The first person to post will get to determine the setting. The plot will develop based on Player's actions.
None. Just come on in and play.
*curtains rise*5/28/2009 #482
"There's not much point in taking my head o -"
Too late. She sighed as both the pleasant morning sunlight and the ax passed through her. The man, surely the black sheep of the family with his woolen patch of black hair on his chubby cheeks, stumbled and dropped his ax. He howled, clutching his foot.
"The Goddess bless you and the boils on your nose, the ingrown hairs from your shabby shaving, and the horrendous gout you'll have when you're bouncing miniature you's on your knees. Bless your wife, because she needs it." She punched him on the nose in the holy sign of the Goddess and walked down the steps. She winked at the prince and shifted her dress to reveal whatever little was covered. The prince blinked at her with round blue eyes and tugged on his mother's sleeve; he was seven.
Before she could point and laugh, a favorite hobby, the sky curled into fetal position and the clouds pissed themselves. Her eyes widened when she felt her clothes being soaked. When she stared up, the sky had opened just one bright blue eye in the center, with bright white clouds (much like the headsman's teeth, she had to admit, but what's the point of good teeth, for one does not go around parading with their jaw unhinged lest one be wearing skanky clothes and, ahem, expelling another's sins) and a little red orb. And a green orb. And a blue one, all with strange icons emblazed on them and a welcoming shock of color from the droll green and brown landscape below.
Then the sky ate her, and dumped her in the middle of a city square.
If she could read English, she could've read what the sign behind her said: Welcome to Jersey, we don't like you either!
A cute car blinded her. Someone stepped out of it.5/28/2009 . Edited 5/28/2009 #483
The man that stepped out was dressed impeccably in a tailor-made tux, his hair slicked back to perfection, his eyes deep and penetrating. The cut of his suit accentuated his every well-toned muscle, hugging his lean frame. Every inch of the man screamed "dangerous and sexy" from the way he stood to the way he looked at the woman in front of him.
"Hello there," he addressed her, his alluringly accented voice husky and low. "The name is B--hurk!"
Unfortunately for the man, by a fluke of chance, or the spite of the gods (the latter being more likely), he was impaled upon the length of a longsword's blade.
Oh dear... I hope he wasn't anyone important.
The blade, which had fallen from the sky, gleamed in the sun as it drank up the blood.
Ah, well. No point in wasting a perfectly good meal. I do hope someone picks me up soon... I hate not having anyone to talk to.
And so it was that Wordy made her debut in the strange state of New Jersey.6/3/2009 . Edited 6/3/2009 #484
The man's suit, soaked in blood, was plastered against his decrepit hulk, and blood was slugging past his rolled-back eyes. She scrunched her nose at the distasteful sight before her. It was best to look on the negative side of things - he'd said his name was Burt? - when events go awry.
Shame a sword fell on him, though, she thought. Perhaps a while later, with considerably less clothes on both, a different sword might've appeared. She waved a hand over him to accelerate the spirification process. He flashed - the gods in this world seemed to favor the dramatic as well - and then shook before turning transparent. In later retrospect, she should've drawn the longsword so as to reduce the headaches that would plague him for eternity.
An idle breeze nuzzled her airy robes as she peered at the smooth scaled demon mourning Burt's death with its sniffs and rumbles.
Bored at the stillness around her, - for invisible cement seemed to have molded everyone in the vicinity to their positions - she took a good look at the longsword again. The one speared down his back, that is. Now, don't get bad ideas about her - she's dead as well, so what of it? Spirits had to have some fun. Yes, some preferred to moan in agony and despair, but some preferred to moan in ecstacy (though there were exceptions who liked both).
She gasped. It resembled the great sword lost in the great war that was wielded by a great slain king whose great supposed descendant was waging great rebellion.
Then the spell evaporated and the sounds of the city erupted once more.
A lion, a robot, a dog, and a small girl bustled out of the car. "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto."
Similarly, in a back alley, a lion followed a group of children out of a wardrobe. The goat-man-thing trotting after was just a consolation prize.
All over America, letter by letter, books began to disappear. Literacy rates would stay the same.6/3/2009 . Edited 6/3/2009 #485
Hey. Yoo-hoo! Dead guy B'hurk? Yeah? Think you could maybe, oh, I don't know, pull me out? No offense, but you're a man, and I'm not, and I have to say that I never quite got the appeal of, ahem, "impaling" people. Seeing as how I lack the equipment and all, it's kind of hard to enjoy that sort of thing... Anyway, it can hardly be comfortable for you (unless you're into that type of thing...). You just don't strike me as that type, though. Then again...
