Completed A different kind of test

Raeyn joins the hunter’s guild.

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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A different kind of test

Postby Raeyn on September 4th, 2018, 6:02 pm

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30th of Fall 518 AV
Hunter's guild


The way of the hunt ran though Raeyn’s blood. He walked the paths of his father who had inherited them from the grandfather before him. A fiercely traditional, was the Inarta bloodline, at least in that one aspect. In a far away land, the wilderness brought them back home to mount Skyinarta in spirit. In shedding the blood of prey they were one with the Wind Eagles and their kin.

Thus Raeyn wasn't at all surprised to learn of his father's involvement in the politics of the city and the creation of a very special kind of home. The Hunter's Guild They called it. A place for the food bringers of the city to relax, socialise and get more organised. And that very evening, closely following the late afternoon break, that was precisely the place Orim had taken his son; to meet the guild's men and women.

The building looked vaguely familiar. Raeyn had been sure that once upon a time, in his early childhood, he had remembered it to be an inn but that was a long time ago. It was a detail quickly forgotten the moment the two Inarta stepped though the front door to be welcomed by the homely atmosphere of the inside, the burning heat of the fireplace and distinct smell of booze. A few faces turned to greet them. Most rather unfamiliar albeit one almost too familiar. They sat at one table together, chit-chatting over ale, beconning the Inarta duet to come join them.

"This must be your boy, Orim. Welcome welcome." an elderly woman clammed her hand in glee as she exclaimed, shuffling on her stool for the two of them to sit beside her.

As soon as Raeyn pulled up a stool to sit beside the slightly intimidatingly happy lady, he felt the slam of a strong hand on his back, almost knocking the wind out of him before he even managed to utter a word. "Glad you decided to join us Raeyn. Good to see you again kiddo." It was Stan. A man he'd been quite familiar with. Like a batty uncle he was to Raeyn, a best friend of his father's before Raeyn was even born. It was a welcome face to see among a sea of new people albeit he was known to he a little heavy handed. "Hadn't I told you guys? He looks just like his old man. Spitting image, is he not? Though the freckles are all Astrid's."

Beside him the elderly woman nodded. "You're right Stan. He's a mini Orim, I be damned."

To say Raeyn was overwhelmed was an understatement. He sat there, for the first time in a while feeling like a child sitting at the grownups' dinner table during a holiday. Everyone around him talked and jokes and he was at the centre of it all, wide eyed and timid.

"Let me introduce you to everyone, son." said Orim, pointing to the elderly woman beside him first. "That's Tess Alheim. She's our resident trap genius." Smiling a toothy grin, the woman waved excitedly. Politely Raeyn raised his own hand in acknowledgement and bowed his head in respect. "Stan, you already know." the hunter and Raeyn exchanged a quick smile before his eyes followed Orim's voice around the table. "To the right we have Rhemy. Our newest member. She's come here all the way from Cyprus."

"Lovely to meet you, mr Raeyn." she smiled softly. A tall girl she was. Naturally pretty in simple clothing and without the usual makeup Lhavit's girl wore so ostentatiously. Understated, like a poppy in a field of long grasses. Easy to miss in a crowd but no less beautiful.

Raeyn replied with the same gentle politeness. "Likewise, miss."

The woman sitting to the side of Rhemy however decided to introduce herself. "My name is Irmina Bloodwood. I oversee the basement." she said simply. There was a manner on no nonsense about her, not even a smile albeit she was far from cold and uninviting. A rigidity to her manner as she reached her hand across the table to shake Raeyn's hand. A gesture which was quickly reciprocated. "To put it plainly, shall you find anything of interest. A particularly fine bear pelt, a particularly large deer scull, anything else in the wilderness that might be of value, I'd be glad to take it off your hands and see to it that your efforts are rewarded. I trust we'll make a great partnership in time."

Raeyn nodded, committing the information and her name to memory. He grew to like her the quickest. There was something about the way she spoke, the way she carried herself - albeit she was a little scary - that made her so very interesting. Out of the informal chatty bunch she was the one who seemed to have the best work ethic.

