Tag Archives: inner graphomaniac

Not just a dream.

Hot afternoon air was filled with cicadas singing and a faint smell of dry grass, flower blossoms, and strawberries. Children’s laughter rang across the garden and Circe blinked several times trying to get used to the white sunshine. That garden! That exact day, she realized, shaking her head in disbelief. That dream… She hadn’t had it in a while.
Stepping lightly, she walked deeper into the garden to once again watch, and listen, and… remember.
The boy and the girl were there, sitting near the fountain and arguing.
“Stop it, that looks stupid! I look stupid” the boy tagged at the side of a flower crown.
The girl giggled. “You don’t! You look cute. Sit still.” She added another flower.
“Why can’t we just get the books and talk of dragons?”
“‘Cause we did it last time and I have won the bet!” Another flower joined those in the crown. “As always!” singsonged the girl.
“Not always!” argued the boy. “I let you win, so I don’t have to see you cry!”
“Are you now?”
“Yes, I do!”
“No, you don’t!”
“Yes, I do!”

Circe could recall with a minute to minute precision every word they would say, every move they would make, as well as every time she dreamed of this scene.

The first time she had this dream many years ago, as a child, just mere weeks before her friend perished with his whole family in something that later her Nan called a “daedric incident”. The dream was back after that each time to leave her in tears on waking up from it. She remembered that one and only time when it changed, adding another detail to itself. Several years after the incident she felt the presence of another spectator in it, moments later noticing a vague cloaked in shadows figure behind the trees on the other side of the clearing. A couple of months after that she acted on her decision to run away from home to avoid an arranged marriage. Since then that Another, as Circe called the figure, became the essential part of the dream. Time after time she tried to get closer to the figure to see the intruder more clearly, failing every time, always facing an invisible wall, preventing her from getting a better view.
There it was again, dark figure – standing and looking at the children’s playful argument. Slowly, carefully she moved, trying to reach it again.

Step.
“You look like an elf from the book,” said the girl. “Nan has that book with fairy tales she read me when I was smaller.”
Step.
“You’re still small,” scoffed the boy. “You’re only 12.”
Step.
“Hey,” the girl lightly pushed him. “Almost 13 and I don’t need Nan to read me anymore!”
Another little step. That’s where she usually is met by the invisible wall.
“But you’re still reading fairy tales,” teased the boy.

To Circe’s surprise, she could take another couple of steps towards the figure. And then some more. She could see it clearer now – definitely male, stubborn chin and pressed together lips. The upper part of the face, as well as the edges of the silhouette, were still blurred, but whoever it was he seemed to be mesmerized by the scene in front of him.
Circe stole a glance at the children near the fountain. 12 year old her tucked the last flower in the boy’s hair and was now examining the flower crown on his head with deep satisfaction on her face. “You really look like an elf, but we will need to think of another name for you. “Alastair” doesn’t sound very elven.”

Circe blinked, suddenly noticing that the smell of strawberries overpowered everything else. She carefully reached forward trying to touch the man’s arm, and as if sensing her movement he turned to face her. “Who are you?” she whispered, blinking furiously and trying to make out his face, still being unable to see it clearly. The smell of strawberries and cicadas trills got overwhelming and the dream suddenly crumbled in pieces, shattering like glass around her.
She woke up in her small apartment at the Belkarth Inn. “Time to get the job done!” She will check that abandoned house in the outskirts of Elinhir to see if its previous owner left anything of value behind and then head back to Abah’s Landing, she decided. She’s been away long enough.

A little bit on the posts down the line

Alastair and Circe are two young Imperials, awkward dorks whom we RP with an old friend of mine in ESO (alongside with Rin and Garzur, but that’s another story altogether). We’re in the middle of their storyline, far from its end, but it’s fun enough to tease my lazy plot bunnies into action and writing some bits down. I plan, but, honestly, don’t see myself writing a full-scale story about those two in any visible future, so there’s just it – small drabbles about them and their efforts to figure out mutual feelings and stuff.

