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Old 07-03-2012, 10:05 PM
Cascadian Cascadian is a male Canada Cascadian is offline
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Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

Observe the Mantis
See how it flies, so deceptively beautiful
With grace and knowledge, but with deadly intent
It gives no pause in its hunt
It can be slow as a rock when waiting
Or swift as lightning while striking
It is always striving towards its goals
Observe the Mantis
And ascend.

-Mantis Empire Proverb


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The air was clear and the sun was shining as Meesha Kadeem's ship pulled into the small port town of Sharkton. She grinned, her white teeth reflecting the light of the bright summer sun. For almost an entire week, she had sat patiently on the ship as it crossed the Eastern Sea. Rainclouds gathered ominously in the distance, but Meesha didn't mind. Finally, she was about to cross into the Mantis Empire. After weeks of evading the patrols of Saltreachean soldiers, freedom was at hand. Just one more step to go, and she would be in the clear.

Sharkton was originally known as Shaitu, back when the Mantis Empire had control of it. This was made apparent in the architecture. The buildings all had a very distinct style, with curved roofs and multiple small windows dotting each house. As they drew closer, she saw the dock was littered with fishing boats and larger trade vessels. Although Sharkton was right on the border, it sure got a lot of business for such a small town.

Meesha thanked and paid the captain, and then disembarked. Walking through the streets, it was clear that Sharkton was a fishing village at heart. Merchants hawked their wares: mostly salmon, cod, and tuna. Meesha hated fish, so she gave them a wide berth. Her dark skin and flashy robes drew a few stares, but for the most part she avoided attracting attention to herself. Most people were too busy trying to earn a living to really care about another yet new visitor.

Walking through the streets, everyone looked tired, yet happy. The locals appeared to work very hard at fishing and trade, but it seemed to pay off. All of a sudden, the shrine at the other end of the town started to ring its bells. The soothing sounds of the bells echoed and reverberated down all the narrow side streets, and gave a pleasant sense of calm to the town. Simultaniously, everyone around Meesha stopped moving, bowed their heads, and fell silent. Not wanting to appear out of place, Meesha bowed her head too. They held this pose for two minutes. Without warning, the bells stopped, and everyone picked up conversation as if nothing had happened.

How strange, thought Meesha. I suppose I'll have to learn a lot of strange things over the coming trek. She was right, of course. If she was going to journey all the way through the Mantis Empire to Xaichu City, she was going to have to learn all of the customs along the way. Culture shock was not so bad for Meesha, as she had always been fascinated by faraway places and people.

Deciding that she could use a break, Meesha entered the local teahouse. The doorway was tiny, but the interior was expansive. Several tables dotted the room, all very low to the ground. There was no chairs: people were kneeling on the carpet, drinking their tea and eating a snack. A small, round woman approached her and bowed her head. She offered Meesha a seat, and took her order: a small glass of green tea and a jam biscuit. Perfect. Meesha knelt down by the floor, moving her robe to accommodate the new seating arrangement.

Luckily for her, she was seated by a window. As she waited for her order, she saw the rain begin to fall and smiled. This has been just my day, she thought. Indeed, at least so far, all was going well. Sharkton may technically be under the control of Saltreach, but the inhabitants were citizens of the Mantis Empire at heart. For the first time in weeks, Meesha felt peace. If only for a moment, she could relax.

OOC: The architecture of the Mantis Empire looks like this.
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Last Edited by Shrub; 10-15-2012 at 11:24 PM. Reason: Reply With Quote
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:23 PM
Ruki Ruki is a female United States Ruki is online now
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

Roxy and Athena had been running around searching for Pandora's Box before Zeus and his allies did for the last few months. They had managed to come into possession of Pandora's key after a wild, desperate race with the help of Chronus' servant, Chronia. While it would protect the box from a mortal opening it, it wouldn't do jack ♣♣♣♣ if a god got their hands on it and did something stupid like break it.

They had been following the coastline for the most part until Poseidon made it fairly clear he was siding with his brother; full scale storms and earthquakes followed them wherever they went, hindering their way and killing innocent mortals.

Finally, Athena decided enough was enough and after a quick stop in Sharkton for supplies, they would head inland where Poseidon couldn't reach them.

Roxy was biting the nail of her thumb as she carefully studied some obsidian shards; all of her spear heads were broken and the fish scales of the Fauna of the Mirror made the spear too top heavy.

"You know, most people would get something that wouldn't break so easily," Athena remarked, unseen to everyone but Roxy. She figured in this state, she would be able to throw Poseidon off their trail until it was too late; apparently she didn't think highly of her uncle.

