What Legends Are Made Of (Semi Closed RP)
The Druidic Clans
((It is Closed. OOC thread: What Legends Are Made Of (OOC Sign Up) (http://forums.jolt.co.uk/showthread.php?t=426465)))
Azura, a large and diverse world with many races from the humans to the cat-like Aurians to the lizard men of the Caracyan Isles; a land of myths and legends. The many religions ranging from the nature cults of the River Goddess Alhana to the wide spread polytheistic Church of Andronomae. A world of massive empires, powerful kingdoms, warring tribes and bands of savage nomads, Azura is certainly no easy going place.
It was supposed to be in a time of peace according to the prophecies, but that time seems to be coming to a quick end. Evil is stirring in many parts of the land; the savage nomadic barbarians grow in numbers, the servants of the underworld spread through the darkness like a plague. War erupted between many a kingdom and empire, entire towns are said to vanish into thin air. Strange creatures raid from the mountains while the storms worsen at sea. The merchant rarely travels alone in these darkening days. People rarely venture from their towns and cities, fearful of what might await them.
There was a time when people were inspired to do great things from tales of legendary heroes. When people would gather around the fire as the old story teller would tell of the legendary Magnar, who saved an entire Kingdom from descending into the darkest depths of the Serpentine Empire, or perhaps Daria the Druidess who overcame the hordes of nomads trying to destroy the villages of the Chai Mountains. Sadly, those heroes are long dead, and long lost among the many myths of Azura. The people of Azura now live without these inspiring tales of heroes and great victories, the triumphs of good over evil, of the Gods blessing the common man to do great things…
With the spread of darkness in the corners of the world, the rise of dark kingdoms such as the desert Baronian Kingdom, and the revival of the evil Serpentine Empire, it is time for the call to be answered, the call for good to triumph over evil, the call for heroes. It is time for the people to once again see What Legends Are Made Of…
Aidyn walked down the beaten dirt road in a casual stroll, his sword hanging from his hip. He whistled a traveler’s tune as he stepped carefully around a mud puddle full of muck and slime. He made his way up a gently sloping hill, his eyes watching around him always, as one couldn’t be too careful in these dark days. As he reached the top of the hill, he held a hand over his eyes to shield out the evening sun. He stared down the steepened hillside towards his destination, the massive city of Dromonia, capital of the Chai Empire and largest port city in the world.
Aidyn soon reached the city and passed through the gates after the guards gave him the go ahead. He glanced up at the darkening sky, the sun fading in the distant horizon. I'm sure to the find some answers here... He thought as he stared around at the crowds of people hurrying from shop to shop to quickly finish their buying before nightfall. He shook his head and continued down the street, stepping out of the way of a cart being pulled by a shopkeeper, who muttered something along the lines of "Damned, strange foreigners..."
Aidyn stopped at the docks and looked up to see an airship gliding towards the city from over the sea then looked across the water to see ships large and small crowding the habor. He jumped onto a marble bench and grabbed a lightpost and stared around, hoping to recognize someone's face in the crowds but sighed. Can't remember a damn thing...
Tuar was at the stern of the Raveblade, his pirate ship. It was currently in airship mode, heading towards the city of Dromonia to dock and resupply. He and his fully dark elf crew just raided a very rich merchant ship yesterday and had plenty of money to spend on supplies and luxuries. Just another day in my life, Tuar thought.
They landed on the docks by going into ship mode. Everyone knew the shaking blade flag of the Raveblade. Even though the guards knew this was a pirate ship, they didn't dare take action against it, as they knew there would be terrible reprecussions, since the Raveblade was the most powerful pirate ship in Azura.
Tuar jumped up onto the front end of the ship and shouted "Listen up!" to the crew,"Each of you is gonna get an equal share of half of the loot we've got. Go get yourselves some women, drinks, what ever. I'll head into town with rest of it and get us some supplies!"
The crew went into the lower ship, where each member got an equal share of the loot, then ran out into Dromonia. Tuar went to the general supply store. The merchant immediatly reconginzed him.
"I don't want any trouble!" the merchant stammered. "Ahh shut up yah dog," Tuar shouted at the merchant, who was close to wetting himself "I just want some supplies." "Of course, of course," the merchant said nervously "I'll even give you a discount!"
"Thanks, dog. Send the supplies to my ship before my crew gets back." Tuar commanded the merchant. He took the remaining money and went out into the city to have some fun.
Vanis whistled tunelessly as he rode along, more to keep the fat merchant beside him from talking than out of any real enjoyment of a tune. the last three weeks had been a tedious hell for the Paladin, guarding merchants would normally be beneath him, but in these troubled times one did not turn down a meal ticket
"I say, Sir Knight, it's Dromonia, our destination!" the merchant said, his whining nasal voice grating on Vanis' ears, the great Paladin sighed heavily with relief,
"Then I'll accept my payment now and leave you good master merchant, you surely have no further need of my protection when the city is so near." he said, taking the reins of his packhorse and his charger, the merchant nodded and tossed him a small bag of gold "My thanks sir." he mumbled before ambling off into the city, Vanis checked his sword, still sharp, the nicks from various brigandes had polished out rather nicely. He nudged his horse along, stuffing the pouch into his tunic, he looked up and saw one of the airships passing overhead, prosperity and invention even during the blackest of times, he marvelled at the ingenuity of the thing, when he looked down to earth again he noticed that he did not marvel alone, a youngish fellow stood atop a bench and was looking up at the airship, and then out over the city, the figure sighed slightly.
"What troubles you my young friend?" he asked amiably, a Paladin's duty, he felt was to help others.
The Druidic Clans
"What troubles you my young friend?"
Aidyn looked at the Paladin, hoping for some form of recognition but found none. Where do I start?
"Ever have the feeling that you were lost and there was no way to find your way back?" asked Aidyn, smiling slightly at the reference to his amnesia.
Sophia was fed up with this city. All the people running like animals before a big storm, fearful of Ainne know what. Not just a few people, billions of people and all of them scared, like little kittens.
She longed to go back to Outh and Gigha, but that was stupid in a time like this. Her brother and sister-in-law were in hiding, and she was the only one who knew where. After the fall of Hia Dynasty three years ago, everyone wanted Outh dead. He knew all the spells, and all the secrets. She had only narrowly escaped to this hell-hole, and she loathed it with a passion.
It was getting dark, and the people were scurrying about the streets, but Sophia kept her head high, with a confident gate. Her hair swayed back and forth. As she passed a dark alley, a voice pierced the heavy air.
"Ay, if it ain't be a pretty lass. Come here lassy, let me be showin' ya a good time. These are dark and troubly times, but I be's a good man for you'in."
Sophia pulled out her sword and went up to the man. He was short and patches of white hair where scattered across his red scalp. His face was wrinkled and disfigured, a sign of a hard life. Scabs littered his frail body. She placed the sword at his throat, he started to shake.
“Don’t ever talk to me like that again. Next time I’ll cut your throat and hang your body out for everyone to see.”
“I’s be sarry lassy. I’s be meanin’ no ‘arm.” The looked as if he was going to die from fright.
Sophia smiled. “Don’t let it happen again.” She reached into her jacket pocket and pulled out a gold coin, she flicked it to the man. “Go buy yourself something to eat.”
She left the man on the ground, staring at her. She continued to walk towards a large building, her home.
The cover of darkness was falling. All the easier to make the kill. A lone figure atop a hill knelt, barely descernable from the dark clouds above him. He gazed through his spyglass down at the city below. Two weeks he had been tracking his target, and for two weeks he had watched, learning the rutine. And after the two weeks, he now knew the time to strike was now.
Xhar put away the spyglass and dropped the rest of his suplies into a shallow hole he had dug. Recovering only his long shot and his two sirated blades...
he placed a large rock over the hole. He then turned and began stalking towards the city.
Kheni was sitting on the roof of a building when he heard one of the many low-life in the city acosting a women. He smiled when he saw how she dealt with the scum. "This women looks interesting, I think I'll follow her." As she left he followed leaping from rooftop to rooftop.
Nari, as she prefered to be called, looked down upon the great walled city and shook her head at the pile, teeming with people like a kicked over ant mound. And even from this distance she could smell it. Sighing she made a very minor adjustment to the reality around her and the smells vanished. She could afford the small weariness that the effort brought, but it was beter than being made ill by the stench.
As she watched, a sky boat sailed into the port and graceful as a swan lowered itself into the indigo waters of the bay. Once it had docked she nudged her mounts sides and clucked to the pack pony. The delicate notes of the bells in the trappings made her smile as always.
Soon she was within the gates and slowly moving through the sprawling city. Dusk ws coming and she knew from long experience that the longer the waited the harder decent rooms would be to find. Looking about she spied the armoured warrior she'd noticed some small distance ahead of her on the road, though he was not longer accompanied by the heavy set merchant. Now he was stopped and speaking to a young human standing on a bench.
"Perhaps he knows the city, Kiku, and can recommend a hostel" She spoke to her pretty bay mare, as she guided her towards the knight "Or perhaps the youth"
As she reined Kiku in, she spoke politely "Please honoured sirs, might you know of a honourable and pleasant hostel, where I might find lodging?"
The Druidic Clans
Aidyn glanced from the Paladin to the woman on her mare.
"Please honoured sirs, might you know of a honourable and pleasant hostel, where I might find lodging?"
He shook his head. "Sorry, I'm not from around here," he said, then muttered under his breath, "Not sure where I'm from for that matter..." He looked to the Paladin. I am need of a place to stay as well...
