Summary: While walking through the cemetery, Kelovath happens upon a dryad, Chisel. They speak, discussing possible solutions for the dryads problem and Dominic throws in a few ideas. Ultimately, Kelovath decides Chisel needs to leave Larket for the safety of its citizens.
Kelovath enjoyed the cemetery. Not the scenery. Not the gravestones. Or even the quiet. What he enjoyed was the peace of it all. The certainty of death itself. Although a sad, depressing certainty, it was something the paladin knew would come for him eventually. Or soon. Whenever Arkhen decided it to be so. When coming to this place, the armored man allowed his mind to be free of worry and cares and simply thought of peace. A life of freedom from all. Now, Kelovath enjoyed the tasks he was sent to accomplish and even those he chose to achieve himself. But, sometimes he wanted to relax. To do nothing. Larket was within a peaceful time, but there was always a job to be done. Thankfully, there wasn’t right now. He had slipped away from the fort was now heading toward the large monument just to the north of his current location. His head was low as armored legs and feet took him farther into the cemetery. His companion, Cobalt, was nowhere to be seen. Probably back at the fort, or stables, doing whatever a weasel does on his free time. Quietly, the paladin spoke to himself. A prayer, of course, for those buried around him.
Chisel watches. It was the only thing she could do. Aside from staring at them, there isn't much she could do right now. Luckily though it is morning so she doesn't have to attack anything this morning. She sat at the base of the tree, trapped with thick vines binding her in place while the dirt around her shows clear marks of struggle. Like a leashed beast trying to crawl its way out. This is actually preferable, she wasn't harming anyone as she can't leave. She might turn into a tree too~ something Dryads always aim for. However she is mostly a parasitic plant right now, she sighs as the dryad stared at the paladin. She has seen him before…and yes he has been praying as well last time. With her whole body binded against the tree by the vines with flowers and leaves upon it and only a fraction of her face is visible.
Kelovath stopped walking and closed his eyes. The prayer continued and soon a smile formed over his lips. The prayer was over, his head lifted and his eyes opened. When they opened, he looked around and looked right at Chisel. Then he looked away, started walking, and stopped after two steps. “Wait…” He whispered, shifting his gaze back to Chisel. Something was there. So, being the curious paladin, Kelovath walked over to the dryad. Her face was what caught his eye. Not familiar, exactly, but definitely odd. The man started to reach out with an armored hand, but couldn’t bring himself to do it. Maybe she was dead? Or close too dead and simply wanted to die here? It could also be possible that she’d want to be left alone. For now, Kelovath knelt down and without touching, or getting too close, examined the strange being with a curious look upon his face.
Chisel blinks as the man actually saw her. Normally she would need to move a vine for anyone to spot her... or if it was evening, the vines will violently lash onto anything to get everyone's attention, she frowned and blinked back at him before numerous vines escapes from the pile. Stacking itself onto each other, like knitting itself to make form. Soon enough the intertwined vines took a shape of a hand, though not perfect it was decent enough, waving at him unsure what to say. "Hi?"
Kelovath blinked several times as the vines began to move. He thought of moving away, but decided against it for the moment. Again, whispered words, “You’re alive?” His head slanted to the side slightly, unsure why he’d even ask such a question. Obviously this thing was alive. It just spoke. The man got into a more comfortable position, sitting now, and kept his gaze on the dryad. “Do you need help?”
Chisel frowns and said, "Ain't that a rude question." She frowns at him, though maybe the man did not see her facial expression as it was hidden underneath all these vines. "Just because trees doesn't talk, it doesn't mean they are not alive..." She blinks and said, "I am not sure if I want to be helped…I'm still contemplating about it. And I think I know who you are... Have I seen you before?"
Kelovath didn’t move from his current position, but he did smile slightly. “I apologize. I didn’t mean to come off as rude. It’s just…” He paused a moment, gathering his thoughts. “I’ve never known a tree to speak. And, as far as I know, we’ve never been properly introduced.” He thought about standing up before introducing himself, but discarded the idea. “I’m Kelovath.” The smile was still there.
Chisel nods, then again, she is too hidden for the man to see, "I am Chisel... a pleasure to meet you." she browses through her mind, trying to remember who this man is. "I met you... in the sewers...” she simply said. Maybe that's why she can't remember perfectly, she was mentally unstable back then. "I am in a bit of a... conundrum Mr. Kelovath, care to help me? Not really sure how would I pay for your answer or resolution but I could try to think of something."
