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Graded [Kruhrin Village][Ciu'nan]Orson's Feast II



Hathaway's eyebrows slightly furrowed upon Bao's instructions about prohibiting their magical healing. To him, it was more important that a person be healthy than worry about methodology. Still, he didn't contradict her on the matter. In his line of work, it was common for certain religious and cultural reasons to become a thorn in his missions.

"..we understand, and we'll try not to hinder your ways." he spoke in a respectful manner. Though, he wasn't the only one a bit downcast by their rule. He noticed too that Ophenia wasn't too pleased. Seeing the fae in such melancholy caused him to lend a reasuring hand on her shoulder in support. He was happy to see that her sincerity to help others was true. "Yes, I think Ophenia has a right to ask her question…though her memorization of names could use some work." He made his comment.

Listening to Bao describe the events that transpired in the death, reminded him of the pained face Beni had and all her words. They made even more sense now that Hathaway understood further. While sitting in one of the sofas he sipped the tea and took note of its taste. Hearing Crymaria's suspicions, the priest narrowed his eyes, "She has a point, is it common for a statue of all things to easily topple over? There wouldn't happen to be any enemies or assassins afoot would there?"
| Fae | Merry |
Merry - character is frequently overcome with fae like merriment. While more respectable individuals may try to hide their amusement at improper times, character freely displays their amusement. It is often contagious.

Upon receiving the answer she was looking for, Lady Bao's expression softened some. The valleys in her brow seemed to deepen as her form sat a bit heavier in her armchair. Aged paws tried to tighten their grip on the armrests before the strength left them. This panda was not determined to act any younger than she had to, which included putting up tough fronts. When Ophenia made her inquiry, weakened eyes peered back at her from sockets recessed with the gentle erosion of a lifetime. When it appeared as though Lady Bao might say something, the elves suddenly rose from their sofa.

"Lady Bao, we must be off. We are grateful for your hospitality, as well as the sacrifice of your kin in order to support Houisil. Keep the bread as a small gift and token of our gratitude. If any of you are heading north, feel free to drop by!" said the leader. The trio nodded in unison towards Crymaria as they made their way to the door. Once they were gone, a silence overtook the room.

"It wasn't always like this." Lady Bao slowly began. "WE weren't like this--against magic healing, you know. We bearkin dabbled in the arts much the way any race does. I was just a cub back then....
"We hailed from the Republic of Kuridan originally. The soil there was difficult to cultivate, so farming was only possible in a select few regions where powerful tribes had already started settlements. (Oddly enough, I recently heard that farming has become the norm there in our absence, but I digress.) When we lived there farming was not an option, so the bearkin became nomads instead. Much like it is now, we hunted game for our food, which meant following herds around. If there's one thing I miss from those days, it's travelling the Kuridan countryside. I have yet to see such beauty here in Ryke.
"Unfortunately, our freedom was also our peril as the bearkin weren't the only nomads at the time in Kuridan. The cunning foxes. The vicious wolves. Not to mention our more monstrous kindred like the gnolls. There were a pawful of occasions we had the misfortune of encountering dire beasts as well. Life outside the safety of city walls is most certainly not for the faint of heart--as I'm sure you all are well aware. Even so, our magic--as insignificant as it was--kept death at bay and allowed us to persist after our worst scrapes.
"For as much danger as our lifestyle put us through, I doubt any of us regret it. Those were the days the bearkin shined brightest. We were fierce and independent. The other beast clans at the time relied on their walls to feel safe, but we bears stood shoulder to shoulder and looked our enemies in the eyes. We licked our wounds and maintained our independence right until...the end.
"In the years leading up to the war 50 years ago, the shoguns of the time came together for one of their first joint councils. They made a plan to unite Kuridan for the sake of not being dominated in the coming war. For this plan, they needed certain clans to make a show of force at their border. Promises of food, shelter, and even land were made to entice the other clans. Some took the shoguns at their word, but most of the nomadic tribes resisted still.

"One night I was lying underneath the stars with the rest of my tribe scattered around me doing likewise. I felt something slither against my arm. Then suddenly a sharp pain. My scream joined a chorus of others as several members of my tribe were also bitten. As soon as the serpent struck, however, I felt it fade away into nothing like a vapor. My memories of what happened next are cloudy, but I was taken somewhere. I believe it was some kind of village. There was chanting and the ebb and flow of mana coursing through me. And then...." Lady Bao put her face in her paw, sighing deeply. "And then...I wake up in the middle of the battlefield a number of years later to find that I and my kin had been magically enslaved through the healing we received that night. Many of my clan had died. The fates of many others remain a mystery to me even now. All we could do back then was flee." Lady Bao allowed more silence to ensue as she collected herself. Finally, she cleared her throat. "That is why we are against magical healing, young lady. Those of us still alive from back then--however few we might be--will never forgive the void left in our memories, and we will not allow that same fate to befall any of our descendants." The elderly bearkin sniffed a few times and dabbed her eyes on her sleeve. Leaning forward, she picked up her teacup and gulped down what was left. "If you're, ahem, wanting to know about Jia's accident, then you should come with me. It's time for his checkup."

Slowly rising from her chair, Lady Bao moves to the door and holds it open for the others to leave. Once outside, she closes the door behind her and starts to lead them towards the side of the hall where the commotion was heard earlier as they entered. A staircase would take them up to the second floor. Lady Bao took her time here. Once at the top, they walked back towards the entrance end of the hall. A whiny sort of wailing could be heard coming from a chamber as they approached. She-bear attendants emerged from the room as Lady Bao was about to enter.

"It's time for his treatment. He hasn't made himself any worse, has he?" said Lady Bao in a stern motherly sort of tone.

"Bao? Mama Bao is that you?" the whiny voice now formulated intelligible words at the sound of Lady Bao's voice. She beckons her guests to follow her but holds a finger to her muzzle.

The entry area had seating, and the stone floor was covered by woven rugs. A pair of long staggered screen divided the room into front and back halves with a serpentine passage connecting them. Clattering could be heard on one half of the back portion of the room, while the whining voice came from the other half. An attendant emerged with dishes she had apparently just gathered. Lady Bao went on back while gesturing for the rest to have a seat.

"It's me Jia. I'm the only one who can stand your whining after all." replied Bao not without some compassion.

"You're so cruel, Mama Bear! As if I haven't been thoroughly traumatized by this ordeal already!"

"Hush now! Sh, sh, sh. Enough of that. Let's help you roll over, so I can begin."
A series of short quick gasps and exclamations can be heard as the rolling is performed. "Now, then, why don't you tell me what you can remember about the accident. It helps to talk about these sorts of things, you know. Just...go through the events as I do my work, ok?"

"O-Ok, Mama. If you insist on me reliving the darkest day of my life. I'll do it...for you! *sniffle* As you know, I was out there carving my sculpture--it was absolutely necessary to carve it out in the meadow, you see! The perfect stone is right close, and the whole area is fairly obscure from prying eyes. Anyway, I had taken my...*sniffle* my assistant out there. I-I had designed a pretty clever ramp that would allow the sculpture to roll from where it was onto the cart. My assistant and I got it on there in no time! We tied it down to the cart extra tight. You know how cautious I am with these things. I-I don't cut corners! Well, unless I'm sculpting, of course, heh, but- but- never have I shirked on safety in my projects! So we got it strapped down good and tight and off we went. There was a pair of oxen pulling the cart because, well, after all, the statue was carved out of pure granite. We had crested the hill over by the shrine and were starting down that somewhat steep grade towards the meadow just behind the village when suddenly one of the ropes snapped. I-I don't know how it could've happened! We must've used nearly a hundred yards of rope binding the sculpture to the cart. And-And there were no sharp edges that could have cut it! I made sure! It just...well, you see the aftermath. It came falling down on us with a vengeance. My poor assistant...*sniffle* tried to push me clear and-and..."
The voice trails off.

"Alright, bring it here. Quick!" Lady Bao ordered.

On the other side of the screen, a red glow can be seen travelling from one side of the room to the other. The glow fades as a faint whiff of singed hair fills the room. After a moment, Lady Bao emerges from the back. She motions for the group to follow her once more out to the hall. Once there, she explains, "Did you hear enough? This treatment involves making him unconscious, so if not, you'll have to question him later. In the mean time, Misha is overseeing the events of the contest of strength in the meadow behind Kruhrin. He was the first to arrive after the accident. See if he can tell you any more."

Back at the tavern...

The tavern scene was getting more lively as folks began to wake up. With the local favorite, Daichi, on the scene, the lobby was abuzz with excitement. A few tables away from where Arkham sat at the bar, two cats stood up and began exiting the tavern.

"They'll be setting up the field by now. We best be going." said the gray one.
"Setting up? They'll be halfway through the first event by now! I told you not to take such a long catnap this morning...." said the other but his words were drowned out by the din of everyone else.

The barkeep was being put through his paces as more orders came rushing in. He flew by with a platter full of Daichi's large order--the raw eggs were simply placed in a basket on the platter. Ducking back in the kitchen, he would emerge with Arkham's order, which he hastily slid in front of the young man before promptly moving down the bar to take a couple more orders.

[Default parameters of Appraisal are 5ft range, 1 target]

Arkham's [Appraisal D] lands on Daichi. He perceives the following information:

Name: Daichi
Grade: D
Titles: Beast, Bearkin, Attention Hog, Beast Wrangler
Skills: Superstrength, Fighting Style, Knockback
Backstory: Nephew to Lady Bao. Currently training to succeed Misha on the council.

As Arkham is staring down Daichi, one of his mates spots him.

"Hey, Daichi, look! You have an adoring fan! Or maybe a challenger?!" he exclaims pointing Arkham out.

