Closed Something Worth Fighting For

Taking the Inarta by surprise a swarm of Zith raid Wind Reach. (Turrin, Phlox, Zhol, Khara, Brandon, Thuma))

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The westernmost tip of Kalea, Wind Reach is home to an amazing group of people and their giant eagle mounts. [Lore]

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Something Worth Fighting For

Postby Turrin on June 5th, 2015, 4:07 am

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Time stamp: 22nd of Summer, 515AV
Location: Ladder Project Camp
Who: Turrin, Brandon Blackwing, Phlox, Khara, Zhol, and Thuma
Theme: Survive encounter with a Zith

It was a few bells before dawn, and Leth was still high in the sky. Turrin noticed a fog starting to form in the low lying areas outside of the range of the fire light. The endal figured it would be a hazy morning when Syna finally decided to show herself. The night had been humid, so the deks had to keep refilling the water basins with fresh water from a nearby mountain stream. It was hard work, but they did their jobs with no complaints while the chiets and supplied the firewood to keep the four large bonfires burning with the help of few fire reimancers, so the work crews had a enough light to keep the shift working through the night. Five days before, the Valintar ordered the completion of the ladder project, so the city could still function and people could leave the city to find food. While they continued the long process of clearing the rubble from the Sankias Gate. The Inarta worked night and day on the first of the Valintar's projects and out of every shift. The night shifted seemed to have the most causalities out of the three shifts. It was easy to miss your footing in the dark, and the corpses covered with blankets were a cruel reminder that Dira loomed around every corner of Wind Reach during the long hot summer.

Turrin didn't want to be here as much as anyone else, but his Naime's wing was ordered to the watch overseeing the work crew. The myrian knew six War Hawks on duty weren't going to be enough for a adequate defense of the work crew if they were attacked by a large force. It would be a slaughter since most of the work crew comprised of chiet and dek with a handful of Avora and Endal scattered throughout the workers. He doubt any of them brought any weapons. Turrin knew that he was being paranoid mostly due to father's blood, and most likely due to the lack of sleep or adequate time to relax during the start of the season. As he continued his patrol, the myrian knew the battle hardened War Hawks on the night watch were just here to give the illusion of security to the work crew, but in reality he knew that they were really here to bring the hammer down on the work crew if they stopped working. Order was the key to Wind Reach's survival if the city went into chaos the whole social system would fall apart and Wind Reach would die out.

Turrin's eyes never stayed in one spot for long because he was constantly looking around him. Most of the time, he just saw darkness, but occasionally, he saw some movement on the edges of the darkness. This many people in one spot tend to attract curious wildlife from time to time. Mostly owls who continually patrol the night sky for prey, but occasionally, he might spot a outline of a wolf or cougar. This was the reason, Turrin kept a arrow perpetually on the bowstring at all times. He learned from his father in Taloba that a warrior must be ready to fight at any given time, so he stayed vigilant while the other three Endal not in Naime's wing stood around and talked. The myrian stopped by two of the male endal's and spoke in Nari with a firm voice, “Why you two standing around like rock? Naime wing have south and east, but you two have north and west side of camp. Why here in middle drinking water? Go do job, or make useful and move rocks!”

Turrin eyes narrowed at his peers when the two War Hawks started to laugh out loud at him. He knew his nari was terrible, but he did his best to control his anger. The last thing he wanted was to embarrass his flight leader for fighting with the other endal on the night watch. The ruby red female endal said in Nari, “First of all half-breed. Learn the language if you are going to order me around! Second, we are on top of a giant petching volcano. Who the holy Hai will attack us so close to Wind Reach?”

Turrin knew that it was silly to think there was threat so close to Wind Reach, but he knew that even if there wasn't one. It sill didn't look good if the security for the work crew was shirking their duties. The woman started to chuckle to herself, looked at her friend, and said with snort, “Maybe the Mighty Turrin is scared that we might be attacked by rabid sky goats. Yes it has to be the sky goats!”

Turrin knew the endal woman was a fool, so the myrian gave her a smile and said in his father's tongue, “I hope your wrong otherwise the buzzards will be plucking your eyes from your rotting skull. I am done with you, fool...”

Walking over to the water basin, Turrin grabbed a cup of water and downed it quickly while ignoring any other witty comments made by the endal woman. When he was done drinking, the myrian continued his patrol on the southern side of the camp. The walk continued and his eyes occasionally darted to encroaching fog. It wasn't very thick. It was just enough to unnerve the half-breed. He knew if a fog blew in the work camp the whole operation would stop till the morning shift came. Looking up at Leth, the endal was happy that he was wide awake still this close to morning because if he was lazy, the fires would have to be twice as high to light up the camp. Either way, Turrin was alone to ponder his place in the world while he continued his uneventful patrol around the camp.
Last edited by Turrin on June 22nd, 2015, 3:12 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Something Worth Fighting For

Postby Phlox on June 9th, 2015, 8:01 am

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It seemed that joining this new wing multiplied her work load by a lot. She hadn’t even been part of the wing all that long before their assignment was changed from city watch to guard duty at the ladder camps. It was necessary, but so close to Wind Reach seemed peculiar. What animals would be dumb enough to get so close to the work fire while many people were making a commotion building ladders and hanging them up on the side of the mountain? It seemed silly just to have all these Endals on duty, but it was her job after all. These people needed to be protected from the spooks that wandered about on the edge of camp. Besides, it was better than shuttling rock back and forth to clear the tunnels. She would rather be out in the open air any day.

