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 Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)

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Eldarwen
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PostSubject: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:33 pm


The woods were idyllic, sleeping in the caressing rays of the afternoon sunlight. A few birds were loudly expressing their love for life in intricate melodies and a few deer could be seen to serenely graze on a clearing, picking out only the best grass from in between the multitude of flowers littering the forest floor. There was nothing to be heard apart from the chirping, and there was no other movement. There was not even a light breeze making the grass sway or the leaves rustle under its gentle touch.

Suddenly, a loud curse disrupted the quiet, immediately followed by the cracking of the undergrowth, sending birds flying and deer fleeing in immediate panic. A young man of maybe 25 years of age was running through the forest, constantly looking back over his shoulder as if he were being followed. Whenever he looked back, he missed a step and thus stumbled quite a few times but could not refrain from checking on his pursuer. Cursing once more, Zeke scolded himself for having been so careless as to let the bear get so close to him that it now suddenly felt the desire to keep him close to its heart by preferably eating him neck and crop. If it actually got that far, he was hoping it would choke on him.

Generally, he was not quite as careless, in fact rather caring about his body, especially when it was threatened to be swallowed whole or otherwise badly hurt and/or killed. He would of course not evade a fight if it came to him, especially enjoying a good fist fight once in a while, but he rather disliked those he knew he could not win no matter how hard he tried, and this had definitely been a pointless fight from the beginning. How could a mere human stand a chance against a hungry bear? Yet, Zeke had wanted the honey as much as the bear and he had miscalculated how far away and indeed how hungry the bear had been, thus ending up in far more trouble than being hunted by a few angry bees.

Zeke’s relatively light clothes were already clinging to his body, drenched with sweat as he kept running like a maniac with the bear still on his heels as it seemingly simply did not want to give up, even though in the end the man had not even manage to get the honey. Neither had the bear, to his – admittedly – quite childish satisfaction. Furrowing his brows on his rather tanned face, his dark brown eyes scanned his surroundings for a possibility to finally escape the bear as his strength was beginning to fade with every step he took. Chestnut coloured hair was covering his head, cut relatively short but just long enough that he could still pretend to run his fingers through it, and a light stubble of the same colouring was covering his face. He was carrying a few daggers visible on his belt, and a few concealed ones. He had used to carry around a sword, but had gotten rid of it, not seeing the point in having one when he couldn’t even properly use it. During his few years of travelling and adventure seeking, he had very quickly learned that looking imposing or good was not going to get him anywhere, so he had promptly dropped that act again.

When he finally reached the clearing, he shortly stopped to take a few deeper breaths, trying to calm his pumping heart and steady his leg muscles slightly, but the noise of an angry bear tearing through the forest was still clearly audible behind him so he sighed heavily, rolling his eyes and stomped onwards.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:01 pm



Ixas sighed.

He'd watched it unfolding out before him, having been on the trail for this very same bear to kill, it seemed somebody had other plans for the bear, acting as live bait and all, perhaps giving it an afternoon snack.
Why oh why did you try and steal the honey?
He frowned, the mans life was in terrible danger though, outrunning a bear? He must be mad, the bear as the man probably already knew would be able to snap him into little pieces of bone without any real effort.

Having masked his scent crudely, and with the bear having it's attention fixed vehemently on it's honey-thief Ixas had evaded it's wrath.
Ixas knew he wasn't faster than a bear, but that didn't matter, he just needed one clear shot, right now, he would have liked his faithful yew longbow to deliver a powerful definite one-shot kill in it's skull. But the shortbow would have to do.

Running after it hastily, his darkest brown tunic and loose half-sleeves seemed to flap through the breeze wildly, his hair flagging, as he ran in pursuit, trying to keep within range of the beast.
His dark part fabric part leather boots seemed to run smoothly over the leaves, a strange quietness to them and so the bear didn't turn around, and then still running after the enraged beast he drew the bow and the pristinely sharp arrow.

Still running, still chasing.
He no longer saw the man, having wound off into the trees somewhere, but the bear knew better, the trick of some trees were no match for it's senses.
Finally he let the string go, and a swift whffft sounded as the arrow split through the air.

Ixas felt himself tense, either that arrow would hit through the narrow, narrow shot he had of the bear's skull and kill it; saving the man.
Else he would only have made it even angrier and it would be upon the man, and with a flick of it's giant paw kill him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Use things, not people and love people, not things."
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:26 pm


The bear was almost upon him, and Zeke knew it; he simply could not make it any longer and thinking he could outrun the animal was pure insanity anyway. Though he did not want to give up and seeing that there was no other possibility around….
The further he ran, the more he had the awful sensation of feeling the beast’s breath on his neck, and he could vividly imagine the drop of saliva that would soon loosen itself from the bear’s bared teeth, soon going to drip down onto his skin. The very thought made him shudder wildly, causing him to miss a beat and stumble over his own feet. The bear had evidently just at that precise moment decided to stop playing games with its prey that had enraged it so badly and simply knocked over a smaller tree blocking its direct path to the man.

Zeke quickly rolled onto his back, painfully aware of the fact that he was not going to be able to get up before the bear was finally upon him, and unsheathed two of his daggers in anticipation of the imminent attack. The bear’s teeth were moving closer to his throat in agonisingly slow speed as the whole world seemed to fall into slow motion around him and only a hairsbreadth before the teeth would snap closed around his flesh, he rammed his daggers into its neck, one on each side.
Only to realise that the beast was already staring out in front of itself with a blank expression in its eyes that betrayed its early demise. He was utterly dumbstruck to say the least. What had just happened? Heart attack from overexcitement at getting a better snack than honey?

