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  • (YEAH BOIIIIIIIII)

    Change is coming. Inevitable. Merciless. Uncaring. The seasons are turning like the tide, fall melting into the cold of winter. The idea of peace is being cast aside as the number of attacks increase.

    The Half-Horn Alliance has sparked a flame inside the Ostoran Empire, one that will cause an eruption to destroy everything.

    War.

    -

    SIGNUP SHEET

    Name:

    Race: (Human, Gazelle, Cheetah, Lion, Zebra, Fox, Crocodile, Horse)

    Appearance:

    Personality:

    Weapons/Armor:

    Extras:



    (Previous Part: https://spaghettitiger.wikia.com/wiki/Thread:73046 )

      Loading editor
    • Tiral is tending to Honey, his palms glowing as he heals her. He looks up as Akata enters.

      "Sorry it's taking so long."

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    • "It's fine." Akata waves her hand, excusing Tiral. She glances down at the cheetah, eyes narrowed.

      "Your first task is to find the Half-Thorn's home base. Their primary base of operations. Am I understood?"

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    • Honey nods slightly, wincing as her bones knit back together.

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    • "And you understand the consequence of failure?"

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    • "Yes." Honey says, her face grim. Tiral sits back on his heels, taking pressure off his hooves while he waits for the next set of bones to finish healing.

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    • (Tesst)

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    • “Good girl.” Akata moved forwards, and petted the cheetah on the head.

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    • (yeet)

      Honey flinches slightly. Tiral finishes up healing and stands, stretching his legs.

      "You'll have sore muscles for a few hours."

      "Great."

      "Don't go jumping off any cliffs." Tiral narrows his eyes. Honey blushes a bit, her ears tilting back.

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    • Akata then left the tent, heading to Addia once more.

      “How much does our army number?”

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    • Addia pauses for a second, squinting at the sky.

      "About.. six legions so far. So, around 30,000 soldiers, along with several elite cohorts."

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    • A sly smirk slowly began to appear on Akata’s face.

      “Yes... yes, that will do.”

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    • Addia smiles a bit.

      "So you gonna clue me in on this plan of yours? Tiral said I should ask you directly."

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    • Fox lands. 

      They were lush, fertile, long sloping forests and hills...

      Even this didn't seem to brighten Miranda's dour mood, in fact, she seemed quite perplexed as she surveyed the surroundings.

      "Let me guess, the Foxes will be the kind of folks who find you, not the other way around?"

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    • "I will use my spy to fnd their base of operations, strike them swiftly, and shatter their little alliance.My little secret will help take care of the stragglers..."

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    • Loti nods, admiring a vine cluster coated in violet flowers on a tree.

      "We just need to head in. I know a tiny portion of the path, but they blindfolded me last time."

      -

      "I immagine you're not ready to tell me your little secret." Addia smiles a bit.

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    • ¨Lets just hope we´re quick enough.¨ she starts to lead the way forward, trying hard to keep her arm noticable. 

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    • Loti walks beside her, trying her best to remember the way. Their gathered soldiers and citizens alike are following behind, looking warily up at the trees and murmuring to each other.

      "It'll be safer in the forest, anyhow."

      "why did we have to leave?"

      "my hooves hurt."

      "where are we going, again?"

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    • ¨The fox kingdom, if we´re going to start our assaults in full, we´ll need them...¨

      Then we can finally stop getting kicked around, we can fight back. We need to thin those numbers of theirs, even if I have to do it myself... Akata isnt going to hide behind her ¨elites¨ anymore.

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    • “Of course not! That would ruin the surprise.” Akata laughed, “but I assure you, it is very... surprising.”

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    • Loti nods in silent agreement. It seems like she's thinking about something.

      "Who goes there!?" A voice shouts from the trees.

      "Warchief Half-Horn and her army." Loti calls back in response.

      "Why does the banner fly in the wind?"

      "Because the butterfly took wing."

      A section of trees disappears, revealing a seperate path. There's a troop of armed Fox warriors standing there in all their glory, sunlight dancing across their orange pelts. One motions with a slight jerk of his spear to direct them down the new path.

      -

      "Alright, if you say so." Addia smiles. "You seem to be in a much better mood, milady."

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    • ¨Hmm, you could´ve told me we were being expected.¨ 

      She´d lead the way this time... No smile remained on her face this whole trip.

      She hadn´t worn one for a while now.

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    • "Of course I am. In the following weeks, our worries will be lifted. My people will be freed from the scourge of that Half-Horn and her band of raiding, pillaging savages..."

