Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

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Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Nara-pyon on Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:59 pm

The sun was barely over the horizon when a bright red and gold dragon flew high over the country of Eausin. On Uruloki's back were Kyrie, Lin, Wren, Shoneah, Jassin, Mailon and Daeron, and all of them were looking towards the ground, searching for signs of a Water Elven settlement, a place which would be ideal for them to begin their investigation. Only the day before, word had reached Kyrie's ears of people and families disappearing from the area, some of which were found inexplicably dead while most were never seen again.

"Curious," she murmured to herself as she spotted what she was looking for. She turned towards the others to get their attention and pointed at a plume of grayish-black smoke rising from a clearing in the jungle.

They were too high to see what was on the ground around the smoke or to be able to smell it, and some had difficulty seeing past Uruloki himself.

"Are we going down there?" Shoneah asked over the wind.

"Only after we've circled it a bit to make sure it's safe," Kyrie called back.
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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Kara Winters on Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:44 pm

Lin nodded, but didn't say anything as she didn't want to yell over the wind. She found the plume of smoke though foreboding as well as promising start to their search.

As they circled, Lin tried to look to see if she could see anything.

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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Nara-pyon on Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:49 pm

But between the smoke and the density of the trees, nothing was visible from the air, and in the end Kyrie urged Uruloki to take them down to a small clearing about half a mile away from the smoke. If there were people there, they didn't want to drop down in the middle of them, after all, but come up in silence and see what they could find out first.

Once they were safely on the ground, Uruloki returned to his place on Kyrie's torso and Kyrie made sure that everyone was ready.

"Do you need a moment?" she asked them softly.

Jassin was bent forward, stretching his legs and breathing heavily. "Yes," he replied immediately. "Just need to catch my breath."

It had been his first flight, and while he hadn't become airsick like Earendil always seemed to, he hadn't been fond of being so far from the ground.
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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Kara Winters on Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:08 am

"I'm good," Lin replied, "I just need to stretch,"

And she did so, it wasn't a surprise that Lin didn't mind as much. She liked flying and had the knowledge that if she ever fell off she wasn't going to fall to her doom.

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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Nara-pyon on Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:13 am

The others were fine, and after a few minutes, Jassin was back to normal as well. With a quick glance at the sky, Kyrie led them into the trees.

The jungle was thick, which made their passage slow, but bit by it they grew closer to the source of the smoke. There was not much wind, but what there was came from the direction of the smoke, which meant that they could smell it long before they could see it.

"It smells awful," Shoneah frowned, her eyes watering slightly at the stench. "Sickening ... I don't think I've smelled smoke like this before."

For Daeron, Wren and Kyrie, however, the smell was a memory.

"It smells like where we found Amir," Daeron said quietly. His expression was troubled. "Burning flesh ..."
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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Kara Winters on Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:28 am

Lin coughed a bit, the smoke was very unpleasant, but she couldn't help but wonder aloud.

"It couldn't be the same thing right?"

The two locations were so far away, it was hard to imagine it being the same thing.

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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Nara-pyon on Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:31 am

"An honour killing?" Kyrie asked, just to make sure that was what Lin meant. She shook her head. "No, not here. Anyone daring to intermarry wouldn't be able to stay with the Water Elves, any more than Amir's parents - birth parents," she added for Daeron's sake, "- would have been able to stay with the White Elves."

She set her jaw grimly. "Unfortunately, it does make my suspicions stronger that it has to be some kind of attack. And the only country that touches Eausin's border is Keliac."
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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Kara Winters on Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:46 am

"What is in Keliac?" Lin asked without thinking.

Because, if it was not an honour killing (that thought made her sick also), then it had to be from the outside. It was unusual for people within to attack each other in this world, and water elves seemed like a peaceful lot if you left them alone.

