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3 mos ago
Current "Þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg." - Deor.
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2 yrs ago
"Point me out the happy man and I will point you out either egotism, selfishness, evil - or else an absolute ignorance."
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Hwær cwom mearg? Hwær cwom mago?
Hwær cwom maþþumgyfa?
Hwær cwom symbla gesetu?
Hwær sindon seledreamas?
Eala beorht bune!
Eala byrnwiga!
Eala þeodnes þrym!
Hu seo þrag gewat,
genap under nihthelm,
swa heo no wære.

Most Recent Posts

Zakroti Unalim

Interacting with: Aymiria Unalim @Amethyst, Aurora Liesma @WeepingLiberty


Zakroti batted her hand away from under his chin gently, flashing her a thin smile as he sat forwards somewhat whilst she leant back away. When he spoke, each phrase itself an attack and yet was delivered with a cool tone, filled with conviction and certainty rather than venom or aggression. "It is what you choose to be, not all you are to be. Do you wish for that to be your sole purpose? Would you rather carve something more out? I am open to talk."

"Yet if you truly wish to know who is at fault for such an injustice, for telling you such things, for letting your whole purpose be that, for allowing this tradition to carry on for so long - then peer into a mirror. For as a collective, for a moments peace you unleash damnation upon your own. Assemble your armies! Fight us! Yet we both know you will not. Do we come and tear away daughters from their families, or do families and neighbours give away their own rather than put up resistance and risk their hide? Of course, this is how empires are built; Upon the groaning bones of the weak, frail and cowardly. "

"Who is the worse here? We, who take what is on offer? Or you, who offer it up so willingly and with so little recourse? Indeed, you who are by your own account collaborative enough in your offering that you train those who are to be offered? Yourself, who did nothing and gave up your sister, your flesh and blood out of fear? Why did you not act? Your parents, who offered up both daughters? Why did they not act? Do Gemmenite parents care not for their blood? Do the Gems have no concept of honour or shame, no sense of self sacrifice and bravery? One might have thought sisters would defend each other, not perpetuate quite willingly an endless lottery of misery." His tone took a slightly more aggressive turn here, certainly, more accusatory and even disgusted as opposed to the cool and calculating tone he had begun with, as though he thought their actions some great and nigh on unpardonable sin - and in truth to an extent he did, for their disloyalty to each other with no good cause was disgusting - though did it not parallel what he himself did? He pushed that thought away from his head; the circumstances were very different, and after all he would have allowed no other to take his family from him. Internal strife and infighting was one thing, especially between brothers and sisters where it wasn't even uncommon for them to fight each other on succession. Between parent and child, though? Such a greater treachery, and one which struck a cord deep within him.

"Do you know what we would do in your place? We would stand shoulder to shoulder, the highest lord with the lowest slave of our holdings, and die standing rather than offer up a daughter, we would throw ourselves hopelessly through the Stars and into the void beyond to be devoured before submitting our own so weakly, and we should march through into the heavens and die trying to kill the gods themselves before we so much as thought of teaching our young women to accept such a position. Do you know why? It's loyalty. Honour. Family. Love. Yes, perhaps pet is generous for pets have loyalty and honour, and pets care; a hound will fight for its master. I have seen runt dogs that come up lower than my knee try to maul my foot off rather than let me slay their master; standing defiant in a scene that might reflect that of a mouse before a dragon. The Gemminite people, apparently, will not even fight for their pups. So what does that make them?" His voice had drifted away from the accusatory tone again, perhaps ironically given its content. It seemed he offered it more as a sincere question than as some sort of rhetorical device, rather bizzarely. He confessed, he was interested to hear a Gem defend their practice.

"Yes, you have an air of bitterness about you indeed. Perhaps deserved, perhaps not. Can I blame you for bitterness? Certainly not. I am a foreign man to whom you have been forcibly bound, and certainly I deserve your scorn for that. But point it also towards your own, who have abandoned you and are complicit in your suffering." And having finished his response so, Zakroti casually reached out and poured her a goblet of Mazjamma, offering it to her with a small smile. Apparently, his speech had again changed on a dime. No longer was he on the offensive but rather speaking to her as though she were on friendly terms with him. "A few drops more bitterness shall surely not affect you much, and bitterness is not itself a bad thing but just another taste to be experienced. I know many who are rather partial to this beverage, for example, despite the strong bitter taste it has."

