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Author Topic: Chapter 2A: Stepping out into the Dawn  (Read 16967 times)
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Nystacea Korlsdaughter
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« on: January 06, 2006, 12:58:23 PM »

Watery sunlight stretches slim fingers across the rim of the world, sneaking under the grey clouds which shroud the early morning sky and silvering the five horses and their two grooms who wait in the Duke's stableyard.  

The yard is wide; its cobbles stretch from the front of the three storied mansion around the corner to the stables and back to the tall stone wall which hides the surrounding countryside from view.  The horses and grooms are the only occupants of the strangely clean yard - no fowl or other creatures slink in the long dawn shadows.  The Duke is nowhere to be seen either, although an observant person might notice a figure looking down on the yard from a third floor window.


The horses are already loaded with plump saddlebags and are eager to be away, their feet stamping in the shy light, and their heads pulling at reins held fast by the grooms.  The young female groom casts a look at the male as a door opens and a footman bows a skinny blonde-haired, red-cloaked woman into the yard.

Nystacea walks over to the group of horses, looking them over.  Two mares and three stallions.  Traditional of the Duke, she thinks, assuming correctly that the Duke intends the men to ride stallions and the women to ride mares.  The horses are all tall and good looking, seemingly well cared for.  One mare is roan and the other dun; the three stallions are black, chestnut and bay respectively.  The chestnut is the largest and stamps ill-temperedly.  There's some Tirpan in that one, for sure, she thinks.  I hope whoever has to ride that one knows how to handle a horse.

"Which one is mine?" she asks of noone in particular, her gaze flicking from one mare to the other.  "The dun is yours," replies the girl, an ugly, heavy-featured thing with red hair.  "Her name is Kannah.  She likes to run in open fields but she'll do as you command if you're not too hard on the reins."  Nasty nods in thanks for the tip, then turns to stand by Kannah, keeping an eye on the door.

Edited by: Tasuli Rose at: 1/7/06 6:08
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Xaod Shadow
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2006, 09:44:23 AM »

Xaod strides into the yard, blinking against the sun. He was now fully outfitted. Over his torso he now wore his black tunic with iron-gray trimmings. The cloth that usually covered his mouth and nose hung from his neck, his hood on his back. He once again wore his beloved black gloves, paingrip and razorpaw. The black cloth was draped over his shoulders, as did his bat-like cape. He once again had his belt, with six daggers holstered across his torso. His shortsword and curved dagger were also tucked into the belt.

He had had a good rest, was well-fed, and had his possessions back. He was in a good mood until he saw five horses. Glaring at the animals, Xaod cursed. He disliked riding, and was not experienced. He considered the animals too loud and made him feel unprotected and exposed.

Damn, I forgot we had to ride those Coor ridden beasts!

Glancing around the large yard, the assassain strode up to Nasty, who was standing by the dun. Smiling slightly, the assassain greeted the blonde: "Morning Nasty, I trust you slept well? About time we get to leave this abysmal place, the others better not take long."

Eyeing the horses, Xaod's gaze fell upon the dark stallion. "The black one had better be mine, I don't want to ride any bright colored pony, especially not the chestnut."

Glaring at the horse, the sun glancing off the facetted gem in his socket, Xaod shuddered to think he would have to ride the large animal. Bad enough that he'd have to ride one at all, but certainly not one the large and hard to control.

---------------
I am the Shadow that clings to you like death
I am the Silence behind your back
I am the Stalker following your every move
I am the Slayer that ends your life without hesitation

 Xaod Shadow

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The Ghost
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Elf, Ahrhim


« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2006, 12:50:23 PM »

The Ghost woke up in a bad mood, which wasn't necessarily surprising. In fact, The Ghost was in a slightly better mood this morning than most mornings, he had his sword cane and dagger back, and was on his way to getting a very powerful sword for himself. Not to mention the fact that he would have a long journey to make the previous night's idiots' lives a living nightmare. The Ghost got the feeling that the cloaked man would attempt to hurt him during the journey. He decided that when the opportunity presented itself, he would just kill the upstart. No need for having annoying little pests traveling with you, incensantly trying to murder you in your sleep.

