli is here, giving off a truly ghastly stench.
You see exits leading northeast, east, and west.

Shaith chatters soothingly as she drags you along. "Isn't this better? Some nice cool, fresh air. Less light. Hopefully, a bucket of water someplace," she rambles, green eyes sweeping the dark corners of the garden.

Dazedly, Karhast stumbles along with Shaith as directed, continuing to ramble and prattle on as he does. He only occasionally looks back down and over at Shaith with these many words he has to say, just as often distracted by a random plant or sight. Even now, his right hand scratches furiously at his stomach there, rubbing harshly into his shirt's linen.

Going on as he does, voice distant and confused, you say, "It.. vt burnsl b- og. No *hic* w tthey fo *hic* uhNd Us,, andd - and.. Arrows *hic* ?? Oh, itt buHrns, and it.. Nnhahhh. WH-whav and Where And.. Oh, so Bar lray from Evvery *hic* thing, far away aANd not-g *hic* ome and, nnh, tTo huvve fallen xoR ssuCh a SCHuwwE aNnd TdAP and.. And..."

Shaith dumps you in a grassy patch, letting you fall or stand as you is able. She folds her arms and takes two steps back. "I cannot understand a -thing- you are saying," she announces, angry. "What the Halls is the matter? This is a sorry unicorns state, even for you, Karhast."

Voice becoming ever more pleading and confused as he speaks, breathing heavily, you say, "Arrows, a-.. unicorns AiROaS, rhat, why would... Oh -- THEM, we shoulld hhavvve.. wwnowwn, annd.. Stayed... Not done.. Gaah. What.. What."

Quietly, blank eyes staring up as they do, voice weak, you say to Shaith, ".. ShAitth? Shaith, what.. Wwhat ist."

"Oh unicorns," Shaith hisses. Two strides and she is at your side, dropping to her knees in a motion that seems to contain all of her own control and grace, as well as all of yours that is missing in your state. "Shut up," she snaps, though there's a strain of concern worming through her voice. She turns her head this way, then that, looking at the spot but hesitating to touch it. "What happened?" she demands.

Karhast doesn't hesitate to touch that spot at all - it seems to cause him no pain in doing so, though the man's face is one of evident discomfort all the same. "I don't k-" the troll heavily begins, slurring even now, but a gasp is drawn out of his chest, and further stains go on to mar his skin, black, coin-sized spots, jagged and irregular, what is exposed of his stomach seeming much more affected still than his arms.

Speaking distantly again, voice dazed, you say, "Sso many deadd and fleeing, and lone.. And suuch GREAT victory, amd feasas, and drinks, and vhen.. Theen.. Fire, arrowS, dEath, gone, all... AllL dead and gOnE and... Never hhome agqin."

Shaith's hand flies up to cover her mouth. "Okay," she says from behind her fingers. "Okay. You're sick. That's okay. People get sick." Who she is trying to assure is uncertain; her voice has lifted in pitch, high and strained. She rests on her knees beside you, her eyes round and bright in the near dawn light. "What do you mean arrows?" she demands, her hand falling to her knee. "What happened? My Gods, Karhast, what -happened-?"

em stares up at Shaith blankly, the muscles around his eyes strained, voice heavy and low. The black stains on his skin seem to stay small despite their great number, and the inflammation appearing on his stomach is constant also, words slurred and coming with great effort, as if it required great thought and mental force to muster up the words.

Hollowly, you say, "Betrayal, nazEtu, treachery and... Arrows. Not the battering of sTeel and the splintered wozd of shiields, not a death atop broken skullls and Chests, but... But arrows, darken the sun, rend the skiin, shrieks aNd cries and -laughter- of ggiddy -ciwArds- and.. Aand... Ah. And so far, too far, away from home.. Drath."

Shaith's brow wrinkles. "Betrayal," she says, eyes searching the garden, the sky, the buildings around, anything for an answer, looking anywhere except at your wounded self. "Arrows...I..." She stops and inhales sharply through her nose, a gasp that seems to choke her. She starts to say several things, stopping each time, until her hands spasm into fists that twist the dark fabric of her trousers. "I don't know what I'm doing," she admits, raw and quiet, "Do I need to. Karhast." She says your name sharply. "Do I need to go get someone? Does it -hurt-?"