Daichi turns and looks Arkham up and down. Then he peeks around him at his plate. A wide grin breaks out across Daichi's nuzzle.

"Nah! Look at how little he eats! This little guy won't beat me!" Daichi says with a hearty laugh that his entourage joins in on.

Character Grade - E

Titles: Human, Martial Artist, West Empire Adventurer, Do-Gooder, Loyal

Crymaria nodded her head in return to the Elves as they excused themselves from the room. She then turned her attention toward Lady Bao as she started to explain the story. She leaned back in her seat as she thought at the whole matter. The whole event in her mind sounded more than just healing magic, though it seemed like the bearkin had confused the two. But it was their right to deny whatever they wanted and she wasn't about to try to force something on someone that didn't want it.

As Lady Bao mentioned the accident Crymaria smiled and stood up to follow. As she walked into the room and was signaled to be quiet she looked around, noticing the stone floors and the seats. Slowly walking over to one of the seats she sat down, Well this is certainly an interesting-looking clinic if this is what this room was supposed to be. Though I suppose it could have been repurposed after the accident. As she heard the story from Jai there didn't seem to be anything missing at least if you took everything at face value.

When Lady Bao returned to the group Crymaria scratched her chin.
"Its a shame the assistant didn't survive hearing his side of the story would have been good. Did the assistant say anything or were they conscious when they were brought in?" She asked looking at Lady Bao as it seemed right now the assistance could have cut the ropes just enough for them to snap and it seemed if that theory was correct that it backfired majorly. But she knew right now there was still more they needed to know. As Lady Bao brought up Misha she nodded her head and looked to the others. "Shall we?"

mentions: Clyvelle Clyvelle Faynorae Faynorae Kenju Law Kenju Law Valkan Valkan


Hathaway somberly listened to Bao's tale and the tale of her people for their reasonings against healing magic. The trauma with which they suffered because of it, spoke for itself. He didn't feel there was any reason to try to pry any deeper or find any excuses. Trying to contradict their complex ideology would be disrespectful in the highest form. "A heavy history..., forgive us for prying and opening up such deep wounds." he responded while taking out a handkerchief and handing it to Bao so that she may wipe her tears.

While he was fully absorbing what he had heard, Hathaway would be impressed by the furnishings of the chambers that he found were rather tasteful. More importantly though, was the man that lay injured within. Jia's whimpers gave him the instinct to want to lend aid. However, whether he could of used his magic or not, he wasn't sure if he was capable of it. Seeing the interactions between the two and Bao's delicate care, furthered his admiration for her as a fellow healer. Then there was the matter of the accident itself that was brought up. While there was nothing sinister to be found in Jia's recount of the event, there was still some unease.
Nodding along to Crymaria, Hathaway added "Yes, it just seems like an accident that befell them. There is a bit of it that leads a shred of concern, but surely it's just a coincidence. I think we should look into it further to ease our suspicions and prove that it truly was only an awful moment of chaos. That should clear our worries once and for all. I assume the rest of you would also be interested in Misha's say as well." He finished off with a glance toward each of the members of their temporary party.

As he followed along behind Lady Bao, Hathaway continued to contemplate her story. His eyes, staring holes into floor, looked as if they were seeing into a distant past. "Earlier,.. about your clan's misgivings about healing magic. I don't think it's odd to have that viewpoint on it. I've seen for myself that healing magic is not as all powerful as it appears. There are times it even fails..." Hathaway spoke with the slightest undertone of resentment in his voice before continuing on. "It's not only healing magic that can be scrutinized, but magic itself. Though, my attention focuses more on the 'harmful' type of magic. Like the kind that enslaved your people... My mother was afflicted by such evil magic. It wasn't simply an attack that killed her either. No, it was a curse that ate away at her and no matter how much or what kind of healing magic we used, nothing saved her from her suffering until death itself rescued her." As he recounted his own past, he further cited it with as much a neutral candor as he could. "It was then that I saw the limits of healing magic. It wasn't enough. Then I came to the natural conclusion. A bit of a crazy one. That there needed to be a way to eradicate evil magic, or at the very least, have it taken from the hands of magic users. So that a curses would no longer cause mothers to suffer, and a clan of bearkin to be enslaved. That is ultimately what I seek."

After closing his long statement, Hathaway awkwardly adjusted robes and smiled.

"Well, all of that to simply say; I respect and honor your ways."

Clyvelle Clyvelle Faynorae Faynorae Valkan Valkan saxon saxon
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Arkham Koenig

It would seem like he'd have no chance to get an explanation from the barkeep. Luckily, a pair of catkin gave him some insight on whatever would happen outside. Arkham then got the attention of Daichi's posse. Their somewhat obnoxious words were something Arkham could ignore, but Daichi's forced self praise earned an eyeroll from the amateur bounty hunter. As he was quick to turn back to his meal.

Just then, Arkham proceeded to wolf down his breakfast, leave some rykes on the counter in the barkeep's sight, throwing a quick "Thanks for the meal, boss" to the bearkin, and headed out. For now, he decided to catch up and follow the cats. All within the veil of discretion yet again.
We only die when no one remembers us.
  • Ophenia flinched at the mention of her short-term memory in regards to names. Her shoulders stiffened with her slight chuckle, as she'd scratch her cheek subtly. Right, she still... The sylph sighed; hushing thonself to listen, as she'd lean a slight bit forward, with her hands clasped beneath her chin. The resonator reflected her reactions instead, flowing into orange before Lady Bao had begun. As the council member shared her experiences, her story, with the group




    Ophenia covered her mouth with a hand, her other hand pressed unto her chest. Cold and silent breaths left her, landing atop and cooling her white palms. What the sylph just heard from the bearkin made her cor sink. Or so is how you could describe it, for she may have not been feeling that exactly. Maybe it was an overreaction, but Lady Bao's... The bearkins' story... The resonator deepened into a dark green, gradiating into an ultramarine.

    For simplicity, tears began to fall and dither down the sylph's cheeks. "O- Eh?" she'd let leave her, quickly rubbing away the tears. Although, she'd forget about it in the moment, but this would result in the smearing of the heart drawn beneath her right eye; leaving a bright shocking pink and glittering smudge, smeared 'cross her right cheek.

    The mere thought of having a large blank space within your memories—It terrified Ophenia. Not only only was it an awful horror due to the unknown memories, but it was also an agonising sorrow. The people who you'd known... the people who would be lost during that time... They simply will not exist anymore. Their name, their face, their voice, their habits and manner of speak; All just fade away from the world. Memories are what make mortal people immortal. Without even memories, they completely cease to exist upon death.

    Her eyelids became subtly purple as she rubbed away the tears that dared to fall. The sylph looked up. "T- Thank you ever kindly, Miss," Ophenia would say with a sniffle, "I do a- apologise; I must... For crying. I understand that these are not my tears to weep—" She'd turn her head down, attempting to hide her face. "I could not dare even attempt to imagine what it is like, what it feels like. I... I..." The sylph stopped.

    She could not say anything more. Anything that Ophenia could say, would mean nothing. Her breaths tightened, as she'd clasp her hands unto her chest. She truly could not believe that anyone would do this. She could not formulate a proper reason. Yet, she knew, she listened, she could feel from Lady Bao; that this was something that indeed happened. Something similar, mayhaps be happening somewhere right this moment.

    The sylph followed the group, and would listen to the story of Jia and their incident. She found it amazing that this person was a sculptor, it truly did make her smile for a moment. However, the other one's story continued to keep Ophenia's forlornment. Thon'd sigh, each story seemed to be filled with misfortunate events and brought them to an equally blue present. However, this all would help the sylph open her mind to perspectives of those unlike hers.

    The methods which occurred behind the screen piqued the sylph's interest. Although, she trembled to ask and pry further... Again. Would it be disrespectful to further ask, again? The sylph would wonder, listening to Hathaway's own story as he'd speak to Lady Bao. As the sylph listened, she felt her chest tighten once more. She'd look down at her feet, covering her face with her bunches of iridescent pink hair. She took a step backward, as the resonator shifted plum and fuchsia.

    Harmful. Evil. Lady Bao had told it, and so did the priest too. Magic did good too, yes, but... It did much worse as well. Ophenia didn't want to believe that, yet, she had no choice but to. Afterall, she was an example. Did she not cause the deaths of so many back then? Yes, she did indeed help to restore it but... That was not her. It was all because of someone far more wise. far more sublime than Ophenia was. Her legs stiffened like sticks. She could not do anything when that happened before then. The first time she saw a place in the world fade away. The first time she cried. As a fae, thon was made up of magic—albeit in the form of air... And yet...

    Would it not just be better if she just did not exist at all?

    Stop it. Just stop it. Sing songs that could change the world. To make a world where everyone is happy. That is the sole reason Ophenia existed, and thus, she didn't need to think about this. At least... Not right now. The sylph breathed in, and then out. Patting her face gently, twice, Ophenia flipped her pigtails out of her face. Pulling the up her cheeks with her palms, Ophenia attempted a feint smile as she'd look up. Relaxing her shoulders, she simply nodded at Crymaria and Lady Bao's suggestion. Folded together, with fingers intertwined; the sylph pressed trembling hands onto thons chest. Ophenia decided to say nothing for now.

| Fae | Merry |
Merry - character is frequently overcome with fae like merriment. While more respectable individuals may try to hide their amusement at improper times, character freely displays their amusement. It is often contagious.

Lady Bao listened as Hathaway revealed the misfortune that befell his mother. As Ophenia did for Bao's story, the she-bear placed a hand to her chest upon hearing the hopelessness Hathaway and his kin experienced. How exhausting his fruitless efforts must have been! Once he had finished, she gently pressed her paws together in front of her and bowed to him.

