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Witch's Garden

Journals and Dreams

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a part of Witch's Garden, by Lurelle.

An excellent idea. Read description inside first!

RolePlayGateway holds sovereignty over Journals and Dreams, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

205 readers have been here.

Setting

Posting is for action as well as thoughts. However, if you want to include things like dreams or memories or even journal entries, put it here! Because we all know, like, times when there's nothing to post about, and you're waiting on someone? Perhaps fill a short something in here. It doesn't have to be 250 words, either.
But don't just make one sentence.
"JohnnyDeppisAwesome remembered he had chicken yesterday."

Got it? Cool? Thanks, Liaily.
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Journals and Dreams

An excellent idea. Read description inside first!

Minimap

Journals and Dreams is a part of Witch's Garden.

2 Characters Here

Elenie Knightgail [0] "I may trick you with my cute looks and kind face but I won't go easy on you."
Alphonse Ruize [0] "What can I say? I am a genius."

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Kasper Adamian, youth of Kingdom of Light.

I've always wondered what the Outside world has looked like all these years. Now, I only hear tales of the poison that has made the forest sick, as well as all the nature and animals that were once said to be beautiful and peaceful. Now, I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to see what once was beyond the wall.

When I was very young, still trying to live with other abandoned children of the Kingdom of Light, I used to dream about what it would be like. Some of the kids had seen it before, to retrieve foods and healing herbs. Once, a girl a little older than the rest of us had brought back a wild cat. It didn't really look like the strays that roam the City now, but it was stronger and had markings and stripes. We all played with it, and I think we had named the little cat "Kichi" which means "lucky" in some other language. I don't know why they named it that, because it died a week or so later, but the name had fit.

I could never see over the top of the towering wall that surrounds the City, but I could glimpse trees and birds that hovered just in my point of view. Since I'd never seen it, I could only let my imagine wander, which led to some exaggerasions of the forest. I used to think that all the animals were ten times bigger than humans were, and that they were all like the cat Kichi or were birds. I also believed that everything was perfect and green, and it looked like paradise. And to me, a poor, abandoned child with freak powers, I needed to believe there was something better than what I knew.

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#, as written by Lurelle
Dream occurrence: Three days before the Scarlet Rose meeting.

She flew upon swift wings, faster than she'd ever before. It was not natural. The sickened landscape below her sat, writhing as she passed. Tree branches reached up too slowly to catch her. Distorted clouds slid by. And then, suddenly, a wave of darkness came over her. However, she continued her speedy pace into the maelstrom of dark and cold. Pure energy rose up and gave chase. She wondered if they were souls. They gave up, their screams carried over the wind like the chiming of the church bells. An orchestra of terror.
A huge figure stood out in the clouds, tall and menacing it stood. She felt herself veer away. But as she lessened her control, the wind took over. Her wings were yanked around, she was tossed in the sky like a leaf. The storm around her relentlessly whipped her around. Her wings were her demise ; she tried to tuck them in to no avail. A shriek left her jaws as she was spun upside down, and then thrown into the air. This was no storm. This was magic of some sort. Her bones chilled, eyes watering, and feathers missing, she let herself go limp. The wind lost interest gradually, and she floated slowly to the ground. But that would be too much mercy from the hidden attacker. She was forced to remain in the air, although the cold had sapped the energy from her.
A gargantuan shadow appeared in the clouds. Her eyes followed, tentatively, trying to identify the figure. A snarling neck drove through the storm, teeth bared. It was an enormous, scaly creature of some sort.. It burst through the sky and drove her out of the storm, above the clouds, into a heavenly light. The creature snaked it's way toward her, jaws wide. It's eyes were bright yellow with the tiniest of slits identifying the pupil. The eyes of a hunter. A forked tongue slipped back and forth between it's gleaming teeth. Rows of the serrated fangs gleamed scarlet. The blood dripped onto it's claws. Its scales were pure shadow, and they seemed to be smoking very slightly. The beast's tail lashed back and forth in time with it's beating wings. The membrane of the wingspan was not flesh, but some sort of dark and hardened substance.

