Following Ruby's crash on Wok, her and Rynnth spend a few days together.
Characters: Ruby, Rynnth
Date of RP: 3-20-2022 to 4-7-2022
Ruby: "You stole me money you wench!" A man yells across the water, pointing at another ship with his sword. Around him, several angry men are all shouting insults and waving their weapons, all directed at one person.
"You should have played better!" Ruby yells back, laughing loudly as her ship pulls forward, the smaller vessel gaining more speed. "I thought you loved me!" Another yells, tears streaming down his face as he takes another drink of something very, very strong. "No, she loved me!" "She played you both, she told me!" A small fight ensues as the shouting continues. "You are all ugly!" The redheaded woman replies, lifting up a large bag of coin and admiring it. "And very, very stupid."
"Hey, that's my wife's dress!" "My sword, my sword is missing!" "You broke my heart." More and more shouts join, growing the crew into an angry (and very depressing) group of men all chasing after the woman on the boat.
Ruby could tell, if she didn't make her next few moves smartly, a fight would ensure. "And I just got this dress..." She said to herself, laughing again and the very bountiful trip she had visiting a town she'd already forgotten the name of. Looking at the map Remora had given her, Ruby saw that there was indeed land ahead but the place was unnamed and not frequently traveled.
"Probably due to those icebergs, nasty little things." Again, she spoke to herself as she rolled up the map. "But shouldn't be an issue," Ruby looks back at the ship trailing behind her, "for me." She had grown up on the sea, then spent most of her life after leaving home travelling and living on the water. Sailing day after day, navigating even the most difficult waters, all became second nature to her. So as the icebergs began to grow more and more dense in front of her, she smiled. The small boat and no issue racing through the ice, faster and faster it went, while the larger boat behind her was soon forced to stop and slowly, the shouts of anger faded into the distance.
Ruby raised her hands and waved goodbye, doing a dance on the side of the ship as she celebrated another successful hunt. In a second (several seconds, maybe even a minute) of cockiness, chaos broke out. Ruby's small boat rammed straight into an iceberg, tearing apart immediately. She was thrown into the water and franticly began grabbing onto what she could. The next thing she knew, the woman was washed up on an island, cold and drenched.
"This... this is not... not quite the plan." Ruby said, shivering as she began gathering what remained of her haul. Her genes kept her alive, a certain magic flowed through them that allowed her to quickly begin regaining heat. With her weapons, a sack of gold, and several other important items, Ruby began looking around the island, sword drawn.
Rynnth: Rynnth stood on the plateau at the center of his island. Raising an island from the depths of the ocean is a difficult task for anyone, including Rynnth. It had taken him months of work, but some semblance of nature had begun to form on the island. The basic ecosystem of grass and bugs now crawled along the displaced stone. This wasn't anything in comparison to the vast controlled agricultural fields that were hidden below, but it was a step nonetheless.
Rynnth look over the side of the plateau, towards the beach of his creation. Someone had stepped foot on his island. The Lydoneians would only come if his premonitions had begun to take shape. Something dark was at Alathra's doorstep. Why does Rynnth even bother, he had enough to do with his own ascension. The vessel holding a man began its decent towards the beach.
As Rynnth approached, the shape became more and more clear, female, with long red hair. Not someone Rynnth had ever grown acquainted to. Rynnth pulled the executioner off his back, remarking that this new body had grown more accustomed to a sword. "I need to have one made," Rynnth muttered to himself before approaching the foreign invader. "Who are you and why are you here?" Rynnth yelled his voice echoing over the crashing waves.
Ruby: Ruby quickly pointed her sword at the approaching man, looking him up and down a few times. He seemed scared, not of her, but of something not seen. Perhaps that's why he was on this island all by himself, why he carried a strong axe with him. She wanted to get a read on him, probe his mind but she waited. Afterall, where would be the fun in that?
"Who are you! And why are you out here, all alone?" She replied, taunting him with a wide smile. She loved this, playing games and this man seemed like someone who had some secrets to divulge.
Rynnth: Rynnth didn't like the game she was playing. He also didn't realize it was a game. Lightning started arcing out of his fingers and up his axe. "I believe i asked the questions first didn't I?"
Ruby: "Oooh you sure have some fancy tricks, don't cha?" She walked around him slowly, keeping her sword light in her hand. "Quite defensive however, if you look around, you'll see my ship in ruins and myself, all alone. No need to be frightened." Ruby did a flourishing curtsy, putting her sword away. "Miss Lorelei, pleased to meet you."
Rynnth: "Rynnth," he said pointedly keeping his axe half raised. "This is my island I'm meant to be here. What brings you here, Lorelei?"
Ruby: "Well, Rynnth, if you care to look," she points behind her at the wreckage of her ship, "I didn't really have a choice." Ruby began squeezing the water out of her dress in an attempt to warm up faster. "You did choose a lovely place to hermit down. However the welcome could use a little work." She walked up to him and crossed her arms across her chest, pulling in her warmth. "I'm stranded on your island and you have yet to offer any assistance." Ruby forces a few shivers, trying to make herself seem smaller and more helpless. Plus, she was hungry and this man had food somewhere.
Rynnth: "This island isn't charted on many maps, and there isn't a single map that show anything past here..." Rynnth's voice began to trail off, hoping that she would explain herself. A hopeless cause as the red haired woman continued to look up at him and smile. Her aura was unnerving. "Alright come with me let's see how I can assist you and get you wherever you actually need to go." Rynnth turned around walking towards the base of the mountain, not looking back to see if his newest annoyance would join. The mountain began to shift, a large doorway opening before him revealing the massive workstations hidden within the island.
Ruby: Ruby happily followed, not answering the question he left unasked. His fault for not being more direct. "How smart, even more tricks!" She was mentally making notes of all the saw, memorizing the layout, the entrance location, where potential traps and hiding places could be. All of it was being documented.
"How long have you been here Rynnth? And are you living alone as I guessed? Or is your life less sad than I thought?" She continued to tease him, keep him on edge as that is where she thrived. What a strange place to call home, quite hidden and secretive.
