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 [HC Event] Star Catchers

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Sailor Uranus
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PostSubject: [HC Event] Star Catchers   19th May 2018, 4:30 pm

Plot wrote:
It was nearing their time. They had been through the trials, had learned all they could, and had decided upon their future professions; now all they needed to become full-fledged Adults, equal to any other in Esoria, was to reach the summit of Mount Everlast before midnight two days from now. If they were in place when the Meteor Shower reached its maximum, took in the light, and returned, their adolescence concludes. For most, observing the shooting stars was the final step; upon seeing its majesty after an arduous climb, they could bow out and return home, their trials complete, and take their place as full-fledged members of their community, taking on official apprenticeships or entering journeyman status in some regards, else jumping both feet into their career. But for some, for those young people who wished to make a difference in their world, there was an additional task, one that would automatically set them apart, separating them from whatever their birth, their hometowns, their families, their circumstances were holding them back from attaining, whether it be induction to higher education, to elite facilities, to the audience of a person of Power - this additional trial would put them on the fast path to a life free of glass ceilings.

For these few, the meteor shower is only the beginning. From the mountain top they need to track the path of a falling star and follow it to its landing site, obtain the star fragment, return to the capital and present it to the King. Only then, and for only up to five, and only to those who are present at the ceremony and whose presence throughout the trial is vouched for by the others, will they receive the tattoo, ring, and pendant that will open doors for them for the rest of their lives, and to only those five will the King grant a Wish - a wish that could erase their pasts or open new doors for their future. A wish that could provide funds for their future, could wave fees for entrance to their college or guild of choice, could make or bend the very law of the land, should their argument for such a thing be solid.

The quest is dangerous and difficult. Every year young men and women go forth, and maybe one group in ten returns with the star fragment - one group every ten years. The others return without the star and start their lives as they would have before, else they do not come back at all.
The World:
 
The Trials:
 
Universities and Guilds of the Capital:
 
Elemental Magic:
 


HC Event Rules and Information:
 

Character Stipulations and Sign-Up Requirements:
 

Profiles will need to be reviewed and approved by end of day start date! I love quick turn-arounds and getting stuff started, so Start Date will be Saturday, May 20. Due to an impending out-of-country date, the rp will not quite be a month long: End Date: Saturday, June 16. To make up for it, there will be several RTRP's to move things along - keep this in mind. I know not everyone will be able to make every planned RTRP, but I will do my best to get as many times picked out as possible to get as many people in as possible. The RTRPs may be battles, or scenes with NPC's, or random slice-of-life scenes, side conversations or just giving times for characters to react and interact. Some may be important to the plot, some may not, and the important ones probably won't be announced as such ahead of time because I thrive on random happenstance. Players do not have to attend all of the RTRP's, but there may be IC consequences to missing them, such as not knowing about what's going on because your character was doing something else when that scene happened, etc.



Signing up to take part in this HC Event is an agreement to abide by all rules associated with this event. Failure to abide by the above rules or otherwise ruining the spirit of the RP will result in expulsion from the RP. Please note: This event will have several continuations as they continue to travel towards the star; my attempt will be to have a continuation at least once every three months (with every other month being preferred for continuity) to keep the story fresh in players' minds and moving towards its conclusion. 

Participants:


Note: Symbols used strictly for elemental affinities; there is no sailor moon connection.

Activity Sheet
Stats
Character Sheets
(Partial) Map of Esoria

Cartman!

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   19th May 2018, 4:31 pm

RTRP Opener wrote:
All had shared a similar experience:

Their Year Master, the community member that had been in charge of their tutelage and trials since the time of their fifth solstice, joined them in their journey to Mount Everlast, watching over them as they took quite possibly the longest journey of their lives. For some Year Masters this was a tearful, joyous trek, a means of celebrating the youth of their charges and the choices they had made, one last chance to think back on their childhood years, reliving stories of glory and of embarrassment, of triumphs and of failures (and what they had learned from those failures). It was also their final trial - learning how to travel. How to arrange stays on the road, testing them on their hunting or camping prowess should no inns be available, testing them on their handling of animals, on their interaction with other travelers, on their ability to defend themselves. For others, especially those of Shadeslake, the journey was less “together” and more “around the same time” as the large year left in staggered groups so as not to overpopulate various inns, their Year Master available to talk but spending most of their time making sure everyone was where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there. In either case, when they reached the summit, their Year Master would follow them into the Hall and be available to speak with them, but from that point on they were done, and their charges’ Journeys complete.

When they arrived at Mount Everlast they entered Everlast Hall to mark their presence in the Book of Records, signing their name in the space beside where their parents had inscribed it 13 years ago as it had made its way around the northern end of Esoria. Beside that, they marked down their first choice of occupation and where they intended to return to after the graduation ceremony concluded.

For each of our would-be questers, within those blanks they simply scrawled “Star Catcher.”

Should they fail and return, they would strike out their claim and write in the appropriate answers - occupation and place of residence. Should they die, else not return within the allotted year, their closest relative would strike out the claim. Should they survive? Star Catcher would remain beside their name for all time, and their eventual occupation and residence would be added to the list of Star Catchers in the Capital.

