• Closed • Humble Beginnings

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Han Hetra
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Humble Beginnings


8th of Ashan, 718


The weather in Ne'haer was still an icy cold, a holdover from the trials of Cylus, but that had not stopped the city from springing to life at the first signs of the suns return. The streets were alive and pulsing with people, eager to get things moving again, even as the world still thawed. Han had wanted nothing more than to enjoy the day, regardless of the temperatures. He had begun the day with a walk outside the walls, drinking in the pastoral landscape of the rolling farmland that surrounded the gleaming white city. It was at times like these that he would pause to meditate, gathering his thoughts and centering himself for what the day might offer.


Despite his best efforts, Han could not prevent pangs of bitterness and darkness from echoing in him. Sometimes they simply came without reason. For this reason his morning had also included a short prayer to Ralaith- the immortal of wisdom and bitterness. Bringing his thoughts to the immortal always gave some solace to Han. Despite the hurts of his youth, life carried on. Time passed. Just as each arc the trees would shed their regal leaves and die, only to be reborn into full glory once more- Just so, he would conquer over his pain and bear the fruit of his rebirth.

It was for this reason that he was now being pushed to and fro through the streets and crowds of the bustling city, pushed and pulled to and fro by the masses. More than once he had to stop and straighten out his white shirt and brown pants as they repeatedly were moved out of place by brushing up against walls and people. Regardless, he set out that day to be part of the life of that city, to enjoy camaraderie and build bonds, to live and be happy. He always found what he was looking for when these wild hairs would come upon him, it was just a matter of time before he found some soul out of the way of the masses, someone he would force his company upon. He had never met a stranger, or so the saying goes, after all.

It wasn’t long before he had found his quarry. Out of the corner of his eye he saw her- unsure at first but as he drew closer, it was unmistakable. Before him in a small side alley was a tiny little green humanoid, with leaves for hair and brilliant yellow eyes, leaning against a not-so-small bird of prey, which was cawing and screeching rather conspicuously. A tunawa and her mount, no doubt. Han emerged from the crowds in the street and began to approach the pair. Doing so, he took note of the fact that the tunawa was actually quite dirty, and had a rather unpleasant odor. Too late now, he thought to himself. He was already committed.

“Hello friend!” Han exclaimed excitedly, forcing himself to be energetic and wear a smile if only to mask the grossed out face he would have been making otherwise. “What,” he knelt down to put himself a bit closer to eye level with the pair. “Is someone like you doing hiding away in a place like this?”
word count: 554
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Juniper
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Humble Beginnings

8th of Ashan 718
Juniper was just lying there, staring down her body at her foot. Frustration and a general feel of feeling sorry for herself filling her once again. She wasn't really aware of where she was or what season it was. It was cold, that's all she really knew. Though she had seen the suns, so she guessed that Cylus was over.

Bone's screeching was starting to get annoying and she tried to shove the bird out of her face but it wouldn't leave her side. She felt it's beak on her cheek and that was when she realized that she'd been crying. She sighed and put her hand on Bone's beak, slowly petting it. She continued to screech with worry.

The screech changed from sad and worried to alarm as she slowly stood up and flapped her wings at the man that was approaching them.

"Shhh.. Shhh... Probably just a man passing through Bone.."

Juniper said softly. The bird still bristled but quieted as Juniper took a lot of effort to stand up. It was a slow process, and she had to be careful of her foot. Not that it wasn't already in a bad shape but she didn't need it to open.

She watched the man carefully and warily. As soon as the man stopped in front of them though, both Juniper and the bird screeched at him in warning.

"Back off!"

She took her quarterstaff from the saddle and wobbled as she pointed it at him. Her stature made her look taller than she actually was, not that it really helped with the size difference. With this action she had turned her body and the man would see that she was missing her left arm entirely. She snarled.

"What I'm doing here? My business is my own! Nosey fool!"

She hissed and snapped her teeth at him.

"We are not entertainment! Go find that storyteller I keep hearing of if you wish to enjoy your day!"

