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Unread 3rd of May, 2012, 20:35
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Freeform Prologue - Dusk to Twilight

It was hot, but it was always hot in the South, The Weeping Princess of Fate and Sorrow was used to heat. She'd lived most of her life, and all of her death, in the South; heat no longer bothered her. What bothered her was the noon day sun, bearing down, bringing with it the hints of memory. Princess frown, shaded her eyes and moved on through the grasslands. Her patron, The Prioress, was growing impatient and Princess needed to report some progress on her mission.

She guessed it was the First of Descending Fire, and if was the First of Descending Fire, it meant she'd been tracking the traitor for over a month. The Prioress was not going to be happy. Then again, the Prioress was never happy, not happy with her or this traitor. The sad fool had sold out his village to gain The Prioress's favor, only to turn squeamish at the last moments. He'd lost his village regardless, but gained The Prioress's ire for his cowardice. Now Princess followed him, tracking him to the rolling foothills west of Chiaroscuro.

The dry grass crunched and split as she waded through it, he wouldn't stop here, odds were he'd keep heading west, until he was tired, or broke, or dead. Any of these suited Princess fine, as long as the fool didn't run too far or too long. In the meantime, the unforgiving sun continued to bear down on her, she felt akin to the grass she moved through, not tired but...beaten. As long as she kept moving she'd be fine, night would fall soon enough and she could rest. In his scabbard, Mercitual rattled in his sheath, crying out in pain or anger, or both. Princess rested her hands on her blade as she crested the next hill, stilling his movements.

There was a girl at the top of the hill. Dressed in sun bleached beggars clothes she knelt in a pose of supplication. Princess stopped, the girl hadn't noticed her yet and for now, she preferred it that way. Normally a girl wouldn't bother The Weeping Princess, she'd have past by like all the other people in this sun drenched world. But this girl, kneeling with her eyes closed at the top of a hill, this girl, had a mark on her. A solid circle of golden light shown from her forehead. Princess winced and shied back from the light, but stayed, gliding behind the girl and waited.
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Unread 7th of May, 2012, 13:15
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The ground beneath her legs was parched; the few remains of grass left from the winter rains were dry and brittle to the lightest touch; and the heat--I can't even feel it--was, while not oppressive for a summer day, still quite miserable. None of this was especially new to Kindle, who had lived her entire 16 summers of life (and her 17th was drawing to a close) here in the South, but the part of her mind that wasn't occupied with her task still noted that she would normally be trying to sleep during this portion of the day.

But she was focused on something else entirely now, and the midday was the best time to perform her newfound activity. She sat with her legs resting beneath her, arms relaxed and laying in her lap, and her face turned upward with her eyes closed to let the Sun's heat wash over her. She was a little nervous that this was an improper position to be praying in--what if I offend Him?--but something inside of her rebelled against the idea of prostrating herself. Besides, she could feel her mark blazing forth. Surely if she was doing something wrong, it would remain hidden to show disapproval?

She wasn't speaking, at least not aloud. She wasn't giving a sermon--a what?--so the prayer was wholly internalized, an occasional mumble accompanying words in her mind she had never heard before--except when I say them--but knew anyways.

She faltered when she heard the sound of the broken grass around her rustling, and open her eyes, twirling her head around. She was far from any road or trail, a deliberate choice to ensure that no one stumbled upon her accidentally. It was probably just an animal--

No. It was a woman. She was watching Kindle, but while she did not approach she didn't run away in terror either, despite her mark shining in all it's glory. Kindle stared at the other woman for a few seconds, eyes wide at this unexpected intrusion, before she was able to speak up. "Um," she squeaked out, never taking her eyes off the woman. "Hello?"
  #3  
Unread 8th of May, 2012, 09:56
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"Um," she squeaked, looking at Princess, "Hello?"

