Light and darkness

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Re: Light and darkness

#11 Post by Eileena » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:14 pm

A cacophony of voices and melody.
The proportions of this room are well known to me now, but with the unending sound it is still too large to hide!
It must be the bread.
I am sure of it.
There was something to the taste of it, a herb I cannot name.
A calculated risk.
Gods, I must remember the lessons from my father.

A walk in the park.
Oh, to walk...a familiar warmth next to me. That warm, strong hand in reach...

It does not do to dwell on what is not there.
A walk in the forest.
There does not seem to be a bird around.
Yet once you stop talking and actually focus, a chorus arises.
It is all about focus.

Back to the basics, back to my breathing.
Listen to my breath
My spirit
My life.

I can think of reasons for the herbs.
One guess is an influx of patients.
We shall see.


If they'd truly wish for me to be effective
They should let me out!

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Re: Light and darkness

#12 Post by Eileena » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:46 pm

The air grows heavy
Pushing down
All that was so clear

Words won't come
Songs out of reach
People hurting
So much

Can't breathe
Can't think

It's not their fault
They trust
I have to find words
Grab them
Instead of waiting
Spin a song
Instead of Hearing
Please, be whole
Soar high
Wings healed
Touch the clouds
Come back

Hello there
Welcome back
I know your uniform
I know your wounds
Even though they are whole.
I understand your words
Your questions
Although I cannot answer out loud
I have one of my own

Please, talk to them
How this could have been easier
If I could breathe.

I apologize for the intrusion.
It could have been easier for you.
Maybe you can make it easier for the next.

Let them know.

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Re: Light and darkness

#13 Post by Eileena » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:33 pm

Be careful what you wish for.

I am at sea.
The air is so fresh it is almost intoxicating. Although I am not allowed the sun as of yet, I can smell the warmth on the salty breeze.
It is unreal.
Tangible yet so far away.

Have they heard? Did I call out loud?
Or is it an educated guess of their leader?
Whatever the case may be, I find myself outside the cellar and almost into open air.
It's beyond fantastic and somehow very frightening.
Without the imposed boundaries the world out here feels endless, as if I might fall off the face of the earth.

The facts, then. I must remember.
Captain Stormwake, she sounds as if I should have heard of her.
I do not.
This seems to be useful to her, as she implies I am too far away from home to expect any help.
She might be right, since I do not know her.
I know her strength.
I can feel it in her hands, hear it in her voice.
This is no bluff she is playing. She knows exactly where she is and how she got there. I have to admire her for that. Not many people are this confident in their own right.

Her insinuations are quite clear too.
There is nowhere to go.
The waves might look kindly upon me, but the people sailing her might not, nor the hunger that swims beneath.

I am - in sort- still a prisoner, be it with a little more room.
She has no intention of letting me go.
At all.
In some way I might perceive this as a form of protection. I do not believe any of her crew will try to hurt me as long as she is in charge.
They would not dare offend her.
In another...gods, how far has my mind gone that this strange conversation with Stormwake feels like rain during the drought? I yearn for human contact! Even though half of her words are laced with threats and would-be's, I do not want her to go! Not yet!

And then she is gone
With promises of a shower and clean clothes.
Oh yes, I would love to feel human again.
Isn't it ironic?
I went on this journey to find out how much more I can be than Nomine's wife and guild healer.
I now find myself as a captain's pet and ship's healer.

I am an idiot.
To have let other voices convince me I was nobody.
The mere fact that I let them
proves that perhaps I am no more than an attachment.
Looking for someone else to tell me what I am worth.

Oh, I recognize the signs alright.
Resignation to a situation,
Grateful for any interaction, be it with my captor.
Self doubt growing.

Be still.
Be still and find the waves.
Find the melody
Heal amidst the chaos.
Do not drown
Do not give in.

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Re: Light and darkness

#14 Post by Eileena » Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:31 pm

(switch to camera point of view, thanks to my secret co-writer)

Eileena sat in the simple, wooden chair, trying to get a feel for the balance of the ship as it moved over the waves. The salty air made its way into the cabin with every breath she took. Anything better than the place she was stuck in for so long! Tilting her head, the blind woman listened, trying to get acquainted with the ship's sounds as soon as possible. She ignored the dizziness of her perceived freedom, knowing very well that this chance of scenery was not necessarily a step in the right direction.

Familiar heavy boots could be heard pounding on the deck up above her, moving further and further away, if only for a moment. Those heavy footfalls started heading towards Eileena's cabin.

<Thud> <Thud> <Thud>

Next, the jingling of keys could be heard before a heavy <click> as the door unlocked and opened with a slight creak. Lumbering steps approached Eileena, the ruffle of a coat of some kind. Eileena felt warm breath on her face. One of her captors no doubt taking a look at their prize.

"So priest, how are we today?" the speaker smelled of alcohol, though not of bar-room swill. A bit more refined, if not by much.

Eileena swallowed as the door unlocked. She tried to regulate her breathing. As much as the last room was a prison, at least it was familiar and with that strangely safe. Out here she still felt exposed as she had had no opportunity to explore just yet. Her hands moved to her lap, fingers entwined.
Smelling the alcohol, the priestess wrinkled her nose ever so slightly, her senses still overcome by all the input after so long in that one room.

A woman, she realized. Unexpected, somehow. Even more unexpected the fact that someone actually addressed her in a language she could understand!

She scraped her throat. "Thank you for your choice of language, lady. "

The female speaker chuckled at Eileena, having noticed her slight surprise.

"Cannon Fodder and blaggards that can be so...uncivilised. And not knowing how to treat a woman." Eileena heard the clothing rustle again as the strange woman adjusted her seating. "But between you and me, they have their uses, once they are put into line. A drink of something perhaps? I assure you it isn't drugged, as I need you to be able to perform your duties with a clear head."

"May I know your name?" Eileena ventured. A conclusion quickly formed in her head. If this woman was speaking about 'putting in line ' , she might indeed be higher up in the ranks. Time to find out how high.

"Your people seem to differ in opinion from you regarding to the use of ...drugs..." The pale woman tried to make her voice sound as neutral as possible. "I seem to remember some loafs of bread with a distinct difference in taste."

Eileena concentrated , trying to get any hint at all with her other senses to figure out if this lady knew of the little drugs experiment while she was in prison...and how she would react to this knowledge.

"Of course you may. I have no secrets to hide. I am Thaalia Stormwake, Captain of The Salty Mare. Though there is no need for titles between us." The woman gave a chuckle that although fairly even in tone did carry with it the authority of the one who was directly responsible for Eileena's fate.

