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Cailu Elre

"I'm ashamed for having such thoughts, I don't know where they came from, I just wish they disappeared."

0 · 1,057 views · located in Imos

a character in “The Tribes of Imos 2”, as played by Lyysa

Description



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Full Name
Cailu Elre

Eventual titles
The Snake, since his cousins accident he has been labeled as an traitor and has gotten some nicknames behind his back by the rest of the tribe. This is just an example.

Age
28

Gender
Male

Sexual Preference
Heterosexual




Tribe
The Air Tribe

Position in the Tribe
Pose as the leader outwards
Ara's decoy



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Negative Traits
- Negative attitude, There isn't much that Cailu thinks positive of. No most of the time you will find him muttering about how bad everything is, at least those times he's forced to do things he doesn’t want to.
- Jealous, Cailu is extremely jealous of Ara even if he don't really have anything to be jealous of. But he still feels like he could be able to handle the leader position by himself without Ara there to order him around. Another thing he does have dark feelings about is how the tribe still loves her but despise him for something he has never done.
- Silent, Cailu is a man of few words. Not because he doesn’t want to talk but because he don't know how to speak and he fears when he does he will say things that only would damage his own and the tribes reputation.
- Short tempered, When aggravated Cailu does not start to argue or fight instead he storms off to complete solitude. He often sits and sulks in trees or in his room, basically anywhere where he can be alone. This is one of his rather childish traits.
- Depressed, The reason for Cailu to wear such a gloomy face most of the time is because he basically is hurting on the inside. Even if he pretends that he doesn't care about what the other's says about him he does care and it does hurt.
- Nervous, Even if Cailu does pose as the leader outwards and only delivers Ara's orders and words he still gets extremely nervous and anxious when put under pressure. He's just happy that he hasn’t been forced to meet any of the other's leaders yet to talk with them.

Positive Traits
- Loyal, Even if all the other's doubts him he's extremely loyal towards Ara and his tribe. He would never dream of doing anything to hurt it since those are the only things he feel like he cares about.
- Caring, Even if Cailu is protective and take cares for everyone that he has taken a liking to he takes it to the extreme when it comes to his cousin. While Ara was still so sick that she couldn't raise up from bed Cailu would sit beside her and take care of her.
- Sweet, Even if he usual rather sour look don't show it Cailu can be a sweetheart. At least when it comes to some people.
- Reliable, If you are Cailu's companion you can count on having him beside you even when it gets rough. He's always there for those he cares for and he will never leave anyone in the lurch.
- Energetic, Unlike his cousin Cailu is full of energy and likes to do things fast without much thought behind it. He does dislike being still for a long amount of time but force himself to act more polished.



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History
Cailu was the first born child of the former leader’s younger sister. He got two other siblings, a brother that was three years younger than him and a little sister who was five years younger. Even if the three siblings did know that they had an older cousin and other relatives as well they never really met them for more than short amounts of time. Mostly because everyone was busy with their own lives, the duties they had to grow into.

When Cailu turned eight disaster struck their small family however, the three children found themselves without parents due to sickness. When the children were left alone in the world they were taken in by their uncle. It was the former leader, he was not only dedicated to his tribe but to his family as well. He treated them as if they were his real children. Of course Cailu missed his real parents but even if he did he soon started to feel better since his older cousin cheered him up when he was sad.

Cailu soon grew attached to his older cousin because she was the one taking care of him, before it had been him that had been forced to be strong and take care of his younger siblings. Now he was allowed to be sad and get comforted. Cailu followed Ara around everywhere and since she didn’t seem to mind it he continued with it. As they grew up their bond just grew stronger, they were just like siblings. Nothing more than that.

When Ara’s father died both of them grieved, Cailu saw the man as much as a father as Ara did. But he didn’t fear for the tribe, he knew that Ara would be able to handle the pressure. Cailu was actually looking forward to Ara’s crowning so when she fell sick was probably one of the worth days in his life and as she grew sicker Cailu feared he would lose her as well. But even if Cailu didn’t want to do anything more than sit besides Ara he had to take on the title since Ara was unable to do it. At the beginning Cailu had no idea what he was supposed to do, he hated the title. He couldn’t handle the pressure he was put under.

When Ara finally got better Cailu could at last breath out since she wouldn’t leave him. And even if Cailu wanted to get rid of the title. But as he consulted Ara with his thoughts, describing how hard it was for him with the angry glares and the assignments he realized how selfish he was. Ara was still weak and sick, she would not be able to protect herself if someone would go after her. So that was when he came up with the idea of keeping the title while just acting out Ara’s orders. They didn’t let the whole tribe know about it because they feared that it would lead to someone revealing the secret they had and they couldn’t risk that.

As the time passed and Cailu grew more used to the position he somewhat grew fond of it. Starting to regret what they had decided, he thought he had learnt all he needed to know. That he could handle it all by himself and sometimes he would even feel like Ara bossed him around too much. Sometimes Cailu can find himself thinking off how things would be if she wasn’t around.



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Likes
Solitude
His cousin
Climbing trees
High altitudes
Playing around with his abilities
Starry nights
Animals

Dislikes
His tribesmen from time to time
Being still for long amount of times
The gazes
Sometimes Ara
Both the Fire and the Water tribe
Adults
Cold weather

Dreams/Goals
A childish dream of his is to get Ara's blessing that he's truly the real leader of the Air tribe
Another not so childish dream is to clear his reputation within the tribe

Fears
Ara getting sicker again
Giving in to the darker thoughts that lingers in his mind when he's feeling weak
Getting kicked out of the tribe



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Hair Color
A dirty white color

Eye Color
Sky blue

Tattoos/Markings
Nothing worth mentioning

Height
6'1

Brief Appearance Description
Cailu is a tall but fragile looking man, by the appearance he don't seem to have that much muscles - which is true. Even if Cailu tries to gain a more "manly" looking stature he still looks as thin because of his bad metabolism. If it wasn't for his length and sharp shoulders he would probably look rather girly with his medium long white hair. His sky blue eyes are not framed by a feminine looking features though, his sharp features does get highlighted by his gloomy expression.



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Carrying
A two hands sword that is a bit different from other's because of its length. But even if his sword is longer than most other's it’s still surprisingly light for its size
A good luck charm he has received from Ara, it's a pendant she got from her father while she was younger. She says that it will protect him from getting hurt so he usually wears it under his clothes to make her happy

Strength/Abilities
Cailu is a strong wind sorcerer, he's able to create tornadoes but this is basically the only thing he has focused on developing
Stronger than he looks but he relies on his speed though
Sword usage

Weakness
His speech
He can use the breeze form but is not that skilled with it so can only stay in that shape for short amounts of time
Ha can't use his enchanted senses at all, he has never trained it and haven't found the interest to do so either




Other

So begins...

Cailu Elre's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anastasia Campbell Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura
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#, as written by Lyysa


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When Cailu entered the house he had grown up in, the place that now belonged to him, the tribe leaders house. Even if it made him feel uncomfortable to stay there since it felt like it wasn't really his, he still liked it since it made him able to stay with the only family he had left since his younger siblings had decided to travel together to study other techniques and learn more. Because he still had Ara here with him, on the upper floor and when he returned home from meetings he usually always walked up the narrow stairs to knock on her door. He didn't wait for her to open or call out that it was okay to come in because they both knew that it was, so he just opened the door and lowered his head as he walked inside seeing her sit by the small window as she usually did.

"How did it go?" Ara didn't turn her face towards him as she spoke, obviously too mesmerized with the scenery outside to bother with such unnecessary gestures. Cailu could hear how important the question was anyway, he knew it even before it was brought up that it would be the first thing she would speak of.

"I think it turned out fine."

Ara turned her gaze from the window, as did she turn her body towards him. Looking directly at him with a wrinkle between her eyebrows, clearly not satisfied by the answer. But Cailu was happy anyway because she didn't look that worn out at the moment. Even if they were concerned at the moment her eye's still looked lively. "What do you mean?"

With a small smile Cailu stroke the back of his neck, "Well... I didn't really remember what you told me to say so I improvised... But they decided to keep on trading with us so it's good, right?"

Ara blinked a couple of times, confused by what she heard, surprised even, "You improvised? Do you know what problem that may have caused us if you hadn't succeeded?"

"Of course I do, I can think for myself you know."

"This is not about you and your thoughts, this is about you almost making us lose a trading partner."

Cailu quietly looked away, he knew there was nothing that he could say that would make her believe that he could handle the situation by himself. Ever since he had told her about how anxious he had felt about the leader position being put over him, how he felt crushed be the pressure of the expatriations she had been controlling his every move as the leader. Sure, he had appreciated it at first, to get that help, to not feel like he had the whole tribe positioned on his shoulder. Getting more pressed towards the ground by every single day that passed by, but now it felt like it was Ara that pressed him towards the ground more and more by every single thing he had to do. But it was not like he could take that away from her, he knew it was the thing she appreciated the most, to feel needed even when sitting in this room every single day. Even he would try to revolt it wouldn't bring him anything more than perhaps an angry mob chasing him out from the tribe. He knew that if he displeased her so she could easily take the position from him since she had the tribe’s approval and love. She could easily take his place without doing more than just ask their tribesmen to do it for her, she wouldn’t even need to raise up from the chair.

"I'm sorry for forgetting," Cailu walked over to her and lightly picked the flower she had in her out from it just to replace it with a new one, mumbling while doing so, "I'm very sorry."

Ara waved away his hands from her face and shook her head quietly, "Fine. Even if you didn't listen to me you still succeeded and that is all that matters," As soon as she had uttered the sentence her face lightened up by a smile as she leaned back in the chair again, "So now tell me about what happened, who did you meet? How did it look? Oh, Anastasia was with you right?"

Cailu just chuckled slightly at the questions that continued to be sounded be Ara's mouth as he took the second chair in the room and dragged it over to her. When he had placed it beside her before he sat down and started to try to form some sort of answer to the questions that had always been voiced while more continued to come to life.

The setting changes from Airedale to Imos

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anastasia Campbell Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The large man scuffed as he crossed his arms, his eyes closed in frustration as he watched her carefully, tapping his rather large fingers on his forearm. He grunted once more, adjusting his seating as he began to think of all the times the child before him had revealed herself to him- how he never once suspected anything particular about this specific person. He looked down at the child, who had her head bowed down and plastered to the grass as she silently begged for his forgiveness.
“Well,” He sighed, rubbing his stubbly jaw line as he looked upwards. “I guess I can’t call you Cronk from now on…” The large man peered down from the corner of his eyes, trying to see her reaction which consisted of her lifting her head in disbelief. He merely smiled and shot his eyes back upwards. “It is a man’s name after all.”

“A horrid one at that, if I may be so bold Mr. Fantasia.” Fantasia shot another look her way, this time in disbelief as he watched her more carefully. Her ivory skin was colored with pink happiness that mostly stained her cheeks as she gave him her usual crooked smile. This sight caused Fantasia to smile broadly and let out a hardy laugh that caused the small girl to slightly jump at the suddenness.
“Well, I guess with the discovery of a woman comes her own spice.” The man slapped his knee, confusing the child even more with his adult talk. She looked at him, her head cocked to the side with her brows furrowed. He merely shook his hand in front of her while covering his mouth to prevent himself from chuckling further, seemingly mocking a gossiping crone. “Well then, since Cronk did not suit your ever high expectations of a name, does Anastasia sound much better?” He leaned forward with a strong smile, watching her dazed face.

“An… Anastasia?” She repeated as her mouth slightly gaped opened and she continued to repeat the name within her head. With a small nodded from Fantasia, her chapped lips pulled back into a wide smile and her already pink skin was now cherry red from the amount of joy she had in her small body. “I love it! Oh, I love it so much!” The small girl leaped forward with such gusto that she practically knocked Fantasia back when she made contact with him. “Such a beautiful name must truly suit someone like myself, am I correct?”
The amount of personality that suddenly illuminated off of the child made Fantasia open his mouth wide to match her smile and laugh. “Of course as only my new daughter can be suited with such a beautiful name!”



Her slender, gloved hand reached out as she leaned outside of her windowsill. A large, black raven suddenly flapped to its landing spot and his talons hooked around her gloved hand. Her snowy hair danced with the wind around her small face as her sapphire eyes carefully watched the raven become still on her hand. Anastasia slowly brought the bird within her room, closing her large bay windows so it would be unable to leave until she permitted it to do so. The bird seemed to pick up her thoughts as he cawed in protest to the locking of the windows.

Around the bird’s charcoal feet laid a band which tightly hugged the animal and had a small box like object sticking outwards from the ring. Anastasia lowered her hand onto her desk, allowing the bird to step down from its former ledge and settle onto the desk. She gently grabbed the bird’s leg, avoiding the violent beak that pecked down at her in objection. Anastasia opened the box, placing her gloved hand over the raven’s mouth to hold it shut as she tried to pull a small, white sheet out of the box. The animal cawed in complaint as she let go, pulling away from the beast all together to prevent from getting bitten.

Before opening the letter, Anastasia looked over at her door cautiously. She was a bit worried as she had left Cailu’s side quite quickly upon their arrival back at the kingdom. However, it was necessary as she was desperate to get to her room and retreat the messenger bird so she could review the message that the espionage group she hired had sent. This group was quite different from all of the others of which she sent as this specific group specialized in the information that often remained classified- such as royal military records. She bit her lip nervously as she looked down at the rolled paper, her slender fingers at either end, ready to reveal the contents.

Three days have passed since we started the initial search and we have yet to find information on one who labeled himself as Fantasia nor were we able to succeed in finding records that matched his description. We are asking for immediate relief as suspicions may rise within the Fire Tribe if we continue our search. For now, we take refuge outside of the Tribe as we wait for further instructions.
The Raven.


Even with a skilled team such as The Ravens, information on Fantasia seemed to disappear just as he had that fateful day. She bit her lip harder before leaning forward against her desk, now nibbling on her thumb as she carefully went over her resolves she had in the matter- if she had any. The only one that was reasonable and sensible would be to call of the search entirely. The last thing Anastasia wanted was to be any more conflict for Tribes than there already were. With a small sigh, Anastasia took out an equally miniature paper and wet her quill pen, keeping her writing short and sweet with the few words of, ‘Permission to resign granted. Meet at the rendezvous point for payment.'

Anastasia made everything else as quick and cautious as she could possibly make it, quickly placing her own letter inside the box and grabbing the despicable cawing raven by the sides and sending it on its way back to his owners out of her window. She immediately closed back her windows after she saw the animal take off beyond the golden tree linings, praying that it has a safe journey. She stepped back in her room and dusted herself off, picking whatever feathers that stuck to her clothing off. Anastasia then turned on her heels and headed towards her door, leaving her room with a calm face.

She silently made her way down the hall, deciding to give Ara a visit. Because Anastasia had left so hastily when she and Cailu had gotten back, she had neglected her duty of reporting back to Ara. Although Anastasia had doubted that Ara would mind as she rarely ever reported back immediately after her and Cailu got back, giving the two sibling-like cousins sometime to speak amongst themselves without her own interruption.

Anastasia approached their door noiselessly- not even allowing her footsteps to make any type of noise- and knocked on the door, sounding off her own name to give the two the knowledge of who was entering. She waited several moments before entering the room, seeing that Ara and Cailu were in the midst of speaking. Anastasia simply bowed her head in apologies before voicing out her own acknowledgements. “If I am interrupting something, I do apologize.”

The setting changes from Imos to Airedale

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anastasia Campbell Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Lyysa


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Cailu had already explained how he had exchanged words with their trading partners, retelling every single word that had left his mouth and the other ones as well. Describing it all in detail, the movements and how he had felt. Ara wanted to hear every single detail, he couldn’t leave anything untold, even if he didn’t remember everything correctly he was forced to pretend that he did because he knew how much she liked to hear it.

When he had been put in this situation the first time he had been confused and not known why he was forced to do it but as time passed by he had started to get it, it was because Ara pictured the whole situation in her head. Pretending she was there to witness it, that she was the one doing it by herself. But as he started to describe the environment he had seen. All from the nearby forest to the mountains that could be seen in the distant and how clear and open the land got the closer to the sea they came it knocked on the door. The both of them got quiet and turned their gaze there when the one outside spoke out.

As soon as the name had been sounded Ara turned her gaze towards Cailu again after giving her approval to Anastasia to come inside, “Continue.”

Cailu hesitated however, feeling uncomfortable with Anastasia coming inside, he had always had a hard time speaking in front of people. Stumbling on his words, repeating the same ones again and again, which was his biggest fault when it came to being the leader. Without Ara’s guidance he would probably had destroyed many of their connections at this time. But now he felt securer in the position, he hadn’t been forced to do anything mayor yet either. So from being extremely outspoken, voicing everything Ara wanted to hear he got quieter, only mumbling out some of the answer’s to her questions. Which clearly annoyed her since she got a wrinkle on her forehead again.

“If I am interrupting something, I do apologize.”

Cailu shut his mouth tight, looking out the window, you could think he should had gotten used to his female companion by now. Even more so since he trusted her with his life most of the time, but it was only because Ara trusted her. It was her orders that Anastasia should guard him, Cailu thought he probably would be able to guard himself but he didn’t want to cause trouble by opposing Ara’s request. But most of the time he did felt rather anxious around her, mainly because he didn’t know what to say to her, they spent so much time around each other but nearly never spoke more than a few words. It was a strange relationship they had, it seemed to only circulate around Ara.

Ara on the other hand turned around on her chair and smiled cheerfully towards Anastasia as she entered the room, “No, you are not interrupting anything. We are already done with the crucial information. Cailu was just describing what he could witness with his eyes, it sound incredible indeed. I wish I could have traveled with you.”

Cailu silently patted her hand while giving her a concerned gaze, he knew how much she wanted to go with them. But he had no idea what to say to cheer up either, but in a clumsy attempt he mumbled, “Perhaps you will be able to come with us next time.”

Ara met Cailu’s eyes under silent as well, taking in his words, printing them in her mind. Next time, “Yes, perhaps I will.” She turned her head around towards Anastasia again still smiling, “Come and sit down, I want to listen to what you have to say now. Or perhaps you don’t want Cailu to be here? He can leave if that is what you want.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anastasia Campbell Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Out of old habits, the moment Anastasia entered the room she extended out her powers to the two sibling-like cousins. Her air barrier covered them in familiarity, molding to their bodies perfectly and in the upmost care. Only due to how long she has been guarding the two and how often she uses it, they were the only ones who could notice the barrier. Her snow white hair fell over her shoulders as she bowed her head, bright sapphire eyes looking through her eyelashes at Ara.

“No, you are not interrupting anything. We are already done with the crucial information. Cailu was just describing what he could witness with his eyes, it sound incredible indeed. I wish I could have traveled with you.” Anastasia raised her head and gave the woman an innocent but remorseful smile, desperately wishing that Ara could come with them every time. It had only been of recent when her condition worsen that she was even prohibited to leave her own quarters. Before hand, the three of them would walk around the royals’ house but now Ara was unable to even do such things under orders of their Tribe’s best doctor.
“Perhaps you will be able to come with us next time.”

She couldn’t help but look up and stare at Cailu for a moment with a stoned face before her dark crystal eyes flicked over towards Ara who heard his words through and through. While it was a grave thought that brought a lump to Anastasia’s throat, she couldn’t help but to think that there may never be a next time of when Ara could accompany them. Anastasia kept this thought deep into her stomach, keeping it out of reach of her face and heart. “Yes, perhaps I will. Come and sit down, I want to listen to what you have to say now. Or perhaps you don’t want Cailu to be here? He can leave if that is what you want.”

With a slight nod, Anastasia gracefully made her way over towards the two, sitting down in a chair next to Cailu. She gave the both of them a small smile before resting her hands on her lap and sitting up straightly. “I have no problems with Cailu being here. I merely came to say my greetings.” Anastasia looked at Ara, examining her well being. Her barrier hardened around her as if Anastasia was desperately trying to protect her from all of the terrors of life, trying to prevent a precious belonging from breaking. “The trees are quite lovely today aren’t they? Have you seen the crows that populated the boarders,” She asked, looking out the window. “It makes me feel as though harvesting season is quickly approaching us.” A wide, crooked smile pulled tightly on her lips as she continued to speak friendly with Ara.

“Perhaps once it does approach, we could grab ourselves some Red Delicious.” Anastasia loved Red Delicious and she loved sharing them with Ara even more. The girl almost idolized the woman as Ara was the first friend, the first bond she made outside of Fantasia- after he had betrayed her and left a whole in her heart and chest.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anastasia Campbell Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Lyysa


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“I have no problems with Cailu being here. I merely came to say my greetings.”

Ara lowered her head slowly in a nod, lowering her hand as well that was just about to shoo away Cailu from the room, she was well aware of the troubles both of them had with talking in front of people. Or that was Cailu's problem, why Anastasia didn't say much was not something Ara had thought much of, she just knew it was a very obvious part of the girl. Not that Ara minded it, or well yes she did, when she finally got some other company than the doctor that came and checked up on her once every week it was these two. Ara loved them both dearly but their silence could be a bit irritating at times, she wanted to listen to other's speak. She was pretty sick and tired of her own voice since she listened to it all the time every day when she was talking to herself.

“The trees are quite lovely today aren’t they? Have you seen the crows that populated the boarders, it makes me feel as though harvesting season is quickly approaching us.” Again Ara nodded slowly as the girl spoke, listening to her words, carving them inside her head. Not because they touched her like Cailu's had done but because she wanted to remember them when she felt lonely. When the both of them were away on business and she was all alone in here she often replayed the conversations they have had with each other, listening to their voices in her head and answering them again. She knew it was a sad thing to do, but she rather did that than call for someone she didn't enjoy conversations with. “Perhaps once it does approach, we could grab ourselves some Red Delicious.”

"Yes, perhaps we can do that," With a smile Ara paused, looking out the window. She had noticed that, how that season had started to creep closer. The changes outside both made her feel extremely depressed and happy at the same time, she enjoyed that time of the year but to just sit inside and watch was not something she wanted to do. She wanted to be outside with the others. Leaning back tiredly she dragged the hand over her face, "Do you think anyone would notice if I opened the window and flew out for a while?"

As soon as Ara spoke the words Cailu jolted out from his thoughts of how he hadn't even had the time to see how the time passed by as the other two had, staring at her before grabbing her other hand, "You can't do that. I won't allow that."

Ara smiled slightly before patting his hand which was holding hers, "Dear little Cailu, you may be bigger than me in size but I am older than you. You can't command me what to do, but I know you only mean well but no matter how hard you are squeezing my hand I would still be able to get away if I wanted to."

Cailu got quiet again, hesitating at first before letting go of her hand. He knew she was right, it didn't matter how hard he was holding on to her because if she wanted to get away there was no chance for him to keep her in here. You can't hold on to air, even if he tried she would probably be able to leak out through some tiny crack. In shy manners he was staring down onto his hands which was clasped together in front of him while mumbling, "I just don't want you to get weaker again or lose control while being too high above ground. Because neither me nor Anastasia would be able to protect you if that happens."

Ara's smile died and she turned her face towards the window again, "I know, I was just daydreaming. I apologize for worrying you, you too Anastasia. I will not mention it again."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anastasia Campbell Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Anastasia’s hands fisted in between the fabrics of her dress as she listened to Ara. She knew that no one would ever be happy confined to her bed, hidden from world only but to watch it go by like some sort of twisted movie. For some odd reason, Anastasia could easily empathize with Ara as she too, was once held against her will and unable to enjoy her life. However, Anastasia always had her friend with her back then suffering with her through the hard times and making the bleakest situations seem bright like the sun’s rays.

Unfortunately, Ara did not have a companion to share her woes. Anastasia knew very well that Ara refrains from her dark thoughts in fear of worrying others as well as the fear that she may give up on herself too. Perhaps Ara already did give up the hope of recovering. Sapphire eyes looked over towards Ara with a silence that seemed to contain more pity than any type of sympathy or empathy yet it disappeared almost as quick as it surfaced, Anastasia made sure she was careful to not allow Ara to see her true emotions behind the mask she always seemed to wear.

Eyes closed as Anastasia reached over and grabbed Ara’s hand, her barrier quickly disappearing. “While the risks are very high,” She began, ignoring Cailu and anything that Ara may or may not say. “If you truly wish, I can allow you to accompany me to the market.” Her eyes opened to meet Ara’s. “It is bold of me to suggest something such as this but I see you as a dear friend. With a cloak and fabric face mask, it should be alright.” Anastasia watched her a little, readying herself for whatever punishments or tongue lashings she may receive.

“I believe that perhaps a little fresh air will help clear whatever doubts and worries you may have that fill your head at the moment. The exercise may even make you feel much better.” For the first time for a while, Anastasia’s eyes read her emotions. She wished that Ara lived a fulfilled even with such a crippling disease; if the woman wasn’t permitted to even arise out of bed, then what would prevent her from thinking thoughts that would eventually crush her. “I may not be able to protect you from the illness within you but I am confident that I can protect your body from the outside forces.”

