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May 03, 13 at 6:08pm ^re: Manifest Destiny - The Great Migration ("50th" Chapter!)
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Spoiler:Chapter 16 - Harvest Festival
“Oh please Pipik!” the nearly shrill, female voice could be heard all the way from the matron’s quarters. “I know it’s late, but the festival only comes around once a year, and it’s always been really special to our clan.”
“All right all right,” I heard her say, “But don’t force her into it. Remember she’s still not quite healthy yet.”
Realizing whoever it was speaking was coming to see me, I propped myself up, so I’d have the dignity to be able to look at them face to face, and waited. Surely enough, Pipik led the girl back to where I was staying. For a moment I simply could not believe my eyes. I knew her, Arzai, or I had back when I was been working the Berry Trees. Though she had been much younger back then, there was still something that tied me to the memory. Her father had owned the plantation I’d lived and worked at, and I’d seen her walking around with him on the nicer days. She still wore her hair in those silly white pigtails she had back then, pretty short white hair pulled into two bunches at the top of her head and tied off with exotic beads. I’d always expected her father to plan a vacation when the King’s Council came through to check for prospective Rangers, as was the case with many of the wealthy families. While the opportunity to become a Ranger for someone in a poor family was the promise of a better life, to someone in a richer family, it was the promise of losing their child. When Rangers went out to work, they rarely went back to their hometown, or even their clan. Instead, they were sent to a place where their ideals would mesh well with the community, and where they were the most needed. For that reason, Rangers rarely made families for themselves.
“um… Hi Mahin.” She said.
It was awkward. Back home, despite the fact that I was several years older than she was; she had always had a higher place than I did back home. It had been her home and I had been allowed to live there. It was her farm, and I was allowed to work there. My becoming a Ranger had changed all of that, and though she wasn’t in my class, I was the aide and she was the student. I didn’t know she’d even come to the school, but she couldn’t have been here long; maybe fresh out of the first class.
“How’ve you been Arzai?” I asked, smiling while I adjusted myself on the bed.
“Good. Do you know what tonight is?” She asked, almost teasingly. Shaking my head because after everything that had happened, I’d lost track of time. “It’s the Harvest Festival, just like we used to have back home. It’s actually my first one away from home, and I was hoping you’d come along with me.”
To be perfectly honest, the past year or two I hadn’t attended any celebrations that were Clan-specific. At that point, I had resigned myself to the fact that I was going to be assigned to some other clan and wouldn’t be able to celebrate any of my old festivals, but of the festivals my Clan had, the Harvest Festival had always been one of my favorites. Even though we couldn’t grow our food like we did at home, it was still delicious. We still danced around a fire, and more than anything else, connected to the rest of the students from our Clan. Agreeing to go with her, and nodding to Pipik’s reminder to show up in Bahme’s class tomorrow, we made our way out to the lawn.
By the time we made it, the fire had already been started. Tables had been hauled out, and were piled high with foods similar to what we grew back home. I could tell be the look on Arzai’s face that this wasn’t quite what she was expecting. I think I’d had close to the same reaction my first time, but all in all it was a fairly close representation.
“Why don’t you go find some people around your age?” I asked, “I have to sit down.”
“I’m not going to leave, you think I want to climb up all those stairs again? I just need to sit down.”
She nodded and went to find someone from her class while I all but collapsed onto a bench. Getting down here hadn’t been easym and only through the use of handrails and my staff had I not tumbled down any of the flights of stairs. Stairs aside, my legs were still sore, and my feet still didn’t seem to want to walk properly. I hadn’t even seen who else was occupying the bench until he spoke to me.
“Nice to see you out and about again.”
“Master Bahme!” In retrospect, I should have expected to see him here. Technically he was a retired ranger, and could go back home anytime he wished.
“Will you be coming back to class soon?” He asked. “Or does Pipik want to keep you locked up in that clinic a while longer?”
Trying not to laugh, I answered “No, I’ll be back tomorrow. How’s the class been going?”
“Not well. A group of them got so worried when they heard what happened to you they won’t even touch the Training Rod. They tried to lock themselves in their dorm until they had failed out of the class. The rest of the class… well, I can tell they’ve been spooked. We are all looking forward to your return. Are you… cleared to teach again?”
“As far as I know.”
“Good, we’re starting to review for evaluation and I’ll need a spare set of hands.”
We somehow managed to spend the rest of the night talking about more pleasant things, and enjoying the food and company of whichever student chose to sit beside us for a few minutes. While the night was pleasant, and relatively easy to work through, the real challenge would begin in the morning.
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May 16, 13 at 9:45pm ^re: Manifest Destiny - The Great Migration ("50th" Chapter!)
So summer C: Expect more chapter updates, as we're getting close to the end of Part 1.
Spoiler:Chapter 17 - Breaking
The class was already assembled by the time I made it down to the classroom. I hadn’t meant to be late, but I was still trying to get used to it taking so much longer to get everywhere. By the looks on their faces, none of the students had expected to see me. Trying to put them at ease, I took as much dignity as I could in my hobbled-walk, and sat in my seat next to Bahme’s podium. As he had said last night, they were reviewing the basics. Evaluations were only a few days away after all.