It was Rhemy who spoke up next. "We're missing that jerk Li..."

"That's quite alright. He'll introduce himself when he's back." interrupted Orim before she had even the chance to finish the end of the name. His head shook, prompting the girl to keep whatever she was going to say to herself as if the existence of the remaining guild member was some closely held secret. A secret Raeyn had little intention to inquire about. Three new faces were enough for starters.

His Farther' many stories, some more embarrassing than others, have already made all the introduction Raeyn needed before he'd even found out about the guild. And as the introductions came to an end, the next part of the process was to see whether what they have heard of Raeyn's abilities was true. Granted, the guild was somewhat indiscriminate in who they assimilated into their ranks. It was still early days and to be taken seriously they needed more members, thus they jumped at the prospect of signing Raeyn up like bloodhounds. But they had to show some semblance of organisation. Testing out his skills was just that - semblance. And as the two most experienced members other than Orim himself, that responsibility fell to Tess and Stan.



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A different kind of test

Postby Raeyn on September 4th, 2018, 6:25 pm

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Soon enough Raeyn found himself dragged away from the merryment of the group of friends and upstairs, with Long Stan on his left and Tess on his right. Perhaps he was imagining it but he was almost sure there was tension between himself and the two humans. It was best not to ask however. The three of the followed the corridor to the door at the very end it, beyond which Raeyn was to find a practice room of a sort. Granted the way equipment lay about unkempt made it look a little more like spare storage than anywhere to seriously practice in.

"We'll start with your weapon of choice, kiddo. You still use the short bow?" asked Stan. As Raeyn nodded the rummaged around to toss his a familiar looking dark wood weapon. It belonged to his father before he had purchased his newest acquisition. But for the purposes of the training, though it wasn't his grandfather's bow, this one would do.

"Thanks." muttered Raeyn, as he made his way to the very end of the room, marking as much distance as possible between him and the little target on the opposite wall. Granted it was still not that much distance. And there was a lot of marks in the wall around it. But he certainly didn't want to embarrass himself in front of the two of them on the first day on the job.

He placed one foot in front of the other, rooting himself into the floor as he knocled an arrow onto the bowstring. The wood was little more rigid than he was used to. A little less flexible than his own weapon. But it also meant there was more power behind it. Pulling on the bowstring gently he tested the tension before raising the weapon, pulling back the bow string and rotating it gently so that the grove between his thumb and the wood of the bow created a neat little resting place for the arrow shaft. With his back straight and an almost perfect stance, Raeyn took aim.

He kept both eyes open, eyeing down the target, tuning into his breath, controlling it as he lines the arrow tip up with the bullseye. In moment he made adjustments for the flight path. Only a tiny angle up to adjust for the distance between him and the target.

Raeyn breathed in and stopped, willing his hand to stop shaking under the pressure of the bow. A moment to focus on the task before alas his fingers released the bow strong. From where he stood Raeyn watched the arrow rip though the air and hit the target just on the top edge of the bullseye, where the line of red met white.



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A different kind of test

Postby Raeyn on September 4th, 2018, 6:41 pm

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The world spun back into motion as Raeyn's mind tuned into the world around him and relinquished the precise focus on his arrow. When he practiced archery it was all he could fixate on. A hind of hunter's tunnel vision.

"He'd good." said Tess, walking over to pluck the arrow from the target and return it into the ivory white hands of the Inarta hunter.

"Better than you. That's for sure." jested Stan.

"That's because I don't use the bow, genius."

"Don't or can't?"

"Very funny. I'm sure it must have taken you day to think of that one." She shot him a look that could kill before smiling in her stranger, grandmotherly warmth at Raeyn. In the man had ever met his grandmother, he'd imagine her to be quite similar in manner. Sweet and batty.

"Another one?" asked Raeyn, taking little notice of the mostly playful teasing. He hadn't felt at liberty to either join in nor come to her defence, not that she needed any. For all his self assurance and confidence, the Inarta hunter still felt a little tinge of pressure.

"Be my guest." she replied.