Once again, Anastasia bowed her in apologies of her bold speaking but the look in her sapphire eyes told everyone within the room that she did not regret her words and welcomed whatever Cailu may say or whatever Ara may order.

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Cailu's eyes grew from sorrow into shock before turning to anger, staring coldly at Anastasia as she spoke. He was very much aware of the fact that he gave Ara expectations and hopes that probably wouldn't turn real but he ignored his own flaws and got angry at her anyway. He believed that he had the right to say things like that, being Ara's cousin and at some point seen as her younger brother, Anastasia wasn't family. She was an outsider, a friend to Ara. Nothing more than that. From Cailu's point of view she didn't have anything to say in a situation like this, and he clearly showed it through his eyes. Giving her angry looks as soon as Ara couldn't see him, he was well aware that he was acting childish but it was the only way he knew how to act. It was in his body soul.

"No! The doctor told her to stay inside until the weather got warmer, I won't allow it. She's not leaving thi--," Cailu never got to finish his outburst since Ara raised her hand. Silently telling him to shut his mouth and he listened. Even if it was unwillingly, he was still against it all and despised the suggestion. But to get Ara even more depressed then she already were was not an option.

"What I chose to do is none of your concern, Cailu. It's only me who can feel how I'm doing at the moment, neither you or the doctor can decide that for me and I feel like I'm rotting in here. I'm good today, no pain and I'm not that tired so I want to go outside," As she spoke Ara began to struggle to get up from the chair. It all ended with Cailu helping her get on her feet’s, supporting her until she had found her balance.

When she was fine standing by herself he walked over to the closet, still giving Anastasia angry glares whenever he could because of what she had done. It wasn't hard to find the cloak, even though Ara's relatives were the wealthiest in the villages it didn't show in her room. Mainly because Ara herself hadn't been able to buy things for herself in a long time, the things she owned seemed to disappear instead. Getting thrown away because of the risk that they somehow were infected and would only make her sicker by having them near her. Cailu didn't believe in such things but it was not like he could argue with the doctor.

He lightly hung the cloak over her shoulders and as he fastened it he shyly asked, "Perhaps you shouldn't walk? I could carry you."

"That's out of the question, I can walk by myself. If you are going to continue to act like this I don't want you to be presence, you probably have other things to do anyway."

Cailu adverted his eyes from hers, nodding after a while, "You can walk by yourself but... please, let me stay so I can see that everything goes smoothly."

Ara didn't respond to that, she just smiled towards Anastasia before starting to limp forward to the door. Sure, she would be able to move around a lot easier if she used her abilities. But she didn't want that, it wouldn't be the same thing as walking beside them and that was what she wanted to do. Not just be present. When she had finally made her way over to the staircase Cailu was there again, looking at her with his concerned eyes beginning to stretch out his arms and open his mouth to speak. But she raised her hand again, giving him a hard look, not allowing him to even utter the words because she was very much aware of what it was that he was going to say.

"I don't need your help, I can get down stairs on my own," Just as the last word left her lips she vanished from sight, spread by the wind. Cailu jolted as she did, feeling the breeze touch his cheek and tried to chase after it. Afraid that she wouldn't materialize as she had passed the stairs, afraid that she would vanish. Fly out the door where none could catch her. But to his delight she reappeared in front of the gate.

With a bright smile she looked over at Anastasia, "I'm sorry for being so slow but I'm really thankful that you bring me along. So where is it that you need to go?"

The setting changes from Airedale to Imos

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Character Portrait: Anastasia Campbell Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Kalagisa
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Sholeh Kanaka


“Kill you? It sure seemed that way. Don’t worry, I just wanted to give you a little surprise in the throne room.”

Sholeh's eyes went big. “Wait, so you were just having fun with me? But...” She paused to think about then grinned. “OK, I probably deserved it. You really had me, too.”

“But if you are worried about dying, you may want to get back to ground, rather than sit at the edge of the fence. Let me have your hand. Wouldn’t want to fall yes?”

She took the hand he offered and hopped off the fence, but couldn't resist a little teasing. “It sounds like you're doubting my flying skills. I should have you know I've only broken three bones falling off of buildings.” She settled for leaning her back against the fence and facing Vinicius.

“I want to promote you,” he said, and she was actually glad that he got her down from the fence, because she surely would have fallen right over the side wasted said promotion. She even literally felt her jaw drop and was positive that she was staring at him like a crazy person. She was so happy that she almost missed what he said next.

“You are courageous, and though our soldiers are known to be a fearless bunch, the truth is, due to history, due to the type of kings we have developed through the past, people fear our kings. But you didn’t, I like people who can take a stand. Well not like that. I mean… Errr… I do like you..."

And now she was being complimented for being courageous when everyone else just called her stupid and impulsive. Most people just look down on her for the way she is, but here was the king of the entire fire tribe praising her for it. She had to bite down on the inside of her cheek to keep from grinning like an idiot.

"I admire your courage, for you to approach me. I have never seen anything like that before, a soldier standing up against her king. And I don't see it as treason either, treason is disloyalty. You to face me, I must say... It was an honor, though I did not fight back. And because of that, I personally invite you to the royal ball, the town criers will go out today to the public to announce it. But I thought it be better to invite you myself."

Sholeh was so touched by his kinds words that she forgot who she was talking to and threw her arms around him. “I am so unbelievably grateful for all of this! I can't believe I'm being rewarded for...” She suddenly remembered what she was doing, and quickly withdrew and took several steps away. “Oh, I am so sorry, you know I have impulsive control issues, and I probably just violated every one of your boundaries. So, assuming I didn't just ruin everything, I would love to come to the ball. Maybe someone will do something so stupid there that everything I do will pale in comparison.”

Her mind drifted back to their earlier conversation about the earth tribe. She stepped over to the fence and faced the city. “You know, I don't think the people will be upset if you don't retaliate against the earth tribe. I mean, some will be, but I don't think the majority will be.” She glanced back at Vinicius. “Do you know how many funerals I've been to for my comrades? I've lost count. The common folk just want their loved ones, they barely pay attention to the war. And we're the winning team, I can't even imagine how many loved ones the common folk of the losing teams have lost.” She gave a half smile. "Not that I'm complaining. I love being a soldier, and I'm on your side, war or not."




Kala


After days of traveling, Kala and her group could finally see the edge of Airdale. She hoisted Lnoli up on her shoulders in his usual place, and turned to address the warriors who had accompanied her. “Alright, you guys stay here while I go talk to the guard. We don't need them to think we're coming to attack.”

She left the ten warriors and the supplies behind while she approached the outskirts of the village. There were a few people that Kala assumed were guards, and she approached one of them. “I come from Northpass hoping to trade some rugs, clothing, and hides for food. I come with ten other warriors solely for protection. May I be permitted to speak to your leader?”

The setting changes from Imos to Airedale

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Even though Airedale wasn't the most well-guarded or the most populated village in all of Imos, they still had a small but skilled force. They were loyal to the little tribe, it was their home and their family. There were no other place for them were they could belong, not because they wanted to ever leave this place. But the tribe had struggled the past couple of years, with their position being so close to the fighting people feared for their security but there wasn't much they could do. They didn't want to leave their home.

A small group of guards that was positioned to guard the village entrance noticed the company as they came closer, at first suspicious to it since it was such a large group. The Air tribe didn't get much visits from other tribes and usually it was just lonely traders, but this was a group of eleven people, it surely was an unusually large group. But when one of them left the others the small group of guards silently grabbed their weapons. They didn't take them out of their scabbard, but they were prepared in case they needed them.

“I come from Northpass hoping to trade some rugs, clothing, and hides for food. I come with ten other warriors solely for protection. May I be permitted to speak to your leader?”

The guards glanced towards the warriors, still doubting the amount they had with them. Most of them had never even heard of the place they called Northpass. One of them stepped forward towards the woman as he started announcing, "I can bring you to our leader, but your warriors have to wait outside of Airedale. If they need anything someone could bring that to them but they will not be let inside, we don't appreciate when people bring such large amounts of soldiers to our village."

As he finished speaking he held out his arm to show her the way towards the middle of the village, in front of the market, where the leader’s mansion was. It was the liveliest part of the village so it wasn't hard to find even if you had never been in the village, you just followed the sound as it grew louder. The voices shouting out their prices, people talking to each other of the news and gossip that traveled through Airedale. It was a part where most people spent their free time since you could always meet someone you knew there.

When they made their way there the guard stopped walking for a short moment, looking at the three people outside the leader’s mansion. It was the largest house of Airedale, but still not even close to those of the other tribes, it was not a castle or not even a fort. It was just an ordinary house, when it was built it had been one of the most beautiful building in all of Imos but the years had not been kind to it. It was old and torn like most of the village.

After the short stop the guard hurried forward to the three, glancing anxiously towards the woman who was leaning on the cane before he turned towards the only male in the small group, "There was a group that approached our city, they say they comes from Northpass and want to trade. This woman is the one speaking for them, the other warriors is still outside our city walls."

Both Cailu and Ara listened closely to what the guard told them, even if Ara didn't say anything about it. But both of them knew of Northpass since they had a small encounter with people from that place before. Neither one of them had harsh feelings towards those people however, they didn't have any opinion about them.

Cailu nodded quietly and slowly before turning towards the woman, "I'm Cailu Elre, the leader of the Air tribe." He glanced towards Ara who met his eyes silently, "Perhaps we should continue inside? If you come with me we can continue this talk in my office where only people who should hear will listen."

Before he left he took one last glance at Ara who still didn't say anything but as he and the woman went inside she turned towards the guard and sent him back to his position. When she had done that she turned towards Anastasia and smiled softly, "I'm sorry but I can't accompany you anymore it seems. But it was nice to get to talk to you again."

When she was done talking she molded into her breeze form and went inside, she flew back to her room which was placed beside Cailu's office so she would be able to hear what they talked about. Cailu knew she listened, he often went to her after finishing conversations to hear her opinion on how he had behaved. If he had done good or failed.

Cailu on the other hand had sat down on his chair in the room on the second floor and watched the woman, uncertain on what he should say as usual. It was a long moment of silence, he didn't open his mouth, all he did was fiddling with his hands before him on the table. As the long break came to the end he tried to look at the woman but ended up looking away instead, "So... You want to trade? Why? Oh, and perhaps you could tell me your name..."

The setting changes from Airedale to Imos

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Sholeh Kanaka


“And maybe, it be easy for me think after the ball, once I'm married and it is not only I would have to make the hard decisions."

“Ha,” Sholeh laughed. “You're probably right about that. In fact, most of the married women I know make all the decisions, so I'd choose your wife very carefully if I were you.”

"But, know is the time to talk about you. Promotion, I did promise, however what rank are you now? A foot-soldier, a lancepesade? Well, how about a vassal lord, a captain, perhaps? Ever thought of being in charge of your own company?"

In a very rare moment for Sholeh, she was speechless. She stared at Vinicius for several moments before she managed to say, “Uh, that would be amazing. Actually, that would be my dream come true.” Ever since she had first decided to join the army, she had wanted to be the best damn soldier the fire tribe ever had, and reach the highest position possible. She had just expected it to happen in that order. She decided that she would use the opportunity she had been given to become even better, and maybe then her family would finally approve of the career path she had taken.

“Wow, that's an even higher position than my brother, Vukon, had. He only made it to corporal. He probably would have made it all the way to captain if he hadn't...” The memory of her brother brought a mix of pain and anger with it that caused her voice to falter for a moment. “If he hadn't deserted his tribe for that strange girl he met on the road, he would have been one of the best. Who does that? Who just abandons their family and future like that?”

She sighed to calm herself down when a sudden thought occurred to her. “Wait, this whole promotion thing isn't just another joke like the execution is it? Because I'd be disappointed, but I'd understand. I mean, I highly doubt the men that used to be my superiors are going to want to take orders from me. They barely see me as more than an annoying weapon to throw at the enemies.”



Kala


"I can bring you to our leader, but your warriors have to wait outside of Airedale. If they need anything someone could bring that to them but they will not be let inside, we don't appreciate when people bring such large amounts of soldiers to our village."

Kala briefly considered protesting, but dismissed the notion. If the roles were reversed, she would certainly not appreciate a small traipsing around in her village. So, instead she smiled and took the arm extended to her, and allowed him to guide her through the village.

As they came upon the market, Kala felt shy and nervous for the first time in her life. She had only interacted with the members of her tribe her entire life, so the throng of strangers before her was a new experience for her. But she was not one to let such nervousness show, however, so she flashed her most charming smile at those she passed by. She got only curious stares in return.

The home of the tribe leader was the fanciest house Kala had ever seen. After living her life in huts, it looked like a mansion indeed. Even the obvious wear and tear did not detract from it's appearance in her eyes, and she resisted the urge to gawk at it. She instead focused her attention on the man and two women in front of it.
The guard anncounced her, then the man stepped forward. "I'm Cailu Elre, the leader of the Air tribe. Perhaps we should continue inside? If you come with me we can continue this talk in my office where only people who should hear will listen."
Kala followed him inside and up the stairs to the second floor. She leaned against the wall and waited for the leader to speak first, as was the custom in her own tribe. After a long silence, he said, “So... You want to trade? Why? Oh, and perhaps you could tell me your name..."

She lowered Lnoli off her shoulders and onto the floor, much to his annoyance, so she could give Cailu her full attention, and smiled widely. “Kalagisa. But I prefer Kala. The shapeshifter tribe has sent me as a delegate to trade for food because the game around Northpass is getting thinner and thinner.” She let the smile drop from her face before she continued. “Without those animals to eat, we'll starve to death come winter. So, I'm here to appeal to you to help us by making this deal.”

The setting changes from Imos to Airedale

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Cailu had been the leader of the tribe for a few months, he had met with various of people from around of Imos but this was the first time that someone had traveled to Airedale. So this was the first time he had invited someone else than his guards and consultants in this room, it felt a bit awkward. Perhaps it was because she just stood there instead of sitting down and she had that fox with her as well. There were many first times for Cailu in this conversation, he had never seen a fox like that so when she lowered it down on the floor he watched it closely. To him it felt a bit strange that she had brought it inside with her, but he wasn’t going to question her about it since perhaps it was considered rude from where she came from.

“Kalagisa. But I prefer Kala. The shapeshifter tribe has sent me as a delegate to trade for food because the game around Northpass is getting thinner and thinner. Without those animals to eat, we'll starve to death come winter. So, I'm here to appeal to you to help us by making this deal.”

Cailu nodded slowly as she spoke, he could see why they wanted to trade with them. Even though their harvest didn’t seem to be as large as it usually is they still had plenty to trade with others, mostly because the tribe had reduced in size the last year. Their people didn’t get killed in a war like the other tribes, instead they had a plague haunting their tribesmen. It had gotten better, but many of the oldest and the youngest had been lost to it.

“So…” Once again Cailu lost his words and sat there quietly, thinking through what he should be saying. He glanced towards the woman and her fox, she sure looked different than those in his tribe. She had a different appearance than most in Imos, you could see that her tribe descended from a different location. Probably far from here. He took one last glance before folding his hands in front of him, “If we now do have some crops that we can refrain from… What will we get for doing so? You forgot to mention what your people will offer in exchange...”

The setting changes from Airedale to Imos

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Character Portrait: Anastasia Campbell Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Kalagisa
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Sholeh Kanaka


"Yes, I'm joking, I'm totally joking, ha ha. No, being serious, I want you to be captain, perhaps your brave motives and courageous actions may influence those of lower ranks below you, and even those of same position, and maybe even my brother may be inspired. But if Zaheed were to praise you for anything, then I would say you were from the divine, for that is doing of the impossible. Yeah..."

Sholeh smirked. “Yeah, he's a real sweetheart isn't he? He's a little too serious for us to really get along.” Not that they had ever interacted much. There were too many stations in between them for her to ever get any direct orders from him. But she always got bad vibes from him, and she was one to trust her intuition. “But at least he's...dedicated,” said, struggling for a compliment.

"But you shouldn't be looked as a weapon, no one should. I know that when I get a body count during aftermaths of battles, that it is not just a number, because it is a person. So many of our military leaders forget that, the thirst for blood has always ran rampant in this tribe. However, I never thought us perfect. But I also never thought us weak, either. And we won't be, not while I am king."

“I think the tribe being weak is the last thing you have to worry about. The soldiers I know are passionate about protecting their home and their king, and they'll fight to death. Their loyalty runs deep, probably because they're young enough to remember only one king, and they had it pretty good under him. They're hopeful about you, too. I definitely like you so far.” She grinned. “You're a very good sport about...everything that happened.”

The fact that he was rewarding her for something most kings would execute for still baffled her. Not that she was going to start bringing up points on why he should execute her. She'd tempted fate numerous other times before, and they never ended well, so she wasn't going to do it now.

“And when you find your queen, we'll be loyal to her, too. That's why you're throwing the ball, right? To find a bride? You know, I've never been to ball before. In fact, I haven't been to many parties since I joined the army. No time for fun when you've got training to do.” No time for fun when you've got something to prove, either. Her family was particularly adamant about her not becoming a soldier. They were more serious about women not joining the army than most of her comrades. At least her fellow soldiers gave in once she proved she could fight. Her family is still steadfast against it.

“You're going to make all of some seamstress or tavern wench's dreams come true. Almost every little girl in the world has dreamed about some prince...well, king, in this case...sweeping them off their feet and carrying them off to live a life of grandeur.” Except her. She preferred her feet firmly on the ground. “You know, you made my dream come true, but I was the one who literally swept your feet out from under you.” She giggled a little from the memory.




Kala


“So…If we now do have some crops that we can refrain from… What will we get for doing so? You forgot to mention what your people will offer in exchange...”

'Idiot,' she heard Lnoli say in her head.

'I was getting to it,' she thought back at him.

She fought back the eager smile at the possibility that trade would go through, and instead kept her face neutral. “We brought an assortment of rugs, hides, and clothing. Rugs for decoration, clothing for...well, not running around naked. Now, hides are the most valuable, because you can turn the leather into furniture, more clothes, whatever strikes your fancy.”

On the ground, Lnoli yawned and jumped up onto a chair that was probably where she was supposed to sit. He sat up on it and gave her look that she knew to be smug. 'Being a merchant is not your calling. So much for being clever enough to sell flint to a fire triber.'

She sent a glare his way, then turned her attention back to Cailu. “And this could just the first step in establishing regular trade between our tribes. And with regular trade comes good relations, and potentially an alliance. I think if we come together, both of our tribes would be stronger for it.” Even as she said the words, she wondered how the Chief would take the proposal she offered them without consulting him first, but she decided to cross that bridge when she got there.

A thought suddenly occurred to her, and she smiled. “And I could offer my own services, as well. You see, I'm a shaman, so I know a few rituals that could...tip the balance. I can help get revenge on your enemies, help your sick get back on their feet. I even know a ritual that can help a woman choose the gender of their unborn child. Now, I'll be the first to admit that the rituals don't work one-hundred percent of the time, but I have a reputation in my tribe as someone who can get things done.”

The setting changes from Imos to Airedale

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“We brought an assortment of rugs, hides, and clothing. Rugs for decoration, clothing for...well, not running around naked. Now, hides are the most valuable, because you can turn the leather into furniture, more clothes, whatever strikes your fancy.”

Cailu blinked at first, surprised by the explanations, but even though he wanted to be collected and act reverently he found himself laughing lightly because of it. It had just been so unexpected, so random, he hadn't been prepared for it so he couldn't stop that tiny laughter that bubbled up from within. But as soon as it had slipped through he collected himself and pressed the mouth shut to not let any more unwanted actions come forward. As he did so he noticed the actions between the fox and the woman, how they looked at each other from time to time. It puzzled him, sure he had been around different types of animals all his life but never had he seen them act this way. It somehow felt like they knew something he didn't and it made him feel even more unsure of himself where he sat.

“And this could just the first step in establishing regular trade between our tribes. And with regular trade comes good relations, and potentially an alliance. I think if we come together, both of our tribes would be stronger for it.”

Cailu nodded slowly without answering, but as the word alliance had been mentioned he had glanced to the left side, the wall which Kala wasn't leaning onto. As if there was another person standing there and he was asking that person what to do, but there was no one there, right? No there wasn't, but on the other side of that wall was Ara, sitting on her chair, listening to the conversation with her enchanted hearing.

Just as he was going to give her an answer, declaring that he would need some time to think - ask Ara what she thought of it, Kara continued, “And I could offer my own services, as well. You see, I'm a shaman, so I know a few rituals that could...tip the balance. I can help get revenge on your enemies, help your sick get back on their feet. I even know a ritual that can help a woman choose the gender of their unborn child. Now, I'll be the first to admit that the rituals don't work one-hundred percent of the time, but I have a reputation in my tribe as someone who can get things done.”

Shaman another thing Cailu had no idea what it was, it was a word he had never heard before. It was not something they had in Airedale, but her description of it had really struck his interest. In his mind he was thinking to himself, wondering if it was true what she told him. That she really could cure the sick. From the start he had been thinking of the plague that had haunted their city, the reason to why he had been thinking to send some soldiers to the Earth tribe and ask for help - not ask for healers since he doubted that they cured sicknesses (or had the time for that matter, with the war and all) but ask if they knew something about it. Any herbs or so that could help them defeat it, but now he was wondering if perhaps this shaman thing was what they needed. The second thing he was thinking off was of course Ara, she was cured from the poisoning but she was still weak and sickly at times.

So he had forgotten about the fact that he should be asking her before deciding anything, he just bent forward, looking directly at Kala for the first time, "Uhm... Heal the sick you say... Is it true? We've been haunted by a plague this summer, many of our youngest and oldest has left us because of it... Could you help us with that?" Cailu grew quiet with another glance towards the empty wall, "There is another thing... My cousin... She suffered from poisoning a while ago... A healer from the Earth tribe took the poison out from her but she's still sick... You did say you could get the sick ones back on their feet’s... She was with me when you came, it was the one who had a cane to lean on..."

The setting changes from Airedale to Imos

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Sholeh Kanaka


"Yeah...Honestly, if my mother gave me a choice I would call off the ball, I just never did anything like it before. But... Everyone knows about the king and his virginity! Unlike everyone else, I don't know what the rush is for. I just want to give it away to the right person, when I'm ready. I see it like this, my virginity is like a gift, and once I give up to just anyone, they have opened the gift. But what if they aren't the right person for me? I leave them, simple as it seems, but really no, because its not fair for my true soulmate to give them a gift already opened and tainted by someone else. No, if I truly do love them with all my being, then I want the best for them, thus I am going to wait. But that does not mean I judge a person if they are not a virgin like me, no, if I love them then why would I just them? I wouldn't."

“Well, I like the fact that you're the first guy I've ever met who didn't try to stick his hands down my pants,” she said, jokingly. Most of the culprits were guys who were just messing around and wouldn't seriously force her into anything, but the attention still bothered her. It had started right around the time she had learned to fight, so she could fend most of them off, but sometimes she worried about drawing the attention of someone she couldn't fight off. Not that she would ever admit that.

“I wouldn't worry about you not being a lascivious fiend. I admit that I'm not an expert on love, but I think most women would find it romantic.” She wasn't going to tell the king this, but she had never participated either. She had always seen it as her submitting to a man, which she would never do.

“And don't say you'd be tainted. The only way you'd be tainted is if you forced yourself on someone. You'd just be someone who thought they were with the right person, and it turned out you weren't. A real soulmate wouldn't care about who you had been with before. I think that once you were with the right person, it would be like your gift was being opened anew. Just my personal opinion of course. Though I suppose the point is moot.”

She looked out at the city again and realized how long they had been talking. She thought about her family and guilt seized her. “My family must be crazy with worry. Knowing them, they're preparing my funeral rites as we speak.” She turned to Vinicius. “As much as I would like to stay, I think I need to show them in person that my head is still attached to my body. Can I have permission to leave and stop a horde of overly dramatic mourners?”




Kala


"Uhm... Heal the sick you say... Is it true? We've been haunted by a plague this summer, many of our youngest and oldest has left us because of it... Could you help us with that? There is another thing... My cousin... She suffered from poisoning a while ago... A healer from the Earth tribe took the poison out from her but she's still sick... You did say you could get the sick ones back on their feet’s... She was with me when you came, it was the one who had a cane to lean on..."

Kala noticed the strange man glance at the wall a few times, but couldn't work out what that meant, so she ignored it. “I've had luck with ridding the body of poisons, but you say that the poison is no longer within her? Then the poison must have permanently damaged her body. I know a ritual that restore strength and stamina to a person's body. It's a sort of catch-all ritual that I do first when someone isn't feeling well, then if it doesn't work I move on to other rituals. It would be easier if I could bring her back to my tribe where all my supplies are, but I'm guessing that's not an option.”

