News   About   FAQ   Statistics   Player Options   Downloads   Gallery   Forums   Donate   Wiki   Staff   Jobs   Links   Contact Us

Go Back   Sundren Forums > Sundren Community > Roleplay Central
Register Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Roleplay Central This is the place to post character journals, write character stories, and document character development and progression.

Subforum: Correspondence Sundren Press


Welcome to the Sundren Forums forums.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-25-2014
Jai_V's Avatar
Jai_V Jai_V is offline
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 360
Rep Power: 136
Jai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to behold
Tales of a Foolish Brother

I still recall the first time I learned the important of Kumpania.

Come, gadje and didikai...join me by the fireside, and hear my story.

I was a whelp of barely thirteen summers. By the reckoning of my people, I was a man. To the shopkeep who'd just caught me liberating some food, I was just dirty Gurani scum, and likely not the first to bring him such grief. Held fast as I was by some friendly locals, I heard the shopkeep call for a deputy. I said a silent prayer of thanks to Dame Fortuna; by reputation, the vllage had a small jail. Escape would be an easy matter. By sun up, I'd be long gone; a fading memory of an annoyed shopkeep.

Sadly, luck wasn't with me that day.

The deputy arrived and clasped me in irons. The shopkeep told his side of the story, and the locals confirmed. He didn't even bother to ask me before showing me out the back of the shop.

I'd barely set foot across the threshold when his chained boot took me square in the small of the back. The sudden trauma forced me to piss myself, and I fell to the ground with a new understanding of pain. The big boot caught me in the stomach, the air whooshing out of me. Had I eaten that day, I'd have tasted more than the bile that rose in the back of my throat.

It wasn't long until the shopkeeper joined in. He had brought along a cattle herder's club, striking me in my arms and legs. Each of them avoided my head, which in my youthful vanity, I was thankful for. Now, I realize they wanted me clear of mind, to feel every blow. The beating went on for what seemed like hours, but was likely only a few minutes. In those awful moments, I was certain I would die. Between the sobs of pain, and empty wretching, I spoke my last rites in the language of my people. In those days, my grasp of the Gurani language was limited...but my mother had ensured I could never forget where I came from. I closed my eyes and slid silently into the dark.

But I didn't die, did I?

I'd later learn that the shopkeep and the deputy were cousins. And therein lies the lesson I had beat into me, that day: the importance of family.
__________________
Active



Inactive

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)

Last edited by Jai_V; 07-28-2014 at 06:52 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-25-2014
Jai_V's Avatar
Jai_V Jai_V is offline
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 360
Rep Power: 136
Jai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to behold
An Aside

Anyone that's ever dealt with us knows that all Gurani view one another as family. So you may be wondering: "Ruslan, how did you come to be on your own at such a young age?"

In truth, most other Gurani I've met say I'm cursed. My mother was known to consort with the gadje; our word for any that are not Gurani. I don't know much about my mother, nor my father. I was raised by a kindly old widow in a small village near the Lake of Steam. She was known to be a shuivani, what the gadje call a hedge-mage, and she was very kind to me. Had she not passed shortly after my tenth summer, I may have stayed in the village with her. She had many books in her home, and it is by dent of her charity that I am so well-read and well-spoken.

What was I talking about? Oh, yes, my parentage.

What little I do know of my mother stems from an encounter with an "Aunt" shortly after my caretaker's death. She arrived by caravan with other Gur, likely what you would call my "blood relatives." A short, pair-shaped woman possessed of the same exotic beauty often afforded to my kind, she had lips both wide as a serpent and full as the puffer fish. Her hair was as dark as the night and fell just beyond her shoulders, tied with many decorative diklo. But her eyes are what I remember the most; they were sharp, expressive, and the color of darkened amber. They were like my mother's eyes...but they were nothing like my own.

She cast a disapproving glance toward me, "No. This will not do. I cannot take you," she said in harshly accented Common, "you will always be his son."

The caravan left shortly after. When I think of her words, it still hurts as much as it did that day.

No one can hurt you like family.
__________________
Active



Inactive

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)

Last edited by Jai_V; 07-28-2014 at 06:46 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-25-2014
Jai_V's Avatar
Jai_V Jai_V is offline
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 360
Rep Power: 136
Jai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to behold
Tales of a Foolish Brother (Continued)

Pain.

