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 Among Roots and the Heartless

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Catharsis

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PostSubject: Among Roots and the Heartless   Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:20 pm

Quiet, so very quiet. It was pleasing, to have a moment to think after all the noise in town, all those who would shout or assault without reason. Peaceful, perfect for plotting and analyzing. So here Catharsis sat, beneath this respected and holy totem, uncaring to deserve its fruit or speak with it; though certainly it'd be a lovely conversation.

No, he was here to think, to figure out his next step; there were choices to be made and investments as well. He was thankful that it seemed most people gave each other a wide birth at this sight of power; he didn't much care to interact with others at this point, but kept his nose turned down into one of his few tomes always present on him. Studying old powers always brought clarity to his mind, brought accuracy to his calculations.

He and his book sat at one of the many large roots at the base of the tree, dressed in his usual healer's garments: cleanly white with dark accents.
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Aiko

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PostSubject: Re: Among Roots and the Heartless   Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:06 pm

Having spent the past few days wandering where the wind fancied to take her, Aiko was in an oddly pleasant mood, humming softly. She knew little of the region in which she traveled, but had heard of a tree that spoke. After days of aimless walking, having a destination was refreshing.

A talking tree, she mused, for what might nature have to say? Perhaps it couldn't speak at all, a myth to keep those in the villages entertained.

It was a pleasant day, sunshine and a light breeze, and Aiko could smell the dirt beneath her as she walked. Eventually the tree came into view, positively giant with a certain magnetism. A figure sat beneath it, and she sighed. People were not her strong suit, and she hoped her pleasant mood would not be ruined.
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Catharsis

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PostSubject: Re: Among Roots and the Heartless   Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:28 pm

A pleasant day, indeed. Then came a strange sight-- not in the respect of out of place so much as uncommon; an Exatiaz approaching the spiritual tree. It struck Catharsis as intriguing, having seen so few such specimen in his life, but the distinctive dark markings gave it away. His own keen senses picked up the estranged eyes even from a distance, blackness catching the light of the sun.

There was a conflict in his mind for a brief instant -curiosity won over- he closed the book that had held his attention, turning his pale gaze upon the young woman with a sweet smile and wave. The visage was as genuine as it could be; the product of practice and professionalism. The old tomes that hung securely on chains by his worn leather belt fell comfortably to hang about his waist as the friendly figure stood.

Exatiaz are always interesting conversationalists. What story or pains haunt this one?
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Aiko

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PostSubject: Re: Among Roots and the Heartless   Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:17 pm

As Aiko neared the stranger, he seemed friendly enough, smiling and waving. She raised an eyebrow at his chains and books, then waved back tentatively. "I hope I'm not interrupting," she said, her singsong voice a soft soprano. She flashed her teeth in a quick smile, hoping that she seemed friendly enough.

The man seemed strange to her, more strange than most people she met. She did not trust the Altamone before her, but then, Aiko trusted no one. He was several inches taller than her, like most people were, and looked a little strange with that gray tinge on his skin.

She tilted her head to the side, setting her pack at her feet. Against her better judgement, she provided him with her name: "I'm Aiko."
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Catharsis

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PostSubject: Re: Among Roots and the Heartless   Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:42 pm

The girl, Aiko as she referred to herself, seemed somewhat timid. Cath dissuaded this with that smile, but letting it fade to a softer sort; nobody trusted a man who smiled too much.

Her voice was delicate, soft. A commodity most could appreciate; the man retorted with his own voice, a rather duller sound than the near lyricism as Aiko spoke, "You're not interrupting at all, just some light reading," though dull, his words were anything but monotonous and held the air-- each syllable was deliberate, well-placed. "I'm called Catharsis, or Cath informally. It's a pleasure to meet you, Aiko," he concluded, extending a hand clothed in a pristine white glove.

Seems like a sweet girl, but tentative. Most men would think her fair, perhaps quite so. His thoughts continued, analyzing her behind the deep, smiling eyes. "What brings you to the Padiv Tree on this lovely day?" Small talk bored Catharsis to no end, but it was rather uncanny to skip it with most individuals.
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Aiko

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PostSubject: Re: Among Roots and the Heartless   Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:44 pm

She paused a moment, then took the outstretched hand and shook it once. He kept smiling at her, and for a moment she wondered why he was so happy, and then she realized that most people enjoyed human interaction. Most people...

