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 [HC Event] Star Catchers

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Sailor Uranus
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Sailor Uranus

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Title : Oh, you mean you DON'T have an Elephabulous? Shame.
Posts : 13368
Join date : 2011-09-15
Age : 31
Location : NE Texas


[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime20th February 2019, 1:35 pm

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Zek5Etf
As the dragon considered, William held his breath. It had been a risk to lay it all out there, but he felt that if he had just left it as is, with the chip Kedrok already had on his shoulder in regards to him and Shashka already up in arms about nothing, than he would come out looking even less honorable in the dragon's eyes - power hungry, even - and Shashka may just have kittens. This way Kedrok knew generally the scope of what William wanted, what he needed from him in terms of power, and would hopefully judge his means to be less power-hungry than his questions may have lead him to believe otherwise. If he agreed then everything would be fine - they could even claim the star together. He wouldn't have to escape in the middle of the night to give them plausible deniability. With the dragon behind him, his grandfather would be forced to see things his way and that would be that - no downside, no... okay well maybe there was treason involved, but it was a very quiet treason and - in his opinion - very just treason.

If the dragon refused he'd have to try it anyway, only now everyone else here would know why he was really out here. ... and they might grasp that his grandfather had the same affinity he had - something he did not want Shashka to catch wind of. ... and that his grandfather had put out the hit on him. All things that they definitely shouldn't know and would definitely get them into trouble come Thelline. Everything he had attempted to do to keep them safe, all the misleading he had done - he had just undone everything in one statement. 

He felt foolish. He hadn't allowed for a way out - a second chance for them. He put everything on this one decision and --

Kedrok agreed to his terms

He felt lightheaded with relief. It had worked out - Kedrok even felt like the request was not properly balanced in his favor. He had no idea what else to ask for, but he knew he'd be asking the others for their input. Even if he succeeded in this, their knowledge of what had transpired was dangerous to have; he'd explain, apologize, and see what they thought could be done to guarantee their safety. ... or, at least, their silence in the secrets he was supposed to have kept since he was 13. 

As Kedrok took to the skies, he turned to them, taking a deep breath of air that smelled sweeter than any he had taken in what felt like years, "To Thelline, then?"

___________________________


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Sailor Neptune
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Sailor Neptune

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Title : Drinker of Roleplayers' Tears ~ The Internationaliest™
Posts : 9577
Join date : 2013-07-25
Age : 32
Location : Canada


[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime20th February 2019, 7:00 pm

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 GauQv2D

She didn't expect the part about where if William died the dragon would die too, but felt pleased in knowing the creature would have a personal stake in keeping him alive. And as much as she didn't like to admit it, Kedrok would have an easier time doing so than her. What the dragon said about his elements... she wondered if he, too, had an elemental affinity. He'd said he was of the sea and sky... perhaps two, then? Water and air?

There were so many things she wanted to ask still, but they needed to get going. She thought they were going to do just that... until William suddenly declared his true intentions towards his grandfather in front of everyone. Saphira was startled and alarmed, but she trusted his judgment. She could already see this causing multiple problems with the others, but was surprised when the dragon considered it too light of a request to fulfill.

As they finished negotiations and the dragon left, she eyed William, who seemed relieved despite just throwing all caution to the wind and announcing all his secrets, and began to move towards the capital city as a way to show that she agreed they needed to get going.

___________________________

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Sailor Jupiter
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Sailor Jupiter

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Title : *~Jupes | Jupi~*
Posts : 4133
Join date : 2014-01-14
Age : 26
Location : USA


[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime21st February 2019, 12:46 pm

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Js8uiIH

Shashka prodded William in the ribs with an annoyed finger. "Let me hold the stone," she declared. "Your dragon," she said, air quoting the word dragon with her hands, "said it was useful to healing." She held out her open palm, "I'll travel better without the headache. I should be alert if we're attacked. You know, for the fourth or fifth time." Her head was still pounding, but not so much that she couldn't be sarcastic. She wondered inwardly if William would pass it to her, secretive as he was being, but her request was plain and made sense and she saw no reason it should be denied.
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Sailor Saturn
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Sailor Saturn

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[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime22nd February 2019, 11:47 am

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 MtyLMkX

She was glad to hear that Kedrok didn't need the star any longer. That made things a whole lot easier. If Kedrok had need of the star... well, they certainly wouldn't be able to stop him from taking it. But more and more the tension lifted from her, accepting this great powerful creature as a true ally rather than a frighteningly large and frighteningly dangerous threat.

Before she had time to mull over that transition, however, Leon spoke of his terms and all thoughts stopped at the admission. Cassandra's eyes widened and she looked to her blond friend. So much weight held in those words, said with such ease that this must have been on Leon's mind for a long time. A decision not made lightly. The words themselves, the idea to overthrow anyone in power—let alone royalty—was so ingrained in storybooks and tales and not at all a part of Cassandra's normal day-to-day life. It was difficult to wrap her head around, to think that this was a true and factual thing Leon wanted to accomplish and not a fictional desire she currently read upon a well-worn page.

Things slotted into place upon that admission, things that once hadn't felt quite right at the time now made sense upon hearing this secret laid bare.

What must it have taken for Leon to come to this decision? He spoke of how his grandfather was molding minds of other members of the family, that there was some sort of contract involved—was that the assassination attempts?—so she knew there was much more hidden in this particular storyline. But for Leon to trust them enough, despite all of the implications and potential dangers such an action held, warmed her heart.

She did not know anything about subterfuge or political intrigue. She knew nothing of what it meant to attempt such a thing as this. But she knew Leon, at least as much as she needed to in this, and grew to know him more and more every day. She'd trusted him even when she wondered if she was being naive, and she was glad to see that it hadn't been misplaced. It only strengthened that feeling of trust tenfold, and she hoped he realized that. That his admission hadn't been for naught when it came to his companions.  

Shashka spoke then, still debating the existence of Kedrok as she held her hand out for the Star. Leave it to Shashka to cut through the moment like this. It was a thought half affectionate and half exasperated. But she had something else to do before dealing with this new development.

Cassandra nodded then, more to herself than to Leon's prompt of travel, and she placed a hand on Leon's shoulder. A gentle smile pulled at her lips as she looked at his startlingly blue eyes. "Thank you," she said, leaving it at that. There was more to say, more she wanted him to know, but now was not the time. Those two words were at the very heart of it all, so they would suffice.  

Then, she turned to Shashka. "I assumed the star's power was more specific to dragons, not to us." She paused, smile turning towards a gentle kind of teasing. "Funny that you still don't believe in Kedrok but you're using his words regardless."

