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 [HC Event] Star Catchers

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   31st January 2019, 8:46 am



At William's command Shashka had clumsily ripped the cloak from her pack, uselessly fumbling it on and the hood up as the others struck blows or shielded themselves from harm. In moments, they were in the cave, a rumbling dispersing the horsemen and shaking the earth. Dark blotches of dirt and stone were falling from the ceiling and panic rose to a fever pitch in Shashka's chest. If she went out, the riders would get her. If she went in further she could get the star and possibly never make it out alive. The riders might take it anyway just to spite her, even if she escaped. She looked toward Cassandra and William. Maybe they were all wrong. Maybe there was another way out. She found herself optimistic in the throes of her despair at the situation, and follow the two toward the star. She'd rather die trying than running away, after all.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   31st January 2019, 10:15 am

Quote :
These poor foolish babus.♥️

As Cassandra runs towards the mouth of the cave and Shashka wrestles on her Catcher Cloak,  the 9 riders that had not been within the cave continued their attack on the Star Catchers, intending to make them submit and come quietly! 

 Did any hit?
--William is in the cave! 

Did any hit?
--2

Did any hit?
--6
How much damage?
--1
--DEX 8  KITTY GETTING ALL THE HIGH ROLLS AGAINST HER
--arm -1 piercing resistant
--arm -2 shield
----Total of 6 points of damage!

Did any hit?
--6
--Just lucky I guess! -3
----3; miss!

Did any hit?
--3

Cassandra makes it into the cave! Shashka makes it into the cave!


WITHIN THE CAVE - Rockfall!
 Did any hit?
--6
--William is prepared to dodge! 
--4 Success!
William dodges the falling rock! 


Did any hit?
--2

Did any hit?
--4
Damage
--5
--STR 6
--ARM -1
----Total of 10 points of damage

 Shashka is hit by falling debris! Shashka due to sudden IRL loa taking place through the RTRP later today, for simplicity's sake - is knocked to the ground, stunned!

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   31st January 2019, 10:27 am


Beyond Saphira, he saw Cassandra race towards the opening of the cave, ax held at the ready, and, after glancing up above for falling rocks, caught Saphira's eye once more and turned to run towards where he had seen the shimmering silvery reflection off the star piece. He kept his guard up, eyes constantly darting between the rubble-strewn floor ahead of him and the falling rock above him; Cassandra may have been able to spot it despite all the rocky distractions, but he wanted to give her a direction to start with, just in case --

A rock the size of his head fell directly down and he threw himself away from its path, managing to evade, but was knocked off balance for it. He stumbled, fell, and quickly scrambled to get back to his feet and mobile; holding out an arm to point Cassandra the right way, he called out "There!" And turned his head to see her pass the entrance of the cave, managing to dodge the falling debris, but, beyond her, Shashka wasn't so lucky. "Shashka!" he warned as she fell to the floor, looking dazed - she had to snap out of it! Standing still wasn't the best move here! 

Quote :
Following William's point,  Cassandra can see the star! IF SHE'S LUCKY she could grab it from the rubble if she continues on her current path!

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   31st January 2019, 12:42 pm



Rocks fell, the rumbling loud and terrible, but it drowned out everything so she could stay fixated on the path ahead of her. With Leon's help to aid her, she had a clear direction to follow, and so she did.

Doubts pulled at her, suddenly wondering why she left Kitty behind in all this. Had that even been the right decision? But something silvery caught her attention, its shimmery sheen casting dancing lights like magic upon the obsidian cavern walls.

That was what was necessary in all this. Kitty needed this Star. All of her friends, people she grew to adore and care about during this high-stress journey, needed this star. And that was to be her focus right now.

The rest, she would figure out after.

Leon's voice calling Shashka's name almost pulled her from her clear-cut focus. But no, focus. Continue to focus.

She knew that she, unlike the rest, had yet to get injured by anything so far. She had strength on her side in case the Star needed to be pulled out of some rock, and if it turned out to be heavy, she could carry it better than he. And, if the entire place crumbled on her head, well, at least it wasn't anyone else.

She continued to move. "I know you're determined, I know this means a lot, but you need to go back. Get Shashka and yourself to safety. Find Kitty and Saphira and stay safe. I will return with the star for you all."

Not waiting for an answer from Leon, she raced towards the silvery shimmer of the Star. As she did, she kept an eye out for any falling debris and attempted to dodge out of the way of anything she could perceive.