It's glowing eyes locked onto her. She felt herself draw back, but a voice in her head told her there was no escape. The dragon let out a shattering roar, and the thing's mouth was alight. Instantly, a powerful blast overcame her. It seemed that she was enveloped in smoke. She tried to breathe, but all that entered her lungs was ash and smoke. She choked, coughing and trying to repel the unwanted material. The more she tried to get out, the more she inhaled. She flailed wildly, her heart beating in a wild frenzy. Her muscles useless, she fell out of the deadly cloud and fell, and fell. Still no air would go into her lungs. The beast above her laughed. It laughed at her helplessness and her fear.
As she fell, she stared in wonder at the clouds. They twisted and mocked her as well. Her wings were in front of her, her talons too. She drew in a breath of air, but there was none to take. She collided with the blackened earth then.

Her wings were outstretched, but they were not in flight. A hawk lay on the witch's cursed ground.
Inside the tower, a shadowed figure approached a throne. Windows let in rays of cloudy sunlight. It was the only thing lighting the throne room. Atop the stone seat was a robed woman. She was young - or so she appeared to be. A snake was coiled around her neck. It shared the same red eyes as she did. Her hair was pure black, like her flowing robes. They were satin or silk; she didn't remember which princess she'd killed and retrieved it from. The sound of an angry beast pounded the tower's floors. The woman's red eyes moved to the doors and did not blink as they burst open. A shadowy beast entered, fangs bared, wings half-spread. The woman merely stared as it approached, and inclined it's mighty head to her. The smallest item drifted down to her. It was a single dark feather. The feather was suspended in midair in front of the woman's eyes as she inspected it. She lifted one thin hand and caressed the feather, before grabbing it tight in her hand. The snake hissed. A thin smile crossed the woman's face. It was cold and malevolent. The creature turned around and bounded across the stone and through the enormous wooden doors. They shut as soon as it left.
The woman opened her hand once more. The feather was no more than dust that disappeared as a violent wind entered the throne room. A merciless laugh echoed and rang throughout the tower, the laugh that guided the dragon's wings and the sound that caused the animals the flinch, as if in pain. The laugh seemed to reach a young figure in the forest. Her eyes opened, and she bolted upright in fear, screaming "NO!"

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((Just a little bit of a memory while we're waiting to make camp! Thanks for creating this place Lurelle ^.^ I hope my post doesn't seem to long. Most of it is dialogue!))


::Bricana Wynn::
::Meditation #1::

Bricana has never written in a journal. Truthfully, she’s never learned how to write. It wasn’t necessary. Instead she meditated. Not only did this help her focus her abilities and strengthen them, but also she was able to mentally pen down her thoughts and store them away carefully for safekeeping.

She lowered herself onto the wooden floor of her Mentor’s home, the yellows of the fiery hearth danced across her closed eyelids.

“Let your mind relax, young one. Let it simply drift…” Sephadius instructed. He had been working with this small urchin, whom he had plucked off the streets, for a few months now. She had proven to be quite malleable in his hands. Her resolve and focus vastly surpassed her age. He watched as she carefully controlled her breathing, letting air fill her diaphragm and expelling it at a rhythmic rate.

“Let go… Let your mind paint your sight in. Not all at once…” he reminded her. They had done this very exercise many times before. But her advancement had been at a standstill as of late.

Bricana parted her lips and whispered, “I’m here…” Inhaling deeply she continued with a shaky voice. “It’s my home…” A tear slid gracefully down her soft cheek. “My Father is here-“ is all she could manage before she broke into hysteria.

Sephadius frowned. They had been hitting this roadblock for over a week now. She had so much potential, but yearning to see her father again was holding her back. He slid a delicately carved pipe into his mouth, nursing it as if for inspiration, while the child sobbed.

After a few minutes Sephadius spoke, “Bricana… my dear. Look at me.” She raised her beet-red cheeks, angling her eyebrows apologetically; the rune paintings decorating her face swam in the streaks of her tears.

“Let’s try something different.” He offered. She nodded and wiped her dripping face with the back of her hand. “Go on upstairs and tidy yourself up.”