___________________________

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Sailor Uranus
Outer Senshi Admin
Roleplay Director

Sailor Uranus

Outer Senshi Admin  Roleplay Director

Title : Oh, you mean you DON'T have an Elephabulous? Shame.
Posts : 13368
Join date : 2011-09-15
Age : 31
Location : NE Texas


[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime22nd February 2019, 4:14 pm

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Zek5Etf
Not feeling well, but feeling well enough to march over, poke at him and make demands, then. Shashka. His initial response was to resist giving it to her, but... honestly, there wasn't anything to worry about in that regard anymore. If she tried to make off with it he was sure Kedrok could help him get it back, and he... didn't need it anymore. He wanted to make sure everyone else got their wish through it, though, not just her. There really wasn't any --

'Thank you.

Cassandra's hand on his shoulder and her words, simple and heartfelt, warmed him. Saphira had understood from the beginning - he hadn't held anything back from her, but Cassandra... she had every right to be angry with him, to demand answers, to chastise him for withholding information and a hundred other things besides, but her words felt more like forgiveness than anything else. He met her gaze, grateful for her grace in this... and then for her comment to Shashka besides. 

He put his left hand on his hip casually, adding to Cassandra's careful teasing remark, "My family's been collecting these things for generations and I assure you there are no healing powers associated with them, but if you want to extrapolate on one thing the dragon says and you insist it's going to be this, then be my guest." He motioned to her pack, which Cassandra was still carrying, and continued, the tone he used similar to the one he had when he had made her 'hit herself' earlier that morning, "You can barely stand on your own but sure, what's a 15 pound object added on? Get out your star pouch and I'll hand it over."

___________________________


[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 ThMyae[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 4jsq88
[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 EryTeT
[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 AE5IZ4
Super Awesome Space Museum//Kyra's RP's
[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 UNUQgL
[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Qq4GRc

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 WYxcDX[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 VfipPu[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 QcYyas[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 RCRME8[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 MwKWL7[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 WbL1DG[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 2tcOIq[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 JbCUuo[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 V4DbwT[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 YtpCB5[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Mmp9t9[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Dx2prT
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Sailor Jupiter
Inner Senshi Admin
Member Relations Director

Sailor Jupiter

Inner Senshi Admin  Member Relations Director

Title : *~Jupes | Jupi~*
Posts : 4133
Join date : 2014-01-14
Age : 26
Location : USA


[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime23rd February 2019, 9:03 am

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Js8uiIH

She jutted out her bottom lip, flushing red. He really was a spoiled brat under all those princely manners. She wasn't going to back down and she didn't believe a word he said, but he was at least right about her being unfit to carry a fifteen-pound stone. She just hadn't realized it was so heavy... "You've been holding onto it for less than a day and you think you're an expert," she snapped at him. "If you know so much about it then you ought to share that information with the group." Looking to Cassandra, whom she had started to see as a comforting influence, she asked, "Would you hold it out to me? We should at least investigate what it can do. If he's making this 'Kedrok' appear, then maybe some of what he says is honest."
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Sailor Uranus
Outer Senshi Admin
Roleplay Director

Sailor Uranus

Outer Senshi Admin  Roleplay Director

Title : Oh, you mean you DON'T have an Elephabulous? Shame.
Posts : 13368
Join date : 2011-09-15
Age : 31
Location : NE Texas


[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime23rd February 2019, 10:03 am

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Zek5Etf
He rolled his eyes, less than one day? The whole 'generations' comment apparently had hit home as surely as most other things he had said then, but he wasn't going to let her get to him - not after what just happened. Not after what just opened up to him. He looked around for Saphira, wanting to share this with her, this sudden freedom that he hadn't had before. She had gone ahead, walking eastwards toward the main kingdom and Thelline - towards their future - and he was eager to catch her up. "I think I'm an expert because I've had lessons on these things since I was thirteen. My family can use them as a source of energy, but they can't heal people, Shashka." He hoped it wasn't necessary to cite a specific, rather recent illustration for that point. Thinking of his mother had become easier, but speaking of her passing had not, and he wanted to enjoy this feeling of relief for as long as he could. He glanced again at Saphira, admiring her for how easily she just slipped away from stuff like this, refusing to become involved without actually having to go through the business of refusing. "Look, if you still want to try to haul it around be my guest, but please don't ask Cassandra to carry it and your stuff. Just wait 'til you're a little more recovered - we've got weeks until we reach Thelline," and can start the rest of our lives

With an apologetic glance to Cassandra for leaving her with this for even a moment, he held up one finger on his right hand to indicate he'd be right back, and jogged forward to catch up to Saphira. Without thinking he caught her left hand in his right and tugged gently to spin her around to face him. As she turned he readjusted, putting both hands on her hips to lift her and spin, smiling up at her, wanting to share his excitement with her, but the weight of their bags made the dance move a little bit silly so after a turn he put her back down and just hugged her, bag and all. "It's actually going to work!" he enthused, more into her red hair than to her face, before he pulled back to look at her, "Did you really mean that wish? Are you really going to try to stay in Thelline?"

___________________________


[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 ThMyae[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 4jsq88
[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 EryTeT
[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 AE5IZ4
Super Awesome Space Museum//Kyra's RP's
[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 UNUQgL
[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Qq4GRc

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 WYxcDX[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 VfipPu[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 QcYyas[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 RCRME8[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 MwKWL7[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 WbL1DG[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 2tcOIq[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 JbCUuo[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 V4DbwT[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 YtpCB5[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Mmp9t9[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Dx2prT
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Sailor Neptune
Outer Senshi Admin
RP Graphics & Canon Admin

Sailor Neptune

Outer Senshi Admin  RP Graphics & Canon Admin

Title : Drinker of Roleplayers' Tears ~ The Internationaliest™
Posts : 9577
Join date : 2013-07-25
Age : 32
Location : Canada


[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime24th February 2019, 12:03 am

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 GauQv2D

Saphira resisted the urge to roll her eyes as she walked away from the argument, still hearing bits and pieces of it. William could defend himself very well, so she wasn't worried, and even Cassandra had caught on to how dumb Shashka's arguments sometimes were. Saphira had no idea how she planned to 'investigate' it - poking it? prodding it with a stick? - but right now she was more interested in going back to Thelline as fast as possible.

Until she felt someone grabbing her hand and pulling her around. Surprised to find that it was William and how easily he'd done something so intimate, she was surprised further still when he actually lifted and spun her. A startled laugh escaped from her at the sight of this carefree prince, reminding her of him the first time she saw him, when he looked so happy and burden-free, a beacon of light. A flash of that day replayed itself in her mind's eye - the sun was shining onto his golden hair, the sky as blue as the coolness of his eyes that always made her feel like she could be drowning in them, and the wind blowing gently among the trees. They'd sat by the lake, throwing pebbles, competing on who could make it bounce the furthest, and it was a day filled with laughter and smiles. She saw him as he was many years ago again then, in that one moment when he finally let go of his secrets and stopped carrying all the burden alone. He actually hugged her, and though she was shocked, she soon melted into it and embraced him back, enjoying the moment as if they were the only two people in the world. At that moment she didn't care that anyone else was there or watching. Her heart just felt full in the way it never did in her life before. Not with her parents, not with her so-called friends, not with anyone.

