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May, 2010... Fantasy became reality. Worlds overlay for the briefest moment. Outworlders became stranded on earth as more than half the human populace vanished. Our World, our universe, was transformed.

Fiction is now reality. Humans and those now bound to this world will either learn to coexist, or battle for supremecy.

Ayli Kuresh

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About Ayli Kuresh

  • Rank
    Fresh Faced


  • AGE
  • RACE
    Outworlder - Drow Elf
  • JOB
  • 'SHIP:
    New York
    The words predatory beauty come to mind when most people meet Ayli. At 5,7 she’s far from petite, her lithe form a combination of toned muscle and pleasant curves. Her skin is dark ebony and unmarked except for the white crest that adorns the base of her neck almost like a choker. Her ears are long and pointed and tend to flatten close to her head when threatened or twitch when irritated much like a cat. She has four piercings in her right ear, each one a silver stud tipped with a different gemstone, a sapphire, ruby, emerald, and diamond respectively. She has several other piercings, two of the more visible ones being her tongue and navel. A thick mane of silvery white hair falls to her waist and is usually left free except for when she’s at work where she pulls it back into a simple tail. Her pupils are slightly elongated and vaguely feline and her eyes are flat black aside from the yellowish orange of her iris’. Her teeth are startlingly white in contrast with her skin, and large canines give her a wolfish smile.

    Ayli’s outfits vary wildly depending on the time and place. She she’s pleasing to look at, a fact she’s not afraid to flaunt. Her wardrobe has everything from form fitting corsets and leather pants, to elegant evening gowns and everything in between. At work she tends to be more reserved with jeans and tight band T’s. The weather frequently dictates her choice of clothing, her lack of experience with inclement weather making her unaccustomed to the bitter bite of winter and the sweltering mugginess of summer. In winter she tends to dress much more conservatively as she finds the freeze very unpleasant and she bundles up with heavy layers to counteract the chill. As it gets closer to summer however more and more skin tends to go uncovered as the temperature climbs. In the comfort of her apartment she tends to wear oversized t-shirts and little else.

    Regardless of the seasons she’s always fond of accessorizing, and usually has at least one ring on each finger. Bracelets and chokers are also a common sight, though she rarely wears necklaces due to the risk they pose in a confrontation .She’s never seen without her gun and sword belt, or her sunglasses day or night. In fact she tends to wears pants more often than skirts or dresses to more easily accommodate the belts, though they’re still not an uncommon sight. The one thing she can’t stand wearing are heels, which she finds incredibly impractical despite the fact she finds them visually appealing. More often than not her preferred choice of footwear are calf length flat boots like the ones she frequently wore on her home plane.

    Ayli is an exceptional oddity among Drow elves. While most of her race are bloodthirsty and isolated, especially concerning other ‘lesser’ races, Ayli is exceptionally friendly towards anyone until they give her reason not to be except towards other drow. A free spirit, or a hedonist depending on your point of view. She tends to live in the moment, enjoying the present without overthinking the future. She’s incredibly laid back. Lighthearted and playful she’s always quick to laugh. Her energetic, almost hyper demeanor and mischievous nature tend to quickly break down most people's preconceptions they attribute to her because of her race. She’s also very impulsive. Despite her affable nature and her disdain for her own kind, Ayli is however very much inhuman. Living among drow all her life she had great difficulty adjusting to a human lifestyle. She finds certain aspects of human customs odd or very confusing.

    She understands very little about human preconceptions of monogamy, or long term romantic relationships in the first place. She has great difficulty forming lasting relationships of any kind due to her own inexperience with them. Among her kind friends or lovers came and went as unpredictably as the wind. While she may find relationships alien, physical attraction is something she understands perfectly well; and she finds the concept of modesty perplexing. She knows she’s attractive and takes great satisfaction in showing off, and isn’t above using her looks to get what she wants. When she’s interested in someone she tends to be confident, aggressive and, straightforward. On the more infrequent occasion her advances are rejected she’s not particularly bothered. Both because she knows she can find others and because she has no desire for anyone who has none for her.

    Due to the difference in humanity and her own cultural upbringing she often comes across as blunt, or rude. More often than not this unintentional , and while she can usually recognize it after the fact she finds such slip ups intensely frustrating. One of the more touchy subjects she has trouble with is the stigma and weight and humans attach to death people who kill. All things die and she finds the significance humans attach to life and those who end it to be perverse. Ayli herself has no qualms about killing or otherwise resorting to violence if the need arises. There’s seldom the malice attached to it most of her kin are known for however. More often than not she kills with the same playful demeanor she has with anything else and her victims last sight is frequently her smiling face. Despite her willingness to murder she rarely does so out of hand. She generally offers a single warning before resorting to violence. She enjoys fighting greatly under most circumstances and regards the rush she gets from a fight much the same way she does good liquor.

    Despite her frequent frustrations with societal norms she doesn’t consider human behavior inherently ‘wrong’ despite the fact that she knows that’s how many humans choose to view her behaviors that are more foreign to them. She seldom judges people by preconception, preferring to form her own opinions of them. She does however have very little time, or patience where others who make such judgements are concerned. This is why she rarely gets along with ‘light’ elves despite her own lack of bias. Despite her disregard for those who judge her they rarely upset her and she actually finds great amusement in their ignorance. Upsetting Ayli is difficult but a terrifying event when it happens. Her anger brings out the typical Drow behavior that made her race feared. While explosively short in duration, her anger is typically quiet, brutal and sadistic. She has an extreme hatred of drugs, as well as being bound, or restrained and has an unusually short fuse for drug pushers, slavers, and rapists.

