Author Topic: Troubles of a Teenage Empath  (Read 2407 times)

Doran Ilnaren

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Troubles of a Teenage Empath
« on: August 07, 2014, 09:22:35 PM »
August 1, 2014

Despite having been up fairly late the night before, Doran was out of bed with the dawn.  Truth be told, he hadn't slept all that peacefully; his dreams were disturbingly vivid.  Not terrifying or violent, far from it.

Enticing, perhaps, was the word.  That, or confusing.  Or both.

Heading out of the manor, he made for the stables.  Nobody was around--except perhaps Errtu, but the drow lad tended to keep himself to himself anyway--and that suited Doran fine.  He just wanted a solo ride to help clear his head, empty out the images that lingered from the night before.

As he rode out across the fields, memories drifted past him.  It started with Katt.  Oh, he'd made such a fool of himself!  She was always pretty to him, with her eyes and her smile, but... for the first time, he'd noticed her as a girl instead of as a friend.  The shape of her, her curves... and suddenly Doran had been lost for words.  She had to hate him now, the way he'd been acting.

Suddenly he pulled the reins, drawing Greycloud up short.  Lord and Lady, the youth swore in his head, Clayton is going to shred me!

Doran Ilnaren

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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2015, 08:56:26 PM »
June 20, 2015

Almost a year later, and Doran thankfully remained unshredded.  

Katt didn't hate him, though she occasionally teased him.  Or, as she would say, "pointed out" things, which might have been worse to the lad.  Still, he didn't freeze up anymore when he saw her in just the right light, so it seemed that crush was no more.

Unfortunately, he'd gone from a single fixation to noticing just about every nubile female form passing by that was teenaged or older.  At least he was courteous enough not to ogle, and most of the time it was just a quick passing glance, but... sometimes, he found his dreams full of sleek shapes and curves, of flashing eyes and swinging hips.

His father had tried to help him, but in truth he didn't really have the right experiences from that age, and he admitted as much.  Still, Ebon said that he knew someone who could give him the advice that he needed.

So it was that, as the sun set over the forested hillside, Doran was leaning against a fence when he heard soft footsteps approaching.  The presence that accompanied them was as familiar as his own, and with good reason.

"So," said Velen as he stepped up to the fence alongside his 'brother' and glanced down.  "I hear you could use someone to talk with, eh?"


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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2015, 01:29:57 AM »
"What's on your mind?" Velen asked when his greeting had elicited nothing but brooding silence.  "Or did you just come all the way out here to admire that spectacular sunset?"

Doran just rolled his eyes at that.  "Like you'd understand."  Then he blinked, realizing just how stupid that sounded given who he was with, and turned to look at his elder self.  "Well, I guess you would, a bit.  I'm just... it's all a confusing mess sometimes.  I can barely control my own feelings, and then there's everyone else crowding in on me at all the wrong moments.  How did you handle it?"

"Well, Father locked me up in a tower for a bit, but Maggie broke me out."

The younger lad blinked.  "Really?"

"No."  Velen flashed a grin, but it quickly faded when he spied the frown on Doran's face.  "Sorry, couldn't resist."  A heavy sigh escaped his lips.  "I'll be honest, sometimes it did feel like I was in a tower.  I stayed at home a lot, played my music... I did that a lot, learned different instruments."

Shaking his head, Doran looked a bit sad.  "That sounds lonely."

His 'brother' gave a little shrug.  "There were the other kids at the manor, of course; you know how crowded that can be, and being around them helped me rein in my gifts and get them under control.  Then there were my friends, Melly and Addie and Errtu and, of course, Maggie.  By the time I hit mid-teens, we were taking off and roaming the countryside, getting into all nature of mischief, righting wrongs, helping out where we could."

Velen climbed up and over the fence, heading towards a copse of trees across the field.  As he walked, he looked back and motioned for Doran to follow.  "Come on."  Together they walked down the hill and into the little grove.  "This is the one."  He patted the trunk of a large, many-branched tree.  "We built a little hideaway up in those branches, just a place to meet away from prying adult eyes, to talk and share secrets and stories."  A moment of silence hung in the air.  "Had my first kiss there, too."

Doran Ilnaren

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The Treehouse
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2016, 05:04:29 PM »
For several months, Doran had been a busy young man.  Over the winter, the youth had spent much of his 'down time' gathering materials and consulting with experts (mainly Maggie's dad).  As soon as the weather turned to spring, many a day found him headed to a shady copse at the edge of one of the manor's fields, where he would set to work.

Taking his brother's suggestion, he was building a treehouse.  It wasn't in the same spot that Velen had pointed out; this was going to be a place of Doran's own choosing.

Before long, others came to help.  Velen and Pearl first, then his father, and Tenball, and of course Maggie was there when she could to lend a hand.  "It's almost like you're putting up your own tower," she quipped with a laugh.

"Well, your dad gave some tips," Doran replied with a grin.

Azure came by often to watch, and Doran promised that when she was a bit older, he'd help build her one of her own if she wanted.  That got him a hug.

Finally it was done.  A spiral staircase wound around the trunk up to a railed platform, which led around to the enclosed treehouse itself.  It was cozy, large enough for a few friends but comfortable even with Doran alone.

It was his place.

[size=9]((image found on Google Images, unable to determine original source))[/size]

Doran Ilnaren

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Meeting Sylva
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2016, 03:58:04 PM »
Midsummer Festival Kickoff
Sunday evening, 6/19

It was the scent of food that drew her in and sure enough she was trying to keep to the shadows of the many food stalls.  So many foods, most of them she had never seen before. The drab fabric that was the cloak she wore was pulled close to both keep the sun off and keep her hidden away.

