[⚔] troubled lives ever fated

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76heart
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[⚔] troubled lives ever fated

Post by 76heart » Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:13 am

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━━━━━would  have  us━━━━━
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the adventures of four of our lovely
dumbasses in the world of the witcher
when best witcher bros cheese boy and
mcjudgey meet their loves, the unstable at
best sorceresses mother of deadly animal
and human of bastard cat

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big warning for mature content, lots of
drinking, and absolute sweetness

please do not post here unless you are
myself or my lovely friend <3

do we have self control?
absolutely not pfft perish the thought


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TO      H   O   L   D      YOU
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Iris
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Posts: 201
Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 12:50 pm

Jasper Arryn--- built to last

Post by Iris » Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:59 am

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xxxxxxxi. Jasper Arrynxxxxxxxii. Malexxxxxxxiii. Twenty-sevenxxxxxxxiv. 6'1xxxxxxxv. Witcher

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Born to House Arryn of Cintra, Jasper was the first born son of a lord who had already fathered seven daughters. As the long awaited heir to the great noble house, Jasper was cherished and doted upon endlessly from the moment of his birth. His childhood was idyllic by most standards, and he certainly found it to be a happy one, enjoying his time with his family, primarily his mother and one full-blooded sister, as well as his training from the time he was old enough to pick up a stick. Jasper was bewitched by the culture of knighthood that surrounded him and took to training with a sword even as a boy, training relentlessly and spurred on further by the older boys he trained with, particularly one who he had quickly come to see as not only his best friend, but his brother. Everything in his life seemed set before him even in childhood, and yet a single visit from a witcher to the Eyrie changed everything. After an offer that his very nature wouldn't allow him to refuse, Jasper went against his fathers wishes and ran off with his best friend, Nate, to join the witcher and begin the process to become one himself. His time at Kaer Morhen was a cruel look at reality for Jasper, the trials more painful and scarring than he could have ever imagined when he chose to leave Cintra, but he was fortunate enough to survive them along with Nate and became a witcher in his own right. After surviving the trials, Jasper traveled the continent with Nate and his beloved horse, Lhazar, slaying strange monsters and bedding a string of women along the way. Always a confident man and a competent fighter, Jasper's witcher training only further enhanced both. Though his training left him scarred, changed both through the memories of his time during them and through the changes to his appearance from both the standard brutal tests and experimental alike, it did not erase all that he was before, leaving with him much of what he was even as a child- sometimes to his detriment, given the nature of some of his decisions being almost artfully unfortunate.

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76heart
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[⚔] elyana - the lady of the worlds

Post by 76heart » Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:39 am

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lady elyana stark of cintra is the first born and only
daughter of rickar and adrielle stark, and the elder
sister to aidin stark who came into being when she
was seven. she is twenty-four years of age and
stands at five feet, four inches, and was found very
early in her life to be a conduit of chaos, a young
sorceress. elyana was a miracle to her parents, a
child they thought they would never have, which
was why they made arrangements so that when she
was old enough to attend aretuza, she would still be
allowed to come home. soon she came of age. she
excelled in her studies and within her lessons, but
when it came time for her to ascend at the age of
eighteen, she refused to sacrifice others to further
herself, angering the school and causing them to
send her home until she changed her mind. not long
after, her betrothed attempted to force himself on
her, and without meaning to, she drew upon fire for
a spell she never meant to call, and in her terror
upon seeing that, threw him back and set the room
ablaze. she then saw the young sorceress tyllei had
been watching, and quickly fled with her to keep
the both of them safe from his wrath. that night
severed her control over her magic, the fear of
hurting those she loved and of her own power
plunging her into instability, and leaving her unable
to help her friend learn to control it as she needed
while they remained on the run together.


























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face claim © adelaide kane
song © lady of the worlds - miracleofsound
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Iris
Lovely Friend
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 12:50 pm

Tyllei Lannister--- season of the witch

Post by Iris » Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:07 pm

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xxxxxxxi. Tyllei Lannisterxxxxxxxii. Femalexxxxxxxiii. Nineteenxxxxxxxiv. 5'7xxxxxxxv. Sorceress

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Born to House Lannister of Cintra, Tyllei was the first born child of the king and queen. Though they would go on to have a son and heir, Damon, three years after she was born, Tyllei remained their only daughter. Though she held a life of privilege in that she was a princess of Cintra's infamously wealthy royal family, life was hardly perfect. Her family was a ruthless one rather than one of warmth, and while she would never doubt that most of them loved her in their own way, their way wasn't like most. Tyllei possessed an innocent and kind nature that was all but unheard of in her family, contrasting never more starkly than against that of her brother, only exacerbating his cruel nature and his dislike for her which never ended well for Tyllei, even as they were only children. With her father often busy with his lovers and her mother with Damon, Tyllei's closest relationship within her family was with her cousin, Tyland, who she had been set to marry since childhood, though the love they shared was that of cousins rather than the sort that was romantic in nature. When he wasn't around, Tyllei spent much of her free time trying to avoid Damon and playing with cats, especially her own beloved bundle of fur, Lady Crone. Further complicating her life, it wasn't long before Tyllei's potential aptitude for magic was discovered. At thirteen years old, Tyllei was sent off to Aretuza to be taught to control and develop her abilities. Unfortunately, her studies had barely begun before she was given temporary leave to return home, an absence that was expected to be brief but turned instead to be far more permanent. One night in Cintra took an awful turn, circumstances spiraling to such a degree that it led to her fleeing in to the night with Lady Cone and Yana Stark. In the years that followed, Tyllei never grew with her magic, instead being taught by Yana how not to easily give in to the chaos that came with the lack of control. Still, as her undisciplined mind struggled under the weight of the magic, she had Yana, a sister, if not by blood then by choice through love, as they fled the dangers of the past together.

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76heart
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[⚔] nate - the shield in the darkness

Post by 76heart » Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:20 am

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nathaniel maylen is a rowdy and boisterous witcher
at the age of thirty-two and height of five feet,
eleven inches. as a child, he was extremely close to
both of his parents, and he was left devastated by
his mother's death when he was but a small boy of
seven and she was taken suddenly from him and his
father by an illness from which she couldn't recover.
two years prior however, good came to him through
the birth of jasper arryn, the boy he vowed to
protect from the first moment he saw him, and who
quickly grew to be his best friend and brother in all
ways but blood. they began to grow up training side
by side while nate created mischief and helped out
where he could, until one day a witcher came and
wished to take them both. his father accepted,
but jasper's father, the lord of the vale did not, and
the boys hatched a plan to sneak him out with nate
and the witcher when they left for kaer morhen.
they endured the torturous trials together, and
luckily survived. the trials left nate sobered, but
still himself, and upon their training's completion,
the two left to travel together. when they aren't
slaying monsters or completing contracts, nate
spends much of his time- and money- in taverns
getting drunk and wooing women, or in brothels.
despite everything, nate remains playful and
humors, and enjoys cracking jokes, and often lands
himself in trouble because of them and his habit
of getting under the skin of those he doesn't like.


























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76heart
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[⚔] 001