Traveling to the courtyard, The Ghost immediately started into his crippled routine, leaning heavily on his cane, making one of his legs seem twisted and deformed. The Ghost saw that two of his compatriots were already down here, one of the females, and the foolish cloaked man.

Ignoring the two ugly groomers, the Ghost immediately walks up to the black stallion, mounting it carefully.

I am the Darkness between the stars.
I am the Silence between whispers.
I am there in your darkest of dreams.
I am The Ghost, and you cannot escape.


- The Ghost

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I am the Darkness between Stars
I am the Silence between Whispers
I am There, in Your Darkest of Dreams
I am
The Ghost, and you Can Not Escape.
Kain Cristar
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2006, 11:31:23 AM »

Kain fell into a contemplative slumber soon after he entered his room. He assured himself that every thing he would need was easily at hand and that he would be ready to depart as the sun's rays graced the morning dew. He then fell softly into his thick blankets and surrendered himself to the wearyness that pulled at his limbs with gentle fingers.

The elf awoke as the stars still shone, and lay silent for some time, then dressed himself and strapped Moh'epher onto his back, the weight was welcome. The blade's power fueled the fury of winds that was his magical prowess, renewed as it was by the night's rest. He gathered the rest of his meager belongings and made a quick inventory of the reagents and scrolls hidden in the pockets of his cloak, then left his room. A slight chill, similar to a cold night's breeze, left testimate to his previous presence.

Kain used the rest of the waning night to wander the mansion's halls as much as the gaurds allowed. He felt at peace and calm, and took no offence whenever the servents to his less than honorable host halted his progress. He did not learn much from his meandering stroll, and he had not expected too. By the time the sky began to turn a dull grey he had taken a quick bath and eaten a quick meal from the kitchens. Fully refreshed, he left the manor for the stables.

When he arrived, he noted that the Ghost, the one eyed man, and the blond had already arrived. He had expected the Ghost to come early, it was in his nature to be percise and exact, but the blonde suprised him. He wondered how far her and one eye had taken thier budding mutual appresiation for the other. That might explain why they were earily, and here at the same time also. He began to doubt that the blonde had kept to the duke's bidding and stayed to her own room. She seemed the type to engage in base pleasures. Had I known the location of her room would I have chanced a vist? The situations are vastly different. One Eye seemed to accept Blonde's advances, while she was obviously both fearful apathetic to my appearance and actions. Good thing I was tired.

Kain gives a brief greeting to those present, then looks toward the male servent Are the beasts choosen for a master of preselected abilities and desires? Or, does your master wish us to fluster within our muddied lusts in pitiful debate over the flesh of which hooven chariot shall be obtained for which child? The mage found the analogy very fitting to the previous night's petty sqwables.

He wasted no pains searching the horse's for thier strengths, He knew that if neccessary the winds of his will could enhance any steed to a speedy flight. He instead absently fingered the pommel of the ancient blade upon his shoulder, and allowed its power to wash over him as surges from the storm front lashing this soul. The light was soft and weak, and there was plenty of time till the noon hour. If Darien awoke lusting for elven blood, he would get a quick warning, and a taste of what Kain could offer with Moh'epher's wrath in his veins. Evil magic had yet to be witnessed by his cohorts, he silently hopes that they will only audience it's fervor upon mutual foes. He in no way wishes for the carnage the duke had predicted. The beauties responce to his display last night had changed his outlook.

You have lived a life of cruelty and atrocity, you have bathed in the blood of the innocent, you have considered every act of depravity and your corruption knows no bounds. I am the angel of justice, I am the accumulation of all of your sins. Prepare for your redemption.

-Kain Cristar, Divine Aspect

Edited by: Kain Cristar  at: 1/10/06 3:48
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You have lived a life of cruelty and atrocity, you have bathed in the blood of the innocent, you have considered every act of depravity and your corruption knows no bounds. I am the angel of justice, I am the accumulation of all of your sins. Prepare for your redemption.

