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thoughtfulfighting3

Branch: Janus

Tuuka's PoV

 

     Early the next morning, a group of us set out to hunt the Roc. Aaron, Hawthorn, Delena and I were ready. Rocs, if they reached adulthood, were dangerous creatures. If we caught it, though we'd have a lot of food or a rare creature to sell.

     Aaron led the way. He'd found the tracks and was a skilled hunter. We soon stumbled upon the trail, leading deeper into the woods.

     I drew in a sharp breath. "This thing must be huge."

     "Wow, who would have guessed?" Delena said sarcastically.

     I laughed. "Me, apparently."

     "Aaron, do you know how old these tracks are?" Hawthorn asked.

     "By the looks of them, a couple days. We've got a ways to go before we catch up with this thing, so I hope we all bought enough supplies." Everyone nodded. The tents, weapons, water canteens, and food we'd all brought weighed heavily on our backs.

     We silently followed the trail a bit longer. Most soldiers weren't really social types. I didn't know the others well enough to understand their reasons why. Hawthorn and Delena were closed off. Arron had a fierce temper. As for me, I just lacked a lot of empathy, understanding, and ability to connect that most people had. I was ashamed of it, but it was part of me.

     Eventually we came by a stream, where we rested to eat a small meal. We'd each brought some salted meat, which I offered to cook over a fire. Everyone was happy with this until aterwards, when it turned out that I had charred it until it was almost inedible.

     "Really, man?" Delena asked when I handed her her piece. I shrugged. Couldn't fix it now.

     We picked up back along the trail, coming to a steep, rocky slope downwards. We carefully made our way down, inch by inch trying not to stumble. We had the bad luck, however, of a passing deer herd upsetting the rocks along the slope. We each looked up to see boulders tumbling quickly in our direction.

     Scrambling, we barely made it to safety, but not unharmed. I took a deep, jagged cut along my forearm that I'd need to bandage quickly. Aaron's sleeve had torn off, revealing  scarred upper arm. And Hawthorn had lost his glove. He rushed to find it, but it was too late. We'd seen the mark of a murderer branded on his hand.

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The name's Masayuu. 成優

 

"One must try, every day, to expand one's limits." ~ Mas Oyama

 

 

 

SEE YOU SPACE COWBOY...

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snakedancing13

Branch: Janus

Loved the P.O.V.! I will try to post tomorrow.

 

            ~Krista~

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        Krista the Key

 

 

    Will you give all you can give

        So that our banner may advance?

             Some will fall and some will live

                 Will you stand up and take your chance?

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wolfdevious1

aka WolfDevious14

Branch: Janus

Hawthorn's POV

 

Hunting for the Roc was going about as well as I had hoped. I chewed silently on the burnt meat Tuuka had ruined. The others were for the most part quiet, though occasionally making small talk, while I kept my eyes down firmly on the ground. When I was finished with the meal, I fiddled with the worn eagle pendant around my neck. Soon the others had also finished and we were on our ways once more.

 

The day was nice, which even I could appreciate. The warm sun was coming through the trees in just the right was as to be dazzling rather than blinding, and the birds were singing like a choir. I felt almost detached from myself, like I was floating unconciously. 

 

Coming across a steep slope, I had to concentrate to avoid falling, sadly grounding me firmly in the present. As I was carefully toeing my way down, my ears picked up a slight, distant rumble. It got louder and louder, finally causing gravel to bounce around all around us. It was a herd of deer thundering above us on the slope. Large bolders dislodged by the vibrations tumbled down the cliff towards us.

 

I quickly threw myself to the side of a bolder coming towards me. When the dust had settled I quickly looked around to see if the other were hurt. They were all staring at my right hand, transfixed. I held it up and my stomach lurched. For the first time in may years, it was bare. I felt like I wanted to puke and quickly hid the brand, leaving to search for my glove. 

 

After nearly a half hour of frantic searching, I cursed and bared my teeth. The glove was nowhere to be found. Returning to the party, I saw that Tuuka had bandaged a cut on his arm and Aaron had also wrapped bandages around his shoulder. I assumed the same rock that had torn his sleeve away had also cut his arm, though it couldn't have been serious as there was no blood soaking through like Tuuka's. He was watching me carefully and I bristled angrily, assuming it was because of what he had seen. So what if I'm a murderer? We're all soldiers, we've all done terrible things.

 

Silently seething I took some bandages from the knapsack carried on my back and hurriedly wrapped my right hand in them. I glared at the rest of the party, daring them to mention it.

 

Delena cleared her throat tactfully and suggested we continue hunting. 

 

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I would put a clever joke here, but I can't think of one.

 

 Professional MB Ghost

 

Would Like an All-Purpose Cleaner for Life

 

 Proud Bisexual     

 

              - Daniel

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snakedancing13

Branch: Janus

Aaron's P.O.V.

 

"We've only got about an hour or two left of sunlight, and getting stuck on this at night would be treacherous in the least." I thought aloud. "With the instability of the rocks and Tuuka's injury, I doubt we'd make it within that time. There might be another way, but I doubt it."
The others hadn't noticed how long we had been traveling, but they would in the morning. Even seasoned warriors like Tuuka and Hawthorn would be soar after such a trek as ours.

"We can either attempt to climb the slope, or find somewhere to camp for the night."
The others thought this over for a few moments.

Delena was in favor of continuing on, but Hawthorn and Tuuka seemed to be more inclined to the latter of my suggestions.

We turned back toward the woods, since camping at the base of the slope wasn't a good idea after what we'd just experienced. It didn't take us long to find a nice clearing for us to use for the night and I also managed to catch a nice sized bird to eat.

We all turned down Tuuka's offer of chef.

After a much needed meal that wasn't cousin to charcoal, the others set about with small tasks.

Delena did some stretches as Tuuka and Hawthorn saw to their weapons. Good warriors always made sure their sword was in perfect condition.

