Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Zerifachias on Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:51 pm

"Actually, I think it's admirable. You clearly have your wits about you if you were able to think logically after getting thrown through time." Anna spoke with a slight smile gracing her lips. She glanced around at the quarters Era had been spending his days in. Anna was a little impressed at how tidy it was, the innkeeper definitely knew how to keep the wood polished and dusted. She was patient as could be while Era shoved all of his things into a pack. She could help but giggle at the bulgy thing. "We're not in any hurry, you know," Anna told him. "The city awaits us at our leisure."

After Era left his note, Anna took the lead, taking Era out of the inn and into the streets. The inn was located near the center of the city, some distance from the execution grounds. They had to pass it to get to the inn, but they would not have to pass it to return to the airship. Anna intended to take Era in a different direction this time.

The city itself was located close to the river that split the continents. The Ocean's River was saltwater, so it wasn't drinkable, but the salt and the fish market made the city quite popular. Anna tapped the ground, feeling the dirt hit her shoe. The city had almost no access to stone, so all of the streets and roads were natural. Some buildings, like the inn, kept wooden floors, but most residential houses stuck with the dirt. Most couldn't afford wood floors, even in this age. Current affairs made prosperity difficult.

"This way," Anna said, pointing and grabbing onto Era's arm to drag him along. She wanted to get to the center of the city, where the market was. The inn opened out to a half-enclosed area, a wide alley of sorts. One direction led to a dead end, the other led to the market. The ground from there spread out a long way, forming a circular enclosure that always seemed to be smaller than it was. The market was always busy, even while dark. Stalls were set up in certain locations with their owners showing off their goods. It was mostly fish, but there were a few odd stalls that sold jewelry and trinkets, among other things.

Anna took Era to the center of the circle, which the citizens gave a respectable distance due to the statue that stood there. It depicted the King of the North. Though the statue was made of marble, it was clear that the king had some very strong features, particularly his jawline, from which a massive beard grew. The marble statue held a drawn sword that pointed towards the sky, as if beckoning to it. There was an inscription at the base of the stone that Anna read aloud. "King Bastein of the North. Vanquisher of Titan's Fall. Champion of Therin. Father of sixteen sons and nine daughters. Long may he reign."

"It's a bit strange, having a statue of our king here," Anna said, shrugging her shoulders. "He's actually the one who encouraged engineers to research more technology ten years ago. Since then, cities in the North have benefited greatly from what engineers are creating. Ermith might not agree with our methods, but they aren't surrounded by wilderness like we are." The disdain in Anna's voice when she mentioned the other continent was vague, but noticeable. She paused for a moment, looking at the statue with little interest.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Masquerade on Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:28 pm

Era smiled, standing in the inn with his rather heavy backpack. Anna was right; there was no need to be in a hurry, especially when you had powers over time, even if you didn't have complete control over it. He was feeling rather embarrassed at her compliment about him keeping logical thought after the accident, but after the journey he had taken, there was no reason why he would freak out. He remembered the very start of that journey through a dream; he actually managed to keep his wits through that as well. He laughed. "Well thank you," he had responded to her, and when they were ready, he let himself get dragged away by the girl giving his old room a silent goodbye.

Anna led him out of the inn but they didn't head back to the execution site which he was thankful for. Instead, they found themselves in the marketplace which was bustling. He had heard that the place was supposedly busy from sunup until sundown and then deep into the midnight hours as well. There was always someone out and about shopping and someone there vending. He, however, with his limited funds tended not to spend much time in the area. He gazed up at the statue and listened to Anna speak the inscription at the base. Engineers. They were working on technology for the region and apparently people had benefited from it greatly. But there was so much more progress to be gained, at least from what he had seen.

"Why would another continent be opposing how you do things here? What business is it of theirs?" Era pondered, directing his question to the knowledgeable Anna.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Zerifachias on Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:00 pm

"Ah," Anna sighed aloud, shaking her head. "It's been like this for as long as history itself. You see, Sar'tu thinks of Ermith as a rival. Equal in power despite Ermith practically being the center of magical power. The Order of Magi was formed there a few centuries ago. Since then, Ermith has never been surpassed in terms of magical strength. That power makes them arrogant, blinding them to the fact that Sar'tu is their equal in strength. That much should have been clear during the Siege of Jesu. But Ermith doesn't care about military power. They're just a bunch of mages and diplomats who think that a nation split in half can't govern peacefully. They think we're weak because of our differences.

"Have you ever been to Ermith? I have. You know what I saw? One person. Ermithians have no independence, no individuality. They even look the same unless you stare at them long enough. Now take a look around you at the people passing by. Sar'tu might be divided, but we pride ourselves on our diversity. Ermith thinks it safe because they've never had a civil war. A real civil war, like we have. Why else would we invade? We need to remind them that they are not the only power in the world."


Anna stopped. She noticed that she was attracting attention from nearby civilians. Her brief pause made some of them continue on, others remained a bit, wanting to hear more. Most of them seemed pleased by her words, though there were a select few who appeared to be uncomfortable. The general consensus agreed with Anna, it seemed.

"Sorry, this is hardly the place to discuss politics," Anna said sheepishly, scratching the back of her head as a light blush set in on her cheeks. She knew she had a habit of getting long-winded sometimes and tried to keep that under control, but certain topics just made her...antsy. "All you really need to know is that, despite our failings, or perhaps because of them, Sar'tu is a resilient nation. We can handle a little strife. Ermith was beset by dragons a few years ago, and the whole continent was put into a frenzy. When the South invaded them, it only made matters there worse. If the North had joined in..." Anna trailed off. She really had to stop before saying something she might regret.

"Come on, we can talk about politics another time. We have a city to explore!" Anna grabbed Era's wrist again and dragged him away from the crowd, heading due west from the center. There were no grand cathedrals or palaces in the city, it was meant to be a fishing and merchant city, not a capital or anything. That made it dangerous, since there were no soldiers around other than the authorities that enforced the nation's laws. An invasion from the South would be less of a siege and more of a rout.