"I wanted to see if it really was a talking tree. I suppose I found a different kind of conversation though," she responded, flashing her teeth in another quick smile. These fast little grins were easiest; they didn't give someone the opportunity to look at her eyes in the same moment, and therefore she could hide the insincerity.

"Why are you here, Catharsis?" she asked, her tongue playing with his name a moment longer than necessary. She enjoyed unusual names and the way they danced behind her teeth.
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Catharsis

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PostSubject: Re: Among Roots and the Heartless   Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:10 pm

His smile had faded to a mere trace, as overwhelming positivity was always out of place and it seemed this girl had a particular disinterest in such emotions herself. She had the brief expressions to hide herself, but Catharsis was more perceptive to most, and reading people was his specialty. He wondered if he could make the conversation more interesting to her, but then again she was already here, speaking. Noteworthy in and of itself.

"I suppose I should have guessed as much," his hand went to the back of his head, scratching in his own lack of observance. "Myself? Oh I like such places to take a moment and think, is all." Did she dilate his name? He shrugged it off, taking it as a mere reaction to her first use of his odd name. "I've not heard much a word from the tree today, but perhaps you'll have better luck than I, Aiko."
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Aiko

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PostSubject: Re: Among Roots and the Heartless   Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:20 pm

Glancing at the tree, she shrugged. "I'm less interested in the tree now," she said, cocking her head. She was oddly curious about this stranger. Aiko's instincts were screaming at her to bid farewell and be on her way -- yet her legs refused to listen, instead obeying this strange desire for company. She did not expect friendship, nor did she want it, she just wanted some interaction.

Her only friend in the world was herself and she longed to know how real people lived. Sometimes she felt compelled to settle in a village, to begin a life somewhere. To exist outside of empty roads, empty hands and empty hearts.

"Hmm. Where are you from?" she wondered aloud, not necessarily asking him; she was used to speaking her thoughts, as there was usually no one to hear.
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Catharsis

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PostSubject: Re: Among Roots and the Heartless   Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:10 pm

This girl was just as hooked to curiosity as he was in the moment. It wasn't often an Altimone and an Exatiaz had an exchange, he figured. While he couldn't know the thoughts dangling in her mind of more normal compulsions, he did sense that she was unused to such interactions, especially as her question rolled off her tongue as an audible thought more than any question one might ask.

Regardless, it would be rude and uninteresting to refuse an answer, "I'm.. Actually from the Badlands, as unlikely as that might seem. Might I ask such a question as to where you hail from?" His mannerisms were simple enough, returning questions he was asked until he thought of more.

He motioned with a hand at the thought of manners, towards a root across from the large one he'd been lounging on moments ago-- offering a seat, it seemed. Though it wasn't exactly his place to determine who sat where in nature, politeness had become habitual. Asides, it seemed this conversation might delve deeper sow that he could see they both held a curiosity in the moment.

For now, his white eyes watched her with that unusually observant gaze that his smile only barely touched. "Please do sit; I would like to perhaps learn a story or two of yourself."
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Aiko

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PostSubject: Re: Among Roots and the Heartless   Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:26 am

Catharsis indicated she sit and in that moment she realized how tired her legs were after devouring so many miles beneath them, and gratefully sank onto the lifeline of the Padiv Tree. Tucking her hair behind her ears, Aiko glanced at the uncanny coloring of his eyes. She'd always found the pale gaze of the Altamones ominous. "I was left in Port Laikaido as a baby. A nice family raised me," she answered, the lie flowing smoothly from her shapely lips. Aiko never spoke ill of those who fostered her all those years ago -- it revealed far too much.

"What are the Badlands like?" she wondered at him. She'd never been in Western Odrea before but overheard stories from passing travelers conversing with their companions.

[OOC: yes, it's short. I'm sorry.]
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Catharsis

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PostSubject: Re: Among Roots and the Heartless   Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:55 pm

The lie eased past Cath's ear like oil across water; some of them often did when they were spoken so soft, from a dark place in the heart hidden so well that perhaps the speaker themselves held such faith in the lie. They lived it, felt it for years to convince themselves as well as others. So the fallacy found its stealthy way past the pallid-eyes so calmly and steely observing each little factor of the young woman before him. The shadow cast by the words, however, was not lost to him-- similar shades of black and gray drove a few of his own deceptions... The badlands was not exempt from this group, but something in him itched-- a refusal to lie to this tormented creature.

