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(Created page with "'''Summary''': Brennia ends up getting only slightly lost on her way back to the House of Ara after buying some more healing supplies when she runs into a nic...")
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Latest revision as of 23:09, 15 August 2019

Summary: Brennia ends up getting only slightly lost on her way back to the House of Ara after buying some more healing supplies when she runs into a nice paladin by the name of Zahrani. It is short lived, but with them working right around the corner from the other, I am sure these two will bump into each other again sooner or later.

Paladins Training room

Entering this large hall your ears are greeted by the familiar noises of soldiers training for battle. On the far side of the room trainees of all ages spar with each other inside a large chalk circle, each blow being dealt with smooth staves, retrieved from a rack which bears wooden staves, swords, daggers, and even shields. As your gaze shifts to the western side of the room you notice a pond scattered with stepping stones. Several people sprint across them while others throw rocks, trying to distract the supplicants from their task of crossing the water. Neighboring this station of balance, agility, and concentration is one of a more advanced scale. Stone pillars of different distances of separation stretch to various heights, all of which are far above the ground of this large complex. Sandbags are tied up on opposing sides of the pillar maze. No doubt intended to be released at whoever took the challenge of crossing. Adjacent to your own position, crude stands bear quivers of various types of arrows: adamantine, mithril, steel, and even crystalline. As a seasoned archer draws three of the arrows and takes aim at one of the targets down range, you notice the quivers have been enchanted to never run out of the projectiles. In an out of the way corner, racks of steel weapons line the walls: whether you favor longsword, broadsword, axe, warhammer, flail, or even rapier-- your weapon of choice could be found in this armory. Some of the trainees here are paired with wooden dummies marked with red dots. Patient instructors demonstrate the correct maneuvers needed to strike the appropriate dot, before allowing the students to copy the blows. From east to west, north to south, men and women alike work determinedly. No matter the age, young or old, they all have something to learn here.

Zahrani :: The sound of staves hitting other training weapons and armor, coupled with people breathing heavily, permeates the training room. Zahrani can be seen working on physical conditioning over at the more gymnastics-oriented section of the facility, dressed in form-fitting sleeveless shirt and shorts. The feline is wearing her more elf-like form today, to allow for more endurance-intensive exercises. Black fur accentuates her pointed ears; cyan eyes contrast sharply with dark brown skin. Her tightly-curled hair is carefully braided to stay out of her androgynous face while she trains. The paladin seems to be upside down at the moment, pushing off of two smooth metal rings tied to separate rope anchored in the ceiling. With a focused look, she maintains her inverted position, her tail and legs balancing her perfectly. With a fluid motion, she flips in place, before suspending herself horizontally. After a few seconds, she rotates again, releasing the rings and landing with catlike grace upon her feet. A couple trainees applaud; a couple more have sour looks on their faces, either from jealousy or bigotry, or both.

Brennia is staring down at a list of things and her focus switches from the list to the bag hanging on her arm. The bard is mumbling to herself the items on the list and saying a soft, “check!” at the end when someone ‘shush’d her? A brow arcs up as her solid teal eyes lift to a man shorter than her, but that wasn’t hard to find - the woman is six foot two on flat feet. Today the avian wears her hair up in a high ponytail, Ariana Venti style, so when she follows what the guy was pointing at, the long chestnut tresses sort of sway with the movement. Oh. Then her head is sort of on a swivel when she realizes that she isn’t in the House of Ara… How the heck did she get turned around? The bard makes a mental note that she must find a way to sleep better. Her dark wings softly rustle in uncertainty and she pulls the shopping bag up on her tattooed shoulder while smoothing the large off-the-shoulder sweater that’s the color of sand. Some of the watchers near the avian give the woman a side eye glance as they’ve picked up their favorite scent coming from the woman, but she pays them no mind as she watches the graceful figure in awe. “Wow,” she whispers out and claps along with the others, maybe a bit too enthusiastically and when she gets sideways looks, the tips of her overly long tapered ears feel hot and turn a hue of pink. Most of them are probably just gawking at the woman because - what the heck is an avian doing here? They usually don’t come down from their previous Schezerade! With an awkward sort of bounce on her heels, she turns and attempts to spot the exit. Now the only thing visible to Zahrani would be wings as dark as midnight which reflect hues of navy blues and forest greens whenever the light hits them just right. The woman is obviously out of place. One guy was straight up gawking up at her like she was an angel or something and his face pale as the avian turns her gaze to them to ask in a smoky alto timbre, “excuse me. Where am I?” A warm smile spreads over her lips and pokes dimples on her cheeks in attempts to seem friendly, not an angel though my guy… the man still can’t seem to answer her though. “Um… you good?”

