Balance

Lazy DM Info Dump Pt 1
Sorry Guys, will try to do better when I got somemore time

Krieger looked at those assembled before him as they unveiled the drawings from the runes. His brow furrowed as he looked over the facsimiles of the gateway.

“What do they mean?” Hiro asked eager to learn more

“They are runes, likely of travel, they form a gateway” Krieger replied eyes carefully tracing each of the ancient runes.

“Thanks,” Flit said sarcastically “we’d figured that out already” Krieger looked up and glared at the Grippli.

“You can’t just show up at my door with three sheets of interdimensional runes and expect me to know what they do at a glance.” The Grippli raised his hands in apology as the wizard looked down again “I will need sometime with these to figure out their destination, but I have better news.” He placed the scrolls down and lifted the paper with the number

“This here is an order number from the Omar Corporation, after a little light probing it shows a prescription date, this one is set to renew on the 29th of Coldeven, and it renews at the Omar Primus on the third circuit. I recommend we be there when Armsy collects his renewal, then we can follow the Omar to where he needs to go”

To Be Continued

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Battle of Arashi Tora Valley

23rd of Floodtime 379 ONT: Arashi Tora Valley, 15 miles NW of Kaiden Academy

Thunder rolled overhead and rain slashed down on the huddled troops. They waited for Hikaru’s command and he in turn waited for the return of his scouts. Lush with vegetation the steep sides of the valley left little room to manoeuvre and thus was the perfect place for the soon-to-be graduates of the academy to learn how to react and fight when the terrain and weather were against you. He had them pressed to the western side, out of the shallow creek and cleared ground from untold years of use. Night was descending on the group and they had yet to engage the other side. Another hour and the time limit would be up. Another hour and his troops could rest for the night. Then it would be only another day before they could return to the academy victorious as they had eluded their pursuers for four days.

The exercise was the culmination of all their training and Hikaru had rose through the students to be seen as a leader and given command of the 15 student infiltration force. Unfortunately for him the command of the light horse unit was given to Batou Ishikawa. They were given ten days of supplies and a head start told to roam Arashi Tora valley until the 24th. There was an instructor with the light horse to rule on any engagements without actual fighting based on position and weapons in hand. Hikaru had managed to peel off fifteen of Ishikawa’s troops for only a loss of four of his own in their only meeting on the second day and had since remained in hiding. Those fake dead were sent back to the academy and given other assignments.

The hour passed and still no sign of his scout and friend, Natsu. Hikaru was worried but had them set up camp for the night with tarps and braziers banked to keep the light from going too far. The instructor would ensure the Ishikawas and their lackeys played nice even if they caught Natsu. So setting the watch he returned to the small tent and slipped inside. Warmth greeted him along with a plate of hard tack and his maps. Sighing he knelt and absently began to chew on the dried out food while staring at the maps again. Crossing to the eastern side tomorrow would be better as it had trails where the horses could only go single file but the west has a few more escape options. The last he knew the horse were spread out on both sides of the creek and working south so it would be difficult to slip past but maybe a distraction would work?

The tent flap opened and Yukiko slipped inside. Her hair was plastered to her head and face and the grueling eight days racing around the valley had left dark circles under her eyes. Yet she was cheerful and held a scroll tube in her hands. A flick of her wrist and the now familiar sensation of magic being used on him and Hikaru was dry. A moment later and she was the same. He sighed and leaned back from the maps to rub his eyes.

“Getting tough to see commander?” Yukiko joked and settled in beside him. “One would think you were worrying too much with less than a day between you and victory.”

“We’re close, yes, but they aren’t going to hand it to us. Going back in defeat will do more than sting for them so I am guessing at an early assault tomorrow.” He sighed and rubbed at an eye. “I’m just grateful that the others saw it my way and agreed on avoiding any more confrontations after day 2.”

“Well you don’t have to wipe them out to win and your goal has been survival against a better equipped and larger force.” She rested her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. “I’ve got news of my own.” He glanced at the sealed cylinder and noted the family crest on it. They both knew what it was and the fact that it was still unopened meant Yukiko was delaying the inevitable. For the longest time they did not speak enjoying the warmth and closeness. The letter meant her time at Kaiden Academy was at an end for her grandmother had been ill and the letter would mean she passed on. It meant that Yukiko was to return and take over as head of the Omori family.

“I’ll visit when I can.”

“I’d like that.” She pressed closer to him and his slipped an arm over her.