Tormented seemed a correct term, and he had little to gain but satisfying his piqued interest in the individual before him. "I've been travelling years, but have only passed through the Port briefly...." Stalling... Stalling... How was he to be honest about the badlands? Or anything in that? When was the last time an honest word came from that intoxicating voice of yours? A strange feeling washed over him.. Pity? For himself? He shook it off, now somewhat faltered by the mere presence of Aiko sparking such introspect.

All he could do was grit through the words he knew to be true, "The Badlands aren't like... It is the hole felt in the chest, filled with chaos and uncertainty. The primal enterprise that resides in the back of the mind: raw survival and ingenuity-- the ingenuity of necessity alone. It is the slow ache across your body when you feel your muscles wither... The land itself rises to swallow those too weak to take another stride. The Badlands just Are... I wish there were a better way to put it..." The gilded tongue came to a choke, and there seemed to be no throttle. Despite how clearly deep thought and feeling hung behind the words, his voice didn't falter, only paused in thought. His visage did not twitch or even display a mask-- only apathetic recollection.

[My voice, poems and novels are yours; I could not claim inspiration to be anything but spawned by you. Yet even so inspired, we've arrived here, at the Badlands.]
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Aiko

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PostSubject: Re: Among Roots and the Heartless   Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:36 pm

Cath's words affected her deeply, and for a moment she wondered wildly what he knew of her. "The hole felt in the chest...Raw survival and ingenuity....When you feel your muscles wither." She knew these things all too well, and found her voice stolen for a moment by a hard lump that demanded tearful eyes. Aiko was not a woman to give in to such demands, however, and she hastily blinked the undesired saltwater away.

"Well, that's certainly... the name fits the description, I suppose," she responded, her voice even. If Catharsis had seen the momentary lapse into emotion, the way she had composed herself now would surely give him doubts as to whether he'd imagined the whole thing.

She looked at him curiously, taking in his visage, wondering what a mind like that churns in its wheels. "How old are you, anyway?" she blurted out, incapable of landing on a number.

At this point, she was beginning to stare, but Aiko did not understand the basic rules of social interaction -- she experienced too little of it. She liked the way his snowy hair fell, though she still found such blanch eyes chilling. Her own paleness made his skin seem more blue than it actually was, but she liked the grayness of it too. Looking at her own hand, she gazed at the black markings of the Exatiaz that marred her otherwise perfect, milky complexion.

Her stomach protested suddenly, and she reached into her pack, pulling out cheese and bread and a peach. More comfortable with him at this point, she placed the food in his lap, retrieving a knife from the inside of her calf and unsheathing it. She traded the sheath for the peach, cutting it into quarters. "I'm hungry, and I don't know when you last ate, so here," she said, taking his hand and putting three of the quarters in his palm.

Aiko wasn't one to take no for an answer, and she was offering Catharsis more than food. It was something worth so much more: companionship.
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Catharsis

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PostSubject: Re: Among Roots and the Heartless   Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:40 pm

It was clear his rather surreal description had some effect on the woman, but Cath didn't catch precisely what as the moment passed all too swiftly. It was just as she began observing him -that familiar look of one attempting to discern his thoughts and mindset- then she blurted out a question. Perhaps to stop herself from staring? Either which circumstance, it was a simple enough quiz, albeit one that caught Cath by surprise.

"I am seeing my twenty-fourth year," he answered quickly enough, his visage lightly perplexed over the sudden query. It was again that he realized the pleasant features of this woman before him, and the unusual nature of the exatiaz' mark to mar such empirically perfect features. This he found strange in that he had already noted that she was an attractive being, and such thoughts did not tend to occur twice in his mind. It was curious, but he'd set it aside for later observation.

For now, the woman surprised him yet again, pulling from her pack food and setting it in his prior unoccupied lap. The knife she brought out came with the scabbard, so he was not threatened by the notion, but still pondering why she'd sliced the peach and placed majority in his hand. Did she expect something in return? Didn't seem so, and he didn't recall doing much to earn such fruit, even on a social level. His estranged notion was betrayed by his visage, but he quickly revitalized his usual smile.

"Thank you kindly; it has been some time since my last meal." He graciously accepted, now identifying the intimations behind the food. He slipped one of the quarters into his mouth, gently chewing and swallowing before his manners caught up to him enough for a return of her inquisition. "And how old might you be?"
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Indigo

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PostSubject: Re: Among Roots and the Heartless   Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:21 pm

This thread is now closed.

Aiko receives 15 exp and 5 gyun.

Catharsis receives 17 exp and 6 gyun.

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