"As one who knows suffering, I am sorry you had to experience such cruelty," said she before rising. "Yet, that moment has set you on your present course. For the sake of my kin, I pray that you are successful, Priest Hathaway."

Lady Bao looked at the group before her and saw the heaviness of what they had been discussing taking its toll on some. Not wanting to leave them like this, she turned and walked down the balcony a ways to where a railing had been installed in the middle of the walkway, running parallel to the outer railing and turning to connect with it a bit further down.

Atop the first post of the inner railing was a decorative carving of a caracatured bear balancing on his right foot, which was attached to the top of the post. His left leg was raised to the side, slightly over the walkway closest to the wall, balancing a honey pot on the top of his foot. Both arms were outstretched to either side holding honeypots in each, while a fourth pot sat on his head. Lady Bao placed a paw on each of the sculpture's arms.

"This is usually for the cubs that come in here for treatment, but I've caught the older ones using it a time or two," Bao explained as she began turning the bear counterclockwise. Once the sculpture was turned 180 degrees, the railed off portion of the balcony shifted downward ever so slightly. Boris came up to it sniffing the floor. He tested the floor with his paw. Sniffed it some more. Set another paw on floor. Looked back at Crymaria then Bao then to the floor. While in the process of shifting his weight forward to get another paw on, the floor suddenly gave way. Frantically trying to push himself back up, Boris found no traction on the purposefully slick surface, eventually slumping forward and sliding down on his belly harmlessly to the first floor. Lady Bao chuckled as she gestured for the rest to follow. "Maybe this will perk you up a bit after all that serious talk? Sometimes I even use it as the stairs aren't as easy for me as they used to be. I have other matters to attend to here, so this is where we will part ways for now. Do me a favor and tell Misha I'll be along sometime after noon."

Whether the group took the slide or the stairs, everyone would meet downstairs and head to the doors. Upon reaching the main doors of the hall, they would open as Beni would enter along with Ciu'nan. Beni's ears were still drooping, but she seemed more composed than earlier.

Clearing her throat, she said, "I believe I owe you an apology, priest. I'm very sorry for my outburst earlier. It was very unbecoming of my station as the council's aide. Please forgive my rudeness." She finished with a little bow as Ciu'nan came up beside here.

"The contests are starting in the meadow if anyone's interested. We should head there together." said the fae with a smile.

Elsewhere in Kruhrin...
When Arkham turned back to his meal, Daichi's laughter died out as he took it as a challenge. Turning back to his own meal, the bearkin used one hand to help him eat his porkchops, while using the other to crack eggs into a glass. His entourage quieted down as well as they saw their idol putting his all into scarfing down his meal. After finishing each porkchop, he'd slurp some eggs down. Arkham's smaller meal allowed him to finish first, despite him not trying to compete. As he was opening the door to leave, the sound of a chair scraping would sound followed by footsteps fast approaching.

Daichi, his cheeks puffed with the last morsels he shoveled in and was actively chewing, came barreling past Arkham, who was also moving moderately fast to catch up with the cats. Once Daichi was finally able to swallow, he triumphantly laughed as he called to his gang, "See? Told ya that guy couldn't beat me!" More praise followed as the group trotted ahead to the field.

From comfortably behind the feline duo, Arkham could hear the gray one remarking, "He'll make himself sick like that. Everyone knows you don't jog after a big meal."

"I think that's a special sort of feline wisdom. It's why we live so long, you know!"
replied his friend with a nasally laugh.

Character Grade - E

Titles: Human, Martial Artist, West Empire Adventurer, Do-Gooder, Loyal

Crymaria listened to the priest as he spoke about his personal issues with these magical matters. Crymaria didn't really deal with magic all that much, nor did she care to if she was being completely honest about the whole matter. However, she couldn't help but think the story was something you would tell a child. But she knew in this world these things tended to happen from time to time. "Comrade Priest would it not be more practical to go after the practitioners of this magic? I don't think you will be able to seal it away like a treasure," Crymaria replied as Ophenia was now starting to speak on matters.

Though she couldn't help but notice that a question of hers was ignored, though it seemed like trivial matters. There seemed to be a mystery forming here but for the time being there was people to question and things to figure out. As she turned to look at Boris who seemed to be having a hard time moving about she couldn't help but laugh at her comardes misfortune for a moment. "Come on Comrade Boris down you go," she replied returning her attention back to Bao before going down stairs and running into Beni and their other aquatance.

"Well that is convenient, Comrade Beni, I must speak with Comrade Misha he is supposedly at the meadows correct?" Crymaria inquired as she moved to pet Boris as Ciunan brought up the idea as well. She was curious as to where this was all going to lead them? The community here seemed to be tightly knit, even if they found evidence of foul play. Was there any proof they would act upon it? For all she knew the community would just brush the matter under the rug.

mentions: Clyvelle Clyvelle Faynorae Faynorae Kenju Law Kenju Law Valkan Valkan
Cheek smeared sparkling shocking pink.
  • What did the skies sound like back then?... The endless and empty black which pierced thons mind, how did it sound as the sylph peered into it? Alas, she could not remember. Like the names of the friends she dearly cared for, and the names of her hundred kindred...

    The sylph blinked twice, she had been staring blankly straight ahead; likely at someone's back—or more embarrassingly, a wall. Daydreaming was common for those of Ophenia's hailing, those neath the dreaming forest. Ophenia straightened herself, her eyes darting the room before finally focusing on Lady Bao's position and actions. Ophenia's eyes began to gain lustre as she watched the sow-bear operate some sort of contraption. The sculpture itself warmed the chanteuse's mood, the balancing of such objects just seemed so very fun.

    Ophenia's eyes widened with the resonator sparking in apricot shades once the floor opened up and Boris slid down a slanted surface, "Oh my—" Thon gasped, cheeks sparkling as she leaned forward and gazed down the slide. "Is it truly fair for one to use this mode of movement?" She'd ask, turning to Lady Bao with glistering irises. After affirmation, Ophenia would edge closer to the opened floor.

    She was unsure as to how to descend the slide, however, from Boris's earlier display, it did not seem too hard. Ophenia took a breath and then smiled. With that, as if a bird perching upon briar, the sylph got onto the slide and would quickly find thonself glitzing down. The ends of her hair and fingertips momentarily coalesced into the air as she slid down onto the first floor. As Ophenia tumbled onto the floor, her bunches flipped forward, swinging over her covered face in shimmering strands of pink.

    "Pft—" She held her stomach, as her head sank. Swinging her pigtails back, with her fringe unkempt, the sylph slumped back in giggling laughter like that of helium leaving a balloon. "Ahh~♪" She'd sigh, twirling up to stand like a spring. "How ☆ exhilarating!" Ophenia clapped to herself, the resonator fumbled forth to hover beside the sylph in its now glittering egg-yellow. That slide seemed to stunt Ophenia's gloomy disposition. She flipped back parts still in front and subtly adjusted the displacements in her fringe... She'd sigh. The resonator dulled a bit.

    Patting down her skirt, and once finished fixing her adornments of satin and chiffon tied 'round her waist; Ophenia made her way with everyone else to the doors. She felt a bit less gloomy with after the slide down, it was comparable to washing your face with wintery tap water after getting up from bed in the morning. Seeing that other person from before returning to apologise after her outburst toward Hathaway, made Ophenia smile subtly. Although... ... The resonator waned just a little.

    "Ah!" She'd chime at the mention of the aide's name, "B... Ben? Miss Ben..." Ophenia stared at her palm, seemingly writing something down on it with her finger. With a smile, Ophenia turned to Crymaria, "You and Miss Ben have met before? An' oh my—" The sylph bowed a bit, before springing up. "I must apologise, I never did ask for your name, did I Miss? Perchance could you inform me?☆" Ophenia asked, beaming.

    She then faced Ciu'nan pointing, "And I do remember Mister Hath uhhh... Uhm—" Ophenia leaned back, bringing her thumb up to her mouth and biting its nail. "Right~♪" She'd let out, a smile sparking on her face as Ophenia snapped her finger. "Hatheray! As Mitser Hatheray said prior, your name is Miss Keunun—♡" Shimmer glitzed off from the snap, and the sylph leaned a slight bit forward as she'd clasped together her hands, "Right~?♫" Her eyes glinted. The resonator fluttering beside glowed in a pear chartreuse.

    The sylph's cheeks had already begun to hurt. "A contest?" She'd inquire before sounding out, "Ah~" She'd step back with a lilt. "The contest of strength, yes? My~☆ It does indeed sound like it would be fun! Oh and—" Ophenia's eyes glitzed as the resonator shocked orange. "To be amongst the audience, spectating... I am dearly excited suddenly~♡" In a silent squeal, the sylph would muse to thons self smiling cheek to cheek as thon'd hide thons face.



Hathaway placed a hand on his heart as gratitude for Bao. Just from hearing from her own history, he understood her sincerity. While the group traversed, he was once again impressed by the craftsmanship of the infrastructure. Almost drawn into his gazing, Hathaway was almost surprised by Crymaria's question. She surely made a more sensical point, but holymen such as himself were all about thinking ahead, "You're not wrong about that approach, but I'm not just one man. I could go my whole life going after the individual and there would still be so many dangerous practitioners of magic. It's certainly un-priestly of me to be so greedy. Though if I'm able to target the source, then maybe I can protect people far beyond my life time. Well, honestly I don't have any sort of plan worked out. So any path I can take will have to suffice."

