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

Órlaith

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Órlaith was not used to walking much at all, let alone for hours and hours on end. She was exhausted, and her entire body ached with the need to rest, but she was too determined to keep going. Resting too often or too long could be the difference between living or dying.

She leaned into him as she felt his arm snake around her, her gaze narrowing on the set, cold light of the moon at the end of the tunnel. She let out a breath of a laugh in pure relief, having worried about meeting a dead end only to have to turn and walk the same distance all the way back. She looked up at him with a bright but tired smile and she wrapped her arms around his waist to hug him in celebration.

"Thank the stars." she muffled against his coat with a deep sigh.. "Let us see where we are.." she looked up, and took his hand to pull him the rest of the way. For all they knew they could be right beside another town, or they could be in the middle of a forest or at the foot of the mountains, either way whatever they saw outside would depend on whether they'd be camping inside the cave, or sleeping somewhere more comfortable.
 
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Cal

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Cal followed after Orlaith, taking a few deep breaths as they climbed the slight incline towards the top of the cave.

The stale air they had been breathing gave way to fresh cold wind, the scent of the mountain snow catching in Cal's nose as he stepped up towards the entrance alongside Orlaith. He blinked a few times, eyes adjusting to the brighter light that the moon offered them.

To their right sat the Spine, massive peaks closer than ever which seemed to stretch into the heavens themselves. To their right was a forest, sparse and bare as the one they had left behind.

Directly in front of them, a dozen miles or so, were dozens of soft yellow lights.

He could barely make it out from there, but he knew what it was. "A village."

Cal said with a sigh of relief. He did not know it's name, could not have, but the fact that it was this close to the Mountains themselves meant they had at least gone forwards and not back.

"It looks a bit of a walk." He said quietly. "Maybe we rest here tonight, head down tomorrow?"

He did not want to push her too far.
 

Órlaith

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She stepped nervously out from the mouth of the cave, casting her narrowed gaze around, looking for any sign of eagles, of tracks in the snow, of anything at all. It seemed calm, though, and her lips curled as she looked across the landscape, and cast her gaze toward the sky. The moonlight was a diffuse ocean above them, lessening the inky blackness of the night, but not so bright as to dull the stars that speckled and glittered in the heavens above, peeking down through the breaks in the heavy cloud. The snow formed a buttermilk blanket that reflected the light of Arethil's moons and illuminated the land like some surreal dreamscape and she pulled in a deep breath of cold, pine air.

"It's so pretty.." Órlaith whispered out, as though speaking too loudly might disturb the silence that hung in the palpable air, her tired eyes glassy as she stared up at the peaks that disappeared into the cloud. There was no harsh wind, no breeze at all in fact, and she nodded at the suggestion that they rest here.

"Yes.. Otherwise you might have to carry me the rest of the way." she mused sleepily. Órlaith set her things down on some smooth rock against the wall of the cave. "Perhaps we should do without the fire..It's not so bad.." she smiled.
 
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Cal

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He considered for a moment, looking at the torch in his hand before he slowly nodded. "Alright."

The air was more crisp tonight than it was cold, and with no harsh winds or storm above them it would not be so terrible. They had their clothes, the blanket, and even the tent which he had managed to roll up just in time.

"You'll just have to stay close." Cal told her as he began to unpack. "Keep warm."

He smiled at her, glancing down across the great plain of snow as he unfurled the bedroll.

It seemed to calm here. Quiet.

Cal had grown up in the middle of Rhagos. There had always been the sound of people, even in the depths of night. Conversations being held, music being played. Voices and the noise of a great city. Here? He could have heard a feather fall.
 

Órlaith

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The last thing she wanted was for someone to see the light, and in the dark it would be visible for miles, just like the village lights were to them.

"Hm..That's the plan.." she smiled and helped him set up their little camp for the night before settling herself down to stare out at the snowy view, leaving room next to her for Cal, and enough blanket.
 

Cal

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Cal gently lowered himself into the small tent besides Orlaith, taking the blanket and dragging it over himself.

The night air was calm, still. No wind came off the mountain and the skies were clear. The calm of it was almost startling, but as his arm gently snacked around the small of her back he could hear his heart beat once again in his chest.

"My grandfather used to tell me about these mountains." He said quietly, turning his head to look more at the Spine.

"When Rhagos still traded with the dwarves." That was almost a hundred years ago, before the war had broken out between their home and the small folk. "He told me about their cities. How they were carved into the mountains."

He mused on those memories.

His grandfather had been much of the reason of his families misfortune. He had been an outspoken critic of the thirteen, and had spent most of his life waging a fruitless war against the Nobility.
 
