The Road to Azalus

This is where all of the medieval Yamaha role-plays are archived.
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The Road to Azalus

Post by Flickerfinger »

((This thread is open, but not limited, to anyone with a reason to go to the Azalus Academy. I would like to note that "Why not?" is a very venerable reason.))

Feila in the medieval era was not a well-charted place. The few maps Flickerfinger had seen rested in the courts of royalty, and this particular brook had not been on them.

It isn’t fair to call it a brook, really. It was too deep to ford, too wide and fast to swim. A tributary of the great Kamitsu River itself, it flowed sharply over the Yamanese countryside and cut across a little-known byway that connected with the northward road to the Azalus Academy. Hence the ferry.

This consisted of a dock cleverly wrought of bamboo, and large enough perhaps to admit a donkey cart; a rather unremarkable flat-bottomed barge of similar size and construction; and a stucco hut perched possessively on the riverbank, just above the floodline. It was presumably the residence of the ferryfur, but as Flickerfinger arrived the only fur in evidence was a young gray feline hybrid, her exact lineage difficult to differentiate, sitting rather dejectedly on the opposite side of the road. She was slight of build, and her clothing was very like that of Edwinian gypsies: loose fitting, well made and gracefully patterned, and vibrantly colored. She seemed preoccupied, for she did not immediately look up as he passed by.

A short, muscular orange tabby pulled himself from the river beneath the dock and turned his attention to the upper portion of the pylon he had been inspecting. Flickerfinger smiled. This one worked the ferry – he knew few cats who would swim. The tabby was bare-chested, and his fur was lightened to a dull yellow by the constant sunlight under which he did his work. Flickerfinger called to him, “What price passage for one?”

The tabby’s reaction was not entirely unexpected, but not the less unnerving – no one enjoys being stared at as though one were a freak of nature. And Flickerfinger was no freak, certainly; but he represented a species so foreign that few even gave credence to its existence, so unexpected that at first sight he was not to be believed. He was a wolftaur.

“What is your name?” the tabby called back, a note of tenseness in his voice, as though the answer might assure him that the four-legged, blue-grey lupine before him was indeed real.

“Flickerfinger,” he answered, giving his stage name, and noting that the ferryman still leaned toward the safety of the water.

“A single weight in gold, Flickerfinger-san,” came the reply. The wolftaur frowned. He didn’t have that much. He was a bard, and his wealth was an uncertain thing; the phrase “starving artist” was not always meant in jest. Still, artist he was, and he could pay in another coin. “Would you accept something in trade?” he asked, approaching the dock and reaching for the head of the instrument just visible over his left shoulder. The ferrycat dropped into a fighter’s crouch, thinking it might be a weapon and holding his ground. “Perhaps,” he said slowly. “What thing did you have in mind?”

“A song,” the troubadour answered, pulling the miracle seven-stringed instrument from across his back. The cat relaxed in pleasant surprise, a smile breaking over his face. “I will play the width of the river as my fare. Do you accept?” Flickerfinger asked.

The cat was clearly surprised, but not out of his depth. “A counter proposal, Flickerfinger-san. Play your song here, on the bank, and if you can impress me I grant your passage.”

A shrewd fellow this, the wolftaur thought. He wishes to be sure of his fare, and this way he, not I, will say if I have paid it. It wasn’t a very trusting way to do things, and it put the musician at a serious disadvantage. “Fair enough,” Flickerfinger replied, with perfect sincerity.
Last edited by Flickerfinger on Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:19 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Kinetic Kimo »

In the past three or so months since the horrid event in the church of the Holy Sepulcher, life had not been kind to Volera.

After catching word of possible bounty hunters in Maze, she decided that it was time to reunite with some old company, and with the help of the precious pearls given to her in the Lil' Brick Pub, she'd headed for Domus and the forest of Nightsong Pack. Put simply, they weren't there, and none of the other local woodland creatures seemed to know where they had gone.

And so, in growing desperation, Volera made her way to the city of Rennes, where she sought out the home of her old martial arts master, Mr. Dinnesu, and was distressed to learn that the old possum had gone to teach at the Azalus Academy almost a year ago, and his housekeeper was not in the least inclined to take in 'strays'. The next night, she was mugged, and all but the clothes she wore were taken.

