Once home to the Crystal Cities of the Hunter clans, Craiss Caverns is now a hollow empty shell of its former glory due to a strange misfortune in the past. Man-made tunnels now lead to this place, but tales tell of some never returning. (+3 Defense, +2 Offense)

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Serendipity [Self]

Postby crow » 04/14/2014 6:11 PM

Image


Akala looked at the yawning mouth of the cave, and wondered what he was doing with his life.

But that was a question easily answered. Akala, like all his ancestors before him, was looking for someone. The fact that his forefathers hadn't managed to find her after all these generations said something about the nature of their search, but they had all been duty-bound to continue anyway. That was his lot in life too, and he'd known it since he had been young enough to comprehend what duty was.

As to why he was in the Craiss Caverns in particular, however, he couldn't say for sure. It just felt as if something drew him here. Hopefully he'd get to find out today, why that was.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Serendipity [Self]

Postby crow » 04/14/2014 6:16 PM

It all began a week ago. Akala had been searching all his life, yes, but his efforts had been half-hearted even in the beginning. His grandfather had died raving on his deathbed, and his father had become embittered even as he passed on the lore of the Bright One to his son. Akala, perhaps as a result of the jaded tone of his education, had little hope that what he was searching for existed, let alone that he would ever find her.

But then two weeks ago the shard, which he had always assumed to be a cheap bauble of glass, had begun to glow. As he stared at it, amazed, for the first time something kindled in his chest that made him itch to go somewhere. It had taken him the better part of those two weeks to figure out where that urge was leading him.

Now that he was faced with the reality of his instinct, however, he balked. Spelunking was not his idea of a pleasant pastime. Still, whatever force had imparted his newfound wanderlust upon him would not let him be. Before he knew it, he had taken a first step, and then another.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Serendipity [Self]

Postby crow » 04/14/2014 6:20 PM

"I must be crazy," he said to himself, staring incredulously around at the cavern walls. "I've finally gone nuts." But far from displeasing him, the idea was almost amusing. Insanity was a kind of adventure, wasn't it? Loath as he was to admit it, his life had been lacking excitement as of late. Even if it did turn out that his grandfather's crazy had simply skipped a generation to rear its ugly head again in him, it promised a relief from boredom. He was, admittedly, less enthused about the idea of being caught and mauled by Hunters, but who encountered those now anyway? They'd all fallen apart, as far as he knew. That was what his fathers tomes had to say on the subject. For once, he hoped they were right.

A little nervous laughter escaped from him as he walked. He wasn't yet deep enough in to be in any trouble, but how far would he have to go? It would have been a bit more comforting if this tug had a more finite destination than 'farther in'.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Serendipity [Self]

Postby crow » 04/14/2014 6:25 PM

He found out soon enough that his nerves weren't helping him any. The worse his thoughts were, the faster he walked; before he knew it, he could no longer see the light of the entrance. Thankfully, there were crystals scattered all around, and some of these glowed enough for him to see his way without too much trouble. Now that it was dark enough for him to notice, he saw that in certain stretches of tunnel, the walls also sported runes that shed their own soft light on everything. Slowing his pace, he made as if to trace them, then hesitated. Would that trigger something? A trap, perhaps? He wasn't sure he wanted to take that chance. A place that had once been the grand cities of Hunters... His curiosity had no place here.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Serendipity [Self]

Postby crow » 04/14/2014 6:28 PM

But then again, it might well be the secrets of this place that urged him here to begin with; and if he didn't do something to find them, he might well be wandering these depths forever. His hand continued to hover where it was, and his eyes flicked over the runes. Nothing he recognized from anywhere, and certainly nothing he could read. That was disappointing.

A sudden idea occurred to him, and he extricated the shard from where it rested inside the pocket of the inner lining of his coat. The jacket had been custom made, and that particular compartment cleverly disguised, all to hold this heirloom. Though it had once looked like any other piece of shattered glass, now it radiated a soft golden glow, which pulsated every so often like a sluggish heartbeat.

