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 [HC Event] Star Catchers

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Sailor Neptune
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   25th May 2018, 1:00 am



The rest of her night was rather uneventful, and she eventually slept for a few hours before dawn broke, creating a makeshift bed from leaves and using her bag as a pillow. It was certainly far from comfortable, but the exhaustion from fighting a bear and making the trek helped her sleep easily. Not long after dawn broke, the light woke her up, stirring her from her slumber. She slowly got up and began to look for a source of water as well as fruits or edible plants on the way. At least she knew enough about foraging to make sure she wouldn't go hungry.

It seemed she had not caught up to the boy yet, but his track was still there, and she intended to keep following it.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   25th May 2018, 9:28 am



They decided to keep pressing forward, ignoring the need for sleep for now. After having been caught up with the small battle and lagging behind due to checking on Egwene, it seemed the best choice. They had to make up for lost time, after all.

At first, Cassandra was fine with this decision—had wanted to push and push, past the curtain of tiredness creeping in at the edges of her vision. It hadn't matter, not at first. Adrenaline still pumped in her veins, the very thought of being outside in a dangerous place and not at home kept her wanting to experience it all.

By the time adrenaline wore off and the curtain of exhaustion was weighing heavier over her, the sun was beginning to rise and they couldn't waste the day sleeping. They had to keep moving.

She was hungry though, the familiar grumbling sensation a dull ache in her stomach, but she was loathe to start digging into her rations so soon in the journey. Who knew when she'd be able to replenish the supply? Besides, thirst was the bigger enemy right now, her throat parched and scratchy. If they were to keep moving, they would need water.

"Let's find a stream," she said to Charles, breaking the silence that had overcome them for quite some time. "We need to drink." She didn't know much about this terrain, but there had to be something nearby, right?

She closed her eyes for a brief moment, wondering if her special bond with Water would prove useful in this instance. She didn't often even think of it, most days. But this wasn't most days, and any advantage was one she should grasp firmly with both hands. She could clearly imagine the stream, with its bubbling surface moving swiftly through smoothed rocks.

Cassandra opened her eyes again, uncertain she'd sensed anything at all. Her affinity had always been a little lackluster and unreliable.

Regardless, her other senses were much more keen and she listened for that telltale sound of rushing water. If she also kept an eye out for a familiar head of pale hair contrasting against the greens and browns of the forest, well, that was just coincidence.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   25th May 2018, 7:54 pm

Shashka

Shashka agreed. This would be a good place to camp. She wished she had brought a belt so that she could lash herself to a tree branch. It might be safer sleeping up than it would be on the ground. But then, there was no use worrying about what wasn't. She was a practical girl, and preferred to deal with facts as they lay.

"Wealth..." She found herself intrigued by the girl's answer to her question. Wealth? In a way that was what Shashka wanted too, but it seemed a callous, shallow answer. To get the star and only wish for money to use for your own gain seemed pitiable, but she said nothing. Everyone had their own dreams, and the pair had barely spent any time together at all. In all probability, Ariel was just playing things close to her chest..

She laid on the ground at the base of a tree. She was more tired than she had anticipated, and the cold ground did nothing to rouse her. "My wish..." she trailed off a little dreamily. "To change not just my life, but my family's life too." A wish more worthy than yours, she thought. If the girl responded, Shashka did not hear it. In an instant, she had fallen asleep.

----------------

She awoke the next morning to the sound of birds chirping and hoped they had not slept for long. She sat up, rolling her shoulders to work out the stiffness that had seeped into her bones. There hadn't been time to waste making a bed of brush, and she longed for the hay-stuffed mattress she had left miles behind.

Sleep had been a good idea, she decided. Despite 5he aches, she felt refreshed and ready to leave a good deal of distance between this camp and their next. She stood, doing a few stretches, her wild hair writhing behind her like a snake as she reached and bent this way and then that.

As she arced back, laced hands reaching high overhead, a low growl came from her stomach. Now would be an excellent time for Ariel to prove her prowess for hunting...