Post by 76heart » Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:27 am

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━━lady  of  the━━━━━━━━━━━
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xxxAll was quiet, and she was alone with the darkness of the halls, lit only just barely by flickering candlelight that drifted through. It was oddly peaceful, in a strange sort of way. Where normally the halls were filled with bustling activity and sunlight and shouted and whispered plans for the day and all manners of other things, they were now empty and solemn, cold and barren of the vibrant liveliness of the day, and she was alone, completely alone, with only dancing candlelight, and the companionship of the distant moon shining what she could of her rays through the old windows to say hello and reach the floor and illuminate the swirling, dancing dust of a castle far older than anyone who lived within. Most, she knew wouldn't like it; they preferred the colors and atmosphere of others and the light of morning and the day, and would not seek or hope to find solace and peace in the lonely darkness, but she, well simply she found it soothing, her own little private reprieve, especially here. Aretuza was a bit more bearable- at least outside of the horrendous values she had come to recently find lay within that made her blood boil, ones that had her determined to never return to that monstrous terrible place unless she was forced-, and she had her own room to find her own little place to be alone in, but this place was no home, not even an echo of one. It wasn't a home to her, and it never would be. This was not Winterfell, or the warmth of her family. It was merely a glorified prison, where she could only call the nights her own and trust she was truly on her own and private. This was the home of Borys, the man who would be her warden, the guard guarding the door to her opulent dungeon cell, and chaining her to it forever. He was to be her husband, but it was something he would never be. He would not love her or care for her, he would keep her, like a pretty tournament prize and jewel on a shelf, and try to suck all that made her who she was out until she was only what he wanted. That was no husband, that was a cruel man with a- debatably- pretty mask, a man who would be her keeper to her dungeon, and nothing else. The only friends she would have here in these walls once her family left were her horse Durwin, and the Lannister princess Tyllei, and the girl, as she had until they cast her away like a punished child for refusing to do what they demanded of her to Ascend, would be spending most of her days in the cold, unfriendly, and unwelcoming walls of Aretuza, for just as she did, Tyllei possessed magic. Elyana still didn't know if having it was a gift, or a curse, and now, after what she knew and what she had seen, it was beginning to feel more like the latter. A gift shouldn't require the sacrifice of others to fully receive it.
xxxSighing, she shook her head, willing those thoughts to leave her troubled mind. She had already spent far too much time feeling the pain and sharp sting they wrought, and she didn't want to anymore, at least not for this moment. She was not here to dwell on one of her many woes, she was here alone in the solace of the empty, solemn halls to get a moment's break from them and cease her worried thinking for a little while. She focused on the way the old stone felt beneath the tips of her fingers as they trailed along its cold surface- both gently rough and long smoothed by touch and time-' and the way it chilled them nearly to their very bones. It was calming, though it probably should have not been given freezing limbs was generally not a comfort. Nevertheless, it reminded her of home, of the winters she knew better than most anything else, and the cold snows she so dearly missed, and the Weirwoods. Oh the Weirwoods, she missed them so. Yana missed their red leaves and their snow-white bark, and the ancient faces that had been carved into them so immeasurably long ago, and the deep red sap that leaked from their carven eyes as if they were crying blood. They could be a bit gruesome, or she supposed sad, but they had never been anything but beautiful and a comfort to her. They made her feel safe, like she was being watched over by some old force she couldn't understand, but knew could only be a friend, a protector who watched and guarded from weeping eyes. There were also tales that said no lies could be told before them, and though she did not know what she believed regarding that, it was a comfort still, especially after so much of her life now felt like a betrayal, and nothing but dark secrets hidden and kept. The trees wouldn't lie, and even if someone did before them, she'd feel much safer with them there, watching? The coldness of the walls by no means was the same, but she would reject no memories of her home that brought a warmth to her heart, which lately had been feeling lonely and cold. Her fingers continued to trail against the wall as she walked, the old stone still welcomingly cold against her light touch. She thought of the stones longing a small pond before the Weirwood in the Wolfswood, and how cold they, and the sparkling water usually were. She had fallen in once, when she was small and spending time with her cousins, and she had promptly pulled Deston in the moment he began to laugh and began to open his mouth to undoubtedly make some smart comment against her. That had been when his brother, Brenn laughed, and he sent her a smile. He had always been good to her, and so very kind, and she missed the warmth of his hugs. He felt like the older brother she never had, but it had been so long since she had last seen him, since he was taken for the path of a witcher at Kaer Morhen. She loved her brother Aidin, but he was only eleven, and his hugs weren't the same as the ones from her cousin, which felt protective and warm, like a wolf, or even a bear. The hall suddenly began to feel so lonely without him here, but she did her best to shake the feeling away. They still exchanged letters, and he promised he would see her soon. He would be at her wedding without a doubt, and though she was not at all looking forward to that miserable affair where she would be forever tied to a man who deserved a place alongside the most evil, it would be a small comfort to have all she cared for there, even if after that day, she would be so unbearably, utterly, alone. Softly, she let out a sigh, and shook her head. Now was still not the time to think of such things; she didn't need to go making herself feel even more alone than she already was when she was looking for a moment to escape. If Brenn was there with her, he would hold her, and tell her to not give up hope, that there was still time, and she was not doomed yet. She wasn't sure at all if she could believe that, but for the moment at least, she tried to, and looked up truly since the first time she had entered this hall to shake herself from the incessantly troubling thoughts that never seemed to want to go to away.

xxxWhen she looked up, she realized she was at the door to the dining hall, and without another thought, she pushed it open and slipped inside, and then leaned back against it, her hands sliding down the hard wood as she pressed it closed again. She had done enough thinking, and now it was time to just move and do, and just go wherever she went. Elyana couldn't help but let her gaze wander the room for a moment as she stepped away from the door and further inside. No matter how many times she had been in here before, this was the first time she had ever been here alone and wandering, without the weight of gloom hanging heavily around her with the promise that this soon was meant to be her home, and a wretched man within it, her husband. The ceiling was high, and the walls were made of a stone colored more cream than gray. Heavy, draping red curtains covered the glass and good windows that stretched high into the ceiling, positioned carefully so they would never catch fire from the flames of the candles that hung in opulent holders between each one, and the table of dark wood was covered in a similar red. Atop the table were ornate golden decorations and candelabras that were there every meal, with the places already set in preparation for the one to next come, and an array of green flora spread across the table to further detail and enhance the look of the room. Around the table were chairs of dark wood and gold and plush red cushions that were even more intricate and detailed than the decorations, and below the floor was a cold, hard, polished stone floor. She could hear her footsteps echoing faintly in the empty room as she began to cross to the other side where an open archway made for another exit, her fingers gently dancing along the tops of the chairs, but another set of echoes soon joined her own, and her heart sank as she learned she was no longer alone, her movements coming to a harsh stop. It was Borys, she knew it could only be him. "Elyana," Borys purred from the archway, stepping inside with a grin. She stiffened, but met his gaze, only able to hide some of her disgust. "Borys." Elyana's voice was hardened and cold, icy like the winters of her home, though he did not seem to notice, or if he did, he did not care. He only stepped forward, closer to her, scowling as she took a step back, though his grin never left his face. "Were you looking for me? Excited for our wedding already? You know you need only knock on my door and ask, I would never say no to a night with a beautiful woman like you." Gods he was vile, she could almost feel the sick rising in her throat at his words. If he were a better man, a
different man, the dashing prints of her dreams come to rescue her and sweep her off her feet and save her from this misery and treat her with the love and kindness Borys never could, any other mean, really his presence alone should have been enough to make her swoon and her heart sing with the joy of being near him once again, but he was a horrid man, and the only thing his presence could ever invoke or inspire was disgust, and the desire to always be as far away from him as she possibly could. If he was a man she could hold any semblance of love for, she would have run to him to chase the darkness away, but she had come here to escape him, and he was the darkness that shrouded her, the clouds the hung heavy on her shoulders and shut all the light out. "I am here because I wish to be alone. I ask the you leave me to my thoughts." Elyana kept her tone level, and continued to meet his eye. His wide smile twitched, eyes darkening. She would not back down and submit to him and let him have his perfect way. "You don't need to lie to save face here, Yana," He stepped closer, and her hand tightened around the back of a chair. She gripped it so hard her knuckles white. "We're alone here, just you and I, and soon you will be mine. You could come and slip beneath my sheets and no one would ever need to know. I'd keep your secret, I've been waiting for it for a-" Heaving a heavy sigh, she let go of the chair and stepped from the table, fury now blazing in her eyes. She could listen to this no longer, she did not want to listen to this any longer. She would never want him, she would never want to be with him and his words made her feel ill. He had never been this bold before and she wanted nothing but to get away. Without waiting for him to finish, she began briskly walking, determined to get to the door. "I said I wish to be alone, now if you'll excuse me My Lord, I am going to return to my chambers, alone." She interrupted, giving him a curt nod as she passed him. She was at the end of the table now, only a few more strides and she would be out, but before she could take another step, a warm, rough hand closed itself around her wrist, and she could go no further. Fury rose up within her and she turned to face Borys, who looked angrier than she had ever seen him before. His grip tightened on her wrist when he met her gaze, and she tried not to let him see her wince. His eyes were darker than she had ever seen them, too; they were filled with some deranged lust mixed with fury, and she could feel her anger being replaced with fear. She tried pulling her wrist from his grasp, her heart racing within her chest as the reality dawned on her and the need to run kicked in, but he only grabbed her other wrist just as tightly, and pressed her against the wall before she could even react. A hand moved up to her neck, and he leaned into her, keeping her pinned. "Borys-" "No! You are mine, you do not interrupt me. You do not deny me." Borys growled into her ear, pressing closer until she could feel his breath on her neck, and her jaw as she turned her face away. She tried again to struggle, but he only came even closer, and she had to strain her neck to keep her head looking away. Her heart was pounding in her chest and she could to escape. She could not run, she could not think, and now it was getting hard to breathe. What was she going to do? What was he doing? What was this side of him she had never seen before? She was scared, she was so scared, and it took everything in her not to show it, not to give him that sick, twisted satisfaction. She had expected this of him on the night of their wedding, but not before. The hand on her neck moved up to sharply grip her jaw, and turn her head to face him. His eyes were terrifying, a storm of clouds like she had never seen them, and his gaze bored into her in a way she didn't think was possible. She tried again desperately to slip from his grip, but he only held her tighter, and this time she could not hide her wince, and he grinned widely at the sight. "Wide do you deny me at every turn?" His breath was hot against her skin, and she squirmed, leaning away from him as much as she could, only to her horror as his face lit up in delight. She wanted to scream, she wanted to shout, but nothing came from her throat, and she suddenly felt frozen. No words came out when she tried to scream, there was no sound she could muster. "You are mine, and you can't get away from me now, can you?" He leaned closer to her, turning her face away so his lips were only millimeters from her ear. He was taller than her, and stronger, she could not push him away even if she didn't feel as if she had locked entirely into place. She could feel tears begin to prick at her eyes, and she could hear the blood roaring in her ears as her heart continued to race. Why couldn't she scream? Why couldn't she run? Why couldn't she push him away? Why could she only breathe harder and feel more fear seep into her eyes? Why was there nothing she could do? She was shaking now, she knew she was even though she felt frozen, and she winced as he began to whisper in her ear, coming even closer still, and pressing harder against her.
xxx"Tell me Yana, do you like it gentle, or rough?" Her eyes widened at his words and within the horror that spread instantly through her, she found her strength and pushed against him with all she could. She wouldn't let him to that to her, she wouldn't. She pushed harder, and his featured warped into a mask of rage as she managed to move him just a little, and the nails of her free hand trapped between their chests dug into him, forcing him back. Yana tried to use that moment to get away, but again he was quicker, and he grabbed her again, spinning them both around and slamming her back into the table, causing a clamor as plates and candelabras fell to the floor. She struggled against him, her instincts to survive and get away from him finally kicking in through the paralyzing shock and panic and fear that had overwhelmed her, making it hard for him to get a good grip, but he was still stronger than she was, and able to keep her lower body trapped with his weight while he tried to grab for her hands. His features were contorted horribly in fury and range, and as he managed to grab one of her wrists, she let out a hiss of pain at the force in which he grabbed it, tight enough to undoubtedly leave a nasty, purpling bruise. Her other hand brushed against something sharp, cutting her skin as she fought against him, trying to keep her last free hand away from his grasp, and her gaze flew to her hand, instantly searching for what had drawn blood from her skin. It was a knife, a long, sharp, serrated knife. Yana quickly scrambled for purchase on the handle, her hand receiving another slice as she did, and as soon as she found a grip upon it, she raised it, aiming for his neck until her hand began to burn and it fell from her grasp and clattered to the floor. Her hand had burst into flame, filling her with more terror than she already had as her eyes widened and Borys froze and she found herself unable to scream as her features filled with horror. Her hand was ablaze and a searing pain coursed through her veins as the fear had before, and she could only stare in utter terror, until she found her ability to move again a split moment later, and with a movement of her hand to try and dispel the fire, she flung Borys back with a spell she did not mean to call upon, causing him to crash against the wall, and the fire to find the curtain above him. She was too stunning and horrified to move from the table where she lay half propped up, her form shaking harder and her heart beating faster than they ever had before. She was frozen and horrified, her breathing ragged and sharp and her panic quickly setting back in as she mind whirred and struggled to process all that had just happened and a single thought at all. What had she done? What had she
done? The flames engulfed the curtain, and quickly spread to the next. Her hands felt as if they were burning in searing, roaring flames that should have melted the flesh form her very bones, and within that brief, terrible moment, it felt like something utterly terrifying had awoken within her and ripped itself through all her veins and her very being like a roaring blaze, like it had shattered and burned some hidden part of her heart she only now knew was there due to the petrified ache it held that swiftly swept throughout her form as she realized what she had just done, and what had just come from her, and her hands that still tingled like a lingering burn. What had just happened? What had she done? How had she done that at all? She had called upon no magic, given nothing to feed it's power, and yet it had sprung forth from her all on it's own and saved her, yet set everything ablaze. It had spread to more curtains now, and smoke had begun to fill the room, and she let out a cough as some found it's way to her lungs. Was that fire magic? How had she just done something so dangerous, and so forbidden? Finally, shaking, she was able too scramble from the table and run a bleeding hand through her hair, brushing the messy locks from her face as she breathed in a sharp, shaky breath. Gods, what had she done? She turned, and she was met with another horror before her, as she stood there struggling to catch her breath and figure other how to move again. There was Tyllei in the archway, looking as wide eyed and terrified as she did, if not more so, and without thinking, Yana raced to take her hand, and ran, taking her from the flames, and the castle, because she knew then that there, they could never be safe, and she had to protect her.