Again Raeyn took the arrow and knocked it on about the anchor point of the bow string. Regaining his concentration once more he pulled back the bow string and let it linger there for a prolonged moment as he took aim and steadied his hands. This time he adjusted the aim a little more down, to correct for his previous imperfection.

As he released the arrow once more, this time it was almost a perfect bullseye. Almost, for the shot was still slightly swayed but at the distance he way, the competence with which he wielded his weapon was clear. Of course in the wilderness it was another matter, when shooting targets that lived and breathed and moved. But he was already not a complete novice to the art and that was good enough for them.

"Like father like son." commented Stan, being the one to retrieve the arrow this time. A point of pride it was, for him. He'd been as kind and protective of Raeyn as his own father was. And for that the Inarta was thankful. There was a great complement in his words. A great one indeed.


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A different kind of test

Postby Raeyn on September 4th, 2018, 7:00 pm

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"Last one." said Stan.

"Are you sure? I could be doing this all night." chuckled Raeyn briefly before taking aim once more for the very final time. Feet apart on a sturdy base. Bow raised on a straight arm, the other bent at a right angle at the elbow as the took aim. The tip of the arrow pointing at the target. For the final time he had halted his breath, letting whatever was left in his lungs to fuel his body for the brief moment he aimed the aim of a perfectionist. A moment lingered in silence before the twang of a released bow string broke though it, quickly followed by the speedy whistle of arrow feathers.

Suffice to say Raeyn was a little disappointed with himself. He missed the bullseye this time around. His eyes rested on the tail feathers of the arrow buried deep in the first white ring of the target, closest to the bulls eye. But it seemed the other two were sufficiently impressed with the shot. If his target was a bear, it would be dead wither way. If a deer, it would at lest be sufficiently wounded to chase down and finish off with a knife to the throat. It seemed Raeyn demonstrated his archer's prowess sufficiently enough to not be laughed out of the room but embraced with guild arms wide open instead.

"Are there any other weapons you know your way around, Rae?" asked Stan. Regrettably Raeyn shook his head. Not even the spear?

"I've never picked one up."

"That's a shame, son. They're useful. If you're up against a bear it can guarantee your damned survival. I've nothing better to do right now, come I'll show you a thing or two. Learning it can be your first guild task."

First guild task? Could it mean he was in? Raeyn thought to himself.

"You're always pushing that damned thing on people Stan. Leave the boy alone. I'm sure he had better things to do. protested Tess, but he soon enough halted her words.

"Nonsense. Come, make yourself useful and find him a spare."

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A different kind of test

Postby Raeyn on September 5th, 2018, 6:51 am

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It took a moment or two or six to find a spare spear but eventually Raeyn ended up with one thrust into his unsure, untrained hands as he stood in the middle of the room, with Stan directly opposite him. He looked at the way the man stood, legs rooted into the ground, feet hip width apart, sturdy as a rock. Raeyn tried to mimic that, albeit his own frame was far smaller than that of the hunter seasoned by decades in the wilderness and the gym. His hands were a little unsure on the wooden shaft, holding the spear right in the middle as if afraid he was going to drop the training weapon. Bows were one thing. Those were like an extension of his hand. But handling a close combat weapon was like having grown a third digit he didn't quite know what to do with.

Being far more understanding than Raeyn had expected, Stan corrected his grip on the spear. Moved his hands down a little. "Don't be afraid of it. You really can't mess it up as long as you don't drop it that is."

Words of encouragement? Perhaps. "I sincerely hope you're not expecting miracles." said Raeyn, hiding his discomfort beneath a chuckle of self mockery.

Stan stepped in front of him, wielding his own spear like with assurance and fluidity like the expert that he was. His non dominant hand grasped around the top, sending the weapon into a windmill of a flourish before bending his knees just a little. In that exact moment Raeyn so ready to just drop it and go back to his bows and traps but alas that was not an option.

