Gift of Brutality

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Re: Gift of Brutality

Postby The Salt Elemental » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:41 pm

On Leave.

The past month has been difficult. I hate sitting around. I hate doing nothing. Even if it means allowing my body time to heal.

The Priest believes it was some kind of sickness left over from Elwood’s ridiculous ‘zoo’ that he left in his home when I bought it. A magical illness or residue left over from the extensive lab work that happened there. That is the last time I do touch that stupid tank or allow another mage to examine it for a long while. - At least this is what the priest believes it comes from. Honestly, I don’t think they know anything about what happened.

Regardless of where it came from, being bed ridden for a sodding month is unbearable. I think most of the time I just sat there and stared at my uniform across the room, watching it. Like it was some kind of beacon, urging me to put it on and walk out.

Theo wouldn’t let me if I did that.

There wouldn’t have been a point. He or Vadrien would have dragged me back in here and made me rest.

At least the bed was comfortable. Perhaps a perk of having the largest temple in Cordor. Hm. I can’t seem to stop bragging about that.

I suppose I am proud of Theoros. He truly is Hoar’s conduit for this world. I wish I could be more like him.

I suppose I need to keep working on my anger. My urges. They seem to be affecting me more lately than they have in the past. Perhaps now that the sickness has passed I can be..


... I have been told Khabul was run off the Pax. Not an easy feet. Though it seems he does not live up to his reputation. Now I doubt that he actually has taken on ten before and come out on top. I don’t really know many details, but I’m told my Ordo did it. And I am proud of them. It seems our training sessions with Varg have paid off. That said, barbaric mercenarys like khabul can be killed if overwhelmed in sheer number. Though I like to think it’s because my men, and women, have risen as far as battle is concerned. I will be increasing our sessions I think.

I believe Triah was the right choice to make as my second. She has good experience, battle prowess, and she is human. She is a good mirror to me and I think she wil. Most importantly, she is good at recruitment- where I lack skill in. I have never been good with social graces. I thank the Lord of Three Thunders for bringing her to me. I suppose it is as Theo says..


Hoar provides.
"We keep loving anyway.
We laugh and we cry,
We break, and we make mistakes-
and if there's a reason, I'm by her side
Where so many have tried-
I'm willing to wait for it."
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The Salt Elemental
 
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:44 am

Re: Gift of Brutality

Postby The Salt Elemental » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:58 pm

[It seems some time has passed since the last entry. The silence is answered with frantic scribbles, the handwriting doesn’t seem as neat.]

I do not know what is reality and what is not anymore. A secret I have been coveting for a long while now. Ever since.. I touched HIS altar, I’ve been having dreams.. Nightmares. My fears were confirmed, I brought back something with me from the shadow plane. It plagues me. Where I had no shadow, now I have one. I can’t go to anyone. I don’t trust anyone with knowledge of magic well enough for it. Veritas is the only one I remotely extend any respect and trust for, and even then he and I have been iffy as of late. It’s hard to tell with him. I thought I had lost a friend but now.. He treats me as if nothing happened.

Perhaps the apology was enough to make up for the crippled bridge that had laid between us. I am uncertain.. To be honest, I am uncertain if I even had that fight with him. Did he actually come to my house? Did he actually accuse me of being in some sort of Cordorian Conspiracy specifically designed to corrupt everything? Now that I think about it.. It seems a bit farfetched for an esteem wizard to be throwing such accusations around.


Things are shaky. I am having a hard time discerning between what is real or not. It as if I’m constantly walking between worlds. Worlds where different outcomes, different stories have happened. I’ve died so many times. I’ve felt it. I’ve killed so many times.. But none of it actually happened. At least.. I..
I don’t think it did. I sound crazy, I know I do. My head says this isn’t right. That I must fight it. But my blood.. Gods my blood wants me to give in. It wants me to lose myself. I am told I brought something back. Some kind of symbiotic thing.

Alara and Olivia think they can help with some ritual. For the moment, I can somewhat keep myself sane. The moonlight silk keeps it from tampering with my reality. At least temporarily. I can’t do this forever.


[The entry doesn’t seem to have an end. It simply stops.]
"We keep loving anyway.
We laugh and we cry,
We break, and we make mistakes-
and if there's a reason, I'm by her side
Where so many have tried-
I'm willing to wait for it."
User avatar
The Salt Elemental
 
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:44 am

Re: Gift of Brutality

Postby The Salt Elemental » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:11 am

Hopeless.
“Let yourself become a beacon of terror for all those who are of pernicious spirit. Walk the lands bringing swift and terrible vengeance to all those who deserve it. Cruelty and fear are the weapons of the vicious, let it be turned upon them three fold. It is the bringers of doom’s place to become the dreaded avenger of the meek and downtrodden. One’s duty is not finished until the shriveled and blackened heart of evil pumps feverish with panic. Always remember to walk the line of his teachings, punish the wicked for the sake of retribution, but do not begin to perform evil purely for its own sake.” - The Doombringer


It has been some weeks, maybe a few months since my last entry. It is unlike me.. Perhaps. But I think it is more that what happened has.. Unsettled me.

But, now I am free. Alara completed the ritual and whatever plagued me is now gone and banished. She has proven to me her worth and her loyalty. I consider her another member of my family now. I was wary of her at first.. Yes. She seemed to sweep into Pierce’s life so quickly. I was at first suspicious of her intentions. Did she mean us harm? Was she only getting close because of his title as Chancellor.

Now, I can rest and not worry. In fact, I have sworn an oath to protect her as my own family. I will not let harm come to her again- and those that did will reap my wrath and weep with regret.


... I am really getting into this. Bad Nehala.

Vadrien.. I can’t talk about him. Not even here. I feel like.. I’ve been torn apart. Forced to choose between my family and someone I cared about deeply.. I know this will not end good. I wish they would just get along... but it’s too late for that. Theo and Pierce see him as a murderer now. Because he is..

He acted as one who has wronged. He did not take vengeance on Kent. He killed him for gossiping. He should have simply cut out kent’s tongue. That would have been a just punishment.. But no. He let his blood control him. He killed Ceviran too.. I.. I do not know how to feel about it. I don’t want to. I refuse to confront this situation. I.. simply can’t. I am too emotionally invested here. If the others wish to reap vengeance then they must do that.. But I cannot be involved.


[There is a break, as if time had passed between entries.]

Ever since that thing was removed, I’ve been seeing my world fall apart. Just about all I have left is the Ordo. Even then.. That is not guaranteed. Pierce never sees the things I do right. He’s only around for the mistakes I seemed to make. It doesn’t matter that I kept my promise and I got Alara back. - It doesn’t matter that I avenged her. It doesn’t even matter that I helped stop a demon invasion. No..

All he seems to care about is whether or not people are complaining to him. And the worst part is.. People will always complain to him. And all it does it make him hate me more.

I am nothing but a weapon to him now. From his own lips.

Theoros.. Has disappeared. I never see him. I suspect this is Vashti’s influence. Soon enough, I am sure he will hate me too. If he doesn’t already.

Thazar has never liked me. He was always silent about it, but I knew. I’m not really sure there is much to salvage there.

Veritas. Veritas... told me to never speak with him again. I still do not know why. I still don’t. Soon after, he was taken by a dragon as Astra says. He never returned.. I am contemplating attempting to find this.. Orias.. And slay him for taking Veritas. Despite what he asked of me.

I guess there is still some hope. There are still some people that I can trust. I guess all I can do now is focus on my job. I will speak with Alara soon. Perhaps she can give me some guidance. The Lord knows I am desperately in need of it. I do not wish to spend the rest of my days like this.
Last edited by The Salt Elemental on Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
"We keep loving anyway.
We laugh and we cry,
We break, and we make mistakes-
and if there's a reason, I'm by her side
Where so many have tried-
I'm willing to wait for it."
User avatar
The Salt Elemental
 
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:44 am

Re: Gift of Brutality

Postby The Salt Elemental » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:41 am

Alive.

It’s been months now, a year at least. I left.. So abruptly. I feel a bit of regret, leaving when I did. I know when I return, if I return, the Ordo will be in ashes... Cordor will be there. Theoros and Pierce would not let it burn. With that in mind, it was easy to leave. I only really had one other person waiting for me. So.. not much to lose. Fortunately, for me, I’ve received good news since arriving in Calimshan.
My family has grown. It was, perhaps, the happiest news I’ve had in a long time. A former colleague from my homeland contacted me before I left. Apparently a man had been throwing around a picture that held a similar visage to mine around the docks of Memnon. I.. had to leave. Then and there. The chance that.. He was alive, my father, was simply too great. I had so many questions... And so few answers.

