Private Tales I am Thee, and Thou Art Me...

  • 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

Orion

A Living Illusion
Member
Messages
73
Character Biography
Link
Volker's words brought a smile to Orion's face. It was so amusing, to see somebody else have such similar reflections to himself in the same spot he once had them. There comes a time in all lives when they must make a conscious decision to break away from what they are confined to. Not to imply that it was ever so simple.

He approached the railing and spreads his arms as if embracing the sky itself. "Volker, I'm not as crazy as I may seem. I understand your conflicting emotions. I'm not blind to what's been done to your way of thinking, and I sympathize." Closing his arms, he embraces himself.

"I made a choice similar to the one you must make now. Stay with what you know, and face the sadness that comes with it, or break away and risk everything to do what you feel you want inside. I chose this incurable madness over eternal sadness. I chose to give myself away to the changing of the tides to avoid misery eternal. What will you do?"

He knew that Volker said he would be willing to leave with Orion, but he was more than aware that it was more simple than words. In truth, Orion believed that he himself hadn't given Volker enough information to warrant leaving...

Certainly, he wasn't just infatuated with Orion, was he?

Volker
 

Volker

The Man of a Thousand Souls
Member
Messages
242
Character Biography
Link
Volker took a deep breath. “I want to leave. I want a chance to free myself and the others living in my head. It will never happen if I stay a lap dog. I have already begun to outlive my purpose. I am no longer young, and even the extended life granted to me by this curse will only last a century more. For a creature for whom thousands is a reality...this is a blink in time.” He said heavily. He straightened up and looked out across the city. “I want something more than being paid to butcher others.”

He turned to Orion. “I want to show you something. A city, but not one like this. A city of slaves, much like this. All of them unable to free themselves, not even in death.” He lifted a hand and touched Orion’s cheek. “Can I show you?”

Orion Spawn-Of-Man
 

Orion

A Living Illusion
Member
Messages
73
Character Biography
Link
He tilts his head towards the man. His answer was concise and resolute. Orion could feel no level of doubt in his voice. Volker had made his decision. A little smile would grow on his face, and he would nod, curtains of dark hair falling over his face. "That's a noble choice. There is no selfishness in wanting to live your existence to it's fullest, though many perceive it as such."

Orion merely smirks as the man's calloused hands run across his face. He had an inkling of what was coming, but nothing more. After all, this Volker was quite unique. "Yes. Show me that which drives you. I want to see this beyond fate with my own eyes."

Volker
 

Volker

The Man of a Thousand Souls
Member
Messages
242
Character Biography
Link
Volker leaned in and, for a moment, reconsidered what he was about to do. No one went there but himself and Oor. He wanted to kiss Orion, but he opened his mouth and covered the man’s eyes.

There was a pull, as though someone had grabbed Orion’s shoulders and thrown him off the tower. They both sank down, down past a swirling hurricane of slow-moving mirror shards. Down past darkness, until they hit an equally black floor. It was blackness, stretching on forever, only punctuated by doors arranged in a semicircle around where they now stood.

“This is the prison. The Well. Where all of my ancestors are chained back to the beginning.” Volker gave him a moment to adjust, and led him over to one of the doors. Beyond it was a line of men, staring, unblinking. Hundreds of them, stretching in a line so long it swallowed up the light. “Other slaves, from other times.” Volker clarified.

“So your first idea of a date is bringing a man to meet all your dead relatives?” A ten year old boy, with messy black hair and Volker’s bright blue eyes, slid in front of Orion. “Hey. Aluid Volker. I’m his grandpa.”

“A remnant. A soul lost here without a body.” Volker clarified.

“Ghost, more like. I’m guessing Nestor will be here to bust your balls soon, and your dad is going to scare the piss out of this guy.” Aluid giggled.

Orion Spawn-Of-Man
 

Orion

A Living Illusion
Member
Messages
73
Character Biography
Link
As Volker stared into his eyes, there was a cold, piercing curiosity. There was no other thought in his mind than what was to come when he revealed his true nature. Any emotion that rested behind whatever facade he chose to wear upon his face had been long since drained. He allows the sensation to take him completely, falling with him into his 'Well'.

