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Elias and An'un Dui enter Syka

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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New Beginnings (Gossamer)

Postby Elias Frostfawn on June 3rd, 2021, 10:58 pm



1st of Summer 521 A.V.

Elias stared down at the water of the small stream that he and An'un Dui followed from the Jungle. The Jungle seemed cooler this day than what he was used to. Maybe that was just hopeful or wishful thinking on his part because that would be perfect for his purposes. This morning it had rained and everything was wet. That was one thing about the jungle he couldn't deny was lovely, the smell of everything after a morning of rain. It was starkly different than the frozen world he hailed from, ice and snow weren't without scent but the fragrance of a jungle environment was another thing entirely. "I'll be fine, I just won't look anyone directly in the eye for now. The hood we got in Lhavit will be enough to cast my face in shadow, and we can mix some berries and mud in order to create a black paste to line my eyes so it will hide the color. As long as I keep my emotions and check and remain calm it shouldn't matter anyway" Elias nodded to himself. He didn't know if he was more trying to convince himself or An'un Dui of this plan. He could tell she was nervous, he was as well. Carefully, he applied the liner to his eyes after he crushed and ground it into a paste onto a large stone lying on the jungle floor made of berries and minerals from the mud and soil. He looked at his face in the water of the stream. It was the same green eyes he always had but the thick black paste offset them enough that they appeared slightly more pale. Lifting the hood over his face he was satisfied as he looked at his reflection that his eyes were at least heavily obscured if not completely unnoticeable. The only thing he was worried about is the paste melting off or him sweating the black paste away from his face due to the humid weather that wasn't unusual around here. "It might just work," An'un Dui said in a tone that revealed she was still unsure of this whole idea. "It has to work," he said with firm resolve as he turned with his hood up and his eyes obscured to follow the stream An'un Dui promised would lead them to Syka.

It was bells of time following the stream before they came across a structure. It was a small structure suspended over the running stream with a thatched roof and it seemed pretty open. It also had some sort of platform suspended below this structure but still far above the stream. Curiosity overtook Elias as he made a move to go toward the structure and felt a hand on his shoulder "What are you doing? We want as little contact as possible in Syka until you can be sure that you can safely mingle amongst people." Elias turned toward the worried voice of An'un Dui, "I don't want my first trial run to be amongst the people of Syka. That seems foolish when a perfectly good opportunity awaits us here. I can ask whoever lives here directions to Syka, we must be close by now. In doing so I can practice remaining calm and test this disguise out on them. If she suspects I'm a Vantha then we aren't in the city proper and we can just return to the wilds once more and I can practice morphing until I am at a level which I can fool even the most discerning gaze". Elias thought it was foolproof logic, what could possibly go wrong? An'un Dui sighed and nodded. They put their bows away, he didn't think anyone would talk to them if they displayed a show of force. He hoped this would prove a wise decision. As they approached the structure they paused when a young, but still looked significantly older than Elias, a beautiful woman with blonde hair that seemed to catch the sunlight peeking from the trees and illuminating her. She bent down to observe something on the topmost structure of the building when Elias took a deep breath and prepared himself for the first real social encounter he had in the span of years. He raised his arm and waved it back and forth and shouted, "Hello there, we seem to be lost. Any chance you know the way to Syka?"

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Postby Gossamer on June 5th, 2021, 4:03 am

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Uta looked up from where she was busy making cuttings from one of the plants she'd zealously tended into a thriving plant of monstrous proportions. It was more than time to thin the green beast and spread out the love the plant would bring to her medicinal cabinet. The Cordoncillo was incredibly useful as an anesthetic for those who have been ill or have suffered an injury. By simply chewing on the leaves, one's mouth would go numb. Rub it on a wound and it had the same effect. The broad leaves and rich colorful flowered shoots were going to be the base of more medicinal creams and salves when she got done propagating it.