Once he finished conveying his convolution reasoning, he got a slight chuckle at the sight of Boris sliding down the ramp. While he always tried to give off a dignified air, he didn't think there was anything wrong with a bit ruffling of his robes. Afterall, Boris seemed to come through unscathed. Joining along, Hathaway held onto his staff and slid down the slide. The short moment, giving him a vision of his past as a youth that was far more rambunctious than he was now. "Until next time, Lady Bao!" he waved off at her departing figure that they had left behind.

As he was patting down and straightening his own fabric, he made sure to take a glance at Ophenia. It had been slight, but Hathaway noticed a dower mood had taken over the fae during their heavy topic. Considering the contrast from how energetic she usually was, it was an obvious shift. Therefor he was glad to see her spirits return, even if only a little and smiled. Though his lips stiffened at the sound of her once again getting his name wrong. "Miss Ophenia...lets do some exercises! Repeat after me now; Hath-uh-way, Hath-uh-way, Hatha-way, Hathaway" while he was in the middle of instructing her, they were met upon by Beni once more. "Please its nothing at all. perhaps i did come on a tad bit strong anyways. I'll continue to pray for your peace of mind.:" he gave her a reassuring smile before turning to Ciu'nan. "We didn't get the chance to check your arm. Is it doing alright? No pain? If not then yes. lets get moving after we let this Misha fellow know that Bao is on the way there sometime after noon"
| Fae | Merry |
Merry - character is frequently overcome with fae like merriment. While more respectable individuals may try to hide their amusement at improper times, character freely displays their amusement. It is often contagious.

Lady Bao was delighted at Ophenia's change in demeanor upon revealing the slide. Even the others were amused to varying degrees by it. Her knowing eyes watched as--if only for a moment--the group tapped into the playfulness from their youth. She would wave to them at the foot of the slide before moving back towards Jia's chamber.

Back at the hall's entrance, a look of relief washed over Beni's features as Hathaway dismissed her poor manners. She offered a small smile in return to his offer of prayers for her peace. Crymaria's question allowed for an easy transition from the more serious subject of the apology to more instinctual matters of business regarding Misha.

"Correct. Misha will be presiding over the contests today. I wanted to check in with Lady Bao, but I'll be heading there myself to assist him." Beni informed. She bowed once more to Hathaway before departing for the stairs.

Ciu'nan would look uncertainly at Ophenia as she approached. Quite suprisingly, the sylph appeared very serious as she completely butchered the priest's name. What came next took Ciu'nan completely by surprise though: Ophenia was trying and failing to pronounce Ciu'nan's name. At first, she was just trying to figure out what she was saying, but when it clicked that the verbal mess coming from the pinkette's mouth was actually supposed to be Ciu'nan's name...something broke in her.

It started with a shuddering breath as her eyes narrowed, the slight wrinkling at their corners only becoming worse as Ciu'nan attempted to fight off what was suddenly coming over her. The fae tried to grit her teeth against them, but her breath simply hissed through them in short bursts, the corners of her mouth lifting away like stage curtains revealing a grin. A hand cupped to her mouth as she slowly hunched over, but it was only a matter of time now. Her entire figure was trembling as her other arm braced her abdomen. Finally, it was simply too much and her hand fell away from her mouth unleashing a torrent of laughter that echoed into the hall. Ciu'nan doubled over as she braced her hands against her knees while the giggles and guffaws sprang freely from her. She had to turn away from the group while she wiped tears from her eyes. As Ciu'nan started to regain herself, she stood upright throwing her head back as more whooping and hollering rang out. She even snorted once or twice. When the commotion had finally died down to a few stray giggles, she finally faced the group again, but suddenly turned away as another fit threatened to erupt from her. Shaking her head and fanning herself with her hand, Ciu'nan faced them once more with a satisfied sigh.

"It's...been awhile...since I laughed like that. Thank you." said she not even bothering with correcting Ophenia at this point. "C'mon. Let's head to the meadows."

Retracing their steps back along the terrace, the group had good visual in between the taller buildings of the town of Kruhrin laid out below them to the right. The view might have been more majestic had the clouds not hung so thick in the sky. Though it could not be said the scattered shafts of sunlight piercing the veil and beaming down on the town--and the countryside of Ryke further beyond--were not magical in their own right.

Understandably, their was not a lot of life to behold in the town itself because most of the life there was currently flowing up the central road which lay ahead of them. As Ciu'nan and Co. merged into the main flow of traffic, Arkham and the pair of catkin could be seen among the throng. The catkin in particular would notice Ophenia, like the beacons of Gondor, proudly shining amongst the drab colored rabble around her.

"It's our morning glory from before!" said the white one as he waved a paw to her.
"Would you allow us to escort you to the meadows, my dear lady?" said the gray as he led the pair over to her and the party. Only as the pair came up next to everyone would it be apparent just how short they were. Each stood about four and a half feet tall. One was pure white and the other was gray with a white muzzle freckled with a handful of dark spots.


While it was a geniuly good thing to have someone laugh and smile, Hathaway was somewhat startled by Ciu'nan's sudden fit of laughter that had over taken her. The guffawing was similar to a demon suddenly taking possession of her. The priest was almost ready to unleash a torrent of prayers before seeing that it was only a well-meaning chuckle. He sighed away his worries and wiped some sweat off his forehead. "I'm happy to see you have such a funny-bone in you Ciu'nan. It took me by surprise. We'll have to find a comedy show sometime together so that I can get used to this side of you." he spoke plainly with a smile of his own while walking with the group.

Thinking on it, Hathaway pondered on the act of using comedy as a way of trying to sooth the souls of others at the church. A comedian priest? Now that was just bizarre. No doubt there would be plenty that would feel insulted by his jests while in the the middle of such a holy place. He shook the insane thought from his mind and returned his attention to reality. It wasn't just that either, the young man didn't particularly think of himself as funny, despite the giggles of the women at his church. "Ophenia, seeing the entertainer that you are, I'm sure you've made plenty of people smile. Have you ever hosted an actually event, like a concert?" he questioned her with his sudden pondering. It wouldn't surprise him if she had, the woman seemed charismatic enough.

It was then that they were met upon by a pair of catkin that were rather short and particularly interested with Ophenia. "Speaking of which" Hathaway saw how enticed they were before and looked back towards the colorful fae. "Well what will you do? We're heading the same way. So we can walk behind you while you're entertaining your fans," he suggested to Ophenia. While letting Ophenia to her work, but still keeping an eye on them, he turned towards Crymaria, "I assume you know what this 'Misha' fellow looks like? If he's presiding over the contests, he must be rather important. " Hathaway then thought back to the potential excite of the proceeding contest and got just abit energetic himself, though he did his best to restrain himself.
Petit Dame De l'Zéphyr
  • "Hm?" The sylph looked at the priest with a tilted head. Her shoulders perked up as her cheeks creased with a smile, "An exercise? A vocal one~?" Ophenia leaned forward, her heels raising as she stood tip-toed. "Ah~♫" Her hands clasped together, eyes sparking as if a star was bursting in each. "You are much too correct, it has been long since I last brushed up! After you, yes?" Thon would reply, very quickly leaning back and standing straight.

    Ophenia cleared her throat and rested her hands on her chest. After Hathaway distinctly stated the sound of his name, Ophenia repeated—in song: "Hath~♪ Uh Way~♫ Mhmm, Hath Uh Way~♫" She'd vocalise as if to whistle. It wasn't her usual medium range. "Ahaa~ Ha...!" It clicked, Ophenia's eyes widened as she'd have an epiphany. "Ah! Hathaway~!" The resonator gleamed. Ophenia bounced forward, grabbing the priest's hand. It'd feel as if a breeze were lifting it, a very lithe hand-shaped breeze, but a breeze nonetheless. "Your name!" The sylph squealed, "If this is not just the wind's wings, I might just ascend past even the stars and sky!☆" Ophenia exclaimed, sparks flying out her eyes as she shook the priest's hand... Or well, tried to—She was rather weak despite what her statistics would say.

    She stepped back, "I do indeed always struggle with names~ You see! We do not have them where I am from..." Ophenia trailed off, her eyes wandering up. "I... think?" She'd utter. "But!" The resonator fluttered beside Ophenia, shooting from blue to yellow as orange faded in from the tip. "Singing names... It comes to me with such ease! Indeed, I must thank you ever so dearly from the bottom of my heart...!" Said she. With the snap of a finger, Ophenia winked, "Ah~☆ That is it! When you require it, it would be my joy to assist ~♡ I can even sing... Ah!" Like the stars in her eyes, an idea shot in her head. She'd quiet down for a moment, turning around. "I should write a song with all my friends' names... Eek♡" The sylph whispered.

    After that long-winded debacle, Ophenia would stare at Ciu'nan's efflorescing reaction. A giddiness built up in Ophenia, shown in slight sparking eyes as the resonator shifted slowly. An apricot yellow glowed—the catalyst hovering beside Ophenia's perked shoulders. The sylph brought a hand up to thons face, hastily covering her mouth as she'd hold thons stomach with the other hand. First, a chortle. Threatening to escape her as she would then burst into laughter; like a whistling kettle filled with boiling water. Shriekish titters accompanied by raised cheeks and wrinkling eyelids as Ophenia died down into a sigh much faster than the other fae, snapping into a blank air-filled stare at Ciu'nan.

    She tilted her head, as thons shoulders stiffened. "Why... Why are we laughing?" She'd ask with a smile, bringing a finger to her lips. She'd stare as Ciu'nan's laughter would end. "Oh?" Ophenia uttered. "I see—" The sylph clapped, smiling; As the colour of the resonator softened, becoming paler. "It makes me glad that I made you laugh, Miss♫" The sylph clasped together her hands.