From the looks of things, nobody was even remotely ready for evaluations. A cluster of students sat in the back of the room, trying to avoid looking at Master Bahme and me. Those who were trying to participate couldn’t hold a steady light with the training rod. By the time we actually broke for lunch and afternoon training, my hopes for the majority of the class were fairly low. Tomorrow, we were planning to deviate from our original lessons to allay their fears. However, for now I’d be going back to Pipik’s Clinic. ‘Safe’ to teach didn’t mean I had recovered. I was still tired, though most of the aches and pains had gone away.
Her ‘treatment’ at this point was to turn me back to my would-be duties, unless something new came up. I was also to help with guarding the school during the nights, mainly doing rounds in the dormitories, but for now, as we were so short-staffed, I’d be helping in afternoon training.
By the time I’d made it down to the main lawn (where I had been told most of the training was going on these days) there was already quite a large crowd gathered, but as far as I could tell, they weren’t actually doing anything. All the activity was happening in the center of the ring made by the spectators. The group of Fillan foals must be ready to evolve into Elkin. For some reason, they always seemed to evolve as a herd, and upon evolving, each had to be ‘broken’ to accept saddles and riders. From what I’d heard, this was one of the only tasks at the Academy where the Masters never let the students help. If any mistakes were made during this training, the beast wouldn’t transition properly from being wild. Depending on how and where they were ‘broken’, their horns would grow in differently, and would be used for different purposes. From what I’d heard, this would be something Master Orhan would usually handle, as he had worked as a Ranger in the Plains, where Elkin were important to the Clan as the land itself. Part of me wondered, was he breaking the entire herd himself?
No, he wasn’t, but I never would have guessed who was assisting him. It wasn’t common knowledge, or even uncommon knowledge for that matter, what Clan she had worked for before starting her real career as a Ranger. All we knew was Pyry had worked for a Clan for a year or two before leading several of the charges against the Rogues in Kataya. Since she usually wore clothes of her own Clan while teaching, and (save for situations like this) was seldom seen riding anything. Now however, she wore the hard leather armor and chaps usually worn by the Riders of the Plains.
Watching her command the beast was entrancing. For as cold as she was towards just about everyone I’d seen her meet, she was just as unresponsive to the beasts. The little ones were responding and adapting to her, changing direction or speed at the slightest touch of her hand or squeeze of her legs. The Fillan, just like the students here, knew exactly who was boss, and would have to be insane to question it. Once I managed to look up from the beast, my chest practically froze in my chest. Realizing now I’d only ever seen Pyry in her native Clan clothes (mainly the outer-coat) which kept most of her body completely covered. Now, her arms were bare, but I hadn’t thought that they could even be hers. For how pale she was, being of the Kon'la, her arms looked much darker. It looked as if every inch of her skin had been burned and scarred at some point, though none of it looked recent. Either way, it seemed like there was much more to her past than she had ever let on.
One of the aides, I had no idea who, continued what must have been a fairly long talk. It was an important point to get across, especially to the younger students. As important as emotional work with our staffs were, just as much could be accomplished by physical contact with the Pokemon, and as simple as it seems, just paying attention. Both the body language of the Pokemon, and the body language of the Ranger could be just as influential as lighting your staff like a beacon. In most cases, it was better to do more with less. While the staffs were useful tools, most of the region was still very wary of Rogues, and even though Rangers had the right of the King to act, it was still a power they didn’t understand. Just like Pokemon, what they didn’t understand, they most often feared. Not that Rangers were run out of town, or treated like criminals, most citizens were grateful for their presence; they just didn’t really want to see them at work.
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May 21, 13 at 11:28pm ^re: Manifest Destiny - The Great Migration ("50th" Chapter!)
I think learning how to write shorter chapters might be something I should do... they just sort of get away from me :3
Spoiler:Chapter 18 - The Calm
I ended up leaving the demonstration early. There wasn’t anything I could help with, so there was probably somewhere else I could go. Maybe I’d head back to the nursery, or just head into dinner. Either way, I didn’t end up heading back into the building. I’d only just reached the main doors when a dull thud caught my attention. It was loud enough that something must have intentionally caused it, but it didn’t sound like it had come from too far away. Letting my curiosity get the better of me, I edged around the corner of the building to one of the practice ranges. Students who wanted to practice some of the more combative traditions of their Clans generally came here. Its placement between the dormitories and the main building of the Academy typically contained any accidents, and most everyone knew not to enter the range from the end with the targets.
Well, clearly everyone except me. All of my senses heightened except for common sense, I was lucky enough to duck behind one of the targets before a throwing axe buried itself in my improvised shield.
“Are you trying to take my head off Ani?” I half-shouted, half-asked; staying very close to the wall while I made my way towards him.
