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 Yami Aku

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PostSubject: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeWed 27 Mar 2013, 10:54 am

AHLAT

Smoke and sulfur no longer stings your nose, and warm air doesn’t beckon the sweat and moisture from your body. When you closed your eyes and took the bravest step you ever dared to take, the only thing that had enraptured your senses was the tingling sensation of that first step and the scent of slightly singed hair. Gentle, cool air flows through the hair on your body and caresses your hot skin with a motherly touch. You open your eyes and an alien landscape is displayed before you, replacing the glimpse of hell that was once your home. You had to abandon everything to get where you are now, in a luscious, green environment that you haven’t remembered seeing since before the cataclysm.

The ground you stand on now, you notice, was once set aflame as there were no patches of grass near the portal. Only dirt, ash, a blacked shell of a corpse that had the shape of an imp that sat next towards the entrance. This sign alone told you it was likely a bad idea to engage in any further interaction with the gate.

That isn’t the only thing you notice though. You noticed that there is only a few number of demons here, and none among them was Madrid the Mighty, although “mighty” was quite an understatement in regard towards the king’s character – Madrid was a monster, ferocious without compare. A true beast. How appropriate that he be dubbed the King of Beasts… you don’t miss him, but you are able to acknowledge that you are definitely nowhere near the main force. Among the demons around you now are two orcs, an imp, a lone wraith, and some other minotaurs. Among them you are able to identify one of the older warriors, and most importantly, a friend. Gaard. One whose respect you gained during your younger years of fighting – which was quite the honor, since you had admired his strength and tactical wisdom during those days.

Gaard’s solemn gaze turned your direction, and upon your arrival, he broke his face into a smile of greeting. He turned his head back towards the fire they were attempting to create and overlook the establishment of a camp. It was easy to tell that your friend was dismayed by the lack of numbers on this side, as well as Madrid’s lack of presence here.

"Greetings kinsman," Gaard smiled, "how are you? What do you think of this new land, our new home?"

You especially admired him for his “never say die” attitude, regardless of the situation. Even now, with no Madrid in sight, he is doing what he can to fulfill his orders. However, what you two never did see eye to eye on was that he was a steadfast supporter of Madrid, and soldier. You’ve always kept that topic at bay before now though, as politics was never a good conversation.


***


FARORN

The smell of honey, alcohol, warm food and smoke fills your lungs. Honey from the trees outside, alcohol from the barrels and the rowdy men from behind. The pot was always filled with stew and the smoke from the fireplace melded with the scent of tobacco nearby. You have become very aware and very used to these particular scents since you’ve crawled inside the whiskey bottle at the tavern in Maplefrost; during the late afternoon, the Honey Barrel was alive with the typical sound of music and drunken merriment. The men were chugging down their mugs of the town’s famous mead - honey wine, enhanced with some secret ingredient that the family that ran the meadery had. It was clearly some herb or another, but given recent circumstances, you preferred yourself some much stronger drink.

The bartender approaches you, obviously entertained from either watching one of the performers or watching the ridiculous antics of a drunken fool. He finishes his laughter and works up the composure to talk to you: “You see that guy? The guy’s a riot.” You soon realize that he was talking about one of the nearby was one of the performers. “Y’know him, yeah? Oscar Gene?”

Of course you know him. Anybody that’s been around this tavern for at least a day knows who Oscar is. Perhaps not by name, but people know who he is. He performed every night in this tavern. Many minstrels and jugglers come and go, and all the while, none of them has ever impressed you very much. Much consisted of gimmicky card tricks or coins behind the ear. There’d be the occasional musician that may turn your gaze and watch for a minute before continuing what you were doing. This one in particular however, you have seen around since you moved into the tavern.

During your stay, you’ve seen him do his shows, and admittedly, as silly as his attire seemed (which consisted of various red colored clothing with bells on them with a subtle floral pattern - but now his vest and jacket were off, wearing only his white shirt with his sleeves cut at the bicep, complimented by the red suspenders colored red with a faded gold floral pattern), he had made an impression. He had talents, appearing as if he had done this professionally at one point of time judging just by the way he held himself. Right now he was nonchalantly juggling three various items: a knife, a small torch, and a tomato, whilst simultaneously maintaining a conversation with different members of the audience… evidently with comedic application, judging by the bartender’s reaction.

“In any case,” the bartender says, “what can I get you to drink?”


***


RAO

Your trek through the calm forest of Timberfall goes uneventful – almost boring, if it weren’t so peaceful for you and you had yet to come across any prey, save for the rabbit that you held by the hind leg in your right hand. It was easy to be proud of this particular kill. With the current atmosphere of laziness and your passion in hunting waning, the most you could muster doing was to pick up a rather large stone and throw it, which happened to land on its neck and kill it almost instantaneously. There wasn’t much fur on this particular one though, and rabbits generally didn’t have much meat. Selling the fur alone would likely only get you enough coin for some salt or other spices, but perhaps selling both would be enough to buy yourself a strong drink. The only other animal you must have seen were squirrels or a lone wolf off in the distance… too cautious to try and attack a larger animal such as yourself, especially since you have the smell of prey on you. That was a while ago, and well off your mind.

It was easy to get lost in one’s thoughts here. They traveled towards your family in Frostmill and how they must be faring. It was beginning to move onto spring season, sparing your family anymore cold and bristling air. Spring wasn’t the best season for hunting, of course. As a hunter, you know this. The animals are just beginning to come out and mate. Then they spend their summers nursing their young. At autumn was when they were ripe for the picking – after all, it was harvest season. The animals are all grown up and they spend their time foraging for food to fatten themselves up for the winter. You have learned their cycle inside and out, and you used this knowledge to the best of your ability, hunting only the older creatures or the males without a mate during the spring. You’ve always wanted to try your hand at a bear, to perhaps pique your interest back to hunting, but you’ve never quite had the resources or even so much as a bear to begin with!

