[The Wildlands] Capturing Normal Or Trying To (Abashai)

The first day of a reunion and sometimes the most awkard.

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While Sylira is by far the most civilized region of Mizahar, countless surprises and encounters await the traveler in its rural wilderness. Called the Wildlands, Syliran's wilderness is comprised of gradual rolling hills in the south that become deep wilderness in the north. Ruins abound throughout the wildlands, and only the well-marked roads are safe.

[The Wildlands] Capturing Normal Or Trying To (Abashai)

Postby Nya Winters on July 16th, 2016, 2:13 pm

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21st Day Of Summer, 516 AV

The Tower was in ruins and there was nothing Nya could truly do about it. She knew she'd told Abashai about her beautiful home growing up more than once, but this place was not that place. She was ashamed that most of the upper story was ruined as if ravaged by winds that carried stones or something worse in their midst. Had she been here when the storm had happened maybe she could have helped. But something told her it wasn't a normal storm and wasn't something even a Stormwarden should have been out in.

They hadn't talked after the initial coming together. She'd made him up a room - one that hadn't been ruined - and let him get settled in. That had been her way of inviting him to stay. She'd slept as a Forest Cat on the kitchen hearth, stretched out roughly the size of a horse where no horse should have belonged. Luckily she wasn't the first large kelvic that had inhabited these walls and the rooms and even the kitchen itself was built to accommodate such things.

Nya worried. She knew Shai worried as well. They didn't know how to talk to one another. On her part she had no idea how to act around him. He made her nervous in a way that he'd never done before. She'd felt that way in town as well, around strangers and folks she'd known all her life. It was why she'd left Syliras. There had been too many people and it had been too big. Nya sometimes woke screaming when she was more woman than cat. The cat would sooth her and take her out into the forest to feel better. Sometimes the images that caused her to scream were endless faceless guards hurting her. Sometimes they were of the moment when Abashai had willingly broken two of their three bonds. And sometimes she just woke up drenched in sweat, hating someone who was already dead.

The Forest Cat had no idea that what was done to her and to her mate was done in the name of Rhysol. She also had no idea that Rhysol had permanently left his taint on Abashai. She'd not seen him bare skinned since their time in the prison, and certainly not that day she'd been dragged way to be cast out into the Institute cages to be sold to whomever wanted her. Shai had a far more in depth understanding of that. While she was just trying to survive, Rhysol's followers were busy honing Abashai into a new sort of weapon, one they could use without fear of his conditioning failing.

Nya remembered that hard man, the one that would have slit the throat of a child upon command. He'd eased up and gotten better - not softer - on the trip south as they had escaped and fled Ravok. But he hadn't let her in close and they certainly hadn't gotten to know each other once more. They had focused on the child, getting to safety, and surviving.

Now there was time and space. Now she could really look at him and find out for herself what he had become. The woman knew he wasn't the same. Even the cat knew. But she didn't know if what he was now was something she could tolerate. And she hated that once they'd retired to bed she'd wanted to join him, slipping between the pile of warm blankets to curl at his back. She even hated that she wanted even now to taste his lips and slide her hands across his body to feel the solid reality that was him.

Once, they'd had passion and vows. Shai had loved her deeply with his whole being and that was reflected in their bonds, in the sex they'd shared, and even when he'd given her a child that had ultimately become their sacrifice. She wondered, lying awake wearing her cat shape with her green slitted eyes staring unblinking into the fire, if she could even tolerate his solid form covering her more delicate human one. She wondered if she could even stand to feel his body slide into hers and join them together. Once she'd loved that sensation, craved it, and invoked it in him whenever she could. Bonds were good for more than just knowing what your bondmate was feeling. They were plenty good for flooding your bondmate with lust.

But now... she felt dirty, tainted, and thrown away. Her body had serviced countless - many of those in front of him - and they'd called her names that had stuck in her psyche. Her pride had crumbled to nothing and sometimes she thought it had been left there on that cold prison floor where they'd chained her so tightly that her hand could barely pass between her neck and the icy stone floor. Even now Nya couldn't stand to be on her knees because flashbacks would come of countless nameless men covering her, using her, holding her hips still while they knelt between her splayed knees grunting out their pleasure and emptying it into her body.

She rose and washed, something that was necessary after thoughts like she was having. Nya scrubbed until her skin was raw and then finally dressed in loose clothing. She had to get out, to hunt, maybe bring in some meat for the meals. She grabbed her bag of homemade snares, a hand axe, and left barefooted. As an after thought she called out into the early morning air of the silent tower "I'm going hunting!"

The forest cat left post haste in her human form at a light jog. The woods beckoned and called to her to leave the stony confines and all her too deep thoughts.
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[The Wildlands] Capturing Normal Or Trying To (Abashai)

Postby Abashai on July 18th, 2016, 2:24 pm

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Nighttime was the worst. Sunlight, color, the warmth of the sun and the sounds of birds seemed to abate the darkness. But when the inky cloud of night hid those sights, stole that heat and silenced those creatures, Abashai fought himself.

He had lain upon the bed Nya had made up, a pale shaft of moonlight seeping through a window not much more than an arrow slit. His torso was bare, his body a testament to the internal contradiction that plagued him. Etched upon his back by a divine messenger were the ink-like wings of Yahal, reserved for those of whom the Holy One had taken note. In a most unlikely dichotomy, upon his neck, behind his ear, the skin was marred by the crimson scar of Rhysol's touch. His Cheva mark with Nya had once graced that span of flesh, destroyed by the Evil One. A tattooed brand betrayed his loyalty to House Salvatrice and the cruel mistress who's hell hound he became. Finally, there was the lakun mark, memorializing the destruction of the only thing that had come to matter in his life. In Abashai's flesh was embedded a tragic tale, and nearly every night, it played out again.

He despised the Defiler. He and Nya had been used by gods for lifetimes. But what Rhysol had done was utter in its ruinous effects, crushing the efforts of both the other denizens of the Ukalas and of the two mortals themselves. What was worse was that the Lord of Lies and his minions had left a dark stain upon the desert man's soul. It was a vile thing, a burning ember that still sought to do violence, to take what he wanted, to satisfy lusts. It loved to bring forth the memories of the prison and all the things, the crimes, he had done in the name of Kialandra and her lords. Sometimes, they were images of Nya, used, abused over and over, cruel and obscene. The Benshiran's soul would twist in despair, as the darkness that was part of him slavered like a dog in heat at the memories. Abashai fought it like a man fights to keep a pack of wolves at bay. The Benshiran drew heavily on the Ennervism of Yahal to guard against it, but in the end, if his will gave way, the darkness could leap upon him and sink its teeth into him.

