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Author Topic: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)  (Read 4038 times)

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Offline PennySludt

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Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #75 on: February 11, 2015, 02:43:08 PM »
Astrid leaned back slightly, a little afraid as the child seemed to be glaring at her and suddenly stood up higher near her face, staring menacingly at her. She was about to take a step backward when the the big man near them tried not to laugh and she glanced in his direction fearfully for a moment before turning her attention back to the child. She was even more startled to see the girl suddenly drop back to her feet and grin at her, holding her hand out to her.

She looked down at her outstretched hand with a small frown of confusion, then back to her face as her question was finally answered, which only caused more confusion. After a moment, Astrid gathered herself enough to speak.

"Uh...I don't...." she glanced back down at the girl's open hand, "I don't have anything to give you...." Perhaps the child thought that she had something hidden that she wouldn't share? She looked back up to her face and stared in utter confusion at the girl's name and description of herself.

"Why would a town want a thief? What do they need with that?"

Online SainTopic starter

Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #76 on: February 14, 2015, 10:32:35 AM »
"No, no, here, like this. Let me," Kate said when she reached in to grab Astrid's right wrist with her own left hand and bring it forward to shake her own right hand. Her grip and shake were firm. "It's a handshake dumb. It's like hello, but with hands." She seemed somewhat confused at the question as to why a town would ever want a thief. Kate blinked and looked away, furrowing her brows slightly into a thoughtful expression.

"Hmm..." She didn't honestly have much of an idea why a town would want a thief. A thief's job was to steal from the others and she could imagine how annoying it would be if someone stole from her. For some reason everyone seemed to be pretty happy with leaving small things dangling somewhere where she might take them and never seemed to mind too much. Maybe they just hadn't noticed it yet? Yes, that was probably it. She lowered her voice into a whisper when she continued, "Right, well lets keep it a secret for now. I'm not sure if the town needs a thief, but I sure want to be one. It's awesomely exciting to take something and then run away for as long as you can until you get to hideout where you can take your time and enjoy the loot. I'm not expecting you to understand because it's hard to explain really, but that's just thief's life. It's just who I am."

After proudly presenting her whole life philosophy, Kate let her smile fall a bit as she looked over Astrid. The traveler was looking terribly messy and even if she was from some secret tribe of rangers who feared nothing in the wilds, she couldn't possibly use her survival skills in the city. She might've been a thief, but she was an honorable one and real thieves gave to the poor. "It's decided then. Come," she said grabbing hold of Astrid's hem to pull her along. "I'll tell help you survive in the city, but you must tell me your secrets; how do you just survive out there without anything with you. Come I show you my secret base. You can stay there."

Offline PennySludt

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Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #77 on: February 14, 2015, 11:52:45 AM »
Astrid was even more confounded when Kate grabbed her wrist and shook her hand. What in the world did that do? "Hello...with hands? Is it not allowed to say hello out loud...?" She suddenly glanced around warily, as if she expected to be pounced upon for saying it.

She turned her attention back to Kate when she began to explain about herself, leaning forward to hear the child's whispers. "Can you not just get what you need by asking?" It seemed so very strange that she would need to run away with things she needed in order to have them. Did people not share their things with each other?

When the child grabbed her dress and began pulling her along behind her she gasped in surprise and stumbled for a moment before she found her feet again and trailed after the girl listening to her excited babble. When she told Astrid she could stay at her secret base she smiled down at the young girl and hurried to walk beside her instead of being pulled along like a pet. As they walked Astrid began to ask more questions of her self appointed guardian.

"How old are you, Kate? Are you parents thieves too? What kinds of things do you steal? Do you do that every day? How long have you been doing that?"

Online SainTopic starter

Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #78 on: February 14, 2015, 02:37:49 PM »
Kate had just laughed at Astrid's confusion of the greeting and shaken her head at the question of thievery. She began leading Astrid through the town, keeping one hand on the hem of her dress and eyes up front at whatever destination they were heading to. She spoke while they walked and answered all her questions excitedly. "You need money. Those round things I showed you. Without them you people won't give you stuff, that's just stupid. If they would then imagine some really big wood cutter man. Imagine how much food he would ask if he could just get all that he asks for. There wouldn't be enough for the rest of us and he would just bloat like those nobles in big cities. Bigger cities I mean, this one is a city too."

Their route went away from the main street as soon as they had passed the small opening square with some marketplace stands. It went straight to a side alley, an ascending cobblestone slope with two tall buildings. Some strings or ropes were hanging high up between the windows of that alley and clothes were hanging from them like small flags. Some tiles on the ground below them had small wet spots on them. Kate made a sharp turn as soon as they had climbed up the hill between those two buildings, she went left through a gate. They trespassed past a small garden with a pond and tiny flower arrangements in the shade of a tall building and popped out on the other side onto the roof of a building. They could see the first few lower tiers of buildings circling the hill from up there and only a shabby wooden railing was between them and a drop of over a dozen feet.

