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 [COMPLETE:Trouble on the King's Road], Bandits!
Rhys Abernathy
 Posted: Aug 22 2016, 10:09 PM
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Language, Violence or Romance


(Tag: Kalia)



The two Argents had made it out of the mountains with little issue once the storm had moved on. The rest of their time there had been mostly dry and at the foot of the mountain they had been able to spend the night at a small Inn owned by the Monastery. It had seven rooms, each with two beds, and a stable constructed of stone that could house the same number of horses as the did occupants. It's usual guests were, of course, Argents. There had a been a handful more staying the night, though their journey was taking them back up the mountain to the monastery.

It was a welcomed night spent in a comfortable bed, or at the very least far more comfortable than the ground.

After they'd cleared the mountain trails and eventually arrived on Kings Road, the main traveling road, things sped up considerably. The closer they got to Landsmeet, however, the pair had taken a smaller road that traveled the same direction. They had made it less than a day's ride from Landsmeet before they were forced to stop. According to the sun it was late afternoon when a wagon came into view ahead of them.

It was a open top wagon full of barrels that blocked the view of the driver's seat, but from afar it was easy to tell a horse lay on the ground on it's side. A man was knelt beside it, both just visible from around the wagon since it sat high off the ground.

Rhys had grown accustomed to the constant ache of riding for hours on end over the past days- however long it had taken them to get this far. He knew it would take much longer to truly become comfortable for riding for so long, but figured it would pass by the time they'd reached the Bay of Palms. At least he hoped so. Sabvir was perched upon his shoulder, swaying gently side to side as Rhys did with the movement of Idora. Idora followed Brielle on the mare's left, keeping up in pace but not quite neck and neck.

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Kaliatharian Jadrenelan
 Posted: Aug 24 2016, 02:10 PM
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I was afraid of the dark, but now it's all that I want

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The pair of Argents had begun their journey by traveling directly on the King's Road. But as soon as they were out of the mountains, the path to Landsmeet became must more heavily traveled, and that meant a greater number of people seeking assistance from Argents. As often as they were seen in this part of the continent, you'd have thought that Argents were rare and precious as pure gold, for every single person they passed had something to say.

Some asked questions, some wanted assistance with tasks that were generally not within an Argent's purview - why would you ask an Argent for assistance getting a heavy crate out of your cart, when there were porters who would be happy to oblige? - and some seemed to simply want to bask in the blessed presence of those who were touched by the angels. A great number of children trailed behind Brielle and Idora, laughing and scurrying about. They had a million and one questions to ask the Argents: can I pet your horse? What's its name? Why is your familiar a weasel? How come your eyes don't work? How did your hair get so white? Do Argents ever get married? Their babble was endless, and after a time, Kalia tired of it.

She was generally an incredibly patient woman, but as with all things, there was a limit to how much she could tolerate. So, after the first two days of traveling directly on the King's Road, Kalia made the decision to travel alongside it, instead. The land was still clear and the travel easy, but simply being out of the direct line of sight for many a traveler meant their journey was eased considerably.

It wasn't until the wagon and downed horse in the middle of the road that Kalia and Rhys ran into any trouble. Wary, the woman called a halt to their progress while they were still at least two furlongs away from the obstacle. She commanded Brielle to remain still, and directed her focus first In, then Out. Using what Gifts were available to her, Kalia sent her Empathy along up the road so that she could examine the emotional states of those involved.

From the cart driver, she sensed a sort of keyed-up nervousness that she could understand, if it was due to the horse's physical state. But from the horse, she sensed nothing other than calm. It was paying attention to its master, but it did not show signs of physical distress, exhaustion, or even sedatives!

