Gloom and Doomsayers

18th of Cylus 720

Here is the City in the Trees. Desnind, home of the Immortal Moseke and much more! All IC writings in Desnind go here.
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Gloom and Doomsayers

18th of Cylus 720

The darkness of Cylus loomed over the city of Desnind. However the previous arc had been very strange for the citizens of the city. The iyo color change had been one of the more foreboding changes of the previous arc. As the homes and businesses stayed cloaked in red, the darkness of the Rebirth cycle left many of the younger crowd in a nervous tizzy. It did not help that a cult had began to form and spread rumors of an unknown war on Desnind’s doorstep. As the “day” began the iyo were not as bright as they had been in previous cycles. It was time for them to become cocoons before hatching in time for Ashan.

The elders had began trying to calm the terror rising amongst the citizens. The cult that was beginning to gain popularity was not helping their efforts whatsoever. Small members had been running around to anyone that would pay attention and spread lies about the iyo being a sign of evil. Word had been spread of a meeting the leaders were to be holding for people to join them. The only way they could eye to proceed was for them to gather as many as they could to their side of the argument. The elders did not like the idea of the gathering being held in the middle fo the city.

However there was already too much unrest amongst the citizens. Forcing the cult to be silent could cause those that were already paranoid to turn even more against the city. It was nearly time for the gathering to begin as the time would soon be midday. Of course that did not mean much since there was no natural light in Cylus. A crowd gathered around the male speaker who had three other members of the cult before him to keep the mass of people back. The male standing watching everyone looked to be about six feet tall, tanned skin, with grey eyes that pierced anyone that looked at him. From what people could tell the man was middle aged, but his general posture stated that he was more schooled than a first glance would say. The man raised his hand to silence the crowd looking at the people waiting for their attention before beginning.

“Hello my fellow Desnind lovers. I hate to come to you in a time of such distress for the city. I believe everyone has noticed the change in the iyo. It is an omen from Audrae. She has plans to destroy our very way of life,” he stood there watching the crowd as instantly whispers began to swirl, “I know this is disturbing and worrying. But you can help us combat her attempts to attack the city. My name is Gladysic, I am the leader of the cult of light. Please speak with any members of my comrades or myself and let us put your minds at ease about our cause.”

The man made a motion with his hands for his people to disperse into the crowd and began to speak to as many people as they could. He watched closely to see who may approach him. There was so many that could help his future plans go just the right way. Now it was just a waiting game on who would step forward for the city.
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Silaqui Falone
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Re: Gloom and Doomsayers

She'd hung back from the front of the crowd listening to this strange zealot speak. To her, a child of the night, total darkness sounded like a good thing. She could shed this fake form and wander about as Audrie had intended. In shadowed form hunting and killing with her natural weapons. She saw no downside to this but the many around her were not as her. Not of the night and shadow. Not a predator that moved in the darkness and killed with a ruthless efficiency in the wee hours between sunset and sunrise. Not that she was a killer herself. Her people however...

She'd long since stopped wearing her cloak and hood. Why bother now? She'd sort of become a fixture around this town. A maimed and blinded female of mangled beauty who helped the wounded and the sick despite the limitations she faced. Yes, she was an actor. A fraud if one wished to call her that. She cared none for these people. Well, she cared for a few of them. Rakvald mostly. Rose somewhat to a degree. But because of her close interactions with some many she had to act as if she cared. That was something all Naer learned to do at a very young age. Act or appear to be someone they truly weren't. She'd long since stopped trying to hide her speech patterns here. They all knew what she was but that didn't stop her from acting differently than she did.

She stepped forward. Navigating the crowd with practiced ease learned since her depth perception was off. Slow steps. Measured. Turning her head slightly to each side to check distance between persons. She made her way forward till she stood in front of the man who had been speaking. She said nothing just held his gaze with her one undamaged eye. A slow blink offered every now and then as she looked into his soul. "What ill portents do the blackened larvae bring? We would like to know before we take interest in your cause." Her voice was flat. It hid non of her speech patterns and fully put her displeasure with this mans lack of forthcoming out front. She kept her gaze locked with his eyes. She would see what this man had to say.
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Perdita Westcott
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Gloom & Doomsayers
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18th Cylus 720
P
erdita and Eli had been in Desnind for 18 trials now and the young woman had to admit that she liked it here. It was quiet, the people were friendly, but not pushy, there was a sense of community but largely they were left alone to get on with things. They had been staying in the Inn but Perdita had begun to think that maybe she should buy a house. She'd written to her parents, although she had not yet heard anything back, of course, but maybe this was somewhere she could settle. There was beautiful flora and fauna, rich history and people who understood and respected peace and quiet.

