Part of the What You Leave Behind Arc
Summary: Khitti returns to Cyris' chapel to speak more with Seika, the sprite inside Tenbatsu Kaji. Zahrani finds her there, formally meets Seika, and is given an update on recent events in Khitti's life.
Chapel of Cyris, Larket
It’d been a short while since Khitti’d been here. Days, really. She’d taken a pilgrimage here, with her fiance Brand, and things had not gone the way they’d planned. You couldn’t even tell that there’d been some sort of attack here, however. But, there Khitti was, sitting at one of the pews near the altar, with the holy sprite Seika seated beside her. No one else seemed to notice her however, which was entirely strange considering the five foot nine inch tall being was dressed from head to toe in rose gold half plate and dark reddish brown leathers, with long (literally) flaming red hair that was held back by a simple rose gold circlet. No one else present had the sort of connection with Cyris that most paladins and priests did, or now Khitti for that matter. They chatted quietly with each other, and the few Cyris followers that were here merely assumed that Khitti was either talking to Cyris, or herself.
Zahrani :: The subtle clink of platemail boots can be heard beneath the sounds of soft prayer and conversation amongst the devoted. An androgynous feline, clad in a modest breastplate and reinforced leggings and boots over her regular clothing, enters the chapel, quietly shutting the door behind her and walking down the central aisle. Her tail swishes behind her, an aura of calm surrounding the paladin. A elder cleric meets her in the middle of the chapel, an aged hand coming up to rest on her shoulder. The old one speaks in whispers to Zahrani, before the two of them turn towards Khitti and Seika. The cleric moves to walk past the feline, and she in turn approaches the former necromancer and her companion. A black paw is placed on the pew next to Khitti, and a smile forms on the owner's face. Cyan eyes move towards the holy sprite, the paladin's divine aura brushing against Seika's in a very catlike manner.
Khitti could keenly sense the paladin’s aura now, much more than she ever could before. She wasn’t going to disturb Zahrani now, though, not if she were here to worship and take her leave. But, then there was that paw next to her now, and Khitti’s attention shifted from Seika to the feline, olive-green eyes focusing on the paladin, “Hi, Zahrani.” There was an awkward grin for her, when it was clear the feline could see Seika, “So… Like I said, some things have happened.”
Zahrani would come here whenever she could, either to quietly meditate, pray, or even offer healing and counsel to others who visited. The cleric who had approached her had quietly requested that she attend to Khitti and Seika, so that's what she would do. The feline moves forward, assuming a kneeling position facing the two of them, a neutral-but-curious look on her face as she simply says, "I am listening." She looks from Khitti to Seika, then back again. She isn't one to make any comments about the sprite until they were properly introduced.
Khitti scooted over a bit so that Zahrani could sit if she wished, “This is Seika. She’s the sprite inside Tenbatsu Kaji. I’m sure you know what -that- is already, heh. I just found out the other day she could do this. I guess she wanted me to find out for myself.” This form Seika took for Khitti likely wasn’t their real one. Did they even have a real form? Did they ever do this to any of the other paladins that had wielded the blade? Khitti wasn’t sure, but she assumed it could just depend on the wielder. “There was a fight in Craughmoyle, like the duels that’s been going on in Frostmaw. The sword had been taken care of by the dwarves, I guess and was being given as a prize to the victor of the match. The sword decided otherwise, however.” Seika, having realized that Zahrani could hear her at the meeting in Frostmaw, said calmly, [Neither of them have a true purpose that I could help with. And really, given their races, I’m not sure either of them could’ve wielded the sword, even if they did. The vampire could not, at the very least.]
Zahrani accepts the offer of a seat. She sits next to Khitti, her tail wrapping idly around her as she listens to the woman's story. Her ears turn towards Seika when the sprite explains why they had chosen Khitti. The paladin's smile reforms, "It's so good to finally see you, Seika. It warms my heart that you're with us here, at the sword's place of creation." She offers a warm paw to the sprite, and even though her flesh couldn't be touched by the ethereal being, they could at least touch the paladin's aura running through her hand, if they so chose. "What did the dwarves hope to gain by trying to give away a sword with a will of its own?" Such a decision seems very poorly thought out, in hindsight.
Khitti merely shrugged at Zahrani’s question, “I’m not sure, really. But, the drow matron, Gevurah, wanted it badly. Better the dwarves coveting it like jewels and trying to give it away, then Gevurah doing all manner of bad things with it, I guess. Though, neither one is really preferable.” As Khitti spoke, Seika lightly poked at Zahrani’s aura with her own [It’s lovely to meet you as well, Zahrani.] Khitti smirked at the two of them. “I can’t stay here too long tonight, unfortunately--Brand’s a bit twitchy about the fact that we were attacked here. That guy from the Shadow Plane, Facilier, made an attempt to steal our baby at any cost, but Seika made sure we were fine. Facilier follows Vakmathras and his ego regarding his faith in the god of death has inflated to ridiculous proportions thanks to Kahran.” Khitti seemed no worse for the wear though--maybe just a little tired from the journey? “But, since you’re here, I do want you to know that I think things are coming around and I think I might’ve found my path.” The redhead patted the sword on her lap. “With that in mind though, I do want to warn you… There’s another paladin that goes by the name of Rorin. He means well, but something has happened to him in the months since him and I last spoke. Dark magic has tainted him, though he says he has the the curse under control. He wants to meet with you, perhaps just because you’re a paladin as well? But I would be wary. He’s one of the ones that’s going with us on the mission Lionel gave us.”