"I don't like this," she murmured softly, counting on Rhys's sensitive hearing to pick up her speech. "There's no reason for that horse to be laying in the road like that."
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Rhys Abernathy
 Posted: Aug 24 2016, 02:41 PM
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Rhys had been relieved once they were free from the constant questions of curious children. As a general rule he had his own immense amount of patience, especially with children. Rhys often worked with any of the much younger children who were brought to St. Antistia's early due to a turmeric experience causing their gifts to manifest sooner. He dealt with not only a billion and nine questions about Argents on a daily basis, but always questions about himself and Sabvir, as well. Not to mention homesickness, excitability, the works. He didn't particularly enjoy it (kids could be little jerks), but never failed to answer any questions the best he could and they learned soon enough that when his patience did ware thin, he could be an exceptionally strict tutor with expectations that might have rivaled Father Klaas' own.


But when their quiet stretch of the trip suddenly slowed, Rhys pulled himself from his inner thoughts and raised his chin, turning his stare towards Kalia when she spoke. He listened closely, squinting as if it would suddenly force his eyes to see for the first time- it didn't work, of course. Idora nickered when they stopped, tossing her mane to shake off a fly. Rhys steadied her by brushing along her neck, effectively hushing the horse, "I can't tell anything apart right now," He muttered lightly, "The afternoon glow has everything one shade of red or orange." Late afternoons, Dusks and Twilights (aside from darkness, obviously) were the worse time for the Argent's vision, what little he had of it.

He tilted his head right, as if aiming his hearing to his left. Though he couldn't see it a treeline ran closer to the road on the left side than it did on the right. The right was filled with ruts for a good ten to twelve feet in a long arc, suggesting a tree had blocked the road on a rainy day not long ago. The ruts were still filled with puddles and thick mud. The tree that blocked the path, however, wasn't present. Someone had likely chopped it up and taken it along with them at some point. Evidence of that littered the ground as wood chips.

"There's something," Rhys closed his eyes and listened closer, able to make out the sounds of movement in the brush, "On our left." "Movement." Sabvir had heard it as well, crawling slowly from one shoulder to his other around the back of Rhys' neck. The weasel pressed herself flat as if it would hide her snow white body against the brown of his vest, but her attention was on the tree line. Then she suddenly popped up and let out a shrill chattering, bobbing and swaying her head in quite the show.

Danger!


Sabvir's warning cry only spurred on what was undoubtedly to come sooner rather than later. With a whistle rocks came whizzing out of the treeline- three at the least, one making contact square on Idora's left flank.

Unaccustomed to battle in any sense, Idora reacted to the sharp pain and surprise like any work mare might have. She reared up with a cry and danced backwards, effectively toppling Rhys off his saddle. There was no way to say it other than Rhys had been taken completely off guard at Idora's sudden buck. He'd hardly had time to tighten his grip on her reins and adjust his sitting to help keep him on. He fell back, hit the ground hard with a short gasp as the wind was knocked out of him.

It took every sense the Argent had in that split second to scramble backwards before Idora's hooves came down after she'd kicked. Sabvir, dislodged from Rhys' shoulder, struggled to retain her tiny grip on Idora's saddle blanket before being flung off into the grass like the tiny paper weight she was.
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Kaliatharian Jadrenelan
 Posted: Aug 24 2016, 05:37 PM
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I was afraid of the dark, but now it's all that I want

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Unlike poor Idora and Rhys, Kalia and Brielle were accustomed to the perils of the road, and had trained together extensively. While the Familiar was also stung on the flank by a sizable pebble, she instead chose to lash out with her hind feet in the direction of the threat. With her ears pinned back, she pivoted on her hindquarters and whirled to face the trees before Kalia could stop her.

Thankfully, habit had ensured that the woman stayed mounted, else she would likely have been unseated after that bump-and-spin maneuver her mount pulled. "Rhys!" Kalia called, without looking away from the source of the flung pebble, "Are you okay?" Her green eyes scanned the woods for signs of movement, but did not immediately find any. She knew the bandits were out there, though -- she could Feel them, could Sense the excitement coursing through their minds. She just couldn't pinpoint their locations, and that did not bode well. It meant that either someone was working with them who could muddle her Gifts - whether by magic or because they themselves possessed the same sorts of Gifts that Kalia had.