Kelovath didn’t have to think long when the sewers were mentioned. That was an interesting time. Larket wasn’t exactly at a time of peace. The fermin attacks were basically at their peak. And while in the sewers, they had captured a rat. Gave the paladin enough information to figure out what was going on. Not enough to save his friend, unfortunately. “I remember you. You had saved us. Although, I’m not sure you were this…Controlled, during that time.” My, how things have changed. Two very different times within Larket’s history. “What do you need help with, Chisel?”
Chisel sighing quietly. "I can tell you my tale if you wish, but the short version is that I am a corrupted dryad. I died long ago and yet I am here... my body cannot retain its form if I am placed in an area with no sunlight... like a sewer tunnel. I tend to become violent, I do hope that I did not harm you in any way... I merely get glimpses of memories and visions of what happens whenever I turn into... whatever I was back then." she shrugged and used her vine hand to point. "My arm is right there…" it was her wooden, marionette arm sitting quietly at the base of a nearby tree. "Here is the thing…if I lose a part of my body, plant life would start to grow from the empty socket. As you can see right now, I am trapped in place because I have been sitting here for more than a week with my arm missing. I was leashed here... every night I transform into that beast but could not move from this spot." moving her hand in a way to emphasize the claw marks upon the trees and earth around her. "Now... the question would be, should I stay here for the sake of the safety of everyone with the sacrifice of this tree that I am sitting next to while I leech upon it…or should I be freed?"
Kelovath listened to her tale with great interest. He still was unable to see her face, but there was certainly a hint of sadness in her voice. Or he could have been imagining that. A fault of the paladin; always searching for the good in people. Going to get him killed one day, more than likely. His first thought, which he also verbalized, “Have you ever been able to control the frenzied side of yourself?” He thought quietly this time, wondering and picturing the possible ramifications of releasing this dryad from her, somewhat beautiful, prison.
Chisel closed her eyes, she indeed have a hint of sadness in her voice but she had this curse for far too long to feel any pain anymore. "I tried to chained myself or end my life numerous times before if that counts. Thing is the flora always protects me…it is its natural duty." she pondered a bit, "I…in this sane form, can escape from this prison but I choose not to for the greater good. My other form is too... insane and violent to properly control the vines, but will use it to attack people. The possibilities would be, I can stay here for... at least a year... binding myself against this tree as if I sacrificed my own freedom to ensure the gates of hell remains sealed. However I cannot guarantee that the vines will grow further. In a year this tree that I am clinging upon will wither from my leeching. The beast will be freed and she'll have 'quite' a large amount of vines to play with. Another possibility is that the vines will outreach into the forest, possibly leech upon all of them and cause the whole forest to die only to be replaced by infinite number of vines with murderous intent. The vines will have piled on top of me too much at that point, forcing my body into constant darkness and insanity."
Kelovath pondered quietly. It was morning now, the sun having raised into the sky, giving plenty of light through the cemetery. Even in this eerie place, the sun made it beautiful to look at. The paladin did in fact allow his gaze to wander and explore his surroundings. It reminded him of the reason for his numerous visits to this place. The man stood now, turned, and went to pick up the dryad’s arm. During this time, he spoke. “Chisel. You are not dead. And this place…Is for the dead. I’d not wish for anyone to be stuck here.” The severed arm now being lifted to from the ground, the paladin making his way back to the tree that Chisel was leeching from. “You should be free to roam. A danger or not, you have the ability to explore and see the world. I cannot recommend any place specifically for you to go. But, because you are a danger, I am unable to allow you to stay within the borders of Larket. For the safety of the citizens that live here, you must leave.” The sadness was now within his own voice. He hated to say the words, but he had to think of the greater good of Larket. Unless the dryad could control herself, she was a threat. “Unless you have any ideas on how to prevent your…Berserker side from coming out?” He was hoping she knew of a way. The arm was held tightly in both of his hands, the man kneeling down in front of her yet again, waiting for an answer. Almost praying for the answer he wanted.
Dominic wandered, as he was inclined to. He didn’t come this way often, but Larket was best in the early hours, before many people were around. Normally, he might have stopped at the river a ways south, pondered life while sitting on its bank, but... he needed somewhere different, somewhere new to him. He hesitated at the outskirts of the cemetery before pressing forward, hands in pockets, peering at each headstone and the statues and flowers littered among them. Kelovath, when he spied him, was regarded with a halting of his gait and a cant of the head; he was vaguely familiar, but he couldn't place from where. He followed the man’s gaze to the dryad but didn’t approach further or say anything yet, instead choosing to observe for the moment.
