[One][Xylohem] The Forsaken

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Re: [One][Xylohem] The Forsaken

Post by TheDarkOne » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:21 pm

"I know that inactivity can be repressive, but you have to understand you are no longer back home at in the Imperium. This is the Haunted Lands, sometimes being too busy can get you killed" Asgear explained, resting his back against the stone wall. In truth, he enjoyed times like these when he had nothing to gather, nothing to do, when he could just use his time as he saw fit. Normally he would go fishing, casting out and enjoying the sunshine, or he would sit on his rock and admire the view. Although he did want to head north, either to search for an escape or to move into the city, this was his home. He had managed to carve out his own piece of the world, adapted well for so many years that he lost count. Ten years? Twenty? He was so used to seeing the familiar horizon that the thought of leaving also terrified him. What would happen to the others that the Imperium banished? Could they save themselves from the cross like Lily had? Or would they fall victim to the sands? Asgear's face hardened at the thought, but he pushed it from his mind. If he succeeded in escaping this place, no one else would suffer like he did. Instead, he cast his mind back to the city

"You need to be aware the main danger in the City isn't the denizens or monsters within, but the air" Asgear explained "Its like a poison, it seeps into your heart and mind. When my own group went there, we wouldn't even enter. The air...It felt heavy...like..."

Asgear went silent for a moment before continuing "I am unsure how to describe it. It feel evil and unnatural. Others have went in never to return, rumours of screaming coming through the streets of some of those gone mad. But where they failed, we must proceed."

"Tomorrow we will be busy enough, we will need to investigate the city and then gather supplies. We will need to hunt another deer and gather salt from near the Pit, I do not know how long the journey will take so we must ensure we have enough food and water"

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Re: [One][Xylohem] The Forsaken

Post by Xylohem » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:01 pm

"I just don't want to regress into what I came from..." As she mumbled the words Lily remembered her past more vividly. If there was a reason why she was hated by the Gods, it had to be what she did. Her experiments, and the slaughter of innocents. Of course, that was after she manipulated their forms.

Shaking her head, Lily began to make simple calculations in her mind. "Ten thousand minus seven... Nine thousand nine hundred ninety-three..." Keeping her attention split like this allowed her to be a bit more attentive when an unwanted thought tried to escape her lips. Hearing that the air of the ancient city seemed to carry some sort of substance, Lily looked at Asgear quizzically. While there were many gases that could induce hallucinations, and even cause paralysis. But the air being heavy from 'evil' was something Lily had never heard of before. While she loosely believed in the Gods, often calling on them when she needed something or just calling them out, she never thought that air could feel evil. Understanding his plan, Lily nodded her head and rested her chin on her knees.

"Did anyone try anything to combat this heaviness from the air?" Her voice was quiet but present enough to hear. "For example, a simple cloth over the mouth and nose?" Before doing anything she needed to know what had already been tried. If what he said was completely true then she wanted to make sure they were protected. Though, it would be difficult to really know what would work if people didn't come back. That left a big hole in her ideas but she would still try to do what she could if Asgear thought it might help.

Leaving the calculations behind, Lily began to think of simple things that could help combat the air if it became a problem. "I still have a few rags from that shirt... Wet those and put them on maybe?" As her mind continued to think, she heard Asgear's voice in her mind repeating that she was grasping at straws. Fear and sadness mixed in her eyes as she buried her face in her knees while she hugged them tighter against her chest. "I have to work... Work or die... Work or die..." The great ultimatum that ran through her blood.

She might as well have just been a machine. Automatic, programmable, and no true sense of freedom. Even when she was locked in a land as a prisoner. Lily could have freedom in the Haunted Lands, right? No. That was impossible. No matter how much she fought it, that was something she could not kill with a new name.
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Re: [One][Xylohem] The Forsaken

Post by TheDarkOne » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:11 am

"I must confess, I do not know all that was done. We ourselves were new to the Haunted Lands at the time, all we had at the time was out sand masks" Asgear told her, taking note of her sudden change of mood. She was an unusual one, it would seem the Haunted Lands was not foremost in her mind something from her past weighed heavily upon her. While everyone of the Forsaken had their baggage from their old life, him included, but the daily struggle of life in these lands preoccupied most of their time. The search for food, the search for water. Trying to turn their exile from a harsh existence to a relatively comfortable life is all they could ever hope for, escape a dream that some perish in the pursuit of. Leaning forward, Asgear gave her a brief squeeze one the shoulder, giving her a little shake as well to try and coax her out of her despair.

