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RPG The Lo'Aund Experiments


Corey
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[color=#2f4f4f][size=1][i]Please see the recruitment thread in the recruitment forum for a list of those that got in and those that have not. Show up uninvited or with inappropriate behavior, I'll have my way with you and then hand you over to terra.
Good luck and good gaming.[/i]
???
[b]Allana-[/b] "Corel? What are you doing?"

[b]Corel-[/b] "Isn't it obvious! I'm checking up on my children!"

[b]Allana-[/b] "Corel, you know it is forbidden."

[b]Corel-[/b] "I don't care! It's been so many years. I need to know if they're safe!"

[b]Allana-[/b] "Corel... What's happened to you?"

[b]Corel-[/b] "Nothing has happened to me. I'm simply curious about the statis of my little ones."

[b]Allana-[/b] "...did you access it?"

[b]Corel-[/b] "Allana! They are mine! Why can't you understand!?"

[b]Allana-[/b] "You sohuld have left it alone... The council put it away for a reason. They knew exactly this would happen... You know what must be done."

[b]Corel-[/b] "No... I won't leave them!"

[b]Allana-[/b] "You have no choice... You've been tainted."
???

Citain awoke with a start. He had been having a dream. Something about the crops this year... They would be bad... He shook his head and stood slowly. His fathers and mothers ashes stood on the ,amtle above the fireplace. He glanced at them as he walked by feeling a slight amount of guilt. He knew what would happen soon. The farm would fail and he'd end up selling to one of the mass-producers that were so intereted in his land. There was a knock at the door.

[b]Citain-[/b] "Hmmm?" He walked over to the door and opened it, gripping the knife at his side. A man in a nice brown suit stood there with a small travelbag and an inviting smile. Citain wasn't convinced. "What do you want?" The man smiled agian.

[b]??-[/b] "My name is Edward Yanas. I have a proposition for you regarding your field."

[b]Citain-[/b] "Do you people have nothing better to do? You're the seventh person this week. And it's only been three days!" He sighed and rubbed his face. It was a nice day, he should be out planting. "Just make your proposition so I can turn you away." The mans smaile seemed to grow.

[b]Edward-[/b] "I believe the last person that was here was Allen Klinsborough, correct?" Citain nodded. "And he offered you 2000 gold plus several pieces of raw gemstone?" He nodded again. "I'm here to offer you 5000 gold, 2000 silver, and," the mans eyes glittered, "one pound of processed emerald stones." Citain stepped back. That was more than he could make in three years.

[b]Citain-[/b] "I... Um... I..." The buyer stepped up another foot.

[b]Edward-[/b] "May I come in? We can discuss the terms more in depth." Citain motioned him in for his mouth seemed to have evaporated of all moisture and his tounge felt like a dead herring. He pointed at a chair he could sit in, went and stoked the fire a bit, and fixed two glasses of cranberry juice. He handed one to Yanas and dranka large gulp of is own. His mouth immediately felt better. "If the terms are not good enough, I am allowed to offer a bit more, though not much." Citain tried to nod convincingly.

[b]Citain-[/b] "Um... Well I have to admit that your offer is the best one so far. But I'm not sure I could let a farm that has been in my family for generations go so... so easily..." He sipped his juice and glanced up at Yanas. He was rummaging in the bag he had brought.

[b]Edward-[/b] "I know I might seem straight forward, but I'm very interested in having this farm." He pulled out a cloth-wrapped item and placed it on the table. "I promise you that your house will stay, you can even live here if you want free of charge, but what I really want is the field. I'm prepared to offer this as well as what I have priviously mentioned."

[b]Citain-[/b] "What is it?"

[b]Edward-[/b] "Open it." Citain reached forward with a slightly shaky hand. He wasn't sure what the thing could be, but it felt powerful. He touched the cloth and a slight shock rippled its way up his arm. He jumped and glanced at Edward. He ouched the cloth again and opened it. It felt old and slightly moist, like it had been underground recently. The last fold of cloth fell away fo reveal an amulet of sorts. It was silver in a pentagonal like pater surrounded by a circle of red gemstones with flecks of blue inside.

[b]Citain-[/b] "What is it..." Citain said again, transfixed and amazed by the aritfact.

[b]Edward-[/b] "It's a relic from the gods. When it's worn the speed of the person is incresed by about two times, you can move twice as fast. We have unearthed several relics lately in this area and we wish to excavate your field. We will be covert and extremely quiet, as long as you don't ak too many questions." Citain gaped at the amulet. He was sure it was authentic. Many stories had been told to him by his parents of the great god relics left over from the great war, but he'd never seen one until now. "My offer is of the take it or leave it kind. Will you accept?"[/size][/color]
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[COLOR=MediumTurquoise][i]Vasvas Colubra looked at her children. They stared back at her with the flat expressionless eyes that she so loved. Her children seemed to be smiling at her. Then again, the facial features they posessed always made them look happy. Vasvas shivered with pleasure. It was a brand new evening.[/i]

"Let's go for a walk.......it's a beautiful night."