She didn't quite know how to raise it with Eli, though. Things there were a little tricky, in a way which Perdita was largely unaware of or, at the very least, ignoring. He had helped her in Rharne, and somehow that had led to them both getting drunk and ending up on the flutterbus here. So, she felt a level of responsibility for him. Equally, she was quite sure that he didn't want to be held down by that. They were very different people, there was no doubting that. Perdita was quite happy to be quiet, working at what she was doing. She had no issue with spending hours and hours at a time simply working, whereas Eli was totally different. Glancing at the young man she was walking with, Perdita could not help but smile as she thought about it. He was gregarious, friendly, outgoing ~ she was quiet, private, introverted. He was chatty, enthusiastic, over the top ~ she tended to few words, mostly was prepared to observe and, if she was honest, was more happy curled up in a chair with a good book.

No, they were totally different.

Perdita squeezed Eli's hand as all these thoughts ran through her head and she decided that - as his friend - she could not keep her thoughts to herself. "I like Desnind," she said, motioning with her head in the general area. He probably knew that already. She was relaxed and happy, but there were a few things that she missed, one of which was space. "I may stay," Perdita explained. There was something entirely unconscious about how her hand tightened in his as she said that; the blush which tinged her cheeks was a near-permanent thing around him and, for some reason, she found it hard to look in his eyes. That was a habit she had usually, Perdita was shy around people and did not like making eye contact. However, time and exposure had lessened that with Eli yet, at the moment, she couldn't quite bring herself to lift her eyes up any further. She gave a slight shrug, but she needed to push on and speak to him about it, she knew. "Buy a house, maybe?" Then, she let the topic go. He would let her know what he wanted to do - was going to do - when he did and Perdita had no concerns about that.

They found themselves in a crowd and a man spoke about the portents of doom - and people from the group he was with moved among the observers. Perdita took a subconscious half-step closer to Elijah, remembering very clearly the last time they'd been in a crowd. She had no intention of waking up on the flutterbus tomorrow, headed out to who knew where. The 'cult of light' man spoke and Perdita listened carefully, then leaned in and whispered to Eli. "Where is Moseke?" Perdita wondered. Come to that she had to ask how they knew it was Audrae. Her conclusion? "Sounds like scaremongering." There was a woman then, who stepped forward and she was obviously injured. One eye, one hand. Perdita listened to what the woman had to say and she nodded slightly towards her and looked at Eli. The woman was braver than Perdita would be, stepping forward in that way and yet, the bookish young human couldn't ignore her or her plight.

Perdita sighed and gave a slight smile. "We should help?" And, if he agreed, then Perdita would walk with him (not letting go of his hand) and stand near the disfigured woman. She knew that Eli would have something to say ~ to her mind he always did ~ so she did what she did best and simply kept quiet. To Sila, should the Naer notice, Perdita merely gave a soft smile, blushed and hoped that there was not about to be trouble.


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Re: Gloom and Doomsayers

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Not even two ten trials had passed since the two of them had arrived in Desnind, mostly by accident, and the place seemed to fit Perdita like a glove. She was quiet and reserved by nature, and so were Desnind's natives in their own sort of way. Reserved and quiet; at least they were from Eli's perspective. He thought she could spend breaks on end, quiet and settled in between the shelves at the library. Most times, usually, he was shushed, or side-eyed out the doors in less than a half break.

He was more accustomed to the noise, the hustle and bustle of Rharne. It had been a more awkward fit for him from the start. But Eli wasn't one to let a little thing like friction slow him down. The place was growing on him. So were the people. Besides, the way the forest and the man-made bits of Desnind seemed to fit and blend together had sparked all kinds of new ideas. Engineered creations that weren't much more than daydreams, calculations and drawings just yet. But once he got around to actually doing them, well, he could drag this settlement right into the eighth century. Maybe the ninth.