Zahrani rises to her feet, the paladin smelling...lavender, and a bit of sage? Interesting. Her cyan gaze follows the others that stare at Brennia as she briskly departs the training area. She spies the tall woman with beautiful wings in the distance, before immediately jogging off after her. It was like instinct, but the smell and the curiosity of seeing an avian here was enough to get her moving out the door after Brennia. She stops and notices the others around the strange visitor in awe, as if she were some higher being. Upon recognizing Brennia's face from last night's duel in the gardens, the feline offers the avian a warm smile in return. Her eyes, her hair, the tail swishing behind her, and the way she carries herself with catlike grace might come as familiar to the winged lady. Rani stands just 3 inches shorter than Brennia, and the holy warrior stares right at her as she answers, "You're in Gumpel Memorial Hall, in Larket. Where were you originally going?" The feline has a mid-tenor voice, with a faint accent that harkens to the feline colonies of Cenril.

Brennia looks slightly down at the woman in her soft leather boots which adds a couple more inches to her height and the topmost arc of her wings exaggerate the woman’s height. As if in attempts to make herself seem smaller, the bard folds her wings closer to her slim frame which is hidden by that oversized sweater, “thank you, my name is Brennia,” (said Bren-eye-uh with the slight roll of the tongue on the ‘r’) prompting an introduction and a few things are noticed all at once; how the elven looking woman (young man?) is beautifully flexing that complexion, those familiar eyes, fur tipped ears and a tail… “Do I know you from somewhere?” Brennia asks just before the feline could respond and she takes a step nearer while fixing teal hues on the woman’s face. “I was just trying to get back to the House of Ara and I think I just ventured too far,” a short and contagious chuckle with the hint of raspiness follows her own recognition of error. Always quick to pay a compliment where it is due, “you were beautifully graceful up there, by the way.” The avian only ponders on if she is talking to a woman or a young gentleman before deciding that it doesn’t matter in the least.

Zahrani keeps her bright blue eyes fixed upon the avian, taking in her teal eyes, pointed ears, the elegant wings, her lithe frame, and the adorable way she wears that big sweater. The feline notices that something about Brennia’s smell seems to hit all the right notes in her mind and body, the paladin wondering if it’s a type of illusion or other sensory magic. A dark brown hand raises absentmindedly to brush a braid of curly black hair behind her furry elven ears as she listens to the stranger introduce herself. “It’s nice to meet you, Brennia. My name is Zahrani.” (Pronounces zuh-RAH-nee). “Your words are very kind. Thank you.” the panther woman says in regards to the avian’s compliment. At her question of whether or not they had met, Rani offers a soft laugh, doing exactly what Brennia does and takes a step closer. “We have met, though I was wearing a very different face. I saw you at the duel in the Botanical Gardens last night...I was standing on the greenhouse.” A woman who had followed Rani out of the training room seems entranced by both the cat and the avian, before her eyes widen and says, “Wait, that was YOU, dear?” Zahrani grins in response, “It was indeed.” before turning back to Brennia, “So, would you like me to walk with you while you find your way back?”

Brennia takes in Zahrani’s features anew when they tuck a braid behind their ear, appreciating the uniqueness when the avian’s warm smile spreads, “that’s right. The mysterious caped crusader,” She dubs Zahrani, “at least that’s how I referenced it whenever I spotted you.” Another raspy giggle at herself and how childish she sounded just now. “Pleasure to finally meet you, Zahrani,” the name pronounced on her slight Schezerade accent played with the syllables in a pleasant way, like poetry. She flops her thick long hair from the front of the shoulder to the back so the ponytail dangles between the crease of their wings and when she shrugs her tattooed shoulders up with that smile ever present, “I definitely wouldn’t mind the company!” Nearly all of Brennia’s pearly white teeth show in the widening of her bright smile and such grinning pokes dimples in her cheeks. As they begin the small journey to the healer’s House of Ara, “so… Zahrani, what draws you to those duels? Are you a fan of the sport? Supporting a friend? Or a sponsor of some kind?”

