Kiir'iss

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Kiir'iss

Post by titus on Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:18 am

. (portrait pack here)

'I am called Kiir'iss, late of Myth'Sarel.' The speaker's voice conveyed a surety beyond his years, and he spoke with the assertive power of nobility. His face was ruggedly handsome and dark as the dusk, which was in stark contrast to his long mane of ivory-white hair that often partially covered a set of piercing hazel eyes set deeply over a rather pointed nose and what seemed to be an almost perpetual, mocking half-smile. He was obviously elven, but stood tall for an elf, at about 5'10". He seemed to be a young gentleman of refined taste, physically robust, and, to a casual observer, a rather amiable person. Nevertheless, the older man to whom he was speaking, sitting in the rattan chair next to him, felt a bit ill at ease in his company. Strangely enough, he couldn't say exactly why.

'Myth... Sarel?' he asked. 'I'm afraid I don't know the place.'

'Yes, few in this region do. It is a place as dark with treachery as it is with shadows. You would consider it most vile, I assure you,' answered the young rake. 'Most in my homeland are cruel, by your standards I suppose. But even so, there are those among us who are recognized even by their peers as excelling in cruelty. The most "excellent" among them is the matron mother of the first house of Myth'Sarel, Vii'yal ke-Sh'aar.' Kiir'iss regarded the elder man pointedly before continuing. 'It is said that not even the Val'sharess herself is as cruel as she, and House Sh'aar is the most feared in our region.

'All of the great houses in Myth'Sarel also excel in the domain of intrigues, and each of the foremost houses has its own retinue of trusted spies and assassins. We are clans, you see? Clans... of butchers.' Kiir'iss watched the old gentleman's reaction closely as he said this, but his listener remained impassive. 'Of course, some houses are better at this than others, but, once again, it is House Sh'aar that has the most potent force ; it is House Sh'aar that controls the government – "indirectly," of course. And the priestesses. And the money.' As he spoke, Kiir'iss' eyes grew narrower and narrower, his attention becoming carried away by the inner vision brought to him by his memories. Abruptly, he spat vehemently on the ground. '...and of course, all of the people in Myth'Sarel, to one degree or another, directly, or... indirectly.'

'Sounds like you have a bit of a grudge against the folks back home,' observed the old man.

The younger man arched a brow and laughed outright. 'Do you reckon?' he asked, the sarcasm plain in his voice. He stood tall, intensely aware of his surroundings, yet holding his body with relaxed poise, his eyes focused thoughtfully on some obscure point on the horizon. 'Perhaps. But... you be the judge of whether or not I have the right to be. I shall tell you some anecdotes.' He turned to his listener, fixing him with sharp eyes and a soft smile. 'Shall I?'

'Ehm...' the old gentleman considered for a moment, then shrugged as he replied, '...by all means.'
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Re: Kiir'iss

Post by titus on Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:26 pm

'Very well. As you may be aware, our society is matriarchal. I, as a male, have no rights there. I have suffered indignities at the hands of many of the matron mothers, and their daughters as well. But I was always a little bit "different" from the others. This isn't to say that I was ever impudent ; just that I would not continually allow myself to be trodden down as many of the other males did. I learned quickly that there are many ways reply to any would-be irritation, to turn an innocuous phrase so it would sting, and yet say it with an ingratiating smile and structure my words so that they seemed quite innocent - all while appearing completely obedient. My elder sisters certainly gave me ample enough opportunity to practice. There are three of them : Ze'lil, V'lar, and T'shever. I have no brothers.

Kiir'iss smiled suddenly. 'I also had a pet wildtooth cat once, named Vikal. He was amazing,' he announced with a wide grin. 'He could sneak up on a herd of rothe and pounce on one and practically have it down to its skeleton in 2 minutes, and neither it nor any other member of the herd would be the wiser. He and I had great fun together, until V'lar killed him one day because he was lying in her way.'

'Because he was lying in her way?' parroted the old gentleman incredulously.

Kiir'iss shrugged. 'It was her whim. There are many back home who act violently on the whims of the moment, with scarcely a thought to the consequences of what they do. They make up the vast herd of sheep in Myth'Sarel, allowing themselves unconsciously to become conditioned to follow those few who do not act thoughtlessly, but rather act with deeply convoluted designs, within plots, within schemes... This is how it was with those who led our government, predominately composed of our leading clergy.

'I did not follow their teachings blindly, like so many others in Myth'Sarel. I suppose I knew somewhere deep down that to be a follower of their god was perhaps one of the most foolhardy choices one could ever make, and I knew in my gut that there was something else, something more personal, for me. And I figured out what that was through a stroke of chance.

'Once, in a fit of caprice, Vii'yal ke-Sh'aar had me thrown into a pit of vipers. She assumed I would die, of course ; but due to a stroke of luck, I caught on a small outcropping as I fell. Or perhaps it was a root. I don't know, exactly, but in any case I never landed at the bottom of the pit at all, where, it is true, I would surely have perished. I then waited until all had retired for the evening before I climbed out. The following day, I went about my business as usual, much to the surprise of Vii'yal ke-Sh'aar and some of the clergy, who saw my restitution as a sign that I was marked by Sorgath, that he needed me for some dark and insidious special purpose.'

