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 Beginnings

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Wraith
Lady Illusion
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Female Number of posts : 2116
Age : 30
Location : CrazyTown. It exists. Really. It Does.

PostSubject: Beginnings   Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:38 am

Sera looked up, smiling at Reht as he sat on the prow of the ship, whittling away at a point of wood. She couldn't quite tell what it would become yet, but she knew that it would be beautiful. Her eyes shifted to his lilac dyed wings and grinned, she never did understand why Artisans chose purples but she had to admit that she loved the colour.

Her own ebony painted wings fluttered in the breeze that wafted over the deck as the ship sailed ably towards the mainland coast. The trip from the island of Kassane had been a long one, the waters of the Chothan Sea had been calm though and the voyage had been spent comfortably in the company of their peers.

Sera watched the sailors as they flew nimbly aroung the rigging of the oddly shaped ship. She was used to the coastal sloops often used when fishing, however this ship was made for long voyages. The prow was much narrower with the aft section being rather wide. The keel was set much deeper into the water. The timber used for hull was hard and thick, perfect for sea sailing.

She looked around again as she felt Reht's hand land on her shoulder softly. In his other hand was the whittled wood, now shaped into a tiny wooden sword. "For our child," he whispered as he laid into her upturned palm.

Sera looked at the small relic with wide eyes. It had not been her intention to get with child on this journey. Nor had she even wanted to like the Artisan in the first place. That a Warrior such as herself, of one of the finest orders, to have to be held under an Artisan had been a blow she had not recovered well from.

Of course, that had been before she had been forced to get to know Reht. The man had simply wormed his way into her life on the ship. His ever present smile, quick hands and wonderful wooden sculptures had transformed her rigidness to a willingness to get closer to him.

When she realised she was with child, her world had both shattered and reformed. Reht had been delighted, but she knew that in this mission, a child - or a woman bearing one - was both a burden and a danger. All of a sudden, she was thinking of turning around, abandoning their mission to protect the tiny life inside of her. Only years of conditioning and her rational mind stayed her instincts as a new mother.

Her thin fingers closed around the little sword as her eyes swelled with tears of love. She blinked them away hastily but knew it was hopeless to hide them from her love. Reht simply smiled and patted her head, kissing her hair. "Don't worry, Love. Our little one will be just fine."

Sera nodded and smiled shakily back.

**********


Landing on the mainland had gone far better than they had expected. They had avoided the fires of the settlements they could see dotted along the coast. They had all agreed to avoid the Skirls at all costs, factoring in the fact that they now carried a new life with them, they needed to be extra careful.

The landing party was wary as they alighted onto the sandy beach at night. Sera unconsciously reached up and rubbed the tiny wooden sword that now lay on her breast, held by a many corded and knotted piece of string. The wood had been worn smooth by the natural oils of her skin since that day Reht had given it to her.

Reht was at her side, slightly behind her as was his station, though he had the right to give her orders. The simple fact of the matter was, that though he was well versed in the art of war, she was specially trained for it. Her other hand clutching the hilt of her short sword, she crept forwards.

It was not long, after silently making their way through the thick jungle that lay on the edge of the sand inland, that they made their way to their destination. Reht let out a low whistle as the formation came into view.

Stones were scattered all around, laying hapzardly on the ground, in trees, overgrown with vines, grasses and mosses. The area around the ruin was clear, except for a few thick patches of grass. What really arrested their attention, however, was the structure directly before them.

It was roughly circular in shape. Standing on the ground, the ring like object was easily twently feet high. It could have fitted at least three of the Aegirans standing abreast through its portal. Reht looked at it with wide eyes as Sera brisquely ordered a perimeter created so that the Artisan could do his work.

Reht carefully studied the ring, wary of walking through its middle. He studied the ancient glyphs that were etched into the stone work. He knew that a 'key' would be near to open the portal. However, he did not know what it looked like, or how it worked.

A large ebony stone was near. It had similar glyphs etched on its smooth surface. His wings fluttered with excitement as he uncovered it. He reached into his pack and pulled out some parchment with his notes on it. He was completely absorbed in his work as Sera moved silently around him, both observing him and their surroundings. The other Aegirans, their wings arched in readiness, gripped their weapons tightly, their eyes shifting through the shadows as they looked for potential enemies.

Reht placed his hands over the ebony tablet, shifting his fingers onto different glyphs. he found if he hit a certain sequence, the portal would briefly light up, the ebony stone swallowing the ensuing light. But it was only brief and not what he was looking for.

The Elders had consulted both the Dreamers and the Seers to find this portal. Reht himself had been chosen to discover its workings because he was literally a historical nut and had been researching the Ancients for years. He felt that he was so close to discovering just who these ancient beings that had once walked the earth were and as his hands flew over the 'Key' his heart beat faster and faster as he silently worked out the sequence that would open the Gate.

Howls sounded in the distance and Sera's head whipped aorund. Her wings flared out as she gripped her sword tighter. "We need to go...." she whispered to Reht, but he was too absorbed in his work to hear her. She raised her hand to touch his shoulder when all hell broke loose.

Reht looked up, his eyes wide with fear as ten Skirls suddenly broke through the thick foliage, the night having masked their approach. Their large jaws snapped and snarled, their fangs dripping with saliva as they systematically began to take out the Aegirans that were trying to protect Reht and Sera.

Reht looked and realised that there was no way out. The Skirls had them surrounded and he could hear the howls of what was no doubt the rest of the pack. His fingers flew over the Ebony Key as he furiously worked out the rest of the sequence.

