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Ancient Au

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Post by melodiousmysteries on Mon May 18, 2020 7:22 pm

Sliet watched the strange form suspiciously for a moment, then carefully as to not wake raven, climbed out of bed into the cold night air, trailing after whoever it was.
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Post by Kazukedud on Mon May 18, 2020 8:37 pm

The woman led her into the hall, and then into the main council room. As she stepped into the moonlight, she appeared as a young woman with flowing black hair, silver eyes catching the moonlight. She paused at the edge of the room, watching from the shadows with Sliet.

Two people strode into the room, a cloaked woman chasing after a large, dark haired man, a bundle cradled in his arms. "Aeg! Aeg you cant, I do not renounce him. I won't." She cried firmly, grabbing onto the man's arm's as he turned to face her.
"I won't raise an abomination as my heir."
"He is your son."
"No." The man grunted in frustration as the woman took the bundle from his arms and held it close.
"I will raise him alone, then. He is mine and better off without you." The woman retorted calmly, hurrying past Sliet and the stranger without a glance, disappearing into the black of the hall as the man vanished as well.

The stranger continued on then, leading the way into the lower recesses of the castle, gesturing for Sliet to follow.

Lower in the halls of the old castle, the stranger led Sliet to an old storeroom, the roof cracked and allowing moonlight to filter through.
Again, she paused at the edge of the room as another set of steps sounded from the darkness.

Moments later, the same woman from before strode into the quiet room, and pulled her hood back - she was a younger version of the woman beside Sliet.
After the woman followed a young boy with a mop of curly black hair, looking up at the cloaked woman as she crouched down to his level. She ruffled his hair and gave him a gentle kiss on his forehead before taking his hands into hers, and slipping an ornate iron ring from his finger. As she did so, he shrunk into his clothes, and a tiny bearcub peaked his head from the cloth, pulling free and sprinting around the open space. The young woman smiled and sat down on the stone floor, watching as the cub ran around happily before rushing back towards her and piling into her waiting arms.

The stranger beside Sliet smiled fondly at the two, and turned away, gesturing for Sliet to follow again as the woman and child faded into the moonlight.

Finally, the woman led Sliet out of the castle and into the fields, winding through the tall grass towards the stone circle where Sliet had fought earlier that day.
As they came to wait at the edge of the stones, a young man with curly black hair faced a hulking young man with a scar-torn face and braided blond hair and beard down to the small of his back.

"You came, you coward, does your father know? Doesn't this violate your stupid pact?" The man thundered humorously, but the younger only regarded him with hatred as he drew his sword.
"You're going to suffer, Enra." The younger hissed.
The blond laughed. "To the death, aye, we'll see. Have at me then, mongrel."
The dark haired man rushed the larger without hesitation, swinging a hand axe viciously, but for all his urgency, the blond beat him back easily with his war hammer.
The fight grew in brutality, seeming to draw out forever, with the younger managing to scour the blond's face and ribs to the bone, but he was barely standing by the end of it, one leg barely holding him up, and blood spilling too quickly from a gash where his shoulder met his neck.
The blond continued to beat him down, until the younger lay on ground with a boot crushing his throat, his axe on the other side of the circle. He clawed desperately at the other's leg, while the blond taunted him, pressing his foot down harder.
"Ah, whose suffering now, Rika? I thought you were a monster? Where's your fangs now boy?" The other chuckled while Rika sputtered. "Come on, do something! Everyone's so afraid of you, and you're helpless! You really thought you could win this?" He taunted as Rika's struggling grew fainter. "Come on, come on, Beg! Beg like your mother did. Beg and maybe I'll-"
At the mention of his mother, the other seemed to come back to life a little more, a harsh, bloody breath hissing through his teeth as he reached for his hand, freeing the iron ring and letting it fall to the grass.

The blond toppled back and Rika rose into a bloodied black bear, lunging up and catching the other in his jaws, falling onto the other with a primal roar and ending the fight in seconds. The bear raised it's head from the bloodied form, and stepped beyond it, and slowly, both faded away as the other specters had.