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    • Loti looks at Miranda every so often during the walk, frowning deeply.

      "Gotta lift the mood.." She thinks briefly, before the thought is consumed by the war once more.

      -

      Addia nods a bit, then looks at the sky.

      "It's been getting colder, hasn't it?"

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    • Ironically, every now and then the same thought crossed Miranda´s mind, but every time it was struck down by plans, all varying plans to wipe out Akata from the map, plans to take back every town and fort they could... Thats when a memory crossed her mind, of her family, back home... The injustice that crossed them, oh Akata and the Ostoran empire forgot her family all right.

      I´ll make those bastards remember, and maybe do some good for once in the process...

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    • Loti leans over to Miranda.

      "At least it's nicer than the cave.." She smiles, nodding her head up to the emerald leaf canopy above them.

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    • ¨I know, but I worry much about leaving so many people undefended out here...¨

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    • "The forest is dense. The foxes have traps everywhere. They're masters of illusion magic. Not even the horses can compare."

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    • "That could prove useful, actually... If we could set up a series of traps, have them well hidden via magic..."

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    • Loti nods.

      "It's very hard to get through the forest without a guide."

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    • "If we can tide the foxes over, this could be a new base of operations, actually... Akata won't know where we even come from..." she finally got that smile back, for a second. 

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    • "The foxes are allied with us. They believe firmly in our cause." Loti grins at Miranda's brief smile.

        Loading editor
    • the grin stays for a long while then. "Who does lead the foxes? I'd love to meet them."

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    • "Varian Oakstone." Loti looks ahead. "He's one of the bravest warriors i've ever known."

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    • "Varian... Excellent, we need strong fighters, capable people." 

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    • "...he is obsessed with becoming one with Mani, their goddess, unfortunately."

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    • "Mani... I dont blame him for it, from what I heard as a kid, she was absolutely reviled by the Ostoran empire...

      That means we need any connection we can to her."

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    • "Mani.. I can't imagine meeting her. The nine-tailed vixen. The strongest warrior of legend."

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    • "Perhaps... If only we could have a living dead legend, eh?" 

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    • Loti chuckles and nods.

      "There's so much i've heard.."

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    • "Lets hope your people look up to you similarly..."

        Loading editor
    • Loti nods again.

      "Let's hope."

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    • With that, she'd scan the crowd they had following them, just for a second.

      Vast lands too... How much further...

        Loading editor
    • The crowd is following closely. Seems like the Gazelles are a hardy people.

      "Not much further." One of the foxes says, his voice gruff.

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    • "Excellent, I hope there will be proper accommodations? Perhaps even extra hands for training? I haven't been able to kick it into high gear, but I aspire to."

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    • “You know, Addia. My people have a saying.” Akata turns around, looking out at the camp, a small hub, barely enough to house a legion of pathfinders. Small, but significant. Hidden, but deadly.

      “The winter serves only to toughen us up for the spring.” She glances sideways at her ally, “For the bears slumber during the season of snow, and spare us the pain of their hunt.”

      She brings her hand up, and tugs at the necklace aeoind her neck, pulling it up from behind her tunic.

      “But once the first flowers of spring start to bloom. The bears rise from their slumber, and return to the hunt...”

      The pendant was made to hold a tooth. Akata brought the tooth up, and made it completely visible to Addia.

      It was a Cheetah’s fang...

      “I think it is high time that we awoke from our slumber, dear Addia.”

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    • The fox nods slightly.

      "Doesn't seem like the talkative type." Loti whispers, leaning over to Miranda.

      -

      Addia's eyes widen, and she stares at the fang.

      "is that..?"

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    • "I know, just... Trying to keep myself from snapping from all this pressure."

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    • “Yes, yes it is.” Akata let go of the fang, letting it hang from her neck, now entirely visble.

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    • "Maybe we should find something fun to do." Loti muses as the Fox city comes into view.

      Massive.

      A sprawling, glittering city sheltered by a massive tree in the center. Its branches spread over the entire area, giving everything an emerald glow. The buildings look to be made out of a mixture of wood and bricks of crystal.

        Loading editor
    • Miranda was absolutely awestruck, she almost had to keep herself from stopping lest she bump into someone behind her. "Impressive, that they manage to keep this hidden so well...

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    • "The canopy prevents it from being seen from above. It's surrounded by a dense forest, filled with traps and wild animals." Loti smiles. "It's beautiful."

