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[The Industrious City of Seagarde] Settling In

Kuling Oðinsson

King of Cloadan
Site Supporter
Mar 16, 2016
Gold Crowns
Bronze Pieces
House Membership
The Kingdom of Alexandria, The Kingdom of Cloadania
Character Race
I was feeling restless drawing a diagram, and I had been very concentrated to the point where my restlessness got to the point where I wanted to flail my arms and jump around. I could barely hold a pen for more than a few seconds because it felt like I had a spring coiled up inside of me that made me want to throw it across the room.

I...am a perfectionist. That was never news to anybody...but just the same, when the compass or ruler left a line that wasn't perfectly straight, I would erase it and do it over again. And again. And again. I had gotten to a point where I would have been unsatisfied had I even
willed the line onto the page, and I simply couldn't. I just...I had to step away.

I stood up quickly, the chair screeching behind me along the wooden floor. The study itself was spacious enough, with my large desk at the window and the walls lined with paintings and bookcases; an ornamental crest over the fireplace and a couch and coffee table sitting opposite of it. It had to be, anyway—Lyssa said I spent way too much time in there working and to not mind her crawling under the desk while I worked in order to...

Um...Diagrams! Right...yeah...that's um...moving on.

So I walked across the rug and out into the hallway, closing the door to the ebony-lined study behind me and getting out of my suit into a tunic and loose trousers made of linen. A cloth belt would keep the tunic from getting in the way, so I put that on too. Nothing fancy, really, just grey trousers and the tunic was off-white.

I headed down the staircase; Seagarde Keep is huge and so I felt very alone, despite the house teeming with people. The marble staircase and the high-roofed arcades give off a sense of icy grandeur, and the castle is so old and large that most of the stuff inside are not originally my possessions; for the most part they were things I inherited from dad or what previous owners left in here after they vacated the place.

Living in such an ostentatious residence encourages excess, and I've noticed that my clothing and other possessions have begun to reflect that, in contrast to the comparatively austere manor in Halvergate. I'm not sure how to feel about this realisation. In one way I feel like a bit of an imposter being here. Despite that, I find myself getting a little too comfortable with it all. Hyacinth, in her concern for Lyssa, has been eager to make the place look less "demure," if that even was possible—I worry that our accustoming ourselves with this degree of luxury will end up trapping us in our own golden birdcage, disconnected from life outside the castle walls.

It was cooler in the basement of the castle, where I kept the military equipment and various contraptions I made over the years. Basement is relative, perhaps, because below were still barracks, and below that the dungeon. There were windows and such, but the "basement" had traded marble and guilded excess for more utilitarian stone, like the drafty, cold fortresses in the far north. The grey walls made it feel darker, almost.

I turned to the left and went over to the open area where I did my training. I hoped that some physical exertion would let me settle down and concentrate. I opened the windows despite the cold outside; masochistic of me or not, I was accustomed to training in the cold. More incentive to keep moving, right?

I ran a few laps around the basement to warm up, something that regarding the size of the residence, was exercise enough.

When I made it back to the training area, I stretched a bit and then grabbed a couple of halteres, a bit heavier than what I usually used because I wanted to exhaust myself and clear my head. I laid down on a cold bench and lifted the halteres above my chest, repeating several times. I tried my best to focus on keeping my elbows at right angles when lowering the halteres in the hopes that it would provide a welcome distraction from my chest starting to burn. I took a moment's rest a couple of times and stopped when my chest and shoulders finally gave out. The halteres hit the floor hard, making a loud stone-on stone clack. After regaining my breath and wiping some sweat from my brow, I sat up and examined the weights to make sure I hadn't cracked them. They were fine, but the impact left another couple dents in the worn, pock-marked floor.

After I exercised my back in a similar manner, I used some other weights for my arms. Everything burned terribly as I insisted on using heavier and heavier weights, but there was a primal, apish pleasure to lifting, dropping, and tossing heavy things and hearing them make a sickening noise as they hit the ground or the floor. I didn't even notice the cold breeze blowing through the open window, and took my shirt off to wipe my sweat before carelessly tossing it on the ground.

It was a bit animalistic, yes, but it felt like a release in regards to the pent-up energy I had drawing before. I took an old discus and threw it against the wall, watching it shatter into large chunks and leaving a dusty mark on the wall. The sweat in my eyes burned and the muscles all over my body burned when I flexed them to do something, but I didn't really care anymore. Throwing heavy things wasn't enough for me anymore, all that previous frustration was finally coming out. There was nobody around to watch me, nobody to comment sardonically about indulging in impropriety. I wasn't being policed by other people ready to write me off as just another Northern barbarian, and it was liberating.

I grabbed a rusty knife from over where the military equipment was and proceeded to take a dummy and viciously stab it repeatedly in the torso, growling the whole time. The blade eventually snapped inside the dummy's torso, and I threw the handle of the knife off in some indeterminate direction. I began yelling expletives in Cloadanian. Without thinking I grabbed a sword and summarily decapitated the dummy and kicked it into a pile of stuff before storming off.

At this point I could only hear the rushing of blood in my head and my skin was all pink from the blood coming to the surface. I was generating more body heat than I was losing and I felt like I was on fire and my muscles were burning all over. The muscles in my shin ached and my calves were tight. I wrapped some bandages around my fists and walked over to a punching bag; I kept beating it until it fell off. I ignored it and started punching the walls until my knuckles bled. Walking back towards the stairs, one of my pant legs got caught on something, and in the state I was, simply ripped off the cloth below my knees. I tore off a similar amount of cloth from the other leg for good measure.

I marched back up the stairs bloodied and half naked, my hair in my eyes. I startled a couple of maids who were coming around the corner and loomed over them, glaring, until they went in the other direction hurriedly. One of them kept trying to sneak peeks at me as they were walking back, so I cracked my knuckles loudly and continued up the stairs.

A maid on the next floor, accustomed to an even moodier Ragnar, guided me to a room to undress.

"I'll be back in a moment with a robe after I draw you a bath," she said. I undressed and walked over to the bathroom before she returned, bumping shoulders with a wary butler that walked away quickly. She was surprised to see me there, and I turned her out of the room, locking the door behind me. I dowsed myself with a bucket of water, rubbed pumice and oil on myself before scraping it and the dirt and sweat on me off with a strigil.

Clean, I sat down in the hot water aching all over and watching it start to snow outside the window. I sighed and leaned back, closing my eyes. It was quieter inside my head now.