• Solo • The Future of Yaralon

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William Dovecraft
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The Future of Yaralon

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Saun 17th, 718, Evening

Yaralon. A city where daddy isn’t always who you’d expect it to be. There was the sense that everyone was supposed to pitch in, and with the famine going on, there were so many starving kids that William could not fathom it. The skilled were taken in and fed by mercenaries, but the weak, the small, the ill, they weren’t often so fortunate.

Not an orphanage so much as a longhouse dedicated to the children of Yaralon, visitors stopped and offered training, food, anything of benefit. Competition for food was fierce during these trying times. Will looked young enough that he seemed to belong, just barely. Yaralon had slowly been shaping him into a warrior over the seasons, his arms taut with muscle. If he’d had a proper diet, something might have come of that, but he was bone-thin still.

Now, he stood in the kitchens. The door remained shut. They couldn’t know the truth. By Cassion’s gift, William was always hungry. Sometimes it was like a curse during times like this, but he was nourished by simple things like biscuits and hard tack. Rations. All that mattered was how much he could cram in, and he’d observed himself gaining proper weight. Overall, Will felt healthy despite a meager diet simply thanks to the fact that he was a Blood Son of Cassion.

William had long suspected something about his mark, that he could do more with food, sharing that gift to eat much from little. If that was something he could just do every Trial, he had to share it. Laid out in front of him, he had the slop - hard rinds, peels, a few nuts, a scarce few pieces of bread. Whatever he could scrounge together for free, or from the refuse of the wasteful wealthy.

First, he took the hammer from his tool belt and hammered the nuts, scraping the shattered fragments off into a mortar and tossing the peels and rinds in, a pestle following. Grinding down the ingredients with his strength, he made a nutty, sour-smelling paste that he rolled upon the chunks of real rations. Thinking to his mark, he shut his eyes, and his mind outwardly connected to that presence of Cassion. Bless this food, so that it may nourish myself, the young, and fill our bellies, he prayed, opening his eyes. He had a feeling that it worked.

Separating the grim concoction out into four palm-filling lumps upon small plates, he seemed satisfied, and balanced the plates upon his body, two upon the crooks of his elbows, one in either hand. He tried his best to keep them steady as he walked. “Here goes,” he muttered, pausing to work himself up. Mentally, he gave himself a pep talk. Cheery voice. Sell it. Smile. Make them happy! Carefully, he opened the door, and then swung it wide, striding out with a wide smile. “Ready to try some of my famous greenseed fruitcake!?” he announced to the three boys he’d told to wait while he prepared them food.

He sat each plate down upon the table, leaning to let the first plate slide from his thumb, using the free hand to push them off one by one in front of the ...unimpressed children, who were staring at it with suspicion. Visitors had tried to feed them rotten food in the past. They were skeptical, at best.

With the table all set, utensils were not needed. “Don’t dig in just yet!” William said. “I’m going to tell you a story about this particular dish!” His blue eyes swept across their young, unamused faces, but his wide grin made at least two of them smirk. The third was harder to impress. She was the youngest, her face dirtied with mud, her eyes distant in thought.

Will kept his conviction, despite wanting to console her. That could wait. First, the story! “So you see, I learned to make this dish on the Run, when I was fleeing monsters for many Trials!” he said, immediately catching the two boys’ attention.

“Monsters? That’s so cool!” one of them yelled. Instantly enthralled, easy to impress!

“Wow,” the other one muttered.

“Yeah, they didn’t like it when I ate this stuff! It kept them away. It is by Cassion’s blessing, that it has this power!” William declared!

“Cassion!? Wowww!”

“Who’s Cassion?”

“Why, Cassion is God of the Roads!” William laughed, risking offense from those Yari with other Gods who might be around. Thankfully, there were none who seemed to care. “He travels the world, seeking adventure, and stories, and good food like this.” He lifted the plate, and then tossed the lump of food into his mouth, chewing it down with an “mmm~” and watching the others do the same, trying the green paste with suspicion.

The first boy’s eyes widened when he put a dab of it on his tongue, eating the rest quickly. “That was really good!” he shouted.

The second was more suspicious, but the success with his friend made him try it, and he started to eat fairly quickly. The quiet, pouting girl didn’t try it at all.

“What’s wrong?” William asked her. “Not going to give it a try?”
word count: 894
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William Dovecraft
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Re: The Future of Yaralon

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The other boys began to chat, but they hushed when that sound like breaking glass sparked the air. “H-hruh.” Her mellow plea behind that curtain of hair was a sharp twang for William, who immediately knew something was amiss.

Quickly, he rose, kneeling behind her, laying his hands upon her shoulders and rubbing gently to console her trembling body. “Is there something wrong? You can tell me...” he said softly, the worry clear in his voice. Her head bowed further.