But I found him.

His name is Azale.. And he is just as grey as me. Our shade is perhaps the same color. I feel I have been blessed to have spent so long with him. All these months, we travelled around.. Talking.. Laughing. I feel as if a hole has been filled. Something long ago lost.. Regained. It feels so good to have someone who can relate. And we are so similar... I must take after him.

He’d never heard of Arelith before. And- likely never will. He hates sea-travel. Can’t stand it. He simply gets too sick. Which.. Is a truly a shame. I would have loved to introduce him to those I care about. The family I made. But.. that’s okay. I have him in my life once more, and now I needn’t worry. He is now going to stay in Akta’s My home in Memnon. I’ll be able to write him as much as I want now. - Which frankly.. Makes me excited that I’ll have someone to write to other than this flimsy journal... As for my future?

I likely will not return to the position of Commander, even if I am asked. I do not believe I can continue the charade.
The facade that I actually believe these people appreciate me or care. Or the hope that I could create a place for my kind to live.. Peacefully.

It was always a child’s dream. To have a place where tieflings might not be looked upon in.. fear.

I never should have gotten my hopes up. I saw the opportunity and I squandered it. I tried too hard to do it all alone and it got me- nothing. One woman cannot create that much change. She could put a dent in it.. But to move mountains, that.. Simply cannot be. People need to be willing to change. You can’t force them. I’ve tried.

And they are not.. nor will they likely ever be. Because they’re humans. And humans are imperfect. Deplorable. Ill-fit. Selfish. Garbage. Every human I know has just about let me down... Funnily enough, those with elven blood are the only ones who don’t. Perhaps humans need to learn a lesson from the fair-folk in acceptance of others. Maybe if humans saw half-bloods as nothing but cousins I would have turned out.. different.

Hm. That Perfect-One priest might be filled with joy if he ever read this. Now that I’ve come to my ‘senses.’.. More like bitterness has caused me to be this way. I cannot change humankind, so therefore I will strive to be above it. My children will do the same- if I ever have any at least. At least I’ll outlive all the bitter curs that live in Cordor. Each and every one of those ungrateful people. The ones who hated. Who spit fire.. I at least have comfort in this.

Ceviran, I know, will at least be there. Or here. Wherever his work takes us. I figure I may as well spend the rest of my days keeping him safe- aside from doing my duties to Hoar. I take comfort that I will always have someone to come home to, or to return to. In the end, I guess that’s all I ever really wanted. I suppose it was silly to.. Try and go against my nature. To strive for.. More. I should have known even my actions would be tainted. Even in all my years of discipline.. My blood still affects me.

Ha.. So much for pride.


[There is a pause in the writing.]

If Ceviran is a slave of drow when.. I get back.. Or dead.. I will go on a warpath.
"We keep loving anyway.
We laugh and we cry,
We break, and we make mistakes-
and if there's a reason, I'm by her side
Where so many have tried-
I'm willing to wait for it."
User avatar
The Salt Elemental
 
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:44 am

Re: Gift of Brutality

Postby The Salt Elemental » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:09 am

The Bond

“Family is not defined by your blood. The bonds and ties you make with those in life make up something far greater than the tangible world around us. Rather, it is the intangible... the ethereal, the untouchable, the incorporeal parts of us that seem to breed the deepest loyalty and affection in one another. Through this, there is no one that we cannot connect with or share empathy for. It is through these parts that we create and forge our own path and bonds in life, not those preordained for us at birth.” - Commander Vayniah T’rizis of the Fourth Company.


There is a saying where I come from.

“The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.”

Many often mistake or misuse this saying. They say, ‘Blood is thicker than water’. They use that saying to say that your family is all you have in life. These are the only people who will take care of you, no matter what you do or what happens. It is used as manipulation. It is used to brainwash. But this sentence is wrong.

The word covenant is not from some proverb or holy book of the Gods. It is used to mean the word ‘agreement’ or ‘bond’. A deal. A contract. An experience.
Originally, it was said between soldiers in war. Meaning that the bond experienced between those who survive and work together amongst one another.. Is thicker than that of even family or the water of the womb. It isn’t about family at all, but rather the bond between people that connects them on such a personal level because of the things they weather together with teamwork and cooperation.

Of course, this saying is interpreted in many ways, and most have a different ideology about it. Even I do.

For me? I believe it is used to describe the Bond. Yes, in capital letters. The Bond is what I refer to as the relationships and interactions of people. The very vast amount of things and reasons that bring people together. That intangible connection that people feel amongst each other and possibly amongst other races.

For the elves, they call it ‘Tel-quissir’. Or ‘The People’. Meaning their bond is among race. Among their connection to one another, even if it were not by blood. For elves, this concept is crucial to society. There is even a deeper connection that they have developed, and aptly name, the elven bond. I am told it is a beautiful thing to experience. An intangible connection between souls. Irreversible and intimate. The ultimate form of love and friendship alike. Lovers, friends, sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers, all can choose to take this bond alike. It is not simply a bond between lovers like marriage, it can be for all folks and all different kinds of bonds. Even the more spectacular thing.. An elf can choose to share this incorporeal bond with those outside his or her own race. They can share that beauty and compassion with others. Though they rarely do because other races do not understand the meaning of this bond.. The fact that they can and will makes them a pinnacle of all societies. A community that all races should strive to be like or mirror because of the amount of things the elves do that are right.

For humans, they call it many things. It’s an abstract thing to them. Human compassion, fellowship, human decency, love for one's fellow man, comradery. Unfortunately, humans believe this to be something they have, but when they are faced with hard choices, most cowardly reject this concept and look out for themselves. You cannot blame them. They’re inferior, imperfect creatures. Children.

And for other races? Well. I never really bothered to learn much about dwarves or hins. Or even orcs. But I do know that orcs feel companionship and a sense of community through their tribes. If you aren’t with a tribe then you’re not a true ‘orc’. I know that dwarves are isolationists- or at least the ones on this island are- and that they look out for their people first. And I know that hins are secretive and look out for one another in a similar way to the dwarves. I believe every race has the capacity for this.. Bond.

Even us tieflings. It’s just.. Harder for us to have because we are bred and born into an unforgiving world who hates us for something we are simply born with. We even distrust each other. For me, when I see another tiefling.. I am automatically suspicious. It is likely they are not born of the same lineage and it is even more likely that they are not an odd one out. It is more likely they have given into their blood and follow a dangerous path. But- despite that distrust.. I feel a sense of comradery too. I see them as I see myself. They grew up with the same hardships, the same treatment that I did. They live the same way I do- barely an outcast but still tolerated. Seen as an annoyance but not quite taken enough notice to be absolutely hated. - Though I suppose I can’t say that anymore about myself. It’s quite clear my human cousins dislike my presence and do not want my protection... But that isn’t the point of this rant.

My point of it all, non-existent reader, is that this bond is something that is known and felt throughout all species and all races. Each and every one of us feel this sense of.. Togetherness. Community. And we cling to each other for protection, power, might, strength.. Everything. Even those races that are deemed evil do it. Look at Dis. A devil-filled city. Sure, devils don’t get along with one another and they don’t always have that ‘feel-good’ lovey-dovey kind of thing but.. They do share battle with one another. They all cling together and fight that which is the scum of demons. They do trade with one another. And from time to time.. They help one another. Even if it’s to only better themselves. Their intentions are dark yes, but you can’t deny that as a race they have an instinct to stick together.

This bond is fundamental. It is the survival of each and every species. And I have yet to come across any species where some form of this Bond doesn’t exist. Even demons, the most chaotic and evil things in the worlds, ban together and form alliances. Feeble as they are.

That being said... where does this leave me? How do I fit in? Do I feel this with my fellow cousins, the Humans, or the tieflings? Do I feel the draw of my devil-brethren?

The answer is.. Simple. Of course I do. I am not exempt. I feel the draw of my blood to embrace my devilish heritage. I feel the need to seek out human companionship. To earn.. Their praise and love. I feel the need and desire that any human woman would. But.. that does not mean I get it. Or that my efforts are reciprocated.