Not the commanding authority Princess was expecting, but that would work in her favor. After all, they weren't fighting yet. Princess smiled at the girl, sudden aware that her appearance might appear imposing to those not used to her, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you, she sat down and attempted to appear non-aggressive, "Please continue."
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Unread 8th of May, 2012, 18:18
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"Oh."

It was a stupid thing to say, but for a moment it was all Kindle could get out. Someone who saw her mark who wasn't even reacting? Even Feather hadn't been able to look at Kindle the same way she had before initially.

Maybe she already knows the truth?

That idea excited Kindle, and her confused expression turned to one of hope in an instant, eyes wide at the newcomer. "Actually," she said, her voice hopeful, "maybe you want to join me in prayer? I've never really done it with anyone else before, and I would enjoy another to pray to the Sun with."
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Unread 9th of May, 2012, 05:10
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Pray? The Weeping Princess frowned; she doubted her masters would approve. It might be worth it to pray with this girl, just to see how they would respond, but she couldn't afford the repercussions, not right now anyway.

"Thank you for the offer," Princess smiled at the girl, "but I feel that would be a bad idea." She motioned for the girl to sit turn back around, "I do wish to talk to you, but, as I said, it can wait until you've finished your praying. I wont' disturb you."
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Unread 9th of May, 2012, 16:46
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Kindle's hopeful expression dissolved into one of disappointment, and perhaps just a tiny bit of confusion. "Okay," she said sullenly as she turned back and resumed her previous sitting position and then fell into silence. For a few moments the only sound was the slight midday breeze blowing around them, with an occasional mumble from Kindle.

"Why would it be a bad idea," Kindle suddenly asked, eyes still closed and her posture still in one of reverence.

Last edited by red_dr4g0n94; 10th of May, 2012 at 07:49.
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Unread 10th of May, 2012, 07:54
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Princess stared at the girl. Did she truly not know? Princess would have to tread carefully with this one, "That...depends on how our conversation goes."
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Unread 10th of May, 2012, 09:48
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Kindle opened her eyes and looked over at the woman with a hint of worry on her face. "Oh," she said dumbly, rubbing the back of her neck for a few moments, unsure of what else to say to that statement.

"Sooo, what happens if this conversation goes badly then?" She turned herself where she sat so she was facing this now potentially dangerous stranger.

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Unread 10th of May, 2012, 15:04
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Princess gave the girl a half-hearted shrug. Most of the time, conversations that went poorly gave her few options,"I guess it depends on how it goes badly. I might frighten you and you'll leave, or I might decide you aren't worth talking to," the pale looked away from the shining mark on the girl's forehead, "Or you might foolishly decide to attack me, and then I'd have kill you." Princess looked back at the girl, "Tell me, what were you doing?"
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Last edited by TagalongDT; 12th of May, 2012 at 12:51.
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Unread 18th of May, 2012, 15:29
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Kindle leaned away from the increasingly threatening woman. She was right about one thing, she was definitely considering leaving this stranger's presence as fast as she was able to. Kindle actually stood from her kneeling position to rise up to the tips of her toes and spent a moment scanning the horizon for possible hidden allies this woman had. After turning all the way around her gaze fell on the woman once more, and her face was visibly more nervous.

"I--I already told you. I was praying to the Unconquered Sun. Offering him thanks for Choosing me." She glanced side to side, her nervousness increasing a bit more as she still failed to see anything. "Are...you--you're not part of the Hunt, are you?"
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Unread 18th of May, 2012, 20:34
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The girl stood, searching for something. Princess sighed, she was being frightening again, she didn't even mean to this time, it just came naturally to her nowadays. She tried smiling, "The hunt? No, I'm not part of the hunt. Kind of the opposite actually," She patted the ground in front of her, motioning for the girl to sit back down.