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Órlaith

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The way that he spoke of the memories made her smile as it seemed he held a fondness of his grandfather. She had of course, never met any of hers, but the thought that he at least held some find family memories was nice.

She cuddle up against him with a warm smile, her eyes and widening as she imagined the carved cities in the mountains..

“Let’s find them..” she whispered, her fingers sweeping through his hair, a warm smile on her lips. “Perhaps we’ll sup with them in their halls before we conquer Rhagos..” she huffed with amusement.
 
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Cal

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Cal smiled wide. "Perhaps we will."

If they would find a dwarven city anywhere, he was confident that it would be beneath the Spine. The map that they had didn't show any, but that did not mean they weren't there.

He liked the idea of finding something like that. Scouring ancient halls and meeting dwarves who had passed by his grandfather on the streets. There was something appealing about the idea, dining in the great Dwarven halls he had heard so much about.

A shiver ran up his spine as Orlaith's fingers swept through his hair, head turning to press a kiss to her temple.

"First though." He said quietly. "We're going to find ourselves a bed."

At least for just one night.
 
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Órlaith

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“Hmm..” she smiled at him, admiring his own smile at her words, the tender kiss to her head, and she sighed deeply in contentment. For someone who never had anything to smile about, suddenly there was everything, and she wondered if she would ever get used to it.

She shifted and pressed her hand to his cheek, tilting his face toward her to smile at him for a moment before capturing his lips in a soft kiss that lingered for as long as it took to brush her thumb back and forth over his cheek.

“I’m sure the village will offer us a night’s rest and whatever supplies we need to make it through the mountain.” she sighed as she curled up against him, pulling the blanket up to her chin and letting her eyes close.

“Night Cal..”
 
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Cal

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For a few seconds Cal only took deep steady breaths.

His arm folded around Orlaith as she kissed him, drawing her a bit closer beneath the blanket to seek a little bit more warmth. The silence of the night seemed to fold over them, and before long he found himself completely surrendering to his exhaustion.

By the time he woke up the sun was cresting between the mountains of the spine, piercing light spilling onto the great snow plains that separated them from the village. His eyes pulled open, fingers still resting on Orlaith's skin as he pulled himself from his sleep.

Warmth remained near the blanket, and he was loathed to move even an inch lest the cold enter the small sanctuary they had created.

For a few moments he simply lay there in silence, letting her sleep a little longer before they made their way to the town below. Enjoying the simple pleasure of holding her as she slept.
 
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Órlaith

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She seemed to fit perfectly against him, safe in the gentle cage his arms provided her, her cheek nestled into the crook of his neck. Once again she slept soundly, as though he offered some defensive shield against the terrors that usually plagued her mind in sleep, letting her properly rest.

The rosy hue of sunlight slowly crawled over her face, the light rousing her back to a drowsy consciousness. The moment her mind woke, her lips curled back into the smile she'd fallen asleep with, and as she pulled in a deep breath her grip on him tightened with a squeeze and loosened again as a deep sigh fell from her lips.

"Good morning.." she croaked sleepily as she looked up at him, and she lifted her head to gaze over the snowy landscape in all it's morning glory, the day calm and the sky clear.

"Hm." she smiled, finding a habit of adding sound to the movement. "Should be an easy enough walk to the village.." she yawned and stretched.
 
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Cal

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His fingers slid free of her after the small embrace, drawing back as he stretched out slightly and took a deep breath of crisp air.

A bit of cold rushed beneath the blanket as she lifted her head, and Cal shivered as he realized that the warmth he'd had was fleeting. A sigh escaped him, and he hoped that they would be able to find an Inn with a fireplace down in the village.

"Should be." He agreed as he slowly pulled himself up, ensuring that the blanket didn't slip too far free of her.

He looked around for a moment, peering down into the valley before the mountains.

"Probably get there around mid-day." Cal said as he scratched the stubble on his cheeks. "Plenty of time."
 
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Órlaith

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Órlaith shuddered now that the cold could get to her. They had to get moving. As soon as they'd had a little more bread and some water, they packed up and started their walk down into the valley, the snow shin-deep and deeper still in the snowdrifts. It soaked into her boots and into her leggings, and she kept a hold of Cal's hand as she stumbled here and there over hidden roots and rocks.

After a few minutes' silence, Órlaith frowned, her worries creeping back into her mind as they headed for the village. "What if they have those posters too?..." she asked , her gaze downcast to keep an eye on her path. "What if the one who's tracking me is already there?..They must know we're headed for the mountains..."
 
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Cal

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Cal took in a breath as she asked her questions. "I don't...I don't think so."