Anyway, it had been his doing that had gotten them here. And now that they were, Perdita was his responsibility. He'd never cared for the word much before. But suddenly, he thought with a smile and a glance her way as they walked along, meaning to join the gathering, he kind of liked it. That blush on her cheeks that never quite went away; and the way she held her hand in his. "I thought you might," he said when she confessed her fondness for Desnind, as if he'd planned it all along. "I'm liking it better myself, as time goes by."

Given that, he wasn't all that eager to get back to Rharne. There was no family left for him there, and his job was long gone by now. And if she was staying, well then so was he until such a time as she told him she'd rather he didn't. "If we went in together," he said, referring to a house, "we could get bigger and better than each on our own? I mean, if you want to. Plenty big so you'd have a place to work, and so would I." There'd be time to talk on it later, he guessed, since they'd reached the outer edges of the gathering and the man had begun to speak.

When the man first introduced himself and his fellows as cultists, Eli grinned a little and leaned down to whisper in Perdie's ear. "Must mean something different where he comes from." Or maybe the group was just owning full stop a word that where Eli had come up, was a dirty one. Maybe trying to rewrite the definition. Back in the Dust Quarter of Rharne, it was those, either one or three or more, that occupied the grimy street corners and alleyways, going on about pestilence, conspiracy and impending doom.

It did sound like scaremongering, and in some quarters it seemed to be working. But for what? Belief? For power or profit? Or maybe to do an Immortal's bidding? Of course there was always the possibility that there was something to what the man was saying. Eli was curious. He did like a good story and Perdita made a good point. Moseke. Eli knew precious little about any one or more of the Immortals, beyond what any other man on the street would. He knew nuts and bolts, gears and pulleys much better. But what he knew was, "Desnind is hers, yeah?"

Help the woman who limped forward to confront the leader? Well, why not? So Eli smiled, nodded and squeezed Perdie's hand as they made their way through the crowd. He did have a question or two, and better to ask the leader than one of his lessers. "What makes you think that it's Audrae to blame? And if it is, why wouldn't Moseke get in the way? Surely she'd take an interest in all this?" he asked, calling Perdita's own question to mind.
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Re: Gloom and Doomsayers

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The way moonlight hit the leaves of the Lori really was something special. The pale silvery blue-green light of the canopy trickled down from the branches like rainwater at times, and it was only accentuated during the Cylus months. For all it was terribly cold, and most Tunawa were dormant around this time of year, Kisaik always found comfort in it. There was peace to the season of Cylus that eluded other seasons. For the warmer trials, there was work to be done, hunts to be had, gardening to do. But when nothing grew and the sun didn't shine, it lent a sort of sleepiness to the entire season.

It was just as well that many Tunawa were asleep during this season. Kisaik still wasn't sure how he'd explain to his kin how he'd acquired magic. Would they fear him? Shun him? Would they try to drive him out if he demonstrated his new powers? It was an interesting conundrum. Kisaik wasn't one to hide his nature, under most circumstances. But if it meant keeping a channel open to his people, he would consider hiding his magic.

Since the events of the Call, Kisaik had hopped from one end of Idalos to the other. Using the magical acorn that he'd acquired during that dream-like adventure, he'd been everywhere from Yaralon to Melrath, Melrath to Nashaki, Nashaki to Scalvoris, and Scalvoris to Rharne. But recently, homesickness had begun to bite him. Where once upon a time he'd considered that he'd never want to give up the adventure of a life in the outside world, he had begun to miss home. Perhaps it was the persistent absence of Rabu. He'd lost his best friend somewhere along the lines of his travel, and so thought that a natural place to meet up would be in their own mutual home territory.

However, there was more to it than that. Kisaik had a strange feeling, something he could feel deep beneath his bark. A shadow of a suspicion, a phantom worry. Perhaps it was only his imagination bolstered by the length of his absence, but he felt the pull of curiosity and dread everytime he traversed the network of plants via the use of the magic acorn and it all pointed home, toward Desnind. So when it came time to leave Rharne, after a short stay trying to get drunk in a tavern, he finally zapped back into the plant-like underworld, and made for all speed, alone, to his hometown of Desnind.

