Kingdoms of aitris

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Juralyn, Jun 11, 2015.

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  1. The Four Kingdoms:

    Its mainly a swamp, broken by occasional fields, or muddy forests. Little dry land. The people here live in boats, or on raised houses (either on stilts or in trees) They are a poor nation, ruled by a monarchy, who was fair until the crowned prince took the throne. He has turned into a dictator, shutting off trade routes, slowly starving his people. No good relationships with any of the other kingdoms, monarch may or may not be plotting war on one of its neighbors, long time enemy of Dith. Located in the south-east


    Located on the east side of the mountain T. A kingdom of vast forests, sunny meadows, crystal lakes and the occasional swamp land. The land is rich in mineral ore, lumber, game, fish and thus the people are prosperous. Not particularly wealthy but well fed and clothed. Much better off than their neighbors to the south. Ruled by the same line of monarchs since their foundation. Not particularly good or bad rulers. Just okay, not cruel but also not kind. Good relations with Balith, fearful of its neighbor Eda. Located to the North-east.


    Located to the west of the mountain T. A relatively hilly nation. Dry, because the tall mountain range stops clouds and causes the rain to fall on Abearic. Full of golden meadows, dedicus forests and only one large river. Relies heavily on trade to make it through the constant, dry arid weather and ever failing crops. Ruled by a king, when the king dies any man may challenge his heir to a contest of wits, strength and ability. The winner is crowned, but has a parliament sort of arrangement. By not relying on one supreme ruler the people are usually treated fairly. Depends heavily on Abearic for trade, constantly raided by the warring armies to the south. Located to the north West.


    A very wet, almost tropical world. Almost entirely covered in temperate rain forests, the small part that isnt is marsh-lands. Its a nation ravenged by war. Was ruled by a kind, but heiress king until his death a decade ago. Many men fought for the title of king, eventually two armies remained and tore them apart for the crown. Both are weakening, and there is no end in sight. Used to be on good terms with Balith until the wars started, long time enemy of Eda . Located in the south west.


    The cell was cold and damp, it was lonely and silent. He had lost track of how many days he had been here. In this jail. In his cell. Days and nights blurred together. His mind wandered, but always returned to one thing. The Plan. He remembered the day he was thrown in here. He was a wanderer. New in town, hungry, dressed only in his skin and a faded, filthy pair of breeches. No one wanted him, it had been a long time since he had eaten. The swamps had no good hunting, he was too tired and weak to search for long. His only option had been to steal, not wanting to break into one of the stilted houses he had tried a bin behind the butchers. Filled with old scraps and bones and intestines he had managed to fill his empty belly. Even though the scraps had been thrown out to rot, he had been caught with a scrap of venison in his teeth. The guards had thrown him in here, no questions asked. They didnt know who he was, what he has. And they didn't care. That was fine, when the oppertunity presented itself he had The Plan. He would get out.
    He smiled, sharp teeth piercing his pale lips. Pulling the ragged blanket the guards had given him over his head he thought. Golden eyes glowed under the fabric. With a yawn he huddled closer to the wall, but didnt sleep, or close his eyes. He was waiting.
    #1 Juralyn, Jun 11, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2016
  2. REVA:

    "Open up the doors! We have another guest..." the captain shouted at the slovenly guard slumped on the table, watching over the inmates from inside a tankard. "Y-yes, sir" the guard managed to get out between suppressed belches. The captain rolled his eyes at the stench bellowing forth from this cretin under his command. He despised the man, but he'd rather have him here where he could do little harm, as opposed to have him participate in any action where he might get other troops killed due to his incompetence. He wasn't even trusted with the keys to the prisoners, only those to the two doors that formed an antechamber to the holding cells, the captain himself kept the cell keys on him at all times.

    Once both the doors had been unlocked and pushed open, the captain motioned for the two troops under his command to bring in the unconscious woman they carried between them, her bare feet dragging across the floor, the chains between them and her wrists jangling amidst sounds of the heavy footfall belonging to the armoured soldiers who carried her. The captain unlocked the empty cell and gestured for them to throw her in there, to which they were noticeably eager to do so. Either she was heavier than she appeared, or they had quite a lot of animosity towards this stranger. She hit the ground with a heavy thud, a slight groan escaping her mouth, before the cell door was slammed shut with a loud ringing sound, and locked once again. "No-one is to speak to the prisoner without my permission, is that understood?" the captain bellowed to his three assembled troops, he received a nod from two of them, but the jailer just yawned. A fire lit in the captain's eyes, marching up to the bored guard, he stared straight into his gaze, their noses almost touching. "If I find anyone has been allowed to speak to this prisoner without my consent, I will ensure you face the chopping block for disobeying a direct order... Am I clear?" hatred dripping from his every syllable that he spoke, a tone that was not lost on the jailer, who quickly stood up straight and had obvious fear in his eyes now. "Yes, sir!" he responded, trembling slightly. The captain snarled his upper lip in disgust and strode past with the two guards in tow, knocking the jailer out of the way slightly with his shoulder.

