The Myst of Avsolom is a medieval high fantasy role play forum set in an original world. It is 3/3/3 on the RPG scale and 18+
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Closed The Road to Arenvale

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Silas Paull

Character
Created
Jul 12, 2019
Messages
3
Silas' eyes fluttered open for the hundredth time. He flicked them to the shadows of the trees, cast on the ground by the morning sun. Guaging the length of those shadows, he determined it was time to stop attempting to sleep.

The rough ground and cool night air had made the night uncomfortable. But then, Silas could have spent the night in a fully furnished room on a soft bed in front of a hearth and still been uncomfortable and sleepless. He sat up slowly, taking his movements one at a time, aware of the individual textures of pain that awaited him trying to get up from a position on the ground. Immediately, he reached for his robe, pulling it around his shoulders before he stood the rest of the way.

The fresh scent of the forest mingled with the woodsmoke in the air. He looked to the center of their tiny camp, and Verity crouched in front of the ring of stones they'd set up. She had some dry deadfall at her side, and she worked to bring the low embers of last night's fire back into a blaze.

Silas paused to study her briefly. The rays of sun beamed down behind her, lighting up her golden hair like a halo. She reminded Silas of a forest faerie from the mythologies he'd read.

A stabbing pain lanced through Silas side, and he flinched slightly, grimacing, waiting until the twisting sharpness subsided. When it did, he was able to finally rise to his feet, using his staff to support himself.

"Morning," he rumbled. His legs felt sore and weak from sole to hip. He couldn't tell if he'd been pushing himself too hard in travel yesterday, or if it was just the usual pain. He forced his legs to work, shuffling toward the fire, and slowly sitting down next to it. Verity already had the tin kettle filled with water from the stream. Reaching into one of his pouches, Silas took a large pinch of herbs and put them into the kettle.

"We should make it to the Arenvale ruins today." He looked up to the blue sky. "Weather's holding. Did you sleep?"
 
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Verity Woolf

Character
Created
Jul 12, 2019
Messages
2
Character Profile
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Prismatic Fate
Verity's gaze was focused on the embers springing with new life into tiny licking flames beneath the extra wood pieces she'd placed in the fire pit. Their bright reds and oranges flared into momentary peaks of yellow from time to time and wisps of smoke curled light grey above them. She gave the fire another poke with a stick, shifting the embers a last time to be sure it was well stoked and then sat back in the dirt next to her pack.

She was aware of Silas waking, very aware of the pain that riddle his face before he rose. She made no move to aid him his however or ask if he was alright. There would be no point in that, Silas was never 'all right' not since that day on the coast and no day since then. To mention it at every turn would only be pointing out a weakness that her friend hated with the greatest of bitter passions. There were times, when he was at his worst, that she would step to his aid. But in general she tried to give him some some space to cope with his his day to day aches in his own way. Ones pride and dignity required nurturing just as much as the body after all.

Watching him mix the tea she dug through her pack and drew out a cut shaft of sugarcane and her shoeing knife. Wiping the blade clean on the side of her pack she stuck the steel edge into the flames to sterilize it and then cut the edge of the cane. She then began peeling off the outer bark, her eyes on her work, a light smile tugging the corner of her mouth at his greeting.

"Morning yourself, slept well enough I suppose. Woke a few times, the horses seemed a bit restless though the night though. Something must have been nosing around the outskirts of camp."

She glanced up at the animals both of whom were resting quietly standing side by side now that their people were awake and the world was safe and lighted around them. Silas's dappled grey clashed wildly with her own paints bright whites, and deep browns. Their ebony mane and tails along with their species the only similarity between the gelding and mare. Her gaze dropped to her task again as she sliced off thick sticks from the peeled inner flesh of the cane and reached across to drop one each into the tin cups for stirring to sweeten the tea.

" Sorry, it's getting a bit dried out. Hopefully I'll be able to find a fresh stalk at the next market we come across. It's getting harder to come by though. "

She glanced up in the direction they'd been traveling in.

" Any thoughts on what we might find there? Other than those that lost their magic I mean of course. Have you read anything on artifacts from the area?"
 
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Silas Paull

Character
Created
Jul 12, 2019
Messages
3
Verity knew him well by now, his pain a companion to them both. He appreciated that she had learned to live with it as he had. She made no offers to help, she let him have his dignity, she let him do for himself.