It took Orion a moment to compose himself, to find his footing and catch his breath in the unfamiliar territory that now surrounded him. It didn't feel like a mental state as he'd expected; It was as if they were physically in a new location. A crescent wall of doors in front of them.

"Fascinating. Much more complex than I could have otherwise comprehended."

He followed close as he opened one of the doors, along with the vacant eyed, unending formation of men that stretched for what seemed like miles ahead. Orion could only smile. So many souls in one being, so much knowledge locked away under the surface of his skin.

When the young boy who was purportedly Volker's grandfather, stepped in his path and accosted him, Orion's smile faded. "I believe you seriously misread me, Mister Aluid." His arms cross and his head slowly lulls to the side. "Though my intentions aren't currently up for discussion. I am interested in meeting this Nestor, though."

He turns to Volker with all the elegance of an impatient royal.

"I see you didn't pick up your manners from those who came before you, Volker-Spawn. If I may offer some constructive criticism..." His hand moves up to stroke at his stubble. "You're far too trusting, bringing me in here. Somebody could break you from the inside if they had motive."

Volker
 

Volker

The Man of a Thousand Souls
Member
Messages
242
Character Biography
Link
Aluid burst out laughing and Volker gave him a look. “You are in my mind. Your psyche is bare, naked, undefended.” He said. “I am not trusting you. You are trusting me.”

“What he means is-“ Aluid grinned.

“-that the body cannot live without the mind.” A new voice said. This time belonging to a tall, elegant-looking man with white hair. He looked like a noble himself, dressed in silk. Like Aluid and Volker, he had the same ice-blue eyes. “You can die here very easily, Orion. We cannot. We’re already dead. Volker can’t, it’s his mind. If we truly had a mind to...you’re trapped. Ferenzi Volker.” He offered a hand in greeting.

“Don’t worry, we don’t kill people who just come in here socially. We don’t get to see people all that often. Especially people who get eh, Rheinhard’s temperature up.” Aluid had a shit eating grin on his face. Ferenzi lightly grabbed it, and shoved him away. “Hey!”

“He’s rude. And was our masters bed companion for a few years before he died. I think it’s colored his thinking.” Ferenzi said wryly.

Orion Spawn-Of-Man
 

Orion

A Living Illusion
Member
Messages
73
Character Biography
Link
"The body cannot live without the mind."

"You can die here very easily, Orion."

Oh, Gods of Arethil, were they trying to set him off? For a moment, the calm thoughtfulness that filled his face was replaced, his mask cracking as his features contorted into a wild eyed need for what they had just offered him. For this singular moment, he didn't see the Volkers, or the hallway and door. He saw the visage of himself being ripped to shreds, the corpse of his own mind forever locked in another's thoughts. Each limb hanging limply as he was mounted on the wall above the semicircle of doors. How he'd fight until the bitter end, biting and clawing and screaming...

He only barely noticed that nearly a minute of silence had passed.

They'd been speaking, but Orion hadn't processed it. He had to catch his breath at the rush his imagination had given him. An eye darted to the tall silk-adorned fellow offering his hand. What did he say his name was? Pah, didn't matter. He shook the hand rather curtly, and paid little mind to any of the other Volkers beside Volker-Spawn himself, whom he know reached out to, placing his hands on his shoulders.

"This is far much more interesting than what I was going to do next. What's a fire to an alternate dimension of thought and mind?"

Volker
 

Volker

The Man of a Thousand Souls
Member
Messages
242
Character Biography
Link
“Great, he’s crazy as everyone else in here.” Aluid grumbled, wandering off. Ferenzi raised an eyebrow, but shrugged and headed off toward the Arena door. Volker felt the hands on his shoulders and considered Orion’s words.

“I wanted to know what you were asking when you asked if I wanted to come with you.” Volker said quietly. “I do. I want to come with you away from this place. But I am bringing not just myself.”

He looked back at the main room of the Well. “This was all hollowed out in my head by magic. Sometimes I’m not sure which is them and which is me anymore.”

Orion Spawn-Of-Man
 

Orion

A Living Illusion
Member
Messages
73
Character Biography
Link
He paid the young soul's rude albeit correct evaluation of him no mind, instead following Volker's eyes to the hall. There was a moment in which he considered telling Volker that leaving with him wasn't truly going to do him much good in the long run, that his infatuation for him was misplaced and would lead in naught but disappointment.

