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Fantasy A Pair of Hunters [1x1]

Sub Genres
Action, Adventure, Magical, Mystery, Romance
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AEONmeteorite

Architect of Worlds
Helper
Sol frowned as her ears fell at the realization that McCrae had never received word of what had occurred during her failed attempt at a prank. "Surely..." was the only word Sol could muster out before Retz intervened. At first her heart dropped when Retz spoke, but as he continued, she realized what he was doing and how he was beating around the bush. Between his words, Sol nodded with assurance that that was exactly what happened, which it technically was. By the end of it all, it seemed the centaur was convinced. She didn't let on any signs of relief, as she didn't want to make him suspicious of her again. However, any alleviation she once had was tossed to the side as she was reminded that she'd be meeting McCrae in his cavern. "You should get in trouble Retz," she murmured as she watched McCrae trot off. "That way one of these nights he'll call for you to go to his cavern, and I get away with whatever I want."

Days like this were a fresh reminder that Sol didn't have any hobbies or things she enjoyed to do in general. The only eventful thing was getting word that Zaizix would be meeting with Sol and Retz in the morning to bring the remaining equipment. Besides that, Sol was just trying to think of things they could do, but there wasn't much. Her mind, for the most part, hopped between thoughts of the mission, her bow and frequently hummed her lullaby to comfort herself. It felt surreal not spending the day with McCrae, even though it wasn't the first time. Things had changed.

When the day was over and she said her good-byes to Retz, she stalled. She wandered. Sol wasn't yet ready to confront her bow and more importantly, to speak to McCrae. She walked all the way to the quarry, back through the marketplace, passed by the centaur's cavern after debating if she wanted to go in and returned the training grounds. Then, she made her way back, stopped in front of his cavern and moved along. When she found herself wandering near the entrance to see the carvings in the walls, a familiar figure exited them.

"Sol?" Riifolla breathed and held her hands neatly in front of her. "What are you doing up? You have a mission tomorrow, you need rest."

"Aye," Sol grimaced and took a step back from the fabric nymph. "There are other things I need to do before that, either way, I am not all too tired yet." That was an honest answer, as her mind was preoccupied with other things and she wasn't remotely tired.

"Hmm," Riifolla looked up to the ceiling of the caverns where mushrooms lustered a dim colorful light. "I do not find it wise putting off the inevitable. If you lie down and close your eyes, you will grow tired and you will sleep. What once was hard to confront flies by and it ended up being not as grueling as you once thought. Go to sleep, Sol. You needn't put it off any longer."

Riifolla didn't stick around much longer, nor did she wish Sol a good night. She walked away, returning the direction of her own cavern. Sol could have asked the fabric nymph much the same. Why was she up? But more importantly, how often did she spend studying those carvings? She was right though. What's more, the more she put it off, the longer McCrae had to stay awake and out of anyone, he needed to doze off the most. With a forced sigh, Sol finally made way to his cavern. She did pause before going inside, but this time she actually entered. Sol froze though as she saw the bow lay across his shoulder. Her teeth clicked together as the bow was eerily silent this time. There was something. It was nothing more than white noise. It still appeared that he was unaware of it. She didn't dare explain what she heard and what she had hear for the sake of making sure she seemed sane enough to even go on the mission tomorrow.

"You've already picked it up geezer," was all she could say before she entered further.
 

Calibutcher

Lead the charge, or get left behind.
The evening pressed on and McCrae stayed where he was waiting for Sol to arrive. A couple of times he thought about going out to look for her. He shook those thoughts away. He wanted her to come of her own volition this needed to be her decision. Yet he struggled within himself. Trusting Sol was difficult, Zaizix's explanation of the difficulty Nymphs had telling the truth did not ease that burden. He let time take its course and he stood unmoving, letting himself be part of the cavern in his shared stillness. Only the arrival of Sol shook him from his near zen state.
"So I have, it seems I couldn't resist myself." He hardly remembered picking it up, but it had been a focus of his mind for the better part of the day now. He could not ignore its existence as Sol had sought too. He wanted a resolution to this issue. Sol needed her bow, she needed to be able to fight with it. It was indeed the only weapon she had really been trained and experienced with. He also wanted to share more of its origin with her but felt locked in place not knowing how he could hint or explain what he knew now. Not being able to find a solution in this moment he turned to another thought that had been pressing his mind.

"Before I give you your bow, I have a question. It actually has very little to do with your bow." Mcrae stepped closer to Sol, he wanted this not to be a painful moment he had called her to his cavern many times to go over difficult issues with her. Now he faced a difficult issue that only she could answer for him. He kneeled down to get more on her level. He would dote on this girl however he could after all. "Our relationship is far from when we first met. I'm certain that you and I are both different people than when we met. I am faced with a dilemma now. I wish for you to be my daughter, I want to protect you." He leaned the bow against himself so he could free up his one good hand. He placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. "You are also my fellow warrior on the battlefield. The two roles are different and call for us to act very differently around other people. However here in private, I want you to know that I view you as my daughter. The time will come and hopefully soon that you can be my daughter publicly as well. My question is this can I call you by your full name when we are having our family conversations? I will still call you Sol normally. But I think you have a beautiful name that is not spoken enough with the love it deserves." McCrae did not wait for her full reply he took the bow again in his hand and stood. "Versolas.. will you please take this bow? I think it was made to protect you." McCrae proffered it with his one good hand.
 

AEONmeteorite

Architect of Worlds
Helper
Sol nodded at the mention of a question. She didn't mind that at all. Anything to push the situation back further. Anything that would further put her mind at ease over the entire situation and at the thought of taking up the bow. She didn't say it out loud, she didn't dare to, but she wasn't sure whether or not she was ready. As she waited for the question though, she was taken aback at him stepping closer and leveling with her better. This. She knew what this was. This was an act of sincerity. She knew it could be any question, but she surely hadn't expected it to be crucial enough to be garnished with such actions.

Her ears kept up and she made sure to acknowledge every word in her mind. None came without importance. She funneled in. Preventing any forms of distraction around her. Though, all of that quickly fell at the mention of daughter again and the feel of his hand on her shoulder. Her wings nearly flew out of her boots, but she managed to keep them in place, albeit, with a rustling sound as they quaked inside her boots. She opened her mouth to respond, however, he wasn't finished and she was grateful that he wasn't, as she was sure only nonsense would have slipped past her lips.