His excitement was infectious, and she smiled, nodding at his exclamation that his mission was going to work, now that he had a powerful dragon working alongside him.

She didn't expect his next question, not realizing that he held such hope for her to be in the city with him, but to know that he did made her happier than she ever thought she could be. And she realized that she wanted that wish as much as he did.

"Yes," she replied, her smile wide. "If I could, I would. I want to..." she bit her lip and swallowed, the confession difficult to voice, but eventually she forced it out, feeling like she owed him the truth. "I want to be where you are, or at least close to you, if I could." She looked down then, too afraid to see his eyes and what his reaction might be. Her cheeks felt warm, and she suddenly wanted to go dig the nearest hole and just bury herself in it.

___________________________

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 4ttFPcD[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 E2wqfIi [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Mercurysig [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Ft6DXry[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Wedding1
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Sailor Uranus
Outer Senshi Admin
Roleplay Director

Sailor Uranus

Outer Senshi Admin  Roleplay Director

Title : Oh, you mean you DON'T have an Elephabulous? Shame.
Posts : 13368
Join date : 2011-09-15
Age : 31
Location : NE Texas


[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime24th February 2019, 10:33 am

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Zek5Etf
His hands on her shoulders, he squeezed gently in time with his grin widening at her affirmation, excitement rising. Her pause confused him, though; the way she hesitated took wind from his sails... but what she said next just bolstered him. She was unsure of where she'd fit in Thelline, and he was only too happy to ease those troubles. He lightly rubbed her shoulders where his hands touched and bent a little in an attempt to catch her downcast eyes, "Hey," he said gently, "you don't have to worry about that -" he straightened, his tone brightening, "with your goal being ambassadorship and the Star backing you up you'll be admitted to the University of Esoria without question - I'll be there, too, and for classes in diplomacy you'll be in and out of the castle probably as often as I am. We may even have the same course load -" he paused, half-laughing, "And if I'm sent off to here there or anywhere I'll insist you come too as a Star Catcher perk. I won't leave you alone in Thelline," he said, meeting her gaze earnestly, "I promise."

___________________________


[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 ThMyae[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 4jsq88
[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 EryTeT
[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 AE5IZ4
Super Awesome Space Museum//Kyra's RP's
[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 UNUQgL
[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Qq4GRc

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 WYxcDX[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 VfipPu[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 QcYyas[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 RCRME8[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 MwKWL7[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 WbL1DG[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 2tcOIq[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 JbCUuo[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 V4DbwT[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 YtpCB5[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Mmp9t9[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Dx2prT
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Sailor Saturn
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Sailor Saturn

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Age : 30
Location : Sweden


[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime25th February 2019, 4:16 pm

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 MtyLMkX

Cassandra watched as Leon and Shashka spoke to one another, though she remained quiet herself. She tried to imagine the types of lessons Leon must have gone through. What could those lessons possible contain? The Star... It gave his family energy? But was it not simply a mere trinket? She'd assumed it was valuable only as a mineral or trophy. But perhaps there was far more to it than she'd originally thought.

As Leon went over to Saphira's side, she looked to Shashka. "I'll help you, whether it's now or later," she promised with an apologetic smile. Truth was, she didn't mind holding Shashka's pack along with her own. She didn't mind holding the Star as well, either. It was like holding a piece of treasure, much like something heroes worked tirelessly to obtain in the stories she so loved. And if it proved to be too much, she could ask for Kitty's help to offload the burden.

At that thought, Cassandra looked towards the pale-haired girl. She'd been quiet for a while now, but Cassandra didn't want to call too much attention to it. With everything that happened, all of the injuries and fighting and magical beings bursting from rock, it was a lot to take in. She noted the cuts and bruises marring Kitty's skin with a small frown. Well, perhaps she wouldn't ask for Kitty's help just yet. She could carry the extra weight for forever if it meant Kitty wouldn't need to.

"What kind of properties do you think the Star holds?" Cassandra asked Shashka then, eyes finding Leon and Saphira speaking closely with one another, and her lips pulled into a fond smile before putting her attention back to Shashka once more. "Ironically, I always assumed it was a lump of valuable rock. I never imagined to find our world so full of such fantastical things."

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime26th February 2019, 1:02 pm

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 GauQv2D

She was confused about what he meant in regards to her worries - when had she mentioned the university at all? - but the idea of them going to class together made her heart soar, and even more so when he said he'd insist that she come with him everywhere. She couldn't help the smile that bloomed on her lips; he was the most oblivious person she'd ever met, but she had come to realize it was also part of his charm and his purity. She nodded gratefully, looking at his eyes now, wondering how and when she would tell him her feelings one day in a way that couldn't be miscontrued or misunderstood, because clearly he was going to make her spell it out.

But now was not the time yet. "That sounds like the perfect future for me," she concluded. For us.

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime28th February 2019, 5:28 pm

Time Skip! wrote:
They continued on. 

Later that afternoon, the river that they had passed days ago met them again, having meandered more south-west than south, and they thought its shores as good a campsite as any. A hill nearby was covered in soft grass and caught a good breeze, the water wasn't entirely deep on the river's edge here, and it didn't seem that a crossing would be too hard to find tomorrow. It was still early yet, but with what they had been through they were all tired, and the fresh moving water called to them, their skin itching to be free of the sweat and grime and blood of the previous day. 

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 MFUyv6Z At this point Shashka was able to walk on her own accord and her pupils looked normal, so the moment they found suitable ground she quickly ate, drank, and immediately went to sleep.

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 BjJnuuP Kitty, also tired, nevertheless helped set up camp before she settled in for a nap, preparing herself to be able to take a waking shift if necessary. She cleared the campsite of debris and set up a firepit using the scant amount of wood they had been carefully carrying with them - the opportunity to restock clean water enough to warrant the use of the commodity. Once everything was set up and ready to go with only the most minimal effort needed on anyone else's part to use what Kitty had prepared, did Kitty allow herself to rest. 

*Jupiter and Mercury, please bring your characters back (have them wake up, etc.) as soon as you're ready! Otherwise we'll catch you in the NPC thread and after the next time-skip!

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 AGGUpo3[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I4fmuzY[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 N90lomH The other three set about their campsite tasks, setting traps and putting out fishing lines, hauling water back for purification and checking sight-lines and then... had time before the sun would set. The current in the river near where they camped was not all that strong and the water not entirely too deep near the edge, and they were far enough from their sleeping companions that they could easily see them but their voices should not deter sleeping...