I know just as well how they feel about me. The humans see me as a demon or a devil. The devil’s see me as barely anything like them. Trying to gain the love of so many humans is fruitless and, speaking from experience, a thankless and impossible task. Trying to feel any closeness with a devil is straight up stupid and I certainly know better than to trust any of my fiendish ancestors.

So where must I get this bond from? Whom do I share it?

Months ago, I had an answer to that question. At least.. I thought I did. My pride wouldn’t allow me to admit that I had lost many that I considered to share this bond with. And my paranoia and harsh attitude doesn’t allow me to stepforward and forge new bonds. My reputation doesn’t exactly help, either. I’m not blind. I am very aware of the talk that skulks behind my back and in the shadows. I’m aware people I could easily fell or not so easily fell throw daggers made with words upon my back. I’m even aware that those, those I considered to have the familial bond with me, speak ill of me to my back. To the Radiant Heart. To other people. As if they must make ‘excuses’. I don’t blame them. I have made mistakes. But those mistakes don’t cover up what good I have done. I just.. Wish they could see it... Perhaps I resent them a little. For not supporting me. But.. that is a selfish thought. And perhaps my wishes are a bit selfish now that I write this down. I understand their need to fit in with others. I understand that.. They may need to sacrifice me to continue to feel the Bond with other humans, other people. I wish I could be angry about that. - Hells, I wish I could hate them for it. But I don’t. I still love them. Even Veritas. Someone I regarded as a good friend, even though I did not understand him most of the time. Despite his asking me to keep away, I would die keeping him safe.

For me, blood is thicker than water. I shed blood for these people. I shed blood with Theoros, Pierce, Veritas.. All of them. I bled for them. I have even come close to death for them. Would be if it weren’t for them in some cases. This bond I have forged with them, it cannot be broken. No matter how mad they are with me. No matter how broken they feel it is. And no matter how they treat me. They.. were my family. And they always will be.

I wish I could find the fire in my soul to be angry with them for how they treat me now. I wish that.. I could fight back. I wish I could stand up and tell them how much I actually did trying to salvage and save everything that burned or try to keep this ship afloat. But I can’t.

Why, you may ask my non-existent reader?

I’m not the victim here. In light of all that has happened and the good things that I did do, I didn’t help everything. I did add fuel to some of those problems, even if it was unintentional. I didn’t make it easy on them. And I did do things that rightfully earned distrust. Things that I do regret. Yes, poor me. But hells, I kinda deserve it. So.. I will resign myself to this fate of being held at arm's length. I understand. I’ve made my peace with that.

I wish I could tell that to their faces.

I know of those I do have. Lucien, Alara, Ceviran.. Others. I know they are there for me. But.. I do wonder sometimes for how long. How long before they turn their blame to me... How long before they see me as the problem just as Pierce and Theoros did? How long.. Before my trust is betrayed?

I wish I had the answer.
"We keep loving anyway.
We laugh and we cry,
We break, and we make mistakes-
and if there's a reason, I'm by her side
Where so many have tried-
I'm willing to wait for it."
User avatar
The Salt Elemental
 
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:44 am

Re: Gift of Brutality

Postby The Salt Elemental » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:48 am

Compassion
“ Compassion is the formative virtue in our treatment of the innocent. It flows from the truth that life is precious, and that those who wish to live simply and well have enough troubles doing so, and the resolve to make that aim easier.
The compassionate heart understands that cruelty is the enemy of the decency within our hearts, and moves to thwart it at every turn imaginable.”
-Virtue of Compassion, unknown philosopher.


I have met someone new. A strange concept, I feel, these days. At least to me. Someone who has lived on this island for six years. I hear many who come to these islands leave after a few years. They become irrelevant, old, die, succumb to some dastardly fate, or simply rejoin their lives and families on the mainland. Those who do not, receive the cold shoulder. They must die soon or leave... Or continue on whilst the rest of the populace thrives with newness and change. It is a strange concept that many share only here on the island of Arelith.
I’v- this isn’t what I desired to talk about. No. I shall not write about that right now. I want to talk about this person.

This new person that I met.. Has ended up being the strangest ally I think I have ever met. It is not that he as a person is strange, or that his personality is, but rather the circumstance for the odd acquaintanceship.

I think it is possibly because his significant other, whose name shall certainly not be written in this journal, has spent quite a lot of her time meddling with me whilst I carried the mantle of Commander.

You would think that this man would dislike me. Hate me. Loathe me. I have no illusion that he has been fed the same filth and poison that many of the other paladins on this island are fed on- not just me- but tieflings in particular.
But.. he doesn’t. At least he has reserved his judgement for himself. It is this that I respect.. Immensely. That is a rare thing to see in humans these days. Reserving their opinions for their own experience rather than the rumors they hear.

His name is Quentin Vale, and he is a paladin of the Morninglord. Lathander. Yes. You are hearing that right, dear journal. A paladin. A tiefling and a paladin getting along. I feel as if the world might end or we might see flaming, flying piglets.

I thought be like Rashti Vashti and Hyoskos? Hipskis? Whatever. I thought Quentin would act like them. Call me a carrion eater at the moment of meeting me. Spit at me. Threaten me. No... He looked at me with kindness and he treated me with common decency. Respect. I was caught off guard. Pleasantly, of course. It touched my heart. No one had treated me like that just in the first few moments of meeting one another. Even Ceviran studied me with distrust before we grew close.

To be honest, it has all happened very quickly. I’m not quite sure how we ever got to talking. - Just that we did. I think it was in the barracks when we were speaking with Baranor about staying in the guard but my memory is not perfect. I am only glad that it did. Somehow, we started to spend time slaying devils and demons together. And just this past tenday, we took to slaying spree through the undead that plague Manfreid’s land. I know. Slaying things is perhaps not the best way to befriend a paladin, but I think he understands the violence and the agony that churns inside of me. That.. need to express what makes my blood boil. The monster. I know that I do good. I try too, at least. I kill things that go bump in the night. I slay things that harm the innocent. I am not paladin but.. I do think I make some difference. And that counts for something. I think he recognized that. He recognized the hope and yearning in my soul to fight what I am.

In a perplexing way, Quentin reminds me of Alara.. Rest her soul. He’s like this.. Strange mix between Theoros and Alara that I never really saw coming. Stoic, yes kind and understanding. Strong, but not unwilling to speak of feelings or the depravity of life. Reserved, but is able to open up just enough to relate to.

I didn’t really know much about Lathander. In fact, all I know of this god is what I have learned from Quentin within the past three tendays. His god seems to be a mix, as far as I can tell, between Eilistraee and Sune- except his symbol is of the sun. Apparently, the Morninglord is a god of hope, compassion, forgiveness, redemption, justice, change, and new beginnings. He talks a lot about fate and new horizons. I admit that- I feel drawn to this god. Hope is one of the things that, I believe, keeps me going. Forgiveness and redemption is something I have longed for, that I seek from my family. The chance for a new beginning from the ashes and fires that laid waste to my life. I am addicted to conversations with this paladin. - Gods, I thought I’d never write that. That’s weird.

Every conversation seems to be centered on some kind of past experience, personal feeling, moral or philosophical debate. Of course, he and I do have our differences. And I believe he does not show most of who he is. But.. that is okay. It’s good to not simply put ones full trust into someone they just met. Friendship is a serious thing that takes a while to cultivate. Like a seed that needs to grow into a plant before one can prosper from it.

I find myself telling him about things that I have not even told Ceviran. Things that I truly hang with guilt and shame on my soul. Not any mistake that I made in my professional career, but the mistakes I made in my personal life. Things.. I don’t even like admitting to myself. Things that I think I could only admit to Alara.
I am still shocked I admitted it, allowed, to him. I told him about what I did. I don’t think I have even written about what I did here, in my journal. I don’t think I’ve written about any of the personal bad decisions I made..

I lied..
I deceived the people I.. cared for the most.
I almost got Cev killed.
I almost got myself killed.
And I betrayed their trust. All of them.

