Estin, The Celestial City
Eryximachus is a Human who stands at 5’ 8’’ with a broad-ish frame that could be more muscular if he were they physical type. Still, at 30 years of age Eryximachus is fit, though bordering on underweight due to his life in the mountains. To help with the cold of his home, he keeps his thick, black hair long so it can fall around his face and shoulders in course, protective waves. He also wears a goatee which he never allows to grow too long.
Expression wise, Eryximachus is very restrained. His passive face is complimented by his dark (bordering on black) blue eyes which usually hold a calm stare. Eryximachus can often seem very lost in thought and defended to the world around him. Others may claim he just doesn’t seem to care about what is before him. Even those who have known him for a long time won’t report blatant smiles, laughs, looks of anger, surprise, or fear. “If his face was all I had to go on, I’d say he feels nothing at all.” – But not many have ever gotten to know Eryximachus well.
Never one for useless decoration, Eryximachus wears very simple and functional clothing. Though he’ll never ague against something that can look attractive and still be practical. His cloak made from a black bear’s hide is one such item.
But Eryximachus’ most unique physical trait are his scales. Being of a Draconic Bloodline, Eryximachus has inherited the white scales of his long off ancestors. They cover a large portion of his body, but not all of it. These scales vary in shape and texture depending on their location. His forearms, shoulders, and sides sport overlapping diamonds with keeled centers, giving him a rough texture. His chest, back, and the fronts of his thighs are protected by thicker and larger plate-like scales. Finally, his underarms, parts of his abdomen, and calves are dotted with very small, rivet shaped scales.
Eryximachus is a passive man whose emotions never vary too much. Though growing up, he had seen emotion run wild in those around him. Years of listening to his Paladin father, his worrisome mother, and his shallow and unthinking peers drove him to the mountains to find solace as soon as he was able.
That day he left Man’s World thankfully behind. His possession, his family, his way of life. Everything. And it felt wonderful. That was over 10 years ago now. And for all that time, Eryximachus has mostly lived in contented bliss. Life in his cold mountain rage has never been easy. But an easy life is not necessarily what Eryximachus needed. Silence and simplicity is what the mountains offered him. So, Eryximachus did everything they required of him with complete acceptance. Relentlessly hunting, gathering, bearing cold winters, scavenging, dealing with dangerous wildlife and terrain – all of it was worth bearing if he didn’t have to be drowned in the petty worries, attachments, and dramas of his fellow man.
The possibility of dying alone in the wilderness was worth bearing too. This thought was put to the test just one winter ago.
One day, as Eryximachus checked the various snares he left for rabbits, he heard a heavy huff, and then a growl. A black bear that was eating the last bit it could before its winter hibernation was determined to keep the rabbit it had pulled from Eryximachus’ snare. It roared and lumbered forward. Soon, Eryximachus was fighting for his life, casting any spell he could, launching crossbow bolts, and when made desperate, stabbing with daggers. Somehow, while riding his adrenaline, Eryximachus slew the bear. Bloodied, but also desperate for food before the winter, Eryximachus spent a long time gathering what he could from the bear. Meat and fur were taken, and Eryximachus planned to also come back for bones.
On his way back to his cave, he saw bright green and gold fabric peaking out of the snow. Out of curiosity he moved to investigate. His breath entered him in a soft gasp, for lying under this soft, but cold blanket was a lithe elven girl. Just a teenager, maybe young adult. Well, in their years.
It was lucky for the both of them. After the injury Eryximachus definitely needed another pair of hands around to help him make it through the winter. For her, she would wake from her sleep. It was a long process, hauling her, and then the food, and then the fur, and then the rest of the bear’s carcass to his cave. But by nightfall, Eryximachus felt he was in a good position to live through another winter. Though he was always wary of getting too confident.
The next day Eryximachus built an early fire and kept in the cave. He now had plenty to do. Dry some meat, cook some, store organs, clean bones, prepare leather, make a cloak, and of course monitoring the new help. Before long, he had a conscious housemate.
Fellocha. A soft and pretty name. As she woke, Eryximachus informed her of her situation. She would have to stay and aid him through the winter or probably die trying to descend the mountain. The elf with the soft and pretty name argued, not appreciating that her want to play in the snow had turned her into this strange, scaled man’s slave. Another drama. Eryximachus almost threw her into the cold at that moment.
Despite the initial friction, Fellocha was a social sort and was soon trying to be a legitimate part of Eryximachus’ way of life. This was helped by the fact his pain and his need for help, though subtly expressed, was real. Eryximachus couldn’t help but feel grateful. Even if he was not one to say it. It didn’t matter. Fellocha was extraordinarily sensitive and what little Eryximachus’ face offered, she saw. More importantly, she noted that to better know how Eryximachus was feeling, one had to look at his body, not his face. With this information, she molded to his communicative needs. As time passed, they became amicable. They traded tongues, learning and teaching the Draconic and Elvin languages together. As more time passed, Fellocha was no longer afraid to show her affection and enthusiasm for her stoic mountain man. They played simple songs together. They talked. And everyday Fellocha felt more and more special to be accepted by such a reserved man.