Two years had gone by in the blink of an eye for them and it would be strange not to have Yukiko close by. Hikaru knew he relied a lot on her good judgement and she never let him get a big head or get too riled up at the stunts the Six pulled. Though over the paste half year they had all but stopped and Hikaru hoped that it meant he could put it all behind him. He had something to look forward to now and didn’t want to lose it.

“HIKARU!!” A voice bellowed through the night, “HIKARU! COME OUT TRAITOR AND FACE YOUR JUDGEMENT!!” Ice gripped Hikaru’s spine for the voice was Batou’s and it meant something had happened to Natsu.

“No, he means to draw you into something. Stay, he can do nothing to us until morning.” Yukiko’s words rolled off of Hikaru and he pulled away from her. She would be right and they should be safe for darkness had come to the valley but Batou’s presence hinted at something more. Ishikawa was going to lose and his honour would not stand that so he was going to try and force Hikaru into something. But what that was he didn’t know yet.

“HIKARU! COME SEE WHAT AWAITS YOU!”

Picking up his bow his hands pass over the blunt training tips and settle on the small quiver meant for hunting the game to supplement the rations. These he slipped under his cloak and settled it into place. He knelt and kissed Yukiko on the forehead, “You are right, this I know. But I fear for Natsu and those they might injure getting to me.”

Hikaru ducked out of the tent and into the downpour. Soaked through almost instantly for the storm had increased in intensity in the time he had been inside Hikaru moved to where he saw a half dozen horses alight with magical torches near the creek. They circled and shone the light about them as if unsure of where he was and he grinned. They’d not seen the camp yet. He motioned to his troops to stay and stepped into the clearing a little ways down from where the camp actually was.

“There you are. So the snake slithers from its hole to meet us.” Batou’s horse pawed the ground restlessly as lightning struck a tree to their right. The others brought their own mounts around and Hikaru’s hand tightened against the bow hidden under his cloak. Laying unmoving over the neck of Hayate’s horse was Natsu.

“What do you want Ishikawa? Night has fallen and my troops are safe. You gain nothing by being here.” Hikaru tried to portray a calm he didn’t feel. His eyes roamed around the Six and didn’t see the instructor. “Does Captain Rugenji know you are here?”

Gon spit and Batou laughed, “Ha! That old fool was easy enough to get rid of. We sent him off with our scouts in case they ran into you up north. Then we came across your friend here and he just didn’t seem capable of getting out of the way of our horses.” Hayate kicked Natsu free of his horse and the body dropped to the ground. He groaned once and lay still. The light from the torches showed Hikaru that they had done more than run him down for the way his arms and legs were meant he was suffering greatly. But he was still alive.

“What do you want?” Hikaru repeated his voice shaking with anger.

“Your head on a platter or a pike traitor. But seeing as how we have not the time to do it right I’ll settle for your death.” The sound of many blades being drawn only made Hikaru angrier. They had come close to killing his best friend and tormented the three of them for the better part of two years and all to kill him here where they could cover it up away from Kaiden. That the sons of those who murdered his father would do the same to him brought the anger to a white hot rage inside him. If he was to die tonight it would be with his arrows in their throats.

A blinding flash of light sent the horses screaming and rearing with hikaru trying to blink away the spots in his vision. Yukiko knelt beside her cousin, two others from his unit picking his unconscious body up. “Run Hikaru! Don’t let them catch you!” She cried and raised her hand setting off a second blinding flash before retreating.

His mind was set though as he’d seen too much and knew it wasn’t going to stop here tonight. They wanted him dead and once home they would employ less direct methods. No, he would stop them tonight and get a measure of justice for Natsu, for his father and for himself a measure of vengeance. His first arrow took Hayate in the throat and then he was running towards the creek. Behind him came shouts of surprise and anger. Horses were brought under control and as he turned to loose another arrow. It hit Gon in the shoulder but did not stop them from charging after him.

