Quest The New Colony

Azira, Kovac, and Sira

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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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The New Colony

Postby Emergence on September 23rd, 2016, 4:47 am

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14th Fall 516AV
Wind Reach

When the hunters and artisans of Wind Reach woke and began wandering the city for their meals and work they noticed a new bulletin scattered about the mountain. Posted everywhere; on the walls of the Inner Warrens, the food notice board in the Communal Kitchens, a wooden board erected in the Courtyard of the sky and on the inside of the Sanikas Gate. Whispers start arising through the common people and rumors are quick to develop.

Attention all able bodies of Wind Reach. The Valintar and the Tavin are seeking aid in an important mission for the good of the city. The quest is not currently at liberty to be announced to the public. Details will be given once volunteers are accepted. We are a city that depends on the work of its people. We survive by looking to one another for support. Give back to your city by joining this mission. It will be dangerous, but when completed, glory will be bestowed.

Report to the Valintar's Office by the 16th bell of the 14th of Fall to volunteer your services. All Castes except the Yasi are welcome.


Throughout the city the different Castes have a range of emotions towards the mission. Some Dek believed volunteering would provide a ticket out of the drudges while others believed they would simply be fodder to an unknown murderer. A wave of despair and disappointment washed through the Yasi Caste who were desperate to prove themselves. Chattering Chiet came up with elaborate stories to bring color to their otherwise boring days, but not many found the courage to come forward. The Avora and Endal all talked excitedly and boldly about the mission. It became a contest between some to get chosen and many volunteer simply for the chance at one-uping their friends and colleagues.

As one enters the Valintar's Office to volunteer they were met with a mass of bodies clamoring for the Valintar's attention. Most were Endal and hunter Avora though other Castes were mingled in somewhere. Some Dek stood quietly in the corner, a few Yasi puffed out their chests to appear older, somehow thinking they would fool the leader of Wind Reach. Both Tavin were present as well, though they stood in the back, simply observing the mass of volunteers while Kaden Avin tried to handle everyone.

After a while he would get to each volunteer, trying to rush those already screened out of the office, assuring them they will receive notice. Most stay though, willing to wait despite probably needing to continue with their work. Occasionally one of the Tavin would personally yell at an Endal to return to their post. Once approached by the Valintar the volunteer would be asked their name along with their Caste, that is if he did not know their name already. Kaden knows almost every citizen in his city.

"What are your primary skills?"
"Why do you want to join this mission?"
"What are you willing to sacrifice for Wind Reach?"
"Are you prepared to die for your city?"

All the while the Leader of the City of Secrets will be writing furiously on scrolls after each answer. Despite his monotone questioning the man will also be examining the volunteer themselves. He will be monitoring words, tones, body language and anything else that might prove the person able or unable to complete the mission ahead.




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The New Colony

Postby Azira on September 25th, 2016, 10:44 pm

There were many enthusiastic conversations about the Valintar's mission and even if you managed to avoid all of them, it was impossible not to catch sight of a notice about it somewhere. The Dek had clearly gone mad, pasting the notices on every conceivable surface. They'd papered the walls of the Inner Warrens with them, notice boards, at the gates, everywhere. The fact that they were so widely distributed told of their importance, which automatically made them interesting but the lack of detail gave an air of mystery to the whole thing so of course everyone was clamouring to join. Of course, danger and mystery were of interest to Azira but she'd survived thus far by being a little careful about keeping her skin intact. That being said, the notion of glory was a tempting one indeed and it was for the sake of Wind Reach. Perhaps if she went on it, she'd survive and attract the attention of a Wind Eagle, or if she died, she'd go down in history for her bravery and service to the city. As a result, she was a little more willing to throw herself into the unknown than she normally would be.

