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Embers // Afterlife Fantasy

Welcome to the first day of your new life. Embers is an afterlife fantasy cyberpunk RPG, running since 2006, first under the name War Chain, and then under the name Tamashii no Chikai, originally as a Bleach RP. Some Bleach influence still remains, but it is all presented differently and features new elements. The recent 2016 reboot under the name Embers follows a very similar standard and focus that War Chain and Tamashii no Chikai did, and we hope Embers will grow into its own free of its fandom ties. Here's to 157,000 more posts!
Mature themes, half the board is gay. Not recommended for bigots or individuals under 16 years of age. You must be 18 or older to gain access to the mature boards.

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Sea Ice

October 18, 2016
Iname pls
Cyprian Valerius Offline Valhalir // Krystal Could it be that I fell apart, it shows; the lines on my face ate away my smile. 908 HP 2,120 Years Male Second Division Captain Azure Eagles Votum
Sea Ice Apr 16, 2017, 07:54PM // 800 Words
It'd taken a while to even come to the conclusion he should, theoretically, be capable of doing this. And at this point, it was unfortunately liable to be the only thing that really got through to Iname. Cyprian remembered -- he remembered being Kaiou, dying, and had thought to give Iname some time, some space, in hopes that he'd heal to some extent on his own. The truth of the matter was, Iname had shoved it all into a little box, stuffed it away in a dusty corner of his heart, and ignored it. Cyprian of all people would know, that was not healing. It didn't even begin to be healing, and more than anything, that was what Iname needed, whether he'd admit it, even to himself, or not. Renji was a lot more help than he thought he was, but until Iname admitted what was really bothering him, maybe he'd never really make it over that last hurdle.

He'd skipped a few steps in the grieving process, and that wasn't what Kaiou would want. That wasn't what Cyprian wanted. This half-life he'd settled into, it wasn't good enough. Yes, he breathed, he went through the motions, but that wasn't really living, and really, it was only serving to solidify the idea that yes, Iname really was the other half of him.

Because this, all of this, it was everything Cyprian had done. He knew it wasn't the right way -- he just hadn't ever found the will to do things the right way, instead of the easy way. Would he? Someday, maybe he would. So far, he'd only found more reasons to keep on the way he always had. And he did know, it was at least partly because he still hadn't left Nibantai. Cyprian still wasn't so sure what he'd do, in a different division. What other division he might decide sounded good. Probably, the same one Kaiou decided sounded good, he thought. Well, he had decided sounded good; Kaiou had been him, just as he was now still Caius Caecilius Cyprianus, even if it felt like Cyprianus had died a long time ago.

One hurdle at a time. He still had to get Iname on the right track, and it may prove to be more difficult than he thought. But, he was still Kaiou. He remembered, now, not long after Kaiou had died, the shard of Cyprian that was attached to Iaal stirred and awakened, and he remembered. And some large part of him very much missed Iname. Strangely, Cyprian hadn't had a twin; as far as he knew, anyway, the truth was, he did, his twin had just died very early. And maybe part of how Cyprianus had become such a mess was because his twin wasn't there, and there had always been this giant something missing. Somehow, though, every incarnation of Iname always had a Kaiou, and just that one time, one of them got the short end of the stick. Really, Cyprian was somewhat glad for it having been him. Iname always did need him, more than was entirely logical, sometimes. Cyprian didn't think he'd manage very long alone. Certainly he hadn't done too hot, this time.

Settling down for the night, but instead of actually trying to fall asleep, he reached for the little thread he'd figured out was Iname. It took a few minutes, but, eventually, a slight jolt, and his surroundings changed. Everything felt a little surreal, like a dream. A grassy cliff by water; it smelled salty, and Cyprian just snorted, internally. It'd figure it was by the sea. But the ocean called to them in ways it didn't for others. Cyprian knew why, now, but Iname wasn't ready to awaken yet. He had some personal business to take care of, first. A glance down told him he looked like Kaiou, instead of himself. It'd be easier to talk to him, this way, without any suspicion arising on Iname's part. He was awfully jumpy and suspicious as it was, certainly Cyprian didn't have to go making it any worse.

