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  1. #101
    Re: Shiverpeaks

    Re: Shiverpeaks

    Rhodri Snakecharm



    Rhodri could scarcely believe what he was seeing and hearing as he was verbally assailed by some crazed Warrior. The man even rubbed blood in him, ruining his shirt and smearing it on his face. Rhodri hoped the blundering idiot didn't have some sort of disease. This would be a hell of a way to get the Plague.

    "Sir, I... I cannot imagine why you would be so angry with me. You do not even know me. I assure you that I mean no harm to your... friend."

    Perhaps Hobarrt truly was so altruistically protective. Or more likely, he wanted the little Monk for himself-- not that Rhodri blamed him. Either way, it simply wasn't worth the effort. The Monk was a pretty thing, but there were plenty of other fish in the sea. Fish without someone waiting to gut you if you tried to reel them in.

    To Mara, he said quietly. "It was nice to have met you. Thank you for listening, and my apologies for imposing. I will trouble you no more."

    Rhodri felt a fierce burst of satisfaction when Mara stalked off to be alone. He was giving up pursuit of the Monk-- the dangers were simply too great to take the risk for a pretty face-- but it was reassuring that he still had it when it came to women. She was completely convinced. Excellent.

    Once she had left, Rhodri gave Hobarrt another baleful look. "With friends like you, no doubt she'll have her 'virtue' till the day she dies. I can't imagine why she would resent you for your efforts. Best of luck to you both. Really."

    Then Rhodri stalked off too, clearly not following Mara. Rhodri wasn't particularly upset, though he would have appeared so. Rather, he was pondering his next move, and how he could pursue the pretty blonde Warrior woman without giving Hobarrt an opportunity to stick his nose in.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea
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  2. #102
    Founder Lairston is offline Lairston's Avatar
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    Re: Shiverpeaks

    Re: Shiverpeaks


    Jacobi had been watching Rhodri with Mara and now watched Hobbarrt try to intimidate him. When Mara stalked off in one direction and Rhodri went the other, he hoped that would be the last they saw of Rhodri. He didn't care for him. Even though he didn't know anything about him other then that he almost sent Mara to the ground. And he suspected on purpose.

    He followed after Mara and tried to talk to her before she departed, "I wanted to thank you for healing me like you did. I just wish my injuries hadn't knocked you out like they did."
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  3. #103
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    Re: Shiverpeaks

    Re: Shiverpeaks


    Mara Dayne


    Mara was near the gates to the encampment when Jacobi stopped her. She had to take a moment to compose herself mentally and ask Dwayna for strength. But as a servant, the monk gave into her nature of putting others first, although she felt more like being alone. It wasn't Jacobi's fault, and he was only trying to be nice. So she turned at the sound of his voice and listened to his thank you.

    "You are welcome, but I am a monk Jacobi. It is my duty to make sure those within my party are well."

    Mara was still baffled at the fact her Protection Prayers had not kept most of Jacobi's injuries at bay, but now was not the time to ponder on the why's. She only hoped that during their journey to Sorrow's Furnace, that the entire group worked as they should or she would be exhausted before night's fall.

    "You should go rest now Jacobi, we have a long journey tomorrow. Sorrow's Furnace is not a place one goes for fun. Good day, may Dwayna bless your sleep."
    Peace is a lie
    There is only passion
    Through passion I gain strength
    Through strength I gain power
    Through power I gain victory
    Through victory my chains are broken
    The Force shall set me free
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  4. #104
    Founder Lairston is offline Lairston's Avatar
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    Re: Shiverpeaks

    Re: Shiverpeaks

    Jacobi nodded when she said it was her duty, "But still I owe you. And you were hurt yourself so even thought you consider it your duty I think you went above your duty. So I will try to help."

    He smiled, "I even braved your spider to tell you." He chuckled.

    He nodded, "Okay Mara. Sleep well." He returned to the camp to find a place to get the rest that he would need.
    ...to the topTop



  5. #105
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Re: Shiverpeaks

    Re: Shiverpeaks



    Constance Terpein

    Constance’s clear blue eyes remained on the Ranger for the entirety of her discourse. The chuckle confused her, but she didn’t take offence – she was raised with a thicker skin than that. The reason for the response became apparent as Anakita continued. True, they couldn’t have been much of an army if they didn’t even follow their King. Even now, her heart rebelled at the thought. She knew Prince Rurik had been right to do what he did and pull his people through to Kryta – to a new life. But, it remained. Was she right to have turned back after accomplishing his last goal – after his death? Did she fail him in the end?

