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Sholeh Kanaka

"They'd run if they were smart, since I'm here."

0 · 363 views · located in Imos

a character in “The Tribes of Imos 2”, originally authored by WildSky214, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

Appearance
Full Name: Sholeh Kanaka
Age: 25
Gender: Female
Sexual Preference: Heterosexual

Tribe: Fire
Position in the Tribe: Soldier

Negative Traits:
*Impulsive
*Tactless
*Immature
*Boastful
*Ornery
Positive Traits:
*Loyal
*Outgoing
*Efficient
*Brave
*Unselfish
Fears:
*Deep water
* Being weak
*Wild Animals
*Being seen as insignificant

Family:
Urijah Kanaka- Father, 55 years old, farmer
Adara Kanaka- Mother, 53 years old, married
Vukan Kanaka- Brother, 35 years old, status unknown
Oriel Cai- Sister, 33 years old, married
Nuria Lukon- Sister, 31 years old, married
Eshne Muriz- Sister, 29 years old, married
Serafina Kanaka- Sister, 27 years old, unmarried, unsavory reputation
History:
Sholeh was born the youngest child to a farmer and his wife. Just being farmers, the family had little wealth and possessions, and they had to work hard for every little bit they had. As a child, she got along much better with her older brother than she did with her sisters. She was more interested in combat than playing with dolls or learning to sew. Her brother, Vukan, was a soldier in the Fire Tribe Army, and she considered him her hero. She dreamed of the day when she could join the army like him. But, ten years ago he ran off with a girl from the Shapeshifter Tribe, and was never seen again. When she was old enough, she joined the army, and trained at every free moment to rid the shame of her deserting brother from her family.

Likes:
*Sugary foods
*Roughhousing
*Fighting
*Dancing
Dislikes:
*Cold temperatures
*Girly-girls
*Being talked down to
*Being ignored
Dreams/Goals:
Her dream is to be the most respected and skilled soldier in the Fire Tribe

Hair Color: Red
Eye Color: Hazel
Tattoos/Markings:
She wears blue warpaint that goes vertically from her eyes to her chin. She wears it to mock the tears of the water tribesmen she's slain in battle.
Height: At five-foot-nothing, Sholeh is short for a soldier, but she makes up for it determination and skill in battle.
Brief Appearance Description:
Sholeh is very hot-blooded, so she is usually scantily-clad, showing off her curves and slightly tan skin. She keeps her hair cut short so it doesn't get in her eyes when she fighting. She walks with a confident swagger, and usually slumps when she's sitting down.

Carrying: Kusarigama
Strength/Abilities: She is very skilled at manipulating fire, she can conjure and fling it at an enemy before he knows happening. She can also whip it around in lightening fast patterns around her enemies. She has enough basic knowledge of most melee weapons to wield them, but she is only really skilled at the kusarigama. She also pretty skilled in unarmed combat. (unarmed combat including no element manipulation)
Weakness: She's mostly an offensive melee fighter, so she doesn't have much skill in making a fire shield. She also cannot manipulate fire that she did not conjure herself.

So begins...

Sholeh Kanaka's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anastasia Campbell Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Alois Munsee Character Portrait: Nanoka Dene Tha Character Portrait: Vladimir Rostovii Character Portrait: Helina Dynaris Character Portrait: Frosten Character Portrait: Talaya Character Portrait: James Goldsworth
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#, as written by Lyysa


Image

Image



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: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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General Zaheed Thanos & Lord Vinicius


General Zaheed was rather frustrated at the moment, he ordered the palace guards to search among the living, in hopes to find Zotar. However, it had only seemed like the to-be king was nowhere to be found. The general could assume the position of the throne due to the disappearance of his brother, but what if Zotar were to return to see his brother wearing his crowd, how would the people of the tribe feel? No, it would not be the quick-witted man's decision, and Zaheed always stuck with the clever initiative. Zaheed knew where his brother was, but did he really have to go journey off to his father's tomb, now of all moments, his crowning ceremony would happen in less than an hour.

This was a reason why Zaheed found Zotar unfit for a king, he put emotions in front of his duties, his power and will as leader of the fire tribe. It was cold, cruel, that Zaheed found a visitation to his father's tomb "a waste of time". Zaheed exited the place, and as he did he took a glance at the royal through, with curses and blind anger surging the veins of his brain. But Zaheed was never the one to burst a vein letting the rage spill into a disruptive scene. No, instead he bottled the feelings, letting his emotions grow like parasites hinged to his heart, and eventually eating him up from the inside.

Zotar ran off like that to cry his eyes out, perhaps that is then why I call him 'baby brother', the name suits him far more than that dense-minded name he gives himself, 'Lord Vinicius. Zaheed thought to himself as he marched through the doors of the palace, where he made his way to the royal stable, where the finest horses of the nation was brushed, fed, and cared for. There Zaheed arrived to see his own personal steed, Shadow. The black stallion was fashioned in steel horse armor, as it always was, even out of combat, due to the inclined habit of the fire bearers to be quite flashy or prideful with their war-related equipment.

Zaheed didn't hate his horses, however had no affection to it either. He looked at the animal as did he look at his own family, his wife, and sons. He didn't hate them, because he knew he could control them, however the same was not for his brother. Though this is secret to ever living soul, no one knows that Zaheed shares a fiery passion to despise his own blood, because due to his father's decision, it will be the older brother bowing knee to the younger. But as for Ivana, his mother, Zaheed hardly ever noticed the woman, no he let all of his focus and ever beheld on his father, never giving concern to her, not that she ever treated him unfairly, but that he wanted his father to instead.

Zaheed arrived to the mountain where from there he must climb up the stone built stairs to the tomb. Zaheed finally finished trudging up the stairs and walked into the tomb where he found Zotar pressing a twig with the wooden end masked with his own blood. The cut to which he sourced the blood out from sprouted out from his ring finger. It was fire tribe tradition to write a letter from their own blood to then proceed to toss it to the flames, in order so that the fumes would fly to the realm of the spirit world.

Zaheed patiently waited, letting his brother finish the traditional practice. Honestly Zaheed found it superstitious and pointless, not only because it was Zarfu, the man who denied what he believes is his destiny, but also because Zaheed saw it as once someone dies, they die, there is no need to be hung up over it, there is nothing man can do to prevent death nor resurrect life. After Zotar dipped the letter into the fire, letting it burn to ashes, Zaheed spoke out, "Zotar--"

And to where Zotar immediately butted in, "Its Vinicius, soon it will then be Lord Vinicius."

There he goes again, correcting his brother for using his real name, Zaheed tried his best not to roll his eyes to that comment, but smiled apologizing, though it felt like a thorn through the heart, "Forgive me, Vinicius. But, yes, you will be king and I ask you why are you not in the throne room by now? Your crowning will occur less than an hour from now--”

“Zaheed, can’t you see—,” Zotar sighed, he was getting flustered and aggravated again due to the sorrow he had stored, the guilt he could not afford. “Sorry, Kal’bo.

Kal'bo, it was word meaning, brother, it was a sweet word, a word only given to those who trusted each other, family. And though Zotar wish he could accuse his brother of being jealous that he has the throne, but however he cannot with clear evidence. No, General Zaheed was a master of faces, at one moment he could play the part of a supportive, loving older brother, at another, he lives to be the snake, deceitful waiting to slender among ground to strike his own blood against the heel.

"Don't worry, I understand if you are stressed right now, but wouldn't father want you to be happy the day you honor us Thanos by taking the crown and having the steel of the same bracers that the first king of us once forged into his skin by the flames." Zaheed put his hand on his brother's shoulder, really selling to him the idea that he cared.

"But wait," Zotar drew glances to Zaheed. "Aren't you mad at all?"

"Disappointed, I have to admit, but no matter, I trust father's word. Now, I trust you, Kal'bo."

Lies, lies, and more lies, it gushed through the crevices of his teeth and into the ears of his brother. And it worked, Zotar, loved his brother, he trusted him, even when he didn't want to. "I believe in you," Zaheed vomited yet again another lie as he held his hand out, to where the brother clasped forearms, it was a bond, it was an illusion.

The doors unleashed forward as Zotar stepped into the throne room, he looked around at the people crowded to the sides. Everything felt like slow-motion at the moment, like Zotar stared into each eye of every being in the room, like he was counting every soul trusting him as king, as savior, as protector, as hero. People of all types filled the room, from children to elders, common folk to nobles. But the majority of it was taken up by military, for through out history it was the fire tribe that lavished in strength and might, it could be seen as an obsession with their military.

General Thanos positioned himself in front of his troops, as he wore the mask of a smile watching his greatest enemy rob him of his greatest treasure, his throne, his power.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Vladimir Rostovii Character Portrait: Helina Dynaris
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Helina Dynaris


“Mr. Forsberj, you have to let me change the bandage or your wound will get infected. Then you'll die.” Although Helina Dynaris was sorely tempted to throw up her hands and leave the old man to his fate, she knew she could never live with herself if she did.

“Good. Get out of my house.” Said 'house' that Mr. Forsberj was referring to was really more of a one room shack that had a bed and a chest. He had moved there when his wife died a couple years ago in order to wallow alone in his misery. He was now laying on his bed with his arms crossed defiantly.

Standing over him with her hands on her hips, Helina glared down at him. “Well, as your healer, I forbid you to die. Now move your hand. And stop drinking!” With his free hand, he had grabbed a bottle of who-knows-what and started to chug it. She snatched it from him and tossed it out the window. “If you weren't drunk every second of the day, you wouldn't have this wound in the first place!” She was there when he had passed out on top of a broken bottle during the celebration of the new tribe leader. She patched him up while he was still unconscious, and a guard had to carry him home.

While he was sputtering in disappointment over the loss of his drink, Helina set about removing his hand from his wounded leg. She had managed to pry it off, but was backhanded in the face. Surprised by the strength in the seemingly frail old man, she actually fell to the floor. Her face stinging, and her hair bun in a mess from the impact, she had had enough.

“You stubborn old man! Do you think your wife would want this? Slapping women around, being constantly drunk, and having a death wish?”

His face consorted in pain as he thought about it, and never answered. Helina's anger evaporated, and her face softened. She stood up and put her hand on his. “No. She would want you to be safe and happy.” He still didn't respond, but he did remove his hand from the wound. Smiling in relief, she set about her work, cleaning it and applying the paste, then wrapping it up in a fresh bandage. As she was finishing up, a knock came at the door.

Knowing Mr. Forsberj never got visitors, Helina frowned in confusion and opened the door. The two guests were the tribe leader's governors.

“Lord Rostovii requires your presence,” one of them said bluntly.

Her eyebrows shot up. Most unexpected. “Uhh, very well. Let me finish up here, and then I will...go to him.” The governors nodded, and left without another word.

She finished dressing the old man's wound and quickly gathered her things. As she was heading out, she received a light swat on the bum from Mr. Forsberj, who winked at her. She laughed in spite of herself, said goodbye. At least he was feeling better.

A few people greeted her as she made her way through the city. Just a quick hello as they went about their daily lives. Being the healer, she knew most of the people in Shadowfen, so she saw a friendly face around every corner. When she arrived at her destination, she remembered that her bun had fallen apart, and her cheeks pinked when she realized that she had just walked through the city with messy hair. She quickly fixed it and stepped inside.

“You summoned me, my lord,?” she said to the new tribe leader.




Sholeh Kanaka


“I'm going to leave you behind!” Sholeh called out to her sister, Serafina, who was lagging behind her. “The ceremony is starting soon, and I'm supposed to be with the military. So move your ass before I leave you, and you have to go with one of your boyfriends.” Sholeh smirked. “Or should I say, clients?”

Serafina just rolled her eyes. “I'm coming.” She picked up her pace slightly, but not enough for her sister. Who groaned.

“Come on! Mom and Dad even made it before you did! And they're old as dirt!”

“Alright, calm down. Look,” Serafina said, pointing ahead, “I can see it from here. Just go!”

Sholeh wasted no time speeding off toward the palace, roughly shoving some people out of the way in order to make it to the group of soldiers marching inside. She quickly slipped into the ranks, but did not go unnoticed. Several of her comrades turned to give her dirty looks for being late. She stuck her tongue out, but otherwise ignored them.

As they walked into the throne room, Sholeh had to resist the urge to whistle in appreciation. It was so much fancier than the little farmstead she had grown up on. She had been inside several times, but it managed to astound her every time. As the soldiers took filed in, she saw that she was lucky enough to get a spot close to the throne. From her position, she would be able to see everything.

More people began to pile in. First the nobles so they would have the better positions. The commoners then came in, and Sholeh shamelessly waved to her family when she saw them bringing up the rear. Beside her, one of her comrades, Kieran, elbowed her in the side.

“Ow!” she protested to him, rubbing her hurt side. She glared at him. “What was that for?”

He gave her a look. “You broke formation.”

She huffed in irritation. “I was just waving to my family.”

“General Zaheed will punish you if you break formation.”

Sholeh looked around the room in an exaggerated manor. “Well, I don't see him! So mind your own business!”

Kieran mumbled something probably offensive, and turned his attention away from her. She didn't stay quiet for long though. “How much longer until it starts?” she asked him.

He growled in annoyance. “When Lord Vinicious arrives.”

A few moments passed. “Do you think he'll be a good leader?” she asked him.

Her comrade looked at her in disgust. “Hold you tongue woman! You tread very close to speaking treason!”

Extremely put off, Sholeh looked away and let the matter drop. She didn't understand why her question was so offensive. She had no idea what kind of leader he was going to be, so it would be natural for her to be curious about it. And it was not like she was suggesting he not be the leader, or anything.

