Wandering Warriors

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Mowkie, Mar 7, 2014.

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    It is hard to say where a true journey begins or ends. Could it begin in one world and end in the next? Or must it begin one year and end in another? The light doesn't always show at the end of the tunnel. In fact, if you don't pay close attention, you may never see a light at all. It's a game of shadows where you must find your way out. But in this game, the twins always seemed to have an advantage. What that is, they couldn't say for sure. Perhaps it is each other...or, could it be the old souls contained within the bodies? This is a mystery that must remain just that.

    What they are doing now may not really be classified as a journey or a game. Perhaps it is simply...traveling...enjoying the world they are now blessed to live within. Truly a beautiful world that glows with life that cannot be seen elsewhere. At night, when the moons are darkest, the skies show so many stars that they glow like different seas of color...and during the day, the suns seem to light the world in the brightest, warmest fires. Nature springs to life all around them, and the essence of all the gods shows plainly in the faces of all.

    It is now that they pause in their travels near a grand waterfall, basking in the rainbows that spring into the air by the spray of the water. Both disrobe, knowing that this would be the perfect place for a bath. Few ever travel this close to the bogs, for the distant booms of the Exploding Mountains and the rumors of the cruel Dusthuro dragons keep their fears high and their will of traveling this close very low, indeed. Upon disrobing, both dip the items in the cool water with small bits of soap to clean the stains out as best as they can before laying them out to dry. It is then that both enter the water, laughing at each other's winces with the coolness of it. They splash around and swim back and forth, being sure to soak themselves. Weapons are just on the shore should anything wrong happen, and though they seem to be having a merry time - which no doubt they are to some degree - their guards are high, their senses on full alert.

    It is the sounds of the tall waterfall that blocks out the battle above. Neither of the two have any idea what is happening four hundred feet above them. At least...not until something splashes into the water right next to them.

    Calandra gives a small squeak of panic, instantly leaping out of the water to grab her blades. Linos isn't far behind her, and both of them stare into the water to see what might be lurking within. Both bare and dripping wet, they watch, wide-eyed, as the water turns red with blood. Peeking at each other, the twins make a universal decision to investigate the scene.

    And it is that decision that begins their new journey.​
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    The heavens tremble and the underworld cringes at the sounds of war atop the falls...

    The Red-Eyed Demon, the strongest Assassin in the Assassin's Guild, has slain the Master of old and turned the world of the Assassins upside down and fled their ranks to pursue a life all his own. This course of action is taboo, and thus the whole of the Assassin's world descends upon him to protect their honor and way of life. The battle rages, the Demon's heart burning with a passionate desire to free himself from the chains which bind him to the world of darkness.

    Finally, the Demon tires. His battle is fruitless. For every enemy he destroys, five more take its place. His body is pierced by a thousand blades before he takes fate into his own hands and leaps off the edge of the falls. For what seems an eternity he falls towards the world below until at last the painful sting of the water strikes before his world goes dark.

    ... This is where his story begins...

    His body struck the water, and instantly his mind traveled to worlds unknown. Vivid visions of death and chaos followed him throughout his journey until a new scene unfolds within his mind. There are several outlines of beings of both darkness and light, and they are locked in combat. Back and forth, too and fro they combat one another until at last their opposing forces cancel one another out entirely leaving him in an empty world of darkness and silence. He looks about, but he sees nothing.

    He turns his head, but hears nothing. He lifts his chin, but smells nothing. He takes in a breath, but tastes nothing. He reaches out, but feels nothing.

    Trapped in a world of existence and non-existence, his five senses all fail him one by one until the only thing left to him is his own consciousness. Slowly he floats through the vastness of nothing, the dark and empty void between worlds. He thinks back upon his life, visions of his past flying back and forth before his eyes. Not even his own mother cared for him beyond the thought of him someday proving his worth to the Guild. Her blood came second to the honor of a gathering of peoples... She was no family to him now.

    Then, his world began to change colors. Slowly the darkness turned to light, and as he opened his eyes he saw the aquatic world of what seemed to be the beginnings of a river with fish and underwater grasses beneath him. His head went up slowly, but he could see little more than dirt until the light of the sun shone through the surface a short distance away. He tried to take a breath only to realize all too late that he was beneath the water's surface entirely, and his lungs filled with fluid. Instinctively, he panicked and tried to cough, to no avail. He struggled to the surface of the water, kicking for all his worth against the water beneath him until his head broke the surface and he took in a gulp of air.

    He slowly fought his way to the earth nearby, clutching the ground as he vomited the water he had swallowed before. His eyes were clenched tightly shut from the burning sensation, and he collapsed from exhaustion and blood loss. Slowly, he slipped once again into unconsciousness as the world around him went dark once more.
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    Before managing to make their way to the scene, the water thrashes about as if a fish is caught drowning at the end of a hook, and once again, panic ensues. Unsure of whether or not to investigate further or even try to help the body that seems to be drowning beneath the heavy water, they look out at the redness with startled gazes. For once, they seem trumped, unsure of how to handle themselves. On the one hand, it could be a helpless man who needs rescuing. On the other, it could be a man or creature that only has a single thought in mind - to kill. After all, there are the darkest hours and the brightest lights. Should they risk their own skins for the possibility of rescuing another?

    The answer would be yes.

