Titanfall With Hardship to Landfall

For threads related to the Titanfall event of 2021

Zara

Abtati nomad, rogue, & mystic
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Zara climbed / slid, less than gracefully, down the dangling line to the waiting vessel below. Normally, she would have applied a brief application of weightlessness by way of the runic emblems emblazoned across her body. Right now, she was too tired to even try. Hand over hand she descended i to the waiting arms of the feline crew below. Collapsing into a sea of hands that cushioned her final fall, she smiled wearily. “Thank you.”

Shakingly making her way to an empty seat in the quickly filling dinghy, Zara clung to the gunnel. This boat rocked even moreso than the ship, tossed and jostled by the waves. She closed her eyes, feeling her stomach lurch within. “Here we go again.” she muttered as she hung her head over the side and heaved a helping of recently ingested seawater and bile into the waves, the spray soaking her once again.

Zara groaned in pain. Why would anyone want to leave the surety and steadfastness of land for the sea?
 

Kthell

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Kthell blinked at Nezu as he blatantly ignored, or dismissed, her voice. No matter. She huffed quietly as his hands scooped her up and brought her close to him, and she scrambled up and around his shoulders the moment they were in reach. Her claws sunk into his clothing as the duo made their way down the rope to their rescuers’ ship.

She watched the little cat-folk with interest, cocking her head to the side as she heard one call out yet again. Hm. These creatures were unknown to her. Seeing as how their vessel had found its grave, she expected they would be here for a time and learning plenty about them. Perhaps her form would incite a pleasant reaction.

Her human-taxi eventually found them a place to rest by a dwarf, Belrune Brighthand, who was soaked through and quivering. At that moment, she realized just how much water covered her own fur. Kthell immediately set to grooming.

At Nezu’s question, she replied with a sharp, “No. Though they will be yours, considering they’ve saved you all.” A pause. "You'd best say thank you."
 
Evacuation ends New

Ermengarde

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The evacuation began in full swing and the Southern Star emptied itself of passengers.
Its bounty would need to be recovered still, but that was something for the sea or plunderers to claim.


Ermengarde went across the ship one last time to see if any passengers have been left behind. Upon clearance, she was the last to cross the sea of ropes onto the vessels of the stralines.
Melaniphi Syllis Vulpesen Abrielle Huxley Nico Valerus

With every living soul evacuated and swiftly warmed to stall hypothermia, the passengers could now look forward to the coastline which grew ever more clear and defined with each swing of the oars.
In what seemed an eternity, the vessels reached land before the village Petakuata.
 

Abrielle Huxley

Lance of the Steel Legion
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Abrielle hurried over to assist Melani. She remembered seeing the robed woman when they had first boarded but hadn't taken the time to speak to her. She had been too busy trying to keep Melani from accidentally bouncing off the side ship in her excitement. Abrielle put one arm around the woman's waist and her other on the woman's shoulder to keep her steady as they slowly ambled to the side of the ship to meet their rescuers.

Abrielle's eyes lit up as she drew in a sharp breath of excitement. Cats! Their rescuers were talking cats! They were about the cutest things she had ever seen.

The robed woman thanked them for saving her and handed them a rope to swing down to the boats. Abrielle took the offered rope, and after making sure the woman would be okay, swung down. She landed on the boat with a thud and nearly lost her balance as the boat rocked. Gingerly making her way over to an uncrowded bench she sat down next to one of the cat creatures and motioned for Melani and the woman to join her.

Abrielle glanced over at the cat sitting next to her, trying with all her might to resist the urge to pet it.
 

Melaniphi Syllis

Shield of The Steel Legion.
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“Hey! Wait up!” Melaniphi protested as Zara left her grasp and slid down the rope along with Abrielle.

“Your not well enough to...” She drifted off ..The woman slid down to...Cats? These new people were cats!? They were cute but Melani shoved it from her mind. There would be plenty of time for questions...(and cuddles.) her brain added.

“Why do I even bother..” Melani said with a sigh.
Following them down on the ropes she was immediately upon Zara once more as the woman was instantly back to vomiting. “There there..Get it all and take this.” The elf said before diving into her rather large medical satchel and fishing out a vile of orange liquid.