Suddenly, the doors swung open, and revealed Lord Vinicious. She grinned as he passed by, unlike the other soldiers who stayed as serious as always. She saw General Zaheed take his place in front of his troops, and forced down the temptation to stick a tongue out at his back.

'Well,' she thought, 'Lord Vinicious certainty couldn't be a worse leader than his brother would be.

The setting changes from Imos to Murtovaara

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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General Zaheed Thanos & Lord Vinicius


Zotar's heart was beating, faster and faster as each second passed, he was battle with an army of anxiety as the nervousness sunk into his gut. No, this was not natural to Zotar, he was never scared, why is he scared right now? Zotar has always been the fearless one, he has had to jump off climbs, battle beast, and charge on the frontlines, but even then he was not fearful. But everyman has a fear, to disgrace his people, to fail them was one. He tried his best to hold an emotionless stare but a trickle of terror was shimmered in his eyes.

Did father make a mistake? he asked himself, because all of it seemed so wrong to him. There had been so many times in his life where he bragged and boasted about himself, but was he good enough to be king? Why didn't Zarfu will the oldest son to be king, why isn't Zaheed sitting on the throne this very instance? Zotar even arrived late to his own crowning, and his height was also another problem. Zotar was always insecure about that, he was a short guy, and Zaheed was a mountain. Aren't kings suppose to be mighty, towering above their loyal subjects?

But there was something inside of Zotar that outweighed and outgrew everyone in the tribe, it was his heart, his passionate for his tribe, perhaps suggests the reason why he is still a virgin. Zotar never gave eye to his own pleasantries, instead he chased his obsession, he would chase the flames until he hit the inferno. Zotar final reached his throne, his posture was not the best however he looked discouraged, with his shoulders rolled forward and his head slightly down. In front of the throne stood a fiery iron pot of the royal bracers, that were branding into fire flesh of each king and carved off when he died.

"I-I would like to t-thank... everyone who-- that attended," Zotar was stuttering, he never stutters, but the nervousness ached his heart. His bawled fists trying to keep his hands from shaking. "I--I..." Zotar had no idea what to say, he was as speechless as the day he discovered Zaheed was not going to be king. However Zaheed on the other hand was loving this, At this point it will only take a matter of days before the people over throw his majesty. But then Zotar gave glance to his mother, which torn him even harder, but with that tear he was able to but himself back together. Because looking into the eyes of his mother, Zotar was reminded of his father, he was going to make his family, his people proud. How could he have forgotten the flames that filled his lungs? No, he only had one chance and this was it. Like a dragon, Zotar was going to breathe that fire.

"Children of fire, born with the inferno's kisses and caressed with a heated passion for its sparks that embrace us. Our fires never cease to scorch, and though the spirits of our brothers, sister, mothers, and fathers may return to the realm they never fold to ashes. We will never fold to ashes, and we will never stop burning. Because it is fire that shines the brightest among the darkness!"

Zotar stepped to the pot where with much concretion he dipped his hand inside to grab the bracers, he felt his fingers melt at the touch of it, but he sucked in the heat, harnessing the fire, letting the energy of the flames sink into his very own power. He put the first on giving a ferocious growl. But once he got on the second one he lifted up and clasped his forearms together making a letter "x" with his arms, with a roar of ravenous sound. All the memories clashed his mind, the camp, the tents, his father's tent, the earth rogues' intrusion, the dagger through the back of Zarfu's neck, the inability to defeat death.

"To the cowards of earth, I will have my vengeance. Zotar is dead, he died in honor as did his father, from the warm of their flames arose Vinicius to avenge their deaths. So they can send their armies, their legions, even their own damned leader against me, but for me, all it takes is one spark to set my enemies ablaze. Long live the children of fire!" And with that those that consumed the room cheered for him.

The setting changes from Murtovaara to Imos

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Kalagisa Character Portrait: Canowicakte (Good hunter of the forest) Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Vladimir Rostovii Character Portrait: Helina Dynaris
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Helina Dynaris


"I'd like to gain your opinion on things, along with giving you some jobs. You think you could do that?"

Helina bit her bottom lip as she pondered his words. She of course had no problem giving her opinions, sometimes she had to restrain herself from doing so, but the jobs could potentially be troublesome. She had a few apprentices but, and not that she was bragging, but she was far superior to them, and there were some wounds only she could heal. But she was not about to turn down the tribe leader.

“I will do whatever you ask of me, my lord. Uh, within reason, of course,” she couldn't stop herself from adding. It was true, though. She wasn't about to go frolicking through the streets naked just because he told her to. She saw a chair nearby and automatically went to sit down, but changed her mind in case it would be seen as disrespectful, and settled for placing her hands on the back of it.

She remembered that it was his governors had retrieved her, and a question sprang to her mind. “Is this about the war, my lord? Are there injuries I need to attend to?” It hurt her to know that people getting hurt, or worse, dying in this war, but she knew that it was sometimes necessary. Sometimes children needed to be punished so they'd behave, and she supposed nations were no different. It was just a shame that men were killing men when they should be helping each other survive natural dangers, like disease, deadly animals, and natural disasters.




Sholeh Kanaka


When Lord Vinicious finished his speech, the room exploded with cheers and clapping. The crowds' excitement got to Sholeh, who screamed and clapped, and even jumped and shot sparks from her hands. The joy at having a new leader again after they lost the last one was enormous. Celebrations began immediately, the people mingling, talking and laughing, servants walking by with trays of wine. Sholeh did not hesitate to take a glass of wine in each hand and scurry over to her family, who looked so out of place and uncomfortable. Well, except Serafina, who had snatched a glass of her own and was flirting with some noble man.

“Having fun?” she asked her parents, who looked they were trying to merge with the wall. They shook their heads at her and gave her looks that could only be described as guilty.

“We're sorry dear,” her father said, “We just don't belong here. We're going to go on home now.”

Sholeh was taken aback. “You're not even going to stay long enough to watch me pledge my loyalty to the new tribe leader with the rest of the soldiers?”

“We really are sorry,” her mother said. “If only your brother, Vukan, had been here.” Sholeh watched her parents push through the crowd and the door as fast as they could. Her excitement dampened a little bit, She downed both of her glasses of wine, set them on a nearby table, and went back to stand with the soldiers.




Kala


Kala sat in her hut at the edge of the village, sitting on the floor with her legs crossed and Lnoli napping on her shoulders, communicating with the spirits. Or rather, trying to communicate with the spirits. They weren't being particularly chatty at the moment.

“Spirits, I seek guidance. I seek to know if Lami has your blessing in letting all the livestock loose in the outsider village that tried to steal her spirit animal last week.” Kala went silent, waiting for a sign. When none came, she cried out in frustration, “Spirits, why won't you answer me?”

“Perhaps because you ask them a question every five minutes. Maybe you've them into silence,” she heard Lnoli say.

She snorted. “Perhaps they mistook your snoring for a demon and fled.”

She heard a wheezing sound that knew to be his laugh. “Perhaps,” he allowed.

Suddenly, the wind outside picked up, make a slight whistling sound. Kala grinned and clapped in glee. “Did you hear that, Lnoli? that's a yes! Thank you Spirits.”

“My joy is unrivaled,” the black fox said lazily.

Kala ignored him and posed her next question. “Spirits, will the war between the tribes end soon?” Suddenly, the wind picked up even more, taking off a small piece of her roof. She frowned. “That is not a good sign.”

She gently put Lnoli on the floor, and stepped outside her hut, though with that hole in her roof, she could still see inside. She was unsure whether it was fortunate or unfortunate that the Great Spirits said no often, but she did have the means the fix her roof handy. She carefully climbed up and set about fixing it with grass and paste.

When she was about halfway done, she looked up to see Chief Canowicakte making his way into the village. She called out to him as he passed. “Welcome back, Chief! Did you have luck on your trip?”

The setting changes from Imos to Murtovaara

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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General Zaheed Thanos & Lord Vinicius


The palace submerged itself in an array of joys by the celebration of the new claimed king. Lord Vinicius embedded in his flesh, and in his appearance the bracers of the fire kings, however not his crown, his custom designed piece of art, as did every king have there only personally designed crown, where each was stored in the royal display room. No, a symbol of monarchy among countrymen has already been exposed through the bracers, however the crown was only used through meetings or encounters with other kings or official foreigners, for those alien to the land may not be aware of fire tribe traditions.

As Vinicius was making his way to seek out his mother, he was met with hindrance that she could not be spotted in the crowd. He only had left to come to the assumed conclusion that she retired to her chambers due to the lingering illness. And at the point Vinicius was not sure what to do, he was so use to following his father's footsteps. Should he speak to the common folk, or perhaps the nobles? Maybe he should banter with the fellow soldiers? He was undecided until General Zaheed patted him on the back, "Well done, Kal'bo! You are now a king!" The nobles watched at Zaheed applauded his brother's coronation, and by the witnessing of it, the friendly behavior and attachment looked genuinely real, it broke all suspicions of Zaheed being jealous or angry over the situation.

"Yeah, and it was all able to happen through the death of our father," Vinicius muttered back in sorrow, he was still depressed over his father's murder, it was a week before that he was buried, but the images of the blood flowing from Zarfu were still fresh and vivid. Vinicus did since then, battle with depression, grief, and guilt, wishing and believing he could of done something however the truth was he couldn't. And Vinicius never asked for power, but he wishes now he could only have enough to save his father.

"I understand that father's death still affects you, it affects all of us, and because it had such an impact on me I will be dismissing myself from the celebration quite soon to scout amongst the earth tribe, you never know what they may plan to do next. Yes, I could send scouts, but really I volunteer to do this, it may give me a sense of security and a peace of mind."

"Let me go with you," was the first thing that came out of Vinicius's mind and right out of his mouth, wishing to go so that he may be able to also spy on the earth tribe.

Zaheed chuckled, "I wish you could join me also, but you are king now and the king must be with his people, they want you Vinicius, sure you said your words, gave your speech, but now must be the time you give them your heart. Come on, be social, you spent many hours in sad silence, I believe even father would not want you to dwell in such sorrow."

"You're right, Zaheed."

"Yeah, now follow me, a king should get to know his soldiers better," the General led the king to the large and wide dining room where the room was only filled with military, however they were not as uptight as they were at the beginning of the ceremony, now was not the time for the absence of emotions but now was the time for the overflowing of the good of them, with most fist clutched with a strong drink.

But as they approached Zaheed the soldiers turned to him in attention and kneeled, even the General fell to the ground. Vinicus bowed back giving them the signal of his gratitude for their honor, and the troops returned to what they were doing. "So is that going to happen all the time?" Vinicius whispered to his brother.

Zaheed laughed, "You'll get use to it in due time. But for now, I suggest you entertain a bit of a drinking game, yes?"

"What? I don't want to get drunk on my coronation."

"You're right, how about a wrestling match? Not against me, I will have to slip away soon but against one of my fine soldiers?"

"Ha, Kal'bo, you have quite the humor today--." Vinicius never had a problem with rough-housing and wrestling matches, no in fact it was a hobby of his, but he did not believe his brother was being serious, not until the General interrupted with his loud thunderous voice, "Who in here is brave enough to challenge Lord Vinicius to a wrestling match? All for good fun of course. Anybody? Anybody with the sheer amount courage and valor?"

The setting changes from Murtovaara to Imos

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Kalagisa Character Portrait: Canowicakte (Good hunter of the forest) Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Vladimir Rostovii Character Portrait: Helina Dynaris
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Helina Dynaris


"You have a sharp mind," Lord Rostovii said to her. Helina blushed slightly at the compliment, and replied, “Thank you, my lord. I certainly like to think so.” And now it sounded like she was bragging, which made her even more embarrassed.

Lord Rostovii must have sensed her unease, because he moved closer to her and said, "I may have gained my power only recently as your leader, but I prefer to be seen as an equal. All lives are of equal value, afterall."

His words did make her feel more relaxed, and she loosened her body from its stiff posture.

"I would like to ask your opinion on risking many lives to end this war. I wish to regain peace across the land, the most efficient and quick way I have figured out would indefinitely compromise the lives of our people..."

He moved even close to her, and she looked at him straight on, where she would have looked at him in the eyes if she could see them. He continued his speech.

"The job I have for you would be a lot of work. This includes gaining many followers to teach them how to heal others. Of course, those who have gained a considerate healing ability would be sent to the front lines. We simply need more and more healers, more soldiers, more hope..."

Helina frowned in thought. Did she think that risking the lives of soldiers in hopes that they would be able to heal should they incur mortal wounds was worth it? Yes, she absolutely did. If there was a chance for thee soldiers to live long enough to win the war, then it was absolutely worth the risk. Although, it did lean heavily on her teaching skills, for which was up for debate.

The blind man must have taken her frown for rejection, as he proceeded to get down on one knee and bow. "I apologize for any forms of annoyance or inconvenience this has caused. You may decline if you feel as you surely can't."

The gesture put Helina back into a flustered state, as she was not used to such treatment. ”Oh, uh, of course I will do it! Nothing would make me happier! Do you already have people in mind?”





Sholeh Kanaka


Somewhere between leaving the spot where her parents had been and returning the troops, Sholeh had picked up another glass of wine, and was sipping it with one hand and fending off the advances of a comrade with the other.

“Come on, this is a night of celebration! I'm drunk, you're drunk. Spirits are high, and all that. Let's celebrate together!” He tried to cop a feel under her sorry excuse for a top, but she easily batted his hand away.