    Those who push her into a rage rarely survive the experience. While insatiable her fury is far from blind, and she prefers to end those who upset her in the most painful way available to her. When possible she’ll take her time and inflict as much suffering as possible, and those who survive rarely do so out of mercy, but out of cold calculation to extend there suffering to the rest of whatever pathetic semblance of life she allows them to keep. If such options are unavailable to her she’s usually content to leave them with a slow but fatal wound. While she prefers intimacy of her hands or melee weapons when possible, she’s also developed a great appreciation for firearms.

    Actually, she’s fascinated by most of the technology humanity has created much the way magic fascinates humanity. She has an only slightly closet obsession with social media and has a decent following on the few social media sites that have managed to survive the partial collapse of the web. Music is another addiction she’s developed and she has multiple pre-resonance MP3 players. The economy is probably the single most difficult things for her to adapt to, and her lack of impulse control frequently sees her broke due to bad financial choices. Frequently these impulse buys are pre-resonance junk she has no real understanding of that's bought simply out of novelty. Her apartment while clean is often submerged in a layer of appliances and random electronics that occupy every flat surface except her bed (when she’s sleeping on it). The other great difficulty she’s had adapting to is reading. While her kin had written language it was much more difficult to learn than English and she struggled with it enough her education of it was simply abandoned as it wasn’t something she needed. She struggles similarly with English, and while not illiterate she can’t read very quickly and some things are simply beyond her. As a result she loathes reading and it’s something of a sore subject with her. People who remark on her reading prowess or lack thereof quickly learn it to be one of the few things that can truly irritate her.

    Dusk Rose- A short sword made entirely of crystal. It’s clear surface is shot with white clouded sections and liberally streaked with multiple hues of orange that give it a distinctively fiery appearance when exposed to daylight. It’s incredibly light and durable, with an edge capable of cutting through ordinary steel. Mana can be channeled through it’s grip to increase the density of the blade for a short time, the extra weight increasing the cutting power of its edged side dramatically, or turning it’s blunted side into a devastating bludgeon. When damaged the blade can be restored by feeding mana into the hilt. Cracks and knicks can be repaired in a couple of hours while fully restoring the blade from nothing takes a few days. It’s also very debilitating to whoever is repairing it, draining them both physically and mentally due to the amount of mana repairing it consumes.

    Moonlight - A stock 9mm Beretta 92FS with a custom silver finish. Ayli often wears it on her right hip partnered with Morningstar.

    Morningstar - A stock 9mm Beretta 92FS with a custom golden finish. Ayli often wears it on her left hip partnered with Moonlight.

    Maelstrom- A custom twelve gauge Mossberg 500 shotgun. The stock has been removed and replaced with a raptor pistol grip and the barrel has been shortened resulting in a devastating close range weapon. Due to the shortened barrel it can only hold three rounds at a time. While it could easily be used to lethal effect when fired from the hip Ayli frequently uses her ability to absorb kinetic energy to fire it one handed like an extremely large caliber pistol, something that would easily snap her wrist without magical aid.

    Midnight- A Barrett MRAD rifle chambered for .338 ammunition. It’s been fitted with a 12x detachable scope , bipod and uses fifteen round box magazines.

    Knives- Ayli typically carries at least two fixed blade throwing knives strapped to her gun belt along the small of her back.

    Iphone 4S- A refurb Ayli got from a street vendor. While obviously aged it’s fiendishly well maintained.

    Apartment- Ayli rents the studio apartment directly above the bar she works at. Simple but spacious, it’s usually kept clean but incredibly cluttered. Random electronics and knicknacks cover almost every flat surface except part of her kitchen table and bed. Most of the furniture in it is old but comfortable second hand stuff.

    Racial Attributes-Like Light Elves, Drow have a number of inherent gifts that set them apart from humanity. Their senses are roughly twice as sharp as humans, with their hearing, eyesight, and sense of smell being especially sharp. Drow also possess the ability to see the thermal spectrum, and while their eyesight is much better than human it’s also extremely sensitive to light, especially sunlight, but allows them to see in all but the darkest of places. These enhanced senses lend themselves to a greater spatial acuity that accounts for elves affinity for ranged weapons. Their muscle fibers are more durable giving them half again the strength, speed, and endurance of someone their typical size and build. In Ayli’s case she can easily lift two hundred pounds, or up to two hundred and fifty with great difficulty, and can run at twenty miles per hour with little effort. This is due at least likely in part to their superior healing abilities. While they don’t heal particularly faster than a human, or possess an actual healing factor their cells don’t degenerate as they divide. This is what grants them their long lives, makes them unlikely to scar, and also allows them to recover from nonfatal wounds that would cripple other races permanently. A sufficiently devastating injury like a severe blow to the spine would be no less immediately impactful, but where a human might be paralyzed for life an elf will eventually recover even if it takes them years to do so. While incredibly useful this is also limited. Lost limbs, and destroyed organs are beyond their ability to heal and one of the only ways for them to become truly crippled. Their metabolic rate is much higher as well and they require a significantly higher calorie intake and breakdown foreign substances such as drugs or alcohol at an accelerated rate.