“Before you ask. I promise you neither want to know what this is, or where it came from, but it will help with the motion sickness. The vomiting is going to keep going until your body gets rid of all the salt water. It’s miserable but it’s a good thing.” She chattered examining the elf to ensure that simple sea sickness was all that was ailed her.

She took her hand. “I haven’t seen jade runes in a long time..These are really good..” Melani said almost to herself as she saw the runes on the woman’s hand. “You must be abtati..” She finished as a small, weakened glow crawled from her hand jumping to Zara.
It spread out all over her before disappearing with a splutter. “Damn. Stupid spell..” Melaniphi cursed.

“Well from what I did gather you seem to be in decent shape health wise..All things considered..” Sue said with a smirk. “I’m Melaniphi. By the way. Didn’t catch your name either oh mighty heaver of the water and bile.” Melaniphi snorted with a half hearted giggle at her attempted joke. Noticing Abrielle waving them over Melani offered another helping hand to the woman to help her to a place next to both of them.

“Don’t worry I’m sure you can repay all of this lugging you around when we are back on dry land. I feel like that’s more your comfort zone..” The elf chirped good naturedly. She was always this warm with everyone.

Ah the almost naive heart of one that had to save everyone.

One person at a time.

She sat next to Abrielle and sighed seeing that look in her sisters eye.

Giving her shoulder a light jab in a way she alone in the universe could seem to do and not be waist deep in a brawl with in an instant.

“They are a sentient, social society at the very least..Do Not Pet them.” She said as her slightly waspish tone shifted.

Her eyes fell on the cat as well.

“U-Unless y-you must...” She said slowly reaching.

“For science of course..Science and some other logical lie...” She said in an almost trance before the realization she was laying across Abrielles lap to accomplish the desired task she quickly sat back up with a blink and a slight flush.

“I..I mean maybe..Just not now. If it’s offensive I don’t want to get thrown from this boat.” She finished unable to meet her friends eyes and instead focused on Zara if the fellow elf had decided to sit with them.

Zara Abrielle Huxley
 
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Belrune Brighthand

The Small Scholar
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A cat brought her a tiny blanket and Rune looked at it for a moment before taking it with a quiet word of thanks. Unlike the others, its small size suited her perfectly. Doubtful it was going to do much against her shivering (which had very little to do with a chill), she still wrapped it about her shoulders and held it tightly like it might.

The passengers disembarked, climbing down the mooring with the help of their tiny rescuers, and their smaller ships began to row toward the lights that indicated the shore. One of the ship's crew came to sit beside her. He said something and Rune looked up with her heavy auburn brows furrowing.

"What?"
she asked, her voice as small and confused.

She must have swallowed more salt water than she'd thought, however, because it wasn't Nezu that answered, but the cat on his shoulders. Surely not. If the sopping wet dwarf had looked puzzled before, now she looked concerned. The cat just kept talking. Normally she might have been fascinated, but now she just stared at the feline.

"Is... I'm sorry, but is your cat talking?" Rune didn't take her eyes away from it. She did, however, hold her blanket tighter.
 

Nezu

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Nezu gave a slow shake of his head at Rune's question as the last of resolve fell away. As the little boats departed from the Star, leaving it to its fate, he accepted the facts of his situation. Cats were talking - big ones that walked on their hind legs, as well as little ones that behaved in a more suitably cat-like way. Did this have something to do with the absence of the Gods? Was this, bizarre as it was to consider, the mark of their neglect? That cats began talking, walking, sailing?

His head was swimming, and he felt the blood slowly drain from his face. He was glad he was sitting.

"I-I'm afraid so..."
he replied at last.

He turned his face to Kthell, her eyes intent on his, and sighed.

"But she's not my cat. In fact, I don't know the first thing about her, save that she's a stowaway."

Nezu glanced about as one of the feline sailors hurried past and lowered his voice. It wouldn't do to insult their rescuers - there was still time for them all to be dumped in the ocean. Again, in Rune's case.