“One, I'm not drunk,” she said, in a completely steady voice. “I'm only on my third glass of wine, and my limit is in the six or seven range. Two, it is almost unbelievable that your opinion of your manhood is so low that you would bed a woman who not only beats you in hand to hand combat daily, but also one who's fire abilities far exceed your own.”

Her comrade only smirked. “What can I say, I have no pride.” He tried to touch her again, but again she slapped it away.

Just then, Lord Vinicious and General Zaheed made their way over to the troops. Sholeh quickly set her glass on the floor and knelt with the rest of the soldiers. As she was on her knee, she distinctly felt a hand on her rear. She quickly kicked her foot roughly behind her, making contact with a hard body. She was rewarded with pain filled grunt, which made her smile in triumph.

"Who in here is brave enough to challenge Lord Vinicius to a wrestling match? All for good fun of course. Anybody? Anybody with the sheer amount courage and valor?" she heard General Zaheed boom loudly.

Things could not have taken a better turn. A wrestling match was right up her alley. She bolted right up from her kneeling position and pumped a fist in the air. “I challenge him!”

She immediately ran out to the center of the hall and put her hands on hips. “I gladly challenge you to a wrestling match! And please don't insult me by saying you won't fight a girl, because I've taken down most of those men!” She indicated the soldiers by nodding her head to them, then then punched her fist into the palm of her hand for emphasis.




Kala


"Make your way to the Longhouse with the others of your ilk! I will address the Elders and the council!"

With a slightly raised eyebrow, Kala watched the Chief disappear into the Longhouse, then jumped down from the roof. She grabbed the attention of a nearby child. “Ero, go tell the other shamans to meet in the Longhouse.” The boy nodded, and scampered off to do as he was told.

She went back inside her hut to retrieve Lnoli, who seemed to be more alert after his quick nap. “Come on,” she told him. “Chief is calling a council meeting.” She exited her hut and started walking towards the Longhouse, Lnoli pattering beside her. He did not stay quiet for long.

“Its about the lack of food.” It more more a statement than a question, but Kala answered anyway.

“Yes, I suspect that as well. I hope a solution is found, because although I know you don't mind eating insects, I would prefer not to.”

They entered the Longhouse ahead of the other shamans, and Kala took a seat as far away from the rest of the tribe as she could, Lnoli curled up on her lap. Its not that she disliked her tribe, quite the opposite, but sometimes they were uneasy around her, so she found it much easier to just keep her distance. It wasn't long before the other shamans had shuffled in around her, and the meeting began.

The Chief addressed the issues of lack of resources like she thought he would. When he mentioned a diplomat going to the Air and Earth Tribes, she became excited. She had been hoping to get out of the village and see the world a bit, and here was the opportunity offered to her on a silver platter. She quickly stood up and said, “It would be my honor, Chief, to be said diplomat to the Air and Earth Tribes. I promise I will broker peace and come back with what this tribe needs to endure.”

The setting changes from Imos to Murtovaara

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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General Zaheed Thanos & Lord Vinicius


I challenge him! I gladly challenge you to a wrestling match! And please don't insult me by saying you won't fight a girl, because I've taken down most of those men!"

Vinicius hinged his teeth together to conceal the curses from inside as he elbowed Zaheed, "Did you really have to do that?" He snarled to his brother, but not that Vinicius was restless over the fact he was thrown into a fist-fight, but it was a fist-fight with a woman, and though the tribe treated women and men quite equally by law, there will always be sexism. But it was not like Vinicius was a sexiest, but that he was a gentleman, and he did not simply believe in hitting a girl, plus due to the fact that the only females that he has had the most interaction was with his sister and his mother. So he has not had much verbal contact with women thus never has he laid hands on them in any form or fashion, thus he had come to the conclusion that it is not right for a man to bring hostile touch to them, including in a wrestling match.

And as for General Zaheed, yes, Vinicius was perhaps not angry at his brother because it as not his fault that a woman volunteered, but annoyed that he did not think to ask Vinicius first before announcing this match. But Vinicius could see this as a way that Zaheed was trying to loosen up his brother's nerves, and he couldn't hate Zaheed for doing something that almost seemed thoughtful and considerate.

And it was not like Vinicius could straight up reject and refuse the challenge, his reputation was on the line. Therefore instead of directly declining it, he would see if he could entertain the soldiers, say no in a more humorous way. And if Vinicius is going to make this enjoyable, he must be confident with himself. He stepped out into the center space of the room with his hands moving slightly as he spoke, "I wouldn't say refusing to a hit a woman is an insult, rather in polite intentions. Yes, I rather be a gentleman, I think the whole rest of the world is tired of bloody bone-headed bastards, yes?" Vinicius did rather well with his remark, entertaining the crowd amongst him. "So with that--."

The setting changes from Murtovaara to Imos

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Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Sholeh Kanaka


"I wouldn't say refusing to a hit a woman is an insult, rather in polite intentions.”

Sholeh blood boiled when she realized that he was going to refuse the match. She crossed her arms glared at him as he spoke, remembering the days when she first joined the army. Even though women were technically allowed to join, few did, so the men were unpracticed in fighting one. At first they all refused to train with her, saying it was beneath them to fight a women, but after a few arms were broken they quickly got over that.

Yes, I rather be a gentleman, I think the whole rest of the world is tired of bloody bone-headed bastards, yes?" he went on, and a few in the crowd made sounds of agreement. Sholeh spared a glance at her eldest sister, Oriel, who was standing in a corner with her husband. A sharp look and a shake of her head told Sholeh to agree with Lord Vinicious, and bow out. She shook her head back.

"So with that--" At this point, Sholeh had had enough. She rushed forward, grabbed a hold of his ankles, and pulled, knocking him to the ground. She wasted no time in jumping on top of him, wrapping her arms around his waist grabbing his hands so they were restrained behind his back.

”Yeah, well, a bloody bone-head is about to beat your ass, Mr. Gentleman!” she said, grunting a little from the exertion of trying to keep a hold of his hands. It's too late to walk away with your dignity, but if you admit defeat, I might let you walk away conscious.”

Even as she said these words, she hoped he would put up more of a fight then that. She wanted it to last for a while yet, so that she would know that everyone would know that she earned her victory.

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Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Lord Vinicius



”Yeah, well, a bloody bone-head is about to beat your ass, Mr. Gentleman! It's too late to walk away with your dignity, but if you admit defeat, I might let you walk away conscious.”

That was it, the right amount adrenaline to exterminate every nerve laced with anxiety, yes, and for right now Vinicius for the first time sense the death of his father felt some other feeling besides sorrow. And perhaps he did need a beating to the ground to snap back into, because for once he felt alive again. But the antidote to clear away the stress seemed so simply for it was only a mere surprise of a wrestling match. Whoever this soldier was Vinicius wanted to congratulate her not only for her bravery to face a king, for her stepping out of line to engage in a brawl without permission, but also because she gave him that boost of determination.

But Vinicius was caught up now in quite the pickle, and he was not going to lose. Now, he did have some options, the first that flashed in his mind was fire of course, it was second nature to him, she held down his hands, he could bawl his fist and burn hers. However there was a lot of problems with that, one, was that she was a fire bearer just like him, the heat would only be transferring more energy, helping her. And two, this was a wrestling match, planned or unplanned, no match like this involves bending, and he was not going to cheat in hopes to win. Though, Vinicius also didn't want to fight her, but now was his moment, earlier he showed his patriotic love and his heart in the throne room, now was to display his speed, his skill.

Vinicius didn't squirm inside he reinforced himself with knee kicks to her stomach, and after he had struck her with utter swift and quick raw talent he noticed her start to wear down after the pain delivered. So, with a final shot to get her off him completely Vinicius kicked her in the stomach. However he did just kick her, he kicked her with his sharp pointed steel boot. Of course, he was wearing his ceremonial armor, it was a special and formal event, it was his coronation so he was going to dress fancy. And fashion of the alike was not the kind suitable for a wrestling match.

Thus anyone could of imagine that the metal boot pierced deep into her flesh, however not deep enough to kill her. But with that attack she was plunged off. But everything happened so fast that Vinicius did not quite notice what task he had pulled off until looking down at his bloody boot and then looking up at the woman. Vinicius then felt extremely guilty, completely forgetting the fact she was a soldier, he hurt a woman, and Vinicius felt self-conviction due to it. He rushed over to her as he watched her still getting up, she didn't wallow in the pain, no she did not crawl like a weakling, but Vinicius was still worried. "Flames!" he cursed to himself. "Are you okay-- I didn't mean to." Yes, Vinicius spoke the truth, he had no intention to cause her to bleed, but sometimes his aggressive trait consumed him, but thankfully there was still good inside of him to feel shame for his behavior.

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Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Sholeh Kanaka


Sholeh tried to keep a hold of Vinicious's hands as he knee kicked her in the stomach, but with each kick her grip loosened. She knew it wouldn't take much to knock her off, so she prepared herself for the battle that was about to commence as soon as he got free. Now that the element of surprise had worn off, this was going to be a little tougher. She had heard of his prowess in battle, he was son of the former king, how could not have? She was gonna fight tooth and nail in this match, but that was the whole reason she had volunteered for it.

She received quite the shock, however, when his pointy steel boot collided with her abdomen, tossing her off him. She landed flat on her back, her ears ringing from the impact. But her adrenaline kicked in, and she was back on her feet in moments, her survival instincts insisting that there was a threat. As she got back up, she felt a sharp pain in her stomach where she had been kicked, and reached her hand down to touch it. It came back up bloody, the wound slowly oozing.

"Flames!" she heard someone curse. She looked up and realized that he had moved closer to her. "Are you okay-- I didn't mean to."

A little voice in her head told her she'd asked for it, but she rarely listened to that voice. Her face hardened and she wiped her hand on her sorry excuse for a top, leaving a blood stain. “Maybe not,” she said. “But I'm going to mean this!” But she finished the sentence, she had rushed toward him at full speed with her head down, intending to head-butt him. She was then surprised to feel no impact, and skidded to the floor, smearing blood on the floor. Humiliated, she jumped back onto her feet and faced her leader.

“Are you going to jump around like you're Air Tribe now? Stand still, and fight!” She rushed at him again, having enough sense this time to anticipate him moving. She threw a punch at him, and missed. Getting more and more agitated, she threw punch after punch, all missing their mark. She groaned loudly in annoyance.

“Stand still and fight like a man already!” she shouted in frustration.

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Lord Vinicius


“Maybe not. But I'm going to mean this.

It was a sheer dodge, Vinicius had no intentions to fight, well, not anymore. He tried to keep his eyes on her entire body and not on just one portion, that portion being the bleeding wound. And perhaps it was not the biggest nor serious of injuries to a soldier or to a king, but it was enough for Vinicius to stop his offensive in this battle all together. However, if this soldier wished to fight, then so be it, Vinicius guessed his brother trained them hard, never retreat, never surrender.

“Are you going to jump around like you’re Air Tribe now? Stand still and fight!”

“Air Tribe? I don’t suppose they even know what a wrestling match is.”

”Stand still and fight like a man already!

“You mean like a heartless bastard? Real men don’t hit women, especially wounded ones.”

Vinicius continued to dodge even after the taunt, and besides, dodging could have been a good motive of his in order to show off his talents, in order to display his speed, agility, and grace. If he wished to, Vinicius believed he could have already beaten her, such as, when she was on the ground, if he ever were to be so cruel and ruthless, even unfair perhaps, Vinicius could have kicked her in the weakened spot as she was arising from the ground.

But something such as that to do to a woman, seemed sinister to Vinicius, and he could admit that the fire tribe has had their past with evil kings, and Vinicius did not want to be one of them. Though it was hit by hit, blow by blow, and Vinicius continued to cause his enemy to miss, but it then came that point that Vinicius could see that her stamina wearing down. Yes, that was exactly what he want, the soldier to tire herself out, and perhaps with her exhausted state it will seem that Vinicius was the victor.

However in came another troop to interrupt the brawl, “Milord,” he greeted Vinicius hoping to cease the fighting, but the two did not stop, nothing. “Lord Vinicius—“

“Soldier, cannot you not see I am quite busy right now?” Vinicius quick spoke as he duck to dodge her kick. No, Vinicius did not wish to tolerate an interrupt right now, he was so close to tasting his victory. But there was one thing, one person, Vinicius could not force himself to ignore. “It’s your mother! S-She hit the floor,” the soldier cried stuttered as he was nervous to intrude on his king.

The audience in the room froze, everything was dead silent and Vinicius immediately forgot about the match he encountered and stormed to the interrupting soldier whom informed the bad news. Vinicius is known to have a bad temper, an explosive anger, so anyone could imagine that everyone in the room was just counting on Vinicius to now act with another match, but this time against the soldier, and perhaps then a much more violent one, a battle Vinicius was passionate about. But Vinicius knew he could not waste his time with the soldier, and honestly, Vinicius felt that he had no right to hurt the man though Vinicius may have been angry at the moment due to the sick state of his ill mother. Thus Vinicus charged out of the room, and that was the last seen of the lord.

And after Vinicius had left the soldiers that filled the dining room expected that the General would reprimand Sholeh for attacking the king, she had none of permission in engage in a match, but as for Zaheed, he too had vanished from the setting.




General Zaheed


Shadow galloped out of fire land headed for earth, or so it seemed, but Zaheed steered his stead once far away from the eyes of his country to the water tribe. But alongside Zaheed the one other being that travelled alongside with him was his raven named, Icarus. The bird was an eerie sight to be seen, some may say that it looked as if Zaheed had entranced it was witchery. Though it must not be true, Zaheed had trained it, Icarus was the most valuable of Zaheed’s animals, and if he could anything in his life, Zaheed would say it to be that bird.