Aidyn felt the moisture in the air as a breeze passed over. He glanced at the sky to see dark clouds in the distance, approaching from the sea. Oh great, just what I needed...
"Paladin, do you know of any place to stay? Those clouds don't look to welcoming..."
Under the looming clouds, people where moving about rather frantically; trying to get to shelter no doubt. It made for confussion, which in turn made for an easy kill. Xhar came behind his prey and as they passed an alleyway he expertly reached around and slit the man's throat, while simaltaniously grabing him and ducking them both into the cover of the alley. He discarded the corpse among the trash heeps and took the man's pocket watch as proof of the kill. He was in and out of the alley in less than a minute. Rather than heading back into the hills immidiately, Xhar turned towards the docks. He always got some mild enjoyment of seeing the docking of large ship and the tethering down before a storm. He leaned against the rail several paces from a motely group of characters; a lad on a bench, a heavily armered man, and a woman on a horse. Taking them to be just background characters, he payed little attention, but rather turned his gaze skyward as a ship came in.
The Druidic Clans
((Right, well, moving along...))
Aidyn sighed and glanced back at the woman sitting upon her mare. "Well, I'm off to find some shelter for the night. Sandraste knows what creatures of the night roam the street after nightfall." He jumped down from the bench, resting a hand on the hilt of his sword. "You may accompany me if you wish, as may you, Paladin."
Aidyn turned to quickly scan the surrounding buildings for any sign of lodging, his eyes stopping on a large building near the harbor.
Sophia walked into her humble abode. It was nothing more than a large room. She rented it at a cheap rate, so she didn't complain about the bugs, sometimes rats. What would you expect from an inn on the harbor? Most people who stayed there were travelers, so people came and went. But the the mysterious beauty was perrenial, or she liked to think to think she was mysterious.
But a beauty she was. Men went google-eyed at the sight of her, and women whispered jealous comments as she walked. She learned how to rebuff these at an early age. She didn't take slack. Say a word about her and your neck was in her hands before it had fully escaped your lips.
She took her sword off and placed it on a miniscule table. A rat ran across the floor. This rat was different than the others normaly seen in the harbor, it was light blue in color. Sophia took a liking to it and started to feed it her scraps. It never left. She considered it her pet, naming it Guji.
"Ah, Guji, no food for you today. It was rough, people fighting for a tiny crumb. Tommorow I'll bring you a ham, a whole ham just for you." She picked up the benign creature and stroked his shiny blue hair.
"I think I will go down to The Harbor's Keeper, for a refreshment before bed. I might can scruonge up a peice of bread for you, Guji. You would like that, wouldn't you?" She rubbed the rats head and sat him oh her bed.
The Harbor's Keeper was a small pub in the lower confines of her building. It was usually over-run with sailors coming from there ships and travelers who were staying in the inn.
She opened a drawer and took out a couple of coins, pocketing them in her jacket. She grabbed her sword and put it back into place around her waist, just incase someone pushed her over the edge.
She walked out the door, heading down the stairs.
Nari looked at the clouds rolling in from the sea and smiled. A storm would be delightfui - for her, but not for her mare.
"A storm, oh that might not be good for Kiku! Yes please I will accompany you."
With bells and tassels merrily swingling the dainty mare pranced along side the young man
"I am Kaminari, though please, call me Nari" The Kitsune asked politely as an intoduction "I am a wandering scholar." If one ignored the lengthy and well kept naginata, other weapons, and her seeming youth, she might well be. Her accent was cultured, her clothes though dusty from the road were of fine material, and her mount was highly bred. She wore a broad brimmed hat against the sun and fine thing gloves covered slender hands.
"Ah, is that not the sign for an inn? Next to the one of the harbor keeper - that I believe is a pub."
Discretely she pointed to a heavily weathered sign, then noted, just a short distance away, a stables. "And look a stables close by."
Kheni saw the person he'd been following, enter and exit a building. As she walked out, he jumped down from the roof top, a good five story leap, "Hello, my name is Kheni. Did I hear that you were going to an inn, would you care for some company?" He asked
The Druidic Clans
((I'm going to bring in a theme for my char I used in another RP, but that one died out so I never really got to go anywhere with it...))
Aidyn smiled. "Well Nari, my name is Aidyn, and I'm just a wanderer." He didn't feel the need to add anything more, as it would be lie since he couldn't remember anything past one week ago.
Go to the pub... Aidyn glanced around him to see if someone spoke to him. Go before the inn tonight... He realized nobody was speaking to him, at least no one on the outside. Who are you?! He grew nervous now with the realization that the voice is in his head. There was no answer. Gods, amnesia, voices...am I going crazy?!
Aidyn looked at Nari. "Let's stop at the pub for a bit after you put your mare in the stables. I know I sure can go for a drink after such a long march."
Nari looked at the young man, Aidyn as he'd named himself, wide eyed in near shock. Give a Kitsune drink? 'What, what did he want?' she thought in bewhilderment before she reminded herself that he had no way of knowing what she was. The blush that bloomed over her cheeks would be mistaken for modesty, but she needed a moment to catch her voice.
"That would not be a bad idea, and perhaps they serve meals as well."
The stables seemed clean enough when she inspected them and the groom handled Kiku gently. "Please see that both she and the pony are groomed and fed. My packs, deliver to the inn, as I will be taking a room there." The scrawny lad bowed and moved quickly to carry out her requests, spurred on by the heavy silver piece she tossed him.
The Druidic Clans
Aidyn led the way into the pub. He paused in the doorway, his quickly scanning the customers, most of which seemed like the usual tough crowd found around the harbors of cities. Aidyn held a hand on his sword's hilt to make sure it was known he was armed. He saw and empty table nearby the bar.
"There's an empty table over there," he said nodding. I can't believe I'm listening to a voice in my head, I really must be going insane...
Nari was glad she'd set the air about her to filter out the cities stench, but knew that she'd have to strengthen it now. The tavern was awash with the scents of poorly cooked food, unwashed bodies and erratic house keeping. With the tiniest of gestures she strengthened the reality about her, but not to the point were she couldn't see past it
"Yes, there is an empty table." She agreed reluctantly, part of her wondering why she'd agreed, and part of her knowing. She caught a glimpse of something lost and alone in his eyes. And she knew how hard living with that feeling was. Gracefully she swept to the unclaimed table and took one of the chairs.
The Druidic Clans
Aidyn grabbed a chair and sat down hesitantly, unsure of whether or not he'd like to be caught sitting down in the pub. He glanced around, unsure of what to do now. He motioned for some drinks to a barmaiden and sat quietly a moment.
"Where are you from, Nari?" ask Aidyn.
The question caught Nari off guard. Few were interested enough to ask, and her answer reaveled more of her homesickness that she wished.
"From the Land of the Gods, Nihongo, far to where the sun rises, where the sea gives birth to the lands. Where Izinami and Izigami took the sword, and dipped it into the sea, and the drops that fell from the blade became the Thousand Islands."
She looked at the glasses the barmaid set in front of them, and slowly lifted it to her lips, but set it down with out drinking.
"And you Aidyn, where are you from?"
The Druidic Clans
Aidyn listened quietly. So that explains her appearance, not from this part of Azura...
"And you Aidyn, where are you from?"
Aidyn thought quickly a moment. I don't know! But then, what do I say?...Just tell the truth.
"Well, er, to be honest, I don't rightly remember where I'm from..." Aidyn said uncertainly. He downed his drink in a gulp. "Ugh, weak stuff here," he muttered.
Her eyes went sad as he admitted the extent of his'lost', and she patted his hand gently
"Some day you will find home, but remember that home is where *you* make it...and weak? ewwww. Too strong"
She pushed the untouched glass away, and stood.
"Please excuse me but I do need to get a room for the night...and if you should like to talk more later, you are welcome to have dinner with me."
It was time for Xhar to meet his current employer. He slipped a hand into his pocket and fingered the watch before going off to the drop place. He walked away from the docks and turned towards the adress he was given. They led to a pub. Rank and full of low lifes no doubt. A perfect place for the exchange. Xhar pushed through the door of the Harbor's Keeper and walked up to the bar and took a seat. It would not be long before his money arrived and he could disappear again.
"Whisky sour" he told the bar tender in a gruff voice.
The Druidic Clans
Aidyn stood as Nari left. He watched as she walked out the door and paused a moment, standing. There has to be a reason I was to come here... He walked to the bar and ordered a drink and a mug of ale was placed in front of him.
"So what did you want to tell me?" whispered a man to another standing next to Aidyn.
"There is a rumor spreading through the ranks," the other answered. Aidyn glanced at the two, both had the look of roughened fighters. The ranks? These men are no soldiers...
"The Emperor's coming," continued the one man. "He's hiring mercenaries by the thousands to join his forces, a big payment it is said."
"Here?" asked the first.
"This is not the place to talk of it, just get your horsr and equipment, we'll ride out tonight," said the other.
The two men left. Aidyn stared after. The Emperor, mercenaries, and the sound of fear and respect on their voices...What is going on here? Was this why I came here? Aidyn laughed at his own confusion and finished his ale. He laid a couple coins on the table and left the bar.
Aidyn glanced up at the clouds overhead as a the first bit of rain began to fall. A quick flash of lightning lit up the sky. Aidyn leaned back against the wall of the pub for a bit and stared off across the water, zoning out in thought as he sometimes did.
When the man fell from the sky in front of Sophia, she grabbed her sword and pulled it out. When she saw his intentions seemed to be benevolent, she decided it wouldn't hurt to have company.
