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 The Pride Days (IC): Hurt

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Akira
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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Wed May 21, 2014 7:33 pm

Var opened his eyes, having been awake but still resting. Grimacing he put a paw over hers, trying to calm her. "It's alright, just tell me what you saw. You're alright," he said in a soothing way. But inside Var was just as terrified. It was as though he had the dreams as well, her own fear slunk into him like a sly shadow, but all the while he hid it all behind the doors of his body, trying not to let his body language give him away.

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Cyla blinked away, standing up and stretching. She yawned, the pink in her ears especially emboldened this morning. She flicked her tail as she rubbed an eye with a paw. "The storm is gone?" she said looking at the sky. The sky was especially gloomy this morning. Gray clouds fluttered here and there. They promised rain, but seemed to be carrying it somewhere else. It would pass. Cyla then moved outside of the den. "Let's go then."

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Wed May 21, 2014 8:12 pm

Kyra looked highly disturbed, and rose to her feet, unable to sit still, needing the movement to calm herself, as she slowly began to pace back and forth in front of the den, "Var...I don't want to believe it, but I can only guess that it was either a vivid nightmare, or a prophesy, because somehow I know it means something." She stopped and turned to look at him, "I saw a lioness, her fur was completely coated with blood, and then I saw what I think was the Shadingtree, it was gigantic and black. I saw Dalmaa's face, being linked to an enormous white flower, as it burst into flames, withered, and died, it must have been the Pawmark of Protheus." She clenched her eyes shut, "I saw a freshly-made mark on stone, like carved cave prophesies, I saw the mark crossed out. I saw a small black lion cub, and then a black lion, and a black leopard as they were both suffering."

Her eyes opened, but they were narrowed, "I saw a paw that was dripping with blood making marks in stone, and then I saw the dark tree again, with Dalmaa standing behind it, his wings spread, as though in triumph, with a strange noise I couldn't understand, whispering." She looked uneasy, and her limbs trembled, "It must be a prophesy, they don't make sense, unless I piece them together." She started pacing again, before her eyes widened, "Var, the Pawmark, this can only mean Dalmaa is going to attempt to destroy it and re-write what happens! If he does that, he will win, because there will be no way of delivering the Sodaki at all!"

Her tail flicked wildly, before a thought came to her, "Ramla, I need to talk to Ramla..."

_______________________________________________________________________________

The trip began somewhat uneventful, and it seemed Coglon and Shadow were traveling for the most part in silence. It was then that suddenly, Coglon pounced on a rabbit the moment it came from its burrow, as though it had jumped right into his waiting claws. Coglon dropped the kill at Cyla's feet, "If you had followed us for as long as you had, I suspect you didn't eat anything. There is no sense starving here, we will soon be treading in what is considered to be a sacred place, to my knowledge."

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Wed May 21, 2014 10:18 pm

Var nodded, getting out of the den. "That's a prophecy, you need to see Ramla. Come on," he said as he guided her down the camp. Taru had been sitting with Magir at the foot of the hill that led to the royal cave.

"Morning," Taru greeted.

"Can't talk, urgent matter!" Var said rushing past. Taru and Magir both looked at each other and then stared in the direction they had disappeared. Var took Kyra down a narrow path through the brush, branching just out of the camp and isolated into the wilderness. It was a ways behind the medical den, on the rim of the lake. They entered a clearing where Ramla stood drinking from the lake, standing off the bank. There was a guard standing off to the side, making sure she was alright.

"Ramla!" Var said urgently. She stuck her head up, looking over her shoulder and whipping around. She looked off somewhere where his voice had sounded, but not directly at him. Her sweet, gentle voice sounded.

"Yes?"

Var began to describe the dream Kyra had, his own bones shivering under his skin as he spoke the words. Every time he said Dalmaa's name, he felt something curdle in his blood. He looked at her urgently, waiting for her response as he finished.

"Hmm. This is definitely a prophecy. Obviously he's going to try and kill the Pawmark. He's cheating us is what he's doing. He's going to rip both prophecies up as if they're nothing, because to him, they really are nothing. He's going to rewrite everything about everything. This is my guess, though. Because even a Seeress cannot see Dalmaa for what he is or predict his actions. He is the most unpredictable, cunning spirit there is. He'll find a way to undo you and redo what's in question. He always does, as long as I've known about him. Just like the tale of his daughter and Protheus' son. Protheus viewed their love as a way to bring him and Dalmaa closer and to reconcile their differences. Dalmaa, however, wanted no part in being forgiven by Protheus or any pure spirit. He raked the mountaintop and killed both of them. There is so much to that story that we can apply to our situation, but no time for me to elaborate. We'll have plenty of time for me to tell it to you on the trip. But as for the lioness covered in blood..."

Ramla thought a moment, the guard gave her a sudden look of surprise at this, as if she knew what was being spoken about. Ramla looked at Var, or at least, near him. "That sounds to me like Belabi, Shebla's grandmother. But that was far before I was around. I've only heard the story of how Belabi bathed in Osaqi's blood... Shebla has told everyone that Osaqi killed her grandmother, to hide her shame. But no... Belabi killed Osaqi. Jali told me, and he's chosen to respect Shebla's story. Initially it was Star that eventually killed her. I could easily place Belabi on the same level of villainy as Aziza, but Belabi is far more subtle, according to Jali. Whereas Aziza is always in your face. Anyways, the black lion cub... I'm not sure... Do you know any lion with black fur?"

"Well, Shadow and Kavis are the only two I can think of" said Var.

"You said Dalmaa was suffering with the cub as it matured into an adult. Kavis has Dalmaa's poison inside of him, which fuels him. I could only imagine it could cause severe pain to him, even at a young age. Not just physical pain though, I'm sure Kavis constantly has a rush of bloodthirst he can't control and sudden bursts of the desire to kill something. He's probably very depressed underneath, as Dalmaa's victims usually always are. It was Kavis you saw. This means he's of far more importance than we thought. Likely, he's much more than some king. But we will have to get more information. As for the symbol... Hmm..."

Ramla thought, then continued. "The star obviously means Star, our previous king. It being crossed out... I'm not sure what that means. Star is already dead. It may mean Dalmaa will reduce him to almost nothing, or he will cease to exist entirely... The bloody paw. That obviously means that Dalmaa is writing his prophecy in stone, in his blood. It is his prophecy, and it is permanent. That is his law. He'll kill anyone that cannot find the ability to respect it."

"What about the Tree?" Var asked.

"Ah yes, almost forgot. Well, the reason I wanted us to chose the second path that steers away from that Tree, is because it's an evil Tree. It is said that Dalmaa lives inside of it. Since he was banished from the spirit world, it is essentially his home in the mortal world. And it's often said that once a good soul touches it, the Tree consumes them and draws them into a type of pocket realm belonging to Dalmaa, where only darkness lies, trapping them and Dalmaa feasts on their soul. I have seen it all too many times in my own dreams. If you look at it from a certain angle, it looks like Dalmaa with his wings spread. So you may have been confused and thought you saw him standing behind it, Kyra" she said. "But, we may eventually have to go there. Who knows what trouble will come. But this prophecy of Dalmaa plotting to burn the Pawmark... We need to leave immediately. Go gather everyone that's going and meet me at the camp entrance."

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Cyla began to eat from the rabbit, but did not say anything. She seemed a bit awkward to accept food from someone else. She felt so use to the 'survive on your own' teaching Kavis had installed. A teaching he had learned from Aziza. Cyla wiped the blood from her snout as she finished. Flicking a tail she looked at Coglon a bit shyly afterwards. "I'm... I'm not good with sacred grounds. I had better stay behind... I'm not exactly fit for it," She said. It was obvious she kept in mind her sins, and that she was afraid that if she entered, these sins would lead to her downfall. She didn't want to die in sacred grounds, and was afraid. Her own fear-scent was rising as Coglon had said this. She had no idea that that's where they were approaching.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Thu May 22, 2014 12:04 am

Coglon's ear twitched, and he watched Cyla carefully, "If you were not able to pass into this place, Cyla, then you would have not noticed as Shadow and I left the camp. This place is linked to those like Shadow, and Great Healers have very little dealings with spirits, and often, deal with pure energy. This place is where a high concentration of energy has gathered, so it has much mystical power, for lack of a better word." His tail flicked barely at the tip, "You feel guilty, do you not, of the things you've done, because you know they are wrong, and you wish you had not done them? Your heart has changed from the way it was in the past, it has become a good thing, and you bear no hostile intentions. That is enough for you to come here, because even the greatest of creatures has erred in judgement, you cannot go a single day without making at least one mistake considered to be a sin."

He looked up ahead, where Shadow had placed his paw on what appeared to be a hidden ledge of sorts, which, upon closer examination, led to a path and tunnel that seemed to cut through the mountain. There was a strange aura about it, neither threatening nor soothing, it was simply there, like a low-hanging mist. It was as though one could feel the power of it, up so close, the strange energy that swirled in the world.

__________________________________________________________________________

Everyone was gathered up at the camp entrance, when Kyra padded over to Ramla, "Ramla, I was going to ask you something, and I can't help but wonder if you're not also thinking about it, too. If I had a dream that was a prophesy...I'm not a Seeress, so why did I have those visions? I saw another set of them, too, after the messages regarding what's happening now. There's another prophesy, but I didn't bother mentioning it until now. Why do you think I'm seeing these things when I've never traveled to the Pawmark before?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Thu May 22, 2014 2:00 pm

As the group walked off, beginning their journey, Ramla pondered this to herself for a moment. The pack consisted of Ramla, Var, Kyra, Saber, Magir, Scar, and Taru. Many wondered why Feth had not come with Scar, but she bluntly explained that her mate was very weak in fights, how she had fallen in love with him for his personality, not his body.