"So you really have a fairly limited range of attacks. The tip is for stabbing, the shaft is for blocking. Simple. You want to look for an opening in your opponent defences and aim for the places where his shield or sword is not. If you're up against a hear or a mountain lion, your job is a lot easier. Just aim for the heart." explained Stan, with Raeyn's eyes on him. He performed a series of three small thrusts, one at Raeyn's left shoulder, one at the hit, one at the calf. The Sharp tip of the weapon made little slices in the air, stopping just short of the Inarta's flesh. "Your turn."

Taking a few steps back to make sure as hell he wasn't accidentally going to stab Stan, for that was indeed a very real fear of his, Raeyn did the same series of motions. A stab high, a middle section stab and a low one. It felt foreign to him, all of it.

"You can put a little more power into it."

Gritting his teeth, Raeyn did as instructed. He almost stepped into the stabbing motions, letting the momentum do the work for him. Albeit he did feel mighty stupid stabbing at air.

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A different kind of test

Postby Raeyn on September 5th, 2018, 7:07 am

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"Alright, very good. Or good enough at least." said Long Stan, before going back to yet more explanations. "Remember as long as you keep your enemy at the tip of your spear or further away, you have the advantage. Which is why it's clearly superior to swords, daggers, honestly anything. As long as you keep them at a distance, they can't get you and you can get them.

A loud snort came from Tess who had sat on one of the boxes at the side, watching the lesson unfold.

Ignoring it, however, Stan continued. "The key is not to leave yourself open. So none of this." he said, hoisting his spear up overhead to mimic a slam down on an imaginary opponent. "Or this." as he spoke his hands carried the weapon to the side to slice as if he was doing so with a sword. The sheer weight of the spear made the action slow and cumbersome looking. He demonstrated the impracticality well, even though in his own hands perhaps it was less useless than in Raeyn's. "It's not a sword. Don't treat it as such. Not that you would son but you'd be surprised what thing I've seen over the years."

"I get it." Raeyns nodded, taking the advice to heart. "So close up it's useless. At a distance, not so much."

"Precisely." nodded Stan. "If you find yourself in the pickle, you can jump back, shove your opponent off like this," He held the weapon horizontally, both hands a space apart before demonstrating a shove which Raeyn quickly repeated a few times himself. "Or spin it around to the blunt end, to force your enemy back."

Raeyn's eyes watched as Stan repeated the flourish he did prior once more, his strong arms pivoting the shaft around an imaginary central axis before bending his non dominant knee and demonstrating a sharp thrust though the air, at a slight upwards angle.

Silently the Inarta nodded. Taking yet another step back just to make sure nothing found itself in the spear's trajectory, be it flesh or wood or otherwise, he did his best to mimic the move Stan had taught him. His right hand remained in it's position, whilst his other left the rear end of the spear to come forward and send the shaft into a spin. But before he could even complete the manoeuvre, he felt the blunt end of the spear slam hard into the back of his scull and a sharp surge of pain instantly unlocked his fingers, leaving the weapon dropping to the floor and the embarrassed Raeyn swearing as he blushed the back of his head.

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A different kind of test

Postby Raeyn on September 5th, 2018, 7:22 am

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The Inarta gritted his teeth, willing the pain to go away. Not that it was hard enough to bring tears to his eyes or cause skin to split but it would leave a sore patch on his head for days to come. Attempting to put braids into his long red hair would likely become a nightmare. Stan couldn't help but laugh at it all. It's been a while since he had given lessons to such true novices.

"Let me try again." demanded Raeyn, bending over to pick up the weapon once more. He was determined not to let this best him, even though such was a fleeting endeavour. He attempted the motion again, and again with very similar result and another painful knock to the back of his head, in exactly the same spot only now double sore.

"Hey hey. Ok, Raeyn. Let me show you again." Stan abandoned his own spear by the wall and walked over to Raeyn to stand behind him as he physically adjusted Raeyn's grip to be at the right distance from each other. He forced the boy to hold it a little closer than he would for normal attacks. As if in slow motion, controlling the path of the weapon with his spare hand, he showed Raeyn a couple of different ways to cause a spin that didn't involve as much effort as constantly shifting his hands around, and then where the weapon should follow.

"Your turn."