However as he was far away from fire, in the midst of nowhere, Zaheed stopped, where he pulled from a pouch of his a letter that read,

Dear Zianro Azura, the Wandering River Dragon,
Come nightfall, I will arrive to Lakeshore. I am aware water and fire had fought for years, and it will continue as long as Zotar sits on throne. Yes, his attention may be dragged off of the water tribe, but he is looking to declare war on earth, quite predictable, but also quite insane. And not only would a crazy man accept two wars at the same time, but also a blood-thirsty one. How much longer before he may attack water, how much long may even capture earth ground, building an empire to defeat water. And by then, I cannot be any use to you.

So I venture off to compromise, and speak of further matters in person…
General Zaheed


Zaheed equipped his bird’s beak with the letter and Icarus flapped its wings and glided to water tribe land. When the bird had spotted Zianro, it unleashed the letter. But in decisively clever manner, after ZIanro had finished the letter and set it down, the bird swallowed and devoured the letter, so that no proof that Zaheed was affiliating with the water tribe king may be revealed. And immediately after it was up, up, and away. It learned well from its master…

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Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Sholeh Kanaka


“It’s your mother! S-She hit the floor,”
Sholeh's fist froze in mid-air when the soldier spoke. Her eyes followed Lord Vinicius as he all but ran from the room. She lowered her arm and shame washed her. Everyone knew the queen was ill, it was why Vinicius had taken the throne in the first place. She now felt guilty for attacking him, and insulting him when his mother was in critical condition. What a way to add salt to the wounds.

She suddenly felt strong hands grabbing her arms, pulling her away. “Hey!” she protested, and looked to her sides and saw

Kieran and Ivarr, her handsy comrade. “What are you doing?” she demanded.

Kieran gave her his signature glare. “We're getting you out of here before you're arrested, you idiot!”

“Why would I get arrested?”

“For attacking the king, Sho,” Ivarr said in a patronizing tone.

They managed to drag her from the palace, and into the cold night air, though they didn't slow their pace. She didn't try to escape their grasp, either, as she easily could. “Do you really think they'd arrest me?” she asked, a note of fear in her voice.

“Absolutely,” they said in unison. They kept pulling her until they arrived at the Sour Vixen, a popular tavern. They wheeled her upstairs and into empty room, where they finally released her.

“So what now?” she asked, sitting on the single bed. “Am I a fugitive? Am I going to have to leave Murtovaara like my brother did?”

Kieran crossed his arms. “Hopefully tempers will be cooled by tomorrow, and you'll just get reprimanded or dismissed.”

Her eyes went wide in panic when what he said registered. “Just dismissed? I can't think of anything worse!” She fell back on the bed and buried her face in her hands.

“Its better than death, Sho,” Ivarr said, unhelpfully. She groaned in answer.

Suddenly, the door slammed open, and all four of her sisters burst into the room.

“How could you be stupid?”

“Do you know what kind of shame you brought to the family?”

“How could you be so reckless?”

“How bad is your wound?”

The last one was Serafina, who's voice broke through the chastisements of the other women. The approached Sholeh with a glass of water and rag. She got down on her knees and peered at the wound on her sister's stomach. “It doesn't need stitches,” she said. “But I'll need to clean it so it doesn't get infected. She dipped the rag in the water and began cleaning the wound. It stung, but Sholeh refused to make a sound that proved her pain.

“Why would you do this?” Oriel demanded, bringing Sholeh's attention back to her other sisters.

“General Zaheed offered the match,” she said, defending herself.

“And then the king called it off,” Nuria said.

Sholeh's face hardened. “Because I'm a woman, and he thought I was too weak to be an opponent.”

Eshne huffed in annoyance. “No, you idiot. He backed down because it is dishonorable for a man to fight a woman. Something the rest of the men in the army obviously don't understand.” She gave a pointed look to Kieran and Ivaar. Kieran ignored her, and Ivaar gave her a stupid grin.

“I just hope the queen is well,” Serafina said as she finished tending to the wound.

All of Sholeh's arguments fled. “Yeah. I couldn't imagine what I'd do if Mom was sick.”
Serafina pulled out a bandage from her bag and started wrapping it around Sholeh's abdomen. “Leave this on for a few day,” she instructed her. “Then leave the wound naked so it will scab over.”

“I know the drill, Fina” Sholeh sighed.

Serafina smiled at her, then turned around to address the group. “Alright, everyone leave, the Aggressor needs her rest.”
The sisters protested, but eventually left. Kieran and Ivarr were next to leave. “You'd better enjoy this room, Sho,” Ivaar said as he exited the room. “I was going to bring a lady back to this room.”

“Dream on,” Kieran said as he followed him.

Sholeh leaned back on the bed. “I'm coming to the training yard for thing in the morning!” she called after them.

“We know!” she heard them shout.

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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General Zaheed


"Okay, okay, overstepped on the air tribe a bit. I understand. Now, now, Zaheed, don't you worry. You want it, I'll help provide. But if we want to ensure the plan to work we have to trust each other. Do we trust each other?"

"Of course, I have no quarrel, no need to deceive," he answered with full clarity and validity. Zaheed had no desire to betray the water tribe, and perhaps it may be a good thing if he were king, perhaps this plot of treason may actually seal the bond of the two tribes for once. But only in due time in the future, shall anyone ever discover if things were truly that easy. However did Zaheed trust Zianro? For the time being, really because the General could not think why he should not, what would Zianro tattle on the General to Zotar, no of course not. In fact if Zianro even wished to warn Zotar about his brother's plan to kill him, the Lord would attack Zianro for the accusations against his brother. Zotar has always been prejudices to other tribes, especially to water, and now earth has its higher place on his list.

"Very good. Now I'll smuggle some soldiers in and you provide the uniforms. Stay in touch, let me know if there is something I can use to distract Zotar for a much easier grab. I'd better get back to the palace...weed through more 'pig shite.'"

"Have fun with that," Zaheed gave his remark as he climbed back onto his steed, as he was ready to start galloping away he lastly heard the water leader command, "Don't be a stranger Zaheed." The general turned his head to watch Zianro walking away, "One day... One day, no one will forget my name. I can promise you that. And I can also promise you that I will keep you informed." Zaheed then let his horse trot away back to where he spotted footsteps, earlier he recalled an encounter with Bellistrad, the exile rushed away and Zaheed would use the boy as an excuse to why he returns to the castle so late, and if Zotar finds out his brother was in water land, Zaheed would use Bellistrad as a reason why he was there. But Zaheed knew his time was precious and he was not going to waste it looking for him. Instead Zaheed whistled for his little servant. Icarus glided to the shoulder of his master, Zaheed whispered softly to the bird before giving it a light slap on the back as it flew away to stalk the boy, to where it would give a painful and loud screech once he was spotted.

From there Zaheed charged his way back into the castle and away from foreign ground.




Lord Vinicius and General Zaheed


"Argh!" Lord Vinicius gave his fierce bark as he broke a hole through the wooden dummy by the force of his flaming knuckles. Vinicius is not one known for his brawn, but for the burn of his fire, he can break through solid blocks of wooden carved bodies, especially in his state of anger. It was already the day after his coronation and he was frustration, like usual. But it was not only frustration that he was met with, but panic, anxiety, he was fearing his mother's death, and what angered him was not that he could not stop the death from occurring, but that he can not stop it from starting and Vinicius also has no evidence to put a blame. "Poison, flaming poison! I swear! And she does not believe it! Someone killed our father, now they're after mother! I bet its those dirt brains."

Zaheed was leaning against a wooden column in the training quarters as he listened to his brother's bickering, "Well, we cannot rely on assumptions."

"Assumptions?! Is that all you think this all is? Our mother is dying and you say some poisoning her is just an assumption?"

"Well, I'm just being reasonable and if an accusation does not have facts then--"

"Then what I'm saying is unreasonable?"

"Listen, Zotar-- Uh, Lord Vinicius, can you calm down. Please? A request from your brother. Good, I just think you need to relaxation, this whole king thing has gotten you stirred up more than usual."

"Fine... But if I'm going to get my mind off all this stress. I want to pound it out, and not by fighting these dummies."

"Me, brother? If you truly wish to--"

"Nah, your already suited up in your armor, and I learned a little something yesterday, never spar in armor. Err... I don't want to explain the whole story. And why did you just leave like that anyways? Do you know what type of nonsense you caused?"

Saying Zaheed was getting annoyed with Vinicius was a light way to put it. But he had to tolerate I for a time being, at least Zaheed knew for sure, with Zianro's aid, that he was getting his throne. "I apologized that I had to go, but I did warn you beforehand that I had to leave soon to scout our enemy, the earth tribe."

"Well, I guess you had your mission, but couldn't it wait?"

"Actually, it was rather good that left early, I spotted Bellistrad the outcast."

"Alright," Vinicius then rose the volume of his voice, "But I want one of my men to spar me!"

None of the soldiers responded for moments until one spoke up nervously, "W-We are in armor m-milord, already suited up, just like the general, yes?" Vinicius glared at the troop as he approached him menacingly, "Well, if you were listening a bit better, you would recall him about to volunteer himself. If you weren't such a coward, you would do also!" Vinicius sighed, and looked to Zaheed, "I thought you trained your men better."

Zaheed would only confess to himself that he has not been pushing his men the hardest, because has not been concreting much on his current occupation but rather how to acquire his future on. "Fear not, Vinicius, I will see to it that not only him, but the rest of my soldiers are fearless and discipline. And about the woman who attacked your majesty, there has already been a dispatch of guards to arrest her."

"Wait, your arresting her for her bravery? Damn it, she should be rewarded for the courage to face a king."

"You were happy with her actions?"

"Why shouldn't I be? I want her summoned to my throne, room, but stick the arrest, I want to give her a surprise." Vinicius started walking in the direction to his quarters, where he would then dress into his everyday armor attire. But then he stopped. "Oh and Zaheed. What is her name?"

"Name? I had a report done on her due to the event yesterday. Her name is Sholeh Kanaka."

"Good, then I will be seeing Kanaka soon."

Lord Vinicius laid back high and mighty in his great throne with chin against the palm of his hand, with his finger tapping against the arm of the chair impatiently. But when Sholeh did arrived, Lord Vinicius sat up and leaned forward, glaring at her. He was not mad at her in any form or fashion, but instead was curious how she would respond to him, and how would she feel about the whole situation, her not given the chance to fight the king simply because of her gender, and his honor. "Sholeh Kanaka, you are accused of treason. That is a serious offense. You attacked me even after I continuously dodged your attack. You do know the punishment of treason is death yes? Do you have anything worthy to say to make me consider otherwise?"

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Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Sholeh Kanaka


The brightness of the sun shining through the open window woke Sholeh up from a deep sleep. She cracked her eyes open, quickly scanned the room, then groaned. She shifted in the bed to face her sister, who was sleeping right beside her. “Please tell me last night was a nightmare, 'Fina,” she said, hopefully.

Serafina opened her eye and gave her sister a pitying look. “No.”

Sholeh groaned again and buried her face underneath the covers. “I can't believe I was so stupid. I've shamed myself and the entire family. What I did was worse than Vukan deserting.”

“It wasn't that bad.”

Sholeh peeked her head out from underneath the blanket to give her sister a dirty look. “I assaulted the king on his coronation day in front of a crowd of witnesses.”

Serafina paused. “Alright,” she said at last. “It was that bad. But you don't bring as much shame to the family as Great-aunt Meela.”

Sholeh arched an eyebrow. “Who?”

“The one with the goat who we say is a pet.”

Sholeh rolled her eyes. “Oh yeah.”

“Or cousin Hiron who stands at street corners and shouts prophecies at passersby.”

Now Sholeh was grinning. “I guess when you shake our family tree, a bunch of nuts fall out.” Both sisters started laughing, which lasted until Sholeh jumped out of bed.

“Where are you going?” Serafina asked, her eyes filled with worry.

“Well, first I'm going to the barracks for a change of clothes. I can't go anywhere wearing bloodstained clothes. Then I'm going to the training yard, like I told Kieran and Ivarr.” Sholeh made for the door, but her sister roughly grabbed her by the arm.

“I thought you were joking when you told them that. You can't really go anywhere, the king probably has men looking for you.”

Sholeh pulled her arm out of her sister's grasp. “Well, what am I supposed to do? Run and hide? I'm no coward, if the king wants to punish me then I'll take it like a man.”

Serafina opened her mouth to say something, but the door was suddenly thrown open, and two guards rushed in. They grabbed Sholeh by the arms before she could run away.

“Sholeh Kanaka,” one of them said. “You are being arrested for assaulting the king. You are to be taken in front of him to be judged for your actions.”

Sholeh signed. “Well, I was on my way there anyway, but thanks for the escort.” In front of her, Serafina was livid.

“Wait!,” she said, with tears streaming down her face. “She has to change the bandage on her stomach or the wound will get infected.”

Sholeh gave her sister a sad smile. “I don't think that's something I'm going to have to be worried about where I'm going, 'Fina.”

The last thing Sholeh saw as the guards dragged her from the room was her sister sobbing uncontrollably.



"Sholeh Kanaka, you are accused of treason. That is a serious offense. You attacked me even after I continuously dodged your attack. You do know the punishment of treason is death yes? Do you have anything worthy to say to make me consider otherwise?"

Sholeh tried not to wince at the mention of death. Instead she stood up straight, a difficult feat when you're practically being held down by two guards who each were over a head taller than her. She actually took a moment to consider, but came up with nothing.

