Announcements: January 2024 Copyfraud Attack » Finding Universes to Join (and making yours more visible!) » Guide To Universes On RPG » Member Shoutout Thread » Starter Locations & Prompts for Newcomers » RPG Chat — the official app » USERNAME CHANGES » Suggestions & Requests: THE MASTER THREAD »

Latest Discussions: With Chat currently offline... An alternative » Adapa Adapa's for adapa » To the Rich Men North of Richmond » Shake Senora » Good Morning RPG! » Ramblings of a Madman: American History Unkempt » Site Revitalization » Map Making Resources » Lost Poetry » Wishes » Ring of Invisibility » Seeking Roleplayer for Rumple/Mr. Gold from Once Upon a Time » Some political parody for these trying times » What dinosaur are you? » So, I have an Etsy » Train Poetry I » Joker » D&D Alignment Chart: How To Get A Theorem Named After You » Dungeon23 : Creative Challenge » Returning User - Is it dead? »

Players Wanted: JoJo or Mha roleplay » Seeking long-term rp partners for MxM » [MxF] Ruining Beauty / Beauty x Bastard » Minecraft Rp Help Wanted » CALL FOR WITNESSES: The Public v Zosimos » Social Immortal: A Vampire Only Soiree [The Multiverse] » XENOMORPH EDM TOUR Feat. Synthe Gridd: Get Your Tickets! » Aishna: Tower of Desire » Looking for fellow RPGers/Characters » looking for a RP partner (ABO/BL) » Looking for a long term roleplay partner » Explore the World of Boruto with Our Roleplaying Group on FB » More Jedi, Sith, and Imperials needed! » Role-player's Wanted » OSR Armchair Warrior looking for Kin » Friday the 13th Fun, Anyone? » Writers Wanted! » Long term partner to play an older male wanted » DEAD! » Looking for new RP Buddy(s)! »

Mateja: Revolution

Plato

0 INK

a part of Mateja: Revolution, by FizzGig.

The planet on which Mateja resides.

FizzGig holds sovereignty over Plato, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

373 readers have been here.

Setting

Default Location for Mateja: Revolution
Create a Character Here »

Plato

The planet on which Mateja resides.

Minimap

Plato is a part of Mateja: Revolution.

5 Places in Plato:


Setting

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aja Thorn Character Portrait: Illiam Ormond Character Portrait: The Harbinger
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Forest of Whispers
July 21st, 2:54 PM


Mist clung to the ground like a rolling carpet, masking the leaves strewn beneath the feet of the travelers as they made their way towards the designated meeting place. Three had come, three and no more, as promised. Overhead, sprawling oak trees were laden with dead and dying leaves, all shaded in brilliant hues of orange, red, and yellow. In the stillness of the morning, there was no threat that the wind might cause the forest to shed its canopy, but the travelers knew that as winter continued its rapid approach that the forest would eventually have to shed its old coat, and embrace the cold sleep it had been preparing for all year long.

The man who led the sollemn trio was a sturdy figure, broad of shoulder and well muscled through his chest. His figure was long and lean, a warrior's build cloaked in the sewn coats of animal furs that his wife at home had made for him. His pale skin was painted with mud, only the whites of his eyes shone brightly through the camoflauge, and they were dark eyes, eyes hardened with time and longsuffering. He was a leader, and he'd come for the benefit of his people.

Walking at his right was a woman, slender of figure, but there was strength and grace in her stride. She did not wear a magestic cloak of furs as the first man did, but her shoulders were wrapped in a woven shawl the same color as the autumn leaves, with a deerskin dress hanging loosely about her ankles and hips. Her hair, as pale as early morning sunlight, hung loosely around her shoulders, framing a face that was not only slender, but unusually pure. There was raw beauty there, not an uncommon thing among the women of the tribes.

The third traveler, another man, and the first figure's sworn kraujo brolis or 'blood brother', carried a longbow behind his back, with his hands to the front, and empty, to signify his peaceful approach. He was dressed similarly to the woman, with a shawl about his shoulders. His breast was naked beneath the rough material, legs and feet clad in deerskin pants and mokkasins.

Overhead, sunlight began to pour through the branches, slicing through the mist and driving it away into the shadows. A flock of crows soared overhead, calling out their distinct, warning cry.

Man was in the forest.

The first figure lifted his hand, battle scarred and calloused as it was, and the other two came to a halt. He turned to the woman, who met his gaze with a steely one of her own. Something silent passed between them, and she quietly turned away, to lay her palm against the rough bark of the nearest tree. A moment passed.

"We bring three, as promise." she said, her voice carrying through the woods like an arrow. "No reason to hide, now."

The other three that arrived carried themselves well and high, and on horses they rode. Their horses were draped in ivory, and they themselves were draped in coats of purple and red colors; colors unobtainable to lower-class citizens of their society. These colonists, though humble at front, pulled their shoulders back and looked down upon the tribesmen as they arrived. Soon, however, they would present themselves at the same height, and their animals would stray backward.

A man asserted himself forward. He wore a coat of purple, and the others wore coats of red. He had black hair, though not thick in any aspect. To the tribesmen, he tipped his hat, though the partners to his side showed a weary unease.

"We, as well!" The front man said, with a smile broad as his shoulders. He opened his arms with welcoming, and it would soon become evident that perhaps, he had come to bring peace among the tribes. "I believe you know us - me, already. I am Illiam Ormond, and my partners, here, are Radimus Rune and Gerald Mason. There is, with certainty, no reason to hide, as I can only imagine that we all come in peace."

This charismatic man drew in a breath, and from his pocket, revealed a scroll. Perhaps the signing of a decree was foreign to the tribal folk, but it was certainly important to the colonists. It was a sign of confirmation; a written proof that a bond had been made, be it well or not. "And, as promised, a scroll validating our truce. It shall be hung on the wall of our greatest estate; a truce between us can bring nothing but good feelings and peace upon both of our peoples."