The night became a blur of lightning, trees, horses and blades for Hikaru but by the time the blush of dawn filled the sky he sat panting under a tree near a riderless horse and the body of Batou. He winced and finished tying the wound on his ribs and began the long process of collecting the bodies and horses to take back to the Academy. He did not feel much at this point and staring at the corpse of the young man he’d killed did not feel like justice to him. It felt like survival and that was something he didn’t like. Hikaru had wanted to feel some sense of elation or something that their evil was ended. But he was numb and only felt a pang of sadness at the unnecessary loss of life. He still needed to check on his friend and troops and face what awaited him back at Kaiden. Without a doubt though his time at the Academy was at an end…

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No longer Armed Pt 1

“AHHHHHHHHHH!!!” “OH O GODS!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!” the blond haired priestess looked down wiping the sweat from the brow of her screaming patient and once again wiped the sweat from his feverish brow

“He’s still at it, boy’s got grit, I’ll give ‘im tha” the thick accent of the dwarven priest said as he softly walked into the room. Sabine turned.

“Prefect Lief? I had thought your duty shift ended hours ago” the Preistess of Selwyn said in surprise

“Aye, it did, but I cannot leave a warrior in pain, especially one whom I’ve sworn to watch, Lord Yolo forbids it…” the Prefect reached a hand out and pinched the rubbery skin on Prancer’s forearm “Besides, this lad is a fighter true and fierce, I can hardly believe he is still fightin’” the dwarf leaned over the bed and continued his examination. Sabine was quick to help him along

“His pupils have been focusing and unfocusing at seemingly random consistency, with no noticeable changes when exposed to light or darkness. Same with pain receptors, sweats and chills. He has lost control of his bowels several times, and just ten minutes ago started bleeding from under his toenails.” The dwarf nodded his agreement with her assessments

“You’ve delayed poison twice on him, and given numbing elixirs for the pain… fine work Curative…” Lief turned the wounded arm over and then noticed the necropsy starting to appear. His let out a long low whistle as his shoulders slumped. “By Amanamachras Frozen Slit!” he cursed, drawing a gasp from Sabine. The Prefect looked up and nodded in apology “I had thought we’d caught it in time, damn!” he looked long and hard at the little black dots before looking at Sabine again “Please have a room prepped for surgery, I am afraid that lad is going to lose his arm”

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Encounter at Farpoint Pt 2

8th of Wealsun 377 ONT: Kaiden Academy, Fire Nation

Hikaru learned quickly to protect what little gear he had as the ‘pranks’ and harassment did not abate over the coming days. He also learned to check his bedding for ‘presents’ both living and otherwise that ended up in there. Even meal time was a challenge with the entrance blocked by the Six if he came too late and difficult to leave on his own unless he stayed late. They wanted him to make a scene, to attack them out of frustration and helplessness and in doing so be removed from the Academy to no doubt live in shame with his mother on their estate. But Hikaru was determined to make it and began working on ways to counteract the various problems he faced.

With the practice weapons, armour and other training gear, Hikaru made certain to never get attached to a particular piece or set. This meant that the sabotage did not always land on him and made no new friends for the Six. It didn’t curb their efforts either. With meals he went a different route and instead offered to help out in the kitchens for a chance to eat first and early. It meant more work but meant that the Six could not touch him or his food anymore. The final piece was changing his route regularly to and from the barracks to the various training exercises and classes. In a way Hikaru enjoyed the challenges and trying to outthink his opponents and that kept him from becoming complacent as he put real effort into learning everything taught to him. Who knew what would end up being useful?

With shadows stretched long and the sun heavy on the horizon Hikaru spied movements in the shadows of the Phoenix gate. He tensed as it moved to black his path but relaxed as the silhouette dissolved in the light to reveal Yukiko. An annoyed Yukiko by her expression and Hikaru stopped to let her close the distance between them. She stopped a few feet away and crossed her arms. “Well?”

“Well what?” Hikaru was confused. She expected or wanted something of him but he had no notion as to what it might be. By the stony expression on her face and the silence that stood between them it was the wrong thing to say. “Right so I missed something here.”

“It’s been more than a couple of days. I know you’re not that dense so why?”

Now Hikaru was annoyed. She had toyed with him at their last meeting and now she was here mad at him for not following after like a puppy to answer her questions about what he did wrong. He wasn’t sure if the fact that she was here now meant that she might like him or she was one of those girls who desired attention and got mad when they didn’t get it. He was hoping for the former over the latter and tempered his words to match. “Honestly it felt like it was going to be a poor game to play and I’ve got my hands full with training and other unfortunately necessary things.”

“Like avoiding the Ishikawas and their lackeys.” Yukiko nodded somewhat mollified. “Tricky to do as they seem bent on tormenting you.”