As you advance through the foliage, you begin to recognize some markings or the landscape here. You remember there being a hunters’ cabin just a little bit more northward from here, where you could perhaps get some rest. Find company, too, even. It wasn’t uncommon to find cabins open publicly to any hunter that traversed the wilderness.


***


SESS ILEE

You take into consideration all of the factors of your current situation – doing this, you find, that you prefer this new alien world a lot more than Nede. Of course, you miss Nede’s luscious green forest and silver-blue streams, sitting next to a small patch of some beautiful vavolines; a flower, ranging in beautiful shades of purple and pink, sometimes even red. It was toxic, more so than ettin blood, and five times faster. All that was left of Nede now though was scorching red and black colors and screaming lightning. It was a land that neither happy nor peaceful and far too dangerous, even for a wraith. The new land, seemed to have a good prospect. Although the land around you has no luscious green forest or patches of vavolines, consisting of mostly green flatlands, it had a peaceful quality, and the wind ran smoothly, causing the blades of grass to dance and shimmer.

The arrival of another Neden disturbs yours thoughts. It was a minotaur, of course. It was always another minotaur. From what you understood, they blindly followed the King of Beasts’ word. They die like sheep and breed like rabbits, having a culture of not only constant fighting, but self-discipline as well. You respect the mighty race for that, regardless of their mighty tempers. Heck, people likely had no other choice but to respect them, as they wouldn’t want to be pounded into the dirt or be gouged by their horns.

This one though seemed calmer, less anxious, relaxed. He bore the scars, but not the flare in his eyes. His satchel appeared full of tools, and another on his waist. A pole arm on his back. Pole arms were uncommon on minotaurs, favored mostly by imps and tengus.

You desire interaction with this one – yet abhor and reject the very idea of it. Thoughts spurt into your head, what could you say, what could you ask, or even do? Alternatively, you can see the faint outline of a jungle to the south, no doubt ridden with predators and miles upon miles away. There also appears to be a trace of smoke in the distance, the first sign of alien life you’ve seen since you’ve been here. You do not know what they look like, what they can do, how advanced they are, or how they would react to your kind. Even the other races of Nede are contemptuous with wraiths, or at least most of them are. A lot of them.

Whatever decision you decide to make, curiosity beckons you like a mad dog barks.


***


YAZMIN

You, at first, thought you struck a gold mine when two particularly wealthy clients asked you to guide them towards the top of the mountain for their annual honeymoon. What you did not anticipate, however, would be the constant whining, griping and groping that would ensue. Since the beginning of your trek, you’ve heard complaints about the lack of garlic to ward off insect, or aloe vera to protect the skin from the sun. It soon advanced to even more annoying comments, about how much their feet hurt, or if they could stop for a bathroom break, and asking how much further the top was. You usually wouldn’t care so much – you were in this for yourself, to explore the great outdoors and dominate the top of the mountain that overlooked the beautiful land of Galiea. But these people were outright ridiculous! To think that people would rather complain about the lack of luxuries on hand than immersing themselves in a wonderful adventure that may as well be once in a life time experiences!

And to think you weren’t even half way there.

The direction in which you’re headed, you noticed, appears to have a mighty storm rolling in. There were dark clouds off in the distance, which would be about an hour or two until it gets here. Which could only mean that a storm would be here soon, and a mighty one at that… you contemplate informing them of this, that it may be best to head back. Two pinheads on top of a mountain attract lightning after all. The public would not need informing of this though. The city was made of stone. Regardless of what would happen to the city, you doubted that Madame and Lord Traven would listen to your suggestion, since they had already paid an outrageous amount at the city gates.

The clouds seemed to be slow moving though, almost stagnant. There was very little wind, and the more you thought about it, the less of a threat the storm appeared to be.

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeThu 28 Mar 2013, 11:21 pm

Ahlat took a couple steps away from the portal and toward Gaard, making motions towards the campsite, where he could set his gear down. Frankly he was more than a little overburdened. There was a lot to do, and not much time if he was going to get anything ready. He had to get some sort of forge set up from scratch, since you don't just carry one of those through with you, and he had to find out if there were any good sources of metal around that he could use. But at least the camp was on its way to being set up.

"It looks good from here, almost as good as Nede used to be. It will take some getting used to, but I think we can rebuild. Mind if we walk and talk at the same time? I'd like to set all this down and get started setting up camp, once we get a plan worked out."

He glanced around, noting their numbers, which were rather small this far, and no sign of their leader. A faint bit of smoke showed off in the distance, drawing Ahlat's attention.

"Is that one of ours? Seems we're missing... almost everyone, if my eyes don't deceive me. Did they go on ahead?"

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeFri 29 Mar 2013, 9:59 am

Farorn frowned as he rummaged through what currently counted as his coin purse. He’d been here far too long, and needed to get back to work soon. Regardless, he placed a couple on the table, as he sighed, and spoke “Whatever that’ll get me is fine.”

He sighed as he leaned further back from the counter and shook his head. He was drinking by mid-day, again? This was the last one. After this drink, he was going to need to leave, and find something better to occupy his time with. Farorn knew several things, and one of them was that he had no interest wasting his life away like a town drunk in a town he didn’t even live in.
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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeFri 29 Mar 2013, 4:33 pm

It's amazing how when trees are at the right angle and with proper distance, anything can seem to be ahead of you. Half a dozen times Rao had thought to have seen some corner of a building or a poorly shingled roof to discover that once again it was just a tree or maybe a small hill or some other coincidental geography. And so he trudged on, or rather the horse did, with one arm curled through the reins hold a chunk of wood while a knife in the other dug into, not so much making anything as it was butchering the piece. Not much later he tossed it to the side like so many others and straightened his posture much to the pleasure of his sore back.

The day was still young and Rao was thankfully spared from the rays of the sun for the most part. A sip from his waterskin and he was content with the day. A clearing opened up before him and after going another twenty yards or so he was able to make out the edge of a building that most certainly was not another trick of nature. Spurring the horse onward he trotted forward, hoping for maybe a little respite from his solitary trek.

