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|This is the story form of an RPG set in a fantasy/medieval world that my friend Erika and I have created by writing in a notebook with posts several times a day. This is only the first chapter, and there are many more to come. The RPG, in fact, is still going on. The actions of Shadow, Darius, Mosley, Dark Cloud and Julius come from posts I made. The actions of Reuben, Exalin, Toji, Zendra, Camady, Leo, Starlight, Harmony, the pheonix and Tarkan are all Erika's doing.||
~~Just one mile outside of a quaint village with only one road leading in and out of town, a figure gallops down a heavily worn path toward town on a horse as black as pitch. The little cottage-style houses and shops sit in a small valley between a group of sheer cliffs and a sparkling blue river. The mysterious figure halts the horse abruptly on a low hill that overlooks the village and dismounts the well-bred steed. The sunlight reveals more of this person. It is a tall woman with near-white hair and ice-blue eyes. She wears meager clothing; a pair of men's breeches, white blouse and a black, hooded rider's cloak and a pair of worn leather boots are all that cover her lithe and muscled form. A dagger sticks out of the belt at her waist and as the cloak falls over her back, one can make out the distinct form of a long sword beneath it. With one hand she holds to her horse's reigns and with the other she shields her eyes from the glaring sun and surveys the area around her. Then, as abruptly as she stopped, she mounts her horse.
~~Without hesitation, she races toward a clearing at the edge of the river a half-mile away from town. This is where she dismounts and leads her horse to the water's edge. The horse begins to drink thirstily of the river, as she speaks to it and pats its neck. "Perhaps we can make this our new home...until those heretics come and try to burn me as a witch again. We'll look for our home at dawn, but tonight, Dark Cloud," she says, referring to the horse by name, "We'll rest in our own camp. If the heretics have already reached this town...I should like to be well-rested in order to fend them off."
~~Eventually, the woman has set up a meager-looking tent and gathered enough fire wood to keep a small fire going through the night. Before stepping inside her tent, she glances to her horse who is tethered to a tree near the river so that it can reach both fresh water and lush, green grass. The woman takes a large pack with her inside the tent. From it, she gently pulls out a tiny black ball of fur that is already purring loudly. With a little smile she cuddles the panther cub to her chest and lays back onto the blankets she laid out for her bed.
~~Soon, exhausted from the day's travel, the woman falls into a light sleep. Even in this state she is alert for bandits. She sleeps, however, with a smile on her face, and a dream in her head that she will have finally escaped the band of humans hunting her because they believe she is a witch.
~~By the time Reuben reaches the first home she's seen for miles, it is already getting quite dark. Only the sparse rays of moonlight shining through the leaves of the many trees that tower over the small faerie enable her to see. Her hand, curled into a fist, trembles from the cold as she raises it to the door. She knocks lightly several times, then pulls her cloak tight around her. For a few moments, she watches puffs of her breath float away in the cold air, then finally a man answers the door. He frowns when he sees the half-frozen, distressed faerie, and steps aside to let her in.
~~The man, who introduces himself as Camonio, pulls two chairs near to the fire. Reuben sits in one, leaning toward the fire and rubbing her numbed hands vigorously together. When Camonio asks what she is doing out so late on such a dreadful night, she relates to him the reason for her distress.
~~Reuben has been riding north for days. In a tiny, southern town, she overheard two men talking about killing the monarchy of Komikor. She begins to warm up as she explains that Komikor is her hometown. It is the city from which the entire faerie population is ruled. The ruler there is Reuben’s mother.
~~Camonio, feeling obligated because his own mother was killed many years previous, arranges a place for Reuben to sleep. He manages to calm the frantic girl down enough so that she will be able to rest. Out of the kindness of his heart, Camonio also promises to let her take one of his horses with her in the morning.
~~Reuben wakes with the sun. Before leaving, she writes a quick note of gratitude for Camonio. After taking only a few steps outside, Reuben sees a hawk circling overhead. The bird screeches and soon lands on her shoulder. "Morning, Harmony," she greets the bird. With the large black and brown bird riding on her shoulder, Reuben enters the stable neighboring Camonio’s house. Near the entrance she spots a black horse with tiny white spots watching the door as if it knew Reuben was coming. Camonio had left Reuben a full set of riding equipment next to the horse. Reuben saddles the horse, figuring the star-like patter on its hindquarters meant this was the horse Camonio had spoken of--Starlight.
~~The girl silently thanks Mr. Camonio as she guides Starlight out of the stable and then mounts the beautiful mare. Beginning in canter, Reuben rides toward Komikor. A little while later she slows down, coming across a pure black horse tethered to a tree. "Odd..." she mutters.
~~The mysterious woman wakes from her light sleep as soon as she hears hoof beats. She hesitates rising, hoping the rider will turn away. But when the sound continues to grow louder she gets up and throws her cloak over her shoulders. Immediately, she leaves the tent and looks toward the origin of the sound. For a moment, she looks confused.
~~"What the...?" Then she glances down to her ankles where the panther cub is rubbing against her affectionately. "If it's those heretics who killed your family, little one, they will pay."
~~The next sound is the sliding of metal against hardened leather as she draws her sword from the scabbard that rests against her back. Her eyes are set into a glare even before the brown-haired girl rides into view. Previous to this moment, the blonde had been hiding slightly behind her horse. The slowing of the new rider brings her from this position, still glaring. In an almost animalistic away, she bares a pair of long, sharp and pure white canine teeth. It is apparent now that the blonde is a vampire.