"Get up. Get your staff. Never mind Idora, she can look after herself."
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Rhys Abernathy
 Posted: Aug 24 2016, 08:27 PM
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When oxygen again filled his lungs like a sweet drink after a long fasting, Rhys coughed violently and pulled himself up to his feet, "Quite right-" Luckily Idora hadn't gone running off in a panic. She had instead nervously danced a few feet from where she had previously bucked Rhys off at. He was able to retrieve his staff from the saddle where it had been latched before he backed away from Idora incase another rock made contact. Last thing he wanted was to be trampled under the hoof of his own mount- or any mount really.

This encounter would cement Rhys decision to have Idora trained further to handle such things. Without the lay out described to him, Rhys was forced to sweep his staff behind him as he walked, feeling it skip over rocks and stiff tufts of flat weeds that had managed to grow in the road. He stopped some distance from Idora, facing the direction Kalia's voice had come from. He wasn't exactly facing the offending treeline. Until Idora stopped her dancing he wouldn't have been able to hear a rustling in the brush on the other side of the mare.

Sabvir had previously hit the ground and went running, running in a wide semi-circle around Idora and back towards Rhys. She leapt onto the studded belt that hung down his side and scaled it quickly, tucking herself away within the pouch at his side.
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Kaliatharian Jadrenelan
 Posted: Aug 26 2016, 10:03 AM
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I was afraid of the dark, but now it's all that I want

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When no immediate attack came from within the trees, Kalia dismounted. On the ground, her staff weapon was more useful - and what was more, Brielle could move with greater ease. Standing at Kalia's back, the horse was a formidable opponent. Her shod hooves spelled doom to any man who got too close, and she could use her large teeth to pluck an attacker right off his feet, whether she grabbed him by his hair or his clothes depended upon what the mare could reach first.

Kalia gave her mount a couple of quick commands, and Brielle (whose blood was up thanks to that pebble), obeyed them instantly. She was angry that someone had threatened herself and her Bonded, and she intended to take out her frustrations on the first fool she could reach. Kalia, on the other hand, appeared to be much more calm. She stood with her feet spread shoulders-width apart, both hands on her weapon. Her Gifts extended little by little out into the surrounding woods, like a modern-day radar. Living creatures appeared as little blips on her internal map; birds and forest creatures were dismissed, and anything larger than a house cat remained within her focus. It required quite a bit of effort, but Kalia felt certain she could sustain it for at least a candlemark.

"Come over here closer to Brielle," the woman commanded of Rhys. Even if he only saw the mare as a large blob on his field of vision, it'd be enough to get him into the relative protection that Kalia and her mare could provide.

"Who's out there? Show yourselves!" she called. "You have attacked two Argents, and you will be brought to justice!"
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Rhys Abernathy
 Posted: Sep 1 2016, 02:56 AM
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Rhys followed the order, able to find Brielle easily despite the slowly setting sun that had splashed everything with an orange glow that seemed to reflect back at him. Idora snorted, tossing her mane and giving her coat the best shake out she could manage while wearing a saddle. She was still ancy, but the longer the pause seemed to go on, the more she calmed.

There was a brief moment where whoever was in the tree line seemed to consider Kalia's words. Rhys had to focus all his attention forward, calling up his telepathy and sending out a light mental touch to the area around them. He could feel Kalia to his immediate right, which was good since he was left handed and any strikes with his staff would be pulling away from her. He could feel Idora and Brielle, though they were far more muted than a human's mind was for him- it didn't have the same mental static. He exhaled, pulling himself back mentally once his gift had reached as far as it could- it did not meet the mind of any others in the treelines, but had briefly grazed over that of the cart horses' and the man who had been knelt beside it.

It had been an attempt to better place himself and know where their attackers were- not so much to tell how many. He couldn't tell if someone was working against them with similar abilities that was thwarting any attempts at identifying them. His couldn't reach that far.


