Thud in the Night [Closed]

Please identify your neighbourhood location in the Topic Tag: Arata, Deja Point, Hlunn, Cinnamon Hill, The Turtle, Nutmeg Hill, The Gripe, The Pipeworks, Carptown, Windward Market, and Three Flowers.
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Faizra pezre Taci
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:59 pm
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Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:07 am

Late Night, 12 Bethas 2719 | The Turtle
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Faizra made her way over the Arch of Abandonment, bare feet light against the stones of the bridge. The hot sun shine down from overhead, and the winds were calm, no more of the heavy sandstorms of the weeks before drifting in on the air.

Faizra wore very nearly all she owned, skirt over pants, one battered shirt hanging off her torso, the other wrapped around her head in a makeshift covering, and the stained, once-white cloak over it all. She moved quickly and easily through the liar’s market crowd, dura and arata alike shying away from every other customer, but most of all the dirty-looking wika.

Still, a market was a market, and the air was filled with the shouts of vendors and fresh hot food. Faizra could smell it; there was bread nearby, and for a moment she could think of nothing else, the warm scent filling her entire body. She imagined she could taste it, fresh from the oven, so hot it would nearly burn her hands, and her stomach twisted and ached, hollow beneath her ribs.

But Faizra didn’t have time for imagined pleasantries. She wiped her wet mouth on her arm and found a seat against one of the old gatehouses, sitting on the ground and resting back against the stones. She sat cross-legged, skirt tucked over her legs to hide them, one long skinny arm extended out over her knee, palm up and hand cupped in a pleading gesture.

Faizra fixed her gaze on the passing crowd. Some days she spoke, begging for coin; today her head was too light and her stomach too empty to do more than sit and scout. She used her eyes as a weapon, focusing on the passing arata, as if to tell them: your secret coming to this place is not safe. I see you, and I know you for what you are, you who profits off the lies of others. She let those words fill her mind and seep out through her gaze.

It could not, perhaps, have been said to work well, but a lonely coin or two tumbled into Faizra’s hand over the next few hours.

"Hey! You! Ma’ehau!" The approaching Saffron Street runner was marked with a yellow scarf, and he was scowling down at the offending wika, one hand on a heavy baton hanging at his waist.

Faizra scrambled to her feet, precious coins gripped tightly in her hand, spat at the stones between her and the runner, and took off, adrenaline surging through her. As she ran, her free hand tugged at the head wrapping, loosening the more brightly colored shirt, and she pulled it free, shoving it under one arm. Faizra skirted through the crowd, fast and agile. She spotted a coin purse peeking from a fold of wrapped fabric, and changed direction, snatching at it. It came loose in her fingers, and she gripped it with a faint rattle as it tumbled towards the ground and never stopped moving. By the time a faint cry went up in the distance, Faizra was already halfway down the next street of crowded stalls.

Faizra was breathing hard by the time she stopped, crouching hidden in the lengthening shadows of early evening in a small alley just off the market. Her stomach growled, and she turned the coin purse over in her hand with a smile. It was light, but there was enough at least for a meal. The wika pulled the discarded shirt on over her head, smoothing out the brighter fabric with one hand, and strolled back out into the street as if she belonged, the coins tucked into her pocket and the purse itself left behind. It would’ve been smarter, better to go somewhere else, where she hadn’t already attracted too much attention today, but the desperate need for food in her stomach was too much.

"No charity today, adame," the aproned man standing at the heavy spit of meat was friendly with his tone and words, but his hand tightened on the heavy cleaver he used to carve his meat.

"I ent need it," Faizra replied, extending a dirty hand with two coins visible between her fingers.

The man scowled at her. "Bajea! And where’d they come from?"

Faizra scowled right back. "They’s good coin." It was an effort not to look left and right to check for runners, but she held her gaze on the man, coins extended, waiting.

The man snorted, but he turned to the meat and his knife flashed, and he took the coins, and Faizra left holding flatbread wrapped around spiced meat and chopped vegetables, clutching the precious thing in both hands. She made her way back across the market, heading towards the Porthouse Gate, counting on the busy Way of the Book, and turning off it into a small dark alley, crouching to gnaw hungrily at the meal.

Faizra hadn’t had more than a few bites when she heard sandals clipping on the stones before her. She looked up to see three young men before her, dirty shirts and pants indistinguishable from the rest, but bright red scarves wrapped at their waists marking them as Red Rats. Faizra glanced back over her shoulder in time to see two more behind her.

"You tell Kofi we ent wan’ none of his trash ‘ere," one of the men grinned, revealing rotten teeth. "F’you can still talk after we finish wit’ you."

"I ent wit’ him," Faizra said, rising slowly from her crouch. "No trouble."

"No trouble," another of the men echoed. "Fer us."