“Sorry, but I thought an aide would know better than to lurk back there.” He wasn’t angry, maybe a little bit sassy, but not angry.
“I was heading in, and heard your axes. What are you doing out here?” Ani wasn’t one to practice fighting like this. From what I knew of him, he was generally partial to solving problems with words (or if that failed, any method that didn’t involve bloodshed).
“Do you remember that conversation we had back in the clinic?” He asked, his face more grave than I had ever remembered seeing it.
I had to stop to think for a moment. “That was about that other region wasn’t it?”
“Yeah, that one that’s been trying to land on the coast of Tae'nook.”
“Well they practically own the entire east coast.”
“True, but the King’s been getting worried.”
“Isn’t that why he drafted the Field Rangers?” I said, that part of our talk coming back to me.
“He didn’t exactly stop there.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’ve been drafted. From what I’ve heard around, most of the other aides have been too. Rest of the notices could be on their way.”
“Do you think war is coming?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he answered, pausing for a second, “You and I weren’t old enough during the real war against the Rogues to remember anything, and even that doesn’t look like what we’re in for.”
“What do you mean?” I asked. I, of course, had heard of the war against the Rogues, but it had always confused me.
The war of the Rogues had supposedly been a period some twenty or thirty odd years ago where tensions between the King’s Men and the Rogues, if that were possible. Back then, there were more of them then there were now, and there had been open fighting between them and the Imperial Armies. OF course, the Rogues hadn’t been eradicated, but many had been killed in the fighting, and in the hangings that followed. From what the histories said, their leader had led them down from the far north for an attempt on Sargon the Sixth. Whether or not they’d actually killed him, it hadn’t said; but his son had taken power shortly after. Rogue sightings since had been few and far between, but the fools were made examples of every time, sympathizers too for that matter.
“The other Region doesn’t have any Rangers that we know of. If anything, it’ll be like the ClanWars of the old days, but on a way bigger scale. No, the war against the Rogues is different, but it’s all we have to draw from.”
“Do you mean you know someone who fought against them?”
“Of course I do, and you know her too Mahin.”
“Her?” I’d been thinking of someone like Bahme, someone much older who’d seen his fair share of the world.
“Pyry, I thought you would have guessed after seeing her at the Breaking, or did you not get down that far?”
“I-I did, but…” I sort of trailed off, not sure what to think. Nothing about Pyry, before today, would have made me ever think she had been a fighter. “Did the Rogues do all that to her?”
“I can’t imagine what else could. She doesn’t talk about it often, but someone from my class asked her about her scars after the last breaking. She wouldn’t say more than they were an accident, but Orhan filled in the rest. She was a Ranger in the Plains for a few years before the first of the Rogue Battles began. The town she was watching was one of the first targeted, I think because they did a lot to help supply the Army, but I can’t remember exactly what it was. Anyway, they were hit hard, and Pyry went straight up to the King himself to get permission to hunt them down.”
“She actually went –“
“Yeah, and she must have gotten it too. With her Penebrae, she probably caught more Rogues than any of the Army Squads.”
“She has a Penebrae?”
“Clearly Mahin, you followed all of the rules when you were a student. It’s her familiar, the one Pokemon she’s bonded to for life. She never brings it into the classroom, for obvious reasons, but it tends to prowl the grounds at night, ya know, after curfew, and sleeps in her office during the day.” I had never been in Pyry’s office, and hoped the occasion would never arise.
“Ok, so her and said fierce beast cut down a good chunk of the Rogues, and then what? Did she just retire and come here like Bahme?”
“Something like that, and it seems natural she teaches what she does. I think you know as well as I do that she never quite retired, especially after that fiasco with the Mind-Magic. If anything, she’s been waiting for something like this, and put herself in a place to keep herself ready.” He paused, and looked back over his shoulder, towards where the demonstration had been going on. “I think they’re just about done. Come on, dinner is definitely a good idea before patrol.”
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May 22, 13 at 9:36pm ^re: Manifest Destiny - The Great Migration ("50th" Chapter!)
Things are getting so exciting! This chapter marks the end of Part 1 of tGM.
Spoiler:Chapter 19 - The Night
He had been right, though I was wishing I could get a snack soon. Through all the classes, there were a lot of students, and a lot of stairs. Luckily for me, the students seemed to be following curfew. The building was quiet, just as it should be. Only a couple students had been caught with candles still lit, and only the oldest students were left to check. I had a feeling they’d either all be awake, or be following the rules to a “t”. Seemed like most of them were asleep, though it looked like one kid was still awake. The crack around the door was betraying the candlelight.
“You do know,” I said quietly, gently pushing the door open “That it’s after curfew.”
“Sorry, I couldn’t sleep” Takia said, looking over towards me in the door, “Can you spare a minute?”
“I think so,” I said, sliding into her room, “What’s goin’ on?”
“We’re starting evaluations tomorrow in Pyry’s class, and I’m really scared she’s going to fail me again.”
“Losing sleep over it won’t make any of the tests easier. Do you mind if I sit down?”