Can you even hear me?
((Somebody post. Please. Anybody.))6/3/2009 . Edited 9/19/2009 #486
((Curse you, life, for being absent here and so abundant on the outside! I'm going to call an intermission here from our AMs' little fun. ;p I'll be thinking up a new Act for the not too distant future.))
Every 10,000 years, the stars align just so to bring the ancient totems to life to perform their ritual that calls the Others to the planet to "cleanse" it. In the past, brave and powerful warriors saw the ritual and saw the deadly truth behind it and managed to stop it, but their story has become nothing but legend since. Now the Others are arriving once again, but who will believe the legend and stand up to stop them from "cleansing" the planet by stealing its life force?
None. (subject to change)
Living totems - totem poles brought to life by the alignment of the stars to bring the Others to the planet
The Others - alien beings searching for planets' life forces to nourish their own planet
Crazed old man - spreads the legend of the old warriors claiming it to be true, but he hardly looks or sounds trustworthy
*curtains rise*10/9/2009 #488
The dawn air hung still and peaceful over the city. The sun peeked over the horizon, waking the roosters, but as they opened their mouths to caw the world awake, a different sound emitted into the air and not from their throats. The rich bass rhythm reached the skies with an exciting fervor that woke the world to a new day. The odd change made many smile at the lulling mystery, but one amidst the crowd didn't dare smile.
"The end is near!" said an aged man in tattered rags hanging over his svelte body. He stumbled over his words as his thoughts moved faster than his fragile, toothless mouth. "The Others are coming! It's begun!"
People eyed him with great disdain and brushed him aside as they went about their business to the new, mysterious tune, only making it the source of mild gossip. The man wouldn't give up so easily. His crazed, pale green eyes bounced around from person to person as he ran through the streets, searching for anyone who resembled the slightest hint of a hero. Anyone!
There! He ran towards the person who caught his sight and gripped the hopeful's arm, falling to his knees. "The end is near! They're coming to destroy us! Will you do something? Will you fight?! You must fight!"10/9/2009 #489
Muffy's eyes widened at the sudden grip and call to attention. Blue veins bulged like rivers between the mountainous wrinkles of his skin. The villagers' eyes hooked onto the new potential of smalltalk.
She recognized the old man; every morning, he would chat with the soldiers cooking in their armor as if they listened to him, and then lean against the wall, watching the horizon, always watching the Cradle Mountains grow pregnant with the sun. A man of routine; perhaps the humming tremor this morning had unsettled him.
"The war's over," Muffy said. Her accent posed as that of a southerner. "The world's just stretching and yawning for a new day! Not the sound of cannon fire." Muffy parted the cloths covering the basket dangling from her arm. Wisps of steam simmered out and disappeared, like the daily fog that settled around the river valley. "Best bread in the south. Garen'll vow to that!"
She smiled at Garen, but he and the villagers had fished for a fish too large to rein in.
Something had blown the light from the sun.10/9/2009 . Edited 10/9/2009 #490
War? Cannons? No! No! Why didn't she listen? It was the Others as legend told of in the past! Sometimes he thought he walked through a world of the mentally challenged. His burden from the gods was to pass on his knowledge to these feeble minded, but good intentioned fools. Being the only one with sense took its toll sometimes.
Before he could explain it for her so she would understand a shadow consumed the city and his eyes, still never ceasing their jumping since he woke that morning, flew to the sky. The city stood still. Something enormous passed overhead. A few somethings. They were so large that the shapes were questionable, but in the minutes they took to pass by and finish their eclipse of the sun, the man saw their tail ends--flapping, imperfect ovals like the bountiful tails of mighty birds.
When the sun returned and the zooming shapes were mere blots in the distant northern sky, life returned to the city. Incessant chatter about the strange day filled the streets and poured out of open windows, but there was hysteria. It had to have a sensible answer. Maybe they all witnessed the birth of a new species and were part of history in the making.
The man let out a piteous moan. "Oooh! You fools! You fools! They're coming! The Others are coming just as they did ten thousand years ago!" He gripped the girl tighter and gave her a slight shake. "It's not just fairytales for children! It happened! It's real! The warriors must return!"10/9/2009 #491
The flock of anomalies had a purpose, as if directed by a compass - a mad compass, for their outlines floundered, each jerk distorting the sunrise palette that had painted the dawn. One thing unnerved her: their surface. Opaque and black as they looked, she'd seen every sinuous movement betray shimmering scales of bright hues. The way they slithered off into the skyline reminded her of snakes, like pythons that choked the colors out of the sun.