Phlox scurried out of a small tent, where she had been grabbing a quick drink of water. Her katinu flapped in the light breeze, keeping her warm while the chilly night began to think about giving way to day. Slung across her back was her long bow, and she carried a handful of arrows. Thankfully, a dagger was belted beneath her katinu, just in case she needed it. Naime was somewhere about, she was sure of it, and Turrin – well, that was probably also the case. Even though she did not know him as well as she would guess she soon would, she already knew that his work ethic was impeccable. There was always a motive with him, which always meant she had to have a motive too. It was disgusting in a sense, but keeping busy was helpful when the other option was moving rock. How she detested the idea of moving rock already.

A few shadows pass in front of the fire startled her a moment, but it was just a group of Inarta carrying a freshly made ladder between them. It was a funny looking silhouette, one she would have to become accustomed too. Another set of silhouettes dragged her gaze away from the ladder carrying couple. These were harder to distinguish, but it seemed they had a hard concept of work. Must be another group of Endal ‘supervising’ the work. Of course, one shadow seemed disgruntled by this set of events.

Curious, she walked over in that direction. The sound of voices began to break the crisp air, although she could not make out what was being said. Then a strange dialect perpetrated her ears. Turrin. Of course he was being butthurt about slacking Endals. Side-stepping the ordeal, she waited for him to continue on his way before falling in step with him a pace or two behind.

”Don’t worry Turrin,” Phlox finally broke in, crushing the silence with slow, clipped Nari. ”This is an easy job. Nothing is going to go wrong. But if it helps, I’ll keep you company and watch your back!”

As if she was stronger or more useful than he was. Maybe she said it to make her more comfortable. Having him close meant back-up in case some wild goat did come trotting down in a manic fashion. Phlox probably would not be so nervous if Ithuriel had been nearby. Sadly, the eagle had returned home earlier that evening. What use would she have been in the nighttime? Besides, she preferred her nest to the ground. Finicky beast. No wonder they got along so well.


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Something Worth Fighting For

Postby Brandon Blackwing on June 15th, 2015, 7:32 pm

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Hooray, Disaster crew assignment. Hooray, clearing rocks and rubble. Hooray, night shift. Well, that last bit was not bad per se, a nice twist to an otherwise boring task. Being nocturnal Brandon really did not need to struggle with tiredness or a disturbed biological clock, besides, he'd been sleeping the whole day anyways, preparation for the night shift, and the next day would start only in the afternoon too, at least the Valintar knew how to make these kind of thing more easy on his people. Some extra sleep was always welcome, even though Brandon did not need it; he was quite used to staying up non-stop for days. His personal record was a bit more than three days, seventy six bells or so. That had been an extreme situation though, and had stemmed more from being unable to sleep than actually wanting to stay awake. Nevertheless, the fact remained that Brandon did not really need all that much sleep under normal circumstances. No excessive amounts of stress, be it physical or mental, and no abnormal consumption of alcohol.

Right now though? He'd kill for his bed. Moving these goddamn rocks for bells was not really a fun task. It was taxing and boring, and despite the regular breaks their crew was allowed to take the bat felt pretty drained. Though that might just be a side effect of this tedious task. Brandon hadn't really pushed himself to his limits that night, instead he'd just assumed a good work pace he could keep up and chose rocks that were not too heavy. That way he wouldn't exhaust himself overly in between breaks, allowing for his body to recover quickly. Simple and smart. It wasn't like hurrying up would result in the gate being cleared within one night anyway, it would take days, maybe even half a season. Maybe even more. And that was the exact reason Bran saw no use in knock himself out carrying rocks.

It also meant that he could keep going for a long time without dragging his feet or looking like a dead horse, unlike some other people. Pacing was a necessity during long tasks. Stamina and the way you spent it. It was tactics, in a way. There were others with the same mindset like Brandon, working at their own pace, choosing one specific size of boulder they would continue dragging from point A to point B the whole night. Utterly boring and tedious, yes, but at least they wouldn't feel as if they'd died trice during their shift.

Tediousness was something everyone could deal with though, say what you want, but the people of Wind Reach were hard workers, they did not complain much about this task and even if they did, they still kept going. Though there was one thing that was vexing about this whole ordeal; asshole endal standing around, consuming the water reserved for the workers to drink during their breaks. True, every so often some dek brought new reserves, but only every couple of bells. But that was not the end of the highest caste's selfishness though; instead of patrolling, the majority just stood or sat around, talking, betting and playing dice games. So much for guarding the citizens of their city.

Those endal assigned to clearing rubble and debris or crafting ladders -which was the project most of the crews were working on, but not Brandon's since clearing the gate was also rather important- were not really happy at all with that development, and neither was anyone else. Understandable of course. Though no-one seemed to care enough to go do something about it. Again, understandable; people were tired, they wanted their bed, making a fuss would only make things worse. It just wasn't worth it. They just left it to the few endal who did take things seriously. Turrin, for example. For once Brandon was glad the half-breed was around, even though he had no sense of humor and was seemingly unable to take things easy. The man took everything too seriously, but right now, that was a good thing.... well, it had been. Even the Myrian wasn't able to redeem the other endal, not like Bran really had expected he would be.

A sigh escaped the bat, and probably a lot of other expectant Inarta let out one as well. There went the water, there went their protection. Six endal hadn't been much to begin with, but two? Three maybe? Sure, they were pretty relaxed, and even the workers only shrugged at it when the bat mentioned it. Apparently they were more concerned about their water supply than their safety. The city was safe, they said. Brandon remained skeptical. No place was safe, especially for a thief. Not in the city, not in the Unforgiving. Perhaps he was just a bit paranoid, but still, even paranoia had a source. Even ungrounded paranoia had been instigated by something, sometime, someplace. Someplace supposedly safe usually, during a time that had been just as supposedly safe. Only it hadn't, causing doubt, then blossoming into paranoia. The conclusion? No place was safe. Safe did not exist. Never rule out the impossible. Never make assumptions. Do not underestimate the power of coincidence, do not ignore any possibilities, no matter how far fetched or unlikely they seemed, it could save your life one day.