It was then that Zeke felt the full weight of the beast crashing down on him, knocking every last bit of air he had in his lungs out of him. Gasping for air, he tried to scramble from underneath the bear and only barely managed to do so. Only then did he finally see the arrow sticking out from the bear’s head and his pained expression turned into one of utter confusion as he turned around to look for the owner of this projectile that had seemingly appeared out of thin air.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:59 pm


After the arrow had let fly, he hadn't caught a clear line of sight to see if he had failed or succeeded, he held back for a moment; not too keen to be running after a bear if it hadn't fallen. The sound had died, but had the bear?
Now was as good a time as any to see, and wasting not another second more Ixas ran swiftly, like a forest cat between the trees.

Coiling around a bend of thick trunks he gasped and his face melted to shock; but then...to his relief the man somehow managed to break free of the bear's crushing weight, wriggling out like a maggot. To his eye he was unscathed, if a bit winded. Ixas wasn't sure if he had broken a rib or not, maybe the man would only notice after the moment had worn away, or maybe he was especially lucky.
Emerging from the trees he retrieved his arrow, inspected it and tossed it away, mid air it snapped, having been made brittle.

Ixas wasn't sure what to say to the man.
Licking his dry lips, a distinct blackened scar dead centre in them, he felt the in his dryness mouth too, that had been too close.
"There's probably a lesson in that somewhere." Ixas smiled, then looked back to meet the mans eyes, he still seemed to have traces of fear on him.
Fair enough

"But what were you thinking?"His voice wasn't accusing, more puzzled... Without waiting for a response Ixas had settled down next to the bear, running a hand through it's thick earthy fur.
It would take a long time to sort this creature out but his knife, especially for skinning, gleamed on his belt, several inches long.
Ixas looked at the man, he seemed innocent enough, but he had a thing or two to learn about forest wildlife.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Use things, not people and love people, not things."
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:32 pm


Finally, Zeke’s eyes caught the movement of a man weaving around the trees like there were no obstacles in his way at all. It was quite fascinating to watch really, and thus Zeke was staring at him with huge eyes, confusion and amazement now mixing in his expression as the man suddenly disappeared from view only to reappear on the other side of the bear he had just liberated himself from.

Seemingly non-nonchalant, the man went about his business before he even seemed to consider Zeke, who kept staring at him, dumbfounded. What immediately caught his eye when the other man finally looked at him was the scar crossing his lips, giving his face a very unique look, something Zeke always liked. There was nothing interesting about people that looked like everyone else and it gave him a somewhat eerie edge, although he did not in the least seem to be creepy. When the man then spoke, Zeke couldn’t help but laugh. “I guess… Somewhere buried underneath all the action maybe.” He knew himself that it had not been the smartest thing anyone had ever done, but what had happened had happened. Slightly bowing his head to the man, he added: “Thank you for saving my life.”

“Why? What?” Zeke replied, playing the wrongfully accused one, “I merely wanted the honey… Couldn’t have known there was a bear attached to it…” Trailing off, he couldn’t help grinning at the man who was now inspecting the felled bear. Now that he was able to take a breath again and his adrenaline rush was fading away, he could feel every single muscle, especially in his legs, and there were others places that hurt too. “I think I’ll be nicely coloured tomorrow,” he joked, “though I may have cracked a rib during this wrestling match.” Grunting with discomfort, he nevertheless bent over the bear to retrieve his two daggers, which he had left in the bear’s neck. It would be a shame to leave them there. Following the man’s movements, he asked: “Are you planning on skinning him? He does have lovely fur.” He had to admit, it was certainly something nice to wrap yourself in, as long as there was no meat attached to it anymore. “My name is Zeke, by the way.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:55 pm


Things felt more easy going now, the man was now laughing and Ixas felt a smoothness from this, the air wasn't all prickly now.
For a minute he listened to all that the man had to say, returning the grin with one of his own that seemed to make his face appear more devilish than he really was.

"Yes, I am going to skin him, it would be a shame to just leave it here...After sending it past death." Ixas seemed to think for a moment, pulling the skinning knife from his belt, then leaning on the bear, big as a boulder, and he looked up to the man, that he now knew was Zeke.

Zeke he thought, he couldn't pretend to have ever heard a name like that, if time permitted, maybe he'd see if it suited the man.
"...If I had to leave it here, I would at least cut open it's belly...leave the other meat-eaters and scavengers to take care of it as soon as possible..."
He made an incision at the rump of the bear and began, the knife gliding silkily through from years of practice, "At least make it easier for them...Nobody likes to see a wasted corpse that's..." Ixas seemed to trail off, his eyes roaming elsewhere in the wood as he said that.
Listening to the hum of the forest, as if he had heard something. But there was nothing, just the call of birds in the distance.

"...Oh." He looked back quickly to Zeke, he bowed to the man from where he was as a brief token of respect, "And I am Ixas."
He withdrew the knife from the skin for a moment, out here in a deeper part of the forest he had another question to ask; although Ixas had a life of relative solitude, some company once in a while kept him sane and he didn't want to let Zeke go running off back to wherever he came from just yet.

Had he said it in any other tone, it might have sounded like a challenge,
"So why are you here?"