She put her heart into every movement, every step, every breath, because this was far too important to do anything else.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   31st January 2019, 1:08 pm

Quote :
WITHIN THE CAVE - Rockfall!
 Did any hit?
--4
Damage
--3
--STR 6
--ARM -1
----Total of 8 points of damage

Did any hit?
--5
--Just lucky I guess! -1
--Cassandra is prepared to dodge!
--3 

HARMLESS BOUNCE shhhh

Did any hit?
--4
Damage
--6
--STR 6
--ARM -1
----Total of 11 points of damage

  Cassandra reaches the star! So far it looks easy to extract, but it's warm?! Hotter than a human body should be, hotter than a meteorite should be, so many weeks after it fell! Should she pick it up, it would be solid - dense! - but manageable! It was about the size of a cantaloupe; there were no other star pieces around it. This chunk was all that survived the star falling.


Cassandra passed him as she ran, dodging the falling rocks without even seeming to notice that they were even there, her body in just the right place at just the right time. She called to him as she moved farther into the cave, determination etched in every line of her body as she calmly directed him to go back and get Shashka. He got to his feet only to have another rock fall and strike his arm, saw another hit her and bounce away, glanced back to see more striking the prone Shashka, and hesitated only a moment before taking off for the girl from Deepwall. 

Cassandra would get the star. She had no reason not to. He'd drag Shashka out of here before the place fell in, and if Cassandra should fall, he'd go back and get her, too. Hopefully before the cave fell in completely. "Cry out if you get trapped!" he called back, letting her know he was following her request. He got to Shashka and started to drag her back towards the mouth of the cave, though he doubted they'd make it much father beyond while the hunters had their way. He called over his shoulder, "Get the star to me as quickly as you can!"

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   31st January 2019, 1:22 pm



Kitty stumbled when she was hit another time, the shield and cloak unable to protect her from the onslaught. She didn't really see what was going on around her, even though her eyes remained open. The moment that Cassandra ran off, ran in, risking everything inside the collapsing cave, seemed to have frozen for her. She still saw the young woman's back, cloak around her shoulders, the hint of the braid, the boots pounding against the ground, even though the cave had engulfed her friend. She still felt the calloused fingertips against her cheek, warm and comforting, even though she was gone.

Don't be gone.

She prayed it somehow without even really understanding it as her heart thumped in her chest. Cassandra sought the Star, but Kitty wasn't sure in this moment that she would have chosen the Star Piece over any of her teammates. Even though she knew what that meant. Human life... it wasn't interchangeable that way. She already knew that from before, from Charles.

Kitty didn't rush into the cave after Cassandra, even though she wanted to. She tried instead to dodge the riders; tried to avoid becoming too easy of a target. She wanted to join the others, but she felt—whether she was wrong or not was a debate for another time—that it was too risky.

If a rider approached too near, she'd be ready with her machete, aiming for the legs of the beasts they rode upon, hoping to fell them.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   31st January 2019, 2:00 pm



She heard Leon's words, took them to heart just in case, but she didn't let that distract her. Even his last statement—strangely selfish in the stress of their situation—she did not allow to distract her. Ownership of the star was a debate they could all hash out after this was over.

She felt the heat before she reached the Star proper, the warmth far hotter than she would have expected after all this time. Cassandra stood in front of it, and didn't take much time to examine it any further. She did not see any other pieces, and she stopped herself from wondering what would happen if they only retrieved a single piece. That was another problem for another time. No time for anything but grabbing this one and escaping.

As much as she would prefer to be the one trapped in here rather than putting anyone else at risk, she did not have a death wish and did not want to stay in this crumbling cave any longer than necessary.

She hesitated from touching the thing directly, however, and whipped off the Star Catcher Cloak from her shoulders. Fitting, somehow. If she had time, she would have pondered over the poetic romanticism of such an act, to use the cloak for this purpose. But there was no time, and so she threw the cloak over the Star without any decorum at all, in hopes of protecting herself from getting burned, and attempted to pick it up.

What perhaps should have been a victorious moment, one fit for a story, in reality only became a stressful moment that none of the people who worked so hard to achieve could savor at all.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   31st January 2019, 2:41 pm



Shashka and Cassandra ran into the cave following William, and at that moment Saphira was ready to follow them. Well, follow him, mostly, because right now, even if that meant following him to certain death, she liked it better than being left behind. But then Shashka fell, and Cassandra offered herself to go towards danger to retrieve the star for all of them. And then William came back out, hauling her. Once he was out of harm, she no longer felt the need to rush inside, trusting Cassandra to do the job even though she was also afraid for her. She didn't want to see Cassandra die for nothing in there.