There was not much that Eryximachus reciprocated. Indeed, he never felt as vibrantly as Fellocha. But he was comfortable with her touches, nuzzles, and kind words. He also did not mind listening to her talk about anything and everything, as she did not mind having an audience. More time passed. Not being able to resist teasing and shocking Eryximachus as much as possible, Fellocha began slipping into his pallet after nightfall. To her surprise Eryximachus accepted her. Everytime.
As the days grew longer, Fellocha began to daydream of going home. Eventually, she began thinking warmly of going home with Eryximachus in tow. When she proposed the idea, Eryximachus stubbornly dismissed her.
Fellocha assumed his mind would change by the time winter ended.
The days grew even longer.
” Eryximachus, I… I’m happy for this winter. And I am happy I’ve gotten the chance to live your way of life. I only ask that now that…maybe you can live my way of life for a time?”
“I have, Fellocha. I don’t want it.”
_“Maybe there is something you can find you can like about it? If you just try. For a little while Eryximachus. Please?”
Fellocha’s voice softened pitifully to the point that it even pulled at Eryximachus’ emotions. He looked over to the girl he shared the winter with and knew he had made a mistake. He hadn’t paid enough attention to what had been happening to her. He had figured… this whole time… that was just who she was.
“Is there something in particular you think I’d enjoy, Fellocha?”
She hesitated, too shy to come out with it, “I just think… I just… I would like to share a bit of what I like about my home with you. And … I hope you would like it too. So we can have more fun together.”
He shrugged casually, “We can still have fun together. You can visit me here.”
“But visiting is not…”
“Not what Fellocha?”
As she fell uncharacteristically silent, Eryximachus went to her and reached out to touch her shoulder. “Fellocha, I am sorry if there has been any sort of misinterpretation. I have enjoyed your company. I do welcome you to visit. However, there is nothing for me down there. This is the life I want. From what you have told me, there is plenty for you to go home to. Plenty for you to enjoy. Add an occasional visit to me, and you will have all you want.”
She shook her head, looking to the ground, “I won’t.”
Eryximachus sighed with frustration, “People often fail to accurately predict what they want. Remind yourself of our situation Fellocha. Of course you’re feeling close to me right now. We survived winter together. But don’t let that trick you into thinking you actually need me at your home to be happy.”
Fellocha turned, not wanting to hear him. He went on. Talking about her love as if it were an illusion. Talking about their closeness like it was a mere side effect of living together. It hurt everything inside of her. This was worse than a rejection. She turned to look at him, tears in her eyes, “Eryximachus… don’t you… don’t you care about me at all? Do you feel close to me at all? Won’t you miss me at all?”
He paused, looking as calm as ever. “I do. I will. But that is not worth worrying over. You have come and now you will go. Just as everything else.”
“But if you wanted… we could be together. I don’t have to go.”
“But you want to. So you will.”
“I can stay another winter.”
“And then blame me when you miss your home.”
“What if I never miss my home?”
“You will. You’ve talked about it all winter. And I will miss my home if I go with you. And I will resent the people around me, just as I did in the past. And then, eventually, I will go. In either scenario, we separate. So let us skip the struggle, stick to our primary desires, and do it now as we planned.”
Against his advice, Fellocha left the following day. Though the weather looked clear, and had been clear for a time, Eryximachus was sure the winter was not quite done yet. Fellocha couldn’t stay another few weeks, not when she felt she didn’t need to.
A week later, the snow was back and Eryximachus was back to checking snares. And again, he saw bright green and gold fabric peaking out of the snow. And again, he saw Fellocha underneath a soft, but cold blanket. But she was in a much deeper sleep now.
She should have heeded his advice. He picked up her bright scarf and held it to his face for a moment. He couldn’t feel anything. No sadness, no anger. Just a hollowness more pure than anything he had felt before. Because of this, he was free to act and get about with his day. He looted what he could off the body, thankful for the useful bits of leather and small tools that were now his. He left the body behind, a warning for future travelers, or a meal for foxes or vultures later. She had come and now she has gone. Just like everything else.
These days, Eryximachus has an almost reflexive disdain arise whenever he is forced into contact with peoples of any sort. But, being a man with thoughtful tendencies he tries his best to get beyond this feeling whenever he does find himself around others. He has so far been able to admit to himself that it is only because he has been repeatedly disappointed by others that he has now given up on them.