“Oh go ahead.”
I sat down and took a quick look around the room. Most dormatories looked simiar, but when the students moved in, they would typically bring a few things from their home. I’d seen students, like Kano, who had covered their walls with pelts, and then there were others who looked as if they’d brought nothing at all. Takia, it looked like leaned more towards the latter. Over on her desk were the only personal items I could see, several candles that the school certainly had not provided, forming a half circle around a bowl and a very sharp knife. Pretending I hadn’t seen that, not that it was against the rules, it just felt a little disturbing.
“What exactly did you need help with?”
“Like I said, I’m scared she’ll fail me.”
“Well, it is Pyry,”Takia laughed, and I cracked a grin while I continued, “I’m surprised you aren’t studying.”
“I don’t think it’s the test that’ll fail me though,” she said eyes welling up a bit, “It’s the way she looks at me, like she expects me to spit fire or spout horns or something. I don’t think she’ll let me pass Mahin!”
“Calm down. She’s still a teacher, she’ll have to be fair.”
“I don’t think so… there’s people it’ll seem like she fails for no reason. I’m just really worried, this is my last chance to pass. Could you, maybe, go talk to her for me?”
My gut reaction was to refuse, and get out of the room right then. “I can give it a shot, but I can’t promise anything. You know how she is.”
I was halfway down the stairs before I realized how bad of an idea this really was. I didn’t know anything about her class, or how well Takia was actually doing. It certainly wasn’t my place to question the Masters here, Pyry least of all. If it had been up to her, I wouldn’t even be here. According to her marks, I should have failed out. On top of it all, I didn’t even know where to find her at this time of night, and there was no force in this region, or any other for that matter, that would make me wake her up in the dead of night to talk about this.
I’d just about reached the conclusion to quit this whole idea and make a second round up the dormitory when I heard hushed, but urgent voices coming from the lawn, just around the corner. Usually I wouldn’t have considered eavesdropping, until I recognized the first of the two voices as Pyry’s.
“You’ve got to tell her Bahme, before the soldiers get here tomorrow for Evaluations.”
“Pyry, what am I supposed to –“
“Either tell her what she’s in for, or make sure you have a d*mn good cover.”
“I don’t see why this is necessary.”
“They check our records every evaluation; all of the Masters and all of the Aides. I’d forgotten until Pipik had me sign off on the reports of that Rogue’s escape. We’ve never had an incident with it before.”
“What makes you think we’ll have an incident now? She passed her classes just fine.”
“She failed mine.”
I had a sickening feeling they were talking about me the further this conversation went.
“She should have passed that test and you know it.”
“The fact of the matter is she didn’t, and you were not authorized to give that exam.”
“I’m looking for more than answers on a page Bahme. There are qualities tested that you could never see.”
“So she was guaranteed to fail?”
“It’s my job to keep them out of the King’s employ. You know that, and they know that.”
“What now then?”
“When the soldiers come tomorrow, and find out she should have failed out, and is still working as a Ranger, there’s only one thing they can do.”
“You don’t mean-“
“They’ll brand her as a Rogue, and she will be executed.”
Edit: May 22, 13 9:49pm
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May 23, 13 at 10:12am ^re: Manifest Destiny - The Great Migration ("50th" Chapter!)
All that back-story for Pyry was great, it actually made me like her a little more. But wut Mahin can't be executed that's silly
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May 23, 13 at 5:01pm ^re: Manifest Destiny - The Great Migration ("50th" Chapter!)
*finally reads all the huge chapters*
I'll be honest - Best fanfic I've ever read Lizz, brilliant writing an' plot. Fan me for part 2
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May 24, 13 at 9:32pm ^re: Manifest Destiny - The Great Migration ("50th" Chapter!)
Hehe, silly CJ, you really think I've told you the whole story? You just wait C;
Spoiler:Chapter 20 - Departure
Executed? No, they couldn’t be serious! I mean… yes, that is what they did to Rogues, but I hadn’t done anything wrong, had I? I hadn’t known that test was illegal, and when Bahme offered me the job I’d taken it without a second thought. How could that have caused all this? But no, it would get worse before it was over. Would they blame me for the escape of that Rogue? That girl whose name I’d never learned had used different Mind-Magic on me than on the rest of the class after all. What was to suggest we hadn’t been working together? But we weren’t working together, were we? She’d essentially stopped time to speak straight to me, something I had chosen not to tell the soldiers. Yes, I’d specifically chosen to keep that bit of the story to myself, but that alone didn’t make me a Rogue, did it?
Regardless, if Pyry had decided that I was going to hang, there was nothing left for me here. If the King’s Army would decide I was a Rogue, then I would have to find somewhere safe to hide. Keeping myself out of the noose would have to be my first priority. My mind flew back to that message the Rogue girl had left me before the demonstration. She’d seen this coming, said she’d heard Pyry talking, but how had she known it was me? Whatever it was in me that Pyry had failed me for, had she seen it too? Was there really something that could be ‘seen’ to tell if someone was a Rogue or not? Either way, it was the second part of her message I really needed. The far north, the one place she said I’d be safe, but was it worth my life to trust a Rogue? Clearly I couldn’t trust my life to the Rangers, not anymore.