In the forest, bushes rustled, but it could be no more than the animals that roamed there. All in all, these men presented themselves peacefully, even with guns tied to their sides. Illiam himself bore no weapon, and instead, open hands.

"I have a pen, if you need." He said, patting on his jacket.

The tribesman remained quiet, stoic as the woman looked from the three and their horses to the men who walked with her. It was almost eerie, how silent they remained, as though they didn't need words to communiate at all.

"We have no trust of written word, your paper agreements. Paper is lost in fire, trampled underfoot, crumbled to dust with time." The woman finally said, her face strangely devoid of expression. "You will take our offer of peace, according to our traditions, or there will be no peace."

The man with the coat of furs stepped forward, extending a hand as if to shake Illiam's. His eyes were dark and unyeilding, his figure intimidating.

"A rune of trust." the woman explained, coming to stand by the first man's side. Her eyes, unlike the other's, were soft now. "So that we might know you mean us no harm."

Illiam looked taken aback, but he recovered quite quickly. He looked to his men, who nodded in agreement with the tribesmen. "But..." The man started. "If I accept this... rune? Then, we all must sign our paper. I must have something to bring back to the working men back South, shan't I, I can't imagine there anything but uproar. They are afraid of you - and your tribe, and if signing a document is a step further in garnering our trust, I cannot imagine why it shouldn't be."

That said, I am a man of peace. You may think us and our rituals useless, but we value them so. Take mind that this document will be well taken care of; framed in golden ivory and placed above the people's house's mantlepiece, for us to look upon every day. Surely, you can understand the meaning of that."

In good trust, however, I will accept your rune of trust first. I am not sure ..." Illiam hesitated. "How you do it. Magic is involved, I imagine?"

"Only some." the woman said. "It seeks out the intentions of your heart, determines that the motivations are true." The man extended his hand a little further.

"And if you do this, I do not see reason for us to not sign the paper as well. We have no fear, and we did not ask for your people to fear. After today we can all return to our lives uninterrupted." She looked to the first man.

"Take his hand, Illiam Ormond. We can begin."

Illiam's intentions were true, indeed. Those of his comrades were as well, even if they were scared. The man himself reached forward, before withdrawing his hand and ungloving it. Then, he clasped the designated man's hand. For a moment, he winced, as if he were about to experience some amount of pain or devilry.

Above them, in the trees, leaves rustled again. It would be then that a thin barreled rifle peaked through the bushes of the canopies. Knowing the tribesmen; knowing their vigilance of the forest, the man in the trees shot quickly. A blinding flash and a deafening pop echoed through the formerly calm forest. It was a shot to Galen Thorn, the tribe leader, and a shot aimed by a deadly, deadly marksman.

The cry of the animals echoed out after the pop of the gun, and the yelp of the commander, Illiam.

He fell to his knees and braced his head, while his fellows drew guns and looked back to the treetops where the flash originated from.

Galen stumbled back as the force of the blow took him hard in the chest. He had no chance to blink, or even breath as the bullet tore through his heart, startling it to a stop. He was dead before he hit the ground, blood blossoming through the thick coat of furs.

The woman, shocked speechless, was suddenly in motion, sliding to her knees at his side as his kraujo brolis took their leader's head into his hands.

Silence.

"Tetis," she whispered, her hair falling forward, brushing against the man's chest. Grief gripped her, a feeling so profound that she felt her hands compulsively clenching into fists. "Tetis!" she screamed.

Father.

The forest exploded into motion, a wind driving up so powerfully that it sent the horses screaming in the other direction. The trees seemed to bend and snap like streamers, leaves scattering in all directions in a curtain. The blood brother stood, removing the longbow from his back. His eyes were blinded with grief.

"You have deceived us!" The agonized woman shrieked, the ends of her hair soaked in her father's blood. "Not a treaty of peace, but of blood! You will die! All of you!"

And her agony echoed tenfold as the forest seemed to respond to the powerful tide of her emotional outburst. Even the ground rumbled threateningly.

"This was not our intention!" Illiam cried, he grief-stricken as well at the fall of the man infront of him. The fall of peace. His decree, which hung on his hip, stained with blood, and the purple of his coat as well. "We did not intend to bring blood! I implore you to trust us; whoever..." He stopped to breath and clutched his heart. He was a man of peace, but this situation was anything but.

"Whoever had done this dastardly deed is not of us! I swear it! Men, lower your arms!"

"Not while they aim threats at us!" But Radimus and Gerald already drew their pistols and trained them on the blood-brother. Another shot fired off, from one of the red-coats. The other, with wild eyes, used the opportunity to stagger backward into a run.

Illiam stayed on a knee.

The trees, which croaked, let release the figure which had fired the shot. The shot that ended peace among the tribesmen and the colonists. He flitted with a speed unmatched by those similar to him; surely, he would become a blur in the background amidst the fighting, retreating to which the men and their horses came.

In the moments that the responsible party had fled, the blood brother had attempted to string an arrow, to protect the woman, but the shot that the redcoat had fired took him in the shoulder. He dropped his weapon in a daze, looking down at the fallen bow with a strange, blank expression on his face.

The woman, with tears streaming down her cheeks, was clinging to her father's body, staring towards Illiam with no small amount of hatred written on her face. She stood, slowly, ignoring the blood brother as he turned to grab the body and begin to drag it away. When she approached the man on his knees, she too went to a knee before him, meeting his eyes with a barely controlled rage.

"Remember my face," she told him.

"It will be the last thing you see before death claims you."

Another burst of wind, strong enough to knock over a man who wasn't prepared, billowed from behind her, temporarily blinding the others as dirt and leaves were kicked up into the air.

Once the dust had settled, the forest would be empty.

The tribesmen were nowhere to be found.

