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    Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

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    Dream Rationally
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    Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Dream Rationally on Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:07 pm

    Welcome to My World


    Welcome to the continent of Argonia, a vast expanse of every kind of terrain that could possibly exist. To the north are the vast forests with trees lush and thick where sunlight is rumored to never touch the ground beneath the treetops. To the west are the seemingly endless rolling hills and beyond them the towering mountains seen throughout the land at sundown. East is covered by a large sea that connects Argonia to the other continents in the world, many of which remain unexplored. Finally to the south is a mixture of barren deserts and ancient volcanic hills long dormant after years of constant activity. In the middle of it all is the biggest human kingdom ever built, by the name of Therran.

    For centuries the kingdom of Therran has existed under the rule of a single family. This family rose to power over their rivals in the early ages of the kingdom and soon there were no others of royal blood left to claim the throne. For the last 50 years it has been run by King Morelius who, much like his ancestors, concerns himself only with further expanding the kingdom and his rule. With an iron fist he controls the peoples to the east, west, and south. However he has never been able to conquer the forests of the north for one reason; a clan of warriors who keep his armies at bay.

    This clan, known only as the Kaka, are a race of creatures neither human nor animal. They are rumored to be a mixture of the two said to take human form but with feline characteristics. While by all means they were considered to be inferior in every way, their fighting abilities and guerrilla tactics held every single of Morelius's attacks at bay.
    Until finally he had neither the man-power nor will to put a leash on his feline enemies. So 20 years ago, after suffering a massive defeat at the hands of his enemy, he proposed a peace offering in exchange for no more violence between the two peoples. As a race who had only fought in self-defense the offering was accepted.

    In Therran things were not all peaceful. The hostilities were far from over. Morelius was not willing to let his people believe he was a weak ruler for giving up.
    The king began by spreading rumors about the inhabitants of the forest. He called them 'barbarians', 'cannibals', and 'monsters' which with time became the view of all those within the kingdom. His propaganda was a huge success and soon enough the hate of the Kaka among the people reached a boiling point. Once again he was ready to take arms against his feline enemy and, with the help of improved weaponry, he intended on exacting his revenge.
    However he needed something to justify his attack. Anything at all. Much to his surprise the justification fell into his lap when his progeny, the only heir to the throne, was kidnapped by the creatures of the north.
    That is where this story begins.

    * To be updated *
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Maelstrom on Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:00 pm

    Name: Gemma Therr
    Title: Princess, daughter of King Morelius Therr, ruler of Therran; future heir of Therran.
    Age: 21

    Appearance: stands at six inches above five feet tall, so a little above average for a female of the time. She's lean, yet holds the curves of a woman at her age that are often enhanced by the required clothing she must wear as royalty. Her hair, straight as a stick, sits down to the middle of her spine and is strawberry blond in color (often in a braid), while her eyes are a sharp, steel grey. However, despite their sharp color, there never seems to be a harshness to them. Her skin is slightly tanned, covered in gentle, golden freckles, and scar free to the naked eye and whilst she's clothed in her royal dress.

    Personality: A royal female has specific ways that she is required to act, and Gemma has managed to almost perfect them all. To those who know her as the Princess, she is prim and proper, speaks when she knows the time is right, and never seems to misbehave or speak out of turn. She never steps a toe out of line, not if she wants to remain happy. But, that little bit of violence in her life isn't well known to the entire realm in which her father ruled. No -- if they knew the truly iron fist of how he ran his castle, then some might not be as loyal as they claimed to be. Gemma has never batted an eyelash, though. She is kind, gentle, but strong as she needs to be. Though, she is forever curious, loves to read and learn, and loves being outside. She loves to ride horses, often getting into things she isn't supposed to, but happens to have learned very well when her father is around and won't be. She's 'adapted to survive', in a sense. And she's cleverer for it.

    Biography (Past/Childhood): Gemma was the only child around the castle and with her mother ill, her father didn't have much time to teach her. He only had the time to punish her, which was a majority of what she remembered from her childhood. She'd been an exploratory child, one who sometimes got into trouble, and scraped her knees... she was a typical, young girl. But one day, she got a lecture from her father that told her to straighten herself out, act like the Princess that she is and was supposed to be. And when her mother passed via weakness and disease, Gemma withdrew into herself and lost herself often in her studies, books, and anything that didn't draw too much attention to her. Other than that... she feels as though her life has passed by in a sort of blur. Suitors came and went, life grew stagnant and often she found herself wondering what it would be like to be anywhere else, to be anyone else. But she knew that she'd always just be Gemma, Princess of Therran, until something amazing happened.
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Dream Rationally on Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:22 pm

    Spoiler:

    (For general reference on the clothing type, color, and appearance)

    Name: Tane Minerus Kaka
    Age: 21
    Species: Feline Lycanthrope (Grimalkin)
    Family: Minerus (Royalty)

    Appearance:
    Tane appears, to the commoner, just about as strange as they come. The combination of the bagginess of his clothing, the hood that keeps his face from being seen by shrouding it in a shadow of black but allows his deep red eyes and facial expressions to come through, and the tail that slips out of the bottom of his top makes him stand out among the crowd. His clothing is pitch black while the linings and designs that make him identifiable are a dark blue color.

    Although relatively young to be a warrior compared to many of the other members of his clan he has earned the respect of his elders through his natural abilities in battle. Tane's natural leading ability means many would follow him to their deaths because they know he would be right there with them. At a height of 6'0" even, not including the added few inches of his ears, he tends to tower over many of those he comes across even among the clan.

    Tane's personality is quite a sight to behold. Friendly is probably the best way to describe him the majority of the time. He's never one to look at the negative side of things even in the most dire of situations. At times he can be playful and likes to mess around with those who surround him. As a feline he enjoys eating pretty much anything that has fish in it and occasionally allows himself to enjoy taking a long nap while stretched out in a patch of sunlight. However when he needs to be serious, before a battle for example, there are none other who can match him. Beneath his playfulness lies a maturity years beyond his age.

    Tane speaks with what is best described as a feline-tic. Often there are times when people simply don't understand him due to the way that his accent changes certain words of the English language. An example of one such change is the way that he tends to pronounce 'you' as 'mew' or the way he pronounces 'now' as 'neyow'.
    Although he is somewhat more educated than the rest of his clan, he will sometimes join them in referring to himself in the third person.

    Weapons and armor:
    For mobility's sake, Tane wears as little armor as is possible in the way of heavy plating. For that reason his clothing is specially threaded as well as layered with hardened leather padding to protect the most important parts of his body. It isn't like a full suit of forged steel armor but it stands up to attacks much better than simple cloth would while giving him the ability to move twice as quickly as an armored opponent.

    As for weapons, he uses the signature weapon of his clan; steel-forged claws. The claws themselves are perhaps 7 inches long at the most but they are sharp enough to pierce even the thickest of armor with a single slash. Most of the time they are hidden in his sleeves but when he attacks, they extend out of specially made slits at the end of the paw-section of the sleeves just the way a feline would extend its claws from within its paws when threatened.
    However his sleeves also have a specially made slit through which he can slide his hands, which are full five-fingered human hands if you were wondering, when needs them.

    Brief History:
    Tane's last name is one that is given to every member of her clan; the Kaka. Their village, which is quite large compared to your average clan village, is located somewhere in one of the many vast forests that can be found in the northern part of the continent. The one distinctive aspect about the Kaka is the way that they hide their faces beneath hoods that only allow for their eyes and expressions to come through. How they look beneath their hoods is unknown.
    The clan itself is known for having a number of very powerful warriors all of whom have spent years battling off the king's men and roving bandits. However many of them died during the wars against the Morelius.

    From birth Tane was versed with the ways of his clan and the heritage of his people. From a young age he was trained in the art of combat and he very quickly excelled above his peers. His teacher, a fellow clan-member named Jubei, considered Tane one of his best students as he surpassed all expectations throughout his training.
    During the war against Morelius's men he quickly showed his strengths when he led his fellow clan-members into battle without showing any fear despite the overwhelming odds.

    Since the war he has spent most of his time taking care of all of those left without parents. Many think of him as a big-brother and almost forget that he is royalty at all. However as of late he has found that he's somewhat bored of things. Life isn't as exciting as it used to be.. Though there was no way of him knowing the trouble he was about to get himself into when he was assigned to ambush a caravan rumored to be passing through their forests.
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Maelstrom on Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:50 pm

    There was no mild chit-chat, no small talk amongst the caravan as they trotted along the worn path. This was fine with Gemma -- she preferred not to talk to the stoic knights that were placed strategically around her. Sure, they'd insisted that she ride in a carriage, but the Princess always seemed to get her way whenever it came to riding horses. It was a form of escape for her, and since she adored her horse, any time that she spent with the large, magnificent beast was all the more pleasant. The stallion was beautiful, large and light grey, speckled and splattered with dark grey, black, and white splotches along its hindquarters. The steed was built for agility and speed, but he was also a form of protector. The horse beneath her was better than any guard dog her father, the King, had tried to assign for her. A smile touched her lips for the first time in days as she heard a happy nicker from the steed below her, warranting a rub along his neck from her gentle hand.

    "Nice to be out and about, hmm, Armor? I think so, too."