All that was left to do was get out of here. Scared stone cold in my skin, I had to wait until I was sure Bahme and Pyry had moved on before sprinting over to the stables. As the school helped to raise Elkin, as well as teaching the students to ride (many field Rangers had some sort of mount while they were working) the stables were well equipped and well stocked. If I was already an outlaw, taking a beast to make my getaway couldn’t make things any worse. There’s only so much they can do to kill a person after all. Now, if I was going to make this cross-Region trek, I’d need someone hearty enough to help me through the journey without needing constant rest, and someone who wouldn’t stand out too much. In that way, I couldn’t use most any of the Elkin. While Elkin in many forms were common across Kataya, the only variant we had here at the school was Imperial Elkin, and the only places to own them were the Academy, and the King’s Castle. They would not blend in. In the end, I ended up choosing a beast I’d seen before in my Clan. Rodromus were occasionally used as beasts of burden back at the farms, despite the fact they ran on two legs mainly because they could run for what felt like forever. Natives to the mountains, they thrived in the heat but could retain vast amounts of water under their scales for work days.
I’d nearly gotten it saddled up in a harness more blanket than saddle when I heard a voice that nearly made me leap ten feet in the air. “There you are Mahin, I heard Pyry was looking for you.”
Don’t freak out, don’t freak out; it’s only Ani. “Oh, I uh… I ran into her already.”
“You did?” Thank goodness it was dark and we could barely see each other’s faces.
“Yeah,” Think Mahin think, “She wanted me to run perimeter after I’d finished in the dorms.”
“Yup, you know her and security.”
“True, but I thought her Penebrae usually did that at night…”
“Extra eyes can’t hurt, now I’ve gotta get going.”
Before he could say anything else, I swung myself up onto its back and urged it into a run. Yes, I did feel a bit bad about leaving it on that note, though I’d gotten the idea that he hadn’t believed a word I’d tried to tell him. Oh well, remorse or self-preservation; there could only be one and I’d already decided which. He’d figure it out sooner or later if he hadn’t already, and I’d rather not be there when he did. All that was left now was to get out of the grounds, preferably without getting spotted again. The fewer people guessed at what was going on, the better.
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May 27, 13 at 1:41am ^re: Manifest Destiny - The Great Migration ("50th" Chapter!)
Realized I never posted any pictues of Kataya Pokemon, so here's a few to help set the scene. Rodromus and Penebrae, you should know by now which is which. If not, you'll figure it out in the chapter :3 I'll also be adding a "Pokemon of Kataya" section to the first post.
Spoiler:Chapter 21 - Penebrae
The night gave my excellent cover, but that didn’t make the travel any faster. The grounds of the Academy were expansive, despite the outskirts being used for little more than a buffer zone from the outside world. It wasn’t helped at all by the fact that my Rodromus didn’t seem used to carrying riders. Its long legs were strong, but seemed to want to take longer, but slower strides, as if it was pulling something. I couldn’t use my staff to share my sense of urgency with him, it would light up like a beacon in the night, and alert anyone who was looking for me exactly where I was. Settling for squeezing my legs against its sides, holding its neck (though that was more for balance than anything), and whispering my pleas and my prayers.
At first, I thought I might have gotten through to him. Yes, he had sped up, but it took me a moment to realize why. Behind me, the guttural, ragged panting of a mighty beast could be heard between its footfalls. The only time I’d heard something even remotely similar to it was back in the arena, dodging around the Ratheran, but this sound was different. It was a snarl, low and permeated by barking. I didn’t have to look around to guess what was chasing us, but for some reason I couldn’t help myself. The beast almost blended into the night, save for its horn of ice, and glowing, maddening yellow eyes. This was Pyry’s beast of a ‘watchdog’, the mighty Penebrae. So the hunt had begun after all. Those two were linked together by a bond closer than anything I could imagine; if the beast knew where I was, Pyry would too.
For a moment, I thought we could outrun it. After all, the Penebrae, as far as I knew, was supposed to stay within the grounds. If we could break free, we might stand a chance of making it to the far north. That moment ended rather quickly. It was gaining on us, fast. I didn’t know any magics I could use against it. It was a Ranger’s job to preserve the peace, not make war; there was the Army, and plenty of Sell-Swords if you needed an attack. Rogues would probably know how to take every gift they had and twist it into a weapon, but that wasn’t who I am. Improvising, I whirled my staff around, and aimed a swing at the Penebrae’s head with the rear of my staff. It missed, but I kept swinging as my Rodromus kept running. I would see the wolf’s teeth now, beared, with a manic gleam in its eyes. This, it knew, was its purpose as it lunged again. This time I felt more than I heard my staff make contact with its skull. It fell back a few feet, but kept charging, now barking loudly. It was still faster than I was, and I had to aim another several swings before I could knock it back again. Either my arm wasn’t very strong, or the beast was incredibly persistent. For a third time it was running beside me and for a third time I only just connected with its head before its teeth found either me or my ride. It was too close of a call for comfort, and who was to say we could keep this up. I had no training with a club, much less this improvised, bastardized version that was my last defense.