Sera sliced her sword through the maw of a Skirl, her elbow hurting with the force of steel smashing through bone. Suddenly she felt strong arms lift her backwards and almost slashed behind her before she remembered the comforting hold of her lover. She looked behind her and saw that the portal was open, a shimmering light webbed across the middle of the ring.

"No! The others!!" she screamed as Reht dragged her to the portal.

"There's no time! We have to protect the child!" he screamed into her ear to be heard over the battle howls of the Skirls around them. Unfortunately, as Sera struggled with Reht, two Skirls saw them and the open Gateway. They grinned, licking their chops as they made their way through the battlefield towards the two Aegirans. The light suddenly swallowed them whole and they disappeared. The Skirls looked at each other, snarled and in anticipation of fresh meat, leapt into the portal after them.

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Wraith
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:48 pm

Wraith trudged up the mountain side, checking spots and holds before allowing Myst to follow. She constantly checked back on the woman to make sure that everything was okay. Not that she really needed to worry, but the other woman always seemed so frail and fragile that she couldn't help feeling responsible for her. Looking back, after a particularily tough ledge, she called below her, "Are you okay?"

Myst looked up, her sea blue eyes meeting with Wraith's dark orbs and smiled, "I'm okay, Wraith. I can take care of myself, you know."

Wraith smiled back, knowing it was true but still wanting to protect the small girl. Much smaller than Wraith's 5'4". Myst was something that Wraith had never been able to define. She had some sort of power that manifested when exposed to extreme stress or emotions. It was something akin to being psychic and as far as she could tell, Myst was human.

Though there were a limited number of humans in the Vale, it seems that the land couldn't take the human physiology. As long as there was at least one thing abnormal about them, humans could survive here. In the case of Myst, Wraith wasn't sure if she was human or not, her scent was always so mixed up.

In any case, since coming to the Vale, Myst had become something akin to a daughter for the old vampiress. Myst was feeling something coming from the landing site of Golden Drakon and though it would have been easier to ask the Dragon to get them there Wraith had felt that Myst and herself needed some time alone. It had been so long.

The day trip to mountain ranges had been pleasant enough, with Myst's vague directions, they had finally gotten here. There was no road, no easy path, nothing to indicate that there was anything along this way. Yet, here they were, clinging to the side of a cliff.

Myst smiled, "Mum! Hang on! I've got to catch my breath!"

Wraith grinned, loving how Myst called her that. "Take as much time as you want, kiddo." She called down affectionally.

Once Myst was okay again, they continued their ascent. It was well into midnight when they finally came to a small ledge. Something that was definately too small for the dragon to have ever landed on.

Panting slightly, Myst gave Wraith a grin. "We're here. I can feel it emanating from here. There's something deeper... something in there." She turned to point towards a small entrance into the depths of the cave.

Wraith nodded, "Well then, lets check it out."

************


The tunnel was far longer then the both of them had expected but they made it to the other side. There two caverns here. A smaller cavern at the entrance, something similar to a small ante chamber, and then there was a much larger one deeper in the mountain.

In the ante chamber, the hairs on the back of Wraith's neck began to bristle and she instinctively held Myst back behind her. "Wait here.." she whispered into the gloom. Myst nodded, though she had no trouble seeing in the dark, herself, she knew that Wraith's eyesight was much better than hers.

Wraith moved quietly into the larger chamber, she rippled easily into her vampiric form to better enhance her already heightened senses. She scented the air, smelling nothing but old dust and damp air. She strained her ears but heard nothing but the occassional scrabble of a bat far above. In the inky darkness, she saw the outlines of a large, ancient monument, but nothing to indicate life. Perhaps this monument was what had drawn her adopted daughter here.

She was about to turn away and go back to Myst when a flash of light momentarily blinded her. Her pupils contracted and she hissed, her fangs flaring as shapes hurtled past her, knocking her to the ground.

When she could see again, she beheld the 'monument' she had only glimpsed before. It was a large stone ring, the centre of which was glowing with a webbing of some sort of warped material. There was an ebony stone tablet on a pedestal next to the glowing ring and it was also glowing.

She blinked and looked around, sound finally returning to her stunned senses. She silently willed Myst to stay hidden as she saw strange beings in the midst of a fight.

There were four in total. Two winged people that looked remarkably elfish and two other furred, snarling creatures that highly resembled hyenas. Except for the fact that they wore armor, had weapons and walked on their hind legs.

Wraith's eyes went wide as her nose picked up something else. A fifth life form in the room with them. Her eyes scanning quickly, as the fighters had yet to notice her, she came to the conclusion that the fifth had yet to be born. The female winged one was pregnant!

Suddenly, all four seemed to suddenly notice her and the fighting momentarily stopped. "Get out of here!" screamed the winged female, the male echoing her sentiment. She could practically smell the fear and anxiety that emanated from them. The hyena like creatures though, only smelled of death and destruction.

Wraith made a split second decision. Grabbing a nearby rock, she suddenly hurled it towards a snarling hyena creature. The force of the throw had all of her considerable vampiric strength behind it and her aim was true. The Skirl was hit on the temple and dropped to the ground.

It was then that chaos ensued once again. Wraith was up and running at the second Skirl as it threw its axe towards her. The female aegiran hurtled at the Skirl also, her short sword raised with a scream. The male one was working furiously at the ebony tablet, his fingers flying over the surface with studied ease.

There was a flash. He looked up just as the cavern went dark. Blinking furiously, he reached into a fold of his clothes and brought out a small globe. Shaking it, he mixed the liquids inside with a small chant and the globe began to glow.

Reht couldn't believe what he saw. He saw nothing. The ring was silent, the cavern empty. The unknown woman was gone, along with the Skirl and his beloved. He whirled around, trying furiously to activate the portal once more. Nothing worked. The portal was dead and so was the key.

