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 .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant

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PostSubject: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:37 am

Hey Aero ^^ I'm still not quite ready to start the roleplay, but I thought I'd go ahead and get the plot/setting up. I know this isn't really taking place on Earth, but I wasn't sure what else to put, so that's what's there ^^' Here goes nothing~

PLOT::
It happened over three thousand years ago. The world was turned inside out in a matter of seconds, a colossal disaster that left the earth wounded and broken. Of course, no one alive today was there to see the occurrence, but the story has been told from generation to generation, a story that, even today, is told in fear. For all they know, it could happen again, and the next time there may be no survivors.
Planet Earth had been thriving at the time. People had finally realized the mistakes that they were making, and the world changed for the better. The government had made huge adjustments to the way the society was run. Deforestation came to a stop, renewable resources replaced petroleum for fuel, and everyone was happier and healthier. War became a foreign concept; the races of the world were finally able to live in peace. It was in the middle of this perfect tranquility that the unexpected occurred.
An asteroid hit the planet.
No one could have predicted it. When it was finally realized that the Earth was in the path of the giant hunk of matter, it was too late. People could only watch helplessly as the asteroid, larger than Mount Everest, hit the continent of Asia. The force of the impact instantly killed over three quarters of the population, leaving the world in ruins. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the survivors suffered harsh consequences from the disaster. It is believed that a large amount of radiation was exposed when the asteroid hit, and nearly all the world was affected. Mutations started to appear, grotesque monstrosities that left some dead, and others shunned. What was once a utopia had now become a wasteland of sick and injured people.
But out of the darkness came a shred of hope. Some scientists who were experts in the field of genetics had survived through the catastrophe, and were beginning to understand what had really happened to the world. They began picking up patterns in the mutations, and, after many experiments and tests, they found out how the radiation worked. They were soon able to control the mutations.
The few people that survived understood that, without the proper tools, humanity would soon cease to exist. They weren’t adapted to this harsh world. And that was how the geneticists came into play.
They injected a few people who hadn’t been affected by the asteroid with a serum that was filled with the radiation found near volcanoes that had formed during the natural disaster. The subjects suffered through fierce pain, and the weakest of them died. But the strong survived.
They became a new race. They became Homo Superior. The radiation enabled them to withstand high temperatures, up to over a thousand degrees. They also were able to manipulate fire and magma, a concept that was once believed to be simply a fantasy. These new people were now pyrokinetics.
The process continued. Different mutations were made. There were the fire people, hydrokinetics, earth manipulators, and lastly, Avians. They became the four new races of the world, and together, they lived in harmony with one another, surviving because of their ability to use their strengths to help one another in places where other races may be weak.
The pyrokinetics, now known as the Rakam, are people of power and metal craft. With hair of ember and skin of bronze, they provide iron and steel, and can shape metal into any form. Though there is no need of weapons, they revel in the ability of forming swords and knives, appreciating the deadly delicacy that goes into the making of such wondrous items. They are also gifted in making anything else that requires extreme heat to create, as well as finding and using precious stones and gems found deep within the earth. Because of these capabilities, they are a rich people, and also hold a lot of power in the world. Some say they hold too much strength for their own good, but there is nothing that anyone can do to change what has already become reality.
The hydrokinetics, now called the Sothram, are beings of the water. Dark-haired and pale-skinned, their abilities lie in the catching of fish and crustaceans, providing the Earth with the sea's abundance of food. They are a rather shy people, but know all there is to know about the oceans, the lifeblood of the planet. From the shallowest waters to the deepest clefts, they scour the seas for new discoveries and mysteries that the water has so long held dear.
The earth-manipulators, better known as the Toroque, are the most meek of the races, and also the most mysterious. The dark-skinned people would rather spend time with the trees than talk with other people, but they are experts in the field of botany and herbology, and give medicines and tonics to others who are not so learned in plant lore. Some say that the oldest of the Toroque are part trees themselves, and will root themselves to the ground and break off from the world, becoming one with the forest.
Lastly, the Avians, or the Aiwenor, are the people that are still the most human of the races on the planet. The only thing that distiguishes this many-colored race from human of old is the ability of flight, provided by the wings that protrude from their shoulderblades, and the array of feathers that adorn their body to provide stability in the air. They are masters of the sky, and of the bow, which they use expertly and precisely to hunt wild deer and other prey that wander their land. They are also very wise, as well as playful, and love the sound of music and laughter. Knowledge is their most precious value, and they seek to learn more about the world that they live in.
The world is once more beautiful, although it is different than it was once supposed to be. The land is now torn by up by fragments of rock and other space debris that had come from the asteroid all those long years ago, but the creatures of earth adapted to it. Homo Superior overcame the odds against them, and came back stronger than the generations before them.
The year is 5,758 AD. The races have once again flocked to their own corners of the world, but there is peace. They don’t fight one another. There is no need; they all have what they need, and there is nothing that is worth arguing over. The Rokam live in the crater created by the asteroid, living amongst the volcanoes that churn and boil with the angry rivers of lava; the Sothram fled to the sea, a vast expanse of water that seems endless, the only habitat that they could call their own; the Toroque wandered into the forests, seeking solitude and quiet; and the Aiwenor took to the sky.
For the past few millennia, nothing evil has stirred the harmonic brotherhood of the four races of the earth. They have learned how to share with one another, to use their strengths and abilities to further excel in growth and development. There have been a few minor clashes with the rebellious creatures from the north, a species that is not quite human, but not quite animal. However, their motives are weak, and they cause little disturbance.
But now, in the middle of this perfect world, some sense a new power is rising. No one knows what it is, or what the motives are. They have only felt an evil presence rising in the eastern edges of the world, where fire and stone rules the earth. Most people think that the suspicions are false, and that some are simply trying to cause disarray to get attention for themselves. The government is ignorant to this new danger. They are so blind in their flawless lives that they don’t even stop to think about the evil that used to exist on the planet.
That still does exist on the planet.


((Even though this is technically on 'earth', because of the changes that have happened, the people have been sort of send back to medieval times. Think swords, crossbows, horses for transportation, etc. There can be all sorts of different and unique creatures, so be creative, and have fun! Very Happy ))



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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:11 am

"C'mon, Sparroe, it'll be fun! No one will know, and we'll be back by morning."
"I dunno... I mean, if anyone finds out what we're doin', we could get in trouble."
"Well, then, let's go! If you go any slower, someone's sure to catch up with us!"
Sighing, Sparroe grudgingly picked up his pace, attempting to keep up with the rapidly retreating figure of one of his best friends, Ravyn. Like usual, she was more than willing to go along with the foolish plans of their mutual friend Albatross, a rebellious boy with a knack for getting into trouble. Tonight, he had told them to meet him about a mile outside the city of Rosemage to do nothing less than something that was not legal by a long shot. Ravyn, being more outgoing and excitable than the reserved Sparroe, gladly agreed to the planned riot. Sparroe had not been so sure, but he knew that at least one person with any sense had to come along, or else they'd probably end up killing themselves.

The trio had been friends since they could remember, living in the capital city of the Aiwenor, Rosemage. They went to school together, spent time playing make-believe on long summer days, and dreamed of riches and glory for themselves. They had made a pact that they would always be best friends, no matter what came between them. So far, that pact had held true. However, Sparroe was starting to doubt if the relationship was healthy for him.

At the age of 19, Sparroe was old enough to live on his own, almost, even, to start a family of his own. With constantly windswept black hair, gentle grey eyes, and glossy, deep brown wings, he occasionally got attention from woman, but any relationships that he had had in the past had quickly died due to his lack of excitement and laid-back nature. A country boy at heart, he liked to spend days tending plants and picking crops, a tradition that his family had kept for generations. It was only by luck that this simple boy became friends with the cunning Ravyn and mischevious Ross, and he often wondered if some higher power was just screwing with him for fun. Though to be honest, no matter how much he disapproved of their behavior, he truly did enjoy their friendship, and would follow them to the ends of the earth if he had to.

Ravyn's history hadn't been too different from Sparroe's. She came from a family of historians, and grew up learning about the intriguing history of their planet, from wars to revolutions to The Catastrophe, the last of which she found extremely interesting. Though it was an awful period of time, and most spoke of it in hushed whispers and fearful eyes, she thought that the entire event was an example of why everyone should try to live their life to the fullest, for who knew what waited around the corner? She was a year younger than Sparroe, but no less intelligent or experienced. She had her moments of seriousness and sincerity, especially when it came to learning more about the past, but mostly, the mahogany-haired girl spent her time laughing and spending as much time as she could exploring and enjoying the freedom of youth. Few men had shown interest in her, and she liked it that way; in her mind, love was an overrated and unnecessary, and though she thought she would find someone and get married later in life, it wasn't something she saw in her near future. She only needed her two boys, both of whom were like brothers to her.

The culture that they lived in was quite a bit different than the societies before The Catastrophe. Rosemage was considered one of the most advanced cities in the world, but it was nothing like the polluted cities of old. In a way, the world had been set back a few centuries, to a time where swords and horses prevailed over guns and cars. Medieval would be a good term to describe their way of life. Families grew their own crops and raised their own animals, or, if they didn't have the means to do such things, traded their items for food at the local markets. Houses were simple one- to two-story buildings, and most were made of stone or wood, and electricity was replaced by solar power and fire. Cars were no longer used as transportation, and the dirt- and stone-paved streets were filled only with horses and ox-drawn carts. Everything that anyone needed was only a few days travel away, and so there was no need of faster transportation. Of course, the Aiwenor could always fly where they needed to go, and so travel was not a huge issue for them, unless they needed to bring a lot of possessions with them. Education was pretty much the same as it had always been, but young Avians were free to choose what they wanted to learn and the ways to do so, such as a normal classroom setting, or individual tutoring from their parents or a payed instructor. This encouraged individuality among the people, and their race thrived because of it. Art and music were a large part of the Avian life, and the city was beautifully decorated with statues and murals from local artists.

The government consisted of 16 members, two from each of the major Aiwenor cities in the world. Each were representatives of their land, and got their ideas and decisions from their people. They were more for show than for actual use, though; little happened in the world that caused the need for higher power to take action, and they only met occasionally to talk of trivial things such as road repairs and land use. Their were laws, though, and what Albatross had planned tonight was frowned upon by this 'higher power' quite severely.

Nonetheless, they were doing it anyway. After sneaking past the guards that patrolled the city wall and taking the main road about a half-mile east, they slipped off into the underbrush towards a small plateau that stood in the near distance. Here, Rock Rhinos ran wild, and their plan was as stupid as it was exhilirating - a midnight run of rhino tipping. The slow, heavy creatures were the perfect target of such deeds, and they three young friends were not the first to do it. Albatross had told them to meet him at a crow-shaped rock near the south end of the rocky landmark, so Ravyn and Sparroe made their way silently towards the destination, keeping an eye out for any random hikers that might still be out. The sun had set more than an hour ago, and the bright cresent moon peeked out timidly from a cloud-filled sky. As they got closer, Sparroe looked up uncertainly at the dark clouds. "It might rain," he muttered half-heartedly, but he knew that a little water wouldn't keep them from having their fun. Ravyn glanced at him, a wicked grin coming to her face. "If it rains, then the dumb creatures will have an even harder time trying to chase us in the dark." She turned her gaze back to the rocky outcrop, stretching out her tawny wings in anticipation. They hadn't been able to fly to the plateau, because of security, and she was itching to take off and start their adventure.

