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Thread: Existence [closed to Yvonne]

  1. #1
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    Vixen Crowsfoot's Avatar

    GP
    217
    AP
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    Name
    Vixen Crowsfoot Quansaldo
    Age
    Around 3500
    Race
    Half-goddess, half-uniano
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Corone

    Existence [closed to Yvonne]

    She sat, staring out at the wide world before her; an expanse of dreams, a landscape of promise.

    Slowly, the woman breathed in, her ancient lungs filling with a chill as she sucked in the cold dawn air. Around her, her hair hung like a veil on three sides, the last of it leaving her face exposed so she could look at the wonder that was the world. For anyone who passed by they might see her as a sorrowful maiden, desdainfully sighing at the wretchedness of the life - perhaps they presumed she was standing on the balcony, looking to the north like that because she was waiting for her lover. But no, that was not so. Instead Vixen Crowsfoot gazed beyond the outskirts of Radasanth, for one simple reason:

    Because that was where life was leading her.

    For two long months now, she had been free. Free from the chains and cell doors that had kept her prisoner for three thousand years. She had been held as a mysterious prize by the island city state that thrived on slavery - Hernsford - for so long that none of the slaves charged with looking after her could remember why she was there. Not one, for the stories had been lost over time, rumours melting to nothing. Of course, Vixen still could tell her tale, but when everyone had willingly forgotten, why would they willingly listen? And thus it had been that she had been kept as some trophy for so long, until that fateful day when she had broken free ...

    And now she was in Radasanth, city of new beginnings, at least for her, and looking north to Akashima where Kenkus were said to originate.

    Kenkus were why she had come to this planet; to be their guide and goddess. But the time she had spent with them had been horribly short before she was betrayed by the spirit creatures called the kami and sold to the Sorcerors of Hern, the founders of Hernsford. Now, free, she was determined to continue her quest. Rolling back her shoulders, and twisting away from the rolling plains and the glowing sunrise sky, Vixen took a step to remove herself from the balcony, and twisted back to her bedroom.

    It was a small space, but certainly practical enough. It was something she, and her iron demon companion Mikhail, could afford for now. The man himself was currently out, likely making money by offering blacksmith skills, such was the living forge that he was. And he had said that he would be gone for some time. And so, Vixen had made up her mind to travel finally to Akashima. Her eyes glanced over to the note she had written in a hurry - that said where she was going, and why - and then to her already packed bag. It was small as she had so few belongings in the world, but that suited her. Pausing in the middle of the floor, Vixen thought about not going through with the journey once more, wondering if it was really pointless - but then, again, she reminded herself how pointless it would be to not go.

    And so, reaching down to pick up the small bag, she started out of the room, and the building itself, locking it all behind her with a small brass key. Hefting the bag onto her shoulder she started towards the local stables, where a caravan awaited, ready to carry her away to fate.

  2. #2
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    Yvonne's Avatar

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    1,284
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    Name
    Yvonne Mythrilmantle
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    21
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    Grey Dwarf
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    Female
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    Alerar

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    The caravaneer was a broad shouldered man, with a thick torso and well muscled arms, strong from many a year of nigh on back-breaking labour. His balding hair was neatly trimmed, nothing but grey hairs left to him now but he groomed it well all the same. His clothing had received similar primming - the man wore a long-sleeved white silk shirt furnished with a charcoal grey vest, proudly buckled belt and black breeches tucked into tall leather boots. He was a Salvaran human originally yet his aging face imparted a very long tale of all the places he had travelled to.

    He was a quiet man - spoke mostly when it was needed - but quietly charismatic, a rare blend of qualities. He lead by example - he was showing a subordinate how to feed the horses without also having your fingernails chewed off in the delivery process. Palms up, fingers straight, feed on top.

    "Never cup your hands unless you want to lose finger tips," he chuckled softly. He showed his subordinates how tasks were done with a mustache-endowed smile and an encouraging shoulder grip, explaining the ins and outs of his career like a man transitioning into retirement.

    As though he was a man aching to pass on his legacy.

    The world was his office and his office had an open door - welcoming his employees to ask questions and seek support directly from him - so they could support his caravan trade to the best of their abilities in return. A confused labourer carrying some heavy boxes asked him for directions - where the boxes should be stowed for the journey ahead - and instead of pointing and dismissing like so many taskmasters he took one of the boxes, shared the load and lead the way. The man exuded respect for those around him and it was returned to him two-fold.

