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Unread 26th of May, 2011, 05:46
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Prologue - Nuada

Unknown Day, Unknown Month, Realm Year 768 - Dawn

For months you've been wandering, searching, moving from town to town, rumor to rumor. The search for Aiea's gems has led you out of the scorching south, up North past the Kingdom of Harborhead and into the land of Marukan range towns. Recent tale told of a jeweler with a gem the size of a child's fist, one that glows a strange light. He's on his way to Nexus to sell it to some noble - but not if you get to him first. You've been following his wagon's trail for weeks and he's so close... so close you can feel it...

" Nuadaaaaaaaa!!! Wake up!!!" Shouts Hale, his brow furrowed. He pokes Nuada with the blunt side of his spear, squishing her cheek. "Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! It's time for finding treasures and stuff!"
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Unread 26th of May, 2011, 06:39
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"Urrrrghh..." Nuada slurs sleepily as she rolls over, pulling a tattered cloak over her head. Waking up had never been the young Lunar's forte. The persistent child at her side was always up as dawn broke, poking away, waking up a sleepy Nuada from her peaceful dreams and from the comfort of a warm bed... or cold, dirt path as the case may be.

Nuada rises every so slowly from her makeshift bed and shoots Hale a cold look, though she suspects that he's grown accustomed to it by now. After all, they had been through a lot, and Hale had grown from a scared little slave to an energetic young boy.

"Alright already, I'm up! Just stop stickin' me with that thing. Aren't you too small to be carryin' around a big poker like that anyway?" Nuada stretches as she looks ahead at a bright new day - a day that could bring her a step closer to finding her childhood friend. The caravan they had been chasing was not too far off now, all they had to do was find it, and the gems would be hers. Just the thought of finding one of the precious stones was enough to give Nuada a burst of energy. She looks at Hale, shoulders her bag and winks. "Let's go nab us some treasure!"

Hale immediately regrets waking the girl up as she takes off. "What about breakfast?!"
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Unread 27th of May, 2011, 01:00
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The two of you make a start down the wide, dirt road you've been following. It seems very well traveled and should take you all the way to the Yanaze River, according to passerbys. It also consistently passes through townships, making it easy to resupply.

The sun beats down hard, but does nothing to quell your spirits. Hale, over the past few months, has gained more than just a few inches in height. The fresh, free air of the threshold and the prospect of adventure seems to have set his mind away from the troubles of his past.

Soon you both come upon a two-wheel wagon stopped in the middle of the road. The horse that would normally pull such a cart is nowhere in sight. A man sits on the road off to the side, leaning on a rear wheel. Miscellaneous items are scattered on the floor. He looks to be sobbing to himself.
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Unread 28th of May, 2011, 09:43
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"Whoa, look at that!" Nuada whispers to Hale, pulling him off the road. "What do ya spose happened here?"

Without waiting for a reply from her young companion, she sneaks closer to the stranded wagon. It looks as though not only the horses escaped the owner's grasp. Examining the mess before her suddenly gives the girl a troubled thought. What if this is the wagon we're looking for?!

Without skipping a beat, Nuada strides out into the road and up to the presumed coach of the wagon, a dismayed Hale stumbling out of the woods behind her. "This your wagon mister? What happened? Looks like all your stuff grew legs and walked right on out o' here!"
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Unread 31st of May, 2011, 16:22
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Now that she's closer, Nuada can see the man is very pale and wirey, in his 40s, with a long, thin beard poking out from beneath his nose. He wears silk clothes, dyed red and yellow - far overdressed for the weather. He turns toward her as she speaks and frowns.

The man suddenly leaps up at Nuada, taking a surprisingly strong right hand and wrapping it around her shoulder, with the other hand he points toward the sky, gesturing dramatically.

"Ooooh the horror! The tribulation!" He gestures again, theatrically, at the mess of his cart. "My lifes work in… *sob* … in RUINS!" He's talking now, almost to himself. "That I, an upright noble of the Scarlet Prefecture, should run into such… FOUL company." He makes fists, as if ready to fight someone. Then just as fast, returns to sobbing, this time Hale's shoulder, squeezing him like a pillow. "Aaahhh, ooohhh, woe me *sob* wooooe me *sniff*"

Hale turns to Nuada. His eyes say: "help me"
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Unread 13th of June, 2011, 03:51
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Recovering quickly from the shock of this overly theatrical quack's antics, Nuada can only grin as his focus is turned towards Hale. The helpless boy could only shrug as the grown man in garish clothing sobbed his eyes out on his shoulder. Still there was information to be had, and to find the gem the pair first had to find the cart it was on... hopefully not this one. Then again, if the gem was in worse company, it would most likely come with more rewards...