The Year Keeper, the government official in charge of the Book of Records for their year (Darren Willset, a sharp-featured man in his mid-forties with well-groomed facial hair) would then provide them with five key items:

  • First, a deep blue hooded cloak with a silver star streak embroidered across its back. Though useful on their travels, it nature is primarily ceremonial - they would need at least some part of that cloak when they present the Star to the King.
  • Second, a silver pendant the size of their palm attached to a band of deep blue ribbon to be worn around their neck during the presentation ceremony to the King. On one side of the pendant is the StarCatcher streak, the year, and a symbol unique to the individual, assigned to them and recorded when they indicate their intent in the Book of Records. The back is empty and smooth, to be engraved with the symbol of the King upon their return as a sign of their honourable deed, giving the pendant the weight to open metaphoric doors that would otherwise be shut to them.
  • The third item was a deep blue pouch, large enough to fit a loaf of bread if it had to. It was made of intensely durable material and looped to be tied with a silver cord; this is the sack they would carry the Star in when they found it.
  • Fourth was a coin purse, again, deep blue with the silver starcatchers streak on one side, the other their unique mark, and within, five silver coins of identical design: starcatchers streak and year on one side, their personal identifying mark on the other.
    These coins were a gamble for the Starcatchers. Each could be bartered with any citizen - of this kingdom or the next - for a favor (usually food, a room, or both, sometimes medical treatment). Should the citizen accept, they make the exchange of goods or services for the coin and should that Starcatcher make it back to the King, the citizen may cash in their coin for riches three times the cost of what they provided the youth. However, if the Starcatcher never makes it back to the King, the citizen will receive nothing.  Some citizens will refuse the barter altogether, knowing how often Starcatchers make it back. Some will only barter if they believe that youth has what it takes to return. Some will barter immediately, their charity easily given where it can be, because, otherwise, citizens are not allowed to help Starcatchers so long as they are still upon their quest. Those found assisting Starcatchers without the bartered coin are, depending on the severity of the help, charged a fine or sentenced to jail time for the offense, the strict belief that Starcatching is a Trial of all Trials strictly upheld.
  • The fifth was a choice of weapon to use to defend themselves throughout the duration of the Trial; the armory was small but thorough; while Catchers were able to bring defensive tools from home, this would provide them a true, strong, sharp, real weapon to use on their travels.


Upon giving the youth their items and showing them how to create their unique mark that would act as their signature for the duration of their quest and beyond, should they succeed, the Year Keeper restated the rules:

  • The stone must be returned to the king within a year’s time in order to retrieve the status of Star Catcher.
  • Only up to five may claim the stone. Should more than five be present at the time of the Presentation Ceremony, all with equal claim to the stone, the group would have to decide which five receive the distinction and the wish, else none will.

He then instructed them to don their cloaks to identify themselves to their peers as Star Catchers, either then, or at the start of the climax of the meteor shower.

Their local Year Master would congratulate them, else remark upon their choice to chase the Star. The Year Master of Lorham looked nervous; of the five children born to Lorham that year, four were choosing to embark on the quest. The joy the Year Master had shown on their journey to Mount Everlast turned to sorrow - she looked sick with worry already, which made sense: not one Starcatcher from Lorham had ever made it back successfully, and the three that had tried and survived had never been the same again. In this one decision made by the four of them, the future of Lorham could be affected for years, families in their small community fractured forever.

The Lorham Year Master, a woman in her early fifties named Marcy, approached each of the Lorham teens in private and asked them to reconsider - if not for the sake of their own lives, for the sake of their families, their communities. ‘What would happen to the town if they did not return?’ was the line she had tried to put forth, but it was obvious which fracture she was most concerned with; she had lost a nephew to the Starcatcher Trials, and while she did not bring this up to them specifically in these separate conversations, it was clear from the look on her face that the prior loss was heavy on her mind, and it was obvious she was pained by their choice to continue on regardless. When the meteor shower began and the torches were put out to enjoy the show, Marcy’s tears shone in the starlight as the grown woman silently sobbed for these young lives that she had loved, had had a hand in raising, had watched them grow and develop and mature into such promising young men and women - lives she was now sure were lost.

During the meteor shower, the Year Keeper would be the one to announce when an appropriate Shooting Star - one of big enough size and duration to produce a fallen star - has streaked across the sky, signaling the start of the quest to claim it. The Starcatchers, garbed in their blue cloaks, wait anxiously for the announcement so they could get a heading on which direction to go, and so start the quest that would change their lives.

The torches go out, and if they did not already have their cloaks on, now was the time they were to don them, officially announcing to their peers their intent. Whispers erupted like matchsticks caught fire, mad rumors spreading like wildfire as the eight Star Catchers donned their cloaks, hoods down to better see the stars streaking across the light-speckled sky.

“Saphira Vane?! She's the daughter of the Mayor of Shadeslake! I hear she negotiates trade routes in her spare time - what need has she of being a Star Catcher?”

“Isn't that Ariel?” “I think so? That hair - it has to be her.” “The poor thing.” “I wouldn't go that far - I trailed with her in hunting and trapping. She won't starve, I'll say that much.” “She wouldn't. Isn't she mute or something?”

“Shaska? Figures. She's crazy enough to try.”

