Tales From A World Unknown

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Tales From A World Unknown

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:01 pm




Natura is a world of countless stories. Share these tales here and let legend become lore.

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Written By Prime Spinosaur

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:02 pm

Salzaan was untouchable by the grasps of civilization, or so many people thought. The closest thing to a settlement of this land was on the edge right where the Nadura River opened up into the inland sea, the town was built atop wooden platforms that were held up by support beams that sunk into the ground under the waters. It was a fishing town that went by the name of Shallow Bay.


Shallow Bay had little contact with the outside world, villages, towns, even entire civilizations spring up before being consumed by the world of Natura once more. Shallow Bay was no different, the town itself was built of people that had been displaced from 'Earth' fifty or so years ago and had come together to create a fishing town in order to survive.

No true boat could navigate through the narrow Salzaanian water ways, so most relied on rafts that they pushed and pulled through the water with a long paddle.

The swamps were a giant roadblock for anyone who wanted to get from Marcia to Europa in a straight line, and would take far longer than going around Salzaan's bayous. So when Chian was searching for a boat through the swamp, he was greatly disappointed by the sheer lack of people who refused to take him across the Salzaan sea.

"Go around," they'd tell him, "you'll save time, and your life. These swamps are treacherous and change paths and ways with the growth and death of every tree. The crocodiles are just one of the many hazards in Salzaan, and that's enough to deter most of our fishermen from going too far into the bayou."

He told them that he was actually looking to go into the swamp itself and they'd scoff.

"What do you think you're going to find in there? There's nothing but trees, muck, seaweed and slinking predators." asked a one eyed fisherman. He twitched his right hand which was missing his pinky and ring finger, swollen flesh with holes around it indicated that some large animal had bitten the fingers off. He smirked when he noticed Chian unconsciously staring at the hand. "Pretty ain't it? I was reeling in a net and a koolasuchus decided that he wanted my catch. Bit my fingers off and took the net." He waved his hide hat in his face before giving the younger man a considerate look.

"Well," the fisherman said, "There is one person, who goes deep deep into the swamps." He leaned a bit forward. "That'd be Fin. Odd man, but has the G in there as well." Chian blinked. The fisherman sighed. "Means he's a good person. You're in luck, he's usually gone for months in this swamps, or even a year or so. We always think 'he finally got himself killed', then he just springs right back up, stays for a month or something, then leaves."

Chian asked where he could find 'Fin', they told him that he lived in his raft, the one with a dilophosaur on it.

When the Marcian approached the raft, a twelve by twelve foot thing with a canoe ontop of it and a small makeshift shelter, a long black and light green neck with a red underbelly reared up it's head that had two black crests and it uncurled it's reptillian lips to reveal pointy teeth and let out a long hiss.

"Besh, down," croaked a voice, and with that the manchildren lied back down. The man inside was dirty, with graying hair, covered in tattered clothing that almost blended in with the swamp water. He was clean shaven and covered in scars and bite marks, but did not seem to be missing anything critical. He looked up at Chian with two beady eyes. "What' you want, boy?"

"Are you Fin?" Chian asked cautiously.

"That's what I'm called here, yes," he confirmed with a nod. He was smoking down a long pipe and the embers lit up his face from the shadow of his shelter.

"I was told you could take me into Salzaan," said Chian cautiously. The old man frowned.

"Now what would you want in the deep swamps?" asked Fin. Chian seemed to hesitate.

"There's, ah, some ruins," he began, "in an area that borders one of the Catachan jungles."

"...The Great River..." he muttered. "No. Anywhere but there."

"What's wrong with the great river?" asked Chian.

"Spinosaurs," he began, "the big ones, I'm not talking about suchos or oxalaias. I'm talking about the great sailbacks, sixty footers. That river is their roadway, and that area between Catacha and Salzaan is theirs. They're the gate keepers of the jungle." He leaned forward. "Look, go to another town and look for someone else-"

"I thought this was the only town in Salzaan," Chian spoke up.

Fin shook his head. "These people wouldn't know, they don't go five miles away from the town. There's a few different settlements. Mostly isolated, a few a bit more primitive. I go there for resupplying. I was also born at one of them."

"I'm willing to pay you," said Chian. Fin laughed.

"With what?" he began. "What use is money to me? Out here, nothing gives a shit how many coins you got on you. It's survival."

"I'm offering 1200 tars."

Fin froze. "Bullshit. 1200 tars, who the hell has 1200 tars?"

"I do," said Chian, "I'll pay half to you now, and half when we come back to Shallow Bay." Fin chewed on his inner cheek.


"The brimstone's so important about these ruins," asked Fin, "the swamps covered in ruins. I see one every once and a while, nothing in them. When I was younger I was told there used to be a great kingdom here, big cities that were on islands that broke up the sea. But the swamp ate the islands up and left only little floats of land, the cities crumbled into the shallow waters, leaving nothing but little bits of wall or an occasional statue."

"The Viltus ruins," Chian nodded, "used to be a empire and a thriving trade nexus, but then the sea levels rise and tore the cities apart." He looked at his finger nails rubbing out the grime. "I'm not looking for Viltus ruins. These are older."

Fin raised an eyebrow. "...Older?"

"Far older," said Chian.

Fin squinted his eyes. "How do you even know where these ruins are?"

Chian smirked as he pulled a piece of parchment from one of his pockets.

He held it in front of Fin.

"It's a map. Leading to the ruins of the oldest civilization ever recorded."


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Re: Tales From A World Unknown

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:02 pm

The Omen



The wind blew swiftly over a sea of grass with it came a chill from the great mountains which dominated the view of the north from all directions. In the early morning hours there was little activity, even the mighty Mammoth herds remained at rest carefully positioned to protect their vulnerable young. It was the end of a harsh winter and the welcomed spring was beginning. A large encampment of large tents scattered the grassland surrounded only by large wooden fences the largest of which contained a large herd of animals of all shapes and sizes, mostly mammals but even a few dinosaurs were among them.

From one of the smallest tents, a well dressed man slowly emerged. His expression was tense as he left the small tent, seeming almost disturb by whatever had transpired within. The man quickly ran through the camp with a panicked pace nearly tripping several times over his colorful robes. His destination was at the center of the encampment where the largest tent lay. A pair of guards spotted his approach and raised their hands to stop him.

"Halt!" The guard shouted. "Who disturbs the Khan!?!"

"Silence you fool," The man hissed. "It is Chaghagan. I have business with my brother."

"Lord Chaghagan? Forgive me. it is hard to see in the morning light. I shall awaken Unegen Khan."

The guard disappeared into the tent. Chaghagan stood angrily tapping his foot, his brother's insistence on security was always on the borderline of paranoia. It had been years since the last time a traitor like their late uncle had tried to assassinate him and yet he still had his tent surrounded by guards at all hours. The guard returned and waved Chaghagan. He entered the tent and saw his brother sitting at his throne yawning loudly which caused Chaghagan to cringe. This was no time for his aloof antics, still he respectfully bowed.

"Rise brother. What is it you awakened me for now?"

"My Khan, A matter of great concern has developed. One that must be dealt with quickly." Said Chaghagan, rising from his knees.

Unegen rolled his eyes. "What is it this time that has you so worried. Another hunting party of Gueren* in our territory?"

"No, Unegen," Chaghagan sighed. "But it does concern the Gueren. It is the slave you claimed during the raids last season."

"Which one?" Unegen asked, his tone growing more serious.

"The one you laid with... That was with child."

Unegen leaned forward. "What has happened?"

"She died during the night," Chaghagan said. "But she has given birth..."

The Khan stood up quickly and rushed down from his throne. Chaghagan quickly ran after him pleading with his brother not to panic but Unegen had broken into a sprint. They raced through the encampment meeting curious gazes from their fellow tribesmen as their leader ran past. Chaghagan feared this would happen, he wanted to keep this affair quiet but it was starting to become a commotion.

They returned to the small tent on the outskirts of the encampment. Loud cries could be heard as they approached, Unegen marched toward the entranced but was stopped by a warrior. It was Nogai, Unegen's oldest friend and brother by oath.

"Calm yourself," Nogai said.

"Let me pass."

"You must first be calm," Nogai repeated. "This is no time to be rash a-"

"YOUR KHAN ORDERS YOU! STAND ASIDE!"

Unegen nearly threw aside Nogai as he pushed passed him to enter. Chaghahan quickly stepped in after him attempting to stop his brother but found that Unegen had been given pause. Their mother, Yesui, was calmly pulling a blanket over the face of the source of the disturbance. In her arms, she held the crying being humming a quiet song attempting to calm the infant.

"Mother..." Unegen began. "Why are you here. Why do you hold that... That thing."

Yesui sighed. "She required a midwife. The poor thing was suffering through the entire night. It's a wonder her child survived."

"That is no child mother!" Unegen said. "It is a Gueren, a demon!"

"Half-Guren," Yesui corrected. "It may have the blood of a demon. But it has the blood of a khan, this child is your daughter."

Unegen took a deep breath. "That is unacceptable. It is no daughter of mine, the Shaman said the pregnancy was an ill omen. That thing must die."

"The shaman said that the mother and child would die," Yesui said. "And yet it lives. That means the god of the great mountain has granted you a mercy my son, a chance of redemption from the shame of laying with a Gueren."

Yesui stood grabbing a whip and approaching a table where two cups laid. She poured water into them, Unegen seemed confused until she pulled out a knife and laid it onto the table. She placed the infant onto the table and began reciting a prayer. Chaghagan could not believe what he was witnessing. Yesui grabbed the knife and swiftly cut her hand letting blood drip into one cup. She then reached toward the infant and prodded at it's thumb with the knife, the infant let out a scream as blood flowed into the other cup. Yesui quickly bandaged the baby's thumb and cooed at to stop it's crying.

"Mother... Surely you do not plan too." Chaghagan said.

"No mother!" Unegen roared. "I won't permit it-"

Unegen was moving forward to disrupt the display when his face met his mother's whip. The mighty khan fell to the ground as his mother whipped at him repeatedly. It was a humiliation of untold proportions, Chaghagan internally begged to the gods for mercy from what was occurring.

"Foolish! Foolish boy!" Yesui roared. "Khan you may be but you do not command your mother!"

She sat back down at the table and grabbed the two cups. She quickly drank the one with the infant's blood and then poured the contents of the one with her blood over the infant which protested the sudden event with more crying.

"From this day forward this child is mine," Yesui said as she bowed to the ground. "I swear to the great gods. Oh god of the mountain, oh god of the heavens and earth, oh god of the sea. Hear me as I make this oath of blood. From this day forward I accept this child as my blood, and my blood is hers. May our kinship remain forever honored and may death take me should I break this plea."

Unegen and Chaghagan were stunned into silence. Their mother had formally adopted the infant, no matter what could be said there was no longer denial. She was kin, a member of the clan. Unegen stood his eyes red with anger and sorrow but he did not raise a hand toward his mother. The Khan closed his eyes and slowly fell to his knees. The hybrid was recognize, Yesui presented the infant to Unegen who looked down at her for the first time. It nearly caused him to panic once again, the child was unnatural. Her small hair was like that of a yellow flower and her eyes were large and blue like the sky itself the half-Gueren looked up at him squirming in it's grandmother's arms.

"Chaghagan, get a nursemaid to look after the... child." He said.

"What? You don't mean to-"

"There is nothing to be done," Unegen said. "This is my sin. And by the will of the gods she is my kin and must be recognized. She is a blood bound tribesmen of the Timijinn Clan."

"Forgive me, my son," Yesui said. "But this error is yours alone. And you must live with it, lest you bring ruin to us all."


"I understand mother."