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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Nara-pyon on Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:55 am

"Light Elves," Kyrie replied, sounding puzzled. "And I don't understand. Generally, they're a peaceful race. They tend to get along with others better than any other of the races, with the exception of the Water and Fire Elves. And it's not because they hide, like Water Elves, or because people are afraid of them, like the Fire Elves - they're just peaceful by nature. Like Mirania and Lamruil's people."

"People can change," Jassin pointed out.

Daeron agreed. "And if it's been two centuries since you've been here," he added, "who knows what might be different?"

The smell grew stronger as they grew closer, and suddenly Shoneah held a hand out, stopping everyone from going any further. Her silver eyes were fixed on the ground, darting to and fro and taking in everything they could.

"There are tracks here," she told the others, kneeling down.

Daeron was both surprised and impressed. "I can't see anything," he admitted, looking at the ground.

Shoneah pointed at something on the ground. "There's a set moving north, like we are," she murmured.

Even Jassin, who had been trained in the army, could see nothing where Shoneah was pointing, but he accepted her at her word. "Any others?" he asked her.

Shoneah looked around. Her fingers moved over the surface of the ground without actually touching it. "Three ... four moving north, all of them carrying something ... and two heading northwest." She pivoted on her heel and traced the ground with her fingertips. "The two came later."
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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Kara Winters on Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:30 am

That was puzzling, and while Dareon was right people could change, it would have to be a really drastic change to cause a race that kind of change. Elves tended to be, as a result of their immortality less likely to change than say humans.

"Should we follow?" Lin asked, "I mean... we can't split up, but...."

They could be survivors, or they could be the people who caused it.

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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Nara-pyon on Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:34 am

Shoneah looked to Kyrie to decide. She was their guide, after all.

It didn't take Kyrie long to come to a decision. "To the source," she said firmly. "From there we can find tracks of people who were directly involved. If we were to follow these ones, we'd be guessing. They could be unrelated, even if it is unlikely."

Shoneah nodded and pointed due north again. "This way, then," she said simply.
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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Kara Winters on Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:01 am

The group followed her to where the source was. Though what it would look like, no one could imagine.

As they got closer, the smell got worse, and the more Lin was glad not everyone was traveling with them.

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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Nara-pyon on Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:06 am

The smoke was coming from a clearing that had been made by chopping down trees and hacking away the jungle plants. In the middle of the clearing was a pile of bodies - blackened skeletons and charred flesh, and here and there bits of blue skin were visible. There were still small bits of fire burning here and there, and smoke was pouring from it, filling the humid air with the stench of burning flesh.

Most of the group turned very pale, and Wren actually threw up behind a tree.

"This is horrible," Shoneah whispered, tears pricking her eyes.

Kyrie remained silent, but her eyes blazed with fury and her fists were clenched tightly at her sides.
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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Kara Winters on Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:21 am

Lin put her hand over her mouth, she felt sick. She had seen a lot over the years, but nothing like this.

"Why?"

There was no point to it, there was nothing to be gained by killing people like this.

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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Nara-pyon on Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:30 am

There was no answer to Lin's question. There could be no answer to Lin's question.

Shoneah swallowed hard and set about checking out footprints, reading the ground as easily as others read words on paper. Even so, she gave no information until she had drawn some conclusions, since giving people bits of information was often, in her experience, unhelpful and unwise.

"At least forty," she said at last, having gone over the entire area. She came to stand with the others again, and her expression was grim. "Armed. Wearing light armour. They brought the Water Elves from the south and east, and left heading west. A day ago, two days at most."

Jassin cleared his throat to get their attention. While Shoneah had been examining the ground, he had been examining the bodies, and he was also ready to give a bit of a report.

Kyrie looked at him grimly and nodded.

He took a deep breath. "About twenty bodies," he said. "Mostly adults, but a few children, anywhere between a year and five years old. Two things in common with each and every one of them." A muscle near his eye twitched. "Both legs broken ... and alive when the fire was set."
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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Kara Winters on Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:38 am

That must have been terrifying for the people who were set on fire. Lin frowned, her body tight because at the moment they couldn't do anything.

