It has been years since Bene and @Rashar have seen each other. They were rivals at first, then quickly became solid friends and comrades-in-arms. There still exists a certain amount of stick measuring, but it only serves to emphasise their friendship.
Upon mutual agreement there are both Bene and Rashar thoughts contained within this log. They are in italics.
The Sea Gardens.
The rain pours down, daylight edging the dark clouds with streaks of silver. Colorful, lush cacti
dot the ground here, rooted within the sparse, sandy soil of this stepped garden. Overlooking the
entire southern periphery of the Temple and the canal below, the cacti and other arid plants have
thrived in the southeastern climate, occupying a permanent state of verdant bloom. Desert
wildflowers have been planted in among the cacti, punctuating the spiky green plants with bright
rashes of color. The rim of the garden is lined by a wrought-iron fence that stands about waist
height, preventing a fall into the stepped gardens beneath it. A sigil in the shape of a small,
rectangular monolith is on the ground. Resting on the ground is a cube-shaped silver sigil. Rashar
is squatting with his back to the fence, a pair of spears held across his lap.
You see a single exit leading north (open pine curtain).
He is an athletic Idreth of Human heritage, reaching nearly seven feet in height with unblemished,
dark gray skin. His body is lithe, with slender limbs and a narrow torso that seems built to move
like a willow, yet still manages to hint at a deceptive sort of strength. His face is chiseled,
angular and delicate but distinctly masculine. Tempestuous gray eyes contain nothing but shadow and
storm, save for two subtly glowing crimson cores. These smolder as if lit with some inner fire,
indicating that what lies beneath is far more furious than that which is displayed. Framing it all
is a crown of silver-gray hair that sits in disarray about his head, scattering in errant waves to
obscure his vision and give him a somewhat disheveled appearance.
(coiled about his forearms) : shimmering bracers of spiraled shadows
(on his left hand) : a wicked, talon-tipped glove
(worn on the legs) : comfortable, gray leather pants
He is a resilient Yeleni of Kelki heritage and is clearly a creature born of the Maelstrom. His face
is smooth and hairless, with water-like veins visible beneath pale, blue skin. His broad features
are characterized by sharp cheekbones, a square chin and piercing pearl-white eyes. His left eye is
split by a neat scar which runs from his brow to the hollow of his cheek. Thick tentacles of an off-
white color form his hair and are free to dangle and rest upon his broad shoulders, the coils
undulating lazily. His body itself is covered in midnight-blue scales that shift to an electric blue
under direct light, silvery lines cut through the plating, tracing out a massive network of scars
across his entire body. The bones of his large wings are covered in the same dark scales that
decorate the rest of his form, but when fully unfolded and stretched to their full span, the same
translucent skin as that between his fingers can be seen. His body is well-muscled and toned, his
movements smooth and fluid. He walks with the blessing of Ethne. He walks with the blessing of Omei.
(worn crossing his other belt) : a slender, low-slung black weaponbelt
(worn on his wedding ring finger) : an entwined feathers and starstone wedding band
(coming up to his knees) : boots of the wisp
(secured by a crest embossed chestpiece) : a layered, midnight-blue surcoat
(worn wrapped around his right bicep) : a black armband bearing the crest of the Sentaari
(worn loosely about his waist) : a lustrous black and gold belt
(worn upon his right forearm) : an engraved metallic arm piece
(glimpsed underneath his surcoat) : a shirt of fine, white silk
(tucked into his boots) : a pair of night-blue leather trousers with iron buckles
(slung across his back) : a jewel-encrusted buckler
(worn atop his clothing) : a jade eye pendant on a silver chain
Through the haphazardly placed plots of cacti Rashar steps quietly, little more than a dusky blur
against the midnight pitch. His feet are as quiet as ever, and though he comes armed both spears are
held loosely in the same hand. There is a focus to his gaze, which falls upon the towering form of
you, but nothing to indicate any sort of animosity. He pulls up short and squats, resting with his
back against the nearby wrought-iron fence. Quiet ensues, as he both watches you and collects his
You have emoted: Benedicto stands in silence, his stare cast out towards the distant Beryl. The rain
whispers around you as it runs in rivulets on either side of the balcony upon which you stand. "You're back."
