Kalyrra (prime)/2022-04-30 A Restless Walk

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Irritated, frustrated, and exhausted. These were the best words Kalyrra could use to describe how she'd been feeling the past few weeks. She was irritated with the direction things were going in, frustrated by her inability to affect things or push for better decisions, and exhausted due to the nightmares still contributing to her lack of sleep. All of this was beginning to take a toll. Her usual grin did not come as easily, even slipping away every now and again. Masking her emotions and keeping her opinions mostly to herself was proving to be more challenging, as well. If she was honest, she was beginning to wonder why she stayed. Why was she so invested in this place?


She grumbled as she sat up and threw the fancy sheets to one side in a huff, wincing and holding her breath as movement caught her attention. The shifting ceased a moment later, and soft snoring filled the space. Kalyrra slowly exhaled, relieved she hadn't disturbed Vaikhen's slumber yet again. Without really thinking about it, she stood from the bed and leaned down to adjust the blanket that had slipped from the other's shoulder. She was closing the manor door before she realized what she'd done, and the grin it had brought to her face. Muttering something about becoming too attached, she quietly made her way out of the darkened neighborhood.


As she walked toward the beach in Eastern Harbor, she was once again thankful for the absence of screaming children waking from their terrifying nightmares. She had been so relieved when the decision was made to move them temporarily off the isle. She'd feared allowing them to remain would likely mean more would experience injuries similar to Reynai.


Gentle waves lapped at the dark beach as the stars seemed to dance along the surface of the waters beyond. It was a beautiful sight, but not the reason she was here. She needed to be useful. Kalyrra clenched her bow tightly and started on her normal path. Patrolling the whole of the Harbor on these restless nights had become a regular activity. It was a habit that served dual purposes...it kept her busy in the wee hours of the morning, and it gave her yet another excuse to continue her search for a certain elf.


Pashtal had made it incredibly clear that he'd lived among them all for some time. He existed not only in the shadows the children feared, but in plain sight. He seemed to be a master of disguise, blending in with the townsfolk as they went about their daily business. And, as of yet, no evidence had been found to show how he was accomplishing this. Kalyrra had tried. Really tried. She'd run random patrols, off and on, for weeks. And still, she had nothing to show for it. No evidence of costuming supplies. None of her interactions with the merchants or citizens seemed odd. Nothing. Pashtal was somehow able to hide better than the best stealth users she knew. Another frustration in a growing list.


Eastern Harbor is quiet, as usual.


She turned to the south to continue her on her search. At this point, she'd all but given up the hope of actually finding anything on these late night treks. Trying to locate the jackal statues had turned out to be fruitless, too. Then again, she did not know the areas beyond the edges of town nearly as well as others. So she would continue walking the town at night, despite thinking it made little difference. The patrols were a bit comforting to her now. She could, at the very least, say she was trying to do something. She hated not knowing how else to help.


South is clear.


The southern portions of the center of town were checked on her way to the familiar path leading west. She hesitated when she reached the jetty, cautiously examining the surrounding mist with an involuntary twitch of her wings before turning away to continue her route. Once she was satisfied that the piers were safe, she stopped by the little fruit stand. Fickle was just setting up for the day, but already had a fresh plum in one hand and the other outstretched. Kalyrra handed over some silvers and took the plum, grinning appreciatively at the merchant. She waved as she took a bite of her plum and stepped back out onto the main path to complete her loop there.


Western Harbor is safe.


She slowed her pace a bit as she searched through the gardens to the northwest. The reflection pool had quickly become a favorite spot to stop and enjoy her snack, but a look at the sky told her she was too short on time today. Instead, she resumed her watchful circuit through the gardens before returning through the gate.


Ceiluir Glade and surrounding areas...as peaceful as ever.


The area around the lighthouse was the last place she needed to check. The barge was not there, of course...or if it was, it was not visible to her. She wondered, as she did each time she stopped here now, if the group had actually prevented anything at all. Maybe they just bought themselves some time. Perhaps, instead, they helped buy more time for Pashtal's plan to come to fruition. Shaking herself out of her thoughts, she gazed watchfully around the area once more before turning to head back toward the center of town.


As she came to the fork in the path, she narrowly avoided running right into a tall man hurrying away from the inn. She offered a quick apology to his back as he rushed off without a word, his ponytail trailing behind him in his haste. Kalyrra shrugged, and made it all of two more steps before she froze in place. She carefully surveyed the area, trying to spot the man again with no luck. Glancing down at her half-eaten plum, she briskly made her way back toward the little fruit stand to the west.


Fickle was right where she would expect to find him, organizing a couple baskets of fruit. He gave her a half wave as she approached warily.


"Those plums are just about perfect, aren't they? Did you want another one?" Fickle asked.


She responded almost without thinking. "No, thank you."


Fickle shrugged carelessly, giving her a lazy grin, but she noted that he kept an eye on her as he went back to organizing his wares. He seemed to be the most patient with her inquiries around town recently, so hopefully he would humor her once more.


"This might sound odd, but were you just around the inn?"


Fickle blinked, looking pointedly down at his baskets of fruit, then gave her a puzzled look, raising one eyebrow. Speaking slowly, he said, "Miss, I'm pretty good with fruit, and can even fish after a fashion, but I haven't learned to fly, yet. I've been here all morning."


She stared at the man for a long moment, before responding in a halting manner. "Oh. I-um...alright, then."


Fickle's face grew concerned, and he turned to face her fully. "Miss, are you...all right? You seem...troubled."


Kalyrra's mind was racing as she tried to reconcile what she thought she'd seen with this new information. Blinking out of her thoughts, she nodded slowly while trying to give a reassuring grin. “I think maybe I just need some sleep. Sorry to bother you with more questions."


She waved at the man, who raised one hand in a reflexive response, and walked back to town. Maybe it was nothing. Maybe her mind was playing tricks on her.


Good job, Kal...keep it up and everyone will start to think you're crazy.


She completed a thorough search through the central part of town, to no avail. Even if what she'd seen was true, where was the proof? She lacked any tangible evidence to verify that she was right.


But, what if...? Heh, maybe I'm finally losing it.


Slowly shaking her head, Kalyrra berated herself for finding nothing useful. Again. She tried to collect herself as she stepped into one of the local eateries. The sun was just coming up now, meaning Vaikhen would be awake soon. If she hurried, she might be able to make it back with breakfast before he worried too much.