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LEAVE THIS BLUE NEIGHBORHOOD - Cole & Jeremiah

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 Familiar yet Strange, Tag: Olly/Karin
Ruthalla Lorelei
 Posted: Feb 1 2018, 07:27 AM
Quote

Fire & Earth
Age: 37
application
tracker
Group Icon
Warrior
Self-Healing

Posts: 17
OOC: Illyrianna


It has been a while, years perhaps, since she'd been back in the Caldo capitol. The place has changed a lot since Sunil had his way with it, and Ruth found herself wandering the streets, deeper and deeper into sad nostalgia. The city was a scar upon her soul, reminding her of profound heartache. There went that corner where she huddled one night as a child, hunger clawing at her belly. She remembered the thoughts that coursed through her head that night, wondering if that night would be it for her urchin self.

Then there was that spot in the market, where she'd met Shayne, a man who brought her out of the streets and into military's embrace. He was gone now, death having claimed him in a battle. Ruth soothed herself with the thought that he would've wanted to go that way, as a warrior should. It still stung, after all these years, but the warrior woman didn't let it show. Her steps remained sure, marching along without her even noticing, as the scowl on her face hid whatever pain lay underneath.

She wandered some more until her amber eyes caught sight of the familiar towering structure in the center of the city. The Arena seemed mostly unchanged, so much so Ruth found herself going towards it, even though that might not have been the wisest idea. There was no telling how the people there would welcome her. After all, she had renounced her place in the military, openly throwing her rank away once she saw her comrades following Sunil's rule. Worse yet, she did her best to undermine that lunatic's efforts in the past decade or so, effectively working against her own homeland when she had to.

Perhaps they would cast her out as a deserter. Perhaps they would detain her and put her through trial. Or perhaps it would be a friendly ordeal, though knowing the mentality of her own people she sorely doubted that. Whatever may come, the Arena was her home too, damn it all, and it had been far too long since she'd visited it.

So Ruth strode into the place. Proud, tall and strong, the steel plate glinting off her shoulders and arms, and a red cape billowing behind her, half-hiding the long blade upon her back. Subconsciously, the warrioress moved through the halls with purposeful steps, though she didn't know where she was going. Faces moved past, some vaguely familiar while others she couldn't recognize. Not that it mattered that much. All Ruth wanted was a quick stroll down memory lane before going back to her ever busy life.


Karin Alinari
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Karin Alinari
 Posted: Feb 1 2018, 11:06 AM
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Lightning
Age: 48
application
tracker
Group Icon
Advisor
Self-Healing

Posts: 517
OOC: Olly


Somehow, Karin always found her way back here. The Arena, for all intents and purposes, was but a symbolic monument now in Attirac’s central district – a graveyard to more glorious days. The diehards and the zealots sometimes still trained here, but for the most part the different sects of Attirac had splintered off and created their own miniature training grounds in the center of courtyards or in patches that had once held buildings before the war destroyed them. The part of town Karin and her family had sequestered had its own training ground as well, and so it was only on days that her sons were traveling and the streets were quiet that her feet instinctively carried her here.

The others who wandered the halls of the Arena seemed to do so like moths to the flame, just as she. In some odd, collective way, they all roamed about with distant looks in their eyes, no doubt reliving the memories that they’d acquired here. The blonde woman left them in peace, herself too absorbed in her own memories to pay any close attention to the remainder of the hive.

Her time here was mostly spent in one particular room, deep in the bowels of the Arena’s lower levels. A single room, its metal doors permanently scorched from the abuse it’d taken over the years, that contained an entire lifetime of memories from within. Inside that room – when she finally mustered the courage to enter – was a single, simple desk, barren of the parchment that used to be strewn across it. It was the one of the few physical monuments remaining of his existence, her husband. He’d been dead twenty years, and yet her heart still burned with a pain that would not heal. As if to mock her in the most beautiful way, the ring she still wore emitted a faint, crimson glow. He had had it crafted and enchanted for her so that when he was near, it would come to life with the aura of fire.

