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Weekly Challenge #2, December 13th-19th
Posted: Dec 12 2015, 11:23 PM
Weekly Challenge #2
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in our first challenge! I'm so happy you guys took to the idea! I will be awarding sovereigns to those who participated throughout the day, so keep an eye out. Now, on to this week's challenge:
"Attrectation"; frequent handling or touching
There are many dead or forgotten words out there and this week we're going to remember one of them. Take inspiration from this word and write whatever you like! There's no word limit. A bonus will be awarded if you use the word in one of your regular IC posts outside of the challenge (only once please)!
This challenge will end December 19th at 11:59pm and will have an award of 50 sovereigns with a bonus of 10 sovereigns if the side challenge is completed.
Reply below with your challenge submission to earn credit for this challenge! Please also provide a link to your post if claiming the bonus challenge.
Posted: Dec 21 2015, 10:55 AM
Due to Dinah getting smacked by the holidays and work, this will be extended until Saturday, Dec 26th!
Posted: Dec 21 2015, 04:12 PM
His hands are warm and smell of herbs. There are trace of calluses in his palms, from the wooden handle of a staff gripped too tightly in battle or frustration. His fingers are long, dexterous and strong; these healing hands that could belong to a killer in a heartbeat, a senseless monster that rips into skin and tears flesh from bones.
His index finger now marks the corner of a page, and turns the brittle paper with utmost care. Each joint curls around the page, skin brushing against its sharp edges. It draws blood in an instant. Hand withdrawing in a flash, bloodied skin shielded within lips. He'll touch his tongue to the wound now, and feel that metallic taste that he knows too well.
I kneel before him and take his hand in mine. They are larger than his, and rougher; the calluses in my hands are a criss-crossing pattern of wounds I didn't have the sense to heal. Burns from a smithy and marks from a hammer, from nicks and cuts and scrubbing floors and walls and skin. There are imprints from nails, pressed into flesh when my fists curled tight to suppress some inner rage, and scars from fights long since lost, and abandoned to some younger man, alive only in memory.
I watch his healing hands, lying in those used for worship, and worship alone, and feel them turning their attention to him, now. Skin brushes skin and is mesmerizing to behold. The warmth of his body rushes through me, the scent of herbs and old parchment that rises from his fingertips fills my nostrils. Each moment is laden with unspoken promise, and burns hot like all-consuming fire.
But his magic is a cooling light, glowing from the midst of his palm, swirling around the injured finger and then evaporating like the dew. I run my finger through the droplets of blood, and find unmarred skin beneath it. The scarlet colour of a wound forgotten stains my thumb, drying quickly.
He turns his hand and entwines his fingers with mine. Soft skin against dry, tender to the touch. I feel the weight of his touch against my cheek, tracing the line of my jaw, the contours of my cheek. He draws his fingertips tenderly across unshaven skin. I am ashamed at how rough I must be to the touch. I am not used to being touched. I do not yet know how to be prepared for it.
He may teach me, in time, to be a creature who finds it natural to be handled. To be drawn into arms and feel the brush of hands and lips across my skin, and to welcome it as I never have. He may teach me many things, for I have much to learn. An eager pupil, too long mired in ignorance. Is it wisdom he brings, or anything but?
If it is folly or madness or the devil's tendrils, Maker help me, but I don't care. I don't care, and never will, so long as it is mine to keep.
Posted: Dec 21 2015, 09:59 PM
“Zevran, have you ever wished you were someone else?” The question begged an answer and with the Warden and her female company out of camp, it had given the men the downtime to talk. Though between a Qunari who was less than conversational and a passed out dwarf who smelled like a brewery, he found the only company being that of Alistair’s. He watched the fire silently for a moment. “Quite a question, but may I ask what begs for it?” Zevran questioned, to which Alistair shrugged. “It’s just something I’ve thought about. You said you were sold to the Crows when you were very young, didn’t you? You really didn’t have a chance to be someone else, did you?”
