Private Tales Broken Compacts

  • Distant lands call to you, Guest. The next world event coming soon.

    A land once ruled by Dragons and Gods opens, but not every secret of Arethil's past is safe to uncover.

    Titanfall

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Cal

The Failure
Member
Messages
189
Character Biography
Link
Ilych Winter Estate - South of Rhagos

"Fuck." Cal said as he reached up and ran a hand over his face, a loud sigh escaping his throat.

Eyes closed for a moment as he tried to get the image of what he had just seen out of his head. The backpack strapped over just one shoulder somehow feeling heavier as he stood there and simply willed things to be different than reality. A deep breath filled his lungs, and then he slowly opened his eyes as if it would make some sort of difference.

The sight that greeted him was of course no different than before.

He stood on the road that lead to one of the three remaining estates that still belonged to him. This was the the Winter House of his family, a manor that had once been the envy of a dozen other noble merchants. Now? Now it was a dilapidated mansion with a half-collapsed roof and vines growing all over it. The walls had half fallen down and the fields around it were uncut, not to mention the overgrown gardens.

Half of the place looked like it was about to collapse into itself, and the other half looked like the jungle had decided to move in. He wondered if he would have better luck at the Fall Palace or perhaps the Summer Manor, but a voice deep down told him that he would find them in the same state. Cal let out another loud sigh, shifting his pack and trudging forward through the wrought iron gates.

A loud squeal echoed as he pushed them open, not noticing the footprints that were already laid in the dirt path.

"I hope my bed hasn't been taken over by bugs." Cal grumbled quietly as he slowly moved towards the front doors, his head shaking as he cursed the tribunal for their cruelty.
 
  • Nervous
Reactions: Órlaith

Órlaith

The Abomination
Member
Messages
188
Character Biography
Link
Three weeks she'd been living in this dilapidated manor and she'd heard nothing but the foxes and wolves at night. The lazy squeal of the gates seemed to permeate through the derelict home, and she knew from recent storms that they were far too heavy to have been budged by a mere breeze. Someone was here.

Orlaith sat bolt upright on the dusty sofa by the hearth and threw off the blanket to race to the cracked window to peer out through the climbing ivy. She felt her face pale as she saw the figure of a man trudge up the path, her heart stuttering in her chest as she spun around. There was no time to rub the sleep from her eyes, nor was there much time to hide the fact that there had been someone living here. A few candles still flickered from the previous evening and she ran to each one and blew before grabbing her blanket and rushing through to the kitchen with a practised light-footedness.

She heard the click of the door and panicked, the kitchen a blur as she spun on her tiptoes, searching for a place to hide when her wide open hazels settled on the pantry and she quickly stashed herself inside, pulling the doors closed behind her. She sank to the floor and wrapped her arms around her knees, able to peer through the slats of the pantry door, her timid features illuminated by the horizontal shafts of light that filtered through.

From her hiding place, she could see the door open, the feet step inside..and the smouldering hearth that she'd forgotten to dowse. Her eyes closed, and she tried not to breathe too loudly.
 
  • Devil
Reactions: Cal

Cal

The Failure
Member
Messages
189
Character Biography
Link
As soon as the door opened he could smell it.

The scent of a smouldering fire lingered in the air, the wisp of just burnt wax, it was there, it hung in the air and permeated the room so fully that even without his training he would have noticed it. A knife flicked into his hand as fast as humanly possible, the blade glinting with sunlight as he finished pushing open the door.

"Hello?" Cal called out into the empty home, his eyes flickering back and forth as he searched the foyer.

He remembered this home from his childhood, visiting it with his father. It had begun to suffer even then, vines growing on the outer walls, dust settling everywhere, some of the furniture being removed and sold off to pay debts.

The years had not been kind. "Anyone there?"

Cal called out as he slowly stepped through the entry hall and stepped into the sitting room, glancing towards the smouldering fire and the sofa that had been moved closer to it's warmth. He reached down, feeling the cushions and the warmth that clung to them.

A quiet curse echoed his lips, and slowly he stalked forward towards the kitchens.
 