"You really don't have anything to do with all this?" he asked Kthell quietly, gesturing subtly to the furry sailors. "You have to admit it's a bit of a coincidence."
 

Vulpesen

Ain't Dead Yet
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As everyone started to leave the ship for their rescue, Vulpesen was less than keen on the idea of being left behind. "Hold on, I don't feel like meeting the depths just yet!" Running along the main yard, he reached a rope which he snatched into his hand before leaping off to swing down towards the boats below. Intent ion not capsizing his rescuers, the rigger dropped much of his momentum by lightly bouncing off a nearby outcropping of barnacle covered rock before landing in the dingy where he would help in the process of taking in any more souls onboard. "Never thought I'd have my life at sea saved by a cat..."

Even as he pondered the irony, he found himself pawed at by the creatures in their fit of curiosity. "Careful now. Watch the fingers and claws!" Shifting in his seat, he would bat away a few curious paws that got to close to him. Strangers to all though they might be, he had a feeling that Varos' rules would still stand with them.
 

Nyaro

Gobnyan
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As everyone was gathered, Nyaro rumbled once more. Straline faces never rose to hear him before they set about their next task. More ships had come to relieve those that did not fit on board with the first groups. The lines attached to the ship left with makeshift bouys in the water as the fishing vessels were underway and headed for land at an alarming pace.

They cut through the water with ease, the small paws working ropes and oars as the docks came into view. Sails were folded, and more buoys thrown into the water to slow the approach before planks were thrown down and landfall was made.

More curious Straline awaited there. The large beings a curiosity before the small Straline as tiny houses dotted the shore, paling in comparison to the sizeable buildings that linked the docks.

Still small by typical human standards, but the kit would be right at home.

"Sea lang vis-kaw nyeow. Tail wet do." Nyaro led those that followed along the dock, letting the rest of the hoo-manes be corralled as the community heads decided how best to put them up for the time being.

They would follow behind him to an open air pedestal, a large and lazy looking Straline sunbathing there before another, more curteous rumble had them startling awake.

They rose slowly, an annoyed growl coming before their eyes widened at the sight of hoo-manes before they excitedly chirped.

"Nyah! More humans! Come, sit, tell what here for!" The elder looking Straline would have them sit around the pedestal. It was only as high as the humans stood, and was covered in blankets and empty dishes.
 

Kthell

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Kthell eyed the two, Belrune Brighthand and Nezu, with narrowed pupils before throwing a curious look to the other passengers boarding the vessel. A familiar face crossed her view. She watched, tittering quietly, as Vulpesen was pawed and poked by the cat-like creatures.

Then she returned her attention to her seat-partners. “I am talking, yes. And I wouldn’t be a stowaway if I could.. you know. Barter passage,” she chimed, canting her head at the youthful man. “There’s no need to when I can roam as I want. You tried your best, by the way. Working so hard to catch me below deck.”

Her sharp cackle resounded only briefly – a sudden bout of water came from… somewhere. She soured and shook herself, spraying the two with water.

“I’ve nothing to do with this,” she grumbled. “Throwing a ship on some.. whatever it was. So boring. There are so many other fantastical ways I could think of.” Kthell began to groom herself, swapping between each paw to brush against each side of her face. It was a long process.

“I expect you to continue carrying me, human,” she said as a golden eye glinted at Nezu.

As they approached the shore, she'd slink her way up around his shoulders yet again, damp and annoyed at the amount of sea water coating her fur. Kthell would idle there as she listened to the others speak to these cat-folk.


 

Zara

Abtati nomad, rogue, & mystic
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Zara shakingly made her way to settle beside Melaniphi. She eyed the orange liquid tentatively through glazed eyes. The woman’s words were not incredibly reassuring. At the same time, Zara was not sure she cared. Taking the vial, the woman’s gut gargled angrily as she tensed her jaw and chest against a pending onslaught of who knew what.
Unstopering the top, Zara shot Melaniphi and Abrielle a glance, trying to offer a weak smile of gratitude. Even if she was miserable, it was nice to have found some semblance of friends thus far on the accursed journey.