[1]




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Serendipity [Self]

Postby crow » 04/14/2014 6:33 PM

This, he held up to the runes, watching them raptly for any sign of a reaction. The shard had been the only thing, besides old stories passed from father to son, that any of the Akala line had left of the Bright One. Accounts varied widely now as to what exactly it was, but every one of his ancestors had agreed that it was important, so the later generations had been unable to toss it away. Akala had always wondered why they'd taken it so seriously, but now he was forced to be glad for it.

Not that anything came of it at the moment, however. The runes and the crystal both remained as they were, even when Akala tentatively bumped one with the other. All that could be heard was the soft tink of glass hitting stone.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Serendipity [Self]

Postby crow » 04/14/2014 6:38 PM

Disappointed yet again, Akala stepped back from the wall and looked at the shard with furrowed brows. The corners of his mouth turned down. Warm from his body, it looked almost alive, almost as if it was somehow dormant. It had to be the key to something, somewhere... If only he could figure out what that was, he might actually make some progress.

Nothing to do but keep walking, he supposed.

The tunnels led him round and round, sometimes to a fork. He consulted the shard at each turn, but it always met him with stoic silence, so he had to resort to his own powers of reasoning to pick his way about--- which was to say a great many games of eenie-meenie-miney-moe were played. Truly, he was a seasoned adventurer.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Serendipity [Self]

Postby crow » 04/14/2014 11:04 PM

His 'adventure' consisted mostly of him wandering around aimlessly for hours. Or rather, for what he had to assume must have been hours. Sometimes he paused to examine an especially strange rune or to try in vain to figure out where he ought to be going, but mostly he kept going forward and hoping for the best. There were ruins, and sometimes the path became steeply sloped or precarious; sometimes, too, he ran into dead ends and was forced to turn back. But only when he became aware of the hunger gnawing at his gut did he finally stop, and slump against a wall in defeat.

He was now well and truly lost, with no hope of finding his way back. He had tried, in vain, to backtrack only to come to a fork in the road, and this was where he sat now, having forgotten even the tunnel from which he'd just arrived. He looked at the walls, and had to admit that they were different from one another. If he had been going slowly, with landmarks in mind, he might have found his way to the entrance again. Unfortunately, his thinking had not gone so far as that.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Serendipity [Self]

Postby crow » 04/14/2014 11:10 PM

He scowled at the shard, whose cord was still wound around his hand. The cord had dug pink marks into his skin from being wound around so tight, and the shard itself was slick with sweat from his palm. "Some use you were. A blessing of the Bright One, eh? Cursed, more likely; otherwise you wouldn't have led me to this place to die when my family's served you so long." The bitterness in him ran too deep, and whatever faith the glow had inspired in him was no match for the evidence of generations of failed expectations.

He did not really expect to die here, and he knew well that if he didn't get up, there would be no hope of him finding food either. That kind of thing didn't just drop out of the sky if he wished hard enough. He ought to be on his feet, but he was tired, and even the cold stone floor was a relief when his limbs felt so dead. Before he had quite realized what had happened, he'd fallen asleep.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Serendipity [Self]

Postby crow » 04/14/2014 11:14 PM

Akala dreamed of voices. The dream was a dizzy thing, and everything was pale. The people were pale, the scenery, and even his sensations were somehow washed in a tint he couldn't quite put a name to. There were people talking--- he assumed they were people. They spoke a language he couldn't recognize, and he could make neither head nor tails of their words.

In the cave, his body twitched in his sleep, jerking this way and that as his mind wandered through his uneasy slumber. All the while, the shard glowed, pulsing brighter than it had before. The world around him blurred for a brief moment, though he was not awake to see it. He was awoken at last by a stone hitting him on the head, and snapped to attention all at once with a yelp, only to relax when he saw that there was nothing to be alarmed at. He was still in the dark, alone, with the shard and its cord in his hand. He was still hungry.

[2]




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Serendipity [Self]

Postby crow » 04/14/2014 11:19 PM

Except, as it happened, his initial estimate of being alone was wrong. Not a minute had passed since he sighed in relief before a cheery voice could be heard: "Oh, hey, awake now are we?" Akala was forced to startle again, this time making a louder exclamation.

