The Way of a Warrior

The Way of a Warrior

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•°• A Private 1x1 for Makenna & phoenixheart •°•

228 readers have visited The Way of a Warrior since Makenna Young created it.

Introduction

A mother's arms, enough to be wrapped in. A father's hand, never to feel. A brother she had, but he had gone off long ago, dragged away by one of the Akuma, surely taken to their dark realm - the realm Akum - to be tortured, killed, and consumed. But she cannot allow herself to think about that. Not now, not ever.

Anzen has always been a dangerous nation to live in, especially since the Akuma opened the portals between Anzen and Akum. They have infiltrated the world, intelligent beasts who feed off of pain and despair. They take captives to work as slaves and to, in the long run, consume. There's hardly a family that doesn't know the pain of loosing a loved one to these monsters.

There is, however, a light in the darkness. And this light is the Mamoru, warriors specially trained to fight the Akuma. It is there job to slay these beasts and do all that they can to seal off the portals once and for all.

When she is sent away to be trained by the youngest Mamoru general in Anzen, she knows what she desires - honor and release of her brother. He is a wise young man, but she rarely heeds him, earning herself the brutal punishments of a Mamoru trainee.

As she finally opens up her ears, she learns about herself and her master...
And if she keeps on fighting, she might learn about her true heritage...








Have him up soon, please. :-)
Just name, age (I'd say mid twenties for yours; mine's gonna be nineteen), and a picture or description.


And please don't ditch me ;c
I'll cry.

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The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 2 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarai Kaamilee Nadir Character Portrait: Caelan Macarra

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((Yay! OP time! Anyway, here we go! ;D Oh, yeah, and ignore my little quote-ish thingies at the beginning of some of my posts. It's a new writing technique-ish thing that I want to try out in RP before I use it in my novels. :P Also, I want to let you know that we can develop a religon for the Anzen people if you so desire; Caelan is in more of a position to introduce that to the story than Sarai. And ignore my gifs, I've been obsessed with them of late. cx))






SARAI HAD NEVER KNOWN LIFE outside her quiet, secluded home. But all that would change with the death of her brother...







Two hooded strangers shuffle down the streets in the pouring-down rain, an odd sight in Anzen. But, alas, there is no one to question such an anomaly; shutters had been drawn tight to ward off the wicked beast of a storm that had befallen the village. Doors are locked tight, and families huddle together by the fireplace, desperate for its warmth and comfort. They say not a word, content to listen to the crackling and breathe in the warm, smoky scent.

The two strangers draw closer to ward off a particularly horrid gust of wind, keeping their heads down and their hoods up. Indeed, even if they were to remove their hoods, no one would recognize the pair in their midst. This pair is, after all, from a few villages away, from a village quite smaller than this one. They had been trekking purposefully on for near a week to get here and had stayed in the local inn for yet another week while the younger girl's mother worked out the kinks in their purpose, their reason for coming this far.
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But now, everything is in place. The mother had confirmed the plans for her daughter a few days ago and knows they must carry on with things. She would soon be leaving this town... Leaving without her daughter, placing the girl into the care of a near-stranger barely older than she.

The daughter, however, is eager. Eager to be out of the cold, eager to meet her new master, eager to begin her training as Mamoru warrior, the praised defenders of Anzen. She desires nothing more than glory and honor... And to venge her brother's death.

The women veer off of the path suddenly, turning into the woods. There is no road where they tread, but the mother knows the way well, having traveled it each day of the past week while her daughter locked herself in a room in the inn. They both know very well the dangers of veering off the path, for the Akuma dwell in only the darkest of shadows, but it is unavoidable. Besides, many of the demonic creatures couldn't stand the weeping of the heavens. Many, but not all.

After continuing on for some time, a small house appears in a small clearing in the forest. The daughter's heart begins to pound with adrenaline, and her eyes light up in excitement. She begins to bound towards the house, but her mother sticks out an arm to halt her, giving her daughter a mildly stern look. The girl can barely hear her mother's words over the relentless howling of the wind.

