Private Tales When Given the Night

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Kaira Yehven

the Daughter of Valenntenia
Member
Messages
49
Character Biography
Link
Old Town seemed to have been built for fanfare and celebration, but the Province had been built with newer hands and minds, the celebration of art and entertainment. As it looked north of the Tower, the view of the sea could be found at various places along the streets.

Kaira liked it here, as none came to recognise her immediately like they would in Old Town. She was grateful for the love and support, but on an everyday occurrence? It was stifling.

She was able to mingle and weave through the crowds in the Province's nightlife without pause, coming to a stop just shy of a viewpoint of the docks below. Kaira wandered over to lean against the stone wall, stopping her from falling from a great height.

A smile pulled at her face, taking in the different ships sailing foreign flags, and the private vessels making dock. One day, she wished to get on a boat and see the land it finds harbour in next, but her Stone kept her here in Valenntenian lands. The Faith Stone warmed at her sternum, and absent-mindedly her hand goes to press on it beneath her shirt. It wasn't until she recognised the sense it filled her with was being in proximity to another Stone, and Kaira turned away from the docks and sea to see the other Guardian in the dark.

"Oh, Mabbon!" She smiled wider. "I thought you left Valenntenia." As did many Guardians after Homecoming came and went.


Mabbon Dreierg
 
Last edited:
  • Cthuulove
Reactions: Mabbon Dreierg
'I did.' Stepping from the shadows, Mabbon smiled shyly as he came to stand before Kaira. Tall, dark and -depending on the eye of the beholder- handsome, the half-orc wanderer nodded in greeting to his fellow Stone-bearer. 'My family has a vineyard just outside the city walls. I... went to stay with the them, for a time. I recall my mother having forwarded you an invitation to dinner, once or twice.'

His mother was a devout follower of the Ancients, and as such sensed something of a kindred spirit in Kaira. His father, too, had something of a soft spot for the Faith-bearer. She was, after all, beloved by the people of Valenntenia.

Mabbon wasn't; he wasn't supposed to be.

He had his predecessors to thank for that. And the Stone. 'What brings you to Old Town?' He asked, stepping up alongside Kaira to gaze out over the port. Here, beyond the shadows, the daylight bore down on him like a great weight. Mabbon could already feel a headache coming on. Bloody sun! 'You looked... joyful,' he said, turning his face away just so. 'I hope I have not disturbed anything.'

Kaira Yehven
 
  • Ctuhlu senpai
Reactions: Kaira Yehven
Kaira's smile turned into one of amusement. "The Province, Mabbon. You haven't lost your way, have you?" She teased lightly, turning to peer up at him as he joined her. Old Town was on the other side of the Tower, and somewhere she would be recongised and not left alone too much.

Kaira's Stone kept it's warmth, radiating higher as the Stone of Darkness was closer now.
"Nonsense. You could never disturb my wanderings." She turned her face to below, still smiling. "I do mean to visit the vineyard... but my Stone is awfully strict on how far from the gates I can go." Her brows furrowed slightly, and the Guardian stood a little taller. "Oh. Well... actually, if in the presence of other Stones, the Anci--- my Stone, works agreeable with leaving Valenntenia." Kaira flashed him another smile, distracted. Solomon said to not let anyone outside the Somners and Guardians know her ability to commune with the Ancients, but whereas she did trust Mabbon, she did not know if he would laugh at her. "If I had known you resided there, I could have made an effort to accept the invitation."
"I was on my way to the Gallery Hall, if you wanted to join me. They have just finished their renovations, and there are some new pieces there I wanted to see."
Kaira studied his face. He didn't seem to be enjoying the view, and looked a little bothered...
"Oh, crickets!" Kaira slipped her arm through his and steered him towards the street. "What are you doing wandering in the daylight?!" She fussed. The Guardian of Faith was a little under a head shorter than Mabbon, but her quick steps would make it difficult to stroll side by side. She acted as if his pale skin would burn!
Mabbon Dreierg
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Mabbon Dreierg
'Oh, I don't know! It seems I may have lost my way,' he said, taking Kaira's words and turning them against her in an effort to stop her fussing. He felt her arm slip through his. Momentarily stunned, Mabbon opened his mouth to speak. Unfortunately, a moment was all Kaira needed to take control of the situation, steering him towards the Gallery Hall of which she had spoken mere seconds before.