Zakroti tilted his head ever so slightly to the side, then shook it firmly and frowned, drawing back his lip in an expression of - disappointment, perhaps, that she thought he would have done such a thing to them, or perhaps feeling insulted at the very insinuation. Still, he understood; he could see how it might be interpreted as such, for the Drakken were not precisely known for being the moral, sentimental or even compassionate kind. He knew more than a few lord who had in fact sent back mutilated bodies to torment the families from whom they hailed. It was a mistake on his part, perhaps. He drank from his own glass before continuing, his tone understanding despite his initial facial expression. "No, that was not the case. You assume the worst of me yet I intended only the best. I sent your sisters body home that her spirit might rest in peace, that your family might bury her on your own soil according to your own customs. Where do you think she should rest? On your families pyre? Or 'neath foreign moon and star, buried in coarse soil in a land that is not hers, bound to death and sent to Krenta with rites that are not hers? Does the soul rest well in such an environment. I know not your beliefs but think perhaps that it does not. Although I admit, perhaps I could have dealt with it better, do not wrought my intent; I intended only good when I returned her body to your family. I saw not your first mourning, nor your second and certainly I derived no pleasure from the thought of it. I wished only to give your family closure on her fate, and give her spirit peace of rest that she might wander into the arms of her gods - whatever I might think of them."

Zakroti paused as he finished, pleased that she had gained control over her volume. He didn't particularly like the idea of a scene in front of the great hall, though it was certainly better than occurring outside. He nodded slowly as she spoke again, this time accusing Miry for having committed the apparently terrible crime of surviving.

"As for Miry, she indeed was almost slain. Yet by the skill of Gaikus - and another Gem - she endures. It would be strange indeed for me to send someone who is alive home to be buried. Battles are messy things and people die, others live. I suppose I owe you that explanation." Zakroti took another drink, draining the goblet and pouring himself another glass of it from the pitcher in the centre of the table. Without another word he took another sip, then placed it down before continuing. "It starts as you might not expect. Aymiria's sister, Aery, came fleeing to us that morning. She was brutalised and traumatised, bleeding something awful and I believe she had been cruelly mistreated. She was the bride of one known as Lugft, a brute of a Drakken as foolish as he was brawny yet he had a number of vassals and substantial power. Having asked my protection and being related to my own bride, I brought Aery under the protection of my house, at least until such a time my Grandfather, the Muthseran, was available to deal with the situation. I was not enthralled by the idea of allowing her to go back to Lugft, although I was begrudgingly willing to allow such as under the law I had no right to steal away a bride simply because I did not approve of her treatment. I did what little I could."

"Needless to say, Lugft did not see it in the same way and intended to set upon us with a small group of his soldiers in our rooms. I gave orders that the brides be armed so that Miry and your sister could defend themselves should they be attacked- and this led to Aery being armed also, a grave mistaken given her fragile mental state. Negotiations were brief and futile, the barbarian could not be reasoned with and so we let our swords sing our arguments with a clashing and slashing of steel. During this time, your sister died. I know not the precise detail for I was locked in mortal combat with Lugft himself, but as I understand she accidentally mortally wounded Kasari before killing herself out of shame. Lugft and his soldiers paid dearly for this, I assure you; while one of them escaped unharmed, the others were either killed or wounded. Lugft himself was reduced a husk of the man he once was by my very hand, in a state that he lingers in today; as an idiot, as one without memory or thought, he is left as a drooling imbecile barely capable of moving his head, the fool warlord lives out a pained existence behind the locked doors of his fortress as his family, enemies and former subordinates slowly rip apart his lands, taking advantage of his ruined state for their own material gain."