He didn't. Orion was undoubtedly a manipulative person. Volker-Spawn was currently at his disposal, as were the souls he held within himself, at least to an extent. If anything, it would be refreshing to have a second pair of eyes watching his back.

After all, he had his fair share of enemies, more than he cared to list.

"It's a blessing and a curse all at the same time, isn't it?"

Volker
 

Volker

The Man of a Thousand Souls
Member
Messages
242
Character Biography
Link
Volker nodded in agreement. “It is. A blessing to have the knowledge of so many. A curse among us all.” He couldn’t name the amount of tragedy that lay within these walls. The amount of suffering both dispensed and weathered. He needed to leave and change this place. He needed to follow Orion, if only for a little while, to get his head on straight.

He looked back at Orion. “We will follow you. See if you truly unlock the path to freedom. If not, we will leave and return. Oor allows his dogs a limited amount of time off the leash, but it is not infinite. Nor is his patience. At best I want to throw off his leash entirely. At worst? Irritate him.” He said, and gently touched Orion’s shoulder.

Volker pulled him out of the Well, with a sharp feeling as though someone had been plucked off the ground by an eagle. He withdrew his mouth from Orion’s eyes. “Let us leave this place.” He urged him.

Orion Spawn-Of-Man
 

Orion

A Living Illusion
Member
Messages
73
Character Biography
Link
As they re-emerge from Volker's Well, he keeps his eyes shut, stewing in the thoughts now presented to him. A great many questions arose from such an experience, and he wanted every last one of them catalogued and categorized in his shattered memory. A small, expectant grin rests on his rugged features as he opens his eyes, the valleys in his face seeming to smooth out as his lips curl.

Yes, it was time to leave. He no longer felt any desire to linger in this city, and looking out over it one more time made him feel more disgust than nostalgia.

"Why not just kill the man? What is this leash that you speak of?"

He saw no bindings on Volker Spawn. He'd been wearing a gag earlier, but that did little to prevent somebody from leaving as they pleased. Certainly, there'd been no 'invisible leashes' when he'd dwelled here years ago. Perhaps it was tied to The Well? It was possible, there were theoretical magical techniques that allowed for the tethering of ones essence. Whether that Well could be considered an essence or a soul in and of itself would be a debate his colleagues would spend hours upon hours chewing out, and Orion particularly enjoyed the idea that essence was defined by...

FOCUS
He quickly turns, running a hand across his brow as he moves to descend the tower once more. "We have much to do, Volker Spawn."

Volker

 

Volker

The Man of a Thousand Souls
Member
Messages
242
Character Biography
Link
Volker looked at Orion uneasily when they parted. His eyes were still shut, and he seemed for a moment as though he were going to snap them open and panic. Instead he smiled and opened his eyes, and Volker calmed himself. Some couldn’t handle the Well or it’s implications, but Orion seemed to have done well.

Then Orion asked him why he hadn’t just killed Oor. He shook his head. “He commands a warlock bond. It means that he is able to command me by name. I can fight it only for a little while, but...if I tried to kill him he’d only command me to turn it on myself.” He explained. He followed Orion down the tower. Much to do? Volker tilted his head. What could they have to do here? They were leaving, weren’t they?

Orion Spawn-Of-Man
 

Orion

A Living Illusion
Member
Messages
73
Character Biography
Link
Warlock Bonds, that explained it. Bah, he'd always hated the usage of such binding magic. It could be broken, but such counter-magic took time and effort to prepare; It required a personalized technique for every bond, because every Warlock Bond was unique in it's own way. It was troublesome, to be sure.

Clapping his hands together as they exit the tower, the baubles hanging around his neck jostle and clink softly against each other. Yes, they were leaving. Once they left though, is when their true work began; When Orion's work began. He couldn't bear to wait much longer...

"Have I told you..." He began as they finally came to the city gates. "That I am a professor of magic? Studying any and all facets of the arcane was my life for many years, Volker-Spawn. It made me who I am today, when I lost myself in it, gave myself to it completely."

He hummed thoughtfully, looking over at him.

