Visionary Tales

IC => Fandom => Topic started by: Jabbathejack on June 03, 2019, 04:34:41 PM

Title: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on June 03, 2019, 04:34:41 PM
Idryius' eyes fluttered open as he groaned softly. He was in a small, dark room, lit up by a few candles here and there. His stomach throbbed dimly, but it was a familiar pain, much like this room seemed oddly familiar, comforting.

He tried to get up, but he could not, the pain in his belly causing him to gasp softly.

"Lie still, friend."

A figure came into view, leaning over him. He was a young man, his blond hair tied back away from his face.

"Whoever did this to you nearly finished you off."

The young man was sat on a stool, crushing something with a pestle and mortar, his wrist moving in a steady rhythmn.

"Nearly."

He smiled, his blue eyes lighting up with a mischievous grin.

"Who are you?" Idryius managed to finally speak, his voice no more than a gasp; he was so cold.

"Tsarin." The young man smiled, reaching out with a pale hand to mop his brow, yet his touch was as cold as ice itself.

***

Idryius woke with a jerk, his teeth chattering with the cold. The thin blanket that had been covering him had fallen away, but he could do nothing to pull it back into place.

He was bound tightly, his wrists secured behind his back and his feet firmly lashed together. He could roll this way and that, but that was the full extent of his movement.

The wound in his gut was sharp, aggravated by the intense cold. It was similar to the one that he had taken, all those years ago, but this time it had been self inflicted. He had refused all forms of healing; they'd even had to force feed him a healing potion just to get him to survive.

You'll die of cold.

Idryius tried to blot out the voice in his head, but it was incessant, pleading at him for life, for a chance to rule their body once again.

Idryius shifted his body once again, setting his jaw so that he wouldn't shiver quite so much; he did not want to draw attention to his situation.

His crude stitches felt strained beneath his already blood stained clothes, making him wonder if the journey had torn them open once more. He had spent the majority of the last two days face down, lying over the saddle of a pack horse as they had climbed further and further up into the mountains. The journey had been excruciating, but Idryius had barely made a sound.

A few feet away, he could see the small group of figures, lying peacefully by the fire, their backs to him. Idryius understood why they would not want to see him. He was the man who looked like their son, but was not. He was the man who had taken over their son and was unable to give him back. He was their enemy.

Please. You have to say something. They can help.

No. Idryius thought to himself. He did not.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on July 17, 2019, 11:40:23 AM
The mountainous landscape had been drained of color, replaced by painted silver and smudges of black.  Only the circle of the camp seemed untouched by the night’s muted affect, alive with the warm colors thrown by crackling flames.  Every so often, the pack leader Victor rose a few inches from his furs to add wood to the fire, but always slid promptly back into sleep the moment after. 

 His mate Lora had the watch, and she hovered on the periphery of the camp, pacing circles into the snow as the night droned on in slow motion. It had become clear within the first two weeks of travel that the pale woman did not sleep, and the fact that no one ever attempted to urge her to do so spoke of habitual restlessness rather than something newly developed.  She took the night watch always, sharp black eyes finding every movement. 

Lora’s eyes drew often to Idryius, though the raw pain of seeing the body of her son and the stranger who lived behind his eyes now always caught up with her and forced her gaze away.  The pack largely avoided speaking with him, carting him along the steep trek into the high mountain range like a sack of potatoes rather than a person.  Victor and Lora still tried, still clung to a hope that their Sam was still in there and that Idryius would come around, but there was never any real progress in that direction.  The stranger in their son’s body hated them, and wanted only to die. 

As the icy air began leaching into Idryius, the weight of warm furs enveloped him, seeping warmth immediately into his bones.  Lora’s circle had brought her round to him.  She wasn’t sure how long he had been uncovered, but she sensed that the blanket he had been provided with would not be enough to make a difference even if she placed it on him.  Instead, she shrugged out of the white wolf fur cloak that shrouded her and settled it around him with care.  She paused then, feeling like she wanted to say something to him, but Idryius’s response was always the same; sullen, if he spoke at all.  She decided that the action would have to be enough.  Without a word, she returned to her circling, appearing a third of the size she had been before in just the form-fitting leather armor she wore.  The cold didn’t really bother her either, it seemed.   

As the horizon began to lighten, the travelers began to wake and rise.  Victor was the first.  He gave Lora a kiss of greeting and went off into the trees to relieve himself and collect water from an icy brook for morning tea.  Before long, all were awake and speaking in hushed tones with one another, getting their fill of the porridge that had been cooked up for breakfast. 

Victor brought over a bowl of porridge and a mug of tea for Idryius, helping him to sit up before settling down just next to him.  He offered the tea first, silent as always.  He was the quiet sort, one who preferred action over words in almost every situation.  The Imperial was the only one who didn’t wear his emotions on his sleeve when it came to the Stranger inhabiting his son’s body, who had not faltered in treating him as though he were still all Sam, rather than an invading enemy. 

“Need to dress your wounds today,” Victor broke the silence, though his voice barely rose above a whisper.  “Would you like something for the pain today?”
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on July 17, 2019, 06:47:34 PM
Idryius tensed as the woman approached him, watching her silently. He was surprised that she chose to cover him with her own cloak, but he knew that she would not want to let him die, not when the chance of saving her son would die with him. Idryius remained silent; he could not thank her for doing this, prolonging his agony.

As she walked away, he felt the warmth seep into his body, causing more than a little discomfort at the sudden temperature change, his limbs almost numb with being bound for so long.

His stomach lurched with a sharp pang of hunger and Idryius realised it had been quite some time since he had last eaten. He had refused all but a couple of sips of water since Tsarin's death, turning his head away from all offerings.

Idryius' life had not always been easy; he had gone without food before, for much longer than this had been. Yet for some reason, this time was different; the sharp pangs of hunger seemed to strike him much harder than usual.

Even once his body had warmed up, the pain in his stomach refused to abate and Idryius spent the rest of the night in grim silence.

Idryius was still awake when dawn broke and he began to hear the sounds of his captors stirring softly. The hunger returned with a vengeance as he realised he could smell them cooking, knowing without having to look that it was porridge.

Idryius grunted as the man pulled him up into a sitting position, grimacing as the wound in his stomach was aggravated. Idryius could smell the blood. It must have clotted during the night, his ragged and dirty shirt stuck to the wound.

He turned his head away from the offered cup, refusing to drink.
"No." The answer was for both the tea and the offer for any pain relief, but he doubted that his captor would pay him any heed. Why bother to ask such a question? They would simply force feed him the healing potions, keeping him alive for as long as possible.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 21, 2019, 12:45:14 PM
Victor gave only the barest of nods, but remained next to him all the same.  He set the wooden bowl of porridge nearby, the metal mug of tea he had brought as well.  In stark contrast to his mate, Victor never tried to force the issue of food or medicine, never tried to argue or throw his weight around.  He took things in stride and adjusted as he needed.  He asked permission, rather than simply going about things. 

The leader of the pack watched his people shuffle about, finishing their breakfast before getting to work on packing in their camp.  Lor directed the men, her voice ringing with authority in the wintry morning.  He smiled slightly to himself as he watched her, love evident in his green eyes.  Her belly was growing rounder with each passing day, visible confirmation to match the scent that lingered around her.  Pulling himself from his reverie, he looked at Idryius and heaved a silent sigh.  "Would you let me see to your wound at least?  You know that if I don't, she will, and she'll bring half the pack to hold you down...it's simpler if you just allow me to do it without a fight, aye?"

There was a touch of hope in his voice, but Idryius had been unrelenting in his refusal of help thus far.  They were at a loss of what to do; nothing they said or did ever appealed to his agreeable side.  Victor could say that he would probably be the same were their rolls reversed and Lor had been killed rather than Tsarin.  It made it harder in a way, to understand where Idryius was coming from.  A life without Lor would hardly be a life worth living at all, but how to convince Idryius that a life without Tsarin was worth living?  Victor didn't know. 
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 21, 2019, 02:20:07 PM
Victor was right, as much as Idryius hated to admit it. If he refused, then he would be held down and the wound would be treated all the same. He scowled; part of him wanted to resist, to feel something, anything at all even if it was the pain of the soiled shirt being ripped from the wound.

In the end, he relented, feeling too drained to put up the fight that was necessary.

"See to it." He growled. "Get it done with and leave me be."
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 21, 2019, 03:44:52 PM
Victor said nothing.  There was no triumph in his eyes, no smile of gladness or surprise when Idryius agreed.  Instead, Victor rose and retrieved the appropriate supplies and brought them back, setting them aside while he went after some of the water they had melted from the snow.  Returning, he set to work dressing the grievous stomach wound that Idryius had taken before, wincing slightly at the amount of blood that had spread across the bandages in the night.  He removed the soiled bandages carefully and dug a couple of bottles from the parcel, followed by a bundle of fresh linen to rebind him.  He cleaned the wound and the area around it deftly, spreading a quarter of the contents of the bottle over the deep gash.  After several seconds, a numbness spread around the wound and Victor resewed the stitches that had broken.  The second bottle remained untouched until the fresh bandages had been applied, at which point Victor unstopped the top and applied the liquid within to the less serious injuries that Idryius had. 