Zakroti paused before continuing, his tone now a far cry from his initial one. It was soft and apologetic, perhaps even slightly saddened. "You have my sincerest apologies and regrets that your sister ended up dead of a fight that was not her own. I recall advising her to retreat to a more defensible part of our wing as it was not her fight and I would naturally understand any desire to extricate herself form it, yet she elected to stand. I remember her reply; 'This is unacceptable, Pyrus' sacred flame has many uses but this should never be one. The moment you chose me at the ceremony, lord, I became a part of your noble house. And while I am aware that I gain no social standing within your nation, your pride has become mine. This Drakken flame is tainted and I will be damned if I allow it. I will stay.' Brave words from a brave warrior, who I have remembered and honoured - though perhaps you view it more as insult than honouring, I ensured her body was returned to you and her name was added to annals of my household." Zakroti answered, placing down his glass and looking towards Aurora sincerely. He did not yet chastise her for her vitriol towards Aymiria, as much as he wanted to in his gut; she had more than fair reason to be angry. He highly doubted she would be pleased by this, but it was the truth and it might perhaps allow them to reconcile in some manner or another in time (given they were to spend a considerable length of time together) and having offered her an apology for what had happened did to an extent clear his own conscience; whether it was accepted or not, he had confessed what had occurred in full. He offered Aurora a weak and sad smile, reaching out to place his hand against Aymiria throughout, fully aware that the topic was very sensitive and still raw for her. He continued, adding but a few more sentences onto his spiel "In the end, she made a heroic choice and it did me a great honour. I fear that I failed her, while she certainly did not fail us. I beg that any blame you have for us be directed unto I rather than Miry; a commander is responsible for the activities of his soldiers, it was my duty to keep an eye on Aery and to ensure Kasari's well being. If you can find it in time, and I would understand if you could not given - everything - I would ask forgiveness for what happened, and for my handling of returning your sisters body which I realise now I did not properly explained and it must have caused more ill than good."

Zakroti Unalim

Interacting with: Aymiria Unalim @Amethyst, Aurora Liesma @WeepingLiberty


Zakroti was mostly lost in his own thoughts when Aurora placed her arms around him. His mind was a million miles and hours away, dwelling on much different matters in between sips of his Mazjamma. He placed the goblet down as he was brought back to the present by her, staring at it for several seconds as she spoke to him. Although he might have seem lost in his thoughts still, he did listen to her words intently, carefully- appraising each and everyone one of them and the tone in which she delivered them.

There was something about them. She was playing games with them all, she saw this as some petty act of rebellion no doubt, maybe simply a way to cause difficulty and distress or trouble.

Zakroti cocked an eye as Aurora spoke, his face twisting a little into- perhaps a disappointed look, something approaching a scowl. He pried her arms from around him and turned his head to regard her. "A curious word to use, pets. Not at all the term I would use. Tell me, why do you choose it? And do you find this to be some form of amusing game? You know of what I speak." Zakroti said, his words taking on a wry and stern tone by the end. He wasn't about to let her keep an arm wrapped around him for Miry to see, certainly not. Especially not after the prior day. He took his goblet from the table and drank once more from it calmly, letting her speak again. He lowered it again, letting the liquid trickle down his throat before offering the goblet to her and ignoring her question for a moment. "Do you drink? It's Mazjamma, brewed at Aylmoras if I am not mistaken. Worth a try if you've never had it, though I warn you it tastes somewhat bitter."

"As for when you get your answers, well, that entirely depends on when you want your answers. You are properly rested now I hope? If so? Then certainly. Ask away. Whatever question crosses your mind about that night, you shall speak and I will answer; As wylkan e nordoon, o zaraew epe maze joran. By star and night, I will speak without treachery." Zakroti replied to her. Then he turned away and glanced across the room, looking around for Miry. He was certain she would not be long and thought that she should be present for this - as difficult for her as it would be. It would make a lot more sense for her to be here, her sister had died too that night and this must be an open would for her, especially given the way Aurora had referred to her the previous night. He had not forgotten the explanation he had been given.

@Amethyst@Kalleth@Valorous@darkwolf687@dragonmancer@pokemad1

Roll call. Are you still with us? If you'd like to put your character on ice for a while and come back later, please let me know.


Hi yes I'm here lifes been a bit weird and whacky the past month, had exams and all too. I need to get caught up.
Zakroti Unalim

Interacting with: Aymiria Unalim @Amethyst, Aurora Liesma @WeepingLiberty


Zakroti groaned as he awoke, turning over in his bed and mumbling something to Miry.