    Once they had left, the jailer let out the breath he had been holding. Finding his legs a little too weak to hold himself properly, whether due to his fear, the alcohol in his body, or both. He stumbled back through the antechamber, locking both doors behind him, before slumping back down on his table, the drowsiness overtaking him as he calmed back down again. Soon, all that could be heard echoing through the cells, was the sound of snoring from two rooms away.
  3. Ari:

    The man had been huddled in the corner of his cell when he heard the voices. Mouth curling up in the ghost of a grin he let himself go very still, barely breathing, his eyes closed to slits. It appeared as if he weren't there at all. When the door opened and the woman was thrown in it was clear the jailer had forgotten about him, the captain had taken the keys after he had been placed in the cell. Probably didn't even know he existed, that was perfect.

    Once he was sure the jailer was gone, sleeping he let his eyes open and took a deep breath, mind racing. The woman looked strong, muscular. Surely capable of defending herself. Since she had been treated so roughly, and it was forbidden to speak to her she must be dangerous. Yes... The Plan would allow for another. He just needed to iron out the details, change a few things. He tilted his head slightly, listening to the sounds outside. A narrow, barred window provided light and let him hear his friends on the other side. He heard them whispering to each other. They knew The Plan. They would help him, and her. After he spoke to her he would tell them about the woman. They would find what he needed, but times two.

    He made a soft noise, something between a growl and a contented purr. Golden, slitted eyes locked on the woman. Was she really unconscious or just laying there? He hoped the former. He didn't want her to have given up. Another sound escaped his mouth, sharp teeth gleaming in the dim cell. Answering sounds came from outside, shadows brushed against the outside of the window. He heard their whispers, raising, asking if it was time. Another sound from him told them to wait, that there was a change in The Plan, and he would tell them more. He turned back to the woman, prepared to wait for her to wake. Even if it took days.
  4. Reva:

    The woman stirred slowly, trying to suppress the pain that coursed through her body. No whimpers escaped her lips though, only growling could be heard as she fought against her own body, forcing herself on to her feet. Sweat had formed on her forehead due to the strain, but she was up and began looking around. She tried to walk, but the chain binding her ankles to each other quickly made it's present felt, as she lost her balance and stumbled forward, reaching out quickly to gain support from the nearby wall. It smelt horrible in here, multiple unpleasant odours assaulted her nostrils, causing her to almost retch in disgust.

    What had happened, she wasn't quite sure. She tried to focus, to remember why she was in this place, instead of beside her troops like she always was. A battle? "No... " she murmured, the aftermath of a battle. She felt as though she was trying to piece together a puzzle, but some pieces were missing, others were flipped over, there, but not showing what it was they were meant to. Her head began to swim and she quickly abandoned the idea for now, instead choosing to focus on her current situation. She pushed herself off of the wall and looked all around her, the cell she found herself in was filthy, likely not been cleaned at any point since it was first used to imprison others, the thought made her stomach curl.

    It was only then that she let her eyes drift beyond her own bars to see the room beyond, and the other cells that lined the walls. They appeared to all be empty, save one, which housed a man looking right at her. He had a most curious hair colour and something seemed... off, about him in her eyes, though she couldn't place what that was from where she currently stood. She stood rigidly to attention, as if she was before a lord being inspected alongside her fellow soldiers, a stern look upon her face, as she glared back at the man. And in a demanding tone, she finally addressed the stranger "Identify yourself!"
    #4 FoxEye, Jun 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
  5. Ari:

    He watched her stand, silently. He admired her strength, she would work just fine. He waited, silently for her to notice him. And when she did he laughed, a harsh cruel sound. Humans were such funny creatures. He would not identify himself just because she told him to. He would wait, and see if she was what he wanted, needed. With another, more musical laugh he stood, the blanket falling from his shoulders. He strode to the bars of his cell, only feet from hers. His pale, porcelain skin seemed to glow in the dim torchlight, his bare chest was smooth and flawless, his arms thin and wiry. All he wore were his breeches, torn, filthy and only reaching his knees they left little to the imagination. His feet, though dirty and blue-looking from the cold were smooth as silk. Everything about him was smooth, flawless inhuman. His golden eyes seemed to stare straight through the woman, chin length, messy golden and reddish striped hair fanned around his clear, angular face. Though a man, he appeared young, beautiful and innocent despite the filth that covered his lean body.