Ramla then looked at Kyra. "We may actually never know the true reason until we get to the Pawmark. But either Protheus and Dalmaa are pushing these powers on you because they need a new Seeress, or Dalmaa feels close to you... I'm not sure why he would reveal his new plan to you already. It makes no sense. He must have more planned. He showed this to you on purpose. He's not only going to destroy that flower, but he's also going to do something else that we might not even be able to counter. Fate will decide." Ramla walked wearily for a moment, patting around for the right path. Taru took to her side, allowing his body to act as a guide for hers. She had to walk and remain against him at the same time, which was often how she was directed around large areas by the Pride lions.

Ramla sighed. "This is all so strange, even for me. My skills have been put to the test over the last few moons. I've been unable to decipher all of these messages. I'm always able to crack a spirit's code, it seems. But Dalmaa is so obscure, so mist-like. But what I do know is, things are worsening out there. Kyra, I fear that Dalmaa is trying to make you close to him. Tell me, has he been visiting your dreams often lately? I believe you said something about that last night. How often? And for how long does he visit?"

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Cyla nodded and followed. Though she was still slightly nervous. She stopped at the ledge with Shadow and Coglon and waited further orders. Her mind buzzed with curiosity at the sight of the tunnel. Where did it lead? She hoped somewhere good. She'd never been in this part of Ethiopia before.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Thu May 22, 2014 3:29 pm

Kyra's ears twitched, "Even before Dalmaa, every night on the journey spirits would come into my dreams, and we would have conversations, but I can't say what they were about, because they pleaded with me to promise I wouldn't tell until the time was right." She said, "When Dalmaa began to appear, the first time was when we were staying in the Ridge Pride camp for the night; we rested in the cave where the king used to live. He appeared, and he showed me images of the world he and Protheus came from, the world of Auras. He also showed me things that he had made, that he claimed that Protheus had destroyed; Dalmaa claimed that he was the one who created lions, as well, and that no being, not even Auras, are pure good or pure evil, just a mix of something in between. When I refused to believe Dalmaa had any good intentions, he flew into a fit of what I can only describe as despair, because he claimed he had been robbed of things that were precious to him, and that Protheus had stolen everything he ever treasured. He was in my dreams the entire night, and I woke up because the fit, the sudden, overwhelming display of emotion, shocked me awake."

She flicked her tail, "He appeared to me next, in the Black Morass, this time, while I was awake, when I was searching further away from the others, but nobody else could see him. He told me that he didn't want any sort of sympathy, but that he wanted me to choose a prophesy. I think he may have intentionally tried to frighten me, that time, but the problem was, by showing me the things he had in my dream, I didn't feel intimidated, though I should have. By this time, Snake came, and conversed with Dalmaa. They still both want Var dead, but unlike Snake, Dalmaa doesn't blame us for choosing the side that we did, because this is a fight between him and Protheus, and we are just mortals."

Kyra flicked her tail once more, "Dalmaa claimed he was guilty of pride, and that he drowned the world in his own creations, barely leaving any sort of room for Protheus to create his own. He said, though, that Protheus had grown jealous, and had drowned the world in fire and water, destroying much of what Dalmaa had made, something that he saw as wrong, and I believe that is something people could understand." She sighed, "After this, Snake left, and Dalmaa made the Sodaki glow from its hiding place. He told me that if I wished to cast him from the world, meaning that I had chosen the side of Protheus, to claim the Stone. I did so, but I told them that I don't hold pure hatred towards him, because I would be lying, if I did. He left, after that, but he seemed, during the entire encounter, as though he were extremely sad."

Kyra's ear twitched, "We came back here, and I had that prophetic dream. If you want to know if I am closer to Dalmaa, then the chances are that I am, because I have actually spoken with him, and Protheus has not told us his own side of the story. I am still going to do what I can to end all of this madness, I have not lost my resolve, but regardless; I feel something approaching respect for Dalmaa, if only because despite what he is, he has feelings that can be hurt, and that is something that a mortal understands. I only think now, that the reason he is the way he is, is because that he wants to be everything that Protheus is not, his complete opposite, because that is how great their rivalry, their sheer hatred of each other, happens to be." Kyra flicked her ear, "Dalmaa isn't the kind of being, though, to give up, when I really think about it, even though he seemed resigned originally."

Her eyes narrowed, perplexed, "He isn't the kind of being to give up, nor the kind to walk within boundaries. He prefers to break them, and make his own design, so I suppose, by destroy the Pawmark, he intends to prove that he doesn't have to be bound by a prophesy, either, since if there are two, that means there are two potential futures. He won't let himself be brought down by anyone, because that's the sort of pride he has in himself. He showed me those visions, I think, because he wants me to know he's going to defy everything, the Good Prophesy, the Wicked Prophesy. He will not accept losing, he wants to win, and he'll do everything he can to achieve that."

Kyra stared straight ahead as she spoke her thoughts on the matter, "I can't help but wonder what he's thinking, but I can only suppose he wants to prove that it is possible to take one's fate into their own paws, that just because there's a prophesy, doesn't mean it will happen. Dalmaa, despite what he is, is extremely creative, and now that I really think about it, breaking both prophesies is something he would definitely do."

_________________________________________________________

After a momentary pause, to see that Cyla was, in fact, coming, Shadow went inside the cave, leading her and Coglon deep into the mountain, or so they thought. Although they moved through a straight cavern for a certain period, they soon emerged into a large, circular area, which was open to the sky, which, surprisingly, was completely clear of clouds, though there was no way of leaving the area, as the walls were too steep to climb out. The brownish stone floor of this area was so smooth, it looked polished and was even so reflective that it showed images like a mirror. Upon closer inspection, carvings of strange symbols were arranged around the area, forming some sort of circle, which led inward, until it reached the very center. In the very center of the area, there was something strange.

With symbols on the ground arranged around it in a ring, what could be only described as a massive crystal, rose from the ground, appearing as a hexagonal pillar that came to a point. It had many geometric faucets along its sides, an arrangement of rectangles, and a roughness that made it seem almost metallic when reflecting light. In truth, it heavily resembled metal, because it possessed an adamantine luster, and smoother spots reflected like genuine mirrors, only distorted by natural curves or rough spots. The stone appeared to be pure black, but because of its location, it seemed to glow, and many parts looked white to the eye. It also seemed that the strange power of the place was focused on it.

Additionally, around the base of this pillar, smaller stones of a different sort sprouted from the ground, also hexagonal, coming to a tip. These crystals weren't as rough, nor did they have the same luster, but regardless, ranged in color. Most of the individual crystals seemed to contain multiple colors, and were either bi-colored or tri-colored. There were ones that began as white at the base, but further up turned a soft shade of green, before turning a pale purple at the very top. There were other combinations, such as pale pink and yellow, looking like a sunset, purple or pink mixed with blue, as well as ones that were different shades of the same color.

Overall, these stones, while having the roughness that suggested they were completely natural, were a very beautiful and wondrous sight to behold. What one would also notice, was that in addition to the crystals drawing the eye, vines grew up the walls of this strange place, the same kind, in fact, that Shadow had growing on his body. Notably, though, they all seemed concentrated around one of two tunnels, not including the one they had come through. They were sparse near the tunnel they had entered through, and completely absent around the third. All three tunnels were arranged so that why were equal distances from each other.

Shadow walked up to the stone pillar, and reached out a paw, touching the large dark stone, which, despite giving off the illusion that it was warm because of sunlight, was actually cool, and pleasant to the paw pad. He looked over at Coglon and Cyla, and flicked his tail, waving them over, and nodding, giving consent that they, too, were allowed to touch it. Coglon, trusting the Great Healer, walked over and touched one of the pillar's faucets, as well, surprised by how cool it was. He also thought, faintly, that he heard music, a sweet, beautiful, and wordless sound, though there was no way to describe it. Touching the stone, he momentarily felt as though he had become an extension of something far greater than anything that could be described, and he felt a sense of calm sweep over him.

Coglon removed his paw, and flicked his tail at her, "It will not hurt you. Touch it. It is...remarkable..." He said, slow to find the right word to describe the feeling.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Thu May 22, 2014 4:13 pm

Cyla approached slowly, sat next to Coglon, and placed a paw on the crystal. She closed her eyes, feeling the sensation. She seemed relaxed, calmed and quieted. Her mind was clearer, she seemed to find herself at peace. "What, what is this thing? Where are we?" she asked.  Cyla opened her eyes and eyed the stone and the symbols along the ground and was amazed by the structure of the place. Then her mind stumbled upon the fact that without Coglon convincing her to reject Moonrise, she never would have been taken here.

_______________________________________________________________

Ramla made a thoughtful hum as the group stretched over a hump in the ground, pushing through some undergrowth. The sky here was dark gray, as though it still carried shards of the tension from the previous night. Ramla looked up to it, although unable to see it properly, gazing up at the heather. She then let her gaze rest on the ground in front of her as her paw ran through moist grass. She then turned, looking somewhere around Kyra.