Setting

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aja Thorn Character Portrait: Junea Vrass
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by FizzGig
Forest of Whispers, Vanduo Tribe
August 14th, Late evening


The woods were quiet, filled with a deep darkness that swallowed up any promise of a quick and safe return. The tribe had waited anxiously all through the night and on into the following morning for Aja's return. They'd seen nothing, heard nothing, and as the second night began to threaten creeping into the following morning, it was clear that the men and women were becoming tense. What had happened to her? Why hadn't she returned? Was she alright?

Questions went unanswered, and fears began to slip their way around the fires, creeping through like the smoke that drifted on the light breeze. The guards that were posted in the trees watched stoically, anticipating her return at any moment. Thinking otherwise was out of the question. As young as she was, they needed her. She was the last vestige of their old leader, the last promise of hope for their tribe...Motina's chosen one.

It would the the guards who would first see the sublte glow coming through the trees. The blue hue was low to the ground, moving at a steady gait, and when the figure finally came into view, it revealed itself to be no more than a large bobcat.

But it looked directly towards the tree-tops, towards the guards, and it waited.

"This..." A voice came, which waited from the ground. The same broad-shouldered man who reprimanded Aja for disappearing had come from behind a tree, and regarded the white tiger. His face, seemingly always stern, now showed worry. A white tiger was a strange thing, but a tame one even more. "Motina." He whispered, and advanced upon the beast as quickly as he could. He was not threatening; his shoulders were back, but he displayed the swiftness of a parent rushing to their child's aide.

He raised a hand to the guards, who would lower their weapons and bows. He could not help the worry that crawled over his face as the bobcat became silent and stared, and when he'd approached, his stoic expression only melted into that of guilt.

The animal showed no signs of alarm. In fact, she seemed eager. Her ears flicked forward, eyes lifting to meet Junea's before she stepped forward and pressed her forehead to his abdomen.

Come.

Turning then, the bobcat swiftly began to pad through the woods, as silent as if she wasn't touching the ground at all. Away from the light she drew him, into further darkness. Never once did she glance back. She knew he would follow.

Junea was wise to receive Motina's message, and he flightily took after the tiger. The citizens of the tribe gathered to watch them escape into the darkness, some displaying confusion, and others displaying understanding. As the blood-brother ran, he held no regard to the dull pain presented by his shoulder.

They both scrambled into the darkness. He, less elegant and downtrodden with grief and worry. She, elegant.

Her trot slowed to a walk, until the shape of the figure on the ground became more visible to the pair. The faint aura that the feline gave off cast Aja in a pale blue light. Her face was stained in blood, her body sprawled as though she'd collapsed mid-stride.

Motina pressed her nose to Aja's side, lying down next to her and nearly dwarfing the woman with her size.

She's alive.

The man's lips pressed into a tight line, and no longer did his face show stoicism. He sprinted to Aja's side. He knew this would happen; if he let her go into the forest, she would be hurt. It was his fault; her blood was spilled at his hand, and so was her father's. Junea collapsed next to the woman, and firmly placed a hand on her arm.

"Ajani. Are you awake?" He asked in their tongue, skeptical of even what Motina had told him. He regarded her face; the marks she'd been given. Then, to her leg, which was bloody, dry, and ugly.

"We will return to the village - to safety." Junea said, hastily. His arms swept under her to bring her upward, and the dull ache of his shoulder was still dull enough to be ignored, then. He looked to the bobcat, as if for direction.

But Motina had disappeared.

Aja stirred, finding it difficult to open her eyes. They felt crusted and thick, and at first it frightened her. "Tetis," she whispered, trying to open her eyes.

But it wasn't her father she saw. Junea was holding her. The girl hesitated, feeling guilt twist her insides as she lifted her hand and laid it against his chest.

"I'm so sorry." she finally said. " I should have listened."

"Do not worry about your guilt now. Reprimand will come only when you are both healthy of mind and body. For now, we must..."

His thoughts were scattered, and his body ached. He headed in the same direction he had come from, once his confusion had settled. Ever so dimly, much like seeing a candle across a dark field, the lights of the guards beaconed to them through the trees. Junea moved quickly, though he didn't tread harsh enough to further the pain of Aja's injuries.

"Who did this? A colonist? Were you attacked in the forest?" He pried.

"He saved me," she breathed. "A boy. Adrien Rune."

Her vision swam, but she fought to stay conscious. "I would have died if he hadn't ... the wicked thing hurt so much and I...still hurts." She grimaced. "My face feels awful."

She suddenly went rigid in his arms, her eyes flying wide, and the look was so frightening that it was enough to make any man turn away.

"I saw him, Junea. The man who killed Papa. He cut my face."

"We will have remedies at the village. Stay awake, Ajani, for it is not far from here. Your face will mend, as will your body, but you must heed when I request you do not follow this man, lest he make unmendable wounds as he did your father." Junea scolded. He was not sure what to make of her tale. A colonist saved her, but wasn't the assassin a colonist as well?

"Calm, be still your thoughts of the man for now. What comes to him will be what he deserves, as is intended, but do not let him plague your mind as he cut your face."

They approached as quickly as Junea could muster, and the guards from the trees, as well as the citizens of the village, poured around to watch the approaching two.

Her heart pounded against her chest as she looked towards the sky. She saw and heard nothing of her tribesmen as they swarmed to see what had become of their young leader. A healer was called forth, an elderly man who followed after Junea and Aja. With quiet, whispered words he dispersed the crowd back to their homes, promising a good update by the time morning broke. With that, he turned, shuffling in the direction of the pair. As a trio, they headed for the healer's home, central to the settlement and well stocked with herbs meant for quick recoveries. The magic he utilized helped as well, and tonight no expense would be withheld to make sure Aja survived.

"The wounds are not so grievous as they are messy." he promised Junea. "The leg wound, however, is more than likely infected. That one will take more time to heal." He encouraged Junea to lie her down on his bed, a soft feather-down mattress laden with clean skins. She groaned softly.

"The cuts may scar, I'm afraid."