All said the process took ten minutes, and at the end Victor left him alone as he had asked, gathering the cup of tea and the porridge along with the parcel of medicines he had brought over.

The pack was ready to move in within an hour, and two of the younger ones lashing Idryius into the saddle of one of their spare horses for the journey, which would be led by one of them at Victor's demand.  Certainly it was better than being slung across a saddle like a dead animal, but they remained close and watchful all the same, making sure that he couldn't escape even if he tried.   
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 21, 2019, 04:26:50 PM
Idryius watched the man work on him, but true to his word, he made no complaint, uttering no sound, even when the wound would be most painful. As Victor left him, he let his head fall back against the snow, feeling the pain melting away, even if it was a temporary lack of feeling.

To his surprise, when they came to get him, he was not thrown over the saddle like a sack of spuds, but allowed to ride almost normally, albeit tied to the saddle and allowed no control over the beast himself. It was as if they were giving him a reward of sorts for his complicit behaviour.

Perhaps if he had been a better rider, he would have been able to use his legs to move the horse, but being led by one of his captors, he knew he was not strong enough to even bother trying.

They travelled for most of the day, stopping just to feed and, as before, Idryius refused all food and water. Waiting in silence for when they would be ready to continue.

When the sun began to dip beneath the horizon, they called a halt and made ready for camp again. Idryius, once he was released from the saddle, settled down into a sitting position, watching the others work to set up the camp.

We'll probably reach home tomorrow. If the weather holds.

Yet what he would face when they arrived, he had no idea and the voice in his head was not able to tell him, other than meaningless platitudes.

Idryius frowned, was that a shadow up on the ridge? All of their group were present, building their camp. Yet as he stared up into the shadows, the movement came again and this time, Idryius was sure, they were being watched.

Slowly and painfully, Idryius climbed to his feet. He was aware that his movement would draw the gaze of the others, but he remained silent; if they were to be attacked, then he would not be slaughtered lying down.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 21, 2019, 05:15:07 PM
"He's going to die before we reach home," Lor said softly, an edge to her voice that Victor liked not at all.  She glanced at their prisoner, her mouth twisting faintly in displeasure.  "The body can only go without for so long.  He'll take nothing, not even water.  This cannot go on, Victor.  We cannot lose our son before we have had the chance to save him, and that selfish son of a bitch will rejoice in death."

"The man has lost his partner, Loraene, and found himself in the company of people who have imprisoned him.  Speaking for myself, I can understand how a person could wish for death after losing everything that holds him to life," Victor replied, drinking from his cup.  Lor turned his gaze to her mate, her dark eyes narrowing.

"While I appreciate your empathy, he is more than welcome to die so long as he does not take Samuel with him.  How I wish I could just...just tear him apart with my bare hands!  Curse his lover!  I wish him eternal torment in the worst realm of Oblivion for what he has done, and I will take great pleasure in sending that imposter to his precious Tsarin there."

"Curse all you wish, wife," Victor said, his own tone growing stern, "But it changes nothing."

"We'll have to force feed him again.  I will not lose my son, Victor."

Victor sighed, glancing in Idryius' direction with a small frown.  "He allowed me to see to his wounds this morning.  He has not done that before.  Perhaps he will change his mind about nourishment as well."

Lor scoffed, shaking her head emphatically.  "Your faith is misplaced."

Victor treated her to a dry smile.  "Yes, they said that about you as well when we first met, yet here we are.  Leave him be, Lor.  Things will work out as they are meant to, no matter the outcome."

Lor fell silent, despite looking as though she had plenty enough to add.  Victor rose before she had the chance, intending to check on Idryius and see if he had a need to relieve himself.  However, as he did, Victor saw Idryius rise, his eyes fixed somewhere behind him.  He paused and glanced over his shoulder, inhaling the scent of the wind even as his eyes caught sight of shadows bearing in slowly towards the camp.

"On your guard!" Victor growled loudly, not taking his eyes from the potential attackers.  Immediately, those in the camp were on their feet and going for weapons, moving into a defensive formation around the camp.  Victor glanced back at Idryius as he drew his sword, debating something.  He seemed to come to a decision in short order.  Sinking his sword into the snow, he withdrew one of his daggers and cut through Idryius' bonds, then pointed out one of the spare weapons leaning against a nearby tree.  He said nothing as he took up his sword, leaving Idryius the choice to defend himself and fight, or not.  He had serious doubts as to whether the man could do much of anything at all without having anything to eat or drink in so long, but he refused to leave him bound and defenseless during an attack.  It lacked honor.         
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 23, 2019, 11:56:09 AM
Idryius tensed as his captor approached, blade in hand, yet to his surprise, he was cut free. For a moment, he simply stared back at him, lost for words. Then as an arrow cut through the air beside him, he ducked and ran towards the tree, taking one of the spare swords.

Instinctively, he took the sword into his left hand, yet anyone who had fought beside Samuel would have been surprised at this, for he was right handed.

Idryius found cover, crouching by one of the tents in their camp, waiting. The shadowy figures made their way down the ridge, running from cover to cover in a way that suggested some training. Idryius counted six of them, perhaps there were more.

In a moment, the bandits had closed on them, screaming out as they attacked. In that moment, the thought of surrender or of allowing himself to be killed never even occurred to him.

As one of the bandits neared him, a Khajit wearing light hide armour, Idryius broke his cover and met the attack with a clash of steel. His years of sword training took over and he used the attacker's momentum against him, giving way beneath the strike in a way that enabled him to turn his own blade upwards, driving it into the weak part of the Khajit's armour beneath his armpit. The Khajit's eyes widened in surprise and Idryius gave a cry of effort as he dragged his blade out of the bandit's body.

He staggered away from the dying bandit, feeling a burning sensation in his side and he knew that his fresh stitches had been torn with the effort. Breathing hard, Idryius held his borrowed blade out, ready for any other attacker to approach.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 23, 2019, 12:51:18 PM
The bandits rushed into the camp like a wave and Victor and his pack met them in battle.  Despite their supernatural gifts, none shifted to their forms just yet; rather, they met them with sword, hammer, and axe.  One scaled a tree and, nestled within the strong boughs, shot at targets from above where he was safe from the melee.  Lor crushed the head of one of the bandits with a heavy blow from her warhammer, sending pieces of his skull and brains raining on the fellows behind him.  For his part, Victor remained near Idryius, ever watchful and cautious.  There was no way that Idryius could fend off too many assailants, with his injury and the physical weaknesses that came from lack of food and water.  Watchful yes, but he also kept a decent distance between them, running interference between the imposter within his son's body and anyone else who thought to take him on. 

They were outnumbered, but the company that Victor and Lor kept were up to the task.  They fought like seasoned warriors all, and when several more broke through the trees to join the other six that had led the initial attack, two of them cast aside their blades and transformed, scraps of leather and cloth shredding and puddling on the ground.  Claws rent through armor and down to flesh and bone as easily as a blade through parchment.  Throats gave way to savage teeth, sending arterial spray across all within the immediate vicinity.  More horrifying was the way the Wolves bent over their victims and fed their desire for flesh, the bloodlust a primal haze that banished all coherent thought of civilized combat.

As another bandit broke through the trees, Victor moved quickly, sliding easily between the assailant and Idryius with enough time to block the vicious blow that had been intended for the injured man's back.  With a roar, Victor dealt a swing that would have taken the man's head from his shoulders, advancing on him even as he was scrambling to get away.  On the other side of the camp, one of their pack met his end, and then a second as the bandits persisted. 

With a cry of rage, Lor shifted, the blood of her victims striking a crimson contrast on her snowy pelt as she launched herself after the bandits who had won over her men.   
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 23, 2019, 03:08:50 PM
Idryius held his blade in one hand, his right clutching at his side for support. An animalistic growl sounded across the camp and Idryius turned, his eyes widening as he saw a werewolf spring at one of the bandits. As he stared, another of his captors changed, their flesh rippling as it reformed into the wolf.

In his shock, he did not hear the approach of the bandit behind him. He wheeled as Victor struck out, realising that the bandit's attack would most likely have ended him.

With another of the werewolves shifting their form, the bandits that were still alive turned and ran. The slowest of them was caught and torn apart by the wolf's claws.

Why was he so surprised? Idryius shook his head, grimacing to himself. He knew that he had been placed inside the body of a werewolf, that had been one of the reasons that Tsarin had chosen him, so that he would survive the insertion of his consciousness. It made sense that his family were werewolves as well.

Victor, the only one of them who had not shifted his form, stood before him and Idryius knew that he would probably be about to take the blade from him, ready to bind him for the rest of the night. Saving him the trouble, Idryius dropped the blade onto the snow.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 23, 2019, 03:37:06 PM
As the bandits ran, those who were left of Lor and Victor's company made chase.  They disappeared into the trees after the running, fearful men, sending howls at their backs to let them know that the pack was not far behind.  Lor remained, as did Victor.  The woman shuddered visibly, and her form began to change back to that of a human, bones popping and skin rippling while a low growl of pain emitted from her chest.  The leathers she had been wearing destroyed, she stood nude near the fire as the transformation ended before limping after her bag with a scowl on her face.  Victor watched for a moment, eyes skimming her form to verify that she had taken no serious injuries before he turned back to Idryius.  A man's scream pierced the night in the distance; they had caught one. 

