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Picatija travels with a caravan into an unfamiliar world

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The Wilderness of Cyphrus is an endless sea of tall grass that rolls just like the oceans themselves. Geysers kiss the sky with their steamy breath, and mysterious craters create microworlds all their own. But above all danger lives here in the tall grass in the form of fierce wild creatures; elegant serpents that swim through the land like whales through the ocean and fierce packs of glassbeaks that hunt in packs which are only kept at bay by fires. Traverse it carefully, with a guide if possible, for those that venture alone endanger themselves in countless ways.

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A Brave New World (Azmere, Jacinth, Samwell)

Postby Picatija on September 16th, 2017, 2:00 pm

Timestamp: Fall 2, 517

It had been a tough few weeks for the small, black eyed woman, and for those in the caravan she journeyed with. She'd stumbled upon them on the edge of her desert, a merchant circuit that stretched all through the desert, and now were heading to foreign lands. She wondered if her parents tent ever housed these merchants. Tija hoped not. These were not good men, and she only accompanied them for their usefulness. Picatija could survive within the realm of sand and sun, it had been her life since she'd started her Searching.

But in frustration, the woman decided to leave the desert, to seek out her guardian in foreign lands. After all, nothing in the stories said that it had to be found at home. Tija knew nothing of this land that the wagons moved through. She never expected it to be so green. She never expected it to have so much water. So much of it. No wonder these were not good men. If you never wanted for water, you didn't have to work for it, to have to help others so everyone survived. Too much water led to greed and selfishness.

Now Tija worried this caravan would not last much longer. It seemed another guard or scout died every day. Those in charge wore worried and harrowed faces, and were pushing the caravan at a faster speed, with shorter period of rest. Were they being pursued? Hunted? Tija did not know.

Sitting atop Kiahara, she leaned against his neck, and rubbed it lovingly, whispering in his ear, in Tawna, "Just you and me love. We do not need to worry about these cactus petchers." They were currently moving through grasses as tall as Tija upon her horse, and Tija reached out, running her fingers through the thick blades, feeling what she called 'The Hair of Semele'. Kiahara enjoyed eating it from time to time, though Tija found it bitter. But it was wet at least. Everything was.

Tija purposefully kept herself in the middle of the line that wove through the grasses like a massive serpent. She had no desire to be up front to stumble across the next dangerous thing, nor to be in back and picked off as a straggler. Tija kept her spear slung by its leather strap over her shoulder at all times, her chakram hanging from her belt. Not being armed in a sea of monsters, and men that were monsters in their own right, was not an option.

Tija was tired though. This much nonstop travel, without taking a few days to rest at camp, was wearing on her. And she feared sleeping too long, or heavily. If she overslept, the caravan would leave without her. If she slept too deeply, she worried the men might try to enter her tent. They'd tried a few times, to find her ready with her spear, eyes burning with hatred. But it only took one time of dropping her guard.

The food stores for many in the caravan were dwindling, and Tija's own were as well. With as loud and slow as the caravan was, without stopping to rest and hunt, food was impossible to find. Prey creatures easily avoided the traveling group, and predators stalked it, waiting for a moment to strike. Tija yearned to go and hunt, to have the comfort of some spare food in her pack. But it was simply too dangerous. Her meager food stores were kept in the pack upon her back, so that she could keep an eye on it.

Looking around her, she saw a few others upon their own horses. Though none were as beautiful as her midnight Kiahara. There were a fair number of wagons, laden with goods from the desert, the merchants guarding them closely. Then she heard the sound she'd been dreading to hear this entire journey. Three blasts from a curved horned of some animal she didn't know.

There'd been three rules she'd learned when she joined this caravan. She'd feed herself. She'd be left behind if too slow. And three blasts from the horn meant extreme danger. The entire snake of the caravan shimmied as everyone began to their beasts into a run. Thankfully the wagons were at the back of the line. Tija gripped her spear nervously, waiting for the line to speed up, and as the horse in front of moved to a jog, "Hup!"