Was that being paranoid? Perhaps. Brandon called it being prepared. It was the reason he trained his body daily, it was why he always kept his daggers with him, hidden under his clothing. It was also the reason he never stopped listening to the world around him, why he was always keeping check of abnormalities in terms of sound or scent. Well, about half of his conscious was, the rest focused on the tasks at hand. Was that being paranoid? Perhaps, but it did give him a more secure feeling than the endals standing guard, the thief thought as he picked up another boulder and moved it to another spot, cradling it in his arms and slowly making his way to the designated area.
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Something Worth Fighting For

Postby Zhol on June 19th, 2015, 10:19 pm

Everyone in the city, from the most lofty of Endals to the most lowly of Dek, had been assigned to help clear the rubble from where the mountain had collapsed. The calloused hands of smiths and crafters grabbed for the same stones as cooks and merchants. It was a dire and devastating situation, that much was true: but it was in moments like this where Zhol warmed to Wind Reach. There was a need, a mandatory requirement for the city's survival, and every Inarta responded to the call. Some were more willing than others, true; some more burdened and others beneath the added weight of their egos. Some worked harder than others; some were content to let others work harder than them. No one refused, though. No one protested. Perhaps they grumbled as they performed the task that they had been assigned, but they performed it none the less, because that was what Inarta did. They worked. They struggled. They survived. In moments like this, Zhol forgot about the flaws and the faults, the aspects of the city and it's society that made him uncomfortable. The occasional nickname that Khara had given him resonated in his mind.

Zhol of Wind Reach.

It was that notion, that admiration for the Inarta's compliance in spite of everything else that Zhol clung to, wielding it like a riding crop to spur his motivation into motion. It wasn't that Zhol was reluctant to participate in the excavations. On the contrary, he had spent more hours on this mountainside and more in the tunnels than the average Inarta. When Skyinarta had collapsed - an utterly terrifying notion that Zhol tried his hardest not to dwell on - it had sealed not only the Sanikas Gates, but the entrance to the Skyhigh Stables as well. Most of the city's horses had been in stalls in the depths of the stables, partly for convenience and party because the nights had not yet become consistently warm enough to make full use of the cooler stalls closer to the outside; but some had been caught in the collapse, some dead and others wounded. The rest were now trapped, sealed inside the mountain - save for a lengthy circuitous route through the innards of the mountain and out through the mines - until the way was cleared. There was little work for a horse trainer in such circumstances, and so Zhol had volunteered to aid in the clearing at every opportunity.

No, it wasn't being here that eroded Zhol's enthusiasm: it was why they were here; what it was the city had required him to do. He was not engaged in the hard labour of others, he did not have the familiar weight of rocks in his hands, or the ache in his shoulders that went with it. His work was far less strenuous, and far less worthy.

Part of him supposed he should be glad of it, in a way. He should be glad that Wind Reach had taken note, and was aware that he as of more use than merely caring for horses. Apparently, they had realised they could use him to care for bonfires as well.

He sighed, trying to exorcise his frustration in a single breath before drawing a calm replacement into his lungs. His brow furrowed slightly as he added the last careful touches to the ink-work on his palm, repairing the damage that sweat and scuffs had done. It was a simple glyph, one of the first things his mother had shown him: a mixture of symbols and crossed lines to channel and focus magical energy. She had been insistent that he learn it, more than any of the other glyphs she had taught him; perhaps part of her had known even then that her son would find his magic such a struggle.

Satisfied that the symbol was complete, Zhol blew a gentle breath across the ink, willing it to dry faster, edging a little closer to the fire he was shepherding to expedite matters. Given how impossible ink was to remove from your skin when it arrived there accidentally, he had hoped that ink glyphs would survive a little longer than if they were painted on, but sadly that did not seem to be the case. Perhaps it was standing so close to a fire on such a warm night that was doing it; Zhol didn't mind the heat, though.

His eyes flickering closed, Zhol extended his marked hand out towards the bonfire. With a calming breath that rolled through him like a wave, Zhol willed the windmark patterns of res to appear beneath his skin. All his reimancy of late had made the act far less of a struggle, his mind merely dragging away fragments of his soul, rather than the heaving effort it had once been. It was that prior reimancy that had helped the city to recognise his additional talent; it was also that reimancy that had reinforced the realisation that he needed to improve his control. The more he used his reimancy, the easier it became; and the harder it became to stop. it was both terrifying and thrilling when it happened; liberating, and yet the aftertaste left him wondering if it was better off caged. For now, he was treating it like a wild animal: something dangerous, to be approached with caution until it could be tamed.

His efforts now were quite benign, though: as the res pooled around the symbol he had inked, the fire before him brightened a little, the flames more eagerly crackling away at the fuel. He felt the subtle increase in heat against his face, perceived a little of the brightness even through his closed eyes. A small smile of satisfaction tugged at his lips. A whispering urge to make it brighter twinkled in the corner of his mind, to make the fire burn bigger, to spread the flames, to make the bonfire into an inferno -

His fingers curled closed, his hand retreating. His eyes opened. No more fire. Not now, at least. He was providing light to aid the workers in their tasks; that work would be somewhat hindered if he engulfed the entire mountainside in flames, thrilling and horrifying as that notion might be.

Satisfied that he would not be shirking his responsibilities by doing so, Zhol stepped back from the bonfire a little, turning away from the hot glow and peering off into the darkness, at the strange silhouettes of the Inarta as they trudged back and forth. His fingertips rose to the side of his neck, brushing across the mark that Chevas had given him. She was out there, somewhere. She'd exchanged work assignments with one of the other game scouts so that she could be out here on the mountain at the same time he was. Zhol had explained that they wouldn't see each other, that as much as he wanted to be beside her he wasn't permitted; she'd said it didn't matter. Said that she only wanted to be close. Said it was better than trying to sleep the night in their bed without him. He felt his emotions tug at his heart, and stared off in the direction it had pulled; he wasn't sure why thoughts of his Khara caused that sensation, but he'd always imagined it as an invisible rope joining the two of them together. If that was the direction his heart was being pulled, that was the direction she must be.