"Argh!" he screamed out into the dark, tears rushing to fall unchecked onto his cheeks. His wings flared out, the lilac seeming darker in the light of the glowing orb. Sobbing into the dark as the light of the Glow began to fade, he heard a small scuffling noise behind him.

Then a snarl.

Gasping, he whirled around, willing the Glow to light again. But it was spent. He gripped a short blade and almost screamed as tiny hands suddenly grabbed his arm. "Hang on!" came a small female voice. His stomach suddenly lurched and his world turned black.

************


Myst opened her eyes. Shocked faces greeted her vision as she looked around the long hall in Vale City. Blinking, her heart racing, she realised that she had teleported. She had never done that before. Certainly not at such a distance, nor ever before. She hadn't even known she could!

Looking down as whispers of speculation reached her ears, she realised that the winged man her mother had been helping was unconscoius.

Looking up, her sea blue eyes pleading as tears escaped, "Someone... please... help me. Mother's been taken... mother's... gone!"

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Akaron Corvus
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:06 pm

Akaron was outside the hall, teaching a young Orc the sword. Much had changed about him since he entered the vale, when he went to sleep that fateful night he had a vision. A rush of images and ideas and thoughts had awaken in his mind. He had discovered that he was a Riada, and whats more that he had always known that. He had learned a new language, but he always knew it, he knew all sorts of old stories and sagas. He remembered being a riada, as naturally as if he always had been.


It was the memories of his old self that were fading, though he was no longer sure he cared.

He was stronger, faster, and far more skilled then ever before, he had discovered incredible skills that he could not have dreamt of before.

He liked it, liked the power, liked the adventure and possibilities that a whole new world presented. He wouldnt leave now if a portal to Garlyn opened in front of him.


His powerful hearing picked up the sound of Myst's voice, she sounded distressed.

"We'll continue later Grom." he said to the young Orc. Grom merely nodded and went to polish his sword.

Grom was an unusual one, for he had appeared in his own body, though it was enhanced above what it had been.

Akaron sheathed his sword and entered the hall. He saw Myst crying, and rushed over to her.

"What happened? Where is Wraith?"
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Blackwulff
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Sat Feb 23, 2008 2:05 am

Wulff had been hardly within the city during his time here, he liked it a lot, but he himself was met with strange looks and peculiar attitudes more than once that he wasn't sure that he liked, but he supposed it was because of his new status that he recieved them. He had been playing with this new-found ability of his, touching and catalouging as many animals as he could get his hands on, carefully studying the register that his mind seemed to have set aside for him. Insofar, he had been able to touch a wolf, though only in passing, as he was running from the creature at the time, some kind of bird, colourful thing, though he didn't know what it was called and didn't really feel like asking someone. Some various cats, one he liked in particular, a great big thing with razor-like claws and funny, sort of mottled spots.

His head raised from the bun he had been eating as he heard commotion from inside the Hall, where he had been sitting. Sticking the piece of bread in his mouth as he scrambled to his feet and trotted inside. He heard Wraith mentioned and he moved forward, interested ears pricked for further information. He pushed through the crowd, crouching down, and moving forward, "What happened?" He asked, looking at the seemingly dead feathered man lay. He tugged on the feathers, "Who's he?" He inquired, lifting the heavy wing and dropping it, his nose flaring and sniffing at the peculiar man, he didn't smell of this world. (Another new quirk of his, he found himself relying on his nose more and more.)

He moved to the girl, having seen her around Wraith more than once. "Hey sugar, how 'bout you tell us where you were." He suggested quietly.
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Alatus Vi
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:11 am

The winged man had hardly fit into the City, either unable to find his niche or more likely unwilling to do so. This was not his home, and he wasn’t shy about saying so…which may have put off some of the more settled and grateful locals. Or perhaps it was the strangely detected stare from cold blue eyes that turned some away…it seemed to happen in the midst of conversation, sometimes resulting in Alatus simply walking away without another word. Worse case he never associated with that particular individual again. He was not without a small circle of friends, though he only seemed to seek them out at mealtimes. His days were filled with practice with the weapons the Smith had gifted him with…he’d spar with any and everyone who’d do so with him. But overall his obsession was controlling this ability he’d gained on his first night in the Vale. Firestarting. For hours he’d pour himself over it, willing flames to life until he had nothing left and would collapse for days only to wake up and try again. Alatus’s grasp on calling the fire became more consistent but not as much as he’d like…and the amount of flame he could produce never seemed to please him either.

And it was what he was doing when all the commotion started, seated on a chunk of firewood as was his habit outside the Longhouse, trying to ignite some foreign seedpod when the shouts distracted him. He was already irritated, the amount of concentration this took was already splitting his head in two…and now some silly child’s screaming had broken his focus? He stood, tossing the seedling aside as his want to give the girl a piece of his mind melted. Not only because Myst was upset but the closer he got to the little group the more he could make out wings. Wings. The walk became a sprint, and soon he was kneeling at the fallen mans side. The Angel didn’t say a word, looking once to the others as his own darkly feathered appendages spread slowly behind him, almost protectively… There was another like him? Here?

It seemed too good to be true. And it was. At a second glance Alatus knew something was off. This man was no kin to him. With a sigh he began to look Reht over for any obvious injury or signs of life…the other two seemed to have the young girl handled and he figured this man was going to be the only one he knew just what had happened to the missing Wraith.

"He needs medical...something..damnit..." Alatus mumbled, mind and hands fumbling to discover just what ailed the fallen newcomer.
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Wraith
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:55 pm

Myst was sobbing and shaking so hard that she didn't notice the small crowd that had gathered around her. She simply looked around blindly, numbly repeating her cry for help. The unknown winged man was left to lay beside her, unconscious at the moment simply because of the Teleport.