Uta turned her head, noting the visitors, and quirking an eyebrow. She half rose from her crouch, the severed bunch of the cordoncillo gathered in her hand. Sound carried in the wilds, even with the tinkling of her stream. "Why would you not be able to safely mingle with people?" She asked curiously, rising and cradling the liberated cutting in her free hand. Keeping an eye on the two newcomers, she carefully applied a thin liquid from an eyedropper bottle to the cut she'd made on the severed plant, and then half-buried it in the soil of a pot she had prepared. There it would root and once the roots took to the soil of the pot, she'd set it loose on its own patch of ground. Uta wore a tool bag that held all sorts of things including gardening tools, sheers, knives, and a multitude of eyedropper bottles just like the one she used. The ground around her was littered with pots ready to take on cuttings.

"Trial run? You aren't from the wild people out in the jungle are you?" She asked cautiously. Several people had encountered recently barbarians that were made of mixed humans and symenestra . They spelled trouble for the settlement, one they would soon be having a meeting on since they were a threat that needed to be dealt with soon. The two newcomers didn't have the look of symenestra about them, but Uta wasn't willing to rule out anything.

"Yes, I know the way to Syka. I have to find it to find my way home after all. You are standing in Syka." She reported, quirking an eyebrow and studying the two newcomers. She noted their weapons, while not actively held in their hands, and noted the bulging packs and the amount of sweat on their faces. "You came from the jungle?" She asked again, her hand casually resting on her hip once she set the pot down that she'd transplanted the new propagation into.

The woman's nails were dirty, but they still tapped out an impatient rhythm on her sheathed kukri at her hip. "You've probably been traveling in the confines of Syka for quite some time now." She added, looking at each of them thoughtfully.

"I'm one of the local herbalists, and I go by Uta." She said thoughtfully, watching their reaction. Most people approached strangers with an introduction and a friendly smile. These two were as nervous as old James got just before a squall. "Lost? I doubt that. No one comes here by accident." She replied, still curious as to why they hadn't immediately introduced themselves. Instead, they were slugging around the jungle talking about how to be evasive by not looking anyone in the eyes. Why? Uta had no idea, but now she was decidedly curious.

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Postby Elias Frostfawn on June 6th, 2021, 7:03 pm


He stopped dead in his tracks. He was still about one hundred feet from the woman, maybe about forty paces. Enough to get off an arrow? Maybe. He wouldn't chance that. It was probably enough distance to get away and run back to the jungle though. Already it seems he had screwed up, his voice carried on to this woman and betrayed some of his secrets.

Thinking quickly on his feet he began to concoct a story. Elias had already told his backstory in his own mind several hundred times before, he would just need to tweak it slightly. Panic gripped Elias' heart though and he had to take a pause to make sure he could calm down, at least enough so his eyes wouldn't betray him. When he was frightened they had the tendency to turn a golden yellow color. That would not do him well right now. A moment passed, and Elias finally spoke trying his best to remain calm.

His previous words were a variation of a phrase in common taught to him By An'un Dui. His words now came haltingly as he tried to find the appropriate words. Common wasn't his first language after all. "Ah, apology. We do come from Jungle but we are no danger ourselves. We flee from slavers, hope to take refuge in Syka. I look for work and shelter. A place to hide from those who hunt him. I hope Syka is not home to these slavers. Never know who you may be talking to, yes?" A refugee from the jungle, it was as good a story as he could concoct. Hopefully, he could find work and a place to lie low while he practiced morphing and could more easily blend in. Syka seemed the perfect place if An'un Dui's description was anything to go by. It seemed secluded enough, just like Avanthal only warmer.

He was relieved that they were currently in Syka. He would just need to know where to find a place to stay. "Do you know who would like a hand? I have money for rent. Can point me to place to sleep?" Elias hoped his common was getting through. He only used it when the Frostfawn hold was trading with outsiders mostly.

An herbalist she said she was. He knew people like that in Avanthal. He didn't know much, practically anything, about plants and herbs. He had friends in the Whitevine hold who could heal and soothe with salves and potions made from plants that they asked his father to find on hunting trips out in the tundras of Taldera. It was often a way to trade skills. He remembered when his father traded a whole snow hare for a green liquid in a glass container that he gave to one of his sisters who had been in bed for many days burning with a fever they could not bring down. Within bells, his sister Kiala had sat up and began to sip some soup his mother had made. He respected herbalists, he thought as he let the fond memory of better days go. This woman was probably very smart and wise. he would have to be careful. He was already prepared to run though his body ached and his soul was done running.