Almost a reflex, though helped along by a little intent as well, his fingers began to curl into the familiar shapes of grassland sign, silently communicating his affection to the darkness. Khara wouldn't see, but he hoped that she would always know. A few more moments of lingering look persisted before Zhol's hand fell away from their marriage work, and obligation forced him to turn back towards the fires.

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Something Worth Fighting For

Postby Khara on June 20th, 2015, 10:08 pm

Everything in Wind Reach had changed. Well, maybe not everything, but a great deal of things. Being unable to leave the city for the first seventeen days of the Season had been enough to drive the almost everyone crazy, but it had seemed particularly hard for Khara and the other game scouts in a way. They were used to the outdoors, to the fresh air, to not having to watch as the Avora hunters entirely waved them off as they fought for the Endals' favour in hopes they too might be graced with being able to leave the city during the day. Then had come the brilliant ladder network idea and six days later the first overly pent up souls had made the journey out. Since then the network had only increased in size as new ladders were added. It still took ages to feel your feet back on firm ground once you set out but at least efforts were being made so that there wasn't the very real chance that one slip could cause an entire avalanche of Inarta from the side of the mountain.

Khara reveled in the days that she could take the few bells of climbing to actually gain the ability to wander the Unforgiving, but she equally took pride in the days that she actually had to help on one of the disaster crews. She should have been asleep now, however, should have been in bed being blissful over the idea that the next day she'd actually have another chance to track game rather than mess with rope or move rocks. But no, she was here after taking the shift of another another scout. All due to the foolish desire to try and remain near her husband.

As rough as the enclosure of Wind Reach had seemed to those who were used to working outdoors, Khara felt it was particularly devastating to the man who had grown up with little more than a piece of fabric over his head at night. He never seemed to take any time for himself anymore - If Zhol was awake, he was working to help in any way that he could. It was admirable in a way, troubling in others. She had even tried to gently encourage him to take a day off the day before, tried to make up for the miserable excuse for a celebration that had been on his unofficial birthday in the Spring by spending time with him on the actual anniversary of his first day upon Mizahar. Her horse boy had refused, though; politely and in the way that let her know her efforts were appreciated, but refused all the same.

Not that her new effort worked out all that well, either. Zhol had warned her that working the same shift he had been assigned to wouldn't actually mean they could spend time together and she had known it was true, but the reality of it all hadn't really set in until some bells later. Khara had spent most of the night carrying sections of rope from one spot to another as they were added to existing lengths of ladders, a seemingly never ending task that had her moving from the various levels back to the top. The efforts left her legs burning and her hands feeling raw even through the soft leather of her gloves.

Each trip had been more exhausting than the one before and the current was no different. The final few rungs of the finished ladder were taken slowly, carefully as she forced steady handholds and footholds on the rope as it leaned against the mountainside. It was more awkward than it should have been, the single bundle of rope slung around her right shoulder was one thing, but there was also the additional weight of her shortbow and quiver. As foolish as swapping shifts to work a sudden night had been, carrying her gear was probably even more so. Recent events, however, had left Khara feeling far better with her bow than without, even if it meant she could be described as overly paranoid.

As her feet found relatively solid ground and Khara began the small yet treacherous walk along the ridge to where the current ladder was being built she couldn't help but pause and glance upward. This newest ladder set had only started being created, just a level down from the top so far. Her eyes caught sight of Leth overhead, partially obscured by the growing mist and Khara found herself wondering just how much farther they would get before Syna rose and the humid Summer heat became an oppressive force for them all to deal with.

"You there! Stop wasting time," a particularly barked order drew her attention to the Endal who lounged against the wall near a brazier that had been set inside a small alcove against the mountain.

Khara sighed and walked past him slowly, trying to ignore the smug grin of the man who had spent the evening leaning casually against the mountainside watching the others, his biggest effort having come from giving Khara a hard time about how unnecessary her bow was when he had first spotted her. Guard duty was important, the Chiet knew that, but it was still difficult to watch so many others work so hard while the Endal did practically nothing.

She quickly hurried to where a few other Chiet waited and slipped the length of rope off her shoulder and handed it to one of the workers. Her fellow caste member only shook his head at the Endal and muttered something unfavorable that Khara couldn't quite make out. The girl went to turn and fetch more rope but the other Chiet looked up from his work.

"We've got enough to work with for now. What we could use is another set of hands making the ladder. Here, I'll show you how it's done. It's easy, really, just have to take make sure the knots are secure,"
he offered with a weary smile.

Instantly Khara's face broke out into a grin. Anything was better than mindlessly carrying rope for a while and she'd been curious to know how the ladders had been put together.

"Of course!" She practically squealed, her excitement getting the better of her for a moment.

The other Chiet chuckled and waved her over to where he was working. "Never seen someone so excited about rope before," he teased. "Okay, so you start off by making a simple knot like this..."

As the worker began showing her, Khara poured all her attention towards the ladder though couldn't help but glance upwards and out at the dimly lit expanse beyond the mountain every now and again. It would be good to have Syna's light soon, she thought. It was hard to see everything by just the light of the occasional fire.


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Something Worth Fighting For

Postby Thuma on June 23rd, 2015, 2:00 pm

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Thuma | Shathisae | Yania



The fire crackled in front of Thuma, making her feel a little too warm but she didn't want to back away just yet. Yania sat off to her right, throwing leaves into the fire and listening to them pop and shrivel. Too many times the Endal had asked her sister to sit patiently and stop throwing stuff into the fire to no avail. The Avora simply ignored her and continued to throw more things in. Even though they were the same age, only being born five minutes apart, Thuma still felt as if she was the older sister with the pest of a younger sister to deal with. Though, she was taller in height, but what her twin lacked in stature she made up for in attitude.