The stranger, unaffected, walked slowly towards the circle, turned and met Sliet's eyes, and pointed to the overgrown grass where the ring had been discarded.
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Post by melodiousmysteries on Mon May 18, 2020 9:49 pm

Sliet followed the spectre quietly, trying to understand what it was trying to show her. A child? A bear child? She brightened at the sound of her ancestors name, watching the fight in awe. She looked to the spot on the ground and back to the woman. "Who are you?" she asked, already knowing the answer.
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Post by Kazukedud on Mon May 18, 2020 9:54 pm

The woman smiled at her gently. "I am Ren. I am Rika's mother. He will need his ring. Can you take it to him for me?" She asked softly.
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Post by melodiousmysteries on Tue May 19, 2020 11:21 am

Sliet nodded, looking at the woman in awe for a long moment before hurrying to try and find the ring where it had been dropped.
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Post by Kazukedud on Tue May 19, 2020 11:55 am

The Iron ring, despite the many years it had weathered here, still remained as it it had just been dropped - partially buried and obscured by grass, but undamaged by time. "Thank you. Tread safely little bear, this world is cruel, but know I will always watch over you." Ren added, before her form seemed to dissolve into the moonbeams around her.
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Post by Kazukedud on Tue May 19, 2020 8:02 pm

Skip to Hagr

Raven glanced hesitantly at Sliet before they approached Hagr's keep. The clan was made up of a large villiage bordered by log-walls and centered around an impressive wooden fort. As they made their way through the muddy grounds, many different families and slaves made their way around, going about their day and paying little notice to the two newcomers.
However, it wasn't long before a man in chainmail headed towards them, and Raven stopped as the other approached.
"Who hails there?"
"My name is Raven, and this is Sliet. We've come on behalf of Aegwulf Puresnow to summon Hagr to an urgent meet."
The other stood back. "Aye, I've heard of your band. I haven't shared drinks with Agnar in some time, infact, we've seen very little of you. How are you lot faring these days boy?" The man questioned, far too interested for Raven's comfort.
"Agnar has died. A storm took him last winter during a hunt. He was a stubborn man - he died feeding our clan. But his strength lives on in his wife and son, and we had a bountiful summer and many new babes. It is a shame he could not drink with us in celebration." Raven lied through his teeth, dipping his head.
"Horrid to hear, ahh... least he died well." The other nodded, considering. "I'll take you up, follow me." He directed, walking ahead of them.
As soon as he turned, Raven let go of a held breath and followed after, making his way up to the wooden fortress.

Inside, Raven took in the heavy scent of meat and wine, not meeting eyes with the extended family of the clan who lounged around, feasting on roasted venison and chattering throughout the hall. He nearly trod on a servant girl who was scrubbing the floor, and wound around her, muttering an apology. In another corner, a large old man sat with two slave girls, and near the back of the room, two men fought drunkenly over a dice game. Hagr seemed to be drowning in wealth and leisure these days.

"My lord Yehnderson, the puresnows sent us two envoys. We are to attend a meet, most 'urgently'." The other addressed with a note of humor.

The man at the front of a room leaned forward in his throne. Unlike the others, he was neither drunk nor merry, but wore a scowl on his weathered face. As he bent to get a better look at them, ragged silver and blond braids brittle like straw slipped over his shoulders and hung against his bony chest. "Another meet... Does Aegwulf think I want to hear him prattle on for the second time this month?" He questioned Sliet and Raven, thumping a clawed fist down on the arm of the throne. "I have duties to attend to! I have no time for his pretty concerns about borders, or about the rights of succession, fight it out like we always have I say! Strength is the only thing that means anything, even among these wordy vipers. Do you know that, girl?" He addressed Sliet, rambling on without give them a chance to speak. "Or are you wine drunk and fat on meat like my pathetic spawn?!" He exploded suddenly, shouting the last word with venom as he slammed his fist down again. "Nothing makes sense any more! You wanted a man's wife? You killed him. You wanted the best hunting grounds? You took them! I don't care about that old bat's damned meet!" He roared.

The man who had led the two in stood silent as the other carried on, not opening his mouth nor meeting the old man's cold eyes.
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Post by melodiousmysteries on Tue May 19, 2020 8:30 pm

Sliet stayed close to ravens side, keeping a wary eye on the strangers surrounding them. She stared the old man down. "This is bigger than land or marriage. It could destroy us all if not addressed." she said evenly.
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Post by Kazukedud on Tue May 19, 2020 9:19 pm

The old man eyed her curiously before Raven spoke up as well. "There's a monstrous bear, eating men and women across the northern region-"

"Then track it down and kill it!" The man retorted incredulously.