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   25th May 2018, 8:04 pm

Charles


They kept moving for the rest of the night and carried on after daybreak. Regaining the lost ground was part of the reason. Also, being able to see the transition of the landscape from night to day would prevent them from being disoriented by the contrast. 
However, Charles was mainly doing it to prove that he could, to see if he was able to defy exhaustion, hunger, soredness—soon to be usual companions in this quest. To be fair, he was also doing it to compensate for being humilliated by that stranger girl—not that he was going to tell Cassandra that. He was used to his self-martirizing tendences, but he didn't want to see how she reacted to finding out his determination to continue stemmed from a hurt pride, specially while she carried that axe.
The girl chose that moment to break the silence and remind him of their need for water. He could have refused, but it didn't actually involve fully stopping, and, to be honest, his throat felt like leather left in the sun.
"That... seems good" he managed to say, his voice forcing its way through the hours of silence and thirst. Without any more words, he started looking for signs of water, like leaves washed downstream by the rain or lusher vegetation.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   25th May 2018, 9:40 pm

Ariel

Ariel awoke to the feeling of the sun on her eyelids. She opened her eyes, taking in her surroundings, finding that Shashka had just woken up, too. Ariel rubbed the sleep from her eyes and sat up as she recalled the past day's events. She remembered her conversation with Shashka the night before, and the wish Shashka had shared. Her explanation was vague, but enough to show that there was much more to Shashka than she wanted people to see.

"Morning," Ariel said, running her fingers quickly through her hair. "We should quickly fuel up before we head out, we don't have much time to lose." Ariel grabbed her weapons, still tucked safely where she had left them the night before, and examined the sharpness of her arrows. Perfect for hunting some prey, she thought. "I'll head out to find some food. You search the area for some water. Try not to go more than half-a-mile out from here, and if you run into trouble, try your best to use a weapon or an object to whack the nearest tree you can find. It should cause the birds in the tree to fly into the sky and make plenty of noise, so that I can locate you and come to help. Meet back here in an hour - sound good?"

Ariel had been on enough hunting trips during her Trials to know the morning drill. Hopefully Shashka had somewhat of enough experience to be able to find a water source on her own.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   26th May 2018, 7:47 am



A couple minutes of walking and listening to the sound of rushing water brought her to a stream, and she gratefully drank from the clear and refreshing water. A quick splash of water on the face woke her up more thoroughly as well. She had wished she'd thought ahead to bring an empty container for the water, but she could probably fashion something out of things she found later.

After drinking enough, she began to look for edible plants and fruits, and was able to find quite a few on the mountainside. They weren't the most filling, but she had no time to hunt, make fire, and cook right now. That would take too long. So she simply took whatever she found along the way, putting some of the smaller ones in her pouch for later if she needed more, and continued following the boy's trail toward the star.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   26th May 2018, 7:45 pm

Shashka

Finding water wouldn't be that hard. She had needed to refuel on trips with trappers and had experience in searching for lakes and even sucking the moisture off of tree leaves in a pinch. She nodded to Ariel and was off. The girl's idea to bang a tree with her weapon wasn't a bad one. It would alert everyone to her presence but it also might save her life. She was surprised to find herself so readily agreeing with her. This is what it's like to try to get along. How novel. The voice inside her head was always full of dry humor.

After a good deal of listening she had discerned the sound of a nearby stream, and was soon happy to find water. It was cool and refreshing on her face and neck, and she wondered if there were time to bathe. [/i]Probably not.[/I] She drank her fill and decided she would wait for a while, then bang on a tree to bring Ariel to her if she didn't show on her own. The girl might think she was in trouble, but they hadn't really discussed what to do once she actually located the water. It wasn't like she had brought a canteen with her. Another foolish decision brought to you by Survival with Shashka, the tale in which I apparently die in the woods of my own stupidity.

To kill time, she collected some firewood and sparked a small, contained blaze. It didn't matter how hungry she was, she wasn't about to eat whatever the girl caught raw.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   27th May 2018, 5:19 am



They found a stream not too much later, the bubbling surface a welcome sight amongst all of the greenery. Cassandra wasn't certain if her affinity with Water had anything to do with the discovery, but she liked to think so. Anything to feel as though she had some kind of upper hand going for her in this final Trial.

