Private Tales The March of Progress

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Ahsoka

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Ahsoka stared at him with no small amount of disgust as he shovelled as much food as possible into his mouth. Were men just the same no matter the race? It certainly seemed that way. Shaking her head slowly she just decided it was best not to look at him whilst he gobbled every grain of rice down his gullet. Much like she tried not to look at any of her brothers when they ate either. She was much more delicate in the way she scooped up rice and fish between her fingers and ate.

For the rest of the meal she didn't eat. She hadn't been lying when she'd said she had been starving and her stomach finally settled down as she gave it what it had been crying out for.
 
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Vass

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Vass' food did not disappear into some magic abyss. He couldn't imagine anyone that could actually eat that whole plate of food and not feel sick at the end.

Yet he ate a moderate amount, leaving everything surprisingly organized even after shoveling things into his mouth. There was a surprising amount of neatness left over, as though the meal had been divided by order of what he enjoyed. "Well."

He commented.

"That was delicious." Not that there was anything surprising by that. "Usually it takes me a meal or two to find something I like."

A frown touched his face. "The Duargr fed me Ethilen."

Vass' features contorted in disgust. "They're like...a shelled bug..."

Gods. He could still remember the smell.
 
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Ahsoka

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Ahsoka's plate on the other hand was picked clean. She flopped backwards into the sand with a satisfied sigh and rubbed at her belly which had finally stopped eating itself. With the sun now high in the sky and warm on her skin combined with the satisfied feeling of being full, she could have fallen asleep where she was. Vass' voice made her crack open one eye though.

"Some bugs can be tasty if cooked the right way," she commented with such a serious tone it was hard to tell she was joking. She shut her eyes again and turned her face back towards the sun.
 
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Vass

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"Oh don't I know it." He said, setting the makeshift plate into his lap. "But it helps if they're cooked."

Gods.

He could still remember the visage of the Duargr digging into the shell of that insect and simply munching away on it's guts. The whole thing still made him want to wretch. If not the least bit because the man had offered him the 'heart' with a smile

Vass was still pretty sure the entire thing had been an exercise in masochism. "Do you have homeless?"

He asked suddenly. "Kids who don't get fed?"

It seemed as though the question came out of nowhere.
 
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Ahsoka

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Ahsoka wrinkled her nose at the question.

"No."

It just... couldn't happen. Not in their way of life. In fact in their native tongue they didn't even have a word for homelessness they had to say a person who is without a tent but even that was met with several confused looks from those who did not interact with the outside world at all. She bit her bottom lip as she tried to think of how best to explain it.

"A tribe is like a family. You would not leave your grandmother to sleep outside in the cold or rain, and you would starve before your child starved," she didn't feel like she was explaining it right. "It just is not a thing that happens among any of the tribes. The Earth provides food and shelter for all, it is her gift, and so it is not for one person to have and another... not to have."
 
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Vass

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The explanation made sense, and Vass had heard similar things from more than one community that had visited.

Briefly he wondered why they always ended up fighting for the other side. Why the Hundred tended to have to buck tradition, press against the people who had paid them. Perhaps because the ones who cared didn't tend to have gold.

Lips thinned for a brief moment, and then he smiled. "Well thats good."

He meant it too.

"But." A wry chuckle escaped him. "Seems like this is going to go to waste."

Vass joked, but in truth his mind was in a much darker place.

He remembered home. He remembered the kids starving on the streets there, those that he had befriended, whom his mother had tried to feed. There had always been so many of them. More than his family could help. It made it harder to joke about.
 
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Ahsoka

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Ahsoka opened an eye to peer at the food he had left. She had simply assumed he would eat it all so hadn't bothered to look before laying back on the grass.

"There's no waste here," she laughed as if the idea were hilarious then with a sigh of resignation rolled to her feet. "Come, I'll show you."

Not much further on from the food sellers was another group sat over bowls of food and fires but this time there was something... different about it. The jumble of bits they had were odd ends and a mish mash of fish, meat and vegetables. Some cooked, some fresh or on the turn. Most of the people gathered were women who chatted and joked with one another as they worked.

"Some of the food can be used in other meals or for treats," she explained as they passed one woman making what appeared to be a pie of sorts made up of some of the ingredients. "Others get made into parcels for the animals - the pigs, especially, will eat most things," she nodded to another station. "And some just goes back into the earth, to nourish the land."
 