She accompanied the command with a lean forward in her saddle, and Kiahara started forward at a matching jog. Tija suddenly hated these excessively tall grasses. She couldn't see whatever the threat was. Three more blasts resounded through the caravan, and once more the caravan lurched into a run. "Hyah!" She leaned far forward now, as Kiahara's hooves began to thunder in the mud, the line spreading out as the riders pushed forward. She didn't know where they were running to, but she knew it was better to not be left behind.

But that grip of fear filled her stomach. As the group ran, they broke free of the tall grasses, transitioning into a different grassy veil, that only came up to the bottom side of their horses. And now she wished she couldn't see what hunted it them. They seemed to be running birds of some sort. And they stood as tall as her upon her horse. And they were running parallel to the caravan, but she knew it wouldn't be long until they struck. Seen predators never waited long.

Tija slipped her spear from her shoulder, hips rocking back and forth upon the back of her companion, eyes locked on the predators that were maybe a long arrow's flight away. She nudge Kiahara with her left knee, driving him a bit to the right, pushing him forward still. She moved along the side of another woman's horse, a woman she never bothered to try and get to know. But if those predators were going to come for them, she wanted another tasty prey between her and them.

She looked up the line, able to see the leads of the caravan still. Peering over her shoulder, she could see a few riders behind her, but the wagons were still in the tall grasses, she assumed. Maybe they were already attacked.


Tija was going to make sure she wasn't last in the fleeing pack.

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A Brave New World (Azmere, Jacinth, Samwell)

Postby Jacinth on September 18th, 2017, 8:12 am

It had barely been half a day since Griff had died. The numbness had remained her constant companion and grief that lingering threat that loomed over her like the very clouds that choked up the sky. Death wasn't the end, but an existence without her cherished friend was difficult to imagine. For a creature mature as she was, she still lacked the necessary skills to survive in a world of humans, and while she could take their guise and speak their words, all she wanted to do was go curl up into a ball over Griff's grave.

But she refused. Falling back on her instincts, Jacinth took to the skies in search of food and instead, came upon a traveling procession of caravans and riders making their way through the tall grass of the Cyphrus plains. In her girl form, she met with them, and was allowed to remain provided she would be useful. A woman with straw colored hair gifted her with a set of plain clothes, with which she wore on the days they traveled, in order to retain her strength.

The days dragged on and a wave of unease seemed to settle over the wagons and travelers. While others rode, she occasionally walked and sometimes flew, roaming the skies in search of carrion or a pile of salvageable bones. On many occasions, her efforts proved unsuccessful which left her belly empty at the end of the day. Jacinth did not have to speak with the travelers to know their worry and taste their fear. The ominous howl of a large horn only served to validate her misgivings. Something is wrong.

She stood at the edge of the wagons just as the riders urged their horses into runs. There was no indication what was happening, but the kelvic's instincts told her to run, and so she did. Dirt kicked up from the trampled ground as she chased the riders, peeling off her tunic and pants as she did so and in a swirl of blinding light she was in the skies, her large wings catching the breeze as she was lifted further above the tall grasses.

The air already stunk of blood. A small voice in the back of her mind told her to flee, but she knew that if she did so, there was no guarantee she would survive on her own. A bird of prey, though she was, and large and menacing to boot, she was in unfamiliar territory with predators she'd never come across before.

So she followed the riders, leaving behind the wagons and caravans that seemed stalled for movement. Jacinth was only looking for one person in particular; the straw haired woman who had remained kind towards her during her journey. In the maze of grass and the chaos of panic a flash of yellow caught her peripheral vision. Jacinth swerved on the breeze, banking towards the very woman she'd been searching for, riding beside a strange, bronze skinned foreigner.

The beasts that hunted them seemed to be closing in from Jacinth's vantage, and as she dove, her wings pulled tight to her body and the vulture let out a shrill whistle, meaning to discourage the beasts from any foreseeable attack. As she descended toward the landed bird closest to them she extended her wingspan and caught the wind once more, climbing further into the sky in the hopes that her form would at least draw one away.

oocSorry I didn't actually do much action here except glide a bit! I intend to use the woman as a means for Jacinth to eventually interact with the others.
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