She drank deeply from the cool fresh water, wishing she had some kind container in which to keep some on her person. If they ever needed to move away from this resource, what would they do then?

Cassandra frowned, but decided it wasn't worth worrying about. Not just yet. The stream stretched onwards for now, like a friendly babbling companion, and that would have to be good enough for now.

As they quenched their thirst by the stream, Cassandra thought she might have spotted movement up ahead—was that pale hair?—but the figure was gone a second later, if it had even been there to begin with. Cassandra stared at that spot for a moment longer, but there was nothing to be seen.

She looked back to Charles, making certain he had drank his fill. "We should get moving again," she said, gesturing in the general direction of their destination. "Let's keep the stream as close by as possible."

With that, they were on the move once more.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   27th May 2018, 1:52 pm

Charles


They found a stream soon enough, its crystal clear water welling from the ground and then flowing down the slope. Charles drank as much as he could between breaths. The water was so cold that his head ached and his teeth felt as they were being pulled out of the gums, but he ignored it. They didn´t have any containers with which to carry water, so they had to drink a lot while they could. Cassandra seemed to think similarly, as after they had got they fill of water she suggested they kept going while keeping close to the stream.

"I was just about to say that" he said as he followed after her.

Now, they just had to worry about food.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   27th May 2018, 6:03 pm

Shashka


She had been waiting in the woods for some time and Ariel hadn't reappeared. Crouched by her little fire, her mind began to race. Had the girl been injured? Gotten lost? If she had, Shashka was just wasting time. She would get neither food nor help if she kept sitting here. She had to do something. One option was to bang on the tree as Ariel had said... but she wasn't in danger, and if Ariel were, she would probably have had the sense to try the same maneuver. She could head on down the mountain alone, but she might make herself an enemy of the girl if it turned out she was unhurt and just slow. What to do, what to do... She bounced on her haunches a little, worrying the end of her braid between her fingers.

A thought struck her between the eyes. Stupid! Oh, I am a fool. What if it had been a trick? If Ariel had sent her off to "find water" and ran down the mountain herself. For all I know she has a full canteen along with her, and she certainly doesn't need me to cook her food.

Stamping out the smoldering branches, she cupped her hands in the stream, hurriedly throwing a few handfuls of water at the dying blaze. No point in starting a forest fire, she thought. Sucking down a last few gulps from the stream, she gathered her things and set off downhill at a run. Breakfast would have to wait.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   27th May 2018, 8:13 pm



As they walked, the terrain appeared much the same as the terrain they left behind. It was beginning to all look far too similar. She wondered, then, if they could get lost in all of this. Cassandra didn't have much experience navigating through forests and trails... it was a possibility, after all.

She glanced at the sky, as if it held all the answers. As if it would tell her that yes, this was indeed the correct direction.

Cassandra glanced at Charles instead. "I don't suppose you know much about foraging for food in a place like this?" she asked. She didn't hold out much hope for a positive answer. They came from farming families, and she figured that Charles' knowledge came deeply grounded in the growing and cultivating of food. Who needed to forage when the food was right at hand?

Still, maybe he was hiding some secret technique she never would have guessed.

She paused, stepping over a root that seemed to reach out for her like a gnarled hand. She could still feel the heaviness of exhaustion trying to creep up on her, and her stomach grumbled once more. She touched the small packet of rations with her fingers, to reassure herself that it was still there. Just in case.

"How long do you think it will take for us to find a star?" she continued to ask. She glanced up at the sky once again, eyes distant. "It feels both so close, so tangible, and yet impossibly far away."

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   28th May 2018, 8:31 am

DM wrote:

Ariel's Last Known Whereabouts:
 
Ariel never returned to the designated meeting spot.

She never returned to Deepwall, either. At least, not immediately.

She seemed to have just... disappeared. Perhaps, even without the star's wish, she would find out what happened to her parents.

Firsthand.