She was shaking, her eyes determined, but there was an obvious air of fear about her, Bone was displaying herself rather grandly as well, screeching at the man and snapping her beak at him. Her mother was feeling threatened. So she did too.

"And if entertainment isn't what you want. State your case and be quick! If we need to move we will. Not like we're in the way here."

She used the staff to exaggerate her point and point out that they were in a pretty small side ally. Though, they could probably find a smaller one that humans couldn't fit in.
Last edited by Juniper on Fri May 04, 2018 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 461
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Han Hetra
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Humble Beginnings

Han found himself on a rollercoaster of emotions as the tiny green turned to face him, pulling out a staff and yelling angrily at him. On the one hand, he found her both delightful and hilarious. She was a real firecracker and despite her adamant statement that they weren’t there for entertainment, that was very much what Han was getting out of her in that moment. It all would have been a roaring good time if it weren’t for the other observations Han had made- she was missing an arm and had an obviously damaged foot. At the same time as he was amused, he was also overcome with sympathy. Seeing how fiery she was however, it seemed safe to assume that sympathy wasn’t something she was going to respond very well to- probably about as well as being laughed at. He had also become aware of the increasingly aggressive stance and screeching of the bird that accompanied the Tunawa, and seeing the talons it possessed, he knew he definitely did not want to be on the receiving end.

‘Can’t just meet someone normal for once, can you?’ He thought to himself as he puzzled over just how to navigate this minefield of a social situation that he had walked himself into. ‘Local man found dead, murdered by bird and one armed Tunawa.’

“Uhh…. I mean no harm, if that helps!” He chuckled nervously. “You see, I was just wondering if we could be friends... If, uh, that’s alright with you, that is.” He grinned sheepishly and raise his hands in the air. “Are you…. Okay? Did something happen to your arm?” It was a stupid question but he hoped it would all be enough to amount to something other than getting mauled by an angry bird. And who knows, maybe he could be of use to them. Helping people out was kind of his thing, after all. Though “angry one armed tunawa” would be a new one for the list.
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Juniper
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8th of Ashan, 718
Eying him suspiciously, she put her staff down slowly and turned to Bone and did one low, soft whistle towards Bone. The screeching stopped and she folded her wings again, butting her head lightly against the Tunawa's head. She smiled softly but then looked back up to the man. The look on her face serious.

"All you humans do is harm. Whether you mean to or not."

She spat at the ground, shifting her weight a bit to make sure that she wasn't putting too much pressure on her bad foot.

"Friend? Why? You think I'm going to just say yes? Hah! And get myself captured and sold into slavery? I think not!"

She slammed the butt of her quarterstaff into the cobble below her feet. Leaning into it a bit, making a bit of a face as she adjusted.

"Hah, you think you're a real riot don't you?"

Her face twisted into a snarl as she snapped at him, her golden eyes full of anger.

"I was trapped on the sea's with pirates, what do you think happened!? No I'm not okay, and no your help isn..."

Her anger filled speech was interrupted by both her and Bone's bellies grumbling. She frown and sighed looking away and down, slightly embarrassed as Bone screeched at her.

"I know.. I know Bone.. I know baby."

She sighed and nuzzled against her bird's head and beak before looking to the man, looking him up and down. A frown on her face.

"Look... I don't trust you.. I don't trust anyone to be quite frank... but... we need food... and a wash... and I know nothing about this area. She eats meat, I eat bugs and berries... We have Nel... just... help us to find these things. If you lead us astray though, Bone WILL cut you."

It was a warning, and to be honest, even for her size, it didn't look to be an empty one. She was guarded, and it was obvious even without her saying it that she didn't trust humans.
word count: 372
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Han Hetra
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Humble Beginnings

"All you humans do is harm. Whether you mean to or not."

The words echoed in his mind and found a home in his heart. He couldn’t argue with her, she wasn’t exactly wrong. As Han thought back to his childhood, he remembered feeling much the same way. There was a kind of natural darkness to humanity, something that seemed to guarantee that, sure as the sun will rise, they would cause suffering. It followed all the residents of Idalos, cursed for being alive, maybe. Her mention of being trapped with pirates brought on more of the same sadness, and even a bit of anger. ‘We make the world this way with our crimes and cruelty. We choose this fate for ourselves.’

