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Roen

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Everything posted by Roen

  1. Roen

    Remnants

    Roen stared at the Xaela. There was a lot to process, and she wasn’t sure where to begin. “What do you mean by… held?” She didn’t like that term at all, monument or no. But that wasn’t all. She too shook her head, for an entirely different sentiment. “Kasrjin risked his life to bring that keystone back. And… you have no problem letting us us take it?” This was clearly not the norm for the tribe, that much was obvious. The Xaela even said the others of her kind would object. “Exactly what happened to Kasrjin?” Her eyes were narrowed, with both a hint of concern but also confusion. “And why is it that you are willing to help us take something from your tribe, that he claimed would save your people?”
  2. Roen

    The Art of Cigarettes and Fireflies

    "Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. " ― Rob Siltanen Commission: The Misfits By: 7teal7 I wanted to commission a portrait of Nabi and her friends! I thought this came out fantastic. Individual portraits below! While I love the line up, I really like the details in each close up. Ghoa Mankhad: The Seducer Anchor Saltborn: The Confederate Nabi Kharlu: The Healer Akhutai Khatayin: The Grump Shael Stormchild: The Smuggler
  3. I've always wanted to share with people here all the art that have been created for the characters in the story thread Cigarettes and Fireflies. So I will post them here as I obtain the permission from the various artists to repost them! They are all lovely and some of them from specific points in the story. I can't wait to share them all! Also the respective artists and where to find them will be posted under each piece. I invite others (I am looking at you Anchor/Ruen and Ghoa) to post any art if you'd like too since I know you have some really great ones! You are totally welcomed to do so! It was just after nightfall, when the tall blades of grass swayed and rippled like the sea across the plains of the Azim Steppe. At first, when the lights appeared all around her, she thought that the moon itself had dusted the fields. But when she blinked her tears away, she saw the countless fireflies rising up from the waves of the meadows and quickly her sniffles gave way to a sigh of wonder. The first commission: Nabi Amongst the Fireflies Artist: Sangrde @ https://www.deviantart.com/sangrde
  4. Roen

    Remnants

    Roen was watching her carefully as well, and as the Xaela’s demeanor shifted ever so slightly, she wondered if this woman knew Kasrjin. Knowing as much, or little, as she did of the Tsenkhai, Roen knew them to be careful, calculating, and powerful. It would be foolish to trust this woman, she needed to keep in mind that everything that the Xaela had said so far, was likely for her own benefit and not theirs. They were strangers after all, and foreigners to boot. Still, those small changes in the woman's countenance, it told Roen enough. “Kasrjin,” she said quietly, grey eyes intently meeting the gaze within those limbal rings. “He was a determined man, driven, focused, but… also bluntly honest. And… good.” Her own expression started to soften as she reflected on her time with the Khadai. “He helped me, and I him. I aided him in retrieving what he needed to return to his people.” Roen studied the Xaela as she continued, but she had not forgotten about Ashur. She knew that as the conversation went on, it was inevitable that more details would be shared, those that he would likely be keenly interested in, that she had purposefully not spoke of. But she too was getting tired of the run around and the insinuations. If she and Ashur hoped to help his mother, learn of the keystone, and also warn Kasrjin’s people, all the cards had to be laid out for everyone to see.
  5. Roen

