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#worldbuilding

Etherians are a humanoid reptile race native of the desert planet of Etheria. Etherians, like most reptiles, are cold blooded and therefore unable to regulate their own temperature. Having a self aware brain consumes a lot of energy, which makes what used to sustain their survival ability now fuel that instead. So they are less physically adaptive than their primitive self, having to use tools to regulate their temperature.
For this, clothes were created from animal hides and fur to protect from the sun and help regulate their temperature via the shade provided through the clothes.
Etherians possess a large feathered tail that helps with balance. The size of their planet and its subsequent gravity made their legs more hind than humans, but also being able to stand erect. It is speculated they have evolved from an ancient communal biped lizard species that thrived in the desert region.
Their clothes having to cover their bodies have influenced their clothes in a way of which ponchos, hoods and dress-like garments are the most common traditional clothes. Females are usually expected to cover their heads in a way, such as to protect them further from the heat.
Etherians have sexual dimorphism. Males are born with small horns on their foreheads, and possess hemipenal bulges along with pre-anal pores. Females are born without horns and do not possess either hemipenal bulges nor pre-anal pores.
The Etherian diet is composed mostly of grasshopper-like insects which are farmed along with desert vegetables, and notably giant sandworms, which are hunted down by professional sandworm hunters in dune-surfing boards using roped spears.
They have fixated and mobile cities, the latter being used for mining and industrial action in the danger zones of the planet, where meteorite rains are frequent and the sun doesn’t shine as much. Fixated cities are able to survive and thrive through the vast underground water veins that allow for the supplying of crops and the population. Their cities are made near mountains and ravines, where they can easily access fiberglass and mineral wool supplies, both of which they use abundantly in their architecture due to its thermally neutral nature. Their cities also possess several “shade spots” where they go to regulate their temperature.
The planet was united as a whole after its biggest empire, Etheria Primus, took it over entirely, absorbing and assimilating every different tribe, village, government and culture. This way, the planet was united under a single name: Empire of Etheria.
They didn’t invent planes first because sandstorms severely crippled their flying capabilities using wings and/or rotating axels. Their first flying machines were balloons, which later developed into zeppelins which used a flying mechanism similar to the insects they eat, with rapidly flapping lightweight wings for powered flight along with gas to lift off the airships.
Their space developments started out as a way of bringing meteorites to earth without them breaking in atmospheric entry, therefore amassing much more resources. Eventually, however, one of the Emperors decided the space age was the future. Investing hundreds of millions into space technology, in a couple decades they were able to fully leave their atmosphere, eventually starting a campaign for conquering other worlds. This took hundreds of years and amassed thousands of worlds, all under the belt of the Empire of Etheria.
Their technology, due to the enormous gravity of their planet given its huge size, is considered some of the best space tech in the Known Galaxy.
The Empire of Etheria has many traditional entertainment activities, such as tail sparring, side to side dancing and sandworm hunting, along with dune surfing.
Astronomers are very important people in Etherian history since they can predict when and where the meteorite rains will fall, which are their main source of mineral resources. They are widely known as being very wealthy and close to the emperor.
The planet has savannah regions along with desert regions. Their civilization also thrived in the savannahs due to the more balanced temperature of this biome compared to the scorching desert. There are however many desert region cities which survive pretty well with their abundant ground water which helps them regulate their temperature perfectly.

everdreamstarholdnoboundaries
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Excuse me, but how long has Phoenix Ranger Featherman R been running? It was already a famous show in-universe in 1989! Is it like Pokemom were the seasons never end? Has it already ended and become a cultural gem? I know its live-action because Yukari was recruited as an actor. Did it get a reboot or something by the time of Persona 5? I need answers!

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The pendant is a little metal alloy that was bent into shape and given to her by Dimentio! She always wore it. Because it was of sentimental value, it became the base of her Pixl form later.  

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I didn’t have much lore about them until recently when I started exploring the concept of the Underwhere with deadmentio au. Still not sure what I want to do with the hag sisters besides the idea that they used to be very important leaders in the underworld. They kept offering Jaydes unwanted advice (like, very stereotypical old lady ideas mostly. A serious idea every now and then but hhhhhhh bingo night by the River Twygz was turned down tenfold) and got banished to the space in between the Underwhere and Overthere bc Jaydes got sick of listening to them (They still send D-Men down to heckle her occasionally. She HATES them.).

And Bonechill! He’s an extremely strong soul. Bonechill actually went to the Overthere originally. He’s a very rare case of someone who STARTED in the Overthere and traveled backwards, and tbh he regrets nothing. He became a generic nimbi after he died. Had a comfortable, fulfilling life. But the Overthere, where everything is perfect and there are no vices to satisfy, bored him. He caused a ton of trouble and got banished to the Underwhere, where his spirit became corrupted enough to look like he does now. For centuries Jaydes kept trying to put him under the Twygz and his followers kept digging him out, then Dimentio ran into him while he was searching for a Pure Heart (Luvbi) and set him loose to cause havoc in the Overthere.

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They didn’t really want to date in the first place. They had a very close friendship that was bordering on something more than platonic, but it never quite got there, and there was a lot of pressure, a sort of collective expectation that they should be dating. Social norms, that strange need to label something that never needed to be labeled. So they tried it. It was okay for a while, in the way that things that are new often are. But then there was a the feeling of “um, what is this?” They both started getting really anxious about it, and it resulted in Luigi sort of clinging because he HATES it when things break, especially if he thinks he’s the one to blame, and Daisy felt cornered and started lashing out a little in response. 

Peach sits them both down after two months of this nonsense and asks them what the fuck they’re doing and why they keep hurting each other for no reason and they decide they don’t have a good answer for her. So they just stop. They’re both really upset for like a week. Then they come back to laugh about it in that “wow, what were we thinking” sort of way and now they’re closer than ever. Labels be damned, you don’t haveto date your other half.

I love luaisy so much in any form, I just think a non-romantic relationship suits them better uvu  

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Thunderhand is tricky. There’s no complete control, just a manifestation of raw power. It’s a lot more useful on contact and less so as a projectile (and also extremely hard to function as a projectile, unless Luigi is aiming for something highly conductive). It’s the opposite from Firebrand in direction (fire rises; lightning falls) and that its kinetic energy is higher than its potential energy. Meaning, if Luigi is moving he’s pretty much got limitless energy, but if he comes to a stop it takes a helluva long time to recharge. (Firebrand has higher potential energy and is more useful when “inactive.” It grants Mario a high resistance to physical elements and the energy is constantly boiling inside him, but using it burns that energy up and can be taxing if not used in short bursts.)

Thunderhand pierces defense and has a bit of a cancelling effect. It blasts through others’ magic, and can be used to deflect it as well. It’s get a huge range once it hits something and it travels fast. To some degree Luigi can affect polarity a little with it. It’s got a high negative charge. The hammer Luigi uses is made of metal (picture the 2nd hammer you always get in the first two PM games) so he can move it like a magnet, send electricity through it, etc. If he has enough focus, he can shoot it off his hammer handle like a cannon. 

But! The technique is a little chaotic and hard to control. Lightning is moody and doesn’t always go where Luigi wants it to, especially if there are a lot of conductive forces in the area. Mario’s hammer has a rubber coating (like the 3rd hammer from the PM games) that lowers the chance of him getting shocked by accident. Luigi’s magic is really weird because he’s in this strange spot on the magic spectrum. He can manifest elements like someone with body-source magic can, but since is primary source is soul he runs the risk of damaging himself with it. If he uses fire without wearing protective gloves, he burns himself. Thunderhand works in his body kind of like an adrenaline rush, which makes him faster, but it runs his heartrate up, and if he doesn’t slow down from the rush gradually he could potentially cause his body to go into shock (pun not intended). 

Tl;dr it’s very strong but requires a lot of caution. There’s a reason Luigi doesn’t use it unless he feels particularly threatened.

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thinking about using up a cool name for a one-off mention of a long-dead god: >:[

remembering that people are often named after gods in cultures all over the world, and it might honestly be weirder if it wasn’t used again: >:}

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Ilek-Vad

Also known as ‘the Lavender City’ Ilek-Vad is one of the northern city-states of Lydoccia. Currently the ancient power that maintains the temperate climate of the islands is stable around the Ilek-Vad allowing the city to continue to prosper. As its secondary name suggests Ilek-Vad’s main trade good is lavender, including the Illish lavender which is only produced in the city-state. The Illish lavender is used in a variety of medicines that work wonders in fighting infections and thus has become in demand around Arkera.

The city’s ancient spires and domes are all painted in a hundred different hues of purple with the lone exception being the Yellow Citadel, home to the high king of Ilek-Vad. The native Ilek-Vadi seem to be a friendly, if not cautious lot that treat outsiders with distant cordiality. The Ilek-Vadi speak little of their gods outside their temples but are known to worship a triumvirate of hermaphroditic flower gods known only as ‘the Three Children’.

Like in many cities of Lydoccia a feeling of silent dread exists beneath the veneer of the well-kept thoroughfares. Rumors persist of a city beneath the city where an underclass of unruly citizens have existed for centuries doing the dark work of their masters above. The current monarch, King Dyru Ishbazir has called to his city slavers from around Arkera and has been buying in bulk…I fear to speculate why.


“I used to like the smell and taste of lavender…before I visited Ilek-Vad.”