There were way too many people. That was good? and bad.  Clenching on the cloak, she started to move about the booths, poking her head around the corner of one or another to see what there was and if she could sneakthief some food without being caught.

Fingers pawed lightly at what was a bread..nudging it close? closer still? until it was close enough to be snatched up.  Victorious in this simple act, she retreated back around the stall and watched on? another target somewhere. More food to sneakthief.


Doran had started to get in line for dunking his dad, but something caught his eye.  "....Katt?" he whispered to himself.  It looked like Katt, but... too young.  His own age, maybe a year or two older.  Some de-aging effect, or? he considered his own experience with time-displaced alternate selves.


Andu spotted the figure hiding near the booths, and gave her a nod.  ?Hrmm? I wonder if anyone would help me decide what to try here, and help me eat it, so I can try more??

Spotted, it seemed, by Andu, she blinked her doe-like eyes at him and shoved the bread in her mouth.  Nothing to see here!

The minotaur chuckled and limped his way to the ice cream booth, ?accidentally? dropping a coin on the bakery stall?s counter.  

It took a little doing to swallow down the mouthful of bread and a single eye closed with the effort. Yeah she was kind of eating like she was afraid someone was going to take it away? probably was the reason.

Doran Ilnaren

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Meeting Sylva
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2016, 04:12:13 PM »
Doran had spied the green-eyed girl crouched low against the back of a bakery stall.  Intent upon a piece of pilfered bread, she didn't appear to have noticed him, though he knew appearances could be deceiving.

Andu was there for a moment, dropping a coin--to pay for the stolen loaf, no doubt--before limping on towards the ice cream booth.

Beside Doran, Azure turned to him.  "What are you looking at?"  When he didn't response, she shrugged and leaned her head against their mother?s arm

The lad was completely distracted by the girl he was watching, and slipped away.  He approached the girl cautiously, allowing calm to emanate from his mind.  ?Katt??

Doe-eyes slowly turned to Doran.  She hadn't even noticed him get close!  She was so focused on food and there he was.  "I am not that woman," she rasped quietly at Doran.

"I didn't think so.  What would you like me to call you?" he asked the non-Katt.

It took her a moment to remember the name that the boy had given her. "Sylva." She shifted from foot to foot while glancing to Doran then past him.

"Sylva... that's a nice name.  I'm Doran."  He noted that she seemed to be keeping one eye on the food stalls all around them at all times.  "Hungry?"

She started to deny it..but her stomach said otherwise. Tugging on the drab cloak she gave a small nod to answer. "What do you want?" It wasn't that she was trying to be rude but she simply wanted to know. Why was he speaking to her?

"I want to get some food.  Care to join me?"

"I have no money."  Not like he saw her steal earlier so it could be admitted.

"My treat.  As a new friend, even if you're not... that woman."

She blinked slowly.  "Friend..?"  The word didn't register it seemed.  "I am? not her.  People keep? calling me by her name."  She frowned a touch.  Cautiously she watched Doran but would nod.  He meant food.

"I know you're not her.  Doesn't mean we can't be friends, though.  Come on."  He started to reach out, purely out of habit, then caught himself and turned it into a gesture to follow.  "There's some pulled pork, and then the kids where I live have made different types of salad that could go well with that, and maybe a kabob from the Sassy Owl?"

Sylva?s eyes followed Doran's hand but she didn't move.  When he gestured for her to follow she would but terribly cautious.  Far too many people and following him meant no longer being able to hide among the shadows.  "That is? food?"

He paused and looked back.  "Yes, all sorts of food."  A thoughtful expression crossed his face.  "You want me to get some and bring it back here?"

She considered it for a moment and she'd slowly shake her head.  "No. I? will accompany you."  It was a struggle to say but she was putting effort in, as confused as she was.

"Good!  Maybe you'll spot or smell something that appeals to you."

She looked mildly confused.  "Appeals to me?  Food is... food."  She pointed a finger to one thing,  "Food."  Another thing, "Food."  There were no names for these things.  They were food.

"Well, those," and he pointed to the first stall Sylva indicated, "are grilled shrimp kabobs, and that one serves venison burgers... and that one has jambalaya and gumbo, among other delicacies," gesturing towards the Gator's Tail stall.  "Where would you like to start?"

Doran could've been speaking a completely different language because that is how it sounded to her.  She gestured to nothing particular as if to say for him to pick whatever.  "What? is your name?"

"My name is Doran.  Doran Ilnaren."  Accepting the lead, he guided Sylva into the Gator's Tail stall.  "Oooh, they have beignets, too!"

"Doran."  She nodded and was on his shadow though drifting slightly closer once they got to the stall.  "Beignets?"

After requesting two bowls of jambalaya, he turned and nodded towards the counter where puffs of cooked dough could be seen, coated with powdered sugar.  "Those.  They are very delicious.  A half-dozen, please?"  That was to the server behind the counter.

Half a dozen?  Her head tilted and she looked at Doran.  Well he did look like he could put them away.  "You? eat a lot."

"Well, two for me and two for you... and two for my dad, he loves these things."  After paying, he took the little box of beignets and gave two of them to Sylva, then lifted the tray with their bowls of jambalaya.  "Shall we find a spot to sit and eat?"

Ebon Ilnaren

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Meeting Sylva
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2016, 04:21:30 PM »
Maggie had waved to Doran and? Katt earlier, but in the crowd, things got missed.  She shrugged, something felt strange in the crowd, so, the girl stuck close to her Gran and Aja.

Now towelled off from the dunk tank and changed into a dry shirt, Ebon made his way over to Colleen and Maggie and the rest.  "Evening, all!"

"I was gonna come over and dunk you, but I needed food." Maggie gave Ebon a cheeky smile.

