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Chasing Skylines

He coughed and tugged on his fur scarf. It soon came off.

The door opened. Kael rubbed the back of his sweat drenched neck, feeling ashamed for not helping her up. If anything, the girl seemed twitchy and uneasy as well.

"No, this isn't my house," he said, praying she understood him. "It's not yours, then. Who are you?"

3/11/2009 #421

Maluras nodded and set himself to the unsavory task of finding a spear amongst the ruined corpses. He quickly found one, though he had to pry it from a steely deathgrip. He swiftly snapped it over his knee so that it would be the appropriate length, discarding the killing tip. Returning to Thirilight, he accepted the bandages.

"You say you cannot feel pain?" Maluras said. "That is certainly fortunate, for this would hurt quite a bit." Maluras then set about tending to Thirilight's leg, attaching the spear's haft to his leg with the bandages. Hefting the taller man to his feet slowly, Maluras ducked under his arm so as to support him as they walked. "We shall make our way to the top of the cliff. I saw a path earlier which should make the trip fairly easy if we're careful. Hopefully we can find some shelter where you can recover." Steadying himself, he asked, "Is this alright with you?"

3/11/2009 #422

"It's call a joke!" Mystic pouted, putting a hand on her nose with a small pout on her face as she gave a cold look to Lilikal.

3/11/2009 #423

Lilikal shooed off the fox's statement. Touchy little thing, it was. She stood, brushed herself off and looked at the boy.

"I'm Lilikal and this is Mystic. We came here while checking out some strange things that were happening. Those weird storm clouds were hard to miss. But then we kinda stumbled onto something really not good." For a moment she hesitated to show the boy the diary in case he was involved somehow. She wished she hadn't even blabbed that part, but it was too late now. "But who are you?"

3/11/2009 #424

As Maluras helped him up, Thirry felt the bones of his ribcage shift around. Though he could not feel pain, Thirry could still feel other sensations, and the movement of normally stationary bones felt strange. The moment he was fully standing, most of his weight supported by other man, Thirry felt a sudden wave of nausea and dizziness overcome him.

Thirry closed his eyes to steady himself before answering, "It is."

3/11/2009 #425
Chasing Skylines

Kael decided in a matter of seconds to ignore the flying demon, including the high-pitched protests coming from it.

He faced the girl and pondered her response. Storm clouds? The scenery had shaded and a wind picked up, but in his concetrated contemplations and memories, he must not have noticed.

He stood feeling awkward when the girl paused, a considering expression on her face.

"I am ... Aylin," he said, wary of repeat mistakes. "What is this 'something really not good?'"

3/11/2009 #426

"Very well," Maluras replied, "Let us leave this horrid place." Maluras began to walk with Thirilight, carefully supporting him and tring not to jostle the poor man. "We can rest at the top if you need it." As they made it out of the cave, Maluras began to worry about him. Pain, although unpleasant, was one of the most useful tools the human body had to offer. All sorts of things could go wrong inside a wounded man, and without pain it would be hard to realize what was happening before it was too late. In the end, however, that was irrelevant; Maluras had to move Thirilight. He couldn't defend the wounded man in such an enclosed space.

The path up the cliff was narrow, almost too much for two men to traverse side-by-side, and forced them into a slow in cautious gait. Although that was the plan from the start, it took its toll on Maluras. By the time they neared the top he was sweating and almost short of breath. He felt a pang of pity for Thirilight, as it could only be worse on the beaten and bloodied man.

3/11/2009 . Edited 3/11/2009 #427

"Well," Lilikal started to explain, conscious of time passing and where the bear beast could be. "Someone let loose a monster that looks like a bear until it's near magic or something. It's killin' nearly everyone it comes in touch with and we need to get it back into its cave before it does anymore damage. But first we need to get one of the hurt survivors away from the cave."

3/11/2009 #428
Chasing Skylines

Was this an obstacle set to block his path? Was he to prove himself?

"We? You want me to help you, then?" Survivors. The dead seemed to haunt the crevices of this mountainous wasteland.