“No, I don't,” she said truthfully. “I could say that I was stupid or hotheaded, or I drank too much, but none of those are really good defenses. If anything, those give you even more reasons to get rid of me. You probably would've killed me right then and there for being so disrespectful if you hadn't had to attend to the queen.” She paused, then fully remembered what had happened, and her eyes went wide. “Oh, how is the queen? I hope she's better, I wouldn't know what to do if it had been my own mother.”

The setting changes from Imos to Murtovaara

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Lord Vinicius and General Zaheed


“No, I don't. I could say--."

"That is enough!" General Zaheed barked, but Vinicius gave him a quick split-second glare that said, Settle down, I got this. But Zaheed was only trying his best to make the whole arrest and confrontation more believable and intense to Sholeh. However, Zaheed backed off, and eased himself.

"Continue," Vinicius permitted Sholeh to finish.

“I could say that I was stupid or hotheaded, or I drank too much, but none of those are really good defenses. If anything, those give you even more reasons to get rid of me. You probably would've killed me right then and there for being so disrespectful if you hadn't had to attend to the queen.”

Reminding Vinicius of his ill mood had only darkened his mood, but he was still going through his plan. He knew Sholeh was a brave and courageous soldier and he liked that, which was rare, for most kings of fire despise the type of fearlessness when it came to standing up to their king. Not that Vinicius would be please in rebellion, but in the courage it took to arise to the occasion.

“Oh, how is the queen? I hope she's better, I wouldn't know what to do if it had been my own mother.”

Vinicius did not want to answer the question, because in reality, he did not want to face the truth. His mother was getting weaker by the day, she was no longer living, no she was dying, and like his father, Vinicius was watching, unable to do anything about it. More and more the healers, and physicians become fearful, as if they feel terrorized themselves, dreading the day when Vinicius loses his temper, the day she dies due to their inaction to stop it.

"She's... My mother... is fine," he finally choked, trying to convince himself of the truth. But Ivana had pushed her son to make the date of the ball sooner, because she herself can sense that her exit in his life is near. And she wants to be alive to see what woman would take care of her son. Yes, Ivana was worried about Zotar, ever since his father's death, ever since the whole Vinicius thing started, he has lost it. Sure he had thrown fits with others so easily now, but it is even worse with himself. He has been doing more than just grieving, he has been hurting, hurting himself. Such in ways that he has fasted to an unhealthy state, and some servants have witnessed himself purging his body in water for long moments, almost as if he is trying to drown himself, but knowing that his father called himself to be king, he lifts himself from that self-torment, but only returns for another session.

But as Zaheed hears this, as sick as it sounds, the General smiles in joy when he hears his brother attempts to drown himself. It not only puts a higher chance that Zotar may die, and Zaheed gets the throne, but it also weakens Zotar's fire, cooling the veins, causing his flames to take longer to fuel.

"If that is it... General Zaheed, would you do the honor of the execution?"

"My pleasure, lord," Zaheed unsheathed his sword and stormed to Sholeh, where guards pressed her head down to face the floor, revealing the back of her neck. Zaheed rose up his sword and let it dive downwards, aimed for the flesh. But only hairs away from the neck, the lord, rose his hand up, "Stop! Unhand her. Kanaka, walk with me."

The soldiers let go of Sholeh while Vinicius stepped down from his throne and walked alongside with her out of the throne room and into the outside balcony, another region for dining, but before they reached their destination Vinicius noticed Zaheed tailing them, stalking them. "Zaheed," Vinicius started. "You can stopped following me now, I'm not a little boy anymore. I think I can handle myself."

"But can she handle you?" Zaheed remarked. "Okay fine... I'll leave. I was just making sure she would not attack you... again." The General finally left them alone. Vincius leaned against the balcony fence, over-looking the massive city of Murtovaara. "He can pestered sometimes... Often, but I'm sure he feels the same way about me. But we're brothers, and I remember family sticks together... well, unless they are dead... Unless a bunch of dusty dolts kill them... Bastards." It was obvious since Sholeh had brought up his mother, he has become genuinely depressed, earlier he was acting angry but now was no joke, no show. He was in sorrow, sorrow mixed with fury as his clenched fists on the stone fence started to fume smoke.

The setting changes from Murtovaara to Imos

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Sholeh Kanaka


"She's... My mother... is fine." The way Lord Vinicius said it made Sholeh doubt the validity of it, but for once she had enough brains in her head to hold her tongue.

"If that is it... General Zaheed, would you do the honor of the execution?"

“Shit!” Sholeh managed to gasp as the guards pulled her to the ground. Never in her worst nightmares had she expected to die like this, a traitor killed in her own city. She had always expected to die on the battlefield, surrounded by enemies. She closed her eyes and waited for the end.

"Stop! Unhand her. Kanaka, walk with me."

At these words, Sholeh's eyes shot open and the guards released her. Surprised, she quickly jumped up and eyed the king in confusion. As he got up to leave the throne room, ran over to follow him before he changed his mind and went through with the execution. She followed him outside to a balcony that overlooked the city, but he stopped to address the general.

"Zaheed, you can stopped following me now, I'm not a little boy anymore. I think I can handle myself."

"But can she handle you? Okay fine... I'll leave. I was just making sure she would not attack you... again."

Sholeh gave him a rude gesture behind his back, then turned to Vinicius, who was leaning against the fence.

"He can pestered sometimes... Often, but I'm sure he feels the same way about me. But we're brothers, and I remember family sticks together... well, unless they are dead... Unless a bunch of dusty dolts kill them... Bastards."

She knew he was talking about the death of his father. The fact that he was killed by earth assassins was common knowledge. Still incredibly confused about these turn of events, but being a girl possessing no reservations or timidness, she walked over to the fence beside him and jumped onto it, her back facing the city and her feet dangling in front of her as she got into a sitting position.

“They'll get what's coming to them,” she said to him, trying to be comforting. “Karma has a way of making sure everyone gets what they deserve.” She paused and smiled. “And when Karma fails, that's what soldiers are for.” After a moment of silence, Sholeh blurted out, "So...are you going to kill me or...?"

The setting changes from Imos to Murtovaara

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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General Zaheed


“They'll get what's coming to them, Karma has a way of making sure everyone gets what they deserve. And when Karma fails, that's what soldiers are for.”

Vinicius kept his glaring eyes down in the city as he spoke, "Soldiers... Believe me, I have thought about attacking the whole damn earth kingdom, going into another war, though we are already in one with water. My mother and brother both urges me to reconsider that thought, to man lives are at risk, and though we are dominant in supply and resource when it comes to weapons, armors, and such, but are prepared enough to go through two wars. And if I don't attack, bite back like some vicious dog, the public will see me as a coward. Flames, they probably already lean to that assumption due my refusal to hit you. It’s not that I find you weak to be a woman. I just don’t think it is right for a man to strike a woman."

There was of course another reason why Vinicius would wish to slaughter the earth tribe, of course, it was obvious, why did his name mean vengeance after all? Vinicius hungered for that revenge, but he had a distaste for a defeat on the tribe. In hard decisions like this, Vinicius wished his mother was queen, she would know what to do, however not only that, but how to do it. Vinicius could always listen to her of course, but what voice yells louder than hers? His. Vinicius was always the stubborn one, but also one who listened to his heart, he was a passionate man. But in the end, or at least for now Vinicius has decided to hold off any attacks until after the ball, which was occurring soon in a matter of three days.

“Kill you?” Vinicius questioned, backing off the fence. “It sure seemed that way. Don’t worry, I just wanted to give you a little surprise in the throne room.” Vinicius looked up at Sholeh, “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.” Vinicius held his out and when she grabbed her pulled her back to stand beside him. “Wouldn’t want to fall yes?” It be a lie if Vinicius said he didn’t care about her, of course he did, he cared about all those of his tribe, be he cared for her specifically because of the bravery that shone through her.

“I want to promote you,” Vinicius confessed. “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.” Vinicius blushed when saying that, and looked away. “Well not like that. I mean… Errr… I do like you..." Vinicius was getting nervous, he felt different, perhaps it was because he rarely carried conversations with women outside of his family, mainly because before with his father, he was a child, he was not worried about being king, not worried about an heir to the throne. But since his death, and with the ball, finding a wife, he could admit to looking upon woman differently but not lustfully. No Vinicius would never do such, in fact he is rather sheltered in the topic of sex. Why? Because he never felt a hunger to it, he values a relationship, not a body.

Vinicius finally sighed, "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."

The setting changes from Murtovaara to Imos

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

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Lord Vinicius


“I am so unbelievably grateful for all of this! I can't believe I'm being rewarded for...”

Vinicius was a first startled by the embraced, but soon enough, he liked it, actually letting an arm wrap around also. He enjoyed that she did not let his crown get in the way, it was one thing Vinicius feared, that people would treat him differently because of his position. Well, actually they always have, Vinicius was born Zotar Thanos, born into the royal family. But after being crowned king, he assumed there would be significant change, a change he never wanted to experience at least not from his soldiers. Sure he wanted respect, but he still wanted to be treated like a human being.

“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.”

"No harm done," Vinicius replied, letting a slight smile form in his lips, though he was starting to blush again. "I don't care for the restrictions put on soldiers, even commonfolk, when it comes to my position as king. I like that you break those rules. So, I don't find it stupid, I find it... appealing."

“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. 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. Not that I'm complaining. I love being a soldier, and I'm on your side, war or not."

Bringing up war brought Vinicius back into a bad place, dark thoughts, "No, I swear, and I have already swore, whoever killed my father will pay. I just want to make sure its the right son of a bitch I blaze to flames. Its just that right now I don't have enough to proof that it was the earth tribe, sure earth bearers were the ones who attacked, but what if it was not the kingdom, what if someone else hired then." Vinicius sighed, "It just doesn't make sense for them to attack. As far as I remember we didn't ever piss into their ale to cause them to kill my father, a king. I have so much on my plate right now, trying to get some off before worrying and deciding about going into another war. I do consider what you say, death among the clan should be avoided, but if we do not execute those who wish to cause further harm, could only conjure more destruction to us than to fight back. 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."

Yes, Vinicius believed he would have an easier reign if there was a queen. Sure he had advisors who advised, but they did not know nor lived in his shoes, in his positions. It would be better to hear guidance and suggestion from someone who felt the same pressure and stress as him.

Vinicius looked back to Sholeh, "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?" Vinicius did just meet the woman the day before, he didn't know if she did well with others, or if she was a good leader, but none of it matter as long as was loyal to the flames. Captains were those looked up to by their subordinates, and by her stand, Vinicius believed anyone should follow her steps. Sure Sholeh acted by impulse, but she was human, so many soldier lose their humanity, in the end they act like animals, heeding command in fear of punishment, not due to bravery. And courage is worth much more than an terror locked into heart.

So no, Vinicius will not regret promoting Sholeh to be in charged of her own company, her own band of soldiers. It was a significant jump in the ranks, usually its a lancepesade to lance corporal, to corporal, to second lieutenant, to lieutenant, and finally to captain. With her promotion, she would be a commissioned officer, an elite rank. The only rank higher than that was general. Sure some may call it foolish that Vinicius was just giving out a promotion because of something that happened in one day in his dining room, and not in a battlefield. But how many men in fire kingdom history, approached their king refusing to retreat, to surrender. And you never know, maybe she might get her biggest promotion after that, queen.

The setting changes from Murtovaara to Imos

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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General Zaheed


Even after Vinicius dismissed his brother, Zaheed continued to eavesdrop on their conversation. How couldn't he? General Zaheed was a snake, he slithering his way into other's secrets. There is no doubt, he is a keeper of blackmail and slander, things left best unknown. But as he listened to their conversation, there was no doubt that Zotar found interest in Sholeh, especially due to the fact of the promotion he gave her. Captain? Zaheed questioned his brother mentally. Is he insane? Not only does she attack a king without punishment, she is rewarded for it? That reward, being captain? He is condoning rebellion! Treason! This is exactly why I must be king!

As the rage within mind waged, Zaheed heard a screech sound, but it was not any cry of an animal, it was Icarus's, the raven. That was it, Bellistrad Indorial had moved out of the water village, now was his time to strike, to capture the exile who trifles with the water tribe. Not that Zaheed has a problem with the water tribe as a whole, but the fire tribe does. And by law it is a grave crime to be associated with foreign enemies. But Zaheed could not care less about fire law, he only had cared about himself, afraid that this Bellistrad may have done his own eavesdropping on him and Zianro. Why in that moment Zaheed did not waste time ending or dealing with Bellistrad when first encountering him, was because it is not everyday that the water lord will associate with a child of fire.

But now was his time, the General rushed out of the palace, and to his steed, and already mentioned before, the horse was dressed in battle armor due to traditions. And as for Zaheed, he was always wearing his armor, it comes with being General. However he was now wearing his menacing pitch black helmet, the headgear was designed to look terrorizing, it was what Zaheed wanted to strike his eyes with- a nightmare. Zaheed kicked his horse's rump, causing it to gallop fiercely to the direction of Icarus's cry.

When Zaheed arrived to Bellistrad, the General was positioned behind the young man, sword unsheathed and wagging as he charged his horse towards the exile. The chase was on.

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Character Portrait: Cailu Elre Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Ara Cilivren Character Portrait: Kalagisa Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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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.”

Setting

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Lord Vinicius


“Uh, that would be amazing. Actually, that would be my dream come true. 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... 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?”

Vinicius was glad that me could fulfill one of her dreams, she deserved it, well in his eyes of course. But really, Vinicius saw that she proved herself to be a true warrior and soldier. However, he could be making a mistake due that he has not yet seen how she fares well with leadership, it may have been better to give her a promotion of corporal instead to see how she does with that position first instead of automatically allowing her to be captain. But also to Vinicius, he thought why not, soon in a few days he was going to crown some woman in a matter of one night, queen, so it did not seem to be a problem to move Sholeh up far in the ranks.