I myself was mending the sleeve of my shirt. Although it had been almost ripped clean away, I had managed to keep hold of the fabric. The task was monotonous. In the needle, through the thread, our the needle, over again. I had performed such menial tasks many times before, and was actually quite skilled at it. I might have become a taylor if not for my guilt. 

My insides flinched at those last thoughts. My guilt. It haunted me like a phantom, lingering just beyond my vision at some moments and in plain sight at the next. I could not escape it, could not flee from it. What was worst was that nobody in the Soldiers could share my predicament. They had killed men and women and children. But they had others to blame. Their upbringing, their job. Of course, it always came back to them. But I had no way of diverting it. It was my fault and mine alone. There was nothing to blame but my own wickedness.

I finished the sleeve, admiring my handiwork for a moment, then turned to Tuuka. He had taken care of his arm without my help, and I didn't entirely trust his expertise on wound treating. I doubted many of the Soldiers knew much beyond menial wound treatment.

"How's the arm?"

"Fine, I think. It doesn't hurt too much." He replied, hesitating at the last part.

"Let me take a look at it."

"It's fine. Really."

Before he could protest further I had walked over and removed the bandage from his arm. The cut was deep and jagged, probably the consequence of a rough edged stone. There would most likely be dirt from the avalanche left inside.

I pulled a bottle out of my pack and popped the stopper out.

Tuuka caught a whiff and wrinkled his nose.

"What is that?" he said in mild horror.

"Wine." I replied simply and poured it on the wound.

Tuuka let out a muffled yelp before he could stop himself.

"What did you do that for?" he said in what, I guessed, was mild anger.

"I was cleaning the wound."

"How is wine supposed to clean the wound?"
I rolled my eyes to Heaven as I replied.

"I see I was right in believing you knew nothing of medicine."
"That doesn't answer my question."

"The alcohol content in the wine kills anything that got inside the cut and washes the dirt out."
Tuuka gave a curious look.

I smirked, and re-bandaged the wound.

"You should change the bandage at least twice a day. Once in the afternoon and once before midnight. Or when it starts getting grimmy. Tell me if you start getting pain in your arm or feel lightheaded."
Tuuka gave me another look, which I replied to with another roll of my eyes, and I walked back over to my seat.

After a little while, the others decided to turn in. We set a vigil, starting with Delena then Hawthorn then me then Tuuka. 

Before I laid down beside the fire, I caught Hawthorn looking at me. Our eyes met for a moment and he passed me a steely gaze. I met it equally. 

He had earned a knew name in my eyes, but not what he would expect. He was not Hawthorn the Murderer, as the others might now think. He was Hawthorn the man I owed my life.

After I had committed my act of violance, I was forced to run from the village authorities. However, I had been wounded in my scuffle with the Huntsman and weak from lack of blood. While I was adept at disappearing, my weakness hindered me. I was forced to hide in the bushes and wait for the men to pass. But there was another man in the bush. It had been to dark for me to see his face, but I caught sight of his brand. Hawthorn's brand. He could have called out to the men, to show them where I was or run from me, giving away my position. But he didn't. We had sat there for what felt like hours, neither of us saying a word to the other. My arm had been bleeding like madness, but I couldn't risk moving to bandage it. Hawthorn did though. He saved my life with that simple action. I owed him everything.

And it was a debt I intended to pay.

 

                   ~Krista~

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        Krista the Key

 

 

    Will you give all you can give

        So that our banner may advance?

             Some will fall and some will live

                 Will you stand up and take your chance?

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moonlightsunrise37

Branch: Ekaterina

Ill pov later

 

 

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The butterfly’s end

is 

the caterpillar’s beginning 

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thoughtfulfighting3

Branch: Janus

Okay. I'll go after.

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The name's Masayuu. 成優

 

"One must try, every day, to expand one's limits." ~ Mas Oyama

 

 

 

SEE YOU SPACE COWBOY...

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moonlightsunrise37

Branch: Ekaterina

Delena

 

Lee, Lee was running across my head. I shrugged it off and tried to fall asleep. 

"Lee, Lee." Galor had said to me the night of it. "Lee Lee. Where were you?"

I had replied, "no where important." Then I ruffled his hair. 

 

I fell into silent sleep.

 

I was running. From everyone, everything, life. Someone grabbed me. "Get off of me." I had screamed. I had wormed my way out of his grasp and kept running. 

 

I woke up panting, these nightmares had been becoming more frequent through the days. Why me? Why the life I left behind? Why did I do it? 

 

I fell asleep again, dreamless. 

 

 

 

 

(I feel like the underachiever)

 

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The butterfly’s end

is 

the caterpillar’s beginning 

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thoughtfulfighting3

Branch: Janus

No, you're not an underachiever. I'm glad to have you here.

 

 

Tuuka's PoV

 

     I poked at my bandage after Aaron had attended to my wound. Medical treatment wasn't my strong point. I'd trained to kill. Death had been my business; not life. Still, I guess I owed him some gratitude. I'd seen wound infections before. Men dying, wasting away in a bed because they couldn't get it out o their body. That wasn't something I wanted. Should I thank him? I wasn't good at this. I didn't really know him. Besides, I felt embarassed.

     Why am I like this? Why can't I be a normal person? When I'd killed people, I'd felt nothing. I knew it was wrong. I knew there were other ways to make my living that didn't involve murder. But I did it anyways, because I didn't feel things how I should. My fault. I still couldn't trust myself. How can you trust a person that thinks like this? Even now, as I tried to be a better person, I still had a hard time with moral feelings. I had an idea of right and wrong, and that was it.

     I looked up at the sky. It was getting dark. I decided to go last for our vigil. I preferred an uninterrupted sleep, and I wouldn't mind being up earlier. Until then, I needed to get some rest. I set up my tent and went inside. I switched into my sleep clothes, and lay down ready to sleep.

     Rest did not come easily. I never went to sleep easily. My thoughts took forever to settle. Still, with my wound, I was exhausted and needed rest.