"Now you must name the child..."

Unegen stared down at the daughter that lay before him. His very being wanted to deny the strange creature, to reject it but when he looked in the eyes it was like the gods themselves were staring judgement upon him. The child was truly an omen one he would not be able to part with. A cunning and unpredictable presence who's cries were loud and powerful.

"Let her be known as Chagan Chinua... The white wolf."

-----

Gueren = "Ghost Men" Local title for Neanderthals.

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Written By Mulder

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:03 pm

Hunters of The Forest


Karet moved slowly through the forest. This was his most important hunt. It was the hunt to prove himself. As with all of his people, his coming of age journey was to go into the forests and mountains alone. If he were to return with prey he'd become officially one of the elite hunters, like his father and his father's father before him. For Karet he never felt more alive. While the pressure was on him, the thrill of the hunt as well. All around him were the sounds of the many animals that he knew were here. More dangerous and terrifying then what he usually saw. It exhilarated him. By now, the sun had set more then twice, yet not enough for the moon to change.

Karet was thankful he had brought along enough to survive off of. The prey he'd catch would not be for eating, but for a trophy. He dreamed of catching and killing a famed Xer. The fearsome gods of the forest that would kill all that offended them. The elders spoke of the old days where they'd make sacrifices to the beasts. Karet laughed at such a thing. Who would be so foolish. However his thoughts were interrupted when he heard cries. Could it be? Could he be so lucky? Karet burst off through the underbrush towards the cries, this could be his chance.

He broke through the underbrush, to see a winding long river and on the other side Karet found what was causing the disturbance. A young Rika was being attacked by what seemed to be a pack of Fararas. This was his lucky day! A Rika AND Fararas? Surely the elders and his father would make him leader, let alone a member of the hunting party. Karet let loose an imitation of a Gorgun as a battle cry, as he perked his bow and fired an arrow, hitting it's mark on the leader of the Fararas' pack. The leader roared in pain and ran off, the others following behind.

Karet swore. How could he have been so impulsive. Now he'd only have the baby Rika to bring back as his trophy. Sighing to himself, Karet crossed the river slowly and carefully to the limping and bleeding Rika. Karet approached it slowly, being especially careful of it's mouth. While it's horns were too stubby at this young age to be of any danger to him, that bika could still break his arm. The hunter had never seen a Rika up close. It was different then he had imagined. While still a baby, it had a toned body already, with stunning yellow and black stripes. It was magnificent. As he approached it though, rather then attack him, the baby Rika nudged him. Confused Karet pondered this out loud, as it began to walk. Karet swore again. He wouldn't lose this trophy.

It had been hours now as the small Rika began to grow tired. Karet wondered where it was taking him. It must be important. It wasn't long until he could see what it was. Ahead of him was the body of a giant Rika. It's magnificent skin decaying, it's horns gnawed on, a gaping hole in it's side now carved out and emptied. Karet sighed as he looked at the baby Rika nudging what must've been it's mother. Now beyond his pride...it'd be the moral thing to do. That was what Karet said to himself as he aimed his arrow at the baby Rika. But something inside of him said no. That this wasn't right. He sighed and put his arrow away. Walking over to the baby Rika, he took from his pouch a bandage and herbs and began to apply it to his wounds.

The elders be damned. He would not kill this baby Rika. He'd find something else.

After tending to it's wounds, Karet began to walk away. It wasn't long until he realized he was being followed. Not by a predator but by that same baby Rika. Karet laughed. It seemed like he was now it's family.

And so that was the story of how the great forest hunters got their great Rika mounts. Karet's mercy had given his people a greater gift then hunting. It gave them a bond with the Rika that continues to this day.

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Written By Prime Spinosaur

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:04 pm

Sarnai woke to the sound of loud snorting and the feeling of hot air on her cold face. She next felt the wet nose as a nudge opened her eyes, she was staring directly at the black maw of her companion, who stared at her expectantly with docile yellow eyes. Her Garuluung had curled up to her during the snow storm, Sarkhan's body made for a warm feathered blanket that kept her from freezing to death. Sarnai had last remembered trekking through the mountains southwards, inching closer and closer to Marcia, they were in a pass when a snow storm hit. She had tried to find shelter but had exhausted herself in the storm before passing out.

Sarkhan had saved her life it seemed. She put her hand on his bare muzzle, and he gave a low groaning noise in response before shoving his head forward so that the hand slid over his head. Sarnai smiled at him before petting the side of his head and getting up and inspecting the saddle. Everything was where it was supposed to be, good. They didn't lose anything in the snowstorm.

The snowstorm had covered up most of the pass but Sarnai knew she was on the right trail. She got onto Sarkhan's saddle, strapped herself in, before stringing her bow. She whispered to Sarkhan, he gave a bit of a whine but he moved forward on the trail as she directed.

Sarnai knew that Sarkhan was homesick, missing the flat tundra landscape, as well as the other garuluungs that he would socialize with, but when he'd seen her thrown out of the hut, the harsh breathing sounds those he couldn't understand...and her leaving off into the tundra, he couldn't leave her. He'd gnawed off his restraint of rawhide and gone off after her.

She'd tried to tell him to go back, but he didn't. He'd followed her... it hurt to do so, but he followed her anyways.

"You're getting big, you know that, right?" Sarnai asked Sarkhan, whether or not he understood he did not convey, he was sniffing the ground trying to catch the scent of the Shulung. They were following the herd out of Sardova into the Marcian lands. The further away from the tribes the better. Perhaps they could adjust to the woods, and hunt the game there.

Sarkhan stopped for a moment and looked up, sniffing the air, before taking great strides forward, Sarnai pulled an arrow from her quiver in response. The former keshik surveyed the land waiting to see what Sarkhan could see.

They stopped.

Below them, down hill she could see the herd moving through. She tapped Sarkhan once with her foot. He looked around, sniffing the air, until his snout pointed at one specific Shulung, an adolescent with a limp in it's rear right left. Sarnai pulled back her bow and then tapped Sarkhan twice, the great predator charged forward and she loosed her first arrow right into the injury of the Shulung. As Sarkhan charged forward, the other shulung were confused and in a panic, smelling both garulung and khanluu from what looked like a white giant garulung. They fled down the path, leaving the practically immobile shulung behind, injured. Sarkhan bit down on the creatures neck hard, before twisting it, ending the animal's suffering as quickly as possible.

Sarnai smiles as she patted Sarkhan and rubbed his neck.

"Take the first fill, it's been a while since you ate." Sarnai watched as her fellow outcast dropped the shulung to the ground and tore from it's carcass.

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Written By Prime Spinosaur

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:04 pm

Sarkhan carried the rest of the carcass, as they continued to make their way down the mountains. Below them was a sea of evergreen trees, occasionally broken up by a frozen river with stony beaches. Wisps of cloud below them would swirl and break apart in the strong wind. Occasionally, Sarnai would look between the trees and see patches of white snow. The sky was clear of ill weather over Marcia it would seem, and the keshik was caught completely in awe of the beauty below her. Trees were sparse with occasional forest in Sandova, but it seemed as though Marcia was a engulfed in one great forest.

By nightfall they'd reached the bottom of the mountain and had crossed into Marcia. When Sarnai was first in the service as an esquire to her uncle, she had been told that Marcia was their word for Hulifang, and that they believed they shared blood with the gracile creatures. That made Sarnai think about the Hulifang from her home country, curious creatures, they always seemed to harass tribesmen in the middle of the night, especially when they were alone, but they never attacked unless they were provoked. The Hulifang also would steal from the clans whenever possible, meat that the hunters thought cleverly hidden would be gone, food stores opened up, with a white feathered head and lantern like eyes poking out from the tents. They were cunning, tricky, and more than a nuisance. Sarnai had to wonder if the Marcians also had these traits, to think they shared blood with them.

She'd set a fire and tried to find as many dried pieces of wood as she could find. She shuddered. From this point on, she would be moving further and further from the great father mountain. She wondered if her soul would drift away, without a clan, a tribe, or the protection of the mountain, she was just one soul in a sea of spirits, would she be pulled under by the current, and lose herself. Maybe her soul would become a wicked demon, a pitiful and spiteful thing.

She tore at the cooked flesh of the shulung to try and interrupt these thoughts. That would only come with her death, and at this point it was best to resolve not to die. Her father and uncle had said that some demons were the ghosts of exiles whom had come back to take their revenge on the clans that had abandoned them. She'd never given much thought to her soul until now, survival chances in Natura were very slim for those whom were alone.

But I'm not alone, she'd thought, Sarkhan is with me and he has the blood of a khanluu. Though the thought unbidden also came into her mind, of what would happen should they encounter a true khanluu.

When she'd finished eating she stuffed her food in a bag and strapped it to Sarkhan's saddle, that would be a good deterrent for most predators, but Sarnai thought of the hulifang with their bright eyes and their soundless steps, creeping up on top of Sarkhan in the dead of night like some fiendish ghoul and ripping open the bag with their claws. She shuddered. One usually didn't keep food long in these lands, not with cunning and versatile thieves that knew the lands better than she ever would. She just hoped that they would not take the risk of evoking Sarkhan's wrath and stay away.

The fire was starting to die, with no dry wood left it was too dark to go searching for more. There were many more predators out in Marcia than there were in Sandova so Sarnai cuddled up to Sarkhan for warmth and drifted slowly into sleep.

She dreamed of that day again. The rumor had spread like wildfire, her uncle had laid with a Gurren. Those days she was still just his squire but she had nearly killed a man who'd spat in the direction of her uncle. However, he'd stopped her and confirmed the rumor. ...That would've been the deciding day that changed everything and led to this.

She opened her eyes to a foggy morning. She checked the stores to see that the meat was still there. It had been left untouched, she smiled. Good. She hoped this string of good luck would last, but she knew that was unlikely.

She rode deeper into the woods, directionless, though she tried to find her way towards one of the rivers she'd seen from the mountains. A few hours into their journey they came across a large post, with a human skull at the top and chained to it were a number of smaller saurian skulls. She didn't know what type of animal they were but she saw it as a warning. Probably the territory of a Marcian tribe...

"You don't intend to go in, do you?" said a voice. Sarnai reeled her head around at the voice to see a man, hooded with a necklace of teeth, he rode atop a large creature, it was like that of a hulifang, only bulkier, and much larger, it was two thirds the size of Sarkhan which made it a giant indeed.

"No, I don't. Is this your territory?" asked Sarnai. The man shook his head.

"Nay, but it is the the territory of the Tuftveno, the flying death. They are small flying creatures that swarm you should you enter your territory. One bite from them has enough poison to kill you, and they are never short on numbers."

Sarnai looked back at the post, far more weary now.

"You are lost?" asked the man.

"I am always lost," said Sarnai, "such is the way of a foreign wanderer."

"Ah true," said the man, "but it would have done you better to take the roads, tell me, why didn't you take the roads? Are you a fugitive from the north?"

Sarnai was more cautious now, technically, she was an exile and all that meant was that she was banished from the clans and their territory, however, she was not crimeless...

She considered if the man attacked her, would she and Sarkhan be able to fight them off. The man had the homefield advantage, unknown strength and skill, as well as a strange mount. But Sarnai had been trained as a child to defend the Khan, her uncle with her life, and Sarkhan was stronger than the rest of his kind. But if Sarnai killed this Marcian, she'd be marked in these lands as well.

"I was not bidden to take the roads," said Sarnai.

"Well the roads are free to be taken here," said the Marcian, "I don't know about your lands up north but no one may control the roads. You are from clans, why are you here?"

"To seek out a new life," said Sarnai.

"Ah, so it is that you're a fugitive," said the Marcian, "I've never met a wanted woman anymore." Sarnai scowled.