But what she could do right now was dealing with the other problem. She turned her back to the cave and towards their attackers. She threw her spear towards the rider nearest to the cave, aiming for their heart.

"If you need your weapons, I've got them!" she told William.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   31st January 2019, 2:56 pm

Quote :
Projectiles from Hunters!
 Did any hit?
--William is in the cave! 

Did any hit?
--1

Did any hit?
--2


Did any hit?
--In the cave!

Did any hit?
--in the cave!

Saphira throws her spear!
Did it hit?
--1
--Just lucky~ +2
Miss... The riders swerve expertly!


WITHIN THE CAVE - Rockfall!
 Did any hit?
--3

Did any hit?
--4
How much damage?
--4
--STR 7
--ARM -1
----10 points damage!
Did any hit?
--4
Damage?
--5
--STR 7
--ARM -1
----11 points damage!

Cassandra secures the star!
 Make it out of the cave!

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   2nd February 2019, 8:49 am

RTRP - Star Catchers:
 
Quote :
The dense rock from above the cave continued to rain down, but rather than causing the entire cave ceiling to fall in, the peeling rocks revealed a shape hiding within them, previously cemented in the packed dirt and rock at the top of the hill: the shape took form as more and more of the rock fell, revealing an enormous, gut-wrenching, terrifying monster. A freed front foot revealed claws as thick around as a horse’s neck ending in points as sharp as any blade, gleaming amidst the rising dust in the dawn sunlight. It twitched, stretched and curled, releasing an avalanche of stone and rock, and the riders paused as one of them called for the attention of others. More rock fell, revealing a snout with a pointed nose and a jaw with long, thick pointed teeth; with another shudder of breaking rock, air was pulled through its nostrils and released in a powerful gust of wind just as gigantic yellow serpentine eyes snapped open and swiveled around to glare at the interlopers.

There was no name for this monster, this creature that made blood run cold with instinctive fear. Not even Cassandra, with knowledge of all of her beloved stories bolstering her, knew what to call this being of terror, this nightmare suddenly made their reality, but their pursuers did.

William turned as a gust of air sounded from behind them, taking a step back to try to see the enormous, horrible beast with slitted eyes that swiveled around --
LU’UNKTENA!” one of the hunters cried, and at that point it was as though the Star Catchers did not exist. Clubs were exchanged for bows and arrows as the riders made new formations, screaming war cries as they fired on the beast while it was still partially encased in stone, still waking up from whatever slumber it had been under.

They could use this chance to run, to escape both predators while the hunters dealt with this horrifying beast, hope that they destroyed each other while they made off with their lives --

But then William was running towards the horrifying creature with his sword unsheathed, so, if they were serious about that whole “sticking together” business, running away may not yet be in the cards.
Dragons:
 

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   4th February 2019, 7:34 am



It took so long, yet Kitty felt it happened so fast. First William and Saphira returned to the area outside the cave, where the riders still threatened them. She was hit in the process, another projectile knocking into her. The terror that gripped her heart still dulled the pain, but she'd feel it later. She'd suffer these injuries later, if they survived, but for now her attention remained focused on the gaping maw of the rumbling cave, searching for the girl who had run in last.

She only exhaled when she finally saw Cassandra again, cradling her cloak. Was she hurt? Had she been forced to bandage an arm? Kitty didn't know what to make of what she saw, but she tried to embrace the relief that Cassandra lived.

She grabbed Shashka when William mentioned it; she hadn't meant to ignore the unconscious girl. Kitty readily shouldered the larger girl, ready to make a run for it with the others.

And then the mountain exploded, revealing a strange winged creature, sending their pursuers into a frenzy.

The petite blonde still stood there when it left, awestruck and confused at what she had seen. The conversation between the others, this talk of "dragons", seemed muddled as it swirled around her. She didn't know what to make of it. She still hadn't come to any sort of conclusion when the mysterious beast unexpectedly returned, shaking the earth below their feet as it settled.

She remained watching it, eyes enraptured, as it spoke to the group. The low voice that echoed in her mind... how astonishing. She remained there, looking up, when it disappeared into the skies.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   8th February 2019, 3:18 pm

Part Five

And so they found the star, and something far stranger besides. 