xxxThere was not a single day where that terrible night did not cross her mind and consume the entirety of her thoughts until she felt tears pricking at her eyes, nor a time where it did not plague her dreams and threaten to wake her up alone in the dark shaking and with a silent scream. That was the last day she had ever been able to truly do magic, and it haunted her still, terrified her still. When the flames had left her hand, something within her had changed. Some part of her had closed itself off and she could no longer control any magic, or any spell she tried to cast. She knew how to, all of her knowledge and memory was still there, but something in her just stopped and she couldn't, and every pebble she had tried to raise backfired and shattered into pieces until she had given up trying, in fear she would hurt Tyllei, or someone else. If she could not control her magic, then she would not use it. Borys was a monster of the very worst kind and she wouldn't ever want to regret the harm she caused him that night, and he deserved every pain that came his way, but that night had shown her what magic was truly capable of, what she was truly capable of, and it terrified her. If she had not called upon the flames herself, what else could her magic do? What others could she hurt? She had known magic so well, and excelled so easily, but the second the flames rose from her hands everything changed and she could do it no longer, she was too afraid. She was afraid of herself, of her hands, of the harm she could do. She was beyond afraid of that, beyond terrified; there was not a word to measure the fear that she knew for it. She had tried to practice at first in the night when Tyllei slept as she kept watch to make sure they were safe when they ran, but each attempt only grew worse, and she grew more terrified of hurting the girl, her only friend who had become a sister to her in such short a time, and she wouldn't risk it. When each try only resulted in more shrapnel and more damage gone wrong, she knew she couldn't practice any longer and hurt Tyllei. She wouldn't ever let her magic go wrong and bring harm to her, on that she would always refuse. She didn't want to hurt everyone ever again, and each and every time she closed her eyes and saw the flames and felt the fear in her veins she remembered exactly why. Yana had never wanted to hurt anyone ever; she had always wanted to be the kind of ruler to out everyone before herself, and she had always cared so deeply for people she had never even met, and now she knew she was capable of destroying them all, and she couldn't let herself do that, she couldn't risk it, and Tyllei and her face as she saw the flames and the flames themselves were all she would ever need to remember why. She just couldn't hurt anyone else, not ever again.
xxxBecause she could not protect Tyllei with her magic as she could have before that awful night, to keep them both safe, she had stolen a sword from her family when they first ran six years ago- one of the only clear thoughts she had that night-, and learned how to use it best she could as time went on and they traveled. She was no swordsman, and certainly no master or even at the level of a common bandit or noble boy, but it would do, and it gave her comfort to know that she could do something to keep herself when magic was out of the question in case it backfired as it always did and hurt the girl who had become her sister that she had promised to protect the moment she took her hand and ran from Borys and the burning room. The lack of her being able to use magic with any sort of success did pose one problem though; teaching the magic to Tyllei so she could learn what she needed to to not let the magic turn her mad. Elyana still remembered all she had been taught, and exactly how to do all she had learned, but when she could not do it properly herself, it was harder and much more difficult to help Tyllei and teach her when she needed it to be shown. She could only talk her through it, and remember the burning of her hands and feel her fear all over again. That was her only regret in not being able to properly do the magic and choosing Tyllei's safety over trying more, but at least she had been able to teach her some things, and they would find someway to manage, as they had been since they left the castle in a flurry with only two saddlebag's worth of clothing and other things, and two horses, and Tyllei's gray fluffy oft cranky cat, Lady Crone.

xxxDeft and careful hands worked to undo the saddle from Durwin's back, and she pulled up with all her strength on the girth straps until the buckles popped out of place and she carefully let go, and then pulled the girth fully free from the saddle. She could undo the other side later, right now she just wanted to get it off of his back. They had been riding for so many days and hours with scarce breaks to get to this tavern, and she just wanted her beloved gelding to rest. He had already waited long enough in that time, and in the time it took her to free Tyllei's steed from the confines of saddles and reigns. Yana had already slid the saddle bags down his back and hoisted them onto the wood that stood between the two horses and their stalls as a divider, right next to Tyllei's saddlebags and her horse's tack. The tavern was clearly incredibly busy and all spaces in the stable area but five were filled, so Tyllei had gone inside to make sure they would have a room while Yana took their horses to some water. She had come back out a moment later to announce they had gotten the last room, and was now waiting for her inside, but admittedly, Yana was in no great hurry to join her. She wanted a moment to slow down and spend with Durwin before heading into the loud and noisy tavern, and just get a break from all the weight she felt heavily on her shoulders. Without waiting another moment, she effortlessly pulled the saddle from his back and placed it on the divider with the rest, and then turned back to Durwin to stroke his sturdy neck, and give his snout a pet when he leaned against her touch and turned his head nudge her affectionately. It's weight used to be nigh unbearable after a long and draining ride, but now that she had lifted the saddle so many times and endured it's challenge and burdens, it was nearly nothing, and she had grown used to it, even when her limbs were heavy with exhaustion and she could barely keep her eyes from closing and leading her to a sudden, unfortunate sleep. Her gentle hands moved to his bridle next, and she removed it with ease, sliding it gently from behind his ears and down his nose and setting it with the rest. Finally, he was free of it all, and she was done, and she wasted no time in moving in front of him, and running her hand lightly down his nose. The tiredness in her bones and her heart began to creep in, and her face took on a frown as her heart began to ache. Who was she trying to fool? She didn't like this life, the constant need to look over her shoulder and behind her back, the constant running and traveling to get away. It wore on her, and she missed her family, she missed her home, and for just a little while, she wanted to stop running, to feel safe, to truly rest. "Oh Durwin, what are we going to do? Will we ever be able to stop running?" Elyana asked softly, her heart yearning for an answer, her fingers bushing his soft, dappled gray fur, and her voice tired with the heavy widget of burdens and exhaustion. "It's been so long. For so long now we've been running with no place to call home, and hardly anywhere to stay." Durwin nudged her then with hopes to cheer her up as he always did, and she couldn't help but smile and give a small laugh. He nudged her again, nosing the riding coat that covered the shirt and trousers she wore beneath, along with her sword and it's sheath, right into her side where he knew she kept the treats she had for them, and she couldn't help but smile and laugh again, her worries quickly fleeing from her mind and thoughts turning to her beloved hooved friend, at least for the moment. "Durwin!" Yana scolded, teasing, her smile growing ever wider as he gave a snort and withdrew his head. "You naughty boy. Here I was about to give you one." Elyana stepped back, folding her arms, and Durwin stamped his hoof, looking offended. "Oh, so you do deserve one then? Well, who am I do deny my handsome man his hard earned reward." She pulled a couple broken carrot pieces from her pocket, and held them out to him on an outstretched, open, flat hand, to which he eagerly leaned his head down and accepted, his whiskers tickling her palm as he grabbed them. She could only smile at the sight and feel glad to have him, that she wasn't alone. She had Tyllei and Lasy Crone, and she had her Durwin, and she had no intentions to ever lose them. They were her family now, and she was so very grateful and happy to have them, and to be able to hold them close. As soon as Durwin finished crunching down his carrots, he nudged her again, pushing his head into her in the way he asked for hugs, and she gently placed her hands on other side of his head and drew it up to her own, placing her forehead against his and feeling his soft fur on her skin. "Oh Durwin my darling, thank you. I love you, and I am so glad that you are still here by my side, my sweet friend." Elyana murmured, one hand moving to stroke his neck and the other to his cheek. He had been hers since he was born, and she had raised him whenever she had been able, and in turn, he had always taken care if her to and found ways to make her smile when she needed it most. He meant everything to her as Tyllei and the things that made her smile did, and she was so glad she did not have to bear these burdens alone, and that someone was looking out for her too, even if there were no words he could speak and he could only express his love and playfulness through inhuman actions. She never needed to say a thing for him to know now she felt, and he was always there to lend her some strength when she was losing her own. She smiled against his forehead, and then moved to wrap her arms around him and give him a hug, and smile again when he craned his neck around her as much as he could to hug her back.