    Anakita did not throw much light on that subject, but while she wasn’t certain what to think of the Ranger’s reassurances, Constance knew one thing: she wasn’t being judged. Even better yet, her request to join their party was accepted – though not quite in the way she had originally thought. For a moment, the façade dropped and her face slackened in disbelief. She was being asked to join as an equal. These people – she respected them. They had so much more experience than she – lived lifetimes more than she had, to be certain. And here Anakita and Stefan were both willing to accept her into their party.

    Finally, the warrior smiled and dislodged her axe from the ground only to extend her arm to the two people opposing her. “I accept your terms. I will be ready when it comes time to leave.” Constance stood in a single smooth motion and flashed another grin before spinning on her heel and all but running in the direction of Telgar’s tent. He was waiting for her, returning her enthusiastic grin with one of his own. “I thought you would be coming for this.” He ducked inside and returned a second later with a parcel covered in leather that stood as tall as he.

    A particularly wicked-looking serrated shield caught the dim light as she whipped off the covering. It had been dyed a blood-red hue, the angled points appearing as though they had been doused in ichors the day before. In short, a much-appreciated upgrade and the perfect defensive weapon with which to plow into Sorrow’s Furnace. Her smile turned wolfish as she strapped it to her arm to test its weight. Suddenly, her life didn’t look so dull and dreary – her heart was free to feel as it pleased.
    Winner of the dubious Vaarsuvius Award for Verbousness!

    I support altruism.
    ...to the topTop



  6. #106
    Re: Shiverpeaks

    Re: Shiverpeaks

    Anakita Snakecharm



    It was nice to have some time to relax. After things were settled with Constance, Anakita and Stefan continued to enjoy their small 'vacation' until their foray into Sorrow's Furnace. They sampled the hot springs, and got lots of sleep, and even stole a little time together as a couple while the children were exploring the camp.

    One subject that came up from time to time, but that they didn't quite manage to resolve, was the question of what to tell Djalila, and when to tell it to her. Both Anakita and Stefan felt that, even though she was young, it was a lie by omission to pretend that Stefan was her biological father, when they now realized that was not the case. It might be difficult for Djalila to process now, but how much more difficult years later to shake up everything she thought she knew? It would be an awkward conversation, but at least saying it now wouldn't call trust or honesty into question. Still... how did you speak of such things to a young girl, particularly since Djalila knew almost nothing of the relations between men and women? How much did she need to know just yet, and how much was excessive? When should they have 'the talk'?

    In the end, they didn't entirely choose the timing. Djalila and Kimi had been petting and combing the yaks, when Anakita called them in for the final meal they would share before the adults departed on their rescue mission. Kimi obediently followed her guardian, but Djalila planted her feet, put her hands on her hips, and flat out refused to put an end to their game. The odd and ill-timed thought crossed Anakita's mind that the little girl had a bright future as a warrior someday.

    One of the Dwarves stepped in to 'help,' and Anakita cringed, knowing the storm he was provoking when he admonished Djalila to "Listen to yer mother, little girl!"

    Djalila let out a shriek like a Skree Harpy. "She is not my mother!" the child informed the shocked Dwarf. "She's just some woman my father married! My mother is dead, and she was the most important Sunspear except Kormir, so no one better forget about her! She's not just some Ranger no one knows or cares about. She was important and everyone loved her! Don't you dare call Anakita my mother! She's not! All I have is my father! My mother is dead!" Djalila attempted to kick the yak, but the yak gave a surprisingly delicate sidestep for such a large animal, and Djalila fled from the corral.

    Anakita gave hasty apologies to the stunned Dwarven herder, instructed Kimi to go start eating, and collected Stefan for a talk with Djalila. If it had simply been a matter of calling the child to task for her behaviour, Anakita could have done it on her own, but the Ranger sensed a deeper issue. They needed to address the child's inaccurate view of her family, before she hung the moon on a pedestal that was destined to fall. That, she would need Stefan's help for.

    "Look, Djalila," Stefan said, sitting awkwardly beside Anakita and the child on one of the log benches. "I want you to know that I love you, and so does Anakita. To the best of my knowledge, we've never lied to you, and I'm not going to start now. As soon as I heard I had a daughter, I started looking for you. I didn't know about you when you were a baby, or I would have come for you then. I wanted to make sure that you were alright, and that someone was taking care of you. When we found you working as a servant for those Kournan soldiers, we decided it was best for you to come live with us."

