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Virtue (Closed) (On Hiatus)

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"Put them with the others" Kuzal spoke solidly as he led the party over a final, small hill that overlooked the Ixali encampment. After a long and tiring walk for the scared and weary prisoners, they had finally arrived at their destination.


The small hill on which they stood sloped down at a gentle incline into a hidden basin within the woods, encircling their camp and offering them a natural source of protection and camouflage from afar. Kuzal proceeded into the camp along a subtle, dirt trail that had been lightly carved into the dissipating remains of the grassland that weakly reached into the edges of the camp. On either side of it, an army of short, cleanly-cut, wooden stumps tediously littered the slope along its length, indicating where trees had been intentionally chopped down by the Ixali to increase the size of their residence to suit their convenience. Near the base of the hill, the area naturally died away into an open clearing that licked at the heels of a notably large cliff-face that closed off the remaining edges of the territory. The ground had leveled off quite nicely here and, as opposed to hill that dipped away from the surrounding treeline, offered little-to-no natural obstruction that took up any space within the camp. A number of pale-grey plumes of smoke could be seen spindling delicately into the air from various locations in the camp where small fires had been lit to accommodate various needs, while a larger, more central campfire was located closer to the middle of the clearing, billowing an even larger column of smoke to an audience of tents and small, makeshift residences that hugged closely to it's embracing warmth.


Their chosen location suited the Ixali well. Even in clearer conditions, the weak-coloured smoke that was emitted from the camp's many fires would fail to be seen from even a short distance through the thick woodland that so protectively enclosed them. In addition, much of the wind's strength failed to carry far enough past the dense, maze of trees to reach them, which allowed the smoke to flow directly upward in a neat column before dispersing silently and discreetly into the air above upon passing over the the tops of the trees.




Reaching the base of the hill, the group quickly dispersed as they each committed themselves to their individual duties. As if the numerous guards that were to be seen to be stationed on the outskirts of the camp weren't enough, there were many more to be found within. The prisoners were guided forward by one Ixal with another following closely behind the group. The area was surprisingly well-kept for the most part, but the foul stench of rotten meat scraps, wolf excrement and twelve knows what else hung thick in the air. The Ixali tribe appeared to be efficient and organised but that did not deter many of them from engaging in arguments and aggressive taunts, bringing a threatening atmosphere down upon the captives who were now entirely at the mercy of such rowdy beasts. Passing along side the central fire, the prisoners were met with the vicious barking of a number of Ixali-tamed wolves that had been carelessly bound to a metal post that protruded crudely from the soil. The post had been implanted at such an angle that it looked as though it would fall and set the animals free at any moment.

The chains rattled loudly as each of the beasts launched themselves at the passers-by wildly. Behaviour aside, it was easy to see that the animals had been treated horribly, likely with the intention of making them increasingly more vicious. The ill-fitting, steel collars that trapped them had left painful, red sores along their neck where patches of fur no longer existed and their skeletal forms proved without a doubt that the animals had been cruelly starved; again, surely a deliberate act.


Most of the other Ixali, however, didn't so much as offer a passing glance in the direction of the prisoners that were oh-so casually being led further into the camp. Their attitudes about the whole scene could be found to be very unnerving. This was ritual to them. A practiced routine that had long since fallen beyond reasonable recognition for the warriors.


"Forward, keep moving!" the Ixali would occasionally spit as they led the weary travelers toward a large cliff-face. It's shadow leered darkly over the encampment below but offered them secrecy deep within the woodland. A natural hollow, too shallow to be deemed a cave had been carved along the base of the jagged, rock-face, creating a small over-hang that provided a reasonable shelter from the rain for any who would wish to seek it.


Though not for the Ixali however; no.

This space was was reserved especially for the captives.


Drawing closer to the cliff-face, the three prisoners could now clearly see that they were, in fact, not alone. Five figures, most of whom were huddled closely together lingered beneath the overhang. Their posture clearly indicated that they too were bound by both hand and feet, forced to lay uncomfortably against the same sharp and jagged rocks that offered them some degree of refuge - pitiful as it were.