    Ophenia followed the group, her steps aflutter. Her constantly changing movements were the reason she preferred being in the back. Sometimes, her pace was brisk, as thon'd look up into the sky. Something she verily admired, after all, it was uncommon to her. A sky, without end—that changes as time moves and the breezes wind in the air. It was always miraculous to someone like Ophenia.

    Then, the sylph would start to stroll with heedful steps, whilst staring at the ground. Gazing at that which was small, for Ophenia would start to cry if she stepped on anything mere. She empathised with such creatures, insects – snails, slugs, dung beetles, caterpillars et cetera; She felt alike to them, like her, they were less than minuscule in this realm larger than describable. The sky was infinite, the stars were far. Not to mention individuals' worlds as well. Of course, not many were so thoughtful of creatures like insects, despite how similar they are.

    She looked up as Hathaway spoke her name, "Ah?" She was lost in thought for a moment. "Oh! Yes, I have indeed~♡" She smiled, "Not many, but very recently, I performed in Aslan! Although ungrand, I feel it was verily well-recieved~☆ Before that, I also performed in a place called the Pavilion, although, it was more than brief..." Ophenia clapped, "And! Two winters prior, I did perform in Ryke. For the winter festival~ It was like a dream♡" She would answer, eyes glitzing at the thought of such times... Although, it did make her feel quite odd to realise that two winters had passed since then...

    Ophenia took a gander at the faces of the crowd. She tried to gauge the expressions, and how they felt. As the sylph scanned through the crowd, those lofty and petit, wide and lithe; Her attention would be caught by the catkin waving to her. Her resonator blushed into a sky-hued blue. "L- Lady?" The sylph covered thons mouth. To be denoted such a refined and elegant title as 'Lady' felt out of place for someone as immature and gaudy as her. "I... Uhm—" She glanced over at the rest of the group. With Hathaway's input, Ophenia would silently sigh. "Right~☆" She'd smile,

    Ophenia would not particularly note the height difference, after all, Ophenia was but a head taller. She'd greet the two catkins with a brief curtsy—As any refined and dear lady would—And smile, with a subtle tilt of her head. "It would be my delight, kind misters." She'd say, "Ah~♪ And would it be cognitive to assume that you three are headed to spectate the contest aswell?" Ophenia would ask, referring to the two catkins and the person who seemed to be following them.

    "Oh! And, oh my-☆ How impolite of myself, I did not introduce myself to any of you yet, did I?" The chanteuse would clap twice, "My name is Ophenia, and by fanfare, 'Du Coeur Pur.' It is my joy to meet you ~♫" Said she, with a bubbly step forward. Ophenia's resonator glittered. the crystal's colour shifting to an orange shade,

| Fae | Merry |
Merry - character is frequently overcome with fae like merriment. While more respectable individuals may try to hide their amusement at improper times, character freely displays their amusement. It is often contagious.

"I have no idea what you're talking about, priest. I'll have you know that I'm known for being a rather merry fae." said Ciu'nan, her stance becoming a bit more confident. Her chin pointing a little higher.

She was doing her best to hide it, but her very own words pricked her a bit. Up until she was asked to follow those deer, she had been every bit as fun and loveable as she was now. Playful Ciu'nan. Joyous Ciu'nan. Running, prancing, skipping Ciu'nan. The fae with the agility of a faun and the infectious mirth and whimsy of a young girl. Isn't this what she wanted to be? How she wished to be perceived? Wasn't the world better when she was like this?

But how could she forget the children now...?

Ciu'nan cleared her throat as she became aware of her slung arm once more. She reached up with her good arm and adjusted the knot on her shoulder. Needing a distraction, Ciu'nan listened in on Ophenia's chatter with the felinefolk. Upon Ophenia introducing herself, the cats gasped in unison.

"That was my old girl's name!" exclaimed the white cat.
"YOUR girl? That was MY girl's name!" interjected the gray cat.
"I think I would remember having a girl named Ophenia!"
"Ophenia? I thought she said 'Peña'."
"Those names sound nothing alike!"

Ciu'nan rolled her eyes at their feline antics. Allowing her gaze to drift upward, she observed the overcast clouds. A shaft of sunlight was presently beaming through somewhere up ahead in the meadow. They were a good half a mile out still. The main trail led up between the shelf that housed the town hall and a patch of forest where guests and wild bears could house in caves. Among the trees, horses and wagons could be seen parked in various spots. Every once in a while, the trees would thin enough to show the caves dug into the cliffface further in.

As they passed, a woman nearly a head taller than Ciu'nan was leaning against a tree. A scowl marred the otherwise natural beauty of her face as she watched the denizens of Kruhrin head out to the contests. Some bearkin passing by would glance at her before quickly looking away. Others pointedly huffed and turned their noses up as they passed her. A bearkin almost as tall as she approached her from behind and gently place a paw on her shoulder, trying to pull her away. The giantess jerked her shoulder away from him and continue glaring at the bearkin as they passed.

When Hathaway took notice of Ciu'nan becoming unsettled by his comment, he quickly took to trying to sooth his mistake. "Ah- well we've only recently come to know one another. So there will be plenty more times where we find out something surprising about one another." He patted her back to try at least just a bit to reassure her. The priest didn't know what memory has flashed in his eyes but it didn't seem to be a good one.

He hoped that the ridiculousness of the catkins was at least amusing to her. Speaking of which, he wasn't sure if they were serious about knowing another girl named Ophenia or if that was just a trick to flirt. Of the actual person in question, Hathaway was happy to properly hear his name spoken in such a beautiful voice. It was sung even, he was really starting to see why she was able to hold concerts and have fans. "You were at the winter festival in Ryke?! It's unfortunate that I missed both those years! Next time you're around, let me know and I'll be there too!" He exclaimed with some excitement at the prospect of the event.

"And please, you don't need to show gratitude to me. Helping others is my duty. I'm satisfied at the sound of hearing my own name in such a beautiful melody."

As they were moving along through the town hall, his eyes came upon a tall woman, who gave off quite the intimidating air about her. Even some of the passersby could sense it as well. It was when one of the bearskin had patted her on the shoulder that an altercation almost occured. Upon seeing the intensity start to spike, Hathaway hurried his way toward the large woman.

"Excuse me, are you alright?"
He passed by some of the ongoers as he made his way toward her. Making as most gentle smile as he could, he looked up to the giantess. "That guy didn't pull anything did he? I know a very well practiced healer if there's anything wrong." He spoke plainly, mostly trying to distract her away from tearing apart that bearskin. "We could also go to any local authorities. However, I can tell that you're a tough individual yourself. Would you happen to be joining the strength contest? If so I can't wait to see you at work!"
No wait, I am actually confused.
  • "Old girl...?" Ophenia tilted her head. She didn't understand what the catkin meant. However, the smile on her face widened. She covered her mouth, as a chortle escaped her. Ophenia found it odd. She thought that she had made up her name, after taking her "father's" name and blending it with the name of a character from a book she'd read.

    "Do you mean you knew a girl with the name Ophelia? The name I bear is quite rare and odd, although we do share like meanings!" The sylph claimed with a clap. The resonator glittered with exuberance beside her. "Ophenia – As in 'Resplendent Aid'; similarly to Ophelia – As in 'Succour'!" She'd proclaim with a sparkling smile. Very literally. "Oh and~♪ What does 'Peña' mean? Oh, and are you still friends with her now~?" She'd ask the catkin with stars in her eyes. The resonator shifted orange.

    "Hm?" The sylph's cheeks were beginning to hurt... Not that magic couldn't fix that. "It would be my joy if you did attend, Mister Hathaway~♡" Ophenia would say, clasping together both of her hands. "I plan for this winter's performance to be most grand! Ah~ I will sing something that will make everyone so happy that even the winter's snow will feel warm! Ah," She chimed, "Perhaps I could even hire Mister Mikheil as a bodyguard again~! Ah... But it has been so very long since I have seen that one." Ophenia looked up at the cloudy sky with a smile. "I do hope he is doing fair these days~☆ After all, the weather is so lovely this morning!" The sylph whistled.

    If not for Ophenia's pearl-powdered face, the redness in her cheeks would be seen clearly. "My oh my! A beautiful melody?" Ophenia laughed, covering her mouth. "It is not anything of the sort! My higher range is not very good and I do require much more practice... But—" The sylph sparked up, "If it pleases you, then I shall sing your name every time I say it Mister Hathaway~♫" The chanteuse said with a bubbly smile, hands clapping with a sparkle.

    Ophenia hummed as they walked, but would stop at Hathaway's sudden halt and movement toward someone rather tall. "Ah!" She'd squeak, "Uhm- I- I do apologise, could you Misters wait a moment?" She'd turn to the catkin and say, before following after the Priest. She had not particularly paid attention to what happened before, but it seemed that he was worried(?)

    Once the sylph caught up, she would greet the large person with a short bow of courtesy. "Good morning, Miss!" She'd say with a smile... Looking up. Ah, how small she felt once more. "By the winds!" She marvelled, "You are quite tall miss~☆ Ah, how did you gather such height?" Ophenia asked with her hands clasped, "Ah~☆ Would you like to join us?♪ We two as well as a few others are heading to the meadows to spectate the Contest of Strength and..." The sylph eyes glittered once she heard what Hathaway, "Are you a participant?!☆" She'd exclaim with a gasp, pulling back with her hand covering her mouth. "Is that not just delighting! Ah~♫ what is it like preparing for this contest? Ah but..." Ophenia would tilted her head, "You seem verily bothered, is there anything we could assist you with?" Ophenia asked.

| Fae | Merry |
Merry - character is frequently overcome with fae like merriment. While more respectable individuals may try to hide their amusement at improper times, character freely displays their amusement. It is often contagious.

