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Revision as of 01:25, 12 September 2019

Synopsis: While playing on the beach, some feline children discover Yoshika the avian regaining consciousness on the shore. After they alert Zahrani, the blinded man, his armor in tatters and his weapon missing, is allowed to rest and recover at the Isran Collective's hotel.

Sandy Beach, Cenril

Yoshika sits at the edge of the beach just where the water hits the sand with water splashing up onto his boots. The air was cool with a breeze that carried a slight mist that kissed his cheek. His armor was cracked and barely holding on by a strap around his waist and one over a shoulder. He had no idea where he was or how he got to where he ended up. He found himself with a bit of a burning sensation in eyes. Removing one hand that he had buried in the sand with his fist clenched tight he waved it in front of his face. There was nothing but a dark blur and that was when he realized that he couldn’t see. A wave of panic began to overcome Yoshika, “ Blind..blind I can’t be blind!” he says frantically patting around the beach looking for his katana. Then something caught his attention, a smell. Not a bad smell and not the beach. Someone was there with him. Regaining some composure Yoshika sat with his legs crossed and is hands on his knees to try and give off a sense of centering himself so as not to look vulnerable. “Who is here ?” He asked.

Zahrani || In the distance, the sound of children playing on the beach could be heard. The feline and human children laugh as they kick a soccer ball across the sand. They’re being refereed by an adult panther feline with black fur, dreadlocks with various beadwork and a lovely opal haircuff in them, and blue and silver beachwear consistening of a sleeveless shirt and shorts. One of the younger ones, a 7-year-old lass with cheetah markings, turns her big brown eyes towards Yoshika, wondering what the man was doing there. When the kids take a break, she runs up to the adult cat and lets her know that he’s over there. Zahrani turns her cyan gaze on the blind avian, carefully walking towards him. It would seem she’s upwind of him, as Yoshika has caught her scent; it was a faint aroma of cinnamon and sandalwood. She stands a few yards away from the man, before answering in a mid-tenor, her voice having a slight raspiness to it, “Hello, there. Almitra, one of the little ones in my charge, was wondering if you were okay. My name is Zahrani. What is yours?”

Yoshika still sitting with his butt in the sand let out a heavy sigh with a slight wheeze and cough. Removing what was left of his shattered helmet and putting it in the sand next to him. Carefully standing up with one foot after another and pushing up off the sand with his hand. As he did this the remainder of his chest plate fell off onto the ground in front of him. Exposed was a red scarf wrapped around him that blew with breeze. Tattered and torn the scarf was lifted and floated off. Blinking his eyes heavily Yoshika could only make out the vague shape and figure of Zahrani. “My name.” he repeated. “ I am..I am..” He hesitated. “Yoshika Setsuna” he says with a tone of shame in his voice. “Just call me Yosh.”

Zahrani watches as the man’s plating begins disintegrating, as if he had gone to a museum and tried to wear a set of poorly-maintained set of armor. She takes a few steps closer, but is cautious all the same. She looks the man up and down, before alighting her gaze upon his eyes. She notices they’re unfocused and glazed. The man is either drunk, dazed, or blind. Or a combination of the three. She stops just a few feet away. The feline woman stands at about 5’11, and she’s built like a gymnast. “Yoshika Setsuna...” his name rolls off her tongue with relative ease. “Well, Yosh...it’s nice to meet you. Do you...need help with anything? No offense intended, but you seem...very lost. Also your armor and clothes fell apart, so...I’m a little concerned.”

Yoshika standing with his armor in shardes and his cloths with tears and burn marks in them he raises his hands to his face. “ yes I uh .. “ he is still nervous. Zahrani is a stranger to him. “ Yeah I seem to of found myself a little lost, I know what I must look like even though my sight isn’t what I consider to be ideal. “ Turning away and running his boot through the sand he asks “ I wasn’t found with anything was i ? The cold air gives Yosh a shiver. He reaches for his scarf unaware that it had been taken by the wind. Upon finding it was gone he had a slight saddened expression.