“You have no idea.” Hikaru sighed, “The worst is the instructors turn a blind eye to it. The most I’ve gotten out of one of them is a threat to the training group that we will all spend a month cleaning and repairing the field gear if any more of it is tampered with.”

“That just means they will start to get more creative. I’ve seen a couple of close calls where you didn’t know it but your change of direction fooled them and you missed some bad stuff behind some tents. Luckily it sounded like they will be gone for a few months on training manoeuvers with the light cavalry so you should get a reprieve.”

“So you’ve been watching me have you?” Hikaru grinned as it meant this wasn’t just a chance encounter meant to make him look bad. “Stalking me around the Academy to learn where I’d be.”

“I-I haven’t done anything of the sort!” The evening shadows hid her face but the change in posture suggested he was close at least. “The stuff between you and the Ishikawas is so obvious one cannot help but see it. Who else rushes from the classes so fast or takes extra duties when they don’t have to.”

“Well I need things to keep me distracted and productive so they have less opportunities to harass me. If I had someone like you to talk to and spend time with then maybe I’d be less busy with other things.” Hikaru shrugged and looked to Yukiko, “That is, of course, if you have time to spend being distracted by me?”

“What makes you think I want to?” Yukiko crossed her arms, “Maybe I just came out here to confirm my first impressions of you.”

Hikaru grinned, “That you wanted to do even that much is an encouraging sign so how about we start over without any outside involvement or anything.” He straightened and gave her a proper formal bow as one would from a high house, “Hajimemashite, I am Hikaru Yamamoto and you would do me great honour if you would name the time and place where we could meet again for the chance to get to know you.”

Yukiko stared at Hikaru for the longest of time before she sighed and turned shaking her head. “You are a strange one Yamamoto. Three days from now as the sun meets the horizon be at the lightning tree.” And with that she walked away and Hikaru stared after her wondering what it all meant. But at least he would have the chance to speak to her again and he liked that very much.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

14th of Goodmonth 377 ONT: Kaiden Academy, Fire Nation

“I’ve had it!” Natsu stormed into the kitchen where Hikaru had his head buried in the large pot he was scrubbing. The resounding bong noise let Natsu know that he’d surprised his friend. With a groan and a glare Hikaru extricated himself from the pot and asked, “Had it with what?”

“Gomen, Hikaru. The six have gone too far this time.” Natsu was pacing and Hikaru looked around to make sure they were alone. Thankfully the others had left content to let him finish the dirtiest and largest pots on his own. “They want me gone and by Ymeri they might just do it too.”

All trace of the normal humour that was such a part of Natsu was gone and Hikaru noticed the blood on his hands. “Who? What happened?”

“They replaced my dulled practice blade with a real one designed to look like a practice blade. Right up until our swords met and the pewter came off. But that wasn’t the worst part as I was sparring against Kita and he’s better with the blade than I am. I prefer to use my own weapons. But right at the point in the dancing snake combination where you have to commit to the lunge and your opponent goes for the high parry he suddenly twisted into the path of my blade. I-I pulled it, tried to change my direction enough but I still scored the hit down his side right to the ribs.” Natsu’s hands were shaking. “I dropped the blade and called for a medic or a healer but I couldn’t stop it.”

Hikaru thought about it for a few moments and shook his head, “Not good my friend. How is Shiro Kita?”

“He’ll live but it will be a week before a true healer can get out this way so that’s good.But they were calling for my head from the moment the blade struck and Kita fell. I know it was them though, the way he was grinning even as he fell he knew they’d won something.”

“Hmm, at worst they send you home and at best you get lashed and confined to the barracks for a while before rejoining the others. Not good options either way.” Hikaru frowned, “I think we need to speak to Yukiko and see if she knows anything that can help and talk to Captain Rugenji. He knows this isn’t something you would do.”

“I could have killed him. He knew that and still he smiled.”

“Yes because they knew either way they win something and you are better with the blade than you believe or you would not have been paired with Shiro Kita. He was counting on the fact you would pull the strike.” Hikaru grabbed the pail of soapy water and held it out to Natsu. “Wash and we will see what can be salvaged of this. Then we can talk about how we get them back.” Yukiko would disapprove he was certain but they could not just let the Six get away with stuff like this. If they did then he and Natsu would be better served quitting in disgrace and Hikaru was not going to back down.

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A Hero's Farewell

Duemathaday the 16th of Sunsebb 381 ONT. High University of NOULA, main campus

Captain Folas Cailana exited his inn room and looked to Belinda and Thalion who’d been awaiting him. He smiled a thin smile adjusting his uniform.