It seemed to be working though. Besides rainclouds in the distance, it was a beautiful summer day. The warm summer sun was a welcome change after the volatile weather the two had been experiencing as of late.

Roxy ignored the jibe; the obsidian spear and her clothing was one of the few things she had from home. Besides, even though she had Chronus' sickle, she preferred her spear more; she had been using it all her life and her teachings with the sickle was more geared towards ceremony use. However, she had managed to find ways to use it to suit her needs.

"How much?" She asked, pointing to the obsidian glass. She had learned a few key phrases over the months, although most of them unfortunately were curses. If she ever felt so inclined to swear somebody out, she would be able to. The vendor, a small man with black hair and slated eyes said 20 then a word Roxy wasn't familiar with; it must be the monetary system here. Over the months she learned each region had its own currency, but gold was a constant which was always accepted.

"An ounce and a half for the lot," Athena translated for her. Roxy nodded, digging the necessary change out of her bag and handed it to the man. His eyes lighting up, he all but pushed the glass towards Roxy, greedily snatching the precious metal out of her hands.

Carefully putting the obsidian in the bag, she quickly went over the check list in her head. She needed to refill her canteen, get some dried food and buy twine to attach the spear head to the current spear less olive branch stick she was carrying around.

Suddenly, some bells began to ring, making everyone around her stop and bow their heads, the chatter of the crowd stopping suddenly. Roxy looked around confused, not quite sure what was going on. Receiving a nasty glare from a nearby woman, she decided to copy what everyone else was doing.

After two minutes, the bells stopped ringing and everyone returned to their routines like nothing had happened.

How odd. I shall have to ask Athena about it later. First, I need to finish shopping.

Walking down the street, looking at the different wares, she felt a few raindrops hit her pale skin.

"Great " Athena groaned, looking up at the sky. "This better not have Poseidon's hand in it. In the mean time, take some shelter over there."

Athena pointed to a small building with a small door. Taking Athena's advice, Roxy jogged over as the rain began to come down heavier. She opened the door and slid inside before it came pouring down. Pushing her damp white bangs out of her face, she looked around.

Unlike other places she had been, there was no chairs, and the tables were low to the ground. A plump woman came up to Roxy, chatting away and gestured for her to follow. Hesitantly, Roxy complied, being seated next to a woman with extravagant robes. Being handed a menu, Roxy looked around to see how everyone else was sitting before copying them.

"What's this place?" Roxy asked in a low undertone.

"A tea house," Athena explained. "Their common for this area. What's on the menu?"

Roxy placed the menu down, swinging it so Athena could read. The goddess looked over it carefully and hummed thoughtfully.
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Last Edited by Ruki; 07-04-2012 at 04:00 PM. Reason: Reply With Quote
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:20 AM
Cascadian Cascadian is a male Canada Cascadian is offline
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

Meesha tucked her feet underneath her, continuing to look out the window. Rain was always so soothing to her, especially when she was tucked away in a warm shelter with hot tea. Out of the corner of her eye, a young woman around her age walked in, and was seated next to her. She was dressed oddly, but Meesha didn't really mind. Around here, Meesha was dressed oddly too. The Desert Witch continued to eat her jam biscuit, simply enjoying in the moment of peace.

A young man silently approached her, and knelt down opposite to her, across the table. Meesha put the biscuit down, and raised an eyebrow in his direction. The man had white skin, and a blue bandana across his blonde hair. He wore a sailor's slacks and shirt, with a bundle of letters in his hand. He smiled at Meesha as he sat, his green eyes looking softly at her face. Meesha pegged him as a man from the Northern Wilderness, judging by his stocky build and unkempt hair.

"Sorry to bother you, ma'am." the man began, his voice quiet and monotone. "My name is Karenk Olafson. I was just passing by, and noticed you looked out of place. New here?"

Meesha nodded her head. "Yes sir, yes I am." She returned his smile and took a sip of tea.

"I thought as much." he lowered his voice even more, and leaned closer. "Are you looking to...cross the border?"

Meesha's eyes widened, and she put down her glass. She also leaned closer, her voice dropping to a whisper. "I am indeed, actually. I assume you know a way through?"

Karenk nodded eagerly, and withdrew. From his bundle, he handed Meesha one of the letters. "We're meeting just before midnight tomorrow, and escaping together. I've been sent to recruit others to join our cause. I assume I can count on you being there?"

Meesha bowed her head. "Yes. Yes, of course. Thank you sir, this will save me a lot of trouble."