Because I thought I could have both. I thought.. Somehow I could turn him. Get him to care about Theoros and Pierce. To see them as family as I saw them.
The other tiefling I had in my life... I thought I could turn to good. I was.. Foolish. I believed I could teach him to be like me. I believed.. I could get him to see Pierce and Theo. To love them as I did. As family. I ignored the truth because I didn’t want to believe it. Pierce and Theo never would have liked this tiefling. And the tiefling never would have trusted them. I should have made a decisions. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. I was weak. I chose both and because of my lies I lost both. The tiefling fell into darkness.. And Theo never wishes to speak with me again. I cannot speak for Pierce. I don’t know how he feels. But I know he speaks words of poison behind my back...
I know what I did was wrong. I almost got Ceviran killed. I did get him killed. And Kent is six-feet under at the hand of this dark tiefling... and at my hand too- even if I didn't actually physically harm them. I foolishly thought I could do a paladin's job. I thought I could save my kin. I hoped I could change his mind..

But I did it in all the wrong ways. And I hurt so many in the process. And bless Alara. Bless Ceviran, they were the only ones who knew. The only ones who kept me from falling into the darkness myself. I fear if not for them, my shame and my guilt would have consumed me.

Oh Safiyya, what would you say to me now? Would you churn me too? Hate me for what I have done?

... I would.

...
I told him about it. Most of it. I don’t know how or why. It just.. Came up, and I talked. In the middle of Guldorand, no less.

He didn't smite me. He didn’t even try. He gazed at me with sympathy. If it had been anyone else, I would have glared and told him to spare me the pity. But from him, it was genuine. Nor did he wish I suffer more for what happened. That being with my blood was a punishment enough. Somehow, it doesn’t feel enough.

I do not care if he says we are not friends. I don’t care if he says we are only allies in the fight for what is good. This man has given me more than many of my own friends ever cared to. I consider him my friend. I want him to be my friend... to look at me as a shield-sister. I have this desire in my heart to prove his doubts and distrust against those of my race wrong.

And as emotionally charged, and ridiculous a lot of this probably sounds, I can’t help but write about it. For the longest time, I’ve held my eyes closed and moved with the motions. It’s been a while since I actually desired to befriend someone else. A long while since I.. had the desire to meet their expectations of me. I am trying to not put him on a pedestal. I know Quentin is just a man. He is just a mortal like the rest of us. He has his own mistakes and flaws. There are things he can’t possibly relate to with me.

Like how I see Rashti Vashti or the dwarves. He can’t relate to the undeniable treatment that my race, or at least what I have experienced, gets among people like them. For me, I have only met a single dwarf who has ever treated me with common decency or respect. All others have, from the moment they opened their mouths, treated me as garbage. The only time they give me respect is when I have shown up to save their hole in the wall of a city from certain doom like with the duergar this past tenday. And I am certain that is just because they didn’t notice my horns weren’t attached to my helm. Vashti is worse. I tried to befriend her. I needed to. I tried.. Hard. But the only time she ever attempted to be nice was when she wanted information from me. She never showed me kindness. She never showed me patience. She showed her arse and bit her thumb at me that’s what she did. She is no saint. She’s evil.


But Quentin does not see this. In fact he has made me promise not to insult Rashti Vashti in his presence. It is.. frustrating... The dwarves have ever only been kind to him. Vashti was only ever kind to him. Because... he’s human. Because he’s a paladin. It’s not the same because he won’t ever experience that hatred that tieflings do.

That’s okay. I won’t expect him to understand. At least not yet. Maybe in time he will.
"We keep loving anyway.
We laugh and we cry,
We break, and we make mistakes-
and if there's a reason, I'm by her side
Where so many have tried-
I'm willing to wait for it."
User avatar
The Salt Elemental
 
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:44 am

Re: Gift of Brutality

Postby The Salt Elemental » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:03 am

Shattered
"It’s over now, isn’t it?"


I need to stop lying to myself. I have become an idiot. A foolish woman grasping at the receding entrails of what used to be my family. I should never have told myself that they would love or care for me again. It only makes this harder. It only makes the blow.. Hurt more.
Pierce is no longer any brother of mine. And if I am being honest, Theoros wasn’t a long time ago. How could he betray me? Is this some twisted form of retribution that he believes I deserve? Has Alara’s death.. Truly twisted him so much?
I think the sad truth is that.. It has. He would never harm people. At least before I left. He tried to help them! He stood up for something good. But now he is.. There is a darkness in him. It isn’t the stealing of the treasury that has made me come to this conclusion. No it is the blackmailing of Alastair with that gold to berate me over murdering a murderer. I gave just retribution to De Rais.. and he complains I am too violent? What is wrong with him? I have not harmed a single innocent soul from returning. All of them have been guilty of horrid crimes.
I can’t keep going like this. Theoros is right. I will not see him or Pierce again. But it is not on his own volition. It is on mine. They never were my family. Not since we came to Cordor. They died with Safiyyah. The city corrupted them too. Not just me. I just wanted to believe that I wasn’t alone in this world. That I had someone to lean on. - But I didn’t. They always looked out for each other above me. They used me. Blamed me for their mistakes and I oh so lovingly allowed it to happen. I was the problem, to them. Always a problem. And every time someone complained.. They believed that and the rumors.. Not me. They never believed me. I can see this now. I knew for a very long time, even as commander, that Pierce spoke ill of me behind my back. Contributed to tarnishing my name. He burned and burned at my love and trust until there was nothing but ash.
But I was so desperate for his approval that I was blinded to it. And I chose to be.. Quentin isn’t even my friend (yet) and he treats me with more kindness and respect that Pierce ever did. That Theo ever did..
What a fool I am. For all the strength I possess, my heart seems to be my biggest weakness. If only I could simply tear it out, toss it aside, and scream at it to never harm me again. I let myself fall into these traps of manipulation and sacrifice because I so badly desire to be wanted and loved. For all my power, does this fact make me weak?
I am told that love and hope are the strongest forces in life. Quentin constantly talks about new beginnings, compassion, and hope. But what happens when those things become corrupted and twisted?
If Theoros ever comes to kill me, as I made him promise to should I ever give into my blood.. I will not hesitate to introduce him to our Lord. I am not afraid, anymore. I know my blood will not take me. And I know what I am doing is not wrong, otherwise Quentin would shun me. So would Ceviran and Berenor. I know what I do is right. My conviction is no longer in question. And should he raise blade, we will come to blows. And he will perish. Because he does not do the work that I do. He does not hunt those our lord asks us to. Not actively.
If Pierce should ever come for me, I will lay him next to Alara (that’s if I ever learn where she was buried). Forgive me, Alara. But it seems our family was always destined to fall apart. It was fated to fall.
Alara is dead now. She died whilst I was away. I should have been here, to see her at the end. But I was an ocean apart spending time with my father. I didn’t think I would lose anyone whilst I was gone. I thought she had plenty of time.. Pierce will not tell me where she is buried. As if to spite me... I cannot stop grieving for her. I can’t even say goodbye or find closure because I can’t even tell her to her face to ask for forgiveness for being away. I promised her I would protect her. And she in turn asked me to be her squire, just a few hours before I left. I wonder what she thought when I left. Did she miss me? Did she care as I did? Did she think of me in the end? Did she worry as she always did in life? What would she say?
I will see her again someday, I hope.
But with that knowledge.

With Alara gone, the last thread that held our ‘clan’ together, as Safiyyah would say, is over now.

But that's okay.

Because I don't need Theo or Pierce anymore. I have made new friends. I had made a new family.
The ironic part is that I am far happier than I was before. Perhaps it is because I do not have to deal with the stress of being Commander? Or perhaps it is because I do not have Pierce constantly jumping down my throat.
This is the last time I will speak of Theoros or Pierce. Or at least I will try not to focus on them anymore. Theoros, despite not being a priest, declared me excommunicated from the hoaran church at some point in the past.
They didn’t even tell me.
If they want to cover their own tracks, then fine. I want nothing to do with it, nor do their words define my faith. My prayers are still answered by Hoar. I know what I do is right. At least I do something.
Quentin is right. They do not define me. Their words are like rain. It washes over me and disappears. My wings are sprout and I have taken off. They cannot hold me down anymore.

As far as I am concerned. They are heretics.
"We keep loving anyway.
We laugh and we cry,
We break, and we make mistakes-
and if there's a reason, I'm by her side
Where so many have tried-
I'm willing to wait for it."
User avatar
The Salt Elemental
 
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:44 am

Re: Gift of Brutality

Postby The Salt Elemental » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:02 pm

Justice

“You think your power is what shapes the world you walk in, but that is an illusion. Your choices are what shape the world. You think your power will protect you from the consequences of those choices, but you are wrong. You create your own rewards. There is a judge. There is justice in this world, and one day, you will receive what you have earned. Choose carefully.” - Virtue of Justice.