Isn't that, like, everyone from Lorham?” (muted laughter), “Yeah, looks like it! Think it was a bad year, or are they finally coming to their senses?” “I know I’d try anything to get out of that nothing-village - even face the Catcher Trial!” (more laughter)

“There’s another - I don't recognize him. Highwalls kid, maybe?” “Oh shite- think he's the one that killed all those people?!” “No! What?!” “Yeah! They said there had been a string of murders - the only way out of execution would be the King's intervention!” “That's got to be him then!” “I'm glad he's leaving… he gives me the creeps!”

DM wrote:
Players! Add to rumours about your characters or respond to the rumours you've heard about your future allies / competition, or even ask your friends to learn more about what they've heard about the others; the maximum is approaching…

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   19th May 2018, 7:25 pm

DM wrote:
The RTRP posts have been separated out by characters who interacted to keep the flow nice and easy to follow~
The Deepwall Alliance - Shaska and Ariel:
 

The Highwall Murderer and the Mayor's Daughter:
 

Lorhamites:
 
Kitty:
 

”We are at maximum,” Darren Willset proclaimed, the sky overhead streaked with tens of star trails, and the crowd hushed in anticipation, the excitement over having so many Star Catchers lulling as they remembered this night belonged to them, too. The chatter about this years Catchers died down.

The Highwall Murderer and the Mayor's Daughter:
 

Lorhamites:
 


”There!” Darren called, pointing at a bright spark that sliced through the night sky towards the south and west, heading inland, over the forest, the riverland, towards the plains and eventual desert region, and the Kingdom of Ko’bak beyond.


The Star Catcher Trial has begun.

Deepwell Alliance + Mayor's Daughter:
 


Lorhemites - Egwene Forfeits the Trial:
 

Kitty:
 

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   19th May 2018, 7:30 pm

DM wrote:

Seven Star Catchers left the high camp of Mount Everlast, traveling down the wooded slopes in the direction the star had fallen, each with a wish in their hearts and determination on their sleeve as easy to spot as the blue cloaks they wore.

However… they weren’t the only determined ones on the mountain.

Saphira, travelling the fastest, was the first to encounter it, but Shaska and Ariel were close enough to see.
Battle wrote:
With a loud bellow, a bear crashes through the brush towards her, its paw swinging angrily at Saphira!
--Surprise attack! Does it hit?
--4
--”Just Lucky I Guess!” Bonus: -2
----2! Miss!

Saphira
She did not expect a bear to appear out of nowhere, but there it was, all of a sudden. The only thing announcing its arrival, which probably made for the difference between life and death for her, was its roar. Her instincts and training kicked in upon seeing it swipe toward her and she ducked, avoiding the deadly paws. Shocked, she backed away a good distance from it. She'd... she'd never even seen a bear up close before. Was this what the wilds were like?!


Shaska
Shashka looked ahead as a bear crashed through the brush, taking a swipe at an unfortunate girl. Wow, and I was half kidding about that whole bear thing. She was glad it had caught someone else, and veered far to the side to avoid its path.

Battle wrote:

The bear’s claws slashed deeply into the trunk of the tree just behind where Saphira’s head should have been; it’s forward momentum carried it closer and it crashed into the tree, causing it to shake intensely. Furious, the bear roared and reoriented, wild eyes finding Saphira as it gathered itself for another strike.

Saphira
The fight wasn't over. But Saphira knew she wasn't going to get any help with this bear. All she had to rely on was herself. She pulled the spear she had brought just for this occasion and prayed that her mark would be true. She had trained with it when she decided to bring it along, but it wasn't like she'd ever used it against a bear before. She took a deep breath and threw it towards the creature, aiming for its head.

Battle wrote:

Saphira uses a Spear and attempts to hit the Bear (in the head!)
Does it hit?
--4!
--”Just lucky I Guess” 1
----5 - Hit, but does not hit where intended!

How much damage?
--1
--STR 1
--WPN 2
--ARMOR -2
----Total of 2 points of damage!

The spear scratches along the bear’s skull, slicing through its pelt and releasing a gush of blood that just enraged the beast further!
Bear attempts to attack Saphira with a claw!
Did it hit?
--3
--”Just lucky I guess!” +0
----It misses, but barely!

--Please choose where the bear’s claws land; it will either scratch skin or gash clothing, but will do no real harm to her.


Ariel
Ariel's eyes widened. She didn't expect the action to happen almost instantly, but she wasn't complaining. It was about time this journey posed a bit of a challenge. But the real question was...should they help? Death by half-blind bear not even ten minutes after departure seemed like a pretty horrible way to go. But by the looks of it...this girl seemed to be able to fight for herself. Ariel decided to wait, for just a moment, to see if this girl truly was in danger.


Shaska
Shashka noticed Ariel had come to a halt behind her. This girl! If she was going to be a bleeding heart the entire trip, she'd get them both killed. Shashka called over her shoulder, "KEEP. MOVING." She raced ahead fleeing further into the trees. The more obstacles between her and a bear, the better.


Saphira
Okay, she made it angrier. Perhaps she was in trouble. But there was no way she would even entertain the thought of dying. She was going to win against this bear. Ducking yet another swipe of its claw, she felt it grazing her left arm, though leaving nothing but a small scratch. She needed her luck to keep up, though. This time she fished the rapier she picked up from the armory, and thrust it towards the bear's stomach.


Ariel
Ariel grit her teeth. Shashka was right - they needed to get ahead. Turning away from the girl and the bear, Ariel followed behind Shashka. She leaped over fallen branches and wove through the trees, never faltering. Being small had its advantages.