To the west of the city laid the Ocean's River and the docks. Several wooden docks laid in the river, strong wooden beams keeping them from being washed away by the river's current. The Ocean's River was one with strong currents, though here they were weakest. At certain times during the day, the current was almost non-existent. That was when the fishermen went out on their boats to lay or collect their traps from the river bottom. Lobsters and clams were common enough here, and made good eating if cooked right.

"Our main trade is fish, as I'm sure you've noticed the smell," Anna stated, though se suspected what she was saying was pretty obvious. "I like it when the river is like this. Right after the calm, when it starts to really pick up. It's like all of my troubles are washed away by the current.

"You know,"
Anna looked up at Era, stepping a little closer to his right side. "They say that a goddess once lived beneath the surface of this river. Beautiful as the night sky, with the mercy and cruelty of the sea itself. The city would pay tribute to the goddess on every full moon. The city sacrificed virgin girls and boys alike, to appease the goddess. Tonight just so happens to be a full moon, too. I hope you're not worried, Era." Anna couldn't help but smile mischievously up at Era. How would he react to the news? Anna was very curious to see.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Masquerade on Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:47 pm

Era wasn't expecting such a powerful response from the girl. To think, two rival nations that were equal in power, yet one was so arrogant to think that they had the upper hand. Besieged by dragons and thrown into chaos. Era supposed any nation would be disheveled after such an event, but it was funny how hypocritical a nation could be. He glanced around and noticed that there were actually a surprising amount of people starting to stop to listen to Anna go on. A hypocritical, arrogant nation with absolutely no diversity. What a terrible-sounding place. Era was certain that he never wanted to see it. He was happy being here in Sar'tu with Anna and the others. Eventually she realized she was drawing attention and decided that it was probably wise for them to stop talking about the subject and move on, and Era was all too happy to agree.

The next destination seemed to be the docks where a nice view of the Ocean's River could be seen. It was a wondrous sight to behold. The smell of saltwater was powerful, granted it was ever present in the city itself along with the smell of fish as Anna had mentioned. She also mentioned something about a beautiful goddess and an old ritual of sacrificing virgins to her to appease her. "I would hope I wouldn't have to worry. Is that not a thing of the past? Surely they don't do that in the present days. Sacrifices are so primal," he said rather quickly, his words nearly running together. He glanced off to the side, following the course of the river. He thought about how such a thing would probably just encourage people to lose their virginity as soon as they knew what sex was, but didn't voice that passing thought. "Do you think that goddess really exists? You know, I would hope so if people died for her sake."

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Zerifachias on Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:14 pm

Anna giggled, that was all she needed to know. The quickness in how Era spoke to her told her everything. Still, she should at least comfort his fears. That was the least she could do for bringing it up, but she was curious. "Of course not," Anna said easily, her voice as smooth as the river's current. "Gods don't exist, silly duck. Or if they do, they have long lost interest in our affairs. But what I said about sacrifices is true, at least a couple hundred or a thousand years ago." Anna took another step closer. "These days, instead of sacrificing, we find new love during the full moon. Every couple you see in this city? All of them kissed during the full moon on this spot. It's tradition, with a little bit of magic added in."

Anna wanted to tease Era more, but it was not yet sundown. She took a few steps back, all the while smiling up at Era. The time for lovers was not yet upon them. She took his wrist again and pulled him away from the harbor. It was not a far walk to the airship, they could visit the spot anytime. Though the city was not large, there was one more thing Anna wished to show Era. She took him north, close to the outskirts, but some distance away from the airship. When they reached a clearing, it seemed as though they had left the city entirely.

"The outskirts of the city are not just that. You see all those broken down buildings there?" Anna turned Era around so that they faced the city. "Our fortifications don't come in the form of great walls, barricades, or alligator moats. We use those. Beneath these buildings are secret tunnels, built there after the first time the city was ransacked by the South. Our people learned that we could not defend ourselves, so we needed a way to hide. The tunnels are cleverly hidden, no magic involved at all. If you walked over an entrance, you'd probably never even notice."

Anna paused a moment, allowing the information to sink in before turning again towards the wilds. The forest was thick from years of wild growth. The only path towards the other cities was a very narrow road. Caravans had to be thin and short to avoid accidents, but that didn't seem to hurt trade at all. "Out there is the jungle. Untamed wilds. We, Sar'tu, kept it that way. Adversity in all of its forms only serves to make us stronger. The whole continent is covered in a thick forest. Some cities still have forests within them, others, like ours here, cleared away the forest to serve our needs better."

"That's all I wanted to show you," Anna said, turning back to Era and smiling up at him again. "By the look of the sun, it's on the seventh descent. We have about an hour and a half before the moon's rise. Would you like to go back to the airship, or would you care to wander around the city with me some more?"

What will Era do?
>Back to the airship (Force the next day)
>Wander aimlessly with Anna (Unlock Anna's Character Quest [Can be revisited])

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Masquerade on Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:31 pm

Era picked up then that Anna was teasing him, and quite fiercely at that. He let out a laugh of his own. The gods and goddesses didn't exist, though sacrifices used to be abound. What a shame and waste of life. The dour thoughts were sent scattering as Anna told him of the couples and their kisses being made under the full moon at this spot. Yes, she was most definitely teasing him. "Such a romantic notion. I'll admit I am a fan of such things. And I can see why this spot would be appropriate." He looked up into the sky with a large smile. This was probably the happiest he had been in this world. He felt Anna's hand on his wrist, pulling him along signifying that it was time to go once more. She stole him to the outskirts of the city, and showed him an area where there were apparently secret tunnels. He had to admit that it was extremely crafty; anyone launching an attack would find a city with no people. How odd would that be? Enough to make them turn back? Probably not, but it certainly saves a bunch of lives.

"I can appreciate taking on that adversity. I think it makes you a stronger people overall. Many nations seek to increase their own convenience and it makes them dependent and weak. Only the nation that faces adversity can be strong." Hearing so much about Sar'tu made him appreciate it as a nation. He hated that the North and the South were at such odds. If they could ever truly unite in peace, Sar'tu would be a nation to be feared and respected. It was now that Era found himself lucky to be in this nation rather than the others, even if it meant a slightly harder way of life.