Rynnth: A rude one. "My work is done here, and I work alone." Rynnth continued further into the mountain, where loads of half finished contraptions surrounded his work table. He grabbed a chair and pulled it out from the table, turned it around a gestured to Lorelei to sit. "Anything else isn't much of your business. Now where were you headed when your ship crashed on my island?"
Ruby: Sitting, she leans back in her chair to continue looking around then, shrugs hearing is question. "I was... visiting some.... friends." Ruby laughed at herself, she was very funny. "Some friends who then challenged me to a race and after I won, I'm afraid my ship couldn't handle the celebration and that's how I ended up here!"
The women pulled out her map, one of the few things she was able to save. She spread it on the table and pointed to where they were, an island midst icebergs on the edge of the map. "I saw your lovely home on my map as I was quickly trying to find land. Very unusual location, as you mentioned earlier." The map was hand drawn, very beautiful, with a Lydoneian diplomat's seal, specifically that of a rose.
Rynnth: Rynnth makes his way to the other end of the table resting the executioner against the side of the table. Visiting some friends, who else is out here. Unless she was at Caelestis. It was strange she carried a Lydoneian map, but Lydoneian ships shouldn't break that easily. Rynnth looked up from the table at the half drenched girl sitting across from him. The tension in his arms relaxed a bit. "So are you from Lydoneian then?"
Ruby: Ruby also began to relax, seeing him finally put down his weapon and loosen up a bit. "I am not however, I have visited before. Very welcoming and fun people to drink with, I should pay them a visit again." She smiles, fondly remembering what she could of her drunken nights spent in Haven, watching people dance.
"This map is from a friend of mine, she gave it to me to help me "find my way" or something emotional like that. I'm guess ending up on strange men's islands isn't quite what she imagined but at least I'm using the gift!" She leaned forward, resting her arms on the table and looking at Rynnth with a sly face. "This is a fun game, my turn. What relations do you have with Lydoneian, since you brought it up."
Rynnth: Rynnth looked down. This was all a game to her wasnt it. His eyes squinted slightly, before he decided to sit in his chair. For some reason Rynnth felt compelled to answer her questions. I mean it was just about Lydoneia no harm in it. "I've been in close relation with the upper Lydoneian leaders for many years now. This island is considered part of Lydoneia. Although..." Rynnth's voice trailed off again. "Lydoneia and I get along as much as we need to."
Ruby: "Perhaps you know my friend then, she is an official there." Ruby tilted her head, continuing to watch his movements. Perhaps this game would yield a worthy reward for her and if not, then at least she got some fun out of it.
"Okay, it's your turn now. Ask me something." The woman rolled the map quickly, trying to hid the seal before he could look too closely. If this man had troubled relations with Lydoneia, perhaps she would have information to trade with her... friend there. Or perhaps knowing who she got the map from would put her in danger. Either way, it was best to keep her cards close to her chest.
Rynnth: A friend, official in Lydoneia. There aren't many of those, Rynnth did know them all assuming she meant the HOR. The HOR didn't like him very much though, unless she was friends with Sayyid it was all a risky game being played. Clearly there was only one question that could be asked. "Who's your friend in Lydoneia then if you offer me the chance to ask?"
Ruby: Ruby smiled. "Good, you're getting the hang of this game." She knew that in order to get him to play, she would have to play too. This was how she lived her life, a constant give and pull of information and secrets. "The Lady Remora, though I did have a grand time with Aurelius once. But Remora gave me this map." It was a dangerous game, for both parties. Two strangers exchanging what could be deadly information. Ruby had a very little understanding of Rynnth's feelings towards Remora and he had no idea if she was telling the truth. It was all just a game.
Rynnth: "Remora... I believe I've met her once," Rynnth said, "very emotionally dependent woman. Not much resolve there either." A small smirk crossed Rynnth's face. How much did he really want to reveal about his relationship with Aurelius. Rynnth fought side by side with the man and the two of them helped usher Lydoneia onto the scale it is now. But last time they saw each other... Rynnth had his old body attacked by the Fury.
"And you had a grand time with Aurelius. Looking at you I assume that grand time wasn't on the battlefield, so what is it exactly that you do?" Rynnth said the inquisitiveness in his voice increasing with each passing word.
Ruby: Ruby returned the smirk, not allowing her face to show that she was offended by the comment on her... friend. Perhaps she had underestimated this man, he seemed to be playing her almost as well as she was playing him. Almost.
"It's my turn to ask a question actually, you'll have to hold off on that." She leaned back into her chair and crossed her legs, getting more comfortable, laughing at his eagerness. "I am glad you're warming up to me though, makes being stranded here less of a drag." "The scar on your face, what's the story on that?"
Rynnth: Its a simple answer isn't it. Opening a can of words as the idiom implies. Rynnth leaned back in his chair creating distance from him and the table. "It's not mine." A simple and short answer.
Ruby: Ah there it is, the secret. Perhaps later she would pry more but for now, it was only fair the continue. She avoided using any of her abilities as again, there is no fun in that. Plus, the bond of trust created naturally was stronger than one forced by magic. Then again....
"Tell me more." Ruby prompted, pushing ever so slightly a thread of magic in her voice. The tiniest bit of persuasion was hopefully enough to entice a man with a story to talk. And if she was wrong, well no sense in ruining her chance at a warm meal later. Years and years of swindling had made a trick like this work flawlessly, even better than the other who used this same magic.
Rynnth: Rynnth began to open his mouth to speak. Then stopped himself. The words then began to spill out ever so slowly. "It's not my body either, simply a vessel I acquired. The scar was an identifying code by the man who built the vessel." Rynnth sat up straighter in his chair. "I believe its my turn now, so what is it exactly that you do?"
Ruby: "A vessel, how interesting, You know, I've always been a fan of using what you need to get what you want and it sounds like you're a smart man in that area." She was lacing her voice more and more with magic, a calming effect to ease the man. But Ruby knew better than to go too hastily.
