Private Tales Prelude: The Hindlands

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Sannoru

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Dark season, 5th of Afterglow

~*~​
At the lakesite a gathering of youth stood. On one end were three of the fabled Raikara, with the elderboy up front, his younger brother beside and their youngest sister, the snitch, hiding behind a tree. On the other end stood the clanless of various ages, with Sannoru at their helm.


»You are not unwanted, clanless girl. You are quite promising in fact and we will always claim you as a valuable asset.« Sharraa's mild, carefree expression was haunting, even with his eyes closed and lips tilted in a mild smile. »But do not be mistaken. He is my brother and I love him just as much, regardless of what lowlife he chooses as his company.«
His expresion soured as his eyes opned again.
»Yet, there are boundaries not to be crossed.«

Behind him stood Chiro, the broter in question.
»let's go...« he murmurred, stepping aside only when the elder boy swiped him away without so much giving him a glance.
Chiro seemed utterly devestated in the situation they were now.


»To spend time with him, he whom may one day join the ring... You are given a great honour to bask in his presence, but you are unworthy of him, little girl.« Sharraa closed his eyes, smirking before unsheating a straight, black like tarr blade from it's embellished scabbard.

»Now let me see what my brother sees in you,« Sharraa rose the gleaming tip towards Sannoru.

»Sharraa, stop it, lets just go home-«
Chiro tried to dissolve the situation, but Sharraa would only shrug him off.
»You may be strong Sannoru, but just like in the legends. Akuranos, moon king will defeat the ever burning sun, Sannonasu, trice each year, every year.« The Raikara elderboy bellowed, his pose pompous and wide, his face in a grand grin.
"Now...«


Sannoru opposite of him gritted her teeth, her eyebrows furrowed and face tensed. The text on her arms slowly evaporated as she moved them the way just as Sharraa charged at her and struck.

Blinding lightning flash. That's why the Raikara were named such.
That's why they were feared.










»Learn your place...«
 

Sannoru

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16th of Seagrass. Late afternoon.

~*~​



coo-coo

coo-...





coo-coo

coo...




coo-coo

coo-, the collared dove called into the afternoon. It's song reaching far and wide, loudest among the medley of lesser birds that called these groves their home. Only the swallows stayed hush, preffering to capture the low flying insects that basked in the golden afternoon light.

Coo-coo

Cooo, from the ambient still came the soft wind. Like a shepherd chasing clouds from their mountain pastures over the sweet pea valley... First came the bravest of the clouds, harbringers before the rest.
And oh, how fluffy the distant ones looked like, as if they were golden whipped cream, towering far above the distance. Yet appearances were easily ecieving...

The warm draft came towards it as the surging wind rustled the tree branches, it rustled the blossoming peas and even the grass bent at the wind's will. The lowlands seemed like a different kind of sea in this waving motion...

The season of Seagrass, the sweet scent of wildflowers and blossoming grass. Waving and waving, carrying the pea blossom's odor far and wide throughout the valley.

The doves did not mind a little wind...
 

Sannoru

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coo-coo

coo-, it was like an intent rythm. The doves knew how to keep tact. one two - - three. one two - - three, like the march of the novices home. Bruised, battred and limping. One two - - three.
-if they come out unharmed, they were not training hard enough. So said the revered head-clans.


coo-coo

coo-. It was all for a cause.
Training was over.
One by one, home they went, one by one another cloud came. The gold from the sky slowly erased as the gloom of the clouds came in a haste.

Yet not all had retreated to lick their sores at home. As the sun rays in the yokai eyes went from yellow to orange, darker and darker. A single dusk haired boy remained in the training ground, he kept running and running, running in wide circles over the gravel frield. Most that were sane in the head would see this as excessive, the ring of elders of the Saikra and Raikara clans would see this as an example.
'What bold fighters we'll have, feared most of all the yokai'.

He was not alone.
She was standing there, a single girl watching him from afar. They were still very young, born in time of peace after the warring years, born to broken adults of long gone and forgotten clans. And which clan took in these lost people, to be protected by and serve for?

Were they under the wings of clan Iobez? Famed to be the fastest of them all. They were, and 'loyal to no end'. What a devotion to a clan which murdered your own...

The wounds were still so fresh among the scatter-clans.



-To survive in this world I have to be stronger.-

The boy kept running, no stagger nor fall would keep him from his task.

-If I am strong I can protect those I love.-

Blood trailing down his knees, skin covered in scrapes and bruises...He simply kept running.

-If I am strong I can change the world-

Falling was just the first step in getting up...

-If I am strong I will be needed.-

His gasping was labourous. Slower, slower and he collapsed like an oak tree in a storm.

-If I am strong I will live...-

He managed to mutter some words, barely.

Delirious.