    Some thought the name to be silly -- specifically, her father, but when she was younger, the horse seemed to represent her own, personal armor. And that was what she'd named the eager, trainable foal. He was all hers, and he'd been loyal to her from the day she'd received him as a gift when she was old enough to ride. Armor was her only, true friend, and if anything happened to the stallion she knew that she'd be lost to the stagnant world she lived in. She whistled for a while, when they were in the open air. The valleys they crossed were beautiful, open spaces where they galloped the horses. Of course, with knights in front of, beside, and behind her. It had made her roll her eyes and shake her head, but she'd smiled nonetheless, feeling the pull of her father disappearing the further away from the Kingdom they got.

    "Princess, please, remain quiet and stay close -- these woods are filled with those cannibals."

    One of the younger, greener knights spoke to her in that manner, and she looked at him curiously. Then, she spoke to him, raising an eyebrow while her hands clutched at the reins. "How do you know, sir, about these cannibals? Have you seen them for yourself? Have any of you actually seen them? Do you know if they're truly as bad as they're made out to be?" The Knights instantly were admonishing her, telling her to watch her tongue, things of that nature. She felt her defense walls shoot up once more as she shut herself down, looking forward, knowing that her father would hear about her little 'outburst', she was sure they'd call it. Shaking her head, she sighed before she heard a dangerous sound leave Armor. They were thick into the woods now, and Armor stopped in his tracks, stomping for a moment, to where a knight behind her ran into the back flanks of the horse.

    "Oi! What is wrong with your beast?" he shouted, causing the other knights to stop. Something wasn't right here, she knew it, as soon as Armor sensed it himself. There was something out there.


    Last edited by Maelstrom on Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:59 am; edited 2 times in total
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Dream Rationally on Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:23 pm

    The silence in the forest was almost painful to the ear. The only sound was the soft patter of drizzle against the treetops overhead that kept the ground relatively dry with only a few large drops coming down to touch the dark dirt. Although it would have been impossible to spot from the straight line where the trees parted into a natural pathway through the forest, there were more than a hundred hooded figures hiding in the darkness of the shadows. Those with bows were perched up in the trees above while the rest remained hidden within bushes, behind trees, and in the tall grass. They all waited for the sound of horse steps, rattling wood, and metal on metal. The sounds that would announce the arrival of their target; King Morelius's escorted caravan.
    The clan did not know what was so important as to warrant a full knight guard but they intended on finding out soon enough.

    "Prepare yourselves. I hear them." The young leader of the group whispered to the creature next to him. In the next instant this figure made a signal to the rest and they all posed in full readiness.

    The convoy was much smaller than many of them had expected, as could clearly be seen by the number of Kaka that had been sent out, but the promise of fully armored knights came true. A good handful of them were concentrated on one point in the line though and this immediately drew Tane's attention away from the scout who passed by his position without so much as a hint of suspicion.
    As this concentration grew closer he noticed that there was a figure riding in the center of the circle of knights. It was difficult to see who the figure was but he immediately realized that she was being escorted. The convoy was an escort!
    He cursed under his breath at this revelation. They had been hoping for a supply convoy or a weapons convoy of some kind. This changed everything.

    Just as he was about to call off any kind of attack there was a sudden commotion among the knights. The horse the figure was riding on had come to a stop and drawn attention towards itself. Suddenly the whole convoy was no longer riding nonchalantly but instead were incredibly aware of their surroundings. Again Tane cursed silently under his breath.
    The horse, unlike his human masters, could sense the presence of the feline clan. He had no choice at this point now that they had been discovered.

    The young warrior stood and unleashed a loud shout. "ATTACK!"

    Upon his command there was an immediate shower of arrows that rained down upon the front and rear of the convoy while the center, where the escorted girl was located, remained unfired upon. The poor men who fell victim to the arrows fell from their horses with screams of pain and surprise. The reaction to attack by the trained knights was mixed. Some of them drew their swords while others looked around in astonishment.
    The forest came to life as hooded figures appeared from all sides charging with a loud rumbling war-cry. Many of the human warriors fell within the first few minutes of the battle as they were taken by a mixture of surprise and fear at the knowledge of what they were being attacked by.
    The remaining guards fell back to the center where they cried out for the protection of the girl but they were quickly overwhelmed by pure numbers. Soon only three or four were left alive. Wounded but alive.
    The only figure who remained standing was the girl on the horse.

    Before his fellow clan members could attack though Tane made his way to the front of the circle, motioning for all his warriors to stand down with a sweep of his 'paw' as it were. They immediately complied though there were a few hisses of annoyance.
    "Search the caravans!" He ordered instead and many of them moved away to carry out his bidding while only a few remained to keep the girl from escaping.
    Tane slowly approached the girl and her horse though he was weary of the animal's ability to rear back suddenly.
    "Who are mew?" He asked, not demanded, in a voice that was not angry nor blunt but held a sense of curiosity and uncertainty. It was a soft voice with a purr. The accent itself was probably closest to an English accent but only slightly.

    Abruptly he realized a possibility that had not crossed his mind until he noticed how well dressed the girl was. Perhaps not as nicely dressed as she could have been, if his guess was right, but it was enough to give a hint at her status. He gave a glance over his shoulder to make sure none of his fellow clan members were within ear-shot before he took a few more steps closer. They could not hear the answer to his question if he wanted the girl to survive.
    "Tell me quietly.." He said in a hushed voice as he came to stand pretty much next to her with his paw coming to rest on the strong neck of the horse.
    He hoped this girl, whoever she was, would realize he was trying to help her.
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Maelstrom on Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:40 pm

    If there was something out there, posing a danger to the caravan, Gemma never would have been able to imagine that it was this. The few carriages they had in the line up had been behind her, pulled by two horses each and guarded less heavily than she was in the middle of the pack. And the few scouts and soldiers that went before her, and trailed their caravan at the end of the path were soon downed by arrows right before her very eyes. She'd heard the distinct cry, signaling the attack upon them all, and suddenly things were passing by in a blur. The soldiers and scouts were felled by arrows, and some of their horses were struck as well. Those were fell from their mounts soon lost their mount completely when the horses took off in a stampede of fear and defense. The knights surrounding Gemma began to tighten their space around her until she actually felt the opposing horse's flanks against her legs and they were beginning to make Armor anxious.

    "Easy, boy. Easy."

    Her words were soft, calm, as she tightened her grip on the reins. Then, she saw them. The creatures that were supposed 'cannibals' and 'horrors' of these forests; the creatures that her father had failed to defeat for all of these years and that, supposedly, plagued their kingdom. She was thankful, in that moment, that she wasn't wearing a gown and was dressed in a fairly average manner. It had been a suggestion of her father's maester -- it would draw less attention to her if they were to come across someone interested in kidnapping the princess or harming her in some way. Gemma was extremely grateful, but she had a feeling that someone in this group of attackers had known she was being escorted and that she must hold power. The arrows had fallen all around her, but specifically not where she was surrounded by her guard. And now, as more of the cat-like humans emerged from the forest and grew in numbers while approaching said guard, she realized that they were leaving her alone. Granted, she was going to be unguarded and she didn't know how long her own peace would last once they knew who she was.

    Armor, however, wasn't reacting very well. He stomped and heaved large breaths and neighs through his dark lips. He tossed his head and neighed loudly, stamping against the ground a few more times while he stepped back a few steps and then shifted around. Gemma stroked along his mane, trying to get him to calm down as she tightened her knees along his upper flanks, trying to steady the large horse beneath her. As her knights fell about her, Gemma felt herself beginning to panic. They were losing -- something bad was going to happen to her and she just knew it. Her face was pale while her hands, despite their tight grip upon the leather straps to lead her horse, were trembling something fierce. She was trying to keep her head up, her chin raised, to appear like she was stronger than she was. But fighting, raised shouts and voices... all of this weighed down on her weakened subconscious mind and reminded her of her angry father, ruling with his 'iron fist'. She trembled as, whom she assumed was the leader, approached her horse carefully. Armor snorted in his direction, stomping as if to warn the feline creature about approaching the Princess he carried. Gemma looked at him wearily, fear riddled in her eyes as she shifted on her saddle.

    "I... I'm-"

    She stopped, realizing that giving him her true name could put her into real danger. It seemed that her hesitation gave her away as he seemed to recognize that she held some kind of power. So, he must have been the one to call orders, the one to tell his troops to avoid her in their attack. She swallowed weakly and then looked down at him as he walked alongside Armor carefully. The horse trembled a little beneath her, tensing up as he felt the feline paw against his neck, though he seemed to calm down a relatively small amount when sensing that Gemma wasn't in any danger. Her grey eyes peered down at the hooded figure and she leaned down carefully, though managed to keep her distance. She spoke in a light whisper, her voice defeated as she looked upon him wearily. Her hands never loosened their grip from the reins, though.

    "Gemma Therr." Her name would've been enough; she doubted she needed the title, too. "Are you... going to hurt me?" she questioned softly, though there wasn't much fear in her tone. It was more a wonder towards acceptance of her fate, at this point.
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Dream Rationally on Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:55 pm

    For a girl who had just witnessed the defeat of her guard along with the elite knights assigned to protect her, when Tane approached the figure perched upon what truly was a magnificent beast, she did not appear to be as shaken as he would have expected her to be. Especially with the guess he had as to what her true identity was. In a way he was glad that she was neither terrified nor furious. Her expression remained weary but never seemed to transcend into the fear many of her kind would have exhibited in the same situation.
    When she leaned down to whisper her reply to his question he felt a little chill run down his spine. Gemma Therr. Had she only given her first name he would not have known but as soon as she mentioned the name Therr, he knew she was royalty.

