Private Tales Alpine Getaway

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Kasimir

Forsaken Shadow
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"What kind of place is this?" Berado asked as they stepped into the shadow realm that was his own. Or at least her assumed it was his own, in truth he didn't know, but then he hadn't ever seen anyone else walk the ways. Kasimir glanced down to his small companion and then set off at a brisk pace along the road.

"The Shadows. You need to keep up, getting lost here is ill-advised," he said solemnly. The dwarf didn't need telling twice. In the darkness his magic didn't quite feel right and the smell of burning hair Kasimir had become used to smelling was dimmed here. The shadows were like a poor copy version of the world outside but for him it was much more comfortable. His mind drifted from the dwarfs comfort to the last person he had taken into this realm and her reaction to it. He hoped she was faring better on her own but worry gnawed at his stomach and had him scanning the glimpses of the world beyond for any hint of her. Nat was good at her job though and even his keen eyes found no trace of her amongst the crowds.

It wasn't long before the duo also came out near the portal stone in time to see the readying of the cage. If it had been more overcast he would have been able to walk then straight up to it but his world ended at the edge of the building. Berado hovered behind him, glancing up to the red demon and then back to the stone.

"What now?"

"I'm thinking," Kasimir frowned and his tail lashed against the ground. He could always kill the lot of them and then dive through the stone but that would be even more of a scene. Mid thought his eyes followed one of the odd little machines which had stopped at seemingly nothing. For a brief moment he let the shadows drop then flick back into place as a signal.
 

Nathaira

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The small machine was definitely looking at her. It was eerie how alive it seemed to be. It took a timid step forwards, as if it weren't sure what its senses, or what passed for senses, were telling it. The crystal was a deep purple in the sunlight, and it took another clinking step in her direction. Nathaira did not move, it was easiest to keep her shroud up if she remained still. As the creature approached, the color of the crystal began to change from purple to a warmer orange.

She saw a flash of red from the corner of her eye and he head snapped to attention. She saw Kasimir, but only for an instant. It seemed that his shadows had run out before the courtyard. The cage was nearing completion, and once it was done it would be lifted into place by several strong dwarves. They had but minutes to act. Luckily, they would have the element of surprise. Almost all of the guards were stationed on the periphery and were looking away from the stone. Only those working on the cage were nearby, and they did not appear heavily armed.

The dog's crystal eye was a sunset color now and it seemed to be stalking her, low to the ground. It didn't take much of a leap to guess that the crystal would keep edging towards red, and once it did her invisibility would be useless. It was time. She dropped her invisibility, and the moment she did she dove backwards through a window, crashing into the building behind her. As expected, the dog's crystal eye flashed scarlet, and it charged after her.

She was in a home, and she knew from the warmth within that there was a fire burning. She ignored the cries of the family within and ran to their hearth, taking the burning logs from within and throwing them outwards. Her hands blistered, but she paid them no mind. Whirling past a shocked dwarven man she tore an oil lamp from the wall and threw that too on the ground. The rugs and wooden table lit just as the dog lept through the window, but Nathaira was already out the door.

Adrenaline pushed her muscles to perform feats that cold could not suppress, and she charged across the narrow street and into another building. Here, too, she threw wall torches and smashed lanterns before running out the back.

Chaos was her aim. The stone houses would not burn to the ground, but the families within would beseech the guards for help. The metal beast that chased her would lead more soldiers towards her and away from Kasimir and Berodo. If the pair of them were quick enough, they might be able to leave unseen.
 
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Kasimir

Forsaken Shadow
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The Forsaken were created to obey and complete their missions. They were not expected to hesitate when the opportunity to deliver the goods presented itself. They were not expected to care about one another - they were all expendable and if one forsaken died it meant they lived which should have been good. It would have been good, in the past, for Kasimir. He would have never hesitated before when one of his partners created a diversion in order for him to deliver the dwarf to his masters. But things had changed. He had changed. He had learnt to feel something for someone else again and it glued his feet to the floor in abject horror as the keeper of his heart flung herself into the middle of a distraction.