::Bricana Wynn::
::An hour later::
::The Creation of Sezae::

Bricana descended the staircase, her rune covered body glistening as the paint continued to dry. Sephadius motioned for her to come before him.

“I’ve had a thought, child. How would you like a companion to help you in your studies?” he asked coaxingly.

“You mean, like a pet?” she questioned.

“Well, similar to a pet, but with a more intellectual bond. Like a hunter and his wolf.” He tried to explain with energy.

She was enthralled with the idea. “Oh, yes please, Master Sephadius! I would much like a companion.” She responded.

He felt a pang of guilt as her innocent eyes stared up into his. She would understand, someday, that this was for her own good. He tried to reason with himself. Shaking his head, he directed her on how to start her meditation. Once her breathing was slow and steady he continued.

“Instead of painting your sight, I want you to let your thoughts paint your companion. Don’t become frustrated, this is something new and it might take some time. Speak aloud of what you see, so that I may guide you.”

All was silent in the house of Sephadius for two long hours.

Finally, she spoke. “Fire… I can see it has a tail, but it’s burning.”

“Focus on the body parts you can see, Bricana, your thoughts will flesh out its textures after you’ve identified it further. It has a tail… What else?” he pressed.

Her eyelids pursed together as if she was squinting. “Very long arms… Wait, no. Wings? I think it has wings.”

“A bird perhaps?” Sephadius questioned.

“Oh yes… With its grace, it must be a bird.” She murmured.

“Alright, now let your thoughts complete what type of bird. Raven? Blue Jay? Eagle?” he explained.

“I don’t know, Master Sephadius. All I see is fire.”

He wrinkled his brow in astonishment, “A phoenix? It can’t be.” he whispered to himself under his breath.

Bricana giggle in delight, “She flew towards me when you said that, Master!” She paused, her grin pressing against her teeth. “Phoenix…” she mimicked softly. The bird soared through the darkness, leaving a brilliant trail of flames in its path. Bricana watched in awe at its reckless gracefulness.

Sephadius leaned forward in his chair. A phoenix. That was astonishing. He knew that this child had great potential, but this… this was startling. When a phoenix presented itself to a Mesmer, it marked that apprentice as a Necromancer. The only way that he knew this is because it happened to him. A delight laced with dread filled his heart. To have such a talented apprentice would surely bring honor to his name; but it also meant that Death had his taloned-hands gripped tightly around him.

He cleared his throat. “Child, let us continue. Focus on this memory of your father. Keep your breathing steady, you are not there; you are here, in my house. Bring your bird with you, and give the memory for her to store.”

Bricana swayed her head slowly with a content grin on her face, making soft noises to imitate the bird’s wings. Sahh.. Zahh.. Sahh… Zahh…. Flap, flap, flap. “Here you are my companion. Will you keep this safe for me?” she cordially asked.

“Very good, my apprentice. Now, think of all your dearest memories individually. Give them to your bird for safekeeping.” He instructed. Sephadius removed himself from the room and began to brew some tea. A feeling of guilt washed over him freely. What little Bricana didn’t know is that once she gave those memories to her companion, she would never have them again. The only way she could access them would be to call them up from her bird.

He returned to the room with two small cups of tea. Bricana was sitting quietly where he had left her. She opened her eyes and looked up at him as he knelt and handed her a cup.

“Thank you so much Master! Sezae is the greatest gift anyone has ever afforded me!” she chirped.

“Sezae?” he asked inquisitively. “And how did you come up with that name?”

“It’s the sound her wings make, Master. Se---zae---se---zae--…” she continued the rhythmic beating as she swayed side to side.

“She will help you become great, little one. You have quite a destiny ahead of you.” He forewarned as she hung on every word he spoke.

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#, as written by Rill
((Not alot for Br'nard to do in the forest at the moment... and my fingers are itching, so thought I'd give this a try.))

-= White Fang Mountains, Homeland to the Norsecan Barbarians=-
-=Ten years ago.=-

The entire village was ablaze, they had come in the dead of night, the foul spawn of the Demon Lord, breaking through into this world on this fatefull night, when the moon glowed red with blood and the gap between the dimensions was thin.
They had attacked in a merciless wave of steely, red hot flesh, claws, fangs and fire, rending flesh, tearing men, women, children and livestock limb from bloody limb, staining the snow scarlet even as the fires from the blazing buildings burnt the sky crimson!