    Absorption- Ayli can absorb kinetic energy as it comes contact with her skin storing it for a short time before either releasing it or allowing it to disperse. This ability can be used to protect herself from a number of things including gunfire, blades, and general physical impact. While incredibly useful this ability does have a few weaknesses, the largest of which is that Ayli has to initiate it. While fast this is not instantaneous as it takes about a second to engage which leaves Ayli vulnerable to surprise attacks. There is also a limit to the amount of energy she can store at one time. If the energy she is trying to absorb surpasses this limit It shorts out her ability for several minutes and the energy she has accumulated discharged all at once in an omnidirectional blast that puts severe strain on her body, tearing muscle, and potentially breaking bone. Large widespread forces tend to have a better chance at reaching this limit than small concentrated ones. For example while Ayli can protect herself from small arms fire quite easily except in large amounts, trying to absorb the energy from a collision with a vehicle at speed would most definitely put her past her limit. The moment she absorbs the energy it begins to disperse, and even at her full capacity it would dissipate within five minutes. The other limit she has is her mana reserves. Her abilities to absorb and channel kinetic energy both require mana, while keeping it stored does not. Once her mana reserves are gone she loses these abilities and energy she’s already stored will dissipate harmlessly. Ayli is also incapable of using her projection abilities while her absorption is active.

    Projection- The first half of Ayli’s gift revolves around absorbing kinetic energy. The second half focuses on manipulating the energy she’s stored.

    Projection:Godspeed- Ayli uses the energy she’s channeled to move at speed so extreme she can be difficult to see. The energy drain is so significant that even using her maximum reserves she could only move about eight feet before dropping back to normal speed and doing so twice would completely drain her max reserve of energy. This ability also causes extreme muscle strain, primarily in the legs, and causes muscle tears if used more than three times in twenty minutes. The most she can use it in a twenty minute period is five times after which her legs generally become unable to support her for between a half an hour to an hour. After that while she’s typically capable of walking she’s very shaky and can’t run for several more hours. Muscle pain and tearing will last several days if this ability is overused.Impacting another solid mass at this speed can cause extreme injury as Ayli is unable to use her ability to absorb kinetic energy and the force of impact can easily break her bones. As this speed is far beyond what the mind can consciously process and turning becomes incredibly difficult meaning that once this skill is initiated it can’t be willingly ended until the ‘jump’ is completed and is limited more or less to a straight line.

    Projection:Knuckleduster- Ayli channels her stored energy into her arms or legs to increase the force of her strikes. Blows enhanced with one eighth her maximum energy reserves can dent steel. At one quarter her reserves they can crack concrete, but doing so at anything above one eighth causes damage to her own limbs as she can’t absorb the energy backlash from when she strikes something. She can generally manage four arm or leg strikes before muscle damage sets in and she starts losing function and feeling in the affected limb. Each strike after that runs an increasing risk of breaking her bones. Her hands are even less capable of handling the stress involved and she can only manage two punches before guaranteeing damage to her bones. While she’s never done it she is theoretically capable of channelling the full amount of energy she can hold into one strike, doing so would causing multiple fractures and muscle tears to the affected limb that would take several months to heal.

    Projection:Airbound- Ayli channels a blast of pure kinetic force from her hands or feet. These blasts are more dispersed than knuckleduster and are typically used to knock enemies away from her and rarely cause anything more than superficial damage unless they happen to collide with something.. These blasts at their most powerful could throw an adult human about ten or twelve feet backwards. Doing so would take about a quarter of the maximum amount of energy Ayli is capable of storing. When these blasts are projected away from her limbs they project an equal amount of force back at Ayli, meaning if she attempts to blast someone back at maximum strength she would also be blasted back with equal force. She can prevent this by firing a blast of equal power in the opposite direction at the same time. This ability can also be used to break a her fall, or to purposefully launch herself through the air in addition to repelling enemies.

    Projection:Cyclone- This ability takes all of the energy Ayli currently has accumulated and launches it out from her body in an omnidirectional blast that reaches out about ten feet. While Ayli can do this consciously it also occurs involuntarily when the amount of kinetic energy she tries to absorb goes beyond what her body can store. At its maximum the ‘bubble’ this projects reaches out ten feet in all directions and can blast away anything weighing less than four hundred pounds generally between fifteen to twenty feet. Doing so is incredibly stressful on Ayli’s body and leaves her incredibly weak and unable to use her abilities or move significant distances for upwards of half an hour. It also leaves her very disoriented for a few minutes. She remains both physically and magically for several hours has to put effort in just to walk. Full body muscle pain persists and general lethargy lasts for two or three days.

    Marksmanship-The same acuity that created the reputation among elves as archers is no less useful with firearms, and Ayli has a skill with them most non gifted marksmen could only dream of.

    CQC- Ayli has been fighting almost literally since she learned to walk and she's extremely capable of taking down opponents with brutal efficiency, either barehanded or with a variety of melee weapons.

    Throwing weapons- Throwing knives and hatchets are never really practical for humans, but they lack both the natural grace of an elf, and the years available to practice. Ayli can throw pretty much anything with any weight to it with dangerous results, but she excels at throwing knives especially.

    Bartending- while Ayli rarely seems it she takes her job seriously. Her natural dexterity made her a quick study in bartending tricks but she's memorized a long list of cocktails few can match and makes them with a precision even fewer could.

    I was born Ayli’r of house Kuresh and since that moment I was raised as a warrior. A sword to bring retribution to my house’s enemies. Decades before I was born they were driven from Kreb’ashan the Drow city in the Abyss. They had been the dominant house for years, and with their success they became arrogant. They disregarded the way of things and sought open warfare in the city, attempting to wipe out the houses that posed the greatest challenge and enslave the rest. They angered Kariim, the goddess of twilight and fate. Without her blessing the priestess’s of house Kuresh fell like pebbles before an avalanche, and as they died so did any chance the Kuresh had of victory. The survivors fled into the tunnels and caves of the Abyss. It was a death sentence. Little more than a hundred of my kin survived the slaughter and managed to band together in the tunnels. That number dwindled as they were hunted by drow of other houses and the other things that lurked in the Abyss.

