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Exploring New Horizons [Sam, Ruki, Shrub, Fairess]
  • Orange light swept over the treetops of a thickly wooded forest, seeping through large, various-colored leaves and settling down in uneven patches on the ground. Ferns, moss, shrubbery and dead leaves littered the ground and the base of the trees, thick roots jutting out of the ground as if they were looking for victims to trip. The activity of the forest seemed to die down as most of the creatures that inhabited it were settling for the night, birds finding their nests and hollows, squirrels and chipmunks hiding in trees and other various creatures going to their dens. Even the flowing river, which sat off a large bank, seemed to quiet down as the orange light grew more intense.

    Pale fingers trailed along the bark of one of the old weathered trees, belonging to a young woman. The leaves crunching underneath her worn boots quieted as she stopped walking, her mail no longer clinking and her cloak no longer rustling with her movements. Her face seemed to retain a look of weariness, all of her features tinted bronze by the light of the waning sun. Her normally tidy blonde hair was loose, almost glowing in the sunlight. Rubbing the beads of sweat off of her forehead, she decided that where she was at was a good place to rest for the night. She crouched down, taking off her large knapsack and the sheath to her weapon and laying them down on the leafy forest floor.

    Once she sat down on the ground, she opened a pouch on the outside, pulling out a small package wrapped in wax-coated paper. She tore it open carefully, grabbing a piece of dried meat and biting into it enthusiastically. Taking a few minutes to glance around at her surrounding, she unconsciously grasped at a small locket hanging around her neck sighing.

    The sounds of leaves rustling in the background could be heard, sounding suspiciously like footsteps. The woman paused for a second, setting her meal down and taking her weapon in hand and drawing it from the sheath. The blade gleamed in the little night that remained, and she held it steadily in her grasp as she inched her way into a standing position. Her feet moved quickly until she was at the base of the large tree, her eyes suspiciously darting around for the source of the noise.

    "Who's there?" she called, her voice steady and calm.


    The post was edited 1 time, last by Shrub ().

  • They were lost. Of course not a single one of the trio (quartet if one was so inclined to count the "silent" ghost amongst the group) was about to admit it. Especially since there had been no real destination in mind to begin with.

    All the same, with the sun dipping below the horizon it was best they find a place to make camp. What leaves were not lying dead and shriveled up beneath their feet clung despertly to the trees, their colors a dark red to brown and some even had a golden hue.

    The old trees of the forest seemed to become a maze, or worse yet, a close pack with no space to construct a proper camp anywhere. If they didn't stop now, the light would be too low to properly make camp - even with two fire mages to create an additional light.

    That was when the sound of steel scrapping against steel alerted the small group. None of them had expected anybody else in the woods - after all they were far from the trails which bandits loved to lurk to steal from unsuspecting travelers.

    "Who's there?" A female voice called from behind a nearby large tree, but it did nothing to calm the nerves of the group. After all, with three of the four females and all deadly in their own right, it would be unwise to discredit a potential enemy based on their sex.

    The brunette and the blonde drew their own blades, nodding to each other before splitting up and circling the tree, one on either side. Following the brunette was a ghost who bore her exact likeness with the exception of her eyes and a little boy with bright red hair who looked to be a toddler.

    Upon finding themselves at the other side of the tree, they came across a young woman who looked a few years younger than the brunette, although that being said due to good genes they looked the same age. While her her wasn't as pale blonde as the taller of the two women, she seemed to be taller than everyone in the group itself. She too was muscular and had pointed ears - an elf perhaps? The silvery markings across her face gave pause, but the group saw stranger things and it was quickly disregarded. The mail she wore though heralded her as a knight or at the very least a warrior. Definitely not somebody to take lightly, but if worst came to worst, they would have numbers on their side.

    "Who are you?" the blonde woman demanded, being the first to speak, keeping her sword up and ready to strike.

    "We don't mean any harm," the brunette added, lowering her own sword. Perhaps a fatal move, but she put far too much faith in her own power even now for her to consider it as a folly.

    OoC: Natasha Brant, Elaine Brant, Pyre (Elrohir Tiwele), Renee

    :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
    Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
    Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews

    Post by Ruki ().

    This post was deleted by the author themselves: Dooplicate ().
  • They looked ridiculous. Completely, totally ridiculous.

    Cleopatra was wandering through a night time forest, trying to keep an eye on the giggling madwoman leading her through the wilderness. She'd only moved in to Mara's house in Cliffside a week ago, and already the vampire was trying to figure out how to fit her girlfriend into her murderous schemes.