Shai had turned again to Yahal, craving cleansing, a purification from the God of Purity. It was true, strength and encouragement came to his spirit, a blessing from the deity, he believed. But for reasons beyond his understanding, the crescent-shaped mark of the Betrayer remained, as did the hidden desires.

Sunlight crept into the stone block room, part of it made up of the curved outer wall of the tower. At the first hint of dawn, Abashai awoke from a sleep more sound than he could remember. Perhaps seeing Nya again, alive and healthy, silenced much of the lies that plagued his slumber. To see her, to touch her, had ignited an energy. The Benshiran rose from the bed and stretched corded muscles. He stalked to the window and looked out as the sun began to burn the mist from the forest canopy. He inhaled deeply, as if the fresh breath could dispel the lingering hauntings of the past.

Surveying the room, one of a few to survive above the first floor, had a sizeable crack snaking through one stone block wall, ceiling to floor. The pads of his feet scuffed the plank floor as Abashai moved to the wall, reaching out a hand to touch the dark line. Crystalline eyes slid shut as he summoned the djed, coaxing the res as a thick substance in the palm of his hand. It began to ooze into the crack, rising towards the ceiling and down towards the floor. In his mind, he envisioned the viscous material seeping deep into the thin crevice, between the blocks, sealing the marring as it went. The cleaving together of the stone stopped at the floor, and rose to within a foot of the ceiling when Abashai felt the twinge at his temples, the heralding of the limit of his powers. Eyes opened and his hand slid from the wall, a deep breath taken. The crack had been sealed for the most part as it ran through the room, a small repair but perhaps enough to help keep what was left standing. If he stayed, Abashai could help Nya maintain Lormar, even rebuild if it was their will. But there was a rebuilding that was far more important to him.

As he donned his clothing, he sensed Nya moving about, recognizing the woman's spark as she shed her feline form at dawn. He heard her call out, and moved to the window to see her moved into the forest, along the cat's path. Hunting and trapping had been one of their favorite things to do together. For a moment, Abashai debated. It was a difficult situation. How do you reconnect with someone who is both your soul mate and a stranger? How can you behave normally when both are haunted by deeds unforgivable? But Abashai would not be dissuaded. He would not leave her again, unless it was her true wish.

Finishing his dressing, Abashai gathered his sword and his bow and quiver and a small pack quickly filled. He exited the tower swiftly and followed the path in the direction Nya had gone. He reached out to her, testing again the Unity. "I am coming too." He thought in the open awareness of his mind.
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[The Wildlands] Capturing Normal Or Trying To (Abashai)

Postby Nya Winters on July 20th, 2016, 5:38 am

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There was no longer a bond between them save the Unity that linked them, binding his life to hers and hers to his. He would live far shorter of a life and she would live far longer of one because their hearts were as one. Nya knew it felt right as she paused on the trail and waited for him. There were tendrils of power that surrounded him, invisible, but she could feel them. She imagined they surrounded her too. And when the two of them stood close, those tendrils blended, trying to bind them back together. He was all her missing pieces and the time they had spent apart had proven that to her. Yet more proof was that he was here, having come all that way, looking for her and too stubborn to leave.

Nya stared at him as he approached. So handsome. So proud. And yet the hardness barely concealed the brokenness. It made her angry. To cover the rage she offered him a smile as she turned and matched pace with him. They continued down the trail. Hunting. It was something Nya loved to do. Only, in the hear and how, it was barely enough. This sort of game didn't satisfy her any longer. She was harder, ruthless even, stripped of the innocence and rebuilt into something more destructive.

He could feel all these things in her. Her admiration of him and his beauty, pride and strength. The anger was there too, a deep seeded rage that barely banked itself day to day. And he could feel the restlessness.

She paused periodically to set a snare. Snares were best left along trails rabbits made, draped along holes in and out of the woods to access the trail she'd worn in the woods during her patrols. The lines needed to be bound to something sturdy and the loops left just small enough and concealed enough, that they would slip around a rabbits neck and break it in the frantic struggle that ensued. Maybe they'd have fresh meat when they walked back this way, checking the snares bells later.

Nya said nothing for a long while, keeping pace with Abashai and scanning for fresh game. Shai had his bow so Nya sniffed the air, searching for deer, but so far there was nothing. The Kelvic tried to read the sign, looking for fresh scat and the tell-tale signs of deer having crossed the trail or used it. There were no tracks other than the clear scent of a porcupine having ambled down the trail most likely in the early morning hours.

"I've missed you."
She said after a while, pausing to investigate where the clear scent of a black bear crossed the trail. It hadn't bothered using her path. Instead it rambled by and made its own, preoccupied with its intended course.

"There's rabbits, porcupine, and a black bear. I see no deer here. I was hoping for fresh venison."
Nya said, changing the subject almost instantly. Her olive branches were more mythical when extended than real. "What do you think? Do we look further out? Yesterday the wood was teaming with them." She said, knowing if she hunted venison herself she'd have to change forms.

Nya broke her careful walk and turned it into a light jog. She was sheer footed and confident in the woods. She was even more confident now that her companion was with her. The running felt good. Her muscles warmed and she loosened up and a lot of the tension began to leave her body. She concentrated on her breathing and lengthened her stride so that she was pacing Shai's longer legs easily. He was fit too. They'd traveled like this before - before they had a child with them - and they'd traveled as cat and man as well.

The Kelvic had the urge to travel like that further, not turn back to the ruined tower were she no longer felt at home. The urge to move, to finish what they had barely started before their lives were interrupted was strong. She turned to Shai as they jogged lightly, breathing easily, and told him as much.

"There's so much we need to finish. Do you feel it? We got sidetracked. We got punished. But I feel like settling down, staying here, is wrong. I felt it before... when I was alone. But now that you are here it's even worse. It's... so strong." She said before flinging out her hand and halting him with a slim arm across his chest. She drank in the scent and tossed her head to the right.