"You know how it is when you use a third-party for such matters you just can't quite control what methods they will use in order to...expedite their next coin purse." Thaalia's voice remained even throughout. There was an air of self-importance, more befitting a noble than any sailor.

"Now that you in my direct care, there will not be...tainted food. And who knows, if you co-operate, you may even sit at my table, not stuck in this cabin. But I'm afraid I will be requiring your services for the foreseeable future." Thaalia's voice took on a bit of a darker tone after seeming so civil.

"Just know that even though I will require your services, that any insubordination will be punished and that the crew...." Another ruffle of clothing as Thaalia moved. Eileena felt the woman's breath on her cheek.

"...well...I'm sure you can figure it out."

A captain, ruler of the ship! Depending on how far out they were, Eileena would go so far as to note this woman as ruler of her fate. She immediately sat up straight out of habit.
Not a comforting thought, even though the thinly veiled threat was being cushioned by the promise of a somewhat more humane treatment.

"Captain Stormwake." A deliberate choice to use her title anyway. Eileena inclined her head towards the woman once the gap between their faces widened again. The clothing sounded as expensive as the details of her speech. No doubt this lady had the coin and the will to get her way.
And this
Was bad news.

"For the foreseeable future, you say...if I may be so bold, there must be plenty and very skilled people out there willing to work for you. Although I am more than happy that I am one of those able to make a difference for those in need, I highly doubt I am more useful to you than any other in full posession of their freedom and wit.
In other words, why go through these troubles when you would have people at your beck and call in an instant? For goodness sakes, lady, I am no miracle worker!" Eileena tried her very best to sound confident enough about her skills without seeming to be better than she was.
She wasn't the best.
Not by far.
But she had to take care not to sound uneffective lest she had to fear for her life.

She tilted her head. "In short...why? "

A smirk formed on Thaalia's face seeing Eileena sitting up straight. For most, many would be trembling. After all she wasn't unknown in Kul Tiran waters and upon hearing her name or seeing The Mare's flag most would turn tail quick. So either this woman had no idea of who she was, or she had an iron will.

"That would be true, however your particular...condition does have some advantages to me as well. For one, it allows a certain amount of...anonymity when it comes to those you use your skills on. You are unknown to others within our regular...travels. It's easier to control what information you have about your surroundings, and even if you were able to escape...Where. Would you. Go?" Thaalia took a small amount of pleasure in how she delievered those last four words, to let the situation sink in even further.

"If you serve me well, or at least at your best, you will be given three meals a day, relative comfort and have some security. If I were to let you go, I very much doubt you'd be able to row to land on these seas, even with supplies. If anyone else did find you, it will be days or weeks at least, and even if they did, they might not extend the same courtesy I am.

So your best bet is to stay with me."

So many implications in the choice of words and the tone.
It reminded her strongly of her husband. Nomine excelled at many things and those that he did not master, he usually could bluf his way through by making good use of the insecurities and needs of the other.
Eileena thought to recognize part of that in the captain's speech. The priestess had no doubt this woman could make good on her threats as well as her promises. She tried very hard not to shiver at the words that were omitted and yet so powerful.

Her prolonged stay in that one claustrophobic room made her vulnerable to the most minute of changes. Having been without a conversational partner for so long made her acutely aware of how fragile her opportunities were in this situation. She would not offend the lady by asking her how she could be sure Eileena could perform at sea, nor would she pretend to be more scared or daft than she was. Yet too smart or observing would be a danger too. She would have to find a balance between silent compliance and gathering information.
And the lady had given her plenty. A captain of considerable wealth and cunning, used to getting her way and an accent that betrayed her social circles. She knew her boundaries, judging by the faint aroma of alcohol. She sailed seas thus far unknown to Starlight and many others and her clients wished for anonimity. Nobles caught up in illegal practices or even rebelry?

She had to find out more about this society , even if she was stuck at sea. It was the best way to find an opening for her plans.
Yet the captain was not sure enough about her or she would not have given the superfluous speech on whether or not to escape from this ship...

Eileena sighed, realizing she had been silent for too long already. "Captain Stormwake, I assure you I am not desperate enough to throw myself into the waves. In fact, I must thank you for granting me the fresh air I have been lacking." Respect where respect was due. The blind woman counted her blessings as far as they were still there. She had to give credit to this lady for using what was at her disposal. Now it was her own turn to use whatever she had learned from listening to Nomine.

If the captain made so sure she could not leave, there was a certain amount of need on her part. Time to find out how great that need was. "I must also thank you for at least instructing your people correctly on how much one can do in a day." It could not hurt to let the captain know Eileena realized she was in charge of whoever kept her hidden first. A little hidden compliment on her insights into healing might not do much right now, but it might smooth the way for later on. " I would not turn down one in need but alas, I am no bottomless vessel. It takes ...effort...and I will require time to reload, so to speak, before I have spent my last or -as you would understand- there would be nothing left for me to draw from. Many think we simply ask for divine assistance and that is it. Yet you probably know already that everything has a cost. "

Thaalia carefully watched Eileena. She was trained to read people just by how they sat and from the healer's every move she could read that she was indeed afraid.

She couldn't blame the girl however, as were their roles reversed, she might react the same. Still Thaalia meant everything she had said. She might be a pirate of a sort, but she still kept her own set of honor.

A furrow of a brow, a twinge of one's mouth, everything was a clue to what someone was actually thinking. She had no illusions that the girl was docile enough to not try and escape and that she would likely try and gather as much information as she could about her surroundings. Something Thaalia would be doing herself.

"I wouldn't want you to go insane out on the tides here. They have a way of making people do that without extra help. So fresh air helps to replenish a strained 'vessel'. As I said before, I'm not unkind and have seen my fair share of magic to know that it is not an endless amount of stamina."

Thaalia took off one of her heavy gloves and put her meaty hand on Eileena's shoulder. The touch was a small gesture meant to light. Though from the weight of the hand, it could be assumed that if she meant to kill Eileena, she could probably do so easily if she got a hand around Eileena's throat.

"Once we hit port we'll see what we can do about a bath for you before seeing to those dirty rags you have on. After all, we will need to look our best when seeing to the first round of clients."

Eileena could feel the conversation drawing to an end. Even though the captain's words were laced with implied and straight out threats, any human interaction was better than being stonewalled for all that time.
Right now the blind priestess had no clue.
Right now she did not care.
There was a chance of a real shower instead of having to make do with a rag.
A chance of a real change of clothes.
And maybe she would be permitted to talk some more.