    In a way this surprised him. Every single member of the Kaka clan was familiar with King Morelius Therr but very few, including Tane, had ever been properly educated as to who the other members of the Therr family were. The powerful overbearing shadow of the King was more than enough for those who suffered his wrath.
    The fact that this girl, a member of the Therr family, did not regard him with blind hatred.. very much caught him off guard. It was at this moment he felt something. He wasn't sure what but it was a new sensation. Trust perhaps? No, not trust. Whatever it was though he was overwhelmed with the urge to keep this girl alive.

    There was a pause between her answering his question and him responding to her answer. In that time he seemed to just stand there quietly staring up at her with the same kind of curiosity that she was looking down at him with. A bit of a strange silence fell between the two of them like there was a moment of mutual discovery. It was Gemma's first time coming face to face with the creatures her father had dedicated most of his rule to trying eradicate while it was Tane's first time coming face to face with anyone other than a knight or soldier coming after him to take his life. Suddenly his large crimson red eyes blinked and he shook his hooded head.
    "I promise I won't... But I need mew to follow along with me if mew want to stay alive." He whispered back to her in the same quiet tone.
    "Trust me." His voice added from the shadows of his hood moments before he turned back towards the remaining clan-members.

    "She is a servant of the King, on her way back from the human kingdom further north. Her name is Gemma and she is not to be harmed under any circumstances. We will bring her to the elders. Prepare to mewve out!" Tane spoke in a voice loud enough that all those in the path could hear him.
    The injured knights were lifted onto the still functioning caravans with their dead loaded into the back. They were laid, not thrown, carefully with all of their positions still on them. With a quick swat against the rear of the horses the surviving carts began on the remainder of the journey back towards Therran. The Kaka did not think this to be strange though the knights involved had expressions of utter surprise. Clearly they had expected to be killed.

    One of the other hooded figures approached Tane and looked up towards the still mounted figure of Gemma. He regarded her with narrowed green eyes before he shook his head uncertainly.
    "She wears clothing much too elegant for a mere servant" He said in a gruff mistrusting voice.
    "What do you know of the clothing of the humans?" Tane snapped back with a hiss to which his companion visibly winced. The conversation was ended then and there and without another word the figure moved to join the rest of the force. The main body of which were already beginning into the forest with their wounded and dead laid out upon makeshift stretchers.

    Tane waited until all his fellow clan members were off the pathway before he turned once again towards Gemma with what could best be described as a sheepish half-smile.
    "Please, come with me. So long as I am with mew, they will not dare go against my word." He spoke in a reassuring tone while moving to follow the rest of the mass of hooded warriors.
    "I am sorry if I offended mew with my words earlier. If they knew the truth, they would have killed mew on the spot." He added in a tone that was apologetic as much as it was sincere. Many of the Kaka clan held a certain degree of hatred towards the King to the point where they would exact their revenge on a member of his family if they could.
    So with that they set off into the darkness of the forest.
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Maelstrom on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:20 pm

    As steel grey eyes looked down at the feline humanoid below her, she realized that he wasn't going to harm her. He was staring at her in what she could describe as disbelief and a little bit of wonder -- mirroring how she was looking at him, basically. She had never encountered anything like him and his people, before, and it was fascinating. Though, she knew that they probably had a strong distaste for her and her father, anyone who would associate with the King would probably be viewed as vile in the eyes of these people. And her being royalty herself? She knew it was just a combination made for disaster. What made her truly curious, though, despite the form of these peoples had to be how this one was treating her. He looked at her like he was expecting something she wasn't giving him. It didn't make sense and it wasn't something that made her really comfortable, now that she thought about it. What had her father done to damage these people's beliefs in the kingdom and in the royals themselves to make this man anticipate a poor reaction from her? She almost didn't want to know.

    Gemma shifted on her seat a moment, biting her bottom lip and chewing. She was nervous, though she did a fair job trying to hide it. Armor sensed it and he blew hot air from his nostrils in protest. He stamped a little bit, but then calmed down as Gemma touched along his neck and mane, stringing her fingers through the soft hair there. This man said he wasn't going harm her, so she knew that Armor would need to remain calm if she were to keep up the act of whatever this man was about to set up. She was assuming he was going to have to set something up, anyway, because she had a feeling that not of the soldiers he brought with him were fans of her father and wouldn't like knowing who she was. Hearing what he was saying, she nodded slightly, smiling weakly before she spoke to him in a gentle tone: "Thank you."

    Armor stepped forward a little as the man introduced her as a servant. She didn't know if they'd believe him -- he must hold power, though, and from what she knew about people with power, even those who didn't believe them would act as though they did, in order to avoid punishment themselves. Bowing her head, she tried to look as subservient as she could, and she was pretty convincing. Licking her lips, she gripped the reins and let Armor follow this man. However, she couldn't help but feel uneasy at the idea of going before the Elders of this society. She had nothing against them -- she didn't even know them! She didn't think that they would even listen to her, though, not when it came to who she was.

    Blinking, she followed him into the forest and she overheard someone questioning his authority. She winced a little, worried almost instantly, but then she breathed a sigh of relief as she realized that they weren't going to question the word of this man, feline. He was definitely someone they respected and she was growing to respect, since he was being kind to her even after knowing who she is. She clutched the reins gently as they walked behind the mass of soldiers that had ambushed and killed most of the guard and caravan, injuring the rest, except for her. No one got away, and she suspected that was how they'd wanted it. She swallowed lightly and felt a little queasy in the moments all of those people were walking past. They were carrying the dead and injured, walking along the path and into the darkness. She couldn't see that deeply into the thickness of the forest and it made her nervous. Looking down towards the man who saved her, listening to him speak, she smiled gently towards him.

    "I will. Thank you... for sparing me and helping me," she murmured, nodding before she let Armor begin to trot behind the masses. She looked towards him and then she shook her head firmly, speaking to him still in a soft tone, knowing now that he can hear her even when she speaks in something close to a whisper. "No -- you cannot offend me. I wasn't even worried about being offended, to be honest, sir." She looked to him and then she looked ahead, occasionally rubbing along Armor's neck to keep the horse calm. The last thing she needed was her steed freaking out and ruining the bit of peace that they were having right now. Though, the darkness of the forest was definitely intimidating. She had no choice but to trust the current leader of this group.
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Dream Rationally on Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:22 pm

    Tane himself had felt a skip of his heart when one of his men opposed his words, if only because thought that perhaps the man knew the truth upon sight, but was glad when his sharp rebuttal quieted the one-man uprising. Those who served under the leader's son knew that he was one to be respected as well as feared. However the young warrior had still been worried and worried for the future of the girl he was now putting his neck on the line to protect. Hell, he didn't even know why he was protecting her.. whatever it was though there was a very strange air about the girl. Instead of blind hatred there was curiosity. That alone was a sign of something more. This girl, Gemma, son of king Morelius, was not anything like him.

    Although the beast she rode on was somewhat nervous about the whole situation, he knew that the girl herself would not try to run away. He knew this because she was not making any glancing motions towards their surroundings the way a person considering escape might but she was also completely lost without the guidance of Tane next to her. The deeper they got into the forest the less chance of her escaping successfully became. Until, after a few minutes, he knew there was simply no way she would be able to get away even if she wanted to. By the way she spoke though she seemed much more enchanted with curiosity than anything else.
    'Brave girl' he mused as he watched her out of the corner of his eye.

    When Gemma addressed Tane with the prefix 'sir' he could not help but laugh. It was not a mocking laugh but rather a genuinely amused kind of laugh. One that came from the heart as most things do with Tane. He turned his hooded head to look at her with a grin.
    "Please, save the sir's for my father. I am the same age as mew, I reckon." He replied while bringing his paws up to place them behind his head as he walked, glancing forward every few seconds to make sure he wasn't about to walk into a tree or whatever else might find itself in his way while he wasn't watching.

    As they got deeper and deeper into the forest things became darker and darker until it was almost as dark as most nights got on the outside. Not pitch dark but rather that semi-darkness that allowed you to see most of your surroundings with the exception of dark shadows. To anyone not used to traveling through the forests it would have been a new and somewhat unsettling experience depending on their relationship with darkness.
    Tane's crimson red eyes could be seen though as they softly seemed to glow beneath the void that was formed beneath the shadow of his hood.
    "We'll be there soon enough but I do have one question before we arrive." His voice filled the relative silence around them.

    Before he could ask his question though light appeared in the distance and he knew it was too late to ask Gemma his question before they arrived in the main Kaka village. So instead he merely continued with a grin on his lips, excited to see her reaction to the sight she was about to behold. He was not sure what lies king Morelius spread about them in the kingdom of men but they were certainly not going to match the grandeur of their village.
    Suddenly they passed from the darkness of thick forest cover to what was only a lightly covered area with spots where the sky above could be seen and visible rays of sunlight came down to shine on the soft sandy dirt. Things went from semi-darkness to the soft light of a cloudy afternoon and before them was the village of Northpaw .