Eventually, Iname would figure out he was here. In the meantime, Cyprian-Kaiou settled down in the grass, looking out across the water, enjoying the breeze, even if it wasn't real. It was peaceful, and between all his many issues, Cyprian found it difficult to find a moment of peace these days. He'd enjoy it while it was here.
Shihoin Iname Offline Kashi // Lenara 765 HP 537 Years Male Second Division Seat 05 Ebony Lions Hyoukai
Sea Ice Apr 17, 2017, 01:52AM // 332 Words
It was strange, the dream he was having tonight. Surreal in an odd way that he couldn't really put his finger on, at least not at first. The place looked and felt familiar, but at the same time, that didn't make sense. He'd never been somewhere like this before, as far as he knew. Perhaps he'd dreamed it before. Hm.

It didn't matter, really. This was just a dream.

The air smelled like salt, and for some reason - like home. That made sense, really. Not because home was the water's edge, but because his own inner world smelled like the sea, thanks to Hyoukai. Which, he supposed, made it home as much as anything was. It took Iname several moments to realize he wasn't alone. This would normally have been strange, but, in dreams Iname wasn't too likely to be nervous. Nor... did he generally expect company.

Once he became aware of the other presence though, it didn't take long for him to find that person sitting there watching the water. Kaiou looking much as he had in life. It was strange - incredibly surreal - to find himself looking at his brother, even here in a dream. He didn't usually dream of Kai.

Iname didn't say anything for a moment- what did you say to a figment of your imagination, however shaped? It wasn't like he could easily gush about how much he loved Kai and how things were okay, and maybe soon he and Renji would be married. ... Well, it wouldn't hurt anything, to be fair, just, didn't serve a purpose, either. "It's nice here." Was what came out, somewhat unplanned. Maybe that was okay.

It was just guy, Kai hadn't ever judged him for being graceless, Iname reminded himself as he folded down onto the grass beside him.
Cyprian Valerius Offline Valhalir // Krystal Could it be that I fell apart, it shows; the lines on my face ate away my smile. 908 HP 2,120 Years Male Second Division Captain Azure Eagles Votum
Sea Ice Apr 17, 2017, 11:35PM // 463 Words
A slight smile crossed his face, as Iname settled down beside him. It'd been a long, long time since Cyprian had smiled, but Kaiou always had one for Iname. Anyone, really. It wasn't entirely fair, really, how Iname was stuck with this shadow of who Kaiou could have been, was, at one time. Cyprian hardly remembered how to feel anything, either. Kaiou was always much better at it. Aarya, too. But Cyprian turned out stunted and a poor excuse for his reincarnation. Even if Aarya and Kaiou were still him, he still felt like a half-rate excuse for them. He wasn't as good at this as they had been, probably, he wouldn't ever be. But he was all that was left, somehow. Somehow, it was the darkest incarnation that lived, and the brightest ones that had been snuffed out.

It all went back to Tetsuya. Kaiou would still be here, if nothing else, if it weren't for Tetsuya. Cyprian was pretty well determined to kill that son of a bitch whenever he found him - but he let go of that train of thought as soon as it flickered through his mind. His anger had no place here. Iname had enough of it.

"Peaceful, if nothing else," he answered, his currently grey gaze turning back to the water. "I was surprised there was water here. And then I thought about it, and I wasn't any more." It would have been more surprising if there wasn't water anywhere. If Cyprian was guessing right, he was a Water Fae. Likely, so was Iname. Even their inner world was full of water. Kaiou, and his several incarnations, had never seen Iname's, but his own was full of water and ice. Sometimes, the ice had stories to tell, messages to pass on, visions of past and future both. Even if he hadn't remembered, Inori had. Cyprian wouldn't have remained in the dark about his soul's journeys for long.