She wondered about her name from time to time. She wondered how her parents chose it and why they did. Especially now, as she knew how to be loved, she questioned why her parents named their children at all, as how McCrae said her name was far different than anyone her life had said it. Even when he was unhappy with her, it was rigged with compassion. How long would a planet survive revolving around a sun that was but a facade and never existed? And how long had she thought her existence had a sufficient amount of warmth? Even when beneath the ground, even without a sun, even when the little light they had was dimmed, the entire universe felt bright knowing that he found her name beautiful, though he wasn't ever the one who bestowed it.

Her breath was stolen from her as he extended the bow her way. The angelic utterings of the bow returned. Saturating the room in echoed grace that seemed only she could hear. It radiated and pulsed from the recently cleaned metal. Enchanting and enticing, urging her to take it up once more. And, between the intricate sounds, a muffled and offsetting voice flowed from it. She could only just make it out:

"It is powerful and needs to be treated with respect."

Inwardly, she agreed with the comment, though, she wasn't sure where it came from. Before she took it up, she too wanted to ask something. "McCrae, I'll always call you McCrae, and well, geezer." She couldn't so effortlessly break the habit. "I'll allow you to call me by my full name, but only if you'll allow me to strip myself of my last name and take up yours." With that, she inhaled and urged her body to reach toward the bow. The sounds it made was drowning out even her own voice, she could hardly hear herself when she spoke and she wasn't sure whether or not McCrae had even agreed. Her fingertips, gentle and loose edged closer to the bow. The thing she hadn't touched since her return. She'd only made it half way though when the celestial sounds abruptly roared with power, dissipated and what followed after was the subtle sounds of moving metal.

Sol didn't take back her hand as she watched the bow. The metal, near the top, etched, separated into individual panels and pushed apart from each other enough that Sol could make out a light squeezing through the crannies. The panels lifted up into the bow, revealing more of the source of light. It was breathtaking. A source of illuminating white light carved into the bow she had used for so many years.

Sol's lips separated as she tried to comprehend what was happening as she watched the light concentrate and set a beam on McCrae before returning back to sheer ambience. Without her realizing, her hand had pushed forth and wrapped around the bow seconds after it'd calmed down and continued a steady luster. She kept her fingers stayed put around it, though, she couldn't think of a single thing to say.

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(There's a button here)​
 

Calibutcher

Lead the charge, or get left behind.
'only if you allow me to take up your own.' Did she want his surname? He hadn't even considered the thought. True enough he wanted her to be a part of his family. But he hadn't thought she would want his name. Yet he could not stop the smile that crept to his face. He would be ecstatic for her to carry his name. Of course, he would let her have his name. "I will gladly call you Versolas McCrae-" His further utterance was interrupted by the bow of all things. McCrae flinched at the sound of metal from the bow, however, Versolas already had her hand partly around the bow. He watched in awe waiting for the bow to resolve whatever it was doing. Light poured from the bow as well and McCrae squinted adjusting to the new light source. He turned partially away from it, feeling uncertainty grow. However, that was it nothing bad happened only light came from the bow now.

"Versolas? Are you OK?" He was fairly certain he already knew the answer she looked unharmed after all. However, a grin came to his face. Sol had her bow now. He felt immense relief at that fact alone. He would not have to talk to Krohora and Sol could protect herself now." what does this mean though? What did your bow just do?" The initial shock faded as he looked to Sol hoping she had some kind of explanation.
 

AEONmeteorite

Architect of Worlds
Helper
Sol was in a stupor. Unable to conjure words and thoughts alike. The light that spilt from the bow was immaculate and consumed her mind with questions and amazement. She'd forgotten entirely that her fingers now held the weapon she'd worked so hard to not touch and she even brought it closer to her to view it better. She held her breath and finally realized he was speaking to her. "What did my bow just do?" she returned the question and pulled back her head as though he was insane for him to assume she'd know somehow, however, the question could be directed in general and at nothing in particular, as she was wondering the exact same thing as well.

Sol's fingers slid up the bow and gently pulled along the part of light. It was flesh to the metal somehow. She couldn't tell where the seams were. She gradually pulled away from the bow at the realization that McCrae had called her by her full name, including his own surname, and what's more, she didn't feel like she was in trouble. Not that she would never hear her name that way again, but this was the first that she heard it within a way that was kind and filled with compassion.

She pressed the heel of her palm against her forehead with her free hand. "I feel overrun," she breathed out and squeezed her eyes shut to try and wrap her mind over everything that had occurred in the merest moments of her heartbeats. "I don't know what has happened to my bow... or..." She pulled down her hand and noted that the sounds from it had completely disappeared and hadn't returned. "Perhaps, it..." She didn't want him thinking she was crazy or that another mind nymph staff was nearby, but she also wasn't sure how else to explain that there could be a reason as to what was happening. "The bow. This bow, " she lifted it and pointed, "It was... singing?"
 

Calibutcher

Lead the charge, or get left behind.
Her repeated question was not a surprise, neither of them really had any idea how or why the bow had done whatever it was doing. However a steady light came from the bow, it was odd, it did not shine like the sun or the lights here in the cavern. It was almost too clean of a light. It's significance escaped him at first. His first thought only lead him to think of it as a glorified flashlight. However he was forgetting the most important thing. This was Sols bow. Her magic now had a source of light to draw from. "Wow.." Versolas looked overwhelmed how was she supposed to process all this just before a mission, yet there was still more. "The bow sung to you..?" He wanted to say more but not long ago he had been talking to the bow. He clamped his mouth shut. He did his best to remember why that could be possible that she heard the bow singing, rather then why it wouldn't be. "The bow sung to you." He tried to say it like he believed it. Yet it was still a strain.

Yet the more he thought about it the more it did make sense. Krohora's first mission for them was to retrieve this bow. Somehow a nymph and a centaur were shown in drawings down here in these caverns, and now the bow sung to her and glowed with light. The impossibilities melted as he allowed himself to believe. Versolas, his little Versolas was achieving a potential that while he did not understand he sought to fulfill alongside her. "OK so your bow sung to you. Did it say anything maybe?" He couldn't help but wonder how his life had become so strange as to inquire about what a bow may have sung. However as he looked at Sol with her slightly transformed bow he could not hide the smile on his face or the creeping pride he felt in what he could now call his daughter. His mind kept going over it, she had not only accepted him as a father but had taken his name as well. Versolas McCrae played in his head on repeat as he tried to tell his mind, that was her true name now. She was a McCrae..
 