"No, no, her name was definitely Peña." affirmed Gray.
"Which means 'pain'." teased White.
"Hardly! Her name was Peña, because she was my rock, my confidant, and friend!" Gray gushed unashamedly, his tiny chest swelling with pride.

Ciu'nan was surprised by Hathaway's touch. Not really expecting him to soothe her, she smiled uncertainly but otherwise ignored him. Upon Ophenia mentioning the Winter Festival, her interest was piqued.

"Ryken's Winter Festival? Do tell!" she said, leaning forward to better hear the details.

Meeting a celebrity was something new for Ciu'nan. Of course, there was that time she was randomly invited to some Count's castle earlier that year, but such occasions were truly once in a lifetime. Her opinion of Ophenia rose a degree or two upon hearing of her apparent fame. Any bard can start performing on a streetcorner though. She'd have to see the performance and observe how the crowd reacts to truly determine Ophenia's overall skill at her craft.

The catkin seemed equally impressed by the fae's talk of her performances. When she brought up the Pavilion, they quieted some.

"The Pavilion, you say...?" said White hesitantly.
"You're lucky to have escaped!" interjected Gray.
"Er, uh, from your raving fans, he means." said White, while staring daggers at his partner.

The catkin seemed more than willing to part ways for a bit when Hathaway and Ophenia approached the giantess. The bearkin who had patted her shoulder lingered awkwardly behind her as she continued to watch the crowds amble towards the meadows. She didn't even turn when Hathaway approached her.

"Do you make it your business to pry into the personal matters of others, human?" she said coldly. After a long moment, she finally looked to Hathaway. "Is that a flaw of yours or your religious teachings?"

the bearkin said in a soft, pleading tone.

The giantess's unrepentant gaze lingered on Hathaway. When Ophenia caught up and blindly greeted her without reading the room, the giantess offered a half-lidded stare in her direction. Her mouth opened to offer a harsh criticism, but all that came out was a heavy sigh.

"It's too early for fae. I'm not drunk enough for this...." she said rubbing the back of her neck as the bearkin continued to shift restlessly behind her. Upon Hathaway mentioning the contests, her scowl returned in full vigor. "As a matter of fact, I won't be joining the contests. You know why? Because of bearkin tradition! Their law forbids any non-bearkin from having a seat on the council, so what's the point of even competing?! Even though I can beat any bearkin in the strength contests, even though I've been living here for most of my life, and, oh yeah--" she cups her hands over her mouth as she proceeds to yell, "DESPITE THE FACT THAT I'M SLEEPING WITH A BEARKIN! I'll never have a place to do something meaningful for this town or this people."

Many nearby bearkin turned at the giantess's shout in digust as they hurried along, urging their little ones to do the same. The bearkin behind her had a look of shock. His eyes held an unspoken prayer for the ground itself to open up and swallow him whole.

Character Grade - E

Titles: Human, Martial Artist, West Empire Adventurer, Do-Gooder, Loyal

Crymaria followed silently along as the comrades spoke, though there seemed to be an interesting conversation. At least from what she could gather some people seemed to be fighting over the idol which Crymaria couldn't remember the name of at the moment. But the encounter was at least entertaining to watch for better or worse. I still want to know more about this accident though Misha seems like the person? Bear? The one to ask about the whole matter. But its all so strange. She though to herself as she reached behind her and started to pat Boris's head.

As the giantess explained the situation Crymaria found her eyes wandering around looking for the familiar figure that would be Misha. "Excuse me comrades sorry to interrupt, but would you happen to know where Misha is? I have some questions that need answers," she explained as she looked at the group for a moment before returning to looking for her mark. The whole murder wasn't going to solve itself or at least what she perceived to have been foul play.

mentions: Clyvelle Clyvelle Faynorae Faynorae Kenju Law Kenju Law Valkan Valkan
"The winds' whispers" is sylph slang for "rumours."
  • Pain? Thought the sylph. Names always had meaning, and to name a child 'Pain' was a bit... Beshrewing. Or was it to express the pain of childbirth? Either way, Ophenia would never know such a thing for the only person she's named is thonself and sylphs were incapable of childbirth. However, when the grey one chimed in with 'Rock', the sylph could somewhat understand that more. Rocks were strong and almost eternal, being named 'Rock' was less negative than 'Pain'. It was also better than Éna, Dío, Tría et cetera.

    Ophenia smiled when Ciu'nan showed her interest in the Ryken Winter Festival, "Well~☆" She dragged out, "The streets were livened with carols of winter's falling snow and the smell of warmly baked pastries of the occasion and boiling hot soups... Ah!" Her eyes sparkled as a thought flew by, "The Hall of Pipes☆ I heard of it upon the winds' whispers that it is the grandest theatre in all of Ryke~! By the year's end, they are said to put on the most mesmerising performances..." Ophenia quieted down. Her hands clasped and pressed onto her chest as she closed her eyes, head tilted slightly to the sky.

    "I should most dearly dream of performing there once upon a time..." Said she, "Oh~!" She let out an exaggerated sigh, "Even the mere thought seems as possible as to touch and catch a shooting star!" She claimed, with her smile wilting on her white face. She still held onto that pin she had been given back then... Ophenia wondered if she was still considered able to participate in that winter pageant.

    The catkins' comment on the pavilion had piqued Ophenia's interest. It didn't particularly seem they were talking about JUST her fans. With the exception of one, Ophenia's fans have been quite ruly—or so she would believe. She's been told of how famed folks are faced with terrible incidents... Although, she didn't remember where she heard these tales. The sylph intended to pry further when they reconvene.

    Ophenia tilted her head to the side when the tall woman first addressed her. "Oh?" She'd utter, "The competition of strength is not simply for revelry?" The sylph asked, eyes slightly widened. She paused for a moment, before continuing. "And... Why would strength give one a position of power? Strength is nought for leading people; is it not more for protecting people?" Ophenia questioned with a raised brow. The tip of her shoes tapped the floor.

    Once the woman exclaimed loudly her relationship status, Ophenia would cover her mouth hiding her smile as an exaggerated gasp left her. "You sleep with a bearkin?!" She echoed, "Oh my~ That is lovely! How comfortable it must be!" Ophenia clapped, her face shimmering along with the happily-hued resonator hovering beside her. "Ah, but if the bearkin do not let you be part of the council simply for the reason of your unursine lineage, then why do you not just... Turn into one?" Said she, as simply as asking what time it is or how the weather was.

    "Transformation augmented with enhanced duration, or you could ask a witch, fairy or spirit to use polymorphy on you in order to transform yourself into a bearkin or something similar..." She then sighed. "Ah... But those are not solutions—changing one's entirety is not what most find pleasant and from what I had heard from Miss Bao... I perceive it will be met with only scorn." Ophenia looked down at the floor, sighing as she slumped forward. "I do not understand. Why can others of another species not be a member of the council? We are all the same once broken down into our most raw forms." She turned, to look up. "Is that not right?" Ophenia asked.

| Fae | Merry |
Merry - character is frequently overcome with fae like merriment. While more respectable individuals may try to hide their amusement at improper times, character freely displays their amusement. It is often contagious.

Listening to Ophenia recount her experience of the Ryken Winter Festival, Ciu'nan nodded along, imagining the spectacle of it all. Having hot food at the ready sounded delightful in the dead of winter! And the Hall of Pipes! Just the name sent the imagination running wild at the sights and sounds one might hear in such a place. Of course, Ciu'nan had no desire to perform, but to see a live performance in such a luxurious place definitely seemed like quite the experience.

Ciu'nan was content to wait with the catkin by the road while the others, led by Hathaway, pried into the giantess's business. The multitudes passing by were beginning to thin. The waiting didn't particularly bother her, but when the giantess started shouting unnecessary details, she grimaced and began to get antsy. Crymaria asking about Misha just drove the point home.

The giantess--Anasi as the bearkin had called her--smirked at Ophenia's innocent question.

"Oh, yes, very comfortable! His fur tickles me in ALL the right ways." she said subtly, as she cocked an eyebrow lasciviously at the bearkin, whose earnest wish of being swallowed by the ground continued to go unanswered. As soon as it happened, the moment was gone as she segwayed into a more realistic confession. "But thank the gods we live in the mountains where its cool because between the both of us, the bedroom is a damn sauna at times!"

Ciu'nan called to the others, "I thought we were heading to the contests!"

Anasi peered over the priest and fae to the second fae and catkin in waiting. She ran her fingers through her hair as she sighed. Turning away from them she approached the bearkin.

"Come on, Beh'zig. Let's go watch at least. We can cut out early and go pick some berries or something. Or"--Anasi taps a rather vicious-looking spear on her back--"maybe we'll find some game."

The bearkin, Beh'zig, seemed to relax somewhat when Anasi approached him. He licked his chops at her plan of gathering food later on.

"I'd really like that." he said softly.



Following the trail you emerge onto a vast field of grass, flowers, and stone. The landscape rises and falls in rolling hills, broken in a few places by large, rocky spires where the mountain decided to stretch a little further, reach a little higher for the sky. The overcast clouds that hung heavy over Kruhrin behind you, appear thin--almost on the verge of disappearing entirely--over the picturesque landscape before you. The wind blew more freely up here as well, even gusting at times in the unhindered space, but it was still a beautiful day for some contests.

Allowing the thin trail of creatures ahead of you to guide you, the group arrives at the contest area without incident. The area was a giant amphitheatre carved directly into the landscape. Stone tiers had been pasted with a thick, spongy moss that gladly spread and covered the entire seating area. In the center was an elevated stone stage. There on the stage was Misha and the catkin, who had parted ways with the group upon arriving. The white cat stood by while the gray cat appeared to be casting a spell on a stone rod (Ophenia would recognize it's shaped like a mic). Upon completing his work, he handed the mic to Misha who raised it to his mouth and began announcing the games.

