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  #51  
Unread 21st of December, 2011, 12:41
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"Mark? I don't know..." Ellana stammered.
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Unread 21st of December, 2011, 12:51
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Sylvia smiled and let the girl go, moving off her knees and sitting on the ground, still chill and only beginning to warm under the morning sun. She gestured for Ellana to sit as well, a gentle smile on her face as she waited for the girl who was no doubt terribly confused now. After the girl had sat Sylvia leaned back and closed her eyes, wondering how she was going to explain this. It was just something that was natural to her, all she had to do was...

She opened her eyes quickly and looked back on the girl. "It's not that hard, it's just...different from what you're used to. Let's try this. I want you to close your eyes and think of the sun. Just the sun. Then, I want you to imagine the sun on your skin, in your body, in your soul. Feel the warmth, the heat of that permeate everything that is you."

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Unread 21st of December, 2011, 13:50
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"Um...okay?" Ellana said. The directions were strange, but it was clear Lady Vilirith knew something she didn't. She laid down on the grass and tried to concentrate on the sun. The warmth beating down on her made it easier, but she still had to slow her mind down. It was clear Sylvia meant more than just analyzing the sun, something simpler, yet deeper. She felt the sun's heat absorb into her body, mix and mingle, then spread out to the rest of the world. Her body buzzed, yet she felt...connected.


[ooc: Spending one essence to show caste mark.]
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Unread 21st of December, 2011, 14:24
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Sylvia's eyes widened. She couldn't believe it at first, even though she'd known it, deep down, she still couldn't believe it. This girl, this runaway, was another just like her.

Well, maybe not just like her. Her Caste Mark was different, still a golden circle but with the bottom half missing and the rest filled in. She recognized it as the mark of the Unclean but whereas when she had Exalted she had instantly known she was an Eclipse, not a Deceiver, no sudden influx of knowledge was--

"Is it finished?"
.....
"I asked you if it was finished Twilight."
"I'm not just a Caste! I have a name you know!"
"Not until you prove yourself, at least not one worth mentioning. Now, is it finished?"


Sylvia shook her head, trying to clear the voices that had suddenly entered her mind. She didn't recognize the words, but at the same time she knew their meaning. She just...knew it. Not exactly her preferred method of learning but for now she'd take it.

A Twilight. Weren't the Unc--Twilight Caste supposed to be sorcerers and demon summoners? No, information later, scared little girl now. Closing her eyes again Sylvia let some of that warmth inside of her flow out, focusing it on her forehead, and she felt her own Caste Mark shine brightly forward.

She rose slightly and moved so she was sitting on her knees beside Ellana. Holding her head over the Solar, trying keep her hair from smothering the poor girl, she smiled down at her. "Ellana," she whispered, "you're not alone."
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Unread 21st of December, 2011, 15:46
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Ellana opened her eyes to see Lady Vilirith leaning over her, the mark of the Deceiver dominated the woman's forehead. The girl choked back a scream, and darted out from under Sylvia. As Ellana sat up, ready to run, she stopped. Light poured from Lady Vilirith, calm, and warm, and comforting. After a moment Ellana realized the same light emanated from her. Her hand shaking, she tentatively reached up to touch her forehead. She couldn't feel it, but there it was...her mark. She looked back at Lady Vilirith, tears in her eyes. "What are we?" she asked.
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Unread 21st of December, 2011, 16:27
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"Exalted," she said, looking at the scared girl her face suddenly impassive. Sylvia stood and brushed some of the dirt off of her pants. She glanced over to where Indigo's silhouette was still visible, then turned back to look at Ellana. Her piercing green eyes bored into the girl, trying to see how far she could push the girl. She was so young...

"Specifically, we're Solars. Solar Exalted."

She took a step forward, hands up and her expression softened. "Listen, I know what you've been told about us. Probably have heard a few stories about the terrible Anathema who want to destroy Creation. How, especially for Deceivers, you cannot believe a word they say or your soul is lost forever."

She placed her hands on her chest. "I was told them too. And you don't hafta take my word for it. Looks inside yourself. Do you want to end Creation? Cause pain and suffering? Summon up demons to terrorize innocent folk?"
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Unread 21st of December, 2011, 17:03
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Could she believe the Deceiver? She touched her forehead again. Could she afford not to? Lady Vilirith was right, she didn't feel malicious, or hateful, and she certainly didn't wish any harm...on anyone.