AEONmeteorite

Architect of Worlds
Helper
McCrae didn't seem all too convinced at first and she didn't blame him. The bow changing on its own was a lot to take in as is, and here she was talking about how it'd sung, or at least, that was the best way to describe it. However, much to her appreciation, he was reaching back, trying to better comprehend what she was attempting to explain. "Say anything?" Sol looked the bow over again and touched her finger on the light. She pulled her hand away and a luster illuminated about her fingers. She pinched her finger and thumb together and brought her hand vertically down, forming a string on the bow. It was different as well. Rather than the light being yellow, it matched the white. That'd never happened before. No matter what light she used, it always transformed into the same yellow color. This light was acting different.

"I say singing, but it more than anything made noises that were ethereal. Something pleasant in its own way. They were just sounds and..." She wrinkled her nose. "No, there was something, though, it wasn't singing. Just a disembodied voice detached from what I was hearing. It said, 'It is powerful and needs to be treated with respect.' That could mean anything, aye?" Sol's face gave way to an awkward smile. She wouldn't blame him for thinking she was somewhat crazy, especially as she was the only one of the two that had heard it. The string of light faded and she brought the bow close to her body near her shoulder. "You know, never mind. Nothing to worry about, aye, geezer? Nothing bad happened just something different."
 

Calibutcher

Lead the charge, or get left behind.
So the bow sang but there was no message contained in the song. McCrae felt a tad disappointed. He hoped that he could get more answers about Sol's bow. Yet again he was only left with questions. What could not be ignored was Sol's new light had made improvements to her bow. She was able to draw a string from it. Did it not draw from her own power? It did not have the distinct yellow color that usually indicated her magic. McCrae froze as he heard his own words to a younger Sol quoted to him. Somehow she had heard that from the bow. Maybe she remembered something? He grew uncertain at the thought. If and when she remembered the encounter he would have quite a bit of explaining to do. He began to feel torn between Krohoras instructions and his desire to let Sol know everything. He did not like holding onto this secret. Yet even so the time did not feel right to release the floodgates on such information.

"Gratefully it seems to be a rather good thing in fact. It would seem this bow is quite powerful in fact. Surely it deserves respect, I'm not sure how we got it to do that, but it would stand to reason that it holds more secrets still. We should see what else we can discover about it. It may be worth asking Krohora and Riffola if they have seen any carvings about the bow. Maybe we can learn more." This one simple change with the bow already made it far more effective for Sol though it would shine in the darkness making stealth a difficult option. He waved those thoughts away he was letting himself get distracted again. Regardless of all the excitement they had experienced Versolas need to get rest for the mission tomorrow. "C'mon Versolas lets get you back to your room you need to rest, you have a long day tomorrow." McCrae lead her out of the room by the hand for a moment. Once she fell in step he began humming a simple tune. It was one he had used a couple of times before with success. Only as they drew close to the door of her room did he start to sing his tune.

"On filly on run and run through the grass, let nothing hold you back.
Hit the trail and run, run until the sun too is done.
Go on Yearling young and strong, show the world what you've become.
Hit the trail and run, run until the sun too is done
Run on Yearling Run with the heard, never fear with your brothers by your side.
Run on now for you are a horse, find you a mate and run until you too are done"
 

AEONmeteorite

Architect of Worlds
Helper
"We?" she muttered beneath her breath. She had heavy doubts that it was a team effort to get it to change. The light came to be before she even touched it. Sol didn't say anything about that, not to him, as she felt that he would deny that he was the cause to the change. Holding the bow felt different now. The rest of it hadn't changed, besides it being clean now, however, rather than it being just a weapon, she felt security from it. Just three days ago, she feared all that it held, and now she wanted to do anything but let it go.

"Rest? Now? After what just happened?" Sol huffed some as she was lead out of the room, but she sucked in her words as she realized she was being lead by the hand and she'd, once again, heard him say her entire name. It was going to take some time getting used to, albeit, due to the festering delight that exhumed from him saying it, as she could hardly keep her wings under control over the joy of it all. "It's still going to be tough falling asleep though," she said and kicked a pebble as they walked while she caught up with his step. "Going on a mission without you seems..." she yawned, "it seems far more frightening than it should. Perhaps I'm relying on you too much geezer." She still kept the bow tight against her body, as the rig to keep it on her back wasn't on her person.

The more they walked the more Sol's eyes grew sore and she walked far more sluggishly, dragging McCrae's pace some. She shook her feathers and lifted her ears to keep herself at attention and shove past the increasing need to sleep. Sol had to think extra hard to just keep her grip on the bow. When they arrived to her room, she began to curl her toes, preparing to instantly remove her boots and get to sleep, but just as she began to enter her room, her entire body teetered. The bow slipped from her fingers, her knees buckled beneath her weight and her conscious slipped from her, making her tip to the ground.
 

Calibutcher

Lead the charge, or get left behind.
He sang as they walked into Sol's cavern, He let Sol walk in front of him and smiled as she let another yawn go. All of a sudden she seemed unsteady. McCrae's grin faded and he rushed forward to catch her. He could only do so much with one arm. He caught her with his good arm but the bow clattered to the floor. He felt bad letting something so important drop after they had made such a unique discovery with it. Yet catching Sol would always carry greater priority. Regardless of the small fall, the bow looked unharmed. He moved Sol over into her nest of a bed and went back to lean the bow against the wall by her bed. "I'm glad you seem to know I will always catch you, daughter." He leaned down and brushed some hair out of her face. "I love you, little daughter, I will see you in the morning. Sleep well." McCrae pointed at the bow for a moment and opened his mouth. What he thought to say he dropped. He had done enough talking to inanimate objects for the day. He walked to the doorway and glanced back at Versolas one last time. It hurt to walk away from that doorway, he would see her in the morning only to say goodbye to what he had fully established as his daughter. He did not know if his heart yet contained the strength to do that. Yet he would not have much choice in the matter now. He said he would let her go if she took her bow, there was no doubt now that she would. He strode back to his room and tossed about till sleep could no longer be ignored and the demands of his body took their due.