The solemn girl kept watching him. Her brow twitching slightly, but not even recoiling as he crashed on the floor and remained there... Why...

-If I am strong...-

He murmured, his speech so heavily slurred, yet the words were so crisp in his mind. Clear like quickly frozen ice.


//-Am I even needed?-//
//Useless//
//Worthless//
//Failure//

Oh - it was as vivid as daytime.
 

Sannoru

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Further up, beyond the fields and stalls, the village propper finally began.
Most of the reed-thatched houses lay hidden behind gardens of peas, walls, clustered orchards and alleys. While quite a portion of the village lay tightly together with stray houses spaced evenly out, the compounds almost seemed like their own districs or enclosed villages. The largest of the compounds, however, were those where the founder clans lay; Raikara, Iobez, Runa, Saikara, Hyarovi...Their compounds were able to afford good plaster, stone walls and wooden paneling.

In one of those compounds... Where two of those clans lay cheek by cheek... The Iobez and Raikara.
Their houses were still lively and silhuettes of people still mingling were sifting through alabastrine walls like a shadow puppeteer's play. Many were still busy before they would finally settle for bed. -It was quite late in fact. In Cerulean elven standards at least.

In the western wall of the Raikara compound lay the grandest house of them all, the one with blue shingles and an elaborate walled garden with ponds. Of all the houses it seemed vacant... Almost deathly silent.


SWOOOOOSH swooOOOOOoooosh!

Coooo, the dove went quiet, and along with it the rest of the woodland birds as the cold wind caressed the valley. rrr
rrrrrrr rrr
rrrr
 
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Sannoru

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Red... blood red light; Vibrant and warm as it passed through the tender paneling of the outer perimeter, this thin were the alabastrine walls.
Light with it's intensity tinted ruddy all that was inside. Of the square room. The internal two walls were painted in subtle, yet intricate blue waves, while the outer two were patterned in dark brown lattice panels.


Despite the high grade of construction, oh what a mess the room was... Overall empty, almost no furniture; pillows and sheets were all over in the corner though, not like the room was ovrrall full to begin with. On the contrary it was so empty that a single poorly unfolded sheet was an eyesore.
And mid this mess two people sat on opposite ends of a wooden board. On it lay bone playing tiles, one side marked gold, the other bronze. Respectively 'sun' and 'moon' sides.

The one on the golden end was a young man of silverine hair, orange eyes and light cerulean skin. He haphazardly wore a simple gray robe with orange grass patterns, it barely stayed on his shoulders.
A young maiden sat on the bronze end, her skin dark as the brightest, most vibrant night sky, while her hair as brown as willow tree bark and her eyes a toxic green. She however was draped all over, huddling in an olive green sheet, which was patterned in pink blossoms.

Normally the two would have been playing outside on the veranda, facing the closed off yard when the rest of the Raikara were away on duty. It was more eventful to play among the loud cicades and bird song, secluded by the overgrown gardens. This time though, it didn't seem as calm...nor was the air fully still
 

Sannoru

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»Sannoru.« He spoke.
»Yeah...Chi!...I am 'thinking'!« San punctuated her voice as she lowly, abeit briefly gazed at Chiro.

She reached from under the sheet, her hand aching from every movement and twist of the fingers. Yet she faked like parakeet. The lacerations on her lower arms were taking a 'fine' time to heal; it was all due her own fault. If she could not rest, she could not heal.
Falter and you get run over, left behind. Missing out in a competative world is somethin no one could afford.
How are you even gonna pick yourself up? She simply had to keep on going.

-

Sannoru took the moon priest from his defensive position by the lord and set him further away from the previously protected tile. The stiffness of her movements was clear enough to see.

Chiro's mind was solely on the arm movement alone. He sighed, looking solemnly to the side. He felt guilty for that incident.
If he never befriended the clanless...If he never trained with Sannoru that day...If his little sister hadn't found him with the clanless...If she hadn't told their older brother... Snapping out of his thoughts, his eyebrows furrowed as he noticed from where to where she even moved the tile.
»Oh come on, you're doing this on purpose,« Chiro muttered, leaned back and waving his left arm. His voice briefly louder than permitted in such secrecy.

»I'll 'grant' you the right to correct your move,« the young Raikara leaned back, muttering while crossing over his arms.
Easy wins always felt so undeserved.
Looking at his tiles, the sun chariot's position was perfect to take the moon lord. Most of the lesser tiles have been played away already, with only the key few tiles left. And this was just their second game this eve.

»Doing what on purpose?« Sannoru spoke defiantly.

»...Loosing! Intentionally« The young man snapped from his locked position, with his arms uncrossing. Chiro then swooped the tile and moved a simple sun soldier forward one tile, instead of more wisely moving forth his left chariot to corner the moon lord and thus winning. Giving her a second chance so to say. Chiro had been growing all too frustrated over Sannoru for the past few weeks.

