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 A not-at-all Brief History of Keivah

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Number of posts : 31
Registration date : 2007-11-10

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PostSubject: Re: A not-at-all Brief History of Keivah   Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:15 pm

As Keivah spoke, Riaxa listened intently. She seemed to be giving all the reactions that were appropriate for the story, so Keivah grew more comfortable in telling it. Finally, nearly an hour later, Keivah sighed.

‘I really loved him,’ he said. ‘I thought he loved me.’

Riaxa had set her hand upon his knee, nodding. ‘I’m sure you did. But I hope you’ve realised that he is an evil bastard who deserves to have his entrails yanked from his living body and cut into tiny pieces while he watches.’

Keivah glanced at her fierce expression and was torn between being touched by her protectiveness and amused by her graphic imagery. ‘It is not quite so simple.’

‘Simple as pie, my friend. He did the worst thing a person can do to someone, and he deserves to die a thousand excruciating deaths.’

Keivah chuckled. ‘Remind me to never make you angry.’

Xai, who had been busy attempting to pull a root from the ground, ran over to Keivah. ‘Daddy,’ Xai said. ‘Daddy.’

Patting Xai distractedly, Keivah added, ‘I cannot help it. I still miss him all the time. It’s mad, really. Everything he did to me, and I still wish I could be with him again.’

Riaxa gave Keivah a playful smack on the head. ‘Well he’d better never come near you if I am around. I will carve him up and burn the pieces.’

‘Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy…’ Xai insisted.

Riaxa smiled at Keivah then. ‘But you’re right. Love is like that. Total madness.’

‘I know,’ he replied. ‘I just-‘

'Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy…’ Xai jumped at Keivah.

‘I just…’ Keivah frowned and turned to Xai, exasperated. ‘WHAT?’ He had once referred to himself as ‘daddy’ in jest to Xai. Unfortunately, Xai liked that, and the name had stayed.

‘The stick’s stuck.’ Xai said.

Keivah looked over his shoulder to the battered and clawed bit of ground upon which Xai had been working. ‘I know. It’s stuck to a tree.’

Xai paused. ‘It’s stuck,’ he repeated.

‘Get Neko to help.’

‘Hey,’ Neko growled from his spot near the lake. ‘I’m being good.’

‘Help your brother,’ Keivah said, glancing at Neko.

‘That THING is not my brother.’

‘Am too,’ Xai protested.

‘Well, you’re both my babies, so yes, he is.’ Keivah often amused himself by calling Neko his baby. It got hilarious reactions.

‘Your baby?’ Neko growled indignantly. ‘I am many thousand years older than you.’

Keivah had started to turn back to Riaxa, to apologise, but paused and smiled at Neko. ‘You’re my cuddly little baby.’

Neko snorted and stood, as Xai went into a fit of giggles at Neko being called cuddly. ‘He is not my brother,’ Neko grumbled. ‘My brothers are gods.’

‘Are you all right?’ Riaxa asked.

‘Sorry … yes,’ Keivah smiled sheepishly. ‘The cats…’

Riaxa looked at Xai. ‘Are you being bad?’

Xai was thrilled to be spoken to. He leapt in front of Riaxa. ‘I’m big,’ he stated proudly.

‘She cannot hear you,’ Keivah thought.

‘I’M BIG!’ Xai roared.

Keivah winced. ‘She cannot hear or understand you, and that hurts my head.’

‘Tell it I’m big.’

‘Her,’ Keivah corrected. ‘And she doesn’t care.’

‘Tell it, tell it, tell it, tell it, tell it…’

‘All right!’ Keivah looked at Riaxa, smiling apologetically. ‘He … er … wants you to know that he’s big.’

‘Yes, you are,’ Riaxa said to Xai. ‘And pretty.’

‘She agreed,’ Keivah thought to Xai, leaving out the ‘pretty’ comment. Keivah had accidentally called Xai pretty a few times, and then had to explain that it wasn’t an insult. That pretty can also be fierce. Finally, he just tried to avoid saying it at all. ‘Sorry…’ he looked back to Riaxa. Suddenly, he realised that he had no idea what he had been saying, and began to blush.

‘So this warlock that you loved and still love only wanted you for your body,’ Riaxa said, seeing his confusion.



Keivah chuckled. ‘Yes.’

She gave him an exaggerated up-and-down perusal again. ‘Well I can certainly see why.’

Keivah blushed crimson and Riaxa chuckled. She continued, ‘So you’re the wild man of the woods because…’

‘I could not stay with Barannan and Aphelandra, because I was afraid to cause problems for them. I cannot live in a city, because being around a lot of people all the time is too draining for me. It is all the energies that they give off, and I cannot absorb. Or I absorb too much. Also …I am afraid to be in populated areas. Because of Brukost.’