Iris
Lovely Friend
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 12:50 pm

So Far From Being Home | I

Post by Iris » Fri Feb 05, 2021 7:17 pm

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xxxxxxx It was a truth scarcely acknowledged, of a topic so rarely contemplated, and even more rarely discussed, that the lifespan of a Witcher was seldom that of which they were said to be granted. Yet, even in a perfect world, one less marked by true horrors that stalked the night and in the minds of men, one where he never slipped, never missed, never was betrayed, caught off guard, or torn apart by a beast he was given coin to hunt, a world in which he lived for centuries as Witchers would be apt to do, Jasper Arryn would arrive on his deathbed without regret. Well, perhaps he would have his share of regret, of failings and decisions made once that he could never take back, but enjoying a crisp pear while his closest friend, his brother in every way save through the truthfully insignificant tie of blood, tried to take down a particularly cantankerous mula, certainly wouldn’t be among them. No, in that, he would forever remain unapologetically unrepentant.
xxxxxxx Nate had the situation covered. Or, at least, Jasper had thought he had. Vampires, even the lesser vampires, weren’t ever particularly insignificant tasks, but Nate was a more than competent witcher- more than that, even, given his sword skill -and it wasn’t as if it was a high vampire he was tasked with. It was a familiar dance, and so it was a show that Jasper chose to watch, a source of entertainment as he enjoyed his pear. A snack and a hunt in lieu of dinner and a show- such was the nature of the life of a witcher.
xxxxxxx The fruit had always been his snack of choice. Difficult to find in peak freshness, admittedly, in many of the places their travels had taken the pair of witchers, but easier now in the small towns they would find themselves in than in the time before. Kaer Morhen was hardly known or renowned for special attention taken in exacting culinary prowess, after all- not that it had made a resounding difference to Jasper once he had managed to at least suppress his disgust at the offerings. Some places had been far better, the now distant memories of Cintra from a time before Kaer Morhen even coming to mind, and some less better, towns and regions of little regard from the grim wasteland of Vespaden and beyond, but even in those places, pits of vermin and hardened ignorance, the offerings could be better, and occasionally, even delicious.
xxxxxxx The pear was great, the earth in front of the willow tree had been comfortable, and it had been an entertaining sight before it nearly reached the precipice of being out of hand. When it was, he discarded the pear to be of assistance. His conscience was completely clear, and he found no faults in his own actions. That didn’t, however, mean he would be saved from hearing about it.

xxxxxxx “And how, exactly, was I to know the mula would have balls like an incubus on a virgin?” He had found himself defending to his friend as they neared the capitol city of Crinfrid, the open road widening and buildings on the sparse outskirts casting their shadows in the dwindling light of the evening. The words were in jest, of course, hardly to be taken too seriously. Still, the sight that he had been given so soon before they neared the town filled the witcher’s mind. Hideous bastards, the mulas were, and that particular one hadn’t exhibited the typical signs of just having fed. Or, more aptly, none that they had paid enough mind to noice. How was he to know that it would descend in to a post-feeding blood rage? Even then, recalling the details, he couldn’t help but grin at the memory, his altered eyes flashing over to his best friend without effort to hide his amusement. “Perhaps next time we ought to use bait, hm? String it up,” he pointed to his shoulder, motioning a semi circle downwards and back to his other shoulder, “test the waters?” His grin only widened at his own joke, imagining Nate standing before a mula with a necklace of meat wrapped snuggly around him to gauge what sort of state it was in. In his imagination, Nate was standing baited while mowing down cheese or ale and likely spewing out casual insults about the ugly bastard’s appearance, and Jasper wasn’t far behind him, ready to step in if necessary. Safety first, of course.
xxxxxxx The capitol was larger than most of the towns they had come across in the years since leaving Kaer Morhen, and it didn’t smell quite as terrible as he would have expected, making for promising signs against his low expectations. Still, Jasper was glad to realize when they were nearing a local tavern. It was bustling, the noise from inside to be heard from a distance and some number of odd locals stumbling about the premises clear even down the road. It was then that the pair parted ways, Jasper setting off to make way to care for their horses while Nate went to the tavern to get rooms for the night, and if Jasper had to guess, to find company in ale or locals or both. “I’ll be right in,” he told him before they were too far separated. Of course it wouldn’t be immediate, Jasper expected Nate would know as much, as even after a long journey, Jasper was never one to separate from his horse too soon. He had a fondness for all horses, he always had, but his gelding, Lhazar, occupied a special place for the witcher. Still, as soon as the horses were well settled, he would join him, and they could see what entertainment could be had for the night in Crinfrid.
xxxxxxx “Let us hope he doesn’t find the innkeepers wife,” Jasper found himself remarking to the horses he led, his eyes on Nate before the other man disappeared in to the tavern. He glanced over at his friend’s steed. You know, just as well as I.” While Jasper himself enjoyed nighttime company just as his friend did, he never did understand the allure of pursuing married women. It wasn’t as if he was beyond it, or that he had never laid with one as he certainly had, and he never did make a point of asking the marital status of a pretty face, but he certainly didn’t make a habit of it like his friend did. Of the consequences of such nights, however, Jasper was intimately aware. At that, he felt his other shoulder nudged, and he looked over, a smile brought to his face as he found himself looking in to expectant eyes. “Well, I suppose if he does we could always find a nice stall and bunker-“ he began to converse with his horse, but stopped short as the sound of distant laughter filled the air. It wasn’t the only sound that filled the evening air, not hardly, but it was by far the best.
xxxxxxx It was the sound of welcome cold beauty and all the warmth within. It was clear, and light, and familiar, as if he had heard it a thousand times before, and yet so distinct that he knew he hadn’t had the privilege for he would have surely remembered. His eyes moved immediately to find the source of the voice, but he couldn’t see the laughing woman, could only detect that the sound was coming from the stable area, and that she must have been hidden from view. Then, as the laughter died out, leaving him yearning for more, he heard her voice call out a man’s name. Durwin? Her voice was beautiful even as she spoke the man’s name, a soothing tone that he realized with quick certainty was spoken in a Cintran accent, though as she continued, his mind was pulled elsewhere. She spoke of giving her handsome man his hard earned reward, and his brows raised, the words a warning that he might be approaching a situation that might not welcome company.
xxxxxxx Still, he pressed forward, his eyes focused on seeing if he could spot the woman with the beautiful voice. Beginning as gently as the snagging of fabric, it took the preoccupied witcher until he had nearly reached the stalls before he recognized the vibrating against his chest and the pull around his cloaked neck. It was his medallion, a silver wolf-shaped tool that he had possessed for years, since back in the time of the pit of hell of Kaer Morhen, concealed under the fabric of the dark grey cloak he wore, but pulling at its chain all the same. It was reacting to magic. The realization made him pause for just a moment, looking from his left, and then to his right, eying both horses. Was it just a spell that had been cast, or was it a creature, one that could cause harm to the animals? What of the girl he had heard? He carried on with a bit more caution, readied to draw his sword if needed. Then, as soon as he entered the area, he saw her.
xxxxxxx He knew without words being spoken that she was the source of the voice he heard. He also knew, in that instant, with more than just some level of certainty, that she was the source of his medallion’s warning. She was a sorceress. Too beautiful not to have ascended, for surely no beauty could be such without magic, yet he couldn’t imagine her in any other form. She was young, a woman grown but in her youth, for as much as his eyes could see, though he certainly couldn’t trust them if magic was involved, as it could carry youth through the centuries. It didn’t matter. His altered eyes were locked on her as if he was enchanted by the beauty of the brunette, and as he walked closer, parallel to the stalls, he could swear he could smell the scent of fresh roses and of the most oddly welcoming cold radiating from her even over the smells of the stable. It was alluring, just as her voice, and certainly as her beauty, were to behold. In her presence, it was all too easy to forget nearly all else. He almost walked past the few unoccupied stalls he came across before the sound of Lhazar captured his attention enough to bring him back to the reality of his objective if for only a moment. Still, he couldn’t help but let his eyes return to the woman once more, his mind incapable of leaving her. There was something about her, something he couldn’t turn away from. It was odd, even beyond her beauty, there was something about her that felt impossibly like... ”It’s been some years since I’ve been home,” his words were sudden rather than planned as he looked over to her, his eyes on her as he started the gentle and familiar process of freeing Nate’s steed of it’s confines. Regardless of his own meaning, he was naturally unabashed, a smile spreading to his lips. “It’s not often I have the pleasure of meeting another from Cintra this far north.”