Everything hurt. That was my first thought having realized the deputy and shopkeeper hadn't beaten me to death. Barely a whine escaped my lips when I heard a deep, resounding basso comment impassively, "You'll live. Wouldn't go filchin' no more if yor gon' get caught." I forced my eyes open only to find that I stared into an unending darkness. "Muh-my eyes! I can't see!" Panic set in, but before I could raise myself, a calloused hand bared down on my naked chest. "Stop." the voice said in a patient tone, "Yor fine. It's just dark in here. Be still. And rest." The last word came out in something of a bestial growl. I lost myself to darkness, once more.

I was roused with a sudden shudder. My eyes opened to a blinding brightness that soon shrank to a few tolerable daggers of light. I realize that I was moving, along with everything else. Looking around, I found myself in a very fitting place: the back of a wagon. Unlike a proper Gurani wagon, this one was made to deny freedom to it's occupants. Realization took my eyes to the space that voice had come from. I saw a large, gray-skinned half-orc with eyes like pools of cloying blood looking down upon me. "Toldja you'd live." he said in that same patient basso.

He introduced himself a Fuolgrim, the pugilist. He explained our situation was dire. After they beat the sense out of me, the deputy had hauled me into the jail. That night, slavers had passed through and offered to buy out any decent stock from the local lock-up. They'd chosen Fuolgrim for obvious reasons: he was large, half-orcish, and a trained fighter. Their reasons for choosing me were less obvious, though he did notice some finger-waggler using their doka before deciding to take me. I mused that even cursed Gurani must be useful to someone. "I ain't finna be no slave." he snarled. He held up his manacled left hand and wiggled his fingers before setting it on the floor. "Break it." he grunted quietly. I looked up to him with a mixture of pity and fear, "B...but I can't break metal chains..." He growled low, but didn't move his hand. "My thumb. Slip the bond. Only need one hand to fight."

The whole plan seemed grazy, but when a angry half-orc who beats people to death for a living tells you to do something, you do it. I stood, well, stooped really, and drove the heel of my foot down on the offered thumb. There was an audible crunch and to his credit, I never heard Fuolgrim make a sound. Soon, his hand was free and he looked to me with an expression of pity. "Sorry, kid." he said in that simple, honest basso. The chain of his shackle wrapped around my neck and he began to choke me. "Gonna kill 'em!" he roared, "Gonna kill that bastard!" Instinct made me grip the chain and try to wrestle it away from my neck.

I might as well have been trying to wrestle a dragon.
__________________
Active



Inactive

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)

Last edited by Jai_V; 07-28-2014 at 06:58 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-25-2014
Jai_V's Avatar
Jai_V Jai_V is offline
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 360
Rep Power: 136
Jai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to behold
Aside, again.

In my travels, I tried to meet and speak with other Gurani. Many that I met near the Lake of Steam seemed to recognize me, or knew something about me, and they would not even speak to me at length. One grows weary of such rejection after a while, but I couldn't give up. It seemed to truck with other Gurani was the only way to learn anything of my people, as all the gadje had to say were either false pleasantries or vulgar curses. I'd later learn that many of the gadje fear the deochi, or what many call "the Evil Eye." They believe that the Gur can curse you with but a glare. This accounted for the fake kind words. It's true that some Gurani can hex others, but it's not common.

The truth is no one really likes us. We're outcast. And me? I'm an outcast among outcasts, and cursed to top it all! This is why I'm called Thrice-Cursed Ruslan.
__________________
Active



Inactive

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)

Last edited by Jai_V; 07-28-2014 at 07:00 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-25-2014
Jai_V's Avatar
Jai_V Jai_V is offline
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 360
Rep Power: 136
Jai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to behold
Tales of a Foolish Brother (Continued)

My vision began to tunnel and spots exploded into view. "Stop the Caravan!" a driver cried. "The pig's killin' the Rashemi!" It all happened so fast. The slavers were in the back with their cudgels when Fuolgrim launched me into one of them. We toppled to the ground, but I was so happy to breathe again, I almost hugged the slaver. With a series of quick combinations from swinging his manacle like a flail and utilizing the knock-out punch of his one good hand, Fuolgrim made short work of the other two slavers. With that good hand, he hoisted me off the other and delivered a single blow, straight down, with all his considerable bulk behind it. I was almost certain I heard the slaver's skull crack like an egg. With nowhere to go, the slaver's head absorbed the full force. Fuolgrim threw himself out the open back door and waved me to follow. "C'mon!" he beckoned.