".......yesss. I like that."

"Pleassse?"

[i]She rose to her feet, adjusting the folds of her blue tunic, then looped an ancient looking snakeskin belt around her ample sized hips. Her eyebrows tilted upwards, then she reached for her staff. The creases in the wood caressed her fingertips like water, and she smiled. On cue, her children slithered across the floor and up the sides of the staff. As soon as they reached five separate knots in the wood, they froze into place.

Motionless and expressionless. She liked it. The door to her small house opened at the slightest touch and closed again behind her.[/i]

"Aaaah."[/COLOR]
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[size=1][color=#999999]"Young Princess, where are you? Your lady mother calls for you! She wishes to speak with you at this very moment! Lady Nikita, where are you hiding?"

[i]A servant had ran past the stone statue of Anubis that stood in the great corridors of the Devalos castle. A child-like head had appeared from the corner of the statue, looking out into the hallway. Seeing that no one knew where she was, the young girl emerged from her hiding place and, with caution, walked to the window, where she leaped down and had caught the banner that hung down from the roof side. Her fiery, red hair was blown around as she swung herself into the open window that lead to her chambers.

A silent thud had hit the wooden pavement as she looked around the room, hurriedly. The brass doorknobs began to turn as the girl stood in the middle of the room. She looked around once more, searching for something to do. She looked up and down, left to right, until she layed her eyes upon her desk that was filled with books and papers. She quickly ran to it and sat down, pulling a book from the side and pretending to read.

A nasty draft pulled in as the two doors were swung open and her mother came storming in, along with the two servants that were looking for her. A pair of stern, worn-out eyes looked down upon her as the girl turned to see who had bursted in uninvitingly, only to see her mother standing there.[/i]

"Nicoleta Vaijin Devalos! Where in the lands of Miridia have you been? Did you not know that you were to be with your father and I as we spoke with the other leaders of the lands around us? Did you not know that we were arranging a meeting with one of the leaders' son, so that we may see whether or not he is suitable for you to marry? Well! Answer me, daughter!"

[i]Nicoleta turned in her seat and looked up to her distressed mother with a pair of innocent, sparkling eyes. Her mother crossed her arms and frowned upon her. Nicoleta smiled with gently as she could and as lady-like. She then replied to her mother's words.[/i]

"Oh, dearest mother. Have I ever stood beside you and father as you met with the leaders? Have I ever met with a man who was suitable for me? For that matter, have I ever conferenced with anyone other than the Philosopher?" [i]Her mother was at a loss of words. Her frown and stern gaze began to disappear.[/i] "Empress of the many lands of Miridia, wife of the great warrior Emperor, and mother of a caring, exuberant daughter. Understand that I am not one to wish for meetings and conferences and such. Darling mother of mine, I can see in your eyes that you knew I was not going to stand by your side and give help. I can see in your eyes that you were greatly hurt to not see my by your side, but know that I could not stay for a moment as these old-aged men talked of... decrees, land masses, armies, and such. I am a woman of peace, tranquility, sophistication. I am a young woman learning of philosophies and the like." [i]Nicoleta stood to see her mother's tiring eyes.[/i] "I wish you could understand that when I say I wish not to be the next leader of the many lands that my father holds. I apologize once again, my mother."

[i]With a sigh, Nicoleta's mother nodded and surrendered. She raised her arms in defeat and smiled as strongly as she possibly could. Nicoleta smiled in return as well. She watched her mother walk away and see that only one servant had stayed behind. This servant had a message from the Philosopher and it was to be given to her as soon as possible.[/size][/color][/i]
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[size=1]Citain let the warm spring water flow over him. The shower his father had built them so many years ago was still in perfect condition. No rust. No wear. It was perfect... Citain sunk down to his knees and put his face in his hands. Guilt washed over him like a tub of winter water. He sobbed into his hands, tears mixing with the shower water and dribbling out through the drain. How could he have done it? How could he have sold his farm? The farm that had been in his family for years? The farm that his parents left to him with their deaths. He sold it for a little gold, a little silver, and a little bit of green rock.

[b]Citain-[/b] "I..." He stood slowly, turning off the water valve and stepping out. He toweled off quicky and marched into his bedroom. A yellow glint caught his eye. It was the gold. Citain looked at it with an expression of love and hate. It was more money than he had ever expected to make in his life. It was also something that cost him his farm. He wiped his moistening eyes and dressed in pain, but clean, dark grey clothes. He buckled his belt and walked into the kitchen. Someone was standing just outside of the door. He had left it open.