Karenk got up, and looked down at the mage. "Get some rest tonight at the local inn. Tomorrow, we will be free."

He gave his farewells and headed off to the table beside Meesha, and sat down to talk to the woman in the toga. Meesha put her biscuit in her mouth to hold it, and opened the letter with both her hands. Once the letter was freed, she discarded the envelope and put the biscuit back in her left hand. She read the letter carefully, although there was not much there to see:

To whom it may concern,

11:45, just outside the town gate. Bring supplies and provisions for three days worth of travel, as the next town over is about that far. If you get snatched, we will leave you behind. Fit men and women only.

Freedom awaits.
-The Night Traveler
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:45 AM
Ruki Ruki is a female United States Ruki is online now
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

"Hrm, I would suggest some green tea and-woah!" Athena quickly moved from her seat as a young man with blonde hidden underneath a blue bandana sat down. He was wearing a similar uniform to those who Roxy watched man the sea crafts. In his hand was a small bundle of papers. Roxy stared blankly as Athena scooted over so she was sitting next to her; she always hated people going through her when she was in this form. She said it felt unnatural.

The man began speaking the local language in a low undertone. None of which she could understand. She glanced at Athena who was listening intently as he gestured to Roxy and the woman next to her. Was he asking if they were together or something?

"Nod your head," Athena instructed her, an unreadable look on her face. Roxy hesitantly did as she was told making the man's eyes gleam as he increased the rate of his speech. Roxy glanced at Athena who did a circular motion with her hand, nodding slightly. Roxy complied and the man slid a paper towards her, standing up as he continued to speak before walking away.

Roxy opened the letter, seeing the strange writing of the land.

"What did I just agree to?" She asked Athena, the goddess reading the parchment over her shoulder, a grin crawling across her features.

"A way inland."
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Last Edited by Ruki; 07-04-2012 at 04:01 PM. Reason: Reply With Quote
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:11 AM
Cascadian Cascadian is a male Canada Cascadian is offline
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

Meesha stood up, putting the empty teapot down. She fished three gold coins from her pouch, and placed them on the table. This day has kept getting better and better, Meesha thought to herself. First, she had finally reached Sharkton. Next, she had a nice snack and some hot tea, while evading the rain. Finally, she had her passage into the Mantis Empire without the months of planning and scouting she thought would have been necessary. Things were looking up, that was for sure.

Pulling away from the table, she past the young woman with the toga. What a beautiful spear Meesha thought, spying the obsidian head of the lady's weapon. Continuing past, she smiled at the woman who had seated her.

"Hello there. The tea was great, thank you. Do you know where the local inn is? I need to set up shelter for the night."

The woman nodded with a big grin, her crooked teeth contrasted by her brilliant green eyes. "Yes! Yes, go down the street for five buildings, and turn left. Shaitu I--Sorry, Sharkton Inn is the large one on the left. You can't miss it."

Meesha thanked the lady with a bow, and excited the teahouse. By now the rain was so light that she didn't mind. Although the street was nearly deserted, she didn't want to use Ride the Light for transport: someone was probably staring out a window right now. So, she walked hastily to the Inn, being careful to avoid the puddles that had formed in the downpour.

Entering the Inn, she discovered that it was really more like one massive room than a proper Inn. Each "room" had a paper folding door covering it, but silhouettes could still be seen through it, and it did nothing for noise. Still, it was the only Inn in town. Meesha paid the old proprietor seven gold coins, and found a "room" near the back of the Inn. Although it was only about eight, she was exhausted from a long day of travel. She quickly washed up in the tub, and fell asleep on the warm sleeping mats, a soft blanket covering her from the cold.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:33 AM
Ruki Ruki is a female United States Ruki is online now
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

After the woman came back, Roxy pointed to the menu items Athena had suggested earlier, preferring not to make a fool of herself trying to pronounce the words, she leaned back and looked at Athena.

"So, what's the plan then?" she asked.

"Basically we are to meet up with a group of strangers at quarter to midnight at the town gates," Athena explained, pausing for a moment when the woman came back with the food, Roxy mumbling her thanks, her accent heavy and noticeable. "We are to rest in the inn tonight. We will finish buying supplies tomorrow."

Roxy nodded, taking a sip of her tea. She had learned not to overreact when trying new foods-it draws attention.

---------[R]--------


Roxy stayed until the sun went down and the rained stop. It seemed Poseidon wasn't behind the shower thankfully, but that didn't stop both of them to trek around town, one eye on the sea.

It took them 30 minutes to find the building; both had refused to ask for directions.