The young woman had considered seeking out Sira to see if the Kelvic would like to accompany her but she'd decided that their relationship was uncertain at the moment, the huntress unsure how they stood since her return to Wind Reach beyond being friendly. Seeking the woman out to invite her to volunteer alongside her seemed a bit presumptuous on her part and it wasn't like it was something they were supposed to use as an excuse for fraternising. Besides, the Avora was pretty sure that Sira would show up of her own accord given that danger was on the cards. Knowing the Endal, she'd decide to volunteer just for the sake of making things more entertaining and breaking the monotony.

Come the approach of the 16th bell, Azira made her way towards the Valintar's office and as she neared it, she heard the gathering before she saw it. The noise was excessive and when the office came into view, she stopped for a few moments, stunned by the numbers before her. Once she got over her initial shock, she proceeded forward and shoved her way in through the thickly pressed bodies. When the Kaden's office had been designed, someone had obviously believed that a good number might one day have to fit into it and it was a good thing too or it would have been packed and overflowing. As it was, the room was fairly close to capacity and the young woman wondered how many people this task would require. If it was a select few then she worried she wouldn't be picked and as she joined a group of her caste, hovering on their outskirts, she chewed her lip distractedly, taking in the scene around her. The Tavin were present, seeming to act more as observers than anything else, while the Valintar himself mingled with the crowd of volunteers and talking to each one. Some were quickly ushered out after he spoke to them, while others lingered and took up the limited space unless they were yelled at to move themselves. The notion that there was work to be done seemed to have slipped everyone's minds as they waited around to see if they would be chosen for the mysterious task ahead.

As she waited and watched as Kaden drew ever nearer to her, Azira shifted nervously, alternatively biting her nails and then crossing her arms across her chest when she realised what she was doing. She only had eyes for Kaden and even when her gaze drifted elsewhere it was blind to the individuality of the people gathered here, a mere blur of pale skin and red hair to the preoccupied young woman. By the time her turn came along, she'd already run through the reasons why the Valintar was likely to reject her proposal no matter what she said. He would know who she was of course, particularly as she'd visited him recently about the reclamation of her caste and job. It was for that very reason that she was sure she'd be turned away because hadn't she already chosen to abandon her city when it had needed her skills and gone off to Lhavit. Hence, her devotion to her home was questionable.

When he came to speak to her, she bowed her head in respect and greeted him softly, noting the scroll he held with his scribbling, his tone sounding disinterested as he asked questions, giving her a chance to answer each one before he moved onto the next, every word she said seemingly recorded to be kept for later examination.

"I'm a hunter so obviously hunting, some tracking, some trapping and I can use a weapon, a short bow. I'd say I'm competent with the short bow," she explained, her eyes darting between his face to try to gauge his response and the hand that wrote on the parchment he held. "I've been hunting for a number of years and I've become very good at it. I wouldn't have done so if I couldn't find and catch my prey. I know how to pay attention to what's around me and I can be deadly at a moment's notice. Killing animals isn't a problem to me and I'll admit... I've killed people as well without any issues," she admitted.

His second question gave her a moment's pause, the young woman staring fixedly at a point past Kaden's head as her mind whirled. Complete honesty or a half-truth?

"I'd say I have a number of reasons. It's for Wind Reach and it's obviously important or it wouldn't be so well advertised. It's not the first time I've come to the aid of the city and its people when they've needed me," she explained, wondering if he'd think she was lying to give him an answer she thought he wanted. A slight frown appeared on her face, the crease between her brows betraying some of her anxiety as she continued to speak. "I'll admit that my motives aren't wholly noble. The glory part is pretty inviting as well. I'd hope that carrying out this task might make me worthy in an Eagle's eyes and give me a chance to better serve the city in the future as an Endal."

She wondered how such an answer would be taken but had little chance to think about it too deeply as his next question came, briefly causing her face to go blank. It was so unexpected that now that he'd asked it, the girl suddenly couldn't remember what she even owned. Her confusion showed on her face as she tried to work out the answer to that, not knowing what it was that she had to give up.

"I'd give up anything for Wind Reach. I owe everything to the city so anything I have to give, I will. I don't own much though. I've never been one to spend my wages on things that weren't to do with my job," the Avora ventured uncertainly, shrugging her shoulders as she continued to puzzle over his question even though she'd answered it. His final question took her by surprise for a moment, her hesitation only lasting for the space of a blink before she reacted.

