The Scrying Pool, Part Two: Visions of Other Stories

A fantastical world filled with action and adventure, where the land can be both beautiful and deadly. An RP world based on the Guild Wars game, individuals and groups of people battle deadly creatures, powerful nemeses and each other to maintain a balance between good and evil. Professions of the land include Monks, Rangers, Warriors, Elementalists, Necromancers, Mesmers, Ritualists, Assassins, Dervish and Paragons. Ocassionally humans will seek aid from the 5 gods, Balthazar, Melandru, Dwayna, Grenth, and Lyssa when confronting a powerful foe beyond their abilities.
Post Reply
User avatar
Monkey Kitty
Steward
Posts: 538
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:31 am

The Scrying Pool, Part Two: Visions of Other Stories

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Far in the North of Tyria, the Scrying Pool lies deep within the Hall of Monuments, still and silent... until you dare gaze within. You may see images of the past, the present, the future, or even distant lands and other worlds. What strange truths will you glimpse in the pool?
User avatar
Monkey Kitty
Steward
Posts: 538
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:31 am

Re: The Scrying Pool, Part Two: Visions of Other Stories

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Githia Acarra
Faerûn


Githia had never seen her father look upon her with anything but disapproval. She had never seen her mother at all. Her father wouldn't even speak of her absent parent - departed? dead? When Githia asked about her maternal origins, her father either refused to answer at all, or if he was in a more expansive mood, would merely make a cryptic comment about his past mistakes. Eventually, Githia had simply given up asking. She still wondered, certainly, but asking didn't seem to bring the answers any closer to hand.

There was one truth her father couldn't hide from her, though, much as he might wish it - or from himself, which was probably more relevant. Out of sight, and out of mind... Githia's differences could never be either. You see, her father was human - a tall, grey haired, stoic human with a strong jaw and firmly set shoulders. And it was painfully obvious that Githia, with her vermillion skin, luminous golden eyes, hair so black its sheen was almost blue, and long flicking tail most certainly was not.

Githia had known, as long as she could remember, that her father hated her. By the time she could reason, it was simple to understand why.

When she was three, she had asked, "Father, why don't I look like you?"

"Because of the evil within you," was his reply.

When she was five, she had asked, "Father, what am I?"

He had told her, "You are a devil child."

By the time she was seven, such simple and moralistic explanations no longer sufficed. No longer completely isolated with her father and the servants in the huge stone manor house on the hill, she now attended the village school - a concession her father disliked, because it made her visible to other people and subjected him to their gossip, but he was far too busy to teach her himself, and the temptation to kill two birds with one stone by getting her out from underfoot for a few hours a day and having her educated at the same time was too much to pass up.

Now that she was interacting with the villagers, she finally knew what she was. Yes, devil child, the villagers said that too... but there was also another word. A name for what she was.

Tiefling.

"Father, are all Tieflings wicked?"

Her father looked up from his ledger book and regarded her calmly. "Yes, Githia. Tieflings are evil by nature. You are tainted by the infernal plane that contaminated your bloodline."

"So a Tiefling... could never be good?"

"No. At best, one might hope to mitigate the damage. But the infernal nature cannot be denied. Your presence, by definition, leaves the world worse than you found it."

He looked away from her and returned to his accounts, indifferent to the damage he had just inflicted.

"Well, I don't believe that," Githa muttered to herself after his door shut firmly behind her. She kicked a spindle of the stair banister as she walked past. Immediately overcome by guilt, she dropped to her knees. "Sorry!" she whispered, patting the spindle she had offended against. Much as she might try to deny it, her father was surely right - she hadn't even made it more than a few feet without lashing out in anger at something.