After moping about the unfairness of her life and wallowing in self-pity for about three days, Volera went on to sell her remaining jewelry for food and traded her pearl and coral necklace to a crew member of a cargo ship set for Yamaha, in exchange for safety and secrecy as a stow away among the goods.

Upon arrival, she made her way via wagon, coach, and footpaw to the ferry to the Azalus Academy gates, and completely failed to find enough money about her person to pay the fee. It was thus, as she sat staring blankly at the dirt and mud dried on her feet, that she took no notice of the blue-grey wolftaur as he passed by on his way to the water's edge. The following conversation between the ferryman and the wolftaur passed over Volera's ears as only vague syllables, and her mind was too weary to place meaning in them. However, a certain word caught her attention, and was enough to pull her awareness out of it's self-woven cocoon and back to the cruel reality. She glanced over at the wolftaur in time to see him pulling an instrument from his back, and something in her mind clicked. He can play. I can dance.

With a sudden spark of determination, she hobbled to her feet and made her way down to the two, drawing a suprised glance from the wolftaur and a sigh from the ferryman. "Excuse me! Excuse me, please." She smiled as brightly as she could manage and tried to ignore the fact that she'd just butted into their conversation. "Um, hello. I was just, er, sitting over there, and I couldn't help but overhear your conversation." Her attention shifted between the two staring faces, and she continued in an irritating display of fidgeting and pausing, "I, uh, just wondered if I might...dance. For passage. Er, if he plays. I can dance, if he plays. Um..is that ok?"

Despite all the time she had spent performing with gypsies and greeting customers in the bar, it seemed that in the past few months, she had forgotten how to talk to people. Inwardly, she sighed.
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Post by Flickerfinger »

Flickerfinger stroked the neck of his instrument, slowly and tenderly, looking for the right song. For passage across the river, a tune inspired by its rhythm. He drew breath and was about to begin, but a voice stopped him. He listened to her halting request, and a smile broke on his lips. He welcomed accompaniment of any kind, and here was accompaniment of a unique sort.

The Yamanese tabby was taken aback – two fares in one day paid without gold? He heard the wolftaur speak quietly, as if to himself, “Would an honorable man refuse her?” He looked at the musician, then at the gypsy, then at his ferry boat, then back to the gypsy. Finally he threw up his hands in mock defeat. “Why not?” he said, and laughed.

Flickerfinger nodded to the gypsy and sat down with all four legs, putting him at half his standing height. The expanse of the dirt road above the dock was left as her stage. He considered a moment more; a dance then, one such as the Edwinians would dance on a riverbank. A series of notes suggested themselves to his mind, and he played them in that peculiar muted tone made by the gentlest of a touch on the strings of the Serinex. He caught the gypsy’s eye, cuing the beat for her with a nod of his head, and then began a tune that ran along at a laughing clip of its own.

Song: Andy McKee – Heather’s Song
Video ((Watch this one, trust me!)): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKtadARBiYY
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Post by Kinetic Kimo »

(OOC: Sorry it's taken so long to reply, I've been struggling for a response between my swimming schedule and Dunnow's draining personality, recently established in The Opportunist. Also, great vid!)

Volera watched apprehensively as the bard silently sought for the right song, and she worked to rearrange her own thoughts as she waited. most pressingly, she tried to avoid reminding herself that she hadn't properly danced in over a year, and did not dare touch the memory of the last time she had. Her gaze was met by the musician's, and she rose to the pads of her feet and and tapped the fingers of one paw softly against her thigh in time with the beat he set. Her eyes closed and her ears twitched as she listened to the clear, sweet sounds of his instrument, and her feet began to move her almost with a mind of their own, tapping subtley on the ground and picking up energy as the song progressed. She spun and twirled in her dusty stage, a swirl of bright color and jingling skirts as her feet guided the movements that ran through her entire form. A grin broke across her face as familiarity and memory carried her through the dance, and in her mind, she was elsewhere.

She was back on the shoddy, collasible stage, a heavy red carpet muffling the creak of old wood as she and Lina danced in a dual rainbow of color. She could hear young Malerie's forepaws beating on an old set of drums to the left of the stage, and her tiny fingers dancing over a peculiar flute, what in later times might be called a piccolo. She could hear the jingle of a tamberine and the loud, hearty laughter of Rossa as she exchanged wanton comments with the people passing by. The soft melody of Jaquer's hammered dulcimer washed over the stage like a warm breeze, and the occasional unenthusiastic shout as 'Sir' Mathew Bergus advertised the wares completed the image.

