Solo Into the Stars

Autumn arrives in Lhavit and is introduced to her new home at the Lantern.

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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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Into the Stars

Postby Autumn Rose on November 28th, 2019, 3:44 pm

Into the Stars

Fall the 7th, 519 AV

Sailors waited anxiously at the sides of the ship as she moved lazily into the docks at the foot of the mountain, Lhavit glittering high above. It was a welcome site, and even the long ride straight up the mountainside was a welcome change from the months they had spent at sea. To the men stuck on board the Mary, their gentle drift into the Tranquil Port seemed a lifetime in the making and a lifetime to complete. Some were over the side as soon as the moorings were in place.

Noah was one of these. This was their one stop, their one port, where he begged not to be in charge of loading and unloading cargo. This was the one port where he wanted all the free time he had.

There was one destination on his mind, and he couldn’t wait to get there. Fate, or some other crueler antagonist, continued to mock him, because there was plenty of waiting to be done. First, he had had to wait for the Mary to dock. Then, there was the long wait while enough Okomo were loaded to make the trip up the mountainside worth it.

These fascinated Autumn. The giant creatures were easily able to carry a load that covered their back completely, but it wasn’t their strength that impressed her most. Watching one come down the mountainside, the caprine creature demonstrated a grace that Autumn had never seen in an animal that size. Down the nearly vertical slope, the Okomo walked, calm and confident, the way a normal person would stride down a city street. Even cats, agile hunters that they were, didn’t seem so fluid as the Okomo on a mountain.

But it wasn’t just their grace that astounded her. There was a calm to them. Even when Autumn materialized in front of one, it didn’t shy away. Rather, it demonstrated a curiosity, and as the ghost lifted her hand to stroke its head, the creature licked at her extended hand, snorting and shaking its head as its tongue met the frigid, dead soul. But this didn’t stop the Okomo from continuing to lick at the hand in front of its face, the cold of it providing some relief against the early autumn warmth, and for nearly a bell, Autumn held her hand where it was, laughing while the creature licked until its tongue had gone numb. Even Noah forgot his impatience as he watched the spectacle, and a smile tugged itself across the sailor’s face. Autumn almost felt bad that Noah had to wait to get to his desired location. Almost. The Okomo were most fascinating creature she’d ever met.

Finally though, the small caravan was ready, and Autumn continued to entertain herself with and admire the Okomo even more on their trip upward. Keeping herself only vaguely materialized beneath the big goat’s neck, autumn held her hand out in front of him, and whenever they had a small break or the pack animal was feeling parched, it licked her hand. Noah’s wait up the mountainside was a long one, even in the skilled hands and hooves of the Okomo and their guides, but the view was well worth it. With no balance to worry about, Autumn could steal a look outward whenever she chose without risking a fall to her death. Beneath them, the sea spilled outward, filling most of their view until it melted into the sky above.

Eventually, Noah’s wait up the mountainside was rewarded with another wait as guards inspected the caravan. Having come up last, Noah began to settle in, resigned to weather this wait as well when a guardswoman in a light blue robe with silver trim saw him and waved him forward. Autumn dissipated into the air, not wanting to be a reason for Noah being denied entry into the city, not wanting to be denied herself.

As Noah approached the woman, a smile spread across her face. “Noah, you salty dog. How long has it been?”

“Nearly three seasons,” he admitted.

“What are you in Lhavit for today?”

He smiled ruefully. “Come on, Eilened. You already know the answer to that question.”

“Visiting my sister?”

Noah nodded.

“That’s as good of an excuse as any. Just make sure you treat her right.”

“You know I always do.”

Eilened laughed. “That I do. That I do. She’s always bubbling about how great things are when you come around, and that’s just what she says about the company. You should hear what she has to say about the sex.”

Nearby, a mother’s eyes widened in shock before she glared their direction and covered her young son’s ears from what she deemed an inappropriate conversation for his ears. For his part, the boy thought it was a perfectly reasonable thing for himself to hear, and he struggled against the grip of his mother to try to slip free. To his disappointment, the strength of e1xperience and propriety won out over that of youth and curiosity. When he finally broke free, all he managed to catch was Eilened’s last comment.

“She says she fakes nothing with you.”

Even a sailor could blush in the present company, and Noah was bright red.

Eilened was about to give him a hard time when she sensed something off. Her eyes narrowed, and her hand slipped into the black sash with two white stripes that ran diagonally along her torso. Though the rest of her seemed tense, her arm relaxed. If Autumn didn’t know any better, she would have thought it was completely limp. Only when a probing appendage of projected soul met the periphery of her soulmist did Autumn remember the sailor’s talk about the Shinya. While many of the great cities of Mizahar boasted elite fighting forces, none seemed quite so impressive as the protector’s of Lhavit. To a one, they were masters of projection, an art form not unlike the one that allowed Autumn to manipulate the physical world around her, but the Shinya had perfected it to a deadly purpose.

At the first contact, Autumn blinked backward several strides, but it was only a matter of moments before seeking strands of Eilened’s projected soul found the edges of Autumn’s own, forcing the ghost to retreat even farther. Noah had had enough time to recover from his blush, most of the pink gone from his cheeks, and now noticed Eilened’s suspicious yet detached look.

“You alright, Eilened?”

Unable to find what she had first felt, Eilened came back to herself. “It’s nothing. Be careful what you pick up on your travels. Sometimes, things attach themselves to you.”

Noah, Goddess bless him, was good at playing dumb. His eyebrows raised curiously, and he gave nothing away about Autumn. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Eilened smiled and shook her head. “Nothing. Just be careful.” Flicking her head to the gate behind her, she stepped out of his way. “Now get your ass over to the Lantern to see my sister. She’ll be ecstatic to see you.”
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Autumn Rose
Even weightless, I'm a burden.
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