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Author Topic: Chapter Three- "Beauty of the South" -Part One  (Read 13956 times)
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« on: February 11, 2013, 04:51:53 PM »

"My love, you must wake."

Altario felt his head aching, but managed to open his eyes, if only a little, seeing the glowing vision of Riztalyanna standing a few peds away, her long hair flowing around her face, framing it in beauty.  Then his eyes slowly closed again, Altario unable to keep them open.

"Altario, you must rise.  You cannot stay here."

"No," Almost a whimper.  "I'm tired, so very tired.  I don't want to go on.  I want to stay here with you."

"You cannot, my love. Not yet.  You still need to find our daughter."

Altario began to sob.  "Dead.  She's dead."

"No, not yet.  She lives and she needs you.  She is in danger.  You must save her, my love.  Only you can do that.  You must not give up hope."

There was a thud next to the Remusian's head, then a scrape.  A moment later, the sound was repeated.  When Altario forced his eyes open again, instead of the shimmering bright image of his wife, he saw the muzzle of Horse, not three fores from him.  A hoof came down hard, and then pulled across the sand, as if the animal were trying to get his attention.

Slowly, Altario raised his head from the sand, and crawled to his knees.  A wave of dizziness rushed over him, and he violently heaved the contents of his stomach onto the sand next to him.  When done, he tilted his head back as far as it would go and breathed deeply, praying a small prayer to Weabor, the Goddess of Wind, for a bit of cool air.  But, there was none and when he opened his eyes, he saw that accursed fireball directly over him.

He tried to rise, but could not.  However, with Horse so near, he was able to reach out and take hold of the reins and pull himself to his feet.  Leaning against the Remusian mount, he surveyed the scene around him.  He was in the desert, but alone as far as he could see.  How had he gotten here?  More importantly, where were the others?  

Altario waited for a moment before slowly lifting himself into the saddle.  Even from this higher perch, he could see no one.  Though, the effort to get mounted caused his skull to throb once more.  He pressed a palm to his temple, and when he removed it, his hand had blood on it.  What had happened?

Closing his eyes, Altario tried to remember the events of the last few days, but he could only get bits and pieces.  He remembered that the Arcanist had lured them into entering the city with him and his men; that they were looking for something old and powerful.  Magic!  Altario felt his anger growing at the thought.

They had been betrayed.  He could hear Drustai's screams in his head, but could not remember if they were from pain or anger or something other.  He could catch glimpses of Grallen’s sharp feral teeth bared; Lilies bird screaming.  The smell of smoke entered his nostrils.  The others, he could not conjure any picture in his mind.

What had happened?  What happened to his companions?  Did they live?

There was a sound, coming just beyond the crest of the next dune.  It was a horse.  Putting heel to flank, Altario urged Horse to trot in the direction of the sound.  His hand went to the hilt of his sword, him breathing a sigh of relief at feeling the leather wrapped handle of his father's Odomon Blade.  At least he had that.

Horse crested the dune, and below, Altario spotted Danilyn, the little wain he had purchased in Strata.  He headed toward her, though she trotted away, skittish as she was.  Still, Altario pushed towards her, taking a slower pace and angling toward her, askew so that she did not fear the approach.  When close enough, he leaned down and quickly grabbed the reins that were dragging on the sand.  Her head reared back, but she was entrapped, and the Remusian's quick and nimble fingers wrapped said reins about the horn of his saddle.

Now, to find the others.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 09:55:19 AM by Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin » Logged

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Toama SorInyt
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 08:41:43 PM »

Her situation was not looking good right at this moment. She was sitting on Desert, her dune-coloured horse, in an actual desert. She had no idea how she had gotten there, she had no clue where any of her companions were, and she had very little by way of preperation to go into the desert, which told her she had probably come here a lot more suddenly than she had planned. However, the details eluded her, however hard she tried to recall them. The betrayal, yes, she remembered that, the moment of horrifying realisation that everything was going wrong. But after that her mind drew a blank.

One thing was certain. She would have to find the others, who she could only assume were trapped in the same situation, and then they would have to find their way out of this desert. Sooner rather than later, if they kept wandering around here they would start dehydrating before you could say Foiros.