NPC Sheet

___________________________


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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime28th February 2019, 6:16 pm

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Zek5Etf
He honestly enjoyed making camp. The logical checklist and organization always seemed to put him at ease, and at this point setting up for the night had become so well-practiced with their group they barely needed to discuss anything: they claimed a task and set to it. He liked the idle conversation and the routine, and tonight, unlike the night before last, he actually had an idea of how many more nights like this they had left together. It was almost bittersweet, but he knew that whatever happened and wherever these people ended up, they had a connection in this time they spent together, and he hoped he'd see them regularly throughout the years. Selfishly, he'd like it if - after getting their wishes granted back in Lorham - Kitty and Cassandra would stay on in Thelline for a while. He was sure Cassandra would enjoy spending time at the capital for the conversation alone, without even considering the libraries and authors in residence in the city. He had seen the well-loved books she carried with her; who knew what else she would find in those halls?  It'd be nice to have familiar faces around after being away for so long. 

But! Those were thoughts for weeks from now. 

As they finished their chores and ran out of camp to set up, with Shashka sleeping and Kitty lying down for a rest and the sun still above the western horizon, William stretched and looked to the other girls. "I think I'll have a swim. Care to join me?" He eyed a spot in the grass for his things and carefully unclasped and unwound his cloak and lay the heavy thing with its precious cargo aside. With practiced movements he removed his left bracer and then tried his right, brows furrowing at the curious sensation of the gemstones pressing into his skin as the worked the clasps. It was odd... but not necessarily cumbersome. Just... a little slipperier. The left bracer followed the right, then his scabbard and quiver belt, the modified chest plate, then finally his boots. He peeled off his white shirt but held it in his left hand (still testing the different feeling of the gems on different materials) as he left his items and started to wade into the cool waters.

___________________________


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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime3rd March 2019, 6:58 pm

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 MtyLMkX

They traveled homeward. Home.

Still that thought had not truly sunk in yet. Somehow that one single fact was harder to accept and believe than the existence of Kedrok and everything that happened to bring his presence into their lives. To work for so long, to work so hard for this goal, and to finally the end of it lay closer than ever before... somehow it just felt unreal. With all her time spent imagining the unimaginable, the idea to imagine returning home felt nearly foreign.

She missed her family, that was as true as the pang of longing in her heart. But to go back to the mundane and the normal after all of this? How could she ever? It left her restless before this journey, how could she ever settle in now that she'd had the slightest taste of the sweet nectar of true adventure?

Her eyes found the sleeping form of Kitty, the pale hair noticeable even from a distance. More had changed on this journey than she'd ever thought possible. She couldn't imagine Kitty wanting to continue exploring after this. She'd gone on this quest out of sheer desperate necessity. Once Daisy was cured, wouldn't Kitty welcome back Lorham life with open arms? It was a question she felt she knew the answer to, but to assume was never a good idea. But she was far too afraid of the answer, for her own heart cried out for more.

And now a new song brightened her heart as well, one born from slate-blue eyes, a soft but strong demeanor, kindness and sharp wit, and cornsilk hair.

Cassandra's lips twisted into something like a frown, her heart warring against itself with too many emotions. Adventure's call versus a budding love. How could any person possibly choose one above the other when both meant so much?

She welcomed the sound of Leon's voice cutting through her thoughts, especially as it gave such a relaxing alternative. "That sounds nice," she said. Her eyes went to the sleeping members of their party. "Will Kitty and Shashka be okay if we leave for a bit?" The question was asked upon an instinct cultivated after days of one danger after another. But, she supposed, with Kedrok on their side, perhaps those days were finally done and over. Or at the very least, they could relax a little more soundly for the time being.

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime3rd March 2019, 7:25 pm

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 GauQv2D

For the first time since the arrival of the assassins, Saphira felt relaxed. Without needing to fear for their lives anymore, what with having a huge dragon protector and all, not to mention the star in their possession, the rest of their journey seemed like a cakewalk. William didn't even need to betray the others by taking the star anymore, so that was one more drama they didn't have to deal with.

Surprised that William was actually offering for the girls to undress and join him in the water - unless he meant to keep a safe distance and the invitation was simply 'feel free to go swimming' - she shrugged and put her pack near his, taking off her cloak and outer layers, leaving only the last layer of undershirt and skirt. She figured she shouldn't shock him by stripping right down to her actual underwear and scare him away. After all, she wanted to be able to talk to him in the peaceful waters. The sight of his bare chest made her mouth twitch with the hint of a smile. 

"I'm sure they'll be fine. We can still see them from the water," she told Cassandra with a reassuring tone, then quickly followed William's footsteps, red hair trailing behind.

She submerged herself to her chest, enjoying the coolness of the water, tilting her head up towards the sky. "I've felt like this in a while, but especially so now that we're in the water. This reminds me of that day. The day we met. Do you remember?" she asked him, floating peacefully on her back. They hadn't actually gone for a swim that day, for lack of time to dry and a change of clothes, but they'd been playing by the lake, and it was nice.

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime3rd March 2019, 8:08 pm

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Zek5Etf
He turned back at Cassandra's question, though continued to walk further into the cool rushing waters; Saphira's reply was much like his would have been, and he seconded her response with a smile and a nod of encouragement towards their brunette companion. A small wave struck him as Saphira partially submerged behind him, her red hair fanning out around her as she flattened to float on her back. He considered her question and nodded. "By the lake," he verified with a smile, "though if we had gone swimming back then we'd've probably landed in much greater trouble than we did."

Before joining her, the water now near waist-level, he dunked his shirt beneath the surface, intending to rinse it out and toss it back on shore to dry out, but as soon as his left hand hit the water he jerked in surprise as what felt like a shock traveled up the length of his arm. His right caught hold of the fabric before he could lose his shirt in the current, but still the sensation had come as a surprise. He glanced down at his hand, the gems glistening and wet, and disorientation washed over him. He closed his eyes against it, only to find... something else behind his sight - the sky? The land rushing by beneath him? ... The river, with Cassandra on shore and Saphira and -- himself?! His eyes shot open, the odd vision disappearing suddenly but his body tensed and he half-ducked as something huge sailed by overhead and crashed into the waters of the river behind him. An enormous splash rained down on their heads, a huge wave rushing past to tempt them farther towards the shore, but he kept his ground, bare toes finding purchase in the sand beneath the water's surface, and when it had passed he quickly wiped at his face to see --

Kedrok. 

Kedrok wrote:
The great dragon landed smoothly in the deliciously cool and wet river waters -- well, as smoothly as he had wished to. He looked on with glee though his second pair of transparent eyelids as Leon and Saphira Vane were hit with his splash and the wave rushed ashore towards Cassandra Bailey's toes. As they recovered he lowered himself further into the river, letting the current cool his scales and surround him in its welcoming embrace, finally returning to the second element that was his home. He was grateful that the summoning activated with either elemental call - he would have hated to miss out on a river bath. 

"Greetings, younglings," he cheerfully intoned, projecting his voice into the mind of Saphira Vane that she may hear him as well. "Finally your actions make sense. Find a river, play in a river. This is wisdom. The other two sleep?"