Thoughts of Selen floated to her mind. Once, just after Selen had exalted, she'd given Ellana a riddle: How is a raven like a writing desk? Ellana remembered spending weeks on the riddle before giving up. Selen had just laughed and told her it was a trick question. There was no answer. She'd been angry at her friend for playing such a mean trick. But Selen grinned and pointed out a laundry list of ways the two objects were similar. "Remember Ellana, the truth is always a bit deeper than you'd expect."

"The truth is always a bit deeper," Ellana whispered. She looked back at Lady Vilirith, "I believe you. We're the same. I can't damn you without damning myself. But...who are we really? Why the...lies? And what do I do now?"
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Unread 21st of December, 2011, 17:27
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Sylvia snorted at the girls somewhat insulting acceptance of her nature, noting that she hadn't answered any of her own questions. She had honestly been curious, if the stories were true and she was just an exception or if they all really had been lies. A terrifying notion either way really.

"The short answer to your first question is you're you. The slightly longer one is that you're you, just with more than you ever dreamed of. The second, I dunno." Sylvia just sort of shrugged helplessly, not really knowing what else to say on the subject.

"As for what you do next, well...that's really sort of your decision." She took another step towards Ellana and looked down at her. "If you stayed here, I would help you. I'm not really sure how, but I would try I can promise you that." She smiled, a sort of sad smile, but a smile nonetheless, and her eyes were almost pleading. "I'll be honest, it'd be nice to have another Solar I could...could relate to. Around here, I mean."

She stepped back suddenly though and looked away. "But if you really don't want to stay, I won't keep you here. Last night I said if you wanted to leave I would let you, and I meant it."
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Unread 21st of December, 2011, 18:04
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Ellana mulled over what Sylvia told her. She couldn't stay here, obviously. Selen was waiting back at the Redoubt. Only two weeks and it was already the longest she'd been away from her friend. And they'd parted on...poor terms. "I'm sorry, I can't stay, Selen is-" Ellana stopped short, her eyes growing wide as she finally pieced together that fateful night. "Selen! Oh gods, Selen! She saved me, didn't she? The Anathema we were looking for was me, and she...she let me escape." The girl slumped down to the ground again. "That's why Mira said we shouldn't go back, they'd know, they'd find out and for helping me, Selen would face..." Ellana trailed off. She breathed deep, sorting through her emotions; she needed to move forward.

Ellana stood back up and looked back at Lady Vilirith, meeting her gaze. "I'll stay, not forever, but...I'll stay until I'm ready to go find Selen." As she finished declaring her choice Mira rubbed up against Ellana's leg, mewing her approval.
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Unread 24th of December, 2011, 03:53
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The two chosen of the sun smile, having reached some semblance of resolve to stay together. Ellana's caste mark still glows like a brand on her forehead. As she idly turns to gaze toward the center of the Demesne, she can't help but notice something strange reflected back in the light thrown from her forehead. There are lines along the ground, underneath the grass. They make shapes, and stretch into the distance.

[OOC: Perception + Occult to investigate this further.]
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Unread 24th of December, 2011, 06:35
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"Did you see that?" Ellana asks Lady Vilirith. She moves closer to the demanse's center, not bother to wait for an answer. Kneeing at the center of the place of power she traces the glowing lines, searching for their source and reason. Ellana focuses slightly, thinking, she can feel her mind working fast, faster than it had before. Her caste mark burns all the brighter


[ooc: Spending 3 motes for First Occult Excellency, adding 3 dice to the occult +perception roll for a total of 8 dice. (2+3+3)]

Die Roll: 10, 9, 9, 9, 6, 6, 1, 1 = 5 success]
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Unread 25th of December, 2011, 06:04
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The lines start to come together, forming a pattern that extends out into a circle around the center. Writing can be seen lining the edges of symbols and shapes, all in Old Realm. It all makes sense to her. Ellana's not sure whether this is something she read in a book or from if this comes from some other source, but she knows what this is. This is a seal, drawn in essence. It's generally put on a passage of some sort and is designed to keep out certain people. It's a code - a riddle so to speak, that needs to be deciphered. So far, it's only been visible when the light from her caste mark hits it, and only from certain angles.