"What are you doing, Name-chan?" It was quiet, but somehow still difficult to miss. "You can't live like this, not forever." Some part of Iname, he thought, probably knew that. Perhaps it was just unwillingness to face the pain head on. But if he didn't, he'd never conquer it, not the way he should. And maybe someday the pain would win, and that was a decidedly unwanted outcome, at least on his end. Whether Iname cared or not, that was in the air. Cyprian imagined, some part of him did, but some part of him probably also didn't.
Shihoin Iname Offline Kashi // Lenara 765 HP 537 Years Male Second Division Seat 05 Ebony Lions Hyoukai
Sea Ice Apr 19, 2017, 12:34AM // 295 Words
One corner of his mouth couldn't help but turn very slightly upward in a strained - but certainly present - response to Kaiou's smile. It was gone quickly as his gaze wandered back to the water and he attempted to ground himself properly again. This was a strange dream - too realistic and yet way too surreal. Peaceful though, in a way his dreams usually weren't.

"It is that." Quietly. Yeah, peaceful. And a short sound that was probably something of a laugh. "Sounds about right." Water was... kind of their thing. Water or ice or both. ... The green was nice, too. Maybe Iname would remember to go meditate in one of the gardens. ... Probably not, but it was a nice thought.

Iname was silent for a while, after Kaiou finished talking. His gaze didn't move from the horizon. For a while it probably seemed he wasn't going to answer at all. "I don't know." Is what he answered, finally. It was the truth - more so than what he said to most. He had no idea what he was doing. "I was just... trying to do the best I could with what I had. The best I could to make it stop... hurting so much just to breathe." But he didn't know what he was doing, not really.

"I don't really see why not though. I'm getting on fine enough." ... That was. Probably not entirely accurate and he knew it. But on the other hand, it didn't really seem so bad, either. He was functional. He was going to work and getting things done. At least most things.
Cyprian Valerius Offline Valhalir // Krystal Could it be that I fell apart, it shows; the lines on my face ate away my smile. 908 HP 2,120 Years Male Second Division Captain Azure Eagles Votum
Sea Ice Apr 19, 2017, 07:53PM // 429 Words
Well, at least Iname told the truth. Cyprian could be glad for that. It made it easier to sift through it, if Iname wasn't trying to pretend everything was fine, because it decidedly was not. And yes, some part of him felt bad about technically lying about who exactly he was, but the truth was, it wasn't really a lie anyway. And if Iname hadn't shoved it all in a box, he wouldn't have felt it necessary to bother with this, either. Maybe it wasn't as bad as it could be.

He made an odd expression, sort of sad, and sort of, yeah, I thought so. Then, he shuffled around, settling back down facing Iname, and took his hands. "You can't," he said. "You can't because this isn't living. This is surviving. You've stuffed it in a box and pretended it wasn't there. Someday, it'll break out of the box, and you know that isn't a good thing." That wasn't generally how emotional expression was supposed to go. Admittedly, Iname never was good with that emotional expression thing. Kaiou was the one with his heart on his sleeve, that showed everything he felt, even as he tried so hard not to. Sort of a sad pair they'd made. One didn't know how to emotion, and the other didn't know how to stop.

"You have to feel it. Whatever it is you feel. And then you can let it go. You don't just get over things like this, 'Name-chan." It would be so much easier if that was how it worked, but it wasn't. "Have you tried talking to Renji? Kaa-san? You know mama always has time for you. Don't make her lose us both." Whether he realised it or not, effectively, that was what he'd done. Cyprian was fairly sure he didn't really go back to the manor. Sure, they saw one another at work, but both were often too busy at work to really talk to each other, and Kaiou would be - was - sad, that they'd fallen apart in some ways, drifted away from each other at a time when they needed each other the most.

He was sure, as mama always did, she was waiting for him to decide he was ready. Mameha never pushed; this was no different.
Shihoin Iname Offline Kashi // Lenara 765 HP 537 Years Male Second Division Seat 05 Ebony Lions Hyoukai
Sea Ice Apr 20, 2017, 12:47AM // 424 Words
Somehow it confused him slightly when dream-Kaiou acted precisely as he would have during life. Deliberately putting himself back in Iname's view, deliberately continuing to talk about this because obviously they needed to. ... Why was his subconscious insisting on this though?

It was nice, the feeling of Kaiou's hands in his - it wasn't even real, but Iname spent a moment using that as sort of a touch stone while listening to his brother speak. Trying to puzzle out what exactly was going on there. This was an odd dream, and he wasn't entirely sure what to make of it. But maybe it didn't matter - it was all in his head.