Her first resolution, of finding the others, was more easily made than kept. They could be anywhere. She might as well ride around in circles until both she and Desert died of thirst. She had to think of a better plan. There was only one thing to do, something she had done often with her Sisters. Climbing to the highest sand dune she could find, Toama cupped her hands around her mouth and called out - not any names, but a yell with a certain inflection that she knew carried far in these sandy planes. If any of her companions were close by, they should be able to hear it, and hopefully come towards the sound and see where she was waiting.

As she waited, she wrecked her brain again, trying to figure out what happened to scatter them. No matter how she tried, she could not think of the answer to this riddle. All she knew for certain was that the manner of their departing was such that they would not be able to show their face in Thalambath for some time to come. A flash of memory showed how Altario had received a blow to the head, though at the time he had seemed dazed, not unconscious. Another flash showed her their headlong flight on their horses - that must have been how they had gotten seperated, though it did not explain the gaps in her memory. To her chagrin nothing more presented itself. She offered a silent prayer to Foiros that her comrades would find her soon. As she had decided earlier, they HAD to get out of here.
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2013, 01:19:56 PM »

With the sun beating down on him, it didn't take the Remusian long to discover that he was short a indispensable piece of travelling gear; a water skin full of water.  Had he been sent out here without one, or had he lost it?  Either way, it would not take long for dehydration to take its toll.

Altario began to ride, keeping the huge volcano, the Norong Sorno, to his rear and left.  He knew he was heading north, knew that was the direction he was supposed to travel, but could not recall why he knew that.  He just simply knew it was the right direction.

As he travelled, he watched the tops of the dunes, but saw nothing or no one.  He was alone, it seemed.

Down the lowest trough between dunes, Altario climbed off horse, and knelt onto the soft sand.  Sifting the sand through his fingers, he left handful after handful of sand fall until what stuck between his extended fingers was what he had been searching for.  He held it aloft and looked at it, a small round pebble, between thumb and forefinger.  Giving it a quick shake to knock off any excess dirt, he popped it into his mouth.

At first, the last remaining moisture in his mouth dried up with the addition of the pebble, but a few moments later, saliva started to form and he was able to lick his lips, which were threatening to crack in the arid desert air.  A flash of a smiling, giggling freckled girl came to his mind; Lori.  She was the one who had taught him that trick, back at the Thirsty Herald.  His heart began to ache, somewhat, as he realized he missed her.  Her, and Ana, and.....Valannia.

It was too late now, for that moment had passed, those two memorable months at the Thirsty Herald.  They were an island of peace and happiness in a sea of chaos that had been his life for the last few years.

Suddenly, Altario lifted his head.  Had he heard a yell?  He looked to the horses, each of which had their ears perked and were staring northward.  If the Remusian wasn't sure of his own hearing, he was confident in that of his horses.  Getting up, he swung himself back into the saddle.  A tap of his heals into Horse's flanks and they moved in the direction of the shout.

It wasn't long before he saw a rider sitting atop a horse at the crest of a dune.  He hurried forward and was relieved when the rider became recognizable as the strange woman, Toama.  He found himself breaking into a large grin as he coaxed Horse into a trot.  He raised his arm high into the air.

"Hey!"
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Toama SorInyt
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 12:59:09 AM »

Toama was almost starting to despair that any answer would come. Her Sisters of course knew about the call, and knew to either listen for it or make it themselves to find their companions, but her own party had no such knowledge. Furthermore, she was making herself a target for the sun beating down on her, here on top of this hill. Even though she had more natural resilience to the heat, having descended from a long line of women living in the desert, she was still a human being and therefore in dire need of water. If no one reacted soon, she would have to find her own way back to civilisation. She hated the thought of leaving anyone behind in this heat without a guide, and if she was forced to take this decision she knew she would hate herself for it, but if she killed herself looking for her companions, she would not be any more help to them.

Just when she was about to give up and look for any sort of growth that would provide some shade, she heard a yell from some distance away. When she looked in that direction she saw the leader of their little expedition, the weathered man Altario, riding one horse and leading another, coming towards her. Giving up on seeing anyone else - she had almost called herself hoarse, with only this one reaction right at the end - she spurred Desert to move towards the man. She raised a hand in greeting, glad to have found at least one other person. When they were at a distance where a normal voice could be heard, she said: "Altario. Are you knowink how did we comink here? And maybe knowink where are others? I have been callink some time, but no answer is comink, only you."

