Author Topic: (IC) Chapter One: The Pantheon Temple  (Read 4745 times)

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Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter One: The Pantheon Temple
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2007, 05:14:51 AM »
(you put the map and handful of pebbles down on the rough hewn table, inspect your gear, then turn to look at Lohanu.)

Lohanu's teeth flash in the lamplight.

"Not like he confides in me, but he was muttering about how much the others were drinking last night, that you were the only one who showed enough sense to put down the cup rather than the other way around" (The last in a terrible, barely recognizable impression of Tovanu's voice.)

he waves his hand dismissively

"None of it makes sense to me, I'd send out all of you, not five, so sending out one rather than five seems like more of the same to me."

shrugs

"He say anything on the walk over?"
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter One: The Pantheon Temple
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2007, 06:51:55 AM »
Kamu looks thoughtful, carefully adding the map and pebbles he placed aside earlier to his gear, the map in an oilskin pouch for added safety, should it rain.

"Well, I suppose that makes sense." he says, doubtfully.  How any of the others could be foolish enough to be drunk at this moment was beyond him.  This moment was greater than any drink, and to cloud one's mind would be to miss some part of it.  Of course, Lohanu could be wrong.  Elder Tovanu could have been talking about something else.

Kamu shrugs.  "He didn't say anything." he admits.  "But... well, it really doesn't matter to me, either.  I'll be back quickly enough.  I plan on travelling first to the nearest islands -- the old hunting islands -- and seeing if there's anything there.  I'll report back if I find anything.  If not, it will be the next island... but I'll come back at least once, after I've touched on all three of the closest, before I make the big jump across the water."

Kamu doesn't say what he's thinking... "I wish you could join me."  The words would be cutting to Lohanu.  Kamu leaves them unspoken.  Lohanu has found a place for himself.  It is as close as he can get.  It will be enough for him to have Kamu come back and tell him of the places he has been, the things he has seen.  It will have to be enough.
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter One: The Pantheon Temple
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2007, 06:08:51 AM »
"I'll be waiting, and I'll pass on your plan if any fly before you return."

He pauses a moment, looking at you.

"Well, let's get your bird."

He waves his hand for you to follow, and walks down the tunnel.

Other than the grit underfoot, the lava tube is pretty smooth along the floor, and it gets dimmer as you walk away from the lamp. . .down near the bottom the sunlight ahead brightens, until you come out into the nesting area.

This larger, collapsed tube extends off to your right to a drop into the sea about 100; away, and uphill into a jumble of broken stone about 150' in the other direction, the floor of broken stone slopes up away from you to the far wall, mixed in with dirt and detrius. The gull nests are piles of wood and guano about 30' across, and they line the top of the slope near the far wall in an evenly spaced out arrangement.

About half the gulls are awake, croaking, cooing and groking, mostly at Lohanu, but not too loudly. (Though the echo in this area makes it sound like hundreds.) None stir from their nests, other than turning their heads to look. The other half are snoozing, head under wing, including yours.
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter One: The Pantheon Temple
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2007, 09:04:39 AM »
Kamu follows Lohanu down the tunnel, a familiar route by now, carrying the saddle and the rest of his gear.

As the moment of his departure draws ever closer, Kamu tries to control his excitement, to hide it behind diffidence and impose the calm mask he has worn for the Elders.  It's not easy.  The walk down the tunnel is familiar and soothing, as are the presences of the great gulls in the nesting area.  By the time Kamu reaches the bottom, he has regained his center of calm.  He waits for Lohanu to ready his gull for flight, holding the saddle for when it will be needed.
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter One: The Pantheon Temple
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2007, 01:49:27 PM »
Lohanu wipes his hand on his vest, and then puts his thumb and middle finger in his mouth and emits a piercing yet warbling whistle.

"Thoit-thoi-thoi-thoit!"

All the sleeping gulls seem to grow heads as they smoothly pop out from under concealing wings. The general noise level rises as they all respond in one way or another.

Your gull pops to it's feet, and looks at you intently, head cocked. You jerk your head and he smoothly hops up to the edge of the nest, then seems to flow down the slope to you, his feet a blur.

He cawks, and bobs his head on either side of yours, then turns toward Lohanu to do the same. . .you take the opportunity to lift the saddle across his back. . .a familiar stride toward his tail, and he quarter opens his wings, letting you get the girth straps around. A bit of tightening, and the saddle sits firmy on his back, stirrups dangling.

Lohanu turns to you "You want me to lead him up while you get dressed?"
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter One: The Pantheon Temple
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2007, 04:32:47 PM »
Kamu glances at Lohanu thoughtfully as he finishes adjusting the saddle.

