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  #1  
Old 07-25-2014
Jai_V's Avatar
Jai_V Jai_V is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eastern North Carolina
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The Last Truth

68 days ago...

"How long?" asked Cazen as he slid back into the doublet. Typically, he was quiet as a mouse, but a clamorous den arose from a garment leaden with hidden pockets and their get. He didn't bother to sit back down, nor even turn away from a door he only now consciously realized he was opening.

"You can't run from this, Cazen."

His shoulders shrank, but his hand never left the door. "I know. How long?" He repeated the question without a hint of annoyance in his tone. He heard papers shuffling behind him. "It's not too late for a miracle. There's many faithful who have skills far beyond anything--" "And they need to save those for people who are going to do something extraordinary." Cazen replied, sounding a bit more bitter than he meant to. He sighed, and asked a third time, "How long, Pope?"

Nasipope Frangdel, disgraced healer and Cleric of Tymora let out a sigh of his own. "About ten weeks," he finally admitted, "maybe less." "Hells..." Cazen replied, "it'll take eight or better to get to Sundren." He began to open the door and step swiftly out. Pope followed behind, frustration evident, "Why the Hells would you go back there?! That damned place is the reason...for all of this!" Without looking back, Cazen replied, "You can't be sure of that, Pope." "So that's it then? You're just going to roll over and accept it? I thought you had some sand."

The scoundrel had been raising his hood, but he stopped. A quiet moment passed with Pope standing on the stoop of his home and Cazen in the middle of the street. "Nah," he replied to Pope, "I'm not gonna just roll over. I'm goin' back to enjoy what little time I got left." A gust of wind kicked up a cloud of dust, forcing Cazen to raise his hood. Pope was forced to shield his eyes, but only briefly. The scoundrel no longer stood in the road, nor anywhere else in view. The little gnome grumbled to himself and strode back into his home, closing the door behind him.

Cutting through a familiar path that wound directly to the harbor, the scoundrel's hood and dust-mask hid how hard he wept.

"I don't wanna die. I'm not ready, yet."
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Cazen - A guy who "knows a guy..."
- Nights in Neverwinter (Cazen History)
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- Tales of a Foolish Brother (Ruslan History)
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  #2  
Old 08-02-2014
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Jai_V Jai_V is offline
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The Final Truth

(Or, whereupon a scoundrel dreams of characters most of the people that read this won't remember...)

Yesterday...

The ship had docked.

The world was all gentle rocking motions, and the eyes of the scoundrel refused to open. The light hurt. The dark hurt. Everything was pain, and whereas not long ago, he wept at the thought of death...if Myrkul stood before him now, he might welcome his embrace. "Hoy!" said a scurvy sailor for above-deck. Cazen coughed weakly in response. "Lad, y' got've get up." said the sailor with just a tinge of pity to his tone, "Lest wise, ye be feedin' the wharf-rats. You ain't wantin' that, do ya?"

Wrapped in several lairs of clothes, the scoundrel made his way off of the ship and onto the creaking docks. Port Avanthyr looked largely unchanged from the last time he walked the rain-slick cobblestones. Raising his hood, he made his way to the Sanctuary to inquire after Sister Abby. Perhaps she could work some miracle to give him the time he needed. Unfortunately, she was nowhere to be found. And the Sanctuary was crawling with a literal horde of needy that could still be saved.

He walked on to the Menacing Mariner. "Need room Tyrsis," he said with a fit of coughs, "Couple of nights, maybe. Not long." He slid the coins to the barkeep and traversed the stairs. Several times, he had to stop and catch his breath. Eyes followed him; predators. Jackals. Showing weakness in a place like the Mariner was akin to walking around, inviting people to rob you, stab you, and throw you off the docks. Summoning what strength he could, filled with a multitude of accompanying pain, the scoundrel stiffened his spine and ascended to his room. He put on a good show at being hale and hardy, until the door to his room closed.

Cazen collapsed on the bed, cold sweats soaking his multiple lairs, and shivers coming in earthshaking waves. His eyes closed. "Tymora, is this it? Has my luck finally ran out?" A wracking fit of cough hit him, a fine mist of blood exploding from his mouth. "...gah...Gods..." The eyes of the scoundrel traced a groove in the wooden roof. I don't think I can make it. I'm sorry, River. He closed his eyes for a moment, and then he dreamed.