Once again Raeyn stepped into it, a little less confident but doing exactly what Stan showed him. And he had almost completed a full rotation. Granted he hadn't quite managed to catch it in time and the practice spear still fell to the floor with a loud clank, but at least it spared the back of his head this time, for Raeyn wasn't so sure he could take another harsh slam.

"It's all about practice, son. Don't let yourself be discouraged. You're doing good. Real good." Stan smiled, trying to be as encouraging as possible seeing the disgruntled face on the young hunter. But the one thing stand truly loved to do was to show off, and so he did. He completed one rotation of the spear before carrying on the momentum to also send it into a fluid windmill around his other side and a third one across his back before finally returning back to the familiar combat stance with the correct tip pointing right at Raeyn.

Suffice to say, impressed by the display of pure skill and rightfully intimidated by it, Raeyn was just about capable enough to retrieve his own off the floor and little else.

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A different kind of test

Postby Raeyn on September 5th, 2018, 7:42 am

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"Let me show you some ways to block. You may not need these against wild animals but hey, its useful knowledge. Come attack me." Said stand shifting into a more defensive stance.

"Are you sure?" asked Raeyn a little nervous. His forehead wrinkled in an expression of his worries that he might accidentally hurt the other.

"Of course. You can start slowly."

This armed combat thing really wasn't for him. When shooting at targets he hadn't the need to worry about anyone else getting maimed by his arrows unless they were stupid enough to jump out in front of it. And if such was the case then their stupidity warranted an arrow buried deep into their flesh. They deserved it. Not that it had ever happened to Raeyn but he'd have heard stories over the years. This business was far more risky. Blades and sharp points made him uneasy, soft on his feet.

A little hesitantly, Raeyn slowly stepped into his first attack on the man. Though he moved his weapon really slowly, as if time itself was going at half speed, out of genuine lack of trust in the abilities he had a lack there of. And as the first stab came at Stan, the man intercepted it with the middle part of his own spear, shifting his grip further down it's length, so that slowly the two weapons would come to a cross, where they'd be locked unless either of the men took a step back.

"This is the most common one. And the most useful one. At this point you can get closer to your enemy without fearing him stabbing you, get out a dagger maybe, grab him like this, knock him off his feet." Stan's muscular arm reached out and grabbed Raeyn by the front of his shirt to demonstrate his point, before disengaging and taking a few steps back. "If you get there first, he's as good as yours. Granted, its only useful if you're fighting with somebody else who wields a spear. Now try a few mid section attacks."

Raeyn did as instructed. And every time he took a slow stab at Stan's gut, the hunter intercepted it with the mid part of his spear. Every single one of those attacks was blocked. Satisfied that Raeyn paid close attention, Stan turned the tables on the Inarta with exactly the same set of stab attacks, letting Raeyn fend of a good chunk of them. Albeit the practice was slow. It gave Raeyn time to think, where to shift himself, when to block and when to retreat. If this was a real fight, Raeyn could be dead by now. But it was a good start at least.

"Last one. This time aim at my calves." said Stan.

Raeyn very much did as instructed only to find his blow intercepted and himself pushed back by the tail end of Stan's spear. It was slowly starting to make sense to him. Very slowly indeed. The head attacks were blocked with the tip of the spear, the midsection with the middle and the lower ones with the middle or the end. At least it was knowledge could take further with practice. He looked up to Stan and smiled, finding himself almost grateful for the lesson. Almost coss the dull ache in the back of his head made sure he would not forget his failures.

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A different kind of test

Postby Raeyn on September 5th, 2018, 8:02 am

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Some time passed and Raeyn was starting to slowly grasp the basics. Slowly but surely. Albeit he could hardly say that he saw any superiority in spears to bows. At least it was far less scary a weapon than his dagger which brought Raeyn far too close to a potential enemy for comfort.

Eventually however Stan decided that the Inarta was ready for a little friendly spar. He promised to go easy on Raeyn as he took off the spear tips from two practice weapons, leaving his own intact, and handed one to his sparing partner. At least this way they'd come home with bruises and not stab wounds.

"Ready?" the man asked, taking his position at one end of the room.