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeFri 29 Mar 2013, 11:59 pm

"Keep calm," Yazmin suggested, "We're almost there."

She could not think of how to deal with the honeymooners, so she decided to think about other things. To every complaint that was lodged, "Keep calm," she would say, "We're almost there." Each occurrence only strengthened Yazmin's resolve to reach the summit and leave the couple to their private affairs.

She hoped to conceal the clouds from the couple's notice by ignoring both parties. Ten minutes after Yazmin first noticed the ominous, dark silhouettes, a frightful whine sounded from Madame Traven. "Is that a storm? That had better not be a storm."

"Keep calm. We're almost there."

The group trudged on in silence, and Yazmin was grateful to the thunderheads for pacifying her companions. She herself felt no vestige of fright or concern, so the whole situation seemed comical to her, and her spirits perked up immensely as the minutes passed and the sky darkened.

It so happened that they were almost there. "We're almost there," announced Yazmin with a grin, looking over her shoulder at the duo of lovers that had since begun to lag behind. If they heard, they did not show it, for the two had become too tired to complain. Yazmin could not help but feel pity for them, and innately chastised herself for it.

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeSun 31 Mar 2013, 7:18 pm

AHLAT

“Of course kinsman.” Gaard replies. He gestures to you a spot to place your equipment – no place in particular, just fifteen or twenty feet away from the center of the camp. You may have as well just dropped your things where you stood and he would have been fine. As Gaard approaches, you get a better look at his attire – thick, padded leather armor, carved with the teeth and lined with the fur of a wendigo; likely a hand-me-down family heirloom. A lot of minotaur’s armor and clothes were like that, as a medal or trophy of pride signifying the victory of an in-racial war from ages past. It was a battle too long ago for it to even matter anymore, but it was a symbol to remind them of their great and mighty, warrior heritage.

“I’m afraid not. I was one of the first here. Lord Madrid has yet to appear – we saw him go in first though, we all did. That imp back there tried to go back and check… well you can see what happened to him. ”

Gaard made an inflated gesture with his hands, mimicking the flashy spectacle.

“Went up in flames, nothing but a husk of him now…” The gruff old warrior mused. While there was something to be found in his disposition, one could help but wonder how he was taking everything in stride.


***

FARORN

“Sure thing.” The bartender said taking the money that you had placed on the table. The server had left you and returned with a typical barley ale, one that was likely left to age for six months in a barrel before it was cracked open. Your mug was filled with a sparkling, foamy, and pungent beverage that would likely knock you off your feet if you had a couple more cups of it. A cautionary sip made you realize its strong, sweet flavor was to your liking, although, like most of the stuff here, it was imbued with honey or maple or something. Despite that though, with your drink in hand and having been left alone by the bartender, you were left to reflect upon your life, past and future, and how you would soon leave to right yourself. It would be a perfect and golden picture if it weren’t so abruptly torn apart when you realize: there’s a man yelling and an entire crowd is looking at you.

It takes a moment for it to register that it was the sleazy looking performer calling out to you, and the crowd was looking at you in curiosity. The noise of the tavern dies down just a bit, allowing you an opportunity to understand what he’s saying: “How about you, sir? Are you a volunteer, oh, of course you are - come up here and help me with a trick!”

From what you could decipher, the man was talking very fast… and that he was asking you to come up on stage and help him in his performance. This could end two ways: you could go up with him and do whatever he is wanting you to do, have the entire tavern watching you, and potentially miss your drink. Alternatively, you could refuse his offer, and he would insist, thus placing even more of the tavern’s attention upon you. And probably pester you every now and again throughout the show. Clowns were like that


***


RAO

As the clearing opens up before you, you are greeted by what appears to be a camp set up in front of an old cabin. Skins and fur and leather were layed out over racks, meat sat on plates and sat in the sun, carefully preserved with salt rubbed into it. Antlers were piled up in a bunch of baskets as well as the hooves, and from what you could gather, was a dead hog that laid next to a barrel with an arrow stuck through its eye and into its skull. If there was any more charming of a place, it’d be the castle dungeon.

But as a hunter, you could respect the pile of kill and it did do a lot in terms of explaining where all the prey in this area went. With the sound of your horse trotting up to the camp, two men stepped out from the cabin, one of them leaning against the frame and crossing his arms. The other one walked straight out to approach you. The man that came towards you, his hair was long and brown, braided, as well as his beard, which hung down between his pecs. He wore leather chaps, and although shirtless, the pelt of a panther was cloaked over his shoulders and back – he was an intimidating and strong looking fellow, which is why you felt disarmed when he offered you a hand to help you down your horse.

“Ho there, name is Cinna.” The man proclaims proudly. “Are you a hunter too?”

You’ve spent your days in cabins off the woods before, namely hunting cabins. You have learned quickly in your time that they are usually not keen to accept anybody into their camps unless they share a common interest – namely hunting. Only on occasion will they let travelers stay, dependent on how dangerous the surrounding terrain was or how close they’d be to dying… sometimes not even then! They’re usually good enough people though.


***

YAZMIN

Your consistent assurance on your two clients pays off, albeit, not in any way you might think. While you were finally approaching the top of this particular mountain ledge, the lovers below were still wearily carrying on their insistent badgering. What had mattered though was that you managed to coax yourself well enough to restrain the urge of pushing them off the mountain and get yourself hanged. While your wealthy clients may feel as if they have the motive to get that arranged, fortunately there were legal parameters that had to be followed that prevented that from ever happening – recreational wavers insured that.

As your hands grasped onto the last stone, you heaved yourself over the slap and found yourself peaking over the landscape, with the sun’s rays shimmering off of the bay of Caprest far off in the distance. You stick your head over the side, and watch as the honeymooners are reaching the end of their trek, eager to end the journey (although likely forgetting about the journey back, which was much more treacherous). Fortunately, you were only paid for leading them up the mountain, not a round trip.