-Arthur Downs, Agal sailor

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Worldbuilding at midnight is when you’re contemplating doing hours of research on the formation of plateaus or deciding to just fudge realistic-ish geography to add a specific thing only to realize that you might have just started laying the ground work for Hannibal to come charging through the mountains with his elephants

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Alright, here we go. :D

In Radiant Garden, I put three main Goddesses that are worshiped and the Priestesses are divided into those three categories along with Radiant Garden’s magic system (at least, before the Fire-Ice-Thunder classic system was introduced from off world).

Rapids, the Water Goddess. Florez, the Flower Goddess. Lunes, the Moon Goddess. 

Rapids is associated with the magics of Water, Ice, Space, and Dark. She is linked with mostly Knowledge and Endurance, and serves as a patron for scientists. She is often connected to Moogles. (I have not determined any priestesses for her yet)

Florez is associated with the magics of Flower, Wind/Thunder (sorted as one in the RG system), Earth, and Illusion. She is linked with mostly Hope and New Growth, and is the patron of artists. She is connected to the Fey. (Aerith is a possible candidate for this line.)

Lunes is associated with the magics of Moon, Fire, Time, and Light. She is linked with Power (magical and physical) and Home. Patron of travelers. She is the patron Goddess of Humanity, since Humans originated from the Moon. (Rinoa has already been stated as priestess for this line.)

-The Moon is connected to Time since Radiant Garden operates off of a Moon-based calendar. 

-In FFVIII, Rinoa’s powers tend towards healing. Also, the Big Bad (another sorceress like Rinoa) uses Time Magic and the characters travel to the Moon at some point. So, of course I had to connect Rinoa to the Moon. 

-Priestesses differ from other Radiant Garden magic users in that their magic looks differently, can only be used by women, and create ritual circles that can store their magic to be used by future non-Priestesses. 

-Also, Priestesses do not need to learn Magic. It comes Inherently and tends to the magic categories within their Goddess lineage. 

-Rinoa’s strengths in order from strongest to weakest: Time, Light, Moon, and Fire

Feel free to ask more!

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Becoming - Chapter Three

***Change in PoV from first person to third person.***

It was dusk when Queen Ané brought the young woman home. Renée was set up in a small room on the servant’s wing of the castle. The room was furnished with the bare necessities and she was instructed to meet with someone named Summer in the morning. As she looked around the bedroom, a feeling of terror came over her. It was nothing like the terror she had felt months ago at feeling like a stranger in a familiar place. This was the anxiety of being in a place she was not familiar with, surrounded by strangers. It still felt nauseating. She wasn’t sure that she’d be able to sleep that night. Instead, Renée opened the chest and drawers. They were empty. She had been instructed to bring nothing and hoped that she would at least be supplied with clothes.

With a sigh, Renée crawled into bed. Her mind pored over the events of the afternoon. Renée had argued with Ané about how she couldn’t leave her home. Yes, everything had changed and it hurt to live there, but it was the only place she’d ever known. The queen turned that point right back around at the young woman, telling her that going to the queendom would allow her to thrive now that she had changed. That was the limit of her memory. Everything else was unclear in her mind, as if she had been drugged or under a spell. As much as she tried to remember how she had actually arrived at the castle, the memory would not come before she finally fell asleep.


Summer looked like she had been born for her name. She had freckled, olive skin and hair that looked like it was bleached by the sun’s kiss. The woman had walked right in and pulled the blankets from the newcomer’s body. Renée wasn’t used to being woken up so early in the morning. From the light flowing through the window, she guessed the sun had barely risen. The blonde laid out some clothing on the bed, then stepped from the room. Renée could hear her tapping her foot outside the door as she got dressed. It made her realize that she might have slept in. “What time was I supposed to meet you by?”

There was a groan. “Really? Sunrise. I can’t believe I had to come get you.”

Renée peeked out the door with a grumble. “It’s not like I have an alarm clock.”

Summer pushed through the door to grab Renée’s arm. “Okay. We can remedy that later. As it is now, I’m late showing you around and I have other things to do afterward.”


The castle was similar to one you would see in a movie about the middle ages, but modernized. The halls were mostly bare, with lamps lighting the way where windows didn’t. A vacuum cleaner could be heard somewhere, and it sounded like someone had a movie playing as they passed one room. Summer guided Renée down the servant’s wing to the kitchen. “You don’t want to get in the way of Tammy while she’s busy.”

Renée guessed that was the older woman who was currently in the process of cooking. Before she could so much as verify that assumption, she was ushered on.

Renée met Bryan and Charles, both farmers, outside. The two men greeted her with a smile and laughed at Summer’s haste to finish the tour. They were just packing up their truck after having made their daily delivery to the castle. By the time the two women had covered the grounds as much as Summer had plAnéed, they returned to the kitchen.

“We haven’t decided where you’ll be placed, so you can switch out every other day. I’ll start you with Tammy here, then tomorrow you can help me with cleaning duties.”

Tammy looked at Renée through her glasses as she set some newly clean pans aside. “Nice to meet you. Hopefully you’ll be a better worker than some people around here.” She nodded toward a small group of four who were clustered together next to the pantry.

Summer leaned conspiratorially toward Renée. “They’re a gossipy bunch. I think Jillian got a letter from her new beau. You can be sure you’ll hear all about it when they realize you’re another set of ears.”

Renée smiled politely. As long as everyone was at least civil, she could handle gossip.


           It was only moderately difficult for Renée to adjust to her new home and jobs. The work itself was simple, but tiring. In most ways, it was similar to some of the jobs she’d worked in her previous life. She had been switched between stations in the kitchen and cleaning elsewhere in the castle several times already. Waking at sunrise became a constant. Renée spent her time while working trying to figure out the rules of the castle and made an attempt not to draw attention to herself. Renée ate meals made from leftovers with the other servants in between duties. She changed tasks without complaint when told to. At the end of each day, she would often lay in the garden while reading a book.

The biggest change for Renée was that she was now in a castle that was literally in another world. Renée found out that this world was known as Autre Shí. The queendom they inhabited there was Aefry. It was bordered by an ocean and three other kingdoms. Some of the fae were able to travel between worlds at will. Others had to use portals. All had some sort of magical ability, which seemed to vary in type and skill.

Renée often watched her coworkers from the corner of her eye. She knew that Jillian always sprinkled a powdered substance on the broom to make it sweep by itself so she could sneak away for a few minutes. Tabitha grew herbs in the windowsill in seconds if the kitchen ran out when they were needed. Summer lit up every dimly lit room she walked in, and chilly air became warm around her.

As the weeks drew on, she began feeling more comfortable. At the same time, it felt like she was missing something important.


One evening, Ané caught Renée coming around a corner and pulled her aside. “You seem to be adjusting well here.”

The girl stared at her for a moment. “Oh, you speak to me now? I feel that I am. It’s not…” She paused for a moment, thinking of how to word what she’d say next. She hadn’t seen Ané since the mysterious woman had dropped her off in this place. It was never as if she knew the woman well. Renée was also still getting used to the idea of her mentor being the queen. She realized now that it might be a good idea to be mindful of how she worded things.

“It’s not exactly what I’d have expected of life in a castle such as this, but I think I’m lucky to have been given the chance to live here.” She smiled at the Queen. “Even as a servant, I should add. We are treated very well for the most part.”

The older woman’s eyes showed her pleasure. “Good. I expect that you’ll continue doing a good job on your chores.” 

Renée nodded and started to turn away. She stopped and looked back to Ané. "The telepathy or whatever I had before. It seems to have left since I’ve come here. Do you know why?”

Ané gave a shrug of her shoulders. “Mortals leave their minds unguarded much more than we do. You should work on shielding yours better, by the way. I expect that you’ll have a full barrier up by the time that I call on you again.”

Renée was glad to have finally been given a direct answer to something. The fact that it meant new questions to be answered didn’t cross her mind at this point. She sighed in relief and went on her way.

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To everyone that has shown interest in the mermaid character design thing: would yall mind helping out the project as a whole?

Ok, so, let’s talk about what the project is, hm? I have these lads right here.

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The fish lady is Ramin, a half-mermaid half-human, 30 years old, a mother, a pirate. By all ends and means, she is my very first oc and even through all the changes I’ve put her story through, one thing remains: she wants to be the ruler of the world by leaving her mark on every land she steps on. She wants to be the symbol of freedom for the unfortunates.

And the one Aizawa looking guy is Carl, a human Mexican, 46 years old, Ramin’s first crewmate, a crazy scientist, doctor, mechanic, and all the other fancy and smart job positions you can think of. But he’s also a big chaotic dumbass that has to sit down and wonder how did his life went like that everytime Ramin does dumb shit. And yes, he has a crush on her. And she knows. But that’s way too complex to explain now.

It’s a mash of fantasy and steampunk genre, which means that it can go from some intense machinery being powered by dragons to goblins with shotguns.

But let’s talk about the mermaids, that’s why we’re here.

There is a legend about people with turquoise eyes. They are said to be special. The kids born with turquoise eyes are valuable, a sign of good luck and prosperity, and they have a special link with the oceans. If you have someone with turquoise eyes on your crew, you are sure to find treasures, avoid heavy storms and sea monsters. And because of that, pirates all around go out of their way to have a Child of the Ocean on their ships by whatever means necessary.