"I travel, sail around these lands in search of pretty things and then figure out how to make those things mine." With a smile she leaned forward again, closer to him and tilting her head. How would she get this one? This secret. Surely there was more information that she could later use. But this man was also different than most of her targets friends, he was powerful and smart.
"Why did you need a vessel?" A simple question to start, hopefully the door would open even wider and if not, Ruby could sense it would be better for her to back off. She felt that along with... fear? Fear again but the man sitting in front of her was not afraid. Was he?
Rynnth: Rynnth looked over at her. She looks for pretty things and takes them for herself, a curious profession. Rynnth found himself wanting to respond to her question, "A vessel..." Rynnth's voice trailed off as he caught himself. Why was he sharing this with her, was she just charming? Rynnth found himself dumbfounded. He was never good at reading people, but he felt that was a trait that he needed now more desperately than ever before. Why? He didn't sense any ill intentions.
The question itself regardless of who it was, was a difficult question to answer. He knew he needed the vessel, it would help him on his journey. But for most people that didn't seem like justification enough. Rynnth needed to regain control over this situation. "Are we just going to go back in forth in this game you keep playing? Or do you just want to tell me what you need from me? It's clearly not an accident that you ended up here."
Ruby: Stronger than I planned for. Good, this will be more interesting. She wanted to be careful not to reveal too much about herself and this man seemed to be quite knowledgeable. Plus, what Ruby really wanted in this moment was a bed and something warm to eat, or something to eat in general.
"You seem to believe I chose to be here, Rynnth, but seeing as I am stranded I can assure you, this was not intentional. Unless, perhaps the sea willed us together, or there is the hand of fate in our meeting, whatever you want to believe." She stands up and looks down at him. "Do you have a place I could stay? I'd really love to rest up before I have to figure out a way off of this... place." Ruby still was wary of where she was, and what purpose this place was. She would need to do more research tomorrow. "And perhaps some food, if you would. All my rations washed away in my wreck."
Rynnth: Rynnth hunched over slightly at his chair, then looked up at Lorelei. It's not like he really slept much here and could offer any real shelter. And from what it looked like Llull made himself comfortable around a fire pit in the sand. "Alright then Lorelei, I'll give you the opportunity to rest this one evening. We can figure out where you go from here tomorrow. Come with me." Rynnth took Lorelei out through the gate they entered, the mountain closing behind them. He sat down by the fire pit, igniting it with the electricity in his fingers, while Lorelei watched closely. Charred salmon and a fire is all he could offer.
Rynnth: The sun begins its slow ascent, casting its light over Wok. Rynnth scowls at the sun for its discourteous arrival. The man had been awake for hours, watching the glistening stars, as his father had ritualistically ingrained into him at a young age. The new body his mind wore did not show his age. The new body extended his years, but ascension was as elusive as ever. He feared he couldn’t recreate his father’s contraption. But that thought was suppressed to where his waking mind didn’t even consider it.
He held the Executioner for the first time since Haven yesterday, the discomfort it brought him was unnerving. This body’s muscle memory is fighting against me. Rynnth stood up from the edge of the plateau and made his way down to the beach. The vessel had made himself comfortable on Rynnth’s island. The wooden plank Llull had used as a training dummy still stood.
Rynnth approached the dummy raising his axe. His movements were clunky. Rynnth was never good in combat, relying mostly on the element of surprise and underhand advantages. But this was worse, the axe just felt off in his hands. Rynnth swung at the wood his axe making a slight dent into the plank. Sigh Rynnth looked over at the wooden practice swords and walked over to pick one up.
Ruby: Ruby too had been up for hours but spent her time running around the island, getting in her some exercise while also scoping out the area. She didn't know what her next steps were but no matter what, she knew the grumpy man would be a key player in getting her off this island. Well, off this island when she wanted to leave. For now, she was content on her little tropical get away despite the unpleasant company, it was quite and peaceful here. At least, for the most part.
As the woman neared their little camping spot, she overhead the sounds of an axe against wood and chose to investigate. "Be careful, that dummy looks quite dangerous. You might even get a splinter!" Ruby walked around Rynnth, kicking another wooden sword up into her hand and turning to face him. "Shall we?" She asks, flourishing the sword as she bows.
Rynnth: Rynnth looked over at Lorelei, her sword pointed towards him. He scoffed and turned his attention back to the dummy. This visitor really wants attention.
Ruby: She rolls her eyes then runs towards him, smacking the sword clean out of his hands. "Come on Rynnth, a dummy doesn't hit back but I sure will." Ruby kicks his sword to his feet and waits.
Rynnth: Angrily Rynnth picked up the training sword. The difference in how a sword felt in his hand in comparison to his axe was noticeable. His fingers wrapped along the hilt and appreciated how the weight was distributed in the weapon. It felt weird for his mind but the body was in its element. His raised the sword with his right hand and pointed it up at the nuisance, eyeing her next action intently. He looked down at the ground at the displaced sand from months of Llull's training at the very spot. Rynnth's eyes met Lorelei, "then hit back."
Ruby: A smile spreads across her face and her eyes slant, finally some fun. She twirls the sword in her hand a few times, testing the balance of it, before holding tighter with both hands. Ruby circles the man slowly, changing up her pace as to not be predictable, then swings towards his left arm stopping, and spinning around to hit his right arm instead.
Rynnth: Rynnth's eyes trailed Lorelei watching her come towards his right arm. Like two conflicting minds he both tried to raise his sword to parry and to roll under the sword. The result was an awkward move forward into the practice sword. The wooden sword collided with Rynnth's hip as he took a step back. He looked up at Lorelei again, clenching his fists and pressing his feet into the sand. This time I'm ready
Ruby: Ruby laughed a bit, watching him stumble. "Seems you're not used to having to use that mind of yours for fighting." She steps back, holding the sword at her side and crouching just a bit, preparing herself for his move. Defense is where she thrived, her smaller frame meant she was faster, and harder to hit but lack of strength caused her attacks to be less powerful.
Rynnth: It became less a game now to Rynnth, he needed to work with this body. He dug his foot into the sand and kicked it up at ruby charging towards her, ducking under her first swing.
