Roleplay Forums > Parvpora > Zujiuchu Mountains > Zets’Ki Cradle > One Starry Night [Event, O]
Aarek_Lin

Character Info
Name: Aarek Lin
Age: 24
Alignment: TG
Race: Half-elf
Gender: Male
Class: Bard/Single Dad
Silver: 8349
A headache pounded behind Aarek's temples, making the music and overall noise of the ball nearly unbearable. Not to mention, his vision was blurring even through the lens of his glasses. Just what was in those drinks, anyways? The half-elf was no stranger to alcohol, but he also knew his limit. Clearly, someone had spiked the drinks and made them a bit more… potent. Kassia tilted her head in curiosity at his evident discomfort, and he simply waved the bird's nosiness away. "S' fine, Kass. We'll just stay a little longer." But even with that prospect, he felt his stomach twist in agony. He was very grateful that he'd taken the herbal remedy before attending, yet he knew that its effects would wear off eventually and fling him headlong into panic.

Without attracting any more attention, he clumsily weaved through the crowd to sit at a table. A couple of people glanced in annoyance as he shoved his way through, and he smiled nervously in response. However, his mission proved fruitful, since he did make it to the table. The sense of relief that washed over him was like a weight off his shoulders. Kassia hopped onto the table, picking at forgotten plates and tiny crumbs. Small locks of hair fell out of his carefully tied bun and into his eyes, only worsening his mood.

Briefly, Aarek traced his tattoos, reciting each prayer in his head. Then, his eyes studied the white patterns stitched into the suit Madame Pauline had lent to him. Her words echoed distinctly in his slightly-pointed ears. "Do be careful, dear," she had instructed him. "This suit belonged to my husband, you know."

He couldn't help but smile a bit to himself at the memory. Like countless other children raised in her orphanage, Aarek considered the kindly woman to be the closest thing he had to a mother. Of course, she had been the one to encourage him to attend the ball in her stead. Without her husband, she'd said, there was truly no happiness to be found for her here. No matter how much he protested, Madame Pauline would have no one else go. In an odd sort of way, it made him feel prideful.

None of that, though, could alleviate the pressure of actually attending the ball. Crowds and noise were definite triggers of Aarek's anxiety, not to mention the countless people who felt they had a right to bombard him with questions. He didn't know a single person there, and the sensation of being alone was growing steadily.

Still, he couldn't deny the absolute beauty of the cathedral he was sat in. Everything seemed to be made of pure starlight, as though everyone in the room was simply gliding across a galaxy. It could've been relaxing in any other circumstance. As it was, however, the sight did little to ease his nerves. All he could do was sit still for a while and hope his headache lessened.

TristanaDeformem

Character Info
Name: Tristana Deformem
Age: 19
Alignment: CG
Race: Human
Gender: Female
Class: At the moment she is a traveler
Silver: 302
Despite her enjoyment of helping others at the party, it was starting to become a bit tiring. There were many people. Luckily for her, nobody really wanted to talk to her. Whether it was because of her scar or her regular clothes was unclear to her. She was wearing her normal brown robe with the hood down. The only fancy thing that she was wearing was a white mask that covered around her eyes, her nose, and parts of her cheek and forehead. Her scar was only half covered. With a full stomach, she couldn't eat anything off of the banquet. There wasn't really anybody around to talk to. She reached into her backpack and pulled out a Wayfinder's Widget. It was a blue and gold tool that would allow her to see one floor's map. It was extremely useful. Tristana played with it for a while trying to see how it worked and if she could make a new one. Minutes passed by and her boredom began to take over.

Dropping the widget into her bag, she stood up and walked around with her backpack on her back still. She never left anywhere without it anymore. Who knew when she might need it next? It held every important item that she owned. If somebody became injured then she would have the solution. The backpack was filled with herbs, natural remedies, medical kit, rejuvenation potions, mana potions, a healing brooch, a chalice that could make poisons into their cures, and even a healing sash. She needed to have the bag at all times just in case.

Every second counts when it came to healing a person. One lost minute could equal death. So she kept it with her, even at parties. Tristana secretly wished that Chai was here. With her golden dragon she could have fascinating discussions about magic or just find a place to cuddle. Although Chai's scales had become tougher which made cuddling a bit rougher on Tristana's skin. But she would bare it for her favorite dragon friend. Memories of when she first found the dragon egg came back to her. Tristana pushed those memories aside. Chai was not here right now so she would have to do without.