After so many villages being attacked by pirates who seek these children, it was decided, in a silent common agreement, that these children are to be hidden and not publicly celebrated no more. And by all means, do not let them near the oceans. There is a pull, an instinct, that makes them curious and eager to set sail without a single thought. But even with all those precautions, children keep being found and taken. A hidden organization, called the Turquoise Order, raids the boats and saves these children.

And yeah, as you can tell, they are all children of mermaids. And that’s where the design part comes in! This project is BIG, and support is always welcomed, so why not make it kind of interactive? So if you have any ideas to add, any mer characters you’d like to create, I’m all ears and ready to shove them in the story if possible.

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The inn itself is little more then an old building on the edge of a small Irish village with four floors, the main floor being mostly taken up with the eating and staff areas, there are 25 tables thought the dinning area that each sit a max of four people, where the staff areas include the kitchen area as well as 7 rooms that the staff stay in, actually living on site. the upper floors hold guest rooms, which are much larger then staff rooms, and still only have 7 on each floor. the Cellar is another area of the inn, used for storage of food and things the inn needs kept dry and out of the public eye. No one knows the age of the inn, all they know it has been here as long as anyone can remember, and seems to appear in the history of the small village it sits in a lot, namely as the first building there and that no one ever saw being built.

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If you ever wondered, people native to Africa, the Middle East, Australia, and parts of South and Southeast Asia have curly hair because it lets you have hair shade your head, while still letting air flow through. Those are all hot, sunny places, see. (Humans haven’t been in the New World long enough for our tropical indigenous to have evolved to look different from other Native Americans, though they do already tend to be darker-skinned.)

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is anyone else upset about jk r*wling’s worldbuilding… like bitch you really telling us there is THREE magic schools in europe and only one in each of the other continents??? like??? ONE school to cover the inmensity of AFRICA??? ASIA??? EAST EUROPE AND PART OF WESTERN ASIA? damn

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ok, but seriously: y’all can’t keep saying she needs to be excused because “no one can be perfect”. excuse you, she has one of the largest fanbase in the fandom world. she needs to be held responsible for her racist, colonialist behaviour. she needs to realise her fanbase is not only white, but diverse (and please, don’t get me started on Cho Chang…) and above all, she needs to stop projecting her xenophobe behaviour onto her books. she doesn’t realize how many people are actually reading them.

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aeniithAnswer

14. You know, I don’t think I’ve chosen many birthdays for many characters besides the overall season. Like I know Len was born in spring and Mal in autumn. Elucuna was born on the spring equinox though!

20. Excerpt:

“Len was waiting for beer for what he realized was far too long. It had occurred to him to get up and see if Mal was going to come back, but he felt slow and sleepy after having eaten more than he was used to. Mal had truly been treating him well since he had met her, and he felt privileged to be eating more than he usually got. At the same time, he was wary. After the abuse that he had been dealt out by other commanders in the fort, a voice in his mind told him she was merely softening him up to devour him later. He didn’t want it to be true. He had liked her immediately on seeing her, and his fondness for her had only grown with her apparent kindness. At least, he truly hoped it was kindness. In his experience, those who wanted to use him typically had no qualms about coming out and doing so directly, but he was also familiar with the deceit and cunning of many high military commanders under the Empress, and he fervently wished that Mal’s generosity was sincere and not a ploy to ensnare him.


Looking into his empty goblet, he let out a long sigh and tried to ignore the feeling of doubt gnawing at his belly. He felt unsettled. Probably, he thought, because you don’t deserve to be treated so well. You’ve been dealt bad cards by fate in the past because that is what you were meant to be dealt. Lamat is laughing at you.


Now suddenly he seemed to have a new and solid ally. It couldn’t be a good sign, couldn’t be real. She’d been too good to him. Was this the only reason he had revealed to her his concerns about the new weapon project? What on Ertu had possessed him to divulge so much to her? Was he being incredibly stupid? Was his trust misplaced? A cascade of doubts ran through his mind.”

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Poglavlje 1

Ok, ovo je jedno cringe poglavlje. Njega sam dosta malo izmenila od poslednje verzije ovoga, tako da…

KUNEM SE POSTAJE BOLJE, k u n e m se. Vrlo brzo se priča poboljšava, tako da pretrpite ovo, i možda sledeće poglavlje (?)

P.S. Jako mi je žaoo, ImenaSuTakoCringeIDijalogJeSranjeIPokušavamDaIspravimStvarNajboljeŠtoMogu. Takođe, možda ima par stvari koje nauka ne bi podržala, ali to je problem moje lenjosti da uradim dobar research T_T

Crna silueta je trčala praznim i mračnim ulicama usnulog grada. Kako je samo mrzela taj šugavi grad, uvek je smrdeo i podsećao ju je na sve loše u ljudima. Iza nje su se čuli povici, bili su sve glasniji i glasniji.

   Utrčala je u ćorsokak. Dah joj se ledio dok je odmeravala zid ispred sebe. Nema šanse da se popne, zid je previsok i prestar. Osvrnula se i ugledala svoje progonitelje. Nosili su kapuljače baš kao i ona, pa im nije videla lica, ali znala je da kipte od besa. Stegla je pesnice, ako će umreti, onda će umreti onako kako je živela – krvoločno se boreći; ili je barem odavala takav utisak. Odeća joj je bila prljava od blata i krvi, obično je tako na žalost.

   Iscerila se i jednim lakim trzajem iz sakrivenih kanija na podlakticama izvukla dva duga noža. Ispred nje su stajala dva krupna čoveka, bili su visoki barem dva metra, a nabrekli mišići su se nazirali kroz njihovu odeću. Zašto uvek mora da se bori protiv ljudi koji su visoki i mišićavi? Nakrivila je glavu, odavajući utisak kao da je zabavljena nekom predstavom, ili tako nešto.

   Jedan, viši, držao je okove u rukama i mahao jednim krajem ukrug: ,,Ovo je tvoj kraj Ubico.

   Drugi se samo smejao, neandertalci. Malo je promrdala ramenima, kao da se isteže. Laganim pokretom je istegla vrat tako da se čulo tiho krckanje. Pucanje između njenih pršljenova je bio najglasniji zvuk koji je ispustila tokom cele nedelje, obično nije tako.

   Munjevitom brzinom je potrčala ka onom koji se smejao. Pre nego što je i shvatio šta se dešava, Ubica je stajala ispred njega sa bodežom duboko u njegovoj utrobi. Jedva je odmahnula glavom uz gađenje. Drška njenog noža je bila topla i klizava od krvi. Uzdahnula je, kao da je umorna. Čovek ju je molećivo pogledao, samo mu se iscerila. Bila je dovoljno blizu da ga uplaši svojim nakaradnim osmehom. Njen mentor, Ed, joj je rekao da ima lep osmeh tako da nikada nije marila o mišljenjima drugih ljudi. Iako Ed baš i nije bio čovek.

   Prvo je lagano zaokrenula bodeš, terajući gromadu od čoveka da zakrklja. Zatim je jednim brzim pokretom povukla bodež do napadačevog grkljana, naravno cereći se. Izvukla je bodež i okrenula se ka, sada preneraženom, čoveku koji ju je provocirao, ili je bar ona tako protumačila.

   ,,Slušaj, stvarno me mrzi da se bahćem i sa tobom.“, uzdahnula je, ,,Ali stvarno me nerviraš, a i obećala sam ti kraj.“ Čovek je bacio lanac i počeo da trči glavom bez obzira. Ubica je samo počela da se smeje i smejući se odvukla u noć. Bila je to kao mala predstava koju je izvodila iz noći u noć, jer… Rejsfek, ubij ili ćeš biti ubijen.

   Noga ju je bolela, nije dobila toliko informacija koliko je htela i sada joj je i večera presela. Ipak, bila je zadovoljna strahom koji je izazvala, bila je zadovoljna što je učinila da se priče o njoj još više ispredaju. Zato je uvek ostavljala nekoga u životu, kako ju je i Ed posavetovao. Osmehivala se znajući da će se ljudi plašiti da sklone leš koji je ostavila u malom ćorsokaku. Podigla je ruku i skinula kapuljaču, zalizujući svoju kratku kosu. Život je bio dobar, prožet bolom i grozotom, ali dobar. Bila je prljavo bogata i nije trošila novac, imala je svoj mali raj na periferiji grada… Šta joj drugo treba?

   Ubica je bešumno otvorila vrata svoje male kuće i ušla u nju. Čim je zatvorila i zaključala vrata za sobom, bacila se na divan u maloj dnevnoj sobi. Svaki mišić ju je boleo od skakanja po krovovima kuća. Povraćalo joj se od krvi koju nije želela da prolije, barem ne te noći. Duboko je uzdahnila i jednim pucom prstiju zapalila vatru u furuni. Opako se osmehnula, mrzela je tu svoju sposobnost, ali ipak ju je koristila. Imala je krvavu ranu na levoj nozi. Lenjo je ustala i odšepala do kupatila u kom je držala prvu pomoć. Usput se spotakla i o par knjiga koje su stajale na gomili po podu, trebalo je da sredi haos koji je napravila tokom učenja.

   Dobro je pogledala ranu na nozi, to je bila rana od strele, što znači da će morati da proveri da li joj je slučajno ostao vrh od strele u listu. Ubrzo se prisetila kada su je pogodili, i na kom tačno krovu je istrgla strelu iz noge, što je bilo zaista glupo od nje, jer je pravilo da se strano telo nikada ne čupa iz tela. Prezrivo je frknula prisetivši se svega.