    So again, they make their way into the water in hopes of helping the poor soul trapped. But again, they are caught off guard as the man finally bursts from the water and kicks towards the shore. His journey to dry land is a slow one, but instantly, they are beside him, Linos on his left, Calandra his right. Together, they help him to the shore, and there, they let him get rid of the water already in his system before looking him over. Just by the blook that seemed to seep from him, the twins can tell that he suffers from many wounds. There's only one thing to do in this sort of situation.

    As the shadows rest over the man's mind, Linos and Calandra go to work, taking him back into the water - though only the shallowest part - and creating what might be a bubble around him. Face up, the man floats with Linos behind his head, holding his neck up to keep him from even the thought of drowning. Slowly, as the water glows around the man, Calandra travels to all sides, slipping the torn clothing from his wounded flesh, down to the barest of underwear. The damage to his body is truly horrifying.

    Calandra gives a small gasp, tears appearing just beneath her eyes, before she looks to her brother in horror. His gaze is solemn, and he nods to his sister, motioning for her to take the man's feet. She does so, and together they close their eyes and begin to utter a prayer in a united whisper. A whisper that can be heard in the ears of all magical beings. A whisper that can even be heard by the gods to which they are praying.

    "Inhalla...Fehru et ohren cadryk ol ren gyr..." Mother of All...Please take away the suffering and grant a second chance...

    This prayer is repeated over and over again as the water glows brighter around them. They know they have little time if he's to survive, and with each repetition of the prayer, their voices grow louder. Until finally, the flesh of the man seems to clot immediately, and tissue begins the process of knitting itself back together. A chime is heard in the ears of the twins, and they open their eyes to see that the healing process has been sped up just enough to help the man survive. Relief in their gazes, they pull him from the water gently before dressing themselves modestly and going into their packs for bandages. Together, they inspect every wound, spreading a special salve over each tear in the flesh. First, the torso. Linos lifts the man up, holding his head back to be sure he is able to breath. As he does this, Calandra circles them, spreading the salve over the dozens of wounds. Upon finishing, she grabs the banages, only hoping she has enough for all of it, and bgins to gingerly wrap him, concentrating hard on covering everything. Next come the arms, and though the tears are few, they are deep and probably scarring. As done before, Linos continues to hold the man up while Calandra spreads the salve and then covers the wounds. Luckily there are no wounds on the legs, so they lay the man back gingerly, resting his head on Linos' folded tunic to keep it from the hard ground.

    Then, it is a waiting game. The twins sit together, holding each other, eyes on the man. It is there that they await the strange man, for once he wakes from his slumber, there are questions that need answering.​
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    Every second felt like an eternity in the darkness of his mind. The silence was usually a sanctuary for him, though the silence was typically accompanied by the sounds of the forest around him which helped to keep him grounded through the loneliness. Here, in the darkness of the void, there was nothing to ground him. Nothing to keep him connected. It was just darkness. A pure, lonely, and all encompassing darkness which left him floating lost and alone within his own mind.

    It was then he heard it.

    You can deny me all you wish, but you will fold eventually. The voice said.

    It was hoarse, old, ugly... Yet powerful. It was a voice that had plagued him his whole life, and he had long suspected that there was a reason for his unnatural strength and skills. There were rumors among the other Assassins that a Demon was harbored and sheltered within the deepest chasms of his soul, granting him strength and power which normal people didn't have. Whether it held weight or not, he never knew. But he was beginning to believe that there was at least some truth to the horrifying rumor.

    Then, there was light.



    The world around him became warm and glowed as if under the light of the sun. A calm, soothing presence overtook him and washed away his weariness. The pain which had raced through his body was snuffed out like a candle caught in a typhoon, releasing his weary soul from the grip of darkness as it was pulled towards the light. Bit by bit, every inch of his body felt refreshed as the pain subsided and the wounds closed. What was causing it? Where did it come from? Who was doing this?

    Was it the Gods?

    Were they there watching over him as the people he had observed during his excursions claimed?

    He did not know.

    His eyes slowly began to open, but the sound of breathing caused him to stop shot of opening them as he kept them shut. His brow furrowed, and slowly he sat up after waking from his slumber. Coming up to a seated position, his hand found its way to his chest where the majority of the pain he'd previously felt had been gathered. The wounds were closed, but not completely healed over. Still, whatever had happened was quite the miracle. He couldn't explain it, nor did he want to. To question such a development after what he'd lived through was nothing short of fool hardy. He was no fool.

    He removed his hand from his chest, taking a moment to breath before he let the breath out on a sigh.

    "... So who may I thank for saving my life?" He asked, keeping his eyes closed so that his red eyes didn't cause any undo panic or concern.

    The red coloration was really only known to the criminal underworld, as it was there that he did most of his hunting and assassinations. His targets were often the scourge of the underworld. Even though the Assassins cared little for the 'sanctity of life,' they did have an honor code that demanded those who caused others undo pain such as criminals, thieves, murderers, rapists and such, be put to death for their crimes. The lenient law system used by the rest of the world with their concept of 'imprisonment' was just too soft and to them, it didn't work.

    Those in the underworld feared his eyes more than they feared the Gods, as a death by the hand of the Red-Eyed Demon was said to be worse than the wrath of any God.
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    Linos heard the man stir before Calandra. His head snaps to the general direction even before the man sits up, and his eyes narrow slightly as the man finally does make his way into a sitting position, eyes remaining closed. Calandra, off in her own world, had managed to let her guard down and doesn't notice the man until he actually speaks. When he does, she, too, looks at him skeptically, body tensed, knowing that at this point, she will find out whether or not he is foe.