The first figure was that of a larger man, a Highlander it would appear, clad with an unusually green attire. For anyone familiar with Gridania or even the Black Shroud, it would have quickly become apparent that the man was a Wood Wailer that had seemingly been captured while on duty. The man appeared to be in his mid thirties, visibly older than the others that were in his presence. His thick brown hair was saturated with tiny twigs and flakes of dried mud which only added to the roughness of his appearance. His eyes had wearily followed the three new captives from the moment they drew near though it wasn't long before he allowed his head to hang low once more. He appeared to lack the energy to offer too much interest but for the short while that he meet their gaze, there was a sadness to be found within the fading amber that lay beyond those ageing eyes.


A few feet away from him were a young couple of midlanders that would seem to have been previously acquainted with one another. The female was resting her head against the shoulder of her apparent partner, her long black locks mixing untidily with his as both strayed messily down across and under his low-cut shirt. It was a heartwrenching image as he offered her a weak, comforting embrace while his grey eyes, however, failed to reach away from the ground even to display a remote interest in the new captives that had been approaching. Both appeared to be regular civilians judging from what remained of their tattered clothes that had been soaked through with mud and water. In spite of this, it was possible to tell that they had not been captives there for very long, but even so both their spirits appeared to have been completely broken down. The woman's dirtied face further sullied her morbid expression, though upon closer inspection, the deep red marks that had been rubbed sorely around the frames of her eyes from persistent sobbing would become quickly apparent.

The man who tried to offer her safety and warmth seemed less expressive, though there was an aura about him that seemed just as weak as his female companion. He held her with the intent of offering her comfort though little could come from it when he too had already abandoned all hope.


Finally, further away from the other three sat two males, a grim-looking, duskwight elezen and a younger, sunseeker miqo'te who, unlike the others, seemed to be much more fidgety and energetic. The miqo'te's eyes were glued to the three new captives as they were led toward the cliff face. He seemed transfixed, mischievous almost as he harassed his elezen companion some subtle nudges with his elbow. Leaning in close as he did so, the male offered unheard whispers as he continued to gaze on toward them, though the older, elezen male failed to reciprocate the interest of his giddy companion and instead shrugged the miqo'te off with a lazy roll of his shoulder.




"Prisoners stay here at all times. Dare to worm your way out and we'll sever your foot faster than you can shed your bindings" one of the Ixali warned savagely before pushing them all to the ground next to the highlander.


The ground beneath the overhang was incredibly damp as a contaminated, stream of water leaked over the edge of the cliff from beneath the moss that clung to it's summit, hugging it's dark surface and bestowing it with a permanent state of moisture. If any blessing were to be taken from the horrible excuse for their new residence then it would be that the faint and natural odour of the moisture helped to quell the remnants of the putrid smell that had infected the camp now that they were away from the activity nearer the centre, but truly there was nothing else offered to them.


With an irritable growl of pure despisal, both of the two Ixal turned and left to disappear into the midst of the camp, leaving their freshly acquired quarry alone with the others beneath the cliff face.

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S'imba hit the ground hard where he immediately turned and spit towards the Ixal.  He was sore, tired, and hungry but that didn't matter he refused to be broken by them.  Maybe it was the seeker blood in him that kept him in that same mindset.  It certainly seemed to be the case with the seeker who was already there.  He looked around to the other prisoners and immediately swore to himself that he was never going to reach their level of hopelessness.  He looked around it was at least better then a cage.  He immediately began to continue to struggle at the bonds.  Maybe if he kept fighting the others wouldn't lose hope.

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The whole scene was hopeless, the walk hadn't tired the Moonkeeper completely but she could feel an ache in her calves beginning, and mentally she was exhausted. She'd run over every way they could escape that she could think of in her head twice, but nothing had seemed like it would work, and now they'd run out of time for that. She balked for only a moment at the top of the hill when they reached the camp but a hard shove to her lower back had her jerking forward with the rest. Her violet eyes jumped around to everything they passed furtively, the fires, the tents, the other Ixal who showed no interest, and the wolves. Their state was deplorable and she winced as they passed, curling her tail tight against her leg and slicking her ears back, they were vicious beasts, maybe that was why the prisoners were here. To be lunch.