"Yes, Lohanu." he says. "Thank you.  I will be but a moment."
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter One: The Pantheon Temple
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2007, 05:16:37 AM »
Lohanu clucks and waves the gull to follow him, and heads up the tunnel, it follows. .the gulls, so graceful in flight and sleek when running, have an odd, almost amusing bob to their walking pace.
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter One: The Pantheon Temple
« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2007, 06:31:25 AM »
Watching Lohanu lead the gull back up the tunnel, Kamu turns to the task of getting ready for the task ahead.  On go his leggings, and he works the lacings with practiced ease.  The hard leather boots are uncomfortable, but he is somewhat used to them by now.  He checks the stopper in his oil lamp, carefully places the pebbles in his pocket, the map in its oilskin pouch.  He bends the bow as if to string it, but does not.  Each and every bit of gear is checked, until finally Kamu is ready.  He looks around the nesting area at the remaining gulls, wondering if he will ever see them again; if he will ever return to this place, or if the hatred of the sea for the men of Kani Island is echoed elsewhere as well, and it will consume him.

Eventually, he shrugs.  What will be, will be.  He settles the mask of calm upon his features.  He tries to relax.  He turns his mind to inconsequential matters, diverting it from the knowledge that the moment is upon him now.  His departure.  Truly, his life's work is about to begin.  He lifts his chin slightly, and with bold steps, boots making faintly hollow thwocks against the lava tube, Kamu strides up the empty tunnel, heading toward the launching point... and his destiny.
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter One: The Pantheon Temple
« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2007, 02:42:20 AM »
The dim gathers, then becomes the flicker of Lohanu's lamp.

The gull knows, it's been here before. . .it flicks it's wing tips eagerly, making rustling noises. Lohanu jerks his head toward the lamp, pats the gull on the head, and ducks under out of view.

With practiced ease, you reach up with a gloved hand and snuff the wick, and for a moment there is darkness. You hear Lohanu haul on the rope, the rasp of wood against the stone, then you slit your eyes for the grit as the whole cave tarp rises on the bamboo bar this time.

The gritty blast off the floor is brief, the tarp rises up past waist level and it becomes the west wind. The sun seems so bright after the tunnel, the gull's feet stamping.

You stride forward and grab the top edge of the saddle and half jump, half pull yourself up into the saddle. As you settle upright, the stirrups tap your toe-tips, and you stick your boots in, one at a time. Tugging your gloves tight, you turn and see Lohanu grinning, leaning into the rope. You reach forward and grab the two loops rivited to the corner's of the gull's beak, laying your body along it's back and neck.

shouting over the wind. "Bring me something back Kamu, something from somewhere else!"

The gull sidles, dancing in place with eagerness to fly, barely awaiting your command.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2007, 02:54:46 AM by Celedor »
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Offline Wentil

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Re: (IC) Chapter One: The Pantheon Temple
« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2007, 02:54:20 AM »
Kamu looks back at Lohanu from his perch atop the saddle, and a rare smile breaks across his face.  He can't hold back any more, not now.  The moment is upon him, and so unexpectedly, his moment alone.  The power of it is overwhelming, and he finds his heart beating quickly.  Everything is limned in the brilliant sunlight, and it is as if he can sense every grain of grit, feel the whisper of the wind across his skin, and hear the voices of the spirits who watch invisibly, whispering encouragement in the wailing wind.

"I will!" he shouts to Lohanu, his warm brown eyes agleam with no-longer-suppressed excitement, grinning with delight.

And with those final words, he urges his gull forward, giving it the freedom to launch that it so obviously seeks.

"Hiyaa!" he cries, joy evident in his voice over the moan of the wind.  "Now, we fly!  For Kani!"
"The people would cheer just as loudly were I to be hanged."

Offline Celedor

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Re: (IC) Chapter One: The Pantheon Temple
« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2007, 03:07:49 AM »
You barely catch lohanu's whoop as the gul sprints forward.

The first three steps are hard, getting small "oofs" as your torso bounces off the gull's spine, then it gets it's head down and seems to slide forward, the wind stinging your slitted eyes.

The point is there, and gone in a heartbeat. The gull's wings extend out with a snap, and the impact extracts a full "OOOF" from you.

Back in the depths of your mind you know you're falling, but you ignore that as you rise rapidly. . .your initial headway slows, and you begin to drift backward slightly, the wind diminishes, but you climb rapidly into the wind.

You drift backward over the launching area, and see Lohanu, waving, getting visibly smaller.

END CHAPTER 1 (For Kamu at least)
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