    "Pleased to make your acquaintance, Pet." Arrogance seemed to roll off every word as an almost feral smile curved up his lips. "Who, are you?" Eyes narrowed slightly, teeth pressing against his pale lips, perfect skin. He was clearly something other. Something not human. A small hand grips one of the bars and his head tilts ever so slightly, nose twitching. He was catching her scent, memorizing it. She smelled of dirt, and blood and rage. Of battles won, hot mead. Of leather and steel, horse and man. Of fear, sweet fear. Then pain... So much pain. His eyes seemed to glow as his smile widened. Young, innocence yet strong and fearless. A maiden perhaps? A soldier. Perfect. He would break her, she would be his, die for him. Take him to the life he deserved. Yes. He would use her.

    "well pet, aren't you going to tell me your name? I can hardly help someone i don't know escape"
  6. Reva:

    At hearing herself called a pet, her eyes narrowed in return. "You may address me as Reva or Captain Reva, for I am not your pet, and will not be as addressed as such" her voice not harsh, but still with a noticeably serious tone as she answered this strange man. "Now, if you will not give your name, do you at least know where we are? Which kingdom are we held in!?" the volume of her words rising with each sound spoken, the desperation leaking into her voice. It had been a long time since she had felt this alone, she had grown accustomed to always having a friendly face around her, her troops, the townsfolk, a child playing in the fields, they all seemed like a dream to her right now. For a moment, she wondered if her entire life had merely been her imagination, maybe she had never joined the army, maybe she had remained a beggar, scrounging for enough sustenance to make it through another day... And now, finally, her mind had let go of that fantasy, and she found herself living her true life once again.

    She held this thought, long enough until her gaze drifted down to her wrist, where she saw the tattoo she had emblazoned upon her flesh, marking her as a soldier of Balith. This was all the confirmation she needed, she was no beggar, not anymore. Her eyes immediately shot back up to the man with the curious nature about him, a fire in her eyes. "Answer me...!" she whispered between clenched teeth, her rage rapidly building, until she could contain it no longer. "Tell me where I am! Where have I been taken!?" she shouted so loudly, that for a few seconds after, the whole world seemed to have grown silent, as if in fear of whatever had made that noise.
  7. He chuckled, a soft sound. "i would quiet down if i were you, the guards here are quite touchy. And you happen to be in the lovely kingdom of Eda in a nameless little sinkhole of a town, roughly a days ride from the Dith border, or so my old cell mate told me." He smiled at her, all teeth. "come closer... Into the light, let me see you. You've seen me, its only fair, isn't it?" The feral tone had left his voice, replaced with charm.

    His mind was working fast, she had a temper. But she was tough, didn't look particularly pretty but he would make do. She would be a fine companion. He brushed hair out of his face, his suddenly claw-like nails glinting in the torchlight. His mind drifted to before. He had always wandered. It was all he knew, since his mother kitted him all those years ago. He had been the only almost human in his litter, all the others had permanent ears, tails and some even had patches of fur. Yet he alone was born with pale, creamy skin, feline eyes and teeth. The anomaly in a long line of the tailed and eared ones. A shame, as soon as he was old enough to start eating solid food he was abandoned. His whole life was full of cold and hunger. Pain and misery. He wanted to live, in a life of luxury. Of freedom.

    "where do you come from my pet?" he spoke softly, not seeming to care about her earlier outburst. Anger flashed in his slitted golden eyes as he remembered his families betrayal. This girl would set things right. He yawned, a pink tongue curling in his mouth, the sharp little teeth gleaming brightly. Beyond the stink of the cells, which he had grown used to he could smell the woman. And his friends, who were sleeping in the sun by the window. With a low growl he stuck his head through the bars, but sadly wasn't feline enough to fit the rest of him through, at least without changing. he didn't want to do that until she guessed what he was, he couldn't risk scaring her, not with The Plan almost complete.
  8. *Eda...?* she thought to herself *How did I end up down here? I remember the bodies, the unnatural silence, and then... The ambush!* her memories flooding back to her, she started pacing around her cell, staring at the floor, playing it all back through her mind. Her men at the border hadn't reported in, she took a detachment of troops down to investigate, found them all dead in a field, the Dith soldiers pouring out from their hiding places, attacking her and her men. And then... Something hit her in the head, and the world came tumbling down around her, she had no idea how she ended up in an Eda dungeon though. She flicked her eyes up to the strange man in the other cell, if she was to get out of here, return to her home, then she needed help.