"Deer... close. Over there..." She gestured and Abashai could suddenly see the buck with his small harem of three does standing in the wood silently watching them. His tail was up and flickering, signaling the does that there was danger.
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[The Wildlands] Capturing Normal Or Trying To (Abashai)

Postby Abashai on July 20th, 2016, 1:16 pm

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Abashai caught up with Nya, who had paused to wait for him. Already, she looked more at ease than when she did in the tower the day before. Certainly much of that was that the Kelvic was in her natural environment. Even in the form of the woman, Nya seemed more a part of the forest than she ever did in a stone dwelling. The unique brindle pattern of her long, thick hair mirrored the dappling of light and shadow upon the forest floor as beams of sunlight penetrated the canopy of leaves overhead. Her eyes, a mossy green, complemented the bright colors of the woodland foliage. She was always more beautiful in the bosom of the wood, for the magnificent predator shone through outdoors. Even Nya's posture was more poised and assured as she awaited the Benshiran upon her cat's path. And the smile that flickered upon her lips was the first he had seen in years.

As they proceeded side by side further into the forest, Abashai tuned into the woman beside him. They were broken, struggling to shove a round peg into a square hole, shapes they had not chosen. But the peg was a little less round, the hole a little less square than the day before. It took a moment to find her awareness, as a sea captain's spy glass comes into focus, so Nya's being became clear. They still shared those vestigal sentiments, the appreciation of physical beauty that had helped to draw them together and the admiration of personal qualities that spared them each from utter mental destruction. But the taste of Unity only brushed the surface, hinting at anger in her heart. Anger at him? No, anger at them, for what they had done. Abashai felt the stoic bitterness, like a callous over tender flesh, and sighed inside. Seeing her hardness only made him more aware of his own, defenses they had formed, scars that kept emotional wounds from killing them, but leaving a dangerous seal over the optimistic vision they once embraced together.

As Nya remained diligent, employing heightened senses to seek prey, Abashai helped her set the snares, just like she had taught him the first day they had met. He acknowledged Nya's curt comment with an agreeing glance, followed by a nod. His glance would confirm that he equally missed her. "Fresh rabbit would be more welcomed than another meal of broth and salty dry meat." He conceded. The stew from the night before had seemed to bring vigor to his weary body, and the possibility of another home-cooked meal made him salivate involuntarily.

It was equally enervating to be in the hills again with Nya, moving swiftly through the forest. Abashai had learned how to quiet himself as they hunted, to keep from scaring off the cat's quarry. His gear strapped close to his body, khopesh held against his back along with the quiver, a rag stuffed in against the arrows to keep them from rattling. He had nothing to cover his scent, as they had done in the past, so he was not surprised that prey was not readily appearing.

As Nya revealed her thoughts, the Benshiran nodded again. She too, was restless. Abashai had not lighted upon any home since their separation. It was why he had left Micah behind with family. The stone walls of Yahebah were like a prison, and, much like his first venture from the dunes and rocks of Eyktol some seven years earlier, the Benshiran only knew that he had to find something, to do something. He knew it was Nya he had to find, and would not cease until he had. But now, with the Kelvic at his side again, the restlessness persisted. They had left much undone indeed, and in the dark musings of his soul, another purpose was stirring, one not inspired by the gods, or even by the memories of those pre-Valterrian lives. One that, ironically, found genesis in both the hard killer their enemies had created, and the soul that sought to please a god who purges corruption.

The light brush of her arm against him silenced the words on his tongue. She had spotted game. His eyes darted from Nya's to the direction she indicated, revealing the deer. slowly, instinctively he crouched, drawing an arrow from the quiver and nocking it to the bow. The weapon remained horizontal, to conceal its movement. He did not have much time, the buck already alerted to the presence of predators. There was a soft creak of wood as Abashai drew back the string and aimed the razor-edged arrow head at one of the does. Though the buck was stunning, it would be unwise to take him and leave the does in his territory without a means to breed in the coming season, should another male not find them.

Breath held in his chest, Shai drew a quick aim, lead for the light breeze and released the string. The arrow struck through her rib cage off aim, below the heart, depriving it of an instant death. All four harts vaulted into the woods, and Abashai launched after it, counting on Nya to help him track the bleeding animal so they could find it when it finally fell. As they followed the fleeing doe's path, Abashai answered Nya.

"Yes, I feel it too. I thought finding you would satisfy it, and to a great degree it has. I feel a completeness, a wholeness with you I have not known for so long. I have missed you, more than you know. But together, there is more to be done. Yet, I am not sure it is the same purpose we had been pursuing...before." His blue-green gaze turned to Nya. "I think there is something else, something that will serve us, and not another's will." He paused as they sought evidence of the doe's route then continued after her.
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[The Wildlands] Capturing Normal Or Trying To (Abashai)

Postby Nya Winters on July 21st, 2016, 10:02 pm

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Nya stood stoic next to Shai as he drew his bow and let the arrow fly. She quivered with anticipation of the hunt as the arrow found its mark. Her heart rate increased. Her blood pressure rose. The Kelvic inhaled deeply with all her senses on high alert even as Abashai slowly released his breath and the tension on the bow. Her muscles had tensed as he picked his target, but she knew deep down that he wouldn’t kill the male. He chose instead a fat female and tried for her heart. He was off, but that didn’t stop Nya from launching herself forward.

She moved slowly but steadily, confident the deer would not get away.

The Benshira warrior kept pace as the Forest Cat wove between trees following the trail of blood and fresh sign of broken ferns, flowers, and small brush. Gods it felt good. Her mouth was salivating and her body was humming with the arousal of the chase. She wove through trees, leaped down logs, and darted around a small bog the doe had crashed straight through. The doe was running for her life. The forest cat and her benshira companion was simply trailing along behind waiting for the inevitable.

Shai’s words reached her as they gave chase together. He was speaking so frankly, so openly, that Nya turned and was caught up in his gaze momentarily even as they moved shoulder to shoulder. Her lips were open as she dragged in air, both breathing and drinking in the scents of the forest at the same time. She was frozen in his gaze for a time, almost hesitating, wanting to say something and yet unable too. Some things were beyond words. The hunt though, the hunt was now, real, tangible and something she wasn’t going to let go.