Fifteen minutes later, they reached the oddly-shaped rock, nervously anticipating Ross's arrival. Well, Sparroe was nervously anticipating it. Ravyn was already fidgeting with impatience to begin.
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:49 am

The lights of the city were slowly going out now, and from his high vantage point, the glittering windows of the avian city appeared as embers caught in the rocky mountain faces that the people of the skies made their homes in. Up here, the wind was cold, the air thin, and Albatross, known affectionately as Ross by his friends, hung in the darkening sky, watching the darting of black figures against the light below as people began to fly back home for the night. A shiver ran down his spine and goosebumps rose on his skin. Taking a deep breath, Ross looked once more to the red sky on the horizon before tucking his wings and diving for warmer air, away from the city lights and toward a light-less-outcropping of rock, a perpetual grin on his face as he smoothly pulled out of the dive, gliding on the currents of the wind toward his destination, golden eyes searching the sky for watchers that might rat his presence out.

Tonight, Ross was unsurprisingly up to no good, having made a habit of making reckless outings since the time he could fly. It started out innocently enough; he was the son of a bookstore owner, and in his fledgling years before his feathers grew in were filled with tales of adventure, danger, fantasy, romance, tragedy and all sorts of other exciting things to a young impressionable mind. The day that he learned to fly without crashing into every tree in his path, he had promptly dove off the edge of a cliff and had gone missing in the woods for a few hours, much to the worry of his parents. Since then, they had become used to his antics, and having found no way to stop their adventurous son from exploring the world with his own special brand of zeal, they had learned to let him go, giving him tips on how best to survive in a bind on occasion. And for that freedom, he loved his parents deeply.

As he grew, the forays into the forest were marked by a slightly more reckless air that included wrangling the giant forest beetles, riding the panicky horned quadrupeds of the forest, and his favorite sport, rock rhino tipping. Even his friends had been dragged into his reckless lifestyle, and it certainly helped that he found a common soul in Rayven who was up for adventure nearly as much as himself. And though Sparroe could prove to be a bit of a party pooper with his "logic" and "reason", Ross did like the man, especially since he was quite a good guy to have around in a tight pinch, and could be personable when he wanted. That, and he was fun to tease when it was monsooning and adventure was simply out of the question.

As he approached the rockface, he noted two dark figures, and figured that it must have been his two companions. Containing a chuckle, he circled around behind the rock and out of sight by anyone on the front of the rocky outcropping. All of Ross' family had interesting coloration patterns on their wings and in their hair, and Ross was no exception to that general rule. For the most part, he could probably be classified as a rusty orange colored type, the underside of his wings salted with small white feathers. However, the top of his wings is where things got interesting. Two white stripes followed the contour of the bottom of his wing stopping short of a huge white "eye" on the tips of his wings. The lower feathers were black that colored smoothly into his rusty orange feathers, the same type of pattern present on his tail feathers. His hair was another matter all together. The same black color crested his head in a pool that abruptly cut into the orange color, and behind his ears and at the base of his neck, the hair changed color again to the white color of his wings. With so much white, sneaking up on people from the air was nearly impossible... hence his slight detour.

Landing just behind the outcropping, he listened to see if he had been discovered before flitting down lower, holding onto the cliff face with his hands alone caught on the slight handholds on the pitted rock face. Waiting a second longer, he braced himself and let go, landing with bent knees and flared wings, giving out a startling cry that was meant to make someone scream in fear. He didn't much care if it were Rayven or Sparroe, he just hoped he'd get one of them. They seemed to be a little more immune to his tricks as of late...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:54 pm

Ravyn knew it wasn't like Ross to be late for anything, and so the jump and cry that he gave out a few moments after they had arrived only gave her a slight startle. Sparroe was the one that wasn't so fortunate. When their friend leapt out from his hiding place behind the oddly shaped stone, he yelped and stumbled backwards, tripping on some gravel and landing promptly on his tailfeathers. For a moment there was silence as they all stared at one another, and then Ravyn burst out laughing, nearly falling herself as she doubled over in merriment. Sparroe's face flushed deeply, and he was glad that the darkness could at least somewhat hide his embarassment. "I, uh... Was just... Seeing how well th' traction was on these boots," he stammered lamely as he quickly stood back up. Ravyn chuckled again at his lousy excuse, but said no more, offering him a helping hand as he scambled up. She then nudged Ross in the ribs, jesting,"That was rude of you, Rossy. He could'a fallen off the cliff and hurt himself." She had to bite back a grin as she spoke.

"Yeah, 'cause it's not like I have wings or anythin' to keep me from falling..." Sparroe replied, rolling his eyes. He automatically unfurled the large pair of umber wings that had been folded against his back, realizing with disdain that they were now covered with dirt. As he attempted to wipe off the grime, Ravyn turned to Albatross and spontaneously hugged him. "We haven't been able t' hang out as much as we used to, mate," she told him, pulling away. "I think your dad is working you too hard in that bookstore." She, too, had been spending more time doing research and working than adventuring, and had leapt at the chance to go out for a late-night adventure. It seemed like the trio saw each other less and less, as their own lives pulled them separate ways in the complex world of the Aiwenor. Tonight, though, she was set on having the most fun of her life.

After Sparroe was done cleaning himself off, he looked up to the plateau that stood above them. Sighing, he said,"Well, I suppose we better get on with it." He took off into the air, beating his wings powerfully as he flew upwards to the top of the rocky structure. Ravyn took off shortly after, as well as Ross, and they soon reached the top. The plateau was suprisingly green for such high altitudes; the ground was covered with all sorts of mosses and grasses, as well as a few bunches of shrubs and foilage. It was the perfect environment for the huge, herbivorous rock rhinos, and it didn't take the companions long before they found a herd. It was a small group, consisting of about six or seven of the heavy creatures, which was perfect for what they had planned. One of the rhinos was standing a short distance away from the others, fast asleep. The animals slept standing up, using their large, muscular legs to hold themselves up as they rested. As the name implies, the rhinos greatly resemble rocks, having rough, thick skin, angular joints, and thin grey fur. The slow creatures were oblivious as Ravyn, Ross, and Sparrow crept up behind a shrub near the lone rhino. Sparroe was nervously looking at the rest of the heard. "Not all of them are asleep," he warned, nodding at one that was munching on some grass, and another that was looking around warily. "If they see us, they might charge." Of course, they could all take off before any of the rhinos reached them, but there was always a chance that something could go wrong. Ravyn shook her head, replying,"Stop worrying so much." She turned to Ross. "Ready whenever you are," she told him, her usual grin in place.

((Sorry it's so short >.< ))
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:12 am

Ross did not spare Sparroe his laughter, having hoped for just such a reaction, but got himself into order quickly, his laughter reduced to an indelicate clearing of the throat, though his eyes still sparkled with amusement. "Mm, traction then, eh?" Ross asked with a barely contained chuckle, strongly resisting the urge to ruffle Ravyn's hair during their brief hug, settling for a quick squeeze instead. In short order, Sparroe had regained his footing, and they were off. The night, cool and calm, was silent but for the breeze in their ears. Briefly during their flight, Ross toyed with the idea of challenging the two to a race, but decided against it at the last moment. There was no need to be tired before they even got to the plateau.

As they settled down on the top of the plateau, hidden as best they were able to be, he listened to Sparroe's complaints and rolled his eyes with a faint grin, giving a nod to Rayvn when she indicated they were ready. "Now rememba', you got to me quiet, 'else they'll hear ye and'll start running off. The last thing we want is a stampede, yeah?" He kept his voice low, and when he was done talking, waited for their assenting nods before placing his fingers over his lips in a typical 'shh' gesture, peeking out over the bush once before creeping around it, nearly doubled over as he snuck through the long grass. His wings were tucked tight, hiding as much of the incriminating white of his feathers as he could, approaching the lone rhino as it slept, placing one foot in front of the other with as much care as he could manage, pausing at irregular intervals if the lurking behemoth so much as twitched.

Then, when they were within a few feet of the huge animal, he looked over his shoulder at his two companions, flashing them a grin and darted forward, throwing all of his weight at the animal in an effort to make the tough-skinned creature teeter sideways and fall.

((action time = short posts T-T))

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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:13 am

((Heee, I like Ross's accent already xD Smexy~ Also, I think I'll go ahead and introduce the Viper Bird ^^ ))

Ravyn and Sparroe quietly and swiftly followed after Ross as he took off into the long grass, Ravyn in the lead, with a slightly slower Sparroe following after. They both made special care not to trip on any stones or step on a twig, lest they make some sound to alert the beast. Sparroe nervously glanced over at the other rhinos; they were completely oblivious, although the one was still looking around alertly. Muttering curses under his breath, the raven-haired youth came to a brief stop next to his two companions when they were near. Ravyn's heart was pounding wildly with excitement, a grin plastered to her face as she waited for the final few moments before they attacked. What followed could only be described as the perfect tipping.

As Ross dashed off and rammed against the rock rhino, Ravyn took off after him, hitting the beast only a moment after he did. The rhino reared awake in an instant and bleated out an alarm just before it tumbled and fell on its side, writhing wildly. At the last minute Sparroe had lost his nerve and, instead of hitting the animal, took off into the air just above it, barely avoiding the deadly horn. While the creature flailed on the ground, the rest of the herd immediately started bellowing, now wide-awake and full of rage. As they began to charge the two Aiwenor still on the ground, Ravyn and Ross hastily jumped into the air, only seconds before the herd reached where they had been standing. Screeching in frustration at having lost their prey, they eventually settled down and, after helping up their fallen member, trotted off into the night, away from the area of the attack.

But that wasn't the end of their adventure. After whooping and gloating over their sport, and teasing Sparroe for losing his nerve at the last minute, the trio hovered around for a bit, thinking of perhaps finding another herd that they could mess with. They flew north, towards the higher end of the plateau, where things got rockier and more craggy, and also where darker and meaner creatures lurked. Of course, Sparroe was completely against the idea, but he was outvoted by the other two, so reluctantly followed after. They had no luck in finding another herd, and so after searching for about a half hour, they landed on a rough outcropping to rest for a moment before heading back to the city. Ravyn had prepared ahead of time and packed a few snacks, and so they ate and chatted while they waited to regain their energy for the return. They didn't realize that they had strayed too far to the east, an area strictly forbidden to any Avians at any time. It was a dark and deadly place, full of venomous snakes and giant spiders.

As they obliviously chattered away, a shadow flickered against a cliff face, the only sign that they were not alone. A rare but extremely dangerous beast had been awakened by their arrival, and was always ready to capture fresh prey. The rock rhinos that it fed on could only sustain him for a short while, and the hard beasts were hardly an enjoyable meal. Soft, young Avian meat would be greatly enjoyed by the Viper Bird that haunted the craggy realm. The monstrous creature was nearly a hundred feet long, with a wingspan of at least the same length, if not more. It could almost be described as a dragon of sorts, except for the thick, inky feathers that patterned its scaled body. It had a large, reptilian head, complete with a beak-like mouth and razor sharp teeth, and thick, ivory horns protruding from the base of the skull. A long, serpentine neck gave way to a wide, muscled chest, with feathered, bat-like wings that acted not only for flight purposes, but for front legs as well. Its back legs writhed with powerful cords of sinew and muscle as it crept nearer to the Aiwenor, and its long, spiked tail whipped eagerly back and forth as it approached. The color could only be described as rock-like, so as to better camoflauge itself in its rocky habitat.