But he'd heard, more than once, that sometimes dreams were important. Sometimes they were trying to tell you something. Iname couldn't entirely imagine that was true and yet...

"What else was I supposed to do with it?" The question came out perhaps slightly harsher than he intended it to. "I did feel it. I do feel it. Sometimes still so much that I can't breathe, can't think around it. But I can't let it cripple me. The pain isn't going away, it isn't any dimmer for all the time between now and then." So he'd stuffed it in a box, because at least he could function then.

Gray eyes darkened slightly as Kaiou continued talking, and for a moment he glanced away. "Not really. But it's not like they don't both already know, so I don't really see the point." Finally. He wasn't really good at this sharing his feelings thing. It was easier with Kai, but also harder. It was difficult to lie to him, even when he could find it in him to do so.

... Nevermind there was no point in lying to a figment of his imagination.

"It's... hard to face her." It was hard being in that house. But sometimes it was hard to face her, though Iname had a very difficult time putting into words why that was. Perhaps eventually he'd understand that it was because he was aware that he was something of a shadow of what he had been. And frankly, he was a poor replacement for his brother. The reality was, if either of them should have survived it was Kaiou, not him.
Cyprian Valerius Offline Valhalir // Krystal Could it be that I fell apart, it shows; the lines on my face ate away my smile. 908 HP 2,120 Years Male Second Division Captain Azure Eagles Votum
Sea Ice Apr 20, 2017, 10:31PM // 537 Words
"Of course it isn't," he answered, eyes narrowing more in sadness than anything. The part of him that was Kaiou, it hurt, to know that his brother had fallen this far. To the point where he wasn't even aware of what he felt. Kaiou knew. Cyprian knew. He could feel it. The anger, not all of it was at himself, not all of it was at Seiji. Some of it, was at him. And Kaiou stung to know that, but Cyprian knew why. He knew why, and it made sense. It made all the sense in the world, it was probably the most natural thing to feel in this whole mess, but he knew Iname, too. Maybe he'd seen it once, but it didn't feel fair and he shoved it away without even really acknowledging it, and now it was suffocating him.

"You haven't really faced everything you feel. There's more in there. More that doesn't make sense, that doesn't seem fair or right, but it is no less valid. And now it's showing you how valid it is. You have to find that again, Name-chan. You have to find it and accept it, really accept it, because until you do, it's going to tear at you. You can't just say no that's not fair and ignore it, none of this is fair, but it is what it is." A breath out, sounding kind of resigned.

"Yes, they know," he agreed. "But sometimes, talking helps. Letting someone in helps. Do you remember, when we were kids, and we'd sneak down the hallway and build a fort in the hallway storage closet? Do you remember what we'd talk about, then? Sometimes really stupid things, but other times, things that  really mattered. Things that really hurt, sometimes it was just complaining, but we always came back out a little lighter. They love you, Iname, even if it seems stupid, even if they already know, let them in sometimes. They'd be happy just knowing you were talking to them, when they know you need to and wish more than anything that you would." He could probably use to take his own advice, sometimes. Eh, baby steps.

Yeah, he knew that. He thought he knew why, and maybe someday, Iname would, too. But he couldn't feel these things for him. That wasn't how it worked, even though, at the moment, he kind of wished it was. "I know. But she's waiting for you. And you know she loves you, just the way you are, all the good and the bad, the joy and the sadness, because that's you. All of that is you. You know, despite what certain people have always said, there's no shame in needing help. There's nothing wrong with not being able to do it all by yourself. It takes a lot to stand alone, Iname. But it takes even more to admit you can't."
Shihoin Iname Offline Kashi // Lenara 765 HP 537 Years Male Second Division Seat 05 Ebony Lions Hyoukai
Sea Ice Apr 22, 2017, 02:43PM // 390 Words
Frowning a little at Kaiou talking again. Not because Kaiou was talking, of course. He was enjoying hearing this voice he was so familiar with and had been missing for so long that he'd almost forgotten the precise lilt of it. But... still frowning, because he couldn't really imagine anything in his head that he hadn't felt at this point. On the other hand there was so much there maybe he had failed to identify some of it.