It was at around that time that Zevran began tuning the Warden out, instead listening to the crackle of the fire as he thought about the question that was brought to him. Being someone else had never been possible for Zevran. He had always been destined in the end for the Crows, and it had been his life for as long as he could remember. There was hardly any memories left of his mother by the time he had gotten through with his training, and he hardly had much time to think of her anyway.
Zevran had never been anyone else, but he had held many different aliases, made up lives that he sometimes wished that he had, but could never truly reach. He took a deep breath as he thought about the many nights he spent in the beds of many women. There were times where they knew him as Zevran, but occasionally his work would require him to come up with a different name, a different life. It wasn’t his name they would call as his hands slid along their bodies, as the sounds of their bliss hit his ears. Soft skin was something Zevran often felt under his hands, often the very thing that kept him going through a rather miserable existence.
Though there was one woman in particular who had left her prints along his heart. With each caress, with each soft touch she knew his name as lips danced eagerly across her skin. It was the only time that he had truly felt alive in his life, and though with Tamar he was slowly regaining his will to live, he found himself thinking of her a lot more often. Rinna. He once felt that he held the very meaning of love between the palms of his hands. And now that same meaning he once thought he knew had drifted far from him, and he wasn’t sure he’d ever be able to hold it again.
But to her he was Zevran, he hadn’t needed to be someone else. He was worth something.
Finally, after Alistair had cleared his throat, Zevran turned back to him, and unreadable look on his face. He took a deep breath, shaking his head quietly.
“No. I am Zevran, and shall never be anyone else again.”
Posted: Dec 26 2015, 10:53 PM
Waiting, waiting, interminable waiting. She had been doing nothing but waiting for years now, a period that would test even her own considerable patience. Waiting was not necessarily the wrong course of action in all things. Rushing in without all of the information necessary to make the right decision could be worse than doing nothing at all. But this - they weren't waiting out a storm or investigating other avenues, they were calcified by a few weak leaders too frightened of what they might find to investigate further.
It was against her nature to question her leaders. It was against her nature to mull over their weaknesses in the dead of night, tossing daggers at the wall. That it wasn't in her nature hadn't managed to stop her doing it. What good was a Warden that no longer served? She put a few of the refugees seeking shelter through their paces - mages and Circle guards alike that had nowhere else to go now. She secretly relished the solid feeling of her own daggers in her hands at the end of each session, when she could swap out the training batons again.
Thunk, thunk, thunk. A pattern of frustration no one cared to interrupt or investigate. Her reputation was too well-established for the new recruits to desire more of her attention, and the older Wardens were stuck with troubles of their own. Her troubles under the cover of night weren't their concern anyhow. That sort of weakness was no one's concern.
Dreams continued to creep into her mind. Were they visions of the future or simply a manifestation of fear? She woke with the cold grip of her daggers at her fingertips, ready to swipe at imagined foes around the pallet. Their foes were not so easy to find or eliminate anymore. Something was going on, but without further investigation they were all but powerless against it.
The stone of the tower was crumbling beneath her feet as she paced along the western watch the next night. Not immediately, perhaps, but this whole fortress had been slowly crumbling beneath her feet for as long as she had resided here. Fifteen years and she had been so slow to notice it. She turned her daggers over in her hands, imagining the old creatures that had once met their end on the other side. It had been too long since she had been sent to anything useful.
She turned to meditation soon after, but even then kept the daggers at her side. To be without them felt vulnerable, and she had never felt less secure in Weisshaupt than she had since the Breach opened up in the sky. The cold wrought handles were reassuring in her hand, and the glint of the daggers' metal every time she turned the matched pair over again was almost hypnotic. Balance was the key for dual blades like these. A bow needed to be properly strung, her daggers needed to be the proper weight in her hands for her to feel...balanced. She needed to feel more balanced. She had to properly assess the situation, and plan accordingly. Nothing rash. Nothing but the good of the Wardens, that precept above all.
Beatrix turned the blades over once more in her hands. Nothing but the good of the Wardens.
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