     I wondered if I should say anything to Hawthorn. He clearly felt a lot of shame for his past, and that seemed to be why he stayed away from others. I just didn't know how to help. I doubted that I could even relate to how he felt, or to how anyone else here felt. He seemed like a good man, though.

     I was awoken by Aaron when his shift was over. I watched him as he walked towards his tent. I coughed to get his attention. "Uh, thanks. For helping me." I turned away quickly before he could say anything else. Pulling myself up mostly by my non-injured hand, I climbed up into a tree from which I could view the makeshift camp.

     In the growing light, I witnessed a shadow in Delena's tent. She had shot awake in a panic. Nightmares, most likely. They were common among us. I wondered what she had done. She didn't speak about it. Shortly after, she went back to sleep. Hopefully, she'd be okay.

     Meanwhile, I probably needed to rebandage my arm. I cut off my old bandage with a knife that I carried in my bag, and then reapplied a fresh one. turned my attention back to the base of the slope. I looked at it blankly, letting the breeze brush against my skin. It was a comfort in the hot summer. My eyes flitted lazily over the shadowed rocks of the slope. I watched a small chipmunk scurry along the crag, knocking over another small pile of rocks in its way. There was something underneath the former rock's location. A torn piece of leather. I wondered if that was Hawthorn's glove. That would explain why he couldn't find it. It must have gotten buried in the avalanche.

     I climbed down from the tree. It was getting about time to rise, and it couldn't hurt to go get the glove for him. The birds were waking up, and their songs started filling the air. I picked it up and returned to the camp. I left the glove outside of Hawthorn's tent without a word.

     Soon after, it was time to rise.

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The name's Masayuu. 成優

 

"One must try, every day, to expand one's limits." ~ Mas Oyama

 

 

 

SEE YOU SPACE COWBOY...

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thoughtfulfighting3

Branch: Janus

up

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The name's Masayuu. 成優

 

"One must try, every day, to expand one's limits." ~ Mas Oyama

 

 

 

SEE YOU SPACE COWBOY...

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snakedancing13

Branch: Janus

You guys are all such great writers! I am glad I joined this RP.

 

If Daniel doesn't pov soon, then I will. 

 

          ~Krista~

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        Krista the Key

 

 

    Will you give all you can give

        So that our banner may advance?

             Some will fall and some will live

                 Will you stand up and take your chance?

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wolfdevious1

aka WolfDevious14

Branch: Janus

Hawthorne's POV

 

"Oh, my little bird," my mother reached down to ruffle my hair. Beside us, a pot of stew bubbled over the fire. "One day you'll do great things."

 

I smiled widely up at her. "Of course! I'm gonna be a pirate, mama! And I'll go and find treasure for you and papa, and you guys can live in a whole castle!"

 

She chuckled and brushed a shaggy lock of brown hair out of my eyes. "You're so bright, though. Pirates are mean and dirty, you're a proper gentleman. Just you wait, and your father and I will save  up enough money to send you to the city to get a proper education."

 

I flushed and looked at my bare feet. "The other boys say that's stupid, pirates are cooler. Besides, that's for prissy rich boys, they told me so."

 

"Ah, but you don't think so, do you? I hear from Mrs.Montali you've been sneaking over to her house to learn how to read-"

 

"That gossipy old hag! She swore she'd keep it a secret!"

 

"Young man, show some respect!" my mother's gaze turned sharp. "We do not call our elders 'old hags'. Least of all those who are helping us!'

 

"Sorry, mama."

 

My mother turned away to stir the stew over the fire. "You don't need to change who you are for the other boys. You're special for a reason, you're going to be a great man one day. And they'll just be crusty old men."

 

I giggled, but the sound was quickly cut off by the sound of someone coming through the door.

 

"Where's my little fella?"

 

"Papa!" I sailed through the air, straight into his arms which hoisted me up.

 

"Woah there!" he exclaimed, bushy mustache twitching. "You're getting pretty big, tough guy! Let me put you down so we can eat some dinner, okay?"

 

Suddenly I was at the table, digging into my stew. I closed my eyes at the rich flavor, my grandfather's original recipe. 

 

When I opened my eyes, the world was blurry.

 

No. That's not right. I was crying. 

 

I was fifteen years old and weeping at my parent's graves. I clenched my fists and rose from knees. When I did that, child-like giggling rang in my ears.

 

"I wonder if this is how my parents felt when I died. Inconsolable, angry, asking why, why I was taken so senselessly." I knew the cadence of that voice. I had only heard it once, in a panicked, questioning cry, but I had never forgotten it.

 

I doubled over as if punched and pulled at my hair. "I didn't mean to! I was just there for the money!"

 

"Yes, I'm sure that must have been comforting to hear. You only meant to rob us blind." The boy was suddenly standing in front of me, a disturbingly innocent smile on his face. "You really are a vile creature."

 

"Shut up!" I swung my fist at him with all my force. He disappeared with only the tinkle of his laughter left behind."

 

Waking up in a cold sweat was not uncommon for me. I slowly raised my hands to my face and pressed the heels of my palms against my eyes, trying to get the burned image of my parents' graves out of my head.

 

Heaving a great sigh, I let my arms flop beside me. Light filtering into the tent made me squint slightly and I could hear the muffled chirping of birds outside.

 

I quickly got dressed, armor over tunic and the sheath of my sword strapped to my back. I ran my thumb methodically over my brand, looking at it closely for the first time in nearly a year. It was in the shape of a snarling fox head, signifying my wrongdoing. 

 

I need new gloves, and fast.

 

I remembered getting my first pair. It was the day after I had helped some other poor soul on the run. I hadn't been able to make out his face at the time, but he was a wanted man. He had been bleeding pretty badly too, so I had done my best to patch him up. Considering my lack of general medical knowledge, probably not well. The wound was pretty bad, the guy probably has a nasty scar.

 

I pushed thoughts of the mysterious acquaintance out of my head and quickly wrapped my hand in bandages. I stooped through the entryway of my tent and was shocked to find my glove there. It was torn, certainly, and of course dirty, but unmistakably mine. 

