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After the announcement from the council about individuals with manifested powers in Riverfall, characters begin to discover their own outside the walls.

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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Surprising the Self (Kavala)

Postby Kaie on December 28th, 2015, 5:07 am

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12th Day of Winter, 515 AV
12th Bell


The world that afternoon wasn't perfect, but damn could it have been close to it. At first light the copper-skinned foreigner had awoken from a deep sleep beneath the sheets of a modest, rented apartment. Legs swung over the side of the bed to wiggle down into the base of the pair of bladed boots that rested just below. Groggy feet trudged across the room to a worn dresser so she may carelessly throw open the drawers her arms fished into for the right items. In a tick a loincloth was procured to fit snugly on her hips, buckskin leather leggings were pulled up to her waist to cover what the breechcloth could not in the winter cold, and a leather vest was shrugged over her shoulders and fastened with a single button in the middle. The savage gave but one single yawn before she dragged her feet to her bedside table to fasten her gladius and its sheath to her weapon belt. And just before she vanished like a ghost out the door, she fastened her cloak around her shoulders along with a backpack and grabbed the spear that leaned beside it.

Before long the woman found herself meandering outside the city's main gates and away from all the noise. Away from the gossiping about the Council's latest announcement to Riverfall's public about the manifestation of abilities among the populace. It was a public statement that made her stomach twist and turn. Is that what the strange sensation is that plagues me now and then? The feeling of being hunted that happens sometimes, like the time when I sat quietly in the corner of the bar while that Akalak stared at me with daggers in his dark eyes? Is that the explanation for why I feel the inclination to jolt, pivot, or dive off my center point just before some unprecedented attack comes at me? An ability? her mind began to reel in search for some kind of way to make sense of her world that had quite literally been turned on its head. She swallowed hard. Sweat threatened to bead upon a sun-kissed forehead without any help from Syna's glow.

If they're aware of abilities that means I'm not the only one. There are others, but what does that mean? Bladed boots trekked tirelessly along the path to the north with the wall to her left shoulder. Will they see us as a threat? Will they hunt us? What if they find me before Spring when the ice melts and the harbor is clear to set sail for Falyndar? A sullen laugh escaped her lips at the idea. She shook her head. Ah, what an ironic ending. Myrian girl gets lost among the barbarians. Goes through more than her fair volume of shyke to reach the eastern shore of the Suvan Sea in an epic quest for her homeland spanning a few years. Gutted by tall, blue patriarchs for developing some heightened instinct right there at the home stretch. Poetic. She unscrewed the cap to the wineskin that hung loosely across her torso and tipped it to her lips. The sour Bluevein Topaz trickled down her throat in a reassuring stream that almost made her bubbling anxiety go away. It was only when she broke alone into the northern woods that the pressing dilemmas in her head were forced to the back.

There were no trees to create that beautiful veil above where Syna leaked skillfully through the green leaves in a golden glow. Instead there hung skeletons of growing seasons long past. Twisted fingers sprouted from branches to reach for the partly clouded sun as if the Goddess possessed the fountain to renew their gorgeous, green youth. They scratched against one another like the warring antlers of heated bucks each time Morwen blew through with her wintry breath. The grass beneath her boots crunched thanks to their sheaths of frost. All was so tranquil and still she felt intrusive for having entered at all. The Myrian knew better. Eyes on the forest, not on the trees. Amber eyes obeyed and scanned the world about, skeptical of each quivering bush and space hidden behind the back of tree trunks. She took one more swig of wine before capping the container and letting it drop to her side. Her other arms secured itself through the open loop of her backpack to that it fit right against her backside. The spear guided her path with the mysterious darksteel head that had been gifted to her long ago in Taloba. Now and then it swiveled left, then right for the sake of caution. Yet nothing surprised her just yet.

But there!

Wild eyes dipped down as she prowled to spy depressions in the hardened ground. No later she had fallen into a crouch over the markings, one hand coming off the shaft of the spear to explore the patterns. Circular and deep. Hooves, maybe. Must be heavy. Much heavier than the average deer. The ground is cold but this spot in the mud isn't hard yet. Fresh? She pursed her lips and let her eyes wander up from the tracks to scout their direction. Before her spanned a forest of trees and brush mostly stripped of their leaves she would expect an animal to graze upon. The Myrian rose but only high enough to reach a predatory stalk as she did her best to advance quietly. She followed along the tracks deeper into the wintry wood's embrace. One foot before the other, heel-to-toe, heel-to-toe. For several chimes she continued on, breath shooting out from her lips into a cold spray of mist that disappeared as soon as it manifested. Then she finally heard it. Snuffling. The savage all but threw her back against the nearest tree trunk and peered around its side. Sure enough, she could just make out the tops of curled horns through the mess of thickets up ahead.

The animal was massive, that much she'd guessed right. It snorted in frustration, hooves kicking away at a thin layer of frost covering the desired grass the beast coveted. The savage left her cover and stalked forth. Slowly she began to raise her spear. Closer...just a little closer and...

Snap!

A large twig beneath her boot snapped like a small spine thunderously in comparison to the dead-like state of the forest. The large beast raised its head, blinked its beady black eyes, and ducked back down to continue its grazing. The Myrian looked down at her traitorous foot and then back at the careless animal with its back to its ruthless hunter. She furrowed her brow and wandered closer. Once she'd emerged around the thickets at its exposed rear, she raised the spear for a solid throw. The beast turned its head to see what the silly two-legged creature behind it was up to, and quickly lost interest in favor of its grassy dish. Dammit! The woman lowered her spear, lip curling in spite. She was close enough to practically reach way over and pet the damned animal. What sport was it to kill a creature that hardly comprehended its own peril? A flurry of heinous Myrian curses were spat beneath her breath. The day was young. There were plenty of other animals that surely needed to feed in the open. If not, she could always return to look for the dumb water buffalo-looking thing anyhow.

With a sigh she backed away from the animal, turned, and kicked a section of thick underbrush out of spite. The four-legged beast whipped its head around and stomped its foot at that nervously. The Myrian pivoted to see the reaction, laughing aloud at the sight.
"Hah! Of all things that's the one that gets your panties in a bunch?" she mocked the animal in her native tongue, gesturing crudely with a passive wave of her hand in its general direction. Yet then that stupid sensation came. Hunted! some primitive part of her brain howled with a rush of adrenaline that seemed married to it. The area of underbrush she foolhardily struck gave a vicious snarl. Her eyes went wide, body turned to square to the noise and present her weapon, but her back-pedaling heels caught on a curl of thickets that dragged her backward onto her rear. Shyke!

A pair of feline eyes glared at her from the underbrush and the next furious snarl sent the hooved creature careening in a panic in the opposite direction. Kaie hustled backward on hands and feet as the Night Lion emerged in all of its black-maned glory. Yet as it slunk from its daily resting place it appeared to be very much alone. No lionesses awoke to its aid in the ticks that followed. It was smaller than the one she'd seen years ago when she traversed the Sea of Grass with her father and their Drykas guides. Perhaps it was a male cast out of its pack once it had phased out of cub-hood. Unfortunately, Kaie couldn't be bothered with whatever sob story the predator had to tell. The warning of imminent danger was overwhelming her senses. All the time she had between the tick the Night Lion exposed its collection of pointed fangs and the tick it advanced, was to somehow find her feet and give a warning jab with her spear accompanied by her own savage snarl.


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Kaie
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