Faizra whispered to the mona; a bright illusion of lights filled the alleyway, weak and flickering, and she turned and ran, knife flashing out at one of the boys behind her, doing her best to shove her way past them. It nearly worked - then someone grabbed at her, and held tightly to her shirt. Faizra felt her own knife score flesh again, but she couldn’t fight them all, and a shove caught her off-guard, knocking her to the ground.

Faizra was half-lying on her knife then, hands covering her head as sandaled feet kicked at her ribs. Someone else grabbed at her again to lift her, there was a blaze of white-hot pain in her side, and Faizra fought and thrashed, flailing out with her knife and this time she screamed for the mona, and a shower of white hot sparks burst through the air. The men screamed and the hand holding her loosened and Faizra took off, running all out and vanishing deeper into the alley.

Faizra crouched in a shadow the moment she could stop, kneeling first then lying on the ground curled up, and begged the mona to shroud her, eyes squeezing shut. She wasn’t awake long enough to feel whether the spell took hold, growing blackness closing in over her.

It was well late when Faizra woke again, still lying curled up on her side on the ground. She groaned, softly, and vomited, losing the few bites she’d managed to eat to the wave of pain that started as a hot burning in her side and spread from there. Slowly, shaking, fighting uncooperative muscles, Faizra eased herself up off the cobblestones onto her knees. Her knife was still there, and she gripped at it, fumbling it back into her sheath. Every movement hurt - her ribs, her arms, her legs, and most of all her side.

Faizra glanced down to see a bloody stain spreading out over her front, visible even in the dark of night. She coughed, sending more pain through it, and wiped bloody spittle onto her arm, breathing hard. She couldn’t stay here, Faizra told herself; she was still well in Red Rat territory. She didn’t know how much time had passed or whether they might still be hunting her. Slowly, she lurched to her feet, movements stiff and graceless, and stumbled down the alley, one hand dragging painfully against the wall to keep her upright, the other pressing against the wound on her side.

Slowly, slowly. Faizra wobbled a little more with each step, her head light, fire dancing up and down her side. She tried to think of the words for a healing spell, but they were gone, forgotten, and all she could do was to keep walking. She turned at some point, and then again, and then there came a moment when Faizra knew it was too much, and that in a few more steps she would collapse. Her hand was wet and sticky with blood.

Faizra glanced around. At least she would try to collapse off the street. She stumbled a few steps towards what looked like a shopfront, knocking painfully into something with a loud bang, and dropped into a low crouch, doubled forward against her legs, half her body resting sideways against something hard.

"Mung way t’die," Faizra muttered to herself. She was keening softly with pain, only half able to hear the sound. Slowly her eyes flickered shut; the world was swimming too much for her to make anything much out anyway.

word count: 1564

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Ioyas Esef pez Roh
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:09 pm
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Location: Thul'Ka, Mugroba
Race: Galdor
: Typography is power.
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Writer: Muse
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Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:14 am

​​23rd of Bethas, 2719
​​BETWEEN the HOURS PRESS | Late EVENING

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​​
​​Flood Season was just around the corner, literally just a couple of fistfuls of days away, and the various political parties that made up the writhing, sweaty mess of Thul'Ka proper were campaigning hard for themselves. Criers in the streets. Tents of food and false promises. Posters on every plastered wall from here down the Turga and back again.

Who made those posters?

He did—that is to say, he made some of them.

Ioyas felt as though he made all of them, honestly, but he knew that wasn't really true. Right? Right.

Yar'aka. Maybe.

Windows were open to what little breeze danced over the Turtle's high walls and between the narrow streets. A couple of moths had fluttered their way in to dance around his many phosphor lights that illuminated the press room, especially attracted to the flickering flame of the lone oil lantern on his worktable, the tall Mugrobi bent over the large lithography stone with a pencil between his teeth and a wax crayon in skilled fingers, meticulously shading the expressive face of yet another politician for his final run of color. Her unfinished face smiled so blankly up at his sore, exhausted self.

Sweat trailed down his neck, dribbled between his shoulder blades, and pooled against the shirt he'd let fall from his shoulders and hang uselessly at his hips. By Hulali's tits, it was already so flooding hot, and the rains hadn't even come yet, the gentle caress of what little respite Mugroba could call a winter so fleeting. He shooed the moth with a waggle of ink-smudged fingers, pausing to lean back from his work with a groan. Ioyas realized he had no clue what time it was, what house had slipped past while he attempted to finish yet another series of posters before rainy season was upon him, if only so he could see his own work staring back at him on the streets, work for parties that had no interest in inviting imbali to govern beside them, let alone the races on whose back Thul'Ka had been raised so gloriously from the sand, dressed in white and cradled in the delicate embrace of Mugroba's blessed, Hulali-given rivers.

"'Daji!" He called around the chewed wood of his pencil, as if shouting for the boy would wake him, as if the child wasn't already curled upstairs sound asleep. Silence answered him, and the printmaker hummed, setting down his wax crayon and rubbing a palm over his tired face, fingers curling into the linen scarf he'd wrapped his head with to keep the sweat from getting into his eyes. Somewhere on the worktable were his discarded spectacles and a now very cold cup of kofi.