But these where a Warrior people, they met the merciless and unnatrual assualt head on, weapons in hand, and sold their lives dearly...

Br'nard Even'star let out a blood rending roar of pure fury as he ducked a savage clawed swipe aimed at his head, and drove his broadsword hilt deep into the Demons chest, boiling black ichor sprayed from the wound as the Barbarian wrenched his blade free, and booted the stricken monster aside;
The Demon fell, its physical form unraveling even before it had hit the ground.

Br'nard didn't spare his foe a second glance, charging forward the Barbarian was almost stopped dead by a solid barried of heat radiating from the unnatrual flames that consumed the building in front of him, a small, comfortable looking hut of stone and thatch, now ablaze, blood staining its walls...

"KALSHA!!"
Br'nard shouted, peering into the flames, but there was no sign of his wife, nor their newborn son,
With a fresh howl of greif and rage, the Barbarian tried to forge ahead into the burning hut, but at that point another hideous, towering, horned creature burst from the timbers of its blazing doorway and rushed towards the Warrior, licking blood from its foul lips with an impossibly long, black, forked tounge as it came...

Br'nard bellowed wordlessly at the sight, his vision turning crimson as he watched the horror stride from his familys home.... covered in blood...
It never stood a chance, the enraged Barbarian crashed headlong into the Demon and both combatants crashed to the hard packed earth in a tangle of limbs...

The Barbarians blade was sent spinning away across the snow by the fall, but Br'nard no longer cared, oblivious to the great chunks of flesh the Demon was tearing from his body with its razor sharp, black steely talons, the Warrior rolled on top of the monster and proceeded to drive his fist down hard into its leering face!
Once! Twice! Thrice...!!

Br'nard knew not how long he had knelt atop the Demon that slew his family, savagely raining down blow after blow on the creatures mangled face, and yet somehow it was still staring up at him, still, leering, its unearthly laughter ringing mockingly in his ears, even as its physical form began to deteriorate and unraverl...

The Demon fled this world as the dawn broke, its physical form dissintergrating as it returned to its own dimension with another gale of mocking laughter, alone now and covered in a patchwork of horrendous, bloody wounds, Br'nard knelt on the scarlet snow amongst the smouldering ruins of his village as the rosey glow of a new days sunrise light the distant horizon...

Throwing back his head, Br'nard Even'star roared his fury, greif and loss to the vast, uncaring sky...

==========================================================================================================

-=The Forest surrounding the City of Light=-
-=Present day=-

Br'nard raised his head and growled as more and more animals began to enter the clearing...

"Not a bad idea,"
The Barbarian grunted in his heavy Norse accent,
"Sooner we get movin' the better, the night is old, my axe thirsts, an' I hunger fer death..!"

Reaching out one large, leather gauntleted hand, the Warrior patted the neck of a particuarly fine looking Stallion and nodded, apparantly satisfied as the beast turned and nudged him gently in the chest with its head;

"Best saddle up, I 'ave a witch tae kill!"

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---

"Here it comes! The freak!"

Why couldn't they leave him in peace? He never did any harm to anyone. He just wanted to be left alone.

"Hey, changeling! Elf! Why don't you go back where you came from?"

He kept his head down and tried to walk past, but they grabbed him and pulled him to the ground anyway.

"Your mum's a slut, she slept with a fairy. Fairy boy. Ahahaha."

Punches raining down on him, the pain was unbearable until the boot hit him in the ribs, then it all seemed to go numb -

---

"Stupid, good for nothing wastrel! Gods help me, what will I do with you? I send you out to buy some flour, you come back hours later with your hands full of slugs and snails!"

Safir stood with his eyes lowered. He hated it when his mother shouted, but it was better than his father, who spoke with his fists.