The thought made her sick and her heart sped up in tempo, they didn't however stop at the creatures and she eased slightly, another fate then. The hollow they came to face stunned her, not just because of how damp and disgusting it was, but because it already had occupants. There were already five other people here and her mouth dropped open at the state of them, five others, that meant five others she had to find a way to save. That wouldn't be easy but her jaw set as she took a deep breath and was shoved into the small space with the others near a Highlander with faded and sad eyes. The mud squished uncomfortably beneath her, and though it smelled bad it smelled better than the village had to her sensitive nose.


She took quick stock, eyes dancing over each occupant quickly, only two of them seemed different...a fidgeting Sunseeker and a stoic looking Duskwight. S'imba was plopped in the mud near her and already he was struggling, he'd spat at the guard and she winced, they'd kill him if he wasn't careful. Kill her no less. She leaned forward, bumping her head against his shoulder, "Calm yourself S'imba, didn't you hear him? Break your bonds and they'll hobble you, now is not the time" she murmured quietly. Now wasn't the time for them to try and escape, the camp was alive and buzzing with activity, the guards were at an all time high and their wolves were already excited. Now would be suicide. Looking at the other prisoners she wasn't sure that some of them wouldn't prefer that, but she preferred life and for them to live.


"We need to watch them" she added, eyes darting back out to the Ixal, taking note of where guards stood, if anyone was watching them. Preparation was key...if only she knew how much time they had, or what they were waiting for. Her head craned again towards the vibrant Sunseeker and his companion before she leaned slightly closer to the Highlander. "Sir...how long have they kept you all here?" she asked softly, she was already examining him for injuries, but her violet eyes came back to those amber ones. It was really an open question however.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Wailer's gaze was slowly drawn back to his side as he met with Siha's youthful eyes. Even while having never met her before, he could quickly tell that the girl's fragile stare had been robbed of some of its luster, a side effect of the fear and anxiety that such a situation had no doubt brought down upon her and her companions. Still watching her, the Wailer blinked hard in thought before forcing himself to offer the girl an unusual smile - one that did not belong to such a hellish setting.


"It may have been a couple of days for me... the others..... some a little longer, some shorter.." he answered hoarsely. It was probably clear to the girl that the Wailer was merely trying to offer her what little comfort he could with such small gestures - his smile, choice of words - though both his pained voice and the unconcealed utterances of truth that he insisted not be kept from his new acquaintance likely quelled much of such efforts.


"I'd offer you my hand but sadly our hosts are not too fond of such formalities..." the Wailer spoke again while offering Siha a weak attempt at a silly grin; his efforts continuing regardless of how effective they may have initially not proven with the young miqo'te. His expression was fatigued and weak, his attitude genuine though somehow feeling without true purpose. Simply being alive seemed to be a tiring task to this particular male.


"...Wilkin Blackdale.."

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"So their just going to kill us?" S'imba would say in response to the wailer. Which only caused him to struggle more.



"If that's their plan then I'm at least going out with a fight, I'm a pit fighter everyday has been a fight for my life...I don't see a difference here other than there being more opponents for me to kill." He says looking out at the withered and pathetic faces of those around him. He knew if he were to give up he would become like them he had vowed never to give into a pit of despair in his life in Ul'dah why should it be any different here? He could just imagine the horror and disappointment on his older brother's face if he knew S'imba had just rolled over and let them die squeezing the hilt of the knife he had given him cleverly concealed in a hidden pocket in his pants.



"...freedom at any cost." He would say echoing the words he had heard so many times before from the Garnins.   

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The Wailer was kind, not at all what she'd expected from the stories of other Moonkeepers originating from the Shroud. Some held grudges but not this one. His smile seemed off somehow, as though he were only offering comfort because he didn't want her to know exactly how dire it was, but that was indication enough for her. She had seen the same smile before on the faces of those she loved when they didn't wish her to worry. Her own gaze softened in his direction, if she had known him better she might have reached out to touch his shoulder but she was afraid that it would only cause both of them undue harm by their captors. She felt her heart squeeze again, looking at the other prisoners and then the Wood Wailer again, they truly were despaired and clearly none the wise to their 'hosts' true purpose.