“My... brother. He - he’s...” she began, putting her palms over her eyes. William squeezed, trying to assure the young girl that he was there for her.

“You can tell me,” he said.

Her voice went quiet, to a ghostly whisper. “He... went with them,” she sobbed, shaking her head. “I told him not to go. They told me not to... tell.” The other two boys were deathly quiet, their faces pale.

“Who? Who took him?” William asked suddenly, but relented, electing to be more careful with her. “I’ll get him back for you. Don’t you worry.”

Tears dripped from her shrouded face upon the table like the rains just outside. “T-the bad dead-dead men. They’ll take you too...”

“It’ll be alright. I have Cassion watching over me,” he said. “Nothing will happen.” A lie, for her, to show he was brave. “Tell me what you know. Where was he taken? Where are the bad men now?”

“We were playing in the... a-abandoned house,” she said, sniffling. Her whimpers died away as she steadied herself, comforted by touch, by the thought that there might still be hope.

I have a bad feeling about this, Yaal’tiesh, William privately admitted, even if his words did not share his feelings. “Tell me where, I’ll go. I promise, I’ll do my best.”

She seemed to pout, a crease upon her lips. “Next to the... smelly animal store.”

Will couldn’t fathom having her show him in this state, so he nodded. “I’ll go. Is it towards the sea, or away from it?”

She shook her head. “N-neither.”

“Okay,” William said. “Towards which temple?”

“Ethelynda,” she sniffed. “N-not five minutes away.”

He patted her on the arm, and stood, glancing at the boys. “You two stay out of this,” he said coldly. Then he glanced to his familiar. Let’s go, Yaal’tiesh.

Will drew his hammer as he opened the door, stepping out into the pouring rains. It's time Yaralon saw the darkest side of me. That fist tightened, squeezing. This nightmare will not stand. The rain battered against his face, and William went door to door, slamming his fist upon the doors. "A child's been kidnapped," he told them. "I need companions." he told the first couple he met, a burly man and a fit, young woman with a dark, black tattoo smeared across her forehead. They went to get their arms and returned with a confident stride, following William out into the open rains without questioning him. This continued as William amassed more and more people to his cause, until there were five plus himself.

One saw where this was going, and promptly left to find a Daristron. Above the wind whipped and rattled as the water sizzled against muddy puddles, the thud of their boots roaring as they followed William, letting his lithe figure and diminutive frame slide, in part from the serious tone of his voice, the fierceness on his face. "An abandoned house, by some kind of business with live animals in cages, in this direction!" he called.

"Aye!" a tall, bearded man called from the back, a large ax in his hands. "I know the place!"

Will pointed to him, bringing him up front with a beckoning signal. "Show us the way!" The lot of them marched on, a herd of boots zig-zagging the streets in the black deep wet until they came upon the group surrounded that hut beside a butchery, a wide crescent of figures working together. Will glanced at each of them, noting their faces, and they did the same. This was about to get bad. Very bad. They could all feel it, a chill running down the spines of the lot of them.

Will approached the door first, slamming his fist against the door. "Open up, you pieces of shit! You've been challenged!"

The men all roared. The door opened. A spell of silence took the crowd, and Will looked up into the eyes of something that stole his breath away... Cassion, I might have met my match.

. . .

To be concluded in The Justice of Yaralon.




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Mads
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Re: The Future of Yaralon

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William Philester Dovecraft
Knowledge.........
Cooking: For a Famine
Chemistry: Grinding ingredients into a paste
Leadership: Wrapping people up into a noble cause
Leadership: Asking the group for information
Leadership: Bringing someone to the fore
Leadership: Briefing the group
Loot....................
None
Consequence......
None
Renown..............
+10; 5 for feeding hungry children and telling them a story about a god who seems to care about whether or not they're starving and 5 for gathering up a small mob under the banner of a kidnapped child
Experience...........
10
Again, well written. There were a couple errors this time, but nothing that broke immersion on their own. The pacing of this solo felt very rushed, moving from the casual playfulness of feeding dirty, disgusting, useless orphans into a call to arms over an overly-trusting little girl. It's not necessarily bad, but the transition was a bit jarring without any real build-up. Gathering the others seemed fine, as it's reasonable there'd be at least some people who care about children, but I did find it odd when you wrote that the first two he found left to find their "arms". I'm not overly familiar with Yalaron, but aren't almost all people there constantly armed? Either way, you left off at a good cliff hanger, though the final sentence was a bit tongue-in-cheek considering William is described as fairly weak, even with all of the improvents he's made recently. Good work, overall.
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Aegis
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Re: The Future of Yaralon

This completed thread has been reviewed by a Yaralon mod.

The following things need added to the Lore:

The following things are optional to be developed upon:
Longhouse for children

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