Continued from the last RP log - Rashar uses Aldric's execution by fire as a way of trying to fix Trager's fear of fire.
Aldric's attention is focused on a board that lines the floor by means of trim as he hammers in a few nails here and there, then cocks his head to assess his work.
You have emoted: Rashar steps through the door and to the side, leaning his shoulder against the busted frame and assessing Aldric with a dark, unreadable look. "There are those," he rumbles out simply, "Who consider me wrong for sentencing you to the flames." He turns, glancing back out into the lightening village. "Do you still fear the sun, Aldric?"
"You talkin' about what you proposed as a punishment?" Aldric remarks over his shoulder as his attention remains focused solely upon his work. He cringes suddenly and violently, though shakes off the pained expression in a matter of moments as he instead grabs up a roughened piece of wood that he rubs quickly against the newly-fixed trim to smooth out some of its rougher edges. "Ain't got nothing else to fear," he remarks with a grunt. "'Cept for me stopping where I'm goin' now."
You have emoted: Rashar's brows disappear beneath unruly gray bangs, and his skeptical smile is fleeting. "Do you suppose, Aldric?" Separating from the wall, he slips his hands into his pockets and exits the building, stepping out into the village proper. "There is much to fear," continues the man, speaking as if he expects Aldric to follow.
Aldric steps from the house that only days ago was broken down and in shambles and claps his hands to rid them of any wood fibers and dust that coat them. "Don't think you right understand," he comments just before taking in a deep inhalation that he seems to savor a moment or two before releasing. "I've been killed. Stayed that way," the man explains. "Killed too, an' now I'm seein' the faces of the folks I've ruined - and took - the lives of." His head shakes, and despite his sickly-looking appearance, he stands, almost confidently straight. "Nah, like I said, only thing I fear is bein' tempted into slippin' back into my ways."
You have emoted: Rashar is standing in the sun, a pillar of darkness surrounded by the light that even now expands, banishing most of the shadows in its inexorable march across the land. To Aldric's reply, he grows quiet and considering, only moving to turn and note Trager's appearance with a brief nod. His shoulders roll, perhaps unconsciously, and then he asks, "Do you regret it, Aldric? The death? The killing?" Back those eyes move, to the man in question. Bottomless, but somehow his expression seems intensely curious, almost eager. "Or do you regret only what your guilty conscience would do to you now?"
Valingar descends from above.
Valingar places his palms together in front of his chest and bows respectfully.
You have emoted: Rashar spares a moment to find Valingar's descent, giving the man another brief nod and then returning his gaze to Aldric.
Trager comes to a quiet stop, his hands falling to this waist to hook tightly into his belt. He steps easily to the side, making room for Valingar's decent, acknowledging the man with single dip of his head. When his eyes settle upon the other two men, a pinched, pensive look dominates his features. For the time being, it seems he is content to remain silent.
Before speaking, Aldric diverts his attention to Trager, to whom he gives a nod of greeting. "Guilty conscience?" he remarks with a cocked brow as he shifts his focus to you once more. A laugh escapes from deep within the man's chest, though the feeling behind it hardly is one of joy as evidenced by his sickly form. Without word, he stretches a hand up and behind his head to rub at an inked mark upon his neck of two crossed, obsidian fists, an action that elicits a powerful surge of energy that ripples forth from the Tekal. "This's more than a guilty conscience - tell me, in all your wisdom, you ever been marked by the Malevolent? Y'know. The One who thrives on each drop'a blood spilled? The One who makes you watch, an' replay, every malicious thing you've done, over an' over?"
Eyes narrowing as he almost reluctantly takes his fingers away from the inked tattoo, Aldric says, "Even when I couldn't die, there's only so much'a that shit you can handle before you break."
Straightening, Valingar looks directly at Aldric, glacing away only to offer a slight nod in return to you and Trager. The dark-haired zealot says nothing yet, perhaps not caring to interrupt what already proceeds, hiding his hands in the sleeves of his gi shirt. He waits, keeping his eyes expectantly on Aldric.
You have emoted: "No," Rashar states simply, with an almost indifferent shrug. "Though by your words, you almost make Her seem to be the conscience that we should all face, yeah?" That twitch of the lips. "Except without the guilty part, it seems." He breaks into movement now, stepping forward and tilting his head to regard Aldric. "Are you a broken thing, then? Do you seek change, Aldric? Or just refuge."
Trager breaks the silence suddenly, clearing his throat before his voice rumbles out in an intentionally pointed tone. "You were not here with him. Before and after the cure." A narrowed, distinctly pointed glance is cast in your direction, and again he falls silent.