Her eyes weren't the only senses she used however, and soon she discovered the three nearest people to her. One was the High Warrior that had become like a teacher to most young boys here, another was the strange half man half animal that kept to himself and the other yet was the winged one that could manipulate fire.

Even now, she could feel the energies inside them. Determination, intelligence and a quiet, seething inferno that would some day explode. Suddenly, she felt so much better.

Swallowing the sobs, she began to haltingly, in a quiet little stutter, tell the details. Of the strange aura she had detected high up in Golden Drakon's mountain. Of the trip with her mother to the small cavern. Of hiding when a gigantic portal opened up and spat out four creatures.

She described the Skirls as best as she could, though she hadn't seen them all that well. She called them 'walking beasts' and also described the female Aegiran she had seen. She also described the moment a Skirl, the female and Wraith had all toppled into the portal just before it closed.

She was quiet a moment, then, "I found him in the dark and panicked. I knew that Mother was helping them, and all I could think about was getting home. So I grabbed him... and then I was here..." she hiccuped and looked down at the winged man beside her.


***********


Reht began to stir soon after Myst's silence had started. He opened his eyes to behold another Aegiran looking down at him and mumbling. Except this man had undyed wings and didn't have the same complexion, nor the pointed ears of his people. Needless to say, Reht was a little more than puzzled.

As he looked around and slowly sat up, his head spinning, he noticed a collection of odd beings. At first he was startled, and instinctively reached for his short sword but his mind was far ahead of his hand as he figured out that they were all concerned about him in some way. As well as the young female at his side. She looked at him was solemn, wide eyes and he could not help but think of the strange woman that had attacked one of the Skirls, helping Sera.

Sera! Where was his love. He swivelled his head frantically around but soon memories of her disappearing into the portal surfaced and he began to truly panick. His eyes welled up with tears and he turned to the only other person who had been there.

"You have to take me back! I have to get to Sera! I have to!" he reached over in his anxiety and began to shake the young woman named Myst.

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Akaron Corvus
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:31 am

Akaron drew his sword and pointed it at the winged man shaking Myst.

"Hands off lad, or I'll remove them." Akaron said in a low growl. "Slowly now, what happened?"
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Alatus Vi
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:09 am

Alatus listened to Myst's tale of woe, though he had no words or opinion on the matter. Even if he had, the Aegiran began his shouting and shaking, things becoming to out of hand before Alatus could even try to speak....until the brute stuck his sword in Reht's face.

"Yes, yes....let's stick a weapon in the confused and grief-stricken man's face and expect better results." With a sigh he rose to his feet, ebony wings snapping shut behind him with an air of irritation that didn't show on his face or color his words. Instead, even as his voice became a bit louder it was all spoken rather tiredly, blandly laid out for Akaron as he faced him. "You just heard the story, though perhaps you are to slow to follow? The girl brought him here...he doesn't know a damn thing. And anything he does recall..." A pause, Alatus reaching out to simply tap the flat side of the Riada's blade with a single finger. "It surely won't surface with death hanging in front of him. I'm sure Wraith would be pleased at your show of hospitality."

He scoffed, crossing his arms loosely as he remained where he stood...somewhat between Akaron and Rhet, turning only to get a better view of them both at once..."We should probably go to the place where this mess occurred, unless someone has a better idea that doesn't involve the removal of body parts?"
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:26 am

His eyes flashed angrily at the insult, for a moment he considered calling him out to challenge his intelligence on the field of battle.

But no, that would not please Wraith, she had declared that Valians should not fight each other.

"He could hurt the girl shaking her thus, do not presume to tell me my business aingeal diabhal" he said, insulting him in Riada.

He sheathed his sword, and knelt beside Myst "Now lass, where were you and Wraith when she disappeared?"
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Wraith
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:48 am

Myst cried out in fear when Reht began to shake her and more that than the blade pointed at him stopped his actions. He looked at the poor, fragile looking girl in his arms and while the other man with wings and the animal-like man stood and argued some such, he gently squeezed her shoulders, "I'm sorry, truly, Lady. Please forgive my grief... "

Myst gave a little hiccuping cough and a shaky smile before she nodded to him, "Its okay, they took my mother too," she whispered back to him and they both smiled at each other, suddenly sharing something deeper than a mere chance meeting could have ever resulted in.

Reht looked up as the Riada addressed him, "Firstly friend, forgive me for making such an uproar. I'm simply distressed. I am Reht of the Clan WaterSong and by Innis and Dritan."

Myst blinked, not really understanding anything further than Reht's name, "I'm Myst." She offered solemnly, reaching out to touch his shoulder.

At that point Reht stood up, flexing his wings a while as he looked around. "Where am I?" He asked, muttering to no-one in particular.

Myst also rose and with a guilty start gestured around them, "This is what we call Illusion Vale." Then she turned to Akaron, "We were up in the Mountain Ranges. I think it was Golden Drakon's mountain specifically, but I could lead you there. There are strong traces..." she trailed off, knowing that they wouldn't understand her unique tracking ability.

"I think there is one of those nasty creatures there though. I saw its aura... it was dangerous."

Reht stood stock still, "They're called Skirls. Nasty creatures they are, Lady. If there's one been left behind, you had best take some Warriors with you when we return. I can activate the portal again if you can get me there." Then he managed a delicate blush, "I'm sorry. Though I have been trained, I don't have the specific skills of a warrior. I'm just an Artist and an Historian."

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Akaron Corvus
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:21 am

Akaron sheathed his sword, his eyes still burning with anger at Alatus.