‘You are afraid he will find you.’


‘And he probably wouldn’t be too forgiving.’

‘No, he would be furious and want to punish me for what I have put him through. And because he is connected to so many others, I never would know if the one I am passing knows him and is about to take me back to him, or not.’

‘So how do you know I’m not here to take you back to him?’

Keivah’s stomach did a sickened flip. ‘I don’t,’ he said simply.

Riaxa grinned slowly. ‘That’s one of the sweetest things anybody has said to me.’

At first, Keivah assumed she was being sarcastic. Then he understood what she meant. He didn’t know if she was working for Brukost or not, but he had still sat with her and ate lunch. He smiled and shrugged.

‘But you cannot be out here for the rest of your life,’ Riaxa said.

‘Why not?’

‘Wouldn’t that get just a bit lonely?’

‘It hasn’t thus far,’ he said. But apparently his time alone hadn’t improved his lying abilities. She frowned.

‘You’re lonely?’

‘No … I just said that it hasn’t been thus far.’

‘Yes, that is what you said. But I don’t believe you really think that.’

He shifted uncomfortably and began picking at his bread again. ‘I’m not lonely.’

She gave him a dubious look, then shrugged. ‘All right.’
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PostSubject: Re: A not-at-all Brief History of Keivah   Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:27 pm

Keivah was starting to feel tired and drained. The time he had spent with Riaxa was the most he had been with another humanoid since he left Barannan and Aphelandra’s house. Also, it was fast approaching time for another bloodthistle leaf. The very next thing he had intended to do after the race to the lake with Xai, was to eat a leaf. Now it had been well over an hour, and he was starting to feel weak, which was the first symptom of the illness that would soon follow. He did not want to eat a leaf in front of her, though. He had continued to tell himself that he would break himself of the addiction, but still hadn’t done it. Trying a few times had made him seriously ill, and out there alone, he worried what would happen if he became so ill that he could not seek help if he needed it. It was frustrating and embarrassing to still be addicted, and he did not want anybody else to see him doing it. Thinking about eating a leaf made the need even worse, though, so finally he stood. He slipped a hand quickly into his pocket, retrieving a leaf, and then pushed it into his mouth as he pretended to stretch. Then he sat back down again, grinning at Riaxa as he bit into the leaf.

‘Getting tired?’ She asked.

‘No, just stretching my legs.’ He looked up through the tree limbs, to gauge time. ‘It’s getting late, though, I-‘

Riaxa laughed. ‘You really don’t spend a lot of time around others, do you?’

Keivah looked back at her. ‘What do you mean?’

‘You should never look up when a rogue’s around.’

‘Sorry…’ Keivah frowned, wondering if he had just done something socially insulting. ‘Why?’

Riaxa’s eyes sparked as she grinned. ‘Want me to show you?’

Keivah was confused. ‘Can’t you tell me?’

‘No, I want to show you.’

‘All right…’

‘Great.’ She was on her feet quickly, gesturing at him. ‘Stand up.’

He stood uncertainly.

‘Now look up.’

Keivah chuckled, looking at her for a moment. She folded her arms, making a show of waiting impatiently. Then she pointed up. He tilted his head slowly, still watching her half-questioningly. Then his gaze shifted up to the high branches above the clearing. Large puffy clouds drifted idly past, and the sky was just barely showing the first colour of evening.

‘What am I-‘ Keivah started. But the question was cut off abruptly. He was not even certain if he heard it, or saw it or sensed it … but there was a sudden, quick motion to his right. Then something very thin pressed against the front of his throat. At first he thought it was a dagger blade, but then it circled round his neck entirely. Keivah reached up to pull it away, but it had already tightened until it pressed snugly into his skin. Keivah then attempted to claw his fingers beneath what he realised was wire, but suddenly there was a firm blow to the back of his leg. As that leg buckled, the owner of the wire jumped against his back, hitting his shoulders with sharp elbows.

The entire thing took a mere moment, and then he found himself helpless on his knees with a lethally thin wire about his neck. Nearly helpless, anyway. He did have the option to jab an elbow back, as she was leaning against him. But by Riaxa’s soft giggle, he assumed she was simply demonstrating for him. That, and his father always told him that males should never harm females. And, reluctantly so in that situation, Keivah agreed with the sentiment. Although his father had also added ‘unless absolutely necessary’, to which Keivah also agreed. So he decided to wait and see if an elbow became necessary.

‘That’s why you don’t look up with rogues around,’ Riaxa said; leaning against his back more, further restricting his motion.

‘All right…’ Keivah replied carefully, half-afraid that even speaking would cause the wire to slice him. But it didn’t. ‘Good advice. Can you let me go now?’