"Refuge, no doubt," Aldric remarks just before craning his neck over his shoulder to regard the house behind him that seems almost out of place in its state of repair in comparison to the other, more broken-down houses around it. "Look," the man pointedly says as he snaps his attention back to you. "I ain't a man that's real good with words and shit, an' it's sure going to take some time for me to break out'a my ways, but I 'm not about to sit an' have you talk to me like a kid." The Tekal sucks on his teeth for a moment, gaze locked upon you before he comments, "I remember you signin' your registration papers with the Carnifex not too terribly long ago." The man lowers his head slightly, straightening. "Hate to be in a room of pots yellin' at a kettle for bein' black now, yeah?"
Firmly, confidently, Aldric says, "Get your theatrics over with, an' let me prove what I'm worth through my actions."
You have emoted: Rashar speaks to Trager without looking. "With reason. So that I would not be deterred by my feelings from what I will do. From what should be done." And then Aldric speaks, and those dusky lips break into a wide, almost feral grin. "I did, yes. But when I returned, it wasn't with a sad story of all the cruelty I'd committed, of the burden being too much to bear." The grin becomes closer to a sneer. "And I certainly didn't blame my actions on a fucking Goddess, like a -kid- with nothing but excuses to cling to." Taking just a moment to allow his words to settle, he pointedly turns his back on Aldric and steps away. "My brother has asked that I offer you the mercy of a blade. Make your decision."
One of Trager's hands slide down pointedly to rest along the hilt of one of the blades resting at his hip. "You already placed the blame on the hands of one Goddess," he rumbles out slowly, eying Aldric with an appraising glance, searching, though for what, it is unclear. "Do not use another to absolve you of your sins."
"Fire," Aldric staunchly returns, without hesitation as he juts his chin almost stubbornly upwards. "The quick an' easy death, like a kid would take, yeah?" The man returns the sneer, though it obviously misses its mark on your turned back. "You're exactly what we hated about the folks from Enorian, y'know," the Tekal muses as he takes a step forward to follow behind you, pushing past Trager as he seems to ingore his words. "Cocky. You never do nothin' wrong. Can't ever. Everyone's under you." A hand, lanky and malnourished looking as it may be, reaches out to grab your shoulder and clench it in a halting manner as tightly as he can manage. "P'raps you'll have a few things you can learn from me too."
Slowly, angrily, Aldric says to you, "You ain't a damn bit better than me though."
You have emoted: Rashar pauses, seeming to genuinely consider the accusations that fall across his bared shoulders. And then he barks out a laugh. "Never done nothin' wrong?" he asks, imitating the accent with an ease that says much of slipping into his old ways. "I've done plenty wrong, Aldric. The difference is, I have no one to blame those crimes on but myself." Another pause, and then a chuckle. "You're likely right about the cocky part, though. Come on, then." Without waiting, he begins to walk.
Trager breathes out shaky breath, his eyes slipping closed at Aldric's declaration. "So be it," he whispers aloud, almost as ifhe is speaking to himself. His eyes flicker open, and wordlessly he falls into line behind you.
MOVEMENT TO FOUR CORNERS
You have emoted: "Pike?" Rashar asks Trager, his meaning evident as he indicates the fixture posted in the center of the plaza, a sturdy base where many an enemy has been displayed for the satisfaction of the Beacon's citizenry. As he waits, the Idreth slings his pack off of his shoulder and drapes his buckler atop it, allowing his hands to hang free at his sides.
Trager wordlessly passes over a pike, nearly shoving it into your hand. The look that he passes with it speaks of utter loathing, even disgust, before he steps back to his previous position.
Aldric wordlessly watches the pike pass hands as he takes in a deep inhalation of breath, then releases it. Despite the other presences, his attention rests then on Trager, to whom he attempts to cast a pacifying sort of look. "I want it to happen," he states slowly, calmly. "Get rid'a this body an' the shit that's been done with these hands."
You have emoted: Rashar moves methodically, wasting no time and, despite the accusations, appearing to care very little for theatrics - a quick thrust has the instrument posted, which he gestures towards with a glance at Aldric. Disappearing into the shop to the southeast, he returns with a short chain dangling from one dark fist. "My brother will be fine," he rumbles almost angrily. "It is not your comfort he cares for, Aldric, despite the words he speaks."
At Aldric's statement, Trager's eyes shift towards the diminutive Tekal. Wordlessly he stares, and slowly his eyes take on a glossy, unfocused appearance. Finally he manages words, and a rasping tone breathes out, "Fire does not always cleanse a man," he utters cryptically, before turning back to face you, distant gaze once again in place.
Aldric steps towards the pike with his hands behind his back as he casts you an expectant glance. He says nothing more, but instead tilts his head up to glance at the stars overhead for a few pensive moments. "If You're watchin' Lady, thank You," he finally says, breaking the silence. "Without Your disregard for life, I wouldn't be able to appreciate the one these folks've given me." He lowers his head in a nod towards you.