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Postby Gossamer on June 7th, 2021, 1:41 am

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Uta watched the pair approach then listened calmly to the guy speak. She keep an eye on the woman who remained quiet. The man seemed nervous, edgy, and sweat from the humidity of the jungle was making his... eyeliner run? Uta wondered if it was a religious thing, a cultural thing, or just a vanity thing that the man wore cosmetics. Shrugging mentally to herself, she rose from where her clippings where she'd been working on the Cordoncillo and set the project aside. Even though she had her misgivings about the man's words and demeanor, she sensed no threat from him. In fact, Uta considered herself an excellent judge of character even if the man was seemingly trying to hold himself together.


The woman, Uta judged, was more confident but there was an air about her that was utterly foreign. The herbalist figured by her firey red hair that she was from the people of the eagles, far to the northwest. Inarta? Uta couldn't remember much about them except they rode giant eagles and had red hair.


Uta raised an eyebrow at the man's words though. His story was weak at best.

"There are no slavers in the jungle. There are not even slavers on the coast. They prey on the big cities where people are. They aren't lurking around in the Wilds where no one goes. Can I make a suggestion?" She said, wiping off her hands and looking thoughtful.

"Tell those I am going to take you to the truth. They are far wiser than I am and if they hear that from your lips, they are going to know you are lying." Uta advised, reaching out and pulling her slicker off a peg hanging near where her potting shed was. It wasn't raining now, but if she stayed long in the Commons, she'd need it for getting back dry.

"Come... I will take you to people who can answer your questions." She added, looking between the man and woman. They had bows, but hadn't seemed inclined to draw them. That gave them positive points in her eyes.

If the pair followed her, Uta would take them east, then north, until they spilled out on the Cobbled Pathway and into Syka proper. She lead them to where the turnoffs lead to the Tar Pits, past the Panacea's pathway, and finally by Kihala's Shrine. Once they spilled into The Syka Commons proper, Uta looked around until she spotted a pair of men working on a set of benches they were making for the beach.

When they spotted Uta, both men paused and set down their tools.

Uta greeted them with a smile and then turned to make introductions. "Mathias, these two came out of the jungle. They haven't shared their names yet but they are looking for work and a place to stay." She added, glancing at the pair with her before she continued. "This is Mathias and Randal... they run things around here. They are part of a triad who founded the place, so we call them Founders." Uta explained, then offered them a smile.

Mathias, the older of the two, raised an eyebrow. "Uta, aren't you looking for someone to help you out in the jungle? That's the first job I know of. The Innkeeper is also looking for help, I think. And there are a number of other businesses looking for helpers. The Panacea - our local healer - and even the sawmill." Mathias added.


Randal nodded in agreement.


"Welcome to Syka." The second man said, a tall good looking man considerably younger than the older man who introduced himself as Mathias. The younger one was Randal. He spoke sincerely. "I'm the one in charge of building new construction and providing living quarters for people to settle. Are you planning on staying or are you just settling in?" He asked, then listed a few options for them to stay.

"We have bungalows and rancheros for rent by the season. We also have an Inn if you are planning on a shorter stay." Randal explained, taking a good look at the two before him. "Usually our guests come by sea. You came out of the jungle?" He asked, the statement more of a question about their origins than anything else.

Uta nodded. "No one's mentioned strange ships." She added, curious about the pair's origins as well. Before anyone hit the pair up with more questions, the trio of Sykans waited for the two to respond.


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Postby Elias Frostfawn on June 8th, 2021, 7:32 am


The truth. There was never so dangerous of a thing as that in the exiled world Elias now found himself in. Uta seemed calming and wise but what of these founders? What would any of them do if they found out about his heritage? As they walked with Uta he contemplated what she said. He could tell them the truth but omit his heritage. Elias thought that was best given the circumstances of the world. He would try something that would betray him, but he didn't think anyone would be able to speak Vani in this tropical area. Why would they be able? Though, more surprising things had happened before and more than likely would happen again. He would use An'un Dui as a translator. If he were to convince these people that he had no ill will or foul intentions, he would need to articulate himself well enough to do it.

