Many Places of the World

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Arius LaVari, Jun 23, 2014.

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  1. Roserust it's a beautiful city, if you can look past all the machinery and the fact the giant city had been built in a deep mountainous area and this was desolate location, only the mountains all around. In the city streets are many people dressed in browns and dull colors that are similar to brown; all of them wore a rather heavy cloak though that they could pull up to cover their mouths. The reason for this became rather obvious as a black cloud of pollution was released into the air by the many machines in the giant city. The tallest building in the city was massive set in the center of the entire place, it resembled a castle to some degree but it was very tall and there were many slits in the machine. As the black smoke rises the large building in the center activates and with a ringing sound pulls the smoke into it's depths, it continues to make this sound for awhile before releasing the black smoke; the smoke isn't black anymore, it's white and evaporates quickly releasing clean air.

    For anyone not native to Roserust this scene is startling and often makes them nervous, but for the regulars who live here it's part of everyday life. The people walking the streets don't look up twice when the sound begins or when it ends. The tower is the only reason the people are able to live here as they do, although you'll find rust on all of the sidewalks and pathways in the streets, but that isn't even the most amazing thing. On particularly big patches of rust grow metallic roses in brilliant vibrant colors, these were the most beautiful thing in this world next to Roserust's Princess.

    Roserust was a city watched over by a King and Queen; both of who had strange traits to them. The King had hair the color of rust streaked with a reddish brown and orange, and the Queen had two colored eyes, a cyan blue eye and a lime green eye. They had passed their unique traits on to their only child a daughter just turned eighteen, her name was Roxanne, the brand around her neck would tell anyone her name. It reminded the people of a collar and of the Gods they served, of course the King and Queen's child had been expected to be born with the collaring mark. Although because of this she was never allowed to leave the castle; which was the giant tower in the middle of the city, although her parents provided her with anything she needed to keep herself entertained Roxanne was far from satisfied behind the castle walls. Roxanne was a willful girl and though she had an amazing talent for growing the metal roses she never left safety, this was boring to her.

    One day, as she's tending her rust garden of metal roses her thoughts won't let up, she sends up a quiet prayer to the Gods asking for just one day to explore, one chance to know the rest of the world. There is no response though and with a sigh Roxanne tends to her favorite patch of blue roses blissfully unaware that her wish may well come true and far sooner than she thinks.

    (The City)

    (The Tower)

    (What the metal roses look like)


    (Hope you don't mind the use of the pictures, I just wanted to show a clear image of everything although I could have done it just as well without the pictures, but that would be a TON of reading, because I am through about describing something.)
  2. OoC: I don't mind the pictures at all. Thanks for sharing! c:

    Low, dark clouds loomed over the sparse lands of the Plains of Eternity. They were aptly named, those plains, for they seemed to stretch on forever into a sea of swaying grasses, deep-rooted and solitary trees and red rocks. It was an eerie place, but eerie in the sense that it was lonely. Even if one had lived their whole life surrounded by the sounds of drums, the hums of songs and the glow of fire, well, it was lonely.

    One had lived his life in such a manner. Meryg. He held no family name or rank, nor did he hold any special place in the hearts of his people as a noble warrior. He was a hunter, a normal, run-of-the-mill hunter with no particular luck in finding a mate or fathering whelps. He did not have the blessing of the Butcher Prince, Yeenoghu, and he seldom had the love of his own people.

    Meryg had especially lost the love of his people with his ideas about their god as of late. He himself had thought to shift to a more peaceful god and had even gone as far as to urge others quietly to do the same. None had followed him, and Meryg had been declared a heretic. Heresy against Yeenoghu was punishable by, what else than, death. He had, however, escaped with his life and the clothes upon his back. The only thing he carried was his spear, an unremarkable weapon made with his own two hands.

    He cursed the sky with a low growl as the rain began to fall. Rain seldom fell in the Plains, but the gods saw fit to torture the packless gnoll further, it seemed.

    OoC: I figured there'll be a bit of setting up before Meryg gets poofed, so yeah.
  3. (That's totally fine, and I'm glad you liked them...I had to hunt hardcore for them...sorry I got kinda long in this one... o.o; )

    Roxanne glanced up at a darkening sky she looked rather bored as she stared, it was rare for rain to fall here everyone would be protecting the parts of the machine that couldn't get wet by now. This clearing castle was vital to the life of anything living in Roserust, whenever it would break down every mechanic all across the city would rush to fix it else the pollution of this world kill them all. Roxanne herself didn't much care for the castle, after all she had never left it, with a sigh she pulls up one of the blue roses and drops it into a small box that she shakes up before sitting it down and listening to the whirring of machinery inside the little box. After the sounds stopped Roxanne opened the box and breathed the strange perfume of the ground up blue metal rose before taking it away and into a large room near the garden.