Ruby: Ruby kicks Rynnth squarely in the chest as she stumbles to create distance while she recovers, sand sticking to the sweat of her face and blurring her vision. She blinks several times, wiping her eyes clean with her sleeve as she bounces on the balls of her feet, preparing for her next move. "That's my trick." The woman says with a laugh, impressed in his tactics. "Let's see what else you got." Swinging down hard, Ruby aims directly for his head, holding the sword with one hand.
Rynnth: Rynnth recovers quickly from his stumble to be greeted with the oncoming sword. Instinct took over, the mind gave in to the body. He raised the sword, pulling in Lorelei's. He dropped the sword lower till both hilts locked into each other. He slowly stood back up to his full height. Pressing the hilt forward towards Lorelei, he matched her force. The sun rise had ended, the sky no longer covered in streaks of orange and purple, but instead a clear blue. Rynnth look up at the face across from him trying to read what her eyes were saying.
Ruby: "You fight pretty well Rynnth, but I play dirty." She says with a smirk, looking down to where her other hand holds a metal dagger, pointed right at his groin.
Rynnth: Rynnth followed Lorelei's eyes realizing the predicament. "Well that's unfortunate," Rynnth paused, "so do I." Before Lorelei could react Rynnth sent a surge through his left hand. Electricity released from his palm striking Lorelei in her shoulder, creating distance between the two of them. Now further apart, Rynnth dropped his sword. "So the ship crashed, you couldn't save anything except one dagger. A dagger you so kindly pointed at me," Rynnth asked the red haired girl.
Ruby: Ruby rubs her shoulder, groaning in pain before dropping her sword as well and falling back into the sand, stretching her legs out. "My sister and I have twin daggers, gifts from our mother. I never go anywhere without it." She holds the blade out, showing Rynnth the intricate design. "I saved this, plus a few other treasures. But for the most part, I travel light. Didn't lose too much in the wreck."
Rynnth: Rynnth examines the blade from afar. I should get back to my work. He looks back towards Lorelei in the side and realizes he could take some time to sit as well. A meter apart Rynnth sits in the sand across from Lorelei. "My father never gave me or my brother anything except a dream.... So who is your sister?"
Ruby: "She's like a stranger to me, we used to be close but after an incident, we were separated for many years and now, I'm still trying to learn who she is."
Did she dance around the answer? Perhaps, but the dance was still true. Ruby hardly recognized who her sister had become after their years of separation, and only spent a few months with Remora before leaving again. "What is this about a dream?" Ruby perks up a bit, she can't help but be curious.
While Remora specialized in the realm of nightmares, Ruby was more adapt to the world of dreams. She would often interpret dreams for people, in exchange for lodging and gold, or even to gain more information. Her mental powers allowed her to take down barriers that made dreams confusing, as well as to enter dreams and interact with the beings in them. It was all very fascinating to her.
Rynnth: Rynnth's brother was long dead after all, he wouldn't recognize his sibling either. He almost scowled at the thought of his brother, throwing everything away for some girl. Almost got in the way of their fathers dream. Rynnth's dream.
He leaned back into the sand looking up at the cloudless blue sky, "it's not really the time of day to discussing my goals. The dream will have to wait." Rynnth paused before sitting back up straight, "so do you know where your sister is then?"
Ruby: Ruby made a note to ask him during a different time of day, perhaps the evening, about his dream. "I do." She pulls her knees to her chin, resting her head upon them. "I visit her sometimes, but it's been a while. I've been travelling...." She leans back as well, laying in the sand then looks over at Rynnth. "And you, what of your brother?"
Rynnth: "My brother is dead," Rynnth paused. He'd never spoken about his brother other than a cautionary tale. "He has been for a long time... it was for the best." Rynnth followed her queue and laid back down in the sand. He always hated the blue sky, hiding the stars which he so adored. Looking up though, it didn't look as hideous as he always made it out to be. "Were you on your way to your sister then when you crashed here?"
Ruby: "For the best? You two weren't close then?" Ruby on the other hand, loved the sunlight. She loved the warmth it brought, how her freckles would stand out even more, all of it. The blue reminded her of the oceans where she grew up, the bluest water surrounding the whitest sand. A beautiful memory. "I wasn't, we parted ways a few months ago because I wanted to see more of these lands."
Rynnth: "My brother .... he went down the wrong path. His failure justified his death." Rynnth looked up at the sky. So she wasn't going to her sister, then where was she headed. WOK was at the edge of the known world, unless she knows more than even the best Havenian cartographers. They sat in near silence for a moment only interrupted by the sound of distant waves.
Ruby: Ruby didn't want to push. People mess up, they die, it is what it is. "I have a question." The woman turned onto her side to better look at Rynnth, propping her head up with her arm. "How do you do that-" Ruby wiggles her fingers, "-that shocking thing. With the lightning. Usually I'm all for sparks flying but you have to admit, that was a little forced." She winked, laughing a bit at her own joke.
Rynnth: "Hmmm..." he gave away more of himself than he intended, "it's a perk of this body. I just learned how to use it. Route energy from inside me to out, change it's shape," Rynnth held out his hand, "and boom," electricity arced through his five fingers forming a half circle for an instant.
Ruby: "It's like magic." Ruby watches closely, very curious to learn more about his abilities. "Did you not have this power before? Before you took over this new body?" She reaches over to touch the half circle, shocking herself. "It's amazing."
Rynnth: "Magic," Rynnth's tone grew stale, "magic is for children that have no understanding of the world. Magic is what weak willed individuals who want simple results look to. Magic is only for those who are bluntly put, stupid." Rynnth took a breath, but maintained his stern tone, "this isn't magic, there is a science to it, reason, a study. I have spent great lengths dissecting this body and stitching it back together to understand exactly how it works. So no it's not like magic." Rynnth stood up and turned around back towards the mountain. "Find yourself something to do until we get you a ship off the island," he shouted back to Lorelei leaving her in the sand.