You turn your head back towards the mass of black clouds, still stagnant. The clouds haven’t moved anywhere. You could hardly identify anything from over there in the distance, but what you could acknowledge was that it hovered over a mountain taller than the one you presently sit upon… and a shimmering shade of red. But that was all.

As an explorer and lover of nature, your interest is naturally piqued. However, you’re left with the choice of satisfying your curiosity and trekking even further (which would of course take all night), or bringing these two back after they’re ready to leave, which would arguably be the more moral choice.

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeMon 01 Apr 2013, 2:37 pm

A blade of grass gently floated in the wind, passing her head with barely any sound to it. It was intriguing. Usually...well...in Nede when something flew past your head it did have a sound. Had she found it? Had she really found it? Silence. Ah, at last the sweet serenity of no sound at all.

Sess Ilee drew a breath, exhaling deeply. Yes, it was silence. Beautiful silence. It was the silence she yearned for before crossing the border into the unfamiliar world. But wait, wait a moment. She raised a clawed hand and grasped a blade before it could be carried past her head again. She studied it closely.

Not dangerous. There is nothing dangerous about this blade of grass. Nothing at all. It is silent. She ran her finger along the blade of grass, shivering at its smooth texture. Not a single bump. Not a cry. Nothing. Silence. She loosened her grasp on it, watching it get carried off with its brethren into the distance of the unfamiliar world.

She dropped both hands and looked into the distance. She couldn't pretend that this was entirely what she asked for. She knew it was too good to be true. No world could be this silent, so precious. There was always something in her way of achieving total tranquility. And there in the opposite direction of the looming forest he stood.

Minotaur. It was the only thing she needed to say to herself, completely understanding what course of action she needed to follow. It was dangerous to brave a world, an unknown world especially, alone. However, it was also dangerous to travel together. Especially with a stranger. Despite every breath it took, quietly conveying his disposition, she couldn't entirely trust it. No, those horns could be her death.

The jungle adjacent to her seemed promising for cover but also a reckless decision. She did not like being reckless. To be reckless was to admit that you're foolish enough to believe in chance, throwing all cautions to the wind. She refused to be one of the many who did such things.

Her decision had been made.

She felt the wind ease her movements as she floated like the blades of grass. She was drawn towards the minotaur yet also keeping a fair amount of distance. She danced along an invisible line, following the curve so she could perhaps create enough distance and ease herself toward that distant jungle if things got out of hand. She studied her current direction, assuring herself this was the only course of action to take.

Finally she was near enough to be noticed in his sights but far out of grasp. It was the ideal distance she was hoping for. She stood there and watched the minotaur. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Yes, you are quite a sane minotaur. Not so much a brute but a tamed soldier. I wonder what you have seen seasoned meat.

She waited in silence, expecting some sort of acknowledgement. If he was friendly he'd beckon her, question her intentions. It would be then she would use that pleasant voice of hers to lure him into a contract. Not anything truly frightening, for now anyways.

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeTue 02 Apr 2013, 6:08 pm

Ahlat grimaced. "Ouch. Well, remind me what not to do, eh?" He snorted, giving something like an awkward chuckle. "Just let me know if anyone else shows up I need to know about. I'm going to get started setting up, and I'm sure you have plenty you need to do as well."

He noted that Gaard had brought his armor with him; Ahlat was envious of him for that, more so than he wanted to admit. Ahlat had a set of armor as well, but the choice had come down to whether to bring that or his tools, as he couldn't possibly carry everything at once. The choice had been hard. Though he'd left the life of the professional soldier behind, his personal equipment still meant a lot to him - he was still a minotaur after all. He still felt the urge to fight, the irascibility, and everything else that made him who he was. He merely set that aside in the interest of having something resembling a future.

Of course, what a future in this world would look like was entirely up in the air at this point. Evidently there were natives here, and who knew their numbers or disposition? Would there even be any edible material here, or any ores? Without the former, everyone would be on hard times, and without the latter, he would be singularly useless. It wasn't as though they could send reports back through the portal.

And what of his wife, Isault? He hadn't seen her since the last storm, and he had no way of knowing what was going on in Nede anymore. He had called in a debt with Calum, his old unit leader in the last war, that if she was ever found he would do everything he could to ensure that she made it through the portal. In his position, Ahlat could only trust and hope, and try not to think about the most likely option.

He set down his gear in an empty spot and cast his gaze around camp to see what tasks were already being handled. Everyone seemed occupied with something... except for one wraith, who was staring at him, but keeping a cautious distance. Ahlat couldn't quite pin down what her issue was by looking at her - who knew what wraiths were thinking anyhow? Wraiths were up there with tengu - you never knew what was going on in their heads. They could learn a thing or two from a minotaur's frankness, in his opinion.

"If you have something to ask, go ahead." Ahlat said to her, reaching into his bag and beginning to unpack. That was really about as friendly as he was willing to get with someone that made him suspicious. The way he saw it, the only good reason she should have to skulk about like that was if she had something to hide. But then again, they'd never met, and minotaurs did have a well-earned bit of reputation... perhaps she was afraid?
He sighed and paused in his unpacking to look her in the eye. "I won't bite," he added as an afterthought.

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeTue 02 Apr 2013, 7:05 pm

Farorn’s face quickly formed into a scowl as he eyed the performer. He’d come here to essentially keep to himself, enjoy a drink, and figure out his next move. He had little time for distractions such as this, his coin would hold him a room for only another night, if that, and he had no intention of wasting more time… after he finished his drink of course.

However, he knew the type, these performers, his refusal would make him the butt of jokes all night, and that would serve him little either. Shaking his head in irritation, he raised his hand in signal of a wait, as he chugged the rest of his ale. If he was about to do anything stupid, he might as well have some liquid confidence first, no?

Eventually standing, he walked over to the Jester, the scowl still apparent on his face.