Tipping the liquid back, Zara downed it quickly. She coughed and hacked as the strange-tasting liquid hit her tongue. She gagged slightly as she tried in vain to not think about what she was drinking. Surely to say that it’s source was revolting or questionable on some level. She knew the drill, having said similar when offering elixirs and even foods to travelers in the desert.

Almost immediately, the girl’s stomach audibly heaved in revolt. Zara clenched the gunnel tightly until the feeling passed. She felt miserable, but regardless; she tried her best to not vomit once again in front of her newfound companions.

She smiled at the comment on her intricate tattoos, a source of fascination for some and disgust for others. She would be happy to share; however, as she went to extend her arm to better allow Melaniphi a better look, her stomach heaved at the spark of magic and the girl was back to hanging her head over the waves.

The rest of the trip went by about the same, any attempt to communicate was quickly interrupted by the overwhelming need to regurgitate over the side. Zara contented herself on sitting and trying to not die, listening to the chatter around her, and watching their rescuers move about with ease.

As their vessel pulled up to the dock, their turn to unload, Zara’s mind turned towards getting back to land. She preferred to do so with some semblance of dignity, if possible. At this point, while it was a thought, Zara would happily fall into the shallower water to wade ashore. She was not the first one off; however, Zara did not dawdle. She made sure she was one of the first to disembark once the vessel was safely moored.

The Abtati’s feet fell heavy on the wooden dock, soaked with seawater as they were. Turning, Zara waited for her two conpanions, smiling weakly to them. “Zara,” she whispered heavily. “I’ve always heard the stories that sailors tell in port. No thanks.” she shook her head pointing back to the water. She definitely understood now why someone might be prone to falling to their knees ashore and kissing the ground. What she had always considered an embellishment to seafaring tales, she completely felt in the moment.

Holding her stomach, Zara took several steps forward onto the cobbled street with the others towards the growing gathering of local felines.

Zara felt a paw gently swipe at her arm. Turning, she met the eyes of a curious Straline who had chanced paw at the swirling intricate green that ran the length of her exposed bronzed skin. She smiled. “They won’t come off, if that is what you are wondering. They are a gift.

The growing number of cat-folk, surprised Zara. She was not used to being anywhere near the center of attention. Spanning the worlds about her home, Zara had seen all manner of interesting folk, cats, dog-men orcs, dwarfs, and more. She had come to expect just about anything. It was the increased numbers that made her wary. This far from home, with no way back, trapped, for lack of a better term, and slowly being surrounded by the ever growing crowd. The girl wanted to disappear, to melt into the background. She did not think she possessed the strength to conjure such a thing right then though. In addition, she still had to wonder if her simple folk magic would work here far from the sands of her home, where it was much cooler.

Turning, Zara grabbed for Melaniphi or Abrielle’s arm, whoever was closer. Not sure she could rely on herself, Zara hoped that there might be some safety in numbers. “At least we are back on land! I wonder what we are supposed to do now?”

Melaniphi Syllis
Abrielle Huxley
 

Nezu

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Nezu walked the narrow streets of the Straline town with eyes wide and wondrous. Despite the novelty of the condescending cat across his damp shoulders, he found it was hard to focus on Kthell's words.

The architecture of the settlement was fascinating - the little homes suggested a relatively humble standard of living, and yet the heavy-set manufacturing of the buildings along docks gave him the impression of a people much at ease with life on the water's edge. Having seen many of the major ports of Arethil, Nezu knew you could tell what was important to a people by seeing where they spent their manpower. Or... cat-power. The docks of Dornoch, for example, were a testament to his home's significant expenditure in marine trade. And yet, they were dwarfed by the grand and luxuriant buildings that provided homes for the ruling families, reflecting a culture that above all else honoured the age-old traditions of the founders.

Despite having not yet spoken to the Stralines, Nezu found himself growing strangely fond of them. His black-furred passenger was another matter. Nezu felt his cheeks redden at her mention of his efforts to corale her on the Southern Star.

"You clearly have a high opinion of your abilities," he remarked out of the corner of his mouth. "For a cat. I don't see you building cities or ships like these folk."