    This large room was filled with things for science and in many of the containers there was a rainbow of ground up roses. This was what Roxanne did to keep herself occupied, she studied the roses she grew. She had only been able to figure out the Yellow rose's effect though, it was a strange effect, if you drank a tea made with this particular rose you gained telepathy, not a normal telepathy either, you could only reach into one of the other worlds and connect to someone's mind in that world. Roxanne had discovered this by drinking the tea herself although she never used the ability but one time and it hadn't yielded pretty results; Roxanne had been knocked out for several days because of that. She was not eager to use herself as an experiment again, at least not for right now.

    Looking bored Roxanne places the ground up blue rose under a magnifying glass and shifts through it with a long nail, one of the other things she didn't understand was the composition of the metal roses, if they were metal why did they dissolve in hot water to make teas? So many mysteries! Despite her unhappiness at being locked in this castle that purified the city's air she was one of those types to easily get lost in research. Several hours pass this way, Roxanne examining bits and pieces of the ground up roses she had collected over the past few years before her collaring mark burns making her instantly drop what she had been doing and gripping her throat. That was usually a bad sign, was something bad going to happen to her home or was something bad going to happen to her? Not feeling well after the burning sensation Roxanne goes to fetch herself some water from the kitchen on the bottom floor of the castle, it takes her several minutes to get there.

    After drinking some water and sighing she grumbles, her research had been interrupted now she wasn't thrilled with it right now. Roxanne decides to go to the throne room where her mother and father sit, she bows politely before looking up and locking eyes with her parents; she had pushed this issue before but she really needed something different in her life especially right now. Her duel colored eyes lock onto her Father and she asks a simple question, "Can you give me an escort so I may walk the streets today?"

    The old king's laugh is hearty and could lift anyone's spirit who heard it; except his daughters, "Oh no my darling daughter, you know we cannot let you roam outside, else someone might try and use you!" Same excuse every time and when Roxanne turns to beg her mother, she doesn't even get a chance to speak.

    "No, your father already answered you and I abide by his wishes."

    Of course...mother doesn't have an original thought in her head does she anymore? Roxanne was really angry at this and with a sigh she turns to walk away from her parents just as lightning strikes somewhere outside making Roxanne flinch from the sound of lightning connecting with metal. Great now it's storming outside!
  4. Meryg's ears stood high as the sound of a heavy thunder roll clapped along the black clouds. He stepped back and fell upon his backside when a bright light overtook the sky and sent a beam of lightning down into the earth what looked to be but a few miles away from where he currently stood. He stood, soaking wet already from the rain, and pressed onward towards the red rock hills. There were caves here and there; perhaps he could find a temporary home amongst the crags and stones.

    "Damn this rain!" he called into the wilderness gruffly as he went.

    He shook his head, thinking he heard something in the distance. There was a voice, foreboding and deep. The voice rolled along with the thunder, all but eluding Meryg's ears enough that he might not make decent sense of what the voice might be saying. Another sound broke through the veil of the storm, a sound like great, heavy trees creaking and turning. He was a stranger to the sounds of metal and industry, for the Plains held no such advancements. He was familiar with stone and iron, with fire and blood.

    Another flash of lightning, this one bright red and casting a great light across the plains, broke through the blackened skies. Meryg felt a cold pain. Then there was blackness.

    OoC: Not dead, just poofed. xD
  5. (Good cuz that would be awful if he was dead. XD)

    Roxanne had been out in a cloak tending her metal roses once more when a red lightning bolt had struck a location around the castle and a burning sensation races through the mark around her neck once again, turning red as if actually trying to burn her. What do you want me to go look...? She coughs before making her way towards where the bolt had struck. She was not the only one to be moving towards it though, a lot of servants were already around as she arrived, her voice was a command to be obeyed when she spoke next, "Move out of my way! What are you gawking at!" Princess or not she didn't like when people stood in her way, usually she didn't react so strongly but her parents had her really angry so on accident she had taken it out on the servants in her tone of voice.