"Without a doubt. I may have left once but I came back for a reason. I couldn't stay away. I was born here and I'll die here or failing that, for the sake of here. That's just as good although it's better to die for the city's sake to die as you sleep. What a useless sort of death that is." The redhead waited to see if there would be more, starting to chew on the edge of her thumbnail in her anxiety before she registered her action and crossed her arms. "Is that everything you want to know? Is there anything else I can say to convince you that I'm happy to do this? I'm going into this blind so surely that's a sign of my willingness."
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The New Colony

Postby Kovac on September 28th, 2016, 4:30 pm

Skyinarta was merciless. The residents of Wind Reach had endured the brunt of Mizahar's volatile climate, the scarcity of resources, starvation, earthquakes, the Djed storms. The Inartans were well acquainted with death, with the fact that eagles and riders, hunters, may go into the Unforgiving and never return. It happened on a regular basis. No one knew this better than the half-breed. He had lost so many close to him. Shayth, Amon, Euthisa, Lavira, Sairque, Aidara... It finally buried him. From those left whom he once could have turned to for comraderie he had distanced himself, not the least of which were Sira and Azira. The Kelvic eagle in particular, Aidara's lover, Kovac had found the hardest to face, a reminder of the dear one they both lost.

It had been three years.

Azira had returned. It had become easier to pass Sira in the passageways. It was time to crawl out of his hole, and his bottle, and face his losses, like everyone had to do eventually. Maybe the posted assignment was a sign, an adventure to herald his emergence from isolation. Maybe it was the chance to go out with some glory himself, to end it all like so many before him.

The pending confinement of winter must have inspired all of Wind Reach to vie for a spot on the mysterious misson. A throng crowded around the Valintar, the boisterous Inartan conversations a cacophony that waned only when Kaden Avin lifted his voice. Kovac elbowed his way past some hopeful Deks, chastised a few Yasi blocking his path until he gained a better position among the anxious volunteers. When the Valintar finally approached the half-Vanthan, he eyed Kovac for a moment. The half-bred master bowman was not unknown to Kaden. Kovac was an archery instructor under Tysala, as well as her most challenging student. "Primary skills," The Valintar continued.

"Archery and hunting."
He replied matter-of-factly, "...and not dying." Avin glanced to the scribe, then back to Kovac, his expression deadpan. "Why do you want to join this mission?" The man asked, crossing his arms over his chest. "I am Inartan...well...half. Someone needs to do what needs to be done for the good of us all. And, we will be snowed in soon. One last big fling to keep us telling stories until Spring, right?"

"What are you willing to give up for the Wind Reach?" Kovac's grin took an ironic curl. "What is always at risk? My life, my home..." The ones I love. The Valintar didn't need to ask his last question. He dismissed the dark haired hunter and moved on to the next volunteer.
Last edited by Kovac on September 29th, 2016, 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The New Colony

Postby Sira on September 28th, 2016, 10:27 pm

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Sira landed in her aerie, shifting back to human form in a swirl of light. She turned back to the opening, looking out over the mountainside toward Thunder Bay. She walked out onto her aerie, looking out over the mountainside toward Thunder Bay. Her new aerie was much smaller than her old one, but the view was just as good. She liked to watch the sun rise and set over the water, watching the light play on the waves and shining over the valley below.

She heard the door open in the other room, but ignored it. It was just the pair of dek who would clean her rooms and gather her dirty garments, replacing them with clean ones. They came every day, in the morning and evening, and did the same thing every day, unless Sira asked for for something specific, such as breakfast in bed, or if she had a guest. Sira usually paid them little attention, but she heard the pair chattering excitedly, which surprised her. Usually they were quiet, slow, and despondent about their work, but when she peeked into the other room she saw the pair working quickly and efficiently, shooting jibes back and forth at one another about who was going to be chosen and why the other wouldn't be.