Once there, he emerged from the roots of a tree. Walking out, and clad in his vine-covered armor, he took stock of the situation. His home did indeed feel different, if it didn't look all that unusual. But strangely enough, it appeared the Iyo had begun a sort of fad among themselves. Instead of shades of blue, green, orange, purple, red, and yellow, the bugs were all taking on the subtle glow of crimson red. Kisaik had never seen such a uniform change come over the iyo! It was interesting!

He walked along, through the village. Up ahead, near the terrace above Kisaik, he could see a small gathering of tall people. Furrowing his brow, this was nothing unusual under certain circumstances, yet a Cylus gathering was particularly strange, when people were just trying to keep warm...

Kisaik wrapped his cavani cloak around his shoulders, and began hopping upwards, conjuring small splashes of sky-steps through rupturing. The sound would be audible to those above, as a sort of squishing sound that carried on the air as gravity was displaced with every step he took. Finally, he arrived at the terrace, and with one final blink, appeared upon the shoulder of the elder who was speaking.

Kisaik had heard some of what he said, and took it to mean the strange color of the iyo. "Afternoon, Grandfather! What an auspicious gathering you've assembled!" His green, gleaming eyes swept over the crowd, a few of whom had come close to confront the old robed man, on whose shoulder Kisaik stood perched. He lowered himself, to take a seat there, and relax before he lost his balance.

"What makes you think that it's Audrae to blame? And if it is, why wouldn't Moseke get in the way? Surely she'd take an interest in all this?" One man stood forward to ask the elder. A reasonable question by all accounts, and one that took Kisaik almost by surprise. Audrae? What could the mother of darkness have to do with this? Still, Kisaik was willing to hear the older male out, and see if his answer satisfied.

"Now now, let's hear his answer, unfettered by our own biases." Kisaik said, wagging a finger at the crowd, "I'd like to hear how this Grandfather came by his conclusion on his own? Perhaps there may even be something to it!"

Although, the tunawa had to admit he was not happy with the implications of war on his home's doorstep. But surely they were prepared to defend their forest home, even in deepest winter? But was open warfare the way of Audrae? Kisaik wasn't entirely sure.






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Re: Gloom and Doomsayers

Gladysic looked when a one-armed woman stepped forward to question his intentions. The fact she only had one eye was not lost on him either. Stroking his beard, the man thought very carefully about how telling her anything could come back to haunt him later. Looking he saw two more begin to move towards the front. A male and a woman or teen rather came up beside the first woman. He stayed silent to let anyone else come forward before responding to any questions. With a start the man was surprised when a Tunawa appeared on his shoulder. Taking a deep breath, Gladysic decided to address the questions one at a time.

“They are an ill omen. Never before have the iyo been one color for so many cycles. Much less an entire arc. I do not know how she has done it, but I completely believe that Audrae has found a way to use them to spy on us. We must destroy the larvae before they hatch and give her even more leverage against us. It has not only been their red color, but the darkness of it,” he stated.

He turned his head to look at the other two that had approached wanting to hear their questions as well. The question of Moseke not stepping in caused the man to clear his throat some. Most who had gathered had not bothered to really ask why she had not tried to do something already. It took several ticks for his mind to come up with a response. A smirk appeared as an answer finally popped into his mind.

“Yes, Moseke does reign over Desnind. Therefore with so much on her mind, we decided to step up and handle this little inconvenience. Under no circumstances were those spies correct in that no magic has been use on our beloved iyo. They are not normal! Even the colored wish sand has become nothing but a dark red. She is coming! We must step up to protect our people!’ Gladysic growled trying to keep himself under control.

Clearing his throat the man took a deep breath and looked over at the people once again. He had a hard time keeping his composure, but that was all he could do now. The man smiled when the small Tunawa came to his defense to help quiet the crowd down. Nodding his respect to the little man, the leader turned his head back to the others.