    She stepped forward into the light as he had requested, squinting slightly as it shone into her eyes, wrapping her fingers around the bars that held her, her knuckles turning white and arms trembling with the force with which she gripped them. She was struggling to keep her anger in check, but tried not to let it colour her tone "I come from Balith, to the North-West" she answered, releasing her iron grip on one of the bars and extending her arm through them, showing the tattoo that branded her wrist. "I am a captain there, Dith forces have been assaulting us without cease for many moons now. I need to get back to my soldiers, to my home... I will not let them take my home...!" she trailed off, her facade of composure crumbling at the mention of her home, her voice shook. "Please, can you get me back there? I promise that you will be rewarded for your efforts" Her gaze remained locked onto him, not only a pleading one, but a studying one, she was trying to figure out what it was about him that had caught her attention. And then, she saw it, the teeth, the eyes, the physique, the way he used his words... Suddenly it hit her, and she asked what she already knew to be true "You're a Were, aren't you?".
  9. He smiled watching her break down. Enjoying her weakness, the taste of her anger in the air. Laughing he nodded "of course i am Pet. What else would i be?" His eyes gleamed with excitement. This was just too much for him. She really was perfect. He breathed in deeply, reveling in her scent, all of the fear and pain and loneliness. It was intoxicating. He let his eves travel along her. She wasn't the prettiest out there... But she was strong... and capable... Perfect just perfect.

    "Balith... The desert Valleys huh? Very warm and dry there i hear..." He purred out the words, mind going back to the plan. "Very well i will help you escape. And we will travel together until i am satisfied with my location. There are ways i can help you, ways that only a cat can go" with a laugh he half skipped to his window, hands gripping the bars, a low guttural yowl coming from his throat. He was answered, tiny paws reaching through the window and soft meows asking for his orders.

    "my friends... My pets" he growled in cat-tounge "there is a change of plans. We have another. Gather what i asked, but for two. We leave tonight, unless you fail me. Go now my friends. DO not fail, prepare yourselves. Moons guard you, and the hunter watch you" with his last words the cats departed meowing their promises and goodbyes before disappearing into the alleys and swamps of the town.

    He turned back and grinned at her, teeth gleaming, eyes glowing. "With that settled, my pet..." He sprang from his perch on the wall and landed lightly on all fours by the cell bars. His eyes seeming to glow like two small suns he stuck his head through the bars, muscles quivering. Wanting to change, to slip through his cell and into hers. To get closer, to test her. The shaking ran through his body, muscles convulsing the movement getting stronger as he fought his urges. Now was not the time. Or was it? He growled lowly, ripples running over his skin. The change was usually fast, painless. Unless he fought it. Then it hurt so much. Knowing he couldn't resist any longer without causing himself physical pain he gave in.

    His back arched, his fingers gripping the bars a low moan escaping him. Fur sprouted over his whole body, his spine elongated a tail bursting out of his skin, ears growing rotating to the top of his skull. He seemed to collapse in on himself in the last stages of his change. It was over quickly, the whole change lasting only ten seconds once he gave in. He was a cat now, a rather large cat, with the same golden eyes and golden-red striped fur. With a low growl he slipped through his pars, padded across the stone and pushed his way into her cell.
  10. Reva felt a little uneasy when he ran his eyes over her form, too many men had looked at her the same way as she was growing up, like she was a toy to be played with, it unsettled her greatly. But she had no place to run off to now, to get away from those eyes, and for a few moments, she actually felt glad that there were two sets of bars separating them. She broke eye contact and looked around uncomfortably, focusing on nothing in particular, just as long as she wasn't looking at him.

    She only dared look in his direction again when she heard odd sounds coming from him, seeing him at the window, communicating it seemed like, though with who or what she was left to guess, unable to get a good look at whatever was listening to him out there. Though when he stopped with the strange sounds and turned to face her once more, his teeth displayed in an unsettling mockery of a smile, she felt a cool shiver run down her spine, causing her to back away a few paces from the bars. She watched him intently as he hit the ground on all fours, as if he was ready to pounce it seemed like to her.

    The fear in her was growing as she realised what he was going to do, she had heard of Weres before, obviously, who hadn't? She had met a few over her years, even on the odd occasion, witnessed one or two of them leaping around the place in their transformed state, but she had never actually been front and center during the transformation before, not as she was right now. She thought to back away as far as she could, to the back of the cell against the wall. But she stopped herself, not letting that fear get the better of her. It was just like she had been trained during her early years in her town's army, it's only natural to feel afraid sometimes, it's just your body's way of getting you prepared for dealing with it, to respect what you face and not grow overconfident. Fear is not something to be forgotten, but endured and overcome, that's where the true strength of a warrior lies, a line she had heard countless times before being led into battle, when she was but another rank and file soldier herself.