    "Are you afraid of heights?" He asked with a sly smile as he continued towards the village before them. The whole village of Northpaw was separated into two parts. While most of it was found build up in the trees linked together by sturdy wooden bridges there was also a good number of homes built on the ground. The smell of burning wood, the murmur of talk, and the sound of children's giggles filled the air as soon as they reached the line between deep forest and the village bounds.
    "Welcome to my world." Tane said with a wide sweep of his paw as he guided Gemma towards the community.

    The men who had come along for the ambush were already dispersing into the crowds of hooded Kaka who were moving back and forth between the different wooden structures with the normal hustle and bustle of any town. There were vendors selling food, cloth, and all matter of small trinkets. Between the legs of the adults darted the little figures of children who were hidden beneath hoods the same way the rest were. However they seemed unhindered by the layers of cloth as they played tag and carried out acts of mischief.
    Many of those who were just arriving were greeted and embraced by their wives and the soft purr of contented families filled the air.
    However Tane led Gemma away towards one of the many wooden bridges that led up into the upper-levels of the village.

    ooc: Oh! I came across this and thought that it might be useful for reference as to what Tane's different emotions would look like through his hood. (Excuse the different language, the expressions kind of speak for themselves though.. I hope)
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Maelstrom on Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:26 pm

    Unless spoke to, Gemma seemed to be terribly quiet. She often was quiet without really noticing it. Her father had drilled into her mind that, a Princess and a woman, should not freely speak their opinion and should speak when spoken to. The marks beneath her clothes, hidden from the common eye even when she was wearing gowns, were a testament to his punishment methods. Now, her father wasn't abusive. It was true that, most fathers, would use spankings or the use of a switch in order to punish their ornery children. It was simply a shame, for those who endured it, that the switch had a tendency to leave marks. Looking towards Tane, startled as he laughed at what she said, she smiled a little sheepishly. She then spoke softly, looking down at the mane of Armor whilst threading her fingers through the hair there. "My apologies... I simply address those I do not know as 'sir' or 'ma'am'. What would you prefer I address you as?" she questioned, tipping her head a little as she looked towards him, her eyebrows lightly raised. Her tone was sweet and simple; there was nothing implied by her words nor was there any sharpness to them... especially since any form of protest seemed to have been broken out of her. She had confidence, it was just more hidden inside of her compared to some.

    The Princess fell silent after that, just letting Armor get more comfortable and familiar with following the path that was being slightly led for him by Tane and the rest of the soldiers before them. Her eyes were constantly flickering around, though, even in the darkness of their surroundings. Sure, she was a little scared -- who isn't scared of the unknown? But, she was definitely more curious than frightened, and that said a lot about her. She turned her head once more towards Tane as he spoke to her, inquiring about asking a question, and then she blinked lightly. She waited for his question, but as they broke through the trees, she was glad that it never came. Her eyes widened and she was glancing around, her mouth slightly dropping as she saw their inner-society. It was positively amazing! She'd never seen anything like this, nor had she read about any place like this.

    "Amazing... positively, amazing." Her words were filled with wonder. This society, this place that had been sworn to be some kind of horrific location, deep in the swamps of the forest, filled with cannibals... was the exact opposite. They seemed to live just like normal human beings. They cared about one another, she witnessed first hand as the soldiers returned to their families and when the children ran around, and they seemed to function completely on their own. She was fascinated, instantly, and she knew that her father had this place all wrong. He had simply been intimidated and horrified about the idea of losing and getting his pride hurt when losing this obviously, already won battle. At his question about heights, she looked to him and grinned a grin that was a little goofy, care-free in nature. "No, no, I'm not! This place is beautiful. Your home... it's beautiful."

    Armor snorted a little, nickering happily towards some of the children who approached him. Gemma smiled and patted the beast's neck, approving of his good-temper around younger children. She then looked towards Tane and seemed to get a little shy once more. She knew that, in this place, she was not a Princess. She had no power here, and she was actually a minority and held no place in this society. She was a human, a daughter of someone these people must hate. She was lucky to be alive; she had to Tane to thank for that. As Tane continued to lead her and Armor towards a large bridge, she spoke up softly to him once more.

    "Is it... okay if Armor stays down here? I don't think he'll react well to the bridge. And can... can he not be harmed?" The desperation in her eyes was clear -- Armor meant the world to her. Then, she shifted a little in her saddle, ready to dismount if he said it would be alright to leave her horse there, unattended. "And that question you had for me... do you still wish to ask it?" she questioned softly, like a gentle reminder that something had been on his mind before they'd found his village. She smiled to him slightly, though still looked a little out of place. She felt out of place, too, but she assumed that it wasn't difficult. She wasn't welcome here. She knew that.

    If she lived here, and was among these people, she wouldn't welcome a rival Princess, either.
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Dream Rationally on Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:04 pm

    Tane could not help but feel a sense of pride and happiness as he watched Gemma, the daughter of the man who hated the Kaka as a clan as much as he hated them as a species, react to the sudden view before her. Just from her expression he could tell that everything she had ever been told was proven wrong the moment she set eyes upon the village. He did not know all of what the lies Morelius told his people pertained to but he did know that they were considered cannibals, living beneath rocks, who could not so much as think a logical thought the way humans could. Whatever the case, Tane go to watch these lies unfold in the eyes of his 'prisoner' per say.

    When she praised the village he could do little to hide the sheepish smile he gave her. To any Kaka it was merely a normal sight but to a human like her it would have been a spectacular thing indeed. After all, as far as Tane knew, humans did everything they could to avoid being up in the air. His clan practically prided themselves with living up above the ground in the large tree-houses that had been built by the sweat and blood of the current generation's ancestors.
    "I am very glad mew think so." Was all he could find as a reply before he left her to observe further in awe and silence.

    Gemma's question about her horse made Tane chuckle quietly before he nodded his head to answer her. "Your steed, Armor I believe mew said? He'll be fine down here. We live as one with the forest and have a very strong respect for animals. I think the worst thing that could happen would be for him to draw the curiosity of the kittens." He said this with a twinkle in his eye as he glanced towards the little hooded figures who were already watching the large beast from a distance away. Some peered around the legs of their parents while others bunched together, daring each other to approach the large towering creature.
    "No nibbling you guys!" He called in their direction which made a few of them jump and giggle.

    Once the princess was on the ground and had tied her horse to one of the posts next to the bride entrance, Tane motioned for her to follow him as he began up onto the bridge. For a bridge made completely out of rope and planks of wood, it did not so much as sway beneath their weight as they made their way up the soft incline towards the first house in the chain of tree houses.
    "Oh no. Mew've already answered it." His reply came with something that was probably closest to a warm grin than anything else.
    Once they reached the first house he led her around a quarter turn of the circular pathway that ran around the whole of the building so they could get to the next ladder and subsequently the next house on the line.

    "Oh and my name is Tane, by the way. I apologize for not having answered mew earlier." Tane added halfway across the second bridge. He could only imagine the thoughts and questions that might be passing through her mind at this point. There was no doubt in his mind that she was curious about everything. Her expression was anything but frightened the way many humans would be if they were faced with what she was going through.
    However, as he'd sensed before, this girl was different. She was different from pretty much every other human. Instead of hate in her heart there was curiosity.
    "When we get to the elder's hut, I'll do most of the talking okay? They will want to speak to mew, I'm sure, but do not tell them who you are. If they knew, they would not treat mew as kindly as I am. Many of my clan hold a very strong grudge against all humans for what has happened in the past." He explained this as they rounded their second house and got to the third bridge.
    Beneath them the sounds of the hustle and bustle of the village flowed up towards them as well as the scent of food from the venders.
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Maelstrom on Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:36 pm

    "Oh, thank you, so much. I just want him to be safe... I don't really mind what happens to me, I just don't want Armor hurt. And he's really gentle; he shouldn't hurt anyone, I promise."

    Gemma climbed down easily from her saddle and took the lead of her large steed. Patting his neck, she slowly lead him over towards the post to tie him up, speaking to him softly. She spoke to the beast tenderly, talking about behaving and how he needed to play nice with the children. He would respond with soft nickers of appreciation and even rubbed his head against hers, blowing hot air into her ruffled hair, making her laugh softly. She told him to be good, tying him up and letting him stand there comfortably. The horse did twist his head, looking towards the little feline-children and whinnied to them. His tail swished and he stomped a couple of times, wanting the attention he knew he'd receive. Gemma actually rolled her eyes, smiling gently as she turned back around to face Tane, whom she knew would be leading her up to wherever his Elders were located. She knew that, there, her judgement would be decided. And she was prepared to accept it -- she wasn't going to fight. She assumed it was only fair, especially after what humans had done to this society.

    She turned to him, startled, thinking back to what she had been saying and frowned, unsure of what he could've wanted to ask her that she had already answered. "Oh... well, alright then," she murmured, smiling slightly as she followed him up into their civilization. She continued to look up as they climbed, fascinated by everything that surrounded her here. It was absolutely gorgeous, like something from a dream she may've had. She looked around as they reached a house-like structure and walked around it, heading towards the next bridge and continued their climb upwards. She realized now that they were climbing further and further and that, well if they didn't want her around, he could easily have her pushed over the edge and there'd be no stopping her fall. Swallowing a little more nervously now, she looked towards Tane and gave him a warmer smile. "Tane. I like it. Nice to meet you, despite the circumstances. And thank you, again, for saving me. I cannot express to you how much I... appreciate it." Her words were completely sincere and filled with honest emotion as she followed him, her riding boots carrying her easily over the wooden areas. They made soft noises, clicking, as she walked behind him and partially beside him.