Time for a smoke or a drink—or both—he decided, accidentally letting his pencil clatter to the floor. Only it fell with far more force than it should have or sounded that way: a loud bang against the large wooden door that opened to the Way of the Book at this house of the night was utterly unexpected and to say that Ioyas had to make efforts not to crawl right out of the rich darkness of his skin would have been a light understatement,

"Bajea!" The oshoor quipped in a sharp inhale, gathering his field toward himself almost out of pure instinct, aware that most of those who knew him only knew Ioyas Esef pez Roh as imbala and not as he really was. Of course the noise wasn't enough to wake Tendaji, and so he curled fingers around his small oil lantern and made his way through his workroom toward the shop entrance, the motion of his body fluttering the hundred-odd large posters hung from the ceiling on a clever and organized system of wires, each of which was already printed with three layers of color.

The One-Sun Party: Welcoming a New Dawn for All Mugrobi People in 2719

What a flooding ridiculous slogan.

Setting his lantern on the floor, Ioyas undid locks and slid his front door to one side with a knee, tucking into an alcove that allowed him to keep the door open on cooler days and allow much-needed air to circulate through the stuffy lower floor of his workshop and home. As he began to shift the door to one side, however, a dark, bloodied form flopped toward his sandaled feet, some young, obviously injured creature sprawling into the threshold of his bindery,

"Oh, for flood's sake."

The printmaker had experienced some strange offerings left in gratitude for his work, and this was not one of them. Blood had pooled on his front steps and dawn would bake it into a permanent stain against the fired clay and sand. Battered but feminine features were highlighted by the flickering ruddy glow of his lantern.

He sighed.

This was a most unusual occurrence here in the sheltered safety of the Turtle, and as he leaned down to check and see if the woman was breathing, he felt the strange unfamiliarity of her field. She was no arata and perhaps not another oshoor left on his doorstep, which meant she was either a wika or someone else entirely. Wiping his hands first on the dark, flowing linen of his pants, he reached to hover a few fingers under her nose and near her mouth to feel for breath, shallow though it was,

"Ayah! You're at least alive. Conscious, apparently not. Just my godsbedamned luck." Ioyas grumbled, the baritone of his voice a rumble in his chest. He was no healer, not at all skilled in Living Conversation. He could stitch to bind books and melt lead to make metal type, but a body? Oh, sweet Turga waters, no. He knew nothing of bodies other than how to please them. Chewing the inside of his cheek, he made up his mind to take the risk and move her, aware that she was apparently still bleeding.

Getting her upstairs and sending his good for nothing apprentice out the door at this house to find the doctor he did happen to know was apparently the best he could do for a stranger. Arms moved to snake around the limp body, used to lugging heavy cast iron equipment and tall reams of cotton paper around his shop. Slowly, carefully, the oshoor lifted the injured woman up to cradle her with every intention of carrying her through his shop and up to his actual residence on the second floor, hoping not to leave too much of a trail of blood through his entire residence.

Using his hips to roll the door closed again but unable to lock it properly, Ioyas turned to make his way toward the old stone stairs, hefting the underfed, injured body closer to himself,

"Tendaji! Wake up!"
word count: 1202
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Faizra pezre Taci
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Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:59 pm
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Race: Wick
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Writer: moralhazard
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Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:06 am

Late Night, 12 Bethas 2719 | Between the Hours Press
The sun beat down hot overhead, but on the river it didn’t matter, the sharp spray of water cooling even when one wasn’t swimming.

“Come on, keep up!” Teru’s laughing voice taunted Faizra as Teru leapt long-legged from log to stone to board, dancing across the river with an effortless ease. It wasn’t the rainy season, not yet, but the stretch of river where a bridge had once stood was never calm, and it was a game they’d played many times to try and cross without getting wet. It was different every time based on the currents and the debris, never the same crossing twice. Today Hulali was laughing, and the current churned with particular and almost playful force, snatching away footholds that had been secure a moment earlier.

Faizra was breathing hard, struggling behind her older cousin. “Teru, wait – Teru!” Faizra teetered at the edge of a particularly long jump and stopped, her momentum lost to fear and indecision, staring off the pillar at the churning river waters below. The edge of the bank where Teru had leapt was crumbling before her eyes, leaving inches more than her cousin had had to cross still before her, a distance she knew she couldn’t cross.

“Can’t stop, Faizra!” Teru was standing on the middle bank, hands on her hips, her skin glinting smooth and dark beneath the hot sun, dressed as simply as Faizra was in a loincloth and breastband. “If you stop, you can never make it!”

Faizra took a few steps back, teetering on the pillar, small dark bare toes gripping at it to keep her from falling sideways. She hesitated.

(A rumble swept through her, a distant echo that didn’t belong here on the river – there were no flash floods, not this season. Words too, not Teru’s, calling to wake up.)

