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Threading through Foreign Territories

Kila Offline

Sphinx Queen

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#11
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Watching the two younglings brought Osira a sense of joy, even if it was because Ezra was offering up some form of courtesy in keeping his distance. "Your kin must all be predators, I'm assuming," he said with a lighthearted chuckle. "Most of our kind live in mixed groups, Ezra. Predator and prey kelahati live alongside each other." A thoughtful stroke of his beard. "Or perhaps that's only the norm for my home..." His gaze drifted skyward as he pondered. Such a diverse world they lived in!

Pulled from his thoughts by their questions, the egret stretched his wings and folded them again. "For Akeme's sake, I'll start from the beginning with what I know. Take it with a grain of salt; I hear most of my news by word of mouth as I travel, so the information may be exaggerated at best and false at worst..." He crossed his arms and stroked his beard again.

"The human oracle was the first to die. They found the shrine burned to ashes with the acolytes surrounding the oracle, who had his ribs splayed oven like wings. I heard all were burned to death..." Osira paused. "Though from what I've heard the shrine has been quickly rebuilt, likely to appease Jackroth, if he truly was the one who caused the fire in the first place.

The wolf queen was the next to die. If I'm correct she was their last royal with no heir, meaning that her death has wiped out the line. It's hard to get this one straight, since the wolves of Katakarthia live isolated lives away from the angels, but according to mermaid sources the queen drowned well away from water." Osira's expression soured as his thoughts turned to the next oracle's death, making the lines of age more visible on his face.

"The third oracle's death was the most public of all," Osira began, his voice dropping low. "She was an eastern dragon who enjoyed traveling, according to the man traveling with her. They'd reached Prerio and he'd gone to sleep, only to awaken and find her gone. Well imagine his shock when he found her body in the city square, draped over the fountain with debris everywhere." He shook his head, clearly feeling great sympathy for the oracle's friend. "The city square was full the night she died. They say she wandered in looking quite ill, and when approached she told them all to get back before transforming into a great serpent of a dragon and opening her maw in a silent scream. Apparently a twister erupted from her mouth, and she was suspended in the air as she died, only to collapse into the fountain and surrounding square after she'd passed on. No one wanted to touch her body, afraid of the god's wrath. I don't know if she was eventually buried or not, but... if the oracles are being killed by their elements it may mean they've turned on us. At least that's what I've been hearing whispered through taverns." The man had broken out into a cold sweat, which he only noticed when he ran a hand through his hair only for it to come back wet.

"Worse yet are the rumors of the dead walking among us... of tears opening in the air and... and things walking through that aren't quite alive and not quite dead, either..." This time Osira leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees, and sighed with the weight of the world on his shoulders. "I've been too much of a coward to go see if such a rift has opened back in the original location of my village. A plague swept through and killed many of my people, and the thought of seeing my kin among these... creatures... unsettles me."

KokoPuffs Offline

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#12
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He was being.. courteous by keeping his distance? To her that really didn't make any sense, it was an odd saying she surely wasn't very use to hearing. What was the difference if he sat closer or not? It almost brought her mind off the whole oracle thing for a moment; her deep brows eyes even scrunched up in thought. Akeme's head gently turned up to gaze at the older of the tree once again. Could that have really been the reason for him keeping his distance? Because he wasn't use to being around more... prey type of his kind?

Akeme took in a deep breath, and took the initiative to move a little closer to Ezra. She scooted herself jut a bit in the grass, making it ruffled and shuffled beneath her weight. The small girl was close enough now, but far enough away to make sure HE was comfortable as well.

"Please do," she nodded her head gently, waiting to hear all about this, "don't worry, a grain of salt will surly be taken with the information." With a light nod of her head, she placed her hands down into her small lap and paid close attention to the older man.

Ears flicked back and forth, here and there with each word that came from the man's mouth; her small body gently leaned forward to hear him even better. All he said almost seemed like a fiary tale in all sense of the word, but his words sounded truthful enough as well. She could hardly believe any of it, though she had heard about the fire from someone else quite a bit ago it seemed.

Her brows furrowed softly now; the dead were walking among them? How could that possibly be? "That sounds... horrible," she spoke softly, "I'm sorry to hear about what happened to your people, I can't imagine what that must have been like for you..."

NekoNay Offline

Kit

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#13
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Ezra tried his best to restrain his surprise. His brows subtly rose when his face remained otherwise composed. He had opened his mouth to explain but what Osira had said was true. His interaction with outsiders, his kin or otherwise, was very limited. Prey like always had some aversion towards him where he came from. To hear different... made him somewhat elated. Maybe he could be accepted in this strange world. Isolation didn't sit well with him.

His ears perked up at the sound of his shuffling. His eyes darted to see Akeme inch closer. He pursed his lips, a slight bristle forming at the tip of his tail but he said nothing to her advance, permitting it. It was something he had to get use to and this was a reasonable first step.

