Private Tales Falling Snow..

  • The Veil Falls

    Three times a year Lessat, the largest of Arethil's two moons, eclipses the sun. This time the event falls on Hallow's Eve. All across the world spirits start to appear, reliving their gruesome ends. They cannot be interacted with.

    Join us for this year's Halloween event. More information coming soon!

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Rhist

Bandit
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55
An amused expression flickered over his face.

The Drowned Widow was an Inn he had stayed in before, in fact he knew the owner rather intimately. She was a woman not much older than he, and had grown-up with him in The Shallows.

Rhist urged Willa forward, pressing on her hip and leading her over a muddy gangplank until they reached the door of the Inn. The Bandit pushed it open, tossing the creaky wood aside and stepping into a smoke filled common room. It stank of tabacc, ale, and something else most godly men wouldn't recognize.

"Bree." Rhist shoulder over towards the Counter at the far end of the room.

A woman there looked up, her red hair scraggily, a large scar over her left eye. When she spotted Rhist her expression was an odd mix of joy, but also fear.

"Rhist...I haven't seen you in a year and a half. Thought someone had killed you."​

"Not yet. I need a room." The woman looked at Rhist for a moment, then at Willa. Her eyes lingered on the northerner, then slipped to her bonds for a moment, then the simply nodded.

Bree knew better than to ask questions.

"Of course, Rhist. Anything for you."​
 
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Willa

The Broken
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Her nose wrinkled at the unpleasant mingle of smells that seemed to tendril into her nose and caused her stomach to lurch uneasily. She could only imagine the bed she was about to be offered. Willa was surprised to hear that he knew the woman here by name, and that she knew his in turn. Rhist. She hadn't asked, she hadn't wanted to know.

She met the woman's gaze, not bothering to hide her own fear as she sensed hers too. Rhist clearly just had that effect. Her jaw clenched as the woman agreed so pleasantly and she frowned at her. She knew this man, knew what sort of man he was, knew she was his captive, knew she was afraid...and she didn't care one bit.

Willa scowled at the woman as she handed over a key, and she leaned back against Rhist to let him lead her to their room.
 
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Rhist

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Rhist walked his prisoner over to a narrow hallway, leading her all the way down to the last room at the end. There was a simple 'X' scrawled into the wood, though what that could mean there was no telling. The Bandit slipped the key into the rotten door, and then pushed it open.

The room on the inside was not much better than the rest of the inn.

There was a wash basin with a crack in it, a large broken mirror hanging above it. An ancient and broken looking wardrobe sat in the corner, writing desk with no chair besides it. The floor itself looked as though it had been scratched a thousand times by a chair being dragged over it.

Just opposite them though, sitting up against a wall beneath a broken window was the most beautiful bed anyone had ever seen. A pristine mattress of stuffed goose feathers topped with a fur blanket that could only have come from some sort of soft mythical beast.

Rhist didn't bother looking at it, instead he shoved Willa into the room, slamming the door behind them.
 

Willa

The Broken
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The sense of dread she felt as they approached the door was nauseating, she felt a cold sweat rush over her and her muscles tensed.

She had started to pull back when she was shoved into the room and she stumbled forward onto her knees, the pain that shot into her thigh causing her to give a sharp cry and she bit down on her lip as she suppressed any more sound.

Willa turned to look back at him, catching sight of the bed and frowning in confusion at the contrast it held against the shamble of a room. It was exactly the sort of bed she had thought about when fantasising about a comfortable nights sleep, as though it was there by some magical means..

“Am... Am I dreaming again?..” she asked with a quiver of fear in her voice.
 
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Rhist

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Rhist looked at her in confusion, pulling back his cowl and then regarding the bed as he realized that was what she was talking about.

Beady yellow eyes seemed to glint for the second, the room being rather dark. For a moment he stayed silent, almost as if he were allowing her to believe the lie she was telling herself. Then he shook his head. "No, no dream."

Not this time.

"Bree was raised in The slums of Alliria." Rhist doubted that this girl knew about the Shallows, doubted she knew anything about slums at all. She was a noble, someone of privilege. For a brief second disgust flashed over his features. "She slept in gutters filled with shit, on the floor of falling houses, everywhere no one wants to lay there head."

The Bandit glanced in the mirror for a moment. "She always said if she got her inn no one would suffer the same fate."

At least on her watch.
 
