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  #1  
Old Nov 8th, 2018, 01:09 PM
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Solo Thread - Sasori

Sasori The ocean was a relief as Sasori left the heat of the desert for the cool breezes of the coast. He was to meet a smuggler who would be arranging transport across the sea. Finding the meeting place as it had been described to him, Sasori found a middle aged man sitting around a cart filled with crates and casks. He wore the style of the region, loose fitting cloth with a headwrap to keep the sun off one's scalp. His clothes were dark in color and he had an unpleasant look about him. Upon approaching, the man drew his scimitar and demanded, "Name, stranger. And there is only one that will save you from my blade." It was difficult to judge the man's skill with the blade but his eyes brooked no foolishness. The man meant what he said.
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Old Nov 14th, 2018, 02:43 PM
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The desert winds blew that day as they usually do: hot and dry. Though today's heat was a level considered decidedly uncomfortable by even those accustomed to the desert environment, the weather did not bother Sasori. What troubled him was not external, but internal: the lingering doubts within his own mind.

Sasori's thoughts were split between his family left behind with his tribe, and the unknown future he found himself heading towards. The urgency of the mission tasked to him by his tribe's elders, and their insistence at leaving post-haste to receive a vision from the Oracle, left him with no opportunity to tell his family of what was to transpire or even to see them one, last time before his departure. And thus with travel to this strange destination, which would bring him across the sea to lands unknown, Sasori's mind took little comfort from the singular objective of seeking out an individual, when the welfare of his family weighed so heavily upon him.

Upon cresting a low hill and seeing the ocean break the horizon, Sasori noticed a middle-aged man sitting among some crates on a cart. He approached the man warily, knowing that if this was the smuggler he was instructed to meet, the man could be dangerous. And if the man was not the smuggler, he would definitely be dangerous. Upon Sasori's approach, the man drew a scimitar and called out: "Name, stranger. And there is only one that will save you from my blade." Sasori's eyes narrowed as his focus shifted to the drawn blade. Returning his gaze to meet the man's eyes head-on, his own hand lowered slowly to rest on the hilt of his own blade as he spoke the single word: "Sasori."


 
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Old Nov 15th, 2018, 08:51 AM
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Sasori
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As quickly as it had been drawn, the blade was re-sheathed and the man offered the druid a place by the cart.

"Never can be too careful. Those damned tabaxi employ all manner of spies...even among your people."

The pair waited several hours before a small ship could be seen approaching along the coastline. A wide row boat was pulled onto shore where the crates and barrels of the smuggler were loaded. An exchange of coin was made with a few furtive glances toward Sasori. The smuggler bid the druid luck on his travels and disappeared over the sand dunes. Sasori was now alone with the boatman.

He was man of pale complexion, especially compared to those Sasori was accustomed to seeing. A man of the west from across the sea.

"I had to leave a crewman behind to make room for you. You'll have to pull your weight aboard ship." Glancing toward Sasori's scimitar, the man added, "I hope that isn't just for show. The seas have become dangerous of late. Tales of ghost ships floating on the waters, their crews taken to the depths by unknown assailants."

He flashed a grin before saying, "But I've yet to encounter any."

The pair rowed the boat back to the man's ship, unloaded the cargo and set the sails for their voyage westward.
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Old Nov 18th, 2018, 01:58 PM
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There was something about the Ocean, which Sasori found both mysterious and illogical. Water was a precious commodity in the desert, and to have so much of it readily available but completely unusable was a concept he knew, but deep in his mind he never really understood.


Once, when he was very young, his father brought him along on a mission of special importance. Their tribe's scouts had come across a stranger in need of assistance. The stranger was a tall, strong, and proud man. The symbols worn by the stranger - a Red Spear on a White Background - showed him to be a warrior from a far-off land. The man bore a pale complexion, which was very unlike the bronze hues of his own people, or even the ebony of those from nearby communities. Though the strange warrior seemed a capable man, he was obviously out of place being ill-equipped for the desert environment, and carrying a small child, no less! Completely lost and without adequate food or water, the tribal elders had decided to help him by escorting him back from the desert into a port town, where he could presumably return to his home country. Sasori's father was selected to guide the man and child, and he in turn decided that his own son would accompany him.

