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The First Age of Man

Piston Honda

First Post

Tekai's breath drifted up into the cold air as the snow fell around him. The people in the cart had been quiet for some time, unusual for Inguar, who was up front driving the horses, he was focused on the task at hand. Sialfi, up front with him, looked to be drifting off, and kept leaning against Inguar, who looked over with a mix of amusement and annoyance, pushing him forward. In the back of the cart with Tekai was Seerah, assistant to Rofna, the Gyoja, she was along in case anyone was hurt in their expedition, along with his cousin Niraya, sent to keep the horses in line, there were whispers about the both of them, rumors of strangeness, Niraya tended to avoid the rest of the tribe, keeping to the animals, while Seerah associated with Lif and Rofna, but not many others, perhaps merely the fact that they have yet to claim a husband is enough to trigger unrest within the tribe. Sialfi and Tekai himself were there to keep an eye out for trouble. Sialfi had an eye for trouble, and an odd, if not fancy sword, metal, albeit rusty, Takei had seen him practice with it once or twice, it didn't look quite right really, but he could at least shoot a bow on the hunts, though Tekai was far more likely to his his mark.

It was time for the tribe to move, the game had begun to move North, and Hjalmofir hoped they could find a good site to settle for the season near the Rebena Dyne. This was the third day of travel for the group in the cart, the past two days having been uneventful other than noticing two pairs of hoofprints, probably from Keppjarn's tribe, scouting as well. They were fortunate to have what they did, Inguar had taken a lot of pride in constructing that cart, it was rough, and the passengers could feel every bump, but she was sturdy. Tekai had traveled in it as part of the expedition for the past five seasons, when Inguar had first constructed it. That first season it got stuck in the deep snow, it took a couple hours to slod through that mush, but she held up. Seerah had come along since Tekai's father passed, before Rofna had come along, but now she stayed behind to tend to Iya in his absence. That was the season Sialfi had come into the tribe, he was taken in quickly by Inguar, and as leader of these expeditions, Inguar began bringing Sialfi along immediately. This was a first trip for Nariya, Jarpr often coming along as he mainly took care of the horses, this season however, Hjalfomir insisted Nariya come along, saying that it might be good for the poor girl to get out.

Up front Inguar finally pushed Sialfi off him. Startled, Sialfi grabbed the cart to keep from falling off.
Inguar scolded him lightly, "Yer my lookout lad, you need your eyes open for such a task. That would be the look part."

"I don't see what the problem is. You got six perfectly good ones in the back. You might even have one of your own, though I wouldn't know it from the craftsmanship on this thing."
Sialfi chuckled to himself.

Inguar didn't look amused at Sialfi. "Everyone doing alright back there? It's a bit nasty for this time of the year."

Meanwhile, somewhere in the woods, Sheng Shemin had picked up a couple sets of footprints, while tracking a deer through the woods. It had been some time since he had seen another human face, though it had been one of the Breathless, and sometimes they didn't seem quite right anyway. There weren't many tribes here this time of year, but he had found a good cave to call home for the time. The past season having depleted most of his food stores, a deer could make for replenishing his supplies quite well, but the foot prints seemed to be going away from the deer. As he pondered the two diverging paths, Sheng felt something watching him. As the snow fell around him, he looked around for a moment, but saw nothing, perhaps he had spooked most of the wildlife.


The sound caught his ears, a beautiful white owl sat in the branch of a nearby tree. Looking down at him with what looked like curiosity.

Hoot hoot

It called out once more, still looking down on Sheng with that curious look. But not really helping with the current situation as the tracks filled in slowly.

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Voda Vosa

First Post
Sheng Shemin

"Yer making fun of poor Sheng? Is that so owl? I would be making myself a fancy feather hat, if it weren't because I think you've been sent by the Breathless. Rarely one sees an owl in the middle of the day." He told the owl in his vivid raspy voice. The sound broke the quietness of the surroundings like a pebble in the water. Sheng felt like a fool speaking with the bird of prey, but loneliness plays tricks on men's heads. People is made to be together, not alone like hungry bears roaming the woods in search for game. He had a nostalgic moment there, looking down at his bow, remembering the lessons he had taken from Joutan, the bower of his former tribe. He decided to follow the footprints, providing that the owl didn't have anything to say.


Seerah's eyes were closed, but she was not asleep. She was feeling what Asra felt as the cat scouted ahead, blending in to the wilderness like a ghost. Very few in the tribe knew of her link to the cat, they thought Asra was just a strange pet. But, if there was danger ahead, Asra would find it and Seerah would then warn the others.

It was also an excuse to not look at Rofna. Seerah was determined that Rofna not know Seerah's feelings for her, but she'd caught Seerah's intense stare once or twice. Seerah worried that Rofna was afraid of her, given her reputation.


First Post

Tekai grinned at the banter of the two in front. It was a welcome relief from the silence in the back, which was growing uncomfortable even for him. It wasn't that he minded the two women - they were both pleasing enough to look at. It was more that they were just so...different. Tekai knew he was nearing an age where he would be claimed as a husband, and desperately hoped this was not Hjalmofir's way of putting potential partners in his path.

Scraping some ice rime from the side of the cart he quickly deposited it down the back of Sialfi's coat. "That is for sleeping on watch!" he exclaimed triumphantly before grabbing another handful. Before any commotion could develop he dropped it into Inguar's lap with a wet slap. "And that is for being cruel to your friend!"


