Lady Diamond! (IC)

Berandor

lunatic
As she is riding towards the dojo, Lady Diamond passes a grove of trees. A silvery light shines through the leaves, and she slows her pace for a moment.
As she looks about, she can see a figure standing next to the road. Squinting her eyes, she can make out a dark, brown robe, bare, dirty feet and a gnarled walking stick.
As she comes closer, she recognizes the face: it is Berandor, the Darkwalker.
Yet somehow, he has grown older, much older than he should rightfully be. His hair is cut short, and almost white; and he sports an equally grey-white beard.
"You recognize me. Good.", Berandor greets her. With a look towards Mianaavri, he goes on.
"She's asleep now. Leave her here, and follow me to the grove. I have need of talking to you."
Without much waiting, Berandor truns and slowly walks back to the trees, his stick used for balance.
 

Lady Diamond

Villager
Lady Diamond gazed quizzically at Berandor the Darkwalker for a moment, how did he get here? He had looked at Mia as if he knew her. Intuition sparks a flash inside her memory. Berandor, at Sineater's party, a small figure mostly hidden from view had been there as well. And Mia's indignation when Diamond had asked about her parents, as if Everyone should know who her parents were. Diamond had assumed that the small figure with Berandor then had been a small boy, or a gnome. Diamond dismounted carefully, letting the sleeping Mia lay face down upon the white mare's broad back, where Mia could grip the saddle if she were to wake up suddenly. Diamond "ground tied" the mare beside the road, she would not move until she had been released from that stance.

"What's this all about, Darkwalker?" Diamond asked quietly as they walked, sobered by Berandor's greatly-aged appearance.
 
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Berandor

lunatic


Berandor walks towards the trees, and begins talking to Lady Diamond.
"You see - I am not sure you are awayre of it, but I am the foster parent of the little Mia. She doesn't know her real parents, and I kept a lookout for her while she grew up... very fast, I might add."
His voice is full of gentle emotions, as he keeps on talking.
"About the same time I was steered towards counseling instead of interfering, I also learned of her true parents. What I learned frightened me, yet I was bound to have her find her own way."
He has reached the grove now, and upon entering the circle of trees, Lady Diamond can see a Cauldron standing in the middle of the grass, holding clear water. Strangely, the water itself emits the silvery light, as if it was moonlight itself that got caught in the kettle.
Berandor circles the cauldron and sits down in the lotus seat, motioning for Lady Diamond to mirror him. Then, he continues.
"I purposely told Mia of Lady Tsin and her exploits, and of her love to Nikodemus. I gathered that a girl of her age would like these stories.
"But as her body aged in astonishing speed, she showed more and more signs of a cruel streak in her, and of a frightening fun at other's harm.
"I had just found out that sometime during my exploits to the Dark Side, I had contracted a disease, or a spell, that contained my youth by drawing time out of others near me. I fear I was part of the reason for Mia's quick aging. At first, I tried to renew my strength through fighting in Lady Tsin's tournament, but my time was past.
"I had only one way to go. I set Mianaavri free, free to learn, and to find her way. I hoped the wounds in her would heal eventually. And I calculated on Lady Tsin helping her, as she did when presenting Mia with the Tiny Spider figurine.
"Yes, I have watched Mia still. Unable to stop myself from doing so, yet unable to interfere as well. Sadly, Lady Tsin is not around at the moment... but it seems you mean no harm to her.
"I would tell you of Mia's secret, so that you yourself can decide what to do - if you wish?"

Berandor stops speaking, regarding you with solemn, wary eyes.
 
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Lady Diamond

Villager
Lady Diamond listened and nodded through Berandor's tale, so much made sense now. Mia's flashes of some dark energy within, happening two times during the match. Startling then, but Diamond had been unable to tell whether it was childish energy and the heat of battle acting on her during the match. To hear Berandor say the same thing happens outside the heat of combat and the mention of cruelty made her scratch her chin for a moment. What had the Lady Tsin said about Diamond herself during her match with Sabaron at the Tourney of Honor. "She can be cruel", that's what the Ancient Masters had said about her, amongst many other things mostly good. Diamond's "good" qualities had prevailed, and she had won. Good is often a mixture of many things, as long as a person controlled and contained the bad qualities.