"No worries, food is important... and you're not the only one who seems to have skipped out on dunking me."  He glanced around.  "Has anyone seen my son?  I'd promised him a pork plate from Matadero if he sank me, but he never showed up in line."

A little giggle escaped Maggie?s lips.  "Doran's got a date!"  She upnodded toward the woman she thought was Katt for Ebon.  The man just blinked.  Then blinked again.  Seeing his reaction, she asked, ?What??

"Doran has a date?"  Ebon turned to look where Maggie had indicated, and saw Doran and a young woman standing near the Gator's Tail stall.  "Huh."

Maggie had both arms bent at her elbows, her palms were turned upward, and her face had a bemused look on it.  "Could be a date, might not be.  I'm ten, dating isn't in my experience book, yet!"

Doran Ilnaren

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Meeting Sylva
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2016, 08:50:57 PM »
Sylva looked confused this time as she took the beignets.  Doran was barely getting her attention.  It was food that was getting a good bit of attention.  "Dad?"  Another unfamiliar word and she didn't answer but instead shoved one of the beignets into her mouth, as much as she could.

"Yes.  My father."  That earned Doran a frown, as if he wasn't explaining correctly or something.   "Father... one of my parents, the people who, well, created me.  He and my mother."  The poor youth never expected himself to have to explain how families worked to anyone, let alone a younger version of a dear friend on whom he'd once had a pre-pubescent crush.

She was a little oblivious to the world outside of the food and Doran was only there in that world because he was giving the food.  "Parents."  That word she understood.  "I don't have those." And there went the second beignet. They were tasty!

Her apparent understanding put him at ease, but her comment about not having any saddened him.  "I'm sorry... about you not having any parents."  Although, given how she seemed to be living, it wasn't a great surprise.  "Try the jambalaya."

She did as she was told and tried the new food but made sure that she had a bowl all to herself in case he changed his mind and wanted it back.  He looked sad, though, and she didn't understand it. "What is wrong with your face?"

"Acne," replied Doran, totally deadpan.

"It looks... weird."  That was what he got back.

He chuckled at that.  "No, my face is fine... I just have a difficult time imagining life with no parents.  It makes me sad, and I guess that shows.  Sorry."

Now he was confusing her and stared at the food in her bowl.  "This is? good."

"It is good, isn't it?"  He ate a spoonful himself.  Sylva made a small little sound as she shoved a few more bites into her mouth but stopped herself after that.  He glanced at her bowl when she offered it back to him.  "Are you finished?"

"I should go." She didn't answer his question. She had enough to where her stomach no longer hurt and that was all that mattered.  "You should take it with you."

"I've got food at home... here, take both."  He scooped the remains of both bowls into a to-go box, closed it, and handed it to Sylva.  "You looked like you don't get that many regular meals... I would hate myself if I took this from you, too."  His lips spread into a warm smile.

"Home?"  Another word.  She looked to the box and took it slowly from Doran's hands.  "All right."  She couldn't argue and wouldn't.  This amount of food she could ration into small shares to last a few days.

"Yes, home... where do you live?"

Sylva sort of understood. "You mean where I sleep?"

"Yes."  Though his expression didn't show it, Doran winced at hearing that correction.  It implied a rather harsh lifestyle.

His face was doing weird things again but she didn't call on it this time. "There are a few caverns outside of the walls," she pointed in the direction she was speaking of.

"You sleep... in a cave?"  He pondered that for a moment.  "What do you have to sleep on there?"

"The ground?" That was the weirdest question he could ask her.

"Just the ground?  Isn't that hard?"  A touch of dismay entered Doran?s voice.  "No padding, at least?  A pillow?"

She shook her head and shrugged.  "That is how I have always slept."  Granted when he said padding she went instantly to armor padding which seemed weird to sleep on.  Pillow was one of those words and luxuries lost on her.

"So you don't have a bed, then?"  He knew it was a stupid question as soon as he'd asked, since she'd already made her sleeping situation quite clear.

Since she didn't know what a bed was and decided to avoid asking yet another question, she gestured to herself.  "What I have."

"You deserve more than just hard stone to sleep on."  He frowned at the thought.  "Why don't you live in the city?  Or... at least in a cottage, if you prefer being away from crowds."

"Because I do not have those things?"  Silly question.

Well, that was honest.  "Oh."  He considered for a moment.  "Do you prefer living on your own?"

The question confused her. "Huh?"

"You sleep alone, in a cave.  Is that because you're happy there, or just because you... don't know any other way to live?"

"I..."  She didn't know how to answer him.  Her lips thinned as she struggled to process it.  "Yes?"

Doran Ilnaren

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Meeting Sylva
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2016, 08:57:55 PM »
Ebon was still watching Doran and his newfound companion from a distance.  Something about the girl seemed familiar, but he couldn't really get a good look at her.  Then he heard a voice saying his name, and turned to see Rhi and Eregor had joined those around him.  "Hmm?"

One of Eregor?s eyebrows went up.  "Ground Control to Major Ebon."

?Copper for your thoughts?" added Rhi. tilting her head as she studied Ebon.

"He's just watchin' Doran and his... date."  Maggie giggled merrily.

"Oh, sorry... Doran seems to have made a new friend."  He gestured down the row of stalls, opposite from whence the two had come.  Looking, Rhi mentioned that the girl seemed familiar.

Eregor followed Rhi's gaze, then shifted his perceptions a tad and blinked in surprise.  "Huh. She has an aura like Pearl or Velen."

Having heard Eregor's comment, Ebon frowned and reached out mentally to his son.  Doran, are you all ri-

I'm fine, Pa.

That was unexpected, but he could tell that Doran wasn't being snippish, just focused on something else.  Understood.  Then Ebon turned to his companions.  "I don't think he's ready to introduce her, yet."