Or at least he thought it was to Miry, when he opened his eyes she was already gone from his bed. He stirred and rose from the bed, peering around the room. She had vanished once or twice before, and now he had been told about the pregnancy he suspected that he was aware of the cause of this.

Then came a loud bang at the door - three bands in fact. Convenient timing, he thought to himself, as he pulled the shirt on over his head and called out for them to enter.

A rather tall and willowish Drakken entered the room, offered him a sealed envelope and package which the Lord took and opened. He grunted once he finished reading it and placed it down on the table side, dismissing the messenger with a wave of his hand and tearing open the packaging around his winnings, the result of several lucky bets with other Lords at the dueling pits. An old silver ring, a sack of gold and a small Ruby were amongst them, but the true centrepiece of this little collection was a golden statuette depicting the duel of Aed and Orbody, swords locked over each other and their faces both twisted into a violent rage.

Yes, it was quite the tale indeed. One he quite enjoyed since he had earned of it, and the irony of it all was palpable. He smiled sadly and ran a hand along the cold metal of the statue murmuring something to the empty air around him.

"Well, you'd have liked this one..." He murmured and set it to rest on the bedside table. With a final glance he turned away. He would have the servants pack it safe for the journey home, and it would have a place amongst his ornaments.

He took a moment to compose himself and with that, he got dressed swiftly and descended from his room on the second floor down to the Great Hall on the first. Once again, the soldiers had cleared away their cots and set out replacing the tables, and there was quite the raucous racket from their antics as they awaited food. Zak sat himself at the raised table before the fresco and with a loud sigh, awaited the arrival of his food and drink. He wondered what was for breakfast today, in fact.

Soon enough, one of the servant girls appeared with a pitcher to pour him a goblet. He examined the liquid within it for a moment and breathed it in before tasting it. Mazjamma. He did quite enjoy Mazjamma.

With a grin he continued to drink from his goblet, sitting back in the chair and awaiting the arrival of Miry and Aurora. Yes, it was time for answers, although he was quite surprised that he had not seen both here yet. Breakfast would be starting soon, after all, though they had a few minutes to be sure.

***

Roftam was brought back to reality by the opening of the door beside him and the emergence of Aurora's head. Stop the other bride entering? He grimaced, it wasn't a task he particularly wanted to incur.

"As you wish, Lady Aurora." He replied in his rough drawl, leaning back against the wall somewhat. At least, until Lord Zakroti wills otherwise, which I dare say he will the Old Castellan thought to himself, though he restricted his tongue from wagging. He half wondered whether he had done something to offend his Lord, for a man of his station to be stood guard g a door. He'd have to redouble his efforts, clearly, he was not particularly enthralled with the idea of guarding this door another night - perhaps he'd have some of his subordinates draw straws. But then, he imagined lord Zakroti and the brides would have left before too long, leaving him the effective Lord of his own little Manor again. Yes, it was good to be castellan.

Come morning, he was in truth half asleep, but once again awoke to the sound of the opening door. He turned to see the head of Aurora poking through to survey the hallway.
"You're finally awake. I'll have the serv-" Roftam stopped mid sentence for he caught glimpse of the freshly made bed through the slit of open door "Seems you've already done that..."

But before Roftam said another word or before Aurora did anything more, along came Lady Aymiria once more - and greeted the new bride. Her words were innocent enough but he sensed more than enough tension between the two of them...

Roftams lips curled slightly into a smirk. Oh, Gods' blood, let there be fireworks coming. He could do with some amusement.

Though his smile faded quickly, for he remembered what he'd been asked to do. If she retreated inside her door he would not only lose his amusement, he would also have to contend with his Lords lover. His face twisted again into a frown. Which God had a grudge against him of late?

And done.

Still working on this. Putting it in here now though, because it's 5 in the morning so I'll finish it tommorow lol.