I didn't need to be told twice. Faster than I thought was possible. I was starving, been nearly beaten to death one day, and choked to death the next...but I was free, again. Unsteady on my feet, I stumbled along at Fuolgrim's urging, just ahead of the half-orc and heading to the cover of a nearby wooded bog. A piercing whistle sounded and I heard Fuolgrim groan. Spinning deftly on my feet, I turned to see another crossbow bolt plink into the half-orc's massive upper torso. Then, another. I was about to run and help when he bellowed, "GO, GOD'S DAMN YOU!"

I'd like to tell you that I summoned a great courage and went back to help the first person to help me since that widow died. I'd like to tell you that we fought off the remaining slavers and freed any other captives. I'd like that...I'd like to tell you anything other than I left the closest thing I had to a real friend to die at the hands of those slavers. But I'm here to tell this story, and Fuolgrim...

Hopefully, Fuolgrim never has to worry about slavers, again.

I won't lie...when he told me to run, to forget about him? It felt as though a great weight had been lifted from me. I felt no regrets.
__________________
Active



Inactive

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)

Last edited by Jai_V; 07-28-2014 at 07:04 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-25-2014
Jai_V's Avatar
Jai_V Jai_V is offline
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 360
Rep Power: 136
Jai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to behold
Another Aside.

The first Gurani that ever spoke to me, at length, I'd met traveling alone. He was a jolly old kak named Vasily, and he was on his ga kris. The ga kris is a sort of "last journey" some of the Gurani set off on when we're close to death. You wander the world one last time before returning home to die.

He knew what I was before I could introduce myself, and greeted me as kumpania. It was the first time another Gurani had done so. The first village we stopped at on our travels together was small and unremarkable, but I vividly remember the rocking chairs outside the quiet, bucolic Inn. We shared a pipe. I'm not ashamed to say that, it being my first, it damn-near killed me. Since then, I've not been much of a smoker. We shared stories of our lives and of the open road as we continued to travel together. He taught me almost everything I know of the Gurani culture. He even imparted on me some folklore, and tall-tales.

After many weeks, I finally told him the particulars of my childhood. I remember worrying he'd send me away, but he just shrugged and said, "It sounds to me like your father was gadje. And likely more. I know not what spirits seek you, but your eyes...they're like the shigei." (Shigei is the Gurani word for elven.) "What is it about my eyes, Kak?" Kak roughly translated, means "uncle." It's a respectful term for an elder male in a Gurani kumpania. The old man puffed his pipe, exhaling a large cloud of smoke as he laughed. "It's clear as crystal for those with eyes to see." He shooks his head and said in a more somber tone, "I'm sorry, Ruslan. Likely, you'll never be welcomed at the caravans of your kumpania." I frowned, "But...what if I pluck out my offensive eyes?" I asked. Could I do that? Was I willing to sacrifice my sight for my family?

Vasily laughed again.

"Cursed, half-Gurani, and blind?" The old man smirked, his eyes alight with genuine mirth, "Dame Fortuna favors the bold, son, but that's just...d'nilo." It was crazy. I was embarrassed for even having thought it, and it showed. Vasily clasped a hand on my shoulder and gave me a gentle shake. "Forget those Gurani! Find yourself another family! Or better yet, meet many beautiful chavi, and start one of your own!"

Few times in my life do I remember feeling so at ease as much as my journey with Vasily. After several months together, he died quietly in the night at an Inn. I would have seen him home, but I didn't know where to go. I buried him in the shade of a gnarled-wood tree, and hung his beaded necklace from the sturdiest branch.

Safe journeys, Kak...
__________________
Active



Inactive

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)

Last edited by Jai_V; 07-28-2014 at 07:10 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-25-2014
Jai_V's Avatar
Jai_V Jai_V is offline
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 360
Rep Power: 136
Jai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to behold
Tales of a Foolish Brother (Continued)

Away, I ran. But to what? My hands were still shackled, and as I didn't know the area, I was running blind. Into a swamp. So fleet of foot was I, the slavers gave up the chase. Or maybe they just decided I wasn't worth trudging through a swamp for.