"Dalmaa may be showing you all of this to draw you closer to him on purpose. That might even be a bowl of lies he's thrown at you. But... it sounds authentic. That matches up with the legends. He may have told it to you so you'd feel guilty about banishing him from Earth, or maybe even change your mind. Because as long as he has power over your emotions, you'll only fall. I believe he is far more cunning than this and he's got more up his pelt. But on the fact that he wants to be the opposite of Protheus, that I believe for certain. But as you said, we haven't heard Protheus' side. But Kyra, it's dangerous for Dalmaa to be close to you." Ramla thought for a moment.

"We'd learn a lot if we could somehow speak to Kavis about this, but I assume the Dark King would never speak about it. If Dalmaa succeeds to destroy both prophecies, we'll be right back where we started. We've gotten this far, we have to deliver this stone to Protheus."

Ramla looked over to Var, who had the stone clutched in his mouth. As he approached Kyra, the stone darkened to a strange color of dark orange. It senses she was confused and as a bit of red mixed with it, Ramla identified to herself it meant danger. Ramla could now see Var's face, as he held the stone.

"Var, how handsome you are!"

"Wha--" Var murmured out from the corner of his mouth.

"I can see the person who holds the stone, for some reason..." Ramla said. She looked somewhere near Kyra. "My vision as a whole must be improving though, because for some odd reason, I can see your outline, Kyra."

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Thu May 22, 2014 7:29 pm

Kyra flicked her ear, "I know I'm not in a very safe position, Ramla, there's no sense in pretending that I am. I've been exposed to spirits more than a mortal probably should, and I've seen and learned things that spirits probably don't want mortals to know about. I think that, largely because I doubt Dalmaa cares what other spirits think, if it's meant to be a secret, and keeping it a secret is a rule, he would break it without hesitation." She had a perplexed expression on her face as they traveled, "I just keep getting drawn deeper and deeper into these conflicts, I really don't understand them very much, anymore. Not only that, but the prophesies regarding Dalmaa set aside, there's another set of visions, too."

Her face grew unnerved, "The second set of visions is completely unfamiliar to me, it doesn't contain anything I've seen before. I saw a gigantic rounded cave, filled with statues of creatures I don't recognize, carved from a black stone with flecks of multicolored light inside. The eyes of the statues were glowing this blue-white color, and they had little points of light between their eyes, too. I think those statues might have been creatures from ancient times. There was this whispering noise, but I couldn't understand any of it."

Kyra's face grew more disturbed, "I saw another cave, different, where I could barely see, it was so dark, but there were shadows everywhere, so dark that they seemed solid, and they moved as though they were alive. There was more whispering, but there was this terrible, malignant aura about it. I heard a lioness shrieking, and then I saw an eye, but I can't be sure what it belonged to. The white part of the eye was a deep shade of red, like blood, and the irises were this icy blue color, and the pupil was a slit, like a snake's I don't know why it scared me, but there was something terrible about the way it seemed, something unnatural."

She relaxed after that, as though the eye were the worst part of the second set of visions, "I saw what looked like a dark grey lioness giving birth, and then a third cave filled with tons of creatures I couldn't clearly see, but I thought I saw lions and hyenas among them, all with glowing eyes and points on their foreheads, like the statues from the first scene. I saw a strange vulture carrying a bone in its beak as it flew, and then a flash of white, and claws that seemed like they were formed from crystal, slicing into a shadow, and the shadow screamed as though it were alive. Then I saw two lions, but I couldn't make out much about them, because the scene was so dark. They were both male, but one of them looked strange, he didn't seem to have a tail-tuft, his ears looked faintly pointed, and two teeth on his upper jaw were long enough to poke out of his mouth even when it was closed. I don't know what to make of it, but it had this unsettling aura, like something wasn't quite normal."

She looked over at Ramla, "Ramla, what do you make of it?"

__________________________________________________________________

Shadow flicked his tail, and twitched an ear, Coglon looking at him to see if he could translate, carefully reading small motions Shadow made, "In the world, there are lines formed by the natural alignment of landmarks, and these lines tend to have a higher concentration of energy than most other areas. They are also known to intersect at certain locations, though these are not as common. We are at a place where-" Coglon paused and watched as Shadow flicked his tail three times, "-Three of these lines intersect." He twitched his ear, pausing, the translation now over, "That is what Shadow is trying to tell us, at least, but why did he bring us here, is the question." Shadow then proceeded to flick his tail over at the entrance that was bare of vines, leading somewhere important, apparently.

Coglon's ear twitched again, and looked over at the tunnel, "You want us to go in that direction?" Shadow nodded, and sat back on his haunches. Coglon looked up at him, somewhat surprised, "You are not coming with us?" Shadow flicked his tail, shook his head, and then flicked his tail once more, this time, stopping it with his leg. Coglon nodded slowly, "Something about the tunnel prevents you from entering, or we are the only ones who should enter. Very well." Shadow stopped him, with more difficult-to-read attempts at sign language, and Coglon turned to Cyla, "He says that you can apparently come in with me, but that you will have to stop and wait at a certain point while I go in deeper, there is something that I myself am supposed to find."

With this, Coglon gave Shadow a respectful nod, and went with Cyla into the cave, noting that the walls seemed to be covered in some sort of stone that, despite at first looking similar, was clearly different from the pillar in the center of the ring. The walls had this texture to them where the stone looked like tons of bubbles, clusters of small spheres of different sizes tightly packed and fused together. Their color was black, and faintly metallic, but not the same intense luster as the pillar, more sub-metallic, and largely muted because they lacked faucets. The stone walls were like this awhile, before suddenly, the area through which one could walk began to widen, and the walls gave way to something else. The black bubbles gave way to something very beautiful.

The walls now lapsed into a veined or silky sort of stone that ranged in places from black to white, primarily. Browns, however, seemed to dominate much of the colors, even tinging white places. Over this, however, there were intense colors of green, aqua blue, and even a few flashes of yellow. The walls seemed to glow, because there was an undeniable iridescent quality to the brighter colors in the stones, which seemed to move depending on the perspective of whoever looked at them. They also possessed a pearly or glass-like luster to them.

Eventually, though, the walk through these caverns, which seemed to be in a completely different, almost alien place, came to an end, as they arrived at what appeared to be some sort of archway, which looked, for lack of a better word, harsh and oppressive. It was made out of a grey metallic crystal of sorts that must have formed in the shape of a cube originally, but they had been chipped to make the arch notable. The result were strange, square or triangular grooves along the archway, somehow not meant to be beautiful, but to give a first impression. This entrance was meant to carry an aura of power and tension about it. It seemed almost as though the arch itself commanded authority, and it was obvious why Shadow did not belong.

Coglon flicked his tail, "I think this is where you have to wait, Cyla." He said.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Fri May 23, 2014 4:39 pm

Ramla gave a look of distress to Kyra. "I have never had any visions of these spirits, but, it seems ominous. It may have something to do with an incident that may occur later. We can't be sure. As I said earlier, it will take the revelation of more information. As far as these new spirits go, try not to dwell on them. Many spirits taunt mortals with visions that make them beg for more, curious and desperate to gain knowledge. It may be that. But as far as Dalmaa goes, you should try to keep your mind clear of him as well. You're in a sensitive position, and I honestly fear for you. There is something... malicious about this whole thing. We'll see what happens later, though. And I still have the story to tell you. The story about Dalmaa's daughter and Protheus' son. Interested?" Ramla asked, looking around Kyra intently. Her pale eyes seemed to glisten in the ashen morning light. Her tail flicked as she proceeded to walk, guides by Taru.

_________________________________________

Cyla looked around the area and at the entrance. Her gaze then met Coglon's. "Will you be alright?" she asked. She looked over her shoulder, and back again. "Will I be alright?" She had a chilled feeling about the area, her hair prickling up slightly. Her green eyes seemed to zip at everything that happened to catch her gaze. She looked at him a bit worriedly, but she felt as though Coglon would be alright. Her right ear twitched.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Fri May 23, 2014 5:40 pm

Kyra flicked her tail, "I might as well, Ramla, it seems important." She said. The dreams she had were very confusing things, but somehow, she didn't think the visions she was sent had much to deal with taunting her so that she begged for more information. It felt more like some sort of warning, and perhaps a hint of what was supposed to happen later. The visions of the shadows were frightening, and the eye made her blood turn to ice, but aside from those few scenes, she felt like fear wasn't the right reaction. She felt like someone was trying to tell her something, but they didn't speak the same language, so they couldn't communicate it to her properly.

___________________________________________

Coglon twitched one ear, "This is a safe place, but the area beyond this archway has a brutal, oppressive aura to it, which is why Shadow would not come with us. I will be fine, but I do not claim to know what will happen. I can only tell you that no matter what, you cannot come in. Sometimes, dealing with a more violent aspect of pure energy is more dangerous than to deal with a spirit. We can only try to understand the nature of what these occurrences are." He said.

With this, he turned, and entered the archway, walking further down a hall where all the walls consisted of the same dark, carved geometric crystal, which looked more like metal. He eventually came into an enormous room that was in the shape of a hexagon, versus the typical circle shape. It seemed the shape was present on purpose. He looked up to see that on the opposing side of the chamber, there was a rising pillar of metallic stone that was all sharp edges, and looked like it might actually cut if touched the wrong way. Strange runes were carved into it, and upon closer inspection, Coglon saw that at the very tip of the pillar, which seemed to be surrounded by steps spiraling up towards its top so that one could climb, there was a perfect hexagon-shaped hole, filled with a light that glowed radiantly.