    It seemed as if they would fade into the darkness. Alone. Forgotten. That’s exactly what they would have been if not for a young priestess of Kariim. Avriece. Barely more than an initiate she should have been inconsequential. Unlike the rest of her house though her faith in Kariim remained strong. She offered Kariim everything to escape the darkness. Kariim listened. She blessed Avriece with strength and knowledge of how to escape the Abyss. She led them to the Outworld and into the forests. The survivors were torn between relief and bitterness. Drow were not meant to live beneath the sun and the stars and the open sky. While they were glad to be free of the stalking terrors of the Abyss they resented their exile nonetheless. Many blamed Kariim, and only Avriece kept them from turning their backs on the goddess once more.Slowly she began to take control of the entire clan. At her direction her kin attacked a human settlement and captured dozens of humans. They provided knowledge of the forest to the drow, and when they ran dry of insight they were enslaved. With their newly acquired knowledge and labor force the Kuresh built a settlement deep in the heart of the wood.

    Quickly it became a place where no other dared to tread. For years the Kuresh waited, rekindling their numbers, and in that time Avriece attempted to rekindle their devotion to Kariim as well. She convinced them only the goddess could give them the revenge they sought. Many listened. As her followers grew so did Avriece’s connection to Kariim. Eventually the goddess gave her a prophecy. A child with eyes of twilight would lead them to Karbe’shan. That they would retake the city and that the Kuresh would never again be defeated by another house.She became pregnant soon after and died giving birth, To me. The moment I opened my eyes the rest of the house knew that I was the one the prophecy spoke of. My childhood was demanding, even by the standards of my kind. I was revered by many, but I was also strictly disciplined. The priestess’s my mother had taught demanded everything of me. When I learned to crawl, they forced me to walk, and when I learned to walk they forced me to run. Choice was a foreign concept to me. I had no freedom. Less than other children of my kind. Less than the human slaves we kept.

    That was my life for years. Decades. They taught me to hunt. To kill. Taught me all there was to know about Kariim. I thrived. Reveled in what I was taught. That joy was the only freedom that I could claim. I was still young when Kariim blessed me. Such blessings were usually bestowed during the rituals and ceremony when a female was elevated to a full priestess or further in the hierarchy. Mine came to me in battle. The world slowed for me and I could see how every sword would swing, where every arrow would land, and every path between them. In that moment I was untouchable. It was intoxicating. The other priestesses later told me that I had been given the greatest blessing Kariim could give. Her eyes. Eyes that could see the webs of fate themselves. The others were right. It was a great gift I had been given. It was far from the last.

    My house continued to rebuild themselves in the shadow of the wood, and as our numbers grew we became a terror in the night. We hunted others of every race. For the things they had. For the experience. For the satisfaction of knowing we could. We didn’t kill everything we hunted though. That would have been…wasteful. We took prisoners of each race as well. Dwarves to forge our weapons and build our settlement. Humans as our servants. Wood elves as our fun. We left no witnesses. No evidence for those who might come looking to find. No embers to feed the fires of vengeance that would follow us back had any of them known the truth. We had lived that way since before I’d been born, and we continued to for many years after. Eventually our settlement grew so large we could no longer hide it. When the other races learned of our existence in the wood they plotted our extermination. We didn’t know until their hunting parties encountered our patrols. Many of my kin panicked. We were skilled in battle, but we had yet to regain the full strength our house had lost, and we were far outnumbered.

    Our elders were divided. Some said it was time to return to the Abyss, to abandon all we had wrought above the ground. Others said we should flee, begin another settlement elsewhere. None could track us when we did not wish to be found. I knew better. Knew that this was a trial we had to overcome. That if we ever wished to return to the Abyss and take back our homeland that we could not afford to give up what we had made for ourselves in exile. While the elders mired in indecision I rallied our faithful. Together we prepared the wood for the assault to come, and when the force that had been assembled to deal with us arrived we were ready. They poured through the forest like a river, but the tree’s and traps left their formations broken and isolated before the reached out settlement. That’s when we struck. Our counter attack drove them back and they sought to regroup on the open ground beyond the wood. That couldn’t be allowed to happen. We pressed the attack, and we paid for it in blood. Even disorganized the fields favored our enemy. There was no cover to strike from, no shadows to hide in.

    Still for each of us that fell a score of our enemies lay dead. Even so the battle began to waver. I could see it clearly as if it had already happened. The battle would be lost to us and it would be the wood elves that tipped the balance. I cut and battered my way through the ranks but it wasn’t enough. I could feel the battle slipping away from us. I refused to let that happen. I charged deep into the heart of the enemy. It was reckless. No matter my skills, and despite my blessings there were simply too many. I took dozens of minor wounds. Soon blood loss left meat a fraction of my strength. I was going to die. I could see the moment. See myself impaled on a dozen blades. Then my vision went white. When i came to I saw astonished faces all around me and then nothing at all.

    When I came back to my senses I stood atop a pile of bodies higher than I was tall. I felt drained. Weak. It was all I could do to keep from falling as I descended my macabre throne. Despite that my wounds were gone. In my hand was a sword unlike any I’d ever seen. The blade and handle were both clouded crystal with differing hues of orange streaked throughout. It seemed to burn as I held it up to the light of day. After I had recovered the others informed me that after I had lost consciousness I had disappeared in a blinding flash of light, and when faded i’d stood with that strange blade in hand, and enough mana flowing from me to be seen with the naked eye. The enemy faltered for a moment, surprised as my kin were, but then they tried to slay me with all they had. Only it hadn’t been enough. I’d brushed them aside like dry leaves before an autumn breeze. In less than five minutes I killed so many that they routed and fled, taking casualties all the while.