After a moment, Doran reached into his belt pouch and drew a small piece of carved jade, in the shape of a horse.  Clutching it in his fist, he closed his eyes as if with intense concentration, then opened them and handed the figurine to Sylva.  "Here.  Keep this.  If you're ever hungry, or cold, or sick... hold it, and think of me.  I'll know, and I'll come help you.  It won't work unless you want it to, so you don't have to worry about me sneaking around your caves uninvited."

A piece of shiny thing. She didn't take it at first and shook her head. "Thank you but you do not have to trouble yourself."

"It's not troubling myself.  I just... I'd worry if I didn't know you had some way of getting help or comfort when you needed it.  You're a person, just like I am, and my father raised me to be good to people in need."

She stared at him like she didn't know what to make of him.  It was because she didn't.  "I? am not a person. I 'm a tool."  But she was not going to argue with him.  Instead she reached out and finally took the stone.  If anything she could find some way to pay him back for the food and call him to give him said payment.

"Whoever got you to think that way, Sylva... they're wrong.  You are much more than a tool.
"  Doran smiled, then nudged the to-go box of jambalaya towards her.  "Don't forget your food.  Enjoy it!"  With that, he stood and bowed to her, almost courtly, and stepped back to give her an opening to escape in her own fashion.

Tonight was a lot of firsts for her.  He bowed to her and would find when he rose up that she was simply staring.  She eventually bowed her head respectfully.  "Thank you, Lord Doran."  The box was hugged close and the drab cloak pulled over it to keep it safe.  She retreated in the silence she had arrived earlier that night, a lot more confused but a lot less hungry.

After watching her slip into the shadows, Doran turned and made his way back down the stalls to where his father was waiting.  "Well, that was interesting."

"Who was that?" asked Ebon.

"She called herself Sylva... and she's had a rough life so far."  There was a finality to his tone that surprised Ebon.  "Let's go home.  Oh, and Pa?  Next time you see Katt, let her know that I want to talk to her."

((The "Meeting Sylva" posts were drawn from live play between Sylva and Doran Ilnaren, with a few additional bits from Andu Kirost, Azure Ilnaren. Mairead Harker, Rhiannon Brock, Eregor, and Ebon Ilnaren.  Thanks to all!))[/size]

Doran Ilnaren

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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2016, 10:52:52 PM »
September 8, 2016

Coming home from the Twilight Isle portal, Doran took a turn after entering the gate for the Stardreamer estate, heading out through the fields rather than up to the house.  It was a fine night, there were stars out, and he wanted to see if Sylva was around at the treehouse.  Reaching the base of the tree, he started up the steps, calling softly.  "Sylva?  Are you here?"

Oh, Sylva was at the treehouse all right, which in itself was an amazing feat considering her condition.  She had managed up to the porch without leaving too much of a bloody mess in her wake and found a place in the shadows of the porch itself to curl up.  Like a wounded animal, she just balled up and passed out.

The first smear of blood on the steps gave him pause.  The second gave him haste, and he took the rest of the steps two at a time.  "Sylva?!"  Reaching the porch landing, he couldn't see her at first... and then he spied a shadow within the shadows, and went to kneel by her side.  He remembered Katt warning him about not getting too close when wounded, but at the moment couldn't recall if that meant her being wounded or him, and frankly he didn't care.

She heard him.  Sort of.  It was more a blurb in the night.  She felt the vibrations of movement and her first reaction was to give a growl of warning.  Her short hair was matted down with blood and there was a wound that crested across her forehead, around her eye, and to her cheek.  It wasn't a pretty wound.  Nor was the one that had her left arm.  It was angled wrong, no doubtly busted.  There were a few deep gashes here but most he couldn't see with her curled up.

"Lord and Lady," he muttered under his breath,  "Sylva, it's me.  Doran."  After a second's thought, he turned towards the door inside.  "I've got an aid kit... let me get it, get those wounds tended."  The arm worried him.  It needed to be set and splinted.

An eye rolled open and turned up to him.  It took a moment or two for the fuzzy image to focus but when she saw him she struggled to tuck her arms under her and sit up.  ""

He paused at the door.  "No, don't move yet... I'll get cloth and water, bandages and ointment."  Then he ducked inside, and she could hear sounds of rummaging within.

She didn't think he would be returning so she hadn't considered him finding her.  There was some mental scowling as she slowly sank down to the porch floor, practically faceplanted on it actually. She should move but the rest of her was like.. nope.

He came back out with a first aid kit in one hand, bowl of water in the other, and clean cloths over his arm.  Setting them down on the porch next to Sylva, he reached up.  "Watch your eyes, I'll need to see what I'm doing."  Waiting a moment, he flipped on the porch light, then looked to see just how bad it was.

She didn't understand his meaning until the light came on to which she whined a pitiful sound out. It was followed by a huff as she settled. "Sorry...Doran.."

"No need to apologize," he answered as he wet a cloth and gently dabbed at the gash on her face, washing away any dirt and grime.  "How badly does it hurt?"

Every part of her body was screaming but she had been taught to never show that.  To show she was in pain or agony.  So she just looked up to him as he dabbed away.  "I'm... okay."

"Now that is a clearly a blatant falsehood."  Doran chuckled as he spoke, making it plain that he was not accusing her.  "You have multiple open wounds and an arm that is quite possibly broken, and that's just what I can see at first glance."  While he talked, he finished cleaning that gash and took a small bottle of ointment and a pad from the aid kit.

"Have had worse." That wasn't a lie, scary enough.

"I appreciate stoicism and not showing pain in a battle, but the fight's over now."  Pause as he applied some of the ointment to the pad.  "This may sting a bit, but it'll help keep the wound free of infection, and promote healing."  Then he began to spread the stuff along the wound with smooth, easy strokes.

