The Dreaming City II

Upon the Catwalks of Shadowport

Darkness descends upon the catwalks of Shadowport as a low chime sounds through each and every street, alley, signaling the descent of night. A moment passes and soft lights blink over the dark City, an invocation of magic perhaps, or of a unseen fairy dusting the stars that are the lamps. As the lights continue to appear, Falennt's tall figure appears from his residence, moving rather mechanically towards the lanterns outside his home.

Standing quietly in shadowy corner of the city streets, Talaria watches Falennt start upon his nightly task. It's become ritual for her. Her gaze follows each trivial movement, just waiting, observing.

Falennt utters a soft word after the other, perhaps singing an evening vesper, something he has not done for a long time. He closes the glass pane of each lamp he'd lighted, the glow of the phosperent substance within it sending halved shadows over his face, touching the silvery glint in his eyes. Done with his task for the night, he turns back to enter his house, eager to return to his experiments.

Drawing her cloak about her body, Talaria whispers softly to herself, "Enough of this." With the care of anyone who has spent any amount of time in Shadowport, she crosses the street and approaches Falennt, wondering how close she can get before being noticed.

Falennt looks up slightly, hearing the creak of the catwalks and the slow sway that comes with the motion of a weight upon it moving. His head swiftly turns in the direction where it is coming from, his lips parting a little.

Smiling slightly, despite being noticed earlier than she had suspected a sea-elf could, she hastens her pace slightly and stops a few feet away from Falennt. "I've been wondering when I would run into you again."
A quirk of an eyebrow replies Talaria as the sea-elf steps out from the porch of his residence, letting the glow of the lamps define his expressions and clothing fully, 'Run into me again?'

Watching Falennt in the soft, magical glow of the lamps, Talaria hesitates… Recovering, she nods in agreement. "Yes, run into you again. You wouldn't really think it of me to seek you out, now would you?" Taking a step closer, she smiles warmly.

Falennt's eyes dilate slightly, the silvery slitted irises observing her a little, 'It /did/ come as a slight surprise, it did.' He murmurs, not exactly unpleasant. 'You wish something of me?'

Talaria's eyes focus on Falennt's, searching for something perhaps… Unclasping, but not removing, her cloak, she shifts her gaze to take in the city around her. How beautiful it can be at times.

Looking back at Falennt, she replies coldly. "Should I wish something of you?" Tempering this, she adds, "I'm not interrupting something, or someone, am I?"

Falennt glances at the erupting lights around them, below them, above, as the intricate web of catwalks finally resembles the star-woven fabric of the night, 'It is beautiful.'

'Especially now you are within the magic, and not viewing it from where we met a few nights ago.' He turns his gaze at her again, 'I am not too sure if you'd like to talk more then?'

Looking around once again, feeling the beauty, Talaria simply shakes her head. "I rather find it nicer from here than looking through a window. What could possibly leave you wondering if I would wish to speak more?"

Falennt lets his shoulders shrug almost sinuously, the linen sleeves of his shirt bouncing. He appears to be contemplating, the silver-chased irises of his eyes dilating again and he does not answer the taunt of a question she presents.

'Come in if you want to then.' He says, rather in resigned finality, turning away from the catwalk and pushing down the old copper handle leading into the residence.

Talaria shakes her head, frowning slightly. "Are you uncomfortable here Falennt? I rather enjoy the view. It has been ages since I've walked here, I should like to embrace it while I can."

Falennt stands at the porch of his residence, shadows falling across his frame, 'No, I like it out here.' He closes the door then, the bells attached to the handle chiming in quick unison. 'We can take a walk if you want.'

Her eyes reflecting in the magical glow of the lanterns, Talaria looks to Falennt, a smile forming on her lips. Stepping aside to allow Falennt to pass, she states warmly, "I think that would be a wonderful idea."

Falennt's eyes dilate again, reflecting some emotion passing through him. He steps away from his residence with some reluctancy before slipping by her side, 'A walk will be good to ease my mind off…certain matters.'