"Sure, I'm going to that pub, over there." She said, pointing her sword to a small pub next door to the inn. "If you want to join me, you may. But the smallest hint of malevolence toward me, and I'll have your head." She said it with such a cool tone, no one would dare to do anyting against her.
She walked toward the pub, Kheni following behind her.
As she walked in the pub, it when in uproar. Gruffy sailors yelling obscenities at her form left and right.
"I'll give you a good time tonight, beautiful!" said one.
"Come here and take a look at my goods!" said another.
Sophia took out her sword and held it high.
"Don't look. Don't think. Don't say a word. Or I'll spread your 'goods' all over this city." Her look was hard and intimidating. She walked across the room and took a seat at the bar.
"I'll take a pint of hard whiskey." She turned around and looked at the room. "Stop staring, or I'll have to be getting out my sword."
"And I'll help her." Kheni commented as he flexed his hand extending sharp claws. He then turned to the innkeeper, "I'll take a beer and some of whatever meat you have cooking in the kitchen." He said as he tied his blue hair into a ponytail.
Xhar looked on from his seat at the bar. He would have to make inquiries about the mercinary work later. The woman who walked in was indeed beautiful, but Xhar's attnetion was more focused on the sword she wielded. He smirked from behind his scarf, then he removed it and went to his drink.
The innkeep allowed that he had rooms available, and indeed his largest one with both a bed room and a sitting room. His prices were usurious, but they included breakfast. A bath would be extra, but Nari paid the additional coin willingly. That was one luxury she never went without if possible. Among those of the Islands of the Gods bathing was all but sacred.
Following the slender maid who led her up to the thrid floow, she directed the brawny porter were to put her baggage. The stables has sent it over as requested, and it had been waiting for her at the inn. Nari had to allow that while spartan, and showing it's age, it was a clean enough establishment. Shortly the porter was back with assistance- the several bucket of steaming water were heavy. Once the large copper tub, in it's own curtained alcove, was filled Nari sent them on their way with extra copper piecees filling their pockets.
As the door closed bhind them, and the first rumblings of thunder rippled over the harbor, she threw open the window that over looed the vast bay. Lightning danced across the heaven. Kaminari smiled joyously, stepping out on to the tiny balcony and for just a moment letting the lightning play across her.
Energized and refreshed she spun about and with a wave of her hand the clean but bleak rooms changed as she called upon a Kitsune's greates ability. That which made illusion, real.
Heavy hand knotted carpets covered the floor, glowing in rich jewel tones under tiny fairylights that drifted near the ceiling. The glimmers were swirled about by the winds that wafted through and danced the multitude of sheer, crimson silk curtains. A fine tall bed with gold, green and blue brocaded canopy and a fully four handspan thick down filled matress filled most of the bedroom. A massive rosewood clothes press with a full closet and a large silvered mirror claimed the rest of the bedrooms wall space. A sitting stool and a bedside tablechest rounded out the bedrooms appointments.
In the sitting room a pair of dramatically upholstered, richly cushioned chairs sat about a round table of fine rosewood. Flames danced behind the grate of the fireplace that filled one corner, and a pair of comfortable chairs faced one another infront the peacocks tail shapped brass fire screen. Inbetween the chairs stood a small table holding a games case and beside the left hand hand chair was a magnificent violin on it's stand, bow at rest. Four towering book cases lined one wall, displaying numerous leather bound book, small statues and various items of curiosity. The walls were mostly hidden behind assorted works of art, but what could be seen of them were deeply carved dark wood. A black laquered weapons stand sat beside the door and held her weapons, naginata, katana, yumi, yari, bo and others.
Sandalwood inceses burned, scenting the air delicately, and on the round table tea steeped over a tiny brazier. Nodding in satisfaction, Nari removed her travel weary garmets and set them, folded neatly, aside. Then she tossed a handfull of rose petals upon the steaming bathwater and set about choseing what she would wear for the night. Once that was decided she stepped gracefully into the tub. She let herself soak then grabbed a loofa and jasmine scented soap, working the hard milled soap into a billowing lather. Once she was clean, and her long heavy mane of shimmering ebon hair as well she waved the water clean and hotter than before. She leant back and soaked for a long time, all but asleep.
A particularrly loud clap of thunder brought her eyes open and she stepped from the deep copper basin to wrap a thick towel about her. The rain was coming down in heavy sheets as she looked out onto the bay. Shivering slightly, and glad of the rooms warmth she finished drying off and began dressing, just a simple three layer kimono. Silver grey with rain and clouds as the inner layer, purest red on matte silk the next and the outer of jade green with hand painted celestial dragons entertwining. Her obi reflected all three in muted tones.
The Druidic Clans
The rain poured down from the sky in torrents to the already soaked ground below. The city was dark, lit only by flashes of lightning. A clash of thunder seemed to vibrate the air. Dark figures moved over the wet grass plains surrounding the city. One was already on the wall, the lifeless body of a guard falling before it. A crack of lightning reflected off of dark armor...
Aidyn rose his head, he had dozed in the rythmatic sound of falling rain. His sword was already in his hand. What was that... He glanced around the street and saw nothing, and heard nothing buy the sound of falling rain upon the ground and buildings. He stepped away from the wall he was leaning upon and stared around him. A breeze blew past, flapping the wooden sign hanging above the pub's door. Aidyn's eyes followed the breeze to the gate to see the lights were out. He turned around and entered the inn beside the pub. After quickly exchanging words with the inn keeper he made his way up the steps and knocked twice on a door. He opened the door to see Nari wearing her kimono. A flash of lightning brightened everything for a moment. Aidyn stood in the door, dripping wet, holding his sword at his side, a sense of caution around him.
"Sorry to intrude, Nari, but something is amiss this night," he said quickly. "Something is very wrong..."
Nari whirled around at Aidyns impetuous entry.
"Wrong? How so? " She asked as she went to the window and looked out, her preternatural vision stretching to the limit to discern anything amiss.
"Ah, you are correct, there is no one visable on the walls, as there should be should there not?"
Quickly she whipped off her ladies kimomo's and threw on the travelling attire of earlier. Her weapons followed and she nodded
"Lets go...and who else knows?"
The Druidic Clans
Aidyn shook his head. "I am not sure, I came here first." How did I know that about the wall? A vision?
"Nari, you should know," he began. "I do not think we are up against the normal fiend, something wrong is here..." The memory of what he saw earlier flashed in his mind. "...Dark armor, masses of dark figures approaching..." He said, more to himself than to Nari. The two men in the bar, they spoke of an Emperor's coming...His forces welcoming mercenaries by the thousands ...Could it be? But what Emperor, why?
"Nari, if I told you I knew that an Emperor was coming, with his forces, what would that mean to you?" he asked. 'Cause I can't remember a damned thing...
Nari looked at him puzzled. "I don't know Aidyn. I haven't been to this part of Azura before. I have heard nothing about an Emperor in the local inns and hostels I've stopped in recently. I would think that such would have been at least mentioned in passing."
"What made you think that this is perhaps more than a bandit raid on this area of the city? Did some one speak to you of such a conqueror?"
The Druidic Clans
"No, when I was in the pub I stopped at the bar for a quick drink," said Aidyn. "There were two men, sellswords or worse by the looks of 'em, were talking about an Emperor coming, hiring mercenaries by the thousands to join his forces...Then, while I stood against the wall, I saw a figure in dark armor on the wall, and lots more in the plains around the city..."
Aidyn thought quickly, trying to piece things together. "There's something about this, it sounds familiar, as if I knew before hand..." He held a hand to his left temple a moment. Argh! What the hell happened to me?! "I... I don't know how I know, but it's something more than bandits, something big..."
He moved towards the door. "We'ved waste enough time up here." He waited for Nari.
Xhar looked out the window into the storm. Night had long since fallen and the rain was pouring. As a man exited towards the inn, the streetlamps began to flicker and go out one at a time, starting at the wall. Xhar smirked and finished his whiskey.
"Guess i picked the right day to come to the city" he spoke to no one in peticular.
Sophia sat bolt uptight in her bed. She looked around her room. She heard voices, urgent voices.
To much whiskey with that blue-haired character, thought Sophia. But the voices continued, and she knew they were real. Trouble was brewing, she knew it had been coming. Ainne had warned her in a dream, but why now.
She quickly got out of bed and dressed. She was going to find the voices and see what they knew.
She placed her sword at her side and followed the voices through the inn. The rain was falling harder now, the lightning illuminated the sky every minute or so. She found the room from which the voices were coming. She tried to open the door.
"Damn locks!" she whispered.
She lifted her leg and kicked in the door.
"Where are you going?" asked Sophia in her most menacing tone.
((ooc: this is your room, druidic clans))
OOC: Sonorus Capita - Druidic Clans does not have a room at the inn yet. Druidic Clans - Aidyn - is in my rooms Tanara - Nari - but my door wasn't locked, and I doubt strongly that our conversation could have been heard out side those rooms, given as what a Kitsune creates is similar to a pocket universe, and besides its storming and the white noise of such tends to wipe out the sound of human voices. So we are not in the room you kicked open.
"We'ved waste enough time up here." He waited for Nari.
Nari muttered imprecations under her breath. She so hated getting drenched with cold rain, but something in the wind told her the lad believed that trouble was coming - Though she had little idea what one wandering Kitsune and a lost soul could do if there truly were dark hordes coming over the walls.
Oh, one of her older relatives could have waved their hand and the invaders could have found themselves trapped in a nightmare reality that had no end and no exit- and the city would have slumbered on unaware that they had ever been endangered. But she was still very young for a Kitsune, and while she could make her rooms, or a forest glade, and perhaps even an entire middling size building into as she wished, a neighborhood, much less an entire city, was far beyond her. Even if the lightning played as lavishly as it did now.