“And what exactly am I helping you with?”
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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeWed 03 Apr 2013, 12:15 am

[[Quick one so I don't end up holding you all up. >u<;]]

Yazmin did not hate the couple. She found it difficult to hate anyone. She certainly, however, hated their company, and so wished doubly to be rid of them and to investigate the strangeness that had materialized in the sky.

She reached a decision. The clouds might be gone tomorrow, but the couple would always be there, so long as they had no one to guide them down. The choice was clear.

Yazmin decided to at least inform the lovers of her chosen course of action. She approached them cautiously, like a stray dog, and dragged her feet as she walked.

"I will go see storm."

The husband and wife seemed bewildered at this. Yazmin decided they must be exhausted from the trek, and once more felt sorry for them. She pointed at the mass of roiling clouds to aid in the translation. "Storm."

"Didn't you say..."

"Keep calm."

She left their unhappy faces with a spring in her step. They must have been too tired or too frustrated to pursue.

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeWed 03 Apr 2013, 2:26 pm

Taking just a few seconds, Rao turned his horse around and met the man's eyes before responding.

"Yeah, that's pretty much all I am," he confirmed quickly, "I remember this place from a while back and I thought I'd stop by for a bit of rest. Can only ride horse for so long, I guess." After that he had no idea what to say to the man Cinna. Rao wasn't much of conversationalist though it sure would be nice. He enjoyed company, but hell he never said he was good at it. Best to let others do the talking and then worry about your own response after. Before the man could give his reply however, Rao pulled his feet out of the stirrups and pulled his left leg over the back of the horse. Then it was just a matter of hopping to the ground.

And how wonderful was it to stretch his legs and back after spending the last few hours in the saddle, only stopping briefly before to make water. Then he lifted his hand to the man to gesture 'one moment' and led the mare to a tree where he hitched it in the shade, leaving his bow and quiver in the saddle. It occurred to him that he was quickly making himself at home and wasn't sure if he was very much welcome yet, but he pushed that to the back of his mind and returned to the man's presence where he stretched again and said, "Sorry about that."

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeFri 05 Apr 2013, 2:36 pm

Sess Ilee was surprised how calmly the minotaur had acknowledged her. She was expected to meet some hostility, already preparing the long and soothing combination of words to ease an aggravated soul. It took her a moment regather herself and choose the appropriate words. She needed to keep things light, tread lightly with minimal questions. Just ask what was needed.

She bowed her head in respect for a brief period of time. She then looked up at him, no eyes shining through that hood. She kept her distance still, preparing herself to run if things turned sour. Finally she cleared her throat to speak to him.

"Charming. I wasn't expecting a bite at all." Her voice was gentle, a hint of playfulness laced in. "You seem quite open minded minotaur. It's quite fascinating." She meant that genuinely, not to be insulting. She came a bit closer, non threatening. She raised a claw. "If you would allow me a moment of your time I would like to ask something of you."

She left the invitation hanging in the air. Even if she hadn't caught him on being open minded to hearing out her request it would surely have to be curiosity. Back in Nede what were the chances of a Wraith and Minotaur even speaking to one another without the use of insult or challenge let alone coming to an ally pact? At least here she could lay out the unexpected.

"And I promise, I'm not one for nibbling either." A grin crept up on her. Her tone still remained soft and playful.

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeSat 06 Apr 2013, 1:32 pm

Ahlat's eyes steadily got a little bit wider, looking more and more disturbed and confused the more the wraith spoke. All he'd wanted to do was not make infighting the first thing he did upon arrival - as the one of his kind here thus far who'd decided to get along through a business, rather than beating anyone he disagreed with, he knew deep down that everyone would have to get along. However, his attempt appeared to have backfired a bit, and it seemed he'd gotten more than he was bargaining for. Yes, he was slightly more open-minded than other minotaurs, out of necessity of circumstance, but that didn't personally endear him to anyone in particular - least of all a wraith, and not as much as it seemed she was asking. Did she even know what the middle ring was for?

"Er... What?"

Ahlat took a step forward, a subconscious reaction fairly common to minotaurs: if something makes you uncomfortable, don't shy away. Step into it, get in its personal space, and intimidate it with size. This wasn't entirely what he was thinking in his head, and he didn't consciously notice he was doing it at all. He definitely hadn't considered that with other races, moving closer indicated interest.

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeSat 06 Apr 2013, 2:49 pm

Good I do have your interest. Now is it curiosity or is it sheer willingness? My guess is curiosity. Do you fully understand the gravity of our situation? Sess Ilee had her doubts but no less went about the proper way of phrasing her question.

"We are both demons of Nede in an unfamiliar world. I was thinking that perhaps we could make a pact you and I?" She began, her voice losing its playfulness but not its softness. She was finally serious but not enough to seem demanding or threatening. "If you lend me your strength I will lend you my abilities as well. I doubt the creatures of this world can resist my possession. I can gather any information of this world and would gladly share with you."

She noticed as the minotaur stepped forward. She resisted the urge to float back, knowing full well that if she did she would lose her gravity in this conversation. She needed to appear at least confident in her own abilities that she could provide him with something in this alliance. Otherwise he might as well just chase her off and call her useless.

"Even you can agree with me that coming to this world was quite the risk. However, it was the sake of finding peace, a home at least." She turned her head to look into the distance. "If we want to survive here, why leave any blind spots? If we combine our talents what can hurt us? What can take away the hopes we have for this world?" She then turned to look at him again.

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeSat 06 Apr 2013, 6:05 pm

"A pact?" Ahlat wasn't sure whether to be relieved or not; on the one hand, she wasn't hitting on him, but on the other, she was apparently up to... something. He wasn't sure what. She hadn't suggested possessing him on a permanent basis, near as he could tell, but it was probably in her head somewhere. That much he was okay with; he far preferred non-possession to the alternative.

He squared up to her, and once more looked at her directly. "Look here. I'm pretty open-minded for a minotaur, but when a wraith says something like 'lend me your strength,' I'm inclined to believe you want to make my body do things my body wouldn't decide to do by itself.