Rejection, Denial. Something that she is very used to. She simply smiled at him and said, "For the greater good…I understand." Her voice was laced with sadness and yet acceptance. She nodded at him and accepted the man's judgement. She can stall herself for a year at most but that would not change the fact that eventually she'll become too dangerous. Slowly the vines starts to uncoil off her, "Someone is nearby…" she murmured, the trees around them told her so. Turning her head toward Dominic's direction before returning to Kelovath. "No... Alone, I have no idea... I gave up asking other people for help either as I tend to... accidentally murder them."
Kelovath didn’t want to cause pain. That was never his first objective. Unfortunately for Chisel, Larket came first. The arm belonging to the dryad was about to be given over, when she mentioned that someone else was nearby. Normally, this wouldn’t concern the paladin, but there were dangers lurking in Larket recently, so he needed to be on alert. Remaining in his kneeling position, the man turned his head and waited for whoever was out there to show themselves. Weirdly, at the same time, the conversation between man and plant continued. “The only other option I can think of…Is Artia. She deals with nature and I’d assume others of your kind.” He couldn’t help but smile, looking to the dryad. “I think the situation may be a bit different than what she’s used too. Maybe she can help?” It was a long shot, but at least it was something. His attention turned back to the unknown person(s), hoping for a friendly encounter.
Dominic had never been good at stealthiness. Not that he’d been -particularly- trying. With his presence clear to the others anyway, he took a few more hesitant steps forward, booted feet stepping carefully and giving a wide berth to the tokens and such surrounding many of the headstones between them. He closed most of the gap between them before uttering a quiet, “Sorry, I’ve interrupted.” Emerald eyes scanned Chisel, trying to understand her nature by looking at her. Tyulthk had mentioned dryads before, but he’d never actually seen one. She was one of them…? “She needs help...?” He was definitely intruding, but… maybe, possibly he could be of some use.
Chisel finally stood up as the vines uncoils further and further off her. The last time Kelovath saw her was in the sewers, fighting countless fermin to allow his team to their task. She pretty much hoarded the enemy and used her own body as shield while she kept herself as their vanguard. And yet as she stood up, there were no marks against her form, Even her clothes are rebuilt from plant fibers that was converted into silk, the wounds that she had was replaced with different plant life till it completely healed. Sitting there doing nothing for weeks would be long enough for anyone to recover. "I would need to borrow your sword Mr. Kelovath... or maybe you could do the honors?" she has to sever the vines as of course she can't make them revert in growth. Turning to Dominic and said, "No one can help me... Many tried to show me compassion and end up wounded or dead." Turning to Kelovath. "I think I have already met Ms. Artia... but if she cannot ensure her safety…or yours around me, I don't think I am worth the risk. I am a nobody to you."
Kelovath watched as Dominic came closer. There didn’t appear to be a threat, so he was able to relax some. The man did look familiar, but a more immediate concern was going on. Attention shifting once again to Chisel as she stood, he’d wait until the dryad spoke. The severed arm was still within his grasp, so with his free hand, his sword was pulled from its sheath. Moving into the proper position, the paladin lifted the sword and forcefully brought it down on the vines hanging from behind the dryad. They were cut with ease, the sword meeting the ground after. He stepped back a few paces, eyes dropping to Chisel’s arm. “I suppose you’ll be needing this?” It was offered to her now. “I wish there was a place for you to stay, but unfortunately, you are…Dangerous. And I am unable to figure out a solution to your problem.” Simply because he was there, Kelovath looked at Dominic, gave him a shrug, then returned his gaze to Chisel. “Where will you go?”
Dominic hoped he might have a grasp on the problem, just from the tidbits he’d heard so far. There was a violent side to the dryad, a side she didn’t seem to have control over. He wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with that feeling. “You … hurt people? Without meaning to?” He canted his head at Chisel, fidgeting slightly, the impulse to help and the impulse to not get involved in a stranger’s affairs warring with each other. The former was winning, currently, though the struggle remained. “If you’re not yourself... Maybe there’s somewhere that could use a guard like that. Something that needs protecting, where anyone who’s approaching is undoubtedly a foe anyway.” He shook his head, an apologetic smile flitting from Kelovath to Chisel. “Sorry, I don’t know. I don’t know of anywhere like that. It’s just what came to mind -- you could turn a problem into an asset, like that.”