Mitigate the damage, she repeated to herself over and over. (And later looked up 'mitigate' in the thick leatherbound dictionary to ensure correct understanding of the goal.) You will make the world worse than you found it, but you can mitigate the damage...
User avatar
Monkey Kitty
Steward
Posts: 538
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:31 am

Re: The Scrying Pool, Part Two: Visions of Other Stories

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Githia Acarra
Faerûn


In the spring of her twelfth year, Githia made her first friend. He was the new student at her school, a quiet, serious boy named Nathaniel, whose interests ran more toward books, animals, and plants than the more boisterous games of his peers - but they were interests shared with the Tiefling girl. In such a small village, the appearance of children from elsewhere was an unusual occurrence, and Nathaniel found himself on the outside of the established friend groups. He found a friend in Githia, though, who also lacked a social circle of her own.

One day they were walking by the stream, enjoying the longer days now that the solstice was behind them. Sunlight filtered down through the weeping willow branches as they crossed the brook on a fallen log, then Githia removed her shoes and squelched her crimson toes in the mud.

"Look, Nathaniel, a frog!"

But when she turned to him to point it out, she realized he was staring warily behind them. Staring at newcomers she hadn't seen. Her father and the butler, ankle deep in creek mud - what were they doing here?

"Githia! What in the hells are you playing at? Get away from that boy!"

Githia met his gaze, puzzled by his anger. How could this possibly be a transgression? "We were just looking for frogs, Father..."

He strode forward, gripped her roughly by the shoulder, and pulled her back with him. "Do not make me tell you again. You are not allowed to see boys. You do not need to produce more filthy hellspawn like yourself. Your cursed bloodline ends with you."

It took a moment for this to sink in. "Father, Nathaniel isn't my boyfriend, we're just friends..."

And she was only twelve...

"Enough! Back to the house." Leaving her no time to object, he marched her back in the direction of home, still maintaining his firm grip on her shoulder. The butler tossed a scowl at Nathaniel, grabbed Githia's discarded shoes from the bank of the stream, and followed.

She never saw Nathaniel again. Nor did she see anyone else but her father and the servants for the next six years. No longer even allowed to attend the village school, Githia was confined to the grounds of the manor indefinitely.

After those six years of monotony, the routine was broken when Githia woke to find two strange lumps growing on her forehead. When she touched them, she realized with a start that they were... horns. She was growing horns.

Knowing instinctively that her father would be displeased, she carefully braided and styled her hair to conceal them, but within a few days, there was no hiding the truth. Her father stared at her impassively over the dinner table - as usual, he spoke not a word - but Githa felt a chill as his grey eyes fell on her forehead.

That night, the doctor was summoned.

"You will removed the horns," her father - older and more stooped now, but as imposing as ever - crisply instructed the doctor.

The doctor poked at the horns for a few minutes, then shook his head. "Apologies, your lordship, but this is outside of my expertise."

"They are merely horns. Just remove them, as you would for an animal."

"I don't work on animals," the doctor replied a little curtly. "It's the farrier you'll be needing for that."

Her father's mouth narrowed into a tight line, but he counted coins into the doctor's hand for the expected consulting fee.

The next morning, Githia was summoned to the barn. She had assumed the doctor was joking, but her father hadn't taken it that way, because there the farrier waited with his irons.

"Can you do it?" her father demanded curtly.

The farrier spared her a momentary look. "Sure, your worship," he replied in a nonchalant drawl. "They're just horns."

As it turned out, though, the farrier's confidence was misplaced. After a bloody and excruciating process - after screams and tears, and four of the servants pinning Githia to the ground - it was finally done.

Her father regarded the damage appraisingly. The horns were not gone, exactly. They were shortened almost to the skull, mere broken ridges at the edge of her hairline, a tell-tale dark grey against red skin.

"Better," her father pronounced, as he counted both the fee and a generous tip into the farrier's hand.
User avatar
Monkey Kitty
Steward
Posts: 538
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:31 am

Re: The Scrying Pool, Part Two: Visions of Other Stories

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Githia Acarra
Faerûn


The first to sicken was one of the servants. Then another, and another, until nearly the whole household was taken ill. Fever, chills, sweating, delirium - the doctor came, briefly, but could do little. Unable to provide any meaningful assistance, he declared the malady magical in nature.

At that pronouncement, gossip began to spread rapidly among the household staff. What was the cause? Or perhaps... who was the cause? And who would be the next to sicken? They waited with bated breath for the first death.