"I'm coming" She followed Aidyn out of the door and down the stairs at a trot, trying to think of something that would give the pair an edge.
"Oh Hachiman for a barrel of sake right now. I'd dedicate it to you and turn you loose on them when you showed up. And not given you the sake untill you'd finished with them." She muttered under her breath. But the Nihongo Kami of War wasn't listening, or perhaps he simply knew that if sake was involved Badger would get there before him. And drink it all. Even Hachiman didn't bother a drunken Badger.
Kheni had helped the women back to her room, as she had gotten quite drunk. He had then pulled himself onto the roof of the inn to enjoy the rain, while he relaxed in the storm he saw a woman who reminded him of home, thought she obviously wasn't from his neck of the woods. He hopped off the building, and hurried to catch up to her.
ooc: it's your character Tanara
ooc: your making this very hard.
The room was empty. No one was there. Perhaps it was all in her head, but she wasn't that drunk, and she still heard voices coming from within the room.
But now the voices where clearer, crisper.
"Go to the window." Said a whisper.
Sophia went do the window and looked out. The streets were empty and the rain was falling like knives from the sky. A glimmer in the rain. Movement.
"Follow them. They are your future." The voice faded out.
Sophia turned around and on the floor, written in a silvery liquid were the words "Fear Not". She grabbed her pendant bearing the same words.
"I will do as you say, Ainne. Lead me the right way."
She ran out of the inn, the rain drenching her. The shapes of the people where moving off in the distance, Sophia ran faster.
"Stop! Wait! I mean you no harm! I must go with you!" yelled Sophia after the shapes.
The Druidic Clans
Aidyn spun around, his sword held before him. No, it is not them... He saw the woman approaching in the rain. He looked past her to see another running towards them. He glimpsed yellow eyes in the heavy rain, a flash of lightning revealed blue hair...One of them? He thought quickly. No, they wear dark armor...
"You might have been wondering what I intended to do," Aidyn said to Nari. Run...Get away from here... "It might seem cowardly, but we need to leave this city...This mass of grime and greed is already lost to this, 'Emperor.'" I need more time to think...
"We're being followed, by the way," he said, watching the two newcomers move the rain.
Xhar heard the door behind him open. A portley man in a raincoa stepped into the pub and sat down at the bar next to Xhar. Xhar didn't bother looking up; he knew the man by his smell.
"Got my pay?" Xhar asked simply.
"I take it the job is done then?" the rotund man asked in kind, dropping a sack on the bar in front of Xhar.
"Ya, its done." Xhar clicked the poket watch trophy onto the bar, then picked up his bag of gold and headed towards the door. He tossed a pair of coins onto an empty table for his drink, then opened the door to leave.
OOC: Honestly I'm not trying to make this hard, just keep the continuity to a reasonable level. Now excuse me while Nari punches out Aidyn....(SC, you're in olive green and Theao, you're the possible Oni, with blue hair and yellow eyes )
Every one please be aware of the fact that when they get about ten feet from the pair the scenery will change. It will be a woodlands forest with japanese feel. If you move out of range it is back to the familiar cityscape with rain bucketing down. You also can not hear what is being said with in the bubble until you are with in it.
With a wave of her hand Nari changed reality, creating a pocket where she felt safe and comfortable. The sun was low on the horizon sending long shadows through the light woods, and in the distance birds sang the daystar farewell, their song clearly heard above the soft babbling of a close but unseen brook.
She grabbed Aidyns arm, forcing him to lower the sword, and spun him about to face her.
"What in the name of Omikami are you talking about? I have no intention of leaving my things or Kiku. I don't leave friends behind." And it was clear that she didn't necessarily consider Aidyn a friend. The little mare was special to her, she was the closest thing that Nari had to a friend and had been her travelling companion for many years. Kikus age was the reason that Nari cosseted her so
We're being followed, by the way," Aidyn sounding confused for a moment
Stop! Wait! I mean you no harm! I must go with you!"
A young human woman charged up to them, a only partially human man hard on her heels, his blue hair hanging limp about his yellow eyes
"Who says 'we' are going anywhere!" Nari snapped resentfully, looking back at Aidyn, though she was highly disturbed that two strangers entered the 'pocket' without any problems. 'They certainly are not Kami, though the man may be Oni..are they directed by the OmiKami?' Nari wondered to herself as she waited for Aidyn to give a far better reason they should leave, at night, no supplies, leaving all their possessions behind- not that she had much, but what she did have meant much to her.
Kheni tilted his head at the scene change, "Who are you, and how come you remind me of home, yet I know you arn't from where I live?" Kheni asked the women.
Sophia looked around at the change of environment. She rather like the forest.
"No one. But Ainne has told me this is my future. To follow you, so you must be going somewhere. There is danger coming. I normally wouldn't run from a good fight, but Ainne has said for me to follow you, and I cannot disobey Ainne."
"Who are you, and how come you remind me of home, yet I know you arn't from where I live?"
"I am Kaminariko, from Nihongo. You are part Oni, yes?" She was rude -she knew not to add all she should concerning her homeland, and even more so for commenting on his birth, but that was the measure of how truly upset she was.
"No one. But Ainne has told me this is my future. To follow you, so you must be going somewhere. There is danger coming. I normally wouldn't run from a good fight, but Ainne has said for me to follow you, and I cannot disobey Ainne."
Nari sighed. She had to accept that danger was coming. She didn't have to like it. She looked at Aidyn.
"One quarter of a candle mark to gather our possessions and supplies. Then..." She hesitated, very reluctant to make the offer, for it would leave her defenseless afterwards, and at the mercy of virtual strangers "I can move us a fair distance from here. And we will not be unequipped, roused out like homeless etta in the middle of the night."
The Druidic Clans
((I'm assuming that those within the ten foot space can hear/see what's outside it?))
Aidyn paused, trying to hold down a sudden rise of anger. Gods be damned, I'm trying to help! But mabye I'm moving to fast...
"I had no intention of asking you to leave your mare behind, Nari," he said calmly. "But this is no ordinary enemy, not something led by the common mortal man, nor driven by the common quest of greed. Something else is going on here, something big is starting this night-" He stopped, a vision flashed in his mind.
A man appraoching an iron gate, a sword held in one hand. Lightning flashed, showing heavy rains, heavier than this night...A large manor on top of hill was behind the iron gate. Strange lights emitting from the top most window...
He shook his head. "I don't understand how I know these things, but I do. From what I've seen, with the way you look at this city, and the illusions you conjure, it's obvious you are from a land very different from this. But this emperor is someone-"
Aidyn paused, listening. He stepped backwards ten paces. He stared over the wall. A flash of lightning lit the sky and the grassy hills surrounding the city. Aidyn stared at the hillside, at the dark mass of marching shapes moving closer and closer. Banners dotted the masses, waving in the wind. The sight vanished as quick as the lightning. He sucked in a breath and stepped back to the group.
"You might want to get your horse, and fast," he said. "They're here..."
A man sat by a small table in the corner of the pub. It was nothing special about him, he was just another weary old merchant seeking refuge from the storm outside. His brown robes seemed to merge with the wooden wall and the shadows helped him in his quest for invisibility, showing only his right hand holding a jug of ale.
Outside a bolt of lightning lit the sky and set the night on fire, illuminating the corner for a second. The man was missing his right ring finger and a long scar was visible on his hand, going up the wrist and disappearing underneath his clothes. He was watching the other customers, though he tried not to look as if he did.
The man in the corner turned his head towards the door as a huge brute of a man entered, nearly breaking the door off its hinges.
“Ale!” howled the giant as he looked at the mugs on the bar.
“Ale and meat!” boomed his voice.
The bar tender went wide eyed, and after a second of fearful hesitation, pulled a small wooden keg from behind the bar and started to pour the barbarian a drink. When the beast of a man saw the bar tender’s intent, he grabbed the keg and, smashing a hole in the top, drank the contents in mere seconds.
“Uh… uh… I’ll get some m-meat” stammered the bar tender as he backed through a door behind the bar.
A relatively large man who was a regular patron, as well as a good friend of the bar tender stood up from his table in the middle of the room.
“Who da you think ya are? You can’t just come in here and eat and drink all ya want! Does ya have any idea how much that costs these days?”
The barbarian jabbed his thumb at himself and said “Gorgar!” then, ignoring the man sat on a bar stool which promptly broke. Gorgar was used to destroying his seats, so he was ready and did not fall. He did, however, begin to laugh.
The bartender returned carrying a mass of half cooked beef and handed it to the barbarian, who grabbed it and ripped a huge chunk off.
“You be’er be able to pay for ‘at!” yelled the drunk who remained standing, watching Gorgar eat.
Gorgar lifted his face from his meal and, with a confused look, stared at the man.
“Whata you lookin at?”
Gorgar laughed and wrapped his massive hand around the leg of a bar stool, then hurled it at the drunk. A horribly loud crack came from the drunk’s head as the stool smashed, and the drunk fell to the ground with a lump already forming.
The room erupted in drunken yells, curses and thrown beer mugs. Gorgar roared with laughter and, without dropping his slab of meat, proceeded to pick people up and throw them into each other.
The ensuing brawl destroyed most of the furniture in the bar and left most men with broken bones.
His fun being over, Gorgar grabbed another keg of ale and, still laughing, walked out the door into the street.
"Oni, what is an oni? I am a half-demon thought. My name is Kheni." Kheni replied as he extended his hand.
