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Old Believing Is Only The Beginning

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  #751  
Old 10-05-2018, 07:24 PM
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How dare you keep us hanging like this! Utterly unacceptable!

Don't worry about it Liri! I really hope everything goes well for you on the Mainland. Please don't feel rushed, there's no pressure.

Ooh, I hope you're enjoying the re-read! I'm having so much fun with both this and OUAT right now.
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  #752  
Old 10-07-2018, 06:02 AM
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Liri Dazzlebeam Liri Dazzlebeam is offline
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Heeeeyyyyyy!!! I just finished reading through everything!! I forgot how much I loved Ren! But also how much more I wanted to do with her! And how much I neglected Finn and Talia. My poor characters!!!

Aaanyways, I just finished the craziest week tonight, especially these last couple days which have been insane. Should be settling in to the new routine soon, and then I will have more time again, but I should have some time to post something tomorrow or monday even!

Lets try to revive this!

I also will try to post on the other RPs soon, and start up a new one as soon as I am able to create it all! Hopefully we can get the forums active again!!!!! I miss writing with you all!!


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  #753  
Old 10-08-2018, 06:57 AM
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Yes! I really hope we can get active again too! Glad to hear you're settling in, Liri.

Haha, Ren is awesome! I can't wait to see where you take her next! I love all of our characters so much. I totally understand how you feel though it's really hard to juggle three characters. And at least you were nowhere near as neglectful of your other characters as I was with Sierra. I think I've only posted from her POV like, 5 times.

Okay, I also recently finished a re-read of this RP, and I noticed we left off in the middle of a battle scene and absolutely nobody was inspired to write more of it. In fact, that's what caused this to go inactive in the first place! So I'm making the decision to skim quickly over that Clann/Dai Li battle. I'm sure everyone has a lot they want to get to with their characters, and with the dwindling post count on this thread, let's just try to get to the good stuff!

Hope nobody minds me doing this! Feel free to elaborate on anything in my post, or let me know if I should change something.



“Together, we are strong!” Nyna calls out, and everyone cheers.
Nyna, the Elders, and some of the more experienced agents begin giving out instructions. Once the decision to fight has been made, I'm shocked at how quickly the Clann manages to mobilize. Despite the fact that we've essentially been hiding from the Dai Li this whole time, there's no doubt that the Clann has always been prepared for something like this.
I stand close to Stacia, Joy and Hope. Grace left us; she felt that her place should be back at headquarters, preparing to take care of the wounded.
"Do you really think we can do this?" Stacia asks. I can see the strength in all my friends' gazes, born of determination and hope.
I smile. "Believe it."

As I turned to join the team that I've been assigned to, a voice calls out my name. "Haven?"
I scowl, not wanting to deal with him right now. "What do you want, Ansell?" I demand, unable to keep an undercurrent of resentment out of my voice. "In case you haven't noticed, we're about to be in the middle of a war zone."
Ansell shrugs, looking as unperturbed as if this was a regular Sunday afternoon, and we were just headed for a normal training routine. "It's going to be fine, Havvy. For all we know, the Dai Li just want to stop by for some idle chitchat, or to ask about fashion advice. It can't be healthy for them to look so gloomy all the time."
I roll my eyes. "Just get on with it."
He abruptly stops smiling. "You've every reason to be mad, and I'm not asking for forgiveness. But I thought you deserve an explanation. And... I don't know if there will be a better time."
This stops me in my tracks. "You mean the oh-so-mysterious reason you abandoned me?" I ask, bitterness lacing my tone.
Ansell plops down onto the window ledge nearby, and after a beat, I sit too, my posture stiff. He sighs. "You know by now that I'm a double agent for the Clann. For almost a year now, I've been part of an elite Dai Li team, working to relay information back to the Clann, as well as to sabotage their efforts as much as I could to allow the Gifted to escape."

"I usually tried to act as useless and irritating as possible to avoid drawing notice, but this didn't make me popular with the leaders of the team. In fact, you could say I was the bane of their existence, right after the Clann. They managed to convince the King to give me a job stationed at the village of Calian - your home. There had been Gifted found there before, and while neither the Clann nor the Dai Li really understand how it works, it is known that there are places where the presence of Gifted is more common, their powers heightened."

I remember back to my childhood, how we all lived in fear of the Dai Li, patrolling through our village. I had thought it was normal then, but maybe there was something about Calian that drew Gifted power - and through it, this eternal struggle between these two factions.

"And that's where we met." He smiles. "I still left my post whenever I could slip away, help Gifted escape whenever I could. But it was getting more and more difficult, and I hadn't been able to contact the Clann in months. The Dai Li presence was just too strong; they checked all the messenger falcons coming in and out of Calian. And then there was you. Your powers were getting stronger by the day, and you wouldn't be able to hide them for much longer. A Gifted without training can be a dangerous thing, and without learning control, it was only a matter of time until you couldn't keep them in any longer. I tried to teach you what I knew, but I'm no Gifted. I knew you needed Nyna's guidance. So I volunteered for the job of reporting back to the King one day, knowing it'd allow me to slip out of Calian without raising suspicion. I needed to find a way to contact the Clann. And I managed to find an agent... But that was the day the Dai Li came for you."

Why couldn't you have just taken me and run for it though? Forget the Dai Li, forget keeping your cover, we could've just returned to the Clann together...

"I'm sorry, Haven. I know I failed you."
I sigh, knowing my reaction is petty. It really isn't fair to ask him to jeopardize the Clann's mission just for one person. "I guess I understand. Fine, you're forgiven."
He peers over at me. "You don't have to - "
"Don't push it. I might just change my mind," I warn, lifting my chin defiantly. A small storm cloud begins to form beside me. My face softens, a grin spreading across my features. "You didn't expect an absolute saint like me to hold grudges now, did you?" It's so easy to slip back into our old, teasing ways.
Ansell laughs, and the tension finally drains from the conversation. "But I had this whole speech planned! With flowers and balloons and everything. I was going to wax poetic about how unworthy I am of being in your mere presence, and how your radiant magnificence puts this whole dull world to shame. I would've even thrown a parade in your honor!"

I raise my hand threateningly, the storm cloud growing slightly bigger.
"Just as well, I guess. You would've rained all over it anyway."
I roll my eyes. "You're terrible."
"The worst," he agrees cheerfully.

