Private Tales Scorched Earth

  • 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

Raigryn Vayd

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"If you would like some privacy, I can head downstairs for another ale," Raigryn offered.

"But I definitely don't want to head back downstairs after I've been in the tub," he chuckled.

Raigryn set his belongings aside and hung up his heavy travelling coat.
 
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Fife

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She watched him for several long, thoughtful moments as he hung up his coat, then looked at the bath. It was still steaming in the cool evening air, enticingly warm. Fife weighed her options carefully. She didn't really want to leave the room now or later, and she wasn't going to set unequal terms. The thought of going back downstairs dressed like she was dressed... Fife choked back the feeling of disguist.

No, she told him with a shake of her head. Even inebriated, she felt a little foolish kicking him out of his own room for her consideration. After all, it wasn't like he hadn't already seen it.

And that was a strange realization when drunk.

Do not look, she signed sternly. Even though he had to look at her to understand her, she still unfairly hastened him to turn around like he was already peeking. She then promptly turned her back and removed her much simpler coat to be hung up before undressing.

Fife was a little wobbly getting in, but sighed in contentment as she sank into the wonderfully warm water. The bath was, as promised, far from the half-frozen lake of Indretar.

// Raigryn Vayd //​
 
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Raigryn Vayd

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Raigryn kept his back to her as he opened his box of scholars tools. He thought he was displaying excellent self control. He gave the equipment a cursory check. It had been out and used fairly frequently for their lessons, but he wanted to make sure nothing had cracked during the journey.

"Hard thing about finding work as a scribe is people who want the work can't read a notice you leave out. Got to walk around the bigger houses and ask."

Raigryn turned his head before stopping himself. It was natural to look for her hands now to see what she had to say.

"I hope that's nice."
 
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Fife

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Fife didn't immediately begin washing, instead reclined and settled with her shoulders beneath the water. Neither large nor deep, it would have been difficult for Raigryn to do the same. Her? No problem. Another benefit to being small.

When he spoke, she lifted her head to look back at him. Being a scribe wasn't for the shy or faint of heart, then. For Raigryn, however, it seemed perfectly suited; an excuse to talk to people was precisely the sort of thing he would enjoy. He did not seem to like living anonymously and his intelligence was rather wasted on chasing monsters and natural curiosities.

He half turned his head and she waited, but he paused before remembering himself. Fife was only partly disappointed she didn't get to tease him about it.

He offered a comment instead of a question, and she didn't need time to ponder why. Her hands. She couldn't answer if he couldn't look at her hands and she had told him not to look. Fife turned herself around to lean back against the tub once again with a smile and a small flutter in cher chest.

Her mind had been drawn tight since coming into town -- an old reflex that protected her from no one but Raigryn. Fife opened herself up once more, sharing her feelings another way. She was content, both physically and mentally. She was still glowing with an affection that lit her cheeks and her chest. It was a show of trust as much as having him in the same room as her.

Still present enough to understand that bath water would go cold, however, and that he would want warm water too, Fife pinched her nose and dunked her head. A sobering feeling from drink and flutter alike. Popping up again, she leaned out to grab her soap and began washing.

// Raigryn Vayd //​
 
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Raigryn Vayd

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He chuckled at the sound of her slipping beneath the surface. Everything was neatly packed away ready for the next day. It was a life he knew well. Leaving their belongings sprawled about their tent was a deviation from what had become the norm.

There were so few empaths left, that he had to wonder if he couldn't just find some corner of the world to settle down again. Not Alliria, it Elbion. He couldn't imagine leaving beneath the ground, but there were some settlements on the steppes that had grown quite large.

First their plan. Raigryn had come to learn that planning too far ahead in this strange times was a folly. Little steps.

"Still warm enough?" he asked. "Two knocks on the bath for yes!"
 
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Fife

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She cleaned herself industriously, accustomed to taking care of her business and getting out as quickly as possible. While she wasn't rushing to avoid helpful hands, she was mindful that the water wasn't going to stay warm forever.