    Remnants

    Roen noticed the pause as well. She didn’t know this Xaela at all, and she was infuriatingly self-possessed, to the point of arrogance. Which meant that she felt no threat in this situation and she was used to controlling the circumstances and events around her. As Roen recalled the various details that Kasrjin shared about the Tsenkhai, she was not surprised. And it made her all that more suspicious and wary. But this Xaela was the only point of contact they had so far. She was their only link. If what she said of the rest of her tribe was true, there would be none of Kasrjin’s people found at the Reunion. They had no choice but to deal with this woman, if what she claimed to be was true. But there were also her peculiar choices in words. Why did she phrase things as she did? As if Kasrjin would be forced into captivity? Not allowed to leave? “You are right. I know not of your people. Only what I learned in the short time that I traveled with the Khadai of whom I speak. But I hope what you are implying is false. That he would be kept locked away for his own safety. He has a will of his own. He risked his life to fulfill what he was sent out to do, to save his people. That deserves recognition, but also freedom so that he could make more choices for himself. He chose to return back home for the good of all.” Roen paused, before she accidentally shared anything out loud about the betrayal. That was his secret, not hers. But her frown remained. “But he hoped that should I seek out his people at the Reunion, that someday we may meet again. He did not return home to be sequestered away from the rest of the world.” Roen watched her closely as she continued. “I know some things of your ways, and that the Tsenkhai decides what is best for all. Would you have decided the same for him then?”
  6. Twenty-five years ago… The battle was over. Dark red blood dripped from the end of his greatsword as the booming horn sounded in the distance. Chagur Jhungid stared at the Xaela that lay writhing on the ground before him, his hand grasping the shoulder where his arm had been severed. Lifeblood spurted angrily from where it should have been, and Chagur knew the fighter was not long for this world. He had decided at the last minute to relieve the Kharlu warrior of his sword rather than his head, but it had only really bought his opponent a few more breaths to gaze upon his killer, as death’s oblivion came for him. A pity that it had been only seconds later that the battle was declared won. Chagur did not yet know which side was victorious, only that the time for fighting was over. Had he faced this adversary in the middle of the field, perhaps then a healer could reach him in time to save his life. But they were partly separated by large boulders jutting upwards from the ground, where the warrior had retreated to seek higher advantage against Chagur. It would be to no avail. Neither the Jhungid nor the Kharlu believed as the Dotharl did, that they would return once more to this world in another body. The life lost on the battlefield would be their final end. It would be their ultimate sacrifice for the glory of their people. It used to fuel his blood, the impending peril as he faced his enemies, year after year. But as Chagur looked around the battlefield, the bloodied bodies that were littering the landscape no longer represented a scene of a glorious courage. As the cries of feral brutality and agony still echoed through the air, he knew that it would soon be followed by sounds of wailing mothers and lovers, as they came to claim those they have lost. The tip of the greatsword lowered to the ground, as the fallen Kharlu warrior drew his last breath, and his movements stopped. A large crimson pool surrounded his body, as it slowly seeped into the soil that would wear the stain for many suns. “May the Mother guide you beyond this life,” Chagur prayed quietly. It was then that a searing pain ripped through his gut, robbing him of his breath. Only upon seeing the speartip protruding out from his stomach, did he realize too late that he had lowered his guard. The battle had been declared over, although never before had he been foolish enough to assume that the rest abided by it as he did. Many eager young warriors often sought out one last strike against their embittered enemy. Chagur spun around at the same time the spear withdrew, one hand reflexively going to the wound to slow the bleeding there. It was not a fatal wound yet, and he would only need to defend himself for a little longer, before his tribe’s healers would be able to spot him. All he needed was to strike down the spear wielder. But when he looked upon his adversary, something made him pause. It was a vision, for surely it was not possible to see the face that flashed before him now, here, on the battlefield. In a blink of an eye the ghostly visage of a woman faded, leaving that of a fearsome male Xaela instead. Chagur's arm lost but a second with his hesitation, his greatsword falling short of a strike that would have cut across his enemy’s chest. The massive Kharlu warrior leaped back out of reach in that half-heartbeat of a moment, then lunged again with his weapon. And this time, the spear found its mark. Chagur saw his own blood spray out of his mouth as he fell to his knees, then fell back, limbs heavy, onto the dirt. He felt his own lifeblood leave his body in great pulsing gouts, as his killer stepped forward to loom over him. Once more the vision returned even as darkness fell. There were the golden eyes that were so familiar and comforting. As his last breath left him, Chagur could imagine in the distance, her cries of sorrow. He prayed to the Mother to watch over her even as death’s oblivion took him. Years later… “You dare walk out on me, Chanai?” Tugan’s voice was booming, and it shook Chanai to the bone. She was convinced that his rage echoed well beyond his yurt, although none dared to enter the abode for the fear of his wrath. Chanai forced her back to straighten as she turned toward him, her golden eyes rising to meet that of her brother’s. While their pale yet warmly-hued gaze made them easily recognizable as kin by blood, that is where their similarities ended. Chanai was a slight figure with black hair and slender horns slicked backwards, whereas Tugan was one of the tallest of the males, with thick onyx horns that jutted forward. His frame was that of a chiseled warrior, and he wore his battle garment with strength befitting his formidable size. Where she mended wounds and soothed pain, he excelled in the martial arts, relishing especially