Pickpocketing

“You’d never pickpocket me.” He smiled widely at Circe, pleasantly warm and his head buzzing slightly from the wine. “I’m always alert.”
Young woman’s eyebrows shot up. “Are you, really?”
Alastair snorted. “Of course! Besides you said it yourself, you’re not too good…”
“But I’m not that bad either!”
Alastair’s grin got even wider. “Ok, how about… I’ll take this septim and put it here…” – he carefully tucked the coin behind his belt. “Come on, try to get it from me!”
Circe’s eyes narrowed. “Are you challenging me?” She took a small step towards the man. “You?” She took another step, coming close. “Or are you just trying to piss me off?”
Alastair blinked, she looked really angry that moment – eyes narrowed and nostrils flared. Angry and… beautiful. He blinked again trying to clear his head and stand his ground. “Well, you wanted to prove you can make it after all, didn’t you?”
“Oh, you…” Circe’s finger was now poking him in the chest. “I! Do not! Have! To prove! You! Anything!” Abruptly she took a step away and turned his back to him, and Alastair suddenly noticed her shoulders were shaking.
He felt like a bucket of ice-cold water washed over him. He didn’t just make her angry, he… made her cry? “Circe, I… (am the worst, I’m sorry, I’m so, so sorry, I didn’t mean to! Please forgive me!)”
The young woman took a deep breath and turned to him. There wasn’t a trace of tears on her face and her eyes were shining with mirth – on the palm of her hand was lying a septim coin.
Alastair’s jaw dropped and his hand shot to his belt. There was no mistake, a coin on Circe’s palm was the one he challenged her to take from him.
“How did you…? When did you…?”
Circe stopped close to him again, took his hand and gently pressed the coin into it.
“Seems like I’m not that bad after all, aren’t I?”

Scandalous Sweetrolls

Art book, “Allure of the Sweetroll”
Rare art book, “Ong’s Passion: Allure of the Sweetroll”,
depicting healthy unclad Imperials holding artfully placed sweetrolls.
(from the item description)

“Make yourself at home, it won’t take long.” Saying that Circe disappeared through the doorway leaving him in her small, but cozy apartment in the Belkarth inn.
“Might’ve as well waited in the common room” he muttered more to himself, feeling slightly awkward surrounded with her belongings and a faint smell of jasmine – so distinctively “hers” that it made him dreamy and dizzy at the same time. Alastair sighed and looked around. A stack of books on a small shelf got his attention, and he moved closer – history, poetry, something about cooking. Cooking? Alastair shook his head, Circe definitely knew how to cook, but reading a cooking book – that was new! “Allure of the Sweetroll” – even the name sounded tempting. Snatching the book from the shelf he flipped through the pages.
The room suddenly seemed much smaller and way hotter, and he felt treacherous bright red color creeping up his neck to his cheeks. Alastair shut the book with a loud snap. That was not a cooking book! Oh, there were sweetrolls in it, sure, plenty of them actually. Held by and placed on various body parts of young Imperials.
Suddenly he remembered lingering looks Circe gave him several days ago when he was eating one of the sweetrolls she brought. No. Oh, no! Or? The blush that started to disappear was back. Could it be that she made those on purpose?
He dared another peek in the book, opening it in the middle and flipping some more pages. Oh. Oh! His breath caught, and he paused looking at the two portraits of a young woman. The first showed her holding a sweetroll in both palms as if offering it to him, and on the second she was biting in the plump pastry’s side, still looking straight at the viewer, her smiling lips lightly smeared with the white icing. She didn’t look like Circe, except for, maybe, the color of her eyes – but it didn’t help. All Alastair could see was Circe smiling like that and biting the sweetroll.
“Here’s the letters I wanted to… Oh!”
Alastair spun around facing her. Circe’s looked at his burning face, then at the book in his hands and at his face again tilting her head to the side in surprise and amusement.
“I thought you were more into huge Redguard guys!” he blurted out trying to hide his embarrassment.
“I… What? No! I… What are you talking about?” Circe’s turned the most lovely shade of pink. She took a step closer, looking at the book’s cover. “That’s not what you think it is! It’s an artbook!”
“Yes. Right. Art…” His voice trailed off.
“But it is! It even says so in the foreword.”
“I… I think I’d better go now.” Trying not to meet her eyes with his Alastair scooted over to the door.

***********

The first thing he saw getting back home was Garzur… lazily chewing a sweetroll. Alastair choked on a greeting and froze at the doorstep, looking at his friend. Orsimer vampire rose his eyebrows and after a brief pause broke the pastry in two, offering half to him. Blood rushed back to the young man’s cheeks.
“By the Divines! I think I had enough of those today!” With that he stormed upstairs, leaving puzzled orc to wonder how an innocent offering of a sweetroll might’ve caused such reaction.