As morning light came to his caverns Retz jolted awake. Today was the mission! He leaped out of his bead and began donning his gear as quickly as he could. He fumbled with the belt to hold his sword and could hardly strap his shield on fast enough. He ran to the quarry weaving his way through the marketplace as quickly as he could. He stopped suddenly, he remembered Sol saying that Zaizix would meet them with their equipment this morning. He changed course and headed for the training course to meet with the others. He arrived, early of course. Very few warriors were out quite this early and he did not see anyone he was hoping to yet. Retz pulled at the strap on his helmet adjusting it better to his liking. He went over his gear making sure everything was in place just as it should be. Satisfied this was done he tried to get comfortable and did his best to wait. By pacing anxiously.

McCrae did not sleep well so when the morning light came he saw no reason in continuing to try. He donned his hat and strode out of his room, he didn't need any other gear as he was not leaving on a mission today. He only wished he was. He would feel a lot better if he could join this time. He decided to head straight for Sol's room he wanted to walk her to the training field if he could. It would only equal a few more minutes with her but he was beginning to feel like he would already miss her. He knocked at her door and peered inside. "Good Morning Versolas. I hope you slept well."
 

AEONmeteorite

Architect of Worlds
Helper
Sol didn't immediately wake up. Within her unconscious mind, she heard the knocks echo and linger. Telling her that it was time to rise. She wiggled around up until she heard McCrae's voice say her name. Her eyes opened and two thoughts occurred to her: Whether or not everything that happened with the bow and her taking on his surname was a dream and at what point had she fallen asleep. Her wings pushed out of her boots and stretched as it would seem she'd never taken them off. She fluttered and ruffled them before sitting up and leaning her body to the side to look down the entrance of her cavern. "McCrae did...?" she began and shot a glance toward her bow. "It did happen," she answered her own question before she'd finished it.

From that point she speedily got up from her nest, shook out her feathers once more and returned them back to her boots. She purposely kept her face away from the door, as she wasn't sure how she had enough courage to ask to take on his name the night before, and she was sure grateful that he had agreed. In some regards, she wondered how he'd been so willing when she had yet to reach as far as he had.

After smoothing out her new cloak, she grabbed the equipment to put the bow on her back and then took up the bow. It felt, right. After so long of not putting it on her person right at the dawn of a new day, she had felt somewhat lost without it. She took a deep breath after putting it on her back and faced McCrae once more. "I slept better than I would have expected. I didn't think I'd sleep a wink, but I never remember going to bed," she said and left her room. She took slow steps, being sure that McCrae followed. "Oh, and good morning ..." she kept her mouth open, as though to add something else to the end of it, but inevitably she said, "geezer." Sol's teeth clicked together and she scoffed at her self somewhat. "Do you have any advice," she sighed and shook her head. "I've hunted for five years and yet I feel uneasy."
 

Calibutcher

Lead the charge, or get left behind.
McCrae raised an eyebrow as she started her question. He could only guess that she was questioning the reality of the events from last night. He was relieved she remembered on her own. He would happily recount the events as needed. He waited as she readied herself. He stood just outside the doorway, humming to nothing in particular. He was doing his best to keep his own spirits high as well as encourage Versolas, there was no reason to fear today. At least that is what he told himself. Before long she was ready and had her bow back on her person again. "Odd perhaps you were more tired than you expected" he smirked. He knew why she didn't remember falling asleep but perhaps he could simply keep that secret for now. He wanted to be able to keep that trick in his back pocket. Her good morning ended with the usual geezer comment. He rolled his eyes and followed after her.

He did not respond right away, her request for advice made him realize just how nervous she likely was as well. He nodded his head in response. "Only a little as I really don't know what you will be facing. I would recommend you remember that this is a scouting mission. There are no clear objectives. Explore and look around but if you feel like something is too dangerous, trust your instincts and fall back." He shrugged, "other than that I'm hoping this is a far easier mission than our last." Krohora had said they were going to a different time so there should not be any Thressoldiers to deal with but he could only wonder what would be left to the area. Their walk took them on their usual route and before long McCrae could see Retz in the distance pacing. "Oh one last thing, do not leave his side. And do not let him leave your side. Two heads are better than one and if you can work together effectively you will put up a serious defense or offense to whatever you are facing." McCrae waved to the pacing Dezonian and called him over. "Retz, good morning! Are you ready for today?"

Retz turned at the sound of his name and quickly walked over to the pair. "I am very ready, Sol, and I shall return victorious from this mission." Retz practically stood at attention unsure of how to present himself before a mission.

McCrae narrowed his eyes at the excitement Retz showed. "You will return victorious huh? So long as that means you and Sol come back alive I will count that as a victory." McCrae felt the worry that gnawed at the back of his mind. They could run into any kind of trouble out there, but if Retz was focused on victory he could have the wrong goals in mind. He straightened and looked around. "Zaizix should be here soon and I would expect Krohora to show up at any moment now. BE ready you two, Krohora is not patient he will not wait for goodbyes and last minute checks."
 

AEONmeteorite

Architect of Worlds
Helper
Sol understood where he was coming from in many regards. More worries rose out of her though. She had poor judgement in her instincts and while she should fall back, being that the place was so unfamiliar, she wondered where exactly she should fall back to when everywhere could be dangerous. She shook her head some as she realized she was overthinking it. If their objective wasn't to steal or take something down, then there should't be too much immediate danger either way. However, staying at Retz side... she was easily distracted and it wasn't uncommon for her to go off and to things on her own. She had once even made the questionable decision to tie McCrae to prevent him from following her, given, he was injured. It made perfect sense that she'd stop him, and, for all she knew, a similar situation could occur.

With all those thoughts, she figured it best to stay silent. She'd received the advice and she didn't need to make McCrae concerned of her wellbeing. Retz enthusiasm was a stark difference to her somber self. This was his first mission and he was still a novice. She couldn't quite comprehend how he was passed the duty of going, but he did show promise and if it was true that the mission was just scouting, he'd do fine. Now she just wished some of his attitude would rub off on her.

"Victorious? You make it sound like we'll bring home the answer to all of the caverns problems," she teased, though, McCrae count for victory was far more serious and she held back any jokes.

