Prologue: Fight and Flight

Jhahara's Hut
As Nydia approaches Jhahara's Hut and smells the familiar scents of smoking braziers and and the odd tang of incense. As you enter her hut through a hanging deer-skin over the door. The old woman is dangling a baby ratatta over a snake-basket. "Come in girl." She says in her rasping voice. "Aren't you supposed to be on the wall today? Or did you come to watch me feed the snakes?" She says adding a toothless grin to make show her excitement. Before you can answer Sven comes in the little room, blood still dripping from the spear wound.

Jhahara looks up at the boy and frowns. "What in Zapdos's tail-feathers happened to you boy? Did you try your charms on Nydia, eh?" She says her voice rising into a cackle. "Come over here and lets get you patched up." She says waving you into a chair.

Sahara's House
When you arrive at your hut it is empty. Both of your parents are on the hunt and the hut feels a bit lonely as you settle down with lily to see to her wounds.

Nydia Star-Counter

Jhahara's HutNydia grins at the wise-woman as she enters, grateful that they won't have to poke around quietly while Jhahara sleeps. Many of the villagers avoid the wise-woman's yurt; it's a strange place, oddly eerie for a woman who lacks the blatantly superhuman gifts of some of the other villagers. Even on the hottest days, the braziers are lit, the coals burning, ready to be fanned to life at a moment's notice should something need to be brewed. The already-muggy hut is then filled with the smells of incense, dried herbs and all manner of strange things Jhahara keeps for medicinal value. Lined around the yurt, on shelves and in chests, are sealed clay jars containing bones, eyes, tongues, organs and brain stems from a variety of creatures. Despite the wise-woman's medicinal bent in her studies, there are plenty of signs of other fields of study: Littering the floor are partially-rolled scrolls covered in scrawled notes, texts and sketches of creatures and places. Hanging on the walls are strange pelts, some of familiar creatures - another deerling hide, a mareep skein dyed dark black, a poochyena pelt - and some completely foreign. In comparison, the cot in the corner, under which are carefully folded dresses and skirts and tunics and a rag-bed are Basil, seems downright mundane in comparison.

"I came to ensure you aren't bitten. Feeding the serpents is my duty!" Nydia chides in return, setting down Basil and peering into the basket at the coiled serpent within, before she steps back to avoid drawing the creature's attention. "The He-Noc Chief-Daughter challenged us to trial by beast and blade. Sven fought admirably and defended our tribe's honor." She explains, ushering the shepherd towards a chair hewed from a strange pale wood. After he sits she immediately begins digging through the many small jars, looking for the proper unguent to keep their wounds from festering.

Jhahara's Hut
The old woman sighs rather exaggeratedly. "I never understood young people's obsession with poking people with pointy things." She said shaking her head. She then turned a questioning gaze on them both. "Win anything good?" she said conspiratorially, her face cracking into a toothless grin. Nydia begins to smear a few ointments on Sven's wound before bandaging it.

Sahara Heart-Seer

Sahara's HouseIt is a surprise to see both her mother and father are gone. Her father would go hunting every now and then to help out, but her mother almost never went. They must have needed the extra hands badly. Sahara is a little disappointed to have both be gone. Other than Lily, her parents are the only ones she truly feels connected to. It was not worth being upset over, since they would be back soon enough. Still, the sadness at finding the house empty was there.

Sahara carries Lily over to the table that her mother uses for treating injured Pokémon. With Lily comfortably lying on the blanket there, Sahara takes a jar of blue paste. It is a medicine made from Oran Berries, ones that her mother applies to wounds of no special properties. Lily's side is showing a severe bruise from being hit by the Geodude, but no other injuries are present. Sahara gently rubs the ointment on the mark. She cannot help but giggle as Lily's tongue flicks out, trying to catch a taste of the berries used in it. The sight of Sahara laughing like this would have most likely been a surprise to any of the other children, as she had never shown this side of herself outside of her home.

Once she is done, Sahara picks up Lily again and goes to her bedroom. She sits down on her sleeping mat and brings forth a small tome. On the first few pages are sketches of Lily and notes about Chikoritas. A few others are written as well; Mareep, Lillipup, and Swaddle were noted since she had seen them before. The Zubat and Piplup were not as familiar, so she began to write about them, giving brief drawings for each. Once they are done, she notes the Ponyta, Geodude, Nosepass, Nidoran, Bellsprout, and Abra. Even if she had not enjoyed fighting, it had let her learn about several more Pokémon, which was something she could appreciate. As Sahara works, Lily rests her head against Sahara's leg and snoozes, occasionally opening an eye to see how her drawings are going.