Karhast gives no response. That last word of his sees his eyes shift closed, and no more elbows hold the man up as he sinks back into the ground of the garden. There is a sense of finality as he sinks down, skin marked by such a strange patterns, breath evening out, slowing down.. And when it ceases altogether, when that stupor of his appears to overtake him, it takes for a very long moment of him not responding to his name being mentioned, of him laying down besides Shaith, or utter stillness, for one change to become visible: green, black, and red, runes begin to etch themselves over the troll's arms, eventually disappearing out of sight beneath the fabric of his shirt. Each letter is inked on him as if by an artisan's finger, dipped in paint and applied to the skin, a brief moment passing before the troll's body inhales, opens his eyes, and stirs back into wakefulness at once. Alive and well, he looks up at Shaith with a single, luminous green eye.

Closing your eyes, you begin to concentrate upon a distant, focal point. Just faintly, you suddenly feel the nuances of the shifting essence within you. Tilting your head skywards, you take in a desperate gasp of breath to relieve the growing pain in your chest. However, it does not ease off but rather, continues to climb. The essence within you roils furiously, eliciting a sharp, agonizing pain to the center of your chest before exploding outwards, sending a burning wave of force rippling down your limbs. Before your very eyes, you see the structure of your body change and alter as the energy sweeps downwards. Feeling abruptly contented and filled deep inside, you finally realise that you have embraced your new form as Yeleni.

Yeleni Karhast:

He is a muscular Yeleni of Troll heritage and this is very evident in his sheer size and bulk. Even by his own kind's standards, he is very large; not only does the troll stand tall, the width of his shoulders and the strength of his frame also add to the power of his figure. Skin of an ashen grey tint covers his body, leathery and tough in texture. Torn into his cheeks, his forehead, along his neck and down his arms are scars too regular and clearly-defined to be those of sheer accident, the marks of old wounds leaving deep lines cutting across thick skin. Different from scarring entirely, marring him as if inked onto the skin, are numerous hole-like black stains set into it. The majority of these are etched on his chest and shoulders, with a few marring his arms and legs also, his back entirely left free of these black spots. Additionally, a dark brown shape is etched firmly on his stomach, just underneath his right side's ribs, the marking's coloring appearing to flare up and inflame periodically. Inked into the troll's arms, chest, and shoulders, are various runes a learned observer might know to be those of trollish most ancient, the markings crude enough to appear hand-painted on his skin, the colors used various shades of red, black, and green. The troll has large hands and larger feet still. A firm jawline with a heavy underbite mark the lower portion of his face, thick canines visible even when his mouth is closed. His nose is a warped insult to symmetry, and a firm brow with heavy eyesockets protects his visage. An eye colored a dark green hue peers out of his skull, lacking any white or a pupil, faintly luminescent and glowing dimly. The other socket does appear to have an eye inside, but it is matte black and dim instead, a splotch of red mist caught inside dimly. Shaved very closely on most of his head, the troll's hair is a thin line starting by the forehead and drawing backwards securely, the hair itself spiky and black. The troll has a thick moustache, thick and drooping aside the corners of his mouth an inch's distance.

All slurring gone from his voice, low and echoing as it is, you say to Shaith, in Troll, ".. Pupil-smiter.. Snare-setter.. Have you come to bring final death to a wounded bear? By deceit slay what valour could not?"

Eliadon enters from the west, riding a white-cloaked gryphon.

Eliadon pats you in a friendly manner.

Docent Eliadon Ecceliant says, "Best I've got."

Eliadon leaves to the west, riding a white-cloaked gryphon.

"Karhast!" Shaith shouts your name, shrill and afraid, when your strength gives out and he sinks to the ground. She says that name three times more, each repetition more desperate than the previous. "Karhast! Karhast. Karhast?" When your chest ceases to move, she grabs you by the front of the shirt to shake, to grasp, to try to force from you a reaction. And then the runes widen her eyes, their color reflected in the black of her pupils. And then your eye opens and her tensed hands relax, but only just, and they do not quite let you go. And then she exhales, breathing with you, and says your name one more time. "Karhast?"