I'm here to make sure everyone's stuff stays in repair; I'm the blacksmith, not the scout. How about we both try to help the group in ways we've been brought here to do, and everything will work out fine. Besides, if you're going out exploring, you should be letting the group know what you've found anyway.

So yeah, let's combine our strengths - all of us who came through here. I'll help in my way, and you help in yours. Once we get some water and firewood located, I'll need to go looking for raw materials, and you'd be welcome to join me then, I suppose, but let's not get hasty agreeing to share my body."

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeMon 08 Apr 2013, 7:07 pm

AHLAT and SESS

“Ha! That’s how you do it Ahlat!” The both of you look over in surprise to see that Gaard has overheard your conversation, perhaps even eavesdropped. By the tone of it, it sounded as if the minotaur was in favor of Ahlat in this conversation and perhaps even on his side if there ever were one. The two of you both know that racism was prevalent in Nede, and social prejudices likely wouldn’t subside just for the reason of your world crumbling due to an apocalypse. “Sounds like a fine enough plan – go ahead wraith, see what’s up there. Report back what you see… if you’ve a shred of loyalty…”

The contempt he held for Sess in Gaard’s voice was clear enough – he visibly distrusted you for whatever reason he had, but it was clear that he wanted you to scout ahead towards the south, where the smoke off in the distance was coming from. Although it was true that you were perhaps the most competent one here when it came to scouting – you were silent, you had no need for food or drink, and although you contrasted against the grass more so than the minotaurs around you, you were also quicker. It was also likely that he just wanted to get rid of you… you couldn’t help but share a similar disdain for him.


***


FARORN and OSCAR

Upon taking a step onto the stage, you begin to notice that the crowd was at least twice as large than you thought it was, and that half of the crowd wasn’t even paying attention that much, and half of the people that were, were so drunk out of their wits that you actually felt better about being on stage! It was reassuring to know that most of these people weren’t sober enough to understand most of what was going on. What you also learned though, was that the jester that had called you upon stage didn’t look as neat and clean as he did about forty feet away. His tired, bedraggled exterior was only highlighted by what appeared to be a lack in hygiene. He smelled of ale, his clothes were stained, and his skin and hair was dirtied and oily. Despite his unpampered appearance however, he took no time to hesitate on your question, jumping on your question like a starved cougar would pounce on a rabbit.

“Ah, well you see, here I am doing my last trick, yes? I want you to help me, and first, I want you to answer me a couple of questions about yourself, hm?”

The performer made a chain of cracking sounds that came from his hands as he pressed his knuckles together, prompting a small amount of laughter from the audience.

“Your name? Your favorite drink? Your hopes, your dreams? Do you think the king is a biased pig and his queen a cheating scoundrel? More importantly, and this pertains to actual show, you see…” he fished a couple of chortles from the front row, “do you believe… in dragons?

Dragons. There hasn’t been a report of dragons since… ever, really. It was common belief that dragons don’t exist, border-lining on fact even, if it weren’t for the fables and children bed-time stories fueling the myths. Not even the first settlers of Galiea had ever encountered one of the beasts. You’d have to be a mad beggar with little-to-no-education that’s doped up on xanis mushrooms (highly toxic to the liver and known to induce potent hallucinations to the degree of schizophrenia) to believe in one.


***


RAO

“I see…” Cinna droned, seemingly inspecting you up and down. The other man, clearly far more gruff, taller, and stronger than Cinna had approached from behind him, and clearly far more judgmental than he was as he was leaning against a thin tree with his arms crossed and his eyes glaring straight towards you. His chest was bare and scarred, and he wore a kilt made from the pelt of a small bear. The beast’s head was fashioned into a large pouch and placed appropriately over the genitals sided by its two large paws in a neatly fashion.

“You sure you a hunter?” grunted his raspy voice. “Where’s your kill? You’ve any kill?”

The intimidating beast of a man had almost put you into submission if it weren’t for Cinna coaxing the two of you with refreshing assurance. “Come now Hart, don’t get too hasty.”

He had turned to you with an apologetic glance before saying slowly: “Do you have any kill? We’re asking because lately some of the other guys have been takin’ in freeloaders and they took up a lot of our resources. I had to go out hunting last night and we had Hart here chop down a couple of small trees…”

You glance around seeing the abundant amount of meat here, which brings you to two conclusions: Cinna was likely a masterful hunter if he were to bring in this much meat, and that there was a lot of meat here. This leads you to believe that they may in fact be poachers.


***


YAZMIN

Leaving behind the two fussing nobility, you couldn’t help but feel, perhaps, maybe, even a twinge of regret as you bounded off deeper into the mountain range – or perhaps not, and it was simply the exhilarating thrill of adventure and curiosity enrapturing your attention and tightening your chest. You hear the steady stream of curses as you continued on your trek towards the mysterious beacon. You payed them little heed though… adventure!

Of course, it was getting a wee bit dark and you may have to find a place to rest soon before you can’t see what you’re doing. Your curiosity and ambition to reach your destination competed with this thought however, and you had pretty good eyesight to begin with. It comes with living life outside for the most part. If anything, worst comes to worst, you can find a small hole to crawl in and rest for an hour to get your energy back and bound off again like a rat in a warehouse.

A good amount of your time was spent wandering the mountains, perhaps even an hour. Your target hardly seems closer, but you can definitely get a trace of where you’re headed. The sun is setting and you have difficulty picking out reds and oranges from the flash you thought you had seen earlier. The throbbing and shaking of your knees don’t provide you much relief either, though. You only seem left with the choices between stopping here for a couple minutes or heading into that cave a little way up the way to settle in for good until you’re ready to go again.