But that didn't really explain what Kaiou said, not entirely. At least, Iname didn't think it did. Hn. Maybe he was wrong, this was kind of complicated. "If you say so." Obviously not really able to think of anything Kaiou could be referring to. But Kai was better at this than he was. He always had been.

Yes, he remembered. At least sort of. He smiled a fraction, in spite of himself. "It was fun, sometimes." Their little forts. They'd always been so secretive even though Iname was now pretty sure the adults knew - and just let them get away with it. Things were simpler then. When they were young. It's not the same, he wanted to argue. He wasn't that young anymore, and they weren't Kai. Sure, they loved him but it was... different. This wasn't really about them loving him so much as it was about not being that young and not really feeling like either of them needed his problems on top of theirs.

"I know she does." It was still... hard sometimes. After having it ingrained in him that he shouldn't lean on anyone and allowing himself just one exception. That exception seemed so innocent. But maybe if he'd kept his head on straight instead of leaning on Kaiou so much his brother wouldn't be dead. And Renji wouldn't have had to spend more than a decade saving his sorry ass from Tetsuya.

"I don't really know how to." Is what he said instead. "At least not to anyone but you. It's hard to break that conditioning, I guess." But he thought he'd done okay letting Renji in. Apparently Kaiou thought otherwise.
Cyprian Valerius Offline Valhalir // Krystal Could it be that I fell apart, it shows; the lines on my face ate away my smile. 908 HP 2,120 Years Male Second Division Captain Azure Eagles Votum
Sea Ice Sep 26, 2017, 05:16PM // 551 Words
He shook his head, a little, thinking over his words. He couldn't stay here much longer, he, at least, was starting to wake up. The dream always ended eventually, didn't it. But, they were fleeting, here one moment and gone the next, you'd think they only lasted a few minutes, but you were in them for hours, and that was part of their power. Cyprian didn't know if he could make sense of this, help him sort through it all, in just one dream, and he knew that. A little at a time. Hopefully, they had that time. He couldn't see the future like the gods could, he didn't really know, he just... had to hope. At least let him save his brother before it was too late.

"I know it is," he answered, brushing the little wisps of Iname's hair back. "But you can't shut down like this. You know, even if it seems like they already know how you feel, maybe they don't. Maybe you just think they do. Everyone feels slightly differently, Iname. Everyone experiences things different. What kaa-san feels isn't necessarily the same as what you feel. And Renji and I, we weren't really very close. Sometimes, just saying things, accepting them, recognising that they're there, to someone that isn't as affected by it, it helps. Outsiders may seem like they wouldn't really know anything, but everyone goes through things like this. Everyone can identify with the sting of loss and the ache of heartbreak. And sometimes they can help you see it in a different way, because they're not in it, but they remember what being in it is like. People aren't mind-readers, Iname. They can't just guess, and even if they could, often, it's less them understanding, and more you saying, that matters." You couldn't keep it in all the time. Because then it just ate through you.

He sighed, slightly. "Iname, I want you to live. I lived, and I died, for something I didn't want, and I hated it. I regret never seeing the things I wanted to see, I regret never experiencing the things I wanted to experience, I regret never doing the things I wanted to do, god, Iname, don't die like that. What do you want? Who do you want to be? They're gone now. Nobody is going to tell you you're doing it wrong, now. Live your own life, Iname. God knows you'll die your own death when it's time. Don't die with regrets. Don't die with could've should've maybe. I'll never really leave you, you know that. I live in here," his hand lightly tapped against Iname's chest. "In you. I live in you. But you can't hide behind me, any more. Iname, you have to step out into the light, now. Find what you want, find who you are, and chase both with everything you've got. Live, for us both. Maybe somewhere along the way, you'll find what you're missing."
Shihoin Iname Offline Kashi // Lenara 765 HP 537 Years Male Second Division Seat 05 Ebony Lions Hyoukai
Sea Ice Sep 28, 2017, 11:40AM // 489 Words
Iname frowned a little as Kaiou brushed bits of his hair away from his face, more to himself than at anything in particular. Iname listened, trying to take into account what Kaiou was saying and trying his best not to reject it out of hand just because it wasn't necessarily what he wanted to hear. It had been long enough he shouldn't need to talk about it, honestly. Long enough he should have had the sting of loss fading, not surging through him all over again.