He focused intently on Osira, listening, observing. Ezra's expression became bleak, his hands once flat on his thighs as he sat cross legged, now digging into them with intensity. It was difficult to take with a grain of salt. He may not have witnessed the oracles met their end but it sounded dreadful all the same. 

Rumors they may be but the last one made Ezra on edge, his head hung low when he would otherwise face them. He shared sympathy with the elder over his kin but his mind was in turmoil over what could be possibly happening with his own. 

"The Dead is why I have set foot on my own," he revealed in a low tone. "I have seen them for myself. Creatures... if you could even call them that," a low growl in the back of his throat. It made a mockery of the cycle that had been set in place. The dead had no business coming back to the living... no matter how they died. 

"But this is worse than I thought." He thought it was only centered in one location. But in multiple...? He raised his head, his brows furrowing. The oracles, the dead... "What could they possibly thinking?" Surely this was only temporary... right? He found himself second guessing the gods above them. This was more harm than good.

Kila Offline

Sphinx Queen

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Joined: Jul 2017
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#14
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"Such is the burden of leadership," the man sad softly. "After my father passed I was the one my people had to turn to. It's my duty to make tough decisions for the good of everyone else, no matter how painful they may be. Such is life, Akeme. I pray that you never have to make such choices. Either of you." His tone was warm and gentle as the coming summer breeze. "It's not an easy life, less so if you weren't raised for it." He stroked his beard thoughtfully once again, sighing into his hand.

"We can't even begin to assume what the gods intend. Maybe it's not even them, he mumbled to no one but himself. "And if it is, what grand plan could come of unraveling the very fabric of the life cycle?" He folded his wings around his shoulders like a cape, as though they would shield him from whatever ill omen had settled over the world. And then there was what Ezra said... he had seen them. The undead.

"So you've seen these creatures for yourself, then?" Osira said, mouth agape, eyes wide in both shock and horror. "What were they like?" His voice dropped low as he leaned forward further, nearly off his rock and onto the grass now. "I'm sorry to ask you to recall such a thing, Ezra, but..." A pause. "But the more we know, the better prepared we can be is we come across them..." Osira paused again as he rung his hands together. "Did you see the rift they came through, or just the creatures themselves? Please, be as detailed as you can..."

KokoPuffs Offline

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#15
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Akeme opened her mouth to speak, but it seemed nothing wanted to come out at the moment; so she slowly closed it instead, her brows furrowed slightly in thought. Both men came from places with many of their own kind, the small woman really couldn't understand what they was like. She was raised by a caretaker of a temple, but no one of her own kind of course. The little deer knew about her kind and have met plenty when she was old enough to be on her own; but it was just about all there was to it.

"It doesn't sound like the best gran plan if you ask me," she closed her eyes, worry written on her soft face, "if they were going to allow the dead to come back, then why make them in the manner they are? Like just empty bodies? It don't see the point in it...."

The girl looked on in surprise towards Ezra? He'd seen them before? She could only imagine what the dead actually looked like... wait not, she didn't want to think about it at all. It sounded more scary than anything, seeing loved ones back but in no way themselves.

Her hands fidgeted in her lap, Osira really wanted to know, the way he leaned it really showed that. "O.. or you don't HAVE to go into t-too much detail about it," she stuttered lightly, "it seems... pretty scary if you ask me..." Oh what the hell was she saying? Everything sounded scary with all this! Oracles dying, temples on fire, the dead coming back! Her little heart beat hard in her chest.

NekoNay Offline

Kit

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Joined: May 2019
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#16
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Ezra gave her a look of sympathy. As much as he would like to spare her the gruesome details, he thought how the knowledge could be vital to the both of them should they come across them. It was better to be prepared than in the dark, something he learned rather quickly. 

The event was even more difficult for him to bring up. The tension in his shoulders, the way he tightly clasped his hands together in a mess of claws in his lap was a sign. "I didn't see the rift you mentioned, only the creatures themselves." And thank the gods he hadn't seen whatever place they managed to crawl out of. "They were my comrades. Those we had buried when lost to us." His words came out in a hush tone, his voice tight. A hollow laugh escaped him, a hand coming slow to rub the side of his face. "They had been buried for some time. Their clothes had almost fully decayed but their bodies... it was almost as if nothing tragic had happened to them..."

He clearly remembered how they died. A hunt gone astray. A bead of sweat rolled down his cheek. "Their memories seemed fragmented. They remembered some things not all." But he saw their recognition of him immediately... He was frozen in place at the sight of them, overwhelmed by the state of things. 

Fear, sadness washed over his features. "I don't know what happened to them. My father took over from there. But I have seen others of the risen, their bodies completely decayed along with their minds and they were horrors I would never wish upon anyone to see."


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