"Hey, chin up" Asgear said softly, "It's not so bad. You're alive, there's a roof over your head. Some here don't have that luxury, even me. When I arrived, we had nothing. But I've carved out my place here. Perhaps you will too"

"Maybe our futures here will be on the other side of the mountains, maybe destiny will have it that you and I will escape this place" he continued, lying back to look at the light streaming in through his thatch roof "But for now we can't give up. Can't give in'

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Re: [One][Xylohem] The Forsaken

Post by Xylohem » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:19 pm

As Asgear attempted to help cheer her up, Lily couldn't deny that she was scatter-brained at the moment. Often when she was having trouble she would experiment as that always seemed to calm her mind. She did not fully understand how it helped her so much when her experiments were often so damaging to others, or even to herself. But Lily would not care. Maybe that was her issue. For a long time, she ran through her life without taking a moment to herself. This allowed her to do compromising things and ignore any semblance of a conscience she had. Now, with so much time to sit and reflect, her world was crumbling. Though, as her mind continued to war against itself Lily realized something. More issues would arise, and if she couldn't calmly meet them like Ilxion, then she would die. Yes, if she choked out her emotions, she could survive.

Lily concealed a smirk as she kept her face buried in her knees. "My future consists of a well thought out plan." Her tone had shifted once more into a cold calm. "Survive." Lifting her head she looked to Asgear. "But a short-term plan would be much more useful." The warm beacon in her chest lit up slightly and the feeling filled her with peace.

"The cloths over our mouths may not matter or be too useful. But knowing that there are other things in there..." Tenderly Lily rested her chin against her knees. "We have to assume the worst. Dire beasts, abominations, all of the most wicked things." Quietly she mumbled about different animals that could be present in the ancient city. As she did this, one of her hands moved to the dirt below the pair and began to tap the ground rhythmically. "If anything we need to leave within a week. So that I can be useful in a fight and we can gather more fibers and waterskins. I could even make a bow and a few arrows if we have enough time." Quickly she looked to Asgear, her finger stopped tapping. "Then again, this depends on you. I never held love for my home or the Imperium. But I understand if you don't want to leave this place."
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Re: [One][Xylohem] The Forsaken

Post by TheDarkOne » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:57 am

As he listened to Lily formulate a plan in her head, Asgear nodded with approval. Too many times people came to him thinking they could rush headlong into danger, without gathering the supplies they needed, hell he had done it himself the first times he came into the land, thinking strength of arms and force of spirit could conquer their way through the mountain halls, over confident as they cut down the weak undead. She was now starting to think like a real Forsaken, and suddenly he believed it might be possible for the two of them to escape the Oasis and venture into the unknown lands beyond. Asgear had some rough ideas where some cities were, as well as some other landmarks that the traders had told him. A volcano far to the north beyond woods infested by spirits, and cold mountains home to giants. Of a jungle to the east where giant spiders and snakes roamed, with rumours of another ancient city hidden within. Still, they would get nowhere until they gathered the supplies and armed themselves. The midday sun was baking the sands, there was little point in exposing them now. If the skys remained clear, they could head out in the moonlight when it was cooler.

"Course I've no love for the Imperium, look where I am now!" Asgear exclaimed, moving his hands around to showcase his hut "Although I do miss my home. The frosted ground, the roaring fires we kept burning all through the day. Drinking mead in the longhouse with my countrymen. Those were the days I tell ye, begore the Imperium"

"What about you missy? How was your life on the outside, surely there was something you miss?"

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Re: [One][Xylohem] The Forsaken

Post by Xylohem » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:46 pm

Lily chuckled at his exclamation. If he was an Imperium spy she would've been on her own far sooner. "If the Imperium wanted my secrets, they would've sent a torturer..." She mumbled out loud not realizing that she had just spoken her mind. Once more her finger began to tap on the dirt as she watched Asgear. Would it hurt if he knew? No. And he had saved her life. A spy from the Imperium might do something like that, but what she thought of revealing wouldn't give any big hints as to where she hid it. If the Imperium wanted that information then they would have to torture her. Taking in a breath, she looked to Asgear. "I ask for your complete silence if any else ask for this information."