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Willa

The Broken
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Willa frowned at the look of disgust on his face, as though she'd wronged him simply by being born into the family that she had, as though she'd had control over the fate of her nobility or the poverty of others. It was true, that she'd lived a somewhat sheltered life. They were not the sort of nobles that lived in ivory towers. She was from a far harsher land, but she'd be lying if she said she hadn't taken her comforts for granted.

She stumbled again as she tried to get herself back to her feet and she huffed, having only the use of one good, but fatigued leg. "Will you free my hands?... It's not like I'm going anywhere.." she asked, her voice tired and resigned.. "Think I proved that already.." she muttered and dropped her gaze to the floor hopelessly.
 
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Rhist

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For a few seconds Rhist didn't say or do anything, he only looked down at Willa with a frown. A solid minute passed before the Bandit suddenly turned around. There was a heavy metallic clack as he thrust the lock into place, pressing his foot down a second later to put the doorstopper in place as well.

The wood door seemed to creak, and the metal locks seemed to almost be obnoxiously loud.

As soon as they fell into place Rhist turned around again and leaned down. The knife on his thigh was pulled free. The bare metal slipped through Willa's bonds, cutting the rope in one smooth slice before the Bandit took a step back. "Remember what I said."

He warned quietly.
 

Willa

The Broken
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Other than turning into smoke there was no way she was going anywhere without a creak waking him up, and so Willa pushed any thought of escaping tonight out of her mind. She gave a nod at his words and pulled her arms in front of her to rub at the rope-burned skin on her wrists for a moment.

"Thank you." she huffed quietly and used her hands to help her to her feet. She looked to the bed and pressed her lips thin, her eyes shifting back to him as though asking permission. Given the cruelty of his dreams, she half expected him to make her sleep on the floor whilst he took the comfort, and so she didn't want to lay a finger on it only to have it ripped away.
 
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Rhist

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Rhist waved a hand almost dismissively.

Unlike Bree, he did not care for the comforts of a mattress. The bandit had not slept well in what seemed like decades. No matter how comfortable the bed or exhausting the day, nightmares always came to him. A hulking mass of eyes was always watching, cackling.

Waiting.

It haunted his dreams and sought after him constantly, beady yellow eyes that mirrored his own casting him into his own nightmare again and again.

Rhist rarely slept because of it.

The only reason he had not yet dropped dead were the gifts he had been granted by his patronage. Without them he long ago would have been a corpse somewhere on the side of the road. Fingers tightened for a moment, and he dispelled the thought as he slowly walked over towards a corner of the room and sat himself down against the wall.
 
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Willa

The Broken
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Willa watched him warily for a moment before unclasping the silver chain of her cloak and letting it fall from her shoulders. Her dress was simple, a dark blue with silver embroidery, and she'd be keeping it on. She gingerly kicked off her muddy boots and after another glance to Rhist she lifted the blankets and slipped into the bed.

She let out an involuntary groan at how comfortable it was and she pulled the layers of blankets and furs up tight around her neck and nuzzled her cheek into the soft pillow. It was the first time she'd smiled since she'd been abducted, but she couldn't help it. She'd savour each glorious minute of the luxury, but she was admittedly afraid to fall asleep and struggled to keep her eyes open as she stared at him and stifled a few yawns.

Sleep pulled on her eyelids and eventually she let them close with a deep sigh.
 
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Rhist

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The cool night air descended on the room quickly, though Rhist hardly seemed to notice.

Wind rushed through the room through the broken window, and slowly one by one the lanterns in the city street cast their bare lights onto him. It was not enough to push the darkness away entirely, but at least the shadows did not crawl over him entirely.

Beady yellow eyes watched Willa for a time, his fingers lingering on the hilt of his knife as he prepared her her to scrambled for the window or freeze the room entirely.

When neither of those things happened Rhist allowed himself to relax a little, though not by much. Where Willa feared him, feared the yellow eyes in his skull, Rhist was terrified of those who watched him through the mirror.

He could see them there even now. Bisected and placed within the cracked pieces of reflective glass. All of them were fixed on him, watching him intently as they waited for him beyond in the abyss. The Bandit tried not to look at them, tried not even to think about them at all.

Rhist knew that the moment he did his voice would appear in his head.

He did not want that. Not now.

So instead he sat quietly, his eyes open even as he drifted off into what little sleep his mind could manage.
 