The lull in activity lasted only a minute or two, stressful as that was, before the man who had been on the other side of the cart suddenly appeared on their right, somewhat behind them. A thick puddle of mud separated them, but he was armed with a unpolished dirk that looked well aged and previously well cared for. No doubt it had come off the carriage of noble, or perhapse the corpse of one.

Two more broke away from the shadows of the treeline but gave the mares plenty of room as they began to work around on the left. They were armed as well, one with a club fashioned from a thick tree branch- he was a hefty fellow with a farmer's build who was used to intensive labor. The other with a sword- rusted at the hilt and covered in plenty of ding marks with long strips of shiny metal running the length at the edges, poorly sharpened with a dry stone.

Still yet there was one more, lurking in the tree line.
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Kaliatharian Jadrenelan
 Posted: Sep 1 2016, 11:05 AM
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I was afraid of the dark, but now it's all that I want

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For Kalia, deciding whether or not to make the first move was easy. She was in no position to take an offensive stance - not with Rhys to protect. Besides, her particular Gifts weren't very useful as weapons... with one exception.

Turning her focus inward yet again, Kalia pulled up the most terrifying mental images she could muster. Recalling childhood nightmares and close calls in her first year on the road, grim battle images and worry over friend family, Kalia distilled the very essence of Fear into something she could direct at their attackers. She turned it loose, sending it away from the Argents and their animals, outward in an ever-expanding, invisible circle. It carried terror and weak knees, nightmares and doubt as it uncoiled and spread over the ground like a fog. Kalia willed it to seep into the very cores of their attackers, urged it to send them fleeing from her in fear for their lives.

She could only hope that the strength of her Gift and the training she'd received for it was enough to overpower whomever it was that was shielding the group. With any luck, she would be able to break through those defenses and stop this fight before it had truly started.

Dice Roll: 1d100: 80 = 80
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Riva
 Posted: Sep 3 2016, 03:32 PM
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Wait.... what?

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Dice Roll: 1d100: 24 = 24

Dice Roll: 1d10: 7 = 7
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Rhys Abernathy
 Posted: Sep 3 2016, 04:32 PM
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While Kalia focused her energies the bandits made no pause or hesitation. Rhys had heard the crunch of twigs and rocks beneath their feet as they came stumbling out of the underbrush and rushed them, so he had sent out another pulse of telepathy. This time it spread quickly and pinged off each mind like a radar, effectively giving him a layout of the playing field. It had delivered it's message to him not a moment too soon, for the cart driver had attempted a jump across the mud puddle and landed on the edge of it with a heavy squish as his feet sank into the mud. He took two steps, slowed by the pull of the mud but loud as the suction tried to hold him in place. Loud enough that Rhys placed his position in seconds between using his gifts and his excellent hearing.

He was close enough to have possibly reached Kalia or Rhys, though with surprising speed and accuracy Rhys twisted and brought his staff down on the man's left shoulder with such force that a distinct crack cut the air like a ember popping within a fireplace. The man recoiled instantly, dropping his weapon and gripping at his left shoulder as he gave a painful howl. He staggered backwards out of commission before Kalia's empathetic attack even made landfall.

While Rhys had turned to subdue the first bandit who had made it the closest, the bulkiest of the group had dashed forward, counting on the fact Idora seemed too panicky to react to him- which she was, the mare darted off the second the man had ran at her, clearing his path directly to the Argents. if he had been able to avoid Brielle. What he hadn't been counting on, unfortunately for him, was suddenly finding something clawing it's way up his pant leg before he could even get close enough for Brielle to react.

Sabvir, who had been watching the man closely from her pouch home, had flung herself out of it the second he made a dash towards her person. She skipped and bounced across the terrain quickly, darting up the man's pant leg and scurrying up his bare flesh beneath it. Biting, scratching, tearing at any part of his leg she could get into her teeth filled jaws on her way up. That alone would have been enough to make any man panic, but before her victim could even react beyond a hard, panicked swat aimed at his own crotch, Kalia's attack swept outwards into the fray.

