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Bones & Blood; For Silnimare.
Topic Started: Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:19 am (591 Views)
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His last jar was gone. He had not fed for a full day and night now, and a half-day before that. But he wasn’t worried about it. It wasn’t because he didn’t need to feed; he did. Neither was it because he had somehow managed to overcome his unending addiction to and thirst for fresh, warm blood; he hadn’t. It was because he had found a trail. It was a weak trail, but it was a trail nevertheless. He wasn’t certain that his companion would have even noticed it, but Javin had a knack for noticing things that others did not. There were no footprints to follow, yet ice had formed over piles of frozen snow packed in neatly; it was as though the path had been plowed. A frozen rock jutted up out of the ground as well, now covered in ice merged with the wall of frozen snow to his left, but that would not have been unusual were it not for how clean the rock was. The fact that it was exposed at all, considering how deep the snow must have been here - based on the height of the walls to either side of him - meant that it had been deliberately revealed and probably left exposed as a marker.

Silnimare had taken it upon herself to give Javin focus, something he had not had prior to beginning this journey. They had since introduced themselves, though Javin had revealed almost nothing beyond his name. Even his surname remained unrelayed, for there was barely a need for names in this place, let alone surnames. Then again, the presence of more than once person in the frigid region formed by the desolate Dragonspine Mountains implied the necessity of names. Silnimare, she had called herself. Javin had been quiet on his journey, for he often had little to say and rarely had anything to say at all. What reason did he have for idle chatter, after all? She had learned, of course, that he desired blood - but hers would not do. She was undead as well, yet not like him. “Dead” blood would do him no good, and blood tainted with holy mana would kill him - if he was fortunate. Given his past experiences, luck was not something that favoured the aswang.

There were no good reasons he could think of that a group of people would be in this area, yet no single individual could have easily cleared this path. While it was possible, it would have been extremely difficult and taken a very long time. This had been done far too neatly to have been done slowly. There had been public missives requesting aid in the Dragon Graveyard, whatever that was, in Cascadian villages far to the south. Nobody had been willing to take the job, it seemed, and Javin had been preoccupied with his own unknown destination. That destination was no longer unknown to him, thanks to Silnimare. The nearest pass leading north would take him directly through the Dragon Graveyard, however, and it seemed as though he and Silnimare would not be alone. Why she had decided to accompany him was ultimately a mystery to Javin, but she likely understood what would happen, given that he had not hidden the drinking of his last bottle of blood from her.

He stood at last, the wind cutting at him like knives, yet the cold did not bother the undead. Given the strength and teamwork needed for something like this, he doubted women had done it. While he did not doubt the capabilities of women using arcanotechnology or more mundane mechanical methods to clear a path such as this, he simply didn’t see it happening. The work was just a little too rough to have been completed by golems, and so it must have been done by hand. Most likely, it was men who had done this.

“Men,” he said aloud.

He didn’t know how far ahead they were; he couldn’t yet hear their voices upon the wind or smell the tangy, metallic scent of their living mortal blood. But they could not have been more than a mile or so ahead, or the rock would already have frozen much more completely by now. He didn’t bother to mention what he would do to the men he found. He needed blood, and if they were unwilling to give him a portion of theirs, he would take it all. Morality was for those who did not venture beyond the safety and security of their villages and cities.
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Silnimare followed her new companion through the mountains. They were making their way towards what some called the Dragon Graveyard. Silnimare had been here once in the past, and clashed with a terrifying necromancer who sought to use the bones to raise one from the dead, perhaps for use as a servant. Still, the problems with the poaching were unending. She pondered what her companion could be after in such a place. He didn't seem the type to go skulking about in graveyards, and nothing in their... discussions... had hinted towards any interest. He was after something else, then.

As they trudged through the barren wastes, a path had been made, that would have taken great magic or labor to complete. It was certainly recent, but Silnimare could not be sure of how recent. She could feel the ice and snow around her, and it didn't sit quite naturally. Throughout their conversations, she had said little, understanding the terse nature of her new friend. She had mostly contented herself with observing the flow of mana in their isolated surroundings, a layer of existence that few who were not privy to it could imagine. True, she had been blinded long ago. But now, her eyes were opened in ways some only dreamed of. She walked beside Javin, a couple of paces to the side, not wishing to skulk behind him, while still letting him lead the way.

She stopped in her tracks, and held up a hand.

"A moment, Javin, if you please."
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Javin, still kneeling to examine the waist-high frozen stone, turned his head to the side. She was in his peripheral vision now, her hand in the air, palm out. He didn’t say a word; he simply waited for her to speak again. Perhaps he was too often silent. That might be why people around him seemed to think he was “creepy” and avoided him as best they could. He had never much been one for words, however; he preferred to let his actions speak for him. Of course, that in turn might be why he had hated himself so much for so long. Still he struggled through the mountains, and still he did not consider himself innocent, but he had accepted that crime as a past action now and considered it merely a part of who he was - not all of who he was. For that reason, he had allowed her to accompany him.

It was also for that reason that he listened for what she had to say now. He knew as little about Silnimare as she knew about him, but she had to have known what was in the jar whose fragments now lay scattered upon the mountain somewhere far behind him. He had crushed the jar to test his strength and resilience once he had fed. Perhaps it was an ill-advised thing to do. But he had come here to punish himself, so perhaps that was merely a subconscious portion of his self-inflicted punishment. But he realized now as well that there was far more to this than merely punishment, and he found himself wondering what part this woman might play in his fate. He knew that whatever he would face at his ultimate destination was something that he must face alone, and it would not be much longer now before they parted - a week, perhaps, but certainly no more. Yet if there were indeed still people ahead, then she had to know what he might be planning.

Would she stay with him afterward?
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