First Post
Niraya, back at the back of the cart, hadn't been paying attention to the goings-on. Instead she was absorbed by her leather satchel pack which sat sandwiched between her and the wall of the cart. Something was inside it. She could see it moving around in there, and it was making a little snuffling noise. It had been all but empty when they'd set out, and she'd never left it out of her sight. Whatever was in there was too big to be a bug or something.

What WAS it?

Then Inguar called out, and Niraya realized she was being accosted.

"Nasty?!" she blurted, suddenly wondering if he'd seen it. Did he know? She grabbed her pack and pulled it tighter between herself and the wall, trying to cover it up.

Wait. No. Nasty this time of year. Winter. He means the weather.

A relieved, giddy grin replaced the moment of abject terror she'd felt, and she nodded. "Oh, right. Yes, I'm fine. Thank you!"

On sudden impulse she pulled her pack open.


Unease started creeping back in. This was starting to feel like a mistake.

Piston Honda

First Post

The owl’s head turned, looking away from Sheng as he began to walk down the path, there was still the sensation of something watching, but he spied nothing but the bird. As he began to follow the tracks in the snow, the owl flew off. The sound of its wings echoing into the distance until Sheng was surrounded once more by only the sounds of wind howling and the snow crushing beneath his feet.

Sheng followed the tracks for 20 minutes before coming to a heavily trafficked clearing. The snow was heavily worn down, with more falling around him, it became difficult to get a read on how many had been here. There was a campfire here, it had been extinguished some time ago, and squirrel bones littered the area. Sheng saw several footprints heading away from the site, they looked freshed than the ones he had followed, from the opposite direction he saw more foot prints headed in, larger, like snow had been kicked harder as they were coming in. He was familiar with the area, they appeared to come from the overlook. It was hard to tell where this group was headed, he could only see them going into the forest.

Inguar looked back at Niraya, a little surprised by her immediate response, these trips can be rough on the mind he realized. He turned back to watch the trails ahead as they approached the high hills. Then, ice in hand, Tekai sprung into action.

Sialfi jolted forward in shock. Inguar looked over, before he could realize what had happened he found himself with a lap full of ice, resulting in a bit of a yelp. While Sialfi was trying to get the ice out of his clothing, Inguar was fortunate to be able to brush most of it off him, though the wetness was causing visible displeasure. “Boy, your mother is going to hear about this one.” He declared in a mock gruff voice before giving a bit of a smile to the back of the cart. “And the whole tribe is going to hear about this!” Inguar laughed as he rubbed the ice into Sialfi’s back. Amidst his howling, Sialfi tried to push Inguar away, his laughter infuriating him. Inguar finally gave in and pulled the back of his coat to let what little unmelted ice was left fall into the cart. Pride wounded, Sialfi looked back at Tekai with a glare, then to Inguar, at a complete loss for words.

Asra searches the land ahead, mostly so far, finding some animal tracks. Back in the cart, Seerah could hear a woman humming, the song was soothing. She opened her eyes to steal a glance at Rofna. As they opened her she felt as though the color began draining from the world and when she looked up, she could see her staring right at her, it was not Rofna, it was the Ice Queen, Valgvalia.


Even the snow seemed to stop as she just stared through her former apprentice, while the humming continued to linger in the air, mocking her. An intense glare, it began sending shivers down Seerah’s spine.

[sblock=ooc]Sorry, it might have been poorly worded or I’m misinterpreting, only Tekia, Seerah and Nariya are in the cart, with Sialfi and Inguar in the front. Obviously, Seerah is the only one who sees the Ice Queen there, the others will see your reaction, when eye contact is broken she won’t be there. [/sblock][/sblock]


Seerah felt a crushing weight of shame and fear overwhelm her. She backed away from the apparition frantically, stumbling over whoever is next to her, muttering, "Magic, magic, it is magic. Away from my mind. I did not betray you! Please, leave me be!"

OOC: Nifty pic. :D

Piston Honda

First Post
Tekai, who was in the midst of having a good laugh over poor Sialfi's unpleasant experience, now has Seerah frantically crashing into him in the back of the cart.

ooc: Thanks, it still gives me the creeps. :D

Voda Vosa

First Post
Sheng Shemin

Sheng frowned. Something made these men abandon their camp soon than expected. That couldn't be good signs. The creeping sensation of being watched didn't help either. Amidst the heavy snow and the trees he couldn't much see anything besides the prints on the snow. Stowing his bow away, and unstrapping his shield from his back, he unsheathed his sword. The unease sensation grew in him like foam in a shaken ale. Sheng decided to go to the overlook, to see what scared these men and made them run into the forest. Perhaps not the wisest of choices, but then again, wisdom was not one of his main characteristics.


First Post
Niraya had a moment to feel a distant ache at the tomfoolry going on. It looked like it'd be fun...but seeing it only drove the point in deeper that she couldn't risk that kind of thing. Suppose someone pulled her coat open and something in there looked back? Or something lurking nearby interpreted it as an attack, and jumped to her 'rescue'? It was hard to explain, but she had a feeling that they'd try to protect her. She was the reason they were here, after all. She was the door.

Her uncomfortable thoughts were mercifully interrupted by Seerah suddenly backpedaling, and panic seized her again. What had the girl seen?! Niraya quickly checked the cart around her, looked in her satchel again, patted herself down. Nothing! What was it?!

"Seerah, what's wrong?" she asked, now looking around again for anything other than herself that might have scared the newcomer.

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