“Suppose that I am wrong about magic. There is still something going on that is detrimental to our home,” Gladysic stated in a calm certain voice.
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Re: Gloom and Doomsayers

Her one eye narrowed as the man basically insulted her immortal. Her immortal may choose to work in the shadows and employ her daughters in such a way as to work in them but she wouldn't sink so low as to involve literal worms into her schemes. Silaqui was certain of that. Why use worms when the simple insertion of a few of her daughters into the town to observe, scheme and make preparations. Then when the time was right to tighten the noose they would do so and it would be quick, efficient and very bloody. Why waste time involving worms? And if she had chosen to so why make it obvious like red or black? This man was a liar.

"How did you come to the conclusion that Audrea is at fault here? Why, would she want such a place as this? And if she did why would she employ such an obvious method of observation?" she asked her one eye casting a look of doubt at the man. "She and Moseke are sisters. She is aware of her sisters affinity for these lighted worms. She would be foolish to turn them color and show her hand so early if she sought to take this place."

She shifted her weight and put her right hand on her hip. Her gaze turning from doubt to boredom, "We believe you're speaking of things you know nothing about. Have you ever met a daughter of the night queen? We doubt you have knowingly. You're personal fear or lack of understanding cause you to jump to conclusions and blame an immortal you barely know anything about. Tell us all what you know of Audrea or her children? Have you ever ventured to her home? Have you laid eyes upon one her children and known it?"

She let a sigh of disgust come from her mouth. "Foolish men should keep their fear of the unknown to themselves rather than sully the name of a being they only know tidbits of. It makes them appear foolish and afraid like children scared of a noise under their bed in the night."
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Re: Gloom and Doomsayers

Gloom & Doomsayers
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18th Cylus 720
H
e was liking it more as time went by? Perdita felt a tingle of pleasure at that, delight warming her toes as she considered that Eli was at least happy here. It was important to her that he was - because after all they'd ended up here through a series of events which were very much as much her fault as his. It was important, she thought, that they stuck together and that was why she was pleased he was happy. She glance at him, blushed and smiled all in the same expression and they made their way. He spoke of them buying a house together and she nodded. "I'd like that," she replied and said no more on the topic right now. There was no need to, they could discuss it another time.

She nodded her agreement at Eli's assessment of the word 'cult'; it must certainly mean something different where the talking man came from - or he was happy owning a negatively-perceived word. Either way, she listened and when Eli checked with her that Desnind was under Moseke's care, she whispered softly, "Yes, that's right." So, they made their way through the crowd, and Perdita held on to Eli's hand tightly as they did so. She didn't want to lose grip here, there were lots of people and frankly, she found that a little unnerving. So Eli spoke up and Perdita had to admit that she felt he was brave for doing so; proud of him, she squeezed his hand slightly and smiled. Then a ... she thought they were called Tunawa ... small tree-person made their way forward and urged those gathered to listen to the reply of the grandfather. That was a nice way of refering to the elder man, Perdita thought, and she glanced at the Tunawa with interest. Though, being who she was, she did not speak.

And then, the older man answered. It was Eli's question which stumped him and he paused, then smiled and seemed pleased with himself. But Perdita recognised something in what he said, and she shook her head, firmly. "You decided, not asked?" She said, but her voice was too quiet to be easily heard and she frowned slightly. What he was saying made no sense, really, because there was no request from anyone for him to do what he was doing - and more than that, they knew that Moseke was here in Desnind, and yet. "What does Moseke say?" Perdita asked, but by now she was more or less asking Eli. Her quiet way of being and genuine shyness meant that she wasn't really projecting her voice sufficiently.

Still, she looked at the man, and she did her best. Straightening her back, Eli could feel her hand trembling in his. She did not like conflict, or talking to people, or crowds. But. "Without facts, this is fear," she shook her head. "Investigate more, fear-monger less." And that was that. Turning to Eli she said, determinedly, with the same expression on her face that she'd had when she told him she'd fight the bandits in Rharne, in fact. "We will investigate."