Zakroti Unalim

Interacting with: Aymiria Unalim @Amethyst, Aurora Liesma @WeepingLiberty


Zakroti led the group back through the courtyard of the city manor house, past the fountain and towards the door. As they stepped into the great hall, one of the servants approached them; the tables of the great hall had been moved off to the side and temporary bedding had been set up for the soldiers Zakroti had brought with him. Their conversations stopped once their lord had entered, some stood and straightened themselves to salute him, others shouted hails and greetings his way. This was not the place for this conversation, far from private.

"You have returned early, the new brides room has only just been made ready-" The Servant began, but Zakroti cut her off with a nod. He removed his cloak and cast it over for the servant to take. The last to enter were Kzaar and Narlemaewel, who had closed off the small protective group (Although he imagined to Aurora, the black guard surrounding her, him and Aymiria must have felt as much her prison guards as they did her protectors, ensuring she did not leave the group nor be taken by any other Drakken. Zakroti had made sure to keep an eye on her and keep himself and Miry relatively close to them. Thankfully, it hadn't been a long journey back here, and most had abandoned the streets, leaving it an uneventful journey to.

"That is fine. We must speak to each other first. We shall be in the solar, bring water to us, and food. Grapes, peaches and some other fruit, maybe a bowl of Fae Stool. Nothing too heavy." Zakroti replied. One of the two servants bowed and moved away, while the other followed. Zakroti waved for Aurora and Miry to follow him across the hall. They stepped through the hall and ascended up the spiral staircase, his voice carrying back to them. "Aurora. Your room is the far end of this hallway. The Castellan here can show you to it if you wish to retire now, and handle any requests you might have. Narlemaewel will guard your room."

"At your service." The Castellan grunted, apparently somewhat unamused that he had been reduced to showing brides to their room. Zakroti understood why; he was fairly certain this was the servant who had been crippled in a war in the north. To lose his ability to serve as a warrior was never going to be a happy transition, even with his service to the family having been rewarded with a safe and prestigious position as castellan of the city estate.

"Za- Oeiz Taki, O-" Narlemaewel began to object as they exited out into the hallway from the staircase, Zakroti motioning along to the door at the bottom of the hallway for Aurora's benefit. He doubted she'd have any particular reason to object to anything in there. Perhaps one or two of the decorations, though the servants would most likely have removed the statuette of Sorrak (or was that room the one with the statuette of Drun?) from the alcove and swapped it with one of the other ornaments. A vase or a more secular statuette perhaps, he knew there were some of Wyverns or busts of prominent ancestor that could replace it.

"Ede epeew." Zakroti cut him off with a glance back towards the Blackguard, who let out a heavy sigh. Zakroti looked back to Aurora, motioning with his hand down another corridor. "The Solar is this way, which is where me and Miry are going. If you'd like to speak about your sister now, follow us there. It may wait until the morning if you prefer. Breakfast is an excellent time for heavy conversations about death and suffering."

Taking Miry's arm gently in his own, Zakroti led her off down the hallway towards the Solar. He waved away most of his blackguard so that they could rest in shifts and be alert, keeping only Gaikus with him for now. Never go anywhere without a bodyguard.

He opened the door and led Miry inside, glancing over the decorative stonework that culminated in a large hearth on the far side of the room, between two large stained glass windows; one was a religious scene, depicting Vivari standing above fresh creation with trees and vines growing up to surround her. The other was as if it were the night sky, with many frames tinted slightly black with smaller panes of clear, white and vaguely tinted glass that represented the stars. At the height of it was a single large crystal frame to represent the moon or the sun, that in daylight refracted a bright rainbow of colours as the sun caught it in midday, while by moonlight let the white beams flow into the room. A painting hung on the wall opposite the fireplace, a landscape of the city of Laloria pained from the far side of the lake that surrounded it, the orange autumn leaves of the lakeside trees matching brilliantly with the lighting of a setting sun. There were no martial signs of equipment in here; no mannequins of armour or fresco of conquering warlords. The decorative stone walls had also been coupled with wood panelling, and the decorations of the walls themselves were not even carvings of Wyverns as was the cast in most other parts of the building, but rather vines with flowers and leaves growing from them. Even the book case that stood across from the door bore no books on warfare or strategy.