"Berandor if it will ease your mind a little I'll tell you what intent I have for Mia. Right now she's hungry, confused, exhausted, her feet look like they've been through a meat grinder, and she has no real place to call home. Evil walks the realm again, in gangs. Mia could more than likely handle one or two of the beasts herself, but a gang?". Diamond shook her head. "She would have no chance alone, and Evil could entice her into more than mere cruelty.".

Diamond paused and thought about her first encounter with evil in this realm, she hadn't known who Bhallreah was at the time, but it had been so close.. safe passage to the Waterless Desert, Bhallreah had said. It had been an attractive offer, since she hadn't a clue who or what Bhallreah really was, and had no place to call home then. If Vanor had not stopped her from going there... she shuddered.

"Please tell me Mia's story, for I would like to know what roils inside the child that makes her have those.. episodes", Diamond replied. "And afterwards we can discuss her future, if you'd like. I see much of myself in Mia. I would like for her to have the same chance to choose that I did."
 
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Berandor

lunatic
"She has no real place to call home."

Berandor's shoulders sag forward at that notion, and tears well up in his eyes.
"Perhaps, you are right. Though I would like to think she always has a home on my island, with me, I believe she wouldn't dare come back now, for fear of having failed.
I gave her my sword, not only as protection, but also as a sign that I was with her, always. I hope she understands that..."


Berandor is silent for a moment, gathering himself again.
He speaks again, strangely bereft of emotion, as if recounting a tale that has happened a long time ago, and far, far away.
"I don't know how much you know of me, so I will tell you the most important parts. When I was less experienced than I am now, I got turned over to the Side of Evil. In the subsequent struggles and pains, I lost my mind for a time. I called myself "Dark Clown", and I don't think I was easy to be around. Among other things, this is what I did."

He makes a sweeping gesture over the cauldron, and the water loses some of its brightness. Suddenly, images well up inside the bowl.
The scene shows a farmhouse interior. A young woman in a simple brown kimono sweeps the floor. Suddenly, the ricepaper wall to her right bursts open and a man steps through. He wears but green trousers, and his chest is bare. The skin is pale white. His hair is dark yellow, combed high above his forehead. In his white painted face, a single red tear is painted on his right cheek. The man grins like a wolf among a herd of sheep.
He is easily recognaizable as Berandor, albeit in a different... what? "Incarnation" would be the correct term.
The man grabs the woman before she can flee, and throws her to the floor. He beats her up with the broom handle until it breaks, then he tears her clothes off.
He bows low and picks the bloodied, mangled form up, carrying her over to the bed. Afterwards, he violently rapes her... all the while grinning and laughing.

The scene ends, and the cauldron is filled with water once more. Berandor looks into the distance, not daring to meet Lady Diamond's eye. Tears run freely down his face now, and his eyes are red. His voice is broken.
"If it helps you to know, the woman died before ...it... was finished. I know it doesn't help me.
"When I was sane again, my guilt drove me to this place. I had to see if I could do something to soothe my mind, or to redeem my soul. The home was still there, neglected. The west wall showed the rip through which I entered and left. I dared not look inside.
"As I turned to leave, I heard a faint cry, like that of a child.
"I followd the sound... and found Mianaavri, lying in the bushes near the home. Somehow, I thought the gods had given me a second chance. I took her, and promised to see to her health, and her education as she grew up with me."


Berandor turns his head again to look at Lady Diamond.
"However, I later learned the whole truth. Even though the woman was dead at the moment of, or even before conception, a child grew within her body..."

He breaks off, not daring to go on, to say what must follow. His face sags down, and he kneads his hands. Suddenly, he forces it out.
"Mia is the daughter of a dead woman and the Dark Clown. I am not her father, and yet I am. His seed, as well as mine, are in her... and I fear the Clown could prevail - I fear for her, and for the world.
You spoke of the future. While I cannot see into the future with perfect clarity, I am able to see glimpses of possible developments.
Look, look what I have seen for Mia!"