They stood waiting for a time, until the ever so familiar boisterous voice boomed their direction. "Allagore! It's been some time my good friend!" Zaizix marched their way and slapped both the Dezonian and the centaur on their backs. He kept his hands there and used the two men to prop himself up from falling and leaned forward toward Sol. "Your bow looks quite nice with my handiwork of a cloak. Glad to see them fit so well together." He pushed himself back straight up and clapped his hands together. Soot puffed from between his hands, he rubbed his palms together and said, "These bracers will do ya' well. Stick out your hands bud." He gestured to Retz and then reached into a satchel and pulled out the bracers. He also pulled out a pair of gloves and tossed them Sol's direction. She wasn't quite ready for such and yelped before catching them. "Heard ya' hurt your hand yesterday because of a rock. Ya' don't have enough callouses if a mere rock is cuttin' ya, wear those."

Sol was clearly taken aback as he wasn't there for their training, but one way or another, he even knew. She had forgotten about her hand for the most part, as it wasn't that bad from the beginning and McCrae did well to bandage it. She nodded in thank you and then Zaizix showed Retz how to put on the bracers and urged that McCrae and Sol learn to incase they every needed to help. Once finished, he looked at his workmanship, put his hands on his hips and asked, "How does it feel?"
 

Calibutcher

Lead the charge, or get left behind.
Retz felt cut short in his desire to seek victory. He thought the point of the mission was to return success and gain the honor of your people. Yet McCrae had chided him in his remark and given him the somber reminder that regardless of what they faced they needed to return alive. Death would not be a victory condition here. Retz scowled for a moment as he thought it over but could not bring himself to say anything else. He settled for crossing his arms in frustration. It only lasted until a mighty slap landed on his back from Zaizix. Air escaped his lungs in surprise at the gesture but he held his footing.

McCrae felt like he wanted to wrestle Zaizix for all the times he had met him with such a slap as that. Yet he restrained himself mostly for the sake of his healing arm. However, he could never truly stay mad at someone who brought gifts such as he did.

Retz took the shield of his arm and accepted the new bracers. Again Zaizix had gone above and beyond, it was intriguing that the bracers blended so well with the colors of his arms. He attached the right bracer first. It was made of thick leather and conformed to the shape of his arm with relative ease. The straps fell into place with ease. He lifted his arm and turned it a couple of different ways to view the new item. He quickly attached the other and repeated the process. His field of movement was unrestricted and he could block powerful blows with his arms now. He began to understand why McCrae wanted him to have these. Yet he felt like he would have liked better not to have them. He would have to prove himself to show that he did not need them. For now, he was willing to have McCrae guide him in these matters. "They are wonderful Zaizix. Thank you. I'm not sure how you have done such good work in so little time." He could carry no more gear, he could not be any more prepared. "So when do we go?" His enthusiasm could not be held back.
 

AEONmeteorite

Architect of Worlds
Helper
Sol looked over the gloves and pulled them on. She tugged on them hems while Retz wondered when they were leaving. "This is Krohora, Retz. There's truly no way to know."

She wiggled her fingers, pleasantly surprised by the feel of them, they'd do well for the mission and future ones. Sol looked up to thank the ndez, as she needed to be better at doing so, but didn't say a single thing as his face didn't seem nearly as pleasant as her expression. "You okay there?"

Zaizix waved his hand. "I'm fine, I'd just rather not speak with Krohora today." He cleared his throat and offered a good bye. "You two best return, make sure you come to the forge to have everything check and fixed after." With a final nod, he turned away and rather than leaving, spotted a warrior and headed their direction and began speaking with them.

"You haven't much met Krohora, have you?" Sol cooed and, as perfect timing as it was, in the middle of the three of them, as mass of fabric rotated, twisted and ultimately moved them aside to make room for the massive fabric nymph.

His fabric slowly came down around him, moved about him while he looked over his compass. "We must go," and without a forth word, Krohora's fabric began to ruffle about.
 

Calibutcher

Lead the charge, or get left behind.
McCrae looked at his pair of warriors and could not hide his contentment. NOw fully kitted out as they should be they looked to be a fearsome duo indeed. He did not get to look for long though. Krohora ever one to be punctual on some time table only known by himself arrived and wasted no time. No moment spared for goodbyes or good lucks. Only a hurried whoosh of fabrics urging them away. McCrae stood there for quite some time, warriors walked past him and he could not yet bring himself to move. He had just gained a daughter, now though.... He worried about losing the only one he had. He clenched at his shirt seeking to placate the source of his pain. His heart ached, what was he to do now. So much of his time in the caverns were dedicated to Versolas. She would be back. She had to be. But he did not know when or how long he could stand to wait. A long breath escaped him and he forced himself to remove the clenched hand from over his chest. He wasn't sure when but at some point, his eyes had moistened themselves. He wiped them clear and walked away. His normal pace filled with purpose was replaced now by a meandering walk with no real destination yet.

Retz turned to Sol only to be interrupted by the mass of fabric that was Krohora. He had experienced the odd sensation of being teleported before. But this time felt different. It almost seemed to hurt. Retz closed his eyes and tried to focus on something else. It wasn't until he felt sand beneath his feet and the warmth of the sun that he opened them again. He stood atop a large sand dune overlooking several pyramids. He had to shade his eyes from the morning light as his eyes adjusted to the sun again. It had been too long. He curled his toes in the sand and felt the coolness as he went further down. His eyes quickly caught up to the natural lighting again and he surveyed further. A river ran behind the pyramids as well. This place was beautiful. He could faintly make out the wildlife in the river and the lush greenery that surely called to any scorched by the desert sun. "Wow, what is this place?" He asked no one in particular but could not hold back his opinion of the staggering beauty he witnessed. "This seems more like a vacation destination than a place for a mission. So what do you want us to look for Krohora?" Retz turned to the pair who stood next to him. He knew he wanted to go explore but he felt it wise to check with Krohora first.
 

AEONmeteorite

Architect of Worlds
Helper
Krohora tapped his compass and then shot his eyes toward Retz. "This is no vacation. Remove delusions from that head of yours. You stand in awe. There isn't time for such." He dropped the compass and leaned forward to look over Retz. "We are currently at Egypt. Quite near to where the last mission was located. However, in this time period, the sphinx still walked." He lifted his cloth-made hand and gestured to the surroundings. "I thought I knew everything when it came to these pyramids and the mythologies that come from them, however, I never knew that the weapon was brought here."