As he spoke, his fingers ran along the wire to the back of his neck, where it sat over his hair rather than skin. He hoped to work a hand under that way, but she merely tightened the wire even more.

‘Hmm … let you go,’ Riaxa was musing. ‘No, not yet.’

‘Why not?’

‘I’m perfectly comfortable,’ she said, resting her arms on his shoulder blades, nudging the wire slightly tighter. ‘Aren’t you?’

‘No,’ Keivah replied, once again trying to work his fingers beneath the wire at the front. ‘Not remotely.’

‘You’re not?’ She asked innocently. ‘Did you want to stand again?’

He waited a moment for her to let him go. When she didn’t he let out a careful chuckle. ‘I can’t.’

‘I know. Great move, isn’t it?’

‘For whom?’

‘Well, me, of course.’

‘Then yes.’

‘Probably not great for the one it’s done to.’


‘So how is it?’

Keivah frowned. ‘What?’

‘My technique. How is it? Normally, whatever I use the wire on is dead by now. Not a lot of chance for helpful critique.’

Keivah was slightly baffled. He was further confused by the fact that her leaning against him and chatting away, was nearly the way two friends would act. If one friend happened to be holding a deadly wire to the other’s throat.

‘So…’ Riaxa said. ‘How was it?’

‘It was good?’ Keivah still tried to get a finger beneath the wire. He did manage to work a fingernail under it, but then it slipped back off and made him jump.

Riaxa laughed and Keivah sucked in a quick breath when her hands jiggled slightly. ‘Did it take you by surprise?’ she asked.

‘Yes, absolutely.’

‘All right, more than that. I saw you flinch. Did you see me? Hear me?’

‘No. Complete surprise.’


Keivah thought he felt her nod. He suddenly felt guilty. If she was honestly looking for critique, he was not being entirely truthful. ‘Perhaps…’ he started.


She leaned forward slightly and Keivah winced as the wire shifted. He immediately regretted saying something, but it was too late.

‘C’mon,’ she said. ‘Tell me.’

‘I might have seen you.’

‘Really,’ she said, leaning back thoughtfully. The wire pulled again.

‘Or heard,’ he added. ‘I don’t know. Perhaps I just sensed it.’

Suddenly, she was leaning round to look at the side of his face. He wanted to turn his head, to look back, but the movement was jostling the wire about and he was afraid to move.

‘So you’re saying I’m no good,’ she said, her voice suddenly louder than it had been. ‘You’re saying it was obvious. I apparently cannot do a simple garrotte manoeuvre right, according to you. I just can’t do anything right, can I?’

Keivah was momentarily speechless. Then he felt her pull back on the wire. ‘No!’ He said quickly. ‘Wait, no. That’s not what I meant at all.’ Then he heard laughter. Along with the laugher, the wire shook dangerously. He realised that Riaxa was laughing then, and it took an additional moment before he understood that she had been messing about with him. ‘Very funny,’ he said dryly.

She leaned against his back and laughed harder. She did loosen the wire then, to avoid a very unfortunate accident.

‘All right, let me up,’ Keivah said. ‘I have to go change my leggings.’

That made Riaxa nearly howl with laughter. ‘Say please,’ she managed.

‘Please,’ Keivah chuckled.

Finally, the wire slipped off over his head. Keivah settled back upon his heels, glancing over at Neko and Xai. Riaxa had rolled off his back and continued to laugh on the ground.

‘Why didn’t you attack?’ Keivah asked the cats.

‘You said not to,’ Neko replied. ‘That if something happened, we should run.’

‘Well, you didn’t run. You’re just sitting there, watching.’

‘It didn’t happen to us,’ Neko shrugged.

‘Xai?’ Keivah asked.

‘You’re funny,’ was the turquoise cat’s only reply.

Keivah looked at Riaxa, who had finally seemed to collect herself. He shifted and sat, wiping a hand across the front of his neck to check for blood. Then he chuckled again. ‘Convincing,’ he nodded.

‘That was fun.’ Riaxa grinned. ‘Most around here are too damned serious.’

Keivah actually found himself to be a bit serious sometimes and blushed at her statement. She noticed his reaction and grinned.

‘You’re serious, but fun. Come on, who else would let me do that?’

‘I didn’t exactly let you.’

‘If you wanted to get up, you could have,’ she grinned.

‘I don’t know about that…’

‘You could. Of course, if you tried, you might have met my friends.’ She patted the dagger sheaths attached to her belt.

Keivah grinned. ‘Just met?’

She nodded, her eyes sparking once again. ‘I can’t go around killing the few fun and interesting people, can I? So yeah, just a fast chat.’

Keivah laughed.

‘So why didn’t you try harder?’