-Kain Cristar, Divine Aspect
Darien Gulath
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2006, 04:34:23 AM »

A bad night was written on Darién’s appearance as he walked as one of the last persons trough the door. At least a exhausting one. And it could clearly be seen that Darién had trouble with the light of the uprising sun that noon. And it was quite obvious that he was a night creature and his mood was certainly something that could not be written from his face. With his two warswords on his back his appearance became a little bit more threatening, For as far as it was possible. Darién wasn’t only covered in ever shrouding mystery, With his few emotions that only seemed to indicate his pleasure for combat and the superiority he felt over his team mates, The arrogancy he had for every body in particular, As if he was the lord of Shadows. The king of a lost empire.

In his mind he wasn’t enthiousistic about the mission, The reward was something that left him cold. He was Darién, He could take whatever he wanted from this world, He needed no false promises. Yet the opportunity to go in search of such a precious mythical artifact was something different. He and some of the worst villains had been trapped and given the leads to find this precious artefact to deliver it for riches and whatever they would desire. Yet the sword gave them opportunity’s. And that their entire group would be complelty fallen apart was one thing Darién knew for sure. Possibly everyone… Their travelling party was an explosive with a short fuse.
Death was written on every thugs head, as if it was a given statastic that only of them would bring it back. And nobody was more aware of it then Darién.

What he had done that night wasn’t much other then other nights he had experienced. A night of meaningless pleasure, And the anger he had for Kain had been released on something else allready. Darién had not slept that night, Not at all. He almost never slept during night times, It was when his world was awake.

He took his position near the door where he leaned with his arms over eachother waiting for somebody to speak,… Or maybe for Kain or any of the pitiful fools to start fighting again. He would then not be a part of it. He knew how these people’s minds worked and if they would approach him hostily he would kill them. Which was for certain. He was lethal without weapons, but many times more lethal with weapons. 2 daggers and 2 warswords was the equipment he had, Including a small bag with provisions. As he observed the first thing he noticed was that one was missing. A woman….

He sighed, And was unsure of what to do. He wasn’t in a mood to talk (was he ever?). And observed his compagnions once again, They looked less threatening in the light, As did he.  The dim lights of the room he preffered over this. Yet they where in the open and not locked in which was probably the main reason for the tension the day before.

He decided that he would ride not to close by Kain. The person he hated most of them all. Not for his personality, That was a laugh, A joke. This man was the biggest fool he had ever seen. No he didn’t know what to expect. Kain was the biggest danger for he knew to temper with the essence of magic. Darién knew so much, And enough about magic that the powers of some people differed. Was it yesterday the powerfullest spell or the weakest? If there would be a next time Darién wouldn’t hesitate or underestimate, He would not bathe in ignorance about his opponent. He would approach more careful and strike with more precision.

Yet he banned these thoughts from his mind,… It had not yet come to that. One day it would, Depending of the length of the journey…
Kain was the first real challenge he had in many days. A enemy worthy to battle. Only now he was unfortunate enough to be allied with him. ..

Darién noticed himself aware of his staring into the criminal’s direction and focussed him on the surroundings.
With a sigh he tried to adept towards the light outside and felt tired.

    Death:
A punishment to some, to some a gift, and to many a favor.  
    --Seneca

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Nystacea Korlsdaughter
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2006, 05:36:23 AM »

OOC:  After the board-wide loss of posts.

Nasty looks at Xaod - whose strange mounting technique she had missed seeing as she listened to Kain - and then back at the dwindling figure of the mage as she tries to understand Kain's explanation of the route to Chrondra.   It's not long before she gives up.  "What did he just say?"   She asks of no-one in particular.  She watches as the quiet, red-eyed elf follows him out  and reins Kannah in as she tries eagerly to follow.   "I mean, I think he said he knows the way, but I'm not sure I want to just follow him blindly".   She casts a glance around at Darien and Rheine who are still at the manor wall, on either side of the door to the courtyard, and over to Xaod as he sits astride the bay stallion called Virtue's Rhyme near her.

