Akorae: Painful Truths

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Eira
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:31 pm

"Never. Forget."

And she would not.
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:23 am

The Mistake spoke and they all listened.

For once, it was not her own guilt.

But it hurt anyway.
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:36 am

He spoke and she just stared, feeling an icy chill in the pit of her chest. Her words turned rasping as she spoke his name, just- he had to understand.

"It is part of the game, never forget," she managed to get out. "What you see from him is what he shows you. I know- I desperately wish to believe there is any fleck of possibility."

What words could she possibly throw at him to make him see?

None of them seemed right, nothing she tried until-

"I will rend this city if need be to keep you safe."

That would be enough. That had to be enough.
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:42 am

"...That is unfair."

"Damn you, I will make it unfair!"

If that was what it took.
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:37 am

"I may be ilythiiri," she said, as if that were something she had to admit to herself, "but I doubt I'll live far past my first century."

"Not if I take care of you," he replied with a steely surety.
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:12 pm

His voice was quiet, and in it she could still feel the soft brush of his hand against her cheek though he had already drawn it away. "Stay with me until the end?"

"The end of what?" For once, the words didn't catch in her throat.

"The end of our days."

That wasn't the kind of question one would hesitate to think about before answering, so she did not.

"So long as it is in my power, I will."
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:37 pm

"You are like- perhaps a sister, actually. I do not know what it is like to have one."

"I do not either. But we can find out together."
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Sun May 10, 2020 9:51 am

"I beg you," he whispered, "not to put yourself second again."

She couldn't answer him for a long moment.

Not when what she had to say would only be a disappointment.
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Tue May 19, 2020 5:16 am

"I do not think you could handle me," he said with a flash of teeth. "But by all means, it would amuse me to watch you try."

It wasn't a threat if only for the veneer of a smile; one that rarely slipped. Her own mask settled into place. This was a reminder, nothing more. All part of the game; all to nudge her into remembering that she never truly could relax around him.

"I like playing with my food," he continued.
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Fri May 29, 2020 9:09 pm

“There’s something more, isn’t there? What do you feel for him?”

Her lips thinned at the question, jaw tightening to bite down on her words- as if holding back an answer she wasn't sure how to phrase anyway. Her eyes flicked up to meet his, and then back down. All she could do was stand there in silence.

But he wouldn’t let her avoid the question that easily. Hollow gaze peered back at her. He waited.
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:10 am

"I am scared," she whispered. "I have never been scared for another this much, not since before we came here. I feel like everything is out of my hands and there is nothing I can do."

She fell silent then, but a shake of her head spurred her next words.

"I don't like it."
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:29 pm

"Can't you see how he manipulates you," the other whispered.

She grit her teeth, resisting the urge to lash out. They were wrong. Everyone was wrong.
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:32 am

A lithe hooded figure sat on the ship’s rail, dull amber gaze settled on the endless choppy waves. Those glinting eyes were the only thing of color to her, shrouded as she was in grey and black. Even her expression was concealed with a full-face mask, sculpted in platinum features hardly even close to her own.

Her feet dangled freely over the water, such coolness temptingly close in the heat of the day.

“And when you arrive?” her companion asked, continuing a conversation that had fallen silent minutes before. Or hours.

“I don’t know,” she said honestly. But for once, admitting so didn’t settle heavy in her gut or flit anxiously in her chest. “I think that is okay.”
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:28 pm

The scrape of wood under her feet brought back memories of that night.

Her steps had fallen none-too-lightly on the aged deck of the Cordorian warship. Even so, any sound she would have made was nothing compared to the imposing black-armored tread of the warrior standing in front of her. She doubted the two humans even noticed her in his shadow, their attention fixed on his clear threat.

His voice was pleasant with greeting, met with wary hostility. One of them had drawn two knives, threat spitting out from between his teeth and settling between the pairs. The other was a figure of splendor and shining armor, and as she stared at him, something ached in her chest. His voice was no less cold.

A blur of movement, two knives flashing for her companion’s throat. A strangled cry tried to work its way up her throat, though she pressed her lips to remain silent, twirling her staff to block the blow and return it with a flurry of quick strikes. Ribs. Chest. Shoulder. Ribs. Ribs. Side. Block. And a final sweep, knocking his feet out from under him and finished with a cringeworthy crack as his head hit the deck and he went limp.