Berado shoved at the demons back with a hiss. "What are you waiting for?!"

What, indeed, he thought to himself. Wrenching his eyes away and trusting Nat to keep herself alive, Kasimir all but picked up the dwarf and charged forward. Many of the guards had already started after Nat and they were not expecting another person to appear seemingly from nowhere. The shadow blade slid down his forearm and materialised in his hand in time to slice through the first man's stomach. The second across the throat. The third's head dropped when it was severed from his head. Blood painted the ground where Kasimir stepped like a crude red carpet rolled out in his honour.

Dropping his package down beside the portal stone he began to fiddle with the runes to align them to Elbion; that had been where their master had said he would meet Berado. When it flared to life he shoved the dwarf through then ... sealed it shut. He turned and then dove back to help his heart.
 
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Nathaira

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Nathaira had never failed. No Forsaken did more than once, and she did not intend to break her streak now. Surprise had been her ally, but it was a friend that faded quickly. The guards had begun to understand what was happening now, and they moved to surround and contain the viper in their nest.

Nathaira crashed through another window and rolled to her feet in the snowy street. Fire licked at the frigid air from within the home she had left, and steam had begun to rise from her. The more blazes she set the warmer she became, and the warmer she got, the faster was. The guards on this street were already running towards her, and to her dismay, the door ahead was steel.

"How many forges doess this place need?" she hissed to herself and vaulted up the wall, finding hand and footholds in the barred window and rocky roof. She was running atop the city now, skidding on icy stone slopes and leaping the thin alleys. She had bought herself enough time to check the courtyard, and she saw what she had hoped for.

Kasimir moved unbothered by the dwarves he cut down, towing Berodo behind as easily as a sack of cotton. They approached the stone before the cage-makers had even caught wind of their advance. They were going to make it! She felt a bittersweet melancholy as Berodo vanished in a distorted flash. They had completed their mission. It had been noisier than they'd hoped, but Vel Anir would not regret their speed. Still... she would have liked to spend more time with Kasimir in the quiet mountains, far away from their masters. She would have liked to feel his warmth one more time before...

"What are you doing?!" she yelled out loud, much too far for him to hear her. Her face had turned from contemplation to horror as Kasimir turned from the stone and raced for the fires. No no no! You were supposed to go! You were supposed to be done! Safe!

A metallic clank startled her from behind and she saw a short figure climbing to the roofs via a grappling hook. She hissed a particularly nasty curse, and sped off again.

The problem with sending two stealth agents was that it made finding each other extremely difficult. At any time Kasimir could be hiding in shadow, and with the blooming smoke and haphazard lights from the fires, those shadows could be anywhere. She had to keep moving, and she kept her amber eyes open wide, but her best bet, she knew, was for him to find her.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
In a flash and a dizzying twirl, Berodo landed heavily on warm, brittle grass. The sun was relentless, and a dusty haze filled the air.

"Berodo Silvermitt," spoke a voice colder than the ice of Belgrath. The dwarf was lifted roughly by armored hands and set upon his feet. He blinked the blurred shapes from his eyes and settled them on the dreadlord before him. "Vel Anir welcomes you."

"Ach, is that who saved me, then? Bugger all I thought it were Elbion what with the creatures ye sent- oof!" He was clapped on the back by the dreadlord so hard that the wind was knocked from him, and a chilling sensation filled him against even the desert sun as he was ushered alongside the tall man.

"We are going to do great things together."
 