The room had a low oak table within it, with several large floor cushions around it. In the centre of the table was a silver candlestick, bearing a long and thin candle that he lit with a wave of his hand. Raising his hand towards the fireplace; a small flame leapt from his fingers to the fireplace, lighting the wood within it. He sat himself down upon one of the large cushions and gently held Miry to him, smiling at her and gently kissing her

"What does Shattered mean? As in what she said to you, I understand the literal meaning but I got the feeling it was some kind of insult." Zakroti asked Miry with a reassuring smile, tracing a hand along her face to brush her hair aside. Zakroti glanced to the door to see whether Aurora had followed them. If not, they'd speak to her in the morning.
He'd speak with Miry for a while, perhaps read a book with her. She'd made excellent progress learning their language and script; she'd picked it up relatively quickly, as he recalled. Shortly after she'd arrived here he had found her in the library, trying to learn the language from a book she had found a translation of. He'd helped her with the pronunciation and the word endings, tenses and the like.

Before too long, she'd learnt that the names of his family and most of the people in their region were typically composed of two words from the language. When she learnt what his meant, she had simply flung her arms around him. He'd explained why they had been chosen for him, and by whom. But the name was his all the same, and he wasn't ashamed of it, not really; after all, it had turned out to be quite prophetic for his father.

Miry had been good to him. And he had nearly betrayed her earlier. It had been a while since he had felt particularly guilty about anything; even the guilt of slaying three of his siblings and keeping his father in chains had all but gone away now. After all, those were easily justified given all that had happened. But this? It won him nothing. Saved nothing. It had been stupid and hurtful.

Zakroti Unalim

Interacting with: Aymiria Unalim @Amethyst, Aurora Liesma @WeepingLiberty


Zakroti reached out for Aymiria as she backed away, murmuring apologies to him. He gently drew her closer to him, protectively as Aurora's words lashed at her. He whispered to the tiny, precious woman he held in his arms. He could feel the coldness on her skin, water turning to ice from her sadness and sorrow. He wanted nothing more than to reassure her, to hold her gently until she was at ease once more. She had been through so much today- through his betrayal and now through the pain of coming face to face with the sister of her sister-bride, doubtless the memories of that night were flowing back to her.

"Oeiz Aigz, wre jusla caracze kas." Zakroti held her gently to him as he said that, looking down to her with a happy smile. His eyes darted up towards Aurora as she said something to Miry. It was clearly an insult, although he didn't understand it, and a slight growl escaped him. But he didn't move away, he just continued to hold her to him gently, glaring at Aurora for her comment but making not a word.

Whatever she had said, it was clearly deeply insulting. The tone in which she said it gave that away. Zakroti wanted nothing more than to spring forth in this moment and defend Miry's dignity. After all, how dare Aurora insult Miry as such! Were they not in this situation together now? Taken to a far off land against their will? After everything Miry had been through, and after what Miry had felt that night, how dare she insult her and belittle her! He could feel the heat radiate from his skin, likely serving to melt the crystals of fine ice that had formed across Miry's body.

But he calmed himself again. Aurora did not have the details (not, he imagined, that they would truly do much to endear her towards Miry once she learnt that it was Miry's sister who ended up taking Kasari's life.) and could not be blamed for taking exception to what must have seemed to her a very curious situation. And besides, she was still under the impression that they were to blame for the death of Kasari, was it not reasonable to dislike them? So he calmed himself and let the anger flow off him, let his blood and flesh cool and the fire die down.

Certainly, she would cause him some trouble down the line if he did not handle this carefully. Perhaps even if he did. But perhaps he could calm her and soothe her anger, to tame that fire as it were.

"Very well, Aurora. You have a stout heart- but take heed you do not burn your fire out. We will depart this... Place soon." Zakroti replied with a weak smile. He moved his body again so that he was standing more naturally at ease rather than defending his sword, and looked around the room, eyeing up the commotion and killing from a new entrant across the room with a slight shake of his head. He gestured for her to approach him as he took a step forwards with Miry and glanced to the blackguard around him as they moved alongside him and kept their eyes on the commotion.