This time, it did not come charging up to my side. Instead, it ducked under my swing to circle around in front of us. Fangs bared and howling, it was probably the last thing I wanted to take in a charge. Rodrumus certainly shared my frame of thought as it staggered, trying to change direction. Penebrae was preparing for an attack, holding its ground as its horn began to glow. There was no way we could get out of the way in time.
As it unleashed a spray of ice, my body reacted in a way I could only explain as reflex, though I knew it was nothing of the sort. Reflex required repetition, or at least performing some act at least once. Whatever this was, it was not only new, but powerful. It wasn’t a surge of emotion that made my staff erupt, but a flash of power unrivaled by anything I had ever experienced. Like a live fire it had come from nowhere, it filled me with a force that threatened to tear me apart. Before I could do more than realize it was there, it found a release, and all but exploded out of my staff. Heat, pure heat radiated out in all directions, but taking it for all it was worth, I summoned what I had left to urge Rodromus on. After an explosion like that, stealth was the last thing on my mid. Together, now joined as one; we raced through my waves of heat. Now the speed it was known for was able to shine though, not that I expected us to be followed anymore. Penebrae’s attack had melted, literally melted in midair. I couldn’t hear it pursuing us, but that was no reason to slow down. The race was on, and I had to make sure I stayed ahead.
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May 27, 13 at 1:58pm ^re: Manifest Destiny - The Great Migration ("50th" Chapter!)
great chapter twinny
i love the sprites. i want a penebrae >:
The Devil's Dance
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May 28, 13 at 10:06pm ^re: Manifest Destiny - The Great Migration ("50th" Chapter!)
Ok, so this isn't a new chapter (naughty Lizz, notifying everyone without a chapter to show for it) BUT I have something pretty cool tGM-Related to share with the lot of you! As I've heard, and as you guys know, my chapters have a tendency to get a little... long. SO, to combat the attention spans of people who don't want to sit down and read the whole thing, I've started recording my chapters via wonderful mic in my computer. This means you can be almost as lazy as you want, and still enjoy a wonderful story (and share it with your friends who don't want to read long chapters) !
EDIT: No, I won't use MediaFire. Just trying to UPLOAD one of the files was taking hours on its own, I'm not making you guys download that monster. Instead, I'll be turning the audio files into "Unlisted" youtube videos, and providing the links here. This should be easier for everyone C:
That is all, expect a new chapter soon-ish :3
Edit: May 28, 13 11:26pm
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May 29, 13 at 5:21am ^re: Manifest Destiny - The Great Migration ("50th" Chapter!)
I'm gonna be honest and say I didn't read much of it before, but now I'll listen to it. :3
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Jun 05, 13 at 4:39pm ^re: Manifest Destiny - The Great Migration ("50th" Chapter!)
Is been too long, lots going on this summer ;D
Spoiler:Chapter 22 - Under the Sun
With the school’s grounds now far behind me, I was starting to feel the after-effects of both the heat wave I’d caused, and riding my Rodromus straight though the entire night. Aside from being mentally exhausted from what my staff had done, I was also getting stiff and sore from riding. The sides of my legs had been rubbing up against both the straps to the ‘saddle’, and its scaly hide, the whole time. They hurt with each step, and I could tell we both needed sleep, or water, or both. We just couldn’t go on like this.
It had been exceptionally poor planning I admit. The only things I had with me were my staff and saddle, neither of which I would ever consider selling for food or supplies. If my legs were red and raw now, I couldn’t image what riding bareback would be like. My staff was more precious to me than the sun itself. Nothing but death itself would pry it from my fingers. No, food and water would have to be found, and carried whenever possible. Gently sliding off his back as his run turned into a staggering walk, I let him rest while I took a look around. The school was completely out of sight now, not even a silhouette on the horizon. All I could see was miles upon miles of dead or dying grass and brush, but this was still TribeLand. More specifically, this had to be some Tribe’s hunting grounds. It also looked like the dry season (as if the Tribelands had a wet season), so no Pokemon meant no water. Once we found whatever lived out here, that would be where the water was.
The downside, I am not a tracker. Pokemon never went missing back on the Plantation, or even at the school. I had no idea where to even start. Grudgingly, I started off in the same direction we’d been heading, leading Rodromus with a single hand on the side of its neck. Honestly, it was more for my benefit than his; Pokemon in a Ranger Bond would follow their masters without being told, but I was starting to feel a little light-headed. He couldn’t have been fairing any better. Rodromus, while typically mountain-dwellers, could only hold so much water. The stripes that ran from their heads all the way down their backs were bright blue after they’d finished drinking, but his were so dim they nearly blended into its hide. We’d find it soon, maybe, we just had to keep walking.