Sol pinched the bridge of her nose as she rebalanced herself after having been forced to jump through time and space. She wasn't happy. Sol wasn't given an opportunity to say much to Retz or McCrae. Once Zaizix had given them the final bits of the equipment they were whisked away. However, she let it slide. There was no use in arguing with Krohora. When he had his mind set one way, he didn't change it easily. In fact, she was rather impressed with how much information Krohora was giving to Retz. Someone who hadn't yet been involved with everything and surely wasn't one of the ones that was given information on the last mission at all.

"The sphinx was a creation of an individual. She was made to roam this continent and fed riddles to others. If they succeeded in guessing the riddle, they could put something within her for safe guarding, if they failed, their life or their things were not spared. I hadn't predicted that she'd be the one protecting the weapon. There were rumors, however, I also didn't know that she once had a stained glass upon her head, something that wasn't a thing in this time period."

"Time period?" Sol asked slowly and pulled back her head.

"Yes. We are on Earth. You should know that."

"What?" Sol's toes curled. She was never given details about this. All she remembered was passing out and then woke up in the caverns. "Even if that is true, should you be saying those things around Retz?" She lifted both her arms toward Dezonian. "Is that okay?"

"Yes." Krohora's voice rumbled. "I've allowed it. He is meant to be here. Now if you feel the need to interrupt me again, do so now, else I'll send you back." Once he was sure Sol was truly finished, he continued once more, "If the weapon was here, and will be here, then there should surely be other information. Likely from the same person involved with the sphinx. Which was also involved with these pyramids. Does that make sense?" he asked the two as though they wouldn't comprehend at all. "That is why we are here. It would have been better to have a pair of eyes from a nymph and a centaur, but you will do. During this time, people created pictures on the walls to tell stories and history. On Earth, even humans had magic. We are searching for information, for answers. Why was the weapon here? Where did it come from? And who brought it. As well as anything else that may be of importance."

Sol was still trying to get over some of the new information she'd learned, however, her mind managed to pause in its absence with the more she heard. Krohora, much to her delight, actually didn't know everything as she'd once though. She would have been glad to help find information if she knew what they were searching for or how to read these carvings in general. "This all seems pointless," she muttered.

Krohora didn't respond. His cloth moved endlessly behind him. He studied the two, looked each over for far longer than any normal person should and said, "If there are no questions. We must find our way in and scout."
 

Calibutcher

Lead the charge, or get left behind.
Krohora's quick rebuke only caused Retz to roll his eyes in exasperation. He knew this was not a vacation it was a mission and they had objectives to complete. Like not dying as McCrae had put it. But Retz quickly grew in confusion as Krohora spoke of E-gypt? And a Sphinx? Also a weapon? Retz did not know anything about the previous mission Sol and McCrae had been on only that they had both suffered serious injuries. The more Krohora spoke the more confused Retz became. Earth, sphinxes, a weapon he still didn't know about and something about a window? His annoyance increased with Sol as well as she seemed perturbed that he was being told of these things. There was no point in her annoyance. None of it made any sense to him anyway.

However he felt quickly validated as Krohora affirmed he could know these things. To which he quickly flicked his tongue out in annoyance at Sol. This prompted an air tasting session though as he repeated the action several more times. The air was of course different then the caverns, it was far drier here and lacked the sweet moldy smell of mushrooms, yet through all of that the air still felt different.... He could not place how exactly. Only that it was unlike anything else he had quite tried. What drew him back to attention was the rumbly voice of Krohora. It was time to get to work.

"Well we should go check out the big buildings then right?" Retz began walking forward, "It doesn't even look like anyone is around here. So this should be easy right? Almost like a vaca-" He cut of the rest of the word deliberately. This was no simple outing he knew that. But he wanted to enjoy himself all the same if he could. Walking in the sand along the dunes was a frustrating concept. Going done a dune was quick and easy, climbing the next dune led to fighting the sliding sand until the summit again. Distance was also difficult to measure but he could have sworn the strange triangle shaped building were not afar of. As he topped another dune he felt like he finally had closed distance. The great buildings were truly of an impressive scale. They looked to be made for giants rather then regular people. "Well I see a door that looks big enough for you Krohora. Shall we go and see what is inside?" Retz looked at Krohora inquisitively waiting for the fabric nymph to show approval or displeasure.
 

AEONmeteorite

Architect of Worlds
Helper
Sol was bewildered that Retz was so eager to take root into the mission, enough that he was forthwith about it, even though he wasn't sure of all the details. What was even more bizarre was the lack of protest from the fabric nymph. Once Retz moved, so did Krohora. There were no objections. Sol moved too, however, going down one of the dunes came with instant struggle. The large opening in her boots let it massive amounts of sand, making them heavy and her wings even more compact than they were before. When they went up the dunes, the extra weight made her slide down a couple times. Her wings kept moving about, trying to convince the sand to take a leave, but inevitably, she had to occasionally extend her wings and shake them out. The first time she did so, she flapped them just a tad too hard, causing a small cloud of sand to be directed at Krohora's back. He didn't make any scene because of it, but she was more careful from that point on.

She breathed relief at the sight of the door, however, her relief was thwarted as Krohora uttered, "Door? That can't be." If he seemed perplexed, then surely the unexpected had already happened. He walked up to it and at opening it, a gust of cool air rushed out. The immediate entrance was covered in a thin layer of sand and the hall seemed to be declining gradually. Going deeper rather than higher, at least, for now. Sol had feared that there wouldn't be any light, that wasn't the case either. There were pedestals with fire. They hadn't seen anyone sure, but it was in use to some degree.

Krohora stepped inside and Sol followed after. It didn't take long to be swallowed in awe. She had thought the carvings beneath the caverns were extensive, but the pictures here were beyond what she thought humanly possible. "What...? They just drew everything?"

"This is their language," Krohora explained and offered a hand toward the walls. "While carvings from the first world and early Lazan are merely pieces of art, these tell. These speak. Hieroglyphics are much more than just drawing. It is because of Earth that we know what we know. They were extensive on telling their history."