The fight was never over. Never. Though when she felt him spreading the ointment the sting of it caused her eyes to water and her to make a strange little disgruntled sound. Nope she didn't like it! But she endured.

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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2016, 11:08:59 PM »
"I know it hurts."  That wasn't a question.  "That's my gift, after all... sensing feelings, emotions.  Sometimes they scream in my head, loud enough that I want to cry out, to reach out and make it stop.  Your pain... is quieter.  You endure, and that's no easy task."  Having finshed with the ointment, he lay a series of gauze pads along the wound to keep it covered, and taped them down with that wonderful medical tape that holds but doesn't pull when removed.  "You can admit to your pain without letting it control you.  I admire that."

Her eyes turned up to his face.  He could hear her in his head?  Her lips thinned briefly as if she were trying to piece together how she felt about that.  "I was taught that showing pain is weakness.  That I never show pain."  She would get beat if she did!

"My father taught me that pain has its purpose, to let you know that your body isn't at its top shape.  The weakness isn't in admitting or showing pain, but rather in giving in to the first sign of it and letting the pain control you.  If you don't accept your pain, then you can't learn from it."  He nodded at the now-bandaged gash on Sylva's face, then turn to her arm.  "That may need to be set.:

"Be..set?" Sylva looked to her arm confused then up to him.  Ow... ow...  She made a face as he bandaged her face and she tried to sit up better to make it easier for him.

Examining the arm gingerly, Doran nodded back.  "Yes, the bone is broken and the pieces are at an angle to each other.  I'll need to straighten it and put a splint on your arm to keep the bone in place, or it'll heal crooked and need to be rebroken."  Sapphire-blue eyes met green.  "That WILL hurt, at least until it's straight.  Let me know when you're ready."

She watched him move her arm.  She understood what he meant and her eyes turned up to meet his.  Nodding slowly to show she understood, she flattened her hand to the porch to steady herself.
While she didn't know exactly what he was going to do, she knew she had to brace for it!

"What I wouldn't give for x-ray vision, or a sonic," Doran muttered, lightly holding her arm and then, with a firm but easy motion, pulled and quickly shifted the bone, straightening the arm and aligning the break more cleanly,  Closing his eyes, he reached out with his gift, reaching for that pain that Sylva was enduring, looking for anything sharp, raw, new.  There was the throb of old pain, of the original break... but no sense of anything fresh, as might come from jagged edges of bone digging into muscle and sinew.  "I think I got it," he said with a smile, opening his eyes.  "I would recommend a healer take a look at it soon, though.  Just in case."

Sylva's body tensed when he pulled and she felt the bone grinding against flesh and meat to find its place.  She didn't mean to but she growled at him like she was ready to bite his head off.  It took a lot to not shove off from her spot.  What pain there was for him to read before was howling out but it seemed he managed to set it properly.  It was a good thing he was holding on, however, because she swayed a bit like she was about to topple over.

"Easy.  You've lost blood."

"No.. healer."  It would only cause more pain and she didn't want anymore of that at the moment.  She was pretty sure she couldn't handle more of it.  "S-sorry."

Looking closer, Doran noticed some other deep cuts, and as he reached for a fresh cloth and water, he finally posed the question.  "What happened?  Who or what were you up against?"

She was glad he didn't push for a healer. She would eventually go out and find a small animal to feed from and hopefully free herself of the pain. At his question she frowned. "Armored person." She didn't know since they were clanned in armor from head to toe.

"What, like a knight or something?  Why?"

"Something," she mumbled.  "Hurt Jonigan and his friend," she mumbled more and leaned her head forward.  She was trying to hide the fact she was frowning.  

Doran started cleaning those other gashes, and if Sylva's modesty was in peril, well, he paid it no attention, focusing on his task and the conversation.  She seemed find up until he was cleaning her side in which she twitched and sat straight up.  The look she gave him was nothing short of being startled.  "What?  What'd I do?!"

"Thhh..."  She raised her good hand like she was going to rub at her side.  "Felt ..weird."

"Sorry."  He hadn't been near anywhere sensitive, as it were... wait.  Was she ticklish?  He filed that in the back of his brain for later.  "I'll be more careful."  The wound on her shoulder seemed the least at the moment, so he focused on her sides and torso.  "It doesn't look like they cut any vital organs or major blood vessels."  As he cleaned, he examined for signs of internal damage.

She shook her head a single time. "Not meant to kill."  She licked her bottom lip, attempting to find the right word.  "Incapacitated."  That was the word the woman used.  She watched him, maybe a bit too closely, like she was attempting to figure something out.

"Well, it certainly did that."  Out came the ointment again, slathered across her injuries.  Catching her eyes on him, he looked up.  "What?"  She made a face when she felt the sting again but there was no sound that came from her.  When he looked up she blinked at him and turned her eyes with a small headshake.  He didn't push, though he wanted to... instead, he sighed and turned his focus back to tending her wounds.  More gauze pads, larger ones, and then he took an Ace bandage and began wrapping it around her, tight enough to keep the padding in place but loose enough to allow the wounds--and Sylva--to breathe.  "No broken ribs, at least not that I can tell."

When he leaned close to wrap her in the bandage she, at first, moved away.  Eventually she stopped in order to let him finish but she kept her head turned away.  She was able to breathe fine so she was sure there was no broken ribs.  Just super sore.  "Thank you... Doran."

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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2016, 11:25:37 PM »
"You're welcome, Sylva."  He smiled at her, then nodded to the cuts on her thigh and shoulder.  "Not quite done yet.  I'll take care of the shoulder... if you would rather tend that yourself," indicating the thigh, "you've seen how I do it.  Or I can wrap that up myself, if you want."

