Sand and Oranges: Childhood

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Boss Frost, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. The sun had already set on the small island, unnamed to most of the world - unnoticed, unimportant. To the people that lived there, ignorant to the outside world, the island was the world. It was home. The twin smoking mountains in the middle of the island stands as a monument to the place's origin. A clear crystal lake lay in the northwest side of the island, while a swamp sits in the shadow of a volcano on the northeastern side. Thick woods scatter across the landscape with only the paths worn out by islanders separating them.

    Far from the darkness, on the southern side of the island lies a village. While ruins of a lost civilization dot this small environment, the village has been a lone bastion of hope. Whatever darkness has existed in whatever exists beyond the island, it has not touched this place...

    Wooden homes, pieced together from the ring of corpses surrounding the island - ships that shattered on the reef just visible from the gentle beach, holds a good sixty people - various races stay here, most of them halfbreeds or mixed heritige individuals: descendents of the island's unwilling settlers. Rarely, another ship shatters against the reef - the survivors end up on the island, forgetting what life they had on the outside as if under some compulsion.

    Prone to storms, the village seems oddly fortified. Weaponry is common, as is the scavenged armor. The people seem comfortable, but they are always ready - looking towards the twin volcanos with an uneasy look every day. No one was quite sure why, but no one was interested in checking it out. Those who were brave enough to try normally ended up getting injured and being forced to go back.

    Night has fallen over the island - a clear night with a grand, full moon shining down and moving across the sky - fleeing from ebon clouds that dwell far off to sea. Sleep grips the minds of most of the island's inhabitants, save for those creatures that stalk the night... those creatures and four youths.


    Astrid was having trouble keeping quiet. A giddy smile crossed her features, yanking the wood-cutting axe from it's resting place. Taking a few experimental swings, she nods - it felt good. She could probably use this as a weapon! She had already moved to where she hid the armor and shield she had pieced together. It didn't help her sneak very well, but she didn't much care.

    This was her first time sneaking out of the house - her heart was beating rapidly in her chest, paws leaving prints in the sand. It felt fantastic - the moon shining down, the sound of the surf. It didn't take her long to reach where she was meeting her friends. She looked around in a conspiratorical manner, bouncing excitedly on the balls of her feet, her young body already showing some minor development. Both as a woman and as an athlete.

    Finally, she rests the axe on her shoulder, grinning wildly, tail whipping about. She was more than ready to explore the island - rules or not!
  2. It seemed it was time for an adventure. It was not trouble at all sneaking out of the little house, it's not like his uncle would care anyway if he was gone. Carrying his bow slung across his back along with his quiver with knives and daggers tucked into his belt, he followed out of sight behind Astrid. Her watched her attempt at stealth and scowled at her as she shuffled loudly across the sand.

    She made it to the place where they all were supposed to meet, it appeared they were the first two to have shown up. Without a word Ni'ifel revealed himself to Astrid, walking into plane view, moonlight shining slightly off his horns. The shadow the moon caused on his face made his eyes appear to glow. "Terrible" he commented on her stealth skills.
  3. Sneaking out was easy, Sneaking out with Sedna was still easy. Their father was asleep and their house on the edge of town. He helped her out the door before slowly pushing it closed and taking her hand to lead the way into the trees. He often did this but usually stayed close to town, tonight was different, tonight they'd be meeting with their friends and going further than he ever had before.

    All he had with him were the ring he always wore and the stick that he had tied a sharp piece of metal to by way of a weapon and to walk with. The night was bright for him and he could see as well at he could in the day. "We're almost there." he said even though he knew she already knew that as he kept his ears pricked for anything, and hearing Astrid and Vile. "Here we are." he said stepping into the clearing and planting his spear in the ground. "Looks like we're ready to go?"
  4. Ebony hair swung from side to side, the miniscule sound of seashells clacking together where they sat woven into those dark locks. Pale skin caught and held the moonlight, giving the young girl a heavenly glow. A well pronounced pout sat upon her lips, having been told moments ago that she would have to leave her books behind for this adventure. Really, the promise of them still being there when they returned home did little to soothe her.

    Sedna wasn't the average child. While most were content to play outside all day, she'd developed a terrible habit of hiding away in the basement, leaning over boiling concoctions and scales filled with various metals. If she wasn't in the basement, she most definitely had her nose stuck in one of the tomes belonging to her father. It was the night that brought out her inhuman nature, and many of them had been spent walking the shoreline or sneaking around in the forest, hunting for ingredients for her spells.