The man in the corner rose from his seat and laid two copper coins on the table as payment for the ale. He had been tempted to join, a good fight always cleared the head and made it easier to think, but it was not to draw any attention.
Outside the storm still raged and the rain flooded the streets, drowning both rats and beggars. The man followed the large barbarian called Gorgar, he was the most interesting that had happened today and even if h couldn't get ivolved in any fighting he might still get some laughs.
As Gorgar gleefully ran down the street, he kicked beggars and filled the air with his maniacal laughter. Gorgar spent a few minutes holding his piece of beef in front of a starving beggar’s face, and then pulling it away and howling with laughter when the beggar grabbed at it.
Finally, the poor, starving man made a final grab for the food that he desperately needed, and, when he once again failed, punched out at the barbarian. Gorgar stared at the man with an intent look on his face, but still held the meat out of reach. The beggar, gaining some confidence, punched Gorgar in the jaw once more.
Gorgar’s laughter stopped and, when another punch landed, the beggar was hit in the chest by a massive fist and thrown against the outside wall of a building. The scrawny beggar, fearing for his life, threw his feeble, starving body at the massive barbarian and attacked with the strength of a man with nothing left to lose.
Gorgar did not attempt to defend himself, but watched the beggar beat on his chest for a few moments. Suddenly, the barbarian slammed the piece of beef into the beggar, throwing him to the ground with a thud.
The street urchin closed his eyes and put his spindly arms in front of his head, trying to protect himself from the attack he was sure would come. Instead of the savage beating he was expecting the beggar was hit by the slab of meat. The beggar opened his eyes and saw that Gorgar had dropped the food in his lap and was now, just as happily as he had come, walking away.
''Cruel but righteous, a rare and somewhat bizarre combination.'' muttered the short man in the brown rags that had followed the barbarian.
Another lightning bolt illuminated the streets, making the houses and taverns cast long shadows over the poor beggars and prostitutes that had been unfortunate enough to not being born into a rich family and now roamed the streets in search for food.
''Very well, maybe this man still can prove useful.'' he said and continued stalking the barbarian.
Gorgar continued on his merry way, or at least he appeared to. As he rounded a corner, still laughing, he fell silent and threw himself against the wall and waited, tensed to spring at anyone that would come around the corner behind him. Gorgar had someone following him. Who follow Gorgar? Why they follow Gorgar? Gorgar crush.
Xhar had slipped into the shadowed alley by the pub before the brawl ensued. He also caught a glimps of 2 people running through the street, then disappearing into nothing; he recignized them as the young beauty with a sword and her strange companion. Xhar assumed he was only partly human. Curious, but not stupid, Xhar kicked a rock towards the place where they had vanished, makeing sure to keep in the shadows.
"You might want to get your horse, and fast," he said. "They're here..." Aidyn cried as he returned from stepping out of the pocket.
"Girl, Kheni, come with me. Aidyn, stay here hold this" She whipped the large black pearl that hung about her neck off and handed it to Aidyn. Now she might not die when she changed that much reality, for every bit of energy counted. Tugging on Kheni, and the young servant of Ainne's arms she urged them with her to the stables.
She pointed to four large packs. She had seen them being put together when she brought Kiku to the stables. Some one had paid handsomly for a most complete travelling outfit. "Kheni, take those."
She looked at Sophia ( though she did not know her name ) and pointed to two stalls. Two finely bred horses rested with in. Halters and lead ropes hung from pegs beside each stall. "The horses there, halters, lead rope and take them to Aidyn."
Then she turned to the stall where Kiku stood looking over the half door and nickering at her. Hurriedly she tossed Kiku's tack on her, with many low voiced apologies. Grabbing her own more modest pack from the corner she led Kiku out from the stable, not letting her balk at the rain and lightning.
Kheni grabbed the kits, hoisting them with easy for all thier weight. "So where are we headed?"
"Near enough to Song Hold" Nari mentioned the famous enclave high in the northern mountains. Song Hold was know far and wide for two things, the devotion of each resident to music and the horses they bred, to finance their music. Kiku was one of their breeding. Nari had spent nearly fifty years there and knew the area intimately. That knowledge would be the only way she would be able to create a connecting 'reality'.
Nari was becoming very wroth with those who 's approach had brought her out into the cold and the rain, fleeing from what ever monsterous evil they were poised to commit. Nari had never fancied herself a warrior, despite having no small skill with her weapons. No, she was at heart a scholar and traveller - a leisurely traveller, never hurried or rushed. Neither did she had any understanding of why Aidyn, an all but stranger, chose to include her in the saving of himself. That was an interesting mystery, one that Nari would have to explore. Kitsune curiosity was as dangerous as any cats.
"Two questions, what is Songhold, and what is an Oni?" Kheni asked as he placed the packages on the horses.
ooc: I know what an Oni is, but he doesn't.
The rock disapeared, but at the same time people came out of the "bubble" of invisbility; 3 of them. The girl and man he'd seen before, but the other he hadnt seen enter the bubble. Intrigued as to the sorce of this magic, he descided to follow, but he did so at a long distance and staying in shadow. Xhar had a vauge idea that there was something coming, but not what it was or how many they where. But he managed to keep ahead of whatever dark tide was befalling the city.
OOC: WV Only three came out of the bubble - the two he saw go in and one he hadn't (Nari). They didn't go far- just down to the stable and are now coming back.
"Oni are a race in Nihongo, Land of the Gods. They are what the barbarians call "demon". Many are great warriors, some are tricksters, some are good for nothing. They have many abilities and are very powerful. Your beautiful blue hair and yellow eyes are as many of them bear."
Nari hoped that her replies in some way attoned for her earlier rudness. Oni were indeed very poserful and could be most intolerant of anything they considered rudeness.
"And Song Hold is the City of Music, high in the northern mountains. All thr truly great musicians spend time there. I am surprized that you have never head of it."
'Come, come" Nari urged both of the two. The lightning danced and with each bolt it energised her but she could only contain so much. She was not looking forward to what she would be doing shortly, so in her mind best to get it over with quickly....Once they had Kiku and the supplies of course. Nari loathed travelling with out at least minimal equipment- preferably the best to be had!
She led Sophia, and Kheni almost at a run back toward the bubble, but something caught her senses. She stopped but waved them on. There was someone watching from the shadows, and she moved to confront him
"if you wish to live, join us, or stay and die with the city" She let her warning be enigmatic enough to catch his attention past the point of carefull paranoia. Then shw spun around and followed the others. If he came he came, if not she had done a kindness and that would go good toward her karma
Xhar was not fond of the idea that he had to depend on this girl for his survival. Under other circumstances he would have taken it for parania. But the circumstance wern't different and he was already tired from his journey. Xhar paused long enough to tie his bandana back over his nose and mouth, covering up to his completely white eyes. He then followed, moving as if a shadow against the darkness.
ooc : thanks. got a little lost in all that.
The Druidic Clans
Aidyn waited as the three came back to the small pocket of calm in the storm. He seemed to zone out, thinking intently of what was going on. He was one of them... Aidyn snapped back into reality for a moment. He who? He said to the voice. Who's them? He recieved no answer. Aidyn shook his head as the three entered the 'bubble' and held the black pearl out to Nari.
"I'm not from around here, nor have I been here long. As to me being an Oni, I may be one in your lands, where I come from I am a half-demon." Kheni replied, "If you don't mind me asking what are you as you seem to give off an aura similar to home, yet I know you arn't from my home."
The others disapeared into thin air again. Xhar slid to a stop just before reaching the place that they had vanished. He cautiously stuck an arm out and it passed through the bubble. He withdrew the hand to make sure it was still intact.
"To hell with it..." he said to no one in peticular.
Xhar took an easy step forward and emerged inside the bubble.
Nari took the pearl and hung it about her neck. "Thank you Aidyn."
"If you don't mind me asking what are you as you seem to give off an aura similar to home, yet I know you arn't from my home." Kheni asked.
She gave him a small smile, and replied enigmatically "You will see soon enough."
She looked at the newcomer with only his white eyes showing, and the other three, and the three horses. She sighed again. She was revealing herself so much to strangers. Soon they would know more about her than all but the smallest handful. And she was still leaving things dear to her behind. True just things but she had so little, and soon even less.
This would be the biggest stretch of reality she had ever done, and she knew she could only do it because she was making it a place she knew well, having spent many, many hours enjoying the solitude there.
"Well, are we ready?"
"I'm ready." Kheni replied, intrigued by the woman who answered, yet didn't answer his questions.
"Ready for what?" Xhar thought to himself. He crouched down a bit and let his hands rest on his blades around his back. He looked around the enigma he now stood in; a forest in a city.
"What sort of magic is this?" he wondered.
Nari let every bit of majic about her drop. She couldn't afford the energy to maintain them.She nearly gagged as the stench of the city assaulted her sensitive nostrills. The forest grove disappeared, as she concentrated harder than she ever had before in creating a reality that wasn't just real but was the reality of another place. She was unaware of the terrible look of strain she wore or how completely past pale she had gone.
Then with an audible snap the scene around the.m changed. It was early morn, dawns hues still pearling the sky as a brisk chill breeze blew though the long grass and tossed the nearby rose bushs about. In the near distance, maybe a hundred feet, was a low stone walled well, and a grove of large oak trees clean of undergrowth save for a dense covering of ground cress. The place was clearly a mountain valley. Some distance away a winding road could be seen running through the center of the valley, following a small rock strewn river. No farms or any sign of human habitation could be seen, but that locale had to be visited regularly, a large fire pit could be seen in the near edge of the grove and a large pile of dry fire wood next it.