If anything, all she really wanted to do was curl back up and go to sleep.  Nevermind the little urge that kept nagging that Doran was there.  That made her draw in her lips a bit and she shook her head.  "You don't have to do them all."

"Fair enough, I'll finish this one and then get you some pillows, since you insist on staying out here on the porch."  He flashed a grin as he tended the shoulder cut, which was the least of them and didn't even need a separate gauze pad, just a couple of large-sized BandAids.

"Don't feel right going inside Doran's home when he isn't here."  Like she is traspassing or something to that degree.  Since he was all up close and such she leaned her head and bumped her forehead against his temple.

The head bump brought a smile to his lips.  "If it helps, you have my permission.  Think of it as... guarding my stuff in my absence, if you like."

Well that seemed to peak her interest. "Really?"

"Absolutely!"  Shoulder finished, he rose and handed her a fresh wet cloth.  "Wash, ointment, pad and've been watching."  Then he went inside.

She blinked when she was left with a cloth and him..gone. Part of her was thankful if only because she was afraid what she would do with him so close. She didn't want to hurt him after all. There was still some self-control in her! Quietly she started patching up her thighs, wiggling fingers through the holes that were in her pants. Blah! She liked these pants! Wash, ointment, pad and wrap, over the pants but at least on the wound.

Returning to the porch, he bore a pillow and blanket, laying them on the bench.  "In case you don't want to go inside, still... which I would understand, it's an excellent night."

The whole getting up thing was the problem at the moment.  "Soon.  Not now.  Can't..." she frowned and slowly leaned over to plop herself down on her good side. Sitting up just felt too draining.

He knelt beside Sylva, slipping his arms beneath her to lift her up and, carefully, carry her over to the bench, setting her down on her good side.  The bench was padded, so he tucked the pillow beneath her head and then lay the blanket over her.  "How's that?"

Her lips drew in instantly when he picked her up.  She was silent right up until him asking her how it was. turning her face she quickly buried her face into the pillow and mumbled, "Nice."

"Good."  Leaning down, he lightly touched his forehead to her temple, mirroring what she had done earlier.  "You rest, and I'll come by in the morning with breakfast."

She was trying to hide her red face which failed when she turned to face him after the mimicking gesture. "I..N..need...blood."

"Right now?"  He kept his voice even.  "What type of blood?"

"Soon." she mumbled and hid her face again. She was too afraid to look at him any longer. "Rest..." There was a pause that followed. "Thank you."  Then his second question struck her.  "Type?"

 "Human, animal... there are rabbits in the field."  He paused for a moment's thought.  "I could trap some, if that would be enough."

"Blood."  She mumbled quietly and seemed to of sorta dozed off on him.  She didn't mean to but he exhausted her!

With a warm smile, Doran stepped back and turned to make his way down the stairs to the base of the tree.  Well, he knew there was a warren in the fields... time to catch a few rabbits.

[size=9]((adapted from live play with Sylva, of course!))[/size]

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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2017, 09:10:34 PM »
May 31, 2017

Doran was enjoying an evening to himself... not that he minded companions, but now and then it was nice to walk the world by oneself to see what wonders--or mischief--could be found. So an afternoon roaming the streets of Old Market wound down at Teas'n Tomes, where he could enjoy a cup of something warm and a snack, along with a good book or two.

Of course, he expected something exciting would turn up. It often did.

Stepping away from the counter with a mug in one hand and a croissant-bearing plate in the other, he glanced around to locate a suitable table... and then stopped when he spied the figure settled--or perhaps unsettled--in the beanbag. It was fortunate that he tended to dampen his empathic perceptions in public--and that Renna was never an easy "read" anyway--because the pain in her face was clear as day.

It was the most darkest day of Renna's life. The beanbag really didn't reflect her mood. It showed all kinds of smiley faces from the :D to the :P.   She never saw him coming. She was so absorbed in her own world that she turned the next page and continued on.

"Good evening, Renna." Doran's voice was soft, as non-intrusive as possible, since he didn't want to startle her.

At that, he failed utterly.

"****INGCHRIST!" Her hands scrambled the book closed as she wiggled in the beanbag to the point her rear sounded like it rubbbed against a thousand rice-grains trapped against their own kin.  "D-Doran? I was expecting someone else---female!" She glared.

"Sorry, sorry... I'm sorry, Renna. I didn't mean to disturb you."

She sucked in a breath. "No. It's fine." She smiled. "Anything for you."

Sitting in an armchair nearby, Doran set the tea and pastry down on the table beside him. "Waiting for a friend?"

Renna opened her mouth to speak, then looked down to her lap. To her book. "I have no friends, Doran."

"Well, now, that's not true. Don't be silly. I'm your friend."

Her gaze blinked away. "Even though I kidnapped you," she mused. She kept bringing that up. Inside joke? "Doran." She looked to the kid. "It's funny."

"My sister, actually... and yes, you did. You scared her... but you didn't hurt her. Pa said after it was all over that if you hadn't done that, Cain might've had someone else take her, someone who wouldn't have been as... generous." The lad took a sip from the tea. "What's funny?"

"You thought I targeted your sister?" she mused.

"At the time, I didn't know what to think, all I knew was that Azure was missing, taken into the sewers. And, to be fair, you were a trifle more villainous then, compared to now."

Tears fell from Renna's eyes. "I wish I could say I am sorry. But I am not. Do I regret saving your sister? No. Because I kidnapped you." She whispered. "The plan was to gain your trust."

"Oh?" With his now-arched eyebrow and stoic expression, Doran never resembled his father more.

"You're my friend, right?" asked Renna.

"Yes." There was a brief pause, and then he nodded. "I'd say that I am."

"I was going to give you to the Bhaalites."