"But what I mean is: if the hunt is after you, what are you doing praying to the Sun, with your mark flaring for all to see?"
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Last edited by TagalongDT; 19th of May, 2012 at 08:26.
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Unread 21st of May, 2012, 18:10
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Kindle still glanced around nervously and didn't budge toward where the woman had patted the ground, remaining on her feet to better see around her. Sure she wasn't attacking her yet, so it seemed that she was telling the truth about not being part of the Hunt, but she could have simply been lying about it too.

"Because," she said without looking at the stranger. "It's only right to do. I mean, he gave me these gifts. It's only right that I thank him in return. Even if other people think that it's wrong." She turned her gaze back to the woman and her eyes hardened a bit. "What about you? I mean you say you're not with the Hunt, but here you are talking to me when most people have just run in terror. If you aren't part of the Hunt, you aren't afraid of me, and you aren't interested in praying to the Sun with me, then what do you want with me?"
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Unread 22nd of May, 2012, 19:47
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Princess grinned at the girl, "You're still cautious, that's good. No, I'm not afraid of you, there are more options than fear or The Hunt for us. Honestly, I want to know more about you. There's fear all over you, yet you're brazen enough to openly show your caste mark where anyone can see it. Is honoring the Sun in such a tiny fashion really worth risking your life?"
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Unread 23rd of May, 2012, 06:27
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"Yes."

The word was spoken without hesitation as Kindle continued to glare at the woman. Suddenly, however, the stranger's words caught up to her and her mind screeched to a halt as her expression changed to complete and utter shock.

"'Us'? What do you mean 'us'?"
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Unread 24th of May, 2012, 00:22
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At the girl's confusion Princess simply winked at her, "As you say, just remember you'll do no good to The Sun if you're dead."
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Unread 24th of May, 2012, 08:29
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Kindle stared at the woman, her eyes wide with shock but her expression one full of cautious hope.

"Who--who are you? Are you like me? Did the Unconquered Sun send you here to help me?!" As she spoke the young exalt visibly grew more and more excited at the prospect of another like her.
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Unread 24th of May, 2012, 14:56
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The girl's excitement surprised Princess. Still she nodded, "I'm not sure if The Sun sent me, but yes I'm like you, chosen, but not from The Dragons. And I can tell you from personal experience that it's best to assume someone is always watching."
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Unread 29th of May, 2012, 16:52
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Kindle stared at the stranger, her mouth open a bit and her eyes wide in complete shock, her body completely rigid. For a long moment there was no movement from the girl, and around them the wind seemed to die down as if in anticipation for what would happen next. With a jerk kindle started moving forward towards the stranger, the sound of her sandaled feet scraping on the ground breaking the tense silence intermittently. Eventually standing before the woman she began to gently lower herself down, never blinking or taking her eyes off the stranger, till she sat on her legs in front of this supposed Exalt.

"Show me," she breathed, her expression still wide-eyed but now full of cautious hope and a fear of disappointment.
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Unread 30th of May, 2012, 21:48
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Proof, a reasonable request, Princess would have demanded the same in her position. She only hoped the girl was as naive as she acted. Princess nodded and stood up, now it was her turn to scan the horizon, this time for an escape route. If the girl knew...hopefully she wouldn't.

A moment of concentration later and her corrupted power was flaring through her forehead, its pale sickly light contrasting the girls warm golden glow, "Well?"
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Unread 5th of June, 2012, 20:58
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Kindle stared up at the woman, the Exalt, the sister that now stood before her. Her expression seemed unable to settle on either unbridled joy or cautious terror, and her eyes wavered for just a moment to see the Mark bleed down her forehead instead of glowing with light as her own did.

"Why are you bleeding," she whispered up at her.
  #21  
Unread 6th of June, 2012, 18:16
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She didn't know: the girl really didn't know. Finally, a little luck shined on The Weeping Princess of Fate and Sorrow, she'd half expected to have to kill the poor girl. Still, she had to be careful, naive didn't mean foolish, and even a young Sun Chosen was dangerous.

"Sometimes the Sun choses champions to walk in the darkness. Move where there is no light. We can't let our light show, very literally," Princess said. Lies forged in truth were always stronger, often stronger the truth itself, she hoped anyway.