Coglon realized, then, what the pillar was doing, and acknowledged that the harsh aura of the area could only result because what was being done required an incredible amount of power and force. This pillar was somehow pinching a section of the energy line, and so close to the intersection, it had become a small well of power, influenced by the area. The steps leading up to it, and the size of the hole suggested that Coglon was supposed to climb them, and place his paw directly into the hole. Coglon, for once in his life, feeling something approaching fear, climbed the steps, and without hesitation, placed his right paw into the hole. He suddenly felt a violent rush of energy surge into his body, and, feeling distinctly strange, quickly backed down from the steps and away from the pillar.

It was then that Coglon discovered himself stepping on another symbol in the center of the room. He felt something like chains made of steel binding his limbs, until he realized he was frozen in place, as his eyes began to hurt. Suddenly, pain shot into his eyes, and it felt as though fire seared every muscle in his body. A light enveloped him, and began to brand strange symbols into his flesh, creating spiraling scars over his shoulders, with trailing offshoots that looked light bolts of lightning. A mark like a pair of spreading wings appeared over his heart and chest area, and all the scars seemed to thicken to the point that they were almost armor-like, indeed, that was the effect they had. Coglon, though, did not notice, because his eyes were clenched shut, tears of blood welling up and trailing down his face. It was excruciatingly painful, but his jaw was clenched so tightly that he made no sound.

Suddenly, the light faded, and the restraints died, as Coglon collapsed, his eyes sealed shut by the bloody tears. However, he was soon frightened, because even with his eyes closed, he could see the area around him, but everything looked strange. Everything glowed with a strange blue-white light, and even though the cave was extremely dark, he could see everything perfectly clear. He could actually, it seemed, spot the line, because he saw where it was running through the hole in the pillar, and passed down the path of the tunnel. It seemed to come right out of a specific spot in the stone wall, but he should not have been able to see that pure energy, unless that was what was done to him.

Shakily, rising to his feet, his body aching as though he had over-exerted himself, he began to stumble out of the room, trying to come to grips with the fact that he couldn't see normally, and yet, he could see more than he had ever been capable of before.

Coglon was unaware that by the time he had gotten back to Cyla, a great deal of time had elapsed, and the truth was he looked terrible, and nobody could determine what the brands on his body meant.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Sun May 25, 2014 4:20 pm

Ramla flicked her tail. She gave a melancholic look out at the land she couldn't see, but at the same time she was smiling. Ramla was always good at smiling, having one that could cheer anyone up it seemed. Her paws moved alongside Taru's as he helped her carefully. Ramla went on to the speak. "Protheus wanted to experience somewhat the mortal life, without coming down as a mortal as Dalmaa did. He wanted to truly know the fatherly experience. He made for himself a mortal son, born in a pride far in the west. Dalmaa of course, did the opposite and created a daughter born in a pride in the east. Despite their distance, the two met each other in between. The two prides of lions had been locked in war for countless generations. Dalmaa's pride and Protheus' pride. The fathers of both individuals were fierce rivals. But the daughter, Jezile, was the victim of a cursed life. She endured the horrors of her father, Dalmaa. He used her as an example to all of the other spirits that he has no heart and he can abuse anyone, even his own daughter, without shedding a tear." Ramla shook her head. "The girl lost her earthly mother to rabies, lost her brothers to hyenas. She was a victim of cancer her entire life. She was punished her whole life."

Ramla's ear twitched. "The male's name was Thandi. He was a majestic prince who had a wonderful, peaceful life. He was sheltered by his earthly parents from the war and didn't have to fight. He was kept sweet and pure and the most kind-hearted male anyone could ever ask for... But one day, during hunting, he slipped off a ledge and came rolling down a slope into a large rut, crashing into a makeshift den of some sort. It was Jezile he found there. She had ran away after her father had abused her for the millionth time. She bore many scars and many bruises. Thandi, being the good spirited boy he was, helped her. She tried to deny him, but his good will overpowered her and she came to her senses. He led her back to his own pride, where he hoped she'd receive more help. It was then that she discovered that the boy she met was the son of her family's enemy pride. The two grew close however, as she stayed there and kept her true identity a secret. However eventually she had to tell Thandi, or she would have burst into flames. He did not judge her. But he kept her secret. But it was short-lived. Eventually when Dalmaa's mortal pride attacked its rival, Thandi's pride saw how Jezile's fought for her and protected her and accused them of kidnapping her. After the battle, they banished both Thandi and Jezile, for keeping this enormous secret. And by this time, the two were growing even closer. They lied down one night, staring up at the stars together, and as they fell asleep there, they both had prophetic dreams. Dalmaa revealed to Jezile he was her maker. Protheus did the same to Thandi. Protheus told Thandi to take Jezile to a nearby mountain called, which, at the time, the only name for it was 'Highpeak'. Protheus said he knew that Jezile meant a lot to Thandi, and that he was willing to redeem her and forgive her for her evil blood. Dalmaa told Jezile not to listen to anything Thandi said and to run away. As they both awoke, they shared their dreams. By this point, they acknowledged their feelings for each other. They traveled to Highpeak, ignoring Dalmaa's demands. It seems with every step they took onward, their love grew stronger." Ramla smiled. "Along the way they exchanged plans to one day start a family together, to evade the fueds, to live somewhere where there was only peace." Her face darkened substantially.

Ramla flicked her tail slowly and solemnly. She gazed by Kyra. "They reached the very tip of the mountain. Protheus was coming out from the clouds, stepping out in the form of a physical avatar. But Dalmaa swooped in with his giant wings and blocked Protheus' path and closed the entrance. Protheus was unable to descend and help his son and new daughter. Dalmaa swiped the top of the mountain with his paw, destroying it and ravaging it, and killing both of them..." Ramla sighed. "I've had so many dreams of that moment... Dalmaa's face made of clouds in the dark sky, an enormous black paw made of mist and lightning thundering down and ripping open that mountain. His talons were like fire... And that's why they call it the Talon. They changed the mountain's name. As Dalmaa slipped away, Protheus emerged in tears. His teardrops fell from his cloud perch and onto the remnant of the top of the mountain. In the very place the couple once stood alive, the tears fell and formed an enormous white flower with a pink center. It was that day that Protheus decided to find a way to stop Dalmaa. In the center of the flower, grew many seeds. These seeds grew together into a powerful object. That object," Ramla said pointing at the Sodaki with her tail. "The seeds combined created this Stone, powerful and made to conquer Dalmaa's control over the mortal world. But this seed is not matured. It was meant to break the Aura Code and kill Dalmaa. But it was stolen when Star visited the Talon, for reasons I do not know and Jali will not tell. Since Star took it, it only has the power to banish Dalmaa. It cannot kill him. But then again, we're not even sure if the matured version could have killed an Aura. Aura's have no known beginning or end. The ability or them to die or cease to exist or simply end hasn't been discovered." Ramla sighed. "What I'd give to bring those two lions back into the world. Torn apart by their parents and their feud. Jezile belongs to Dalmaa and the dark spirits, trapped deep within Dalmaa's realm. Thandi is high with Protheus, hidden away and only hoping for the day he may see his love again... All in all," Ramla continued, giving a glance that seemed directly on Kyra this time, "everything revolves around love. Even the enormous war we've been fighting has just been one big love story."


_________________________________________________________________

Cyla jumped as Coglon emerged, her ears pricked in alarm. Nearly springing out of step, she ran up to him. "Coglon! Are you okay? What happened?" she asked, eyeing the markings. She felt the instinct to touch one and see what they were, but refrained knowing it might not be comfortable for Coglon. She winced as she gazed at them longer, noting that they looked painful. She flicked her tail, looking back to meet his gaze.


_________________________________________________________________

Jali stepped back into the medical den as the party had left. He had a solemn look as he saw Shebla laying asleep, having a suffering look to her. He sighed. "She's done so much for us," he said, looking to Mabel. "So much. The only thing she's every refused to do is deliver cubs. She's done so many things that were hard for her. Sacrificed so much... I just hate to see her suffer. It seems like Ammon was the only one who could change that. But without him... she doesn't really have anything to do other than fix wounds. She seems... broke, without him. It seems strange, how happy he made her those short moons. If only he hadn't left..." he said, his gaze fixing on the trees around them. He shook his head. "She's conflicted, and I can tell, even now she mourns for him. She misses him."

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Sun May 25, 2014 8:17 pm

Mabel, at Jali's words, looked at him, her expression difficult to determine, "You may think you know Ammon, but just because he was in this camp for several moons doesn't mean you've learned any more than when he was a complete stranger wandering through this pride's territory. He spent a large portion of his life learning how to be a stranger, even if you were constantly with him, because that was his way of protecting himself from the world. He guarded his heart, because he didn't want to be hurt, and because he wouldn't let just any random creature have the chance to wound him. He built walls that rose taller than a mountain to protect his heart, and wouldn't let anyone break through them, even though the shadow the walls cast made his heart freeze and become numb." Her ear twitched, "What would you say, if I told you Shebla found a way to touch that cold heart of stone, and now holds the key to its secrets?"

Her tail flicked, "Ammon did care, and even though you can't read him, I know him, because in my old age I know how lots of creatures think. Ammon felt deep pain, leaving the way he did, because he knew it would break Shebla's heart. However, knowing how he has this mix of hatred and pride regarding himself, he probably thought Shebla would find someone much better than him to care about, because I believe he thought very highly of her, as he was actually somewhat protective. Unfortunately, Ammon knows very little about romance, or how to express emotions, you could say he didn't know quite how to react to events around him. The truth be known, he let Shebla have his heart, and she let him have hers, so eventually, fate will lead him back here, and he'll still love her, even if he tries to pretend he doesn't."