"Go!" Nari gasped, her voice tight with pain "Get to the well at least..." She whimpered slightly "Go!"
"The well, what well?" Kheni asked, "And where are we?"
"That well!" Some how Nari found the strength to point to the Grey stone well (http://www.atddm.com/well.jpg) some hundred feet or so away.
She felt her inner stores of energy draining faster than she expected. Fear filled her and from somewhere she found a bit more energy
Kheni picked Nari up and crossed the distance in under a few seconds. "What do you need from the well, water?" He asked as he dipped the pail in and pulled out some water.
Sophia absolutely loved the feeling magic gave her. It filled her with hope and energy.
The valley they found themselves in was breathtakingly beautiful.
Sophia ran to the well, not wanting to do anyhting to interfere with the magic. She knew how dangerous it could be.
The Druidic Clans
Aidyn didn't budge at first, watching the painful expression on Nari's face.
"Get to the well at least....Go!"
He took a step backward, unsure of what action to take, then thought it better to move towards the well. He stepped in front of the well and watched at Nari worriedly. Gods, she moved us so far from the city...Can't imagine the drain...
Xhar looked around again. Mountains, vallies, a well, the woman in pain. Xhar suddenly found himself rather out of place; his dark blue skin and dark robes standing out amongst the greenery. Day was fast on its way and shadows where disapearing. Xar stood alert as the sun crested the horizon, hands still on the weapons around his back.
"Where are we?" he asked, not being familiar with the country he was now in.
"Song Hold" Nari felt some one pick her up and move her. 'That's good' she thought absently 'I got us here' Then thinking went away and Kheni found himself holding a large black fox wrapped in Nari's clothes.
The fox was limp, barely alive, the gleaming ebony fur going dull as they watched, the color fading away, leaving behind fur still lifelessly dull but of the palest golden hue. Flesh seemed to fall away leaving bones standing out sharply as if a victim of starvation. Ribs rose and fell with shallow breathing, as shivers brought on by the morning chill raced over the unconscious vixen.
The Druidic Clans
"Gods!" Aidyn exclaimed in surprise. She just turned into a fox...And one that looks like it's on the verge of death...
"Aye Kheni," he said. "Tip some water down her throat, it's as if the Seven Hells are calling her down after a trek through the Baronian Desert..."
Kheni opened the fox's mouth and pour a small amount of the water into it, going slowly to ensure there was no risk of choking. He also pulled out a small vial of smelling salts, that should aid in returning the fox to an awake state.
There was no swallow reaction, the water just trickled back out of the vixens slightly open jaws. The smelling salts produced no reaction either. Nari did not have the energy to be conscious and the cold was draining even more of her tiny reserves of energy
Kheni frowned at the lack of effect both the water and salts had. As he rested his hand on the fox's side, he noted that she seemed somewhat colder that earlier. Since she was getting colder, he decided to see about warming her up. "One of you start a fire." He barked as he stripped off his shirt, revealing a slightly furred torso and wrapped it around the fox, as well as holding her against his chest, using his body heat to help warm her.
The Druidic Clans
"One of you start a fire."
Aidyn nodded and turned towards the well. He knelt and searched around the well for a suitable rock and quickly found one. He quickly ripped out a bit of dry grass next to the well and through it over some dry logs in the fire pit. He dropped the rock down on the grass and ripped out his sword to chop down, creating a shower of sparks to rain down on the grass. Flames immediately started to rise and Aidyn tipped the grass into the logs. The fire grew quickly.
"Bring her over here," he said. Aidyn then went towards the trees and grabbed an old and moss covered log and dragged it across the grass to the fire pit to make a seat off the ground.
Kheni carried her over to the fire and sat down, near enought that she would be warmed by the flames.
Xhar was indebted to this woman for saving his life, apparently. This was not something that Xhar enjoyed. Though he was an assasin, he was an honorable one. So he would stay with these people until his debt was repayed.
Xhar walked up the hill that the group was on to get a better lay of the land.
Warmed by the fire and the warmth of Kheni's body trapped by the cloth tucked around, eventually the fox stopped shivering and came conscious enough to curl into a ball, tucking the plume of her tail across her muzzle.
The three horses drank from the well, and moved slowly to crop grass in the meadow. Hours had passed and the sun was well risen, almost noon as the lack of shadows, save for in the oak grove, clearly showed.
The man stopped and listened carefully. The barbarian's horrible song had stopped and only the rain and the sound of thunder far away could be heard. The barbarian had turned right a few metres ahead and the small man crept closer, sneaking almost silently and further aided by the heavy rain and the occasional thunder. He reached down and grabbed one of his many knives, hiding it under his robe although keeping it in his hand.
Kheni continued to hold the fox, ensuring that it stayed warm, as well as keeping the bucket containing nearby. He began lighly stroking the fox as he watched the fire.
Nari whimpered as she hovered between unconsciousness and coma. Hunger pangs twisted her. She had not only used all of her power but her physical internal energy stores - fat, muscle, and now was leaching her bones of vital nutrients. As Khemi stoked the fox he found patches of the fine, lifeless pelt coming off in his hands.
Kheni held the fox near the water, to see if she would drink, as well as pulling out a small amount of tender meat, which he held to her nose.
Her hunger was so strong that, reflexively as the scent of the meat registered, her jaws opened, snapping at the meat with small sharp fangs. The morsel of meat was snatched with no regard for fingers that may have been where teetch went. Then the small bite was done and the pale nose twiched frantically, searching for more.
Kheni pulled out a large piece of meat, and slicing it into strips with three fingers, fed the strips with the other two. While the teeth sometimes nicked his flesh, he wasn't bothered as they didn't hurt or cause any real injury.
The Druidic Clans
Aidyn glanced at the fire, his eyes narrowing in the bright light of the noon sun. He sighed solemnly then turned and walked into the trees away from the group. He continued on for a few minutes in the trees and stopped near a fast moving stream. Aidyn leaned back against the moss-covered trunk of an angelica tree and stared at the stream as the water moved over the already smooth stones and the light seemed to sparkle off of the pebble covered bottom dotted with micah.
Now where do I go from here? He thought...Head off on my own again or stay with these others...
((By the way: An Angelica Tree (clicky) (http://img116.echo.cx/img116/6126/araliaelato2rs.jpg) ))
Gorgar, being a barbarian whose survival depended on hunting for most of his life, had ears that were incredibly sensitive to the sound of movement; however, tonight the sound of rain and thunder rendered his acute hearing nearly useless. Fortunately, when lightning lit the sky behind the building, he had seen on the ground the elongated shadow of a man and so Gorgar new how close to the corner of the building his follower was.
As Gorgar watched the corner of the building, he realized that he was most likely being followed by a thief, or petty thug and Gorgar’s mind was too slow to realize most thieves would be terrified of him and so this man must be more dangerous.
Gorgar hate thieves. Crush this man now!
The massive barbarian leapt around the building with a roar that surely must have been heard by the Gods in their home in the heavens and prepared to tear his follower into pieces small enough for the rats to feast on.
Kheni barely had time to get the small strips torn free before they were bolted down. Her hunger apparently unappeased, the Kitsune gobbled down another five of the larger pieces before sinking into a healing sleep, her breathing much more regular, and swallowing small amounts of water, though not waking.
The afternoon passed, the horses eventually wandering near, nosing people for their dinner of grain, the large packs still attached hastily to their backs. Nari's little mare too waited patiently for tending.
Kheni ensured that the fox was confortable, as well as leaving the meat and water within easy reach.
He then began dealing with the horses.
The Druidic Clans
Aidyn remained at the stream as the day passed into the afternoon. Stay with the group... He sighed. I don't want to drag these people into my troubles...There are things about myself that will raise the hair on my neck... He thought in answer to the voice in his mind. These questions and the answers you seek concern more than just yourself, soon these people will become involved in the matter anyway... Aidyn shook his head. I don't understand... He sighed and closed his eyes a moment. You will...
Aidyn stepped away from the tree and turned to head back to the fire pit. He passed under the trees and left the tree line and crossed the grassy hill to the fire pit. He passed without a word to help Kheni with the horses. Then turned towards the fire and found a seat near the log as the afternoon neared its end. He lay down in the grass and leaned his head back against the log, moss providing a small cushion. Gods I need some sleep...
The Kitsune slept the night away half waking once long enough to eat all the meat the Kheni laid out and drink a little. Then she pulled herself as close to the fire as she could, leaving more patches for fur behind, and curled back up in a tight ball, trying to stay as warm as possible. The night sky was devoid of clouds to hold in the days warmth and the temperature had dropped even lower with the suns early vanishing behing the mountains.
The packs yielded, as Nari had noticed back in the city a very complete travellers kit, with dried foods, camping and cook gear, bedding and other necessities.
Kheni layed his shirt and a blanket over the fox, and laid down beside her to keep her warm. He wasn't bothered by the temperature as it fell. He had also laid out some more meat in case the fox wanted it.
ooc: how could we speed up her recovery?
Xhar stood stock still on his perch onthe hill, both keeping watch over the group and studying the land.
Lots of trees and bolders for cover. I'd be willing to bet that there are some caves in those mountains should we need to hide. There are worse places to be i supose. he told himself.
He looked back down on the scene below him. The others had clumped around the fire and the fox-woman still looked to be in bad health. Xhar sighed.
I truely hope that one doesnt die. Then i'll never be free of this debt.