As she talked, she noticed that her mouth was drier than usual. She needed to drink, and soon, and if Altario was anything like her he would not have any water either. A decision would have to be made, and soon, but before anything they needed shade. "While talkink we are yes lookink for... hidink for sun? Inside sun all time we are not survivink. At some places are growink bushes. First we find, then we talk, yes?" She knew she might sound a bit brusque, but finding shade was imperative to their survival. They had already been out in the sun for too long, if they stood standing there for a lot longer they could get heat stroke.
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2013, 06:06:49 AM »

Nearing Toama, Altario heard her begin to ask questions.  It was a bit difficult to understand those questions under her thick accent, but even when he did understand, he had no answers for her.  She did, however, released him from answering with talk of finding shelter.

"Yes, we need shelter."  He looked around, but there was nothing immediate on the horizon.

"I'm not sure where we are, or which direction to head to find water or shelter," he admitted to her.  "But, I know we need to head north.  If we keep the mountain to our left, we shouldn't get lost.  I imagine we could see that mountain for strals."

At least the two of them were on horseback.  They would make more time, and the travel would be easier on them, physically.  However, it meant that they would need to find water enough for all of them.  That would prove to be very difficult in itself.

He kicked Horse in the flank and began moving north.  A quick glance behind him assured that Toama was with him.
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"Ack!" - Bill the Cat
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2014, 06:37:17 AM »

The two traveled north, keeping the Norong Sorno on their left and the inhospitable Makadi Gadi Salt pans to the east.  Without water, Altario was sure they would not last very much longer.  Three nights and two full days had passed since they had found one another, he and Toama.  They rarely spoke, mouths too dry to form words; lips to dry and cracked to want to move.

As bad as the two riders had it, the horses seemed to have it worse.  Danilyn had none of the youthful energy that she seemed to always have.  Horse had nearly stumbled more than once.  But, as much as he would like to give the old Koroch-fey-Mologh a day of rest, Altario knew they had to keep moving, and they moved faster on horseback.

So, they trudged on, the horse's heads low and he and Toama with closed eyes, shielding themselves as best they could from the sun.

It was about midday when Altario felt Horse stiffen and shy away.  He barely had time to open his eyes when the sand to his left seemed to explode.  In his ears he could hear the scream of Horse, as yellow eyes appeared from the sand cloud and just missed Altario's thigh to contact with Horse's thick neck.  The animal crashed to the ground and Altario was sent sprawling onto the hot sand.

Stunned for a moment, it took a few blinks for Altario to make sense of what he saw.  A large heavy bodied snake, measuring at least 6 peds long and mottled white and tan scales, had it's fangs buried into Horse's neck.  Dani was snorting and trying to back away, but was held tight by the rope that held her bound to the saddlehorn of Altario's saddle. 

The monster released it's grip on the wounded horse and lifted it's great body up and stared at the panicked younger animal.  A great hiss erupted from it's gaping maw and it began to travel forward with undulating movement. 

"No!"  Altario cried out while both scrambling to his feet and unsheathing his Odomon blade.  Standing there on shaking knees, he was simultaneously relieved and frightened when the giant serpent paused and twisted round to face him, it's yellow eyes burning with primal hatred.

The Remusian braced himself for the attack, his bad knee protesting beneath him.  He dared not look for Toama, for if his eyes left the creature for even a moment, it might be a fatal mistake.  Instead, he could only hope that she would be strong enough to help.
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"It was a dark and stormy night."  - Snoopy
"Ack!" - Bill the Cat
"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski." - President Bill Clinton

My Character can be viewed @Angelina Jolie's house.  But knock first, in case I'm in my underwear.
Toama SorInyt
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2014, 01:29:15 AM »

Toama rode with her eyes half closed. In fact, her mind was turned inwards, and she was only barely aware of her surroundings. It was a trick  her people had for just such a case as this, when they found themselves going through large stretches of the desert without an oasis in sight, so that they could regulate their bodies' need of water. Unfortunately it also meant that her mental faculties were near to non-existent, as her whole being was bent on surviving the unforgiving rays of Foiros.

She would have taught Altario this trick, if she had known how to describe it in Tharian, and if it was not something learned over a long period of time by young Sand Sisters. As it was, she could only direct what little attention she still had for the outside to keeping an eye on her travelling companion, so that she could help him if he succumbed to the heat.