Sol wasn't sure what else to ask. Earth. She hadn't even heard of the rumors and stories before meeting Riifolla. She would have had no reason to fathom that perhaps Lazan wasn't the first name of the world they stood upon. She would have never predicted that there was an issue that had been repeated times before Lazan came to be. And now, supposedly, though she wasn't sure, she was standing in a time that at one point was obliterated.

There were so many pictures that Sol wasn't sure when one began and another stopped. Her eyes rested on a figure though. She quit walked and turned directly toward the wall. "This... is this you?" she said and examined it further as she pointed at it. The head of the hieroglyphic appeared similar to Krohora's and the animal dog-like beasts near him had the same. "Did they draw you?"

Krohora stopped and looked over her direction where licks of fire just made out the art. "No," he said. "That is Set. He was considered an ancient god, though, he was likely nothing more than a transformed human such as our ancestors. His appearance is similar to that of a fabric nymph. You and I know that many magical people from Earth were reestablished on Lazan. I can only presume that appearance moved on as well."

While she had hoped that they had already run into some answers, she was sorely disappointed that this appeared to already be common information that Krohora had been made aware of in the past. While she shouldn't be surprised, she wouldn't put it past Retz to be taken aback with all this new information. She eyed him closely to make sure he was doing okay and began to walk again.
 

Calibutcher

Lead the charge, or get left behind.
Retz raised an eyebrow at Krohora who was now complaining about the existence of a door. The more he was around the fabric nymph the more likely it seemed that he was simply displeased with everything. The cool air tempted Retz into the building. Again he took to tasting the air and observing his surroundings. He was nearly immediately confounded as he looked at the walls. Picture after picture all done in extreme detail. He looked closer at the wall observing an individual piece of art. It was all emasculate. Every picture had such detail. He took a step back to better observe the wall as a whole. It was too much. Too many pictures in too much detail to properly observe. He looked away from it. None was discernable so it was of no interest to him.

He began to walk away again when Sol asked about a picture. Krohora was on these paintings? He walked back to look. But as he compared the two it looked close but was not quite the same. Krohora confirmed as much that it was not him. Satisfied Retz moved on and continued to observe their surrounding. He stopped though as he noticed something peculiar. There was a hole in the wall. He got closer and looked into it. Darkness shrouded any further vision. It was a large enough hole for him to fit into. "What could this be for I wonder?" Apart of him wanted to crawl into the hole to find where it leads, but the darkness therein coupled with the unknown origins of such led him not to simply dive in. It did not stop him from going over to taste the air though. He crouched next to the hole and his tongue flicked out multiple times. "It smells like animals. I'm not sure what kind, it actually smells like multiple different animals. It's hard to place. It almost seems familiar but I'm not sure to what. Do you know what creatures could lurk here Krohora?" Retz backed away from the hole. While it didn't seem like anything was close by he could not be certain what may come from it at any moment.
 

AEONmeteorite

Architect of Worlds
Helper
Sol raised a brow as Retz found a hole. Compared to everything around them, it didn't seem natural. "Could you teleport into there, Krohora?"

"If you thought I could, what reason do you think I'd have for not teleporting right into the pyramid from the beginning?" Krohora narrowed his eyes and loomed over the two.

"I mean, point taken, however, what is preventing you from doing so?"

Krohora leaned even further, and the fabric behind him came to a complete halt. "Last time we made it so I could teleport to some place, you jumped through space and ended up in an entirely different location. Do you want to risk that again? Do you want to answer that question?"

Sol gave a sheepish look as her ears drooped. "No, I guess not." She stayed still until Krohora's fabric began to move about again and he stood up straight. She let out a long breath, relieved that it'd only gone far enough to receive a short lecture. She looked back over to the hole and got on her hands and knees to see it better. It was dark, much darker than the torch lit hall they were in. But it seemed abnormal and misplaced. Krohora wasn't questioning it, so, to some degree, she figured it must be normal.

If she were to go in, she wouldn't have much light to grab from and, even if she went in with light, it would last long. She pressed her lips together, up until she remembered that she had the new source of light on her bow. It was different. She wasn't sure if she use it. But it would due. She reached behind her back and pinched her fingertips together until a thread of light pulled from there. She wrapped it around her fingers, put her arm into the hole to begin light and began to crawl in. However, she didn't make it far before she felt Krohora grab at the collar of her cloak and hoist her off the ground as though it was the scruff of a cat.

"What do you think you are doing?" he hissed.

"What else?!" the light faded from her fingers and she lifted her arms above her head to grab at Krohora's hand. "Let me down. This is ridiculous. You brought us here to investigate, Retz has found something interesting."

"I can't follow you or Retz. You can't wander in to dark places without a plan. You didn't even talk to Retz. Did you think about, perhaps, it would be clever to figure out what the two of you would do before going in if something occurs and I'm not there. Or what you should do if you do find something and how you'll relay that information to me if I can't see it myself?" He put Sol down next to Retz. "If you two can't think of anything, then we'll continue straight. I shall give you your chance now to elaborate ideas, speak now."
 

Calibutcher

Lead the charge, or get left behind.
Retz cocked his head as Sol began to prepare herself to go into the hole alone. He had not wanted to go in there since it was dark but now that Sol was providing a source of light his fear for the unknown hole decreased. However in the moments of light that she provided he saw something else among the shadows. Claw marks along the walls. He could not see them well enough to properly distinguish the size of the creature but had established two things in his mind it was large and strong enough to dig through these walls. He was just about to take his first step to follow Sol into the hole when Krohora intervened. He stopped midstride and did his best to look like he had no intention of going in the hole after all.

When asked for a reason, Retz could only shrug. He was interested in the hole. But he was more interested in what else they may find further down the path they had only come to short distance after all. "For now we can just remember this is here. If nothing else of interest comes up then we can come back. right?" It seemed like an easy agreement to come to. So they pressed on, the path continued to descend, and as they traveled more art lined the walls. The further down they went the more holes appeared as well. Retz did not acknowledge these holes until a much larger hole appeared. The other holes had been large enough to crawl in, this new hole was large enough for Retz to mostly stand up in. Again he took to tasting the air and examining the hole. Even larger claw marks dominated the area around this hole. Most notable to Retz though was the scattering of bones. All of them were broken and clearly chewed on. He could find no pieces that were truly distinguishable as he moved about through the pile. "So that might explain why we haven't seen anyone else down here." Retz quickly grew uneasy standing next to such a large hole whatever made this hole was clearly more dangerous than the last.