Having said so, he recognised in the recumbant elder Straline the slow movements and obvious love of comfort of the classic cat as he knew it. It seemed both Kthell and the Stralines were slaves, then, of the need to take it easy. Nezu took a seat as the elder addressed them.
 

Belrune Brighthand

The Small Scholar
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So it wasn't his cat, but definitely his cat in a sense as it answered him. Rune had all but forgotten the ship rocking its way to shore, the shallow reef, and the sea that had tried to swallow her whole. Staring was rude, of course. Yet as Nezu spoke and then the cat spoke again, Rune could do little else but look between the two. Her eyes were wide and her mouth slightly agape and words well and truly failed her.

"Well, I should imagine it would be far more difficult for her as she does not have opposeable thumbs as these... other... felines... do..."
Rune added with an accademic tone to Nezu before trailing off slowly, realizing she might be interrupting and that it might be rude to the feline in question. The little dwarf gave Kthell an apologetic look. "Sorry. I've never met a talking cat before." It was a busy day for meeting talking cats, apparently.

The ship stopped and the same catfolk who had saved her called... well, he called for them to do something. Rune repeated it aloud to ease her anxiety as she stood and wobbled her way off of the boat.

"Sea lang vis-kaw nyeow. Tail wet do. Sea lang vis-kaw... See... long... long whisker? See long whisker now?" What was a long whisker?

Looking around at the village they had been delivered to in the early morning light, Rune took the sights in. She made note of the details to sketch later, since her journal was definitely soaked in her satchel. How curious their little homes were, woven from plant fibers and oddly shaped. Their ships were far more impressive, implying that (oddly) these catfolk were more at home on the water than here at the sliver of land. Felines reached out to touch them all in curiosity, and Rune blushed as she politely redirected a well-meaning paw away from her beard. She could not blame their curiosity; she reached back to touch them the same, mirroring their innocent exploration before realizing she was being left behind.

The platform they were led to was higher than she could reach or see onto, no matter how she strained on the tips of her toes. Fortunately there were stairs on one side, and Rune hurried up to join the other passeners as they took seats around...

The cutest little old catfolk she had ever seen in her life. Nevermind they were also the first little old catfolk she had ever seen. This must have been what their rescuer had meant by long whisker! Sitting down (coincidentally near Nezu and Kthell once again), Rune had already forgotten nearly drowning and fearing her life was over. Her eyes were practically sparkling and she held her hand over her mouth to stiffle a squeal at how adorable they all were, surrounded by the remnants of breakfast and sunbathing in the first rays of morning light. It was not her place to answer, leaving the captain to that end. She was far too occupied containing her excitement.
 

Melaniphi Syllis

Shield of The Steel Legion.
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Melaniphi hoped off the boat waiting for Abrielle to catch up as well before they were swarmed by the curious feline folk that seemed to inhabit this land.

“I want to Live here..” She said enjoying all of the attention. Her training as a healer meant she was much more sociable than her usual legion counter parts. She glanced about for the others when she felt a hand grab her arm.

“Hey! Don’t-“ She began to almost jerk away thinking it was an overly curious feline only to find Zara looking mortified at the swarm. She was abtati after all. They were nomads..She was used to empty deserts and small groups not a place like this.

“It’s fine.. Look at me..Just me.”Melani said with a warm smile and calming tone. Taking the sand elf’s face in her hands she kept her from looking at the crowd.

In situations like this it often helped to keep the nervous person grounded and foucused on a single calm face rather than the group around them easing the anxiety to a degree.

At least that was the idea..It helped most, but everyone was different.

“Deep breaths and let’s find captain Ermengarde. I think her group went even further in..” Melani said releasing her once she calmed. looking around and realizing her group had been separated by the others.

“Ok...Shows over cats. Back away please.” She said gently shooing away the group until it dispersed.

“They went this way..I think?” She said spinning in a circle trying to gather her bearings.

Had they gone that way?

Or maybe that way?...

Oh dear...
 
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Daybreak at the straline settlement New

Ermengarde

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On land again, some sense of ease was over Ermengarde, and the rescue swift and effective, no graves would need to be dug this early new day.
How welcoming the first rays of light have been.