    Hearing what he was explaining to her, she shook her head gently. "I... I won't say anything," she said gently, shaking her head. Then, she remained quiet for a moment before she looked up at him with her steel colored eyes, speaking to him in a soft voice, an honest voice. "I'm not like him. I just want you to know that... I'm nothing like my father, and I hope to never be." Gemma wasn't ignorant to the ways of the world; she knew that, sometimes, things traveled down the lineage and stuck with a family for generations. But there was almost nothing about her that mirrored the harshness and confidence of her father. She was able to carry his determination, but it had been repressed, just like the rest of her personality. She really was more complex than just a quiet, royal Princess often seen as someone 'spoiled' in her power. No, there was so much more to her than that. She just hoped she had a chance to prove it.
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Dream Rationally on Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:00 pm

    There was something endearing about how much Gemma cared for her steed. Of course it was only natural, in a way, for a rider to become attached to their horse. However it was the first time that Tane had ever seen such a strong bond between beast and human. It further supported his theory that she was different from the rest of her kind. Not only did she not see the Kaka with blind hate but she was able to connect with animals in the same way many of the clan could. Living in the forest meant living with the forest. Something the Kaka were supreme masters of.

    When she commented on his name though he found his cheeks began to burn a deep red color. No-one had ever said anything like that before. To Tane his name was quite plain but he realized that to Gemma it was unique and new. Just the same as her name was unique and beautiful to him while it was probably an at least somewhat common name where she was from.
    In a way this further reminded him how different the two of them were yet at the same time their differences were one of the things that brought them together. Together as a pair of creatures lost in curiosity about each other.

    "It's my pleasure." He replied at first before he shook his head just slightly, unwrapping his soft black furred tail from around his waist where he kept it whenever he was on the move. Most the clan did the same. Although it helped with their balance, it was also a very vulnerable part of their bodies and quite painful to lose in battle.
    "But as much as I want to say the opposite, mew're not out of the woods just yet." He gave her a quick glance with a reassuring smile all the same though. The last thing he wanted was for her to be afraid of what was to come. Felines, like canines, are quite good at sensing fear.
    "Don't worry though, I've got a great idea." He added this with a playful wink as they crossed the last bridge on their journey to meet the Elders.

    They came to a particularly large house-structure that branched off with four separate bridges leading to different chains. It was positioned directly over the center of the village on the ground just the same as it was positioned in the center of the tree-top houses. The very heart of the clan.
    The front door was a masterpiece of its own with hand-carved intricate designs, symbols, and figures. Each symbol, like the one sewn into the fabric of Tane's clothing in dark blue stitching, seemed to have a story and history of its own shown on the door.
    After tapping against the door with his paw he pushed the doors open so Gemma could walk inside before he joined her.

    The main body of the house consisted of a large room with three mats laid out on the ground. Sitting on each of these mats was a distinct figure who glanced up at the entrance of the girl and her escort. On the very left side there was a figure who wore dark grey clothing but where the normal darkness of the hood would have been, revealing his glowing eyes and expression, there was instead a white skull carved out of wood. The figure appeared older than his two companions but his lack of a visible face made him somewhat intimidating.
    To the right was a figure who was quite the opposite of the first. Simply at a glance one could see that the woman hidden beneath the folds of her hood had the body of an goddess. Much younger than her two other companions. She was the definition of the words fertile, curvaceous, and beautiful. Yet one would sense this even with her face hidden and only her glowing green eyes showing through the darkness of her hood.
    The final figure, sat in the middle, was probably the most outstanding of the three despite being in the middle in terms of age. He was quite short, wrapped in a dark orange type cloth, with his paws together on the floor in front of him as he was sat with his legs folded beneath him. However much the opposite of all other members of the Kaka clan he wore a pair of swords on his back and his face was visible to all. It was the face of a cat, one eye covered with an eye-patch. His good eye focused on the girl however as she walked in.
    They were the three elders.

    --
    Reference for:
    Jubei (Center)

    Shali (Right)
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Maelstrom on Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:52 pm

    Some tendrils of her strawberry blond hair were loose about her features, accentuating her naturally high cheekbones and her steel eyes. She remained quiet as they walked, constantly gazing around at the new surroundings and at this magnificent city built in the sky. Her castle was nothing, positively nothing, compared to the beauty of this naturally-built place. She could see that they put so many years and such labor into such a home, into keeping it secret. It had to be worth it, and she knew that it was. Their homes looked impeccably cozy and it looked as though everyone had homes. Not everyone in her father's kingdom had a place to stay, especially those without the means to maintain a home or land. She felt awful for those people -- especially when she knew that her father had more means to live by than necessary, just sitting away in storage. She knew that, if she ever got the chance to rule, she would help those people. But, if her father got his way... she'd be married and second to another man all of her life. 'The way it was supposed to be,' she could hear her father mocking her now.

    Snapping from her reverie, she looked back towards Tane, weakly smiling. She knew that he was trying to keep her as calm as possible, but she knew that everything in her was working against his best efforts. Confrontation, especially with those of power, was one of the few things that made her knees tremble like they were going to snap beneath the weight of the situation. She swallowed hard, trying to keep her heart and breathing calm as they grew closer and closer to where she assumed their Elders were staying. After all, they did just keep climbing and climbing.

    Gemma looked to Tane as he spoke, nodding. She understood that she wasn't out of the woods, but what she was confused about was the 'idea' he seemed to have. Were the Elders going to be told who she really was? Would they automatically know? She had a feeling that, lying to them, wouldn't be the best of choices either, but telling the truth was going to possibly mean death for her. She hid her shaking hands by clutching them together in front of her, appreciating Tane's efforts. She licked her lips a little as they stepped towards their final destination and Tane seemed to step back for her to enter first. Looking at him with hesitance, she soon stepped inside the room with her eyes doing a quick scan, taking in the three main bodies that were sitting in the middle of the large, elegant room. Once again, this society was taking her breath away.

    Though, after she'd gotten a look at the Elder's, her eyes soon fell downcast. It was a natural habit, one she'd learned from years of experience and meeting other royalty, but she also didn't want to exude any confidence towards the leaders. If they thought her confident, they might think her more than a simple servant who happened to be captured with the caravan. She swallowed, shifting a little on her feet, nervous. She was waiting for someone else to start talking -- there was no way she was going to speak first, nor was there anything to say on her behalf. She figured that Tane had the idea and she would let him lead and take the ropes. She would just have to sit back and let events happen.

    And try to remain calm, of course.
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Dream Rationally on Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:37 pm

    There was a silence of only a few seconds but under the intense stare of the elders such a small time span could feel like an hour. At first they simply watched the human brought before them, looking her up and down before finally one of them moved. The creature in the center leaned forward with a slight tilt of his head. "What's this then, Tane? What's a human doing in our room?" His voice was strong and powerful. The kind of voice that one could hear across the room if he even so much as whispered.
    Tane, who had been watching the seconds of first impressions anxiously, quickly stepped to Gemma's side almost to drive home the fact that he was there for her. He was not going to let her die. Not after he'd told her that she wouldn't.

    "Jubei, we took this girl prisoner when we ambushed the convoy. It didn't have any weapons or supplies. This girl though, she serves king Morelius. A personal servant! Someone who is close to the King." Tane spoke quickly and excitedly but there was a sense of deep thought behind the way he was wording his sentences. Like he was being careful not to let anything important slip. It was subtle and only notable if, like Gemma, you knew what you were listening for.
    "When I first approached her, she was not afraid of me nor did she look at me the way all other humans have. The very first thing she told me, when we were alone, was that she wanted to learn more about our culture. She didn't believe everything the King told her..." He glanced around to see whether the three figures of power were beginning to catch his drift.

    While Jubei still seemed somewhat apprehensive of the whole situation the other two elders were moving as if to take their turns expressing their opinions on the matter. The older figure spoke first from behind the mask. His voice reflected his age but it held more wisdom and experience than a thousand generations put together.
    "If she wants to learn about our culture.. I say we let her." He turned his mask towards Jubei with a nod of his head.
    "We might not ever have another chance like this." He came back to looking over Gemma through the dark holes in the mask that hid even his eyes from sight. His opinion was in the open.
    "What do you think Shali?"

    The beautiful woman then took her turn to give her verdict. However instead of just speaking she stood up, approached Gemma, and leaned down until she was eye-level with the girl which was quite a lean. Shali was a very tall and imposing creature. Taller than Tane by at least a few inches. Somehow she was still able to radiate a kind warmth though. "She's certainly a pretty human. Quite pretty indeed. What is her name, Tane?" She turned her hooded gaze towards the young warrior.
    He paused for a second, caught off guard by the question, but replied after that single second of hesitation.
    "Her name is Gemma."
    Shali leaned upright before making her way back towards her mat. There she sat down again with a grin.
    "I agree!"

    Jubei, although he still looked somewhat concerned, let out a quiet sigh. He was clearly caught between going against his fellow elders or going along with what they wanted to do. Finally though he let his gaze settle upon the girl in question.
    "Very well. Human girl, Gemma, you have one month here to learn as much as you can about our people and our culture. You will be tested at the end of that month. If you pass, you will be free to return to Therran. Tane, she's now under your supervision and your guidance, you will teach her everything." His tone was final and his expression serious however as soon as he finished speaking a warm smile came to find itself on his feline lips.
    "Welcome to Northpaw."