By the fourth day, His Lordship was among those stricken with the plague. The next day, Githia sickened too - but no one much noticed. It was the master of the house whose illness caused most alarm. His Lordship was generally liked well enough by his staff, but their panic now was far more pragmatic; if he died, their jobs and lodgings were surely also on the line.

"It is the fault of the Tiefling, sir," the butler insisted. His own fever only newly broken, he was tending to his employer in place of the valet, who had also taken to his bed. "The plague is magical in nature. Who else in this household could cause it? Who else could spread it?"

"Foolishness," His Lordship pronounced. "The doctor merely claims so to save face. This is a disease like any other, and we will soon recover."

Within a day, though, his condition had deteriorated significantly. Burning with fever, wracked with chills, and shaking with tremor, he wearily nodded when the butler accused Githia again.

"Sir, she must be removed from here, lest we all die," the butler insisted.

"Very well," her father agreed. Exhausted by the effort of speech, he collapsed against his pillow.

"You are making a wise choice, sir. I will take her to the forest and..."

The old man's eyes opened. "No, not the forest. She is unwell too. She'll die out there. She was the result of my mistakes - she is my burden to bear. But I will not see her die."

"Very well, sir. The village, then?"

"No. No, people will know her there. Even after all these years, they won't have forgotten a Tiefling lives here. They will recognize where she came from. We will be humiliated... I will be humiliated."

"Another village, then? Away from here, where no one will recognize her."

His Lordship closed his eyes again and nodded his head.

Perhaps it really was desperation. Perhaps after all these years, Lord Acarra had finally lost all semblance of concern for the daughter he never wanted. But the fact remained - had they really believed Githia was the source of the plague and not a mere scapegoat to sacrifice, they would have realized that leaving her in some other town risked spreading contagion to the entire population.

No plague spread beyond the manor and its village. It seemed the Tiefling was not some sort of magical disease vector after all. This plague spread by ordinary means, and was a dead end in an ailing devil woman no one went near.

Dumped in a refuse pile in a village far from the only home she had ever known, Githia lay feverish in the gutter, teeth chattering, conscious enough to be aware of people hurrying by, either not noticing or not caring about her plight. Before, she had thought she was lonely, but it was nothing compared to this - truly adrift in the world, all by herself, with no one to care if she lived or died.
User avatar
Monkey Kitty
Steward
Posts: 538
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:31 am

Re: The Scrying Pool, Part Two: Visions of Other Stories

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Githia Acarra
Faerûn


Without her consciously willing it, Githia's body began to rally and strengthen. By instinct alone, she plunged her mouth into the muddy water she lay beside and drank it; though the filthy water twisted her stomach into painful cramps, it preserved her life. Days passed, and the illness passed with them. Githia lost track of the days' number, but eventually she could eat again - other people's discarded food rubbish, at first - and then stand, and then take her first wobbly steps away from the gutter where she'd been left to fight for her life among the garbage piles. The whole time she had lain there, no one had spared her more than a glance.

She was alive, but life wasn't easy. She had no money, and no lucrative skills. She took odd jobs where she could, scraped by, stole when there was no other choice.

Out from under her father's thumb, she experienced freedom for the first time. But with it, she experienced cruelty. Her glowing eyes, her skin, her tail, the remnants of her horns - all these marked her as a dangerous outsider in the small town where she'd landed. Some merely threw insults her way, and she had long learned to let those roll off her back. Worse was the violence - a constant threat hanging over her head that periodically erupted into bursts of mistreatment and abuse.

Yet she survived. Slowly, Githia started saving her money - a difficult feat, especially when she was robbed more than once, but her only way out.

Githia had decided where to go. The city. Baldur's Gate. She had heard the stories, and she knew there were others like her. Other Tieflings. Perhaps with others of her kind, she would find the acceptance that had always eluded her. Carefully, she saved coin after coin, hoarding each piece of gold or silver with a wish that someday she would have a true home.
Post Reply