So good news! Not all dwarves are rodents.

Or pricks, for that matter.

I’ve, somehow, managed to befriend the Herald of Brog. Again, life has become.. Ironic. I hate his race with every fiber of my being. Not one dwarf, aside from Ragart, has treated me kindly or has not immediately insulted me. Even then, Ragart tried to get me fired and thrown from Cordor before he came to be a friend.

But Gorudan was kind from the start. Again, within tendays of my return to the island, fate has brought me to another person who has defied my views on people. First Quentin defied my views on all paladins, and now Gorudan makes me question my hatred of the dwarven people. Of course, his people still sound like sodding curs. His own god teaches dwarves before anyone else. Gorudan himself is almost an outcast. Hated because he loves all people.. Equally. How.. sodding screwed up is that? The dwarven people do not have my respect whatsoever and never will. But Gorudan does.

I have seen how they treat him. It’s despicable. Heartless. It makes me want to slaughter them.

But I won’t. Because I’m better than that... Right? Bad Nehala.

...

I have been thinking a lot about the world. I’ve been thinking a lot about virtues and ideals that we hold ourselves to. Justice seems to come up so often now that I find myself set on repeat. I realise that I no longer fight for vengeance. And.. I haven’t for a while. I feel.. Guilty. Hoar has always taken care of me. Always protected me. Why would I ever leave him? He and I are similar. We walk between light and darkness, good and evil. Yet those who tempt us never succeed, we do our own thing. And we do it well.

Yet I find my faith dwindling. And there isn’t much I can do about it.

I don’t fight for vengeance anymore. I fight for.. Justice. That’s what it’s always about.

I have to admit to myself that Hoar does not.. Seem as appealing as he once did to me. I once loved him as my patron. - I still do. But.. I do not feel like I am fighting for the same ideals I once was. Those ideals.. That moral... it’s been shifted.

I can’t really keep denying these emotions or feelings. I’ve somehow crossed this line. And though Hoar answers my prayers, I feel distant.

I thought I would have more to say about this. I originally started this page thinking I’d go on and on about justice. But I suppose my inner conflicted feelings as of late is preventing me from going on some idealistic rant.
I blame this on the fact that my ideals are.. Changing. And so is my foundation for what I believe to be right and wrong.

... I wanted to write more but now I just don't feel like it. Sorry diary. There's just too much going on in my mind. I can't put it all down just yet.
"We keep loving anyway.
We laugh and we cry,
We break, and we make mistakes-
and if there's a reason, I'm by her side
Where so many have tried-
I'm willing to wait for it."
User avatar
The Salt Elemental
 
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:44 am

Re: Gift of Brutality

Postby The Salt Elemental » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:57 pm

The End of Family

Unsurprisingly, things have changed so much. I have officially given up Hoar as my personal deity of worship. For a while, I was even godless. Me! Ha! An Apostate!
I have switched my faith to Lathander. Though this is no news for anyone I love. This has been months in the making really. Months of talking and listening to Quentin and co. It’s funny that I never thought I’d turn from Hoar. But, I guess I still technically haven’t. The Lord of Three Thunders still answers my prayers. He still heals me in battle when I ask, favoring the ironic justice of a devil-born tiefling slaying devils on their own home plane. I still give him prayers as he has been my patron ever since I was a young girl. So I guess it’s not that I’ve abandoned Hoar completely but I have turned towards a new dawn and a new beginning.

And honestly? I think the Lord of Three Thunders understands my needs. I think he encourages giving Lathandar praise. Maybe I’m being silly but- Theoros claims of me being an apostate came at a weird time. When my faith was actually waning a little due to Quentins influence.
Anyway.. Back to the news updates..

Quentin finally called me his friend. Vashti returned - much to my chagrin. Cev almost quit again. I recruited nine people in one tenday for the guard. I’ve made new friends such as Iridorezara, Sheng Zhao, and Syl’reth (Silky). And I feel like I’m losing friends like.. Lucien.
And I, think, I convinced Vance to seek redemption. Maybe. I hope. He reminds me of a more chaotic version of myself when I was a teenager in some twisted way.

That is honestly.. Just the summery.

Oh...

Theoros Petrides is dead..

Good riddance.




Perhaps that is.. A terrible thing to say.. But that man brought me so much grief and heartache. I truly cared for him and Pierce and they.. Turned on me. I’m not going to play victim. I made mistakes. But they chose to make their decisions. And I made mine.

I did cry. A little. For the loss of what I once loved.

Somewhere deep inside, I know I still care. But my blood and my hatred is boiling over that love and that regret. I know what Quentin would say.
‘Stop thinking about it. Lay it to rest. And look towards a new dawn. There will be new beginnings and more chances to do better.’

I know that I should.

But it is hard. Especially when I held onto a grudge for so long now.

Despite my feelings on this... I feel bad for Vashti.

Yes, I know. What the hells Nehala? The woman has treated you no better than dirt the entire time you’ve known her. She turned them against you. She spit on you and called you names. And when you dared speak out, she challenged you for playing the victim card.. Even though you were.
I know. I should feel nothing but loathing.

And I do loathe her. To some degree. But I do not.. Hate her. I feel.. Sorry for her.

I’ve seen how she treats others when she does not notice my presence. Perhaps if I were fully human, she’d have treated me the same. I understand she hates my blood. And though it’s unfair of her, I.. get it. I feel.. Sympathy for her. Empathy. I know what she is going through right now. And my heart genuinely aches with compassion for the trials she will now face personally.

Of course I would never admit this to her. Never. She’d only see it as a weakness to exploit and harm me more.

Hoar had seen fit that all his religious things come into my care, I believe. The poetic irony of the fake-priest’s things coming into care of the person he claimed an apostate makes me want to sing praises to the Lord of Three Thunders with joy in my heart. But to her, to Vashti, those items were her everything. It was everything she had left of him. And I.. connected with that.

When Alara passed away, I had.. Nothing of hers. Pierce refused to even give me the location of her buried place so that I could find closure. I had to make my own hommage. I had to go trudging through the cricket caves to find a statue she made possessed and loved. I had to wait to receive a helm from Seel given from her to him.. And now to me.

I couldn’t bear the thought of someone else going through the same grief. I wouldn’t wish this kind of heartbreak on even my darkest enemy. And Vashti is far from an enemy. She is more.. An obstacle or nuisance at best. Most of all.. She’s still a person. And I wouldn’t be showing compassion if I did not give these items to her.. Would I? No..

I’d be just as petty and conceited as she is. As I was months ago.

Man.. I really have changed. Sure, I still talk about myself. I still am kinda selfish. I still constantly blabber on about justice and what’s right and wrong.. But if this had happened when I first came to this island?

...

I would have smashed Vashti where she stood. I would have put those pillars down in front of her and tore them to pieces with all the hatred and anger in my heart. I wouldn’t have cared if they were my own gods. The thought of putting her through that torture would have.. Elated me. But now.. I would only feel sadness and regret for such an action.

So I gave her his stuff. I wish I hadn’t. I knew it was the right thing to do. But I really wish I hadn’t. I don’t even have proof he’s dead.. She could have just been lying to me to get what she wants... I know. Sometimes it’s times like these that I wish I had given into my blood. Sometimes it really sucks when you have to do the right thing just because your conscious tells you to.

Until next time, loyal friend.
"We keep loving anyway.
We laugh and we cry,
We break, and we make mistakes-
and if there's a reason, I'm by her side
Where so many have tried-
I'm willing to wait for it."
User avatar
The Salt Elemental
 
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:44 am

Re: Gift of Brutality

Postby The Salt Elemental » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:27 pm

Graves

Well. I was not expecting this.
Ayperi’s grave was.. Desecrated. And in its place? The very Hoaran statues I gave Vashti. This is a low blow, even for her. How could she do this to someone she apparently considers a friend? The look of despair and heartbreak on Quentin’s face… That woman is more of a devil than I am. Who does she think she is? That she should choose what people to help and what people be left to die. How selfish is she? That she should desecrate someone’s grave and replace them with her lovers artifacts. How stupid is she? For breaking and burning bridges of people who have tried to help her, or people who care.

Speaking of burning bridges, Harrow really messed up.
Gonna be honest. Harrow really tempted me there for a while.