But he also noticed how she went to a dark place in her mind when brining up her brother, Vinicius could relate. He often visited his own nightmare when reflecting on the event that ended his father's life. He could see the frustration and sorrow instead, as did he experience it in his own self.

“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.”

"Yes, I'm joking, I'm totally joking, ha ha," the lord spoke sarcastically, but then turned his eyes back to Sholeh. "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..."

Vinicius knew that Zaheed did not like Sholeh, even though it was him that started the wrestling match that got Vinicius to meet her in the first place. Zaheed hated Sholeh's stand against Vinicius, he saw it has rebellion, as treason, that she should no be rewarded, no but executed by a slow and painful death in example against all that side with defiance.

"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."




General Zaheed



As Bellistrad tossed his blue flames asunder to the General, Zaheed evoked a shield of infernos around him, protecting both himself and his horse, he fought fire with fire. Zaheed knew there was no defeat reckoned for him in this match against the exile, Zaheed preferred hungry fist over wagging tongues, he saw things better settle with violence rather than politics or talk, but he is not one to rush into battle, not if he has every ounce of belief inside that he was going to be the victor. No, Zaheed never just wanted to fight, he wanted to conquer, and to conquer successfully, you must be clever.

"If you want to kill me this bad, I must have slept with someone you like. Or your brother liked, which is worse. I would have rather gone to bed cold and alone!"

General Zaheed had to make his way to circle around Bellistrad, but he wanted to do it quietly, catching the young man off guard. Thus he stepped off from his horse, because he believed if he was going to do this right, the best thing would to have Bellistrad strangled in his grasp. But being practically silent is not quite realistic when equipped with his type of heavy armor, thus loud clunky noises sounded as he walked, Zaheed knew he needed a distracted, luckily Icarus, the raven, had flown and perched itself to its master's shoulder when seeing that he had arrived. Zaheed whispered to the bird to cause it great disturbance, and thus it listened and soared out and landed on the ground in front of Bellistrad, piercing loud and horrid screech through his sound barriers.

Though the bird sudden stopped, complete dead silence, but it had only ceased its screaming when Zaheed was finally behind Bellistrad, he pulled him into a choke hold, his blade against his neck, responding back to the taunt that was earlier made by Bellistrad, "Believe me you are doing the world a favor by returning to bed in solitude, just like Zotar." Zaheed dragged Bellistrad to a tree and pinned his body against the trunk, back facing him with his sword pressing against his back, if Bellistrad tried anything Zaheed could surely stab the blade through the boy. Zaheed's other hand held tight against his face, pushing his cheeks against the bark.

"I could kill you," Zaheed announce. "But that would be a waste of opportunity on my part. I still have some questions. Were you spying on me last night? Do tell the truth, I already have a headache from the screeching of my bird, I would have a bigger one due to your torturous screams if lies were to arise.."

Setting

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Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Bellistrad Indorial

Bellistrad kept his eye on Zaheed as he dismounted his horse and started towards him. While Bell had known the General since before he had achieved such a rank he had never been fond of him in the least. He was sure that a few of their past feelings would come out in this fight, feelings that Bellistrad wished to overcome and move on from as was the way of his beliefs. Emotional attachment to the past, or any attachment therefor, was only holding one's spirit back from it's true potential.

Bellistrad almost jumped however when a small raven stood in front of him making a loud ruckus. "Oh, so you are the one who sold me out eh? How nice of you to stop by." He had a profound respect for all living things and that included the raven despite it's part in Zaheed finding him. In an attempt to touch the bird Bellistrad gained a nasty peck to his finger followed by more noise.

"Well that wasn't nice, you..." Bellistrad's words were cut off by an arm around his throat and a sword at his back. All he could get out was a strangled chocking sound as he was pinned from behind by Zaheed. "Believe me you are doing the world a favor by returning to bed in solitude, just like Zotar." Being moved to the side of the road, Bell was thrust face first against a tree right beneath his pack which hung above their heads. Zaheed pressed the sword harder into his back as he spoke.

"I could kill you. But that would be a waste of opportunity on my part. I still have some questions. Were you spying on me last night? Do TELL THE TRUTH, I already have a headache from the screeching of my bird, I would have a bigger one due to your torturous screams if lies were to arise."

Bellistrad hadn't the slightest idea what he was talking about, until he remembered seeing Zianro as well on the road last night. It all came together, either Zianro was selling out the Water Tribe to Zaheed, which was less than likely. Or Zaheed was selling out his brother to Zianro,which was almost a perfect plan for Zaheed to cook up. Bellistrad sighed and leaked sarcasm into his voice.

"Well, you are just too smart for me, you caught me red handed...or blue handed in this case." Blue flames were surrounding Bellistrad's hands which were coming up from underneath to grab Zaheed's sword blade, clamping his fingers on either side of the flat edge so he did not get cut. Channeling all his energy into his fingers Bellistrad would melt his way through Zaheed's sword cutting it in half and turning a good portion of it to slag.

Whipping around Bellistrad drops the sword pieces he was holding and shook the extra slag off of his hands so he did not get burned when his energy left his hands. "That's better. But seriously, no I did not stay on the road long enough to hear whatever was said. I was tired and wanted to find rest in the Water tribe. So you can just back off old man!" Striking with punches at Zaheed, he sent balls of blue fire out at him in an attempt to drive him further away. A long range battle was more in Bellistrad's favor.

Continuing the assault behind the many balls of flame, Bellistrad did sweeping kicks through the air to send arc of thin blue fire in Zaheed's direction, making him have to work in order to not be hit and put him on the defensive.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Lord Vinicius


“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. You're a very good sport about...everything that happened.”

"Let the other tribes fear me, but not my own. No, how is a nation ever strong if they tremble, terrorized at their own leader, it can't. So, I didn't kill you, it was not right, executing someone for not retreating. Sure, some may say that you were disobeying orders, but is that not quite contradictory? You know, when first enlisted into the military, a vow is required in our code to never surrender, never retreat. You did that. King or not, you showed me you can stand up to anyone, the reason why I promoted you to captain."

“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.

"Believe me it was my mother's choice," he smiled chuckling. "I'm like you, I guess picking training over partying, though I was a prince... Not too long ago... I did participate in my fair share of parties, but they were not necessarily balls, more like banquets in celebration of a birthday, or parties after our success in major battles. But not a ball. My mother in fact said, this gathering... will be a little different. Wild, I guess is the word, she wants it to be a surprise for me, but told me that Zaheed will inform me if she anything I need to know before then."

“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. You know, you made my dream come true, but I was the one who literally swept your feet out from under you.”

"Yeah..." He said quietly, looking down, leaning against the stone fencing again. "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!" Vinicius rose his voice, not much in fury however, but in irritation and annoyance. He wished he found the man who first gossiped to every citizen in Murtovaara of his purity. Sure he was not ashamed of it, but he is tired of being treated like a child for it, like to be a real man was to be chasing skirts all day. Every knows who blabs their mouth, telling everyone about that particular part about Vinicius, it was Zaheed, and yes Vinicius has been told it was him, but the Lord has always even before being a king, very naïve towards his brother, especially because the General wears such a perfect mask among Vinicius.

Vinicus sighed, "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."

The setting changes from Murtovaara to Imos

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

"Um-- Yes, yes, sorry about wasting your time," he apologized that the conversation carried longer than usual. But talk was good for Vinicius, since the death of his father her has been wallowing in solitude and loneliness. One reason perhaps why he had forgotten how much time he was spending to speak to her may have been because he was enjoying another person's presence.

Speaking of the company of others, soon the night of the ball arrived, and the day before preparations were made. Not only for Lord Vinicius, but also the general made his own plans and successfully smuggled and delivered to Zianro the promised armor of the palace guards. Of course the general did not bring the goods himself, but instead hired a merchant boy, and by hired, he actually made death threats against his family, and Zaheed has the reputation to be the person you don't want to mess with. But in the end, when the young man finished the job Zaheed swipe a blade through the boy's back and threw corpse to a pack of wolves to which it appeared he had been attacked by the ways of nature. Zaheed knew he could not risk anyone knowing of his dealings, he was tempted to do the same to Bellistrad, kill him of some sort, but what convincing words could an exile hold? None.

Vinicius was now in his room where he prepared himself for the ball, he had already bathed in water anointed with the riches and finest perfumes, combed his hair- which he rarely does, and dressed himself in truly charming royal garments made of the wealthiest of fabrics. It was tight, not the most necessarily comfortable outfit he could of worn, but it was pleasing to the eye, attractive. Besides, balls are to be fancy, right?

Well, not this one, once the party spun into action it was full of life, laughter, excitement. But not full of clothing, no most of the women were loosely cladded, however covered with unique designs of war paint. Vinicius understood that the meaning of the ball was for the king to pick a woman, and by them exposing their bodies was to show the most attractive or also to reveal the stronger women, the ones with scars- a body says a lot about a person. But Vincius was not into that, and it was a bit nerving that his mother planned but he understood that in history kings have thrown these types of gatherings, she was only following tradition. But then it clicked to Vinicius, how could she had planned all of this, wasn't she too sick to do mostly anything. And she didn't she say that Zaheed would give him any further details.

"Baby brother!" Zaheed called as he was in the dinning room, where most of the partying happening, as he watched girls dance to the beat of the drums as he had his arm around another whispering flirts to her ear. Zaheed didn't even act like he was married, like he had a wife and children. He has tried his best to keep talk about him having affairs with other women secret, but now he didn't care if his wife left him anymore, in fact he wanted that, so it would only be him who ruled the throne. In the past he forced his wife to never leave him because he wanted the power over her, but now he didn't want to rule with her. He wasn't going kill her though, Zaheed was just going to finally give her the freedom. He was a disgusting despicable man, a snake. Zaheed stood up and walked to his brother with a tankard in his hand. "Ha! You look adorable, but terribly out of style tonight." Zaheed also blended with everyone else, no shirt, war paint. "Sorry for not informing you, but I have just been so busy with plans for tonight." Actually Zaheed more over planned the entire ball for his own taste and pleasures.

"Zaheed, I... um.. well... Wished that--" Vinicius started.

"Come one! You have to admit this is thrilling! Grab a drink and party!" And there was no doubt, even the soldiers partied. Zaheed handed the cup over to Vinicius to where he took it and sipped, until he spotted Sholeh. Vinicius gave the tankard back to his brother and approached Sholeh. He wanted to talk to her, because out of any girl in the ball he wanted to see her because meeting new people was always something that gave Vinicius anxiety, but because he has already met her, he thought he would not be as nervous.

"Kanaka, or should I say Captain Kanaka," Vinicius greeted her, but it was quite loud, Vinicius preferred his eardrums not be busted so he suggested, "How about we go to the garden? Its too loud in here."

Finally when they were in the garden, Vinicius smiled, he was in a better mood now outside, away from the crowds. You say he was comfortable. "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." Vinicius paused and then continued, "I know there's something special about you."

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Lord Vinicius



“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. Thank you. For this.”

Promotions, Vinicius was glad that Sholeh liked hers, sadly being king was not such a great promotion for him, knowing that the man that once took his place, his father, is dead. But Vinicius noticed what drove him away from the grief and mourning of the lost was helping others, and Sholeh has shown him that. The way she rejoiced with joy, it made Vinicius want to help others, really to the point that he forgot about the whole you-killed-my-father-now-I'm-going-to-kill-you thing.

“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.”

Vinicius gave a nervous chuckle, "Actually, I never really talked to a girl. Well, I'm talking to you now, but your about the only person outside of my family. Well, I have spoken to other females like maids, cooks, noble women, but not young girls, well, around my age. Its just that, when my father was still alive, I was a little boy, always my father's shadow. But he never seemed disappointed that I didn't grow up and become a man. I wonder if he ever was though, but just didn't tell me." Vinicius looked down gloomily but shook his head, "But I'm going to do my best not to be angry or sad tonight, I think too much about his murder, it must make me seem moody and emotional. I'm going to have to do better at hiding that, because don't women want strong charming men, not a man on the impulse of his feelings. I don't know, I'm afraid if I approach any lady that I will faint out of anxiety." Vinicius gazed into Sholeh's hazel eyes, "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.

Oh and besides, I think this ball was really for Zaheed because he planned it due to the fact that my mother is--," Vinicius stopped, he remembered that he had not yet spoken to her, he wanted to check up on Ivana before the ball. "Listen, I will be back, I just have to go check up on the queen. I'll be back though." Vinicius was always a family man, loved every single family member, but that love could be seen as a weakness when he is too blind to believe the evil behind his older brother. Vinicius turned walk away from Sholeh, but once the darkness he felt a bag fall over his face, he tried blazing fire from his palm but he felt water gush into his hand, pouring like a waterfall, Vinicius immediately suspected water bender. But eventually he could not suspect anything when unconscious. And he could not possible fight back and be victorious with no sight, dying powers, and striking pain directed to the head.

But Vinicius awoke, but not in a pleasant destination nor position. His wrist and arms were stretched up as they were cuffed with a chain attached to the ceiling. And his ankles shackled to the ground. However Vinicius could not even melt the metal of the shackles, the cuffs were surrounded by ice. So the lord was thinking fast and decided to blow fire from his throat and through his mouth to melt the ice, but as he did a bucket from the ceiling was pulled by some lever to drop water against him. No, Vinicius knew not only was he completely stuck, but completely vulnerable. He no longer had his fancy ball garments, no he was stripped down to nothing but a loin cloth, however what angered him the most was that he didn't have his bracers, for generations kings have worn those ancient arm bracers, his father wore those.