His story had fallen apart. He couldn't very well risk telling another tale in front of Uta nor did he want to lie. He detested dishonest people and he hated he had to hide himself at all but always felt the need to. Survival had been bred in him over these past years. They would never trust him though, even if he did have a very good reason to lie. He needed their trust. Elias thought about the situation in clear terms. He was afraid they would kill him. Why would they though? For the bounty? He could bribe them for a safe place to stay and work. It would be significant.y less than what the price on his head was but they wouldn't have blood on their hands. Would they even care about such things? Would a bribe be an insult? So many questions, so little answers. He liked uncertainty as much as he liked dishonesty, not at all.

Elias looked toward An'un Dui for some sign for some indication of what he should do, maybe to even convey what he was about to do. He received nothing from her troubled eyes that would give him what he needed. He spoke to her in Vani, "I'm going to be speaking Vani now, I need you to talk to the people she is taking us to for me. I want to tell them my situation truthfully without telling them I am a Vantha. You can still run if you want Annie, I would understand." He gave her a half hearted smile and she seemed startled by this revelation and uneasy. His stomach tied itself in knots at the prospect of what was to come.

An'un Dui answered him in Vani, "If you are sure then I am with you. I know how being away from people has hurt you. We shall see what this day brings us."

Elias looked about the commons. He was familiar with the postings about killing Vantha and the price on his people's head. Relieved, he saw none of those either in the commons or on the way to the commons. Whether that be by virtue of the climate or by it's people, the lack of these postings was not a bad thing to be sure.

Elias extended his hand toward the man who welcomed him in an offer to shake it. "Thank you, I am Elias. She, An'un Dui." At this point he spoke in Vani and An'un Dui spoke for him translating what he said although she added her own comments.

"Elias does not speak common well and he wants his words to come out clearly. He has lost his family and was forced to leave his land. I have taken care of him for years now, he seeks a safe place to sleep and work from those that would finish their foul work and bloody their hands by hunting Elias. He swaers on the souls of his lost family he will work hard and will be a danger to no citizen of Syka. He only asks that he not be made to reveal where he is from. He asks that secret stay with him. We both desire to stay here and work as long as you would allow us to stay."
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Postby Gossamer on June 9th, 2021, 1:52 am

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The two Founders and Uta stood around casually as the newcomers were greeted and accommodations were suggested. They even threw out a couple of job prospects just off the top of their heads. They listened to Elias' introduction then An'un Dui's explanation. It was odd. It was so incredibly odd. The three denizens of Syka glanced at each other, exchanging looks, Mathias with a raised eyebrow and Randal with concern. Uta, however, recognized the Vani but said nothing.

"That's fine. We need all the help we can get. But... why make a big deal out of where you come from? We don't usually ask too many questions about where people came from. We only want to know why they've come. You aren't on the run from someone or wanted In some city, are you? You aren't bringing trouble here?" Mathias asked, absolutely serious, but not in an accusatory way.

"It's better to just get things out in the open before you settle here and take on work or even build a life. It's a lot safer for the people that are already here as well." Mathias finished, looking thoughtfully at both newcommers.

Randal nodded, studied Uta a moment, then glanced at Mathias. Then Randal spoke again. "I've suggested a few jobs and some places to stay. What else can we do for both of you?" He said quietly... he was concerned and hoped the strangers would be more forthcoming.


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Postby Elias Frostfawn on June 10th, 2021, 1:11 pm


Elias considered the words carefully. He knew why he was being so evasive, so cautious, but he also understood why two people coming out of the jungle insisting they were not dangerous but refusing to reveal where they came from would seem odd and suspicious to most people. Uta and the founders had been kind and patient with him. Anyone else would most likely have sent them on their way. It was a tough decision. Should he trust these people he had just met? Then again, Elias was asking them to put a mountain of faith in him that he would not disrupt the peace nor bring danger upon their heads. Elias was positive, in fact, that there was an element of danger in allowing him to stay in Syka, however small that chance may be. That decided it then, Elias thought to himself, these people needed to trust him and he needed to put his trust likewise in them. They would either accept him, risk and all, or deny him as he was.