"He'll remember me better that way." Aja insisted. Her skin was flushed and hot, and a sweat had broken out on her brow. The old healer furrowed his brow.

"Best get to work then," he said quietly.

Junea had done just that, and gently placed the young leader onto the medical bed.

He backed away, and crossed his arms over his chest, almost defensively. Still, his posture was straight, and his face regained stoicism the moment the two had come across the first gazing eye. The man stood next to the bedside of the young leader, and regarded her wounds.

"I would tell you not to torture yourself with these thoughts, but I must know the entirety of what happened. What did this man look like? Happen he come in our sights, he will be shot down at first opportunity, lest he harm any more of our people."

These were not the same words that Junea shared before. They were of masked bitterness and revenge, and even guilt of himself, the man who had done so poor a job of convincing Aja to not stray and attempt to kill the colonist leader.

"I...didn't see his face." she murmured softly. "Only his voice. I know him by what he says." She grimaced, writhing for a moment from the fever. "He took the boy away afterwards, the boy who rescued me."

Her sentence was soft, trailing off in a hiss as her expression twisted into a grimace.

Junea placed his hand on Aja's forehead, as if determining the temperature of a child.

"Then do not worry. You are safe here. Your forehead burns. Perhaps the Magas would like me to leave you alone...?" He asked, looking to the tender.

"You're permitted to stay until she sleeps. When she does, it will be for several days." the older man said. Aja stirred, her eyes opening slowly.

"The boy...I hope he didn't...harm the boy."

The healer came forward, dampening her face with the cloth and cleaning off the blood. The cuts were long, from her hairline over her left eye, but they were shallow, fortunately. They would heal.The wound on her leg was a bit more tricky. When he touched the surrounding skin, Aja withdrew her foot.

"Hurts," she murmured.

Junea regarded her concern for Adrien with ignorance, and rather, without a word to it at all. He looked to her leg, where the Magas was tending to. And such, he offered his arm, for the young leader to take hold of if it had gotten too painful.

"You must stay still." He urged. "Think of the forest, not the assassin. Let your thoughts be with Motina, until you sleep. You will be better when you awake."

She seemed to struggle for only a few minutes longer before the exhaustion finally slipped in. She murmured incoherently, her voice soft until it drifted to nothing, and she was so happy when she finally drifted off to sleep.

Setting

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aja Thorn Character Portrait: Junea Vrass
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by FizzGig
Forest of Whispers, Vanduo Tribe
September 4th, Early Afternoon


An Indian summer had come, leaving the woods humid, and noisy with activity. Most of the leaves had fallen from the trees, and lay in damp piles that scattered all through the forest. Animals had re-emerged for their last opportunity before the real winter came, and sealed them all inside of their homes. Overhead, the sky was a rich blue, cloudless and bright. Sunlight fell in streams through the bare tree-branches, destroying the shadows and giving the area a heavenly hue.

Aja paused to breathe, her lungs filling with the scent of cool, damp earth. Her long bow was in hand, an arrow knocked and drawn back to her ear. She listened to the life sounds that echoed around her, the chatter of birds and the sound of rodents skittering through the underbrush. They paid no mind to her. She was as much a part of the forest as they were.

She was stronger today. Stronger every day, and what a relief it was to not have to lie in bed, sick with fever. Now that the infection had resolved, and the wounds on her face healed, she could focus on her other skills, on planning what the next move would be. Far off in the distance, she saw her arrow sticking out of the tree that she'd just hit. She narrowed her eyes in concentration, fingertips aching from how long she'd held the string.

With a soft 'thwum', she let it go, and the arrow went sailing.

Not a few seconds later, the arrow she'd shot split clean through the arrow she'd left in the tree. With a broad smile, she lowered the bow. Who would be able to stand against that? No one, colonist or otherwise. They wanted to be afraid so much, then why not give them a reason?

Yet, even as the bitter thoughts seeped into her mind, she recalled the young man, Adrien Rune, and how he'd gone out of his way to help her. Aja closed her eyes, reaching back for another arrow and setting it to the string.

Motina, what am I to do now? Flee or fight? Were her people truly safe now? Was she fit to keep them whole?

Irritated, she lifted the arrow, took aim, and let it fly. In her distraction, it ended up moving way beyond the mark. This drew a scowl from her.

From the background, a figure watched. He was non-threatening, but he surely didn't make himself known immediately. Junea watched as Aja let release arrows from her bow and took in the accounts of nature. He was impressed, even though seeing the wonderful archery she'd committed to only reminded him of his newfound inability to use such a weapon.

It was only when she missed her mark that he'd spoken up, and let the damp piles of leaves and sticks crunch under his feet. There was a surmountable silence, until Junea had properly approached Aja. His face was stern, and surely, if he was there for a reason, the reason was not in good spirits.

"Ajani." He started. For a moment, he drew in a breath, as if there was something he'd wished to speak about but could not. "Is something bothering you?" He asked, in reference to the fact she'd missed her mark.

She glanced back over her shoulder, lowering her bow and letting the end rest on the ground. "Ah," her lips pursed, and she let herself shrug. The cuts on her face had missed her eye and the lid itself, leaving healing scars on her forehead and cheek bone. Overall, she considered herself very fortunate, though the injury made it difficult to raise her brows. She tried, winced, and let her expression relax.

"I just...don't know how much longer we have." she said with a quiet sigh. Junea was the only one she ever dared to trust with her fears. She walked over to him, lifting a hand and resting it over the nearly healed wound on his shoulder. "What to do in preparation. Should we move our people away? Stand and fight if it comes down to that?"

She looked back towards the arrows. "Do you think Motina would allow it to come to that?"

"I think..." Junea started again, in contemplation. "That Motina will allow the colonists to do as they wish, as she lets us do the same. Motina loves her children, but she also must let us be free to make the decision ourselves, of what happens."