    And that's why they found themselves in the middle of nowhere, wearing dresses that weren't made for the environment, in the dead of night. Mara had said that they needed to practice working together on targets, but she didn't want to compromise her cozy position.

    And the solution for that, apparently, was to track down and murder a bunch of travelers. But not just murder, no, that would be too easy. They had to trick the poor saps. Already, she was beginning to regret her decision to leave home.

    Mara, on the other hand, was all smiles and laughs, drifting through the trees with an unnatural silence that she seemed almost like a fey, especially with her hair shifted into long golden curls instead of her usual short black cut.

    Looking back at Cleo and completely glossing over her girlfriend's obvious displeasure. The girl was wearing a knee-length dress very similar to hers, except for mostly blue instead of black.

    "I think I can hear somebody ahead!" Mara said, her voice sounding almost like somebody singing. Anybody else listening would have just assumed somebody lost, maybe some poor lost girl, but the implied promise of what came next to anybody who knew Mara was enough to give Cleo chills. She killed, yes...that was why she and Mara got together, the mutual love of the art of killing.

    But to Cleo it was like surgery. She didn't take too much joy in the art, she was just intrigued by it. But Mara...

    Mara saw murder like some people saw eating ice cream. Or sex. It was overwhelming, to put it kindly.

    Mara just kept moving forward, her metal claws hidden away in her side bag. "Hello!" she shouted, off into the trees. They were still a little bit away, maybe three minutes of walking off? The excitement bubbled in the vampire's veins as she thought of what came next. She'd been doing this forever, but now it was different.

    Now she wasn't alone.

    Characters: Mara Clearwater, Cleopatra

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Sami Nornal ().

  • The woman's eyes narrowed for a moment, looking the blonde and the brunette over. She didn't like the idea of making herself vulnerable, but she had a feeling that the brunette was trustworthy enough to listen to. She lowered her weapon, sheathing it again and glaring at the blonde as a warning, before speaking.

    "My name is Robin Issa-Adams," she said, deciding to follow the polite route and softening her voice. Not sure what else to say, she glanced at the other two members of the group. Her gaze rested on the ghost for only a moment, before resting on the child for longer.

    She could immediately sense something familiar about him, though it felt off. Her gaze swept over him a few times, and the feeling in her gut only grew more familiar as she examined him.

    "I don't wish for unnecessary bloodshed, but be warned when I say that I will not hesitate to cut anyone down," she said, her voice cold as she gazed back at the brunette. "What are your names?"
  • Natasha gave a sigh of relief when the woman sheathed her sword. She didn't really like fighting, bloodshed even less. Renee was slower to sheathe her sword, only doing so after a meaningful look from her princess muttering under her breath her blood would be on the forest floor if she dared to raise her sword against them.

    "I'm Nadie," the princess introduced herself, resting her scarred hand covered in bandages on her chest before gesturing to her two companions in turn. "This is Elohir and Renee. We were looking for a clearing to make camp in, but ... well clearly we haven't found anything."

    The dragon prince didn't say anything as Natasha made their introductions, but he noticed how her grey eyes wandered up and down him. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other. His wings were well hidden under his cloak, and his fire-red hair was bright but not unusual to draw attention to. Although perhaps it was the fact there was a toddler traveling with two women which made her pause. After all, for a human his apparent age these woods would not be safe.

    "Hmm," Elaine hummed with an amused smile when she noticed the gaze linger on her if only for a moment. She was used to be invisible, so she was able to pick on the smallest of signs when somebody noticed her. While other eyes would have passed over her without stopping, Robin's lingered if only for a second.

    Her attention turned away as her twin introduced themselves - with exception of herself of course. Who introduced a ghost? Her eyes - which seemed even brighter in the dusk - looked back through the brush from where she thought she heard a sound or a yell. She strained her ears as she looked around, but she wasn't like Natasha or Renee who had training in this sort of thing - to be on alert - so she didn't hear anything else.


    :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
    Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
    Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
  • Mara stood still for a moment, peering through the trees for a moment while waiting for a response, Cleo trudging forward and putting her head on Mara's shoulder. "You sure somebody's out there?"

    Mara turned slightly, Cleo's short pink hair brushing against her nose. "Pretty sure, yeah. Let's try again! Don't want to make them frightened or anything. No sneaking, yet." Mara said winking.