Sira walked into the room, eyeing the pair for a moment. They continued talking and working, ignoring the Endal for the most part. "What are you two talking about?"

One of the dek froze, and the other one jumped, dropping the folded stack of clothing he was carrying. They both turned slowly to face the Endal, eyes downcast, and one muttered timidly. "We're sorry, Endal Sira. We'll be quiet from now on." The one who dropped the clothes bent to pick them back up and set to folding them again.

"You can talk to each other, I don't mind. But what were you talking about? Something about being chosen by the Valintar? Is something happening?"

The second dek, the one who wasn't holding anything, chanced a glance at Sira's face, looking surprised, before casting his eyes down again. "You.. you don't know, Endal Sira? There are signs all over, and everyone is talking about it."

Sira let out an annoyed sigh. Why couldn't Dek ever just answer questions directly? They were so afraid to say anything. "No, I don't know. I've been out hunting all day. What is going on?"

"We.. we don't know exactly. The Valintar is looking for volunteers for an important mission. He's even accepting Dek." The Dek reached into his pocket and handed Sira a crumpled parchment. Sira snatched it from his hand, eyes scanning over the words. Her eyes shifted back to the Dek, then to the clothes the other one was holding. "Give me those!" She snatched the clothes from the stunned dek, pulling them on as she ran to her bedroom. Sira grabbed her boots and strapped on her sword belt, then grabbed her bow and quiver. She didn't know if she would have time to come back for them so she figured she would bring them with her. The endal left in an all out run for the Valintar's office.

There was still a crowd when she arrived, which surprised her. It was nearly the sixteenth bell. Many of them seemed to just be standing about, talking to one another and waiting for the Valintar to announce who would be coming along. Sira shoved her way through the crowd, and many darted to get out of her way. Kaden turned to her as she walked up, grinning amiably at the Endal. She'd always had a good relationship with the Valintar, having gone on a number of missions for him, and knew him fairly well.

"I wondered when you would appear, Sira."

"I was out hunting. Almost missed it."

"Alright, well, I have a few questions."

Sira signed. Always with the questions. "Expert with the talon sword, and highly skilled with the short bow. Expert hunter, and I've lead several hunting expeditions so I have experience leading parties if you need someone to take charge. Oh, and I can turn into a Wind Eagle.. so there's that." Sira chuckled before continuing. "I'm volunteering because it is my duty to defend and protect this city. If there is a threat that needs to be dealt with, I'm the endal you want. I am willing to sacrifice anything for Wind Reach, and as you know, I have risked my life over and over to defend it, and am more than willing to do so again. Good?" The valintar nodded, and Sira left him to interview the other volunteers.

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The New Colony

Postby Emergence on October 6th, 2016, 10:30 pm

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The crowd within the Valintar's office began to slowly and gradually thin. The Yasi were spotted and swiftly scolded and sent along their way. The Tavin started to roam through the crowd, talking to Chiet and Dek in hushed tones, the conversation ending when the Inarta in question turned and walked out in a solemn manner. They seemed to be kicking many people out, clearly they were not fit for this mission. Though, still, many stubborn stayed awaiting the official decision.

Shortly after the 17th bell the Tavin and the Valintar got gathered in silence and disappeared into discussion. They would not come back into view for almost 45 chimes. And when they returned to the office, those still waiting rose in respect and anticipation. Kaden Avin's voice then rose and spread across the room. "Those chosen will report to the Stained Glass Gallery in 15 chimes. Endal Sira, Avora Azira, Avora Kovac, Endal Rima (Grite), Endal Fown (Dinqu), Endal Kimer (Terisr), Avora Triin, Dek Kitt and Dek Tawn. If any of the persons mentioned are not still in the building, they will be sent for."