When the sound of growling stomachs briefly overtook the fiery Tunawa’s angry ranting, Han took note of the maternal compassion she seemed to show for her feathered friend, whom she called Bone. Yet more compassion aroused itself in Han. He had a strong respect for the Tunawa from his encounters with them here and there during his years as a traveler. They were a fierce people and their bonds with their mounts were a thing of beauty. Despite what her opinion may have been of him, he already felt a kind of respect for the pair. To have survived such trials and gotten this far was to be commended. Han was thankful for the opportunity to play a part in this story, and so when the woman begrudgingly allowed herself to ask for assistance, he was truly glad.

“I know that there is evil in the hearts of men,” Han said, letting his grin falter. “I have seen it many times, so believe me when I tell you, I don’t expect your trust to be given so easily.” Pausing for a moment, he pulled in a deep breath and exhaled, resuming his cheerfulness. “And I fully believe that you will make good on that promise! So let’s get you two something to eat and see about helping you to be less…. Er.. dirty.” He started to stand back up before he realized he had forgotten to introduce himself to his new friends. “Oh, and by the way, the name is Han. I caught that your friend is Bone, yes? What should I call you?”
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Juniper
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Humble Beginnings

8th of Ashan, 718
Juniper just stared at the man a moment before slowly turning her back to put her quarterstaff back in the saddle and with one hand pull herself up and nicely land in the saddle grabbing the reins and looking up at him. For missing a foot and an arm and not having taken care of herself, she looked quite dignified, well as much as she could with how small and dirty she was.

"Yes, her name is Bone. You may call me Juniper. We can either sit on your shoulder or we can follow you we don't care. Isn't that right Bone?"

She smiled softly down at her bird who gave a tiny screech as if answering her and then looked back up at the man.

"So.... where will you take us? A market might be easiest as we wouldn't have to worry about whether or not they let animals in.. that and we don't really want to worry about too many eyes on us. As for a place to bathe, even a public lake would be fine for us."

She looked at him and blinked, waiting to be told what would be allowed of them. As well as a general idea of where he might take them. She'd take Bone hunting, but with both of their state's it was probably not the safest bet for them at this moment. She took a moment and double checked to make sure everything was secure on the saddle.
Last edited by Juniper on Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 270
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Han Hetra
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Humble Beginnings

“Excellent. Juniper and Bone.” Han said with excitement. “You can ride on my shoulder if you like. I know a few vendors we can see about those berries and some meat for Bone. Then we’ll head down to the lake shore and you can get cleaned up.”

Han was happy. For a moment he had wondered if perhaps approaching Juniper the way he did might have been a dire mistake, but things seemed to have worked out favorably. He could tell that she was a proud one, and watching her saddle Bone he could see that despite her injuries, she still managed to look strong. He was a little surprised that she had accepted his offer to help them out, truth be told. The humility to accept assistance wasn’t always a common attribute, even if it probably wouldn’t come with a thank you. But that didn’t bother him- he preferred the thankless work and he relished the opportunity to make new friends. As the trio made their way now through the crowds to the markets, Han decided he would inquire a bit more and see if he could perhaps begin to poke through the Tunawa’s prickly demeanor.

“So, Juniper. What brings you and Bone to Ne’haer? Just passing through, or is this your home? Wait... Do Tunawa have homes? Or don't you like, just live in trees...? Not that that isn't a real home of course!” Smoooooooth. Han let slip another nervous chuckle. He knew he sounded like an idiot once again. But truth be told, though he had met more than a few Tunawa in his travels, he knew precious little about them and their motivations. Perhaps this would be a good opportunity to really get to see what the little green people of Idalos were really like.
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Juniper
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Humble Beginnings

8th of Ashan, 718
"Came to Ne'Haer by accident in all honesty. Had no real... destination."