Back Home
Daeron had kept silent while the last exchanges were made, nodding respectfully to the He-nocs one last time before making his way inside. The Chief-wife would make sure someone would watch the herd in their new position. Making his way back to his home, he smiled softly as he saw his mother, working at a spinning wheel with Mareep wool. His father was certainly out hunting with the rest. She beamed at the sight of him, though her tone showed her confusion. "Shouldn't you be watching the sheep right now?"

Daeron stepped closer and kissed her cheek softly, shaking his head after. "Chief-wife had us fight He-noc scouts that challenged us. Afterwards, she sent us back to rest." He rubbed Stitch's head, as the insect waggled proudly.

"Fight?! Oh, dear, you're not hurt are you? Let me take a look!" The boy flailed a bit as his mother pulled him closer, finally fighting her off with a laugh. "Didn't touch me. Beat Sven up, though."

"Lucky you. So, my little victor, are you going to rest?"

Daeron shook his head and pulled out the geode, opening it up for his mother to see. Giving an appreciative 'ooh' at the sight of the rich purple crystals, she mussed his hair and murmured, "You're going to end up covered in shiny bits again, aren't you?" Daeron merely shrugged with a somewhat smug grin as he looked for his small pile of makeshift tools.

Gathering up a small metal spine and a stone headed hammer, he set one of the halves of the geode down to study and ponder the best way to harvest some of the larger spikes of amethyst. Stitch took a seat nearby and was amusing himself by rocking the other half around, making it spin and wobble. After a few minutes of contemplation, trying to make sure he wouldn't damage too much of the stone getting the best pieces out, he began his work.

Having picked the best ones he could free, he found he still had plenty of purple stone left inside the shattered remains of the geode half. Those certainly couldn't go to waste and he contemplated how to use them. Feeling that same odd cottony dryness in his mouth he got whenever he bore Stitch's talent reminded him he could still put it to good purpose. Maybe a gift for those of his tribemates that had done so much in the fight would be a fitting gesture. Taking the remaining purple bits, small flakes and chunks too useless to make into individual items to trade, he borrowed his mother's cooking mortar and pestle. "You're going to clean it this time, aren't you? The last time you decided to do something strange with my cooking tools we had grit in our teeth for days."

Daeron laughed silently and nodded, waving his hand reassuringly before settling down with the round stone bowl in his lap. Pouring in the glittering purple chunks, he began to pound on them with slow steady thunks, until it had broken down nicely. Continuing the process, he began a steady swirling with the pestle, grinding the grit into a fine wine-hued powder, shimmering like stars on a midnight lake. He kept this up, grinding all the crystalline remains of the geode half, the clear and white quartz adding a pale element to the powder, until he had a small bowl full of the material, fine as dust.

Giving Stitch a poke, as the bug had curled up to nap against the boy as he worked in that slow rhythmic pattern of grinding. Rousing groggily with a soft "Wad?" he crawled up to Daeron's shoulder as the boy took the filled bowl to his special makeshift loom. "Think you can help me one last time? I want us to make some good strong threads, as sticky as we can, okay?"

Steadying the two dozen small wooden slats on the peg covered Stantler horns his father had once brought back as a proud trophy, it looked like quite an odd object, but for the pair, it was one of their tricks of the trade. While many tribes had to make do with thicker twines and threads, Daeron and his partner had given theirs the advantage of silk string in small amounts, only a couple yards at a time. It wasn't much but it made for strong weaving when it mattered. But tonight, Daeron was making something special, not practical. Stepping back nearly the length of the longhouse, Stitch parked on his head, the boy gave a clear of his throat and murmured, "Ready?"

"Oh, sweetie, must you? It looks so...strange, seeing you do that..."

Daeron merely rolled his eyes and nodded lightly, signalling to his Sewaddle to begin spraying String in a thin mist towards the pegs, the boy conjuring up that same art, an ethereal feeling to say the least as powers beyond human capability worked through his mouth. In a few minutes, there was a thin veneer of silk fibers, sticky as glue attached to all those small wooden slats in a long sheet. Taking his staff, he looped the combined sheet's root to the glossy laquered end, the material slick enough to resist the natural glue, holding the long sheet in place. The boy worked quickly, knowing the strings' adhesive properties wouldn't last forever, and took the bowl of fine amethyst powder, and began dusting the webwork of thread with it, coating them in glittering purple stars until the whole bowl had been stuck to them, all the silk a deep royal hue, sparkling as it moved in the breeze. Taking an outermost slat, he removed it from the peg and slowly pulled it to the side, the fine threads stuck to it holding strong as he pulled them away from the rest, before beginning to slow process of twisting around and around, coiling the fibers onto themselves, strengthening and binding them to one another as a solid thread, as well as trapping the glittering material into itself. Stitch did his part as well, sitting contently on the Stantler horn and twisting the next slat around his sticky little pads, not as fast as his human, but still making good progress. The little worm seemed almost pleased to work on such a textile endeavor, like this was just what his idea of a great day was, instead of fighting others.