Hours must have passed in silence before Karin finally emerged from the tomb. Again she went through the motions of walking through the hallways without really seeing. That is, until a face that was familiar came into view. Age had changed it as it had changed them all, but the stride and demeanor were unmistakable. “Ruth?” she said, pausing midstride, herself too emotionally maimed to hide the surprise that lingered there. She was unsure in the seconds to follow whether to be enraged or happy by the woman’s reappearance, and so her blonde brows knitted together into a befuddled combination of the two. So many people had fallen during the war that seeing one of them alive was something to be celebrated, but Ruth had left Attirac when it needed her the most. Why was she here then, walking amongst the graves of what used to be?

• MY PEACE HAS ALWAYS DEPENDED ON ALL THE ASHES IN MY WAKE •
A Gift from Nith
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Ruthalla Lorelei
 Posted: Feb 2 2018, 03:06 PM
Quote

Fire & Earth
Age: 37
application
tracker
Group Icon
Warrior
Self-Healing

Posts: 17
OOC: Illyrianna


As Ruth walked further and further, her heart sank into deep nostalgia. The place had changed, now collecting dust much like an old sword atop a fireplace would. It lacked the bustle of warriors, water-bearers and squires, and the laughter and camaraderie of people. The same walls were still there, but the people walking these halls with her seemed more like ghosts than combatants looking for a brawl. And yet despite that, she found herself merging with the ambiance, mind settling in a sad lull until even passing faces became an unimportant blur to her.

So much so, she hardly noticed as a familiar face passed her by, only to call her name a second later. Ruth pulled to a slow, haunted stop, blinking as though unsure she'd heard correctly. Ther warrior woman shifted upon her feet a moment later, half-turning to peer in confusion at a ghost of her past.

Karin. They didn't know each other too well and had picked different paths during the war. Ruth left to fight Sunil in her own way, while the woman before her evidently stayed. While she didn't approve of that, she couldn't help but feel happy that some people of the good old Caldo were still around. Judging by the look on the other warrior's face, she wasn't the only one with mixed feelings.

Ruth's expression turned from confusion to a stern look, albeit softened. "Karin." She greeted the woman with a nod. After which she didn't know what else to add, the situation too awkward for idle chatting about the weather. Ruth was bad at those anyway, preferring action over words any day.

Still, her ineptitude didn't mean she couldn't at least try.

"I won't be long." Was the first thing that slipped out, after the stunned silence. It was half a reassurance that she didn't come here and didn't plan to stay long enough to stir any trouble. Though, granted, trouble had a way of following in her wake anyway.

Ruth cleared her throat then, looking Karin over in that way one warrior measures up another. "Time has treated you well." She noted, trying to keep the conversation, though she remained half turned away in a subtle indication she didn't really want to stay around to talk.
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Karin Alinari
 Posted: Feb 5 2018, 09:46 PM
Quote

Lightning
Age: 48
application
tracker
Group Icon
Advisor
Self-Healing

Posts: 517
OOC: Olly


Time healed most wounds, as the saying went, but in the past two decades it was time that had created the wounds upon the continent and the people who lived there. One blow after another had marred Eudocia and its residents until only the strongest of willed or the extremely lucky were left behind to pick up the pieces. Karin did not consider herself to be lucky to have survived another war ending in failure nor the occupation of a fallen god, but loyalty to her people had kept her stepping one foot in front of the other. The fight in her could not be slayed, not even by nearly five decades of persistent doubts and loss.

Karin was unsure of what category Ruth fell under, but in the moment, she welcomed the distraction from the ghosts she had unleashed upon herself. The other made an attempt at small-talk, to which the blond quirked one side of her lips up in a feigned smile. Regardless of whether they agreed with each other’s decisions, Karin could for the moment appreciate the woman’s presence.

“Walk with me.” she suggested, though it sounded more like a command, and began to walk again in the direction she’d been headed. If one were to look closely, they would see the stiffness of her gait and the slight arch in her back that hinted at rib and spinal pain, but she concealed the remnants of the physical trauma that had recently occurred well enough. “Why are you back here?” she asked after a time, straight to the point and making no attempt at small-talk in the way that Ruth had. Though not the Head Advisor to Caldo anymore, Karin Alinari was still an important and respected figure, and as such she remained direct and pragmatic in her conversations.