While Lor dressed and saw to the two men of theirs that had fallen, Victor stepped towards Idryius, certain that the man would fall over at any second.  Instead, Idryius dropped the sword he had been holding--left handed, Victor noticed.  The Imperial hardly gave the blade a second glance, giving Idryius the once over as he had his wife.  He winced, seeing the blood springing freely from his healing wound.  "You held your own well, despite the state you're in."

Grabbing his bag with the medic supplies tucked inside, he approached Idryius as he normally would have, still leaving the sword in the snow near the man's feet.  He pulled out the bandages once more, the silk thread for stitching, and finally a small stoppered bottle with a faintly glowing red liquid inside.  He set the bottle within Idryius's reach; there was no need to ask or tell him what it was.  He had been trying to convince Idryius to take the potion of healing since the beginning.  The man would take it, or not, as he chose.  "You fight with your left hand.  That's not a common thing.  I hear it's more difficult to fight with the left than it is with the right," Victor said conversationally. 

On the other side of the fire, Lor crouched over the two dead men, muttering something under her breath whilst she drew a sigil upon each of their foreheads with blood from a cut she had opened in her hand.  After they had been marked, she drew the same sigil on her own forehead and then became utterly still, dark eyes closed and features lax while she focused on whatever it was she was focusing on.  When it seemed that an entire age had passed without her moving, she shifted and began chanting words that were guttural and sharp to the ear, almost painful to listen to.  Victor ignored her, his features betraying a subtle tightness as he set out to care for Idryius' wounds.  "May I?"       
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 23, 2019, 04:25:56 PM
Idryius was stunned, both physically and mentally, wary as he watched one of the werewolves return to their human form, revealing Loraene.

Victor was talking to him and with an effort, Idryius dragged his attention back to him.

He shook his head.
"No, its just..." Idryius faded out, not bothering to finish the sentence. What did he care what hand he held a blade with?

By giving into his instinct to fight, Idryius knew that he had missed a chance to end his life. He had failed Tsarin and himself along with him. Now that he had had a chance to think about what had happened, the feeling of failure was threatening to crush him.

"Do what you will." Idryius' voice hardened, forcing back his emotions harshly. "I am no match for you. Not like this."
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on October 24, 2019, 09:18:30 AM
The Imperial accepted Idryius' answer in silence and made to restitch the dire wound stretching across the man's belly.  From across the camp where Lor stood over the two bodies, an eerie green glow began to emit from the targets of whatever dark words she was speaking.  Shadows danced on the periphery, and the marks she had drawn upon their foreheads flashed like fire before disappearing entirely.  Darkness weighed in the camp like a void, nearly killing the fire at the center.  Then, the dead men opened their eyes and sat up, and the pale woman stepped back and dropped her hands, using a sleeve to cleanse the mark from her forehead.  There was a weariness in her frame now that had not been there before, and she promptly sat upon a nearby rock. 

Victor worked quickly, and once the wound was stitched again he doused it with healing potion, watching with satisfaction as the wound knit from freshly dealt to weeks old in the span of a few seconds.  "I was surprised that you fought, Idryius," he murmured, packing his things back in the satchel.  "I did not expect you to take up a sword in an attack, as sorely as you have wished for death..."
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on October 24, 2019, 04:15:55 PM
Idryius watched as the werewolf worked on him, making no sound as he stitched. Not far away, he saw Loraene with the dead bodies, yet he was not sure what she was doing with them. Until they sat up. Necromancy.

Yet who was he to judge? Tsarin had tried to explain that, amongst other things. It wasn't the act that was the issue, but what it was used for.

Remaining silent, Idryius turned back to Victor as he finished with the wound.

"Perhaps I should have let them?" He shook his head, heaving a weary sigh. "But there is still a part of me that has some dignity, somewhere."

"If I am to die, it will be by my own hand, or in battle... against a worthy opponent. Not someone like that." He paused, taking a ragged breath. "I think he'd understand."

He looked up at Victor, feeling drained of all emotion. He held out his wrists, ready for them to be tied once more.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on October 24, 2019, 05:01:26 PM
The dead men looked on with empty eyes, no awareness or intelligence within their gaze.  It was a lesser spell, meant only to raise the body without calling on the soul to return; she hadn't the materials she needed for such a thing.  Risen, however, they could move on their own without being carried, fight if needed, and be returned to their families for last rites.  Lor gestured in silent command, and the two undead settled themselves by the fire where they sat with unnatural stillness, like draugr in an ancient tomb. 

When Idryius raised his hands for tying again, and Victor shook his head.  "No.  I'll not bind you again.  You have earned that much at least."

He made to rise, then paused, turning green eyes back to rest on the man.  "And I believe you're right.  He would understand.  I think...I think he went through much to bring you back.  Perhaps he would not wish you to squander the gift he sacrificed his life to give you.  I do not know your Tsarin and cannot speak for him, but...I can speak for myself.  If it were me, I would give my life if it meant my wife could live."  He shrugged and rubbed at the back of his neck, a picture of awkwardness.   
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on October 24, 2019, 05:50:38 PM
Idryius lowered his hands, resting them on his lap. It was surprising that he was being allowed to have some freedom of movement, considering how he had betrayed that trust before, causing the wound in the first place. Yet in all honesty, Idryius did not feel as if he had the strength to even try to take his own life.

"I think your wife might argue against that."

Idryius smiled bitterly, but the woman's dislike of him was obvious, yet understandable. He was, after all, standing where her son should be.

"Tsarin was a young man when I died."

It must have been fifty years or more since then; Idryius was not entirely sure how long it had been. Fifty years of struggle and study, just to bring him back. It hardly seemed worth it. Not right now.

He fell silent, frowning. He was caught inbetween not wanting to live, but not wanting to die, all at the same time.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on November 18, 2019, 12:34:25 PM
“All the more reason not to squander his sacrifice.  He dedicated his entire life to bring you back to the land of the living.  But…it is your life.  No one can choose what you do with it but you,” Victor said softly. “My hope, however, is that you give it a chance.  Give yourself and my son Samuel a chance.”

With that, the Imperial rejoined his wife at the fire.  They spoke together for a moment, and Lor looked in Idryius’ direction, but that seemed to be the extent of it and she made no move to bind him or convince Victor to do so again.  When she did approach Idryius again much later, it was to pick up the heavy fur cloak that had been discarded in the earlier fight.  She brushed the snow off and extended it to him.

“It’s cold.  Will you not put this on and join us by the fire?”
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on November 22, 2019, 09:32:56 AM
As Victor headed back towards the fire, Idryius slowly lowered himself to the ground, sitting on the snow despite the cold.

'He's right.' The voice in his head spoke up. 'Give us both a chance.'

When the woman approached, Idryius was convinced that she had come to bind him for the rest of the night. To his surprise, she offered him the cloak and invited him to share their fire.

This time, he actually thanked her, his voice soft. He pulled the cloak around his shoulders and followed her.

He felt tired, cold and hungry. All of that felt as if it were grinding him down, along with the heavy sense of guilt at simply being alive when Tsarin was not.

He lowered himself down by the fire, yet he kept his gaze on the flames rather than look at his captors.

'See?' Samuel spoke up again, sounding optimistic. 'I told you she's not so bad.'
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on November 22, 2019, 09:45:06 AM
“It’s a rare man that can hold his own in battle while dancing on the line between life and death, himself,” Lor murmured softly, a soft sort of respect in her tone.  Victor remained silent at her side, filling bowls with soup from the pot nestled over the fire while one of the others filled iron mugs with some sort of tea from the kettle.  Together, the two men distributed the meal and the hot drink, while Lor dug a bottle of mead from her bag to share between the lot of them.

Victor set a bowl and a cup beside Idryius on the off chance that he might take them this time, but no one pushed him to eat or drink; he had earned that much, at least, and while none of them wanted to see the man die, Victor had made it clear that there was only so much that they could do to prevent it if Idryius really wanted to end it all.  Still, he had fought for his life and by extension theirs, and that more than anything had earned him enough respect and consideration to be allowed his choice. 

There was little more offered in the way of conversation; they were all tired and grieving for their most recent losses.  They were a mere few days from home.  All any of them could hope for was that nothing else happened between where they were and where they wanted to be. 
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on November 24, 2019, 03:27:33 PM
Idryius looked up as his captor spoke and he held her gaze for a moment before turning back to the flames; he hardly felt as if he deserved any praise at all.

He could smell the soup, bubbling in the pot, before they even began to spoon it out into the bowls. His stomach lurched as the bowl was put in front of him and he stared at it, longingly. Fingers shaking a little, he found himself reaching for the bowl and he ignored the spoon in favour of tipping the bowl to drink it in his haste.