Zahrani offers a grin as Seika pokes gently at her. Her aura withdraws, and her eyes return to Khitti, taking in the words that the woman has to offer. The panther's smile returns to that neutral poker-face look upon hearing about Rorin. "He was the one who came with us on our mission to the Ouroburos, yes? He and his wolf companion." She remembers. And he wants to meet her, out of the blue, without even sending a letter. Not only is that rude, using a very pregnant Khitti as a messenger, but it is also concerning. "I am not sure what Arkhen has planned for him, but I will be careful when I meet him again." The paladin looks down at her friend's belly, before asking, "I won't keep you if you intend to leave soon. How is the little one?"
Khitti nodded at the feline’s description of the paladin of Arkhen, “Aye, that’s him. I gave him a warning, that I will do what I need to, to protect my family and friends--and that includes you. But, Lionel trusts him despite his predicament and I can’t really place judgement because I was much like him for a very long time. If he’s meant to find his way again, I’m sure he will.” As if on cue, after Zahrani’s inquiry, the aforementioned child kicked and threw a punch or two at their mother’s insides. “Oof. Quite well. As much of a fighter as its parents, apparently.” Seika snickered at Khitti as the mother-to-be rubbed her stomach carefully, “I think it’s getting close though. Both Brand and I were worried initially, about whether or not we’d be ready for this, but I think we are. I never thought I’d say that about him though--for a long time he was so hesitant about the things he called ‘the domestic whatevers’.” She smirked and shook her head at the thought.
Zahrani seems to almost sense the unborn child's movement, her keen eyes picking up on the sudden bump that appears and disappears. She has never born children herself, but she has helped take care of a few. Cats are largely colonial, and woman of the colonies would act as multiple mothers to the cubs there. With a warm grin at the memories, the feline says, "Well, if you need an extra hand, I am here as well. We feline women know how to protect and provide for cubs, even if we do not bear them. I've found shelter at more than one colony in my travels, and it takes the whole colony to raise us." She shakes her own head at some of her more fond memories, and even some of the sadder memories. Either way, Cyris has guided her on quite a journey, and she is happy to share it with Khitti and others she befriends.
Khitti could barely contain her excited nodding at Zahrani’s offer, “I would certainly be grateful for the help. Brand’s first mate has been a mother several time and she intends to help as well. But, you know how things go. I won’t always have her there to guide me.” Seika gave a wiggle of her fingers to Zahrani before disappearing and Khitti set the sword aside on the pew for now. “I think, when I’m ready, I would like to gather any and all paladins that might show up at a meeting. I know I’m not quite there yet, but with Seika’s help, things are progressing faster in terms of training than it seems like it would for someone that goes about the process to become a paladin normally. Which seems like it’s for the better, considering how dark things have been getting of late.” Hesitantly, she side-eyed Zahrani, crimson brows knitted together, “Do you think that’s a good idea? I really only know of yourself and Rorin--and another, Kelovath, though he’s not been seen in some time, I guess--but even with our differences, I feel like things would be better if we all stuck together. I’m sure there’s others too; I’m perfectly fine with working with those that follow the good gods as well as the neutral.”
Zahrani ponders Khitti's words, a paw reaching up to idly rest against the feline's chin, "A paladin's life is not one that suits many. I rarely cross paths with another, unless I'm seeking out my foster father or I stop at a place of worship." The aged human that took her in still wanders Lithrydel, guarding simple folk from wicked things when he can. Looking back to her friend, she says, "In times like this, meeting would prove beneficial, but I would recommend some place away from any settlements. And send word through trusted channels, so as to avoid unwanted...interlopers." Like their last meeting with Lionel near the training area in Frostmaw. She then asks, without sounding accusatory, "Do you feel like there is something that Lionel's alliance is missing? Do you wish to train as a paladin yourself?"
“I would like to, or at the very least, perhaps become some sort of warrior cleric, I guess. I’ve read that Cyris’ paladins are held to very strict laws and that he is not as forgiving as Arkhen is with them and I’m worried on my ability to become what he wants.” Khitti shrugged a little, “I feel like something -is- missing, yes. I think hope is missing. People fight constantly day in and day out against Kahran and other evils. They give and they give and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel for them. I even had to tell Lionel and Brand as much--it especially shook Lionel to the core when I compared the death a lack of hope can bring to Kahran’s own brand of death and destruction.” Khitti rose from her seat, her attention still on the cat, “I think those that follow the gods, whether neutral or good or whether they’re as devout as one can be or just starting out… I think we need to be that light or else we’ll fail.” She pressed a hand to her stomach, the very same that bore her engagement ring, “I have too many things that I want to live for now and I don’t want to fail.” It was getting late, unfortunately, and Khitti sighed, “We never seem to have enough time to talk, it feels like. It will be awhile before I do this--if I do this--so maybe think it over some more? I would certainly like you there with me. For now, though, I should head back and I’m sure we’ll be seeing one another really soon.”
Zahrani stands up with Khitti, "Cyris is very strict with his paladins. Our potential for exerting power over our fellow mortals necessitates that strictness. Power is not inherently good or evil; it is merely your capacity for changing the world as you see fit. But using that power to control others without their consent, to exert our will without giving any thought to the freedom and independence of those we are sworn to serve...to Cyris, such actions are unholy. Even if the power comes from something perceived as...good." Alas, she would not ramble, for Khitti needed to return home. "But you are right; hope is in desperately short supply." She offers a hug to the woman; the feline gives nice, warm hugs, but she would not impose herself, should Khitti not desire one. "It was nice to speak with you. I will think on what you have said, and I hope to speak more with you later."