“It is a little tight, not bad for a garment that had not been worn in almost two centuries, thank you again Thalion for your aid in mending it” The official fleet uniform of the Armies of Argyle looked odd and out of place, but the A of A had been an army wrought of necessity and many divisions never were given a dress uniform, those that were, had been done hastily. The Captain fiddled with his belt adjusting the ceremonial sabre that hung there before nodding that they should depart.

The three worked their way across town towards the university quarter. The streets were busy, and one could tell at a glance that many had come from all across Argyle to pay their respects to Sir Myles of Oula and NOula. By clothing alone you could see many from Pelegious, Rehume, Eiradun, Don-Ton, even the Fire Nation was present. They rounded the bend and stopped to behold the university parade grounds. Thousands of Dwarves and Dactyls, standing at perfect attention wearing their old Armies of Argyle Uniforms. They stood beside elves, fey and humans, beside Trolls and Orcs and Honalians, they stood in proud silence and unity, and others arrived they walked to find their place and joined the display.

“Who was this man, that so many pay their respects, to mobilize battalions and move them in the winter months? I thought he was a Knight, not a general?” Belinda asked as her head swiveled trying to take it all in.

“Sir Myles of Oula is the man who began the end of the great war, without he, none of us would exist, and like a true knight, he asked for neither title nor wealth for her service, he is a credit to this realm” the Captain said as he worked his way towards the elven lines.

At the front several of the High Thanes themselves stood at stoic attention, as did Governor Varrik or Rehume, The Speaker of the Sun, Alana of Eiradun, the Fire Lord and even Lord Strahd. Many of these great people were mortal enemies, and yet here they stood side by side. They found their place, the Captain standing with his people, Thalion and Belinda finding a nearby spot to the side of the ground. Again Belinda was shocked when she saw those leaders of Argyle walk the length of the parade ground and each act as a Paul Bearer carrying a casket of simple dark oak to the front raised dais. As the casket was placed down no words were spoken, instead each of the Paul Bearers stepped forward, and when they did, their assembled people sang a song of morning, it began with the sailors and fey of Rehume. Then the dwarven pipes and drums took up an ancient dirge worthy of a fallen king. The elves sang a tale of Sir Myles’s accomplishments, while the Haunting Beauty of Don-Ton performed a heartfelt ballad of Myles’s great stand to liberate their city. The Fire Nation drums and dancers took on a display of magnificence. While the Cyrmeery flutes pulled at the heartstrings paying homage to the man that was a father and steward of the land. At last Alana, the Lioness of Eiradun stood forward and on her own, sang a soulful soliloquy, she was not a professional singer, but her soul poured into her song as she grieved her lost father. Through it all, almost three hours, not a solider wavered, not one stood easy, they maintained their strict attention and discipline, giving the man who had gifted them with “a Chance” every once they could muster.

Belinda had known little of the Sir Myles of NOula before this day, she had heard his name in passing, but not in any of the epic tales or ballads of the Great War, and yet now, here on this day she wept openly feeling a loss more profound then she had thought possible. The man had been hope, for so many, and now, he was gone. As the official funeral ended, they reconvened with their Captain, they walked slowly back to their inn, feeling that the world had changed now, that one of the last bastions of peace had passed, and that Argyle would be long in mourning that passing.

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Tummy Time Again

Curtis’s eyes blurred, he felt as though he were lifted, high into the sky and far above the Evermoors, then he shot south at an alarming speed, flying over great land masses, past the City States and Penny Kingdoms. To the South and West shooting past the continent and out into the ocean. There he entered the great mists and still he flew, the forever of the flight took only seconds as he emerged from the mists to see a cluster of 5 islands. Each with tall cliffs and spires, lush trees, tall flowing waterfalls.

He heard a voice and knew it to be his Goddess, “Find my home, and you shall find me”

Light a band stretched too far, Curtis felt himself shot back through the mists, over the ocean, across Argyle and found himself in-front of the Chevron once more. He looked at the great Chevron and nodded

“I will my Goddess, I will.