    With the packages tucked away neatly in their correct place he reminded the labourer to begin roping and tying the goods securely, urging him on as though his task was now the most significant of them all. The young one hurried away, eager to please. The master-caravaneer smiled after him, shaking his head but in a positive way, as though he couldn't believe how lucky he was.

    The charismatic man's eyes noticed the approach of an exquisite woman, dressed with refinement and elegance. Her austere white skin and hailstorm hair held his attention for longer than was proper, and, realizing such, his gaze met her eyes - a brilliant pink. An uncommon colour to be certain, but stranger things had received his perusal.

    With all the sophistication and tact of a gentleman from a long-forgotten age, he bowed low - right arm extended out for flair and balance, left arm held to his chest - and arose once more to reacquire the woman's eyes.

    "Good morning madame. You appear to be a woman who knows precisely where she is going," he asserted, nodding to the bag draped over her shoulder. "I am Abel, trader and traveller extraordinaire. Where might I have the pleasure of taking you on this crisp dawning morn?" he inquired.
    Last edited by Yvonne; 05-05-2018 at 04:23 AM.
    If you want to break free you know where to find me.
    ~ Starset, Antigravity.

    Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.
    ~ August Pullman, Wonder.

  3. #3
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    Vixen Crowsfoot's Avatar

    GP
    217
    AP
    0
    Name
    Vixen Crowsfoot Quansaldo
    Age
    Around 3500
    Race
    Half-goddess, half-uniano
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Corone
    Vixen stood stunned for a moment as the man addressed her directly. At her side hung the small satchel that was her bag and the only previsions she had - and planned - to take with her. It seemed that when you lived with nothing for a lengthy period of time, possessions became meaningless. All Vixen knew that she needed was a change of clothes, some provisions, and a weapon. With the carapace knife at her belt that she had made herself from creature she had killed with her (or, rather, Unicorn's) hooves, she was satisfied that she was prepared. What she wanted was to live and survive, and find out more of the whereabouts of her kenkus. She did not want any material things - aside from those barely essentials. That did include a fine dress, but then she was forced right now to make part of her living from soliciting.

    That was something she could live with. Else, things like rubies, paintings, flowers were unnecessary.

    Or, so she thought now. Three thousand years old, and most of her life spent in the cellars of one of the grandest cities.

    The man before her spoke with an unusually pleasant tone, and used prolific words that others might call unnecessary. Especially for a man with a work as simple and straight-forward as he had. Being a caravaner was, as far as Vixen knew, rather a general one, that required little skill but to lead horses. And perhaps be nice to people, which was what he was simply doing perhaps. Doing his job. Being himself.

    "I am looking to get Akashima," she said quickly, her pink eyes meeting with the man's and gazing intently at them. For that moment she ignored all else and pretended they did not exist - the horses nibbling at the hay on the dirty ground, the groomsman hitching the horses, the guards of the caravan murmuring to one another, the strong-arms lifting up trunks into the higher places of the four carts that were being prepared.

    "I know it is some distance, but if you are going north at least ..." she paused. "I asked before at the inn," her hand vaguely gestured at an inn attached to the stables that the horses were being escorted from. "And they said that someone was heading northwards ...?"

    Her words tailed off as she hoped that she was in the right place, and waited for an answer. Around her the whinnies, coughs and grunts, mixed in with the other chaosi of life echoed, but she continued to do her best to let it not effect her.
    Last edited by Vixen Crowsfoot; 03-10-2018 at 08:12 AM.

  4. #4
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    Yvonne's Avatar

    GP
    1,284
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    0
    Name
    Yvonne Mythrilmantle
    Age
    21
    Race
    Grey Dwarf
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Alerar

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    Abel gave the alabaster maiden his complete attention. His eyes learned her manner in the next moment, her social comportment. His friendly greeting had caught her off guard which suggested she was a lady unfamiliar with gentlemanly conduct or... perhaps even basic social cues. Cues such as courteous introduction - a gentleman introduces himself with his name and title and it becomes courteous to equally respond with the lady's name and title. Alas, this was not to be.