The silly grin that broke the Wailer's face made her chest ache all the more, here was a good man, and his fate could be to die. She couldn't allow that. Some determination shone in her eyes, a quiet fire that some might not see behind soft violet eyes. She forced her own smile as he introduced himself, "Siha Xinkei, it's a pleasure despite the circumstances" she said in return before turning her attention to a struggling S'imba again. Concern flitted across her face, the male was reckless and it could be the death of him, something that she didn't think he'd mind at this point. Something haunted him but that didn't mean she'd let him go to his death, even if he despised her for it in the end, whatever it took to keep him and the others alive was worth her own personal price.


Someone would come, surely, and if not there had to be a way for them to escape. The defenses around the cave weren't all that high if you didn't include the Wolves and the guards. The Camp itself however was built around them, meaning it would be an unfamiliar maze to them should they have to scatter when they were trying to escape. The corner of her mouth pulled down for a brief moment as she scanned the area of the camp, blinking before she turned a warm gaze back to the Wood Wailer and then looked to S'imba, "Freedom is not death S'imba, but we will have freedom, you just must be patient" she whispered with some conviction. If the others had lost their hope she would give them hope, if only by being that burning flame they needed.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wilkin nodded weakly with the same soft, yet shallow smile as before. Though speaking alone had grown to be a tiresome task in his weakened state, he moved once again to continue chatting idly to the young girl and perhaps the others - would they allow it - in the dim hopes that he may offer some, light boost of morale to them in their bleak situation. Twelve knows that even he might have appreciated such a gesture a great deal more than that of the scene of despair and hopelessness that had greeted him upon his own arrival here days prior.


As his gaze slowly flitted back to meet with the girl, they were quickly stolen away by the male miqo'te's interjection. Though it could not be said that anyone found even a remote comfort in their current predicament, it could have been argued that the male newcomer was the least content with what had befallen him. For Wilkin, it had been easy to tell even from a distance when they were merely approaching, that this particular character was a true fighter. He would not so easily accept such a lifestyle, one of oppression, torment and unconditional servitude to the cruel and unforgiving scum that were the Ixali beast tribe. His faded expression was crossed with a deepening shadow of concern as the miqo'te quickly began fiddling at his binds, slowly but surely slicing at them with what he presumed was some sort of small tool or weapon that he had possibly managed to conceal. His dried and sorely, chapped lips quickly parted to speak up in protest but the young female had, in fact, beaten him to the task, evidently sharing the same concerns as he himself harboured. His pale, amber eyes stayed with Siha as she did her best to calmly subdue her acquaintance with her wise insight and for a short while after before he, himself, finally spoke up and added his own piece.


"S'imba... was it? You would do well to heed S..Siha's words. Your spirit is admirable, but know that spirit alone will not ensure your liberty"


The Wailer shuffled lightly on the spot after saying this as he inched slightly further to more easily display himself to the male from behind Siha, who had been planted between them both.


"In fact... it will more likely equate... to the torment, if not not death... of not just you, but your com-panions here.." Wilkin added plainly as he discreetly flicked his eyes toward Siha in emphasis.


Though his fatigued eyes were near-lifeless in appearance, there was a distinct determination to be found within them as he pleaded to the male's better judgement. He struggled valiantly to maintain his stare as heavy lids trembled ceaselessly like the fragile leaf litter in a morning's breeze. Each drawn out blink he succumbed to threatened him with the ever-tempting luxury of sleep, an act that the Ixali deemed punishable outside of the dark hours when their activity, too, was reduced. Regardless, he found enough residue of inner strength to at least maintain his stare and somewhat diminish his previously, apparent appearance of weakness while we spoke. Possibly yet another futile attempt, but it was certainly better than nothing.


"Forgive me for being so blunt but t'is not a situation that allows for much softness.... but you must be strong... and see through to wisdom before acting on your desires. Realise quickly that you alone have the potential to save lives here, lad... pray do not so easily relinquish such an opp-ortunity.."

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S'imba stopped his struggles momentarily looking at the pair raising an eyebrow.


"Opportunity? And what is that exactly, sit here and beg them for mercy and hope they'll let us go?" 