And, just like that it seemed, she'd decided they would. The one-eyed woman spoke again and Perdita frowned. "You believe him wrong?" She looked at the woman and did not like the purposely bored expression or the way that she was insulting the man. There was no need. "Then investigate." All these people and all this talk. It was silly, it was rhetorical and it was fear mongering. The man, and the one-eyed woman both. Her gaze took them both in and her thoughts might as well have been written on her face. They were foolish people not doing the right thing. Talk was easy. Perdita glanced at Eli, her cheeks burning and her eyes meeting his, but no one else's.
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Re: Gloom and Doomsayers

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Suddenly, before the old cultist got a chance to answer the questions that several had flung his way, a strange little creature appeared on his shoulder and made play of the part of peacekeeper. Of a sort. Or maybe he was only making an appeal for cooler heads to prevail. Eli narrowed his eyes with interest and tilted his head curiously. It was the first of the little one's kind that the young man had ever laid eyes on, though he might have heard others refer to them as tunawa.

It was more like Eli than not, to simply blurt out the first thing that popped into his head, be it polite or not. But since the little one's words were the sensible sort and his question was a good one, he bit back the impulse to grin and give Perdie a gentle nudge to the ribs with his elbow and proclaim, or inquire something along the lines of 'Look, it's a little talking weed. That a tunawa?' At any rate, the woman who was looking down the cultist with her one good eye, also had good questions.

It wasn't lost on Eli that the cultist somehow managed to duck, weave or squirm his way around most of those questions, including his own. Perdita knew it too, Eli figured, based on what she was asking, for all that she said it quietly. Still, "If you've got no proof that Audrae is the one who's done it," he said. "Or even if she has, then the reason why, I don't think it's a smart thing to do, to start destroying all the larvae. Besides," he added, "What makes you so sure it isn't exactly what Audrae wants you to do?"

Eli liked a good conspiracy theory as much as anything. He even liked stories about doom, gloom and carnage. They were almost always the more interesting ones. On the other hand, the young man doubted that Moseke would only consider it to be a minor inconvenience to find that another Immortal was trying to destroy her city and people. And even if she wouldn't step in, Eli wasn't about to going around smashing the little creatures that seemed part and parcel to Moseke's own creation, all based on the whim of a cultist. Because, physics. Cause and effect. Or for those of a more religious bent, Immortal damnation and fury.

Gladysic and his cult might just be taking advantage of a perfectly natural process; maybe one that only came along every decade or so. On the other hand, the strange coloration of the iyo might in fact be a bad omen of sorts, some foretelling of certain doom. In that case it ought probably be taken seriously. He was less inclined to take a combative approach as the other woman had done. It seemed much more personal for her, than it was for Perdita or himself, or even the little tunawa on Gladysic's shoulder.

"She's right," Eli said, referring to Perdita's suggestion that they should investigate, and he squeezed her hand when he said it; and smiled back at her. "It sounds to me like there's a lot of assumptions being made without knowing who, what or why. Better to answer those questions first, than to do something blindly and so big that you can't take it back."
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”Destroy the Larva!” Kisaik said, genuinely shocked. All for the color of their glow? It seemed a rather strange proposition, and an overreaction far in excess of what was just a minor cosmetic change in the iyo.

”On whose authority do you propose we act, Grandfather?” Kisaik said, scratching his chin. ”As for doom, wasn’t there a prophecy in Desnind that should the Iyo go dim and dark and die out, that darkness would fall upon Desnind forever? I heard that story sometime ago, but it seems relevant.”

Finally having made up his mind, that the old man wasn’t altogether with his faculties, Kisaik blinked with a snapping sound, emerging on the shoulder of Eli. As he emerged out of the instant egress, he gestured with an apologetic nod of his head to Eli ”Pardon the noise big fellow.” Kisaik said of the snapping sound of the rupturing magic. ”But I believe I can help in this investigation and study of the Iyo… I’m a bit of a natural scientist myself! Expert alchemist, and with good knowledge of plants into the bargain!”

He hummed to himself, as he looked around at the rest assembled. ”You’d best all cool down, and not let this grandfather’s words rile you so. What say you, my good old father!? Shall we investigate these Iyo to put your fears to rest?” The tunawa hummed to himself, thinking about the alternative, and acquiescing to his premise by way of saying: ”Or if it confirms your fears. What’s the worst that could come of a bit of simple experimentation and investigation?”

”There are ways of previewing what the larva can become… if one is held in safe captivity…” Distantly, Kisaik called awareness to Ataja, his diri of growth. He could use her aid to see how the larva turned out when they grew to full measure. It normally took a season for a bigger animal, but a larva with its short lifespan, why that must needs take little time at all!







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