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Kasimir

Forsaken Shadow
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The Shadows that chose Kasimir were random. They would approach him as small things; flowers, mice, even little bugs. They would approach him as large things; flame, winds, blades, animals. He chose which to offer his skin to as a passage for them to escape their realm based on his own needs. He might have shown kindness to Rumer and Nat but he had survived being a Forsaken this long because of his ruthlessness and his quick intelligence. Not all would have chosen a butterfly over a lion for an ally for example but Kasimir knew that a shadow who could be his ears in rooms he could not fit into was far more valuable the teeth and claws. When this particular shadow had found him however, he had been lacking any types of negatives. It took up a large expanse of his back and thus would deprive him of other shadows, smaller ones, but they were worth it.

Especially in moments like this.

People often thought that shadows were things restricted to the ground but that was not true. If a person looked up they would be able to see shadows against the clouds themselves. And where shadows touched, Kasimir could go. Two wings spread out from Kasimir's back like a fallen angel and with one beat he pushed himself into the air.

He had lost Nat in the confusion as she dove and wove her way through the buildings and streets but from the skies he could see more. Two more beats and he was on her trail along with the guards. It always amused him how nobody ever bothered to look... up.

He landed on the roof between the guards and his love and drew his sword. The first guard practically ran onto it and the second didn't get much of a chance to respond before his head went tumbling from his shoulders.
 

Nathaira

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The rooftops were slick with meltwater from the flames' heat and Nathaira landed with a splash onto another building. The guards were not equipped to move in this way, what with their heavy armor and stocky frames, but they did outnumber her. She could see them forming in the streets below, ready to pour over her should she fall or be forced back to the ground.

Few could follow her as she sprinted and jumped, but more were always ascending on their hooks and cables wherever she landed. They pulled themselves up with surprising ease, and Nathaira realized that they had obviously been outfitted for scaling mountains. The city was vast, she would never run out of rooftops, but escaping the city like this was unlikely. Plus, she had to regroup with Kasimir, but she had lost sight of him entirely.

She heard a swooping, and a rush of wind, and turned and ducked expecting to see arrows flying towards her. Instead she saw a demon, with raging red skin and wings of deepest shadow. It took her a second to recognize it as Kasimir, and in that time he had dispatched of the nearest guards. He could fly??? She was too amazed to be annoyed at how useful this skill would have been in any number of situations leading up to now, nor could she keep the wide smile from splitting her face ear to ear.

She ran to him as quickly as she could and practically leapt into his arms with a python grip around his shoulders. "Take me," she said above the din, as a crossbow bolt ripped past their heads. She wanted him to take her into the sky, to take her far away from here. Take her somewhere where it could be just them.
 
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Kasimir

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Kasimir nearly stumbled at the sudden surprise of having her in his arms. The blade vanished in a smoky whisp and instead he pulled her closer to his chest. For a brief moment Kasimir stood looking at the assembled guard opposite him on the roof who looked equal parts bewildered and uncertain. Using their hesitation to his advantage he spread his wings.

"As you wish," he threw her a smile and then gave his wings one strong beat. Wind whipped at their hair and then after a moment of weightlessness they were airborne.

The problem with using his wings was the amount of energy it took. Unlike the smaller shadows which sapped at his reserved the wings sucked at him. They flew far beyond the dwarven kingdom and deeper into the forests of the spine. After an hour past the tips of his feathers began to flicker and fade. He angled them down and when his feet touched the snowy floor he stumbled then dropped to his knee. His face was paler than normal and he even shivered. Despite it though he didn't let her fall and instead set her on her feet with all the care in the world.

"We should be safe here for the night."
 
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Nathaira

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It was exhilarating to shoot into the sky and take flight, to watch the chaos below shrink away, to see the bolts and arrows and lightning rush towards them only to fall short. It would make sense to be terrified, but she wasn't. Though she held fast to Kasimir's shoulders she knew he would not let her fall. The guarantee of his protection made all the difference, and whereas the plummet through the wastewater had been horrible, this was magic.