"You don't understand, it's two men tall. We saw it kill more than twenty, all armed and fighting against it. Weapons couldn't pierce its hide nor warn it off. " Raven added urgently, and the old man narrowed his eyes. "A demon... the Redsnows, they must have something to do with this-"
"The Redsnows were attacked as well - what would they have to do with a bear?" Raven questioned, perplexed by all this hatred.
"Haven't you head the stories boy? Some say the Redsnows can shift like witches into beasts."
Raven frowned, looking at Sliet with an incredulous expression as if to say "are you hearing this nonsense?" Before shaking his head. "Whatever the stories, the Redsnows are men, and the bear attacked them just the same, it is a wild beast, and we must figure out how to stop it before it kills attacks more clans."
The old man grumbled in response. "Aye, I'll attend your meet, I'll enjoy hearing you fools snivel over a bear. My clan will enjoy a good hunt."
"Thank you." Raven dipped his head and stepped back before heading off.

As they headed down the hall towards the entrance, a faint cry from the side broke his attention, and he glanced over his shoulder to see one of the men grab a servant woman by her hair with a jeer and pull her harshly to her feet, forcing her to the wall and knocking over a wash bucket and soaking the floor with soapy water. He felt his stomach twist with anger and opened his mouth to speak, but something about her made him hesitate when he saw her face. What was it about her that felt so familiar?
Quickly, he turned from Sliet’s side and rounded, walking quickly over to the man and gripping the hilt of his short sword and unsheathing it in a swift motion.
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Post by melodiousmysteries on Tue May 19, 2020 10:02 pm

Sliet looked to the side at the accusations against her clan, not making eye contact with anyone. She followed hastily towards the entrance, almost tripping over herself as raven swerved off. Oh gods what was this now. She trotted after him, reaching to put a hand on his shoulder as he drew his blade. Now was not the time and here not the place.
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Post by Kazukedud on Tue May 19, 2020 10:14 pm

Raven flinched at Sliet’s hand on his shoulder, looking back at her with hot fury in his eyes, But the interruption made him pause and he hesitated briefly. What was he thinking? Pushing his sword back into its sheathe, he pulled away from Sliet rushed over.
“Stop! Stop!” He ordered, unable to take his eyes off the woman as she cowered quietly, staring down at the wooden floor.
“Who the hell are you?” The other snapped, cheeks flushed with drink.
Raven searched the other’s face, promising to himself he would run him through some day. With shaking hands, he fumbled to free the silver band from about his arm, pulling it down and holding it out quickly to the other. “I want to take her with me, is this enough?” He blurted.
The man looked at the circlet with bewilderment on his face, letting go of the woman to take it. “What the... You could buy four or five pretty women with that from the Vunek,“
“Then her and the two over there.” Raven demanded quickly, making note of the two younger servants he’d noticed at the other end of the hall.
The man frowned in confusion “Ey, you offered-“
“Do you want it or not!?” He demanded.
The man pulled it back slightly. “Yeah, yeah, if that’s what you want, take them. Gods, you lot must be dying for company, eh?” He agreed, not about to argue further with the amount of silver this boy had thrown at him.
“Then take it, I’m taking her with me, right now. Is that a deal?” Raven snapped desperately, about the draw his blade despite his better judgement if the other touched her again.
The other seemed thrown off, stepping back slightly and frowning. “Yeah, yeah, whatever.” He grumbled, looking over the silver and stepping back.
“What’s your name?” Raven asked the man.
“Tarmun Hagr,”
Letting the name sink in, Raven turned from the other, no longer interested in him as the man moved away from the strange visitors.
Raven turned from the other, kneeling to help the woman up, but she flinched back from him, unwilling to meet his eyes. He tried to speak, but he felt like he was choking,
He tried to steady her, clasping her arms gently to help support her as she stood. She wouldn’t look at him, and her eyes were vacant with fear beneath the long, silvery-black hair that shrouded her boney frame down to her stomach. He felt his heart drop at the sight of her; what had happened to her? Did she even know who he was? He had to get out of this place.
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Post by melodiousmysteries on Tue May 19, 2020 10:22 pm

Sliet watched him in bewilderment, keeping an eye on him and the Hagr men around them, making sure nobody pulled anything. She ducked to the other side of the strange woman, offering protection and what support she could, eager to get out of this particular hold. "What the hell has gotten into you?" she hissed as they stepped through the door.
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Post by Kazukedud on Tue May 19, 2020 10:42 pm

Raven didn't answer Sliet, meeting her eyes briefly but not even sure where to begin. As they approached the two servant girls who'd stood nervously at the exchange, he glanced at them briefly. Fuck. What were they going to do with two little kids? Would they even be better off with them? He couldn't think straight. One of them looked anxiously back at the hall, but wouldn't meet his eyes, and the other one stared up at him with a strange ferocity. Both were from Yotei. "Come along, it's okay." He got out uncertainly, struggling to recall the Teitian he'd once know by heart.