Just before it leapt, the Viper Bird let out a gutteral shriek, meant to stun and paralyze its prey in fear before it was attacked and consumed alive. The three Avians were startled out of their conversation, and as they stared at the beast, eyes wide with fear, they knew that they had gone too far with their rebellion. Now they would pay for it with their lives.

The only thing that saved them was Sparroe's intense will to stay alive. He quickly shook off the paralysis that the beast's screech had caused, and shook his friends until they too started moving. But even as they fled to the freedom of the sky, they were not safe. The Viper Bird, having missed them on its initial pounce, was now more determined than ever to capture the three young humans. It too took to the air, and as they turned and made their way as fast too... Wherever there was safety... It chased after them. They searched desperately for any place that could provide shelter from the beast, but they could see none. Luckily, it was much slower and clumsier than the Avians in the air, but it also didn't burn out as fast as they did. Ravyn could already feel her wing muscles burning with exertion. Before too much longer, she would have to land.

Just as they had given up hope, Sparroe caught a glimpse of green in the near distance. A forest! He didn't know if it was the forest surrounding Rosemage, or some other place, but it would be too compact to allow a creature the size of the Viper Bird in. They reached it just as Ravyn ran out of steam, and, after half flying, half falling through the canopy, the three of them crashed to the ground, which thankfully was covered with a thick layer of moss to soften the landing. The Viper Bird shrieked in frustration and rage, tearing at the treetops in its attempt to get its prey. But it was no use; the trees did not give in. With one last agonizing cry, it gave up and headed back to its home.

The three breathed a sigh of relief, panting heavily as they regained their composure from the attack. They had only heard tales of such creatures in the mountains, and none that they knew had ever seen one in person. They were extremely lucky to be alive. "Guess we'll... Have quite a... Story to tell when... We get back, eh?" Between breathes, Ravyn managed to smile at her two friends, whether out of relief or humor, she wasn't sure. Sparroe had collapsed and was spread out on the mossy ground, gasping for air. "That was NOT... What I had expected," he commented; a huge understatement, especially coming from him. They were too exhausted to travel back to the city, and so they realized that they would have to spend the night in the forest... Wherever this forest actually was.


((I didn't reread it, and I'm tired, so please forgive any mistakes >.< ))
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:41 pm

It was a long while before Ross could muster the energy to speak. He lay sprawled out on the forest floor, twigs and leaves clinging to his hair and wings from the rough entry to the forest. He was pretty sure he'd struck a branch or something on the way down, because the tip of his left wing hurt. Trembling, Ross managed to sit up, his wings drooping, the energy sapped from him after such an extremely prolonged adrenalin high. Cold sweat dotted his skin, and he let loose a prolonged sigh after wiping the perspiration from his face, followed by a quick laugh at Sparroe's comment. "I'm thinkin' that I never want to do that again." He mumbled, flexing his finger in his lap to try and regain some control over his shaking muscles. "I'm not of an opinion that we're goin to be makin it out of the forest tonight. Rayvn, did anythin in your pack make it through the chase?"

With a grunt, he managed to stand, walking over to where Rayvn and Sparroe were, kneeling nearby and looking around in the small pack that she had brought along with them on the jouney, scoffing a couple of times. "Let hope it doesn't rain tonight..."

There was a whispering in the trees as the sun fell past the horizon. True night was upon them now, and in the darkness, the silent still forest seemed to come alive, the branches swaying without a breeze to tousle the branches. Old bark creaked and moaned, making Ross' neck hair stand on end as he looked wildly out into the darkness. "Oi, ye hear that?" He whispered, unconsciously unfurling his wings as if he were ready to launch into the air at any moment.

The creaking and the swaying increased, and then, just on the edge of audible hearing came a voice. A slow, whispering melody that floated to them on the breeze that could have been mistaken for the hissing of wind through leaves. The voice grew closer and louder, the words more definable as belonging to some different language that rose and fell in a solemn peaceful melody. Then, all at once, the noise stopped, and there was silence. Even the animals of the night remained silent, taking a pent-up breath as if waiting for something to happen.

Ross saw it then, a white figure that moved from between the trees with such liquid grace that it appeared to be of ethereal quality. Without thinking, he stood between Rayvn and the white figure that approached them with slow and steady steps, extending his wings with the vague idea that doing so would protect her from whatever the creature was.

Then came laughter.

It was such an unexpected and delightful sound, at first he was sure that he had gone crazy and was imagining things. But he wasn't the only one that could hear it, the obviously feminine laughter that reverberated with joy and good-will. The white figure was closer now, close enough to get a good look at her, and it was obviously a she, and she was the one emitting the laugh. The strange woman was garbed entirely in white, or what at first appeared to be all white, the loose shawl-like material draped over her willowy body in such a way that it shifted when she walked, revealing the near-black imperfections in the material. These marks appeared to have a purpose, instead of being by chance stains, for if she stood in the moonlight as she was now and one stared long enough, she appeared to fade in and out of the background, becoming one with the forest. Her skin was also painfully white, and her hair appeared like liquid silver, the long straight locks flowing over her shoulders and down her back in graceful lines. Only her eyes were dark, the iris and pupil of such a similar hue that they appeared to be one and the same.

"Stand down O Child of the Skies. I am a daughter born of the Wood, and I mean you no harm." The woman spoke, gesturing to Ross, whose stance relaxed slightly at her words, whether he meant to or not. "Pray tell little birds, why are thou in my wood? 'Tis been many a year since I have seen winged creatures such as thee, and were I not so sure of mine eyes, I would suspect you a mirage. Perhaps it be that you have been guided here to me? For I feel a touch of destiny about you... yes, indeed, a touch of destiny." She inclined her head slightly, examining the three with what was more than simple idle curiosity, her black eyes searching them intensely.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Tue Oct 05, 2010 6:09 am

Ravyn froze as the misty voice floated through the woodlands, her skin crawling with nervousness. Had the Viper Bird somehow returned, and was now taunting them with whispering voices? It seemed unlikely. She looked around at the trees, realizing for the first time that a majority of them had white bark - birch trees. She stared for a few moments before realizing that in the distance, one of the trees appeared to be moving. Moving towards them, in fact. Shivering, she made a quick decision that she didn't want any part of something that sounded so unnatural, and stood abruptly. Before she could make a dash for it, though, Ross's solid figure moved between her and the creature, obviously a showing of his loving protection like that of an older brother. She relaxed slightly, deeply touched by the action. She felt a slight courage build within her, and stepped up to Ross's side; whatever was coming, they would face it together.

Sparroe, too, was listening curiously to the murmuring noises, but he felt only calmness as the voice drifted to them through the trees. Of course, in a birch forest, there was sure to be mystical beings around. The ivory trees seemed to hold a mystery of their own, a deep secret that none could fathom except for the people of the wood. It came as little surprise to him when an albino Toroque appeared out of nowhere from the endless trees. He immediately scrambled up into a standing position and nodded his head in respect, feeling a bead of sweat form on his brow. The Birch women, he remembered learning, were extremely wise, and gifted in the ability of future-sight. One of such beauty and age, for she was obviously old, though her appearance didn't show it, was a rare sight for any to see. In fact, it was said that such a woman would only appear to people whose future life involved danger and peril, a future of fate and destiny. When he finally looked up into her ageless gaze, he saw only kindness and laughter, though her posture was that of a queen. This must be her forest, he thought. He didn't know of any birch forests around Rosemage; they must have really gone off course to have stumbled upon such a secluded location.

Sparroe trembled visibly, thinking carefully before choosing his words. Eventually, he managed to say,"Greetings, Lady of the Birch. We did not purposefully come into your beautiful realm. We were chased by an evil creature, one that we call a Viper Bird, and your forest was the only safe place that we could find within many miles. We do not mean to cause any harm, and we will leave as soon as we can." He ignored her words of destiny and forsight; she couldn't possibly mean that they had that sort of future ahead of them. It was only by accident that they had come upon her home, and they would have to leave sooner than he had originally planned. Though the Toroque woman obviously was not looking to hurt them, her unblinking gaze unnerved him. She wasn't natural, and yet, she was nature itself, an ancient tree forever roaming this desolate place. The thought made him shiver.

Ravyn, however, focused on the woman intently as she spoke. She, like most young Avians, had long ago learned of the four main races of the earth, though it was never really something that she was interested in. She was more into history; culture was too complicated for her to understand. She vaguely remembered something about the white Toroque, but couldn't quite remember what it was. She cursed to herself; she should have paid more attention in school.

"What do you mean, Lady?" she asked, copying Sparroe's head bow in respect as she questioned the woman. "We are simple Aiwenor, only seeking excitement and adventure. What could we possibly have to do with any.... Destiny?" Sparroe shot her a look, but she ignored it, instead taking a step forward, closer to the woman. There was something that attracted her, and it was as if her feet had a mind of their own. She couldn't tear her gaze away from the Toroque's, for the longer she looked, the further she fell into their bottomless depths.

She saw herself, older, with torn clothing and many scars etched over her skin like battle wounds. A sword was clasped in her right hand, and the left was bloodstained, though the blood was unnaturally red, like fire. She had the gaze of someone who had seen too many battles, too many deaths, in such a young life. She seemed to be surrounded by mounds of rocks, but when she looked closer, she realized with a sickening lurch that they were corpses. Some were dark-haired and pale skinned, others with hair of ember and eyes of gold, and yet more had deep skin like the bark of a tree. It was obvious that this war, wherever or whenever it occurred, had involved all the races of the earth. What could it possibly mean?

When she could look no longer, Ravyn forced her eyes away and collapsed to her knees, gasping for air. She now remembered what the Birch women could do. She had just caught a glimpse of what her future might hold. She closed her eyes and wept, shaking with sudden exhaustion and inner turmoil. Was that what her future would really be? It was impossible to think about. She wondered if Sparroe and Ross were having similar visions as they gazed at the white lady.

Sparroe saw Ravyn fall to the ground, but his feet were rooted to the ground. He, too, had seen the vision, though he had seen it from a distance, like a stranger in another person's dream. He knew that the vision was only a possible path of what could happen, but it still scared him. He was not a warrior; he would not survive in a war. But what could possibly happen to cause such a terrible tragedy? The races thrived with one another; there was no need for war.

((Feel free to have Ross have a vision as well. Remember, this future is only possible, so it can be as crazy or scary as you want it to be ;D ))

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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:46 pm

When Sparroe started speaking, Ross turned his head to look at him, noting that the white woman had switched her gaze to bore straight into his friend as well. When he heard the proclamation that she was one of the Birch, a look of dumbstruck wonder crossed his face. It made sense, after all. He had read much about the fabled albino Toroque, how they had often been at the root of many an adventure’s story line, and many nights after having been read such a tale, he would dream of meeting such a creature. Now that one was in front of him, he was filled with a mixture of excitement and dread, for if those childhood stories had taught him anything; it was that the adventurer’s path was never easy.

Like the others, he bowed his respect toward the Lady Birch, though his bow was a far sight more jerky than the other two, his mind caught in a whirlwind of thought instead of concentrating on seeming like a respectful guest in her woods. It couldn’t be pure chance that they had met her here like Sparroe said, despite however much it might seem that way. Seeing people like her never just happened for no reason… for one, the Toroque didn’t much socialize with outsiders, their ways of life practically unknown to outsiders. On top of that to run into an embodiment of the White Birch, one of the most rare of the Toroque… it was too much to be happy chance. On top of it all, it was known that if the people of the trees didn’t want to be found, they simply weren’t. It was that simple.