"Are you both well enough to travel? The sooner we leave the better, I haven't had a battle since before I was brought here. We will leave as soon as you are ready, by the by eagles-kin, I am Akaron Corvus, I am what passes for First Knight here, I apologize for my manner, i simply wanted you to release little Myst." he said, extending his hand.
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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:00 am

Golden Drakon looked up from his resting place. His 'lair' was still little more than a deep hole in the mountainside, but GD still felt like it was home, like he was welcome there. He just felt at ease in this place. At ease, and safe with his own thoughts, which were still as jumbled, choppy and exhillerating as they had been when he first arrived.

His head did not swivel towards the tunnel which led to the outside. Instead it turned towards the back of his cavern, something over there was different, odd.
He heaved himself up, closing the distance with only a few steps. The long neck extended, lowering his head down to the seemingly, unchanged rock of the floor, very close to the back wall of the cavern. His nostrils flared as he sniffed once, then twice. The golden, wedge-shaped head swayed back and forth for a moment, then GD pressed his ear to the stone floor. There. There was a ..a humming, a vibration that was just out of place. Something new.

His head withdrew, the snout brushing the tip of a dangling, feathered wing as it did. It was this wall that head the only 'decor' in his whole lair. The stretched skin of a flaringale, the very first GD had fought and killed, had been arranged and mounted to this wall by his friend, Erick the Smith.
The Smith of Vale City was one of the very , very few people who would even come near GD. Being a 160 foot creature of legend, even among a world full of fantastic creatures, that could snort fire or quite literally step on houses, had terrified the vast majority of Valians he had encountered. It was only through Wraith and then Erick, that anyone would even deal with him, even if it was indirectly. That was very fortunate too, because Drakon did not want nor did he relish the idea of becoming a 'monster', raider, insurgent or thief to survive. He had lived his whole life as a protector and had sworn an oath to; 'defend my country from all enemies, foreign and domestic', Even though he couldn't remember what that country was.

Fortunatly, there were some useful advantages to being a dragon in a very rural land. With Erick as his spokesperson, services were soon bartered with local farmers. Ancient tree stumps and great, heavy boulders were ripped from fields and carted away, irrigation ditches were carved or dug with ease, swaths of trees were cut and broken down in moments, and cargo, larger and haevier than any cart or ox could carry, over greater distances, could be transported in a shorter time than the citizens have ever dreamed. Hell, he was a one-man, er, one-dragon Civil Engineering crew.

But for all this, Drakon was still not well received. Such massive displays of what could only be described and raw strength or power, only served to create even more mistrust between himself and the local Valians. Some would not even acknowledge GD as an independent, intelligent being, referring to him as Erick's 'beast', 'pet' or 'creature'. One particuarilly rude and ignorant gnomish-like Valian had been terrified to be suddenly confronted by a rather put out, thinking, speaking and swearing golden hued 'beast of burdon'.
Which of course did absolutly nothing to help his public reputation.

Drakon had begun staying away from people and keeping much more to himself after that. Even when he had discovered his ability to alter his appearance, it did not matter once people learned who or what, he was. Erick was soon the only person who he even consorted with. He still did odd jobs now and then, usually at night or when no one was about and always through Erick, but the last few weeks were rather lonely and unhappy for Golden Drakon, leaving him to do little more than ponder his new identity in his cavern and discover the wonders that was his new home.

The only things in the whole of the Vale that wanted to be near him were the flaringales. The winged beasties would not come close or settle on his lonely mountain, but, sensing that he was a unique form of the fire that they craved, had taken to migrating to the mountains and hills around the region. At first Drakon resented the damnable things, but he soon learned not to mind so much. The flaringales were a threat, true. While not even a quarter of his size, the things were quicker and more agile in the air than he was. Not particuarilly bright, but devilishly, maliciously clever and always hungry. Every now and then one, two, sometimes more, would dare to attack him. These encounters had tought GD more about his abilities than anything else. Sink or swim, survival of the fittest.

More often than not, it was Drakon who had come to attack the flaringales. The beasts had become, ironically, Drakon's prey and primary source of food. (They tasted like chicken!) He had brought down six since coming to the Vale, a feat which had truely impressed the smith. It was the skin of the very first one he had killed, which was now stretched in his lair, skinned, cured and stitched, courtesy of Erick.

That was over a week ago.

There was no one on his mountain. There was no one near his mountain, not that was supposed to be there anyway. Yet still, he could feel that something had happened. Something was different inside his mountain, and that needed to be investigated.
The massive creature rose and padded up the tunnel, exiting out into the sunlight and onto the ledge which took up nearly a third of the plateau. Without stopping, the dragon trundled straight off the cliff edge and fell, his wings opening as he did to gracefully turn his fall into a glide. The giant reptilian creature soared round the sodes of his home, looking, studying the mountainsides. He could almost feel the strange and new vibrations eminating from within, like it was calling to him. He finally saw it, a sliver of rock had moved or fallen, revealing a new opening, far too small for his true shape.
Drakon angled toward the opening and the huge beast seemed to shimmer, then almost like a great shadow burst out from where the dragon was only a second before. Then the shadow seemed to freeze and collapse in on itself, becoming an giant imploding shadow. Finally, the dark cleared, just in time for the new, winged, dragon-man to land, somewhat awkwardly, at the new opening. his head tilted as golden eyes surveyed inside for the first time. He sniffed, then cautiouslt, stepped into the opening.

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"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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Blackwulff
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:56 am

Wulff went to take a step back as the sword was drawn, and small children were being shaken about, but his feet stayed where they were and he wound up caught somewhere between stepping back and staying still, causing him to fall back on his rear with a faint 'oof'. And, though he remained silent as it seemed the winged man and the other with the sword exchanged insults and words, he focussed a sizing eye on the newer winged man, Reht, admiring the form, but quickly averting his gaze as he moved to his feet. At the sound of travel and rescue his ears pricked forward, "I'll go!" He said excitedly, eager at the sound of adventure.