The woman followed them without a word, seeming anxious and confused as the girl came up beside her. She'd been bought and sold before, but the last decade she'd spent working herself to death for this clan. She never expected them to care for her, but she'd just been given away like an old rag. At least they'd mostly left her alone as she'd started to lose her beauty, but what were these strangers going to do with her and the two girls? At least here they'd had a warm place to sleep.

As they reached the two girls, she hesitated, unsure, but pulled them closer, fearing the man would retaliate, but wanting to offer them some comfort.
"Reishi.." One murmered anxiously, and she shushed them, taking them along with her, feeling her heart ache for the two.


When they had made it onto the path, some distance from the manor, Raven shakily turned to the woman. “Amoh,” He spoke in a hush. “Amoh, dro hei.” He pleaded, wanting to reach out and touch her, comfort her, but she looked so terrified. “Please, look at me. Dro hei, heit Rensu.” He spoke quickly, searching her face until she met his eyes, blinking quietly in shock. “Rensu?” She questioned, reaching to clasp his wrists as tears suddenly welled up on her bruised face, and he wrapped his arms around her, holding her close to his chest. “He mo, he rensu, hait verai, ero melneh? Vendi medi ethait? Hait verai, av verai…” She got out weakly, but he couldn’t reply, only hold her as he tried to keep himself together.

The two girls watched anxiously as the woman left them, the stepping closer to one another, while one of them gazed uncertainly at Sliet.
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Post by melodiousmysteries on Wed May 20, 2020 7:30 pm

Slier stood back watching raven and the woman in awkward confusion. What was going on now? She looked over to the two girls, watching them for a moment before shrugging off her heavy cloak and moving to drape it over the two.
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Post by Kazukedud on Wed May 20, 2020 8:42 pm

Raven consoled the woman for a moment, before drawing back a bit and trying to gather himself, before glancing up at Sliet. "This is my amoh-my mother-" He explained apologetically. "She..." He trailed off. He wasn't sure how to explain everything that had happened since the last time he'd seen her.
"Amoh, This is Sliet Redsnow, she is my friend." He introduced. The frail woman wiped her tears and glanced for a second at Sliet, but struggled to keep eye-contact with the other. She opened her mouth to speak, but only dipped her head in greeting.

Trying to assure them, Raven turned to the two girls, kneeling to be at their level. "It's okay - dro melneh, we'll keep you safe. Do you know where your families are?" He questioned, half scared he might've taken them away from whatever family they had left.
The younger, timid one struggled to speak, and instead shook her head, sniffling, and the older did the same.



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Post by melodiousmysteries on Wed May 20, 2020 9:39 pm

Sliet nodded back to the woman awkwardly. "We should probably get them back to camp." she said after a long moment of silence.
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Post by Kazukedud on Wed May 20, 2020 11:00 pm

Raven nodded in agreement, worried for the state of all three of them. He couldn't stop glancing at her, unsure of what to say after all this time. Had she been here all along? She was barely recognizable.

Reishi felt like she was stuck in some kind of dream, as if she weren't really in her body. How had he found her? Why was he here? How had her little son gotten so tall? She'd given up hope of ever seeing him again so long ago, after so many attempts and failures to escape. Did he know she'd given up on him? She'd buried those days and her old life in the sand, and now... The woman struggled to find words to speak, overwhelmed and terrified she would wake up and be back in the Hagrs' hall. As the young woman mentioned heading back to a camp, she gathered the two girls to her side, assuring them in Taitian that everything would be okay. She didn't know what Rensu wanted with the little ones, but she would do what she could to protect them, as she had when they had been in the keep together.

------------

SKIP

--------

Raven sat quietly by the fire, warming his hands in the cool night air long after Dalian, Pel, and Unavyre had drifted off to sleep. He glanced over at where Reishi lay, still worried, but just glad to have her back, even if she still needed time to heal. He was relieved the two girls had been taken in by the Puresnow's older daughter, along side her own boy, Aegg. He wasn't sure if they'd ever find their own families, but at least now they had someone to care for them and protect them - far better than how they'd been treated before.