Gritting his teeth in frustration shooting a rebellious glare towards he nearest guard before looking back at his leg at the arrow still protruding from both ends, grimacing he uses his natural flexibility to move his arms under his feet grabbing hold of the shaft of the arrow.  Laying on his side he clenches his teeth and closing his eyes he shoves it forward.  It moved fairly easily having already penetrated completely through though it still didn't stop him from yelling out in pain.  Breathing heavily and his eyes watering from pain forces himself to reach around his leg and grabbing hold from the other side and with a similar forceful jerk as the first and another yell pulls the arrow free of his leg.  He then lays in the dirt whimpering for several minutes as his leg throbbed his back turned away from the group.


"I wish I'd never left Thanalan." He mutters to himself.

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((OOC Note:  *Takes another turn*  I hope its okay! ^^)




A dark shadow crossed over the Wailer's features as he watched S'imba struggle with the deeply-embedded arrow that viciously protruded from his leg. The arrow, unlike the one used to slay the carriage driver, was closer in size to that of a standard one used by people. It's precisely crafted tip was uncommonly thin but greater in length so that that wound caused was still more damaging than was typical of a standard arrow, while not being so large as to risk shattering the bone entirely. Yes, this was an arrow made explicitly for maiming, just like S'imba had been. It's sharpened head was thinly coated with a dark layer of crimson that streaked neatly across it's curvature, leaving only a few slivers of exposed steel to glow dimly in the fading light that was quickly receding behind the encroaching shadow of storm clouds above. A thin and dark trail sourcing from the arrow head laced back along the arrow's elongated, wooden shaft in narrow meanders to disappear into S'imba's blood-soaked flesh before reappearing once again on the far side, extending out a fair distance and stopping shortly before where the fletchlings sleekly, sloped into the arrow.


The wound was truly horrendous to behold, even after having being apparently tended to prior to his arrival here, possibly by the Ixali themselves, Wilkin thought. But the pain... the pain that it must have sanctioned upon the male seemed hardly imaginable, even before S'imba rashly proceeded to draw it out of himself with a mighty tug. A short requiem composed from the horrific melody of gore and impending torment rang through the air as the arrow's entire length was reluctantly released from it's fleshy prison, tossing the miqo'te into a ravaging pit of anguish as he was left rolling across the water-logged soil weakly as agonized wails hoarsely poured from this throat while his nerves and receptors fired wildly and angrily in protest against his actions.


Seeing someone, anyone, being reduced to such a state was always such a painful sight to Wilkin - even considering that it was not something unfamiliar to the weathered fighter. Many a times he had to play the part of the bearer of terrible news, to confront worried mothers and young widows whom, until moments prior, thought that their sons and husbands still yet walked tall, alive and even well.

Unfortunately, in these troubled times it was not a duty that was seldom stumbled upon and, to an extent, one does eventually harden to the tragedy and cruelty that the world has to offer it's inhabitants, but no-one ever becomes totally immune; especially not this particular highlander of whom was uncommonly, tender-hearted in nature.


His chapped lips parted as he struggled to force out a dry voice, painful though it would have been, to somehow encourage the male.

"A chance will present itself" he wanted to say. "Remain strong for when the moment comes"; but somehow, those words felt shallow as he watched the miqo'te writhe in pain from the horrendous wound that tortured his senses and likely drove his mind to the brink of collapse.


The Wailer could only take his glance away from him. He could not escape the young male's pained cries and whimpers, but directly watching yet another soul fall prey to the demonic poison that was hopelessness was something which he felt that he was losing the ability to endure.

Even he, a man once regarded for his humble optimism, would have long since embraced the opportunity of death.








If anyone would like to fast forward this scene to a little later in the evening then please let me know and I will commence the next phase of the scene that involves new NPCs (^^)


Rurutani is still busy so we probably cannot proceed too far ahead but we can assume he was unconscious or gagged until now if it suits.



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Siha had to close her eyes when the boy started to whimper and cry, she'd only wished that she'd learned the more practical arts of first aide before now, maybe she could have done more than think to bind it and clean it up. Unfortunately this was all she could think of and instead of speaking as before she reached at the end of her sleeve and ripped away the only shreds of cloth she could so that she could delicately lean forward and try to make sure the mud stayed off of the hole. Her eyes darted of course outside of their shallow prison, trying desperately to make sure that there was no harm that would come should she use her actual aether to fix the wound.


