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Play-Test Episode: "Ariel's Fate"

Discussion in 'Flat Earth' started by Legendary Sidekick, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Ariel

    Lily and I creep through the brush after our prey like the cats we're named for. My jackalope boots muffle any sound my feet might make; Lily doesn't even need that. I'm just glad my bowstring has had the chance to dry out in the past few hours so I can make the shot when it comes time.

    I smile when I finally get the opportunity. The wind is good, my arrow is ready. Three, two, one, loose--

    [​IMG]

    Not a perfect shot, but enough to wound the beast. I stand back to let Lily finish it with her spear.
     
  2. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Ariel sees the hyena, which is not entirely like the brownish creatures Lily had described to her in her early training sessions. This one has a white-silver coat. It is rather large.

    Despite the creature's size, Ariel knows the vital spots well. There are many men who train as marksmen. The samurai are fond of bows; Lily has seen pirates who can hit a target as well as any huntress. But a pirate or samurai would need many arrows to drop this beast.

    Not a huntress. A huntress knows the vital spots of the animals. She knows where to shoot, when to shoot… and if the beast is not aware of the huntress, she might drop it in a single shot.

    Ariel comes very close to the death spot. Her arrow doesn't kill it, but the beast yips loudly and staggers to the ground. Sounds of the gazelle's hasty escape are heard, as are Lily's rapid steps. She hurls her spear—
    [​IMG]
    —but only grazes the beast.

    "A silverback!" she cries—likely to keep the attention on herself, as the creature was caught by surprise and is still not aware of Ariel's presence. "An alpha," she clarifies—for the dual-purpose of informing Ariel and provoking the hyena. "He'll either howl or—"
    [​IMG]
    Lily doesn't finish her sentence, but it's clear to Ariel that the beast has chosen the unmentioned option: to challenge his predator alone (not realizing he is hunted by two). Lily blocks the beast's attack using the bundle of spears as a sort of shield. It's not likely she'll be able to use any of her spears as weapons. Lily has proven to be quite capable without a weapon, but she's not a six-foot-plus amazon like her taylor friend, Ivy, who has been known to hogtie wild boars. It seems Lily will not attempt such a stunt; she's staying on the defensive. She turns to one side, prompting the silverback hyena to position himself perpendicular to Ariel's line of fire. This gives Ariel a clear shot with almost no risk of friendly fire.

    The hyena's weak pounce emphasizes the fact the he has very little fight left in him. Ariel is likely to finish the beast with a single arrow, or even an attack from her carving knife should she be so bold.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  3. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Ariel

    The silver hyena lunges at Lily, still oblivious to my presence. Lily's defense gives me an opening to loose another arrow; I know better than to try to get in close with my dagger.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Lily tries with her might to hold the creature back…
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    …but the creature attacks wildly. Ariel sees Lily's throwing spears fly in all directions. There is a tearing sound, and the sound of Lily shrieking.
     
  5. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Ariel

    At the sound of Lily's screams, I drop my bow and snatch my dagger from its sheath. Time to get down and dirty! I launch myself onto the hyena with a roar and stab as hard and as deep as I can.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    The dagger punctures the soft spot under the back of the hyena's skull. There is a spattering of blood, and possibly brains when Ariel violently pulls the knife from the head. She feels small wet chunks dripping down her right cheek.

    Lily is on the ground, her arms and legs covered in scrapes and scratches. There is a horizontal gash just above her bellybutton, but the wound is not deep. There is also a vertical scratch across her sternum. Lily's small breasts are bare. The dead hyena has the top of Lily's outfit in her mouth.

    Lily uses one arm to help herself up, and the other to cover herself.

    In a past conversation about the gods, Lily and Ariel found they both followed The Maiden and another goddess. Lily's other was The Spirit, and she explained the commonality between her two goddesses: one teaches us to value our bodies, the other teaches us to be proud of them. For Lily, this meant rigorous exercise for her and her students.

    Unlike other followers of The Spirit, she seemed to go out of her way to respect her students' privacy, and if she worshipped her goddess in the nude as man followers of The Spirit are known to do, she must have said her prayers while bathing in the lake.​

    Lily's expression suggests she is more embarrassed than hurt, but she smiles in relief. She asks, "Any chance your goddess can get me one of those water gowns?"
     
  7. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Ariel

    I laugh as I reach down to help Lily up. "No harm in asking, I guess. First though, let me find something to take care of those wounds with. I think I left my honeybalm back with the others."