"I ride that way all the time," says a voice – the stablegirl's – from  near her stirrup.  The redhead moves to hold Kannah's bridle with the hand not holding Rheine's blue roan mare, so that she can speak to Nasty. "This estate is just outside the city on the west side.  When you reach the river road, go west -- that's left.  You should reach a small hamlet called Kries by afternoon.  Or maybe earlier," she says, squinting at the early dawn.  The stableboy, who is standing a little further across the courtyard holding the blazed brown for Darien, nods in agreement.  "Follow the road through Goutherin, turn north there across the Mashdai there and go on to Nathembly," she continues.  "From there, Chrondra's a day's slow ride on to the north.  

"You should be at Chrondra in three days; faster if you ride hard.  Assuming you stay on the road and don't get lost,"
she scoffs.  Her eyes widen a little as she realises what she has said "...N-not that I think you'll get lost."  She lowers her eyes submissively.

Nystacea laughs once, a short, sharp bark of laughter. "I probably would have, if it weren't for your directions.  What do I owe you?"  The question slips out before she realises what she is saying.  What am I doing offering to pay for information which I have already been given for free? she thinks with surprise.  The girl on the other hand doesn't seem at all surprised.   She looks up at the fluffy haired, red lipped Caltharian.  "Just take care of them," she says, turning back to rub the dun's forehead affectionately. "Bring them back safe".

Kack! Thinks Nystaecea, her eyes hardening.   I'm not promising that.  She knew she couldn't afford to promise to take care of the horses – they were likely to be the first casualties in a trek where she expected to have some difficulty even looking after herself.   The stablegirl hadn't noticed Nasty's change of expression, engrossed as she was in petting the horse, so she gives a yelp of surprise as Nasty jerks the animals head up and kicks it into a gallop.   Her red cloak flies out behind her and soon she rounds a corner and disappears from view.

The boy's posture stiffens with indignation.  He moves closer, with the brown to comfort the girl, who worries at the reins of her final charge as they wait for the last adventurers to mount.




Nasty Lady

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Xaod Shadow
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2006, 10:21:23 AM »

Xaod shakes his head at Nasty's question. He didn't know what the elf meant any better than she did. Listening to the directions, the assassain strained to memorize them.

As the stablehands ask for the safe return of their horses, Nasty bolted for the gate. Shaking his head, grunted. "We'll do our best" Kicking the animal in the sides, Xaod galloped after Nasty.

---------------
I am the Shadow that clings to you like death
I am the Silence behind your back
I am the Stalker following your every move
I am the Slayer that ends your life without hesitation

 Xaod Shadow

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Kain Cristar
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Elf, Co'orhem Kayrrhem


« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2006, 04:04:23 PM »

Kain sees that the pace has been set to a quick gallop, though he himself decides that his pace is more reasonable. He glances back as the two human's close in on his own position, and wonders if the other two neophyte humans will take upon their saddles. They were probably too interested in their own flighty passions, and the satisfaction of their lusty loins to even notice that the other's were moving on. Simple minded and ignorant, all humans seemed regretably the same.

Once again, somehow, Kain was in a bad mood. Suddenly he despised the people around him, for each of their simple flaws, their gnawing weaknesses. They were venom to the Goddesses purity.

As grim thoughts swirled on the edges of his conciousness, his dead eyes stared into the distance, to the Mithril mountains. In his mind, he was inside the Library of Chondra. He mentaly searched the rows and racks of tomes for a referance to the Sword of Twilight. He decided to first quickly examine a series of documents he remebered, which centered on the Chosen. As they would have forged the greatest weapons a mortal could imagine. He would then search the religous documents, as the gods graced thier children with many gifts.

While his search retrieved little usefull information, it allowed him to rationalize the sifting of thousands of words, like the desert sands, in search of one diamond. He would learn as much as possible about this weapon, and further devise his plotting as he became more knowledgable on the artifacts powers.The playthings of the gods wage the most devistating plight on us mortals.

You have lived a life of cruelty and atrocity, you have bathed in the blood of the innocent, you have considered every act of depravity and your corruption knows no bounds. I am the angel of justice, I am the accumulation of all of your sins. Prepare for your redemption.

-Kain Cristar, Divine Aspect

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You have lived a life of cruelty and atrocity, you have bathed in the blood of the innocent, you have considered every act of depravity and your corruption knows no bounds. I am the angel of justice, I am the accumulation of all of your sins. Prepare for your redemption.