DM wrote:

Shaska and Ariel leave the battlefield;
Charles, Kitty, and Cassandra happen upon the battlefield!

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   20th May 2018, 4:24 pm

Shashka


Shashka's heart thumped in her chest as she continued her jog. She wasn't sure how much longer she could keep this pace, or if Ariel would be able to continue with her, but they weren't only putting distance between them and a toothed monster - they were also leaving the other would be starcatchers in the dust. The further we can get before resting, the better. She was well aware that they had only narrowly escaped a hairy fate themselves. Had I been a little faster, that would have been me. The thought that there might be other bears struck her. If it's mating season, or if that were a cub, there may be more. She decided to slow down a bit and let Ariel catch up with her. The girl's presence might come in handy.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   20th May 2018, 6:35 pm



She heard the sounds before she came into the clearing, it was difficult to place what was going on though. Like a puzzle missing vital pieces.

Cassandra wasn't quite prepared for what she saw. At first, the bear took all of her focus, large and menacing, villainous. A dangerous wall blocking the way forward. She almost glanced to her fellow villagers, to warn them that they should not move forward, to find another way around, but then she saw the girl fighting alone against the creature.

If this were a story, the girl would be valiant and strong, fighting without worries against a foe that would surely fall to her blade.  

But the girl was just a girl, and who knew what would happen if she were left alone against such a large foe.  

Grasping her newly-acquired Star Catcher Axe, Cassandra went to go help the girl. There were no thoughts about whether or not she should help a fellow Star Catcher - an enemy, in truth. Though her hands shook and her heart raced, her feet wanted to flee, turn back and run and run and run, she continued regardless.

She wondered then just why all of the stories left this particular part out.

OOC:
 

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   20th May 2018, 8:14 pm

Charles

Apparently, Charles' fate was as eager to meet him as he was. It wasn't even an hour since he started running and already a racket was coming from the trees before him.

Cassandra was the first to enter the clearing. Charles went after her, and stopped dead on his tracks. There was a bear. He had heard of them, but he had never seen one in the flesh, let alone this close. Larger than any of them, and possibly heavier than all of them together, it could probably kill them with only a well placed swipe of its paws. For a second, all of his confidence and bravado abandoned him. This thing could kill him. He was going to be dead, and that was the end of it.

It was the girl that snapped him out of it. She was alone, armed with a sword as thin as a haystalk, against a being several times stronger than her. And yet, she fought. His resolve returned, in no small part due to a need to demonstrate he, too, could stand up to the bear, which became stronger after Cassandra brandished her weapon and advanced forward, clearly intending to join the fight.

Not one to turn down a challenge when it presented itself, Charles grabbed his flail and circled around the bear, looking for an opening. He knew too well from the farm it was not a good idea to swing flails around near other people, and those weren't made of metal nor spiked.

OOC:
 

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   20th May 2018, 8:20 pm

Ariel

Ariel spotted Shashka's long hair among the trees and jogged up to her, moving her white-blonde hair behind her ears. She felt a hollow pang in her chest, not from running, but from something else - guilt, maybe? That wasn't something Ariel was used to feeling very often. Even though that girl was purely competition, Ariel couldn't help but wish she had made it out alive. No one deserved such a fate.

"We should travel for a bit longer, try to get as far as possible to avoid the others. We'll stop when we find a decent place to set up camp," Ariel said to Shashka. She looked around them, inspecting the trees in the dark to make sure there weren't any more bears around. She examined the dirt around them for tracks, and any other signs of potentially-dangerous wildlife. "I can try to hunt for some food in the morning, when I can see better."

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   21st May 2018, 2:41 pm

Battle wrote:
Saphira attempts to stab the SC Rapier into the bear's stomach!
Does it hit?
--5
--Just Lucky I Guess + 1
----Critical Hit!

How much damage?
--2
--STR 3
--WPN +2
--ARM -2
--Critical Bonus: +2
----Total of 7 points of damage!

When Saphira pulls out her blade, a fountain of blood will follow!

Cassandra attempts to attack the bear with her SC Axe!
Does it hit?
--1
--Just Lucky I Guess! +1
----She misses!
Does she accidentally hit Saphira?
--1
--Just Lucky I Guess! -2
----She completely misses Saphira!

The clearing was not all that big - perhaps six to seven feet between trees; behind the bear to the left is a tree, the right flank is completely exposed.

The Bear bellows in pain, swiping down in an attempt to dislodge Saphira and her sword!
Did it hit?
--2
--Just Lucky I Guess! -4
----It misses completely, it's claws gauging the tree trunk!
Saphira, please describe whether it missed or whether Saphira dodged out of the way!

Battle Order wrote:

Saphira
Kitty (?)
Charles
Cassandra

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   21st May 2018, 4:28 pm

Charles

Charles had to admit it: the girl was was good. As fragile as the sword looked, it had pierced deeply into the beast's gut. Cassandra, on the other hand, wasn't so lucky, but at least she hadn't hit any of them with that fearsome axe of hers.

In the meantime, Charles was moving to attack. He had noticed the bear had his right flank completely exposed, and supposed he could use the long range of the flail to strike while out of its reach, and block if it moved towards him. 

After the bear tried to attack the girl who had hurt him, and missed—was it so slow?—, Charles stepped in and tried to hit him on its side with all of his might.