Ruby: Ruby rolled her eyes and got up, dusting herself off. Magic and science, though often conflicting beliefs, were related to her. Both involved studying, training, mastery, lifeforce, power. Perhaps she would have to show him that magic was not something to scoff at, but to be feared and respected, just as he did science. But now was not the time, not when she couldn't escape if things went badly. So until then, Ruby would keep playing the part she had been.
The Final Day
Rynnth: Sun was setting over the Wok, reflecting off the mountain sides. The mountains had continued shaping themselves over the weeks since Rynnth had returned to Wok. Almost like its own ecosystem the greenery had begun to expand to the newly shaped terrain. The ocean floor had provided slates to be crafted. Nobody could explain how this was happening, nor would Rynnth ever explain. The cool breeze travelled from the distant icebergs, rolling across the calm waves, to the sandy beach of Wok. Rynnth sat on the beach, crouched by his fire pit.
Most in his position would’ve apologized to the red-haired stranger, at least by the second day. It had been three days since they last spoke, and it left Rynnth mostly unfazed. The thought of her crept around the corners of his mind now and again, after all he did notice her presence on his island. She spoke of magic without knowing the stories of the Caelestials, how would she have known? However, Rynnth was not brought up this way, the small nagging sorrow within him was forcefully suppressed by his own will.
Dusk began to slowly settle as Rynnth skewered the fish over the fit pit making himself some dinner. He did think about Lorelei likely not having ate the last few days, but only briefly. But there under the light of the stars, Lorelei silhouette was walking in the distance. Rynnth began to motion towards her, stopping himself. After a second of hesitation he instead stood and began the short, yet daunting trek of walking over to the fiery stranger.
Ruby: In her hands was a letter bearing no seal or identifying features. It was written in the language of Ruby's home island, a language now dead to all but two people after the town was wiped off the map by a hurricane many, many years ago. But that was a distance memory, one the woman had only found out after her attempts to get home failed time and time again.
The letter itself contained a plead for help from her sister, Remora. In their upbringing, Ruby found she had an aptitude for interpreting dreams while Remora was able to conjure nightmares. During their lessons, Ruby always was jealous, wishing she had the spooky power like her older sister did but instead, she was stuck with the dreamland. However over time, she grew to appreciate her gifts and used it to swindle help people in exchange for lots of gold nothing.
"Seal the letter with blood....." Ruby reads the last few lines and laughs, shaking her head at the same time. "You always were the dramatic one...." Her stomach rumbled and she rolled her eyes, putting the letter back into her bag and starting again on her task to build a fishing rod. "Where are you now Tal, I knew I should have listened to you...."
She curses, regretting all the times her old town leader tried to teach her the ways of the Dalleton people. Perhaps she should have talked to Rynnth days ago, even just to ask him for a rod. But he was being stubborn so in return, she would be stubborn. He was an interesting man, cold one moment and then.... slightly, almost, warm the next. They had made a connection, however brief, and for a moment, Ruby found herself not hating being stuck here. Of course, that was quickly ruined by his outburst at the mention of magic....
Rynnth: Rynnth approached Lorelei, the crunch of the sand beneath his feet alerting her to his approach. She looked over at him as he got closer, clutching the bag slung over her shoulder. She looked... worried... hungry maybe? Rynnth wouldn't be able to tell. It was strange that he wasn't in control of this situation. What was even stranger is that he didn't feel the need to be in control either. It was a simple balance neither needing the upper hand, but both willing to fight for it if need be.
"You should come eat," Rynnth said hesitantly. His eyes shifted slightly away from her face as to not make eye contact. He waited for a moment then turned around heading back towards the fire.
Ruby: Ruby opened her mouth to say a retort but once again, her stomach began to growl. Putting aside her pride, she followed him in silence. Rynnth was key to her getting off this island and to Remora, so Ruby knew she better suck it up and play nice. Plus, his grumpy demeanor was putting a downer on an otherwise peaceful island vacation.
Rynnth: Rynnth sits down on a stone next to the fire pit and motions for Lorelei to sit on the adjacent rock. He stares ahead pulling the skewered fish and holding it out for Lorelei. The fish is noticeably burnt. Time passes slowly as he waits for her to sit and accept his peace offering
Ruby: The fish smells good to the hungry woman, even though it's burnt. She reaches for it and begins eating, enjoying the feeling of warm food in her stomach. "Thank you Rynnth." Ruby sits on the rock, getting settled seeing that Rynnth is not longer upset. Or, at least as upset. "You'll be happy to hear, I won't be disturbing you for much longer. I've been summoned to help with some.... dream things." She hesitates, not wanting to mention magic in fear of angering him again and she just got comfortable.
Rynnth: "Dream things...? Who summoned you?" Rynnth says eying the girl across from him. Part of him was relieved that this chapter was finally ending.
Ruby: Ignoring his questions, Ruby took a deep breath. She needed his help, obviously, yet asking for it was difficult. "Could I borrow a boat from you?" The woman swallows then looks him in the eyes. "Please?" While she could write Remora and ask for a boat to be sent, by the time all that happened she may be too late to help. Or the letter might not even reach her sister at all. So she needed Rynnth. Or at least needed him to give her a boat.
Rynnth: Rynnth look over at the boats docked near the Wok. Those won't do. They weren't his. He looked back towards the mountain. That will do. "I can offer you a means of transport, but I'll need your help getting it prepared. You think you can manage that?"
Ruby: "That is ominous Rynnth." She laughs then nods. "But yes, I will help you. I need to get to Haven, can this method take us there?"
Rynnth: Haven. Well Rynnth certainly wasn't going to go there. Did he want to give her his ship? Rynnth slanted his head, then stood. "Come with me, we have to prep through the night and can ship you out by morning." Rynnth started towards the west side of the island.
Ruby: Ruby grabbed her bag and followed the man, surprised he was going to help her this much. Perhaps she had misjudged him, perhaps he was a trustworthy person. "I should tell you something, seeing as you're going to do all this to help me. My names not Lorelei, it's Lanora. But everyone calls me Ruby." Perhaps they could become friends. The thought popped into her head and was gone quickly, at least, as quickly as Ruby could push it away. For now.