Chisel braced herself as soon as the sword struck her vines. She can feel pain from it, though she tried her best not to scream in pain as the vines got severed. The heap of plant life falls upon the ground along with the sweet scent of flowers and nectar. She reaches for her arm and realigns it against the socket. The severed vines reaches for the missing limb and reconnects the limb back to her body before pulling it in. Moving her fingers as she verify. She turned to Dominic before she shook her head and said, "No…I don't hurt people... hurt is a bit…gentle of a word. I chase them with an ax at my hand, use vines to bind them and chop them down and drag their innards across the forest simply because I saw them." she stares at him blankly before looking downward. "I'm sorry…I…I don't really know, but I heard stories and reports about my own attacks, I simply assumed the worst." Closing her eyes as she walked about, "I don't know where to go and I obviously do not like the idea of people utilizing my curse for their entertainment or whatever plans they have." She moved her shoulder back and forth before saying. "As I said... it is too dangerous for anyone to guard me. I had one…Odhranos...I left him bleeding in the Sage forest the other week…I hope he is okay."
Kelovath had to do what was best for Larket. And with that thought in mind, he spoke rather sternly to the dryad. Now, what caused his thoughts to return to Larket were the words spoken by Chisel. The way she described how she dealt with people who got too close at the wrong time of day was enough for the paladin to change his attitude. Even more, he had seen what the dryad was capable of doing. The fermin down in the sewer were killed in a violent and brutal manner. Such a thing could not wander around Larket. So, the armored man, with sword still in hand, spoke. “I’m afraid you must leave, Chisel. Larket has gained a time of peace and if you…When you lose control, I will not hesitate to kill you. When you’re within the borders of Larket, you are seen as a possible threat. Something Larket and myself cannot let wander freely. Leave now or the only other option I give you, is to be locked away within Fort Freedom.” As he said Fort Freedom, his sword was lifted slightly, a small motion of his free hand sent toward the east, indicating where the fort stood, like it wasn’t obvious already. “If you chose to be locked away, then Artia may be able to help you, in time. But having you in a known and secure place is the only way you’d be allowed in Larket.”
Dominic just… shrugged, his lips spreading into a grim line. With his one suggestion shot down, there was no further aid he could render -- not as far as he was aware. And he didn’t exactly have much stake in the matter, being neither from Larket nor a particularly frequent visitor, and considering he was largely unfamiliar with the two before him. The conflicting impulses within had begun to shift in favor of the other, in favor of leaving them to their plight. “That seems... difficult,” he murmured toward Chisel, sympathetically. “I don’t think there’s anything I can do here, I’m sorry. I’ll be on my way.” He cast one more curious glance toward Kelovath, still unable to place that familiarity, then pivoted and turned southward again.
Chisel glanced at the Kelovath and smiled…It was not happiness, more like desperation, hopelessness and anger. "Ha! Jokes on you…I can't die. Even if I stop protecting myself and allow you to wail your sword against me, the forest will save me. I tried jumping off a boat and forgot I lack lungs to drown end up being washed up in a shore. Even how deep I was to the desert or a town out of concrete, the forest always finds me, to help and cure me whenever I do something stupid. I was locked in a cage once... the forest grew closer and closer upon the structure and eventually grew vines into the gaps between the walls before causing the whole thing to crumble just for the sake of saving me. I may ask them to stop…but in the evening? I highly doubt it. When I am no longer reached by sunlight, my skin sheds and exposes my wooden form into the very air, causing my body to violently react on the pain. That's when I transform... and that's when the forest comes to my aid." she turns to Dominic and said, "If you really want to help, find someone that can cure me without a couple of hours. Keeping me imprisoned will only cause problems for you all."
Kelovath listened to Chisel, but now with little interest. His mind was made up and her words solidified his thoughts. “Then leave Larket, Chisel. I may not be able to kill you, but there are many other types of prisons and magic out there that could contain you. I do not wish that on you or anyone else, but so long as you remain a danger, you will not be welcomed in Larket.” The paladin sheathed his sword, signaling an end of discussion. “I hope you find peace, Chisel.” Dominic was given a second glance, but nothing more than that. The armored man turned and headed north. Yet another thing added to his list of things to consider. Already, the day had turned out to be interesting. Another prayer was started as he moved toward the large monument. Maybe solace will be found there.