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Established February 2010
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* Plot Information for Pruul

Seven children are destined to save Pruul and shake the traditions of the territory to their very core. In response, factions have broken the peace of a previously unified territory and violence has erupted across the dessert. It is a battle between the past and the future, the young and the old, and blood won’t stop seeping into the sand.
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Author Topic: Balancing Guidence with Submission  (Read 355 times)

Description: Attn: Jasper, Babak, and eventually Azar

Offline Hadjara al-Izar

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Balancing Guidence with Submission
« on: Dec 19, 18, 10:56:34 PM »
(Set in the days after the Sandworm attack)

Hadjara moved more tired than she had ever thought she could be.  Even a full day chasing after Fari hadn’t left her feeling so drained, which was to be expected.  What she had done today had been more than just physical, but it had drained her soul.  So many.  She knew death, had grown up with its breath in her face all her life, but this… this had been so much.  Death in the mines had been singular, or in the rare case of a shaft collapse a few but this death had reeked and filled the air.  So many, she could still hear the wailing of the mourning in her ears even in the quiet of the growing night.  She wanted to just curl up in Babak’s embrace and drown out the sounds with his heartbeat but Fari would be hungry.  No, Kurush would have been certain to have prepared her meal and fed her, she knew for certain he was always hyper vigilant to the needs of his little sister but she wanted the intimacy that came from cuddling her daughter close to her.  She needed to embrace life after handling so much death.

She supposed they had been more fortunate than some, but that was only because they were so small, a fledgling clan that only had a fraction of the other older and established clans.  Still, the losses were felt deeply.  Alaleh had arrived after sunrise, her own face tired and heartsore from the losses and had taken her aside.  Somberly, she had told Hadjara that she had a duty.  There were dead, and whether they had undergone their Trials to join in the Clan, they were still part of them.   These were the people who had sat for months at their walls seeking to join them.  Their water should be saved and shared.

Hadjara had balked at the idea.  She hadn’t wished to be an Aubdina.  She had only done what she had to in the name of survival but she knew in her heart of hearts that she had a responsibility to her Clan now.   She should have reached out for other Aubdina, asking for assistance but with the city in lockdown she wasn’t even sure if there were any others and besides the fact, she didn’t want to draw any focused attention from the head of the Aubdina.  Vashti had told her that Azar had sent someone to find her, that someone ended up bonding to Vashti.  She had met Tariq just the once, he seemed like an honorable fellow and if Vashti trusted him, then Hadjara would have to as well.

Alaleh had helped lead her through the ritual.  Her mother had been an Aubdina as well and as a child Alaleh had learned at her side the craft of the Aub, but she had never undergone the Rites.  She had never felt the desire to join that ranking.   Hadj was grateful for her assistance, and the first one had been almost painful, a strange equating feeling of the same pressure and force she had felt in birthing Fari only instead of having a focus, it felt like she was pulling from all over her body.  Her vision had swum and she didn’t remember her Trials being so difficult.   Alaleh must have seen the expression because it was she who reminded her that in her Trials, the water was abundant and already inside her.  She was commanding the Water of another to her will, and that would take much practice.

Babak tended to her between each, bringing her cool drink and food and urging her to rest and recover before taking on another.  There was her own health to think of, and the health of Fari.  She was still nursing, though only in the evenings as a sort of bonding ritual and because the Healer Setare had told her that it was perfectly alright to do so.  In fact, she said that most children showed a stronger constitution the longer they received the nutrition that a mother’s milk could provide.    She wasn’t ready to give up that last vestige of connection to her baby, and Fari seemed content as well so she had to be certain she wasn’t doing anything to disrupt that.

There were just so many.  Hadj looked down the line of covered forms, large and small and it was the smallest of the children that broke her resolve, leaving her clinging to Babak as she sobbed for the loss.   Still, when she was rested, she took that child’s water just as she did the mother beside him because the water was needed and because this was a part of who she was now, who she had to be for her Clan.  Kurush had taken it upon himself to occupy Fari’s attention as the day progressed so that Babak had the leave to remain by Hadjara’s side and she thanked the Darkness profusely for both of the men in her family, ready to step up in the most difficult of times with their love and support.   