“Ye spitchworthless junk, then?” Teru called.

“I ent!” Faizra yelled. She ran for it, bare feet slapping against the wood and leapt forward, nudging off a rock and landing on the middle bank with a triumphant cry.

“Fair benny!” Teru crowed, as proud as Faizra. “C’mon then,” she grinned, “the far bank’s where the fruit’s at! Or d’you wanna find that Hamis reached it first and ate up every last bite?” She turned and seemed to vanish, leaping nimbly towards the far bank.

“I’m coming!” Faizra ran forward, leaping off the edge of the bank. Her wet foot landed too hard on a board floating in the water and it pitched, tossing her sideways. Faizra shrieked, and then she was plunging deep beneath fast moving waters, the currents slapping at her.

Faizra flailed and then years of practice become instinct took over – she held her breath and kicked, legs pushing once at the murky depths, then again, purposefully, and again, arms joining in. There was no disorientation, not for her, and she swam unerringly towards the light streaming in murky green through the water above, until her head broke free of the surface, sending a splash in every direction –



Faizra’s eyes jerked open. She was in the river – she was on the street in the Turtle – but this wasn’t either, she was indoors, and there were two arms gripping her tightly against a strong chest, and an unfamiliar field pressing against her own. No imbali, then, despite their location, but no wika, none of the familiarity which might have been comforting there, but no arata neither, not all organized and neat like they thought the world was. Faizra flailed, struggling feebly, and then, much like in the river, instinct and practice won out over panic.

A bloody hand centered itself against the chest of the man carrying her and shoved with all the force she could muster, the surprisingly hard push enough to pitch her out of his arms. Faizra hit the stone steps they’d been climbing, hard, her hip slamming into the edge of one with an audible thump. She let out a sharp hiss of pained breath, but she didn’t stop, scrabbling back up and over stone until her shoulder blades hit a wall behind her, leaving bloody smears from her hands and the tangled mess of her clothing across the stone.

Battered didn’t half describe it; Faizra’s nose was bloody, one eyebrow split, with a bruise on the other cheekbone. One bony arm was covered in a smattering of small burns, shiny against rich dark skin. Her skirt was bloody and tangled and had caught on the stairs and hiked up to reveal equally dirty pants beneath. On her upper body, there was a mess of shirts and what looked like it had once been a cloak, half stuck to her and all filthy. Her hand plunged beneath her clothing and emerged with a sharp, bloodied knife, and she crouched back against the wall halfway up the stairwell, bearing her teeth at the tall not-imbali before her and keeping her knife firmly between them, drawing her field in taut and ready. Her eyes darted past him, searching for a door, an exit. It had been a flooding mistake to go up the stairs. The way out had to be down, which meant he was between her and the door. Injured as she was, she’d never manage -

Her side. The cool, easy focus of adrenaline was wearing off, and the hand not busy with the knife pressed against the wound in an almost involuntary attempt to keep from losing any more blood as the pain surged back into focus. Faizra let out a harsh hiss of pain – both hands shook – but she didn’t lower the knife, her gaze locked again on the strange man in front of her. “Where’m I?” Faizra asked, suspiciously. The words tasted like blood in her mouth, and her voice was thick and hoarse.

word count: 1026
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Ioyas Esef pez Roh
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:09 pm
Topics: 1
Location: Thul'Ka, Mugroba
Race: Galdor
: Typography is power.
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Writer: Muse
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Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:39 pm

​​23rd of Bethas, 2719
​​BETWEEN the HOURS PRESS | Late EVENING
​​
​​Where Ioyas had always been a terrible sleeper—from infancy, apparently—his very young apprentice could be said to have the opposite problem. He was a marvelous sleeper, that boy, and at nearly twelve years old could sleep half the precious day away despite the heat and regardless of how much work his master had prepared for him. Then again, it was some godsforsaken house of the night, probably closer to dawn anyway, and so there was little Ioyas could do to begrudge the youth for taking more than one shout of his name to wake up, to blearily respond to his calls up the stairs with the slow creak of wood overhead.

He wasn't entirely attempting to be quiet, either, not thinking about the kind of surprise he may cause the broken thing he'd found on his doorstep. He was, at least, wanting to help, however, but his relatively sheltered life in the Turtle afforded him a casual lack of caution that he forgot at this odd hour between exhaustion and mindlessness wasn't necessarily wise. Amber eyes flicked down over her face, noting she'd truly taken quite the beating with a scowl. Such violence was rare among the imbali, but it wasn't entirely unheard of. A few restless gangs roamed the high-walled island, more than willing to express their discontentment against innocents.

The printmaker was halfway up the stairs when the bloodied creature in his arms revealed herself to be very much alive and not quite as unconscious as he'd assumed. She struggled, shoving away from him and he didn't resist her, loosening his grip and taking one—two—not quite three backwards steps down, ramming the carved stone handrail into his lower back with a mumbled noise of pain. The woman tumbled, hard, and had Ioyas not been wincing for himself, he would have also winced for her,

"Bajea!"