___________________________


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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime4th March 2019, 7:00 am

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 MtyLMkX

The response from Saphira, added to Leon's smile and nod, reassured her. She turned to remove the outermost layers of her clothing, taking cue from Saphira to leave a modest layer. She might not have cared personally about stripping down—she'd gone swimming with her brothers enough times to not care overly much about it—but she didn't want to make it awkward for anyone else.

She laid down the homespun clothes next to her own belongings, taking a moment to appreciate how well Kitty had set up the camp. Before she joined the others in the relaxing water, she turned back to their sleeping companions, looking from Kitty to Shashka. She made sure each were tucked in nicely with their blankets, adjusting the coverings gently as needed, before turning her attention back towards the river.

As she approached, a large shape loomed overhead, splashing down to join the others in the river. She hadn't ever forgotten the presence of Kedrok, but it still was rather surprising to see the large creature up close. She didn't think it would ever feel normal. The splashing created a wave, rising the waters enough to even reach her toes on the shore, and she grinned at the playfulness of it.

Cassandra waded into the water as Kedrok spoke, and she nodded in response to the great dragon's question. "They're exhausted. I'm sure they would have loved to play in the river too. Maybe tomorrow." She dove into the water then, resurfacing a small distance away where it was deeper. She then looked once more at Kedrok, soaking in the details all over again. Would she ever stop being in awe? It certainly did not feel that way.

As she floated in the water, the coolness soothed her injuries and aches.  "When I was younger, my brothers loved to splash me when we went swimming. They were bigger and stronger, and I could never quite get the waves as big as them." She grinned up towards Kedrok. "It will be fun to tell them that I've met someone who out-splashes them by an exceptional margin."

___________________________

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Title : Drinker of Roleplayers' Tears ~ The Internationaliest™
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[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime4th March 2019, 1:07 pm

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 GauQv2D

She smiled at his words, yet wishing they had gone swimming back then anyway. They had less worries at the time, and a little trouble like being scolded by their parents seemed so inconsequential compared to the kinds of troubles they faced now, between assassins and wolves and sudden appearance of dragons. His sudden movement alerted her, and she straightened up, wondering if he was hurt, and watched in concern as he looked at his hand. "William?" she asked, worry clear in her voice.

As he tensed and ducked, she saw the huge shadow passing over them, but couldn't react before the huge splash drenched her completely. She was pushed back towards the shore and righted herself. In disbelief she saw the dragon had decided to join them in the river, almost filling the entire width. She raised an eyebrow at his observation that 'find a river, play in it' apparently counted as wisdom, and realized again that he really was quite young, no matter his true age.

She briefly wondered about his family, and where they were now and if he missed them. Cassandra's question gave her the opening to ask. "Speaking of brothers, do you have siblings, Kedrok?"

___________________________

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[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime4th March 2019, 2:57 pm

Kedrok wrote:
Kedrok wiggled a little in the water to sink his toes deeper into its bottoms to anchor, the depth not great enough for him to tread and so not enough for him to truly have fun, but the rushing was nice so he hunkered down. He listened to Cassandra Bailey, eyes finding the two humans sleeping ashore momentarily before returning to the water in front of him and the trio around him, sinking his neck beneath the water so that only his head and the arch of his back were visible above the surface. Cassandra Bailey spoke of siblings, but then mentioned his exceptional splashes and, a draconic smile stretching his features, he raised his finned tail from the water and sliced it across the surface, sending a wave over his back to pelt droplets all around the three of them mischievously. 

Saphira Vane asked after his siblings, and he replied, "Two: Zakor of Water and Wind and Kavot of the Fire of the Sea. Our group was larger than most."

___________________________


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Sailor Uranus

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime4th March 2019, 3:45 pm

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Zek5Etf
Once the great creature had landed he turned back to reassure Saphira that he was fine, having heard her worried call, and found her drenched and farther back than she had been. He balled up his shirt and threw it to shore as Cassandra waded in, and reached back towards Saphira, intending to offer assistance to get her back to where she had been to make up for Kedrok's somewhat rude entrance. Based on his statements the dragon hadn't meant to be malicious, but he wouldn't put 'mischievous' past him; he just hoped that the dragon realized his own size. He held his free hand up to protect his face from the barrage of droplets as Cassandra's compliments encouraged another splash. "Fire of the Sea?" he repeated curiously; Water and Wind seemed obvious, but fire of the sea... how could there be fire in the sea?

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime6th March 2019, 4:31 am

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 MtyLMkX

The splashing brought out another laugh and Cassandra wiped the excess water from her face, finding delight in how a dragon could be such an interesting mix of power, pride, and playfulness all at the same time.

She continued to float in the water, soaking in its cool embrace, listening as Kedrok spoke of his own siblings, their names just as strange and mystical as Kedrok's own. They all had the letter 'k' in their name. She wondered if that was something specific to their little family group, an identifier of sorts, or if it was a requirement for all dragons to have that letter in their name. And if that was the case, Kedrok had two, so what could that mean?

A smile pulled at her lips. Perhaps she saw mountains out of anthills again. Perhaps.

Leon brought up a good point, one she hadn't thought to question—who was she to judge if there could be a fire made from the sea? Just a few days ago, she would have said there never existed massive creatures with wingspans as long as buildings and scales that glittered like gems. She loved that she knew the truth now—but now that the question was out in the open, she, too, felt curious as to its answer.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime6th March 2019, 1:31 pm

Kedrok wrote:
The dragon quirked one of his brows as though to suggest the answer were obvious as he replied, "In reference to the lava of the sea vents;" he continued a little less condescendingly, as though thinking of something that had not been considered in a long time, "she is thrice talented and once cursed in that she cannot leave the sea, but is affiliated with water, earth and fire. I had not seen her in a score of years..." Raising his head, he looked towards the south as though able to see the shoreline even from where they were, hundreds of miles away from it... and then settled back in to his prior position, dismissing whatever thought he had as he sunk his neck back into the current.
[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Zek5Etf
Sea vents? Lava... so lava flowed on the bottom of the sea as well as from volcanoes within mountain ranges? How curious; he had no reason to doubt what Kedrok had said, but the way that he had presented it, as though he expected them to know precisely what he meant rather than giving them some grand revelation (William had little doubt that the dragon would have made a presentation of such a thing were that the case), and yet the knowledge of such an occurrence was new to him, and he had the best tutors in the kingdom. Lava beneath the waves... the planet's interior leaking out there, too; he wondered if the events were violent, as eruptions from volcanoes --

But then more information came forth. Thrice talented? Once cursed -- luckily, Kedrok went ahead and explained what he meant by that, and honestly he had no idea what to think about it. Three affinities? And a curse linked with one - so she could control water, but not leave it? And control it to what extent? Just how powerful were the affinities to dragons? What were they capable of? 