  • Nervous
Reactions: Órlaith

Órlaith

The Abomination
Member
Messages
188
Character Biography
Link
She caught the glint of sunlight on steel and she sank back against the pantry wall, pulling the blanket up to her chin. Her eyes closed under a furrowing brow as the man spoke, obviously knowing that he wasn't alone. Órlaith hadn't intended on staying for longer than a few days, but with nowhere else to go and the requirement of somewhere to lay low, this place had served her purpose. The hearth was warm, the beds albeit dusty were comfortable, there were some clothes and she'd found rice and grains to sustain her. It certainly hadn't looked like anyone was going to be coming back, and the truth of it was that she was too afraid to leave, and over the last few weeks she'd started to relax a little too much.

Now, she feared, they'd found her.

The serenity of silence now surrendered to the creaking of floorboards and thudding of boots, to the sonorous tone of the man's words that all, like the gates, seemed far louder to her now, as though her mind had adjusted to the quiet. She didn't answer his question, and she tried to let each shuddered breath out as slowly and as silently as she could as she listened to him move around, to the footsteps growing closer.

Her hazel eyes opened as the shadow he cast blocked out the shafts of golden sunlight from her face, her fingers clutching tightly to the blanket as though it were able to help her. She felt every beat of her heart as it pounded in her chest, certain it was audible as it throbbed in her ears. Órlaith held her breathe, daring not to make a sound, each second seeming to last an eternity as she sat perfectly still, staring at the man's feet through the pantry door as she silently prayed to her Gods who had never listened to her in the first place.
 
  • Devil
Reactions: Cal

Cal

The Failure
Member
Messages
189
Character Biography
Link
Cal slowly walked into the Kitchen, his head swiveling for a few moments.

Memories came flooding to him. His mother cooking, his father grumbling about how they should have had servants. The way that things had seemed almost...ordinary back then. Fingers tightened on the knife and he relaxed a bit, centering himself and taking a breath.

Maybe a vagrant. He thought to himself, trying to bring himself away from the past and back into the presence. No one with any real authority would want to stay in a place like this, and bandits didn't live long this close to Rhagos.

Had to be just one or two people.

Lips thinned for a moment as he peered around the Kitchen one more time, looking for trails through the dust or signs that something else was amiss. When he found nothing the young man frowned, then suddenly paused as something caught his attention.

The Pantry.

He remembered hiding in it when his father had been in a rage. It was big, big enough for a person. Lips thinned, and slowly Cal stepped to the side. To Orlaith's eyes he would disappear, as if passed by. Then suddenly he wrenched the door open, swinging into place in front of her to catch anyone that might try to flee.
 
  • Scared
Reactions: Órlaith

Órlaith

The Abomination
Member
Messages
188
Character Biography
Link
She let out the breath she'd been holding, slow and steady as the shadow gave way to light and her bleary eyes settled on the obscured view she had of the door. If he went upstairs, she'd have enough time to make a run for it. She pulled herself to her feet, her slender fingertips raising to touch the door as she listened, waiting to hear the stairs creak, but her brow furrowed as she heard nothing.

Before she had time to think another thought, the door was yanked open and Órlaith let out a startled scream and jumped back so quickly that she crashed into the shelves, shattering a few and sending up a cloud of flour as she landed on a sack of it.

Her chest heaved in fright and her heart rattled like a bird in a cage, trying to make it's escape. She stared up at him, all of the fear she felt etched plainly on her face now dusted with flour. Órlaith's lips parted, but words tangled up in her mind and she was unable to string any of them together in order to be comprehensible, and so she remained mute, shrinking away timorously.
 
  • Stressed
Reactions: Cal

Cal

The Failure
Member
Messages
189
Character Biography
Link
For some reason the girl's fall shocked him as much as it shocked her.

Cal half jumped back, nearly dropping his knife before he caught himself on one of the tables in the middle of the Kitchen.

A cloud of dust and flour sprang up into the air, the smell of stale wheat filling his nostrils as Orlaith was covered in a thin film of white. Any other time Cal might have laughed, might have thought it funny, but in that moment all he could feel was tension.

"Who..." The girl was covered in white, her features slightly obscured by the flour that had been dumped on her.

Fingers tightened on his knife.

There was something familiar about her, something about her features that tickled some thought in the back of his mind. A picture he'd seen, a conversation he'd had. He could not quite grasp it, not in that moment. Right now she was just an intruder in his home, a low-life vandal who had taken his food and stolen the warmth of his hearth. "Who are you?"