It appeared as though that was all there was. "I really like the night. I find things to be more magical and beautiful at night. Do you want to wander around a bit more? Just taking a stroll would suit me well. Before I would have to venture on my own. Having company makes it all the better."

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Zerifachias on Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:11 am

Soundtrack: Anna's Wish

Anna couldn't have been happier, her smile grew a little and stepped a little closer to Era. This time she took his hand in hers and walked with him, instead of dragging him by the wrist. So together they wandered the city as the sun slowly reached it's final descent. Anna showed Era a few more places in the city, some of the less important areas, perhaps, but useful for wasting the time they had. She took him to a bookstore, which held a countless number of paperbacks filled with stories and histories.

"Sar'tu learns from the mistakes it makes," Anna said, taking up a history in her hands and showing the cover to Era. It was a blank red cover with gold print: Siege of Jesu: Commander Victoire's Account it read. "Sar'tu also likes other kinds of stories though," Anna giggled, putting the first book back and taking up another. This one had a green cover and read: Izumi and the Goddess of Water. "I admit to having read this one, it's quite fascinating, really. Maybe when we have some spare time, you'd like to read it with me one day?" Anna put the book back, still smiling. Regardless of what his answer might have been, she still smiled and took his hand again.

Anna began to sway from one foot to the other when she walked next to Era, her eyes watching the dirt they were kicking up, her hands folded behind her now. There was something on her mind, and it certainly wasn't books. That much wasn't clear until the two of them found themselves at the docks again, with just a few minutes left until the sun made it's final descent. Anna stood like a sentinel, watching the edge of the water as the sun descended. The River was one of the widest rivers in the world. So wide that it seemed like an ocean, hence the name. You couldn't see the other shore from this one, and no one could see the city from the other shore. That made the river feel safer, as if a benevolent spirit watched over them, keeping the prying eyes of enemies away.

When the sun descended and the stars showed themselves in the sky, Anna tilted her head upward. It was a full moon tonight, just as she knew it would be. There were no signs of any lovers out on the harbor, though there might be some hiding from the eyes of others. Anna noticed some fishermen who were cleaning their nets and cages sparing her and Era a few glances. "You know, some people might be expecting us to kiss here," Anna murmured, turning her body towards Era, just in case the fishermen could read lips. "A boy and a girl out here on the docks together with the full moon overhead." Anna took a step closer, leaving only a small gap between them. "It's almost expected of us, you know." Another step closer, and she had her chest just barely brushing up against his stomach. She was a head and a half shorter than him, so it was no easy task for her to reach up to his level.

"I...ah," Anna stopped, lowering her head slightly so her head of light green curls was in full view, rather than her face. "There's something you ought to know...about me, that is. I am a hopeless romantic. Ever since I was a little girl, I loved to read these fantasy stories, like the one I showed you earlier. But I've never once read anything on the zodiac. I could never find anything about them in the library here or in Ermith. That's why I went, to Ermith I mean. I've heard that there are stories about the different constellations, I know they exist. So I was wondering that, ah...when we visit a new city or town or whatever, we could take a look in their library? Just you and me?" Anna pulled her head up, craning it so she could make eye contact with Era. Her eyes glistened, a pure blue illuminated by the full moon's light. The fishermen were likely watching with interest now, but she didn't care about them.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Masquerade on Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:06 pm

Era spent his time walking about the town hand-in-hand talking with Anna about odds and ends stuff, letting her visit smaller, less significant places that were made significant just by her interest in them--at least they were significant to Era because of that reason. He enjoyed seeing all the places and just being with her. Having someone to talk to after so long seemed like an invaluable treat that he never wanted to lose again. He could feel the bond tightening between them in his very heart. Where he had gained that ability, he couldn't tell. But the bonds made with others made him more powerful. He remembered it from his journey--how he harnessed the bonds he had with his friends to unlock an unbelievable and unimaginable magic. He wondered if he'd ever be able to do that again, but it mattered not. He and Anna entered a bookstore, and she showed him a few books, speaking of Sar'tu learning from its mistakes. "This nation keeps surprising me more and more in very good ways." He smiled as she showed him another one that appeared to be interesting. There was no hesitation in his uttering an interest in reading it with her.

Again, they were off, and their travels through the city finally wound up with them back at the docks overlooking the great River that had the appearance of an ocean. The darkness had finally arrived, ushering in the night. The stars shone quite nicely and the moon was full. Had Anna known it would be a full one tonight? He smirked as she mentioned the bit she had earlier when they were at this spot. An expectation. She drew nearer, but it was clearly a struggle for her to get close to his face with the height difference. He felt himself blushing and she wound up glancing down so that all she could see was her green hair. The color reminded him of his own hair, though his was dyed and a bit lighter than hers. He wondered briefly if hers was natural but realized now wasn't the time. It turned out that she really didn't know much about the zodiac and wanted to learn more.

Era took her chin gently in his hand and lifted her head so that he could look into her eyes. He reached down and planted his lips gently on her cheek. "Hey, it's a promise all right? A promise sealed by a kiss," he explained with a smile. "If we get the chance while in another city, we'll go to the library together. I'd like to learn more about it as well. I think it would be fun." He paused for a moment. "I'm a hopeless romantic, too, by the way. I hope you don't mind."

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Zerifachias on Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:45 pm

Anna thought Era wouldn't be able to resist kissing her lips with the way she was looking at him. She was glad he didn't. Her smile grew a little bit, just a little bit. Era made the right decision there. She might have egged him on a little too much, but there was no need to worry anymore. Anna let out a short giggle and danced away from him. "Thank you Era. You've made me quite happy."

>Discover the Missing Books Quest Unlocked!
>Codex: Anna Maier Updated

Anna Greatly Approves

Approval:
Approval Rating:

During Era's travels, he will have the opportunity to interact with his fellow guild mates and friends. His actions and decisions directly affect how they view Era. At a certain Approval Rating, Era can unlock a passive for himself and the character in question that improves their effectiveness in battle. Approval Rating can go into the negatives very easily, there is no "break" point like there is in other role plays.