He knew his eyes had probably flashed from green to yellow and back to green. He was ill practiced still in the magic An'un Dui had taught him. Elias always had a poor ability to control his emotions as well. If this wasn't enough to out him, the Vani he was speaking could have done him in as well to those experienced in the language even passively. The founders had possibly already guessed what he was already, what happened next would only cement their suspicions.

Continuing to let An'un Dui translate for him she explained, "We come from Avanthal in Taldera. He is of the Vantha people, those being hunted for the disappearance of Morwen. I took him from his home after people came and burned his house and most likely killed his family. It has been five years since that dreadful day and we have moved from place to place, from cave to makeshift camp, ever since. We believe the danger of reentering society is minimal. There are those that would kill him for the bounty on his people's heads, but as long as no one knows who he is he should be safe. He says he understands this is an unusual burden to place on you all, but you would have a hard worker added to Syka and someone eternally grateful for the kindness of offering him a safe place to sleep and work. That is why we have come, just for a decent life and a place we can call home."

An'un Dui's speech had ended translated from Elias' Vani. His eyes were no doubt golden yellow with fear and worry. Fear of rejection. Fear that he had put his trust in the wrong people. Fear that his worst-case scenario was now to play out. Fear overtook another emotion he was feeling, however small it was still there. He had hope that he could finally after five years of skittish caution, he could now rest. His muscles tensed, ready to run at a moment's notice and at the first sign of danger just as they had so many times before at the slightest rustle made in the wilds. This lasted but for a moment until he relaxed and mentally submitted himself to the judgment of the founders. "I would house in bungalows. If Uta want, I work with" he said reverting back to his broken version of common, answering the question posed to him.
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Postby Gossamer on June 13th, 2021, 2:49 am

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The trio seemingly in charge of Syka studied the pair as the story came out and more information was given. Mathias, for one, visibly relaxed. The oldest founder didn't like having a problem without a solution, but he liked less having a potential problem he didn't understand. This problem, while having no solution - without Morwens immediate return - could be dealt with. The Founder didn't like killing. And he certainly didn't like killing for no good reason. Very few people knew he was a priest, nor did they understand much about the deity he served. But because of his status and the fact that his God frequently spoke to him, he knew Xhyvas would not condone him for overlooking Elias' origins.

Randal, having no such ties, nodded. "You need to lose the accent and lose it fast. The quicker you can learn common without the Vani accent, the better. And while we are grateful you outright told us what's going on, I would not spread it around. There are people here who follow members of our pantheon that would take exception to you being alive... especially those of the other seasonal gods." He said thoughtfully. "We welcome you fully here... if indeed that is the only problem both of you come with. But you must do what you can to keep that tidbit of information to yourself." He added, then glanced at Uta.

Uta nodded then began to speak. "I could use some muscle in my travels in the jungle. I have no problems with that and can pay an assistant 4 gm a day. But you'll need better clothing for the jungle, tall boots, and at least a machete or kukri and some sort of survival knife. Talk to Juli about a survival pack and she'll help you put one together so you can carry it as we work. I go out in the jungle about five out of every seven days, then take a few days off. Some days I am gone an hour, sometimes I'm staying overnight if my destination is longer. You'll have to pack for such trips because we don't always know when we leave when we will be back. Is that acceptable?" Uta asked, not caring one bit he was Vantha. She was just glad to know the reason behind his skittishness.

One never knew.

Mathias turned to An'un Dui and studied her. "What are you going to do here? And where would you like to stay? I can take you both up to the bungalows and show you the ones we have available. Will you be getting one together or separate ones? They only have one sleeping room apiece." He added, looking thoughtfully at the woman. Mathias was doing a quick set of calculations. With the addition of the two individuals, they'd have four open bungalows and two open rancheros. The addition of two new residents didn't strain anything.