After so long without eating, his stomach lurched violently and he gagged, almost retching. Wiping his mouth with his hand, he coughed, trying to regain control over himself. He reached for the cup, taking a more measured sip to try and clear his mouth a little.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on December 30, 2019, 12:25:17 PM
"Easy does it," Victor encouraged when Idryius began to eat a little too quickly, his tone tempered with paternal patience.  His eyes lit a bit behind the green, glad to see the man finally eat.  It was difficult, seeing the man that was his son in such a sorry state.  While he felt just as strongly for his son as Lor did, he recognized that it had not been Idryius's choice to be placed in Samuel's body.  He was another man, another life, a life that was just as important as any other.  He hoped that Lor would find a way to separate the two of them while still preserving Idryius' life in another body; there were no shortage of bandits in the high mountains, after all.  He was a warrior and stubborn at that, and stubborn warriors were a force to be reckoned with; Victor hoped that if all worked out, Idryius might choose to stay.  Of course, he spoke none of this.  Victor was, at his core, a quiet man who preferred action over words.

When the meal was concluded everyone began bunking down.  With two more men dead and no need for them to keep warm, Lor grabbed one of the bed rolls from the deceased's horses and laid it out near the fire by where Idryius was.  He had refused most everything up to that point, but seeing him finally agree to some healing and food was a relief and she hoped that the change of heart would continue on.  "You should be warm enough in this, but keep the cloak just in case.  I don't feel the cold like others do; I won't need it," Lor murmured to Idryius. 

"We're less than three days out from home.  We should reach the cave pass tomorrow evening, and the rest of the journey will be through the mountain itself and beyond to the highest valley," Victor explained.  "It's the hardest part, but at least it's warm in there, and shielded from the wind.  Best to get some rest."

While Victor bunked down in one of the bedding rolls, Lor remained sitting and staring into the fire.  So far she had slept not at all in all the time they had been traveling, nor did she seem any worse the wear for it.  When sleep had overtaken almost everyone, she stood silently and took up her blade, beginning her nightly watch anew.   
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on December 31, 2019, 06:31:39 PM
To Idryius' relief, the rest of the soup managed to stay down and he drained the bowl, setting it aside once he had finished.

He watched the others talk amongst themselves; even though he sat closer, there was still a gigantic gulf between them. He kept his gaze down, staring into the fire.

The offer of the bedroll snapped him out of his thoughts and Idryius looked up, blinking in surprise.
"I..." He faltered for a moment, then he accepted the bedroll, murmuring a quiet thanks.

He was not left alone for long, Victor spoke up, telling him about their route. It was not a way that he had ever been before. Idryius frowned.

"If the elements aren't going to be a worry, then how will it be the hardest part of the journey?"
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on December 31, 2019, 07:00:18 PM
Victor’s brow furrowed, pulling the fur atop him a bit closer around his shoulders.  “The first leg of the pass is an ancient bastion built into the base of the mountain.  Those who lived there in ages long past are entombed within, and the old magics placed upon the dead and their tombs are still intact.  With Lor’s gifts, we usually manage to make it through the bastion unscathed and without disturbing the draugr, but once we bypass the entrance into the caverns beyond, the way is almost entirely vertical,” the Imperial explained.   

Lor spoke up then, pausing just behind them after having overheard.  “There are paths carved into the interior cliffs, but they are narrow and precarious.  About halfway up the path falls away, and we must scale to the top.  There are ropes to facilitate the climb, of course, but it is dangerous even for the sure hand and surer foot.”
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on January 13, 2020, 04:37:44 PM
Idryius' expression matched Victor's as he listened to the explanation of what was ahead of them.
"I'm a fair climber." He paused, his frown deepening still more.

At least, he used to be. Yet now, he was weak and inhabiting a body that was not his own. Everything that he had once known about himself, right now, felt like a lie.

He glanced at Victor and his wife, wondering if they were asking themselves the same questions. Would they be forced to resort to carrying him up the cliff side?
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on February 15, 2020, 12:40:08 PM
Victor smiled faintly. "I do not anticipate any problems," he assured him.

Lor studied Idryius for half a beat, perhaps wondering the same thing as the man living inside of her son's skin.  She still hung on to the hope that Samuel was inside of him somewhere; if such was the case, she had little doubt that her son could guide the man on the path and get them both through it.  She said none of these things, instead moving on to continue her patrol around the campsite, unwilling to be caught unawares like before if another attack occurred. 

Victor moved his gaze to the flame of the campfire, considering.  "Once we reach the top, we will be home.  You will like it, I think.  We do not have much, but what we do have we share.  I will move ahead of the group, run interference with Samuel's wife.  I cannot promise that you will be spared that discomfort indefinitely, but...I will do my best."   
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on February 21, 2020, 05:32:36 PM
Idryius turned to look at the fire, but inwardly his mind wondered about how he would deal with facing the wife of the man whose body he was currently squatting in. The family did not deserve to be forced into this situation.

He remained silent for the rest of the night, falling back against his bedroll and staring up against the sky, although he barely slept. At the back of his mind, he could feel Samuel's presence, coiling and uncoiling restlessly, most likely at the thought of seeing his wife through the eyes of another man.

The group woke early, ready for the journey ahead. Idryius got up without complaint and rolled up the bedroll he had been given, although he felt like he was in a daze. He felt like he had been since Tsarin had been taken.

They rode through the morning, until they reached the base of the icy cliffs, rising up into the sky. Idryius looked up with a grimace; maybe he'd be lucky and his grip would slip half way up the cliff face? He followed the others through the gap, into the caverns. Inside, he found a stable area and they dismounted, stripping the horses of their tack and making them comfortable.

These people lived a strange life, being so removed from society to live in an area where you couldn't even take a horse.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on August 06, 2020, 06:08:46 PM
Their arrival to the stable at the other side of the bastion by a young orc male and a nord woman.  Both clasped arms with Victor and Lor in greeting, then went about taking care of their horses.  A small girl, mirror image to the woman, brought climbing gear out of the one-room hut that sat just to the side.  Together, she and the other men in the traveling company loaded down a trough, which rose upward on the ropes it was attached to, to the top of the inner cliffs above.  The trough descended twice for the rest of what the group carried. 

The climb was treacherous, the path that led upwards was a narrow switchback, sometimes no wider than a foot across and slick with moisture.  They moved slowly and carefully, taking turns goading one another along good naturedly.  About halfway up they stopped, coming to a wide ledge where coils of rope waited, leading the rest of the way up. 

At the top, a short tunnel opened up into a bowl-shaped valley, small, and surrounded on every side by high, sheer mountain faces.  A village perched less than a mile away on the edge of evergreen woodland, surrounded by fields of winter vegetables and pens with chickens, goats, and elk.  Another group approached them from the village, women and children, a handful of men.

Lor glanced at Victor and sighed softly, resigned.  She gestured to the two dead men and withdrew the magics that animated them, watching as they slid lifelessly back to the ground.  Where they fell, the others reached down to carry them home the rest of the way; there was no sense in getting anyone’s hopes up, seeing more walking towards them than was really there.  Without a word, they headed forward to meet the group somewhere in the middle, though Victor hung back to walk alongside Idryius even as Lor sped up to reach the group ahead. 

As promised, Lor made a beeline for one of the women.  She was almost of a height with Samuel himself, clad in the furs and leather that the rest of them seemed so fond of.  Dark haired, pale, and with features as sharp as a blade, Beka was further along than her mother-in-law, and had to bend down to hear her when the cries of grief began to rise as the rest of their party caught up. 

“That’s Beka,” Victor said softly, nodding at the woman.  “They have been married for two years, but have known each other since they were children.  They were friends first.  She is due to have their first child any day now."
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on August 08, 2020, 11:48:25 AM
The climb was hard, but Idryius kept quiet, pushing forwards steadily even though he was weak. At the top, he paused to catch his breath, frowning as Lor allowed the dead to fall, releasing her spell. She was probably frustrated at being unable to dismiss him with a similar flick of her fingers.

He followed the others wordlessly, understanding why Lor hurried off before he arrived, informing the rest of the family that a stranger was inhabiting one of their own.

Beka. Idryius knew the name before he was told it, Samuel had whispered her name inside his mind. Idryius grimaced, for he could feel Samuel's pain.

"Probably best that I stay away from her." He nodded at Victor. "I have no wish to cause her pain."
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on August 21, 2020, 01:22:07 PM
Victor didn’t immediately answer, watching his mate speak to the taller woman.  There was a flicker of something in Beka’s features as Lor explained the situation, ice-blue eyes promptly shifting to focus on the two men hanging back from the others.  Her gaze was piercing, seeking any sort of physical confirmation of what Lor was telling her.  Without a word, she side-stepped Lor and made a beeline straight for Victor and Idyrius.

Victor grimaced, suddenly uncomfortable. “Yeah…good luck with that.  It looks as though Beka will be making her own judgments in this.” 

Still, despite whatever discomfort the Imperial was feeling, he stayed put beside Idryius in a quiet show of solidarity.  Beka stopped a few paces away, studying the stranger in her husband’s body.  Whatever she had been searching for, she seemed to see it after getting a look in his eyes. 