Kedrok's movements did not go unnoticed, and while he was of a different species, William could well imagine what that expression meant. He could not help but feel guilty; his ancestor supposedly incapacitated Kedrok, disallowing him from seeing his family, and now this bond kept Kedrok from seeing her again now. Assuming she were even still alive, having no idea how long Kedrok was in the ground. The southern shores were weeks and weeks away by carriage; if Kedrok left now there was no guarantee he could be back when William needed him, so he could not offer to let him go now. ...but he could acknowledge it. "Will you go searching for her when our bond is dissolved?"

Kedrok wrote:
The blue-scaled dragon tilted his head to one side, thoughtfully replying "Perhaps." He explained, "I miss the idea of Kavot, but she can be quite demanding and spoiled and I don't know if I want to deal with that right now," he ended lightly with a playful, haughty tone. "I'd much rather visit the mountains and see whom I could find there."

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime6th March 2019, 6:06 pm

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 MtyLMkX

Cassandra still reeled at the revelation of her Mind affinity that the idea of someone having three affinities was something else entirely. Was that curse a part of having such a high amount of affinities or had it come about by some other means? It must be a sad thing, to be locked away inside of something that should only give you power.

At Leon's question of Kedrok's future intentions, Cassandra frowned a little. She didn't like thinking about Kedrok leaving so soon, but she knew it to be inevitable. That was the way of things. Only the bond to Leon kept Kedrok here at all, and she had to be grateful for that at the very least.

At first, she thought of Kedrok's words to be his desire to find interesting humans but she knew that to be a foolish thought as soon as it came to mind. Surely he meant to find more dragons in those mountains. Cassandra spent a moment conjuring up pictures of what those dragons could possibly look like. It wasn't her best work—most of them looked like recolored replicas of Kedrok himself—but little experience of thinking about dragons left her with gaps in her ideas.

"Are there many dragons in the world?" she asked then. "It's so strange to me to think I've never even heard of the word 'dragon' nor read it in any of my books before meeting you, Kedrok."

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime6th March 2019, 6:58 pm

Kedrok wrote:
"There used to be," Kedrok sniffed petulantly. "He probably did to them what he did to me. In my early years there were nearly one hundred of us; we were not nearly as prolific as your kind, but we were also not as small. Resources are respected, and balances were kept to ensure optimal population based on environmental factors and needs."

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime6th March 2019, 7:10 pm

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 GauQv2D

She listened to the dragon's stories, interested in everything the creature had to say. It was still hard to believe that they'd found a being that nobody else knew existed. His stories were so fantastical it sounded like they came straight out of Cassandra's books. Although it seemed even dragon siblings were not that much different from human ones. She hoped he wouldn't be the last of his kind and that he would find more of his kin once he had time to look for them. To have them amongst the Esorians once more, the way things supposedly used to be, would be amazing. 

"By the way, what did you do to those people who were attacking us when you woke up?" she asked, suddenly remembering they never found out the slavers' fates. Did Kedrok eat them? Did dragons even eat humans?

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime6th March 2019, 7:13 pm

Kedrok wrote:
The dragon shifted his slit-pupiled gaze over to Saphira and answered, "I took care of a need based on environmental factors. They will not bother you again."

___________________________


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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime10th March 2019, 9:03 am

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Zek5Etf
The reply to his query almost made him want to smile - the playful treatment of Kedrok's siblings near familiar to the way Marie spoke of him when they were younger, though her teases always seemed for show for him whenever he were in earshot, and were made only to people who knew them both a good deal so they would know the complaint was made in jest. He had an idea, then, that what Kedrok had said next, about preferring the mountains to the sea, was not entirely truthful. As was probably the reason why Cassandra had not heard of dragons. If an ancestor of his was responsible for their disappearance, it was not a stretch to imagine that that same ancestor was responsible for the disappearance of all information about dragons. Such confiscation would have been difficult to cover up, so perhaps it was alongside a reason that was readily accepted to explain why it was necessary to forget the great creatures. ... or it was simply following that ancestor's will. It would have taken a lot of energy to pull off something like that, though, so perhaps that was the last explanation rather than the simplest. Perhaps there was some great disagreement between humans and dragons that facilitated such an agreement? 

As he thought he still tried to pay attention to Kedrok's answers to their questions, appreciating how easily his companions came across questions to be asked. He respected the dragon's respect for their resources, especially considering their size, and wondered if his race's lack of respect for population control in that way was a sticking point in dragon's regard for them. 

Saphira's question was one that he had not yet considered asking, simply for the phrasing and the possible responses, but she just asked, and he admired her for it. ... Kedrok's response, however, was right in line with what he was afraid of. "Kedrok," he said carefully for respect of the great creature, but also with a firmness of command - not willpower command, but a tone he had practiced for years to remind people of who he was and that what he said ought be listened to. "I thank you for your consideration for our safety, but you cannot eat people. Our kind has not seen or heard of yours; if when all this is done you wish to live alongside us peacefully you must adhere to -"

Kedrok wrote:
With a whip of his tail he sent a rain of water to thoroughly drench Leon before he could finish his statement. "I was joking, Princeling. I ate their horses, as their kind used to in times of famine. We do not eat creatures of higher intelligence unless there is no other choice, so stand down, your humans are safe from me." He returned his attention to Saphira, "Regardless, the riders cannot ride, and," he grinned, "with what they witnessed, I guarantee they would not wish my wrath in any case."
[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 Zek5Etf
Water pelted him from above and Kedrok interrupted him to admit a - in his opinion - poorly made jest. William wiped the water from his face and crossed his arms, happy at least to hear that dragons did not care to dine on his kind, though he could practically see the missives sent to Thelline on behalf of the riders demanding compensation for the stock they had lost once it is revealed that Kedrok was allied with him - whether or not that alliance was made after Kedrok's breakfast or before. The fear Kedrok inspired in his appearance would be nearly as difficult to deal with on their way to Thelline as securing his meals would be; he considered his remaining coins and wondered if there were some way he could convince a rancher to sell his entire stock to him for a coin without explaining why, and wondered still the feasibility of requesting Kedrok attempt to stay out of sight until they reached the capital. ...Or even after reaching the capital; he would prefer his grandfather have no idea what was in store until he had already made eye contact and started the process...

DM wrote:
Saphira's conversation with Kedrok in the NPC thread asks and answers a lot of questions that we've been dancing around in this thread, so I'd like to just work that conversation into this period of time if possible! When this chain reaches a lull in conversation, I'd like to put that conversation in, with the understanding that (at least at the beginning), Cassandra and William are doing their own thing ((floating, swimming laps, etc.)) while Saphira engages Kedrok in conversation and then can join back in whenever they choose to break into the NPC conversation thread!  I may copy/paste it into the board here when that happens for ease of reading later since hahahaha dragon info is important to plot~ before moving on to a time skip!