Sasori remembers clearly the first and only other time he laid eyes on the vast, endless expanse of water. His father could see the question in his son's eyes -- wondering why they sometimes struggled in daily life to locate the precious source of life when there was so much of it here. Sasori's father explained to him the concepts of the Ocean, as best he could: "My son, the Ocean is not fit for drinking. It is a home to fish, which can be gathered using boats of wood, and may be eaten. The water is sometimes good for the skin, to heal certain ailments ... but you must never drink it, for being brackish and unpalatable, it is not fit for consumption."

Back then, Sasori was called by a different name. Still very much a child in both the physical and the cultural sense, he had not yet been given the name he now goes by. Now, he is called by many names: Father, husband, Sasori; but in his youth, he was called by his true name, given to him by his parents: Saladin. The young Saladin watched as the stranger boarded one of the boats with the child. His father explained that the boat would take them to a larger ship, and they would return to their own land, which is to the West across the great Ocean. Saladin asked his father: How long will it take them to reach the land in the West? His father responded: "It could take days, or it may take weeks. They are at the mercy of the winds and the Ocean, itself."


As Sasori boarded the small rowboat, heading towards a larger ship to sail West, he noticed the man was of pale complexion, unlike the bronze and ebony hues of his own people, or the people of the surrounding communities. Glancing towards Sasori's scimitar, the pale man spoke: "I hope that isn't just for show. The seas have become dangerous of late. Tales of ghost ships floating on the waters, their crews taken to the depths by unknown assailants." Sasori's eyes narrowed, as his hand went for the hilt of his sword. The pale man quickly flashed a grin before saying, "But I've yet to encounter any." Under Sasori's face mask, the absence of a smile would have been unnoticed save for the expression in his eyes that said: tale or not, his sword was not 'just for show'.

Choosing to save his words for the right time, he finally spoke after the pair had rowed to the ship and unloaded all the cargo: "How long will it take to reach the land in the West?"


 
  #5  
Old Nov 20th, 2018, 11:25 AM
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At Sasori's question, the captain merely chuckled. "I wager you haven't been out to sea often. I can't very well answer that question as the winds do not answer to my beck and call."

With a shrug, the man continued, "One week if the winds favor us or we could all be skeletons upon the waves if they do not." At his last presumption, the man laughed and moved to help his crew to setting the sail but Sasori was not so sure if the man was actually joking.

As the voyage progressed, there were days when the wind whipped and the ship seemed to leap from wave to wave as it raced across the water and there were days when the winds died to little more than enough to flutter the banner hanging off the back of the ship. On these days, the crew would disembark in the rowboat to fish. They even hauled in a large eight foot shark with a mouth full of more teeth than any creature Sasori had ever seen.

All things considered, the journey went well and the ship pulled up to a dilapidated dock on a rocky shoreline nine days after leaving the desert. This land was far different from that which Sasori had left. Trees grew far up the mountain and there were a plethora of plants covering the stone strewn shore. Several hundred downwind, a group of seals barked noisily in the surf. There was a small fishing village here of humans, a dying village by the looks of it as nearly all the residents seemed on the last legs of their lives.

There was one group who did not fit the motif of those dwelling in the village, the smugglers. These men were much younger and heavily armed. One of them approached Sasori. He was different than the others, of a slighter build but moved with the grace of a cat, the ease of the tabaxi. His eyes were large and wide and his ears ended in slightly pointed tips. He was of elvish descent. The elves of Sasori's home had been driven to near extinction by the tabaxi.

The man greeted the druid and said, "I was informed a man of the sandy wastes would be upon one of the season's ships. I have a message for you, from Lianthorn. He is an archdruid of my people." The man continued to explain that Lianthorn had communication with an elder of Sasori's tribe. Sasori is shocked when the elder is mentioned by name.

"You'll be joining us along the old goat trail for a time, I understand."