“Easy, Beka,” Victor cautioned. “He did not choose this any more than Samuel did.”

Beka hardly spared her father-in-law a glance.  It was difficult to decipher how she was feeling about what was happening; her features were well-schooled, her voice quiet and even when she spoke. “Name?”

“He’s called Idryius,” Victor mumbled.

“Idryius,” Beka repeated, shifting her gaze back to him. “I wish the blunt truth straight from your mouth, without platitudes or false hope; Does my Samuel still hold on to life somehow, or have I been made a widow like the other two?”
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on August 22, 2020, 07:37:42 AM
Idryius watched calmly as his host's mate approached him; he did not know what to expect from her, whether she would take her frustrations out on him, as Victor obviously suspected she might. If she did, then he was not sure if he would even bother to defend himself.

He felt something inside him flutter as she spoke and he knew that Samuel was desperate to let her know that he was still here. It felt as if the other personality was beating his fists against his mind, screaming out to be heard. It was enough to give him a headache.

Idryius nodded, gravely.
"You'll get nothing but the truth from me. He's still here. Watching. I have no control over who is in charge of this body."

He gave a grim smile.
"She's probably already told you, I tried to take my life. If I had my way, I would leave this world and let Samuel have his body back. That is out of my hands."
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on August 22, 2020, 11:19:32 AM
Beka considered his words carefully and without reacting, though the faint line between her eyebrows relaxed a touch when he confirmed that Samuel was still there.  Not dead then, but a prisoner in his own body, forced to watch another man control his life.  Beka could not imagine worse fate; death, at least, brought peace.  Despite that, she could not deny that her primary feeling was relief.  If Samuel still lived, then there was hope.  Idyrius himself was regretful over the situation, having not chosen this for himself.  Lora had mentioned that they had killed the mage who had done it, that Idryius had grieved his death and tried to end himself.  That alone told her that this was difficult for him too, albeit for different reasons.     

She finally acknowledged his words with a curt nod, coming to a decision.  “I will prepare the spare room for you.”

Victor immediately spoke up. “Beka, we will find somewhere else for him to stay.  There is no need for you to—”

Beka interrupted, the volume of her voice remaining at the same even level. “I will not deprive my husband of the comfort and familiarity of his home, nor will I decline to offer hospitality to someone who is clearly in need of it.  Unless Idryius chooses otherwise, he is welcome at my hearth.”

Victor shook his head. “It is too much, Beka.  There is no need for you to endure that pain needlessly, not with you so near your time.”

Beka’s gaze grew cold, and her voice tapered to just above a whisper. “I know what I can endure better than you do.  Unless Idryius chooses otherwise, he is welcome at my hearth,” she repeated. 

Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on August 25, 2020, 08:48:25 AM
Idryius recognised the caution in Victor's tone and he knew that, for all his civility, he would only want him in a place where he could be watched at all times. Just in case he tried to end his suffering again.

Personally, Idryius didn't care where they kept him, even if it was a prison cell somewhere. Yet, of course, if he didn't accept then Samuel would probably make his grievances known. Incessantly.

'Thank you for your hospitality. ' He replied softly.

He glanced at Victor briefly before turning back to Beka.
'I understand this will be painful, no matter what.'

There wasn't much more that he could say. There was no point in sugar coating the harsh truth. None of them knew how long this would take.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on August 25, 2020, 09:44:56 AM
Victor looked as though he might protest again, but before he could open his mouth, Beka nodded curtly and gestured for Idryius to follow.  One of the others responsible for unloading the gear hauled up the cliff before their climb presented her with Samuel’s bag, which she took and slung over her shoulder without a word.

Lor sidled up to Victor and the two of them spoke in hushed tones, though gradually it became evident that their discussion was rapidly dissolving into an argument.  Regardless of what the Alpha and his mate were speaking of, Beka led the way back to the village in the distance, eyes straight ahead save for the glance she shot in Idryius’ direction to make sure that he was following. 

Home was a small, two-level house built in the traditional Nord design.  There were some differences; a hearth built into the wall instead of a pit in the center of the main room, for instance, and the loft above was more reminiscent of Breton architecture than Nord; open rather walled off.  A large standing loom was tucked in one of the corners of the great room with a half-finished, elaborately designed woolen blanket in the works. There were numerous shelves of books along the walls, and one bookshelf that seemed entirely dedicated to rolls of paper, bottles of ink, and spare quills.  Several rolls of paper were also stacked on the table in the kitchen, an open bottle of ink and a quill left abandoned in her haste to greet her husband. 

Beka placed Samuels bag on the steps leading up to the loft, then gestured to one of the chairs sitting near the hearth.  It was still difficult to really tell what she might be feeling, but that was hardly a new occurrence.  She had always been reserved, her emotions contained until she had a moment of complete privacy to reflect on them.  “Make yourself comfortable.  You look as though you’ve been through the worst of Oblivion.  There is mead or ale, or water if you are thirsty, and the soup over the fire is ready enough if you are hungry.”

Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on August 25, 2020, 01:13:42 PM
Idryius followed Beka towards the small settlement, heading towards the house that she shared with his body's host. Inside him, Samuel protested at how his mate took the heavy pack, even though she was so heavy with child. Idryius chose to remain silent, much to Samuel's annoyance, but he didn't see a point in antagonising her still further at an already stressful time.

He looked around the house; it was alien to him, but inside him, he felt a pang of familiarity from Samuel. He stook awkwardly for a moment and then finally settled in the chair that she gestured to. Comfortable? He felt as if he would never again know the true meaning of that word.

"Water, please."

Samuel's body had probably lost a considerable amount of weight since he was last here, with his hunger strike for a large part of their journey. Even though he had broken that, he was still not completely recovered.

"The soup smells good. Thank you."

He stood, still feeling awkward.
"If you need me to assist? I'm used to having to work for my food."

Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on August 25, 2020, 01:37:31 PM
Beka nodded and retrieved a mug, a bowl, and a spoon, filling the mug with water from a pitcher on the table.  She gave the mug and the bowl to him so that he could help himself; she had noticed how much weight had been lost since the time she last saw Samuel.  Werewolves had faster metabolisms than ordinary humans, and it was clear to her that Idryius had missed too many meals. 

She went about retrieving blankets and whatever else was needed to set up the spare room for him, but paused when he stood and asked if she needed help.  She studied him, deliberating internally whether or not he was truly well enough to help her with anything, though she certainly appreciated the offer.  He was uncomfortable, that much was clear.  She couldn’t blame him, really; the situation with which they had found themselves in was an awkward one, and Beka couldn’t deny that she wasn’t certain what to do or say, herself.  She imagined that in time, things might grow a touch easier, but for now, the only thing that they could do was weather the storm until it passed. 

“Thank you for the offer, Idryius.  You have traveled a rough road to reach this place,” she finally said.  “Help me by aiding in your recovery.  Eat, rest, and heal.  When you are better, we will discuss how you can help.  Does that suit you?”
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on August 26, 2020, 05:27:14 PM
"I understand." Idryius nodded grimly; he understood all right, he just didn't like the answer. For Idryius, keeping himself busy was a way of coping with life's hardships. When he had been a boy, it had been his swordsmanship that had held himself together, both mentally and physically, even when it had seemed that everything around him had fallen apart.

Yet he was hardly in a position to argue, not when he was sitting inside another man's body and home. An intruder.

"As you wish." He exhaled slowly, giving a faint sigh as he sat down.

I missed her so much. I never thought I'd ever see her again. Tell her I love her, would you? Please?

Idryius rubbed at his temples; Samuel wasn't doing his headache any favours.
"I'd rather not." He muttered quietly. "I don't want to hurt anyone... No more than I already have."
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on August 27, 2020, 10:30:01 AM
Beka noted the disappointment in his response, watching him sit down.  She supposed that she could find something less labor intensive to do while he was recovering, if it meant that much to him.  If it made him a little more comfortable about being there as well, that would help.   Raking a hand through her close-cropped hair, she looked down at the bundle of blankets in her arms and the fresh candles she had added on top. 

She picked up on his soft mutterings, brow furrowing when she realized that he wasn’t talking to himself—or rather, he was, but…to Samuel.  It was reassuring in a way, that Samuel was still conscious inside of his head, even if he wasn’t in control.  Her mouth thinned slightly and she looked up, glancing at Idryius.  “I suppose making up a bed wouldn’t cause you too much strain,” she remarked, carefully avoiding letting him know that she had overheard him.  She offered him the bedding and the candles. 

“And when it comes closer to dinner time, you can help me with the preparations, yes?”
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on August 28, 2020, 01:39:01 PM
Idryius looked up at Beka, managing a smile; it was a small gesture, but it was a genuine expression.
"Thank you. It will make things... easier."

He stood up, following Beka to where the spare bed was, just off from the kitchen, cut into the floor. It was a small space, but it would do. He took sheets from Beka, spreading it out over the bed. He might have been tired, but he was determined to show that he still had some use left in him.

He cleared his throat awkwardly as he worked, only giving Beka the odd furtive glance as he tucked the sheet in.
"Samuel... is relieved to be home. There was a time where he did not think he would ever be able to return."