Turning to regard Falennt, Talaria's hand brushes against his arm… Quickly withdrawing it to her side, she asks with some interest, "Certain matters?"

Talaria shakes her head slightly. "Come, we will walk then. Perhaps I can also help ease your mind."

Falennt tilts his head down to hers, and he begins in a slow, methodical stride down the swaying catwalk adjacent to his house, the boards creaking with each step he takes. 'Yes, certain matters..of the past.'

At that brush of contact earlier, the sea-elf merely smiles, though his silver irises dilate again within their dark orbs, 'Ease my mind from old ghosts?' He laughs faintly.

Matching his careful, yet almost aimless stride. She looks down at the City, not wanting to look directly at Falennt. As if lost in thought, she quietly responds to his laugh of disbelief. "Yes. I might know something of them myself."

Falennt stops at a certain point upon the catwalk, between two tall glowing lamps. He leans against the thick-rope strung rail, watching the layers of darkness and light below, 'We are all haunted, aren't we.' He muses, flicking a silver-tinted look at Talaria.

Turning to face Falennt, Talaria places a hand on the railing. Regarding him closer now, she thinks she catches a glimpse of sadness in the reflection of his eyes. Her own eyes darkening a bit, she looks directly at him… "Perhaps not all, but this /is/ Shadowport, after all."

Falennt runs his fingers down the width of the steel ropes that twine to form the rail of the catwalk, 'Just the same as what I think, Talaria.' He turns his head upwards, watching the catwalks above him, admiring the lights an instance.

'This is Shadowport.' He repeats what she says, caught in a odd revelation, irises dilating again. 'How many of these catwalks have you trodden?' He asks, dropping his gaze unto her.

Looking almost wistful for a moment. Talaria turns and places her other hand on the railing, now intent on gazing down upon the City below her. Slowly, deliberately, she states "As many as I could, whenever I was able to."

Falennt fingers the pentagramic clasp at his neck, feeling the thorns bite through his gloves, into his flesh, 'Are they all the same to you?' He asks, turning to lean against the thick steel ropes.

Talaria looks up sharply in surprise, a flash of anger briefly appearing in her dark eyes. She laughs softly. "Not by any means." Running her hand along the ropes… "They all have a unique feel and presence."

Falennt nods, pulling himself away from the rail, 'Let's walk somemore.' He tilts his head placidly, and waits for her to move herself from the rail she is holding onto.

Hesitating as if she does not want to let go, Talaria runs her hands along the ropes one last time before turning to follow Falennt.

Falennt continues down the catwalk they are on, his movements melding comfortably with the hypnotic sway of the railing and the creaking boards. He stops a moment, letting Talaria come up by his side.

Throwing a glance over her shoulder, as if looking into the past, she falls in beside Falennt, a lost look in her eyes. "Do you spend a lot of time up here as well?" she asks.

'Often, but not near here, more oft..up there.' He lifts his sharp chin, jerking it towards the upper catwalks, 'The top level of the walks; more precarious, but once you are upon the steeples, nothing matches what you see down below.'

Smiling softly, her eyes sparkling in the glow of a nearby lantern, she simply states. "I'm not bothered by heights." With an approving glance at Falennt, she agrees, "It's much nicer as you go further up."

Falennt gives a subtle shrug of his midnight-clad shoulders, 'Nicer perhaps, but those who wish to join the heights do have a hidden desire for power themsleves.' He smiles ruefully, making a fluid turn towards a set of latticed iron stairs.

Staying at his side, step for step, Talaria returns the smile with a bit of irony. "Was that a confession, or an observation?" she asks.

'Both.' Falennt draws a booted foot up on the first stair, 'Both. Honesty… is an asset sometimes, in certain situations.' He slips a hand on the rail, stepping upwards the stairs to the top level of Shadowport, where the roofs of the highest houses are, and the catwalks, treacherous narrow ways in their own right.

Forced to fall in behind Falennt in order to fit on the narrow stairs, she grasps the cold railing with her hand. Looking up in Falennt's direction, she asks, "And what of those who already have power? Would they not still wish to be here as well?