"Furthest from wanted," said Sarnai, "I am an exile."

"You don't seem like a cut-throat or a thief," mused the marcian. "There's too much an air of pride and dignity for that."

"...I didn't kill anyone or steal anything," said Sarnai, "Sarkhan came to me of his own will. Though the khan's family will not be happy at his absence."

"I would not blame them," said the marcian, "are all of your Xer like this?"

"Xer?" asked Sarnai.

"The great predators, titanic beasts, ours are bare with scales and grow much larger than Sarkhan."

Sarnai realized he spoke of the khanluu...though theres were bare?

"Nay, he his mother was a garulung, his father a khanluu...though I think your xer and khanluu are one and the same."

The marcian looked at the creature slightly amazed. "He is half Xer then. Interesting, are such crossbreeds common in the north?"

"Nay," said Sarnai, "Sarkhan is one of a kind, the only survivor of his clutch...and any that are like him are..." She trailed off.

"Do you think that your clan will search for you, or rather for your steed?" asked the marcian.

"I don't know," said Sarnai, she watched the marcian's mount now. "Is that a 'Marcia'?" The marcian burst out laughing.

"No no, dear friend," he said. "This is a Farara, they are as fast as the wind and still like stone."

"We have no such creatures in our land," said Sarnai, "except maybe the hulifang, but I am told they are called Marcia in your land."

This had not been what Sarnai had expected. She'd expected them to be like the hulifang and harass her, to taunt her or try to steal from her, and maybe attack if she got too close. Nay this man seemed friendly for the most part.

"You seem or the most part harmless, despite your sword arm," said the man. "But regardless, we cannot allow an outlaw to go traveling through our lands unchallenged."

She looked around her again, out of the mist came other riders, they rode on similar creatures to the man's mount, though some of them seemed bulkier, all of them had bows with arrows notched on them. She could tell that moments ago they had been drawn and aimed at her. She freely taken off her sword and bow and handed them to the man.

Traveling with them had been uneasy. Her hands had been bound and a bag placed over her head, but she was bidden to still ride her steed which theirs would guide.

It was a day and a half before they reached the encampment. Sarnai was guided off her saddle and led onward until the bag was pulled from her head. She was now in a tent with an older man, grey hair and a full beard, one of his eyes had been claws out but the other was sharp and piercing.

"Who is this you have brought, Tremus," asked the man.

"Elder Enkil," began Tremus, the man whom Sarnai had been speaking to. "This is an outcast from the north, she was traveling south when we came across her. She has not spoken her crime to us, though I don't think she is a threat to our people. But you have been in the lands far north before and met these clans, what do you believe would be best?"

Enkil looked at her, examining her for a long moment. "You are a keshik?"

"Was," said Sarnai. "I no longer bare the flag of clan Timijinn on my back."

"Of course not," said Enkil, "they wouldn't want an exile to represent them. Tell me, what crime has brought you into our lands." He made eye contact with her. "What did you do that was so bad, they'd cast one of the khan's own kin out."

"It's not what I did," said Sarnai, "it is what I did not do."

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Written By Prime Spinosaur

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:05 pm

Mask of the Storm Part 3

Sarnai thrust her sword forward into the gut of the gurren, the resilient ghost man grunted and weakly moved to try and counter attack however the keshik applied all of her weight shoving the man downward, sending him to the ground, before pulling the sword out and stepping back. The gurren no longer had any energy or ability to get back up and attack her. She made a swishing movement with her blade allowing for the blood on her sword to splat on the ground.

She looked toward one of the tents where she heard a noise. She opened the flap and saw a family of gurren inside. She pointed her sword at them and paused when she looked into their eyes.

Blue eyes full of fear. They were like Chinua's eyes...

Her sword hand trembled, and the blade shook with it. At the time, Sarnai had not known it but her uncle and father were watching her, had she known...would it have played out differently?

After a long minute, Sarnai took a step forward before and held the sword up to the child. It would be best for it...no, him to go first, as for him to not see his sire and mother's death.

She then took a step back and her blade arm fell to the side.


"You spared them." clarified Enkil.

"I defied my khan's orders. He saw me stay my hand, and gave me a chance to redeem myself by chasing them down," Sarnai shook her head, "I dishonored my uncle, as well as my father."

"Mercy is not a trait of dishonor," said Enkil. "It is essential for honor. For a true warrior knows when to stay his hand. In a way you saved the khan's honor by choosing not to strike down the gurren family."

"The gurren have done nothing but give us grief...and I just let them live."

"I'm sure the Gurren feel the same," Enkil gave her a look with his one good eye. "You did it because you saw something in them. Through your cousin, you saw yourself and your people in the gurren."

Sarnai closed her eyes. Enkil in a sense spoke true, but no amount of reason would shake off the guilt of betraying her family.

"I thank you for your kindness, Enkil..."

Enkil sighed, "Nay, you are no steed thief either. I believe you when you say that Sarkhan came of his own will." His head bowed a bit. "But, I must ask that you send him on his way home."

Sarnai's heart almost stopped. She'd needed Sarkhan, without him, surviving in these strange lands would be almost impossible. She needed a mount, a fellow hunter...

"Hear me out," said Enkil, "Sarkhan is a one of a kind steed. He is a symbol of prestige, one that your khan will be seen as weak if he does not retrieve it. He will hunt you down to the ends of the earth if you do not return him, and as long as you stay here with him, you endanger us."

Sarnai knew he was right. At this point, she'd struck her uncle with twice the amount of dishonor, and that made her practically a mortal enemy. It would be best to alleviate that...

"He won't like it," said Sarnai, she looked down, "and I love him dearly."

"You can spend your last night with him," said Enkil, "if that'll take a weight off your shoulders." He made a motion towards Tremus who took a knife and cut the bindings on Sarnai's hands. She rubbed her wrists and sighed.

"Do this," continued Enkil, "your sword and bow will be returned to you. And we will allow you to stay until you are ready to leave."

She nodded solemnly before leaving the tent with Tremus.

She looked over at Sarkhan who was sitting down and hugged his maw, rubbing her hand up against his head. He gave a grunt and a snort. Maybe he could sense that their time was short, as he nudged her back and contorted his head for better petting.

The night was cold, despite this, Sarnai slept in the stable, using the warmth of her mount.

Morning came at last, she awoke with tears in her eyes, outside, Tremus, Enkil and the other hunters were waiting. She had lead Sarkhan out with them, and bowed her head. She removed her belongings from Sarkhan's saddle, much to the garuluung's confusion. She then spoke the word taught to all animals, that told them to return home.

Sarkhan's head jerked back and he made a whining noise in his throat. He brought his head down close to Sarnai again and she touched it, whispering the word again. It was a long hour, of her saying the word, before Sarkhan finally relented. He slowly moved away back towards the path they had come from, his head down trodden.

Sarnai held her face down to shield her tears from the others.

"Believe me," began Enkil, "it was more painful for him than it was for you."

"I know. Which is what made it so hard," said Sarnai, "when I was first exiled, he left everything, just to protect me and go with me..."

"It's the Xer blood in him, the xer do not simply leave their true friends and companions to death or loneliness. They are the most loyal of creatures."

Sarnai looked at Enkil, slightly confused.

"We have a legend, one at least that is fond towards them. It is of a pair of xer, two siblings. One day one of the xer broke his neck, and lay stricken, unable to move. His sister, fed him every day until a famine came in, and food was scarce, in those last days, the sister laid her body near her brothers head, and allowed him to eat her flesh. Xer are willing to sacrifice anything for those they love, and while he seem lesser compared to them, the spirit of the xer lies within Sarkhan and burns like a star."

Sarnai nodded. That much she knew to be true.

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Re: Tales From A World Unknown

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:05 pm

Song of the Omen Part 1

Many seasons had passed since the birth of the white wolf. Spring had come and the beginning of a great change in the Timijinn Clan was occurring. Unegen had quickly made an effort to restore his honor after the birth of his hybrid daughter, rivals were battled, marriages were held and alliances were formed to expand the influence of the Timijinn Clan. Eventually even the raids on the gurren continued a vital process in the great vision of Unegen's dreams for the future of his people.

Though Unegen fathered several children there was still the concern of his most controversial child. Chagan Chinua was growing older with each passing season and her future was something that troubled Unegen who allowed her grandmother to care for the girl. But eventually she would grow up and have to find a place in the clan. Half-demon or otherwise she would not fade into obscurity, as much as Unegen may wish.

It was the twelfth season since Chinua's birth when Unegen had made a decision. The clan Shaman would decide her fate.

...

Chinua was outside of her grandmother's ger playing with a pack of Snow Hound puppies. She laughed as they barked and jumped around her, running with joy whenever she tossed the small ball made out of saurian skin. The puppies yelped and returned with them which brought a wide smile to the young girl's face. Chinua loved her grandmother's hounds they were always fun to play with and they never treated her as a stranger.

She was never treated poorly by her fellow tribesmen. But even young Chinua could sense their discomfort around her, the lingering stares, the hushed conversations and the strange feeling of tension, There were of course few that were kind. grandmother raised her like a daughter and Orbei, her father's first wife let Chinua play with her brother Arik when she came to her ger. Arik was her favorite brother, he was always the nicest to her. Chinua also loved her cousin Sarnai but she had left some time ago.

The puppies returned with the ball, the winner with the ball in mouth looking quite proud of himself. Chinua clapped and rewarded all the pups with a strip of meat.

"Chinua!"

Chinua jumped. "Yes grandmother?"

"What have I told you about feeding the pups with your food? Stop spoiling them child."

Yesui shook her head and waved the puppies away toward their mother who led them off to a large den house with the rest of the clan snow hounds. Chinua sheepishly tapped at the ground, the puppies played more when she gave them food.

"You can play with them later," Yesui said. "Now come clean up. You must go to your father."

"Father needs me?"

"That's right. The two of you are going on a journey."

Chinua didn't respond immediately. She could not decide immediately how to feel, father had never traveled with her before. She wasn't exactly sure how to feel, a part of her was excited at the prospect. Another part of her was weary. She had heard that Sarnai had been exiled, would she too be exiled like her cousin for the sake of the clan? Her mind was uneasy as she followed her grandmother into her ger to change clothes.

...

Unegen gripped tightly at his chair to keep himself from leaping out of it and tackling his brother. The last raid was supposed to be a moment of pride a great victory to show the whole of Sandova the martial strength of clan Timijinn. Instead it had led to the biggest mark of shame since the birth of gurren hybrid. Chaghagan was still bowing but he could hear his quiet sobbing after the scout's report.

"So the thief is lost then."

Chaghagan shook. "Please, Khan. She left on foot I am sure that Sarkhan simply followed her, Sarnai is the one who raised him. Riding dragons are intensely loyal."

"Even so, if she has yet to return him," Unegen said. "You know the punishment for stolen beast."

"What are your orders then?" Nogai asked. "Shall we send riders to pursue them?"

The Khan sighed and stood. "There is no time. Once word spreads our enemies will make a move upon us again. Especially those damn Jinghai, we'll need every warrior available. Once we pacify them we'll be able to send riders, Sarkhan must return he is the symbol of clan Timijinn's right to rule."

"Yes, Khan."

The room fell quiet and the scout stood up to leave. In truth, the Khan was showing mercy by not immediately sending chase after Sarnai. Unegen was disappointed in his niece, exiling her was painful enough by making this decree he gave her a window of opportunity to return Sarkhan. But if he was not returned, he would not be able to contain his rage. Chaghagan noticed his brother's mercy and could only respectfully nod as thanks.

A Keshik entered and bowed.