        Loading editor
    • (oh f psycho sorry)

      Addia stares at it for a moment, then shakes her head.

      "With winter getting so close, food will get scarce. disease will take over."

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    • "It truly is..." She'd step aside, letting other folks go on ahead- but also to keep taking in the sight. 

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    • “Unlike the savages, Addia. We do not rely on this land for agriculture. We have great swathes of land back in the mainland solely dedicated to the production of food. We have enough food for the winter. This is an advantage.”

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    • The gazelles head down into the city, chattering excitedly.

      Loti leans against a tree, rubbing her head.

      "Ugh. I don't want to go do leader things."

      She looks over at  Miranda, resting her hand on her neck. She gives her a half-smile.

      "Wanna go relax for a bit?"

      -

      "Are you sure there will be enough for everyone?" Addia rubs her chin.

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    • “I’m certain. We do not hibernate during the winter, Addia. We fight.”

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    • "If it'll cool you off, yeah, you sure we have the time though?" 

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    • "we fight.." Addia says quietly.

      Tiral walks over to the two, stretching.

      "She's ready to go. We shouldn't send her out yet, there's a cold snap on the way, and it's gonna be the worst when it hits." He smiles, his eyes glowing for a second.

      -

      "Absolutely. Everyone needs to get settled in, anywho." Loti crosses her arms.

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    • "Good, if only we knew where to look... So much to see..."

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    • "We could start with something simple. I've heard the food here in incredible." Loti looks out over the city.

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    • "Hah, food, havent been able to think about that for ages at this point." 

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    • "Well, maybe you should. You look like you're starving."

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    • She'd look down, sighing.

      "You're right, uhh..." she'd look up to the canopies above and around, looking for some sign of a tavern or even a market. 

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    • "No." Akata said, facing Tiral.

      "We send her out during the worst of it. She must appear sufficiently weathered in order to be convincing."

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    • There are.. buildings in the tree. Some firmly planted on the thick branches, others hanging down and secured only by a web of rope and a simple wooden rope bridge. Foxes are walking along the paths above as easily as solid ground, some even stopping to talk on branches or in the middle of bridges. Looking up eventually gets dizzying.

      The forest floor is a bustle of market chatter in one area, a sleepy residential center in another, food and leisure in another direction, and various larger buildings marked with distinct symbols sprinkled throughout.

      -

      Tiral seems to hesitate, but only for a second. He nods.

      "I don't see any more problems in the near future. What now?"

        Loading editor
    • "Now? We let her reintegrate into the hive, and feed us information. We consolidate our lands, and wait for my weapon to arrive."

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    • "lets try the market." she tries climbing on down to that area, being slow and steady to avoid a heft fall. 

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    • Addia nods slowly.

      "That cheetah.. are you sure about her? I mean.. she could turn on us. Tiral's foresight isn't always, well.. perfect.."

      Tiral is staring at the sky, lost in traversing the river of time.

      -

      Loti follows Miranda down the hill, her hooves finding an easy path as second nature.

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    • "I have insurance, Addia. Don't you worry."

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    • "hmmph, you go on ahead, I'm just..." she wobbles a bit, nearly tripping on a wet branch. "EEP!"

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    • Addia sighs, then nods.

      "I really hope everything goes right."

      A chill wind breezes through the camp. Addia shivers, the scales on her neck standing up.

      -

      Loti grabs Miranda's arm and pulls her against her chest.

      "Watch your step."

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    • “It will.” Akata sensed the cold, and buttoned up her coat in response.

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    • "Heavens... I really should, just.. I'll follow you." 

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    • Tiral snaps back to reality as the cold brushes his cheek. He snaps his fingers, creating a turquoise flame that hovers in a small ball above his index finger. It grows steadily larger, before settling at about the size of a good-sized stone.

      Addia touches a finger to the flame, smiling as the warm tongues coil around her claw.

      "Never understood how you control these pretty little fires, Whiteblaze. I've seen entire villages burned down because some silly foal tried to make one."

      "It's likely I can control it so well because I'm the one who made the spell." Tiral smiles proudly, tossing his fireball from one hand to the other. "Magefire is difficult to control, unless you're me."

      -

      Loti keeps ahold of Miranda's hand and leads her down the path, making her way to the market. She hums a little as she goes, walking to her own private rhythm.

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    • " 'Unless you're me'," Akata laughed, moving her hands down to her hips. "You know, Tiral? For as long as I have known you, you always try to portray yourself as some sort of innocent soul, but... You always did have a little devil living inside of you."