I get up to go, my heart feeling lighter despite the gravity of our current circumstances.
"And Haven? We will find your family, and bring them back safely. I promise you this."
I freeze at this, and abruptly, the blanket of fear that never quite dissipated felt crushing once again. I nod, not trusting myself to speak.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The battle rages on all around me. The glint of steel, the screech and clang of metal on metal, Gifts of all kinds on full display as our Gifted stand side by side with the Clann agents, driving the Dai Li back little by little. I smile, feeling fiercely proud of this found family.
I'd gotten separated from my team sometime during the heat of battle. When I dodged a spinning arrow and sent a small bolt of lightning into the nearest Dai Li agent, I'd lost track of Talia and the others. I levitated slightly, trying to see above the line of fighters, but it was impossible to make out anyone in this melee.

Now I stand by a copse of trees, breathing heavily. The strain of using my Gift so much in one night is taking its toll. I'm still so new to this. Blood drips down my arm, from where a sword had grazed it, but it doesn't seem serious.
I'm about to throw myself back into the fray, ignoring the exhaustion, when I hear a small, familiar cry echo through the woods behind me.
I freeze in my tracks. No, it can't be! Not her... Not here... It's impossible!
The cry sounds out again, this time stifled. I hear a man's harsh reprimand and the sound of a slap.
This time I can't control myself. Abandoning caution and rationality, I turn and run in the direction of the voice, my heart in my throat.

Distantly, from behind, the voice of a Dai Li agent rings out. "Retreat! Agents of the Dai Li, retreat!"
"Don't celebrate too soon, you abominations!" Another voice adds, the loathing clear and seething. "We will be back. And it will turn out much differently when next we return!"

The words hardly register in my mind as I sprint throw the trees, the voices growing louder before me. The hollow pit of dread widens in my stomach.
"Let go of me!" A young girl wails, the metallic clanking of chains accompanying her cries.
"You belong to the King now. The more you fight, the worse it will end for you!" A gruff voice I do not recognize.
I stop at the edge of the trees leading away from Clann headquarters. All the breath leaves my body in a rush of horror. Her name makes its way past my numb lips. "Rhia."

My sister struggles against the man dragging her backwards. Chains are latched around her wrists and ankles, and she wears a torn, filthy dress. Her dark hair is tangled in snarls around her gaunt face.

"I brought you hear to show you what becomes of those who oppose the Dai Li," the man spits out. "But it looks like that lesson will have to wait for another day."
"You lost, didn't you?" Defiance colors Rhia's tone, despite her predicament. "My sister and the others, they defeated you!"
The Dai Li agent picks her up and roughly throws her onto the back of the carriage. "Insolent brat! You should be grateful the King didn't immediately throw you into the dungeon with the rest of your family, after it was discovered your blood was tainted." Disgust rings clear in his tone. "You're servant to the Dai Li now. The sooner you accept that, the easier it will be - for you and your family."

Rage burns through me like an inferno, fierce and all-consuming. I raise my hand, preparing to blast the man into a pile of ashes. But my powers feel dull and sluggish from overuse, and exhaustion drags at my limbs. I stumble forward, determined to catch up with the carriage. But something catches my foot, and I sprawl face-first into the dirt. I scramble back to my feet, but by then it's far too late. The carriage speeds away into the distance. I rise a few feet off the ground, trying to fly after them, but my power gives out before I can make it more than a couple yards.

"RHIA!" I scream, my eyes blurry with tears. I have no idea how long I stay like that, standing there, crying out my sister's name again and again. Until finally, I turn back, stumbling through the trees, blinded by pain and fury.
Branches scratch at my skin, but it hardly registers. Helpless rage seethes inside me, like a gathering storm. Anger at the Dai Li, at the King, at myself for being so useless... I want to wield my fury like a weapon, carving my rage and helplessness into the very fabric of the world itself. If only I'd been able to use my power...



"The Dai Li - they're - coming! They'll be here within the hour." Haven exclaimed. Her warning sent the entire room into a flurry of activity.
"Already?" Talia jumped to her feet.
Wasting no time, Cadence immediately walked over to a switch on the wall and pulls it. Instantly, the loud wail of the alarm system rings out across the entire Clann HQ.

"How could they have gotten together their forces so quickly?" Hanna asked aloud to no one in particular.
"They're not sending out their entire army. Not yet," I replied, all traces of my usual teasing gone. "First, they'll send out a mildly large team of agents for a preliminary attack. It's to - "
" - Give us a taste of just what they are capable of," Ren finished for me. "The team can mobilize incredibly quickly. The purpose of this attack is to instill fear."
In that moment, the two of us were in perfect sync, in our knowledge of the ways of the Dai Li.
"But the thing about the Dai Li is," I added. "They expect us to be weak, unable to put up a fight worth their while."
A fierce look crosses Elder Pierce's voice. "Then we shall show them just how wrong they are."
Looking around, it seemed we were all in perfect agreement.

Given how long it usually took to spur the Council into agreement, it was something of a marvel to see how quickly the Clann could respond to such a threat. Immediately, teams were formed, each being assigned to their designated battle locations and Gifted charges. A pang of guilt went through me at the preparations. I wished with everything in me that I could fight with them, but always, I had to keep my cover. I told myself that they would be fine, that the Dai Li would hugely underestimate and be overwhelmed by our show of strength. They had no idea we even trained our Gifted.
It did nothing to assuage the worry inside me. But I did my best not to let it show, knowing there was far worse to come.

"Now, if you'll excuse me," I announced to no one in particular as I walked out the door. "I have the get back to the fair maiden whom I've left pining after me. Someone has to warn her about the upcoming danger, after all."
Talia gave me a look, not at all fooled. But before she could ask what I was really up to, Nyna finished calling out her instructions, and she turned to help gather the Gifted.

As I closed the door behind me, before I turned to face Tori, I felt another twinge of guilt and fear. Could I really justify helping her do this?
Can I trust that she'll make the right choice? After all... I didn't.
It was too late for regrets now. I didn't know if it was wrong to let Tori go without even knowing what her intentions were. I didn't know if I would regret giving her this chance.

The only thing I did know... was that it was what he would have done, if he were here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The relief that flooded through me when the Gifted and Clann agents alike returned after the battle was over felt overpowering. It was like a great weight being lifted. Immediately, the injured were brought to those with the healing Gift to be treated, and the rest gathered in the Great Hall.

"Wait. Where's Tori?" I heard Stacia call out. "I thought it was strange that no one made a snide remark throughout all of this."
"Oh no, what if she was captured by the Dai Li?" Joy gasped.
"We have to go look for her!" Hanna exclaimed.

"Don't bother," I spoke up. All eyes turned to me. "She left the Clann tonight, before the Dai Li came."
"Ansell! You... you helped her?" Nyna stared at me in shock and horror. "How could you?"
"It was what she wanted," I said simply. "She already thought of this place as a prison. We did everything we could to convince her the Clann was the right place for her, but in the end, she makes her own choices."
"Who knows what kind of danger she could run into?" Talia exclaimed. "When I sent you to talk to her, Ansell, I thought maybe you could get through to her. Not do this."
"The Clann isn't any safer for Tori than anywhere else. Not right now." I stared around at all of my friends. Of course I would never have considered this under any other circumstances, but that wasn't my only reason for letting her go.

