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#13151993 Mar 25, 2017 at 01:07 PM · Edited 1 month ago
22 Posts
“Mishwe? MISHWE!” Rhessi’s voice rang out in their tent. “Are you even listening to me?”

The black and brooding cow rolled her eyes at her sister. “Look, you’re not my mom, ok? If I want to go to a meeting, it’s MY decision. Anyway, these guys are awesome, and they’re getting me trained up to fight the Legion. What is your PROBLEM?”

Rhessi seethed. Why could Mishwe not understand her concerns? But it was a difficult slope to walk. Mishwe was right. Rhessi was not her mother, nor was she her guardian. Mishwe had officially come of age, and was beyond her sister’s physical control.

Well, if that meant Rhessi had to resort to blackmail, that’s what she would do. This was her little sister after all. Any means necessary could be justified in keeping her safe.

“Don’t you care about me? Don’t you care about the tribe? Why won’t you tell us what goes on in these meetings, or even where they are?”

Now it was Mishwe’s turn to fume. “Because it’s none of your business. Stop being so nosy. This is MY life. If you have to know, they’re Sunwalkers, ok? See? It’s fine. I might even take the vow.”

Rhessi’s mind boggled. Sunwalkers? Holding secret meetings? But suddenly she seized upon an opening. “Well, if they’re Sunwalkers, you should wait until your uncle Khorris gets back from the Isles and take him with you. They’ll want to meet him and know you have that family connection.”

“HE’S NOT MY UNCLE!” shouted Mishwe. “And I’m done waiting. Whatever, I’m done here. Do whatever you want. I’m going.”

As the tall and bulky Tauren exited the hut, Rhessi rubbed her temples. She was glad Tuan’le was outside skipping stones on the pond and wasn’t around to hear this yelling. That would be all she needed.

Rhessi picked up a scrap of parchment and a quill, beginning to furiously scribble a letter to her mate. “Khorris, she’s off to another meeting with that group she won’t tell me anything about. I’m really worried about this. She’s been at this for weeks. She won’t tell me anything about them other than they’re Sunwalkers. I tried to get her to wait until you got back and then ask you to come along but, you know how she gets. I think we need some help. I wish you were here, my Moon...”
#13153442 Mar 26, 2017 at 10:22 AM · Edited 1 month ago
22 Posts
Now she's got CINDERS to come try and get me to spill? An'she, give me strength.

A sinking, cold shivery feeling rushed down Mishwe's spine. She knew she had just had an impure, blasphemous thought. It would have to be confessed to Elder Hama. But first...

Mishwe stood from her position on the log where she had just sent Cinders packing. She would have to do this far enough away from the village that no one would see. It was getting harder and harder to disguise these things.

She casually strode off towards the hills surrounding the village. Just taking a walk.....

She looked over her shoulder every so often to make sure no one was following her. When she got far enough that she was convinced she would not be seen, she knelt down and adjusted one of her armored leg plates.

Underneath was a twisted length of wire, loosely encircling her leg. It had sharp, barbed points on it.

She took a deep breath and yanked on the wire until it bit into flesh. "I will not pray to An'she the glorious and almighty," she intoned under her breath. "The way to the light is through the Elder. I forget that to my peril." Drops of blood oozed around caked sores under the wire.

Impurities must be seared away. Only when she was pure, would she be worthy.

#13153885 Mar 26, 2017 at 02:43 PM
22 Posts
She’s gone.

She must have doubled back to the hut while we were talking in the main tent. I came back to the hut and all her belongings are missing: her sleeping furs, her clothes, even her polearm. She took the wyvern and left. We were too late.

There is just a simple note, one that I shudder to read.

“I have gone to become a Ray of the Sun. I shall return in due time, filled with the light and glory of An’she, blessed by the Prophet, and I will lead you all down the path! Rejoice!”