Ixali roamed but she couldn't see any with an eye on her directly and so with a look to S'imba she pressed her hands lightly around the wound, careful of the pressure she put there. "Please...l-let me try to fix it..." she said in a soft tone, wincing at his pain and discomfort as well as his saddened tone. He had been so happy before to leave Ul'dah behind. She took a deep breath and shielded her hands with her coat, shifting so that she was between him and any onlookers to try and hide the fact. The soft glow that emnated likely wasn't going to be all that subtle and as much as she would have liked she knew that her magic would only heal him so far. It would stop bleeding and hopefully partially close the wound but she couldn't be sure.




Very short post on my end! D:


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S'imba made no attempt to stop Siha from healing him he turned his head to stare at the patrolling Ixal with complete and utter hatred.  The thoughts that filled his mind was the idea that every single one of them deserved death...death in the most cruel way possible.  As the female healed what she could of his leg it stopped bleeding and spasming although it still throbbed sending a shock of pain through his leg each time he moved it.  Though in his mind this didn't matter the pain would be taken care of when the time came.  He knew his brother wouldn't approve of the plan that had formed in his mind and he grimaced at the thought of what he might say.  He reached up under his collar as if to make sure they were still there and that he had enough.  As he felt the things that was truly what bound him to Ul'dah he word tell himself "Either way I'm gonna have to use them or I'll be a lot worse in a few hours."  That would be the thought he would use to justify his plan.  He realized the danger of this plan but maybe he would at least create enough of a.distraction the others could escape.


At this thought he looked to Siha telling her "Thank you." Then pushing himself to a sitting position he would use his good leg to scoot over against the cliff wall grabbing some of the rock that had been lying there he set himself to his task he began to rub the stones together trying to slowly grind them down knowing that the job was going to take him most the day he narrowed his eyes trying his hardest not to focus on any other thought.

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"Oi, S'amba!" an unfamiliar voice suddenly called out to the wounded male.


"You are takin' all day with those damned bonds, how abouts you get a move on, eh?" the voice continued with an eager, even arrogant tone. It had hardly even been a couple of hours since S'imba had begun the slow and painstaking process of tearing at his binds using some of the sharpened rock that had naturally been shaved off from the cliff face, and yet the other male Sunseeker, whom had yet to say a single word toward the new captives, was already becoming anxious having eavesdropped on the conversations previous.


"Shut up."


A duly given sharp response was quickly spat toward the pompous youth in return, though it had come from his Duskwight companion, ironically, whom had mumbled it just loud enough for the other prisoners to hear. Contrary to the miqo'te next to him, the Elezen spoke with a tone of dejection. Like many of the others present, he had taken little interest in S'imba's attempts to escape his bonds. Right, like no-one here hadn't tried that already, he thought. Even so, however, his choice of words - unlike his tone and expression - did not reveal the same lack of enthusiasm.


"Unless you want him to leave you behind, then shut up."



The exchange was perhaps a bit risky, at least on the Sunseeker's part. Though most of the Ixali were a ways off, they had by no means cast a blind eye to the prisoners - and whether they could hear the exchange or not, conversing so blatantly with one another would not go unheeded.


For now, at least, no such thing had been noted by the Ixali, much to the captives' fortune - but that was not to say, however, that the group were not being watched.




On the far side of the encampment, quite a distance away, two pairs of eyes hidden low, beneath the shadow of the bordering treeline focused intently on the collection of prisoners that had been gathered below the tall cliff-face.


"This is suicide... what could we possibly hope to accomplish here alone?" the youngest of the two, a midlander, protested. The tremor in his voice betrayed the inexperience that followed his youth as his leafy-green eyes fell upon the shade-laden profile of the older whom looked on with a calm determination from a crouched position. His gaze, unlike his more experienced counterpart, was far from steady, twitching and shaking incessantly as the mere two seconds it took for him to receive a response seemed to drag out to an eternity of it's own as he hoped, even prayed for his concerns to be acknowledged for what they only could be in a rookie's eyes, fact.



"Ixali sleep just like any other creature. I find that you'll be praising our lack of presence come nightfall, when all that's left are their sentries" the elezen responded calmly without taking his gaze away from their objective.


"But.. that is not to say that not arousing attention will prove a simple task, Aubrennard..! Surely you think tha-..."