Zahrani sighs, taking in the man’s predicament before looking around for any sign of the man’s belongings. She unfortunately finds nothing, and responds to him, “I am sorry. I don’t see anything else around you...Just a moment, I’ll be right back.” The feline jogs back to where she had been resting on the beach, grabbing a flannel blanket that had she’d been sitting on, before heading back to the male avian and offering to drape it over his shoulders, “You can put this on, if you’re cold. You’re a bit exposed right now, my friend.” One of the feline children had wandered over to see what was going on. Rani silently motions for them to stay with the group, before saying to Yoshika, “Are you hungry? I can take you somewhere to get cleaned up and to have a proper meal.”

Yoshika takes the flannel blanket and wraps up in it covering his torso. The event that had cast him out looking like this suddenly popped back into his memory. “ The city !!” he exclaimed. “Is the city ok ? What happened to …?” Yoshika falls to his knees with a quivering moving throughout his body. After a few moments he starts regaining his composure and he pulls himself back up on his feet, tying the blanket at the ends around his shoulders and wing. “You don’t know about the city do you ?” he mutters under his breath. “Yes please food sounds great, and maybe you could tell me where and when i am” he says.

Isran Collective, Cenril

Zahrani offers the man a hand to guide him. As they walk, the sun going down and the group of feline young’uns joining up with them, the paladin asks, “Which city?” She looks at the samurai’s single wing then asks, “You mean...Schezerade?” Given that he seems to have no idea where he is, the panther concludes that he probably doesn’t mean Cenril. The group makes its way down an alleyway in West Cenril; this part of the city is old and a bit run-down, but the streets are kept clean by the residents here. Were Yoshika able to see, he would behold a refurbished and modified hotel building in front of them, with a massive courtyard in the center. It’s a relatively quiet evening at the Isran Collective’s home. A fire is burning in the firepit, hot coals fed into a brazier being used to cook skewers of various meats, from beef to chicken to fish. A communal kitchen is set inside the building with a door leading out to the center, and the smell of rice and roasted vegetables wafts out to mingle with the smell of wood smoke and spiced meat. Rani is joined by an elder feline couple; the woman wearing a simple dress that looks almost like a mage’s robe; she has black fur with flecks of silver, complemented by shrewd yellow eyes. Her mate is a large burly male with gray fur and a partially braided mane and beard. The woman speaks first, “Almitra has told us about our guest. Once you have eaten and gotten cleaned up, perhaps you could tell us more…?” Isran has no official hierarchy, but Grand-Mother Roahin, or Matriarch if you’re feeling formal, is the oldest woman in the collective, and she generally has good ideas worth listening to when it comes to keeping a safe haven for her people to live.

Yoshika couldn’t see where they were going but had decided to give a motocome of trust to Zahrani. If she had wanted to she could have most certainly attacked him and done harm. It's unfortunate though he realizes that he has nothing value worth taking. As they walked through the city shapes would come into view and disappear just as quickly. He wasn’t sure if they people or buildings or anything for that matter. What really caught his attention was the smell of food he was passing by. Having being brought in front of what felt like leader of the city she offered him a gesture of kindness by offering food and a place to change out of the disheveled and broken armor that was left clinging to him. Leaning forward and lowering his head he thanked the Matriarch. “Thank you for your kindness, I will gather myself tonight and tomorrow find my way off. I wish not to be a burden.” he says “ will tell you what i remember.”

Zahrani guides Yoshika to a picnic table to sit at, pouring out a glass of water for him. The older male feline comes back with a plate of rice and veggies and a plate of skewers, setting them down and giving the avian a choice of what he wanted to eat. In a deep baritone voice and a thick accent, Roahin’s mate (known locally as Bruiser), speaks with a voice that embodies hospitality, “Take your time, friend. We do not shun people just for struggling.” Roahin offers the old man a smile and sits down next to him; those were her words he was using. The paladin takes a seat next to the avian, offering a silent prayer to Cyris as thanks, before partaking of the evening meal.