 

A lump was quickly building in my throat from the relief at seeing it again. I quickly ducked back into my tent and knelt on the ground. I studied the worn leather scrap in awe. A drop of water fell onto it and rolled of, leaving a wet trail in its wake. I reached up and found that tears were rolling down my face and I realized I was shaking. 

 

Brushing away the remaining tears, I wondered how it had gotten there. It had to have been planted, I would have seen it when we picked out the campsite. And I would have noticed it if  it had been there before I went to sleep. Or, for that matter, when I got up to keep watch, and no one was up and about when I did. That means it must have been either Aaron or Tuuka, who kept vigil after me. 

 

Whoever it was, I'm eternally grateful.

 

After making sure I was at least somewhat composed, I placed the glove in my knapsack for safekeeping until I could mend it. Slinging the bag over my shoulder, I stepped out of my tent and set about deconstructing it, resolutely not looking at anyone else. The others were doing the same. When we were finished, we all fished some dried fruit out of our bags and ate them. 

 

Aaron clapped his hands together. "After yesterday's set-back, we've got a lot of ground to cover to get back to where we can follow the Roc's footprints. We need to get moving."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I would put a clever joke here, but I can't think of one.

 

 Professional MB Ghost

 

Would Like an All-Purpose Cleaner for Life

 

 Proud Bisexual     

 

              - Daniel

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thoughtfulfighting3

Branch: Janus

I know! I love working with you guys.

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The name's Masayuu. 成優

 

"One must try, every day, to expand one's limits." ~ Mas Oyama

 

 

 

SEE YOU SPACE COWBOY...

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peacefulheart66

Branch: Lucian

Too late to join?

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Ashy

 

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known...

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thoughtfulfighting3

Branch: Janus

Ashy - nope!

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The name's Masayuu. 成優

 

"One must try, every day, to expand one's limits." ~ Mas Oyama

 

 

 

SEE YOU SPACE COWBOY...

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peacefulheart66

Branch: Lucian

Name - Katya 

Age - 22

Gender - Female

Physical Appearance - Tall and pallid. Short black hair (think pixie cut length)

Preferred Method of Fighting - Knives and poison

Past - She fell in love with a guy but he left her for another woman. She poisoned the girl and framed it on the man, who was imprisoned until she admitted that she was the murderer.

How long and how she joined - She's been in for two years. She found out about them when one of them (maybe Cara, if she wants?) found her as she was on the run, trying to steal supplies to survive.

Personality - unstable (flaw), obsessive (flaw), charming, adaptable, risk-taking, determined, manipulative, analytic

Greatest strength - analytic ability

Greatest weakness - obsessiveness

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Ashy

 

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known...

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thoughtfulfighting3

Branch: Janus

Ashy - Welcome in

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peacefulheart66

Branch: Lucian

Katya's PoV

 

  I awoke in the middle of the day. I'd been planning to leave with the party that had gone to hunt the Roc, but they likely had already set out. I wondered if I could catch up with them. I ate, packed hunting supplies, and moved to the edge of the woods. Searching the border, I found a set of four footprints recently moving into the trees.

  I followed the trail, chewing on sunflower seeds as I went. My mind wandered as I moved in the hopes of catching up with the group. I caught sight of a poisonous flower along the way.

  I know that plant. I....

  That was the plant I had used to poison Natasha. She was Alexei's new girl. Although... was she new? They had been... close... even before Alexei had left me for her. It didn't matter if he'd had an affair. I was still a killer.

  I still remembered the look in Alexei's eyes when he was put in prison. The betrayal. At the time, I felt satisfaction. After all he'd put me through... I'd told myself that he deserved it. But he didn't. And neither did Natasha. No matter what they had done.

  What they had done. I still remember the feelings of worthlessness that Alexei had given me. 

  "Why are you so emotional?"

  "You always do this, Katya."

  "Stop worrying about stupid things."

  "I just don't care anymore."

  I'd been driven mad. I hated him. I hated myself. I hated him. I hated myself. Nothing was stable. While I was still reeling, he took up with Natasha, only a month later. Years of a relationship, only to be replaced after a month.

  After a few months, I gave in to the darkest part of myself. I slipped into their house, slipped poison into Natasha's vein, and planted evidence on Alexei. 

  It didn take long for him to get convicted. After the initial satisfaction had worn off, I was in shock with myself. Unable to bear it, I announced in front of the town what I had done, detailing it step by step. Before I could be put in prison, I fled. Just like a coward. 

  Stop, I told myself. It does you no good to think about these things. I needed to take my mind off of things. Pulling out some meat and seasoning, I cooked myself a meal, focusing entirely on the food. 

  Once I was done, I set out again. It was hard to see in the dark of the now-falling night, and it was cold. I needed to keep going if I hoped to get to the others.

 

 

(I'll join the group after my next PoV)

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Ashy

 

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known...

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snakedancing13

Branch: Janus

I'll P.O.V. tomorrow, after Ashy's character joins up with ours.

 

              ~Krista~

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        Krista the Key

 

 

    Will you give all you can give

        So that our banner may advance?

             Some will fall and some will live

                 Will you stand up and take your chance?

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peacefulheart66

Branch: Lucian

I'll just PoV twice in a row so that I can get caught up with everybody. Generally I follow a rule of thumb of at least two PoVs by others in between mine, but I promise I'll stop PoV-hogging after this.

 

 

Katya's PoV

 

  I lit a low-burning torch so that I could see. It cast long shadows across the ground, scattering small, scurrying aminals. I gathered a few edible plants, as well as some poisonous ones, as I continued along the tracks that the group had left. I noticed the prints that they were following, and Aaron hadn't exaggerated. This thing was large and dangerous. The further I moved, the closer I got to where the Roc would be, the woods were more silent.