Roxy found this inn to be different then the others considering it was a giant room separated by small paper doors. Talk about thin walls.

After Roxy paid the innkeeper, she located a room right in the middle of things. Setting herself down, she glanced over at Athena.

"Do you think we'll find what we are looking for?" Athena looked at the shadows moving in the other room. She was silent for a few minutes before answering.

"I hope so."
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Last Edited by Ruki; 07-04-2012 at 04:01 PM. Reason: Reply With Quote
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:59 AM
Cascadian Cascadian is a male Canada Cascadian is offline
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

Meesha was awoken early in the morning by the sound of others getting ready for the day. The paper walls absorbed no sound whatsoever, and it became impossible to sleep in that din. Struggling awake, Meesha started to pack up her things, which wasn't very hard considering that she traveled lightly. She sleepily got dressed into her robe, struggling to tie the fastenings. She slipped the gold chains in her hair, and admired her reflection in the mirror on the wall. It wasn't perfect, but she looked good enough for the job ahead of her today.

She slid the door to her room open, and swiftly closed it behind her. Men and women, mostly foreigners, were milling about in the lobby. They slid out of their rooms in a dazed state, dragging their sleepy bodies into the main room. A breakfast of pork and fish was offered in the center of the room, with water to drink. Meesha grabbed several pieces of pork, downed a glass of water, hastily ate, and exited the loud Inn. As she stepped out into the streets, she immediately regretted her decision.

Yes, everything was much quieter in the streets. However, this was only because a thick fog shrouded the village, masking any sounds in its cold expanse. People filtered in and out of the fog, their shapeless forms being obscured by the fog. Although it was nice and peaceful out, it was freezing. Meesha shivered, and decided a nice warm blanket needed to be added to her checklist. She hurried down the street, her footsteps nearly silent.

Suddenly, the bells from the shrine wrung out once again in that familiar, eerie tone. The very quiet patter of feet that she could barely hear a second ago stopped, and total silence permeated the air. Ruefully, Meesha thought on the fact that at least the fog shrouded her from the view of the locals, and allowed her to skip their inane ritual. Meesha rubbed her hands together, trying to generate warmth. She hurried in the direction of the market, with a list of items on her mind.
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:20 PM
Ruki Ruki is a female United States Ruki is online now
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

Roxy was awakened to loud bells, their low sound reverberating with each ding. Groaning a bit, she looked around for any sight of Athena. However, she was no where to be seen. She shrugged a bit; Athena had the tendency to come and go as she pleased, especially since Roxy no longer needed her hand held in this world every step of the way. She still needed a lot of help, but she was getting better at self sufficiency.

Yawning slightly, she shuffled into the center of the entire huge room. There was pork and fish, with some water to wash it down. Sitting the same way she learned last night, Roxy filled her plate and ate all the food which was offered. While she wasn't terribly picky, she preferred her food fresh. This would no doubt be the last time in a long while before she would have such a luxury, and she was intent on enjoying it.

Once finished, she left the inn, bowing and muttering "thank you" to the innkeeper, receiving a bow in turn.

The air outside was shrouded in a thick fog, making it difficult for Roxy to see ten feet in front of her. She frowned slightly, and adjusted her bag on her shoulder. Normally she would be fine with fog, but ever since Poseidon was intent on hunting them down, she viewed such inclement weather with a tight chest.

"There you are." Roxy turned to see Athena leaning against the hotel, a pound of dried fish wrapped in brown paper under her arm. "You were sleeping like the dead, so I took the liberty to do some of your shopping for you. Here." She tossed the food towards Roxy, who caught it easily.

"Thank you," Roxy said as she opened the bag and slipped the fish inside. At least that was one thing out of the way. "I just need some twine and to fill up my canteen, and I should be all set I believe."

"There isn't anything else?" Athena asked, walking next to her as the two began to head towards the market square.

"I don't believe so," Roxy mused thoughtfully.
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:17 PM
Cascadian Cascadian is a male Canada Cascadian is offline
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

Arriving at the market, Meesha took a look around at the stalls. She had to walk up to each individual stall to see what they had to offer, as the thick fog shrouded anything past ten feet in front of her. Each vendor had a tiny wooden hut, filled to the brim with trinkets and baubles. They yelled at Meesha as she passed each one, trying to strike up a deal. Thankfully, the fog silenced their efforts once she was far enough away.

Meesha spent the majority of the morning buying supplies for the journey ahead. First, she found a small brown satchel to carry everything in. It fit comfortably on her back, and easily slid off if she some speed. She bought a nice brown woolen blanket, a map of the Mantis Empire, a green compass, and enough vegetables and salted meats for the trek ahead.