"You mustn't senselessly invade one's dwelling place, Sarai," she says in her signature hushed, scholarly tones. "Especially the dwelling place of a Mamoru. Master Macarra is expecting me to bring you tonight, indeed, but he will not take kindly to a sudden invasion by his new pupil."

Sarai hangs her head, a strand of red hair falling forward from underneath her patched brown hood, but says not a word. Mother had always said that the best way to show remorse to superiors is through respectful silence, especially when they're clearly deep within the realms of their own thoughts and memories.

Mother strides soundlessly toward the structure, the rain and wind masking her footsteps. Sarai follows in silence, biting down on her lip to restrain the myriad of questions that are begging to pass through her lips, to be released into existance for consideration and perhaps even comprehendable answers.

Holding her hood closed, Mother reaches out to rap on the door thrice. "Master Macarra?" she calls in a louder voice. "It is I, Madam Nadir. I have brought my daughter tonight, as you requested." Sarai looks on in silent anticipation, willing the door to open.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarai Kaamilee Nadir Character Portrait: Caelan Macarra

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The wind howled outside, whistling through the small gaps in the window frames. Caelan frowned, lighting the fire to warm the house. The house was rather bare, the obviously used furniture the only real indication that someone lived here. That and the fact the house was scrupulously clean. Caelan scraped the pieces of flint against one another, sparks flying into the fireplace. Eventually, a spark caught the finger, and Caelan dropped the stones to gently fan the flames to life. When the sparks had grown into a sizeable fire, Caelan sat back, resting his arms on his knees, staring into the flames for a moment.

His new student was arriving today, although anyone with much sense would most likely delay travelling until the blasted rain eased off. Anyone travelling in this would be half drowned before they'd travelled even a quarter mile. Still, Caelan thought as he stood, might as well make sure the bedroom was prepared for his new charge. Standing at the doorway of the spare bedroom, Caelan already knew that the room was as prepared as it was going to be, but he was looking for something to do while he waited for his guests. The bedding was freshly cleaned, no sense in throwing the young one in at the deep end just yet, and was fairly comfortable. Like the rest of the house, the room was relatively bare, only the absolute essentials were present. There was a bed, a wardrobe, a washbasin, mirror, and a table and chair. Anything else his new apprentice wanted, she could get herself.

Caelan made his way to his own room. Testing the water in the basin, he found it was still slightly warm. He splashed the water over his face, cleaning away the worst of the dirt on his face. Studying his face in the mirror, Caelan could see he was in need of a good night's sleep and a shave, a healthy amount of stubble graced his jawline, making it slightly rough to the touch.

Caelan heard three knocks at the door. Quickly drying his face, Caelan made his way downstairs to the front door, amazed that Madam Nadir and her daughter had made their way tonight. It was unusual for women to join the ranks of Mamoru. Not unheard of, but unusual. Caelan opened the door to Madam Nadir and her daughter, "Come in, please, the fire has just been made, make yourselves warm. Let me take your cloaks." He said, taking the cloaks from Madam and Miss Nadir, hanging them by the door to dry. He found Miss Nadir, his new apprentice, Sarai if memory served him correctly, to be fiery haired girl, a few years his junior. He couldn't say with any great certainty if she was pretty or not, given that he had very little to compare her to, but she wasn't awful to look at. "Please, make yourselves comfortable. I'll make us a drink, no doubt you are tired after your journey." Caelan said more to Madam Nazis than to Sarai before leaving them, going to the small kitchen at he back of the house, placing the kettle on the hob, steeping tea leaves in the boiling water. When he was satisfied that the tea was prepared, Caelan poured three cups, carrying them to the front room, handing a cup to Madam Nadir and then to Sarai, before sitting down, "How long have you been travelling in this weather?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarai Kaamilee Nadir Character Portrait: Caelan Macarra

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Sarai bounces to the balls of her feet as the door opens to reveal a calm, serene-looking young man, not much older than herself. She bites her lip to hide her frown of confusion. Is he really old enough to be a Mamoru? Perhaps the rigorous training and fun times keep one looking young. Perhaps...