3/11/2009 #429

Lilikal was taken aback for a moment. 'We' had really meant she and Mystic, but she wouldn't turn down a helping hand if one was being offered. Not in this situation anyway.

"It'd be much appreciated. Whatever we're dealing with gave Mystic a really bad fright and I've seen what it can do too. It'll make bloody corpses of the whole world." Boy, that sounded really dramatic and yet it was the truth according to the diary. "We need to hurry. If you're coming, then let's go. And thanks." She skirted around him and yanked the door open while pulling her staff from the cloth sheath over her back. Soon she was side saddled on it and flying back towards the cliffs.

3/11/2009 #430

Mystic flew after Lilikal "Hey! Wait up! I was thwarted with a sheath and kicked earlier by the darned thief! Gimme a break!" It was true. Mystic could feel slight pain in her wings which had not kicked in right away for reasons she did not get but she shrugged it off because of adrenaline she didn't feel the pain.

3/11/2009 . Edited 3/11/2009 #431

Lilikal withheld a laugh that Mystic was now focused on what the thief did rather than what she saw the monster do to complain. Sparing the little beastling from exerting any unnecessary energy that may or may not come in handy controlling the monster, Lilikal slowed, took the fox onto her lap, and went back to her original speed. It might also help to keep the touchy thing on her side. The one monstrous enemy was more than enough and something told her that just offering it a ride wouldn't earn her any favors.

3/12/2009 #432

Thirilight was panting and heaving by the time they reached the top, his free hand against his ribcage. His vision swam in and out of focus, and he shivered, not so much from fatigue, but from the chills that wracked his body. He suspected he had a fever; not surprising considering that he'd spent at least a day lying among rotting corpses in his weakened state.

On the upside, Thirry hadn't felt any of his ribs shift too far from their normal positions, and he wasn't coughing up blood, so at least he wouldn't die from a punctured lung or other organ.

"I think we should rest. You look tired," Thirilight wheezed with a wry smile.

3/12/2009 #433

Maluras chuckled softly, "At least you are in a good enough condition to crack jokes." He set Thirilight down next to a tree only a few steps away from the edge of the cliff so that he could rest with his back against it. Maluras swept his eyes over the shivering man. As much as he wanted to get as far away from the beast den as he could, Maluras could tell that to move Thirilight any further in this condition would be sheer folly.

"We should probably rest here for the night," Maluras said as he gazed at the sky. Surveying his surroundings, he decided he could make a lean-to for shelter. Even so, he worried about Thirilight. His condition was worsening and the wilderness was a terrible place to be wounded. His thoughts drifted back to the cave... Then the girl. Perhaps she could be of some use, perhaps she even knew how to work healing magic. If Maluras could find her, perhaps Thirilight could be stabilized long enough to make it to a city. Maluras shook his head. There were too many variables in that plan. All he could do is try and stabilize Thirilight on his own.

He offered the man his canteen, "Drink up. After I find us some shelter, I have some rations if you feel you are up to eating."

3/12/2009 #434

Mystic grinned "Thanks Lilikal! I thought you were gunna go even faster just to be a meanie-head!" the fox laughed, looking at the sky whizzing by in fascination.

3/12/2009 #435
Chasing Skylines

Kael watched, silent, as the demon creature, perhaps a fox - though it was too brightly pelted -, flapped its wings in an erratic fashion to catch up to the little girl flying on a branch. This could be why no Star Sons had returned with news or sight of the westerlands; they had been either entraptured by the sights or killed by them. What about helping them?

"Wait, please," he yelled after their shrinking backs. They had zoomed over an outcrop of rock and disappeared. He ran after them, but soon found the bulk of his clothing to be restraining. He discarded his outer cloak, emptying the possessions stored inside, and placed it, folded, onto a boulder. He'd come back for it later. By tomorrow he could be back in tundra.

He hoped the pair of odd eccentrics hadn't flown off too far.