in killing and violence. He was a highly valued member of the Kharlu for his battle prowess, as anything that gave the tribe advantage over their nemesis, the Jhungid, was given much reverence. None dared cross Tugan Kharlu, especially those of his blood. So when he came upon his sister’s carefully packed stash of supplies, containing cured meats, jars of preserved fruits and dried herbs, he had confirmation that his long held suspicion was true. That his sister had planned to leave the tribe that had been their home for all their lives. And Chanai could see that he could barely contain his anger, and not strike her where she stood. Even when she did not deny his accusation. “I cannot abide by our ways any longer, brother,” she said quietly. She was surprised when she heard her own voice, calm and steady. She had to do this, for her child. “I cannot stay here.” Tugan's nostrils were flared and his lips downturned with loathing. The flickering flames within the tent threw fearsome shadows upon his visage; but his pale eyes remained lit within his dark silhouette and pierced her through like a spear. “You never had the heart for our way of life. You were born a whimpering whelp. If it was not for me, you would have been relegated to caring for the newest captives, as their wet nurse.” He spat on the ground. “Instead you are a respected curer amongst the tribe. And this is not good enough for you?” Chanai clenched her fist at her side, her chin tilting upward. “You had nothing to do with the work I’ve done. You have never worked to preserve a life nor heal what was broken. All you aspire to do is soak the land in blood in the name of Kharlu.” And bask in the glory, she wanted to add. The tribe had their own ideals on why they continued to fight their nemesis, why the yearly war was necessary. But she knew better of her brother. It was a means to quench his thirst for what he enjoyed the most: seeing his enemies fall at his feet. She would not have her child grow up under such influence; Nabi would not take part in the Kharlu’s warring way of life. Her daughter would not know the depths of the sorrow for a love lost. A hiss of breath through his gritted teeth warned Chanai that her brother’s temper was nearly at its peak. She could feel her heart pounding against her chest, but she dared not move. She wanted to take flight, like a rabbit who had just caught a wolf’s scent upwind. But she knew if she were to flee now, her brother would draw his weapon and cut her down. The silence that fell between them was nearly suffocating. He took a step toward her, standing three fulms above her head. His fingers opened and closed, hovering next to the short sword that hung by his belt. “Go,” rose a rumble from Tugan’s chest. His fingers had stopped moving. “Leave my sight and never return.” Disgust ran thick in his voice. “I will no longer see you as my blood. You will be a traitor. A deserter.” A stuttered breath left Chanai’s lips, and the woman had to hold herself from collapsing to the ground in relief. She took a slow step back, then another, from the menacing frame that was her brother. She had to be sure he would not change her mind and unsheath his blade when her back was turned. When he remained still as stone, she gave him a bow. “My thanks to you, brother. You will never see me again.” She turned, ready to flee the tent as fast as her feet would take her. “On one condition.” Tugan’s voice cut through the heavy night air. “Leave the child.” That froze Chanai in an instant. The hand that was reaching for the entrance dropped to her side, and the woman turned, new fire in her eyes. “Nabi is my daughter.” “She belongs to the Kharlu. Even if she carries the tainted blood of her sire.” Tugan’s hand was now resting on the hilt of his sword, his expression twisting into one of triumph. Even in this, he would claim his spoils. Chanai was caught speechless at the revelation that his brother had known about Nabi’s father. It was a secret she had never dared to share with anyone. “And you still let me live? All these years?” Chanai whispered hoarsely, seeing her brother in a new light. She had never suspected such familial loyalty. Tugan sneered, his grin gleaming and frightening as it split a white fissure across his dark face. “Half of her carries their blood, and yet she is of Kharlu. She is mine. You tell me, who is the victor?” Of course. Chanai quickly chided herself for suspecting any pity from her brother. It is not about loyalty. It is about power. It always has been. She felt all of her muscles tense, and the Xaela stood there rigid as her thoughts whirled with turmoil and grim determination. She lowered her head, her hands clasping in front of her. “If I leave her, you would let me go? You will not hunt me down?” Tugan nodded once but firmly. “I will grant you this one mercy. Dusk Mother would weep should I would raise blade against my own kin so easily. But your cowardice will not make two deserters of our blood. Carry your own sins with you into the wind. I will see that she bears none of your crime.” Some of his wrath had faded, his voice now only rumbled like distant thunder. “And you swear, you will take good care of her?” Chanai felt herself tremble again, as did her voice. “I swear by the Mother.” Chanai clenched her fists so tightly by her side that she nearly drew blood. She bowed again, deeply from her waist. “Be the father to her that she never had, Tugan. Farewell.” She stifled a sob and spun around, running out of his yurt. Her brother did not stop her. She sprinted to her tent, paying no heed to anyone else staring at her. Loud rebukes coming from her brother’s yurt were not unusual, as was the scene of his sister retreating from it in tears. Others would let her be, and would allow solitary meditation for at least the rest of the night. The fabric to the tent’s entrance was thrown open as she rushed in. She immediately went to all of the little packets that she had been hiding away in different places within her yurt. He had found the largest collection but not all of them. Not the small mementos like a carefully woven bracelet of gold and silver threads, and not the spare clothes that only a child could wear. Chanai had never explicitly lied to her brother before. She knew he believed her; that she would leave Nabi behind. But he knew nothing of true love. Else he would know that her life mattered not if she could not save that of her daughter. Chanai would leave the Kharlu that night. With her young sleeping daughter in tow. Even if it meant a death sentence upon her head for the rest of her life.
  7. Roen