  After a few hours, I came to the edge of a slope. It was the middle of the night by then. It wouldn't have been good to catch up with the group tired; I would just slow them down. It would be better to just get a smaller amount of sleep. Studying the edge of the rocky fall, it seemed that some rocks had been upset recently. A piece of a torn sleeve, a splash of blood indicated that the group had likely been caught up in the fall. Based on the freshness of the prints, the times, and these signs, they were probably sleeping not far off. I decided that this was a good time to get some rest. I retreated back a bit, into the woods, and set up my tent. Climbing into it, I settled off in an attempt to sleep.

  Alexei appeared in my dreams again that night.

  "Why did you do it?" he asked. To be honest, I didn't really know.

  "I was angry. I'm sorry."

  "Sorry? Sorry?! You think that's gonna fix it? You killed her! You almost destroyed my life! And your justification is that you were just angry?!" The shouts made me shrink backwards in shame.

  I bowed my head. "I have nothing to say to defend myself."

  "Clearly not. You couldn't even face the consequences for your actions. You just ran away. You're so pathetic."

  "I know. I can't fix it. There's no absolution for me."

  "What were you angry about? I was nothing but good to you."

  Nothing but good to me. That's what he always said. It wasn't true. But it did no good to say that now. It was no good to let myself get consumed like this. If I did.... that's what led to me killing Natasha. I had to move on. But I could already feel the negative emotions building up inside of me, eating at my sanity.

  I started awake in a cold sweat. I still feel so anxious and angry after the dream. Why couldn't I just move on? Why do I stay fixated on things when that fixation just leads to destruction? I'm such a fool. A monstrous fool.

  I shook myself from my thoughts, although the tense feeling remained. It was early morning; I needed to hurry up and join the others. 

  Cautiously picking my way down the rocks, I made it safely to the bottom. Sure enough, the footsteps led a small ways off to where I found them having just finished getting ready to set off again. Aaron, Hawthorn, Delena, Tuuka.

  They all turned to face me as I stepped forwards. I felt myself getting a bit nervous at the attention. 

  "Mind if I join?"

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Ashy

 

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known...

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snakedancing13

Branch: Janus

Aaron's P.O.V.

 

"Maso said you'd be coming. Katya isn't it?" 

Katya nodded, with a slight smile on her face.

"Well, we were just about to leave, as you've probably already noctice, so I hope you had a good night's rest, cause we've got a long day ahead." 

After mounting the slope, it wasn't too difficult to find our quarries tracks. The wooded area at the top of the slope proved to be thicker than that at the base, so we were forced into a single line with myself at the head. As we followed the marks of the roc, we were also venturing farther up what now appeared to be a little more than a gravely slope. We hadn't come far when I noticed some difference in the tracks.

I held my fist up in the universal sign to halt. The others obeyed as I crouched down to examine the tracks.

"Is there something wrong?" Katya asked.

"I'm not sure." I leaned closer to one of the prints. I examined the length and depth. All the same, but there was still something wrong. I moved to the next print. The claws from the original print seemed to have retracted. And the base of the foot was wider. The next set showed even more of this progressive change.

I stood, still looking at the prints and addressed the others.

"I don't know quite how to explain this, but the Roc appears to be changing."

A demonstration of this change was given as a large cloven hooved creature broke through the foliage ahead of us and bowled over me.

The impact of the creature threw me out of the enclosure of trees and onto a wide ledge.

I laid there for a moment, stunned by the sudden and brutal appearance of the creature. Eventually the sound of fighting and loud stomping brought me back to the present world. I gradually came to me feet, swaying slightly on the unstable ledge.

"Look out!" I heard someone shout, as from a great distance and looked up just in time to see the creature bowling toward me for a second time. With barely a moment to sigh in exasperation, I attempted to lung out of the way. Unfortunately, taking that brief moment to sigh had been a mistake and I clipped my leg against the creatures long, bulbous nose. I was sent spinning over the edge of the precipice, barely managing to latch an arm onto the surface above me. Again, the creature advanced toward me, this time at a less aggressive pace. Now that I had a better, though not entirely pleasant, view of the creature I could appreciate the amount of bruises I would have afterwards. If there was an afterwards. 

The creature possessed a large effrontery horn in the middle of its head. It was like an overweight, feathered, ugly, grey unicorn. The hideous creature lowered its head so that the strange spiraling horn was pointed at my forehead. The muscles in my arm trembled with the strain of keeping myself up and I felt sweat forming on the bridge of my nose, both from fear and from strain. The sweating and shaking progressed as the spiraled horn touched my skin. I felt a sharp pain crease across my forehead, just above my right eyebrow, then the strange feeling of weightlessness as my vision momentarily went dark. When it returned, I found myself slipping farther over the edge. A piercing shriek from farther ahead drew my attention and I watched the strange unicorn like creature fall beneath Hawthorn's sword. Now that the threat had passed the others rushed toward me.

The ledge I was lying on was unstable in the least, so that whenever I attempted to shift forward, I found myself pelted by a barrage of rocks and dirt. 

"Careful." I called to Tuuka as he stepped closer to the unstable ground. 

He advanced a few more steps, then lay on his stomach, stretching himself out to reach me better.

A few pebbles skipped off the edge and flew into my face.

I stretched my arm out toward Tuuka. He managed to grab onto my sleeve, but slipped, holding onto a long bladed knife instead. He looked at it in confusion for a moment.

"What?" I exclaimed in anger and exasperation. "Never seen a knife before!" 

Tuuka tossed the knife behind him and latched onto my hand. With a massive effort, he managed to pull me over the edge and onto solid ground.

"You know," Tuuka said breathlessly. "You weigh a lot for such a short guy."

"Ever mention my height again," I snarled through gritted teeth. "And you might find yourself permanently eye to eye with the toads."

Delena attempted to help me back to me feet, but I declined, knowing that anywhere she touched would most likely cause me extreme pain.

"Are you alright?" Katya asked.

"I've been better." I grunted, hands on my knees as I attempted to regain my breath.

"What was that thing?"

"I'm pretty sure it used to be a Roc, but then it somehow turned into a vertically challenged unicorn of sorts."

Hawthorn had finished wiping the blood from his blade and joined us.

"Whatever it was, it was obviously after Aaron. Any idea why?"
"None. Whatsoever."