A moment she hesitated. Then she had to ask: 'Can I speak to the people I encounter? Either your crew or...the clients? Are they allowed to speak to me?'

Or would anyone be punished, caught in interaction...the underlying question remained unasked.

Although the priestess couldn't see it, Thaalia focused intently on Eileena, her hand still light on the priestess' shoulder as attempting to show some modicum of friendliness. Though her grip slightly tightened on the priestess' shoulder after asking that question.

"You may speak to those you encounter...Both the crew and the clients...unless they do not want you to. Prying into their business or identities...Won't be taken lightly. And some, no, most of them, are not like me. They are more....brutal with their punishments and I can only protect you for so long.

Out there. I am not in charge."

And just like that the conversation was over.
The captain left, grinning almost audibly, leaving the blind woman in her new prison.
The cards had changed.
Yet no winning hand in reach.

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Re: Light and darkness

#15 Post by Eileena » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:17 pm

( Flashback)

"You're going to get used to it, trust me." Nathanial held his daughter close, his strong arms anchoring the pale girl. "Feel the difference with the rowing boat. Let it move you, don't fight it."

Eileena loved the feeling of her father's arms around her. The tone of his voice was completely in tune with the warmth his strong body radiated. It provided a wonderful counterweight to the chilly sea breeze around them. Nothing could harm her aboard this ship, not with her father so close. She took a deep breath. The salt in the air was almost tangible. Sea gulls cried permission for the ship to move although by the sound of the working men behind her this permission had already been taken for granted.

She turned her attention inwards as the blacksmith had taught her, trying to establish the reactions of her body to her surroundings. Her buckling knees embarrassed her, as did the faint nausea that played on the strange moving sensation in her head. She noticed her feet trying to find a position where they would not have to shift with every tilt of the deck.

How? The young girl frowned, then nodded to herself. Shifting her weight she used one foot after the other to feel where her father's feet were located to mirror his stance, adjusted for her height.
It did not help much with her balance.
How then?
She moved her attention to the arms holding her safe. There was a low hum in his muscles, following the rhytm of the waves, not a constant at all.
Don't fight it.

Eileena allowed the hum in, softly taking up its tone and floating with it. Her knees unlocked, her body accepting the dance with the sea.

She closed her pale eyes, not needing them to feel the rocking of the boat. Her feet moved carefully but with more confidence, caught up in the waves of the sea's melody. This was so different from the intruding splashes in the rowing boat! It was almost as if this ship had a life of its own, an agreement with the waves below to work together. Maybe if she could listen a little further, she might hear the ship's own song...

Soft laughter broke her concentration. Nathanial's voice sounded further away than she expected. His arms were no longer around her. She stood on deck, by herself, without falling over. Even now that she could not listen to that elusive hum, she felt her stomach sway in a strangely pleasant way, as if somehow she had locked hands in friend-ship's song.

"And now to find your balance between your inside song and your outside world, hm?" The smith gently chided her as he walked up to his daughter, a proud smile on his face. He knew she could not see it, but he knew equally well she would notice anyway. She was getting somewhere with this song-business! One day he would have to let her go into the world by herself.
And I'll be damned if she won't at least know to find her footing!

Eileena smiled back at him, her unseeing eyes resting somewhere above his chin. "I want to try this again on another ship! A smaller one, find out if the waves do come closer or not."

The muscular man was not entirely sure what his daughter meant, but at least the fear had left her, which had been his intention. He walked up to her and put his arms around her again. "Well done, my little winter rose, well done. Next time, we'll take your staff along. See if that one will keep you a little more aware of your surroundings, hm?"

The white haired girl flushed a soft pink. "I won't loose myself, father. I like the world too much."

The man nodded with an accompanying 'm-hm'. "Yet if you do...remember your staff. Hit something with it. Feel the vibrations. Do not lean on hearing alone. Feel."

The day you have to flee the world into your own song is the day I will make that world sorry for what it did to you. He added silently, not wanting to burden her just yet with the challenges she might face in the world of the seeing.
He would have to trust her.

"Father, you can let go now!" Eileena giggled, feeling Nathanial's arms tense around her.

Blushing the blacksmith loosened his grip.
He would have to let her go eventually.
And as much as he trained her to be ready for it, he knew he might never be.

Eileena woke up, sweating from intense dreams, the familiar feeling of the waves beneath her.
Her heart ached.
No arms comforted her.
Confused in time a little longer before the white-haired woman realized where and when she was.
Captain Stormwake's ship.
Awake for another day of forced duty.
There would be no anchoring arms.
There was not even a staff to feel.
The ship's sounds continued as if nothing was wrong, as if not her whole life had been turned upside down, as if she was not

She bit her blanket to soften the sobs that escaped her.

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Re: Light and darkness

#16 Post by Eileena » Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:00 pm

(once again a co-written piece)

Time passed after the first meeting between healer and captain. After a much craved - and needed- scrubbing and clean clothes Eileena almost felt human again. Fresh air touched her skin, making her break out in happy goose bumps. It felt like life touching.
Aboard the ship the healer practiced her moves. She got reacquainted with its moves and its sounds. Counting every step she reached out for anything she could touch around her in the cabin that she could call her own for now. The arrival of a walking cane made life considerably easier. Although she was used to the greater length of her beloved staff, the shorter stick would do fine for now.

She practiced with her new wooden eyes every day, every idle moment so she could get used to the feel, the smell, the weight and especially the sound and vibration whenever it encountered something in her path.
She listened and memorized the different textures and materials she met along the way until she was completely and utterly sure of every nook and cranny, every item with its own place in her lodgings.
Some of her excercises might be perceived as fighting moves by an outsider -and they would be right as Nathanial had left no stone unturned to prepare his daughter for the world- but with the cabin being too cramped to try out a full practice every move remained within the boundaries of the many unspoken rules of the captain.

After she was comfortable she knew her way around Eileena moved outside her safe spot. With permission from the captain she ventured on deck, following the same procedures and experiments. The lady took her time. All her attention was on getting to know this particular ship, the measurements, the placement of various movable or immovable objects. The challenge was to stay out of the way of the sailors.

Only when she was sure enough of her surroundings did she shift her attention to the conversations between the men. Eileena tried to recognize languages, words, emotions in order to find out how these people felt, working for Stormwake. How they felt about their current task, carrying this unknown healer from spot to spot.