"I'm ten," she claimed as they walked across the opening. There could not have been a lie more obvious. "My parents aren't thieves. Papa is away and mom is helping Grumbles with his bakery. They both work really hard. I steal many things. Mostly stuff that people leave laying around. Like sometimes Grumples leaves cookies and some other shopkeepers also leave small trinkets. Last month I stole a coin, it's my biggest catch yet. I don't steal every day, just when I'm really bored," she spoke as they continued along. The wind picked up as they were now on open ground, a backyard of sorts though it was just cobblestone. Kate brought his free hand to swipe some of her hair to the side, but didn't stop for the view of the city or the wide farm fields around it. She led Astrid right back into another smaller alley.

She had a small pause to think of the last question, but found some sort of answer in the end. "Two years now. So I'm a real professional. What about you, have you traveled all your life? Wait, you didn't even say your name yet. No, you don't need to say if it's a secret." The paths they took narrowed and the bits between alleys became more and more obscure ranging from tiny stone bridges that connected buildings to simply wooden planks. No other people crossed their path though sometimes people would look from their windows and wave and smile. There were a few cats that Kate had to shoo away. They mostly blocked the path in spots where sun had warmed up the roof tiles.

The climb across the town hill ended up on a small perch of sorts. It was the roof of some kind of smithery or forge building, faint clanking could be heard through the thick roof and smoke rose from the numerous black chimneys on the roof. There roof of the house continued over the edge of the walls and covered this little platform, which wasn't actually part of it as well making it kind of like a small hut, the ceiling was low enough that even the kid had to bend her back slightly to enter. She crawled in first and went to sit on a pile of clothes at the back then signed for Astrid to follow. "Come, come. It's not much, but... no it kinda is pretty awesome. Hehe! What do you think, it's the best spot in the whole town."

Offline PennySludt

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Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #79 on: February 14, 2015, 04:08:27 PM »
Astrid was desperately trying to look at all the things they were passing by as she was dragged through this wondrous place and listen to Kate at the same time. Everything was so new and strange and...exciting! She thought about Kate's reasoning that someone like the wood cutter would take everything.

"But, wouldn't people just take what they need and share the rest...?" That was the way it worked at home. She didn't understand why things were so different here.

She would gladly have taken twice as long as Kate was rushing them through the town, wanting to see everything. The buildings, the clothing, the wares, everything was different it seemed. When Kate said she was ten Astrid looked down at her suspiciously. She was certainly small for being ten! Perhaps people here were smaller? No, the wood cutter certainly hadn't been small. But why would Kate tell her something that wasn't true?

"Where is your father? When will he be back? What do you do when you're not stealing?"

Astrid paused when they came out up high on the rooftops, staring in awe at the scene before her, a little scared at the drop in front of her. But she barely had time to register the amazing view before Kate grabbed her away and back through more alleys. When Kate asked her own questions Astrid tried to think how to answer.

"Uh..no, this is the first time I've ever left the village..." She grinned when Kate said she didn't have to say her name if it was a secret. "It's not a secret. My name is Astrid."

She trailed after the girl until she disappeared into a little hideaway. She knelt down on her hands and knees and crawled after her into the little hideout, sitting next to her on the pile of clothes and tucking her knees up in front of her and smiling.

"It's a nice little hideout, Kate. So, what do you do in here?" she asked as she glanced around the little area.

Online SainTopic starter

Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #80 on: February 15, 2015, 03:14:39 PM »
The kid had brought Astrid to her hide place but based on the look that spread on her face after being asked what she did in here she had not planned much further than that. "Uhh... I, sometimes feed cats when they come." For whatever reason she never really answered some of the questions Astrid posed on the way there. Her father she had left as a mystery. Kate just stared at Astrid for some time after they arrived wondering what to say, like she had run out of things to show, but that didn't last too long. Soon enough her face brightened as she remembered why she had been so interested in Astrid in the first place. "So... um, you are a traveler right? Where do you come from? How do you live in the wilds with nothing at all? Where are you going? Tell me." She looked at the older girl with hopeful sparkle in her eyes.

The wilds weren't in truth all that different from this hideout though. Sure enough it was warmer and dried here than in any of the mossy forest holes that Astrid had spent nights in, but even so this hideout was still just a cave. It had a roof and an opening. The real difference was in the furnishing. There were some grey woolen blankets pushed into a wide stack at the back that were likely just like the heavy winter wools back home. There were proper little wooden and clay dishes here, some big urns with water and smaller ones arrayed against the corner containing who knows what. Then there were the heaps of strange items only a kid would gather. Queer looking twigs, shiny stones, bird feathers and pieces of broken tools. It was no different than some of the hideouts Astrid and Calden would have had back in the village when they were younger, except of course that this was built inside a town and not on a treetop in the wilds.