Her eyes searched the room for somebody to talk to. Perking up at the sight of Aarek, she stood up to head over to him. Her sharp eyes noticed that Aarek did not seem well. She didn't know what the issue was yet but took out the Corrina's Sash from her backpack as she walked to him. 

"Aarek!"
Tristana exclaimed with a smile, "It's great to see you again! How are you doing? You seem a bit unwell." 

Normally the healer would not have been so blunt with a person regarding their health. But she felt that she had a deep enough connection with Aarek for that to be alright. After all, they did fight together and save each other's life. Something which she still appreciated today. Her eyes spotted Kass and she reached up to her own throat. Magic flowed from her fingertips and swirled around her neck. After the Commune with Beasts spell was cast, she looked to the songbird. 

"How are you doing?"
She asked politely to Kass. 

“Your choices are your own. The past doesn’t excuse now.”

Aarek_Lin

Character Info
Name: Aarek Lin
Age: 24
Alignment: TG
Race: Half-elf
Gender: Male
Class: Bard/Single Dad
Silver: 8349
At the sound of her voice, Aarek's frustration dwindled, his frown twisting into a grin. By the time he swiveled his head around to face her, she was already bearing a sash in her hands, and he chuckled lightly at the sight. He waved a hand in dismissal, standing to greet her as she approached. Without so much as asking her permission, he enveloped her in a hug that made his worries wash away. After a few moments, he pulled back and beamed brightly down at her.

"Trista!" he said simply, with a minor lilt to his voice. Kassia darted past him to land on the woman's shoulder, affectionately rubbing her head against her neck. "Hello, Lady Tristana~" the bird sang merrily. 

Now that he had a better view of her, Aarek noted that her face was only covered by a mask. To him (and likely many others, as well), she was just as pretty as any of the young women at the ball. If she'd been a stranger, he might have blushed. But, as it was, he was content to place a hand on her shoulder. "You look lovely, my friend." Yet something seemed to be off about her mood. Perhaps she was tired? The half-elf knew of her tendency to be overly giving and wondered if she'd even considered her own needs that night. He decided she deserved a break.

Aarek stepped backwards and leaned down into a bow, offering his hand to her. "Care to dance, m'lady?" Although the words were formal, his tone was playful and indicative that it wasn't anything serious. Kassia understood the hint and flew to wait on the table. When she took his hand, he led her to the dance floor, assuming a proper dancing position by placing one hand at her waist and wrapping the other around her own hand. He was careful not to overstep his boundaries. Physical contact was relief for him, but he was aware that others could be made uncomfortable by it.

With a new look of sincerity, he lowered his voice to keep their conversation private. "Your concern is appreciated, but you don't need to worry about me." Aarek smiled crookedly, his copper eyes sparkling red in the dim lighting. "Actually, are you well? I fear that maybe you've neglected your own well-being, tonight…"

His gaze floated over her face. The scar was beautiful to him, and perhaps to others there, but Tristana was usually so careful about letting it be seen. Having it out in the open could be stressful, though he knew not how she felt about the matter.

TristanaDeformem

Character Info
Name: Tristana Deformem
Age: 19
Alignment: CG
Race: Human
Gender: Female
Class: At the moment she is a traveler
Silver: 302
After seeing that he had no need of the sash, she returned it to her backpack. A sudden embrace surprised her but she enjoyed the hug. It was coming from a friend. A safe person whom she knew she could trust. Somebody who had known her long enough to where he would know her boundaries. Most of her boundaries were very loose. The only place she feared people touching was her scar. Aarek already knew that and respected it.

She was glad to see him again. Especially in the sea of finely dressed strangers. Tristana was slightly relieved that he seemed glad to see her again too. A small doubt in the back of her mind whispered claims of how all of her friends secretly hated her or were just taking pity on her. Many times she would squash that little voice but it would always pop up later. Kassia, the sweet songbird, came and rubbed up against her neck. Delighted at the affection, she gently pet its little forehead.

“I have a collection of seeds for you, if you would like them. Remind me before you leave to get them for you.” She said to Kassia.

No doubt Aarek noticed how her mask revealed more of her scar than normal. He complimented her appearance which Tristana appreciated.

“You look amazing too! I have to say, that suit fits you.
” Tristana said honestly.

When he offered up his hand, she took it lightly, in a playful manner. “I am honored good sir!” She imitated some of the ladies she had overheard tonight, “But you must ready your toes and expect them to be trampled.”

