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Jun 24, 2017 3:05 PM
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Malak rolls to their feet, drawing Sevrance's blade up the wizard's side as they come to their feet. She recoils in pain, but doesn't cry out or stop her spell and a moment later Malak's otherwise invisible skin sparkles and glitters. Well, fuck. Guess this is it. They slice at the wizard again, hoping to take at least one more with them into the abyss, diving forward to avoid the spells of the other casters behind them--icy cold blossoms on their left side, a tugging sensation--

Well, now.  What's this?

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It is somewhere completely different! No one is trying to kill them - in fact, no one is around at all. This is a field. There's knee-high golden grass. There are mountains in the distance.

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Huh. Did the mages... teleport them?  That's... It's within their power but not what Malak would have expected given their reputations...And if they were teleported, this... this is not the scenery they'd expect.

Maybe they died? This doesn't sound like most afterlives they've heard of. Maybe it's Heaven, but they wouldn't expect to wind up there and anyways, shouldn't there be someone around to explain things and be helpful and--

And shouldn't they have clothes? They're pretty sure dead people get clothes. Imaginary clothes at least. Right?

 

May as well make the best of this.  They change their features to something less likely to frighten any locals that might exist (Male. If She is fucking with them and that's all this is, then that choice will annoy Her. Not that that's smart.) and wanders mountainward, looking for a stream or pond or something.

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There's a river!

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People tend to live by rivers.  They follow it upstream, looking for any people.

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Here is the burned-out shell of a village that previously had perhaps fifteen buildings, three of them stone and the rest identifiable only from the scorched-out patches.  

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How old are the ruins?

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Probably less than five years, definitely more than one.

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Well, probably not a great place to stay even if whoever burned the place is probably long gone.  They will pick through the ruins looking for--clothes would have burned, but maybe they can find a weapon that survived the fire.

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There's an axe that's clearly made for firewood, not fighting; there are arrowheads that presumably once upon a time had accompanying arrows; there are some very thoroughly rusted knives.

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Lovely.  They'll take the best-looking of the knives and see if they can rub the rust off with...dirt?  Nevermind, not worth the bother. They take it anyways, hoping not to need it.

They head back to the river and eye the water.  Is it murky or clear?

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Clear! It's a wide river, fast-moving in the places where it temporarily narrows. The riverbed is rocky.

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They will head to the bank in one of the faster-moving spots and use their hands to drink some.  They don't trust it, it's water from a river in the middle of gods-know-where, but they're thirsty and there aren't really any better options. They really should have learned something about wilderness survival, that was quite the oversight.

They start heading upstream again, somewhat more on-guard than before.

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And here's a person, headed downstream, appearing quite suddenly out of nowhere with the air around her left arm rippling like the horizon sometimes does when it's absurdly hot out. She looks exhausted and angry and wary, but only slightly. She says something. Sounds like a question.

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Ooh, a local!  Malak bows slightly, smiles, and says "Hi. I don't understand your language but you might understand one of mine?" They then repeat that in the nine or so others that they know. They're still holding the knife but looking as nonthreatening as possible.

Oh, right, modesty is a thing. They cover themself with their hands.

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She actually just looks confused, at that. 

 

And then she sends something. It's a confused impression of thoughts and images - urgent, cave-city, do you know the way -

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Oh, great, because Malak has not had enough telepaths in their life.

Malak tries to think the concept of "No" very hard at the stranger. Hopefully she won't object to them following her, and Malak can solve the language problem tomorrow. Or maybe the telepathy is good enough that that won't be necessary, though it doesn't seem that way so far. Then, curious, Malak tries to think a question at the stranger.

"Are you my mother?"

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Confusion. I'm not married. (Along with the implication that her unmarried status should be obvious.)

(Or maybe humans can't tell that kind of thing, is this a human, she's never seen one before.)

 

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Malak fights the urge to respond flippantly, that would probably just confuse the person more. And their question has been answered. And they want to make a good impression with the single person they've run into in this place.

I see. Then, the concepts communication, words, tomorrow.  No idea if that will get through. They never quite got the hang of most forms of telepathy.

 

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Should be in cave-city by tomorrow. Less a prediction than a - necessity, of some kind. She heads off downstream at a jog.

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Well, hopefully she finds it.  Malak jogs after her, missing their boots.  Ow ow ow, and so slow.

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That does look painful. And if the human's human they're probably not going to be able to keep up for very long - 

 

want me to carry you?

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Um.  Well, they guess it's not going to really be much less dignified than their current situation.

If you don't mind.

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And she picks the human up and speeds up considerably, tracking the river, turning her head occasionally to look for Nargothrond's guards - it has to have guards, right -

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Malak tries to keep an eye out for other people but this is not a very good arrangement for them to act as lookout so they do their best to relax and not slow down this rather impressively strong woman.

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And a short time after that a really large dog hurdles across the riverbank at both of them.

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