Color has returned to Karhast's skin, the eerie definition of muscle, tendons and bone no longer visible. Despite this, the black stains remain, as does the harsh, inflamed-looking spot on his stomach. He looks up, and sits up on his elbows but faintly, and though the troll's voice betrays no weakness, he makes no motion to settle up higher. "You. -You-," that heavy voice goes, speaking in trollish still, staring up at Shaith most evidently. "You, bile-spewers, mothersbane, sea-reavers, of scourged birth.. You, to devise such a scheme, to eschew steel for swift death from afar. Have you come to bring ruinous sword-sleep anew, through the heart wedge a blood-spade and bring me to rest anew?"

Shaith's face dies. A straightening of the back sits her on her heels; her chin lifts so that she must look down the harsh slope of her nose at you. Her mouth is a thin, unfeeling line. "I see," she says, her voice cracking, "Well. At least you're being honest, for once." Then her eyes shut, so tightly, contorting the whole of her face. Lips peeled back to bare teeth, she exhales, raggedly, a huffed noise of pain that comes from the bottom of her stomach.

Karhast's one-eyed stare is harsh, betraying no sympathy or softness despite Shaith's ongoing shattering. "Speak!" That low voice intones. "Grant the blood-letting and breath-fading reprieve.. For spear-din that not-once came and the far-slayer's warcry did not the final sleep's embrace bring." The accent Karhast speaks in sounds intensely foreign and ancient, and might be unintelligible if he did not speak in low, weary, echoing tones, eyes aimed up as they are.

Shaith is not hearing it. Whatever the strangeness of the things you utter, they do not seem to sink into her awareness. She is breathing, hard, her chest heaving, making ragged sounds with every exhale. Her hands cover her face; they scratch at her cheeks. "Why," she says, "Do I waste my time on you? Why do I even look at you. Why did I ever think..." She does not finish this, the acid in her words stinging her lips and flushing her face with blood. Her eyes are black. "Shut up," she orders you, a warning.

"Who are you, to tongue-rest demand?!" Karhast's voice is harsh and unwavering as Shaith's one warning is defied at once, finding the strength to sit up more properly, abdominal muscles raising up him to a seated position. "To lions and dragons, a rat's death dole out? To stick the boar, and for its squealing admonish?!" Loud and indignant, strange as though the words might sound, the troll glares over at Shaith with very real rage. "Is it the wish of the Child-Goddess to see the breath-fading suffer so? To torment and insult a broken body and failing strength? The malice, to hide from a broken foe! Look on, and speak, nazetu!"

It is the word 'nazetu' that turns Shaith on you. Lurching, her rage pitches her forward, so fast and sudden that she much slam her hands to the ground to stop herself from pitching over, as unsteady as if she had been kicked in the gut. "You want to do this?" she spits, "You want to lay the crimes of my people at my feet now? Tell me, Karhast, how long have you kept this behind your teeth? Did you do it on purpose? To draw me in, to wound me all the more, to, to." Her teeth click and she shouts sharp fury, a fist brought back and aimed for your nose and...stopped, in the air, a full foot shy of striking you. She's looking at you, and the watchfulness of her eyes is rage and pity and pleading, all at once.

Karhast doesn't seem to take pause at Shaith's rage in the slightest, hard tusks shifting down as teeth are bared, facing even that one fist with defiance. Staring at it intently, blinking not at all, the man's good eye twitches for a last moment before, at last, the man's chest appears to slowly deflate. "Hesitance.. And this indignance. And denial. Ah.." Only now looking away from $shaith, chest, head both turning, muscle rippling with the motions, taking in his surroundings for a long moment. "Where.. And what.. And how.. Do I awake," that low voice goes on, slowly coming to look back over at Shaith then, expression almost guarded, brow creased. "To find all such on a devil's face. What manner of spell-weave or mind-twist have I come to?"

Zaila Zaila leans in the doorwave to the east.

Zaila fails at all things emoting.

Shaith stares, open-mouthed. She lunges, hesitates, sinks back. The sound of the Tempest's bell turns her head, but only for a second. "What's going on?" she demands of you, her voice gone small. "What the Halls are you talking about?"

Either less confused or more intent, Karhast does not temper his voice. A large hand motions to his chest: "Bodeshmun Estrehanoer, the rueful blade, Enrin's shield, of Pahna's host." Fingers drawing up slowly, he shifts for his hand to point his index finger over at Shaith's visage not long after. "And you.. You, are -not- among my slayers."