He grunted, raising his hands in defensiveness and as an attempt at expressing his innocuous involvement in whatever her situation had been before she thought it a good idea to bleed all over his front steps. Eyes widened and his breath hitched at the knife she drew and the threatening look on her young face despite the blood and bruising that marred it. He instinctually gathered his field, the shifting of mona in the narrow, curved space of his stairwell,

"This is my home."

Ioyas spoke quietly in response to her rasp of a question, hiding any fear from his voice as he attempted to stay calm, attention shifting from the knife held in trembling hands over a battered body still oozing blood, "You passed out on my doorstep and—"

"Hulali's tits! Ioyas!" Tendaji's footsteps could be heard before his teenaged voice groggily shouted from a few stairs above Faizra, "We're bein' robbed!"

"Yaka—she's—" The tall printmaker shook his head quickly as if he was going to roll his eyes next but didn't. He swallowed hard, pulse rapid and loud against his temples, the surprisingly unwelcome chill of fear gnawing down his spine far colder than any sweat that lingered there. It was with great effort that he kept his volume down, that he kept some semblance of control on his face, "Daji, she's hurt. I need you to get Uhabe pez Nabir. You know, the physician near the Bridge of Discernment?"

What Tendaji thought he needed to do was fetch a few Saffron Runners, the still doetoed field of the boy buzzing with surprise and horror. The young oshoor was clearly terrified of the sight of a bloodied woman and a blade threatening his sole protector and employer, "E-e-ea. I know him. I will go—I am going!"

The two spoke quickly around her, the boy carefully, slowly retreating back up the steps because he could leave by the back door instead, but he hovered in the threshold between the living room and the stairs, wild eyes transfixed on the red stains, on Ioyas' admittedly more worried than he'd like to admit sort of expression,

"See? I'm going to get you a doctor, alright? Let's put the knife down—get you upstairs—see what I can do while we wait. There's no need for that weapon here. You're safe. I'm—I'm just a bookbinder, not a physician I'm afraid. But we can stem that bleeding and clean you up a little, adame. Get some water. Ea?" The tall oshoor drew his field closer, dampening it with practiced ease, attempting to appear far less threatening than a galdor in the imbali stronghold of the Turtle must honestly appear. He risked reaching his hands toward the woman,

"Can I help you upstairs?"
word count: 850
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Faizra pezre Taci
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:59 pm
Topics: 5
Race: Wick
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Post Templates: Plot Notes
Writer: moralhazard
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Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:25 pm

Late Night, 12 Bethas 2719
Between the Hours Press
The man lifted and spread his hands, eyes wide and focused on the knife in Faizra’s hand. She could feel his field flex and spread in the enclosed stairs, and her own surged in response. Faizra was very nearly on the point of casting - something, a distraction, one that would let her stun the man and slip down the stairs past him. A lamp might be enough in the darkness - her gaze dropped to his feet. A gust of wind might send him tumbling down the stairs, but if he landed well she’d still have to fight her way past him. Faizra wasn’t even sure if her hold on consciousness was strong enough for a spell, let alone a spell and a run, and she wouldn’t bet even a coin she didn’t on a spell and a run and a fight.

A push spell then. Hold him back against the wall and go while he was distracted -

Faizra hadn’t heard the pounding of footsteps above or else maybe she had but she’d thought it to be the loud throbbing in her head. The voice shouting down the stairs was young and afraid and utterly unexpected, startling her badly.

Faizra gritted her teeth, eyes flicking up towards the young boy. His field crept around the edges of her own. Two magic users, even if one was a babe. She didn’t stand a chance, but flood it if she was going to give in without a fight. She kept the focus on her body and the knife on the larger man - he was clearly the bigger threat - and heat and tension flooded her field in preparation. A burst of lights then, to blind them both in the narrow stairs and she’d have to hope it was enough -

The word ‘physician’ penetrated Faizra’s admittedly tenuous grasp on the situation. She was gasping for breath just crouching against the wall, half-erect at best, hunched over her side with bent knees but refusing to be on the ground, refusing entirely.

The boy retreated up. So there was another exit then. Faizra didn’t move - couldn’t move. Her hold on the mona flickered and faded, her field diffusing out again, yellow-shifted with the hot fear that was pulsing through her. That was what it was - fear, sharp like the sour tang of old sweat, drenching her. The man was talking slowly and gently. Faizra blinked at him. The snarl was gone now, lost, replaced with an almost blank look, thoroughly dazed.

Faizra looked down at the knife in her hand, taking her gaze fully off of the man for the first time since she’d hit the stairs. Most of what she could hear was still the pained rasp of her breathing and the noisy throbbing in her head, but enough of what he was saying registered. A physician, coming here. Water. Her throat was dry and desperate thinking about it. Something about books, which didn’t make sense, and so which Faizra summarily ignored.