OOC:
 

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   21st May 2018, 4:57 pm

Kitty Davis

She saw the not-so-distant scuffle before she heard it, and froze in her tracks. A bear.

Niel and her father had warned about bears. Kitty heard about the dangers many times. Powerful, strong creatures equipped with massive, sharp claws and sharp teeth. Their size and strength alone presented the biggest risk. They moved quickly, too—faster than people often thought. "They can outrun a man, honey. If you see a bear, go the other way," she could remember her father cautioning.

She tightened her grip on the machete, fresh from the armory. Sure, she could use it in combat—but she had chosen it for function.

Kitty knew she was strong, but was she strong enough to fight a bear? Even as a group? It probably weighed at least twice as much as everyone engaging it. She hadn't Trialed with trappers, but she knew there were rules for bears. Rules she did not know.

This wasn't some kind of fairy tale.

And she wasn't a heroine.

Kitty slowly stepped backwards, aiming to take another path that gave it a wide berth. She'd have to be on the lookout for other signs—hopefully there were no cubs nearby. She hoped the others would survive the encounter, but she couldn't stay to observe or participate. She needed that Wish. Baiting a bear would mean two funerals for the Davis family—but only one coffin.

The heavy-hearted girl hoped very much that she would see them again... and that they would understand. Even if they hated her.

She already hated herself for it.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   21st May 2018, 5:54 pm

Battle wrote:
Charles uses his SC Flail and attempts to attack the Bear.
Did it hit?
--2
---It misses!
The bear ripped its claws from the tree and twisted its great mass out of the way of the flail!

Does it accidentally hit Cassandra?
--3
--Just Lucky I Guess! -1
----2! The flail misses Cassandra by a slim margin!

Does it accidentally hit Saphira?
--5
--Just Lucky I Guess! -3
----2!
The fail heads directly for Saphira, but, by some stroke of luck, she moves out of the way just in time!

Round One has ended; Round Two begins.

Battle Order - Round Two wrote:
Saphira
Charles
Cassandra

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   21st May 2018, 6:22 pm

Shashka

Shashka offered a nod. "Good, we're on the same page." The small affirmation wasn't given up easily. She didn't like being told what to do... but at least this girl had just said what she had already been thinking. If she had some fool plan instead, then we'd already be fighting.

      "I can try to hunt for some food in the morning, when I can see better."

Hunting... She hadn't thought about food, hadn't had the foresight to grab a loaf of bread or some cheese before leaving the house. She cursed herself silently. I was too focused. This wasn't the first time something like this had happened. Her Papa had often had to remind her that she needed to rest or eat when she was in the middle of an intense project. To Shashka, all that mattered was the goal, but there was no one else here to look after her this time. I need to make sure I can make it to the goal. Collapsing when I get there would be no good, and I can't rely on this girl I barely even know... and besides, she wants the star too.

It occurred to Shashka that it might be a good idea to get to know her companion. If they were going to be traveling together, it made good sense to assess her strengths and weaknesses. It made even more sense considering that, barring some freak accident, they'd be racing each other to the finish at a point in the not-too-distant future. "Hunting..." she began, "That's... cool. What... else can you do?" Oh, very good Shashka, she chided herself, Very nonchalant. A more obvious question would have been, "Hey, just how dangerous are you?" or maybe, "Do you think we'll have to punch each other later?" She made a slight grimace and averted her gaze, pretending be scouting ahead as she walked. Maybe she'd get lucky, maybe Ariel really was a bit stupid. It could come in handy after all.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   21st May 2018, 6:38 pm



Her first swing was sloppy, the weapon missing its target completely. She blamed it on her inexperience, but knew that perhaps her shaking hands were to blame.

Her eyes widened as the bear swung its massive claws towards the unnamed girl, but found its mark into a tree trunk instead. She let out a breath of pent up fear, glancing at the girl to make sure she'd made it out alright.

A blurred shape whipped past her head and Cassandra jerked away from it as the weapon just narrowly missed her, surprise striking like ice water. The strange weapon Charles wielded seemed rather unruly, and she frowned because of it. Battle wasn't quite as clean and clear-cut as she thought it would be.  

Her heart continued to race painfully in her chest, fit near to bursting, but her grip upon the Star Catcher Axe was strong.

She gripped it stronger still and attacked again. A part of her was beginning to get into the feel for this, to enjoy the way blood rushed through her veins like fire, blocking out the fear in the back of her mind.

It felt so different from the books she'd read, the books she loved, and yet, at the same time, it felt so very much how she'd always wanted it to.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   22nd May 2018, 12:44 am



She did not expect to see that much blood spilling out, and part of her was truly horrified for it. But the other part? High on adrenaline and the fact that she was fighting a bear, and winning.

However, her duel was soon crashed by two more people. She recognized them as the other Star Catchers from that small town. At first, she was confused as to why they were trying to deliberately poke her bear. (Yes, it was hers now.) Unsuccessfully, if she might add.

She dodged another paw swipe, and then a flail almost knocked her head right off if she hadn't ducked just in time.

"Are you trying to kill me?! Isn't it a bit soon for that? And can't you see Angry Paws here is already working on it anyway?" she yelled in disbelief at the other person - another guy from Lorham. She supposed maybe he was taking advantage of the bear distracting her, seeing this as the perfect opportunity to finish her off with the help of the bear, but... jeez. She never expected small town people to be this bloodthirsty. Did they not feed them enough down there?