The others were quiet for a moment. I knew what they were thinking. This was somehow related to my past life. 

"Well," Tuuka said awkwardly. "If we found the Roc, we should probably get back to camp."

The others didn't seem to find that course of action very appealing.

"I think we need to find out where this creature was going." Katya declared. "And where is came from."

 

               ~Krista~

 

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        Krista the Key

 

 

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        So that our banner may advance?

             Some will fall and some will live

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Branch: Janus

Tuuka's PoV

 

     Had Aaron angered a greater being? This transformation of the creature wasn't something that a normal human could accomplish. Either a greater being, or a person with the favor of one. This wasn't good. Furthermore, this clearly was going to turn out a lot more dangerous, and take a lot more time, than we had previously thought.

     Delena had the same questions. "Aaron. Did you... did you anger a greater being? Or someone close to one?"

     "Like I said, I have no idea what's going on whatsoever." He seemed agaitated.

     "Well, whoever did this probably isn't too far off," Hawthorn said. So we should be careful. Especially considering what they can do." While everyone was looking Hawthorn, Aaron discreetly took back the knife that had slipped out of his sleeve.

     We wordlessly picked back up on trail, following the tracks that the creature had made as it transformed. Carrying the weight of the creature with us slowed us down considerably. Around midday, we caught up to where the tracks looped back to where we had been before.

     "We'd better settle down for lunch," I said. "No use going off if we're on an empty stomach." As we ate, we remained cautious. We could be attacked at any time. Every single noise was enough to startle us. Not even birdsong held its usual reassuring power.

     "How long would it take for the creature to be affected by magic?" Katya asked.

     Hawthorn thought for a bit. "I'm not sure, actually. People in the local towns might know something about what's going on."

     Delena nodded in agreement. "We should probably go check one of the towns out. But this creature will probably bring us some negative attention, and probably from whoever or whatever is after Aaron. I suggest we either hide or dispose of it."

     "This thing isn't likely to fetch us a lot of trophy money,¨ Katya said. "And I'm not sure if it's edible. So one of us should just bring the head with them in case we need it."

     Aaron looked up. "I'll do it."

     

 

 

Also, I had a plot idea. Basically, if a person kills a spirit, a god, or a demon, they get that being's power. However, they can't "store up" power from killing multiple beings. So if someone kills a demon and then a god, after killing a demon they get its power, but after killing a god they get the god's power instead. Additionally, demons and spirits are considered of equal power, so if a demon were to kill a spirit, nothing would change. Killing someone who go their power by killing doesn't give the new killer any power because this power can only be transferred once. So the lord who wants the god's power is out to kill the god, and he already killed a demon. He wants to recruit the Soldiers to fight the god with him. I've thought up a few options so far, but you guys can think up other ones and decide which one you want to take. I'll leave the choice to you.

Option A) The group joins the power-hungry lord in his hunt for the god so that they can defeat Eric as well.

Option B) The group declines the lord's offer because they don't want to kill and support and power-hungry man. They instead choose to attempt to defeat the lord to gain the god's favor. They think if they do this, the god can keep Eric from killing Aaron. (Although this doesn't guarantee that Eric, or the god, will be cooperative)

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"One must try, every day, to expand one's limits." ~ Mas Oyama

 

 

 

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snakedancing13

Branch: Janus

What if the evil lord tricks the soldiers? Maybe they think they're protecting someone?

 

And I hoped that maybe Eric would have a change of heart in the end. Maybe the others help him see that Aaron is sorry for what he did. And we should find some way to connect all of the characters pasts.

 

we already connected Hawthorne and Aaron and Tuuka, so we should find some way to connect Delena and Takya to the plot.

 

 

             ~Krista~

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        Krista the Key

 

 

    Will you give all you can give

        So that our banner may advance?

             Some will fall and some will live

                 Will you stand up and take your chance?

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thoughtfulfighting3

Branch: Janus

Yeah, that seems good. I know Ashy suggested that Delena could have brought her into the soldiers, but we should find another way to tie them in.

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The name's Masayuu. 成優

 

"One must try, every day, to expand one's limits." ~ Mas Oyama

 

 

 

SEE YOU SPACE COWBOY...

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moonlightsunrise37

Branch: Ekaterina

Delena burnt down a town, maybe the town had some gods/spirits/demons in it. 

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the caterpillar’s beginning 

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snakedancing13

Branch: Janus

What I felt the girl Katya killed was actually a asprite? What if the sprite has been meddling with her destiny, which is part of the reason she struggles with her sanity? And she has some magic, which would complicate things.

 

               ~Krista~

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        Krista the Key

 

 

    Will you give all you can give

        So that our banner may advance?

             Some will fall and some will live

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thoughtfulfighting3

Branch: Janus

Perhaps it's the god helping Eric that was in the town?

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"One must try, every day, to expand one's limits." ~ Mas Oyama

 

 

 

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peacefulheart66

Branch: Lucian

I would rather Katya not have that much power, but it gives me another idea! Say Alexei was the spirit instead. He uses magic to seduce people (if Masayuu's okay with spirits having the power of influence?) and then discards them. He did start courting Natasha while still with Katya, but Natasha was just another victim of his power. An effect of Alexei's words and of him leaving her was the decrease in sanity due to the magic involved. However, Katya was too emotionally weak to handle these effects, so it pushed her over.

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Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known...

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As a side note, Alexei doesn't necessarily realize that what he does is wrong.

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thoughtfulfighting3

Branch: Janus

These are interesting, I like it!

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The name's Masayuu. 成優

 

"One must try, every day, to expand one's limits." ~ Mas Oyama

 

 

 

SEE YOU SPACE COWBOY...

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snakedancing13

Branch: Janus

My mind is whirring! I'll post more suggestions later!

 

            ~Krista~

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        Krista the Key

 

 

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        So that our banner may advance?

             Some will fall and some will live

                 Will you stand up and take your chance?