Shathisae was circling overhead with a few of the other Wind Eagles, keeping a sharp eye on the workers and the surroundings. The sounds of the work going on was surely enough to keep unwanted predators away, which was probably why Thuma was feeling so lazy. Though she stood at attention, keeping a vigilant eye out just in case something did happen.

Her muscles were very worn out from working the disaster crews though. She didn’t realize how much work was put into the clearing effort until she was down there with her hands in the rubble, sweating ferociously and wishing she had a pair of Bryda to wear instead of these stupid form-fitting pants. She was thankful for her boots though. Whilst working, she even decided it was a good idea to take off her scarf which would suffocate her otherwise, leaving her deep rugged scars open. Nobody really cared though, or if they did they didn’t show it, everybody was too exhausted to care about anyone else.

Turrin was standing off to the left of the bonfire, an arrow perched against his bow, just waiting for the opportunity to strike. He was constantly scanning the surroundings, turning at every small noise. When the other Endal started to tease Thuma stayed silent, knowing better than to get in the middle of it, until Turrin mumbled some nonsense in his foreign tongue then stormed off to find a better crowd.

After having joined Flight Naime, Thuma’s trio had been assigned to more Guard Duty and Watch than hunting. Yania was starting to get bored because hunting was where she was most needed, and more often than not it would be an uneventful day for her just riding on the back of Shathisae, or sitting around watching, waiting. She was very impatient, and she did not even attempt to hide the fact that she was growing bored.

”Could you try not acting like an absolute brat?” Thuma hissed at her sister after the Avora let out an entirely too exasperated sigh.

”I’m going to go ‘patrol’.” Yania responded, putting too much accent on ‘patrol’. She stood from the ground and grabbed her longbow and quiver before walking off along one of the paths, giving the other Endals dirty looks as she passed. Thuma said nothing and just stood listening to the distant sound of the workers and the idle conversation the other Endal were making.

Yania was right, it really was boring. Thuma thought about what her father and mother were doing right at that moment. Were they working on the ladder project as well? Her father must be struggling in the kitchens, trying to feed all of the hungry people in the city. Her mother would be in the youth center looking after the Yasi. And her other sister, she was almost definitely working on the ladders. At times like this her hands were more useful for moving rocks than for glassblowing.

The other Endals sounded as though they were having a fun, lively chat, and Thuma considered joining, but knew that her social skills were completely appalling so she avoided it. The Endal stood poised, chin up, grimace dragging her features into a permanent scowl she wasn’t aware she had, and that she would probably never get rid of. It was best to be distant, callous, don't get too attached to anyone or anything.

Thuma stood and focused, tuning in to her Wind Eagle soaring far up above her. Images of the four large bonfires and the mass of workers flashed through her mind from a bird’s eye point of view. No problems so far it seemed. The night was uneventful and it was only a few bells until Syna would take place in the sky and then Thuma could get on to… she sighed… disaster crew.


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Last edited by Thuma on June 27th, 2015, 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Something Worth Fighting For

Postby Turrin on June 24th, 2015, 3:15 am

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As Turrin walked the edge of the light, the golden eyed endal kept his eyes trained on the creeping darkness. The half-breed knew that he should be angry at his peers, but he knew for a fact that the eyes of the lower castes were watching them. It was hard to defend someone if you knew for a fact that they are guilty. Turrin knew from experience that Dira lurked where a person a least suspects her, but the endal around the water basin seemed unconcerned about a potential danger. Regardless, it will be about a bell and half before Synarise, so he would have to just ignore the rest of her peers till than. Suddenly, the myrian heard footsteps coming up behind him from the direction of the work camp, so he glanced over his shoulder as saw Phlox walking towards him. When she got closer, the woman started to chirp at him in Nari and assured him that nothing was going to happen to the work camp. Turrin knew deep down in his gut that she was right, but he had a duty to protect Wind Reach, so he wasn't going to shirk his duties on the high odds of not getting attacked. Looking at Phlox, the half-breed chirped in broken nari, “I never turn down company from you. I thank you to for having back too. It means a lot hearing. Not many people choose to walk besides me...It is nice change.” Nodding down to his loaded short bow, Turrin said with a smile, “I have duty to protect Wind Reach. People need to feel safe to work better and faster. “ The half breed chuckled to himself and made a bad joke, “If endal want to sit, they should lay egg. More useful that way.”

Turrin knew that he was much more eloquent in common, but unlike some people in Wind Reach, Phlox seemed to mind his broken Nari. He didn't know much about her, but he felt comfortable around her. As the half-breed walked around the camp, he always had a eye out into the dark foggy forest. Turrin stopped and looked at Phlox and said in Nari, “In Falyndar, danger is everywhere much like the deep valleys of Unforgiving. My father's people conquered jungle, but we knew Caiyha would never allow it to tamed, so danger can be around every tree, rock, or kindheart smile. My mother's people might not understand, but the blood from my father's clan take saying very seriously. Understand Phlox?”

Turrin continued his patrol and made small talk with the endal woman. Since she was apart of his wing, he needed to get to know Phlox and learn to trust her. The myrian's survival depended on this trust especially in the thick of battle. Speaking of trust between comfortable, the myrian kept a eye out for the youngest member of their new wing, Thuma. The half-breed figured she brought her sister since they seemed almost inseparable. It brought a sad smile to his face because the pair reminded him of him and his twin sister Kaya. Walking past the southern most fire, Turrin asked without looking at her, “You joined few days ago, but another endal joined few days before you. Her name is Thuma. She is young than you and I. She is good with talon sword like you are with bow too. I will introduce when shift over. OK. Her name is Thuma.”