[b]??-[/b] "I'm sorry, I don't mean to intrude, but I have a message for you. Are you Citain Ballazar?" He nodded. "Mr. Edward Yanas requests that you leave your home for a few days. He realizes that he told you you could stay free of charge, but in order to get the dig going properly, he needs a few days alone with his crew." The man smiled and left. Citain stood there for a minute, letting the information sink in. So he'd go to town. Maybe stay at an inn. Go to a few bars. Maybe not come back at all...[/size]
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[COLOR=DarkOrange][FONT=Comic Sans MS]Risa come into the village. People young and old filled the streets. [I]This looks like a good place to work.[/I] Walking through the small village she watch the children laugh and play. Risa sat down on a barrel and watched a few of the parents? talk while watching the children. When she seen enough gather around she stood up on the barrel.

?Hello one and all. I am Risa a traveling gleeman.? A crowd started together around her. She took out six small balls and started to juggle. ?I will do things that will amaze and surprise you.? Making the balls pass one more in her hands they disappeared into her sleeve. The crowd clapped. She hopped down off the barrel and walked on her hands. She used her arm strength and pushed herself and did a back flip. ?I will tell you tales of ages long past and the gods that roamed them. I will sing you sweet songs that lover can cuddle to and of brave warrior new and old.? She moves about the crowd so that they feel apart of her act. She hoped back onto the barrel and brought out her flute and began to play. A flute made of silver with gold leaves etched on it. It was a gift from her parents when she was a court bard. Taking the flute away from her mouth she spoke. ?Music that I play will put the smallest babe to sleep.? She stood on the barrel and began to dance and play once more. The tune was a catchy one and the people began to dance in the street. She stopped and bowed. ?Thank you all you have been a lovely audience but I must be on my way.? She gave a bow that would have been fit for the Emperor and Empress. She hoped down from the barrel.

A few people threw her some coins and she picked them up. She walked down the main street of the village looking for an inn. She saw a sign that said The Noble Crown. She looked inside the window and seen different type of people. They were drinking and laughing in front of a fireplace. She went inside the inn and locates the owner. She found him in the back he had on a white nice shirt and the apron he wore did not have stain on it. ?How may I help you Mistress.?

?I am a gleeman. I want to know if I can work in your in for food and a bed.? She said flourishing a bow.

?Well I would be honored Mistress??

?Risa will do just fine. I would like to get my meal first if that is okay with you and than I will perform some.?

?Not a problem Risa. Please sit down and I will bring up your food.?

Risa took a seat at a table and watched the other around her. [I]This town looks nice I will be happy to work here.? She smiled to herself and one of the barmaids brought her over some ale. She sat and drank while she waited for her food.[/FONT][/COLOR]
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[COLOR=MediumTurquoise][i]She stepped out onto the road, her steps smooth and wide. Her tread accented the curve of her body, as she walked through the well worn pathways. The dirt beneath her feet remained as it was, the gentle touch of light leather boots making no impression. The snakes gave off no feeling, they were intent on remaining motionless as their mistress took them where she willed.[/i]

"As we search for angel treads,
Wipe the threads off off my face,
This is a quest for holy grace..."

[i]The lines of an old ballad came to her easily, and she did the melody full justice. It had been awhile since the last outing. What with ensuring that her children ate well, shed perfectly, and went for swims, she hardly had time to tread the ancient pathways she knew so well. Her smile broadened and the snakes seemed to quiver with anticipation. A journey.

The pack kon her back gave her enough supplies for at least a month out in the field. Then again, her children could hunt. And she could cook. And water was plentiful. At least where she was going. The tunic around her body shut out the cold. And folded around her legs was her thick cloak, woven of both wool and silk. The snakeskin belt held nothing but a small package of flint and tinder. Vasvas was notorious for travelling light. Her only worldy adornments besides clothing and belt being two earrings and a simple pendant around her neck.

Light filtered through the trees, moons. Bright and powerful, enough for her to detect a faint thrum and hum from the source. In the woods she could hear faint voices singing a similar ballad to hers, and sense the pattering of light feet on sward. She knew the maidens of the woods were out. But she knew better than to intrude. The results could be less than pretty. In the meantime, she contented herself to smell the scents of earth, starlight, and fresh pine.[/i][/COLOR]
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[size=1][color=#999999][i]A wondering smile over took Nicoleta's face as she looked over the message that was given to her. She thanked the servant and placed the letter safely into her sleeve. As the servant walked out, Nicoleta had grabbed her book bag and had filled it with the necessary items needed when going to seek out the Philosopher. She then walked out of her rooom.

Walking down the halls, the servants that stayed in the palace bowed to her in respect and she bowed back. She was in a hurry and wished not to see her father or her mother. Reaching the stairs that led down to the grand halls, Nicoleta looked back and slid down the rail. When she reached the floor, she hurried towards the doors and exited the castle. In a full out sprint, Nicoleta rushed out of the courtyard and into the streets.

Relieved, Nicoleta pulled her cloak hood over her head and walked down the streets to the Philosopher's house. His lied at the end of the road, near the Forests of Shadows. The forest in which creatures that no man would ever cast their eyes on. This was the forest that the Philosopher would wander in, watching and searching for something that was invisible to man's eye.