Yoshika is not familiar with the customs of his hosts and had started to eat when the plate was set in front of him. He doesn’t remember when the last time was that he ate. Yoshika couldn’t see clearly but felt eyes on him. “ I am sorry for acting like a slob but its been so long since ive eaten ” he says just before taking a long swig of the water in front of him. “ So you probably have a lot of questions for me. So ask away and i’ll tell you what I can.” he says.

Zahrani has no intention of judging their guest for being clumsy while eating. The elder felines quietly eat their own food, occasionally glancing at the man and taking in whatever information they could. He had been recently blinded; that much was clear. The armor that Rani had found him in was in shambles, like it had aged prematurely, or the samurai himself had been in some sort of stasis. The cats suspect sort of magic was at work with the man, which makes Roahin all the more curious, as a semi-retired Terramancer. The paladin asks the first question, “Well, you’re currently in Cenril now. Can you tell us where you were last, and what you were doing, as far as you can remember?”

Yoshika tilted his head to the right and his lips slightly pursed. His eyes though white and somewhat dead began to widen as he recalled what happened. “ I remember… I was in Schezerade. I had been there combat training for a fight with the head of my family... my mother. You see my kin aren’t from this land. My particular clan or sect whatever you desire to call it are trained in combat from a very young age. Our weapons are passed from father to daughter, then mother to the youngest son. We train until we reach our combat trial age. Then we face the leader in our particular combat unit. In doing this we prove that we are worthy of the weapon handed down to us. If we win then we stay, but if we loose..” Yoshika’s head fell with shame as he pulled the blanket from around his shoulders revealing that one wing was missing. “ As punishment we have a wing cut off and we are cast out of our society until we are strong enough to defeat the one to whom we lost to. Thats what I was doing. I was there training when the city was attacked at night. I rushed in to save a student from the bards college and had been hit with an explosive morder and thrown from the city. I was also separated from my weapon at that time. “ he stated. “It could be anywhere falling from that height”

Zahrani and the others listen intently to the man’s story as he recounts his ordeal in Schezerade. The paladin, with barely contained shock and outrage, speaks in an incredulous tone in response to wings being cut off, “What a mindless punishment. The person who does not pass a trial gets maimed forever? No opportunity to improve after losing? I can understand not being promoted if you fail to defeat them, but that...” The feline sighs at such a pointlessly cruel practice. “Are they that scared of their subordinates that they handicap them for a second round?” Roahin gently places a paw on Zahrani’s arm, silently encouraging the younger woman to be calm; there’s nothing that could be done about Yoshika’s missing wing. All they could do was give him an opportunity to recover, and if he wishes to help them in return in the future, they would not refuse. Bruiser then chimes in again, “If I understand correctly, that attack was quite some time ago; do you have any memories of what happened between now and then?”

Yoshika turns and looks at Zahrani with a face of appreciation for her concern and outrage. “Yes it may seem harsh, but it is said that for one to return I must first be strong enough to defeat her and do so in a rematch. My mother had to do what was expected of her. If she was accused of going easy on me then well, her punishment would have been more severe than mine was. I don’t fault her for that.” Yoshika covered his shoulders and missing wing once again with the blanket. “The only thing odd to me was how she just showed up at Schezerade, as if to taunt me. She is supposed to wait for me to return to challenge her.” Yosh says with a more than confused look. Leaning over toward Bruiser to hear better over the others speaking. “Wait did you say that city battle was some time ago ? How Long ?” he asks.

Zahrani shakes her head; such a punishment still made no sense to her. If you want your people strong, you don’t intentionally weaken them when they fall short. Alas, their paradigm of strength is clearly very different from the avians. The male feline strokes his beard, thinking about when he had first heard the news of Schezerade’s attack. “That was...at least a year ago. Maybe a bit more.”

Yoshika dropped the food in his hand onto the plate in front of him. Did hear that correctly a year or more ? There was no way. He certainly did not fall for a year. A small panic began to fill him. His eyes though blind began to dart side to side as if he was looking for something. “ If I’ve been out of it for over a year then where is my katana ? has someone had my katana this whole time ?” ” What if it’s broken from the fall ?” He said with a hint of nervousness and fright. Standing up suddenly he bumped the table in front of him causing it to move and make a fast but loud dragging noise. “I have to go and look for it immediately.”