"Sayin' we help you find the culprit... what's in it for us?" Nuada addresses the mess of a man, poking his shoulder. "We just happen to be lookin' for a great big gem, and we might be willin' to help in exchange for a piece of information on our charge."
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Unread 14th of June, 2011, 09:34
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The wiry man's eyes widen twofold. "Oh not just big… it was huge and magnificent!" He gestures excitedly with his hands. "And it glowed a brilliant sea of red… mysterious! As if you could see someone's gaze on the other end…"

He pauses pensively for a moment, then grabs Hale again and continues his sniveling. "Oh woe, but they took it! *sniffle* It's GONE… gone forever…"
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Unread 6th of July, 2011, 03:52
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As soon as the sobbing man describes the gem, Nuada shoots Hale a rare, serious look. Hale nods, and the Lunar girl turns back to the owner of the roadside wreck.

"Ya don't suppose you could give us a little more information about the ruffians who ran off with yer stuff could ya? Me and Hale here might not look it, but we're good at sneakin' around an' findin' stuff... Mebbe we could find yer treasure!"

Everything pointed to this man's treasure. If they could find the culprit, the duo could walk off with one of the gems Nuada needed... They were so close; besides, the bandits couldn't be more trouble than what they had seen in their adventure already.
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Unread 7th of July, 2011, 07:33
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The gem merchant nods excitedly to this idea, clapping his hands. "Ohhh would you? They came on horseback… maybe four? Or were there more like ten?" He says, stroking his long beard. "Anyway, NASTY, nasty folk, what with their sharp swords and their bandanas and torn clothes, ugh, horrible. They grabbed my things and left, telling me not to daaaare follow them."

The man points to a fairly obvious path in the dirt where it looks as if several horses had gone trotting off in the same direction. The path leads away from the road into one of the many pastures that surround the area.
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Unread 12th of July, 2011, 02:33
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Nuada looks at the trampled path made by the escapees and lets an almost despondent look cross her face. That path was so easy to spot that it wouldn't even be *fun* to follow. Well, whatever, they had their lead and it seemed easy enough. Nuada turns to the poor victimized soul next to her and almost feels bad.

"Lissen mister, you can bet your shiny rock is as good as found. Me and Hale will filch it from right under their noses! Let's catch up before it's too late." And with that, Nuada grabs Hale's arm and drags him towards their new destination and ignoring his conscience-like whisper.

"I don't think you mentioned that part about us not bringing him the gem after we find it..."
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Unread 14th of July, 2011, 02:40
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Nuada and Hale trek down the trail of hoof-prints. The trail leads you through some brush and eventually breaks out into a wide open pasture. The hills roll on into the distance, a small town on the horizon and a sweet scent in the air. The trail takes you further forward, over a few wooden fences, and eventually leads back into a wooded area to the east of the town.

The sun is setting, and darkness quickly rolls in. It's getting difficult to follow the tracks any further. You're nearing the point where you would need to stop for the night when you hear voices in the distance through the trees. Nuada gets closer, and suddenly they're all around her. There's a skittering through the bushes, footsteps, breathing, and the voices are everywhere. They're laughing. Nuada is surrounded.

[Nuada: Awareness (Pool 5) = 5(6,6,1,1,1) <triple botch>]
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Unread 2nd of August, 2011, 01:36
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Nuada's eyes dart quickly back and forth, trying to discern where the sound is coming from. She suddenly becomes more aware of everything about herself - her frantically beating heart, the line of sweat slowly crawling down her temple, the brittle brush snapping under her feet. She stops dead, trying desperately to stifle her breathing.

Where did all of these voices come from?! Did we fall into a trap?

Nuada's hand rests on her knife, and she looks to Hale only to find a dark corridor of trees in every direction. Had she lost Hale too? Now Nuada begins to panic, alone and surrounded in the wilderness. The Lunar girl begins to growl and feels her caste mark warming her forehead. She isn't going down without a fight.

[Nuada: Instinct-Driven Beast Movement: 4 motes]
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Last edited by Eternal; 2nd of August, 2011 at 01:41.
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Unread 13th of August, 2011, 13:28
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A drop of sweat beads at Nuada's chin as her eyes dart back and forth. There were men, but where? She takes a step backward and feels something cold press against her hip. Jumping, she suppresses a scream, realizing that it's only a metal piece of someone's stirrup. The horse whinnies softly at her presence. There are several more horses resting in the area, various tools and belongings scattered about.

As Nuada regains her bearings, suddenly there's a break in the cheery mood from the men. "Hey now. What the hell have we here?" Says one deep, granular voice, with a measure of irritation. Sounds of a struggle and various exclamations can be heard, several angry, some in amusement. Nuada can hear Hale shouting and most likely swearing in seatongue.

Nuada can now see where all the noise is coming from. A flickering light can be seen through the brush nearby. There's a clearing and a sizable fire. She counts nine men in all, the last two manhandling a bound Hale, his wrists behind his back.

"Well boss, we went to have a piss, and look who we found snooping around!" The men snicker.
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