The memories I couldn't keep away, no matter how hard I tried, coupled with the gravity of what I'd done, destroyed any trace of the usual teasing in my voice. It was emotionless and monotone, and as un-Ansell Vaile-like as any of them had ever seen me.

I kept my voice flat. "We can't make anyone fight, or stay, or even agree with our ways. If we try, then we're no longer any better than the Dai Li. Unlike them, we'll always allow our people to have a choice. But giving people the power to choose... sometimes means allowing them to choose wrong. We can try to guide them along the right path, but we can't force them. We can only have faith that they will make the right decision in the end."

Of those in the room Talia, Ezra, Cadence and Nyna understood the significance of those words. Because they knew. They were the only ones who knew.
Those words weren't mine. They were given to me, a long time ago, by someone else...

Before anyone could respond, the door to the Great Hall slammed open with a resounding crash. Haven stormed in, bruised and battered, her face contorted with terror and fury.
"Haven! What happened?" Talia started to rush forward.
"Rhia." Her voice was low and raspy. I froze, recognizing that name.
"What?" Nyna asked, confusion and concern plain on her face.
"Rhia. My sister. The King has her, he has my whole family - " Haven spun on the Clann agents gathered. "He took them because of me! Because I was Gifted, it meant my whole family - " Her voice caught.

"Haven - " I started, but she cut me off.
"WHAT'S BEING DONE?" she screamed, her voice rising to a fever pitch. "What's being done to help them, to help hundreds of families all over Alagaesia?! What's happening to them while we sit here, having sleepover parties and waiting for the Dai Li to come for us? Why aren't we doing anything?! Why do we only wait around to be attacked?"
She turned on me. "You promised we'd find them!" She spun on Talia too. "And you said we were a family here! But I had to stand by and do nothing while my family was taken!"

"Haven, please, calm down!" I pleaded. Electric sparks were coming off her in waves. She seemed too exhausted to manage anything more, but I was afraid of what would happen once she recovered the use of her Gifts.

"I can't - I won't - stand by and do nothing anymore!" Haven slammed the door so hard the entire wall shock with the impact, leaving ringing silence behind in her wake.

(It has been SO long since I've posted for these characters, so I was feeling inspired. I've missed my Havvy and Ansell! Even if this post forced them to act quite a bit out of their usual character.
Alexa, I was thinking Tori could meet Galadriel as the Dai Li are retreating from the battle! Maybe she's hiding in the trees and overhears her talk about Jackal or something? )
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  #754  
Old 10-09-2018, 04:03 AM
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Liri Dazzlebeam Liri Dazzlebeam is offline
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Great post Night! Thanks haha. Don't worry, I think I've only posted for Finn even less than that! Poor Finn!

Anyways... here goes!


Ren

“Together, we are strong!” Nyna calls out, and everyone around me cheers.

I don’t cheer, but I am surprised at my feelings.

I don’t want the Dai Li to succeed.
I don’t want the Clann members to get hurt - both nonGifted and Gifted alike.
I don’t want Finn or Ansell to get hurt.
I don’t even want Talia, my former nemesis, to be hurt.

The Clann is - surprisingly - starting to become my home, and I actually have my first real friend in Ansell (who would have ever expected that I would become friends with him?!) - and the beginnings of what could become many more friendships.

I know then, that while I have no idea what lies ahead for me, I will fight to protect the Clann and all those I care about. I know that I have finally fully joined the Clann.

I quickly refocus on what is going on around me, and I hear Nyna, the Elders, and some of the more experienced agents giving out instructions. Once the decision to fight has been made, I'm surprised by how quickly the Clann manages to mobilize. They may seem like a ragtag group from all around Alagaesia with all different skill levels, and they may have been hiding from the King and Dai Li for years, but now I see that they are actually prepared for this.

After everyone else is assigned a team and I am the only one left, I cautiously walk up to Talia, Nyna, and the Elders, who are standing together planning.
“I want to help. I want to fight for the Clann.” I say, after only a moment of hesitation. Nyna studies me searchingly, looking down into my soul, then seems satisfied by what she sees, and she nods approvingly.
“Very well, Ren. Your assistance will be greatly appreciated.”
“Are you sure about this Nyna?” Elder Pierce asks.
“Yes, very. I believe that Ren has fully accepted who she is and that she has fully joined our Clann. She is truly one of us now.”

The Elders and Talia study me now, and then Talia slowly nods as well, surprise in her eyes.
“I agree with Nyna, my old enemy Agent Walker is no more.” Talia says. “Ren, I could really use your help with strategizing. You know the Dai Li better than anyone else. You know how they think.”
“Of course.” I reply.
“I hope you two know what you are doing.” Elder Pierce says to Nyna and Talia with a resigned sigh, not fully trusting me but also knowing that I am their best chance at outwitting the Dai Li.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The battle rages on all around me. The glint of steel, the screech and clang of metal on metal, Gifts of all kinds on full display as our Gifted stand side by side with the Clann agents, driving the Dai Li back little by little. I fight alongside Talia, and we compliment each other perfectly.

How strange. Former enemies trusting each other to protect their backs. We are near matches in skill, I guess we strengthened each other through all those years battling one another. We do work very well together though, which is surprising since we were enemies for so very long.

Distantly, from behind, the voice of a Dai Li agent rings out. "Retreat! Agents of the Dai Li, retreat!"
"Don't celebrate too soon, you abominations! We will be back. And it will turn out much differently when next we return!" Another voice adds, and I freeze at the sound of it, the loathing clear and seething. Galy.

I surprisingly - and thankfully - hadn’t encountered my former partner during the battle, we must have been on opposite ends of the battle, but I heard her shouted words just then.
I wasn’t ready to face her yet. She hadn't ever been a true friend to me, not like Ansell, but she had been my partner. We had been through so much together. And now she despised me.
I was frozen outside, but reeling inside.

Then a mental voice broke through to me, shaking me from my stunned paralysis.
:Lyren! Hey! Come on, snap out of it!: My eyes fly up to meet his across the clearing.
:Ansell… I… it’s her…:
:Oh, Lyren.: His ‘voice’ comes back, gentler this time, filled with understanding, :I can guess how confusing this must feel right now. She was your partner for so long…:
I shake my head to try to clear it. Focus. This isn’t over yet.
: Don’t worry about it right now, we have a lot to do. They’ll be back soon enough.: I say to him.
:Okay.: Ansell replies, understanding my wish to forget about this for the moment.