"Come in, please, the fire has just been made, make yourselves warm. Let me take your cloaks."

Before she is aware of what's happening, Sarai has handed over her cloak, as does her mother, moving deeper into the room. "Thank you ever so much," she hears her mother proclaim pleaszantly before she pauses. Sarai can practically feel her mother's stare penetrating the back of her head, telling her to mind her manners. However, the girl pays no mind, too tired to say anything, if that is even possible. Or perhaps she's just making excuses to validate her own carelessness in her own very eyes. That's actually more likely, she decides, but does nothing about it.

Sarai never even hears Caelan's second comment, lost in the midst of her own thoughts. Her mother fails to say anything when the young man leaves the room, so she stays silent accordingly, biting her lip once more.

"How long have you been travelling in this weather?"

Sarai looks up at Master Macarra, studying him closely as her mother answers him in a hushed, respectable tone of voice.

"Only about an hour or so, from town. We couldn't afford to wait, as I really must be returning home come morning. I've been away quite long enough; I'll be lucky if the tax collectors aren't waiting for me when I get home." She laughs a tinkling little laugh.

"But, Mother," Sarai instantly protests, forgetting herself. "You're the only doctor in town. THey can't afford to get rid of you."

Madam Nadir's mouth presses into a thin line, though she doesn't look at the girl. "Hush, Daughter. Profession matters not in times as hard as these. You know it as well as I."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarai Kaamilee Nadir Character Portrait: Caelan Macarra

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"Hush, Daughter. Profession matters not in times as hard as these. You know it as well as I."

Caelan looked between the mother and daughter. Madam Nadir seemed to be more concerned with appearances than her daughter. That always seemed to be the way, Caelan thought, the young cared for little and the old cared for too much.

"No, Sarai is right. Doctor's will always be needed. Even when the Akuma have been eradicated, people will still have need for your skills. People will still get ill and injured. As for myself and Sarai, we will have to find a new profession when that day comes. Those in your profession should always be treated with respect." He knew that he would probably not see that day when the world was safe from Akuma, but there was no harm in a little hope. Caelan sat back in his chair, drinking deeply from his cup, watching the flames flicker and dance, almost forgetting about the company in his home. Pulling himself from his trance like state, Caelan snapped out of his chair, "You should probably be getting to bed," he said more to Sarai than to her mother, "we have a long day ahead of us, you'll be grateful of the rest. Trust me," he added, remembering the first weeks of his own training and the deepest weariness that had accompanied them. He lead Sarai to her sparse room, leaving her to become acquainted with the room.

Back in the main room, Madam Nadir remained, "Are you completely sure you want to leave her here?" He asked, fully awards that this life was suited to very few people, and as get he was unsure of Sarai's motives for taking this path. Listening to Madam Nadir's response, Caelan nodded, "You're more than welcome to spend the night and leave in the morning if you wish, I have room to spare." He said, more out of politeness than wanting Madam Nadir to stay.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarai Kaamilee Nadir Character Portrait: Caelan Macarra

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"No, Sarai is right. Doctor's will always be needed. Even when the Akuma have been eradicated, people will still have need for your skills. People will still get ill and injured. As for myself and Sarai, we will have to find a new profession when that day comes. Those in your profession should always be treated with respect."

Sarai barely contains the grin she wishes so much to project out into the open for her mother to see at Caelan's speech. This young man is not at all the manneristic, formal being that Mother had made him out to be. Yet at the same time he reeked of something more... Serious? Sarai's not certain this is the word she desires, as she sits sipping from her cup.

Just as Sarai finishes her drink, Caelan addresses her. "You should probably be getting to bed. We have a long day ahead of us, you'll be grateful of the rest. Trust me."

Slightly hesitant, Sarai glances at her mother, who gives her an encouraging smile. Sarai smiles back before allowing Caelan to lead her into a simplistic bedroom wordlessly. As he left the room once more, she inspects the simplistic room.