Nicoleta arrived at the Philosopher's house and knocked. Footsteps were heard and before her eyes, a true centaur stood at the edge with the Philosopher on his back. Nicoleta's eyes widened with amazement. The two laughed and chuckled as they walked to the house. The centaur layed eyes on Nicoleta and bowed in respect, as all others do.[/i]

"Ah, my one true apprentice. Come, come. I want you to meet a good friend of mine." [i]The Philosopher had an italian accent mixed in with an old english. Nicoleta did as her teacher asked and came forward.[/i] "Nicoleta, I would like you to meet Astaro the Centaur. He is the leader of his people and the great hunter, I might add."

"Pleased to meet you, Lord Astaro. I am daughter of Emperor Kyzinct Valentine Devalos III and apprentice to the Philosopher."

[i]The two bowed low in respect before standing up once more. Astaro spoke to them.[/i] "This is a fine, young apprentice you have here, Lauridaine. Well, I must be getting back now. Come again and visit us some time. Bring your apprentice as well. She might just like the Forests of Shadows."

"I shall do that the next time you are at the edge. So long, Astaro."

[i]The centaur turned and walked to the entrance of the forest and walked away until no sign of him was left. Nicoleta turned to her teacher and pulled out the letter. She wondered why he had asked for her at such a hectic time. This is highly unlike him and very strange, yet he was always an unpredictable man to begin with.[/i][/size][/color]
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[SIZE=1][COLOR=royalblue]Arista sat high on a rooftop of a village grocery and plucked slowly apart a small piece of fish that was supposed to serve as a meal for her. The bland taste of it gave it no meaning or fullness that would satisfy the hunger of anyone. It was hard to see how someone could enjoy such a tasteless thing.

Carrying herself off, Arista came down from the roof and disposed of the fish quickly without any hesitation. It would do her no good. The streets weren't very busy at the time. It gave enough to move around freely without worrying about the untrusting people there. Too bad for them, though.

It was interesting to see how common people interacted with each other. There was such a mystery to what they really thought when they spoke and gestured. It's easy for someone to pass hand without notice.

"Such a nice place," Arista said quietly to herself and wondered around lazily. There had to be something to do in such a large place. She could go watch a blacksmith at work if there was one. Not much of a chance to try and search. It would take far too long and there wasn't sign of many things that would be needed to use a blacksmith. Such hard luck.

[I]So what shall I do with all this free time?[/I] The thought crossed her mind yet again that day.

There was a young woman standing with her husband outside of a small house. A questioning look came over Arista's face at the sight of them. It would have been easy to swipe just about anything from them the way they appeared to be paying attention. And they looked like quite wealthy people themselves. Atleast it was something to do to until night came.[/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[size=1]Citain walked down the road slowly and deliberately. His pack wasn't heavy, all he had taken was the gold the silver and the emeralds. He only had the clothes on his back and his long knife at his side. Fields stretched as far as the eyes could see for miles around, accept for forward. The path toward town wove through a thick wood. Several years ago there had been a problem with bandits robbing people and killing them inside.

The current law enforcement had hunted them down and hung them. But still there were stories. Not many even went through anymore. They took the longer, yet 'safer' way, around the woods. The sun was beginning to get a little annoying. It was early spring but still in this vast plain it was pretty warm. He wiped off the back of his neck and took a small drink from his water skin. The water was already beginning to get warm.

Citain looked up sharply. Something had caught his eye in the distance, just before the edge of the forest. Something had caught the sunlight. Something that seemed shiny... He shook his head. Probably just his imagination. His nerves were pretty high strung right now... His mind started wandering, making up scenarios about thieves in the forest canopy, hiding, with crossbows trained on his head and neck. Maybe he should go around...

[b]Citain-[/b] "Good lords..." He wouldn't go around. The town was only a few more hours away if he stuck to this path. He would have to travel through the night if he took the other path. A piece of paper fluttered through the air and hit his chest. "What the..." It was a flyer for a battling tournament in the Holy City of Shirn. The grand prize was supposedly a great deal of money plus an undisclosed item. He folded it up and stuck it in his pocket. You never knew when you'd need some paper,[/size]
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[COLOR=MediumTurquoise][i]Her eyes flickered in the light. They had spent the day together as usual. Her children curled up on each of her chakras. One on her forehead, another on her neck, the third on her chest, the fourth on her stomach, and the last over her pelvis. During the unnatural rest, her body regenerated, aided by the presence of her young charges. They were used to sleeping during the day hours and being active at night. Her mistress changed her habbits to better suit their lives.

Not only did she bend her will unto those of the snakes, she bent her life to conform to them. It was the one thing that the rest of the human world would cite as basis for her estrangement. And she liked it better that way.

Vasvas Colubra rose as the sun was setting, and watched someone from across a huge field. The necklace caught the last rays of the sun and glittered with a cold fire. She smiled and cupped her hand over it, and pulled back into the darkness. He had seen it. And he would come to the town to rest in the night.[/i]

"Shall we go into public again?"