No… this wasn’t so bad, was it? The sun had surely been hotter when I’d been jumping trees, but there I’d had shade and wind. Here, there was nothing but me and the sun and a lot of dead plants. There had to be water somewhere, these plants grew from something. We just had to keep walking. My feet were falling back into their habit of not really knowing how to walk. More than once I stumbled and ended up half-choking Rodromus to get back to my feet. It became more or less mechanical. I wasn’t even really paying attention to where I was going, though I don’t really think I could have even if I wanted to. Mentally, there was just nothing left. We’d been going too long in too much heat. No argument, we would have to rest soon, and water was a necessity.
Unfortunately, rest was found before water. A small patch thin, dry trees presented themselves to us; the only shade for miles. In their limited shade Rodromus quickly made its bed by trampling the dust, dead leaves and twigs, and lying down on its side. Easing myself down, he let me put my head on his arm to sleep. I didn’t even have time to undo the saddle Rodromus was wearing before he fell asleep, and as foreign and uncomfortable as the ground was, I was quick to follow.
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Jun 07, 13 at 10:41pm ^re: Manifest Destiny - The Great Migration ("50th" Chapter!)
Happy new chapter day!
Spoiler:Chapter 23 - The Mercenary
“Wake up. C’me on kid, wake up.”
Aside from this new, unfamiliar voice I was struck both my how thirsty I felt, and how heavy my body seemed to be. With a mouth that felt like it had been carved from the desert, my limbs felt that they would be content to lie where they were for the rest of time. Rodrumus clearly had different ideas, shifting underneath me until he’d all but forced me to sit up against his back. Silly thing, but he was right; I couldn’t lie there forever. Oh, but I could have gotten up a little more slowly. Upon sitting up, my vision flashed and black spots swam before my eyes.
Before my vision had fully cleared, the voice spoke again, now clearly male, and clearly annoyed. “What ‘cha think ya doin’? Tryin’ ta kill yaself and ya beast?”
“I uh-, no. I mean –“ I tried to respond, still too groggy to form any sort of cohesive answer.
“Trav’l’in across ‘dese fields wit’out no supplaas? Da ya wanna die?”
“We don’t, I mean,” think fast Mahin, if he figures out you’re a runaway.” We had some, it’s just that-“
“We got robbed a ways back; got nothing left.” Please let him buy it.
“What ‘cha doin’ out here?”
Think, “uh, we’re heading off to the Eastern Coast. The King’s been calling Rangers together from all corners of Kataya. Apparently there’s a bit of a problem out there.”
“Ya a Rangaa?” He asked squinting his eyes a little.
“Of course, what else could I be?”
“Nevaa seen a Rangaa so stuupeed in da field.” He said, hopefully more to himself than to me.
Pretending I hadn’t heard him, I continued, “You wouldn’t happen to know where I could find some water?”
“Aah, ‘dere’s a village abou’ a haff-days ride ou’ yondaa.” He said pointing out to the horizon. “Ba’ take a drink farst. Ya look lika ya could drawp dead righ’ ‘dere.”
“Thank you.” I said, taking a mouthful of water from his water skin. “If you don’t mind my asking, what are you doing all the way out here?”
“Merss wark.” He replied.
I suppose it made sense, now that I could take a good look at him. Mercenaries typically came from all clans, and unlike Rangers, swordsmen weren’t regulated by the King. Anyone could learn to use a sword, but a Ranger’s Magic was impossible for many. With such a freedom, many chose a life on the road, working for whoever could supply them coin. Sell-swords, like the man sitting before me were typically used for everything from a pest problem to forming a small army. Certain Mercenary Companies were known to run entire cities in the place of a Lord or Duke. Others would work alone, but could be just as crafty, and would have to be to compete for their livelihood. I wonder if the King would extend his defenses to call Mercenaries out to the coast.
Small talk from that point on was pointless. It didn’t take a genius to tell that this man thought of me as little more than an airhead who’d stumbled out of her home. He’d left shortly after, apparently in a hurry to get to his next job. Not really in the mood to sit alone under a patch of trees for the rest of the day, I began to push myself to my feet. Still being a little shaky, I need Rodromus’ help to get standing, but once I’d mounted him we were off.
The plains looked much the same as they did yesterday. Everything was still dry and dead, but now at least I knew where to go. Rodromus needed no encouragement to run. He seemed just as excited as I was for food, water and proper shelter. The farther we ran, the thinner the brush became. Game trails grew more and more obvious, and the shadow of what must be the village finally appeared on the horizon. Wild Pokemon, previously non-existant in our journey were everywhere, darting from hole to hole, or branch to branch. Even some of the Tribe’s Hunters made appearances from time to time as we got closer. It didn’t really bother me much, after all this was their land. I was clearly big enough, or human-shaped enough to not be confused for game.