"Wh-Who's there?" he asked, looking around furtively.

Thankfully, the stranger had no desire to be cryptic, and revealed himself readily. He slunk a little out of the shadows and grinned, looking slightly sheepish. Akala looked him over with a cautious eye, but the stranger was no cause for alarm after all. He was a rangy boy, dressed in scruffy clothes, and looked to be in his late teens at the oldest. A guitar was slung over one shoulder, and a box of some sort was hooked to his belt at the opposite hip. What he was doing in the caverns was anyone's guess.

Image




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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crow
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Re: Serendipity [Self]

Postby crow » 04/14/2014 11:27 PM

Akala raised one eyebrow. "What are you supposed to be?" he asked. The boy gave a shrug. Akala got to his feet, and looked at the boy again. Damn. Even hunched over like that, he was taller than Akala himself, even though he had to be the junior by about ten years. Then again, Akala had never been gifted as far as height was concerned.

"I don't really know... I just ended up here. Guess it sounds kinda dumb, huh?" the boy said. Any other day, and Akala would have laughed. Unfortunately, with things as they were currently, he could only relate too well to that.

He sighed. "Kids shouldn't be wandering around places like this, you know."

The boy made a face at him. "Geez, you sound like a geezer. You didn't look that old." He swung the guitar forward, gave it a slow strum, then picked at a particular string while he tuned it.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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crow
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Re: Serendipity [Self]

Postby crow » 04/14/2014 11:34 PM

Akala was surprised that the boy could remain so calm in their situation. Most people would have been at least a little uneasy to be lost down here, and with a stranger to boot. For all he knew, Akala could have been a murderer, or a fugitive of some sort. Or, of course, both. Far from being helpful, this thought made him look at the boy a little more uneasily. He looked too young and too relaxed to be a killer, but one couldn't be sure.

"What's your name, anyway?" he asked. The boy looked up from his tuning, and paused to think before giving an answer.

"Um... You can call me Faber. Yeah, that'd be nice," he said. His tone made more of a suggestion of it than a statement, and left Akala with more questions than ever. He rubbed at his forehead. This was just not his day, was it?




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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crow
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Re: Serendipity [Self]

Postby crow » 04/14/2014 11:39 PM

He decided that he might as well roll with it. Being serious and reasonable wasn't going to get him far with this guy. What was that saying? When in Rome...? "You don't have any food on you, do you? I haven't eaten since..." He didn't know how long it had been since he'd last eaten, but he let the sentence trail off, seeing that the boy was already searching his pockets. He tried not to get his hopes up too much. Faber was such a scrawny thing himself. He was just about to call it off when Faber handed him two beat-up granola bars. They looked a bit dubious, but their wrappers were intact, and Akala was pretty hungry, so he accepted them with as much grace as he could manage under the circumstances.

He would have been happy to wolf them down, but for the sake of his dignity, he forced himself to unwrap one and eat it slowly. He didn't feel any fuller, but he pocketed the second. If they couldn't find their way out, he'd have to stretch out his food supply.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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crow
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Re: Serendipity [Self]

Postby crow » 04/14/2014 11:48 PM

With that thought, he felt a little bad about taking food from Faber, but hey, he'd left one bar alone. If they ended up getting trapped down here... No, he was just going to stay well away from that train of thought. "You know the way out of here?" he asked half-heartedly. He wasn't surprised when Faber shook his head. The boy needed a haircut; his bangs fell over his eyes and obscured them for a moment before he raked them back into place with a hand. He had gone back to tuning his guitar, and strummed a key, listening thoughtfully.

Akala frowned, but if Faber wanted to stay stuck down here, that was his problem. He was grateful enough for the food to announce that he was leaving. "I'm going to try and find my way out of here. You can follow if you like," he said, looking back. Faber did look up again at that, and grinned, but he made no move to follow. With a shrug, Akala departed.

[3][1]




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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User avatar
crow
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