Juniper's words were hesitant at best, as if she was trying to figure out how to word her answer. Or she was just trying to be careful of what she said. She did sigh though when she came to answer the next part of the bajillion questions.

"Tunawa are just like humans in one respect. We're all different. Some have green bark, some have white bark, even black or brown bark in some cases. Some grow flowers, some grow mushrooms, or like me, grow leaves. Some are home bodies, and some just want to adventure. I WAS part of that latter group. But..."

She grew silent, Bone didn't make a peep either, even as she leaned forwards and put her head on her birds neck. The bird didn't move from the man's shoulder. Didn't flap her wings or anything. Bone really was a good bird.

"I wanted to learn... you know.. see for myself the world that I'm a part of... and all we got.. all me and Bone got.. was pain and cruelty... I don't really know how long exactly we were out there but.. I think we were on the seas of trouble... for around 200 or more trials... I don't really know for sure. Don't even know what trial To-trial is."

These last words were quiet, and could have possibly been drowned out by the crowds. She really was just absentmindedly talking.

"I'm only 6 arc old...what am I even doing?"

She seemed to shrink even further on her bird, her eyes closing, yet again her voice quiet but that was the way it was. For all the spirit she'd just had, maybe she really was broken.
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Han Hetra
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The words of the little Tunawa grew more and more faint as she went on, and had she not been perched right on Han’s shoulder, he would have missed the final bits. It was plain to see that Juniper was broken by her struggles. The whole thing resonated with Han deeply. To him it was just one more in an endless line of confirmations of what he had already known and experienced. In a way, his heart broke for the young Tunawa. The more he dwelt on it, the more it consumed him, and for a moment, he had almost forgotten his surroundings altogether, silently filled with empathy and sadness.

“Don’t stop adventuring, Juniper.” Han said decidedly, breaking the sad silence. When I was younger, I had a lot of adventures myself. I saw a lot of bad things, bad people. But where there is evil, the good and beautiful things are never far behind. And sometimes..” He finally smiled again, his own spirits audibly lifted. “Sometimes, it’s part of our own quest in life to be that good thing for someone else. You’ve had a hard time, but you’re not down for the count yet. You’ve still got a long life ahead of you, and you’ve got Bone to carry you through it. I believe you can overcome this.”

As he concluded his quick pseudo peptalk, a small market stand came into view before them, selling several different varieties of berries picked from the local forests and fields, as well as a small variety of other herbs. A little further down was a man selling meat from what looked to be a leg of venison.

With a smirk, Han tilted his head toward Juniper and Bone and exclaimed “We have arrived, your highness.”
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Juniper
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8th of Ashan, 718
Juniper listened, but it was obvious that the words weren't really sinking in. Not the way that the man had intended for them to. She just lay there on Bone, looking at him and giving him a disbelieving smile. She was too small to make a change of any kind. Even if she had Bone, it wouldn't change the fact that both of them were just one small speck of dust on the game board called life.

She did sit up however when she clearly heard the sounds of a market. Cracking a weak smile at being called 'your highness'.

"I'm no queen, and definitely not a princess. Merely just a pawn in a never ending game."

She sighed and looked up at the sky. It was honestly weird, talking to a human after so long. The people that saved her... she guessed weren't really all that bad, and she guessed this guy wasn't all that bad either. Though she had threatened him, so maybe he was just trying to be nice for his own good. She looked around at the stalls, not sure where to go, and then looked at him.

"Uhm... I'd like a sweet berry? I don't know what grows around here, but I've been dying for something. We can get something that might be big enough for a snack for you and a meal for me? To thank you for your help. Like I said.. I have the nel.."

She sighed, Bone screeched again, and Juniper shushed her, they were drawing attention. Exactly what she hadn't wanted in the first place.

"And a two or three thick slices of ... venison? I think that's what that is.. If you wouldn't mind?"

She patted the pouch that seemed to be overflowing and clanked as she did. It seemed a bit oversized to be honest, and almost too much for the bird. Her stomach rolled once more and she looked away, again embarrassed, she wanted to get this over as soon as she could.
word count: 364
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