Well, I guess that's it, then!

Deciding to let fate run its course, Mabbon hurried to keep up with Kaira as she forged them a path through the quiet Old Town streets. Residential buildings pressed in close as they walked, and Mabbon felt the stone beneath his boots cool slightly as the shadows engulfed them. 'Kaira!' He squeezed her arm in an attempt to get her attention. 'There's no need to rush, really. I'm fine!'

Digging his heels in, the half-orc smiled as they slowed to an acceptable pace.

'See! I haven't burnt to ash. Who woulda thought?' Pale as he was, it was not uncommon for folk to mistake him for a vampire. Once, in a place far, far away from here, an old lady had tried to drive a wooden stake through his heart. She had missed, obviously, though it had taken some considerable effort on his part to explain to her that he wasn't a creature of the night.

Well, not in way she thought, at least.

Smiling wanly at the memory, Mabbon focused on matching his strides to those of the wind-spirit pulling at his arm. There wasn't much of a height difference between them, but the Faith-bearer sure could move when she wanted to. 'You must really love your art,' he said, pressing close to Kaira to allow a family of four past. 'Hobby of yours?'

Kaira Yehven
 
  • Yay
Reactions: Kaira Yehven
Kaira stopped and looked up at him, seeing his series face before a smile settled there, and her cheeks reddened. It was subtle upon her complexion, but she found herself averting her gaze to keep from staring. How embarrassing. "I... just know you aren't so fond of the sunlight. Especially this mid afternoon sun."

She thought about releasing him from her vice like grip just as he stepped closer into her to skirt around others. Her arm and hand stayed there, adjusting to something more comfortable. "I am no artist, but I have always loved colour." She smiled, turning her gaze up back to his face. "I like learning about the concept of the artist in particular pieces. My favourite, of course..." And here, she paused. She was not familiar with the Province like she knew Old Town, but the streets operated on a grid. Everything had it's place here, north of the tower.

"Crickets." She pouted. "I thought it was along here somewhere... but perhaps I was mistaken." She unwound her arm from his, moving forward to approach the bakery they stood outside of.

"Excuse me, but the Gallery Hall? Was it not along this street?" Kaira asked by the door.

"Next street over miss!" Answered the shop attendant. She said her thanks and rejoined Mabbon by motioning him to follow.

"What I was going to say, was that my favourite piece in the Gallery is the depictions of past Guardians. The Saints, as the exhibition is called." There was one guess what Guardian was Kaira's favourite of the collection. "My father used to take me every once in a while and just talk to me about what he saw. Then I would learn to see my own depictions." And she often did these things, things that kept her parents alive by way of memory. Of course, she missed them terribly, but she had the lessons they taught her to guide her forward.

"It should be quieter this time of the day. Have you been to the Gallery before, Mabbon?" She had matched his pace, perhaps even slowing them both down now to have conversation.

It was not often she got to meet with the other Guardians, not when they were free to leave this city, but even Kaira was kept busy in her day to day. She got along with each and every one of the Guardians, but perhaps that was due to her peaceful personality. Her Stone only strenghtened that serenity. It also connected with the other Stones in a way that Kaira had begun to recognise the pull of power that belonged to the Stone of Passion, Villam often checking in on her to ensure she was keeping healthy habits. She wasn't.

"They open until late in the night. It is so quiet at that time that... I feel as if I am in the company of ghosts." In the company of her father some nights.

Mabbon Dreierg
 
  • Cthuulove
Reactions: Mabbon Dreierg
Kaira motioned and Mabbon moved. He knew Valenntenia well -even the parts he wasn't supposed to- but that didn't stop him from making a wrong turn every now and then. Fortunately, the people who lived around these parts were the helpful sort. A quick word with the baker had them back on course. Mabbon almost smiled at how easy it had been for Kaira to get an answer.