__________________________________________________________________________

Kyra looked straight ahead, feeling a deep sense of sadness, "Love is still considered to be the most powerful thing in the world. That's because with it, you can do things that nobody thought was possible. It's unpredictable, though, and you never know what might happen. You can't really describe it, either, you can only say the things you associate it with. You don't know what love is, until it's happened to you, and you feel it in your heart."

__________________________________________________________________________

Coglon winced, his eyes still sealed shut by drying blood, as he gritted his teeth, "It did something to my eyes...they are closed, but I am somehow still able to see. Everything is glowing in a strange white light, and I can see the energy line passing over our heads. I can only imagine that this must have something to deal with how Great Healers gain their power, except that this is not their cave. This can be only some sort of...counterpart, to what a Great Healer does. I am not sure, but I can only describe what happened as magic of some sort, and incredibly powerful, at that." He spoke slow and haltingly, his speech perfect, even though he was in obvious pain.

Coglon looked uncharacteristically uneasy, "My eyes are sealed shut, and to wash them out would be painful, it is better if we wait for the blood to flake away. I can only ask, because I am not sure, if you can help me out of here. I do not know what has happened to my vision, except that I can see, and I am not used to it. I think Shadow may have brought me here in order for this to happen, but I do not think he intentionally means us harm. We need answers."

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Sun May 25, 2014 8:57 pm

Jali was silent for several moments. His deep blue eyes looking down and trying to find something in his head it seemed. His gaze rested on Shebla as her pelt moved up and down along her flank as she breathed, her sleeping eyes closed shut. She was in pain, but in a sense she looked almost peaceful. Jali's brownish gold mane ruffled in the wind, a few strands hanging in front d his face. He then looked over at Mabel. "You think he loved her?" His gaze fell back to Shebla. Jali was in deep thought, pondering these two lives. "I knew they were close... but..." he could only look at his paws now and sigh. "If she love him... I..." it was obvious Jali was in a moment of sympathy for Shebla. "I just wish Shebla could have things go the way she wants, for once in her life..." He looked back at Mabel. "I knew he meant a lot to her, and as time went on I began to believe she meant much to him. But I'd never thought they thought of each other like that. Do you think they love each other?"

______________________________________________________________


Ramla nodded, looking at Kyra softly. "Love is one of life's greatest pleasures. You're very lucky, Kyra, to have it," she said smiling. "Love is powerful. Very so. And it doesn't always mean romance. It could be the love between two friends or caught in with a family. I love my friends of course, but having a male in my life would be nice," she said in an admitting way. "I've always envied the couples of the pride. Always pictured myself with a male, but what male wants a blind mate?" she chuckled. "I could never hunt for my family, I could never go on my own. And males like females who don't depend on them for everything, right?"

Magir looked up from her paws. She'd been walking behind Kyra, Var, Ramla, and Taru. She looked to Ramla. "You don't need a male in your life. They only ruin your life anyways..."

Ramla glanced blindly over her shoulder for a moment and then back at Kyra. Ramla whispered under her breath, "maybe yours at least." It was obvious by the look on Ramla's face that she knew about Magir's past. Magir's gaze went back to her paws as she walked along, still having a hunted look about her. It was obvious she still didn't feel welcome. Taru looked back at her, sadly. He eyed Saber, who he saw cracking a grin as he walked next to Scar and Magir, laughing at Magir. As the two males made eye contact, Taru shot him a horrid gaze that made him quiet himself. Then he turned his head to the front again and kept walking.

_____________________________________________________________

Cyla nodded. "Yes, here" she said taking to his side and helping him carefully onto her back. "Just hang on," she said. "I'll get you out of here." She began moving along at a pace in which she tried to escape the tunnel quickly, but not so quick as to discomfort Coglon. It was rather hard for her, considering how gaunt and weak her body was. In size, she was slightly bigger than Coglon, but far weaker than him. That had been proven in their fight. She made her way out of the entrance to the tunnel and laid Coglon down, placing a paw over his eyes to keep any flies away. She looked around for Shadow, getting nervous.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Sun May 25, 2014 10:01 pm

Mable's tail flicked, "I don't know what love is, Jali, because I have never had a relationship to understand. I only know what love is represented by, and that even for those who might never fully understand, it is possible to tell when two individuals have feelings for one another." She said, "Ammon was very protective of Shebla, and was willing to look after her when she herself was hurt. I suspect he told her things about himself he wouldn't tell anyone else, and that she listened, and didn't tell anyone else, because she knew he wouldn't like it." Her eyes glinted, "Overall, that concern and self-sacrifice, that level of understanding, is why I believe they feel that way, even though they have not confessed it."

_________________________________________________________________________

Kyra fell silent, but as they went, she whispered under her breath, very faintly, "True love isn't something you search for, or something you actively seek out, Ramla." She barely twitched her ear, "When you care about someone, you want them to be happy, and you're sad and upset when they're not. That's why when someone loves you, they sacrifice their time, and go out of their way to make you happy." Her tail twitched, "When you find someone who loves you, he won't just tell you that he loves you, but he'll tell you why."

_________________________________________________________________________

Coglon saw an enormous lion-like shape emerge from the tunnel covered in vines, even though the images were brighter, with Cyla's paw covering his closed eyes. It must have been Shadow, because he saw the vines around his body, but the truth was, his glow was such an intense shade of white, it was unreal. He saw wisps of light come and go from his body, and wondered if that didn't represent all the energy that was known to swirl around a Great Healer, as it seemed to give him his own aura. "Shadow...what happened to me?" He asked, confused. The Great Healer approached, and gently moved aside Cyla's paw, placing his own over Coglon's eyes.

Coglon felt a warm sensation from that paw, and suddenly, it lifted away, and Coglon could feel the dried blood falling away, allowing him to open his eyes. All the shapes he saw grew more defined and detailed, but overall, his vision did not change at all. In truth, it was what others saw that was quite strange, if not frightening. His eyes, originally an extremely pale shade of grey, had darkened almost so that they seemed black, even though it was just a darker variation, but despite this, there was a white halo that surrounded his pupils, which almost seemed to glow, regardless of the light in the area. This gave his eyes a beautiful, celestial quality, which was also somehow unearthly, and clearly, seeing something beyond what normal eyes could see.

Coglon felt the lingering pain leave his limbs, and he rose to his feet, "Shadow, what is this?" He asked. Shadow tilted his head, and somehow, he felt the knowledge enter his mind, as though the thought had been deliberately put there.

"An Vipofu Shujaa, a Blinded Warrior? So I am some sort of counterpart. You arrive for the sake of healing, but my power makes it so that no foe can hide from me, mortal, or otherwise."

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Sun May 25, 2014 10:34 pm

Jali licked his paw and brushed some of his mane out of his face. He then seemed to stare out at the lake behind them as he walked over to the rim of the den. "I remember the day Sira and I confesses to each other our love. It was a quarter moon before my father's death. We were both wrestling playfully in the shallows of the river just outside the pride. It was a beautiful day. We spent most of it out there, simply having a good time. And after I saw Sira emerge from the river with the water in her fur and the sunshine shining down, reflecting in her eyes... and her smile. It was then I realized I had to tell her about my feelings, because if I didn't I'd be tortured all my life by having this beautiful, heart-warming lioness around me and not being able to tell her just how much I love her. So as we settled down under the shade of the trees, I told her. And she admitted to me the same feelings. And here we are today," Jali said smiling. He looked up at the sky, as the sun shone through the clouds. "I only wish Dad could be here, to see the life we've built."

Jali looked back at Mabel. "If they love each other, truly, then I feel sorrow that Ammon has left. And if Fate returns him to us, I will have to let him reenter this pride. I had hatred for him when he left, because he is strong and could have saved us further. But I will have to overlook that hate, because Shebla is a dear friend of mine and I would never crush her in such a way. I only hope that Fate returns him soon, before both of them grow apart."

_____________________________________________________________

Ramla smiled, looking to the side, directly at Kyra. Her pale eyes seemed to glisten in the light. "You're a very bright-minded lioness, Kyra, and I love the words you speak. And though it would be nice to have that true love, I will just have wait and see what comes my way. But what I look forward to is having my vision returned to me, if Protheus would be so kind. But that may be impossible, since it is said that Seeresses can never be reversed. But I'm sure with Protheus it is possible... He may grant you and Var something too, you know. What would you ask him to grant for you?"

_____________________________________________________________


Cyla had eyes wide with surprise. She seemed to stare at Coglon's new eyes, at first in shock, but then in astonishment, as if they were one of the most beautiful things she'd seen yet. "Wow," she began. "Your eyes look amazing. Can, can you see spirits?" she asked, still in bewilderment. She tried not to stare too long, so she looked at Shadow a few glimpses, but seemed to have a magnetic draw to Coglon's eyes.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Mon May 26, 2014 1:00 am

Mabel's ears twitched, "Ammon keeps those few that he holds dear close to his heart, and that aspect of him will never change. However, do not expect him to be docile when he arrives, if your warriors choose to attack him before you can order them not to. Ammon isn't murderous, but he would viciously beat and humiliate an opponent he does not see as worthy of fighting him. It is likely your warriors now take him more lightly than they should, because he was weak from over-exertion for so long, and they were quite rough in dragging him back the multiple times he attempted to leave. Ammon is capable of holding a grudge over things such as that that damage his pride, and it would not take much of a reason for him to return the same beatings they gave him, in order to settle a score, and remind them that he is in reality far stronger than they may ever hope to be."