She nodded opting to say nothing at the moment, jumped one more log, and halted as the vista beyond revealed itself. The doe stood panting in front of them in a small clearing next to a stream, head down, swaying on her feet. The fatally wounded creature was moments from going down.

Nya drew her knife and attacked, launching herself at the doe who hardly had any blood or fight left in her. Shai could feel the need to do so building in her as they hunted. The Kelvic pounced on the doe as if forgetting she wasn’t in her cat form, and all but mounted her like a horse, wrapping one arm around her neck and the other drawing the blade viciously across the does neck. The animal dropped to its front knees even before Nya’s knife had taken its first bite and then slowly crashed over onto her side, gasping her last gurgling breath as she died beneath the Kelvic’s blade.

It wasn't normal Nya behavior. It was ruthless, vicious, and instinct driven.

Nya was infused with bloodlust. Hunger roared in her. She’d not eaten breakfast and the stew on the hearth had went for their evening meal the night before when Shai had appeared. This was a new side of Nya... a ruthless side.

The Kelvic went over gracefully with the doe, rolling into her fall and came up to where she buried her face in the animal’s neck, clamping down with her teeth. To an onlooker who was uninformed, it would seem Nya crazy. To Shai watching, her actions made perfect sense. Felines, especially big cats, tended to follow their prey down and crush their wind pipes or strangle their prey with powerful jaws. Nya neither had the strength or the physical force in her human form, but she was still infused with instinct. He could feel the lust to kill for food filling Nya and her intention to not let the doe up.

Hot salty metallic blood flooded Nya’s mouth and she drank deeply, ripping at the flesh of the wound to open it up further as she lay pinning the doe down. It was so good. So pleasurable. Shai could feel through their bond how good it tasted. Nya's whole body lit up with the excitement of it. Blunt human teeth tore at the wound, taking mouthfuls of soft throat meat and swallowing it raw. The sensation was so good, so arousing, so absolutely satisfying that when the doe twitched her last, Nya rolled off of her and gazed around her looking for more fight. She wasn't done fighting. She wasn't done feeling pleasure.

The carcass of the deer was forgotten a moment.

The only moving target was the man. Tall, powerful, beautiful even… he was worthy of her and she needed him in that moment. Nya wanted things from him she couldn’t vocalize. Blood covered her mouth and lips, splashed out across her chest, and gave her green eyes an almost glowing feral look. There was a dangerous hunger in her gaze and it roared to life within her and flooded him through their Unity link. It wasn't a hunger for food. It was instead a complex hunger, one for bonds and sex and long lost emotions the cat missed with all her heart.

Nya dropped the knife leaving it forgotten on the forest floor.

She snarled at Abashai and launched herself at him, absolutely feral for a moment as she hoped to catch him off guard and knock him on his back to straddle him. The Kelvic dug her hands into his shoulders and straddled his torso. She pinned him to the forest floor and leaned over his big form, her bloody hair tracing red lines on his worn hunting clothes like some mysterious ancient writing. She snarled again and leaned over him, her eyes locking with him, her humanity utterly gone. The Nya he had first met outside of Syliras had ample loads of humanity but Ravok had beaten it out of her. This was something darker, more deadly, and decidedly in the know as to what was wanted.

She snarled and leaned closer, running a rough human tongue across his face, lingering on his lips. Her eyes were blazing with her arousal, the girl torn between the bloodlust to hunt and the bodylust to mate. Nya met his gaze and flashed her teeth again, growling, almost challenging him. The meat was hers. Her kill. He was hers. Her mate. He could be her kill, but she didn’t want his death. She wanted something more from him. Emotions flooded him, all hers, as he felt the tendrils of their kelvic bond swirl across their bound forms again.

She reached down and clamped her teeth on his neck, trying to hold him still as she wiggled for a better position straddling him. Her hips bumped his, rolled, and fitted against him. Nya snarled, releasing her grip on his neck with her teeth to do so.

"Mine."

Nya said the words again but contradicted herself as she shook her head, fighting the instincts that were claiming her. The woman and the cat were obviously in competition for what they both wanted. It was perhaps too early for her to be a stable hunting partner. It was probably to early for her to kill in the presence of others as well. Evidence was clear in her loss of control.

She reached down and tore at his shirt with her clawless hands, acting though as if she indeed had claws. His shirt was thin, worn, and tore easily giving her access to his chest. The kelvic then licked him from his belt to his throat, dragging a bloody line up his chest and then scrubbing at it with her tongue as she groaned. She rubbed her face against his chest... first one cheek then the other. He smelled like home. He smelled like hers. She wanted that smell all over her.

Slowly Nya lifted her head.

She met his gaze again, and tipped her head back and roared. It wasn’t an impressive Forest Cat roar, like what could have come out of her kelvic body, but it still reflected her inner conflict in her smaller human voice.

“Mine. The meat is mine. You are mine. Both mine.” She said, her eyes blazing possessively. The bond of Unity burned between them and the echoes of two other bonds roared to life. The kelvic bond was the strongest and in a way the cat was forcing it, forcing him, wanting him in a way that would solidify him as hers once more. He could fight it. He could refuse it. She wanted it in a way a predator wanted the heart of her prey and in so many ways it was wrong. It wasn’t an equality thing. It wasn’t a need to become one. She wanted to own him, own them, and call the shots as the dominant one.

Her actions didn't hold the respect they should naturally have for him. Instead it was a darker thing, devoid of equality. It was more sign of damage and more sign of her lack of faith in humanity itself.

Nya reached down and pawed at his belt, cat-like, trying to open it and expose the rest of his body to her eyes. The Kelvic was frantic for him and it wasn’t exactly healthy. She leaned over him again, bit at his lakun mark and then trailed her way north, forcing his hair back and his head to the side so she could nip at where his cheva mark with her had been. When her tongue brushed over the raised mark of his Rhysol Gnosis, she hissed and froze, her teeth exposed as she lifted her head and stared at the mark… frozen above him, still holding him to the ground.

Shai had as much blood on him now as Nya did. There were bloody lip prints on the gnosis mark and she blinked, not understanding what it was.

Nya didn’t know what she was seeing, but the mark itself filled her with dread. It was like cold water on her arousal and her emotions shut off immediately, holding herself absolutely still above him, still straddling his form. He was bigger and stronger than her in her human form. He could talk to her gently, soft, maybe even coaxingly. He could throw her off easily. He could give into her needs and bond with her as she demanded. He could even roll her beneath him and enjoy her body since she seemed to be demanding as much. Her emotions were frozen, locked up inside her head again as she kept staring at his neck and the mark etched on it.