OOC: See post in ooc thread
Nari, still sleeping, snuggled deeper into the warm bedding and closer to Kheni as the coldest part of the night came.
The night was peaceful, filled with the sounds of local small wildlife, and in the shadowy distance of the other side of the valley heards of deer drifted from their day time resting places to graze. Faint in the distance the howls of hunting wolves arose, but they never came close to where the refugees were camped.
Kheni pulled out additional foods, some vegtables and some dried fish, which he also set by the meat. Kheni, hearing and understanding the wolf calls, smiled at a comment from the Alpha, before going back into the semi-consious state he slept in.
The Druidic Clans
A roar of thunder shook the ground and was followed by a crack of lightning. Rain fell in torrents from the sky, but was not enough to drown the fires burning in the village. Buildings burned, a flag post was cracked and bent over, the flag waving in the wind as flames leaped from the bottom. Bodies lay everywhere, spears arrows sticking from the corpses while others were killed by more unnatural means. A young man knelt over a young woman's body, his sword hanging limply in his hand. The woman wasn't moving, her eyes closed, her own longbow laying on the ground, her sword resting just a few inches from her open hand. The young man sat on his knees, leaning back against the heel of his boots as he bent over the woman's body. Another booming blast of thunder was followed by a crack of lightning...
Aidyn jumped awake, his hand gripping his sword. He propped himself up on his elbows and took a breath, recounting what he had just dreamed. Was that a dream? A memory? He held both hands to his head a moment then sighed. Aidyn stood and glanced around the group. Nari lay asleep next to Kheni, both near the fire. He walked quietly away from the fire to a higher point on the hill where a rock jutted from the hillside. He stood on the rock and stared out across the surrounding land as he listened to the calls of the wild. He looked up from the land to the sky, his eyes on the moon. It's so clear out here...
Xhar looked over at the young man accending the hill he had taken up watch on. The man didnt see Xhar, but that was to be expected. Xhar specialized in not being seen. He took a small fruit from his satchel and peeled it with his blade. The man looked up, as did Xhar. The start and moon shown brightly, though along the horizon Xhar spotted clouds brewing.
I supose that way leads back to the city. he thought to himself. 12 hours, maybe less before the storm catches up to us.
Tossing the peels aside, Xhar began eating the fruit quietly so as not to desturb the other man.
The moon fell, setting in the west in it's perpetual pursuit of the Boat of a Million Years. The stars moved in their celestial dance from even greater distances, and the mountains sighed silently with the thousand and one small murmurs of life as Aurora came creeping forth to layer the skies in the first nacreous hues of dawn.
Nari, still constrained to fox form woke long enough to gobble down every bit of food that Kheni had set forth and lap up a fair amount of the water as well. Then she moved slowly back to where she had lain most of the night, taking advantage of Kheni's warmth and kindness. Curling up in a tight ball against him she was asleep again almost instantly.
Kheni called one of the horses over in an odd mixture of what would sound like english, a language none of them would have ever heard and horse whinnies. Once the horse arrived he fished out some more food from one of the packs, as he'd exhausted his personal food pack. Once he'd set the food down for the fox, he began softly stroking her side.
The Druidic Clans
((Sorry about the absence, meant to post in the OOC thread about the week-long trip, but I guess it didn't show up...Anyway, moving along...))
Aidyn awoke with a start. He glanced around the camp site, blinking in the morning sun. When he fell asleep, he couldn't remember, but he found himself leaning a lump of grass away from the group. He stood and stared around for a moment before yawning shortly. Aidyn walked back towards the fire, which was already a hardly burning pile of embers and ash. He took a seat next to the fire and waited for the others to awaken.
Well, Nari brought us here, I guess she'll pick our next destination...
Nari woke to find herself in human form, wrapped in a sleeping Khemi's arms. She blushed deeply and stammering apologies she moved as best she could, though that was not speedily at all and each movemnt hurt almost unbearably, from his embrace to gather up her clothes and totter unsteadily behind a bush to dress. She couldn't stand fully errect, the exhaustion and pain kept her hunched over and her frame had no more spare flesh on it that a victim of famine.
Once she had managed to clothe herself, with many small weary voiced curses and near falls she slowly returned to the fireside. Nari noticed the food that Kheni had sat out and with out asking ate it all, in slow careful bites. Every so often her hand crept to her scalp, for her long thick ebon fall of hair was gone, having fallen off. Tears prickled her eyes but she said nothing.
She shivered in the morning cold, moving as closed to the pile of embers as she safely could.
"We should go on to Song Hold- I got us as close as I could. It's less than a half days ride on."
The Druidic Clans
Aidyn didn't look from the pile of embers as Nari dressed behind a bush. He glanced up as she sat back down, eating the food Kheni had layed out.
"We should go on to Song Hold- I got us as close as I could. It's less than a half days ride on."
The swordsman nodded. "I'll ready the horses then." He stood and walked towards the horses, then paused, turning to glance at the frail-looking woman. "Are you okay this morning? We could stay longer if needed..."
Kheni awoke as the fox became human, and Nari hurried off to get changed. As she began eating, he began to prepare additional food as she looked like she would need it.
"Staying would not be a good idea. Even in the summer, this high up in the mountains it is always cool and storms spring up with unexpected ferocity."
She watch Kheni prepare more food, her gratitude showing in her eyes. She found a scarf in her travelling obi and tied it around her head, blushing and embarrased for the sorry picture she made.
"If some one would ride double with me, I should be able to make it. There are magical healers in Song Hold who can help me. Thank you all for caring for me through out the night."
"I should still have some funds with the city guild. I taught Koto there for many years. That is how I knew this place so well. I picnicked here nearly every week if the weather allowed. And that hillside." She gestured to a treeless slope across the valley "Is a favorite in winter to ski and sled on."
"Are you sure you could handle it?" Kheni asked as Nari tied a scarf around her head. "If you are I'd be honoured to be your double, unless you would like someone else. If you do simply say so, and I won't be offended." Kheni stated
She looked at him, suddenly shy, aware of how horrid she must have looked throught the night. She could see the clumps of dull fur scattered about where her movements had pulled them out. Her nearly skeletal hands she hid suddenly in the folds of her short kimono and full hakima.
"I..I ..would be honored to have you ride with me. You have been so kind. May Inari grant you every good thing"
"When you feel ready we shall go, and don't de afraid of calling a rest." Khevit replied, a gentle smile on his face.
The Druidic Clans
Aidyn checked over the horses, making sure the packs and the like were tight and secure. He held out some extra food in his hand for a horse to eat as he patted its side. He stepped away and turned back to the piles of ashes and paused, noting a scent on the passing breeze. Rain?
He scanned the sky to see a number of clouds in the distance, though far away, the dark and heavy look could still be seen. Aidyn sighed. Rain and thunder seems to follow everywhere...We need to hurry if Nari is right about these storms...
"We don't have time to pause," Aidyn said, facing the group. "The horses are ready, it is time we leave." He nodded towards the approaching storm. "If Nari's right about these storms, we wouldn't want to get caught on a hillside." He glanced around the group. "Where's the shady character, I don't believe he gave a name..."
Nari looked up as she moved from under the sky hiding trees, and her nose all but quivered in delight. The lighting the storm would bring would reenergise her greatly. However it would prove very dangerous for her companions.
"Please do not worry for me, Kheni. I know that I will do fine with you there."
After he'd helped her on Kiku and swung up behind her she reassured Aidyn that there were farms ahead, less than three hours at a horses walking pace that a person could match. Song Hold could be reached by mid afternoon, even as slow as they would be going.
"And if we don't make it to the first of the outlieing farms, the herd pastured all have hay barms for wintering over, so we could wait out the storm in one if it catches us."
Song Hold (http://www.atddm.com/Song Hold.jpg)
(This is not my art work, I'm no where near that good, but it is almost perfect as I envision Song Hold)
I see far more trees though. Heavy, well tended growths of upland/ mountain trees- ash, cedar, pines, firs and such - used as wind breaks between the fields, lining the main road, and at the base of the mountains.
Also more green in the city - lots of potted trees and plants, hardy ivy and other climbing vines decorating the walls, as well as numerous large green houses.
The city state of Song Hold is prosperous, well defended, and known world over for the quality of musicians, singers, dancers that it trains, the musical instruments it crafts lovingly and exports, and the fine horses that it raises and sells only to those they feel deserve them.
There is a small general knowledge university, but compared to the Univeristy of Music it is triffling. People come from all over Azura to study, and all of good will are welcome to come and learn.
What is not generally known is how to get there. Part of the citys formidable defenses are the treacherous mountains that surround them, and ages old magical defenses that are well maintained.
The spot that Nari brought you is well with in the boundries, and you might meet a road patrol on your way in.
In both the city itself and in the mountains that cup the valley are numerous well hidden and protected storehouses and graineries- supposedly enough to last a dozen years of full seige. There are many artesian wells within the city. The upthrust it is built on is the caldera remains of an extinct volcano wich provides the city with a never ending supply of hot water as well. The house and classrooms are heated by pipes circulating the hot water and there are bath houses on nearly every corner. This inner core valley seldom has more than moderate snows save in the worst of winters.
As you can see in the picture, there are small passes to other valleys radiating off the main valley - these have been left wild for deer, elk, bear, boar, goat, and bighorn sheep - hunting/ nature preserves.
Where you are now is in the first 'free' valley, called Green Valley -intentionally left unused for future expansion if needed. The valley is roughly thirty miles long by about ten miles wide. Traveling north, for almost fourteen miles, ( about two and a half hours ) toward Song Hold, will take you to a small valley, called Flying Hooves, that is used only for the horse breeding operation. That is where you will find the first occupied all year round dwellings, and the hay barns that Nari just spoke of.