    They watch every twitch. Every movement the man makes is seen by the golden-blue eyes as the breeze finds its way to the clearing. At the same time, the man lets a sigh slip through his lips, and he finally speaks.

    "So who may I thank for saving my life?"

    His eyes are still closed. The twins have yet to make so much as a sound, but for the united breath they take every ten seconds. They keep their bodies calm and still, watching him, still unsure of whether or not to answer. Slowly, they look at each other, questioning without so much as a whisper. Do they tell this strange man their names? Or do they keep it to themselves? The wise man would give a false name, and the fool speak the truth. After a moment of silent pondering, they decide not to be a fool.

    "We are simple travelers. You happened to fall into our bath." Linos' voice holds a slight lilt only found from a native of Insonnia. It is crisp and clipped, keeping a professional and stony appearance. "Before we grant you our names, we would first like to know yours...and perhaps why you have been wounded so greatly."

    Calandra doesn't speak just yet, looking the man over, pondering over why his eyes remain closed. Her breath is a whisper on her lips, barely noticeable as the breeze lifts her shimmering hair into the air for a brief second. She allows Linos to take the moment, at least for now, knowing that he is better at keeping his curiosities at bay. But the fact that the man doesn't open his eyes concerns her, and with every passing moment, her concern grows until she finally speaks.

    "Did you hurt your eyes on your fall? Why do you not open them?" Her voice, a low soprano, is like the voice of an angel, and though she merely speaks a curiosity, it holds a melody to it that few voices would contain. She has always been more susceptable to her curiosities than her brother. And perhaps one day it will lead her to her downfall...but not this day.​
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    "We are simple travelers. You happened to fall into our bath. Before we grant you our names, we would first like to know yours...and perhaps why you have been wounded so greatly."

    He was silent

    "Did you hurt your eyes on your fall? Why do you not open them?"

    The sound of the girl's voice was like none he'd ever heard before. It was almost as if there some kind of angelic being there. No other sounds save for the faintest of wisps of air through her lips as she breathed. The man sounded a bit more professional. Whether this was a guise or part of who he was remained open to interpretation. Either way, it was clear that they two did not intend to give any information about themselves unless he relented and shared his first. So, he took a moment and took in a deep breath before letting it out slowly.

    "... If you know anything about the criminal underworld, you may have heard whispers of a 'Red-Eyed Demon.'" He said in a slightly lower voice than before.

    His eyes slid open slowly, his head coming up so they could see the crimson orbs in full. The bioluminescent glow of his eyes shone even under the light of the fading sun in the distant horizon. Despite the glare and the glow, his eyes held no sense of aggression or anger. He displayed only a sense of calmness, his eyes adjusting to the light and taking in the sight of the people before him.

    The man was slender, but there was no doubting his athleticism. His silver hair shone brightly in the light of the sun as it descended beyond the mountains beyond. His eyes were something of a blueish color, the exact name of the shade escaping him, with a tiny line of gold around his pupils. He was very youthful, and had it not been for the sound of his voice and the fact that his athleticism didn't escape the red-eyed one's eyes, he would have pegged him for a late teenager. But there was no doubting that he was older than that. Mid twenties perhaps? Something like that. No older than himself, that was certain.

    The girl had long, elegant silver hair of a lighter shade than that of the one next to her. The resemblance was uncanny, leading him to draw the conclusion that they were related directly by blood. Her eyes had a touch of silver that the boy's didn't, giving them a slightly softer, though still obviously subtly dangerous feel to them the more he looked at them. The similarities were striking, yet the subtle differences kept him from mistaking one for the other. The two of them would not be easily held off if they decided to attack him, especially in his state. His wounds had closed, mostly, but the soreness of it all and the feeling of the burning sensation of the blades which had entered his body were still fresh in his mind. He would not likely last long against them, especially if they had access to magic which was likely how they managed to heal him in the first place... That is, if it was in fact them who did.

    He looked at the pair in silence, awaiting their response.
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    This day, it is Calandra's curiosities that get answers.

    First, it is a simple breath, a deep intake of air before an exhale to ready oneself before admitting something they didn't previously wish to admit.

    "If you know anything about the criminal underworld, you may have heard whispers of a 'Red-Eyed Demon.'" His voice is low, closer to a whisper than anything else.

    The twins look at each other, recollecting their thoughts and wondering if this is someone as dangerous as the name would say. Of course, they wouldn't have heard such, since it is the belief of the Galiendhe Family that the criminal underworld known as the Assassin's Guild has been driven away forever. But were they to really think on it, is it really that easy? Can one just drive out all criminals just like that?

    There must be balance!

    The anxious whisper into the minds of the twins seems almost heavenly, making their senses dull for a brief moment. Quickly, they gather their composure before looking back towards the man. Linos leans forward, raising his right leg so that he can rest his right arm on his knee, his left leg tucked beneath him as his left hand is stretched behind him for balance. The hand, itself, is curled around one of his two daggers, the fingers tucked tightly, ready for anything. Calandra wraps her arms around her legs, pulling her knees to her chest, her fingers curled into fists around two throwing knives, a precaution.