"......... .....do we freeeze?"

"You were alive last night, tonight you can afford to rest."

[i]Vasvas smiled as they coiled into place. The town wasn't far away, and she put her body to good use. Instead of walking, her hips swaying delicately like reeds, she ran, a long loping stride that ate away the miles between her and civilization. Soon she reached the town and pulled out her cloak. With deft movements, she whipped it open, snapped the folds of the fabric out and swirled it around her shoulders. The hood drew itself over her head almost automatically and she grasped her staff resolutely. The last town had seen her snakes, looked into her eyes, and screamed that a witch and her familiars had intruded upon their land.

Not tonight. She would wait for the stranger in the field to come closer. The tavern/inn/brothel was guarded by two tall guards. They stared into her eyes. Purple. Blue. And they looked away again. She walked in without another word. Once inside, she sat at a corner table, her cloak drawn up around her face, her staff leaning against the wall unobtrusively. He would come.[/i][/COLOR]
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[COLOR=DarkOrange][FONT=Comic Sans MS]The innkeeper places the plate of food down at her table. Risa quickly eats it up. She gulped down the rest of her ale and thanked the innkeeper for the meal. ?Are you going to perform now, Miss Risa.?

?Yes, I am.? She looked around the room to see how many patrons there were. She chooses a table that didn?t have anyone sitting on at it and climbed atop of it. ?Good men and Ladies lend me your ear for I will perform for you and tell you stories that will bring you cheer.? Risa being to sing a dancing melody and the people began to clap along.

?I?ll dance with a girl with eyes of brown,
or a girl with eyes of green,
I?ll dance with a girl of any color eyes,
But yours are the prettiest I?ve seen.
I?ll kiss a girl with hair of black,
Or a girl with hair of gold,
I?ll kiss a girl with any color hair,
But it?s you I want to hold? +

Some people had gotten up to dance. She took out her flute and played some tones people requested. She danced atop the table while playing her flute. The laughter in the inn could be heard out in the streets.

After she placed her flute back in her case she began the telling of the Legend of Mirida. The people remained quite while she told the story in high chant. The patrons didn?t touch a bite to eat or drink while she talked. She even caught a glimpse of the innkeeper watching her as well. When she finally finished she gave a bow and hopped of the table.

?Miss Risa, please tell me that is not all you are doing.?

?Of course not but my voice needs to rest for a bit. I will began again in a while.?

+From the Wheel of Time[/FONT][/COLOR]
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[SIZE=1][COLOR=RoyalBlue]A smile stretched across Arista's face in triumph as she walked away proud of her takings. She counted the money again to see how well she could spend it. It was a fair amount for the next two days but not much more. Tonight, there was enough to sleep at an inn instead of the usual dirt ground that left backaches in the morning.

The day had gone oddly well so far. Nothing had gone wrong besides an unsatiated hunger that was still begging to be fed. Food would always taste best with hunger. The two were destined for one another.

Just bread alone would have made her feel better. If only that lunch of hers would have had some kind of taste, there would be no need for all of this uncomfortable feeling in her gut and it wouldn't be teasing her for being so weak.

Now, the only problem was to find one. Arista twirled her staff around in her left hand while looking around for a place to stay. Her head moved everywhere searching every building passing by. Finally finding one, she stepped inside slowly and looked around.

Everything looked pretty normal. People were sitting around talking to one another. Satisfied with the way it looked, Arista came all the way in and searched for an empty table; there were about 3 or so. She chose one at the far wall and sat down at it.

About an hour later she was leaning back in the seat and rocking it on the legs careful not to fall out. Arista yawned and came down to the floor with a thud. Three women behind her were talking among each other and she sat quietly listening to them. It was something or another about one's husband, seeing he had just left two days before one a trip. It was a boring conversation and Arista came away from it after a minute or so.

[I]Now, let's see what kind of people are staying here,[/I] she thought glancing around to every face inside. There were quite a few varieties sitting and standing around. [/COLOR][/SIZE]
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[size=1]Citain walked into town, out of water and a little tired. He was thirsty... But before that could be resolved, he needed a room.

[b]Citain-[/b] "Excuse me!" A man down the street turned and looked at him. The man had to squint in the failing light. "I was wondering if you could point me to the inn." The man walked over and shook Citains hand.

[b]??-[/b] "I'm Calven. The inn is about a wheel that way, and if you're looking for any supllies make sure to stop by my shop right over there. I'll be sure to give you a good price."

[b]Citain-[/b] "Ummm... Thankyou. I'll make sure to drop in." He shook hands with the man again and walked away. He felt like he was being watched, but when he turned, Calven was already in his shop. Yet the feeling persisted. He attributed the feeling to simple city apprehension, and walked toward the inn.