    When the servants quickly disperse Roxanne's eyes fall on the creature lying on the ground in front of her. It was strange looking thing...Her desire for knowledge takes over and she scoots close to the creature crouching and giving it a little poke; Roxanne couldn't distinguish if it was male or female or if it even had a gender so she just decided to go with the safe option and treat it as an it. "Um...can you hear me? Or even understand me...?" Roxanne speaks rather close to the creatures ear still not sure how to feel about it, she didn't know which world this one came from, or couldn't remember one of the two, the burning red around her neck was making it rather difficult for her to think, she really needed this thing to wake up.
  6. Strange noises filled Meryg's unconscious ears. The clamoring and voices, along with the sound of rain falling upon something that sounded harder than the stone of his homeland sounded as if they were miles away in an echoing cavern, yet he could still hear well enough through his state. The voices came closer, one woman's standing out as his mind came, with opening eyes, back to the world of the living.

    Sitting up quickly, the gnoll looked about. He gripped about at the ground for a moment, finding his weapon and holding it tightly. He spoke in his own language, a rolling and deep-throated tongue common to the gnolls of the Plains of Eternity. He attempted to find his feet so that he might stand, but his body would not have such wanton movement at that moment. He merely fell back upon his haunches and scrambled backwards from the nearest woman. She was strange looking, all of them were, but this one was no doubt the strangest. Her eyes. Where was he?
  7. Roxanne tilts her head as the creature begins to move her eyes lighting up a bit. "Well at least you're awake!" She says with a smile still not sure if he understood her or not, she holds out a hand to it, not at all taken aback by the weapon it had picked up. The servants weren't happy with this though at all and tried to move to pull Roxanne away from it, Roxanne refused to budge sending a glare at them once more. "Go on, tell...the King and Queen we have an odd thing here and that I'm taking care of it, at least for now." With that the people take off no longer worried about Roxanne getting hurt, they were all fairly certain the Gods wouldn't allow it.

    With a soft sigh Roxanne locks her duel colored eyes to the creatures and smiles, trying to convey friendliness. It had spoken in a strange tongue which had her curious and she tried to recall what language it could possibly be. She pulled nothing and sighed before an idea occurs to her and she stands up straight closing her eyes lightly; this thing wasn't from her world, could she use that weird ability she had gained to learn a bit about it? With her closed eyes she focuses and tries to let her mind touch the creatures, it's not an invading presence more of a polite knock in one's mind. Somewhere in her focused state she wonders if this person will react negatively to her asking for a little knowledge or to help the creature understand her language, communication would be vital if she were to help, of course there's a chance she could end up knocked out for a long period of time again if the person chose to slam her out like before.
  8. Meryg watched as more of the strange folk gathered about, apparently concerned for the one with the strange eyes. He muttered something to himself quietly as he watched them. The woman soon sent the others away, leaving only the two of them standing in the strange courtyard.

    The gnoll's dark eyes looked about in confusion as he tried to assess his surroundings. It was odd, this place. It made no sense and did not look to be any land with which he was familiar. This was not the Plains. This was Elsewhere.

    A feeling came gently into his mind, a small, nagging feeling. It was the same sort of feeling he got if he knew there was a visitor at the entrance of his yurt back in his home village; however, he was certainly not home.

    "What are you? What do you want?" The gnoll's mind-voice came clearly to the Princess, entering her mind as gently as she had entered his own. It spoke in the universal language of the mind, something understandable and not needing translation. "Am I dead? In Yeenoghu's Realm?"

    He gripped his weapon more tightly.
  9. Before Roxanne would respond to the creature she mentally cheered, "Yes it worked!" Then focused once again before the connection could break; this was different for sure and it required far more concentration that she had originally intended. She lets out a focusing breath before responding to his questions, "I am a human of Roserust, it's one of the many parallel worlds that exist. I don't have any particular desire for you but a little knowledge maybe, you see I've been in this world all my life and I yearn for knowledge, that's just the kind of person I am." Even if it's in the mind the pride behind her thirst for information was obvious and there wasn't any particularly malicious intent to her desire.

