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  #26  
Unread 31st of July, 2008, 22:52
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You run toward the furious beast and are knocked yards away for your trouble. You land hard but the corn actually seeks to cushion your small weight. Behind you you hear a low growl, so low it is almost inaudible, then a voice, just as deep.

You will stay here or I will kill you myself. Your mother does not need your blood never to wash away.

Your father, his form not quite man, not quite bear, lopes over you, and, steel axe in hand, he leaps high in the air and comes down on the boar. Even from this vantage you can see that it has been beheaded. He immediately moves toward your mother whose mind is still in the fight. She takes a swipe at your father before she calms herself. You then hear the shout -

I told you the beast would flush him out. Go now!!!

Your father looks at you, then your mother, and then shoves her ursine form toward you. She lopes and grabs you by the nape with her teeth, and then stops, turning toward her mate.

Your father stands tall and roars the challenge.
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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  #27  
Unread 1st of August, 2008, 03:59
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Malak Squaws and Squirms, then, weeping, submits to the grasp of his mother.
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  #28  
Unread 1st of August, 2008, 04:51
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The hot breath of your mother surrounds your body and she limps away as quickly as she can. She tosses you down, and, pressing a massive paw down on you, she roars out, toward the tribe, a call of panic!

It is seconds before men, woman, bears and those in-between rush out from the village, toward your mother.

Your father, roars another challenge, and you see a bright flash overhead, nearly blinding, and his roar shifts from defiance to pain.
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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  #29  
Unread 2nd of August, 2008, 07:46
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Trapped under the massive paw of his mother, Malak screams with fear and terror, and the premonition that he will not see his mother again.
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  #30  
Unread 2nd of August, 2008, 12:01
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Your mother lets her paw up for just a moment, as the other clanmates thunder past.

Just a moment!
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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  #31  
Unread 3rd of August, 2008, 08:02
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Malak rolls to his right and jumps once more to his feet. Flattening his ears he looks up, "Momma?"
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  #32  
Unread 5th of August, 2008, 05:10
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Your mother, still in ursine form has tears of rage streaming from her face as she watches the events unfold as you remember them, for so long. The tribe brings down the hunters, tears them to pieces, but not before your father is killed. Your mother turns to you but it is not her face, but, suddenly, you see the face of the great mother, Deinissa, an ancient crone, her face a map of wrinkles and dye. She shakes her totem staff in the air and shouts unintelligibly. This was the third hour of The Passage, the ceremony where you enter into manhood after returning from your journey through Keoland to the Rushmoors. What is going on?

She finally stops her howling and shouting and turns to you. Speaking in the mode of great wisdom and untold secrets she asks you -

Who is you family, cub?
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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  #33  
Unread 5th of August, 2008, 07:13
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Malak stands proudly in human form, his muscled chest rippling, and meets the crone's eyes with strength mixed with humble respect, "I am Malak of the Maklut, son of Behran and Remhan, servants to the Shalm." he gestured towars those sitting around him, "And these are my clan, my family - all who serve the Shalm and seek the good of the earth."
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  #34  
Unread 5th of August, 2008, 23:00
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You speak the truth.

The crone smiles and continues -

Who is the Shalm? Why do you serve?
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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  #35  
Unread 6th of August, 2008, 04:08
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The Shalm is he who came to us long ago, leaning on the staff and playing the pipes. He is Obad-Hai, blessed be his holy name, and he is the defender of the earth, protector of all that is natural, shepherd to the creatures which walk Oerth, and caretaker to her plants. He is the swift executioner of those who woul dare defile her, the hunter of those who prey unjustly on her, and the defender of her honor and purity. He is the Shalm, and by his might and care does the Oerth flourish and prosper.