    When they look at him, they see his eyes. And yet, they do not waver. The strange glowing is something not even a dragon would have...not even a Beholder of Knowledge, the strange floating demons who use their power for greedy things and laugh at their counterparts. And though the glowing red orbs make the twins uneasy, they suddenly become sure that there is an explanation that not even this man can really explain. So, relaxing into their faith for the Kalidyrre, the Council of the Gods, they both smirk at the man.

    "I take it that might be you, then?" Linos gives a chuckle, shrugging. "I'm not really sure that's too terribly frightening." Calandra tilts her head to the left a little, studying him. His build is athletic like that of Linos, though not as slender. His bones seem thicker, and his skin is smooth with no hair at all, save the shadowy locks that fall from his head. His eyes, though sending a small shiver through her spine, are still rather...beautiful...in their own way. They glow, yes...but then so do hers. And though they do not glow like the moons of which hers are based, his eyes still shine with their own unique wonder.

    "So you are not hurt in the eyes, then?" She gives a smile, standing and brushing herself off, slipping the two knives discretely back into the small belt that adorns her waist. "Well, in that case, I suppose you can see us just fine. Red-Eyed Demon cannot possibly be your real name. Is there something we can call you?" She steps to him, even as Linos reaches for her hand in hopes of stopping her, missing it just barely. Coming to stand by the strange man, she crouches before him, her hands once again resting on her knees as her long hair fans out around her. "You give me your name, and I'll give you mine. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for my brother."​
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    They didn't seem scared of his eyes, so he guessed that they didn't know much about him or the Assassin's Guild, if anything at all save for that they existed. The man seemed a little leery, but the girl seemed to take the information and brush it off as she walked over to him.

    "So you are not hurt in the eyes, then? Well, in that case, I suppose you can see us just fine. Red-Eyed Demon cannot possibly be your real name. Is there something we can call you? You give me your name, and I'll give you mine. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for my brother."

    He looked at her as she came over and took a place beside him, smiling at him despite what he had said to her. Shadow closed his eyes and smiled, chuckling a little to himself. The thought that this girl was not afraid of him made it impossible not to be amused, given her brother's reaction and his obvious distrust of him. However, if he was going to survive beyond the walls of the Assassin's Guild, he needed allies and these two seemed as good as any.

    "You saw my eyes and chose not to attack or kill me... Very well, I will put my faith in you." He said, looking at the girl with a smile of his own.

    "As odd as it sounds, my name is Shadow. What may I call you in return?" He asked calmly.
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    Gazing at him intently, Calandra can almost see the gears whirring in his head, pondering a moment on whether or not to trust them and giving himself a reason to. What that reason is, Calandra doesn't know...yet. But soon enough, she will find out. Linos gives a huff behind her, standing and walking towards the water. "Well, sister...since I see that you have things here, I shall go finish my bath." He sends her a look, as if to say, You know what to do if anything goes wrong. I'll be there in a flash. With that, he turns and re-enters the water after removing the modest clothing he had worn and placing it on the ground.

    Calandra turns back to the man with a happier smile, as though a giggle might come out at any moment. And at the time that she turns back, the man speaks...and so she listens.

    "You saw my eyes and chose not to attack or kill me...Very well, I will put my faith in you. As odd as it sounds, my name is Shadow. What may I call you in return?" He had turned to her with a smile, which surprises Calandra enough to soften back into a warm smile for him. Standing and straightening herself, she speaks.

    "They call me the Mockingbird, but since you will hear it, anyway, you may call me Calandra." With a wink, she reaches out with her hand, offering it to him. "Do you think you can stand yet? I wish to join my brother and finish my bath. Afterwards, we hope to journey back towards Insonnia. You may come, if you like. Besides, someone has to keep an eye on those wounds for you."

    Awaiting his response, Calandra offers one more gentle smile, looking down at him with soft eyes that glow like silver moons.​
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    Shadow reached out and took Calandra's hand, pulling himself up slowly wincing slightly from the pain in his chest and stomach before straightening out and letting out a breath of relief. He took a moment to examine himself, inspecting each wound that he was physically capable of seeing with his eyes. Those he couldn't he had to feel out, but after a few moments he decided he was alright and cracked his neck as he took a look around to take in his surroundings. It didn't seem that anything in the immediate environment would pose a problem for him, even in his state, but never the less he remained cautious as he surveyed the land around him.

    "Go ahead and take your bath... I'm going to have a look around for a few minutes." He said, half distractedly.

    He didn't really wait for an answer. Instead he simply walked away and began to explore the area. It was new to him, this area. He'd been to nearby cities before but he had never taken the time to explore most of the wilderness since survival in such areas was not his strong suit. Making a fire, finding a suitable campsite, these were things the Assassins didn't really train for. They trained to kill people, and track them down which was similar to hunting animals but the fundamentals were different enough to keep him from being a good hunter. He could chase down prey, sure, but ambushing it and making a good fire to cook it was not his strong suit either. Thinking about it, he was very grateful to have run into these two. If they were out here alone they likely knew how to take care of themselves in such environments.

    He continued to look around, letting the siblings have their bath time together as he continued to search the area for anything that he might find useful. His weapons had been lost to him during his escape, and so he was unarmed and only wearing a pair of pants and his boots. He had to find something he could use. Even just a single good straight stick would serve as a good weapon.
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    His weight was slightly heavy considering his size, but with his build being much that of Linos', Calandra isn't surprised, helping him up tenderly and letting him check his wounds. "Already taken care of, as you can see." She crosses her arms over her chest, raising a silvery brow at him as he looks from himself to the area around him. When he speaks, he is somewhat distracted.