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    • Tiral blushes and ducks his head. Addia breaks out into roaring laughter.

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    • Once they got there, she'd look around, she honestly was hoping for new meals- new things to consider.

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    • Judging from the painted signs, there's everything from beetles to elk being sold in the various shops.

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    • "uhh... Lets try beetles, perhaps, small treats..." she prepares herself mentally and heads over to one of the stalls. 

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    • "Beetles? Interesting." Loti holds the door open. "After you, general."

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    • she leads the way into the stall, keeping herself confident. 

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    • (My reply never sent for some reason. I am angry.)

      “I speak the truth, do I not?” Akata laughed along with Addia, placing a hand on the crocodile’s shoulder. Or rather, her back, since Addia was so tall.

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    • It's relatively quiet in here. There's a menu written on the wall in clear Lineyan. Loti inspects it, rubbing her chin and smiling.

      "mmm.. Lots of this sounds pretty good.. What do you think?"

      -

      "W-Well.. Yeah.." Tiral mumbles, moving the magefire to his left hand and rubbing the back of his head with his right.

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    • "Tell me, Tiral. What is your people's stance on this war?"

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    • "Neutral, as far as I've heard." Tiral switches hands. The flame grows warmer to drive off another blast of cold.

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    • "Tree beetles, seems like the regular here." 

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    • "Any chance we could sway them to our side?"

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    • Loti grins.

      "Looks like you're picking up on Lineyan well. Seems like they prepare them a special way here, by coating them in honey and spices and cooking them just like that."

      -

      Tiral frowns. Fear flashes across his face. 

      "um.. no. I don't think it's a good idea. Many mages don't have the control I do, a-and they can be sort of loose cannons, and--"

      "And he doesn't want to see his father." Addia sighs, crossing her arms. Tiral blushes and looks away, kicking the ground a little.

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    • "Not like it matters how they prepare it, I'll have it any way at this point." 

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    • "Mm, I sympathize." Akata sighed, "Do you think they can be swayed, Tiral? Regardless of what you think of your father?"

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    • Loti walks up to the counter and makes her order. The slim grey vixen writes it down, nodding. As Loti reaches into her bag, The vixen shakes her head.

      "free of charge. for warchief and general." She says in broken, accented english.

      -

      Tiral shakes his head.

      "graduated mages are sworn to take the Vow of Tranquility. They must remain impartial, no matter what. Horses who haven't taken the vow are either too young, unable to use magic, or failed the training and live out their lives as exiles and rogues."

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    • "I insist on paying, but if we must." She says, waving a small bag of silver she had since she began her journey. 

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    • Loti leans against the counter, humming a little. The vixen quickly comes back with two parcels wrapped in parchment and tied with some sort of handmade string. She hands them to Loti, then walks to a different section of the counter to take another order.

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    • Miranda would snatch hers, opening it up, secretly crossing her fingers as she did. 

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    • A pleasant, sweet smell drifts out of the package. The beetles resemble large roasted nuts with legs. Loti takes hers, saying a quiet "thank you" before heading for the door.

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    • "So... I suppose we should start looking for some rogue mages, eh?"

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    • she'd make her way out as well, taking a quick and crunchy bite.

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    • Tiral frowns again.

      "Well.. I guess.. They'll defnintely be hard to find, though.. And I doubt they'll do much on "good morals". Rogues typically aren't the most trustworthy.."

      -

      It's absolutely heavenly, despite the odd texture.

      "Where to next?" Loti smiles.

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    • "Hmm, your call, I already made a pick, eh?" 

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    • "hm.."

      Loti looks up in thought, before smiling.

      "Miranda.. Are you afraid of heights?"

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    • "No, why do you ask?" 

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    • "Everybody is trustworthy enough if you pay them their weight in gold." Akata grinned.

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    • Loti smiles.

      "Follow me."

      She heads down the street quickly.

      -

      Tiral sighs a bit.

      "I guess so.."

      "I've trained worse. Sounds solid to me." Addia grins.

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    • “Do you know where some may be hidden?” Akata asked.

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    • She skips down the street after Loti, quickly finishing up the meal... 

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    • "They'd likely be in heavily-populated areas, scattered throughout. Possibly in the lion-"

      "No. Not there. Something's wrong there." Tiral interrupts Addia. His eyes are glowing like candles. "Something really wrong."

      -

      Loti makes her way towards the main trunk of the tree, picking her way through side streets and narrow alleyways to avoid being seen.