Then, Ravyn was collapsing at his side. Startled, Ross knelt next to her, placing his hands on her shoulders and flicked his eyes up to meet the black gaze of the Lady Birch and found himself transported to another time and place.

His hands were covered in blood, and he knew by some sort of internal intuition that the crimson stains did not flow forth from his own body. He was kneeling, a wetness on his cheeks that could only be attributed to tears. A discarded weapon, notched, scratched, and bronze with dried blood in the setting light laid next to him. Before him lie a figure, her eyes hidden by a swath of dark brown hair, though with a sense of dread, he knew deep in his heart that he recognized the prone figure. A mournful cry left his lips, and out of the corner of his vision he could make out the glint of a sword as it swung for him-

Ross jerked violently as he surfaced from his vision, as if to avoid the blade that would have struck a mortal blow in that dream world. The wetness on his cheek remained, and he wiped away the stray tear that had escaped from his eye during the vision, resolutely locking eyes with the Lady Birch once more. “You jus’ showed us our futures, didn’t you?” His voice was almost accusing as he posed the question, his fists clenching in wordless anger that rose up at him suddenly.

But, calm and tranquil as the leaves of spring, the Toroque simply nodded, her black eyes never leaving Ross’ face. “Tis the effect of this wood and myself. We are drawn to those whose futures are dealt a heavy hand with fate, and they likewise are drawn to us.” She looked now at Sparroe, tilting her head slightly as she examined him. “Thou hast seen but a single path that lay before thee, and it is up to thine self to make of the vision what you will. What thou hast seen, and what thou will later see, are all part of a larger story, a tapestry of many different tales woven into one. My wood has given you a single strand of that tapestry, and from it you must decide… what will you do now?”

Ross looked at the other two, saw the horror and fear on their faces, recollecting his own vision and clenched his fists all the tighter. “Lady Birch…”

“Thou may call me Avondale, young birds.” She interrupted quickly, though not unkindly, a slow smile coming to her face.

“Avondale, then…” Ross began again, rising to his feet and patting off his knees. “I don’t understand what these… visions… meant. There was so much death and-” he glanced once to Ravyn before averting his gaze quickly, a pained expression on his face “-there has never been war… There has never been a need.”

Avondale inhaled slowly, closing her eyes and holding her hands to the side. When she spoke, it was with an ethereal melodious voice that held the echoes of ages past, the trees swaying with her words.

Metal and ember, smoke assails the sky
Like the ages past, history is thrown awry
Deep within the ember’s flame
Lies the domain of the one at blame

The site of destruction great
The past laid raw before that gate
Tremble, cower, hate and fear
All these and more lay here

The future uncertain, the gore crows cry
White turned red, rivers run dry
Those that deny time’s steady turn
A new order shall they burn

Ones loved and lost flee the realm
While those who are strong stay the helm
Face the ember that turns this tale
Then all will see whose moral will fail


At the end of the recital, Avondale lowered her arms and her chin, opening her eyes slowly to look at the winged beings before her, infinite sadness on her face. “This prophecy the forest does fore cry. You who bear witness to it’s structure, heed it well, lest the guiding hand that steers you be lead astray.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:42 am

Sparroe was stunned as Ross, too, was effected by the future-sight of the albino Toroque. He couldn't tell what he saw, but from the look on his face, it was as devastating as what Ravyn had seen. He wrapped his arms around himself, feeling alone and very scared. How - and why - would there futures have so much pain and suffering? They were nothing special, just a couple of fools looking for a thrill. What could they possibly have or do that could cause such a catastrophe?

For all the confusion and hurt that the visions had caused his friends, Sparroe felt a little left out that he hadn't seen his own future. Would it be as war-torn as theirs? Before he could say anything, the Birch lady met his gaze, and he, too, fell into their bottomless depths. He looked around nervously, expecting to see blood-strewn land and hills of dead bodies littering the ground. What he saw was not as violent or gore-filled, but no less blood chilling. He was standing alone amidst a half-dozen birch trees, the bitter winter wind blowing around him coldly. He was dressed completely in black, and he could feel the pain of many old wounds across his body, as if he had taken part in some battle from long ago. He felt older, somehow, and as he reached up to his face, his skin felt unfamiliar, and older, somehow. He turned his gaze to the base of the copse of trees, where a white statue of an angel stood guard over two marble graves. He didn't have to look at the names written above them to know who they were. He felt wetness against his cheeks, and knew that he was weeping, and that he would never stop if he had to walk this earth by himself for the rest of his life-

He was shocked back to the real world, affected much the same way as Ravyn had been. His breath came in small gasps, and tears trickled down his cheeks, though he was able to remain standing. As he regained his bearings, Ravyn stood back up, using Ross for support, but she was still weeping silently. "Are you telling us," he finally managed to say, looking at Avondale,"That if we do not follow the path that Fate has chosen for us, we will end up in this world alone?" The thought was unbearable. Ravyn and Ross were his life; without them, he would be nothing. He looked at the ground, as if the leaf-strewn carpet of the forest held the answers to his questions. "We are no warriors. If this war does happen, how will we survive? I am a simple farm boy, and they only scholars, unpracticed in the art of war. No one these days has even thought about swordfighting, let alone actually fighting in a battle." He fell silent, listening unconfortably to the poem that sounded far too much like a prophecy for his liking. He was never one for poetry, and so he didn't quite understand the obvious meaning that the poem gave.

Ravyn, however, listened intently to the woman's words, stifling a gasp as she realized what she meant. "You are talking about Draccliff," she whispered, her eyes widening in fear and confusion. "There, fire and magma rule all. Only the most powerful of the Rakam can even stand the heat. No one in many generations have seen the city of ember, let alone lived there." She shook her head. "But there is no reason for anyone there to cause the world harm. We live in peace and prosperity. The world is perfect."

"Do not underestimate the greed for power of men." Sparroe was surprised at his own words, unsure of where they had come from. He hesitated, then, choosing his words carefully, added,"For several millenia, there has been no need for war. The races live in harmony with one another, and together we have overcome all challenges that have come our way. But we have not thought about the people in the far East, those that live amongst the flames and do not interact with the world, doing who-knows-what in the raw power of the volcanoes and lava spills that were created by The Catastrophe. It would be the perfect place to create an army, one with no love of the world that has only given them strife and unending heat and torture. They are outcasts in this world, loved by no one and living only for themselves. What if one of them finally decided to do something about it?" He stepped closer to his friends, taking one of Ravyn's hands as he looked back at the Toroque woman. "Is this what you are talking about?"

Ravyn couldn't believe Sparroe's words at first. Yet the more she thought about it, the more she seemed to understand. She had no doubt that Avondale spoke the truth, and that if they did not do as foretold, the futures that they had seen might very well come true. "What.... What is it we must do, Lady?" she murmured, not meeting the woman's eyes. "I am not brave, but I will do what I must to protect those that I love." She shot a glance at Ross, then Sparroe, knowing full well that they would feel the same as she. They would face whatever they needed to together, no matter what the consequences may be.

(( xD So cheeeeesyyyy ))
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:51 am

In light of their questions, Avondale simply shrugged, her calm demeanor reflecting the peace of the forest that was so starkly in contrast with the pained turmoil that the three winged before her displayed on their faces. "I cannot answer thine question. 'What should I do?' 'How shall I prevent this?' These are all questions to which the answer escapes me. I simply see the threads of fate, pluck the one that resonates most strongly, and show it to those who are willing or unaware." She looked to her left, extended a white limb and held out her hand, as if waiting for something to be placed in her empty palm. The trees around them shivered, and then a single vine crept toward her and reared like a cobra, bearing a tiny white flower that she picked. "You whose future foretold of unspeakable sadness..." Here she looked up at Sparroe, her tranquil gaze tinted by sadness. "This tiny bloom is deadly to those of your kind. Were I to slit a wound in either of the hides of your friends and sprinkle it with the power of this flower, they would surely die. Can you then still assume that great war is all that would leave you alone, bereft of thine loved ones?"

Her gaze wandered to Ravyn then, eyes flicking down to her hands that were linked with Sparroe and Ross both, who had reached out to intertwine his fingers as well. "And of you, the one whose tale is bathed in the blood of your enemies. Perhaps your vision shall never come true. What if you be killed before such a time as you would stand amongst the fallen, comrades and enemies alike? Or, what say you flee to realms unknown, retreat to your home and think nevermore of venturing from the safety of your birthplace? Then you most certainly shall be spared such a grisly outcome, yes?"

"And I suppose that it's the same for me, righ'?" Ross asked, sounding just a tad bit irritated, in light of the fact that Avondale seemed to be trying to comfort them in the best way that she knew how. He squeezed Ravyn's hand lightly in his own, mulling over the poem that they had heard, and Ravyn's epiphany about the meaning of it. "That poem... I've heard it before, but t'was so long ago, I-" he paused, staring hard at the grass between his feet, as if the moon-drenched blades held the answers to his problem.

"Go on, winged child. The answer lies close to the surface." Avondale said, sounding almost eager for Ross' revelation.

"The prophecy!" He shouted suddenly, his face whipping up with such speed it was a wonder that he didn't get whiplash. He turned his surprised eyes on Sparroe and Ravyn, as if those two words should have prompted similar reactions. "When I was a barmy little lad in my da's shop, 'an it was rainin' too hard for me to test my wings, I'd sneak his books into my room and would read 'em all day long. One of them was a book of prophecies... most of them fairy tales and what not, doom, destruction, and general mayhem. But one of them always stuck out to me."

Avondale met his bewildered gaze, nodding her head gently. "'Tis a true prophecy, born not of coin or other promises of wealth. The prophecy 'twas recited by a wise and fair daughter of the wood... my grandmother. I have long carried her words with me, and since learning them, 'twas not till now that I have felt the urge to recite this heavy speech. I said upon our meeting that a touch of destiny lay about you, and having seen what you do, do you yet doubt me? You have the courage and fortitude within yourselves to do great things and set the world to motion... Your strong bond with one another will save you from many a peril, and when one doubts, there will be two to remind them of what you are striving for. My advice would be to seek others that have heard their calling, few and far between though they may be. Others like yourselves who feel fate tugging at their shoes to begin walking forward."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:13 am

"So you are telling us that though what we saw is a possible future for us, there are many events that could occur to change our fate." Sparroe rubbed his chin thoughtfully. Unlike Ross, he was more intrigued than irritated about the entire situation, although the memory of his vision still haunted his thoughts. He still couldn't think about what would cause such a terrible war to occur, but the Rakam were a highly ambitious race; who knew what their goals really were?

As Sparroe pondered over the vast complexity of uncertain futures, Ravyn looked curiously over at Ross. She returned the squeeze, cocking her head in curiousity at his revelation. "Of all men, you would be the one to know such things," she murmured, a light smile touching her face. "Books hold more knowledge than many of us know." She thought back to younger days, and vaguely remembered the book that Ross was talking about. "I remember you showing that to me. I thought it was all ridiculous and bloody, but you were so amazed by it that you practically memorized the entire thing." She shuddered. "Even back then, those poems gave me goosebumps. They all seemed to be more than just silly rhymes, though I never admitted it to Ross."

Sparroe couldn't remember the book, though he didn't doubt that their memories were real. "A real prophecy..." he mused, wiping away the last stray tear that ran down his face. "Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have imagined that I would be important enough to be part of such a thing." Only the belief in the Toroque's words made him accept that he and his friends really were a part of something bigger than themselves. His gaze jolted upright at her last few words. "There are others?" he asked, surprised. Actually, it made sense. No matter how much 'destiny' or 'power' that the trio had, they would not be able to stop a war. "We have to leave, don't we?" he asked, already knowing the answer. "Rosemage is no longer where we need to be. If we are to face this threat, we need to find these others to help us." His heart ached at the thought of leaving his home, but if they were to go against their fate, then the horrible furtures might become a reality.