"A mass migration!"
"The world spins as it wills."
"Blasphemous! The world is only fit to spin as the heavens will it."
"The heavens don't look mighty pleased..."
"Nay, they do not, but they fly for the north! Blasted Ingrads will pay their due."
The man's eyebrows scrunched in distress as he keeled over, dragging her down with him. His arm left hers, clapping over his ears. He continued mumbling, "They're coming; the Others, they're coming!"
"Maybe it is the Others!"
"Of course. The Others. With their soul-shattering eyes and bodies made from water. Tales to keep children in bed at night."
"He's right. My own nana, bless her resting soul, always cracked a smile when she told it."
"Myths came from somewhere."
"Blasphemous! The heavens have always been, and always will. The land bore the sky and the sky wept the sea. Creators, not the created!"
"You're damn right. I don't know what mother you could've come from."
They chased after a logic that didn't seem to exist. The old man almost seemed sane right then.
"Who're these warriors?" Muffy whispered, pulling him up and dropping her basket. If legends were being invoked, there was no better time to take off.10/9/2009 . Edited 10/9/2009 #492
Oh heavens above be praised, the man thought, smiling his toothless smile. Although if she didn't even know the story from the meager scraps of bedside tales, he wondered if she had any idea what the world was up against.
"The Warriors lived ten thousand years ago when this same tune drummed through the air. Dum di dee dummm dum di dee dummm!" He danced a jig in a circle around the girl to the beat. "They were questing in different directions, but fate and the sound of the music drew them together at the source. They found an ancient ritual in the lands of the north, once quite different than they are now. In a flourishing garden deep in a hidden grove, but in full view of the sea of stars in the pitch black sky, the seven Fate Totems, thought to be set on this planet by the gods themselves to give life to the world, were no longer still. They danced in dizzying circles and from their mouths came the sound you hear now."
He reenacted each part of his story with the wild gestures he used to make all of the simpletons he lived around understand his words.
"The dance was intoxicating. The Warriors watched until the morning sun peeked over the cliffs and that's when They arrived. The Others." He pointed to the skies of the north, indicating where those beings had just gone as if the girl might've forgotten. "They began to hum a harmonic falsetto in tune with with the totems and the world came apart at the seams. The Others were absorbing the life force of the planet! The Warriors banded together and fought the Others, defeating them and sending them away, hoping they would never see them again. They never did, but now...now we will see them and we will be no more unless the Warriors return as well. Or the souls of those warriors."
He didn't know how they would reappear. Back from the grave? Reincarnated in the worthy? A fight in the astral plane? It didn't matter! It just had to happen!
((I have got to make my posts shorter! Haha!))10/10/2009 . Edited 10/10/2009 #493
Muffy's eyebrows shot behind her bangs. The man was an oxymoron: calm insanity.
"If you're looking for warriors, we could call the city guard," she said. "I'll go get them!" Muffy flashed an encouraging smile, docilely ducked her head and scampered off, holding her skirts.
When she neared the stable, she swerved into an alley. Unclasping the pin from her blouse sleeve, she tied her hair back and hooked the gleaming pin through. Finally, her dress came off. She used the homespun fabric to wipe the powder off her face.
She emerged with a hand gripping the side of the dusty stable, eyes flicking left and right. She mentally scolded herself for such a contradicting obvious display. Pushing a smile on, Muffy rounded into the stable and ambled to the back. Through a larger crack in the wall, she checked if the old man had followed her. He hadn't.
Before Muffy could reach her mule, her hair unraveled and hung down, loose, the ends flapping gently. A sound tinkled, much like the humming outside, but purer. It spoke of clear spring water lounging in masterfully crafted glass rimmed with light diamond and blessed with the luster of suns embedded in dew drops.
The horses' eyes collapsed, and the town chatter melted away.
The passionate ravishing of a harp responded to the bell-like jingle. The soft undertone of a flute fused with songbird melodies twittered back.
Muffy felt her head suspended, enclosed between cloudy pillowcases. Her mind had unfastened, catapulted into a more coastal land - like that of the southern peninsula - and then a more temperate climate - like that of the north.