"My Khan. Chagan Chinua has arrived."

Unegen nodded. "Are the horses prepared?"

"Yes, Khan."

"Then we shall depart immediately. Chaghagan you have the clan, do not fail me again my brother."

The Khan departed where Chinua was waiting for him bowing. Unegen looked at her quietly, she was growing quite tall for a girl nearly approaching some of her older brothers, it was strange gurren were typically shorter than men. Perhaps it was another curse of her mix blood.

"Stand, Chagan."

"Yes father."

Unegen motioned toward the horses. He moved toward his own, Sun, his faithful companion who's coat was bright like the heavens. A wild foal that Unegen had captured and broken during his boyhood, he always smiled climbing aboard his faithful companion. Chinua slowly climbed unto her own mount, she wasn't trained on the saddle much but there was no one in the steppes who could not ride. It was the key to survival. Once Chinua steadied herself, Unegen cried out and the horses raised off into the steppes.

...

Their journey had been quiet since their departure. The sun was high in the air, the clouds were few and though there was still a chill in the air, summer had brought some worth to the snowy north. Father and daughter had stopped by a small ravine to let the horses rest and drink. Unegen held a bow at his hip and was staring intently for the water. He noticed Chinua gazing curiously, despite himself he chuckled quietly as he remembered giving his father a similar look.

"One must watch for YcEmo," He said. "They're black demons that live in water. They have the strength to kill a horse."

Chinua nodded and directed her own sight toward the water. The silence returned and for a moment Unegen realized that was the first exchange he had with the girl. He felt a sudden shame, he resented Chinua but not of the child's accord. Perhaps if she were fully human, he'd have been more cheerful for this journey.

"Do you know where we're going?"

Chinua shook her head. "Grandmother said you should tell me."

"I see."

Damn that mother... She was supposed to tell her.

Unegen sighed. "Chinua... When your mother was pregnant it was considered a ill omen. The shaman predicted that you both would die and would bring a time of trial upon the clan. But by some mercy, the great god of the mountain saw fit to spare your life... Now we must decide what to do with that life."

Chinua said nothing and simply nodded.

"You are half-gurren, demon blood flows through you. That means you cannot marry so you cannot be raised like your sisters. And you have the blood of a khan, the blood of great leaders flows through you, you cannot simply do a simple task in the clan."

She reacted to that and gripped at the knees of her pants. "Will... Will I be exiled?"

Unegen paused, he wasn't expecting that, "Why do you ask that?"

"S-sarnai brought dishonor to the clan and was exiled... I know when I was born I brought shame to you so you're going to exile me right?"

Chinua sounded scared yet resolved. As if in some way she expected this development. Unegen closed his eyes for a moment and sighed.

"Exile is punishment above all others. Reserved for those who break the most sacred of laws. No, Chinua you are not being banished."

Chinua blinked and unexpectedly leaned back all the way onto the ground. Staring into the heavens before she slowly breathed in and let out a long breath.

"Thank you gods... I really didn't want to get banished. I wouldn't know where to go!"

That's when she heard a familiar sound but never in her presence. Her father was laughing at her, Chinua was unsure how to feel about that. She had never made her father laugh before.

"You are truly strange, Chagan." Unegen said. "Come now the horses must be rested by now, we are going to meet with the Shaman of our clan. There you future will be decided."

"Yes, father!"

Unegen watched as Chinua ran off to get their horses. For even the smallest of moments, he felt a connection to the half-gurren, he felt like her father.

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Written By Prime Spinosaur

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:06 pm

Mask of the Storm Part 4

Sarnai's first few days were of relative ease, she was given space and time to adjust. Spring was making itself known, the snow was slowly starting to melt and would drift down hill into the rivers and streams, bloating them to great sizes, the grass which had cocooned itself under the ice shown green and the animals began to take picks at the revived plantlife. During that time, she'd come to learn a great deal more about the forest that she found herself in, thanks to the guidance of Enkil.

"Alone, I would suggest hunting at night. The only things out are those that are too afraid to walk among giants and gods, the perfect prey for a lone hunter. And always the Marcia will guide you."

"But I am not Marcian," said Sarnai, "I am Timijinn." Enkil shook his head.

"Nay nay, the Marcia care not for your place of origin. We all share their blood, whether you seek answers in a stairway to the gods, or the guardians that walk among you," he pointed his finger at Sarnai. "It would be good to remember that. But yes, alone on foot, until you can find a new steed stay to the nights. As long as you show no ill will to the Marcia, they will leave you be. It is predators like the Farara and the Tahu you must be wary of...as well as the Tuftveno. They will lurk at night."

"This doesn't mean the Xer cannot see you in the dark though," said another voice, "their eyes are like an owl and a hawk's. Nothing escapes their senses. The best thing to do when encountering a xer is to give them space...lest you be looking for a fight."

The two turned to the new voice, the man was dressed in leather armor, as though ready for battle, though he had no weapon on him. He wore a necklace of large conical teeth that Sarnai could only guess belonged to a khanluu or rather...a xer. On the base of each tooth however were black feathers, his face paint were three crescent moon strokes layering ontop of one another on his cheek, one blue which was almost faded with scars, one red which was more clear but still had a number of scars, or rather, it had been tattooed over scars long ago and new ones accumulated over it, and finally a black stroke which had only a few scars on the top layer.

Sarnai could immediately tell he was a figure of great importance, as not even the elder had these tattoos on his face.

"Grand chief Karet," Enkil bowed his head, "how are you this evening?"

"It's a beautiful spring evening, well earned after the dying fight winter gave," he said, "but it's over now." He looked over Sarnai. "Is this the girl? The keshik exile?"

Sarnai twitched slightly in annoyance but as though guessing her thoughts Karet raised a hand.

"I meant no offense by it, you will find that in this tribe, there are quite a few exiles and outcasts that I have at least deemed safe to be in my tribe. What you did was brave, it is not easy to defy a khan you've been taught to obey since birth...and less easy to defy family in the face of something you feel is wrong." He patted her shoulder. He took another long look at her. "You are Chaghagan's child, yes?"

Sarnai tilted her head at Karet. "Have we met?"

Karet shook his head, "No, but you have his jawline, his eyes. Ontop of that Chaghagan was rather quick to resign himself to Unegen's rule and cement himself to the role of a loyal vassal. It only makes sense that he would resign his daughter's future to a similar role."

Sarnai was close to barking something at Karet for insulting her father. However there was at least some truth to this, she would never admit it and decided to give the grand chief but a half glare.

"Tell me, Sarnai, how long do you intend to stay?" asked Karet.

"I don't know...at least long enough to get my bearings, and learn more about the world around me," said Sarnai.

"But you intend to stay in Marcia?"

Sarnai glanced down. "I don't know... I was thinking of going further south."

"Then you do realize that what we help you with here, will only get you to the edge of our borders," said Karet.

"Anything and everything helps," said Sarnai. Karet's face was like stone he sighed and looked at her in the eye.

"Tell me, Sarnai, what do you seek out there? If it is belonging you can find it here, but now I doubt that is what you seek. Honor? A chance to return home? No, you aren't foolish...you know that is beyond you. But you are searching for something, what is it that you would search the whole of Natura for? What drives you... is it your doom? If it is that, you can draw your blade in the path of a Xer...what is it you seek..."

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Re: Tales From A World Unknown

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:06 pm

Song of the Omen Part 2

The Timijinn Mountains, named after their clan they could be seen from across Sandova. But from the distance was nothing compared to seeing them up close. It was like the skies themselves were being touched by the massive mountains which seemed to stretch on without end. The greatest of them all was Mount Elysium the peak could not even be seen from the ground it reigned above all other mountains, it was the biggest thing Chinua had ever seen in her life.

"Is the shaman up there father?"

Unegen shook his head. "No Chagan, no one is up there except for the great god of the mountain."

"Then where is the Shaman?"

"Temulun is not far. She is at the clan shrine paying tribute to the gods."

Chinua was both nervous and excited by the current developments. She wonder what Temulun would have to say about her. They rode in silence once again their conversations were brief but not unkind. That made Chinua happy, it was the most attention she had ever received from her father. Traveling with him had been more enjoyable than she had thought, it saddened her to think it almost over.

They stopped before a stone staircase, Unegen dismounted and ordered Chinua to set the horses loose. She shouted a command and slapped their rears, the horses sprinted off but they would return on a word. Unegen had begun climbing the stairs and Chinua quickly followed after him. The path was old, stone was cracked from aging and exposure, littered with the remains of fallen leaves from last season even though it was the middle of summer. To Chinua it felt like her father and herself were the only things alive on the mountain.

The howl of the wind grew louder and more chilling with every passing. Chinua felt as if the mountain god was staring down at her from beyond the clouds. Finally she heard a noise that broke the silence of their climbing, the ringing of bells in the wind. Chinua looked around and saw a sign indicating their arrival.

...

The shrine was rather small, it was unlike any ger she had seen before. It was a structure made out of wood and stone it reminded Chinua of the stories Arik told her of a 'city' that the people of the southern clans lived in. Father didn't like cities, he swore to conquer them all once clan Timijinn was prepared for war. But her father seemed quite respectful of the shrine. He bowed his head and motioned for Chinua to do the same.

A woman was standing outside looking over a small garden that seemed oddly out of place in the rocky mountains. When she noticed Unegen and Chinua, she smiled and bowed to them. Unegen likewise returned the greeting which Chinua mimicked quickly.

"Are you... The shaman?" Chinua asked.

The woman laughed. "No, the shaman is my husband, I am Malal. Temulun is inside waiting for you."

"Husband?...I thought Temulun was a woman?"

"When shamans swear oath to the gods," Unegen replied. "They embrace new identities. Temulun was born a woman, but lives as a man of the clan."

Chinua nodded as Malal led them inside. The ring was quite noisy, the wooden floor creaked as they stepped on it, Chinua didn't like the noise it seemed uncomfortable compared to the noiseless floor of a warm ger. It was quite hot inside as well, the answer came sooner than expected when they approached a large room with a bright orange glow.

Temulun stood before a great fire pit dancing wildly with bells tied to her hands and feet. It was a wild yet elegant dance as she moved around the fire with expert precision, always coming dangerously close but never quite touching the flames. She didn't say the a word and yet it was clear she was paying tribute. Unegen quietly walked into the room and sat, Chinua decided to sit next to him which he didn't object too. Malal wordlessly excused herself.

There was no light from outside in the room. Only the fire and Temulun's dance, it was unclear how much time had passed and she seemed completely engrossed dancing and throwing strange plants into the fire which made an odd fume. Chinua liked the smell of the plants that burned, they made her feel more relaxed and tired. She decided she liked Temulun.

After what seemed like a lifetime, Temulun finally stopped. She seemed exhausted panting for air in front of the fire, she wheeled around facing Unegen.

"Welcome brother," Temulun said. "To the mouth of the gods. What brings you before them now after so long ago you last visited?"

"The child, Temulun," Unegen replied. "It is her twelfth season since her birth. She will become an adult soon but I do not know her path... She cannot be married off but she must serve the clan."

"So you seek the god's guidance for your daughter's path... Very well I shall preform the rites. Go join my wife while I talk to Chagan Chinua."

Unegen nodded and left without a word. Chinua shifted where she sat suddenly finding herself somewhat uncomfortable being alone. Temulun's eyes were close and she was taking a deep breath before they suddenly opened as wide as dinner plates. Temulun stared into Chinua's eyes as if she were staring into her very spirit, Chinua wanted to flee but found herself unable to move.

"Chagan, Chagan... Chinua, Chinua..." Temulun chanted. "There are question I will ask, you shall answer them daughter of the gurren. She who carries the blood of the mountain demons."