DM - Activity Rule wrote:

It's been 60 hours since Lyssarie's last post as Ariel. Without notice of impending LOA beforehand or contacting me during the weekend about an unexpected inability to post, the activity axe must fall.

As Ariel is still so close to home and she had conveniently left contact with any other character, rather than die she will simply disappear into the woods. This leaves the possibility open for her to live on and stumble across whatever had happened to her parents when she was little and Lyssarie can explore that in a solo story! ♥️ Totally tell me if you do or add it to her profile because I want to read it and I want to know!

Ariel has been struck from the character list.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   28th May 2018, 2:35 pm

DM wrote:
Time Skip
Midday on their third day
Setting: the Western road

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.

From Discord wrote:

The next time skip will jump three days, during which you can arrange to meet up with other parties on your own, split from current parties, or continue on as-is down the Falling Star Mountains foothills towards the flat plains. ((we're talking the lighter green areas south of the mountain range on the map, passing between where Deewall and Lorham are located and keeping close to the mountains otherwise)). They'd've run into a path that lead them to a road they could follow generally westward, through wooded areas with easy to find streams and game, if they would go hunting. Weather's nice, and they're generally left alone.

I'd like a summary of those three days after the time skip is posted, if you please. If you'd like to include any mini events that's fine and totally up to you - pick your outcome, no rolling required, but no exp will be granted for this timeskip time, however HP may be lost as a result of an interaction.

If you're traveling with someone, I'd suggest talking with them in the discord ooc or in DM about whether anything exciting happens or it's just calm and "easy" goings. You may want to hash out if anything of import was discussed between them, re: sharing stories, motivations, etc., that brought them closer together or any disagreements that wedged them farther apart, etc.

If you'd like to run into another party and they agree, hash that out in the discord ooc, too XD If you'd like to do an RTRP of their meeting up / coming across each other, plan it in here as far as timing goes, then jump into the RTRP IC thread to carry it out all quick XD I'm fine if you wanted to just brush past the meeting rtrp and jump straight into something like "on day two they ran into BEAUTIFUL CLERICE and totes stuck together. Benjamin learned that Clerice really likes potatoes and her dream is to be a pirate." or whatever xD

Update posts ASAP please! Very Happy I'd like them in place by Tuesday evening (24 hours) so we can move on.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   29th May 2018, 8:07 am



The next three days were largely uneventful, but Saphira could certainly feel the toll the journey took on her. While she had trained for better endurance, she had never actually made a journey this long on her own before, and never had to survive on just the basic neccesities. She had never had to wear the same clothes for these many days in a row, which was certainly uncomfortable. She'd taken baths in the stream to keep herself clean and washed her clothes in turn, never all of them at once to ensure she still had something to wear while waiting for them to dry, and tried to ignore the fact that she missed her wonderful bath and beauty products dearly. As soon as she got home, she was going to have a nice long soak in her luxurious bath tub and wash everything thoroughly. She didn't even want to know what kind of damage she'd done to her hair, not using shampoo and conditioner for this long or even styling it at all. Thankfully the braid made it very practical to keep away from her face.

She had also never been perpetually hungry. On the second day she'd finally attempted to hunt; first she attempted spear fishing, which was harder than it looked, then bigger mammals like rabbits and the like. The result varied between almost passable to downright bad, but it was food, and more importantly, it was meat. She could have all the delicious meals she ever dreamed of once she was queen, but for now, this would have to do. Keeping her end goal in mind helped her push through all the hardships. Her legs felt like they might fall off as the days wore on, but she refused to give up, especially knowing someone was already ahead of her.

She did not run into anyone else in her travels, but she preferred it that way. She was almost down to the plains now, and she expected walking would be much easier soon.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   29th May 2018, 9:25 am



Were they drawn to each other because they all came from Lorham? It felt like more than just coincidence that had put Charles and Cassandra alongside her once again, but maybe it was just chance, after all. Kitty wasn't complaining about it. Being alone felt uncomfortable—even though the guilt at having left both of these people to their fates with the bear mixed bitterly with her relief that they had survived. She couldn't talk about it. The apologies kept bubbling up inside of her, but the thought of having to admit what she had done choked it back down. Maybe they could just pretend it never happened. She was okay with that.