3/12/2009 #436

"Yeah, well don't get used to it, little beastling," Lilkal said to the fox in her lap, but a crooked smile formed to denounce any seriousness. Soon she felt the distinct lack of a third presence and slowed her staff, looking behind them. No one was there. "Oh god of fortune's blindness," she lightly swore. She hadn't given thought to Aylin's mode of travel which was probably his feet. That would slow them down, but she wanted the extra hand.

Lilikal slowed and then reversed her staff until they backtracked far enough to reach Aylin. She stopped beside him with a playful grin.

"Need a ride?" She patted the empty part of the pole behind her half seriously, doubtful that he would be comfortable, but hopeful that he would see it would get them going faster. Just not for as long.

3/12/2009 #437

"Not being in pain frees up a lot of energy," Thirry quipped as Maluras set him down. The world was spinning, and he was feeling quite giddy, like when his dad used to spin him around and around and around, faster and faster and faster until the whole world was a blur of color. Thirry stifled a giggle; he was an adult now, and it would be most unseemly for him to burst out in childlike laughter, even if he was feeling quite lightheaded.

It took a couple attempts to get the canteen to his mouth (it wouldn't stay still!), but when he finally did manage a greedy swallow (he was so thirsty...), Thirry found that the water immediately soured, and he retched it up. The thoroughly unpleasant gnawing of the resulting nausea grounded Thirry for a moment, and he said, "I don't think I'll be eating anything," before taking a more cautious sip of water to clean out his mouth.

This time, the water stayed down.

3/12/2009 #438

Mystic looked at Lilikal "What are you doing? He'll slow us down!" she said quietly, so Kael wouldn't hear her in case she insulted him by accident.

3/12/2009 #439
Chasing Skylines

He thanked Lyar for sending the little girl back.

"If it's safe..." he said and climbed onto the pole. It was uncomfortable, like giving a tree a hug with his feet. "Where are we headed to, again?"

He gave the whispering fox a half-glance; it was better not to deign demons a glance lest they decide your body would be their next host in the physical plane. He felt vaguely insulted as well, but pretended not to have heard for his quest's sake. This was a trial, an obstacle to overcome and further prove himself when others before had failed.

3/12/2009 . Edited 3/12/2009 #440

Lilikal ignored Mystic's complaint. Her staff would get them where they were going fast enough.

"Pfft! 'Course it's safe." She grinned as if that were the silliest statement she ever heard. How dangerous could riding a flying pole be? She willed it to pick up speed again and they headed onward. "We're going back to the cave where one of the survivors of the first monster attack is. He was hurt real bad and we can't lead the monster back to the cave if he's still there and can't move. He'd be eaten for sure."

3/12/2009 #441
Chasing Skylines

The wind was splicing the little girl's words. He felt dizzy and nauseous, trying not to stare down. The air was even more arid while flying, but the air pushing against their flight negated the matter.

"Could you explain the situation? Why would the monster come back to the cave? Was it there before? If it was, it must've left for a reason." As an afterthought, he said, "Are you sure this branch won't drop from our weight?"

3/12/2009 #442

"Wha--?" but she managed to connect his wind-drowned words and then she spoke a little louder to make sure her own words were clear. "It's not a branch. It's a staff...wait," she frowned in thought and then shook her head. "No. It won't drop as long as the spell is going. I've got this one down pat."

Aylin couldn't see since Lilikal's face was forward to guide them, but her smile was filled with pride. Rather than explain the entire situation, she fished out the diary from her bag and handed it back to Aylin with only brief explanation.

"Some nutty old lady let loose her pet monster she kept in a cave cos she's mad at the world. I think she's just crazed. The diary says there's some ancient magic that can trap it back in the cave, but it's not gonna go there on its own. We gotta get it back or a lot more people are gonna get hurt or dead."

3/12/2009 #443

"Yeah! We are all gunna take this monster down!" Mystic cheered against the wind. Her voice was loud enough to be heard but it got sliced up a bit but it was still understandable.