    "Go ahead and take your bath...I'm going to have a look around for a few minutes."

    She shrugs, waving him off as she turns and begins to strip herself down to the bare essentials, one of which is the belt containing her knives. Glad that the metal is specially treated with the use of Priest magic, she once again unties the two pigtails and slips into the cool water with a happy sigh. Ignoring the man as he walks away, she smiles, feeling the weight of her hair be lifted by the water. Oh, how heavy her hair can get. In some cases, it can weigh her down so much. But her hair is special...and it cannot be cut. It's not like Linos, where his hair can remain clipped at just about his shoulders...no, her hair cannot be cut at all. Many have tried...she remembers the Mowkie priestess who tried cutting it...she had actually been zapped by her hair. Strange...and yet, Calandra would never really want to be rid of its weight.

    She dives beneath the clear, fresh water kicking off the shore with her strong legs to swim over to her brother and grab his legs. She can hear him yelp from above the water, and before she can even jump up and take a breath, she already feels his glare. He reaches down, tickling her sides gingerly. She squeaks, letting out bubbles of air before leaping up into his arms. He takes her, holds her close, giving her a tender kiss on the cheek. "So," he whispers into her ear teasingly, "How's our mystery man with the red eyes?"

    She looks at him with a shrug, once more crossing her arms over her chest, even giving her brother a slight pout. "Well, he wanted to go explore. I didn't even bother to let him know that there's really nothing to see within a mile of here...I figured I'd let him see it for himself. But just in case he comes up with anything out of the ordinary...." She reaches down with her left arm, patting her hip where the special, gleaming blades rest tucked into the leather belt. "I don't think he'll be too much trouble."

    "Good." Smiling, Linos kisses his sister's nose before dropping her into the water with a squeak, smirking at her helplessness. "Now, how about we get all of this grime off properly?" Fuming, Calandra stands and huffs before going towards the waterfall to properly clean herself. Linos is right behind her, revelling in the spray of water that creates the beautiful rainbows in the air...it reminds him somewhat of seaspray, though without the sweet, salty smell. But soon enough, he will smell that air again...and soon, he might be able to once again see his beloved family...his mother and father...again. He looks to Calandra, smiling to himself...but for the hair and eyes, she is the spitting image of her mother...the round, youthful face and tender curves.

    A few moments later, the twins swim back to shore and dry themselves with the soft towels in their traveling sacks. Linos slips back into his comfortable clothing, save the vest he had used to rest Shadow's head on. Sighing, he goes back and begins to wash it again. As he does this, Calandra finishes buttoning up her own vest and begins to tie her hair back into the two tails, allowing only for a few hairs besides her bangs to fall in front of her ears. Mere moments pass as they dress and ready themselves to travel again, looking over to see that their mounts had not simply disappeared.

    For any ordinary world, the horse is the best mount. But on Partheus, horses are a rarity due to many being born infertile and unable to breed. Because of this, horses are used only by those who are rich and posh. So, as to not attract any attention to themselves, the twins have gathered the most basic of mounts, a Syntiba. These creatures, resembling the great cats in build, have long, thin legs, a narrow waist, and long, slender necks. Their heads resemble that of a stork, fur swiftly fading into white plumage with black around beady, intelligent eyes and a beak that stretches out at least a foot in length and is shaded a bright orange-red. Though most of their bodies are covered with primarily white or gray fur, oftentimes will there be feathers mixed in, and there is always a strip of white feathers down their backs all the way to the tips of their long tails where they fan out in an array of colors. The Syntiba grows to be almost five feet tall at the shoulder with a neck that can be almost four feet long. These creatures have a great carrying capacity, thus making them perfect for travelling.

    Linos and Calandra have a pair of female Syntibas, Linos' gray all over with a brighter orange beak than most, Calandra's a brighter white with strips of black and a deep red beak. These two are smaller than most, but swifter. And over the three years that the twins have had them, the pair have grown quite fond of them. Walking over to the creatures now, the twins show their affections and hellos before providing bowls pulled from the saddle bags filled with water from the river. As the pair begins to drink, the twins begin to load up...and when they're finished, they look to their mounts before looking to each other, thinking the same thing. Who's going to carry Shadow?

    Calandra sighs. "Quila can carry more weight. If we put all of the bags on Bitryc, then Shadow can ride with me." Linos nods at his sister, his eyes portraying warning, as if to say, 'Be careful.' She waves it off before unloading her Syntiba with a sigh. It only takes her moments before her saddle is empty, and she begins to use the spare furs from her pack to make a seat for Shadow. Seating herself beside Quila, Calandra begins to hum a tune and tie together the thick furs in hopes of making the mystery man's ride a bit more comfortable. After all...Insonnia is a ways away.
    Syntiba (open)

    Here are some pictures of the basic structure and design of the Syntiba...particularly body-shape and head.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
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    Shadow spent the better part of about fifteen to twenty minutes doing what he knew he would be given a talking to for: jogging. Despite his wounds, he found that his body was responding very well to whatever treatment the two siblings had given him. His wounds burned a little bit, but that kind of discomfort was something he was used to. He covered about two miles on a zig zag pattern before returning to the falls where the siblings were finishing their bath. Shadow gave them their space, wandering closer as they began to load up and prepare to move out. Shadow had tested his body quite thoroughly on his jog, and he decided that it might be best to simply walk or jog beside them since he knew that his body was not in danger of having any broken bones or other torn ligaments or tendons. That fear was passed a while ago. Now it was just dealing with soreness and letting his wounds close all the way naturally.