The expedition leader followed the stralines to the pedestals, taking seat as told before answering with a respectful bow.
»We were meant to land further north. Alas, this plan has been foiled by the treacherous weather, which separated us from the fleet. If everyone is recuperated, some of us plan to march on through this land soon.«
 

Abrielle Huxley

Lance of the Steel Legion
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Abrielle sighed with mild frustration as Melani rushed off the boat. She hurried off the boat and joined her sister. "Don't run off like that Mel!" she hissed barely concealing her annoyance.

Abrielle placed her hand on Melani's shoulder and gently pushed her behind her as more of the cats began to swarm towards the arrivals. Maxine had specifically instructed her to protect Melani in this strange unknown land - the Legion couldn't afford to lose their top healer. The creatures didn't seem dangerous in the least but you could never be too sure.

The sound of heavy panicked breathing caused the young woman to swiftly turn around, thinking something was wrong with Melani. The elf was holding Zara's face in her hands trying to calm her down.

As Melani shooed the cats away, Abrielle realized that they had no idea where the rest of their shipmates had gone off to. She looked around the small village before noticing a raised platform near the village center.

"Uh... That way! ...Probably." Grabbing Melani's hand, she started off towards the platform hoping Zara would follow.

Zara

Melaniphi Syllis

 

Zara

Abtati nomad, rogue, & mystic
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Zara stared into her fellow elf’s eyes; focusing, allowing the worry to wash away as she focused. She knew better. Inhaling deeply, she calmed enough to smile warmly at Melaniphi. “Thanks. It has just been so much. Lets go find the captain.”

Hearing Abrielle, Zara turned and smiled. There were cats everywhere; but the sand elf had a purpose. She quickly followed along, her eyes scanned the area. One would think that their comrades would stand a head above the crowd.

Nearing the pedestal, the crowd of felinoids grew greater. “There!” Zara pointed, her voice filled with hints of glee and excitement. She saw Ermangarde sitting near the pedestal. Excitedly, Zara pushed forward grabbing at Melaniphi and Abrielle. Making their way through the locals, Zara plopped down excitedly beside Ermengarde hearing her words. “We are really glad your people helped us. Where are we exactly?” she asked as her stomach gurgled loudly. Being back on dry land had quickly helped the girl regain her natural personality and pep.

Melaniphi Syllis
Abrielle Huxley
Ermengarde
 

Melaniphi Syllis

Shield of The Steel Legion.
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“Sorry Abrielle..” Melani replied with an apologetic smile. A slight blush creeping to her cheeks at the hand on her shoulder as she allowed herself to be pushed behind her shield.

As they were turned around the elf suddenly found herself being pulled by both Zara and Abrielle at the same time. This took her by total surprise.

“W-wait hold a minute friends don’t pu-.” She began as her breath was stolen from her lungs.

A ghostly projection pulled from her body. It’s face twisted in grief. Ghostly tendrils snakefrom the form and began to wrap themselves around her friends from where they held her arms.

The projection was her to be sure.

At a quick glance it would have seemed as if nothing had happened. Her body going slightly pale for a moment before she was back. Blinking with a slight gasp like she had just been doused in a cold shower.

She yanked away from both of them. The tendrils severed before they could tighten.
her hands on her knees. Feigning as if looking for something she dropped.

“Don’t p-pull me like that please..” Melani finished. Her glasses sliding down her nose only to be pushed back into place. Only those observing her with a keen eye at that very moment would notice.

No doubt her companions were more focused on wading through the crowd and by the time her protest reached them to turn it would have passed.

Though the rune of cleansing on Zara may have glowed slightly if power were available to it. Melani lifted the left glove she usually wore. A rune tattoo glowed a ghostly white before flickering. She slowed her breath and calmed her mind before it resumed its low steady glow. Yet the mark had diminished.

It had been this way sense her magic had begun acting up. The mark usually lasted for months..

Then it had been lasting for weeks..

Then days...

And most recently only a few hours before she needed to slip off and redraw it.

Usually it wasn’t hard to conceal the action. A bathroom visit, a nap, a break..but she was having to reinscribe more and more of the intricate symbols. Thankfully she had it memorized, but..She pushed these thoughts from her mind as her friends approached the pedestal. She stood quietly behind them both as Zara asked her questions.