Saphira backed off of all of them, picked up the spear that had bounced off the bear earlier, and threw it with all her might towards the creature's eye. She'd deal with the other two possible murderers later, everyone knew taking care of the biggest threat was more important. Although there was that whole the enemy of my enemy is my friend thing, she wasn't sure how to recruit the bear to her side.

Also, murdering people was a bit morally questionable, she supposed.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   22nd May 2018, 6:36 am

Battle wrote:
Saphira repositions!

Cassandra uses her SC Axe and attempts to hit the Bear!
Did it hit?
--2
--Just Lucky I Guess! +1
----She misses!

Saphira throws her spear and attempts to hit the bear in the Eye!
Does it hit?
--4
--Just Lucky I Guess! +3
----Critical hit!
How much damage?
--3
--STR 3
--WPN 1
--Armor - 0 His. Eye.
----Total of 7 points of damage!

The bear roars in pain, backing up onto its hind feet, and attempts to paw the spear out of its eye socket! But... it's too late. The bear is dead.
With a groan it falls...
Does it hit Cassandra?
--5
--Just Lucky I Guess! -1
----It falls on top of Cassandra, pinning a limb!

Battle Order - Round Two wrote:
Saphira
Charles
Cassandra

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   22nd May 2018, 7:43 am



She ignored the yelling of the nameless girl in order to focus on their shared enemy.

But her next attack missed as well, cutting into nothing but air, and Cassandra frowned. She wasn't certain why she couldn't hit her target, but it wasn't for want of trying. It didn't quell the burning in her veins, however, and she gripped her weapon tightly in order to try again.

Before she could move, a spear pierced through the air, it's aim true as it struck the bear in its face, sinking into its eye socket. Cassandra recoiled at the grotesque sight, but already the bear was falling and she was too close, there was no time to get away.

The considerable weight of the beast crushed her down to the ground, wind forced from her lungs at the impact. Cassandra groaned, still for a moment as she tried to regain her breathe. She attempted to free herself from the dead animal's last embrace, her movements panicked but adrenaline still coursing through her like fire.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   22nd May 2018, 1:13 pm

Quote :
Cassandra attempts to free herself from the bear!
Does it work? Greater than 12 frees it!
--STR 7
--2
----Total of 9

The bulk of the bear heaves, but does not roll off of her!

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   22nd May 2018, 7:36 pm

Charles

Everything happened so quick Charles couldn't keep track of it. First, not only did he fail epically at hitting the bear, he very nearly maimed—and that in a best case scenario—the two girls he was trying to help. He was still trying to understand how could they possibly have not get hit. Cassandra may have dodged it , but the flail was clearly going for the other girl's head—then suddenly missed her at the very last instant. Could she have some unseen abilities?

What she did have, for sure, was an attitude. She was positively infuriated at his mistake, and made it clear enough, and at a high volume, too. Then she picked up a spear—how did he not see it?? It would have been much better than waving his flail around!!—and impaled the beast through its eye.

"How... You... What..."he stuttered in shock, trying to come up with an appropiate response. And then the bear fell on Cassandra.

That brought him to his senses. 

"Don't worry Cass, I'll lend you a hand" he said as he crouched next to the corpse and grabbed it "I'll lift, you try to wriggle out"
He then pushed upwards, using his leg and core muscles as well as his arms to lift the edad weight out of the way.

"I'm... afraid... we haven't... been introduced... lady" he said to the stranger, his voice straining with the effort "Name's Charles... DeBoer... And yours?"

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   22nd May 2018, 8:39 pm

Ariel

Ariel glanced at Shashka, trying to read her expression. It was too dark for her to see clearly, but Ariel knew she couldn't fully trust this girl yet. If Shashka was so willing to leave that girl alone with the bear, who's to say she wouldn't be eager to turn on Ariel at a moment's notice?

She needed to keep her guard up as long as she was partnered with Shashka. They just couldn't trust each other - yet.

Ariel pushed through some branches, slightly leading the way down the mountain. "Well," she said, thinking of the information she was willing to reveal, "I can cook the food I catch. You won't go hungry as long as you're with me. And I've got a lot of experience with being in the wild from my hunting Trials. I'm not...very good with interpersonal skills. I'm sure you've probably gathered that by now."

Ariel looked back at Shashka, wondering how much she could get the other girl to reveal about herself. "You said you were strong back at the peak - how strong are you? Like you can beat me in an arm wrestle, or you could wield a battle-axe no problem?"

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   22nd May 2018, 8:45 pm



Her attempt proved futile, the weight of the bear far too great, too crushing. She was no weakling—years of farm work had seen to that—but this seemed near impossible.

The adrenaline from the fight fizzled away, overshadowed by the panic beginning to prickle across her skin like sharp needles.

No, no, no! She tried to ignore all of the doubts attempting to cloud her judgment, shoving those ideas somewhere far into the deep recesses of her mind. She could get out of this situation. She would get out of this situation.

Charles's familiar voice—muffled by the weight of meat and fur currently pinning her to the ground—was a pleasant thing to hear right now. Especially as he got right into helping her escape her trap.

Not one to ignore a gift, Cassandra attempted to get out from under the bear once more, ignoring all else besides that desire for freedom.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   23rd May 2018, 2:14 am



Bull's eye. Or in this case, she supposed, bear's eye.