Then, he sighed, almost regretfully. When he began to speak again, he turned his eyes from Aja. "I have not come to you without reason. A messenger of our own had come to the village. I fear that your speculation of how long we have has come a bit late."

He hesitated to keep speaking, and his eyes flickered over to her, as if asking if she were ready to continue.

Reflexively, her brow started to furrow in confusion, but the sharp twinge of pain had her forcing herself to relax her brow once again. She set her jaw, slipping the bow up and over her shoulder before she let her arms rest at her sides. Her eyes reflected concern as she searched his.

"What's happened?"

"The messengers bring news of our homesteads having been found completely empty, without a trace of our people left behind. The land around them dying, as if it had been salted or burned; as if Motina's grace had disappeared from them, without reason. Yet, there is no salt, no reason for these lands and our people to disappear."

His head tilted to the ground.

"I think that, not even the colonists, with their technology, would be capable of such a thing. There were no bullets, no blood. Simply nothing. It confuses me, and I can only wonder if we are being punished for something."

She stared, and for a moment she didn't comprehend what was being said. People were disappearing? And the land...

"Have all the tribes had people go missing?" she asked. He was right. So far as she knew, the only settlement of colonists was snuggled up right against the coast. None of them had dared journey farther than the forest. So what, or who was responsible?

"Are we sure they haven't simply moved elsewhere?" she asked. "When was the last time anyone has heard from them?" She was alarmed, obviously, and it showed.

They couldn't be punished. They'd done nothing wrong!

"Not unless they had left every one of their things behind. If they had left, they left without weapons, clothes, food. These things remained at the homestead. And... I am not sure."

Junea found a tree to lean against. Even regaling the details of their tribes' troubles seemed to despair him. For a moment, he closed his eyes and covered his ears. Thoughts overwhelmed him.

"We all have lost some."

"We should look for them."

It wasn't the impulsive suggestion of a young woman. She was watching him, waiting for some kind of reassurance that her thought was a good course of action. They were missing, so they should be searched for, shouldn't they? She and a few others could go looking for them, right?

"What if...we can't just forget and abandon them can we?"

This was too much. She hadn't even noticed!

"Who did we lose?"

"Kajen's homestead, Fret's, Vijon's, Asketh's. They and their people, their homesteads, have disappeared. They had not been checked on in a while... Their food had spoiled. I believe it happened at least weeks ago."

For a while, Junea kept his eyes closed. Even being the blood-brother to Aja's father, and all his governing, it was a hard choice to make. Even if he hadn't made it, he knew that Aja surely would do it on her own. Though, she spoke with maturity.

Then, he looked to her, and nodded.

"We should look for them." He repeated. Quickly, he added, "But you should stay with the tribe. Be their source of comfort, as your status entails. Your wounds still have not healed."

A protest rose in her chest, the need to go out on her own nearly making her ears ring.

"You're going to go." It wasn't a question, but a statement of fact, and it was easy to see that she didn't like this at all. She closed her eyes and looked away from him.

"I...of course I'll stay." she fought the urge to grit her teeth, and she still wasn't looking at him. Her face was flushed with suppressed emotion.

Junea seemed pleased at the compromise, even though Ajani had seemed no less than pissed. "You will learn patience and a good temperament, Ajani. You are on your way, and you will not be punished for your composure as you were for your impatience before."

He placed a hand on her shoulder. "Then it is settled. I will go with the search teams, and you will stay with the tribe. Keep them safe."

"You're leaving now?" she asked quickly. "Where will you go? How long do you think you'll be gone?"

There was a hint of panic, but she was rapidly trying to calm herself. She put a hand to the warm, tender part of her forehead. "This is all happening so quickly."

"The homesteads are ways away. It may be weeks, or more. We may find nothing, and return. It is best I go and organize our team as soon as possible, as well as leave with the other men of the village."

Still, Junea gripped Aja's shoulder. He applied pressure; not to hurt, but to reassure. "You must be strong, Ajani." he said. "For the tribe."

Her eyes watered briefly. She wanted to be strong. She knew she had to be, but in that moment, all she wanted more than anything else was to simply be comforted. She stepped closer, throwing her arms up around his neck and embracing him tightly.

"I love you as much as I loved my own father." she whispered, taking a deep breath to hold her composure. "Please be safe. I know you'll find all of them and return home soon."

Junea returned the embrace, without hesitation. Before long, he pulled back, placed large palms over the girl's shoulders, and bent a knee to be at eye-level with her. For a moment, he looked to her eyes for any recognition of what she may have been feeling, before opening his mouth to speak.

"Your father would be proud, as am I."

The man withdrew, though stopped in his tracks before he could find himself en-route to the tribe again. He pivoted, to look at Ajani a last time.

"Būkite atsparios, dukra"

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aja Thorn Character Portrait: Xander Roan Character Portrait: Adrien Rune Character Portrait: Elleanore Rawls
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Blakestown, Graveyard
September 14th, Night


The graveyard was set in the Northeast corner of the town, nestled at the very corner where one wall ended and met the other in a wide ninety degree angle. This place was the one spot in town where the young people could be sure they wouldn't be watched. Ellie lead them between gravestones, to a corner of the yard where plots had yet to be filled. The darkness was not complete. Starlight hung overhead like thousands of small lights, giving the area an ethereal look. A large, leafeless tree shaded this particular corner, and left the ground somewhat clear of snow.

"Will this work?" she asked softly, turning back to look at the other young men.

"It works, unless my following friend's found someway to perch on the wall up there." Adrien noted, and nodded up at the wall. "But I doubt even he's that desperate, aye?"

Adrien moved under the leafless tree, and tossed the cane to the base of it. It rolled down the roots, and met at his feet when he'd gone to sit down, with his back against the trunk. It only accentuated the fact that he was not badly injured, then, as he seemed to walk to his place just fine.

"I guess I've a bit of explaining t'do."

Ellie and Xander both glanced at one another, before taking seats around him, sitting in a small circle. "What happened?" Ellie immediately asked. "You left and you didn't come back. Xander and I, well..."

