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  #31  
Old 09-20-2017, 10:55 PM
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As they waited for Khole's response, Aira smiled and petted Lena, scratching behind the ears as the big cat used them as a couch. It was odd, Aira didn't seem to have any problems with the weight of the big kitty, despite her lithe frame.
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  #32  
Old 09-24-2017, 04:36 PM
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Khole clearly enjoyed the attention of the two ladies, and he seems to blush a little at Lady Winter's wink, but covers it with a quick adjustment to his sword belt. You feel a brief touch of an emotion but it is muted and vague, clearly more leakage from Khole. Mitah however knows Khole too well and lets out a good belly laugh, his crystal parts tinkling and sparkling in response, and winks at Khole himself. Khole, for his part, glares over at him, but it is clear he is merely playing along as his face breaks into wide grin. And when Aira expresses desire to ask Khole a question, he once more sketches a courtly bow, and you feel assent with the sound of tinkling bells. But when the actual question is asked, it's as if the smile froze on his face.

It goes brittle for a moment and the playful flame seems to fade from his eyes. A confused jumble of images, feelings, smells, and sounds briefly touches your minds, but once more it's like overhearing someone speak. [Jumble:fireredscreamsbattleearthsmokegreenpanicdar klosstreespeacemountainsilencepain] Then the stream shuts off abruptly and Khole is standing with his eyes closed and slowly releasing a breath. He may have only done it the once, or he may have been at it for a few moments, the stream feels like it distorted time a little. Mitah is sitting up, unaffected by what he saw, and looking at Khole with concern. Khole raises a hand to him with a clear purpose of 'hold' and turns to the ladies sending a single emotion [Feeling: Regret]. And sketching a more careful bow, he pats the base of his neck three times and shakes his head and gestures over to Mitah before walking to the edge of their camp and taking to higher branches once more.

Apologies Ladies, he did not mean to alarm you with that outburst, but who his people are...or rather who they were...and what happened to them are too closely interwoven for him. And in trying to share part of that story, the rest came crashing in. He looks up to Khole's perch and smiles sadly, and Khole sends to everyone, [Feeling:Strength/Resolve/Apology] [Image: Circling Open Hand] The meaning of the image is clear Get on with it. Mitah chuckles softly, Ah you frustrating man-child! Mitah calls out in mock severity. He smiles at his master/ward/friend, full of shared pain and understanding, then turns to the ladies again.

His people were called the Etorri. Cousins to the Gathlains, and first of the fey. Their people were born of a seed from the tree of life, and that life grew to be unique among the fey. All few share an affinity for nature, but for the Etorri and the Gathlain, that affinity is symbiosis. Long and long ago, there were a group of Gathlains who desired to walk a different path from others of their kind. Where the Gathlains were as you probably expect fey to be, selfish and curious tricksters, these desired knowledge and harmony, a symbiosis with the world to mirror their symbiosis with nature, and they left in search of a place of their own. When they had found a home, they began quietly going among the people to watch them and learn about them. Stories sprang up about them and the peoples of the lands began to view the sight of an Etorri as a good luck charm. And though war is an ever present threat among most people of the world, the Etorri Jungle was considered a sacred place and left alone.

As the years passed, the Etorri became more active and shared knowledge with their favored and helped the people of the land to prosper, achieving works of wonder and beauty just from a whispered word of encouragement. It must have been a beautiful time in which to live. Mitah smiles and a gentle glow emanates from his crystal parts. But as always happens, someone desired the favor and knowledge of the Etorri for themselves. Khole has only ever referred to him as the 'Black King' and I suspect he doesn't truly know who it is for he was but a boy. The Black King tried to buy the Etorri, to sow distrust with the other lands, and to intimidate them into his service, but they had spent so long at peace they didn't see what refusal was doing to this madman. And mad he was for at their final refusal, he vowed they would regret their choice.

His recitation pauses for a moment then he continues in a lilting cadence:
Their knowledge and power the Mad King did crave
In their refusal of him, his pride they bruised
Like a petulant child the Mad King rants and raves
But the Etorri were steadfast, and they refused

To home he flew, driven by embarrassmen and greed
His thoughts turning dark and forming a plan
He raised an army, and filled their heads with his dark seed
The Black King arose; savage, snarling, and barely a man

To the Etorri they marched encircling their home
Fire and magic prevented them from any escape
The blades began to swing, mixing blood with the loam
The Etorri saw their dark future at last take shape