Talia

The relief that flooded through me when the Gifted and Clann agents alike returned after the battle was over felt overpowering. It was like a great weight being lifted. Immediately, the injured were brought to those with the healing Gift to be treated, and the rest gathered in the Great Hall. We managed not to lose anyone this time… but what will happen when the King brings his full Dai Li and Gifted Army against us?

"Wait. Where's Tori?" I heard Stacia call out. "I thought it was strange that no one made a snide remark throughout all of this."
"Oh no, what if she was captured by the Dai Li?" Joy gasped.
"We have to go look for her!" Hanna exclaimed.

"Don't bother," Ansell spoke up. All eyes turned to him. "She left the Clann tonight, before the Dai Li came." What?!
"Ansell! You... you helped her?" Nyna stared at him in shock and horror. "How could you?"
"It was what she wanted," He said simply. "She already thought of this place as a prison. We did everything we could to convince her the Clann was the right place for her, but in the end, she makes her own choices."
"Who knows what kind of danger she could run into?" I exclaimed. "When I sent you to talk to her, Ansell, I thought maybe you could get through to her. Not do this."
"The Clann isn't any safer for Tori than anywhere else. Not right now." He stared around at all of us, his voice emotionless and monotone, as un-Ansell Vaile-like as I had ever seen my friend.

"We can't make anyone fight, or stay, or even agree with our ways. If we try, then we're no longer any better than the Dai Li. Unlike them, we'll always allow our people to have a choice. But giving people the power to choose... sometimes means allowing them to choose wrong. We can try to guide them along the right path, but we can't force them. We can only have faith that they will make the right decision in the end."

Then I understood.
I met the eyes of Ezra, Cadence and Nyna, the only other ones who understood the significance of those words. We knew. We were the only ones who knew.
Those words weren't Ansell’s. They were told to him, a long time ago, by someone else...

Before anyone could respond, the door to the Great Hall slammed open with a resounding crash. Haven stormed in, bruised and battered, her face contorted with terror and fury.
"Haven! What happened?" I started to rush forward, filled with worry for the girl.
"Rhia." Her voice was low and raspy. Rhia?
"What?" Nyna asked, confusion and concern plain on her face.
"Rhia. My sister. The King has her, he has my whole family - " Haven spun on the Clann agents gathered. "He took them because of me! Because I was Gifted, it meant my whole family - " Her voice caught.

"Haven - " Ansell started, but she cut him off.
"WHAT'S BEING DONE?" she screamed, her voice rising to a fever pitch. "What's being done to help them, to help hundreds of families all over Alagaesia?! What's happening to them while we sit here, having sleepover parties and waiting for the Dai Li to come for us? Why aren't we doing anything?! Why do we only wait around to be attacked?"
She turned on Ansell. "You promised we'd find them!"
She spun on me too. "And you said we were a family here! But I had to stand by and do nothing while my family was taken!"

"Haven, please, calm down!" Ansell pleaded. Electric sparks were coming off her in waves. She seemed too exhausted to manage anything more, but I was afraid of what would happen once she recovered the use of her Gifts. She is wild with grief.

"I can't - I won't - stand by and do nothing anymore!" Haven slammed the door so hard the entire wall shock with the impact, leaving ringing silence behind in her wake.

Oh, Haven. I didn’t know… I feel her grief, fear, desperation, and anger as if they were my own, and I lock eyes with Nyna, my oldest friend.
:Oh Nyna. What are we going to do?!:
:We fight. We will find them and free them all. We won’t give up. We will try our very best to reunite every family that the Dai Li tore apart.:
Comes her response, and I know from the looks on my friends faces, that she has sent this message to Ezra, Cadence, and Ansell as well.

:We will fight for a better future for us all, Gifted and nonGifted alike.:



(I didn't add a whole lot to what Night posted, but there are some things in there added from Ren and Talia's perspectives. Hope you guys liked it!

I haven't had time to post for Finn yet, but he was hidden away during the battle, along with Prince Nikko and some of the other younger children. He will help in battles later on, but they kept the younger children away from this first one at least. They want to keep them out of the war, but they will eventually give in because this is the children's future they are fighting for and the children want to help fight for their future.

Anyways. I will bring Finn back in a bit, but he will for sure be around for Haven's big loss of control moment.)
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  #755  
Old 10-10-2018, 03:16 AM
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Wow, great posts you two! I can't wait to see where things go from here.

And don't worry about your characters - at least you remembered to give Finn and Sierra personalities! Something I woefully forgot to do for Stacia.

I'll post tomorrow!
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Old 10-10-2018, 05:08 AM
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Great posts, Liri and Night!! Man, this is just like old times. It's so nice!

Night, that's a great idea for Tori! I'll definitely try to incorporate it into my post. I'll get started on it now!
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:33 PM
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Sorry I haven't posted yet. I've been extremely busy with the show I'm in. Thankfully, I have a four-day break so I should have more time to finish my post.
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Old 10-18-2018, 04:55 AM
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So... It's not tomorrow. Sorry guys, I've been a little busy.

Alexa, I hope your show is going well!



“Together, we are strong!” Nyna called out, and everyone cheered.

Nyna, the Elders, and some of the more experienced agents began giving out instructions. Once the decision to fight has been made, the Clann managed to mobilize at a remarkable speed, leaving little doubt that the Clann had always been prepared for something like this. Despite the fact that we were a mishmash of people from all over Alagaesia, made up of mostly refuge seekers with a myriad of skills and abilities, this was what we were ultimately made for.
Unlike most of the people here, I was born and raised in the Clann. Uncle Solon had been bringing me to Council meetings (though not the more secretive, clandestine ones) since I was ten years old. I had seen how he, the other Elders, and Nyna had built this place from the ground up, how they'd taught and trained Gifted and agents alike. How slowly, but surely, we began to take back Alagaesia. Starting with simple sabotage of the King's efforts, to actively going out and rescuing Gifted, to staging efforts to obtain information from the highest ranks of the Dai Li. It had always been building up to this, the day we could finally fight back. I had seen this compound grow, in more ways than one, and as far back as I could remember, becoming a Clann agent was all I'd ever wanted.

I waited patiently for Nyna and the Elders to finish giving out their instructions, eagerly anticipating my part. But... It never came. I frowned, confused. Surely Uncle Solon and the others hadn't forgotten me? Talia, Ezra, and Cadence soon left with their teams. Ansell darted out with some weird excuse about a girl and a closet. Even Ren had her own assignment for the battle - I guessed Nyna had been able to detect that her intentions were pure. I was glad of it. Partly because I'd always believed in second chances, and partly since the former Agent Walker would be a powerful ally.