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xxxxxxx There had been a time, not so distant in the past now but so separated by circumstance that it felt as if it were another lifetime, that Tyllei Lannister had first truly wished to disappear. She had been a young girl then, so young she could hardly remember now, and yet she could still distinctly recall it, the first time she had made the wish. It was a great feat, or perhaps an even greater failure, to remember such a thing given how hard she tried to forget so much, to cling to the good at the expense of the bad, but how could she forget? It was there, it was always there, just as the rest were. The scene was only too vivid in her mind, the foreign sight of blood smeared across her white sheets, saturating through the bedding so deeply as if the fluid sought safety and comfort in the feathers underneath. The feeling of confusion molding in to dread, followed soon only by horror as she had rounded the edge of her bed, following the trail of blood to the grand display that had been left for her. That poor black cat, the sweetest of creatures who she cared for so dearly, and even more, the lifeless little bodies that had been carved from her body and circled around her corpse. A gift, she could remember being told, though the source of the words had faded through time. The first gift she could recall her brother ever presented her, and though she screamed, and she cried, and in every other way had made a spectacle of herself in her heartbreak for the innocent lives lost and the horror in the cruelty her mind couldn’t even begin to comprehend, it was in that moment she could first recall wishing so desperately to disappear. Such a feeling was one she had come to be familiar with in the years that had passed since that evening that now seemed to be so very long ago.
xxxxxxx Of course, it hadn’t come true then. Other feats had come to pass, had shown themselves to be true, but not the realization of that feeling. The feeling of being nowhere, but of being everywhere, of existing but not existing there in that very moment. Of safety in oblivion. It had never come to pass, no matter how many occasions she had yearned so desperately for it, and yet she had found her own sort of oblivion. She had only been but a child that night as she grasped on to the older Stark girl’s hand as if she would never let go, the two fleeing in to the night. It never transpired as Tyllei wished it would have, and yet in a sense, it had transpired all the same. They had disappeared, found oblivion, all that she had wished for so many times before.
xxxxxxx The irony didn’t escape her. They had left, escaped in to the night, but there was no safety in the darkness. There were monsters in the world, stags and lions and others, terrifying things of unspeakable natures, all to be feared. Dangers to be found, and just as fearsome, dangers of the mind. The feeling of slipping, of teetering on the edge of a precipice with nothing but an ocean of chaos awaiting below, dangerous and unable to be controlled, capable of untold destruction to the mind, the spirit, and the world around her. The ocean of chaos was always there, crashing frighteningly against the ground upon which she stood. It was there, it was always there, more easily ignored when things were alright, when the world was safe and the foundation was solid, so rarely that it was. It was in that that she often she found herself flailing, looking for anything to grasp to, even just in brief moments where things felt like they were about to crumble beneath her and all she had left to hold on to were her cat and the Stark, the one person who she could rely on to always be there, but who she knew must have been struggling not to collapse in to the chaos beside her. Gods forbid they both fell to the chaos, for within it they would surely drown.
xxxxxxx At least they were still both alive. It was something that Tyllei knew not to take for granted, not when danger was what had bound them together that night. They were alive, and they had each other, which was more than what most people had. At least, it was more than Tyllei had, even when she was a child living in a castle, a princess of a proud country. She had Yana, a protector, a sister, a friend. She was family in a way Tyllei had never known before meeting her, and she was the kindest, smartest, bravest, and prettiest person she had ever met- pretty both inside and out, as if she had ascended before she was even born. As if the Gods knew just how wonderful she’d be, how very special she was. Such a bright soul she was, and Tyllei had the privilege to call her a friend, to know that they were in the darkness together, and that Yana was the only reason she had yet to fall in to the chaos. She helped more than Tyllei could have ever asked of anyone, and to have her safe as she could be given the circumstances, and in her life, was more than enough to be grateful for. To focus on the positive, the light within the perhaps equally beautiful and frightening dark world, helped. As did, as it turned out, alcohol.

xxxxxxxIt had been a long journey to the bustling tavern, and Tyllei had made quick work of securing the two final empty beds upon their arrival, coin in one extended hand and her beloved gray ball of fur, Lady Crone, held securely in the other. It was a small victory, a stroke of luck for them to arrive when they had and little more, but it was a success nonetheless, one which she was quick to share with Yana before making her way back in to the tavern as Yana lingered with her beautiful Darwin. “Finally, a place for you to get your rest,” Tyllei spoke affectionately to the cat she held to her chest as she walked, her voice low as she weaved through the bustling tavern, eyes settled on the back stairway she had been pointed to after securing the rooms for the night. The tavern was loud and full of unfamiliar faces and smells, though none overpowered that of alcohol which filled the air. Joined with the smell of Lady Crone and the earthy scent that never left Tyllei’s person so long as she had her hair dyed a dark brown as she had for years to help conceal her identity, they made all others, the less pleasant odors that undoubtedly filled the room, far harder for her to detect and easier for her to ignore.
xxxxxxx The stairwell was steep and narrow, made to feel only steeper by the exhaustion that settled in her limbs from the journey. Still, they were short, and even at her slow pace only moments had passed before she reached the top and made her way down the hall to one of the two rooms she had been pointed to. It was a dim space, with little more than a bed by means of furniture, but it had a cozy feel about it. If only it didn’t have that faint lingering smell than all rooms in taverns seemed to have, but it was so very faint, and easier to ignore than it once had been. “Ah, here we are then,” she announced to the cat in her arms, her fingers burying within the thick grey fur. So soft she was, her sweet and beautiful little feline. “Perhaps you shall stay up here? It should be wonderfully comfortable for you, I think.” She took steps toward the bed, setting her gently down on a pillow. Her Lady Crone loved pillows.
xxxxxxxOnce free, the cat made quick work of beginning to clean herself, stretching creatively to lick far off places of her bulky body. The sight brought a smile to Tyllei’s face, and with another quick look around the room, she disappeared for a moment, returning up from the stairwell with a bowl of water. When she reentered the room, Lady Crone hadn’t yet moved off the pillow, though the sound of the door opening captured her attention and with it, she let out a loud meow. “Well hello again,” Tyllei responded, kneeling down to set the bowl on the floor against the wall for her cat’s convenience. She had already ate her dinner before they had arrived.
xxxxxxxPatting down the dark blue of her dress, Tyllei made her way to the bed, sitting on the side as she looked over the grooming cat. Lady Crone looked up at the distraction and made a noise that put a smile back on Tyllei’s face, the cat flopping before standing and making her way slowly from the pillow, rubbing her head against Tyllei’s knee. “Oh?” Tyllei reached forward, her fingers moving to scratch under Lady Crone’s chin, setting the cat off purring as she stretched in to her touch. Tyllei continued to scratch her chin until the cat seemed to grow tired of it, reaching to lick her hand with her rough tongue before settling down again, flopping indelicately on to her side. “Well then, I shall return. Do try not to miss me too terribly much, as I shall miss you,” she cooed affectionately. Her smile broadened at the sound the cat made. “Oh, yes, so terribly,” she assured her, scratching the top of her head and leaning down to press a soft kiss to her fur before forcing herself from the bed. Another look was given to the comfortable feline before Tyllei made her way from the room and down the hall, pressing herself flat against a wall as a much older man stumbled on past, then down the staircase. Within moments the young sorceress found herself with ale in hand, eyes scanning the busy room. No Yana yet, but she was sure she’d see her soon.
xxxxxxxShe had yet to move from the bar, searching for a place to sit for the night when a gruff voice drew her attention. ”Aye, looking for some company?” Tyllei was quick to find the source of the question, swallowing hard when she saw a man staring at her from a table of other men who appeared to be playing cards. The way he looked at her was uncomfortable, like she wanted to crawl from her own skin even if she wasn’t sure why, and even if it was hardly an uncommon occurrence in the sorts of places she and Yana would often need to stop. The man patted his thigh in invitation. ”Come, we could teach you a trick...or two.”
xxxxxxx Her eyes were wide at the invitation. “I...no.” She swallowed hard, feeling guilt at the words as soon as they left her lips, magnified as she heard a few of the men at his table laugh. Her words were quick to follow, rushed as she spoke. “Thank you, but unfortunately, I’m...awaiting a friend.” She was quick to explain, hoping the words would suffice.
xxxxxxxThe man grunted in response, his eyes scanning her before returning to the men who accompanied him. “Lucky bastard shouldn’t keep a woman waiting.”
xxxxxxxHe thought she was awaiting a man? The thought probably surprised her more than it ought to have, and she nearly spilled her drink. “Oh! Well, I...it’s my fault, really,” she struggled to explain to the man who’s back had turned to her, her own eyes darting for a way from the conversation. Finally, she spotted a small table in the back corner of the room that must have only been vacated moments before, her eyes lighting up at the sight and her free hand moving to point towards it, “I should...and thank you, I hope your game goes well,” she swallowed as one of his friends turned to her with a raised brow. “For all of you, I...” Cringing inwardly at herself and the conversation, wanting nothing more than to leave it and the men, she finally resigned herself to doing just that, giving an awkward nod and quickly making her way from the bar with haste before reaching the table, a quiet groan leaving her lips as she settled in to the wide wooden chair, bringing her mug up to her lips and letting the ale slide down her throat. Alcohol always helped.