'Let us not be ended' they cried, 'take away our young'
And power answered, to the four corners the last were flung
Mitah is looking up at Khole and there is a beat of silence and then he smiles sheepishly at the ladies. I'm sorry, it's something I've been working on and it's still rough. As far as we are aware, the Etorri are no more, Khole has ever looked for hints of others but none have been seen or heard since the day of the Black King's rage. A rustle from the branches above draws the eye and Khole descends lightly to the ground, his eyes are a little red, but dry. "My people were craftsmen, scholars, and teachers. I had just reached my [Concept: Coming of age ceremony]Atrea when the Black King slaughtered my people. And now I am the last. He looks at the two ladies for a moment, something deep within stirring but the moment passes quickly. He lightly takes to the air and floats forward, petting the massive tiger as the sun fully crests the horizon and a smile grows once more on his face. He sets down on the ground and beckons to Mitah with a controlled burst of mental communication. Too right, too right, he did warn you I like to tell stories. Mitah smiles at Khole and stands, walking over to stand behind him, and for a split second, they seem to be of a height, but whatever it was passes and Mitah stands towering behind Khole. Far be it from us to tell you ladies how to travel, but should we not be preparing to move on? Daylight is scarce in the winters and this town is facing some kind of danger if I heard you right. As Mitah speaks the word danger you get a strong feeling from Khole [Feeling: Excitement/Thrill/Challenge].
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-Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination.
-I will protect those who cannot protect themselves.
-I will protect even those I hate, so long as it is right.

Last edited by Scimmy; 09-24-2017 at 06:40 PM.
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  #33  
Old 09-26-2017, 09:21 PM
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Aira smiled and thanked him for sharing his story by telling one of her own, It seems we share something similar. she smiled. You see, many millenniums ago, dragons were always different colors, however, there was no good or evil among them. Not until mortals began to rise, the fey and other elves, dwarves, humans and all manor of humanoids as we know them today.

It was dealings with them when things like power and greed began to separate the dragons, all Metallic ones sided with good intentions. Like Bahamut for example. Known as the Wise and Just Lord of the North Wind.
she pulls out a holy symbol and shows it to him.

Then there were the chromatic ones, like Tiamat who fell into sloth, greed and evil, thinking they should always be the superior race in the world. This caused the "great dragon war", where they fought against each other and were slain till almost the brink of extinction.

Events like this eventually brought rise to people like Dragon Slayers or others like the Evil, Cult of the Dragon. Where in either case, they hunt down all manor of dragons. One to slay, the other to enslave them as an undead dragon and control it.

Like your self for instance, seeking a white dragon. White is a chromatic dragon, evil and vile in nature. Hence the reason why I'm joining you. I don't like them either, Dragon Hunter.
she commented the last two words in a odd tone as she smiled then looked over at the rising sun.

Looks like it's time to depart.

Shall we be on our way then?
she commented as they finished wrapping things up and headed into town.

Last edited by kaylara; 09-26-2017 at 11:54 PM.
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  #34  
Old 09-29-2017, 03:43 AM
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When Khole's assault of feelings and images flooded through her mind, Winter was taken back to her own fateful day. There was no fire or battle in her own memory, but one emotion grabbed hold and echoed through her soul. Loss. She had felt that sharply and deeply for years, but feeling the same emotion coming from another... sharing that emotion, made Winter feel connected to Khole in a visceral way. It was so much stronger than the sympathy felt for a friend in pain, or even the empathy felt from sharing similar experiences. She was overcome with the desire to embrace Khole, but realized that whatever had just happened was a one-way street.

While the others spoke, Winter found herself in a jumbled free fall of thoughts and emotions, feeling out of control. She had erected strong walls around her heart and hadn't let anyone close for years, but all that seemed to be crashing down around her. Looking at Aira, she realized that it had started with her arrival, for whatever reason. Perhaps that was why she lashed out against Mitah so strongly, as if sensing a weakness in her defenses. She looked at him and felt a pang of regret, she hadn't exactly been welcoming the previous night. As her gaze continued and landed on Khole, she pondered how strange it was to have three such unique people come into her life all at once, how improbable. Finally, her eyes fell to Lena, who was looking at her so intensely, she almost couldn't bear it. The tiger seemed to be trying to tell her something, or perhaps waiting for her to realize something, and that was when it hit her.

Lena, a gift from Gaia herself, came into her life the moment Winter needed her most, and helped her survive. She felt the same sense of providence in the events of the last 24 hours, and she had a feeling that perhaps her new friends had been sent to help her live again.