The crew of The Salty Mare was used to being patient, to waiting for the right moment to strike. Most times they actually were successful. They seemed to be a varied bunch from all over Azeroth. Some came from Booty Bay, Southshore and Tol Barad. Several of them seemed even to have came from as far as Tanaris, talking about a singer and dancer often called "The Jewel of Tanaris" and judging from their descriptions of her, she was certainly a sight to behold. Many were welcome for at least some time in port as it allowed them to go to the brothels. The crew was fairly large, easily over 100 men, and there were newer crew being added every day. It seemed there was a LOT of activity. The activity consisted of loading heavy cargo as well as what sounded like hammering of iron. One of the rules Thaalia had laid out was that when Eileena was out on deck, that she would tie a rope around her waist. It was for two reasons: The first being that Eileena could walk the deck, yet had a safety line around her in case she fell in. The other that it minimised the already minimal risk that Eileena might walk off. Though that was pretty much a non-existent threat at the moment, despite them being docked.

One of the new swabbies that had been recruited over the last couple of days had been carrying a heavier barrel of fish than he should have been, tripped on the rope around Eileena's waist. "The hell? Who put this damn rope here?!"

One of the more veteran sailors looked up from what he was doing, then saw the rope was around Eileena. Currently Thaalia was off-shore. "Don't be messing with that rope, it's for the priest." "

You!" The younger sounding sailor said approaching Eileena. "Captain's Pet!" The activity around the ship didn't stop although Eileena did notice that the activity on deck did quieten, some crew members watching the scene.

The older sailor got up and walked over "You don' wanna be doing that lad."

"Why not?" It's not like this little poppet's gonna do anything, is she? Are ya pet?" The younger sailor tried to yank Eileena's cane away from her.

"I'm warnin' ye lad, ye not be wanna doin' that." The older sailor said.

Eileena stopped the moment she felt yanked back by the rope because of the stumbling sailor. Turning to face him she tilted her head. Captain's pet. It made sense. So did the quieting of the noise around her. The woman felt the threat growing instantly. Her hand flexed around her cane. Lad...lad....someone calls him lad. He must be new. I have a chance there is someone willing to step in. Yet leaving nothing to chance, her sensitive hearing picked up the move towards her wooden eyes and she quickly moved the cane out of the way, hoping the sailor would grab air instead. She knew the logical next move. It was one she had practiced numerous times with her father. Yet it was one she would not use now. Better to wait to hear what would happen lest she'd make enemies she could not avoid.
Just for a moment...unless he would come too close.

There was the ruffle of clothing as the younger sailor attempted to reach out and grab Eileena underneath her jaw. "I am talking to you?" the sailor sounded surprised as his other hand that had been grasping for the cane missed when she pulled the cane away. The younger sailor took a step closer. Meanwhile the older-sound sailor was still walking towards the younger one, his steps punctuated by a thud, a peg-leg from the sounds of it.

There wasn't much room to move about. Right now Eileena had no way of knowing where all the other people were standing. Stepping back was therefore not an option. Too many people to keep track of! Too many! For a split second she heard the cacophony of melodies playing throughout the ship. The moment her head cleared, the sailor had grabbed her jaw.
Deep breath. "Indeed you are, sir. You are talking to me. I apologize for the needful rope." Easy, take it easy. Breathe. Plenty of people here who know what Stormwake wants. Have faith...gods... Her hand was still safely around her cane. She could easily move it up if she needed to. It would either serve as a reinforcement to hit the man under the chin or to hopefully hit him in the chestbone. Either way she was ready to steal his breath if he made any other offensive move.
The gods help those that help themselves.
Her heart was racing as her mind tried to take in all that was happening at the same time.

Eileena could here there were people talking, some taking bets on what the sailor was going to do to her. Most of the suggestions were not at all pleasant. The young sailor's grip tightened on Eileena's jaw, his thumb and fingers pressing hard against her cheeks. "I've got an idea what you can do to make it...all better." Eileena could practically hear the sneering implication in his voice.

The peg-legged sailor reached over and pulled back on the sailor. "Boy I be tellin' ya, ya gotta be leavin' her alone!"

The younger sailor moved as he turned, while maintaining his grip on Eileena's jaw. A slight movement as he stood closer to Eileena, before he pushed away the older sailor away. "Fuck off old man, you'll get your turn!"

The less than kind suggestions should not have taken her by surprise, but somehow in most of her life there had always been someone watching over her; someone who's cunning or strength had scared away any unpleasantness before it ever began. Not so this time. It sounded suspiciously much like her impromptu guardian angel was a minority at a disadvantage. She swallowed with difficulty. When you can't win, cheat. With her husband's words in mind Eileena made her decision before fear paralyzed her. The pull on her jaw indicated the other sailor's head was too far away now. She brought her cane up with force, aiming to have it land in his chestbone, hopefully catching him by surprise enough to buy herself and her possible ally some time. Up!
As if her thoughts could strengthen her move she put both hands and her focus into the motion, her mind swiftly turning to a next necessary action.
When you knock the breath out of them, most will bend forward. It's a natural thing. So if you find yourself in that situation, follow up. Do not wait for them to catch their breath! Turn your staff and move up again! You will hit them in the face or in the chin, trust me.
This time her father speaking from days long gone. Follow up! If she'd feel the impact of her cane with his chest, Eileena would pull back just enough to move up towards where she'd expect his head to be. The cane might be considerably shorter than her staff, this might still give her a chance. A chance against one...but against all? She pushed her fears away, although she felt the cold creep into her body.

"Now where were we beau-" The young sailor had been in the middle of turning before the cane's bottom caved into his chest, with such forceful pressure that the sailor slumped as he did what was the most likely and gripped his chest as he fell to his knees, sputtering as he was completely taken by surprise. Some of the sailors who had been watching, seemed to have also been completely taken aback as well.

Her would-be saviour stopped in his track as well. "I warned ya lad, now leave while ya still can."

"You bitch! I'm gonna gut you like a fish." Eileena could probably predict what would happen next, as the sailor was starting to reach for something.

A different kind of silence.
I have a chance....I have a chance they will keep their distance! Grasping at this welcome straw her short moment of relief vanished as the next words left no doubt as to the sailor's intentions. The eerie silence suddenly became her friend as it alerted her to the sounds of the young man making a grab for something.
Thoughts whirled through Eileena's mind, forming the mental picture she needed to act. He grabbed my cane with his left hand. Right on my chin. So he turned to the left, leaning on right when he went down. That means...

Still aware of the rope that held her the blind priestess did not move much from her spot. His opening should be on his left side and since he was probably grabbing his weapon with his left hand too, that one was busy while the right hand was steadying him.
An opening.
One shot.
She went through her knees to lend momentum to the swing of her cane that was supposed to come in from his left and move up to knock him aside -or hopefully out.