Settling in for a long explanation, Kala picked up Lnoli and finally sat down in the chair. She crossed her legs and sat the fox down on her lap.

“Firstly, she's going to need to sit a sweat lodge, which I'm going to make a tent with hides and tree branches as tightly as I can so as little of the heat escapes as possible. I'm going to build a fire inside and let her sweat out any remaining toxins. I want her lying down so I can place my hands on her and pray to the Spirits to heal her. After that I want her to eat a salad everyday for five days containing evening primrose, maca, rhodiola, and schisandra. Eating these plants will help her regain her strength. On the six day, if she is not feeling even remotely better, then I will take further measures.”

She wondered how the chief would feel about her being away so long. She'd probably have to send a few warriors home to alleviate his fears.

“The problem is, I don't have any of these ingredients with me, so I will have to go look for them, or return to my tribe. Have you heard of any of them growing around here? The evening primrose looks like a yellow petunia, the maca is an ugly little root that almost resembles a rutabaga, the rhodiola looks like a yellow weed, and the schisandra are red berries.”

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“I've had luck with ridding the body of poisons, but you say that the poison is no longer within her?

“Oh, no… We had a healer from the Earth tribe visiting us a while back… She successfully removed the poison from the body but Ar—Uhm… My cousin had to recover and regather strength by herself she said… That was not something they could help us with, but the healer gave us some herbs that would help… But… I don’t know, it doesn’t seem to help…” Cailu shut his mouth, nervous when it came to all the information he had given her. That he had said too much, or too little. He wasn’t sure, but he could guess that Ara would say that he had went too far. Done things he shouldn’t do, stepped over his authority.

Then the poison must have permanently damaged her body. I know a ritual that restore strength and stamina to a person's body. It's a sort of catch-all ritual that I do first when someone isn't feeling well, then if it doesn't work I move on to other rituals. It would be easier if I could bring her back to my tribe where all my supplies are, but I'm guessing that's not an option.”

At first when Cailu heard that she would need to take Ara with her, he hesitated. He knew how angry Ara would be if he agreed on that, but then if he went he would be the only one left here. He would have the power, he could make his own decisions without Ara nagging in his ear. He himself would be able to do everything.

As he continued to listen to the woman describing what she would need to do to finish the ritual he got even more convinced that keeping Ara here wasn’t the best choice. Building that thing would take time, and if they build it wrong it wouldn’t work. Perhaps they didn’t even have those herbs around Airedale, he had never seen them. Or never paid attention to them, it was not his obligation to know about such things.

“Uhm…” Cailu paused again, taking a deep breath, “You can take Ara with you. But I will send two guards with her so she don’t end up getting harmed.” Even though Cailu wanted to bring more guards with them he couldn’t, they needed every guard in the city to guard it. It wasn’t enough of them. They needed a bigger military force and he was aware of it, everyone was aware of it. “I hope that this will work, if she gets worse I will hold you responsible for it.”

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Kalagisa Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Sholeh Kanaka


Sholeh found Serafina outside as she left the palace. The older girl was bawling until she saw her sister, who embraced her in a tight hug.

“I thought you were dead!” she cried.

“Oh, come on,” Sholeh said, comfortably patting her sister on the back. “You know I wouldn't leave you here alone with the rest of our crazy family.”




The day of the ball came, and the sisters helped each other put their war paint on, dressed up in their skimpy outfits. Sholeh's outfit was slightly more conservative than Serafina's, who basically wore a bra and thong.

“Wouldn't it be less troublesome to just go naked?” Sholeh asked her sister.

Serafina smirked. “I'm advertising.” Sholeh just rolled her eyes. Serafina looked at the wound on her sister's belly and frowned. “Are you sure you want to keep that exposed? It could probably use one more day with a bandage.”

Sholeh scoffed. “Please. I've rubbed worse wounds with dirt. Let's go.”

The ball itself was wild and full of half-naked people. They had barely arrived when some guy scooped up Serafina took off running with her.

“Hey!” Sholeh protested.

“Sorry, Sister!” Serafina shouted, giggling.

Sholeh sighed and was about to go find someone else to party with when the king approached her. "Kanaka, or should I say Captain Kanaka. How about we go to the garden? Its too loud in here."

“Sure. My escort just deserted me, anyway,” she said, pointing in the direction her sister has just disappeared to.

She followed him to the gardens, and raised an eyebrow when she noticed how the king was dressed. “Someone's dressed awful comfortably. I think you forgot to forget something,” she said, tugging on his material for emphasis.

"Believe me, I didn't plan the gathering, or I wouldn't be so out of style. It was my brother. Besides, like I said, parties aren't my thing... But this isn't about me, well actually this all is made kind of, actually for me, not that I want it to be-- but what I'm trying to say, or more like ask. Is how have you been since the promotion? I'm glad that you said I made your dream come true. That's what I do, well I had to, you deserved it. I know there's something special about you."

She gave a small half-smile. “Well, I agree I'm one-of-a-kind. Usually its a bad thing, but sometimes its a good thing. Like getting this promotion. Which has been great! The other soldiers, and even regular people actually treat me with respect now.” Though sometimes she wonders if its just complete shock at having been promoted to such a high rank under the circumstances. The first day, some had to be convinced that it wasn't a prank. “Thank you. For this.”

She crossed her arms and furrowed her brow as a thought occurred to her. “I know you said you don't like parties, but...isn't the whole point of this ball is for you to mingle with the ladies and find a wife. Its going to hard to do that if you're here talking to me.”




Kala


“Uhm…You can take Ara with you. But I will send two guards with her so she don’t end up getting harmed. I hope that this will work, if she gets worse I will hold you responsible for it.”

Kala smiled. “I think that would best. Treating her in my natural environment would ensure the best results.”

'It sounds like we just received more cargo,' Lnoli said with a laugh.

Kala gently ran her fingers through the fox's black fur. 'And you will be nice. No biting.'

'Please. I only bite children with grabby fingers.'

“I assume that means we have a deal. You will give us the food in exchange for supplies and healing your cousin? I promise that I will personally ensure that everyone in the tribe treats her with the utmost respect a guests deserves.” She didn't know how she was going to accomplish that, but she figured she'd cross that bridge when she got to it.

'I think you overshot on that promise,' Lnoli said. 'She'll bothered to death by the curious half of the tribe, and completely ignored by the other half.'

'It'll be fine. We're not savages. Its not like she'll be in any danger.'

She looked back up at Cailu. “I was planning on spending the night camping with my warriors, but we can leave as soon as tomorrow. Or whenever its convenient for your cousin. I like seeing the world outside of Northpass, so I wouldn't mind a little delay if you need more time to prepare.” Originally she had planned on staying away from her tribe for longer than this, but she decided that after this business was done, she would travel around Imos on her own, without the warriors as babysitters the whole way.

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Kalagisa Character Portrait: Eirene Character Portrait:
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“I think that would best. Treating her in my natural environment would ensure the best results.”

Cailu nodded, yes it was for the best if Ara went with them. If she wasn’t here he could prove to her that he was capable of handling the tribe on his own. Perhaps everything had gotten better when she returned, yes he saw everything in a positive light. He had done good, chosen the best option all by himself. He finally felt grown up, before he had just been a child following orders.

“I assume that means we have a deal. You will give us the food in exchange for supplies and healing your cousin? I promise that I will personally ensure that everyone in the tribe treats her with the utmost respect a guests deserves.”

“You should treat her with respect, she’s the former leader’s daughter and highly appreciated by our tribe. So it’s not only me that will be concerned with it all,” It was not until he said it that he realized how harsh the sentence was. If he hadn’t stopped himself he could had blurted out a threat and it had been extremely close that he had done it, if he had said it he could imagine how it all would have ended. In catastrophe.

“I was planning on spending the night camping with my warriors, but we can leave as soon as tomorrow. Or whenever its convenient for your cousin. I like seeing the world outside of Northpass, so I wouldn't mind a little delay if you need more time to prepare.”

“Oh, we do have some empty rooms in here and I could probably ask our local tavern if they could lend you the rooms they offer as well, you don’t need to set camp outside. You’ve shown that you are here as friends and not foes so you are more than welcome to explore Airedale and what we have to offer. When you want to dine just say that you are visitors of Ara and myself, you don’t have to worry about paying for anything. It’s the least we can do when you show such hospitality as taking Ara with you and treating her.”



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To be left alone with Na’ari felt complicated, sure she was happy that she would receive her testing object but the man himself seemed to whish he was at any other place in the world right now. Not that she felt offended by it, but it was a bit mood swaying to have such a person around her. She couldn’t really enjoy herself as much as she would if it was someone with a more open mind about it.

"Alright Milady. I shall be your escort it seems as lord Zianro has a liking to your research. Just point me in the direction of where we should go and we'll go."

Eirene eyed the tall man up and down again, she wanted to tell him that there was no need for him to act so childish – sighing at the fact that he received such an order. He was acting rather spoiled, or perhaps a bit rude. Something in between the both of those two things, but she didn’t say anything about it just put on a small smile before she gestured with her hand in which direction they would be heading.
“I’ll show you the way so you know where to go,” As she spoke Eirene had already started to walk. And she continued to walk under silence, even though she appreciated being accompanied by someone there was not much she could say to the man since he wasn’t exactly interested in anything she had to say anything about.

When they had made their way over to the other side of the city, still facing the sea a mansion could be seen raise above the smaller houses. Her family did have the reputation about having the ugly personality trait that made them want to brag, which most of them actually did. And their house was the same, a show piece to make everyone around see how supreme they were. Eirene herself found it ridiculous. But still, her family’s wealth did grant her the opportunity to do what she wanted to do. And since she was the youngest daughter she was spoiled, it was not her obligation to continue their family linage, there were others that had already done that. She had nieces.

“I store my research in the basement as I mentioned, you will find the door to the staircase on the eastern outer wall. Follow that staircase and you will find the room I use to explore the afterlife.” If Eirene had gotten another upbringing, or perhaps just a bit more courage about talking back she would give him some sort of snarky comment as revenge for his bad mood but she didn’t say it even though she wanted. Instead she just continued to give him that small smile that couldn’t even be counted as a smile, “I assume you are not interested in seeing what lies behind that door so you can just show the others where to bring the example I’ve been granted.”

Setting

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Kalagisa Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait:
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Sholeh Kanaka


"But you, your not like the other girls. I feel... comfortable. Even though when we first met you put me exactly out of my comfort zone. Its probably because you have a love for this nation as do I. And I believe it is the ones fighting for this tribe that love it the most. No matter what happens to me I will always have the heart of a soldier, even when I wear ancient bracers and a flashy crown.”

Sholeh smiled. “Well, I feel pretty comfortable with you, too. You're not as intimating as I thought you'd be.”

”Oh and besides, I think this ball was really for Zaheed because he planned it due to the fact that my mother is--Listen, I will be back, I just have to go check up on the queen. I'll be back though."

“It's fine. I completely understand,” she said, truthfully. If her own mother was sick, she'd be going crazy with worry, too.

After he left, she took a few steps and leaned against a statue, almost knocking it down when she was startled by a voice. “What are you doing?” The voice was distinctly Serafina's.

Sholeh righted herself, and shot her sister a glare. “Don't sneak up in me like that. And what do you mean what am I doing? Aren't you supposed to be consorting with your male harem?”

Serafina walked over to her with an amused expression on her face. “I needed a break. And I meant what are you doing always spending alone time with the king?”

Sholeh rolled her eyes. “I'd hardly call twice 'always', Miss Drama. And I know where your dirty mind is going, but don't even think about it.”

Her sister opened her mouth to say more, when they were interrupted by Kieran. He ran over to them with a look of panic on his face. “The king is missing!”

Sholeh just stared at him with a look of disbelief. “That's impossible! I was talking to him not too long ago.”

“Well-,” Kieran started, but was interrupted when General Zaheed barreled through, and dragged Sholeh by the wrist.

“What are you doing?” she demanded as he pulled her into the crowded throne room. He threw her to the ground and unsheathed his sword.

"Lord Vinicius is missing all thanks to this bitch! Yes, he was last seen with her!"

Sholeh was struck speechless by the horrible accusation. She barely noticed the guards surrounding her.

"First my father killed, now my brother kidnapped! I suspect she's a spy working with those who murdered our great King Zarfu! It all makes sense, you're soldier and you must of been informed about our troops' encampment and spread news to the spies, to have my father killed! She is the reason for his death and perhaps soon she will be responsible for Vinicius's death!"

Finally finding her voice, she pleaded, “No, it wasn't me! I have no reason to do any of that! I am completely loyal to the fire tribe, my home is everything to me!”




Kala


“Oh, we do have some empty rooms in here and I could probably ask our local tavern if they could lend you the rooms they offer as well, you don’t need to set camp outside. You’ve shown that you are here as friends and not foes so you are more than welcome to explore Airedale and what we have to offer. When you want to dine just say that you are visitors of Ara and myself, you don’t have to worry about paying for anything. It’s the least we can do when you show such hospitality as taking Ara with you and treating her.”

“My thanks,” Kala said, rising from the chair and putting Lnoli back on her shoulders. “With your permission, I'll take my leave to tell my tribesmen the good news about our accomplished mission. And about our new traveling companion.” She gave a respectful nod to him as she passed.

When she came upon her fellow tribesmen, she opened her arms wide and grinned. “Mission accomplished! We're getting the supplies!”

“They're trading with us?” one asked excitedly.

“Yes!” Kala said. “And we're taking the leader's cousin back with us and healing her!”

There was silence for a few moments, then one said, “We have to drag along an invalid with us?”

Kala glared at him. “No, we're taking the daughter of the former leader with us. And we will all be as welcoming as we can possibly be, or risk making an enemy out of the air tribe.”

There was still some grumbling, but Kala ignored it. “And we can stay in the village and eat their food.”

“No thanks, we're staying right here,” one of the warriors said.

Kala's jaw dropped in shock. “Why? You're going to be rude if you turn down their hospitality.”

The same warrior continued speaking. “If all ten of us go in that village, we'll cause a ruckus. You go ahead. We'll stay out here and sleep on the ground like we're used to doing.”

Frustrated, Kala sighed and walked back to the village alone. This time several of the villagers seemed to accept her presence, so she got a few nods as she passed by them. She even waved to a young child, who smiled shyly in return.

When she got to the building that she assumed was the tavern, she went inside and addressed the woman who looked like she was running the place. “Do you have a room available?”

The woman looked at her for a few moments, then said. “I take it your our new visitor?”

Kala smiled widely. “How'd you guess?”

“I took a wild stab in the dark.” She glanced at Lnoli perched on Kala's shoulders. “Is that animal going to be in the room, too?”

Kala patted the fox on the head. “He'll be a perfect gentleman.”

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Kalagisa Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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“My thanks. With your permission, I'll take my leave to tell my tribesmen the good news about our accomplished mission. And about our new traveling companion.”

Cailu nodded back to her as she stood up, "Of course, I understand." He watched quietly as she left with her fox up on her shoulders again. It was rather intriguing how it could stay up there without falling down, or how her clothes couldn't be destroyed when its claws dug into them - but that was just a guess from his side. It was not like he could sit and pounder over it too much either since he knew what was waiting for him on the other side of the wall, and he predicted that she wouldn't be in a good mood after this.

After a brief moment of collecting his thoughts, trying to plan out what to say in his defense when she asked he stepped out of the room. Taking some deep breathes as he walked the few steps that was between his and hers doors, as he stood outside it he didn't even have to knock because the door itself blew up so fast that it almost hit him. There were no one on the other side of the door, Ara was sitting on her chair facing the window but as soon he stepped inside he could feel how his hair and clothes was grabbed by the wind. Making him try to show the strains out of his face with his hands but it didn't help because it was like he had stepped right into a storm.

Hesitating he stood right beside the door, he was trying to figure out how to approach the whole situation but neither of the things he had planned ahead seemed to be enough. But he tried anyway, opening his mouth to say what he wanted to tell her but he didn't have time to even start his sentence because she raised her hand to tell him to shut it again. Right after she had done it Ara disappeared from sight just to show up in front of him, pointing her finger harshly into his chest. With cold eyes she looked up at him, hissing one world between compressed teeth’s, "Why?"

Nervously Cailu swallowed, avoiding eye contact, "I-- Uhm... I just want the best for you... If you go with them you can get better and--"

With one glance Ara got him to shut his mouth once again, she wasn't one that got upset easily - which was one of the traits that made Cailu feel comfortable around her. But once she got angry, it was basically like standing in the middle of a storm, not only because of her inability to control her powers but because of her attitude also.

"Ara... If you get better you will be able to come with me when I travel to other cities. You won't need to be locked inside this room anymore..."

The storm winds subsided a little as she lowered her finger, wrinkling her forehead while she thought about what he said. Her silence response made Cailu breathe a little easier, but just a little, he was not completely relaxed. He was still rather anxious when it came to her getting angry again.

"And there is no better person in establishing a good relationship with them than you," As he paused Cailu added a small smile, making the sentence even sweeter than it was, "You know it."

Ara knew that Cailu tried to make her subdue by complimenting her, sadly it worked. She got her emotions under control again and the clothes stopped swirling around their bodies as their hair laid down against the head as well - in a mess. "Yes, you are right cousin. I guess you made a good choice, what will you do if there is any important choice to make? I'm the one who makes them - you know it."

Cailu nodded silently, he was very aware of it, "I will handle it. I know I can. And if I can't I will send a letter and ask for advice, I can ask Cilivren's original advisor as well. He would probably like to help out again."

Ara nodded in agreement with the suggestion, she liked it, "That's sounds like a good plan. Get out now, I need my rest for tomorrow." As soon as she had said it Cailu could felt how he got pressed out of the room by the wind, not that he had anything against it but he was confused. He had a hard time processing what had just happened, Ara had agreed on one of his suggestions. He had succeeded, he held the power of the tribe now. He had no intention to ask the old leaders advisor for what to do, he knew he could handle it by himself and if he proved it to Ara perhaps she would agree to let him share the leader position with him. He felt like a child, waiting for a surprise, so excited that he felt like he was about to burst.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Kalagisa Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Sholeh Kanaka


"Shut up! You have no proof! But I do. Not only were you last seen with him, but on his coronation you stubbornly assaulted him even when he refused to fight back. If you didn't want to hurt him you would have listened to that order. But no, now my brother- my blood is missing because of you! But, I will not be so mercifully to end you with a quick death, vengeance must be acquired, and anyone knows revenge is always served cold. And 'cold' will be taken literally to you, a liar and traitor!

Unable to say a word because her throat was being constricted, Sholeh could only make a gurgling sound for her protests. The horror that was happening to her caused her brain to shut and she had a hard time thinking straight. This type of terror was new to her, even when she thought she was going to be executed, she experienced more of a numb fear. Finally, the general flung her to the floor.

“Bind her, with chains against the wrist and ankles upside down, only allowing her desperate moments right side up to prevent death. If she tries escaping, report to me immediately."

Sholeh could do nothing as she was put to chains and dragged away from the palace. Her mind went completely blank, and she went into a daze as they walked. She went into a little bit of denial, and insisted in her mind that this couldn't possibly be happening, that this was just a nightmare and she would soon wake up in the barracks like every other morning. But she never woke up, and they arrived at their destination.

In front of her stood a great frozen lake, with faint lights twinkling in the distance, probably a village or city. She knew immediately where she was. Lakeshore, enemy territory. Her heart jumped in her chest when she realized she was being exiled, to the enemy, no less, who would most likely kill her on sight. She was unchained by the guards, and they roughly pushed her forward onto the ice.

When she was told to cross the frozen lake, and realizing she was outnumbered, she said nothing, just gave a defiant glare. She squared her shoulders, then strode onto the lake as if she had the slightest confidence. In reality, she had none. Since the water tribe was her enemy, she had always carried a fear of it, and had never learned to swim. Which meant that if she fell through the ice, she was a goner.

She stepped very carefully as she walked across the lake, making sure to distribute her weight evenly with each step and looking out for thin ice. The wind was so harsh that it almost threw her off balance a few times, but the low temperature of it barely registered with her, as she was naturally very hot-blooded, and did not get cold easily. The hanging beads from her ball outfit banging against her body like she was being whipped, however, drove her insane, and almost ripped them off several times.

Finally, after what felt like the longest, hardest walk in her life, she could see the edge. Immensely relieved, she picked up her pace so it would be over with faster, when she felt her foot go through the ice, and was underwater to her ankle. She screamed and tried to pull her foot out, but only managed to trip. When she fell down, the impact broke more of the ice, and she went completely underwater.

Sholeh struggled, and tried to kick her to get to the opening, but she just seemed to go deeper and deeper. After a short amount of time, she felt her vision blurring, and soon everything went black. The last thing she was aware of before she passed out was strong hands gripping her arms.




Kala


Kala spent the whole rest of the day outdoors exploring the village and talking to the people. Many of them were interested in her culture, especially about the animals. They were very interested in Lnoli as they had never encountered such an intelligent animal. A few of the children expressed their desire to have one too, which caused a discussion among them over what their spirit animal would be. At dinner time at the inn, there was even a small crowd that wanted to listen to more stories from the foreigner. When it was time for her to go to bed, she tried to sleep in the soft bed, but she was so uncomfortable that she eventually laid down on the floor like she was used to doing, and went to sleep. Lnoli didn't seem to mind, however, as he slept through the whole night curled up on the bed.

When morning came, she was up bright and early like every day, and happily ate breakfast before running out to where the warriors were camped, and she helped them deliver the hides, rugs, and clothing to the village. Well, not physically help, more like directed them on exactly what to do and how to do it. She sighed as she lead the warriors through the village. Looking around, she knew that she would soon be leaving her small piece of independence from the tribe behind.

'Don't be sad,' Lnoli, who in a rare moment was actually by himself beside her. 'After you deliver the woman back here, you can just keep going.'

Kala perked up a little bit at that. 'Yes,' she said back to him. 'Maybe the Spirits will favor her and she will get well soon.'

She went looking for Cailu and when she found him, she said, “We brought the supplies. Just direct my tribesmen on where to put them, and tell them where the food supplies are so they can pack them up. After that, we're ready when your cousin is. Also, they made a sling out of wood and leaves for her to use for her own comfort. The warriors will have no issue carrying her throughout the journey.”

Setting

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Kalagisa Character Portrait: Eirene Character Portrait:
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"I thought you were looking into how death works. Not what happens after...though that's what makes me uncomfortable. What happens after the soul leaves."

”Oh my,” Eirene had not noticed what words she had used as she spoke the sentence. But even if she had thought about it, she had probably used that word anyway, since she hadn’t understood that it would confuse the man, “I’m sorry if I confused you, that was not my intention. I do research what’s the meaning of death and how it work but what happens after it is something that intrigues me as well.”

But the man’s explanation of his fear made a lot of sense, since she at first thought he feared death itself but killed anyway. But now apparently it was the thought of what you would meet after you’ve died that was the thing that made him dislike the though. That was probably not something the soldiers thought about when killing someone, it was not their problem since it wasn’t them who died. When she thought about it Eirene started to wonder how many of the soldiers actually feared death just as Na’ari.

“Even though it makes you uncomfortable, don’t it make you wonder? What actually happens I mean. It’s like life’s last and biggest mystery, since you can’t find out or know until it happens to you. But even though I don’t think I will ever find out until I die, I can’t help but think about it. Trying to make theories about it,” Eirene placed her hand over her mouth and got quiet when she realized that she had started talking about it again. And this time with someone who didn’t favor the topic. So she lowered her head apologetically, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to talk about it again I just got a bit ahead of myself.”



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When the next day arrived Cailu was up even before the sun had risen, making sure that everything was done and prepared for. He knew Ara was awake as well since sounds could be heard from her room, not footsteps since she rarely walked around. But small sounds like the scraping of the chair, he guessed she was trying to get used to the idea of not being able to sit and watch Airedale through her window anymore.

When Cailu thought about it as well, Ara not being there anymore he couldn’t help but feel the sharp pain in his chest. It was as if he stabbed himself in the heart since it was him who decided to shove her away to an unknown place, he knew now how much he would miss her company. They had never been away from each other for so long amounts of time, they belonged together. That was how it was, it was always hard to leave her by herself when he had to go and talk to other cities or villages, but he always knew that she was sitting on the chair by the window waiting for his and Anastasias return. Now it was her that would go away, it was hard accepting the thought that when he would open the door to her chamber she wouldn’t be there. It would just be an empty chair facing the window, but no Ara.

Clouded by regret and sorrow Cailu went outside, taking some deep breathes of fresh air. He stayed outside until the group of Shapeshifters approached, they sure stood out in the village with their hair colors. You could detect them from far away as they approached so Cailu walked towards to meet them halfway.