Ravyn leaned tiredly against Ross, feeling suddenly drained and weary. "Well, whatever we have to do," she said, yawning,"There is no way we're going to make it out of this forest tonight. Between the Viper Bird and this whole saving the world thing, my mind and body have had about enough." She nodded politely at Avondale. "Only if, of course, you would allow us to stay in your beautiful home, Lady." After getting her permission, the three friends made a makeshift camp, using a few small blankets and cushions that Ravyn had packed in case they had decided to spend the night out on the plateau. She had had no idea that they would be sleeping in a birch forest. Soon she was deep in slumber, but her dreams were filled with visions of blood and violence, and she stirred uneasily as she slept.

Sparroe stayed awake only a little longer, still worried about what they had in store. He knew that Avondale did not have the answers to the questions whirling in his mind, but he was grateful to her nonetheless. If she had never found them, then they would have lived their lives unknowing of what was in their futures. Though it had been painful to see, it was better this way. "Thank you, Avondale," he told the albino woman, feeling a deep connection with the strangely beautiful woman. "I know that it was not by chance that we met you, but I am still gracious that you shared your knowledge with us." He nodded sleepily, adding,"We're going to need all the help we can get." Finally sleep overcame him, and he drifted off with an arm around the two friends that meant the world to him.

---------

Before they knew it, the sun had risen. Ravyn awoke feeling as if she hadn't slept at all, though she guessed it had been at least a solid eight hours, judging by the position of the sun. For a moment she couldn't remember where she was, but then the night before came rushing back to her. The visions. The prophecy. Looking around, she saw no sign of Avondale, but had no doubt that the white lady was near. Stretching, the dark-haired Aiwenor stood, clutching her light tunic around her at the chill fall breeze. A few leaves had falled on their bedding as they slept, a sure sign that deep autumn was near. Soon the weather would be harsh and cold, so the sooner they began their journey, the better.

She scrambled through the small amount of provisions, frowning when all she could find was a half of a loaf of bread and two apples. How would they eat along the way? Rosemage couldn't be too far away, but she knew that if they returned to their hometown, they wouldn't want to leave. Perhaps Avondale would have the answer. She gently shook her sleeping friends, offering them the meager supplies and taking only a chunk of the bread for herself. She ate it without tasting it, already feeling her stomach tighten anxiously at the thought of the journey. She had never been out of the mountains before, and she was eager, as well as scared, to see what lay beyond the rocky terrain of her homeland.

Sparroe awakened when Ravyn shook him, and he eagerly took one of the apples as he sat up, yawning. For once, instead of feeling uncertain and guilty about rebelling against the laws of their city when they performed their usual stunts, he felt excitement and only a little nervous. He quickly finished the small meal and stood, looking around for the Toroque woman. He felt sure that she would lead them to where they needed to go; he had no idea where to begin, and wished that he had a map of the continent with him so he could figure out where they were. With any luck, perhaps Ross had memorized the lay of the land, and would know which way to go to get to their next destination. 'East seems the proper way to go,' he thought, looking up at the rising sun. 'That's where Draccliff lies, far to the Eastern Sea.' But where would they go between here and there? They would need to make many friends if they were to achieve what they needed to.

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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:28 pm

"Sleep well children of the skies..." Avondale whispered as the laid down, turning her back on the trio and walking away from their little circle, conscious of the fact that suspicious eyes followed her until she passed from view, blending in so well with the natural structure of the forest that it took no more than a few steps begin vanishing. For many minuets she walked in the silence of the forest, the moonlight that filtered through the high canopy playing off of her white skin in flashes of luminance, making her appear for all the world as a ghost, the spirit of the forest prowling about in the darkness of night. When she finally stopped, it was in front of large birch tree, the white trunks many times thicker around than any of it's surrounding brethren. The tree was simply massive, branching off in all direction and blanketing the sky with it's green-tipped fingers. Some of the leaves had begun to change their color, gradating from green to yellow with some of the farthest leaves having already turned a fiery shade of orange or red.

With careful steps she approached the massive trunk, reaching out and placing delicate fingers on the rough white and black bark. "Still and silent..." She whispered, leaning her head against the tree and closing her black eyes. "Would thou be so quiet were you to know what I plan? Perhaps so, ever have you maintained your quietness." The branches above her swayed, old timber groaning deeply. "Yes, dear friend. Upon the morn I shall leave the wood." The tree made no move at this statement, and Avondale simply laughed, the sound muffled by the bark and tainted with sadness. "I shall miss you too. Long will I venture and be gone, and perhaps then I shan't every lay eyes on this wood. Dear old friend, act kindly to the next that shall take my place if my fate is to never step foot in this wood again."

A sigh escaped the forest, and as the night wore on, only the gentle wind blowing through the leaves could be heard, playing a sad melody for those that would listen.

*~*~*~*

Ross felt like he had been trampled on by a four-pronged Anteatalope when he woke up that morning, curled as tightly to himself as he could have been with his wings wrapped protectively around him. Dew clung to the grass in front of his face and his breath showed in a cloud of steam when he exhaled. Fall was fast approaching, which meant that winter would be close on its heels. In Rosemage, they would be setting up for the fall culture festival, the houses decorated with bright paper lanterns and a general air of joy lingering about the town. Here in the forest, there was none of that. Just the quietly whispering trees with their yellow and green fingers reaching for the sky.

He stretched, cracking a few joints as he did so and gratefully accepted the meager breakfast that Ravyn supplied, grateful for the food despite how very little there actually was to consume. With his wings wrapped around himself for warmth, he stood and looked around for Avondale, taking brief stock of his companions as he got a good look at their surroundings. The forest wasn't nearly so scary in the daytime, the orange glow of dawn casting green shadows through the boughs of the trees. "I suppose that we should get goin' pretty soon. Find a town or somethin' and stock up on supplies if we're goin' to be fulfillin' this prophecy. I'm figurin that we can't be savin' the world on an empty stomach." He shot the other two a half-hearted grin, then looked up at the sun, a contemplative look on his face. "I wish I knew where we were... then I'd have an easier time gettin us out of this foggy mess."

"I believe that I can help you there." Avondale's voice floated out of the forest as she appeared, almost seeming to have simply stepped out of the bark of one of the birch trees that were ever prevalent in this forest. "Thou art many a mile from thine home, and came to be here in a state of confusion and haste. I can direct you toward Clearhaven and meet you there upon your arrival to herald you."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:09 pm

It was hard for Ravyn to think that they couldn't even stop to say good bye to their families before leaving to go on this prophetic journey to... Wherever. She blinked back a tear as she thought of her mother and father, probably worried sick when they hadn't been able to find her this morning, and her brother Jaeger, whom she was sure was searching for her frantically all over the city. Sparroe's and Ross's families were sure to be doing the same; the familes were very close, and though the trio was known to wander and go adventuring occasionally, within a few days they would know something was wrong. In a few months, they would have to assume that they had either been taken by the rock people of the north, or killed by some savage beast in the wilderness. And who was to know for sure if they would even make it out of this journey alive? The visions of death and destruction seemed all but too real.

Sniffing lightly, she finshed her small meal and stood, just as Avondale reappeared. She nodded politely to the nymph, but couldn't help but feel a slight anger at the woman for having told them their fates. She knew that it wasn't the lady's fault, but she had to blame someone for the mess they were now in, and she seemed the only likely candidate. She silently started packing up the bedding and supplies, wondering again what they were going to do without food. She was a skilled hunter, as many Avians were, but she hadn't brought her bow along with them; she would have to craft a new one along the way. She didn't dare to take a branch from the white trees of Avondale's forest, though; their was too much life and energy in their limbs for her to feel right doing so. As soon as her bag was packed, she hefted it onto her back and looked to the Toroque. "Which direction do we go, Avondale?"

Sparroe watched Ravyn with concern. It was unlike her to be so silent, especially on the eve of such a great adventure. He decided not to say anything about it, and instead waited while she packed, staring up at the bright, changing leaves of the forest canopy. He felt safe here, somehow, although he wasn't sure why. He jumped when Avondale appeared, wondering how she moved so silently and invisibly through the trees. As he pondered those thoughts, he realized that they would probably be flying for a majority of the trip. If Avondale was going to accompany them, as it seemed she wanted to do, how would she keep up? He opened his mouth to ask, then thought better of it and kept quiet. He didn't want to be rude by asking her if she could travel as quickly as they could.

At the sound of where they were traveling to, his complexion lightened considerably. "Clearhaven?" he repeated, eyes wide with wonder. "The capital city of the Toroque? Home of the Lady of the HeartWood herself?" With each question, he spoke with more excitement. Suddenly the task that lay before them didn't seem quite so scary or unbearable. "We will be able to conquer any army with the forest at our backs. The trees hold strength and endurance a thousand times more than any man. No one would be able to stand in our way."

"Not even the pure power and flames of the Rokam?" Ravyn countered dryly. "If the flame bearers are as mighty as is told in the histories of old, then they are a great threat indeed. Fire and metal would soon overcome the ancient wisdom of the trees. We would need more than just a city of Toroque at our backs to stop them." She inclined her head once more to Avondale. "No offense to you, Lady. It is simply a matter of fact. We would have to go farther south, I think, to the valley of the Sothram, the sea people, and use their strength to quench the flames of desire and rage found in Draccliff."

Sparroe frowned. She was right. "Well, then, we'll just have to travel a little further," he said, for once being the most optomistic of the group. It seemed when he felt he was doing the right thing, even though it may be dangerous, he was more than willing to do it. His only hesitations in the past had been about getting in trouble with the law. Now it didn't matter. To think, he could change the course of history just by following a poem of long ago. It was incredible to believe.

Stretching, he spread out his wings in preparation to begin the flight to Clearhaven. Ravyn followed suit, though her heart ached already to go home to Rosemage. The only thought that kept her moving was that her two friends would be at her back.


((We can get moving in your post ^^ Feel free to time skip.))
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:04 am

The Lady Birch inclined her head to Sparroe's rapid-fire questions, amusement lighting her features at the eagerness that he displayed when faced with the opportunity to meet more of her kind. "Tis the very same city that I speak of, yes. Though your friend is right, eager one." She met Ravyn's gaze briefly, loosing the look of amusement and turning more serious, a much more expected expression of the ancient lady of the Toroque. "Fire is the element that we of the wood fear the most. Fire feeds from the trees, and simply grows stronger as we would fall to the treacherous maw of the furnace. Nay, I could see none of my people standing long against their might, no matter the zeal or wisdom with which they would employ in war. It 'tis then a good deviation to recruit the water-born. They alone have the power to shift the tides of war, just as the sea shifts its tides."

Ross chuckled, though it was more of a sound of one who has just been posed an impossible task than somebody who was being amused by his current situation. "Seems like this little field trip is turnin' into quite the outin', eh?" He placed his hands on his narrow hips, and shook his head briefly. "First we're goin' to go north to the edge of the forest, and trek farther South than anyone in Rosemage has for a long time. This'll take months." Scratching his head in a frustrated way, Ross seemed to fall into deep thought, ruffling his hair as he did so. "Yeah, I suppose. Right, so, tell us how to get to Clearhaven."