Apparently of the same mind, Raigryn asked after the temperature. Fife looked over her shoulder with an amused grin. Was he teasing her? As much as she wanted to tease him, he still had his back to her, maintaining her request and barring her ability to truly respond. She knocked twice to reassure him she hadn't stolen all the heat from it yet, then reclined against the side to bask for just a few more moments before braving the cool air.

Fife let her mind wander, keeping herself awake with busy thoughts of tomorrow and the journey after. She drew her fingers through the water, breaking the surface and watching it ripple.

And just like at Indretar, she noticed her reflection as the waters stilled. Sitting forward, she pulled her hair over her shoulder so the candlelight would clearly illuminate half of her features. Her slender fingers touched her cheek -- far less gaunt than it had been months ago. Her skin was more sunkissed and she could see the freckles more clearly in the still bathwater than she had in the lake. She looked... Well. Fife didn't rightly know what she thought she looked like.

With a sigh Fife dispelled the reflection, breaking the water with her hands as she held the edge of the tub and stood. The air was freezing compared to the bath, and she hastily grabbed for the linen towel to wrap it around herself. Stepping out and drying herself vigorously, she very soon slipped into her nightshirt.

Raigryn, she whistled softly, as she picked up her comb. Fife smiled across the narrow room and gestured to the tub. He had it all to himself now -- and it was still plenty warm.
 
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Raigryn Vayd

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Raigryn's mind had stopped wondering. He given up on thinking too much about a long term future he couldn't control just yet. It was one of those rare occasions when both his mind and his mouth were silent together.

"Hmm? Oh yes."

He took a moment to stand up. Too many things ached after he had spent a few minutes lying down. Fortunately the bath was still warm. He didn't take much time slipping into the waters.

"Aaah...warm water and not being bothered by other people..." he sighed.
 
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Fife

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Offering the same respect he had given her, Fife sat down to comb her hair with her back politely turned. It was much longer now than when they had first met. And healthier, too. It was not surprising how much a steady diet could improve.

When he spoke she automatically half turned her head before stopping. Her amusement was more with herself -- that she had done the same as him. She laughed, but could offer nothing back yet, so she continued pulling the comb through her hair.

Now that the roles were reversed, it was much harder to remind her slightly inebriated brain not to look. The sound of the water was a constant reminder and temptation to turn back. A new and strange urge that she was determined to deny out of pride or propriety. (Which primarily, she couldn't rightly say.) She was just a little drunk. Generally she just went straight to sleep after drinks. There was more happening in her mind than she was used to. It would pass.

Needing to focus on something else, Fife divided her hair and worked on a simple plait over her shoulder.
 
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Raigryn Vayd

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Raigryn leaned his head back and let his half lidded eyes followed the wood beams overhead. He laid his arms across the rim of the tub and just let the warmth seep into his bones.

One of these days the constant travel and cold nights was going to become too much for him. Being in one place for so long had made him a little soft. He'd been slower than he should have been in dealing with the werewolf. If he had taken immediate action and backed himself it would have been dealt with in moments.

"You know this tub actually would have been big enough for us both," he remarked, lolling his head to one side. He watched her fingers work through her hair a little at a time. He knew full well that he was teasing now.
 
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Fife

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Her fingers halted and she turned her head slightly -- not enough to put her features in profile, but enough that she could see the end of the tub in her peripheral vision. There was trepidation in the pause, a moment laden with thoughts buzzing around in her fuzzy head.

He was teasing her righteously. Fife knew damn well she would have done the same if she could. For once, however, her catty response was tempered by the surprise of his remark. Later, she might realize she she could have teased him not to read her mind, or commented on how long his legs were. She might compose of half a dozen creative ways to rib him back.

Right now none of that mattered because every creative thought scattered like minnows as that singular thought broke the water's surface.