Suddenly, Turrin stopped in his tracks when he heard a blood curdling scream echo through the foggy work camp. Turrin raised a eyebrow at Phlox and asked, “Did you hear?” Suddenly, the first scream was followed by a few different screams from all over the camp. Turrin couldn't pin point where in camp, but they were coming from everywhere. Most were pretty faint because some screams must be coming from the north side of the work camp. However, he could defiantly tell most of the screams where coming from the wall with rope project. Pulling the butt of his arrow to his cheek, Turrin back away from Phlox and started to look over the area. The lower castes tending the fires were starting to look around in confusion and started to chirp among themselves. However, the chirps went silent when they started to hear the sounds of large flapping wings above them than they started to scream...
Myrian, Common, Nari , Aponivi, Turrin

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Something Worth Fighting For

Postby Brandon Blackwing on July 13th, 2015, 7:37 pm

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While Brandon was busy trying to figure out which rock to move next, his keen ears detected wingbeats coming from far away. At first, he did not think anything of it; there were lots of flying things in and near Wind Reach, so something flying around wasn’t that strange at all. So he picked up his chosen rock, dragged all the way to the other pile of stones and returned to the covered gate. Then, he noticed why those sounds of flapping wings had attracted his attention in the first place; it was dark. Night even. Most birds did not go out to fly by dark, unless they were owls or some other nocturnal avian creature.

And a second thing; they were getting closer. The sound did not sound like that of a feathered creature, but more like those of his own kind. Leathery, but only way larger than his own set of wings. Last, there were a lot of those wingbeats; no nocturnal bird Brandon knew of, no matter how huge, traveled in such a large group. No, something wasn’t right here. This was definitely strange; just what in the world? There was not much time he could ponder over it though, as some sounds no human should be able to create, nor hear were picked up by Brandon’s sensitive ears. One lone, bloodcurdling scream pierced the night sky, along with the sound of something, someone smashing against the ground. More screams followed in the wake of those two sounds, and chaos ensued.

Not only did the people at the rope ladder project site start to panic and yell, but those on Brandon’s crew did too. Some even took flight –or rather: they were plucked from the ground by clawed hands one moment, then dropped the next. It was a slaughter. Brought upon the Inarta by a massive swarm of Zith. The monstrous creatures soared past, slashing with their sharp claws, or just grabbing people, climbing higher in the sky before dropping them to their doom. “Shyke…” the bat uttered standing near the gate, witnessing the massacre. It seemed he was safe for now; he hadn’t moved one bit, as opposed to most of the Inarta, who scurried about like headless chickens. Brandon’s gaze shifted fast, to the endal by the water basin; what were those fools doing?! One was dead already, it seemed, lying on the ground motionlessly, while the others stood either frozen in place or were scrambling for their weapons. One even fled the scene, running as fast as he could. However, he could not escape the Zith coming for him.

The Kelvic hadn’t expected anything from them in the first place, but still he was extremely disappointed by Wind Reach’s so called protectors. Again. However, there was no time for such things, as Brandon himself had been targeted now as well, his position near the gate now discovered. A curse left his lips and his body assumed a fighting stance, a defensive one. This was a bad situation, the odds were certainly not in the favor of the populace of Wind Reach; in fact, almost one fifth of the workers seemed to have been eliminated already, the others now realizing running was no use. Instead they fought back. Despite the situation looking really, really bad, Brandon was not as scared as he would have expected. Of course, there was adrenaline. Of course his body was set on defending himself. Of course he was afraid to lose parts of himself. But he did not doubt the fact he would emerge as a survivor. Dira had said he would Biran again, and as of yet that moment still had to come. Ergo, he would not die here.

A Zith swooped by, claws striking at his throat. Brandon stepped to the side, turning away from the creature, just barely managing to dodge, though his counterattack hit the bullseye. The Kelvic’s elbow buried itself in the soft flesh of the beast’s side. However, he could not finish his assault, the other Zith swirling around him forcing the bat to stay on the defensive. Brandon did his best to keep his breathing steady, and dodged with minimalistic moves. It was an intricate dance, a dance of small steps backwards and sideways. With swirls and turns. With jabs and kicks. A dance of wounds and blood, of strikes and pain. A dance of life and death. There was no time nor opportunity for flashy moves or dodges, no time for backflips or other stunts. The Zith swapped places every single moment, they did not care about one piece of prey, instead they just flew by to take a look. Some just gave one attack a try, then they moved on to other prey, going to whatever happened to be in their path of flight. The whole battlefield was a mess; one big chaotic tornado of claws, teeth and leathery wings.

OOCI was kind of sick of waiting, sorry. :P
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Something Worth Fighting For

Postby Khara on September 3rd, 2015, 12:59 am

The first scream, even as distant as it was, carried easily to the ears of the three Inarta on the mountain shelf. Khara's head snapped up, her fellow Chiet and the Endal who had been lackadaisically watching them work were just as quickly alert. An attack was the last thing that came to the scout's mind, far more likely someone had taken a careless step in the darkness and had paid for it with their life; but then one scream became two and then many.

It wasn't until the vague shapes of the Zith and their victims could be seen through the gloom that Khara caught the full measure of what was happening and by then chaos had fully erupted as workers were being mercilessly swarmed. The urge to ready her bow came only moments before she watched in horror as one of the others who had been working below was lifted into view before being released to plummet out of sight once more. The sound of a talon sword being drawn next to her proved the Endal as preparing for whatever would come and her fellow Chiet seemed frozen on the spot. The swift and obscured movement just beyond the torch's light caused Khara to recoil back towards the mountain's face, away from the far too exposed ledge.