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Use things, not people and love people, not things."
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:13 pm


Zeke slightly inclined his head, observing the man and listening intently to what he was saying. It was a way of looking at things, he had barely ever considered himself, but he guessed there was some truth to it. He disliked wasting food in any kind of way, and this was not quite that different, in a way. Why waste the bear if it could still be used for its fur and feed other animals, though Zeke was of the opinion that most of those animals probably had tools themselves to cut open a gut to get to the good parts. That thought sent a shudder down his spine, he was not one who liked seeing intestines splattered all over the place. There was something about intestines and brain matter that set him on edge, making him very uncomfortable. Blood, in any kind of quantity, he could handle, but not the gory stuff that came spilling out after the blood.

Quickly diverting from such thoughts popping up in his mind, he voiced his thoughts, parts of them at least: “I have never really thought about it that way, but I can see your point. There is no need for waste of any kind.” Following the man’s gaze, he too looked around himself, immediately a little edgy in fear of another bear, maybe this one’s companion or a bunch of cubs, coming after him, or now rather them. But nothing in the likes was happening and Zeke soon relaxed a little again, though that did not make the pain any better. On a whim, he simply sat down on the forest floor, stretching out his legs in an attempt to ease the cramps that were announcing their arrival in a very near future.

He too nodded in response to the man’s name, returning the polite gesture with a slight smile on his lips. Ixas seemed rather nice, despite his scary look, especially when he was grinning, and he had saved his life after all, much to Zeke’s shame, but a real man could admit a weakness once in a while too, right? He felt the distinct need to simply lie down and rest, to not move a finger for a couple of hours and just enjoy the sun and the light warm breeze that had now finally picked up. However, this thought of peace and quiet was soon disrupted and he questioningly raised an eyebrow at Ixas’ challenging question, not quite liking the tone the conversation – if you could call it that – had suddenly taken, and promptly answered the question with a question. “Why are you here?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:00 pm


So the man seemed to agree, waste was bad, he saw the understanding on him and although Ixas did not respond to it, that was a good sign enough.
Still, he wanted to know why he was here, but the man seemed to have now made himself comfortable (as much as he could) and had rounded the question on him.

Ixas looked at him with some puzzlement, Zeke had eagerly deflected his question. Thinking nothing of that he just responded, in that matter of fact tone,
"Me? Well the evidence is here..." A pause "The bear I mean. I live here and all...hunt, eat, sleep and travel...I rarely need to visit any of the nearest towns after all." It felt strange saying that out loud to this stranger who looked a far sight less likely to lead a similar lifestyle. But Ixas spoke genuinely, there wasn't any shame in the kind of life he had.
Which all the more made him wonder what Zeke was doing out here.

"I wasn't trying to unsettle you," He muttered "Sorry." He apologized, another smile formed on his lips. "I don't get company often, so welcome Zeke." The smoothness of his voice seemed reassure himself, trying to undo the tiny crack of uncertainty.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Use things, not people and love people, not things."
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:28 pm


Zeke eased up a little as the man did not take his offensive reply as such and simply answered the question as to why he was here, giving away more about Ixas himself then he might be aware of. When Ixas began talking, the confused look crept back into Zeke’s face until the man still kneeling beside the bear explained his words further. He had already struck Zeke as someone who was rather careful around people, his whole concept of not wasting anything and seeming to be rather in tune with nature had told him as such, seeing that a lot of people did not care to such an extent, not as long they were not involved themselves.

In addition, it was not a general point of view adopted on Dragon’s Cove, which made Zeke wonder where Ixas was from, though he did not voice this question. Yet, he seemed earnest in all he had said so far and Zeke felt like he should be honest himself and when Ixas apologised to him, he waved it off with a smile of his own. “No need to worry. I’m just usually quick on dodging questions like that after a few bad experiences. And thank you for your hospitality,” Zeke replied, though he was not really sure that was the right thing to say. They were in a forest after all, right? So not really inside someone’s home, as such.

Switching position a little for his muscles were starting to hurt everywhere and his ribcage was pounding, he finally decided to answer Ixas’ question. “As for me, I am a bit of a traveller, one could say. I have left my home a few years ago and have been keeping myself entertained with adventuring and exploring the island, once in a while staying longer in one of the cities to take on a job to earn some money and food mostly. I’ve had a few travel companions not too long back but that did not turn out quite that well..,” he trailed off, lost in thoughts as he remember the last people he had called companions or even friends. Shaking his head, he dismissed such thoughts and got up on his two feet again, groaning as he did so. “Honestly, never try to outrun a bear. You will hurt like hell afterwards,” he attempted to joke, looking over Ixas' handiwork with the bear's fur.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:25 pm


"Mmm there's some truth in that." Ixas chuckled, still trying to gauge the person in front of him. Turning back though on what Zeke had said moments ago before, he felt the need to press more on that. But now wasn't the right time, Zeke had already hoisted himself onto his feet, probably ready to get moving.

And so soon

"So Zeke," Ixas carefully began feeling under the skin for purchase, "Oh, you might want to look away for a moment." Having found his grip near the bear's legs ready to peel away the skin, he understood most people- and by the look from Zeke he had caught earlier- weren't used to seeing bare bloody flesh. A thoughtful flash pressed onto him, "Ah where was I... " the blood glistened as he began to remove the fur neatly, well, neatly as he could- skinning shouldn't have been a bloody process. "So Zeke, where will you be going next then?" Another of those thoughtful looks pressed on his face. "Maybe I can help you." He added, Ixas had traveled over many places in Dragons Cove, adapting to the conditions as he went, maybe he could help Zeke somewhat.