    That kind of power was beyond blessings. That was the power of a god. A fragment of Kariim herself lay dormant within me.After that battle her crest, a falling star appeared at the base of my throat. Before I was considered a blessing to my people. Now they treated me like a deity in full. Our losses had been far less severe than i’d imagined. My battle trance had shown me far further into the fray than I had realized and when the enemy had been routed it had saved many I thought already lost. With the threat gone so was the elder’s indecision. They all agreed that with the power I had shown our people were ready. Ready to return home. To take back what was rightfully ours. For the first time in my life I was filled with regret. All my life I had lived in the wood. The smell of pine, the starry skies above, the sound of rainfall. The warmth of the sun. If we won I wouldn’t ever experience them again...and if we lost..well I wouldn’t have long to worry about it.

    A few days later we departed for the caves that led to the Abyss. Of our settlement we left nothing behind. What slaves we didn’t take with us we put down, leaving their bodies in the buildings before we set them alight. We had burned the bridge behind us. Our future held victory or death. Nothing else. I led them through a darkness I had never seen, never walked, but despite that I knew each step to take, each dead end to avoid. When my house fled the city they wandered the Abyss for months. I led them back to it in less than a week. As we came into sight of the gates I felt Kariims touch once more and my consciousness drifted as if in a dream. I saw the gates to the city fall before me unbidden as Kariim’s mark burning brightly.

    The ease with which we swept aside the defenders was almost...disappointing. I had trained my entire life to reclaim this city, but in the end it didn’t matter. I was little more than a vessel and against the power I held within me there was no challenge the houses that united against us could offer. The leaders died first. Puppets with cut strings as Kariim claimed their souls herself. Without direction the houses descended into chaos. Mine was not merciful. Vengeance drove them to gleeful slaughter. Some houses ended that night, their bloodline cut without exception. Others had the their leadership purged, the rest chained for labor and amusement of their new capteurs.

    In the wake of the battle I felt...hollow. I had done what I’d been trained all my life to do. What I’d been born to do. Only I hadn’t. Not myself. How could I claim glory for something I been a mere spectator to? My unease only grew as we settled the city once more. I had always been separate from the others of my house. Exalted. My favor was sought by most. There was no thing I could not claim as mine if I had not desired it. Before the battle of the wood I had cared little for the attention, even dismissed it as a distraction from my purpose. Now that purpose was gone, and yet I was even more an outcast. Before I was exalted, now I was revered...and feared. The others were courteous, even respectful, buy none dared vie for my attention.

    The fear they might draw their goddess’s ire far outweighed the gain of any petty ambitions they might have had. I felt lost in the dark. I had no one and nothing to drive me. I had achieved more than i’d ever dared dream...and it meant nothing to me. Nothing in the face of the crushing solitude that now claimed me. I longed for all the things I had left behind in that wood. Things I would likely never see again. For months my mood continued to darken, and as it did I felt my connection to Kariim weaken. This was a fresh agony. She was the one thing in my life that still kept me anchored, yet as my own doubts crept through my mind like a poison I could feel her slipping away from me.

    It wasn’t the only one who noticed. I’m not sure how they managed it...my food I think. My kin drugged me. I woke in a chamber that had been prepared to hold me. Layers and layers of enchantments permeated the room. On the door, the floor, the shackles around my wrists and ankles. They sealed away what remained of my connection to Kariim, and my own powers as well. Rage like I had never known filled me as I realized the betrayal I had suffered. My tormentors delighted in it. Reveled in my understanding. They took no pains to make sure I knew exactly why they had done what they had. I had delivered them all their enemies in a casket. All but one. All but Kariim. All but the goddess who caused their fall, their suffering, and indignity.

    Since the prophecy my mother had spoken the other elders planned in the shadows. Quietly plotting, whispering their venomous hatred into the ears of the younger generation. Carefully keeping those same whispers from me. At first to keep me from knowing they would cast me aside once I had served my purpose, but then when it became clear I was god touched their plans changed. Those months in the city after our victory they dug into the most powerful and ancient rituals of race. To things long forbidden and forgotten in the depths of the city. It was there they crafted my prison. Not simply to hold me, but Kariim. The part of her that remained within me was trapped, unable to return to her. With me contained and other faithful slaughtered she had lost her mediums to shape our world.

    They tortured me. For how long I don’t know. Though it was only a fragment, the portion of Kariim that I held within me refused to allow me to die. Regardless of what horrors they inflicted upon me I recovered at a miraculous rate. They kept their physical atrocities mild though, unwilling to risk ending my life accidentally and severing the ritual that kept Kariim weakened. They wanted Kariim to suffer, and so they made me suffer in her stead, hoping that the goddess might feel some fraction of my agony. I refused them the pleasure of breaking me. The more unbearable my imprisonment became the more my rage grew. Until there were no words. No actions that could adequately express the depths of it. They drugged me to dull my senses and lost track of reality. They toyed with my mind.

    Eventually either out of boredom or practicality they decided the time for torture was done. That it was time for a god to die. The ritual they created combined the binding spells that kept me powerless with a bloodline curse. They meant to draw Kariim into me in her entirety and use the connection between us to end her. They dressed me in the dress of a priestess for the occasion. They used my blade as a focus to draw Kariim into me and intended to use it deal the killing blow. They were fools. They succeeded in bonding us, but they hadn’t realized the true strength of a god. The portion of of her soul within me had been a mere drop in an ocean of power so vast I could scarcely comprehended it. It was an agony beyond description. No mortal form was intended to hold a celestial being in its entirety . I could feel my body falling from the strain of containing that raw energy.