Zahrani smiles in response to the avian’s dimpled face. She accompanies Brennia out of the training room and into the main hall, the feline retrieving a large satchel of her belongings from the facility staff and locating the changing area. It’s partitioned off into individual walled rooms that are entered via a curtain. The panther seems content to talk while she changes, stepping behind a curtain and getting out of her form-fitting training clothes. “Well, as for the tournament, I’m mostly there to keep an eye on things and support friends who have entered. As a paladin of Cyris, I do not participate in them myself...” the soft whoosh of cloth hitting the floor is followed by tell-tale sound of armor plating, various clicks and fastening noises coming from behind the curtain. “...since this Hero of Freedom mantle is bound up in Larket’s monarchy. I could round off a dozen reasons why the very idea goes against my code. However...” With a decisive swipe of the changing curtain, the paladin steps out, wearing her familiar sleeveless breastplate, amulet of Cyris, and her legs and feet clad in well-fitted plating. Her hips sway slightly as she approaches, almost as if she were trying to show off, before resuming her usual gait. “...I would also like to hear more about you. What is the House of Ara like?”

House of Ara; Rebuilt

The primary floor of the House of Ara was completely demolished so a newer, larger, and sturdier floorplan could take its place. Upon entering the building through heavy double doors, you will find yourself standing on oceanic-blue marble floors. The walls are white, backlit by mahogany trim. There is a receptionist desk, manned by a small Elvish girl with stark white hair and very pale skin named Mei. She will be able to direct you to the lavish patient rooms that are located up twisting staircase, the kitchens down the North corridor, the surgical facilities to the east or the teaching clinic to the west. The ceilings are high and the acoustics pick up the click-clack of your heels as you make your way to Mei. The Guild Tutor, Mr.Fennigan would be more than happy to serve as your escort, or fetch a wheelchair and a medic should there be cause for one.

Brennia idly plays with a loose thread on her sweater while she waits for the feline to change, “that’s sweet of you. I was at Reginae’s duel to support her, but at the other duels, I just stood by in case anyone needed aid from a healer.” There are a million things she’s got going on, but if she can help those outside of a Schezerade along as within, then maybe people won’t think avians are so bad. “What exactly is a paladin of Cyris?” She isn’t even going to pretend she knew what Zahrani was talking about. Avians aren’t religious beings and don’t take stock in the gods because they fancy themselves to be god-like, but Brennia doesn’t think that way... not after that damn jar. Plus, she is nowhere near divine! “Ugh! Tell me about it,” she replies to the quip about the monarchy. “I wonder if things would be different if Larket became a republic like Schezerade… then again, my home is a mess so - who knows what works,” she did end up losing because of Vermillion’s bribes and things have never been the same. When Zahrani emerged, the avian stood there a few seconds slack jawed before saying exactly what came to mind, “intimidating… in a good way.” A slow grin returning to her full lips, “I suddenly feel much safer taking the short walk to Ara with you.” Another short contagious giggle bubbles up before they head toward the destination, “it’s an organized chaos. People need treated for anything small like a burn or huge, like surgery,” she adjusts her bag on her shoulder, “my favorite is stitching people up. I feel like I’m really good at that,” she stares ahead at nothing in particular, “when I’m assisting an operation or suturing someone closed… I forget how I lost the election a couple years back, I am no longer Dean of the bard’s college, no longer leader of the bard’s guild. I am just one person improving the quality of life for another person,” the poetic way Brennia talks gives away her bardic abilities and in no time they are before Ara. “A lot of times I assist in keeping patients calm or even subdued with bard magic.” Without even thinking, she leads the feline within the House of Ara while asking, “Cyris is a god, right? I apologize if I offend, most avians know nothing of gods,” with a sigh and a slight roll of her eyes, she admits, “most believe we are god-like,” her tone of voice and attitude hints that she does not think like that.

Zahrani offers a grin in return as they make their way into the House of Ara. “So you’re a surgeon, and a bard, but you were a politician before as well.” The panther is genuinely fascinated by Brennia as she talks about her professions. At the question of her own work, the feline places a hand over her amulet, explaining, “A paladin is similar to a knight, but instead of being loyal to a city-state, a paladin’s loyalty usually lies in a deity and the teachings they pass to their followers. Cyris is a God whose teachings exemplify Freedom and Independent Thought.” Some would see that as ironic, a god of freedom? But few denizens of Hollow view freedom, or the gods, through the eyes of a cat. “My loyalty is to anyone who seeks to determine their own futures, but have been prevented from doing so. I can fight, but through my connection to Cyris, I can also heal, ward off hostile magic, and even use Sunfire. It’s a bit like pyromancy, but specialized against undead.” At the mention of avians fancying themselves as gods, Rani grins and says, “So a whole race of people with their heads literally in the clouds.” The panther looks around at the building they had just entered, before turning her cyan eyes back to Brennia, “I am glad that you seem more ‘down to earth.’”