The gifted bandit who had previously been offering his or her companions something of a shield immediately crumpled under the sheer terror that suddenly swelled within. It hit each of the bandits like a ten pound bag of bricks- which let's be honest, getting hit with just two pounds of bricks in a bag was probably pretty bad. The cart driver, who had already been scrambling back, fell into a fetal position in the mud and clutched at his collarbone, sobbing uncontrollably.

The club-wielding bandit scrambled backwards, club dropped, and made it to the tree line before he fell to his knees and had to practically crawl into the shrubbery in his attempt to flee. Sabvir found herself suddenly on the receiving end of the attack- first by being nearly squished and in the same instant by being flooded with the same terror the others felt. She twisted, clawed, screeched in terror and anguish until tearing a hole through the man's already thinly woven pants. The last thing to be seen of her, if she had been in view of anyone, would have been a pink fluff vanishing into the treeline. She was so small it would have taken a keen eye to see her darting off.

The last bandit, who hadn't even made it close enough to be a threat, seemed to handle the attack the best, but not well enough to withstand it. He dropped his sword and clutched his head, screaming, before running into the treeline as well. He made it about five feet in before hitting a tree head on and effectively knocking himself out.

That could have been the end of it, but for the sudden pang of fear that Rhys felt through his connection with Sabvir. He went rigid at first, gripping his staff tight and planting it firmly in the mud before slowly sinking down to one knee. He didn't move a muscle, as if frozen in fear, eyes wide, right hand clutching his chest as his breath hitched. The initial shock lasted only ten seconds- but ten seconds of a indirect attack from Kalia was quite enough. He gasped when it ended, resting his forehead against the staff.
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Kaliatharian Jadrenelan
 Posted: Sep 5 2016, 02:37 PM
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I was afraid of the dark, but now it's all that I want

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While her partner was incapacitated, it was up to Brielle to see that the Argents came to no harm. She laid her ears back and dug her hooves into the soil, prepared to lash out at anyone who came too close, either with hoof or tooth. She and Kalia had worked together often enough that the mare didn't need much instruction; she knew to stay put, defend her partner, and that was that.

But when the waves of fear rolled out from Kalia and knocked the bandits to their knees, the mare relaxed marginally. She could smell their terror; its scent grew stronger as the men sweated, cried, or even wet themselves. And though it was in her equine nature to get caught up in the scent of fear and feel afraid herself, the mare was at least intelligent enough to know that she was in no real danger, and therefore stayed put.

And when her Argent came out of the trance she'd been in, and sagged against her staff out of exhaustion, the mare nosed at the woman's arm encouragingly.

"Saint's teeth," Kalia exhaled, watching as the bandits struggled to escape the terror their minds told them was coming for them. "I haven't had to do anything like that in an age." Only belatedly did she think to turn and check on Rhys, whom she discovered had sunken down to one knee during the short-lived battle. "Are you all right?" she asked, putting a hand on his shoulder.
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Rhys Abernathy
 Posted: Sep 9 2016, 05:54 PM
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Kalia would find Rhys tensing under her touch, "Sss-ff," He did little more than stutter while he tried to mentally sort himself out. He had never been on the receiving end of such a strong emotion from Sabvir and it was safe to say it had thrown the Argent for a loop. It took him several seconds to stagger to his knees with the help of his staff and once he had managed to get to his feet, Rhys just managed a string of words, "Sab-vir," Physically he was unharmed- he bled no where and aside from dirt on his back and mud on his boots and knees, he really wasn't all that scuffed up looking. But despite that his expression was clearly one of pain; his brows pinched together and his eyes squeezed shut as he tilted his head away from Kalia, resting the side of his head against the staff. "Affected-scared." With both hands white-knuckled gripping the staff, Rhys knew he would have to pull back on the connection he shared with Sabvir if he wanted the sensation to pass. Her fear was too strong and no matter how he attempted to calm her through their connection, nothing seemed to work.


It took him time to untangle his own emotions from Sabvir's. It wasn't an easy thing to do and he found himself extremely reluctant to untangle them in the first place with just the slightest hope that Sabvir's fear would suddenly pass. But it hadn't, so he had taken action in the end.