He'd explored all he could when he arrived, and he did stay with the blind vampire, Wraith's friend Alanna, but he didn't think she'd mind much if he took off for a bit longer than he usually did. He had taken to sleeping outside, and staying out for days at a time as he walked wherever his feet would take him. This though, this was more interesting than exploring, this was a rescue mission, with... um, Skirls, whatever they were, and the chance to see Wraith again, after all, she'd been so busy with everyone else, Wulff hadn't had the chance to talk to her again since she'd taken leave that first day.

He looked up, "I'm not much of a warrior, but I'm a fair hand with my teeth and claws..." He offered hopefully.
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Wraith
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:30 pm

Reht blinked, his wings furling behind him, mindful of the crowd that had just pressed in at the movement of Akaron's hand. Though he did not understand the gesture, he recognised that it was a friendly one. The words that came with it were reassuring as well. He was in an unknown world, and he found himself grateful that it was a friendly one.

Instead of taking the Riada's hand, however for he did not know that was what he was supposed to do, he gave his own gesture of welcome, a single hand held outwards, palm open as he tapped his chest twice with a closed fist. "I recognise you, Akaron Corvus, First Knight."

Then, he looked towards the one that had just piped up. It was an odd looking creature, a boy without wings (he was only just getting used to that). There was something strange in his eyes, something feral. But, despite that, Reht found himself liking the boy. He smiled, "Any and all are welcome, though it will be dangerous. If I understand where they have taken your leader, it is not for the faint of heart."

He then turned to Myst, "I am able. I was not terribly injured. Are you?"

Myst smiled shakily up at him, there was an indefinable emotion inside of her, it made her eyes shine with unshed tears, yet there was fire in them too. "Let's get my mother."

Then she turned and yelled out with her strongest voice, "Who shall come with us?!"

Later, it would be recognised as a call to arms.

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Wraith
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:55 pm

The small tunnel was dark and damp. Occassionally, scuffling noises could be heard, it could only be assumed that they were made by the smaller residents of mountains. Rats and the like.

The air smelled damp. The earth around the Dragon was a trail of scents that carried to his powerful olfactory senses. The smell of Wraith was strong, as well was the one she called hers, Myst. There were a myriad of other, older scents as well. Mostly of cavedwellers who had long since stopped using this particular tunnel, which could not exactly be called natural nor man-made, as an entry way into the mountain beyond.

It was dark, an endless encore of sound assaulted his ears. The drip of a small water supply beyond the thick walls of the tunnel. The slick of water seeping through the rock and sliming down the walls also reached his aural senses, though all of these were just things that made up the world around him.

What was interesting were the snuffling, howling and grunting sounds that echoed faintly from beyond the end of the tunnel. It was something larger than the cavedwellers he was used to, and yet something smaller than himself. Indeed, his Dragon form, at least.

However, when Golden Drakon entered the small annex, the noises ceased and even his enhanced senses could not detect anything but the faint smell of damp soil in the air.

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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:59 pm

Drakon tenitively sniffed the air again, but the scent of the cave itself overpowered anything else. Whatever this place was, it had been sealed for a long time. The scent of Wraith lingered ever so slightly, but Drakon did not call out. That would only give away his ignorance to whoever lurked inside, and Drakon was sure it was not Wraith. Wraith wouldn't lurk about in his mountain, not without at least contacting him, and she did not snuffle.

His serpantine tail slithered along behind him in the dirt as he moved forward. Almost inperceptably, his skin scaled over, adding to his reptilian appearance even as his wings folded tightly onto his back. His eyes picked up what detai there was, even in the fading light, but the darkness was more complete farther back into the area. As his eyes faltered, he strained his other senses to compensate. He brough his arms up, guaring his chest as he flexed his taloned fingers. As he entered, he kept his back close to one side of the cave wall, protecting at least one side of his body.

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"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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Shadow
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:22 pm

As I opened my eyes, I was amazed yet again at who, or what, I had become. I have been here, in this strange land for four months now, and yet I never cease to amaze myself with what I can do now. With what this body can do.

After slowly getting out of bed, I walked towards the small chest that sat at the end of my bed. Taking out the burnished red armor that lay inside, I looked at it before putting it on, marvelling at how well it fit me. When Wraith had given this to me, I had been surprised at how light it was and how well it fit me. It was as though it had been made especially for me, as if whoever had made it had known who I was already.

As soon as I had put it on I looked over to the wall, to where my sword hung and could not help but let a smile come to me. From the first instance that I had come here I had felt naked with only a dagger as my only weapon. I was so used to having a sword in my hand that without it it felt as though a part of me was missing. When Wraith gave me the sword that now hung there I felt as though that part of me was now back and I was whole again.

I slowly put on my armor and then weapons before picking up my helmet and holding it under my arm. I knew that as soon as I set foot outside of this house that everyone would know how and what I was but I had told myself that I would always defend the people of this place, even if it was with my life.

I wanted so much to laugh at that thought. Because of what I was, because of the hunger that called to me, that controlled me when I did not want it I had done unspeakable things, things that I had never wanted to do. I had taken the life of special animals; of things that had been born just for me. I knew that with every one that I killed more of me was taken away.

I walked slowly towards my door and pushed it open, blinking as soon as I walked into the sunlight. That was one of the things that I missed and hated the most about this new life of mine. I had all this power, all this strength in this new form but the one thing that I loved, the one thing that I always missed the most was the one thing that hurt me and I knew would kill me eventually.