Shaith rolls to her feet and steps back. "This isn't funny," she says, flat, mean, -tired-. She turns, to leave, to get away from you, and sees Zaila standing there; and it is at this all pretense flows out of her. "What the unicorns?" she says, her voice a hard whisper. Her eyes are mad things. "What the unicorns. Do you see this?" she points back at you, hand shaking.

Seeming to have been content to silently watch the two, Zaila half pushes up from the frame, a large portion of her weight still leaned into the structure. Her voice rings out indignantly as she demands, "What? See a concerned friend checking in on the Big Guy?"

Karhast motions up further, to his feeth, coming to stand upright, hands motioning to his sides and shoulders rolling about loosely. "My name, title, fealty. I spoke of all," the troll goes on in his own language, unperturbed and well, his one good eye remaining set on Shaith. "Tell me of yours, stranger.. That I might know who I face, and what lands I awake in, now.. Adrift, for so long."

Omnaen tells you, "Choices made last week go well?"

You tell Omnaen, "A voice - a stranger's voice.. Even under the sky-fire's rays you approach me not, to greet me? Who are you, stranger?"

Shaith's moving towards hysterics. "Your name is Karhast," she says, leveling a finger at you. "And you are of the Illuminai, you are in Enorian, and this is -not funny-." She takes two steps away from you, towards Zaila, and gestures with a sweep of her hand. "And if you do not knock this off this instant, I will go inside your head and rip whatever game this is out myself," she threatens.

Lehar arrives from the west.

Lehar comes in at a hurried pace, glancing around before finding the trio and stepping forward.

Zaila's attention slinks in toward you where her brows rise steadily higher throughout the Idreth's speech before she slips her gaze back to Shaith and asks, "He one of those that ascend and turn into unicorns godsdamned idiots?" her tone rises as her volume increases as her hands spread wide and threateningly, "And what -the unicorns- do I knock off? Coming to check on my Godsdamned friend?!"

Her voice breaking, Hiale Shaith Erthokli says, "I'm telling him to stop, not you!"

Omnaen tells you, "Stranger? We have spoken a few times, now."

You tell Omnaen, "No memory of your voice in my head looms.. You are not Vorminthul, not Irge, not Slyuganthe, not Enrin, not Pahna, not Guzin, not Vo, not Rusicame. I know not who you are."

"OH!" Zaila nearly shouts back before dropping back into the doorframe and adding in an exaggeratedly indignant tone, "Well, more things should have to do with me, then!"

Karhast doesn't appear swayed or convinced by Shaith's words at all. "No. As I spoke, my name is: Bodeshmun Estrehanoer. The rueful blade, the one to fell a dozen-score foes by the side of Enrin, ever-vigilant, always watching, all in Pahna's host, a trail of blood and steel." Focused on Shaith as he is, the troll doesn't appear very intent on looking away from her or glancing at others at all. "Your name, stranger, I demand it! Tell me of who would speak so strangely and look away, never to return a greeting!"

Omnaen tells you, "That was a pity. I was starting to think I enjoyed your company."

"You are Karhast!" Shaith insists, louder now, as if volume alone can convince you. The hands at her sides tighten into fists.

"Now, now. Don't identify for baby there. Got to allow some amount of self-identification," Zaila murmurs out from the side, unwanted, as she waves a hand over at you from her post at the wall.

No response comes. Karhast's sole action is for him to stare at Shaith in sheer silence, his one green eye gazing at her unabated. He does not speak.

The pale form of Mihaketi ghosts around the edge of the garden silently, keeping to the undergrowth and well out of sight of those congregating in the center of the space.

Lehar steps forward to join Shaith at her side, though her gaze remains entirely on you. "He knows..nothing?" she asks quietly.

"I do not know," Shaith admits to Lehar, softly. She shows no surprise at the other Illuminai's arrival, as if she expected her to be there all along. She glances down, out of the corner of her eyes. "But we can find out."

The lack of Trollish words being spoken has Karhast keep silent, staring on as he does. "Huddle not amongst your own, and speak, stranger," he ends up intoning after some time, patience evidently run thin. "For enough time has passed since your ramblings and false-names. Reveal a truth, stranger: a name, a place, a land. Anything." The troll shakes his head. "For you have yet declined to do so."

Karhast blinks once, twice, squinting as he does, and his head twitches.

.. Nngah. Gah. What.. Agh. I have lied there for much too long.