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Old Nov 23rd, 2018, 01:06 PM
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The voyage across the sea passed uncomfortably for Sasori. Between the uneven gate of the ship rolling across the waves, combined with the interspersed periods of complete lack of progress, Sasori's thoughts were similarly shifting constantly between the family left back in his home country and the mission that awaited him in the unknown land to the West. Each night, as he drifted into unconsciousness, he would see them. The smiling face of his young daughter eager to greet him, and the loving eyes of his wife, visible from behind the veil of lace she wore. Her veil was much softer than the course face-mask, which Sasori, himself, used. It matched her eyes, which were both piercing and gentle at the same time, as if they could see him and were watching over him from across the vast Ocean that separated them. Each night he would see them thus, and each morning he would awake with different images in his mind - images of a young woman, and an old warrior. A 'failed quest', and a need 'to return home' to the great pyramids of his land and the damned cats that rule them. That is what he was being sent for: to retrieve that, which is lost.

Although his passage across the Ocean was filled with strange, new sights and experiences, it was nothing compared to the new land he found himself setting foot upon reaching their destination. Gone were the rocks and sand dunes, which had filled his world - replaced with plants and land forms the likes of which he had never seen. Even the 'civilization' of the small village was altogether different from any he had encountered in his home land, including the cities, to which he occasionally made forays, and wherein dwelt the bedeviled Tabaxi.

Soon after his arrival, Sasori was approached by a stranger - one unlike any he had seen before. Obviously not from the village, based on his appearance, Sasori was wary of the individual with large, wide eyes and ears that ended in slightly pointed tips. Sasori recalled stories from his childhood, told orally by his tribe's elders. Stories of a race of men - humanoids that were lithe and moved with the grace of a cat, the ease of the Tabaxi. But according to legend, this race were slaughtered by the damned cats. Sasori could hardly believe his eyes - was this an elf standing before him?

The elf offered a greeting and said, "I was informed a man of the sandy wastes would be upon one of the season's ships. I have a message for you, from Lianthorn. He is an arch-druid of my people." The elf continued to explain that Lianthorn had communication with an elder of Sasori's tribe - Al-Sabin. Sasori did not recognize the name of Lianthorn, but he is shocked when the name of Al-Sabin is mentioned! Despite the strange visage of this one, Sasori knew he was to be trusted: "Lead the way."


 
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Old Nov 26th, 2018, 10:36 AM
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Sasori Sasori traveled with the smugglers on a narrow path that moved along the rugged hills along the coast. Not far inland, a large mountain range blocked all access to the west. The elf explained that those who Sasori seeked were attempting to traverse the tunnels beneath the mountains, an ancient dwarven kingdom lost to warfare and evil. The elf was unsure why Sasori had been sent across the sea for as far as the elf knew, these other heroes were to be traveling to Sasori's lands once they had crossed under the mountains.

It was then that an odd thing occurred. A small bird lit upon the elf's shoulder and the elf reaction was not of surprise or shock, but of concentration. Just as soon as the bird had landed, it flew off again.

"A message from Lianthorn...it would appear things have changed. The group has re-emerged from under the mountain and moves north, seemingly searching for a way over the mountain. Such paths are few and dangerous." The elf chuckled and said, "Perhaps they require your aid before crossing the sea. Teaches me to question the plans of gods and druids."

The elf's eyes drifted off as he became lost in thought. "We will have to find means for you to get across the mountains to aid them. It will not be easy, but...I'll not question Lianthorn's wisdom again so soon after being shown a fool for doubting. He intends for us to find a doorway...of sorts and that you should be safe crossing through it to the other side."

The elf shakes his head and chuckles. He bid his smuggling companions farewell and set off toward the mountains. "Come on. If we survive this it will make one hell of a story."
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Old Nov 27th, 2018, 10:41 AM
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Climbing up the rugged hills along the coast, Sasori found a new purpose for his staff. While normally held out loosely ahead and probing low along the sand in order to tease out those dunes, which were either too lose or else harbored an otherwise unwanted ‘guest’, he has come to rely on the tool’s ability to dig firmly into the rocky soil and aid in his ascent over the mountains. Although he found the terrain strange and difficult in the crossing, he could not deny a sense of tranquility within the land, long-absent from but the most remote of locations within his desert home.