[Ellana: Read Occult Object: 5X vs Challenging <superior>]
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Unread 25th of December, 2011, 10:42
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Her curiosity peaked, Ellana begins ducking and weaving, shining the light from her mark at all angles, trying to flesh out the seal where she can find it. Slowly, with the help of Mira, she begins to uncover, in bits and pieces, the seal. As she finishes she surveys the rest of the visible demanse, the cypher covering only about a 20 foot long circle in the middle. Sighing, she turns to Lady Vilirith, "Um, I'm sorry, I think I'm going to need some quill and parchment to figure this all out. Is there any place here I could get some?"
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Last edited by TagalongDT; 28th of December, 2011 at 11:54. Reason: More miscommunication and I am going to Keelhaul the rest of the players!
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Unread 31st of December, 2011, 05:39
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Sylvia bit her lip as Ellana looked over the strange glyphs on the ground. While Ellana seemed to know what she was doing, was near of age, and had said she was being trained to be a thaumaturge, Sylvia wasn't certain if this was a wise move. This was already a strange place, where the grass was gold and the rain, when it fell, fell as drops of sunlight.

"Um," she said, momentarily tongue-tied as Ellana turned and asked her for some writing supplies of all things. She didn't really want the girl dealing with whatever it was this thing was, since she couldn't discount the extreme likelihood that it was dangerous. On the other hand the girl was a Solar, so she could probably handle herself. But she was just a girl, a youngster, and some part of Sylvia was scared that she would lose the only other being like her so soon after finding one.

But then an idea hit her and she looked around the demense for the silhouette of Indigo. "Actually I think I might have a better idea," she said with just a hint of smugness. The other woman probably wouldn't trust the girl too much but that might not be a bad thing at the moment. Finding the other woman in the distance she cupped one hand around her mouth and shouted her name, waving her other harm to get her attention.

"Indigo," she said in a more normal voice as she looked back to Ellana, "is an accomplished Dragon-Blooded sorceress. I actually brought her here to look this place over to confirm if it was a demense or not. So," she paused as she saw the other woman coming over, and lowered her arm. "So, what I'm going to do, if you still want to look into this place, is to leave you in her charge. I've got work to do back at the Golden Plains you see and can't stay here too much longer."
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Unread 2nd of January, 2012, 10:03
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16th of Descending Fire, Realm Year 768 - Afternoon

"Symbols? What symbols? I don't see anything." Was what Indigo had said. Ellana had fired up her caste mark again to illuminate a section of the puzzle, and the study began. Silver Wind returned with parchment, which proved very helpful. The code was difficult, but between the two, it was really only a matter of time. Two hours later, a pattern emerged, revealing a final string of magic words in Old Realm.

"Amazing!" Exclaimed Indigo, turning to her assistant with an expression of pure excitement. For a moment, she's as young as Ellana. "I've never seen anything like this! I wonder what will happen when we open it?"

[OOC: One roll per hour of work. Difficulty 3, Combined threshold of 5 necessary for success]
[Indigo: Break Cipher: (Intelligence 4 + Occult 4 + Ellana's Aid 2) = 10(10,9,7,5,5,4,4,4,3,1) = 4X vs Difficult <superior>] -> [Threshold 2/5]
[Indigo: Break Cipher: (Intelligence 4 + Occult 4 + Ellana's Aid 2) = 10(10,10,9,9,7,5,5,4,2,2) = 7X vs Difficult <phenominal>] -> [Threshold 7/5]


---

Silver Wind returns to town to find Flicker still mingling with the youngsters. Being so impressed, Kurst insisted that he hold onto the lasso, and it currently hangs proudly at his side. The five are sitting around a group of horses and hay, tossing around pieces of wood and chatting.

Last edited by Erendiox; 2nd of January, 2012 at 20:44.
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Unread 2nd of January, 2012, 20:15
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Happy, Ellana felt happy working along side Indigo. It reminded of her studies with Selen, working beside her friend on various projects over the months. True, Indigo lacked the bond of friendship, or surrogate sisterhood that Ellana shared with Selen, there was no good natured ribbing, no preempting each other's needs and wants, sparse little laughter. But Indigo was every bit as knowledgeable and enthusiastic as Selen was, and that was enough for Ellana. Truth be told she was just happy to be back in her element, picking vegetables was meditative enough, but this was a proper search for knowledge.