    He gave ear to her voice and the words she had chosen to express. There was often much to discover in the way a woman spoke - the words themselves perhaps the details of least import when intonation and pause were present in a sentence. She knew where she needed to be however felt a great deal of uncertainty for how to find her way there. Perhaps she was unsure of the correct time to go or felt compelled to stay here. Perhaps she wasn't comfortable asking for anyone's help, or normally would have had an underling arrange her travel affairs and felt this conversation was beneath her standing.

    The femme fatale held his inquiring gaze however. Their eyes spoke to each other more than their tongues could. Abel interpreted a grievous weariness there, as though this woman was... tired beyond measure. He may have been seeing emotions that were not actually there to be seen, but he felt he could relate to her weariness. To find this feeling in one who appeared so young was unexpected. A faint glimmer of hope gleamed from among the endless weariness, perhaps a last hope.

    The master trader left her question hanging for quite some time. The truth of things often spills from a woman's lips when a man is silent. The white woman allowed her question to tail off and gave nothing else away. This woman was a conundrum. Interesting.

    "No," he stated. What a powerful word it could be. Two letters, one syllable. Abel didn't move an inch when he said it, back straight, hands resting either side of his belt buckle. His eyes continued to maintain eye-contact.

    The Salvaran caravaneer smiled encouragingly, explaining, "I have urgent business in Beinost and must sail there as soon as possible. I cannot afford the delay to Akashima." His smile was reassuring but his words were not favourable, and his eyes held a hint of sadness. He gave her another bow, this one revealing less flourish and more apology. "How unfortunate. I would have appreciated the luxury of your company, madame."

    Abel, at long last, turned his eyes elsewhere. He inspected the many goings-on of his caravan wagons, making certain the cargo-roping was secure, that his eight horses were content and his many employees - drivers, guards, scouts, packers and passengers - were all accounted for. It seemed that they were and only awaited him. He took one look at the weather above and contemplated. He was thinking. His attentive eyes returned to the mystery lady once again.

    "There may be a way we might help each other," he considered, choosing his words.
    Last edited by Yvonne; 05-05-2018 at 04:28 AM.
    If you want to break free you know where to find me.
    ~ Starset, Antigravity.

    Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.
    ~ August Pullman, Wonder.

  5. #5
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    Vixen Crowsfoot's Avatar

    GP
    217
    AP
    0
    Name
    Vixen Crowsfoot Quansaldo
    Age
    Around 3500
    Race
    Half-goddess, half-uniano
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Corone
    "No."

    What was that supposed to mean? A single, negative word uttered after a long moment of pausation that held a silence within its grasp and caused her heart to begin to race faster. 'No,' was not hopeful, yet there were many things that it could adhere to. Was it no, he was not connected to the inn? Was it no, he was not going to Akashima? Was it no, she had not actually heard anything, that it had all been a dream, that in fact she was crazy and -

    Vixen folded her arms, carefully settling it over the strap of her satchel. As he explained that it was option two - he was not going to Akashima himself, she felt a sigh come from between her lips and her eyes beginning to stray. So this bold man and his grand way of going beyond just what his occupation required him to could not help her. His proud horses, and his patient employees, however far they stretched to either side around them both in this medium sized square. She did not know - perhaps he only actually ordered a few of them and the rest were just lone rangers, waiting for a few simple people to take with them to their far flung journeys.

    Vixen's eyes came back around to settle on the man as he spoke a last time. Saying that there, "may be a way we can help each other."

    The half goddess raised her fine white brows, her pink eyes and features not dissimilar to the people known as 'albinos'. Loosening the tension in her folded arms a little she tilted her head to the side and narrowed her eyes at him.

    "I need to get to Akashima. I have no interest in Beinost. Unless you know someone going north, then I do not see how you could help me."

    And it was true. In all honesty she had no idea, because she could not think of one. From his negative single word statement, to the utterance that he was going in a completely opposite direction - across the sea at that - Vixen found herself glaring at the man. For a moment she considered just silencing him then and there: turning into her alter-ego, Unicorn and stabbing him with her horn to make a point. But, that was foolish. And also, not very nice.
    Last edited by Vixen Crowsfoot; 03-17-2018 at 09:38 PM.