    The vampire breathed and opened her mouth again, the same breathy sing-song voice beginning to come out when Cleo put a hand on her mouth.

    "YO. ANYONE OUT THERE?" Cleo shouted at the top of her lungs, not moving her head from Mara's shoulder as she did. As Mara glared at her, Cleo's face broke into a small smile. "Come on, it'll be okay. You'll just seem all the more nice compared to me!" she said.

    Mara's angry expression mellowed somewhat, her arms crossed. "...Alright."
  • Robin's gaze rested on Nadie again, and she actually half-smiled at her, liking her for some strange reason.

    "You forgot to mention that lovely ghost friend of yours," she said. "Anyway, you're not going to find a flat surface anywhere around here, I've been traveling these woods since I was a child."

    She set her sheath down again, going to her knapsack and sifting through it for a moment. Frowning, she gave up her search, instead deciding to return to her meal. She paused again as she heard something far off in the distance, resembling shouting, though she didn't give it a second thought, deciding to focus on the newcomers again.

    "Might I ask what it is you are all doing out here, Nadie?" she asked.
  • "Eh?" Natasha flushed as she looked around to see where her twin was hiding causing Elaine to laugh. Unlike her, Natasha never quite seemed to recognize the signs of someone who could see ghosts - not that Elaine blamed her. They were subtle things and only really recognizable if you were searching for them or a ghost yourself. Those who could speak to the dead usually didn't flaunt it, especially in Altamire.

    "A necromancer?" Renee questioned, raising an eyebrow slightly. Normally she would use the slur for Yalian necromancers, but she didn't think the insult would be as poignant here. Besides, necromancer typically tended to be an insult within its own right. "How unusual."

    A blatant lie if there ever was one. Between Khaz, Cardell, Cadenza - it seemed there was an unhealthy amount of people who could see Elaine without the girl making herself known by force. It seemed only those who she traveled with couldn't see her.

    "Oh, uhm, uh," Natasha spluttered clearly embarrassed and not quite sure what to do as she looked to see where her younger sister could be. She knew she was here somewhere. Where was the problem.

    "I'm Elaine," Elaine said finally, taking pity on her twin just as Natasha managed out a soft squeak of, 'her name is Elaine.' "Only you can see me - the others aren't ... gifted with the sight. Although, that being said, they are quite aware of my presence."

    With Natasha an awkward mess - which tended to happen each time her twin was brought up or somehow mentioned - Elohir decided to answer the question.


    "Shut it for a moment." Renee interrupted the drake, causing the little dragon to throw her an incredulous glare. Knights and dragons were supposed to be at odds if fairy tales were to be believed, but Renee never seemed to consider him as his rightful place as rival and was downright rude.

    "Excuse me," Pyre demanded only for Renee to do a loud SHHHH at him, her icy blue eyes narrowing as she looked into the darkness of the tangled trees before them.

    "Listen. Don't you hear that?" The blank stare caused the Ice Knight's face to contort into a scowl - a common facial feature. "Voices dumbass."

    :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
    Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
    Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
  • Finally, Mara and Cleo managed to get close enough to see the other group of travelers through the trees, maybe twenty feet away. The vampire raised a pale hand up and smiled widely, letting a look of relief creep its way onto her face.

    "Oh, thank heavens!" Mara said, borrowing a phrase she'd learned in Cleo's hometown when she'd met her. The pair had gone through great lengths to look like they'd been lost, with Mara's usual black dress torn and covered in dirt, along with missing one of her black lace gloves. Her hair was also a mess. Cleo, though a mess, wasn't missing any gloves, and her short dyed red hair wasn't long enough to get messed up from just a short time in the woods.

    Walking shakily forward, Mara collapsed against a tree and waved again. "We've been saved, Cleo!" the vampire said shakily. She was having a hard time maintaining her facade, and as always a small part of her just wanted to run forward and rip the strangers apart, but she kept it in check. The end result of playing the long game was always worth it. Always.

    "Yayyy," Cleo said dully, sitting down next to the tree and folding her arms.
  • Robin made a face at Renee's remark, but ignored it when she pointed out the sounds. When the two newcomers emerged from the source of the sounds, she looked at them skeptically, especially at the blonde, whose behavior seemed fake to her in a way. She picked up her sword again and wandered closer, gazing at them.