Certain characters are also available for a romantic interest. Showing an interest in one character will lock all of the other choices until such a time Era's interest changes.

"I suppose we ought to head back now, before the others begin to worry," Anna suggested, looking over at the horizon, where the sun had retreated. She didn't grab Era's hand or wrist this time, only gestured him forward with a smile. The two walked back to the airship, Anna quite content to remain mostly quiet, save for her humming of a familiar tune. When the airship came into sight, the humming stopped, and Anna remained quiet until they boarded the ship.

"Caroline! Jens! We're back!" Anna called into the airship. She stepped up onto the stairs and climbed aboard. She stopped at the top stair and turned to face Era. With a smile she watched him, her blue eyes shining brightly as the light from within the airship illuminated her outline. "Welcome to Carol's Misfits, Era."

~Prologue End~

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Zerifachias on Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:06 pm

Chapter One: Carol's Misfits

Part One: Humble Beginnings

The next morning, Caroline felt a whole lot better, almost completely whole. Still, she was a bit sore from where Era had hit her. Well, not her precisely, but her body. She could still hardly believe that she had switched bodies with someone like that. It was a temporary thing, apparently, which was good. She would have hated living in Veronica's body for the rest of her life. And at least the question of Veronica's body being her real one was true, at least. If they managed to capture or kill Veronica, that magic would die with her. No one should hold that kind of power, Caroline thought.

Caroline stretched as she climbed the ladder to the main lounge, where she saw Jens sitting down in his chair. He appeared to be reading some kind of manual, he had that look about him of intense focus. Caroline smiled a little bit and turned towards the kitchen area, just a turn and a step from the ladder to the bunks. From one of the cabinets, she took out a pan and a bowl, and from the cold machine she took out eggs and a few strips of bacon. A nice, welcoming breakfast for Era and the crew. If they had some yeast, she would have made bread, but their funds were a little too low to afford that. The city was never in shortage of chickens or pigs, but finding a place to grow wheat was difficult.

"Are you cooking bacon?" A familiar voice sounded the moment Caroline turned on the stove. She nearly jumped in surprise, but only laughed when she realized how tuned out she had really been. It was Anna, of course. She loved bacon.

"Yeah, I thought it would be nice to have a hot meal ready for Era, whenever he wakes up," Caroline answered, only turning around to grab the eggs and bacon from the countertop. The counter stood as an island a good couple feet from the stove, it made accessing other areas of the kitchen much easier when someone was cooking.

"Do you even know if he likes eggs and bacon?" Anna asked. Caroline could her the mischievous plotting in her little sister's tone. She nearly laughed because of it.

"You're not getting more than your share, Anna, so don't bother asking," Caroline replied firmly, raising an eyebrow back at her sister. Anna was the picture of innocence.

"Why, the thought never crossed my mind!" Anna said, covering her open mouth with her small hand. Her lips curved into a smile, "That's okay, Jens will give me his share."

"Jens doesn't like bacon, I'm not making him any."

"Someone say something about me?" All the commotion and his name brought Jens's attention to Caroline and Anna. He had an odd look etched onto his face, he must have really been engrossed into his reading.

"Anna's trying to weasel more bacon for herself," Caroline told him. "Don't worry about it, Jens. Oh, could you be a dear and start up some coffee? Even if Era doesn't drink it, I might need some this morning."

"Sure thing." Jens placed his book down without a moment's hesitation and went over to help.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Masquerade on Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:53 pm

A dream. Was that all that it had been? Era had sunk into his bed at the guild's headquarters the previous night and was out like a light, leaving his backpack in a nice chair nearby still stuffed full of his sparse belongings. Now that he had a real place to live, maybe he could start buying more things with which to decorate his new room. No, this was no dream. He had been in a dream before--journeyed through it. He wound up here because time displaced him. He needed to get a grasp over his power. What if he was sent spiraling back into the past, or springing forth into the future? Winding up on another world? He cringed in his sleep as his subconscious whorled around him. How it would pain his heart to be separated from the new friends he had just today made by a chance circumstance. Caroline, Anna, Jens. His new allies. His new friends. Maybe traveling around with them, he could hone his power and take permanent root here in Sar'tu. Yes, that would be what he would endeavor to do. A smile fell upon his slumbering face and the thoughts seemed to blur together into nothingness as he descended into deeper slumber.

The smell of something rather delicious roused the sleeping Era into a state of wakefulness. Sitting up in his bed, he rubbed the sleep from his eyes and glanced over at the chair with his backpack in it. Figuring he may as well unpack it now to sort of wake himself up more, he stumbled out of bed and towards the pack, unzipping it and dumping the contents on the bed. He folded his clothes and placed them in a drawer to the dresser in the room. They only took up one drawer leaving the other three drawers empty. He took his technological doodads and placed them in the nightstand drawer. He had a couple of books from the real world--at least the one from which he originated--and another book from the dream which he coveted greatly. He would never be able to procure another copy. He placed those on an empty bookcase. The presence of the three books made the thing seem even emptier than it was, but Era had no regrets. Maybe one day he would see to it that it was filled with books from this world. Anna seemed to like reading; he was sure she'd have plenty of recommendations.

The thought of Anna made him smile. He had thoroughly enjoyed the time he had been able to spend with her the previous day and night. He was eager to see her face once more. He wondered what time it was. His cell phone said one thing but he was pretty sure it wasn't accurate. Would the others even be awake? How long had he slept? He hoped he didn't sleep in too much. Rushing out of the room, he managed to find no one in the lounge, but the smell that had woken him before emanated from what appeared to be the HQ's kitchen area, and that was where he discovered his three new friends. Caroline was cooking something, Jens was making some coffee, and it seemed as though Anna was pestering Caroline somehow. The whole scene was so lighthearted and it made Era smile. He strode in quietly.