Chinua said nothing and simply nodded.

Temulun smiled. "Chinuaaa.... What. Is your favorite animal?"

"Huh?"

"What animal above all others do you love the most. Do you love the Dalu, majestic and swift. Do you love the Lulung, lonely yet strong. Do you desire the might of the Khanluu? Or do you respect the sneakiness of a Hulifang."

Chinua found herself growing quite reflective. Of all the animals what did she liked the most? What did the Shaman mean by that. Of course she loved horses, fast and swift they were always so loyal. She love the snow hounds, playful and fun their fur was so warm in cold of winter. She loved Garulung, strong and powerful, she remembered her cousin Sarnai riding the hybrid Sarkhan so much strength. Chinua could not choose between them and found herself growling at herself to make a decision.

"Leiying." She finally said. "That is what I love above all others."

Temulun tilted her head. "And why do you choose the Leiying? Why do you love them so?"

"Well um, Leiying are loyal to the hunters that raise them like a horse. Their feathers are warm like a snow hound's fur. Their strong like a Garulung and can fight even foxes despite them being so much bigger. And they fly so free and look so beautiful... They're not ugly like me."

"I see, I see..." Temulun said. "The eagle, strong yet loyal. An interesting choice, Chagan Chinua."

Without another word she returned to the fire. She took a deep breath and tossed in more of the strange plant and took deep breaths of the fumes. She spun on one foot the bells ringing wildly and began dancing around the fire. Her dance was faster than the last, Temulun spun and jumped around the fire ringing with every step. She picked up a handheld drum and began drumming a wild beat circling the fire like a stalking predator.

Ringing and drumming.

Drumming and ringing.

The dance continued for so long that Chinua found herself drifting off into sleep. But even with her eyes closed all she could see was the fire and the wild dance of Temulun.

...

"She's finished now."

With that declaration Malal stood and guided Unegen to the main room of the shrine. When they entered, Temulun was cradling Chinua in her arms and tears were in her eyes. Unegen was about to demand answers when the Shaman met his eyes.

"The gods have spoken Unegen Khan," Temulun said. "I have seen the path that awaits her."

"What of it, Temulun? Is she still an omen?"

Temulun shook her head. "No brother, so much more. This child... I so misunderstood the word of the gods, she was not meant to die in the womb. She was meant for so much more. A great war will come in this child's lifetime, a war that will cause the very earth to shake."

Unegen was silent. Was she speaking of the war to unite the clans, would it truly happen so soon?

"The war will reach even the very mountains," Temulun said. "And the very heavens will be rock. The war will be devastating... Great bloodshed will be seen and wrought by Chinua's hand. She is a child of the eagle and a child of fire."

"Fire and eagle?" Unegen repeated. "She walks the path of a conqueror?"

Temulun nodded. "Chinua shall live a life of blood and flame. She must live as a warrior to bring victory in the wars to come."

Temulun stood and handed the sleeping Chinua to Unegen. Clutched within her hand was the feather of a golden eagle with a charm attached to it. The charm bore the mark of the clans most ancient ancestor. The mark of Temuchin, Chinua was born to be a warrior of legends a mark that was rarely bestowed.

"Raise Chagan Chinua well my brother. She is the key to victory in the wars to come."

Unegen looked down at his daughter. He found herself thinking of her bright blue eyes of the infinite skies and smiled. This too was an omen but it was one he had been awaiting his entire life. The omen that he had so long slaughtered the gurren and angered all of his rivals just to train his army to ensure that they were the strongest of all the north. The time to unite the clans had come and soon all would raise the flag of Clan Timijinn.

"I thank you shaman, I must go."

Temulun bowed. "Good fortune brother. May the winds of victory bless you and Chagan Chinua."

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Written By Prime Spinosaur

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:07 pm

Mask of the Storm Part 5

She had dismounted Sarkhan and walked up the path by foot. The snowstorm raged on, it was only two days since she had been exiled, at first she'd wandered aimlessly...until she noticed she was coming closer to the great mountain. Her father had shown her the way once, but something had always stopped him from going to see Temulun. When she had asked, he simply told her:

"It is not the khan's brother's place to request prophecies from the shaman."

He never said anymore than that. Now she had to know, whether or not there was anything for her beyond the duties she had been stripped of. As she got closer, the snow storm abruptly cleared to reveal a shrine, some two hundred feet up. She climbed the steps all of the way to the top, and looked at the garden, before looking back at the path down below. Sarkhan was waiting...it'd be best to keep it short.

She knocked on the door. The door opened slowly and a woman peered out.

"Who are you?" asked the woman, looking at Sarnai up and down. "Are you from the clans?"

"Well...not really..." Sarnai admitted.

"Then I'm afraid to tell you that this shrine is only for the Timijinn," she closed her eyes, "it would be best if you would turn back."

Sarnai looked up at the woman again in the eye and spoke.

"I'm Chaghagan's daughter. I need to know something..." There was a long quiet pause before another voice spoke from inside of the shrine.

"Malal, dear, please let our guest in. I've been waiting for a looooong, looooooooooooooong time to see her," said a voice, it was half withered and spoke like the wind. Malal turned to the voice and nodded before opening the door. Sarnai walked in and Malal went over to a seat in the far corner and sat down.

Temulun smiled twisting her head this way and that, between her and Sarnai was a lit fire where smoke was billowing from. Temulun seemed to have just come off of a dance, her arms were swinging and she seemed to be trying to get her balance. The shaman then pointed down.

"Sit sit, little niece. How is your father? He hasn't bothered to see me for many years," she inhaled and sighed. "Not since before you were born. I bid him to come and listen to what I had seen... but he feels that the great god only whisper to the khans...fool." She shook her head. "Poor fool, my poor little foolish brother."

"Before we speak," Sarnai began, "I wish to let you know that I have been exiled...if you don't want to risk seeing me, or if you feel I don't belong in this shrine, please tell me and I will leave." Temulun looked up and into Sarnai's eyes between the fire, she seemed to pierce through the veil of flame and right into Sarnai.

"Then it has already begun," said Temulun, she put her hand on her collar bone. "Please, let me see your palm." She moved from the other side of the fire towards her. Hesitantly Sarnai took off her glove and her strap, laying out her palm for Temulun. She put her finger on the creases of the palm and traced them. Temulun's eyes started to drop and she looked as though she was nodding off to sleep while standing. At long last she shook her head.

"My foolish brother has done much more damage than he knows...you have known the life of a warrior, but that of a wanderer is lost to you. You have little chance now..." Temulun opened her eyes. "But hope still remains, even if it is but a drop of water in the ocean."

"I know there isn't much hope for me," said Sarnai, "I'm but an exile in the whole of Natura."

"No, no," Temulun shook her head, "your fate is not to wander aimlessly til your dying breath...or rather. It was not so. Now? Your father's...complacency may be your undoing. I've met you before, my niece...years and years ago...before you were born."

"In a dream?" asked Sarnai cautiously.

"Yes, yes," said Temulun, "and now the first stage has been set, as the dream foretold. You will forever leave Sandova soon, never to return..."

"I was prepared for that fate the moment I left my clan," said Sarnai, "you are telling me things that are already known to me."

"Yes, but that is but a part," Temulun spoke softly, "you will wander south. Always go south, you will pass the great forests, the wide fields...until you come across the edge of the north... there you will redeem our family."

"Redeem our line?" asked Sarnai. "Has our family committed sin?"

"Yes, many a sin," said Temulun, "and it weighs heavy on us. The god of the mountain will not support us when it comes...when the fire comes and consumes our world...not unless we are to be redeemed!" Her voice rose suddenly. "In the edge of the north, you must tame the demon...it is the only way they will listen to you...but that is just one piece...you will need to tame the very sky itself. You will receive it, and when you do, your face will no longer be known to this world."

"Receive what?" asked Sarnai. "What will I receive?" A sense of dread loomed in on her as Temulun gave her instructions. The shaman then abruptly shoved her palm only centimeters from her face. Her index finger separated from her rigid hand revealing Sarnai's eye to Temulun. Temulun peered into the opening.

"The mask. A mask of storms, that will unit the mountains, the valleys, the peaks, the cliffs the forests on it against the red jaws of oblivion. You will bring them together and you will set the countless that lay on that red sand to peace." Temulun's hand trembled.

"Only then, will the Timijinn be redeemed," she continued, "only then will the north stand a chance against the fire."

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Written By Prime Spinosaur

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:08 pm

Karet put another log onto the fire and nudged it in further with a long stick. He did not speak after Sarnai had finished her story. Karet had insisted the two sit at a fire before telling a story.

"It is tradition, that deeds and all that you lay be told in witness of fire," he'd told Sarnai. They had waited until nightfall and Karet had gathered a few by the fire, old warriors, young hunters and even a few of the tribe's children and foragers came to listen. At first it made Sarnai uncomfortable, she'd expected to only have the Grand Chief as her witness. As she told her story, Karet and the old warrior's faces became grim and they were silent.

At last one of them whispered to one of the younger hunters who was confused as to what stirred this reaction from the chief and his warriors. Enkil finally turned towards one of them and whispered one word.

"Avion," he said. The boy shivered and not from the spring chill. Sarnai looked at Enkil.

"Avion?" The name was familiar, her uncle had made sure she'd known at least the names of the lands beyond Sandova though not much else, that information he reserved for his children whom would take up his inheritance as Khan when at last Unegen died.

"The land your aunt spoke of," began Karet, Sarnai turned her attention back to him, "is Avion. It is far further south than it is north, but it is called the edge of the North because it is the end of the growth and is right on the border with the Husni desert. It's a mountain region, more like a wall than anything else, sealing away the Desert and..." He shook his head consumed by memories.

"You've been there before?" asked Sarnai.

"Years and years ago," he looked into the fire. "I was younger than...a lot of us were. We had wanderlust, we wished to explore the whole of Natura. I do not regret the adventure itself... I met many new friends along the way. We had started in Europa, but then stopped when we were questioned by the Dal authority for our presence. We went east, and passed the mountains, into a beautiful land Crenda it is called." He nudged a log. "A lot more peaceful than the rest of the world. Or so we thought until we came south to the border between Crenda and eastern Avion. We volunteered, to help Crenda repel an incursion out of Avion...the Skullians, one of the cults that resides in Avion. Wicked demon worshipers...they lived for slaughter and death, but eventually we repelled the Skullians and we bid our new friends farewell before we too traveled into Avion." He looked up at Sarnai. "Natura is a savage world, it is as though humans were never meant to live here...yet we exist in the face of a force that we cannot hope to tame or comprehend. Avion, that land amplified that savagery ten fold...and the people there clearly showed that." He chuckled a bit. "It's funny, Avion may be the thing of nightmares...but it keeps a greater nightmare at bay, one from further south."

Sarnai was wary of her journey suddenly. She remembered the words of Temulun.

"You have little chance now..."

"And the demons...and Temulun has told you to tame...they disappear and reappear without a trace. They stand on two legs...and are covered in armor plating with nubs of bone that add to their armor. And on their heads are two horns..."

Sarnai shrunk back further. Perhaps this quest was doomed.

"If you intend to go to Avion," began Karet, he stood up. "You will need the tools that will allow you to survive there. Many of my kin died in that land, and now you must go alone."

Sarnai looked at Enkil. "Will you help teach me...to give me a better chance."

"No," began Karet, "He won't, but I will. I will teach you what I can, how to survive the wilderness, your skills with a blade and a bow."

Sarnai looked up at the chieftain in wonder. "You will?" She was stunned. This man was giving her more than she knew what to do with. She'd be forever in his debt...

"I will," Karet confirmed again, "we will begin at dawn."