That last part was an add in. Her dancing ability was lacking to say the least. Regardless, she still headed to the dancing area with him. Ladies were paired up with gentlemen, dancing in perfect synchronization. Gentle music accompanied the movement of the room. Bits of jealousy floated around her mind as she looked at the other dancers. Brwlyan, a new friend she met tonight, had offered to teach her how to dance. However, he had a lot of things he probably needed to get done. Tristana didn’t want to become a bother. Her foot accidently stepped on his.

“Sorry.” She whispered with a slightly nervous smile.

Dim lighting seemed to illuminate her orange curly hair. Without her hood, it was easier to see the freckles that dotted her nose and cheeks. When he mentioned her neglecting her own well-being, a look of surprise appeared on her face. Her eyes were slightly wider and her mouth had slightly dropped for a few seconds before returning to her regular happiness. How had he known? With him, her carefully crafted emotional masks seemed to have no effect on hiding her true emotions.

“Don’t worry.” She spoke in a lowered voice, “I have been taking breaks by the buffet table. Did you know that they have sweet meat? I’ve never tasted anything like it!”

Shifting the conversation away from herself, she intended on focusing on the food instead. Everything was fine. Technically she did take those breaks by the buffet table. And the food was really good. 

“Your choices are your own. The past doesn’t excuse now.”

Aarek_Lin

Character Info
Name: Aarek Lin
Age: 24
Alignment: TG
Race: Half-elf
Gender: Male
Class: Bard/Single Dad
Silver: 8349
The cathedral truly was beautiful, and the way the lights hit Tristana's hair… Well, if she had been a stranger, Aarek might have felt himself blush. Even still, a familiar heat began to creep up the back of his neck, and he momentarily panicked at the sensation. But just as fast, the woman before him stepped on his foot and, rather than yelping in pain, he giggled at her nervousness. Clearly, she hadn't noticed his own ungraceful movements. Though he was taking great care to avoid injuring anyone, his steps were too large and slow, and his form was all wrong. He was struggling to even lead his partner, despite him being the taller of the pair. "Don't worry," he whispered, smirking smugly as a few more talented dancers eyed them curiously. "We may not have grace, but at least we have spirit!"

As expected, Tristana avoided his question. He frowned a bit, but quickly replaced the expression with a gentle smile. If she didn't want to talk then he wouldn't pry, no matter how much he might've wanted to. All he could do now was try to ease some of her tension and be a good friend to her. He laughed quietly at her remark about the food, nodding in agreement.

"I've tasted some of it, myself. Strange, how the gods prepare such unique dishes." Or maybe not strange, but the task seemed trivial in comparison to the other duties of a deity. Aarek mentally noted that. His eyes wandered back to the table, where Kassia was perched on the back of a chair, swaying in time with the music. "I haven't let Kass eat any, though. Stuff's not good for birds."

His brows knitted together in thought, and he lost focus enough to bump into someone behind him. Consequently, he stumbled forward into his partner, and it took a moment to regain his balance. He muttered apologies both to Tristana and those he'd interrupted. 

"Sorry," he sighed, instinctively releasing Tristana's hand to rub the back of his neck. "It's just…" Aarek considered her for a moment, intently studying his friend, before he gave any information. "Kass hasn't been too good, recently. Nothing major, but she doesn't like to go off on her own as much, and she'll never say but I know that flying has gotten harder." Concern laced his tone, and just the image of Kassia's sickly form from a few days ago was enough to send his mind reeling with the worst-case-scenario.

"I know it's got something to do with her curse, but I'm not any closer to finding a cure, and now I need a damn good one," his voice grew harsher with each syllable, but he caught himself and exhaled in exhaustion.

He pursed his lips and shook his head. "I'm sorry, it's been a rough couple of days." Aarek hoped she didn't feel guilty. None of this was her fault. Hell, it wasn't even his fault. But that didn't make coping any easier.

TristanaDeformem

Character Info
Name: Tristana Deformem
Age: 19
Alignment: CG
Race: Human
Gender: Female
Class: At the moment she is a traveler
Silver: 302
Aarek was truly a good friend. Even though she had avoided his question, he hadn’t pushed it. She laughed out loud at his declaration of their spirit. Tristana accidently bumped into a person behind her. Luckily, the person didn’t seem to notice.

“Yes. I’d never have imagined that the gods could cook so well.” She said with a small chuckle.

Although, she doubted that they actually made the food. They probably paid a cook to do it. Which was good! It would put money into the pockets of good food makers! A smile appeared on her lips when she noticed Kassia swaying to the music. Gosh, she was so cute!