   Kada je sredila ranu na nozi, otišla je u svoju sobu, koja je takođe bila mala, kao i sve ostale sobe u njenoj maloj kući. Počela je da pregleda mape obližnje tamnice, koja se nalazila pod zemljom, da jadni građani ne bi morali da se gade svaki put kada prođu pored glavne zgrade u gradu. Ta zgrada je bila najokićenija, da bi se pokazalo narodu da car ima zlata za bacanje.

   Imala je dosta mapa, neke je ukrala neke je sama nacrtala, sve su bile jednako korisne. Rešila je da će da se ušunja u tamnice i izbavi dva zarobljenika za koje je čula da su stigli pre dva dana. To je bio smeo plan, ali ako to uradi, moći će da iznervira mnogo ljudi, a to joj je prioritet.

   Znala je tačno i kako će da uđe a da je niko ne primeti, u većim građevinama su izgrađeni tuneli za beg, po naredbi cara. Znači, samo u njegovim tvrđavicama, koje je retko posećivao, i koje su bile u svakom selu i gradu. Sebična budala, pomislila je i odmahnula glavom. Naravno pre svega će se valjano naspavati, oni zarobljenici sigurno mogu da sačekaju do sutra. Šta je još jedna noć? Ionako ih ne poznaje, ne mora da žuri, ne mora da se brine, mada, ne bi se brinula ni da ih poznaje. Bacila se na krevet, duboko je udahnula, osećala je kako joj krv natapa zavoj na nozi, u tišini je gledala crni plafon koji je oslikala tako da su na njemu predstavljena sazvežđa pomoću kojih može da se orijentiše.

   Probudila se pre nego što je izašlo sunce. Mogla je da oseti svoje podočnjake na licu, mogla je da oseti svaku modricu na telu. Lenjo se protegla, bila je u odeći od juče. Otišla je do dnevne sobe, na divanu je bilo pobacano njeno oružje, barem se setila da skine oružje pre spavanja. Šakom je obrisala oči, i protegla se, a zatim je jednim prstom počela da čačka krmelj koji joj je ostao u uglu oka.

   Uzela je oružje i počela da ga kopča za ruke, noge i struk, imala je nezamislivo mnogo bodeža i noževa, svi su bili skoro nemoguće laki i dovoljno oštri da naprave ozbiljnu štetu. Neki su se čudili zašto nikada ne koristi mač ili nešto slično, ali niko zaista nije pitao, bilo joj je žao što je niko nije pitao jer je imala dosta dobrih razloga zbog kojih ne koristi mač.

   Odvukla se u kuhinju i skuvala sebi kafu, pa je polako popila, nije se obazirala na vrućinu, toplota, na koji god način da je ekstremna, ne smeta joj ni najmanje. Uživala je u oštrom mirisu i ukusu dok je sedela u otrcanoj stolici, jednom rukom naslonjena na naslon za leđa. Pod prstima je osećala ne baš kvalitetno drvo i zapitala se zašto nikako ne menja nameštaj.

   Sunce je polako počelo da izlazi kada je izašla iz kuće. Trebalo joj je oko pet minuta da dođe do iole normalnih ulica. Mogla je da vidi kako se grad polako budi, trgovci su već raspakivali svoje tezge, i sluge su se teturale okolo nabavljajući dnevne potrepštine za svoje gospodare. Otišla je do trgovca koji je prodavao voće, želela je pecivo, ali ovaj čovek je uvek imao dobre jabuke i kruše, nije bilo bitno ni koje je doba godine, što jeste bilo malo čudno. Čovek joj se osmehnuo. Da li bi se osmehivao da zna čime se bavi? Pružila mu je nekoliko srebrnjaka, bila mu je stalna mušterija. Taj čovek je bio jedan od retkih kojima je zapravo plaćala. Pomogao joj je da u torbu strpa jabuke i kruške.

   Umesto da skrene u ulicu u kojoj je bila careva skupa građevina, otišla je u jedan ćorsokak i počela da opipava kameni zid dok nije našla mali prorez. Prvi put je izgrebala sve prste na taj prorez, i dalje su se videli tanki beli ožiljci na vrhovima jagodica, treba da počne da nosi rukavice koje nemaju isečene prste. Zlokobno se osmehnula i za par sekundi čačkanja po bravi, povukla je ručku ispred svojih nogu. Kada je povukla skrivenu ručku podnih vrata, našla je stepenište.

   Čula se jedva primetna škripa kada je podigla kamena vrata. Mogla je da oseti dobro poznat ustajali vazduh prljavih tunela u kojima se oseća kao kod kuće.

   Bez oklevanja je počela da se spušta, zatvarajući vrata iznad sebe, sprečavajući svetlost da prodre pod zemlju. Nije joj trebala mapa da bi se snašla, niti svetlost, već nedeljama proučava tunele i zapamtila je svaki put napamet. Kretala se tačno po sredini tunela, a kroz tanke đonove tankih cipela je osećala svaku neravninu i izpočinu pod nogama. Neprestano su se čuli zvuci kapljanja vode, a kako se približavala odredištu, mogao je da se oseti i miris ustajale mrcine i znoja, verovatno i fekalija. Nečujnim koracima se polako približavala, uskoro je mogla da čuje ne baš tako prijatan razgovor ispred sebe, pa je usporila, oprezna toliko da joj se ni dah nije čuo.

   Uskoro je mogla da vidi dva momka u ćelijama i jednog iznerviranog vojnika ispred njih, drao se iz petnih žila, iz nekog njoj nepoznatog razloga. Nonšalantno se približila vojniku iza leđa, tada su momci prestali da se mršte i negoduju, prestrašeno su pogledali ka njoj, vojnik je mislio da gledaju u njega i ego mu se sigurno u sekundi podigao do nebesa. Na glavi je opet imala navučenu kapuljaču, tako da su joj se od lica videli samo vrh nosa, usta, brada i obrazi. Izgledala je kao oličenje Sablasnog Kosača. Izvukla je skriveni nož iz kanija na desnoj butini i prislonila ga vojniku na grlo.

   „Sada ćeš da začepiš i da otključaš obe ćelije.“, mazno je rekla dok je krv polako počela da curi niz njen nož iz plitke posekotine na vratu vojnika. Vojnik je zakrkljao i uhvatio je za ruku. Drugom rukom je uhvatila vojnika za lice i prebacila ga preko sebe. Uz bolan jauk pao je na pod, bilo je magično gledati.

   „Ko si ti?“, bespomoćno je povikao, „Uhapsiću te, ako me ne pustiš!“

   Ubica se samo zasmejala, i pribila ga kolenom uz zemlju tako jako da je vojnik počeo da jauče. Bila je izuzetno zadovoljna što čuje tiho krckanje grudne kosti glupog kopileta pod svojim kolenom. Malo je trgla glavu da bi sklonila šiške koje su joj pale pred oči. „Ja sam tvoja otelotvorena noćna mora.“, zabila je koleno dublje u njegove grudi.

   Momci su samo zabrinuto razmenili poglede dok je vojnik molio za milost. Ubica je od vojnika uzela prsten sa ključevima, pogledala ga je oprezno. Uzela je nož i zabila ga u vojnikovu šaku, tolikom jačinom da je probio drevni pod. Vojnik je počeo da jeca i tiho se moli anđelima da ga spasu. Anđeli nikoga ne mogu da spasu. Ubica je prišla ćelijama i otključala ih, trudeći se da ne prevrne očima na molbe i jecaje. Momci su je samo preplašeno gledali, nesposobni i da beknu.

   Trudila se da ne oda svoje gađenje smradom koji je dopirao iz bukvalno svake ćelije, pazila je da se ne primeti da ne diše na nos. Jedva je čekala da se skloni od vojnika pa da može da nabre nos od smrada zbog kojeg peku oči. Osmotrila je dva lika u ćelijama, možda su je se čak i više plašili nego vojnik.

   „Hajde sa mnom.“, pozvala ih je, pa se obratila jednom od njih, „Sviđa mi se tvoja kosa. Da li je farbaš ili je prirodno u boji karamele?“ Obojica su je i dalje gledali kao da je potpuno poludela. Strpljivo je čekala svoj odgovor, jedvaje čekala da počne da ispituje lika kakav šampon koristi, kosa mu je imala volumena.

   Momak je nekako uspeo da promuca, „Taa- takva, takva je… prirodna…“

   Ubica se samo osmehnula, slegla ramenima i uputila se ka vojniku. Davio se u suzama i slinama, dok je nerazgovetno preklinjao sve i svakoga za milost, ili tako nešto, nije je bilo briga za ljude koji mole. Zgazila je zglob njegove ruke i uhvatila dršku svog noža, vojnik je zatvorio oči i ona je brzo izvukla nož iz njegove šake, čulo se krckanje kostiju kada je to uradila, možda bi se i zasmejala da je bila sama, vratila je nož u kanije na butini. Pogledala je vojnika ispod oka, nije se baš mnogo zgadila jer je bio kopile, ali i dalje, poželela je da pretopi sečivo svog noža da bi bila sigurna da je očišćeno od njegove krvi. Vojnik je i dalje ridao, prevrnula je očima i bacila mali umotani zavoj na njegove grudi. „Prijateljski savet, ako već pokušavaš da se moliš, moli se samo jebenim anđelima, bogovi i sveci su zaduženi za druga dva kontineta i ne mogu da pomognu.“, prošaptala je i prekoračila ga kao da je samo neka stvar, a ne živo biće u bolovima.