Melani usually kept silent in these situations anyway. She was a healer and a researcher for the steel legion. If they had wanted to make bargains they would have sent her along with a diplomat.

She was there to support the group at all cost until her contract was complete. Abrielle was just there to make sure she was protected and treated fairly. She hoped her ruse had succeeded and no one was any wiser to her mini “episode.” It was a dark secret she wished to keep locked away to her grave.

But if the corner stone wasn’t fixed soon..How long could she...before..Once more she shoved the thoughts from her head.

Now was not the time..
 

Kthell

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Kthell kept quiet throughout this time, not feeling.. up to debating with the mortals around her. Instead, she continued to keep watch of these strange cat-folk and take in their cities, language, and all other interesting facets of their society.

Eventually she hopped from Nezu's shoulders to explore, curious.

[ As mentioned in Discord, I'll be out for a few days thanks to some IRL stuff with my apartment. q.q Will rejoin as soon as I can! ]

Nezu Belrune Brighthand
 

Nezu

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Nezu watched Kthell slink away with a concerned glance. Cats were well-known for their ability to create trouble, and the mysteriously eloquent Kthell no doubt more so. He imagined the crew returning to this odd little settlement following their trek north and finding the black cat elevated to godhood in the eyes of the locals. A sinister thought, and doubly so to a priest such as himself.

He certainly hoped the Stralines were as practical a people as they appeared, not easily taken in by odd doctrines. But if his fears were true, and the Gods were somehow removed from this distant land, perhaps they would leap at the first sign of the supernatural to build upon their undeveloped theology. Surely a people without faith had a hole in their hearts that would need filling.

He shook his head quickly. Once again he had led his thoughts to a dark place. He remembered the words of his teacher, encouraging him to look toward opportunity and away from discouragement. Perhaps the only reason why the Gods were not here on the new continent was because they had simply not yet been invited. A heavy calling for him indeed.

Eager to distract himself, he leaned towards Rune as they sat together listening to the captain's introduction.

"Glad this one speaks the common tongue," he remarked quietly. "I don't know about you, but I can't understand a word these folk are saying. Or rather..." he frowned, listening to the whispers of the surrounding Stralines. "Rather, I feel like I can understand maybe half a word, here and there. Like it's almost the common tongue, but not quite."

The captain's talk of trekking north caused him to sigh. So recently come to this amazing little village, and so quick to leave. Typical of the captain, however - she did not like to waste time.

"Be nice to stay a while," he mused aloud to the dwarf. "We could learn a lot from these people."
 

Nyaro

Gobnyan
Member
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6
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The elder Straline ran a paw over their whiskers, which comparably where dramatically longer than those around it. Eyes stared for a moment, understanding finally sparking before a look of concern covered their features.

"North. Bad land. Buzzers lie north. March there, pass valley. Much bad there. Hunters take you. Safely their paws guide. Sleep, eat, all for you. Myah!" The long whisker spoke the last word to Nyaro who gave a nod, the deep rumbling purr from him passing beneath the hoo-manes feet through the boards as more Straline's appeared, carrying various edibles from the sea and land. A singular Straline dropped to all fours and charged across the docks headed for dry land.

More blankets were brought by the seemingly ever present storm of Straline's, the long whisker doing their best to translate offers to dry their garments as food was brought out. Fresh water was shortly behind it as Nyaro drew near to Nezu to speak with them.

"Kit no swam. Bad teach, myah. Teach nyeow no, but teach must. Kit taken by sea wiff out." He pointed to Belrune Brighthand as he spoke in broken common, struggling to fill the spaces. "Kit most safe, land. Hyun ters wok paffs man-ee time, kno-way."

As Kethell made their way off, more Straline's would appear to entertain them, even the young kit's and even younger that required ever present tending. The cat would be seen to as best they could having never seen a strangely small Straline such as this.
 

Ermengarde

Duellist
Member
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146
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Ermengarde felt more at ease as the crew began to show up beside her.
Zara's inquiry might as well be answered by her. She's been to this land before if she's not mistaken, the very same trees growing here by the coast, she's seen further north...at their original destination that is.
It must be the same land.