      There's a shuffle of footsteps behind them.

      Loti doesn't notice.

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    • “Tiral. What’s happening?” Akata asked, she knew what those glowing eyes meant, she couldn’t keep herself from inquiring further.

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    • "I-I..." Tiral squints a bit, his eyes unfocusing and glowing brighter. "An outbreak. Cultists. Fallen god. Blood. Death. Murder. It's-"

      "Xander." Addia finishes with a snarl. Tiral nods, his face grim. He turns to Akata.

      "Have there been mysterious deaths in your empire? Generally in the night, no evidence, all of them beheaded and split open like slaughtered pigs?"

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    • Instinctively, Miranda spins over quickly. "Who's there?!" 

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    • "I.... I've been out of touch with the mainland for quite a while now. I've left management of the districts to my vassals. I'm afraid I don't know of any deaths of this sort..."

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    • Nothing. 

      Loti pauses and looks over her shoulder.

      "What is it, Miranda?"

      -

      "Are you sure? It could be anything, a rumor, a story, some legend you've heard years ago."

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    • "I really have no knowledge of this. Truly, I can ask the governors to send me reports on the crimes in their districts, but I fear that might distract us from the war effort."

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    • "I swear there was someone following us... Loti, keep an eye out, please..." 

      She still felt as if she was being watched, even after her fears were a bit alleviated after she looked around... "You sure theres no gangs in this city, Loti?" 

        Loading editor
    • "This could decimate your ranks. They're not used to the Plauge. We aren't used to the Plauge. We thought it had been eradicated due to advancements in medicine, but it got stronger and spread to certain birds and plants. Every time we develop a new medicine, it develops too. It's very important that you don't let anyone who's come in contact with any lions leave." Tiral explains, his usually cheery face grave.

      -

      "What's a... "gang"? Some kinda trader?" Loti frowns.

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    • "Like bandits, but in cities, sometimes not as bad, sometimes worse." 

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    • “Um.. none that I’ve heard of. Maybe it would make you feel better if we got out of these crowded streets.” Loti smiles.

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    • "Eh, I've always felt safer in crowds in that situation, but if you want, sure!" 

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    • "Very well." Akata nodded, "We quarantine those who have been in contact with any of the savages. Keep them here in order to train the new recruits."

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    • Loti grabs Miranda's hand gently and keeps leading her around, eventually reaching the base of the Great Tree. There's a fox standing in a wooden lift of sorts, apparently waiting for passengers. Loti has a quick conversation with him, then steps into the lift.

      -

      Tiral nods slightly, then sighs. He rubs his head up a little. His star mark suddenly glows, and he pulls a book out of seemingly thin air. The cover has a detailed drawing of some sort of red flower that closely resembles bluebells or snowdrops. Surrounding the flower are yellow Old Lineyan runes. The backdrop of all of that looks like a starry night sky that appears to be moving and twinkling.

      Tiral pulls a golden quill out of his cloak. His eyes glow pure white as he starts writing. The book floats on its own, hovering in place so Tiral can lean against it as he writes.

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    • Miranda hopped onto the rift, bowing to the fox. "Go on ahead." 

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    • The fox pulls the gate shut and starts turning the crank in the back of the lift. The wooden cage starts moving upwards, towards the branches.

      Loti looks up excitedly, holding onto a railing to keep her balance.

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    • Miranda would keep her eyes to the town as they climbed upwards. "It all looks so beautiful from up here... Doesn't it?" 

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    • "Yeah.." Loti smiles, looking down as well.

      The town glitters from above, the stone slate rooftops and opaque gemstone walls getting smaller and smaller as they get higher up the trunk of the tree. It's much bigger than it looks from the ground. They're only a third of the way up.

      The fox isn't even breaking a sweat.

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    • "So, how long have you been doing this?" Miranda turned towards the fox, hoping to get them talking. 

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    • "23 years." The fox smiles, pulling the bamboo toothpick out of his mouth. Loti raises her eyebrows slightly.

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    • "Yikes... Do you ever get paid well for it? I could try compensating you..." 

        Loading editor
    • Akata steps back, watching as Tiral continued his work.

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    • “Paid well enough. House, clothes, an' if I get hurt on the job they give me a nice fat bonus.”

      Loti chuckles a bit, looking up at the branches.

      -

      Tiral looks over at Akata.

      “This might take a while. I’m writing a report.”

      Addia nudges the empress slightly with her elbow.

      “I taught your soldiers a couple new things.”