There I was, in the middle of a bog, nearly beaten to death not long before, and likely close to starving. The sky darkened and I trudged on, cursing the murderous slavers that had brought me here. I cursed the ignorant yokels that had traded me to them, and even the hateful Aunt that turned me away. And I cursed my father, because even though I'd never met him, this was all his fault. Before I realized it, the bog had grown darker than my eyes could see. I knew I should keep moving, but I was so tired. Sleeping in the middle of swamp was the last thing I should be doing, as the possibility of waking up literally neck-deep in alligators was not out of the question. But...my strength was gone. I pressed myself against a weeping willow and prayed that whatever came for me made my death quick. As my eyes fluttered shut, I could have sworn a woman was seated next to me.

In my dreams, my mother carried me in her arms. She seemed so large, and I, so very small. "Just a little further now, Ruslan." she gently reassured me. Then, she began singing a lullaby in the Gurani tongue. So peaceful...I felt so safe...

"Boy!"

"Hey boy!"

"Boy!!"

Something unrelenting prod me in my side. I could barely open my eyes and ineffectively brought up a hand in defense. I should have noticed that I was no longer shackled, but I was near mad with starvation. "...food...please..." I croaked through a dry and bile-burnt throat. About that time, I lost consciousness. Again.
__________________
Active



Inactive

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)

Last edited by Jai_V; 07-28-2014 at 07:13 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-25-2014
Jai_V's Avatar
Jai_V Jai_V is offline
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 360
Rep Power: 136
Jai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to behold
A short, musical interlude...followed by yet another aside.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPoZWFNB8Jo

I know...I know...I know. By now you're thinking, "Ruslan, don't you do anything besides complain and faint?" Trust me: this story doesn't have some of my finer moments, but it's part of how I ended up here.

And that's what matters.
__________________
Active



Inactive

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)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-25-2014
Jai_V's Avatar
Jai_V Jai_V is offline
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 360
Rep Power: 136
Jai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to behold
Tales of a Foolish Brother (Continued)

When next I woke, I thought for sure that I still dreamt.

A vision of beauty dressed in an angel's robe sat at my side, ministering my needs. A blink later, I realized that haze of sleep had worn off and I lay upon a straw mattress with an all-too-human girl beside me. While she was not unattractive, her mien was plain and not at all angelic. Simple, dirty-blond hair was pulled up into a messy bun, she had a round face but with a defined chin and thin lips on the beige side of pink. Her doe eyes were a deep and somber brown. She'd make a wonderful housewife and likely would never be overly fat, even after a child or four. From a wooden bowl, she fed me a weak broth that tasted of turnip stock and pork trimmings. Not that I was complaining, mind you...back in the bog, I wasn't sure I'd wake, at all.

How did I get to this farm, anyway? What had happened to my bonds? These were mysteries that, to this day, I've yet to solve.

The next two days passed much like the first: I was fed weak broth, twice daily. The girl would help me up and walk me to the outhouse, every so often. Once, I caught her peeking at my manhood as I was relieving myself. At seemingly random times, she'd disappear, presumably to see to some chores around the homestead. Eventually, I was well enough to see to myself, and that's when the older man reappeared. He asked me questions about myself, to which I lied, pretending I'd forgotten who I was and everything about my life up 'til waking on the isolated farm. He offered me one more night's stay, but in the morning, said he'd "prayed upon it" and offered me to stay, sleeping in the hay-loft of his barn and to feed me, if I'd help with the chores.

I didn't know the first thing about farming, but I knew I wasn't strong enough for the road, yet. So I stayed, working alongside Declan, and (as it turned out) his niece, Isolde. I'd soon learn that I was ill-suited for farming, but for the time, it was just nice to be part of a family.
__________________
Active



Inactive

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)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-25-2014
Jai_V's Avatar
Jai_V Jai_V is offline
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 360
Rep Power: 136
Jai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to beholdJai_V is a splendid one to behold
A vision...and an aside.



"I have this...recurring dream.

A city, floating in the sky above a verdant, rain-soaked valley. A shadowy figure stands at the edge, staring down on me. I stand on the ground, a quiet storm raging around me, but it never touches me. All I hear is my mother's Gurani lullaby, echoing in the eye of the storm.

The dream began after my night in the swamp. It's this dream that led me here...

I don't know if the Sundered Valley holds any answers, or just more questions. But I'm here. Buy me a drink?"
__________________
Active



Inactive

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)

Last edited by Jai_V; 04-29-2016 at 10:01 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


Sundren - Archive - Top  
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:41 AM.
Sundren.org Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
All content of this website is property of its respective owners: Webmaster