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Strange Aquaintances [Closed]


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Red mist.


The assassin's face now housed etched steel, as Qadan's axe had caught it's gloating quarry in the side of the neck. Entering near the jugular the sharpened edge had ascended upwards, crushing and tearing any of the flesh and bone that feebly attempted to impede it's ascent. It only stopped once it met the thick bone of the target Xaela's horns, having gone through the trouble of tearing half his face away to get there.


An unmistakable crimson coat of blood painted Qadan's face, and the heavy metal taste of blood caught his tongue as it seeped into his mouth. The unsuspecting source of this macabre gift was a snow white skinned Xaela hailing from the Dotharl tribe, undone by his own arrogance. His remaining eye moved rapidly before rolling back in his head, the end of it's life having come much sooner than it'd surely suspected. The Dotharl attempted to speak, but all that came out was a fluid laden groan, spraying blood from the gaping hole in his neck and what remained of his face.


Qadan's hands stayed firmly on the axe as his adversary's legs buckled. The Dotharl collapsed in a heap on his back, coating the forest floor with a thick coat of his pooling blood and he clutched up towards his ruined face. His chest rose and fell several times - his last haggard breaths - before falling still.


Tears streamed downed Qadan's face as the smell of burnt flesh met his nose. He was still close to the remains of his village.


For a moment, everything was so quiet.


And then, screams.


Time seemed to move in slow motion as Qadan turned his head. His gaze fell upon two young Xaela - Dotharl accomplices to his dead attacker - who seemed not much older than a dozen years. The duo were armed and had been assisting in the ambush, but dropped their weapons at the sight of their dead father.


Emotions rarely felt ran so intensely now through Qadan. He didn't think - he couldn't think - he only moved like a being possessed. He descended upon the two, his axe still thirsty for blood.


A blood debt of an entire peoples had been wrought, and they would be the first bounties on the path of repayment. 


What proceeded was a blur. Qadan only knew that once his vision focused again, two small hacked bodies lay strewn around him.


Everything went black.




Qadan's eye's shot open and he rose from his bed with a start. Heart thumping against his chest, the Auri wiped the sweat from his forehead and rose to his feet. He'd been dreaming again; the same nightmare he'd been having for the past few weeks. The Hotgo took a deep and breath and strode across his room to the bathroom, looking into the door-sized mirror it housed.


His face-paint was smeared, running down his cheeks in large black streaks. He'd been crying in his sleep. Qadan cursed at himself under his breath, and washed away the disfigured design on his visage. Patting his face dry, he retrieved a pouch of supplies from the nearby sink and began to crush up a mixture of charcoal, clay, and black berries. Satisfied with his homemade traditional facepaint, the Hotgo reapplied the same design and color he'd worn for the past several months. Was it a badge of honor? Or shame? He couldn't remember anymore.


After finishing, he went back to his bed and dressed himself. Even though he'd just finished a job the day before and had a full coin purse, what he had probably wouldn't last him through the week. Today was the day he'd set about finding more work, and lucky for Qadan there never seemed to be a shortage available for an axe-wielding brute.

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-In that very same Inn-



Falling blades of grass so evergreen, from trees with everlasting canopies.


Sunlight shines down upon heaven. The heaven on the earth.


He sees the light shine down, through the meadow's flowers and upon his cheeks. It is warm. It fills him with peace.


The reflection of the water glistened with the might of the star. Innocent fingers swipe along the surface of the water's edge. The laughter of children. The sound of their jewelry flicking about in their excitement of play.


Monuments of silver and gold in the distance. Despite the warmth, it feels numb. Something is wrong. These memories are not his own.


A false peace. That was how Ryanti described sleep. It was a deception of the body, he thought. A ruse to allow oneself to retreat into pretty little dreams as his aching body healed and his aetherial sickness slowly drained away like the water in a bathtub after one had pulled the plug.


There he laid, white locks dancing about his features. Young aquamarine eyes were shrouded in a misty redness of bloodshot fatigue. Etched on the left side of his face, barely visible, were lines. Lines that seemed tattooed upon the fibers of his skin. It faded away after a few moments of shimmering in a quiet cyan shade.


He was not completely well yet. It had not been a month since his last incursion.


He slaved to grab half of his face with the sweaty palm of his open hand. A moan emerged from the quietness of his inn room's head. It was not a moan of pleasure like perhaps this mattress had seen in the past, but rather of pain. It was a pleasant memory, but it was not his. From what era, from who it was he had no idea. He could never tell anyone of this. It was something he had to live with.


He looked at himself in the mirror. What a mess he was, what a body he had. His fingertips pricked and touched the side of his cheek that had bared those lines moments before. Now his skin was as clear as a whistle. He poked it a little bit just so he could still feel it. It goes numb when those lines come.


Those words weren't his either. They were from another of his same occupation, a person he did not even know the name to. Only a number. Were they dead now? Were they dead and gone? There was a good chance they were.


A few coughs here. A drink of water helped. It helped a lot. He needed breakfast. He needed to leave that room and get some fresh air. Fresh air would be nice.






"Oh-umm... 'how 'but a glass of cawfee?" The stammering teenaged Miqo'te server asked Ryanti with a little bit of concern at the humble Thanalan abode. It was a rather quiet little place; out of the way of the main city districts. It was a product of the new 'push' within the city limits of having more of a 'homey' atmosphere meant to distract someone from the hustle and bustle of the actual Desert Jewel itself. Despite the fact that Ul'Dah never slept, it's men and women did. It was also cheap, decently enough. Probably because it was family owned.