Rynnth: Rynnth stopped in his tracks slightly and turned to look at the girl following him. She had caught up to him and stopped as well. He eyed her quickly, "Ruby..." Rynnth turned back around and started up the western mountains. The path quickly turned from a gentle uphill to a hike. The greenery had faded and the two were forced to climb rocks. Halfway up the mountain Rynnth stopped at what looked to be a cave in the side of the mountain. Instead was the opening to his project with Aurelius and Lucius a long time prior.
Ruby: "It was a nickname from years ago, my friends gave it to me after my first.... negotiation you could say. The King of a distant land had a golden crown with a ridiculously large ruby on it. The crown itself would sell for enough to feed a small village for months but the ruby, the ruby would have fed a hundred villages!" Ruby continued to climb behind Rynnth, sharing a story as a way to extend her hand in trust to him. Well a second hand, the first being her real name, in hopes of him wanting to open up again to her.
"It was my first time going solo, the last step in my training before I was a full member of the group. One of the first lessons we learn is that a drunk king helps his people more than a sober one....."
Rynnth: "Interesting... I would ask more, but I think we best get started with this," Rynnth said unveiling the airship in front of him. Months of work to create the most advanced form of transport in Lydoneia. And now he was gonna give it to a girl that lied about her name and probably other things.
Ruby: "What... what is this?" Ruby looks around at the vessel in amazement, eyes widen as a smile spreads across her face. It was a sight to behold, something familiar mixed with something new.
"A ship but what is that mechanism for on top?" She points up the mast to what looks to be some sort of balloon. "Does it float?" The woman continues walking around the boat, asking question after question. "Can just the two of us crew?" "You built this by yourself?" "How fast does it go?" "Have you even tested it before?" She then stops herself, seeing Rynnth's face and slows down. "Tell me about this... ship."
Rynnth: "I helped design it a while back with Aurelius and Lucius. It's going to get you to Haven, and we need to get it ready for travel." He looks over at Ruby's beaming face. 83% chance he doesn't see this airship ever again. Especially given what her negotiations sound like. But Rynnth can live with that, a calculated loss.
Ruby: "Get me to Haven...." Ruby walks back to Rynnth. "You're coming with me, right?" Despite their differences, Ruby still found comfort in a travel companion, especially considering the vessel that she would be using.
Rynnth: Rynnth began investigate the airships steering to make sure everything was all in order. Without looking up from his work he said, "I have enough to do without trying to explain to people why they are wrong. Can you hand me that metal rod over there?"
Ruby: "Rynnth, I need you to come with me. I don't know the first thing about this ship, how it works, anything!" She grabs the metal rod and brings it over to him, following as she speaks. "I would crash it. You know I would crash it."
Rynnth: Rynnth shook his head. "It's an airship, you don't maneuver it, there are no obstacles. I put it in a direction, give it enough fuel and it will land in Haven. I've tested it, it basically flies itself." He pushed the metal rod in place on the plane and stood up to go to a nearby table and set up the rest.
Ruby: "Did you say fly?" Ruby runs after him, confused. "I'm flying in that thing? That ship will FLY?" She was filled with a hundred more questions, but kept her mouth shut to let him answer. Surely she had heard him wrong, ships don't fly. Right?
Rynnth: Rynnth rolled his eyes and looked back down at the blue prints making sure that everything on the airship was assembled. "It is an airship, why do you think it's all the way up here instead of by the water." He looked over at Ruby, "do you need anything on the trip, it will take less than half the day?"
Ruby: "You say that like it's common Rynnth. In all my years of travelling, I never have even heard of something like this. It's amazing!" She peeks at the paper on the table and shakes her head in wonder. "I... I don't think I'll need anything." The thought of flying made her uneasy, it seemed wrong and unnatural, yet exciting and new. Her stomach was a mix of emotions. "What if you flew with me there then left right after. That way you get your ship back safely and I don't have to worry about what happens when something breaks."
Rynnth: Rynnth sighed heavily, "we have a few hours till sunrise, you can leave then." Rynnth walked over to the entrance of the cave and sat with his legs hanging off the side of the mountain. He leaned his back against the mouth of the cave and looked up at the stars. "I'll go to Haven eventually and pick it up. Who are you going to see anyways?"
Ruby: Ruby sat down next to him, pulling her legs up to her chest and resting her chin on her knees, looking out across the ocean. "My friend, the one who gave me the map. Her friend is potentially in serious danger and they need my... special skills." She learned, don't say magic around Rynnth just to be safe. "If you worked with Aurelius, why are you so against going to Haven?"
Rynnth: Rynnth looked over at the girl sitting next to him. The light from the cavern reflecting off her hair. Ruby Rynnth thought, a fitting name. He chuckled slightly, "still doesn't tell me who your friend is. A name would be nice. But we all have secrets I guess." Rynnth looked back up towards the stars watching as they slowly continued their dance across the night sky. "Aurelius and I did not get along well last time we spent significant time together. Ended up with his axe in me. He's a driven man, that may be what drew me towards helping Lydoneia. But he faltered with a decision I made. He'll need me soon enough, until then I'll just bide my time and continue with my goals."
Ruby: "You seem like a smart man, driven as well. A little stubborn and rough around the edges, but a good man." She looks up with him at the stars, their light beginning to glow brighter and the sun faded. "Making difficult choices while doing the right thing is hard because many people only see the steps you had to take, not the intention or the goal." Ruby lays down on the cooling stone, using her bag as a pillow to prop her head up. "But hey, maybe I can put in a good word for you? How does "my Savior" sound? Or "the hero who saved me from starvation"? Maybe both?" She laughs at each name and at Rynnth's reactions. Perhaps.....
Rynnth: Rynnth chuckles slightly at the remark. "I don't need to be remembered as a savior or anything. Legacy means nothing to me. I am here to do what I do and move on." It was the path of an aspiring Caelestial. In fact, Rynnth had made his presence and intentions all too well known in Alathra already. "But I do appreciate the concern." She had ruses and gimmicks etched into her like it was the very blood that sustained her being, but that didn't make her a criminal. Within that may still be a caring heart.