Falennt glances behind his shoulder at her, the so-called underwind picking up its howls as he ascends further upwards, 'They /are/ already here.' He smiles, showing a bit of teeth, the expression rather feral.

Talaria pauses on the stairs. Her hand still attached to the railing. Shaking her head slightly, she smiles and resumes her ascent, matching Falennt's confident pace. "Yes, we are, are we not? Or are we simply in the middle of neither weakness nor power?"

Stepping onto the precarious catwalk the iron stairs are attached to, the sea-elf balances himself for a moment, before his fingers curl on the railing. The underwind whistles loudly across his head, picking up and whirling through the strands of his hair before he eyes her a little, 'I find myself in the middle, caught between one world and the next, trying to find a way to link both of them together. My past, and this present.'

Keeping a firm grasp on the railing, Talaria reaches the top of the stairs and steps onto the swaying catwalk. Carefully, she keeps her grasp on the railing, not recalling the underwinds being so strong in the past.

Giving Falennt a curious glance, she asks, "This present? That would imply that there are more than one. Do you believe this to be true of you?"

Falennt holds out a hand to Talaria, palm outstretched, 'Come.' He says, 'We can walk towards one of the roofs and talk more. The winds scream too loudly upon these walks.'

Talaria's eyes darken for a moment at the gesture, which quickly fades. While keeping one hand on the railing, she places her other hand on top of Falennt's. Loosening her grasp on the railing, she slides her hand along the thick rope as they begin their walk along the ever shifting catwalks.

Falennt's fingers link right down into hers, and he starts to walk, one step placed ever so rigidly and carefully on the boards. The act was out of habit, a remnant of that courtly past he would choose to hide.

'This present, that present, too many to count. I have to leave this Shadowport back for duties required of me somewhere.' He stops, keeping his hold onto her hand, and chuckles.

Talaria stops and carelessly removes her hand from the railing, turning to face Falennt, caught in the gentle, yet firm grasp of his hand. "Somewhere?" she asks. "Leave?" Realizing the full impact of his statement, she adds, "and what would you know of time in that context?"

A faint frown wrinkles Falennt's brow and the silver irises dilate again, 'I know nothing of time.' Comes his simple, honest answer, 'I am a fool when it comes to time.'

Talaria's eyes sharpen to gaze into Falennt's. She takes a moment to question his statement. "Is this because you feel outside of time? Or because time no longer matters for you?"

'Time no longer matters for me.' He suddenly unlinks his fingers from hers, 'Is it night outside of this City now?' He muses suddenly, glancing upwards, only to pick up the rough hewned rock above.

Surprised by the sudden release, Talaria quickly grasps the railing with her hand, turning her body slightly away from Falennt. With the hand that once held his, she clasps her talisman for a moment before replying. "It is." she states.

Falennt nods slightly, 'I have to leave, I guess. The time to set the wards again.' He slips down the stairs, placing a hand on her shoulder and guiding her back down.

'You know where I live here, you are most ….welcome to visit, whenever you wish.' He licks his lower lip a little, surprised at his own deliverance, his pupils dilating softly to a mild mercurial tint.

Shaking off his hand, she continues to slide hers along the railing. "The wards?" she asks, obviously surprised slightly by this statement. "From what do they protect you?"

Talaria's defiance slips with his calm, yet almost affectionate statement. "Thank you," she replies "but if you are leaving the City, then what does it matter?"

Falennt glances up at her as he leaves the stairs, drawing his cloak tight, 'Not protect me, protect the ones my mother had made me swear to take care of.' He narrows his eyes slightly, turning away to leave. She knows the catwalks, she had said. She should be safe, 'You can always try…' Returns his sibilant whisper, before his cloaked form vanishes down another catwalk.

Talaria's eyes focus and strain to watch him depart, but fail to capture another glimpse. Turning to the railing, she looks down upon what little activity remains on the streets of the City, and wonders if she will ever return here again. How odd, she thinks.

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