The young sailor was in the middle of pulling out his dagger when <CRACK!> the cane cracked against the side of the sailor's skull and it was quickly followed by the sound of a body crumpling to the deck.
All of the onlookers audibly gasped, CLEARLY not expecting that outcome. Her would-be saviour continued, albeit clearly slower, but trying not to be threatening.

"Tha's a stron' arm ya have on ya girl. Don' worry, he'll be ou' for a while, an' he'll be thinkin' twice about tryin' tha' again. Wha' ya all lookin' at ya bilge rats? Put 'im in th' brig to cool off!" the older soldier said, before he continued approaching, stopping a few paces from Eileena, while a couple of sailors moved past the healer from behind, moving to the unconscious sailor and dragging him off. "Don' wor'y girl. Ol' Benny's not gonna hurt ya. He's gonna be seein' ya not be bothered none more. Here, ya take OI' Benny's hand or arm, he's gon' be helpin' up." the older sailor said, his accent thick, as he held out his hand for Eileena to take.

Her mind still in survival mode Eileena could not help but think that now that she had proven herself less easy than expected, people would suddenly listen to the older sailor where before they had only been interested in cheering the young one on. It made her doubt the weight this Benny tossed around on board. How likely a protector was he when people would not listen aboard their own ship?
Men! She could not keep her distaste out of her thought. And as swiftly as the adrenalin had helped decide her actions, it seeped from her body the moment Benny addressed her. Her face turned to the man, dry lips trembling. She clenched her jaws, unwilling to make a spectacle out of herself. The refreshing air suddenly chilled her to the bone.
Not noticing the stretched out hand, she merely nodded. "Thank you." How she wanted to be back in the cabin already! Do not retreat. It is a show of weakness. Leave with dignity! Leave them wondering!

As before the priestess wondered how it was possible her father and her husband had never gotten along. They were both ultimately practical men with a way of shaping the world to their needs. The memory of their words and advice mingled. Eileena got up, wiped a strand of her naturally white hair out of her face and moved her head slowly, her unseeing eyes wandering over the little congregation. "I take it my apology was accepted." She managed to keep most of the trembling out of her voice. Only then did she turn and traced her heavy steps back to the relative safety of her cabin.
It took a long while before her teeth would stop chattering. Even longer for her mind to grasp what she might just have avoided.

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Re: Light and darkness

#17 Post by Eileena » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:32 pm

Ever since that day they leave me alone.
It is strange to be alone on a ship so full of people.
Perhaps Benny holds something over their head after all.
Or perhaps the captain does.
Maybe I did make a point.
I pray to the gods that I made a point.
I do not wish to contemplate what would have happened otherwise.

The captain has not once asked for my name.
This is a good thing since I am not a good liar.
I am considered an asset, a pet if I were to believe the crew.
No need for a name.
I am the healer.

The sway of the ship is soothing.
The waves sing their songs. Some are kind, others harsh when I have to stay down below.
I like being on deck now that I am no longer hindered. Outside I connect to life.
Inside not so much despite the numerous people that come to be healed.
Am I really healing them?
By now it seems no more than the knitting of flesh, the memory of unencumbered flow.
I can almost hear their Songs, yet time is short and I only get the periphery of their melody.
There would be so much more I could do for them.
If there was more time.
Yet the ship moves again, to the next place, the next appointment.
And the next.
The next.

The Mare sails cleverly between places. I am sure we have frequented the same place more than once. Either that or the harbourmasters shift jobs a lot. I hardly find the same person again once I have set them on their path again.
Save one.
The poor fellow either has the worst luck in the world or someone is out to get him.
Poor hawk.
I will mend your wings again.
I am so sorry I cannot regrow what is lost.
But maybe you will remember to share my song this time.
I apologize for the headache.

I've tried to get my message across through those songs.
There has been no response.
Still too far away to be found by the stars.
Would they still be looking?
How many moons have passed?
Would it be kinder if they believed me gone?
Maybe they already do.

Maybe tomorrow my thoughts will be lighter.
Maybe the stories of new traderoutes are true.
Maybe the old motto still stands and Starlight will explore this territory.

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Re: Light and darkness

#18 Post by Eileena » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:38 pm

As the days pass in a haze of activities I notice a change in the silence.
There is the fierce brightness of the Light. Although I am careful not to loose myself in there anymore since the false gods there is still the pure strand, that melody which can change lives.
Then when night falls it is Elune who's softness eases my mind.

I often wonder if they are not one and the same, two sides of a coin.
A true coin, that is, not one from a certain honest tradesman.
Gods, how I wish he was here.
How I wish I was there.
Loved by the best there is.
Cherished by friends.
Sharing with friends.

There is a third voice, though, mingling, a perfect countervoice to the others. The sea has a voice of her own and it combines both powers mentioned before. I can feel the smoothness and yet the ever vigilance needed to survive a journey with her as a companion. From one moment to the other the mood can change violently, although I believe I am starting to feel the change in the waves before the wind responds.
They must think I am mad, singing to the sea.
Let them think.
Maybe I am mad.
But at least I do not depend on a place of worship far away.
The Song is everywhere.
Even if I am nowhere.

I can still hear their words, the seneschals of Starlight. Women with an important part to play in Nomine's life and in the course of Starlight.
I wonder what part they had in mind for me.
It is no matter.
No matter what choice I would have made, they would have condemned me for it, for each choice would either show me a bad spouse or a shadow of a person.
Each adds something to Nomine's life and the guild he tries to carry on his shoulders.
A shame I grew insecure of my addition, needing their approval so badly.
Even if I never doubted his part in my existance.

I was never just a tool, nor a shadow.
I had a name and my goals, even if they mostly coincided with those of the guildmaster.
Now I have neither.
I have nothing save my ability between myself and becoming obsolete.

I brought this upon myself, to be honest, putting the stone away in order not to get lured back before I had my answers.
So little faith in myself, for what if I had been lured back? Was that not an answer in itself?

I wish I had more time to think.
To sit.
Yet when the day is done all I wish for is sleep.
And when I listen, it is mostly the sea's lullabye sending me on.

A smart woman, this Stormwake. With what little unsupervised time there is spent at sea there is no chance to slip away, lest it be to my death.
And I am not ready to die.
There is hope.
As long as there is life.

I cannot blame my companions for any of this.
For all I know they think I am dead. Did not the man in that first room take my ring away?
I wonder where they sent it.
How they knew where to send it.
If they sent it.