• MY PEACE HAS ALWAYS DEPENDED ON ALL THE ASHES IN MY WAKE •
A Gift from Nith
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Ruthalla Lorelei
 Posted: Feb 19 2018, 01:30 PM
Quote

Fire & Earth
Age: 37
application
tracker
Group Icon
Warrior
Self-Healing

Posts: 17
OOC: Illyrianna


Ruth wasn't sure what to expect from the other woman, but she was inwardly grateful her words weren't met with anger. Caldo people tended to be passionate, herself included, and that easily meant a conflict at every corner. She was glad to see Karin wasn't leaping at her throat. For now at least.

So as the other woman spoke, or rather commanded, Ruth gave a grunt of acknowledgment, moving to walk in step with the former Head Advisor, hands folded behind her back, her scarlet cloak billowing after her. There was a familiarity to that – the simplicity of following an order. Ruth appreciated it in the moment, shoulders relaxing a little, even as silence sank in once more. She couldn't help but notice the state Karin was in, even as the woman tried to hide it. Now that they were walking, it was easy to her trained eyes to spot the slightest limp.

She didn't say anything though, the woman's question taking the focus. "Nostalgia, for the most part." Ruth replied honestly as her amber gaze roamed the halls. "Seeing what the city has to offer in terms of work." She added, a scowl appearing on her face. Mercenary work was booming these days thanks to the chaos, but that also meant a lot of unethical clients were abound.

Ruth paused for a moment then, peering at the advisor. The hadn't known the woman much, but something told her someone like her wouldn't be asking random questions.

"Why exactly are you asking, Karin?" Ruth said, frowning at the older woman.
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Karin Alinari
 Posted: Feb 24 2018, 09:42 AM
Quote

Lightning
Age: 48
application
tracker
Group Icon
Advisor
Self-Healing

Posts: 517
OOC: Olly


Like Ruth, Karin found herself appreciating the familiarity of walking the halls of the Arena in step and allowed her focus to sink into it – the echo of their footsteps, the subtle but noticeable hint of sweat, and the fading of everything and everyone else around them. She could bring herself to be thankful for the warrior in this moment, regardless of where her future judgments would take her. It was not often that a hand of any sort reached out to pull Karin from her periodic slips into darkness anymore.

So it was nostalgia that had brought her back, as well as looking for work. Karin’s head tilted thoughtfully, tumbling her blonde hair that was haphazardly tied back down over one shoulder. Those reasons were justifiable enough; work was scarce, and Karin herself came back to the Arena again and again in the name of nostalgia, with today being no exception.

The advisor found no qualms with those answers, but Ruth’s frown and curiosity at the prying begot her an equally honest response. “Because friends are in short supply these days, and it is my job to make sure the people coming here do so for the right reasons.” her voice was terse but not accusatory, and her shoulders rose almost as if she were about to shrug, though the motion never completed itself. “Attirac was attacked a number of weeks ago. A tavern exploded in the process. We still don’t know if it was a one-time event or if some despicable group of radicals is stirring in the shadows somewhere.”

That she would even share that information with Ruth supplied the unspoken word that she trusted and respected the fellow Caldonian enough, regardless of her disagreement with her prior life decisions. Perhaps, however, if she was looking for work, she had seen the error of her ways? “If you are looking for work, there is plenty here. Rebuilding, retraining. I myself plan to see to it that the old extent of Caldo is restored to proper form.” Though the fire of determination burned in her golden eyes, there was a scowl on her face. It revealed her assumption that saying and doing such would be two very different levels of difficulty. “If any of that interests you more than the great wilds of mercenary work that you seem so fond of.” There it was, that hint of distaste in her mouth for what she considered the warrior’s prior desertion. For now, Karin’s disapproval remained tame, instead waiting to see where this new incentive of Ruth’s led her.