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    • "Fair enough..." She looks up as well. "I cant wait to see what its like up there..." 

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    • “Show me.” Akata said to Addia, stepping further away from Tiral.

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    • "Gorgeous. Make sure y' stop by the Honeysuckle Inn an' tell Alya that Domini sent ya. She'll fix ye up real nice."


      -

      Addia pulls Akata towards the center of the camp.

      "SHIELDS!" She roars, picking up a nearby bow and quiver of arrows. She fires a single, powerful shot into the air.

      The soldiers scramble together, packing their shields into a tight cluster to form a sort of shell around them. The arrow comes screaming down and bounces off one of the center shields.

      Addia takes a step back, and straw dummies painted to look like Half-Horn Warriors spring out of the dirt. Each of them is wearing the telltale amber earing, though...

      The outer ring of soldiers lower spears through the gaps in the chields as the training dummies click forward on tracks hidden by dirt, sand, and grass. None of them make it beyond the spear wall.

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    • "Honeysuckle inn... It sounds great!" she gets up on the tips of her toes... Glad to have this war out of her mind for the moment... She was trying not to think about her fury...

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    • The lift clicks to the top. The fox pushes the door open.

      "Mind yer step."

      Loti hops out, landing on the boardwalk strapped securely to the branch.

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    • Miranda hops onto the boardwalk as well, making sure not to unselttle the boards and send her falling... She did wonder who that person was, all the way down there.... 

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    • The boards barely move. There’s a railing on both sides, preventing careless people from falling. The fox flips a switch on his controls, and the lift starts going down again.

      Loti leans against the railing, staring down at the city below.

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    • "Just as beautiful from here as it is below... Imagine it at night!" 

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    • The sprawling, hidden fox capital is much larger than it looks from the ground. From all the way up here, the spiderweb of streets leading to the trunk of the massive tree can be seen clearly among the glittering rooftops. The emerald light filtering from higher up in the tree gives everything a dreamy glow, even up here. The height is dizzying, especially when leaning against a rickety wooden railing.

      Loti seems fine, in fact, she's leaning almost all the way over and looking straight down with a big grin.

      "This is great! I've never been this high up before! What about you, Miranda?"

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    • "It'll take a it to get used to these heights... To think the cities back in Ostora considered themselves better, hah." 

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    • Loti chuckles a bit and starts heading down the boardwalk, towards the more well-built shops hanging from the branches. The foxes walking around up here are better dressed and more groomed than those who live below.

      A silver fox vixen walking past gives Miranda an unabashed look of distain as she walks past.

      Loti notices the look and moves in her path.

      "Excuse me." Loti says, smiling.

      "You're excused." The vixen huffs, trying to continue on her way. Loti moves to block her. "Are you lost? Do you need directions to a lift?"

      "No. I want you to apologize for sneering at my companion that way."

      "Your.. companion? That humie?"

      "Yes."

      "No. My favorite shop closed down because its kind moved into the west coast and the supplier was captured."

      Loti bristles.

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    • "Then your supplier will be among those rescued when the time comes." Miranda calmly states. "I know the concern, but I dont plan on letting that opinion stick for long, missus." 

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    • The vixen snorts in distain, her mouth hanging open as she searches for a retort. Finding none, she stomps around Loti and down the boardwalk.

      Loti frowns, rubbing the back of her neck.

      "Jeez.. What's her deal?"

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    • "I was afraid people would still be like this... We need to try harder to separate ourselves from Akata... But how..."

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    • Akata cracked a small smile, approaching the line of soldiers, she turned over her shoulder to look at Addia. "Very impressive, but we must move beyond defensive manouvering. It is time we went on the offensive. Do you have a display of aggression to show me?"

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    • Lori frowns, leaning against the railing.

      “You’re still wearing your humie clothes. Maybe if you looked more, well.. rebellious..”

      -

      “Several. SWORDS!” Addis roars at the soldiers. They switch from shields to swords. The soldiers break into a different formation, standing at the ready.

      Addis raises her head and lets out a monstrous roar, sounding something like a dragon. The soldiers follow suit, screaming at the top of their lungs. The effect makes a heart-pounding, fear-inducing battle cry.

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    • "Hmm, yeah, I suppose we could find a clothes shop, I'd need a spotter though, you know I'm not one for fashion unless it's thick and covering..."

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    • “Yes, that will work.” Akata nodded, her smile stretching just a bit wider.

      “Your training certainly helped them adapt to this place...”