Upon hearing the request, she simply pointed past them into the depths of the forest. "Thou hast flown to only the edge of the wood. Keep the mountains and your home to you back as you fly north by north east. For a time, the yellow birch will point you in the right direction. When the birch turn to pine, you are nearing your destination. Keep a close eye to the ground, for the city of Clearhaven is well hidden. Look for the largest trees in the woods, and you will be much closer than you suspect. Land there, and be assured that my fellow Toroque kin will find you in quick time." A ghost of a smile graced her lips as she said this, as if she knew some further detail that was part of a private joke.

Ross was strongly tempted to question the woman, but they were wasting time, and he was hungry. The faster they got into the air, the faster they would find the city, and food. "Thank you for your help, Avondale."

She nodded and stepped back as the winged trio took flight, waving slowly until she disappeared from their view beneath the green canopy of the birch trees.

~!¡!¡!¡!~

The directions that Avondale had given them had seemed somewhat vague at first, but as they rose into the sky, it had become apparent that the vague statements were actually incredibly easy to decipher. High above the canopy, they could see the barest outlines of the mountains that laid to the west. If they flew for the better part of the day over the rocky hills, Ross knew that they would fly into Rosemage. Resolutely, he turned his back to the mountains and home, and was surprised to see yellow trees that progressed from where they hovered to the north west in a dedicated line, the end of which he rightly assumed would be where the evergreens choked out the birch trees.

As the yellow turned to dark green, the smell of the pine forest reached the flying trio, growing stronger the further they flew into the vast green sea of trees. It was then he noticed that as they flew, the trees seemed to be growing larger, and the variety of the trees became increasingly more diverse. Oak, maple, poplar, pine... all of it was there, not just co-habitating, but flourishing, probably under the influence of the nymphs in the area. Their next landmark were the huge trees, which were fairly easy to spot from their vantage point. Matriarchs of the forest peaked over their brethren occasionally, and once they passed an oak that was so massive, Ross had at first assumed that it was several trees clumped together. "You think this is the place?" He yelled to the other two, striving to be heard above the wind that whipped in their ears.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:08 am

Sparroe felt a pang of regret to leave the Lady Birch so soon, but he knew that they would meet again, so, after one last longing look in the direction of Rosemage, followed after his friends. Ravyn didn't look back at all; she didn't want to think that it may be the last look of her home that she ever got. This way, she knew that she would have to come back alive. She had to see her mountains one last time, at least, before she died.

It took many hours of traveling before they were finally in sight of the magestic trees that Avondale had told them of. At Ross's question, Ravyn nodded. "These are the largest trees we've seen thus far, and they seem to grow smaller in the distance. This must be the place." Though trees were not a rare thing up in the Avian's lofty city, never before had any of the trio seen such gigantic and beautiful trees. The canopy streched on for miles, and the sea of green was speckled with bits of red, yellow, and orange, a sign of the coming fall. One tree in particular stood out amongst the rest, a tree taller than any of them could have ever imagined. It towered many hundreds of feet above the ground, and it's branches seemed to go on for ages before mingling with the rest of the forest. It appeared to be an oak tree, but it seemed impossible considering how big it was. Deciding that it would be the best place to land, the three friends found a sturdy perch along the lower branches of the giant monarch and landed, taking a moment to rest.

"Didn't Avondale say that they would be waiting for us?" asked Ravyn, glancing around at the silent forest. It seemed no different than any other forest they had been in, except for the fact that the smallest treetrunks could easily be three times larger than any at home. "It seems pretty quiet here. Maybe this isn't the right place after all."

"The Toroque are a very shy, mysterious people," Sparroe reminded her. "It's likely that when they saw us coming, they fled into their trees to make sure that we will cause no harm before showing themselves."

"You think correctly," a voice said from above them. Looking up, they saw nothing, until what they had thought was a piece of bark from the tree suddenly moved, and then, became human. As the figure became more clear, they could see that it was a man, dark of skin and hair. He moved with an odd, angular grace, and his hair, wild and untamed, gave him an alien appearance. "My name is Alder. We have received message from the great Lady Birch that you would be coming to us. My orders are to take you to where you will live while you stay in our woods. After you have been fed and rested, you will receive further orders." By the time he had finished speaking he was standing beside them, and his odd olive-green gaze seemed to penetrate into their minds. "Please, follow me."

With quick, uncertain glances at one another, the three hestiantly followed the man. They introduced themselves, and as they walked amongst the foliage, other Toroque began to appear. Some seemed to have been crouching in wait behind shrubs and bushes, and others seemed to just melt out from the trees themselves. As they looked closer, they could also pick out the shapes of houses built into the trees, ingeniously made to provide shelter for the people without harming the forest. Most of the nymphs that they passed by looked at them curiously but said nothing, although a few offered shy smiles. Alder said little as they walked, though it wasn't long before they reached their destination. It was yet another large tree, with the middle carved out to resemble a small room. It was small in width, but there appeared to be many stories, and it was plenty large enough to house the three of them. "This is where our guests stay," Alder explained as they entered the abode. "We don't often have guests, mind you, but preparations have been made to make your stay as comfortable as possible. I will return in the morning to give you further instruction. For now, feel free to rest, eat, bathe, and enjoy our city. I have provided a guide for you if you need her." With a simple now of farewell, the man exited the home and disappeared into the trees.

There was silence for a moment. Ravyn finally spoke,"Well, that was interesting. I had no idea that the Toroque were so... Invisible." It seemed odd that anyone could live in such quietness and tranquility, though if anyone could do it, it would be the nymphs. Sparroe glanced outside, and was glad to see that the Toroque were out and about, mingling like normal people, if not more quietly and with greater purpose. It seemed that they weren't as unsociable as they had first seemed.

"Welcome, welcome, to Clearhaven!" Sparroe jumped as the bright female voice called out a greeting, and the next moment a dainty, lithe woman , appearing around the age of eighteen, burst into the room. She, like the man, was dark of skin, though it was a warmer brown, like that of caramel. She appeared to take better care of herself as well; her long, deep mahogany hair was thoroughly brushed and shimmered with life, and her face, pretty and smiling, was lit up with happy pine-green eyes. A single pink flower adorned her hair, and her dress, which came to about her knees, was white, red and fuschia-colored. The fact that she was so unlike the rest of the Toroque was so overwhelming that for a moment the three were silent. She continued to beam at them, before breaking the silence by adding,"You may call me Magnolia. I was assigned to take care of your needs and provide assistance to you if you need it." When the silence continued, she shifted uncomfortably. "What names do you go by?"

"Uh, my name is Sparroe, and this is Ravyn, and Albatross, who goes by Ross. I'm sorry, we don't mean to be rude, but... You are very unlike the rest of your people." Sparroe thought he might as well state the obvious.

"Yes, so I have been told," Magnolia replied without skipping a beat, her bright smile still in place. "It's a pleasure to meet you. I will do my best to provide you with what you need." Practically skipping by them, she reached up into a shelf that was cut into the wall, pulling out an array of foods. Bread, vegetables, and fruits were laid out on the table before them, an array that could be considered a feast back in Rosemage. "I'm sure your journey was long and tiring, and so I thought that you might appreciate the meal. There is plenty more where it came from, if this is not enough." When the table was set, Magnolia found a seat against the wall and, perching on it like a young girl, nodded. "Please, go ahead and eat!"

Ravyn needed no second telling. She gladly took some of the food, eating as if she hadn't had a meal in days. It was still odd that they had been settled in with little direction, but she wasn't complaining. As long as she had food and a warm bed to sleep in, she was happy. For a moment, she let herself forget what they were doing here in the first place.

Sparroe was a little slower to give in, but his stomach growling gave away his hunger, and he, too, began to eat. The meal was delicious, and soon their plates were empty, and their appetites satisfied. Magnolia had said little as they ate, and was now twirling a finger through her hair, smiling warmly at them. "I suggest that you now go and bathe, and wash away the fatigue of your journey. The bathing rooms are two floors above," she said, nodding upwards. "I will wait here for you to return."

((Sorry, I think that reply was a little all over the place, but I'm tiredddd. Magnolia is the girl that I was planning on Ross falling for, so if you think she sounds okay, then yaaaay ^^ ))
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:15 pm

The Toroque were everything and more that Ross could have possibly expected them to be. All the books that he had read about their race had always described them as fair and mysterious, and with every new face he managed to glimpse through the fleeting green trees, he found that his information was not false. Though, they were fair in a far different way than he had previously imagined. He had never seen anyone with such dark skin, and the hues intrigued him into openly staring whenever he got the chance. At first, he was a little concerned with their general quietness. In an avian market on any given day everything was just so lively and loud with figures swooping overhead and the chatter nearly deafening. There was still talk amongst the Toroque, but it was much subtler and easier to put out of mind. What would he give for some ink and paper to record this moment! If they ever got back home to Rosemage, he would be sure to write down the experiences of this journey. It would make a good book, simply put, and far more accurate than those old musty tomes that he had read as a child on rainy days.

The small home that they were given to stay in had an air of serenity about it just like the rest of the Toroque village. The peace was welcome after their rather hectic past day, but he could see how he would easily get bored with the place. For someone that was bringing chaos wherever he went, Ross had this terrible premonition that if they didn't get out soon of their own volition, they'd be leaving in a... less than desirable manner. Just as things were getting settled, the peace was disturbed. Like Sparroe, Ross jumped at the noise. He didn't expect for any of the Toroque to be capable of making loud noises, and was surprised when he turned to see a young lady obviously of the nymph descent standing in their doorway with a cheery smile on her face. He remained silent as Sparroe introduced them, examining this strange girl. Well, she wasn't nearly as strange as the rest of the Toroque, in his opinion. There was an air of life about her that the others simply lacked, and if this was who was going to be looking after them, then perhaps it wouldn't be so bad of a stay after all.

Sitting with the others Ross dug into the meal gratefully, taking note of where the food had come from for later raiding when they were hungry again in an hour. When they were done and baths were mentioned, he inwardly sighed with relief. A hot bath would be nice indeed. "Ladies first." He said to Ravyn with a hit of a grin, gesturing up the stairs. Turning slightly, he examined Magnolia a bit more. "So, you're t'be our caretaker while we're here, eh?" He asked, leaning his weight against the table.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:35 pm

Ravyn grinned, bumping Ross's shoulder teasingly as he allowed her to use the facilities first. "I know you need a bath more than I do. But if you insist, I will go first." There wasn't enough room to simply fly up to the third floor, so she took the stairs, which curved around the walls of the house. They were made of simple, rounded steps, and blended in perfectly well to the inside of the tree. When she made it to the correct floor, she was met with two doors on either side of the balcony. Peering into each, she realized that they were both bathrooms. "Oi!" she called down to the people below. "Sparroe, there's two rooms up here. Ya might as well take a bath too." She then proceeded to go into the door on the left, which led to a rustic-looking room complete with a wooden bathtub, wooden sink, and wooden floor. How it was all waterproof, she didn't know, but she gladly turned on the water and contendedly slipped into the tub, taking a long while to relax and ponder over what had already occurred on their odd journey. Who would have thought that'd she'd ever find a Toroque city, let alone be staying in one of their buildings? It was all quite surreal.