    Remnants

    Roen eyed the movements of both Ashur and the Xaela, holding out her palms towards both of them to calm the situation. “I assure you, conflict with anyone from your tribe is not what we seek." She gave Ashur a pointed look first, before turning to fully face the Xaela. “We are not here to rob anyone. And… if it is as you say and the Aljai will be not visiting the Reunion in the near future… then you are the best chance we have.” Roen was not hesitant to admit things as they were. “And I had asked about my friend because…” Her voice quieted, her brows pulled with concern. “I was worried for him. That is all. His time in Ishgard was not necessarily without danger.” She pressed her lips for a moment in thought, wondering if she should continue. But she had already decided to trust Ashur enough to accompany him, and now she needed to at least earn the same from this Xaela as well, if they hoped to gain her aid in any of this. “You may not know all the Khadai, but surely you must know of the one that was once Tsenkhai.” She was gambling that such a thing was not a common occurrence within his people. “He was sent west to retrieve an item that would save his people. Surely, you must know of this particular Khadai.”
  8. Roen

    Remnants

    Tsenkhai. That singular word alone made Roen freeze, her eyes widening with surprise. “I was Tsenkhai, once. Capable of interpreting the Correspondence.” Even now, Kasrjin’s voice returned to her easily. And so did other stories that he had told her over time of his people. And recalling them, it drew forth a wary frown that darkened her countenance. “You…” Roen looked to the Xaela incredulously. “You are a Tsenkhai?” Her crossed arms uncurled and fell limp by her side. “You are of his tribe?” She couldn’t believe it. His people resided in the north, near the glaciers. What was she doing this far south? Or here at all? But then again, Kasrjin himself had traveled all the way to Ishgard. They had magical means of making such a journey. It made her both relieved and suspicious at the same time. “How do I know that you are one of his people?” Roen squinted her eyes, looking her over for anything obsidian she might be wearing. “Do you know whom I speak of? He had traveled to the west. Then he returned to his home.” She blinked, another thought occurring to her. “He did return home, to his people, didn’t he?”
  9. Roen

    The Art of Cigarettes and Fireflies

    “We will call this place our home The dirt in which our roots may grow Though the storms will push and pull We will call this place our home.” - North by Sleeping at Last Commission: Home By BunBunDango! Commissioned by Anchor's player. I can't say enough about how much I LOVE. THIS. PIECE. (Also I titled it "Home" but between us we usually just call it North because that Sleeping at Last song is so SO PERFECT in context of the RP that inspired this)
  10. Roen