The wind was deafening as they flew, making conversation impossible, but this did not bother her. She could have spent an eternity held close to this man, gazing on the earth from the vantage of dragons. She spent equal time gazing at his face, though. Maybe it was the adrenaline still fueling her, but his eyes held all the beauty of the Spine down below. She could feel him moving, feel the strain of his muscles with every wingbeat, feel how his arms did not loosen around her even after an hour.

He was tiring, though, she knew this. She could see his temperature dropping, and when they landed she immediately turned and placed her hands on him. It was laughable to even pretend she could support him. She was a head shorter than him, and thin as a wiry cord next to his bulk. She took his face in her hands and pressed her lips to his for long, long time. When finally she drew back, she looked on him with concern.

"Thhank you," she said heavily, as if the words alone could restore him. The air was cool and getting colder as the sun set. Seeing Kasimir shiver was frightening, not only because she would need his body heat to survive the night. Her face betrayed guilt. Had he stayed back only to help her? Had he pushed himself too far because of her stunt? You were not supposed to come back for me.

Her hands slide from his rough cheeks to slide over his shoulders and chest, searching for tender spots. "Are you hurt?"
 
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Kasimir

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"No... just tired..." he laid his hand over the top of hers for a brief moment, squeezed, and even offered a tiny little smile. But despite that there was a tightness around his eyes and beneath them shadows gathered as energy ebbed out of him. "The bigger or more powerful a shadow is that I have to ask for help from, the more of my energy is saps," he explained slowly and realised as he went on that he had never tried to describe the way his shadows worked before. He ran a hand slowly down his face and rubbed the bridge of his nose between thumb and forefinger before pushing himself back to his feet.

"It's why I don't use them often. I just couldn't..." he looked down at her and pain flashed across his orange eyes. Gently Kas reached out and cupped her cheek, his thumb smoothing over her cheekbone down to her lips.

"You are mine, Nat. And I will not give you up so easily."
 
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Nathaira

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She had never seen him look so exhausted. In fact, she hadn't been sure he slept at all until recently. And she had always assumed he controlled the shadows, what was this about "asking" them for help? She looked at him through both sets of eyes, one viewing his beauty and the other his warmth, and realized she knew next to nothing about him. She wanted to know everything. She wanted to uncover every detail, every secret, to understand what made the perfectly imperfect man before her. Maybe if she knew that, she would know how to make him stop hurting, for it was pain without measure to see him like this.

His words broke her heart, and she leaned her face into his hand and closed her eyes, spilling two cool tears down her face. She wanted so desperately for it to be true, to give herself to him and take him for her own... but it was a lie.

She did not belong to him. She did not even belong to herself. As long as they both bore the brands they had but one master, and one purpose... and so before they had even stepped through the portal onto Belgrath's fresh snows Nathaira had hatched a plan. She was not going back to Vel Anir, not just yet. In the time after a mission's end, when the air of success hung heavy, the rune was at its weakest. It would pull her back in time, as it always did, so she must move quickly.

But she wasn't supposed to fall in love! Not now, not yet. Why had fate delivered her joy only to tear it away from her? She would not have time to learn his secrets, for this was a path that Kasimir could not follow. This was a task for her alone. Perhaps, if she were lucky, she would survive to return to him.

"Kasimir... I..." she tried to answer him and the words stuck in her throat. Even with her lids closed his face burned brilliant in her sight, and his eyes would not let her speak. Even with the sun waning, and the air growing colder, she felt nothing but his radiance. "I..."

Then she kissed him again. Hard, defiant, and desperate. She was not ready for their paths to diverge again, but if they must, she would take all she could beforehand.
 
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Kasimir

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Kasimir was surprised but elated by her response to his words. Her passion he mistook simply for love and gratitude not the more darker things she had to tell him that would break his heart. He had been truthful in his words to her; she was his. He would have followed her anywhere she had asked, done anything, defied masters and runes alike until it cost him his life. That passion and love was what poured into the kiss he returned with vigour. His hand slid from her cheek into her hair where he tangled his fingers amongst her braid and pinned her tightly to him.