Vinicius was furious he could only give a fierce roar.




General Zaheed



It had been quite awhile since Zaheed had seen the lord, well the use-to-be lord. But it was not like Zaheed was looking for his brother, he knew exactly where Vinicius was, a special little place, the exact place Zaheed wanted him to be in. But oh, all of this was part of his selfish power-hungry plan, because luckily Vinicius was last seen was Sholeh Kanaka, which made things like blaming someone, easy for Zaheed. He had already sent the front palace guards, the real one, out to search for Vinicius, but gone, but like he wanted. "I know exactly who did this!" Zaheed announced as he stormed to Sholeh.

When finding the woman he clutched her wrist, dragged her to the throne room, another place consumed with crowds, and threw her to the ground, his sword unleashed. "Lord Vinicius is missing all thanks to this bitch! Yes, he was last seen with her!" Every soul in the palace either turned around or gathered to the room to witness the situation as soon as they heard Zaheed loud and booming voice. Palace guards pushed through the people to surround Sholeh. "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!"

The crowd was shock, angry and indignant towards Sholeh, but you couldn't blame them Zaheed was putting on a good show. But this show may cost Sholeh's life.

Setting

Characters Present

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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General Zaheed



“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!”

General Zaheed let Sholeh speak, he had words to says, why not give Sholeh hers, especially due to someone which such pride, Zaheed suspected her to say something stupid or something he could twist, putting words into her mouth. However when she did finish Zaheed shouted with his fingers curled clenched to the grip of his sword, "Shut up!" He tried to form his face as tense as possible with each vein popping and muscle strained. If Zaheed was not the son of a king, he truly could of been a master actor. Zaheed approached Sholeh closer with one hand grabbing the back of her neck and the other lunging the blade closely to her neck however not touching it. "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," he paused, and then continued tossing his blade asunder with his other hand free grabbing her, both hands against it.

And just as he lifted Bellistrad from the ground he lifted Sholeh, it was his move, it displayed his immense strength, especially now because he is without shirt but with muscle bulging and flexed. When Zaheed rose with such slow drama, he appeared to rising as if he was a god. And realistically, he believed now he had that chance to be one with his brother missing. Zaheed squeezed her neck also hard enough bruises wore on, he did so she would not have the ability to choke a word out, but he made sure Sholeh would not die, no he has not yet decided with himself to kill her. But Zaheed truly was a snake, a Boa Constrictor, because not only does he choke his opponents physically with pleasure, but emotionally. To Zotar he slithered and crawl his way to his brother's neck, and at the right moment he wrapped his body around his neck, now to leave him in the dark loneliness away from his dying mother and beloved country. Zaheed knew Zotar had a strong love for both family and country, perhaps before Zianro could every sell him, Zotar would rid his soul from body to escape the solitude. Even before the kidnapping Zotar was disturbed by the lost and traumatic experience of losing his father, now how must he feel believing he has lost them all, as if they all were murdered before his eyes. "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!"

The General slung Sholeh to the ground, turning the palace guard, "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." Did Zaheed feel sorry for Sholeh, accusing her, even torturing her for a crime of his own, no not at all. He knew he had to make her suffer, it would be something he would do if someone put his brother in harm, if he even had an ounce of love for his brother.

Setting

Characters Present

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Lord Vinicius



And finally, in the midst of Vinicius's cries, he heard a voice, "There is no need for your yells, no one will hear you from where we are, Vinicius, or can I still call you Zotar?" Vinicius lifted his head up to lay his eyes on Zianro Azura, the king of the water tribe, or formally known as, The Wandering River Dragon. As soon as Vinicius recognized the face, he felt his heart sink to the floor, the regret to be blinded, only focusing on the earth tribe, crushed Vinicius. All he wanted was to make his father proud, and over his own older brother, Zarfu chose Vinicius, and he never wished to shrink from that duty nor be in the hands of his enemies due to the failure. However now, that is exactly what has happened.

"You know who I am, and by consequence where you are and how you got here. But if you're willing to hear me out I can explain the one question remaining out of the four, Why. Why, why is such a complicated word. Whys are existent everywhere, like why did our forefathers come to Imos if to escape persecution alone. Why do our four sides argue, and so on. But we are focusing on why you are here."

Zianro was right, why was a significant word, and even further as Zianro also said, why Vinicius is here. Yes Vinicius was eager to have that question answered, but he was not desperate enough to break, well at least not yet. One reason that Vinicius could perhaps purpose of why he remains a prisoner to the water king, is an obvious one, Vinicius was blind-sided, he should of been more aware of the water tribe. But no, instead Vinicius feared what happened was that he concreted on the earth tribe, and was fixed on acting against them after the ball.

"The answer I will speak is the truth no matter how hard you deny it. If you refuse to listen then so be it, but it will make your stay a lot more uncomfortable. Someone within your family wanted what you had, and now lost. Someone with hungry ambition, he came to me with promises of leaving me alone if I did this favor for him."

So, it was clear who Zianro meant by the someone, and it was not Vinicius's younger brother, no, it was definitely Zaheed. But did Vinicius believe him for one moment, no, not a bit. Vinicius always entrusted his family, his own people over logic, or common sense for that matter. Vinicius was annoyed by hearing this come from Zianro, he would be passionately furious if he was in better state of mind, not being shackled with chains and branded with ice against wrists and ankles. This weak, it would take a lot more to truly kindle this inferno in the cold blizzard.

"But what I didn't expect, according to my spies, was that he would fly off the handle immediately and blame that red headed vixen. Who knows what he'll do to her-" Was it believable that Zaheed would accuse Sholeh for his absence, yes, but Vinicius would not be mad at his brother if he found out that was true, because he expected Zaheed not to know any better. But now was he tipping over the level of being annoyed to anger, yes. He would clench his fist at this moment but with the ice around his wrists, he lost feeling in his hands, as if when he first woke up seeing the blocks of ice he felt the sensation of his hands being sawed off his arms, thus one reason why he cried in a roar. So instead, Vinicius frowned with his teeth showing, giving an ugly scowl. "-ah ah ah. Watch your temper or another load of water will drench you." Every time he felt the down pour of the icy cold water, the closest visual of what Vinicius felt was electrocution threading through his spine leading out through the rest of the parts through his body with piercing thorns hooking into the flesh.

"If you want what is yours back, you need only ask and we will conspire to rid of our mutual problem, and hopefully achieve a peace between us. So what do you say...Zotar? Will your stay be comfortable," Vinicius closed his eyes, he imagined light, he loved the light, fire gave that light, it had a glow of warmth against it. The darkness was cold cruel, something he feared would sacrifice his sanity if he remained it, his mentality poured down the drain the way the water from the buckets clashed against his skin. He could have that light if he cooperated with his enemy. "or uncomfortable?" Vinicius opened his eyes and turned his head up to stare at the large buckets that over filled with water, he could quiver now just imagining the excruciating pain if he were to refuse the offer.

"Either way doesn't matter to me as I will have what I want in the end. Now make a choice."

Vinicius directed his head to the ground, turned away from Zianro as he was thinking. What if he did cooperate with Zianro, maybe he would shortly let Vinicius after then, Vinicius would be able to see his mother, but what son could he be, what worth is it for him to ever come to her, having the nerve to show his face when in the end he surrendered himself to his enemies.

So finally, not even giving Zianro any eye contact, and ignoring his question, Vinicius decided to ask his own question, "Are you the reason why my father is dead?"




General Zaheed



Zaheed approached the frozen lake with Sholeh in captivity, bound with chains, when they reached their destination Sholeh was released from her cage, where Zaheed gripped her arm, roughly towing her to the frozen body of water, he kept a dagger to her neck, just in case she had any thought to fight back. "This time you will die, and Zotar is no longer here to proclaim it a joke, all thanks to you." Zaheed, lowered the dagger, in order to throw her to the lake, "Have a nice dip, captain!"

Then the walk began, she tried keeping tings slow and steady at first, Zaheed could tell, he studied her every moment, watching closely with intent and full attention. But soon she decided to pick up her pace, causing a foot to be swallowed by the ice, thus the same happening to the foot, until she sunk deep into the water. The lake had eaten her alive. Zaheed could not help but smiled, because at that moment he could already feel the metal of the throne as he had dreamt years and years of sitting on it. And that girl, Sholeh, gave him the belief and reassurance that she sealed his future as king.

Zaheed climbed onto Shadow, where he held the reins of the horse saying to his men, "Coronation begins immediately."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: General Zaheed Thanos Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Bellistrad Indorial

A large jet of steam rose out of the frozen lake, and with it came Sholeh and Bellistrad. The exile's blue flames had flash evaporated the water as he had grabbed hold of Sholeh. While he laid down on his back against the ice with Sholeh next to him he caught his breath from the large exertion of energy and wondered why he was even at Lakeshore in the first place. The answer was simple, a dream had shown him the lake while he was in Shadowfen and had sent him on horseback to Lakeshore as fast as he could ride. He hadnt even know someone was in trouble until he noticed Zaheed and some fire soldiers send one of their own out on the lake to die.

Bellistrad had waited until Zaheed had left to sneak out onto the ice and save the girl, who he assumed was now an exile just like he was. Fate, it seemed, had a sense of humor. Now slowly getting onto his knees as not to break the ice, he dragged Sholeh's unconcious form towards the shore where his horse was waiting and slung her over the back of it. "You are one lucky girl, you know that?" Taking the reins Bellistrad walked with the horse towards Lakeshore.

A friend of Bellistrad's gave him a house to rent for free, no questions asked. If they had known he had a fire tribe exile he was sure they would not have been so kind. He snuck her in the house and got her out of her clothes before she caught hypothermia, got her into a bed and covered her up in sheets. He warmed her with some of his energy before retiring into the next room to smoke a little out of his hookah and drink some tea to warm himself. The entire experience was nerve wracking for him, as it had been awhile since he had used that much energy at once. But he stayed awake until he heard movement in the room and made a second cup of tea for the girl, then went in to introduce himself.

Smiling at the girl as she was awake, he set the tea cup and saucer down next to the bed and did a low bow. "Hey, glad to see you are up. I am Bellistrad Indorial. Do not worry, I am a fire tribe exile like you are. Just dont tell anyone, and I wont either." He winks and sits in a chair near the bed."So, you must have a few questions. Shoot away."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Reshar Xendir
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"Seize any suspicious characters, in case this 'serpent' epidemic is nothing more then a murderer on the loose. If it is, I want those responsible not only in chains, but with legs and arms broken. If it is a foreigner's then I will be even more angred. Oh, and wear your shin guards." Zianro said to some of the guards who walked out immediately to inform the soldiers. He had heard of what had happened, and he had to send for the healers to try and save lives before it was too late.

"You damned fool!" He said to himself. "If it is the work of the other tribes what can I do?! I had offered them love and peace, and one of them dares reward it with murder in the night, to wipe us out?! Wait..." Zianro stopped his ranting and half realized several things as he stormed towards the dungeons. He knew he had to see one man and one man alone for suspicions like this.

Upon reaching Vinicius's cell he simply used his own set of keys to unlock the door and walk in, slamming the door on his way in. He looked at an ice cold bucket of water and used his magic to wake up the prisoner. "Wake up Zotar. We are going to talk, more like I'm going to talk and you answer me when I'm done." Zianro stated as he sat on his bucket. "Something is out in my city this very night attacking my citizens. If I find this is a ploy of some kind by some loyalists of yours to try and rescue you and challenge Zaheed I will be very mad. Because I want to help you, really I do. But your hatred for other tribes has got to stop first and realize Imos needs all tribes. Otherwise, I cannot speak for your freedom. I could even make you a slave with a new name. Or I could torture you again and again."

Zianro then smiled a most chilling smile, a smile that also matched the dragon part of his title. "He banished the girl you know. The one you were with. To my lands of all places. Looks like the new King, yes King not Lord, wants all loose ends tied. If Zaheed has his way everything that our forefathers envisioned for us will fade away like moths in a flame."

---

Na'ari was riding through the Water lands in silent patrol, seeking out the Exile his lord was telling him about. Though, he was unsure of where to start, or how to find her. Long had he pondered on how to find her or whom to turn to. He knew of one other exile who was actually a friendly type of person, so maybe it wasn't a bad idea to find and pay him a visit if he was in town.

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Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Reshar Xendir
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'Reap what you sow,' Reshar thought to himself as he looked at the dead body of Borz Hilk. A skilled warrior to be sure, those were always tricky to catch off guard, especially in situations like this when one's guard is naturally high. Reshar removed the dart from the dead man's neck. It was a more visible than he would have liked but there was something he could do about that. He chanted softly and made a cosmetic affect and simply healed the skin over the wound while leaving the poison inside the body.

The man before Reshar had single handedly be the cause of several deaths from the Earth tribe. Nobody Reshar was close to, but he wasn't really close to anyone. He hid the body in some bushes nearby and caused it to over grow to conceal the body a little easier.

'This person is rather thorough,' Reshar thought as he couldn't help but admire someone that would still consider the killer being an actual person. Reshar considered the need to kill someone this skilled, but remembering the list, knew that orders were absolute. If the name wasn't there, then their life was extended a little longer. Death was simply part of the cycle. Reshar was just one that sped that cycle up for certain individuals.