As a group, she felt like they were making better progress than she would have been able to do alone, and that was even better than just the lack of isolation. They neared the flat plains, and she felt less intimidated by the upcoming change in terrain since they had formed a group. Somehow, they'd manage. They had done so the past few days, after all.

Her survival skills weren't as bad as she had feared. All of the advice from her siblings over the years seemed to have absorbed into her. It wasn't easy—it was far from easy, but she was still alive. Charles and Cassandra had come across her small fire that first day. Either they had heard her noise, seen her tracks, or noticed the smoke. She had been actively soliciting attention, and it had worked. The freshwater mussels she boiled there, dug from the slow section of the river, had been enough to share among the trio. Food seemed to grease the interaction, and from that point onward, they traveled together.

They were lucky for the fine weather, which continued today as well. She wasn't sure they'd be so fortunate in the days that followed, so she hoped they'd make the best of it while it lasted.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   29th May 2018, 9:43 am

Shashka

Her legs pumped steadily under her as branches and brush flew by in her peripheral vision. Beads of perspiration puddled on her forehead. I can't stop. I have to make up for lost time. Her face burned red with embarrassment. [/I]This is just what people are like,[/I] she reminded herself. She'd let herself get caught up in a feeling of camraderie and now she was paying for it. I will not make the same mistake again.

Ahead, a figure materialized in her vision. Was that the girl from the bear attack? Shashka couldn't be sure at this distance, and she wasn't exactly feeling chummy after Ariel's betrayal. She was making a little bit of noise as she ran and decided to go a bit slower to quiet her steps and to avoid running into the girl. Tears welled up inside her and she choked them down, rubbing at her eyes. She was alone, hungry, and tired. Steadying her breath, she felt glad no one was around to see, surely they would have capitalized on her weakness. It was her tears that helped her decided to tail the girl ahead. She was dying to know if Ariel had passed, but it didn't seem worth the risk of colliding with someone she had left to die. If ever there were someone with a reason to hate her, it was that girl, and besides, there was still plenty of time before they made it to the plains, when a meeting would be inevitable.

For the next few days she was watchful, and profited for it. When the girl bathed, she back tracked and bathed around bends in the stream. When the girl are berries, it let Shashka know they were edible, and she would greedily stuff the juicy pebbles into her hungry mouth. The two were like a mirror of one another, both alone but resting and walking in tandem. When the girl stopped to spear fish, Shashka knew for certain it was the girl from the bear attack, and felt stronger in her decision to leave her alone. She took that time to fashion simplistic, looped rabbit traps with a length of cord, laying berries and roots in the center as bait. When she'd caught and cooked her prey, she feasted like a glutton, quickly and in gulps. She didn't want to lose the trail of her other, bipedal quarry.

Nearing the end of the third day, they were approaching the plains. The pair would be forced to meet soon, like it or not.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   29th May 2018, 11:34 am



The three hailing from Lorham found their way back together, moving through the forested area in a quiet comfort that only came from knowing each other for years. They moved well together. It almost felt like a story in how it all happened.

Cassandra hoped things would continue to go well for them all.

Their journeying together had been fruitful so far, finding small bits of food and water, enough to share between each other to keep them going strong. It was comfortable, but a darkness lingered just at the edge of that comfort. Biding its time, waiting until the silence was breached. No one spoke of that underlying tension, of the situation that happened at the start of their journey.

Perhaps it was for the best. It didn't matter much, after all. Cassandra didn't feel any anger towards the other girl, though she couldn't speak for Charles's thoughts in the matter. Cassandra was okay with the quiet, to not give voice to the fact that this camaraderie couldn't last forever.

It was nice to play pretend, at least for now.

Still, Cassandra found herself unable to let Kitty disappear from her sight for long. It wasn't something she thought about, not a conscious decision she made. But she found herself looking for pale hair and grey-blue eyes, keeping Kitty in the corner of her vision, just in case.