Ixas then having loosed the skin on this side rolled it away from the Bear's body to the other side, now he shouldered himself into the bears mass, to roll it onto the bloody side of the open skin to then start pulling away the fur on the other side; from there he would take it and prepare it, but it would have to be dried... Shame about the meat, but there was no doubt the forest and it's animals would make short work of it.

"Well I think I can anyway, where are you headed?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Use things, not people and love people, not things."


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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:42 am


Zeke immediately followed Ixas’ advice and averted his eyes when the man readied himself to skin the bear. The thought of what might lie underneath the fur and the skin made him shudder slightly. Intestines, ergh. Why could skinning not be a less messy job? Though most importantly, why was he remaining in the presence of such an activity?

Ixas’ question caught him a little off guard however. Yeah… where am I going? Lately, it had been pulling him towards his birthplace again but until now he had refused to give in to that calling. Things would not have changed for the better yet, he was sure - if they even ever would - , so he might just as well not return. He was aware that he left the man’s question hanging in the open for a while longer, but he simply did not know the answer.

Finally, when he heard the squishy plop of the bear’s bare meat falling onto the ground, he ventured a look at Ixas, who seemed to be lost in thoughts while going about his business. “Truthfully, I don’t even know myself where I am headed at the moment. I’d quite like to visit Guardian’s Peak. I have never been there and since it is not that long a walk from here, I might go see it.” As for the offer for help, Zeke was unsure how to take it. Of course he would be pleased to have a new travel companion, but at the same time he was a little weary. Why would Ixas be so eager to help him? “I guess you could always come along? A bow would be a useful addition to hunt down provisions or fend off attackers,” he then added, dismissing any doubts and just trying to see things positively. Maybe they would get along just fine?

Looking around the forest, Zeke noticed that the smaller animals had taken up their usual rituals again and apart from the noise Ixas made with the bear and the singing of a few birds, there was nothing much to be heard in the forest. “If that is really what you want, that is.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:23 pm


The bear's fur, in spite of Ixas' skill hadn't come out the best he could have hoped for, least because of the mess made when cutting it away. Still, he had a sizeable amount even from working quickly on it- now he had the whole skin loosed from the meat, the paws and head cut away from it, now left beside the mass of bear meat. Pulling a large pouch from within the bag at his side he now poured salt upon the open side of the laid out fur, well...It looked like salt, but it seemed to melt into the skin immediately drying it entirely. Ixas at that point rolled the fur swiftly, roping it onto his back, it was quite a hefty size yet it seemed to have come easily to him.

"I hope you don't mind, but we'll have to stop at some point to wash the hide..."
Ixas seemed to have made up his mind, he was going too.
He smiled as a picture of what he imagined the Guardians Peak was to look like crossed him.

Deep Ridges from horizon to horizon. Many crested peaks...The breath of the old gods, wrapping the mountains tight, islands of stone spearing the white mist.

"The fur should come in useful for some clothes there too- from the rumours I hear the cold is almost as bitter as Shayenne." He wondered what kind of a traveller Zeke was- one didn't go wondering about the known map of Dragons Cove without acquiring some depth of knowledge too. Ixas also wondered what had happened with his other travelling companions, as it was though, Ixas wasn't the cynical type and dismissed any judgement.



Well if two months and a bit by foot is a small walk...I wonder what your adventures are.

"Here. I am not trying to press this on you, but as long as you're headed to the peak, I'll be glad to be your guide." He seemed to look through the tree tops as if searching for something, "Perhaps we'll be lucky and see one of the legendary Guardians too."
Doing a final check over his supplies and belongings he gave a short nod to himself and began walking briskly through the woods.
"We might as well start now...if anything before we find some hungry wolves."

Ixas left the half bloodied meat of the bear rolled next to a tree. Murmurs would be on the wind already of this gift of a meal.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Use things, not people and love people, not things."
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:37 pm


When Zeke looked back to Ixas, the latter had already finished skinning and was now treating the fur with.. something.. he had not an inkling as to what it could be, shouldering it as soon as that was done. “No no, not a problem,” Zeke replied absentmindedly as he kept watching Ixas now packed with a huge roll of fur on his back. Wasn’t that going to be very, very heavy after a while? Ixas did not look like someone who could carry something that large for hours on end, but who knew, he might be very mistaken about assuming that Ixas could not manage it.

“Oh, that would indeed be very awesome. I have never encountered a guardian dragon in my life. Have you? That would be so epic if we could find one.” Grinning like a child and losing himself in musings of what could be when they reached the peak but was quickly brought back into reality when Ixas started moving, so he hastily picked up his feet and followed the man through the woods. If he really knew where he was going, then all the better! Zeke only had a vague idea of the general direction of how to get to the Guardian’s Peak, he only knew that it would be quite a walk, and quite cold, as Ixas had mentioned as well. “But yes, the fur should be useful for warmer clothes, you could completely wrap yourself into it,” he smiled.

“If you don’t mind I would quite like to make a stop in Didienne to fill up on some provisions and,” he paused slightly, still smiling, “clothes that are slightly better suited for this kind of journey than what I am wearing now.” A woollen cloak or something along those lines might already to the trick however. If he was lucky to find something decent, he would not have to spend much. And he still had a few figurines he wanted to sell so maybe they did not even have to stop for long if the figures brought in enough money to buy a cloak and maybe some extra padding for the boots so his feet would not instantly freeze when they set foot into the colder region.

