Author Topic: Choleric Grace • Ginevra Trentavasi  (Read 378 times)

Silence is Violence

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Choleric Grace • Ginevra Trentavasi
« on: February 25, 2023, 02:27:08 AM »


Landscape with a Lake by Camille Corot

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The very outskirts of Vor Ziyden.
The damp soil of the inner forests, speckled with plantlife eager to fool one's senses.
Dusk comes soon, and the sickly ashen sky infiltrates 'tween the branches.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2023, 02:31:38 AM by Silence is Violence »
Can I see another’s woe, and not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another’s grief, and not seek for kind relief?

Silence is Violence

  • Outlander
  • **
  • Posts: 94
Prologue
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2023, 02:27:45 AM »

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775 BC. The Nyid of Darkon belches it's miasma onto the Core. Black clouds roil far and wide as a dragon's wings. A Borcan farmer's child outstretches a tiny hand, and it gently begins to grey.



Within a small home a married pair sits around a table. Ontop of it, an abacus; around it, written-on pieces of paper and spent butts of charcoal. The accounts don't add up.
"The landlords will notice. The house, the land, the workplace, the hog..." They lament, and hold their heads.
Within another room of their home: A workbench full of the tools of a herbalist. Vials, mortar and pestle, and a dwindling stash of dried local flora. Many colors in sight, and yet none are violet.
A child is plying her novice trade on the family's cauldron over crackling embers, a little girl of no more than twelve. She's aided by a hunched old woman whose hands don't shake yet; she pours the warm mixtures onto pewter bottles and corks them. An elixir ready to be sold.

Outside the wooden hovel a taller woman, the child's older sister, puts a leather collar around a pig. She brushes it's head, and crouches to speak to it. "Bruno, you'll help me bring back a good batch, won't you?" She tries on her best smile, and the truffle hog only answers by sniffing; it's deep black eyes an indifferent (if hungry) shade.
The older sister walks and walks, deep into the forest, following the usual trails. Branches break and fall, heavy with ash. Where one would months ago find a rich underbrush, there are only choked mounds. She can't help but think, "How much longer can we last like this?"



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Another day, another walk. Weeks of the same. The older sister takes her usual trail, despondent.
All remains the same, except... footsteps. Wide indents in the shallow grey. Echoing the mysterious steps and ducking under brambles, she finds a rugged vagabond sat underneath the shade of a gnarled tree.
The hog rushes to sniff the new scent and the man recoils, "Off me! Off me, beast!"
Enough time for her to recognize a shot on his thigh, red seeping onto cotton. A rarity, she thinks. Nobody carries pistols this far from the cities, he must've fled far.
She speaks gruffly, "Tsk, tsk, Bruno. You're supposed to find me plants, and you find me a runaway thief." She whistles, and the hog promptly returns to her side.
The man's eyebrows twitch, nervous and guilty. Sorrily, he begins, "No, listen! I need help! I didn't do anything, I swear it." He clasps his hands, "Please, if you'd just help me... leave me here, and I'll... I'll..." Tears well up.
She gives him a long look. As if unconsciously, her hand wanders to a tarnished silver pendant by her neck. It depicts a sword over a spring of belladonna. She sighs.

Not a day or two passes of the bandaged thief sleeping in the hay before the household's patriarch bangs a fist on the table, "Another damn mouth to feed! He'll be put to work, or he'll be out."
Given only a sturdy branch to walk, the thief begins to follow the woman on her daily outings. Immediately, he proves himself ignorant of wildlife and talkative. His name is Cristoforo of Pont-a-Museau, he insists; and the more he talks, a ball of regret begins to form at the mouth of the older sister's stomach.
That is, until...


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It appeared, and the forest was still.

Bruno's nose was unerring: the tell-tale scent of rotting humanity lay beneath a mound. First, low boots of fine quality were revealed. Next, the ankles and the shins by which they yanked as if exhuming a twisted root. The weathered body they found must've been a dandy or an actor in life; now bloated as a plum, with veins bloodshot, and scleras yellow. Even in these conditions, the poisonous violet lichens of Borca took his pale-still skin as fertile soil.
She was paralyzed watching Cristo crouch to rifle through the boy's pockets, dust off his fingers and forcefully remove his footwear. Once found, the cloth-of-gold lining of the boy's vest was cut and stolen too. Along with his copper and bronze rings of lapis lazuli and painted jade. Even a tooth plated in fool's gold or two were struck out with chisel and hammer. Finally, a bent pocket-watch missing the hand that tells the hour.
The Richemuloise looked up at her, "We'll split it, eh?"

Though she'd felt disgust as the dandy's belongings weighed on her coat's pockets on the walk back home, the feeling swiftly subsided as she saw her mother's face alight with relief when the riches were laid out next to the abacus.
"Once appraised and cleaned, I reckon they'll be worth a garden of nightshades," The thief smiled.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2023, 02:35:37 AM by Silence is Violence »
Can I see another’s woe, and not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another’s grief, and not seek for kind relief?