The city was a medium sized one. Probably upwards of 5000 inhabitants. Mostly small buisinesses but a decent residential population too. Almost all families. Citain looked down at his feet. He'd just left the last of his family behind. A drunk stumled out of the inn and headed toward his house, hopefully. Citain walked up to the door and entered. There were a good number of tables plus a healthily stocked bar. The rooms for rent were obviously upstairs. He walked up to the barman, still feeling eyes on him.

[b]Citain-[/b] "Do you have any rooms available?" The barman put down the glass he was cleaning and looked Citain over.

[b]Barman-[/b] "Do I know you?" Citain shook his head.

[b]Citain-[/b] "I don't believe so. I haven't been here for years." The barman looked him over again.

[b]Barman-[/b] "I got it. You're Ballazars kid. Haven't seen you for years!" Citain was taken aback. He hadn't expected this. "How come you're not at the farm? It's great planting weather." Citain flushed.

[b]Citain-[/b] "I sold it..."

[b]Barman-[/b] "Oh... Well, I hope you got a good price. What kind of room would you like, I'll give you a little discount." Citain dug in his pack and pulled out a few small emeralds.

[b]Citain-[/b] "Whatever this will get me. It is enough, right?" The barman lookd at the emeralds with wide eyes. He held them up to a burning oil lamp and grinned.

[b]Barman-[/b] "These have no flaws at all. You sure you want to pay with all of this?" Citain nodded. "Then the suite it is. Hey Charlie! Show this guy up to 17!"[/size]
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[COLOR=MediumTurquoise][i]As he followed "Charlie" he occasionally turned around, still feeling uneasy. His eyes fell on nothing peculiar at all, and he shrugged and walked back up the stairs. Vasvas stood quietly, gathered up her things and followed silently. Her feet made no sound, shod in leather as they were. Citain entered his room, looked around, then made sure the door was shut.[/i]

".......cute."

[i]Vasvas eyed it cooly, then closed her eyes and visualized the building. Window on the front side....or the back...? She concentrated. The back. Perfect. Ten easy steps, a door, and a leap later, she circled around to the railing on the back, then balanced perfectly and walked right up to the window of Suite number 17.[/i]

"You ssscared him." [i]Shiver, her first born, was eyeing her cooly, her tounge flicking out expertly, tasting the cold night air. It was pleasant, still with a hint of that humidity from earlier.[/i]

"You'll scare him more. Hush."

[i]With delicate fingers, she reached out and tapped on the glass lightly. She knew he was somethign special. And his name had been whispered to her ears for weeks now. Citain. Something different

And it was time to find out just how different. The staff in her hand balanced her, the children doing nothing in particular. Her hood had fallen down around her shoulders, revealing thick brown hair, shot through with strands of gold. If and when he did open the doors leading out to the balconey, she had one minor hope that he would not scream that the daughter of the devil had landed on his doorstep. She'd heard that enough already.[/i][/COLOR]
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[size=1][b]Citain-[/b] "What..." He was just about to step into the shower in his room when a small tapping noise had caught his ear. He stood for a moment longer, making sure it wasn't his travelworn mind playing tricks on him. It happened again, this time a little louder. "Hmmm..." He slipped his clothes back on and walked into the main section of the suite.

It was made of polished wood, completely smooth and a beautiful color. The room smelled sweetly of cedar and was adorned ith a double bed, a lovely couch, and a beautiful stone fireplace. He looked around and walked to the door. There was no one outside. Citain turned again and looked around.

[b]Citain-[/b] "Wow..." He'd just noticed the balchony. The tapping came again. It was coming from the balchony. He walked over and peered out. There was someone standing outside. "Hello?" He opened it slightly and looked out. The figure didn't move. He opened the door completely and walked out. "Hello?"

[b]??-[/b] "Are you Citain?" He nodded, suddenly realizing he held a small fortune in his pack and no weapon by his side. "My name is Vasvas. I'm very pleased to meet you."[/size]
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[COLOR=MediumTurquoise][i]He opened the door wider, allowing his unexpected guest to walk in easily, which she did with both garce and charm. Once in the lamplight, he could notice the smooth sheen of her skin and the bright colors in her hair. But despite all that, he couldn't help but notice the eyes of the serpents on her staff. They seemed alive.

She noticed his gaze, then smiled to herself and removed her robe with her right hand and laid it on the sofa. He paused. Was she moving in?[/i]

"I know this must seem strange for you Citian, but I was called here."

"....after today, nothing much seems strange."

[i]She smiled knowingly and leaned her staff against the wall and stepped to the fireplace. The night was cool, and the warmth was welcome. The light caught on her pendant and Citian noticed, for the first time, the leaping animal hanging from a very thin chain. It sparkled and danced, and reminded him of something he had seen earlier.[/i]

"Were you passing through the forests today Vasvas?"

"I wasn't passing really....strolling is more like it."

[i]Her egnimatic smile spoke volumes...and showed how amused and happy she was that he had remembered her.[/i]

"Does this unexpected visit bother you?"