   Pokazala je momcima da je prate. Bez reči su pošli za njom, pokušavajući da skrenu pogled sa vojnika. Polako su zalazili sve dublje i dublje u tunel. Osećala se ustajala vlaga u vazduhu, i neki čudni smrad. Na zidovima su bili zarđali stalci za baklje, ali šta će to ikome? U drevnom kamenu na kome je ležao šuntavi grad su bili urezani razni simboli, jednu većinu je ona urezala, ali neke je našla. Većinu je uspela da protumači, ali bilo je i onih koji su joj branili da spava noću, zbog radoznalosti. Jedan od znakova koje nije mogla da protumači, bio je crno-beli znak, koji je prikazivao sunce i mesec. Taj simbol je bio nacrtan na svakih par metara i zračio je neizmernom hladnoćom iz nekog razloga. Ed ju je upozorio da ne istražuje taj simbol, ali ipak je pokušavala.

   Na tren je zastala, dodirnula je zid, na vrhovima prstiju joj je ostala vlaga i prljavština, frknula je prezrivo, zatim obrisala prste o pantalone i nastavila napred kao da se ništa nije desilo. Sa plafona je kapljala voda uz ritmičan zvuk koji je bio previše savršen za prljavu vodu. Radnici, koji su gradili ovo sranje od tunela, su bili previše nesposobni da naprave plafon da bude dobar, to ju je nerviralo. Neki delovi su bili od čiste zemlje, a što su dalje odlazili, to su tuneli gubili svoj skladan simetričan oblik zidova sa obe strane. Ko bi se ionako potrudio oko nečega što je car tražio da se napravi?

   Kada su stigli do jedne raskrsnice izvadila je iz torbe dve kapuljače i dobacila ih svojim novim saveznicima, možda. Nekoliko trenutaka je ćutala, pa je odlučila da će da se pravi pristojna, navukla je na lice najpristojniji i najmanje jeziv osmeh koji je mogla, s’ obzirom da je bila malčice unakažena.

   „Što ste tako ćutljivi?“, pitala ih je dok su navlačili kapuljače preko gava, „Oh, baš sam nepristojna! Ja sam Ubica, bar me tako svi zovu. Vi ste…?“ Ne bi trebalo da se ponaša tako prema njima, ali nije mogla da odoli, bili su uplašeni.

    Plavokosi se zagrcnuo, ali ipak je uspeo da odgovori: „Ja se zovem Ris, a ovo je Lav.“

   „Dobro, a zašto ste vi ovde?“, počela je da propituje, ni ne pokušavajući da sakrije podrugljivost i prezir u glasu, koji su skoro pa pekli, „Izgledate kao dve Dobrice, a ne kao šljam poput mene, koji se vuče ko zna gde.“ Čekala je da vidi reakciju.

   Lav je navukao kapuljaču: „Mi, ovaj, smo ovde jer smo pomogli, bespomoćnoj dami.“

   U odgovor je stigao prigušeni smeh. „Sumnjam. Vi ste Ratnici, čak i da služite onoj svinji sa prestola, završili biste iza rešetaka u jednom trenutku.“, rekla je Ubica.

   „Kako si znala?“, pitao ju je Ris, „Ne bi trebalo to da znaš! Nemoj nikome da kažeš, molim te.“ Skoro ju je iznenadio što je znao šta bi moglo da se desi. Zvučao je tako očajno, da je bilo čak i zabavno, iskezila mu se. Preneraženo je gledao u nakaradni kez mlade devojke kojoj još ni lice nije video u potpunosti. Zaledio se u mestu, jer joj se samo leva polovina usta iskrivila, desna se jedva malčice trgla. Ris je kao predani učenik, već mogao da zaključi da je za to bila kriva magijska rana, i da je verovatno bila baš zajebana dok je zarastala, i dalje zarasta.

   „Dovoljno dobro znam o Ratnicima da bi’ ih prepoznala. Svi nose one svoje glupe ogrlice, i svi imaju imena koja na starim jezicima imaju značenje koje opisuje neku plemenitu osobinu, ili su dobili imena po životinjama.“, rekla je, „Koliko ja znam ris i lav su životinje. O da, i predlažem vam da sakrijete taj nakit nekako, jer ćete upasti u ozbiljne nevolje ako vam to neko vidi.“ Ris se namrštio i stavio ogrlicu ispod svetle, prljave tunike. Tog trenutka je po prvi put poželeo da udari devojku.

   Celog života se ponosi time što je Ratnik i odjednom mu samo dođe maskirana ludača i kaže mu da treba da poriče činjenice o svom poreklu. Lav je takođe sakrio ogrlicu ispod tunike, njegova je bila tamnoplava i imala je neke debilne šare na sebi. Izgledao je kao da mu to nije teško palo, ili je možda samo umeo dobro da glumi. Opet je nastala tišina, ali ne potpuna jer ju je prekidalo zveckanje okova na Risovim i Lavovim rukama. Čim se toga setila Ubica je zastala, a ova dvojica su je upitno gledali, jedva su je videli u skoro potpunom mraku, ali barem su se potrudili, i baš zbog tog truda ih je već prezirala.

   „Možete li da skinete te lance?“, pitala ih je, „Ili moramo kod kovača?“ U odgovor je dobila još upitnih pogleda. Uzdahnula je kroz nos, pokušavajući da ne izvuče jedan od noževa i ne prereže im grkljane jednim potezom, i pomislila Jednostavno ne bi bilo takođe prikladno.

   Prošlo je nekoliko neprijatnih minuta ispunjenih jedino zvukom lanaca. Najzad su došli do stepeništa, naravno nije ih odvela do stepeništa kojim je došla, to bi bila taktička greška, a i htela je da ode u zabačeniji deo, gde niko ništa ne vidi i ne čuje. Odvela ih je do stepeništa kod mirnih i polupraznih ulica u kojima je živela sirotinja. Obrisala je nos spoljašnjim delom šake, pa se popela uz trošne stepenice, đonovi su joj tiho zaškripali kada je stala na drevni kamen, ali činilo se da ne mari.

   Izašli su u ćorsokak, a njena dva nova poznanika su počela da čkilje na skoro popodnevnom suncu, iako su imali kapuljače. Čim su izašli iz zagušljivog, mračnog prostora, zapahnuo ih je neprijatan miris grada. Bilo je skoro smešno što je Rejsfek, sa svom svojom odvratnošću, nekako bio i simpatičan gradić. Pored izvesnih šansi da te neko ubije usred noći, bilo je zabavno provoditi vreme tu, ljudi su poznavali jedni druge i većina je mrzela cara Adrena. Ono što se Ubici svidelo jeste to što je ovde bilo mnogo izbeglica, što je značilo samo jedno, može da proširi svoje, već bogato, znanje jezika.

   Kada su izašli iz ćorsokaka Lav je upitao: „Da li smo u glavnom gradu ili…?“ Pokušala je da ne odgovori na nepristojan način, tako da je samo rekla da treba da požure.

   Pošto su išli okolnim putevima do kovača su stigli tek posle podne. Ubica je proverila da li su vrata otključana. Bila je malo razočarana što neće obijati ničiju bravu u kasno poslepodne. Skinula je kapuljaču i ušla u kovačnicu. Lav i Ris su takođe skinuli kapuljače i krenuli za njom. Već ju je izluđivalo zveckanje njihovih okova, ali ako je išta drugo više izluđuje to je kovač.

   Ušli su u neku vrstu čekaonice, bila je lepo i skromno uređena. Iz kovačnice se čulo lupanje čekića, a primetila je i momka i devojku kako ih posmatraju iz kovačnice. Došaptavali su se i gledali u njih, izgledali su vrlo slično, bili su iste visine, imali su istu boju kose, svetlobraon, koja se kovrdžala u puno sitnih kovrdža, čak su imali i slične oči, desno plavo, a levo smeđe.

   Setila se da ih je ponekad viđala u gradu, ali oni nju nisu. „Porudžbine primamo ponedeljkom, a gotovu robu uručujemo nedeljom! Ne treba mi još radnika, zato odlazite smesta odavde!“, čuo se iznervirani kovačev glas. Videla je da su se Ris i Lav ukočili i skoro je počela da se smeje.

   Podrugljivo je odvratila kovaču: „A šta ako nećemo?“ Mrzela je što dolazi ovamo, poželela je da je tim glupim Ratnicima odsekla šake, svet bi bio bolji bez Ratnika.

   Kovač je došao u čekaonicu usput brisavši ruke o krpu. Nije uopšte izgledao ljuto, baš suprotno osmehivao se. Nežno je munuo Ubicu, pesnicom veličine lopate, u rame pa joj umrsio kosu. Na sebi je imao kecelju sa masnim flekama svuda po sebi. Iznošena košulja mu je smrdela na znoj, ali nije izgledao iznureno, možda samo malo zajapureno zbog vrućine kovačnice. Videla je nekoliko graški znoja koji mu je potekao preko čela zbog drastične promene temperature u kojoj se nalazi.