"Uncle?" I finally approached the Elders when everyone had left with their respective teams. "What about me?"
"Ah, Hanna." Uncle Solon didn't meet my gaze, seeming deeply uncomfortable. I noticed he didn't call me Agent Jarvis. "You've been assigned to... help guard the younger Gifted children who are being hidden away for the battle, as well as his Highness the prince."
"What?!" I exclaimed, in disbelief. "You're making me stay and babysit?"I spun around to the other Elders and Nyna. "Who decided this?"
"Hanna! Do not speak to the Council this way. I have taught you better than to disrespect your elders like that." Solon chided
."But why?" I demanded. "You know I'm ready for this. I know I'm still in training, but I have worked towards becoming an agent practically my entire life!"
"Do not act like this is a chore or a punishment, Hanna. It is an essential task that is relegated to the most dependable of our agents. If all else fails and the Dai Li break through our lines, you must take the children through the secret exit and escape. You will be their only hope for survival." Solon said solemnly.
"Don't act like this is anything but you trying to keep me off the front lines," I snapped. "You've always tried to stop me from fully joining the Clann. You didn't even let me becoming an official agent in training until I turned 17!"
"You know nothing of war, niece." My uncle's voice was cold now. "You have a romantic idea of what being an agent means. It's not just saving people and marching triumphantly out of battle, Hanna. War is much harsher and crueler than that, and you are not prepared to face that." His voice softens. "I just want to protect you."

I knew there was no point in arguing further, so I simply nodded. But inside I still stung from frustration and resentment. Of course I knew what war was. I had seen its effects on the Gifted we rescued since I was a child. I might not be as strong of a fighter as Talia or Ren, but I was far from helpless.
There was nothing to be done about it though. Once my uncle made up his mind, there was no changing it.
______________________________________

I sheathed my daggers, strapping them to my belt as well as slipping several into my sleeves, thigh straps, and the backs of my boots. Then I led the younger Gifted, including the small brown-haired boy Ren had rescued, toward the Clann's inner sanctum, our most hidden and heavily trap-laden interior chamber.
Prince Nikko hung back in the group, looking a bit awkward and unsure of himself. It occurred to me suddenly that we were about to lead the Crown Prince of Alagaesia, King Adonis's son, to the Clann's most secret chamber. Then again, if the Kilt'ze agent Ren had talked about could slip in and out so easily, perhaps it was never going to be entirely safe in the first place. I shivered at the thought of him. I knew Ren said he ran clandestine missions for the King, but I still wondered if any of my friends would be facing him down in the upcoming battle. Just how powerful was this man?

"Where are we?" One of the girls spoke up as we reached the inner sanctum.
"Don't worry, you'll be safe here," I answered, taking up a defensive position by the door.
"But we want to help!" A boy protested. "This is our fight too."
"You're too young for this," I told them gently, hating that I was using my uncle's favorite phrase. "Once you're older, you can train and fight for the Clann if you so choose."
"But you're fighting for us," one of the kids said solemnly. "We want to be a part of that." There were murmurs of agreement among all of them.
"They took me from my mom and dad," a little girl said. Her face was fierce and angry, though her eyes shone with tears. "I don't want to be helpless like that again."
I turned away. I remembered my uncle's face, his dismissal. A sudden flare of rebellion rose in me. I spun to the boy who had first spoken up.
"Here." I handed him one of my daggers. "You're right," I said, turning to address all of the children. "This is your fight too. And it's mine as well. After today, I promise you, I will do my best to make sure you're never left behind again. You can train, you can fight, you can hold on to what you believe in. This is your choice to make, as it always should have been."
_____________________________________

I can't - I won't - stand by and do nothing anymore!" Haven slammed the door so hard the entire wall shock with the impact, leaving ringing silence behind in her wake. For a moment everyone stood frozen, unsure of how to react.

I glanced at Nyna, Talia, Ezra, Ansell and Cadence, locked in some sort of silent conversation. Their faces looked shaken, but determined. I clenched my fists, feeling angry and helpless. Oh Haven... I'm so sorry.
"Should we go after her?" Stacia asked, looking scared. I remembered she'd left her family behind as well, as had so many of the Gifted here.
"No. She needs time to cool off," Nyna replied, though she looked like she wanted to go find Haven too. I hadn't known the girl for long, but even I realized there was no getting through to her until she'd had time to calm down. "We'll go talk to her in the morning. In the meantime - "

"Haven's right," I interrupted. "We can't just sit here and wait for the Dai Li to make the first move anymore! They've already done that, and this place is no longer safe. We can't hide the children away any longer either. This is about their future, we need to train them, help them be able to protect themselves, even let them fight if that's their choice - "
Allow the children to fight?" Elder Pierce glared at me. "How could you even suggest such a thing? It's unthinkable! We have always been dedicated to protect the Gifted children, not send them off to war! Solon, I warned you about keeping your niece in check.
"Hanna, stop!" Uncle Solon admonished. "Now is not the time or the place. We all need to rest, and heal from the battle. Do not let your rash instincts take over."
"But - "
"We will discuss this further," he promised. "Now is simply not the time. We are all exhausted, and we need to tend to our wounded."
"Rest assured, something will be done," Nyna declared, her expression fierce. "We will fight for this world, and create a better future for us all."

(I'll post for Ivan soon, the Dai Li deserve some attention after their humiliating defeat. )
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Old 10-18-2018, 07:35 AM
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Finally! This is my third rewrite of this post. Night, I wasn't able to incorporate your idea like I initially wanted to. I'm sorry. :/

Thanks, Glory! The first weekend did go well. I'm hoping this upcoming second and final weekend goes just as well or even better.



I sprinted through the forest for goodness knows how long. It felt like an eternity had passed before I
made it out of the forest, away from the Clann and the Dai Li. I had to take a moment to catch my breath. Now I could see there were rolling hills in the distance ahead of me with more dense forest to my left. To my right, I could just barely see Lake Borréma. Even from so far away, it looked beautiful. The reflection of the moon in the water just added to its beauty. I felt drawn to it. I wanted to just lie down in the grass and gaze at the stars while listening to the soft, subtle sound of the ripples in the water. I knew I couldn't do that, though. I had to get to Telenoria as fast as humanly possible. Not even my powers would be able to help speed up that process. I mean, sure I could shift into some kind of animal that runs really fast, or maybe even one that flies but that is just too risky. I can't risk getting caught by the Dai Li. So, I'm just going to have to get to Telenoria the old-fashioned way: Running like a madman… and then walking when my inner madman loses energy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
At Dawn

The sun had just risen when I finally saw the town of Telenoria in the distance. I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. I had been running almost all night and was feeling very tired. I had just about spent all of my energy and needed to sit down or, better yet, take a long nap. I was thankful not to have run into any Clann members, Dai LI, or some vicious beast (I did stumble upon this goat which would not stop staring at me. It was very awkward.). It was just one long, uninterrupted race to Telenoria.
As I reached the town's gate, I was greeted by two guards. I was surprised they didn't ask why I was here because I was sure I looked like a mess. I guess I didn't look too suspicious, which was another thing I was thankful for. By the point, I felt like everything was going almost too well. Something terrible was bound to happen soon. Hopefully, the Clann didn't send anyone after me. I did not want to go back there. I didn't belong with the Clann. I needed to be and stay alone. Especially if I was ever going to find him.