    The Warrior sighed, clearly wishing they didn't have to have this conversation. "I still think that was the right choice. So does Anakita. But we've found out that... well, as you know, it takes a man and a woman to make a baby. Exactly how that happens, Anakita will tell you when you're older, but for now it's enough to say... I wasn't that man. It was your mother and someone else. I thought it was me, but..."

    Djalila just looked at him. She didn't seem particularly taken aback. It had only been a few months she'd known she even had a living father. Her whole view of the world didn't rest on it yet. Clearly she didn't expect this, but it didn't seem to traumatize her. Anakita was sure, now, that they had done the right thing telling her while their family patterns were relatively new.

    "Do I have to leave?" Djalila asked quietly, trying to sound like she didn't care, but her voice had an edge. "Do I have to go to my father?"

    Stefan shook his head. "No. We're still going to take care of you. You came to live with us because you didn't have a safe place to stay before, but not everyone lives with their mothers and fathers. What you have to make a decision about... and you don't have to tell us right away... is how we're going to live together, because that's your choice, even though you don't have the option to leave us until you're grown. If you wish, we'll be your guardians, like we are to Kimi. But if... if you still want me to be your father, I will be. We don't need to share blood for me to be your father. So... you can tell us when you make a decision."

    "Alright," Djalila said softly. It was clear she wanted to drop the subject, and though Anakita and Stefan couldn't let it go entirely, they could give her time to process before they pushed for more.

    Anakita wondered if she was imagining it-- but she almost convinced herself that she saw a softening in Djalila's eyes toward her after their talk. Probably just wishful thinking.

    ***

    The air was crisp and chilly when they set out for Sorrow's Furnace, but the sun was bright, and Anakita could almost picture it warming her cheeks as they set out for Sorrow's Furnace. Their supplies were stocked, she and Stefan had bid Kimi and Djalila heartfelt but cheerful and positive goodbyes before leaving them with their Dwarven babysitters, and soon the party was on their way.

    Anakita noticed that Constance seemed quite cheerful, while Mara was quiet and subdued, and Stefan seemed his usual self, recovered from the blow Rhodri had dealt him. The Ranger suspected some tension between Mara and Hobarrt, but she didn't want to stick her nose in. Instead, she did her customary scouting as they walked, occasionally getting slightly ahead of the group, but never entirely out of sight or hearing.

    Though she didn't really pray to the gods anymore-- she no longer believed they were powerful enough to shape the fates of mortals beyond what human effort and will could enable them to do for themselves, and she was far from convinced they even cared-- she murmured a quiet traditional acknowledgement to Melandru out of habit as they passed a rustic shrine by the path.

    They were going into dangerous territory, there was no doubt. But Anakita felt a clarity of purpose, and optimism that when they returned this way, it would be with a group of successfully rescued refugees. At least she could hope that...
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  7. #107
    Founder Lairston is offline Lairston's Avatar
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    Re: Shiverpeaks

    Re: Shiverpeaks

    Jacobi had overheard Djalila yelling at the dwarf that Anakita was not her mother and that her mother was a sunspear. He groaned as he had gotten to sleep and now was awake again. His body needed to the rest after the journey. He rolled back over and tried to ignore what was going on around him and forced himself back to sleep.

    ***
    In the morning, he rose and did some morning exercises. The cool air hit him in the face as he poked his head out of the tent. It at least wasn't a blizzard he thought to himself.

    He watched as Setfan and Anakita said goodbye to Kimi and Djalila.

    He looked at Constance's new shield and said, "That looks great. I'm glad you found a replacement for the one you lost in the avalanche."

    As they walked, Jacobi came up beside Stefan and asked, "So who is this 'most important Sunspear except Kormir'? I heard Djalila yelling that at the dwarf last night."
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  8. #108
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    Re: Shiverpeaks

    Re: Shiverpeaks


    Sonja Redflame & Mara Dayne



    Sonja had emerged from one of the tents when she witnessed the ending scene between Mara and Hobarrt. The male making a quick exit the other direction and the look on Mara's face was all it took the Elementalist to put two and two together. She went back inside to gather her items to take to the hot spring and purposefully traveled in the direction of Hobarrt. Without a word the Elementalist slapped the warrior on the back of the head.