The Inquisition was fast, but not that fast. They had come quickly and they had made sure that the Mantic left another trail.

"If there is we'll make sure no one sees you." He told her. "Stay for the night and then go, or move on that day if we have to."

It would mean no bed, but he could live with that. "I know...I know how they think Orlaith. We'll be alright."

He tried to reassure her of that. The games that the Inquisition played all came from one book, and he had read that book cover to cover.
 
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Órlaith

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Órlaith nodded, eased by his assurances and tightening her grip on his hand in appreciation. Now that she was certain she was being tracked, it was easy to let the paranoia tendril it's way into her mind. Her gaze shifted to the skies every time a bird flew over, darted to a tree every time a pile of snow fell from a branch.

She looked up at him as he reminded her that he had been destined to be one of those who'd been sent to track her down, and her brow furrowed gently.. "Right.. It's, easy to forget that.." she answered him quietly. "I could never imagine you that way.. Cruel, like they are." she arched her brow.

"I think you'd have done a pretty lousy job." her shoulder shrugged and she shot him a smirk before pulling herself in against his side.
 
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Cal

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Cal wanted to to say that not all of the Inquisitors were bad, that there were some who were more kind...but he realized that argument fell completely flat. Luther had been one of those he had thought more kind, and his reaction to her had...

Lips thinned, and he nodded. "I think so too."

His arms drew over her gently, a gentle kiss placed against her forehead. A deep breath filled his lungs as he tried to banish thoughts of such things.

Slowly he reached up and softly grasped her to himself.

"Let's get going, yeah?" He said as he softly brushed his lips against hers. "Find that bed."
 
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Órlaith

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She tilted her head back to look up at him with a bright smile as he drew her in, and she happily kissed the cold from his lips. "Mhm.." she nodded, her smile twisting into more of a grin at his words as she sighed. "A few kisses and he's desperate to get me into bed.." she chuckled, and shoved him playfully.

The outskirts of the village finally came into view through a copse of trees, and the sounds of children playing in the snow met her ears and caused her lips to curl. It eased her anxieties about the place a little and she glanced up at him before continuing on, tucked in at his side.

Órlaith chuckled as the children threw balls of snow at one another, and dove behind trees to defend themselves.. "Did you play games like that?" she asked curiously with a glance up at him.
 
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Cal

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He grinned at her. "Not until you ask nicely."

Cal rebuked before they set off on their journey. The walk was a surprisingly warm one. No wind came off the mountains, and the sun gave a pleasant sort of warmth too. Before long they were in nearing the village, and the sound of children echoed out.

Some of them gave the two strangers brief glances, though none of them lingered for too long.

"Sometimes, though not much." He admitted. "My upbringing was...pretty structure."

He told her, feeling slightly guilty given her own rearing. "I didn't get to hang out with a lot of other kids until I was fifteen or so."
 
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Órlaith

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She nodded slowly in understanding, a small smile on her lips as she absently watched the children play. It occurred to her how different her life might have been if she'd been born almost anywhere else in Arethil, even such a short distance away as this little village. But if that'd been the case, she'd never have known him.. Everything happens for a reason, she reminded herself.

"We were kept separate as children, I think they were afraid we'd cultivate.." she laughed under her breath and shook her head. "I was only marked by the rune a year ago.." she pursed her lips thoughtfully. "They find it abhorrent until it's of use to them." her jaw clenched, and she fell silent as they neared a set of large open gates and the bustle of a farmer's market welcomed them in.
 
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Cal

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He nodded his head.

In truth, the very thought of her childhood made him want to rage. He knew what she went through, what they did. It was abhorrent, and it started before they even knew what they had done wrong. His stomach soured at the thought, but he gently wrapped an arm around her.

"It's in the past." Cal said, giving her hip a soft squeeze.

That was no consolation. Forgetting something like that was hard, almost impossible, he knew, but...he still had to try.

"Now." He leaned and whispered. "We're Mister and Misses Tulio again."

A smile touched his face. "Who have only known the farms and a little wine."

He winked at her.
 

Órlaith

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"Mhmm..I know.." she gave a small smile, but it widened as he leaned in with his reminder of their invented marriage and she chuckled.

"Mrs Tulio won't be touching any wine..Mrs Tulio had enough wine last time and the headache was not worth it.." she mused.

They were soon consumed by the small but bustling village square market. It was the sort of place where everyone knew everyone, and those who were passing through were regarded with curiosity or scrutiny depending on first impressions. The first impressions of Órlaith and Cal were clearly that of a lovely young couple, as she heard the old wives, gathered around wash basins like a cluster of hens, chattering about young love and reminiscing of their courting days.