    Only my rage kept me sane enough to do what needed doing. As the Matron who meant to spill my blood upon the altar that would end me swung my blade my chains snapped like twigs. Before she had time to blink I had driven the blade through her chest, and her blood flowed freely. The others had only a few moments before that blood fell to the altar below and the curse began to claim them. They withered away, their bodies simply falling to pieces. From the oldest matron to the youngest child. The Kuresh would be free of enemies for eternity. My rage sated I could no longer keep the power that was destroying me contained and with my bindings broken it flowed from me. Darkness claimed me and i seemed to fall into an abyss.

    At first I thought that it was the curse claiming me for oblivion. After all It was my bloodline too. Even the fragment of Kariim that had protected me from harm wouldn’t save me from the curse. It would merely end her as it was meant to. I did not fear oblivion. Kariim however had other plans. As her spirit left me It dragged my body away from the Abyss, away from my native plane and beyond the curses reach. I don’t know how long the darkness claimed me, but when I woke I was in an alley. While I was whole once more the journey between planes had left me weak. The first thing I noticed was that Kariim was gone. I had always felt her presence on the edge of my consciousness, even before I understood what it was and now I felt....nothing.

    I had no way to know what had happened at the time, but I quickly realized the world I was in was not my own. They city around me was more alien than any human, or dwarven city I had ever seen, and far beyond anything I had ever imagined. I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the structures, the crowds, and the bright light that seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere at once. I sunk against the wall of the alley and just sat there, numb from shock. I was fortunate. The building I had ended up against was a bar and the owner found me on his way out the back door. It was a good thing I had so little strength left in me. I probably would have killed him. As it was i tried.

    It wasn’t rational. Thought wasn’t something I was capable of at that moment. I was pure instinct. I was also in terrible shape. My journey, the loss of Kariim, and my new surroundings had left me an unbalanced physical and mental wreck. I tried to stab Tony. He knocked me out with a right hook. I woke up in the apartment he owned above the bar. The panic, the fear, they were still there, but they quickly passed. I’d woken on a bed piled with blankets. It seemed unlikely I was in any immediate danger given my comfortable accommodations. I began exploring my surroundings and noticed my blade was missing, I was still dressed the outfit from the ritual. Cautiously I left the room and found myself face to face with the man who’d knocked me out. He was relaxed, his posture deliberately unthreatening. He tried to speak to me but the words were lost on me.

    It quickly became apparent that humans of this world had a vastly different tongue than the one I was familiar. The basic exchanges we were able to manage told me a few things. His name was Tony and he owned the strange dwelling i’d awoken in. He let me stay there, gave me food, taught me English. The loss of the bond with Kariim had taken a toll on my body as well as my mind and his company was a pleasant distraction. The language was crude and difficult to master, but it didn’t take long for me to learn enough for basic communication. I began to learn more about my new home. The awe inspiring creations that humans had made in this realm. As I learned my body began to adjust, my strength returning to me, but not in full. My powers had waned, my blessings gone and only my own innate power remained.

    After a couple of months had passed I grew restless. I no longer had a goal, a purpose, but at the same time I had more freedom than i’d ever known...and yet I had done nothing with it. With nothing to guide me I felt lost and yet also...liberated. There were no gods here. My fate was my own. As I began trying to figure out how I fit into this new world Tony made me an offer to work at his bar. He also offered to let me rent the apartment. I was hesitant at first but I had no real alternatives. My english was hardly masterful and I still couldn’t read yet. I started out stocking, but the novelty I provided was good for business and soon Tony had me behind the bar. It couldn’t have worked out better. I have a place to stay, money of my own, and no shortage of pleasant company at the end of the night. For now that's enough.

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  1. Ayli Kuresh

    Sunset Slowdown

    As he spoke she took grabbed a fresh glass and filled it from the same tap before sliding it down in front of him, ever present smile dancing on her lips.She wasn’t sure quite what he wanted to say, but she was pretty sure that this wasn’t it. Still she didn’t exactly mind the questions. Unlike him there wasn’t much she missed about her own world. She was more than comfortable here. In fact she considered New York more her home than anywhere else she’d ever had. It was no bother to her if he wanted to ask about where she’d come from. He was pleasant conversation.She’d discovered company was easy to find, but good company was a much rarer thing. “From the same place I do” She told him as grabbed his empty glass and stacking it with others before loading them into the dishwasher. “My world doesn’t have a name. Not like this one. No one there has ever even dreamed of another ‘world’. Every race calls it something different. Most don’t even think of it like that, as a single place. Their world isn’t the plane. It’s their country. Their village. Wherever they call home.” She told him as she worked. “Mine was Basen’gir. In this tongue the closest word would be...The Abyss. My kind had a city there. A fortress. Before I lived there my world was the forests of Angir. Now it’s here.” she told him simply. Since she’d come here she’d constantly been filled with awe. Surprise. She’d been amazed to learn how vast this planet was. Even more so that it had all been explored, mapped and colonized. She’d found it strangely sad though. Exploring her own realm was a dangerous prospect. More so than here, even with all of the dangers that had slipped in from across the planes. At the same time there was wonder. A sense of adventure. That there was always something to discover that had never been seen by another. That the people of this world lacked that seemed odd. Tragic. Still if that particular wonder was lost to them the hume here had managed to create much of their own. She couldn’t imagine a city like New York ever coming to be on her home plane. Then again she couldn’t have imagined anything like this world if she hadn’t seen it for herself. “And you? Where do you call home. Not here I think.” She said softly as she leaned against the bar opposite him, her expression curious as she eyed him once again. “This city tolerates us...outworlders they call us, but it’s unusual to see a Hume actually champion us.” It was true. Most of the people who lived here weren’t hostile. Many even seemed to feel some level of concern about their treatment for most of them it was skin deep. Forgotten the moment it caused them any kind of inconvenience. Not that she begrudged them for it. Friction between races was inevitable. Sometimes there were differences were so ingrained, so intrinsic that it was bound to happen. Especially in this city where so many races, so many ways of living came together. She rested her head in her hand, leaning against the bar as she waited for his answer...
  2. Ayli Kuresh