The point of the knife wobbled and lowered. Faizra’s hand slipped a little, and the blade clattered against the stairs, knocking noisily against the stone. She had meant to put it away, but at the first hint of loosening her fingers gave up their grip entirely, and the knife fell, pitching off the edge of the step and tumbling down, two, three, four steps to lie precariously below. Faizra watched it fall; it might have been a floodplain away, for all the good it did her now.

Faizra looked back at the man. She had no weapons left; no knife, no magic. She knew better than to try and cast now, and maybe she always had even with all her grand plans to escape him. There was a sheen of blood on the man’s hands, awkward patches of it gleaming in the light. Her blood. He had been carrying her. Carrying her into his house. He had sent the boy for a doctor. Faizra hadn’t ever known one, not a proper doctor as lived in Thul Ka, but she was familiar enough with the concept.

Would a doctor - know?

A new pulse of fear swept through her field, and Faizra flinched and pressed back against the wall away from the outstretched hands, still gripping the bloodied wound with her hand. The one that had been holding the knife, now free, groped against the wall, smearing more blood against it in the search for something she could hold to keep her upright. She stared at the man in front of her. It wasn’t just her hands that were shaking now; it was all of her, wracked with trembles as weak muscles did their best to stay engaged. At some point her knees had buckled a little; rather than being hunched over she was truly crouching now, curled half against the wall, knees jutting out against the blood-soaked fabric of her skirt, hand wedged more firmly against the wound by the awkward angle of her body.

Faizra could just barely hear a faint whimpering noise, and realized that it must be coming from her. With effort, real and tangible and maybe even visible, she pulled herself back towards focus, tongue pressing over dry, cracked lips as she tried to summon the strength to speak.

Safe. He had said she was safe. Faizra didn’t believe him, but she didn’t have much of a choice either.

“Ea. Ea, boemo,” Faizra wasn’t sure what she was agreeing to at this point, but she was sure she couldn’t stay here. Stone stairs weren’t such a great place to be with a razor thin hold on consciousness. She shuddered, fingers sliding feebly against the wall, and shoved up towards standing.

Off Topic
Rolling for consciousness! 1-2: Faizra faints again; 3-4: Faizra’s knees buckle but she stays conscious and doesn’t fall; 5-6: Faizra stands successfully

SidekickBOTToday at 6:08 AM
@moralhazard: 1d6 = (1) = 1

It was a mistake. The black edges that had been threatening at the corner of her vision swelled and swarmed her, and Faizra lost whatever tenuous hold she had had on consciousness with the surge of lightness to her head. Faizra had only been half to her feet, but her eyes went dark as if a candle had been blown out behind them, and she crumpled towards the stairs up, falling hard and fast.

word count: 1132
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Ioyas Esef pez Roh
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:09 pm
Topics: 1
Location: Thul'Ka, Mugroba
Race: Galdor
: Typography is power.
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Writer: Muse
Contact:

Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:45 pm

​​23rd of Bethas, 2719
​​BETWEEN the HOURS PRESS | Late EVENING
​​
​​The tall oshoor had managed to live most of his life in relative peace, save for the wrestling he did with heavy, cast iron machinery, lithography stones, and molten metal. He'd been in a few fights as a child, especially as a young teen with a doetoed, burgeoning field among his imbali peers. He'd learned to swing a fist almost as soon as he'd learned to dampen his monic signature, though his lean strength was far better suited to running than it was to defending. Whatever trouble his sharp tongue had often gotten him into, his quick feet usually got him out of.

Here in the narrow, stuffy stairwell of his own home, he had nowhere to really escape to.

The bloodied woman was a feral, frightened thing, and Ioyas had little but the calmness of his baritone voice to use as his own protection. Tendaji appeared, untimely and awkward, but it was clear the boy caught their injured guest off-guard as her gathering glamour scattered in surprise. His apprentice fled the way he'd come, out into the night through alleys only children knew and twists and turns in the back streets toward the Bridge to find thee esteemed physician pez Nabir who was definitely asleep and would definitely be annoyed with such a wake up.

Oh well. Ioyas could afford the price.

The tall printmaker just kept talking, one foot tentatively raising to the next step, pressing forward, open-palmed hands raised in her direction. Her hands were shaking and finally her fingers loosened and the metal blade clattered onto the cool stone, tumbling past him even as he used the moment to take another cautious step upward as if he were approaching a wounded animal in some forgotten corner of the Liar's Market.

Amber eyes flicked to the smears of blood poor Daji would have to clean off his walls, then back to the woman just in time to hear her slur her agreement, her body struggling to keep her conscious,

"Domea—"

She tipped and he planted his feet, luckily close enough for long arms to reach out and catch her before she hit any steps, quickly moving upward to meet her crumpled, limp form with a hiss of breath through grit teeth. Carefully adjusting his grip while precariously balanced between the two floors of his home, he grunted and hefted the bleeding, fainted woman up again, leaning a shoulder heavily against one wall for support and balance as he carried them both up the stairs into his family home. He'd just have to get the knife later. He wasn't about to bother with it now. Slipping off his shoes at the informal threshold between the stairs and the living space proper, he padded his way quietly out of the little foyer and into the main, open space of the living area.