So it was that when they were attacked by something large - something very, very large - she could not react immediately. It always took a while to come out of her trance, and usually she had more than enough time to return to herself after the sun had set. It was only because Altario shouted something that she even realised something out of the ordinary was happening. The next thing to register was the terrified neighing of a horse. Toama took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and exhaled in a pattern - one, two, three short breaths and then a long sigh. Normally she would have to do this more often, but she could hear that there was no time, she would just have to pay the price of coming out of the trance too quickly.

Once she was able to, she turned her horse to face the threat. She could feel the tremblings under her thighs - Desert was as terrified as the neighing horse nearby, but was still obedient. The sight that met her eyes was something she had never seen before, and would never forget in years to come. The snake in front of them was big - no, huge even, and it was eyeing Altario, who had drawn his sword, looking for any weakness in the man. Drawing her own scimitar, Toama prayed to her god, Foiros, that Desert might still have enough strength left to help fight the creature. She could not afford to dismount, for then neither of them would stand a chance against the giant beast. She had no idea how quick a snake like this might be, but she had to draw it away from the man for a while, so that he might mount his horse again and have at least a fighting chance. On foot he certainly would not, could not win against the snake.

Yelling a Sorinyt warcry, she charged at the beast, brandishing the scimitar and hacking at the mottled skin with all her might as soon as she came close enough. She did not wait around, but wheeled Desert around immediately, spurring the horse away from the snake's range. She was making her horse use reserves he might need later on, but there was no choice - it was either this, or lie down and let the snake eat all of them. She risked a glance backwards to see if the snake had responded to the threat, or if it kept its eyes on its easier prey.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2014, 03:50:37 AM by Toama SorInyt » Logged

Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2014, 11:45:42 PM »

Before the giant snake could lunge at Altario, he heard a war cry erupt from the Sand Sister, and the snake was attacked from behind.  He saw Toama's sword bite at the hide of the snake, which whirled about with amazing speed, lunging at the warrioress and her mount, but missing by only a hand span.

This was an opportunity that Altario had been hoping for.  Gripping tight his father's sword, he took three quick steps forward and brought down the blade.  This would cut the damned snake in two, and save he and Toama.  However, his confidence was only short lived.  His blade did indeed hit the snake and bite into flesh, but only slightly.  Looking to where Toama had slashed at it revealed that her sword had also only done minimal damage.

The snake whirled about again and it lunged with a ferocity that startled the Remusian.  He barely had time to evade the snake's attack but in doing so he was knocked off balance and sprawled out into the sand.  He rolled onto his back, the huge creature towering over him.  It would be over soon, his search for Nayriss unfulfilled.

"Forgive me, Riztalyanna.  Forgive me, Nayriss."

The snake opened its great maw, revealing two huge fangs that dripped poison.  But, the deadly strike did not come.  Instead, the beast's attention was directed to it's left.  Altario cast a quick glance in that direction, expecting to see Toama on the attack.  But it was not her.  Instead, a stranger dressed white shirt and trousers, with a blue tunica cover stood facing the snake.  He wore a white head covering of cloth that covered his face as well, only leaving a slit opening for his eyes.  He carried a two bladed sword, a double kilij, if Altario had to guess.  He had heard of them, but had never seen one.

The stranger whirled the double bladed sword like an expert, and it seemed to whine and sing in the air, drawing the snake's attention.  As the snake approached him, the stranger took a couple steps backward, continuing to spin and make the sword hum.  The snake narrowed the distance quickly.  When the snake was within a couple of peds, the stranger le the double kilij fall to the sand and drew a curved dagger from his belt, which appeared to be made from leather resembling the snakes skin, though much darker in colour.

Altario was about to get up, to assist the stranger, but the stranger used his dagger to motion for the Remusian to stay still.  Against his better judgement, Altario obeyed.  He could only watch in rapt fascination.

The stranger then stopped his backward retreat, allowing the snake to close in.  He then bowed reverently to the snake and shifted his feet and his body tensed and poised.  The snake raised itself to full height, easily towering above the stranger.  It then struck, its head flashing forward.

As fast as the snake's strike was, the stranger moved even faster, nimbly stepping aside and at the same time swinging the dagger around and embedding it at the base of the snakes skull.  His hand jerked the blade in an upward motion and twisted at the same time.  The snake fell to the sand, its great body continuing to wriggle in death.