Having survived an attack and escaped to outrun their captors, the Star Catchers located and recovered the fallen star that would grant them their wishes and were further saved from their dire situation by the sudden appearance of a beast that was part of their country's lore but never mentioned within their history. The miraculous encounter they believed to be over, however, was only just beginning.

What choices will our heroes make when confronted with abilities beyond the scope of what they thought possible and a terrifying creature that could easily find home in their worst nightmare: will they move forward to Thelline, or will they part ways with this ill-fated group and go home empty handed? As the young man that was their country's Prince looked skyward to follow the path of the Dragon who had offered him its "bond", it seemed that sooner, rather than later, their decision should be made.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   8th February 2019, 3:47 pm


A Dragon's bond - what was that, exactly? What did it mean for him and what he had planned? The Star, his grandfather, his family; he wasn't exactly sure what sort of help, if any, this bond promised in the grand scheme of things, but a Dragon had to be a good sign, right? Dragons used to help Esoria, and he was an Esorian prince in need of assistance. Whether fate or happenstance, for the first time in hundreds of years a Dragon was flying in Esorian skies. Maybe it was the push he needed to get the upper hand; maybe with it and the star, he could get to the bottom of what was going on and stop it. 

He didn't know the dragon's intentions. He had no idea where it was going or how long it would be gone; he didn't even really know if it would be back, but he trusted a creature of pride to keep its word, whatever the meaning of their 'bond', and so William turned his attention back to leaving. He righted his cloak to better distribute the star's weight, straightened his pack so it traveled easier on his shoulders, and turned to the others to see if they were ready to go, absentmindedly scratching his palm on his cloak. An odd sensation drew his gaze to his left hand and he paused at the unexpected sight, but forcibly made himself relax and act casually. He rubbed it again on his cloak in an attempt to clean off the... the dead skin, and lightly commented "It seems I had some sort of reaction to touching the dragon, but it doesn't look serious so I'm ready to continue when everyone else is. Shashka, are you feeling well?"

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   8th February 2019, 4:40 pm



Even though the creature had taken to the skies, gone from their sight now, Cassandra could still clearly see the shine of its scales, remember the strength dwelling within its stance, hear the pride of its rumbling voice. The sheer power in its every movement.

She'd read stories about many different creatures, some real, some fantastical. Never had she read anything close to a creature like this one. So large and majestic. Like a lizard in a way that was nothing like a lizard at all. Leathery wings and rocky scales... how had no story ever spoke of such a thing? Surely if these things existed in their world, someone must have recorded their beauty.

She remembered Leon speaking of his mother telling him the stories, but that did not explain why no one else knew those same stories.

Her hand itched for pen and paper at that moment. Someone needed to write all of this down, make a record of these magical happenings. She'd never forget them, but future generations should know of this, too. It felt too important, too much like a story brought to life, to let it all fade away over time.

Hearing Leon's voice brought her back to her surroundings. The crumbled cave and the task that lay before them.

It was time to head back home.

But her mind couldn't quite latch onto that possibility, not when home felt so far, and the things that happened before her felt so here and now, so new and curious. She looked to Leon, watching him. "You made a bond with that flying creature," she said. It wasn't a question, but more of a statement made in wonder.

She'd read of bonds before. Knights swearing allegiance to the crown, friends making a pact to stick together through thick and thin. Marriage was a type of bond as well. But never had she heard of a creature and a person of such differing origins coming together like this. An owed debt, the dangerous creature had said.

What would happen when that debt was repaid in full?

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   8th February 2019, 7:45 pm



She watched with bated breath when the dragon and the boy touched, and something seemed to shock William. It was over almost as soon as it had started, and then the dragon left them. William announced that aside from a... reaction, whatever that meant, he was fine, and she moved towards him to make sure herself that he was, indeed, fine. Cassandra's words stopped her on her tracks, however.

"A bond?" she asked. Cassandra had said it like a fact instead of a question, as if she knew for sure what was happening. But Cassandra didn't know about dragons. "How do you know?" she tilted her head at the other girl, then back at William, inspecting his hand. Having a dragon friend was certainly useful - it had proved as much with the slavers - but how was William supposed to call it again in his time of need? How would he even communicate with it?