But was it not their original intention to discover this land and its alluring secret?
»No monster is mighty when a team cooperates, « nodded Ermengarde, hearing relief that guides may accompany them in their trip. But a local's word of danger must always be heeded.

»But I must state, I am grateful for the help you offer us, for saving our lives and nourishing my men to wellbeing and warmth. How could we repay your people?«
 

Belrune Brighthand

The Small Scholar
Member
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9
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The black cat slinked away -- a very feline thing, Rune decided. She had always preferred the steady loyalty of dogs. Then again, she had never had a dog. She wondered, then, if their simple love was as good as the earned trust and companionship of a cat that chose to stay.

When Nezu leaned in and spoke, interrupting her musings, Rune turned toward him with eyes wide and bright. She appeared far recovered remarkably from the shaken woman on the boat not too long ago.

"They must have had some exposure to the common tongue from the continent," she quickly whispered, dropping her hands from her mouth to gesture emphatically. "Not much, perhaps. The captain who rescued us only has a rudimentary grasp of the language, much more blended with parts of his own language. He may not have heard it firsthand, may have learned from this… this Long Whisker!"

She was very excited about this. What a charming designation! Rune bowled onward while Ermengarde and the Long Whisker spoke. She rummaged through her pack and withdrew a very sad, very wet notebook and writing implement. Shaking off the water and laying it open to the first blank page, she began taking fast notes while speaking quietly to Nezu. She wrote a lot more than she said.

"Did you hear the villagers? They were rumbling like… well, like cats! The captain did it to direct the other sailors as well. They must have a larynx functionally similar to other felid species. And their mouths do not seem accustomed to many of our phonemes. Fascinating!"

When he spoke once more, Rune paused her small ramble to look disappointed. She looked to Ermengarde, whose words she had missed in her examination. The little dwarf held her wet journal to her chest.

"We are leaving so soon? But I came all this way for something like this…"
 

Vulpesen

Ain't Dead Yet
Fae Courts
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109
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Following everyone else onto land, Vulpesen observed quietly as they interacted with the locals, politely rebuffing any attempts to get too close to him, particularly on his backside. "This certainly is quite the discovery. Never imagined our first contact in these lands would be so... unique."

The words of the long whiskey and Nyaro drew his attention and Vulpesen couldn't help but grin as he thought over the challenge of new wilds. "I think we would welcome a rest and a guide to the north. As our captain says, anything you need help with, you may ask my services," he offered, thankfully taking a blanket as one was offered to him. Thankful to be out of his soaked oilskin cloak, Vulpesen bundled up in the warm fabric while his arms rolled up his previous garment for him to deal with later.

Already he was finding this new land to be full of wonders and he couldn't help but try to imagine what new wonderous things awaited them as they set about seeing the rest of the lands before them. Perhaps however, it may be best to sweet just what was in the immediate vicinity. There was much to be learned about a land from the way its people ate and created their communities.

Ermengarde
 

Arnor Skuldsson

The Axe of Knottington
Nordenfiir
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210
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Theme

He didn't remember much, past being thrown from the ship. He had always a bad time with ships and the sea- but as a man of his profession, he was simply en route to another job, another duty. And then the storm came.

He remembered bits and pieces, thrashing around, water, flashes of light, scrambling to the surface. He was lucky to have his father teach him how to swim. A shame that man did such few good things in his life. Arnor's swords were have lucky enough to be on him when the ship was thrashing around, and they were still strapped to his back when he awoke.

Face down in sand, in the heat. His clothes tattered and his coat no longer needed, he shed the wet garments, leaving himself on in trousers and his boots. The heat was going to kill him here, metaphorically and literally.

He heard voices, smelled cats. The looming Nordenfiir came marching along the sands, the swords on his back clinking as he walked. To the locals, he must've been a monster- great and tall, marked with scars and tattoos. And if they had acute senses- he smelled different than other humans.

The Axe of Knottington walked forward, eager to find out where he was- and how he could continue onward with his life, away from... wherever he was.