At Ravyn's call, Sparroe smiled in relief. He hadn't wanted to say anything, but he was dying for a warm bath as well. As he stood, he winked at Ross and Mag. "Don't have too much fun while we're away," he said, then added cheekily,"Keep an eye on him. He attracts trouble like no other." He then followed Ravyn up to the correct floor, where he followed the same actions as she had. Everything was so alien, and yet.... Comforting. He already liked the quiet peacefulness of the city, and wondered how long they would be allowed to stay. He was looking forward to seeing more of the town.
--

"Yep, that's my job," Magnolia chirped when the other two were gone. She giggled slightly. "I've never heard an accent like that before. Everyone here always speaks the same." Her grin turned to a grimace, and she rolled her eyes. "Everyone is the same at everything. The way people move, communicate, live.... It's all so dull and boring sometimes. Of course, the city is wonderful, and it's a nice place to live, but... I just feel like there's more out there that I could be doing, you know?" She shifted in her seat, and glanced out the window. At least everyone had gotten over the fact that they had visitors, and were milling about again. It happened so rarely that it was a big deal when anyone other than the traders came. "As you can see, we - they - are very slow to adapt to change. It's in our - their - blood. Like the trees, they take time to grow accoustomed to new things. Once they do, it's hard to change them again... Which is why everything is always the same." She sighed, then turned back to Ross. Her eyes lit up again. "You have the air and feeling of one who does not like to be bored. Come, I can show you around, if you wish. There are really some extrodinary places here, if you know where to look."

Her chipper mood back in place, and without waiting for Ross to reply, she grabbed his hand and pulled him outside, where they were immediately thrown into a crowd of the dark-skinned people. A few people complained and they got a couple of glares, but most of them were used to Magnolia's sporadic behavior, and soon went back to their own business. She led the Avian back to the gigantic tree that they had landed in, motioning at it as they passed by. "That's where the council of the Elders meet. They're sort of our leaders here in the city. It is composed of five men and three women, as well as a Senior Elder, who makes the biggest decisions, when we have them. Which isn't very often." They continued onward until they got to a more dense part of the city. The trees here were a little smaller, but still large enough to house small families; it seemed that most, however, held small shops, and there were wooden booths were set up around the area as well. People milled about the place with more purpose and louder voices, but it was still quiet; in the Toroque city, this was considered the busiest and most chaotic part of town. "This is the marketplace," Magnolia told Ross. "The forest is full of natural resources and fertile land, and a lot of people have their own gardens and sell their goods here. Of course, there are other items for sale as well. Jewelry, clothing, mystic items... Whatever you're looking for, this is the most likely place to find it." They entered the crowd and looked around at the different booths. It seemed that Magnolia was right. Nearly everything that a person could think of was being sold in the place. There was only one item that couldn't be found anywhere: Weapons. Magnolia explained that the Toroque were too peaceful and meek (or as she put it, cowardly) to even create such things, and had banned the use or creation of them long ago.

After a while, their stomachs led them to the food booths, and Magnolia bought an assortment of odd fruits. One looked like an orange but was an odd shade of purple; another had the shape of a pear, but was covered with bumpy skin and had a blue hue. The rest held no resemblance to any fruits or vegetables in the Avian world. She offered half of her buy to Ross, and they wandered away from the market to a more peaceful area. Without really thinking about it, she led him to a clearing where the trees suddenly stopped, and in the center of the clearing was a single rock. It was, as the trees in the forest, impossibly tall and wide, and was etched with an assortment of mystic designs and symbols. As soon as they got close to it Magnolia dipped her head and made an odd motion with her hands, murmuring something under her breath. When she raised her head she had an odd expression on her face. "This is the most sacred of places in our city. It is said that the stone is a passageway to the home of the gods, and that if anyone can reach the top, they will be granted incredible powers and abilities. Many have tried to reach the peak, but all have failed, and many have died trying."

With one last nod of respect to the stone, she turned her away and continued farther away from the city, where hardly anyone was around. "I often go out here past the Stone when I want to be alone, or try to find something interesting to do when I'm bored." Her unnusual moment of calmness and quietness had vanished, leaving her once again bubbly and grinning. "It's a great place for games, although most of my friends are not as playful as I...." A mischievious glimmer appeared in her eyes, and without warning, she suddenly grabbed a handful of petals and tossed it in Ross's hair, then dashed away into the trees.


---

Back at the home, both Ravyn and Sparroe had finished their baths, and were wandering around the house, just getting a feel for where they would be staying. "I should have known those two would vanish as soon as we were gone," Ravyn chuckled. "Knowing Rossy, he probably couldn't sit still and forced that poor girl to show him around. She seemed a rather odd one herself..." Musing, she settled down on a couch, which was, of course, made of wood, but covered in a layer of soft, plushy blankets and cushions, which made it incredibly comfortable. Sparroe merely grunted in response, and found a place to sit by a window, where he watched people walk by.


((Here's a piccy of the religious rock: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4017/4264786560_e924296c0a.jpg
Just imagine it darker and much much much taller, and covered in symbols xD ))
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:18 am

He couldn't help but smile at the enthusiastic way in which Magnolia went about things and only put up surprised resistance to being tugged out of their assigned living quarters by the girl. He got his fair amount of stares as the two wandered the city together, but did his own fair share of staring back. Everything was so new, so quiet and so peaceful. He took not of how Magnolia continually tried to assert that she was different from her Toroque companions in a deeply fundamental way, and couldn't help but grin every time she struggled to separate herself from them during her explanations. He was somewhat awed by her ability to talk, too. She could chatter with the best of the avians, mimicking in ways a certain member of the Starling family that he knew back in Rosemage quiet well. So fast was her dialogue, Ross was content to only put in a word here or there when she paused for breath, but otherwise kept silent. He was fascinated with the woman and didn't bother to hide the fact. If he ever got around to writing that book, she would most certainly be one of the main points in the documentary.

The marketplace was very interesting to him, filled with trinkets and foodstuffs that he had never seen before. The explanation of the lack of weapons to be found was a little surprising to him. As a general rule avians were peaceful folk and so swords weren't commonly made in the smithies. However, their society had never outright banned their usage. After all, things like arrowheads were quite useful if one aspired to be a hunter and needed the weapon for downing prey animals. Like the rest of the tour, he didn't get long to stop and contemplate the oddity, but was whisked away on the next part, this time to eat. Those strange vegetables and fruits that he'd spied earlier certainly weren't bad. Interesting, but not bad. They exchanged some more conversation while eating, Ross eager to soak up any knowledge that he could get, and Magnolia was eager to fill him in.

The rock that they saw was impressive in it's pure height, though for a moment Ross was confused how it could possibly be perilous to reach the top. Then he looked to Magnolia's back, realized that her people didn't have wings, and the question died in his throat. Of course it would be hard for them to climb it, he rationalized. The rock looked like it had little in the way of handholds. For someone like him it would probably be incredibly easy however unless this mystic rock had some inexplicable wind vortex near the top that could keep him from simply flying to the top. Not for the first time that day, however, he found himself not getting enough time to try and contemplate any semblance of a deeper meaning. His vision was temporarily interrupted by a shower of flower petals conjured seemingly from nowhere.

It took a moment for him to realize that Magnolia had thrown the brightly colored plant bits at him and that she was running away like a child playing a game of tag. A grin stole across his face as he puffed some of the petals out of his face and hair, then he was off after her, taking a running start before flapping his wings and taking off over the ground low and fast fairly zooming across the expanse of the trees. He folded his wings when he hit the trees landing in a run as he chased after the fleeing form of Magnolia.


*~*~*~*

He had of course heard that there were newcomers here, those that not only weren't from their city but weren't even Toroque. He had heard that the Lady Birch from the Western forest had arrived not but a few hours ago in the way that those of powerful Toroque lines did; simply singing to the trees and using their innate magic to become literally one with the forest, traveling the mass network of roots to arrive at their destination. Of course their White Lady could do such a thing without warning, those of the Birch decent always carried with them powerful magic that most other Toroque could only gain through intense training.

Now, as head of the guard, Alder approached the house that had been lent to the strangers for the duration of their stay. Like most other Toroque, Alder had dark skin though not as dark as most others. It was more of an ashy-brown color, light as Magnolia's though not of the same healthy caramel glow. His hair was far darker, a deep rich brown tinted slightly with red and had bright livid green eyes that were said to dance like leaves in a breeze when he was happy. At the moment, Alder was not happy but very serious and perhaps a bit curious. Having lived in the forest all his life, he had never seen the winged creatures said to live in the mountains far to the West of them. Though the Toroque hated fighting it didn't mean that they left their borders completely unprotected. Alder was head of a group of the defense that kept their city from being found by outsiders and other unwanted guests. These strangers had the voice of the Lady Birch to protect them from harm or the other illusions that the Toroque could apply to those of weak constitutions, but that didn't mean that Alder wasn't going to be cautious around them.

He knocked twice on the door before stepping in and looking around the inside. He first saw that the lower level was abandoned though showed signs of brief use and surmised that their guests were upstairs. "Lo, children of the skies, are you yet here?" He called into the house, stepping over the threshold and closing the door behind himself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:47 pm

((This is gonna be short x.x ))

He had fallen for it! Magnolia laughed wildly as she darted through the brush, visible one moment, gone the next. Her dark complexion and unpredictable movements made her nearly impossible to follow, and soon she was deep within the forest again, her natural environment. The sound of her laughter was the only thing that gave her away, a melodious, rippling sound, like a pebble thrown on water, that could only be made by one so close to the earth as she. She glanced behind herself every now and again, watching Ross's lean, larger form trying to make its way through the thick canopy. He was incredible at flying, there was no doubt about that; any lesser man would surely have crashed by now. Still, the many trunks, branches and vines definitely slowed down the Avian, and soon Magnolia was a ways ahead, her laughter now going quiet as she searched for a place to hide. She found a large hazelnut tree and, grinning mischeviously, clambered up its knobbled trunk. Her warm skin color clashed slightly against the cool grey tone of the bark, but she eventually found a small nook in its branches that made her nearly invisible. The tree, as all the others in the forest, was unnaturally tall and thick, and the place that the nymph found was high above the ground, above where Ross was now circling the area. She assumed that he had lost track of her once she had gotten quiet and so, still grinning, she plucked a nut from the tree and, taking careful aim, chucked it at him as he flew past. Such a childish action, but there was no doubt that she had good aim -it hit him right on his upper back. She stiffled a laugh, pressing herself against the cool, rough bark to wait for his reaction.


--------


Ravyn jumped when she heard a voice from down below. She was resting comfortably on the second floor, and hadn't heard anyone enter through the quiet door. It was obviously a man, and his voice was rich and pure, like that of all the Toroque. Curious, she rose and looked over the balcony, peering at a man no different from those she had seen wandering around the town. He was a stark contrast to Magnolia, though; while she was chipper and radiated energy and joy, this man was serious, and gave off a low vibe of calmness and masculinity, even though he looked a tad bit curious as well. "Hello hello," she greeted, simply leaping over the balcony, flaring her wings a little to soften the landing. "We are here indeed, although missing one of our number, as well as our host. They seem to have gotten lost amidst the trees." She looked him over again, wondering who he was, and what he was doing visiting them. "My name is Ravyn. May I ask what you are called?" As she stood before him, she shifted uncomfortably; something about him seemed off, but she couldn't place quite what. He just seemed.... Stern. Maybe he appeared too much like a parental form for her comfort, which was strange, since he appeared only a little older than herself. She wasn't used to people so strange and calm. She supposed she would have to get used to it, being here with the Toroque.