    But tonight was an adventure, and though she wasn't too keen of most of the children on the island, the two that she and her brother were about to rendevous with weren't all that bad. Silently she let her brother Sige lead her along by the hand, still pouting that she'd only been allowed to take with her one of their father's old daggers and the bare essentials from her Alchemist's kit, both of which were attached to her waist by a belt.

    When Sige announced their arrival, Sedna glanced up to see Ni'ifel and Astrid already in the little clearing. Both looked pretty excited. She supposed tonight would give her an opportunity to hunt down some new ingredients for her experiments. She was still looking for a stronger poison, after all.
  5. Astrid takes a few experimental punches into the air, flexing happily, "Hey, I don't need to sneak around. I'm looking forward to taking something on!" She smiles at the axe on her shoulder, before nodding to Vile. She wondered how long the kid was behind her - little creepy, but who was she to judge? After all, if the others could do what she could, she would be sparring with them instead of sneaking out.

    As the other two arrived, she nodded. The kid with two races and the kid with two eye colors. They were funny! Maybe not very talkative - but Astrid talked so much that they probably didn't have a chance to. She stifled a giggle, giving them a thumbs up. She hushed up, whispering at them, "Alrighty, so: there's a small ruin not that far up the beach. I don't think there's any adults from the village guarding it. I think we can go there and check it out."

    Her tail flicks, followed by her whiskers. She gestures out nearby, "It'll take a little bit of a swim to get there, since the tide's in - we'll have to be back in our beds before the tide goes back out, or we'll be found out." She rests one of her hands on her hip, nodding. "What do you think? We could go somewhere else if you have anything in mind?"
  6. Here came the other two, Sedna and Sige. The four of them were unique in their own ways, but they were fortunate to not be despised by the majority of the village. Anger flashed inside him but he quieted it, this was a night to forget about such things. It was a night to defy. This put him in a better mood. Glancing around at them he noted their demeanor. It seemed disappointed, likely about being outside or having only one book. She may get over it once they started moving. Maybe. "We soon will be Sige."

    Ni'ifel looked around before responding to Astrid. "We would have plenty of time to be back before the olders awake, as long as no one falls too far behind" he didn't say any names and crossed his arms over his leather covered chest, trying to think of other places they could go. "I found a cave a few days ago. Was chasing a few deer farther out than normal. They were afraid enough of it to backtrack and nearly trample me." He shrugged his shoulders "Although the ruins seem to hold a secret the adults don't want us to know. I am game for blatant defiance."

    ((Btw it's best that the kids don't refer to Ni'ifel as Vile. Or I guess they could, since they may not understand that he's so dispised and could ultimately be some kind of plot thing. But if they call him Vile to his face then he'll see it as them not truly being friends. Might upset him.))
  7. Ruins or a cave... Sige could see well by moonlight but underground he'd be as blind as his father. "The cave might be just a bear's lair. The ruin on the other hand we know has had people in it and we might find something interesting." he was sounding excited but cautious Vile, did you see anything in the cave?" he let go of Sena's hand.

    He looked from Vile to Astra and then to his sister. "I know theres a wreck in a cove not to far from here either, the sands built up around it but its been too rocky ther for me to get too close on my own, the four of us should be able to make it no problems so long as no one minds a few scrapes and bruises."
  8. Everyone was looking at Sedna now, waiting for her little tidbit of opinion. She shrugged, still cropping an attitude. "I've always wanted to go to the swamp but... Aren't the fiends there a little out of our league?"

    Oh hell. She shouldn't have said that in front of I-Think-I'm-Invincible-Astrid. Slapping a palm to her forehead, Sedna groaned at her mistake and quickly added, "But I really want to check out those ruins, you know? There might be some strange flowers or mushrooms I could really use. Or maybe even some abondoned tomes!"

    Her different-colored eyes sparkled under the moonlight at the very thought of holding in her hands a leather bound book of secrets. She immediately drifted into a daydream of all of the dangerous concoctions her young mind could imagine. She wasn't much use to conversation now.
  9. Astrid thinks about it for a moment. Options, options! The cave would be nice and short, the shipwreck might have a lot of loot... and her eyes shone at the thought of taking the fight to whatever was in that swamp! As it was, though, each of the four had an idea of where to go... She places a fist in her palm, nodding. "Okay, we don't have a lot of time, so how's this sound? We check out the ruin tonight, then the cave later in the week, the shipwreck next week, and the swamp later that week." She grins, offering a thumbs-up.