A couple Dek were then summoned and soon rushed off to find those that had returned to their daily duties. The Valintar and the Tavin made their way to the Gallery to wait out the arrival of their volunteers. Within the Gallery they would stand and talk amoungst themselves on the stage. With them would be another Endal many might recognize as Wingleader Trinto, a mercenary Endal well known for his young age and high status within Wind Reach. Chosen volunteers who arrived early may have a few chimes to introduce themselves and ponder as to the purpose of the mission before the Valintar would hush the tiny crowd with a wave of his hand and a whistle.

"Thank you all for volunteering. I apologize for the secrecy in the announcement, but I assure you it was for the best. I want to introduce the Tavin, Ryhon (Koyl) and Yoletta (Astrid) they will be explaining the situation to you. Also speaking is Wingleader Trinto (Hitten) who is leading this expedition, he will be outlining your journey." As he introduced each Inarta they would step up into line with each other. Most introductions were pointless as the Tavin were known by everyone within Mt. Skyinarta. Once he was done talking the leader of the Inarta would step back and Ryhon would take him place.

Rhyon was an old man but his face still held the feriocity as a newly Casted Endal. He would speak seriously and look at each volunteer in the eye, daring them to flee from this mission. "On the 11th of Fall an Isur man came stumbling to our gates. I am sure you heard about his arrival for it was widely broadcast around the city. He was starving and injured and he immediately requested a meeting with us. Kadden, Yoletta and I spoke to him briefly before he was admitted for healing, and spoke more extensively during his treatment. I can assure you this man was not wandering lost in the unforgiving nor was he an escaped slave trying to make it home. He told us of a dire situation.

"We all know the Zith roam this land with us, however he told the story of a new, small, band of Zith beginning to form their own colony. The man who came to us was abducted and used as a cock in a fighting pit, much like ours except to the death. He won his fight and managed to escape soon afterwards. He managed to work his way to the mountain to warn us of this.This is the closest known Zith colony to Mt. Skyinarta, only a few days travel away. The Isur knows this land well and was able to draw out a map to the new formation for us.
"

He stopped as Yoletta stepped forward, her feminine voice trailing across the gallery. "This colony is trying to prove itself by settling so close to our mountain. They are abducting members of not only our society for their fun and games, but of the Isur as well. We cannot allow the Zith of Kalea to think they are in control. We must remind them that they are simple animals that roam our land and can be hunted and killed just as easily as a deer for our table. Your job here is to go and eradicate this new colony before it becomes too large to control." Her voice showed disgust of this new colony, she spat the words.

Trinto relieved her, bringing a more gentle and courageous tone with him. "Alrighty females and gents. I am Trinto. Look, thank you for offering to help out with this. It is going to be a dangerous mission and some of us aren't going to make it, thats guaranteed. But Wind Reach is our home and if these petching Zith think they can swoop on in without us knowing they have another thing coming.

"Like Kaden said, I will be leading this expedition, I hold the map and you guys are the key to ridding out area of these vermin. I am sure you have more questions. But we have plenty of time for that on our way there. Right now I need you all to head home, pack the essentials and only the essentials. I will be handing out rations throughout the journey so don't worry about food."


With that the small group was dismissed and told to meet up in 1 bell at the Wings and Things landing pad.
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The New Colony

Postby Azira on October 7th, 2016, 9:25 pm

Once she'd said her piece, the huntress was unsure what to do with herself. She highly doubted that she'd be chosen for this task, especially considering how many people had volunteered, but she was also curious to see how things panned out. The young woman wasn't sure how long it would take but she was afraid to go away in case she missed something. So she remained, keeping herself occupied by pondering the mission and the mystery surrounding it. She also eavesdropped on those around her, as once the Valintar was out of earshot, the Inarta were inclined to speculate in little knots of people that formed. Azira wasn't one to insert herself into conversations, the long habit of alienating herself from her fellows a difficult one to kick and so instead she listened to all they said, secretly passing judgement on what theories she deemed probable or ridiculous.