"Welcome, everyone! Welcome! Kruhrin thanks each and every one of you for joining us during our special feast in honor of our guardian: Orson. Today is the first contest, and judging by the fact that I'm up here announcing, you bet your honey pots it's the Contest of Strength!" He pauses as an enthusiastic cheer erupts from the stands. "If this is your first time here, I congratulate you on completing the first--unofficial--event of the Contest of Strength: that long hike out to the arena!" Intermittent chuckling fills the air. "And now on to the what you really came here to see: some bears giving it their all some feats of strength!"
Let me make people happy.
  • "Tickling?" Ophenia winced, an incredibly rare sight for her. Her face pulled back into her almost static smile, "I feel as though tickling is not quite comfortable for sleep..." She sighed, knocking on her head. "Unfortunately~☆ I... do not sleep often." Said she. as if it were a normal thing. These days, sleeping was more of a chore, and she just could not do it. That was okay, for Ophenia would rather not dream.

    "A sauna?!" The sylph leaned forward, her eyes wide; "My, that sounds—" She stopped, hearing Ciu'nan behind her. "Oh my!" Ophenia sparked, snapping around in a twirling manner. She cupped her hands around her mouth, "Com—" Ophenia was about to shout, her resonator shocked magenta. Her hands trembled—she pressed her palms against her mouth, shoulders stiff. She breathed in then out, before shaking off her hands. Forcing a smile, she turned to the giantess, "I do apologise, but we must be headed now. It was lovely meeting you two!" She'd say waving like a child as she'd run back to Ciu'nan.

    The landscape reflected iridescent in Ophenia's icterine eyes. She was resting her smile, her eyes wandered through the fields and into the air, up to the sky. The resonator was similar in colour to the sylph's eyes, only lighter. The shade only lightened. The wind here was soared—roseate strands and adornments were caught by the subtle gusts. How easy it would be, to simply let go of the floor and float away. Sylphid did that, disappearing. They lost themselves in the breeze and... Mayhaps, The Winds is a graveyard of dancing corpses.

    She caught herself leaning, the winds were free and they touched her more. They grabbed her thoughts and whisked them to the clouds, but Ophenia was here not to think. She was here to enjoy. To be merely a face in the crowd. Ophenia snapped back to the stage. Glittering eyes stared upon it, the great marvel shaped into the mountains. She gasped at the thing that Grey held on the stage. "A microphone....!" The chanteuse squealed softly. She didn't remember where, but she knew what it was. It was similar to her Resonator; difference being, amplifying the voice was the only thing it did.

    The resonator shimmered in pale orange, and Ophenia was fixated on the stage. She could not focus on Misha's words, the stage took her attention. With a sigh, she looked at the floor, "What a shame..." The resonator waned cornflower. The stage felt grand, and here Ophenia sat amongst the crowd. Even if she could stand on stage, she couldn't perform. Her magic was forbidden here, and it was not selective... But did she really need it? The resonator was orange.

    Ophenia clapped once Misha had finished his speech. The enthusiasm around the sylph was stirring her up. How longed to perform, this moment. Perhaps, all she needed was an instrument. Although, she would need to find the opportunity as well. Her foot twitched up and down, tapping the ground.

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Well it didn't seem like the giantess was all too pleased with Hathaway and his instigation. Her stone-like manner and rough speech were admittedly a little intimidating up close. The woman could easily swat him like a fly. Still, he wouldn't be put off by just this!

"I'd say it's both in my personality and apart of my religious duty to not be able to mind my own business. Don't think I've ever met a priest who wasn't a busybody.".

He conveyed his thoughts to her truthfully. Hoping some light chatter would sooth her. Thankfully Ophenia also decided to join along and have his back. Though, he was unaware if she knew the implications of what 'sleeping' with someone meant. Either it looked as if they had a misunderstanding and the giantess and the bearkin seemed to know one another.

Seeing them take off, Hathaway turned towards Ophenia with a relieved smile, "Thanks for the support, I was a bit worried she was going to rip me in half." Upon returning to the group, he replied to Ciu'nan, "Sorry for the hold up. Priest-ly senses and all that.". Once he was finished giving his apologies, they returned to their venture. Thankfully the commotion had caused some of the crowd to disperse so they were given enough room to walk freely.

With enough time, they had made their way finally into the arena of the strength contest. There were a many people and creatures all around to enjoy the festivities. So much so that Hathaway had no hope of even trying to guess how many there were. The attendance and aesthetic alone was enough for him to see why someone would come every year.

While he was making his way amongst the growing crowd, he raised a question to his allies, "Am I too assume that one with the mic over there is 'Misha'?"
Although the wind was being a blowhard at times, the weather was fairly decent for an outdoor show like the contests. The sun had shaken free of the clouds for the moment, but a look towards distant peaks in the mountain range told of more clouds to come by the end of the day. At least for this afternoon, conditions were perfect.

The crowd in the stands was densely packed but more comfortably so considering a portion of the bearkin had already departed for Houisil earlier with the elves. This meant plenty of elbow room for those remaining as they observed the results of the contest of strength. When your neighbors are stout bearkin, however, 'plenty' was subjective when it came to extra room.

After Misha primed the audience for the events, they immediately dove into the events. First up was an elimination round focusing on endurance. Shackles attached by chains to metal cylinders were fastened to each contestant's wrists. The goal was simple: keep the cylinders elevated off the ground and try to be one of the last ten remaining.

Misha's commentary of the event kept things lively as the visuals were rather stale to watch. His goading remarks stoked the contestants on. Many of the youngest and oldest contestants fell off quickly, but a core group of 20 individuals stood strong for roughly 25 minutes. As the event began to drag on, Misha changed his commentating strategy suddenly, announcing that "many contestants" had suddenly been eliminated despite none of them moving. The less focused of the contestants began looking around uncertainly, which then caused four contestants to drop their cylinders and be eliminated (16). At the 35 minute mark, larger cylinders were brought onto the stage. The contestants were allowed to drop their arms while the cylinders were being swapped out. After the switch was made, Misha counted them back into the event. "3, 2, 1, Lift!" Three contestants were unable to hoist the new cylinders off the ground thus being eliminated (13). Three minutes later another three contestants dropped their cylinders (10). As Misha declared the remaining ten to be victorious, one of the victors, Daichi, passed out.

A ten minute intermission followed to allow the remaining ten contestants to recoup. To pass the time, Misha, now joined by Beni, came onstage along with two groups of bearkin. Misha explained, "Last night these two groups behind me started a pyramid building contest in the village square, and Beni said I should help choose a victor. While I did ultimately choose a winner, I enjoyed the simple fun of it all that I invited them to come out today for a rematch! This time, the judge will be all of you: their friends and kin! Now, get stacking!"

The groups converged on their respective goals with precision and care. Some of the members from the night before had left with the Houisil team, so the stacks were somewhat lacking. Based on the cheers from the crowd, however, the display was still as entertaining as it had been the first time. Once both groups had finished their pyramids, Misha, after a whisper from Beni, decided to have them hold their stacks for a couple minutes to see what would happen. It wasn't clear if someone slipped on the fur of their foundation or one of the wind gusts caught them unawares, but one pyramid started wobbling dangerously, while the other partially collapsed on one side. Misha tried to stifle a laugh as the crowd erupted. A final vote for each group was had, where the crowd cheered for the group they wanted to win. Hard to say if it was out of pity or thanks for the laughs, but the pyramid that partially collapsed was deemed the winner. Thus concluded the intermission.

The next event was a timed double header. The first part involved carrying three adult bearkin from one side of the stage to the other in under five minutes. The contestant would receive one powder bomb from each bearkin they delivered within the time limit. Afterward, the contestant would stand at a premarked line to make up to three throws at a large target painted onto an enormous piece of leather positioned on the opposite side of the stage. The powder bombs would shatter upon impact and leave a dusty spot on the target, earning the contestant points based on where they hit.

Misha counted each contestant in as Beni started the timer. Only two contestants managed to transport all three bearkin. Six only got two bearkin. One contestant only transported one, while another was unable to transport even one bearkin within the time limit thus being eliminated. The throw, supposed by many to be the easy part of the event, was actually quite tricky considering the mischievous wind. Several powder bombs flew wide, coating parts of the audience at times. Daichi was one such contestant. Having only transported two bearkin, he only had two powder bombs to begin with. Losing one to the wind meant he had only one shot to qualify for the next event. Readying his last throw, a discerning eye could see he used a special technique to empower his throw. Despite a gust kicking up right as he threw his powder bomb, the projectile cut straight threw the turbulent air and struck the target just to the right of the center, earning him just enough to qualify for the final event. Daichi was one of three contestants to move on to the final event.

The final event of the Contest of Strength was fittingly the most straightforward. It was apparent to all that the final three contestants were weary from the trials thus far. Now they had one last obstacle between them and victory: a giant stone block. Three stone blocks were hauled on stage, one for each contestant. Each block had three layers in it, lighter/weaker in the front to darker/harder in the back. The goal was simple: destroy as much of the block as possible with a single strike. Points were earned for total amount of the block destroyed as well as how many layers were impacted by the singular blow.