"I'm to understand that my task is to protect Creation from the unseen threats, keep the other Chosen safe during the night," Princess shrugged and smirked at the girl, "so when I see another Sun Blessed openly showing herself to the rest of Creation during these dangerous times, I'm, admittedly, a little angry, and obliged to investigate."

Princess shook her head, "I'm sorry, I don't mean to be threatening, it's a bad habit. Let me try again. I'm Falling Night, what may I call you?"
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Unread 14th of June, 2012, 17:06
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Kindle's mouth opened and closed several times, words obviously failing her for a bit. She stood up hesitantly; her eyes fixated on that hollow circle bleeding and glowing its dark light. After another moment she tentatively reached out with a hand, slowly moving towards the other woman's face. Seeing this the other woman seemed to tense, but with a light touch Kindle dabbed the blood soaked mark with a finger, jerking it back as if bitten.

Breaking her gaze away from the Mark, as if afraid to what she may see, Kindle looked down to see the tip of her finger dark with blood. She snapped her gaze back up and a halfway smile played out along her lips. "You're real," she whispered. "You're really really real."

With that tears began to form at her eyes even as her smile became full-blown, threatening to break away from her face entirely. She let out a sort of half-gasp, half-sob and suddenly became visibly animated. "Ha, ha oh my gosh you're real." She started hopping around this woman, her voice rising as she continued to chant. "You're real, you're real, you're real, you're really really REALLY REAL."

She stopped hopping around in front of the woman, her face full of glee as she hugged herself. "haha, ohwowImeanIprayedtotheSuntohavehimsendanotherChose ntomebutYOU'REREALLYREALLYREALandyouactuallycamean dnowyou'rehere."
Kindle reached out and grabbed Falling Night's hands with her own and started hopping around again, words flowing incoherently from her mouth as she was unable to contain herself.
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Unread 20th of June, 2012, 13:56
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As the girl grasped Princess's hands she took a step back. This was not the reaction she was expecting. Honestly, Princess wasn't sure what reaction she was expecting from the girl, but shrieking like a pre-teen on her first date was not it. At least the girl believed her lie, that meant the hardest part of her job was done, though she had second thoughts about that as she watched the girl jump up and down.

Princess rolled her eyes, for starters, she'd like to stop referring to the girl as "the girl". "Um...yes. I'm happy for you...I suppose. Now, what was your name again?"
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Unread 27th of June, 2012, 21:17
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After another moment of hopping around around Kindle finally released Falling Night's hands as the woman's question finally registered. "Oh," she said bashfully as she realized that she had gotten so caught up in her excitement she had failed to respond to the other Exalt's question earlier. "I'm sorry, I'm just so excited to finally meet another Solar." Wiping tears from her eyes Kindle she was unable to remove the stupid grin on her face . "I'm Kindle, a Zenith of the Unconquered Sun."

Trying to get her emotions under check despite the fact that she still felt too giddy to calm down, she glanced around her surroundings once more. Sniffing a little, and wiping her nose with her arm, she looked back at the woman. "Um, Ms. Falling Night? Why are you out here anyways? I mean, did the Sun send you here?"
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Unread 2nd of July, 2012, 12:59
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Princess shrugged her shoulders. The girl, Kindle, finally calmed down to a level that Princess found acceptable. "Kindle. Kindle. I'm happy to meet you Kindle", she repeated the girl's name, burning it in her memory. Kindle and Falling Night, Princess wonder how well they would work together.

"Please, call me Night. Falling Night can be a mouthful". She rolled her eyes, "As for why I'm here. Well, the Sun didn't tell me anything or send me anywhere. But I caught word of a man who betrayed his village to the Deathlords. I've been tracking him so he can pay for his crimes". She looked right into Kindle's eyes, "Though, depending on what your ultimate goals are I might have to change my plans".
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