When at last the interviews ended, the Valintar and Tavin left to speak of the matter in private and the noise level escalated rapidly as everyone tried to get their point across in their absence. Everyone had a theory and everyone seemed ready to voice it. The room was nowhere near as packed as it had been to begin with, the Yasi who weren't supposed to be there had been shooed out and many had gone back to their work once they'd been questioned. Azira had the excuse that it was too late to go hunting now and if anyone should ask - which was highly doubtful - then she was sticking to it. However, the petite redhead went unnoticed by the majority, a fact helped by the way she sat on the floor, her knees drawn up to her chest, her arms and head resting on her kneecaps. Her small form was made smaller, as if she was trying to squeeze herself into the least amount of space possible.

At last, the trio of leaders reappeared and the Avora rose with everyone else, untangling her limbs and briefly stretching the stiffness out of her joints as she waited to see who would go. The young woman expected a lot of Endal to be chosen to go and so the first word from Kaden's mouth was no surprise to her. However, her interest was piqued by Sira's name, the girl brightening a little despite herself at the mention of the Kelvic. She had little time to react though before she heard her own name, a notion too difficult for her to comprehend in her newly sparked disbelief. She was stunned at the idea of having been chosen that Kovac's name hardly registered with her. Instead, the reality hit that she had endangered herself by volunteering to enter an unknown situation. It was both thrilling and a little terrifying but the girl knew she wouldn't have long to wait before all was revealed. Now that the chosen few had been named, they would be let in on the great secret that had had the city all abuzz. It was sure to be exciting and Sira would be there, which could be potentially wonderful and problematic at the same time. Neither of them were likely to let a relationship interfere with the prosperity of Wind Reach, but she could only hope that drama was something they could avoid occurring between them.

The Avora didn't waste any time escaping the confines of the Valintar's office. Her small size was to her advantage as she wormed and squirmed her way through the departing bodies as they set off after the trio of leaders had made their exit. The girl had every intention of going straight there both to show her dedication to what lay ahead and to see what she could learn about those she'd be working alongside. Azira had discovered that you could discern a fair amount about a person when they arrived in a place because they tended to have enough of their guard down initially to catch little glimpses of their thoughts and feelings before they adapted appropriately. Of course, she was also eager to see Sira, that was certainly something that helped her speed.

Upon reaching the Stained Glass Gallery, a group slowly formed and while the leaders waited for everyone to assemble, Azira had a brief opportunity to do a little bit of socialising. However, she was quick to clock Kovac's presence and could not keep her initial surprise hidden, the announcement of his name having escaped her notice after all. She was willing to be civil with the man, that wasn't exactly the problem but she was reluctant to allow the same openness around him that she would display around Sira. Regardless, the young Inarta approached both of them to say her greetings.

"It seems we have a little adventure on our hands," she remarked eagerly, not bothering to hide her excited anticipation before continuing in a slightly sarcastic tone. "Dying doesn't sound like a fun prospect so we'll leave that off the agenda. How dangerous do you think this is going to be?" The Avora didn't have the opportunity to say more as the last of the volunteers joined them and the explanations began. All notion of the casual socialisation that had occurred left her head as the task ahead of them was outlined. Her blood became cold at first at the idea of Zith taking up residence in a place that would leave Wind Reach vulnerable to their interference but she quickly became enraged.

How dare they do such a thing! It was bad enough that the creatures existed in the first place but to so blatantly muscle in on their territory and put two societies in danger was abhorrent. The prospect of slaughtering the winged beasts was a thrilling one and one that she was ready to embark on immediately. The sooner she could put some of these Zith down the better. Despite her enthusiasm, enough of her rational mind remained to understand why so much secrecy had surrounded this task. If the city's population as a whole was to know that a Zith colony had cropped up nearby then there would be panic. Also no doubt, there'd be some foolishness in the form of bloodthirsty Inarta setting out in search of the colony by themselves. Yes, mass distribution of this information would be disastrous and she entirely agreed with the wisdom of Mount Skyinarta's leaders.