Idryius felt Samuel's consciousness shift a little, easing a touch now that he had been able to pass on at least part of his sentiment.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on August 28, 2020, 06:04:57 PM
Beka didn’t hover; when he began to make the bed she backed out of the room, but only just a step or two to the table so that she could tidy the mess she’d left behind earlier.  She would glance at him occasionally, just to make certain that he was faring alright, but remained largely unobtrusive. 

She was in the process of rolling up one of the sheets of paper when Idryius spoke, mentioning that Samuel was glad to be home.  A subtle tension relaxed between her shoulders and she closed her eyes, exhaling softly in relief.  She had done well so far, resisting the urge to ask Idryius about Samuel despite how badly she wanted to.  She was almost positive that Lora had needled him more the enough on the journey home, and perhaps even Victor as well.  She had hoped that he would say something in his own time, and was glad to have that confirmation at last. 

She finally looked up from the table and met his gaze.  “Samuel is my world.  I miss him when he’s gone.  It always feel as though a part of me is missing.  When the time they had estimated for their return came and the weeks after followed, I had the very same fear.  I am grateful to you, Idryius, for bringing him home to me in spite of everything.  It can’t have been an easy thing.  I imagine it still isn’t an easy thing.”

She fell silent then, a thoughtful line etched between her eyebrows.  “Thank you…for telling me.”   
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on August 29, 2020, 11:04:18 AM
Idryius dropped his gaze, feeling awkward at the intensity of her emotions.
"I wasn't sure how you would take me saying something like that." He frowned, reaching for the blanket and laying it over the bed.

"I am aware that it could have the potential to do more harm than good." He finished with the bed and straightened up. "He is... incessant at times. If I hadn't said anything, then he would probably just keep on at me."
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on August 29, 2020, 12:50:45 PM
Beka considered his words in silence, choosing her words with care.  “I take it as a kindness, not a torment.  I would rather hear him through you than not hear him at all.”

She returned her attention to the paper in her hands, turning it between her palms until it was rolled tightly, then slipped a length of tied, undyed wool over the end and to the center to keep it that way.  She couldn’t help but smile to hear of Samuel’s persistence that Idryius say something.  She was all too familiar with that herself.  It had been one of the many qualities that had endeared Samuel to her in the first place.  Her husband was focused, and when that attention was fixed on her, it made her feel as if she were the only person in his world. 

“He would,” she agreed, glancing at Idryius as she moved onto the next in the stack of papers.  “Once his mind is set on something, there’s very little that can change it.” 

She finished with another roll of paper and sighed as she moved onto the next. “It will be awkward for both of us for a time.  Until that awkwardness fades, rest assured that I am not a fragile creature, and can most likely weather whatever storm your words might stir up.  But thank you for your concern all the same.”

She paused and leaned against the table for a moment, resisting the urge to grimace when the child forced their feet up into her lungs and pushed outward at the sides, causing a subtle but visible strain beneath her shirt in a couple places.  She had delighted in the movements when they began, but the babe was bigger now, and every kick, stretch, or turn had become uncomfortable.  The midwife insisted that it would be any day now, but Beka had a feeling that the child would stubbornly hold on for another week or two at least.  The baby settled some in its new position and Beka exhaled in relief, straightening and finishing her task at the table.     
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on August 31, 2020, 01:34:43 PM
"I'll try and remember that." Idryius nodded, glad that he wouldn't be feeling like he was walking on eggshells quite as much as before. Within him, he felt Samuel settle a little now that part of his message had gotten to its intended target.

He looked up as Beka took hold of the table for support, noticing the tension that she was trying to hide. Inside, he felt Samuel tense up once more.

Help her. I need to help her.

Grimacing, Idryius made his way back to the chair, but no further. She had made it clear that she did not need him to be interfering in her life. He was a virtual stranger to her, despite Samuel's insistence.

"How long do you have?"
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on August 31, 2020, 02:04:32 PM

Pressing a hand against the side of her stomach, Beka’s jaw locked in place until the child finally found a more comfortable position, at which point some of the tension left her and she straightened with a sigh of relief.

“It will be any day now,” Beka replied, wincing when the child shifted again.  “He’s run out of room, but it hasn’t stopped him from trying to make more of it every time he moves,” she said, a touch of humor mellowing her tone.  No one ever spoke of the misery of the final months, how hard it was to take a full breath or eat a full meal, to bend to grab something dropped on the floor or even roll out of bed in the morning.  She was more than ready for it to be over.  She smoothed her hand over her stomach, a line forming between her brows as something previously unthought of occurred to her.  Was this going to be the only child she would carry?  There was no certainty that Samuel would ever be restored to himself, and if that wasn’t the case…

She couldn’t even imagine being with anyone but him. 

Beka swallowed thickly and banished the thought, finishing tidying up the table.  “I have to take these to Nymala.  She’ll be expecting them.”

Nymala was an ancient, displaced Dunmer woman who doubled as their wizard, though she did less magic these days and more magic theory, which she scrawled in seemingly endless streams on whatever paper she could find.  Beka re-wrote and edited them for her because Nymala couldn’t be bothered by such trivial matters, but the Dunmer woman paid her well whenever the College purchased her manuscripts. 

Gathering the rolls of paper, Beka glanced at Idryius and gave him a short nod.  “I’ll return after a while.”     
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 05, 2020, 10:03:35 AM
Idryius nodded grimly; having him here was something that she did not need, however, he was not about to suggest that out loud, not after witnessing her defend him staying with her to the others.

He watched as Beka left, leaving him to his own devices. Without having any possessions to set in order, Idryius turned to the sword that he had fought with. A cursory search of the house turned up a whet stone and a rag and he settled down, cleaning the blade and sharpening it to a fine edge.

It felt good to be able to do something with his own hands, something useful.

We'll find a way. I know it.

Despite everything, Samuel was still optimistic. Idryius wasn't even sure how.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 05, 2020, 10:15:33 AM
Idryius was not alone for long; there was a knock on the door, and then Victor stepped inside.  Spotting Idryius sharpening the blade he had given him, he closed the door behind him and made his way towards where the man was sitting. 

“I saw Beka go.  Are you going to be alright here, or shall I find another place for you to stay?” he offered.  He hadn’t wanted to offer it again in front of Beka; likely she would have insisted that everything was fine, but Victor wanted to hear it from him and give Idryius a chance to make up his own mind.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 05, 2020, 10:26:57 AM
Idryius looked up as Victor entered, nodding briefly before he turned back to the blade.
"I'm not expecting it to be easy." He did not look up as he replied, turning the blade to check the edge. "Not for either of us, but I don't think your son would give me any peace if I were anywhere else."

He looked up finally, watching Victor. He expected disapproval, but he expected that no matter what he said. Some situations were impossible no matter what way you looked at them and Idryius felt as if he was caught in the middle of it.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 05, 2020, 10:41:18 AM
Victor nodded, glancing in the direction of the door.  “No, I don’t imagine it will be,” he agreed.  If he was disappointed he didn’t show it.  It made sense, Samuel wanting to be close to Beka.  Had it been him in that position, he doubted he would have given much of a choice in the matter either—he’d have wanted to be near his wife. 

“If you change your mind…if things get too hard, let me know.  I’ll find a different place for you to stay.”  He offered, frowning.  “Truth be told, I’m a little relieved.  None of us relished the thought of Beka being here on her own, with her time so near.”

He fell quiet then, watching Idryius sharpen the sword.  “Once you’re settled, come speak with me about work.  I’m sure you’ll want something to do with your time?”
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 05, 2020, 12:17:24 PM
Idryius looked up at the mention of work, giving Victor his full attention.
"That would be appreciated."

He sighed lightly, setting down the blade.
"Beka would have me do nothing, I had to argue about helping make my own bed. I might still be adjusting to my circumstances, but I am not completely incapable. I expect to work for my keep. The sooner the better."

Idryius spoke with a determination that would not be denied.
"I'll start tomorrow." He didn't even bother asking what it was that he'd be doing.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 05, 2020, 12:27:02 PM
“She’s probably just concerned by the fact that you’ve got a sword wound that you’re still recovering from,” Victor said, rubbing at the stubble on his chin.  “Find me first thing in the morning.  We’ve got milling, smithing, hunting, some farming—pick which one you think your skills would fit best, and I’ll find a place for you.”

Victor made a sound and dug about in his pocket, producing another healing potion.  “Speaking of, I thought this might help.  It will certainly make it easier on you tomorrow, and maybe it will give you some room to move with Beka.  If she sees that you are alright, she might be more inclined not to fuss over you.”

He extended the potion to Idryius.  “I best go before she get’s back.  She’ll think I’m trying to interfere.  Think about what you want to do.”
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 05, 2020, 01:03:01 PM
Idryius frowned lightly.
"It's healing well." It was true; he was surprised just how quickly the wound was knitting together, even with the few potions that he had taken for it.

In truth, he had been closer to death than he had let on. If he had still been human, he would not have been able to defend himself when they'd been attacked by the raiders.

He took the potion, setting it down on the table between them.
"Thank you." In all honesty, he did not think that he would need it.