For a handful of very quick heartbeats, Fife remained still, caught halfway between turning and not. She considered it far too long before huffing in laughter, shaking her head, and turning back to finish her braid. Her hands weren't as steady, and she took a deep breath to breathe normally again. She was almost certain that the people boarding in the next room over could have heard her heart thumping against her ribs like a dulcimer.
 
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Raigryn Vayd

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Raigryn was well aware it was a little cruel, but he was a little worried that he had gone too far. When she laughed in her own particular way he relaxed a little further into the water.

He wondered how many people would recognise that noise for what it was? No one else knew the whistles she had for different things. Raigryn felt a flash of guilt. No one had looked at her more than twice in all these years and if they had it had not been for good reasons. Had he taken advantage of that?

Their feelings were not superficial. That he knew to the very core. He also knew that questioning himself in the middle of trying to wind her up was a very strange thing to do.

"Almost a shame someone else will probably need it tomorrow."
 
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Fife

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He let her off the hook. Or, at least, he didn't tease her any further. Fife continued to smile to herself, but kept her teases for later. What would Aretta think, hearing him speak with regret that he couldn't bathe again tomorrow. Apparently all that they had needed all along to spare them the bellyaching was tepid water.

Finishing her braid, she tied it off at the end, tossed it over her shoulder, and smoothed back her crown. Setting her comb aside on the table, there was little else to do but…

Fife flopped down on the bed with a long sigh. It probably wasn't the most comfortable thing. After months of living on a bed that was only one step above a bedroll, however, it was divine. Two nights of this might give the warm bath a run for its money on things she would miss most on the trail ahead.

The sound of the water was the same constant reminder. She still heard the soft echo of his remark in her head, tugging at the corners of her mind and twisting her stomach into a knot. Had his voice been different? Was that an invitation? Did this deserve as much thought as she was giving it?

Keeping herself politely turned away, Fife stretched out and got comfortable, only intending to wait until he was finished with his bath.
 
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Raigryn Vayd

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Raigryn was in the mood for washing out his hair and going to bed with it wet. He dropped his shoulders beneath the water and gave himself a quick scrub. Despite Fife being in the room it felt far more private than the communal waters of Indretar.

Silence for a few seconds. He grasped the edge of the tub and the sound of the water cascading down broke the silence.

He stepped out and found the towel, staying beside the bath as he dried off.

"Maybe I won't actually get up at the crack or dawn tomorrow. That would be a nice change."
 
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Fife

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Fife listened, eyes closed and body relaxed. They had only ridden today, no sword practice and no more drama than sighting the dragon. Still, she lay sprawled across the bed like she'd run here.

Gods, sleeping in sounded phenomenal. She liked being a morning person, but they could be morning people the rest of the trip. Fife lifted a thumb up for him, a hearty agreement, but kept her face in the pillow.
 
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Raigryn Vayd

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The floorboards creeked as Raigryn meandered around the room, drying himself. Her feelings were still there, more clear than they would be if she fell sleep.

Emotion could carry into sleep, but it was always more raw, more confused. He was glad she wasn't asleep yet.

"Are you leaving any room for me?" he asked, approaching the edge of the bed. They had not been so constrained for space when the Idemni slept on the floor on whatever blankets and comfortable things they could gather.
 
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Fife

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Even half asleep, she listened keenly. She heard him get out and walk across the room, but continued to lie still and quiet. Patience was, after all, one of her strong suits.

In response to his inquiry, however, she wriggled to lie diagonal and spread her arms out to take up more space. Her shoulders shook in a soft chuckle, obviously amused with herself as she continued to keep her face hidden.
 
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Raigryn Vayd

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"That's fine, you must be so exhausted..." he said quietly. The words were far too pleasant.

He placed a hand on her back, gently running it down her spine.

"I'm sure I will be fine on the hard wooden floor..."

The inevitable came a moment later. His fingers slipped around her waist. Fingertips searching for a ticklish spot.
 