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Willa

The Broken
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Her body and mind were too exhausted to do anything but fall in the deepest sleep she'd had in months, but as the morning approached the horrifying images from the nightmares he'd given her returned and registered on her face as she mumbled and groaned. Her body twitched in reflex as in her mind she tried to run only to be clawed back to the dead faces of her guards, beady yellow eyes watching her from the inky black forest.

Willa was backing away, her breaths growing heavier in both dream and reality, and as she turned, Rhist was right behind her, grinning. She physically jumped out of her sleep in fright and dragged a few lungfuls of air back into her lungs as she sat up in bed, trembling, her face falling into her hands as she remembered where she was, and who she was with...
 

Rhist

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55
Oddly enough Rhist did not stir when she moved.

If Willa looked to him she would see him sitting exactly where he had the night before. His eyes were open, the odd yellow tinge so bright in the dark room that they almost seemed to glow. Yet if she peered at him she would see that there was an odd glaze over them, as though he stared at nothing.

His chest slowly rose and fell, telling the tale of life.

Yet he did not move. It was as though he was stuck in place, held to where he was and kept in some sort of trance. One might have called it sleep, but the broken man did not seem to be granted that piece. Even as he sat there, still, quiet, there was a deadly edge to him.

As though a monster crawled beneath his skin ready to bury forth.
 
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Willa

The Broken
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Her heart was beating so quickly that it pounded in her ears and muffled her hearing. She pulled the furs up to her chin and shifted her eyes to Rhist whom she assumed was staring at her.

Her brow furrowed as he seemed both awake and asleep, and she bit on her lip with a glance to the door, her gaze lingering on the lock and doorstop for a moment before turning back to look at Rhist. She cleared her throat.. “Rhist?...” she spoke, her brow arching as she watched for reaction.
 
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Rhist

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Rhist did not speak, he did not move.

If he was awake he probably would have. He would have said something in that emotionless dead tone, scared her, but the only answer Willa received in that moment was silence. He sat there, staring straight ahead as though everything and nothing was in front of him.

Nothing in the room stirred.

The streets outside were silent.

It seemed that night was well and truly there. Whatever sounds Willa heard were those she made herself, or those offered by the rats within the walls.
 
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Willa

The Broken
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Willa stared at him a while longer, wondering if he were trying to trick her. He did seem to be asleep.. She bit on her lip and looked back to the door in thought, her lip already chewed until the skin was ragged and torn.

She turned herself and settled her feet on the ground, still watching him closely, and she tested a floorboard to make sure it didn't creak. When she was sure she stood carefully, never taking her eyes from him for a second as she moved with the slow pace of a cat retreating from a fight it wasn't strong enough to handle.

She haltingly reached for her cloak and lifted it to pull it around her shoulders.. Two more steps..

At the door she looked back at him, hoping to her gods that her heartbeat wasn't audible for it felt like it should have been. She pulled in a breath, held her cloak over the latch, and oh-so-slowly opened it with a muted click, her eyes closing for a moment's apprehension.
 
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Rhist

Bandit
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Rhist didn't move.

The sound of the lock slowly sliding from it's place did not wake him, the way she moved the latch quiet enough that the Bandit did not stir. Even the creak of the floorboards did not rouse him, though he seemed to shift slightly.

His eyes never moved, still fixed in once place.

If Willa looked at him closely she would see goosebumps rushing over his body, a shiver running through his spine as though the cold were eating at his skin. The marks below his eyes seemed to deepen.

Yet he did not move.

All that stood in the way of Willa's freedom now was the heavy metal doorstopper that Rhist had slid into the floor. It would need to be lifted and slid back into place on the bottom of the door itself. Steel there attached to heavy steel by two rings.

Such a small barrier for freedom.
 
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Willa

The Broken
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Willa was barely breathing as she watched him, the nerves eating at her and her heart pounding in her ears in the eerie silence. She let out a silent, shaky breath as she reached for the door stopped, her fingers curling around the cold steel and she lifted as carefully as she could, the slow grind of metal on metal causing her muscles to tense and a shudder to race it's way across her spine. Another glance was spared to Rhist before she decided to commit.

It was more of an effort than she expected to slide the stopper free and her hand was trembling now. As it clicked loudly back into place her heart stopped and she froze, a cold sweat immediately rushing over her pale skin as she shifted her eyes back toward Rhist.
 
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Rhist

Bandit
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The clack of metal rang through the room like a thunderclap, echoing out and resounding far louder than it had any right to. It seemed to bounce of the walls and reach every inch of the little room, as though Willa had practically opened her mouth and screamed.