The grass was becoming lighter now, softer. They were beginning to move into new terrain, and Cassandra entertained herself by imagining different situations that these plains could conjure up for them. Maybe she'd get to do something heroic during this journey, something she'd remember for all time. Something to take home with her if she was unable to succeed in this final Trial.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   29th May 2018, 4:27 pm

DM wrote:

Timeskip
Day 4, Midday

The road west into the plains was, for the most part, peaceful. The sun shone cheerfully overhead, the fields and farmlands stretched out in all directions, save for the forests behind them. Occasionally they could spot someone working in the far fields; occasionally someone would pass them on the road - a farmer or merchant with their wares in tow, going back towards the Falling Stars to trade in Shadeslake or a nearer town, then stock up and make the return trip.

Those wearing their Star Catcher cloak would be nodded to, or smiled at, sometimes even encouraged, else would be quietly berated for making a stupid decision. Sometimes they would be stopped to be told what a terrible choice they were making - their brother died on that quest, etc..

For this reason, it would be clear to those that wore the cloak that at least one other Star Catcher had come this way and was somewhere ahead of them on the road.

Those not wearing the cloak would get the occasional silent nod or asked where they were heading out of simple curiosity.
Quote :
Please state, either here or in ooc, whether or not your character is wearing the cloak.



Scene wrote:
Saphira (in the lead):
The road ahead passes under a large tree, one of several still dotting the landscape, and over a bridge crossing a rushing brook that snaked its way through the pastures on either side of the road. The bridge was half as wide as the road - allowing for only one cart to traverse it.

Perception Check:
Saphira: 4+d6 = 4+4 = 8
pass

She notices something odd about the road directly under the tree. It was scuffled, dusty - more unkempt than the rest of the road.

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PostSubject: [HC Event] Star Catchers   29th May 2018, 6:24 pm

Shashka

This is it. Breaking the edge of the treeline, Shashka knew she would have to meet with the girl ahead. It would be impossible to hide in the open, sprawling farmlands. She stopped, stooping to reach quickly into her pack to don the starcatcher cloak, and slide her daggers into her belt. It was much too warm as the sun beat down on the fabric encasing her, but she pulled on the hood, tugging it as low as it would go over her face. Her plan was to leave a little distance between herself and the girl, then to use her silver coin to trade. She hoped to find a carriage willing to take her past the girl, but she would settle for something the girl would need. Shashka thought hard. What can I gain that she would not be able to take from me? Something I could use, that she could not. Something useful to us both. Her skill at creating fire met this requirement, but there was no telling if the girl had a similar talent, though if she did, she probably would have tried to use it to frighten the bear, Shashka reasoned. She thought of her trials. Spice trading, blacksmithing, the guard.... trapping. If she couldn't find a cart, she would trade for an animal trap. The girl ahead hadn't eaten much. Her spear fishing had been clumsy, and she'd only had some berries here and there. She would be hungry, and Shashka could provide food. She palmed her silver coin, took a deep breath, and began her search.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   29th May 2018, 7:08 pm



It was beautiful out here, with the sun shining brightly in the clear sky. It all seemed so cheerful and happy, Cassandra couldn't help but to smile up at it all, enjoying the warmth on her skin and the openness now that they'd cleared the forests.

The smile faltered as, in the distance, she spotted fields and farmlands, a stark reminder of home.

Four days. She'd been away from home for four days now. She never told her family her intentions to catch a star, and she wondered what they thought of her now that she committed to the decision. Were they happy for her? Did they understand? Maybe they were angry that she left them with no warnings. What if they thought she were already dead?

She hoped they were carrying on well without her. There would be more work for them all but... she didn't regret her decision, no matter how much the guilt of her selfishness tore through her chest.

She had to believe they would understand, someday.

The deep blue of her Star Catcher cloak brought her a kind of comfort, reminded her that this was real, that she was out here for a purpose. Cassandra pulled the cloak tighter around herself, using it as a kind of shield against her own guilt.

