• Memory • [Burhan] Run, Girl, Run

Alexa is quickly forced to face the harsh realities that come with running away.

The seven Duchies of Central Rynmere and their respective baronies, cities, towns, villages, and landmarks each overseen by a Duke of one of the seven noble families and ultimately controlled by the King of Rynmere.
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Alexa
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[Burhan] Run, Girl, Run

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1st Trial
Zi'da
Arc 716


Tear streaks were still fresh on Alexa's face breaks after the familial fallout. Blood stained her hands and embedded itself deep beneath her fingernails. The taste of iron was unforgettably potent on her tongue, a sweet poison yielded by her newly elongated canine teeth which ripped apart flesh with a short, fiery passion until bright whites were slick with red. Had she the luxury of pausing in her fleeing to spy her face in a passing body of water, Alexa might've noticed Karem had painted her once hazel eyes into fresh golden hues. Like her reflection, the Burhan girl would've been horrified at the revelation she didn't even quite recognize herself anymore in character either. Tala, the large black wolf gifted upon Karem's blessing of Velduris, trotted loyally at the girl's heels while she hopelessly tugged her wagon along behind her. Yet the canine's very presence continued to call into question if the Immortal Huntress's gift was truly much more than a wretched curse.

Her mother's shrieking. Her brother's wide-eyed, shocked face where he laid on the floor where he'd fallen and turned paralyzed by the scene that unfolded after he was struck for the last time. Her father, his agonized yowls filling the room, writhing as he was mauled by the attacker that all but blind-sided him. Alexa was hustling through the thick woods but saw and heard nothing from the present moment. All that remained at the forefront was shame, self-loathing, and the overwhelming desire to run away. Logic was not at the forefront of her traumatized mind just then. Nonetheless, even in her current state of intense distress, Alexa had begun to identify herself for what she now was: an animal. She saw the same conclusion in the eyes of her mother and brother just before she fled the carnage of her making. The Burhan girl had never harmed another person in the way she had that night. She was dangerous, and a thing that no longer belonged among the good people of the village that were practically extended family. For what she'd done, she belonged among no one at all.

Somewhere far west of the village the girl had little choice but to retire. The sun had long since faded over the horizon, leaving little more than moonlight to valiantly cut through the forest to its floor. As though only distant memory had been guiding her, Alexa recognized she'd inadvertently led herself back to the very place she'd visited far earlier that day: the very place Karem had marked her. Alexa dropped her hold on the pull wagon and dropped down with her back against the rocky face beside her. Tala put her nose to the ground, undoubtedly content to take in the dying scent of the long-gone Immortal and her pack. Alexa buried her head in her blood-dried hands.

Crying won't help, the logical recesses of her mind reasoned despite the tears that fell anyways. Tala's claws clicked against the rocky terrain to signal her approach. Alexa lifted her head and quickly wiped her eyes with the blood-less skin of her wrists. Even with her thick coat the blistering wind chilled her violently. "You need shelter. It's too cold and we're too exposed to just sit out here," Tala communicated, once again surprising the girl that her companion could silently communicate such messages for her reception alone. She sniffed and nodded. Even as a native to the harsh region, she had no illusions about how quickly the elements could kill her out here if something else prowling the forest didn't first.
Last edited by Alexa on Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:11 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 634
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Alexa
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[Burhan] Run, Girl, Run

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Alexa rose from her position and turned to peer into the rock crevice to her right. The narrow space was just wide enough for the girl to have gotten through when the jaguar-like predator chased her into its depths. From within, the space offered just enough protection from the great cat's reaching black claws, and just enough room for a few swings of a hand axe to punish the creature until it retreated from its quarry. Only a small patch of snow layered its innards. Beyond the initial opening, Alexa spotted a wider albeit modest space further along. Tala crept beside her to peer with curious blue eyes. "I think we can fit even with most of my things from the wagon tucked inside," Alexa offered to her canine companion. The wolf cocked her head and cast her gaze upward. "No above covering," she lamented to Karem's favored with doubt. Alexa procured her hand-axe from her belt and shrugged. "That can be fixed."

Within a half break the girl had managed to painfully haul all of her belongings into the rocky opening into the wider area inside. Nearby she stashed the pull wagon behind some bushes, overturned and covered with similar foliage to hide it. Then it was time to outfit her temporary shelter. With hand-axe in her right hand, Alexa trudged from one sapling to the next. The edge of the axe hacked through the small trunks with relative ease. With each small tree felled, Tala would take a hold of it and drag it back up towards the crevice. Before long A small pile of timber lengths had been gathered and stacked at its entrance. Sweat beaded at the girl's brow dangerously cooled her flesh and a rhythm of shivers had already started to rattle Alexa's teeth.

"How much longer?" the black wolf coaxed and sat back on her haunches. Alexa slipped a rope around the bodies of the saplings and tied the bundle tight. Then she pulled one end over her shoulder and the other under an arm, tying a tight knot at her chest. "Not much," the girl replied simply just before slipping the hand-axe back into her belt. "Go inside. I'll be in before you know it." Alexa breathed hot air into her chilled hands, golden eyes looking up toward the top of the rock face a few feet above. Tala paced behind her, ears turned outward, and blue eyes nervously surveying the forest. The Burhan girl clutched with both hands at the rock face to find a hold prior to the first upward step. Her boots clung to thick shelf of rock, and the ease of the initial ascent motivated an ambitious reach upward to find the next hold. Fingers dug into a depression in the rock face as another of her feet felt haphazardly along the rock face in search of a firm holding. And so the girl advanced toward the top. At one point the swing of the sapling bundle in the make-shift sling came so violently with the wind, Alexa thought with panic she was sure to suffer a violent fall. A quick scramble of displaced footing and desperate curling of cold fingers were all that prevented the sure pain that would've come with failure.