    They were talking about something, and since Calandra was clearing space Shadow guessed that she was making room for him. However, Shadow had other plans.

    "I don't suppose that space is for me is it?" He asked, walking up beside her and looking at the mount.

    "If it's all the same to you, I think I'll keep my feet on the ground." He said, walking over and inspecting the mount a bit closer.

    He'd never seen a creature like this being isolated in the Assassin's Guild all of his life. Even during his travels to the cities, he never saw one. He recalled hearing about different types of mounts, but this mount escaped him. His curiosity, which was almost akin to that of a child, started to show as he looked it up and down, left and right, inspecting each inch of the creature without actually touching it. He had a feeling that it required a bit of trust before he'd be allowed to do that without getting bitten or kicked, as seemed to soften the case with other kinds of animals he'd encountered.

    "What is this thing?" He finally asked, more to himself than to the siblings but it was audible enough to be heard.
  13. [​IMG]
    When Shadow finally wanders back, Calandra looks him over to see that the wounds seem to be doing alright, but that he had been doing a bit more than walking. She gives a huff to herself before continuing to put the packs on Linos' mount. Well, she thinks to herself, if he wants to go and have a run, that's on him...we've already done everything we can for him. And yet, she feels indignant for a moment...only a passing moment. When she finishes unloading Quila, the mount seems much happier that her burden seems a bit lighter. Linos steps into the sadly on Bitryc, pulling back slightly on the reigns mounted to her long, slender neck. The creature gives an upset, almost whiny squawk before settling herself against the new found weight, her tail flicking back and forth slightly. It's about this time that Shadow speaks up.

    "I don't suppose that space is for me, is it?" Calandra looks up from her humming a moment, raising a brow and nodding. "If it's all the same to you, I think I'll keep my feet on the ground." At this, the twins begin to laugh. Their laughter is hearty and happy, as if they have just heard a wonderful joke. And it grows even more as he begins to inspect Quila, who squaks indignantly at him before raising a paw and pushing him away slightly. "What is this thing?"

    Linos is the first to sober, leaving his sister in a heap of giggles she can't seem to control. "You mean you've never seen a Syntiba? They're the most widely-used mounts on Fortuna! And probably the fastest of the land-mounts as well...unless you can run at least fifty miles per hour, there's no way you're going to be able to stay on the ground."

    Calandra finally sobers up, looking up at him solemnly. "Our journey would be lengthened from two weeks to almost two months if we stick to your pace." Her face becomes solemn, her eyes closing as her head tilts back, her right hand lifting into the air rather dramatically. "I'm not sure I could stay so far away from home that much longer." With that, her eyes open, and she smiles with another happy giggle. "Now, we can go at your pace...if you promise that at the next station, you agree to take a Bendrine. They're a lot faster, anyway, and they're big enough for our two Syntiba's to ride in the back so we can still take them home with us." She lifts her hand that is already in the air, patting Quila on her foreleg lightly, her gaze still remaining on Shadow. "Surely you've at least heard of those...they are the trains of society, after all...they get us from one place to another, and the only thing faster is a flying mount...and most of those happen to be dragons."


    Basic example if a Bendrine is a Behir from AD&D...they're anywhere from 40 feet to 90 feet long, leg numbers rising with the length of the beast...they can travel at speeds of nearly 250 mph, known as the fastest land-animal on Partheus that has no magical abilities whatsoever. Very benign as well with no bad attitudes recorded.
  14. [​IMG]
    The twins seemed to rather enjoy Shadow's inquiry, which baffled him a little bit. I mean sure, it had the size and the leg strength to outpace him, but even if it could go fifty miles per hour at top speed that didn't make it safe or secure to him. He didn't like mounts, if he was to be perfectly honest with himself. The last time he rode an animal of any kind was a giant wolf in the forest after defeating it in battle and it kicked him off and bit him shortly thereafter. It wasn't a terrible bite or anything, but it was a definite 'stay away from me' bite. Shadow didn't like mounts.

    "I can't run fifty, no." He said, giving the mount a shove back which tipped it off of its balance for a moment.

    "But I can run at a solid twenty miles per hour almost indefinitely without stopping for rest. How I can do this, I do not yet know, but I can. So i'll say once more: If it's all the same to you, I'll keep my feet on the ground." He said, giving the mount something of a dirty look and a snort.

    He looked back to Calandra, a bit more than miffed at her constant giggling. His eyes were always glowing, but the intensity and contrast of the glow was a very good indicator of his mood. The brighter and lighter his eyes, the calmer he was. The darker the coloration, the more angry he was becoming. At present, his eyes began to darken ever so slightly, more out of frustration with their jokes about his wanting to keep his feet on the ground than anything else. He had no intention of fighting them, but he wanted to make a point: He was not riding.