"I thought I smelled something great; I didn't realize there was going to be a nice breakfast," Era spoke up, stopping near the island countertop, watching Caroline have at it. "Does Caroline always do the cooking?" he inquired, curious about the group's daily lives.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Zerifachias on Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:39 pm

"Good morning to you too, Era," Caroline said with a light smile. "To answer your question...yes. And no." Caroline flipped an egg in the pan and started breaking another shell to prepare another one. She had since put the bacon in the oven to keep the warmth. She never took her eyes off what she was doing, even when talking to Era. "I'm the only one here who knows how to cook and enjoys it. So that means I'm in charge of the pantry. We don't have enough funds to support the four of us with freshly cooked meals, so I only cook during special occasions or during times when we have excess. Don't get used to this treatment, is what I'm saying.

"We might not have enough to cook every morning and night, but don't worry about going hungry. I make sure we have enough to eat every week. You can find dried foods in the pantry there." Caroline pointed with a spatula towards the cabinet against the wall. It was just four of the smaller cabinets put together, two on top and pressed against each other. "We have bottled water and tea in the fridge. You're welcome to both. Sometimes wine, if I think we have enough to afford it. Are you a wine drinker? Also, how do you like your eggs? Sunny or scrambled? I could also make you an omelet if you want. We have a bit of cheese left, I think. Anna, be a dear."

Caroline juggled the eggs and checking on the bacon with both confidence and a sort of grace. She may have just been showing off, but the look of concentration on her face was hard to ignore. Caroline did mention that she enjoyed cooking, and there was no lie to that. In Caroline's head, doing hard work was its own reward, and cooking was a science meant to challenge the mind, like her engineering work did.

Anna shuffled her bare feet towards the fridge and took a look inside. "We're out of cheese, big sis."

"Check in the bin," Caroline suggested. Anna did and flushed a little as she brought out a small chunk of yellow cheese from the bin. Quietly Anna placed it down on the counter, quickly noting the smile on Caroline's face before she escaped the kitchen and went to sit down on the long sofa in the lounge.

With Anna out of earshot, Caroline gestured towards Era, though she still was focused on her cooking. Jens retrieved the cheese grater out of a cabinet for her, so she was busy shredding some of it onto the egg she was cooking. If Era didn't want an omelet, Jens always wanted one. She usually made his with two eggs, so this would be smaller than usual. When Caroline figured Era was in earshot, she spoke to him in a low tone, so that Anna could not overhear. "You two were out late last night," she mentioned. It wasn't an accusation, just a point of fact. "I hoped it was a good experience and that you'd tell me about it." Something about the way Caroline spoke felt edgy, even Jens noticed the difference. He stuck around, watching Anna from the kitchen to see if she got curious enough to come back. She seemed to be busy with a book.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Masquerade on Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:16 pm

So, it was a special occasion. Era felt a bit flattered but snapped out of it as Caroline explained the food situation to him, that determined look on her face never fading and she never diverted her attention from the cooking she was doing. He voiced to her that he usually liked his eggs scrambled but he would love an omelet this morning in particular. Anna was indeed a dear and nabbed the cheese which she took without changing her pace at all, incorporating it with ease. Era was fascinated by how well she handled herself in the kitchen. Perhaps she could teach him a thing or two such that he could contribute, for as much as he hated to admit it, he wasn't very good at cooking and hardly knew how to do anything in the culinary realm. His idea of being taught to cook was interrupted by Caroline's beckoning, and he obliged with no question. Her voice took on a strange edge to it, and he raised an eyebrow as she mentioned him and Anna spending that time together last night. Was she curious? Did she think they had done something? He felt his heartbeat quicken a bit even though nothing of consequence happened between him and Anna the previous night. Save for a promise sealed with a kiss.

"Anna showed me around the city. I got to see the market and the monument there. She showed me the docks and the library. We were going to call it quits then but it was I who expressed the desire to continue exploring," Era explained, making sure to keep his voice low as Caroline had done. Apparently, she did not want Anna to know of her inquiries. "Your sister has a fondness for teasing people, I've noticed," he stated as calmly as he could. "I promised her that if we went to another city, we'd go to its library together. She really wants to learn more about constellations and the zodiac."

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Zerifachias on Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:09 pm

Caroline cracked an egg so suddenly that Jens nearly fell off the counter he was leaning on. He did make a bit of noise, which drew Anna's attention for a moment. "Don't lean on the counter, Jens, and that won't happen." Caroline breathed lightly, she didn't seem at all perturbed by Era's explanation. Jens picked himself up and tried his best to straighten himself after his little stumble, then walked over to his chair in the lounge area. Caroline took in a deep breath, sighing heavily as Jens left her and Era in the kitchen area.

"The reason I ask is because I fear for her, and for the rest of us. Including you." Caroline turned off the stove as the last bits of egg simmered in the remaining heat. Finally her attention was available, and she turned it towards Era. She had a worried look about her. "You say that you came here through time travel, possibly even world travel. A magic we know nothing about. There is no telling when you might be swept up by that magic again. I can't in good conscience let Anna or any of us have a false sense of hope."

Caroline tapped a finger against the counter for a moment, letting her words sink in. She was being genuine, she didn't want to extend her hand too far out just to have it cut off. Metaphorically speaking. She reached up into another cabinet and pulled out a collection of plates, one for each of them. "I think it's great that you want to be a part of our lives. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, I'm happy you're here. I owe you my life, and I will not see that debt go unpaid." Caroline's worried frown curved upwards back into a small, warm smile. "Maybe you won't get swept up again. Maybe that magic was just a one-time deal. If that were so, I would sleep better at night."

The engineer dropped the omelet onto a plate and placed it on the counter near Era. She then pulled the bacon out of the oven. The smell filled the room almost immediately. The oven kept the bacon warm, but it was cool enough now to eat without getting burned. Caroline snatched up a piece and placed it in between her teeth. For a moment, she paused, then winked at Era before placing two strips of bacon on the plate near him. "One omelet, as requested," Caroline said, snapping off a bit of the bacon in her mouth. "Eat up, you're going to need all of your strength today. Hey kids!" Caroline finished her bacon before calling back into the lounge, "get your food before I eat it!"