As the others prepared to leave, Winter knelt before Khole and fixed him in the eye. "Can you read my thoughts and emotions the way you project your own?" Khole simply shook his head in answer, and Winter's heart fell a little. "I know you probably didn't mean to share so much, but that feeling of loss... I want you to know I've felt it too. You're not alone in that... and you made me feel like I'm not alone in that either." She then stood and turned to Mitah, her normally icy eyes much softer than the last time they locked gazes. "I know you meant no harm last night, and if I am too forceful in defending my name, it is only because I am the only one left to do so."

Walking a few paces away, Winter closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, reaching into a pocket and withdrawing a small pearl. She clenched her jaw as the muscles in her neck, shoulders, and arms strained with tension, and for a moment she seemed frozen in time. Internally she battled, having carried that pearl for over a year, but never having the courage to use it. She finally began to exhale, almost painfully slowly, and the tension bled from her body as her head bowed and her shoulders drooped. A quiet word slipped from her lips, and the pearl was crushed between her fingers. A bright circle of light appeared on the ground behind her and began to swirl and grow, pulsing with warmth. Suddenly, the glyph exploded in a flash of light, and when the light dissipated, an image of 5 people appeared in its center. Unlike the previous night, this image was not shimmering and ethereal, it seemed vivid and solid and living and real.

A man and woman, garbed in fine yet tasteful clothing, stood hand-in-hand. In front of them were twin boys, perhaps 13 years of age, and a younger girl. Winter, with her back still turned, began to introduce them. Her voice began quiet and shaking, but grew in strength and confidence as she went on. "This was my family. The littlest one's name was Hallie." The little girl took a step forward and curtsied, golden curls bobbing as she did so. "She was a little brat at times, I told my parents they spoiled her too much, but she was their baby and she knew it." Hallie placed her hands on her hips and glared at Winter, who let out a bark of laughter before continuing, the fondness she felt clear in her voice. "Despite that, she was an angel who lit up the room when she entered, and had more room in her heart than she knew what to do with." Hallie's glare turned to a smile, and the man placed a hand on her shoulder in that way that only proud fathers can.

Next, the twin boys each stepped forward. The one on the left stood stiffly and simply inclined his head in greeting, posture and appearance both immaculate, while the other smiled and waved, hair and clothing both quite messy. "The one with the stick up his ass was Whitley, poor thing had been an adult since the day he was born." If it were possible, the boy straightened his posture even more, and lifted his chin slightly in defiance. "I'd say he would have made a fine accountant, but I imagine the ledgers he worked with would have died of boredom." Winter's tone was teasing, and you could imagine her ruffling his hair just to disrupt his pristine appearance on any number of occasions. "He was brilliant though, even at half my age I couldn't keep up with his intellect. The other was Vincent, and as you can tell, he didn't have a care in the world." The boy clearly took the ribbing as a compliment and continued to smile contentedly. "He couldn't have been more different from his brother, completely disinterested in business and numbers and meetings. Set him down with any instrument though, and he could play it like a master. Give him a canvas and he could paint a picture that could almost move even Whitley to feel something." Vincent laughed and punched his twin in the shoulder, earning him a glare and a haughty huff.

The woman's turn, she took a step forward and rested her hands on Whitley's shoulders, placing a kiss on top of his head. She looked divine in a deep emerald gown, long golden hair framing her face and flowing down her back. With the exception of her golden hair and green eyes, along with a few signs of age that did nothing to detract from her beauty, Winter was the woman's spitting image. "This..." Winter nearly lost her voice to emotion, "This is my mother, Lady Arryn Bellmore. I would petition a minstrel to sing of her grace, a poet to speak of her beauty, or any of the hundreds of strangers she helped to tell of her kindness. The only thing I can hope to do is be worthy of the depth of her love." Winter finally turned, and tearful eyes locked with tearful eyes, as daughter looked upon mother for the first time in years. "Despite being born with every advantage in life one could imagine, she never took any of it for granted. She didn't participate in the petty gossip and political maneuvering that so many noblewomen do. She didn't flaunt her wealth, and never made anyone feel lesser than her..."

Winter took a step forward but stopped, as if she was afraid of breaking the spell. At that, the man finally stepped forward, and the rest parted as he walked closer to his daughter. Winter raised a hand to his face, feeling the warmth radiating off of his skin, and even though she knew it was just an illusion, she couldn't bring herself to care. "Father..." she whispered, "I'm so sorry... I should have been there..." He smiled down at her and brought up a hand to cover hers, and the two stayed like that for a few long moments, until the image started to fade. Winter's eyes widened and she looked towards the others, trying to fix this moment in her memory before they disappeared. At last, the circle was empty, and Winter was left with a hand reaching out into empty space. Lena finally approached Winter, having given her the space she needed, and nuzzled into her side. Winter's outstretched hand slowly lowered until it was buried in the tiger's fur, and she closed her eyes as she attempted to control her breathing and reign in her emotions.