***

Tally licked her paw to clean the last bit of her meal, yet another gamy and messy Crozar. They were slowly trying to encroach on her territory now that it was just her left to guard her territory. This had been her first strike back at the messy pack of Crozar. She would have to strike again soon to show that she would not tolerate further ignorance of the boundaries the two shared. Tally paused and lifted her head. She lifted her snout in the air. She felt a change in the air. A slight moving of air as though something had opened in her home. She put her paws down and stood up on all fours. She shook herself and leaned forward into a long stretch. She could not smell anything yet, perhaps the Crozar were on the move again. She needed to investigate. She walked over to the tunnels moving silently on the pads of each paw. she continued to sniff and disappeared into the darkness hunting for the new disturbance.
 

AEONmeteorite

Architect of Worlds
Helper
Sol prodded some of the bone with her toe and looked over the gapping hole. "This seems odd. Why in the world would they build something to this scale, with a door no less and let something like this in here."

"Let?" Krohora asked and reached down to pick up a bone. "Do you think Egyptians would just let something like this into their hallowed tombs?"

Sol rolled her eyes to the fabric nymph and glowered. Had he just assumed that she knew what these pyramids were made for? As far as she could tell, they were once lived in, only to be eaten by something or another. Sure, it was a tomb, by non-other than some kind of vicious creature. "If you don't recognize what this may be from Krohora, then clearly you don't know what is happening either. Get off your high horse and have an actual conversation with us." Her wings fluttered, filtering out remaining sand and she faced the hole once more. She kicked some bone out of the way, flicked at the light on her bow and trudged forward.

At first Sol thought that Krohora was simply going to let her go, until he hollered, "What are doing, Sol!" She didn't stop, rather sped up until she felt a wave of air behind her. Sol turned around just in time to see Krohora's hand return back to him and his cloth hand unraveling. "You said that. you wanted a conversation, but you leave into a hole without having one. You are being a hypocrite."

"Aye, I am, but you often are." Her voice echoed between the walls of the hole and she pulled more light from her bow, wrapping the threads about her arm. "You said that you wanted to find something, we found something. A thing you don't even know what caused it and is clearly gone some point in the future. The compass," she gestured to the one on his hip, "points this way, whether you like it or not." She took a step back and dodged the cloth of his arm trying to wrap around her and bring her back. "Get over here Retz, let's go."

Krohora snapped his head to the Dezonian, his cloth still stayed calm though. "You shall not follow. You are to stay or bring her back. Understood."
 

Calibutcher

Lead the charge, or get left behind.
Judging by the claw marks Retz saw he actually agreed with Krohora, whatever was in here didn't seem to be the kind of thing someone just let into their home. Or tomb in this case. "This is a tomb?!" Retz had thought this would be a great palace or gathering place. All the artwork and design that went into this place only to bury people. It was simply too much. He also wondered what Egyptians were but held that thought to himself. He had already shown his lack of knowledge being surprised that this was a tomb. Retz took a step back suddenly as Sol rushed into the cave, obviously, she would not be deterred.

Her bravery seemed to increase since she was know out of Krohoras reach. He didn't blame her for her actions. While the main hall they went down was in fact impressive it revealed nothing to them yet. Those holes had to lead somewhere after all. Krohora turned his gaze to him Retz held up his hands in surrender. He did not make a move until he thought of the answer. "Fine. OK I'll go get her." Retz started walking into the cave heading towards Sol. "I'll bring her back." He quickened his pace until he to was beyond Krohoras reach. "How about we meet back here in an hour. You go look at pictures and we will figure out what the holes are for." Retz walked further down the hole feeling quite pleased with himself. "c'mon Sol I wanna know what scared away these egyp-tans or whatever you call em." He waited for Sol to catch up with her light he could not navigate it himself without her. Alreday ignoring Krohora looked at Sols bow. "Did you always have a light on there? That is really handy. How does it work?"
 

AEONmeteorite

Architect of Worlds
Helper
Krohora pulled back the fabric of his arm and nodded before Retz went inside. He kept his face right at the hole. Watching. Eager to see the two return at his side. "Meet back!?" Krohora lifted his fist and pounded it against the wall above the hole. "How dare you defy me? You don't know what is in there. You naive souls. The nymph must return to the centaur. Stand near my presence!" Krohora's voice could nearly shake the walls if he exploded any louder.

Sol didn't move right away. She stood in stupor as she had been prepared to convince Retz to go with them rather than dragging her back to the fabric nymph. Given, Krohora had every right to preference them by his side, as it would be safest there. He was strangely caught up in it though. He was so distressed about safety, that he was deliberately ignoring patches of information. He may have hoped that there would be no reason to battle anything, but plans changed.

"An hour Krohora," Sol took a step back to make extra sure that his cloth makeshift arm couldn't reach her and then continued with Retz.

"You don't even have a clock!"

Sol ignored Krohora's persistent yelling and tuned in to Retz's question. "It...uh," Sol skipped over words and thoughts. Retz seemed to be allowed to know more than the average cavern dweller, but Krohora hadn't yet mentioned the bow to him. They were away from Krohora now and, if the fabric nymph was going to tell Retz just about everything, then why should certain details be redacted? It seemed unfair. "Retz, the weapon, the mission that McCrae and I went on, we found an exact replica of my bow. Things happened, and, I guess, long story short, this patch of light popped up. I'm not sure how it works, but I could only assume it has something to do with the mission we went on." Sol looked over her shoulder. She wouldn't have been able to see Krohora by this point, but she took notice to his lack of voice. He'd given up. For now, at least. "I know I was apprehensive about you knowing details. That was simply because I wasn't sure. If you've any questions though, feel free to ask. I'll be far less vague than Krohora."

Sol stopped momentarily and moved to the side, sliding the back of her hand against some claw marks. "It's safe to assume what ever made these can see in the dark just fine. My little bit of light leaves us at a disadvantage if we run into it. We are back on Earth, we don't know what creatures may lurk here. We need to make a plan of action in case something does happen. And, Krohora is right about one thing. We need to think of a way to bring information to him. Surely he'll be less angry if we find something, aye?"
 

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