"You're a wretch! Useless! Can't do an honest day's work. What's the matter with you? You're fifteen years old now and it's high time you learnt to do something useful with your life. No one's going to pay you to stand around all day, playing with animals and staring into space like an idiot! Mayhap your father was right, I should have let him beat some sense into you. Gods know nothing else seems to work. Get out of my sight, I don't want to see you for a while. Go on, before I give you a damn good hiding."

---

He walked into the baker's shop and stood in line behind the other two customers, Mrs Smith and Jenny the teacher's girl. Jenny looked at him and she made a face like some disgusting smell was under her nose, but Mrs Smith just ignored him. The baker's wife, a plump woman with large arms, smiled and chatted as she served the other two, but once they had left and Safir stood at the counter, she scowled and pretended not to see him. She went on sweeping the counter, kneading dough, rearranging loaves, struck by the blindness that so often affected the villagers whenever Safir was around.

"Excuse me," Safir said.

She grunted.

"I would like a pound of flour, please." From the look on her face he might have asked for a pound of her flesh. Grudgingly she measured out the pound on her scales. Safir looked hard at the heap of white powder she'd poured out. "That's not a pound's worth of flour."

"So the scales show," she countered.

"I think you're... accidentally... leaning on them."

"You calling me a cheat?" spat the baker's wife.

Yes, thought Safir. Cheat, cheat, cheat. I hate you. "If you would just step back a little..."

"Don't tell me how to do my job!" she exploded. "Damn cheek you have, coming in here with decent people! You ought to be grateful you're getting any flour at all. Now there's your pound, take it or leave it, I've got other things to be doing."

Somehow all that shouting must have shaken the shelves behind her, because at that very moment a row of bread knives slid from their wooden casing and impaled themselves, quivering, in the bread board where her hand had rested moments before. She jumped back in surprise, and the scales leapt to a new reading: just over half a pound.

Her gaze went to the knives still trembling in the wooden board, shifted to Safir and narrowed with suspicion. "Get out," she said hoarsely.

After he left, she made the sign of protection to ward off the evil eye.

---

Safir sat alone in a clearing, a short hike from the village boundaries. The villagefolk said it wasn't safe to be in the forest any more, that under the witch's influence it was becoming a dangerous, dark and ugly place. But what did they know? To Safir, it was the village and the people living in it who were dangerous and wicked. Out in the forest, his spirit expanded to fill the wilderness and he moved peacefully in the quiet depths of his soul. He felt the slow, steady pulsing of the sap through the trees as they strained their branches towards the sky. He tasted the sweet, sharp scent of the cold wind. He felt the soft soil under his body, dark and warm and endless, the earth's womb, ready to receive the living and the dead. There was tranquility here.

He hated being the odd one out. He could never fit in with other people. But out here among the animals and plants and raw forces of nature, there was no judgement or prejudice. Only life. He loved all the living things in the forest, from the huge antlered deer to the small garden snail. He didn't understand why people thought of snails as ugly and creepy. They were beautiful creatures, with brown shells patterned with cream and yellow, charming little stalk-eyed faces, slow graceful gaits and a lot of character. They were just misunderstood, like he was. He loved the plants too. His favourites were not the mindlessly cheery spring flowers nor the gaudy beautiful roses and lilies that everyone else adored. He preferred the plants that were neglected because they were plain or poisonous. He paid special attention to them because he felt that most people, being shallow, would prefer a sunflower to poison ivy, not realising that each has its place in the grand scheme of creation.

A sound rose out of the forest, chilling and deeply moving at once. It brought Safir's heart to his throat; the sound of a lonely wolf howling. Safir raised his head and gazed into the forest depths, feeling the wilderness calling to him. Come, it seemed to say, you belong with us, not in the human world.

I'm coming, said Safir, with tears pricking his eyes. I'll come as soon as I can. Please wait for me. Don't leave me. I'm tired of being alone.

The howl faded into silence, leaving Safir more lonely and weary than ever. He turned and headed for home.

---

The next day, they held the funeral for the baker's wife. In the middle of the night she had woken up, sleepwalked down the stairs into the bakery, lit the great fire and shut herself inside her own oven. The baker had come down in the morning to find a queer cooked or burning smell in the air. When he discovered what his wife had done, he screamed and ran about town shouting at the top of his lungs. People shook their heads and blamed it on lunar madness.