    She nods, grinning and clapping a hand happily on Ni'ifel's shoulder. "C'mon! None of us can fall behind, right? Race you!" The young woman spins in the sand, sprinting - leading the way to the ruins she saw, tail whipping about happily. This was her first adventure where she didn't have her father with her... though one could hardly consider swimming for oysters or fishing to be very adventurous. Astrid would often look over her shoulder to see if her friends were still following her - even waiting for them if she got too far ahead.

    The athletic young woman hops down a short cliff onto a separate beach, jumping noisily behind a rock in a meager - completely useless - attempt at stealth. Her head peeked up, tail whipping madly as she gestures out into the surf. "There it is!"


    White columns of marble glimmer in the moonlight, as the remains of a retangular building sits, half-sunken and mournful in the water. Whatever purpose the building once had was now long forgotten, it's symbols esoteric enough to elude the memories of children. Still, the building had a sense of forboding around it: a flicker of fear of a moment lost in time. The rhythmic flow of the surf forced a sound out of the pillars - the percussion of a nightmare devouring it's immobile victim.

    Even at this distance, echoes of dripping water emerge from the sad white building, crying in it's helplessness. A night wind through the wounded structure moans in despair, prompting a chill that was not from the cold.


    Astrid's fur stood on end - not in fear, but in excitement. She grips the axe in one hand, the shield in the other, readying herself. She turns to her friends, "What do you think? This is going to be great!"
  10. And there she went. Ni'ifel sped after Astrid, kicking up sand and making little noise. Ni'ifel wasn't breathing hard, chasing after game that didn't die right away from an arrow is one way to build running endurance. It seemed like they would have an interesting night life this month. Yay. Adventure. It wasn't long before the ground they were running on met a sudden short cliff which Astrid jumped down. Coming to the small cliff Ni'ifel performed a nimble forwards flip and landed almost completely without noise, while thinking that following Astrid off a cliff of any size isn't something a smart person like himself would normally do. Must be the challenge-lust.

    He examined the ruins across the water from beside her, sliding into place like a dark shadow moving across the day, listening with caution. "Appears foreboding. Lets see what's it about."
  11. With Astrid and Vile taking off into the trees Sige had no choice but to follow making sure making sure that his sister kept up too. Running through the trees came naturally to him, ducking and weaving and stepping over roots. The woods were far from thick and he could stick to wider paths but he enjoyed this too much. Astrid was big and charged over everything, Vile was used to the forest at any kind of day and conducted himself with efficiency and stamina, Sige however was more like a nimble child of 8 or 9 in the way he made his way to the cliff.

    There he paused looking out over the water at the marble columns sticking out like broken teeth. He looked down at the sand as Vile was making his jump. There was nothing too it you just need to... He flung himself into the small void and bent his legs hitting and doing a completely unnecessary roll getting sand all over his tunic before moving behind a rock and crouching down to look up for Sedna's jump.
  12. Off they went, not even giving Sedna a chance to finish her current day dream. She was roughly shaken from it from a tug from her brother, blinked a few times, then scrambled after the others. Before long, the urge to whine and complain was swelling inside her, though she made do with biting her tongue and doing her best to catch up. All that staying inside and not playing like normal children - now they ran just too darn fast for her!

    And now there was supposed to be jumping? Sedna hesitated at the top of the little drop off, tugging on a lock of her ebony hair. Too high. She didn't want to do it and she showed it by shaking her head at her brother below and taking a step backwards.

    But despite Astrid's attempt to remain quiet, that girl's enthusiasm had her voice carrying back up the cliff and Sedna looking out at the ruins looming in the midnight sea gloom. The thought of rare tomes once again taunted the little Changeling. Her greed replaced her fear of heights, and a little hesitantly, she dropped over the edge, hit the sandy floor below with a 'whump!', and toppled backwards onto her butt.

    Not her most graceful landing.

