RP:Expect Nothing And You Will Never Be Disappointed
Part of the On Stranger Tides Arc
Part of the The God of Undeath Arc
Part of the Dissonance Theory Arc
Part of the Lies Within Us Arc
Summary: After the attack on the Xalious tree a certain redhead bard is having a rather difficult time dealing with it all.
Song: Sweet Nothing - Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch
The Whaler's Bar, Cenril
This night at the Whaler’s was no different than usual. It was karaoke night, the night where people could pretend they were famous bards of the past or present… and yet there was one woman who seemed to have no rhyme or reason. A song of her own? Who does that? Sheesh. The nameless, raven-haired woman handed over hastily scribbled sheet music as she pushed her rose-tinted glasses up her nose. “You can do it right?” The Whaler’s band looked over the music, looked at each other, and then nodded at the woman. What? Of course they can do it. If your instruments aren’t electrified like the Sirens’, are you even a real bard? The woman forced a smile to them as the lights went out and the woman took her place at the microphone.
A steady bass beat started up the song. Boom boom boom boom. As an electrified piano joined in, the bass kept the rhythm, repeating the same notes, only changing slightly in pitch every second time they were played. The stage lights flickered, alternating between various colors, the melody clearly dance music, like the type you’d find in the Temple of Delisha in Larket on a weekend.
♫ You took my heart and you held it in your mouth, and with a word all my love came rushing out. And every whisper, it's the worst, emptied out by a single word… There is a hollow in me now.
So I put my faith in something unknown, I'm living on such sweet nothing. But I'm tired of hope with nothing to hold, I'm living on such sweet nothing.
And it's hard to learn and it's hard to love, when you're giving me such sweet nothing! Sweet nothing, sweet nothing! You're giving me such sweet nothing! ♫
The crowd gathered as the woman sang, her mezzo-soprano voice belting out the words, trying not to let her voice crack. No one would be able to hear it anyway. No one cared. What they did care about is that this singer sounded familiar. Really familiar. But she didn’t look familiar? Well, that didn’t matter. Everyone loved the song so far and joined together on the dance floor with their drinks.
As the song progressed, the woman started to lose concentration. Every now and then as the lights flickered and momentarily settled on her, a flash of red hair could be seen now and then. The glamour was fading. Her mind was elsewhere.
“Look. I’m gonna be honest: this whole thing is making me frakking uncomfortable. It’s happened to me one other time and that girl has long since left Lithrydel. You remind me of me. From not even all that long ago. Maybe that’s why Lionel decided to bring you into the guild. Because he knew me from when I talked like you too.”
Memories echoed in Khitti’s mind of the night Quintessa met with her in Hanging Corpse to report that she had indeed succeeded in her attempt on Lionel’s life. She regretted that bounty now. She regretted that she put it up on the board in Vailkrin. She hated that she gave her a chance.
"Not being in control sucks," Quintessa says finally, agreeing with Khitti's words. "But when we wake up each morning we are presented with a choice. We can linger in our warm sheets as if we were made to stay there, swaddled in ignorance, or we can rise and do the things that only we can do." Quintessa holds her hand close to the stain on Khitti's clothing as she speaks. "Does the honey bee refuse to do the work that only the honey bee can do? Do the birds refuse to sing? The cat refuse to hunt?"
That night in Vigilanti Semper had been difficult for Khitti. Would things be different if she’d called Quintessa her daughter? Would she have had control of the situation then? Would Quintessa have done what she did to those trees?
Tears filled the woman’s eyes as she sang. Her voice quaked and she only sang harder to push past it, to keep going. That’s all she could do right? She had to keep going. Had to press on. It was business as usual in her world; at least once or twice a year someone new would come into her life and disappear in some fashion or another.
“Just be careful with all of this, okay? I won’t always be there to save you, even if I’d like to be. You and I both know there’s so many people out there that can’t be trusted. And I’ve got my own problems to take care of too.” Another sigh escaped from the redhead, as she rubbed her eyes. “Just…” Khitti hesitated, not entirely sure of what to say. “Just try to stay safe…” Quintessa uncorks the bottle and brings it to her lips, nodding her head along as Khitti tells her what little she knows about what's going on. "You're right to be cautious," the young woman says, returning the pint to the table as she sits back again. "But I can't back out of what I've got going on there I-" she stops again, her voice caught in her throat for a moment. "I'll be careful. I promise." Quintessa at least sounds sincere when she makes this promise that she likely can't keep.
People started to notice more and more as they danced that the raven-haired woman wasn’t just some nobody. The facade had vanished and in the woman’s place stood Khitti Herzegler, lead singer of the Sound of Sirens. They were getting a free concert?! But why was she crying? Why was she covered in bandages? It was something they’d worry about when the song was over, of course.
♫ It isn't easy for me to let it go, cause I've swallowed every single word. And every whisper, every sigh, eats away this heart of mine… And there is a hollow in me now. So I put my faith in something unknown, I'm living on such sweet nothing. But I'm tired of hope with nothing to hold, I'm living on such sweet nothing!
And it's hard to learn, and it's hard to love, when you're giving me such sweet nothing! Sweet nothing, sweet nothing! You're giving me such sweet nothing!
And it's not enough to tell me that you care, when we both know the words are empty air! You give me nothing! ♫
As the ground quaked with Quintessa’s magic, the former templar was stirred into action again, realizing that the changeling had left herself open. Khitti shadowstepped her way around the area and resheathed Embershard along the way, doing her best to avoid arrows, but failing in between bouts of teleportation. An arrow found her left shoulder and another in her thigh, while others grazed Khitti’s body here and there tearing through her thin armor. Gevurah assistance, however, allowed Khitti a moment to gather herself before continuing on, aiming to shadowstep right behind Tragedy without further harm from the changeling’s attacks. “This is going to hurt me… more than you can imagine, Quintessa,” Khitti said to the girl as she summoned up Cyris’ strength, a ball of pure light forming in Khitti’s right palm.
Quintessa’s screams were still in Khitti’s mind, just as fresh as if Khitti still stood on that unfortunate battlefield. Her heart ached. Her mind couldn’t keep still. Finish the song damn it. Finish it. Can’t you do anything right?! You couldn’t save her, just like you couldn’t save anyone else. You don’t deserve your family. You don’t deserve their love. You bring nothing but bad luck. Why do you even try? What does Cyris even see in you? Why did any of them bother to bring you back from the dead?
♫ Uoooh, uoooh, uoooh, nothing!
Uoooh, uoooh, uoooh, sweet nothing!
Uoooh, uoooh, uoooh, sweet nothing! ♫
The music stopped. The main lights of the tavern flickered on. The crowd cheered for her, just as they always did at her concerts.
But, at the moment, it meant absolutely frak-all to Khitti.