Lylianthar BIO

Suddenly realized i missed posting Lian’s BIO here all those years ago. So – some catching up =)

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Name: Lylianthar Erunrionamion Caemael
Gender: male
Race: Altmer
Birthdate: 25th of Sundusk 2E422 (that makes him 161 year old at the time period of ESO events, which, as I see it, matches a human age of 30-32)
Birthsign: The Lord
Deity: Magnus, Syrabane

Height: 6’3”
Weight: 198 lbs (approximately)
Hair color: Ash blonde
Eye color: Golden
Tattoos:  none
Scars: several minor, mostly unnoticeable burns

Place of birth: Alinor, Summerset Isles
Employment: Elemental Mage, Enchanter
Class: Sorcerer

Skills: Elemental talent, Rune prison
Weapon of choice: Inferno Staff

Likes: Reading legends and lore books, solitude
Dislikes: Loud noises, being ordered around, pranks, mage robes.

Favorite food: Red wine, cheese

Personality: Lylianthar is a brood stuffy Altmer–at least that is what one might think at first sight. Underneath he is kind and caring though he isn’t comfortable with open display of his feelings.  He is usually easily annoyed and prefers solitude to any sorts of communication – he likes to talk about literature though and finds the company of those who shares his interest not only tolerable but extremely nice.
Unlike many Altmers he doesn’t see other races as barbaric or off-sort. Lian is fascinated with Bosmeri lore and legends.
Lian hates his middle-name with all passion.

Family: Both Lian’s parents are the classic examples of “superiorly bred mer” – highborn, pureblood, very talented mages. Lian has a sister –Tharawen,– who is several decades older than he is. Their parents were not the nicest people to grow up around. Thara’s been the only child in the family up to her late teens when Lian was born. She has never shown any signs of being a mage and for her parents it was like a slap across the face. Thara was constantly told that since she’s not a mage she won’t be considered with proper respect, that she’s a “good-for-nothing parental failure” and other “nice things” like that. When Lian was born and it became clear that he has a pretty exceptional arcane talent he immediately became their parents’ “favorite project” – from the scientifically scrutinizing attention point of view. Basically Thara “mothered” Lian – telling him bed-time stories, sharing hugs, comforting him, etc – and their mother was just a happy scholar who finally found a suitable test subject to study and train. When Thara was old enough she married out of the family and this marriage turned out to be a happy one–her husband respects her greatly for her alchemy talent and supports her with her shop. Lian had to stay with their parents for several more years but took off to Auridon the moment the opportunity presented itself.

Friends: If asked, Lian would probably say he has plenty of acquaintances but no friends. Though lately he starts to enjoy the company of a certain Bosmer huntress too much to call her just an acquaintance.

Bits and pieces. Chapter 6.

“She accused you of improper behaviour? Of performing something inappropriate and indecent?” Rin’s eyes went wide. She and Lian were sitting at his favourite table in the corner of the Salted Wings Tavern.

“Yes. Why . . . why are you looking at me like that?”

“No offence, but I have a hard time imagining you doing something inappropriate,” the Bosmer chuckled.

“My mother has a better imagination, then.” His voice was devoid of any humor. “Not that I really care what–”

“Wait! I know what you should do! Write her back–”

“Not in a million years.”

“I said wait! You should write her that you’re dating me!”

What?” His face went from pale white to crimson red in a couple of heartbeats.

“Okay, okay . . . that was a little bit too rough.”

“A little bit?” Lian looked as if he had trouble breathing.

“Shoosh! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you.”

The mage studied his companion, spotting the apologetic notes in her tone and secretly wondering what exactly she was apologizing for.

“Okay, how about you write your mother that you have a Bosmer friend who is teaching you to hunt in the wilderness? And is prompting you to follow the Green Pact.”

The Altmer looked at her for a long time, taking in her cheeky smile, shining green eyes and the mischievous look on her face, then he weakly smiled back.

“Altmer mages are very good at inflicting curses, you know?”

“And Bosmer hunters are very good at deflecting them.” Rin answered without batting an eyelash.

Lian slowly shook his head. It was difficult not to fall under Rin’s sly mood or at least just stop smiling and take things serious. “I’m not sure if I’ll do something like that right now. But maybe I’ll take you at your word someday.”

“Sounds good enough for me.”

“There you are!” Bagir-Ra materialized almost out of nowhere. “Just look at the two of you, sitting so cosy, having breakfast together!”

“Hey there, Ragi!” Rin smiled at her friend, chuckling slightly at the annoyed look that appeared on Lian’s face.

“As much as this one hates spoiling your breakfast, she is afraid we have some work to do. Oh, and Raz sent you his regards.”

“Give me a couple of minutes, will you?”

“Ah, well, might as well grab something to have a bite on the run. Ragi will meet you outside; don’t dally!”

Rin turned to the mage. “I’m sorry, it seems I’ll have to leave earlier than I thought.” She noticed a grim expression on his face. “What?”