    Scrambling back into a crouch, she proceeded to pretend as though she hadn't made an ass of herself just a moment ago, sticking close to her brother's side as they joined the other two. For a moment those sea-colored eyes took in the ruined building and goosebumps popped up onto her arms. "This is going to be something, but I'm not so sure about great..." she muttered, moreso to herself. That place just didn't feel right, or maybe Sige had told her one too many scary bedtime stories, but she really wanted a nice big tome of her own or at the very least a rare ingredient. Tugging lightly on her brother's sleeve, she asked, "Are we gonna swim?"
  13. Astrid nods to Ni'ifel, pointing at it. "I've never seen a building like that - made out of white rock instead of wood. I imagine it's stronger. Probably why the ruins are still here after all those storms we have." She grins, "A defiant structure, probably of a people who were the same way!" Projecting herself onto what were probably a very somber and noble people, she turns back to look towards the other two party-members.

    Looking to the sister of the pair, she shakes her head, answering for Sige. "Naw, look there!" She attempts to point at something, "There's some rocks and a fallen column we can cross over there, as long as you can keep your balance. We'll get our ankles wet, but I don't think that's much of a problem." She shrugs, "I'd swim over there, but it's probably crawling with buggalumps, fas-zules and maybe even a wild huge-teeth-beast." She nods, making up the names of a few creatures and imagining what they'd look like.

    The catfolk's eyes glow in the light of the moon, face changing to meet the challenge before her. The proud child nodded, standing up strait - outside of cover, before looking towards the others. "Last chance to back out, I guess." She gave each of them a look, "Even if I'm going in alone, I'm going in there. You folks can turn back and deny that you were ever here - even if I end up meeting Death down there, you'll all be safe at home." She nods, pointing at the ruin, "I'm sure Death knows a lot of great spots for adventure. I'll ask her when I meet her."
  14. Sand hit his back which signified Sige's landing and when Sedna finally landed on the lower portion of beach Ni'ifel said, without taking his eyes from the ruin, "You need to play outside more." To Astrid's naming of potential dangers in the water Ni'ifel's eyebrows scrunched together. "I've never heard of those...." Ni'ifel didn't bother pursuing questions about the species, he figured if it he hadn't heard about or seen it living around the island, it mustn't exist. In either case it didn't matter, there was a toppled pillar that could act as a bridge which eliminated the need for swimming.

    The time to finally get over to the ruins was drawing closer, he could tell by the way Astrid positioned herself and the way she was talking. A small scowl crossed Ni'ifel's face, and in response to Astrid's jibes about last chances and being safe at home he started trudging over to the pillar, not waiting for anyone's answer. Upon reaching the pillar, he scanned it and the area around it carefully to determine if it was stable. ((Uh, Knowledge check?))
  15. With everyone down the cliff Sige gave Sedna's shoulder a quick and reassuring squeeze. "This is the sea sis. Your element. You have nothing to fear... except the one-eyed rock crawler who looks exactly looks a rock in the sea until someone gets close, then the last thing then ever see are it's thousands of rows of sword-sized teeth. But no ones seen one of those in ages." he grinned and moved forwards his hand sliding down to hold Sedna's as he moved to crouch next to Astrid.

    "You're not going in there alone, we came this far and I'm not turning back.. and I think that stone looks good in the moonlight, I wonder what it is and if they got it on the island or..." he looked out at the sea before suddenly poking a rock with the blunt end of his spear. "Oops though it was a crawler."
  16. Ten and one years and devoured by a 'one-eyed rock crawler'? Sedna refused to die such a shameful death. There were things she needed to do, like making sure every single person in existence knew her name. She'd never heard of this creature before and it was very possible that that brother of hers was just making it up - something he really liked to do to try and scare her a little. Whether it was a need to be imaginative or simply that Sige was trying to tease her, she didn't really care. Tomes were still at the front of her mind and only a few of the others' words were sinking in.

    Those creepy ruins were hypnotizing her; the moonlight gleaming off the strange white stone was basically promising that something old and powerful and possibly bizarre was inside. Her brother had been talking to Astrid about something, but the sudden 'tock' of his spear bouncing against stone grabbed Sedna's attention. She frowned, tugging her hand from her brother's. "That's not funny. And I'm going after him," she mumbled, her gaze sweeping up to where that boy the villagers called 'Vile' stood, already inspecting the pillar. Crouching low, she scurried forward and came to a stop beside the boy, her one hand hovering near the dagger belted to her side. "Is it safe?" If it wasn't, she'd rather just swim.
  17. Astrid offers Sige a sharp-toothed grin, before she leaves the crouch in a sprint. The woosh of air as she leaps over Sedna and Ni'ifel is felt a few moments before it is heard, and the catfolk races across the rocks and the fallen pillar to the small gods-forsaken rock where the temple stood. She turns, looking back to the others. "The walkway's safe!" Figures that she would test it out by risking life and limb. Her tail twitches enthusiastically as she looks back over at them, twirling her axe in one hand.