"Shai...." She growled, her voice barely human.

"What is that?" The forest cat demanded, her whole body suddenly shuddering above him. It wasn't from pleasure. It was from fear.
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Nya Winters
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[The Wildlands] Capturing Normal Or Trying To (Abashai)

Postby Abashai on July 22nd, 2016, 1:55 pm

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Abashai could feel her. The forest cat had been a powerful presence since he had arrived. The Benshiran knew that it was her that had kept Nya. A strong will to survive compelled the primal creature to escape to Lormar, to remove the woman from any vestige of civilization and the painful reminders of the horrors of Ravok and the life stolen from her. Certainly, the forest cat had saved her. But like any crude effort to mend grievous wounds in the field, There was much scarring. Deeper injuries would still require time to recover, and even then, like an unset bone heals crooked, things may never be as they were before.

Still, the familiar rub of that primal hunter's instinct licked at Abashai, as it had once upon a time. He followed Nya as the predator took over, tracking the wounded prey. He knew Nya heard him, felt the meaning sink into her. But the forest cat was reveling in the chase, and to feel her strong focus and joy in the hunt in the absence of the pain and uncertainty of the woman pleased her former mate.

Swiftly, Nya lead them to the weakening doe. She had run as far as she could until the loss of blood had taken its toll. It was unusual for them to hunt as they were that day. It was the cat doing the hunting, but in the mien of the woman. So it was momentarily startling to see Nya leap upon the failing deer, just as the cat would pounce. The knife blade was her claws, rending open the animal's throat to quickly end its life. The cord of Unity flooded with the overpowering instinct of the cat. Her hunger was urgent and strong, rendering the human form into the visage of a madwoman. But Abashai was not disturbed. The woman he saw and the cat that had her gnawing on the warm, bloody meat were one and the same. He loved the one, and respected the other.

The hunter stood his ground, but tarried as Nya rent at the fresh kill, experiencing her joy through the cord between them. She was lost in the pleasure of the kill, of the feasting and as carnal and animalistic as it was, Abashai was pleased to experience her primal fulfillment. He felt the hunt-lust not wane with the slaking of her blood thirst. It stoked her primeval nature, ringing powerfully through her being as she rose from the carcass, blood smeared and wild-eyed. Abashai knew Nya was not satiated, that other needs were now ignited, as if the bringing down of the deer had unleashed hungers long denied. Those needs growled powerfully in her awareness, flooding the widening channel linking them. The piercing gaze lanced at him, the beauty of the woman now painted with crimson spatters and blood-matted mane. She was intent upon him. The deer had fed her need for food, Nya stalked him now to satsify the manifold desires the forest cat craved.

The Benshiran had proved himself worthy of her before, having to endure her harsh test as any male cat would in order to mate with her, to impregnate Nya. But he did not expect the sudden assault. With stunning speed, she was upon him. The blade was abandoned as she curtailed the need to kill in favor of feeding the other burning wants. Abashai did not strike back at Nya, allowing the bow to fall from his hands as he was forced to the forest floor by weight of the woman on his chest.

HIs hands pressed against her shoulders and chest, not forcing her back, but ready to throw her should the feral instinct turn deadly. The feel of her tongue was almost welcomed. Had it been the rough tongue of the predator, it would have been more painful, for it was designed to peel the remaining shreds of flesh from bone. His teeth grit and his clear, crystal gaze remained hard and fixed upon Nya's. As fervently as she claimed his flesh with her tongue, the man swam in the outpouring of emotions that cascaded through the Unity lke a breached dam. It was nearly more than he could bear, for their connection, and the emptiness of the other bonds reached back as Kelvic's magic again curled around the pair. Love, lust, magic, history, primal want and human sentiment crashed back and forth like a raging sea beating against the rocks of the shore. But it was the cat's voice that rang out spoken and unpsoken, claiming what had been taken from her and the woman.

Dangerously, the animal lashed out, striving to handle the explosion of instinct and emotion. Her bloodied teeth gnashed threateningly, her feminine throat trying to chuff and growl the throaty sentiment of the beast. Abashai grunted beneath her, struggling not to become lost in the overwhelming wash of the cat's raw claims. It had happened over their time together, nearly as much as she became more human, Abashai was drawn into the instincts of the forest cat. But now, the cat was harder, fiercer than ever, and it appealed to that dark killer still hiding in the former Ravokian thug.

As the cat sought to claim him, her teeth clamped on his neck, her lean but strong arms straining to hold him, Abashai ignored the pain, battling his own conflicting psyches. The cat was winning within Nya, and it was drawing out the volatile man within. His own desires flared as Nya ripped open his shirt, licked and pawed at his skin, ground her hips against his.

Nya growled her claim and dared anyone to deny her. Abashai felt the cat's greed, as an alpha staking claim to what was hers. It was not the claim of a lover, or even of a mate. it was the claiming of a possession. The meat was hers to eat, the man was hers to do with as she willed. The Benshiran reeled. The Kelvic bond licked at them, already making its own claim upon both of them. But it was not the same man she knew beneath her, and he fought a secret war within himself. Part of Abashai, the part that loved the woman, was willing to submit in the moment, if only to have her back.

But a voice rose defiantly within Abashai. He had been a woman's possession once. His spirit broken by her so that she could bend him to her wicked will. He killed for her, maimed and intimidated others for her, warmed her bed and pleasured her body at her whim and was bred with her like a stud animal to give her a son. But the compassionate man of love and the indignant man of faith faltered before the hard man that very woman had created, and he hissed with revolt and arousal. He threatened to lay hold of the smaller woman as she tugged at his belt, clawed and seethed for him, and roll atop of her, taking her like a female in heat, staking his own claim upon her as she writhed beneath him. Abashai growled back, his hands gripping at her upper arms as his voices argued a course of action. The man of reason held a thin control, and he allowed Nya to continue, to vent upon him.

Then, she stopped.