Perhaps it was time to make themselves scarce before something worse broke out. Certainly, he didn't want to waste his time being caught in some pathetic crossfire over whose bride was whose or squabbling about minor details- admittedly he would have liked another good fight, something to help take his mind off of everything that had been happening today and give him a rush of energy and power, but that could wait until later. He had work to be doing, clearly. "I have no desire to spend longer here than is necessary. Come."

In Godspeed! 3 mos ago Forum: Free Roleplay
Hey guys hoping you are all well. Sorry I've been so slow on posts and stuff, in the middle of something of a crisis I'm afraid. I'll try to get caught up and post before too long.
In Godspeed! 3 mos ago Forum: Free Roleplay
Orfai felt himself called by the thoughts of his Faliargun and swept through the darkness of the oceans to meet them. The shadowy figure formed above them, looking down through the waters to the seven Faliargun as they fought with a pair of Goldari. There were younglings among them now; hundreds of tiny larval forms; they were little more than tiny blobs of flesh with tentacles, barely the size of a humans little finger. They would grow dramatically through several stages until they reached adulthood, each stage growing in size, intelligence and features; In this hatchling state, they had no intelligence and ran on very primitive instincts. And so they scattered as they tried to avoid the Goldari, who would snatch up dozens at a time, snuffing them out like nothing.

The adult Faliargun fought off the Goldari as best they could, trying to gather up and defend their young. One of the female Faliargun still carried her eggs wreathed around her like a sash, sealed together with a sticky waxy substance. She kept as far back from the Goldari as possible, waving a large rock menacingly whenever once came near her to drive it away.

Orfai watched the scene below with interest but remained a shapeless, unseen shadow...

One of the Faliargun surged forwards in a sudden burst of speed, breaking a section of bone off a nearby whale carcass. Using this whale bone like a lance, it moved forward at an astonishing rate and impaled the first Goldari through the side, the long length of bone smashing straight through it's scales and out the other side. It writhed around in agony and the brave Faliargun withdrew it's boney spear as the beast retreated, turning and clutching it with both hands as it brought it's attention to the other Goldari. The beast lurched forwards towards him with it's jaws wide open, letting out a screech. But the heroic Faliargun did not falter; he stood his ground until the vest last moment, propelling hismelf forward at a lightening speed and into the creatures jaws! The lance plunged down it's throat as the Faliargun entered it, piercing through it's vital organs.

There was a moment of silence as the Goldari came to a halt, blood seeping from it's mouth. It turned slowly and began to float limply through the water. The Faliargun watched in unison- and then finally the warrior burst forth out the creatures mouth and back into the water, raising it's bone spear above it's head triumphantly. The wave of emotion that rushed over their minds was entirely different; the Faliargun no longer panicked but hailed their conquering hero.

And then, dread.

Goldari were usually solitary creatures and the presence of a pair meant it was mating season. Sure enough, a large group of them began to work their way over through the waters, a dozen of them or so. They knew there was blood in the water, and they were coming for the meat. The Faliargun turned to flee, gathering up their young and moving through the waters in a sphere around them.

All save one. The brave warrior swam into the blood of the Goldari he had killed, coating himself in it before swimming forward and then off to the side to draw the attention of the Goldari, fleeing towards the reef as they chased him.

And the Keeper was satisfied. He swept down towards his creation and took form again, becoming a shadowy figure rather than shapeless darkness, and from within that figure rose his brilliant bronze Faliargun form, wreathed in shadow and with many shadowy tentacles branching off from it. His aura and appearance inspired terror in the Goldari and they turned and scattered, fleeing before his might and wroth.

The Faliargun beside him looked to his God in amazement, and Orfai could hear the beings thoughts within his head.

"My maker! Hail!" It thought.

"Hail you, the conquering hero." Orfai 'replied' with a glance. He reached out one of his arms and touched his creation and the mark of Orfai formed on the Faliargun's chest for a moment before fading away again. "Hail, Nikarnith of the Faliargun, for you have shown great bravery and cunning. Such heroics could be the beginnings of a legend! Such deeds must be rewarded, and so I mark you now with the sign of my favour. Go forth and defend your people as you journey along the currents to the islands Rytia has provided, for your journey now flows with the tides of fate itself..."

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