Jenny the teacher's daughter woke up suffering from a facial tic that froze her expression into one of disgust, like there was a foul smell under her nose all the time. It was a shame, she had been quite a pretty girl. People said she had been making a face when the wind changed, and pointed her out as an example and warning to their children. It was a strange day indeed, but what could you expect with witches abroad and ill omens everywhere?

And finally, a few days later, Safir's mother was surprised to open her pantry door and find five pounds of the highest quality flour sitting there.

"Safir! Where did you get this?"

"I did some work for the carpenter and he gave me some coins..."

"Oh, Safir! You wonderful boy! You really can do it when you put your mind to it!" She swept down on him and gave him a kiss on the top of his head. "I'll be able to make a very good cake with this, maybe two. And you will have the biggest piece." Safir, glowing with pride, felt happier than he had in a long time.

---

Why am I remembering this? I'm not a weak, stupid little boy any more. I am Safir Azgard, the Prince of Dragons. No one can hurt me or mock me ever again. They fear my power. Those people are all dead: Mother, Father, Trystan, Jenny, even Safir Woods, all of them long gone. Mother... I'm sorry, Mama, I didn't mean to... why are you making me remember this? I hate you! I'll kill you!

Only laughter, regret, and the call of freedom.

Then silence.

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#, as written by Lurelle
Alyss Desmarais

Alyss had drifted off soon after Ray.

She seemed to be rising from her own body, in some strange spiritlike state. She felt confusion, swirling along with the mist that radiated from where she rose. She reached down in fear. "Am I dead? How? Am I going to heaven? What the hell is going on?!"
But she didn't keep rising once she surpassed the half-dead trees. It was like nothing knew where she was going! Could they even see her? She flipped around, her back to the ground, and stared at the sky above. She drew in a sharp intake of breath. It was not the gleam of stars like dew on black fur,.. it was a furious gray mass of clouds. Flashes of blue darted among the clouds, like small fish dancing through the water. The clouds moved unnaturally fast. There was no rain, no lightning.. so what was this? She watched in awe at the weather anomaly. Then she veered sideways.
"Damn, why am I always in the sky in my dreams.."


She opened her eyes. Morning was beginning to appear. She immediately checked the sky; ... but it wasn't normal. It was without clouds. Pure blue. Alyss, in excitement, stood up. A sky like this was rare. Ever since the witch appeared, the people said clouds dominated the sky. But it seemed that if the witch was preoccupied, or worried, then it was calm and beautiful. But that was just a rumor. She looked back around the campsite. The same as it was last night. The fire was just barely hanging on. She didn't want to wake them from their peaceful sleep... but they best be moving before the heat took over. They'd wake up soon...
She took off into the air, with a shrill cry, and circled the area to find some berry bush, or something.

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Ezekiel stayed up during the small remainder of the night, as he expected he would. After being healed, he found he had too much energy to simply pass out, and sleeping with his face in the dirt to avoid seeing insect souls did not work, since there were also spiders and worms and other creatures of the earth living right beneath them that they didn't even see. Also, it was hard to breathe in such a position.
Before everyone settled in to sleep, he had wanted to ask Bricana why she did not simply request healing from Jinx, so she didn't have to leech from the others. However, he held his tongue, not feeling it was his place to say something of that nature. Not yet, anyways.
Besides, after the conflict between Siegward and Br'nard, starting another argument would be more exhausting than their night had been already.
Ezekiel walked to the stream after some of the others had cleansed themselves and dove in himself, shuddering with the cold. He washed as much of the black ichor from his usual clothing as he could, and applied his lighter undergarments which were in his side bag, allowing the interestingly stained clothes to dry when he carried them back from the stream.
Silently taking the night watch along side Br'nard (who was frustrated immensely, probably at the group, and either did not notice or ignored Ezekiel's wakefulness), Ezekiel laid down in the grass and leaves in the clearing, finding a comfortable position away from the group but not too isolated. In the silence of the forest, it would be easy to hear something coming should they be ambushed (again).
He now had some time to think and wonder about everything, and he preferred to feel as if he was alone when that happened. He wasn't sure if a god or some other heavenly being heard him, but he sent his thoughts to the stars regardless, which shimmered beautifully over the campsite as the others in the party slept.