She glanced over the parchments, piecing together the final puzzle. Frowning the girl licked her lips then grinned, "It looks like a seal, to keep people out. That should mean it safe right? Otherwise they'd have used a seal to keep something in." Ellana leafed through the notes she and Indigo had collected, "This doesn't look like any of the references I can remember, at least not from the Lookshyian libraries. How are we going to get in?" She glanced back at the parchments, silently reading the Old Realm.
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Unread 3rd of January, 2012, 09:04
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Flicker idly chewed on a bit of grass as he sat with his new friends, feeling a lot more natural than he had in days, really. Flicker could be very independent if he had to be but honestly he was a social guy, he always felt more secure if he had a posse to go back to once he was done being alone. That probably wasn't what this group really was but it still felt nice, he impressed them and they seemed like alright kids! And hey he'd gotten a lasso out of the deal, so far it seemed like it was all in his favor.

As Silver Wind approached he appeared to be in the middle of a tale, arms moving animatedly, feet outstretched on the pile of hay he'd claimed.

"So yeah there we were, two of my buddies and me and there was this big guy barrellin' after us. So we were scared out of our wits, well they were scared I was just more kinda trepidating, you know? Jumpy-like. He must've seen that 'cause my friends went one way and I went another and he chased right after me! Of course he musta seen I was the older one and I had all our money, so he comes after me. Too broke even to have a knife so he just had his mitts out in front of him like a bear, well I run him through his part of town that's being built and I roll under these boards, see, and then he comes crawling after me between them like a big ol' boar... Well he doesn't see the loose wood right under him. I do though, so I jump down from on top of this barrel and WHAM! Up goes the loose board right between his legs and Mela's Tits if he wasn't howling about his family jewels! Think I might've broke 'em, but ya know how it goes! Well he didn't come chasing after me after that and we got to buy our bread and go home. Talked the baker down a couple bits too, hehe."

As Silver wind came up he waved and looked a little smug. Like 'See you told me to make friends, see how good at making friends I am?'

"Yo! What's up boss lady?"
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Unread 5th of January, 2012, 07:30
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As Sylvia approached Flicker was obviously glad to show that, once again, he could accomplish any task the Solar had given him, but the other children were less pleased to see her. Kurst, who had his back to the rancher, leaned his head back when Flicker spoke so he was looking at Sylvia upside down. His eyes went as big as saucers and his mouth gaped for a second, then he and the other children quickly scrambled to their feet and faced her.

Sylvia leaned back on one foot and folded her arms over her chest, arching an eyebrow at them. "Uhh, we can explain," Kurst started off, but she simply held out a hand to curtail his excuse. "Don't you all have chores to be finishing?" She didn't look or sound mad, more disappointed, but there was no mistaking the seriousness in her voice. The other children quickly nodded and hurried in different directions.

Sylvia herself had a sort of smug grin as she watched them retreat, but it shrank as she looked at Flicker. Here was a conundrum for her if ever there was one. "Well, I'm glad to see that you're making friends already Flicker." She walked over to the horses and started looking them over, seeing that her old friends hadn't been accidentally injured during her time away.

"I'm impressed in fact," she continued to the boy as she looked Snapper over. She frowned and pulled a tick off the old runner, crushing it between her fingers before continuing. "Kurst and his group are a bit of a rough bunch and I'm surprised that they even bothered to talk to you."
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Unread 7th of January, 2012, 10:18
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Flicker looked around at the other kids and looked rather confused until he realized that Sylvia really WAS their boss-lady. Like get in trouble sort of boss-lady. She was Flicker's boss-lady because she impressed him and he didn't mind her being so. Still, he frowned and scowled a bit when she came along and broke up their party, rolling his eyes as they all hurried off.

"Eh they were getting boring anyway. Are all kids around here so... I dunno, on the level?"

He shrugged.

"I didn't have a problem with them, just had to show 'em that I could tough it out with them, that's all kids really want. So what's up? You made them knock off for a reason, right? I mean other than the obvious they were slackin' thing."
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Unread 10th of January, 2012, 21:06
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Sylvia stopped what she was doing and looked over at the boy, a frown appearing at Flicker's words.

On the level?

That was an odd phrase, but it was ringing a bell somewhere in her mind. She stared at him a little longer, before snippets of conversation over the past few weeks start trickling back to her.