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Written By Prime Spinosaur

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:08 pm

Karet was a harsh teacher, but he was still more merciful than her uncle.

Sarnai had been learning sword technique for the past month now from the Chieftain. Thankfully she was no novice so his teachings came easier to him than one who was just learning. However, there was simply one thing that was still lacking...

"You don't have too much experience," Karet had said after the first week, "You have the skill, the proficiency and the finesse, but you have little on field experience. How many battles have you been on?"

Sarnai thought for a moment, before she finally spoke. "Two. The second was my last one and the one that got me banished."

"Ah, I see, not quite a seasoned warrior, but you have more experience and skill than most that train under me." Karet had noted. "There aren't any wars Marcia is fighting in, and Marcia has been peaceful for a while now so I can't really send you into some front line. Not that it is my place to do so, you're your own woman and not bound by any tribe or clan now."

"I am indebted to you," said Sarnai, "you've chosen to teach me and given my shelter and a chance. I consider that enough for you to order me to war."

Karet had looked slightly disturbed at this and shook his head. "If I were to call upon your debt, young Sarnai, it would be for you to fight along side me. Not under me." He peered into her eyes. "And there in lies another problem, clearly one breathed by Unegen. You are not your own person. Your uncle has seen to it that all you've ever known is the servitude of a khan. But that is not your path, as was said by your shaman. You are a warrior, but you are not a soldier, if that makes any sense."

Sarnai nodded, "...You're saying that I am too bound to a general an that I should make my own decisions as a warrior. But how are you sure that it is in me to be an unbound warrior?"

"Not just an unbound warrior," said Karet, "have you forgotten Sarkhan, you had raised a half-xer, and Xer show what kind of person you truly are. Sarkhan was loyal to you because you are someone who can inspire loyalty in others. You could be a leader if you so desired."


Sarnai scoffed. Leader. Her? An exile? What good was a leader that didn't know how to follow orders herself?

It had been a month since she'd come to the Marcian tribe, Sarnai was coming back from a hunt now that she had gone on with the young Marcians. She'd never be as quiet as they were in the forest, but she'd learned to still herself and become invisible to the animals.

The former Keshik glanced from one side to the other, constantly aware. The dead meat would attract predators and they had to be cautious as to make sure they weren't caught off guard by what their spoils would cause.

"It's a good sized Urunsanu," said Tremus, "Spring brings them further north to feed on the new growth blessed by the mountains."

"The Timijinn mountains have a hold even here?" asked Sarnai.

"The snowmelt from the mountain feeds our rivers as it does many rivers in the north. It is why the lands are lush and fertile. The elders told me that it feeds Salzaan and Catacha as well, the Nadura River which flows from the sea is also connected by way of the swamp to the Timijinn mountains. When spring comes the ice flow melts from the northern glaciers and the mountain into the great rivers and into the sea, bloating the Nadura river up to incredible proportions. It is good you haven't left for Avion yet, otherwise you'd find yourself against a giant raging river."

Two things happened at once. There was a groaning and a croak as a tree in front of them was felled, a young redwood. And from that direction came a creature the likes of which Sarnai had never before seen. It was big, not as big as a full grown Xer but close in size, it had a gigantic sail on it's back that grounded out, it's claws were as big as a man and it's snout was long like some fiendish crocodile.

Tremus cried and and moved back.

"Gojiru!" the others cried as the Fararas moved quickly back with them. Sarnai cursed. She'd had no such mount but took cover in the thicker brush. The Gojiru, as it was called stomped forward, it was wet, as though it had submerged itself recently in the waters.

It moved closer to the Urunsanu corpse and Tremus drew an arrow from his bow and shot it at the creature. The animal flinched and reeled it's long neck to look at the arrow sticking out of it's side before slowing turning to Tremus with a feral growl.

Immediately it began it's charge towards him and a claw reeled back before smacking the young man off of his mount and into the side of a tree. The tree was covered in blood stains the other riders cried out in horror and were making their way back.

Sarnai however had drawn her sword and stood with Tremus' mount that hissed at the Gojiru as it lumbered forward to finish off the hunter. The two were between a dying hunter and the massive beast that had felled him.

"It's head, aim for it's head!" Cried Sarnai. "Aim for it's head!"

The hunters looked hesitantly but then aimed their bows and let loose the arrows. Upon one of them making contact with the snout it shrieked and brought it's claws up to try and scratch the arrows away from it's face or out of it. Sarnai dashed down quickly and was underneath the beast.

She took her sword and quickly slashed into one of the Gojiru's legs.

The animal cried out, even harder this time and tried to reach for Sarnai underneath turning around and stomping trying to reach her.

"Fire again!"cried Sarnai and another volley aiming for the head came down on the Gojiru and the animal was forced to wave it's claws in the direction of the arrows to prevent the hunters from hurting it's head.

It tried to charge them however it tried to put pressure onto it's leg that Sarnai had struck and only had a quick moment to correct itself with a limp. Sarnai quickly came from behind again and stabbed deep into the other leg. The Gojiru screamed out in agony before falling to the ground.

Quickly Sarnai rolled over to the side. The animal was miserable and crying out in agony. She pitied it, for it was only searching for food when it had come across the party. It was no demon. She walked closer to it, the animal now could only support itself with it's powerful claws.

It breathed heavily, glaring at Sarnai who held her sword ready. It snapped at her. Had she been in range there would be no possible way to dodge that. This animal was used to catching harder than her in the water. At last the animal's head fell and it breathed heavily, as though it had given up. It had come to find an easy meal, but had instead come to it's death.

Sarnai moved forward cautiously. She held her sword up to it but before her she saw no Gojiru, but a family of gurren. Her hand trembled. This thing had tried to kill Tremus, she should be more angry at it, but she wasn't. A reality hit her, regardless of whatever happened the Gojiru was going to die, and right now, she had the choice of whether or not to make it a miserable long agonizing death full of humiliation. Or a death befit of such a beast.

Sarnai looked down before holding her sword with two hands and making a thrust into the animals head.

The haggered breath stopped and the Goiru was no more.

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Written By Mulder

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:09 pm

"Karet, Karet the chief wishes to speak with you." A voice cried out. Turning around Karet registered who it was. It was one of the elders. Karet gave a nod and motioned for his Rika to follow him. He was getting bigger and bigger each day. Karet would smile if the events around him weren't so morose. As he walked through the forest back to the tribe's village, his sense of dread grew more and more. Everything blurred while he put his Rika back into his stable and then resumed his walk back to the home of the chieftain. His father. Around him were many doctors and priests, the hut filled with smoke and the sounds of incantations and prayers for the ailing chieftain. His coughs reverberated around the village, physically and metaphorically. Despite the best efforts of the doctors and priests, Karet knew his father was dying. He would be next in line. This was to be the official passing ceremony. The passing of the burden. It would be Karet now who would lead.

"Karet, Karet, come to me my son." Karet's father called. Karet complied.

"I'm here." Karet said as he grabbed the older man's hand. A tattooed hand filled with strength once was now weak and feeble. Across a once broad body was the story of Karet's father. His journeys into the seas illustrated through sea lizards and ocean wolves, the story of the creation of Marcia across his chest, and the death of Karet's Mother with the most important place of all on his back. It was a story that was about to be snuffed out. Something Karet didn't want to face.

"Karet my son. You are young but I know there is greatness-" Karet's father was interrupted by a coughing fit. Karet remained silent.

"My son, your training of the Rika is a sign. You will lead our people to greatness. Marcia has chosen you to be it's chosen son. You will lead us through-" More coughing.

"Through the darkness that is to come." Karet felt a chill down his spine. What darkness? Marcia had been at peace since the Xer worship was stopped.

"Now my son, do not miss an old man such as myself. Accept the journey. But before I die. There is one thing I must do." The old man leaned himself against the rickety wooden bed, a rarity in it's design and eloquence. He motioned for one of the priests to bring to him the sacred marking art. Karet knew what this'd be and removed his shirt. The pain while constant was dulled by the stronger emotional pain. The pain of losing someone close to you. In about what Karet'd estimate was a few hours, his back was marked with what'd be his symbol.

"My son, the symbol I have chosen for you...is the Rika. That animal is your pride and joy. It will be with you until your deaths. Treat it well. Treat it with respect. Protect it. Protect our people and our land. Now go my son. I do not want you to see this end." And so Karet left.

In the morning Karet's father was dead. And so Karet mourned.

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Written By Mulder

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:09 pm

After a few months, the coronation was a great affair, filled with dancing and singing of all kinds and prayer services to the gods for the deliverance of a new tribal leader. The festival was themed around the symbol of the new chieftain and ruler of Marcia, the Rika, so prayers and superficial offerings of fruit were made to Karet's Rika, pleasing it greatly as it gorged itself and made contented sounds. Karet looked around at the festival and noticed all the other tribes were here as well. The great tamers of the Furara, the fishermen of the Gojiru, among others were all here. It pleased Karet until he noticed one tribe was missing. Shaking it off, Karet went back to overseeing the party as it continued into the night. However it did not last. Only an hour or so later great horns sounded and all froze in rememberance. The horns were distinct among the people of Marcia for good reason. They were the horns of the worshippers of the Xer. The Berukai.

Through the break in the forest emerged the Berukai in their scales and furs laughing and talking wildly. Karet could see that they were already drunk mostly but then they stopped and separated. Karet didn't even wonder why as he saw who came to the front. It was their leader. Ruk. On his shoulders were the skulls of many predators, atop his own skull was the skull of a Gojiru. An insult to such a proud creature and to the Gojiru tribe. Karet could see their leader clench his fist at such an insult.

Karet rose his hand up and proceeded to walk to Ruk and began the conversation.

"Hello Chieftain Ruk, I'm glad to see that you could make it." Karet said politely.

"Don't speak to me boy, where are the elders?" Ruk said dismissively, pushing Karet out of the way. It was that gesture that caused many of the Marcians to grab their respective weapons in outrage.

"No, let him pass." Karet said as the elders began to spill forth from the main hut to confront Ruk.

"Chieftain Ruk, what is it that you wish to speak about so urgently?" The main elder began, clearly annoyed.

"DO NOT ASK ME IN SUCH A MANNER OLD WOMAN! YOU KNOW WHY I AM HERE! I AM HERE BECAUSE THIS BOY IS OUR LEADER!" Ruk shouted aggressively. Karet could see the other chieftains' anger grow. Karet however kept his calm. He was now the representative of his people, he told himself. He couldn't let his anger get the better of him...however hard it was.

"Chieftain Ruk, he is the son of Grand Chieftain Ceramul. It is his right." The main elder continued.

"DO NOT SPEAK TO ME OF RIGHTS!!! YOUR WEAK PEOPLES WON THE WAR THROUGH TRICKERY AND DECEIT! NO MORE. THIS WAS THE LAST STRAW! I, RUK, LEADER OF THE BERUKAI DECLARE BY THE GREAT GOD OF WAR, DEATH, AND BLOODSHED XER TO CHALLENGE YOUR PEOPLES TO WAR!" Ruk yelled out in anger as he pulled from his side a sack and threw it open. Out came a skull of a baby Rika, freshly killed. Karet growled in rage and pounced at Ruk, his dagger pulled out already ready to kill him. Ruk smiled a grotesque smile. His teeth sharpened as part of his clan's ritual.

"Go ahead boy. Kill me. But know this. Even if you were to kill me, my clan would simply retaliate." Ruk taunted, the sick smile still present. Karet put away his dagger. As much as it pained him he knew the man was right. Ruk responded by punching Karet off of him.