  6. #6
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    Yvonne's Avatar

    GP
    1,284
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    0
    Name
    Yvonne Mythrilmantle
    Age
    21
    Race
    Grey Dwarf
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Alerar

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    Those pleasing pink eyes had turned from him, easily disappointed. Either she was a woman familiar with having it her way or never getting her way had taken a toll on her patience.

    When those eyes met Abel's again her annoyance was obvious to him. The fuse of her temper would burn through quickly indeed, or so he had surmised. An explanation might curb her anger before it escalated. After all, he was a caravaneer turning down a passenger. His angle would require a rather lengthy confession however and - especially for someone unwilling to share even their name - it wasn't his nature to tell all.

    "My business in Raiaera was sorely neglected while I've been mentoring my protégé. Complications have arisen in the meantime that I can no longer ignore," Abel began, forming sentences that sounded suspiciously like an excuse, to his displeasure. All the manners and etiquette available to him and the correct words eluded him all the same. He tsked himself and thought how it was best that he put this.

    "I would prefer to bring her with me. Regrettably Raiaera would not welcome her so she cannot stay with my caravan. For her safety our paths must diverge and we will meet again in the future," the traveller revealed. Abel's gaze reviewed his employees, and found some of them restless, itching to leave. He nodded understandingly in their direction and held up a single digit gesture which indicated one minute left.

    "This morning I've been considering who I might leave behind to remain with her. Truthfully though she is her own woman and I cannot spare a man. I will need to recruit again shortly once I have a fifth wagon..." Abel droned, catching himself, "Matters irrelevant to you of course, madame. Though I believe you understand my predicament."

    "Akashima would be a worthy experience for her and she could see you arrived there safely," the Salvaran affirmed. Momentarily his attention deviated from the lady he knew not. He held out a straight-arrow arm to direct the convoy where to go, making a sweeping motion with his other arm signalling it was time to move. From flicks of reins to shouts of 'Ha!' depending on the temperament of their horses, they were able to begin walking at a slow pace. The first wagon rolled on by as Abel returned his full focus to the icy woman scrutinizing him.

    "I believe she's saddling her mount in the stables as we speak. I would be happy to arrange a steed for you as well, if you wish it," he suggested, meeting the mystery woman's glare with a curious, examining look. Would she set her annoyance aside and take him up on the offer? Would she grow irritated with his long-winded disclosure? Would she have questions of her own? The second wagon was about to go past them.
    If you want to break free you know where to find me.
    ~ Starset, Antigravity.

    Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.
    ~ August Pullman, Wonder.

  7. #7
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    Vixen Crowsfoot's Avatar

    GP
    217
    AP
    0
    Name
    Vixen Crowsfoot Quansaldo
    Age
    Around 3500
    Race
    Half-goddess, half-uniano
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Corone
    Vixen fixed the man with a curious eye, wondering where the idea of someone going to Akashima had come from. Certainly, there had been a person who said that such a journey was to take place, today, near this time, with an experienced caravan ... and she could not see any other sets of wagons and bridled horses claiming a description such as that. Perhaps her initial investigation had led her to find an idiot just that other day when the claim had been made. Or perhaps someone had misheard 'Akashima' for 'Raiaera'.

    "No."

    The word still rang in her head, as she continued to stand there, listening to this man converse on.

    As he let the last syllable slip from the two thing lines that were his lips, Vixen refocused back into reality. So he had a protege, and one that would not be welcome in Raiaera. As one already experienced with the fair cities of the high elves, Vixen found herself immediately curious at that suggestion. What was it that made the apprentice so disliked in such a place? The most likely thing was that she was a drow, but having had fair experiences (more than fair) with a drow already in this world where she was now free, Vixen simply let her shoulders rise and fall in a shrug. Race did not bother her. After all, she herself was half goddess and half a creature similar to a vampire. Minus the hate of garlic and the actual ability to walk in the sun.

    The man seemed to smile a little - too cheery for Vixen. But the demi-goddess forced her plump, pale lips into a curving smile and nodded. Twisting around, and tightening her grip onto the strap of her bag, she followed his direction without a word. Instead, she headed in a direct line not unlike a crow with purpose, straight for the open stable door. The hot smell of fresh dung, mixed with the rural reminder of hay filled her nostrils unpredictably. Breathing short and narrow, Vixen tried to avoid the stink, and remain with the fresher, farming scent as she ducked past a groom leading a bay stallion through the great double doors, metal shoes ringing on the cobbles with each plod.