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeSat 13 Apr 2013, 1:14 pm

"I have a rabbit if that accounts to anything." Rao mumbled apologetically. "Haven't had much luck as of late, but don't worry about me freeloading or nothin'. I don't plan on sticking around too long." Rao gave a nod after he finished speaking and began just fiddled with is clothing, waiting for the others to speak. Every so often he would give the man Hart a slight glance and maybe what you could possibly consider a glare. He wasn't quite fond of the man, though he couldn't place exactly why. His attitude was unsavory, but Rao had encountered plenty of unsavory people before and gotten along fine. Not to say he couldn't get along with this man, just that he didn't plan on enjoying it.

The other was more pleasant, though Rao's disposition was still neutral. It irked him a tad that these men seemed to be so keen to kill and skin whatever moved, but it wasn't in his nature to go calling people out on whatever things they'd done or may have done. It didn't concern him. He'd be gone in no time and forget all about them anyways.

What felt like a while was only a moment and Rao spoke again, disregarding his earlier plan to let them respond.

"Sure is a lot of, er, meat. Explains a bit why I didn't see much out in those woods." He gestured towards the trees and then just stood there, finally allowing them to reply if they wished.

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeSat 13 Apr 2013, 10:27 pm

“My name is Farorn.” He began, not liking where this was going to be going. Still, he’d chosen to do this, and he might as well go all the way, as he sighed and started his series of responses. “Whiskey, doing something worth remembering, I don’t pay any mind to politics, and… I’d have to say no, I’ve never seen a dragon in my life.”

Those were safe answers as far as he was aware. Nothing was being risked by saying them, and there was little he felt the jester could do to twist him into the butt of any jokes, which would hopefully speed this along right to the trick, and right done with it. It of course dawned on him, that if the dragon was an important part of the trick, he’d likely be about to ‘see’ a dragon, ‘course illusion was as it was; it would be fake, and probably a trick of the light.

“’Course, I suspect you seek to change that for us all, now don’tcha?”
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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeTue 16 Apr 2013, 5:30 pm

Sess Ilee was expecting this sort of thing to occur. The immediate distrust, the need to rely on the other minotaurs. She didn't like crowds, groups, whatever they wanted to deem themselves as. When you have more than one conflicting ideal in a group heads were bound to roll. She didn't want to include herself in something like that. Far, far too risky.

Yet she stood there, listening to him accuse her of something that wasn't even on her mind. Possession, she was capable of it. All wraiths were capable of it. She was no stranger to the idea of possessing anything, key word being anything. Not anyone. Just anything.

She cleared her throat and waved her hand submissively at the thought. "I'll assure you of this minotaur, I was never one for possessing creatures who have consciousness beyond themselves. Self awareness, a drive for more than just survival. Emotions, ideals, ethics." She let the words roll off her tongue like honey. Sweet sounding to the very last syllable. Yet there was an eeriness about it that would make anyone question what she was getting at.

Then, in that moment, she was caught off guard by another minotaur. Tche, a drawback. She floated there in silence as the intruder tried to steer her and her target off course. She had lost this pact before it even began. She should have realized that minotaurs were going to be the hardest to persuade. She chose her words carefully for Gaard.

How to deal with the unpredictable factor...

"It seems you distrust me minotaur. Sending me to my demise. I guess it does keep your hands clean." She turned away. "And when I return, hmmm, even then I doubt you'd take me seriously. No less, I'll gather your information. Expect my return." She paused and looked back at Ahlat.

So much for you. I've wasted my time. You're no better than the rest are you?

She headed off towards the smoke in the distance. Already her mind was racing with ideas, for solutions to her arising problems. Everything did not go as according to plan and yet it was entirely expected. She wouldn't be trusted easily. She would be accused of things she had no intentions of doing. She would be banished. She needed to find...a free thinker. An individual.

Now where on earth was she to find one of those?

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeWed 17 Apr 2013, 11:18 pm

Ahlat watched her go, caught off-guard and baffled. The sheer amount of offense she'd taken was incredible. Yes, he'd tried to be the reasonable one, and Gaard might have been a touch too heavy-handed for the situation (but that's just how minotaurs were, much like wraiths were underhanded and always wanting to borrow your physical faculties), but they were hardly sending her to her death. She'd come through the portal, so she'd have to do her part, just like everybody else.

He shrugged and got back about his business, setting up a sleeping tarp while there was still daylight. Next on the order of business was a small mud or stone furnace - something he could use to get some heat built up.

"Gaard! Is anyone getting water or wood yet?" he asked. Truth be told, he was interested in going out and looking at the new world himself; he just didn't have an excuse to do so just yet.

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeSat 27 Apr 2013, 11:45 pm

AHLAT

Gaard looks towards you, seemingly concentrated on other important matters as clued by him looking deeply into a tome and other minotaurs scurrying about. “Hm, what? Ah, as a matter of fact, no. We don’t. The trees are sparse around here and the nearest forest or jungle is miles off – can barely see it. I sent a head to check it about… say, six hours ago?”

Spending six hours to get wood likely meant that they weren’t coming back.

“There’s water… somewhere. Hiding in the plains here under the grass. Up north there’s a small cliff overlooking an ocean. Shouldn’t be too hard to climb down, though I don’t believe the water to be very drinkable.”

Gaard presents you with two equally hopeless sounding tasks. On one hand, you could dehydrate yourself looking for water in the thick grasslands, or on another hand, you could venture south towards the jungle and possibly get eaten alive by whatever is there. You may do either of those, depending on how brave you’re feeling at the moment, but you could also do what you wish here in the camp. In the same direction of the jungle far south lies traces of smoke, likely a sign of civilization, where you have already sent the wraith.


FARORN and OSCAR

“Oh my, he actually answered all of them,” the jester croaked, tugging at his collar. It being obviously for some failed comedic scheme, it did no good for the mostly drunken audience. He regained his posture and turned to face you, aiming to get back on track.

“In any case, no, my son, mister Farorn, what would make you think such a thing? As we all know, dragons have been extinct for hundreds upon hundreds of year – maybe even thousands! You see, my friend, this has little to do with dragons… but with the legends of their descendents!