Of course Kai knew, he'd gone through it too.  At least, a lot of it, maybe not this exact thing, but it was still.... the problem, in a lot of ways. Because Kai understood him in ways no one else did, and that was half of what made this so impossibly difficult. It didn't help that Iname didn't entirely understand why he wasn't over the grief two hundred years later, so it really just felt like whining at this point.

Less them understanding and more him saying? Some part of Iname didn't understand how him saying it was supposed to help, but he did remember the way he and Kaiou had spoken when they hid away in their forts and the way they'd come away feeling lighter even if they couldn't do anything about whatever-it-was. "Mostly it's less 'they won't understand' and more... there's no point in bothering them with something they're already aware of. I didn't see the point in upsetting Kaa-san talking about heartbreak she was already facing and Renji has been dealing with my attempts at getting over it for almost two hundred years now." More or less. "Or at least, I didn't think there was a point." He was standing corrected, at the moment.

Or at least, Kaiou was doing his best to correct that thought process.

The words weighed heavily on him - visibly so. He'd known, of course, he'd known that Kai died with a myriad of regrets, that he'd never wanted the life they both lived. "I've spent so long doing what people told me I should want that I don't really know... what it is I want for myself." He could admit that, to his brother.

"I won't find what I'm missing Kai." Quietly. "Not in this life time." Maybe when he was reborn, maybe when he was born again he'd have his brother back. But until then? What he was missing was out of reach. He just hoped that wherever Kaiou had been reborn he was living a better life than he'd had in this life. He hoped his brother had found happiness.
Cyprian Valerius Offline Valhalir // Krystal Could it be that I fell apart, it shows; the lines on my face ate away my smile. 908 HP 2,120 Years Male Second Division Captain Azure Eagles Votum
Sea Ice Oct 22, 2017, 01:16AM // 530 Words
It was now that he remembered, of course, what a tough nut to crack Iname could be. And maybe he'd never really open up the right way, anyway, because he knew, or thought he did, that this wasn't real. Still, dreams always had a grain of truth to them, even if you weren't aware of it. He shook his head, leaning his forehead against Iname's.

"Imagine, then," he whispered. "Imagine uncle Shigeru died, and mom went on like nothing changed. Imagine despite that, you could see it, the hurt she won't talk about, weighing her down, changing her habits, practically changing who she is. Now imagine how painful it is to watch her fall apart. You can't take pain away, but you can share it with someone else, and it makes it easier to bear. You wouldn't hold mother or Ciaran to these same standards, would you? So why do you do it to yourself? That's how people deal with it. By sharing it. By remembering they're not alone, that someone understands. It's not the hurt that takes you down, in the end. It's the isolation."

He'd sure as shit know all about that, now wouldn't he? This wasn't about him.

Well, he would, if he quit chasing Kaiou... but that was, perhaps, not a thing he should say. Iname wouldn't take it very well. He couldn't spend his entire life chasing his brother, anyway. And maybe Cyprian was him, but he'd never really be Kaiou, or Aarya, just like Kaiou was never him or Aarya, and Aarya was never him or Kaiou. They were similar, but they weren't the same.

Sometimes, he thought perhaps Iname didn't want to know who he was, or what he wanted. Because some very large part of him wasn't ready to accept that Kaiou was gone, that now it was just him, and he had to find a way of living without him, that he had to make his own decisions now. It'd always been them, Kaiou and Iname, Iname and Kaiou. They even had a nickname - Kainame - for the both of them. Where there was one, there was almost always the other, and Iname wasn't ready to stand on his own and be just Iname. Kaiou was always better at that than him, at having an identity separate from Iname. Their uncle certainly hadn't helped things.

He could do it. Kaiou believed that, and so did Cyprian. But he had to want to. He had to figure out who he was, and decide he wanted that someone. Until then... Cyprian was just Cyprian. Maybe he should make Votum look different, until Iname was ready for that. "Find it, Iname. Find who you are." Kaiou faded into the light, and Cyprian opened his eyes. ... and then rolled over and shoved his head under his pillow.