A cage clapped over her as her hairpin dipped back into her hair with a final chime.
The door busted open.
"The Warriors. They're coming," he said. This time, he wasn't scrunched over in anguish. A confidence that had lost its way in his youth had returned. "Fate sent your message."10/13/2009 . Edited 10/13/2009 #494
Without the veils over his mind from years of neglect and far too hopeful wishing, the man felt inches taller, years younger and brimmed with the endurance and agility of his athletic youth. The signals were being sent. He could feel it. He only wished his hopefulness didn't cloud his mind once again, but he listened closely because he could only guess the sound would be ethereal.
"The rest shall receive theirs. You're the first, but the rest..." He turned away from the girl and looked about with little aim as if the rest of fate's chosen would sprout up right there in the stable like so much crab grass plucked from a garden or bouts of illness in the tightly packed city slums. But only the odor of animals was in abundance there. Not heroes.
He couldn't remember minding the smell since he spent so many of his nights in there among the only creatures who wouldn't spit on him for merely existing, but suddenly he realized how demeaning it was to live the way he did. Many changes would come to him, this city, and this world. He was filled with such a magnificent feeling of bright possibility for the future, he could forgive that the girl was about to escape without doing as she promised. Surely she would listen now.
"You will gather the rest," he said. "You will find them and they will find you. They may receive a message and not understand. Bring them clarity. Be their beacon."10/18/2009 #495
The rising sun gave his shadow the illusion of stretching until it grazed the shoddy pavement of the mucky roads. One of his hands cupped his ear and the aura of affirmed truth straightened his back. Dirt still marred his hair, but a breeze swept it into an acceptable mess.
He was worse enough before, but when a fanatic got his way... Muffy tried not to roll her eyes. Instead, she gasped, flinging her head back as if a hammer had plowed into her chest.
"A, a message." Her voice cruelly bent at the end.
Stumbling forward, she grasped the side of the door. The grip his hand had there recoiled.
"I see... green. Fields of green, and a mountain." Muffy peeled her gaze off his wide eyes and sent it wandering, dilated.
"A... a mountain. Path leads up, into clouds. Trees. Many, many trees." Her rasps slithered quietly from her throat, and she remained in the stable so as not to alarm the villagers. Any more attention would be problematic.
"Birds are flying, and... they have... flowers? Over their heads. Flowers around them. Bright wings. They're drinking water... from a fountain?"
Recognition lowered the man's eyebrows. From the start, Muffy doubted he would think she was lying; she had seen all this moments before.
"Leaves, everywhere, laying on the stones, and raining. The sky is..."
Then it felt like hooks anchored into her spine. True surprise conquered Muffy's expression.
"The sky's open. It's bleeding!" After so long, she lost control.
She screamed.10/18/2009 . Edited 10/18/2009 #496
((Apologies for this monster post. It's hard introducing characters late...and this is me we're talking about. ;p))
Humming an old lullaby to herself, Lilikal rode side saddle pole-back along the road under the cloak of pre-morning darkness. She had become something of a night crawler, riding in the dark and sleeping for short portions of the day hours. People were fickle from town to town, some uncaring of outright simple magic, others intrigued and still others who recoiled and walked on opposite sides of the roads or ran indoors. Every reaction was just a little unique and made her giggle.
She didn't notice immediately when a second humming joined hers with an oddly satisfying harmony. Her hazel eyes, usually flashing with fun and mischief, fluttered with an abrupt bout of blissful fatigue. Something warm wrapped around her mind and brought back ancient memories she hadn't recalled since...ever. Things from before her earliest memories of the orphanage. How wonderfully strange. So strange that she thought she saw beyond the blur something bird-like or maybe snake-like or maybe fish-like. It was hard to tell. All she knew was that it blotted out the sun for a few minutes...or not. She couldn't swear on anything logical about anything.
A jarring impact found Lilikal face first in the grass beside a mighty oak with a muffled exclamation. The other sensation was a lot nicer than dirt in her mouth or the throbbing in her wrist. She figured she should take care of that, but she wasn't much good with healings. The nearest civilization wasn't too far off if her compass spell was working and the map didn’t lie.
A few more hours of nursing her swollen but numbed wrist and Lilikal was in a city of more gossip mongers than the last place. They were much more interested in the humming that never left the air than in giving her proper directions to someone who could look at her wrist. The streets narrowed and looked dingier and when she almost walked into the broadside of a stable, she was certain she was in the wrong place. Rather than lose herself more in the windy streets, she sat down beside it and shuffled through her rune cards. Maybe she could help herself after all.