“If you don’t mind my asking, what exactly is it that you do? Are you a hunter? Leatherworker? Or... ?” Pursing his lips, Zeke tried to think of what else he could add to the list but figured Ixas would tell him himself. Their march had taken a quite nice pace, not too quickly but not giving you the impression you were going to fall asleep while walking either, thus at a fair speed covering a good part of the forest, heading north, which Zeke was quite pleased with. If this was generally the way Ixas behaved on his journeys, if he undertook such, then they would fit nicely as travelling companions, at least for the time being.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:11 pm


Ixas felt a glow of warmth, Zeke was equally as interested in finding a Guardian Dragon- sure it had been his idea, but he seemed undeterred by a lengthy journey or the companionship of a mere acquaintance and that put Ixas at ease.
But first, there would be a stop at Didienne, Ixas had only visited it once before. It was a city of contrast, on the outer edges, like most other cities, were the poor and the lower class of workers, but at it's heart was a city held by the merchants, the smiths, the aristocrats and the Dragon Keepers; Didienne's pillars of strengths.
It had possessed a kind of Mystique that had always interested Ixas, it's beauty and unique "sort of people" were known through Dragons Cove, his last visit had been to a small part on it's southern most edge to sell some wolf fur and bones. That was over a year ago now.

He nodded, “A good choice. You might want some boots better for the mountains as well…” Noting what Zeke was wearing, he too would probably need to get some new cold-weather clothes, Ixas never held onto clothes for more than the season they were used for, having no certain home prevented him from keeping much of anything for long.
“It’ll be good to see the city again after this long, too.”
Even if they’re not the most honest of people he muttered to himself.

Still walking at a lively pace, the bear fur firmly rolled and tucked, on his back, he could keep this up for a long time- Ixas may not be able to brawl with the bear but he certainly had the stamina and patience to keep up a trek, provided they did take rests at some points. But then again, who didn’t? Walking back to Didienne, it was around a months journey from here in the southern part of the Amelle forest. Then another month and a week to reach the guardian’s peak.

Ixas wondered if Zeke might just “disappear” in Didienne.

“What do I do?” He called back, just some way in front, pushing a path through wispy, elastic branches.
“A hunter, though it pays to know a bit of everything, doesn’t it?” It struck him as odd anybody would be too curious at all, typically, despite the demand for hides, fur and bone for all sorts of things; a hunter was among the lowest of trades. Even so, there was so much to be learnt, so many tricks and twists…Ixas loved how he lived.

“But you…” He said, “Surely, you must have some way of making your gold?” The man didn’t seem to, besides evidently being a traveller, show any telltale signs.

Ixas smiled inside, For all I know, he could be a graverobber then scolded himself for thinking that, the Willow Mother would disapprove of such slander, even if in innocent nature.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:00 pm


“Hmm, I’ve only ever heard of Didienne but so far have not managed to reach it during all my travels. It will certainly be interesting to step foot in it for the first time. So many people talk about it and not all of them well. Opinions seem to diverge quite a lot actually.” From Ixas’ reaction to the city, Zeke was not quite sure whether the man liked Didienne or not, but the fact alone that he agreed to come along could only mean that he did not dislike it that much. “What is your opinion on Didienne then?”

While Ixas was pushing away branches, Zeke was sometimes almost frantically trying to avoid to get either hit by the elastic little bastards or being completely entangled in branches or whatever else seemed to be intent on making his passage as difficult as possible. There were times where Zeke enjoyed rummaging through forests, but today was not one of those days. Despite his growing annoyance at the greenery, he listened intently as Ixas replied to his question as to his line of work.

“I guess you’re right about that, knowledge of almost any kind can only come in handy.” Biting back a curse, Zeke sidestepped another branch that was swinging for his face and gave a small sigh as they finally seemed to be on a clearer path again without vicious trees out for their hides - or his at least. “As for myself,” he then finally replied, “I have done an apprenticeship with a carpenter but I don’t particularly enjoy handling larger pieces of wood, I’m more of a carver, creating decorations and smaller pieces.” With this, he pulled out one of the figures he contemplated selling in Didienne. “It was never my dream craftsmanship but I’m good at it, so why not use it. Ideally, I would have become a blacksmith, accomplished in any kind of weapon creation, known far and wide for my skill,” Zeke smiled as he remember the many daydreams he had had about this sort of future, “but I guess that was just a silly boy’s dream,” he added with a laugh. He knew himself that it was not going to happen and it was not something he now fancied anymore anyway.

“By the way…,” Zeke hesitated, unsure of how Ixas would take such a question, but he did wonder about it, and he usually talked about the things that were on his mind, apart from a few specific situations probably, “why did you offer to come along and guide me? For all you know, the bear thing might just have been a stunt to lure you to me and I could have the intention of killing you after you have now conveniently skinned the bear for me so I don’t have to get my fingers dirty.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:35 pm


“Didienne, well…there’s a market for just about anything…Not everybody is all too honest there, perhaps that’s why it’s so wealthy?” Ixas seemed to shrug, closely looping through the wood before they had finally emerged into some more open forest. “Still. I’d say most people have it in themselves to be honest, even if it’s Didienne...” Some called Ixas naïve, they were probably right.