Flying Hooves valley is wide rather than long and will take you only about two hours to cross it, before you enter the five mile long, heavily fortified pass that will admit you to the central valley and Song Hold.
If you went south, just about six hours hours ride, you would be at the north end of Big Valley, the ranching valley, where cattle and sheep are raised. Big Valley is roughly seventy miles long by about forty miles wide. There are several small villages there and a large military fortification- This is where the bulk of their military lives and trains. As in the Green and Flying Hooves valley's there are no passes save at the north and south ends. The pass into the last valley, Fair Valley is as heavily fortified as the one into Song Hold.
This last southern most valley, Fair Valley, is where the annual horse fair is held, and why you don't see any one in Green valley right now - most every one has already passed through to attend the huge trade gathering that surrounds the horse fair. There are two small cities, Merrimet and Carilon. Merrimet, on the east side of the valley, is known for the quality of the beer and ales they brew and the cheeses that they cure in the many caves in the surrounding mountains. They also weave very rewpectable carpets and a variety of fabrics.
Carilon is home to many well known weapon smiths and armour makers. Carilon is built in to the sides of the western mountains and utilizes hot springs, and advanced Dwarven technology to power forges of a complexity seldom seen by outsiders. They also produce exquisite time pieces, precission mechanicals, and the magical/mechanical appratus that power the flying boats ( but not the boats themselves - those are made by the Elves ) Carilon has a high percentage of dwaves in their resident population, and is mostly with in the mountains bulk, going both up and down, with many open air terraces providing natural light and fresh air. There are also many concealed ventelation shafts, and the ceiling height within the mountain is cmfortable for humans, though almost all of the construction is masterful dwarven work. It is said that there are secret tunnels from Carilon to Song Hold.
"Alright, if you ever need to stop, then say so and we will." Kheni said as he sniffed the air to gauge the force of the storm. It would be unpleasent if he wasn't undercover, but nothing he hadn't handled before, thought for Nari's sake it would be best to reach shelter.
The group was gathering below. Xhar stirred from his crouched position on the hilltop. He stretched out a few cramped muscles and took a moment to assess the situation.
The woman is human again. Or as close to human as se was before.
He looked over the horizon. The storm was even nearer than the previous night.
I supose they'll be wanting to move soon.
Xhar sighed and walked down to the camp, abandoning the look out position.
The Druidic Clans
Aidyn watched as the other approached from the hill. He turned and mounted his horse. He rested a hand on the hilt of his sword as used the other to hold the reins. He glanced back to the man walking back towards the group.
"Do you have a name to go by?" asked Aidyn.
Xhar looked up at the man on the horse. He didnt like giving his name, but he suposed that he couldn't remain nameless the entire time he was with them.
"Xhar" he said plainly.
The Druidic Clans
Aidyn pulled a little on the reigns as the horse tapped its hooves on the ground.
"Xhar, that's an interesting name," said Aidyn. "Don't think I've heard of a similar name... Where are you from?"
"It is not a word the human tounge can pronounce. Most know it as 'the island of mist and shadow'."
ooc: Just a reminder we have three horses. Kheni and Nari are on Kiku, Aidyn on another, so that leaves a third horse to be ridden if the packs are rearranged some what.
Nari just nodded, and concentrated on holding on to the saddle pommel and not making things awkward for Kheni. Quietly she listened to Aidyn and the stranger she'd cautioned. It seemed his name was Xhar, and the translation was beautiful phrase. It seemed to suite him.
As they rode Kheni occasionally spoke his odd horseish language, in which the horses replied with whinnies. After the first time he did this the horses seemed to change slightly, making it easier for the riders, and especially Nari to remain balanced.
Xhar nodded at the unoccupied horse.
"Pack that one down. I can travel on foot."
The Druidic Clans
"Pack that one down. I can travel on foot."
Aidyn nodded and leaned over from his horse while holding on hand on the reins, grabbing a larger pack from the third horse and slinging it over his own horse, just in front of himself.
"There you go, Xhar," said Aidyn, making sure the pack wouldn't fall off.
"I meant let him carry the gear, but that will do as well."
Xhar smirked behind the scarf and mounted the horse.
The Druidic Clans
Aidyn shook his head. "No need to travel on foot. Besides, if we run into trouble, unloading a horse and mounting can take too much time. Just looking out for a comrade, Xhar."
"Apreciate the thought." Xhar said cooly.
He gave his horse a little kick to get him moving and they started off.
Nari looked at at Kheni as the horses pace changed, Kiku's smooth gait becoming even more flowing
"Thank you. I've never been able to learn the various beast tongues. My mother was very adept, but I just have a tin ear and a tin tongue when it comes to languages, though I'm told my singing voice doesn't make ears bleed."
As they rode her fatigue wore her down so that she did end up leaning back against Kheni, practically asleep with the rythmic motion of the walking pace
"The language I learnt from a tribe of horsemen. They could both do incredible things on horseback, and could get the horses themselves to do even more. They had three languages that they used, what they called Mare-Speak, Low Stallion, and Upper Stallion. Mare-Speak is the common tounge, while the Stallion languages are command languages. I can speak some Mare-Speak, and a few words of Low Stallion. As to your singing, I'm sure it is quite beautiful." Kheni replied
The road the wound leisurely along the west bank of the river was well maintained, raised and side sloped for proper drainage. Beneath a thick layer of hard packed sandy dirt was a layer of cobbles, this being apparent at a small bridge that crossed a very small river that tumbled down from a spring or morraine lake some where deep in the mountains.
"That's fascinating Kheni, and certainly the horses seem to understand what you're saying. The river to our right is named Novva and has it's origins in Song Hold's inner most valley. May small streams from the mountains, and from the plateau that Song Hold itself sits on are apart of the source waters, but there is a unique artesian lake there too. It is considered sacred. Many small temples and shrines line its banks, and in the center is a series of natural fountains that produce dazzling displays of water jets and sprays. The lake is completely clear, with a pristine white sand bottom and it's home to huge, veil finned, brightly colored fish. The lake never freezes."
Nari spoke softly but clearly, bringing out favorite memories of the city. As the hours passed she spent a fair amount of time dozing as well, sleep claiming her unexpectedly now and again.
"That sounds like quite a beautiful site. I'd like to see it once you're better." Kheni said
Xhar alternated between riding head of the group and trailing back behind it aways. The scenery looked peaceful, but that was often the case when raids occur. Not that raiders worried Xhar, but he still felt it his job to keep watch over the group.
"Oh the whole valley is just lovely, but that is a particularly appealing place. There is a contentment about it that makes me think they are correnct in their belief that it is sacred."
Nari yawned behind her hand and blushed as she apologized. "Forgive me my rudeness." She sat up straighter, and looked about
"We are less than half a candle mark ride from where Green Valley opens up into Flying Hooves, and another half candle mark should see us near the first dwellings there."
A little less than an hour and they would be near cover should the storm gather speed and catch them
"Do not apologise for what you have no control over. As to a candle mark, I don't think I've ever heard of a marker for time called that." Kheni said as he enjoyed the ride.
"I first learned trade tongue in a small country called Silvaro. One of their prime exports is honey, and fine beeswax. They make candles that burn at a specific rate, like the incense we use at home. The candles are marked and each one burns for twelve hours. They don't like clocks for some reason, part of their ancient mythology I believe."
"I got used to calling it candle marks. I taught a nobleman's daughter proper etiquette and the skinflint ended up paying me in candles. I had enough to last me years, and the poor mule I had at the time never quite forgave me I think." She laughed at the memory, then called to Xhar
"Xhar, there have not been any raids here in nearly a hundred years, or so the records I saw said. Please don't fret your self, though your concern is appreciated. Might I ask where you are from?"
"Ah, among my people, cats are commonly used as general time pieces. We go by what is called 'ball', 'egg', 'seed' and 'needle' time, other than that we are generally rather inpercise about time." Kheni replied
Nari twisted around to better look at Kheni, astonishment plain on her face
"Cats? How does one tell time by cats?"
She gave a brief mental giggle over the image of a sleeping cat acting as a sundail as it followed a patch of sun across a specially marked room.
OOC: Have you ever seen a sleeping cat, unwaking but scrunching along following a patch of sun across a floor as time goes by? Thats the image that's making her giggle
"Most people use cat's eyes to track the time. Because a cat's eyes are quite sensitive, they can tell the time, more or less. A few people who are obsessed with percision use a cat in a room to mark it's passage as it stays in the sun." Kheni replied
That set Nari to giggling such that she had to grab Kheni to keep from sliding off and she confessed the mental image she'd had.
"Oh my that was a thought! We love to be precisely imprecise and imprecisely precise about time. The peoples of the Land of the Gods use joss sticks and water clocks, but we also ignore time quite firmly when it suits us. Time isn't important...save when it is."
She gave him a look, not sure if he would understand, so few did.
"I miss home." She said half to herself
"How true." Kheni replied, "If you miss home, why not return?"
The Druidic Clans
Aidyn sighed as he rode along, bringing up the rear of the rest of the group. Missing home... He shook his head and laughed quietly to himself. I can't even remember a home to miss... He dropped a hand to the hilt of his sword and untied a strip of cloth in a quick motion. Aidyn looked at it as his horse trotted along, his eyes reading the ancient rune written and the small blood stain on part of the cloth. The strip of cloth, his sword, and the clothes on his back being the only things he had now, since his amnesia started weeks ago.