    After she gave him the time to process this she responded once again, "You aren't dead..." Upon hearing the God's name who had sent this odd creature to Roxanne's world she got quite angry, "Yeenoghu is the one who sent you here? I don't understand why he would do that. We can figure that out later though. My name is Roxanne, I'm the Princess of this world but don't let that make you treat me any differently than you would a woman of your own world. Speaking of worlds...where are you from and what are you?" It was her turn for a few questions and while she listened to his thoughts her own wandered to her metal rose teas, maybe one could help them talk to each other? That would be a neat ability to be able to understand and maybe speak any language that one came across, it certainly would help in this case because Roxanne was growing tired from keeping the connection to this creature open.
  10. "Worlds," he muttered in his mind. He had never heard much of worlds beyond his own save for in the stories of the elders. He thought it superstition; however, it seemed, for this girl knew of Yeenoghu, that certain things could not be as easily dismissed as he had dismissed them. "You know of Yeenoghu?" He thought for a moment before shaking his head. "No matter, Mind-Talker Roxanne the Human. Human." The word was odd. What was a human, exactly? Were there any gnolls in this place called Roserust, he wondered.

    Standing slowly, the gnoll spoke again. "I am a gnoll from the Plains of Eternity. My name is Meryg."

    "You said Yeenoghu sent me here. How do you know that?"
  11. "That's a lengthy name..." Her speeches were kind of scattered at this point as Roxanne was slowly losing the connection she tried to quickly respond to him. "I know of Yeenoghu, he's a deity of sorts so he can get into my head easily and something has been bothering my mark all day, so I figure since you thought you were in Yeenoghu's realm he must have done something to send you here and red lightning isn't all that common. The Plains of Eternity huh?" Roxanne tests his name on her actual tongue hoping she didn't pronounce it horribly. "Meryg...?" With a shake she cringes slightly as her head began to throb, "u-uh...anyway...the reason I can sense these things is because of the mark around my neck. Gah...C-come with me okay...I can't keep this up anymore but I might have something to help us out if you don't mind." If he responds she can't really hear it anymore and she begins to walk quickly through the halls of this castle hoping he would follow.

    If he chose to follow he would see Roxanne waving away guards and servants who seemed concerned about having Meryg following their Princess, after all he was a strange creature to them, you couldn't expect any less of people who held a deep loyalty to her family. If this works I have to take him to see my mother and father they can decide what we should do. I don't have authority to decide to allow him freedom or not...Of course if I can help him understand us, or us understand him that might make this simpler. She thinks as she continues to walk, along the path you could see outside to the location that Roxanne kept her metal rose garden; despite it's metallic appearance it was a beautiful garden. After walking by her garden she arrives at the place she had been researching the roses and glances up waiting for Meryg.
  12. Meryg followed after the woman. Doing so, after all, was his only real choice for the moment. He had nowhere that he might run to, for this was a strange world filled with unknown things. If he dared to attack the woman, who had called herself a Princess, he noted, he would likely be imprisoned or, more likely, killed by whatever guardsmen might be employed in her or her family's service.

    The nearly seven and a half foot tall creature followed as closely behind the woman as he could manage, the handle end of his spear being used much like a walking stick as he went. He said nothing as he walked, having felt the connection between the two of them wane and disappear before they had even left the courtyard in which he had arrived.

    He spoke to himself quietly in his own tongue, however, the only word she would have been able to understand being something about the Butcher Prince, Yeenoghu. His tone would have made it clear enough to anyone with a brain that he was cursing the demonic god of his people for sending him to this strange place. He would have rather died upon the Plains than be made to spend his life among these strange people, odd buildings and eerie roses.

    Extending a clawed hand once the two of them had reached wherever it was she was taking him, the gnoll scraped at one of the metallic flowers. His ears pinned at the sound that the contact between claw and metal made, and, letting out a soft grunt, he withdrew his hand quickly.
  13. Roxanne had watched him rake a claw on one of her flowers and she didn't mind, after all they were metal and the sound wasn't so bad to her own ears although it didn't help her headache. She opens the door to the lab and leads him inside, there's a large chair that should be able to hold his weight so he could sit and relax his still worn body. She talks to herself as she goes through the many rainbows of colorful ground up dust eventually picking up the blue one she had just been examining that day. This is the only one that could possibly have the qualities... She taps her chin lightly before getting some water and bringing the water to a boil.