Altario climbed to his feet and stepped toward the stranger, who quickly picked up his double kilij and assumed a defensive position.  It was then that Altario noticed that on the dunes surrounding them, as many as twenty strangers dressed as the one who had killed the snake, were watching them mutely.  Altario swallowed, then bowed his thanks to the one who had saved him.  He then cast a glance toward Toama to see if she noticed their company.
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"Ack!" - Bill the Cat
"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski." - President Bill Clinton

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Toama SorInyt
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2014, 01:13:38 AM »

Once Toama judged to be out of the snake's reach, she wheeled about and tried to gauge what damage her attack had caused. To her consternation, it seemed none whatsoever, or if any then so little that the beast was not even inconvenienced. To make matters worse, Altario made use of her diversion to attack the snake, but his blade did very little damage as well, and the snake's retaliation had left the man sprawled in the sand. Toama started to charge again, desparate to stall the inevitable, when she noticed they were surrounded by white-clad people. One of them, closer than the others, attacked the snake. It was obvious from the person's actions that this was not the first giant snake they had attacked - and, therefore, killed. One did not attack these monsters and live to tell the tale if you did not also kill them.

When the snake was lying dead in the sand, Toama dismounted and went to stand beside Altario, who had taken a step backward when the stranger kept their weapon at the ready. From what she could see of the stranger's face, the little skin that was showing around the eyes, these people were easily as dark-skinned as she was. They seemed as at ease with the scorching heat of this desert as she had been with her own people in her own desert. Add to that the killing of the snake, which spoke of a lot of experience, it was easy to see that these were the Shendar. The only previous time she had had contact with a Shendar had been to cross the desert from Strata, where she had landed after leaving her homeland. Altario and Toama were now in their domain without permission. With slow and deliberate movements, she sheathed her scimitar. She placed her hands in front of her, then crossed her arms in front of her chest and bowed. It was the sign of deepest respect in her culture. While she knew the Shendar quite likely did not have the same gesture, it would not hurt to express her peaceful intentions. The intent was obvious, even if the actual gesture was different.

After that, she kept her hands deliberately far away from her weapons and waited to see what the Shendar would do.
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2014, 02:14:12 PM »

The stranger seemed to relax somewhat when Toama approached.  She returned the bow, then reached up and pulled free the face veil that hid the face beneath.  It revealed the features of a woman, which surprised the northerner.

The stranger looked to Toama and motioned for her to follow, with an after thought and pointing of her finger to Altario.  "Bring mate," she said in a thick accent.

The Remusian frowned at both the incorrect assumption that he was Toama's "mate" and the fact that the stranger had very little interest in addressing him directly.

Before he could make his annoyance known, a gurgled snort from Horse drew his attention back to his wounded mount.  He approached carefully, first sidling up to Danilyn and calming her, who was still skittish with the presence of the dead snake.  He took the lead line and wrapped it around his arm, disentangling it from the saddle.  Kneeling beside Horse, he felt the animal's weak and laboured breathing.  

Altario turned to face he stranger, his expression imploring.  "Can you help?"

The stranger eyed the snake's bite-marks on the horse's neck, then shook her head.  "No."

Altario turned back to horse and stroked the large thick neck softly.  He leaned forward and placed his face alongside the animals face and whispered into the horse's ear.  "Travel on, my friend.  You have been loyal and true.  May Necteref take you to where the air is crisp and the snow crunches beneath your hooves.  May you be free until I join you in the next life."

Horse shuddered and the life faded from his eyes as Altario's blade entered its throat, putting the animal out of its misery.  For a moment he remained pressed against the animal.  This in some ways marked a turning point.  Horse had been with him for the last few years on this hunt for Nayriss, and the loss of his only companion left a deep hole in Altario's heart.

When he was ready, Altario let go of Horse and wiped away a tear that rolled down his cheek.  He then removed the saddle and other equipment and placed it on the younger horse.  Danilyn was saddle broke, but she had yet to take a rider, so the Remusian would be forced to walk to wherever they were going.  As the Shendar were also on foot, that thought did not worry him greatly.

"I'm ready."  He gave Horse one last glance before trudging toward the Shendar.

The stranger seemed to respect the man's loss and nodded once more toward Toama.  "Come."

While Altario followed he stranger, a few other Shendar approached with knives drawn and went to the snake, presumably to butcher it and salvage anything useful from it.  Most likely the skin.

"Hey.  Hey!"  Altario's voice was sharp.  When he caught the stranger's attention he pointed to the carcass of his horse.  "Leave my horse be."