It was his first day in Sundren, again.

The camp fire at the old Exigo Trading Post seemed more vibrant than he remember. Daelus Bloodmoon, Ranger and Cazen's first friend in Sundren, sat cross-legged and spoke gruffly. The scruffy-bearded bastard had that same dark smile, and that throaty laugh. Another scoundrel, Veront Neffret, stood by. Idly commenting on one thing or another, he waved Cazen over, grinning wolfishly and further accentuating his permanent 5 O'Clock shadow.

"Blackheart" Brooke Snyder leaned against the tree, arms crossed just bellow a barely restrained bust, the right corner of her mouth tugged upward in a smug, knowing smile. Her chestnut-colored tresses framed a lovely face, being only just obscured by shade. Osclow Wiltenholm sat beneath the tree, picking at the strings of his instrument, singing softly to himself, and trying to create just the right combination of music and prose. Juney Thimbles stands near Daelus, remarking how remarkable it must be to be a gnome, whilst stitching the ends of Daelus' cloak.

He watches himself approach the fire, tentatively, and begin to speak with the strange cast of characters. Behind the old him, he sees a familiar shadow.

"One...more...time?"

He's unsure if it's a whisper, or if it's his imagination. A silken embrace wraps around him, and an unconscious feeling of completion takes hold in his dying body.

"...once...moooore...?"

This time, he is certain that he didn't imagine it. The vivid memory of the campfire and those few souls he met his first night in Sundren fade into a calming, comfortable darkness.

"...bargain...?"

In that moment, he thought of his last act of unfinished business. Cazen couldn't move on knowing that he never said those words; that he never knew that familiar touch...His eyes closed. The darkness that held him was known to him. It had always been there. And ever would it be. It was never truly his; he had only adopted it. But Cazen had nurtured it and come to understand it. Apparently, it wished to return the favor.

"Yes." Cazen said, closing his eyes in his dream. "One more time...please..."

The scoundrel woke with his breath catching in his throat, bolting upright in his bed. It took a moment to register that he was breathing with less effort and he had managed to bolt upright. He stood, suddenly. He hadn't felt this good in ages! It was as if not only was his death sentence held at bay, but also the myriad little aches and pains that had piled on over the years. Making his way to the mirror, Cazen checked his complexion. Gone was the deathly pallor of the past several weeks, and his eyes held the same fire he had known for all those years.

"...just one day..."

It was barely a whisper, but he knew that he had little time to waste. The scoundrel sprang from the room, suffused with new vigor, and made for the floating City of Sundren.
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Cazen - A guy who "knows a guy..."
- Nights in Neverwinter (Cazen History)
- Back on the Street

Thrice-Cursed Ruslan - An outcast among outcasts
- Tales of a Foolish Brother (Ruslan History)
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2015
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JuneyGnomey JuneyGnomey is offline
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It's nice to read about Cazen! It's also very nice to be remembered.

I have very fond memories of our merry band of misfits. I have a very strong memory of our first encounter!

Cazen, Daelus and Juniper had a certain spark when they all got together and clashed their collectively bizarre sense of humour. I very much miss playing with you guys. Juniper was a great outlet for my mischievous side, and I do sometimes feel a Juniper-shaped hole in my life.

You painted a wonderfully accurate picture in my mind of Juney and Daelus' dynamic. I can just imagine her faux-scalding him for ruining his cloak while he is bumblingly all apologies and blushes, which amuses her to no end.

Thanks for the memories, it was wonderful to find this for so many reasons.

J x
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Juniper Thimbles, aka Juney, Blueberry, Maggie, Magpie or Queenie, depending who you ask:
Ex-Seamstress, Wannabe Collector, and Machiavellian Maker of Mischief.
'Cherries or Strawberries? Rain or Shine? Cats or Dogs? Cake or Pie?'

Juney's Super-Sparkly Triple-New theme tune:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC9Kc-p2xxw#t=0m22s
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