"Uh-oh, Junior," Zaila says with the most lackadaisically 'alarmed' tone she can manage, "I think going to be down awhile for maintenance."

"Karhast, son of Akhal, member of the Illuminai and the Beacon-" Lehar begins as she steps forward, away from Shaith and more directly toward you, placing herself right in front of you. "These are truths of who you are."

it shoves once more it shoves harder it speaks the name the dark haired woman has been using it uses the name the amber eyed woman uses

Shaith moves with Lehar, just a stride behind. When she speaks, it is in hesitating, broken Trollish.

Hiale Shaith Erthokli says, in a guttural grunt, "You -are- Karhast. You are of the Illuminai."

Omnaen's head and muzzle peek out the entrance into the tavern, the rest of his body partially blocked by the door. He sniffs, confused.

"Too long, in coward's-bane a- gah!" Karhast staggers, draws a step back, and firmly grits his teeth, breathing. "What i- nngh!" A hand raises to his head, grasping futilely at his bare forehead then. "Bodeshmun, not k- gahh!" A second hand lifts, and the man collapses to his knees, breathing most heavily as he does.

the feeling at the back of your skull like a fist like the muscled coils of an eel not gentle not sweet but repeating that name over and over and over

Lehar shakes her head and lifts her hand up, palm glowing, holding it toward you to ever-so-lightly bathe you in the light from it. "You are Karhast," she begins in common before, much like Shaith, switching to a broken, almost child-like Trollish.

Shaith's gone silent, her eyes shut. Her lips move with silent words. Every few moments, her brow wrinkles, her teeth clench and her head twitches sharply.

Slowly, words thickly accented, Hiale Lehar Garner Pennington says, in a guttural grunt, "You..Karhast. Fire. Faith. You work, you fight. Fight!"

"Yeah. That sounds healthy," Zaila quips to herself before grinding the heel of her hand against her forehead.

fire faith fight fight


Omnaen's large body moves inside the room at the outburst, hackles raised on his neck. He's watching you, though emotion is not exactly readable on a wolf's face.

It doesn't take long for Karhast to be forced to his back by some unseen force, eyes squinting shut, hands pressed tightly against either side of his head. "This d- gah! The voice!" He bellows out, squirming in place helplessly. "Leave! Be.. Away! I am of the darkmane, th- gah! Annh.. Gah!" The grass underneath him scorches, and fire is flung out of the man's palms involuntarily, though the cringing continues all the same, body alternating between curling up and spasming helplessly.

in the eye of your mind it is eel and rope and dark dark waters threatening hissing with so many teeth saying she will find him she will she will she will rip you out of him if she has to she will kill you if she has to

She will kill you, Bodeshmun.

Crying out in harsh tones, shoulders tensing up with that roar, you exclaim, in Troll, "The EELS! Get them away from me!"

Shaith's eyes open. She steps back. A trembling hand presses tight over her mouth.

Instead of moving back with Shaith, Lehar steps forward and then drops to her knees, both of her hands trying to place themselves against your sizable chest. "Karhast," she says simply, under her breath. "Please- fight. You can come through this..this.." she trails off, unsure of just what it is.

Omnaen whines at the sight of fire, and is almost back out the door as quick as he had entered, to return a few moments later as man instead of wolf.

Omnaen gives his body a vigorous shake and begins to shed his werewolf form, the fur receding rapidly, and his body shrinking back to normal size, not a single trace of the wolf remaining.

In Troll, you tell Shaith, "*sheer confusion and defiance roil through Karhast's
mind; the mentioning of his proper name seems to stir something deep inside
every time, but the response rings hollow and weak, as if lacking a will or
desire to surface.*."

Shaith lets all the air out of her lungs. "Keep talking to him, Lehar," she says, before her eyes close again.

the eel coils it strikes it shoves itself where it does not belong finding any crevice any crack in you to work itself into the name flowing from its jaws in a steam of bubbles karhast karhast karhast

Karhast gathers his breath, relaxes slightly, but keeps up a haughty expression all the same, staring up at Lehar wide-eyed as he is, up from his spot on the ground. ".. Voices - in my head! Calling.. Named, and fighting, and.. And. Gah." He has a shivering fit again, jaw twitching about. "Need to know where and what a- gah! AhhHAHH! Get -AWAy-!" The cringing continues once more, and the troll retreats by curling up once again.

it seeks it twists it looks it flows screaming and blind through you

Lehar's hands press warmly and forcefully into your chest and the linen shirt covering it. "Karhast, you are a man of many things, but you -know- you are a few for certain," she says lightly but with a certain passion, her concern for her friend clearly evident. "Think of your brothers back home. Think of your friends here."