Her ears lowered, "Ammon, was, for a time, a student of mine, but largely, the only knowledge he had not already obtained on his own was the identification of certain herbs that grew in this land. I would quiz him on treatments of injuries, and he would name strange herbs I had never heard of before, although he knew their function well. I asked him once where he had come from, but he merely said that he was from the northwest." She flicked her tail, "I know him because of those few days it took him to learn. The simple fact is that he is a very proud lion, and if he listens to Shebla, that alone is to be commended, because there are very few creatures in the world he will respect enough to the point that he would heed their words."

Mabel shook her head, "I don't know what Ammon would be doing, but I believe he will likely stay somewhere in Ethiopia. Do not forget, though, that he promised to stay away until this war was over. Ammon will not return until he receives news that to come back would not violate that promise. Even if Moonrise Pride broke their side of the deal, Ammon will not break his. To make a promise and fulfill it, means very much, because it proves his self-worth, and that his words can be trusted."

_______________________________________________________________________________

Kyra flicked one ear, and reflected deeply on the thought, "There is so much that could be done with a wish, but if I had to choose, I would say that if I were to have cubs, I wouldn't have any stillborns, and the births wouldn't have any complications at all, so that I could still be around to see my cubs grow up." She flicked her tail, "Snake told us a lie, that if we were to have cubs, I would die in labor, but the fact is there's always that risk. If I have cubs, I want to be there for them, and to know that even if it's painful, I won't die from it, would be a major comfort." Her ears lowered, and she looked sheepish, "Well, that's largely what I would wish for, but mainly because I probably can't think of anything good enough aside from that."

________________________________________________________________________________

Coglon, noticing the wellspring of energy, focused on the pillar in the center of the chamber, staring as the incredible amount of light flowed in and out of the crystal. "I believe it is possible for me to see spirits, I am capable of seeing the energy that makes the lines, and I think that is what I see when I look at living things, as well. Inanimate objects give off their own glow, but plants are much brighter, and creatures are simply radiant. Yet, if I focus, I can almost see through solid objects, it seems. I do not think whether it is day or night matters, because the sky is rather dark, and even though I am aware we are outside, I see very little light in the sky."

His tail twitched, "Unfortunately, I can no longer identify colors, everything is just a different concentration and intensity of the same white light. Perhaps there is a blue tinge, but that may just be my imagination." He looked perplexed, "It seems I have already gotten used to it, but I suspect this was the reason I was brought here." He looked at Shadow, "Will you take us back to the Pride?" He asked. Shadow simply nodded, and turned, proceeding to lead the group out the way they came.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Mon May 26, 2014 3:43 am

Jali nodded, staying silent for a moment. His mind zipped through a few memories before he spoke again. "I'll gather all the warriors whenever I can then. I'll tell them not to harm him. They'll know who he is when they see him. I doubt there are many more Barbary Lions alive." He sighed. "Sad. So many beautiful types of lions have gone away..." Jali then went through the image of Kavis, being brought to the fact that he was a Cape Lion, which was nearly dead.

"I heard Ammon mention something about not being able to fight Kavis. Though, I never quite understood it. Kavis is a Cape Lion, which is an equally powerful, almost extinct race of lions. But still... Why did Ammon run from that?"

_______________________________________________________________

Ramla nodded, noting that it was a wise decision. But she couldn't speak as her voice was cut off from behind.

"He... he said that?" Magir blurted out. After Var turned to look at her, along with Taru, she shrunk back and visibly regretted saying it. Her ears bent back down as she hid her face, looking back down at her paws. Var gave her an odd look as he clutched the Stone in his mouth. As she had spoken, it turned some strange mix of blue and green swirls just beneath the glassy surface of the rock. The swirls looked almost like fog or liquid, or somewhere inbetween. The fact was, the light that shone forth had a certain tone of a cry for help. A desperate cry for help. And Var immediately spat it out, giving out a yelp.

"What's wrong?" asked Taru.

"It turned ice cold all of a sudden!" Var said tapping it with his toes. Ramla gave a puzzled look at it, as she suddenly turned and looked at Magir who was still gazing at her paws. It was odd, how somehow Ramla could see her. A strange blue aura surrounded her in the foggy eyes of the Seeress. Though there was still some distortion that persevered.
______________________________________________________________


Cyla began to walk with them, as they went on. She felt strange now, still fascinated with Coglon's new appearance and puzzled with the meaning of the symbols. She kept quiet for now though, keeping to her thoughts. They seemed to be her friend in moments like these. As they neared closer to Sunset's camp, the clouds became denser and denser and still embodied all the hate between the spirits.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Mon May 26, 2014 3:39 pm

Mabel flicked her ear, and shook her head, "Ammon may be a Barbary Lion from the north, but that fact alone, that he could rival and perhaps overcome a Cape Lion from the south, is not the reason he fled. In truth, if Ammon saw Kavis as an equal in strength, he would be eager to fight, and I am certain that at first, that is exactly what he intended to do." Mabel's eyes narrowed, "However, do not forget, Ammon was weak until a blow was struck against him, so I can only suppose that his strength was restored due to the intervention of a spirit." Her tail flicked, "If that were the case, Ammon would have to be cautious about choosing his opponent, the only spirit who could rival Dalmaa in strength is Protheus, but even so, Protheus is not a part of the mortal world, and thus, his powers may not affect us as strongly. Do not forget that the Dark King received his power from Dalmaa himself, who is in the mortal world, and thus in constant direct contact with it." Mabel's gaze was intense, "If Dalmaa were somewhere near Kavis, giving him strength in battle, he would manifest as a shadow that others could see, as a warning and a threat."

Mabel sighed, "I imagine, if this is what happened, then Ammon must have noticed the shadow, and known that Dalmaa was there. Despite his incredible desire to fight, Jali, if Ammon was aware his strength had been returned to him by a spirit, then it is also reasonable to say that the spirit was not able to maintain that power if he chose to fight against Kavis, in such close proximity to Dalmaa, who would surely interfere. In a case such as that, Ammon would have no choice but to surrender, or flee, because fighting was out of the question. Ammon is not one to surrender, so he chose the other option, to flee." Mable's ear flicked, "He knew, however, the situation was a very grim one, if the battle continued, so he made a bargain, that he would leave the fight, if Kavis would call off the attack."

Mable flicked her tail, her eyes narrowing again, "If Ammon knew that he would be weak when the spirit's power left him, and that the spirit would not help him afterwards, then he also knew that that one single battle was the only one where he could be of any help. It was safer for everyone involved, if he could leave and let his strength return naturally, and if he could also at the same time take away the advantage Moonrise Pride had because of the element of surprise." Her ear twitched, "He made that deal, knowing you would hate him for it, but it was the only strategically sound move that would guarantee a better chance for the Pride, and allow him to live so that he could continue to fight in the future." Her nose wrinkled, "It is also likely, that he hoped you would hate him, because he prefers it that nobody wants to be his friend, so that he can remain in solitude, which is his preferred element, as he has lived in such a fashion for much of his life, and I suspect he does not trust the lifestyle of being in a Pride, for some strange reason."

At this time, Jali's mind would likely flash to what Gamba and Kyra had told him about Ammon's past, that he had been horribly mistreated as a cub by his Pride. It was likely that his feelings towards living in a group stemmed from memories of that abuse, because he had come to associate prides with cruelty. At the same time, he had helped the Pride, but why? Was it because Sunset was the lesser of two evils, or was it something more personal? Kyra, his adoptive daughter, and Coglon, who was his adoptive son through Kyra's acceptance of him as a sibling, were both members of the Pride, and Gamba, his rival, now had a mate and three cubs, one adopted, but regardless cubs he claimed as his.

It seemed that Ammon's behavior lacked a certain level of consistency, and at the same time, it looked as though he wasn't doing these actions for the pride, but for the select few that he seemed to care about. It seemed, perhaps, that he was trying to protect them, however misguided his actions might have seemed.

______________________________________________________________________

Kyra, already knowing perhaps what was happening to the Sodaki, looked over at Magir, knowing that she was somehow the cause. "Snake did say that, Magir, but we later found out he was lying, perhaps to discourage us from having cubs, and thus continuing Var's bloodline. Regardless, it's true that there's always that risk, to have it taken away would be enough for me, because I truly do want cubs, when it's safe enough for me to have them. I feel bad for everyone back at camp, because they had their cubs and have to try and raise them when everything is so chaotic. I know that if cubs have negative experiences at a young age, they can grow up having a lot of problems."

Her tail flicked, "I think a lot of problems creatures have, like how my brother Coglon doesn't seem to have feelings, or how my father Ammon doesn't trust others, generally stem from how they grew up in the past. It doesn't just include abuse, it could be losing a sibling, or seeing something that's truly awful. That stuff can twist your mind and make you think things are good, when they aren't." Kyra walked over to the Sodaki, and very gently, touched it with her paw, flinching back from the contact, "I saw the aftermath of a battle that killed off the Pride I was born into, and honestly, that was really, really horrible." She looked over at Magir, "Overall, though, that just made me accept that we'll all die someday, and that when I live my life, I want to spend it discovering the unknown, because when you become a spirit, the only unknown there really seems to be is the future, and even then, you just pick a prophesy and see what happens."