Breaking his attention from the fire, he looked across at Sliet, speaking up tiredly but not meeting her eyes. "Redsnow...Sliet...I'm sorry for how I reacted, back in the Hagrs' keep. I... I didn't think. I  just saw her, after so long, I never thought I would see her again, and I saw the man hurting her and I just...I had to do something." He tried to explain, pausing for a moment."And for taking the girls... I know that was reckless, but I didn't want to just leave them there, either."
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Post by melodiousmysteries on Thu May 21, 2020 9:36 pm

Sliet briefly looked up from the fire at him before looking back to the flames. "It's fine. I would have done the same if it had been my mother." She said, shrugging it off. She knew it was only a partial truth. She wouldn't have been as civil about it.
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Post by Kazukedud on Thu May 21, 2020 9:56 pm

Raven nodded, thankful, and brought his knees up to his chest.
"Your clan didn't keep slaves, or have any contact to the outside, right? Is any of this... difficult for you? The family lines, trial by combat, humans being bought and sold, blood feuds? I know it's the way of things, but it still bothers me." He admitted.
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Post by melodiousmysteries on Thu May 21, 2020 10:06 pm

Sliet furrowed her brow in thought for a moment before responding. "It's... Strange. It's something that we were told occurred elsewhere but it seems wrong to see it in action. Of course we did have trial by combat but we never had much use for it. It was always 'learn how to fight and pray you never have the need to.' blood feuds are certainly new. Especially this one" she said the last part with a sneer. "I don't see how so many clans can hold against me and my people what one of my ancestors did decades ago, especially when he wasn't in the wrong."
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Post by Kazukedud on Thu May 21, 2020 10:19 pm

Raven nodded, considering. "People fear the sign-born, the ones who have some kind of curse from the gods. That probably made things a lot worse for Rika, and how they treated him - if he really could shift into a bear. Most mothers abandon sign-born infants, at least, from what I know.... Pel was sign born. Her parents couldn't abandon her because they didn't know until she was a few years old, so they sold her to slavers for silver." He explained quietly, frowning as he stared into the flames.
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Post by melodiousmysteries on Thu May 21, 2020 10:26 pm

Sliets face scrunched up in anger just thinking about it. "That I cannot wrap my head around. Why? Why cast out or kill this child that is different in a way that could potentially help them later on. Give them some sort of advantage later on. They are your kin!" she said raising her voice before remembering their sleeping travel companions close by and coming back to herself. "I just... Don't understand." she sighed. "We should rest. There is a long way to go yet."
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Post by Kazukedud on Thu May 21, 2020 10:41 pm

Raven listened to the other quietly, sympathetic to her frustration. "I don't understand either. I wish it wasn't that way." He agreed softly, glancing over to where Pel slept. Still alone, away from the fire. At least she hadn't cried tonight.
"That's probably best." He agreed when she suggested sleep, covering himself and listening quietly to the fire crackle for a long while before he began to drift off.

-------------------

Raven woke up early in the morning, sitting up and blinking as he pushed his blankets back, ready to get moving again, when he noticed Sliet was gone. Standing up, he looked around in confusion. She hadn't take anything with her... maybe she'd gone to wash up or something. Not thinking anything of it at first, we went along as usual, until she didn't come back, and he and the others began to search for her.

Pel strayed down through the fields cautiously, looking for any sign of the other and feeling rather frightened. She wasn't sure what Sliet would do if she caught her alone. The other had likely just needed some space, or maybe went hunting, but why hadn't she told them? Had slavers taken her in the night? Wolves? The bear? Nervously, she called out into the plains. "Redsnow? Are you out here?"
The listened in silence, but heard nothing in return but the echoes of her own voice. Trying to calm her fear, she trod on until she noticed something moving in the grass ahead and froze, reaching for her sword out of habit and feeling her heart drop when she remembered she no longer had one. "C-come out, now! Is that you, Redsnow?" She demanded, voice trembling despite herself.
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Post by melodiousmysteries on Fri May 22, 2020 12:36 am

The bear snuffled in the grass, it's large head swinging up at the sound. The creature stood up on it's back legs curiously, massive paws tucked neatly in front of it in contrast to it's broad stature as it looked upon the woman curiously.
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Ancient Au - Page 4 Empty Re: Ancient Au

Post by Kazukedud on Fri May 22, 2020 12:40 am

Pel felt her blood run cold as she stumbled back and tripped over her own feet, opening her mouth to scream but feeling her throat close up in fear as she fell back. She inched back quickly, not sure if she should scream or run or just not move.
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Ancient Au - Page 4 Empty Re: Ancient Au

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