Abashai knew what she had found. The vile man of Ravok fell silent as the Abashai of old spoke. Her discovery, her pained question, silenced the lust-hungry man, the vengeful man and the man desperate to wrap the bonds around them once again. The Bensiran felt Nya's sudden confusion and fear. He looked up at her, a bloody mess, her thick mane a dishevelled tangle, sharp concern in her feline eyes.

"It was what he left on me." Abashai replied, his voice a bit husky, but low, an edge of bitterness tinging the words. "But he no longer owns me, nor do I dare use its power to do his will. I do not, nor will I ever serve him again." There was a truth to his words, yet, they would not be truly free of his reach until they could find a way to move beyond the wretched pain, to castrate the torment of the past. Until then, Rhysol won. And that sparked a revelation. Freedom from the bondage of Ravok's wounds, freedom from the pain of that utter destruction, freedom from that heavy yoke the memory of the terrors laid upon them, find that was their purpose now.

The Benshiran steeled himself, resisting the insistent bonds for the moment. Though he wanted to embrace that bond with Nya again, desperately, It was not right. Not then. The savage nature that gripped Nya would taint the bond. He would not submit to be a possession, not even of the woman he loved. Relunctantly, he would wait.

"If I could kill a god, I would kill him."
He snarled vengefully before falling silent. Shai studied Nya's gaze, uncertain of how she would take his answer, ready to defend himself if necessary, or to embrace her. Even then, the whisper of the Chaon spoke of the pleasures he could have if forced to overpower her.
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[The Wildlands] Capturing Normal Or Trying To (Abashai)

Postby Nya Winters on July 22nd, 2016, 9:20 pm

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The man whom she had pinned beneath her spoke and his words washed over her fear and caused the forest cat pause. Her ardor was cooled and her bloodlust gone. But there was a real and true warmth beneath her and indeed surrounding her since his arms gripped her shoulders just as her thighs gripped his pelvis. Green forest cat eyes and pale blue green Benshira eyes were locked onto each other. It was a moment, a profound moment, and the cat suddenly retreated. She didn’t go too far. She just stepped back and allowed the broken part her her forward, the woman, and that woman lifted her arms off the man’s shoulders and gently stroked long black locks of hair off the man’s face.

“I forget that you suffered. In my selfish pain, I forget the sacrifices you’ve made.” She said softly, brushing the hair off his neck again and really looking at the gnosis mark. Nya knew what it was. And in all reality the cat did too. Her features softened and her face looked utterly human in that moment. Strength came forward, true strength, not the bravo of the cat that was just so very afraid and hiding behind the growls and blood and the posturing that in the end did no good.

Nya trailed her hands across Shai’s face, brushing her thumbs across his cheeks where the marks had been inked when they’d first met. Her fingers found deeper lines around his eyes than she remembered him having and even reached up to toy with a single strand of silver in his dark mane. There was a gentleness there that flowed from her into him, a love that was deep and profound. He could feel her respect and gratitude and above all that her deep sorrow.

The quiet that infused her was thoughtful, balancing, and the most like her old self he’d seen yet of her since Ravok and beyond.

A rough forefinger stroked his lips and then cupped his chin, cradling it as if admiring the line of his jawbone and the neatly trimmed back beard there. “I’m so very sorry Shai. I’m sorry for this lifetime and the last and the ones that will come after we are dead in this time and place. But I am only sorry for the pain and the suffering. I am not sorry that we are together and that we seem to always find each other. We survive these things, this pain, because we are together.” She said softly and then bent down to kiss him gently.

Long slender fingers slipped into his hair, cushioning his head against the soft loam of the ground even as her lips played across his. Her touch was feather light, tentative, and exploratory. She tasted him once, twice, and then teased his mouth until he opened to her and she deepened the kiss. The part of her that was all cat purred even as the woman’s eyes filled and over spilled with tears.

She broke off the kiss only to speak again, drawing in a deep breath before she could do so. “I haven’t forgotten you. I haven’t forgotten us. I want that again. I think we can have that. But I know there is darkness in you. And I know there is true wildness in me. We are both so changed.” She said, trailing her hands across his face and gently tracing the gnosis mark on his neck hidden by his hairline. She looked thoughtful for a moment, pensive, and incredibly sad.

“I was so wrapped up in my own situation I never thought how it must have been for you. I blamed you because you were easy to blame even though I know that last day I saw you before we escaped Ravok… I know you thought you were doing what was best for us. It just hurt badly, Shai… when you rejected those bonds. No… rejected was the wrong word. I… I always knew you did it to protect me. To help us. I did know it. I just… anger was so much easier. I saw you as free, by her side, dressed proudly in your armor and doing her bidding while I was caged, sold, and then placed in a wealthy estate.” She took a deep breath, her hands trailing his throat now, stroking his shoulders, her eyes still meeting his gaze.

“I didn’t stop to think some cages are gilded and some freedoms are not what they seem. I broke my chains, shook off my collar, and ran. I left everything, even you, in Syliras. I was free from everything but memories and my duties to Zulrav. That mark… that’s not something you can ever shake off or get rid of. Not unless He wills it. You can’t leave it behind.”
Nya said, growling low in her throat. She was just starting to realize Abashai’s burdens and what he’d overcome.

Shai might have perhaps thought her incapable of forming whole sentences but she managed just fine. The cat was watchful and in the background, letting the woman speak. Their fragmentation was still unhealthy, but it was a step forward that the woman seemed willing to communicate. “I’m so…..sorry.” She said again, thoughtful, even as she blinked and ran her thumb over the mark again.

Nya spent a long time in deep thought. She didn’t care that Shai was still sprawled out on the forest floor with her sitting astride him. The kelvic even ignored the fallen deer not to far from them. She didn’t completely let her guard down though. Blood would attract other predators and they’d have to move sooner than later. But for now, her whole world focused down on him.

She leaned back then, shifted her weight, and urged Shai to sit up, folding his legs under him. Nya didn't want to be on top of him holding him down for what she said next. Instead she wiggled until they were both upright - her in his lap - facing each other as equals. Body language was important to the forest cat, so too was body position.

After a long while, once they were repositioned, she spoke. She never broke eye contact with him. She never stopped touching him.

“You will never be taken by surprise by them though. I never am by other Stormwardens. The marks call to each other and we always recognize like, no matter how powerful we each are. With it… you could… hunt them.” Her blood heated again and he could feel her excitement start to grow. “You could turn it around on Him and make it an instrument to ferret out his chosen from their hidden shadows and the lies of their lives. We could hunt them. Kill them. It would weaken him.” She said, running her hands down his chest and then spreading out her warm fingers.