Taking a few moments for her request to set in, Lily let out a sigh. "I miss nothing from my home. My life outside was garish. Flaunting the family name was all I did on a family basis, but I rarely left the smithy." As she began to remember her past, Lily allowed the stream of memories to wash over her. "The Illians were required to work anyway. We may have looked like a noble house, but we were just caged rats. One purpose, build for the Imperium." The painful memories began to surface, the knowledge of her mother's death because she had been born... Her father's end only a year later due to sickness.

"I had a quota to keep up... No parents to teach me, just books. And no siblings to share the burden." A light smile lifted her lips. While the smile seemed forced, it was more sadistic than anything. "Even the maids in my company did little to help unless I called on them..." Clearing her throat, Lily looked to Asgear and straightened her spine. Her smile had faded and the new way she carried herself showed confidence. "My name is Ilxion Illian, but I prefer 'Lily' more now. After all, it's far better to be dead than stuck in a cage forever."

The look in her eyes held a deadly calm, though she showed no intention of hurting Asgear. Instead, this revelation was quite personal. Lily hoped this would instigate more trust between the pair than anything. But she had no way to be completely sure.
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Re: [One][Xylohem] The Forsaken

Post by TheDarkOne » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:50 am

As he sat and listened to her tale, Asgear could tell this was a painful memory for her. He had never heard of her family name, but from the sound of it, it would have been one of the older families from the Imperium's homeland rather than one of those conquered. It seemed that Lily had struggled to live up to family name, unable the escape the expectations set on her likely by her family and the Emperor, but mostly she just seemed sad. Sad that she had had no one to rely on. He had too many brothers and sisters to count, hence being taken into the priesthood, and then he had the other initiates to keep him company, Asgear had never known true loneliness until the he was sent here to the Haunted Lands. He could only imagine what it might have been like for a young girl.

"Aye It sounds like a sad tale you have there, too much pressure put on your shoulders" he said sombrely, putting his down to stare into the dirt. Taking his hand he played around to distract himself "And then to be sent to this hellhole...well, it just aint fair on you"

As silence descended on the two of them, Asgear stood up and made his way outside, retrieving his clothes that was already dry from the scorching sun above. A light breeze passed the Haunted Lands, cooling him down down sending small flecks of sand scattering across the dunes. Heading back inside, he laid out his clothes neatly on the bed before sitting down at the edge of it, looking at the woman staring into nothingness. He felt helpless, useless. Nothing he could say to her would life her mood or spirits, and so far he had given her nothing but bad news this day. That's when it dawned on him, she had mentioned that doing nothing was what brought her mind to these thoughts. Standing up, he made his way over to her and patted her on the back

"Your secret is safe with me, who would I tell anyway?" He joked, standing back upright "Hopefully you and I can escape this shithole, then you'll be truly free from the Imperium. Now come on, help me prepare the food for tonight"

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Re: [One][Xylohem] The Forsaken

Post by Xylohem » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:56 am

Calling her tale sad left her quiet. He was right. From birth she was alone. Even if her father tried, he wasn't there. Then again, it wasn't his fault alone. Sickness, always. Now that is what nearly drove her mad.

"And then to be sent to this hellhole...well, it just aint fair on you."

A tender smile tugged on her lips as she rested her chin on her knees again. "No, it's actually par for the course..." Silence enveloped the pair after Lily's quick comment. For a moment she thought she had said something he had found offensive. Lily had little to no experience with other people until she was found by Asgear. As he stood and moved outside of the hut, Lily took a moment to think through what she had said and how he had reacted. He didn't seem too struck by her family name. Maybe he didn't know that the Illian's had supplied the armies of the Imperium for years. If that was the case, then she would leave it quiet. Suddenly, she was tapped out of her stupor. Her brown eyes quickly looked up to him quizzically. As he joked about who he would ever tell, a pure smile showed on her face for a moment.

His command for assistance with the food, Lily stood and brushed off her trousers. "I have to warn you if you ever try to have me make something fancy I will fail. I suck at cooking." The tone of her voice was light and teasing as she looked over to where Asgear had stored the meat. "If we are getting salt from the Pit, I think it would still be useful if I make a big basket so we can get all we need in one trip and not have to risk going back. And we could use it like a pack to put in the salted food for the trip..." As soon as her ideas began to flow, it was obvious there was little stopping her. Quickly she followed any order Asgear gave as she helped prepare the food.