Ixas smiled, hearing Zeke talk fondly of that dream. But it was true, here in the peace of Dragons Cove, there could be no work for a man that made weapons, unless he were to sell them on trade ships; Dragons Cove was an island in the truest sense. It was completely remote to all other lands and contact with the world beyond simply didn’t exist, only a brave few ventured to Dragons Cove- often through tales of legend or hope.
“If only you had lived back in my country, weapon smiths…pure gold…of course,” Ixas paused a moment, to consider, “Living there might be an issue.” He smiled whimsically casting off the brief thought, then taking Zeke up on his next question,

“Well. Although I genuinely believe to receive trust you have to extend it first, what kind of bandit hopes to steal from somebody like me?” Ixas then added, “That’s a pretty poor bandit…Even I could probably take that kind of a robber on.”
There were a few moments of silence, when Ixas could then hear the strokes of wind smoothing through. “Aaah and of course. Being your guide takes us both where we both haven’t been before, call it wanderlust eh?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:16 am


Zeke chuckled at Ixas’ response. “Yeah I guess you’re right about that one, it would be somewhat of a poor bandit. And I mean, skinning a bear… it’s a piece of cake really,” he added the last bit with an amused grin on his face, knowing that he himself would probably not even be able to do it, and he certainly wasn’t up for carrying around a bear skin on his back. That would just end in disaster. “Hmm, I agree, though I often seem to trust people a little too quickly.” Frowning, he suddenly realised that this might not be the best of admittances to make to a stranger, but then again, Ixas didn’t strike him as the kind of person that would take advantage of such knowledge or at least Zeke hoped he wouldn’t. Yet, he didn’t dwell on this for too long. “If someone is going to stab you in the back, they’re going to do it either way, whether you trust them or not, it doesn’t change facts anyways.”

Dreamily walking ahead, Zeke didn’t see a few roots that had sneakily crept into his way and promptly lost his footing, cursing lightly as he just about managed to catch himself before falling face down. He really was a bit of a menace from time to time. Smiling once more, he finally replied: “Yes, it is rather awesome how that is turning out. Ah, the Guardian’s Peek, I cannot wait to see it. It will, without a doubt, be one of the most wonderful things I have ever seen.”

Clearing his throat, he tried to concentrate a little more on where he was actually putting his feet after he stumbled once more, but Zeke had always been that way, head in the clouds relatively often but he was no fool. “You know what would be even more wonderful? If there actually were guardian dragons up there when we reach it.” A happy smile had crept back onto his face at this thought and he was trying to imagine what it would be like to actually meet one of those legendary dragons. His thoughts were turning in circles around this, and he was well aware of it, but he didn’t care that he sounded or acted like a child looking forward to something. “I haven’t really come across that many dragons in my travels and they all kept rather to themselves, which I can’t really blame them for either, humans are somewhat of a nuisance sometimes.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Sun May 01, 2011 10:42 am


Ixas nodded, he knew about the nuisance that humans could be. Although he didn't live in any kind of a community and rarely had the opportunity to speak with others, he always saw their effects. A strange lot, some would aid the Guardian's with all they had but there was still a huge pool of slayers working here and there yet impossible to police. Ixas had to wonder what the Guardian's thought of such killings...necessary to keep the dragon's in check or just a guise for thug behaviour?

The journey had taken quite a while on foot, but going up north on this strip of land was quite lovely, the Amelle forest had been beautiful as had the open plains beside the mountain as they had approached Didienne. Finally they arrived on the grand city's outskirts at around mid noon with steady rain falling on them. As was to be expected, grandiose walls towered over them, the traffic into the city fast as ever, inspected by the guards stationed there.
Apparently Didienne didn't extend as much trust to strangers as Ixas did.

"Ah and here we are" He proclaimed, it was good to be back for a while, even if only a short one, "I hope you're in good pocket too...This isn't quite Bolarf when it comes to trading."
Approaching the mouth of the city he, along with the swarm of other people flowed in through the gates.
It hit him like a brick, being in the poor district the smell was rather awful, Ixas so used to living amongst the clean trees now had a good whiff of "civilization"

"So then Zeke, where'd you like to go first? There's no rush, I don't think..." Anywhere would be good, he thought. Being somewhat soaked through, hungry, eager to sell off this material and perhaps finding out a bit about the peak. The city was daunting, though. Before him sprawled out one huge street branching off to peasantry and workers homes and shops, a clatter of men and women working the road into the city and the shuffling of horses to and fro.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Use things, not people and love people, not things."
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Thu May 12, 2011 7:24 am


The constant drizzle had begun to somewhat dampen Zeke’s travelling mood but once the city’s outskirts came into view, his spirits were lifted a little. Despite there being far more people than he had anticipated, the young man was quite excited to venture into the city walls and take in a bit more of this vast place, curiosity raised by the many different people they encountered already on the outskirts of Didienne. His nose completely ignored the not so appetising smells, being used to tramping around cities, though the initial shock was quite bad. “Ah, don’t worry about the trading,” Zeke replied to Ixas’ slightly worried words. “It shouldn’t be too bad. It’s been a while since I was in a larger, or rather more expensive city, but it’ll be fine.”

Zeke actually did believe that as well. In such a big city, there were bound to be traders looking for nice pieces rather than only useful things, so he might actually be better off with his carvings here than in a few other places. The higher social classes were bound to be interested in buying something decorative for their homes, thus this might be just the place for him to get rid of every last piece he had. As long as he could make two or three good deals, he was happy; it would be enough to outfit him for their journey north.