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Masquerade on Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:38 pm

Era listened as Caroline spoke, the smells of her cooking getting his mouth watering. He didn't realize how hungry he really was; he hadn't eaten much the previous day. It was way too action-packed. Way too much excitement. It appeared as though Caroline had the same fear that he did. What would happen if his power went out of control and stole him away from this time period? Or even the world itself? It would be devastation all over again. He'd have to restart from the beginning and that worry tugged on his heart violently making him hurt, but he kept an intently attentive look on his face, making sure to hear out all of Caroline's concerns. She forked over the omelet but he didn't dive in right away. He wanted her to feel better.

"I can understand your concern but please know that I am going to do anything in my power to gain control of my ability," Era stated firmly with an evident resolve lacing his voice. "I like being here...and you guys are turning out to be amazing friends that I wouldn't ever want to lose." The mere thought was starting to make his heart pound. The bonds that had formed were already so powerful. He could feel the latent magic within his soul. "Rest assured I will grasp it. I won't stop until I do. I want to get stronger and use my power to do great good. I was able to once, but only in a dream. It's time I crossed the boundary and made it into reality. By my own will."

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Zerifachias on Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:11 pm

"Hmm, we'll see how you like it after today," Caroline said with a smile. "But I feel better now, knowing you are trying your best. I apologize if I made you feel uneasy, you are more than welcome here." Caroline watched as Jens and Anna took their individual breakfast platters in hand. Jens with his extra-large omelet and Anna with a plate of scrambled eggs. Her little sister broke up two bacon strips into smaller pieces and mixed it in with her eggs. Caroline preferred hers sunny side up with a little extra bit of spice.

"Emm," Caroline called out to the machine in the lounge, beginning to make her way over to it. "I'll have those messages now, if you please."

The pipe in the center of the room opened up it's hatch and the familiar array of wires, cables, and metal parts in the shape of a female body rose from the depths of the airship. It greeted them with a series of odd sounds before Emm finally found her voice. "Booting up, please hold." Emm stated mechanically as she was powering on. "You have three new messages."

E.M.M.S Messages Received!

Trouble with Wolves - I swear these things get bigger and bolder every day, and they keep hounding what little farmland we have! I must have sent messages to every guild in town, but all of them are busy with "important military service" to help the people who feed them! Do the city a favor, and I'll repay your service.
Objective: Clear out the wolves (Statplay involved)
Reward: +10 Influence
Reward: Collection of tier 1 herbs (Jens could make something good out of these)

Fisherman's Aid - My husband broke his back fishing last week and we're starting to run out of money for food. We need to get out and net fish or we will lose influence in our business. I can't offer much, but what aid you can give would be greatly appreciated and not forgotten!
Objective: Go fishing (No Statplay involved)
Reward: +5 Influence
Reward: A copy of Fisher's Guide to Fishing. (Caroline will be able to gather and cook fish, less gold would be spent on food.)

Alphonse's Research - Hello? Is this thing on? Ahem. I am Alphonse Petrachiam, a renowned alchemist and researcher in North Sar'tu. There is an issue with one of my creations that I would like dealt with. That is, ah, I need some muscle to pull some, ah, weeds, if you will. I am offering you a bag of gold as a reward, or, if you are interested, I can grant you use of the observatory that I never use.
Reward: +15 Influence
Reward: 150 Gold OR Obtain Observatory (Anna can observe the stars first-hand and learn more about her magic)

>0 Messages Backlogged

"Well Era, since it's your first day, you get first pick. Which do you want to do first?"

~

Influence is a new stat that we will be using to determine the Guild's notoriety. Higher Influence means better rewards and more complicated missions. After achieving so many Influence points, the guild will reach a breaking point and "level up," gaining access to the next tier of rewards for certain requests.

"Backlogged" messages are messages put on hold if there is something that must be done before that quest is available. Such reasons could be that the current list is not completed, or one of the guild members needs to have a word with Era in order for the quest to come to his attention.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Masquerade on Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:13 pm

Era kept a smile on his face regardless of what Caroline said. He knew he was going to like living with the gang, and the work would be interesting, far more than the odd jobs he had been doing to just barely stay afloat. He listened to the messages that were played by Emm at Caroline's request. Apparently, they were all cries for help--jobs for the guild to perform. She offered him the first pick. Though some were more interesting than others, he decided to start small.

"I hate for anyone to go hungry. Feel like a fishing venture?" Era shot at Caroline with a grin. Had he personally ever been fishing before? Hell no. But he figured it would be fun to learn and he would be helping out this family as well. If he could be of any assistance, he certainly wanted to try.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Zerifachias on Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:53 pm

Caroline gave a weak little smile. It was certainly nice that Era was thinking of the group's needs, but it would not have been her first choice. Still, she must honor her promise and let Era choose. It would be nice to relax to some fishing on the harbor. Certainly a change from hunting Veronica, which was a solo mission for her, Anna and Jens knew about it, but that was all. Very quickly, Caroline checked the small screen on Emm's breastplate, just to see if there was a limited number they could bring. To her relief, it appeared that everything was normal, and all of them could go together.

"Sounds like a plan," Caroline breathed with a nod. "If this helps us become more self-sufficient, I'm all for it." Jens and Anna didn't seem to have to add anything. Neither of them would have chosen this first either, but it was not a vote, and they would not voice their opinions on the matter. So long as the fishing did not take all day, which it very well might, and they could do other tasks, they would be content.

Caroline Slightly Approves

So the party moved on, Caroline in the lead with the others in tow. She took a slightly different route to the harbor than Anna and Era did last night. Instead of going through the town, they went around the outskirts and soon came upon the river. To their relief, the river was in one of it's calmest states of the day, with the water lightly flowing by. The water, undisturbed as it was, was a clear blue that could be seen through, and though it was deep, they could see coral reefs hidden beneath the rocks at the bed.