Scrunching up her face as the mighty creature toppled, Saphira tried to ignore all the squeamishness she felt at what she'd just done. As it fell on top of one of the others who had attempted to... kill her? Help her? Who knows? She moved forward to dislodge the spear from the bear, pulling it out with a disgusting squelching sound. Damn. She'd have to clean all that blood and who knew what else.

"Yeah, I have that effect on people," she replied to the boy's stutter, wiping the spear on the nearest grass without looking at him.

As he attempted to lift the bear off the girl, Saphira put the rapier back in her sack and decided to hold the spear for now, in case she needed it again soon.

"I'm the girl who's getting out of here. But you'll probably know my name pretty soon. Thanks for nothing."

Jabbing the bottom of the spear on the ground like a walking stick, she continued onwards without looking back toward the direction of the star. Ahead of her she could see three different tracks. One solitary one, and two pairs that surely belonged to those two other girls who had left her for dead.

The solitary one must belong to the mysterious boy. The one who'd looked familiar to her.

Feeling more inclined to pursue him and find out who he was, she followed the lone track, picking up her pace but more on guard for other sudden creature attacks now that she'd been ambushed once.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   23rd May 2018, 6:36 am

DM wrote:
With Charles's STR added in, the STR check passes. The bear is rolled enough to let Cassandra go free.

Saphira is following the Highwall boy's tracks.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   23rd May 2018, 8:26 am



After spending so much of her life surrounded by people, in a town where the neighbors knew your secrets, being truly alone in the forest felt... strange. Of course, she knew there were others out there. Animals, at least, if the bear was any indication. As she made her way along, trying to stay alert for other dangers, she listened for the sounds of other people, too.

Kitty couldn't stop thinking about the group she had just left, the young man and women fighting against the bear. She should have helped. She couldn't have helped. She left them to die. She avoided her own death. Back and forth, the guilt filled her lungs until she felt like she couldn't breathe. Her eyes burned, but she didn't cry. She had made that decision, and she had to move forward. There was no going back.

It felt strange, too, to be without the conveniences of home. That was something she'd have to get used to. The Davis farmhouse wasn't a manor, but it wasn't quite as rustic as the outdoors that now surrounded her. She liked the leaf-and-dirt smell that surrounded her, but she missed the scents of home. When she found a place to stop and rest for the night, she buried her nose in the blankets, inhaling it, imagining her comfortable bed as she drifted off to sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   23rd May 2018, 10:50 am

Shashka


     "I can cook the food I catch..."


So, she can cook. That's an interesting way to say you've got fire magic... maybe. I guess I'll find out when she makes us a meal. "Fire magic, huh? That'll come in handy." She decided to try to keep her flame skills under wraps. The more she knew and the less Ariel knew, the better.

     "...I'm not...very good with interpersonal skills. I'm sure you've probably gathered that by now."


"That's a shame," Shashka replied, inching ahead of Ariel. I am not going to let this girl lead me anywhere. "We could have used a smooth talker between the two of us." 


   "...how strong are you?"

She decided to play it cool. She's sizing me up, too. "I'm strong enough," she said defensively. Her harsh tone might be enough to keep further questions at bay. Back in Deepwall, her short answers had certainly shut up anyone trying to pry into her life. But, as long as we're asking pointed questions. "Why are you here? Trying to catch the star, I mean."

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   23rd May 2018, 3:52 pm



With the help of Charle's strength, Cassandra felt the heavy crushing weight shift and roll just enough that she was able to get out from under it.

She scrambled away, breathing in the cool night air in deep gulps. It took a few minutes for the panic to settle, leaving her feeling exhausted in its wake.

Cassandra took a moment to survey her surroundings, taking care to skim over the sight of the dead bear. The nameless girl was gone and, she realized with a small skip of her heart, so was Kitty. It occured to her that she hadn't seen Kitty much at all since the incident with the bear. She must have taken the chance to separate from the group.

It hurt, in a confusing way she couldn't quite explain. Cassandra hadn't gone into this expecting an ally—that would have been arrogant and naive, with so much at stake—but she'd hoped to at least wish Kitty good luck, to say some kind of goodbye. Maybe they could have worked together, at least for a short time. She thought of their shared conversation, whispers spoken to each other under a blanket of stars. She understood why Kitty couldn't risk falling behind, so why this pained pulsing in her chest?

She glanced, then, at Charles. Without him, Cassandra wasn't certain she would have been able to get out from under the bear. "Thanks," she said simply. She smiled, searching his face. They weren't close, but he'd stayed when everyone else had left. She owed him.

The fact that she'd almost failed in this Task so soon after beginning... it struck home just how real this was. It was so real in a way that she'd never felt before. No storybook lived up to this, made her heart race in quite the same way. No chore on the farm had ever made her feel so alive.

A thrum of excitement buzzed in her chest. Despite the fear and the panic, it had been exciting all the same. It helped ground her, remind her why she was out here in the first place.

But this was not the time to revel in this reaffirmation of being alive. She had already fallen behind, and she needed to make up for lost time.

"We should keep moving," she said to Charles. She glanced up at the sky, watching the stars twinkle in the sky, the cool air brushing on her too-warm skin. "Well, I'm going to get moving, anyway." She came back to reality to look at the boy—no, man—once more. "You're welcome to join me."