    Remnants

    Roen shrugged. “I knew no other way to deliver the message. And I was in the east for other reasons. But…” She frowned, studying the Xaela with more care. She knew not who this woman was nor her motivations. Roen only knew that she was likely capable enough to deal with two mercenaries and therefore should not be underestimated. She also guessed that a foreigner threatening those of her kind would probably not go over well. “The threat is not mine. As I said, I seek a friend. He had traveled to the west, and that was where we met.” She glanced to Ashur thoughtfully before continuing. “I want to warn his people of others. Those who are coming for him. Or… more accurately his people.” She crossed his arms and looked between the Xaela and Ashur. “If you can help us navigate the tribes at the Reunion, then we can provide escort there, to at least ensure there are no others who would be tempted to rummage through your belongings.”
  11. Roen

    Remnants

    Roen glanced over her shoulder, and there was an inkling of a smile that tugged on one corner of her lips. He was worried after all. She held up a hand to Ashur then to the Xaela woman. “He is with me,” she reassured in a calm voice, to quell any alarm or rash actions either of them might take. “The companion I mentioned earlier.” She regarded the Xaela woman a moment longer to make certain there wouldn’t be any more blinding flashes before she turned her attention to Ashur. “These two were trying to go through her things, so I was told. But they are alive.” She left it at that, she still wasn’t sure why they were unconscious. Which made her look back to the Xaela again, her eyes squinting with some wariness. “And she is also traveling to the Reunion. And as we are. As for why we are seeking this particular tribe…” She paused to consider her words carefully. “There are a few reasons. I would like to make certain my friend returned safely to his people. And... also to give him a warning.”
  12. Roen

    Pretending I'm New

    Welcome back! As others have stated above, you might not have to recreate a character on Mateus, since we should be able to move between worlds once the data servers are rearranged. And I also see plenty of sprouts and flowers still around on Balmung. So don't worry about being the only new(ish) guy around. Looking forward to seeing you around!
  13. Roen

    Remnants

    Roen went back to checking the second Elezen. They both seemed to be breathing evenly, and she couldn’t see any signs of active bleeding. But she gave him a look over to see if she can figure what it was that exactly that left them in their current condition. She brought one knee before her, resting an elbow over it as she gave the Xaela a sidelong glance. From what she had seen in the distance, there was a bright unnatural light which made her suspect, thaumaturgy. Roen wasn’t sure, she wasn’t exactly learned when it came to other schools of magic. Still, while she maintained a neutral tone to the woman, there was no lack of caution. “I am looking for a friend.” She dipped her head after a thought. “Or more accurately, my friend’s people. I do not know if he would actually be at the Reunion.” It was highly unlikely after all. And she was not even sure how many tribes there were, or how well they all knew each other. The intricacies of the Xaela culture was not something other people seemed to be too fluent in. She turned to the woman, looking at her earnestly. “Would you happen to know of a tribe that has warriors who called themselves the Khadai?”
  14. Roen

    Remnants

    Roen relaxed a bit more when the Xaela made no move. She came to kneel next to the two Elezens as she listened, flicking a glance in the Xaela's direction when the other seemed to indicate a possible robbery. Pulling off her gloves, she reached for the man’s neck to feel for a pulse there, before gently turning him onto his back to scan his possessions. She was interested to see how he was armed, and if he was a foreigner. Considering he was an Elezen, she was already suspicious that he might have hailed from Ishgard. She was reaching to check the second man when the Xaela turned the question back her way, although it was the very final one that made her pause and give the woman a quizzical arch of the brow. “We--I was camped nearby. I…” Roen pursed her lips, annoyed with herself. “My companion and I are on our way to the Steppe.” She paused, finally giving the Xaela woman a more careful study. There was some hesitation that held her tongue, but deception never being Roen’s strong suit, she groaned at the abundance of mistrust that was annoyingly buzzing around in her head. She shook them away. “We are not looking for a job,” she began forthrightly, then paused, narrowing her eyes. “Although we wouldn’t mind some assistance in dealing with the Xaela at the Reunion.” She looked to the Au Ra pointedly. “What are you looking to hire people for?”
  15. Roen

    Remnants

    Roen narrowed her eyes on the Xaela first, before she flicked her gaze toward the two unconscious males. “By the look of things, I think it is obvious who needs assistance here.” She tapped her finger on the hilt of her sword once, but did not draw it. “I am going to approach. Do not give me a reason to use my weapon.” It was more of a warning rather than a request, as she began to take cautious steps toward the camp. She kept her eyes on the Xaela while the view of the unconscious figures remained in her periphery. She kept her tone even, without any hint of a threat. She didn’t know what exactly happened here after all, and until she did, she would keep things as unbiased as possible. “So. Can you tell me what happened?’
  16. Roen