“Guessed that much when the furry friend of yours dropped on our heads out of the blue.”

“Oh, no need to be snarky!”

“I’m not,” he snapped. “Have I heard it right? Raz was sending his regards? Is it ‘Raz’ like in “Razum-Dar”?”

“It is, why?”

“He works for the queen, or so the rumors go. Who are you then, to get his regards?”

Rin arched her eyebrow – a trick she had learned from her twin and the one both of them successfully used to demonstrate their perfect innocence. “Me? I’m just a simple hunter who sometimes does fetching contracts for the Fighters Guild, nothing more.”

The look he gave her could have frozen a stream on a hot summer day. “If you say so.”

She sighed. “Listen, I really am. I just sometimes do some weird jobs. But thanks to those, you get some nice books added to your collection,” added the Bosmer with a mischievous grin. “I’ll come visit you next time I am in the town.”

She paused at the doors, lightly waving him a goodbye. With just a hint of a smile, he subtly waved back.

* * *

“So, it’s you and Mister-Broody-Magic-Pants?” Ragi was grinning from ear to ear. “This one hasn’t seen you a mere couple of days and there you are, having a family-looking breakfast together!”

“It’s not what you think it is!” Gwilwering felt a sudden urge to defend that something  was going on between her and the Altmer mage. “And since when, by the way, has an independent Khajiit I’ve known all these years started playing errand girl for Razum-Dar?”

“Since the moment this one laid her eyes on that gorgeous, sand-colored fur, his proud posture, and heard him speaking! Since that very moment, this one was enthralled and ready to do anything this exquisite example of the male Khajiit would want from a humble stray cat this one is.”

“Oh, shut up, you!” Rin giggled. “I can’t be mad when you are speaking like that!”

“But you must admit, he’s a pure sex, isn’t he?”

“Not my type. I prefer less fur–”

“And more broodiness!” Ragi was giggling now too. “Let’s go, we really have work to do!”

“Where to this time?”

“Skywatch.”

* * *

“Stop pacing, kitten. This one has all his confidence in our Bosmer friend. And besides, Raz’s wages aren’t that huge as you might imagine, knowing what a brilliant operative he is. This one can’t afford to pay for those grooves you’ve most likely trod in the floor.”

“How can you be so calm? Raz, Rin is all alone out there, in the middle of a den full of fanatics! This one should have gone with her. If anything happens to her . . . this one knew her since being almost a cub! How would Ragi look in Rin’s parents’ eyes if anything happens to her? And don’t call me that, I’m no kitten!”

“Of course you are not, beautiful!” The Khajiit’s voice dropped lower, becoming a purr. “You’re a fearsome lioness whose enemies tremble at a mere mention of her name!”

Ragi’s ears fluttered slightly while she tried to hide her nervousness. “Flatterer.”

“Oh, no, this one is wounded!” Razum-Dar pressed a palm over his heart. “One of the rare moments when Raz is honest to goodness, and he’s immediately accused of common flattery!” His eyes gleamed with amusement, though. He was fascinated with the young Khajiit thief – both shy and bold at the same time.

“Oh, please! This one is not accusing you–”

They both almost jumped when the door slammed. Gwilwering was dripping wet and looked enormously tired, and her jaw was set stubbornly, as if she tried as she might to keep herself upright.

“You’re back!” Ragi leaped to her friend in a one swift movement to steady the elf.

“Raz! Why are you here? Where is the queen?”

“Why, at the Manor House, of course. Why all the fuss? She’s safe there, discussing some most boring stuff with Lady Estre.”

“No, Raz! Quick, we need to hurry! High Kinlady Estre is the Veiled Queen.”

* * *

“Why haven’t we done that before?” Rin was leaning back on her elbows, lying on the warm, white sand of a secluded beach surprisingly close to Vulkhel Guard while Lian packed up the remnants of their picnic lunch.

“We would have if only one Bosmer hunter came back from her hunts at daytime and not at the beginning of the night.” he scoffed.

“Oh, please! As if it would be possible to get you out of the libraries when the sun is still high!”

“You’ll never know until you try.”

Lian finally finished fussing over picnic basket and came to sit near Rin, closing his eyes and slightly tilting his head giving his face to the bright sun rays.

“How did you find this place? It’s too close to the town to be so secluded.”

“A couple of simple wards from the wildlife. And a couple of lightning traps from not-so-wild-one.” He shrugged, turning to look at her.

“Really? You accuse me of plundering the burial grounds and then interfere with the forest’s natural ways yourself? Hmpf!”