Above the impressive print shop at street level was a two-story house that received ample breeze, just enough sun, and plenty of shade. He'd grown up here, he and his sister and his parents, and after his parents had passed and sister moved out, he'd made the place more or less his own.

Meaning, it was mostly full of books.

Grimoires, old scrolls, ancient texts, modern literature. He collected it all. He collated it. Rebound it. Hoarded it. Read every page. The main open room may as well have been a library, walls decked out with shelves. The floor was covered in faded rugs, the large windows open to the late night breeze and the low settee and cushions set about in a pleasing arrangement to receive guests that never really came. Herbs and a few other plants grew in a window box, and a few small, phosphor lights hung from the ceiling, illuminating the room in a soft, amber glow.

Rugs could be replaced or washed, and so Ioyas slowly knelt and laid the young woman down in the middle of the room, reaching for a cushion for her head and arranging her body carefully on her back. He glanced over her bloodied form, attempting to discern if she was still armed with more sharp objects. Seeing none, he sighed, resisting the urge to rub a stained palm over his sweaty face.

Water. Maybe some towels. Something to put pressure on the wound while they waited. Hopefully, for the young woman's sake, it wasn't too late in terms of blood loss, and while he was not at all a Living sorcerer, he knew enough to keep her stable before the doctor actually could arrive. Standing, warily watching her while he took a few slow paces back and then disappeared into the rest of his house. He washed his hands and arms in the kitchen, pumping the water into the large basin of a sink and then wiping the handle clean, ignoring the mess that had been made of his clothes while he filled a pitcher, wet a few small woven towels.

He grabbed a few dry ones, too, lithe fingers curling into one small, wooden drinking cup before he made his way back to the woman on the floor.
Settling next to her again, he set all of his things down and set to work. Fortunately or unfortunately, Ioyas had little sense of personal shame, let alone much of a concern for the physical propriety of others when they were oozing blood into the rugs on his floor. While making polite attempts at modesty, he moved to lift her shirt and check her wounds, noting where entry points were and lingering over bruises,

"What kind of trouble are you in, hmm, adame?" The tall oshoor hummed under his breath, talking to himself as he set to work, "And what flooding erseholes would do this to anyone? Drown it all, what a damned mess."

Wiping what he could with wet towels, he was kind enough to gently clean her battered face, making attempts to clean for the physician and to reduce the risk of infection. She was, as far as he could tell by the sensation of her glamour and by her features, a witch, making her an uncommon sight here on the Turtle. He wondered where she'd come from and how long she'd been scraping by on the island of imbali, her appearance suggesting that she could've benefited from a few more regular meals.

Once he was somewhat satisfied with his work, he folded a dry towel and pressed it against her oozing side, other hand poised and ready to stop her from struggling or attempting to escape, though he warily assumed she wouldn't wake up again.

It would still be at least half an hour before Tendaji would burst through the back door in the kitchen, panting and sweating, spry Uhabe right behind him with his doctor's bag and his sputtering oil lantern. Thank the gods, the boy didn't also bring any Saffron Runners, his apprentice making the right decision to keep things quiet and safe for their uninvited guest,

"What happened here?" The older imbala was breathing hard, shoving his bag at the younger oshoor while he paused to wash his hands much as Ioyas had, waiting for the printmaker to come and pump the water for him as was expected for guests. Having forgotten that the taller Mugrobi was also an oshoor, he couldn't help but wince at the brush of his field, eyes widening for a moment as he remembered and lip curling for a moment as if he thought to refuse the man any assistance at all. Thankfully, he wasn't here on his account.

"Other than she was bleeding on my doorstep? I don't have a flooding clue. Perhaps she was robbed and fled onto the island looking for shelter. Perhaps she was chased. I haven't heard any Runner bells ringing so I don't think she was evading them." Quipped the printmaker, not missing the facial expression of the physician, choosing to leave out the details of her panic and her near-casting and her knife.

Uhabe grunted at the summation of events and hooked a bearded chin toward the hearth in the kitchen, "Start me a small, hot fire. In case I need it, pe'a."

Ioyas looked to Tendaji who looked to the hearth with a sigh, the boy handing off the leather bag to his master and setting to work lighting a fire while the two men made their way back into the living room.
word count: 1485
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Faizra pezre Taci
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:59 pm
Topics: 5
Race: Wick
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Post Templates: Plot Notes
Writer: moralhazard
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:25 am

Late Night, 12 Bethas 2719
Between the Hours Press
Unconscious, Faizra’s body was light enough in Ioyas’s arms once more, and at least her dead weight was easier to manage the flailing, sharp thing she had become when conscious. She was still breathing, the muted rise and fall of her chest surprisingly steady as Ioyas carried her up the stairs and deposited her on the floor.