"Sure I was a thief...."
"...attacked me for no good reason. Other than sex anyway"


Sylvia's eyes widened a bit and she suppressed a groan that rose up. She didn't know anything about this boy it seemed, other than he had emerged from some package being carried by demons, that he was some sort of Exalted. He was mostly an unknown and she had brought him here, to her town, for reasons even she couldn't explain.

"Flicker-," she started, then stopped, looking away from the boy. After a few heartbeats she sighed. "C'mon. Follow me, there's something we need to discuss."

With that she started walking back towards her home.

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

She opened the door to her room, noting that the candles were already lit and the windows were open. There was something of a breeze, though it was becoming warmer as morning passed and the sun began to bake the land in the afternoon. In the room was her bed, large enough for three, with her family crest stitched into the covers. Other pieces of furniture were spread out throughout the room, comfortable looking chairs, wardrobes, a large mirror, even a bookshelf with scrolls and books on it. On the opposite wall was was a door that led into the balcony and the walk in closet.

Of most importance however was a crib near the bed, with a woman standing beside it looking slightly surprised at Sylvia's entrance. "Thank you Jezbel, I can take care of him for today," she said to the wet nurse with a smile. She motioned Flicker in and waited for the other woman to leave before closing the door and then walking to the crib. Reaching in with both arms she gently lifted up a baby, skin like a muddy river with green eyes and dark hair.



Cooing softly at him, Sylvia looked over at Flicker with a proud smile, her eyes gleaming with happiness. "Flicker, this is my son, Tyr," She said, waving one of the baby's pudgy arms at the boy, before gesturing for him to sit down to one of the chairs. Sitting down at her bed facing Flicker Sylvia made more cooing noises and rubbed her nose against her son's, causing the child to laugh.


After a moment she looked up at Flicker and some of the happiness faded from her eyes. "I brought you up here," Silver Wind said, the smile on her face contrasting with the sudden seriousness in her voice. "Because no one besides my husband will intrude needlessly. So feel free to speak candidly. We need to talk Flicker, about what you are and what you're planning to do now."
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Unread 13th of January, 2012, 05:44
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Flicker adjusted the bit of grass he was chewing in his mouth. Man they'd only been there a day and he already felt like a hayseed. When Sylvia said she had something to DISCUSS with him the boy's dark eyes widened. That phrase usually meant bad things, like arrests and being thrown out and no bread from that nice baker because she 'didn't want to be an enabler' whatever that meant.

As such, Flicker was very quiet the whole way to the manor house, mostly looking down at his feet as they walked until they were inside. Then, as before, he looked around at all of the stuff. Just the STUFF in her house. Distracting himself from the coming talk until they were inside. His head bobbed like a crow's as he looked around at all of the cool things just in her room, including the crib!

Flicker seemed to soften somewhat at the baby, a little smile quirking his lips as he looked down at him and watched mother and son bond like that, extending a finger at Tyr and tickling his belly and offering it to him to hold before he looked over at Sylvia and took his hand back, clearing his throat.

"Well... Look, that's the PROBLEM. I don't know. I mean before all I had to worry about was where my next meal was coming from, then I was promised power by this little bug-thing and on a lark I thought 'sure why not' and then I woke up coming out of that cocoon-thing. I don't know what I am because I guess I was being taken to where I was supposed to learn that, and I don't know what I want to do... Not because I can't think of anything, but because I keep thinking of TOO MUCH. My brain goes a mile a minute sometimes like it's something else talking in there, you know?"

Flicker fidgets a little and actually looks a little frightened.

"I... I want to see people who haven't earned their power FAIL. I want to see people built up into powerful tyrants just so the right people can tear them down in revolution! I... I want to make anyone who crosses me regret it. Well that last one isn't new, but the rest is!"

And why was telling the truth so HARD?
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Unread 13th of January, 2012, 10:45
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"This is something else!" Says Pella, suddenly piping up after hours of silence. "It's been centuries since they made magic patterns like this. First Age for sure." She muses, then starts rambling off facts Ellana would probably not like to be reminded of, like a concerned parent no less. "Just don't forget, there's usually more than just the seal guarding places like this. Watch your step, and don't touch anything that looks like it might be dangerous..." She trails off.