3/12/2009 #444
Chasing Skylines

He took the book with shaky hands, fearing he might flip and fall off the staff crafted from what must've been magical trickery. Maybe the little girl was a demon as well as her companion, who was currently shrieking gibberish chants. He scooted back, but kept steady; he was leagues above ground in any case.

As he flipped through the book, he noticed little scores along the edge of the spine and covers. He scratched at one with a fingernail. The fragile parchment broke and a page crumbled... to be replaced by a new, stainless page looking fresh, the ink defined.

The Art of the Wards.

Last rewritten by the last descendant, Filla Ward.

"Sorry... This wasn't here before, was it?"

3/12/2009 #445

Lilikal was amused by the fox's sudden enthusiasm to take down the monster that had frightened it so. She hoped it was as easy as believing they could do it. The thought of her head being smashed into a pancake didn't sound appealing in the least. But it was okay. She was going to be the best magicar alive. She had to overcome trifles like this. Trifles...right.

Lilikal looked back and saw the page Aylin was referring to. She certainly hadn't seen it before.

"The Art of the--where did that come from?"

3/12/2009 #446
Chasing Skylines

He concentrated on flipping the pages open. They were all sleek and sheened with a healthy pallor; but they were all blank.

Kael wiped at the paper, as if there was invisible dust or grime, scraped it, clapped it with his palm, held it to the sunlight, and even spit on it.

"The pages are blank..."

3/12/2009 #447

"Indeed," Maluras commented. He had noticed Thirilight shivering before, and he seemed to have a hard time sipping from the canteen. Taking off a black leather glove, Maluras knelt down and set his bare hand to Thirilight's forehead; it was almost scalding. "You have a fever," he announced. He decided to look for some medicinal herbs when he worked on a shelter. As he stood up and slipped his glove back on, he noticed a plant next to the tree and recognized it. Taking the knife from his boot, he cut off one of the fleshy leaves and sliced the tip off, then handed it to Thirilight. "Chew on this, it should help settle your stomach."

3/12/2009 #448

Watching Aylin work with the diary was fun...until he decided to spit on it. Lilikal was reluctant to touch it again, but she wasn't very well going to let him keep it. It was magic somehow and she found it first so it was her somehow-magical diary now.

"Kinda makes me wish I knew a spell for revealing things." She never got around to finding a book on illusion spells for a new set of cards. "Well there's gotta be something we can do to get it to show more. This Filla person would know, but...hey, Aylin? You didn't happen to come across someone carrying a body before meeting us, did you?" Not knowing what happened to the body of someone who seemed to die quite suddenly and alone was unnerving.

The forest finally cleared and the group was back at the cliffs. A short way from the top there were two dots. Two more survivors? Two more unknowing treasure hunters? Thirilight and the new guy! It was clear as she dropped towards them and waved with a smile.

"Hey! Look who's up and sort of about." It was directed at Thirilight who still looked ill and beaten up. "It's a good thing you're away from the cave, but you might wanna get farther if you're not up for another fight. We found out some interesting stuff...and not the good kinda interesting. Turns out you're not the only person to meet the monster and it wasn't no accident that you did. You're also not the last."

3/12/2009 . Edited 3/12/2009 #449

Well, Maluras seemed to know what he was doing, and he didn't seem the type to randomly off people, so Thirry took the leaf and chewed it per the doctor's orders. It tasted bitter, but it did help settle his stomach.

Leaning back against the tree, the rough bark imprinting ridges into his skin, Thirry closed his eyes and wondered which pocket he'd stashed his mirror in. He wanted to check if he had a concussion, and supposedly the best way to do that was to look at a person's eyes and see if the pupils were jagged, and Thirry always wondered how pupils could be jagged, especially since they were smooth and round--

Lilikal's voice intruded upon his thoughts like an elephant invading a tiny china shop. Thirry opened an eye to look at the girl, and was blinded by the setting sun. As such, he caught only the last two sentences, which he responded to flatly with, "Joy."

3/13/2009 #450
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