“We brought the supplies. Just direct my tribesmen on where to put them, and tell them where the food supplies are so they can pack them up. After that, we're ready when your cousin is. Also, they made a sling out of wood and leaves for her to use for her own comfort. The warriors will have no issue carrying her throughout the journey.”

“There is no need for your soldiers to pack or unpack all by themselves,” As Cailu spoke a male guard approached the group silently, “This is Mondo, he and a lady guard named Fi will accompany you to ensure my cousins safety. Mondo will show your men where we keep our stash’s and help.”

When Cailu was done speaking the male guard gestured where the party should be heading and continued to lead them there. But just before he left, one that was observant would notice the dark stare he sent towards Cailu. If you were really observant you would notice the dark stares of everyone around, even if they were just short ones. But they were there, everyone knew what he had done and mostly everyone despised Cailu for making such a decision. Not that they liked him from the beginning either, but this just fueled the fire.

But Cailu ignored them, he was used to them already, “I don’t think you will need that sling though, Ara can be rather prou--,” just as Cailu was about to end the sentence he stopped himself. Since the person in question had appeared beside him, holding her hand up like she always did when he was supposed to shut his mouth. And like always he did. Even though he was a tall man, it looked like he shrunk beside her, because he was not even close to radiate the same authority as her. Beside her, he just looked like a boy, a child hesitating on what he was to do. What he was allowed to do.

Even though Ara had been present when Kala had first approached Cailu, she had never took the time to watch her closely. So now when she for the first time stood in front of the woman, facing her completely, she eyed her up and down. She even observed the fox beside the woman. But it was not in an unfriendly way, it was because she needed to know what kind of people she was supposed to deal with.

“Nice to meet you, I’m Ara Cilivren, the only daughter of our former leader and our current ones cousin. I look forward to accompany you, and let me get this one thing strait. I’m not proud,” As she spoke Ara kept a friendly smile upon her face the whole time. Until the proud part, because at that moment she gave Cailu a harsh glare and he avoided looking at it as some shy child. “But he is right, I can’t accept such kindness. I will travel by horse and I think that will work fine.”

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Kala


“Nice to meet you, I’m Ara Cilivren, the only daughter of our former leader and our current ones cousin. I look forward to accompany you, and let me get this one thing strait. I’m not proud, but he is right, I can’t accept such kindness. I will travel by horse and I think that will work fine.”

“Whatever works for you.” Kala said with a smile. “I hope you don't mind that we won't be going very fast. The rest of us don't use horses as mounts. Not that we're judging,” she said quickly, putting her hands up. “Everyone does what is best for them.”

She oversaw the warriors packing up the supplies, then returned to Ara. “We are ready to depart if you are. Northpass is not so far away, so fortunately we won't be traveling for too many days.”

The setting changes from Imos to Airedale

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Kalagisa Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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“I hope you don't mind that we won't be going very fast. The rest of us don't use horses as mounts. Not that we're judging.”

"No, my men will walk just as you so they can help, but I rather take my horse than trouble your soldiers by forcing them to carry me."

Cailu glanced towards Ara as she spoke, he would have preferred if she had taken up on their offer to carry her instead. It somehow felt safer, but he wasn't surprised that she said no. Even though she denied it she was extremely proud or had just such a strong opinion when it came to things that she didn't care for what other thoughts as long as she believed something else. But at least she was dressed properly, and as Fi joined the group she carried the luggage. Mostly things that the town doctor had decided that they would need to have with them if Ara got worse on the way.

“We are ready to depart if you are. Northpass is not so far away, so fortunately we won't be traveling for too many days.”

"Yes, I think Mondo will arrive with my horse any minute now," just as Ara spoke the white haired man could be spotted again, leading a big silver gray mare with him. Seeing the horse brought a sad expression over both Cailu and Ara's faces, it was the last thing given to anyone of them before the departure of the former leader. It had been taken care of by others while the both of them had been avoiding it, Dee was Ara's horse. Cailu had his own which he took care of by himself. But it was also himself that had chosen that horse and paid for it.

As Mondo offered to help Ara up on the horse Cailu stepped in between without saying anything. With ease he picked up Ara from the ground and placed her upon the horse back where she sat and just dragged her hand over the horse. With a smal smile after a long ammount of silence she declared, "I'm ready."

With that the small group departed from Airedale and as they did Ara sat quiet without saying anything for the longest amount of time in forever. She was too busy watching the surrounding, taking in that she actually was outside of Airedale for the first time in a year. And it felt amazing.

Cailu on the other hand was dying with anxiety, he was walking around the market cursing himself for even letting her go out there. It was more times than once that he thought about taking his own horse to ride back after them and stop them, lead Ara back to where she belonged. There in Airedale with him. He was tearing himself apart on the inside, chewing every single piece of his mind to a mush. He couldn't stand himself and after a while he grabbed a hold of one of the glaring guards and begged him to follow the group just to see if everything went well. The guard who didn't care the slightest about what Cailu wanted or his feeling of guilt just shrugged and answered that he would, but only to ensure himself and the other tribe members that she was alright.

The setting changes from Airedale to Imos

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Reshar Xendir Character Portrait: Felicity Stark Character Portrait: Eirene
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In the darkest hours just before dawn started to disperse the night sky the rest of the family returned. When they did Eirene and her younger brothers were still awake, there was no chance that one of them could fall asleep in the middle of this. They had just been sitting in the living room area in front of the fireplace and stared into it. Neither of them had spoken a word, there was nothing to say. Sure, they could sit there and pat each other's back, try to make each other feel better, cheer each other up with pretty words. But the words got stuck on the way up, neither of them could lie like that. Neither of them wanted to bring it up, the topic was too heavy to even think about. Even though Eirene wanted to think about something else, and she tried so hard to change the pictures in her mind she couldn't. The thought of Embla always snuck back and screamed inside her head. Screamed at her that Embla was out there when something like an assassin snuck around.

But as soon as Eirene and Eli's father and older brothers returned they quickly got up onto their feet’s again. Just about to rush out to the main entrance to welcome them all back and Embla as well. They never got the time to do so though, the four men wandered into the room without even taking off their coats. As they did both Eirene and Eli searched behind them with their eyes, looking after Embla. But she never showed up and the youngest children could understand what it meant even before their father tried to explain it with a cracked voice. Even though he tried to act strong in front of them they both could see that his heart was filled with sorrow.

After their father had told everyone about Embla's death every one of them was sent to bed. Well, her oldest brother was sent to the couch since neither of the other family members felt like letting him walk through the city by himself to his own house. Once inside her own bed, tucked down carefully by her father Embla lied there and stared up into the ceiling. She found it a bit odd that her father had been there to tell her goodnight, it been had aged since he had done something like that. She was an adult now so there was no need for such things. But she guessed that it was the shock from losing his oldest daughter that made him act like this towards her. She was his only daughter left now.



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Time had continued to go forward like it was cogwheels that hadn't been oiled in a long time, it moved slowly, creakingly and stood completely still at other times. Cailu wasn't being himself, he felt more hated than ever. He was hiding inside the leader's mansion most of the time, inside his room, in his bed and refused to go out of bed. He was like a sulky child, feeling bad for himself for something he had brought upon himself as well. It was as if Ara somehow had spoiled him with just her presence and now he was being like this. Servants or other's came to knock on the door from time to time and asked him to perform his duties as the leader. It was a funny thing however since he wasn't the leader and he had no idea what he was supposed to do. It was Ara who told him what to do, now he was like a lost puppy.

In the end the servants gave up and the only thing they did was bring him food. After a while they stopped doing that as well since they just got so angry with him. They knew it was his fault that Ara had been sent away, it was his idea. And of course they all disliked him for it but they just tried to act nice, but in the end their friendliness had a limit and they had reached it. So he was all alone in the big mansion. Listening to the noises from the outside, there life carried on but in there - in the cold, empty, dusty mansion it was only silence. Silence and Cailu's groans of agony. He was not a strong person, not by himself, not without Ara. He needed her to show the way first.

In the end he reached his limit as well, he couldn't go on without a proper meal. His stomach was so empty it felt like it had started to eat itself up. So since Cailu himself couldn't cook at all he swept his cloak around himself, covering this face. He knew it was a simple and probably failure as an disguise but he just didn't feel like showing his face to the townspeople. He didn't want to see their either. He just wanted to be left alone and be without their dark gazes.

So out he went, in his so discreet disguise. Even though he couldn't see them he knew that everyone was looking and that everyone knew who he was. But at least he didn't have to see them and that was all that counted. He walked over the trampled dirt paths, he knew where he was going. The only place he could get a cooked meal as long as he paid them, the inn. There was only one in the small village Airedale. But at least there was one.

When he reached it he pushed the heavy oak door out of his way and walked as far into the inn as possible, sitting down in one of the darkest corners. There he waited for someone to just take his order and then go again, leave him alone so he could sulk in his solitude.



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The castle life wasn't as fun as Deborah probably had imagined it to be while still living in the slums, being there and gaze towards the castle you imagine that their life was easy. Carefree. That somehow disaster didn't strike them at any time. How now that could work since everyone dies, get sick, wounded and so on at some point in life. But being on the outside you just can't imagine things like that, at least Deborah couldn't. But even though Deborah didn't care the slightest about the dead queen or king the rest of the castle seemed to care an awfully lot. Even though time moved on most of the people still seemed to mourn like there was no ending to it. Not that Deborah had gotten time to think about such things much, she had been busy reading. Not being the best at it she had to put all of her focus on those strange curlicues to understand what they tried to tell her.

Deborah had spent almost every day since she had moved into the castle inside the library doing something she would rather not do. She flipped through book after book, eyed parchment after parchment. There was no end to it. So many books and so little that were relevant at all. It had gotten so far that she had started to see letters haunt her in her dreams when she was asleep, they were everywhere.

But one day it happened. As she tiredly eyed through yet another really old parchment something captured her eyes. Or at first she was just about to miss it and put the parchment with all the other's that she was already done with when some words stood out a little more than the other's. The Element stones, the parchment itself didn't say much. It was basically just an old fairy tale or myth. Or so it seemed at first when she looked at it. It told the story of four stones or jewels, they each held the ability to control one of the elements by touching them. As she read it over and over Deborah started to wonder if it really just was a fairy tale and why it would be kept in the library if that was the case. It just seemed odd, even though it was old and had probably been lying there for ages, why? Why would someone even put a fairy tale in here, she had always thought it was supposed to hold the history of the Fire tribe and Murtovaara intact. So something about the fairy tale just seemed so... strange. Even though she wasn't sure if it was something she should bring to the king she decided to do it. It was something, better than nothing. And if he also thought that it sounded unlikely that the library would keep myths and bed time stories intact perhaps she was right in her suspicion.

So when she left the library she brought the parchment with her, dead set on showing it to him when he had time over to come down to her room. And there she waited for him while reading the lines over and over again. Thinking, or at least trying to think about it.

When he finally arrived she rose from her chair and held out the parchment for him to see, "I found this today. At first I thought it was just a myth or perhaps a fairy tale but then I realized that it was very strange that your library would contain something like fairy tales. So what do you think?"

The setting changes from Imos to Airedale

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Felicity Stark Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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”Did you hear? Some say he sent her away just to get free reign over the air tribe,” the bearded man leaned closer to his companions, lowering his voice, ”everyone knows he’s a coward for a leader, after all.”

”Well, it’s the only thing that makes sense. Damn snake. Should’ve gone with the rest of his family. I swear, everything must’ve been his fault to begin with,” said a the red faced woman with long, gray hair tightly tied back in a bun. She’d had way too much to drink, that much Felicity was sure of. Even if she did think of their accusations as unnecessary, one thing was true. There was no doubt that Cailu was a weak leader and as such, definitely did not qualify as a suitable leader. She would never say it out loud, but that was one of the few things Felicity faulted him for. Not as a person, but precisely because he was the air tribes chief. Had he been anyone else, Felicity would have been able to see past it. She knew everyone had their strengths and weaknesses. Yet these kinds of weaknesses in a leader… well, it didn’t exactly make a good one.

Yet Felicity still couldn’t bring herself to dislike him. Maybe it was because he was so easily manipulated, or maybe simply because she’d developed a soft spot for him over the years. His personality was kind of cute, she supposed… and he was less boorish than most of the men she had gotten to know. Whilst many men in the village had attempted made offers for engagement, Felicity had turned down every single one of them. She was a tease and would often flirt with them shamelessly, but none of them really did appeal to her enough for her to accept. Even her father didn’t have a say in the matter, strange as it may seem. Felicity was an extremely headstrong young woman and there were some things she would not accept. Yet Cailu was different. He’d never attempted to flirt with her or seemed to have any ulterior motives when he interacted with her. Felicity appreciated that and as such, liked him. Now, that she had ulterior motives herself… was a completely different matter.

Sighing softly, she shook her head just slightly at their nonsense, handing them their glasses of mead before moving on to wipe an empty table. She was just about to head back into the kitchen, when suddenly the door to the tavern opened with a light creak, a dark clad figure shuffling inside. As though the gods have read my mind… Felicity’s lips curved into a slight smile as she headed over to the table he’d chosen soundlessly, sneaking up behind him before slinging her arms around his shoulders.

”Well, if it Cailu,” she giggled into his ear, her face almost suspiciously close to his, ”hello there, sweetie…” as she spoke in a sweet voice, Felicity withdrew her arms and moved to his side, tilting her head just slightly as she continued, ”is there anything I could do perhaps do for you, honey?”

The setting changes from Airedale to Imos

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Felicity Stark Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Sitting in the corner of the tavern Cailu felt like sinking down into the earth, not like how the earth benders did but what he wished for was more like decomposing until he was nothing at all anymore. Get buried and disappear. The whispers inside the room didn't make anything better. They just made him feel worse, he missed Ara more than anyone and everyone acted as if he didn't care at all. Even though he was so hungry that his body ached it started to feel like a bad thing to come here. At least people hadn't realized that it was him yet.

As soon as that thought entered his mind he regretted it, feeling how something warm creeped around his neck and shoulders. He was aware of the fact that it was human arms but it still got his heart to skip a beat, coming from nowhere like that. And to be precise, Cailu had never been a physical type of person so a stranger hugging him from behind wasn't his idea of pleasing moments.

”Well, if it isn't Cailu, hello there, sweetie… is there anything I could do perhaps do for you, honey?”

Cailu watched quietly Felicity as she appeared beside him, it was not a surprise that it was her who had attacked him. She was probably the only one that could come up with such an idea when it came to him, blushing he covered his ear she had just been whispering into with his hand. It felt hot, he was embarrassed and because of that he averted his eyes from her. Staring down into the table instead.

"U-Uhm..." Cailu lost his voice, it got stuck on the way up. He got to nervous, not only because of the company and the fact that he needed to say something but also because Felicity touched him so casually. The heart in his chest was beating so wildly in his chest that he felt like fainting, he was more than light headed now, "Uh... H-Hello Felicity..." For a slight moment Cailu tried to look up into her eyes when he greeted her, but he quickly looked down again, hiding his face with the hood. Mostly because it felt like his face was burning up or melting of his skeleton by now, "U-Uh... Y-You know... N-None of those w-who work in the m-mansion comes to work anymore... A-And... Uh... I'm here to e-eat... I don't care what it is... I p-pay..."



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"Thank you, I will immediately begin to searching deeply into my abilities."

Deborah watched quietly as the king started to leave the room, she was satisfied with the result. For once the king had actually listened to her instead of manipulating her words to fit what he wanted to hear. And it was not like Deborah could teach the king how to use fire or water, she would probably not even be able to teach him to manipulate light. Basically because she had no idea what his potential was, sure he carried fire in his veins but that didn't mean that all that he had been taught by others was all there was. And that was what she felt like she could teach him. That he had to find his own potential, and he had understood it. The future ahead felt like it could be exciting now because Deborah didn't know what could happen.

"Deborah, I like it when you speak your mind. There are so few I permit to do so, but there are so few that breed wisdom like you." And gone, the king left and there she sat shocked by the message that ending phrase had carried. Even though Deborah by now was pretty sure that the king saw her as an asset, or he had even said nice things to her the first time they met since she was so different. But that had all been because of her abilities and that was what he had been appreciating, now he actually said something nice towards her persona. It tickled something inside her in a good way, she started to change her opinion of the king.

In her current state she thought to herself that perhaps he wasn't so bad after all, he had sure been very generous when it came to most things. And even though he was demanding it could be because he was stressed? It seemed to be much work to be done when you had so many people to take care of, so of course he would be stressed. Or at least that was ideas that formed inside Deborah's mind, making excuses for him for how he acted from time to time. Deborah was much more understanding and easier to work with once she had gotten that small feeling that she indeed was respected and valuable for the other one.

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"U-Uh... Y-You know... N-None of those w-who work in the m-mansion come to work anymore... A-And... Uh... I'm here to e-eat... I don't care what it is... I p-pay..."

He was stuttering like he feared the loss of his own life, yet Felicity couldn't help to think of it as adorable. The red hue for a blush spreading across his facial features only made his reaction all the more endearing. Cailu certainly was the most fun individual to tease – at least according to Felicity. Yet his words worried her, causing her expression to darken as she folded her arms over her chest in mild irritation. If it was directed at Cailu or the servants she wasn't sure. Heck, for all she knew it could have been both.

"You're meaning to tell me, you actually let them get away with that sort of nonsense?" the white haired female asked slowly, her eyes narrowed as she kept those intense blue orbs focused on Cailu. "Good God, Cailu, you've got to show some backbone. Threaten to fire them if they refuse to show up! See how smug they'll be once they notice no one's paying their salaries," she paused only to breathe, clearly agitated over the situation, "If you let peop-" Felicity never finished what she'd meant to sigh, clutching her forehead as she tried to gather her thoughts. Then she let a heavy sigh escape her lips.

"Wait a moment, I'll get you something warm to eat. Once you're finished, we'll have a talk with those servants," the ferocity in Felicity's voice and mannerism left no room for arguments, as she abruptly turned on her heels and headed back into the kitchen.

A while later she returned with a steaming rabbit stew and a glass of mead, placing it down on the table before him. "There you go," she said, her voice considerably gentler in comparison to their earlier conversation.

The setting changes from Imos to Airedale

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"You're meaning to tell me, you actually let them get away with that sort of nonsense?"

Cailu shrunk down a little where he sat, back getting even more hunched forward, as if he tried to hide from Felicity disapproval. He didn't like it when people expressed their dislike for something had done, he didn't want to hear that. He found it much easier to deal when it was the body language that let him know he had done poorly, he wanted to see such things from Ara. Because even if she was angry, she would tell him what he should be doing instead. All other's just got angry and scolded him like Felicity, "Good God, Cailu, you've got to show some backbone. Threaten to fire them if they refuse to show up! See how smug they'll be once they notice no one's paying their salaries. If you let peop-"

Once again Cailu slipped downwards on the chair, he was almost lying on it by now. If he could he would probably crawl down under the table and sulk if it wasn't for the fact that there were people around him. He was like that, when sad he always hide away and sulked. Most of the time it was Anastasia that would come and fetch him when he was doing such things, but not now. He hadn't seen her for a while and he guessed that it was because of what he had done, sent away her friend.

"I-," just as Cailu was about to explain that he hadn't had any intention to actually continue to pay those who skipped work Felicity interrupted and continued, "Wait a moment, I'll get you something warm to eat. Once you're finished, we'll have a talk with those servants."

Cailu just nodded quietly before she left the table, not looking forward to what would be happening after this at all. It was not that he feared it, but it just didn't feel good at all.

However, when Felicity returned again with the food Cailu's mood got slightly better. Having something to eat was what he had longed for and it was probably one of the tastier things he had eaten in a while. In a very long time, he had always suspected the servants to not be doing their best when it came to the food served to him but now he was pretty sure it was true as well. So he gulped down the stew faster than he had planned. When the bowl was empty he just sat there and stared down at it, regretting eating so fast. In a whisper he expressed his gratitude, "Uh... Uhm... It was delicious Felicity, thank you..."

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Bellistrad Indorial

After a full days journey and a restless night Bellistrad had finally come to the gate of Airedale. He was exhausted and hungry, so of course the first place he would go was the tavern. Reaching into his pocket Bell took out his Airedale pass that he had purchased his first trip into the village. The guards saw it and let him in right away without question, recognizing him from his earlier travels in the region. Thankfully the tavern was open and he walked right in and found a spot to slid into. He was thankful for the opportunity to rest and awaited for the barmaiden to come and take his order.

When she came Bellistrad's attitude changed to a less tired more bright and cheery one. "Hey. Can I get a cup of chamomile tea please?" After his order he gazed around the tavern. The occupancy was mainly Air tribe citizens, most were here to partake in the food and conversation. One however seemed down and dreadful. It was time for Bellistrad to do what he did best, help others. As soon as his tea arrived he moved it and himself as well as his pack to the table with the saddened patron. He looked young, perhaps even younger than Bellistrad.

"Hey there. Sorry to bother you but you seem like you need some help. My name is Bellistrad Indorial, spiritual guide of Imos. Might I ask your name and occupation.?" He takes a drink of his tea and feels the warmth fill his body, recharging his chakras as well as his fire energy. It was almost the exact opposite of this man's chakra system, weak and frail, perhaps even corrupted by his own emotions. This would take some work on Bellistrad's part to fix him. None-the-less he was determined to help this poor soul.

The setting changes from Airedale to Imos

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Reshar Xendir Character Portrait: Felicity Stark Character Portrait:
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People came and left the tavern while Cailu still was seated in his dark corner, hiding from the outer world. Sulking like he usually did. Even though he didn't have anything to actually be depressed about at the moment he was still sitting there looking as if his world was falling apart while drawing circles with his fingers on the table. But even though he knew it was his own fault he couldn't help but dislike it all, if it wasn't for the fact that Felicity had shown up and slapped his mind back to reality he would probably be on his way to Northpass by now.

He was deep in thoughts when the strange man approached him and even though Cailu did notice the movements in the corner of his eye he didn't care enough to look properly. In his head he just assumed the man was searching for somewhere to sit, Cailu didn't care. But when the chair's legs could be heard scraping against the floor Cailu looked up at the stranger for the first time, furrowing his eyebrows when he noticed that it was a foreigner. Like always in Airedale it wasn't hard to tell the locals from the rest, they lacked the white hair. At least the younger ones.

"Hey there. Sorry to bother you but you seem like you need some help. My name is Bellistrad Indorial, spiritual guide of Imos. Might I ask your name and occupation.?"

The name sounded familiar, but Cailu couldn't really remember why. He just had a feeling that Ara probably knew who this man was, he had a faint memory of her mentioning the name. So he just guessed that it was something that made the man stand out from the crowd apart from the hair.

It took a while for Cailu to answer the man, he just sat there quietly while watching him. He was hoping for the man to go away and leave him be again, but since that wasn't happening he just mumbled out the answer, "I'm Cailu Elre..." He didn't think it was worth mentioning his occupation, even though the man was foreigner and hadn't seen the Air tribe's leader's face before Cailu just assumed he had at least heard the name.



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The conversation continued to go on once the owner returned to the table when everyone that begged to be served had gotten what they wanted. It wasn't much of importance that got mentioned, it was mainly Eden who was once again bragging about his new position once more. But this time even louder, as if he wanted the whole inn to hear it. Which obviously was the case. He wanted the whole wide world to hear his announcement. That he stood above the rest. When drunk all of Eden's bad traits he hid so well while being sober got exposed, it was as if he turned into someone completely different.

As time went by nothing turned for the better, it in fact got worse. It got to that point that not even Eden's oldest friend could defend his behavior and tried to calm the man down while putting his hand on Eden's shoulder while trying to convince him that he had probably had enough to drink. That only led to Eden getting even more annoyed and without lifting the cup itself he splashed what was left in the owner's face.

"Don't dare to speak like that to me! Never tell me what I can or cannot do, I decide when I've had enough!" By now when speaking Eden's voice had gotten low and languorous, he couldn't speak correctly anymore.

The owner didn't say anything more after Eden's outburst, he just wiped his face in silence while Eden continued to talk about this and that. Eden didn't even acknowledge the fact that his friend had stopped answering him. He was happy just talking to himself. After a while of more talk about himself Eden sluggishly placed his hand over his mouth while looking as if he was trying to figure out the mysteries of the world. He was thinking hard, not because he was usually stupid but because he at this point had forgotten everything because of the daze in his head.

"I heard a rather strange tale yesterday when I was searching for Embla with the others..." Eden began but seemed to sink down into deep thoughts again, thinking so hard that he got more wrinkles all over his face. "My younger brother... Uh... I don't remember which of them... They look so damn alike... He told me this strange thing... Uh... What was it... Oh yeah! Apparently our family home got visited by some palace guard yesterday morning, they were accompanied by Eirene. You won't believe what they had with them! According to... Uh... Ee- Whoever it was of them, he said that they carried a body with them. And when they left they didn't carry it with them anymore. Can you believe it?"