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Ariel doesn't need to travel far. She finds a narrow-leaf plantain, and knows she'll able to use the fluid within the leaves to clean Lily's wounds. The leaves themselves will suffice as bandages, though they won't stay on her. Lily will need to lie still while Ariel applies pressure for about twenty seconds. As long as Lily remains still, the leaves will stay in place during the liquid's gradual healing process.

    When Ariel returns, Lily is flat on her back so all of her wounds are facing up. She is no longer covering her chest with her hands. She looks as if she is sleeping.

    (Yes, she is breathing, in case "looks like" is taken the wrong way.)
     
  9. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Ariel

    Lily's stillness and posture would alarm me if I couldn't tell she's breathing. I get quickly to work, splitting the leaves to reveal the juice inside, then pressing them to Lily's wounds. I keep my eyes peeled as I do that, hoping no other beasts will come by for a meal of hyena flesh -- or huntress flesh, for that matter!

    [​IMG]

    I can't see much -- guess I've got too much blood and brains on my face. I hope it won't take too long to wash off once we're done here.
     
  10. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Lily isn't sleeping, it turns out. She opens her eyes, and she winces as Ariel takes care of the wound on her chest. It is the only pained reaction throughout the process, and as this wound was caused by the hyena's teeth, it is likely the one that will need the most care.

    "While you were off looking for herbs, I was thinking what I should say to you. As your instructor, I might've told you it would've been best to stay in your sniper position.

    "But on this hunt, you were not my student. We hunted as equals today. So as your former instructor, I'll tell you you handled this hunt perfectly."

    She takes Ariel's hands, helping her apply pressure to her own wound.

    "Thank you… for not leaving me in danger while you stayed in the safe spot, even though I wanted you to. You take after your father. When you see him, you tell him you're not the child you were a month ago. There'll be times he'll protect you, but you can protect him too."

    She lets go so Ariel can place the plantain leaf across her wound. She is otherwise bare-chested.

    "I'll need a new outfit, too, but not from the silverback. We'll have Ivy make you a whole new outfit from this beast… except boots. I really like the jackalope boots."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  11. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Ariel

    I nod solemnly as Lily speaks, especially when she mentions my dad. "You bet I will." I like to think Mum would be proud of my actions too. Shieldmaiden that she is, she's always at the front of every fight, never in the rear where it's safer.

    My mouth quirks into a smile at the mention of my boots. "Yeah, I like 'em too. I hope they'll be warm enough up on the mountain." I wonder what that'll be like... will we get to see the Maiden's Shrine and meet Mum's fellow Shieldmaidens? More than that, what'll it be like meeting The Maiden and The Spirit themselves?
     
  12. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Lily starts to look sleepy, which may be a side effect of the plants juices. Although Lily's wounds are not deep, there are many. Every limb is covered with three or four leaves, and there are two on her torso.

    Her voice is sleepy as she says, "I'm sorry you didn't get to grow up with your birth mother. Your stepmom is nice, and you still have your dad…" She seems as if she wants to say more, but she just mumbles gibberish and dozes off.

    Ariel sees that the leaves are staying in place as they should be. Seeing that Lily sleeps like a log, it may be best she sleeps. By the time she awakens, the wounds should be reduced to pink markings. The deeper gash above the bellybutton may need to be looked at again later, but Ariel is confident that the chest wound is no longer a concern.

    In the quiet moments, Ariel has some time. She can wash her face in a nearby stream if she wishes. Whatever she chooses to do (which you can post if you want to, Ireth), she has ten minutes of quiet time—quiet with the exception of Lily's soft snoring, which Ariel has grown used to over the past month.

    The rhythmic snoring is interrupted by soft footsteps. Ariel can barely hear them at all, but now that she does hear them, she realizes that the sounds are close, coming from behind. Whatever it is making the sounds—not it, they—they are spread out. There are at least two—at least three—and they managed to get close. Thirty feet—twenty—no—fifteen…?
     
  13. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Ariel

    As Lily drops off to sleep, I take advantage of the free time to wash the blood and brains from my face in the stream. As I dry my hands, faint sounds catch my ears above Lily's soft snoring. Something's coming closer -- a few somethings, by the sound of it -- closer by the second. I snatch up my bow, crouching protectively over Lily and readying an arrow. I want to be able to see what I'm shooting, just in case I'm wrong and they're harmless.