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snakedancing13

Branch: Janus

What if there was another way to gain magic, besides finding its source or killing a holder? What if it could be given? But giving your magic away was a terribly painful experience, so painful that your mind blocks it out and replaces it with other memories.

 

What if Delena was a magical creature who gave her magic away??? But she doesn't remember and replaced the memory with her "guilt" for burning down her village and being rejected by her parents. What if she gave her magic away to save someone?

 

                 ~Krista~

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        Krista the Key

 

 

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             Some will fall and some will live

                 Will you stand up and take your chance?

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thoughtfulfighting3

Branch: Janus

That's a really cool mechanic, I definitely want to include it in the world! Cara, any thoughts?

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"One must try, every day, to expand one's limits." ~ Mas Oyama

 

 

 

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moonlightsunrise37

Branch: Ekaterina

That'd be cool

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The butterfly’s end

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wolfdevious1

aka WolfDevious14

Branch: Janus

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile guys, been busy with school

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I would put a clever joke here, but I can't think of one.

 

 Professional MB Ghost

 

Would Like an All-Purpose Cleaner for Life

 

 Proud Bisexual     

 

              - Daniel

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thoughtfulfighting3

Branch: Janus

It's totally fine, I understand.

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"One must try, every day, to expand one's limits." ~ Mas Oyama

 

 

 

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peacefulheart66

Branch: Lucian

Don't want this RP to die... I'll try to keep things moving

 

 

Katya's PoV

 

  Hawthorn chopped off the creature's grotesque head and handed it to Aaron, who stowed it in the bag that he carried in his back. The horn poked indignantly out of the top of the bag as if to demand attention - which was exactly what we didn't want it to bring. However, we had no better options.

  Delena pulled out a map, pointing to a spot in the middle of the woods. "We're right about... here. Judging by the town of day, the only time we have a hope of reaching before nightfall is this one." Ardunshire, read the map. "We should use this as a starting point."

  Tuuka nodded. "Let's go." As we made our way westward, in the direction of the town, I took stock of the others I was with. Tuuka's arm was heavily bandaged, and the blood spotted along the white cloth seemed to indicate a long, nasty wound. Aaron had an old bandage on his arm, and Hawthorn likewise had an old one on his hand. There was no blood on either of them. Were they hiding something? I wondered. I, of course, was curious, but it would have been intrusive to ask. After all, most of us had something to hide... I was too ashamed to tell anybody here my true story, and so were many others.

  Guilt slammed into me again. You're too cowardly to tell people the truth about you. All you ever do is lie and manipulate. There was no denying my facetious nature. I acted sweet, innocent, virtuous. And yet I was still irrationally obsessive and jealous. I still couldn't get tht picture of Alexei out of my mind. I felt absolute disgust at myself. Stop complaining. You're so negative. No wonder he left you. I stumbled a little in my step, crashing down on the ground.

  "You alright?" Aaron asked. I could feel everyone staring at me. Nononono.... This is bad. I wanted to seem normal, or at least as normal as any of us can be. Now I look ridiculous.

  I turned on a smile. "Yeah, sorry." He shrugged, seeming to accept my explanation.

  I figured that I may as well check up on Tuuka to make sure that he was fine. "Is your arm gonna be alright?" I asked, concerned.

  He nodded. "It'll definitely be scarred. But I don't think it's much to worry about, at least not yet. Thanks, though." I inwardly sighed of relief. Aside from just worry for him, if this injury became a serious problem, it would mean trouble for our whole party as well.

  Then there was the matter of Aaron and Hawthorn's possible wounds. It might seem strange if I didn't ask them as well, and I didn't want to seem like I had been prying. Besides, it would be inconsiderate to only pay attention to Tuuka if they did, in fact, have injuries.

  "Are you going to be good?" I asked Hawthorn, indicating his hand.

  "Yeah. I'm fine." He didn't seem to want to talk any further, and I left it at that. Delena shifted uncomfortably at this. Perhaps there was something more than he was letting on. Had I missed something important?

  When I asked Aaron, he nodded. "All good. Nothing too worrisome." He seemed more open about the matter, and it didn't draw the attention that my attempt at a conversation with Hawthorn had, only a quick glance from Tuuka.

  Hm.

  All the while, our shadows were growing longer, and the forest seemed to be getting thinner. I felt that we were getting closer and closer to the town.

  Soon, my suspicion was proven correct. We stepped out of the trees to face a moderately-sized area of homes, taverns, markets, and more. A few people hurried about, rushing to complete their business before the sun sank below the horizon.

  Deleana pointed to a thatched-roof tavern on our right. "Look. The sign says they have rooms for rent. Let's spend the night there."

  "Agreed. We won't find people about with information at this time, most have gone inside already. But there might be some still drinking in the tavern that know something," I said.

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aka WolfDevious14

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Hawthorn's POV

 

I shifted uncomfortably at Katya's inquiry. While she turned to Aaron I subtly wound the bandages a little tighter around my hand. Hopefully when we get town I can find some supplies to mend my glove with.

 

The sky was blood-red, the sun a sliver on the horizon when we finally reached Ardunshire. When katya suggested that we check taverns for any useful information.

 

"Sounds good to me," Aaron nodded. "While a few of us do that, a one of us could get some rooms."

 

"I can look for anyone who can tell us something," Tuuka volunteered. Delena and Aaron also gave their assent.

 

"Seeing as how I suggested it, I might as well tag along," Katya said. "I suppose Hawthorn can get the rooms?"

 

I nodded silently. 

 

Aaron handed me a leather pouch. "Since I'm the one who's leading the mission, I was given some funds. Take it to cover the costs."

 

Most soldiers had only one focus, our misfit band of warriors. Therefore, while we mostly lived off the land, most money that happened to be earned along the way was voluntarily pooled for emergency cases and an amount would be allotted for every mission. Most soldiers didn't even have pocket change. 

 

I took the pouch from Aaron. "I'll get the rooms and then wait for you here. After that, if it's alright with you, I'd like to go out for a bit."