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   8th February 2019, 9:46 pm


He felt Cassandra's eyes on him as she made a statement that made it clear that she, too, had heard the Dragon's voice, while Saphira's question provided evidence that she had not. "It seemed the polite thing to do," he replied wryly, "To refuse a gift or service offered from someone with a strong sense of pride can do much more harm than good. I'm not sure what it means or what it entails, but," he offered a smile, "perhaps at the very least it means it won't return to see us as a potential meal."

Saphira closed the distance, her green-gold eyes critical first to Cassandra and then to his afflicted appendage, and as natural as anything she reached to inspect his hand; as natural as anything he started to offer it to her, but he caught himself, stopping the movement of his hand to wipe it again on his cloak. He felt nervous, afraid of the reaction she would have, worried that she may find it gruesome or repulsive. "It looks worse than it feels," he assured her quietly and turned his hand over to show her his palm and the sudden array of gemstones that covered the surface of his skin. He tried not to think about how they formed or the skin they had replaced, focusing instead on how little they affected the flexibility of his hand and grateful that it was his left as opposed to his primary. The stones were the same hue as the dragon's scales, all deep, dark blue, but, like the dragon, some of the gems seemed to be dusted with silver around the edges, some with a silvery vein across their surface. It was an interesting effect - or it would be, if it were in a piece of art rather than worked into the palm and fingers of his left hand, but if he focused on what they meant instead of what they were, he didn't think it would bother him overmuch. "And it will be easy enough to hide with a glove," he said, glancing from them up to her face for her reaction, thinking about tearing up one of his more well-worn shirts to use as bandages to hide it if she looked at all disturbed by the sight. 

He valued their relationship. He liked the easy manner she had around him, her natural attitude and her candor; he enjoyed how casually she had taken his hand that first night they had all been together on this trip and the casual contact they had had since, and the idea of her hesitating to continue that because of this unexpected development made him more nervous than the dragon had. He'd make an effort to only stand to her left so she need not be reminded.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   10th February 2019, 9:21 pm



Am I dead? The thought lingered in her head for only a moment before a swelling pain crashed in. Nope, definitely alive. Dead, she imagined, would not feel like someone was playing a bass solo on her skull. She shook her head and blinked several times, poking at the egg-like bump with her fingertips and wincing.

     Shashka, are you feeling well?

She didn't respond right away to William's question, dazed as she was. Flying creature? Her mind struggled to understand. "A bird? You made friends with a bird?" she asked, the words syrupy in her mouth. She fought the urge to close her eyes, her head ringing.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   11th February 2019, 6:15 am



She frowned at Saphira's question, glancing at her with confusion. For Saphira to miss something as vital as that... it didn't sound at all like the quick witted girl she'd come to know. Had something else happened? "The creature spoke aloud," Cassandra explained. A new possibility occurred to her, and her frown deepened as she tried to fit together the pieces of the puzzle. "Did... you not hear it speak?"

Her attention was stolen away by the shine of gemstone upon Leon's palm. They were not merely sitting there waiting to be picked up. No, the gems and his skin were one and the same, melded seamlessly together. Cassandra's eyes widened at the sight, curious how such a thing was possible. She'd seen strange sights on this journey—fiery sparks flying from finger tips, people turned into monsters by greed and fear, a literal monster who took to the skies like a fish to water—but this was perhaps the strangest of all.

She looked away then, uncertain she was meant to see. She felt reassured, at least a little, that it did not seem to pain Leon overmuch. Still, she couldn't help but to look down at her own palm, skin marred with rough callouses and little scars accumulated over years of hard work. Imagining those very same gems upon her skin wasn't a difficult picture to conjure, but she couldn't quite figure out how it would feel.

Cassandra resisted the urge to look once more at Leon and was glad to hear Shashka speak for the first time in a long time. Worry crashed into her then, Shashka's words slurred as they were. She made her way to the dazed girl, and placed a hand upon Shashka's shoulder.

"We'll explain later," she promised with a gentle smile. "For now, let's get you ready for travel." Cassandra glanced around, looking for Shashka's belongings, ready to help her move if it were necessary. Cassandra knew that she, too, was injured, her own aches and pains prominent and screaming at every movement. But there was a disconnect there, as if it were happening in a storybook and not to her personally. Residual adrenaline and something akin to excitement blocked a lot of the pain right now, but as things continued to calm down around them, she was not looking forward to the pain that awaited her come the new dawn.

If they were lucky, perhaps they would have no more trouble with collapsing caverns and violent slavers until they'd had some time to rest. If.  