    The Art of Cigarettes and Fireflies

    “We’ve had a strange start, she and I. While I know she doesn’t trust me with everything, I trust her… with all things.” Commission: Shael Stormchild By Squaffle!
  17. Roen

    Remnants

    Roen was tempted to rush in as soon as she reached the scene surrounding the camp fire. But she remained hidden in the shadows afforded by a boulder, warily watching what was happening. The fact that there was a Xaela here in Yanxia was a surprise, and the woman was dragging the other two males closer to the fire. She didn’t seem to be robbing them nor harming them, at least currently. But undoubtedly the Au Ra was the source of the flare Roen had seen earlier, and her calm disposition around the two incapacitated Elezens told Roen that the petite female was probably more capable than she looked. Was she being robbed? Was it self defense? Were the Elezens also mercenaries hired by the Redeemers? Or were they just innocent bystanders attacked by the woman? The latter didn’t quite make sense, since she seemed to be at least making the effort to see to their comforts. But when one of the Elezens reached out weakly calling for help, Roen stood from her place of hiding. She couldn’t very well ignore the call for aid, and she still had no idea what had happened here. She hoped straightforward approach would be received well enough. “Do you need assistance?” she called out in a calm manner, keeping her sword sheathed for now.
  18. Roen

    Remnants

    It was just to her left. At first, when Roen started out into the darkness away from the protection of their camp, she wasn’t quite sure where to go. The sound had been clear enough to cut through the night’s ambiance, and yet the crisp air had carried it from far enough that it came from nowhere near the cliffside where she and Ashur had decided to settle down for the night. But if what she heard was indeed due to distress of some kind, then it was a good bet that it would not be the only noise that would be heard. And sure enough, she heard something quieter once she started to listen for it. It sounded like arguing or someone being angry. She wasn’t sure. Roen scanned the dark horizon, and what came next was even better than another howl. It was a flash of light. Even while Roen hurried toward the source, she took care in being as quiet as possible in her approach. She was silently grateful now that she wasn’t wearing her usual heavy armor laden with metal and chain. She wasn’t sure what she would be finding when she reached the source of the disturbance, and it was obvious even from this distance that this was no natural light, but one that shined as bright as a star. It was magic. And she wasn’t eager to present herself prematurely to whoever was wielding it. If there was a magic user and someone else was crying out in pain… well, it certainly spelled trouble. Roen quickened her pace, but stayed low, letting both the darkness and the Yanxian foliage hide her as best as she can.
  19. Roen

    Remnants

    Roen shot a sharp glare in Ashur’s direction. “It may not be our problem, but someone might need our help.” Roen waited awhile longer to make certainly whatever the source of the noise was, wasn’t seeking them out. She narrowed her eyes, trying to look about to see where it could have even come from. It was getting dark and quick, finding her way around might become more difficult longer she waited. But as Ashur made no move but to get himself further situated on the ground, Roen shook her head and began to cautiously make her way to the barrier he had erected. “Well, I intend to go find out. If this is trouble that would soon find us, I would rather know what it is beforehand and be ready for it.” She secured the sword by her hip and grabbed her her shield before she ducked out of the camp.
  20. Roen

    The Art of Cigarettes and Fireflies

    “The land has a heart of its own. With an energy that flows through all the things of the earth. You can hear that heartbeat if you close your eyes and listen. Really listen. And upon your time of need, it can beat with your own.” Commission: Nabi Kharlu By: ADPong!
  21. Roen

    Remnants

    Roen was folding her cloak in semblance of a makeshift pillow, half watching him build a protective blockade of sort around them. It wasn’t much, but perhaps it would at least deter any wandering wildlife, she supposed. He was a diligent fellow, at least. She was about to make some comment on sleeping in the wilderness when the abrupt noise broke the quiet. Roen immediately reached for her weapon and shield, half rising to her feet as she did so. Grey eyes narrowed as she tried to make out any signs of movement in the shadows that were quickly lengthening around them. “What was that?” she hissed in Ashur’s direction, without sparing him a glance.
  22. Roen