 

Some of the group frowned but none said anything. Aaron consented and he and the others left.

 

Quickly renting two rooms, one for Delena and Katya and one for Tuuka, Aaron, and I to conserve costs, I headed to mine. Each room had two beds each, so I rolled out my sleeping bag. I'd sleep on the floor so that neither of the others had to share with me. Or maybe so I didn't have to share with them, even with a the certain level of trust that comes with going through life-threatening peril with someone. Sleep is the most vulnerable state.

 

Sitting on top of that, I finally let myself go limp, eyes slipping shut. I was stiff all over, I realized, and not just from the journeying. 

 

It felt like it was only minutes, but when Aaron and Tuuka suddenly burst into the room it was clear it had been much longer. 

 

I resisted the urge to jump and turned to them. "Find out anything?"

 

Aaron waved his hand, flopping onto a bed. "Tell you in the mornin'. I'm exhausted."

 

Tuuka also lay down almost imediately. I longed to rest myself, but first things first. Time to see if I can find any materials to fix my glove. 

 

 

 

 

 

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              - Daniel

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thoughtfulfighting3

Branch: Janus

Tuuka's PoV

 

     I sat down at the tavern bar. "Hey, bartender. Know anything about a Roc in the area?"

     "What, are ya one of Eric's friends?" he asked. "That kid's been asking the same thing. He wandered off a couple days ago, though, probably off searching for that thing."

     "Never heard of him."

     "Really? Well, listen, kid, all I know is that a few months ago, one appeared in the area as if it was impelled to do so. There's been some signs of magic in this town lately. Probably has something to do with it. But you'd better head to your room now. Tavern's closing soon, and we don't take too kind to those who stay late here." I nodded, and went to meet up with the others gathering information.

     "Got any useful information?" Katya asked.

     "Yeah," Aaron grunted. "But I'm tired, so let's just talk in the morning."

     Delena nodded in agreement. "We'd better get some rest."

     Aaron and I headed up to our room, where Hawthorn lay in a sleeping bag on the floor. "Find out anything?" he inquired.

     "Tell you in the mornin'. I'm exhausted," Aaron yawned, taking the bed nearest the window. I followed suit, claiming the one closer to the door for myself.

     I fell asleep almost immediately. After two long days of travel, I needed my rest.

 

     Soon after sunrise, Katya and Delena met with us in our room.

     "I'll go first," Katya offered. "Apparently the ability to change creatures is that of a local god who doesn't show his face much. That's all I could learn about it."

     Delena looked up. "Well... I did hear about a local god when I was talking to some drunks. They say there's a god in the nearby mountains that sometimes finds favorable humans and helps them out. He's said to occasionally share some of his power with them." Maybe this boy Eric had something to do with it, then. It made sense that if someone with the god's favor lived in this town, there'd be some magic. He could have been the one to turn the Roc. But he also just could have been hunting it. In that case, why hadn't we encountered him?

     Aaron coughed. "I heard that a lord of one of the nearby towns has taken interest in this place recently. Some guy named Lord Praxis."

     My eyes widened. "I know him. Did some mercenary work for him back in the day. I was bodyguarding his son. Praxis ain't the type to talk much, he's stoic as a rock."

    "Anyways, as for what I learned. There's been some magic here lately. Probably has to do with that god. And we weren't the only ones interested in that Roc. Some kid named Eric was as well."

     Aaron hissed. "I know that name."

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snakedancing13

Branch: Janus

Aaron's P.O.V.

 

Coming to this town had been a mistake. It was too close to home, too close to my guilt.

It was hard to believe that I hadn't been here for... for nearly seven years. At first, I had thought that maybe the people had forgotten about me. Maybe his family could forgive me, but that was a false hope.

As soon as I entered the town, I heard the whispers of my past. People had glanced at me with vague recollection, the shop keepers had murmured secrets about where they thought the "hunter of Aeborfort" could be hiding, even though I didn't ask. I did my best to hide my face, casting it into shadow with my cowl. I disguised my voice to seem dark and gravely when I had to talk, but I felt that it wasn't enough. Nothing could hide my shame from these people.

Being so close to these people I had betrayed caused me to become grumpy and tired. The stress and fear of detection weighed on me like an anvil, an invisible weight settling on my shoulders and my chest. Breathing had become difficult and it was all I could do to keep from succumbing to my fear.

Don't give in, I told myself. The panic will give you away for sure.

Eric had been the last straw. There could only be one Eric in this small town. Eric, son of the maimed. Son of the man had maimed. 

I should have known he would grow to something great, just like his father. Challenging the greats, meddling in magic. It was inevitable, I had made it inevitable.

"I know that name." I said, before I could stop myself.

"Really?" Tuuka asked, not entirely surprised, seeing as there was probably more than one Eric out there in the world. "How?"

I cleared my throat before replying. "Well, I... used to work around here. I knew his father."

"His father? Could he help us? Maybe you could use your connection to find where this kid is." Delena suggested.

"No. He... he died a... while ago." I knew I was making this far more suspicious than was neccisary, but I couldn't help it. All my composure had slipped away like a snow in the sun. Though the sun was hardly a good comparison for guilt.

I saw Katya give me a suspicious look, but before she could venture further, Hawthorn stepped in.

"Well, that lead is cold. Why don't we try finding this Eric some other way. I'm sure he'll have friends somewhere in the neighborhood."
I looked up to Hawthorn and nodded my head in thanks. He returned the gesture.

"Well then," Katya said, with a creeping sound of suspicion in her voice. "Sounds like our first step is to find Eric, then this god fellow and the Lord Praxis."

We all nodded in agreement.

 

          ~Krista~

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        Krista the Key

 

 

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             Some will fall and some will live

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wolfdevious1

aka WolfDevious14

Branch: Janus

I'll POV later tonight or tomorrow night, anyone want to go before me?

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I would put a clever joke here, but I can't think of one.

 

 Professional MB Ghost

 

Would Like an All-Purpose Cleaner for Life

 

 Proud Bisexual     

 

              - Daniel