“I have not. As I said, it was a simple ward that just intensified animals’ natural instinct of staying away from the strong predator’s territory – the only difference my ward has from those ‘natural ways’ you were talking about was that I didn’t have to mark the territory with . . . bodily fluids,” he finished, slightly embarrassed and defensive. “Two-legged creatures that think themselves a bit more civilized than a troll or an ogre usually lack self-preserving instinct powerful enough to keep away without additional convincement.”

“Hm . . . that’s a good point.”

Rin closed her eyes and wriggled her toes, digging them deeper in the soft sand. “I like it here,” she said softly. “Thank you for sharing this place.”

His throat suddenly went dry. “You’re welcome.” His voice was hoarse. “Would you like some wine?”

The little Bosmer hummed approvingly, not opening her eyes, and he paused to watch her, his gaze moving from the line of her forehead, across her high cheekbones and elegant nose, lingering on the soft, full lips.

He reached for the basket, taking out a bottle of wine and– “Oh, for the Divines sake!”

“What’s wrong?”

“One of the glasses broke; we have only one now.”

“Shouldn’t be the problem if you don’t mind sharing it, no?”

“I’m okay with it if you are.” He carefully filled the cup with wine and handled it to the girl.

“It’s yummy! And it smells nice too!” Rin took another sip and then returned the glass to him.

Driven by some unexplainable impulse, he slowly turned it and placed his lips directly over the part of the rim where girl’s lips touched it.

“It will probably feel better if done directly.” Her whisper was barely audible.

Holding her gaze he slowly put the cup aside.

“Will you let me try?”

She nodded and he shifted slightly closer to her. Lian traced his fingers across her cheek, putting a strand of her hair behind her ear, and then lightly planted a kiss on her lips. Rin’s lips were soft – even softer then they looked – and so impossibly sweet. The taste of wine mingled with something spicy, intoxicating, and so very her. Just the moment he started to withdraw, the girl leant closer to him and kissed him back.

All sounds died around them. The wash of the waves, the chirping of the birds in the branches of blossoming wild cherry trees, the whisper of the wind and leaves – all was gone, there was only him and the tiny Bosmer he had wanted to kiss for so long for now. Lian groaned, hugging Rin tightly, gently prompting her to tilt her head so he would deepen the kiss. He felt her fingers winding into his hair, and he ran his hand down her back.

After the several long moments, he reluctantly finished the kiss and rested his forehead against hers.

“So, how was it?” He felt rather then heard her smiling.

Lian opened his eyes instantly drowning in the emerald-green depths of hers.

“The sweetest thing I’ve ever tasted,” he whispered. The Altmer felt dizzy and light-headed, and somehow that was good beyond description.

“Then we’ll definitely need to try it sometime for real.” Rin’s smile was gentle and promising.

“For. . . real? What. . . What do you–”

* * *

His vision blurred, sounds of the outer world rushing in his ears – and he was awake.
Lylianthar blinked in confusion, trying to wrap his mind around what had just happened. It was a dream. Their day at the beach, the broken glass. . . and the kiss. It was nothing more than a dream.

And yet . . . traces of sweet and spicy taste still lingered on his lips.

And when he got out of the bed, he found several tiny grains of white sand stuck to his breeches.

Bits and Pieces. Chapter 5.

He was blessedly drunk. Recently his mood grew worse and the fact that the only person–as much as he was reluctant to admit that–who made him feel relaxed and at ease was out of town for almost three weeks for now didn’t help to improve it at all. 

“Two weeks and three days,” he mumbled, turning to lie on his back. Why would I even count?

Lian looked at the slowly swirling ceiling. The last straw that transformed his mood from insufferable into purely foul was a letter from his parents–he had yielded to his sister’s pleas and decided to read one of the letters that kept arriving. Oh, that was a big, big mistake. His mother’s “concerns,” as Tharawen put it, turned out to be absolute conviction that he had been spending his time “performing all sorts of inappropriate and indecent acts,” and his father made it clear that either “the son of his” stopfooling around and return to Alinor or he was going to stop paying his studying expenses. Studying expenses! It seemed his parents hadn’t even realized he was paying for everything he needed all by himself since he finished his apprenticeship.

Just reading all this made him skip the late dinner, instead going to the tavern to get a bottle of brandy and drink it almost to the bottom in the gloomy solitude of his room in attempt to just be able to stop thinking about his parents and their letter. He shouldn’t fall asleep, he thought, knowing too well what sorts of dreams are waiting for him on the other side of consciousness. Do not. Fall. Asleep. . .
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