“I think a bit of food should be our first priority,” Zeke grinned as his stomach made itself noticeable quite loudly as soon as Ixas had asked where they should head. Motioning for his companion to follow him, the young man wound his way through the people, carts and animals in search of what he hoped would be a nice place to eat without having to spend too much money. “There’s quite many guards around here though,” he observed, looking at Ixas questioningly, wondering if the man knew why exactly that was. “I can’t remember having seen quite so many anywhere before.”

A few winding alleys later, Zeke halted in front of a tavern, looking at Ixas. “Shall we venture inside? This seems to look fairly decent, a few people inside and they neither look like scoundrels, nor like snobs. Might just be the place or us.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:29 pm



After navigating the winding, peopled streets and alleys, Ixas didn't feel he'd object to a well deserved rest in the tavern. When Zeke suggested they stay for a while at this one, he eagerly followed suit, "The Stone of the Wind" eh?. As he was stepping in through the public archway a man came scrabbling round the corner, bursting through the arch and knocking Ixas aside before fleeing into the street and disappearing round the bend. Hot on his heels, what must have been the keeper blundered through the Arch into the street mess, hollering curses and hexes at the man.
"You BLEEDIN' verminous little shit!" He howled down the street, though nobody batted an eyelid, this was normal. Ixas glanced to where the scrawny man had run, the Keeper yelling to the empty space. "You can 'ave all the god given white wreathes in the world! Common villainy like you can't be saved!" He snarled, his face as a bunch of wrinkles and anger. Giving up on his taunts he sourly retreated back into the tavern.

Ixas looked to Zeke with raised brows, nothing more to be said, really.
"An interesting sort, surely." He commented, moving into the spacious room. Slightly warmer than the outdoors, but more importantly, dry. They seemed to have an open hearth going, several women attending the area and food. The bar too, of course. There were also hefty tankards of ale embedded into the wall, tables and chairs spread all across the room unevenly, some ordinary men and women occupying the place.

Ixas approached the bar to find the disgruntled Keeper standing behind it. He was faced away, tending to some pale cream rings of plants on the wall. Oddly, he then noted that every other person had them too; around wrists, as slimly plaited necklaces or tied to clothing.
"Well that's not too familiar..." He turned to Zeke, hoping he might have some idea. Though he couldn't expect him to know, either. "Forgive me Sir, but what are those?" Ixas asked to the Keeper with caution in his voice, he seemed quite the irritable fellow for the minute. The Keeper turned to him with a beady eye of perplexion, was this man having a laugh or out for his wreathes? He rounded on them quite suddenly.
"Get out, the pair of yer! I don't want none of yer plague ridden type round my home you hear!?"
Plague? What? "Yer look like the pestilence of that shithole Racksom, now get out!" Ixas blinked with a surprise, all he wanted was an honest drink.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Use things, not people and love people, not things."
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:31 am


When Zeke had first spotted the inn, he had not expected their first impression of its keeper to be so very loud and unfriendly, though at least he was not yelling at them. After the fleeing customer had bumped into Ixas, Zeke had only barely managed to jump aside to avoid a similar fate and the keeper had come yelling after him. It was a rather curious sight and the young man wondered what had happened.

Zeke could only stare back at Ixas, his own eyebrows raised in wonder. It had been a relatively common incident in his travels but it was always a bit of a shock to the man to have anyone be treated this way, then again, he had suffered the same fate as this poor villain when he had once tried to steal an apple pie back in his home village as a little boy. The yelling had been horribly loud and unsuitable to be repeated to anyone. Not feeling the need to reply to Ixas’ statement, Zeke simply followed his new friend into the tavern, immediately liking the place with its completely chaotic set-up and the open hearth. It seemed homely, just how he liked his inns. Some of the women were even quite shapely, Zeke noticed with a sly grin appearing on his face before he tore his eyes from them and followed Ixas to the bar.

He was just about to warn his friend to be a little cautious with the keeper when he noticed the weird plant structures the man was working on as well. Frowning, Zeke tried to get a closer look but it seemed impossible. The ornaments seemed to be everywhere but nowhere close enough to be perfectly distinguishable. The only thing he was certain about was the fact that it struck him as rather odd. “I have no idea…,” he whispered to Ixas at the man’s unspoken question. Gasping slightly at Ixas’ straightforward question to the keeper, his fear took shape in the latter’s terribly rude reply.

However, the reaction also left him completely baffled. What on earth was going on here? Ixas was just as dumbfounded as Zeke was, neither of them able to explain what was happening here. What was this man mumbling, or rather yelling, about a plague? He had not heard of any such thing, and why would he accuse them of such a thing?

Tentatively, he dared to speak up: “Sir, we are not from Racksom. We just want…” But he did not even get the chance to finish when the Keeper started yelling at them again to get out of his sight. Slightly leaning towards Ixas, he mumbled: “Is he insane?” Upon seeing the looks the other customers started to give them, Zeke began to reconsider his initial wish to try and make this work because he really wanted something to eat and drink, thus he quickly suggested, still whispering: “Maybe we should do as he says and get the hell out of here.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:48 pm


Ixas looked to Zeke, perhaps that was a good suggestion, he hadn’t anticipated this.
“Many apologies sir, I really didn’t mean any offence.” The keeper’s lip curled with the leer of a wolf’s, Ixas knew how to take a hint and swiftly left the place as quickly as they came.
“I don’t understand, what is this?” He puzzled aloud. “But Zeke, this is the Capital, it seems so...strange...that this would happen.” And what was that the Keeper had mentioned about plague?
He seemed to wear his concern on his face, leaving a sigh in the air he went on, “There is more to this, clearly. Maybe we should see to getting some of them ourselves...We can’t just leave the Capital...”
Walking with Zeke aimlessly down the twists of the lanes while searching for a market or trading place of some description, he pondered on the purpose of the wreathes.