What does that mean?
#13163904 Mar 31, 2017 at 01:28 PM · Edited 28 days ago
22 Posts
The atmosphere in the main gathering tent was tense as Rhessi, Cindersleet, Adahey, Drakonthius, Balkaria, Seruska, Lutaria, Yona, Petalgrace, Faluna’he and Kurunowa discussed the fate of young Mishwe Blackhorn. Adahey was very clear both to Rhessi and the assembled Highmountain: family comes first when you are a member of the Stonewind Tribe. And now a family member was in dire circumstances.

After her conversation with Balkaria, Mishwe had run off into the hills, eventually doubling back to the tent she shared with Rhessi and her family. She had removed her belongings, hijacked a wyvern and left with only a cryptic note alluding to her new religious allegiances. The tribe was not about to allow this to stand.

The assembled decided to utilize all of the tools at their disposal to hunt down the young Shu’halo before she endangered herself further. The wards erected on the edge of the village provided one clue: she had fled to the Northeast. Kurunowa appealed to the spirits of air for aid and received a cryptic answer:

Surrounded by mountains, high and remote
Purple tree lake bounds the north
Sounds of machinery echo the south.
There the robed ones gather.

The Stonewind used these clues to scour the highlands of Stonetalon, eventually discovering a scene that filled them with disgust and loathing.

A group of eight white-robed and hooded Shu’halo stood in a semi circle around a single figure in yellow robes. This large black bull had a pulsating gem hung on a heavy chain around his neck. They appeared to be in the middle of some sort of ceremony or rite. When Mishwe was called forward to be “cleansed,” the blasphemy and general predatory sleaziness of the group fairly oozed from the scene.

And that is when the Stonewind decided they had seen enough.

With ranged attackers Seruska, Faluna’he and Petalgrace placed in strategic positions and a stealthy Yona covering the rear escape, Adahey announced his presence and his displeasure backed by the other determined tribe members. They were met with scorn and derision, and although Cindersleet attempted a peaceful extraction of Mishwe, she resisted and clung to her Prophet, the so-called “Elder Hama”. The scene quickly dissolved into violence.

Raising the gem high, the “prophet” declared his adherence to the one true faith and released the arcane power within the gem. A pulse of light and a stunning effect gripped the group, though many were able to shake off the effects. Drakonthius mocked the leader defiantly, calling his bluff and demonstrating that he too, could put on a light show. Snarling, Hama ordered his adherents to attack the tribe and blows rained down on each side.

Yona was able to snatch the gem from Hama’s neck and fling it into the lake using exceptional skill and dexterity. She quickly followed it and hid it away in the depths. Other tribe members used their fighting skills to deal grievous wounds to both prophet and followers alike.

Sensing that his disciples were about to be overwhelmed by their attackers, Hama cried that Mishwe was too pure for this world and that he would take her out of it. At this declaration Mishwe appeared to waver for the first time, saying that she did not want to die. Fortunately, Cindersleet granted her wish, hurling the now beaten and bloodied Hama into the lake. His fate remains unknown.

Two of the adherents fled upon seeing their leader disposed of, but Faluna’he tracked and captured them, bringing them back to the village for questioning.

Mishwe was disoriented and driven to fits by the proceedings, and Adahey felt forced to deliver a knockout blow to subdue her. Having dismantled the cult gathering, the Stonewind retreated to the village to lick their wounds and begin discussing next steps.

A tearful Rhessi was able to see her unconscious sister before she was taken to the inn for healing and possible restraint. Balkaria, ever cautious, warned Rhessi that it would be best if the sisters were separated for a while. Balkaria was concerned that Rhessi’s presence might be more of a hindrance than a help, given the tension that existed in their relationship. Rhessi agreed to this, shaken.

Back in the inn, Taeana worked tirelessly to remove the twisted wire that Mishwe had used to punish herself for supposed transgressions. Assisted by Drakonthius, Lutaria, Petalgrace and Yona, Tae was able to clean and dress the wound, allowing Mishwe to rest and heal. Yona also returned to the scene and retrieved the gem from the lake, wrapping it for Adahey's inspection.

There is now a long road ahead for one disoriented warrior. How will the tribe assist in her rehabilitation? Where does she go from here? Did Hama escape? Is the cult bigger than this one group? How did Mishwe first come into contact with them? Perhaps these questions will be answered in time...
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