    She never took her eyes off of this Were as it morphed into something else entirely from what it once was just moments before, she felt her breath catch in her throat and the hairs on her neck stand up, but she never looked away, accepting her fear and becoming comfortable with it's presence. Even as she watched him waltz into her own cell, her initial sense of safety now long gone, she never let the fear gain control over her. It wasn't long before the fear had been in her long enough to become the standard for her, she was fine with it and it no longer unsettled her. She crouched down into a squatting position and extended a hand to casually scratch the chin of the wandering werecat "What's your name then, kitten?" a slight smirk upon her lips.
  11. He was impressed with her courage. The way she controlled her fear. It was clear she was afraid, in his changed state her fear scent hit him like a ton of bricks. The air was thick with it, he could hardly breath in its stink. Yet she accepted it, and controlled it. Even overcame it. Yet that did not curb his annoyance at being called a kitten. He snarled at her, his long golden fur fluffing up into an unruly mane around his neck. Thus where his name, meaning the lion had come from.

    "im no kitten" His voice sounded strange coming from a cats mouth. As a were he could speak his own language and the human tongue fluently in either form. His tail lashed from side to side and he circled her, brushing against her. The back of his ears, and chin rubbing against her clothes and body every chance he got. A low purr rumbled in his chest as he drank in her scent and marked her as his own. No were, cat or not would touch her. She was his, for now. Satisfied he placed his paws on her knees and looked into her eyes. His head was level with hers, he really was a large cat.

    "My name is Ari, the Lion" he growled, shaking out his little mane. "now listen Pet and listen well, you will follow my orders until we escape and get out of the swamps, then you mostly take charge. In return for helping you escape you will be my guard. My escort. I happen to be on the market for a new friend. A wealthy one, who wouldnt mind having a cat. You see im tired of being a stray, and its about time i live a life of luxury, were my pelts clean and my bellys full. Every cats dream. You will help me get there, and keep me from getting killed on the way." He bared his small teeth at her. His golden eyes stared into her, glowing softly in an unnatural way. They gave the impression that he could see right into her soul.

    "got it pet?"
  12. She suppressed a giggle when she heard his voice come out of this prowling animal, so shocking was it to hear the contrast between her expectations of what man and beast should sound like. As he moved around her, rubbing up against the fabric of her under armour, as well as her bare ankles and feet. She felt an unsettling sensation coursing through her body, causing her to fight against the shivers that would repeatedly run up her spine, feeling almost a euphoric relief when he finally stopped. She put one of her hands to the ground in order to steady her balance when he leaned on her knee, he was about as heavy as he looked, but quite adorable with that mane of his, she found it hard not to smile at the odd sight before her.

    She listened intently to his words, and while loathe to follow a stranger's orders, she didn't feel that she had too many choices left to her if she wanted to get back home. She nodded in affirmation once he had finished, though with a hint of distaste on her lips at him unrelentingly calling her his pet. And it was then that she found herself in the amusing position of being referred to as a pet, by what anyone else in the kingdom would've deemed a pet themselves, a cat, albeit a larger than usual one. She grinned at this thought, and scratched behind Ari's ear playfully, before standing up and letting his paws fall to the floor.

    She paced around the room for a few seconds before turning to face him again "I don't know why you're in jail and I won't ask. However, if you do plan on us accompanying each other for a good length of time, you need to keep in mind that I'm still a captain and I will uphold the law as best I can. So if you plan on breaking any significant laws while I'm around, you best not let me catch you doing so." she paused to let the words sink in, "Now, that being said, I understand what it's like to want a better life..." her mind wandered to her own youth, the ordeals she had to go through to get where she was now in life, she knew how difficult it could be in his place, the arduous path he now found himself on. And while she was reluctant to admit it to herself, he reminded her a little of how she used to be back then. "So, I will help you if you help me, but just don't cause any unnecessary problems for these people, they have enough bad things to deal with already." it felt wrong to be teaming up with someone who for all intents and purposes, seemed like a troublemaker to her eyes, but then again, that's what she had been called so often too. "Okay... Now, while it may seem contrary to what I just said... let's break out of this dungeon already" she said with a playful smile upon her lips.
  13. He purred, and trotted around, sniffing the cell. "very well my pet, i will try not to cause too much trouble" his eyes gleamed, his tail curling up over his back in amusement. He and trouble were brothers, partners in crime. Trouble followed him wherever he went. "and by the way, i was thrown in here for eating food out of a waste bin behind the butchers hut." his eyes narrowed to little slits, he was clearly angry at the injustice and cruelty shown in his imprisonment. "ive been here two weeks now"

    he squeezed back through the bars and into his own cell, where he vanished into a shadowed corner, preferring to change in private, taking up his breeches on the way and dragging the cloth behind him. Unlike popular tales their clothes did fall off, since his animal form was small they just fell off his body but larger weres, well their clothes ripped off them rather dramatically. Thus why he usually only wore breeches, easy to take off and pull on, fairly simple to hide. In the corner, behind the bed he changed, completely out of sight, the only signs of thus where low growls and the scrape of nails against the floor. Then he was done, creeping out of the shadows his bottoms back on.