But before she got to the proper element, a whimsical tune strummed across her thoughts to the perfect harmony beside the deep bass of the drums in the sky. She didn't know when it started; it seemed to float in from a silent whisper that always was, and it danced around her and made her feel like she was queen of the world. It had all the beauty of every dream coming true, of the perfect spell produced, of a parent's deep, protective embrace. It chimed like crystal bells, each one promising nothing but joy.
More dust in her face broke her dream and she could've sworn quite colorfully at the raggedy old man that passed her by and sprinted into the stable. A scream from within shook her and Lilikal was on her feet, dashing into the stable and forgetting herself as she tried to open the entrance further with her bad wrist. She heard it click and felt something shift. No pain was there, but her wrist no longer sat right.
"Hey!" she said, wielding her staff with an air of mastery, even in the one hand. She'd slap the man around with the staff if she had to for bugging that girl. But she wasn't really so great with her right hand so she hoped she wouldn't have to. "What's goin' on?"10/19/2009 #497
Beneath the lively dynamic of flute notes striving to penetrate the heavens, a dull throb crashed like waves against her coherency. Waterfalls, marred black, slashed the normally shadowed solace behind her eyelids. Perhaps the steady pulsing of her headache wasn't waves, but a relentless rain flaying her ability to sort anything out. It soon quelled the flute's chirping. Only one trail of thought remained in the anarchy of her mind.
At the last town, she'd milked the solitude of a widowed old lady into teaching her how to tie her hair up like a countess and evaded her questions with lies of being married off by her father, a politically limp but rich merchant, but now she wished her hair fell free to hide the tear tracks on her cheeks. No matter the way she gathered and shaped her hair, the initials engraved on the pin that embodied her father's - her real one, the one with more jeweled pins threading his sash than some fat craven of a merchant - penmanship, or the criminalized blood in her veins, her most important path stood an impossibility. It didn't make sense. This was destiny, and destiny barreled through obstacles. If dead ends clogged the path, destiny drilled through rock until another tunnel curved around it. If a chasm gaped its ugly maw, destiny stitched a bridge across. If ...
Muffy's thoughts halted. What was stopping her? Was anything --
Like a mare in heat, that incessant flood of rain trampled her mind, throwing her around like a wolf shaking prey. Through the calamity scattering her comprehension, the flute's jingle emerged again. It spoke of burgeoning hills under blue skies and knapsacks flung over shoulders.
Muffy opened her eyes, and the storm dissipated. The haze fogging her vision slowly cleared. She could make out a girl brandishing a broom at the old man. An odd thought came to her.
"What's your name?" she asked the old man.10/24/2009 . Edited 10/24/2009 #498
Name? Was now really the time for introductions? The man witnessed a young girl lose her mind and was being half-threatened by another girl who burst into the stable. But he had another feeling, similar to what he felt for the first girl. Could this one be another to receive the glorified title? They were both so young. A hint of doubt burrowed into his thoughts, but he didn't let it fester. Fate would have what it would and leave the world wanting for nothing essential. He believed it.
He raised his hands in compliance to the more violent child, backing towards the more complacent one. He would have to make time for whatever they needed. At least a little, but time was of the essence.
"My name is Sarren," he said and it sounded strange on his cracking lips. They tingled with a refreshing buzz. When was the last time he had to give his name? When was the last time anyone cared? "What did you see, little one? Will it guide you? Will it guide the others to you?"10/30/2009 #499
She shouldn't have asked his name. Now, when he died meddling with magic, her memory of him would be labeled, a name to a deceased face, and in times like these, death multiplied. Where magic was concerned, the church had been fair. The construction of the celebrated Clam was enough of a memento.
Muffy's mind steadily recovered. It was best not to get involved in conspicuous affairs. Not after who she smuggled out of Reníze.
"I ..." Muffy looked for an answer and found it on the small but threatening broom-wielding girl. Her attire was not derived of any people of Raoun's peninsula. Though she held a broom, she was not in a maid's wear. No clever and self-serving maid would hold a broom half so well, either. "I saw her killing you."11/25/2009 #500
Ooh! The drama! The perfect time for...
The first person to post will get to determine the setting. The plot will develop based on Player's actions.
None. Just come on in and play.
Aila - A runaway, looking for a better life.