    "If you want me to get a mount at the next stop, then I can do that. But I'm not riding this thing." He said, looking back at the mount.
  15. [​IMG]
    The Syntiba Squawks again and moves away from Shadow, preferring not to let its own anger get the better of it. Turning to Calandra with intelligent eyes, it huffs and turns completely 180 degrees, leaving Shadow with it's forever-moving tail. Calandra giggles again, watching shadow a moment before finally deciding to pull the beast far enough away from him so that he won't be bothered by it any longer.

    Both of them sober and listen to him intently, seeing his intent dislike for the thought of riding a creature, particularly this one. They ponder over his words a few moments, looking at each other. Twenty is better than the average of ten and then tired after five minutes...much better. If they mark their speed down by thirty miles per hour, it'll take at least three days to get to the traveler's village of Gharhyr where they can take the Bendrine. After that, though, it shouldn't take more than a week at the speed of the Bendrine, even with a few stops in between.

    Calandra looks to Shadow once more after coming to an agreement with Linos. "Okay, you can keep your feet on the ground, and we won't leave you behind. But only if you swear that when we get to Gharhyr in three days, you won't hesitate to get on a Bendrine with us if you still wish to continue your journey with us instead of alone." Her brow rises at him a moment, her peach-colored lips thin lines on her elegant, doll-like face. The Galiendhe in her knows that this matter is a serious one. Neither she nor Linos know anything about this man, and yet they plan to take him to the city of Insonnia, a city that every day fights the evil that tries to enter it so that it can remain the deciding factor in the constant battle between light and darkness.

    Linos gives a nod in agreement. "Also, once we get to Insonnia, in order to be sure you won't cause any trouble, we will take you to the Kallydrana temple at the center of our guild, where it will be decided whether or not you can stay. After that, if the choice is in your favor, then you can stay however long you like, and you can even get a place of your own in the Market District." He smirks, nodding to himself. Yes, a place at the inn with the old Tortoise should do just nicely. He holds down a chuckle before looking back to Shadow questioningly, his look matching that of his sister's, awaiting his agreement.​
  16. [​IMG]
    Shadow listened to the twins make their peace, and he nodded in agreement to Calandra's request of getting a mount in Gharhyr. He wasn't crazy about it, but it was better than having to run on foot for a week straight. However, when the other one decided to speak, Shadow was a bit... skeptical about the idea of going to a temple. Knowing what he did about himself and his upbringing, he would almost certainly be arrested on sight the moment he stepped off the mount to enter the city, much less even make it to the temple. However, maybe these two would put in a good word for him to at least reach the Guild without too much of a fuss.

    He looked to the male.

    "I cannot promise that I will enjoy the temple... though I don't expect you to take my word that I won't cause trouble either." He said, letting it sink in for a moment.

    He looked to Calandra, his eyes and voice calm and relaxed.

    "All I have desired for a long time now is the freedom to create a life for myself which nobody else may control. I don't think it's asking for too much." He said, looking back to the male.

    "I will do as you ask, but I cannot promise anything once we reach the temple. All I was raised to be was an Assassin, and killing is all I know. I can't read, I can't write, I can't cook, I can't hunt unless it's a human being, and I don't know anything about the arts or society... I don't know anything about what it means to lead a normal life, nor what it means to actually behave as a normal human being. All I know is that my skills make me a weapon, and right now I am a weapon without a purpose. If your Guild does not wish for someone like me to remain in Insonnia, regardless of my wish to be able to learn these things, then I will take my leave without a fuss." He said.

    (You can fast us forward to Gharhyr to get a mount if you'd like. This conversation will get them nowhere fast. Lol.)
  17. [​IMG]
    Linos gives a nod to Shadow, understanding. "Well, that only makes sense. But we shall do the best we can." Calandra has already started moving towards the mount that Linos sits on, once more grabbing her packs and putting them back on her own mount. As she does this, she watches Shadow, keeping calm as he says his peace. She shakes her head at him.

    "That shouldn't be too much to ask for anyone. If you wish to rethink your life and do something other than what you've done before, than it is our obligation to give you that chance." As she says this, she finishes securing her own pack, even as Quila whines in protest, and mounts the Syntiba with a small grunt.

    Linos smirks at the man, listening to his explanation. "Actually, you could be of use to our guild. After all, until now, we had thought and even hoped that the Assassin's Guild was gone forever, driven into the bogs centuries ago to be finished off by the Dusthuro Dragons, the cruelest of all. You could shed some insight on them so we can finally be rid of the monstrosity of it." His eyes seem to glow a stormy blue at the thought, even as he nods his agreement to the man. "At any rate, we have to get there first. If you're ready, we'd like to go ahead and leave."

    And with that, they set off...albeit at a much slower pace, but at least faster than walking. For three days, the twins would show Shadow the basics of surviving...how to track animals and hunt them for food. How to get water from a tree if there isn't a nearby stream. How to build a fire. Not once did they let him take watch, instead allowing one or the other to take two hour shifts through the night. But they never faltered. And on the early morning of the fourth day, they make it to Gharhyr, just in time to mount the Bendrine.

    This particular Bendrine is smaller, made to travel to the larger traveler's town of Kativo, where they can mount a larger Bendrine that will take them to the shores that will lead to the island that Insonnia dwells upon. The entire journey, itself, takes a little over a week, and the ferry ride only takes a few hours at most. From below, the city of insonnia looks like the largest dragon in the world, larger even than the mountain that it stretches from. It is high in the clouds of Partheus, stretching out like a great shadow to block out one of the two suns. Beneath it, the air is cool always, and where there is land, it is always dry.