Quietly, they began their morning ritual, him preparing the herbs for the tea, her peeling off a few strips of the sugar cane. Always a necessary addition to the tea. The concoction that Silas was slowly perfecting over the years carried enough bitterness to make a goat pucker. It either helped with the pain or it took Silas mind off of it long enough to his meager muscles warm.
Verity had awoken a few times in the night, and the horses had been restless.

"I noticed too," Silas said. One of the many things Verity had taught him about horses: they made excellent camp guards. If they were uptight or even if their ears were up, listening, there probably was something out there. "I sensed no auras, but that may mean little." Beasts especially were hard to sense unless they were close. And mages who knew their craft could mask their auras.

The horses stood calm and resting now though. Whatever had been was now gone. Still, they should be vigilant.
Verity mentioned that the sugar was drying out. They'd need to pick up more when they could.

"We'll need more herbs before long, too. Dewlily doesn't grow in this region." It may be something they'd have to adjust to, not being able to find the plants they usually relied on. If they couldn't find what Silas sought at Arenvale, they would travel to the next site where the Myst was heavily present.

There may be a lot of travel. Silas would have to prepare for that eventuality. He might hope that this place held the answers he sought, yet he couldn't depend on that hope.

Verity asked what else they might find there, other than the source of the legends. Silas took the kettle and suspended it from a bough of the crude wooden tripod they'd set up over the fire.

"Before the Cataclysm, Arenvale was a city built on a convergence, a natural place that the Myst bent toward. As a result, the city had a reputation for magical research. I suspect we could find old instruments for measuring and attuning to the Myst. Perhaps some enchanted pieces if the treasure hunters haven't picked the place dry." Silas drew in a breath.

"There might also be a great deal of research material on the Myst." He met Verity's eyes. "Either way, we should find enough to fund further travels, should we need."
 
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Verity Woolf

Character
Created
Jul 12, 2019
Messages
2
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Prismatic Fate
Verity listened as he spoke of what their finds in the ruins might possibly turn out to be. She knew that while they could definitely stand to find a few items to sell and replenish their finances, it was the research Silas was particularly hopeful of. Some scrap of parchment or dusty old tome from their current destination could possibly be the key to ridding Silas of his ailment and freeing the the less somber soul she knew lay beneath all of that pain.

"We can hope for as much, seeing as with game being scarce as it has these last few days we don't have much in the way of pelts to trade or sell."

Glancing around at the oddly still walls of forest around them she frowned. For that matter all the life had seemed oddly quiet since they'd entered this wood, as if the creatures both large and small had been holding their breaths. Waiting for some predator to pass by and leave them safe to their wanderings again... It was a deeper silence than even their presence should be causeing. Not even the birds had song to offer here. It was to that odd absence of sound or motion, that she had attributed the unease that had been creeping at the back of her mind. The unsettled feeling of being out of place and far from home in a land that did not want her present. A feeling of course which was rubbish as until they had entered this place she'd been in bliss to be out in the open wilds again that reminded her so much more of home than the stuffy city life they had left behind.

She watched as he portioned out the various herbs and spices of his own ever changing recipe. Each morning there was less of a change he made. He was getting rather consistent with the amounts and she very much hoped that meant it was helping more with each passing day. At any rate, noticing as much gave her a valid reason to check on him without seeming to be some overbearing mother hen. Nodding toward the herbs he was preparing she mentioned her observation.

" Getting pretty settled on the ratio yeah? I take it you've found a good balance then? Or at least your coming close? "

Waiting for him to reply she dug into her pack to retrieve the hard cheese and bread loaf of which they would carve off portions for breakfast. Her rumageings were cut short as her paint gave a nervous whicker and skittered a side step or two. Head suddenly erect and ears pitched forward, nostrils flared. Silas's grey was doing his own version of the same. From nearly asleep to full alert, just like that. And yet silence.. then the brush some ten feet away on the edge of camp rustled as if something dead still had suddenly sprung into motion and began rustling speedily towards the horses only to stop just as suddenly. The only sign of it's having been a slight wave of the brush branches as they settle back into place.

Breakfast forgotten she reached for her bow, her voice quite but with an urgent tone..