    "miss me?" He grinned at her, shaking out his arms and legs which were slightly cramped from changing twice in such a short amount of time. "We will leave tonight, Ive sent my friends to gather what we need. Cloaks, foot-wraps for you. And some other items ill need to break us out of the cells. They will create a diversion, which should give us enough time to get out, grab any weapons that happen to be laying around and slip into the marshes unnoticed. Once in the trees they should have a pack with a few days supply of food, and empty water-skins if they can find any" He climbed up the bars so his head touched the ceiling and he clung there like a monkey, teeth gleaming in the half light.

    "sound good pet?"
  14. Her facial expression softened when she was told why he had been locked up, not all of the kingdoms treated their subjects fairly, but even so, *two weeks for taking food from a bin...* she thought, shaking her head in frustration. Though it occurred to her that he might have been feeding her a line, lying about what he was really imprisoned for, given her job. Though she couldn't ignore that he was looking pretty malnourished, not surprising given what she had heard about Eda, the people here being left to starve, while the spoiled ruler cared naught for their plight, only about his newly claimed power and how best to abuse it.

    Turning her thoughts back to her new companion, she watched him slink off into the shadows, staring at the dark wondering why. It took a moment for her to realise why he had gone there, quickly averting her eyes and looking elsewhere, a slight redness upon her tanned cheeks. She often felt self-conscious as well a little vulnerable when out of her armour, her head and hands were well tanned, but the rest of her was quite pale indeed, her armour usually blocking out the sun upon her flesh.

    Walking around the land of Balith for long stretches of time - as she had done more so in her youth, but still occasionally now, even as a captain - was an exercise in endurance given the sweltering heat, and the scarce wind or rain to ease the burning. Troops stationed there were to carry numerous water bottles strapped to their belts, to ensure they didn't pass out from heat exhaustion. They also had the most frequent guard changes in the kingdoms, each one serving outside for only a few hours before being replaced with another, keep any of them from getting too tired under the unrelenting sun. Being given an order to guard indoors, for however long, was considered a reward among the troops, bestowed upon those who had earned the honour. Reva never liked that practice, she felt everyone deserved some time out of the sun, not just a select few. She had annoyed a few of the other captains with her treatment of her troops, treating them more like family and friends, rather than as soldiers who should follow orders. But no-one could deny that she had the most loyal people serving under her, each one of them watching out for the others, not for pay, or out of a sense of duty, but because they were all brothers and sisters in her unit, they cared for one another. And that's why she found it so difficult... and strange, that here she was, captured, in another kingdom, with none of her family around. It didn't sit right with her, but she kept her theories to herself.

    She was snapped back to attention when she heard Ari speak, her eyes flicking back onto him, a warm smile upon her face at seeing him back in human form, she still had some getting used to the whole cat thing. She listened to him describe what would be happening and nodded in affirmation once he was done, as he climbed up to the bars and asked her his question though, she paused. "I think it best I not ask if the supplies we'll be using were paid for, I take it. However, we're in the swampland down here, right? Well... I hope it won't be an issue as we escape, if we stay on the ground or platforms where we can, but I can't swim, so if we end up in the water around here, I may be in trouble, just throwing that out there." she said while slightly tilting her head to the side, fully aware of how ridiculous it sounded that a captain couldn't swim, but it's not like they had lots of water in Balith in order to practice, so she felt fairly justified with the fact she never learnt how to. "I'll follow your lead." she finished.
  15. Ari grinned at her again "don't worry. I hate water, i know how to avoid the deepest pools. We shouldn't be faced with anything more than waist deep until we reach the border. Theres supposed to be a river there." He shuddered with something close to fear "but im sure i can..." he paused searching for a word that wouldn't offend her "...convince someone to row us across or lend us a boat." He twisted and jumped off the bars. "get some sleep pet, we have a few hours and youll need it" He curled up on his bed, under the blanket and promptly fell asleep.