»Call it a slight in my tactics,« San spoke without a worry, laying back all carefree.

»Not even a beginner would make such a mistake.«

-Thump-
 

Sannoru

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-Thump-

»...« Sannoru turned her head.
»...« Chiro stared likewise.


A group of yokai patrolls passed outside the building, their long, wispy shadows penetrating through the paneled rooms.

As they passed, both Chiro and Sannoru went deathly silent. If the patrolling Raikara and Iobez found San...now...Here...
It would not bode well for her.

The patroll soon passed, seemingly uninterested in the happenings inside.



»...«

»Why would I prolong the inevetible...« She muttered, quietly.

»A defeatist attitude this quickly?.«
»I'm choosing my battles
»You're loosing, not choosing!"

San shrugged.
»Rarely can I afford to loose, so I might as well lay back for once.«
Sannoru frowned a little, her voice low. Her face then flushed: »I didn't come here just to play games either.«



Chiro sighed in a defiteist tone, noting the remark against the regime of his bloodline. »Let's clean up the tiles then...«









»No...no need to. I'll continue playing. It's just...«



The room was growing darker from each cloud that passed the sky.


....



»...It's just fun? Right?... ...Yeah...You sure?« Chiro completed for her.

She nodded.














»You're stalling.«
 

Sannoru

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g"You're stalling."

"Oh...right..." Chiro leaned forward, looking over all the tiles again thoughtfully before placing his sun bishop over Sannoru's moon general.


The wind brushed against the house, whisling and rattling the wooden chimes. This time even the crickets went quiet.


Without a second thought, Sannoru placed the previously moved bishop over the sun general.
Chiro took a more defensive position after such a move.
click

clik
Sannoru moved the moon rider forward, leapon over the soldiers, agressive, daring, invading.

click, Chiro shared a glance with San.

click
click


A shadow on the walls passed the inner room.


Click...Click

Stmping loudly as normal to her when in fould mood.

Click, San placed her tile.

"Huh, what is she doing here? Wasn't she supposed to be on the trip?," Sannoru quietly whispered as she leaned in.

"Uuuuh... I'd rather not tell why," Chiro casually shrugged.

"Both got in some fight?"

Chiro scratched his hair, looking away
 

Sannoru

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»You know how she's like. At least when she's angry she leaves me alone.«
»At least that, « Sannotu chuckled before they both got engulfed in silence.


The light which came from outside, passed through the translucent Alabastrine walls as red, like blood red light. Distant thunder, quiet, serene made it's presence known before bright flashes would illuminate the rooms within.

KASHHHHKH
Cicades and crickets would all be deathly quiet by now.



The very same short shadow of Chiro's sister passed on the outer corridor -tap-tap-tap-, her feet claped across the floor. -Hhhhrrrh-hrrrrrhr-r-r-r-hhhrhr-r-r-r-r. heavy wood rasping sound creaked through the room as the figure dragged storm shutters across the outer walkway.

Bit by bit the room in which the two were was engulfed by darkness. They didn't mind.

The little sister's body however was unmoved. She turned at stared at her brother's room before sliding it wide open.

»CHIROO, Why do I always have to do work around the house!« Before he could give an answer she already shut the door and ran off hone.
She didn't need his answer, she just wanted to shout at him. It was just her brother playing that stupid board game...with himself again.
Weirdo.




»Ugh... « Chiro arched his back, laying on the floor and gazing up at san on the ceiling.

»I'm glad I don't have siblings, « she chuckled quietly.

»Imagine how loud she would've been if she saw you... Yet another tantrum. Another scolding from my parents and ...«

»I don't plan to be discovered transgressing ever again,« san quietly murmured before, like a feather, landing before the board. »Not even a cat can hear me come. That's why - «
»That's why you work so hard, that's why you don't give up. Remember?.« He alluded.

»But Imagine if we didn't have to, « Chiro continued.
 

Sannoru

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»Yeah, Imagine that,« Sannoru repeated after him.

Even the insects now went silent.
ŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠ came the downpour.
»Chichi, I Think It's best I leave now before It's too late.« Sannoru gazed over her piled-up clothes at the back.

»Wait, I'll help you,« he offered, reaching out to her. »Put them on? Just to get them soaking wet?« Sanno shook.
»No way, besides...« She stood up away from Chiro, fluttering the blossomed patterned sheet. »I'll be 'borrowing' this for the time being.«
»How else will I guarantee you'll come to me next time...«

The young Raikara leaned back, watching her pick up her things, slide the door aside and back before eventually pushing the storm shutters to the side.
For only a moment, the sound of the heavy storm gushed inside, and as soon as it stopped, her form was full gone.
»Goodbye...«