    Tane nodded his head with thanks and made his way back towards the front door, pulling it open so the pair could get outside. Once the door was closed again he let out a deep sigh of relief before laughing at himself. He'd actually gotten very worried for a few seconds there.
    "That could have gone worse, don't you think?" He asked with a broad grin.
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Maelstrom on Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:39 pm

    Gemma didn't know what to do once she entered except... stand there. She didn't look at the Elders before her, giving them the respect that she knew they deserved. She didn't wish to offend them and she wasn't sure what their social codes and traditions were when it came to those who were respected -- she imagined that they couldn't have been much different from her own, though. So, she kept quiet as they addressed Tane about her, swallowing a little as she shifted from foot to foot. She was a little nervous, which was understandable, though she was curious more than she was nervous. She heard the voice of the first Elder and stiffened a little, intimidated by the loudness of his projected voice while he addressed Tane. She felt the man approach and stand beside her, making her feel much more comfortable now that she realized he was truly in this and not going to just turn her in for himself. He could've led her up there after learning who she was, turned her into the Elders for judgement... and then who knows what would've happened to her.

    Her eyes flicked up, gazing at Tane as he explained who she was the to Elders and she turned her eyes towards them for a moment before she downcast them once more, nodding gently. It was true, as far as she was concerned, and she played the part of a servant well. She'd been basically reduced to the role of one whenever her father was around, anyway. She was thankful that Tane was going through this for her, for a stranger, for a woman who was connected with the man who was soul-bent on working these creatures out of existence. And it wasn't a lie -- she did want to learn more about their culture and she'd be honored to have the chance. She blinked a little and then gazed up, hearing the first Elder agree to her reasoning and express interest in having her stay. She smiled a little, feeling a bit more relaxed, and it fell as soon as she was approached by the only female Elder.

    She got closer than she imagined, and her steel grey eyes widened as she looked into the face, well the hooded face, of the female Elder, Shali. A rapid blush of rose climbed into her high cheekbones as she heard Shali called her pretty and ask Tane for her name. She looked down, embarrassed, murmuring a quiet bit of 'thanks' to the female Elder in a tentative voice. She shifted slightly on her feet and then waited the word of the last Elder, who was the only one who had yet to voice their opinion on her staying within their culture. Raising her head as he began to speak, his voice still making her quiver a little, she let a smile grow on her lips as he gave her a month to get acclimated to their culture and learn about their people beneath Tane's advising. She finally spoke up, bowing her head before she left their quarters: "Thank you, very much," she murmured, practically giddy with excitement.

    She walked out with Tane and took only a few moments to run over and wrap her arms around him. She hugged him tightly in her grasp, speaking in a rapid tone, her voice excited and filled with appreciation. "Tane! Thank you so much! I can't express to you how much this means to me!"

    She then stiffened, realizing what she'd done, and she jumped back with an embarrassing coloration to her features once more. She stuttered out her next statement, hoping she hadn't crossed a boundary with him and their people... already. "I'm... I-I'm s-sorry, Tane."
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Dream Rationally on Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:33 pm

    As soon as the pair got outside of the Elder's hut there was only a second where they were apart. Before Tane could even glance in her direction, Gemma had cleared the distance between them and threw her arms around him in a tight embrace. The sudden contact had two very different effects on the young warrior.
    Firstly a ripple ran along the fur of his tail making it stand on end which was a very natural response to being surprised by anything at all. Though most of the time it happened as a result of a bad kind of surprise.
    Secondly his cheeks turned a deep shade of red which, while his face was hidden beneath his hood, came through quite clearly along with his sheepish smile.

    When she quickly pulled away with a flurry of apologies though he shook his head at her, chuckling quietly. It was quite interesting to see how careful she was being. It was right of her to be careful, seeing as she didn't know the customs of the Kaka, but there was a limit. However Tane was only amused by her embarrassment because she would come to learn that the Kaka, both as a clan and a species, were very affectionate beings. Such a show of affection was normal.
    This time he was the one to take a step towards her and with a gentle but swift movement pulled her into an embrace just as tight as the one she had given him.
    "There's nothing to apologize for, Gemma." He purred contentedly before stepping away with a smile, reaching out to playfully ruffle her hair with his paw.

    "I'm not sure how things are where mew are from but here such a thing is normal. We are cats after all." Tane explained in a kind voice while beginning back across the bridge that they had crossed to reach the Elder's home. Seeing as they were not in a rush anymore though he moved slowly so that the two could speak to one another.
    After all, they were going to be spending a whole lot of time together now that she was under his care. Both in terms of keeping her safe as well as teaching her everything she was going to need to know for her test in a month's time. Talking to one another was going to be just as important as anything.

    "Mew could not have arrived at a better time actually. Two days from now is a festival for all of our fellow clan members. The clans from the west and even those further north are going to be coming. We call it the 'Catus Carnival' because everyone gets to set up a stall for food, clothing, weapons, and anything else mew can think of! It's my favorite day of the year." As he explained this there was a joyful twinkle in his eyes.
    "Does such a thing happen in the human kingdom?" He turned his head towards her with a curious tilt. In all honesty he knew just as much about her customs as she did about his.
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Maelstrom on Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:29 am

    Gemma couldn't control the emotions she was feeling at the moment. It was a combination of relief, wonder, and a little bit of stress at the idea of only having a month before she was to be tested on their culture. Would that be enough time? Would she be able to pass the test? And if she didn't... what would become of her, then? She licked her lips lightly and she gazed up, surprised as Tane approached her after she'd already apologized for her surprise attack. Overstepping her boundaries already was something she was extremely worried about -- she didn't need to go and offend those she was going to be spending so much time with in the next month! It wasn't a good way to start things off, was it? But Tane surprised her when he walked up, hugging her in return, causing her to take advantage and hug him back just as thoroughly as he was hugging her. Then, he moved away and she released him, smiling sheepishly as he ruffled her braided hair, making some of the tendrils slip out and rest around her face. Eyes on him, she listened to him speak about how affection must have been 'normal' for their people. Gemma spoke while following him, a frown on her own lips. "I've hardly ever encountered cats... my father wasn't a fan of pets. He thought they were a distraction." Her words were soft, but stiff around the edges as she spoke, obviously uncomfortable with talking about her father and her heritage. She wasn't proud of being royal beneath her father, but she was even stronger in her feelings now that she knew what these people were truly like.

    Gazing at Tane once more, a smile on her lips, she listened to him describe their festival. "That sounds like a lot of fun, actually. There is something similar that happens in the city. We have venders come from all over the land, bringing their items and tales of their land. There's a feast, usually, and music, dancing... it's my favorite time of year. It happens when the leaves change and it feels as though the winds themselves are changing. I always hope for something magnificent to happen, but once the leaves fall and the winters come, things go back to normal and nothing seems to change..." Gemma's tone had gotten extremely somber, as if she were reminiscing about a time that she didn't necessarily enjoy. Winter was the worst season in the castle -- she couldn't escape outside from her father, she couldn't go out to get a peaceful nap in the gardens or to escape the social drones of her life. No, Winter was a trap.

    Gemma turned to him suddenly as they walked, smiling once more, shoving down her grief and memories, her pain, as she spoke to him once more. "This festival, this Catus Carnival, sounds extremely fun. Will... will your people think it odd, that I'm there?" She spoke softly, curious now, but also a little nervous at the idea. Gemma didn't like attention being drawn to her, which was strange of a Princess, but it was something she'd never been able to change. She didn't like attention, especially when it was unnecessary, and she didn't like to draw it to herself. She was afraid that such a social event... well, she'd stick out like a sore thumb, being the only human there.
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Dream Rationally on Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:55 am

    The hug that the two shared meant a lot to Tane. Of course it was meant to be Gemma's way of thanking her captor for helping her rather than harming her but to him there was so much more behind the simple gesture of affection. It was the first time he'd ever been shown anything other than the intention of violence by a human. Of course he'd known she was different from the moment they'd met, he never could have imagined that she would be this different.
    Something, deep inside him, began to warm up to the human he knew he was putting his neck on the line for. This girl, who he hardly knew anything about, was either going to prove him right or prove to him that all humans are the same. He hoped she would do the former.

    It was Tane's turn to listen intently with an expression of wonder upon his hidden face, shown by how wide his eyes were. As much as he knew about the ways of humans in terms of their brutal lust for death and blood, it was nice to learn about their peaceful side as well. Unlike some members of the clan he was not convinced that the human race as a whole were evil to the core. He predicted (or in the eyes of many he simply wished) that much like the Kaka they could be a peaceful race who enjoyed quiet and happiness. It was a relief to know that there was some truth to that prediction.
    When she finished her explanation though he could not help but notice the sad tone in her voice. His brow furrowed slightly as he fought the temptation to ask her why these thoughts brought sadness. It was not his place to demand such personal things of her though.
    "I think that's amazing!" He mused quietly as they continued across yet another bridge.