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Vass

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"That makes sense." Vass said with a nod of his head as he offered a small wave to the gaggle of women and men.

He had never quite seen anything like this.

There were communities were food did not get wasted, where things were put and designed to orderly take care of everything, but nothing like this. He supposed perhaps it could be common enough elsehwere, but not anywhere he'd been. "It's...nice."

Vass said, fully meaning it.

In his hand he still carried the half full plate. "So..."

He said with a glance to Ahsoka.

"Where do I put this?" Vass didn't want to somehow mishandle it so that they could not reuse it. A small bit of trepidation tinged with respect.
 
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Ahsoka

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He was... trying. She hadn't expected that.

"This way," for the first time there wasn't a snark to her words. She led him to a group of older men and women with grey in their hair. She motioned for him to copy her as she crouched down in the circle.

"Grandmother... we brought leftovers. Are these any good?" she motioned to Vass' plate if he stooped to crouch beside her. The eldest woman among the circle looked up and smiled a gap-toothed smile. Her eyes were almost milky with her age and she had to squint to look first at Vass then the food. She took the plate very carefully with shaky hands and set it down in the circle. The others soon begun to divide it up.

"Thank you child," she said and gently patted Vass' cheek then squeezed it for good measure with a cackle. From amongst her beaded dress she produced a small sweet which she pressed into his hand.
 
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Vass

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Some color flickered through Vass' cheeks, but he only gave a respectful. "Thank you."

The sweet curled into his fingers, and he briefly glanced down at it.

It was another side of the culture. Another glimpse into another world. Vass wasn't sure what he enjoyed more, seeing this, or learning the sword. He'd never thought that the former would become his favorite part of being in the Hundred, and yet here he was.

Briefly he wondered how old the aged woman was, but decided that asking would probably be just as rude in this culture as any other.

As he and Ahsoka stepped away Vass frowned.

"I hope your elders come with us to the meeting." It was a rather stark, depressing statement, but how he truly felt. There were a lot of people here, and the King would not shy away from killing every last one.
 
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Ahsoka

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"There is... a lot of pain to overcome," Ahsoka said in a sombre tone as they walked. She hadn't a real destination in mind but her feet were naturally taking her away from the markets towards the place she had found at their current site that she loved the most. It was where she had gone to think on whether or not to go on the mission to rescue her friend. On their way they passed more tents and people going about their lives. Enjoying it.

"When the first attack happened it was unexpected and in the dead of night," she explained, her voice etched with pain. "The Elders had merely said they would not vacate the forests, they hadn't threatened them, hadn't provoked them. We didn't hear from them for three days and assumed they had respected our wishes based on the friendship we thought we had had with them. Then... in the night a group of fifty or so men on horses came. They cut tent lines and the horse pickets, slaughtered our herds, and then set fire to the tents. People rushed to fight them but they didn't realise another group were coming from the other side... As the elderly and children fled they ran right into their swords."
 
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Vass

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Vass grimaced. "That sounds..."

Right on the tee for someone like the King.

He hadn't met the man, obviously, but the more he learned about him the more he understood what kind of man he was. There was little doubt of his intention when it came to this place, to this forest around them. It would be carved out and used to fuel his own path of war.

"We can stop him." Vass said flatly. "Just need to make sure the others don't come."

Numbers mattered. Moral mattered.

The Commander had fought in a dozen wars, he knew what he was doing. Vass trusted in that. "But that's gonna take some...dealing."

None of which would hopefully land on his shoulders.
 
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Ahsoka

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Ahsoka merely shrugged. It wasn't for either of them to decide. They would be caught up in whatever current the powers that be set in motion and all they could hope for was to make it out the other side in one reasonable piece. She just hoped some of her people made it too. But with an army heading for them of that size...

It didn't bare to think about really.

After climbing a sharp sudden hill still shrouded in thick woodland, the trees fell away and the hilltop came to a rather abrupt end. It wasn't hugely above the small tent town they had just wandered through but enough that it gave a good view of the whole thing and the lake it encircled. She sat down and let her legs dangle over the lip.

"What if the armies don't listen and come anyway?"
 
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Vass

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"Well." Vass said with a frown.

There wasn't really much that could be done at that point. Even if the armies didn't show up they were going to be fighting an uphill battle. Sneaking into an army camp and doing some damage was one thing, actually fighting a standing force?

That was something totally different.