All he would have got was a scowl and a hooked thumb.

'The Saints?' Mabbon hummed, rolling the term over in his mind. 'Not what I would call my predecessors.'
Nor myself, he thought, a hand closing around the Stone he wore over his heart. Jagged, cruel, its edges were nigh imperceptible to the naked eye. Mabbon never brought it out unless he had to. Malignant, as dark as its namesake, it drank in the light, robbed life of its colour.

He would not rob Kaira's of hers.

'I... can't say I have,' he replied, following after the Faith Guardian, his footsteps light. Old habit. 'I never really thought about it, to be honest. Paying a visit, I mean.' Above, the sky was a clear powder-blue. Sunlight radiated from the sloped rooftops and domed vaults of the Gallery. Slate-black. White-gold. Not quite the colours Kaira spoke of, though no less eye-catching.

'Particularly if the place is haunted,' he smiled, gentle, even when he was teasing. 'Perhaps it is. Spirits exist. So why not ghosts, too?' He slipped up alongside his companion, wraith-like, though not intentionally. 'I wonder if... your father...' Mabbon paused. The unspoken question hung in the air between them, heavy, and yet so easily borne. 'I'm sorry. I did not mean-'

Kaira Yehven
 
  • Ctuhlu senpai
Reactions: Kaira Yehven
Kaira gave him a sad smile. "No, you're alright... I hope for this too." She too came to pause; her Stone warming and feeling heavier. Her hand went to adjust the leather strap, a piece that was possibly on it's last legs of strength tying the Faith Stone around her neck. It had been her father's leather necklace that tied a shell a young Kaira had found on the shore, but it had broken upon his death in battle.

"I feel as if I can feel my mother everywhere I go. She feels brought to life in the House of Blessings, when I attend prayer, I feel her right beside me." That was because she always saw her mother. If Kaira were truly an artist, she could paint her likeness with such recollection. "You would think I would not miss them after almost ten years, but..." She hung her head low, chewing at her lip. Her feet kept moving toward the Gallery, now visible from where they walked.


"But I cannot figure why I can never truly feel my father's presence like I do my mother's. Was it because I had watched my mother's health decline after his death? Because I bear the stone of Faith, where my love for it was born from her own love for Valenntenia?"

Kai looked up and shot Mabbon a sheepish look. "Sorry. I am rambling... I do not mean to bring down the mood."

Mabbon Dreierg
 
  • Cthuulove
Reactions: Mabbon Dreierg
Mabbon nodded. 'Don't be sorry,' he said. 'Talk, if talking helps. You have a pleasant enough voice, and I find it easy to listen to.' Staring ahead, the half-orc vanquished the shadows in their way. He could feel dark daggers probing at his back, insisting he stay. He kept them from touching Kaira with conscious effort; he could sense more than see how they thirsted for the power her Stone possessed.

You shall not have her, he promised the voices held captive within his Stone. You shall not have me.

The voices laughed at that, but the Stone relented, after a time, allowing Mabbon to follow the Faith-bearer out into the light of day. Wincing, a hand shading his eyes, Mabbon stared up at the stone pillars and flowing banners of the Gallery. Cobalt blue and blood-red, each was adorned with a symbol that Mabbon instantly recognised as marks of faith.

His eyes wandered to Kaira. He could feel the power resonating from her Stone, pulse after pulse, like a heart beating its steady rhythm. 'Big place,' he remarked, struggling against the wave of heat kicked up by the strong winds blowing in off the sea. 'Big and impressive. I imagine the inside is even more so, no?' Smiling encouragingly, he mounted the wide steps leading up to the entrance.

His Stone screamed its hatred in his ears as he turned to look down at her.

'Perhaps you should lead?' He suggested. 'Don't want the staff thinking I'm here to ransack the place.'

Kaira Yehven
 
  • Ctuhlu senpai
Reactions: Kaira Yehven
'Talk, if talking helps.'

Kaira smiled at him, appreciative.

'You have a pleasant enough voice, and I find it easy to listen to.'