"I've done smith work before when I was younger. That and hunting." He shrugged. "Whatever you need the most."
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 05, 2020, 01:36:07 PM
Victor nodded, halfway to the door.  “Aye, I imagine you could help with both.  I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Victor took his leave and the house was silent once more, with Idryius left to his own devices.

--

The next few days were trial and error, but there was room for Idryius’ adjustment.  Beka was quiet and did not speak much unless he spoke first, but that was normal for her even before Idryius had been put in Samuel’s body.  She spent much of her time working, scrawling on rolls and rolls of paper, reading from a strange motley of old parchment, scraps of paper, and even the scribbled-in margins of torn book pages. 

Victor found Idryius work with the blacksmith.  Many of the people of the village seemed tolerant enough of him, reserved, but not unkind.  The blacksmith had plenty of work for him; they spent much of the time making nails, and tools of a wide variety, as well as repairing armor and weapons of those who made up Victor and Lor’s traveling company. 

It would take time, but so far things were relatively mellow.  The village had it’s own easy, quiet pace for now, but that would eventually change when Victor and Lor prepared to leave again.  Lor was set on visiting the College in Winterhold, hoping that perhaps they would have answers for how she could get her son back, so no doubt that would be soon. 

At the very least, Victor ran a buffer between himself and his wife, so Idryius had yet to suffer her attention since they had arrived.  Currently he was walking home with Idryius, having showed up as the smith was closing down his shop for the night. 

“How are things working out?” He asked conversationally. 
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 05, 2020, 04:32:05 PM
Idryius worked hard over the next few days. It felt surprisingly good to have something definite to keep him occupied and certainly, the blacksmith, a Nord named Rolich, looked like he needed his help. He found out that one of the men who had been killed had been his assistant. On the first day, Rolich watched him like a hawk, but he soon discovered that Idryius knew what he was doing, especially when it came to blades and armour. Eventually, the Nord left him to his own devices, only giving light conversation as he worked on his own project.

He felt as if he was constantly watched, even if they didn't comment on what he was doing, Idryius could not escape the fact that he was a prisoner, albeit without shackles. If he tried to leave, no doubt, they would track him and hunt him down, bringing him back. He did not attempt it.

On the third day, he could stand the unspoken tension no longer and he took his claimed blade and headed out in the middle of the night, finding a quiet place to run through his sword forms. There was something calming about the ordered movements that he had practiced so much when he was growing up. It made sense that he would fall back on one of the only coping mechanisms that he had been allowed whilst growing up. He made sure that he only did it in the dead of night, when everyone else was asleep. It made more sense that way. Less questions to answer.

For the most part, the villagers left him alone, although he was aware of the distrustful stares. He could hear the hushed conversation that he was not meant to catch, hearing his hosts's name mentioned often. It was to be expected. He was an interloper, after all.

Idryius looked up as Victor approached; strangely enough, his hosts's father was the one who treated him with the most respect in the entire village. He nodded as he washed the soot off his hands, preparing to head back to Beka's house.

Idryius shrugged rather than answer directly. Of course, Victor only had to ask Rolich how he was doing. He probably already had. This was simply as an opener to conversation and Idryius felt that he had to oblige.

"Working on a few things. Basic work mostly."
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 05, 2020, 05:28:18 PM
“That’s a start,” Victor commented, staring ahead of them as they walked.  It would take time for the novelty of his presence to wear off; right now, people were only just beginning to understand that Samuel was not himself, and the story of what had happened had been passed behind closed doors and whispered back and forth until everyone was aware of it. 

Things would eventually die down, but there was nothing that could be done to speed up the process. 

“Rolich says you’re not bad.  He’s glad of the help,” Victor said, glancing at Idryius. 

Victor spied Lor standing in front of Beka’s house, waving a couple of women inside.  “Ah.  Well, looks like its time,” he muttered quietly.  When they reached the house, Lor offered a small smile.

“You might want to find another place to bed down,” Lor said, glancing back at the door.  “She went into labor a few hours ago.  Nymala says it will be a long night.”
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 05, 2020, 06:04:34 PM
Again, Idryius shrugged.
"He's not had me do anything too taxing."

He paused, seeing the women enter Beka's house. He remained at a distance, nodding as Lor spoke.
"Then I'll find somewhere else to stay."

Not that he had any idea where else would take him. That was not their problem and he did not bother them with it.
"Good night."

He turned and headed back towards the forge, knowing that there was at least a space for him to hunker down in.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 06, 2020, 12:14:53 PM
Victor took a few steps to catch up.  “Hey, wait up now Idryius,” the man said, glancing over his shoulder at his wife with a grimace.  “She will likely be here until it’s done.  You can bunk down by the fire in our home, yes?”

He wasn’t sure exactly where Idryius was headed for the night, but the offer was out there.  He didn’t know if it would be accepted, but he thought he’d try.  “We’ll have some bottles of mead or ale if you like.  How long has it been since you’ve had a drink with another person and swapped stories?”
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 06, 2020, 03:53:27 PM
Idryius paused, waiting for Victor to reach him.
"If you're sure...?" He frowned, not sure if he wanted this or not, but it was better than curling up in the corner of a cooling forge.

He almost declined, but it was the offer of the drink that checked the words before they had left his mouth.
"I can't remember." He shook his head, dropping his gaze. "Before."

Before he was resurrected into the body of Victor's son. He relented, turning to follow Victor.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 09, 2020, 10:19:21 AM
“I am,” Victor said firmly.  Victor wasn’t the sort to offer if he wasn’t, but Idryius still had much to learn about him, having only really had contact between Tsarin’s cave and their village—none of that time had been comfortable for either of them.  He was all too aware, however, of the reluctance to involve Idryius in the village.  If he took the first step, then perhaps they would eventually fall in behind him. 

Clapping a hand on Idryius’ shoulder, Victor led the way back to his home—the hall was not so big as others, but there was room enough.  Truth be told, it was far too quiet after the death of their other son in Tsarin’s lair.  Victor was sure that this was part of Lor’s madness; they had lost both of their sons in this last endeavor. 

Their home was an austere affair; lightly furnished and clean of any clutter, with fresh rushes recently spread over the stone floor.  A fire blazed in the fireplace, filling the large space with warmth.  There were none of the usual trappings—no trophies, no relics for viewing, no displays or décor on the walls.  Even the furnishings were understated, lacking artistry in favor of simple functionality.  Stairs at either side of the hall led up to a second level and a series of rooms above, though all of the doors were closed. 

Victor gestured to one of the chairs sat before the fire, and ventured into the kitchen, returning a few moments later with a small keg, a spigot, and two large iron mugs.  He set all of it on the long table at the center of the room and tapped the keg, passing a filled mug to Idryius promptly before settling himself with his own. 

“Where do you hail from, originally?” Victor asked, hoping to start some discussion.  He didn’t know anything about Idryius, save for what little he had shared when Victor was searching for appropriate work for him.   
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 09, 2020, 03:30:45 PM
Idryius could not help but feel a touch of trepidation as he stepped across the threshold of their house. With the essence of the missing sons all around him, he felt even more like an interloper than ever. He looked around them before he settled down in the offered chair; the lack of decoration was actually something that he found to be more comforting than not, himself preferring functionality before aesthetic in all things.

"Thank you." He spoke softly as he accepted the mug, taking a slow sip. It was decent.

"Originally?" Idryius looked up with a frown. "Solitude. But I haven't been back there in a long time."

He shrugged.
"Probably not much point in avoiding it these days. Everyone I knew then would be long gone by now."
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 11, 2020, 03:22:36 PM
“I’m sure the city has changed a great deal since you’ve last been there,” Victor replied.  Really, it had been many years since he had gone beyond those particular gates, back when he was still a Prefect in the legion; Hircine’s blessing did not mix well with large cities.  Things very rarely stayed the same as they remembered them for very long. 

“I’m from Cyrodiil, myself.  Not too far outside of Skingrad,” Victor said, taking a swallow of his mug. “I was a Quaestor during the Great War, at the Battle of the Red Ring.”  He grimaced, wondering if Idryius had been alive for any of that business.  His lover had been ancient and Idryius had mentioned meeting him when they were young, so it was possible he had missed the great war entirely. 

“Nasty business, all of it,” Victor sighed.  “But I suppose that’s the nature of war.  You fight like a man who knows his way around.  Did you serve?”
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 11, 2020, 03:49:27 PM
Idryius shook his head blankly at the mention of the Great War.
"I have no knowledge of rings, red or otherwise." His smile faded. "But I know about battle."

He gazed into his mug for a moment before taking a drink.
"When I left Solitude, I was part of a mercenary group. But that was a long time ago."

He shook his head, looking up at Victor. How long had it been? He had no idea.
"What... what year is it? I feel silly even asking this. Its something that everyone should know."
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 11, 2020, 04:35:44 PM
“No reason to feel that way.  Your circumstances are hardly ordinary.  It’s 201,” Victor replied, turning a bit in his chair to refill his mug from the spigot.  “The Great War was 175.  I’m not sure when you are from, but I’m sure you’re familiar with the Aldmeri Dominion?  They got it in their heads to start conquering.  We beat them back many times, but in the end, they had resources that would have far outlasted ours.  So the powers that be signed a treaty.”