That made her pause, however. "Those slavers... do they still pose a threat?" She glanced around their surroundings, trying to pick up any signs of movement. "To be safe, I think we should take a whole new path home."

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   11th February 2019, 1:02 pm



William seemed to know a lot about the dragon's intentions, which was interesting. As she inspected his hand, she was surprised and a little bit alarmed to see his palm, now dotted with gemstones that seemed embedded on his very skin. He assured her that it didn't feel bad, which probably meant it didn't hurt? But it was still concerning. Was it going to look that way forever? What were people going to think if they saw it? Would they know what it meant, and if not, would they think him disfigured? His idea of using a glove was good, but... he couldn't exactly wear one 100% of the time.

"It looks... beautiful, actually," she admitted. "But I'm worried about what it means for you."

What if he was wrong and this was actually... a curse, or something? What if the dragon was killing him? They knew next to nothing about those beings, even if he seemed to know more than the rest. But there were still too many questions and uncertainties. She made a mental note to keep an eye on it, just to make sure the condition didn't worsen, and to keep an eye on his health in general.

Cassandra mentioned that the dragon spoke, which surprised her even more. "It definitely did not speak out loud," she replied, frowning. "I didn't hear anything resembling words at all."

Could Cassandra - and William - understand the creature in some non-verbal way somehow? But why them?

"I agree about taking a new path, though," she added, wondering if that'd make them run into new threats instead of predictable ones on the way home. But then again, there were still those assassins to contend with.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   11th February 2019, 6:38 pm


Beautiful? He didn't know how to respond to that, but he was relieved that at the least she didn't find it repulsive. He hoped she wasn't just saying that, for both the obvious reason and the implications, but he pushed himself towards trusting that nothing had yet changed between them. To the next he assured, "If anything comes of it, I'll tell you," only after realizing that, with how things were going, they may be separated before anything could develop unless it started quickly. With the star now in their possession, things would progress quickly. The notion, which had been less than comfortable before, felt even worse now, his path looming before him on the horizon as large and menacing as that dragon had been; he could only work hard and hope that the outcome was at least somewhat equally comparative. 

Saphira turned her attention back to Cassandra; he recalled what she had said and let it register, pushing the task ahead aside for later contemplation - they had a long road ahead of them, still - and glanced to Shashka, the girl looking not quite well. Would she need to be carried? ... Cassandra and Kitty had hauled him around for more than half the night, and as he was the only one somewhat refreshed after that ordeal, he decided he'd offer if she continued to seem so unsteady. The quicker they got off the steppe, the better. 

"I doubt they'd venture out this way in the open with the dragon on the loose," he ventured, unable to help glancing skyward again, but the dawnbreaking sky was empty. "The fastest way back to Thelline should take us nowhere near our prior path," he stated, "We need just head towards sunrise. Once we've left this region and find a road we can reorient and take the fastest route."

He was ready to get moving, but he waited to see how Shashka fared before striking out that way.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   11th February 2019, 7:14 pm



Cassandra's face materialized into her view, a motherly warmth radiating from her smile. Her hand on Shashka's shoulder felt comforting, and she allowed herself, for once, to be taken care of. "There," she pointed, indicating her small bag. She looked 'round for her cloak for a moment before realizing she was still wearing it. As she did so, she caught snippets of the conversation, her mind grabbing at the words but not making full sense of them. Hand.. mark... dragon... None of it added up and she was too tired, her head beating too loudly, for her to force any of it to come together into coherence. The mystery could wait. She would need to focus all her energy on just fending off the sleepiness that threatened to envelop her. She made a shaky attempt at standing, slightly woozy on her feet. She confirmed that she could walk, taking a few tentative steps, though it would be easier, she thought, if the ground would stay put in one place.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   12th February 2019, 2:59 pm


Shashka seemed definitely too shaky to travel alone. With Cassandra going for her bag, William stepped forward to offer Shashka his right elbow in a way similar to escorting someone to a dance, thinking it would be the easiest way to support her so long as she was walking under her own strength. With how wobbly she was, he didn't want to carry her if it could be helped - she'd need to stay awake, and walking it off would be the easiest way to guarantee that happened. He hadn't seen a lot of head injuries in the past few years, but recalling classes for learning to ride a horse some of the more ridiculous stunts his peers performed in the guard, he knew enough not to let her sleep until she had been looked at. ... and without anyone out here to look at her, he supposed they'd just have to settle for keeping her awake as long as they could.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   12th February 2019, 6:31 pm



Shashka looked glumly at the proffered arm. Of all the people to offer help, only Saphira would have been worse. The truth was, she was in no position to refuse, and eyeing him warily she allowed herself to grip his arm, steadying her swaying. Would he be at an advantage? Could his mind overpower hers in it's current state? The surge of adrenaline brought clarity to her thoughts, but the bass line thumping in her head forced her to lay down her guard. She'd just have to wing it and hope for the best, just like she'd been doing all along. "Can we go?" she ventured, the small sentence feeling a tiring effort.