    He was awoken by a fain scratching at the window. His eyes opened and he sprang out of bed. Yawning he pulled several items through the narrow bars. Two cloaks, some soft pigskin shoes, and some metal objects. He whispered something to his friends, who vanished into the darkness. It was three hours till midnight. With a growl he pushed the objects through his cage bars, into the aisle and focused. He couldn't change to get through, or waste time picking his own lock but he had to get out. He made only his bones change, loosening the joints and his collarbone so he could push his shoulders through the bars. A feat that was only possible because he was so slender. Once through he looked at Reva through the bars and putting a finger to his lips to shush her. It looked like she hadn't slept that much after all, if she had she had been awake a while or woke really easily. He took up his small metal objects and began fiddling with the lock, glad he had taken a spin at thieving for gold for almost six years of his life. Though he was a little rusty, he managed to open the lock and push open the door. He pulled on his cloak, long and filthy, and threw the other at Reva, waiting for her to put it and her foot-wraps on. "shh... follow me and be quiet."

    Glancing around he wailed, a soft cat-like sound. His answer came in moments. Screams and crashed came from outside, followed by the shrieks of human children. His friends had started a fight... In the middle of the orphanage next door. He listened as the guards outside woke up and ran to the rescue. Laughing he quickly picked the lock to the dungeon and led her quickly, and silently through the jail and outside. A young boy, clearly a new recruit tried to stop them. But Ari jumped on him, they scuffled for a minute and the child went silent after a soft thud. Dusting off his hands on the cloak Ari grabbed Reva's hand and ran. he led her through the maze-like town, jumping from island to island and racing across small bridges. In the distance he heard the shrieks of his friends and the clang of steel as they were chased off, in the opposite direction from them.

    "almost there" he growled as they crossed the last rope bridge and into the dark marshes. He kept a firm grip on her hand, as not to loose her as they raced across the muddy ground.
  16. Reva had a hard time sleeping that night, not being used to the hard cot, the stench in the air, the cold seeping in from the the windows. She mostly used the time to rest her body, while her mind raced, memories flooding through her, as well as terrible ideas flowing too freely with in her head. She was glad when she heard Ari moving around, she watched him slip out of his own cell and make his way to hers, a sight that caused a bit of discomfort, watching him morph his body like that. She slowly got up and quietly wrapped the cloak around herself, binding her feet in the wraps he had given her, then proceeded to carefully follow him out.

    As soon as the doors leading out were open, she scanned around for any weapons to take, but found none, *Guess they're not as careless as I thought* she quietly accepted, following Ari outside. She felt a bit of regret about at the fate of the boy who had impeded them, probably just a young lad trying to feed his family by getting any job he could, wasn't his fault their new king was so corrupt and power hungry. She paused for but a moment, looking upon this poor boy before Ari grabbed her hand and started running, quickly picking up the young guard's sword mid-stride.

    Her heart was racing as they came so close to the water during their escape, it seemed so thick and dirty that she doubted she'd even be able to tell which was up should she fall in it. She was comforted by having Ari hold onto her hand so tight, he seemed to know exactly where to go and it eased her fear that he seemed so in control of his movements, and by extension hers. She could hear the cries and the sound of fighting behind them, and couldn't help but wonder what was going on, but knew better than to think too much on it, how much death their little escape might've caused the people of this place tonight, guilt she could do without.

    She could hear her own heartbeat in her ears when he finally spoke up, she almost thought she had imagined it. Her breathing was under control, though the sword felt unwieldy in her sweating hand, the previous owner must have not applied anything to give it a better grip, definitely the weapon of someone not used to what is needed for battle, *Poor kid..." she thought. Then kept on running for as long as they needed to, the pounding of their feet upon the ground, drowning out the images of him lying there, motionless forever more.
  17. They ran like that for quit a while, heading for the arranged meeting place, even he was growing tired. But finally he stopped and looked around, nose twitching as he listened and smelled for danger. He found none. They had left the guards long behind, they wouldnt try to follow them at night in the marsh. Humans had horrible vision, but he was a cat and could see in the dark. He stretched and purred before yowling into the night, a horrible grating sound. Tilting his head he listened to the answering call that only he could hear. His friends had came through. Three, large cats trotted into view carrying a beaten looking pack between them.