"What is west?" Lin couldn't make a mental map at the moment to decide for herself where that was.

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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Nara-pyon on Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:42 am

Shoneah pointed.

"We promised Killian we would tell him when we found out what had happened," Daeron began, but before he could say anything else, Kyrie cut in.

"We haven't found out what happened," she said harshly, more harshly than she intended, though it wasn't directed at Daeron. "When we find the people responsible and ask them why they did it, then we'll have something to tell him."

Daeron clamped his mouth shut.

Mailon turned to Kyrie. "Do we follow?" he asked her calmly, though his eyes glinted brightly.

She glared at him. "Of course we follow," she retorted.
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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Kara Winters on Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:57 am

"Let's go then, they already have a two day lead ahead of us, but... let's be careful. Forty people is a platoon. If they are military, they're going to have at least one or two high ranking officers among them."

Granted 40 people was the size of a Gaian platoon, she wasn't sure if the same applied to here, but that was nothing to sneeze at. She also doubted with a number that big they would be able to just ask questions.

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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Nara-pyon on Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:00 am

"Before we go," Kyrie said, looking around at everyone, "I have one question. If we don't catch up to them by the time we reach the border ... are you comfortable continuing into Keliac?"

"If we can let the people in the tent know we're still all right," Shoneah said quickly, "then I don't care where we end up. This has to be dealt with."

The men voiced their agreement, and Wren just nodded silently.
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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Kara Winters on Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:01 am

Lin nodded in agreement as well, "I have no issues, and like Sliverbirch, as long as everyone else knows, because if anything happens, they need to know where they are."

It was a worse case scenario she hated thinking about, but she had to think about it.

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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Nara-pyon on Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:04 am

"And we may want a magic user out here with us," Daeron added. "Cael or Lancaeriel ... just in case."

Kyrie nodded. "They're not expecting us for another day, so let's go as quickly as we can now," she said. "Then we can set up the tent and see where we're at."

"No objections here," Jassin agreed.
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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Kara Winters on Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:08 am

"That is reasonable," Lin nodded.

She wondered if they were going to go by air or on foot. Now that she thought about it, by foot made more sense as it would allow Sliverbirch to track and notice if any course was changed.

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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Nara-pyon on Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:13 am

Kyrie nodded and turned to Shoneah. "Whenever you're ready," she told her.

Shoneah nodded back at her. Before she went back to her tracking, though, she turned for one more look at the pile of smouldering corpses. It made her feel sick to her stomach again, but it strengthened her resolve even further, and when she went back to tracking, her mind was focused.

She followed the tracks west until night fell, and by that time they had already covered close to thirty miles. There had been little to report on the way: they had changed direction a few times, there had been a few points where, according to Shoneah, the group had taken breaks or prepared meals, but overall it was very straightforward.

The night was warm, and Kyrie permitted them only a small fire for cooking, no more.

"I know everyone is tired," she told them, "so rest up. Uruloki will watch over us for tonight."
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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Kara Winters on Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:53 pm

Tired might be an understatement. Between the emotional and physical toll the day took on everyone, exhausted was more like it.

Lin nodded numbly, even though it had been a long while since she slept outside the tent and without Earendil, right now she could sleep like a rock.

As they settled for the night, Lin asked Kyrie, "Do you think we'll catch up?"

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Re: Investigating Eausin - 119 4A

Post by Nara-pyon on Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:32 pm

"We will eventually," Kyrie said in a determined tone. There was a dark look in her eyes. "I think that every once in a while, as we go, I'll have Uruloki go high to see if there's anyone in sight. The sooner we catch up to these people, the better."

"And what will we do when we catch up with them?" Mailon asked quietly.

Kyrie looked at him, and it was clear that she was struggling to control herself. "As much as I would like simply to dispose of them, it would be pointless if we could not discover what they're up to. We have to find out how far this goes and what it's all about. If all we do is cut off a branch, it will just start all over again."
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