[i]She placed a hand on the side of his face, letting him smell the cool sweet scent of her skin, like flowers.[/i][/COLOR]
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[size=1][color=#999999]"Philosopher, what is the great news you had in store for me? I am anxious to hear it."

[i]The Philosopher rushed Nicoleta into his home and closed the door behind him. A wide grin rushed past his face. Nicoleta raised an eyebrow, questioning his odd behaviour. She stood by the door as she walked to the table ahead. Nicoleta followed and wondered why he was in such a behaviour.[/i]

"Philosopher Lauridaine. I must ask again, what is the meaning to your message? Why is this so urgent?"

[i]The Philosopher began to chuckle before he collected himself.[/i] "My apprentice..." [i]Stifles of chuckles were heard from her teacher.[/i] "The farmer's son is in town. It seems he's gone and sold the farm. And...there is an item that he carries that may help us in the search for the [i]true[/i] Lo'Aund Legend. Also, I have found the meaning to your symbol!"

"What? You mean the symbol that which I carry? What is it? Tell me, what is it?"

[i]A new emotion arose in Nicoleta as the Philosopher stood and walked around to his book shelf that stood opposite of him. He began to skim the bindings of the books and walked to the right and looked high and low until he stopped and pulled out the book he was searching for. His grin grew wider and an anticipation grew wild in Nicoleta. The Philosopher set down the book and he sat opposite of Nicoleta and opened the book. He flipped through the pages until he set his hand aside and pushed the book to Nicoleta. She gazed at the picture madly.

Looking down, there was a picture of a crescent moon with an 8-pointed star in the middle of it. Nicoleta had wanted to know why she was given such a symbol and what the meaning was. Now, she would have the chance to see what was so rare and special about her.[/size][/color][/i]
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[size=1]A shiver ran through his body. He closed his eyes and inhaled her scent, captivated and mesmerized by it. She stepped closer. Her clothing was soft against his bare upper body. He broke out into gooseflesh from the chilled air that was blowing in the open balchony door. He shivered again and watched it close. Her eyes stared into his and he was powerless to look away. Blue upon purple and purple upon blue... It was like being under a spell.

But how did the door get closed? He hadn't closed it. And it was out of arms reach for Vasvas. He shook his head, like clearing it from sleep, and stepped back a bit. Something moved slightly on the staff, and seemed to freeze. Citain stared at it a moment and saw the light resperation of one of the figureheads.

[b]Citain-[/b] "What's that..." He pointed slightly in the general direction of the staff.[/size]
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[COLOR=MediumTurquoise]"A place for my children to rest."

"Children?!?"

[i]Her grin grew wider and she said nothing to his exclimation. He didn't back away, but remained slightly wigged out.[/i]

"Five juvenille pythons, noble in spirit, brave, and sentient."

"......five..."

"They are my children, and my friends. I sincerely hope they don't bother you."

"No..it's alright."

"Well then you'd better meet them."

[i]Vasvas raised up her hands to the staff and made a gentle hissing sound between her teeth, almost like a purr. Instantly, five carved serpents sprang to life and slithered down and onto the floor. Once there, they swiftly snaked their way up to her legs and oustretched arms.[/i]

"Shiver, Hebian, Fain, Pointell, and Kobina. All from the same mother, but decidedly different."

[i]Citain bowed, almost as if they had demanded his respect. Vasvas smiled as the serpents eyed him thoughtfully. Apparently his fear was being taken over by curiosity. A pleasant change.[/i][/COLOR]
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[size=1][b]Citain-[/b] "So... They've been with you for... How long?"

[b]Vasvas-[/b] "For almost three months now. But I carried them as eggs for nine." One of the snakes slithered down the staff and up to Citain. He drew away instintually, but gathered his composure and knelt down.

[b]Citain-[/b] "Hi." The snake looked at him, flicked it tongue, and rose up a little.

[b]Slither-[/b] "...hello." Citain looked up at Vasvas, unsure of what to do next.

[b]Vasvas-[/b] "Hold out your arm." He looked up again. "It's ok, they won't hurt you." Citain extended his arm and the snake slowly moved forward. It's scales brushed his hand as it acended his night-cooled arm. He shivered again and watched it coil serenely near his right collerbone. He stroked his lightly and smiled.

[b]Citain-[/b] "They are nice." Vasvas crossed her arms.

[b]Vasvas-[/b] "You think I'd lie to you?"

[b]Citain-[/b] "Well, I have just met you."[/size]
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[COLOR=MediumTurquoise][i]She smiled at him serenely, pushing her hair back away from her face.[/i]

"You'll discover Citian, there are only two things I ever lie about. My age and my real hair color."

[i]He grinned and Shiver decided it was time to go away. With a smooth movement, he slid down from the man's neck back to the home of his mistess's fingertips. She curled her hand around him gently and then looked up to smile into his face. Then she pushed both her hands forward, palms up, and her children beat a fast retreat to the staff and curled around it again, ready to sleep.[/i]

"Now then."