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Tummy Time the Two

Curtis walked slowly with his head hung in shame, he approached the Lily Ivey gates of Soaz’s realm. The guards were wary, but they did not see his wild elven warrior who had ended so many lives that day, so though they kept their spears levied they allowed him entrance. Through the aisle of great holly and oak, the ancients of the wood, he felt the gaze of the immortal trees weigh and judge his crimes, he felt petty he had acted with good intentions and those had led only to war. As he walked he say pixies, brownies, fairies, sprites and lechies in impromptu hospices being cared for as best they could, the dead that the fey had carried off with them rested on the roots of the great trees, eyes caste towards the starry sky above.

At long last he came to the Hall of the Fairy King, where the roots of the oldest tree on Argyle had been slowly sung to shape them into a tiny throne that held the ruler of the fair people. He looked up and swallowed hard. Sitting in the thrown sat Soaz, her arm in a sling, her face bloody. For her to sit there meant that the illness her father was reputed to suffer from had taken him at last, couple that with their recent battle and he knew that her mood would not be one of peace. Behind her tucked into the shadow of the great tree, eyes closed with hand open on the bark, stood the Fey Prince himself. His black feathered cloak billowed in the slight breeze as his blond brows furrowed with sadness and disappointment as he learned of all that had transpired from great elm tree. Curtis swallowed and stepped forward

“Princess Soaz…” he was cut off as a large Fairy with flowing blond hair and a breast plate of maple leaf. Cutis knew him for he had been the one to injure Maul and cause him to turn back. That was Yarrow Junipersnap head of Tylwth’Teg a warrior order of Fairy.

“Our Royal Matriarch is a princess no longer, upon the death of King Quillleaf she ascended to become Queen Soaz Peddlewing the 3rd of her name, Rular of all fair folk from Rosemellow Ridge to Rainbow Glen, from the Cliffs of Clover to the Hills of Holly, she is the rightful Queen of the Northern Fey and Duchess of the Tywth’Teg Council, and you… heretic will show respect before she rightly orders your end” the words that came from Yarrow were filled with hate and venom, he had lost brothers this day. Curtis nodded and bowed

“I am sorry Master Junipersnap, I do not come intending offense,” he turned to the throne once more “Queen Peddlewing, I am sorry, I had thought the Lady of the Night Wind demanded obedience, I had thought that I was doing her work, but as I look at the carnage that I have wrought, as I prayed afterwards I know now that my understanding was flawed. I know there is no way to undo what I have done, but I wish it so, I wish I could.” The Queen looked angry, and was working on forming a response when a soft voice spoke from behind her

“If I may speak your highness?” the fey prince said in a tone closer to song then words. The Queen looked to her advisors who all nodded hurriedly
“The Everlast shall always have a voice in this court” the Queen said

“Thank you your Majesty” he bowed deeply stepping forward towards Curtis. He stood the height of a man, with blond hair and features closely to those of an elf then a fey, but it was the eyes, great blue orbs that held a wisdom beyond that of any mortal or fey, eyes that could swallow a creature’s soul and have them drift through a void of forever. The Everlast turned and looked carefully at Curtis, weighing his very nature and soul against his actions. “Curtis Tomas, the faun of Myth’O’Learth, compaions of Maul-Chaluim of Clan Silverfish, and worshiper of the Goddess of the Night Wind. He leaned in and stared hard at the faun. Curtis’s heart was racing, he knew that his life was about to end and offered a prayer of apology to his goddess, he would be in death as he had been in life, a failure. The Prince’s hand reached out and touched his forward and then withdrew, Curtis dared to open his eye, but saw in the Everlasts face not a look of anger, but of surprise. And then mirth. “The Goddess of the Night Wind is a Goddess true!” he declared to the court, many of those assembled gasped in awe and surprise “What is more is that she wishes both sides to come to peace, and…” his voice took on a curious tone as he studied the soul of the faun before him “… and she gives much for it” the Everlast reached into a pouch and polled from it a handful of sand, with a dramatic swirl he tossed the sand in the air and a golden light emanated from it. The sand quickly formed images and those gathered saw a proud and noble Strix, a tall warrior a proud man formed by the gods himself. They saw him go forth live honorably, meet another Strix, marry have children, then it followed the child as she grew and lived and fought and married and more children were had. Each time one child was selected and followed until they in turn had children, this repeated thousands of times over and over until it came at last to one larger then the rest, a form of beauty and power a form that arose to Godhood and became the Goddess of the Night Wind, and beyond her showed the silhouettes of the many generations that were to come. And then, with a sudden thunder strike, all the ones that followed the Goddess were gone, she would be the last of her line, the last of her kind. The sand that had made up her children, childrens children and more drifted to those fallen, and turned to a spark of purple resting above the heads of each fallen pixies, sprite, or fairy. With a pulsing that quickened until at last one last POP, the sand faded and those who had fallen awoke, as if only from a deep slumber.