___________________________


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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime19th March 2019, 1:07 pm

[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 MtyLMkX

A hundred different dragons? It was difficult to imagine, even with her extensive practice. Kedrok's presence alone still awed her, so trying to think of there being nearly one hundred different dragons, all unique and beautiful, was almost impossible.

She wanted to ask about what happened to Kedrok and his kin, a detail that had been skirted around but Saphira spoke her own question, and then Leon continued as well. Perhaps it was a question better asked at a more private time. Perhaps it was even something she shouldn't ask at all. Where did the line lay between curiosity and rudeness?

Still, it was good to know that her first fears about this giant and powerful creature could be laid to rest. They were in no danger of being eaten, at least. Cassandra hadn't quite feared Kedrok for a while now, no more than was healthy, at least. But to have that verbal confirmation still left her relieved. It was difficult to know what exactly to think when she knew so little about dragons and their ways.

But, it excited her to know that she now had the chance to learn all about it. When this journey began, she'd yearned for the adventure it gave. Now, she knew that there was even more to the world than she'd ever known. And it was all incredibly thrilling. All her life she'd thought the world would never quite live up to the magic and intrigue laid bare upon storybook pages. How could she have ever guessed the reality of it all was so much more?

As her mind filled with memories of old stories and how they all could have benefited from the inclusion of dragons, she swam around the lake. Muscles and wounds alike both ached with the exertion, but it calmed her at the same time. The cool water soothed the pain away, and she enjoyed feeling—for what felt like the first time in a very long time—completely relaxed.

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime23rd March 2019, 11:37 am

NPC Thread wrote:
OKAY so thread posting will just be assumed to be closed for a bit until everyone's real-life issues just CHILL MY GOODNESS, RUDE OCCURRENCES. 

At this point, the conversation just tapers off a bit, Cassandra and William chill out, and the following conversation between Saphira and Kedrok occurs. I'll continue to update when updates are necessary, but otherwise assume the NPC thread (pinned in discord ooc) is the active place for RPing atm!  When we come back we'll time skip to making decisions about getting back to the capital, and, following the vote that we did a while ago, we will then time skip to our glorious return to Thelline!

Topical Information from Kedrok <- tidbits about dragons, affinities, the history of Esoria, stars, bonding, and the royal family mentioned since Kedrok joined them, whether in this thread or the NPC question document. 

___________________________


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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Star Catchers   [HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 I_icon_minitime24th April 2019, 2:04 pm

To Thelline wrote:
Decisions made via this thread: Here

The Town at the Edge of the Forest - Citigal
It was decided that, while convenient to scare off predators with the sight/smell of a dragon with them, it would be most inconvenient for people to see Kedrok as they traveled back to Thelline, and so Kedrok would be using his invisibility trick to keep himself out of sight throughout their trip. He states that he will remain “close” in case a threat reveals itself, but it’s made in less of a “because I love you guys” way and more a “because if he dies I die and I’m not dying” way.


Heading directly east, they see the treeline that marked the edge of the steppe ahead of them, and, slightly to the north, a settlement. Kedrok, at this point invisible, reports that it is a settlement of ranchers before excusing himself, leaving it up to them whether to continue on foot or take a detour to civilized society for the first time in over a fortnight.
[Voting Below…]


They decide to go into town! It had been a long while since they had sampled the creature comforts of civilization, and with five coins in total left, why not indulge a little. Using the town as a starting point also provided a road for easier and more direct travel, and with it being a town frequented by ranchers, William intended to use one of his coins to purchase horses, that they may reach Thelline as quickly as possible.


They also decided to be cautious and travel incognito - not just the prince, but all of them, as word had probably spread about their group and it would be easier for those who would wish them harm to find them if their blue cloaks were on display. They would reveal who they were and their success only to those whom they wish to exchange coins for services and would include a mute clause in the invoice. Their cloaks stashed in their bags and William as disguised as possible with what they had on them, they made their approach to the town at the edge of the forest.


The town had a long main street with several bustling businesses - most livestock oriented. A wide road started in the middle of the town and traveled due east, towards the heart of the kingdom, soon disappearing into the distance surrounded by the cover of trees. That was their route to Thelline. Citigal, the town was called, and upon reaching the rock-paved streets in the late afternoon, the shadows growing long, they set about getting organized and making preparations for their trip to Thelline. Splitting up wasn’t always the best option, but if someone were looking for them, the five of them sticking together may be more noticeable than two or three groups separately.
[Voting Below…]


After discussion, it was decided that Saphira and Cassandra would arrange their stay for the night at one of the inns in town, relying on Saphira’s silver tongue to arrange for payment upon leaving rather than upon making the reservation and getting as many extras thrown in as she could without revealing anything about who they were or what they were really up to. While a little suspicious, the innkeeper made arrangements for their dinners, a bath, and their rooms without demanding payment first, Saphira’s grammar and airs enough to push the bluff through. Cassandra was even able to get some paper and writing utensils out of it!


William, Kitty, and Shashka went to purchase horses and any other equine necessities for the trip. Kitty was instrumental in determining which 5 horses would be the best for the trip; as she did the final checks and Shashka made sure that everything they requested was being gathered and packed as asked, William wrote out the invoice for the coin exchange, keeping what he was doing under wraps until it was just them and the seller, only then revealing who they were, revealing that they had the star, and making clear the clause in the invoice for his silence until they reached Thelline. The seller agreed, though they were not thrilled at the prospect of keeping quiet about it, and had their horses delivered to the inn’s stables.


They had a good night! The next morning they paid the innkeeper in a similar manner, including the silence clause, and the innkeeper was thrilled with all of it. The adventure! The story! The Prince! THE SECRET SHE WOULD KEEP! Tickled pink about the process, she threw in some additional supplies and happily took the coin and did a secret is safe with me! sign by miming locking her lips. They set out in the early morning atop their new horses, heading for Thelline.


After Effects: Innkeeper was completely serious about loving keeping secrets. She was very I know something you don’t know to absolutely everyone and was a complete nightmare about it, but she kept her word. At the inn, William was recognized by someone, but they decided to keep it to themselves. The Rancher they bought the horses from also kept their secret - a deal’s a deal, and at three times asking price he was about to earn enough from that one exchange than he made all year selling stuff to passersby. One of his ranchhands recognized the Prince but kept it to himself.


The Road to Thelline
The map revealed two paths to Thelline - one that took them through two large cities before the sprawling outer cities of Thelline, another that took them through three smaller cities.
[Voting below...]
[HC Event] Star Catchers - Page 28 WVG5Txniwlks8OSljnJBx8FSiUTLRIGeS646csfMaclYtBL2ocFs8bUGGjJ9OdTwVcnWXDL_99N-ztJYXMrWrOvK80oa3gXWQcweVCQMa5p7BtJ1hGyqloejHumpPb6_arFlrEYI
They decided to take the path with three smaller cities, and planned not to spend their remaining three coins until or unless an emergency arose.