"It makes one wonder... how much farther I would have to delve into madness before I unlocked all of your secrets?"

Volker
 

Volker

The Man of a Thousand Souls
Member
Messages
242
Character Biography
Link
Volker shook his head. No, he hadn’t told him he was a professor of magic. It gave him pause, however. The Well was a temperamental construction, given to Oor by the ruler of the Winter Court. The Fae had extremely complex magics, and the effort required in making what was essentially a storage for several hundred human souls and all their memories....was staggering.
Volker wasn’t sure how much he wanted Orion digging around in his head. He would have to be cautious, and restrict Orion’s access to the Well.

“You would have to delve for quite a long time.” Volker said, his tone guarded. He was, after all, the guardian of his ancestors. His primary job was protecting the Well and adding to its experiences in order to make the next generation more efficient. Regardless of Oor’s poor stewardship, it was a responsibility most Volkers took seriously.

Still, he followed the man. He wanted to be away from this place. Survival he could do; he didn’t fear the world beyond those walls.

@orion
 

Orion

A Living Illusion
Member
Messages
73
Character Biography
Link
As the two of them put distance between them and the slave city, Orion mused aloud as he walked beside Volker with an amused smirk upon his lips. "Yes, you're right. A shame I don't have the time left to perform such a dive. I would very much like to be the one to unlock the mysteries of such a man as yourself, Volker. I believe it is time we return to Trastus."

He places a hand on Volker's shoulder, his smirk turning into a more genuine smile. The cloud of madness was still behind his eyes, but since the trip to The Well, he seemed somewhat stabilized. Perhaps his mind was being kept occupied with thoughts of what he'd seen? Surely one needed to process such a revelation, and Orion's mind worked at a different capacity than was the norm.

"Trastus is the University I both studied and instructed at. It is unfortunately no longer open to the public, but I continue to use it as a personal living quarters, as well as laboratory of sorts. I believe you will find it fascinating."

Volker
 

Volker

The Man of a Thousand Souls
Member
Messages
242
Character Biography
Link
Volker was happy to leave the city. Happy to get out and away from his master and the misery that awaited him with the wraith. He looked over at Orion. He liked the man. He seemed less liable to ranting after the trip inside the Well...which piqued his interest. Perhaps he didn’t hear voices in the Well? It would make sense. Orion put his hand on his shoulder, and Volker warmed to the contact.

He usually didn’t allow anyone to touch him. Handsy men like Orion usually started missing fingers after the first time. Or just didn’t get a second opportunity. But he liked this one.

They were headed to a place called Trastus, by Orion’s explanation a former university that now served as his home. Volker was very curious to see how the man lived. He’d lived roughly himself for far too long; Oor gave him the option of wintering over in Witherhold or taking his chances in the snows. Volker often picked the latter. He wasn’t about to judge if the place was ruins.

He just...wanted to know more about the man.

Orion Spawn-Of-Man
 

Orion

A Living Illusion
Member
Messages
73
Character Biography
Link
The path they traveled down was barren, free of other travelers or structures for as far as their eyes could see. He'd claimed to be taking him to Trastus, but he'd been quite unclear on just where that was. Orion seemed to carry nothing in the way of a map or compass, and there had never been any word of a University even remotely near Cerak At'Thul. Nevertheless, Orion held his head high as he walked, eyes closed as though following a silent song that beckoned him from behind the wind itself.

He turns his head to look over at Volker, following him diligently.

"The walk to Trastus will take time. It will not be easy nor comfortable, Volker. I have water and food stashed halfway there, but even that will be difficult to reach. However, I can ease the burden of our trip. All it takes is a bit of applied illusion..."

He extends his hand out towards Volker, his palm seeming to glimmer with a dim light, dancing between his fingers. "The mind is strong, but it's perception is susceptible to trickery. It can be fooled by those who know how. At Trastus, I taught the younger generations the art of fooling the mind. Take my hand, and allow me to show you the benefits of such an ability."

Volker
 

Volker

The Man of a Thousand Souls
Member
Messages
242
Character Biography
Link
Volker accepted that it would be difficult. He had been out on his own in the wilderness for most of his life. The idea that food or water wouldn’t be easily found wasn’t a concern for him. One could always purify water, and he was swiftly learning that when people said there was ‘no food’, that was more of a matter of preference than reality. Volker didn’t turn up his nose at stealing a kill from another animal, or eating things like insects, crows, and rats that most men balked at.