He states simply and suddenly.
Rashar blows out a puff of air, letting his presence speak for itself as he tilts his head back,
tapping rain soaked locks against the rough iron. His eyes shift, though it would take the gaze of
an owl to detect it, as he glances sidelong at his old... Friend. Rival. His continued quiet is
extended as the Knight considers memories unbothered in quite some time, considering just that
combination. And then, "So it seems. As are you, yeah?"
You have emoted: "Aye." Benedicto sighs in response, his pearl-white gaze flitting to Rashar for the
first time since his arrival. He stares at him in solemn silence, his expression unreadable.
"Would that I had you at my side then, eh?" Rashar doesn't bother to clarify what time he is
referring to. Is there a need? Any one of a dozen might crawl to mind with ease, though the tone of
his voice indicates something of import. "Always with you, and my brother. Arriving like a wildfire
and filling my life with excitement." And leaving in much the same fashion. He doesn't say it, but
it is in the lopsided grin that he flashes your way. He reaches up, dragging a hand back through his
hair, and grunts. "Things are different."
You have emoted: Benedicto has the good grace to look guilty, though the expression is replaced by a
momentary spasm of anger that flashes across his features like a bolt of lightning. "You speak as if
I made a decision to abandon you in a moment of need." He retorts in indignation. "When I left you
had everything you wanted. Women. Power. Respect. Your brother was still amongst us." He sighs in
frustration, his hand reaching out to grip the nearby rail. His voice is soft and filled with regret
as he continues, "Had I known what would happen...I would never have left."
"Power I never really cared for," Rashar returns, his own voice turning sharp with an irritation
that flits across his face, ghostlike. "And respect that I earned with blood and sweat, same as you.
" His lips pull back into something like a challenging grin, but quickly his demeanor softens. He
flips his head back again, even as he reaches out with one arm to rap at your knee with his loosely
curled fist. "Peace, Benedicto. I don't blame you. I don't even blame my brother, yeah?" Another
puff of air, which tosses a few sodden threads of hair from his eyes. "A feller's going to be how he
is. If I've learned one thing in the last..." The squatting man trails off, attempting to calculate
but eventually finishing with a shrug.
Eventually Rashar's shoulders begin to shake, as a quiet laughter momentarily overtakes him. "I
don't even know what year it is."
You have emoted: "Maelo's dead." Benedicto declares abruptly, his grip upon the rail tightning
perceptibly. He does not look at Rashar. Instead his narrowed gaze is directed out to sea, squinting
at the distant horizon. The rain runs down his face so it is difficult to tell if there is a tear
shed at this sudden, grief-filled statement.
Bene thought -> Ah my son, the guilt I feel is still like a knife in my heart. But you will be avenged!
This I promise.
"What?" Rashar says, twisting his head to glance up at your face. "Damn, I didn't even.. everything
was so chaotic after the war, and then by the time it had started settling Areka and.." He reaches
up again without thought, sinking fingers into his tangled hair and clenching a fist to hold them
there. As the weight of his arm pulls his head aside he says simply, "I am sorry. I will kill for
him, Benedicto. There will be blood upon the ground for his memory."
You have emoted: Benedicto gives a small nod as he drags the sleeve of his surcoat roughly across
his eyes. "You are one of the few people I would trust to have at my back Rashar." He states as he
lowers his arm. He turns his head so that he can look at Rashar. "I will find a way to Nazedha. I
will make them pay, not just for my sons death, but for every drop of blood they spilled and the
destruction they wrought on our home."
"I am not a sailor by trade," Rashar replies needlessly, eyes scanning the garden floor in front of
him. "But I know a thing or two of the sea. If you go, I will be there." There is little more that
need be said, between these two. A quiet word softly spoken, bearing the same weight as a vow of
iron and blood. Another pause, comfortable even as it reaches across the minutes, but then the
Idreth mutters, "I have walked these streets at night, my friend. Everything rests in the same place,
but it all feels different. I don't know what I will do, yeah?"
You have emoted: Benedicto gives a single nod in acknowledgment of the pact between the two of you.