*curtains open*6/3/2010 . Edited 9/3/2010 #502
The twilight casts a twisted glow on the outskirts of the city, and the snow blazes in oranges and reds. The trees looked as black as shadow, the woods scream of dark monsters, and the savagrey of night is creeping upon me.
It's strange all the Demons I've seen and I find this twilight eerie. Odd, though perhaps it's my aloneness for the first time since I learned to summon demons. I pull up my coat sleeve and look at the black intertwined markings that have stopped my demon summoning.
No she hasn't stopped it, just made it necassery to use a circle. I'll get her for this, but first I have business to attend to.
I look out over the setting sun. Wish whoever is coming to meet me would hurry up.8/30/2010 . Edited 8/30/2010 #503
Aila looked back one last time, then hitched her pack more securely on her shoulder and hugged her wool covered arms. It was the last time she would see that city, and such a beautiful remembrance she would have in the sunset, which was oxymoronic for why she was leaving. She was tired of the glares and rebukes and never a kind word for the good things she could do. Sixteen years of it was too much!
"We'll see how they like it when I'm not there for them to boss around," she said. "Aila, do this. Aila, fix that. Aila, you're a menace. Aila. Aila. Aila!"
Besides, deep down, she knew she was meant for better things than being a common chore girl. Maybe she would marry into high status. Maybe she would come across a book of the forbidden arts and take revenge. That made her laugh more than her first thought. She had no intentions of damning her soul out of spite.
Unfortunately, the fastest way to the city she wanted for her fresh start was through the forest. It was creepy enough during the day; at night, it was infinitely worse. Someone seemed okay with it, she noted as she saw him a short ways away from her path through the trees. Figuring it couldn't hurt to not be as much of a cretin as people usually were to her, she slowly walked that way, cringing as a particularly loud pack of snow crunched under her boot and gave her away. Only then did she think she should have at least untied her pack for easy access to her butcher knife. Just in case.
"Hello," she said. "Are you lost or something? You're not far from civilization." She pointed the way she had come, where the city was partly in sight. "Not that you'd want to go there."9/3/2010 #504
The crunching of snow nearly scares me out of my skin. I turn to expect a hunter, or perhaps even the witch to have come, but to my surprise a girl stares at me.
"Hello," She says, tenseness showing throughout her body, "Are you lost or something? You're not far from civilization." She points back to the village, "Not that you'd want to go there."
Her last statement carries a deep bitterness. She must be running off as well, but is she the person I'm waiting on? Surely not, she looks in her late teens, and clearly has never traveled.Perhaps the Seer was playing a joke on me. I turn my eyes away from her for a moment, and silence fills the air. Knowing that Seer this is probably it, this tense girl. Being the case it'll be best to start on a shared disdain. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, as they say.
"No, I don't think anyone would go there. Isn't that why we're leaving?" I turn back to her with and smile. "Looks like we should get moving, the suns nearly set already." I turn back and start into the already dark woods, not sure if the girl will follow at all. Perhaps she has an idea to what I am and what I do.
((Watch your spelling when you post. Proofreading is your friend. :D ))9/4/2010 . Edited by karma-dollie, 9/4/2010 #505
"Uh," Aila started, then shut her mouth. Sure she worked with a lot of people she didn't know around the city, but she wasn't sure she wanted to start traveling around in the dark with strange men. Just because she was pretty didn't mean she was dumb, and the nagging in the back of her head that her mother called womens' intuition (and that her mother swore Aila didn't have) told her that she ought to be especially not dumb now that she was on her own. Although having a companion, at least as far as the city of Kirif, might be a good idea. Especially one on the same page as her.
He started walking into the forest before Aila could decide on what to do. Hesitating for just a moment, she jogged to catch up, keeping her calloused hand resting on her pack. "It's not really that I think the city is all around bad. Most people I run into are just rude when they can get away with it. I mean, who's gonna argue on the worker's behalf when she's the one who's trying to scrounge a little money, you know? No respect."
"Did you live there? I don't remember seeing you, and I'm pretty good with faces." She had to be so she could remember which places and faces to avoid unless she was absolutely desperate for some money or to get away from her house. "I'm Aila, by the way."9/4/2010 #506
So she's going to follow after all? Strange, figured she'd be a bit more likely to run off. Though perhaps her chitchat would have been better left back at the town, and for a couple minutes she talks. I guess I shouldn't be so grumpy. Not like it's this girl's fault.