    Sunset Slowdown

    She laughed. A rich throaty sound. She couldn’t help it. The bar went quiet for a moment, the music from the jukebox the only thing keeping it from going totally silent. Her smiles came easy, but her laughter was a rare thing. After a couple moments though she managed to get herself under control and the laughter faded. Seconds later conversation picked back up and the quiet faded some. “ I mean no offense.” She told him breathlessly a moment later, her smile returning only to fade away as she regarded him once more. She said nothing, drumming her fingers on the bar as she considered her words as carefully as she could. He had been genuine. Sincere. People often lied to her. Sometimes they were petty, others grand, but when they did it was usually to get something from her. She got the sense he wasn’t lying. He meant what he had said. He would help her if she needed it, for no other reason than the fact she did. The only other person who’d done so was Tony. She had no desire to insult him. Even by accident. “I thought your reason would be different. You’re very strange.” Her fingers stopped tapping on the bar and she leaned closer, leaving only a couple inches between them as she studied his features. “Since I've been here many have come, not for me. No, for the “dark skinned elf”. Many just to see. Some for more than that. I'm an...oddity. Foreign. Mysterious. I make them curious. I don’t mind mostly. After all this world is much the same for me. Their interest keeps me employed...and entertained.Some don’t enjoy the mystery. Fear it. They lash out. I make them regret it.” She kept her eyes locked on his as she spoke. Her tone gradually becoming amused once more. The smile once again parting her lips. ‘ I say you’re strange because when people find me most of them do it because they want something. Large, or small, a night in my bed or just the sight of me. Not, to worry over me. It’s...appreciated, I think? Mmmm. Not likely needed though.” To a stranger the words might have come off as rude. Arrogant. That wasn’t how Ayli intended them though.. She knew full well there were dangerous things in this world just as there had been in her own. She just knew she was one of them. Regardless of how much weaker she’d become when crossing the veil. “That aside I would be a poor bartender to send you away after one drink yeah? Especially to hell. No, you’re much too interesting to waste there.I’ve not met a Hume like you before. I think you’re fine right here. “ She told him, her smile splitting into a wide grin as she leaned against the bar opposite him. “Refill?” The laughter was present in her voice if nowhere else.
  3. Ayli Kuresh

    Sunset Slowdown

    Ayli arched any eyebrow curiously, her expression bemused as the newcomer grabbed the glass in front of him and lifted it to his lips without any hesitation...and managed to do it without spilling a drop. That was rare. Occasionally her customers had the good sense lean down and take a little off the top before they tried to pick up one of her mugs. More often they ended up spilling a sip or two down the front of them. Usually men. "That’s good,” He almost sounded surprised. She might have been offended if she thought so little of her. More likely he had few chances to find good beer. Or bad fortune when he did. Either way his reaction brought another wide smile to her lips. “I’ll take your word for it. Unfortunately I’m not on this side of town much.” "How unfortunate" She thought to herself. She wouldn't have minded him coming around, if only to enjoy the sight of him. "A bit too cold this past winter for even my blood.” Her ears flicked lightly as the words brought a distasteful reminder of the freeze that had ended a couple of months ago. She hoped this winter would be more mild. Or at the very least that she might not be so bothered by the cold this time. “Lack of work unfortunately, I’m in shipping. Weather has been making it difficult to go north or south up the coast, so I’m taking the time to make some more contacts while we’re docked.” That was unfortunate. From what she'd learned travel was dangerous enough, especially over water without the weather pitching in. Honestly sometimes she found the weather of this world to be the most terrifying thing about it. The creatures that had come through the tear into this world were dangerous, so were those who had been changed by it, but that was a danger she knew. One she understood. One she could fight. There was no fighting the wind and the rain, or the ground splitting and tearing itself apart beneath your feet. "I’m Calder by the way. What about you? Boss leave you all alone on a Friday? Pretty sure it’s not going to pick up?" She laughed at that. A short bark that seemed at odds with her delicate features. “No, no he didn’t. He had one other here to help me tend the bar, but like you I seem to have an unfortunate lack of work today. I let the boy go. Another will be here later, once the sun goes down. Won’t see more than this till that’s happened if we do at all.” She told him as she grabbed a glass and filled it with ice before putting it to the tap and filling it. She noticed him looking around as she did and frowned as she set the glass on the bar in front of her. More often than not newcomers to the bar were there to get a peek at her. Some were discreet about it, others less so, but she didn't mind so long as they kept their hands to themselves and their speech polite. Unless she told them to do otherwise. She was used to that. Expected it to some degree. She wasn't used to this. He'd known about her when he'd come in. That much had been obvious. She wasn't why he'd come though. Or rather he didn't seem concerned with her. He was subtle, but she could tell he was checking out the other customers. Out of the corner of his eye. The occasional glace. Like he was looking for something. She didn't like it. That look. Trouble was what it usually found. Trying for it or not. Not all her customers were pleasant. When she'd first started working the bar some had gotten the idea they could do more than look. Others despised her openly for being what she was and nothing more. She ignored them until they layed hands on her. Or tried. She broke them before they could manage. Sometimes fingers. Sometimes more. After the first couple fewer and fewer dared. Still there were always some.... "M' Ayli. Something tells me that you're not here for what's in that glass. Don't much care if you are so long as you're polite. Cause trouble here and trouble's all you'll find friend." She told him softly. It might have sounded like a threat if not for her tone. It was stern, but not threatening. Blunt. That was what Hume here called her. Many thought her rude because of it, but it what her kind were. What she was. Honestly she didn't mind much what he was here for. If he was here for a good time, he'd likely find it. If he was here to pick a fight he'd find that too. She'd likely enjoy herself either way.
  4. Ayli Kuresh