    Upon reaching the bottom of the mountain of Fen Zhua, the twins look to Shadow with matching smirks. "So, we've gone most of the way...but now comes the hard part. Up there, breathing is a little bit harder to do...the air is colder than normal, though not unbearably so, and it is much thinner. At first, when we start climbing the mountain, the only hard part is the incline...but soon enough, you'll realize that it becomes harder to breath...your muscles will try to shut down from the lack of oxygen, and you'll get cramps." Linos looks over to Calandra with a sarcastic smile before continuing, looking back at Shadow. "If it starts to get too hard for you, let us know, and we'll be sure to carry you." Turning without any reply from Shadow, the twins begin their way up, pulling behind them their beloved mounts instead of riding them, to save their energy. But after just a few seconds, Linos stops a moment, turning back. "By the way, Shadow...my name is Linos, and I am known as the Falcon. If you come to have any trouble around the city, just mention my name or the name of my sister." And just like that, they're off for another two-day journey up the tall mountain path.​
  18. [​IMG]
    Shadow spent his time learning how to survive in the wilds from Calandra and Linos, and he enjoyed it quite a bit. Thanks to natural intelligence and quick study skills, he picked up most of the concepts in a few hours each. It didn't take more than a few days to reach their first destination, and when he got his mount, he was less than pleased. Still, he made a promise and he intended to keep it.

    As they reached their vantage point as they looked out towards Insonnia, Shadow took in what Linos had to say. He didn't care much for the joke about being carried, as he was no stranger to harsh environments. He knew enough about the altitudes to understand that the thinner air would be a problem, especially since he wasn't used to it. It would take a bit of doing, but he'd get used to it.

    The days passed by gingerly, and as per the twin's warning Shadow's breathing grew a bit labored as they went higher in elevation. However, contrary to their joking, Shadow had no difficulty walking or keeping pace. His willpower was second to none, and controlling his breathing to keep his body in control was second nature. It took him the better part of the first day to acclimate to the altitude, but he managed with time and by the second day he was fine. They continued on their way until they reached the gates of Insonnia, Shadow taking a moment to soak it all in as they approached. It was quite the sight to behold up close...
  19. [​IMG]
    The gates to Insonnia are not normal gates, instead being built into the ground to open from above. Surrounding the gates at all times are a dozen Galiendhes on full alert, waiting for anything to go wrong, even if nothing has gone wrong for centuries. That's what they are trained for - to watch for any signs of distress. Of course, this time they do not find distress, but instead the joy of watching their two beloved cousins make their way up. Immediately, the gates are pulled back into the stone, and Calandra and Linos lead their beasts up onto the flat, chiseled ground that makes the first step of the city. And as Shadow enters, the twins look to their twelve cousins with straight faces.

    "We're taking him straight to the Temple of Kallydrana to be reviewed by the family Elders. If they accept, then he will be given refuge here within the city." Linos looks into the eyes of each Galiendhe, and slowly they all accept what he has to say. As the twins lead Shadow away, all of them go back to watching the gates as they close again and lock, awaiting the next people who make it up the mountain. The city, itself, is beautiful, carved from the white stone of the mountain that had long-since been here. They had come up right beside the Dragon Compound in the center of the city. The walls of the compound rise higher even into the skies, decorated with the stories of dragons and the gods. Around them are stalls built by the various merchants who now call out their prices and products. The Market District is like any other market - loud, chaotic, and enticing. The only difference between this market and others is it's on a much larger scale with more of a melting pot of people from all over the continent.

    Calandra looks back at Shadow with a smile. "So? What do you think?" Her eyes twinkle, a smile curving along her lips as she awaits his answer. Linos gives a sigh to himself more than anyone else before surging forward a little faster. The Kallydrana temple can be seen even from this area, the second largest temple in all of Insonnia next to that of the Partheus temple on the head of the dragon. The stone, like all other stone, is a gray-white color, carved in such a way to make it appear elegant. From the top, drapes of black cloth sway in the wind, protected by magic to keep from getting wet. Calandra rolls her eyes at her brother before looking back at Shadow again. "I think you'll fit in here quite nicely."​
  20. [​IMG]

    Shadow followed the twins to the gates, and as they approached the guards Shadow was wary. Their lack of reaction told him they knew little to nothing about him at all, as if they did they'd likely have taken up weapons the instant they laid eyes on him. He knew that the Assassins had been good about hiding their existence from the rest of the world, but he didn't know they were this good. It was strangely refreshing, yet somewhat disheartening not to be recognized. The conflicting feelings made Shadow feel a little down, though he didn't let it show outwardly.

    They made it passed the guards and into the city, and Shadow really couldn't believe his eyes at what he saw. The beautiful white stone, the carvings and stories everywhere he looked, the people running about as they entered the marketplace. The different types of people all scurrying about was almost overwhelming, and Shadow began to grow uncomfortable in the crowds. As they walked, Shadow almost lost sight of the twins. Were it not for their silver hair, he likely wouldn't have found them again. He caught back up and kept in toe, as he didn't need to get lost in this place.

    "So? What do you think?" Calandra asked.

    Shadow looked about, and then looked to her.

    "It's a bit early to be sure... But I'll reserve final judgement until I've seen everything this city has to offer, both good and bad." He said.
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