When she finally reopened her eyes, Winter looked between the others, seeming somehow smaller and more fragile than usual. When her eyes rested on Khole, she spoke once more, "I know it's not the same as losing your entire race, but I'm glad you and Mitah have each other, and I'm glad to have met all three of you."
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  #35  
Old 10-02-2017, 08:48 AM
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Khole listens to Aira's story with interest while Mitah starts helping break camp. It's a story he is passingly familiar with, having read some of it in his younger days before the fall of the Etorri, and in his years of wandering he had picked up other pieces of the story. But as Aira tells it, it carries a unique weight. Khole looks at this woman again and wonders how such a one as her came to be out here alone. She had taken interest each time the topic of dragons had come up and now when Mitah shared his story, it elicited a story of dragons from her. The odd weight she gives 'Dragon Hunter' only further peaks his curiosity, but her look to the rising sun and moving on told Khole she didn't want to speak on it. So as she went to help Mitah break came he reached up and grabbed her hand for a moment. [Feeling: Understanding] I am...a friend should...you wish to share...more. He let's go and turns to keep out of Mitah's way, he always got touchy about Khole doing those things when they had no pressures weighing on them.

Mitah gathered their things and looked over at Aira, "Thank you for sharing. It would seem loss is a common theme among us. He chuckles softly to himself. "I hope one day to hear your story more fully. Dragons have always been of interest to me..." He let's that hang in the air for a moment and catches Aira's eye and gives a small smile. "And clearly your story is tied in with them." They work for a few moments in silence before he adds, "If you didn't notice, Khole enjoyed the titles you heaped on him. He'll deflect praise, but thank you for that. He is one of those rare men that has a lot of talent, yet doesn't seek his own glory. I watched him save a town once..." He trails off, lost in a memory. "Sorry! I can tend to go overboard when talking about him. He inspires me." He smiles as the finish the packing and start off, leaving Winter and Khole.

As she spoke Khole wished he could touch her mind. He knew the burdens of loss and the ability to share it was what helped him. Mitah knew his story as intimately as Khole because he had shared it with all the vibrancy of his memories and he ached to do that for Lady Winter. But when she apologizes to Mitah, he felt an answering spark in his chest. And then she surprises him further by bringing forth images of her family.

Khole at first watches Winter, recognizing the interplay of the muscles in her neck and jaw, and knowing the inner struggle to master oneself. And when she brings forth the images, he can feel an echo of his lost family in each person she names. He commits each person to memory, treasuring this gift she is giving and hoping to one day be able to repay her. When she gets to her father, Khole gets flashes of his father being dragged away, the world takes on a strange static and blips between memory and present and Khole has to shake his head to clear it.

As Lady Winter finishes he walks up to her and shrugs his shoulders unfurling his wings and floating gently up to eye level. He tentatively reaches out a hand to her cheek and leans his head forward to rest his forehead against hers. [Feeling: Gratitude/Intimacy] "Thank you." Just before he breaks contact, he returns to her the image of her family, as crystal clear as she had just shown moments ago. He floats back and smiles at her before gently lowering himself to the ground. He shakes his long coat as his wings fold and in moments they aren't visible once more. He gives Lady Winter a courtly bow once more and gestures to the path and then walks past Lena running his fingers gently through her fur and giving Winter a moment to collect herself.
__________________
-Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination.
-I will protect those who cannot protect themselves.
-I will protect even those I hate, so long as it is right.

Last edited by Scimmy; 10-05-2017 at 10:26 AM.
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  #36  
Old 11-15-2017, 02:53 AM
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Feeling the weight of both their stories, Aira feels a bit more attached to them somehow. She gives Winter a hug, letting her rest her head a bit, trying to take some of the weight off her. But there is no way she thinks they would be ready to learn about her other form yet.

She glances over at Mitah as listens as he speaks. But of course. What follower of Bahamaut wouldn't be. she chuckled and smiles as she walks up between the two of them, placing an arm on each of their shoulders. Now now there. Our past give us knowledge and wisdom so that we can make a brighter future. Together right? she gives them both a slight squeeze, however, she seemed overly strong for such a lithe little woman. So, once we make town, who's buying dinner? she grinned, then looked down at Lena who seemed a bit jealous.

Oh, it's ok Lena, hugs for you too after. I only have two arms.
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