She lowered her head and gently lifted the Sodaki, her eyes watering, as she curled her lip so that only the tips of her teeth touched it, the searing cold somewhat painful. She made a few sounds, but not much, because she couldn't move her tongue for fear of touching the Stone, although it sounded a bit like 'Let's Keep Going.'

______________________________________________________________________

As Coglon walked along, he thought he saw a clearing ahead, through multiple trees, "We're here." He said, as they finally arrived back at the Sunset Pride camp. They appeared at the edge of the clearing, near Cyla's prisoner den, because that was where they had vanished awhile back. "I wonder if we should seek out Jali to let him know we have returned, or if we should not just wait and see if anyone notices we are back." Coglon voiced the doubt aloud. "We did leave unannounced, and you were supposed to be a prisoner, Cyla, so what this is considered to be, I am unsure of. I would prefer just being asked questions, instead of having to explain myself completely."

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Mon May 26, 2014 6:40 pm

A bit of light moved through the leaves of the large clearing that made up the medical den, flickering strange shadows on the ground. A bit of light blazed through some of the clouds. Cascading a ray of gold onto Jali's shoulders and outlining him in light, he looked over at her. The light above then began to dim and grow pale, slowly clouds covering the hole in the sky again. A swift breeze blew by leaves amongst the ground, a few running against Jali's paw.

"I suppose I misjudged him," Jali mewed. "I have seen all forms of brokenness walk into this pride. I try to mend and repair these people as much as I can, but at the end of the day there's always something I find I can't just fix..." he looked at his paws, his gaze hardening. "For Ammon, I just hope he returns soon. Shebla needs him now. You've seen her recently, and haven't you noticed how cut off she seems? She had nobody now... Kamuzu, her closest friend and mentor, is gone. Shebla has been burying her problems in her medical work, trying hard to simply get through each day. Yet she seems not to seek any sort of social interaction, since Ammon's departure. I think she's just lost hope in friendship." Jali looked back up at Mabel. "Pray to the spirits that they deliver Ammon soon. It pains both Sira and I to see Shebla like this. Shebla is a close family friend. Though that said, we've never known her that close. In a way she has walls of her own, she just slowly slips away, seemingly losing control."

________________________________________________________________________


Ramla nodded. "That is a very wise decision, Kyra. Keep with that. I'm sure it would be an amazing relief to a mother to know that she'll give birth without any complications. Many people would envy you." Ramla looked over at the Stone, walking over and tapping it and pulling away quickly. She looked at Magir, who was oddly still visible, and flicked her tail at the Sodaki. Magir walked forward and stood next to Ramla. Ramla made a gesture to touch it. Magir stuck her paw out and pressed her paw against the Stone. It immediately turned a strange gray color, and the coldness ceased. Suddenly the surface of the Stone grew wet and dripped. But Ramla noted that this water was far more lustrous, noting that they were tears. A scent came from the Stone, an odd one. Var's hairs stood on end as it emerged. He looked back at it.

Magir's face had hardened, she was fighting back tears. The scent that emerged was Snake's scent, before his death, before the infection in his forepaw. Magir quickly moved away, and looked back, saying quickly, "I'm sorry," and leaping into the weeds ahead. The Stone shifted back to its natural purple, drying and the scent dissipating. Ramla looked over to Kyra.

"I believe today is that day," she said. "Go ahead, we'll catch up."

______________________________________________________________________

Cyla sighed. "Well, I'll go in this den, then" she said leaping quietly into the prison den and peaking her head through some of the weeds. "I think it'd be safer just to let them notice we've returned." She said, coming back into the den. She situated herself and sat back on her haunches, waiting for anything further.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Mon May 26, 2014 8:58 pm

Kyra nodded, and turned, vanishing into the bushes, going ahead to catch up with Magir. Eventually, she managed to do so, and came so that she was walking next to the lioness. She proceeded to remain silent for awhile, just waiting for Magir to acknowledge that she was there. Kyra had to be careful about things like this, because it was going to stir up a wide array of painful memories. It would be better if she was gentle, confronting Magir on a matter that was so great.

"Do you know what the spirits told me when I was dreaming?" She asked, keeping her voice calm, as she matched Magir's stride, so that their footsteps almost perfectly matched. She let the question hang there, as they listened to the faint sounds of the world around them, "The spirits that visited told me they cared about you, very much, and that they have been watching over you for a very long time. They told me they wanted to help you, and that they needed me to do it." Her tail flicked, just barely, and she paused for a long moment again, "They told me what happened to you, and they told me that they were ashamed of themselves, because they could have done better. Their names were Isisulu and Usizi. Snake's parents, and they told me everything about their son, and what he did."

She paused, "I can't change the past, but you were left with more questions than answers. Did you want me to tell you everything, the whole story? Do you want to tell me how you feel? I won't judge you for how you feel, because the reason I'm here, is for your sake, and these words and truths were meant for you."

_______________________________________________________________________________

Mabel flicked her tail, "Mark my words, Ammon will come back." She said, before her focused changed to something else, "Oh? Jali, Shadow has returned. It seems that He, Coglon, and Cyla are all back, but from where, I don't know. Something's strange about Coglon, though, are those brands I see? What's happened to his eyes, goodness! They're glowing!" Her eyes widened, surprised, as she had just realized these changes from her light observing.

"Where did that Healer take them?" She said, breathlessly.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Tue May 27, 2014 2:25 am

Magir looked at Kyra, shocked. Her eyes teared up, before sprawling loose. She tightened her face, trying not to sob loudly. As she wiped some tears from her face and regained control, she looked at Kyra, eyes bloodshot. "They... They told you?" she was silent for several more moments, before she spoke again. She nodded. "I loved Snake. So much... But he didn't love me..." Her face turned rotten.

"He's just like his name suggests, a crafty serpent. He broke my heart just for the sake of breaking something. He could have at least told me he had a mate, he could have told me he had a cub for spirit's sake!" she sniffed, her eyes turning down to her paws and she padded across the damp soil.

"I loved him so much... I... In some ways I still feel like I do, deep down inside. But I hate him. I hate him with every ounce I have control of." She then looked at Kyra with confusion. "Full story? What do you mean?"

______________________________________________________________

Jali looked at Mabel. "You stay here in case Shebla wakes up, I'll go see what's going on," he said. He padded out of the den and into the clearing, carefully inspecting Coglon. He cautiously approached and eyed Cyla whose eyes were just peaking through the ferns.

"Coglon... what's going on?" Jali asked.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Tue May 27, 2014 3:48 am

Kyra continued to walk beside Magir, "When a spirit visits your dreams, they have the power to show you visions of the past, and that is largely what Snake's parents did. They showed me Snake's childhood, all the way up until the day you learned about Mira and Var." Her eyes had a sorrowful look to them, "Snake's past was its own tragic story, and as I had said earlier, terrible experiences change people. They could make you stronger, or they could leave you warped, broken, and twisted into something horrible. That is what happened to Snake, he saw terrible, terrible things that poisoned his mind."

She took a deep breath, and began with the story, "The story begins with Firedance Pride, the pride of Isisulu and Usizi, locked in a war that had lasted for generations with one of the oldest groups of hyenas in Africa. The ruthless king of Firedance, known as Drakis, who is still alive today, led an attack on Smother Klan, unaware of how poorly matched he was against their forces. After the attack failed, Smother Klan attacked Firedance, and Isisulu and Usizi were caught in the fray, trying to protect their three cubs, Snake, Nail, and their only daughter, Liabel. Hyenas snatched Liabel, and Isisulu ordered his family to run, before going after the hyenas to retrieve her."

Kyra flicked her tail slowly, "Isisulu returned later to his family, that night, without his daughter, the hyenas having gotten away. That was when the worst possible thing happened. When the rest of his family was asleep, Snake, determined to rescue his sister, went out himself to search for her. He tracked Liabel's scent all the way to the banks of a massive river, where he was tackled by a hyena cub, and thus, discovered by the same hyenas that had taken his sister. Snake saw his sister, alive, one of the hyena warriors holding her by the scruff."

Kyra's eyes glistened as she remembered the vision, "Those hyenas, upon hearing Snake demand his sister being returned, just laughed and they...they drowned Liabel in the river, and forced him to watch. They dragged her back out, and let Snake see that she was dead, before they threw her body to the crocodiles, so that Snake could see them eating her." Her teeth clenched, "Then, they tortured him, slashing his body to the point that he was completely coated in blood, but the wounds were deliberately made so that they would only cause pain, never enough to kill." Her eyes narrowed, "All of that was done to him before his parents could rescue him, and Snake watched as they killed the hyenas, one by one, and he was the one who told them his sister had been tossed to the crocodiles." Her eyes narrowed, "That was the day that tore apart his sanity, and sent him spiraling into madness."

She took a deep breath, somewhat shaky, "If you don't want to hear any more, I'll stop if you tell me to, but if not, I'll tell you everything the spirits showed me."

___________________________________________________

Coglon simply looked up at Jali with his strange eyes, eyes such a dark shade of grey they were practically black, with glowing white rings around the pupils. In some ways, beautiful, but in others, alien and strange, as they were unlike the eyes of any lion that had ever been seen before. "When a Great Healer takes you somewhere, you go, and whoever notices is supposed to follow, as well." He said, "Shadow took me somewhere, and Cyla was the one who saw us leave. I cannot tell you where we went, except that it was a special place, and that this was done to me not by any sort of mortal or spirit, but by a powerful force that cannot be completely explained."