Still no one asks for my name. I had best have one ready for when that moment comes. So far the waves have been kind and I have not fallen ill, but what if I do and I speak the wrong names? Names that might get me or my people in trouble?
I had best practice.
My middle name will do.
Lies are best hidden amidst truths after all. At least I would respond to it without thinking.
Maureen then.
Just in case.
Until I can be Eileena once again.

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Re: Light and darkness

#19 Post by Eileena » Wed Jul 17, 2019 4:47 pm

It had been about two months now that the Salty Mare had been docked in port. It definitely was something more than just taking on new crew and supplies. They were waiting for some reason, however the only ones that knew were Thaalia and her employers.

The mood on the ship was definitely mixed, there was more newer blood on the ship than the experienced sailors. The newer blood were slowly getting more and more antsy, clearly they wanted to set sail. However the more experienced members of the crew did know that Thaalia just didn't do things on a whim, except for perhaps the kidnapping of Eileena.

It didn't help that the youngbloods of the crew often went to the taverns and got plastered most nights, and mingled with the crews of other ships. Mutterings among the youngbloods was definitely that of ill-content.

Thaalia used Eileena's talents to gain favour with her employers and other captains, yet others were definitely envious and saw Eileena as a commodity with covetous eyes.

Thaalia had finally been given her orders and the following morning they were to leave port the following day and sail to Anyport in Drustvar, not to mention she had helped cement an alliance that she had with one of the other ship captains through the use of Eileena's services. She brought onboard more barrels of grog and fresh meat and fish especially for tonight in celebration.
Thaalia had since moved Eileena from the prison-like cabin she had been occupying before, and she had quarters next to hers. Both so that Thaalia could keep a better eye on her, and also to reward Eileena for her hard work.

Thaalia was getting ready for tonight, as not only was it a feast for the crew, but the other captain and some of his crew were also coming over. It was definitely an occasion to celebrate, and go the extra mile. Making sure that Eileena and herself got baths and were scrubbed clean, wearing her best dress uniform while also getting Eileena new robes.

Over the last while Thaalia had grown fond-and protective- of the girl. While Eileena definitely was tougher than most, she still was vulnerable just like Thaalia was. Thaalia had finished putting on her sword belt, tightening it against her thick frame when the door opened and one of her crew came in with two tankards, handing one of them to Eileena.

"We're almos' ready Cap'n, just waitin' for Cap'n Blackmoor to come aboard."

"How's the crew?"

"Some of th' young 'uns are a bit restless."

Thaalia took a drink from the tankard, the liquid burning down her throat. It tasted odd. "You tasted the grog?"

"Oh yeah Cap'n, just a little something for you."

Shit she thought, her vision already swimming as her hand went to her throat. She collapsed to the floor, grasping at her throat, already showing signs of swelling. "You, bastard!"

"I may be, but don' worry Ol' Benny's gonna make sure that th' girl is treated niiiice an' right. Save your breath, ain' no one be coming for ya." Outside the sounds of shouts and swords clashing could be heard.

Eileena was well aware she was being used as a bargaining chip. There was nothing in Thaalia's demeanour which betrayed any other reason for using the healing gifts than profit and advantages. Even the poor guardsman she had helped more than once fitted somewhere in the captain's scheme of advancing in the world. Although that young man would have to miss a hand since she had no druid ways of regrowing, he would at least live and hopefully not make his way back to her cabin yet again.
Unless he brings reinforcements. The white haired woman let out a deep breath. She had taken a risk, singing the extra Song which he might remember to share with the right people.
Or he might not. He seemed sensitive enough, but does he listen to his inner voices or is he one of those that only cares about what the world can see?

The crew remained much of a mystery. After her run-in with their mate the man had been beaten as a punishment. She had had no more troubles in that respect. She'd had no more real contact with anyone after that either.
The captain obviously had her ways, even if the older Benny had not.
Every conversation she had tried to strike up with the man had drowned in generic answers and her time on deck was too short to try for anything deeper. Her energy was low too. Stormwake seemed to know exactly how far to push Eileena's gifts before she needed a rest. There never really was a second meet up with anyone but the hawk guard. The healer kept wondering about that one. What was his part in all of this that he was deemed so important?

Apparently there was cause for celebration today. Eileena smelled her new clothes. The lavender scent brought a smile to her face. Memories of her mother and her dried herbs soothed the loneliness of her life on board. Thaalia treated her well enough, but it was still a prison and she never forgot to remind Eileena of that fact.

Benny handed over the tankards. It would not do to refuse, so she smiled. She'd put it down somewhere when it got more crowded. Already she was moving her focus to her mental shields. She'd need them when people would gather and let go whatever mental restraints they were used to.

Then the world turned upside down.
The captain collapsed.
Benny changed.
Swordfighting outside the cabin.
All assurances of safety fell away.

Gods! Now what!
Instead of putting the tankard down, Eileena followed a routine her husband had taken her through: anything could be used as a weapon! She swung it full force at where she believed Benny to be standing, meanwhile moving her cane back. He had seen her handle it. He knew her moves. How could she ever have believed he would help her when in that first instance of need he certainly had moved slow enough to give her a chance to show him what she could do!
How utterly NAIVE!

As capable as Benny had seen Eileena been, he knew that she had been busy most of the day helping with healing clients with Thaalia, he was more concerned with the captain. He reached down and pulled his dagger out of its sheath after the captain had collapsed and was choking and writhing on the floor.

"Don't worry, Ol' Benny'll make this quick Cap'n, you're not gonna suff-"


The metal rim of the tankard smashed against Benny's temple and he let out a yell as he slumped somewhat sideways from the surprise attack. Benny wheeled around on as he looked toward Eileena, his voice filled with anger.

"You bitch! C'mere you!"

Old Benny reached out towards Eileena, clearly pissed off and surprised from the attack.

Can't worry about two! Have to get him away from the captain! Her instincts coïncided with her ratio as she took a quick few steps back, hoping not to bump into a wall. Disappointed that the tankard had not incapacitated the man she calculated she might have one more shot at this before he'd actually grab her.

Wooden leg. He'll be leaning towards his good leg when he gets up. Heard metal. Dagger in his hand. He won't kill me. Too smart. No time!

If there was room, she'd swing the cane from behind her towards Benny's head, using every muscle she could to lean strength to the blow! If he grabbed her before she could execute her move, about the only thing she could think of was a serious attempt at kneeing him in the groin.

Old Benny was still reaching towards Eileena, his wooden leg clattering against the captain's tankard, sending it clattering across the wooden deck to hit with a soft <thwump> against something, clothing, perhaps the captain.