The old man gave a start. 'Sorgath?!'

The young rake chuckled. 'Yes... Sorgath!' he replied, almost mockingly. 'May the gods keep him forever in his hell, far away from us,' he muttered darkly, turning away again before continuing. 'He is the patron of my people ; they pray to him as their deliverer and their provider in the darkness. Bah! No baser villain exists in the extremes of the multiverse! I tell you this,' the man whirled on his listener suddenly, his finger pointing at him like a dagger drawn and ready, 'Sorgath and his followers are the reason for more misery in life than any other single thing! And this you can accept from me, surely and truly, born and bred as I am among his most devout followers.'

The old gentleman, unconsciously having shrunk back from the intensity of the young man's vehement pronouncement, worked now to right himself. Kiir'iss turned away from him again, his lips pursed, crossing his arms before continuing.

'So they thought my deliverance was a sign from him! But I knew the truth : it was not Sorgath who had blessed me that night ; it was Lysis! Lysis, the fair light of fortune! She smiled upon me well and truly. It was then that I knew that I am favored by fortune, and Sorgath be damned! I was to succeed, where others were doomed to wander aimlessly in the dark miasma that is the church of Sorgath.'

'Well, glad to know I'm not in the company of one who is just biding his time before he moves to do me in,' the old man remarked wryly.

'Not now, anyway,' the young man replied ironically, an amiable smile playing across his face.

The old gentleman was taken aback in spite of himself, then smiled uneasily. 'Well... best you'd tell me another anecdote then, hadn't you?'
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Re: Kiir'iss

Post by titus on Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:38 pm

'I shall be delighted,' Kiir'iss replied, smiling congenially. 'I'll tell you a story of a riddle that has puzzled me for some time. You seem like an intelligent sort, perhaps you may shed some light on it. It was late one evening, after the women had gone to bed, and I was working in the stables. An old squire of one of the houses had come round and we were passing the time, discussing inconsequentialities as I worked. At one point, he lowered his voice and mentioned, rather conspiratorially, I thought, that not everything in my family tree was as it seemed. He told me that my bloodline was not pure. Can you reckon? He said that there was once an 'interloper' who was 'not of this world'... but he wouldn't elaborate further. I never found out anything more about it ; the man was killed 2 days later, evidently following the report of one of our house spies who had overheard me talking with him.'

The elder gentleman was baffled. 'Well, I really don't know how you could expect me to provide you with any clues in the matter.'

'No... I supposed not,' answered the young man diffidently.

'I mean, what the hell is that supposed to mean, "not of this world"?' the old man continued. 'Makes you out to be some sort of demon child, doesn't it?' he finished, grinning broadly and shifting his position noisily in his seat.

The young man appeared thoughtful for a moment before replying. 'More likely that than an angel, I suppose. Well. No matter.'

The old gentleman eyed him curiously for a moment. 'One would almost say that you feel a certain measure of regret!' he ventured, a puzzled frown chiselled across his face. 'You know, I've heard a great deal about you Drow – how you're all a bunch of bloodthirsty animals hungering for the downfall of all that is civilised and all – but frankly, Kiir'iss, you don't seem to fit the bill all that much... Is that why you've come here from Myth...uh...whatsits' –

'Sarel.'

'Yes, right, Myth'Sarel. So you've come here because you don't fit in there? Is that it?'

Kiir'iss' snort at the man's conjecture gave way to a short laugh. 'Why... I am here.' Kiir'iss paused for a moment in reflection. 'Very well. But I will tell you one last story, first. It has to do with my coming of age. Everything I have told you so far happened to me as a boy.

'My ascent into manhood did not go unnoticed by the women of Myth'Sarel. As you can see, I cut a reasonably well-defined figure, and as I matured, many of them began to pay me special attention. The habitual debasements of the women who circulated in my day-to-day changed ; they became tinged with something new. Something... glorious!' Kiir'iss smiled broadly, his eyes shining with an almost feral gleam. 'Their barbs became even crueller – but their bodies betrayed their mouths, straying just a bit too close to me, even as their words made to push me away. And their eyes – ah, their eyes! – as much as they tried to remain haughty, they only ended up weak and imploring, lighting over my body, wondering...'

The old man gave a soft chuckle and smiled.

'One day, I received a summons. It was Vii'yal ke-Sh'aar herself who had sent for me, and had me delivered to her chambers. I was told that if I performed well, she would spare my life ; otherwise, I would be feeding the dogs upon the morn – and by this she did not mean that I would be the bearer of their food.'

'Well, obviously you must've done a good job, then, eh?' prodded the old gentleman, a roguish smile playing across his wan, stretched face.