Victor’s features tightened slightly at this, betraying the hidden anger he had over it, still.  He was no happier about the concordat than the Stormcloaks who were currently warring over control of Skyrim, and while he would never enlist under Ulfric Stormcloak’s banner after the way he murdered Skyrim’s High King, his faith in the Tamrielic Empire had dwindled to non-existence.

“Did you travel much with the mercenaries, or were you based primarily here, in Skyrim?” 
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 11, 2020, 05:09:05 PM
Idryius stared at him, setting down his drink.
"It's been that long?" He rubbed at his face, as if he could wipe the confusion away. Sadly, it was a futile gesture.

He turned his gaze back to Victor, but it was bleak expression.
"I was born in 40. I was 26 when I was killed. Tsarin was a year older."

He shook his head again.
"How could he have lived for so long? I don't understand any of it. But then... I never did, not really. I knew he was working on something important, but he always told me it would be a surprise."

"I miss him, but... not what he became." He grimaced. "But you don't really care about that, do you? For you, its only what he did to you that was important."
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 11, 2020, 05:34:27 PM
Wow, it had certainly been a long time.  For all Victor knew, the whole of Tamriel could have changed a handful of times in those years.  The Great War itself had changed a great many things. 

“It could have been the magic he was into, or he could have had some blood from the mer races somewhere in his ancestry,” Victor reasoned.  He kept his voice even; his hatred for Idryius’ lover was still a fresh wound.  The man had been completely mad as well as sadistic—if the bodies they had discovered were anything to go by.  But Idryius had loved him, and Victor was not the sort to begrudge him of it. 

At Idryius’ comment about him not caring, he raised an eyebrow.  “If I didn’t care, Idryius, you’d be curled up wherever you were planning to go tonight instead of sitting here drinking ale with me in front of a fire.  We don’t often have control over whom we love.  It’s not your fault, what he did.  He was insane, and my family has suffered because of what he has done, but that doesn’t negate your feelings for him or make them matter any less.  It still hurts.  I do not think less of you for it.”  Victor grimaced again.  It hurt to admit it, but… “I can…sympathize with him, in a way.  There’s not much I wouldn’t do to bring Lor back to me if I lost her, and the woman enrages me more often than not.”

Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 13, 2020, 08:45:08 AM
Idryius snorted with a bitter smile.
"I've slept in worse places than a cooling forge. It's shelter enough from the wind."

He paused, nodding as he reached forward to refill his mug.
"Yet, your company is preferred. I appreciate a friendly face."

Idryius frowned as he took a sip.
"Your son would rather I wasn't drinking right now. If he had his way, he'd be pacing the room worrying about Beka. I don't blame him, but what will be will be. Pacing and worrying will do nothing to right it."
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 13, 2020, 08:54:27 AM
Victor smiled with a little more warmth this time, pleased by Idryius’ comment about a friendly face.  He allowed himself a quiet chuckle when he described what Samuel was feeling; it was a strange situation, but it comforted him to hear his son’s side of things.

“He knows the way birthing goes here.  The women come together to offer support and welcome the new life, the men keep out and wait for the news.  He’d have been underfoot and suffering half a dozen glares if he had insisted on being there,” Victor said lightly.  Then, because he wanted to offer his son some reassurance, he added, “Beka is…a deceptively strong woman.  I am quite certain she will be fine, and the child too.”

Because they were somewhat on the subject, Victor hesitated and spoke again. “Has it been alright for you there, Idryius?  Have you begun to settle in?”
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 13, 2020, 04:36:30 PM
"Aye, he knows." Idryius nodded, smiling. "But that does not stop him from worrying."

"She is strong indeed, otherwise I doubt she would have had me with her, considering the circumstances."

Idryius frowned a touch.
"I don't think I could ever settle in here, as you say. There are few here willing to talk to me. Most just look at me as if they expect to see Samuel inside, or they look at me as if I murdered him."

"I'm comfortable, if that's what you ask? I have a roof over my head and food in my belly. For a time, Beka wanted to do everything for me, as if I was on my deathbed."

Well, it wasn't far off being the truth, was it?

The voice in his head spoke up, taking a moment out of worrying for his family.
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 14, 2020, 10:10:36 AM
“I imagine not,” Victor chuckled.  He had been there, himself, not terribly long ago.  It didn’t feel all that long ago.  He had been a nervous wreck while both of his sons were coming into the world, unable to sleep or be still until one of the old women came for him.  Likely, he’d be in no different a state when the child Lor was currently carrying decide to come into the world. 

As Idryius went on about the general wariness of the people, Victor sighed softly, swallowing a generous amount from his mug.  “This is an unprecedented situation, and no one quite knows what to think.  It will take time, but I’m sure once people grow used to the reality of what has happened, they will be warmer towards you.  It’s only been a week.”

Victor gave Idryius a look in response to his comment about Beka treating him like he was on his deathbed.  “You were.  Think on this; in all of our travels from Dawnstar to here, you were suffering from a grave wound left mostly untreated and largely unhealed because you refused potions.  You refused food—something that as a werewolf, you require more of than the average man, due to your supernatural stamina.  By the time we got here, Idryius, this body—” he gestured to Idryius, “—had become wasted by a noticeable degree, thanks to those deprivations.  You took sustenance and potions towards the very end, but it wasn’t enough to undo the damage immediately.  When Samuel left this place, he was healthy, strong, and whole.  When you arrived here, you most certainly did look like you were on your deathbed.” 

Victor refilled his mug and slouched a bit more comfortably in his chair.  He stared at his drink thoughtfully, mulling something over.  “I know that this has been very difficult for you.  The valley will begin to warm in a month or so, and we’ll be able to build again.  If things grow too uncomfortable for you, staying in Samuel’s home with Beka and their child, it would not be difficult to build a small place for you to live instead.”
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 19, 2020, 12:25:08 PM
Idryius snorted, shaking his head.
"I'm not a werewolf..."

The moment he spoke, Samuel's bitter laugh echoed in his head.

You poor deluded skeever wit. If I'm a werewolf and you've taken over my body, then what the hell does that make you now?

Idryius scowled, shaking his head as if that could dislodge the unwanted voice in his head. He looked up at Victor.
"As you can probably imagine, your son doesn't think much of that, but what else can I say? I don't feel that much different, even if I look it."

This was something he hated, being so vulnerable in front of someone he barely knew. His expression hardened; he would adapt, he had no choice.

Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 21, 2020, 11:26:14 AM
Victor said nothing to contradict his claim; Idryius still had much to learn about this new life and the body he was in.  A part of him wanted to say something, if only for the fact that denying what he was now would only cause him long-term harm, but there was time enough for that.  With regular meals and good work, his health would only improve whether he believed that he was a werewolf or not.

Deciding that changing the subject may help release some of the tension, Victor took a generous swallow from his mug and leaned forward to throw another piece of wood on the fire.  “We’ll be sending out a small hunting party soon.  There are deer and wild goats aplenty in these mountains, and we’re due to restock our storehouses.  The party is typically gone for about two or three days, depending on success—sooner if the hunting is good.  If you would like to join in, we would be glad for the help.” 
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 21, 2020, 03:09:23 PM
"Aye." Idryius nodded, leaning back in his chair as he took a long swallow of his drink. "I'd like that."

Hunting was one of the few things that he had enjoyed as a boy, allowing him to leave his city life behind him and head into the hills. It offered him a chance to see the area that he now found himself in, travelling without being slung over the saddle like a dead deer.

"I appreciate you doing this." Idryius watched Victor with his solemn gaze. "I understand that it is not easy being around me."
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Firesblood on September 21, 2020, 04:23:05 PM
“Excellent,” Victor said, a genuine grin flashing briefly across his face.  He, himself, enjoyed hunting a great deal.  Unfortunately he wouldn’t be attending this trip—there was too much to do, and he was responsible for dispensing judgement in village matters and disagreements, of which was long overdue.  He didn’t relish the next few weeks, but it was part of the job.  “I wish I was going with you.  It’s beautiful country.  Instead I get to listen to petty squabbles and complaints, and deal with all the mundane bureaucratic nonsense that comes with leading a village of this size.  You’ll have to kill an extra deer for me.”

When Idryius thanked him, Victor smiled slightly.  “You’re a good lad, Idryius, and that certainly makes it easier.  You could have been a complete bastard.  Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case.  I know that this hasn’t been easy for you either.”
Title: Re: The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)
Post by: Jabbathejack on September 23, 2020, 03:54:27 PM
Idryius frowned as he realised that Victor would not be going with him on the hunt. Instead, he would be travelling with virtual strangers, most of whom would dislike him for what he was rather than who. Yet he had already agreed to it, he would be unable to back out now without appearing weak.

He nodded grimly, then he leaned forwards and helped himself to another mug of ale. He had the feeling he was going to need it.

"When do we leave?"

Inside, Idryius felt Samuel's turmoil, knowing that his host would not want to go too far away from his wife, especially at this sort of time.