"Hmmm?"

[i]She smiled at him again and he pressed his hand against her face much like she had done to him earlier. Her pleasure drew him in and she touched his cheek in the same way. Instantly, like a magnet, the two drew together and for awhile, the only sound was their breathing. Vasvas closed her eyes, resting her cheek against his warm palm. It gave off a sense of strength and comfort, something that her children could not always provide.[/i]

"You smell like flowers."

"That's what happen when you roll around in them."

[i]Her laughter was gentle and sweet compared to the noises of the bar downstairs.[/i][/COLOR]
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[size=1][color=#999999][i]Nicoleta carefully examined the symbol that was shown on the book. She was completely intruiged and mesmerized by this and did not care for anything else. Lauridaine, the Philosopher, looked at Nicoleta with happy eyes. She then looked up to her teacher.[/i]

"Philosopher Lauridaine, this will tell why I have this mark, correct?"

[i]With a nod, he replied.[/i] "Yes, it will. It will also tell what it means and what powers come with it."

[i]At the word "powers", a brow was raised and Nicoleta went back to her reading. She was intent on knowing why this symbol was in her family and what it means. For the first born of the Devalos family had bore this symbol on their body, they even had it as the symbol of their kingdoms. Her father knew what this had meant, yet he had never told Nicoleta the whole story, she only knew of it as a symbol of unity, luck, and miracles. This book would tell her what it truly meant.

Although Nicoleta was a fast reader, she was being careful as to read and interpret what each sentence, phrase, word had meant. The seconds turned to minutes, which soon turned to various hours. Lauridaine sat in front of Nicoleta, researching his own. It wasn't until long last, Nicoleta had found the meaning. She looked up with a look of awe, pride, and great knowledge. Lauridaine looked up as well.[/i]

"So, my apprentice, have you learned what your symbol means?"

"Out of great curiosity, I have. I am proud to say that this symbol is truly what our name stands for."

[i]Lauridaine put down his glasses as he looked at Nicoleta.[/i] "Tell me, then. What have you learned?"

"Alright. First off, long ago, when the lands were barely ripe and the seas had taken over most of the world, various tribes and clans lived on certain points. They had no name and no symbol to represent who they were. There were eight tribes, yet many clans within those tribes, who prayed to the gods for a sign. It had been nearly months until the gods answered them. They were all asked to gather to the middle of the world, which was where the gods had lived above. The eight tribes had gathered and looked to the gods that had descended to the land below. They bowed to them. The gods spoke and asked the South Tribe why they prayed to the gods. Their reply was that they wanted a land of ice, filled with fish, elk, and various animals that could survive the harsh weather, for the South Tribe knew only of cold weather survival. The gods then asked what their most important, most valued item was in their lands. Their reply was the crystal-like gems that sit in the caves on the top of the mountains, which we know as snow. The gods conversed and granted them the ice-like lands and the symbol that they were granted was the snowflake with a small crystal in the middle. They were granted the name, Snöfall."

"Very interesting. Continue."

[i]Without hesitation, Nicoleta continued.[/i] "This happened with each tribe. The Northeast was granted the lands of cold winds and crop that would be able to survive the cold winds. Their symbol was the pine tree with a cloud behind it, for it was that tree that would be able to survive the harsh winds, and they were granted the name Aeolynus. The East Tribe came next and were granted the symbol of a mountain with . Their name was Fjäll. Then came the Southeast tribe, who were granted the symbol of a shark with a lilly on its tail and their name was Squalo. The Southwest tribe was granted the symbol of the sun with fire burning all around it and their name was Vatra. The West tribe was granted the symbol of an eagle flying over a wave, their name was Orao. The Northwest tribe was granted the symbol of an arrow going straight through a bear paw, their name was Douleur. Now, this final tribe was the North tribe, which was where the Devalos family came from. They had no answers to the gods questions, except a child came forth and had answered them all. The gods were impressed and granted them the symbol of the moon and the 8 pointed star, symbolizing the unity of the eight tribes. The tribe name was Vaijin, which is my second name. Oh, and the moon stands for prayers, knowledge, and power. The star also stands for luck and strength."

[i]With a smile, Nicoleta had finally learned of her symbol. She was proud to have learned of her symbol, as well as the story of the eight tribes, but also to have learned that a small child was capable of bringing the eight tribes to unity. Nicoleta felt nearly complete, yet she wanted to learn more of this and wanted to search for the descendants of the Douleur, Orao, Vatra, Snöfall, Squalo, Fjäll, and Aeloynus tribes. She wanted to learn what made them want to be united with the other tribes. She wanted to know so much more.

Thoughts ran through her mind as she began to think about the Lo'Aund legend. It was said that the eight tribes were also known in this legend. What was their role in this? What made them so special? What do they know of this legend? Perhaps Ballazar's son does indeed have answers to her questions, perhaps not. Yet, Nicoleta was still curious and wanted to know.[/size][/color][/i]
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