Once she reached the end of her mental checklist, it was getting close to noon. Meesha bought some bread, cheese, and ham, and made a small sandwhich. She sat on the end of the pier, looking out to sea. Staring into the blue expanse, she reflected on her journey. In the last few weeks, she had come a long way. If this Night Traveler could get her to the other side of the border, she would be so much safer. Of course, she wasn't naive enough to think the road to Xaichu City would be entirely safe. However, the moment she crossed the border she could forget all about Saltreach and its patrols.

Standing up, she began to wander the streets of Sharkton. The fog was clearing up now, and the sun was poking its way through the grey clouds above. Even though there was still a long time until her departure, she could already feel her nerves acting up. She passed Karenk just outside the town shrine, who gave her a knowing nod. He seemed to be just as nervous as she was, so she didn't stop to chat.

A parade of monks, clad in orange, appeared around the bend. They were heading towards the shrine, chanting in an odd language. Meesha rolled her eyes, realizing that they would probably be coming to wring the bells again. She wandered towards the teahouse, preparing for the tolling of the bells any moment now.
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:52 PM
Ruki Ruki is a female United States Ruki is online now
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

Roxy and Athena, who had slipped back to being unseen by everyone but Roxy, wandered the square attempting to find supplies. Athena would come and go, checking one way while Roxy checked another. Between both of their efforts, they managed to find the twine and a place to fill up her canteen.

It was around 3 p.m. when the fog began to clear, the sun poking through holes in the grey clouds above. Finally having everything (hopefully) for the upcoming journey, Roxy bought a roasted fish for herself and a loaf of bread and cheese for Athena.

Making her way towards the back of the city, she passed chanting monks, clothed in orange, making their way towards the west part of town.

"They must be on their way to ring the bells," Athena mused as the two stepped out of their path, allowing them to go by.

"What's up with that anyways?" Roxy asked once the monks were out of earshot. She doubted they could understand her, but it was better safe then sorry.

"It's part of their religion," Athena explained with a wave as they began walking again. "The people of the Mantis Empire have three gods that work in harmony: Hu-sung (morning), Shei-ling (afternoon), and Zsu (night). They believe each god governs a part of the day, and the bells ring for two minutes every morning at 8 a.m. and every afternoon at 3 p.m. This signifies the respect they have for the deity that is watching over that part of the day. Zsu, the god of night, doesn't get a bell because he is respected by sleeping."

"Have you met any of them?" Roxy asked curiously. Athena shook her head slightly. "I mostly meet other gods and goddess of foreign lands in war, or by trade. We were always on pretty good terms with some of them, the Egyptian ones in particular. Though that was because we stayed with them for a period of time when Greece was at the height of its power before it fell."

"I see," Roxy said, falling silent for a bit before speaking up again. "Do you think any of them will join in the fight?" Athena pursued her lips, a troubled expression clouding her grey eyes.

"I do not know," she admitted. "Either way, it wouldn't be good for either side. We are no longer as strong as we once were, and even though we are still divine thanks to Atlantis and a few other pockets of worshipers, we are close enough to mortals we can be stricken down by another god."

Roxy looked down worriedly just as the bells began to solemnly toll. Somehow, she felt a sense of foreboding and she didn't know why.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:19 PM
Cascadian Cascadian is a male Canada Cascadian is offline
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

As the bells once again began to toll, Meesha decided to stop and bow her head. With no fog to cover her, she was forced to observe the local custom or be labeled an outsider. Everything was silent, except for the soothing sounds of the bells. The transition really was very remarkable: from noisy chatter to complete quiet. For the full two minutes, Meesha kept her hands at her sides, her dark hair falling past her bowed face. This ritual, while unnecessary and unproductive, was a nice pause to an otherwise busy day.

The moment the last bell rang, Meesha continued walking towards the teahouse. The chatter of business continued to her left, down in the marketplace, while the laughter and cries of children sounded throughout the school to her right. Sharkton had its faults, but all in all it was a nice place to live. Had she not cared so much about Oasis City, she might have moved in here and found a job in the fisheries.

Entering the teahouse, the same middle aged woman from before sat her down by the window. Rays of sunlight hit her table, and she basked in its warm glow. Meesha had no idea what tonight would bring, but she pushed all that aside for the warm glow of the sun. Its magnificent glare warmed her up and rejuvenated her body, reminding her of the desert.