   Ubičina kosa je bila tamna, kratka i puna prašine, sa leve i desne strane je bila obrijana na oko centimetar dužine. Mogla je da se zakune da joj je sada u kosi i po koji opiljak metala zbog kovača. Nije baš uobičajena frizura za devojku, ali ona nije marila za to jer joj kosa nije smetala, a to joj je bilo najvažnije, bonus je to što je izgledala neopisivo dobro i opasno. Mišići vilica su joj ipak zaigrali dok se uzdržano osmehivala, borila se sa porivom da zgrabi kovačevu ruku i pripreti mu ubistvom, ali trebala joj je usluga da bi mogla da nastavi da se kočoperi i prkosi.

   „Kako si mala? Šta ima novo?“, pitao ju je kovač, „Kako ti je ruka?“ Bio je toliko srećan što je vidi da je bilo teško da se ljuti na njega.

   Ubica je slegla ramenima, nije ništa rekla, samo je slegla ramenima. Pokazala je palcem ka Ratnicima iza sebe, prevrnula očima i odmahnula glavom, zbog čega je Ris napravio uvređenu grimasu. Protrljala je levu podlakticu, bila je sakrivena ispod kožnog štitnika. Nije bilo pitanja, ili sumnjičavosti, kovač je bio umešan u sav gradski kriminal, ali kao neutralni pomagač i svi su ga voleli, to nunsko, izbegličko kopile. Kovač im je pokazao da ga prate. Ulazak u kovačnicu je bio kao ulazak u zmajevo ždrelo puno plamenova i vreline.

   „Sa’ću vam skinuti okove.“, rekao je, „Ko će prvi?“

   Da nisu u Rejsfeku, činilo bi se uznemirujuće što kovač skidanje okova smatra uobičajenom aktivnošću, skoro kao disanje. Ubica nije shvatala zašto je očekivao od dva preplašena Ratnika da imaju iskustva u ovakvim stvarima. Prekrstila je ruke, nakrivila glavu i šmrknula prezrivo, ali ipak ništa nije rekla. Već su bili duboko u kovačnici, pred njima se nalazio mali panj i dve tronoške.

   „Šta ćeš tačno da uradiš?“, pitao je Lav.

   Ubica je prevrnula očima: „Samo će ti preseći okove. Plašiš li se možda?“ Nije zvučala iznervirano, već prkosno, kao loša kurva koja određuje cenu bez cenkanja sa mušterijom.

   Ris je zaustio da joj nešto odbrusi, ali se predomislio. Mogao je bolje da joj osmotri lice jer je mirovala, da je nešto rekao, verovatrno bi se pomerila u senke, ili bi ga ubila, a to nije hteo. Imala je oči neke neodređene boje, nešto između svetlosmeđe i narandžaste. Lice joj je bilo bledo, a na levom obrazu ispod oka se protezao ožiljak, izgledao je staro i činio ju je još opakiom. Odakle li joj to? Iako je tvrdila za sebe da je Ubica, iako je delovala opasno, imala je nežne, dečije crte lica, zbog kojih je izgledala mlađe.

   Kovač je doneo alat kojim će da iseče okove, seo je u tronošku preko puta Lava. „Koliko vas dvojica imate godina?“, pitao je skroz opušteno kao da u rukama ne drži opako oštar alat, „Kako se zovete? Zaboravih da pitam.“

   Trebalo mu je malo više vremena da namesti sečivo na lisičinu, jer postojalo je pravilo za skidanje okova. Kada se konačno smirio, pogledao je u Lava letimično, udario je dršku sečiva čekićem i okov se polomio, počeo je isto na desnoj ruci. Zašto je toliko opušten? Pre nego što je iko stigao da odgovori, kovačnicom se proneo oštar zvuk šuštanja vode, neki radnik je hladio svoju metalnu tvorevinu. Ris je osetio kako se ježi dok se para podizala iz ogromnog bureta sa prljavom vodom i opiljcima metala u sebi. Ipak nije mogao da skrene pogled sa tog bureta. Obrisao je znoj koji mu se formirao na licu i vratio pogled na kovača i svog prijatelja.

   Lav je dgovorio na kovačeva pitanja, neprestano gledajući zglob leve ruke, zadivljen preciznošću kovača. Osmehnuo se, i Ubica se zapitala zašto je tako prijatan i uzdržan, dok njegov prijatelj skoro drhti od besa, straha i ostalih pomešanih osećanja.

   „Znači vi ste Ratnici?“, presekao je i drugi okov i pokazao Risu da sedne na Lavovo mesto.

   „Da, jesmo.“, rekao je Ris dok je zauzimao Lavovo mesto. Zvučao je sumorno i iznervirano. Bilo je pitanje vremena kada će Ris da počne da se dere na ljude oko sebe. ubica je jedva čekala da vidi Risa kako gubi svoju staloženost.

   Kovač se obratio Ubici: „Dolaziš li možda danas? Jer Tar, Nova i Ivar će biti veoma srećni ako te vide.“ Risu je prvo presekao okov na desnoj ruci, pa počeo sa levom. Jedan trenutak je prošao u tišini među okupljenima, čuli su se udari čekića o metal. Ubica je lupkala prstima po nadlaktici. Odmakla se pola koraka, izgledala je kao da rešava matematički problem.

    „Ne znam… Imam obaveze.“, nezainteresovano je počela da čačka rub tunike, „Takođe ne znam šta ću sa ovom dvojicom, nisu uopšte ni čuli za Rejsfek. Dodatno me nervira to što su Dobrice.” Nije pomenula to da ih nije inforimasala, ili da ne voli ljude koje je kovač pomenuo.

   Ris se namrštio na taj naziv, a još više se namrštio na gađenje u njenom glasu kada je to izgovorila. Kovač je presekao okov sa Risove leve ruke i ustao. Bio je kovač dosta krupan čovek, bio je snažan i mišićav, ali skoro uvek je delovao sitno i dobroćudno, bio je obrijan na ćelavo, kecelja koju je nosio mu je bila nakrivljena i to je bila najgora stvar u ovom trenutku. Oči su mu bile blistave pa se lepo isticao srebrni sjaj koji je omeđivao njihove sive dužice.

   U stvari oči su mu uvek blistale jer je uvek bio lepo raspoložen, to je bilo toliko iritantno ponekad. Uzeo je krpu iz džepa i još jednom obrisao ruke. „Za vreme se ne brini, možeš da pođeš sa mnom i blizancima, taman da ih upoznaš.“, potapšao ju je po ramenu, „Što se tiče Risa i Lava mogu i oni sa nama, uveren sam da nikome neće smetati.“ Ubica se baš toga i plašila, kriminalci sa kojima se kovač privatno družio su bili mahom izbeglice iz Nuna, naravno da im još Nunčana neće smetati.

   Ubica je samo klimala glavom: „Meni će i te kako da smetaju.“

   Gledala ih je obojicu sa provokativnom dosadom u očima, istovremeno razgledajući polumračnu radionicu, bilo je dva radnika u radionici i nisu obraćali ni najmanju pažnju na njih, ali znala je da slušaju razgovor, proklete uhode. Dva prijatelja su samo razmenila poglede, pa istovremeno potvrdno klimnuli, imali su muda da izazivaju Ubicu i to je bila najhrabrija i najgluplja stvar koju je videla danas. Pitala se koliko će vremna da prođe dok konačno ne iznervira Lava i dok Ris ne pokuša da je ubije.

   Kovač se presvukao u čistu odeću i sada su se nalazili na ulazu u kovačnicu, a tu su bili i oni blizanci, tihi kao i uvek. Nije bilo dobro što idu na isto odredište kao grupa, najlakše je odbraniti se ako si sam, barem je tako u Rejsfeku. Išli su polako sporednim ulicama, svi su bili na oprezu jer je sunce počelo da zalazi i jer je bilo sveta samo u glavnim i velikim ulicama. U jednom trenutku se čuo pomahnitao smeh, temperatura vazduha se spustila za nekoliko stepeni zbog toga.

   „Opušteno samo, blizanci i ja uvek dolazimo poslednji. Tako znamo da su svi došli.“, pričao je kovač, kao da je kašnjenje ono što može da ih uznemiri najviše. Munuo je laktom jednog od blizanaca i zakašljao se pa pogledao Ubicu, „Vi ste deco baš asocijalni. Anđeli sačuvajte šte ću sa vama?“ Na to se bliznakinja nasmejala. Ubica je pokušala da ne opsuje zbog toga.

   „Pa, ja sam Bava, a ovo je moj mlađi brat Vaba.“, rekla je bliznakinja, delovala je veselo, nije ni čudo kada živi sa kovačem. Vaba nije odgovorio, ali zasijalo mu je nešto u očima, možda nešto poput sreće, bilo je teško za proceniti dok su hodali kroz senke. Za trenutak se zabuljio u kaldrmu koja je krasila ulicu kojom su išli, iako nije bila ni blizu onih glavnih. Odmakao se od sestre i počeo da se upoznaje sa Lavom i Risom, oboje su zastali kada je trebalo da se upoznaju sa Ubicom, uvek je bila ista priča što se toga tiče.

   Ubica se osmehnula, htela je da odbrusi, ali samo je ćutala, čekala je da padne dobro poznato pitanje, koje joj nije postavljeno godinama, imala je spremno novo ime, koje je dobila sa četiri godine života. Ledeni vetar je dunuo, umrsio joj je šiške, osetila je kako se tkanina njenih širokih pantalona povinuje vazdušnoj struji, poput roba. Zatresla je glavom, skoro je zaboravila svoje pravo ime, skoro, par sitnica ju je teralo da nikada ne zaboravi.