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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   13th February 2019, 10:00 am



Securing Shashka's belongings alongside her own, Cassandra glanced to Kitty to make sure she did not need any help—injuries being what they were—before looking back to Shashka. She seemed the most affected of them all, still dazed and slow in her words.

Cassandra smiled a little as Leon moved to Shashka's aid. She'd been intending to that herself, but this was a great way to strengthen bonds, so she didn't mind letting Leon take over that task. Instead, Cassandra found a spot behind everyone. She'd make sure to keep an eye on their wobbly friend, and if it seemed as though she might fall, she'd be ready to rush over to help. She looked to Kitty then, offering the smaller girl a warm smile. She'd keep an eye on Kitty too. Always.

The group set out soon after that, the terrain much the same as they'd come to expect in this barren place. Cassandra occupied herself mostly by looking around for any signs of movement. She also spent some time imagining the terrain she'd grown up in, with its full trees and lush grasses. Soon, they'd be back home, and her heart sung with excitement every time she thought about it.

She didn't know how long they'd traveled before something caught her eye, something in the sky. Something large.

Cassandra swallowed back the instinctive shock of seeing the dragon once more. As beautiful as the creature was, there was something truly terrifying about it as well. Difficult to think of the dangerous creature as a friend, but as it weaved its way somewhat lazily through the clouds, it did not seem to pose a threat.

For now, anyway.

"The dragon creature is back." The words were not necessary, for surely they all could spot such a large and imposing figure in the skies, but the words came all the same. Perhaps it was simply because she did not know what else to say. A new thought occurred to her then, one spun from stories she'd read. All the important characters in a story had a name to call their own. She did not know if this was true in reality, but still... "Do dragons have names? It feels rude to refer to an intelligent being without using its proper name."

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   13th February 2019, 7:09 pm



Dragons? Cassandra had said the word so many times that Shashka could no longer write it off as misheard. As she looked in the direction Cassandra was peering, she truly didn't believe her eyes. Her brain yelled several single word exclamations at once. Massive! Enormous! Toothy! Terrifying! She drew in breath enough to stammer "W-w-wha-" Was she going mad? Had she hit her head THAT hard? Was she hallucinating? Was William doing this to her? At the last thought she wrenched her hand from his arm, stumbling back. Yes, it had to be him. But why? Why was he tricking them all into seeing whatever the hell was in the sky? "S-stop it!" she cried at him, frantic, "Cut it out!"


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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   13th February 2019, 9:08 pm



She nodded at William's promise, and was glad to hear that their path back would traverse a different road anyway. She couldn't wait until they were back in Esorian territory. As William offered his arm to Shashka and Shashka took it, she frowned, annoyance flaring. Her least favorite person and her most favorite one being that close together was not a pleasant sight. How was she supposed to talk to William while Shashka was clinging to him like that? At least Shashka didn't seem happy about it... but still. She averted her gaze and decided to focus on other things, like walking. And soon the return of the dragon, apparently following them, caught her attention. Saphira looked up at the creature, still so mysterious yet majestic, but unable to fully trust it yet.

Meanwhile, Shashka was freaking out for reasons that she couldn't explain. Could she hear the dragon too? Was it speaking to her? Saphira narrowed her eyes at both her and the dragon. Was she the only one left out of this apparently secret mental conversation? She huffed and crossed her arms, not at all amused.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   14th February 2019, 9:34 am

DM wrote:
As the group had moved farther from the mountains, the foothills had started to decrease in size, the valleys between the hills less extreme; overall, things were flattening out.