"We found a few bodies out int he woods the day after you disappeared." Xander explained. "Didn't get a chance to get a good look at them before we went running back into town." He rubbed at his face, suddenly folding himself over so his elbows rested on his knees.

"Saw some other things out there too, on my own y'see. Somethin's happening around here, Dree. Somethin' bad."

Ellie was glancing between the two of them, her hands balled into tight fists in her lap.

"I know." Adrien said. His voice came to a whisper. If there was anyone around, they'd certainly have a hard time hearing him without being in their circle. "M'dad's involved. He lied t'the people about what happened with Governer Ormond. Th'tribal leader was assassinated by one'a us. Not one'a them. If I were t'start at th'beginning."

"And..." He brought a hand to the back of his neck, and vaguely rubbed it. His eyes fell to the floor, and his mouth displayed a guilty frown. "M'sorry about disappearing. I really am. I was uh... At one'a th'tribal villages, but if you let me explain..."

He glanced to Ellie.

The girl was tense, but she didn't look like she was ready to bolt. She did, however, have a question or two. "Should I say something now? Or wait until you're finished."

"Shoot." Adrien said.

"Why should we believe what they say?" she asked. Her tone was not confrontational, merely concerned. "They told you one thing, our leaders told us another. How should we know that it isn't the tribals who are lying to us?"

"I'd been threatened not t'tell you, by one of th'leaders that you're talking about. Dy'ou think I'd be forced t'say it was a tribal who attacked me, when I'd come back th'first time, instead of a colonist, if my father and who-else weren't trying t'hold them down? Th'same colonist that murdered th'tribe leader, and injured th'tribal girl that bloody well saved me when I'd disappeared from here." Adrien said. He attempted to keep his voice unaccusatory, but his defensiveness of the tribals prevailed through.

"And, Ellie," He continued, and placed a palm on her leg. "Don't speak a word of what I'm saying t'anyone else."

His tone hadn't carried the proper severity, and the warning was late. He piped up rather quickly after that. "It sounds a bit crazy, aye? But it's a matter of life'n'death."

Her life.

There was a tense hesitation as the words sunk in. Ellie turned to Xander, who sollemnly nodded. "Dree ent makin' this up."

She swallowed, glancing down at the hand that Adrien laid on her leg, and, after chewing on her lower lip, she nodded.

"I won't. Promise."

Another pause. Xander cleared his throat.

"The same man who attacked yah, Dree. Dark cloaked figure?" He glanced to Adrien's eyes, feeling a strange tightness in his chest.

"Illiam's second. Gerald. I went out into the woods yesterday mornin' tryin teh see if I could find those bodies again. Hid down by a tree trunk and watched the pair of them come out." He glanced to Ellie hesitantly, gritting his teeth a moment before he continued.

"He shot him, Dree. Shot him and put an arrow in him."

Ellie gasped, a hand clasping over her mouth as her eyes flew wide.

"What?"

"Dark cloaked figure." Adrien confirmed. His eyes fell to the ground again, and he frowned.

"And I s'pose th'last person who could honestly tell y'about th'truth of the treaty day is dead now, Ellie." He raised an eyebrow. "Thanks t'the tribals, of course."

"We're not speaking conspiracies, Ellie. We're speaking honest t'god truths. I don't know how far I'm getting, or will get, but I'm trying to stop it, here. The tribals are good people. They don't deserve t'be ran out'a their home. They took care'a me. I would've died without'm."

She was constantly looking back and forth between the two of them. "So the treaty was sabotouged by one of our own...and the witnesses were...they were killed. Except Illiam, and your father, and..." She looked to Adrien suddenly.

"The girl who saved you?"

"There was another man. I don't know his name, and I'dn't seen him at the village, but he was there as well. One of the tribals. Other than that... Just Ajani." Adrien said. His eyes were focused on Ellie, and there was a long lapse of time before he opened his mouth again.

"I brought her to town with me."

Both of their eyes snapped to Adrien.

"Are you crazy, Dree? If yer father gets even an eye on her she'll be dead for sure!"

"I don't plan on letting that happen." Came a soft voice from behind. Ellie turned sharply, staring up in slight confusion at the woman who stood just a few yards off, looking for all the world like another colonial who had come to pay respects to a lost loved one.

Xander's breath caught, his eyes squinting for a moment.

Aja's eyes flickered to Adrien, her lips pulled into an apologetic frown. "I didn't mean to sneak around." she said softly, her eyes shifting from his, to Xander's, to Ellie's.

"I am Ajani."

Ellie, at a complete loss, rose unsteadily to her feet, staring towards the other woman with an incredulous look on her face. "You...you don't look like..."

"A savage?" Aja supplemented with a sudden smile.

Xander smirked uneasily.

"Ah... Shit." Adrien said, and shot up, then winced at his leg.

"Ajani, Xander. Xander, Ajani." He said, and moved to the space between them. One of his hands lightly touched Aja's arm, and the other pointed to Xander. "Xander is m'friend. Confidante. And..."

His hand came palm-up, then, as he nodded and gestured to Elleanore. "This is Ellie. She's m'fiancée. Ellie, Ajani. Ajani, Ellie. N'without Ajani's help, I'd be dead. It's th'same way around. That said, I don't plan on letting m'dad have a wiff of'er, n'e I'd stand between'im if he tried, the lying bastard."

Ellie glanced to Adrien's hand, where it rested near Ajani's arm. With a nod, her gaze downcast, she quietly moved to sit again.

"Why'dje decide to come?" Xander asked. "Kinda in a pit of rattlesnakes aren't yeh?"

Aja shrugged, coming a little closer, but still hesitant to sit. "Learning." she said quietly. "Because if we're going to have any hope of possibly coming to an accord...its easier if you have an understanding of how others are." She gestured towards the town, behind them.

"I won't stay long, but I can promise there's no malicious intent behind my being here."