    Pulling her possessions closer, Vixen took a stride into the stables, eyes scanning over the double lines of stalls that stretched for at least twenty metres before her. Blinking, she let her eyes flit past the elegant white mares, the bold brown shires, and the black colts. Her eyes drifted past a young boy trying his best to shoe a mount, and landed on a young dark-haired woman apparently busy with a horse.

    Vixen stepped aside to allow a gelding past and coughed.

    "Excuse me ... are you ... a protege?"

  8. #8
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    Yvonne's Avatar

    GP
    1,284
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    0
    Name
    Yvonne Mythrilmantle
    Age
    21
    Race
    Grey Dwarf
    Gender
    Female
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    Alerar

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    One could say the dark-haired woman was busy with a horse. The chestnut palfrey in question felt stress, made obvious to those who listened to horses through the pitch of his whinny squeal. He was a perceptive gelding and had noticed a change in his handler. Change wasn't something he wanted - horses could be like humans in that way - and he was determined to return things to the way they were with his shrill whinnies and irritable nickers.

    Quietly crying to herself like a lost lamb led astray in a wide open paddock, trying to be brave but uncertain she knew how. The protégé was whimpering as she struggled to fit the saddle upon the horse. Harnessing an animal for pulling a wagon? Not a problem. Tacking one for riding was different and her memories of doing so weren't clear, too upset to think straight. Sniffling silently, she held the stirrups out of the way but placed the saddle on the palfrey back to front. The tears trickling down her cheeks had blurred her vision so the mistake remained unseen.

    The gelding's snort was derisive. He wasn't impressed with the turn of events. The clever horse felt the saddle positioning was wrong and boy, did he let her know. With the heftiest headshake he could muster the rest of his body wobbled throughout, from shoulders to hindquarters - the unsecured saddle slid off and thumped to the ground. He neighed, seemingly satisfied with his handiwork.

    The diminutive drow woman let the saddle lay where it may, feeling thwarted for the time being. Something Abel had drummed into her mind was the importance of a horse's free will. They were creatures not to be forced by commands, but convinced through suggestion. She would persuade him when he, and she, were in a better mood. For now he could return to his breakfast oats, and she'd not bother him. There was no hurry that she was aware of. Not for her.

    A feminine voice questioned her nearby and the drow-dwarf hybrid was caught off-guard. She'd been lost in her own little world, within the confines of the stable stall. Whirling around to acknowledge the stranger, the Alerar-born looked a shocking blend of high fashion and low spirits. She was bound in straps and buckles from head to toe, a black leather corset and black cotton skirt, white-sleeved shirt and knee-high stockings - not to overlook glove-clocks and spyglass-goggles stretched across her forehead. The mixed breed appeared entirely out of place in the rustic barnyard, if you were to judge the book by its cover.

    Small hands dabbed away the tears from her face, embarressment colouring her cheeks. She croaked a reply, "Oh, aye... I mean, yes, ye could say that." Gathering her composure as quickly as could be, she cleared her throat, took a deep breath and exhaled to settle herself.

    "Ye sound as though ye've met Abel," she diverted, attempting to move the attention away from herself. "I've only known him ta use words like those."

    Her horse eyeballed the white lady calmly. His teeth continued to grind oats as he stared, perhaps curious, perhaps not. He made a token effort at interest, checking to see if this one had more food most likely.

    "How might I help ye? ... I be sorry, been one of those days," the black-skinned woman explained, though the details of her morning were left unspoken.
    Last edited by Yvonne; 05-05-2018 at 04:49 AM.
    If you want to break free you know where to find me.
    ~ Starset, Antigravity.

    Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.
    ~ August Pullman, Wonder.

  9. #9
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    EXP: 1,464, Level: 1
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    Vixen Crowsfoot's Avatar

    GP
    217
    AP
    0
    Name
    Vixen Crowsfoot Quansaldo
    Age
    Around 3500
    Race
    Half-goddess, half-uniano
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Corone
    "Yes I have met ... him."