For a moment, everything was perfect. She circled around Lina with practiced coordination, and called out a cue, "Together now!" and turned to Lina with an outstretched arm. They leapt toward eachother, and reached out to link arms...

...and then Volera opened her eyes, and no one was there.

She faultered. Her feet came down awkwardly, and her weight threw her forward. Though she caught her balance, the dance was interupted, and she colapsed to her knees as the song faded and finished. Hunger and weariness brought ache into her legs, and dizziness fogged up her vision as the expense of energy caught up with her.

(OOC: The mentioned names are the members of her former gypsy family. I wanted the dance to have particular significance, so I hope I didn't make it seem excessive.)
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Post by Flickerfinger »

That moment was one Flickerfinger would remember for the rest of his life. The song was a thing of his own invention, based loosely on a motif he had learned in Edwin. And as he spun his threads of rhythm and harmony, melody and counterpoint, the music he made found a home in the gypsy’s dance. For a time she was elsewhere, he could see it - and then she faltered. He brought the song to close as gracefully as he could, and found as it faded that he was standing.

The tabby was applauding. “Well played. my friends, well played,” he said, and laughed again, “It is enough.” He led them down to the river and unhitched his barge with a merry demeanor completely at odds with the cagey scepticism that had greeted them. He continued as he rowed the barge, “I haven’t heard a song like that in all my years, nor seen such a dance. It comes of living in one place, though all manner of furs come through my ferry. My honorable grand father built it . . .” He hardly stopped talking the entire trip across the river (which the wolftaur thoroughly enjoyed in spite of him, standing in the prow and letting the breeze ruffle his fur), telling the two about his work, how and when the dock was built, how it came to be his. It was not long before they reached the far shore. As the two alighted the ferry fur said “Arigato. Domo arigato.” Thereafter that ferryman took as his fare whatever his passengers could give, and he was the richer for it. But that is another story.

At the moment, Flickerfinger was standing on the bank and letting the river run over his forepaws, watching the tabby return to the opposite bank and humming his song. “That,” he said, turning to the gypsy, “was the finest dance I have ever seen.” And indeed it was. He had seen more skilled dancers, more complicated steps, but none that had made him want to watch as the grey feline before him had. “I am honored, madame” he said, and made a leg. “How am I to call you?”
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Post by Kinetic Kimo »

Volera listened impassively as the tabby spoke, drowning out his words with exasperated thoughts of hope. He'll be there. I know he will. I'll find him, and I won't have to run anymore.

She gave a half-hearted wave to the ferryman as he set off across the river again, and sat on the bank, sinking her toes greatfully into the dark mud, and remaining blissfully ignorant of the edges of her skirt now trailing in the water. The voice beside her caught her off guard, and the words took a moment to settle comfortably amidst her thoughts. He proffered a paw, and after giving it a long, uneasy stare, Volera shook it and replied, "Uh..what?"

He opened his maw to repeat himself, but was interupted as Volera stood abrubtly and went on, "Wait, sorry. Volera. I'm a little out of sorts." She stepped out of the water with a dispassionate frown directed at her skirts, and wiped her footpaws on the thick grass of the bank. She drew her gaze up and seemingly to something a ways behind Flickerfinger, giving the unsettling impressing that she was staring through him. After a moment of two of slow-thinking confusion and an otherwise blank expression, her eyes refocused themselves on Flicker and she gave him a tired, lopsided smile. "Thanks, anyways. Er, how am I...what should I..what's your name?"
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Post by Flickerfinger »

The wolftaur smiled disarmingly. "Wise you were to ask it thus," he said, "I am wont to travel by my stage name, Flickerfinger, and by it I am often known; but my given name is Lystar." She mightn't know it, but it was a sign of his gratitude that he had given her both names. Those who knew the name Lystar knew the name Flickerfinger, but not always the other way around.

Something scuttled over the wolftaur's submerged forepaw. He pulled it back sudden;y, causing a puff of sand to swirl like a stormcloud in the clear, shallow water. Flickerfinger was surprised to see a part of the cloud detach itself - then recognized it as a crayfish. "Hello," he said, and produced a large tin mug from the knapsack at his joint. He bent and filled the cup with water, then plucked the crayfish from the river. More followed - in the lee of a large rock, sheltered from the current, was a whole clutch of the little lobsters, a stroke of luck he couldn't pass up.