For now. It felt rude to say such a thing, so soon after Charles had saved her, so she kept the words to herself, a small little secret locked away with a guilty key.

Without waiting for a reply—the pressing need to move urging her forward—Cassandra stepped away from the bear and towards a path that lead away from the clearing, away from home, and further into unknown territory.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   23rd May 2018, 7:47 pm

Charles

«Well, that didn't go as intended»Charles thought as he watched the stranger girl go away. 
She hadn't even given her name! She was clearly really full of herself—not that he was one to speak. Yet however she maybe was right. The way she had killed that bear, despite all the trouble he admittedly had caused her... It had hit him right where it hurt. He itched to improve to the point he could go toe-to-toe with her. And she was surely not going to be his only opponent.

Right now, however, his opponent was a bazillion pounds of dead bear. As soon Cassandra crawled completely from below the body, he let go and it fell to the ground with a loud thud. After looking around from a while, the girl thanked him and smiled.

"Don't mention it" he replied, returning the smile "I may be a bit competitive but I like to think I am decent"

Then she proposed him to join her.

 Of course, it could have been a simple invitation to salí sal same road as her. But, in the context of the Catching Trial, it carried a deeper meaning. It meant alliance. Allying with someone, specially this early, was a risky move. Charles was conscious that, even when a team had better possibilities, they could become (and technically still were) contrincants at any point during the search. Or worse, they could become friends, which complicated things even more than trying not to get backstabbed.

However, Charles knew from experience that the best say of improving at something was constantly being reminded of your failures by spending time with someone who pursued the same goal. And who's to say they couldn't get to the end as a team. The star could be shared, after all, and there weren't many competitors. With just a couple of them out of comission, there was no reason for him to worry about having to fight the girl whom he just saved from a long, painful death. With that in mind, he wordlessly followed behind her.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   24th May 2018, 4:46 am

Ariel

Shashka's remark about her affinity made Ariel smirk. Sure, let her think that fire was her affinity. It would be quite amusing to see Shashka's face later on, when Ariel's true affinity for the air was revealed.

She allowed Shashka to take the lead, despite her slight annoyance at her ally's pettiness. But Ariel would let it go for now - perhaps Shashka would be the first to trip over a root or something of the like.

Ariel pretended like Shaska's question didn't bother her, choosing to act nonchalant instead of bothered by the personal inquiry. "Wealth," Ariel said, shrugging her shoulders simply. "I want to get out of Deepwall and into Highwall, get a nice home all to myself, and never have to work another day. I want to get as far away from those awful mines as possible."

Ariel eyed the area - it wasn't exactly a clearing, but it was spacious enough to provide camp for the night. They were canopied by trees and darkness, with small beams of starlight poking through the leaves. "I think this would be a good place to make camp tonight - we're far enough from the others."

With a stretch, Ariel removed her weapons from around her shoulders and sat on the cold ground, her back leaned against a tree and her weapons beside her. "So what's your wish going to be?"


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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   24th May 2018, 6:55 am

DM wrote:
Time Skip
The Star Catchers survive to meet their first dawn. 
Maximum happened ~midnight
Dawn ~ 6 AM

The Highwall boy continued his trek down the mountain and into the valley, following the heading given to him by the star. He walked at a easy pace to conserve energy, but did not stop that night and did not intend to stop the following day.

If a conversation was ongoing, please finish it via Discord today as an RTRP in the RTRP_IC channel or via DM and edit the next post from your group to include any conversations of note.  

Prompts~
It's a new day! =D Orrr an older one, depending on whether your character slept or not. 
Consider for your post:

  1. When did they sleep / how long did they sleep / have they slept?
    --Please use this as a guide to how awake they are throughout this first day.
  2. Good morning~ You're alive! You're probably hungry. How are you going to take care of that hunger? Or thirst! Gasp! Thirsty oh no!
    --there are a few streams going down the mountainside! Maybe... you'll run into someone there?
  3. Gotta keep moving~ that star isn't going to find itself! 


If you stumble across something I'll let you know ♥️ Otherwise enjoy your camping trip, keep yourselves occupied~
If you would like to stumble across another group, you can do that! [strike]If I want you to stumble across another group, I'll do that XD

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Title : Formerly Aurae; The Galaxy Cauldron Forums' Official Professor Tomoe
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   24th May 2018, 7:39 am



For a moment, she wasn't sure where she was. A few seconds later, she remembered. It was still dark, but she knew it was near sunrise; her body retained the memory of so many years helping on the farm. Her brothers and sisters were getting up now, back in Lorham. Her mother and father would have been up already, maybe half an hour at this point. She repacked quickly, the motions enough to remind her of her tidying routine back home.

Only when she started walking again did she realize she was hungry. With everything that had happened yesterday, Kitty hadn't even noticed. She had been too upset—too conflicted to think about food. She pondered the small, tightly-wrapped provisions in her bag, but decided to wait. Water seemed a more pressing concern. She tried to listen as she walked, hoping to find a stream. There had to be several in these woods.

She tried to watch for signs of animals, making enough noise as she continued along that most would be scared off. Perhaps she also did it in hopes that other humans, other Star Catchers, might hear her...

Of course, she didn't consider that such a thing might be dangerous.
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[HC Event] Star Catchers

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