RP:To Console Wrath
After Karasu instigates a fight during one of the Hero of Freedom duels and subsequently faints, Zahrani takes her to the Chapel of Cyris to let her recover, and to investigate the strange marking that plagues the half-feline.
Small Chapel of Cyris
This humble chapel is small and homely as it is neat and tidy. At the end of the room opposite the two door entrance is a small plain stone altar to venerate Cyris, the god of freedom and independence. A small effigy of him stands atop a beaten silver offering bowl. The effigy pictures the tall, handsome elf male holding both hands out, a sword in one and a flower in the other to show that, although he is interested in peace, he is prepared to fight for it. A number of pews face the altar carved from simple pine but made with such care and effort that they seem to be devotions in and of themselves. The locals take good care of their church, and have arranged several floral displays using local yet colorful flowers that brighten the rather drab wooden decor, while keeping it toned down and respectful. There is a pleasant scent of incense hanging in the air from a small censer held aloft above the entrance; this is done to purify any who would enter this pleasant place of worship.
In a small anteroom away from the main chapel, 3 individuals currently dwell. Zahrani, a paladin of Cyris, carefully tends to an unconscious feline woman fast asleep in a simple bed. Karasu had been carefully cleaned up after the brawl at the cemetery, her clothing washed and neatly folded in a chair near the foot of the bed. The panther tending to her checks her heartbeat and her temperature, finding that she seems physically healthy. The third individual is an aged feline woman with black and silver fur and yellow eyes. Her head is covered by a shawl and she wears an old mage's robe. The smell of burning white sage gently permeates the room, contributing to a feeling of calm and homeyness.
Karasu stirs, her consciousness slowly adjusting to the unfamiliar room. The direction of the air flow was all wrong, compared to her dorm room in the Mage's Tower. Her whiskers twitched slightly. Two persons, unmistakably feline. One sat to her left. No, that couldn't possibly be right, her bed faced the wall on her left. Despite her thoughts not being entirely coherent enough to verbalize so, she soon understands that she is not in Xalious. The memories of the brawl slowly come back to her, though it becomes far too hazy after the entrance of the redheaded woman. Hazel eyes open, and shift from Zahrani to the elder. "What happened?" She manages to ask.
Zahrani looks to Karasu as she awakens and asks her question. Roahin stands up and walks over to open a window slightly; the room is getting a little stuffy for her too. The paladin offers a soft smile,v despite the uneasy aura from the spellblade. "You really let loose last night. What do you remember?"
Karasu furrows her brows, her eyes shifting down to stare at the armor placed on the nearby chair. "There were flyers saying I was a worshiper of Vakmatharas, to promote my duel. Then someone else said something, and... I don't remember much else afterwards." She admits. With a huff, she forces herself to sit up, wincing at the bruises from Rinn's daggers. That's right, someone was throwing daggers at her! "I-I didn't hurt anyone, right?" Karasu looks up, suddenly very awake and very alarmed.
Zahrani thinks back to the previous night, her black-furred hand stroking her feline chin, "Well, you did scare a vendor away and set some stuff on fire. The woman you were fighting wasn't hurt." As Karasu rises to a standing position, the panther makes sure the door is shut. The spellblade wasn't naked beneath the covers, fortunately. A priestess just gave her a nightgown style robe to sleep in while she was unconscious. The elder feline calmly walks around the bed to stand next to her, glancing at the back of her and asking, "My dear, could I take a look at the birthmark on the back of your neck?" Roahin would not be offended if Karasu said no.
Karasu feels her face heat up. So it was that, then. Her body slowly lowers back to sit on the edge of the bed, and she grips at her sides, feeling particularly vulnerable without her armor. "I can leave after the tournament ends. I will not disgrace your tribe any further by remaining here." Her tail is still, and her ears stay pointed towards the ground. The spell blade shifts slightly to allow the elder to look. Under the mess of curls, there were two nubs of cartilage sticking out where human ears should be, though there was no entrance for sound to enter through. At the base of her neck is the marking. "Father says it is nothing more than an unfortunate patterning."
Zahrani carefully examines the marking on the back of Karasu's neck, while the matriarch of the Isran Collective sits down next to the spell blade. In response to the small feline's offering to leave, Roahin lowers her shawl so it rests around her shoulders, revealing her own pointed feline ears. Upon closer inspection, there appears to be scarring on one of them. There was not a single trace of disgust or judgment in her shrewd yellow eyes. The Grand-Mother gently pulls Karasu into a one-armed embrace, resting her forehead against the side of the spell-blade's, "No one here is asking you to leave. I would like you to stay. Whatever it is you experience, you will have people here who want to help you, however they can." The paladin nods in agreement, taking a seat across from the two of them, "You are free to go where you want, but our Collective does not banish those who are struggling."
Karasu stiffens at first. She is being... embraced? Tears well up in her eyes, and she has to blink rapidly to keep them from spilling over. "I... hah... I wish the Xalious Tribe had been as kind as you two are." She awkwardly rests her cheek near Roahin's head as she says so.
Roahin is a bit taller than Karasu, so she shifts to rest her chin on top of the spell-blade's head, gently placing a padded pawlike hand on top of the young woman's human hand. "In my experience, superstition and punitive justice never got our people very far. This Xalious Tribe is completely unknown to us." Only in extreme cases, where the offending party simply did not wish to listen or change, would they exile someone from their colony. Zahrani offers a warm smile, before adding, "I could see a lot of conflict within you last night, and I see it every now and again when we're together. You want to do right by other people. Roahin and I would like to help you with whatever it is you're fighting in here," the panther gestures to her own head and heart. "There is no shame in struggling and needing help. But we don't impose our help on others if they don't want it."
Karasu leaves her head there for a few moments, enjoying the silence. "I think it was there before the Xalious' tribe's extinction. Elder Yingsune said that it was 'unmistakably' the Eye of Vakmatharas, even though I can find no mention of it in textbooks. It was a terrible omen, she said, and she was right. Even though the tribe forced my mother to return me to my father, a plague took them in entirety. My father tells me it is only in my head, but there are times when I do feel that I am overwhelmed with anger." She looks up at Roahin, then to Zahrani. "But father is the Provost, you know. Him, and anyone else in the Tower would have been able to see if I was afflicted with a curse. This is just... The way I am."
Zahrani gently places a hand on Karasu's shoulder, the panther offering a warm smile while the Matriarch offers her insight, "We all have fire in our hearts, and it can be affected by the light in our heads. Our state of mind, as many healers put it. I hope our colony can provide a place for you to rest and share your burdens with loved ones." That's just how the Isran Collective is; the downtrodden and the marginalized among the felines are shown love and they're encouraged to grow and thrive. Rani sits on the other side of the small spellblade, offering words of encouragement, "With time and patience, you can learn to channel this inner fire of yours." The way they describe it; to them it is a wild beast to be understood and accepted, not a foreign demon to be exorcised.
Karasu smiles, her anxious soul eased. "Thank you both. I hope I can repay you one day for the kindness you've shown me." Little do any of them know, but the problems caused by the 'birthmark' have only begun. A magical veil lifts ever so slightly on the back of the graduate's neck, and the circular part of the mark opens to reveal an eye, yellowed in sclera, and with a pitch black iris. It observes the room before closing and resuming its disguise.