The road was rather uneventful at first; they decided to group differently when the road was crowded so it wasn’t five young adults traveling together, more like two or three people traveling together with another group not too far behind. While they passed smaller towns and villages without much trouble, the first city - just a little smaller than Shadeslake - caused them a little hassle. Having decided not to spend a coin at an inn, they waited until it was a little darker before passing through the main street of the city, sticking to the road that continued on towards Thelline. While it was darker, it apparently wasn’t all that odd to see people passing through at that hour, as they were not questioned or stopped.


The city of Canticel was smaller than the first, right around Shadeslake’s size. Passing through, William was recognized by someone, but the merchant did not make a big deal out of the sighting at first, choosing instead to nonchalantly mention it later and reap the rewards the sudden burst of popularity afforded him. While they made it through Canticel before the rumor caught up with them, word of their coming spread out and outpaced them. While travelling on the road they were approached by passers-by and exclaimed over, asked whether they found the star or had just decided to accompany the Prince home.
[Voting below…]


They decided to tell them the truth, admitting that they had found the star and were on their way to Thelline to turn it in. Rather than find their attempt to hide the fact odd, the passers-by apparently thought nothing odd of it - beyond how they must be humble and/or following some new-fangled teenage fad or something, and asked to see the cloaks and were exclaimed over and applauded and surrounded by a feeling of warmth and good vibes, before one of them exclaimed how they had taken up so much of their time and finally let them leave. They decided to keep their cloaks on and travel together in a group, and changed up their route so that they would arrive in Mabolab after dark so that they would not be camping within a day’s ride of the city in either direction, and agreed that they should use their coin on an inn room in Mabolab.


The remaining days between Canticel and Mabolab were a little tense; everyone who passed them congratulated them, demonstrating how quickly news travelled and how well-known their position was, and so how open they were to being found by the mercenaries they had escaped in the Steppe, but, one night away from the last big city before Thelline’s suburbs, nothing had come of it. Good fortune seemed to be by their side: there were no attempts on their lives.


Mabolab
They entered Mabolab to fanfare.


People crowded on the streets, cheering at them and tossing flower petals at their passing, congratulations and well wishes garbling together into a cacophony of joy and excitement for them. They were practically escorted to the center of town by the blocked off streets thrumming with people - trapped in their own parade - that ended in a hastily constructed stage with none other than Mabolab’s Mayor, its governors and councilmembers, all eager to wish them luck in their upcoming endeavors. In her speech, the Mayor kept her words upbeat and rather non-personal, though there was some affectionate ribbing towards the Prince for being so lucky as to get to travel with such accomplished young women. She knew each of them by name and place of origin, and suggested that their families and hometowns would soon hear of their success as Mabolab’s news spread far and wide (all but saying that she would make sure their families knew they were safe and sound without making it a personal favor worthy of a coin). She asked for confirmation of the story that spread from Viachia explaining the Prince’s involvement in the trial, repeating a fair summary of what he had said in the restaurant to the person who had found him out that he could “humbly” agree to, earning more applause, and then - finally - the mayor suggested it was getting late and asked them if they would be staying in their fair city, the question leading them to reveal their plans for the night and inviting them to share more about how many coins remained to them. (This was the Mayor and she knew what the merchants of her town wanted!)


At that point, Saphira announced that they would be staying at one of Mabolab’s best inns with their one remaining coin, and at that point the Mayor invited prominent innkeeps forward as the rest of the gathered people cheered and dispersed (many of them were hoping they could get a coin out of a service… but with only one left and that one spoken for, then they were going to bed). An unofficial bidding war started for which of the finest establishments would get the honor of hosting the Star Catchers, and eventually it was settled out. With their “last coin” they were granted use of the “King’s Suites” of the most expensive inn in town - one that, it was true, the King himself had stayed on various occasions while travelling. With it they were granted use of a steward for the night that would deliver their dinners and breakfasts, draw the baths, have their clothing laundered and mended, and even offered wake-up services to be sure they arose with the sun - a feat, the innkeep said, found most difficult considering the comfortable accommodations. Their horses would be well cared for, of course, and their supplies refreshed from the inn’s kitchens to get them to Thelline easily.


Aftereffects: It was actually all on the up-and-up. The stay was fantastic. Nothing bad happened. Nothing poisoned, broken, hidden, etc. - all completely and utterly, ridiculously, luckily went well. A+, 10/10 service.


The Last Leg
They left Mabolab rested and full, clean and refreshed. It was difficult to consider that anything bad could or would happen on the remainder of their trip - everyone was so wonderful and enthusiastic about their impressive feat, it was like living the life of a hero. The welcome was everything fantasized about for actually catching a Star and presenting it to the King. It was easy to forget about what the star actually did or how that could be bad. And how could one worry about an assassination attempt when everyone was being so particularly helpful and friendly? They were overthinking things before, surely - just reading too much into things. And dragons? … it was easy to forget Kedrok in all this. He was too new, and too far removed. At this distance there was very little communication with him anyway; even with William, the dragon’s thoughts touched his only when his hand - now perpetually gloved - was submerged in the waters of the bath the night before, and their conversation was more a checking-in than anything else.


This seemed the ideal situation, and, surrounded by it, it was certain that everything would turn out okay.


They left the town with children running alongside their horses being called back by parents, each with wild flowers braided into their horse’s bridle and saddle. Hours passed them by, the ride almost comfortable now, the warm bath of the night before and the salts within easing the pain of riding for so long day after day. They were passed by a guard of Mabolab at one point, who tipped his hat and cheerfully reported a clear road from there through the following towns, making note of stating it was nothing outside their usual responsibilities to patrol the roads for those that used them. The importance of making sure that nothing was handed to them for free was never far from citizen’s minds, but it was clear they were making a point to be nicer and friendlier regardless of what they could or could not do for them.


The following night passed peacefully. With just two nights left and traffic on the road growing, they traveled at a quicker pace whenever possible to avoid having to stop for conversation and well wishes (otherwise they wouldn’t get anywhere) and left the road completely for short rests. Everything was going great until the final night.

They practically camped in someone’s yard. The outskirts of the spread of Thelline crept up on them and they were soon passing mansions in the country surrounding the hub that was the capitol. The next night would find them at the palace, guests of the King, waiting to receive the highest honor that could be granted people their age - a prize that could catapult their prospects higher than their means could have ever shot them - but tonight they were based by the treeline of someone’s field, sneaking through because they “didn’t have any more coins left”, despite the two packed away in their possession. They opted to go without a campfire, less they draw the attention of the owners of the house barely visible from their position as a speck on the horizon, and with the sky clear and the ground warm from the sunshine of the day they found they didn’t need it anyway. They took their normal shifts, and though most would admit to being unable to sleep with the end so near, they kept their peace and quiet, reflecting about the day or dreaming of the capital and the future that loomed ahead of them.

Shashka was on duty when it happened.

___________________________


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