As I walked away from my home I could see the faces of the people around me and even though I could see the cheerfulness that was on their faces I could also the fear that was written on their eyes which made me stop and slide my helmet on. Wraith had forbidden me to feed on the people that lived in the vale but I knew that they still feared me. I had given my word that I would give my life to help these people but they still feared me which I hated more than anything.

It was then that the main hall came into view and I decided to walk towards it. I knew that I had been away from these people for most of the time that I had been here, had kept myself away from them so that I could find out what I could do. I knew that it was the worst thing I could do but had decided that it was the only way I could find out things on my own, to keep myself away from them. I put one hand out slowly and pushed on the right hand door of the hall.

When it swung inwards the first scene that came to me was one of utter chaos. Everyone was crowded around Myst who had tears in her eyes and in amongst them was a winged man who I didn't know. My first reaction was to drop my hand to the hilt of my sword which sung in my head as soon as I touched it. When I saw that it was not a threat though I lifted my hand away, the song disappearing as soon as I did.

It was then that I heard Myst call out and walked slowly forward. I dropped to one knee as soon as I was in front of her, looked up into her eyes which were brimming with tears and said, "My sword is yours to command. Just tell me what you wish of me and it will be done."
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Akaron Corvus
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:18 pm

Akaron saw the vampyre knight enter the hall, although Shadow, as he was called, was a strange one, Akaron was glad for another blade. He then moved to a more open spot and called out.

"Who will accompany us?" he asked, assuming that air of authority that had always came naturally to him in his old life. He just hoped it would translate into this one.
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Alatus Vi
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:42 am

His mind took to wandering, his attention and interest in the whole matter waining as the situation became louder, more crowded. Complicated. Charged with emotions of concern and valor that he didn't share.

Among the many things that had changed Alatus in this place, his self-secluded nature remained in tact. The dark feathers enshrouded the man like a hungry shadow, wings unfolding to tuck neatly against either shoulder, a living shield subconsciously erected as swords and claws were pledged to the young Myst and her cause.

And then came another, a stranger bedecked in a cascade of armor and secrets to follow suit. Just who were these 'men'? Those of Akaron and Shadow's ilk who trudged about as generals without an army, demi-gods ruling in their imaginary worlds....and often thinking their praises should be sung in this one by proxy. The Angel wondered why he was still surprised by this.

Without a word he turned, weaving around the newly arrived Vampire to head back towards the Longhouse. Quick steps kicked up a cloud of dust as he went, his intentions of joining the little band unclear.

Every story needed a hero or two. But three or four? The role was beginning to have too many players. Alatus would find his own place in the mix, and it seemed he'd need his own swords to compete.
That was his goal, to fetch the weapons and return though not a soul was told. It didn't take long, the gladii he'd been gifted with secured to each hip before he went back out to face the group and silently affirm his participation.
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Blackwulff
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:41 pm

Wulff subconsciously tucked back into himself, so many 'big' people. Good grief, he'd never seen more manly men in his life, even when he dipped into biker bars on desperate nights. Men such as these seemed to have a self-imported image of themselves, obviously not born of people saying 'no' to their 'manly' figures. Vampire's he'd been around, so the newcomer, the 'Shadow' figure, he didn't have too much care about, even dripping with shiny armour and glittering weaponry, those were really the only things offputting about him. Feathers, it seemed, the old one, not the new one, with his big black bulk, didn't seem the social type and walked off without saying much in general as to whether or not he would hop on the band wagon, though there was little doubt that Feathers, should they set off, would find his way to them if it suited him. And the other one, a person such as him he'd never seen in his life, seemed a bit... he shrugged mentally, much was the only word he could think of. Just... much.

He pulled his feet back beneath him, the little girl had a strength of her own and Fluffy, Reht, (he preferred Fluffy) seemed to liken to her strength. Which reminded him, "Hey, Sugarplum, I'll be right back, I need to run back home real quick, but I'll tag along, just don't disembark without me." He said, flashing a grin at the kid and then giving Fluffy another once-over before he dashed back to Alanna's as fast as his feet would carry him.

He burst into Alanna's home, his nose flaring as he nudged around. She wasn't home. He gave a small whine, but bounced over to the small bed he kept there, tilting his head as he discovered a present. A whip. A shiny, new whip. For him. No card, but Alanna had left her scent over it, so he assumed she'd made it. For him. He smiled, tying it to his side as he bustled around, grabbing another pair of light, but sturdy pants and a shirt that he could throw over his shoulders if it got cold. He briefly thought about scribbling a note for Alanna, before remembered she couldn't see and nearly smacked himself. He finished packing and threw his small pack over his shoulder, flying back to Myst and her adventurers within fifteen minutes.

He slowed before arriving, so he avoided running into people, as there were still hordes of them gathered around the small group, though they seemed to stay well away from Shadow and his aura, silly people were afraid of a vampire. Pshaw, all they were was blood suckers, big deal. He glanced at Iron Man as he moved back into the circle and took a seat near Myst. Gloom and somewhat doom and spooky things that went bump in the night, oh goodie.
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Wraith
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:55 am

"My sword is yours to command. Just tell me what you wish of me and it will be done."

Myst giggled, she loved Shadow's 'old fashioned' wit. Though she didn't realise that he was actually being completely serious, she did recognise that she had another person that could help with finding her adopted mother. The young woman, who looked about 20 or so, smiled down at the kneeling knight. "Of course you can come!" she exclaimed, a sparkle in her eye. She had always had a soft spot for Shadow. He usually hung out by himself but seemed to brighten when Wraith and herself went to visit.

Actually... Vi wasn't too bad himself.