Telenoria wasn't a glamorous place, like the Capital. You wouldn't find the posh and wealthy here. Nothing and no one extravagant. It was a quaint little town filled with working-class people that put hard-work and hospitality first. Farmers, blacksmiths, lumbermen, and dressmakers were some of the more common professions, along with other artisanal jobs. Telenoria is known in the trade world for their crops. That's where all their profit comes from so the farmers in this town play a crucial role in the economy. To a newcomer, Telenoria might seem like an "all work, no play" environment and it certainly is during the day. At night, that's when the fun begins. Taverns are filled with all different kinds of people wanting to relax and celebrate after long, hard day of work.
I was going to look for the nearest inn so I could finally rest for a bit when I heard my stomach growl loudly. Looks like I'll be going to the nearest tavern instead. I said to myself. I saw a hanging, wooden sign that said The Rusty Ladle on it and went towards it. With a name like that, it surely had to be a place that served food. Hopefully good food. As I walked into the establishment, I noticed it wasn't very crowded at the moment, though it was slightly hard to tell since the lighting was so dim even. I was thankful for the windows providing me and the place with more light so I could actually see where I was going. I wasn't surprised by the small number of people since it was still early in the morning. Most were probably working and probably had been working since before the sun rose. Several people turned to look at me when I entered. Some just had a quick look at me and then returned to whatever they were doing before I entered, others gaze's lingered a bit longer than I was comfortable with. I ended up making my way through the place and picking a table in a far corner to sit at. I leaned against the wall behind me and sighed, setting my bag and bow and arrow down on either side of me. I was glad to finally be able to rest and hopefully relax a bit before I continue my journey. I didn't even know where my journey was going to take me after this. He would surely be hard to find. It was a sheer stroke of luck that I even stumbled upon him the other night. I really hoped that luck stayed with me.

The server came over to my table and I ordered a drink and some food. It was then I realized how
tired and hungry I actually was. All of the adrenaline I felt throughout the night was mostly gone. I felt drained as if all energy had literally been sucked out of me. My eyelids felt heavy like I had a boulder on each of them and I was trying to keep them from rolling off. My stomach couldn't stop growling too. You could probably imagine all different sorts of animals that sounded like it. I couldn't wait to drink, eat, and then go to sleep. I felt like I'd probably stay here in Telenoria for a good few days. I could wait that long. So could he. My luck shouldn't run out that quickly right?
After the server brought my food and drink over, I immediately dug into everything, consuming and finishing it all much faster than I typically would. I soon sat in front of an empty plate and mug, feeling satisfied with myself and what I ate. It was some of the best food I'd had in years. In fact, it was the only good food I'd had in years. Not even what the Clann served was this good. I was a happy traveler and was hoping to stay that way for these next few days. I was about to stand up and go find a place to stay at (the Rusty Ladle only had one room and that was for the barkeep) when some people across the room from me sitting at another corner table caught my eye. I saw what looked like a woman and a man, both wearing hoods to partially shield their faces from, one might assume, unwanted eyes. I couldn't help but get a bad feeling in my gut that surely wasn’t related to the food whenever I looked at them. They had to be bad news. No one dresses in such a dark, mysterious way and sits in a corner hunched over a table unless they're plotting something evil. If not evil, than just the least bit mischievous. I tried not to stare too long at them. I wouldn't want to catch their attention. I had to act as natural and as dismissive of them as possible, which was very difficult. Soon, the pair stood up from their table and walked out of the tavern. I quickly followed suit and rushed off after them (but not without living my payment plus a tip on the table). When I was outside, I didn't see them immediately but soon caught sight of them talking once again. This time, however, the man was on a horse. I swiftly hid behind a nearby barrel. I wanted to get closer to them to try and hear their conversation but I knew that was too risky, even for me. As I watched them from afar, I couldn't help but feel like I had seen the man before. Something about his body language seemed familiar. Even the small bit of his chin that was peaking out from his hood looked familiar. Come to the think of it, I felt like I had seen the hood itself before too! I couldn't place him, though, which was quite infuriating. After a few minutes of just standing and conversing, the man galloped away back toward the city gate. The woman just stood in her place, watching him ride away before turning her back on him and walking away. I decided to follow her, keeping my distance and trying to act as normal as possible. The woman eventually entered an inn called The Winter Mare. Just like The Rusty Ladle, it wasn't packed with people. Unlike the Rusty Ladle, it had less natural lighting and used more candles and lamps to light up the space. It had a warm, welcoming feel to it. I got so lost in the cozy feel and look of the place that I ended up losing sight of the woman I followed here.

Great job, Tori. You really messed this up. I internally scolded myself but then shrugged. I suppose it's for the best. I don't even know what I would've said to her.

Suddenly I felt a hand grip my shoulder and then forcefully turn me around. I was now face-to-face with the mystery woman. "Follow me." is all she said before letting go of her grip on me and walking up the nearby stairs to her room. At first, all I could do was stand still in a petrified state as I watched her climb up the steps. I quickly regained my composure and followed her up the steps and into the room. As soon as I entered, the woman immediately closed the door behind me. I still felt scared but was thankful that I kept my bow and arrow with me. The woman walked towards me with what seemed like an intense facial expression, and I took a few steps back, readying my bow an arrow. The mysterious lady eventually stopped a few feet in front of me. She then let her hood down, revealing her face and hair. She had long hair that was a light chestnut brown on top. As your gaze traveled down her hair, that chestnut brown gradually went through shades of blonde before getting to the ends of her hair which were a sort of off-white. Her eyes were a light brownish-grey. I was finally able to get a good look at her clothes now too. She dressed in all black and her clothes looked quite disheveled. They also had several tears in it from what I can only assume were either low hanging tree branches or swords. As I continued to scan this woman, I couldn't help but feel like I had seen her before.

The question is… where have I seen her?