Ruby: "Regardless, I have people who care about me there and they will be grateful to know who helped me. I'm not sure if I've properly said it but thank you for you know, helping me out." Ruby looks over at the man next to her. "Even if you don't know how to cook, I still appreciate it. You have a good heart, good intentions." She wished there she could help him. Maybe his mind was troubled, or body in pain, perhaps there was a dream she could dive into, anything. But that would involve magic.
Rynnth: Rynnth sighed lightly and tilted his head back up at the stars, "You know I've come out to see the stars every night for as long as I remember." A beautiful canvas of pearls isolated in the void.
Ruby: "That's something we have in common, finally." She says with a laugh, following his eyes towards the beauty of the sky. "So this body, it's a vessel. What were you like before you.... moved?"
Rynnth: It always goes back to questions with her. Rynnth however felt compelled to answer, "I was the same, the mind doesn't change. Body is obviously better, more durable, younger, and with added benefits. Everything I need to complete my goals and to defend myself from the darkness that lurks in the corners of the common mans mind."
Ruby: "Younger? Does that mean you used to be an old man? Have I been living with a creepy old man all this time?" Ruby teases, laughing at herself yet hoping that he wasn't actually a creepy old mean. "Do you feel tempted often? By the darkness lurking in your mind." She repeats, using a spooky voice and smiling over at him.
Rynnth: "Old of body. My body aged faster through stress. It withered within a few short years. I'd be somewhere in my thirties if I was still in that body," Rynnth slightly eased the tension in his voice at the humor. "But I mean you taken crowns from kings. Surely that means you have a few years under your belt."
Ruby: "A few, a few. I started all of that young, younger than I should have had to. But I had no choice." For a second, she feels sad but that feeling is quickly pushed away, back into the hole from where it came. Ruby shakes her head a bit then smiles again, stretching her hands towards the sky. "But that's life right? We all have our trauma."
Rynnth: "I guess we do," Rynnth said looking over at the first streaks of purple infiltrating the sky.
Ruby: "We will be leaving soon, is there anything I should know about this ship or you before we start on embark on our epic journey to save some random person?" Ruby sits up, stretching her limbs then begins sorting her bag to ensure everything is there.
Rynnth: Rynnth looked off into the distance. The sun was rising slowly. "There's nothing really needed. You'll land in Haven in the early afternoon." Looking back at Ruby Rynnth says, "what's in that bag anyways, you lost almost everything when you got here?"
Ruby: “For the past few months, I’ve been living boat to boat. I have little storehouses all around Alathra as well as a house in Kigia, so I didn’t lose too much.” She laughs a bit, and looks over at Rynnth with a wink. “You’ll have fun digging up the treasures from my latest adventure. Some gold, pretty dresses, things like that.”
“But this bag is what I always have on me, so weapons, important letters, potions, my emergency whisky which by the way, I haven’t drank yet, random stuff like that. Pieces of home I guess.” Ruby lifts out the dagger and shines it in the sun’s faint rays. “Pieces of home….” She says to herself, drifting off a bit.
Rynnth: Rynnth looks over at the redhead as the shades of orange beam across the sky behind her. The dagger is a lot finer than anything he has. Right now his weapon of choice by will of the vessel is a sword, but Rynnth lacks one. He pulls himself up, leaning slightly against the cave wall still. His body coils as he slowly leans forward to grab the dagger from Ruby. There will be protest, he knows this. “Coventina," Rynnth says reading the inscription across the dagger. "Does that mean anything?" He now decided to lift his glance towards Ruby and see her reaction.
Ruby: Protest was the correct assumption as Ruby quickly moves the dagger away from him and over her head. "Of course it means something, I wouldn't carry around a dagger with a random name on it now would I?" She teases, standing up as to create a bit of distance from the man now looking like a greedy goblin.
"This dagger is only priceless to me, I assure you there is more gold at the bottom of your ocean than what this is worth." Ruby flips the dagger in the air a few times before catching it. "It's the only thing I have left of my mother and father, I trust you to keep your hands off of it."
Rynnth: Rynnth steps forward and shocks Ruby in her arm and catches the dagger out of the air. "I mean anything is more important than gold. Something only has value by its use, gold is mostly just shiny," Rynnth said smiling and stepping back further into the cave. He looks over the dagger again and then looks back up at Ruby, "so if you want it back then, we have another 20 minutes at least, try and take it from me."
Ruby: "You...." She grimaces and shakes her arm a few times, not enjoying this game. "You are a terrible person." Ruby stands up, drawing out her sword. "Now give it back, or I will cut off the hand that holds it." She says with a wicked smile, stepping towards him. If she knew how to fly the airship, magic would be used right now. But considering the fact that she still needed Rynnth, it was best not to anger him.
Rynnth: Rynnth realizes the tension he caused. Unfortunately the only mistake is hesitation. But he had to go through with this. "Alright, I see how it is," Rynnth said looking over at the sword. He held out the hilt of the dagger towards Ruby inching closer towards her. He gets closer not breaking his eye contact with her, watching her eyes shift from him to the dagger constantly.
Rynnth gets nearly an inch away, holding Ruby's gaze now towards him. He smiles slightly, "sorry miss, didn't mean to offend you." Ruby grips her hand around the hilt of the dagger. Their eye contact holds for a moment. The edges of the sun can now be seen in the distance behind them, a mixture of orange, purple, and red filling the sky. The red trails match her hair. Rynnth grabs the sword, pulling away from Ruby, "how's this then?"
Ruby: "Slightly better however that," She points the dagger at her sword, now in his hands, "is still mine and I would like it back." Her smile is back however, realizing that Rynnth didn't mean to cause her harm or too much stress. As Rynnth backs up Ruby steps forward, matching his strides to close distance and make it harder for him to use the sword. She teasingly places the dagger up to his neck and tilts her head. "You know what? I didn't hate being stuck on this island with you, despite how infuriating you can be." Ruby teases, reaching down to grab her sword from him.