    Abel. A curious name that spoke of an otherworldly legendary status, one singing with a strange alienation like Vixen herself was. Quietly, she wound her tongue around the syllables, thinking them out loud but only in her head. Ay-bel. Ay-bel. Ayy-BEL.

    Now able to see this creature, her apparent guide to Akashima, Vixen let her eyes study the girl.

    First thing was first, she was short. That was not to be denied, for she was even shorter than Vixen, who was known to be a relatively minute woman. But this figure was even shorter than that, perhaps coming to Vixen's shoulder - something nearing four foot. Her weight also was balanced, with a good amount of muscle combined with firm, hourglass curvature. Overall, though, she was stocky, as if there was a solidness to her, as if she had some form of dwarf genetics, or perhaps halfling. Black hair spun around her head like a picture frame, with fine silver eyes glinting beneath. What was most curious, however, was the fact her skin was solidly dark black, almost night, and as Vixen gazed she found her mouth twisting into a smile.

    For skin that like belonged only to one race, and that was drow. And Vixen knew the form of a drow very, very well.

    So she was built like a halfling, but had the skin of a dark elf. Well, that spoke hybrid if anything - or a new race that Vixen had never seen. A race as rare as her own perhaps, that did not technically exist on this world, aside from the weak comparison of vampires. But they had that whole 'weak in sunlight' thing ...

    Perhaps she was even from another world. Like Vixen and all her relations.

    "Abel said you could take me across to Akashima," Vixen said quietly as she continued to observe this strange being. Perhaps she just attracted peculiar, non-standard beings. Mikhail, for instance, was a metal demon. How common were they? And that cat girl? And kenkus themselves, they were not a being you saw every day. "He did not want to take you to Raiaera. I am presuming that is on account on your skin. What are you?" she paused as another idea came to her.

    "You are a drow with stunted growth?"

  10. #10
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    Yvonne's Avatar

    GP
    1,284
    AP
    0
    Name
    Yvonne Mythrilmantle
    Age
    21
    Race
    Grey Dwarf
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Alerar

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    The stunted drow had begun to feel... exposed, her vulnerability on display for all to see. One pair of pink eyes poring over her obsidian skin was enough, enough to set her on edge and it seemed they would devour every last detail about her until there was nothing left. This white lady was intensely curious about her, wasn't she?

    Somebody ought ta mention it be rude ta stare.

    The woman's curling smile helped to soften the severity the dark-skinned dwarf sensed from that telling gaze, feeling better as though she'd passed a silent test within the mind of her examiner. There was a promising satisfaction there now, expressed without words upon that remarkable face. Not at all like the sneers, scoffs and smirks she'd come to anticipate from strangers.

    The lady's presumption made the dark dwarf flinch and gave her pause.

    She knows everything. Why does she know everything? Why did that blasted human go and tell her that for? Ooh, by tha crags of tha wild goats, wait 'til I get me hands on--

    Her curious questions cut right through the hybrid's flustered thoughts like a hot knife through butter. For an uncomfortable moment the dusk dwarf was speechless. Being an unknown in a strange sun-lit world still hurt, just a little ache on the heart, but she found herself respecting the lady's blunt, forward attitude.

    "Yvonne of tha Mythrilmantle clan, descendant of tha dwarven defenders of Teria," she boasted reflexively, a pitiful state of affairs to be defending only herself from the comments of customers. Oh, if her ancestors could see how far their clan had fallen... their kin weeping on the hay bales and upsetting the horses.

    "A dwarf with poor self-image," Yvonne quipped wryly, pulling a face. As though he knew his handler was being a smart-ass the chestnut gelding thumped her with a somewhat gentle headbutt. Whether it was to knock her back into line or to reacquire her attention, it was effective, as he achieved both.

    "This be Mead. Aye, like tha drink. He who shall not be neglected," Yvonne explained, stroking her dark fingers through his red mane and down his brown shoulder. The palfrey was unusually calm, very strange. What was it about this diamond-haired dame that put the horse at ease? He liked her, the half-dwarf knew that already.

    "We'd be happy ta go with ye ta Akashima, but... who'd be asking?"
    Last edited by Yvonne; 05-05-2018 at 04:52 AM.
    If you want to break free you know where to find me.
    ~ Starset, Antigravity.

    Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.
    ~ August Pullman, Wonder.

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