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    • Loti grins and starts heading down the boardwalk, motioning for Miranda to follow.

      -

      Addia smiles proudly.

      "You'd be surprised, they conformed quite well on their own. A little out of practice, i'll admit, but look at them now! The spring damp is what'll really hurt them, though."

      Addia looks up as clouds cover the sun.

      "Looks like rain. Maybe we should get inside."

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    • Miranda would follow briskly, she had to keep close to Loti up here- that much is certain. 

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    • Loti leads the way into a stuffy-looking gear shop. She and the grey-nosed, bespectacled shopkeeper share a few words, only some of which Miranda understands. Something about money, fabric, and sale.

      Loti turns to Miranda and leans against the counter as the shopkeeper steps out. There's some sort of knotted string in his hands.

      "Spread your arms out, dear." Loti smiles.

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    • Miranda would do so- she needed a stretch, as well, as when she did she let out a decent-sized sigh of relief. 

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    • The shopkeeper takes Miranda’s measurements, writing them down on a parchment tacked to a stiff piece of bark. He and Loti talk the entire time, words flying faster than a griffon. They don’t seem to be arguing, just... having a conversation.

      Eventually, he nods to Loti and disappears into the back room with his measurements.

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    • "Isn't weather prediction Tiral's forte?" Akata smirked as Addia as she turned around. She led Addia towards the tent. 

      "We are prepared. The improvements I am seeing amoungst our troops since your inclusion is astounding."

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    • "Aw, gosh, don't make me blush. It's-"

      Adria stops, wide eyed as she spots Tiral. He still has his book open, but there are ripped-out pages hovering in front of him now. There are detailed drawings of a crocodile on them, messy lineyan scribbles, and splatters of blue ink. Tiral himself has ink smudges on his hands and face as he writes furiously.

      Adria walks over quietly and turns he paper with the drawing on it with an outstretched claw. It looks like an autopsy report.. the depicted crocodile has black smeared around his eyes and down his cheeks. Addia frowns deeply, a few of her teeth peeking out from the corner of her mouth as she reads the report.

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    • "Well, that wasn't so bad! let's just hope it's not something embarrassing." She gave a humorous glare towards Loti. 

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    • "Addia, what is it?" Akata steps forwards, instantly switching from her more calm and relaxed demeanor, into a stern, serious expression.

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    • Loti smiles mysteriously.

      "I think you'll like it."

      -

      Addia turns the autopsy paper towards Akata.

      "I've never seen anything like this... Nothing this bad, at least... Look at this bit here."

      Addia points to a few words written beside the diagram of the crocodile's head.

      "Not quite mold. More like a bloodink." She translates. "Have you ever seen anything like this, Tiral?"

      "Once. It was a summoning spell gone wrong. Bloodink sprayed from their eyes, mold sprouted from symbols they had painted on their wrists..." Tiral turns another paper. It's a strange symbol, resembling a black leaf that's sprouting black spines on one side. "The Xanderian Leaf."

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    • "Hah, I better..." 

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    • The shopkeeper comes back out to confirm something. Loti nods a little.

      "He wants to know if you have any preferences on style."

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    • "uhh... Not exactly, like I said, comfort, something that makes me feel less awkward when I'm in a crowd, or at the head of one.

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    • Akata paused, looking over the autopsy report.

      “What does this mean for our campaign here?”

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    • Loti translates for the shopkeeper. He nods, seeming to understand, before pulling a stuffed book out of his back pocket and thumbing through it. He shows it to Loti, who nods.

      -

      "Danger. The lions' forces are crippled. The disease is on the rise, and winter is on the horizon."

      Tiny white flakes begin to fall from the sky as Addia speaks, as if on cue. An ice-cold gust of wind blows through the camp. Tiral's pages ruffle, but remain still.

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    • Miranda tries getting a glance, hoping it didnt seem rude. 

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    • It just seems like a simple drawing, paired by fabric options.

      The shopkeeper wanders away, into the backroom. Loti leans against the wall, smiling.

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    • Miranda had kept an eye at some of the clothes nearby. "Its some nice silk and cotton, I'll say that..." she'd sigh, feeling an opened stich in her own clothes- she admitted, she needed this change as much as she tried refusing it. 

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    • "Indeed." Loti walks in a small circle, arms crossed. "You seem pretty nervous."

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    • "Its more than just the clothes... Honestly, what if that isnt just a small sentiment back there? What if its a majority?" 