    But I'm pretty sure I'm not wrong.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Ariel turns, arrow readied, but she does not fire. She recognized Lily's fellow huntresses. One says, "See? I told you Lily wouldn't forget to give the sound-shooting lecture."

    Ariel remembers the term. Sound-shooting is when you shoot at what you hear, when you should only shoot at what you see. She also recalls the #1 rule of safe hunting: never point an arrow at something you do not want to shoot. She lowers her bow, and tries to recall the names of Lily's friends. All took names of flowers that grow on the mainland.

    The spear-hunter who was just speaking is Heather. She always wears hides that are dyed in shades of purple.

    The archer in the red coat and skirt lined with fur from a red-maned liger is Princess Rose. She replies, "Well, I'm glad she remembered her safety lecture better than Lily remembered my words about hunting naked in the presence of her student."

    The swordswoman in gold looks more like a nun than a huntress. "I don't think she's dressed like that on purpose," she says. Ariel remembers the one named Susan is the herbalist. She looks at Ariel's placement of the leaves with admiration.

    The tall one is Ivy. Her gatorhide armor is surprisingly fashionable. She looks at the tigerskin in the dead silverback's mouth with a grin. "It's about time Lily's rid of that rag. I've got a new design that's perfect for her."

    There is one more in this bunch, the petite one–Violet–who somehow is standing within five feet of Ariel. She barely heard the others approaching, but Violet is closest, and Ariel did not hear her at all. Her outfit is the most elaborate–a combination of green vines and leaves, and large blossoms violet in color. It seems as if the plant is freshly picked, if not alive. She looks at the dead beast when Ivy does, then says, "So that's where the alpha ran off to." To Ariel, she says, "Nice work, kid!"
     
  15. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Ariel

    I relax as Lily's colleagues come into sight, and calmly put away my arrow. "Very sneaky, guys. I almost didn't hear you at all!" Looking to the smallest of the group, I grin and add, "I definitely didn't hear you at all."
     
  16. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Violet giggles when paid the compliment. As for the sneaking around, it wasn't meant as a trick—"not entirely," she adds with a sheepish grin—but as a means to avoid drawing attention of the spooked creatures in the wilderness.

    Heather explains that a red-maned liger was attacked by a pack of hyenas. It didn't end well for the pack, and Rose chimes in, "Those obnoxious beasts are no match for Jackie." Violet explains that Jackie is the largest red-maned liger on the island. He is extremely dangerous, unless you know how to talk to him.

    Apparently, talking to a red-maned liger is the one trick Lily hasn't taught Ariel. She's the best beast rider on the island, says Heather. Rose insists Lily is likely the best in the world, though if asked, she'll admit to not knowing any beast riders from the mainland… or other islands, for that matter.

    When Lily wakes up, Heather asks how she's feeling. "My ears are burning," is her reply.

    Violet and Susan will to check to see if Lily's wounds have healed, though they will do nothing if they see Ariel is handling this task. Once Lily's wounds are confirmed healed, Heather wraps Lily in her long, pink-purple shawl.

    Lily asks Ivy if she can make "something warm" from the hide of the silverback. Ivy starts describing an outfit that includes a cloak, but Lily gently cuts her off saying, "This is a rush job." The large tailor grabs the hind legs of the silverback. One look from her prompts Heather to grab the other end and help haul the carcass. When Susan is told of the honeybalm, she says she can make a skin cream or herbal tea. She warns Ariel that if she chooses the tea, it is best not served with chocolate. "Or prunes," Rose adds.

    Lily snaps, "Who the hell serves prunes during tea time?"

    Violet asks Ariel, "Did Lily snap at you like this during your sessions?"

    (She didn't.)
     
  17. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Ariel

    I can't help but grin at Susan's and Lily's exchange about prunes, and shake my head at Violet's question. "No worries there, I don't like prunes anyway. I'll have to remember about the chocolate, though. My whole family loves it."

    I start heading back toward where we left the others, glancing toward the sun every so often. I hope we can get everything done in time to get me to the mountain by sunset! Excitement courses through me, and I chatter to the other trainers about the orcs and the donkey-men and the seashell and Mariya and the Voice and the unknown destiny awaiting me on Mount Neverest. If I should be at all scared about this, it hasn't kicked in yet. But what is there to be afraid of when I have goddesses and warriors on my side?
     
  18. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    The afternoon proves to be much more peaceful than morning. Lily's friends enjoy the hunting stories. When Ariel leads them to where she left her honeybalm, Mariya, Fenella and Furtano are still there (@Aspasia, as is Dila if college allows to time on this site).