“The Goddess of the Night Wind and offered a peace, I recommend her Majesty extend the same curtesy” The Everlast said as he backed away to his shadow by the great elm once more

Miriel awoke in a cold sweat and in agony, the dream was so real, it scared her so, she then turned in her bed and cried out in paid, she felt of awful stabbing in her stomach, her hurt like a hand had grasped her insides and tore at them… and she knew that all she had seen was real, and for it she wept.

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3rd Letter to Home

Papa,

We almost died.

Perhaps I should be more clear; apparently arrows are bad for our health – that is an “idiom” as the frog friend describes it, though it seems to be to be words of truth. They were a dishonourable lot from the Fire Nation, if you can believe it; this group laid an ambush out for one of the pet humans on board my captain’s ship and killed a crew mate of mine. In retribution I killed everyone I fought; you would be proud of me, Papa, many of them were human, though I had to use the avatar to kill them.

Incidentally, that pet human is that boy your friend was asking you to protect – are there any messages you wish for me to relay? He does show some promise, I suppose…

I have started to look for the history of our people – the library here is exquisite. I accidentally revealed to my bosun moons ago of my ability and love of reading but thankfully none of my other companions remembered it and believed me when I said I had no love of reading. I am not ready to admit to them that I enjoy a weakling’s pursuit, not when they believe me to be strong and fierce. As for the history I have found nothing of importance. There were only three books on our people, yet thousands on sharks; sometimes I do not think I will understand these people. Regardless, I will remain here in this human dominated city, and learn more about their culture; there must be qualities in this race that are redeeming, there must be allies we can trust. I did find two humans involved in the War – I ask your permission to carry out their death sentences, though I will need something official as these humans in Don-Ton ask for documents all the time.

[There appears to be scratched out words here, as if Miriel had a hard time writing the following paragraph]

Papa, I have a suitor; he is human, true, but he is as respectful of his ancestors as we are, his stamina is beyond approach, and every time I see him fight I would say he could rival any Strix in agility. I must be beginning to understand human customs for often he swears that I must have a large piece of human in me (and yet is overcome by laughter when I remind him I am do not have human in me, but half elf). He has not been serious in seeking my hand, but he assures me that the next request to be my virum he will be most impressive. I know he will not be accepted by our people as my actual virum but it is my hope that you and Ronan will bless him as my consort. I would be happy for it to be so.

By my love and wings,

Miriel

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Tummy Time

Curtis looked around at the bloodshed and carnage that he had wrought, his stomach turned and he thought he might be ill. How had it come to this, how had the battle been so brutal. He bent down carefully has he heard a light tinkle of bells and saw one of Soaz’s fairy soldier’s shudder with pain. But the looks of it he’d been clubbed out of the air and crashed against the rock. The stone has smears of glowing gold on it indicating the fairy had been bleeding severely. He reached for the little creature, heart torn with pathos, but stopped himself, The Goddess of the Night Wind had granted him three spells this night, one had been used in the combat, but he would need to be careful on how he spent the other two.

“I’m sorry my friend, I never wanted it to come to this” as he spoke he collected a droplet of water on his finger and lowered it so the small fairy could drink. “My spells are not powerful enough to save you, but please, be comforted” Curtis sat with him and began to sing an ancient song

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While he sang he gathered the fallen soldiers of Soaz and laid those who had died peacefully by the alter of the Goddess of the Night Wind, those who yet lived he brought them water and warmth hoping to aid their passing and make it as painless as possible. As he did this he couldn’t help but see the truth, Maul-Chaluim had been right and maybe this was what the Goddess had been trying to teach him as well, strength in might did not make one right. He could force his way, but could he live with forcing it? Maybe people needed to decide for themselves. He let out a quivering tear and prayed to his beloved Goddess, was he right in this line of thinking, should he make peace? He brought his gaze up to the great chevron in and stared hard at it. The chevron swirled, and she appeared, his beautiful goddess wearing red tinted goggles a great winged beauty. Her face showed a smile and it filled Curtis with warmth. He decided then he would march over to Soaz and find a way to make the peace. He looked to his goddess once more and prayed fervently, could she save these Fey? Would She?

*
To be continued*

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