As soon as they were dismissed, the young woman found herself rushing off in the direction of the Darniva Commonrooms, mind already racing with the possibilities that may lie ahead and what she should pack to deal with them. The Avora's belongings were all practical in nature and so it was tricky to decide what she should bring and what she should leave behind because it could all be useful; she couldn't bring everything after all. Her shortbow and a good supply of arrows were a given of course, as were her hunting knife and rope. Rope had helped her in many situations, many of them unexpected and so there wasn't a chance of her leaving such a valuable item behind. Their primary mission was destruction but the huntress seriously considered bringing along some manner of trap that could be laid to ensure they had some food to bring home too. However, the traps she had were to bulky to be carrying around the place on the off chance of catching some food so she chose to leave them behind. They were going to be given rations along the way but the young woman packed some stock anyway, just in case. It was a small, light item that wouldn't be too much of a burden to carry and if something should happen that meant that she was separated from the group, she wouldn't have to go without nourishment. Azira didn't want to weigh down her pack too much but she stuffed some old items of clothing into it. Although too soiled or torn to be worn, the clothing might come in handy in the way of bandages or even kindling for a fire if things were desperate.

Happy with her packing, she checked over her bow and arrows to ensure they were in good position before she made her way to the rendezvous point, geared up for the upcoming adventure.
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The New Colony

Postby Kovac on October 10th, 2016, 6:01 pm

Kovac lingered at the fringe of the waiting throng, those believing they would be chosen, or have a good chance to be, and others whose curiosity would not let them wander off as many already had. Kovac peered through the smaller crowd as the Valintar and Tavin appeared and Avin announced the chosen party. Sira, Azira, himself… the other Endals and the Avora he knew, the Dek only by face when they appeared. A small party it was, but well chosen as far as he was concerned. The half-bred hunter could not say he was on friendly terms with them all, he was still considered a pain in the ass by many Endal, but those picked for the mission were no doubt very capable. Of course, Kovac knew first hand Sira and Azira and he trusted them, even with the distance that grew between they and he (while the distance between the two women was rumored to have been much shorter at one time).

Not one to be superstitions, Kovac did ponder that maybe the selection of them all was a sign, to give him the opportunity to once again pursue some friendships with them. Too much time had passed since he had really spoke with either Sira or Azira. The dark-haired Avora slipped out after that announcement amid a hushed murmur that rippled through the crowd, some approving, some disapproving of the team.

Kovac arrived at the gallery only a few chimes early. He gravitated towards Sira, giving her a nod and a small smile. Azira approached from the other side of the Kelvic eagle, her words probably the same ones all the volunteers were asking themselves. The answers would soon come, as the Valintar began to speak.

All fell silent as the Tavin finally revealed the circumstances that gave rise to the mystery mission. Kovac’s brow furrowed and his visage darkened as the story unfolded. A chill ran up his spine when he heard the word. Zith.

It had been four year since that day when he and an hunter named Arandoyla had been set down out in the Unforgiving for a late winter hunt. They stumbled across a Zith hunting party deep in a forest, darkened by a heavy canopy of conifer branches. They barely escaped with their lives. Kovac’s hand traced a pair of scars that ran out from under his sontav up his arm. Scars he still bore from that day, as one of the wretched creatures raked him with reaching claws, right before Aran stuck him through with an arrow. Kovac knew the terror of the sound of the savage winged beasts racing after their prey, rustling in the limbs above you, their weird cries filling the air as their crude missiles rained down on you. Yeah, Kovac would like to turn the tables on the filthy vermin and hunt them down like mangy rats before they descended on the Inarta’s precious home like a pestilence.

Listening silently as Trinto sent them off to prepare, Kovac’s gaze darted to Sira and Azira before stalking off to the common rooms. The half-Vanthan gathered gear like he did for any hunt. The composite short bow, talon sword and hunting knife were inspected. The array of arrows stuffed into his quiver was limited to twenty broadheads, twenty standard. Ten game arrows were wrapped in a cloth and set in his pack. Waterskin, flint and steel and a Vecerem hide for sleeping was stuffed into his pack as well. Tossing his katinu across the top, Kovac considered himself ready. His beloved lute would stay behind, as would the silver earrings he typically wore.