There is something I will never admit to anyone. It is that.. I enjoy.. having something special. I enjoy my blood. Yes, I am ashamed of it. I wish I never had it.. But I do enjoy having the perks that come with it. The unearthly strength I possess. My natural resistance to the heat, acid, and cold elements. Hells. Even these days the whole goat-look thing is starting to grow on me. For once, I don’t feel like a stranger in my own skin. I’ve.. embraced who I am fully. I’m even a little proud of it. Of course, I have always been forward with my blood. I’ve always been an advocate for allowing equal treatment on tieflings and humans. But now? I wouldn’t even mind a little more. I could see the use in having wings. I could see the use in growing my tail back.

For a while there, I seriously considered Harrow’s offer. Venachs offer. Their family.. I respect it. They stick together. They have order. It is something my blood yearns for. I yearn for their approval of all people. Yes, I feel tempted… but I know in the end my soul would be forfeit. Do I really want my soul to go through this.. ‘Pit of Maggots’?

Okay, I’m sorry, but if I want my soul to become soup to be reborn as something, I better sodding hells be reborn as a full badarse devil and not some blob of a pitiful existence. I know I am worth more than that. Harrow and her humans may believe that is a higher existence, but I am already with devil blood. By their logic, Kel, Venach, and I should be worth far more than they tell us.

Harrow spying on me was the last straw. She screwed up there. She could have had a powerful ally. A sister. And she squandered it.

For the time that I was godless there, I did seriously consider their promise for.. Family. But- that was just the last straw. I will find my family elsewhere if that is how they treat their family, or even prospective members. And I think they are finally becoming wiser of it.

I still respect Kel and Venach. They are my kin. But I won’t deal with Harrow. No. She has no respect or honor. - I guess I should have expected that from a pacter.

Moving on.

Seel is dying. The heart and lungs that were transplanted into his body a few years ago are being rejected by his soul and his body. I went to see them at the Winter’s Rest. I hugged him and Astra for maybe hours, sharing their pain and despair. They have come to be my close friends over the past years. Time I spent at the Tower, getting closer to Veritas, was time I spent with them too. I still dislike Jacob. I still think he’s a massive pushover and he needs to stop coddling Jadoth.. But everyone else is alright. Even Angela.

They asked me to be their children’s godmother. It.. really hit me then. I just… broke. I don’t think I could speak for ten minutes straight I just.. Sobbed. It really isn’t like me to be affected like this so heavily. It felt like I was experiencing what I should have experienced when Alara was dying. I feel as if this is what it would have been like if I’d been here.. I’m not going to leave Seel’s side. I wont leave Cordor whilst he withers. I was gone when Alara passed, I can’t just leave with Seel. I won’t make that mistake twice.

I promised them I would protect those children with every last breath and every last waking minute. What would I say? ‘No I don't want to be your kids godmother.’ That’s ridiculous.

They named them Alara and Alwin. Of course that had me crying for another five minutes straight. I don’t know how well they knew Alara, but I think she’d be bashful knowing they named their children after her. She’d probably feel honored. Gods I miss her.

All of this is very hard on me, emotionally. I am.. Attempting to keep it inside. I need to be strong for Cev and the rest of the guard. But I will admit the stress is getting to me.

Eldren was made Queen. I immediately regret my decision. I would rather a Thayan queen than someone highly influenced by the Banites. If she is actually a banite, someone will kill her. There isn’t any proof though. She’s only actually publicly thanked them for their help in proving her lineage.

Then there is Tornius and Vance. If there truly is a Cyricist-Banite alliance.. and Brog still wishes to declare war.. I worry for what may happen to Cordor.

This is bad. The Thayan should have won. She has the resources to support a highly magical army. I’m not so sure Eldren does. This all depends on Locklear’s next move. If Tornius is not excommunicated for his blatant alliance then I do not know what will happen. Only that the Radiant do not care what happens to Cordor, Myon is silent, Bendir is silently watching, and Brog and Guldorand are preparing for war.

It’s even worse that the thane is knowingly letting an infernalist run the town. One of my sources overheard Hilde speaking to Harrow about how this ‘coming war will be beneficial for us’. Referring to Harrow and her. Maybe this might explain Hilde’s weird, random loathing and distrust for me despite I having never even really met her until a few tendays ago.

Perhaps I am stressing too much over this.

Do I really care what happens to Cordor?


… No. Not really. It could fall for all I care… But I know Cev would defend it to the death. And that.. That is what I am truly afraid of.

In this aspect, Vashti and Quentin are far stronger people than me. I lean on Cev. He is my crutch, my weakness and my strength. But without him.. What would I do? The only thing I would have left to love is my patron.

I think it’d push me over the edge. I think I’d turn… I think I’d become the monster I’ve been fighting this entire time. I couldn’t handle it if he was gone. If he was taken from me. I would fight without rest. Without break. I would fight with passion and hatred. I would kill and hunt every last one responsible until my last breath. I would make them suffer. I would string them up by the fingernails and watch them writhe in agony so that they could feel my pain.

.. I am getting dark now.

My point is, my loyal friend, Cev keeps me from turning. He keeps me... anchored and grounded. He’s a promise for a better future. A happy future. One I did not believe I could have or even deserved. My.. hope. And now that we’re bonding, I.. I do not want to keep thinking about this. I am getting emotional at just the thought.
"We keep loving anyway.
We laugh and we cry,
We break, and we make mistakes-
and if there's a reason, I'm by her side
Where so many have tried-
I'm willing to wait for it."
User avatar
The Salt Elemental
 
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:44 am

Re: Gift of Brutality

Postby The Salt Elemental » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:32 pm

Morality

So many times, have I sat here on my bed or in the barracks, writing. At first, it was just a coping mechanism to deal with my feelings and sort out my thoughts. But now, I find solace and comfort in my journaling. I find myself asking, what is the point in this now? Do I really need to keep writing? Should I? If someone ever got their hands on this book, a lot of secrets I have held for others would be out. My own weaknesses, revealed.

Obviously, someone wants me dead. Or they wouldn’t go to the trouble of making me a headstone. I suspect Larry. He seemed like the type with that sense of humor and he’s too stupid to look at the crossed out Hoaran symbols on my chest plate. Likely he is behind on news such as faith.It’s not like I keep it very hidden.

Today, I’m in the boat. I can watch the sunrise from the harbor through my windows. I, actually, enjoy it more than sleeping in the barracks with Cev. I miss him when I sleep here, yes, but I find.. the sunrise brings me hope. It fills me with energy and motivation. Which I am sorely needing these past few ten days.

I think my willpower and resolve is finally breaking. Almost like cookies crumbling in milk. I know it is arrogant and haughty to think this but, the weight of the cities protection on my shoulders is exhausting me fast. Especially when that city has done nothing but bringing me and those I love pain and misery. It seems the only good that has come out of Cordor is Cev. And even then, this city has hurt him too.. even if he chooses to adopt a blind, optimistic point of view of Cordor. I think it is foolish of him to think this way. But I respect how he feels. This city made him order the final destruction of wharftown. Forced him to endure this burden of harming those people. He does not show it. Not to anyone but me. I understand his pain. I yearn to soothe it.

I miss Quentin’s company. It seems to be less and less these ten days. I have come to call him my closest friend. Out of all others, I consider him my brother. He is everything Theoros and Pierce should have been. He does not just say he accepts me.. he truely accepts and loves me as his sister. As... his friend.

And honestly? If I did not have Cev, I might have actually hit on him by now. But.. even if I did, I likely wouldn’t let it go anywhere. He already has so many lovers. I’m not interested in competing for love or companionship. I’m not interested in petty female fights. I wouldn’t want to become Ellie. A woman so obviously enamored and teased endlessly with a hope for marriage or more. Quentin would not marry. He is too polyamorous. Sune and Lathandar are close, after all.

In a way, I feel he is being cruel to them. Perhaps it is I that does not understand. To someone like me who is close with him, I see that he wouldn’t take a woman in a marriage bond. But to others like Ellie that just isn’t obvious to them.

Then again.. Quentin has always had a slightly cruel edge to him. Just like Vashti. I wonder what they’d be like if they were tieflings.

Anyway, I have been missing his presence lately. It seems our schedules aren’t aligning well. I wish I could take Cev away from this cursed city and stay at the radiant. Vashti would have a fit but.. I feel like he could convince her to let me stay. I have done a lot in the way of justice. It must count for something.