• MY PEACE HAS ALWAYS DEPENDED ON ALL THE ASHES IN MY WAKE •
A Gift from Nith
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Ruthalla Lorelei
 Posted: Apr 12 2018, 03:34 PM
Quote

Fire & Earth
Age: 37
application
tracker
Group Icon
Warrior
Self-Healing

Posts: 17
OOC: Illyrianna


Making sure people, namely her at the moment, came back to Attirac for the right reasons. Ruth could understand such scrutiny aimed at herself, but only in theory. Had the woman before her known her even a little bit, she wouldn't dare toss such an implication her way. Ruth's frown deepened at the response, tension rolling through her form. She'd forgotten she wasn't walking the halls with an ally, not truly. At the realization, Ruth shook off the nostalgia that had lulled her to this state, amber eyes becoming a touch brighter and alert.

Karin's following words didn't help with the fierce warrior's temper. The mere notion someone would dare to bring chaos to the very heart of Caldo stirred the anger within instantly. A low growl rumbled through the woman, but she managed to restrain herself from spouting foul words. Perhaps it was the presence of the former advisor that she wanted to respect, or perhaps it was merely the effect these haunted halls had on her. Still, if glares could kill, the tapestry the two of them just walked by would've gone up in flames.

Just like that, Ruth's mind began to whir with thoughts, a deep, irritated humm escaping her lips. The military's reach was only so long, that perhaps a less official approach could help smoke out the culprits. Ruth wasn't a skilled investigator per say, but where shaking down criminals and striking fear into their hearts is concerned, rarely who could rival her.

The former general was just about to jump on the work offer, eager to aid her countrymen, when the look on Karin's face caught her eye and the woman's stinging words sank in a moment later. Ruth's steps faltered, falling behind as her amber eyes drilled into the other woman.

"You mistake me for some common mercenary rabble, then?" She questioned, voice sharp and unlike the woman before her, far less tame. "By all means, if you have something to say to me, at least muster up the courage to do it properly. Leave the slithery jabs to the Ombrians, Karin." Ruth all but snarled at her, arms spread in a clear challenge if the words weren't enough incentive.
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Karin Alinari
 Posted: Apr 17 2018, 09:18 PM
Quote

Lightning
Age: 48
application
tracker
Group Icon
Advisor
Self-Healing

Posts: 517
OOC: Olly


Karin may not have been crafted from Tamtiane’s fire and been born of volcanic lava, but in her nebulous, stormy lightning character there was an intense ferocity that had refused to temper itself with her old tribe’s lackadaisical ways. She was a woman of drive. Of purpose. Of rage. She had seen the power of Fire and yearned to call it her own. The creation of Caldo had been as close as Karin was ever like to wield the flames herself, and her two sons were evidence enough of her loyalty to the Fire Nation. Usually, the blonde woman’s temper came in explosive bursts but did not smolder, save for her perpetual state of irritation. Despite her muted differences between herself and the fire people she had fought beside, led, and advised for years, she had learned to read the undertones of their fury that burned deep beyond the scowls on their faces.

She did not miss the look on Ruth’s face, nor did she particularly care that she might have struck a chord with the warrior woman. Karin had not succeeded in her respected status by quailing at the first sight of conflict or anger. In age, she had at least learned to temper her own venomous tongue at least somewhat into one more direct and blatantly hostile when the time came, but that did not stop her from letting out a sharp bark of a laugh at Ruth’s open aggression and even more open arms.

“If it’s a fight you’re looking for, you can do so elsewhere.” she answered, pausing in her own stride and twisting on her heels to face the other woman where she had paused. Karin’s expression and voice was surprisingly lax, though her golden eyes sparked with defiance and daring, unbent by the challenge before her. “We need people here. Attirac can barely defend itself because our numbers are spread so thin. If we cannot protect our capital… if our buildings are being blown to bits before our very eyes right in the center of what remains in our control, what is Caldo as a nation at all anymore?” She spat on the ground, though the motion was not directed at Ruth so much as it was general annoyance at the entire situation at hand. “What flag will any of us have to defend if our people are spread out across land we no longer control? If we cannot center our forces in Attirac, Caldo will inevitably fall.”

Karin shrugged, then, but her eyes remained fixed on the warrior in front of her. “I am not your Head Advisor anymore, Ruth. You do not need to listen to me by law, but I know what I’m talking about. It would be wise of you and of benefit to us for you to focus your skills here, where it really matters.”

• MY PEACE HAS ALWAYS DEPENDED ON ALL THE ASHES IN MY WAKE •
A Gift from Nith
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