~~The vampire shouts a warning, "Who might you be, stranger? If you're one of the heretics who burned the forest in search of me, prepare to die, villain!"
~~Reuben fixes her eyes on the tall woman, glances from her chilling eyes to her fangs. After a moment, she realizes she is a vampire, and remembers immediately the lessons from her father. She pulls out a dagger and dismounts her horse. "I am Reuben Crystal Ares Tilly Zelda Adara Zora Xylia Chaos IV." After a low bow, she continues, "I am from the town Komikor, and I can assure you there is no connection between myself and the fire, as I am half faerie." Without hesitation, she ran her blade across her wrist to draw blood. It was a traditional family way to greet vampires. Before she goes on, she holds her wrist out to the vampire. "And who may you be? My hawk is Harmony, and my horse is Starlight."
~~The vampire now speaks with a tone that is dramatically friendlier. She relaxes a little, but not completely. "My apologies, Lady Chaos. The road here has greatly tried my patience, and seemingly hidden my manners." She sheathes her sword and bows slightly in response. "I am Shadow Caelen Amba Eilis Ammachaon Perne, and this," Shadow pauses to pick up the panther cub, "...is Julius. My horse," she pauses again to look for her horse, which has pulled free of the tree and now stands near Reuben's horse, sniffing at Starlight. "That is my horse, Dark Cloud. And again, I beg of your forgiveness for my hasty rudeness."
~~Reuben nods a greeting to the horse and panther, then looks directly to Shadow. "What is about that could try your patience so? Don't tell me the vampire hunters are back...those dreadful beasts." She notices the beginnings of an offended look on Shadow's face and hurries to explain, "The hunters, not the vampires." Reuben glances to Starlight and Dark Cloud. "The way this is going, we could end up with a little pony or two." The two women both call their horses over, and the steeds reluctantly walk to the sides of their respective masters. Turning back to Shadow, Reuben inquires, "And, out of curiosity, how did you come by a panther cub?"
~~Cuddling the panther to her chest, Shadow replies, "He is the reason, or one of the reasons, I almost attacked you when you rode up. A group of with hunters has been following me for...seven months now. They burnt three villages to the ground in pursuit of me. Finally, I built a home for myself in the forest where I thought I would be safe...and they burnt that down too. Dark Cloud and I barely escaped. Later, I went to see if I could find any of the witch hunters and revenge the forest. Instead, I found this little one half-drowned on the banks of a stream. His mum has hidden him, and died most likely when returning to her den for her other cubs. If I ever catch one of those fiends who mistook me for a witch, they will pay. I may be a vampire, but I atleast acknowledge the worth of all life, as I'm sure you do, Fae Reuben," she concludes. Fae, a title meaning Ms. when speaking to a female faerie, has been dead for almost 1000 years. As an afterthought, however, she adds, "And might I invite you to share breakfast with me? I have little to offer since I mainly survive on blood, but I'd be honored to share with you and attempt to make up for my rudeness. Besides, it's not everyday I talk to someone for more than five minutes and have them not trying to kill me."
~~Reuben pats the panther cub on the head and watches the hawk fly away. "She'll be back. I'm sure she's just checking to make sure no one's out there." Turning back to her horse and beginning to search the saddle bags, she accepted the invitation, "Thank you very much for inviting me. I'm sure between the two of us we'll have enough." She pulls from the bags some corn and bread and a small blanket from her horse's back to eat upon. The two women work together to spread out the blanket, which Julius immediately jumps onto. For a moment, the two women watch the little cub rolling around on the blanket as he tries to catch a small bug flying by.
~~They are startled by Harmony’s loud return. The hawk screeches wildly and lands on Starlight’s head. For a moment, the horse seems to not notice, and then Harmony lets out a loud cry. Starlight rears up onto her hind legs, neighing loudly as the bird flies off to the safety of Reuben’s arms. Shadow rushes to Starlight, quickly calming the horse and looking to Reuben for an explanation.
~~Reuben watches the bird twitch nervously on her arm for a moment, then asks, “What’s wrong Harmony?”
~~The hawk screeches, spreading her wings and taking to the air, only to land in a tree not far away. Reuben glances between the hawk and Shadow for a moment, then says, “I think she saw something.”
~~The faerie goes to Starlight, taking the reigns from Shadow and mounting the horse. “Shall we?” she asks her vampire companion. Shadow nods in response, go to Dark Cloud quickly and mounting him. Having grabbed Julius as she went to Dark Cloud’s side, Shadow sets the cub in her lap. “We shall,” she says to the patiently waiting faerie. She nudges her horse with her knees, getting him into motion, then follows Reuben down the path after Harmony.
~~As the two ride, Shadow reaches into her horse’s saddle bags, drawing a long bow and a quiver of fine silver arrows. She holds herself onto the horse with her legs, using both hands to notch an arrow into the bow.
~~After nearly three miles of riding, Reuben stops, seeing Harmony resting on a low branch of a nearby tree. The faerie turned slightly in the saddle to look at the vampire. “Stay here in case it isn’t the hunters. We wouldn’t want strangers getting excited about a vampire.”
~~Shadow nods, watching as Reuben calls Harmony to her. The large bird lands on her shoulder, and Reuben rides slowly down the trail. She calls over her shoulder to Shadow, “I’ll send Harmony if it’s them!”
|Tainted Angel||Night of the Silver Kiss|