Zahrani quickly stands, along with the two elders as their food gets knocked from their hands by Yoshika’s sudden jostling of the table. The panther woman places two hands on the Avian’s shoulders, a calming divine energy radiating from the paladin as she speaks, “Yoshika...you’re in no condition to go ~looking~ for anything. If it’s been a year, you can take a bit more time to recuperate and get your bearings. And if the sword is well-made, it can survive until then.” If it wasn’t well-made, then he would just need a new sword. Roahin stands next to them, joining the conversation, “Rani is correct. You won’t get far in your search if you’re not restored. On that subject, I’ve arranged a guest room for you to clean up and rest. After you have recovered, and if you’re up for it, there might be things you can help with in the morning.” The elder woman walks into an alcove past the kitchen, then heading into a guest room on the first floor. The choice was intentional, so the blinded man would not be forced to climb stairs.

Yoshika following close behind his guide so as not to get lost. Yosh hears Zahrani words echo in his mind.“Yoshika...you’re in no condition to go ~looking~ for anything. If it’s been a year, you can take a bit more time to recuperate and get your bearings….” And if the sword is well-made. Yoshika hadn’t told them everything about the sword. It was most certainly well made and important if he was ever going to complete his mission and get back home. Once he was lead to where he was staying he sat at the edge of the bed with his hands covering his face and his index finger and thumb holding the bridge of his nose. “ I don’t know what I can do blind like this, im going to have to retrain on my sensory skills. Once i'm somewhat functioning I want to repay you in anyway I can. “ He says.

Zahrani helps guide the man to the bed, while Roahin opens up a door leading into a washroom. “There’s a water basin, and a tub. Let us know if you need hot water drawn for a bath.” The elder feline woman then opens up a small wardrobe, checking the supplies therein before adding, “There’s also a change of clothes in here, after you’re clean.” Meanwhile, the paladin examines Yoshika’s eyes, looking from one to the other before saying, “You know, depending on how exactly you were blinded, I try restoring your sight. My service as a paladin grants me the power to heal others; but only if you want me to.”

Yoshika turned to the direction of Roahin.” Yes a bath would be very shway thank you.” Yoshika said with tiredness well known to many who have been worn down by the obstacles of life. “If you could just fill the tub and walk me to it, I think I can handle the rest of it.” he says. Zahrani’s words cut through the air when she tells him that she may be able to restore his sight. “ You can do that ? “ he asks. “I don’t know what caused this though , If it's the same magic that was used to remove my wing then trying to fix it will only make things worse.” Yosh told her with a bit of disappointment in his voice. “ Someone tried a song of healing to bring back my wing and I got very sick, It had begun to grow back but I had to cut it off all over again.Let me clean my self up and I’ll tell you in the morning.” he says timidly.

Zahrani nods, “Just a moment.” The panther respects his wishes not to be healed if he’s not entirely sure what’s causing his problem in the first place. She walks into the bathroom, drawing up some warm water in the tub, leaving it half full. A bar of soap is within reach, as well as a wash cloth and towel. The paladin then returns, taking Yoshika’s hands and gently guiding him into the washroom. “Just pull the plug in the bottom to let the water out.” The cats did well maintaining this old hotel, especially considering no one else wanted to sink the resources into making it comparable to the richer parts of the city. It’s not fancy, but for working folks, it’s exactly what they need.

Yoshika shedded the last of the broken armor his shredded cloths and settled into the hot bath. His torso scared from wounds of battle and training but non more prevalent than the cut wing. He would enjoy the bath and let the troubles of his past leave his mind for the time. He knew he had many tasks in front of him. Fixing his vision, finding his sword, what happened to him and why he had lost an entire year and fighting his mother. He closed his dead eyes and just let all go for the time being. This would continue tomorrow.