It was fascinating to watch. Some of the hunters rode Elkin specific to their Clan, typically smallest and most temperamental of the breeds, but fast and light for a quick hunt. Others chose to go on foot, moving through the grass and twigs so softly that they might as well have flown over it. Preoccupied with a specific hunter presumably closing in on his prey, (as I couldn’t see far enough to tell what in fact he was stalking,) that I hadn’t noticed a delegation of TribesMen waiting right in front of us. Only when Rodromus reared and stopped his run did I actually realize they were three.
“Come with us young one.” The lead of the group said, his voice deeper than I had expected, “The Shaman is expecting you.”
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Jun 10, 13 at 9:37pm ^re: Manifest Destiny - The Great Migration ("50th" Chapter!)
Spoiler:Chapter 24 - The Shaman
My mind was racing as the delegation led me and Rodromus the remainder of the distance to the village. How had the Shaman known we were coming? That Mercenary, had he guessed I wasn’t really a Ranger, hadn’t he? After all, he didn’t seem to believe anything I’d said to him, but he had given me water. He could have just as easily have let me die. Mercs, well anyone who had the means really, could capture or kill a Rogue, provided they had proof. There was not allowed to be mindless killings, but the Rogues had to be dealt with. His hands would have been clean of it too; he didn’t have to wake me up, and he certainly didn’t have to give me any of his water. Maybe he, like the rest of the Region, preferred to see Rogues hang in the Imperial City. He could easily have set up a trap for me, sending me to the nearest city while riding ahead himself. How else could they have known I was coming?
Despite my panic at what I believed was surely my own demise, I couldn’t help staring at the village around me. I’d heard the Kuan'ya favored bright or extravagant colors, but I’d never assumed they’d favored all colors. Little boys and girls with dark skin and dark hair ran between tall, bright tents pitched everywhere. Their clothing was as exotic to me as the Pokémon they played with. Clothed in fur and feathers of all colors, they stopped and watched as we passed. I probably looked as foreign to them as they looked to me. The entire village looked like it could pack up and leave at a moment’s notice. Every ‘building’ (except the cabin in the center of the encampment) was literally nothing more than three long, thin tree trunks wrapped in cloth and hides. We didn’t head for any of the tepees or tents, but instead we were lead straight to the cabin that looked like it had been literally woven out of the twigs I’d crashed through under the blazing sun.
The inside of the hut was decorated with large and intricate tapestries, as well as pelts of some of the Pokemon I’d seen in the plains. One woman sat in the center of the room, watching embers glow and die in a basin. While she still had the same dark skin and dark hair as her clansmen, something about her felt different. There was a sense of power in the air, a sense I’d only felt once before in my life, when it was using me as a vessel. Thankfully this time it was keeping out of my body, but its presence could not be ignored. Was it coming from her, the woman who only now seemed to have noticed our presence, or was the hut built here because of this power? Regardless, she stood, brushing a light layer of ash from her yellow feathered robes before turning to address her Clansmen.
“Thank you for delivering our guest here safely. You are now free to go.”
I couldn’t seem to get her voice out of my head. In a way, it seemed to echo off itself, allowing her to speak with a second voice. More than her voice, I found myself entranced by her eyes. Despite seeing, albeit not in person, the man and woman from my vision, this woman’s eyes were haunting to say the least. Like Ani had told me back at the Academy, the Master Shaman of the Tribelands did have green eyes, but there was more than that. There was a light, and a depth in her eyes that, to my knowledge, had no equal. All else about her, the dark tattoos that signified her position (as if her voice and eyes wouldn’t) and long dark braids seemed insignificant.
Once we were the only two left in the hut, she finally addressed me. “Mahin you clever girl, you’ve kept me waiting.”
I was almost more taken aback by her sudden change of demeanor than I had been by her appearance. A moment ago she’d seemed so formal, but now she spoke, albeit in with that second-voice, like we’d known each other for a very long time.
Allowing my fears guide me, I asked “How do you know who I am, or that I would come this way?”
“Getting straight to the point are we?” Smiling, she invited me to sit opposite her around the basin of ashes. “Very well, but I thought you would have guessed by now.”
My stomach nearly dropped out of my body as my chest constricted. So it was true, everything I had guessed. The only question now was whether it would be here, or in the Imperial City.
“Or,” she added, noting the sudden look of terror that must have crossed my face, “I could be mistaken. You travel the Pilgrimage of the White Dragon; that much is clear.”
“The White Dragon?” I’d never heard of such a thing. From everything I’d ever heard about the Dragons of Jolo, there had never been mention of a White Dragon. At least it didn’t seem like I was about to be carted off to the gallows.
“Our eternal Mother; and the guardian of this great land. She’s touched your spirit young one, and now she’s calling you home. When our Mother calls us, we have to listen.”
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Jun 11, 13 at 12:42pm ^re: Manifest Destiny - The Great Migration ("50th" Chapter!)
Ooh, interesting. Not everywhere acts under the authority of the Imperials, it seems. Or is the Shaman secretly allied with the rogues?
And I think I know who the white dragon is. :3
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