Reht coughed and she suddenly realised she had gone loopy again and been staring at both Shadow and Vi - she had been so lost in her girlish fantasies that she hadn't actually seen Vi leave, but he was back, so her mind simply assumed that he had never left.

She blushed, waved her hand and murmured something about mystic forces and what not, usually that got her off the hook for daydreaming. Especially about men...

Shaking her head, she grinned as Wulff bounded up, apparently having gone somewhere. (Yes, she had been staring dreamily at the big buff guys for fifteen minutes) Personally, she liked the little shapeshifter. He was more her age and had a youthful persona that just drew her to him. His like for boys didn't faze her one bit and she had actually begun talking to him about them.

"Okay... I guess we should get going. We need some supplies and stuff," she added vaguely as she beamed at the shapeshifter. She was talking to everybody, of course, but it seemed that she was far more interested in the shiny new whip that Wulff had tied to his side.

Taking a step away from the group, she grinned, waving the rest behind her. As she turned around to face them, her eyes glazed over and she suddenly screamed in pain. It was an ear piercing scream... and those that knew her well enough realised that it wasn't her voice. Her scream.

Reht was by her side in an instant, having taken a fatherly liking to her. But there was nothing he could do. She just kept screaming and screaming. And then suddenly, she stopped. Her dreamy blue eyes returned to normal and she smiled, "Well, are you guys coming or what?"

It seemed that she had no recollection of what had just happened.

Walking up beside Wulff, she bent her head conspiritorially and, whispering, she giggled, "Reht's cute, huh? I saw you looking!"

Reht, even though hearing this, was at a loss for words. He didn't have the slightest clue as to what had just happened and he gave a worried glance to the others that made up their hasty rescue party. "Is that normal?"

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Wraith
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:00 am

Though the silence rang in the Dragon's ears, the snuffling that had stopped moments before was fresh in his memory. Earth assualted his senses and it was some time before he could separate the different sounds and scents that made up this particular cave.

Soon enough, however, the snuffling sounds came back. Though fainter than before, and more subdued, there was fair indication that Drakon wasn't the only being in the small space. It was fairly obvious too, that the other being was trying not to be noticed.

The stench of decaying meat soon rose to his notice however... and the fact that it was moving.

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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:49 pm

Drakon's eyes narrowed as his ears detected the faint sounds. Somewhere in the back of his brain, the word 'ambush' was screaming at him.

Again he was momentarilly disorientated with half-remembered fragments of memories. Concepts and methods on how to sweep and clear an area, except he neither had a flash-bang, nor a well armed insertion team at his back... He shook his head, bringing him back to the here-and-now. He tried to think of what this newcommer could be when the idea had struck him that maybe it was a newcommer to the Vale. He really didn't understand how coming to the Vale worked really, just that sort of 'POOF!' and you were here. Maybe this was where this other creature had come from? A new Valian? He could detect that Wraith had been present, but she didn't seem to be here now..

He knelt down on one knee, waiting just at the end of the entry, granted he was silouetted by whatever light there was from outside, but the newcommer would have to step from complete darkness and into the more confined area of the entry tunnel to confront him.

"Lower your weapons and identify yourself!" he called into the darkness with a loud, commanding voice. "You are tresspassing. If you need help, we can assist you, but you must reveal yourself or we will attack!"

Of course, there wasn't any 'we' but whoever was inside didn't know that...

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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Shadow
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:39 am

As soon as the big man in black stood up and walked forward to ask for any more volunteers I knew that I had to get outside. I knew what it would look like when I did so but I still hadn't gotten used to the fact that I lived here now and that things were different from anything that I had ever known before. As I walked away from Myst though I turned and looked at her, wishing that she would follow me. She was the one person, apart from Wraith who I could talk to but the fact was that she wasn't alone meant that I would not be able to do so.

It was then that her scream ripped through the air and I moved as fast as I could to be by her side. When I heard her look at the winged man with a giggle I knew that something had just happened but as much as I wanted to ask her about it I knew that there was no way I could until she was alone. I had known this to happen to her before but this was the first time it had happened away from Wraith. I wanted so much to take her away from this place as see if she was alright but I knew that I couldn't without making everyone else angry.

I looked straight at her and said, "Are you alright milady? Is there anything I can do to help. You know all you have to do is ask."
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Wraith
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PostSubject: Re: Beginnings   Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:01 am

Myst was waiting for Wulff to answer but was interrupted by Shadow asking if she was alright. She looked at him in puzzlement for a little moment before understanding suddenly cleared her eyes. "Oh... I did it again, didnt I?" she asked, not really requiring an answer.

She saw Reht's worried expression and hurried to explain, "Sometimes I do things, odd things that I can't quite remember. But usually it has to do with someone, or something. I'm guessing that this time it had to do with Mother." She shrugged, "Until I have a vision, there isn't really much else we can do about it."

She was trying to be awfully grown up, at least to look grown up. Next to the maturity that always shone from Wraith, though Myst was old enough to be a woman, she was often over shadowed my her adoptive mother's aura. Now that Wraith wasn't around, her true inner strength was starting to show.

"We need to get out of here. I want to get to mother as soon as I can. The journey there is about half a day's walk if we take the right path."

All at once, she wished Golden Drakon were there. But he was probably out hunting Flaringales or somesuch. Having a dragon on her side would have been nice, but there was no way she could reach him. Perhaps she should fashion some sort of horn or something so that she could call whenever he wasn't around?

She shook her head and filed the thought away for later. Wraith would know what to do. But Wraith wasn't here and for now, she was it.

Heading out the door, hoping the other's were behind her but not really requiring it. Her shoulder's set, she began the long walk to where her mother had disappeared.

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