He waves at the cauldron again, and it shows a picture. Afterwards, Berandor is silent. His eyes a closed, and he waits for Lady Diamond's reaction; be it laughter, running away, or outright killing him.
.
.
.
.
..
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.
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..
.
.
.
.
The picture of Mianaavri is thus:
 
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Lady Diamond

Villager
Diamond watched in horror as the story unfolded in front of her eyes. She gripped the edges of the cauldron white-knuckled, and ground her teeth, willing down the indignant scream of outrage that wanted to boil from her soul, to keep from escaping from between her tightly clamped lips. Grimly she glanced at Berandor, she'd heard of tales of those who committed great sins early on in life, and did great deeds for good as penance for the rest of their natural lives. When she could find her voice and keep it from shaking, she said:

"I see that it is the gods punishment that you carry this image from hell with you for the rest of your life. I cannot judge you, nor will I strike you down for it. I leave it up to the gods to decide your final fate, the guilt you carry will eat you up inside if you let it, perhaps that is price extracted for your heinous deed. And it will take Mia down as well, in time, if you let it."

Diamond took a shuddering breath, this was much to deal with all at once. She gazed at Mia, still sleeping peacefully atop the white mare's back, wondering if she knew, wondering when she would ask about her beginnings. She fixed Berandor with a steely gaze and clenched her right fist and held it in front of his face.

"I tell you this, Berandor the Darkwalker. This story goes no farther. You Never tell Mia what you've shown me. If you do, if you let your guilt overwhelm you and you share it with her to unburden your own soul, she will hate you for the rest of your life, and she will be lost to evil forever. Right now, you are all she has. If she learns of this, I fear what you have foreseen will come true."

Trying to quell the rage inside her, Diamond takes a few deep breaths, oh Vanor my love someday teach me how to meditate, she pleads to herself silently. She gets a grip on herself and meets Berandor's tear-filled eyes again.

"You must gather up what strength you have left inside, and help me decide what to do. If it is as you say, that Mia's outbursts of cruelty are becoming more and more frequent, then we must find the means to help her. Only in doing this can you possibly put some of the demons tormenting you to rest. What torments you, torments her as well. She is her father's daughter by blood. She does not have to be the monster her father was for a time."

OOC: gotta hit the sack, school today, more later if ya want
 

Berandor

lunatic
OOC: No problem. I'll just post, and you reply when you're ready. It shouldn't take too long here now, anyway.
The fun of RP'ing is that one can never guarantee the other's reaction... I'm having a lot of fun reacting to your post :)

IC:
Berandor sits back, as if physically slapped in the face. He shakes his head momentarily, then nods. His eyes, as well as his voice, have regained strength.
"You are right; how could I be so blind?
Ever since I knew of her origin, I held that image in my mind... in a way, I expected Mia to become like this. It was like a self-fulfilling prophecy. I was such a fool!
"It was my influence, after all. All the time I tried to help her, I actually worsened things. It seems for all your neutrality on the subject, you are better suited to seeing what went wrong.
"I am responsible for her, and her development. The more I try to help, the worse it gets...."

Berandor looks at Lady Diamond, as if he suddenly solved a great problem.
"It is best I didn't do anything at all!
Lady Diamond, you know now what the problem is. You know the dangers. I dare not counsel you... Mia is too close to me for judgíng objectively, and helping her doesn't help.
"So, I will observe, and wish you luck!"

With that, he jumps into the kettle, and is gone.
 

Lady Diamond

Villager
OOC: yeah, interaction is fun, ya learn much about the characters :) you're going to continue to portray Mia I hope, wouldn't be much fun at the dojo without your wit behind her innocence. :)

Lady Diamond had seen the effect of her words on Berandor's face. Her words had been harshly spoken, yes. Sometimes the despondent need a good verbal slap to wake them up, rather than sympathy and letting them wallow in their own misery.

But since she'd known little about Berandor the man except for the tales of great battles he'd fought for the light, her first glimpse into the man's psyche had been horrifying, and sad. She jumped up and hissed "Wait!", as Berandor made his pronouncement and disappeared into the cauldron. He would be "listening", he had said.


"Berandor, if you're still listening" she began, staring down into the magic cauldron and feeling a bit silly talking to it. "Mia's healing will not be complete until you heal yourself as well. Someday when that happens, I would be happy to see the two of you meet again. Farewell for now my sad clown."

Diamond sighed, and turned away from the cauldron, mounting the mare and rearranging Mia on the saddle, still asleep, or passed out, Diamond wasn't sure which. She turned the mare back onto the road, put her arms protectively around the girl so she wouldn't fall off, and headed for the dojo once again.
 

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