Their passion continued until Kasimir reluctantly pulled back, his forehead resting against hers. Their frosting breath mingled in the slim space between which heralded the reason why he had stopped.

"We need to start a fire before you get too cold," another caress across her skin. "And I need to eat," to refuel the energy he had lost during their mission. Despite his words he didn't move. Reluctance to leave her pinned him in place.
 
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Nathaira

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She never wanted his lips to leave her, but leave her they must, for he was right: the mountain night would be harsh. She, too, stayed just a bit longer at his side, loving how tightly he held her. She sighed at last, and gently pushed herself away, nodding in agreement.

"I will find food. Give me ssomething warm to come back to," she winked, or tried to. It was difficult with her growing fatigue. She wanted to hunt, though, it felt good to be doing something for Kasimir. She would find him nourishment, and he would grant her fire. Perhaps her appetite would return with the flames.

Her own body blended in to the cold backdrop, but the forest creatures did not. They blazed amidst the dimming frost, and before long she had found a hare, a stoat, and had even managed to pluck a woodpecker from its hole as it settled in to sleep.

She dragged her bounty back, and by the time she returned her legs felt like lead and she was having trouble keeping her eyelids from drooping.
 
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Kasimir

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Kasimir brought his hands to his mouth and blew on them in an attempt to get some warmth back into his fingers. The snow had finally stopped falling but it had painted the forest in a fresh layer of white powder. Every step sent his foot several inches beneath the the surface. He muttered quietly to himself as he stomped his way to a patch that looked clearer and was sheltered by a good clump of big evergreen pine trees. The foliage would help to shield them from anymore snowfall in the night at least a little bit.

There was ample enough firewood and it didn't take long for him to clear the forest floor enough to build it. Once that was going and he lingered by it enough to warm himself, Kasimir then turned to trying to erect a crude shelter that would protect their sides from the wind. It was this that he was finishing when Nat returned. Several branches had been woven together to create a semi circle of wood around the fire. It kept the wind off and the heat in.

Tired eyes met Nat over the flames and Kasimir stood slowly.

"Come, get warm," he offered to take the game and then guided her down into the warm spot he had just vacated. He stepped into the cold to cut and skin and pluck her offerings then returned once they were all roasting on the fire. Gently he opened his trenchcoat and offered her the space pressed against his side to her. "I will put in a request for a warmer mission next," he joked.
 
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Nathaira

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Nathaira sat with her back against the windbreak, watching Kasimir in silence as he prepared her catches. She enjoyed observing, seeing the practiced motions of his hands in the warm glow of the fire. There was something calming about watching such menial tasks.

She eagerly folded into his side and rested in what had become her favorite place in the world. Her head was to his chest and she let his heartbeat keep time while she gazed and the dancing flames.

She laughed at his joke, although not quite as much as she would have normally. She didn’t want to think about next missions, or next anything. Couldn’t they just stay here forever?

”I’m sure if you ask nicely they’ll consider it.” She ran a finger absently over his thigh as she imagined the contorted faces of their masters should they every be asked such a thing.

”I wonder if they think we’re dead.” She said it as a passing thought, nothing more. ”There were a lot of guards at that stone.”

The food was indescribably delicious. After so long on the run and half freezing, a fresh and warm meal was heavenly. Nathaira made sure to take at least a few bites rather than shove the whole thing down her throat. Kasimir had worked so hard on it, after all.

As their stomachs settled and the stars began peeking out she felt a growing dread inside her stomach. She would need to tell him, he deserved to know. Not the whole truth, although she desperately wanted to reveal everything, it wouldn’t be safe for either of them.

”Kasimir...” she began quietly, squeezing his leg gently and resting her cheek on his shoulder. ”I need to tell you something. I’m... I’m not going directly back to Vel Anir. There is something I must do before returning.”

She closed her eyes against a welling emotion. It was really inconvenient to suddenly have all these feelings.
 
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