Speaking of justice, I’ve killed again. More than once. I feel pride in doing so. The gnoll, Vurbag, seems to keep coming back at the beckoning of his god. I have made him fall three.. maybe four times now. Twice I have skinned him and taken his head. If there is one thing I would comment him on, it would be his determination and resolve. Even if his efforts will ultimately be futile. He is weak, but strong against the new island arrivals that he kills. I suspect him to be a runt, the weakest of his so called pack... if that even exists.

Then I aided Hilde in killing a drow. Apparently he was the first male of this new drow house that’s sprung up in Barrith’s place. He wasn’t that hard. He was a snake. A Druid.

I will laugh if He learns to shapeshift into a wyrm. I have killed a dragon shape shifter before.


Vance continues to elude me. He’s gotten smart. I enjoy an enemy that thinks.

I honestly thought I broke through to him. I understand his pain. The idea that you will only harm those around you. That you can’t control yourself. That you are cursed. I read him like a book. I implored him to return to the tower and redeem himself.. atone. For a while, he looked hopeful. He looked like he wanted to. But the evil inside of him taints him I think. I had to at least try. Quentin said that everyone deserves to try for redemption if they seek it. Vance was seeking it. I was asked to cease hunting him until the tower figured it out.

I can’t help but feel my killing him on the tower grounds was my fault for his trust being broken in the tower. I told him to stay away from Jadoth. I acted on authority of the crown to execute him as a threat to Cordor. For his killings there...

I pray and I hope this was not my fault. If I am the reason he lost hope in redemption then... then I deserve to go to the hells.

But, I will not keep reminiscing on this topic. For now, I will look to the dawn for new hope.
Last edited by The Salt Elemental on Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
"We keep loving anyway.
We laugh and we cry,
We break, and we make mistakes-
and if there's a reason, I'm by her side
Where so many have tried-
I'm willing to wait for it."
User avatar
The Salt Elemental
 
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:44 am

Re: Gift of Brutality

Postby The Salt Elemental » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:35 am

How can this happen?

“Urghk.”
Boom. Squealsh. Drip.


All she could see was the color of sanguine. The color shocked her. She hadn’t expected her world to completely change and become painted with the tones of the life water that ran through all creatures. There was a ringing in her ears that drowned out the world out and muffled her senses. Her head seemed heavy, as if she were dazed..

In the distance she could almost hear the weeping of a distant woman as crows and vultures gathered overhead to watch the spectacle unfold. Their cawing cries a cacophony of torturous music that struck her ears and deafened her senses. It was as if they scorned her for standing their above their dinner. Encouraging her to move and to get out of the way of their next meal.
The tiefling felt mouth fall open. She felt the familiar iron-tinged taste that she had felt on so many other occasions. But she did not revel in its taste this day. No. She retracted with terror.

The raw, primal screams that escaped her lips were barely registered in her mind. Her knees bent and somehow she found herself on the ground. Her hands were stuck in something squishy. Something inherently.. Lumpy and wet. Her hands were red too now. And as she nelt her nose to the ground and screamed His name, the smell of new decay flushed her senses.

Before her, a grotesque pile of ash, flesh, and blood lay where he once was. Her eyes squeezed shut. This wasn’t happening. It wasn’t true. She couldn’t accept this. This was not how things would end. The woman would not let it end this way.

Gingerly, pathetically, she brought the pile of remains together. She tried, desperately, to put flesh on top of flesh as her eyes clouded and she began to mumble and scream erratically. She could not control her voice. Nor the thoughts and ramblings that she spew as she brought her hands to her head and squeezed her drenched hair. Flesh fell from the top of her head, from her face, her ears, and other places of her body to the ground as she moved.


The tiefling eyes burned as liquid prespired from her eyes and wet her cheeks. Her grey skin was now the horrifying sanguine color that she feared now. Her once white and brown robes.. Were soaked and covered with the gore of her friend. Lucien.

How could he do this?

Finally, the world around her came into view as she looks up from the mess. The sky had turned red, it seemed. The buildings of the street she knelt on seemed to loom over her ominously and everything seemed.. Quiet. It was the quiet that struck true terror inside of her.

At her sides, the bottles of essences he had given her lay in a scattered wreckage. Some of them were salvageable. Others were broken and in pieces, their contents mixing with the red liquid on the street. The sanguine colors melted into the stone, moving slowly towards the slight downwards slant that lead to the sewers.

She screamed his name.

But no answer came to her from the flesh beneath her. He did not have lips anymore. Nor did he look at her with amusement as he always did. She felt her hands squeezing again, wishing to hug him once more. The woman alas, could not feel her body.

Again, she screamed his name in defiance. He would answer. He had to. This.. must be an illusion.
But again, no reply came. And in that moment, the finality of it set in.

He was gone. Numbly, she raised from the scene. Her golden slanted eyes raised to the heavens to watch the reddened sky. To her surprise, the sky was blue once more. From her body, the remnants of the event dripped off silently and added to the mess at her feet. The woman carried most of what was left on him on her. His life water, his flesh, his bone. In her arm, a large piece of bone was lodged, and across her body she felt scratches and shards of him penetrating her skin. Though the pain now stung her, the numbness continued to prevail.

“Lucien?.. Lucien!”

The words kept flowing from her mouth. In the place, upon the pile, dark energy started to glow and form. The blood that soaked the streets she clearly saw now. A perfect ring around where his body stood only moments ago. Her goat-like eyes turned back to stare at the place, her last connection to him in this world. In the distance, an elf watched in silent horror. Reginelli watched in bitter silence, his expression giving nothing away.

The Elites in the distance dared to not break the silence, as if there was some kind of holy pact that even they, scourners of her blood, honored in the death of this man. No one dared to move until she did. The minutes that passed seem like hours before she took a single step away.

“This isn’t real.”


Her thoughts didn’t seem to be her own. This was not her. It was not how she reacted to these situations. She had experienced death before. The tiefling sucked it in. Her emotions were drawn inside as she forced herself to brave the surroundings. Another step. Squelsh. Another piece of him. She tried not to think about it as she pushed herself forward.

Like some kind of zombified wraith, she sojourned on with a purpose. Each step left a trail of him behind her. It wasn’t right, she felt. It wasn’t right at all. He’d have been mortified to be walked on. But it didn’t matter.

“Quentin. Please get Q-Quentin.” The words left her as she approached the speedy, shoving all her gold at the poor halfing. The woman didn’t even notice the horrified look on the hins face as she explained her message. She barely notified the elf, Starbloom, as she screamed in horror at the demonic-looking tiefling, drenched in gore. The words exchanged between them seemed a fleeting memory.

Hours later, she paced in the Winter’s Rest. They encouraged her to sit and rest. They insisted she do so. But she was still not apart of the world. Her pieces were as torn apart as Lucien was himself on that street. All the tiefling could think about was the image of his imploding in front of her. His words.. Their last conversation. How could she say those things. It was her fault.

This was her fault. The tiefling had failed them again. Her friends. Her family. The red was gone. There was no more of it. But it was still all she could see. As she lifted her hands to look at them, she could still feel the warm liquid dripping between her fingers. In her ears, she felt pieces of his flesh still. She clawed at them, trying to get them out desperately. But she only succeeded in creating new wounds. Her eyes.. She could still feel the blinding heat, the red, in her eyes. She needed to see him again.

Soon, her footfalls were heard through the streets as the cries of her friends yelled at her to come back. She couldn’t. She had to see him again. It couldn’t be true. This must be a bad dream. Vaguely she recalled Quentin behind her and then in front of her as they marched to the scene.

But Lucien was not there. No. All that remained was the pile of flesh and bone. The blood that seeped and stained the stone still prevailed. This was the breaking point. The tiefling suddenly felt the onsalught of feeling again. She felt arms around her, holding her. But she couldn’t discern who.

She heard words.

“I have lost my best friend, and my vice-chancellor. And now the vultures shall swarm.”

“I’m sorry for your loss, Alastair, Nehala. I did not care for him, but he was dear to both of you.”

She talked.

"This is my fault. The last thing I told him was I couldn't justify him killing Vashti. I couldn't.. approve of it. Because it was murder. That was the last conversation he ever had with anyone.. He just gave me some essences.. and.. and killed himself."


More words were said. She couldn’t remember who.

"I keep losing friends like this. Why did he do this?"

“He left a note on the board.”

“It looks like more than just blood to worry about...There is a malevolent air to this.”