"The plan was to give me over to Ol' Bocce Bhaal?" His expression grew bemused, though whether at the nickname or the idea, that was unclear.


The youth was thoughtful for a long moment, and then he spoke, deadpan. "Well, that would have put a damper on our friendship." His eyes turned back to Renna. "So why didn't you try?"

"I decided to give someone else."

[size=9]((adapted from live play with Renna))[/size]

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« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2018, 09:36:57 PM »
October 16, 2017

The sound of a tinwhistle flute drifted through the night, drawing closer to the Inn. It was a rambling, playful tune. Doran played as he made his way down the street and up the path to the Red Dragon. Coming up the porch steps, he stepped aside and moved to one end of the porch, leaning with his back against the railing.  His eyes were closed, and he was lost in the music.  A melancholy note crept into the tune.

Sylva was sluggishly making her way to the inn. Really she felt like that aftermath of having a five hour energy drink then crashing. It was likely because she was up far too late and slept too little then ran around town all day. Hearing the music dragged her attention forward and she peered at the figure some ways ahead of her, Innbound.


His scent carried on the wind but it made sense. He was always making her sleepy with his music so how did she not know it was him off bat? Her steps slowed as she approached the steps, a glance to the side then the door but eventually back to Doran. Slowly her head tilted as she listened to the music. "It sounds... sad."

He didn't hear Sylva, lost in the music... and his were closed, so he didn't see her.

She blinked, unsure if he was ignoring her or not. Shufflng her feet, she glanced down at them. She liked the music, though, so she would listen a little longer before making her way up the porch steps.

The flute faded as he sensed someone coming up the steps, and he opened his eyes... then blinked in surprise. "Sylva!"

Her shoulders rotated upward like she had been caught and was being called out. Mismatched eyes quickly went to Doran with a deer in headlights look. "Sorry. I did't mean to interrupt your music playing."

"No, it's all right... I was just letting my mind wander as I played. It helps me stay afloat, sometimes." He slipped the flute into a little holder on his belt. "I haven't seen you around in a while."

"Your music sounded...sad. Were you floating off somewhere sad?" She eased her stance some and clasped her hands behind her back. "I've been around. Working lots so I can make money and buy stuff." What stuff? Not like she owned anything but what she wore!

"Sad?" His expression grew thoughtful a moment, and then he chuckled. "I suppose I was, yes. I've missed you." Then he cocked his head, just so. "Working, eh?" There was nothing mean or teasing in his voice, just simple curiosity. "Where do you work?"

Sylva's head tipped faintly to the side like a curious kitten. "You've been busy with stuff? I've been at the tree house." Okay so maybe not as much. In fact she had been avoiding it until it was time to sleep. Or in her case, pass the hell out. "Uh huh. It isn't anything big. I just run around delivering things. Only job I really could find." Her shoulders bopped up in a quick shrug. "Where. Um. There is a place that I go to and see if they need stuff delivered."

"Sounds like fun... and I'm sorry for not stopping by the treehouse much lately. I just... after that whole business with Renna, I didn't want to draw her attention towards you. It's silly, but I wanted to make sure you wre safe."

"So you are going to ignore me because of that Renna lady?" Her hands relaxed and she relaxed them to her sides. "I figured you were with your lady friend or dueling or practicing like Maggie and Tenball said you should be doing."

That comment threw him for a loop. "What lady friend?"

Sylva peered at Doran. "The one that was kissing on you."

His eyes widened in dismay. "She's not my lady friend... and she kissed me before I could stop her. She was another one of Renna's... creatures." A shudder ran through his body.

"Then why did you tell the man that it was okay?" Her brows furrowed then raised. "Huh?"

"Because she didn't hurt me. That was the part that was okay... not the kissing. The only person I'd want to kiss like that is...." His voice trailed off.

She gave Doran a strange look. "She didn't look like she was trying to hurt you. She just wanted to smooch your face." People she had been hanging with was obviously influencing!

Was he blushing in the moonlight?  Yes.  Yes, he was. "I'd rather it was you."

Doran was turning red. Maybe she shouldn't have said that. She blinked a few times. "Bwah?" Her brain stuttered and she worked on recooping and placing together what he just said. "The only person you'd want to kiss like that... is me?"

He nodded, once, and then again.  "Yes."

Poor Doran was given such a stupid look and she didn't even realize she was giving it. Mostly because she was seriously confused by the feeling in her stomach. He knew her kisses were different but he meant the way she saw most people kiss. After a moment of silence she shuffled and looked down to her feet. "Do you remember what we were doing before that person kissed you?"

"We were lying in the grass over there," and he pointed out to the lawn in front of the Inn, "watching the stars together."

She looked up and over to where he pointed, her head bobbing a small nod. "I was working up the courage to tell you something. And was just about to tell you when she showed up."

"Tell me what?"

Gek! Okay she wasn't ready for that question even though she knew it was coming. She kept her eyes focused over on the grass. "I like you, Doran," she mumbled it quietly but still loud enough to be heard across the distance. She quickly followed it up by flapping her arms slightly at her sides. "B-But then I saw her kissing you and you saying it was okay so I..I um...I am happy with being your friend. I still like you!"

Doran blinked back at Syva. "You like me?" Pause. "Oh." More pause. "Oh!" A nervous look came across his face. "What if... we were more than just friends?"

Suddenly Sylva's panic mode activated but she managed to stop her hands from flapping by shoving them into the pockets of her jeans. She was about to say something but Doran came up with that and caused the pause button which had her looking at him. "More than just friends?"

"I don't know what the future might hold for us, Sylva... maybe. in the end, we''ll be best of friends and that's it, or maybe we'll be soulmates, like my parents... I just know that my world is richer and more alive when you're sharing it with me."