    "And what would two fairly-dressed ladies be doing out in the middle of nowhere, exactly?" Robin's gaze flittered back over to Renee, trying to get a read on what she thought of the situation. While she didn't particularly like her, she could sense that she had excellent instincts.
  • Renee and Natasha shared glances as Elaine raised a perfect ghostly eyebrow. Pyre snorted, a bit of fire coming out of his nose. While Natasha would be more inclined to trust the newcomers, warning bells went off in the heads of literally everybody else.

    Neither women were exactly wearing appropriate clothes for being out in the woods in the middle of the night. They were something closer to one might find in a court or perhaps a ball. While their clothes were tattered and full of dirt, it would have been more convincing if they had supplies with them and clothes suited for travel.

    "I was unaware there was a village so close by," Renee said finally, her hand resting on her longsword ready to draw it a moment's notice. "If we had known, perhaps we would have decided to spend the night there instead of these woods."

    :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
    Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
    Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
  • "There isn't," Robin told her, glaring back at the two women and narrowed her eyes. Her gaze swept over their tattered clothing and unkempt hair, nothing really adding up to her. She drew her sword, leveling it in front of the blonde and giving her an icy stare. "The next closest settlement is a three hour walk away, but even so, they don't have any buildings suited to their attire."

    She edged closer to them cautiously, finding the one she was focused on to be much more of a threat than the other woman. While her behavior suggested exhaustion and relief, she could see an excited glint in her eyes, one she didn't like.

    "Who are you, what are you doing out here?"


    The post was edited 1 time, last by Aerilaya ().

  • The blond woman put her hand up at the blade leveled at her, allowing the appropriate amount of panic to show on her face. "M-Mara Clearwater, miss!" she sputtered, her blue eyes wide. "Me and my...well, my-"

    "Girlfriend. The word is girlfriend," Cleo said, her face still set at a bored default.

    "...We fell through a hole near my town, while on a walk to see the stars. And then we found ourselves here...I guess the myths were right..."

    She let herself trail off then, trying to keep up her innocent lady impression. Cleo wasn't being helpful, but she could make it work, as long as Cleo didn't completely give away the whole scheme. The vampire forced herself to not think about the blood-soaked images going through her head, or the itch to attack the travelers right now. She could wait.

    "So, you got any food? I'm starving, and Mara didn't pack anything for our walk," Cleo said simply, arms still folded. It wasn't too cold, yet, but it was getting colder, and the dress Mara had her wearing left a lot of her shoulders and neck exposed to the elements. If only she had some sort of scarf...
  • "Gi-girlfriend?" Renee asked slowly, the terminology she had heard before in the past which others used in favor of beau. She had never heard it used though for a woman referring to another woman, and it caused her face to be set afire as her mind wandered to entertaining notions that instead of that reaver, Renee was the one betrothed to Madeline.

    Noticing Natasha's worried look, Renee shook her head to clear her mind of such thoughts and failed as they lingered in the back of her mind. She couldn't fall victim to such fantasies here - she was a knight first and foremost, and there was something awfully strange about this woman. Something strange which could be found out with more sharp pointy objects thrown to the mix.

    So Renee stood up and drew her own sword as Pyre made his own thoughts known.

    "A hole," was what Pyre decided to focus on, a deadpan look on his face which said as much as his tone of voice did. "You feel through a hole ... and found yourselves in the midst of the woods."

    "Biggest bunch of bullshit I ever did hear," Elaine agreed, although the drake couldn't exactly hear her agreement.

    However, while everyone else seemed to be doubting the duo's story, Natasha seemed more than willing to give the two strangely dressed woman the benefit of a doubt and hastily grabbed Renee's arm to stop her from inserting her sword into the woman's stomach.

    "Wait! They could be telling the truth. After all, we've run across strange people in our lands - is it not possible they found themselves here via the same way Khaz, Rontu and Ren found themselves in Altamire? Or Cadenza too for that matter," Natasha said as she pulled Renee's arm. "There is no need to jump to violence so soon."

    :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
    Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
    Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
  • Robin watched Natie protest for a moment, giving him an exasperated look but not wanting to be rude to him.

    "With all due respect, this is all a little too vague to seem real," she told him. "Elaine is right, even if you didn't hear her. This is all bullshit, from their attitudes to their story." She held the blade of her Claymore close to Mara's neck, her face going expressionless as she sized her up. While she was a lot smaller than her, some gut instinct told her that Mara was a lot stronger - and smarter - than she looked.

    "What are you? Speak."


    The post was edited 2 times, last by Aerilaya ().