While thus engaged, he asked the most immediate of his many questions for the gypsy: "Um, Volera -" a momentary pause while he chose his words as carefully as he had chosen his song - "I'm of the opinion that no one should travel alone. Whither are you bound?"
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Post by Kinetic Kimo »

Volera gave a brief nod of acknowledgement, and drifted absently back to her previous station at the riverbank. She sunk her footpaws once again into the murky riverbed, then stretched her toes, watching the water sift through her fur and carry away the stirred up mud. When Flickerfinger addressed her again, she did not look up, but kept her distracted gaze on the water.

"The Academy," She replied instantly, then spoke quickly to amend her statement. "That is, I'm looking for someone. A possum, Mr. Dinnesu, who's supposed to be a proffessor here." She stirred up another dark cloud, watching as it thinned and drifted away. After a moment, she looked up, sighed and waved a paw vaguely, then spoke in a wearisome tone. "I was looking for him in Domus. His housekeeper told me he'd gone to Azalus about a year ago, but I know no more than that."
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Post by Flickerfinger »

Lystar smiled again; he had hoped that was the case. “I don’t know a Dinnesu; in fact I don’t think I’ve ever met a possum in my life,” he interrupted himself thoughtfully, “but I do know the road to Azalus, and that is my destination as well. I’d gladly take you there.” He winced as he realized how that last sentence sounded; who was he to be taking her anywhere? But as he did so many other awkward moments, he brushed it off. It was probably nothing, but the wolftaur thought highly of such matters.

A zealous crayfish slopped out of his cup, diving with claws extended for the riverbank; he caught it before it landed, nearly upsetting the mug in the process. He considered the squirming crustaceans for a moment, then turned to the nearest tree. The river drowned out the faint snick of his claws being extended, and he cut a piece of bark from the tree to cover the cup. With dinner thus contained, he asked the preoccupied gypsy, “We could make some distance yet before dark; what say you?”

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Post by kitsuni89 »

Kitsuni is on the road bout a mile away from the other living things. He thinks of what he should do next he pulls out old dusty map that is old. All the maps were placed in front of him while he layed there and looked over them. "Hm I could go to Azalus road" he said. Instantly he hears a rustling noise behind a tree and sneaks over and traps the thing behind it. "yuor a possum what are you doing here" (possum- "I am going back to the academy but im seriuosly tired"). Kitsuni lead him over to the path he was and hi maps and lays him down. "get some rest ill watch you" he said as the possum falls asleep.
Slimtart: I am known as the twin spirit fox.
Kovu: No...your known as a the demented creature from the darkness.
Slimtart: Oh and you have what power to give me a title? Come here and I will show you why your known as the broken tooth wolf.
Kovu: Noooo! *runs*
Slimtart: Why you running? *Chases*
Benice: *Steps out and punches both their noses making them fall* Stop you two or I will chain you out side again.....males..always a rock in my boot. *sigh.*

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Post by Kinetic Kimo »

Volera nodded mutely at his statement and crudely-worded offer, only vaguely paying attention. Her eyes flickered towards him as he moved, watching as he cut a piece of bark from the nearby tree, and she let her eyes drift idly back to the water. She could see the bright grey of the sky bobbing and flickering on the top of the water, starchly contrasted by the dark, leafy branches of the trees on the riverbank. She found herself struggling to see the murky riverbed underneath the natural illusion, and her head snapped up to look at Lystar as he renewed his earlier offer. Her gaze skyward momentarily, noting the way the blazing white haze of clouds had faded since the morning, then returned her eyes to Flicker, and she nodded again.

She stood, shaking out her skirts and brushing off the backside, then wiping her footpaws again on the thick bank grass before following after him. She followed in silence for a while, then made an effort to walk up next to him, and cleared her throat. "If you don't mind my asking, Lystar, what brings you to the Academy?"
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Post by kitsuni89 »

Kitsuni lays down looking at thousands of maps on the road to Azalus. he checks on the possum every so often to make sure he is ok. Kitsuni finds a really detailed map that say Academy Map on it. The possum wakes up and yawn as he strecthes. Kitsuni hands him a cup of tea and as the drank their tea the possum picks up the map Kitsuni chose and looked at it. he tells kitsuni what the map is as they other strangers start to get close.
Slimtart: I am known as the twin spirit fox.
Kovu: No...your known as a the demented creature from the darkness.
Slimtart: Oh and you have what power to give me a title? Come here and I will show you why your known as the broken tooth wolf.
Kovu: Noooo! *runs*
Slimtart: Why you running? *Chases*
Benice: *Steps out and punches both their noses making them fall* Stop you two or I will chain you out side again.....males..always a rock in my boot. *sigh.*

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Post by Flickerfinger »

He had his doubts as to whether Volera would follow him or not, but eventually she nodded her mute assent, and he smiled. He flicked his tail and set out up the riverbank.