"Well, I'm guessing we need to channel the seal and speak the words." Says Indigo. She looks out towards the town.

"We should probably wait for Silver Wind..." She says, sounding a little impatient.

[Ellana: (Perception 2 + Awareness 1) = 3(7,6,1) 1X vs Standard <competent>]
[Indigo: (Perception 3 + Awareness 2) = 5(9,7,7,5,1) 3X vs Standard <remarkable>]


Indigo turns toward the horizon and her mouth opens abruptly. Seeing this, Ellana turns too. There are three figures on horseback coming over the next rise. sunlight reflects off them sharply from certain angles. Indigo squints, then her eyes are wide.

"No... no... how could they have..." She mumbles to herself. Suddenly, she jumps. "Ellana! Your caste mark!"

She fumbles about, then procures a piece of cloth from her pocket, grabbing the girl and wrapping the cloth around her forehead. Indigo curses under her breath as the mark shines clean through.

"Just... just don't move." She says, looking desperate. She turns to the quickly approaching horsemen, standing in front of Ellana.
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Unread 13th of January, 2012, 19:47
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Nightwing [GM]

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Silver Wind leaned back, unable to dismiss her smile at Flicker's words. She could certainly understand having your life altered dramatically by being Chosen, though she couldn't relate specifically. And she could definitely understand wanting to see tyrants and such brought down, though for the moment his reasons seemed more because of some personal pain.

Of course the reason she couldn't stop smiling was because he had completely misunderstood her.

"Flicker," she said soothingly. "Settle down. That isn't what I meant. I was referring to what you were thinking you might want to do here in my town to earn your keep." She looked down at Tyr and started bouncing him gently on her leg. "I'm willing to help you understand what's happened to you, don't misunderstand me. But everyone here helps out in some way, whether it's with the food or the horses or even as a soldier. I was wondering if you could think of anything you might have in mind."
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  #74  
Unread 13th of January, 2012, 20:21
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TagalongDT
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Ellana nodded as Pella lectured her, the same nod her mother, and even Selen had seen hundreds of times before. As the spirit mentioned other security measures a thought suddenly occurred to her, Pella knows about the First Age. I'll have to ask her next time we're alone. The girl turned to Indigo, just to see the woman stand and look over the horizon. Riders, in the distance, trouble.

"Ellana! Your caste mark!" Indigo shouted. Ellana spun, ready to run, almost missing the cloth the sorceress tossed to her. She hastily tied up the makeshift headband across her forehead. Her light still shone through and she swallowed sharply. The riders drew closer and it was too late to run. Indigo stepped in front of her, blocking their view and Ellana turned away from the newcomers, hunching down and trying to pretend, for all the world, she was a simpleton and only worth ignoring.
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Seduce the wookie?!
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  #75  
Unread 15th of January, 2012, 09:54
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Turning back towards the riders, who are getting much closer, Indigo stands in front of Ellana, trying to hide her from view. The riders are much more visible now, clad in metal and jade. One woman rides in center, long, jet black hair, dark skin, and an ornate bow at her back. The other two riders are men, and are at her left and right side, similarly equipped with fine weaponry. One looks middle aged, and turns to speak to the woman, who nods in turn.

"Lacuna!" She shouts from afar. "You sneaky little bitch!" She smiles cruelly, draws her bow and nocks an arrow. "I'll admit, you're not who I was sent after, but I'll take it all the same."

"Gabe please don't..."

The woman scowls and spits angrily. "Save your breath! Deserter! It's over!"

She draws.

[Gabriella: Initiative: 7(9,8,7,5,2,1,1) 3X]
[Indigo: Initiative: 5(9,5,3,2,1) 1X]
[Ellana: Initiative: 3(9,7,4) 2X]

Tick 0

Indigo's left arm comes back and down around Ellana's neck as she ducks to the side, taking the young girl with her to the ground. Ellana never sees the arrow, but she does see a few small drops of blood hit the floor in front of her; from where, she's not sure. The men on either side start to make a gallop toward the center of the demense.

[Gabriella: Bow(5,-1): (Pool 12 + Excellency 6) = 18(10,9,9,8,8,7,6,5,5,5,4,4,4,3,3,2,1,1) 7X vs DDV7 (5 + Excellency 2) <miss>]
[OOC: Falling to the floor is for flavor only - Assume no penalties for being prone]
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