I wonder what the group thinks of me. Sure, it is selfish to think of, but honestly, I had my first opportunity to show my swordsmanship, and I ended up incapacitated with some cracked ribs. True, I was mostly trained in desert or wasteland-like areas, so the forest is still rather new to me despite coming to the Kingdom of Light some time ago... But I feel as if I should have been more competent. Ah well.
And this group so far... We all conflict with someone in some way, it seems. I conflict by not conflicting, which is quite ironic.
He chuckled at the thought.

Siegward and Br'nard... I hope those two can settle their dispute. Actually, there must be a better way of saying that. Ah, yes.
... I hope we can all conquer together. There is no point in traveling as a group if each of our aims are for the individual.
Ivory is out for revenge, I believe. When I saw her walking the perimeter earlier, she was filled with anxiety. I think she simply wants to get this over with, and would do it alone if she could. Although, I am no mind reader. This gift... Or is it a curse?... Only allows for very accurate guesses. Jinx and the others... well, I can't say what I think of them. I have only known them for a short time. Ivory as well. So who am I to judge her character?
But speaking of abilities.
Br'nard is a barbarian. He is ruthless, and has brute physical strength. The others all have some sort of ability that can come to their aid in battle. Jinx can heal herself and us, Alyss is capable of shapeshifting... Ray can summon creatures to his side, and I get the feeling he is hiding something very important from us, if that glow of secrecy around him really is just that.
Ah well, his soul is relatively bright and good. We can trust him.
But my ability... What good does it serve? Sure, I can determine how trustworthy the people we meet can be. So I guess that is one reason to stay with this band of uncoordinated adventurers, as if I have anywhere else worthwhile to go. But it will do no good at all if the others don't trust me.
I will have to make myself known more often than I have been, I suppose. I did stand up in the tavern, and I have yet to explain to Bricana why I trusted the captain... Perhaps tomorrow.


His thoughts shifted back to his past, then, and to his memories of traveling with the nomadic tribe. After a while, they flashed back even further, and he allowed himself to relive the days of his childhood, when he played with his brothers and sparred with heavy wooden swords fashioned by their blacksmith father. Every so often he would hear a twig break on the outskirts of the clearing, and he would tilt his head up, attentive, but it would always be a late night rodent searching for food, or even once it was an owl catching one of the aforementioned rodents for dinner.
When the sky began to brighten, he stood up, looked around to be sure none of the women were awake, and stripped from his light clothes to his traveling gear. He strapped his swords to his belt once more, then sat down and waited, as he had all that night anyway. He was patient.
Alyss seemed to be stirring, and she glanced up at the sky. As it had been that night, it was totally clear. She appeared overjoyed at this, and took a bird form, taking to the skies with a loud cry.
Well, there's an alarm for you.
Ezekiel grinned, then called out, "Good morning to you as well, Alyss!" He did not say this very loudly, so he was not sure if she heard him or not, but at least it didn't startle the others more than they may have already been from the harsh bird call, had they been sleeping near her.

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Alphonse knew what the mage was talking about, and to a degree, it made sense. Society often made scapegoats of those who were beyond their understanding. However, the demon who was most likely the source of the attacks also referred to the apprentice as lord. Meaning that the demons held the witch and her servants to the utmost regard.Help the people? More like enslave them. Or kill them. Either way, the way the mage refers to ordinary people fills me with disgust. At least with my own plan, I would have ensured my damnation through my choice alone. But to serve the witch under such circumstances... Alphonse took out his skin of wine. He hated drinking, but he figured that a bit of his family's best wine might make the situation easier to swallow. Letting his blood warm a bit, Alphonse looked at Alyss, who seemed racked with guilt. He put his good hand on Alyss' shoulder, in an attempt to reassure her. "I'm still with you, Miss Alyss." He removed his hand and returned his gaze to the mage, who returned the sinister smile with a smirk.