At first there was nothing, and then the slightest twitched ran through Rhist.

His head slowly turned, neck twisting as beady yellow eyes shifted to look towards Willa was standing. They flickered only slightly, catching on where she stood and where her hands were. His expression never changed, never shifted even the slightest.

Before she could open her mouth, before she could speak, before she could use her magics Rhist moved.

Within half a second he closed the gap between then, his hand aiming to wrap around her throat and grab her to throw her into the wall just behind her.
 
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Willa

The Broken
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A trembled gasp escaped her lips as she saw him come at her, she fumbled and pulled the door opened but a half a second was not enough time to step over the threshold. A scream was cut short by the grip of his hand on her throat, and her hand was ripped free of the door’s handle, on her freedom as she was thrown into the wall. The room creaked in protest, plumes of dust bursting from the wall as she hit it and crumpled to the floor in a heap and a cry as she felt the instant bruises blooming on her back.

Willa pulled the curtain of silvery hair from her eyes and stared up at him. She’d never be able to run with her leg In the condition that it was, and so she pulled herself into the corner of the room with a grimace, keeping gaze eyes fixed on those eyes.

“I’m sorry..” she barked quickly, she couldn’t be sorry for trying, but she was sorry for getting caught. Her magic was no use up close, he’d just knock her out the second she went blind and she’d only piss him off more.
 
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Rhist

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"Are you?" His voice was steel.

The edge of it dripped with disdain and anger, annoyance. It was rare that he felt rage under these circumstances. He knew that most charges would try to escape. No one wanted to be caught, no one walked willingly to their death, but he'd thought she'd learned by now.

Pain didn't work. His magic didn't work.

His eyes closed for one brief moment, his thoughts whirling through a thousand memories of his passed. All the things that had been done to him, everything that he'd suffered through. The Deterrents, the detachments of it all. Fingers tightened on her throat. "Do you remember what I said?"

"What I said would happen?"
He gave her no air to breath.
 

Willa

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Willa's head tilted back in attempt to open her airways, but still she failed to pull the ragged breath into her lungs. Her hands gripped at his wrists, trying with what feeble strength she had to pry his hands from her throat. He wasn't supposed to kill her, she'd had that in mind and it'd made her bold, but now she wasn't so sure she hadn't driven him to do it.

Colour gathered in her pale cheeks as her blood flow restricted and she kicked out desperately in panic, her eyes closing tightly and loosing a few tears that raced to her chin to fall free. She mouthed the words sorry, and please, but no sound escaped her lips that were quickly turning blue with the lack of oxygen.

She did remember what he said, but the prospect of freedom had been too great an opportunity to pass up even with said threat hanging over her.
 
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Rhist

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Rage.

That was all he felt at the moment. He didn't know why. Things like this had happened before. There had never been emotion then, never been something to get upset about. A thousand others had tried to escape, a thousand others had been cowed.

Even after multiple warnings, even after all of this...he'd never gotten angry. Yet here he was, his fingers tight against her throat, his eyes burning with rage. For just a brief moment, his eyes flickered towards the mirror just to the left of her.

What he saw there only made him more angry.

"You'll learn." The monster in the mirror. The monster in him. What he had become. What he was.

His hand pressed her back, and then the sound of tearing fabric echoed in the room.
 
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Willa

The Broken
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Willa woke in the corner of the room in the same curled up and quivering ball she'd fallen asleep in. She hadn't stopped shaking in hours, and even the blanket she'd pulled over herself couldn't do much for the chill that was ever in her bones. Her body ached, her face bruised, bite marks in her flesh continued to bleed and his blood coated her chin.

She was too afraid to move, or speak, or even breathe too loudly. Her eyes were open but the shaking was the only thing that betrayed the fact that she was still alive at all.
 
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Rhist

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"Put this on." Rhist said the words as he stepped back into the room and tossed a bundle of clothing over towards Willa.

It was far less...fancy of an outfit than she'd had the night before. In fact it was what a barmaid might have worn in a conservative tavern. Rhist had gotten it from the owner of the Inn, purchased with a few copper over breakfast.

Unlike Willa's previous clothes it would help her blend in.

He doubted that anyone was going to come after her of course, he had killed the last two people in this world who had cared about her, but he didn't need anyone asking question. Especially now when they were set to board the ship.

Not that she knew that part yet. "We need to get going."

Rhist told her plainly, ignoring her near catatonic state.

He knew she would listen.