Kovac arrived at the landing pad early, having had a single quiet drink as a farewell toast to Mt. Skyinarta, should he not return. It was something he would not have let others see, the sentimentality, but his feelings about the mission were mixed. Death had taken so many he cared for. The mongrel Avora was not so sure he cared if he didn’t make it back. But as he stood on the landing pad and saw others of the team approach, he swore to himself he would not let any of them down this time.
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The New Colony

Postby Sira on October 16th, 2016, 2:01 am

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After Sira gave the Valintar her information she moved into the crowd to mingle. She did not see Azira or Kovac, but that was understanable. There were a lot of people in the room, and Sira eventually found herself spending her time with a group of other endal, listening to each of them speculate on what they thought might be going on. There were many theories, but nobody knew for sure what exactly might be going on. They also had their guesses on who would be chosen, and some even took bets. Sira had no doubt that she would be chosen. It was just the way things were, plus, she was just too useful to pass up. She was a Wind Eagle and an Endal in one, and currently, she had no rider which meant she could carry extra people or gear if they had to fly anywhere. When the names were read, she was not the least bit surprised when hers was called out first, though the next one excited her, and the one after that caught her completely off guard.

Azira and Kovac, she thought, the other names mere background noises to her. She was glad to hear Azira was coming. This was the type of thing she had been waiting for. This mission, assuming they both survived, might just be the thing she was waiting for, the thing that would change everything. As for Kovac, well.. she wasn't entirely certain what to think. She pondered the half-breed as she made her way to the gallery. She had only seen him rarely over the past few seasons, and neither had really spoken to each other. It wasn't that she had a problem with him, life had simply taken her away, and for a long time, he reminded her of things the kelvic did not want to remember. But now, things were different.

Sira spotted Kovac and Azira both as soon as she entered. Kovac tried to get away with a simple nod, but on a whim, Sira decided she wasn't having any of that. "Kovac!" She returned his small smile with a full one of her own, took a quick step forward, and wrapped her arms around him in a friendly embrace. "It's been too long."

Azira approached and Sira gave her the same full smile, though she refrained from hugging the woman. Not that she wouldn't have happily done that and more, but from what she could tell from past interactions, she was fairly certain the girl might have a heart attack if Sira did something like that, especially in public. Kovac should be used to her antics, but Azira still needed some wearing down.

"With all the secrecy," Sira responded to Azira's question, "I'd say it's probably pretty dangerous. I just hope it doesn't involve giant dead men. Luckily, we seem to be pretty good at not dying when we're together, so I think we'll be fine."

Sira turned her attention to the Valintar when he began speaking, introducing the Tavin and the other endal. Zith. More Zith. Sira's smile turned into a frown as she listened. Her encounters with the winged monsters had not been as bad her two friends, but she'd had her run-ins with the creatures. This was not good. When the briefing was over Sira turned and pointed at one of the Dek who were attending the meeting. "You. With me."

She turned and made her way back to the aerie. She doubted the Dek had anything of his own to pack. Dek didn't really own things, and certainly not things that were useful to expeditions that involved fighting a pack of evil monsters. She was fairly certain the only reason they were coming along was to carry things and do work anyway.. and maybe be used as bait, though the thought only crossed her mind for an instant before she pushed it away. She wouldn't ask them to do it, but she wouldn't be surprised if one of the other endal did.

Once she arrived at her aerie Sira started to gather her things. She picked up her bow first, then grabbed her quiver and a bundle of twenty arrows. She grabbed three extra arrows, attaching them to the clips on her bow. She already had her sword, the magic weapon she'd taken off the body of the man who'd sought to own her. She tossed a few rations and a waterskin into her backpack, though she was confident in her ability to hunt down and eat anything she needed. Her katinu was stuffed into the bag as well, and then she threw the pack and quiver over her shoulder. She instructed the Dek to carry her saddle, she figured she would need it, and then headed out to join the others, the Dek trailing along behind her.

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