Malak pauses, glancing down, And he is the avenger of those taken from us wrongly. And so do I serve the Shalm to safeguard the Oerth as he wills, and to avenge her against those who have committed such vile attrcocities upon her. I am Malak of the Maklut, and I will visit pain and terror upon those who have transgressed the Shalm and his will. For these I will be known as the implacable hunter, the manifestation of Oerth's wrath, and death incarnate.
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  #36  
Unread 6th of August, 2008, 13:31
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So you shall be; I have forseen it Malak of the Maklut. Arise from your bonds and no longer be a cub, but one of the great bears of the tribe.

She steps back and the whole of the tribe transforms into ursine shape, the great males bellowing loud enough to echo through the valley.
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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  #37  
Unread 6th of August, 2008, 13:34
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Malak turns to face his brethren, absorbing the earth-shattering roar and letting it reverberate throughout his body. He raises his arms and, changing into his ursine form, joins with them in a mighty bellow of war.
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  #38  
Unread 7th of August, 2008, 01:19
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You complete your roar and stumble toward a knee, crouching instinctively as a creature passes over your head, nearly missing your head with its gory talons, it's bright green scales shimmering in the noonday sun. Your small force had fought well against the Brotherhood's forces, but that was before the Jannisaries unleashed their pet dragon, who was perfectly content in flying low and pinning your group down. You could see the enemy approaching with impunity. A third of your group had succumbed to the deadly cloud that the dragon unleashed upon the group. Ru'alat, a clansman, looks to you with fear.

They approach brother!
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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  #39  
Unread 7th of August, 2008, 03:34
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Malak furrows his brow in thought, Ru'alat, hand me one of your tanglefoot bags, and ready one for yourself. On its next pass, we throw them at the dragon. Turning to two others, hunters, behind him he says, Ready your arrows, brothers. And use mercy, this creature does not deserve to suffer for how it has been warped for our enemies uses.

With a prayer to the Shalm, he crouches down, tanglefoot bag in hand. One chance. If we do not bring down this damned dragon now, the enemy will cut us to ribbons.
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  #40  
Unread 7th of August, 2008, 04:30
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You remember this action well. It had stayed in your dreams for days after the first time you lived it, and it is just as terrifying now.

The maneuver is well thought out and executed, everyone doing their part. The dragon is not brought down immediately, but upon it's pass, the creature is so shocked to be the brunt of a counter-assault that it careens out toward the stand of trees, nearly a quarter mile off. The closing zealots go from shouts of impending victory to fear as your force shifts and charges them. The spearhead broken, their company crumbles and those that are allowed to survive flee to the coast. The dragon, too, takes flight, but toward the mountains, toward another.

Rua'lat approaches you -

Tell me of you homeland, Malak.

The girl is beautiful, shining, with hair the color of autumn and eyes like dawn, her bountiul figure covered by a simple farmhand's dress, her apron black with a day's labor.

Her hand is on your arm, your wounded arm, you recall, having been pulled out of the gulch where the ogress Gruna left you to die; the assassination didn't take, now, did it?
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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  #41  
Unread 7th of August, 2008, 05:19
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Malak grunts, My homeland.....it seems so long since I left. I grew up in an enclave of others just like me, servants of The Shalm - protectors of a sacred shrine. Here he pauses and furrows his brow, But first, who ARE you, and how did I come to be in this place?
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  #42  
Unread 7th of August, 2008, 07:32
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Oh, dear, another spot, eh? No matter. You rest right now.

She stops and repeats something, something you can tell she's said more than once now -

I'm Rebecca, your wife these five years, the mother of your daughter Anise, and now I am going to fix you some tea, and breakfast and then go back out in the field and pull out some more of those bloody potatoes.

You are sitting in bed, your arm bandaged. You do not know this house, and the memory of Gruna, coming down from a cliffside to pin you with her pike, as her mates came at you from all directions, seems to fade, to fade into another memory, a memory not your own, of a plow and a stupid ox and a bear wandering into the field.

What was a bear doing in the field? Wait, married?!
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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  #43  
Unread 7th of August, 2008, 08:10
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As Malak sits, he thinks, and the pieces do not fit. I am not a farmer, I am a warrior. And I do not, nor ever have I, put my roots down in such an environ. I and my tribe are creatures of the WOOD, not fields.