"Why were you following me?" The woman asked, her voice having the usual clipped tone that those born in the Capital have. "I don't know what you're talking about. I wasn't following you." I said in reply. "You're a terrible liar." the woman said. "Or maybe you just have a terrible judgment of character." I retorted. "Oh, I highly doubt that." She replied, taking a few more steps towards me. She looked down at my bow and arrow and then back up at me. "That kind of weapon is terrible in a close-quarter environment. You'd only last a few seconds before I disarmed you."
"You underestimate me, I can assure you of that."
"Do I? Do you have some other tricks up your sleeves like some cheap magician?"
"Not tricks. Skills." I told her
"Hmmph, we'll see about that. Who are you?" The woman asked
"I'd ask you the same thing."
“Well, you might get a chance to if you answer me first." I could see that the woman was studying my face more intently. "You… look familiar…"
All of my instincts told me not to mention I felt the same way about her. "I can assure you we've never met before."
"Then what would draw you to a stranger like me?" She questioned me
"Pure curiosity? Or perhaps I thought you were someone else?" I answered

The mysterious woman just stared at me for a few moments. I forced myself not to break away from her gaze, hoping she'd think I wasn't at all intimidated by her and afraid. Finally, she moved away from and started to pace around the room. "I am Captain Galadriel Dolemay of the Dai Li. I'm sure you've heard of us."
I hesitated for a second before speaking, "Of course I have.". Suddenly, flashbacks to when I was being chased by the Dai Li in a forest hit me like a pack of bricks. That was also the day I discovered one of my powers, as well as the day the Clann found me. Now, I knew why this woman looked familiar to me.

She was one of the people trying to kidnap me! I hope she doesn't recognize me.

"Then you also know what our purpose is?" Galadriel asked me. I opened my mouth to answer but for
some reason nothing came out. Galadriel started slowly walking towards me again, the same intense and suspicious look from just a few minutes ago reappearing on her face. "We've been tasked by the great King Adonis to find and capture the monsters that are the Gifted." She explained. "We're making life safer for everyone by removing those creatures. They're a danger to society, especially if their powers remain unchecked. Alas, even with all of the good work the Dai Li are doing, we urge every single person in every village and kingdom to turn in any Gifted they find or alert the Dai Li to their whereabouts, as I'm sure you would do." I gulped as she said this and we were once again staring each other down. Galadriel then sighed "Now that I've got my introduction out of the way, why don't you give me yours?"
I stood there for a few moments, my mouth feeling completely dry and my heart racing. For a second, I thought I wasn't going to be able to speak again. Somehow I was able to get out this mentally frozen state I was in and began to move from the position I was in to a spot on the other side of Captain Galadriel. "Uhm, my name is… Ellia and I am just a simple ranger from the North." I told the woman. "Nothing special about me or profession unlike yourself, Captain."
"Is that so? Well, that could certainly change." Galadriel said. "I beg your pardon?" "A ranger such as yourself should be a capable fighter. I'd assume you're fairly skilled with a bow and arrow as well." "With all due respect, Captain, where are you going with this?" I asked the woman. "The Dai Li could always use more members and support to help with King Adonis' cause. You seem like you're an experienced ranger who's more than qualified to join our ranks. So, what do you say? Would you like to be a Dai Li agent and help make the world a better and safer place?"
I was in shock. I hadn't expected my day to go this way. I really did think my adventure wouldn't really start till after I left Telenoria. Even then, I didn't think it would involve any of the Dai Li. But yet, here I am in a room alone with only the deadliest Dai Li agent out there. She wasn't even just any old Dai Li agent, but a captain! Someone who probably worked closely with King Adonis and who probably is responsible for the capturing of goodness-knows how many Gifted, almost including myself.
She makes a compelling offer, though. I thought to myself. I probably would better suit the life of a Dai Li agent. These powers of mine… they are a curse. And like Galadriel said, Gifted and their powers are dangerous if left unchecked. Like, Haven would've probably put herself and others in danger if she had been left to roam free, though she doesn't seem to be doing much better with the Clann.
"Well?" I heard Galadriel's voice break through my thoughts. I had to give her an answer now. I couldn't wait and think any longer. "I…" I trailed off, still not fully knowing what I wanted to do. Something inside me was holding me back. I don't know what it was. I tried to push aside that disruptive feeling.
I'm doing the right thing. I don't know why I'm feeling… whatever this feeling is. Besides, maybe being with the Dai Li will make it easier to find him. I'd probably find more connections that would lead me to him.
"I… accept your offer." I finally answer. A small smile appears on Galadriel's face. "Good. I can assure you your decision was the only right one." I nodded in agreement, yet I could still feel the strange feeling inside of me. The one that made me feel like I was making a terrible decision. It was nothing, surely. Probably just a lingering feeling of anxiety like what I felt earlier. Nothing to worry about. I knew in my heart this was the right choice. "We leave for the Capital at nightfall." Galadriel told me. "Meet me at the stables."
"Of course."

She then exited the room without saying another word, leaving me alone. My heart was still racing after all of that. I felt like I had been holding my breath the whole time. I fell back onto the bed and just sat there for a couple minutes, trying to calm myself down and trying to reassure myself that I made the right decision. Everything is going to be fine. I'm going to be fine. I told myself. This will be good for me and maybe even for all of Alagaesia. No more Gifted running wild and hopefully no more of him. This is what I want. This is what I've always wanted…


…right?




Author's Note: For as long as it took me to write this, it sure doesn't even look like much lol. Seems a lot more rushed than I originally thought it was. Oh well. It's satisfactory at best. I needed to post something anyway and I think this is better than my original post and the last two rewrites.
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Last edited by Alexa Diamondflower; 10-18-2018 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:27 PM
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Great posts, you guys! Don't worry about not incorporating that Alexa, it was just a suggestion. I really liked how you decided to go about Tori's recruitment. (And is that a LoTR reference I spot? Very on point, given the inspiration for Galy's name! )

Glory, I really like what you're doing with Hanna and the children. This is kind of off topic, but I kind of love how we all collectively decided Elder Pierce would be the grumpy one who disapproves of everything our characters do!

Glad to hear last weekend went well, Alexa! I hope this one is equally successful. Break a leg!

I'm almost done my first round of midterms, so I should be free to post again by Tuesday!
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Old 10-25-2018, 06:17 AM
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Thank you, Night! Haha, I didn't consciously add a LotR reference to my post. The closest thing to a reference (aside from Galy's name being Galadriel) is Tori pretending to be a ranger from the North. Is that what you were talking about?


The second weekend of the show went very well too. I'm glad to finally have a break, though.

I look forward to your next post! I might try to write something for Galy or Ezra. I've kind of neglected them. :/
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  #762  
Old 10-28-2018, 03:07 AM
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Aaah!! I am so sorry guys. I am failing at being more active.