Órlaith's lips twisted, and she kept her hood up and her gaze downcast whilst holding Cal's arm around her. "See any posters?.." she murmured quietly against him..
 
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Cal

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Cal was watching carefully, listening to the conversations, trying to find anything that might hint of the Inquisitions presence.

By the time Orlaith asked he shook his head. "Don't think so."

They were far from Rhagos, two or three hundred miles if he had to guess. The Cities influence still carried here, though not as much as it did in other places. No doubt this town had seen Inquisitors before, though it seemed not lately.

"Think we're alright now." He said quietly. "But lets be careful."

Cal offered her another reassuring squeeze, then lead them slowly to a stall. "Excuse me sir, my wife and I are looking for an Inn to stay the night?"

The gnarled old man looked up from the book he was reading, his glasses quickly pushed up the bridge of his nose.

"Out of towners, eh?"​

Cal nodded his head.

"The Tilted Dwarf is over that way, ask for Verun. The Fat Bastard will see ya through."​

"Thank you." He said with a wide smile.
 
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Órlaith

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Órlaith played the part of shy wife, only offering a brief but warm smile to the old man from beneath her hood before resting her head wearily on Cal's bicep as the two spoke. A quiet "Thank you" were the only words that she would speak before they turned to move off in the direction that the man had pointed.

"Verun the fat bastard.." Órlaith mumbled to herself with a smirk up at Cal. "He sounds lovely."

The inn wasn't too far away, and like the last, a warmth welcomed them inside. The babble died down almost immediately, and Órlaith's grip tightened on Cal's arm as she felt eyes on them.
 
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Cal

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Cal looked around the room, finding the tavern surprisingly full for being mid-day.

He supposed that most of these men were likely farmers or tradesman. The sort that didn't have much to do during winter, and thus came here unless there was a merchant train or something of the like coming through. Clearing his throat, Cal spoke up with a smile on his face. It paid to be friendly after all. "Excuse me, we're looking for Verun?"

Most of the people went back to their business, not caring for strangers. A few kept looking, but only one motioned towards Cal and Orlaith.

"That'd be me lad."

The man that spoke was the very antithesis of the word "fat". It turned out that Verun was a man so slight and small that Cal could likely have picked him up with one arm and thrown him over his shoulder. For a moment he just looked at Orlaith, then slowly stepped over towards The bar.

"Hello." He said with a smile. "My new wife and I are looking for a room for the night."

Verun looked them up and down.

"Don't get too many passing through not part of a caravan."

The man commented. "Aye well we couldn't wait. Have to get home to Jotuun and I mean...look at her. Could you spend a winter without her at your side?"

Verun looked at Orlaith, then Cal, then let out a chuckle.

"Suppose not lad, but ye be cutting it close. The Valley road is gonna be snowed in soon. Won't be passing through that, but I'm sure he knew that."

Cal nodded his head.

"Aye, just the night here then we'll be rushing onward." Though not with the Valley road. They would be heading beneath the mountain, on a path south of here. The Innkeeper seemed to nod approvingly, then motioned towards the hallway in the back.

"We got a few rooms, pretty quiet this time of year so I'll give ye a discount."

He rattled off a price and Cal nodded as he reached into his purse. It was a fair enough cost, though left them with little coin after the meal and breakfast. "Fair enough."

He said as he slid over the coppers.
 
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Órlaith

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She eased a little as the murmur of conversation resumed, bursts of laughter here and there easing her still further. Her brow quirked in surprise as the man named Verun spoke up, her head tilting slightly as she regarded him beneath her hood, failing to understand the insinuation that he was by any means 'fat'.. Perhaps it'd been meant as humour.. Perhaps he'd just been on a very lean diet. She shrugged to Cal as he looked down at her, and stuck tightly against him as they moved toward the bar.

Once again, Órlaith let Cal do the talking, and whilst he did she gazed around the inn discreetly, her eyes wandering over tables and walls for any signs of her face, and over the patrons, for any signs of familiar armour. She turned to look up at Cal as he spoke of her, and caught Verun's eye with a shy smile as he seemed to regard her. Her throat cleared anxiously as Cal unwittingly drew Verun's attention toward her, making him pay particular attention to her looks. She dropped her gaze and inwardly groaned.

Órlaith chose the table in the corner to keep her back to the room so that she could take down her hood and remove her coat, a glance shot over her shoulder before she leaned in to speak. "Perhaps not your wisest plan to flaunt my beauty in public." she mused with a twist of her lips. She chose tea, rather than wine to drink, and she let out an audible sigh as it warmed her belly.

"Best enjoy the comforts. Who knows when we might find any again.." .. If they might find any again.
 
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