In Troll, you tell Shaith, "*Images of great steppes and sprawling flatlands are visible: tents are there, the smallest of villages, trolls mounted on great horses, unfamiliar faces sporting ritual scars, tattooing, and battle, much battle; swords and spears and axes and clubs go swinging as troll clashes with troll and ogre and orc and nazetu and all else, clinging desperately to these mental figments, their strength great and seeming not to yield at all just yet*."

Shaith's breath is coming in shallow gasps. Her jaw tenses.

Karhast utters no response. Karhast does not speak. His hands desperately cling to his head, which seems intent on burying itself between his two knees with all his cringing. Archaic names are mouthed helplessly inbetween ramblings about hosts and war, eyes taking no note of Lehar, Shaith, Omnaen, or anyone else with how tightly he is shut off from his surroundings.

there is an eel in all of it super imposed enormous dark water thing in the sky in the ground in the eyes of all the warriors looking out at you and it is not suppose to be here

"FIGHT," Lehar yells at you, the sound much louder than anything she's given thus far. Her hands slide up from your chest, or what she can touch of it, to now try and press into your own hands on your head.

In Troll, you tell Shaith, "*Every sight of eels has further images appear: children are born, wives are kissed, siblings are embraced, foes are cut down, chieftains are pledged to, food is prepared, people are driven off, animals are tamed, elders are buried, lands are crossed, all to get away from that intrusive, ever-present animal.*."

"What exactly happened and why isn't he fighting whatever it is on his own?" Omnaen asks, breaking the silence with his close lipped speech.

Shaith makes a noise, deep in her throat, a growling, moaning noise. Tangled in it are muttered words, among them 'kill' and 'you.'

the children have eels coming out of their mouths the wives have eels in their hair the embraces are disturbed when an eel tangled itself in your feet the foes bleed them the chieftain sits on a throne made of them

Karhast gibbers and rambles without coherence up until the moment he's told to fight - one hand jerks to slam up a fist harshly, and the command elicits a harsh shout from him. "NngahHH! AWAY! G- nnh, hh.. Gh.. Hhh... Mmph." It is all he does, and that last punch is all he can manages before the troll doesn't even squirm anymore. He goes limp, collapsing, drooping back to the floor and sinking down weakly. Only his breath remains.

In Troll, you tell Shaith, "*More images show up. More memories. More wisps of things long-since passed. Not enough exist to escape the ever-present eel's visage, and repetition occurs, weakens, falters, all until the mind goes blank and sheer emptiness is left inside.*."

the eel turns this way and that swimming through the nothing

Karhast? Karhast?

Lehar's lips part in a noise of surprise at the fist clenching and slamming up, ducking to have it miss her, before she watches your body go limp before her eyes. "I said fight," she says on a much lower tone, her hands moving over your torso to wind up above the heart, her head leaning down to tilt her ear to make sure there actually is breath passing in and out.

Karhast doesn't move or stir. He breathes, he is warm to the touch, his heart beats, but no movement beyond what might be reflexive is apparent in him at all.

In Troll, you tell Shaith, "*Nothing. No scenic views. No serene landscapes. No blackness, light, anything. Karhast's mind might as well be that of an inanimate object: there is nothing to be found.*."

Shaith's eyes open. She hits her knees, bent in double, shoulders jerking as she dry heaves. "No," she says, unbelieving, "No no no no no no."

that name repeated into echoing emptiness the eel growing smaller in comparison pleading karhast karhast karhast where are you

Not getting an answer, or even acknowledged, Omnaen decides that he can do nothing more, though his gaze lingers on you with a muddled expression.

Omnaen leaves to the west.

"What?" Lehar asks Shaith as she looks over, her question simple yet with a clear sense of urgency. She does not seem to have heard the man who just left.