'Am I not alive before you?' grinned the younger, amicably. 'Eh? Am I not alive before you?!' he repeated, his laughter as much a clarion of self-congratulation as it was the twisted, full-throated growl of a wild animal caught beyond its means. 'I was superb! I did not cry out even once as her slaves beat me to within inches of death, instead allowing only the most tortured of moans to escape from the depths of my soul when I could truly bear the barbs of the scourge no more. I allowed my body to express my agony to her by its writhing and straining against the shackles she'd put me in, but I did not cry out! I watched her mount in her ecstasy with the appearance of each fresh rivulet of my blood, coursing from my body onto the stonework floor all through the long night until I stood in a thick puddle of it, and my skin was hanging from my body in blackened shreds. I was lucky again that evening, you see ; she climbed the heights of ecstasy often enough through me that she dropped into slumber, for it was by her fitful snores that her slaves finally released me.'

The elder gentleman stared at him, dumbfounded.

'What's the matter, old man?' Kiir'iss prompted, his ever-present half-smile still playing across his lips. 'Surprised? One would suppose you've never met a drow matron before.'

'Eh... no... No, I don't suppose I have.'

The young rake leaned down close until his wolfish face was within inches of the old man's. 'That, my dear friend, is perhaps one reason you have lived to hear my tale in the advanced years you now enjoy,' he remarked matter-of-factly.

The old gentleman turned away from him before replying. 'So you left home in order to get away from all that torture.'

'What?' replied Kiir'iss, incredulous. 'Torture? That was not torture ; that is merely life. Or only one aspect of it, anyway. No, that is not why I left.'

'But it would seem you've spent this... "life"... in wanton torture! ...both mental and physical, visited upon you by a cruel and vile people! Is that not reason enough to want to leave?'

'Perhaps for some,' Kiir'iss replied. 'But not enough for me. I find tortures here, too ; they are everywhere. Torture is simply part of life. No, I left because of a far greater reason. I have come here, you see, so that I may gather my strength, relatively free from the hindrances I fought against in my day-to-day life back home. So I will grow, and become strong, and I will wait – patiently, as the spider in the cave waits patiently for its prey to pass before it pounces... And once I have gathered my strength – and allies, too, perhaps – when that day has come, I shall return to Myth'Sarel – and I shall topple House Sh'aar! And all within it shall die by my hand – and I shall people it anew and assume its head! ...as sure as my name is Kiir'iss ke-Sh'aar!
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Re: Kiir'iss

Post by titus on Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:08 pm

The time had sped by like a man possessed. Kiir'iss chuckled now at his numerous adventures, at the tales he'd sung, at the people he'd met... He smiled as he remembered the dapper old gentleman he'd met those many years ago, when he'd first decided to journey upwards from Myth'Sarel. He still couldn't help but grin at the stunned expression on the old gentleman's face when he'd told him that his bκte noire, the matron mother of the most powerful house in Myth'Sarel, the person most responsible for his many brushes with death, was none other than his own mother.

The intervening years hadn't been too callous to him, after all. Most reassuringly, they'd given him time to grow, and to plan. This most recent development, however – unexpected as it was – could just change everything.

It was all clear now. The great, mysterious stranger – the 'interloper,' as the old squire had called him – was a mystery no more, and small missing bits and pieces of his life, answers to questions which had remained unanswered for as long as he could remember, fell neatly into place. His phenomenal manual dexterity, his peculiar 'otherworldliness,' his uncharacteristic abilities with magic seemingly come to him 'miraculously,' his incredible luck... even parts of his own personal ethos, his unfettered desire to be 'free,' and to live and let live when the rest of the world was hell-bent on destruction – all of these were gifts from 'the interloper,' a visitor to his grandmother's bed when she was young. He knew this was so, because she had told him – although he hadn't understood it at the time. Now, however, her mysterious little remark, and many other choice snippets of confusing information he'd gathered throughout his youth, fell together like pieces of a puzzle, the answer crystallizing spontaneously for him in the same miraculously fundamental way that water, cooled down below its freezing point and yet still remaining liquid, will suddenly crystallize if it is even so much as breathed upon.

He looked at his reflection in the mirror, the evidence of the wild blood which was coursing through his veins plain to see. 'I wonder why I never had any urge to laze about basking on a warm rock,' he remarked to himself, the irony dripping from his voice. He examined his well-muscled arms again for the umpteenth time, admiring the coppery sheen they had begun to take on. 'The claws will make playing the lute more difficult,' he sighed, 'must make a note to keep a nail file on hand. But they do suggest a certain interesting advantage if I'm ever caught with my pants down.' He chuckled as he remembered the last such instance, the girl's husband coming home at a most inopportune moment. It was all he could do to escape out the window, sprinting half naked through the dark of the Calithian night, pursued by the guttural curses of some unknown caliph wafting after him on the midnight air.

He pursed his lips and smiled sardonically as he addressed his reflection in the mirror. 'You, my friend, will most certainly find a way to make this turn out to your advantage.' He stood a moment longer in thought, before shaking his head and adding with a sigh, '...but the horns... will have to go.'
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