"Who is it, Ravyn?" asked Sparroe as he came down the staircase, holding what appeared to be a leather-bound book. He looked up from it and, seeing the man, hastily closed it and dropped it to his side, nodding politely as he did so. "Hello, sir," he greeted, managing a small smile. He too felt a little uncomfortable under this man's gaze, but not so much as Ravyn; he was used to being more serious than the wild Avian girl, and he wanted to be sure to treat this man respectfully, as he held the air of someone important. "I'm Sparroe. May we help you with something?" He decided to get right to the point, since the man appeared to be needing something, or was curious as to who they were. It was hard to tell with his unscrutable features.
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:02 am

Of course Ross knew that actually finding Magnolia would probably be nigh impossible. Where better to hide a tree than in a forest, after all? But that didn't mean he was going to give up the chase. He was rounding a tree trunk when something hit him in the back unexpectedly. Whipping around, he caught a glimpse of her disappearing back into the shadows and grinned. With a grin he headed in her direction, speeding right up to the tree trunk and with a backward flap of his flared wings came to an abrupt stop a hand full of inches in front of the trunk, his hands resting on either side of Magnolia's shoulders. For a split second, he simply smiled at her, then tapped her nose with a finger and leapt backwards, falling for a little bit before snapping out his wings and rising with the excess speed he had, up toward the canopy. "You're it!"

*~*~*~*

Alder made a small bow to the two avians, his resting over his heart in a traditional greeting from the Toroque. "I am Alder, a sentinel of our people. I come on behalf of our council and the Lady Birch. If you were adequately rested then I was to take you to meet with our Lady and speak of why she has sent you here…" He raised an eyebrow and took a cursory glance around the house. A heavy sigh escaped him and he only just barely resisted the urge to rub his temples to stave off a mounting headache. "Magnolia…" He murmured, settling for being able to cross his arms over his chest. "Did Magnolia by any chance mention where she was taking your friend?" Though annoyed as he was, he maintained his cool expression and let very little of his annoyance slip past his mask of calm.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:05 am


Magnolia had hoped that she had ducked back into the shadows of the trees before Ross had caught sight of her, but she soon realized that it was not the case. He seemed to catch a glimpse of her just as she hid back in the crease of the trunk again, and before she knew it he was there before her, grinning like a fool, his multi-colored hair whipping lazily in the breeze created by the flapping of his wings. She shrunk back against the bark, laughing, knowing it was useless as he placed a hand on each of her shoulders, before tapping her on the nose and taking off. Woodrot! He was fast. And how was she supposed to catch a flying man? She watched his lithe, swift form take off into the air, noticing that the canopy above was too thick for him to take to the sky. With that in mind, she clambered higher in the tree, then leapt across an open space to the branch of a neatby tree, swaying precariously as it moved beneath her. When she caught her balance, she rushed off after the Avian, grinning as widely as he had been a moment before. How fun this was! She couldn't help but admire the smooth way he dodged around tree branches, so easily and expertly that for a moment she was almost envious of his talent. What it would be like to fly... She would have to ask him about it later. Before long, even her quick, fluid movement through the trees had made her fall behind him, and he disappeared in the distance. Knowing she was defeated, she halted in a birch tree, panting heavily from exertion. Never before had she played a game so demanding as that!

Catching her breath, she finally clambered down to the forest floor, sitting and resting on a fallen log once she was down. "Alright, you win!" she called out, wishing she didn't have to give up so easily. It was probably about time for them to head back anyway.... She had just remembered an ill thought that Alder would most likely be paying the Avians a visit soon... And it would look bad if he realized she had run off with one of them when she should be performing her duties.

She waited for the Avian to reappear, now a little anxious as to what might await them back at the home.



"The Lady Birch is here already?" Ravyn asked in surprise. "But we flew here, and only arrived little more than an hour ago!" Apparently the woman had some sort of mode of transportation that the Avians were unaware of... She was obviously powerful, so she assumed that the forest had something to do with her swift journey. "We would love to see her again," Raven answered, nodding and smiling lightly. "We're still rather lost, and any help is appreciated." At the mention of their host, her smile wavered, and she shook her head. "No, we didn't even know they were leaving until we came downstairs to see them gone.... Rossy has a habit of taking off when things get too dull." She glanced over the nymph man once more, wondering who he was. "Is she a friend of yours?" she added; he seemed to almost be protective of the young Toroque.... And what's more, she noticed, perhaps even a little possessive? He looked around the girl's age, if maybe a little older.... Perhaps there was some sort of romance here that she wasn't aware of. Although from what she had gathered from the girl already, she didn't seem to be one that wanted to be held down by a serious relationship, and this man definitely seemed serious.



Sparroe stayed silent. Ravyn was always better at these sort of situations than he, and he simply nodded in agreement with her words.
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:24 am

Flying beneath this tightly packed canopy was like flying in a canyon, Ross reflected as he dodged around a tree trunk, folding his wings briefly to vault off of a branch directly in his way and snapping his wings out again. It was a challenging obstacle course made even more difficult by a pursuer. More than once he nearly rammed straight into a tree and had escaped by the narrowest of hairs each time. Eventually he realized that Magnolia wasn't keeping up with him anymore and slowed down, landing on a sturdy looking branch. Her call that he had won was enough to guide him back to her resting point and with a little less speed he made his way back, landing lightly near her on the same branch that she was standing on. "This is something alrigh'. You can't fly through the forests back home, they'll tear you to shreds! I've gotta come here more often, this is great flyin' practice." He offered Magnolia a wide grin the noticed the anxious look on her face and promptly dimmed the expression. "Is something wrong?"

*~*~*~*

"Our Lady of the White Birch can do many strange and wondrous things. I'm sure that she performed some sort of extraordinary magic to guide you in the right direction to our dwelling place as well. Magnolia should have waited her for me to arrive so that we could both take you to see the council…" But she had gone and run off again, Alder thought with an inward sigh. It was such a predictable move on her part that he wondered why he hadn't expected such a thing to happen himself. One would think that if you watched a person for long enough you would be able to predict their movements… but Magnolia had proved a challenge to predict. "Magnolia is the daughter of our chief and I am sword to protect her. Whats more, she is my betrothed. But that is not the point. I will order a search and your friend will be found. The Council isn't to be kept waiting for overlong. Please, stay here in the meantime. It would be a shame if you two were lost to the trees as well."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:50 am


Magnolia returned Ross's grin with a weak smile of her own. "I am pleased that you so obviously enjoy our wonderful forest. I come here often to explore or collect my thoughts.... The trees are wonderful listeners." She patted the bark of a nearby oak fondly, before allowing her worry to come over her again. "Nothing is wrong, really... I simply remembered that my fiance is probably wondering why I ran off with one of our guests into the woods." A light scowl came over her face. Leave it to her parents to arrange a marriage against her will. Alder was handsome enough, yes, but way too stern and boring for her tastes. She had begged her parents to reconsider, arguing that she was too young, and that Alder didn't fit her tastes in the least. They had sternly brushed aside her complaints, saying that he came from a successful family, and that if they didn't do anything, then she was sure to fall for some half-witted idiot who spent too much time getting into trouble. She nearly laughed out loud at the thought now. How Ross could probably fit the second part of that description! But alas, even if she did like the playful guy, it was highly illegal to become involved with one of a different race. Not only was it 'disgusting' to most, but two species, as they were called, could not bear children. It simply couldn't happen. Which was, in fact, a good thing. Who would want a Toroque/Aiwenor child? Even as she thought about it, she realized with a sudden jolt that Ross was, actually, quite attractive, and standing rather close to her. To hide the blush that crept up her cheeks as she pushed away the thought, she stood and turned, motioning back to the city. "We should probably get back. Alder will be wondering where we are." Waiting for him to collect his breath, the two started back to the city, arriving a few moments later in the marketplace once more.


Ravyn nearly gaped in shock as Alder said the word 'betrothed', but kept her mouth closed, not wanting to seem rude or disrespectful. Magnolia was engaged? But she hardly appeared any older than them, and she had no intentions of marrying any time soon! She shook her head, clearing her mind before finally replying,"It's probably Rossy's fault that she ran off. He's like that... Can't keep still too long without going crazy. He must have convinced her to show him around, or something. I'm sure they'll be back soon." Sending out a guard to find the two seemed like an overreaction... What harm could come to the two? But, of course, she had to go with the man's suggestion, nodding silently and turning her gaze to the window. What a strange place. She was already beginning to feel uncomfortable, especially under this strange man's stare, and she suddenly felt claustraphobic in the small, round house. She needed air. "I'm going to step outside for a moment," she breathed, then walked past the man and exited the home, gulping the air hungrily. The trees seemed so closed in.... She fought her panic, telling herself that she had plenty of room. She occasionally suffered these panic attacks, only when she was confined to a small room or underground. If she couldn't see the sky, she was never completely comfortable. She stayed outside for a while, taking the time to see if she could catch sight of Magnolia or Ross.


Sparroe also blinked in surprise. He wondered why such a bold, stern man had caught the attention of the wild-spirited young woman. Well, he had heard that opposites attracted, so he shrugged inwardly and tossed aside the connection. It wasn't any of his business anyway. He watched in concern as Ravyn made a quick exit, wondering if she was having one of her episodes. If she was, he knew the best thing for him to do was leave her alone for a while.

"So, ah, do you have any idea of what we're going to be talking about at this meeting?" he asked Alder innocently, wondering if the question was worth answering. Of course it would be about their little 'quest', but the more he thought about the prophecy, the more absurd and dangerous it seemed. He wanted answers.
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PostSubject: Re: .::Aero & Apollo::. The Pyro Tyrant   Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:20 am

Ross felt like he had been struck across the face with a brick. Scratch that, more like a raging gatorlope had just stepped on him a few times. Fiance…? Oh no. Oh no no no no, he was off playing tag with someone's future wife?! And given what he knew about the Toroque, he couldn't imagine whoever her future husband was would be too pleased with their outing… alone… Oh no no no no no… Everyone would probably get the wrong idea about their whole little outing. Magnolia was nice and had a fun outlook on life, but he had only just met her. And she was pretty too, but really they had only just met, and they could probably be pretty good friend but they had only just- "Oh, back? Yeah, yeah, that's probably a good idea. I don't want to be banned from the town on my first day here." He tried to smile, failed and ended up just scratching the back of his head an heaving a sigh. He followed her easily to the ground, floating to the forest floor on silent wings and walked along on foot by Magnolia's side. When they came to the marketplace he suddenly perked up, as if something had just occurred to him, which it did. "So, what's this Alder guy like? And do all Toroque get married so young? I mean, I don't really know how old you are, but you don't look that much older than Ravyn."

*~*

Though he could tell that the female avian child was trying to reassure him, Alder wasn't at all convinced that Magnolia had needed any convincing at all to go running off into the woods with someone in tow. The fact that this third avian was also of the adventurous type simply meant that she would probably be out there for longer than if she were dragging around someone that was uninterested in being quite to flighty as she. When the girl fled from the room suddenly he sent an inquiring look to her male companion, hopping for an answer to the abut departure. Had he said something offensive to the girl that required her to leave his presence? True, he was not educated in the culture of the sky children, but he couldn't fathom how anything he may of said would be that offensive. But if there was an explanation for her actions, the male avian wasn't going to give it without having to be asked first. "I know very little of what the council plans for you, truth be told. I am a sentinel, not a councilman, nor any sort of governing official. I simply know that whatever they have to say to you will involve the reason that the Lady Birch has sent you here to us. We do not receive guests outside of our race and with good reason. The Lady must have taken a special interest in you in order for her to ignore the secrecy that protects us from outside forces that may wish us harm." He didn't hear the girl coming back, so Alder gestured toward the door that Ravyn had fled from. "Should I apologize? Did I say something that wronged her?"

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