    Susan immediately gets to work on the honeybalm. "I think I'll make some skin cream and some tea," she says, mostly thinking aloud.

    ((Ariel has 3 packets of honeybalm skin cream.))
    ((Areil has 3 packets of honeybalm tea.))


    Heather sits with Lily and Ariel, listening to more hunting stories. When she finally hears how Lily got injured she says, "You take too many risks. Maybe you should wear more armor." Lily replies, "Or several layers, if animals are going to eat my clothes."

    Rose approaches Fenella with a curtsey. She introduces herself as Princess Rose, adding, "We rarely see royalty from the mainland." When she sees the gold sword is stained with blood, she says, "Oh… and even more rare is a princess who can fight." She gives Fenella a diamond. "I use this to sharpen my axe. Next time you clean your weapon, sharpen it with this."

    ((Fenella has a "Whet-Diamond."))


    Ivy finds a quiet place to work. She eventually turns her back on the group because she is distracted by Mariya's gown of seawater.

    Violet stands by Mariya. She kneels and asks, "May I?" as her finger brushes the hem of gown. Violet giggles and looks up at Mariya. "So that's what muses wear when they grow up." Mariya can see that Violet's clothing is rather extraordinary, though not nearly as mysterious as her own seawater gown. Violet's dress is made of seemingly-live plants. The violet blossoms seem to glow a little.

    Violet moves toward a dark cave and says, "Come with me…"

    ((Mariya may choose to follow Violet. If she tries to bring anyone else, Violet will ask that she come alone…))


    Brother Lorenzo and the other monk, who has introduced himself to Furtano as "Mud," have a brief debate about the sacrifice their brothers made for the conch.

    "But our goddess peaks through her daughter, the muse," reasons Lorenzo, "which could not have happened if the conch had not been shattered. I did not sacrifice my left buttock in vain."

    Mud replies, "The others sacrificed their lives."

    Lorenzo says, "Sadly yes. They did not run away when they had the chance. But you did, Brother. Let us begin a new order for our goddess. The Order of the Active Voice. We will train in the art of running away, hiding while crying only on the inside—noiselessly, throwing one's voice to misdirect the enemy."

    Mud joins in, "No more standing arm-in-arm when held captive. In that situation, we apply The Multidirectional Path of the Scramble—for when we all run in a different direction, the enemy cannot catch all of us. But, Lorenzo… they cut you first. You let them."

    Lorenzo says, "I did."

    Mud says, "So you were not a coward. You meant to sacrifice yourself."

    Lorenzo corrects him. "Yes, but not my life. Just my left buttock. They were supposed to run when I…" He turns to Furtano. "You want to know how I did it? How this fat monk escaped all those donkey men with only half an ass?"

    ((Furtano may reply to Lorenzo…))
     
  19. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Ariel

    As I share my stories with Lily's fellow trainers, I can't hep but wonder what Mum and Dad have been doing all this time. Making new friends, obviously. But is it just Mariya and Princess Fenella? I guess I'll have to wait and meet the others myself.

    Or... I look over at Mariya, and stand up to go and ask her about what she and my parents have been doing for the past month. And I want to ask, if The Voice will answer -- just what will I be getting into when I join them? But Violet leads her away into a dark cave, and it looks like they want to be alone. I shrug and settle back down, watching Ivy working on my new outfit. Looks like it'll be plenty warm enough for the mountain.

    I smile as I get an idea, and walk over to the older seamstress. "Hey, mind if I make a suggestion? How about turning the paws into a pair of gloves, claws and all? It'd be handy if I ever have to fight bare-handed. Though I hope they won't get in the way of me doing other stuff."

    I frown and think some more. "Maybe if you put the claws on a separate piece that's attached right here," I indicate the place where my fingers meet my hand, "and it flips on and off so I can use bare fingers or the claws alternately as I need to. Like this..." I pick up a twig on the ground and try to sketch out what I'm thinking of in the sand.

    ((
    [​IMG]

    ...but with fingertip-gloves on the inside of the mitten part to keep the claws in place and aligned with Ariel's fingers. Does that make sense?
    ))
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  20. Noma Galway

    Noma Galway Archmage

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    I follow Violet into the cave, glancing back at Fenella briefly to let her know that it's all right. Something about her dress intrigues me, as does her comment that this is what muses wear "when they grow up".
     

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