“I want the bonds back, Shai. All of them. We are better together. We are stronger together.” She said, knowing what he was and what he could be. “I’m sorry She tries to force … no I try… to force things so stubbornly. Her reasoning is flawed, but she is trying to do the right thing.” Nya said, knowing Shai would understand that she spoke only of herself… of her fragmented psyche. Nya was the woman and the cat and so far neither was willing to merge again.

Not yet. She did not yet feel safe enough too.

“Think about it. Don’t answer now. Don’t decide now. Stay. We have a deer to butcher, dress, and put up.” It was a small step. It was a compromise. And she was still touching him flesh to flesh without flinching. The tendrils of the bond where there, always there, swirling around him, waiting for the invite, waiting to be accepted. That he had severed them once mattered not at all to her. Nya was done looking to the past. She wanted a future now more than ever.
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[The Wildlands] Capturing Normal Or Trying To (Abashai)

Postby Abashai on July 25th, 2016, 1:52 pm

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How distinct they had become, one from another. Abashai could see the cat relent, feel the primal urges wane as Nya's human psyche was given leave to approach. Never had Abashai recalled such profoud sentiment than what washed over his awareness as her emerald gaze softened, as affection and sorrow and love flowed through the Unity like a warm bath. As the feminine voice spoke tenderly, the man's hands slid from their defensive hold on her shoulders, to rest tentatively at his side, brushing Nya's knees as they laid against his hip.

The hard man hid in his shadows as the woman touched her former lover so tenderly. The trials and torments had matured the Kelvic, her words expressive and heartfelt. Abashai's chest felt the swell of emotion as the woman he had seen hide behind the forest cat showed herself. His eyes slid shut at the feel of her touch upon his travel-worn face, cherishing the contact. Shai forgot how much he had missed the physical connection, it had been so much a part of the feline Kelvic and a vital part of their relationship.

As Nya continued to speak, Abashai's eyes opened and caught her gaze, each reflecting back the crumbing of walls, the baring of souls, the genesis of their healing. Again, crystal eyes closed as the woman leaned down, pressing a kiss to his mouth. Shai welcomed it, parting his lips as Nya deepened it. Abashai drank in the kiss as if it were abrosia dripped from a goddess' chalice. And in that kiss was the perfect union of imperfection, a seal of love between damaged lovers bent on defying their wounds and their tormentors to build again that which was thought to be dead.

The only moment in which Abashai broke Nya's gaze was at the mention of that day, the day of his betrayal to her. It was a dreadfully familiar, sharp pain that lanced through his chest at the memory, a blade of guilt and shame that would never, ever be allowed to be sheathed. The moment was gratefully interrupted as Nya shifted her body, inviting Shai to sit up and join her on equal ground. He did, relishing the contact, his own hands slowly reaquainting themselves with Nya's lean physique, caressing her arms, brushing along her thighs, encircling her slim waist.

Gaze upon gaze again, Abashai marveled at the Kelvic's foresight. Yes, of course. There was a sharper glint in the man's eye as Nya unveiled her sudden thoughts. What perfect vengeance upon their enemy, and at the same time please his patron god by purging the land of the curse of the Chaons. Nya's eyes twinkled with the same rakish spark, her thrill at the thought of such a hunt echoed from Abashai's will. As her hands pressed to his chest, his own larger one' rose up to rest around her upper arms, corded with trim muscle and sinew. That was the purpose he sought, that was the work they would pursue.

Shai said nothing as Nya expressed herself so eloquently. As he looked upon her features, she was far from the girl he had met in the woods, who had appeared little more than a child then. She seemed to have aged more than a decade since that day, now a beautiful woman in spite of the ruggedness of her short time in that life. Their trials and torments had matured Nya in ways Abashai regretted, yet there she was, still able to forgive, still able to love. As he sat there facing her, holding her, he desired nothing more than to be one with her again, with her and the cat. Nya asked him to think about it, and he would. But as he found himself lost in her gaze, the tempting lick of bonds and love encompassing them, Abashai had already made his decision.

When she finally fell silent, Abashai held his tongue for a moment longer, searching the mossy orbs of her gaze, as if reading every word she has spoken in the brilliant green irises. His hand raised to lay against her cheek, his calloused thumb brushing her chin. "They had broken us, Nya, but they could not destroy us. I no longer want those days to keep us in bondage. You are right, we are not whole, yet. Yes, there is a darkness in me, and the cat is still wild. But they do not have to be at emnity with us. They can help us rid this world of Rhysol's wretched minions."

His hand slid up to comb through her thick mane before lowering to find Nya's mirror hand. He held it up so that he could press his palm against hers, lacing their fingers. Once, their palms had met like that as Nya poured her res into Abashai. "But hunting Chaon will not be that which truly joins us together." He laid their joined hands between them, holding her hand against his chest. "We will be whole again in every way, Nya." Abashai assured the Kelvic. "I have found you and I will not let you go again."

Their first Kelvic bond was taken with little fanfare, neither of them truly understanding the consequences. Abashai did want those bonds again, the Kelvic bond and to make a vow to Cheva again with Nya, more desperately than anything. But the significance of those unions were much greater, given what the couple had endured since those original bonds first formed. Those bonds deserved to be entered into with some reverence. Nya deserved more than a few words on the forest floor next to a deer carcass.

Releasing her hand, Abashai took Nya's face in his hands, leaning in to press his lips against hers. The kiss lingered, the pressure becoming firmer, deepening as Abashai sought to confirm his love and devotion. Then he withdrew, offering for the first time a true smile. "Let's field dress our kill and get her back to the tower." Gracefully, the desert warrior slid from Nya, pulling from his boot a sharp knife, its leather sheath none other than the embossed case Nya had made for him all those years ago.
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[The Wildlands] Capturing Normal Or Trying To (Abashai)

Postby Nya Winters on July 27th, 2016, 4:42 am

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She loved the feel of his hands on her. It was a sensation she missed and one Nya was surprised her body welcomed. He took her hands, holding them palm to palm, and she stared at the contrast. He was deeply golden, strong, while her flesh was pale, slender, and seemingly frail. Looks could be deceiving though. To Nya, the digits pressed together looked balanced… a lightness and a darkness fused together.