  • A disturbing, violent glee began to bubble up in Mara as the weapon was placed near her neck, her face showing none of it as her entire body seemed to flex, her Bloodseal beginning to slowly grow in on her back, unseen beneath the black dress. Stronger and smarter, eh? You have no idea.

    Just before the vampire was going to strike, she heard a cough just behind her.


    The growing bloodlust died down suddenly and quickly, a foreign sense of panic flooding into her mind. She was immortal, but Cleo...Cleo was mortal. And very, very killable.

    Sighing, Mara looked down, her skin beginning to pale as her eyes shifted. Not to their normal black and red, no...she had other plans. Her hair fell out and strange scale-like patterns appeared on her skin, until soon all visible skin took on the pattern, leaving her at the end looking like a bald lizard-woman, her eyes reptilian in appearance.

    Opening her mouth, now full of fangs, Mara began, using one of her favorite tricks. Nothing she said next was a lie. Just...from a different point of view.

    "...I'm a shapeshifter. On my world, my kind are hated and hunted like animals...people fear us. Maybe because they just don't understand. We really did become lost the way we said...the pit near the town is said to be a sort of gateway into other worlds. I took the form you saw earlier because I was unsure of what you would think. I just wanted you to think I was normal."

    Not a single lie in there. Lots of missing information, misdirection, all of that. But no lies.

    Cleo's eyes had taken on a different look from her dull, bored expression from before, but she quickly realized she had to pretend she wasn't shocked to see her girlfriend looking like some sort of snake-lady.

    Jumping up and clutching to Mara, Cleo closed her eyes and let a few crocodile tears fall. "Please don't hurt Mara!" she said in a panic, mentally rolling her eyes at her own choice of words. What was she, five?

    Mara just looked down and smiled, putting a hand on Cleo's. Finally playing along. Thanks.
  • A twinge of familiarity hit her, and Robin gazed at them, sighing. She herself knew the feeling, hybrids usually got a bad rap because of their mix of genes, her not being an exception. Looking at the woman clutching to Mara, something still felt a little bit off, though she could sense more truth to this.

    "Keep in mind that trickery will get you nowhere, Mara," she told her. "I couldn't care less about what you looked like. Now, tell me the whole truth."

    She glanced over at Renee, as if asking for some help with the situation. While her gut told her that something was very wrong with the duo sitting in front of them, she also didn't want to run the risk of harming potentially innocent people, as stated in her knighthood.
  • Renee didn't say anything as her face shifted from shock, to wariness, then finally to something akin to disgust as her mind started focusing on Mara and Cleo having sex with Mara looking like that. A shiver ran down the knight's spine - it seemed there was all types out there.

    All kinds of wrong...

    All the same she didn't lower her sword. She didn't fully trust them - not yet anyway. Natasha was the trusting one. She was willing to give people chances they didn't deserve - and would keep giving them chances more than any sane human would declare necessary.

    "So, you're being hunted?" Natasha asked, the thoughts of how the two could possibly copulation blissfully away from her mind. In fact the thought never crossed her mind, nor did she really think twice on their supposed relationship. "Is that why you came running to us?"

    "Acting a bit queerly for a hunted party though," Elaine mused. Something didn't sit right with the ghost. She couldn't put her finger on it, but it was there. The way they were behaving, it reminded of her ... well her. Not in a good way though.

    "Turning into a fucking lizard doesn't help your case," Renee growled. "No normal person acts like you do in the middle of the fucking woods at night. You lied once, snake. I'm not inclined to believe you anymore than the first time."

    She turned to Natasha and glanced at the drake.

    "I think we should let Pyre at her."

    :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
    Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
    Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
  • It took everything in Mara's entire being to not erupt into laughter at the blonde knight's thoughts after her transformation, the undertones of disgust just making the entire first thought hilarious to the vampire.

    "If they knew we were here, yes, they'd be right on our tails," Mara said to the brown-haired boy who'd asked if they were being hunted. What thoughts she'd already heard from him made Mara instantly want to rip him apart...far too trusting.

    And turning to the blonde woman again, Mara frowned. "I didn't mean to hide my appearance, but I was scared some of you wouldn't accept me as I am...and apparently I was right." Trying her hardest to look wounded at Renee's words, Mara backed up slightly, a twinge of panic going through her. She was trying to ignore it, but the mention of them letting a "Pyre" at her was enough to get her on edge. Who was Pyre? And what would letting him at her do? Whatever it was, she'd survive, but the fear for Cleo was still present.