'Now to wrap this up and head to the land of the Air tribe.' Reshar thought as he began to plan his escape. Should he slip into the crowd or simply disappear into the woods. The last target was a young woman. She had noble blood and her name was well known. With this the quota will be complete. An influential merchant, a famous warrior, and soon a noble born. The message will be clear that no one is safe and shall serve as a way of keeping the countries in check. Though personally the collection isn't the same without a Royalty dead as well, but apparently the Warden doesn't wish to escalate things too far too fast.

Reshar watched the scared young woman moved with her guards and they were quite skillful.
'This was going to be a little annoying,' he thought to himself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Lu Feng
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Na'ari soon came upon a house in his riding, close to the shore, and knew if he would have any luck finding an exile, a remote house near the lake would be the perfect place to find them, so first he'd search there. He approached the door, but hesitated in knocking, if someone else answered it would be embarrassing for him as a Right Hand. So, thinking on his feet, he knocked on the door and said, "Belistrad. If you're in there, give me a reply knock." Then, if Na'ari received no reply, then he'll know he's at the wrong house, and thus, he waited.

---

Zianro rubbed his temples. He had heard rumors of what the guards were doing and that several aristocrats were in shock about the whole thing. "This is the last thing I wanted. A place that's afraid...whoever did this wanted my people to be afraid. Not me, my people. Whoever did this they're going to pay, and they'll pay heavy. Then I'll calm the people's fears."

He was approached by a guard. "Sir, we've caught one plausible suspect. A water exile. We see no reason to further the search any furt-"

"Seek out more anyway. Any foreigner who even looks suspicious, detain." Zianro stated. He silently vowed in his mind that he would not be made a fool of.

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Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Bellistrad Indorial

A knock on the houses door alerted Bellistrad to the presence of someone at the door. It seemed that the girl exile had fallen asleep again before he had ever gotten the chance to talk to her. Bell left the tea still hot next to her bed as he left to deal with the stranger outside. He walked up to the door and channeled his energies into his eyes. With great practice Bellistrad had perfect the heat sense ability to allow him to even see heat as colors, and using his intense control over his energies he could see who was on the other side of the door.

He recognized the man as Zianro's right hand, Na'ari Aurelis. He had helped him from time to time by talking with him and giving him spiritual guidance, as well as gained favor with Zianro through him so his fire-bending abilities remained a secret to the public. The man was one of the few Bellistrad truly trusted to let him pass through that door unscathed. Opening the door Bellistrad bowed low to show his respect for Na'ari. "Hello old friend, what brings you here tonight? I hope it has nothing to do with the fire tribe, I am tired of hearing about my old people recently."

Bellistrad moved out of the doorway to let Na'ari inside, moving to the floor mats set around a short table with his hookah and the tea kettle on it. Pooring Na'ari some tea Bellistrad sat in a relaxed position and took a few tokes of his marijuana before offering the hookah's tube to Na'ari if he wished to partake in the smoking."Tell me this, has Zianro done anything rash recently? I hope his dealing with Zaheed did not go as sour as mine. Whatever they have or had planned I want to get to the bottom of it." He also wanted something to blackmail Zaheed with to get him off Zaheed's bounty list.

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Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Na'ari waited for a moment and just when he thought it would be no one at the door to respond, Bellistrad answered and bade him to come in. This the warrior did as politely as possible and followed the Fire Exile to his sitting room. Often had he come here seeking some form of spiritual guidance. He found it interesting at best but it didn't really help him much to quell his fears of what happened after death.

He sat down and took the cup of tea as offered. He then looked at the hookah and out of respect, took a small puff to make sure he was still level headed to make coherent responses. It was then the Exile posed his question. "Zianro? Anything rash? Not from what I know, aside from flirting with a woman who studies dead bodies. As for any dealing with Zaheed I am not sure. But Zianro gave me a strange request, something to do with possibly another exile from your nation. However, whom I don't know. It would seem possible he has a political enemy of Zaheed, but I'm not a big thinker of politics. I'm just the enforcer of the law, and have to swing my sword at every banit on the road." Na'ari heaved a sigh, he the pondered over why Belistrad asked him such a question.

"Also, whatever you're thinking I'd try to avoid. I have a feeling Zaheed is a hard man to negotiate with. I'd advise you stay low until Zaheed is off your scent." He stated, "Anyway, I thought you'd enlighten me if there had been any recent events in terms of new exiles."

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Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Bellistrad Indorial


Bellistrad sat sucking on the hookah tube for a moment or two as he processed what Na'ari was telling him. Some things were obvious immediately, such as the fact that Zainro was keeping information about Zaheed's plans a secret from even his most trusted friend Na'ari. This meant whatever was going on in the Fire Tribe was big and involved Zainro in some way. Then Na'ari mentioned something that left Bell feeling cold, he mentioned another fire exile. A few things clicked into place at this point and it showed on Bell's face. He stood up fast and stared into space as his brain put it all together.

If Na'ari knew about the exile than only Zainro would be able to tell him that, since he was in on Zaheed's plans. But the thing is, Zainro would not care about the fire exile unless he could use her as a pawn in whatever game he was playing. He was not the kind f man to be malicious and consorting but he also would never miss an opprotunity to further his goals. What did this girl mean to Zainro?

"Na'ari, before I tell you what I know, I want you to answer this one question and then listen to what I say and believe it. Promise me this." He waits for Na'ari to say his promise before he speaks. "Now think hard on this, has Zainro got a new favorite prisoner in his dungeons? Someone with fire abilities that need to be suppressed perhaps?" If Zainro has another fire bender in his jails it would more than likely be Zotar, considering the information. Zaheed might have already set his plan in motion and Bellistrad was too blind by fear of Zaheed to see it.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Lu Feng
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Na'ari thought about it and gave a small shrug. "I know not if he has a new prisoner or not. And I doubt he plays favorited. I would have to be in town to figure out this sort of news. I was away hunting bandits mind you." He stated, gulping another swallow of tea. "All I know right now is his flirting with a local noble's daughter. But what's this theory of yours, since I know you got one inside you?"

---

Zianro knew he had to go have a look at the man they caught, however, he ordered his guards to examine every unknown individual in the city, foreigner or no. He walked into the cell holding the man and his eyes turned wide. "Lu Feng." He said in a small gasp, he knew this exile's reputation. "The blood manipulator. There is no way in all of Imos you're the perpetrator I want, yet, as I remember, you were exiled for your ability, Crimson Wolf. Why did you dare to come back here at the wrong place at the wrong time? Why did the guards, upon recognizing you thought you'd serve as a scapegoat for my wrath if they found nothing? Are you even aware of what's going on?"

Zianro's patience was at the edge at this moment. None of his talks with Vinicius helped. He needed the one trump card he knew was somewhere in his lands no thanks to Zaheed. If he could find her, he could convince Zotar to join his cause for universal peace, and find a way to calm the Earth Tribe and to possibly stop Zaheed from destroying them and causing an imbalance amongst Imos. "Why did you come back, Wolf?"

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Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Bellistrad Indorial

What Na'ari had said was enough to convince Bellistrad that Zotar was in Lakeshore, a captive of Zianro. That meant that Zaheed was in total control of the Firetribe and that Zianro had participated. There was probably a deal for peace struck secretly between the two. He sighed and moved around Na'ari to the bedroom door at his back. "I understand now, Na'ari. And as I promised, I will let you know about the exile." Bellistrad opened the door and revealed the sleeping woman in the other room. Bellistrad got in front of the open doorway and crouched into a fire bending stance."If you want her, than you have to go through me. I know Zianro wants her for some sort of bargain. Are you with me or your king?" Bellistrad collected blue flames into his hands and burst the flames hotter and larger to encompass his entire forearms, then sent the flames with a wave of his hands in a wave towards Na'ari, at an angle that would mostly miss him anyway.

The attack was more of a light show than an attack meant to harm, Bellistrad mostly wanted to scare Na'ari into a fight. A smirk on his face proved it, he was just playing with him. It was all part of Bellistrad's plan to get to Zotar and perhaps get him free. It would however include first getting thrown into the Lakeshore jails.

"Fight me for your honor Na'ari! Win the exile for your lord!" The move was so far out of character for Bellistrad that he even had trouble not laughing while he as goading Na'ari to fight. But he had to have fun with it as well, he had always wanted to fight Na'ari or even Zianro just to get to know them and their ways of Water. This was his chance to learn those ways, and even risk his life along with both the woman exile and Zotar in the process. A risky business looking out for the tribes well being, but Bellistrad thought he was up for the task.

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Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Eirene
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Na'ari ducked backwards in shock from Belistrad's sudden assault. He landed straight on is back an his eyes widened. "Have you lost your mind?!" He yelled out. He genuinely could not understand what was going on. He gripped his sword's handle tight as he glowered. He just wanted information not a fight. Plus he couldn't tell if the woman Belistrad was protecting was the one he was looking for.

"Enough! Cut it out right now! You crazy loon, what's your problem?!" He shouted as he opened his canteen and threw a whip around his opponents feet to knock him off balance as that he could put the weight of his armored boot on top of him to pin him. "I just came for info! I wasn't even prepared for a fight you got that?! I swear to God, if it wasn't for the fact there was a woman present I'd knock you out!"

---

Zianro smiled. "It is an honor you are considerate. Most find me quite the boring to have a nice lunch with conversations with me." He stated. "I'll make sure the cook will be informed I'll have a guest for lunch so that the necessary arrangements are made. I'll have someone send for your brother so that he can gain his father's position as adviser. I'd love to get to know his character." With that, he sat on his throne with a content smile on his face. He half wondered what on earth Na'ari was doing at that exact moment in time.

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Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka
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Bellistrad Indorial

Na'ari's words did not register for Bellistrad, he was only focusing on the moves Na'ari made. The water bender opened a canteen of water at his hip and strung it out in a long whip, which wrapped around Bell's ankles and tripped him to the ground. Na'ari quickly pinned him down with his boot to hold him in place. The entire beauty of the water style fascinated Bellistrad and actually made him smile despite having just been pinned to the floor."Well,Na'ari, I must congratulate you on your work apprehending me. You better take me to prison now." His voice was sarcastic as he held up his hands and waited for Na'ari to shackle him. Closing his eyes, Bellistrad opened his eighth chakra and went into a sleep like trance, his mind leaving his body to enter the ether for a time. Bellistrad kept his mind in a comforting place during his trance, for he knew where he woke up might not be as pleasant.

When Bellistrad came to a few hours later, his arms were shackled behind him where he hang; with his shirt missing, along with his shoes and belt. The room in which he hung from the wall was dark and cramped. Every muscle in his body ached and was shivering in the cold moist air. Bellistrad brought up his energy and warmed his body to stop the shivering, and even went as far as to blow a small flame into the air that formed into a floating globe of flame illuminating the cell. Immediately a bucket of ice water was dumped onto his head and over his body. The sudden cold made him scream out in pain, the water giving his system a shock to his energy fields. He convulsed for several minutes before hanging limp from the chains, his light put out.

Now more determined to break out, Bellistrad gathered his will and recharged his chakra system, his hands bursting into blue flames extra hot with his intense willpower. Bellistrad's battle cry was long and loud as his energy got hotter and hotter until the chains melted and broke free. Falling to the wet floor of the cell, Bell hit the ground hard and crumpled down on his hands and knees. He made sure nothing was out of place before standing and going towards the steel prison door. He was ready to break out Zotar... and maybe hurt some water benders if need be.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Na'ari Aurelis Character Portrait: Bellistrad Indorial Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Eirene
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"Ah, a pleasure to make your acquaintance Lord DeSoleh. Please come closer and have a seat. I've invited you here for lunch to discuss certain developments that may interest you." Zianro stated as he got comfortable and waited for the servants to do so. "So I must first, as I have done before, is that you accept my condolences for the loss of a member of your family."

He then rubbed his hands together in musing. "I also must announce that due to your loss, your father has somehow seen that he is unfit to continue his position as the DeSoleh family adviser seat in my court. He resigned this morning. This is why your sister has suggested a proper replacement. You, Eden."

He extended his hand to the eldest sibling of the family. "I openly invite you to take your father's position as adviser. Should you accept it."

---

Na'ari was pacing near a tavern in town, wondering what the heck was going on. Belistrad acted strange and he suspected Zianro of some form of foul play. He decided to stick the exile in one of the dungeons away from the Royal dungeons and observe his movements. If Zianro lied to Na'ari about something he had a right to know about it. "What the hell is going on...?"

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Character Portrait: Lord Vinicius Character Portrait: Zianro Azura Character Portrait: Sholeh Kanaka Character Portrait: Eirene
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Zianro smiled that his subjects were accepting their positions. It made himself all the more comfortable. He then saw a guard walk in and whisper several things to him. "Thank you. Well, as much I don't like to cut visits from company short, I have an appointment to get going to. We shall talk more later, but Eden, enjoy your new position." He stated it with a smile and walked off towards the dungeons again. He knew he had an appointment to fill. Destiny's.

He arrived back at Vinicius's cell and walked in feeling merry as he used the handle of his blades to rattle the bars. "Wakey wakey Zotar, I have news for you." He stated as he leaned at a good distance. "I'm happy to announce I found your lost girl, but sadly she's been stuck in a sleep like death. But when she awakes, I doubt a cold cell is what she awaits to see. I imagine, she'd see, a much more pleasant cell, with furniture, a cozy bed... And you, I imagine. So let's get down to real business Lord Vinicius. I won't treat the redhead badly, if you agree to listen what I have to say for the good of both our tribes, and of course, families and loved ones."

His smile simply grew wider, but inside he felt more like a mastermind behind a large scale scheme, which was probably true. "So what is it going to be Zotar? Will it be a deal? Yes, or no?"