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76heart
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[⚔] 002

Post by 76heart » Thu Dec 16, 2021 10:41 am

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xxxFingers brushed over soft, fine fur, and carded gently through the strands of a rather long mane, stretching as far as they could from her hands wrapped around him, until the tips of her fingers passed over something rougher than his lightly dappled fur, and they froze. Her heart fell, feeling suddenly all to heavy. A healing scratch. A pain that never would have existed if she had never chosen to run. A mar that wouldn’t be there if she could still use her magic to heal. "I am so sorry." Her voice was soft, cracked, barely there. Fingertips, featherlight and loving, passed over the scratch feeling for something hidden and deep beneath the surface that could not be seen. There was no wince as she had expected; his muscles only gave a twitch in the way they would to shake off an unpleasant and pesky fly.
xxxHe had been through a pain she couldn't, and didn't stop. She had failed him. The scratch was small, and scabbed, and healing, but it could have been worse. What if the source of his wound had been poisoned? What if he had received a gash from jagged stones? What if he had been gored by a monster, a beast, a terror, looking for an equine snack? Or if he had injured his leg, all but a death sentence for a horse? If it had been anything more serious, or severe, she couldn't have done a thing to ensure his life. She would have lost him. Should she really have left? Was that truly the best thing she could have done? If she had stayed, Durwin would have a much nicer stable to rest in. He wouldn't be as tired. His life would not be in danger every time they were out on the road, because there was only so much she could do with a sword she only just barely knew how to use. Tyllei would still have a teacher, someone who could actually help her learn to control her chaos so she did not dangle so close to the edge. Lady Crone would have piles of pillows to curl up in. Yana could still hold her brother in her arms and kiss his forehead goodnight in a blessing for all his dreams to be happy and pure, and not the night terrors she knew well. No, she couldn't think that. She couldn't waver, she had to stay firm and be an anchor for the young sorcereress who had already been through too much. If they hadn't left in the night, she didn't want to think about how angry Borys would have been, or how terribly the torment from Damon would grow for her sweet sister in all but blood, given how the two were close and Tyllei had been a witness. And she did not ever want to be around the man who thought her body was his to take ever again.
xxxStill, she felt terribly for how useless she had become, for what little she could do.
xxxIf only she could still use her magic. She hated not being able to heal him because hers had become so broken.
xxxShe still knew how to do everything, from creating the portals to other lands she had once tried to conjure as a child on the day she met Tyllei, to lifting a rock using the life of a flower; the first magic she had ever learned. All of it, she hadn't forgotten a single thing, she could still trace their patterns in her sleep, feel the pathways her chaos took to make each thing a reality. Magic and using it were as natural to her as breathing, or.. at least they used to be. Now she had no control over anything, and little rocks she tried to lift would shatter into thousands of even littler shards that would rake into trees and cut flowers from their stems. Her arm still had a scar from one that had cut too deep.
xxxShe had tried everything, tried relearning all she had from the start, but nothing came of it except more and more broken stones, and wilted flowers that would never bloom again. Her knowledge had never been the problem; that wasn't what had snapped inside. All of it was still there, reviewed in her head almost every night. It wasn't why her magic had started becoming so horribly wrong. It wasn't the reason at all.
xxxWhen her hand became alight with blaze, and flew to the room when she tried to shake it off, and the terror of what she had done filled her within a fraction of a moment, something within her had broken, and now what was once natural, and beautiful, and clear, was burned and marred with the debris of what she had wrought. Ever since, it was as if some part of her deep within was stopping any magic she tried to conjure before it could be too powerful, and hurt anyone else again, like some switch or lever of safety in a mill, but a faulty one with long expired magic and no knowing hand to flip it, which no longer knew how to tell what was safe. And truthfully, sometimes, she wasn't sure if it was only something deep and unknown within that wanted to stop it. She worried that a part of her she didn't want to acknowledge was there, wasn't sure if she truly wanted to fix it, and allow herself to be capable of such destructive and dangerous chaos again, chaos that might allow her hurt someone, or Tyllei, or Durwin, or Lady Crone, or any other she loved.
xxxThe worst bit of it was, she could understand why such a part of her might exist. She understood why fire magic was not taught casually, why it was discouraged, why so many who used it had gone mad. It was a terrible, consuming power that could not be contained once released, and could not be controlled. It was the most dangerous of the elements, addictive, and any inexperienced adept ran the risk of not being able to stop themselves from drawing upon it before it was too late. It had caused some to lose their ability to conjure, and those who specialized in it often met an end burned by what they sought to control. Magic always came with a price, but fire's was steeper, especially for sources like herself. Coming into contact with Power drawn from fire, as she had accidentally and unconsciously that horrible night, could suddenly activate peculiar abilities, which usually ended in a destruction she knew too well. She was one of the lucky ones, and it had left parts of her broken. The fire magic that leapt from her all on its own had shaken her to her very core. It had been blindingly terrifying, so much so that something within was so scared of it it would never allow her to try it again. She was capable of horrendous things she couldn't control. Trusting herself as she once completely had was no longer something she could do. It would always be there, in the back, lurking, calling her name, pulling her towards the precipice, the brink, the edge of madness, forever part of the chaos she weilded. It had left her shaken and scarred in a way that could not be seen, and the scars went deeper than she could ever know, deeper than what she knew how to heal. Her magic was now like a tender sprout that had not yet had time to strengthen, stepped on by the cold fear of her heel anytime she tried to call it back, until it became so crushed only the memory of it remained, a shadow of her. Conjuring again meant that the pathways were reopened for it to take control if she ever accidentally left open the door of its cage, and if it came to it, she knew she would rather lose her magic in its entirety, than let it out again and harm someone with a heart much kinder and more innocent than Borys'. Even if it broke her to see her Durwin had been in pain, he was still alive, still breathing, and he might not be if he was met by a hungry flame. She would not be surprised if some part of herself had decided the world was better off with her never using magic again, no matter how much she hated that she could ever think such a thing. She was frightened, and terrified, and constantly worried that she would cause harm to her dearest friend, but she still wanted to conjure again. She still wanted to feel the magic flow through her and fill in the empty pieces it has left behind. She still wanted to keep trying to make it work no matter how much it exhausted her, if for no reason other than the sake of Tyllei. She didn't know how she would ever fix something so broken when she had no idea how, and when she was so very scared and could not trust herself, but that didn't mean she didn't want to fix it. She did. She wanted to feel whole again, and to be able to protect those she cared for. She wanted to trust herself again. To look at her hands without fear. To hold someone without worry. To let down her guard. She didn't want to be so useless, or so weak.
xxxPerhaps one day she would no longer be afraid, and she would have the answers, but she was not strong enough to bare that burden yet. The weight of what could happen at her own hands was too heavy for her already weighed down shoulders. A moment of weakness could mean deaths she would never forgive herself for, and ever since the night that started it all, she had felt very weak. Until she could control it, the fear is what kept them safe. She would have to be better, for her Durwin, for Tyllei, so that she could save them if they ever started to fall.

xxxElyana pulled back from Durwin, and quickly replaced her embrace with a hand on his mane, and another on his long head, rubbing up and down with the side of her thumb, from his velvety nose to the forelock that tickled her skin. His eyes started to close, and he let out a sigh of contentment, as he had done since he was a foal. Gaius and Sterling had liked nose rubs in such a manner, so she had tried it on Durwin too, and to her joy, he liked it as well. He had gone right to sleep; nearly falling over on his scraggly lanky little legs as he leaned further and further into her touch. The memory still brought a smile to her face, and it was one she allowed herself to get lost in for a moment. Reminiscing only on the dark that left her on the precipice of drowning would only push her closer to the edge. There needed to be some light, too. Oh how she loved her sweet, tired boy. Her good boy. Her Durwin.
xxxHer lips parted to begin murmuring sweet loving goodbyes as he drifted off to sleep, but something else claimed her attention before she could. It was the sound of a horse, a new one, one that hadn't been there. She tensed, preparing for the worst, and turned her head towards the sound.
xxxIt was man, a most handsome man who threatened to take her breath away.
xxxHe was a witcher; a fact his eyes immediately gave away the moment she caught his gaze and felt a butterfly awake in her chest. If his telling gaze wasn't enough, the rest of him certainly was. His attire, his weapons and the silver sword among them, and his faint scent of potions and the many things that created them, among the even fainter smell of a fresh pear and the lingering unpleasantness of death. The white hair though, that wasn't typically witcher, or natural. Was he the white haired witcher she had heard tell of? Had his trials caused that? What had he endured to obtain it? It certainly suited him at least, very well. She just hoped it hadn't been brought about by pain.
xxxShe shifted herself closer to the open space in front of Durwin, allowing for his lowered and drowsy head to press against her side while she watched the witcher, unable to tear her eyes away from him, as he seemed to be unable to do with her. Her arm looped under his neck to lightly scratch his cheek on the other side.