The first contestant, Machu, lined up for his shot. Unleashing a mighty blow, his attack appeared incredible at first, but once the dust settled only destroyed the first and weakest layer of the block. The second contestant, Kobal, took his place. His stance showed more discipline and a visible mana effect could be seen as he charged up an attack. Unleashing his blow, his power shattered the first layer and cratered the second layer, splintering the stone throughout. Daichi was visibly impressed by the second contestants attack, but shook it off as he prepared for his turn. Like with his throw in the previous event, a discerning eye could tell that Daichi was activating some latent ability within his musclature. Clenching his fist and gritting his teeth, Daichi thrust his fist towards the target. The entire block visibly shifted back about half a foot but remained intact. Upon closer inspection, however, it was seen that Daichi's fist had punched a hole clean through the center of the block all the way through to the other side. The second contestant was as visibly impressed by Daichi's move as the young bearkin had been by his.

Misha and Beni went to each block, whispering to each other as they examined the destruction. They stood a bit longer at Daichi's block than the others, even walking all around it, Beni in particular pointing out various things about the cubes condition. Finally, they came around to center stage and Misha took his mic out. The audience and contestants were on the edge of their seats in anticipation.

"I can honestly say--and Beni agrees--that the results in this year's final event are unlike any we've seen before. I want to thank each contestant for putting their very souls and passion on display for us today. Now without further delay, I'll announce...that Beni's gonna tell you who won!" Misha quickly hands the mic to Beni, who appears blindsided by the sudden improvisation. Hesitantly taking the mic, Beni clears her throat. "The winner of this year's Contest of Strength is...Kobal!" The reactions were mixed. Some shouted for a do over. Many hugged whoever was closest with excitement and glee. Kobal threw his arms up in triumph, while Daichi hung his head. Misha was there beside him, patting him on the shoulder before moving back and congratulating Kobal. Taking the mic back from Beni, Misha closed out the contest. "I want to thank you all for cheering on all the contestants. They all worked very hard today--and all year! Everyone deserves hugs, congratulations, and double portions of meat!"

Mention of food seemed to remind everyone that there's a festival to be had, so much of the folk in the stands began making their way back to the road to Kruhrin. Beni seemed like she would follow them, but Misha stopped her and whispered something to her that made her stay.

Misha and Beni would seek out Crymaria, Hathaway, and Ophenia after the crowds had went their separate ways. The councilbear of strength, who had been so jovial and lighthearted all through the contests, now turned serious as he met the outsiders.

"Beni tells me you talked with Bao. You know about Jia's assistant then? Brave cub. His death weighs heavy on me. All the heavier now that you say there was foul play...."

"Nothing proven yet, Misha. Only a suspicion of theirs."
Beni quickly corrected. "Lady Bao asks that you show them where you found Jia. They want to have a look around."

Misha looks to Beni when she began speaking. He softened a bit at her correction and shook his head eagerly.

"Yes, of course. Anything. I told them to leave everything as it was since, you know...there was nothing to be done about any of it. The statue was moved slightly to retrieve the assistant, but--bah, I'll show you. Come! It's a bit of a walk from here."

You arrive a short while later at the site of the accident. A cart lies partially crushed beneath about twenty feet of statue it had been hauling, which resembled those on the path to Kruhrin. This particular iteration showed a bearkin hoisting a human toddler up as it grabbed onto the talons of a bird flying overhead. The statue was now broken in various places from the fall. Red stains could be seen on the underside of the middle portion which had presumably crushed the assistant and Jia. Ropes lay all over the place.

"There it is." Misha said as he picked up the pace a bit. "They were heading back to Kruhrin when it happened. Hauling something this tall without laying it down is foolish...but Jia did use a lot of rope. I'm sure it was 'to preserve the natural beauty of the piece' or something. Now, I came from the direction we just came in fact. Heard the animal's death wails. Poor thing was partially crushed and impaled by the statue. There was no saving it, so I slit its throat. Didn't taste too bad so it wasn't a total loss. Anyway, Jia's assistant was fully underneath the statue, while only Jia's lower half was caught. He was sticking out over here." Misha gestures to a patch of ground bearing the faintest sign of two small impressions. Roughly two feet out from the impressions, the ground seems disturbed as though a creature were clawing at it. "Like I said, we had to shift the statue slightly to get both of them out. Those breaks towards the top and bottom there helped out a lot. The few of us that initially gathered were able to kinda roll it back off of them and get them out." The section of statue is offset from the rest as though it had been moved. The ground underneath bears an impression. A small spattering of blood can be seen. "Now, it was kinda miraculous how the statue fell. It killed the one beast, but narrowly missed the other, just lightly tapping and bruising its haunch a bit. We were able to use it to haul the pair of them back to town after freeing it from the reins." The harness of the cart can be seen discarded on the ground, having been cut free of the animal. "I gave everything an initial lookover, but as I'm sure you can understand, my priority at that time was Jia. One thing I did notice, however, was the ropes." Misha motions everyone to the back of the cart where some rope strands had been laid side by side. "This end you can tell was frayed--" Misha picks up a rope end that looks bushy and splayed with all the fibers coming completely unwoven from one another, "--probably snapped as the sculpture began to lean. However this one--" Misha presents another end that looks more collected and together, "--this one was definitely cut."

| Fae | Merry |
Merry - character is frequently overcome with fae like merriment. While more respectable individuals may try to hide their amusement at improper times, character freely displays their amusement. It is often contagious.

Ciu'nan was very much distracted since coming to the meadow. Though they approached and entered the amphitheatre, it only held her attention for a brief moment before her gaze went elsewhere. There was a particular rocky formation a few miles to the north that seemed to be of interest to her. The stage happened to be in the same direction, however, so one might assume she was staring at the goings on there all the same.

The final event did seem to pique her interest at last. Seeing the results of each of the attacks on the stone blocks caused her eyes to widen ever so slightly. The moment was brief, however, and her interest was elsewhere as soon as the winner was announced. Ciu'nan stayed with the group, but didn't talk much except to say, "I'm going to see Beni." After everyone began leaving.

Of course, Misha was why Crymaria had come at least, so the pair of them would go see the councilbear and his aide together if nothing else. There wasn't much chance to speak with Beni as Misha dove right to the heart of why they had all gathered. Ciu'nan simply followed along as Misha led the way.

Upon finding the scene of the accident, Ciu'nan skirted the edges of the area wandering around the cart and fallen statue. She adjusted the strap of her sling as she walked. Eventually she stopped by Beni, who also seemed to not want to get any closer. The fae looked from Beni to the cart, then allowed her gaze to wander to the horizon, looking to the northeast.

When Misha drew everyone's attention to the ropes, then Ciu'nan paid attention. Beni moved closer first. Ciu'nan hesitantly followed behind her. As Misha explained the difference in the ropes and that one had been cut, Ciu'nan spoke up, "Cut? You're sure?"

Misha seemed comfortable with his assessment. "We use ropes a lot in our construction, hoisting materials and pieces of buildings up. Every now and then, a rope snaps. They all have the same appearance. This rope was definitely cut."

Character Grade - E

Titles: Human, Martial Artist, West Empire Adventurer, Do-Gooder, Loyal

Crymaria nodded her head as the group followed Misah towards where the accident happened. When the group was told everything for the most part had been left untouched. As MMisha explained the scene Crymaria started to look around examining the ropes that were pointed out. "But cut by who and for what purpose that is the question. Could Jia simply have been waiting to lessen the work later and cut through some of the rope or was it done without him knowing?" She thought out loud moving now toward the cart to see if there was anything that was out of the ordinary.

Looking back over her shoulder at Misha,
"Comrade Misha, did Jia or his assistant come back with a knife or anything that could cut the rope?" She knew that the instrument that cut the rope had to be around somewhere. Though even if they could find it it would be hard to prove that it was the one that cut the rope at least without any sort of solid evidence. But seeing of right now there only seemed to be two people at the scene when it happened. "How did someone come across this? Was someone concerned after not hearing back from Jia or did they just happen to stumble upon it?"

mentions: Clyvelle Clyvelle Faynorae Faynorae Kenju Law Kenju Law Valkan Valkan
Ophenia "Du Coeur Pur", detective investigator extradonaire.
  • The sylph was quite interested in the contest. Well, it would seem so from how she gazed tentatively at those participating leaning forward. She was biting her thumb's nail, the yellow pigment chipped onto her lower lip. However, Ophenia did not understand what was happening, and she couldn't see much either. She still had fun with what little she could make out; she heard something regarding building pyramids, but that was likely all. When the winner was announced, she bounced up and clapped with a glittering smile—her left thumb's nail was bitten to her nailbed, and a sparkling white had dried by its ripped cuticle.

    The sylph made sure to listen with comprehension this time around once the group had met up with Misha and Beni. As they made it to the scene of the potential crime, Ophenia's eyes were caught on a single thing. The statue itself held her attention hostage, despite being in ruin, she could still appreciate how it was made. She crouched beside the piece where the presumed bloodstain was. Red is the colour of aggression and contempt; blood bore that colour.

    Ophenia covered her mouth when the bearkin admitted to eating an animal which presumably got crushed by the statue as well. The resonator shifted pink, then blue. Were creatures not meant to be left alone in death? Or be buried, or burnt to ash and spread upon something they found beloved? She breathed a sigh, whilst continuing to stare at the statue's red-stain. She could have saved it—it was a witness, but... The winds still soar; the streams still flow. There is no use in letting such thoughts linger.

    The sylph stood, directing her gaze to Misha as he highlighted the ropes and how it was cut. It proved that someone or something had meant to sabotage the statue, or there was a different reason it was cut. Ophenia did not possess skills of perception or investigation. Her expertise lay in emotions, sounds, performance and magic which was not permitted use here.

    "I do not understand," Ophenia voiced with knitted brows, " for what purpose would there be for anyone to cut the ropes? Is there perchance any particular person who we can presume holds vice toward this Jia?" She tilted her head slightly, her heel tapping the ground. "Perhaps there is someone who bears ill will toward someone connected to Jia..." The sylph would speculate.


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