"As Ready as I'll ever be." muttered Raeyn, doing the same, hardly sure of himself. His eyes paid close attention to Stan, not that he could hope to predict any moves he'd make. In all honesty he wasn't looking forward to coming back home to Sasha all bruised up. He knew the Kelvic would worry. "Lets do this."

Stan immediately went on the offensive, unleashing a series of attacks on Raeyn that somehow made the youth doubt the sincerity in Stan's promise to go easy on him. He even managed to block one or two, though a particularly painful one made it's way to his gut with a sharp thud, another left an already forming bruise in his shoulder. Subsequently, Stan disengaged, taking a few steps back.

But Raeyn wouldn't go down without a fight. He followed Stan as he stepped back, following though with a stabbing attack to the man's head which was immediately blocked by the cross position. And Stan was faster than him too. HIs hand reached out for Raeyn's shirt once more and before the Inarta had any chance to resist, he found himself shoved back with an admirable force of a strong musculature, almost falling off his feet and once against there was distance between hem.

"Come on, put a little more heart in it." jested Stan, taking up an offensive stance once more.

Once against Raeyn came at him, with a gasp of effort slipping from his lips, a drip of sweat falling in way of his footsteps as he stabbed at Stan's left shoulder, only to find his blow intercepted once more. The wood bending and flexing under the pressure of the two men, trying to best each other in a show of strength which once more Stan came out on top of. But seeing an opening subsequently, Raeyn took a stab at Stan's calf. The attack however could not be carried out to it's completion.



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A different kind of test

Postby Raeyn on September 5th, 2018, 8:24 am

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Raeyn felt the tip of Stan's spear against his forehead. Coming in for an attack he had inevitably stepped into one of Stan's own. Looking up at the man a little dumbfounded as to how he could have been so easily outsmarted in this game of combat chest, Raeyn took a step back and lowered his weapon in defeat.

"I think that's enough for today. Wouldn't you agree, Raeyn? You did good though. You'll make a fine member indeed."

Raeyn nodded in agreement. With his heart pounding in his chest and a film of sweat sticking his red locks to his cheeks, he was just about done for today. Another day, perhaps, he'd pick up the weapon again but today he was just about ready for a beer to soothe the aches in his body.

Next, Stan turned to Tess as he spoke. "I've been on a few hunts with him before, a few year back. And if Orim's words are anything to go by, then he's only gotten better since. The guys at the Jugged Hare said they never had any problems with him so I'd say he's as safe a bet as any. Wouldn't you agree?"

Tess nodded. "Definitely a great addition. Glad to have you aboard Raeyn. You'll fit right in." she smiled as she walked over to him. Her fingers clutched a little piece of brass jewellery on a leather strap. Upon it, the insignia of a bird with it's wings spread out caught the dim light of the training room. "You're one us now, son."

Tess took his hand. Though her skin was incredibly pale, it hadn't come even close to the snow white of the poliosis stricken Inarta's. But glad was he to find that she didn't find it odd, neither did Stan. They just took him for who he was and asked no unnecessary questions. For that he was grateful. As Raeyn expressed his thanks she knotted the leather around his wrist tightly, marking him as a member of the guild officially.

"We all wear these, you know, lacking a uniform and all that. Orim really wants us to be taken seriously by the other power houses in Lhavit." explained Stan. "And well, shall you ever die in the wilderness and a bear eats your face at least you'll be easy to identify. Don't loose it."

There were a few more formalities to fill out. A bunch of paperwork that seemed truly unnecessary but soon enough all of that was behind him and Raeyn could finally join the others downstairs for an evening of merriment and drinking. And how pleasant it was, to be welcomed with open arms. But the single most important thing to the young Inarta hunter was that when he looked to his father across the table, he saw nothing but pride in the man's eyes. He was watching Orim's very dreams come to life this season and his very own son was part of that dream. This was perhaps the closest he'd ever come to true happiness.

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Joined roleplay: May 24th, 2018, 11:35 pm
Race: Human, Inarta
Character sheet
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Medals: 3
Featured Character (1) Overlored (1)
Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)

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