    Roxanne still didn't understand how the roses made of metal could be turned into tea but she had a few ideas. She pours the hot water into a tea pot and adds some of the blue dust allowing it to steep in the water. This process takes about fifteen minutes, slow minutes that Roxanne begins to tap her foot impatiently. Hopefully he doesn't think she would try to poison him and he'll drink it, if it works...Oh I'm awful! I'm using this guy as a test subject...I hope he doesn't get mad at me! She thinks as she pours the tea into a glass and brings it over to Meryg handing it to him after she blew on the steaming top to demonstrate he should blow on it and cool it down before drinking. When he would look into the cup he would see that it was a strange blue color it didn't look particularly poisonous but it didn't look all that safe either. There was still more of the tea left but Roxanne wasn't feeling like experimenting on herself too, for all she really knew it could lead to his death or just make him breathe underwater. I really hope he doesn't die...
  14. The gnoll took the cup offered to him. It was rude to turn away hospitality; he had learned at least that from his own kin. He peered into the steeped liquid for some time before looking up from his seat, his eyes falling upon the woman with a cocked brow. He muttered something to himself before taking a sniff, then a sip of the drink. He shook his head lightly and then downed the rest of the hot tea.

    For a moment it seemed as though nothing was the matter. It seemed as though she had simply offered him some strange, Roserustian beverage. Then he felt something. It was an odd, cold feeling that resonated deep in his gut and traveled to his throat, causing him to sputter and cough for a few moments.

    "Na'an ashalai'ii gru'zzt ist'zzt . . . damned Witch!" he called, his language leaving him in the midst of his sentence. His eyes widened as he looked again at the Princess. He attempted, once again, to speak his language. "Hello." He brought a hand up and closed it around his maw, his ears lying back. He stood quickly. "What did you do to me? Why are my words yours!?"
  15. The drink tasted brightly of blueberries so it wasn't that horrible of a drink and it smelled just as strong of the blueberries that made up it's taste. Roxanne still felt bad but she couldn't focus her mind enough to tell him 'hey you know this tea might make you able to learn, you know any language that you hear.' His anger is understandable when he calls her a damned witch she accepts it and smiles lightly. "Yeah...Um sorry about that...I thought it would be easier for both of us if you could speak my language or I could speak yours...and um..." She looks around rather nervously, "Normally I wouldn't have tested it on anyone but myself but...well last time I tested one on myself it gave me that mind touching ability and I kinda got knocked out for several days..." Quickly she bows apologetically, "I'm really sorry I didn't wanna trick you but using that ability made my head throb so I can't exactly focus right now..."

    In response as to why his words were now the same as hers she laughed nervously, "Well you see...I study those metallic roses you saw...and I notice the differences in their ground up make up, the blue ones apparently allow you to speak a language you're exposed's only the second rose ability that I've discovered..." As she says this she goes over to the jar with the blue grounds and writes it's effect on the jar. "Um...Thank you though, I'm actually glad I can understand you now."
  16. The gnoll shook his head and shrugged. "What's done is done, I suppose. At least it did no harm."

    He eyed her, taking a couple steps forward and growling. "Test any of your witch-brews on me again, though, and you'll not live to regret it, Witch." Sorcery was a thing of which gnolls were not overfond, and witches and sorcerers were not looked upon with kindly aires in the Plains of Eternity. He stood to his full height again, his head again shaking as if he were at a loss.

    "What, then? Now that you can understand me, what is it you're so eager to know. Or were you keen on telling me a way I might get back home? This place . . . it isn't the Plains. I need the open wind and the grass seas. Everything here is so cold beneath my feet," he said, looking down to his uncovered, clawed feet. He frowned.
  17. "I won't test anything on you and honestly I'm not sure what to do with you, I do have to take you to my Mother and Father though. Plains of Eternity huh? That sounds interesting. Oh, one more thing, that wasn't magic...or maybe it was. I'm actually not entirely sure, to me it's science, it's something worth understanding." She mumbles this a little more to herself than Meryg before stretching and giving a little yawn. "Okay anyway, depending on what Mother and Father deem to do with you. Of course I know you aren't here of your own will so I will defend you if I think they choose wrong." Roxanne glances over her shoulder at Mergy before snapping her fingers suddenly. "Oh yeah! I only can tell you're a creature of some kind, but what are you exactly."

    Roxanne didn't really like being called a witch but after what she had just pulled she couldn't exactly blame him especially since he seemed primitive to machines. If her parents decided to let Roxanne attempt to help him she would have to take time out to tell him about what the stuff around him was. After all there was no way she could instantly figure out how to send someone home, she didn't know how to get to The Divine Gate.
  18. "Sigh-ents," he muttered, trying the word a few times before it came out as it should. "Science. My people don't know this science. I know the things we touch and the things we cannot, though the things we cannot touch can certainly touch us." He listened to himself more as the words left his mouth. He understood a language now that, but a half hour beforehand, had sounded like the gibberish of plains birds.

    "I'm a gnoll, Human, not a creature."