Vass had experience with both, and there was no doubt in his mind that if the armies did arrive they had absolutely no shot. Even with everything he'd seen here. "I never thought I'd die fighting side by side with a not-elf."

He said with a glance to her. "But I can think of worse ways to die."
 
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Ahsoka

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Ahsoka looked down at the tents and the people there - her people - who would be dead in the coming weeks if this didn't end the way they hoped. She would pick up the bow and fight of course. She couldn't not, and they would build over the ground where her blood went back into the roots. That was the most upsetting thing. But she wouldn't change her decision - couldn't, in fact. If you couldn't fight for your home, your family, your friends, then what could you fight for?

She laughed beneath her breath and glanced to him.

"How about side by side with a friend?"
 
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Vass

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He smiled. "Eh."

A shrug rolled over his shoulders.

"We'll see." It was obvious from his tone of voice that he was jesting. There wasn't really much difference between the two from what he could tell. Friend or not-elf. Anyone that was standing side by side with him on the field of battle was someone he trusted.

At least for a little while. "Maybe if you start being nicer to me."

For Vass, it was simple. He had joined the Red Hundred. He had fought with them, and he knew the grounds they would stand on. It would be the very same that Ahsoka did. Thus the decision had already been made for him.
 
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Ahsoka

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Ahsoka snorted and turned back to look out over the view.

"You, broke my ribs. You tied me up and tackled me," really if anyone should be asking anyone to be nicer, it should be her asking him. She sniffed and then took hold of her hair and pulled it round in front of her to begin unknotting some of the braids.

"I don't know what seaside village you come from but here, this is not a sign of friendship," certainly hadn't been the best way of trying to instigate talks with her. Though whether she would have stuck round long enough to listen to words was another matter entirely.
 
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Vass

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A shrug rolled over his shoulders. "I was under the impression we were under attack."

He decided that it was probably not a good idea to point out that he could have slit her throat and left her for dead. It didn't really seem to be beneficial at that moment.

"Besides." Vass offered. "Haven't you ever heard of rough housing?"

Was that not a thing here? "My friends and I practically used to throw each other into the sea."

It was, of course, a rather obvious lie. Well not the throwing bit, that had actually happened, but it wasn't always good natured. "Just...maybe."

He looked at her.

"Start over?" Vass asked.
 
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Ahsoka

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Ahsoka glanced at him sideways.

Seconds ticked by, then minutes, but eventually she huffed and then nodded.

"Start over," life could be ending soon and it was wrong to die with grudges in your heart. Though it was hard to forget what he had done given the dull throbbing ache still in her ribs. She returned her sights to that in front of her and went back to swinging her legs. "I bought you up here so you could see what there is to see. Is there anything catching your eye? I suppose I should at least try and educate you a bit." Before handing him back to the savages.
 
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Vass

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Vass considered for a few moments, letting the silence sit there as he began to look at the sights beneath. He took in a long breath, considering everything that he'd already seen in the tent village below and then the sights that she'd put before him.

"What's that?" He asked, gesturing towards something just beyond the tent city itself.

He could barely make it out from where they were sitting.

It appeared to be a cliff of some sort, the drop off sharp enough that he couldn't even see where it went. Vass had no idea why it caught his eye, it was probably just some sort of cliff, but he had always enjoyed things like that.

The strangeness of nature itself.

He'd loved the Underdark...until what happened happened.
 
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Ahsoka

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Ahsoka shrugged and leant back on her elbows, her keener eyes studying the rocky outcrop.

"It looks like a cliff of some sorts. I'm not a scout so I haven't been over there," she hadn't had any reason to either. If she ventured beyond the town it was usually to the Outside to sell her jewellery. Even if her people didn't value gold, humans did and they needed it in order to buy things in that they didn't have or that the earth couldn't provide for them any longer.

"I suppose we could go have a look... we just have to be back by tomorrow morning," thought she wouldn't really like to be out past night in these forests...
 
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Vass

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Vass nodded his head. "Well that sounds reasonable."

Not to mention fun.

The thought of leaving something like that unexplored was a damn shame. Curiosity was within his very nature, that was part of the reason why he'd joined the Red Hundred in the first place. Home had been boring, not enough.

He'd always wanted more. To see more, taste more, do more. It was a part of who he was. Wanderlust his mother had always called it.

"Lets go then." He said with a wide smile. "Maybe it will be something interesting."

Though more often than not it turned out to be a pile of rocks.