    With a joyous laugh Ari opened his arms and embraced them, letting them rub against him and say goodbyes. He spoke their names, and many thanks in the cat tongue, stroked them one last time behind the ears and watched them leave. Smiling sadly he waited till their scent faded and began to dig through the bag. "three water-skins, some dried meat, bread and a couple crab apples." he looked up at her, eyes glowing eerily in the darkness "plenty for you until we get to the Dith border. Then we can find enough fruit in the trees to feed ourselves. Ive heard much about it, and i also hear they have monkeys..." he licked his lips "i tasted monkey once, a rich man lost his pet and never found it." his eyes glowed with the memory "it was divine. Much better than frog"

    He tossed the pack at her, and looked around getting his bearings. Facing slightly left of the direction they had been heading he peered into the darkness "that way. We will walk the rest of the night, we will be mostly nocturnal until we reach Balith. It will be safer that way. And don't worry about the darkness, i will lead you when you cannot see. A cat never looses his way in the dark."

    With a purr he took her hand and led her through the marshes, much more slowly than before but still at a quick pace, picking their way across the mostly dry land and avoiding the muddy channels. Ari hissed and made a face every time his bare feet touched the filthy water.
  18. Reva watched with quiet fascination the exchange between Ari and the cats, how they interacted with each other, she found it rather adorable, but kept her thoughts to herself. They all seemed quite reluctant to part ways, she wondered for awhile why they couldn't join them, but then it occurred to her that that may have drawn some attention were they to be spotted, they were fugitives in this land now after all, something that didn't sit right with her at all.

    She felt a twinge of disgust on her tongue when he talked about eating the monkey, she knew she shouldn't judge, she had been in his position earlier in her life and knew that you ate whatever you could to survive. But the idea of eating anything out of her normal palette, just filled her with the feeling of retching at any moment. She shook her head in an attempt to shake out the feeling, bringing her focus to the present, and catching the pack that was thrown towards her. Looking inside, she noted the items he had listed, before closing it back up and slinging it over her shoulder. "I'll stick to the fruit, thank you..." she said, turning her head, so as to turn away from the subject of what they should eat.

    Even the nights were seldom dark in the kingdom of Balith, so her eyes were not used to the darkness that assaulted her sight in this swamp. She was still afraid of the fetid pools of murk that lay all around her, she could smell them better than she could see them, and so gladly retook his hand in hers. As they moved on through this dreary kingdom, she found herself walking at a brisk pace, not so as to keep up, but because she longed to be back home as soon as she could. She missed the sun, the warmth, her family in the barracks... And now she sought something else too, she sought the answer to a question that had been troubling her for quite some time, *How was I captured under the noses of my own troops?* she thought. And then she found herself fearing the answer that may lay behind it, as her and new companion walked ever onwards, closer to the truth that she didn't want to hear.
  19. Ari made her walk all night, finally when the first rays of light began peaking through the dense trees he stopped and looked around. A thin, murky green light filled the swamps, and revealed that the trees were slowly growing closer, thicker and greener as they enared the border. A few flowers pushed through the muddy ground, and as he looked at his feet he saw that they were muddy from walking barefoot all night. He released her hand and started walking from tree to tree, looking among the high arched roots. Theese were a strange tree, the roots arching high and wide forming small caves around the trunks. They were places to sleep, warm and usually dry because the roots sucked up all the moisture around them and soft spongy moss and long marsh grasses grew in the crevices.

    "here" he stopped beside a tree, that was on an island of dryish land, and the root cave was big enough for them both, if they lay close enough. Moss covered the roots, like it did on most of the trees, hiding the inside and any occupants. With a growl he clawed away moss and roots, allowing them to enter. "after you, pet" he said practically shoving her inside and moving in after her. It was a tight squeeze, so tight that when they lay down they were pressed against each other. If Ari were not such a small man, they probably wouldn't of fit. Purring to himself he pushed dead leaves and green stuff against the entrance they had used, effectively hiding them.
  20. Reva was about to speak up about Ari's choice of resting place, but before she even had a chance to react, she found herself already cooped inside with him against her body, blocking the way out. "Um... I don't suppose I could persuade you to transform one more time today, could I? It'd be warmer for me to be against your fur after all, r-rather than your, uh..." she stumbled over her words, quickly abandoning the topic and just turning her head to the side, so as not to have to maintain eye contact at such a close proximity as this.

    She could feel his breath upon her neck, making her squirm with each puff of warm air upon her skin. She hadn't been this physically close with another - outside of fights - for as long as she could remember. This man had a way, she had noticed, of invading her personal space at every opportunity he got, and while it made her uncomfortable, she wouldn't give him the satisfaction of letting him know he was getting to her. "So..." she started to say, trying to take her mind off of the situation she was in, "You were thrown in that dungeon for taking food from a bin? Don't you have means to get food some other way, family, friends? What of those who helped us escape, surely they could've helped you if you were that hungry." she waited for his response, all the while being very careful about where she moved her hands in such tight quarters, she didn't want to give him any ideas now.
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