He remains still during the silence, his stare taking in Rashar's form. "I know what you mean." He
replies at Rashar's muttering. "However, I feel that it is the space the city occupies. What it
represents rather than the actual content." He twists around to view the pyramid. "This Temple
though...I am all for the respect of the Divine. But this monstrosity that has been constructed for
sychophantic worship. I cannot condone it."
You have emoted: Turning back to view Rashar once again, Benedicto asks, "Where did you go? I
briefly read the missive you left but..." He shrugs his shoulders.
"I have yet to attend a prayer service," Rashar agrees, following your gaze. "Ours has been a life
given to service - to more than one of Them - but this?" He snorts. "This is not service. Not needed
for it. Better we build a wall, or forge a thousand blades to wield against the filth." The question
gives him pause, and he trails off almost immediately to consider the words. "Areka. I.. Here she
was, ready to step off on the greatest unicorns adventure in living memory, you know? Chasing threads
and a voice and likely to get herself whacked in the process." He shifts, curling almost vulnerably
with his side into the fence as he looks up at you, searching for something. "How could I not go?
How could I not be the blade at her side?"
You have emoted: Benedicto offers Rashar a sympathetic smile. "I understand my friend. We are
similar in so many ways." He responds whilst meeting Rashar's stare. "I, too, would not have allowed
someone I care for to go off on their own like that. Regardless of what personal things I left
His smile fading, you ask, "Where is she?"
Rashar flinches visibly at the statement's end, shifting as if stung. "I failed," he murmurs quietly,
absently, as his eyes grow distant and his gaze curiously blank.
You have emoted: Benedicto hunkers down close to Rashar. "What do you mean?" He reaches out to grip
Rashar's shoulder. "Where is Areka, Rashar?"
Bene thought -> Please let her not have fallen.
Rashar blinks rapidly, as if banishing some distant image. "She lives," he returns, sinking
uncharacteristically beneath the grasp of the larger man. "She..." The cords of muscle along his
shoulders and neck tighten as the Idreth twists his head, first one way and then the other. And then
again that series of blinks. "I failed, Benedicto. I failed." Failed.. failed.. the word echoes in
silence, trapped within the confines of the errant Knight's mind but plain to see for anyone who
You have emoted: Benedicto tries to maintain eye contact with Rashar, moving his head this way and
that as Rashar shakes his head from side to side. "She is taken? Captured? Injured?" The questions
come in a veritable barrage, an attempt to break through to him. He shakes Rashar, gently at first,
but gradually with greater force.
"Enough!" Rashar rasps, crawling back into the fence as if he might slip through those narrow iron
rods. "Enough. I don't kno-" The word clips off as the man collects himself, shaking his head. "I do
know.." Dark tangles sway as he tilts his head familiarly and fairly whispers, "I know, but I can't..
" He squares himself, meeting your gaze and muttering, "She is alive and unharmed. That, I know. I
You have emoted: Removing his hand from Rashar's shoulder, Benedicto straightens and takes a step
away from him. "Peace, my friend. I will not push you any further on the matter." His voice is
low and soothing. "I know all too well what you're feeling right now."
Your pose is now set as:
Benedicto is looking down in sympathy at Rashar.
"I hope not," Rashar murmurs bleakly, flashing again a withered attempt at that crooked grin. "What
occurs here, then? All has been quiet, yet I see the set in their shoulders as the citizens walk the
streets. The glances. I smell fear, Benedicto."
You have emoted: "I know not either." Benedicto replies, holding his hands apart helplessly.
"I missed the War, so whether it is some remnant or aftermath of that, I'm not sure." His face
hardens. "But I know this, with you and I returned, I am confident that the city has regained two of
it's staunchest defenders."
"Nothing if not that," Rashar agrees, turning again so that his back rests firmly against the
wrought iron. He lifts his arms, dragging both hands across his face and up into his hair, where
they interlace together and remain. There is a pair of soft thuds followed by the hissing of wood
against wood as the spears fall out of his lap, rolling to a quick halt nearby. He sinks down onto
his backside, seeming to curl inward as he breathes a single word, full of meaning. "Emelle."
Bene thought -> Sudden panic. I thought we could avoid this? This cannot end well.
You have emoted: Benedicto tenses at the mention of his betrothed. "What of her?" He asks in a
"What of her?" Rashar asks no one in particular, eyes fixed on the slowly brightening sky.