    "Be lucky I did not set you on fire Hobarrt Mckinnley. Being protective of Mara is one thing, but stifling her and not allowing her to learn about life will only cause her more heartache in the end. Do you really think that between myself and Tallo we would allow someone to take advantage of Mara? At least the two of us have common sense to let her make decisions on her own. If you continue this behavior with her, you will get exactly what you're trying to avoid. And where will that lead our young friend and sister if she does something stupid in spite of your actions. Do you really wish to be the end of her? There is a brain up there Mckinnley I have seen you use it in battle many times, try applying it to real life when it concerns others. The young woman is not as stupid as you treat her, try letting her know that sometimes."

    Sonja made her way to the hot spring and soaked in the vast warmth and comfort. The temperature likely reached several degrees hotter while the half-Norn cooled her anger toward her guild mate brother. She knew enough to let Mara alone for awhile, given time and not more interference, communing with the Dwayna calmed her emotions.



    **********


    The following morning, Sonja was up before dawn and enjoying a good hot meal while the others about camp began to stir. She greeted everyone good morning, including Hobarrt before making her way to check on Mara. Sonja did not believe in holding grudges, it was bad especially in a party that needed to depend upon one another for support in times of trouble. It was better to be focused upon their journey than the tiny things that could distract your attention.

    Mara was pleasant with Sonja, but she could tell that the young Monk would likely keep to herself most of the journey. Adjusting to life with others when you had spent so much time on your own often made one withdraw back into their own. She sat with Mara while she ate her breakfast and fed Fang before joining the others for their long trek ahead. The weather never changed in the Shiver Peaks, it was always unpredictable. Securing her staff and adjusting her pack, Sonja walked beside Tallo. Mara brought up the rear of the party, easily keeping pace with the tempo that Anakita seemed to be setting for their group.
    ...to the topTop



  9. #109
    Re: Shiverpeaks

    Re: Shiverpeaks

    Anakita Snakecharm



    For a moment, Stefan looked completely puzzled by Jacobi's question. The Sunspear hierarchy really wasn't his area of expertise; that was more the realm of what Anakita would know, or one of the others who had fought extensively in Elona. Without context, it seemed to be simply a random piece of trivia for Djalila to spout.

    Anakita stepped in, having been there for the emotional explosion at the yak corral, while her husband had only caught bits and pieces. "That's what Djalila said about Malia," she reminded Stefan.

    "Oh." Now Stefan understood, and there was slight embarrassment as he explained to Jacobi. "Malia was Djalila's mother. She was a Sunspear but not... not the most important besides Kormir. She was a talented, promising Paragon who was killed by Corsairs before she ever really accomplished much. Djalila has to think of her as the most important, because... well, it's the only way she can understand her choices. Shortly after Djalila was born, Malia left her with her grandmother and returned to the Sunspear ranks. Djalila only ever saw her mother on brief visits every few months, up till she was killed. The only way Djalila can explain that in her own mind is... that Malia was irreplaceable to the Sunspears. That the world would stop turning if she spent some time with her daughter. But the sad fact is, Malia was just rather indifferent toward family, and didn't enjoy raising her child. She used the Sunspears as an excuse, not some divine calling."

    Anakita touched Stefan's arm, offering him support. She understood the embarrassment. Stefan had never pretended to be pure as the driven snow when they met... neither was she. That had never been a source of shame between them, they had simply accepted that neither of them had come to the relationship without a history. History that for both of them included previous partners, though Anakita had never been deeply in love before, as Stefan had with Malia. That was what made him so red-faced now. He had given his heart to a woman who so clearly hadn't deserved it.

    Stefan didn't allow himself the luxury of hiding that from Jacobi, or pretending that Djalila lived with them for altruistic reasons. "Malia and I had a relationship before I met Anakita. I regret that now. But I do not regret my daughter."
    ...to the topTop



  10. #110
    Founder Lairston is offline Lairston's Avatar
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    Re: Shiverpeaks

    Re: Shiverpeaks

    Jacobi listened to Stefan's explanation and felt bad for Djalila when he told him about her mother. "I understand." He shook his head. "That's terrible her mother felt like that about her own daughter. I will not say anything to change her view of her mother."

    He looked at Stefan and Anakita and replied, "I think you are doing a wonderful thing for her. You are giving her a home and love that she wouldn't have had. And prior relationships are not something I will judge one on. So you don't need to worry about that. Everyone deserves to find the person that will love them as they love. I think it says far better for you that you found your daughter and are taking care of her. I'm proud to call you both friends."
    ...to the topTop



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