It's Not About the Destination...

From Tried's Mouth to the mysterious Tower, the waters around Scalvoris and the island itself hold a vast array of secrets, just ripe for discovery. Here are landmarks, jungles, mountains, forests and islands of note.

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Natalia Gregorios
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Re: It's Not About the Destination...

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Ashan 46, Arc 721


“Charles” had been confident in his ability to circle back when things had settled down, but as soon as Blodwen began her pursuit, he knew the game was up for that round, kicking his mount and heading full speed back to Egilrun.

The young woman’s golden eyes remained on Woe and Opal, but her mind was racing wildly. Natalia wasn’t panicked, but 'worried' would have been accurate. If the assailant was part of the scheme she was beginning to suspect, he could have very well harmed someone else with his machinations. It was accepted that, possibly, she was a target, but collateral damage was not something she desired in the least.

Trying to distract herself from the situation, she gave Woe a smile as he inquired about her state. “I’m fine. It was a bit startling in the moment but over just as quickly. I’m simply happy you and Opal are unharmed.”

That was an understatement on a few levels but she played it off the best she could. In addition to her desire not to see others pay for her choices, if that were the case, Natalia had to admit that she enjoyed her companionship with the man and didn’t wish to see harm come to him.

“It seems Opal is quite speedy when she’s motivated. I confess I didn’t see what startled her, but I also didn’t see you do anything that would have caused that fuss.” She watched as Woe surveyed the area, taking a bit of a deep breath. His concern for her was, well, threatening to make the blush come back. This time, she decided to let the sea monsters be and use breathing to focus. It was….difficult, for lack of a better term, for her to comprehend someone asking after her in a genuine way. It hadn’t ever been that way with others, or at least not since her grandfather. Polite inquiries, of course, but meaning nothing more pretty words. When he asked about her condition, it felt like he truly wished to know.

She wanted to express her appreciation for his concern, and the support she was being offered but didn’t know how to put the words together in a way that made any sense whatsoever. Natalia was a solitary creature who had been forced to learn the intricacies of socialization. It would have been nothing to offer up an empty platitude, but something felt very wrong about that.

“I…. well…I mean,” she began, and not well. Pulling herself together, the young woman continued. “I appreciate your concern, Woe. I’m glad you were all here.”

Really? That’s the best you could cobble together? What is wrong with you?

Natalia paid the price for her distracting thoughts when, quite suddenly, Renaissance darted to the left, away from Woe and Opal. It was short-lived, taking the reins firmly in hand and patting the horse gently. Having noted her hand position, they had apparently drifted too low, causing cross signals for him.

Sighing softly, she offered up an embarrassed glance in Woe’s direction as she steered her mount back over their direction. “Seems you aren’t the only one having issues totrial. I used to be fairly good at riding, once upon a time. Much smaller then, but good. It’s something of an art. “

Casting a glance off the direction Blodwen rode, she wondered about the mysterious man. Perhaps she was being paranoid, and he simply was someone she had forgotten? No. She didn’t forget people. And trying to grab the reins really didn’t fit with that scenario.

Regardless, the situation was settled for the time, at least until they got to Scalvoris Town. Then, perhaps, more information would present itself.

Turning her attention back to Woe, she offered another smile. “Not too big of a fuss, really. The horses just want our attention all to themselves, it seems. I’m sure the rest of the trip will go smoother. “

She had mentioned to both Woe and Blodwyn that she perhaps knew what the situation had been about, but neither chose to question her. It had been a slip of the worst kind, but she owned it. There was no excuse for why she had felt the need to express her possible knowledge, but Natalia had a theory... and one that gave her mixed feelings. For the bulk of her life, she had dealt with everything on her own. The experience had made her who she was, certainly, but it was an isolated existence.

Perhaps, just maybe, for a single moment, she had needed to feel like part of something where she wasn’t alone. A shared experience and connection to something other than herself.

Glancing at him, she gave a quick, somewhat playful smile as she gently pulled off her gloves for a moment to stretch her fingers, trying to distract herself from her thoughts. "So, how did I do in conveying to you that I felt something was wrong with that situation? I tried to clue you in but I never quite know how it comes off. I'm not used to trying to signal someone like that..."

Breathe and focus on something else. Everything will be alright.

Now if only she could convince herself to believe that.


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word count: 897
"A girl should be two things: who and what she wants."


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Woe
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Re: It's Not About the Destination...

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Woe thought he had a good handle on Opal, so he wasn’t sure what had made her startle and bolt. Perhaps she required more training, or perhaps he did. Either way, he held her reins tightly in his hands, as he patted her on the cloak streaming from her head.

”I’m alright.” Woe confirmed, checking himself. ”Some causes for upset are harder to perceive without the right angle.” Was all Woe had to say about that. It could’ve been that Destiar was rebelling against their Empathic link.

Speaking of the empathic phenomenon, Natalia was starting to exhibit strange signs of upset herself. Yet for all his expertise in the magic itself, he couldn’t discern what was with her. It wasn’t something he was familiar with, anyway. He’d experienced his share of emotions, but what he was getting off of her was quite unlike most of those. He would continue to meditate on it. Not solely because he was interested in Natalia generally, but also because his spark prompted him to understand and to further his understanding of emotions.

There was perhaps a sense of holding back, something he could recognize that resembled fear? Caution or reluctance of some sort. What many who had a passing knowledge of magic, and of Empathy in particular, seemed to presume that the magic was mind-reading. It was not. Far from it. Woe’s use often skewed toward the benevolent these days, although he’d had many lapses in the past. But for the most part, his Empathy was geared toward observation. Letting it wrap its tendrils around the minds of those surrounding was a terrible breach of ethics, only ventured upon in true need.