Looking around the establishment, Meesha saw that all the room was full to the brim.

"Busy day?" she asked the owner, whom had walked over with a teapot full of green tea.

"Yes, yes. It's a day off work today, so many come here and meet with friends." she replied, pouring Meesha a glass of tea.

Meesha nodded her understanding. It seemed like every table was full. People were gossiping about events in the town, complaining about their daily lives, and otherwise enjoying the company of friends and family. If anybody else walked in, they'd be forced to drink on the floor or sit with a stranger.

Looking out the window, Meesha observed that the sun was getting ready to set. Soon, nightfall would be upon them. With just a few hours to go until they left, Meesha sipped her tea slowly. Now was the time for meditation and mental preparedness. The next few weeks were going to be...interesting.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:42 PM
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

Roxy (and Athena) were among the first ones to meet outside the gate as the sun set below the horizon. They were anxious to get away far away from the coastline, even though it left Roxy have a heavy heart; she had lived under the protection of Poseidon all of her life, and now he was out to harm her due to a disagreement in stance.

She knew gods were fickle creatures, but Roxy never fully comprehended the full extent of it until now.

They are like little children who throw tantrums when they do not have their way. Roxy mused grimly. Except unlike children, their tantrums lead to the deaths of many.

Sitting on a large boulder near the gates, Roxy used the fish scale to sharped the obsidian glass into a spear point. She had already managed to complete one earlier and tied it to olive shaft with the twine, making sure it was secure. She would really love to figure out a way to make the Fauna of the Mirror fish scales into a spear head so she wouldn't keep on having to replace them so often. Unfortunately, they made the spear too top heavy, so she kept the scales around as tools. For now.
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:21 PM
Cascadian Cascadian is a male Canada Cascadian is offline
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

As night approached, the paper lanterns hanging from each building were lit. They illuminated the surrounding darkness, casting shadows upon the walls. Meesha walked down towards the town gates, her purple and gold robe flowing behind her as she walked. Several old men were talking together and smoking a pipe in a doorway. A cat walked across the street, meowed, and jumped into a nearby alleyway. Other then that, everybody else was retiring inside, preparing to go to bed.

As Meesha approached the town gate, a guard walked out of the tower and approached her. He approached her with one hand outstretched, and another on the hilt of his sword. His chestplate bore the insignia of Saltreach: a blue steering wheel. A helmet covered his face, with room for his eyes to see out of. The metallic clang of boots hitting rock sounded out as his heavy footfalls approached her. Meesha tensed up. She was never told about this.

"Halt, citizen!" the guard exclaimed, now within talking distance. "Why do you approach the gates?"

"W-well I w-was..." Meesha started, her nerves getting the better of her. The guard cut her off.

"Do you have the required...documentation?" he asked, taking out an envelope identical to the one Karenk had given her.

Beaming, Meesha reached into her pack and drew out the letter. She handed it off to the guard, her fingers still slightly trembling.

The guard nodded and pocketed the letter. "The Night Traveler provides." he stated, moving aside to let her pass. Meesha hastily bowed before the guard, and quickly gathered her belongings. She half-ran out the gates, leaving Sharkton behind her. So ended the calm before the storm.

Meesha knew she was early, and was surprised that someone else had arrived before her. It was the toga-girl she had spied earlier. She was sitting on a boulder, her obsidian spear stretched over her lap. With several hours still to go before they departed, Meesha walked up to the lady. Her skin was extremely pale, and she had a beautiful blue shawl draped over her shoulder.

"How do you do?" Meesha asked, sliding on top of the boulder to rest beside the other woman.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:29 PM
Ruki Ruki is a female United States Ruki is online now
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

Roxy looked up at the sound of someone talking to her. It was the same woman with the extravagant purple robes from the tea house. She gave a pleading look to Athena, who was leaning against the boulder below her feet. Athena gave a slight grin.

"She is asking you how you do," Athena informed her with a grin. Despite traveling for months, Roxy still hadn't picked up on the language, although with the dialects and sometimes entire languages contentiously changing, it was making things much more difficult then if she was staying in one place.

"How do I say I am doing fine?" Roxy asked, mumbling a bit, hoping the other girl didn't think she was talking to her just yet.

"I am fine, how about you?" Athena said slowly and Roxy nodded her head. Those sounded like simple enough words to pronounce. Hopefully.

"I em feen, how about ewu? (I am fine, how about you?)" Roxy said slowly, doing her utmost to pronounce each word how Athena did.

But judging by Athena's loud laughter, she must have messed up somewhere. Roxy's shoulders dropped, feeling discouraged.