Faizra’s torso was smattered with the dark beginnings of bruises as well, deep purple and blues welling beneath her dark skin. Most were barely visible in the dim light, but there was one particularly big one splayed across her ribs. Seeing beneath her shirts wouldn’t do much to change Ioyas’s conviction that she was underfed; her skin was stretched as tight as a drum over her ribs, and he could count them effortlessly. She wore a breastband as filthy as the rest of her, preserving at least some faint modesty beneath Ioyas’s eyes. The shirts and cloak were sticking to her side already, blood-soaked, and her whole body jerked violently as he peeled them away. Eyes fluttered behind closed eyelids, and her breath hitched, but she didn’t wake, and a few moments later she seemed to smooth back out.

The wound itself was small, considering how much blood it had produced, a ragged slit in her side that was still sluggishly oozing blood. Other than the bruises her torso was mostly unmarked but for a long scar along the left side of her ribs, a raised line that was clearly healed, but a lighter brown than the rest of her, still an angry reminder of some previous injury. The cloths that Ioyas wiped over her would come away not just bloody but grimy too, and there was a smell of old sweat to her, beneath the more metallic tang of blood. For better or worse, she didn’t wake or even stir at his ministrations, her breathing settled into a more regular rhythm.

For Faizra, there was no memory of Ioyas’s laborious journey up the stairs nor the gentle cleaning of her body. She woke lying on her back on something strange and soft, dazed and still no more than half-conscious. She was alone when she awoke, vaguely aware of the hum of unfamiliar noises coming from not too far away. They danced in and out at the edges of her consciousness. Once more, pain returned moments after awareness did, and Faizra closed her eyes again, breathing slowly and evenly through it.

She was still alive, then. She hadn’t quite been sure.

Once the realization had had time to sink in, Faizra opened her eyes again. She started to try to sit, but a sharp slash of pain from her side put a stop to that, and she sank back against whatever was beneath her. She closed her eyes to make the most of her other senses, and sluggish fingers explored, slowly, starting at what seemed to be a rug and tentatively feeling their way along her body. Her shirts had been pulled up, and Faizra’s questing fingers encountered a side that wasn’t as bloody as she’d have expected. The soft thing against the throbbing injury seemed to be a spongy cloth of some sort. From what she could feel of her legs, she still wore her skirt and pants, heavy and sodden with blood and resting against her like a blanket.

Slower, Faizra’s eyes opened again. Her hand stilled into motionlessness against her side, the effort of having moved around already sapping what little strength she had. She tried to think, to remember. She had been in the Turtle; she had eaten. She knew that, although the thought of food was foreign and distant, the pain too immediate for any other physical sensations to hope to compete with it. The alley; the Red Rats had come for her there, thinking her part of Kofi’s plans. That desema. If Faizra ever saw him again, she would pay him back for each hit she’d taken there, and more besides.

And yet, she certainly was not in an alley now. Faizra pushed and prodded at her memory. She had woken in the alley – she remembered stumbling down a street. It flooded back, slowly, Hulali gracing her with remembrance – the stone staircase, the tall man with wide eyes and a strange field and blood-stained hands slowly approaching. His home; she remembered he had said she was in his home. So that was it. Faizra had no hope of knowing how long ago that had been, thoroughly disoriented. It was still cool, at least. Night, then, but still or again?

The effort of thinking was nearly as draining as moving had been. Faizra’s eyes flickered shut again, her breathing easing out once more. The dark waters of sleep had nearly closed over her again when a burst of unfamiliar voices sounded from somewhere nearby. The sharp spike of adrenaline was enough to wake her again, and Faizra turned her head towards the source of it, dark eyes blinking heavily.

There were two men approaching, one carrying what looked like a heavy bag. Exhaustion and fear warred, and fear surged ahead towards victory. Faizra struggled to rise, breaths shallow and painful. Her field was too weak to register the emotion, small and slight and close to her skin. Her body seemed heavy, as if whatever blood was left in her veins had thickened to weigh her down. It wasn’t just that the effort of sitting up was painful; Faizra couldn’t do it, too-weak muscles failing her, exhaustion winning out. She slumped back against the ground, palms pressing into the carpet beneath her before softening and laying half-curled and relaxed against the ground. Speaking would have been hard with her tongue thick and swollen in her mouth and her throat half-closed with dryness; Faizra didn’t – couldn’t – manage more than a pained grunt.

The doctor, Faizra realized, belatedly. The man with the field, the one who had called her adame and told her she was safe – he had brought a doctor. And if not, then there was nothing she could do about it anyway. Faizra’s eyes threatened to close, her head heavy and aching, but she kept them open. Whether they meant her harm or not, Faizra intended to be awake for it, at least as long as her strength held out.

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