The fisherman and his wife that put in the request were waiting for them by an old dock house. They were an elderly couple by the look of them, and the man seemed to be nursing a sore on his leg as well as his back. When Caroline approached and greeted them, the elders welcomed them kindly. The fisherman's wife didn't waste any time in leading the party inside to where the fishing supplies were. She guided them through the old house filled with portraits and paintings of the ocean, far beyond the Ocean's River. From just a few glances, Caroline could tell that the ocean, the real thing, was vastly superior to the river they had. Huge waves crashed upon coasts of broken rock and sand, the Ocean's River in it's fiercest currents was tame in comparison.

The elderly lady gave a large tackle-box to Era, saying something about women not needing to carry heavy things when capable young men were around. She led them outside once more and brought them to the harbor, where she took a fishing rod that Anna was holding and began to show them the proper way to prepare a string and hook. Her fingers moved quickly and with the precision of years experience. While Era was still holding the tackle-box, the woman opened it up and pointed to different lures and explained their uses. Some were for bottom-feeders, while others attracted fish near the surface. For the party, they should be more interested in the fish at the bottom. They were thinner and had smaller bones, but the meat was sweeter and the bones could be used for tools or sold.

When she was finished, the old woman took the group out on one of the piers over the river and cast out a line, showing them the proper technique for doing so and then quickly showing how they should react, should one of them get a bite. The fish were tricky sometimes, and only tapped lines to make the fishermen pull prematurely. The patient fisher waits for the line to pull before snapping the line.

The old woman handed the rob back to Anna, who appeared to feel a little awkward about the whole thing, but she would surely get it in time. The old woman told them to cast out lines a good distance away from each other, no more than two to a pier. Caroline was already moving to a different pier before Jens could. Jens shrugged and cast out his own line on the pier. He gave a short smile to Era and nodded towards Caroline.

"Why don't you go fish with Carol?" Jens suggested. "She seems quite happy with your choice."

"Jens, if my sister heard you call her that, you'd be in the river by now," Anna interjected with a small laugh.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Masquerade on Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:13 pm

Everyone didn't seem too particularly enthusiastic about his choice, but Era didn't feel comfortable jumping the gun despite being confident in his abilities. Era was a great fighter, but there were things fishing could teach a person such as patience and determination. It was also a great way to meditate and sort out thoughts. To relax. Learning this once would provide any of them an opportunity to go out to the water and pick their own minds. Regain composure. To be honest, and he wouldn't admit it to the others, but he felt he needed such a thing. He had to be calm. He had to have an escape in the case intense emotion triggered his power. He needed to be grounded. He would not let himself soar to the point where he happened to soar to another time or even world. Suddenly, he realized he was trembling and glad the others were busy moving out such that they didn't notice it. His heart raced in fear and uncertainty. He didn't want to let Caroline down by any means. If this was what he had to do, then so be it. Taking a deep breath, he followed the others sticking closer to Anna than anyone. For some reason, her presence felt far more comfortable than the others'. Even in the fight against Veronica, her presence had given him strength.

Era's mind slipped into more idle and mundane thoughts as they traveled, his eyes taking in the newness of the route they took to reach the docks. The group was introduced to the elderly couple who requested aid, and it was true--the man was in pretty bad shape. There was no way he could do this. He felt his heart tugged and suddenly didn't feel so bad about whether he had made a poor choice in mission or not. He was making a difference, no matter how small. The old woman explained the process of fishing and gave details regarding the equipment. It seemed rather simple enough; his mind was fairly sharp. He figured he'd have no trouble. It even made sense to have the group split up a bit. Too much fishing in one isolated spot would surely rouse suspicion in the fish, not to mention there might not be very many fish in that one spot to begin with.

Jens suggested that Era go with Caroline. Was she satisfied with doing this? He shook his head. "All right, I can keep her company. Maybe she can tell me some stories about your adventures in the guild and such. Should be interesting to hear," Era stated resolutely, taking the fishing items in his possession and trailing after Caroline to a different pier. He took note not to call the girl 'Carol' because that would apparently result with him sleeping with the fishes. He was going to catch fish, not sleep with them. He had to pick up his pace a bit to catch up to her, making sure to hold tight to his fishing equipment. "Hey, I hope you don't mind me tagging along with you," he said, a bit short of sheepishly. He was used to being on the more introverted side, but if these were to be his new friends, he would have to open up more. He had once...just in that dream, and it was quite worth it. If he could do it once, he could do it again.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Zerifachias on Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:29 pm

Anna glanced over her shoulder as Era left to catch up with Caroline. For a moment, she felt a little disappointed, but shook her head of such thoughts. It was for the best. Era couldn't spend all his time with her, though he might have wanted to. With how he always stuck by her side as they walked to the harbor, it was kind of adorable. Anna allowed herself a smile and turned to her rod. Nothing yet. She didn't know how long it would take to find a fish that was interested. She would be patient. If anything, that was something she was very good at.

Caroline looked back and stopped for a moment, waiting long enough for Era to catch up to her. She was smiling at him despite herself. "Of course, you don't have to be afraid of me," she said with a little bit of a giggle. Caroline paused for a moment again before leading the way to the next pier. Each pier was not too far away from the next, so Caroline skipped one to get what she thought was an appropriate distance from Jens and Anna.

Caroline set up her string and hook, just as the elderly fishwife showed them how, though she was much slower at it. When she finally cast out her line, Caroline felt she was starting to get the hang of this whole fishing thing. "I never thought our first mission would be a relaxing task like this. Don't get me wrong, I don't disapprove. In fact, I think it's quite nice that, of the options you had, you chose this one. "

"So, you must have some questions," Caroline straightened her back and watched Era from the corner of her eye. "I can answer anything about our guild, past missions, Sar'tu, whatever you like." That list included personal questions, but she didn't mention that. Caroline knew that Era might want to ask something personal, and this was as good a place as any to ask them. She wanted to hear what Era wanted to know the most about. Caroline was curious.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Masquerade on Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:40 pm

It was a little silly for Era to be so comfortable around Anna and yet so out of sorts around Caroline. What was there to be afraid of? She had been nice to him except for their very first run-in. He had to stifle a laugh regarding how things had turned out. Despite her first impression, he still saved her. He couldn't wipe the smile off his face and merely affirmed what Caroline said, assuring her that he wouldn't be so shy. They set up a few piers away--an appropriate distance as deemed by Caroline. He watched her get her fishing materials together, baiting her rod and casting it. He was happy to hear that she didn't completely disapprove of his choice. It made him feel a bit better. He reached into his tackle box and procured a lure designed for those pesky bottom-dwellers. He wondered how his luck would fare him today, for he knew his patience would be on par. He cast his line and took a deep breath. It seemed Caroline was definitely open to conversation.