She had yet to take it off since receiving it, even though it brought on added attention from passersby, interactions both good and bad. She could still remember the kind encouragement from the first, and the disapproving judgment from another. Still, Cassandra didn't want to remove the Cloak. She liked it. It was beautiful and it felt powerful.

It made her feel like a hero in a story, with a special cloak to signify that she was doing something important. Something worthwhile. Something far more exciting than anything she'd ever done before.

She desperately wanted more, and she could feel her steps become a little quicker, that excitement—that desperation—spurring her onwards towards the wish-granting star.

She glanced at her two companions, eyes lingering on their faces before turning back to look forward. "Have... either of you ever been this far away from home before?" They were all from Lorham, so she didn't expect any interesting tales. If there were tales to be heard, she would have heard the rumors already. Still, she was tired of the quiet, and it seemed as good a topic as any.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   29th May 2018, 7:49 pm

DM wrote:
Shaska's plan sounded like a good one, but... no one had been by on the road for about an hour.
Perception Check
--3+d6=3+6=9

She finds this odd; there had been a -- well not a steady traffic flow that morning, but to have been so long between seeing others on the road was strange...

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   30th May 2018, 12:40 am



She was beginning to run into people now, people who would very occasionally recognize her as the mayor's daughter, or as a Star Catcher because of the cloak, or both. Usually the last option made for the most interesting reactions. But even though it attracted attention, she felt it necessary to keep it on, to wear it as a badge of pride that stated she was special. More special than all of these people. She was brave and she wanted this image of her in the cloak to be remembered when she became their queen.

She came upon a road that passed under a tree and then over the bridge. However, she paused before following it, noticing the obvious lack of use. She narrowed her eyes and paid closer attention to the area. Clearly no one had been through here... but why? Was something dangerous lurking around?

She pulled out the spear just in case and decided to move around, avoiding the road and the tree, searching for another way past the brook while simultaneously checking the boy's trail to see how he'd gotten past this area.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   30th May 2018, 5:34 am



She had taken off her cloak, self-conscious to be seen in the rich blue garb, although considering that she still walked alongside Charles and Cassandra, it might be obvious that she was a Star Catcher. Kitty waffled about putting it back on, feeling slightly embarrassed by suspicious stares. After the second question as to why she traveled with a Star Catcher, she had pulled a corner of it to protrude from her bag, almost like a flag. It probably would have been easier to just put the thing back on, but she felt even more nervous to do so out here in the open.

Kitty felt instant relief when Cassandra broke some of the tension with her question.

"No," she replied. "Never left. You?"
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   30th May 2018, 7:11 am

DM wrote:

Saphira's Investigation
It had been hard to track the boy once he had hit the road - the packed earth and tens of other footprints making it difficult to pinpoint his prints, but that all footprints seemed to have been scuffed away beneath the tree. There was no obvious path in the grasses on either side of the path. 

There was no obvious other way across within her view - just the wooden arced bridge beyond the strong old tree. She could not see the path beyond due to her angle and the angle of the bridge.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   30th May 2018, 10:46 am



Cassandra couldn't help but to glance back over to her female companion. "Same with me," she admitted, sad smile gracing her lips. "The only way I've ever left was with my imagination."

She thought then, to the books in her pack, the ones that gave her solace in the worst of times. A part of her itched to write down their small adventures happening right now. Star Catchers were worthy of stories, weren't they? Maybe one day she'd have the chance to write it all down.

Silence took over for a moment again, but Cassandra didn't want to let the conversation stutter to a halt so quickly after starting it. "I wonder if we'll run into the others."

Ever since the bear incident, the only people Cassandra had seen were her fellow villagers. She wondered how they were faring, if they were nearby, or if they'd gone ahead far faster than she, Charles, and Kitty had traveled.

There was an unease in not knowing how they fared against the others. Like a bubble of trepidation nestling in her chest, just about to burst.