The captain was still gasping for air, her eyes wide, her hand goes down to her sheath. Old Benny was distracted, yet Eileena may have heard it with her focused hearing, the sound of a clasp being undone and a dagger being slowly drawn while Old Benny was distracted.

Eileena could smell Old Benny's fetid breath as she swung her cane. Old Benny catching the blow on his arm with a grunt, as his voice takes on a mocking tone.

"Really? Ya thinking tha' Old Benny didn't think ya be doing tha' AGH!"

Eileena heard the sickly wet noise of steel stabbing into flesh, the ruffle of cloth clearly sounding as if Old Benny turned towards his attack.

"Shoulda finished ya before...Not gonna make that mistake again."

Pushing the cane away he turned his attention towards the Captain again from the sound of it.

The sound of the dagger into Benny's flesh made a shiver run down Eileena's spine. This was life or death and she was clearly not strong enough or unpredictable enough to counter the big man's actions. Crazy ideas spun through her head, but none would stop him from killing the captain right there and then.

And what if he does?

A fraction of a second.
So tired.
So easy to just let it happen.
To let someone else decide the course.


The captain might keep her locked up, at least she had been civil. There were no such reassurances about the old traitor.


She had to step in to touch him.
She needed the touch.
In order to burn.

The white haired healer mustered all energy she had left. "You, sir, don't want to be doing that." She mirrored his own words back at him, wanting his attention. She needed to be sure of her touch.
Her heart pounded.
Hand shaking.
And gone was the soft light of healing.
Gone the comfort of song as she drew on the other side of the coin.
As soon as she could touch the man, she concentrated, channeling the fire she had called but once before. This was a whole different kind of connection where she forced her energy through one's natural being, one that was going to hurt.
And her.

From within
From the Light

Memories of a man screaming as she burned his mind when she was in mortal peril.
It was justified, for Starlighters were too late on the scene.
But it still hurt
For feeling wrong.

Now the peril was not directly hers
And yet
Starlighters were not remotely close enough to be of any help.
Time to conjure up the ace from her sleeve.

It was not a kind win.

Old Benny wasn't excited, he wasn't pleased, he wasn't crazy. Killing the captain was out of necessity. Now though....He was pissed.
Had the captain just kept to herself, he would have left her to die. Now though, he would enjoy killing her, getting revenge for her stabbing into his good leg.

Old Benny was furious. Using both hands he was bringing his blade down against Thaalia as she tried resisting, already weak from the poison, trying to slide his blade into her heart.

"Ya couldn' be leaving well alone, could ya? Well now ye be havin' my attention."

Thaalia was audibly grunting as she was putting up some resistance towards Old Benny driving down with his dagger. Slowly the struggle was approaching her breast with the blade.

It was in that moment of distraction that Eileena made her move. She managed to place a hand on the old sailor's greasy hair and her seemingly internal thoughts were verbalised coldly.


Old Benny was mid-way turning towards Eileena when holy energy flowed through him but this was no healing spell.
This was the light, in all it's glory....

In all its terror.

Old Benny seemed to stop in place, letting out incomprehensible noises as he screamed, his body writhing as the light filled his being. Scouring it clean with holy energy. The nearby sword fighting stopped as he screamed, his eyes going wide with fear and pain, as pure, unadulterated pain filled his soul and burned him from the inside out.

His eyes rolled back into his head and golden 'smoke' escaped from his eye sockets, his head contorted in an unnatural angle, before slumping and falling to the floor beside the captain. Old Benny had made his final voyage, clearly dead, his expression one of inhumane agony.

Once unleashed it was impossible to reign the fiery light back in until it had run its course. Had the blind woman had more time, she might have used it more subtly, finding the right frequency to resonate with his song to silence it temporarily.

As it was, every second locked in a puzzle she might not be able to figure out was a second closer to the captain’s death and a future prison where the healer’s captor’s short term vision would see her dead or worse in no time.

And so the Light coursed through the old sailor, jubilant in all its splendor while the white woman endured the song of agony that reflected back on her. Even without sight she knew exactly what was happening, Benny’s song twisting and howling while he burned, seemingly for ages.



I am so, so sorry! Her very being rebelled against this course of action, bile rising up in her throat. But there was no time to mourn, to feel guilty, to recuperate: the captain’s song was dwindling next to her, grasping at air.

As soon as the fire burned itself out, Eileena collapsed on the wooden floor. She tried to ease her quick, shallow breathing in order to loose the pounding sensation in her ears. With trembling hands she searched for the fallen captain. There had to be time to help. There had to be some energy left, if only to give Stormwake a fighting chance.

The sudden silence outside registered, but there was no room in her mind to draw conclusions. Her focus had to switch from a forceful, deadly brightness to the gentle guidance of a struggling Song.

“Thank the Light for all its strength
Thank the fire for burning bright
Thank Elune for replenishment
And for her healing light.”

A simple rhyme to get her mind in gear after the devastating action it had taken. As terrible as it was, contemplation and remorse would have to wait, or it had all been for nothing.
Her hands found the captain. She placed her right hand softly on the woman’s ribcage, the other to the side of her throat. Breathing seemed to be the main problem. Ignoring the trembling and the massive headache that was looming, Eileena fell back into what she knew best: the melody of life, the memory of whole.

Diving into the captain’s song she recognized the strands unwinding, the poison adding false notes to twist the song of vibrance and life that should be here, the song of strength and willpower to climb in a society where most looked to men for guidance, the precarious balance between punishment and rewards in this one’ life and the sheer love for the song of the sea.

There! A way in!

Eileena closed her pale eyes, a habit more than anything else, and began to sing.

“The wind in your sails
Favours the Mare
The wind in your lungs

If there was anything this woman lived for, it was the Salty Mare and everything it stood for. The healer intended on drawing the captain’ song towards a melody which embraced life, which would grant her the strength to rewind the strands that kept her here.

“The dance of the waves
The strength of the tides
The tide surges in your blood

Eileena had to work fast. She knew poisons had a way of wreaking havoc along their path and needed Thaalia’s body to remind itself of how it was supposed to support itself. Only this way would she gain the time to undo the damage already done.

“The rhythm of the Mare
As the crew brings her to life
The rhythm of your heart

The white woman aimed to incorporate the beating of Stormwake’s heart into the rhythm of her Song, to take it with her in a dance that would force her heart to keep up a healthy pace.