As with all of nature, adaptation is the key - being able to accommodate a changing environment. And thus, some time after the two have split off from the group, it is with this mentality that Sasori attempts a conversation with his elven guide. "Your Lianthorn’s wisdom and abilities must indeed be great, if he can conjure doors through mountains for us. I can understand why Al-Sabin holds him in consul, even from so far away." After a further pause, he continues: "I am in search of one - a daughter of Dhul Khalasa, who needs to return home. I am unaware of ... others. What can you tell me of these others who seek to cross mountains and Oceans?"


 
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Old Jan 3rd, 2019, 09:34 AM
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The man only chuckled at Sasori's question. "I know little more than you of any of this. Only that I am bidden by Lianthorn and I do as I am bidden. He is wise and has the best interests of all at heart. Know that if he means to sent you across the mountains to the Kingdom of Rhyfel, there is turmoil that has lingered for hundreds of years between the men and elves. It is possible mentioning that you come with Lianthorn's grace will not be taken well. Perhaps best to stick to your mission of finding this girl and leaving the how out of it."

The pair traveled into the mountains along narrow goat paths hugging fast running streams and clinging to cliff faces until after three days travel, the man pointed to a cave set in the side of a mountain. Within, was an amazing sight to behold. A tiny forest existed within as the ceiling had caved in at points and a small stream fell thirty feet down to the cave floor. Trees and ferns grew within as if in their own tiny encapsulated world.
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Old Jan 5th, 2019, 02:55 PM
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Sasori took great value from the conversation with his elf guide. The information provided was oftentimes cryptically informative, and other times frustratingly lacking. Still, alone in this strange land as he was, any information he could gain was a blessing of immense value.

Of particular surprise to hear of was the 'turmoil' that existed between the two races of men and elves in the Kingdom on this continent. Why does such strife exist between brothers? he wondered to himself. "Your advice is kind and wise. It is unfortunate that your people must suffer so much persecution, no matter where they reside."

As the two continued to travel through the mountains, after three days they came across a cave, which the elf guide pointed out to Sasori. Amazed as he took in the beauty of the remarkable view, Sasori exclaimed half to himself and half to his elven guide: "Worlds within worlds...! Are we to enter this sacred place?"


 
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Old Jan 14th, 2019, 10:24 AM
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Sasori Walking to the hollow of a fallen tree that lied in the center of the grove, Sasori could sense more than see a shimmer within the shadows of the rotten trunk. The half-elf who had accompanied him on the journey handed him an acorn.

"This acorn is from the tree where you shall emerge. The paths of the fey are not for the feint of heart to travel. This seed will see you through without the proper knowledge of how to navigate those confusing roads. Good luck"

Sasori took the acorn and walked into the hollow of the old tree. His vision blurred and twisted sending his stomach into knots. The grove around him merged and stretched into nothing and everything and when at last he felt he could not hold his innards within any longer, it stopped and he found himself upon a path made of pine needles that stretched into a dark and misty forest. The mist licked at his hood and tugged on his clothing as if it were trying to pull him into the trees. Clutching the acorn, the druid did his best to ignore the draw of the fog and placed one foot in front of the other. His vision blurred again but this time it was for the passage of his body moving through the strange land faster than even the nimblest antelope could sprint. Not only did trees fly past him at unnatural speeds but entire forests, lakes, mountain ranges, meadows, plains, jungles and deserts. The sky turned from night to day a hundred times over as he sped across the alien landscapes. Daring a glance over his shoulder, he was startled to see a giant serpent was pursuing him...and gaining.

Suddenly before him stood a mighty oak tree with a door, complete with hinges and a handle, set into its trunk. The serpent continued to speed along after Sasori who quickly opened the portal and stepped through to find himself face to face with perhaps the most beautiful maiden he had ever set eyes upon. She was elven and wore a blue dress. At her sides was a short child who looked more a man than someone so young should, a girl dressed in all black holding a skull, another woman, this one clad in full armor and wielding a halberd and yet another young girl dressed in robes.

Bursting through behind the druid came the serpent, followed him through the door, though how it had fit was beyond Sasori's comprehension.

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