"Did you live there?" Her question surprises me. "I don't remember seeing you, and I'm pretty good with faces." What should I tell this girl? Surely not the truth. No, something a bit more appropriate for the situation. "I'm Aila, by the way." She adds after a brief moment of silence. I glance back at her. I think a half truth will do for now.
"I'm Draden, and I'm just passing through. I was visiting a woman a bit farther north, but things didn't go as planned so I'm headed to the capitol." I stop and look out into the twisted woods. It's strange. Now that we're deeper I can't hear anything. Even if it's winter shouldn't there be some chirping or scrambling in the bush? I scan the tree's a few more times, but nothing stands out. Strange, but I don't see anything.
"You're more than welcome to come with me if you like." I add, "The journey isn't nearly as long as you would think. Only a day or two if you know the right people on the rivers." I keep talking hoping to ignore the looming silence. Something is off, but it will have to show its self first before I can do anything.9/6/2010 . Edited by karma-dollie, 9/7/2010 #507
Aila stumbled to avoid knocking into her companion when he stopped short. Or maybe it was her own fault, head lost in the lack of clouds. The forest sure was creepy. Either she was much too accustomed to the hubbub of city life where someone was awake at every hour of the day, or the wildlife was especially sleepy that evening. She had only just begun her journey, and already she missed the low purring of her favorite bedmate, and the dull roar of conversation always finding its way to her window from the city streets.
The traveler didn't help matters as much as she would have liked. From his story, and maybe with help from the eerie evening, it sounded like he was on the run from the law or something. Things not going as planned. Knowing the right people. Aila's hand lay firmly on her travel pack. At least if he was a raving murderer, he acted nice.
"Thanks," she said. Her city was much smaller in comparison to the capital city, so she had set her heart on a place more reasonable--and more affordable--to start her new life, but she could quickly make a Aila-Is-Great-And-Deserves-A-Dream-Vacation list. It was her money to spend. "So what's in the capital that you're after?" She needed some conversational noise to stop the hair on the back of her neck from standing on end.9/7/2010 #508
Just as Aila speaks, something very large and very dark moves through the trees. Almost as if disturbed by her voice, and it moves so fast it's only making only the wind whisper. Being as big as that and not making a sound means it's not an animal, or at least not a natural one. Also seeing as it's so fast I'll have very little choice but to fight it, though that means I'll have to come clean with this girl. Shame, I do enjoy some secrecy and I very much doubt she'll react well. City folk aren't that accepting of different, though perhaps she's not the same as the rest seeing as she's leaving. Regardless, I don't have time to worry.
"It would appear the situation has forced my hand. Which means you're going to learn something very secret about me very fast." I say keeping my eyes on the black shape just up ahead, and it's now come to a stop a good fifty or sixty yards ahead. Its large yellow eyes merely surrounded by fuming shadows, which makes it a Shadow Beast. "I'm a half demon, and I'm about to summon a very horrifying monster to keep you and I alive." I drop to my knees as I speak acting quickly before the looming Shadow Beast attacks. Not bothering to check on the girl. If she runs it will kill her, so let's hope she's intelligent.
Since it's a Shadow Beast an Illuminating Demon should do the trick. My fingers begin to scrawl the Summoning Circle, and at the same time the Shadow Beast rushes us.9/7/2010 . Edited by karma-dollie, 9/9/2010 #509
Draden stopped, and Aila wondered if she'd overstepped a boundary. Then he spoke in that secretive way she hadn't liked before. Situation? Secret? So far, the only situation she saw was that they were headed into an eerie forest as night crept nearer and nearer, and everything about Draden was a secret to her at that point. Then he babbled about demons and monsters. He can't be serious, she thought.
Aila looked around, wondering if this was all some prank by her friends. Only two of them knew she was leaving, her two closest friends in the world. Maybe this Draden guy was some homeless man they paid a few coins to feed him or, by the sounds of it, to feed a nasty addiction.
But something stood in the trees, glaring at them through strange yellow eyes. It was huge, and it wasn't friendly, but she had only ever heard of monsters like that in cautionary tales. Don't run off into the forest alone, mothers would say, or the monsters will gobble you up. Don't neglect your chores or a witch will crawl through your window at night and cast a curse on you. This shadowy creature looked terrifyingly real.
It's just a story, Aila told herself, wide eyed and numb. It's just a story. It's just a story! It didn't stop her from screaming and ducking her head as the beast careened towards them.9/9/2010 #510
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