Abashai accepted her thoughts, but he had more to say. She nodded when he assured her that a common goal wasn’t good enough for him. She understood that. It truthfully wasn’t good enough for her either. But she smiled, the whole gesture seemingly foreign to her, at his next words. He affirmed what she said. He wanted what she wanted. He would never let her go. Their bonds were not complete. Nya sensed Abashai wanted more. And she understood that. HE was human with a humans desire for ritual. Her world was far simpler, but she’d please him if she could. Life was too short. Ravok proved that.

Then he kissed her again and a deep warm pleasure infused her. He was telling her things with his actions that he could not vocalize with his words. She felt like she was home… home in his lap, home in his arms, home with his lips on hers. And she protested slightly when he withdrew. Nya climbed from his lap, stretched, then moved to the deer.

She wrestled the arrow out of it, then rolled it to its back so that Abashai could gut it and expose the entrails. Nya waited while he did so, stripping when the delicious treats he would not eat were freed from the corpse. She switched forms and consumed the offal with a hunger that would be familiar to Shai. Nya was always hungry. She could eat around the clock and indeed if she did not she grew gaunt. It was something about her shapeshifting and her prowling that used up copious amounts of energy. She also did the favor of parting the deer’s legs from its body. She ate the muscles below the knees then crunched the bones in her cat form, enjoying the meal. She actually saved the hooves. They might need glue later.

Then, when Abashai was done with that, she returned to her human form and took over.

Nya wanted to skin the doe and did so carefully. She used her black dagger to trace around the doe’s neck and slice down its chest to where Shai had opened the body cavity up. Then she slit past the opening, up and around the tail, and carefully cut off where the legs had been removed. Then moving quickly she cut the connective tissue between the skin and the muscle beneath and began to pull. The hide slowly came off in one big section which she was able to roll inside out to protect. Once that was done, Nya stepped back and let Shai quarter the meat so they could take it back to the tower.

“We should let it hang a few days back at the tower, then divide it up. I say we dry a bunch of it. We need…. To start gathering supplies, Shai. I don’t want to stay at Lormar. I want to move on. I want to go find the Pearl across the sea.”
She said with a sudden urgency, turning and looking southwest. “Here doesn’t feel like the right place to be now that you are here with me. Here just felt like a rest, a break, somewhere to catch my breath. What about you? How do you feel about moving, traveling again?” Nya asked, helping him gather the meat to start the walk back to Lormar.
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[The Wildlands] Capturing Normal Or Trying To (Abashai)

Postby Abashai on August 1st, 2016, 2:56 pm

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It was a moment apart from time. It was, in essence, the culmination of a lengthy quest. It was true, Abashai had stumbled across Nya the day before, but that awkward meeting was not the fulfillment of the Benshiran's true goal. He physically found her then, but it was not until that moment upon the forest floor, when they touched, kissed, pressed against one another and spoke the truth of their hearts, that Abashai truly find the woman he had sought after for so long. But the victory of that accomplishment was outshined by the measure of what was still ahead of them. Once again, the Kelvic and the Benshiran were upon a path together, the bonds of the Kelvic and of love licking at them, eager for reunion.

Abashai could have languished there until evening, the pleasant weight of Nya's lean frame pressing upon him, tasting again of her, sharing the almost feline caresses they were once wont to regularly share. But Abashai's wisdom resonated with what he sensed in the forest cat. A fresh kill giving off the scent of blood. They were not the only predators in that wildnerness, and it was that which compelled Abashai to end their revelry and set them to the business of field dressing their kill.

With the short blade, the Benshiran breached the skin of the animal and slit the deer's throat to begin the draining of the blood. Then he slit open the animal from the neck along his belly to halt before its genitals. Abashai glanced sidelong as Nya disrobed, seeing herfeminine form, strong and healthy. Nya's fit form and more womanly curves was covered with even more scars than he remembered. But that did not bother the desert warrior. They told a story upon Nya's skin, many stories. Some quite painful. But they made the Kelvic what she was, and Abashai looked forward to tracing every battle scar with his fingers.

Then the swarm of pinpoint lights engufled the nude woman as she shifted, the massive brindled forest cat appearing when the lights faded. Abashai's admiring gaze lingered for a moment upon the majestic beast before he turned his attention from Nya to the kill, pulling apart the long gash he had made and beginning to pull out the various organs, cutting through the fascia tissue. The more savory organs were laid out for the cat, the less so, such as the gall bladder, tossed aside. Shai made space for the large predator as she clamped her maw around the hind legs, snapping them off and making short work of them as well. Most certainly, Nya could have eaten the entire doe in that form and still be hungry. But she was sharing with Shai now.

When Nya reappeared in her womanly form, Abashai gave her space to begin skinning and rough cutting the meat. She crouched and worked at the skin and meat in a manner both skilled and animal, her movements causing lean muscle to ripple along her legs, back and arms, their contour easy to define beneath her taut skin. Once she had butchered the carcass, they employed a few belts and straps and took up their load of meat to began the trek back to the tower. The Benshiran paused when Nya began to speak, clear eyes fixed upon her as she revealed her thought. He understood. As easy as it could have been for them to settle down there in the tower, where no one could bother them and they could live simply together, it was not their nature. They were stars set to wander, from place to place, from life to life. Contentment would not come by building some life of comfort. It came from being together, pursuing the next hunt.

The Najim Pearl. Abashai's brows furrowed for a moment at the memory. He remembered Bloodsink and the creature Lukas and the revelation from the Cube. The Pearl would be the first of Tallshade's lost creations of which they had a clue. The cryptic clue pointed to the bottom of the sea. Wherever that pearl lay, It would be the most far flung hunt they had ever undertook. A small smile graced his face. "I have been a traveller since I fled my city twenty years ago. I know no other life. Yes, I am ready to travel, even across the sea, if it is with you."

"Unfortunately, I have little in the way of supplies, as you have seen." Abashai had arrived with little more than his weapons, a backpack and a bedroll. "I had sold my horse and tack for funds to live off once I reached Sylira. I do have some of that still saved up, but we will need more to find passage on a ship." But together, they could begin to gather hides and meat to sell in Syliras and the outposts along the Kabrin.
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