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    • "If it's a majority, they'll have to suck it up if they want to get Princess Bloodbath off of their lands." lot rolls her eyes, snorting in annoyance.

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    • "If they're anything like my folks, that'll be hard for them to do... But I digress." 

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    • "your.. folks? What does folks mean?" Loti tilts her head.

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    • "As in my family, back home... Believe it or not, not everyone the Ostorans rule over are actually Ostorans..." 

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    • "so it's not like a clan... interesting." Loti looks up at the ceiling.

      The shopkeeper pokes his head out and motions at Miranda to follow him.

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    • "Looks like it's my queue." Miranda follows him around to the back. "T-Thank you for doing this, first off." 

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    • The shopkeeper grunts a little, seeming to understand Miranda's tone. He motions for her to look through a rack of outfits. There's armored gear built for long journeys, cozy-looking clothes designed to withstand intense cold, dresses, armor sets, cloaks, hoods, jackets...

      The shopkeeper stands by a desk against the wall, shuffling through stacks of paper as he waits for Miranda.

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    • "I hope you forgive me for doing this, but I think I have an idea." She puts on a coat first- showing decals matching that of Loti Halfhorn's banner, as well as a single decal around her heart- embroidered gold signifying her golden gauntlet, which she would decide to let show. She put a set of lamellar over this coat, letting it trail off to a sort of skirt or tasset. She found a pair of black, comfortable boots and put them on, and put a black, gold embroidered long glove over it. 

      Lastly, she put a cloaked hood over it all, but keep the hood down- she needed to show her face around these parts, she had the lamellar buckled and fastened for now, but she made sure it was easy enough to remove by herself so she wasn't going into a formal event with metal armor on- effective defense over a perfect, scarlet vest- she loved it. "How does this look?" 

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    • The shopkeeper nods approvingly, crossing his arms and leaning against the table. He points with his nose toward a mirror behind the rack.

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    • she'd go over to the mirror, getting a look for herself. "Oh my, I think Loti is gonna like this, hey, Loti? You ready to see somethin beautiful?!"

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    • "Absolutely!" Loti calls out from the front. The fox motions towards the door, smiling.

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    • Miranda would exit the room, keeping a serious look over her face. "I tried getting something fitting, something that would emphasise the arm as well..." 

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    • Loti's eyes widen.

      "Oh, wow.."

      She walks forward, stopping in front of Miranda and looking her over. There are practically awed stars in her eyes.

      "You look.. really great.."

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    • "The stars in your eyes tell me: I look a lot more professional than I did before. But the question still remains... How do I look to the foxfolk?" she shook her head- that matter would come, soon. "Thank you though, really... I mean it. Anyways, next order of business is to continue our advance on the local leadership, right? I'm afraid in all that thought I was in I forgot... Silly me." 

      Something Loti has noticed is how much more calm she's been ever since they arrived at this city, beforehand she was cold, calculating, constantly in a silent rage. Now she's had time to wind down, and it shows on the pretty beaming smile she has on. 

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    • Loti's smile softens.

      "We don't have to go now. It can wait a bit, yeah? It's a good idea for us to explore the city, get familiar with it, ya know?"

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    • "Also a good idea... It'll give me a good idea on what points to defend-- annd I can just put my mind off a damn war for one day, as well." 

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    • Loti nods and pulls the door open, holding it for Miranda.

      "After you." She winks playfully.

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    • "As if I wouldnt be going on ahead in this?! For shame!" Miranda would head on out into the street, her clothes were only just a bit stiff. eh, she thought she would grow into them a bit better later on.

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    • Loti walks beside Miranda, smiling. More and more pople seem to recognize them now, as word spreads that the gazelle war party has arrived. Loti seems.. happier, to be in such a sheltered location. To be around trees. To not be ordered around by her elders.

      "I've been here before, you know. Once, when I was younger."

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    • "Do you have any friends here? We could have a night on the town-- Without a hangover, mind you, we dont have time for that part." 

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    • "I've briefly talked to the head priestess." Loti frowns a little, looking up in thought. "Maybe we coupld pay her a visit. She's been known to hold parties to worship Mani. Apparently, she was a bit of a drinker."

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    • "A party, to worship a god? I suppose thats a bit more agreeable than what i'm used to seeing out of the church. Count me in." 

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    • Loti starts leading the way, humming happily. There's a lift just arriving to ferry a crowd of passengers down to the ground by the trunk.

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    • "Jeez, these parties have to be this packed, if they are as popular as you make them out to be... Get ready for elevator stench." 

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