The dark warrior had stepped to the side, watching, leaving the knight to focus on her. She whirled with a panicked flutter in her chest, but her staff swung and struck, knocking the blows aside until she lined up the perfect strike to his head.

Just enough to knock him out.

But even as the staff whipped through the air, she knew it was wrong. It was too much. With a sickening crunch, the magically enhanced wood crushed into his skull, sending the knight down into a sprawl onto the deck. His blood leaked into the wood as he lay there, too still.

Her companion said nothing as she stared in shock at the corpse. He sheathed his blade, untouched by blood for once, before walking over to the other one. She swallowed the regret, letting it curl around some dark place in her gut. The knight wasn’t supposed to die.

The other human stirred, his eyes opening to see the two drow standing there. His voice, weakened by the bruises now littering his body and the fractured bones, snapped out at them. And was met by silence from them both.

At a curt word from her companion, she crouched next to him, rooting through his pockets for any coins, the frantic beat of her guilt hammering through her chest. A nervous look up to her companion as he turned back to the boarding ladder and she made her choice. A quick hand snaked into her pouch, pulling out the scroll and slipping it into his pocket. Another chance for the knight at life.

“I’m sorry,” she murmured, doubting he could understand the words.

She drew away from the human, following the warrior back onto their ship.

He said nothing about the scroll, about the way she had lingered next to that human. Had he even noticed? Perhaps he didn’t know the death was an accident.

She ached to hear those words from him for the first time.

You did well.
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:38 pm

The dark elf spoke the name, watching the recognition filter through their eyes as they stared at her. “He sent me,” she added, as if that name was not enough for them.

Before they could answer, she raised a gloved hand to slip the platinum mask from her face, wariness guiding every movement. Ashy skin and bone-white hair; even if the eyes had fooled them at first, the rest would not.

“Why?” one asked, hand resting at his hip, though any real hostility from her sudden appearance had faded with the name.

She replied, watching their reactions carefully. Perhaps he would learn about what she told them, perhaps not.

He might be angry. But in this moment, watching their expressions change; seeing the touch of a barely concealed smile, that anger would be worth it.
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:38 am

“What is this one?”

The dark elf stepped from one stone to pause before the other, faded and worn. Whatever words chiseled into the surface had faded long ago, and she bent over in futile effort to make them out.

“He never told you?” the other said, though his voice carried no real surprise.

She straightened, masked face regarding the man. “He has only ever told me little.”

“He wasn’t always that way.”

Her lips twisted in something of a bleak smile as she turned amber eyes back to the little stone. “I wouldn’t know.”
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:01 pm

“Frightened, dhaerow?”

The hateful whisper snaked its way through her thoughts, sending a brush of ice down her spine. The warm sun on her skin couldn’t even chase away that lingering dread which threatened to still her breath in her throat. Unbidden, her eyes flickered open to squint at the searing brightness hanging in the sky.

“Have you ever seen the sun, girl?” The smile that sprang forth at her answer collided with the venom lurking in his throat and coated his next words. “Good. You should know just what is denied to you.”

I can go wherever I want,” the dark elf whispered, an echo of her bitter denial to him all those years ago. Ashen lips twisted in a grimace. Her words felt as weak now as they had then, a plea to herself to not fall under the boot of his hate.

She squeezed her eyes shut and cursed the brightness seared into her eyelids. His face was as clear to her mind’s eye as it had been when she first saw him, as marked as by scars as she had been. Those golden eyes blazed with hatred.

“I am different,” he proclaimed. “I wake and know the sun. I see green grass, strong oaken trees; I hear birdsong and the breath of someone I know who I can trust absolutely.”

Not so different, she had told him.

“If I saw you under the stars, I would take many long hours to demonstrate to you the meaning of justice.”

The dark elf forced her eyes open again, speaking the astrologer’s name alongside a curse. “You won’t,” she continued, her words finally touched with as much spite as his own had carried. “You won’t see me under the stars if I walk under the sun. Like you.” Pained tears leaked down her cheeks as she kept her amber gaze fixed on the sky. “I am like you and you are-“ she spoke his name again. “-you are like me. Like all of us. And we can do whatever we want. I can do whatever I want. Go where I want. No one can stop me.”