He demanded of her. "What are you doing in my house?"

Cal could practically smell the fear coming off of her, at least he thought that was fear...he hoped it wasn't something else.
 
  • Stressed
Reactions: Órlaith

Órlaith

The Abomination
Member
Messages
188
Character Biography
Link
He was asking questions that she didn't want to answer, but she supposed it was better that he was asking questions at all, he couldn't have been one of those hunting her if he didn't recognise her. A small cough worked its way from her throat in protest to the smog of flour she breathed in, and her head shook to let some of the powder fall free of her face and hair.

"I.. Nobody." she stammered. "'I'm sorry, I didn't think anybody lived here.." she answered him diffidently. "Got caught up in the storms.." she winced. The night she'd left Rhagos had been in the midst of a particularly volatile storm, but the torrential rains had covered her tracks, dampened the sound of her steps, it had thrown off her scent and she hadn't had to worry about the spotlight of Arethil's moons getting her caught. It'd been weeks since she'd escaped, and she'd grown far too comfortable here.

Órlaith's eyes fell upon the blade that he grasped by his side and she swallowed the dryness in her throat, the sunlight catching the gold flecks in her eyes as her gaze drifted back to his face, too afraid to move whilst he still held his weapon. Her features were delicate, unthreatening, and all her hands had to grasp was a flour-covered blanket. Her pulse would not slow, now whilst she considered that his next move might well have been to cut her throat and let her die in a pantry.
 
  • Sip
Reactions: Cal

Cal

The Failure
Member
Messages
189
Character Biography
Link
Cal hesitated for a moment.

His father would have ripped the girl up from the floor, dragged her to the courtyard, and whipped her himself for the affront of breaking into his family home. It would have been a scene, and then he would have bragged about it to everyone that would listen.

Yet he was not his father.

That had always been his problem, a part of it anyway. He did not have that cruel edge, that cutting nature that would see someone raise above no matter what was done. Fingers tightened for a moment on the hilt of his knife, and then he let out a sigh.

He was not his father.

Cal shook his head. "Alright. Alright. Don't suppose I can blame you for thinking this was a ruin."

He said quietly.

"Can you stand?" Cal asked as he slipped his knife back into it's sheath on the small of his back. There was still something...familiar about her, but if she came from Rhagos than it could mean one of a thousand things.
 

Órlaith

The Abomination
Member
Messages
188
Character Biography
Link
She watched him hesitate, could see the thoughts behind his eyes as he considered what to do with her answer, and time seemed to drag as she waited. Her eyes remained fixed on his. There was always much to be learned and answers to be found. Hers told of the fear of a girl out in the world on her own, running from something and toward nothing. He just seemed confused, conflicted.

Òrlaith flinched as he finally spoke, and let out the breath she hadn't realised she'd been holding as he seemed to accept that she was no threat. She watched him stow the knife away and her muscles eased slightly, a brief nod given in response to his question.. "Yes.." she breathed and pulled herself to her feet to shake off another cloud of flour into the air to dance in the warm rays before falling to add another layer of dust to the floor. She cast her gaze around the dismantled pantry and drew back her lips in a wince.. "Sorry.." she coughed.

"I'll just.." she was about to say 'get my things' but realised that all of the things she'd had were not her things at all. She had no things. "Go.." she nodded sheepishly, waiting for him to moved before she'd step out of the pantry.
 
  • Devil
Reactions: Cal

Cal

The Failure
Member
Messages
189
Character Biography
Link
Cal frowned for a moment, nodding his head and then stopping himself. "How did you..."

As he realized that she was trying to get passed him he took a small step back, though did not move entirely out of the way.

He might not have been his father, but he was still curious. This was his home, and this woman had stumbled into it and stayed here for...well it appeared at least a few days. That gave him the right to ask a few questions at least.

"How did you end up here?" Cal asked, leaning on the doorway of the pantry. "You from Rhagos?"

That tickling feeling in the back of his head was still there, especially as the flour cascaded off of her.

He felt like he knew her, like he had seen her before.

Why was that...
 