I hate this.

ooc: The writing in italics for Roxy is what she is saying in something that isn't Ancient Greece. I spelled it how she pronounced it, and put what she is trying to say in parentheses.
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Last Edited by Ruki; 07-04-2012 at 11:30 PM. Reason: Reply With Quote
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:59 PM
Cascadian Cascadian is a male Canada Cascadian is offline
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

Meesha watched the girl look down at her feet for a moment. It looked as if she was concentrating really hard. Perhaps she's a foreigner, thought Meesha. As if to confirm her musings, the girl mumbled something in another language. Meesha was sympathetic with the girl's struggles. Being bilingual herself, she knew the struggles of translating from one language to another. She folded her hands on her lap, waiting patiently for a reply. Finally, the girl opened her mouth and spoke.

"I em feen, how about ewu?" she slowly said, struggling over certain words.

Meesha put a hand to her mouth as she started to giggle, but quickly suppressed it when she saw the girl's shoulders drop. Immediately, she went in to "speaking with foreigners" mode, and very slowly pronounced her sentences to the girl.

"I am doing very well, thank you. What is your name?" Meesha replied, a slowly and carefully as she could.

As she waited for an answer, she twisted a braid in her hair. The night was getting darker and darker, and several more people were just starting to fill in to the clearing. Looking up at the moon, she judged the time to be around 10:30. It wouldn't be long now before Karenk Olafson and the Night Traveler would arrive to escort them over the border.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:10 AM
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

The woman spoke slower this time, making sure to pronounce each word as carefully as possible. While it was a nice gesture, it didn't really do much if Roxy couldn't understand a word she was saying no matter how fast or slow she spoke.

Well, if I didn't make it abundantly clear I'm not from around here, that probably did the trick. Roxy thought as she waited for Athena to translate once more for her, the goddess hitting the boulder slightly with the palm of hand as tears rolled down her face from mirth.

"Name," Athena said between laughs. Ignoring the normally calm goddess, Roxy's pale blue eyes lite up. Finally, something she knew how to say without help!

"Roxane," Roxy said, pausing for a moment before giving her nickname, hoping the woman understood what she was trying to get at. "Roxy." She pointed at the woman, before making circular motions with her hands. Hopefully the woman would understand that she was asking for her name as well.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:46 AM
Cascadian Cascadian is a male Canada Cascadian is offline
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

"Roxane...Roxy," the young woman replied, leaving a space between each name. Meesha assumed Roxy was an abbreviation of Roxane, and nodded her head. Roxy pointed at her, and started drawing circles with her fingers. Meesha made a shrugging motion with her shoulders. What is she asking? she wondered. After several moments of awkward gesturing, Meesha caught on.

"Oh!" she said out loud, as realization dawned on her face. She pointed to herself.

"Meesha," she said, a big smile breaking out on her face as she achieved communication. Meesha loved talking with people from faraway lands, despite the language barriers. She found that cultures from other kingdoms and cultures were so...interesting! The way everyone lived their daily lives throughout the world was a fascinating topic.

Before the inquisitive Meesha could ask any questions, however, Karenk strolled out of Sharkton. He wore black clothing, and he had even changed out his blue bandana for a brown one. He produced a small tin plate and wooden spoon, no doubt borrowed from his hosts. He clanged them together loudly, trying to draw attention.

Meesha sat still on the boulder, pulling her legs underneath her robe. As the crowd quieted down, Karenk spoke. His voice boomed over the clearing, allowing all to hear.

"There's been a change of plans." he started, drawing himself to his full height to further project his voice. "The Night Traveler will be arriving in ten minutes. He will brief you on the journey for five minutes. We will be leaving immediately after that."

Karenk sat his own back down, and knelt on the grass just outside the gate.

Meesha looked over at Roxy. "Are you nervous?"
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:59 PM
Ruki Ruki is a female United States Ruki is online now
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

Roxy didn't understand anything which was being said, but the change in expression from mirth to solemness in Athena's expression when the young man who had approached her yesterday spoke, she figured it had to be something quite serious.

The woman-Meesha-spoke to her again. This time she managed to pick up part of the word "nervous." It sounded liked the Atlantian word nervi, which roughly meant apprehensive. Hoping that this word was similar in meaning, and she was asking what Roxy thought she was, Roxy nodded her head slowly.

She was very nervi. She had never been away from water for any length of time, and she didn't enjoy the thought of leaving it behind.

Plus the whole situation over Pandora's Box also didn't help any matters.

She gestured towards Meesha, speaking in her native tongue.