Alexa took a few moments to cling close to the rock face, teeth grit, and body shaking. Tala whipped around to stare up at the girl. Her pointed ears were pinned back against the sides of her skull. "I'm okay, I'm okay," Alexa murmured with rattling teeth perhaps more to assure herself than the wolf down below. The trill-long break was all the girl could afford before she resigned to finish the climb. She dragged herself up onto the rocky top and laid on the uneven ground belly-down to rest again. Fingers curled and uncurled with hot breath upon them to coax blood flow. The girl untied the rope to release the bundle into a small pile she could work with. One-by-one the saplings were further sized down to meet the demands of the task. Next they were dropped across the gap side-by-side, and needle-rich branches covered the tops and filled in spaces to form the make-shift roof to keep the snow out. Only a small hole was left at the very end of the break in the rock face, which Alexa used to funnel the excess timber down into her shelter. "Now to get down..."
word count: 768
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Alexa
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[Burhan] Run, Girl, Run

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Unsurprisingly, it was colder up on the exposed rock than it was just a few feet below where Tala remained. Alexa scooped up the rope by her feet and glanced over the edge she'd previously scaled. The short climb itself had exhausted the girl who'd spent the breaks before that running. In a perfect, lazy world she might've just hopped down and prayed she didn't stick a sloppy landing. Alexa looked from her rope to the few resources surrounding her. "Of course there wouldn't be anything I could loop this around," the Karem favored griped. She tossed the rope down below to land beside Tala. Then the girl sat at the edge of the rock face she'd climbed, took a deep breath, then turned to lower a leg down in search of footing. Rapidly she discovered navigating her way was made easier without the hindrance of the saplings, but it was certainly easier to see looking up at her next move than down. It was just when Alexa was coming to those realizations that her grievous error was made.

Rather than focus on the task at hand, the girl allowed her mind to slip. Call it guilt or an unconscious moral compass seeking to punish her, one of her feet moved carelessly and slipped from its hold. Her golden eyes went wide with panic, jaw coming unhinged as though a yell had been intended had the ground not risen to meet her with such speed. Tala hardly managed to get out of the way before the girl struck the ground roughly beside the wolf. Air whooshed rapidly from her lungs upon impact. Alexa wheezed and immediately cringed with the motion. The wolf stared down at her with a rather helpless expression, tongue lashing out to offer comforting licks to her cheek. It took a while for the air to come back to her. When it did, she was content to realize there was no serious damage done from the short fall other than some bruising that would appear breaks later. Of course that didn't make rolling over and finding her feet any less painless.

Alexa gave Tala a series of grateful pats before she coaxed the wolf to follow her into the crevice. A tight enough squeeze for the mixed blood, Tala had to work strategically to hunker down and make her way in. For the most part the shelter appeared secured. The roof hadn't blown off yet and no considerable amount of snow had fallen inside. The timber she'd tossed down was too wet to set alight, but the roof had left little room for wind to dangerously cool her temporary living space. All that was left to do was set to unrolling her bed and climbing hastily into its warmth. The black wolf was quick to get comfortable, too, choosing to curl up against Alexa with her nose pointed toward the shelter's opening. The Burhan girl was exhausted. Her body was beaten and energy sapped. As comfortable and welcoming as the warmth of her bed was, sleep was an optimist's dream. When she shut her eyes she only saw recent events play out all over again across her eyelids. Not even the comforting presence of Tala would make those nightmares go away. There was nothing more for Alexa to do than stew in the suffering until the light came again.
word count: 580
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[Burhan] Run, Girl, Run

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REWARDS

ALEXA

  • Knowledge:
    • Velduris: Becoming An Animal
    • Velduris: The Telepathic Bond with the Wolf
    • Axes (Handax): Swinging in Tight Spaces
    • Field Craft: Camouflaging One's Belongings
    • Field Craft: Sweating in the Cold is Unhealthy
    • Field Craft: Clenching to Maintain Blood Flow
    • Field Craft: Wet Wood Doesn't Make Fires
    • Climbing: Purchases in the Rock Face
    • Climbing: Scrambling to Maintain a Hold
    • Climbing: Suffering a Short Fall
    • Strength: Using the Upper Body to Climb
    Loot: None
    Injuries:
    • Several bruises will appear across your shoulders and lower back in the next 6-12 breaks. This will take approximately 7-10 trials to go away.
    Fame: None
    Devotion: +3 Karem (Surviving in the Wilderness)

    Story: 5/5
    Collaboration: 0/5
    Structure: 5/5


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Comments: This story was incredibly descriptive, especially the beginning. As this is my first encounter with your writing, I was deeply thrilled by the attention you paid to detail. This was a well written solo. I gave you 3 devotion points for Karem as you have not officially survived (roughly +5). She still has a long way to go before she can claim that she is surviving in the wilderness. I considered giving you a cold or illness, but I will just leave a note here that suggest that fire and warmth be sought out if she plans on surviving. Hypothermia can set in very quickly without the appropriate shelter, fire, clothing, etc. She's working on the shelter, but there are other things she can do. Keep this in mind for future threads as you may be interested in playing out preventing illness and death.

If you feel I've missed anything or if you have questions about your review, please don't hesitate to send me a quick PM. Thank you!
word count: 327
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I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be then me.
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