"If you want to back out now then I will not stop you, but after this there is no turning back. Even an onze of hesitation could cost lives... and I do not talk merely of our own" the elezen interrupted coolly as his sharp, mulberry gaze continued to scan over every ilm of the encampment with a habitual precision.


He paused for a moment; before carrying his eyes to the right until his younger comrade pushed into the corners of his vision. Laying low beneath the forest's shadow, the young wailer, as ever, appeared weak and submissive to the Elezen's command, though that was not to be unexpected. Though wary of both danger and risk, the youth never did shy away from duty, less so any order he had been given. It was clear that proceeding with the task the two had silently taken charge of alone was something that caused him to be swallowed by an overwhelming sense of anxiety, but refusal was simply not in his nature.


Perhaps the offer alone had not been enough.



"You will be no less of a soldier for choosing to do so. Assessing risk and reward is important after all, but no-one other than yourself can ever determine for you the true worth of any reward" the Elezen finally spoke once again as he tried to push the responsibility back into the midlander's hands. He would not deliberately sway him one way or another. After all, it had to be a personal decision; one of worth.


"He will not last much longer in that state, of that I am certain. And so I cannot waste any more time awaiting aid" the Elezen continued while returning his gaze forward once more to look upon one prisoner in particular. A distant but distinguishable form that was still visible beneath the evening's, remnants of light.


"Wilkin saved me countless times when I was still green and for that I owe him everything. For me there is no decision to be made, there is only an objective".


With that, the Elezen fell silent. The rest had been left up the young man. The midlander's green eyes slowly fell toward the ground to gaze upon the messy, litter of twigs that bedded over the soil beneath their feet. Even though he had been offered a safety line, an escape route that would allow him to return home to see his mother and friends again, he could never in good conscious leave now, as much as his sinful mind would tell him otherwise, to abandon pride and honour in favour of ensured survival and health. His heart pounded fervently against his chest, beating so loudly that it seemed to drown out all other sound as he tried to summon up the ability to formally announce his decision. Though his mind raged silently with a conflict of emotion and consequence, in his heart the decision had been decided from the moment the other wailer confirmed that he would not abandon Wilkin like this. Dyed leather creaked beneath tightening fists as the young midlander slowly raised his head once more to face the Elezen with a determined look.


"I... won't abandon Wilkin.... nor you" he spoke with a misplaced anger as the green eyes that lay at the centre of his fierce expression glistened softly from the restrained tears that testified to the persisting, inner whispers of rationality that would from this moment on, forever haunt him with that repetitive phrase...


"This was a mistake, you will die for nothing"

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S'imba turned back to glare at the other Miqo'te who had spoken. "I haven't exactly seen you jump in to help." He hissed back at him.  He knew what he was doing was risky but that didn't matter at least it took his mind off the fact that they were sitting there waiting for death to come regardless what they did.  He scowled at he stones and the lack of progress he had been making with them finally he turns looking to the others though continuing the mind numbing task of grinding at the stones.  "So what about you two you know how to fight?" He asks sizing up each of the individuals trying to see their individual strengths and weaknesses.  Looking bak down at the rocks he felt along the edge as it began to come to a sharper and sharper edge would give him a glimmer of excitement since he felt he was finally making progress he'd work more furiously for several minutes before slowing again to listen for a reply. "I'm getting closer" he thought try as they might he wasn't about to roll over and beg them for mercy if he was going down he was going down in flames.  Besides he could imagine the disappointment his brother would have if he gave up and acted like a "good boy." He wasn't about to ever to let that expression cross his older brothers face again.  He forced a goofy smile more to remind himself of better times he could make it out of this he'd the odds were small but he'd been lucky before...a lot actually.  Though he definitely knew this was pushing it he knew he just had to believe it.  He always had a choice and his choice was to win.  There warriors were strong yes but so was he the hell he'd been put through to become the warrior he was now would certainly mean something in the end.  He hadn't been drug out into the desert day after day in Thanalan and beaten over and over until he collapsed near death only to be forced to stand back up and keep fighting for nothing.  



He continued his work doing everything he could to keep his older brothers story of fighting and gaining his freedom fresh in his mind if he could do it so could he.

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