He looked at his companion when he suggested magic. His outstretched hand was glimmering with it. Volker shook his head a bit. “I do not know what it will do to the Well. What may fool one mind may not fool a thousand.” He told him. “I am hesitant to dull reality for my own comfort. It is the ground beneath my feet and the sun on my back.”

Volker hoped he didn’t offend him. He just had to be careful. He’d avoided things that would mess with his head for a very long time. Alcohol, drugs, magic. He didn’t want to throw himself head first into it without safety being nearby.

Orion Spawn-Of-Man
 

Orion

A Living Illusion
Member
Messages
73
Character Biography
Link
Orion smiles at Volker's response, withdrawing his hand and once again hiding it within the confines of his cloak. Volker did something that he found few could do: He impressed him. It wasn't admiration, or any sort of jealousy towards his strength. No, he was impressed at the wisdom he could display with the thoughts of so many different souls inside of himself, in spite of the treatment the world had chosen for him.

"A weak man would have taken my offer, regardless of potential danger. Despite of the overwhelming circumstances before you, you continue to display the wisdom to go with your age." He closes his eyes somberly, clicking his tongue against the dry roof of his mouth. "I think that perhaps had I the chance to grow older, I may have gained such wisdom at some point. Alas, as we've said already, my time is limited."

He turns away, leading Volker down the path. This feeling of being followed was so eerily familiar... Once upon a time, he'd take his students on trips to various locations of magical significance, on trips even more arduous than this one. The threat of their death on these trips was very real, and while he gave them the option to opt out, they would never take the option. They would follow him wherever he went. They were a flock, and he the shepherd.

If Volker could go without magic, then Orion could as well.

He is silent for what seems like hours, not even his gait changing as they tread on for longer and longer. This trip was cathartic for Orion, merely because there was another at his side. If his mind began to slip, he could reach out and touch reality.

Finally, he speaks up.

"I left Cerak At'Thul when I began to show magical aptitude. I had no desire to be a slaver, and I could do nothing to change the ways of my family. I studied at Trastus for years before graduating and becoming the Head Illusion Instructor. I was famous, people would travel from all across Arethil to learn from me. I was the face of my academy; their greatest achievement."

He turns to look back at Volker.

"When things become too good to be true, they inevitably crumble around you the minute you grow complacent. I wish I'd learned that much sooner."

Volker
 

Volker

The Man of a Thousand Souls
Member
Messages
242
Character Biography
Link
Volker was grateful the other man hadn’t withdrawn or been offended. He was grateful for Orion, really. Volker’s ascerbic nature offended a great many people, as did his unwavering commitment to honesty. Perhaps it was a side effect of living for too long amongst fae, but Volker was brutally honest. He wasn’t about to hide that, not even for Orion.

“Age has nothing to do with wisdom. I’ve met as many children wise far beyond their years as I’ve met old raving fools.” Volker told him. He didn’t appreciate the crack at his age, and it made him distance himself from Orion slightly. Another reminder that he was old, and outliving his usefulness. Apparently, even as a potential partner. What had he been expecting? Orion just pitied him, and was kind because he had been outcast.

Volker listened to him as he began to speak, easily keeping up with his pace. “Did you destroy Trastus?” He asked.

Orion
 

Orion

A Living Illusion
Member
Messages
73
Character Biography
Link
Orion detected a hint of resentment when the topic of his age was brought up. He hadn't meant any offense by the remark. Indeed, even though Orion was in the prime of his physical life, he envied Volker. He was physically strong in spite of the age he didn't like to be reminded of, and his mind was sharp in a way that Orion's had dulled.

When he questions the fate of Trastus, Orion stops in place for a moment, his head turning towards their destination far in the distance. A small grumble stirring in his chest.

"That depends on your definition of destroy. The halls that once held throes of students still stand tall, but they no longer see any use by anybody but myself. Trastus stands, but it's institution is long dead. That is indeed my fault. It is a sin I cannot atone for."

As blunt as Orion was, it was difficult for even him to dwell in what he'd done that morning...