xxxNormally, in such a situation where she found herself approached by a stranger, especially one who was a witcher and could have been sent by Damon or Borys, she would have immediately wrapped her arms around herself, with her hands tightly flush and almost hidden against her side the moment she became aware of them. Ever since that night, when her hand had seemingly lit on fire all of its own accord and wrought such destruction, she had been terrified of them, of herself, of what she could do. She never wanted to harm anyone that way ever again, and she couldn't trust herself to not if she didn't keep her hands hidden and tucked away, where at least only she would be hurt if magic left her hands, now that she could no longer control her chaos. It had become an instinct for her to hide her hands away, but she felt no need to do so with him. Her heart began to race, but there was no fear. She was curious. She wanted to be close to him, to reach out, to learn his name and everything there was to no about him. She wished she had noticed him sooner, so that he could leave a longer memory in her mind if this was the only moment they were to have. She felt a bit like a deer that decided to stay still and watch, rather than run away. He walked with the most beautiful black steed, sleek and proud, and a scruffy pony who's long mane could use a good combing. She longed to ask if she could help. The fur looked so soft, and she didn't want the mane to mat, and more importantly, she wanted to speak with him. She so wanted to hear his voice, to have an excuse to be closer. It had been only seconds, but it felt like hours had gone by since she first saw him. The world slowed and it was only them.
xxxHe spoke, his voice like velvet. Familiar, and like a home, but from a stranger all the same. It felt like her ears had been made just to hear it, and she longed to hear it again when he finished, and began freeing the scruffier creature of its confines, with his eyes still on her. She clung to every beautiful word he had said. He was from Cintra too? He must have heard her speaking to Durwin, and recognized her accent. She hoped he hadn't thought anything else of her words. She was now all too aware of how they may have sounded, even with the raised cooing pitch of her voice. She had overheard too many conversations while passing through towns and listening to their sounds at night to dismiss that type of voice being used in such a manner. Hopefully he wouldn't think ill of the blush dusting her cheeks.
xxx"We have that in common, then. Do you ever hope to return?" She wouldn't mind returning someday, especially if he was part of that home.
xxxHe smiled, unabashed, and she felt more butterflies awaken. What a beautiful smile. What a perfect smile formed by lips she felt drawn to in ways she hadn't felt ever before. He was enchanting, and she only fell further under his spell when he spoke again, and a smile couldn't help but grace her lips. She hoped the possible meaning from all had spoken so far was true, and not just her wishful, hopeful heart clinging to something that wasn't there.
xxxThere was something about him told her she didn't have to worry, something that made her feel safe just by his voice alone, and as she continued to share his smile, she felt a relief she hadn't felt in a long time. She didn't know what it was, but with him, she didn't feel afraid, and it wasn't because of the fact she knew the moment she saw him that he was a witcher, and could kill her if her magic lashed out. No, it wasn't that at all. He made her feel warm. Most men who approached a woman in such a way had only one thing on their mind, and she would firmly refuse what that was. Something told her that this man didn't at all share that intent however, and that even if he did, for the first time, she would say yes. She couldn't see herself refusing. He felt different to all others she had met before. A very good, very pleasant, very safe feeling, very warming, different. He already felt like a refuge. He softened her, and warmed the lonely and scared wolffish ice within that had protected her in its cold embrace for long. He brought out the warm flames of winter, that had been hidden behind its ice. She straigthened.
xxx"It's not often that I have that pleasure, either. It's nice to see such a lovely part of home again." Her voice was still soft, though this time it carried more confidence, and she so hoped that he would catch the meaning of her words.

xxxElyana hesitated for a moment, and then gave into the longing to be nearer. She so wanted to be nearer to him. She stepped closer, around Durwin, and to the wood that stood between them, where her arms found their place folded atop it. The scent of pear was more apparent now, and from the others that surrounded him, she assumed he had been involved in a hunt of a monster not too long ago. Her eyes traced his handsome features, and she watched him for a moment, before she decided to speak, asking a question she hoped would give them more time together, and that she genuinely wanted to know the answer to. "Your horses, they're beautiful, do they have names you'd be willing to share?" Her voice was curious and hopeful, which Durwin seemed to pick up on, because at the mention of a beautiful horse that did not refer to him, his head popped up and swung over the stall to the man and the unfamiliar horses- likely curious and eager to say hello and see if there were any tasty treats to be found. The movement was sudden, startling her and the poor pony, who she instinctively reached out to comfort, before quickly pulling her hand back and holding it against her chest, not wanting to cross a boundary or make things worse for the sweet steed, in case there was some trauma she did not know about that could be triggered by a strangers touch. She looked back to the witcher with wide eyes to see Durwin blowing his pale hair with a breath, and quickly pulled the gelding's head back to her, expression apologetic. She almost reached out to tuck the strands he had disrupted back into place. Almost.
xxx"I am so, so sorry for him. He's quite friendly, and means no harm, but it's been awhile since he's gotten to meet someone new, especially someone new who I believe would have some delicious treats. I'll have to remind him of his manners." She apologized, her words profuse. She hoped he knew she was sincere, and that her beloved friend had meant no offense. She stroked his mane softly, hoping to settle him back to sleep. He ever so gently nudged her for a treat, and despite herself, she couldn't help the fondness that crept into her eyes, and the faint smile with it. He raised his head up to hers, blowing in her face this time. She held his face between her hands, gently stroking his cheeks. "His name is Durwin, a most loyal friend. He's carried me away from many a sorrow." Her voice was filled with fondness, and she watched him for a moment more before looking back to the witcher with sincere eyes. "I assure you he won't bother them, and I'm happy to stay here to make sure of it." Her eyes were searching his expression, hoping that things would still be alright. That they could continue to talk, that she could maybe smoothe that hair back into place. She didn't want this to be goodbye.
xxxWith a kiss to the top of his velvet nose, she let go of his head and started to step out of the stall to finish securing him inside. He was still a bit restless, but she was not going to coddle his poor behavior anymore than she already had with his earlier begging, even though she so wanted to soothe him back to sleep.
xxxShe looked to the witcher, eyes still searching, and her heart still yearning for more. "Is there anything bringing you to Cinfrid, or are you only passing through?" She hoped he wouldn't mind the question, or the faint uncertain hope in her voice. She turned to face him more, her back to Durwin, another apology ready to spill from her lips, but instead found herself falling into him, after feeling a distinct long nosed shove meet her back."Oh!"

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xxxMore than the world seemed to realize, Witchers often did not survive the trials they were forced to undertake to become one, either through losing their life or their minds, and it was only those who survived them who were granted an extended life, an eternity that would go on for centuries. He, his asshole of a brother by all but the tie of blood that truly couldn't mean anything in comparison to the family they had together, and a Stark boy from Cintra were the only ones to survive their trials in the years they had endured them. He did not bust his ass and go through years of pain and torture, and support his closest friend and never leave his side, unless he was forced to, while Jasper underwent an experiment trial that turned his hair white, for the fucker to sit on his ass lounging beneath a willow tree while enjoying a crisp pear he had probably maybe perhaps picked out for him at the market since he knew he liked them fresh as he did with his apples that weren't baked into a delicious pie, while he ran around in circles trying to subdue a mula that was most cantankerous and in a horrible post feeding frenzy. He did not survive and support him endlessly, and vow to give his life for him and protect him from the day he was born when he was but a- incredibly- stupid five year old boy, for that. Bastard.
xxxUngrateful shit.
xxxArsebiscuit.
xxxToad.
xxxLordly king of asshats.
xxxSon of a delightful mother who's name he would never tarnish, and a father who's name he absolutely would. Limp wart. Dick. Scoundrel. Pain in his fucking ass.
xxxThanks to Jasper, he had very nearly become one of the poor witchers no longer living, who did not make it to the near eternity he could. Nate found that especially rude, because he very much planned to grow very old, and still had so many cheeses to sample. He chose to watch the familiar dance they both new all too well, as if it were a show performed just for him on a stage that housed the very finest performances and plays, the likes of which with very pretty women and much less handsome men. He chose that over helping him, his own brother. Oh, how he was wounded. Perhaps next time, Nate would sit on his ass and eat one of Jasper's pears while he ran around like a headless chicken chased by whatever brutish beast they encountered next. He'd even bring some fancy pillows to rest on for good measure. Make it a real good show. Jasper wouldn't like that very much, now would he? He knew the bastard well enough to know there was not a single regret in his mind about it, and that he would die a happy man with a clear conscience if he were to suddenly drop dead, so perhaps that would give him one and show him the grievous error of his ways.