His ear twitched, just slightly, "I cannot say what was done to me, except that my vision was altered. I can't see color, but the world is made of light. Trees and plants glow, there is a faint amount of light in inanimate things, and creatures give off a bright radiance, and yet, even so, there is a transparency, and I can almost see through solid objects, if I focus, and know if something is on the other side." His eyes narrowed, "I feel lighter on my feet, and stronger than I did before, but perhaps it is my imagination playing a trick on me."

His head tilted to one side, "I imagine that I must look strange to you, but I cannot clearly see myself, though everything else I am somehow capable of identifying. My eyes apparently look different, and I seem to have strange marks branded into my flesh, because I felt as they were burned on. You must forgive my appearance, for I do not even know properly what I look like."

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Tue May 27, 2014 4:33 am

Magir was silent the entire time, her head down, watching the grass slip by and be touched by her tears like raindrops. The crunching of the tall weeds sounded beneath her pads as she moved through with Kyra. "I didn't know he had a sister... I only knew he had Nail. He never told me any of this... Nobody did..." She had a solemn look to her, her face hardening as she looked up at Kyra.

"I was blind the entire time. He tricked me into believing so many things that were lies. And I just... I haven't been able to trust a male since. I ran away, coming north. I never set foot in Kenya afterwards. But..." she looked up at Kyra, a few tears gently slipping down her cheeks. "Go on, I need to hear it."

_______________________________________________________________


Jali nodded. He turned, flicking his tail in a gesture that beckoned Coglon to follow. "Come over to the lake with me to see your reflection then. I need to talk to you about something anyways," he said. "Several things actually, important things." Jali padded across the clearing to the shore that sloped slightly downward into a sand that dumped into the lake. He sat down, looking at his own reflection. Then he glanced back over his shoulder at Coglob.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Tue May 27, 2014 6:40 pm

Kyra nodded, "The next vision they showed me was of his childhood; it seemed that his behavior only continued to decline after Liabel's death." She flicked her tail, "I saw Nail running up to Usizi, complaining, because Snake had eaten his kill, something that he had apparently done multiple times by this point." Her snout wrinkled, "When his mother lectured him, telling him his father had always said you were to kill your own food, Snake talked back to her, telling her that his father had also said that only the strong, smart, and stealthy survive, and that is why he took Nail's kill." Her ear twitched, "As punishment, Snake's mother ordered him to hunt five gazelles, and Snake was only allowed to have two of them, Nail would get the other three. After Usizi padded away, out of earshot, Snake immediately turned and threatened his brother, telling him to watch himself, even though Nail had, in reality, done nothing wrong."

Her eyes narrowed, "By this time, Snake wandered off, and soon, he stood under the branches of the same tree that Smother Klan had previously named as their base, although by this time, they had chosen new territory, and all that remained of previous battles were bones that littered the ground. Snake stood by the roots of the Shadingtree, and there, he was greeted by a large black serpent with a malicious red gaze, whom Snake called Dabu. I saw a second snake hanging from one of the tree branches, smaller from the first, but otherwise identical. Although I cannot be positive, I fear, from what I saw of them, that those two serpents may very well have been manifestations of Dalmaa, as Ramla said that he took up residence inside that tree. At this young age, Snake was in contact with these serpents, and in his confusion, he would have been unaware of how dangerous his situation truly was."

Kyra flicked her tail, "Snake told the serpents that his parents punished him, even when he was following their teachings, but in reality, Snake only selectively followed the teachings he liked, and ignored the ones he didn't care for. The serpents, in turn, called Snake's parents fools, and told him to listen to them, instead. They said they would guide the way. Overall, if Snake's parents had known, they would have killed those serpents, but they didn't know who their son was talking to. These serpents weren't the largest cause of Snake's madness, but they were still an undeniable factor, and one that began weakening the bond between Snake and his parents."

Kyra took a deep breath, "The next visions I saw, was when you began to appear, after Snake's family took up residence in Ridge Pride, and he met you. You were the most beautiful lioness I had ever seen, and anyone could see that you loved Snake, but he was oblivious to that admiration, only somewhat aware of it. It was also clear, that he was hiding something, and it was around the time that your brother was still alive, although he was already suffering from Blacklung. By this time, Snake was already in a relationship with Mira, although like you, Mira was also betrayed, because she didn't know about you, either. When Snake realized how much you loved him, he took advantage of that, which is one of the worst things any male could do, in my own opinion."

Her tail flicked, "What happened to you, is similar to the story of my grandmother, Egret. You were both in situations where your pride branded you as outcasts, and as a result, you didn't receive the love that made you feel as though you belonged there. That situation is a bad one to be in, because when you're in a situation like that, you desperately want to get out of it, and generally, it puts you in a vulnerable emotional state. It is easy for males to sometimes take advantage of someone in that state, especially if you were too young to be aware that there are ones like that in the world. It is terrible, because it can permanently ruin your opinion of all males, in general, when the truth is that not all males want to take advantage of you, or hurt you."

She took a deep breath, "The next vision I saw, Snake was in the Ridge Pride camp, viciously fighting off two other lions. One of those two lions he was fighting was Jali, back when he was still only a prince. Snake killed the other lion, but Jali was frightened, and fled before the same could be done to him. Snake pulled a cub out of one of the dens, and you arrived, and learned the truth." Kyra took another deep breath, "Mira was badly hurt, but she lived, and the next time Snake appeared that I know of, he tried to kidnap Mira again, claiming she was pregnant with another one of his cubs, although by that time, she had moved on, and found someone who wouldn't abuse her as he had."

Her tail flicked, "You know how the rest of Var's siblings were born. Snake kidnapped lionesses, and forced them to bear his children, and he would kill them when the cubs no longer needed their mother's milk to survive." Kyra shook her head, "So you see, Snake could have grown up to be a very good lion, because when he was first born, he was a good cub, albeit somewhat fierce and reckless. He just saw something that he wasn't meant to see. The corruption of his mind worsened as he grew older, and he hurt everyone who had contact with him; even his parents hung their heads in shame, telling me this."

Kyra had a somewhat distant look in her eyes, "That's all I was shown, but please know, that Snake's parents take responsibility for what was done to you, and they told me the things they did, because they wanted me to help you. You have a right to know the truth, and the visions I were shown were meant for you. They could not show my mate, because Var would be torn apart if he knew these things about his father, and you would not trust his words, as he is a male, and takes strongly after Snake in appearance. I am telling you this as a fellow lioness, because the same thing happened to my grandmother, and because of what my grandmother was, my father was tormented as well." Kyra looked at Magir.

"I don't want to see you wall up your heart, Magir, and wind up like my father did, never trusting anyone, because you think they may betray you if you accept their love or friendship. We are lions, social creatures, and we hate to be alone."

________________________________________________________

Coglon padded up to the shore, and gazed into the water, before shaking his head, a tuft of his half-mane falling over one eye, "I can see that it is water, and I can also see the current moving it. There appear to be small creatures swimming in the lake, as well, but the one thing I cannot see, is any sort of reflection, not of my face, or of sunlight." He looked up at Jali, "It seems there is no way of knowing my appearance, but I suppose, like Shadow, it no longer matters." He said, before tilting his head to one side, "That set aside, what is it that you wish to speak with me about? I have an important matter of my own to mention, as well."

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PostSubject: Re: The Pride Days (IC): Hurt   Wed May 28, 2014 3:14 am

Magir's head raised and she was silent for many long, drawn out moments. She wrinkled her nose as the weeds cut her, rubbing it raw. She looked at Kyra then, her eyes beginning to dry, but only beginning. "I, I suppose you are right. I shouldn't be so distrusting." She sighed and was quiet a while longer, before she spoke once more. "I try to tell myself that it's just Snake, I always have, but I just have such a hard time trusting males. I'm actually not sure what will change it. But I will certainly try."

Magir sighed. "My brother always asked me about Snake, after I admitted to him that I loved Snake. He always wanted to meet him, see what he was like, but Snake would never come to my pride... And my brother died waiting. That's why when I ran, I didn't look back, because there was nothing to look back to. My brother was dead, and I had nothing left to lose. And Yellow Pride alone was on its last legs. So I was gone..." Magir took in a breath and then looked at Kyra.

"Do you know how Snake's parents died?" she asked. She was silent for a moment, letting the question sink in. "I've seen them in a dream, once. Their bodies are adorned with glowing markings. It is said that when a lion dies in an event that is full of so much hatred or sorrow, that they bear the scars even after death..." Magir paused, letting this hang there as well. "Snake killed his parents. I witnessed it, and I think he caused me to. I was moving north, towards Somalia, when I could smell scent markers in the area. But I didn't pay much attention to realize they were Snake's, I simply heeded their existence and moved around them. They seemed to direct me in an exact path to a clearing that opened out to enormous plains. I saw Snake and his parents fighting on a cliff that overlooked the plains... And I can say to this day, it was the most brutal fight I've ever seen in my life. Blood practically dripped from the cliff's edge, and both their bodies fell to the ground. I had to go and see if they were, by some miracle, still alive. Snake was just laughing on that cliff... Looking at me. And then he just turned away..." she shook her head. "I just wish I could find a male I could be close with, one I know I could trust."

_______________________________________________________________


Jali sighed, running his paw across some of the water. "I wonder if you could see your reflection in the shiny rocks in the caverns in my den. But anyways, I wanted to make you aware, your sister left this morning to deliver Protheus' Stone to the Talon. Var and a team of others have gone with her. They should be nearing the border to Somalia by now."

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