She called out to the other Chiet, her hand reaching to grab his arm and tug him towards the slight safety the cover could offer and the next moments passed as if an eternity had spanned in the blink of an eye. The worker looked towards her, their eyes met, and in the next instant clawed hands reached out from the darkness, talons digging into the bare flesh of his shoulders and then he was simply gone, a terrified shout being the only thing left behind.

"Dira's breath!" The swear came in a hissed whisper and Khara's attention was quickly pulled back to an overall awareness of her surroundings, including the Endal who stared slack jawed at where the other Chiet had only just been.

"We're too damned exposed out here," He muttered, eyes continually searching the skies and free air in front of them. "We stay here and we're sitting targets. We need to go back up top."

Moving at that moment sounded like absolute madness but Khara couldn't deny the truth about staying where they were. Even if they were only a single ladder level below the top where the other guards and many other workers were congregated, it was still a ladder that needed to be climbed. The ledge may have been exposed but the ladder was far worse.

The Endal's gaze narrowed on her for an instant before he returned his constant vigilance, a cringe coming to both of them as someone was ripped from above and came flailing past them towards the ground below. "You any good with that bow, Chiet?"

She nodded before realizing his attention wasn't fixed on her any longer. "Yes," she managed, barely sounding confident enough to mask the unspoken good enough that she prayed for.

A curt nod followed though she could tell the Endal was far from satisfied with her answer. Reluctantly he replaced his talon sword in it's sheath before his bow was readied, hands moving rapidly to nock and prepare an arrow for flight. "We make a run for the ladder, then. You'll go first, I'll cover you. When you get to the top, you do the same for me, deal?"

Khara bit back the urge to tell he Endal that his plan was suicidal and only barely managed a quietly chirped, "Deal", in reply.

The Endal looked towards her for a fleeting moment and nodded towards where the finished ladder lay against the cliff face. It was the only thing she needed before the Chiet girl quickly took off sprinting towards it. The sound of her own footfalls and those of the upper caste member behind her barely registered among the continued sounds of slaughter around them. Her peripheral vision caught sight of movement once more and she redoubled her efforts, moving as fast as her legs could possibly carry her towards the ladder which Khara finally reached out and grasped once arriving at. From the other direction others had already made for the same escape route and once more she was witness to another Inarta being carried off by their attackers, this time from the very ladder she was about to scale.

"What are you waiting for? Go!" The Endal shouted, more frantic and alarmed than angry with her.

Khara looked back to him, to the bow in his hand and the arrow that was strung against it's string pointing towards the darkness beyond. For a brief moment she was entirely baffled. Sure, the Endal were supposed to protect the lower caste members from something like this but her experiences with them had been, for the most part, anything but reassuring in that aspect. The thought stayed with her as she quickly began to ascend the rope ladder.

The twang of a bow string followed by an angry screech in the air behind her registered just as her hands reached the upper platform and Khara finished hauling herself up. There was a screaming urge in her mind to run towards the nearest bonfire, towards one of the points where she knew the person who would keep her safe could be, but Khara had given her word and the Endal below now needed her. Her bow was unslung without hesitation and she turned to face the open air beyond the cliff and the ladder.

With her heart pounding so loudly it finally managed to overtake the sound of the massacre taking place on the cliffs, she drew an arrow and readied it. "Ready!"

The time waiting for the Endal to appear dragged on cruelly with no true sound or way of telling how far he was from reaching the top. Attempting to control her breathing to make a better shot if necessary was a pointless endeavor as Khara barely managed to contain the panic that wanted to overtake her. The screams of her fellow Inarta began to register once more... frightened, pain filled...

The flapping of wings came upon her suddenly and with it one of the Zith appeared in front of her. Khara couldn't tell for certain but it seemed to be grinning wickedly as it appraised the Chiet with the bow before it's eyes darted downward to where the Inarta girl could only guess the Endal was below them.

The arrow in her grip was released, it's flight not connecting with the bulk of the creature as she had wanted, but rather tore through one of it's wings. The Zith shrieked in pain and rage as it seemed to almost stumble in the air for one breathless instant before it's hate filled eyes focued on the scout. It dove forward and was met by a brutal arrow shot to the chest that Khara couldn't barely remember drawing for. Her arrow was suddenly met by another, burring deep into the attacker, as footsteps rushed from behind her and the Zith dropped from view.

Khara stared into the darkness for only a tick before turning to the side to see an Endal woman standing with another arrow at the ready. She glanced towards the Chiet who managed a nod in thanks before the woman rushed forward to help up the man who finally appeared from the ladder. As he got to his feet, he once more drew his talon sword and looked to Khara who was still feeling stunned by what had happened. His featured conveyed a mixture of disbelief, thanks, and urgency as he strode towards her.

"Nicely done," he commented before continuing. "Mira and I will keep watch for any others that try to make it this way, head into the camp it should be..."

The Endal's words died on his lips as he looked past Khara towards the chaos that was continuing beyond. Zith swooped down upon those on the top level, but at least here there were armed individuals waiting for them. Still though, the fight was far from even and it only took a brief glance to realize that all the Inarta were still in very real danger.

"Just... try to find somewhere safe, okay?" He finished, a pained look making it plain that he had no clue where that might be. Thankfully, Khara did.

Not another moment was wasted before she made for the nearest fire where, if any luck remained with her, her husband would be.


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Something Worth Fighting For

Postby Zhol on September 4th, 2015, 12:19 am

It was the stuff of nightmares. The sounds, the shrieks, the cries of pain and fear, the thwip of bowstrings, the flap of vile disgusting wings, the thud and crack and damp smack as those condemned to fall by the Zith hurtled towards Semele's embrace. With each cry into the night, Zhol's ears strained, searching for Khara's voice amongst the chaos, and hoping desperately that the lack of it meant that she was safe. He only indulged that fearful, frantic surge of emotion for a brief moment though: whether Khara was alive or gone, his clear course of action was entirely the same.