A bed, wardrobe, washbasin, mirror, table, and chair... That's it. Sarai frowns slightly, not because of the simplicity, which she would live with without a single complaint, but because of the... Forebodingness? Yes, perhaps. Surely she is merely a little uneasy with taking up dwelling in a new home.

Yes, she decides as she lays upon the bed. That is it.






"Are you completely sure you want to leave her here?"

Adele Nadir is staring blankly into the crackling fire, empty cup in hand when the voice rings through the room without so much as a warning. She sighs at this question, to which she had rehearsed the answer to many a time.

"With all due respect, Master Macarra, there is much you do not know about Sarai," she laughs a laugh void of humor. "Indeed, there is much she herself knows not about herself. Her past is a rich, confusing one that I care not to expand on, and I ask that you kindly not mention the words I speak to you now to her. She will doubt herself at first, I'm sure, and she will doubtlessly give you trouble. But there is a reason I brought her here to you, and not just the reason I stated to you a few days back. Even when she doesn't want to do this anymore, she must. For her own good and the good of everyone else in Anzen, you must push her even then. Or else the results will be catastrophic, I assure you."

Adele rises, retrieving her cloak and wrapping it around her as the young man makes yet another statement.

"You're more than welcome to spend the night and leave in the morning if you wish, I have room to spare."

She laughs once more, already starting to the door. "Your generousity is overwhelming, but I cannot burden you further. Just..." she pauses, halfway out the door. Should she ask this of him? Would it put him in danger? Finally she sighs. "Just write to me if Sarai begins doing things... unnatural. Perhaps then it will be safe to reveal the secrets I hold." With that, she disappears into the pouring night.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarai Kaamilee Nadir Character Portrait: Caelan Macarra

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Caelan watched Madam Nadir's retreating form for a while, pondering her words. What in the name of all things great and good was 'unnatural' supposed to mean? He looked up the stairs, a sense of foreboding filling him for a moment. The feeling came as quickly as it left, dwelling on such thoughts did no one any good. He barely knew the child and would not judge her before he knew her. He closed the door as silently as possible before retiring to bed.

As usual, Caelan woke early the next morning. There was little light outside, the sun fighting to burn away what remained of yesterday's clouds. An eerie early morning mist rolled across the ground and Caelan rolled out of bed, planting his feet firmly on the floor. Sure that Sarai was still asleep, Caelan padded downstairs, stoking a fire to warm the house. He washed quickly, the water icy, shocking him into alertness. Shaking off the droplets, Caelan wiped the rest of the water away with the sleeve of his tunic. Grabbing a copper pot and a spoon, Caelan bound upstairs and burst into Sarai's room, clattering on the pot, "Good Morning!" He yelled at the top of his voice, grinning mischievously. "Today is the first step on your long and arduous journey to becoming a Mamoru. It will be filled with many trials and tribulations, the first trial of which appears to be getting out of bed, and will be, hopefully, filled with great reward," he took a mock bow to an imaginary audience. He looked down at Sarai, and began clattering the pot louder than before, "Get up!" He yelled over the din, surprised at his own energy this early in the morning.

When he was satisfied that Sarai was properly awake, Caelan left the room and began preparing breakfast. He was a simple man and the food he ate reflected that, so breakfast was simply a bowl of porridge for each of them. Wandering about the house as he ate ( a habit his mother had tried for years to get him out of), Caelan looked out the window at the hill, mentally calculating the degree of the incline and if it would be too cruel to ask Sarai to run it a couple of times. When Sarai came downstairs, he pointed to the bowl, "Eat up, then you see this hill?" He asked pointing out the window, "I'd like you to run up and down it four times." The really mean part of him had wanted to say ten, as his master had made him do when his training had begun, but Caelan was not his former master and was not quite as mean as he, Master Darain, had been, no matter what people might think.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarai Kaamilee Nadir Character Portrait: Caelan Macarra

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Sarai hadn't really fallen asleep readily last night. It was odd, certainly, to be sleeping in a bed not her own, within the confines of the four walls of another's dwelling place. Without her mother there... For these reason's she is not at all exhilerated at Caelan's wake-up call, instead rather annoyed and frustrated beyond belief. How dare he disturb her at such an hour? But perhaps this is normal for him. Mother had warned her of the difference in lifestyle.