" Silas.."
 
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Silas Paull

Character
Created
Jul 12, 2019
Messages
3
A moment of gratitude washed over Silas as he sat with Verity in the midst of these woods. The curse of pain had taken his strength and vigor, and had robbed him of treasured time in the forests of their youth. They'd endured the stress and claustrophobia of city life together, and this return to the woodlands felt like returning home.

As Verity said, though, they had their challenges. The scarce game meant they'd have to find other ways to survive. Thankfully, Silas' knowledge now rendered him useful again. Between his stipend from the Academy, and his knowledge of ruins like Arenvale, in which treasure and artifacts may reside, he could do his part to keep them fed.

And one day, Silas hoped, he might do something significant for Verity. She deserved the world, and instead she'd got him. He couldn't bear the thought of letting her go, yet guilt plagued him for how much she'd endured on his behalf.

He nodded at her statement. "Always ups and downs," he said. Looking around the forest again, he noted the particular silence of the morning.

Verity gave a nod, indicating his tin mug and the herbs swirling in them. She asked about the ratios and the balance.

"Yes," he said, nodding and picking up the mug. "This particular mix provides good relief for the longest time." He blew across the surface of the liquid, and then sipped. Warmth flooded through him, and he focused on that sensation rather than the bitterness that filled his mouth. That tiny reprieve followed the warming sensation, numbing some of the more obvious stings. The pain never truly vanished, but Silas enjoyed these moments when it quieted.

"Yes," he breathed again, quietly. "Getting close." He looked at Verity, even allowing the corner of his mouth to quirk up slightly. Only she saw his smiles.

"I may of course be doomed to forever improvising it, though. Different climes will offer different remedies as we travel."

Verity dug in her pack to withdraw some of the food they'd brought with them. Silas took another sip of the bitter tea. When one of the horses whickered, both Silas and Verity perked up, turning around. Both horses stood at attention, and Verity's paint shifted a couple of steps to the side, wary.

Silas listened and watched, the silence of the forest now eerie and unnatural. For a long moment, nothing stirred. Then a sudden fast rustle, as of something breaking into a run from a standstill. Silas saw nothing, though heard footfalls pattering toward the horses, and then suddenly stopping. Silas' gray snorted, pulling back on its picket line, stepping away from the noise.

Silas met Verity's eyes, nodded slowly, and reached forward to set his mug down. As he did, he began to concentrate, spreading his senses out into the Myst. The landscape of the mundane translated to a plethora of color in Silas' mind's eye. Microscopic, beyond examination with his skill, lay the life force of the trees and the plants around him: present, but without voice. The horses held a slightly stronger impression on his senses, but again distant and wild. Verity shone like the sun before him. Her aura swirled with energy in mesmerizing and unusual patterns. Since Silas had awakened to his ability to sense auras, he realized Verity's uniqueness. Not a manipulator of the Myst, it nevertheless touched her in a way that he'd never seen elsewhere. It flowed through her, tugging on different threads, and tracing faint whisps of shape that Silas didn't understand, for all his study.

Though she looked beautiful in the light of his senses, Silas moved his vision beyond her to what lay around them. And he spotted a bright patch in amongst the smaller traces of life.

The aura looked dark, like a shadow, and Silas instantly identified as a physical veil. All beings existed partly in the physical realm, and partly within the Myst. This...creature...possessed the ability to control just how much of the physical realm it occupied.

But as Silas reached deeper to try and study it, a barrage of images and impulses slammed into his psyche. Teeth and claws, growling, snarling. Blood, glowing eyes, slavering jaws. A great roar. So raw and bestial were the sensaitons, they knocked Silas out of his concentrations.

"Invisible," he said to Verity. His physical vision swam with color for a moment before he blinked away the dizzyness. "It's shrouded." He turned his body, pointed to where he'd sensed it.

"There," he said.

As soon as he pointed it out, a flurry of leaves kicked up from the ground, rusling as the creature scurried toward the trees. Silas gripped his staff, and slowly hauled himself up to his feet, turning after it.

"I can't tell if it's hostile," he said. He looked at Verity. "You want to try a shot? Should I hold it?"

He could attempt to halt it in its path using telekinesis, but with its momentum and speed, and the increasing distance between them, it might be difficult.
 

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