“We all know the legends of the Dragonhearts, yes?” He asked the audience. “The descendants of mighty dragons’ power, their blood coursing through their very veins? Yes, many believe these walking demi-gods to have walked these grounds after the downfall of their draconic ancestors! They have been thought to have died off long ago…” Oscar pauses his monologue to turn towards you, and your suspicion begins to catch up with him.

“…but still, I believe they walk amongst men, unaware of their great heritage.” Oscar walks towards you, pacing even. There occasional comes the urge to disrupt his thunder and ruin his show just so you can get out of here faster, but something keeps you from doing so. Curiosity, perhaps. Curious on where he’s going with this. The performer raises his hands above your head, “I see it in this man’s eyes! A Dragonheart from the tales of olde!”

Oscar conjures up a small metal torch, its head soaked in fuel, and he lights it from a lantern overhead. It blooms into colorful orange and yellow flames, and he holds it in front of him. “But surely you don’t believe in all this nonsense, do you? Do you Farorn? You don’t feel the dragon’s blood?”

You’re fairly sure you don’t – in fact, you’re even positive! All of this was a huge lie, there was no logic that could drive him to believe you’re a Dragonheart, especially considering those were little fairy tales to inspire some awe into children. The very idea of their even existence was more preposterous than dragons.


RAO

The two men seemed to accept Rao’s claim of having a rabbit, though the larger one in particular seemed to stand up a little straighter and more imposing – obviously acting as if he were superior to you, being surrounded by kill with a rabbit being all you had to offer. He stuck up his nose and turned back to the cabin and Cinna just accepted your time here.

As the time of silence past, and you raised your question, Cinna had managed to answer before the ruder Hart. “Hunting is our passion – we hunt for sport, and we do it for a living. We eat well. We’ll cook up some of this, have a big dinner, and then we usually haul it up towards Caprest. Though this time, we’re taking half of it to Sandwatch. It’s good money; it makes us rich.”

As effective as it is, it also likely wasn’t within the law.

“We’re all hunters – predators – if you want to catch your prey, you’ll have to compete better with the others.


SESS

Your trek goes relatively undisturbed. The signal of smoke ahead acts as the beacon of your destination, and it grows larger as you approach closer to what appears to be civilization. You can see the trace outlines of a village, inciting doubts within your mind on your reception – the previous quarrel has naturally left you bitter, obviously influencing your outlook. You’re logical enough to be aware of this. But an unshakeable feeling leaves you cautious as you float closer towards the alien village. They seemed generic enough: they were mostly made of wood, their tops likely being less so, and cushioned with hay and straw, which was bound together with rope, to keep it from flying off. Behind the village are what appear to be several acres of farmland, fit to feed half a kingdom. You never got a look at any of the inhabitants, leaving you the option to leave now and inform the others immediately of alien life, or satiate your curiosity by going closer.

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeThu 02 May 2013, 12:58 am

Rao could agree with that for the most part. Though he supposed most predators just ate how much they wanted, not hunt until their full, and then go hunt some more animals. That was the only flaw with that statement. We may all be predators, but humans were an exceedingly greedy predator that ever so often wouldn't feel content with just a little. Men must make their fortunes, however. It gave Rao a bit of pride to compare himself to these men and feel like someone who was respectful to nature. He felt above them and their skins and assorted meats.

((I'll see if I can't add more to this. Just wanted to post something before the end of the day.))

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeFri 03 May 2013, 11:16 pm

"Well, how many more should we be expecting through the portal soon? If we can't get wood or water, seems to me we won't be able to stay here longer than a day, two at most. Seems we should move a bit closer to one or the other - probably the water, since there should be animals near there as well." Ahlat was mostly thinking aloud at this point. "Portal should be secure, if anyone trying to touch it gets vaporized. We might just leave a couple people here on rotation, if we can spare enough people to do that...

"But anyhow, I'll take a look for water, if that's all right with you. I won't stay out too long at this point; hopefully the wraith will bring us good news about the settlement, and the people here will be friendly."

He waited for a moment for confirmation on his thoughts, or perhaps a second hand to cover more ground, if one could be spared.

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeFri 10 May 2013, 3:44 pm

Farorn laughed, as he shook his head from side to side. This jester was madder than he thought. Dragons were one thing, he could imagine some magic somewhere may have made giant lizards with wings, but for these same beasts to breed with man, or to somehow cross with such was just preposterous.

As he finished, realizing he was just going to be a pawn in whatever scheme the jester had in mind anyway, he sighed and resigned himself to his fate. “No, no I can’t say I do. I’m rather pathetic for someone with the blood of a so called dragon.”

This was the truth, if any of this was real, there was no way he could be it. His body was weak, his courage thin, to be a dragonheart would be so ridiculous that it simply could not be. A dragonheart could have saved those people…
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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitimeSat 18 May 2013, 8:18 pm

Yazmin thought about the old honeymooners more than she would have liked to on her hike up the mountain. She did not tire easily but today had been particularly harrowing. The couple had been the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back and sent it scuttling up into the mountains after a mysterious red flash.

Perhaps she had been a tad rude when she abandoned them up there. She began to feel very guilty about the whole affair but decided that she would not turn back - after all, for doing such a horrible thing as abandoning an annoying old pair of lovers on a mountaintop, she must surely be expected to suffer the consequence of a boatload of guilt.

Nevertheless, Yazmin began to feel a sort of kinship with the whining woman in particular. Her knees were becoming weak from a long day of trudging up and down dusty trails, so she bit her lower lip and began to search for a place to rest.

When she came upon the cave, she was reluctant to throw herself inside, but opted to at least investigate its hollow black depths. Yazmin nimbly ascended a small bluff and stood outside the mouth of the cave - she almost expected to feel a gust of wind as the rocky maw breathed its last evening breath before night fell and sleep overtook the countryside.

Yazmin took a stone in her hand and skipped it inside the cave, hoping to evaluate its vacancy.

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PostSubject: Re: Yami Aku   Yami Aku I_icon_minitime

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