"Nervi?"

ooc: Bold words are the actual Atlantian words.
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Last Edited by Ruki; 07-08-2012 at 01:25 AM. Reason: Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 07-05-2012, 03:12 PM
Cascadian Cascadian is a male Canada Cascadian is offline
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

Meesha raised an eyebrow at the girl's question. Nervi? What could that mean? Thankfully, it only took a second to register. Meesha's eyes once again lit up as she figured out what Roxy was getting at.

"Oh! Yes, I'm very nervous. I'm scared of getting caught by the guards, or getting lost along the way." Meesha replied, rubbing her hands to communicate her nervousness. They sat in silence for a moment. A cool breeze swept past them, and the sounds of crickets chirping in the distance provided a backdrop to the sounds of men and women chatting away.

All of a sudden, a fairly tall man strode out of the gates. He was covered in black leather clothing from head to toe. Only his eyes were visible, two brown orbs shining inside the material. He held his hand up for silence. With such a commanding presence, that didn't take very long. Once everyone was silent, he began his explanation.

"All right you lot. I am the Night Traveler," he started, his voice extremely deep and gravelly. "I've done this route about eleven times by now, so I know the way well."

The man walked through the clearing, nearly shouting so his voice could be heard.

"Now I have several rules that you must follow. Failure to do so will get yourself and others killed. I don't think I have to tell you how efficient and deadly the soldiers of Saltreach are, and they have no sympathy nor mercy for border hoppers." the Night Traveler continued, stopping to clear his throat.

"So listen well and listen close, for I shall not repeat myself. Rule number one: you listen to me and me only. Should I be captured or otherwise occupied, Karenk here will assume command. Rule number two: stick with the group. Don't go wandering off alone, or you will die. Rule number three: stay focused on the trail ahead. Don't get distracted by anything. We must keep moving forward. Finally, rule number four: stay calm and collected. Panicking for any reason will get yourself and others killed or captured."

Meesha bit her lip, the knot in her stomach tightening. The Night Traveler finished his explanation with some instructions.

"Alright, we're going to be using a partner system to ensure no one gets lost. Find one other person to tag along with, and produce fifteen gold coins each. Hand me the gold coins and show me your partner, and we can begin."

Meesha looked over at Roxy. Well, we can't really communicate very well... Meesha thought apprehensively. On the other hand, she seems to know what she's doing, and she's the only person I know around here...

Meesha reached her hand out to Roxy. "Partners?"
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:19 PM
Ruki Ruki is a female United States Ruki is online now
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Re: Mantis [Ruki and Shrub]

Roxy stared at a man who strode out of the gates. He was covered head to toe in black clothing, and Roxy was only able to see him due to the light of the moon and stars. The only part of his body not covered in cloth was his brown eyes. He had a commanding presence, although while Roxy was impressed, traveling around with a goddess made normally impressive mortal leaders not as commandeering.

However, not everyone had a divine companion, so after a minute of the man standing there, the soft conversations of the group which had gathered fell into nothing.

Once everyone was silent, he began to speak in a low gravely voice. Unsurprisingly, Roxy didn't understand a word he was saying. However, she stayed quiet like the rest of the group. Finally, after a few minutes he finished his explanation. Meesha turned toward her and spoke a single word and held out her hand.

Roxy stared at it for a second confused before shaking it. Was she wishing her luck in their journey?

"Just to let you know, you agreed to be partners with her," Athena said, hoping up on the boulder, walking behind Meesha, folding her arms across her chest as she looked off into the distance. "Which is fine-judging by her robes she is a mage from Oasis City. She would be able to hold out on her own."

"What's going on?" Roxy asked, putting her questions about Meesha towards the back of her mind for later. Perhaps she could even ask Meesha herself; she seemed to be communicating better then she did when she first came up here.

"Well, basically you are going to go with Meesha and pay the Night Traveler, the guy decked in black if you didn't figure that out, 15 gold coins with Meesha. After everyone has done this, we will set out. Also, some points of interest for you anyways is if Night Traveler gets captured or killed, blondie-" she pointed at the boy who had approached them earlier. "Will take control. Also, don't wander off and keep your eyes on the path above, don't get distracted by anything. Most importantly, do not flip out because you will get killed. Although, in your case it should be don't be a stubborn ass."

"Anything else I should know?" Roxy asked, standing up and jumping off the rock, her legs bending slightly as she landed.

"I'll let you know as events warrant," Athena told her, landing next to her.
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aphrodite, athena, jin liu, mantis, meesha kadeem, roxane


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