-Kain Cristar, Divine Aspect
Rheine
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2006, 04:32:23 PM »

With another groan, Rheine rises to a stand. Wiping her eyes, she strolled over to the stablehands as the others had already gotten on their horses and started to leave. She was already resenting agreeing on going on this stupid quest. But then again, what else would she be doing?

With a sigh, she approached the two stablehands, and went to take what she assumed was her horse's reins from the female and began putting her belongings within the horse's saddle's travel-bags, then attempted to mount up. Though she wasn't any horsewoman by any stretch of the word, she had rode enough to know somewhat how to handle them.



-----
"She wants to go home, but nobody's home
It's where she lies, broken inside,
With no place to go, no place to go
To dry her eyes, broken inside."
-Nobody's Home, Avril Lavigne

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Nystacea Korlsdaughter
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2006, 04:42:23 AM »

As the stablegirl hands Rheine her reins, she speaks.  "Her name is March Queen," she says in a dispirited tone.  Her heavy, ugly face is cold and expressionless with a loss of hope.  "As in, Queen of the Marches.  She is the finest of all the Duke's horses, and will protect you in battle.  I was asked to tell you."  She steps back as Rheine mounts, her eyes getting a glazed look, as if she were seeing someone else in the well-made saddle where Rheine now sits.


Darien

Darien watches as the red-head moves to her horse.  As if her motion had been a cue, he forces his weary body to cross the courtyard.  The Helcrani wrenches the reins from the boy who holds them.  He mounts, smirks once in the direction of Rheine, and reins his horse around toward the gate.  As he forcefully kicks the white-marked brown into a trot, the boy calls out.  "His name is Love's Blaze," he calls, in a tone which holds the anguish of being parted from a beloved friend, knowing it may well be the final parting.




Nasty Lady

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Nystacea Korlsdaughter
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2006, 04:54:23 AM »

Nystacea quickly catches up to the two malevolent elves, and so just as quickly reins Keshanna in.  The dun snorts and prances a little as she obeys, obviously having hoped for a longer run.  Slowing right down to a walk she lets the two styros get ahead of her a bit, and moves over to the left as she hears Xaod clatter up toward her position.  Keeping her eyes on the horizon, she leans back into the saddle, trying not to think too hard about her reaction back in the stableyard.  Keshanna prances again, sensing Nasty's inattention.

Oh no you don't, thinks Nystacea, coming out of her unwilling reverie to flap the reins and discipline the horse. I'm not losing this battle to you, even if you are taller than me, she thinks.  Especially since you're taller than me, she amends.  The dun settles down, calmer now that she feels sure of the hands on her reins.  




Nasty Lady

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Kain Cristar
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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2006, 11:57:23 AM »

Kain smiles darkly at the humans as they side up along side him. He can feel the Tashyyr lean forward into the reins, urging him to go faster. He also notes that Tashyyr keeps himself at least a few palmspans ahead of the others, as if he need assert himself. Kain's lips fall grim, and he sifts his eyes back to the trail. He allowed his own calm to touch Tashyyr, calming the beast's fiery heart. Wth each step of the stallion, he felt himself sink lower into his mortal abyss. He carefully leads Tashyyr in small curves, shifting slightly from left to right. The horse obeys effeciently, which Kain deems to support the theory that the horse was bred and trained for war. He had never ridden a horse of such quality, and found the experiance to be of commendable quality. Tashyyr found the elf on his back calm, yet violent. He feared the being, something was strange about him. He also, however, respected him, and found his violence appealing. The horse decided to test him at the first chance of battle, then make his decision.

You have lived a life of cruelty and atrocity, you have bathed in the blood of the innocent, you have considered every act of depravity and your corruption knows no bounds. I am the angel of justice, I am the accumulation of all of your sins. Prepare for your redemption.

-Kain Cristar, Divine Aspect

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You have lived a life of cruelty and atrocity, you have bathed in the blood of the innocent, you have considered every act of depravity and your corruption knows no bounds. I am the angel of justice, I am the accumulation of all of your sins. Prepare for your redemption.