"Maybe it'd learn you all well t'know colonists all aren't horrible n'tribals all aren't savages, aye? N'just as well, Ajani, Ellie n'Sandy aren't going t'cause y'any harm, so go on n'sit if you'd like." He gestured to the empty space between Xander and Elleanore.

Then, he took his place against the tree again. He looked to Elleanore, then. "I have a favor t'ask."

She avoided his eyes, but only for a moment. When she met them again, her expression was unreadable. "What's that?"

Xander had noticed the change in her demeanor, but said nothing about it. Aja quietly moved to her knees, her brow furrowed as she stared at the ground. Her hands, her he lap, were tight in the fabric of her dress.

"Would y'convince your father t'give Ajani a place t'stay in your home? Mine's too dangerous, and, well, Xander's..." He faltered. "Please."

The tension was palpable. Xander averted his gaze, running a hand over his rough chin before looking back to the women. Aja was watching Ellie, and the latter was staring at her knees.

"Of course." she said, nodding to dispell any kind of edginess in her voice. She looked over to Ajani, and, surprising them all, reached to grasp her hand.

"You were brave to come here, and your father was brave to extend his hand in a peaceful gesture too."

Aja, wide-eyed, stared for a moment, her eyes burning. Then, in a soft voice, she said, "Thank you."

Suddenly, Adrien stood up. He was eager to relieve the tension that'd come upon them, even if it meant dispersing the group.

"That's th'story." He said, mainly to Elleanore, who hadn't recieved news of any of that beforehand. "M'sorry I took so long t'tell it, Ellie. I didn't want t'put anyone in danger. But... I think we all have to go to bed at some point, yeah?"

"Yeah." Ellie stood too, and then Xander. Oddly, Ajani was the last to stand. Ellie looked to her, trying for a smile, and held out a hand.

"I'll take you there. Papa won't mind. But we should go before the evening gets too cold."

Aja hesitated, looking to her hand, and then reached to clasp it too, and together, the women walked off through the snow, looking for all the world like they belonged together. As they disappeared, Xander emitted a breathy sigh.

"Both a them girls are in more trouble than they know, aren't they?" he asked, looking to Adrien.

Adrien put both of his hands in his face as they left, happy to their descent, and gave a woeful nod. "Ajani knows. Ellie doesn't. Couldn't tell'er. I tried."

His hands fell from his face, and he too, sighed breathily. "Me, too. Seems like you're th'only one scot free, Xander."

Xander looked uncomfortable. He put his hands on his knees, and stood to his feet.

"C'mon, mate. We'll freeze if we sit out here anymore." He held out a hand for his friend.

"Jess hope we can survive the fuckin' winter."

Setting

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xander Roan Character Portrait: Adrien Rune
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by FizzGig
Blakestown
October 14th, Evening


It had been roughly a week since Adrien had started his escapades out beyond the wall. Xander and Ellie had taken care not only to avoid him, but to avoid each other. For Xander, it was possibly the worst couple of weeks that he'd ever experienced. Both of his closest friends wanted nothing to do with him, and if he were perfectly honest with himself, he wasn't sure that he'd know what to do or say if the time came. He spent most of his time these days in the stables when Adrien wasn't there, doing what needed to be done and then leaving as soon as he could. He couldn't even enjoy it anymore, which was totally ridiculous.

He'd come out the night before, unable to sleep, and deciding that the best thing to do would be to just walk around until he was too cold or too tired to do anything else. After coming upon the stables, he noticed something rather odd.

Someone had been climbing down the wall.

He'd ducked behind bales of frosted hay, watching as Adrien came across the snow-laden ground, looking every which way before disappearing into his house.

So, tonight, Xander sat and waited for Adrien to show up. He knew that he would. It was only a matter of time.

As he'd done other times, Adrien scaled down the wall. He ravelled the rope, and then threw it back over the wall. A strange tactic, if he'd been going alone. When his feet touched snow-laden ground, he placed his palms on the wall, looked about, and then backed away from the wall. As per usual, he'd looked about, before starting off.

But he stopped by the lumbering old tree, this time. The one that, in the springs and summers, provided a cool shade, in a contrast to the humid, warm air. It was bare, now, and in the moonlight, it had no shadow. It's thick bark bore the dimensionality of thin paper.

Adrien moved passed it, after running his hand over the rough bark. He took slowly toward his home, but it would be quite a walk from the graveyard.

He came into sight as soon as Adrien drew close enough to hear him. Xander's arms were crossed, his brow furrowed in concern as he looked from Adrien to the wall and back.

"Dree..." he started, coming to that awful moment where he didn't really have any idea of what to say. "It's a bit late."

"Yeah. T'is. Shan't you be sleeping, Xander?" Adrien asked, his brows furrowing to Xander's sudden appearence. He'd quickly moved past the other boy, seemingly intent on retiring, and seemingly intent on certainly not speaking to Xander. Not out of spite; their relationship had slowly repaired itself over time, though it certainly wasn't what it usually was.

"That's what I plan on doing." He said, as he passed.

Xander reached out to snag Adrien by the arm, his grip gentle, but firm. He didn't look at him as he spoke.

"Ye've been goin over the wall." It wasn't a question, but a statement. He looked back over his shoulder to the other. "Not gunna rat you out, if that's watcher thinkin. I think what Radimus is doin' to yah is downright shit." He let go of Adrien's arm, letting his own fall to his side. "What're you doin' over there?"

Adrien spun around when Xander gripped his arm, and withdrew his sleeve.

"I know y'know I've been going over th'wall. 'Else y'wouldn'ta camped out n'popped out at me like that. I figure y'wouldn't tell." The boy raised his arms, in a half-shrug. "M'not allowed beyond th'wall, and I miss th'fresh air."

"Mhm, and is the fresh air gunna throw that rope back to yah when you go over again tomorrow night?" Xander said, lifting a brow.