He didn’t catch most of what she said, he was a little too lost in his reverie, but he did catch that she was glad they were all here. Woe nodded and continued riding beside Natalia.

In another few bits, they heard Blodwen coming in on the horse she was riding that day. She caught up to the front and shook her head at Woe. She hadn’t been able to catch the man, but it was unlikely that he’d be shadowing them. Woe would try and convince the footman to keep a tighter watch when they made camp.

A few bits after Blodwen returned, Natalia asked a very peculiar question, or so it seemed to Woe.

"So, how did I do in conveying to you that I felt something was wrong with that situation? I tried to clue you in but I never quite know how it comes off. I'm not used to trying to signal someone like that..."

”Well enough. The man was clumsy about his interjection, the way he delivered his insinuation was stilted.” Woe shook his head, ”The fact that he grabbed for your reins was an assault, I had to react. Unfortunately, Opal decided to bolt then. But you handled yourself well in forcing him off. And then of course Blodwen chased him off.”

Hearing her name, Blodwen chimed in, ”He was either intent on harming you or had no idea how to handle a horse. Grabbing for another rider’s reins so forcefully could’ve caused a terrible accident. Your horse might’ve bucked and kicked you off of her saddle. Yet he managed to outrun me on the horse.” Trooper Golly sighed, ”I could have caught him if I pursued him all the way, but I couldn’t very well leave the patrol. I’ll be making a full report when we get to the nearest Element posting in Scalvoristown. If you could furnish a full description of that man?”

Woe said nothing further yet but waited for Natalia to respond to Blodwen.

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Template by Natalia Gregorios
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Natalia Gregorios
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Re: It's Not About the Destination...

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Ashan 46, Arc 721


Her companion was drifting in and out of the conversation. It was apparent to her that something had his attention, although she couldn’t detect what that something might be. It wasn’t her place to intercede, however, leaving him to his thoughts, focusing on being present when he came back to her, and keeping an eye on him - just in case.

Blodwen returned, having been unable to catch up with the mystery man, and Woe replied to her comment. Nodding her understanding, she gave him a quick smile. “My only intent had been to let you know something was bizarre. Since I accomplished that, I’ll consider it a success.”

The woman then spoke of giving a description of the man, which she did and would do so again once they arrived in Scalvoristown. “Thank you, again, Miss Golly. I am in debt to you and your patrol.”

Casting a glance to Woe, she nudged Renaissance into stride next to Opal, choking up on the reins just a bit to keep a firm hand on him. She caught herself just about to bite her bottom lip – one of the only tells Natalia had ever been made aware of. It had developed during childhood while the young woman had mostly abolished the habit, it tended to roar back in moments of uncertainty. There were a few of those milling around, certainly.

She wasn’t worried about being attacked. Her concerns were solely focused on those around her. If she left, perhaps her absence would keep them safe should the man return? It was an appealing thought from the standpoint of protecting them, but Natalia had a feeling that even if she tried, she wouldn’t be allowed. She could sneak away in the night, but again, there were always guards so that wouldn’t have worked either.

And then there was the fact that she really didn’t want to leave.

If he came back, she would figure out a way to protect the rest of them, which sounded ridiculous. How was she going to protect trained people with weapons?

There was really no point dwelling on it. Her decision was made, and she was something of the stubborn sort.

“Now then,” she said. “Where were we?”

And the journey continued….



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word count: 385
"A girl should be two things: who and what she wants."


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Doran
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Re: It's Not About the Destination...

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Woe:

Knowledge:
Detection: x 2
Investigation: Vigilante justice is a disruption of the peace.
Investigation: x2
Mount (Ground): Regaining control of a bolting Destiar.
Mount (Ground): x 5

Loot: -
Lost: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: -
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 15

Natalia:

Knowledge:
Mount (Land) - Grabbing another's reins is dangerous
Mount (Land) - Calming your mount after upset
Mount (Land) - Crossing reins can send mixed signals to mount
Mount (Land) - Keeping your mount away from another mount in distress
Detection - Noting when you don't recognize someone
Detection - Noting when someone is lost in thought
Endurance - Riding a horse a great distance
Cosmetology - Noting when someone else wears flattering colors
Deception - If you are going to lie, make sure it's with widely known information
Discipline - Keeping calm under duress
Discipline - Quelling negative emotions by focusing on something else
Meditation - Using breathing to focus

Loot: -
Lost: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: -
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 15
- - -
Comments: I really enjoyed the relationship between Natalia and her horse Renaissance, and her fascination with Woe is described well as well. I had forgotten that he had recently joined the Elements until you mentioned it. I wonder how he’ll fare as an Element trooper!

And what more, it seems as if Woe is intrigued by Natalia as well. I wonder if he’s finally found someone after Emmy, Llyr and that Dolizar woman (I’ve forgotten what his ex-fiancées first name was!). He seems kind of different when he’s with Natalia in my opinion at least.

All in all, this was a fairly relaxing travel thread for the most part, but the interaction between the PCs, their thoughts about each other (And their horses!) made it interesting to read, nevertheless. The unexpected appearance by “Charles” later in the thread provided a bit of tension and excitement.

That being said, I wonder how Natalia will react when she finally finds out who Woe’s sister is – and if she’ll ever realize that she’s a Mortalborn as well. That’s something that I really look forward to reading!

Enjoy your rewards!
word count: 355

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