So far, so good. Maneuvering around the hills with a less-than-stable girl on his arm was less difficult than it could have been, but some of the slopes had been a little tricky. Having left some of the steeper slopes behind was better for all of them, and he was enjoying the soft breeze and trying not to think of anything but the steady rhythm of their footsteps. It was almost peaceful... Until Cassandra spoke. He looked up, trying to find the dragon - not that it was hard to miss it. The darker blue against the sky, its scales glittering and reflecting back the light. Cassandra asked after its name, and he wanted to answer her - he believed that had to be the case - but he couldn't respond for sure. He didn't remember having been told --

Dragon; Kitty, Cassandra and William can hear its voice wrote:

"At least you've got manners," the dragon commented, dipping its wings to glide closer to the group, closing the distance between them until its enormous shadow overcame them all, wind whipping past them to tease and tug at their hair and cloaks before it spun flashily and landed on a shallow hill near their path.

And then Shashka started freaking out. She pulled free of his arm and he tore his gaze from the sky to twist and reach back for her, assuming that he was at fault for not watching where they were stepping and that in the sudden winds she had fallen as consequence, guilt rising up - but he froze at the look of panic on her face, the way she stumbled purposefully away from him, and he paused, showing her both his palms to show her he meant her no harm. Was she hallucinating? That wasn't a good sign - "It's going to be okay, Shashka," he tried to calm her.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   14th February 2019, 4:09 pm



Cassandra stared as the dragon spoke once more, and then swooped and passed them in the sky, its powerful muscles rippling as scales refracted the light like precious gems. Once more, her hands itched for paper and ink. She'd never been one for drawing—she'd only had time for one non-essential skill in her life, and reading would always win in her heart—but to at least write down a description of this creature was the least she could do. Maybe if this experience were embodied in the permanence of ink, it would perhaps feel more real.

The dragon finally settled a small distance ahead of them, nestling itself upon a hill. Somehow by seeing it on the ground instead of in the clouds only solidified the enormity of the dragon's size.

It was only then she belatedly realized Shashka's distress, and Cassandra tore her eyes from the dragon's form to look towards the sounds. "Shashka?" she asked as she took a step closer to her friend, careful to keep her voice light and gentle. Had Shashka's head injuries been far worse than they'd thought? "What's wrong?"

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   16th February 2019, 8:48 am



She grunted at him, head smarting, and as the tall girl approached she shifted, shimmying her body to obscure herself behind Cassandra's form. She grabbed at the girl's waist to steady herself. "You see it?" she asked, not understanding why nobody else was freaking out. Was he doing this just to her? To make her look insane? But no, Cassandra had spotted it, too. She'd said as much. "He's... He's making us see this?" she whispered to Cassandra, hoping that she wasn't too ensnared in whatever crazy magics the prince was capable of. This whole thing had gotten way out of hand. If this were his idea of a practical joke, he had a cruel sense of timing, as doing it while she was already injured was mostly injurious to her pride.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   16th February 2019, 11:28 am


Shashka literally tried to hide herself from him by using Cassandra as a barrier, and he made no motion towards attempting to calm her again. Obviously she trusted Cassandra over him, and while he couldn't hear the words she whispered to the taller girl he could guess what they were about, easily recalling how she had reacted when he came-to earlier that night. He couldn't deny that it stung a little; having practiced swordplay with Shashka every night for almost a fortnight, he had believed that they had forged some sort of connection, even if they didn't talk extensively about themselves. He appreciated her motivations and had done his best in attempting to help her work towards those ambitions, and while it was a little new to have taken up an instruction role, he had modeled himself after teachers that had made the biggest difference in his life and his abilities. He had grown to respect her for her dedication during their sessions, and had believed that respect to be mutual and that she had trusted him - at least enough not to lead her astray or treat her too roughly in practice - but...well, even if she still trusted him in that role, apparently she did not in any other. Considering what she had found out about him, she had every right not to. None of them did. 

...but Saphira had anyway. As he lowered his hands, keeping his disappointment behind a well-practiced facade, he couldn't help but find her, his gaze resting for a moment on the girl from Shadeslake that had taken the revelation, demanded answers, and then just accepted it and him and continued on as though nothing had changed. Even he hadn't been able to do that when he first found out - which reminded him of something else he had to make sure was in place before he left. He was grateful for Saphira's support, probably moreso than he could ever express to her. 

But those moments were all the time he could afford to spend on what he felt. The dragon had landed, and it probably had a reason for doing so. He left Shashka to Cassandra, for while he felt that was unfair to the Lorham girl as her interests were exactly in line with what this creature represented, he couldn't be of any help to her in her current situation, and instead approached the dragon, climbing the hill towards it to greet it properly and see to its intent.

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