-Kain Cristar, Divine Aspect
Xaod Shadow
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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2006, 07:26:23 AM »

Xaod pulled his horse up next to Nasty's, the animal seemed eager to cease galloping. Keeping silent, the assassain thought about the trip ahead. He had no idea where the library was, or how far it was. He decided to entertain himself by testing his mount.

As he leaned to the left, the horse obediently followed. Leaning back to the right, Virtue veered right. At least the bay was obedient, not too difficult to control. Snapping up on the reins, he attempted to get the horse to rear. This only succeeded in making the mount halt several times, confused into thinking it was being told to stop. Xaod gave up, not knowing what else a horse could do he just let Virtue's Rhyme stride beside Nasty's golden mount.

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Darien Gulath
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« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2006, 07:35:23 AM »

Love’s Blaze... right.
And now it was off to Chondra.

The others had driven away, it was just him and Rheine left in the courtyard. Darién waited for her at the gate. It felt good to still know how to handle a horse. Horses tended to dislike him somehow. Maybe it was because he always treated them a bit too harsh.
From the gate Darién saw the others leave, with the mage nearly out of view at the front.
His gaze pierced over at Rheine, as he waited patiently.

    Death:
A punishment to some, to some a gift, and to many a favor.  
    --Seneca

Edited by: Darien Gulath at: 2/6/06 0:58
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Rheine
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2006, 04:59:23 PM »

Rheine grips the reins in her hands as she is handed them, sighing as she turns to face the animal. She hears the stablegirl call out the name of horse--March Queen--and turns her head to face the girl at the tone of her dead voice. She gazes upon the stablegirl's face as she continues, mouthing out the story behind the animal. Rheine wasn't paying attention, her eyes more closely focused on the woman's quepeuric face. Rheine's chest already felt heavy, but the stablegirl's performance felt like a coil around her heart, and for a moment Rheine had to take a step back, shutting her eyes tightly.

Stop letting her get to you. It's just a dumb animal. Just a dumb animal. She wiped the palm of her thumb against her eyes. She opened them and shook her head, and peered back up at the stablegirl. Her eyes narrowed as she wrestled her soul back. "It's just a dumb animal. Tell... tell Solen thanks, I guess." she shook her head, resting a few fingers on her temple,"I mean, feff it, I'm too kacking tired.." Turning to the horse, she pulled herself up weakly, throwing her leg over the side. The horse seemd to kneel down a little, as if to help Rheine's small stature, but the girl pressed the idea aside and finished mounting atop it. Her lips pressed together, and she uttered a small curse. She hated riding horses, or any animal for that matter.

I'd prefer a man. The lecherous thought lifted her dulled spirits for a second, but quickly vanished from her mind. Her depression made sure to quickly stamp it out.

She pressed a cough through her lips, and focused her eyes again, as the stablegirl's own glazed over. The woman looked at Rheine as if someone else was where she sat. Someone far more worthy for the beast that Rheine had now, obviously stolen. With another sneer, Rheine fnished her verbal assault on the girl, "... whatever. Bye."

Throwing her arms out to pull the reins of the horse along, she kicked her heels into it a bit too tightly. It instantly bucked a little, causing Rheine to fear being thrown off and looking like an idiot. But the Queen quickly calmed, letting out a noise that almost sounded as if it could be understood, then began following in the direction of the others.

As it trotted past Darien, Rheine turned her elevated head to face him, as her shoulders slumped forwards even further. For a second the thought from before entered her mind, and one corner of her lips angled up in the direction of her eyes. She proceeded to mull over Darien's mounted body, travelling down from his face towards the saddle, but a quick shake from her own horse snapped her attention back to reality. As if to spite Darien's horse, Rheine's arched its head towards the morning sky, and began to slightly increase its trot, pulling ahead of Darien to follow the group far ahead.

-----
"She wants to go home, but nobody's home
It's where she lies, broken inside,
With no place to go, no place to go
To dry her eyes, broken inside."
-Nobody's Home, Avril Lavigne

Edited by: Rheine at: 2/7/06 9:01 am
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