The stranger nodded.  "Meat bad.  Poison."   She then uttered a few strange words to the others who gathered around the snake.  They glanced to Altario and nodded.

Satisfied, Altario looked to Toama.  "Looks like you're in charge."
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 02:16:03 PM by Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin » Logged

Favorite Cartoon Quotes
"It was a dark and stormy night."  - Snoopy
"Ack!" - Bill the Cat
"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski." - President Bill Clinton

My Character can be viewed @Angelina Jolie's house.  But knock first, in case I'm in my underwear.
Toama SorInyt
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2014, 02:14:12 AM »

Toama watched the stranger unveil, and saw her presumption was correct: it was a woman. Her Shendar guide had been a woman as well, and at the time it had not occurred to her to question this, still quite used as she was to her own way of living. However, since then she had met very few cultures that was matriarchal in structure, and she had come to expect more and more that some man would be in charge. Not in the Shendar society, however, and Toama experienced a sense of return to normalcy that she would not let Altario know about - after all, she had pledged to help him on his quest, and it would not do to turn a travelling companion against her, no matter the gender. Who knew how much longer they would need to travel together?

While Altario was saying goodbye to his friend, Toama busied herself with her own horse, checking how much damage the days travelling through the desert and the subsequent charge at the snake had done. Desert was in bad shape, she could see. She would need to take great care in the coming days, until she was back to full strength. She was glad help had come when it had, she was not sure how much longer the horse would have lasted, and if Desert succumbed, she would have been lost. She pressed her forehead against Desert's neck, talking in her own language of lakes of water, mountains of feed, of a soft brush and a good night's sleep, of her gratitude for saving her life once more. She felt the start of the headache come on which was the result of coming out of her trance too quickly, but she ignored it and continued murmuring, putting her horse at ease.

By the time she was done, Altario had said his goodbyes and had given his equipment to his other horse. She put a hand on his shoulder and gave him a sympathetic squeeze. Right now he did not need too many words of condolences, even if she would know how to express herself in Tharian, but she wanted to let him know that she understood his grief. Desert was not her first horse, and in the desert climate you learned to trust your horse more than you trusted yourself.

She was glad the Shendar were on foot. It would mean less strain on Desert if she did not have to ride until she had rested. Altario seemed to have the same idea, as he was leading Dani. Toama turned to the stranger who had rescued them, following her as she had indicated. "I am thankink you for help. Without you, we were beink dead. If I am can repay, you will lettink know, yes?" Not for the first time, she cursed her lack of Tharian. She had noticed that the Shendar also had trouble with the fluency of the language common on this continent where she had found herself. It might prove difficult to communicate, but they were thrown on the Shendar's mercy now, and she would have to make do. Like she had said, without them, it would not only be Horse lying dead in the sand, but both she and Altario as well, food for the feasting snake.
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2014, 01:42:43 PM »

Altario had to admit that he was a bit taken aback when Toama laid her hand upon his shoulder and squeezed.  He did not expect that kind of compassion from her.  Until this point, she and him had never really made a connection the way that he had with some of the others.  It made him come to the realization that perhaps he had been taking her for granted because of her quietness.

When they reached the larger group of Shendar, a couple of skins were produced and he and Toama were each allowed to drink, as were the horses.  Even though Altario tried to thank them, most of their interest was in Toama.  They were not rude to him, they simply did not treat him as the leader of the group, or as anyone of any greater significance than anyone else.

It chafed at his pride, but he tried to bear it with as much dignity and graciousness as he could.  They could ill afford to offend this group who had just saved their lives and might be the only way out of this accursed desert.  So, he mutely stood in the background and watched as the Shendar marveled at Toama's dress, reaching out to touch her clothes and mutter amongst themselves at her tattoos.

An older woman approached Toama.  She was much older than the one who had killed the snake.  Her face, while pleasant and friendly, was weather beaten from a lifetime under this unforgiving sun.

She pointed to Toama then to Altario, then her hand circled round to point north.  "Come.  See Mother."  She reached out for Toama's hand.  "Come."

« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 12:34:32 PM by Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin » Logged

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Toama SorInyt
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« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2014, 07:34:54 PM »

Toama nodded when the older woman urged them to follow. She was surprised when her hand was taken, not many of the people she had met in Sarvonia had been likely to touch her in such a way when first meeting her. She smiled at the woman, whose grip was very firm. A short distance away, hidden by some sand dunes, they came to the Shendar's dwelling. Toama saw several large domes, which seemed to be connected together. They were far larger than the tents she used to sleep in back home.