Emelle steps into the square, head ducked and hands pocketed. She casts her gaze around to linger slowly first on you, then on Aldric, and finally on Trager. Her expression unreadable, she approaches slowly to stand a bit behind and to the side of the latter, watching silently.
You have emoted: If Aldric's words give Rashar pause, it is only for a blink in time. The faintest hesitation, a too-slow blink. A stagger in those steps, which might seem as nothing to a stranger, but clear as a painted picture to one who knows him. Still, his expression is cold as he moves him around, backing him up to the pike and then fastening the man's hands behind his back on the opposite side of it. Staring at them, the Knight and Herald seems to consider a moment before moving to stand in front of the former Carnifex. "If you resist, it will be worse."
"It is not too late," Trager speaks out, breaking his silent vigil. His lower lip becomes trapped between his teeth, and an application of pressure sending the blood from the flesh.
There is the faintest shift in Emelle's expression, almost imperceptible except maybe to an aware observer. Her eyebrows draw in a fraction, the corners of her mouth slipping down a touch. She slips one hand from her pocket to alight softly on Trager's shoulder.
Isande offers a salute to you and Trager before her hazel-green eyes slide towards Aldric, studying the Tekal assessingly as she slowly moves towards one end of the open area. At the words, she inclines her head towards him formally, perhaps out of respect for his courage.
Trager's own increase in breathing takes far from a trained eye to recognize, so quickly does his chest now begin to rise and fall. Emelle's touch goes unnoticed, Isande's greeting ignored. The Azudim has eyes now for only Aldric, and as the pressure across his lip increases, a tiny rivulet of blood appears, intent to roll slowly down his chin.
Isande settles into an evenly divided stance behind the others, hands folding together as she waits.
Emelle is unmoving as she, too, watches Aldric. Her hand remains on Trager's shoulder, her expression solemn.
He faces the fire, Trager. All things in cycles, and his is coming full circle.
You have emoted: Rashar listens, first to Trager and then to Aldric. Slowly, he inclines his head. "Then burn," he breathes, just a pair of words spoken softly enough that one might strain to hear them. His hand rises, bringing with it a trail of flame that lights upon Aldric's clothing and brings an immediate heat to the air surrounding the bound man. As he begins to burn, Rashar's hands fall to his side, clenching into the fists that are the only indication of his own struggle - a fight that perhaps only Emelle would recognize as his urge to go to his brother.
As the flames lick at Aldric's body, consuming flesh and bone alike, the Tekal releases an agonized scream. The charred scent of flesh begins to rapidly fill the air as billowing plumes of smoke rise up from around his burning body to drift and mingle with the clouds overhead. "Thank.. You," he barely manages to get out through gritted teeth, the words escaping his throat like a hoarse whisper as his vocal chords are caught in the flaming onslaught.
Emelle's nose wrinkles against the offending scent of burning flesh, and she averts her gaze as the man is slain.
Trager sucks in a heaving breath, his knees buckling beneath him involuntarily. Only a split second reaching out for Emelle saves the man the shame of full collapse, as the majority of his weight is applied onto her arm and shoulder without abandon. Though the Azudim stares at the now smoldering corpse, his eyes appear wild and random, focusing on a memory rather than the act. A moment passes, then another, and suddenly his eyes snap onto you, a myriad of emotions ranging from hate to sadness fills his eyes.
One of Emelle's legs slides back with a scrape of hoof against cobble as her arms wrap around Trager, simultaneously supporting his weight and offering a firm embrace. From over his shoulder, her eye levels on you, but betrays nothing of her thoughts.
You have emoted: Rashar watches in silence as Aldric burns, and speaks, and dies. Even as the charred corpse separates and collapses to the ground, the Idreth is turning to regard the gathering - first Isande, and then Emelle. There is sadness in that gaze, a pain invisible to the eye, but it hardens as he moves now to Trager. "The Beacon has been soft for long enough," he rumbles quietly. "The flames belong to us, Trager. Do not fear them."
Isande blinks once, beginning to frown as her expression shifts towards concern as she glances between you and Trager as though uncertain of the tension. Noting Aldric's return, however, her attention shifts that direction and she gives a small nod of acknowledgment at him after a moment.
Trager's distant gaze continues to focus and relapse, but with the aide of Emelle's form, he slowly steadies himself, legs finding the strength to stand unaided once again. His eyes scour Aldric's form, searching for some form of burning or scarring that is now gone. A forced rumble, a rasping grunt that rips free of his throat is heard: "Wel-.. Welcome home, Aldric." One final glance in your direction, absent of the previous hate so easily tangible before, and he turns to stagger off down the cobble road, alone.