  • shock
Reactions: Órlaith

Órlaith

The Abomination
Member
Messages
188
Character Biography
Link
He'd left enough room for her to leave her hiding place, but the paranoia in her mind had her hesitating. She chewed on her lip and stayed where she was, like a cornered animal assessing how to evade an attack as he asked more questions that she didn't want to answer. She'd raised enough suspicion, and so she tried not to hesitate or stutter as she spoke.

"I am.." she answered truthfully. It was the closest city, it made the most sense and she knew nothing about any other city in Arethil. Rhagos was enormous, home to countless, she didn't have to lie about that. How she'd ended up here however... She was unarmed, had no horse, was completely alone. Nothing would make sense other than that she was running from something.

"My horse was spooked by the storm. She threw me. I just needed a place to wait it out." Órlaith answered in attempt to buy herself time. She had to get out. Like a cat she slunk her way through the gap he'd left her, staying as far from him as she could in a slow, fluid movement, her gaze drifting toward the front door..

He was not the only one with an uncomfortable tingling, and Órlaith's hand rubbed at the back of her neck with a roll of her shoulders as though stretching out her tension, making sure to fix her hair before her hand fell. She made sure not to turn her back to him, and her hazel hues flitted back to his hand now and then to ensure it had not rediscovered it's grasp on his blade.

The floorboard creaked under foot as she took a step back toward the door.. "Thank you, for understanding.. I'll be out of your way.." she nodded.
 
  • Devil
Reactions: Cal

Cal

The Failure
Member
Messages
189
Character Biography
Link
The girl slunk away like a ferret that had been caught with it's hands in the grainery. She slowly slunk passed him and slipped towards the doorway. Her words echoed out as she fixed her hair and gave him small excuses.

His lips thinned a moment and he nodded.

Cal's brow furrowed as she said she would be on her way, nodding his head and deciding that it was probably for the best. There was food here, but he would need to save that for the winter for himself. Besides, she was a stranger.

The kindness of letting her stay here for a few days was enough, he didn't owe her anything else and there was clear some-

As her hair shifted into it's 'proper' place Cal suddenly realized why she seemed familiar.

"OH FUCK!" As if the thought suddenly snapped into place Cal realized where he had seen her before. She was a runaway. There had been wanted posters throughout Rhagos when he left. Wanted posters with a reward.

With a sudden quickness Cal reached for a pan that rested on the shelf besides him, tossing the makeshift weapon at her legs in hope to trip her up before she could get away.
 
  • Scared
Reactions: Órlaith

Órlaith

The Abomination
Member
Messages
188
Character Biography
Link
The colour seemed to drain immediately from her flushed cheeks and she near jumped out of her skin as he yelled so suddenly. Her heart hammered in her chest, and she'd only managed one more step toward the door before being smacked on the knee with iron and she buckled with a grimace and a whimper in pain.

Órlaith was scrambling as quickly as she could to get back to her feet.. "Wait! No! No no no no wait wait!" A hand waved at him and her head shook as she stumbled back, limping off the throbbing ache in her knee as it protested to the pressure of her weight. She wasn't going to outrun him, it was pointless trying, and so she reached desperately for the pan that had clattered next to her to defend herself with.
 

Cal

The Failure
Member
Messages
189
Character Biography
Link
Cal hadn't really thought through his choice of weaponry when throwing the pan at her.

It had been more a moment of desperation in trying to get her to not run away. He hadn't wanted to use a knife because...well he didn't want her dead. In hindsight, it had not been his best decision. As she stumbled and scooped up the cooking vessel he let out a quiet curse, shaking his head but deciding he had little choice.

"Put down the pan." Cal said as he motioned with his hands for her to lower it to the ground.

Perhaps he could end this diplomatically.

"I don't want to hurt you." The dropout Witch Hunter said. "But I will if I have to."

She was a criminal after all, an escaped mage.

For all he knew she had burned down a village somewhere.
 

Órlaith

The Abomination
Member
Messages
188
Character Biography
Link
There was not an ounce of malice in her expression, only fear and desperation as she glanced to the door and edged toward it. Her grip on the pan was tremulous, her breaths heavy as they shuddered free of her lungs..

"You don't have to, I..." she paused as she looked over him, and her stomach churned over in a wave of nausea.. "You are one of them, aren't you? A hunter.." her gaze teared up with the overwhelming fear as she imagined herself being dragged back home and thrown at the feet of the thirteen, of her father.