Only with the captain’s own Song remembering life could Eileena finally get to her healing. She took a deep breath, gathering all resources she still had left and dove in. The world could easily collapse around her without her ever noticing, her entire focus on extracting the false notes and stopping it in its tracks.

As Eileena had touched her fingers to Thaalia's throat, she could tell that the woman's throat was dangerously swollen almost to the point that it was almost entirely closed. The woman's wheezing was short and erratic, her eyes wide with fear, sweat pouring down her face.

Thaalia vision was getting hazy and dark as she her breath was shortening, red lining her vision and spots entered her vision as she grasped as her weakening grip tightened on Eileena's arm, the woman desperate for her to save her.



Everything losing colour as her grip loosened.

Then Light...Blinding, unnatural Light....bathing her in warmth....Comforting....Singing....

Eileena's voice was mostly muted...though some words she made out...

"Breathe. Follow."

Something was in her throat...Felt like she was drowning...

She spat it out, the mucus-like poison, gasping choking as it spilled out from her mouth and she took a huge gasp of air.

"You. Saved me." she said, gasping for air.

There was shouts outside of the door and pounding on the door, from the sounds of it, there seemed to be little in the way of sword-fighting going on, from the sounds of it they were calling for the captain.

"Shhhh!" Eileena shushed the captain, keeping her hands exactly where they were. "Breathe first. Let your body remember." The blind woman knew how treacherous poison could be. She had to make sure before she'd let the captain jump into gear again.

Ignoring the cries from beyond the door she sent her Song of strength through, entwining with the captain's song and filling up the damage that had been done.

"Hush now
Seagull's calling
To guide you through the night

Look now
The moon is calling
To grant you clearer sight

Swift now
Dolphin's calling
To lend you greater speed

Soft now
Fox is calling
When cunning is your need"

Eileena had no idea why she'd sing of a fox to a lady of the sea, but there it was. It wanted to be heard.

"Turn now
The sea is calling
For another dance

Wake now
The Mare is calling
You will take this chance."

Where otherwise she might have sung a request rather than an order, this seemed to be appropriate. The singer never really thought about the words that flowed with the melody. Somehow they were usually the right ones, even if she was not able to pry into someone's private life through her abilities.

Slowly she withdrew her hands.
They fell in her lap.
Pounding in her head.
Pounding on the door.

The world came flooding back to her.
Dark clouds gathering in her head.

"Make sure you drink plenty of water. Dilutes anything left. Somebody open the door already. " She mumbled, leaning back against the first surface she could find, empty now that the immediate threat seemed to have passed.

Funny. I did not know they had horizontal walls. Logic escaped her as the depleted healer crashed against the wooden floor.

Thaalia looked down at Eileena, now that she had recovered her strength, and as she had regained some of her strength, she saw that the smaller woman seemed tired, exhausted, worn out. She could deal with those banging on the door in a moment, leaning down she with surprising gentleness for the big bear of a woman slid an arm behind Eileena's knees, while her other moved to support her back. Thaalia gently set her onto the bed.

"Just rest for now...You've done more than enough..." Thaalia started to walk away before she stopped for a moment. "...and thank you. You could have tried to escape, but you didn't whether survival or something else, I won't forget this."

Thaalia squred her shoulders and straightened her jacket, her hand on her sword hilt as she pulled the bolt back, opening the door, one or two of the veteran sailors falling in at the captain's feet.

"Cap'n you're alright! We couldn' find Ol'-" the sailor stopped as he saw the body of Ol' Benny dead on the deck, his blood staining the deck.

"Old Benny tried to poison me. The traitor got what he deserved." there was an intake of breath as if the other sailors were going to say something before Thaalia continued. "I didn't kill him. Eileena did. I hope you show her all the proper respect she is due. Any incidents involving her WILL be reported to me, or else you will be hung up on the mast to burn in the sun. Smithy and Blythe. You are now Eileena's bodyguards, if anything happens to her it will be on your heads. You will guard the door until I assess what has happened. Well then? The rest of you, get to clearing the deck, we have guests still coming."

The captain walked off to take stock of the situation before she meets with the 'admiral'. After discussing plans, and taking account of their situation, Thaalia would set course them a course to Anyport, Freehold no longer welcoming them due to the incident could bring down the admiralty on the port.

Gods, I did that...I killed him... The knowledge weighed heavily on her already slumbering mind. Pain flashed through her head as Thaalia moved her to the bed. She knew that pain. Memories of false gods and another mental battle vied for attention while the captain talked.

Escaped? I could never escape. Benny would have seen to that. Be grateful I did not let you die. That...I could have done. Her lips would not move. The captain's gratitude, although no doubt sincere, did not sit well with the healer. Two bodyguards would hamper her limited freedom even more. Eileena would be caught on this ship for a long time to come with these new defences in place, while all she longed for was to get her life back.

So, I may just have given up any chance I had. That is just... She could not finish the thought, the last of the adrenalin leaving her body and granting her the comatose respite she had longed for.

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Re: Light and darkness

#20 Post by Eileena » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:57 pm

Or maybe waking
The pounding is still there in the background.

How long has it been?
Two years, maybe three. Autumn scents never lie, but the mind cannot always keep track.

So long.
Songs have gone out and not come back.
There has been no answer from the stars.

How childish to think anyone still would. My beloved will have moved on. I made the choice to leave, after all, even though I did not leave him.
How foolish to still dream of a heroic rescue where a triumphant song hails Starlight, united in their strength.
I made the choice to leave.
How utterly and amazingly stupid.
And yet
There were reasons, even if I cannot imagine them important right now.
It was stupid.
I left.
I got lost.
I lost.

"You are never lost, blackbird." Her father's words. "You may need some time to adjust, but you will find your way. You may follow another path than most, you will find that path. People might not understand, but once you find the ones that do, you will never walk alone."

Most understood.
Some did not.
And still I left.

"Self pity does not suit you. Fine, you might have made a mistake. Sit down. Think. You have more ways than one. If you feel one road has been closed off, own the new path you take." Nathanial loves being a father. He has chosen his path with conviction, a smith of metals as well as words. He lives by his own teachings and expects her to follow suit. In this household there is no room for impossibilities, but he is not afraid of mistakes. In his arms there is plenty of room for trial and error.

I miss them, father.
I miss him so much.
He used to say I kept him sane.
Now I think it might have been the other way around.

I miss you.
But you are right.
Even if they might still be out there
I must accept where I am now
And find a way to make this path my own.

So strange how I cannot ever hear my own Song.
Or I might be able to unravel the discordance within myself.
Gods, my head hurts.

The pounding becomes stronger, drowning out her lucid dreams.

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