Well if that didn't just make her blush. "I can't be your best friend, silly. Maggie is." The way she it came out was as if one was expecting 'duh' to follow it up.

"That's the nice thing about best friends... you can, in fact, have more than one." He gave a warm smile. "It's one of life's little contradictions that make it so interesting sometimes."

"Oh." She learned something new but then came that curiosity and poor Doran. "Does that mean you want to kiss Maggie too." One hand went up and she touched two fingers to her lips.


She seemed to give this some thought. "Can I ask a favor, Doran?"

"You certainly may.  Ask away, Sylva."

Before she could speak, Sard came up to the Inn on his bike. Sylva heard the bike and looked over her shoulder. Seeing Sard, she seemed to remember something and she quickly looked to Doran with a big smile. "It is okay that I planted something near the treehouse, right? With those flowers you said it was okay I could plant." Not what she was going to ask but Sard made her remember!

"O-of course!" He raised an eyebrow at Sylva. "Is that all you wanted to ask?"

Oh, there was some giddy smiling going on but for what reason she wouldn't say. She glanced to watch Sard until he was at the door before turning to Doran. "Can you close your eyes? Um. Please." The giddy melted down as she fidgeted with her scarf.

"Okay."  And he closed his eyes.

A shuffle step drew her close and she quickly gave Doran a peck on the lips. Nothing that lingered and she was already stepping back from him and pulling on her scarf. No, she was not red in the face. Not at all.

A moment after the peck, he opened his eyes and grinned at Sylva, then leaned forward and gently touched his forehead to hers, just for an instant. Her eyes closed when she felt his forehead against hers and her smile ticked higher. "Thank you."

"You're welcome... and thank you, too."  He glanced inside and waved to Collie through the window, then looked back to Sylva.  "I was thinking of heading home... care to walk with me, or were you going to stay awhile?"

"Huh? Why are you thanking me?" She saw him wave and looked over to the window. Seeing Collie she waved her hand quickly then ducked her head. Darn it! She forgot to bring Collie's present. Sleepy Sylva was not a good thinker. "I should go home and sleep. I didn't sleep very much."

Doran smiled and nodded. "I'll walk you home, then."

"Okie! I can tell you about the new peach tree I planted! It is going to grow winter peaches!"

That brought a chuckle out of him. "I like peaches... we can make cobbler!"

"What is that?" She gave another wave to Collie before turning and starting to the stairs, that same hand rubbing over her eyes. Hopefully Doran didn't start playing music on the way to the treehouse otherwise he was going to be dragging her there! She was tired and it was really, really starting to kick in now that the adrenaline rush from being nervous was gone.

"Cobbler? It's a baked dish made with peaches... kinda like a pie. It's really good!" As they walked, he began to regale her with kitchen tales of  pies, cobblers, turnovers, and other delights.

[size=9]((from live play with Sylva, and many thanks!))[/size]

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« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2018, 11:13:54 PM »
January 13, 2018

Seeing a light in the treehouse window, Doran rode over and from the manor and peered up. A movement of shadow against the shade brought a smile to his lips. "She's still awake." Dismounting, he sent his horse back to the stable--an order with which it happily complied, given the frigid air--and then made his way up the steps to the porch landing.

Gently he knocked upon the door. "Sylva? It's Doran... are you still up?"  There was a rustle of movement, and then the door opened to reveal Sylva, still dressed in her work clothes. She blinked once, and then again, before stepping aside with a gesture to come in. "Thank you!" he said as he came in, shaking off the chill. "Long day?"

"It was as long as all the others." She shrugged and sat down upon the couch, which was made up with pillow and blanket already. Her little kitten was curled up on the couch back, watching them with sleepy eyes.

After all this time, Doran still wasn't sure when she was truly being literal-minded, or when she was just teasing him. He chuckled and sat down beside her. "You've been working an awful lot, you know. I was surprised to see you still awake."

Sylva leaned against him, not quite snuggling. "It was busy with deliveries. A lot of people wanted baklava. Have you ever had that?"

"Yes, Aunt Ariana makes it sometimes. It's good."

"I had a piece today. I liked it!"

Doran flashed a grin. "One of the advantages of working for a food place... access to snacks!" His expression grew more serious. "I just don't want to see you burn yourself out, working too hard. You can take it easy, y'know."

Straightening from her lean, Sylva turned to him and then reached out to poke him gently in the chest. "You take it easy, Mister Busy Body! You  spend so much tiime in lessons, at the theater or the academy or here at your home, and that's on top of training, and chores, and when you've got a part it's even worse. Don't talk to me about taking it easy."

Eyebrows high, Doran found himself at a loss for words until he just had to laugh. "You're right, you're right... I'm not really one to talk, am I? I don't know how you put up with me!"

"I like you, silly."

"Well, that's good because I like you, too... a lot." He leaned forward and touched foreheads with Sylva, that gesture that matched a kiss where she was raised. "We should take some time off together soon, maybe catch a show or visit the museum, whatever you want."

Her response was interrupted by a small yawn. "Right now, I want to get some sleep. Will..." She hesitated for a moment. "Will you play for me?"

Doran raised an eyebrow. "You need music to help you fall asleep?"

She shook her head. "No, but I like it when you play." Stretching out, Sylva slipped her feet behind his back, and smiled dreamily when he stood and pulled the blanket up over her. The kitten stirred and crept down to nestle in the crook of her arm.

Picking up a little piccolo from the desk, Doran lifted it to his lips and began to play softly. The melody filled the room, soothing away the stress from a busy day, and soon Sylva and her feline companion were sound asleep. He kept playing for a long while afterwards, and when the music finally stopped, he turned off the lamp and slipped into bed, letting the hush of winter slumber settle over the treehouse