Groaning, she rolls out of the bed just as Caelan leaves the room, shutting the door fiercely. She opens her knapsack, which she had discarded in the corner the night prior, extracting a red tanktop and black pants. Pulling on her clothes, her hair in her signature braid, she fastens her black boots - her only shoes.

Sarai slips out into the main room, slightly surprised to see a dish at the table for her. Without a word, as Caelan is owhere she can see, she slips into the chair and eats slowly, having been taught not to rush lest she sicken herself.

"Eat up, then you see this hill?" is Caelan's greeting. Sarai frowns, following his pointing hand out the window. That's when Caelan continues. "I'd like you to run up and down it four times."

Sarai chokes on her porridge, going off into a hacking cough. "Excuse me? I could've sworn you just said.." she trails off, realizing that she had heard him correctly. She looks at the hill, then back at Caelan doubtfully as she finishes her meager portion. "Are-are you sure?" she stutters, shocked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarai Kaamilee Nadir Character Portrait: Caelan Macarra

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Caelan heard Sarai hacking a cough and Caelan turned, concerned in case his apprentice choked to death on her first day. That would have to be a record among the Mamoru. He wasn't taken seriously by some of the Generals as it was, if he lost his apprentice on the first day, he would never hear the end of it. Many of his fellow Mamoru had dismissed him when they first met him, he was a mere child compared to some of them, and boy did they enjoy reminding Caelan of it.

When he was sure Sarai wasn't about to kick the bucket on him, Caelan turned back to the window. "Excuse me? I could've sworn you just said..." Sarai trailed off. Caelan didn't need to see her face to see the realisation dawn on her face. He could almost hear the exact moment it changed, "Are-are you sure?"

Caelan placed his bowl down, grinning, "Oh quite sure. Believe me," he said, turning to face Sarai, "you are getting off lightly. When I started out, I had to run that thing ten times a day." He let his words sink in, remembering how his lungs and legs had burned as he ran up and down that hill. Some days, he swore he could feel the burn begin again, as if he was thirteen once more. He did not envy Sarai one bit.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarai Kaamilee Nadir Character Portrait: Caelan Macarra

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Looking into the man's eyes, Sarai thinks over Caelan's words, considering his statement. She looks up at him, raising her eyebrows only slightly. "How long have you lived here," she says softly, "for this to be where you trained?" She's not sure why, but the knowledge bothers her a little, or perhaps merely raises her relentless curiousity. She is not sure which, to be completely honest.

Actually, she wants to protest a bit, but it does seem that she is getting off rather easily. Besides, even though Mother is not here, she'd want her daughter to obey without question. Sarai winces at the thought. When would her mother's influence wear off? Not that she doesn't like her mother - indeed, she loves her very, very much - but some of her mom's values are a tad... impractical. Perhaps not this value, but others most certainly need to leave her being if she intends to ascend to the rank of Mamoru. So then why hadn't her mother taught her to let go of these values before she brought her here? Instantly, another one of Mother's values floats into Sarai's head. "One cannot learn from another forever. One must learn themselves what is important in her life." Sarai nods. Yes, that must be it.

Sarai shrugs, thinking to all her time on the move with her mother the past week or so. "Well, alright," she says quietly, silently thankful that her boots are practical for this kind of thing as she stands up. "If you're sure."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Sarai Kaamilee Nadir Character Portrait: Caelan Macarra

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"How long have you lived here," she says softly, "for this to be where you trained?"

Caelan considered the question. It would be coming up eleven years since he began his training with Master Darain. Caelan exhaled steadily, crushing the memories that were threatening to resurface. His training years had not been the happiest. "Long enough," was the only answer he gave to her question, his voice tense. When he heard Sarai leave, he looked down at his hands, realising his hands were gripping the window ledge to the point his knuckles were beginning to turn white.