    Remnants

    Roen pursed her lips in thought. She had to admit that the prospect of possibly riding a horse was appealing all on its own, and it would definitely cut through the travel time as well. But she doubted that a village full of peasants would have a horse to spare, even if she offered them fair amount of coin. And who knows if Ashur actually could manage on a horse. He already admitted that he hadn’t really even known his bird all that well. Learning how to handle a beast he’s never been on while traveling to a possibly hostile land might not be the best idea. “We go by foot.” She shrugged nonchalantly, a hint of a smirk working its way to the edge of her lips. “I think I can manage. And I imagine this would be easy for you. No snow.”
  23. Roen

    Remnants

    Well, there went that feeling of goodwill. Ashur was frustratingly adamant about reminding her that violence against the Xaela was never out of his realm of possibility. What little feeling of trust that was starting to be kindled between them was diminishing yet again to a dying ember. And yet… perhaps this was a way he held into hope? To admit to straying from his goal would mean failing his mother. That thought deflated whatever objection that was rising from within. A part of Roen wanted to believe that more he said he would do whatever it takes, more he had doubts on how far he would go. She was not sure what made her want to believe that, but only that the thought lingered. Roen gave Ashur another glance, then looked ahead with a furrowed brow at his mention of Garleans. She had forgotten that Othard was only very recently liberated. And that this entire continent over all was largely occupied by the Empire. It made her wince inwardly but nothing of it was betrayed on her face. “I heard that the Empire showed little interest in the Steppe. I doubt that we would come across any.” Roen hoped. She had been blessed enough that her time in Eorzea was not spent involved in conflicts against the Empire for the most part. She was hoping that her luck had not run out now. “Have you encountered any? In your time?” She was genuinely curious as she regarded Ashur from the corner of her eye. As far as she knew, Ishgardians stayed mostly out of that conflict. Not that she had any plans on sharing her unique past in Garlemald, but she wanted to know nonetheless.
  24. Roen

    Remnants

    Roen felt no pride when Ashur confirmed her suspicions. She only felt a twinge of sympathy, for she had seen first hand the hardships that were suffered by those that called Ishgard home. Indeed, if Ashur couldn’t return for the fear of his mother’s safety, it was likely that the brand of heretic was already placed upon him. So eager was the church to exercise its power in marking its own citizens as a threat. That word was a feared and whispered thing among the residents. It brought a small scowl to Roen’s countenance at the thought. “Nay, it does not matter.” She shook her head. “Not to me. It just… makes me understand why you are determined to save your mother.” Her voice softened with a sigh as did her expression. “I knew another Temple Knight. He was a noble soul, dedicated to protecting the people and his nation.” She gave him another sidelong glance. “Had I heard that he was wrongfully framed for a crime? I would do everything I could to clear his name.” Roen drew in another deep breath, squaring her shoulders as she looked ahead. “If you are like he, then I know you would be determined to prove your innocence. Return to protect those you love.” There was a small pause, and while there was no smile upon her visage, a hint of it could be heard in her tone. “But I do not believe that you would pillage innocent villagers.”
  25. Roen

    Remnants

    Roen’s stride slowed at Ashur’s revelation. It was his mother. She felt all the air leave her lungs, and her bearing felt somewhat bereft of its earlier certainty. She still had no doubt that she had to protect Kasrjin’s tribe, and that she couldn’t allow for the Redeemers to reclaim the keystone, but she too couldn’t imagine letting Ashur’s mother suffer. Especially if her son was wrongfully framed. Would she do anything different were she in his shoes? Setting her jaw, she picked up her stride again, continuing forward. They had to keep going after all. But the earlier tension in her shoulders relaxed somewhat. “I have no expectations, in truth.” Roen shook her head with a quiet sigh. “This woman left her son so many years ago, but she believed that he would have a better life. She loved him then, that much is certain. If she wants nothing from me now, not a single detail or coin, then at least I finished something he could not. That will be enough for me.” Another pause fell in between them, as the distant sounds of birds filled the air. Luckily, the trek on land so far had been uneventful. Roen gave Ashur another sidelong glance, her voice quiet but sincere. “You are from Ishgard,” she ventured a guess. “Aye?”
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