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Fife

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Even if his voice definitely sounded like a trap, she was dedicated. Fife was too proud to back down now. She laid in her claimed space, come what may. But she listened and waited, prepared for... what?

She still wasn't ready when his hands shot to her waist. The moment his fingers hit her ribs, she hissed in a breath. Ticklish! She was ticklish! Her arms, outstretched to take up more space, jerked against her sides and her feet kicked as she attempted to roll over. Fife squirmed, doing her best to escape his grasp like a slippery fish. In between gasps of laughter, she poorly whistled the two notes of his name -- a beg for mercy.
 
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Raigryn Vayd

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"Giving me my half then?" he asked. Raigryn's fingers stopped searching for sensitive spots, but his hands remained threateningly around her waist.

From here he could have easily picked her up off the bed without even touching on his Fury.
 
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Fife

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Fife wheezed and wiggled toward the wall, conceding the space. With one hand, she tried to push his hand away while, with the other, she signed a hasty please, please. She shifted her hips to press her back against the wall.

There, for you! she told him with a final fit of laughter.
 
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Raigryn Vayd

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Raigryn would have taken a grip on Fife and moved her back to the middle. He stopped, remembering quite his distraught she could become when physically restrained. The tickling was probably about as far as the game could be taken for now.

It cut through some of the notions Raigryn held. For a long time his mental imagine of Fife had been drastically different before the truth had come out. Yet in that time he had still come to know who she was, even with that layer of falsehood between them.

"I tell you what, you can have the top half of the bed for a while," he said, wearing a wicked grin as he shuffled.
 
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Fife

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She couldn't stop laughing. It was something she had done so rarely before knowing him, and something she still did sparingly. Perhaps it was the wine, or maybe she was just... happy.

Fife shuffled to the top half, circling him the same as an opponent in a sparring ring. What was he up to? Brow furrowed, she wasn't letting her guard down. She sat up and put her back against the head of the bed, still smiling and still keeping careful watch of his hands.

You stay over there, she told him, stressing her gestures the way anyone else would emphasize their words. Her heart was racing and she was still trying to catch her breath from the short fit of laughter that continued to afflict her.
 
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Raigryn Vayd

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Raigryn laugh. It was a deep, warm tone that rang out around the room. Now, more than ever he felt as if many of their troubles sat behind them. He would get them in danger again before long. Always would.

Raigryn drew himself up on his knees and reached towards her. It was a feint.

His Aspects were precious, but he tapped them just a little to strike again. He caught her calves and gave a gentle tug to pull her down from her sitting position.
 
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Fife

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His laughter was better than any ale or wine. It made that silly golden warmth blossom in her stomach and chased the shadows from the corners of her heart like a flame that burned bright and resolute. Her eyes met his and she lowered her guard for a moment.

The wrong moment. If she could have squealed, she certainly would have. Compared to his voice and laughter, Fife's substitute gasp was rather anticlimactic. The attempt she made to whistle his name sputtered out and she made a valiant effort to pull her legs free. To no avail; she was well and truly caught. How did she wriggle out of this one?

Her brain was too slow, sleepy and tipsy, and she wasn't actually afraid of whatever he had in mind. Instead of fighting it, Fife relaxed and allowed herself to be pulled back down. She held her hands up in preparation, to make an attempt to block any more incoming tickles, but she laid her head back against the bed amidst another fit of nearly silent giggles.
 
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Raigryn Vayd

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Raigryn didn't climb any higher. He didn't mount another attack. He took in the view he was intending to keep for some time to come now.

He didn't need to hear her laugh out loud to feel her energy. He smiled and that warmth permeated through any barriers they might have held between them.

Raigryn slipped his fingers around the back of her ankle, but he didn't take a grip or try and move her anywhere else.

"Is that surrender?" he asked, the hoarse timbre of his voice taking on a different quality as he placed a soft kiss on her shin.
 
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