The woman led them through a small connecting tent, which gave out to a central place. The large domes all had their entrance here. Several Shendar were going about their tasks, casting curious glances in the direction of the visitors. Toama detected a certain amount of reservation in their faces, though they were not hostile as such, more cautious. She would be too, if she had rescued two people in the Aeruillin desert without a clue why they were there with so little preparation.

"Come." the woman repeated once more, now releasing Toama's hand. She brought them inside one of the large domes. Toama stepped inside, curious to see how these people lived and how they might differ from her own way of living.
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« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2014, 06:21:26 AM »

Altario followed along.  It somewhat stung that Toama was receiving all the attention, while he was only given the occasional sideways glance.  Still, they were not being mean to him, or even dismissive, he just simply held no interest to them.  It is because they recognize Toama as another creature of the desert, Altario told himself.

After a short hike, they arrived at a series of tents.  They were led inside while young Shendar took their horses.  To Altario, it looked like six large domes with smaller domes attached and circling each and all of the attached in order to form a circle.  Inside the circle, he could see many entrances leading into the circle of domes.  They were escorted into one such entrance.  

Within, an older woman sat upon a pile of cushions.  As with the older woman in the desert, this woman's face was deeply etched in wrinkles from years of living in this harsh land.  Her eyes, deep blue, had a wisdom beyond definition within them, and her face held a countenance of serenity.

The old woman motioned for her guests to sit upon cushions set out on the floor, Toama closer while Altario set in behind.  Sitting on the floor proved a bit harder for him and he grunted as his knee protested the movement.  Once seated, however, he was brought a clay mug filled with cool water and a tray of fruits and meats to satisfy him.

The tent flap opened another time and a younger woman entered the tent.  Pretty, she was round with child.  She gave a cursory look to the two guests then strode over to the older woman and kneeled on a cushion beside her.

At this point the older woman began to speak, her voice strong and clear.  Beside her, the younger woman translated into Tharian.  "The Mother bids you welcome.  She has heard of your battle with the Rahaz'Estar and is impressed that you have lived.  It shows that the gods favour you.  The Mother asks how it has come to be that you were lost in the desert?"

Altario noticed that although the Mother looked exclusively at Toama, and the interpreter directed her voice to Toama, that she occasionally cast a glance at him.  Almost imperceptivity, he gave a slight nod toward her.  She then focused on Toama once more.  Something in that piqued Altario's interest.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2014, 06:21:58 AM by Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin » Logged

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"It was a dark and stormy night."  - Snoopy
"Ack!" - Bill the Cat
"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski." - President Bill Clinton

My Character can be viewed @Angelina Jolie's house.  But knock first, in case I'm in my underwear.
Toama SorInyt
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« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2015, 06:53:49 PM »

In broken Tharian, Toama explained how they were looking for Altario's daughter, and how they had gone to Strata in the course of this search, where things had gone south quickly, ending up with them being separated from their companions and having to travel through the desert as unprepared as the Shendar had found them. She also explained her reasons for travelling with Altario, which was a matter of honour, rather than romance as they seemed to assume.

While she talked, she studied the Mother and the younger translator. The Mother reminded her more than a little of the Wo'di'on and the Do'wi'on back home. It seemed to Toama that one did not become - and stay - the leader of a prosperous people in a harsh environment like the desert without gaining a certain degree of wisdom that those with less responsibility might never attain. There was a certain twinkle in her eye that made the Sand Sister feel safe, even if she did not understand the language. And yet one would be foolish to underestimate her. She was made of steel, even if at the moment the steel was sheathed in velvet.

The younger woman was softer than the Mother. Not weak, not by any means, but she was still being tempered in the fires of life, and only time would tell if she would grow stronger or if she would break. Her feet looked slightly swollen, but that was a normal occurence in pregnancies, especially in the later stages.

She concluded her explanation with her gratitude for the rescue, then waited to see if there were any more questions. She sat comfortably on the cushion, her legs crossed in front of her and her back straight, her arms lying relaxed in her lap. Very often back home she had sat in the same way, as chairs and the like were too heavy and unwieldy to take with you when you were travelling. It was obvious that she felt comfortable sitting like this, and could keep it up for a long time.
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