Randal nodded. He added constructing a few more bungalows to his to-do list since Syka was getting more visitors these days. The Inn took up some slack as well on that front. Randal was going to suggest that James expand the Mercantile as well.

"If you decide to settle here, you can eventually buy land and own your own place. I build most of the buildings here, and can construct you a home if you'd like. We ask everyone in Syka to learn some survival skills for the jungle we live in and pick up a few other handy skills like carpentry and construction. You don't have to be the best at it, but what you can do will really help. So too would be learning hunting, foraging and a little navigation. There are no services here like there are in other cities. We are lucky enough to have a healer, but he's not always around and available. This place is dangerous. You need to learn to live with those dangers. Uta will really help you." He added, nodding towards the herbalist. "Picking up a bit of her trade wouldn't hurt you any at all." Randal added.

Mathias nodded in agreement.

"Come on... lets show them the bungalows so a place to stay can be selected." Mathias suggested, beckoning Uta, Randal, and the new pair to follow. He'd lead them through The Commons and over to where the rental bungalows were. He showed them the four that were not taken, and let them select their own housing.

Then, with the newcomers settled, Randal and Mathias would take their leave. Uta would linger, pause, and tell Elias she wouldn't need him the next day, but the day after he should be ready to travel in the jungle.

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Postby Elias Frostfawn on June 18th, 2021, 8:19 pm


It was going well, Elias thought. If there had been even one of them that was a priest or priestess or a follower of one of the gods that wanted him dead it would have ended much differently. He thought about this much later on but right then he was desperate enough to tell the whole truth. This was confirmed in only moments by one of the men, Randal he thought the man had said before. The other seasonal gods and their followers. He nodded as the man spoke and was grateful. Fate smiled upon him this day. It seemed he would be welcomed into society once more and could sleep and work in peace and safety, or as safe as he could possibly be. As for learning common and losing his accent, it would take some time for sure. How fast could he learn the nuance of his second language and learn to speak without his very noticeable Vani accent? He would have to figure it out.

Uta was the next person to speak. She offered him a job and he accepted enthusiastically. He mentally took note of the list she had given him and of the person, Julie. He hoped he would remember everything tomorrow when he spoke to Julie. Elias didn't especially like the feeling of not being prepared. He also didn't like the feeling of relying on someone else but he had quickly learned it was very necessary to rely on others especially when you couldn't do something for yourself. The wilderness humbles you very quickly and without help from An'un Dui and now the people of Syka he would have certainly perished by now. The wilds had also taught him something else. When you had the time for it, being prepared wasn't an option. It was a necessity. If you weren't prepared, that was your fault. Elias was determined to become an asset to Uta and not a burden.

"We will want separate bungalows please" An'un Dui replied to Randal. "I am good at surviving in the wilderness. I can act as an escort for the people of Syka that are not so good at surviving in the jungle and guide them through the wilderness." the red-haired woman responded. Both of their social graces it seemed were severely lacking as An'un Dui stumbled through her speech, she seemed uncomfortable with talking to others in general even if she were the one most often to do it of the two of them. Out of the two of them, she was the more outgoing and personable one, but she had to be to go into towns every so often and gather supplies from merchants and the bits of food she could obtain from markets by selling pelts. Then again, Elias didn't set the bar high for outdoing him in the charisma department at all.

When they got to the bungalows Elias and An'un Dui picked separate bungalows relatively close to one another. It was the nicest place he had been in for quite some time. A shower, a kitchen, a bed. Things he wasn't exactly used to. It felt like paradise. As Randal and Mathias left, Elias listened to Uta. Tomorrow he would prepare a to-go bag for his newfound job accompanying Uta out in the jungle and maybe explore a bit and the day after that would be his first day on the job. he went through the list of supplies he would have to get from Julie once more in his head. Syka had welcomed him, he thought as Uta also left him, and it had gone better than he could have imagined. It was a fresh start for Elias, and a new life he had managed to pluck from the ashes of his old one with so much help and kindness from others.
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Elias Frostfawn
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Posts: 18
Words: 18994
Joined roleplay: June 1st, 2021, 7:58 am
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Vantha
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