xxxIn response to Jasper's unrighteousness defense of his actions, Nate looked to him wounded and aghast. How exactly was he to know? By using his fucking eyes! It was foolish to expect him to notice such a thing when he was hungry. They had been supposed to eat their fruits together, but of course that had clearly been forgotten, and cruelly ruined in favor of a show. He had been much too distracted by his starving stomach to notice what both of them should have. It was partly his fault for not paying better attention to the hideous beast, but he wasn't going to admit that. "You are the one with an extra trial old man, not I. Shoulda noticed the bitch had 'em hanging. I'm just the brawns and good looks of us, you're the one with the sense. I can't be the brains and the beauty, you'd be left with nothing, and that would hardly be fair." Nate replied, sitting up taller in the saddle and giving a toss of his hair, because the stupid wind would not do it for him, and he did not want to startle his treasured by casting Aard. Like he knew his brother's were, his words were a jest, and nothing more than a loving tease from one brother to another.
xxxNate caught Jasper's grin, and scowled at his complete and utter lack of effort to hide his amusement. His scowl only increased when he spoke, suggesting bait next time, and motioning a semi circle downwards from shoulder to shoulder. His grin only further widened at his joke, and Nate rolled his eyes. Har har, so very amusing. He was not impressed. He knew exactly what his brother was picturing, and he was most not amused. "Oh yes, I think you'd make fine bait, noble ass you are. Attractive you'd look with a meat necklace around your neck. Would compliment your hair I think, maybe even your eyes. In Cinfrid shall we find you some string?" Now it was Nate's turn to grin at his own joke, as he pretended to be unaware that that wasn't what Jasper had meant the whole time. His hand fanned out in front of him as he spoke, painting a picture of the delightful image in his mind. Jasper would look quite nice with a ringlet of meat as he sat on a little throne with judgemental expressions upon his face, luring all the nasties right to them.
xxxHe leaned over as much as he dared, nearly falling out of the saddle, to send Jasper another eager grin. "Or perhaps next time I could just throw you right into the mix? I'm sure they would find cocky lordling most distracting. You could pierce them straight through the heart, as you did your own brother." He let go of Dewlap's reins to stretch his arms out as if they held an imaginary sword, and then dramatically plunged them into his chest to punctuate his point. He clutched at his heart, staring up at Jasper with a heartbroken gaze, still practically parallel to the ground, and then sat back up with a smile, looking quite pleased at his suggestion and little show. Throwing the bastard would be deliciously cathartic. Almost as cathartic as downing any alcohol, or cheese, or a night with a beautiful woman who would listen to his tales of woe and the story of how his dear brother betrayed him.

xxxBy the time they reached the capitol, his bitter grudge had lessened, but only slightly. He wasn't letting that go for a long time, and he certainly wasn't going to let Jasper forget it. He was currently more focused on his plans for the rest of the night. Get drunk, eat something that didn't make him want to expunge it right back up for once, and find a pretty lady. Things didn't smell as terribly as he had expected them, which he hoped was a sign that his plans would be successful. He was also relieved to be nearing a tavern, his ass hurt and he wanted to sit on something that wasn't moving. It was bustling though, which had him worried they might not have come in time to get a room. Still, he was quite happy to be the one to go in and do his very best to get one, and he couldn't help but reply with one final remark about his displeasure as Jasper left him to care for their horses, and told him he'd be right in. "You owe me a drink you bloody bastard!"

xxxNo rooms were left, as he had feared. At least he knew he had some time to figure out some sort of solution; Jasper was never quick to separate from his gelding. He slumped in the seat at the bar he had immediately taken upon learning there were no rooms left, the wear of the day finally getting to him. Was there someone he could charm into giving up their room? He could duel someone for it, but he didn't want to go through the effort, and that had landed him with his ass in the mud outside the door with an explicit warning never to return, when he had tried that in the past. If he was so lucky to have the gods shine upon him, perhaps there would be two women, taken by them both, who would be willing to share? His arms folded over the bar, and his chin came to rest upon them. He was too old for this. Too pretty. Too wronged by his backside of a friend.
xxxOut of the corner of his altered gaze, however, he saw a man gag, his eyes bugging out and hand discreetly trying to cover his nose. Where the herbs he carried too pungent? Or- Oh, fuck. Monster guts. He was so used to the putrid smell now he often forgot it was there. Gingerly, very well knowing how bad it could be, he turned his head to his shoulder and gave a sniff. Oh that was rank. He nearly gagged himself. Gods he needed a bath, with his clothes, and his poor beloved boots. The blood that clung to them smelled much worse than him. At least his hair was only slightly mussed? Ah well, there wasn't anything he could do about it now. He just had to hope if he found a woman to spend the night with, she wouldn't be too repulsed. Though, if she happened to douse him with a bucket of chilling water he would absolutely understand, and be grateful. He'd prefer a dousing with ale though. He went back to bemoaning his situation, burying his face in his arms. Though he didn't get to do that for long, because he looked up when he felt the telltale vibrations of the amulet against his chest a few moments later, and his hand went cautiously to his silver sword. The glowing red eyes told him some creature of magic was near, and it only took a moment to spot a young brunette at the bar who he knew he had not been there before, fore she was so beautiful he absolutely would have noticed. Was she a sorceress, then? Nothing else could possibly be so beautiful. Not even a doppler could capture her beauty so perfectly. He had to speak with her, to introduce himself, to say hello. In case anyone in the tavern knew what the glowing eyes of his amulet meant, he carefully shoved it inside his shirt, hiding it inside so that she would be free of comments or suspicions if someone was to connect the dots.
xxx Her eyes were scanning the room, and his heart fell, fearing that she was not here alone, and instead with a gentlemen much more befitting of her than himself, because he could never be worthy and could only ever try to be for the rest of his days, but her search seemed to come up empty, and he sagged with relief. There was a chance, then? He straightened, and ran a hand through his hair, attempting to sort it out and bring it back to its normal attractive presentability. He reached into his herb pouch, nudging it open with an experienced finger, and pulled out a crumpled white flower. It wasn't the prettiest, and the petals were only barely hanging on, but it was the best he had, and a pretty maiden like her deserved a pretty flower. She deserved the prettiest one in the world, and if she let him, he would spend his whole life searching for it. He started to stand, hopeful he would get to speak with the beautiful woman, but sat promptly back down at the sound of a gruff voice drawing her attention. He only needed a quick glance at them to tell they were scum, and so impossibly underseving of her attention and gaze. He wordlessly placed some coins on the bar, and held his hand open and awaiting a drink. He didn't dare look away in case he had to intervene. She swallowed hard when her eyes found them, and he wanted to rescue her from her obvious discomfort. His fingers clenched into a fist when the man patted his thigh, and he tried not to seethe or further damage the flower who's stem was certainly being crumpled. She swallowed again, her words rushed, and quick, and she seemed even more uncomfortable than before. He felt his heart sink a little at the mention of awaiting a friend, but her safety and comfort were much more important than his hopeful affections. She seemed surprised at the man's assertion that she was waiting for a man, judging by the way her eyes widened, and her nearly spilling her drink. She struggled to explain, and his heart ached for her. She seemed so gentle, so innocent, so kind. She was trying so hard not to offend men who deserved more than a little offense.
xxxHe watched as she made her way to a table, away from them. He stood when a drink finally found his hand, and began to feign a drunken stumble over to the table where the men were playing cards. His leg slammed into the edge, and his drink spilled all over their cards and table. "Sorry lads, must not 've been watching my step. You fine gentlemen know how it is." Nate gave a hearty chuckle, and slapped one on the back, trying to play up the part of a drunken fool who was only half aware of what was going on. He leaned an arm on the backs of one of their chairs, and rested a foot on the edge of the seat. He scanned their table, and frowned. Of course at least one of them was a cheater too. "Looks like I did you a favor though, one of you's been cheatin'. Nasty that, ruins the fun I say." He learned further over the table as if he was losing his balance while squinting to get a closer look, purposely tilting the chair more than a little bit, and then sharply straightened shaking his head in immense disappointment. He was pleased with the way the chair and the man in it rocked when he removed his weight. "Shame, if you have to cheat at gwent you must be pathetically poor at it. Sad that. Sad that." He tutted, with a pointed click of his tongue. He started to spin away on his heels, but then spun right back, facing the man who had spoken to the sorceress. His demeanor was suddenly serious. "And the lady said no. Best respect that, or we'll have some trouble." Nate smiled, and gave his shoulder a pat that was much too hard to be friendly, and spun away for real that time, right towards the woman.
xxxNate did his best to soften and look friendly when he reached her table. He didn't want to make her uncomfortable, or cause her to feel unsafe. His purpose was no longer to flirt, it was to make sure that she was unharmed. "Are you alright, my lady?" He asked, his eyes searching her for any sign that she may want him to leave. He paused, and then bowed before her, stretching out his hand with the flower. "I am, ah, at your service." He gave her a ginger smile, and hoped that the gesture would lighten her mood. Oh to see her smile. He would be seeing the sun for the first time. It would be a sight to treasure until he met his end. There would be nothing more valuable, or precious, than a memory of her smile.


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