"I will not start my war tonight. But tomorrow, our war will begin and once more the weak pathetic religon of Marcia will be wiped out by my people. Enjoy your "festival" of pathetic leaf eaters." Ruk said as he spat on Karet and motioned for his tribe to follow him. They had much to prepare.

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Written By Mulder

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:10 pm

The next day the great war horns were sounded. Karet was glad all of the tribes were around as it made mobilizing for war much easier. The tribes grabbed their mounts and signature weapons, as well as the universal bows, arrows, and swords of the Marcian people. Meanwhile Karet stood in front of his father's grave. Karet felt ashamed. He had only been chieftain for a few weeks at most, and yet Marcia was already going to war for the first time since the great clash between Xer's followers and worshippers of Marcia. It was then however that he turned around to see the lead Elder.

"Elder, what is it that brings you here to me?" Karet asked.

"I can sense your emotions on this. But you must know my Chieftain that Ruk has been looking for a fight for some time now. He just used this as a convenient excuse for war and bloodshed." She responded. Karet sighed. He knew she was right. That Ruk had been trouble since his father was in charge. But still....

"I...I know elder. Now if you excuse me, I must prepare the war parties." Karet responded as he took his leave.

"Of course Chieftain." The Elder said as she watched Karet depart
***

The march to the Field of Blood was long and rigorous, with long walks through the urban forests and over the hills of Marcia. Even Karet's Rika, his loyal mount and companion, began to tire. However Karet and his men kept going. Karet wanted to end this quick, or as quick as possible with as little bloodshed and suffering. A few days passed before they reached their intended location, the great Field of Blood. A field where the final great battle had taken place between Marcians and Xer worshippers. Once they got there, Karet and his men were confused and surprised. As their scouts had said earlier, there were no signs of Ruk or his tribe. Karet pondered this as he decided to go look in the field himself. He was wary of this and figured that Ruk would be one to lay a trap. As a precaution, Karet told the scouts to send out the Tuftdi to their home towns and make sure Ruk hadn't attacked them. Karet also left his Rika with the main party. If something happened to him, he wanted to keep his friend safe first.

It took Karet about a day of waiting before he saw a figure approaching him. It was Ruk clad in unusually casual clothes for a battle.

"Hail, Grand Chieftain." Ruk said looking downcast. Could this truly be the same man who had been so full of rage and hate only a few days before?

"Yes, Chieftain Ruk?" Karet said quizzically.

"I must say...I am sorry for my actions."

Karet was stunned at what he had just heard. How could this be?

"I was drunk my chieftain....and did not mean what I said, nor how I reacted. How could you possibly forgive me?" Ruk said apologetically.

Karet considered this...a chieftain must be harsh but also wise. Calm yet firm. Karet sighed and spoke.

"Fine Chieftain Ruk, I will show mercy. However in payment for your crimes, you must give a quarter of the food your tribe collects as offering to all the tribes on-" Karet had begun. However he felt a strong pain in his side and looked down to see a spear through it. He saw Ruk's hideous evil jagged smile. He had been foolish to trust him. The next few hours seemed to be a blur of pain and worry. Not for himself but for his people. His loved ones. His friends. What would come of them now? Karet could only barely realize where he was being taken. To the outer border of Marcia itself. He felt cold. He wondered if this was what death was as he faded into unconsciousness....

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Written By Mulder

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:10 pm

All around Karet was darkness. Omnipresent ever lasting darkness.

Karet

Who was this?

Who was this voice?

Where was he?

Oh yeah. He died.

He had failed his people and this was his price to pay.

Karet my child, why do you despair?

The kind voice rang out.

"because i failed them"

Karet replied

Oh Karet do not despair my child. You are destined for such great things. I have such plans for you. You will accomplish such great things.

With that, the kind voice appeared before him.

Karet could not believe his ideas.

Could it be?

Marcia herself was before him. In all her glory. She was scaled and furred and feathered. She had hair like green feathers...almost like leaves. Tattoos like the rivers of Marcia all over her nude form. She was beautiful. Karet's eyes began to water with tears at the sight as her hand stroked his cheek and wiped away his tears.

Karet my child....you will be the last of my lineage. Of my chosen dynasty. All things must come to an end my child, but this is not your end. Not yet. My child I am sorry for all the hardships you will face. Marcia continued as Karet began to look around him. He could see around him was Marcia itself. But....desolate. Not ruined but barren. He looked to see Marcia and....Xer....walking across it. He could see grass grow. Water flow. Forests emerge from the grass. Ponds turn into rivers and lakes. Then he saw it all burn. He saw Marcia weep for her creations as Xer destroyed it. He saw Marcia banish Xer across Marcia and to someplace beyond the horizon southward. He knew this story. It was their creation story.... But why was he being shown this?

Karet you will not understand this until you become older. But remember this vision, however for now seek out the Great Khan. He will help you. Remember my story. Remember Karet, however much you suffer I promise to never forsake you

And with that Karet awoke. The first thing he felt was cold as his eyesight returned. It was snowing. Those bastards must've dumped him near the mountains. Karet groaned with pain as the snow was covered in blood. As he sat up however he saw a Marcia. A sign. Karet grunted as he got up, the Marcia pushing itself up against him, as if to tell him to use it as a mount. Karet sighed and patted it's head. They had a long trek.

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Written By Mulder

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:11 pm

How much time it took for Karet to reach the Khan's fortress, the chieftain did not know. He would fade in and out of consciousness, leaving his fate up to the Marcia that was bringing him there. It was only when he felt the Marcia stop that he knew this must be the place. The Marcia lowered itself into the snow as Karet hobbled off of it's feathered back, looking back to see it disappear into the snow. As Karet walked through the village he could see their confused and judgmental looks. He knew that to them he was just a savage from the forests to the south. However he would follow what his goddess had directed him to do. Some would call him stupid for his next action. Others would call him brave. For Karet walked right into the main quarters of Unegen, the great Khan of the north.

Immediately guards raised their weapons however Unegen instructed them to lower them.

"I am interested in what this savage has to say." The Khan said on his throne, his hand under his chin in contemplation of such a sorry and pitiful sight.

"I am Karet the Tamer of Rika, grand chieftain of Marcia, and I demand aid from your kingdom Great Khan." Karet said out of breath and clutching to his bleeding side.

"Ho? You'd dare to make demands of me Chieftain? To me you are no more then a savage fighting in a forest. You are no greater then the Gurren I slaughter daily. However I am impressed by your boldness. What petty forest dispute brings you to me?" Unegen said in amusement.

It was then that Karet shared his story, the entire thing, including his mission from Marcia herself which caused Unegen to laugh.

"This truly is a crazed savage. However, I do not like traitors and liars. I will give you the aid you've requested for this battle, however I have one request of you forest man." Unegen continued.

"And it is?" Karet responded.

"I wish to have a group of long necked and long tailed beasts known to you forest men as "Dapudu". That is my terms." Unegen said.

"Deal." Karet nodded as he suddenly collapsed.

It took Karet a month by his estimates to recover. In that time he had learnt the ways and intricacies of the Timijinn culture and while they were jerks....the chieftain had to admit he respected them. However now was his time to journey back and defeat Ruk and the influence of Xer once and for all. He led about 200 of the Great Khan's men, however Unegen had said that they would only intervene directly if all the Marcians had fallen, only helping with archery before then. Karet sighed as he got onto his borrowed mount, a giant mammal with antlers, apparently Unegen had a ton of them according to Unegen's brother, and began the long journey back to Marcia.

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Written By Prime Spinosaur

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:11 pm

During the age of exploration when the new world had just been discovered many reports had come in from the Spanish who were told many strange tales, some of which told of a city made of gold, that they called El Dorado. Many different expeditions went off from Spain, backed by the Spanish navy and crown. They pillaged their way throughout many lands in Mesoamerica in search of this lost city. One of these expeditions was on the Aleta Azul, a galleon ship that included the Spanish aristocrat Pablo Godoy, son of Condo Elva Godoy. He was sent along with an expedition into the mighty Amazon in search for the lost city of gold. The Aleta Azul never returned to port and it was assumed they were lost out at sea. He was mourned by his family and after ten years he and his crew were forgotten by the rest of the world.

Then recently a journal appeared in Brazil and was taken for examination. It was written by Pablo Godoy and was the second volume in a number of journals that he had apparently kept on himself. The Aleta Azul had made it to the new world, so it would seem, however, afterwards it appears as though Godoy had gone insane as his story started to tell of a very different land to Mesoamerica and included many various dragons that he described as having many various shapes. The following text has been translated to english as best as it could be, however parts of the journal are unreadable, whether by water stainage, ripped pages or just faded ink.

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Written By Prime Spinosaur

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:12 pm

It was a starless night in the last days of fall when the alliance brought the body of Karet, great chieftain of the Marcian people across the Nadura river. The leaders of the alliance gathered around the ceremonial bed, made of ashen birch. On one breast lay his bow and sword, and the other, his the broken off portion of his beloved Rika. Chinua and the leader of the broken mountain tribes, Enonon wanted the son of Marcia to be burned with the comfort of his life long companion.

Following his body was the errant of his forces, riding on their scythe clawed steeds and noble Rikas. Their faces were downcast, their hoods up, their green cloaks blew in the breeze.

The leaders carried him towards the mountain of wood their men had dried and prepared. Even Unegen was silent and made no quip or displeasure of carrying a body known. Whether it was out of respect for Karet or not wanting to incur the wrath of the other two leaders was unknown. Even Enonon, who was most critical of Unegen was silent. Chinua held up the bed with a trembling hand, Enonon placed a hand on her shoulder from behind. It too trembled, and it gave Chinua the resolve to steady the hand that held up her dear friend's body. He would not want to feel their sorrow at their passing. Karet was a man who was about joy and purpose, and it seemed as though both had left with him that day the warlord of the Enshii had thrust that spear into his heart.

Odanwe thought of his long friendship with the chieftain and the many adventures they had both gone on in happier days before the fire came from the south to engulf their world. Crenda for now was safe...but not for long. He considered returning to Crenda and bolstering the defenses, Odanwe had not played his trump card yet, perhaps he could use it to withhold whatever fleet tried to attack his shores.

But that would mean leaving Karet's people when they needed him most, and he could not do that. The Marcians were next on the chopping block, and Odanwe did not have the heart to watch another people be extinquished, like the Kashdani, the Dal, or Enonon's people.

The body was placed on the pyre and Odanwe was handed a torch by a Rika rider.

"In the traditions of Marcia, the chief's child would light the pyre, but Karet is survived by no one," Odanwe turned to Enonon. "Uniter," he began. "He made it no secret that you were favored to him as though you were his daughter. Will you take the torch?" Unegen stirred a bit at this but did not move.

The mask of Enonon was impassable and hard to read, but her fist shook and her voice was shallow with pain, regret and sadness. "I will take the torch. If no other shall." Odanwe handed the torch over to the leader of the bands. She walked up slowly to the cradle of the lord of the great forest. His face was cold and pale, and on his brow the figure of a Marcia, the small fleet footed raptor looking upon a curved moon was painted in blue. Enonon lit the grasses of his bed and backed away as the pyre slowly set ablaze, a cold and deep wind came from the north, but the fire about Karet's body was not disturbed. The wind blew away the clouds and the crescent moon brought a pale light onto the downtrodden war party.

"What hope have we now?" asked a knight of Dal. "The Son of Marcia is dead. All that is left is the north, the monsters will come across the river and take that too."

"Maybe," spoke Chinua softly, "but I won't die on my belly for this. I don't have time for despair."

"None of us do," added Enonon, "there is too much to avenge for that."