And there, she averted her gaze. Her cheeks flushed with light colour, and her lips twitched with nerves.

"Yes, the Gallery is possibly the most gorgeous space in Valenntenia. Do not let the High Priest hear me repeat that. The Hall of Faith is beautiful, but not filled with my favourite things." She chuckled, ducking her head as she stepped before him and entered the quiet entryway. Marble floors anchored the high ceilings of the first room, a remnant of an old House of Blessing that saw no use after generations of faithful traveled to larger halls to pray. The Absalon at the time then decided to turn some blessed halls into other establishments. Homes, galleries, theaters, and homes.

Kaira loved this room the most. Up above, sixteen figures were carved in stone. they stood on pedestals, the stone of which they bore written in Old Valenntenian.

"Look. Guardian Catherine Leadyss, the Stone of Darkness." Her hand then moved to point to the figure across from Leadyss. "Guardian Caelum Cross, the Stone of Faith." The second generation of Guardians. The first depictions were housed in the Hall of Faith in Old Town, the largest and oldest house of blessing. "After Cross died, it took over twenty years to find the next Guardian of Faith." Turning to peer at him, she smiled softly. "An ancestor of mine, if you can believe it. Aline Yehven."

Mabbon Dreierg
 
  • Cthuulove
Reactions: Mabbon Dreierg
'You don't say!' Gazing up at the statues, Mabbon took the time to take in the delicately dangerous features of the once-Guardian, Leadyss. The sharp chin and pointed ears protruding from beneath her stone hood marked her for an elf. Her statue, much like every other statue in the grand entrance hall, looked down upon them, as if judging the newcomers.

Mabbon wondered if Catherine Leadyss would have deemed him worthy of the Stone he now carried. Probably not.

Much like Kaira, he knew the combined histories of the stone figures above. Lady Catherine, for example, had died defending Valenntenia from foreign forces. Her list of honours was as long as it was impressive. But most of what had been written down about her spoke nothing of her character. What kind of woman was she, to have laid down her life for the sake of others?

A damned brave one, Mabbon reckoned.

'This ancestor of yours, Aline...' The half-orc turned, taking in Fire and Void, Faith and Earth, Blood and Water. 'Do you ever wonder what kind of person she was? What she felt, to carry the Stone, as you do now?'

Kaira Yehven
 
  • Cthuulove
Reactions: Kaira Yehven
Kaira smiled sheepishly at him, guiding Mabbon further into the Gallery. "Well..." she debated on her next set of words. "I cannot say for certain that I have seen her true self, but..." No, even in this quiet, she could not afford someone overhearing her. And so, Kaira looped her arm through his again and softly continued for his own ears.

"Each Stone is different for every Guardian in some cases, hm? In the histories kept in the Great Library, no Guardian of Faith has ever... communed with the Ancients. They speak to me, and I am their voice here in Valenntenia. I ensure the people are heard, I take away those pains and strife they suffer... and then I pray every night. It... takes up my sleep, usually. Aline is a version they communicate through with me... familiar faces." The portraits and the depictions in stone did put her ancestor to justice.

"The Absalon said not to tell anyone beyond the Somners and Guardians about this... There are those of the Faith that believe any audience with the Ancestors is heresy." She was more afraid of Lale Carvyre finding out and using it against her to drive her out from service as Guardian. "But I can trust you, can't I, Guardian Dreierg?" She turned to smile up at him.

"You wouldn't chance angering the messenger of the Ancients, now would you?" Her elbow dug into his side as she teased lightly.

Mabbon Dreierg
 
  • Derp
Reactions: Mabbon Dreierg
'I don't know. Can you trust me, Guardian Yehven?' An elbow dug into his ribs. Glancing down at Kaira, the half-orc held up a forestalling hand. 'I jest. Of course you can,' a smile, to ease the conversation away from threats and promises of retribution. The Faith-bearer could be a mite... intimidating sometimes. Mabbon liked to think she wasn't a full-blown zealot.

He had witnessed first-hand just how dangerous they could be.