He involuntarily quaked where he stood before a sigh rushed out of him and again the Argent relaxed. The fear that had been shadowing his mind fled from the light the second he had blocked Sabvir out and this too showed. He didn't immediately recover, slowly lessening his grip on the staff and leaning it away as he straightened. It was like a headache that was slowly subsiding.
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Kaliatharian Jadrenelan
 Posted: Sep 12 2016, 10:04 AM
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I was afraid of the dark, but now it's all that I want

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It took a moment for Kalia to realize what was happening. She had ensured that she, Brielle and Rhys were all within a little bubble of safety before she cast her Empathy out toward the bandits, so when Rhys showed signs of having been affected by the blast, she was confused. It didn't dawn on her that Rhys might be sharing emotions with Sabvir through their Bond until he uttered the little creature's name.

"Oh, the poor dear!" she frowned, and cast her gaze around the scene in hopes of spotting the little weasel cowering under a shrub or around the wagon. When her search came up fruitless, Kalia sighed. "She should calm fairly quickly now that the attack is over," the Argent assured her friend. "I'm sure we'll find her then. Let's get you back into the saddle. You Call her from up there, and I'll look around for her while I get the road clear of the wagon and horse."

The bandits, in their haste to escape from Kalia's attack, had left their downed horse and cart in the process. The poor cart horse was frothed with sweat; he'd been unable to get to his feet while his harness was all tangled and tethered to the cart. Kalia approached him with soothing words and an outpouring of calming Empathy, and managed to get him to his feet with only a little bit of coaxing. She let the poor beast rest a moment while she re-attached his harness to the cart.

"Any luck?" she called over to Rhys, who was supposed to be Calling for Sabvir. But there was no telling what he was actually up to, given that he had just been through an ordeal.
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Rhys Abernathy
 Posted: Sep 12 2016, 11:09 AM
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Rhys didn't disagree. Once he was back in the saddle, Idora calm if not just a bit nervous, he sighed and tried to call Sabvir back to him.

He found it incredibly hard, Sabvir's mind was still a jumble of fear and panic. and each time he tried to reach her, the fear came flooding back in. "No..." He rubbed his face hard as he shook the sensation. The further Sabvir got, the less effect it had on Rhys himself. "She's still too scared." He sighed and dropped his hand down to Idora's reins and tipped his head back slightly, brows pinched together with a deep frown, "My head hurts too bad to keep trying. Tracking the small critter would have been next to impossible as well. Rhys couldn't imagine what trail the weasel could have left behind that would have been big enough to actually track. She could have climbed up a tree, holed herself up in a burrow in the ground, or even hidden herself away in a rotting log somewhere.



Sabvir, in her panic, had just ran. She continued to run, scampering and scurrying further away. By the time the fear subsided she was far enough from Rhys that the little critter found herself with only the slightest idea of what direction he might have been. She perched on a log and surveyed the area, eyeing the canopy for danger.

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Kaliatharian Jadrenelan
 Posted: Sep 12 2016, 12:26 PM
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I was afraid of the dark, but now it's all that I want

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For her part, Kalia felt incredibly guilty. She hadn't intended to frighten the little creature, but in the heat of battle it was difficult to keep track of every single ally. It was an unfortunate case of Friendly Fire, so to speak. Kalia hadn't exactly been firing arrows at Sabvir, but but she had still inadvertently attacked the poor thing.

"Well," she said on the end of a sigh, "I'd rather not stay here, just in case those bandits come back. But if we went a little farther up the road and camped in an out of the way place, do you think Sabvir would be able to come back and find you?" Kalia didn't think that Sabvir's tiny legs could keep pace with the horses, so waiting for the weasel to find her way back was the best course of action as far as she was concerned. But Sabvir was Rhys's Familiar, and he knew her best.

"Or we can see if I might be able to find a sign of her out in the brush? Maybe she left some white fur behind."
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