The setting changes from Imos to Airedale

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Bellistrad Indorial

Cailu Elre, the name of the Air Tribe's new leader. Bellistrad did not show any emotion besides curiosity at the name, but if this was the air leader he was far out of his league. The man needed help and Bellistrad was going to be the one to help him... even if he didn't want it. "Well, Cailu, no offense but you look really low. And my job description is to help people like you no matter the cost to myself. So, are you going to tell me what you need help with or is this going to be more difficult?" His voice was not threatening but straight to the point, even up-beat if you could call it that.

Bellistrad leaned in close and laid a hand on Cailu's, which normally would be strange but Bellistrad did not care what people thought. He sent a small amount of his fire energy into Cailu, warming him and if Cailu accepted the energy it would relieve the stress that he felt. On the other hand if he rejected it his fingers would give off a small amount steam. "Please, trust me. I may not know you but I can see the hurt in your energy... I mean, eyes. I used to have that pain as well. Then I learned my purpose in this life." Bellistrad moved his hand away from Cailu and picked up his tea again and took a sip, thinking it a little too cold and heated it with his energy before drinking it down fast in one gulp. He let out a loud sigh and leaned back in his chair.

"In the end I can only help the willing, but if you resist my help than it will take a lot longer to get rid of me." Bellistrad winked and let his blue hair fall in front of his eyes, obscuring them. It was impossible to tell if he was already asleep or not but he did not move from this position until either Cailu answered him with a yes or he was interrupted otherwise.

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"Well, Cailu, no offense but you look really low. And my job description is to help people like you no matter the cost to myself. So, are you going to tell me what you need help with or is this going to be more difficult?"

More difficult, Cailu wondered slightly what the man meant by that mainly because Cailu didn't felt like answering him. Cailu had always been a man of few words and even more so when he talked to a stranger, or more like unless it was Ara which he spoke with. Everyone was so difficult to talk with and he didn't even know why. So this only lead to him sitting there with his mouth shut while staring down at the worn out tree table.

At least that was his plan all along but when he suddenly felt the warmth upon his hand he quickly withdrew it from the grasp of Bellistrad, "W-Why did you do that?!" Just as he stuttered out his concerns his eyes noticed the suspicions steam coming off the hand he now held closely to his body and in shock he let out his concerns in a single exhalation, "You're a fire bender?!"

If Cailu had remembered the man he would be more understanding, but it was obvious that the fire benders last visits to Airedale was when Ara's father was the one who run the tribe. Even though the Air tribe didn't do anything to prevent it or show their disapproval how the Fire tribe acted. But it was the fact that if there was one tribe that the Air tribe really disliked, more like hated, it was those who bent the fire. So usually they weren't allowed to enter their little village but here one was and it was a huge shock to Cailu that one of them had been able to infiltrate their land even further.

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Bellistrad Indorial

Bellistrad opened one eye and leaned forward a little to make sure Cailu was paying attention to him."Technically I am an exile of that tribe, but yes I can use fire magic. Don't worry, I only use fire to harm when absolutely necessary. Which has been a lot recently, and that bastard Zaheed is to blame. I am only in your village to relax and now that you are sulking in a corner I am here to help you." Bellistrad stood and picked up his pack, slipping it over his shoulders and bowed low to Cailu.

"I hope you enjoy the rest of your day, I will see you tomorrow at dawn to start your healing process. And don't try to get out of it, you would only be cutting yourself off from the world even more." With that Bellistrad left the tavern and went out into the village. He attempted to find someone he could stay with, but it seemed that many people had either forgotten him or did not want a foreigner in their home. So unfortunately Bell ended up in one of the abandoned houses that evening with only what provisions he had left. He was also running low on inhalants, so he only smoked half of his usual dose for sleep that night.

Before bed Bellistrad sat cross-legged and began to meditate, sparking all of his chakras into flame from the bottom one by one until he reached his Eighth chakra and astral projected. This night as his spirit left his body Bell traveled to Cailu wherever his was. What Bell saw was not his body but his spirit. The weak, self-degrading crumpled soul was in need of repair and soon. Bellistrad could not do much for Cailu directly even while in his body, Cailu had to help himself. But Bell could give him a hard shove in the right direction.

Bell began by stimulating the Root Chakra, the lowest energy center located at the base of the spine. It was tuned to Earth and dealt with survival and fear. Without this chakra one could hardly function and the rest of the chakra's are starved of energy that comes in through the red energy field. Bellistrad opened this chakra for Cailu and sparked it with energy, allowing him to take in nature's energy again. This was all he could do for the moment, and hopefully Cailu would feel the difference soon as he began his journey of recovery.

Returning to his body, Bellistrad laid on his rolled out mat and let himself fall asleep, dreaming of the Air Tribe and it's people.

The setting changes from Airedale to Imos

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"Technically I am an exile of that tribe, but yes I can use fire magic. Don't worry, I only use fire to harm when absolutely necessary. Which has been a lot recently, and that bastard Zaheed is to blame. I am only in your village to relax and now that you are sulking in a corner I am here to help you."

Cailu immediately relax a little when the man admitted to being exiled from the tribe, if that was the case he didn't need to worry about having the fire tribe knocking at the front gate any minute. If he had to deal with something like that as well as being on his own now, it would be too much. Something like that would just be too big for him to handle by himself, he would panic and not know what to do. He would embarrass not only himself but the tribe and Ara as well, make them all look bad.

"I hope you enjoy the rest of your day, I will see you tomorrow at dawn to start your healing process. And don't try to get out of it, you would only be cutting yourself off from the world even more."

When the strange man left the table once more Cailu just scratched his chin in confusement, the man spoke of them meeting again the next morning. But was it an order or would the man just show up at the front door and knock? It was not like he could go to the wrong house, it was obvious which house the leader lived in and it was not that hard to find for a person that had never been there either. It was in the center of the village, whichever way you took you would be able to find it at some point.

For a while Cailu continued to ponder upon the strange man’s words and what he could have meant by that. It was not like the man could give orders to Cailu, it was Cailu who ran this town. He was the one giving out orders, even though it hadn't been many the last couple of weeks. But it just felt so strange. Whatever idea he man now had Cailu doubted he wanted to be a part of it.

When the outside world got darker Cailu in the end decided to leave the tavern so he just pulled the hood of his cloak lower again before greeting Felicity goodbye and left.



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The hours got long and dreadful when you were sitting inside the room without no windows located in the castle's basement. Sure, Deborah had everything she could wish for and more down there. It was so much more than what she had gotten before, but even though she had all of those worldly thing it still didn't make her presence down there more stand able. She wasn't a lover of human interaction and she had never been one, but to never actually meet anyone else but castle guards from time to time and only have four compact stone walls to stare at. It could break anybody in the end.

It got to her, the loneliness and lack of human voices. Even though she wasn't forced to stay inside the castle she had, mainly because she knew that she needed to be available to find once the king felt like meeting her again. If she was gone when that was going to happen she guessed he would be even more dissatisfied with her. Why he even was that in the first place was not something she could understand but she didn't try to understand it either. She just knew that he kept his distance and that was why she felt like the walls was getting closer to her, making it hard to breathe since he was the only one she actually spoke to inside this huge pile of stones.

So when she couldn't stand it anymore, when it felt like her solitude would lead to her mind actually breaking apart she left the castle in the end. Not caring about being available when the king needed her, it was not her problem anymore. What was he going to do about it anyway? She wasn't chained to the walls. Once outside it felt like she finally could breathe with ease, she wasn't running away - she took a break from being someone else’s property.

She had no destination, no one she wanted to visit or talk to. Actually she didn't have any plans to interact with anyone outside either, it was just a relief to have people around her and hear their conversations like some distant murmur instead of the echoes of footsteps in the dungeons. But her peaceful stroll got disturbed by someone suddenly shouting for help. Did Deborah usually help people? No. It was not something that came naturally for her. The fact that she helped the king was mainly because that was what she was supposed to do, she had gotten chosen and of course she wanted to prove that she indeed was the best one for the job.

But just today because she in fact had the thief running towards her she choose to help. But it wasn't because she wanted to help, she was annoyed and angry after being forsaken for so long that she just happened to let the poor man be the outlet of those feelings. What she did was simply punch the man when he was about to pass her, and to be honest to feel the impact of her knuckles and the man’s body was wonderful. It was like all of her stress just ran off her and turned into a small puddle on the ground.

The setting changes from Imos to Airedale

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Bellistrad Indorial

Bellistrad awoke stiff and still a little tired from the energy he had expended the night before. The sun was just rising over the horizon as he sat up and yawned into his hand. He fixed his hair, had a small meal of bread and fruit, smoked his hookah and finally did some yoga before heading out towards Cailu's mansion. He yawned his way to the front door and was stopped short by a single guard outside. "State your business, outlander." The guard said to Bellistrad with a tired gruff tone. Bellistrad gave him a smile and held out a hand to him.

"Hi! I have an appointment for Cailu this morning. He is in dire need of a spiritual cleansing." Bell must not be the only one who noticed Cailu's shadowy attitude, for the guard sighed and stepped to one side and opened the door. "Finally, we have been worried about him as of late. Do what you can for him, and for our village." Bellistrad bowed to the guard and walked inside. He immediately took stock of the interior, which looked in disarray and in need of cleaning. He did not see any servants around, which was odd.

He ignored the turmoil of the mansion and concentrated his fire magic to his eyes. Opening them, they glowed neon blue as he saw and felt the heat of every living thing in the house. There were tons of rats and flies in the house, but only one human soul still sleeping in bed. Shaking his head Bellistrad made his way to the sleeping man. He opened the door to the room slowly and took a seat at the foot of Cailu's bed, sitting cross legged on a chest there and took his hookah out of his pack. Smoking the hookah while he waited he wondered how the smoke would effect an air bender, since the air was being filled with the marijuana smoke.

This thought process continued on until Cailu awoke. Bellistrad would notice immediately as his body heat would increase with awakening, and he immediately smiled at the young man. "Good morning. You sure sleep in late. Tell me, what was your dream?"

The setting changes from Airedale to Imos

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“Your intimidations will not scare me away.”

The only response given was a shrug of the shoulders and a roll of her eyes, Deborah didn't get impressed by the woman’s guts. She found them foolish if anything, like she lacked some sort of survival instinct or was just plain stupid. But there had to be people like that in the world as well presumably, Deborah was probably one of them as well since she time after time challenged or got on the kings nerves even though she knew he was the one who held her life and wellbeing in his hands. Perhaps it was the reason why the woman annoyed Deborah even more, she reminded her of how mindless she was herself.

“It is a shame you have such a beautiful power. Its potential is wasted when used in such ugly ways.”

Once again she simply shrugged as she let the ball of light out of her, revealing it to the world. She wasn't ashamed, true she had been once since she wasn't a true fire bender but it was like the woman said. A beautiful power, but also a strong one which was what Deborah put most of her focus on. "You may think it's used in ugly ways but powerful people have found it rather impressive. Why try to be good when the rest of the world is rotten? I choose to just follow the flow and act like everyone else, whatever keeps me alive at the end of the day is good enough for me."

For once in this argument Deborah didn't insult the woman at all, at least not intentionally, the only thing she spoke was what she found to be the truth. It was her way of life and if people had a problem with that it was something that would only bother them, because she knew what had kept her alive. And landed her a place in the castle as well, if she had focused on something like lightshows because they simply was pretty she doubted that the king would even glance her way.



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If the mansion had looked torn and worn out before it was nothing compared to its state at this point. It was like a dead shell, like everything inside it had abandoned it, fled the darkness and sadness which had consumed it. All by himself like always lied Cailu, sleeping. It was the only way for him to hide from the hatred that flooded over him from the tribe. The traitor. He couldn't take it anymore, it was all too much.

But even though Cailu wished to stay inside his dreams and escape reality there was a limit to that as well. Even though it took him a while to awake fully he did notice there was something different with the air around him. But he didn't have the strength to think about it too much, he just stretched out and yawned before slowly sitting up instead.

"Good morning. You sure sleep in late. Tell me, what was your dream?"

The stranger words awoke Cailu rapid, shocked he stared at the man sitting at the end of his bed as if it was something normal. In his tired state Cailu had no memory of what had happened the night before so it wasn't all that strange that he swept his hands towards the man. Making a harsh wind hit him so he was knocked to the ground in self-defense. Because strangers in the bedroom when you wake up would startle anyone, at least it gave Cailu a small heart attack.

After he had done it last night’s conversation made itself reminded in the back of his head and with a rather gloomy mood Cailu swept the blanket around him before standing up, "Oh... It's you..."

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Bellistrad Indorial

Bellistrad went from sitting on the chest and happily smoking away to sprawled on the floor and his blue crystal hookah broken around him. The hookah water sizzled on Bellistrad's skin and made him let out a cry of pain. Normally his pain tolerance was a lot higher and he would not have cried out, but the suddenness of the strike of wind had startled him and scatter his self control. He would have to keep his guard up around Cailu, if he ever looses his nerve again.

Then Bellistrad relaxed and let out a wild laugh. Jumping up onto his feet again Bellistrad began picking up the pieces of blue crystal on the ground that had been his hookah. "Now that is what I am looking for! I am always awed by the natural flow of Wind! You sir have a gift. A gift of the throne of an elemental village. But you fear the responsibility of your title.Now allow me to help you learn how to use it." Bellistrad had gathered all the pieces of the hookah and had assembled them in the proper place like a puzzle. Using his fingers Bell applied a blue flame to the cracks and sealed them, melting the crystal and fusing the hookah into one piece again almost like new. He then replaced the metal throat of the hookah into the crystal and finally the tube.

Bellistrad's face lit up in a look of eternal joy over his accomplishment. That one expression showed just how happy he could be from the simplest of things. It also showed a piece of his soul, enlightened and pure. Placing the hookah on the chest Bellistrad turned once more to Cailu and smiles wide at him. "Ready to begin?"

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“Your life is sad because you let people control you. You limit yourself so much when its clear from your power your life is meant for great things. You should leave this city because the rest of the world is so much different.”

It was all just a matter of perspective, different people would suggest different things. And Deborah guessed that this stranger wouldn't exactly call working for the new fire king was a great thing. But to Deborah it was, even though he was a rather harsh and strange person. But the king was the first one to actually see her power as something great in its own special way and not something abnormal and faulty. Which probably was the reason to why she ended up being a servant to the man. So the stranger was right in one thing, Deborah did end up letting someone control her even though she did try to fight the amount of control he had over her.

"Leaving is easier said than done. As I said, powerful people found my powers impressive, impressive enough to hire me of all people," As she spoke Deborah glanced back up at the castle wondering to herself if she had been gone for too long and her absence had been noticed by now. She decided that it wasn't the case, she wasn't that important. Not important at all actually, if she was she wouldn't be kept in the dark for so long without any information, right? "If I decided to leave the city I would probably end up dead. You know, the Fire tribe doesn't take treason that well. Or I would just end up in chains in the basement instead."

Deborah's thoughts got abruptly stopped as she realized that she had said slightly too much. She was used to being outspoken and not fearing telling anyone anything, but clearly someone she had started arguing with at the street wasn't the right person to tell such things to. After it been done she instantly regretted it, so she dragged her hand down her face while letting out a tired sigh.

“I understand that you do not care for what I have to say, but I insist you give me an apology for saying rude things of my gods.”

Another sigh was let out under the palm of her hand and Deborah glared at the woman from behind her fingers, "Forget it. It's not happening. Now if you are just going to continue to rant about such insignificant things I'm just going to leave because I have better things to do." Like returning to her room before people got upset with her for just leaving without saying anything. Before the little lady could refuse Deborah simply turned around once more while starting to walk back to where she came from.



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The visitor was a much stranger man than Cailu had thought, hearing his laughter from the floor. It did make Cailu take a few steps back while wondering what was wrong with the man, he didn't like him one bit. He made Cailu uncomfortable, it didn't help that Cailu was dressed in his undergarments at the moment - he was nowhere near being respectable dressed for a meeting at the moment.

"Now that is what I am looking for! I am always awed by the natural flow of Wind! You sir have a gift. A gift of the throne of an elemental village. But you fear the responsibility of your title. Now allow me to help you learn how to use it."

If the man’s words was supposed to encourage him it did the opposite, Cailu just wanted to shout at the man that he was wrong. That everyone was wrong. It was not his throne, he knew that now. He had learnt that he didn't want it. He wasn't created to be the one sitting on the throne, he was supposed to protect the one who was. But he couldn't because of all of this madness. That was the reason to why he was trained in how to use his power, so he could protect her. Not himself or the village.

"Ready to begin?"

The smile of the man just made Cailu turn away his eyes, avoiding any sort of contact with him before placing himself on the bed again. "No, no I'm not. And you are wrong." The words felt heavy, like big lumps he had to force out from his mouth. It was never easy to speak, but now it was even harder. The words came from such a deep dark place, the place he found himself in now. He had learnt by his mistakes - he was not the right man for the job as the leader. He wasn't even the true leader, but he now felt like it was wrong that he even pretended to be one. If Ara indeed got better by the treatment she received in Northpass they should stop this act, she could handle herself.

"It's not my responsibility and clearly you have seen that my village doesn't think so either. There is only one true leader here and it's not me." When he finally was able to get it out he suddenly realized what he was supposed to do, what his true responsibility was. So in a sudden movement he stood up once more before moving to his clothes, "But I should be with her, not here playing some charade. It was wrong in the first place and it's wrong now. If you truly are a friend of our tribe you must already know who our true leader is."

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"It's not my responsibility and clearly you have seen that my village doesn't think so either. There is only one true leader here and it's not me." When he finally was able to get it out he suddenly realized what he was supposed to do, what his true responsibility was. So in a sudden movement he stood up once more before moving to his clothes, "But I should be with her, not here playing some charade. It was wrong in the first place and it's wrong now. If you truly are a friend of our tribe you must already know who our true leader is."


Bellistrad saw what was going on. He had heard the rumors of Cailu's charge and what their relationship was. Now it seemed those rumors were true. As Cailu seemed to get more excited about something, Bellistrad could only think that he was leaving. Come to think of it, Bellistrad was wondering where his charge was. She must be outside of the village, and that would explain Cailu's state. It all came together for Bellistrad, and it also meant that Bellistrad might fail this time. Walking over to Cailu, Bellistrad placed[a hand on his arm. "Please, wait. Here me out, Cailu. I am going to admit, I am not only here to help you. I need your help, and your tribe's. There is a serious issue in the Water Tribe, and it might mean that the Air could be in danger. Let me explain it first than you can decide what to do."

This at least bought Bellistrad some time with Cailu as he tried to convince him to come to his aid. Bellistrad sat down on the bed and slowly let out his breath before he could let out his long story. " Ok, so first let me begin with my experiences. I was traveling into the Water Tribe a week or so ago in the middle of the night, and I ran into non-other than General Zaheed. I also saw Zianro, the Water Tribe's current leader skulking around. I can say for a fact the only reason they would be together is to either kill each other or make a deal. Zianro wants peace, so Zaheed probably promised him a reprieve, but in exchange assistance from Zianro i'm sure."

He had to catch his breath from the emotional scar the experiences of the last few days left on him, which he did not feel until now."I left shortly after and ran into Zaheed again, he threatened my life if I did not find where the Shape Shifters village was for him. After wards I returned to Lakeshore the next day after receiving a nightmare of that lake, and there I found a drowning Fire exile. Zianro sent one of his men to search for her and he came to me, unaware I had rescued her. He told me that Zianro has a new prisoner from the fire tribe, and I think that it is Zotar, Zaheed's brother. It would make sense if Zaheed made a deal with Zianro to get rid of him in order to get the throne."

All this information was still sketchy at best but he hoped it was enough to convince Cailu of the danger he was in. Bellistrad continued a little more calmly."If Zaheed is not King of the Fire Tribe, he will increase his strength now that he is not fighting the Water Tribe, and more than likely attack the Earth Tribe, and guess who is smack in the middle?" The answer was the Air Tribe, even though the village was more to the south than directly inbetween the two villages, Zaheed being the military tactician he was would probably take Airedale as a strategic location or just declare war on them altogether.

"What I need you to help me with is convincing Zianro to release Zotar, and then help me heal the anger in Zotar so that he can help us take Zaheed out of the picture. If this plan works, we might finally have peace in Imos between the four tribes." Finally finished talking, Bellistrad took a vocal break and picked up his hookah, filled it with marijuana from a pouch at his waist, and lit the material with a flame from his thumb. The embers kept the hookah smoking as Bellistrad took a puff and offered the second tube to Cailu, but did not expect him to take it.

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It was not that Deborah tried to leave the scene because she didn't want to lose her cool. She didn't care the slightest about exploding in front of people if she got mad enough. This situation just wasn't something that she wanted to be a part of, with all this talk about "choices" and the fact that the woman was a lost case when it came to her mental health. It was tiresome to listen to such a delusional person, to Deborah it sounded like the woman had no idea how the world worked. That it wasn't some fairytale that would work out just because you wanted it too.

But even though Deborah did try her best to stay calm it did hit a nerve when the woman suddenly barged out in front of her, going on about her gods once more. ”I cannot ‘forget it.’ This may be insignificant to you, but the gods are more important to me than my life and I insist that you give them your apologizes. I will not leave you until I hear it.”

A few seconds went by without anything happening, Deborah just stared at the crazy person in front of her. But in the end she just smacked her mouth before taking another step towards the woman, ending up so close to her that she almost could feel the woman’s breathes against her skin.

"Oh? You won't leave? Do you think I care about what you think?" It didn't take much effort to just shove the smaller woman to the side and just continue. Even though the woman didn't look that strong Deborah realized the moment she touched the woman that she did take a bit too much strength into the movement. But Deborah didn't see the unnecessary violence as something bad, rather something positive. If it was her that had been shoved to the side while she was a weak one she wouldn't try to proceed. She hoped that her greeting physical would scare the annoying woman away.



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Cailu’s excitement that just had begun to light shortly died out as the man once more touched him cautiously. From showing a hint of a smile on his side Cailu's mouth started to point downwards in a grimace instead, deeply disturbed by the touch. It was one thing when he was fully dressed inside a tavern, but to have the man just calmly feel him up in his undergarments inside his chamber was a completely different thing. And Cailu hadn't appreciated the earlier touching either. So if he had quickly withdrawn his hand the night before his suddenly flinch backwards to avoid getting touched was even more violently.

As the man had started to explain his true intentions with visiting Airedale Cailu only hissed slowly, "Do not try to touch me again. Ever." Even though the things the man said was important Cailu couldn't sit quiet and just listen to it. He needed to get those few words out of his system, he couldn't stand the thought of having the male approach him once more.

But after that he listened carefully at the stories. Surprisingly he had no idea that the Fire tribe had changed leader this recently, Ara probably knew already like with everything else. She had probably discussed it with him as well but like with most things he had forgotten about it because it was just too much for him to keep in his head. All the names, the plans, the places - what to do and not to do. He couldn't deal with it.

"If Zaheed is not King of the Fire Tribe, he will increase his strength now that he is not fighting the Water Tribe, and more than likely attack the Earth Tribe, and guess who is smack in the middle?"

Cailu did get that Bellistrad must mean that Airedale would be stuck in the middle of such a war but it did bring a wrinkle between the withe haired man’s eyebrows. The last time he had studied the map over Imos Murtovaara the city where most of the fire wielders and their leader lived lied in the North - the mountains. Far to the East of them Shadowfen lied hidden in the deepest forest Imos had, that was something Cailu knew for certain since his tribe had a close relationship with them. Or they exchanged services and traded. But the funny thing was that Airedale lied to the South and slightly to the West of Murtovaara. Which meant that they wouldn't be in between the both cities in case of a war, sure it would be troublesome since they wouldn't be able to trade with the Earth tribe anymore but that was all. Or perhaps he meant that it would put them all in a difficult position since they had such a close relationship which could lead to the Earth tribe hoping for them to step in and help them in the fight?

The statement was strange anyway and Cailu didn't like it when he didn't know what to think of things.

"What I need you to help me with is convincing Zianro to release Zotar, and then help me heal the anger in Zotar so that he can help us take Zaheed out of the picture. If this plan works, we might finally have peace in Imos between the four tribes."

When all was said Cailu had a lot to think about, if it was true it would indeed lead to trouble even though it wasn't in that way that Cailu though that Bellistrad meant. But to make such a decision, Cailu didn't like it. And he knew that he wasn't the right one to even try to talk someone into doing something, he would just stutter and probably destroy the whole meeting by his disqualification. So in the end he just shook his head, "I can't do that. But I can meet you in Lakeshore with someone who can do it. I will talk to her and take her with me. I can't take you with me to where she is so go to Lakeshore and just await our arrival. You will know when we will arrive because we do need to notify the Water tribe’s leader before we just show up. I-- I mean uhm she is the leader of our tribe so yeah..."