‘I suppose I didn’t think you would kill me slightly more than I thought you would.’


‘Very slightly.’

Riaxa giggled. Then she began collecting her items and stuffing them into her backpack. ‘It’s getting late, and you were a good sport. I’ll leave you alone now.’

Keivah frowned. He wondered if he had said or done something wrong. ‘All right…’

She stood and grinned. ‘I’ll see you again. Soon.’

The next morning, Keivah saw that she was true to her word. As he stepped out of the cave that had been a home to the cats and him, he stopped, blinked, and looked again. Riaxa sat beside the lake, dipping her feet into the water.

‘Good morning,’ she said.

‘We urinate in that lake,’ Keivah replied.

Riaxa’s eyebrows winged up and she sized him up a moment, then laughed when she realised he was kidding. ‘Then I’d best stay on shore.’ She pulled her boots back on and stood. ‘What are you doing today?’

‘I … just woke up,’ he chuckled, scratching his fingers through his hair. ‘I don’t really have any plans.’

‘Good. Come with me to Thousand Needles.’

‘What’s in Thousand Needles?’

‘I have to see a man about a death,’ she grinned.

Keivah had never become friends with anybody in quite that way. Of course in fairness, he had never really become friends with anybody. On the island, he mostly spent time either with his family or his wife-to-be. Barannan and Aphelandra had become friends after they saved his life. He supposed that Brukost was the closest example. He had also basically stepped into Keivah’s life and then stayed. Which did give Keivah quite a lot of pause, but the more he saw of Riaxa, the less he could imagine that she would some day do something horrible to him. Of course, he never saw it coming with Brukost either. But it was so nice to have a friend that Keivah simply felt that it was worth the risk. Sure, he could be making the same stupid mistake that he had with Brukost. If he was, he supposed he would simply have to deal with the consequences when or if they occurred. But Riaxa was fun, and not at all like the others he had met. Aphelandra had told him to meet those of his own kind. Even Neko had repeatedly suggested that he find non-felines with whom to speak occasionally. While Keivah absolutely loved his life, living in the cave in the forest with a stream curving from the back to one side and a serene lake to the other side … he supposed it was about time to make another change.

Upon making that decision, he realised that he felt the same way he did sitting in Barannan and Aphelandra’s house that one evening, coming to the startling conclusion that he could indeed have a life without casting. And he felt the same way he did when, years ago as a small child, he discovered that there was another world of casting that he did not know. Now, it was slowly occurring to him that perhaps a life of absolute solitude was not all he would ever know. Of course, he was not about to go start chatting with anybody and everybody. He was far too shy naturally for that, even without the constant fear of Brukost finding him. But perhaps he could have a friend or two. Perhaps he could even join a guild and meet others with similar interests. He would never, ever lose his love of the wilderness, or of having quiet – if it could be considered quiet – time with the cats, but perhaps a nice conversation with somebody who was not an ancient god, or who would lose focus and start chasing his tail half-way through a thought was in his future.

One morning, Keivah actually looked forward to one of Riaxa’s visits. He always enjoyed her company, but had also looked toward her arrival to his cave with nerves and shyness, and dread that he would soon be having to find things to say, and trying very hard not to make a fool of himself or say something stupid. He even stopped hiding the bloodthistle from her, explaining that he was simply addicted and not yet ready to fight it. She had brushed it aside with a simple ‘Really? I’ve never had it, what does it taste like?’ rather than the scorn and shock he had tended to imagine. He even began making trips into the villages, and when he was feeling particularly brave, he went to Orgrimmar to discuss setting up training sessions for hunting. Then he left as soon as possible, because he was making excellent strides, but was nowhere near ready to deal with Orgrimmar for more than very brief visits.

When he knew he had truly turned a corner, was when he stopped by one of the nearby villages for supplies. By the time he had gathered everything he needed, it was getting quite late and rather than making it as far as he could into the wilderness and sleeping before moving on the next morning, he simply hired a bed at the inn. He did not sleep well, and awoke early, anxious to leave. But at least he had done it.

When Riaxa started referring to him as ‘the civilised man of the woods’, he pretended to be offended, but inwardly, he was quite proud of himself. It was hardly a major change, but he didn’t want a major change. He wanted just enough to know that he had changed. And while he knew he might never accomplish all the things he thought he would in his life, unless he somehow found a way to rid himself of the darkness in his soul and bring the shards from the crystals back in – a task that Aphelandra said could be nearly impossible, as infused with his own soul as the darkness had become - he was accomplishing other things. It had finally become a challenge that he gave to himself. Without Brukost, without casting, without knowing where his family were, and with and without everything else that had gone wrong for him, he took it upon his competitive spirit to simply be good at the things he did, and be happy.
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