They appeared to be a safeguard or marker of some kind, which automatically made those without them...
He flashed Zeke a grin, “What it is to be a plague rat eh?”
What they didn’t know though, nor the rest of the Capital, is that the plague was a well constructed myth with no divine origin.


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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:04 am


Zeke did not hesitate for one more second when Ixas turned to leave the place and quickly followed in his travel companion’s footsteps, not daring to turn back to see the keeper’s face but he could feel not only the man’s eyes on him and it was rather unsettling. He did not like having danger in his back without knowing what it was but he figured they’d both be better off if they did not turn back.

“I really don’t know,” Zeke mused in response to Ixas’ wonderings. His friend was right. They had to do something, or at least merely get a few plants, if they wanted to spend a bit of time here. It was quite simply not normal that people in the capital would be behaving so oddly. “But I haven’t seen those plants on anyone else so far,” he added, before he went back on his own statement. “Or at least I haven’t noticed them. I didn’t really pay attention to anything in the likes.”

Laughing briefly at Ixas’ statement, Zeke nodded: “Yeah, never thought I’d end up like one.” Lost in thoughts as they headed towards the nearest place – there really should be one close by, should there not?! – Zeke kept asking himself over and over again why the plague of all illnesses. “But Ixas...” he then said, his eyes looking far into the distance as he pondered how to phrase his thoughts. “The plague... wouldn’t it be very noticeable in your appearance if you were really affected by it?”

Just as he finished his question, they rounded yet another corner of the ever-winding alleys and stepped out onto a market place. Or what was supposed to be a marketplace in any case. To say it looked weird was an understatement but Zeke was unsure on how to put it really. The stalls were there, so were the merchants and the clients but.. something seemed off about it. The whole atmosphere seemed off. “Ixas...?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:19 pm


"Perhaps. Though not all disease is obvious is it? Sometimes it sneaks up on you...usually it's your own fault, though." He finished, then putting his eyes over the market place. It was a sight to behold, the Capital's one of many trading grounds. Huge, exquisite, beautiful. Though, Zeke was right.
"Yes, there is a different feeling here." He licked his lips, a minor unease creeping over him. He'd rather not be so angrily called out again, not in this place. Was this plague so widespread that everybody would react at the drop of a hat? "Look." He said furtively, gesturing to some people amongst the crowd.
There were ordinary looking folks everywhere, you had to have a keen eye just to notice...but everyone in the marketplace was wearing the anti-plague white wreaths on their wrists. They were small, slim, sometimes difficult to see altogether. But everyone had one.
"I wonder now...How is it I haven't heard of this in the other villages?" Well, that was to be his task then. The great willow mother had seen fit for all this to happen.
"Zeke, we're going to cure the sick people."
He seemed assured in his conviction, as if a sudden ray of insight had been bestowed upon him. "It's obvious, really! It's spirit sickness. Everybody may seem healthy here, but what they are lacking is the true healthiness that comes with a good spiritual appetite. Come, let's find the supposed afflicted. I'll bet they are lacking in good faith." He was usually a man that didn't speak so much, but it was as if he suddenly was in his element. "It's only natural that they think it's something that hurts their bodies, when it's their hearts that are amiss. Oh what a mess!" He chuckled, giving Zeke a firm pat on the back. With a notion of the head he signalled him to follow him into the crowd. As if he had some god given immunity.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Out On A Whim (Zay X Eldarwen)   Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:35 pm


Blinking in confusion, Zeke looked at Ixas, who suddenly went on talking like a waterfall. It was obvious that he was in his element but for the most part, Zeke had no idea what his companion was talking about. Spiritual disease? Curing the sick? What?!
“Ahm…” he tried to word his confusion but found that he couldn’t; not only because he didn’t know what to say but because Ixas didn’t give him a choice really and beckoned the young man to follow him. Zeke did not hesitate in following Ixas, though he did have his concerns about the wisdom of such an action.

To say that Zeke felt like a pig roasting on a stick was an understatement once they began marching into the crowd on the marketplace. He was unsure what it really was that Ixas wanted to do apart from curing the sick, though how he wanted to go about doing that, Zeke had not even an inkling of an idea. His mother had been spiritual but probably in a different way than Ixas, and Zeke had never paid attention to anything she had spoken about in the matter. Maybe he should have?
Every single person suddenly seemed to be staring at them, or rather frantically searching for the white wreaths which they obviously did not wear.
The more Ixas pushed his way through the crowd, the more it began parting for them, gasps being heard here and there while people jumped out of the way, scared of getting too close to these two strangers. Whispers erupted from everywhere, some wondrous, some scared and some even outraged.

Starting to fear that the reaction might soon turn into something similar as they had encountered in the inn, Zeke cleared his throat tentatively and pulled on Ixas’ arm. “Don’t you think it might be better to do something helpful away from all these people? They don’t seem very understanding.” The words were whispered, afraid that the fanatics – Zeke had decided to call them thus – might hear him and immediately stare them to death before they could get away, but he couldn’t help but shiver at the notion of these people doing something stupid before Ixas could do whatever it was the man seemed to have planned.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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