    Meryg began walking, not entirely knowing where he was going. "We go to see your . . . mother and father. Life-givers? Is this the same, mother and father?" The words were still intertwined and confused in his mind. He knew them, but some things were said differently in the tongue of his own people. He nodded after a mere moment of thought, answering his own question. "Yes, mother and father is the same, then."

    "Perhaps we'll be lucky and they won't have me killed. All things considered, I feel entirely safe knowing that the princess will vouch for me," he added, muttering this last bit in somewhat of a sarcastic tone. If he was to be seen as an enemy, then there was little that a mere princess could do for him. If this place was anywhere like his home, then females were not in as high a command as males. The King was the one he needed to speak with; man-to-man.
  19. "Gnoll?" That caught her attention it didn't seem too strange of a word in her mouth although it was indeed a strange word to her vocabulary. "My mother and father are a rather decent couple and as you say...they're the reason I live now. I've obtained some odd traits from them." She turns to face Meryg and points to her duel colored eyes, "As empty headed as my mother is now she's a woman with good judgment and my father always takes her opinion into the highest sincerity." Roxanne takes a deep breath as she walks out of the room and starts a long trek through the halls and down several stairs. "You probably already realize this but be careful on the stairs, don't want you tumbling into the main room without me or they may just kill you on the spot."

    After several minutes of walking Roxanne takes a deep breath before pushing open an ornate door that leads into a room made of metal while the thrones were made of cogs and brass looking pretty strange to someone who had never seen machinery before; Roxanne took it in strides though and she bows before her parents lightly gesturing for Meryg to do the same with an 'it's only respectful' look before she raises her head to speak. "Father...did you see the red lightning earlier?"

    "Yes of course I saw it my daughter..." The King with the rusted reddish, orange and brown hair stared at Meryg with suspicion in his eyes. "May I ask though, who this is that you've brought into the throne room?" There were a number of guards surrounding the king and queen by this point and when Meryg would look at the woman he would see the same lime green and cyan blue eyes that Roxanne herself had meeting his gaze.

    "I was about to explain that Father." Roxanne states calmly before taking a deep breath, "One of the Gods of the many worlds that exist deemed it fitting to send a visitor here. I don't understand why but he has yet to try and harm me so I was wondering...what do you intend to do with my friend here?" Calling Meryg her friend had her Father sending a rather frightening glare at the gnoll.

    Surprisingly Roxanne's mother speaks before her Father can, "Dear...I believe he means us no harm. Just a feeling I have, I may have passed my collar onto my daughter but I can still feel certain things." When you would look close at the Queen's neck you'd see a healed scar ringing around her neck, it read "Roseanne" which would explain part of where Roxanne had obtained her name from.

    The king remains silent for a time. "Speak your piece creature or whatever you may be...depending on what you say to me I may heed my wife and daughter's request. Give me a good reason to keep you free and roaming around my castle."
  20. The gnoll did not bow. In his own homeland, when confronted for his heresy against Yeenoghu, he had not bowed to Visht'aar Ririmgashba, the great warrior-king who had crossed the grass seas in search of new lands in which the gnolls may lay waste and pillage to their hearts' content. If he had not bowed to the Visht'aar, then he would not bow to the royalty of Roserust. Proper or not, those of so-called stature were, in his eyes, no more important or deserving of admiration than the lowest street-whelp.

    His eyes wandered, though his head made it seem his gaze stayed straight ahead, about the room; he took in the sights of the cogs and the oddness of the queen's eyes, the likes of which she had evidently passed to her daughter. His eyes wandered to the king next, and he eyed the stern-looking man. He doubted that the lord of Roserust held such a stern look when dealing with those dear to his heart. The king was merely putting on an aire of stern and harsh rule as an attempt at intimidating the gnoll. Meryg was no fighter; he abhorred wanton violence, but he was still no coward. He was smart enough to know when to turn and run, but he was no coward.

    When urged to speak, he spoke. Taking a step or two forward, he began. "There is no reason I should be left free to roam this strange place. The smells here burn my nose, the sounds make my ears ache. I don't care for these lands. They are cold and distant to me. They lack true life. I have no good reason for anything, especially not on this, the strangest of my days. Any god willing that I could, I would ride the same sky-vein . . . the same lightning . . . back to my red rocks and grass beds, where I might feel my own sun."

    Rolling his shoulders in a slight shrug, he took a pause before speaking again, his dark eyes set on the king. "I give no reasons and no promises. I do not understand your Witch-Land, King."
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