   „Preskočićemo formalnosti, dragi moji.“, rekla je uvredljivo šarmantno. Kovač je znao njeno ime, ali pravio se glup, čekao je da vidi reakciju i ta pasivna vrsta zlobe joj se svidela. „Moje ime je Malik.“, skoro je ispljunula poslednju reč.

   Do trenutka kada su stigli do krčme je vlada zagrobna tišina. Malik je znala šta se sada vrti po mislima njenih poznanika, zato im je i rekla svoje ime. Polako je trepnula pre nego što je osmotrila krčmu skromnog izgledala. Bila je savršeno mesto za sastanak ološa poput njih, plus dve Dobrice koje su to činili nekako neprijatnim. Većina kriminalaca koji su se sastajali u krčmi nisu bili ni u kakvim bandama, nisu zaista hteli da budu loši, samo su prihvatili ono što im je nestalan život tokom rata doneo, kao i svako drugi. Zato ih je Ubica izbegavala, neka vrsta straha ju je terala da im ne prilazi, iako je u neku ruku bila poput njih.

   Kovač je razbio tišinu pozvavši svoje nove prijatelje da uđu u krčmu i suoče se sa nečim novim. Stisnuo je metalnu kvaku, izlizanu i potpuno glatku od godina korišćenja. Vrata krčme su se uz jaku škripu otvorila, a razgovor koji se čuo do malopre je potpuno zamro. Unutra je bilo veoma prostrano, a ljudi koji su bili okupljeni oko stolova, posle te jedne pauze, su počeli da pozdravljaju kovača i deru se srećni što ga vide.

    „Evo i njega, naš najdraži kovač!“, srećno je uzviknuo jedan krupni mladić – Ivar, čitava planina dobrote. Ljudi su se nasmejali na njegov uzvik, jer je ovaj kovač pred njima bio jedini koji je znao da obavi svoj posao kako treba i mnogi su ga smatrali jedinim u čitavom gradu.

   Ivar je bio visok i krupno građen, bar za svoje godine. Imao je kratko ošišanu kosu boje kestena, zelene oči, i bio je duša od čoveka. Nema ko njega nije voleo, a bavio se sličnim poslom kao i Malik. Svi iz krčme se bave sličnim poslovima, prodaju tajne, ubijaju za novac, kradu, pljačkaju, džepare, krijumčare informacije, ljude i robu… mogućnosti su beskrajne. Zato se to sve Risu jako gadilo, ipak bio je dovoljno pametan da zna kada treba da ćuti, iako je svojim moćima mogao da pobije barem pola krčme.

   „Da, to sam ja, i ovog puta nisam došao ovamo samo sa blizancima.“, kovač je prvi ušao u krčmu, za njim, blizanci i Lav i Ris, od Malik nije bilo ni traga ni glasa. Bilo je skoro uvredljivo što su svi zaćutali kada su ugledali Lava i Risa, valjda zato što je bilo očigledno da su uplašeni, a grabljivice uvek vole da prvo okuse strah svog plena.

   „Ko su ova dvojica?“, upitao je Tar. On je bio znatno sitniji od Ivara, imao je plavu kosu i smeđe oči, a nazirala mu se i brada, nije se redovno brijao. Pored njega je bio Nova, on je imao kosu crnju od noći i oči boje crne kafe. Njih dvojica su bili nerazdvojni prijatelji, znali su se ceo život, a i svi ostali iz krčme su znali da su oni nerazdvojni, takođe su znali i puno tajni, koje su prodavali za novac. Tar, koliko god bio prijatna ličnost, nije zvučao previše srećno što pred sobom vidi dvoje balavaca. Barem su iz njegovog ugla su to bili balavci. Kovač je bio spreman da objasni ko je ko, uvek je tako dobar. Osvrtao se oko sebe, delovao je pometeno zato što nije mogao da nađe Malik, ljudi su buljili u njega začuđeno i već je svo gađenje zbog novih mladih lica nestalo.

   Ona je sav taj nepotrebni razgovor spokojno slušala iz jednog mračnog ugla, pokušavajući da se ne smeje. Rešila je da se malo zabavi, otišla je do Ivara, neprimetno jer su svi zurili u zbunjenog kovača, koji je i dalje stajao na ulazu. Prišla je Ivaru iza leđa, počela je da provocira, glas joj je bio smiren ali se pobrinula da zvuči prodorno da bi je svi lepo čuli: „Mislio je na mene?“ Svi su se trgli neki su odskočili unazad uključujući i Ivara. Kada je shvatio da je to ona uhvatio ju je u čvrst zagrljaj i promrsio joj kosu. Zašto to svi uporno rade? Nije kao da joj je kosa uporno umršena, samo joj fali da joj dođe neki lik i još više je umrsi i isprlja. Namrštila se, mogla je da oseti miris alkohola kako joj se vezuje za bujne, meke vlasi kose. Pored alkohola, znala je da Ivarovi prsti smrde na duvan devedeset devet posto vremena. Prevrnula je očima i gurnula njenovu ruku dalje od svoje glave.

   „Pa vidi ti nje!“, srećno je dreknuo, „Kako si mala? Kako ruka?“ Pustio ju je iz svog ubilačkog zagrljaja i potapšao po leđima. Sada su svi blenuli u nju kao ovce u šarena vrata.

   Pola krčme je znalo da je ona Ubica, ali pošto su to bili pitomi ljudi, sa kojima se Sudbina zajebavala, najviše što bi joj uradili jeste da bi joj rekli da nije dobro što ubija za novac.

   „Ovo je naša prijateljica.“, rekao je Ivar razdragano, za slučaj da neko to nije shvatio, „Sigurno je znate kao najopasnijeg ubicu u Alsu.“ Ivar je naterao Malik da se popne na jednu stolicu da bi je svi dobro videli.

***

Ivar je upoznao Novu i Tara pre nekoliko meseci i jako su se zbližili. Pre dva dana su se šetali ulicom, tokom dana, bili su dosta blizu centra, ali to nije značilo da su bezbedni, kriminalna dela mogu da se izvedu u bilo koje doba dana ili noći, samo ako osoba ima dovoljno kuraži. Nabasali su na jednu od jačih bandi, koja je kontrolisala skoro ceo istočni deo grada, što je bilo dosta impresivno. Iz nekog razloga kriminalci su se delili na one istrenitane koji su bili u bandama i one koji su se jednostavno snalazili i izbegavali bande koje su jedino mogle da garantuju brojčanu sigurnost, krov nad glavom i topao obrok.

   Lako je izbila svađa, posle par piva čovek može ili da zamrzi svakoga, ili da zavoli svakoga, nažalost, obično mržnja preovladava. Dreka se pronela kroz ulice i ljudi su uveli u kuće ono malo dece koja su se igrala na gruboj kaldrmi. Pretnje i psovke su letele među sukobljenima. Vrlo brzo je na dnevnoj svetlosti zasijala svetlost čelika, tada su Ivar, Nova i Tar bili sigurni da je bolje da pobegnu.

   Kako to dolikuje, ceo grad je zavrveo od haosa i vesti da počinje potera za tri kretena koji izazivaju članove bandi. Malik se tada nalazila u centru, gde se ljudi nisu brinulu, jer su valjda mislili da neko zapravo poštuje nepisana pravila hijerarhije i rutine. Čulo se samo nekoliko vriskova kada je trojica prestupnika počelo da juri kroz pretrpanu, glavnu ulicu. U jednom trenutku su projurili ispred Malik. Ona, glumeći sebe, odlučila je da je zabavno da se poigrava egom članova moćnije grupe. Jedan pokret je bio dovoljan, najmanje napora je uloženo u neznatno podizanje noge sa kaldrme.

   Čalnovi bande su popadali jedni preko drugih zbog nje. Psovali su i drali se, prvo nesvesni šta se desilo. Malik je opušteno stajala pored njih, gledala ih sa visine i brojala u sebi koliko vremena će biti potrebno da bilo ko shvati da ih je ona saplela. Tiho se smejala, ramena su joj se naznatno tresla zbog toga. Osmehnula se kada je jedan član bande skočio ka njoj i počeo da optužuje. Nije ga udostojila ni pogleda.  

   Najbliži ju je udario pesnicom ulice i zateturala se unazad. Pustila ga je da je udari, nije nosila masku, nije bila upadljiva. Bila je niko i ništa. Bes je već bio opšte prisutan. Lako je povratila ravnotežu, borila se sa porivom da dodirne mesto udarca. Isturila je bradu kada joj je šestorica besnih ljudi uperilo svoje oružje u vrat.

   Iscerila im se podrugljivo, pokazujući koliko joj je mlado lice izopačeo nevidljivim ožiljkom na desnoj strani. Počela je da trči, a razjareni ljudi su pošli za njom, poput nekih kerova sa besnilom. Utrčala je u jedan ćorsokak, videla je put preko jednog krova, videla je mesto gde su bila tajna vrata, ali dovoljno je dobar borac da može da se izbori sa šest nadobudnika. Lako je pobediti osobu koja je zaslepljena predrasudama i besom. Nisu je prepoznali. Zašto bi? Ona je ništa.