Rynnth: "You're telling me I rarely entertain guests," Rynnth said pulling his dominant side backwards turning away from both the reach and the dagger, "but alas here we are." Rynnth knocked the Ruby's hand with the dagger to the side with his palm. "You aren't as much of a nuisance I thought you'd be either." Rynnth smiled and stepped back pulling her further into the cave. He lunged forward slashing the sword towards her, trusting her ability to avoid the attack.
Ruby: Ruby does dodge, sidestepping quickly before kicking at his ankles hoping to off balance him. "Aw are you smiling again? Didn't think your stoic face had it in ya to make this many emotions in one day!" She teases, aiming her dagger straight for the hand holding her sword.
Rynnth: Rynnth keeps his feet planted on the stone, absorbing the sly attack at his legs. He dropped his shoulder, intersecting his sword with Ruby's dagger. The difference in weight become apparent quickly as Ruby's dagger hand is force back and Rynnth steps into the opening grabbing Ruby's shoulder with his left hand. "Seems like you're getting a bit overconfident with your influence over me," Rynnth said maintaining his grip.
Ruby: "I wouldn't be so sure." For a second, her amber eyes have a glint of gold light break through then, it's gone. Ruby preferred to not use her magic first, to push her limits and see how far she could go without it. So instead, she quickly jerks her knee upward towards his groin with full force, pushing his hand off of her shoulder and reaching to grab her sword from him.
Rynnth: Rynnth doubles back to the pain from Ruby's relocated knee, looking up from his position to avoid handing over the sword to her. After stepping back a few steps instinctively, Rynnth saw that Ruby wanted solidify her advantage and was moving towards him. He stepped back even further until his backfoot reached the airship. He stood back up to full height and looked at Ruby a little more than a few paces away from him.
Electricity raced up the sword for a split moment, signaling the shift in Rynnth's demeanor. He pressed his back against the airship, allowing him to push off with momentum at Ruby, the sword raised above his head. Just before he got in range of her he dove, sliding past her legs, hitting the back of her knee with the bunt of the sword, pulling her momentarily down to one knee.
Ruby: Ruby falls to her knee then instinctively raises her dagger to block any oncoming attacks. She leaps up from her position and charges at Rynnth, now on the ground from his slide. Ruby lunges forward and downward with her dagger, nicking his ear then crouching over him, repositioning the dagger against his neck once more.
"As fun as this has been, I believe we should be heading out." Behind her, the sun is almost fully risen, casting shadows of their figures against the walls of the cave and the ship.
Rynnth: Rynnth lifts his legs locking them behind Ruby, then pulling them down. Her body turns back with the momentum. In an instant the tables appear turned, Rynnth now hovering over Ruby, the sword placed flat on her shoulder. Ruby maintains her knife to Rynnth's throat. Rynnth eyes her for a moment, then watching the blood from his ear drip down onto the floor next to her. "I guess we should, shouldn't we," Rynnth said getting up slowly, "but just so there isn't any confusion I had you here."
Ruby: "If I didn't need you to get to Haven, perhaps I would have tried harder." She pushes him off of her fully with a laugh then reaches her hand out for her sword. "That was fun, you fight pretty well for someone who spends all his time alone in a workshop doing who knows what."
Rynnth: "I mean the airship's ready, you could have very well left me for dead here," Rynnth paused before handing back the sword, "well if you were able to that is." He looked at Ruby one more time then walked back to the mouth of the cave looking at the sun now completely over the horizon. "It's time for you to go then, lets get you on this airship." Rynnth moved back to the boat making the final adjustments and pushing it forward to the mouth of the cave.
Ruby: "I... did not know that. I'll keep that in mind for later." She shakes her head with a light laugh as she puts her sword and dagger back in their holders along her waist then moves to help him push the ship out of the cave. "You have flown in this thing before, right? I don't want to arrive in Haven how I arrived here and I'm sure a crash from the sky would be much more destructive than from the ocean."
Rynnth: "You'll be fine don't worry," Rynnth said looking down at the holstered weapons. "Don't think you should be carrying those weapons openly in Haven." The airship approached the mouth of the cave and Rynnth slapped the side of it, gesturing for Ruby to get in.
Ruby: "I'll be fine, unlike you, I haven't done anything to upset them." Ruby teases the man once again then climbs aboard the ship. Nerves finally begin to show as she realizes what is about to happen. "You didn't answer my question, you have flown in this thing before right?"
Rynnth: Rynnth smiled, "I am a man of great precaution and preparation. So are you ready to go then?" The sun had now shown its entire surface across the great sky. The stars have been removed completely from the sky and the light blue had once again regained control.
Ruby: Ruby holds onto the railing of the upper deck tightly, her knuckles turning white. Slowly, the ship begins to pull forward and rise into the blue sea of the sky. "This feels unnatural, like I'm a fish out of water." Ruby shouts across the boat to where Rynnth stands, her eyes wide with fear and excitement at the same time.
Rynnth: The Wok returned to its silence. Not complete silence, the silence of normalcy. A silence of multiple sounds. You could hear the winds passing through the mountain ridges. You heard the foliage swaying and if you listened closely you hear the waves crashing on the sand in the distance. The Wok lay still it was silent, an image of its creator. Except one anomaly.
The brown-haired anomaly stood on one of the cliffsides watching in the distance, the sun behind him following his gaze. His face hid from the sun, maintaining it's appreciation of the shadows. It wasn't darkness that was craved, but instead autonomy. The anomaly with now two scars staining his otherwise unblemished face, wasn't normally an anomaly. What stood out on this morning was that his focus was off on the horizon.
For out there was what took the Wok out it's neutral state. On the horizon was an airship designed by today's anomaly, carrying a girl who didn't know of it's existence until just now. The girl with hair matching her name stared off forward, looking towards her next adventure. The Wok was just one of many. But somehow she had garnered the attention of our anomaly for a brief moment, left him waving after the boat.
But that's all it was, a brief moment. Maybe something changed internally, but the Wok had returned to its state of silence. The wind still blew, the grass still grew, and the man would soon be returning to his work. After all there was much to do and even with his new body, he may not be ready for what comes next. It is only a man after all.