“Don’t worry. If Kassia would like some seeds, I have some. They are dried but still should work for birds.”

When he stumbled forwards, she attempted to steady him with her hands. She listened to him as he described his worries about Kassia. So the little bird did have a curse! He had mentioned a possible curse when she first met him, but she never figured out if it was real or not. Concern lit up in Tristana’s eyes. Aarek had a deeper connection with Kassia but Tristana still cared for the creature.

“I see.” She said, “Perhaps you could try searching out one of the gods for a cure? Angela would be the first person I’d suggest. Seeing as she is the goddess of healing and all. Porthyrius would be the next person I’d suggest. He’s easier to find than Angela and covers magic and knowledge. Shiloh is the goddess of luck but she is really good at inventing stuff. If all else fails, they might be able to point you in the right direction or tell you what might work. I’ll keep an eye out for anything that might help cure the curse. If I may ask, what is the curse exactly?”

Knowing small details would not be enough to actually help. The music had slowed but still continued. It was supposed to be the quieter part of the song. All the world around her seemed to vanish as she focused on Aarek and what he said. Perhaps Tristana could find a potion to cure Kassia. Her bag lacked such an item now but if she looked, maybe she could find something. 

“Your choices are your own. The past doesn’t excuse now.”

Aarek_Lin

Character Info
Name: Aarek Lin
Age: 24
Alignment: TG
Race: Half-elf
Gender: Male
Class: Bard/Single Dad
Silver: 8349
He took in her advice with focused ears. Of course, he had already mulled over the idea of asking the gods for assistance, but sometimes it could take weeks to even reach one of their temples. Even then, what if they decided not to help? Aarek didn't think he could bear the rejection. Still, if it came down to the wire, the gods might be his only option to keep Kassia from… from… Color drained from his face, and he immediately whipped his head back to his dance partner. Tristana was smart and capable; if anyone could help his bird, it would be her.

At her request for more information, Aarek bit his cheek. "That's part of the issue I'm having, to be frank," he admitted. By now, he'd completely lost track of the tempo and was just swaying in place. "From what I can gather, she was a child, maybe nine when she was turned? I think a witch did it to her, but how or why is still a mystery." With each word, his face twisted more and more in confusion. "I tried tracking down the woman who sold her to me, but she passed away about a year ago."

Aarek let out a groan in frustration, his copper eyes glinting with irritation. "If I could actually talk to her, then maybe…!" Suddenly, his gaze lit up, and he stared at Tristana like she'd appeared out of thin air. "Wait! But you can understand her, can't you?" 

There was no hesitation when he clasped her hand and tugged her away from the dance floor in the middle of a song. They bumped into a couple of people as they left, but Aarek was too caught up in his line of thought to pay their disgruntled complaints any attention. Eventually, they reached the table once again, and Kassia chirped happily at their return. Her excitement was quickly replaced with shocked squeaking as the half-elf scooped her up from the back of the chair, eagerly holding her in front of his friend. "Please, ask her what she knows," he begged, his tone filled with urgency and desperation.

TristanaDeformem

Character Info
Name: Tristana Deformem
Age: 19
Alignment: CG
Race: Human
Gender: Female
Class: At the moment she is a traveler
Silver: 302
Tristana listened to Aarek’s explanation about the curse. It was a transformation curse. From a…human? Elf? Well, a human-like nine year old girl into a songbird. The explanation sounded like a curse from one of the fairy tales she had heard while traveling. There was even an evil witch! The healer could see Aarek’s hesitation when she’d mentioned going to the gods for some help.

If somebody had suggested it to her when she was younger, her reaction would undoubtedly be the same. However, a friend was a friend. There were no ends that she wouldn’t reach for in order to help them. If that meant that she would have to visit the gods herself to get help, then Tristana would do so without question. Kassia was a new friend as was Aarek, yet she would not rest until she could ensure that they both were safe. Her eyes widened as she realized that she could talk with Kassia! Why had she not realized this sooner?!

Yes!” Tristana exclaimed, “I can understand her!”

Suddenly, the healer was being pulled away from the dancefloor and over to the tables. Not minding this, she rushed over to Kassia. Her spell would still be in effect for the rest of the afternoon. There was no issue of having to renew it.

“Kassia” She said to the bird, “We need you to tell us all that you know about your curse. Will you please tell us?”