"Hmm, I'm curious to know a bit more about you," Era said after contemplating for a few moments, keeping his rod steady and trying to gauge if there were any fish nearby. There were no attempts at his lure yet, and he was sure he'd be tricked a few times in this venture at the very least. "How long have you been interested in engineering things? I still find it immensely impressive that you managed such progress on that airship. Where I'm from, it's the sort of thing you would see in a fantasy. Our flying vessels are far different."

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Zerifachias on Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:58 pm

And there it was. Caroline could not help herself, she had to smile. And what an interesting way to ask the question too. "I've been an engineer for as long as I can remember. I have little memory of my parents, but I do remember my father once telling me I was born with a wrench in my hand." Caroline let out a laugh at the thought. It was a vague memory, and probably wrong in some way, but that didn't matter. "The airship isn't exactly what I would call a finished product, though. There is still quite a lot of work I need to do. The exterior looks mostly finished, but the inside is missing some key components. Like an actual power source."

Caroline paused, watching as her rod ticked once towards the river. Something was below them, and very curious about the bait on her hook. Caroline waited it out, but nothing bit. The fish seemed to have lost interest. She took a mental note to try and keep her line active to attract more curiosity. "I have a power supplier and a converter, that's what keeps Emm up and running, but I don't have enough power to make the airship actually fly. Until the guild actually starts making a profit, that thing is going to stay grounded.

"Engineering and cooking aren't the only things I do, though they are a little similar. The city has this gathering once a month where some of the younger folk would play a game that involved a lot of running. We had to kick this ball, bigger than a person's head, across a one-hundred foot area into this tiny little hole at the end of the field. It's very challenging, and very fun. Maybe you would care to join me in the next game? Tryouts are next week. The game is the week after. The whole week, by the way, not just one day."

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Masquerade on Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:49 pm

So the airship wasn't quite complete. Caroline mentioned that the guild lacked the necessary funds to get it into a complete state, but perhaps with another man on the crew, they could get a bit more money more easily. It would be great for the guild to prosper; Era wanted to see that more than anything. They lived a humble live, but deserved something more extravagant. He hid a smile at the thought. He knew Caroline would love to have her airship soar through the air one day. Hell, he wanted to ride on it! He had been on a plane before, but never an airship. He continued to listen to her while keep an eye on the water. Every little bobble stirred him within but most turned out to be nothing. This was certainly a test of patience.

"I'm not much of an athlete, I'm afraid," Era started with a tone of concern in his voice, "but it's never too late to become one. If you're willing to show me the ropes, I'm more than willing to learn. It's mostly about the fun anyway, right?" He gave her a warm smile. This was a new world. It was time for him to try new things. "So you can definitely count me in."

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Zerifachias on Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:29 pm

Caroline Slightly Approves

"I'm glad to hear it,"
Caroline said with a smile. She turned her head back to her fishing rod just as it began to twitch. Then the whole top of it bent down, "A catch!" Caroline exclaimed, her smile turning into a grin as she yanked the rod hard in the opposite direction the fish seemed to be going. It took but five seconds of reeling and another yank of the rod before Caroline was holding a average-sized trout in her hands. She turned to Era and showed him the fish. "Look! Isn't it gross? They taste good, but god they're ugly."

Caroline retreated towards a cooler that the elderly woman had placed nearby once they had found their fishing spots. She filled it halfway with water and, after carefully extracting the hook from the fish's mouth, dropped the trout into the cooler. "One down. Too bad we can't go out into the river and use the nets. This would go by a lot quicker. Still, the job only calls for us to catch ten average-size fish, so it shouldn't take too long, I hope."

Across the way, Caroline peered to where Jens and Anna was. It seemed as though neither of them have gotten a bite of anything. Anna kept throwing out her line and then reeling it all they way back in after a few seconds of waiting. That was more likely to scare the fish away than attract them. "Looks like Anna's having fun, and it looks like you have a fish of your own." Caroline pointed to Era's line, which was starting to twitch rather violently.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

Post by Masquerade on Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:35 pm

Caroline alerted him to the fact that he had a bite, and just so recently after she had one and pulled it in at that.  It seemed their luck was turning around.  Era was careful not to break the line but the fish was offering quite the bit of resistance.  He poked his tongue out as he reeled in more and more, having to stop a couple times.  He would not lose this one; the old couple's lives were depending on it.  Maybe it wasn't that extreme but it would be very important to them.  He didn't want to let them down.  A mighty yank sent the fish soaring into the air with a splash of water that cascaded down upon the duo.  Era looked up and marveled at it before he realized that there was this thing called gravity.  It took mere seconds for the fish to fall and slam into Era's awestruck face.  The creature wiggled around on him for a bit before he was able to get it in his hands, constricting its movement.  After the effort of catching it, he certainly wasn't going to lose it.

"Pffft ppphhh, gross...!" Era exclaimed, wiping the wetness from his face with his sleeve.  He took a deep breath to regain his composure and gave a hearty glare at the rather rebellious fish that still wished to get away but he would not be having it.  "Would it be too much to ask for you to keep this between us?" he gave Caroline an embarrassed grin, a light blush on his face.  A face full of fish was not something he was expecting nor did he want the others to know of the incident.  It would be just his luck for this to happen.  But at least he caught the damn thing!

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: Thieves and Beggars

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