He glances around himself and replaces the other memories, The death of my father....it was wrong too. I did not grow up in a Field, but a wood. And if this woman is my WIFE, why would she be asking me to tell her of my homeland?

Standing up, he glances about for his Bow, and then examines his arm all the more closely. None of this is right...
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  #44  
Unread 8th of August, 2008, 00:42
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You arm is cut, slashed. Gruna pinned you with a pike on that arm, this is more like an axe... no, it's a plowshare. The... ox... bolted when it saw the... bear... This isn't right. The memory you are having, that you can tangibly see through the wound on your arm. It isn't right.

Rebecca returns, her long hair whipping as a cross breeze catches it. She carries a wooden tray with tea, boiled eggs, and some summer sausage, with big piece of bread and some honey. It's... your... This is your favorite breakfast?

She smiles kindly. She looks a bit tired, like she's been staying awake for a long time.

Here you are dear. A nice breakfast on the back porch, just as you like.
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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  #45  
Unread 8th of August, 2008, 05:26
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Malak's mind races, What sort of creature could be doing this? And where are my weapons? As he thinks, he tracks Rebecca, attempting to play off his suspiciousness as simple drowsiness. As she sets his breakfast down, he runs through his options in his mind.

If she is truly my loving wife, then it would be evil indeed to slay her. Yet...these memories I do not know. These wounds are inconsistent with what I DO know. And this entire reality is incongruent with who I am. The gentleness in Malak's spirit restrains him from slaying her outright, instead he speaks.

You and I both know that all of this is wrong. I would slay you without warning, but it is not my nature to take such a risk in accidentally harming an innocent. Tell me plainly, who are you, and how have I come to be here? he pauses, And do not lie to me. I am not a man who has ever wed, nor am I a farmer. It is obvious that you desire to detain me here, and it seems to learn from my past - but your ruse has failed. Tell me now, who are you, and how did I come to be here?
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  #46  
Unread 8th of August, 2008, 12:45
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As she turns your world spins again. You catch the face of Rebecca as she fades away into pitch darkness. Her features remain the same, except for her eyes. Her eyes like the dawn are as a serpents... No, as a dragon's.

You are standing in a lit chamber, torches lining the wooden walls, a high, vaulted ceiling lined with timber rafters. You smell roast pork, ale, blood. A table looms before you. There is a man, old, hoary, with a red beard shot with white, sitting at the center of a long table. He stares at you.
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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  #47  
Unread 8th of August, 2008, 13:28
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Again, Malak casts about, looking for his arms and armor, checks the wound on his arm, then makes eye contact with the man, Well?
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  #48  
Unread 9th of August, 2008, 03:47
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You are fully accoutered, and are not wounded any longer. You remember those events, but they are clearly visions, not memories. The man smiles and stands.

Well indeed. Greetings Malak, and welcome, finally, to my hall. Wait - Do you not recognize me?

You have never seen this man before, but you have the strange feeling as though you know him... from a dream or some other vision, it is unclear to you
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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  #49  
Unread 9th of August, 2008, 08:07
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Malak furrows his brow and shakes his head, While I do have a sense that perhaps I SHOULD, I do not recognize you. He pauses, gathering his wits, then bows, I am MAlak of the Maklut, but p'raps you already know this. As it appears I am to be your guest I beg you, pray tell to whom do I attend?
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  #50  
Unread 9th of August, 2008, 10:55
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The man, frowning a bit, stands and walks around the table toward you. He speaks as he moves.

Malak of the Maklut, I know you as you know yourself, and I am quite astonished that you do not know me for who I am -

He places a calloused hand upon your shoulder. he stands nearly a head taller than yourself. He wears the garb of a wanderer, and they are thin with wear. He is barefoot. You see a set of reed pipes at his side.

Are you sure you do not know me?
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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