    When Gemma brought up the possibility of her not being welcome by the rest of the clan a wide grin spread across the hidden face of her companion. He turned his head to look at her with a twinkle in the dark crimson color of his eyes. He had already considered the question she asked him and long ago had come up with an answer for her.
    "Mew would stand out if mew wore that clothing. However if we were to get mew the traditional Kaka clothing.. then mew would blend right in! I know the best tailor in the village, we will go to her tomorrow." He explained his plan to her with the same excited grin animating his voice.
    Although he did consider the fact that she might not want to part from her clothing from the Kingdom there was simply no other answer to their problem. At least not one where she would be able to keep her dress on. If she did then a sore thumb would be an understatement as to how much she stuck out.

    As the pair made their way down along the last bridge heading towards the ground they caught sight of quite an ordeal going on where Gemma's horse had been tethered. The Kaka kittens who had not dared approach the large creature when they first left were now grouped around him with expressions of awe painted across their little faces as they cooed with wonder.
    Three of the bravest kittens had managed to climb up onto Armor's back and were happily giggling as they swayed back and forth pretending to be riding. At first Tane was surprised the horse did not shake them off but then he realized that the small creatures probably felt like a feather upon his mighty back.
    Upon the approach of the pair many of the kittens ran away screaming much the way children do when discovered doing something they think might get them in trouble, leaving the three on Armor's back to suffer the consequences.

    "I should have known I would find the three of mew causing trouble. Feisty-Kaka, Fluffy-Kaka, Cali-Kaka, what do mew have to say for mewrselves?" Tane demanded in a voice that was stern but at the same time held a tone of amusement as he crossed his arms over his chest.
    "Neyothing! I didn't do anything wrong!" The first named Feisty cried with a defiant look on his face.
    "Me either!" Cried the second named Fluffy who tried to mimic the look of his friend.
    "I-I-It was Feisty's idea!" Stuttered the third, Cali, with tears in her eyes at the thought of getting in trouble.
    "D-Don't punish me! I won't ever be bad ever again!" She mewled pitifully.

    Tane turned his head towards Gemma with a small smile. Unlike many of the other members of the Kaka clan, the kittens were the most innocent of the bunch. They hardly knew what a human was much less the terrible past humans had with the adults of the clan. Therefore they did not so much as look at her with anything more than curiosity as to why she looked different. With this in mind an idea came to Tane.
    "Well, what do mew think?" He asked giving her the choice on whether the three would get punished or not. "Armor is mewr horse after all. "
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Maelstrom on Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:29 am

    "Honestly, it is amazing. It's just sad when it ends because I know that Winter is coming to the land and that things will remain stagnant until Spring. It's quite upsetting, since Winter typically indicates how the people are stuck inside. There's less laughter, less children playing... Sometimes, the kingdom looks frozen in time with the lack of people walking the streets. I guess I just prefer the warmth of the other three seasons."

    The walk along the bridges seemed almost endless, but speaking with Tane seemed to pass the time quickly enough. His entire culture was like nothing she'd ever read about or heard about before. She'd spoken to Princes from lands across the seas, Queens and Kings from mountain palaces, and she'd read about the battles and histories of the past rulers. None of them had mentioned or referenced the Kaka people directly -- no, the only reference seemed to be from her own father when he started spreading the rumors. He called them cruel, malicious cannibals who are bent on destroying the kingdom that everyone knew and loved as his own. She rolled her eyes even at the thought of it before turning her attention back towards Tane, smiling gently, her eyes sparkling at the idea of wearing traditional Kaka clothes. Her curiosity only seemed to expand whenever Tane talked about his people and their traditions.

    "I'm terribly excited! Thank you. These clothes are only comfortable for so long. I'd have tried to shed my gown already if I'd been in truly royal attire. Those gowns are ridiculously constructed. And corsets! I don't even want to get started when it comes to corsets."

    Gemma let out a laugh as the descended down to the forest floor once more, her eyes flicking towards Armor and she was instantly shocked... and then it quickly changed to amusement. The horse was nickering happily, occasionally tossing his head and trotting in place so the kittens could feel like they were truly riding along his back. He seemed to be very careful of those that were around his hooves, and those on his back, though. He was a cautious animal when he wasn't being protective. Currently, his head was lowered and he was blowing hot air out of his nose, ruffling the hoods of the felines near his face. He was letting them stroke his mane, neck, face and nose. Gemma rolled her eyes as she realized that the magnificent steed of hers was actually wanting the extra attention. What a horse, she thought to herself with a grimace, though there was clear amusement in her eyes.

    Armor's large head lifted as he noticed that Gemma and Tane were approaching. He seemed to shake his large head happily in greeting, whinnying gently towards his rider. She approached and touched her hand to his nose, rubbing it gently as she looked towards Tane and watched his reaction to the kittens still resting upon Armor's back. She grinned -- they were positively adorable! And Armor didn't seem to mind at all. But as she looked towards Tane, listening to him question her about the kittens, she realized that she should play along. She tutted softly, approaching the kittens slowly and looking down at them. She then grinned, patting Armor's side gently.

    "Hmmm... you know, I think Armor likes you little ones. And you were so kind to him, after all. I don't see a reason for punishment, Feisty, Fluffy, and Cali. Do you, Armor?" The steed shook his large head, letting out a rush of hot air, making Gemma laugh. She then held out her hand to the kittens, speaking to them softly. "You're all safe. It's nice to meet you, kittens. I'm Gemma."

    The kittens seemed to stare at her hand for a moment, but Feisty wasn't one to seem intimidated. He shook her hand, grabbing around a few of her fingers to do so, and he introduced himself with bravery. "I'm Feisty," he answered, while Fluffy seemed to mimic his exact motion. Cali, however, seemed a little more cautious and fearful of the human. She watched her with a burning curiosity that seemed to match Gemma's look all too often. Gemma was able to wait, patiently, as Cali finally extended her hand and shook Gemma's lightly. "I'm Cali! Thank mew for not punishing us!" Gemma let out a soft laugh, shaking her head, stepping back to view them all together. "I could never punish kittens as cute as you three." Her words held sincerity -- there was no cruel nature to Gemma at all. She truly was nothing like her father.
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Dream Rationally on Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:27 am

    The scene that played before Tane made a silly grin spread and remain upon his lips. The three little figures, true to their nature, tried their best not to be frightened by the arrival of a strange creature they did not know was a human. At least two of the three tried not to be frightened. Cali-Kaka, who was the voice of reason among the group, took a little bit longer before she too shook Gemma's hand.
    The older Kaka could not help but chuckle at the kittens. Of all the little ones in the village the three before them were the most well-known for being trouble makers but at the same time they were the most loved.
    "Alright, Alright, time for mew three to get off the horse for now." He spoke once his companion was finished.

    "Awww.. Can't we stay on?"
    "Yeah, can't we stay?"
    "I wanna stay a little longer!"
    All three voices intermingled and mixed into one whining voice but the three of them knew better than to disobey the Kaka before them. So without any more complaining they all hopped down to the ground, revealing the true nature of their small size. Kaka kittens were naturally quite short until they reached maturity. As such Feisty, the oldest of the trio, barely reached waist height for Gemma.
    "I'm sure miss Gemma would be more than happy to let mew sit on her horse again soon. It's time to go home now though. Can't mew see how late it's getting?" At the mention of this all three pairs of eyes moved towards the sky.
    "Fine. See you tomorrow then miss Gemma!"
    "Tomorrow miss Gemma!"
    "Thanks for letting us ride miss Gemma, see you tomorrow uncle Tane!"

    Tane watched with a smile as the three little hooded figures disappeared into the hustle and bustle of the early evening preparations. Many of the stalls were being taken apart while the other adults moved around herding together their kittens to bring them in for the night. Already the sky over the village was beginning to turn to the soft orange color of sunset. A few of the older Kaka shuffled back and forth between numerous posts where they lit torches to keep the village illuminated as the surroundings darkened.
    While the forest around the village became dark and terrifying at night, the village itself remained warm and welcoming with the glow of flickering flames.
    "We should get back before my sister gets too worried. She tends to get anxious whenever I go out on ambushes without her." He spoke while taking a moment to glance around at the settling little town.

    Once Gemma had gotten Armor untied from the post, Tane began to lead them towards the center of the village where he lived. The deeper they got into the collection of wooden structures the warmer the air around them became. It was filled with the soft scent of burning wood and cooking food from the homes where families were preparing an evening meal before bed.
    "There is something mew should know before we get back to my home. My sister, Tai, is younger than me by a few years. About four years ago when she was barely older than a kitten and I was getting towards the age of maturity, there was a raid by the men of mewr father. The attack was carried out on a group who had gone out foraging for medicinal herbs. We heard screams in the distance but by the time we found the group, the men had killed them all. Our mother was among those who were killed."
    Tane turned his head towards Gemma but there was no hate or anger in his eyes. Just a distant kind of sadness.
    "Tai took the loss much harder than anyone else. So I must ask mew not to take her actions to heart. She's still trying to get over the whole ordeal. I think that's one of the reasons Jubei decided to put you under my guidance. Like me, the only humans she's ever come across were those who wanted to harm her."