Adrien stared at Xander for a moment, before crossing his own arms.

"N'why y'wanna know, you said?"

"Is it that girl? Aja?" Xander asked, his expression softening. "Yer goin' to visit her?" He hesitated a moment.

"Y'know that Radimus'll sooner kill her if he finds out."

"Radimus won't be seeing'er. It's not like she's hoisting over t'Blakestown with me. N'Radimus' threatened t'break m'legs if I don't stop being rowdy, but I'd sooner break his than he break mine."

It was an answer enough, though Adrien opened his mouth again. "I'm hoisting over t'see th'tribe. N'the area. N'everything, really. Kind of opens your eyes, when y'move past th'forest." He smiled as he spoke. "N'I know I seem like a lunatic for doing it, but it's better than being cooped up in this chicken pen of a shyte town."

Xander considered that, quietly thinking over what Adrien had said.

"Y'know, I saw the tribe. I saw how worried they were for Ajani...and they didn't seem teh mind me too much. I knew I believed yah before all the shyte happened a few weeks back...but after seeing them...I could understand them too. Aja made sure I could..." He looked back to his friend.

"I want teh help. However I can. If you'll let me."

"Nay. No, Xander. I already put Ellie in danger. I can't put you in danger, too. N'..." Adrien swallowed, and raised his scarf. He looked down to the floor, then up to Xander's eyes. "Y'should stop avoiding Elleanore like y'do. Just'ave it normal, will you?"

His hand raised, and patted Xander on the shoulder. He began to turn away. "Don't think I could stand y'getting hurt, no matter how much I don't like y'right now."

A slight smirk came to his lips, before it disappeared again.

"I'm a big boy," Xander said with a broad smile. "Can handle m'self. Besides, ye've got me all curious about the tribals now. Yer hoggin them all for yerself."

He hooked his arm around Adrien's throat and dragged him into the snow. "I still like yeh Dree. Missed talkin to yah." he grunted, putting his knee on the other boy's chest. "And like it or not, I'm sick to death of the way things are goin' around here. I'd like teh change it."

"Only thing y'missed is trying t'toss me around!" Adrien shouted, though for once in a long while, it wasn't out of anger. His hands wrapped around Xander's knee, andhe pushed himself forward, intent on dropping the other boy into the snow. For a moment, things settled.

"S'pose y'did conk assassin-man over th'head, but that was just luck, innit? But, hell, Xander. Y'don't wanna risk your life over this shyte. Wasn't it you who was hollering about leaving Ellie here all alone?" he teased.

Xander's cheeks flamed, but he flopped into the snow amiably, and laid there. "S'pose I did. But I know yah didn' do those things on purpose. Didn' do anything, in fact." He sighed heavily.

"M'done silent treating yah, Dree. Dun need a girl of any kind to break us up y'know? Hell maybe we could get Ellie to go with us too." His lips were pressed into a thin line. "Couldn't hurt to get her away from all of this too."

Sitting back on his knees, he reached to brush the snow out of his hair. After a second, he fixed Adrien with a firm stare. "Another thing, too. M'parents are shit, majority of this town and the way they act towards people like Ajani is horrid. Why not try to risk my safety if it means bringin' about ... peace. At least a state of business where people aren't sittin' around hatin' each other?"

"If anything, I'd like t'get her - Ellie - out of this place, if assman's threatening'er like he is. He's not done anything yet, but..." Adrien looked toward Xander, his brow furrowing. "I know who he is. 'E carried Ellie's bags home, looked straight at me. 'E's th'one who tipped off Radimus about Ajani being in town."

For a long while, he drew in a breath. His eyes met Xander's, then drew away from them. He looked toward the bare tree in the distance.

"I s'pose y'have a point." He said. He leaned forward, placed his elbows on his knees, and his head on his hands. "Could use someone who actually has a voice around'ere."

Then, he shook his head and looked to Xander again.

"Y'sure?"

"Nah. I'm gunna flake on yah righ' when things get tough." He winked, stretching his arms over his head before emitting a heavy sigh. "I think yeh have more supporters than y'think though, Dree. Nobody'll say anything to you, but I know you at least have a friend in Cavis, and in Patsy."

He gave a slight smirk at the mention of the old nurse. "But, at any rate, I'll be with yeh through the thick of it, mate. S'wat friends are for."

"Alright, but..." Adrien sighed. "Tap out when things get too tough for y', aye? Don't want y'breaking your wee bones." He smiled again, then swatted Xander on the shoulder. "I been sneaking out to practice, y'know. Notice any change?" He flexed. "Y'won't have t'sneak out, but I don't think Ajani would mind th'support. Hell, th'tribe."

"I'm going back t'morrow, then. You up for it?"

Xander squeezed his bicep, before emitting a terribly effeminate giggle.

"Gods, Dree. You know I am. Anythin' specific I should bring with me?" He looked back towards the wall. "Perhaps a pair of wings?"

He frowned.

"Well, y'ain't th'one barred from leaving, but I s'pose it'd still look suspicious."

He paused, then looked to Xander, a big grin ever-present in his face.

"Nay, but y'ever climb a rope? Hope y've not got sweaty hands. S'a big fall."

"I'll pull you with me." Xander said, giving the young man a look. He moved to stand, offering out a hand to help the other up. "So ye've been training then? Aja fights? Is she any good?"

"Well, y'wanna see? I'm sure she'd happily oblige. Loves sparring about, that one." Adrien said, grinning.

"Then, tomorrow. Night. Y'might want t'just say y'threw your ring ball over th'wall t'get over, this time. We'll start using th'rope before things get suspicious. Right now, I think Radimus may be getting a little suspicious, if'e gives a damn."

He looked behind him, to the road that'd lead him home.

"Say we retire?"

"Sure thing." the young man replied, stretching languidly before beginning to make his way back to the stables.

"Sleep well, Dree. I'll kick your arse in front of Aja. So prepare yourself."