"Chaghagan," hollared Unegen, his brother walked towards him. "Take command of my forces, I will be returning to Sadova for reinforcements." The younger brother nodded as Unegen mounted his elk and with an errant of Keshiik, rode off against the wind.

Chinua stared across the river, her fist clenched.

Divine Intervention


The scouts returned to the north side of the river the following morning in the hour before dawn.

"The giant army is splitting in two," the scout said, "one portion is heading towards Salzaan."

Odanwe rose to his feet. "They intend to flank us from Salzaan."

"They'd be hard pressed to do so," said Enonon. "Salzaan is an ever changing maze, only you have ever mastered that land."

Chinua looked up towards the light coming from the horizon, "but they don't know that."

Chaghagan mouth was agape then suddenly he started to laugh, then Enonon's chuckle followed from her mask. It was not a mocking laugh, but a laugh of joy.

"They've made a mistake!" cried out Chaghagan. Chinua rose and looked towards the south side of the river.

"Then let us make sure it's too late by the time they realize it," she growled.

"How far are their forces?" asked Odanwe. The scout looked back towards the south.

"Three days. They're sending out their scouts now to try and find passage into the north," said the scout.

"And there is only one way into the north," breathed Chaghagan, "where we stand now." Enonon seemed to consider something but quickly turned to one of the Farara riders of Marcia, "send for reinforcements, as quickly as you can. We can bolster our forces here!" The rider nodded a strange light in his eyes at this news the Farara screeched as it charged off to the northwest, to the edge of the forest.

Odanwe looked around, "alright! Everyone! Find every tree and log that you can whether it be drift wood from Salzaan or the trees of Marcia forest! We are building a barrier! The river will be a foretress that our enemies will crash their bodies upon!"

Soon every Marcian, Mountain Tribesmen, Dallian soldier, and Timijinn clansmen was scattered across the Field of Nadura with axes in hand, bringing back trees and sharpening their ends and barring the teeth of their wall towards the south end of the river. Soon the forces from Marcia had come, Karet's garrison he left to defend his lands, coming with many new arrows, tipped with the poison of the Tuftveno. They would pay these giants in kind of their treachery.

Chinua watched as the Sola'Ur's army a black mass came over the plains and to the southern coast of the river. At their fronts were great Paraceratheriums, chained and scarred with the wounds of a cracking whip, dragging along large rafts over to the shore. Behind the spiked barrier was a garrison of Marcian and Crendians. Crendian spear warriors with great shields blocked while behind them the Marcians had their bows ready.

The rafts were loaded with soldiers and sent off into the waters. The Nadura was wide so Chinua waited until the boats were halfway across the river before she spoke.

"Archers ready!" She yelled, the archers pulled back their bow strings and aimed true. The Marcian archers were famed in all of the continent, but there were many boats and many many soldiers coming, even cut in half the army of the the Sola'Ur was incredible. She waited another ten heartbeats before she waved her sword. "Loose!"

The volley sprang into the air and came back as a rain of death into the river. More than half of the first wave was already gone by the time of the first volley. Chinua smiled, they could do this! They could win!

"Loose!" She cried again as they show another volley. Almost all of the forces off the first wave were gone, and the few left dismayed turned the rafts around to try and save the rafts. "Loose!" She cried again and many of the rafts were left there blocking the river.

Then the second wave came.

Thrice as many rafts set out from the south side of the river and Chinua gave the command to fire at will.

This time the fleet was not nearly as dented, as the soldiers carried tower shields and made a phalanx of them.

They boarded and the barrier kept them from coming in. Immediately the Crendian spear men stabbed through the barrier as they tried hacking at the spiked fence.

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Re: Tales From A World Unknown

Post by TalesofNine on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:12 pm

Into The Snow

The wind howled outside of the Ger, the felt walls made a low scratching hum as they were buffeted by snow falling outside. Chagan Chinua however was used to the noise by now, when she was young she once feared that the Ger would be torn away by the end taking her with it. But her grandmother had always reassured her about the strength of her people's work. A Ger would never fail as they were made by the finest craftsmen and like the visions of a Shaman it came true, time and time again.

The noise no longer scared Chinua now. Instead it brought back memories of cold nights hugging close to her grandmother under a warm blanket made of hairs of an Uruxiang. But there would be no more of those nights, as Chinua aged so too did her beloved Grandmother. Yesui died in the Spring, she had been doing what she always had for as long as Chinua had known her, working and tending to her home and animals. She had grown tired while herding the horses and laid down to rest, Chinua sat with her they talked for quite some time looking up at the sky until Yesui had finally closed her eyes and fell asleep. Never to awake. Chinua still remembered her grandmother's final words to her.

"Chinua... Of all my children. I thank the gods for you most of all..."

Yesui's death ceremony was quiet. Father had rode out with her uncles and brother Nogai, they built a pyre and burned the body so that the winds could take her ashes into the mountains. Chinua would never forget that day, for it was the first time in her life she had seen her father shed tears. But Chinua did not weep, though she felt a great sorrow. She never cried since her grandmother had died, she felt ashamed for she wished to express proper mourning for the woman she had loved and yet she did not weep. Chinua visited Temulun and sought advice.

The shaman had given Chinua only necklace with strange green rocks that Chinua had never seen before.

"Chinua..." Temulun said. "When I still lived among the Tribe. Mother had given me this as she had received it from her mother. Wear it with you and know that mother watches over you. She visited me in my dreams and told me to gift it too you."

Chinua held the necklace in her hands now as she sat before a shrine dedicated to her grandmother. As she silently prayed to the gods and the spirit of Yesui to give her guidance. The background nose of the wind was interrupted by the sound someone entering the Ger.

"Sister.... Are you ready?"

It was Arik, the only one of her blood brothers to acknowledge her and her closest friend. Chinua opened her eyes from her prayer and looked back at Arik, he too had grown in the passing seasons. He resembled his mother Orbei more than Unegen Khan but he had familiar eyes but his gaze was far kinder. She looked down at the necklace and slowly placed it around her neck.

"I'm ready."

The siblings left the ger and outside an older man was waiting for them, Nogai her father's oldest friend and most loyal Keshi. Behind him was his mount, a great ChuGurban, a flat nosed ox dragon, stood quietly in the snow awaiting directions from its rider.

"Young ones, the storm is heavy but it is nothing that Shu here cannot handle," Nogai said. "Chinua, I can only take you to the hunting grounds I cannot help you during this task. You and Arik have been fine students, remember your training and find honor in this battle. May the Great God of the Mountain bless you."

Chinua and Arik bowed to Nogai before the three of them climbed atop Shu. The ChuGurban filled the air with a large huff of its hot breath before it marched into the snow covered fields unfazed by the howling snow.

The two siblings were partaking on the final stretch on their journey to become warriors of the Timijinn Tribe. Seasons of training and mock battles led to one last trial that had to be completed. They had to earn the right to a mount. Riding into battle was a sacred honor, to be able to ride an animal bred for war one must first shed the blood of a worthy animal. The greater the challenge, the greater the mount you were granted to ride barring promotion earned in battle at a later time. But Chinua was on the clock, she had her mind set on a mount. One that she had dreamed of riding ever since she first laid eyes on him.

Sarkhan, the mighty hybrid that her cousin had personally raised prior to her banishment. Sarkhan was thought to be lost for a time but a few months after Sarnai's flight, he had returned to the Tribe. But Sarkhan had refused a new rider for many seasons. No matter how stubborn or determined Sarkhan refused them all, even a few of Chinua's older siblings had tried in order to carry favor. Unegen Khan was growing impatient but made no move to have Sarkhan destroyed, but Chinua saw opportunity for herself in the dilemma.

Chagan Chinua had never dreamed of having ambitions. She was half-gurren, a cursed that she would have to live with till the day she died. But perhaps if she proved herself as a warrior, became a Keshik unlike any other she could change her fate. If there was one truth she learned from her father it was that her people respected strength above all else. A half-gurren she may be, but if she could surpass expectations. Do what others could not. There was not a single person in the Tribe who could not recognize her not for what she was, but who she is.

As they rode through the snow, Chinua looked down at the necklace and smiled at it.

"Grandmother... Pray for good hunting."

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Re: Tales From A World Unknown

Post by Prime Spinosaur on Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:17 am

To the reader:

Congratulations! Somehow, whether by a series of astronimical chances or dare I say an act of god, you've found my book!

That means what happens next is completely ouyof my hands and up to you. So I'll simply leave you with this warning: Beware.

The knowledge that I have recorded in this book will change everything you know. The impossible becomes probable, the veil that covers your eyes will be lifted and you will learn of a world far away yet much closer than you realize.

If you enjoy the reality that you live in, comfy not knowing it's secrets and content with a normal life, close this book. You will never find peace again if you read on. If you consider yourself adventurous, braving the mist to stare down those unknown things, I have only this to say:

You have been warned.

Have a good life,
S.M. Anning =)


I've stared at this blank book for weeks now. Whether or not it will have any meaning in the long run, I've decided to finally start putting my thoughts down. Anaya's been insistent that I get back to what I love doing.

I had a good childhood, I like to think. It wasn't too grandiose. My dad did all of the heavy lifting in my life after my mother died, he had a lot of jobs actually, we were constantly moving as his work moved around. He saved up to send me to a good school, and I'll always be appreciative of what he did for me. This book was actually a gift of his. He was my main motivator for trying to find a good job, I wanted to support him the same way he did me.

I doodled a lot as a kid, and drew in my free time. I had my phase where I wrote bad Harry Potter fanfics, but when I went into college, I decided if I was going to go anywhere in life, I had to do what was going to get me through life. I didn't go for a degree in art or writing, and instead opted to be a doctor. I was good with what I knew, but I wasn't happy with it. Dad was disappointed that I hadn't gone for art and writing. I tried to tell him why I did it, and at the time I just thought he didn't understand.

Looking back on it, I know now he understood, and that he was sad because I was miserable.

It was some time during may when I got the news that he had died of a heart attack, and I found myself on a plane to Illinois to go to his funeral. I'd had this book for years now, it was a gift he'd given to me after I graduated, trying to get me to write and draw like I'd used to.

There was so much that I had thought about, how much I wish I could've been with him longer. How I wish I'd listened to him, and that maybe I needed a change in my life.

Funny how something like that happened.

Though I'd planned on using the money I'd accumulated from working as a doctor to go back to school for arts and writing, quit my job and live as an artist. Not really financially secure, but happy nonetheless.

Not 'my plan went through an electrical storm and crashed into a forest that wasn't there before.'

I wasn't the only survivor of the crash, but I was the only survivor of what had come next. My first ever encounter with a dinosaur was a violent experience. The smell of the corpses must've attracted them to our crash site, and soon we were running from bigger, stockier and fluffier versions of the Jurassic Park Velociraptors.

Being at the mercy of a predator was definitely the worst experience of my life. Feeling it's jaws on my head, my cheeks pierced and knowing that it just needed a twitch of it's jaw muscles to kill me. I cried in that moment, ll I could think of was how much I'd just...wasted my adult life.

Thankfully, dinosaurs weren't the only thing that had seen the crash. I heard what sounded like an absolutely thunderous roar, and the raptor that had me at it's mercy quickly fled along with it's little gang. I looked up the hill where it came from, expecting some horrible great beast to claim me for it's next meal.

Only to find a woman poking her head over the hill and beckoning me over.

That was how Anaya Oka saved my life, and to this day, I don't think I'll ever be able to repay her back. She was quick witted too, she had the recording of a tyrannosaur playing on speakers to spook the other predators away.

Since then I've been traveling with her, learning more about Natura, the land I found myself in.

I will admit, it's been fun writing this, but I must stop now. It's getting dark and Anaya thinks she sees some Troodons.

S.M. Anning
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