    Just as he finished his story the pair reached the steps of a home towards the opposite side of the village from whence they came. The home they stood before was not much different from any of the others around it with the sole exception being that the front door was just as intricately carved as the door on the home of the Elders. In the very center was the same family symbol that found itself on the front of Tane's clothing that identified him as being Kaka royalty and the next leader of the clan.
    "Armor will be fine if you tether him here. I promise you that. We will get him some hay and water first thing tomorrow morning." As he spoke he pointed towards one of the supporting posts of the porch before motioning towards the building as a whole.
    "Welcome." He said in a warm voice with a kind smile as he ascended the few steps and approached the door, pushing it open with a simple turn of the wooden handle. The front door led directly into a cozy little room designed to face a fireplace that was softly glowing in the semi-darkness. There were three more doors on the far side of the room and one more that visibly led into a kitchen of sorts.
    The best words to describe the home were; warm, welcoming, and simple. The Kaka were a people built around the simplicity of life and its pleasures.
    "It isn't a castle but it's home." Tane spoke as he closed the door behind his guest.
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Maelstrom on Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:13 am

    The three little ones were positively adorable. She found it endearing, how they craved attention and were daring enough to try things that the other little Kakas didn't dare do. They were the only three to mount Armor, after all, and she could only imagine what Armor must look like to a small kitten. She tipped her head, watching them with her steel colored eyes, a smile pleasantly curving up the corners of her lips. She could see that the three of them were fascinated with her and her horse. It was amazing, the sense of wonder that they seemed to maintain. She was used to coming from a kingdom where her curiosity was typically pushed down and shunned from the room. She now was in a place where people echoed it and seemed to encourage it. She felt more at home here, in this strange location, than she ever had before in her own homeland, in her own castle and as a princess.

    As the kittens scampered away, she peered over towards Tane and sent him a happy smile. She felt... pleased, knowing that some part of her life wasn't looked at as though she were some kind of enemy. She'd assumed that being captured by the Kaka, a people her father had tried to extirpate from their lands, would result in mayhem and cruelty towards her that reflected how her father had treated them for a majority of their existence. She was pleasantly surprised by them, and thankful that they were so incredibly different than what her father had spread rumors about. Eyes flickering out of their vision and back towards Tane, she listened to him speak about his sister. She had not been aware that he'd had a sister, but she almost could have assumed that he wasn't alone in this large village.

    Nodding in compliance, Gemma walked over towards Armor and untethered him from the post, stroking down his large muzzle as she led him away and he followed, obedient. He was a large creature, even by horse standards, but he walked around Gemma as though she was larger than him. It was evident that he respected her as much as an animal can respect a human. Gemma took good care of Armor and she didn't let any servants she didn't trust near her horse. She respected him just as he seemed to respect her. She looked towards Tane as she let him lead the two of them into the depth of the village, loving the warm air that seemed to swirl around them. Her ears picked up on the story he was telling, about his family and his sister, and she felt like her stomach was a stone as she heard. "Tane... I'm so sorry," she said with pain in her voice. She knew that her father did things that weren't considered 'honorable', but this was simply disgraceful. She tightened her hand gently around the lead she was using for Armor. "I'll take anything your sister wishes to throw my way. I can... understand. I'm ashamed of my own father for the things that he's done. I'm sure there are plenty I'm even unaware of." Her voice trailed off as they walked and she thought of her father, the things he'd done, the awful way he'd led his kingdom with an iron fist.

    Gazing forward, she realized where they were now, and she smiled as Tane directed her towards where she could place Armor. She led the large stallion over there and she tethered him in place. She patted him and her hooves stomped a few times. Gemma then turned around and headed inside with Tane, taking in everything that she could. She gasped a little, gazing around the place, and she ended up turning to face him with a grin upon her features. Her voice was soft, sincere, as she remained where she stood. She didn't want to overstep any boundaries that may be in place. Besides... she didn't want to accidentally run into his sister, Tai.

    "This place is beautiful, Thane. Castles are cold and cruel. This is warm... inviting. It feels safe. You're very lucky to have a village like this one. It's beautiful; it's unique." She wasn't buttering him up or trying to get on his good side, she was merely telling him what she truly felt.
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Dream Rationally on Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:04 pm

    The Kaka watched quietly as she tethered Armor to the post he told her she could. There was a look of admiration in his eyes at the tight bond the creature and her rider shared. There were not many who could form such a bond with an animal and those that could were the purest at heart. Animals, the Kaka included, have the natural ability to sense a person for who they truly are on the inside. Armor would never have allowed himself to grow so close to Gemma if not for her soft nature. Again he was reminded of the fact that she was different from her father. So much different.
    Deep inside he was glad that he had been right. His feline senses had not let him down when they told him to spare her in the middle of that trial when he very well could have had her killed.

    When he mentioned the fact that his mother had been killed in an attack the mood very quickly changed. In her eyes he could see something that looked to be both pain and regret. This almost surprised him.
    "It's alright Gemma, I know it didn't have anything to do with mew. Mew cannot help what king Morelius does with his men. There are no hard feelings between us, I promise." The young warrior spoke in a bit of a hushed voice accompanied by a smile. He truly did not have any kind of grudge or wish any ill will on his companion. She could not help what her father had done in the past nor could she help what he might do in the future. It was only so long before the Kaka race was brought to the very edge of extinction and perhaps even further.
    But Tane did not allow himself to think about such things as he let Gemma into his home.

    Tane could not help but blush just a little bit as she complimented the house in which he and his sister lived. As he had been a part of the building of the house (somewhat anyway, he was a kitten at the time) and the further decorating of the interior. In that way she was complimenting his tastes and he found it quite flattering that she enjoyed them. Much less the fact that she found the village equally pleasing.
    As Gemma stood at the door admiring her surroundings he quietly made his way towards one of the doors, pausing at it to crack it open so he could take a peek inside the room beyond. Inside he caught a glimpse of a shape huddled beneath the sheets quietly purring which made him grin.
    When he made his way back towards his guest the smile still remained upon his lips.

    "Tai is asleep right now. Here, let me show mew to the room mew'll be sleeping in." He spoke quietly but he knew that his sister was a very deep sleeper. She enjoyed every minute of sleep that she could.
    Tane gently took Gemma by the hand and led her across the room towards the door next to his own room, the third door. The guest room, where she would be spending her nights, was just as warm and welcoming as the living room. It was simple with only a bed, dresser, chair, and a curtained window. However it had a certain charm to the way the wood of each item was carved as if by the careful hand of a skilled carpenter.
    "As I said, we'll get mew some new clothes tomorrow but I hope this will do for now." He spoke while taking a few steps into the room before glancing over his shoulder at her.

    Tane waited a few moments, giving her time to become familiar with her surroundings, before he plunked himself down on the bed. It was a comfy bed stuffed with the softest wool imported from one of the other villages further north.
    He patted the spot on the bed next to him with a hopeful smile but he was ready for her to insist on standing. It would have been perfectly understandable if she did not trust him yet.
    "I know a month isn't a very long time to learn about our people.. but is there anything mew want to ask in particular?"
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    Re: Welcome to My World (Mael/Dream)

    Post by Maelstrom on Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:08 pm

    Gemma had been raised to be someone specific. She'd spent her entire life beneath her father's fist; she'd been forced to act like a princess and had lost portions of a typical childhood because of it. She had missed the freedom of playing around outside all the time, even though now she got a lot of her freedom from riding Armor. She'd been close to him since he was a young colt; he'd been her only friend for a long time. Those who knew Gemma outside of being a princess knew her as a kind, slightly misunderstood child with a father who had her wrapped around his little finger and ignorant to the truth of how he was ruling. She was to inherit the kingdom someday... if she had her way of course. Her father was desperately trying to get someone of royalty to marry her, preventing her from being the sole power of the crown. Besides -- he didn't believe that a woman could run his kingdom, anyway. There was a lot about her father that she didn't know and understand; however, she knew a lot more than he assumed she did. She just wasn't someone who put all of her cards on the table right off of the bat. She wasn't someone to be underestimated, no matter how often it happened.

    Gazing back towards Tane, she smiled softly. She knew that he'd returned from searching for Tai, but Gemma soon assumed that she must be asleep, since she wasn't accompanying him. She nodded, remaining quiet, not wanting to make any excess noise. Feeling some of her exhaustion slipping into her features, she let him take her hand and lead her back towards the spare bedroom where she was going to be staying. As he opened the door, it looked almost as she expected it to look. It was quaint and simple, but it held a warmth about it that she couldn't compare to any room she'd had in the castle. A smile touched her features once more, though it wasn't very enthusiastic with her sleepy nature. He sat down, patting the spot beside him, and she didn't hesitate.

    Gemma was always different, after all.

    She approached and sat down, slumping a little as she sat, not sitting straight and proper as most would assume a princess would sit. She ran her hands over her face and then she looked at him, quirking him another smile as her eyes sparkled. "I appreciate all of this, Tane, thank you. The room is perfect, the clothes can wait until necessary, and... I can only hope that I can latch onto your culture and learn from you and your people within the month," she murmured quietly. She afraid to ask what might happen, should she not succeed at her task. She licked her lips slightly, shifting her hands to sit in her lap as she turned her gaze down towards them. She spoke softly once more, chewing on the inside of her cheek for a moment before. "I don't... really have many questions. I guess I'm just worn out, really. It's been a long day; I was riding since sun rise." She smiled to him, albeit in a sheepish manner. She wanted to ask him things, to appear a little more intelligent than she did when she was drugged with exhaustion, but she simply couldn't.

    "Thank you again, though, Tane." Her words were honest, sincere. She couldn't feel more thankful towards him for saving her life. She knew that, any moment back there, she could've been shot to death and taken down without a second thought. She believed the reality of the situation hadn't quite set in yet, but tonight wasn't the time.

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