If Kassia was able to give them the right details, maybe they would be able to figure out how to cure her. Then save the songbird’s life! This was Tristana’s hope. Unless Kassia didn’t know much. The songbird was only nine when it happened. Hope flickered around the healer’s heart as she listened patiently for what the bird had to say. 

“Your choices are your own. The past doesn’t excuse now.”

Aarek_Lin

Character Info
Name: Aarek Lin
Age: 24
Alignment: TG
Race: Half-elf
Gender: Male
Class: Bard/Single Dad
Silver: 8349
Luckily, Tristana began speaking right away. Aarek could still understand the question, but Kassia's reply would have to be translated. Still, relief washed over him like rain. Finally! He would have some information to help with her condition. Never before had he been so grateful for someone's skills.

As for the bird, well, she nearly fell from the back of the chair when the two humans bounded back up to her. "Hey!"she squawked, wings fluttering anxiously. But before she could protest any more, Lady Tristana was addressing her. Kassia cocked her head curiously. Why did the humans want her story so badly? She wasn't old enough to comprehend the danger of her situation. "Come on, Kass, please," Aarek pushed, and she knew she had to give in. Despite her confusion, the songbird bobbed her head and obliged.

"Of course," she chirped in reply, though she fought to recall her memories. "Um, Momma and me lived in the forest. Had a nest and a house. We were…" Kass grappled a bit for the closest translation. Animal communication was tricky enough, much less having to explain something to a human. "Bird people. Be like this and like humans. Lived with Momma and sang in a village sometimes." She began to fidget nervously, as if even recalling the moment was a struggle. "Then, a lady, witch, she came to our house. I think she killed Momma. Saw her on the ground. She looked sad." 

Kassia had to stop for a second as a wave of exhaustion rolled throughout her body. The more she remembered, the worse she felt. She wanted to stop, but… then she saw Aarek's face. He was desperate and probably just as tired as her. Resigned, the bird pressed on to the end of the story. "Tried to run, couldn't leave Momma. Witch saw me and put me to sleep. I woke up like a bird, in a cage, in a market. Lived in a cage till Aarek found me."

At that, the bird looked fondly up at her owner and flew to rest on his shoulder. Her head drooped a little when he didn't acknowledge her. Instead, he stared intently at Tristana. "Well?" His voice was calm but insistent, worry evident in his tone.

TristanaDeformem

Character Info
Name: Tristana Deformem
Age: 19
Alignment: CG
Race: Human
Gender: Female
Class: At the moment she is a traveler
Silver: 302
Listening to the bird quietly, her expression changed to one of slight concern. A witch? That could be anybody really. Any woman or man with powers could be called a witch. Whether they used those powers to hurt others or not. Anybody they met could be that woman. Finding her to make her reverse the curse would probably be out of the question. It would be unlikely that Kassia would remember the lady's face. She continued to listen as the pieces began to fit together into an explanation.

"Thank you. This will help us help you."
Tristana said with a smile.

Her mind raced through all of this new information. Pieces of the puzzle were coming together.

"They used to be bird humans. A certain species I bet. She lived with her mother in a village. But a powerful lady with magic came to their house and killed her mother then put her to sleep. When she woke up, she was a bird in a market. She lived in the cage until you found her." Tristana explained, "That is all that she knows. She was probably really young when this happened. It will be important to remember that she was half bird herself."

Taking a chair from the banquet tables, she sat down to ponder this magic. It sounded like a transformation curse. However, the kind of transformation curse was important. Was it a curse that just transformed a person entirely, or was it a curse that used the half bird part to make her fully a bird? This would be essential information in order to break the curse. Tristana placed her elbow on her leg and rested her chin on her hand. Her mind went into deep thought.

"I can't say that I have anything that can cure that right now. If you can find out what market she was from, then I bet you can start there. Perhaps you'll find answers if you try tracing the lady who cast this spell on her. Or maybe you can discover what village she was in. It sounds though like she can't remember the name of these places."

Her orange hair dropped from her hood and fell in front of her face as she kept inside her mind. Solutions were foggy and the clues presented did not make enough sense. Why? The most important question in her head. Using magic and murder was a high price. All for a bird. One bird. Obviously there was an alternative motive. The lady clearly did not like Kassia's mother. If the lady was a murderous woman then she would have just killed Kassia instead of wasting magic on her. Why a bird?

"Sorry, there wasn't as much information as you probably needed." Tristana said with a small sigh, "But at least its better than nothing!"

“Your choices are your own. The past doesn’t excuse now.”

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