His mother gasped as she finally turned to watch her son work on his project. "Glorious Stormflyer...what in the world is that?" Daeron, hands almost numb from the constant work as the day dragged on, smiled proudly, relaxing on some furs. He gazed with satisfaction at twenty four thick violet threads hung from ceiling to floor, curing in the hot summer air. "Our tribe's glory. Victors' trophies well earned."

Sven Straw-Skein

Jhahara's yurtSven obediently takes a seat in the chair the wise-woman offers, though he surreptitiously checks it for stray snakes before actually sitting. "Funny, I don't feel like I was the one who did an admirable job," he says, rubbing his sore face. The big guy had clearly gotten the better of the exchange. Still, he mused, every punch his face intercepted was one that didn't reach one of his tribemates. Trying not to jump from the cool feeling of the salve, he continues on speaking to Jahara in a more respectful tone.

"No, wise-woman. Well, the others did, but I didn't find anything to my liking," he says, shrugging. "Zednik claimed Theris Fire-Mane's own cloak, Leon earned a good deerling hide one of their hunters had claimed during their travels over here, and Daeron got some shiny stone," he said, wincing briefly as his wound stung from the salve. Sven didn't bother to comment, though, since he knew Jhahara would just say that the pain meant it was working. "There were also some berries that..." his mind suddenly drew a blank for Sahara's name, "that someone got. And Nydia's leaves, of course," he adds as an afterthought.

Nydia Star-Counter

Jhahara's Yurt"You fought with bravery and only fled when the odds were not in your favor. That is admirable." Nydia commends Sven as she spreads the unguent on a particularly large gash on his chin from the man's knuckles. The unguent smells a bit of pine needles and clovers; it brings back memories of the place their tribe had settled two winters ago. As she speaks of bravery, her eyes drift to Basil, who is gnawing on what appears to be an ancient, well-worn bone from a deerling: a gift from a hunter who had fancied her for a time before realizing her intentions don't lie in homemaking and wifely duties. His wounds will need tending to as well, once the humans are tended to. She should've shown wisdom as well, and withdrawn. There would have been no cowardice in saving him from danger.

Nydia focuses on Sven again as he recounts what the others took as their prize, only pausing with the unguent when he winced. "The pain means it is working. It will go numb soon." She explains, but still pauses, digging out the cloth bag from her skirt pockets. "I took this from the spoils." She explains, handing the bag to Jhahara. "I do not recognize them... I am hoping you might."

On The Wall
Head still spinning with excitement, Leon could not sit idly without something to do. Guarding the walls of the village was an entertaining prospect now that he has seen a bit of fighting. In a strange way, it was a lot like hunting. You pick your mark and put in your all. With enough finesse, guile, and experience, foes twice, perhaps three times your size can be taken down. Somehow looking out onto the walls made Leon feel like he was still part of that sort of action. He had helped protect the village with his skills, thus proving himself as a man, and more importantly, proving himself to his father.

Today was a good day Vinaer. A really good day..

Atop the southern wallZednik stood atop the southern wall, silently
Dice Roll: 1d20
d20 Results: 4
staring into the distance. He had been offered rest and, by the legendary pheonix moltres, he definitely needed it... yet, he could not bring himself to partake of such an indulgence. Despite the praise offered him by the Chief-Wife, the young man was disappointed in his own frailty. He only managed to last twenty seconds or so in that fight before his pokemon partner was badly hurt and he, himself, was on the brink of collapse. In fact, if it weren't for the capabilities of his fellows and their pokemon. He looked down at the sleeping piplup he cradled in his arms and puzzled about the final, collosal blow she delivered to the brawny He-noc's jaw. It was hard to beleive that such a small creature could...

Zednik's thoughts were interuppted by a noise from behind. The badly bruised warrior turned and peered through dual black-eyes to see Leon as he arrived on the top of the palisade. Zednik attempted a pathetic, swollen smile and said, "Leon, I am glad to see you. Your heart, and your aim, were true today."

"As were yours." Leon called in a reply. Taking a spot next to Zednik, the hunter-boy looked over the battered boy. The blows he must have taken, him and the little flightless bird of his. Leon wondered to himself if Zednik was merely loyal, brave, or unlucky to take the brunt of the attack.

"You seem to have taken some blows in battle. That shows much heart to feel pain for the village."

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