"You've hurt far more than I have and yet they call me a criminal. I am not a threat to anyone." she assured, emotion causing her voice to crack.

"Please, let me leave. Let me go quietly." she asked of him with another step toward the door.
 
  • Sip
Reactions: Cal

Cal

The Failure
Member
Messages
189
Character Biography
Link
His lips turned to a grimace as he watched her, neither of his knife pulled from their sheaths as he stared at her.

The wanted poster said she was to be brought in alive, though there was no name nor information about what she was capable of. Her eyes were filled with pure fear, her gaze boring into him like a mining drill. He felt his stomach churn.

"I'm not a Witch Hunter." Cal rebuked, taking a breath.

He had failed before even being given the final test. Kicked out by the Inquisitor and practically shunned. Not that she needed to know that.

"But I can't let you go." He said as he took a step forward, matching her own movement. "I could rebuild this House...hell three houses with the money."

Not to mention salvage his family name a bit.
 

Órlaith

The Abomination
Member
Messages
188
Character Biography
Link
Her gaze narrowed in scrutiny as he denied her assumption, unsure whether or not she believed him, whether a witch hunter would ever deny the status they'd so proudly achieved. They terrified her, each and every one of them, but they had a certain look about them that he seemed to lack. The hunters, in her experience, were emotionless and without empathy, there was nothing in their eyes aside hatred and duty. They didn't see a human, they saw an abomination, any and all good deeds erased by the slightest hint of magical ability. He seemed troubled where a hunter would not. He drew no weapon when a hunter would have.

She grimaced as he mentioned money. That was another incentive entirely, one that she could understand even the kindest of people being motivated by. His step forward caused her to make another move backward, straight into a chair which caused her to stumble with a quiet squeal and the pan to clatter to the floor and out of reach. She landed and scrambled backward, her back meeting the wall.

Her hands lifted into the air.. "Wait! I.. I don't want to hurt you. I, I'll cast a spell, I swear it." she warned. It was a lie, there were no 'spells' that she could cast, there was nothing she could do without touching him, and she didn't want to get close enough to try whilst he was armed. Still, he didn't have to know that.
 
  • Stressed
Reactions: Cal

Cal

The Failure
Member
Messages
189
Character Biography
Link
As soon as she fell to the floor Cal suddenly lurched forward.

He intended to fall on her, grab her and hope to pin her in place long enough to maybe get some rope from somewhere. Then the threat came.

Cal stopped in an instant.

Though he had no graduated, he had learned about magic in The Tower. He had seen what sorcerers were capable of. One of them, marked by the sign of the Thirteen and collared by the Questioners had been paraded around and forced to show off his magic.

The man had turned a cow inside out...literally. As Orlaith threatened her spell Cal came to a sudden jarring stop, his hand half freezing as he was only a step or two away. His lips thinned in an instant and a spike of fear rushed through him.

Could she do that?

Why hadn't she before?

"Don't." He told her with a grimace, not quite sure where to go from here. Cal knew he couldn't let her walk out of here. Even without the money, if someone found out he had let her walk away there would be even more shame.

His mother had already denounced him, if she learned of that she might try to have him killed. "Just...just give up. They'll find you anyway and do a lot worse than I will."

Cal tried to reason with her, not wanting to be turned inside out.
 
  • Stressed
Reactions: Órlaith

Órlaith

The Abomination
Member
Messages
188
Character Biography
Link
There was little she could do to make her hands stop shaking as she kept them up in front of her. She could see the fear in his eyes now, not one she’d ever take pride in instilling, but one that was necessary if she wanted to get out of this.

“Yes.... They will.” she answered, her voice wavering and she clenched her jaw as she stared up at him with eyes glistening with tears she refused to let spill. “And so why would I go freely?” she frowned at him, her head tilting slightly in question.

“I am innocent, my only crime is breathing. And you would lead me to them, let them torture me, let them throw me on a pire and dance as I scream out my last breath... for coin?” she laughed under her breath and shook her head..

“They say my heart is black.”
 
  • Stressed
Reactions: Cal

Cal

The Failure
Member
Messages
189
Character Biography
Link
As she spoke Orlaith would be able to se the discomfort growing within Cal. It was clear that the arguments were hitting home with him. He fidgeted slightly, shifting his weight from foot to foot as he scrambled for an argument.