Volker
 

Volker

The Man of a Thousand Souls
Member
Messages
242
Character Biography
Link
Volker stopped, and followed his gaze. “Things fade and die. Houses once full are empty the next year. This is the way of things. If you are using it, then it isn’t dead.” Volker told him. “Soon there will be two people there. At least there will be a roof over our heads.”

Volker quietly began to walk again. He wanted to put as much distance between himself and the slave city as he could. He feared Oor would wake and be close enough that he could simply incapacitate him until he was able to get control. Volker wanted freedom. Even if it meant living in a broken down university. He had companionship, and he could finally learn to live on his own without fearing a knife at every turn.

Volker wanted to curl up by a fireplace, eating food he prepared for himself and Orion. Maybe it was a silly dream. But it was all he wanted. Normalcy. A partner. Peace.

Orion
 

Orion

A Living Illusion
Member
Messages
73
Character Biography
Link
It was an oddly optimistic take from one with such a troubled existence, and for the first time since they'd met, Volker had left Orion with nothing to say back. He watched as Volker passed him on his way to make more headway from the slave city. A hand raises from the black cloak to stroke the valleys on his face in a moment of thought.

Volker was like him in many ways, but Orion realized more and more that they were also very different. Volker held a positive outlook for his existence, no matter his circumstances. Even now, he attempted to cheer Orion up from a less than positive memory lingering at the back of his mind. Orion was different; He saw no light at the end of his tunnel, and his expectance for the remainder of his life was pain and madness.

It was funny that Volker seemed so interested in him, when Volker was such a better person.

He matched pace with the other fellow, a notable change in emotion across his face. "I feel as though the two of us are opposites as much as we are the same. You look forward to freedom, while I dread it. This will not end until I myself am ended."

Volker
 

Volker

The Man of a Thousand Souls
Member
Messages
242
Character Biography
Link
Volker looked over at Orion. “We may be. I have gotten through life by my teeth and blades. I no longer want to kill to survive. I do not want to be a war dog any further. It has shattered the men who came before me, and any sons I have will bear that stain. The cycle will end with me.” He told Orion. He traveled alongside him, weighing his words heavily. “You only dread freedom because you do not know the weight of it. You are so much more free than you realize.”

Volker shook his head slightly. “I have wasted my youth on violence. I wish to live.” With that he fell silent. He could see their goal, and he was interested in the ruins. More as well, how Orion had survived for so long in such a place. He wanted to curl up with someone, was that truly such an odd thing?

Orion
 

Orion

A Living Illusion
Member
Messages
73
Character Biography
Link
Orion remained silent, having no reply to Volker's insistence of his freedom, and for a time their walk was uneventful. This suited the mage, he was always content to bathe himself in the white noise that the sounds of nature provided. The gentle brushing of wind against his ears always seemed to temper his unendingly tumultuous thoughts. It was only when they came to a crossroad, if one could call it that, that he came to a stop once more.

The crossroads split into four directions. Two of them appeared well traveled, with the fresh prints of wagon marks and bootheels embedded firmly in the dirt. One path however, had begun to grow over with grass and plant life, leading into valley between two tall hills off in the horizon. In the vertex between that path and the one they arrived on stood a large boulder, about as wide as the base of a large tree and as tall as Orion himself.

"We're half-way, Volker. We should take this opportunity to hydrate and nourish ourselves."

Raising a hand and placing it on the cold surface of the rock, it slowly begins to fade from view, becoming more and more transparent. As it vanished, the transparent, now glimmering remnants of the boulder slowly began to shift, surrounding Orion before disappearing completely. Where the boulder once stood was now a large chest.

"Standing Illusion. They're much more difficult to maintain, especially over long periods of time. Once you get a certain distance away, they dissipate entirely. I developed a work-around for this problem: I leave a enough of my energy here to maintain the illusion, while I become a degree weaker until I retrieve it as consequence. It isn't the most efficient technique, but it's effective."

Dropping to one knee, he clicks the lock on the chest open, and pulls up on the lid. It struggles a bit, having not been opened in some time, before finally giving way with a loud snap. Inside were several metal bottles of water, and what was presumably food, wrapped tightly in leather pouches packed with ice.

"Please, help yourself."

Volker