A noticeable smile brightened her face as she continued to think of different ways to make their trip through the ancient city easier. These ideas ranged from a large basket with arm holds to carry it, like a backpack, to creating a more efficient close range weapon. "I won't deny, the spear is useful but what happens if something cuts it in half? We both will need a few extra weapons. Maybe a club with multiple sharp rocks sticking out of its surface?"
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Re: [One][Xylohem] The Forsaken

Post by TheDarkOne » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:03 am

"It's all about how you adapt" Asgear said to her, wiping his hands as he finished preparing the meat for tonight and separating the ones he intended to salt into a different bowl, those chunks cut thinner than the others. Grabbing his spear, he gave it a twirl around, moving it from his right hand, behind his back and into the left.

"If it gets cut, they've just given me two weapons, a jagged piece of wood and a shortened spear. I'd be more worried in the binding getting loose and the head falling off" he said, giving it another wiggle test to make sure it was still secure "Failing that, I have my dagger. But you're right, couldn't hurt to sharpen a length of wood into a spear for you. Just to get us north"

Having an idea, he popped his cloth boots back on, before encouraging Lily to follow him outside. Once the two of them were under the sky once more, he turned to face her, resting his spear against him. He had no idea of her combat back ground, if she had some at all. After the rebellion against the Imperium, he had become skilled at fighting, preferring the spear to the sword, which then became useful when it was perhaps the easiest weapon to craft down on the oasis. He had rescued plenty of people who had never held a weapon in their life before and needed some guidance, the Imperium would banish bakers for not having fresh bread for the Emperor and whike they might have been skilled at using their fists to knead dough, trying to fight someone armed with an axe with your bare hands wouldn't go as well.

"A spear is the most versatile weapon, doesn't matter if you've a shield or not" he explained, taking the spear in both hands and raising it up by his chest, showing her a stance " With a spear, it's all about how you use it. You won't be winning any fights up close, the trick is to keep your enemy at bay, and stick them with the pointy end"

"People seem to forget that spears can cut as well as thrust, not as well mind you, but small nicks and strikes where you can be just as important as skewering them" he went on, holding his spear out to her to show her where she will need to hold it, one hand a quarter of the staff away from the head, and another just after the halfway mark "Now don't be overextending to keep them at range, two hands at all times can save your life if an enemy manages to parry you"

"But if the enemy had managed to close the distance, you'll need to catch the blow with the staff" Asgear said, raising it horizontally to simulate blocking a blow from above "In that case, you need to remember the head isn't the only part that can do damage"

Simulating as if the blow had struck, he let his left hand drop to show what side the strike would fall, before swinging the butt of the spear around swiftly to simulate a strike to the head. After giving her a very brief guide on using the spear, Asgear tossed it through the air without warning towards her.

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Re: [One][Xylohem] The Forsaken

Post by Xylohem » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:31 pm

While Asgear spoke of how to use the spear, Lily watched carefully. He seemed used to the spear as a weapon. The moves were nearly elegant, like a dance. But slower so that she could learn. Suddenly the spear was moving in her direction. Clumsily Lily attempted to catch the spear and she nearly did the first time, but the staff bounced off her fingers before she could grasp it. This caused her to lower herself to catch the spear with two hands which she managed to do before it hit the ground below. Though she had also managed to thoroughly embarrass herself too.

Clearing her throat, Lily stood straight and recalled how Asgear had held the weapon. The feeling of the wood felt awkward in her hands as she adjusted her stance. While she did her best to emulate what Asgear had done, as she swung the butt end into the air Lily ended up losing her balance and falling.

After muttering a quick curse Lily stood and tried the stance again, adjusting and fine-tuning her positioning. "This isn't Clarity, but it can work for travel." Once again Lily muttered what she was thinking into the air while she fixed her pose. As she moved the spear into a defensive position, her pose seemed much stronger.

When Lily swiped the butt end of the spear once again into the air, she spun in a full circle. The momentum of her spin allowed her to thrust the spear much faster and with more force into the air when she stopped. As soon and Lily stopped her quick spin, she easily returned to her position and thrust the spear into where the attackers center would be. Slowly she looked to Asgear and watched him carefully. "I know I added a spin, but I had to give it my own flare." She teased him slightly as she remained in her position, waiting for him to tell her what to do next with the tool.
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