Snapping away from the ledge, Caelan cast his gaze out the window to make sure Sarai was running up and down the hill. Satisfied that she was, Caelan left to tend to the horses. One of the horses, Raiden, was in his constant possession. A sturdy Criollo horse, Raiden had served Caelan well, particularly in the heat of battle. The second horse, a Percheron, was a more recent acquisition of his. Shorter and stockier than his own horse, the currently nameless horse had been bought for Sarai, having been reassured that the breed was highly reliable and difficult to spook. Throwing down some fresh hay for the stablemates to eat, Caelan began saddling the horses.

After he was certain both saddles were secure, Caelan threaded a set of reigns onto the Percheron, knowing most riders preferred to have them to control their horses. Gently holding the underside of Raiden's face and leading the Percheron by the reigns, Caelan guided the horses round to the hill, "I trust you can ride a horse?" He asked Sarai, holding up the reigns of the Percheron for Sarai to see, "If not, I suggest you learn quickly."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarai Kaamilee Nadir Character Portrait: Caelan Macarra

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((Sorry, I've been sick and had to get caught up on schoolwork. Ugh. >.<))






Sarai runs without a word or complaint, desperate to do as she must to appease the desires of her dear mother, the only family she has left. However, she cannot deny the searing pain that soon lights within her side, the fire inher lungs, the desperate pounding in her chest.

When she finally reachers her goal, Sarai is wheezing for even one precious breath. When she sees Caelan, she desires only to lie down, to tell him to leave her alone for a while. But he speaks before she can, and he seems to have something a little different in mind.

"I trust you can ride a horse?" Caelan holds up a set of reins like an offering. "If not, I suggest you learn quickly."

"Well, actually, I..." At first, Sarai is tempted to protest. But then, she looks up at the beast, its eyes beautiful and foreboding all at once, its muscles clenched powerfully. And Sarai smiles. She genuinely does. "Well, sort of. It depends on what you classify as riding, to be honest." ll this time she does not look at Caelan.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarai Kaamilee Nadir Character Portrait: Caelan Macarra

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"Well, sort of. It depends on what you classify as riding, to be honest."

Caelan returns Sarai's smile before handing the reigns over to her. "Just stay in the saddle, and you'll be fine." He pointed out were to put her foot on the saddle and gently helped her into her saddle. When he was certain Sarai was stable in her saddle, Caelan mounted his own horse, tangling his hands in Raiden's mane, digging his heel into the horse's side to make it go. Caelan kept looking back to make sure that Sarai was keeping up with Raiden's steady trot. Caelan settled into the rhythm Raiden set, listening to the dull sound of hoof on grass. The lush greenery of the forest gradually gave way to the fields. Some of the fields still smoldered from the last attack, ugly scars on the landscape. Winter was going to be harsh this year.

"Sarai, pay attention. This is what we're up against," He indicated to the fields either side of him, "A single creature did this," As far as the eye could see on both sides, there were blackened fields, "It took us a week to douse the flames in their entirety." A solitary house stood in the midst of the fields with no signs that anyone was home. The town was roughly another half mile away. Many of his fellow Mamoru chose residence in the town. Caelan preferred the isolation of his forest dwelling. There was less idiots in the forest, though duty required him to stay in the town, often for days at a time. They came to the town gates and the guard yelled down, "Who goes there?"

Caelan looked up, "I, Caelan Macarra, and my apprentice, Sarai Nadir, will you let us pass?" He asked, as was the custom of the town. The guard nodded to his colleagues and the gates opened to Caelan and Sarai. Caelan dismounted Raiden, leading him through the streets, indicating for Sarai to dismount from her own horse, "The horse is yours to name, you know," He told her when she had dismounted, "This is Cedaroot Town, most of our business is here, so we'll be spending a great deal of our time here," He had lead Sarai to the town stables, looping a rope into the saddle to tie Raiden, "We're only staying for the day, to acquaint yourself with the town."

"Maester Macarra?"

Caelan sighed, his shoulders dropping, "Master Cardan," He turned to face the great brute who went by the name Master Cardan, "Pleasure as always," Caelan greeted him tightly.