Babak had insisted that she rest in the middle of the day, to sleep for a few hours and let her jewels and her spirit refresh.  Someone had placed cooling spells through the large room that was being used to keep the bodies, to prevent them from decaying in the Pruulian heat.   Once their water had been removed and stored, then their bodies would be burned on stone pyres by witchfire.   Those that had no family to speak for them, Hadj had already decided she would stand witness for them.

Hadj stared at the bodies still awaiting her Craft, looked to Alaleh and Babak and shook her head wearily.  “There’s too many.  I don’t think I can do all these bodies. I just…” she looked back at the cloth covered forms bleakly.   Alaleh stepped up and placed her hand on Hadj’s shoulder, her dark eyes sympathetic.  “You are not trained, not fully.  Of course this will be taxing on you.   You do not have to do them all today Sister. They will keep until you are ready.”

Hadj looked at her, “but the longer I wait, the more the water within will be corrupted, isn’t that right?”   Alaleh’s shoulders drooped and she nodded her head.  “The water of the dead should be harvested before the second sunset else the poison of death begins to taint the water and then it will further need to be cleansed.”   Hadj gave a little rueful laugh, “I barely have the skill to do this.  I can’t…”   She glanced up at the ceiling as if she could see through it and to the brightly glowing orb above her head for a moment, growing silent.

“The other Aubdina that are still in the city will be busy with their own Clans, their own Tribes.  I can’t ask…” she shook her head and sighed, pushing up her sleeves.  Alaleh glanced at Babak,  whose face was stoically worried for his lady.  He had stepped up to wrap his arms around Hadjara’s waist and let her rest back against his broad chest. 

“There is one who can help you, one who has the skills to support your Craft where I cannot.  Trained in the rituals of the Aub, though he is not a Brother of our Caste.  I knew his mother, a time when I trained at Dar al-Saleem.   You already are familiar with our Jasper I am aware.  He was brought up as an Escort for the Aub.  He wears jewels of sufficient strength and he has been witness to far more than i have in these things.  I think, if there is a way to accomplish this, you will need him at your back.”

Hadj, who had let her eyes close in a slight repose, looked at her.  “Jasper will certainly be with the Situla, helping their survivors.  I cannot pull him away from his own Tribe to assist me.  It wouldn’t be right.”   Alaleh shook her head, “No, but it is necessary and he will understand.  You are not asking him as Jasper al-Situla, you are asking him as an Escort of the Aub.   This is your right and his sworn duty.   He will understand.”

Hadj nodded her head, turning in Babak’s arms to rest her head against his shoulder as his arms pulled her tighter.  She could sleep, sleep through the next several days but it had to be done and done today.  She looked up at Babak, her eyes apologetic.    She knew he did not like to see her so tired,  but she hoped he would understand her duty.  Giving him a little smile, she reached up to pat his cheek gently, “I will be careful, I promise.”

Closing her eyes again to rest her cheek to his shoulder, she reached out on the Blood Opal thread, *Jasper.   I am sorry to disturb your mourning but I have need of you, your knowledge and your training with the Aub.  Will you come to the Izar Quarters and assist me?*

Offline Babak al Tabur

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Re: Balancing Guidence with Submission
« Reply #1 on: Apr 11, 19, 05:31:25 PM »
Set in the days after the Sandworm attack.

Babak al-Tabur tended to his lady, as she tended to her duties. His personal thoughts on the matter at hand was never voiced. Unlike Hadjara and her family, he had seen mass death before. He was particularly stoic, stonily cool and hard to read. Most tribes (and despite its desire to mimic what it was not, the size of the al’Izar was no more than a tribe) did not even have a Water Priestess. Those that did, would not risk her Jewels, health or sanity by pushing at her.

But this was the al-Izar tribe, and they pushed.

His cool expression grew more remote when the al-Izar Priestess insisted that every tribe here had an Aubudina to assist them. (Which they did not - Priestess were rare. Few of that sacred and essential class chose to attempt the rites to become an Abudina. And of those, 9 in 10 died. If there were even 5 Aubdina in Oon at the moment, Babak would be astonished. There might be three dozen in the whole world; there would not be fifty of the sacred Water Priestesses. Therefore the suggestion that every body was would be harvested in this fashion was ... pressuring. The subtly presented notion that during times of war or disaster that was precisely what occurred drew a single, sharply reproving glance from Babak.

His Lady caressed his sharp-featured face, and Babak pressed a kiss to her fingers. He simply watched, as her eyes unfocused, and she summoned this person to her.