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Bellistrad Indorial

Bellistrad listened to Cailu's whimpy responce and scoffed at him. His eyes flashed disappointment at Cailu, but he nodded and accepted his plan. "I have never met such a weakling of a leader, so out of balance with his own tribe that he would be afraid of their disapproval. But I cannot blame you, I understand what you must be feeling." Just the fact he was an exile showed proof that he did indeed feel something similar to Cailu, a disconnection with one's home. "I will go to the Water Tribe in a couple days time after my work here is finished. If you are sure you are not up to the task than I will have to accept your substitute. As long as the end result is in our favor." Bellistrad turned and packed his hookah away, slipping his pack back over his shoudlers and turned to leave.

Pausing at the doorway, Bellistrad speaks to Cailu without turning."One more thing. Before all this is over, you will have to make a choice. I pray you understand which one will be the right one before the end." With that Bell left. His meaning behind these words was simple, if Cailu got involved in this dispute he would either choose to let other's fight against Zaheed alone, or risk his life and stand up against him.

That choice would be Cailu's, and Bellistrad would not interfere with his free will. As Bellistrad exited the forsaken home the sun was already starting to edge towards the top of the sky. He had some shopping to do, and now that he was even on a more tight schedule he had to do these things fast. His first stop was the apothecary in town. Inside was a man he had known since near the time he had left the Fire Tribe. They embraced, exchanged greetings and recent happenings, and a few stories. Bellistrad kept the last few weeks under wraps from him, not wanting him to panic.

When they had both smoked and ate and made merriment Bellistrad purchased another few pounds of marijuana from him, as well as some other materials that he would need. As expected Bellistrad was able to purchase some special items from him as well, such as home made flash bombs the size of a man's fist and crystals that would help Bellistrad channel his energies. Yellow, unlike what most people believed, was the color of the specific chakra in a persons body that handles Fire energy. Bellistrad bought a pendant that was long enough to hang down to the center of his torso right over his stomach where the Willpower Chakra was located, he would use this crystal for advanced Fire Magic that he could not perform on his own.

After making his purchases Bellistrad rushed to his hideout as the sun was just beginning to set. He took out one of the crystals he had bought, an amethyst, and laid down on his back with the crystal resting on his forehead. The amethyst made astral projecting easier for him, and he left his body resting as he left it. He went to Cailu once more wherever he was at the time and began stimulating Cailu's second lowest chakra. This chakra was orange in color, and was located at the naval. This chakra, called the Sacral Chakra, deals with relationships and interactive emotions, as well as sexual energies. With this open Cailu will be able to pick up on people's emotions again and gain confidence around others with time.

Returning to his body Bellistrad saw that the sun had just set all the way, and only a faint red glow hung around the horizon. He decided to leave his new things at the hideout and go out to the tavern once more for a meal and relaxation. He gets there quickly and orders a vegetarian meal and some of the same chamomile tea, taking a seat near the gamblers and partook in a dice game in which he lost a couple of coins but thought the fun worth the cost.

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"I have never met such a weakling of a leader, so out of balance with his own tribe that he would be afraid of their disapproval. But I cannot blame you, I understand what you must be feeling."

Cailu only stared at the man in disbelief, he couldn't understand that he had promised to help the stranger because now it seemed that the man didn't even care to listen to anything he said. Just a few moments ago Cailu had admitted to not being the true leader but just a cover someone else hide behind. And now he got insulted for being a weak leader that couldn't do anything without the approval of the tribe? Apparently the man hadn't listened at all to what Cailu had said either this morning or last evening. Cailu almost regretted making such an agreement, after this he didn't even feel like helping the man with his quest to save the world. But it was not Cailu's decision. He could only ask Ara to do it, if she decided it wasn't worth it that was the end of the story. And after all this he almost hoped she would say no to stepping in to be some sort of a peacemaker so everything could return to normal.

Before leaving for the trip Cailu collected everything he needed to make the trip by himself, he knew for sure that no one would want to accompany him. Why would them? They hated him. And he was glad to just be rid of them and their judgement now finally. The other thing that made the steps he took a little easier was the fact that he finally had decided to do was right - at least that was what he himself believed. He knew that Ara would think so too. But a part of him just hoped.

When he announced what he had planned to do to the guards no one tried to stop him, they just promised to take care of the village while he was gone and that was all he had hoped for. Once done with all the preparations Cailu sat up on his pitch black stallion and took off towards Northpass.

It took him a while to get there but since he didn't carry any heavy luggage or had any carriages with him it took him only a couple of days instead of almost a month. Sure, when he finally arrived at the mountain he knew it lied upon he did have some trouble finding the actual entering, the well hidden road that led you safely to the tribe. He knew better then to try to get up without it, it was nearly impossible for an outsider like him, too many dangerous animals and paths. But after a while of searching and memory training he finally knew where to go.

As the village itself started to become visible between the foliage Cailu finally could breathe normally and relax, just knowing that he wouldn't need to be lonely anymore made the pressure that had been lying above him vanish. When he met the guards that had been visiting his own village he got showed to the shaman tent where they told him Ara would be located at the moment. To him all of the tents looked the same and he couldn't understand how people could want to live in tents all year round since the winters must be cold up here like in Murtovaara.

But he didn't ask about it to the guards, instead he just bent down and entered the tent. Like the guards had told him Ara really was there and to his surprise she looked more alive now than before. With a wide smile he sat down beside her, "Ara... You look much better now..."

"Cailu? What are you doing here?" Instead of Cailu's great excitement about being reunited Ara only showed confusement. He hadn't told anyone in advance that he would visit them.

"Uhm... Well it's complicated..." The man started to nervously fiddle his hands before retelling what had happen some days ago. He knew her opinion about stepping in into the other's war but she surely must see what problems could lie in front of them now. But Ara listened carefully to what he said without disturbing him. When he was done the silence lied above them both like a cloak, no one said anything. But finally Ara only nodded.

"Yes, perhaps we should talk to them... But we won't do anything further than that. We listen to what the Water leader has to say and that's all. Understood?"

Cailu once more started to fiddle nervously as if he had something more to say but didn't dare to say it. When he finally collected all the courage he needed he glanced up towards her, "I think we should stop this. You should take your rightful place and show everyone that it was you was our leader all along. I'm not good at it and... Everyone need to know. Now is a good time to let everyone know the truth. You seem stronger, you would be able to handle yourself. I will always be beside you to protect you either way."

After a discussion about if it was a good thing to do or not they finally agreed upon letting the rest of the world know about the Air tribe secret. They bid farewell to the Shapeshifter tribe and the guards from Airedale that had held Ara company while she had lived inside Northpass. And finally they was on their way to visit Lakeshore for the first time since they had taken over the power after Ara's father’s death.

Before they left Northpass they had asked them to send a note telling Azure about their visit however. The bird flew off into the distance towards Lakeshore and their leader. Now Cailu only hoped that everything would go as smoothly as possible so they could avoid any sort of trouble.

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Zianro was busy, he had people take better care of Zotar and make him healthy again, but douse him in ice water every other day to keep his fire turned off. He then saw some form of bird fly in and give him a message.

"Hm...the leaders of Airedale are arriving. I can't wait for their visit. I wonder what they wish to talk to me about." He said to himself as he drank from his glass of wine, chuckling in his mind.

----

Na'ari was tiredly heading into the Air Tribe lands. He was tired, tired from walking for several days. He was trying to reflect why he and Zianro were fighting and why he was sent off. It was either because Zianro finally got tired of him, or he just wanted Na'ari to take a vacation. But usually Na'ari had a horse.

He sighed as he then wandered to a tree near the road and leaned on it, falling asleep for the first time in awhile, he didn't know he needed sleep, but he was so confused about everything. He didn't want to be replaced. But he did accuse Zianro of something. No one accuses the Water lord of everything.

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Mekaisto Orieska
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The thing that happened next was not something that Deborah had planned or even considered. She felt the impact, when something hard suddenly hit her back. She hadn't been prepared for it at all and so she stumbled forward. She was so close to fall to the ground because of it but in the last minute she regained her balance. Still leaning forward like she was still in the fall she turned around just to meet the smaller woman's eyes. The moment she did that they flashed for a short moment, expressing fiery hate inside them.

To hear the tiny person talk about a fight Deborah snorted once again in annoyance before stretching out her body, "You want a fight huh? Think you can take me on? Please. You make me want to laugh." Even though she expressed such a sentence she didn't look the slightest amused. In fact she looked as if she was ready to beat anyone into a pulp.

At this point Deborah didn't even think clearly, she was so angry that she just charged at the smaller woman with her hands glowing sharply once again. She wasn't going to use her powers at the woman but she was so angry that she couldn't control it. But using her powers wouldn't give the same sensation and the only thing Deborah wanted to feel by now was how the smaller woman’s bones break with the force of only her fists.



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After days of traveling Cailu and Ara finally arrived at Lakeshore. It was the first time for Cailu to see the Water tribe’s main city and it was more stunning then he could had imagine it to be. For Ara it was the second time to see it, but she was just as astounded as her cousin since she had been so little when she was here last time. That she had just followed her father here while he had some business with the late Water leader as well.

When they entered the city they met some of the city's guards, Ara was obviously the first to approach them with a friendly smile while Cailu just watched from the background. She explained that both of them was from Airedale, which anyone could figure out because of the color of their hair, and was going to meet their leader. That they had sent a message announcing their arrival before so that he should already been informed of this. After she was done explaining their reason for coming one of the guard hurried away to the palace to tell lord Azura about it while the cousins got showed the way to the stall where they could have their horses while visiting Lakeshore.

When they had left their horses the both of them followed one of the guards which guided them to the palace. From the beginning they had walked in an ordinary pace since the both of them by now looked healthy, but something that both the guard and Cailu noticed was that Ara still had some problem with walking. She was still slow and had to use her crane, even though she had gotten her strength back and wasn't as fragile as she had been before traveling to Northpass she was still unable to fully use her left leg.

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait:
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Bellistrad Indorial

Bellistrad had rested enough, and was ready for action. But he knew that both the Fire Tribe and the Water Tribe would be looking for him, so he decided to cover his usual garb with an extra long, shaggy brown cloak that trailed behind him as he road on his dark horse. Beneath the cloak Bellistrad wore sapphire dyed leather bracers and ankle guards which he kept in case of major battle, and even had his original Fire Tribe carbon steel sword, old in design but reliable. Bellistrad never really was adept with sword play but it would make a good defensive option. Finally he had a dirty brown shawl over his face to hide his appearance.

The road to the Water Tribe was normally empty that time of year, but Bellistrad was not so lucky and ran into the one person he did not want to see, Na'ari. He spotted the guard captain long before he reached him, and there was little chance he would recognize Bellistrad. Not wanting to stop riding in fear he would be late to his meeting, he road as fast as he could past Na'ari and threw a Fire Tribe coin at him as he passed by. Hopefully Na'ari would wake from his rest and give chase to Bellistrad, as he wanted as many witnesses to Zianro's confession as possible.

Alone or being pursued, Bellistrad drove his horse to near exhaustion, pouring some energy into his stead in order to keep it from passing out or dying on the road. After many long hours of riding Bellistrad finally saw the front gates of the Water Tribe. The guards there got in front of the gates and tried to stop his progress, but Bellistrad moved his shawl and exhaled a spear of fire that made the guards duck out of the way as the front gate was blasted open by flames. Bellistrad road into the city at high speed to the surprise of the townsfolk who screamed and exited the horses path. Bellistrad dismounted the horse and let it finally rest as he sent heat to his legs in order to help relieve his pain from riding for so long.

He replaced his shawl over his mouth and ducked into a nearby ally way as a squad of soldiers took over the horse and searched for him. Bell had to calm himself, and so he took in some of the suns energy through his exposed hands while he hid in the ally. Little did he know, Cailu and his charge were already nearing the palace and more than likely heard all the commotion. He was only hoping they were already with Zianro and that he could arrive in the middle of their discussions. Moving from his hiding place as water benders moved around the city, Bellistrad rushed to the front of the palace.

This was a mistake, as his loud arrival had forced a platoon of soldiers to be stationed at the front doors of the palace which were sealed shut. Bellistrad activated his chakras and charged as much energy into his throat as he could, inhaling his full lung capacity and exhaling blue and white flames of extreme temperature. The flames formed into a shape 4 yards in front of Bell, becoming a giant blue and white flaming animated lions head with a small stream of flame still coming from Bell's mouth to connect it to his aura. The lion stared down the platoon of soldiers and roared loud enough to shatter nearby windows on houses before shooting into the front doors of the Water Tribe Palace.

The building shook and rocked with the powerful explosion as melted mortar and stone was expelled from the entrance. The platoon of soldiers were incinerated, a sad price that Bellistrad was willing to take in order to save the lives of thousands more. The flames subsided as Bellistrad collapsed to his knees, his aura and chakra system stretched from how much energy had flowed through him in that moment. It took him a minute to get back up and walk into the palace. He was noticeably limping into the structure that had been blown apart by the lion's head, and his posture was that of a man on his limits. But his strong will and spiritual resilience allowed him to continue, at least until his mission was done.

Servants and soldiers had long fled from the palace after the explosion, so Bellistrad met no one until he reached the throne room, where sat Zianro and Cailu along with a girl he had never seen before, most likely Ara. Bellistrad let the hood of his cloak fall back as he took off his shawl exposing who he was. His eyes were no longer the kind pleasant ones that had helped so many souls, now they were determined and angry."Hail the Legendary River Dragon, Zianro Azura. King of the Water Tribe, and betrayer of my people!" Bellistrad stared at Zianro and no one else, he barely acknowledged even those he had begged to come here in support of his claim. He did not dare move, not only because of his exhaustion but because he knew Zianro was looking for a chance to strike him down before he could let slip his accusations. It was a game of cat and mouse at this point, and Bellistrad aimed to win.

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Zianro was incredibly unamused by this morning's events. He had just gotten his two guests into his throne room so he could hear them out when some violent shaking occurred. Then he showed up. Bellistrad Indorial. A Fire exile who was supposedly the man Na'ari was in contact with to try and find some important things of interest.

"You assume too much Indorial. I am no King. I am the Lord of the Tribe. Also it's Wandering River Dragon, if you want to address me do it properly. You came in here, when I was about to entertain my guests, and you expect to accuse me of something I didn't do? Whatever it is you shall claim I will deny it until the day you die." Zianro coldly stated as he began to form water behind Belistrad. "So leave. I will play with you another time. In the meantime, go to hell, expect Na'ari to join you for his incompetence of dealing with you." He threw the water at Belistrad and tried to wrap him in it. If he was successful he would push him out of the palace and into the very Lake itself to try and dispose of him.

Zianro then looked at his two Air tribe guests. "I seriously hope you weren't in on this otherwise I have a bit of a problem here if you understand my meaning." He stated in a businesslike manner. He chuckled inwardly to himself. His plan was ticking away with no flaws. As for Na'ari, he allowed all this to happen. The Wandering River Dragon decided in his own mind that he should simply just strip Na'ari of s rank and exile him. Replace him with someone better then the Commoner Soldier he was friends with. Zianro smiled when he had a pretty good idea on who would be good.

For now though, he had to have his meeting with the two Representatives of the Air Tribe. "So how can I help you today?"

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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When they were halfway to the palace Ara gave up the walking, it took too much time for them to make their way over to the meeting. So she handed over her cane to Cailu and just went into their breeze form instead and followed the two men as they continued to walk through the city while she traveled invisible behind them. The pace of the group suddenly increased and they soon arrived at the palace, the guard just showed Cailu to the right room before he took his leave.

After a few deep breathes preparing for what was to come Cailu entered the room to face the water lord for the first time. He was nervous, probably more nervous than Ara was, but it was the first time in centuries that the Air tribe had gotten involved in the other business and by now he had started to doubt that it was the right thing to do. But he had promised to take Ara with him so they at least could listen to the discussion and participate if Ara decided it was the right thing to do. But it must look a bit funny, him walking in on his own with the crane in hand without actually using it.

Cailu nervously cleared his throat before making his announcement, "I'm Cailu Elre... I've been acting as the Air tribe leader for a while to protect our leader... But she has decided to face you personally..." Ara still wasn't anywhere to be seen but just as Cailu finished the last part a gust of wind seemed to make his hair flow forward and before the two men the true Air tribe leader materialized in the eye of the public for the first time. The woman stretched her hand towards Cailu and he handed over her cane as soon as he noticed it.

With it she took a few steps towards the water lord with a calm smile, "My name is Ara Cilivren, thank you for taking your time to meet us."

What happened as soon as they all had taken their places at the table was not something neither Cailu nor Ara could had imagined. They felt the sudden shake in the ground followed by the screams from outside, it all made them make nervous glances toward each other. They couldn't think that it was anything else then this man Cailu had agreed to help but for him to make such an entrance was not what they had planned. It actually made them wonder if they truly had chosen to help the right person.

To have him storm into the room like some criminal shouting accusations didn't make anything better. Cailu covered his face with his hands in embarrassment for making such a bad choice and talking Ara into it as well. This was not what he had been told it would be like - they were here to discuss the matter like civilized people. Not criminals.

The both cousins once more looked at each other while the water lord uttered those heavy sentences, neither of them knew what would happen if they admitted to knowing that something like this would happen. They didn't want to damage the Air tribes reputation and accidently starting a fight with the Water tribe, but they didn't want to know what would happen if they didn't step in either.

So after a long paus while Ara thought about what would be the best for her tribe she clasped her hands while exhaling. "Azura, we are not only here to visit you for the fun in it like you probably have figured out. We rarely interfere with the rest of the lands problems but recently we heard some very unsettling news... I'm not here to accuse you or your tribe for anything I just want to know from you what exactly is going on around us. How is the situation between your tribe and those who wield fire, between you and their newest leader."

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Bellistrad Indorial

Bellistrad knew Zianro wouldn't take the bate so easily, yet the water was expected. As Zianro brushed off Bell's words as little more than petty accusations, Bell charged heat into his body and created a circular wall of red flames around himself, turning the water Zianro had tried to strike at Bell with into steam. The reason his flames were not blue like they usually were with Bellistrad, was the large drain his entrance had put on his energy. He could not produce his super heated flames until he had recharged for another several minutes.

To say the least, Bell had not moved a muscle as the steam cleared and Ara spoke up to Zianro to explain why they were in the Water Tribe in the first place. Bellistrad stood as the imposing sentinel and allowed Ara to be the negotiator for the moment. When she was finished, Bell added his own piece of the story. "I saw you, Zianro. That night on the road with Zaheed. I know you two made a deal, but you failed to grasp Zaheed's ambition. He will never honor a pledge for peace, all he wants is more power. But there is still hope for a peaceful Imos. His brother can still take back the throne, with our help and support. Give Zotar to me and let me heal his hatred. All I ask for is your aid, and your promise that you will not let Zaheed win this war."

Now more confident, Bellistrad drew his Fire Tribe sword and stabbed it into the ground in front of him, folding his fingers over the pommel."Whether you agree or not, I will bring Zotar to the Light. Even if I have to tear his prison down one stone at a time." He was back to his old self again, more passionate about helping his greatest enemy find peace than even his own life. The spiritual energy emanating from Bellistrad's awe inspiring emotions filled the room. His capacity for pure love drifted through to everyone in the room, as well as through himself. He awaited Zianro's answer, whether he would hold onto his pride and risk the fate of the world in Zaheed's hands or find humility and allow Bellistrad to help Zotar become the leader he was meant to be.

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait:
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Zianro turned to listen to the silver haired woman, told to be the true leader of the Air tribe. She asked how relations were with the fire tribe. "Tense, but calm. This is a lull in between our age old quarrel." He replied he then heard belistrad add something and he glared angrily.

"Then you are the fool, fire spitter, to believe that I think that Zaheed will keep his word. I am counting on him to slip up and attack me. But I do not have his pathetic little brother, he's not even a leader worthy to kidnap." He said. Then he heard Belistrad make a tense threat and he glared even more.

"Leave my house now. Unless you want me to kill all the prisoners I have, Bellistrad. I was going to give you a fair chance but veiled threats, a terror attack as your entrance has endangered my plans. Imos will be brought to peace but not by a man who thinks himself no better then anyone else. But for fun's sake, I'll let you have a fun chance. If you can positively identify Zotar and take him from here, if he is here, then I will release him to your care."

Zianro smirked a dark smirk. "If not, someone will die. I won't say who or when. But know this, what you've done will only increase my justification of wiping every fire user off the face of the earth. You may have doomed your tribe Bellistrad. As for the Air tribe, since they've been rudely pulled into this argument, they can imprison my incompetent friend Na'ari for his failure of dealing with you. Fair exchange if you ask me. A life for a life and also an apology gift to bringing an unfortunate scene to such a lovely leader. I even have him stuck in Airedale now. Poor fool. I'm going to have to find a new right hand when this meeting is over."

---

Na'ari woke up and walked slowly, sensing something drop as he looked down. It was a fire coin. Bellistrad must've seen him. He must be in Airedale. Or he could've ran off back to Lakeshore, Na'ari looked around sharply trying to figure it out but then a group of bandits began to appear from the bushes around him. Gripping his sword, Na'ari attacked them.

It wasn't much of a fight, but Na'ari was given several injuries for fighting them off. An arrow was in his shoulder, there was a non fatal cut to his torso, and his legs were bruised from a club strike. He limped to the road, feeling both tired, and unknowing if he'd make it out of this one, and passed out. Surprisingly, the last thing on his mind before losing consciousness was The conversation he had with Eirene about the afterlife.

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial
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Bellistrad Indorial

Zianro's words burned through Bellistrad unlike any flame had before. Even though this man's goal was the same as Bellistrad's, their ideals were far from similar. The "fun" that Zianro spoke of actually brought a laugh and a little understanding out of Bellistrad, short but obviously genuine. He did not find humor in the situation but Zianro's antics made a little stress relieve needed.
"You drive a hard bargain for the fate of the world, old friend. I accept the challenge, and I expect you to keep your word." He turned towards Cailu and Ara, holding out his hand as if waiting for them to take it and produced a small blue flame in the palm of his hand.

The small flame pulsed with a heartbeat like rhythm. Bellistrad let his hand drop and allowed the flame to drift over towards where the two Air benders stood, the flame settling just over Cailu's shoulder. Unseen by everyone was the small stream of plasma that connected Bellistrad's palm to the blue flame, and in the palm of his hand was a small bright blue diamond shaped flame that seemed like it was a part of his flesh. "If this flame goes out, than I am dead before my search is over and Zianro has cheated me. It will live off of your energy, not mine, but it is my will keeping it alight. I will not be able to sense anything while I search so I will be defenseless. Do what you think is best." Bellistrad pulls his sword out of the floor and re-sheaths it before handing it off to one of the few soldiers remaining nearby and removes his cloak, revealing his blue tunic and black pants once again, as well as his blue hair which was messier than usual because of his actions that day.

Sinking down into a cross-legged sitting position Bellistrad inhales and closes his eyes, aligning his chakra's in his body starting from the lowest and going up to the highest, his eighth chakra. His soul leaves his body which seems to be asleep in his sitting position, and a small smile forms on his bodies face for a moment. His soul expands its consciousness out to encompass the entire village, including the skies above and the tunnels below. He felt every person and living thing as a small amount of light and heat, but lost sense of himself in the process.

This was a dangerous thing for him to do, for he could accidentally forget who he was and attach himself to another living thing instead. He had to be careful to always keep himself in the back of his thoughts as he searched the identity of everyone around him, looking for the only other Fire bender within his field of awareness. It was a hard task, feeling the emotions of everyone in the village at once. He could hardly make sense of it all, especially since these were not his people. Fire Benders had a different way of thinking than any other tribe, they made everything a challenge and Bellistrad was no different but neither was Zotar.

It took well over 15 minutes for Bellistrad to even feel Zotar separately, and he could not even tell if it was in fact him but it was a dark lonely and defeated soul. The kind that only a Firebender in restraint could be. While this may just be another prisoner of war, Bellistrad felt kinship from this soul, and knew it might be his best chance. Bellistrad's soul moved to this new feeling in the underground of Lakeshore, and opened his spiritual eyes. He saw a man broken, left alone and betrayed. He also saw a possible future that could reverse all that had happened to him. It was not a certain thing that this soul was Zotar, it was not the same one Bellistrad had known all those years ago. It was changed by incarceration, and Bellistrad wanted to help it even if this was not Zotar.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Ara had just finished talking when the blue haired man continued to throw around insults and accusations, she wanted to sink down into the floor. Vanish, get out of there immediately. In the corner of her eye she did see how Cailu slumped down in his chair, trying to get as tiny as possible. Probably thinking the same thing she did. But she didn't show it however, that was the difference between them. She knew how to behave, he not so much. But neither of them had agreed to being a part of this. They had agreed to talking like civilized people. This was far from what they had been promised. And perhaps this man, Bellistrad, didn't understand or cared but his behavior could hurt their relationship with the Water tribe. Instead of solving the problem with the war he could create another one. This was their deepest fear.