    It was at this point that she turned around to really look at the temple. As if protesting her observation, the temple creaked like a derelict ship, before the moan of wind passed through it. Her stomach squeezed into itself for a moment, heartbeat speeding up. It was a strange feeling for her - not hunger or adrenaline. Her ears folded back in displeasure, a momentary frown crossing her face. This unknown feeling was the first time she had ever felt even a second of anxiety. She didn't like it. Shaking the feeling off, she smiled back to the others, waving them over.


    Something lay behind her amdist the algae and rock. An engraving on the wall showed a great scaled hand holding a tornado. Below it, humanoids with viscious-looking faces worshipped it. The being in the middle of the engraving - a muscular creature in naught but a loincloth - rose it's arms to the sky, dagger in one hand and heart in the other. Upon an altar in front of the figure appeared to be a sorrowful-looking female creature, ribcage open.
  18. Ni'ifel heard the shuffling through the sand and a moment later Sedna was near him. He had indeed determined that the path they were about to take was safe. "The-" before he got his sentence out, Astrid leaped over both of them and sprinted across the way, declaring it safe. Ni'ifel gestured with his hand at Astrid and then let his hand fall to his side, a gesture of exasperation "The way is safe." From here Ni'ifel could see that something had gotten through Astrid's thick skull into some portion of her brain that still managed to produce some kind of caution. It made Ni'ifel slightly tense, but he would not let this dungeon get the best of him.

    Unslinging the bow from around his chest and keeping the quiver ready for swift retrieval Ni'ifel started across. "Come along explorers. Adventure awaits." By adventure he meant potential death traps and possibly monsters. Swiftly Ni'ifel swept across the stones and pillars, brushing past Astrid to get a good look at the area. His eyes wandered and fell upon the engraving on the wall. It was a foreboding scene, it seemed to have relations to something ancient, maybe a ritual. This was all he could glean from it, so he referred to the two most studied knowledge-mongers he knew and asked Sedna and Sige "Does this look familiar to either of you? Possibly it may give a clue to what is here."
  19. Sige raised an eyebrow as Vile drew his bow. "Are you sure that necessary, there's nothing out here but rocks and us." he reached the pillar and arms spread out balanced ad crossed quickly. He didn't feel entire at ease either though and when he was standing on the rock he bit his lip and sucked on it in thought. "I don't recognize it, and I don't like it." he said looking to Sedna and then to Vile. "I think it means this place was for sacrifice... I.." he looked around to see if there were any bones of artifacts that hadn't been washed away.

    "He was liking the feel of this place less and less and it showed in the way he kept looking around and the hand on his spear. "Vile, have you ever seen anything like this in the forest, you've been out further than I have..." he swallowed having second thoughts about sticking around. But it was just a bunch of stones with the people who brought them here and carved them long dead... right?
  20. One second Sedna was talking to that strange boy and the next, Astrid was soaring over their heads, her foot just missing Sedna's ear. The air tailing after the athletic girl grabbed at Sedna's inky hair and tugged it along for a brief few seconds.

    "Show off," Sedna grumbled, quickly hopping onto the pillar right after Vile, keeping her eyes flicking from side to side despite having been asured of the path's safety. She wasn't much one to trust blindly, except Sige of course, but Astrid and Vile had proven right when she reached the other side without mishap.

    Eyes sliding from Astrid's flattened ears to the carving that was being discussed, Sedna slowly made her way forward, a hand outstretched to touch the grooves in the stone. She agreed with her brother on the topic of the carving. It was clear from the image that a violent sacrificed was needed in order to trigger something. Blue and green eyes slid up to the engraving of the hand. Was it to rid the people of the wind funnel...or summon it?

    Sedna visibly winced when she heard her brother speak the name 'Vile'. Either his parents had really hated him or that wasn't the boy's real name. Who would want to be called something like that? Quickly, she tried to change the subject, dropping her hand from the engraving back to her side. "It looks familiar. At least the style of the image. If I had some of my tomes with me, I might have been able to look it up," she said through clenched teeth, shooting a half-hearted glare up at her brother. "I wonder though... I hope this guy isn't still wandering around here." She lifted her hand again, finger pointing at the engraved musclehead in a loincloth. "He'd probably pop Astrid's head like a pimple."