"They don't all get burned." Cal said.

It was an ignorant point of view. He had seen those that were marked, worse than that he had seen those that the Inquisition collared. That was no sort of life, at least with the mark you could...you could choose things. Not with the collar though.

There was no choice there.

"If you come with me freely I'll put in a good word." He told her. "Make sure you get something more comfortable."

Internally even saying it out loud made him die a little inside. He was sounding more like his father than he wanted. "If I let you go they'll just put me on the rack first."

A tactic they had also been taught at the Tower.
 
  • Cry
Reactions: Órlaith

Órlaith

The Abomination
Member
Messages
188
Character Biography
Link
“I KNOW what happens to them.” she snapped. It was the first sign of anger she’d shown, but the ignorance of his words struck like a flint on his tongue and sparked an answering flame behind her ribs.

Her hands fell to her sides and her gaze dropped as she struggled to look at him any longer in fear of looking as hopeless as she felt. “More comfortable...” she whispered incredulously with a slow nod. “That’s very kind of you.” she forced an fake smile and sighed.

“Gods forbid that anyone find out you did a kind thing and throw you on the rack for it...” her lips pursed thoughtfully and she nodded again and pushed herself back to her feet. She could see that it was troubling him, she could read empathy, and so she’d take the gamble.

“They’re going to hurt me some more... and then they’re going to kill me. If you can live with that, then by all means take me back. If you can’t, then let me leave.” she frowned at him and started slowly toward the door.
 
  • Popcorn
Reactions: Cal

Cal

The Failure
Member
Messages
189
Character Biography
Link
Cal hesitated for a moment, but the moment she started moving towards the door he quickly stepped to the side in front of her.

He couldn't just let her get away. Could he?

"Stop." Cal said, the word somewhat echoing in the empty space of the hall. In truth he had absolutely no idea what to do. Whether to let her go or drag her back to Rhagos. What the fuck what was he supposed to do?

Fingers tightened slightly, watching Orlaith. "Who are you?"

He asked her, half stepping forward.

"Why do they want you so much?" That might make him decide more than anything else.
 

Órlaith

The Abomination
Member
Messages
188
Character Biography
Link
Órlaith stopped with a flinch as he blocked her path, a sigh in frustration pouring from her lips as she stared at him, but this time she gathered the courage enough to stand her ground instead of retreating. She didn't think he'd hurt her, but she didn't know him and her instincts weren't always right. It was a risk, but a chance she had to take for the alternative was certain death. If he had a heart, if he had a conscience, she'd use it to her advantage.

His question caused her fingers to curl into her palms and she squeezed until her knuckles were white and her hands shook. Her lips parted, but all she did for a moment was breathe as the words she tried to speak turned to stone in her throat. The answer to his question should have been that she was nobody, an orphaned daughter, a peasant child, for those were the stories that had been weaved until she'd learned the truth of the matter some few years ago. She was, in every respect, a scandal that Rhagos could not afford to let live now that she'd gone rogue and escaped their confines.

"You are better off not knowing the answer to that question." she answered finally with a sharp breath. He could not imagine what a burden the truth could be when knowing it could cost him his own life. "Please let me pass. Nobody will ever know but me, and I will remember your kindness." she stepped forward in the hopes of passing around him.
 
  • Devil
Reactions: Cal

Cal

The Failure
Member
Messages
189
Character Biography
Link
Cal listened for a moment, frowned.

From his face it was clear that he was fighting an internal battle, that a thousand thoughts raced through his head and that none of them were particularly go. He felt like his heart was skipping beats, like any decision he made would be wrong.

Seconds passed, though it felt like minutes, and then finally Cal stepped out of the way. He was practically shaking, feeling as though he was signing his own death warrant, but he was doing it nonetheless.

"Go." He grumbled quietly, gesturing towards the front door.

At the end of the day he simply wasn't the type of person to take her in. He would have to force her, tie her up and probably drag her all the way back to Rhagos. There was a reason that he had Failed at the Tower. He believed in Justice, not cruelty.

Of course, the man slowly walking towards the Estate did not hold the same opinion as he.
 
  • Nervous
Reactions: Órlaith