The continuation of the meeting wasn't any better. The two cousins was afraid like they never had been when they suddenly came across the darkness of the other leaders, kings, lords, whatever they choose to call themselves. Seeing it directly, staring right into that abyss of a soul they all seemed to have. Those who was participating in the war. The fact that they got away this time, without any larger damages done to their reputation was such a relief that Cailu sank even deeper down into the chair as he let out a sigh.

Ara who still sat as straight as both of them had from the beginning, with pride, hadn't even flinched when the argument started. Sure, her fear had probably gotten shown through her eyes but not more than that. She nodded slightly, she was not sticking up for the fire wielder anymore, not the way he acted. "Thank you for understanding, Lord Azura. I assure you that we didn't have anything with these accusations to do. Or the violence. All we wanted was to have a talk with you to clear out some things. I have decided there isn't anything more we are willing to do because I refuse to endanger my people, because of some accusations that even could be lies."

She stood up and so did Cailu, both of them were getting ready to leave when they noticed the fire wielders movements. The blue flame. And both of them got stiff as they watched the flame get closer. When it was so close to Cailu that he believed he would be able to feel the heat of it he started to move away from it. And he continued to do it until he hit the wall behind him. The closer the flame got to him the harsher the wind inside the sealed room got. Everyone’s clothes moved, the banners, even the chairs fell to the ground because of the force in the air. Both of the cousin’s feelings could be seen by the people around them.

As soon as the man had finished speaking, declaring that if the blue flame they had thought would hurt him died the stranger would be dead by then both of them vanished from the sight of the eye. They'd had enough of this madness. They fled. Both of them. You could feel the breeze as they passed the other men. How they flew right out of the room, Ara being the first one while Cailu who wasn't as good as her at controlling the breeze form just sort of drifted out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis
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General King Zaheed


King Zaheed stared intently at his hand, as he had been doing to many parts of his body over the course of the last few weeks because things have turned to abnormalities. Muscles that surged down the whole right arm had enlarged and swelled up five times the regular size. The same as went for his hand with fingernails ascending out like a short sword blade from the long menacing fingers. Yet on his left, his arm remained the same. And as for his torso, it grew at an unhuman state of volume as his back formed him to hunch over with the spine poking through flesh. He had also morphed taller, his legs heightening as if he were a giant, but he looked more than that of one, instead, he looked like a monster.

Zaheed was the clear example of what happens when a man hungers for more. He care not for balance, all he desired was to devour. After he was heated and saved by Deborah when he misused his powers, he felt that he revealed to his mage a weakness in himself. That day Zaheed told himself never again, because now he was ready to show all of Imos who he truly was. For once, he was going to stop the games and strip off his mask.

Zaheed discovered something in his time of finding powers of a god, as he were absorbing heat, he started to sense another essence deep inside a vessel body, he found power, the magic all of Imos bear. So he did what anyone would expect Zaheed to do, he robbed them of their gifts, leaving victims powerless. Though he would not be able to bend other elements, he would be able to feast upon the very extract of magic. Their magic energy would course through his veins, making him stronger and more deadly, yet the question Zaheed lacks to be concerned about is, how much more power can he absorb before his body refuses to take anymore. Are there limits to his madness?

Zaheed heard something fall behind his causing a great disturbance to him, thus he turned around to have seen his raven friend, Icarus. The bird had flown in such a hurry he lost his stability, but it was for Icarus had urgent news.

“Zaheed! Zaheed!” he squawked, a noise only Zaheed could understand, and only was it Icarus permitted to call on the King by just his first name. “I-Its about Bellistrad!”

“What did he do, run away?” Zaheed questioned, stepping closer to Icarus, to which then the bird backed up, noticing what Zaheed had become. But instead of asking questions about Zaheed’s body, Icarus decided to stay relevant.

“Much more than that, I’ve been spying on him just as you ordered, and Bellistrad seeks to free your brother… And he got the air tribe involved.”
There was a pause, Icarus was afraid what may happen next. But Zaheed only laughed. “So the boy wishes to help out little brother. I doubt he be successful, but perhaps it would have been better that I had killed him. Yes, that is what I should of done.” Zaheed snatched the bird by its neck. “I will have you know I commanded he find the shape shifting tribe for you!”

“Zaheed, I know! I know! You wished to find some way to undue the curse, so you hoped on finding the ones who form animals, perhaps to find a way to break the spell. You wanted me as a man once again, I know. Could you comprehend how dearly I covet my old life?”

Zaheed held the bird up higher, tightening his grip. “My friend, your words portray you as a weakling. I shall make the weak strong!"

“W-what are you doing!” Icarus squirmed as he felt something surge through his soul, he felt something he had not felt in years- magic. Zaheed transferred his magic to the body of the bird once man. And as this power grew inside of Icarus, so did his physical being. The black wings swoop out in large stature, as his beak sprouted through greater lengths in a point. Icarus looked as twisted as Zaheed, yet Zaheed saw Icarus as a worthy opponent against his enemies and a pleasant and menacing sight to be displayed against his bulging shoulder.

“I will stain Imos with my existence! So you said Bellistrad wants to free Zotar? Heh, well I better let baby brother know what it means to truly be in control. We attack the earth tribe at nightfall! Zotar will blindly love me for it.”

Just as Zaheed had ordered it, soldiers surrounded around the earth tribe at nightfall, though in secret. Archers were prepared and ready to fire their flaming arrows against the tribe dominantly surrounded and constructed of trees. Since Zaheed had been king, the military of the fire tribe has advance, though even when he was a general, the fire tribe had always been known for its great stance military wise. But Zaheed has drafted all boys of the tribe of age seven, the amount of training without rest has proven to be brutal but effective, but yet his men were ready as they will ever be.

Zaheed stood slightly in front of his men, though he wore not armor, for his body had emerged too large to fit any longer. Besides, his body was not the only thing growing bigger, it was also his pride, his belief that his body had sunk image to that of a god, thus no longer did he need things of mortals, such as armor or even weapons. Instead Zaheed wore a pair of trousers and a deep dark crimson cloak with its hood lurking over his black locks. Against his shoulder perched his grisly pet bird.

Zaheed brought Deborah along with him, he wanted to show to her his greatness, that he was not weak and what vision he promised when he first met her was coming true. “Are you prepared to witness reality molded by my hands, Deborah?” He looked down at her, for his height reached above all others. It was a surprise to everyone else of what creature Zaheed had turned into. “Experience it, be immersed in my eminence, all of Imos will be.” Zaheed suddenly with great force sung his arm up signaling for the archers to fire, and then it started. A wave of flames soared against the great black sky, reaching for Shadow in a fiery fiendish embrace. And when the first arrow struck into the bark of the tree village, all hell fell upon the nation as it burst into flames.

“Slay those who decline their salvation, and deliver it to those who surrender through their capture as slaves!” Zaheed commanded his men as the arrows flew over them. “Today I shall deliver the children of fire into warriors strung to the call of glory!” As soon as the arrows fell onto ground, infantry fled Shadowfen, and Icarus jumped off of his master’s shoulder and launched into the night to screech battle cries, to intensify the earth tribe’s fear. Zaheed also entered seeking the head of the leader, with power and pride blinding his eyes. He wanted to be worshiped, but above that, he wanted to be feared, so much so, he spared a few so that they may cry to the other nations in message of the horror Zaheed has wrecked upon them and that he will not stop here.

“Ah… I never sought out fire so beautiful, not until it was forged in my name,” He spoke to Deborah. Zaheed stood before the Shadowfen’s grand tree which held the leader’s home, but now burned in an inferno. It was the aftermath of the battle, the earth tribe was destroyed, though not extinct, no Zaheed surely would put his new slaves to work in an army against the rest of the tribes of Imos. “I wonder what nation I will burst into flames next, perhaps the air tribe, yes.” He acted so causal when it came to destroying tribes, because he did not see it as destruction, he saw it as a game of conquering. “Will the fire tribe praise for joy, their god has arrived? No, not just this tribe, but all of Imos will see my godhood. Yes, I put death to the old myths of divinities by pronouncing it illegal. How does that sound, Deborah? The lawbreakers be beaten into submission of my worship.”

He saw himself as a god, and would force others to as well, but little did he know, or more like, accept the many flaws that hindered him. Such as flaws in his physical body- unbalanced, heavy, and in will of recklessness, and no one mustn't forget the flaws in that sinister mind of his for there was no strategy only a hunger for pride and power.




Lord Vinicius



There he stood, wrist stretched and bounded by chains as they were from day one. He was being fed, but only to the very subsistence in order to keep him as Zianro toy, or so Zotar felt. Another cruel joke Zotar witness Zianro play was the candle. Whether or not Zotar was a fire bender, he was a human, and all people need some type of heat to forbid them from death. So Zianro's men put a candle inches away from Zotar's reach so that he could have only poor ounces of the warm, but also enough to mock him, enough to give him a false sense of hope.

But Zotar did keep in thought, how much longer does he have to live, before Zianro gets bored? He was surprised he has been able to survive this far, but when does the day that ends his misery- when does that day come? Will it ever come? It was as if the thoughts Zotar did conceive were either concerns and worries mixed in with confusion and questions. He knew he was never going to surrender, Zotar was too stubborn for that, even in his weakest moments, he was not going to surrender to Zianro. Instead, he hungered for an escape as he did from the first second he was imprisoned, but now, he had only believed that escape would come out of death. And he would take it if he could.

Though it was not until this moment that forced a change of mind. Something came over Zotar, no it was like he came over it. Zotar felt his veins be filled and his body consume an energy so long ago he had felt. It was heat, real heat, no mockery, no tease, no joke, this was real. But did Zotar believe that at first, that he was feeling something more than grief, that he was alive? Of course not, it was unimaginable. So, as soon as he felt the first thread of heat, he told himself it was a dream. Sure he will go along with it, but he trusted he would wake up to suffering all over again.

Zotar felt the heat in his veins, but he concentrated all the power to the shackles latched to his wrist. And by that, he was able to demolish the metal by melting it. And as soon as the cuffs were off, Zotar felt the wrist, he rubbed his finger on the bone, for the shackles hugged on so tightly, the skin and flesh were crushed beneath the metal. Zotar stepped to the candle, he stomped his foot against the wax, feeling the flame burn into his heel, and he loved every second of it. He dipped his fingers into the hot wax, toying with it, but though he told himself again, it was only a dream.

Zotar looked to corner of his eyes, a light, like footsteps. Maybe the dream was trying to tell him something, so he followed it. He pressed his hands against the wooden door meant to lock him in, but he burned through it, to chase the light. Zotar knew he had to hurry, he did not know how much time he had left before guards smell the smoke from the door.

The light let him through tunnels and out of the dungeon. He was on the surface, but that had not yet hit reality to him, still in thought this was a dream. Zotar was also not observant of his surroundings, other than not be caught, for he was not sticking around to admire anything, instead his mind focused on the light. Even when he made to Zianro's palace, he did not try to bring up such a thought, to him, that would be insane, freedom does not just show up one day, or does it?

The light let him to a person, this was when Zotar started to believe this was real. He stepped closer to what appeared to be a blue haired young man. All Zotar's eyes were stationed on was him, for the light follow this one person and no one else. Zotar doubted the stranger would recognize Zotar, for the once strong healthy lord, now closely resembled a skeleton with a thin mask of skin. Zotar's hair grew longer, so did his beard, and because of the stress and worry, he looked slightly older. There was one part about him however that could identify him as a former ruler of the fire tribe, it was the brand marks from the day he wore the traditional arm guards of lords generations before.

However, as soon as Zotar stepped close enough to the man, Zotar touched his shoulder. He wanted to know if this person was real, or was it just a hallucination? If he was not dreaming because a dream would not possible go on this long and make a bit of sense, then Zotar questioned if he was delusional. But as soon as Zotar laid his fingers on a stranger, feeling that this was a real person. A person that was not Zianro or one of his heartless guardsmen, someone that was not going to hurt him.

Zotar immediately then wrapped his arms tightly around the man, never wanting to let go, determined to never be alone again and to never let solitude bite against spine and into his mind. It was an embrace that expressed the amount of desolation Zotar were strangled and suffocated with. Sure the face was familiar, he did not know who this was, he did not know this was Bellistrad Indorial the exile he wished arrested, nor did care. An abundance of emotion flooded Zotar, it was something he could not let dwell inside, so Zotar wept in joy with his head buried deeply inside of Bellistrad's shoulder. Zotar was known to be a man who acted on emotion, but not like this. He never cried in public, even when his father died, he knew he had to be strong for his people, especially when he found out he was going to be lord.

But now nothing else mattered to him right now, but this moment, that he was actually in contact with someone. He ached for many things he lost when trapped inside of his cell, one of those things being utterly the ability to know you are not alone. He felt the heat of another soul, and it was enough to bring him to tears and his voice into sobbing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Eirene Character Portrait:
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Bellistrad Indorial

When Bellistrad had first confirmed that the soul his spirit had found was indeed Zotar, he had identified him by the strong amount of damage to the souls wrists and forearms in a specific size and shape equivulent to the Fire Tribe's traditional royal bracers. Bell had let Zotar drain some of his own energy and heat so he could regain his strength. Unknown to Bellistrad until after Zotar had freed himself, the now free Firebender's third eye had been awakened during the energy transfer. Bell took advantage of this and spread light from his spirit as he made his way out of the dungeons to lead Zotar to his body.

He had re-entered his physical form and opened his eyes, staring at Zotar with a disappointment so profound it was like he was judging the man's soul. Bellistrad remained sitting and showed his annoyance with Zianro through his eyes, accusing for blatantly lying to him about something so important over an emotion as primal as pride with only a look. The torches around the room were fueled by Bellistrad's emotions and they all became blue in color as they burned through the torches faster than before. Bell got his emotions under control before speaking.

"You have lied to me Zianro, and I can no longer trust your judgement. But I will be taking Zotar as soon as he arrives of his own accord. If you dare try and stop us than we shall truly see who is the greater legend, the Wandering Water Dragon or the Sapphire Lion! But... I understand why you did what you did. I am sorry to say that now is not the time to correct you, for war is close on the horizon if not already on our doorstep."

At that moment Zotar shuffled into the room led there by Bellistad's energy. Bell had not been able to see Zotar's physical body before and only now saw how much Zianro had let him go during captivity. What shocked Bellistrad most was the embrace and tears that he received from his past enemy. The ordeal must have taken a larger toll than Bell first thought. Returning the embrace to Zotar and giving him more energy to settle his nerves, Bell reached for his torn up cloak and wrapped it around the once proud royal prince to hide his weakness and give him at least a shred of dignity.

"It is alright now Zotar. I will keep the cold away from you. Until you are ready." Bell kept an eye on Zianro to judge his reaction and what he would do next, but was interrupted by a strong nauseating feeling coming from the west. He felt death, heat, and the horror war. Something had stirred in the west, and it was more violent than even the bloodshed between the Fire and Water tribes. It was nearing time for Zotar to face his destiny, and there was only one thing between Zotar and that fate. His will to learn.

The setting changes from Imos to Airedale

Setting

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Mekaisto Orieska Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The cousins had hurried back to their own village, startled and upset by what they had experienced. And they were clearly more confused afterwards than they were before they had joined the stranger on his quest in Lakeshore. They couldn't understand what had just happened, everything had moved so fast. Once they were safe in their own village, hiding in their mansion they had tried to figure it out together. Discussed it with their advisors. But nothing. The only thing they had figured out was the fact that the late fire lord indeed had been kidnapped by the Water tribe but why was not something they could understand. And Ara didn't want to understand. In her opinion they had already meddled too much in other's businesses.

"What should we do with this man he has exiled to our county? He asked us to put him in jail," It was Cailu that brought up the question. They were enjoying their supper after a long day of discussions and arguing, everyone was worked up by this mess. Almost everyone agreed with Ara on the subject, that they should hadn't meddled in the subject. It only seemed to bring them more trouble.

"He didn't ask us to put him in jail, he said that we could do that as some sort of compensation for all the trouble your friend brought us. So we're not going to put him in jail before we get a legit reason to do that, if the Water lord sends an messenger and letting us know what this right hand of his has done wrong and I believe it's something he should be put in jail for we will do it. We don't have cell's enough to waste them on innocent men some other tribe don't want to be associated with anymore."

Her answer was true, Airdale didn't have a proper jail like Murtovaara and Lakeshore. Their village was a lot smaller as well, their way of dealing with criminals was simply to banish them from their land. They had too much to deal with when it came to their own population that was on the verge of dying out. And Cailu only nodded at the sharp answer, because he knew that as well. He knew that they should be focusing on their own people instead, trying to survive the winter that soon would cover the land.

"But should we just ignore him? We have no idea why his leader asked us to put him in jail, perhaps we should ask?"

Ara looked over at Cailu with disbelief at first, she couldn't understand how he could focus on something so nonexistent when they had much bigger troubles ahead of them. But in the end she just nodded towards him, "Fine. But this will be your responsibility. You find him and bring him here so I can question him, while you do that I will handle everything else. Like always. You can start your search tomorrow, it won't be that hard for you I think."

Cailu didn't say anymore after that, he just nodded quietly. He agreed with his cousin, finding the water exile would probably not be that hard, he just had to look after a man with some sort of blue eyes among those that didn't look like a fellow tribe member.

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Mekaisto Orieska Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The next morning Cailu started his search, it was more difficult than he had imagined it to be. He didn't have anything to go on more than the eye color and the knowledge that it should be someone who didn't carry the snow white hair like his fellow tribe members. But he didn't know what hair color it should be. He didn't even know what the man's name was! He didn't know anything at all.

So the search went on for hours, at least it felt like it. He just walked around the land and asked every stranger he saw who they could be, but most of them ended up only being mercenaries that were passing through. Which wasn't that strange since it was what Airedale mostly survived on, those that traveled from city to city, they were lucky being in the middle of the land for that. Unlucky when it came to the war since it sometimes was taking place right outside their little village.

But after many attempts to find the man Cailu finally got a hint, someone had seen an injured man arrive the day before in the company of a woman. She had been supporting him according to the tale. It wasn't much to work on but still a little, it could just be another traveler that had gotten unlucky on his way but after all the failed attempts Cailu was ready to grasp every little opportunity. Because he couldn't fail on a mission like this, that would be humiliating.

So he followed the woman’s direction, the way she had pointed out that she had seen the two walk. As he made his way through the village he stopped occasionally to ask after directions, or ask if someone had seen the two yesterday and as he got new directions he followed them. In the end he found himself in front of one of the inns Airedale provided, he wasn't that surprised. If they didn't stay at an inn, where would they stay?

Once inside he just spoke shortly to the owner, asking the man about who was staying there. Asking for the couple and even if the man had hesitated when it came to answer the question he did since the request came from their leader herself. And not the fake one but the one that was appreciated by the tribe. and even if the man didn't know who the man that had accompanied the lady was it still was some sort of an hint, or just another one to cross from the list of suspects.

In front of the door he had been told would contain the two he lightly knocked to get their attention before calling out, "I'm Cailu Elre, a representative of the tribe leader, we're searching for a man from the water tribe. Could you please open the door so I can talk to you two?"

The setting changes from Airedale to Imos

Setting

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait:
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General Zaheed


Zaheed's footsteps were heavy and could be easily heard from a distance. So, Bell had been captured, Zaheed would not expect to see his face in tribe again, not after their encounter near Lakeshore. But here he was, shackled against the wall, hung up by his wrist. It seemed anyone who messed with Zaheed ended up in some form of imprisonment, or struggle, Deborah, Zotar, and now again Bellistrad.

Too bad for Zaheed, he would not get to stare down at Bell's frightened face, or at least what Zaheed had hoped would be the expression on the boy. Sure, Zaheed has questioned himself, asking if fear is what he wants from people? Sometimes, he wonders what life would be if it would be love he got from people, but he would not know, or so he would claim, because according to Zaheed he did not get that growing up. Though in reality, he just blocked out all others if he could not get what he wanted, that of course being his father's favor.

"Bellistrad Indorial...," Zahhed called out his name in a low but eerie voice. However Zaheed could clearly see Bell in an energy embodied form, he was lighter and brighter than any people he has yet met with, for not his brother nor Deborah, even known of all his loyal subjects did he see have such a vivid shade of blue. "Surprise, I'd be seeing you hear again. Heh, you never learn?"

Zaheed did not see Bellistrad as a threat, he saw him as a fool. What was his goal in freeing Zotar? Did not Zotar hate Bellistrad already, anyone who defied the fire tribe, anyone who was exiled from it, were people Zotar lowed down upon as worthless, well the Zotar Zaheed once knew, or more like perceived as. Even before Zotar took up the title of Vinicius, Zotar was one to hold all love to the fire tribe, and all hate to those who were not.

"I have gotten much stronger since we last met," Zaheed lifted up his abnormally large fist, then smashed it right above Bellistrad's head, crushing the stone that made of the wall behind his knuckles. He did not suspect he scared Bellistrad, nor was that his goal. But the move was more over showing off, and he was not going to stop there, he had another feat he wished to display. "But not only with my physical strength, but with my magical being also..." Zaheed reached out to absorbed Bellistrad's energy.



Lord Vinicius ZOTAR THANOS


In exile Zotar had with him his clothes he was wearing now and his daggers, his personal ones. And now they even much more meaning to Zotar, for the two blades were what was used to kill his siblings. He knew if he was going to stop Zaheed, he would have to survive, and those he wished to throw asunder the blades because of what they reminded him of, Zotar knew he needed them Zaheed of course gave them to him to torment his brother, the man was sick.

Zotar needed to build an army if he wanted to end the destruction in Imos. So he journeyed his way to Airedale. Zotar did not know anything about the air tribe other than the fire tribe never messed with them, well at least not any moment that Zotar could remember in his lifetime. Zotar set up his camps when he needed rest, stopped at rives when thirsty, and hunted when starving. But kept him sane through all this was mediating. Zotar was lonely, he wished he had Bell was him, though every time he did that crossed-legged sitting position and preceded into mediating, Zotar felt at peace, like he was not alone again, like he had Bell with him.

Soon enough, mediating was something Zotar felt he needed. He did a little different from Bell however, for when Zotar mediated he stood at a fighting stance, practicing combatable moves, letting the energy flow through him, and it felt like dream, tranquility. Within many days he finally reached Airedale, but how was he suppose to get the air tribe leader's contact? He had an idea, he needed to get attention, well its going to get him noticed.

At the very boundaries of the land, when he was first seeing air tribe soldiers, Zotar first alarmed them by lifting up a flame, showing his element. "I am Zotar Thanos, son of King Zarfu. I require immediate contact with your tribe's leader." Of course they were not going to just bring him to whoever was in charge, no he needed to sound like more of an issue. "The air tribe will be attacked, ignore me and the tribe will be destroyed. This is not a threat, this is a warning." It did not matter what Zotar said it was, saying a tribe would be destroy was a bold statement, one that got him arrested, but he got what he wanted, a trip inside the air tribe and soon with its leader.

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Na'ari heard the knocking of the door, he was drinking his tea and he nearly fell over in shock, forcing himself to swallow the rest of the concoction to help alleviate his legs. "Cailu here?! Either he's wanting to chain me up or he wants to know why I am here... I can't endanger Mekaisto." he slowly got up, the pain in his legs subsided from the tea, but it was not all gone. He slowly walked till he reached the door and opened it.

"You wanted me, you have me Cailu. I ask you leave the woman alone, she is a solitary medicine woman who found me on the road after I was waylaid." He said sternly, and with a purpose, as if he was still Zianro's right hand. But he knew he wasn't anymore, after the duel he had with him that seemed so long ago, the words still ringing in his mind. He didn't have to brand him an exile, to make him one. Na'ari had no friends, save for Zianro, the moment he lost it was enough for the tall Water exile. "Take me in if you wish, my life matters not."

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Bellistrad Indorial

Bell had been silent and limp until Zaheed arrived, but once that door opened the sound of cracking joints filled the room as Bellistrad stretched out his muscles and shook the drowsiness from his body. He needed to be awake for what Zaheed had to say, it would determine how Bell would be getting out of the prison. The grotesque body of Zaheed was not the most worrying attribute to Bell at this time, unlike what the king thought as he tried to scare him with words and physical shows of strength. Bell literately laughed in the kings face from all his huffing and puffing to make himself look tougher, but when the king reaches up for his neck again an mentions magic Bell got a little more concerned.

When contact was made their energies clung to each other strongly, and a tug of war immediately ensued. Unlike the others that Zaheed has drained of their energy before Bell's energy was completely different. It seemed that if Zaheed's energy was one side of a magnet Bell's energy would be the opposing end. The energies between them push and pulled on each other and Bell could now examine Zaheed's energy by feel. It was dark, negative and chaotic just as he had expected so he knew what he had to do. He let go of his energies and sent them into Zaheed willingly.