"Everything." His laughter belongs to another man, it seems. One far less in control of his own
faculties. His shoulders shake with it, but the shaking changes all too soon and within moments the
supremely proud Idreth is little more than a ball of limbs, with his head trapped between forearms
that rest upon his raised knees. As he stares at the stone beneath him he quietly declares, "I
really unicorns that one up, you know."
You have emoted: Benedicto watches Rashar carefully, his pearl-white gaze filled with concern for
his friend. "Rashar, calm down. You're carrying far too much guilt. You can't accept all of the
worlds burdens onto your own back. Give others the opportunity to take their share of responsibility
for their decisions."
The words might have fallen on deaf ears, for all the attention Rashar overtly pays them. Here and
there his shoulders shake, though with his face concealed it remains a mystery as to whether or not
they are sobs or the heaves of some mindless laughter. He rocks forward once, and then twice and
this time he comes up onto his knees before settling back onto his heels. The eyes that find your
are pained, tired and heavy. "What am I, my friend," he says softly, "If not a collection of broken
pieces and failures? Guilt?" He slowly uncoils, coming up to a height that approaches yours but
falls short. Not there is any sign of deference in that gaze, or in the shoulders that he rolls with
visible effort. Reaching up, he brushes at his arm as if to slap away some bit of debris. "I wanted
to go to her last night, you know. I watched from the street, but I was too afraid."
You have emoted: A myriad of expressions flit across Benedicto's face. Jealousy, irritation,
sympathy. He masters his emotions with perceptible difficulty before he responds, "She would have
been-" He struggles with the next word "-happy to see you."
Rashars thought -> Stab him. Stab him. Stab him. The thought cracks across your mind like the beat
of a war drum, and your vision flushes red for more than the amount of time it takes to bring in a
breath, and another. You calm yourself, somehow - this is a thing that you would not have been able
to do, once. Long ago. Very long ago, you think, although you cannot even recall how long you have
"I know," Rashar replies honestly, in a tone that says that somehow, the knowledge of that fact
brings him no relief. "I know," he whispers again, reaching down and grabbing the spears at his feet.
As the man rises again, he softly spins one of those deadly weapons in a loose grip and stares at
the blade with an unreadable expression on his face. "I will not turn my failure into your pain,
yeah? Or hers."
Rashar thought -> He is your friend. A better man than you, almost anyone would say it. A better
man for her, and probably for the Beacon. What have you been, but a loose blade and a sharp wit?
Let it be. Life continues beyond the darkened pit that surrounds you. Let it be bright.
You have emoted: Benedicto almost sags with relief. "I appreciate that my friend. I will admit a
momentary fear that your return would cause issue between the three of us." He runs a hand absently
through his loose tentacles. "Is she even aware of your return?" He asks with a certain amount of
"I do not think that she could not be," Rashar allows, but shrugs uncertainly. "My mind is drawn to
hers like moth to flame. If I can feel her.. " Here he pauses, smiling a pained smile. "I think that
her mind might be full of you, now. So maybe.. maybe not."
Bene thought -> A pang of panic. The sudden clenching of your innards. Jealousy? Absolutely. What if
she wants to go back to him. You were the last stallion in the stables when you returned. A pair of
comforting arms. What if- stopitstopitstopitstopit
Bene thought -> The small voice of doubt continues whispering whatifwhatifwhatifwhatif
Rashar thought -> Even now your mind reaches, searching for hers. It was not difficult to find her
the night before, to walk streets gone strange with years of absence as if pulled by a guideline,
standing until the shadows stretching out from the shop you watched grow empty of even the rats.
You have emoted: Benedicto gives a faint, troubled nod of understanding. "I see." He says simply.
Bene thought -> It is out of my hands. This will be Emelle's decision. I will have to abide by her
"You do not deserve her," Rashar states in that simple way of his, not likely intending any insult
but possibly offering it anyway. His first statement is tempered by the second, which he follows
with almost immediately. "None of us did." Movement, as he shifts one spear to the opposite hand and
reaches out for your shoulder. "But she deserves you, I think." And then he is gone, slipping back
through the garden with the sun's rays casting harshly across a back made rough with a crosswork of