Master Cardan seemed to be looking straight through Caelan, to Sarai, "And who might this be?"

Caelan frowned, picking up on Cardan's tone, "That would be Sika Nadir, she is apprenticed to me. So I ask that you treat her with respect."

"Bit young isn't she?"

"No younger than I was."

"Wonder why Master Darain bothered taking you on. I should probably ask him wh- oh wait I can't can I?"

Caelan tightened his hands into fists, "No, sadly not, now if you'll excuse me. Sarai, let's go. Master Cardan," he bowed his head stiffly before quickly leaving the stables, casting only the most cursory of glances over his shoulder to make sure Sarai was falling, "That," he began to explain, "Is Master Cardan. He's a good warrior but he was last in line when they were handing out intelligence and decency."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarai Kaamilee Nadir Character Portrait: Caelan Macarra

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Sarai mounts with surprising effortlessness, she thinks. She is still overwhelmed by the creature's beauty, and this is surely the only reason she does not protest when Caelan starts off. For what could be more rewarding -- more fun, even -- than riding on this glorious beast? Nothing, surely, she decides meekly.

As they ride through the marred fields, Sarai hears Caelan's words as though from a distance. "Sarai, pay attention. This is what we're up against. A single creature did this. It took us a week to douse the flames in their entirety."

Sarai breathes in sharply. How... How could that be possible? Her mind wanders to Kaanan, her elder brother, and she bites down on her lip sharply. However, she has no need to hold back tears. For Sarai Nadir does not cry. Ever. No matter what happens, her eyes stay dry, her mind stays clear. She has held herself this way for as long as she can remember. And nothing -- not even a brutal reminder of the manner of her dear elder brother's death -- can take that away from her. Nothing. Ever.

As the enter the town stables, Sarai looks around wildly, taking in the entire bustling city to the fullest of her abilities. "This place is amazing," she says in uncontained awe. But Caelan, she sees, is not paying attention to her, instead participating in an exchange with a towering, muscular fellow with a deep boom of a voice. She can't help but be angered by the man's words, and it is all she can do not to lash out against him.

"That," Caelan starts as the man walks away, "is Master Cardan. He's a good warrior but he was last in line when they were handing out intelligence and decency." At this, Sarai stiffles an all-out laugh. "I see what you mean," she admits. "What has he against you, or is he always like that?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarai Kaamilee Nadir Character Portrait: Caelan Macarra

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"What has he against you, or is he always like that?"

Caelan looked down at Sarai. He thought he had long since mastered keeping the pain and guilt he felt hidden from other people. He hoped Sarai wasn't the most perceptive of people. But that might just be his luck wouldn't it? An apprentice who cold read him like a book. Sometimes, Caelan wondered if the Gods were akin to particularly vicious children and he was their favourite toy to torture. "He's like that with most people," he lied smoothly, or at least he hoped he had, "I would start worrying when he's being nice to you, because that means something bad is about to happen," He finished, remembering the only day Master Cardan had been anywhere near decent to him. That was a very bad day. The worst day.

Caelan lead Sarai through the town to the temple, "We should pray," He explained to her. He might be the joke of the party to the Gods, but they were there to be respected. At their arrival to the Temple, Caelan bowed deeply to the Priest, indicating for Sarai to do the same thing. In the temple, Caelan waved through the gatherings of people as he headed straight to the shrine dedicated to Saroton, "He is the God of Warriors and our patron," He explained to Sarai as he knelt, "you should probably pray to Laec as well," The Goddess of Womankind, "she's just across the Temple."

Caelan bowed his head before the idol of Saroton. Saroton was every inch the warrior, tall and strong, skilled with an array of weapons and undefeated in battle. But also wise with his strength. Cardan obviously hadn't been praying enough when he was young. He muttered a prayer of thanks and a request of protection for himself and Sarai, feeling slightly at odds with Sarai next to him. He usually prayed alone and company while he prayed felt strange. He rose from his knees, "Go and pray to Laec," He said quietly, "I'll wait for you outside."

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