Brennia shakes her head briefly in a bashful manner, “I am in no way -that- good, Zahrani. I assist surgeons in keeping the client asleep through music that is laced with magic. It’s more natural that way,” her wings sort of rustle in her unease before mentioning, “some people can’t handle the sleep aids. Then I help stitch up when the surgeon is done,” just then an older woman walks by while waving to Brennia and mentioning that they will need her help in one hour down the east wing, “speaking of. Hello Edith, you’re looking radiant today!” Brennia offers a warm smile that made the other woman reply in kind before Edith disappeared down the north wing without breaking her stride. “Yes, I advocated to keep Schezerade open and to even unite with the kingdoms, towns and cities below because it's the rich blend of races and ways of life that make up a beautiful tapestry. The opposition sought to close off Schezerade and even ascend like Armantium did,” a shrug causes those wings to rise and fall along with the motion. “If that happened then my college would be cut off from my beautiful and talented students and professors. I felt that I needed to fight for them and I nearly paid for my life more than a handful of times at the hands of the Flewminati… glorified fanatics.” Another subtle twitch of her wings, but they calm as Zahrani explains their title, “I think I like this Cyris.” Brennia’s gaze finds Zahrani’s own when the feline looks back to her, “and I’m glad it seems that way, I think?” The bard has this uncanny ability to make someone feel really listened to by offering her whole attention to them during conversation, “wow. Sunfire? I could’ve used you a while ago when my bodyguard, Thedez, and I were forced to work on a farm run by goblins.” It was such an awful thing she just said… so why is she smiling? Is this woman insane? As if saying the naga’s name summoned him, the silver and blue scaled man slithers around the corner before settling his moonstone gaze on Brennia, then the feline. He mentions, “how can you be so blasé about it?” Brennia’s shoulders shrug up before her response, “I don’t know, Thedez. I just… I’m done dwelling on bullcrap. Anyway, Thedez, Zahrani. Zahrani, Thedez,” the bard says with a motion to each as she introduces and smile.

Zahrani nods in understanding as she takes in the wealth of information provided by Brennia. The panther is slightly astonished that the avian is so eager to share so much about her, even though they had just met. The panther idly folds her arms over her breastplate, shifting her weight from one leg to another absentmindedly while her long black tail swishes behind her. The paladin turns to the elder woman named Edith, offering a warm smile before turning back to the winged bard. She grins sheepishly at the declaration of approval regarding Cyris and her own work. At the mention of a goblin farm, Rani is wondering how Sunfire would help in such a situation, but her thoughts are interrupted by a large scaly being approaching, her cyan gaze resting on Thedez. She listens to their banter, then offers a polite nod to the bodyguard before saying, “Nice to meet you, Thedez.” The feline remembers that Brennia’s services would be needed soon, and she did not wish to get in the way. To Brennia, she says, “If you are needed, I shall not keep you, but I would like to see you again in the future.”

Brennia takes in the feline’s body language, “listen to me go on and on like this. I apologize, I just… uh,” her gaze narrows a little as she tries to choose her words wisely. “I don’t know, I get a trustworthy vibe from you,” she rubs the back of her tattooed neck a little nervously before nodding, “oh you will!” Realizing she sounded a bit creepy or over enthusiastic, she counters, “you know, because Ara is so close to Gumpel Memorial Hall. If I am not in Schezerade trying to clean the place up, then I am helping out here.” She reaches out a hand and places it on Zahrani’s bicep as she says, “feel free to stop by anytime if you need healing or just want to chat and hopefully next time, I will get the pleasure of learning just as much about you as you learned about me today.” Such a genuine sentiment said with a warm smile when her gaze connects to Zahrani before she moves on down the hallway to begin her day.

Zahrani shakes her head with a grin, “No need to apologize. I’m very flattered...” She raises a brow slightly at the ‘oh you will’, the panther then simply nodding along to the continued sentence. A slight blush colors her cheeks as the the avian reaches out and touches her arm, her tail swishing a bit more before responding, “I’ll certainly keep the place in mind.” Before she turns to leave, the panther adds in an inviting tone, “If you want to know more about me, then Cenril is the place to be.” She hadn’t intended for that to rhyme, and she makes an amused chuffing sound. “We should go for skewers at the night market there.” As Brennia leaves, the paladin turns, offering a nod again to Thedez, before departing the building. It’s a very nice evening tonight.

Brennia calls over her shoulder, “it’s a date!” as she quickly made her way down the hall without really thinking about how that might be taken, but she doesn’t worry about that. She made a new friend today and that fills her with excitement.