But, all they could do was continue forward. At least things were going well so far. There was solace to be found in that.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   30th May 2018, 11:11 am



At Cassandra's reply, it took Kitty a moment to remember the other Star Catchers. It's not that she didn't know it was a competition—she wasn't stupid. The meteor shower, though... it wasn't a memory she enjoyed reflecting on. She had felt some curiosity in the days leading up to that time, wondering how she would feel when they all donned their cloaks together, but when it happened it didn't match any of her expectations. She tried not to think back on it—she couldn't handle the weight of those negative emotions. It was easier to just shut it out and keep moving forward. Unfortunately, this meant that she didn't really have a good grasp on who else was in the running now that they were no longer together on that mountaintop.

"Maybe," she responded, after a brief pause. "We're going the same way."

Would they ever see the others again? Would she ever see home again? It was too early to feel confident.
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PostSubject: [HC Event] Star Catchers   30th May 2018, 4:11 pm

Shashka

Well, it was a nice idea. That's what you get when your talent isn't spirit. She was trying to joke with herself, but the truth was she was nervous. There was a weird lack of people in the area. And what was the purpose of the silver coin if you didn't get a chance to use it? She stuffed it back into her pack and looked again at the girl ahead. If it was now or never she really, reeeeally preferred never. But that's not life. Shashka reached up and pushed the hood back, exposing her puff of jet black hair and sandy complexion. "Hey!" she called out. There was no avoiding it any longer, and she didn't intend to scare a girl who could fight a frickin' bear. She waved her hand above her head and gave it her best smile. Maybe she won't remember me. Maybe when you're being mauled by a bear you don't really have a thing for faces. "Hey there!" she called again.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   31st May 2018, 1:30 am



She frowned at her current predicament. No obvious path around, and yet no obvious footprints under the tree either. What was the deal with this tree?

She was cut short from her investigation by the sound of someone else's voice. Nearly jumping, she whirled around, her spear pointed at whoever it was, when she realized it was one of the girls who had passed her while she was fighting the bear. She scowled and did not put down her spear.

"What?" she asked. She couldn't be too careful. This could be a trap.

But then an idea began to form in her head. Maybe she could trick this girl into walking ahead first and see if she made it alive to the other side.

If not, then that was a shame, but at least she had a guinea pig for that road.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   31st May 2018, 2:59 am



Cassandra hummed an agreement, but didn't know what to say in response to Kitty's comment. Going the same way didn't necessarily mean they'd run into each other. Not if the other Star Catchers were far ahead of them, or behind.

Or if something happened that kept the others from moving on at all.

That thought chilled her. The only Star Catchers she truly cared about were right here next to her, but that didn't mean she wished any harm on strangers. Competition or not.

Still... a part of her couldn't help but to think that it would certainly make the odds of succeeding greater if there were fewer Star Catchers to worry about.

Cassandra frowned at her own thoughts then, and glanced at Kitty and then Charles, as if her own dark thoughts were being broadcast to them. She shook her head and pushed all of those thoughts away. Moving forward was all she needed to worry about right now. The politics of this competition could wait for another day.

She looked for another question to ask, something to keep the conversation—and the resulting distraction—from dwindling away. "Why did you guys pick the weapons you chose?" The Star Catcher Axe was a heavy but comforting burden, familiar in some ways but completely strange in others. She gave a somewhat sheepish laugh before she explained her own reasonings. "I picked an axe because it reminded me of chopping wood. Not the most romantic of reasons, I suppose, but effective."

Or so she hoped, anyway.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   31st May 2018, 5:17 am



She was glad that Cassandra took the lead on their conversations. Talking to the others kept her out of her head, which was currently not an enjoyable place, but it was never something Kitty excelled at. Her siblings used to tease her about how "talkative" she was. She knew she'd acquired a similar reputation around town—"quiet, works hard" being the basic summary. She wouldn't have minded trudging along in silence, but something about her darker-haired companion made her want to hear more. Kitty didn't mind listening to Cassandra. She didn't mind replying, either.

The other girl's choice in weapon and reason seemed perfectly logical, and that was something the Davis teenager appreciated. She understood pragmatic choices. After all, that played a role in her own selection.

"Machete. With saw blade," she replied, gesturing to her own weapon. It was still new and fairly clean; she had been maintaining it whenever it was used. "My brothers like them for camping."
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