She felt small elven hands wrap around her. Astra? Yes.. Astra. The tiefling kept her eyes closed, the image of him on her in her mind. She felt move arms. Seel? Quentin?

Quentin.

He wrapped his arms around her.

“ Its alright, Nehala. It's all going to be alright.”


She felt herself explaining as she hugged him, tightly. His embrace comforted her. She felt it, fully. It was the first thing she could feel since she saw red. The tiefling responded, wrapping her arms around the paladin. And she did not let go. Not for a while. Her will and her discipline faded as the sounds of brushing and mopping filled her ears. They were cleaning him up.

It was a sound that would continue to haunt her.

"We keep loving anyway.
We laugh and we cry,
We break, and we make mistakes-
and if there's a reason, I'm by her side
Where so many have tried-
I'm willing to wait for it."
User avatar
The Salt Elemental
 
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:44 am

Re: Gift of Brutality

Postby The Salt Elemental » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:39 am


Numb


Death is inevitable. It is something that every mortal must come to accept. Many, however, try to avoid it. They pitch fits. They look for loopholes. They turn to dark arts to escape it.

But no matter how many tricks and loopholes they find, it comes for everyone eventually. Death is the one assured thing in life, the one constant that we know will happen. That is why it is so scary to us.

I know this to be a fact. I know that I should be used to this by now. I should be more adjusted. I take so many lives.. And yet I expect the lives of those I love to continue to exist despite circumstances. How do I keep getting blindsided by death?

How do I keep losing people?
Safiyya.
Theoros.
Veritas. (Okay not dead, but I thought him to be dead for a long time.)
Alara.
Lucien.


I am told I need time to myself. Lots of things are told to me. I am expected to fall in line and do as they say. But how can I? How can I sit here and do nothing? Lucien always.. Always supported me. He always believed in me when others didn’t.

I feel.. Numb. I keep waiting to turn the corner and see his familiar face. I keep waiting to see him strolling around with Taelina or Alastair. I haven’t been back to my old home since it happened. His Waukeen altar stands there. How can I face it?

The last conversation.. He ever had.. He.. I told him I wasn’t okay with his murder. That he’d killed her in cold blood. Good gods, I hate Rashti. But - that doesn’t mean you just kill her because she says things you don’t like.

He told me he knew. Why didn’t I question him further? He just accepted my judgement. He didn’t fight it. He just walked off. Why didn’t I see he was hurting? That he was in trouble?

His last words.. I didn’t even know they would be just that.
“Do you want these?” He had asked as handed me essences randomly. It made me happy. I smiled.. He watched me smile. He stared. And it was silent for a few minutes as we looked at one another. And then he.. He casted destruction on himself. Did he want the last thing he saw to be me? Or did he wish for me to think this was my fault? Or was this Vance.. Giving me a message?
...

My heart is bleeding, diary. I am telling people I am okay, but I am not. I do not know what else I can do.


[The writing becomes abrupt. Tear stains litter the page along with a few ink splats.]
"We keep loving anyway.
We laugh and we cry,
We break, and we make mistakes-
and if there's a reason, I'm by her side
Where so many have tried-
I'm willing to wait for it."
User avatar
The Salt Elemental
 
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:44 am

Re: Gift of Brutality

Postby The Salt Elemental » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:42 am

Tweet. Tweet. Tweet.

Light is the first thing that is seen in the morning. The brilliant visage of the sun peeks over the forest beneath her as it rises to welcome the realm of mortals to another day. The birds of the forest tweet and twitter to the satellite, welcoming it as it heralds their new morning. They sing sweet praises to the dawn in a symphony of beauty and balance.

As the sun’s rays lift from the forest onto the falls of the Nexus, a pair of golden eyes reflect it’s visage as it rose. She watched it through eyes of admiration, surrendering to the beauty of it’s radiance as it slowly washed over her. Inch by inch, her grey skin uncovered from the shroud of darkness and became exposed to the day. The rushing water of the falls fills her senses and numbs them. The birds songs were the only thing to pierce the barrier, creating a harmony that only one far away from civilization could appreciate.

“Grunngh”

The tiefling ears twitched as the sound broke through the serenading songs and disrupted her newly daily ritual. She turns her eyes to glare at the ogre beside her whom gurgled and groaned. The large creature held its neck as blood stained the grass beneath it. It casted it’s dying glares to the tiefling, who held in her hand the weapon of its destruction. Her scimitar laid precariously beside her, wet with the creature’s life fluids. Feebly, it outstretched it’s free hand toward her. A few moments passed as he tried in vain, but, eventually, resigned to his fate. The ogre laid against a rock, looking towards the forest with hatred and envy at the life it was full of. The sun caused it to shutter.

As she turned her head back to the sun’s spreading light, she spoke,
“If only you understood.”

The ogre grit his teeth. Did he understand? Who knew. The beast had tried to kill her, and that is all she cared about. He pressed his hand further to the neck, trying to stop the bleeding and prolong his life. Perhaps, he could make it out of this. She had not sliced hard enough to break an artery.

“We are alike, you know.” A bittersweet chuckle escaped her lips, “We are monsters born in a world of beauty. Destined to hate it. Destined to envy it... Destined to die in it’s benevolence.”

The ogre eyes this strange, grey-skinned creature. Though his visioned blurred, he seemed to at least notice the horns that sprout from the top of her head and curled behind her head. A crown of sin. He opened his mouth to reply in Jotun, but the words came out guttural sounding. Wincing, he knew this was not a good idea. Perhaps, it made his wound worse. So the beast remained silent.

“It’s a cruel joke, isn’t it? That we should be born into such a beautiful place.” Her tone was soft as she stared at the sunrise. Her goat-like eyes stayed fixed upon the light that covered the Arelith forest.

“You and I. We are the sins of this world. Examples of the ugliness that threatens to pervert the beauty of Toril.” The tiefling wistful sigh was lost by the crushing sound of the waterfalls around them. The ogre grunted as a spurt of blood dripped from his neck as his grip loosened, distracted by her words. It is times like these that the ogre had wished he understood what she was saying.

“Quentin says that when I die, the Morninglord will cleanse me of my blood. But.. my blood has made me who I am. Can’t it just be purified? Devils used to be angels. What am I without it?”

Splurt, gag, gnnk. The ogre dropped to the ground. He didn’t have enough energy to prop himself up anymore. He stares at the tieflings right thigh as he laid next to her, his hand still outstretched in vain. This was how he would die. The finality of it hit him. It was over. His eyes widened in fear and horror.

Suddenly, he felt hands on him. Tiny, puny hands. His nostrils flared, though in his weakened state he did not have the energy or desire to fight her. The hands picked his head and body up, facing him towards the sun. It was almost risen now, only a few slivers were still sheathed by the land. His eyes watered. He would not see another day. He didn't want to go! He didn’t want to die! For an instant, he panicked. He wanted to live, he realised. He tried to talk, tried to plead with her. But she continued to hold his face forward.

“Shh. It’s okay. Look at the light and let it cleanse your soul. You will soon be safe. You will soon cross over and you will no longer be in pain. Take comfort that this is not truly the end. It’s only a new beginning. A new sunrise.”

This sodding wench was crazy, the ogre thought. He didn’t care about the stupid sun. He wanted to live. He wasn’t ready. Curse her! Curse her back to the Hells!

With the final thought he felt death take a hold of his soul. The cold feeling started to take over and he could feel himself growing weaker. He could no longer feel his legs. His arms started to slip and his vision became blurry. His last visage was that of the sun breaking through the trees in all its glory.

Nehala let the ogre slip from her hands as he died. Perhaps she had given him a better death than many others. A pity he had to die. She wished he hadn’t attacked her. She had not wanted to kill before the sun rose. She had wanted to watch it in silence.

Too much had been on her mind. She had sought the solitude and peace these falls had to offer. The fond memories of a distant time of laughter. Before they were gone. Safiyya, Lucien, Alara.. Theoros. These waters started it all. Perhaps, one day, when she was old and grey she would come back here. And this is where she would end it. It seemed a fitting place. Ironic.

The tiefling smiled as the light finally covered her entirely and the warmth of morning sun flooded her senses. A new day had started.
"We keep loving anyway.
We laugh and we cry,
We break, and we make mistakes-
and if there's a reason, I'm by her side
Where so many have tried-
I'm willing to wait for it."
User avatar
The Salt Elemental
 
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:44 am

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