The dirt path from the ferry landing soon gave way to a bamboo grove, where the trail was little more than a strip of fallen leaves where the trees had been cut away. The Yamanese might tell Lystar the plant was actually closer kin to grass than tree; he was fascinated by it all the same. Through the stalks and away to their left could be seen, dimly, one of the largest roads in Feila, the one that led to Azalus. Of course they could use that, but it would take too much time to detour to it, and Lystar preferred the almost unearthly stillness of the bamboo grove to the noisy, crowded, dusty companionship of the highway.

When Flickerfinger traveled alone he moved at a canter, or a full run. In company as he was now he slowed to a walk to accommodate a biped. Even so, Volera fell behind. Of course, you curmudgeon, she is not distracted but exhausted, he thought. He was about to mention it, but she drew up to his right and cleared her throat. "If you don't mind my asking, Lystar, what brings you to the Academy?" she asked.

“I’ve never been there before,” the wolftaur replied. It was one reason of many, the simplest and most telling. But in the interest of passing the time he added one or two more. “The Azalus Academy is the center of magical learning on Feila, and boasts the largest library there is. It is worth visiting. They say you can always find answers at Azalus.” Then, chuckling, he added, “Of course, ‘They’ never mention that they might not be the answers you seek. Every rose has its thorn.”

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Post by kitsuni89 »

Kitsuni fixes breakfest for the possum. "Here i made u a berry salad" he said handing the possum a bowl of strong scented fresh berries. He also hands him a cup of tea to go with his meal. Kitsuni sniffs the air and smells travelers coming towards them. He smelled a gypsy and a tabby he keeps watch towards the path where the scent was coming from.
Slimtart: I am known as the twin spirit fox.
Kovu: No...your known as a the demented creature from the darkness.
Slimtart: Oh and you have what power to give me a title? Come here and I will show you why your known as the broken tooth wolf.
Kovu: Noooo! *runs*
Slimtart: Why you running? *Chases*
Benice: *Steps out and punches both their noses making them fall* Stop you two or I will chain you out side again.....males..always a rock in my boot. *sigh.*

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Post by Bigfox3 »

The ferryman's day had been rather busy the day before these events. Currently, there were a number of passengers from the previous day that had taken to exploring the library of Azalus. The most peculiar of these visitors was a rather small arctic fox with silver hair and a quiet demeanor. When the ferryman made conversation, he was certainly friendly enough, and when asked his reasons for coming to the Academy, he gave an answer that one would expect:

"Living in the Arctic Islands my whole life has left me clueless to the outside world. I plan to brush up on the recorded histories of the countries of Feila at this center of learning." The ferry-feline brushed him off after his extended explanation, huffed and said, "Well good luck to ya. Those scholars up there are about as long-winded as ye are, so you might be able to keep up with their writings."

When he first arrived, he was greeted by a couple of professors, a white and rather hefty feline and an opposum, or at least that's what he thought they were called, skimming through certain titles in the library. They were certainly friendly enough and escorted him to where he needed to go to find what he could on the written histories. When asked about their reasons for research, one had said he needed texts for his class he was instructing on natural affinities. The opposum had said that he was about to do some tiring field research, but wouldn't go any farther into detail.

So, here he was, amongst selected tomes, learning all there was to learn about the royal families, political relations between the countries, and the intensive training he'd need to accomplish to survive in the hotter climates. For the amount of time he'd been there, he'd managed to cover most of Yamaha and Edwin, and was currently engrossed in a tome concerning the Territory of the Ravens and their natural affinity to magic. He was seated next to a large window facing the front of the academy and could see all the comings and goings of the Academy patrons. Being engrossed in reading, it would take something rather unusual to take him from his texts.
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