In Troll, you tell Shaith, "*There are no depths for the eel to swim, for there are no heights. There is no echo for that voice to return, for there are no walls, but there is no lack either, no nothing, anything. All there exists is that invasive presence in an empty shell of a head, hollow and blank.*."

the eel snaps out of existence like a candle flame before breath

Shaith's eyes are wide, unseeing. Her hands tug at her curls. "I was looking for him," she says, her voice shaking, "I was only trying to find him and there were all of these things that weren't him and then...and then." Her breath shudders. She shakes.

"..and then what!?" Lehar questions insistently of Shaith, her own eyes going wide. "What did you do? How can I help fix it?"

Shaith's chin lifts. "I don't know," she admits, her voice barely there. "I don't know. There's nothing there."

Karhast doesn't interrupt the ongoing conversation at all. No sign of him possessing more than a plant's mental faculty is visible at all.

Lehar's attention flits between Shaith and you a few times, eventually settling on you solely. "He's there. I know he is- he would not give up, would not fail to fight something," she says with a gentleness to her words that bespeak real emotion. "He's- he will just tease me after this because I am here scrambling to try and help him."

Something is back. Something sterner, kinder, but less braver and less pure of heart than the eel. It does not reach. It does not force. It stands at the edge of you and it waits.

"He's not there, Lehar," Shaith says. She crawls over to the two of you, to sit on your other side. She lays a hand on your head. "He's not where I can find him."

In Troll, you tell Shaith, "*The emptiness inside that head is gone - somewhat. Something is inside, but it lacks any clear definition: whatever lies ahead inside that mind is murky and not readily apparent.*."

Something else starts to play out. Something flickering and hard to hold onto. Here, you've made her laugh. There, you reminded her to be faithful when Aiyr Qaepa was breaking her heart and she wouldn't show it.

She remembers you singing, and the absurd rush of warm affection she felt at the sound of your voice.

She recalls that you were not afraid to hit her, and how that knit her too you with gratitude, because to her people, anyone worthwhile is probably worth hitting, if need be

Her anguish when she understood - or thought she understood - what you did to Lehar. Her relief when she learned that you were innocent of any crime.

In Troll, you tell Shaith, "*The murkiness ahead of you shifts, but it does little to bring any sign of trolls that are familiar. The images of fistfights stir through that mind, and within a flash does all feel -cold-, freezing, as if ice had seeped into his muscles and snuffed out his warmth, claiming a life.*."

"There has to be something!" Lehar snaps at Shaith, one of her hands coming down to thump against the muscular chest of the limp body between them.

In Troll, you tell Shaith, "*Music and trollish song does again make the mess ahead shift, as if some facets rose quicker than others. Images of lust and passion, large trolls caught on top of cots or even without them, against walls, trees, anything, loom by your front heavily before all is snuffed out with an iron knife's blade and a slit throat, darkness coming soon with a loss of blood.*."

A dull thud sounds off of Karhast's chest as he's beat once, but it does nothing to stir him awake, the hit merely giving his breath a brief interruption.

Yes. Fistfights. The pure rush and blood and -joy- of tussling with someone, affection and challenge all mixed up in one beautiful mess.

And kissing, and unicorns, and children, and laughter, and singing, and all the stuff of LIFE

In Troll, you tell Shaith, "*Even the anguish brings forth imagery. Iron prison bars are there; screams and pleading cries are audible, along with raucous, bitter laughter. Hot iron brands are pressed into soft eyes, snuffing out the light within, and a third time, death comes.*."

Shaith's eyes are not looking at anything that is here. "Fire," she says, the word a hollow sound. "He needs to be warm."

In Troll, you tell Shaith, "*But Karhast never shows. The fistfights bring forth those images of bitter cold again; children, singing, sex, those of a slit throat. With the lack of new imagery, the haze of his mind goes murky and weak again, faint, impassable.*."

And triumph, and victory, and companionship. The ache of wanting, the sting of losing, the lip-tingling joy of victory. Everything. All of it. All worthy. All holy. All good.

You are alive. You are whole. And she is here, dragging color through the murk, throwing light onto the haze, screaming spring into the corners. Wake up. Wake up. Wake up.

In Troll, you tell Shaith, "*It is with eerie silence that those images of victory and joy are met. No vivid images appear. No tangible sensations or feelings. If anything, the din of faint mental energy inside him seems to -wane- in response.*."

Wake up. Wake up. Wake up. Like a battle drum. Like a heartbeat.

Like her heartbeat.