The rush of positive energy into Zaheed was powerful and seemed like a strong river flowing through the king, but Bell did not seem effected. He was constantly replacing the energy sucked out with more energy from his chakra system. It would not last forever but it would last long enough. This whole time that Zaheed took in Bell's energy the negative effects that this process had in the past on Zaheed would begin to lessen. His monstrous form of a body would slowly go back to normal and his mental state would solidify into cohesion. Bell retreated into his mind while that was happening and meditated shortly while Zaheed had his fun.

When it was over Bell gazed at Zaheed in the relative darkness, weaker than before but still smiling in the end. "Zaheed, you are so naive like a child trying to play with a man's sword. You never learned that magic and emotion is nearly the same thing, and it effects everything around you. I hope this experience has taught you something."

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The first thing Cailu noticed was the blue eyes, it wasn't a guarantee but it was a good sign. And it was a man, a tall one. Cailu had never seen this right hand guy before but at least he could hope that this was the one. The only things he had to go on was correct at least, but he could as well be from some other place and still have blue eyes. That was something Cailu was aware of. But it was the right man, the man admitted it. And more than just that.

"Take me in if you wish, my life matters not."

Cailu's brows furrowed, he got confused at first since he hadn't even mentioned anything about such a topic. He had just pointed out that Ara wanted to meet and speak with the man. But apparently he thought that they wanted to take him to jail, why did everyone think that this little village even had a jail? They didn't. And if that was what was going to happen clearly someone else but Cailu would be the one that went to fetch the man, he had more important things to do. No, he didn't. He just stood beside Ara and watched over her.

"So you are the water lord's right hand man? Or was I mean... Uhm... I'm not here to take you to jail... It's true that Zianro Azura wants us to do that but our leader just wants to meet and speak with you... She wants to know why she was asked to do such a thing...." It seemed he had gotten better on this talking thing, even if he still thought it was rather tough. Or he didn't like it, he actually preferred to just stand on the side and listen to the other's while they handled the conversation.

"So... Would you be so kind and just follow me and meet with our leader?"

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Zianro had just overseen part of the repairs on his entryway when he saw Zotar walk towards him. He threw off any weapons he had and knelt down. "And to what do I owe this visit? Come to stir up more trouble. Or else do, has the fool finally opened his eyes, mind, and heart to the reality of the situation?" Zianro eyed the fire tribesman carefully, wondering his intentions.

---

Na'ari sighed. "I would follow you if I could but my legs are bruised from being waylaid. So you'll have to lend me your shoulder or else tell your leader to come to me, but I'll give you my arm regardless since I have a feeling it's the former." The former right hand stated as he put his hand on the man's shoulder shoulder and walked gingerly outside the room. His legs still smarted from the bruises given to him but he hoped it was going to subside eventually.

But what did the leader of the air tribe want with him? Didn't they know of his exile? Well, in his mind it was obviously a small chunk of that info. He still couldn't make up his mind if he was really going to stay in air lands, away from people or just continue wandering all of Imos when his legs got better. He had a feeling this meeting would answer that decision really fast.

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial
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In the end Deborah wasn't sure what was going on, someone rushed in telling them the airhead from days ago had escaped his cell and started a riot. Once that was said she was grimacing again, wondering what was up with the security in this place. Wasn't they even prepared to keep their own people in their jail? If that guy was able to escape and start a riot how many hadn't done it before him? No, the fire nation somehow seemed less powerful and mighty suddenly.

But who was she to blame them? She just followed the king around and did whatever he asked of her. So if he wanted her to walk right into the riot and blind the people temporarily that was what she did without even questioning it. She was just sort of happy that she finally was allowed to do something instead of just standing at the side and watching everyone demonstrate what they could do. But after her part that was mostly what she did, stood around in a corner while watching the men get slaughtered without even flinching. She almost thought to herself that this was more boring to watch than the massacre at Shadowfen.

"Well done, I want you to come with me to Airedale. If there is anyone I trust to fight with me, right at my side, it be you." She doubted that she would be fighting. She would probably just be allowed to stand around and watch like always. "Besides, I would not want to lose you. And while your keeping me safe, I promise to keep you safe."

She was watching his hand on her shoulder while nodding slowly, wondering how he could think that it was safer for her to be at the battlefield with him than in Murtovaara. When she gave it a second thought she suddenly understood that he was probably right, the only reason why she was accepted and allowed to walk around in the castle was because the king was there and he accepted her. But when he was gone there was no guarantee she would be accepted anymore. So he was probably right when he said that she would be safer around him.

"I will try not to let you down again."



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When the man told him that he wouldn't be able to walk by himself and needed a shoulder to lean on Cailu allowed him to use his. He had no reason not to help the man, Ara wanted to speak with him and that was why Cailu had been asked to go and fetch him. He doubted that Ara actually would go here to meet the man, would any tribe leader do something like that? No, probably not. And according to Cailu Ara was the nicest of them. But he didn't know anyone of the other's either so that wasn't that strange.

It took a little while to take them from the inn to the mansion since the other one was hurt, but in the end they was in front of the building. Cailu still helped the man by leading him inside, wondering if he needed to get the man upstairs also or if Ara would be waiting somewhere else, the answer to his thoughts were one of the few servants they had who stood right inside the main door and directed him towards the throne room. The choice of location was a bit odd, they never used it, but Cailu wouldn't question Ara's choice.

The moment Ara saw the supposedly right hand man to the Water tribes leader, or former right hand man, she was a bit taken aback. She had expected something else. Something a little less... fragile. But he looked beaten up, perhaps he had a whole different aura around him when he wasn't like that. But she just smiled towards the man while she leaned back, "Hello. I suspect that you are the late right hand man of Zianro Azura? I've summoned you here because I need answers. A while ago I and my own right hand man, Cailu, who was the one to go and find you, went to Lakeshore to talk with Azura. We had heard some really unsettling rumors that now have been proven correct, it ended with him asking us or me to put you in jail. I'm not going to put you in jail, we didn't even get a reason to why were supposed to do something like that. So what did you do, are we supposed to send you away from our lands because you can be considered a threat?"

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Mekaisto Orieska
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Zianro listened to what Zotar has to say. The way he went to his knees finally made him smile. He slowly clapped his hands joyfully. "Well done, well done! You've finally unclouded your eyes from the hate of your forefathers. As for Airedale, I shall get my soldiers moving within the hour to match your brother's might. Soon, we will see the dreams we wanted to see a reality." Zianro walked to Zotar as he spoke, "So rise Zotar, true Leader of the Fire tribe, and together, we will make Zaheed pay and we shall make him see his own blood." Clearly he was unaware of Zaheed's recent events.

---

Na'ari's mouth nearly dropped at the sight Of Ara's beauty, he knew he had to answer as soon as possible, for time is short. He let go of Cailu's shoulder and made his best effort to stand on his own and show he was a warrior, not a wounded man. "I am Na'ari Aurelis, former right hand of the Water Lord. I was a victim of a conspiracy involving your unsettling rumors. Zianro thought I was a threat to whatever he was planning and removed me from the equation by exiling me. I wish nothing more then to live in relative peace, whether it be here or anywhere else on Imos". Na'ari tried to read her face, trying to figure out if she was concerned about him, or something else. "But it seems there is something else on your mind other then dealing with a wounded man such as myself, can I be of service in some way?"

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Both Cailu and Ara exchanged unsettled glances towards each other while they listened to the man's words, Cailu still had no idea what had happened while he had been gone but he could understand that whatever it was must been big. There was no time to ask her either, but somehow she had found out that the things this Bellistrad had told them about was real. And apparently this man he went to search for knew that as well, which was why he had been exiled from his tribe. If that was something Zianro was capable of doing just to protect the conspiracy Cailu could only praise the gods nothing had happened to them for interfering.

"But it seems there is something else on your mind other then dealing with a wounded man such as myself, can I be of service in some way?"

The question startled Ara that indeed had started to drift off inside her head, thinking about what she should do if the exiled fire king would return with the Water tribes army, was she supposed to take care of them? And how long before the second army arrived, would the Water tribe even be here in time or would their little village already be burnt to the ground? She didn't fear for her tribesmen, she knew that none would be able to capture them. At least she thought so, because who could capture air? She knew that she would be able to pass through any prison cell door as simple as any other. But it was true that not everyone was as skilled as her when it came to such things. Which was why she wouldn't let anyone be captured in the first place.

But there was a second thing that troubled her mind. Something hidden underneath the surface, something the Fire tribe indeed would discover if they won the battle. It made her start to chew on her lip, it made her so extremely nervous, what they could come up with if they got the stones in their possession. That thought troubled her a lot, but she had no clue on how she was supposed to protect the stones, send Cailu away with them before the battle? No. She couldn't do that, they needed him. Give them back to the people who deserved them? It could work, perhaps that would give them an advantage as well. But she didn't know. Which was why she just smiled at the man after he addressed her, trying to push away the thoughts.

"Well, you got me. I wasn't paying attention because before you arrived I got visited by someone that called himself the late king of the Fire nation, Zotar Thanos was apparently his name. He told me what had happened to him and came here with a warning, apparently the current king are planning to invade my land and I have no idea what to do." Even though she spoke with a calm voice, smiling through it all, the eyes hinted of the panic behind them. Saying it out loud make the whole situation seem worse, like it was real, like it really would happen. And it wasn't only Ara that showed signs of panic. The moment she told them those things Cailu flinched, staring at her, skin turning even paler. Or perhaps greener, he felt sick, like he was about to throw up right there. To hear that the war had finally reached them was not something anyone of them wanted to hear.

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Na'ari listened to Ara and noted Cailu's reaction. If Zotar was here, then obviously he managed to escape, and Zaheed did indeed raze Shadowfen, with Airedale the next target. Na'ari had a choice to make. He knew the only army that could stand up to Zaheed was the Water Army, and Zotar probably knew that too, hence his absence. Na'ari stared at the blade on his back and shifted a bit. His legs were still sore but he had to stand tall.

"I can take this pain if it means telling the Air leader she is not alone in her fight..." Na'ari thought in his own mind. He raised his hand and placed it over his heart in a dedicated manner. "You are not alone in this then. I may have been exiled from the water lands, but Imos is still my home. I will gladly lend you my sword and services to you, Ara Cilivren. Lend you my full strength if need be, even my very life." He strained his last words, feeling the dull ache of his bruised legs. "On my honor, I will help you defend all of Airedale."

"Hopefully she says yes, my legs aren't feeling too great! Owch!!" he thought desperately. He had to keep standing until asked or told otherwise, such was his thoughts of politeness.

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis
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General King Zaheed


Soldiers fled into Lakeshore, they were fearful enough to do what Zaheed had commanded him, but not brave enough to run. And though retreating may seem like cowardice, it would be better than playing part in the slaughter that was now present in Airedale. Before Zaheed sent his soldiers out to march, he ordered rogues to dispatch into the city and eliminate as many high ranking officers and to lift the city gates once they approached.

The team proved to be successful for by the time Zaheed and his army approached Airedale, it was opened to Zaheed's destruction. "Now, do not except this battle to be like Shdowfen, you are dealing with air benders here. They can be trickier in situations as such. But if you hold up to order and efficiency in the battlefield, then we gain not only another victory but conquer domain over another tribe. Soon, Imos will bow to one leader. Show no mercy, execute all who prove capable to be a hindrance in the future. And as for the weak ones, enslave them, I'll make them strong for a greater purpose, for my purpose. Do not forget who you are fighting for, do not make me your enemies. Follow your orders, and I give you my word, you will not suffer what Airedale is soon going to face," Zaheed told his speech before the battle.

With the troops inside of the city, Airedale took a slaughtering, the fire tribe had much bigger numbers than them, and this battle had been expected and practiced for after Shadowfen fell. But while the city was being scorched by flames and drowned by terror, Zaheed made his way to the throne room, hoping that he would find and kill the tribe's leader. Zaheed always believed the best way to truly break a tribe's heart and soul was to drive and destroy their homeland, but also to put an end to the one who once led and governed them.

Deborah accompanied him with Bellistrad's unconscious self carried, but also surrounded by soldiers leading and slaves in chains as Zaheed absorbed their energy. He was retaining his abnormal shape, though Deborah did in the past told him that he would not need those powers, Zaheed, in the end, went with his own intentions, as he always did. "I had planned this day for weeks now, I was expecting at least some type of fight," he talked to Deborah as they were on their way to the throne room, was if he were having simple conversation, as if there were not a skirmish before him. "Air benders, heh, guess there's a reason why the fire tribe never affiliated with them, what's there to affiliate with?"

Suddenly Zaheed's pet, Icarus swept down to inform his master, "Zaheed! Zotar and Zaheed are here, they brought the entire water tribe army!" Zaheed stopped in his tracks, heart-pounding much faster, because his goal just got much harder to achieve. No matter how ridiculous Zotar and Zianro teaming up sounded to Zaheed, he stuck with the plan- get to the throne room, take down the air tribe leader then deal with Zianro and Zotar.

Zaheed made it inside the throne room, "Deborah, trust me, I want you to hide within this room. I will soon be immersed within a duel. You know I treasure our time together, you served me in different places, but for now, I ask that you do what I say."

After Zaheed spoke to Deborah, his men then wrapped numerous chains around Bellistrad, bounding him to a column. Zaheed struck Bell against the face to wake him up, and hen unleashed his blade, placing it against Bell's neck, "Too bad you were asleep, Indorial. No matter, when this is all over, and I'm in a good mood I might let you get a breath of air, take a step outside, let you soak in the scenery, before I decide to finally put an end to you."

Ara was no where to be found in the throne room, but Zaheed waited, he knew his brother would get his way anytime now, Zotar always did, according to Zaheed.


Lord Vinicius ZOTAR THANOS


"Thank you, Zianro," Zotar responded to his once-was-enemy, as he rose to his feet just as Zianro had commanded. Leader, it has been quite some time since Zotar actually felt like one, sure Bellistrad mentioned the word many times as he tried to train Zotar into one, but now, Zotar felt he could own up to the title of leader.

In the meantime before the water tribe soldiers set out to march for Airedale, Zotar trained with them. Of course seemed quite suspicious and odd considering the obvious ties between water and fire. But as he practiced events such as sword-fighting or hand-to-hand combat, even in duels considering their elements at battle, he did not feel any tension. For, it was if none of that matter. For once in Zotar's life he could say that a huge part about the history of his ancestors simply did not matter.

No, because through the training with the water soldiers, Zotar constantly kept Bellistrad's words in mind because now they made sense, they are no different from him. These men, they had a country, traditions, families to go back to one the war waging was over, if it was ever going to be. Zotar never though of it that way, he was too one-sided in the situation, never thinking for himself, when it came to breaking away from what he was told as a child. But then it also struck Zotar that he will soon be facing his own nation, his own soldiers, or men he once saw as such.

At that moment, he bore grief, sorrow, to believe he would be against his own tribe. So he excused himself from the battle-training, and made his way to somewhere quiet. Unbelievingly, Zotar actually floated against the waters of a pool inside Lakeshore. After he had to swim for his life, he discovered something special about water- it could either be peace, calm, cooling, or could follow with violence and mad splashing thrashing, its a choice to decide which one. It was always a choice for Zotar, but most of his life he had living his father's, but since he had met Bellistrad, he felt he free.

On his back, lying against the water, he mediated for the battle that soon faced him. That there will be sacrifices made, and he was willing to take them, no matter if it meant he had to end the lives of fire tribe soldiers or if his life would end. And came the time that the water tribe soldiers set out on their journey, with Zotar there besides Zianro, marching with a water tribe king, with the same goal in mind for once, stop Zaheed.

The battle was launched, well, the time that Zotar got there with Zianro, the air tribe was already being attacked. But hopefully, not for long were the people of Airedale going to be pressed under oppression and bloodshed. "Zianro, I'm going after Zaheed. Thank you, again, and," Zotar put his hand on Zianro's shoulder. "Let's save Imos." Zotar gave a bow and charged off in the direction he felt was the best way to his brother.

Zotar could see Zaheed from a distance, he was tallest and strangest-looking figure before him. Zotar took in a deep breath, filling air into his lungs, trying to find a peace in the midst of sorrow and suffering that surrounded. Dreaming and hoping that when this was all over, Zaheed would not only be put down but the separation of the tribes. Perhaps there would no longer be wars or battles like this, Imos would once again be united.

Zotar busted into the throne room to see before him, the monster he was tied to by blood, Zaheed, and his friend, his teacher, his savior, Bellistrad. "Leave him alone, Zaheed!" Zotar barked in stern voice, not in a tone of anger but one that gave the speech of a firm leader. "Your ruination of foreign tribes but also the fire tribe, ends here!"

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis
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Bellistrad Indorial

Bell slowly came out of his long dream, one he barely understood in the end but he got what he needed from it. He could tell he was uncomfortable and felt chains around him, pinning him to something solid. A wood pillar he realized it was, and slowly he recognized the room being in the Air Tribe style. His eyes widened as he bare witness once again to the terrifying wrath of Zaheed. Bell could do little more than shrink into himself and wait for the large man to leave him.

In short time Zotar arrived and called out in Bellistrad's defense. He was glad that Zotar had come to defend the Air Tribe and wondered if the Water tribe had come with him. Bell yelled out in a state of pure willpower at the sight of Zotar and Zaheed together again and burst his body out in blue flame violently. The chains, the tip of Zaheed's sword and the pillar that Bell had been chained to all either melted or became charcoal respectively. Bell sunk to the floor after his outburst and realized just how weak he was from incarceration.

Bell stood up and went to work on Zaheed, unleashing a fast array of fiery jabs and arcing rings of flame from his kicks. Each attack wore out Bell more and more but he kept up the attack with his flurry of hard pressed Fire Bending. Bell calls out to Zotar as he keeps up the assault. "It is time for your third lesson Zotar, the power of the yellow stomach chakra, and control of your Willpower!" Bell demonstrates this by rotating on his left leg and performing a strong upper-cut kick to Zaheed's lower chin, his strike sending a giant torrent of fire from his foot up and extending 20ft up into the sky. Bell retreated after this attack, his energy now starting to consume his flesh as patches of his skin became ashes and slowly smoldering embers.

Bell's body was at it's limit but Bell continued to fight even with the pain of burning alive. Bell finished his fight one way or another by igniting his body in a blue fiery aura and became a sapphire phoenix and rammed into Zaheed on a suicide run to incinerate both the evil King and himself in the flames...

When the ashes settled Bellistrad had vanished and only a single scrap of blue fabric marked where he had stood. His spirit raced around the energy of Zotar before disappearing into the light.

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Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis
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"You are not alone in this then. I may have been exiled from the water lands, but Imos is still my home. I will gladly lend you my sword and services to you, Ara Cilivren. Lend you my full strength if need be, even my very life. On my honor, I will help you defend all of Airedale."

She wasn't surprised by his proposal, even though he was a bit roughed up at the moment she could sense that he was a soldier in the core. There was no doubt that he would make such a request, she would be more surprised if he had asked how to get out of there the fastest and ran away. And even if she was questioning how much he could do in his current state she couldn't order him around, he wasn't a part of her tribe so who was she to stop him? That was not her obligation or even her business.

"Your kindness is too much, thank you, we accept your help. You may go and do what you want in the meantime, talk to the guards or something else, the choice is yours. I need to do some things now, so I will excuse myself." While she spoke she had stood up with the help of her cane before smiling politely towards the water exile and leaving the room. She was needed somewhere else, in fact she was probably needed everywhere at this point.

The two cousins were located in their study where they were actually arguing in hissing voices, no one of them agreeing to the other ones ideas. No one of them had any experiences with a real war or battle. Both of them thought they knew what was best but neither of them had any clues in reality. That was when one of the guards came stumbling into the room, blood leaking from defend wounds.

"We're under a a-attack, most of the men around the walls are... dead. I escaped right after an assault... They're here already."

Dead silence. No one said anything, the arguing was over. There wasn't anything to argue about anymore. It was already too late for that. Probably too late for anything. She had been told to defend the village, to keep people alive. But truly Ara didn't care the slightest about the land or the village, all she cared about was her people. As long as they got out alive, which she hoped they would because why wouldn't they all just scatter with the air as soon as they saw the enemy just like the guard who had escaped had done?

"You are wounded, leave the city. Fly out of here, don't die for something like this," The guard hesitated at first, clearly troubled by the order. They were assigned to guard the city, not run away when it got dangerous and Ara knew that. But she wanted to keep as many of them alive as possible, and if that meant to just abandon the village completely for its destruction so be it. When the guard had vanished from vision she turned towards Cailu who was looking out the open window, "Cousin, I want you to evacuate as many of ours as possible. Protect them while they escape, I know you can protect them."

Even he hesitated, his assignment was to protect Ara and not the others and clearly she needed a lot of protection in his opinion, "But... What about you?"

She only shook her head, "No, I don't need it. I can take care of myself, I don't need to use violence. I will simply slip through their grasp if they get that close. I will go to the stones. We can't let them have them. After that I will help you by looking for people that still hasn't left."

They both vanished, Cailu traveling out through the window still drifting away while the real wind grabbed a hold of him while Ara went downstairs and further into the building. She didn't need to open any doors, she just slipped through the slots, downwards. Underneath the dirt. Into the place where all secrets were kept. Once inside the hidden room she looked down onto the three stones. Funny thing was that the red one seemed to shine were it lied, she had never seen it happen before even though she had visited the room many times before. She guessed it was because of the presence of so many fire wielders.

After that unsettling realization she simply poked down the stones into her pouch without touching them with her bare hands and left the room to save the rest of her people from getting slaughtered. At least she hoped that was the worst scenario.



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Honestly the attack on Shadowfen was funnier to watch, yeah watch. Just like she now was watching the slaughter going on in Airedale. It was just like Deborah had suspected, she wasn't supposed to fight. She was just there for the show and to keep the king company. Like before. And to be honest, she wasn't amused with it. At all. If it wasn't for the ongoing battle you would be able to hear her click her tongue more than once while she followed the king where he walked through the streets, clearly unhappy with her position in all this. But she didn't say anything, she wasn't stupid enough to do something like that on a day like this. She just silently listened to the kings bragging like always.

But clearly she had decided on the outcome to early, the news that got the king frustrated made her smile. Because apparently this would be more exciting than Shadowfen. Much more exciting. But also a bigger risk, she didn't have any reason to doubt her employer since she knew how strong the army and he was but still there was that tiny chance that they would lose. That meant she would lose as well. What would happen then was not something she would like to know. And how she was supposed to get out of here was also a question. But she pushed those thoughts aside, she didn't have any reason to doubt the king.

She had expected something more from the home of her father, she hadn't known what to expect but this was clearly not it. To know she was linked to this rundown place was not something she would be bragging about again, the house she guessed belonged to the leader since they walked into it wasn't even close to being impressive. If she didn't know better she would almost resemble it with something from Murtovaara’s slums. Small when comparing it to what Murtovaara had to offer and not even special or unique like Shadowfen.

"Deborah, trust me, I want you to hide within this room. I will soon be immersed within a duel. You know I treasure our time together, you served me in different places, but for now, I ask that you do what I say."

He wanted her to hide? Of all the things he could ask of her and he asked her to hide. Once more she started to click her tongue in annoyance but she wasn't going to start questioning him and being difficult now, "Fine."

Just like he had told her to do she walked further inside the room and leaned onto the wall with arms crossed in the darkest corner, she wasn't going to crouch down and hide behind some sort of junk like a kid. She refused to do that. She wasn't going to humiliate herself like that, because her pride didn't allow her to hide like some scared child. No. Not even if the king asked that of her. It was beneath her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Deborah Sigrún Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis
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Zianro nodded. "Get going then Zotar. I'll deal with his forces." Zianro then raised his voice. "We'll go with the charge and flank maneuver! Two hundred of you charge in and get any fire warrior! Two one hundred man units will cover the flanks!" Zianro smiled inwardly. "Now Zaheed, Old Friend, it's time to end our little contest of strength..."

"First Unit, Charge!!"

---

Na'ari was with the Guards in the city, desperately helping them escape whilst he used Draconil and what little water remained in his pouch to hold off any forces trying to stop him from trying to help the best he could. He felt like he was the only water warrior that cared, until he heard the battle cries.

Warriors of Lakeshore leapt into the cities and fought against the fire soldiers. On the walls of the City itself, Several water warriors specializing in ice threw several icicles at the soldiers, further aiding them in their cause against the fire tribe's tyrannical Ruler. He thought he saw Cailu arriving to help. But that made his face turn pale with worry.

"Where is Ara?" He said silently to himself. It didn't matter, he had to fight off the troops with the newfound Calvary.