He watched as the other reimancers around him, a mixture of glassblowers and metalworkers for the most part, with the occasional cook and Yasi thrown in for good measure, succumbed in various ways to their fear. Some shrank back, hoping that by fleeing as far from the fire as possible they would somehow evade the notice of the Zith. Others huddled closer, perhaps hoping that the nocturnal abominations would be blinded by the brightness, or scared off by the flames as wild animals sometimes were. He doubted either option held much merit: though he knew little of Zith, he knew enough to doubt that darkness and shadow would provide much protection, and they were far too intelligent to be startled by something as simple as a little fire. More cries, more swooping shapes through the darkness, and he saw his peers quiver and tremble. These weren't hunters; these weren't Inarta hardened and tempered by voyages into the Unforgiving the way that the hunters and scouts were. These were artisans, civilians, and most importantly - something that a quick frantic glance for one of the Endals assigned to protect the work crews confirmed - almost entirely defenseless. They would all die here, unless someone did something.

Zhol drew a breath: not just into his lungs, but into his very soul, drinking in every whiff of courage and confidence that fear of the Zith had driven from those around him. He felt the hot air of the nearby fire leech the moisture from his throat; he held the breath in place for a few moments, drawing on every meditative technique he had thus far learned to stave away even the faintest hint of a tremble in his voice.

"Reimancers!" he bellowed, dredging up the word in Nari to ensure it would cut through the chaos and find it's way to the ears of his compatriots. As the shouted breath escaped him, Zhol felt a strange prickling sensation across the skin of his arms. It was almost like the movement of res beneath his skin that preceded his fire reimancy, but different: instead of the sweeping windmark patterns such efforts usually drew beneath his skin, the sensation this time remained static, standing the hairs of his arms on end, tingling in place as djed vapour began to seep from his pours. It shimmered in the air around him, and then the air itself shimmered in response, first swaying and then swirling into a gust of breeze that swept out in the wake of his voice. Half a dozen reimancers were stopped in their tracks, turning towards the Horse Boy; even the bonfires seemed to shift and sway, as if waiting to find out why the Outsider had demanded their attention.

"Our job is to tend these fires, so that everyone on this mountainside can see." Though he spoke in Common by necessity, he kept his words as clear as he could, both in meaning and in volume. He needed these Inarta to understand, to accept, to follow his lead and work with him. "Everyone is counting on us. We cannot leave them to die alone in the dark."

The silence lasted only a second, but it felt like an eternity, an agonising wait before the first reimancer acted. Zhol cursed himself for not having learned her name: the young Yasi, so desperate to become a glassblower that she had done Ivak knows what to earn an initiation into reimancy. She had been shy and nervous the entire night, frightened to be outside the safety of the city and surrounded by so much darkness. Yet, it was she who stepped forward first, mustering all the courage and concentration she could, her reimancy marshalling the fire before her to burn brighter, hotter, bigger. Not willing to have his bravery outdone by a mere child, the stern-faced metalworker stepped forward next, shooting Zhol a silent nod before she too set about rallying the flames. The glassblowers were next, and then the others: seven reimancers, forming an arc around the perimeter of the bonfire they had nursed all night long, each one drawing on parts of their soul to swell the flames into a raging inferno.

"Look out!" one of the glassblowers suddenly cried; it was the urgency rather than the words that Zhol understood. He followed her gaze and turned, in time to see the shadowed shape of a Zith swooping through the darkness towards them. Instinct and adrenaline guided his actions more than conscious thought; he felt res begin to surge beneath his skin, racing it's way towards his palms. He reached out towards the bonfire, and the inky ooze that coated his palms drew the flames towards it like a magnet, a snaking tendril of fire reaching out towards him. With a twist and a surge of his arms, Zhol snapped the flaming prominence away from the rest of the fire, and hurled it into the air, a plume of flame racing through the sky and towards the alarmingly close silhouette of the Zith. It cried out as the burning stream bit into it's flesh, the scent of searing meat wafting through the air as the Zith's course wavered, but not quite enough. Zhol dove aside as the Zith continued towards him, landing in a tumble a few feet away, narrowly avoiding the Zith as it''s scorched wings struggled to keep it aloft, and deposited it unceremoniously on the ground.

Zhol scrabbled his way back to his feat, advancing towards the Zith as it tried to flap it's way back into flight. His father's sword was drawn in one fluid motion and he hacked wildly, aiming for the largest and most obvious target: the wings. The blade tore through leathery skin, and the Zith snarled in reply, uttering words in a language that Zhol could not fathom. It surged towards him and, despite it's injured wings, still managed to flap it's way into a vicious leap towards him, clawed hands and feet striking out in his direction. Zhol scampered backwards, flailing his sword in front of him in the hopes of at least discouraging the Zith from getting too close; but a lucky swipe tore into the bare flesh on his forearm, and startled him enough to rob him of his balance and send him tumbling flat onto his back. Pain mixed with anger, and Zhol could already feel the fire of reimancy beginning to swell within him, all too ready to unleash a fiery death upon the creature that was mere inches away from ending his life; then suddenly the Zith staggered backwards, first one arrow, then two, then three protruding from it's chest as it slumped to the ground.

Half crawling, half scrambling, Zhol gave himself a few feet of distance from the Zith - just in case - before he set about returning to his feet, and turning to look at where the arrows had come from. Lowering her bow, the metalworker looked at him and shrugged. "I get bored," she offered, in broken and heavily accented Common. "Practice often."

A faint breath of chuckle escaped from Zhol. "I'm glad," he replied, with a grateful bow of his head before he returned to his position beside the fire; but he couldn't help a sidelong glance and a flicker of a rueful smile. "You only killed it because I had it distracted."

The metalworker grunted, and fought back a faint smile of her own. "Whatever you say, Horse Boy."

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