   Jedan lik je izvukao okove, tada je drugi krenuo u napad, odvalčeći pažnju. Čuo se tihi škljocaj kada su lisičine okova sputale Maličine ruke. Namrštila se, vidno iznervirana, ipak, ćutala je. Laganim pokretom je lancem obavila vrat jednog od napadača, počela je da ga guši. Lanac je ubrzo postao crven od krvi, lisičinama je malčice zasekla zglobove, ali trud se isplatio kada je dovoljno jako stegla da odere čoveku kožu sa vrata. Malo je falilo da se sve završi.

   Lik je nekoliko trenutaka bespomoćno grcao. Pokušavao je da se odbrani nožem, ali to je dovelo do toga da je nož odleteo i ostao zabijen u trošan zid neke omanje kuće koja je jednim svojim delom gradila ćorsokak. Pokušaj gušenja lancem ipak je bio prekinut; petorica preostalih protivnika je skočilo na Malik. Zadavali su joj jake udarce i plitke ogrebotine, jer je znala kako da izbegava napade. Kada je najzad pustila bespomoćnog neprijatelja ostali su je saterali uza zid.

   Jedan lik, koji je ličio na vođu prisutnih, kako je ona zaključila, je hteo da joj zabode nož u grkljan. Zato ga je iz sve snage nabila kolenom u međunožje, zbog toga je ciknuo i pao na pod jecajući. U ušima joj je zazvonilo kada se čuo tih udar o štitnik na njenom kolenu. Osetila je vibraciju od udarca u nozi. Tek se zagrevala za borbu koja može da usledi.

   Nije sačekala da je osećaj udarca prođe, okrenula se i šutnula napadača sa leve strane, izbijajući mu tri zuba. Skoro joj je laskalo što je ostao da leži, držeći ruku preko krvavih usta, drao se, pa je zaključila da se lik slučajno ugrizao za jezik. Kada je bila spremna da isuče neki od noževa, pojavili su se Ivar, Nova i Tar. To nije očekivala, ali pomogli su joj tako što su skočili na preostalu trojicu, jer je onaj koga je skoro zadavila pobegao glavom bez obzira.

   Poveli su je do kovača kada su utvrdili da nema opasnosti. To je bio prvi put da je otišla do kovača, ipak to je nije sprečilo da na putu do tamo, sama sebi skine jednu lisičinu sa leve ruke i raskrvari je, tako je kada ne nosi kožne štitnike na podlakticama. Topla krv joj je natapala rukavicu bez prstiju i razmišljala je čime može da skine fleku.

***

Svi su ćutali dok je Ivar pričao, imao je osmeh na licu, hvalisao je koga je stigao i sa vremena na vreme bi ispio nekoliko dobrih gutljaja iz svoje krigle. Malik se smestila u stolicu na koju ju je Ivar popeo, nije slušala, gledala je dvojicu Ratnika, podsećali su je na Nun, a ona mrzi Nun. Ipak, iz nekog razloga je želela da bude u njihovom društu, to ju je malčice i plašilo.

   Niko nije ni pisnuo, zatim je neko viknuo da je Malik premlada da bi bila sposobna za tako nešto. Nekoliko njih je počelo da vređa. Malo je izdigla obrve, pokušavajući da razabere pojedinačne glasove, ali nije joj išlo od ruke. Neko je viknuo da treba da budu fini jer će da se rasplače ako nastave da je vređaju, tada su svi polečeli da se smeju. Kovač je ćutao, kao i ona trojica, i blizanci i Dobrice.

   „Vrati se mamici i tatici!“

   Malik se na to samo iskezila, a kez joj je bio nakaradan i izopačen: „Radije bih tebe poslala kod njih.“ Polako je ustala, pogledala je ljude oko sebe, glas joj je bio dovoljno leden da svako prisutan razume da je to bila krvoločna pretnja. Izgledala je opijeno, ali bila je jednako trezna kao i preplašeni Ratnici, koji bi pod drugim okolnostima stali na njenu stranu. Čulo se još nekoliko zajedljivih uvreda kao odgovor na ono što je rekla.

    Malo joj je falilo da svima otkrije svoje ime, ali bila je sigurna da bi je, barem oni religiozniji, ubili kada bi im rekla. Ne bi ih sprečilo ni to što je ona Ubica, koja svoje žrtve obesi za njihova creva koja im je izvukla iz utroba golim rukama. Prazni osmeh joj je šarao lice, odjednom sivo poput mrtvačkog. Iako je dreka vladala zadimljenim prstorom, činilo joj se kao da je sve tiho. Niko nije primetio kada je otišla.

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DoG Worldbuilding

1. How is war declared in the six kingdoms?

  • Flamesky. When the Flamesky ruler wishes to declare war, they will sound a horn on the top of the tallest mountain which can be heard anywhere in the kingdom. This gives all citizens the chance to prepare in case they are going to be drafted. Of course, then the Flameskies will send a formal declaration of war via a letter to the enemy.
  • Moonstone. The Moonstone rulers will host a large party before an official declaration of war. During this party, the kingdom they will be fighting as well as things such as allies will be announced as if it is a rewards show.
  • Icestorm. To declare war, the ruler of the Icestorm must consult their ancestors in a mysterious ritual that some say is faked. They may not declare war without the blessing of the dead.
  • Seavapor. Once the ruling family has decided that war is necessary, they will send the youngest adult in the family to lead a team into the other kingdom’s territory and directly declare war to their ruler. Depending on the political situation, this can end in tragedy.
  • Earthtree. Earthtrees choose not to opperate by the same standards of the other kingdoms. They do not declare war. If they decide that a kingdom needs to be fought, they will send an army with no forewarning of any kind. Another reason why nobody really likes the Earthtrees.
  • Solarsand. The Solarsand ruler will declare war by filling a vial with their venom and sending it to the enemy kingdom. If the other ruler should choose to drink it, the war will be stopped. However, it is likely that ingesting that much venom will kill the ruler, meaning that the Solarsands ‘won’ and the dispute will be settled in their favor. If the ruler survives, the Solarsands will settle to their benefit. This is why information on the potency of the Solarsand ruler is usually a well-kept secret.
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Kingdom Bio: Seavapor

Under the sea, these hardworking and cheerful dragons live, safe in a world that the other kingdoms cannot touch. Family is important to the Seavapors and each family unit has a different proffesion or craft that is passed through generations. Tradition is important to a Seavapor.

Geography

Seavapors live around a large collection of islands to the east of the Icestorms and the North of the Earthtrees. They have both sunny beaches as well as dangerous rock islands. Many Seavapors live on these islands, but the majority lives underneath the waves in beautiful cities of coral. In fact, they have two capital cities, one underwater where the ruling family lives and important duties are carried out and one on an island that provides visiting officials a place to stay and carry out negotiations.

Culture:

Seavapors have unique family traditions, where no dragon pursues a craft other than the one their parents also practiced. Of course, dragons can marry into a different family and take on a different job, but it is heavily frowned down upon for a Seavapor to set off on their own for any reason aside from love. Some families have intense rivalries with others, especially if they are competing businesses. In this case the head of a family (usually called the patriarch or matriarch) will forbid any member of their house to interact with the rivals. When a family gets too big, the oldest members will usually split off, taking their partner and offspring with them. This also tends to happen if there is infighting within the family. Families are named for their founding patriarch/matriarch.

Appearance:

Seavapors are stocky, firm looking dragons with bodies capable of withstanding the incredible pressure of the ocean floor. They have long dorsal fins down their backs and webbed feet. They come in many colors such as blue, green, teal, yellow, orange, white and purple. Whiskers grow on the faces of both male and female Seavapors, but older males tend to have the longest and the most whiskers.

Life of a Seavapor:

Seavapors lay nests of one to six eggs, with three being the average. They begin to familiarize the hatchlings with the family business almost as soon as they hatch. (In fact, some parents say that to ensure natural talent in the craft, to carry the egg around with you and explain the process to the chick inside) There are no schools, since any skill a dragon would need to know for their future can be taught to them by their parents. However, there are officials (usually members of the vast regal family) that will routinely inspect the young of all families and ensure that they are receiving a well-rounded education. When a wyrmling comes of age, they will join their family in the business.

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this is late bc i forgot about it anyway happy late wbw

WHAT DO PEOPLE WORRY ABOUT? LOTS OF THINGS!

basically:

if you’re a non-weaver, you worry about weavers. and if you’re lower-class or poor and a non-weaver, well then the government doesn’t care about you and you’re probably worrying about crime. also, non-weavers are generally terrified of whoever their particular crime boss is and those work for them. all of england is absolutely terrified of lupus.

and if you’re a weaver, you’re horrified of your local WCF and of getting caught by the commaragers. bc if you’re caught and deemed ‘interesting’, you might get a personal meeting with the surgeon known as the grim reaper of magic… which isn’t fun, you’ll probably die

if you’re a commar, particularly and english one, you’re terrified of lupus. and of your boss, who will kill you if you step out of line.

also everyone is worrying about the looming war with america, and the nazis. bc the nazis are now negotiating with england about joining forces with their commars. 

lots of worrying. also when the story starts, the london blitz is just wrapping up. so. there’s also that.

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image

Vanora

::::Species - Volan Saephin

::::Age - Unknown, possibly early 30s

::::Gender - Female

::::Magic - Plants & Fungi

——

Lost and alone after The Collapse, Vanora was taken by the owner of a drug farm where she was forced to grow plants and mushrooms for 15 years. Her ear was tagged with a tracker and her wings were broken to prevent her from flying.

She was freed with the help of Faye and Soren who she joined to find the new home of the Volans.

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