    Sunset Slowdown

    Her smile widened slightly as she eyed the newcomer and noted him doing the same. She didn’t mind being eyed. Usually. The Hume here had a fascination with “Elves” as they called them. Usually for better. Sometimes for worse. Here they were considered exotic. Different. Her more than most. Many liked it. Some didn't. Elves of other breeds seemed to have come to this world in numbers. Her kind were few and far between if there were any others at all. She hadn’t met or heard of another like her since she’d been here. Hopefully she never would. She was still taking him in, her eyes roaming unapologetically as he walked in and took a seat at the bar near her. He was certainly pleasant enough to look at. Especially the smile. Definitely a newcomer. She’d have remembered this one. “Beer, dark. Surprise me,” Simple enough. She didn’t drink beer. Didn’t have a taste for it. Couldn’t get a buzz from it.She knew what was popular though. She flipped up a pint glass and lifted it up to one of the taps. It was a local brew with a name she could never read. Of course a lot of stock was local these days. Local was safer. Cheaper too. Amber liquid flowed into the chilled glass, coming to stop just before it could spill over the lip. She set it in front of him without spilling a drop, lips quirking into a slight smirk. She enjoyed watching her customers try to do the same. She mentally started a tab for him. Letters? Reading? Those she found difficult. Numbers? Those she understood just fine. She didn’t bother asking him to pay yet. He’d settle up one way or another before he left. They always did. She made sure of that. "Quiet night for a Friday..." The smirk faded, another easy smile replacing it as she leaned against the bar not quite opposite him. His scent smelled lightly of sweat and salt water. She found it as pleasant as she found the rest of him. "Quiet for any night." She corrected him playfully. "Mmm seems cold drinks aren't enough cold for this heat. Drinks are the only cold I like though.“ She added with a hint of amusement. Small talk was hit or miss for her. She liked conversation, but between her occasional missteps with the language she still made, and the ease with which she managed to offend people otherwise it was more often miss than not. Still, it didn’t stop her from trying. Especially here. Liquor tended to make people much more manageable. It probably helped she was a bit more careful when working. Mostly to avoid making trouble for Tony. He rarely got mad at her, but she preferred not to make too much trouble for him when she could avoid it . "And you? What brought you out into the heat?"
  5. Ayli Kuresh

    Sunset Slowdown

    June 14th 2022 Early Evening Sunset Bar The heat was a difficult thing to get used to. The forests of her youth had been far more moderate, the abyss much cooler. She didn’t think she’d ever sweat quite so much as the first summer she was in New York. Not that she really minded sweating. Certainly not like the hume seemed to mind it. The cold on the other hand she found unpleasant. Especially this far north where the winter seemed to drag on at pace as glacial as the temperature. She had come to loathe the winters here. How they forced her indoors for months on end to find comfort. The bulky uncomfortable clothing she piled on to keep the cold at bay when she did venture out. Mostly though she missed the sun. Nights were beautiful, and New York came alive like the light of the stars it hid from view, but nothing was more radiant than when the sun split the sky and painted the horizon with a thousand different strokes of color. She had to remind herself of her love for summer a bit more forcefully than normal today however. It was sweltering out and the bars modest central air system just couldn’t keep up with the heat from outside and warm bodies within. There were decidedly fewer of those than there could have been. The bar was far from empty, but it definitely wasn’t packed either. Even the usually boisterous crowd of Friday night regulars seemed subdued by the heat. Music from the jukebox, the low murmur of conversation and the occasional bit of laughter seemed blend together and drift lazily throughout the place. Ayli was behind the bar trying not to wipe her brow with the back of her hand for what seemed like the millionth time so far tonight. Her hair was even more wild than normal, but she’d managed to wrestle it into something resembling submission in the form of a long tail bound with at least half a dozen hairbands. Her evanescence T was saturated with sweat and clung to her skin showing her figure off even more than it normally did. The bar hid both her denim cut offs and the gun belt she wore over top of them from view. She scowled slightly as she grabbed a rack of cocktail glasses from the washer and flipped it over, stacking them with practiced ease. She was going to have to have a talk with Tony about getting the AC replaced. Heat wave like this?On a Friday night? They should have been packed. Would have been likely, if the place had been cooler. She probably wouldn’t be telling him anything he didn’t already know. He’d managed to keep this place running through both the times of chaos the hume called the resonance. He was probably waiting on something. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to talk to him about it. He’d come to expect her “whining” as he called it. She smiled slightly at the thought, a welcome distraction from the heat. She’d half expected him to show up tonight. It wasn’t uncommon for him to show up and lend a hand on the weekends. Not that it was really needed tonight. She’d already let Ash go for night. They didn’t need another bartender for a crowd this size. Sanity had demanded that they close their kitchen tonight too, so for now it was just her minding the place. She didn’t mind. Even a slow solo shift meant more tips. Not to mention the off chance she’d get to have a little fun playing bouncer to any fool who didn’t know well enough to behave here. She got to do that some weekends more than others, but their was almost always that one idiot who couldn't hold his liquor and did something stupid. Or a natural bastard who just needed to be drunk as an excuse to show what he really was. Didn’t much matter to her which it was, she found intense pleasure in watching their expressions when she kicked them out on their asses. She was grabbing a rag to wipe down the bar when the door opened and the small bell above it let out a merry chime and let in a welcome breeze. “Welcome to Sunset friend.” She said brightly as she turned to greet the newcomer….


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