Indeed the father of the maiden appeared before her and spoke. "I think he would rather have a glass of some fruit juice. You look like you've been through quite an adventure, young man."


Ryanti managed to push himself back from leaning upon the bar counter, thank the Twelve the seats had a backrest. "You're right. I think I did." he said with a little smile. "I'll take you up on that offer, thank you."


He was wearing nothing but a white frilly suit, some dark blue trousers with golden threading in the knee accents, and some decent black traveling shoes. He had dropped off his equipment already, now he was trying to get some rest. But he didn't feel like going home yet. There was still things he needed to do.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Qadan strode out from the humble inn only to have his eyes squint in reflex to the bright Thanalan sun. He frowned, cursing to the depths whatever madman decided the middle of a desert was a great place to start a civilization. The Eorzeans could say what they wanted about his people's nomadic lifestyles, but Qadan would have been gods damned if his kin had sought after the bright idea of becoming desert folk.


The Hotgo began down the street and after a few short minutes his clothes were already sticking to him. He growled deeply - he wasn't even sweating!


This was of course the other unfortunate thing about this kind of climate was the heat. Depending upon the time of year it either seemed to be a moderately unpleasant dry heat or a masochistic humidy. Today was so humid that Qadan was mildly surprised that the wee folk - he believed they were called Lalafells - didn't merely drown upon stepping outside their homes.


The towering Auri ducked into the next establishment he came to, both out of annoyance to damned weather and because he figured it was just as good as any other. This was his routine for the time being: travel from inn to inn (or other similar establishments) in the city he happened to be in until he found work that piqued his interests. The violent state of the continent was actually quite fortuitous to someone such as himself, since there was never a shortage of work for someone with a sharp axe.


Qadan licked his lips as the smell of freshly ground coffee hit his nostrils. He knew that there wasn't a bit of damned sense in drinking a hot drink in such a hot place, but he'd by lying if he wasn't absolutely enthralled by the smell of the drink. If he hadn't been here seeking actual business he'd probably have a glass (or three).


Taking long strides across the establishment, Qadan made for the counter, his axe clanking in rhythm to his footsteps. The Miq'ote behind the counter smiled and waved enthusiastically as she caught sight of Qadan, having become familiar with the strange foreigner thanks to his extended stay in the city.


"Oy, Qah'daaaan!" She waved to him as he approached, a toothy grin plastered upon her face. An uncharacteristic smile crept up on the Hotgo's feature, "Good morning." He replied, giving her a gracious half bow as he strode past to the bulletin board. Surely there'd be something of interest pinned up here.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Maybe he should have ordered coffee.


It wasn't because the grape juice wasn't nutritious. It was. It tasted very good too. He could tell the fruits were squeezed that morning. it was simply because the cup was cold instead of warm. The coldness of the glass coursed through the surface and pierced into his hand. It felt numbing and uncomfortable if he held onto it for long. He would have preferred something warm and inviting to rest his hand upon. It would have helped him think.


He always needed to think. It was a weakness of his. It was always about something probably unimportant and unnecessary. Perhaps he tried too hard in the wake of following his father or maybe the case of his own ideals of high standards. The sweet smell from the juice in the glass, the sweet memories of home that were few and far between, the appreciation of sitting down in good company and to allow time to pass slowly. To enjoy one's day at a slower pace like one would enjoy a comforting meal. When did those ideals leave him?


He was so busy now, and there was always more work to do. How often would he have to bang his head against the wall of reality before it dawned on him that he was doing nothing but harming his own self by taking the burden up on his own? He had achieved this busy life some would be envy of, but at what cost? It felt just as cold at that glass in his hand.


A fingertail or two brushed past his bangs and he looked behind him. If only he could be a person to receive such a response from a lady. It was obvious she was happy to see the man that had walked into the place. His eyebrows loosened a bit and his gaze was afixed upon him.


He had very rarely cast his eyes upon a male of his kind. The Au Ra were a rare sight in Eorzea, and a brand new one given the scope of things. From what he was wearing, to the very makeup that decorated his face, Ryanti's thinking shifted to the possibilities of what this man from foreign lands far away had seen with those piercing eyes. His voice was of a lovely tenor, and did not invite hostility from those around him. However, his presence was heavy and stoic.


"You thunk to y'self, maybe talk to 'em?" The heavenly lass behind the warm greeting murmured to Ryanti. The young man glanced her way with an idly blink. "He don't bite. Only a lil'. Nothing much point havin' nerves. 'Sides I don't think a piece of paper do good as much as a person 'ould ey? You look like you got thick pockets y'self."


The young man couldn't help but smile, finishing his last drop of the glass as the Miqo'te woman giggled. "See! I tells ya!"


What approached Qadan today was not a man who saw his foreign commodity as something to be feared or shunned. Who approached Qadan today was also not a man of normal stature, and spoke with a highly educated tongue that betrayed his posh lineage, yet remained a leaned back demeanor about him despite the burden he carried in his eyes; it was a common thing all men with burdens could relate to. Yet when he finally did speak, his words were light and his tone casual.


He crossed his arms, glancing upon the grammatical nonsense that was the job board. "Same old stuff... you wonder how simple problems always tend to stick their head out again right when they're dealt with. No wonder there's endless work for people like.." he craned his neck to meet his gaze. He was -indeed- a tall figure. "Your-.... self."

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