The only witness to her words was her own memories.

But that would be enough.
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Tue Oct 20, 2020 4:39 pm

Both masks faced each other, the identical expressions of beaten metal unchanging.

"...That was what I suspected," one finally said, disappointment growing heavy in her voice. "That's how it always has been. Why would it change?"
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:40 pm

She sat with a small harp in her lap, dully plunking a simple melody. The notes echoed through a hall deserving of something more beautiful, though that hardly mattered when her playing barely registered in her own ears. Her gauntlets lay next to the wall where she had first flung them.

“He’s dead,” he said, some look in his eyes that she wasn’t able to understand. That she wasn’t ready to see.

The distant tolling of the bell beat the word even further into her brain, as if he had planned for this, as if he had known what she would ask him.

Dead.

Dead.

Dead.

For a moment, there was nothing.

The fury rose up with such a passion that she nearly choked at the white-hot rage burning its way up her throat before it subsided into something dark and simmering. Every word she struck out at him carried another ember of her anger, and it was all she could do to not accompany them with her fists.

It did not matter what blows against him that her words struck. Even if he flinched- if he stood strong, she couldn’t tell. It didn’t matter- she wanted him to hurt and yet she didn’t care if he did. Even when he accused her of it- even when he spoke that word that almost made her recoil back from the pain-

All her strength went into turning away from him and leaving the room.

Dead.

Her steps took her back there, back to the others, and she shoved her way through, seeking the nothingness once more. They spoke to her and she answered, the rage rising up once more, the dark elf spitting out words like they could spark and hurt. It didn’t matter what they thought now.

One followed her.

She could have locked the door; could have shut them all out, but alone in the corner with nothing but the emptiness sloshing in the bottle and the emptiness burning its way through her chest, facing it by herself was too much to bear.

He asked her a question and she lied to his face.

She couldn’t help it.

It was the same lie as usual, borne on rage and loss and self-pity, and yet with the lie carried more truth than she had ever dared to give him. He wouldn’t have understood. She knew he wouldn’t.

None of them would except for the one that she hated most, the one that she wanted to beat into the dirt and scream and rage at him and cut into him; one cut for every single wound he had inflicted on her. One cut for every time he stabbed at the crack in her mask. For every bit of her that he killed and for every bit that he tried to revive now of all times, now when it was too late.

It hurt more when he came to her later, with that tone of voice and the understanding in his eyes. After all she had done and after all he had done-

She wanted to hate him so much. As much as he deserved.

She should hate him.


With a deep sigh, she let her fingers still on the harp strings.

“He would tell you not to mourn,” the dark elf said softly, though the words fell flat to her own disbelieving ears. “Just-“ she stopped and her breath rasped out in halting gusts as she struggled to find some way to express the words dancing around her mind.

“Vithing hells.”
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:41 pm

She watched him go, his name dying on her lips before it she even drew breath to speak it.

“Run,” the other said.

“No,” the dark elf replied, the words feeling right for once. “I am done running after him.”
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:12 am

“He was a traitor.”

That burning hate writhed in her belly at the words, threatening to lash out through her tongue, through her fists. She could silence them by beating the truth into them over, and over, and over-

But that would only make the memory weep when she wished nothing more but to cherish it.
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:05 pm

“Do ilythiiri even cry?” he asked, genuine curiosity mingled with the laughing tone of his voice.

“No.”

“No.”

“No.”

Three voices, alike in their sibilant tones and assuredness of righteousness.

Three lies, whether aware of it or not.
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:45 am

“I was right,” she finally said, understanding and pain and loss mingled into one at the words. “I was- the one time it mattered, I was right.”

They sat in silence for scant heartbeats more before she continued.

“I never should have offered him mercy. I never should have kept my word. All he deserved was a slow death.”
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:56 am

“I created it out of hope. A small spark in a world full of despair. Ironic now, is it not? There is none of that hope left.”
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Re: Akorae: Painful Truths

Post by Eira » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:35 am

“Even he doesn’t care for me,” she said. “But that is okay. Those who care for me end up dead. He is safer that way. I am safer that way.”

“If he did not care, he would not pay me to watch over you.”
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