I was reading through old RPs and planning for a new one that is in the works, but I have not been able to do even that these past couple weeks - let alone post anything in any current RPs.

I am super sorry about this!! I promise I am still here, things have just been insane these past couple weeks. I promise to try to post again as soon as possible, and I will keep preparing the new one I have in the works!!!
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  #763  
Old 10-29-2018, 08:21 PM
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It's okay, Liri! We understand you're busy. Take all the time you need.
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:20 PM
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Aww, no worries Liri! I hope things calm down for you soon.
I can't wait to see your new RP! Post whenever you have the time, there's no pressure. I haven't been very active these last couple weeks either, since it was the first round of midterms for me.

Yup, the ranger from the north part was what I was talking about, Alexa. I guess it was just an amusing coincidence! Was it also an amusing coincidence that Tori ran into a goat in Telenoria or was it love at first sight?



"Rest assured, something will be done," Nyna declared, her expression fierce. "We will fight for this world, and create a better future for us all."

I watched all the events unfold in front of me with numb silence, trying to take all of this in. The infiltration, the great battle and its aftermath, an escaped Gifted... And then that girl, Haven, bursting in with the news that her sister had been taken by the Dai Li. I'd said nothing during the whole explosive exchange, but Willow's face swam in my vision. Her hollow eyes and hopeless expression, broken down by the Dai Li's ruthless cruelty. She was still back there, being forced to join the mindless, unstoppable army the King was trying to create. She might even have been at the battle tonight.
I wouldn't know. Since Hope and I were new and still mostly untrained, we weren't made to fight alongside the rest of the Clann. It was just as well. I was grateful to these people for rescuing us, but I hadn't even had time to get my bearings, and I had no idea how to deal with a war. So the two of us joined Joy and the other healers in the infirmary, helping out wherever we could.

Then a younger blonde agent had spoken up about allowing anyone who chose to fight to do so, including the children. It was quickly shot down by the Elder who had a permanent scowl on his face, but she remained resolute. Apparently her name was Hanna.
So many names, so many faces... I had no idea who any of these people were. I searched desperately for Hope, but found her standing with her sister, their hands tightly clasped. Joy was quietly whispering in Hope's ear, no doubt catching her up on everything there was to know about this place and its people.
I couldn't begrudge Hope her happiness at being reunited with her sister, but the aching loneliness welled up inside me. I was trapped in an unfamiliar world, thrust into a war I barely understood, separated from everyone I had known and loved. Where were my parents now? Had they been taken and enslaved like Rhia? Would I ever see them again?

"Rest assured, something will be done," Nyna declared, her expression fierce. "We will fight for this world, and create a better future for us all."
This time, her words were not met with cheers and thunderous applause, but instead solemn nods and determined faces. The events of the evening had worn us all down, and the time for cheers and laughter was long gone.

The Clann dispersed after that, some to help out the healers, others to set up guard shifts for the night. Despite the fact that the mood from Cadence's sleepover had been utterly destroyed, everyone opted to sleep together in the Great Hall, where the decorations were still set up. Maybe nobody wanted to be alone, after everything that had happened this night.

I lay awake for a long time. Despite being surrounded by people, many of them also lost and afraid, many of them with powers like me... I had never felt more alone. If I didn't even belong here, did I belong anywhere?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Training?" I repeated, feeling dumbfounded. Images of my time at the Dai Li swam across my vision, the girl turning into a jaguar and lunging at me, the merciless way they drilled us to use our powers, the blank, obedient faces of the other Gifted. Panic seized me, and I stumbled away from Nyna.
"It's not like that," she hurried to explain. "We would never force you to do anything you didn't choose to. We just want to help you understand and control your Gifts, and learn to defend yourselves with them. It will be nothing like what you've faced at the Dai Li."
I looked away. "I... I don't know. Can I have some time to think about it?"
"Of course." Nyna smiled, her whole demeanor betraying nothing but warmth and enthusiasm, despite the troubles of the night before.
I wanted to trust her, to trust all of them. But... I had seen what these abilities could do, what the Dai Li were doing with them. And I wasn't so sure they deserved to be called "Gifts".
I didn't want this. I had never asked for this. All I wanted was to go back to my home in the mountains with Willow, climb to the top of Alagaesia's snow-capped peaks and forget all of this ever happened. Forget the war, the Dai Li and the Clann, and pretend we had ever been dragged into this whole mess. But the people here, despite all the danger surrounding them on all sides, seemed to genuinely want to be doing what they did. And try as I might, I couldn't understand that.

I turned to leave, feeling more isolated than ever.



"Haven."
"Mom?" I turned to see her standing behind me, her face creased with worry.
"Haven, honey, where have you been? You just left without a word."
The tears began to trickle down my cheeks. "I - I'm sorry."
She reached out for me, and I lunged forward to clasp her tight. But before our hands could reach, invisible arms reached out of the shadows and gripped her around the waist, dragging her back. My mother screamed. "Haven!"
"Mom!" I ran forward, but it felt like wading through molasses, each step slower and more sluggish.
A small hand reached out of the shadows and reached for me as well. A scared face appeared, framed in tangled dark hair.
"Why?" Rhia whispered. "Why did you leave us?"
"I had no choice! The Dai Li were coming - I didn't want to - "
"Did you ever wonder what had become of us?" she asked in that same dull, hollow voice. The shadows pulled at her once more, and both she and my mother disappeared into the mass, swallowed whole by the ever-growing darkness.


I woke up with a scream, still reaching out to my sister. Relief and horror alike gripped me as I sat up to see a dark, windowless room that had perhaps once been some sort of storage space. I'd come here last night, not wanting to be found. Not wanting to speak to anyone here. The thought of their concerned faces only filled me with more impotent rage.
With a cry of helpless fury, I hurled the closest thing I could reach - a glass figurine - at the far wall. It shattered on impact, a million shards of glass littering the floor, glittering in the dim light. A wooden stool followed it, striking the door with a deafening clatter.
I stood up, breathing hard. None of it made me feel any better, but a fine red mist was spreading over my vision, blocking out all rational thought. If I didn't do anything, it felt like the thing inside me was going to burst out, howling its wrath to the entire world.

(Not very long, I know, since I want to give Liri some time to catch up! But I actually don't have much going on this week for once, so I wanted to take advantage of it. )
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  #765  
Old 11-06-2018, 08:24 AM
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Alexa Diamondflower Alexa Diamondflower is offline
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Great post, Night! Haha, yes. I purposely added the goat into the post. Tori's lovely husband. I felt like it was time to make him canon.

I'm currently working on a Galadriel post that might also double as a Galy and then Ezra post. I really need to write something for him since I've neglected him the most.
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