Karhast's eyes shift open slowly. As they were when the man was a tekal, they are blank entirely. No other shift in his state is apparent, not even blinking with his vacant stare up at the sky.

"Is that all?" Lehar says as she presses her hands more firmly against your frame, inhaling sharply through her nose. "We can do that. Channel your spark," she bids Shaith, her gaze returning fully to you. Just as she had told Shaith, she begins to do the same, her hands and arms becoming more than warm, almost to the point of being hot, wherever they touch against you.

Wake up. Wake up. Wake up.
[6633(100%)|5429(100%)] [Hcsdb eb]

Shaith takes a drink from a red hibiscus vial.

Come back. Come back. It is not over. You still have things to do.


Come back

Shaith rises to her knees, to lean over you. She presses her forehead to your, green eyes looking into blank ones. Her hand holds your jaw. She breathes hot air into your face. When she speaks, she speaks softly.

Hiale Shaith Erthokli says, in a guttural grunt, "I'm sorry."

She steps out. She pulls it all back over you like a cloak. She yields to that which is Bodeshmun, and she walks away.

Karhast does not feel particularly hot or cold to the touch, and stirs not when he's heated up. That one intimate gesture draws no response: she might as well hold close a mannequin, a husk. Though he warms up considerably as Spark is channeled into him, no true reaction appears to come to this all.

In Troll, you tell Shaith, "*That knotwork mass of memories grows more, more, and even more distant with your absence, until finally he's left alone. Nothing changes: that mind remains useless.*."

She's gone. She won't see you or answer you anymore.

"You know who you are, Karhast," Lehar repeats under her breath, her hands searching over your chest for any parts that aren't warm to the touch. "Remember. Find it. Find yourself."

Against Lehar's touch, Karhast appears to be perfectly warm and well. His bodily temperature is entirely as it should be.

Shaith straightens. She reaches for Lehar's wrist. Her head moves slowly, drooping, shaking. "It's over," she says, her voice empty of feeling.

Lehar bats at Shaith's hand, fighting off the touch. "It's not over," she argues, though nothing she does seems to work.

Karhast doesn't stir to prove Lehar right - he is as still and motionless as could be.

Shaith shifts to her seat. She draws her knees up to her chest, and buries her face in them. Every time she breathes, it is all sharp edges. "It's over," she repeats, "And...I think it's my fault."

Instead of leaning back, Lehar's eyes simply go wide and she slumps down onto your body. Her eyelids close over and inhales in a similar manner, sharp and jagged, holding tight to your form without a single word said.

Into the long silence, Shaith speaks. "We need to move him," she says, "He can't stay out here."

Lehar gives a short nod and pushes onto his body, using it to steady herself as she gets heavily to her feet. One of her hands runs through her hair, haltingly, Her curls stuck to her forehead by the rain, Shaith is much slower to stand.

Her curls stuck to her forehead by the rain, Shaith is much slower to stand. "Take his legs," she instructs. "There's a public dormitory just there." Her head jerks towards the east. She crouches, to get her arms around the man's torso, elbows locked beneath your armpits.

Lehar moves with a stiffness, leaning down to grab at your legs, finding a place to hold just under the knee. When she straightens, she does so with a firm grip on you.

Shaith is able to lift her half of the Yeleni, but only just. Between the two women, you is only a few inches off the ground, but it is enough for Shaith to being stepping backwards towards the door.

You follow Shaith to the east.
Within public sleeping quarters.
Simple, narrow beds are aligned in neat rows throughout the room.
You see a single exit leading west.

As they reach one of the narrow beds, looking much narrower than might be specifically something you would normally use, Lehar turns to make it easier to place the Yeleni on the bed. She breathes heavily as they have to lift him up a bit more, but eventually settle him onto one of them.

Shaith slides her arms out from beneath you and immediately sits on the mattress next to your. Her hands lift to cover her face, fingers digging into flesh.

((log ends here because I was tired and so were some others and it had all gone on for very long by now))


  • ZailaZaila Pacific TimeMember Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It did not at all occur to me that this would be THAT log. This was super fun to watch and be the annoying fly on the wall during (until I completely passed out from being awake 30 hours). I'm glad you posted it so I could finally see what I'd missed and what was going on more in Karhast's head.

    All ya'll are always lots of fun, and so was this! Thanks for letting me be the peanut gallery!
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