'Not in the business of putting my fellow Guardians at risk,' he continued, quietly. 'Besides, from what I've heard, you've been nothing but... well, faithful.' He scritched his chin, a hint of colour touching his cheeks. Embarrassment was not something he often felt, but when he did! 'What I mean to say is... you're doing a good job.' Was that right?

'Not that you need validation from the likes of me,' he laughed, passing into a large room full of paintings and marble busts of Guardians come and gone.

Kaira Yehven
 
  • Bless
Reactions: Kaira Yehven
Kaira failed in stifling her nervous smile, ducking her head a little as the passed various pieces of art on display. The renovations were done in the next room, and although she had seen these pieces before, Kaira liked to spend time on each and see something new.

And Mabbon had never stood foot inside the Gallery before, possibly never even seeing the works of art here.

"I like to hear it from my fellow Guardians." She smiled. "You have been serving... six, seven years? Only three of those years have you had a Guardian of Faith. Dorian, Ancients rest his soul, said he never worked with a Guardian of Faith before... and before his death, he was a great mentor. I just wished I had more time with him and his Fire." Her first Homecoming and news of the murder of the Guardian of Fire had put a considerable damper on the festivities.

"Each of you have welcomed me the past few years. When you all leave the city... I pray to the Ancients you are all safe. Each of you, I say your name and I pray you all courage and strength. Valenntenian might, too, for those that need it." Kaira guided them both to pause before an old portrait of some General of the Vanguard. Looking at the placard, it identified a Carvyre ancestor of Lale.

Mabbon Dreierg
 
  • Cthuulove
Reactions: Mabbon Dreierg
'That's most kind of you.' Mabbon answered diplomatically, allowing Kaira to lead him between exhibits. 'Just... be sure to spare a prayer for yourself every now and then, Kaira. Ancients know you deserve a few!' They all had their burdens to bear. Mabbon's, for the most part, were physical. Easily borne by one used to hardship.

Kaira's labours involved the spirit. The half-orc considered himself fortunate in that regard, though he did feel sorry for her.

She seemed to be handling her Stone well, however. Guardians were chosen for their resolve and natural affinity, after all. What did it say about him, to end up with the Stone of Darkness? Nothing good, I'd wager. Examining the painting in front of them, Mabbon took a moment to study the General's features more closely. The set of his jaw, the upturned snout, the creased brow.

'A Carvyre,' he identified the man before even glancing at the plaque set in front of the portrait. 'A great, great grandfather, according to the inscription. I wonder what Lord-General Bartholomew would think of the state Valenntenia finds itself in today? Would he take pride in what the city and its people have achieved during his absence, do you reckon?' Then, in a lower voice.


'Assuming, of course, there is anything to take pride in.'

Kaira Yehven
 
  • Bless
Reactions: Kaira Yehven
Kaira turned her head to peer at Mabbon with an arched brow. "With time comes change. I am certain the life in Valenntenia differs greatly then than it does now. The Province was minuscule in those days..." Kaira turned back to the dated inscription. "I wonder what the Valenntenia then was like... The uniform of a General changed since then."

What was depicted in the portrait was full regalia, coloured with the scarlet and bronze of the House of Carvyre. Now, the General was allied to Valenntenia, not a single House. They wore a deep navy suit, and the likeness of the Tower pinned the highest of their decorations on the breast of their coat.

"Look," She beamed, gently guiding him by pulling on the arm she was still attached to. "It is the Ancients' Dwell!"

Monuments had been made, paving the path and journey to the structure outside city walls where it was believed the last of the Ancients came to rest after leaving Valenntenia to their Descendants. Kaira had never seen any of the monuments of the Ancients, nor had she seen the large ruins that once was a grand cathedral.

"The Ancient that birthed Water." She read the inscription, leaning in to ensure she could see the card properly. "Well, this says it is located three days out from Valenntenia." Would her Stone allow her to leave the city for such a time? After traveling with Villam, Lyta, and Konstantin weeks away from Valenntenia, her health and mind began to waver towards the end and was taken back home earlier than planned.

Mabbon Dreierg
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: Mabbon Dreierg