And like the secret huts of back home this too was on perfect spot to overview the village. Even from back of the hut the scenery opened up wide and clear. It was even better than from the opening on the way there. This was nearer the top of the hill. Several tiers of building circled the rising slope of tile topped buildings below. People working the fields were small ants and the view past the fields was even clearer. There, behind some distant hills, to which the main road from the town led, opened a wide hilly landscape dotted with small forests and ponds. The mountains surrounded this place on all sides like a horseshoe and from here, looking to the right, the small opening into deep ancient woods was visible as an eerie shadow between two tall white tipped giants.

Offline PennySludt

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Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #81 on: February 17, 2015, 09:07:17 AM »
Astrid didn't push the girl to answer her questions. It didn't seem like she really wanted to. But then she flipped the questions over to Astrid and began to ask about where she came from and how she got here and wanted to know everything about her.

The older girl smiled. She was growing rather fond of this precocious young thing. She paused for a moment before answering, not exactly sure what to tell her. Finally, she answered, "I suppose I am a traveler, yes. My village is on the other side of the forests. I guess I just...did...." she replied, in answer to Kate's question about surviving in the wilds with nothing. "I found food from the roots and bushes, and water when I could. Though, a lot of the time I wish I'd had a flask or something to carry water in. I got so thirsty very often when I couldn't find fresh water for a day. That was the hardest part...That and the nights..." She shivered at the thought of those wild creatures that had hunted them every night until they met July. "But, we made do", she said, forgetting not to say 'I'. "There was usually some kind of cave or crevice to shelter in, and with a fire at the entrance that kept the bad things out for the night."

She thought about the next question and finally answered truthfully, "I don't know where I'm going..." She really had no idea. They had just been trying to follow the general direction of the God. Where or how far that would take them she didn't know. And what they would do if they ever CAUGHT him was well beyond her as well. She sighed and looked out at the widespread view before them. This was quite a lovely little place to hide out, actually. Peaceful, quiet and beautiful. She wished she could show Calden. She absently put her hand on her shoulder as she thought of him. She'd been doing that a lot since that fateful night when he had panicked. It seemed to help both of them. Just a little touch here and there for reassurance. Almost like they weren't both together, and yet so alone.

Online SainTopic starter

Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #82 on: February 18, 2015, 04:47:45 PM »
He had been there all along, quiet but peaceful under the layer of cloth. There had been stress and fear for sure, especially back in the town square where the girl had accused Astrid of being a monster. For a moment there Calden had been petrified of fear, he imagined the worst when it came to strange villagers discovering him on her shoulder. Would they be like barbarian tribes in the stories or old evil hags that eat others or would they just have cut her arm off in order to try and safe her? The thoughts would have turned his stomach upside down if he still had had one.

It all turned alright in the end and even without participating in the conversation, Calden had felt like he was part of it. They had not often played with the other kids back in the village, she had been teased a little because of her inability to do magic like the others. Hence, just seeing or rather hearing her get along with someone else like that had been a peaceful experience; almost as lulling as the last few nights in that magical forest. He would have liked to give some sort of sign that there was nothing to worry when her hand blackened his vision, though he did not really mind the touch. "I'm alright," he thought to himself, realizing only a few moments later that it had been out loud.

Kate gasped. Up till then she'd been looking at Astrid in a thrilled trance, just absorbing every little nugget of information that the mysterious traveler dared to spare. The 'we' had left a brief puzzlement in form of a raised thick brown eyebrow on her face, but that had soon dissipated as Astrid had went on. Travelers were rare in these parts, and mostly they were older people, men and women who had seen much and carried that experience with them in an aura of unapproachable mystery. Kate saw some of that in Astrid too, she had been sure that the older kid was hiding things and was determined to seek out the truth. She had many theories of Astrid forming. Maybe she was a member of some long lost race, an elf; but she did not have long ears. Maybe she was just disguised? Maybe she was a thief even better than her and simply moved her belongings around under her clothes, that's why she could not be pickpocketed! Or perhaps, just maybe she was a traveling witch?! Not even the wildest of her guesses came close to the strange combination that her guest was in reality.

The noise had not immediately registered as speech to Kate. She blinked and looked at Astrid with her mouth half open in a dumbfounded expression, leaning backwards with hands as a support. Then, as parts of the moment passed and the memory of the noise became more of a blurry whisper, just before that whisper turned into incomprehensible blather, Kate realized that it had been words. "What?" She asked in genuine surprise. Who is alright, she wondered. The surprise was beginning to look a bit like more worried, on its way to turning to that fearful face that Kate had first shown to Astrid when she first doubted her humanity.

Offline PennySludt

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Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #83 on: February 25, 2015, 06:04:25 PM »
Astrid paled in shock when Calden spoke out loud. It would have been fine if Kate hadn't heard, but she obviously had, judging by her reaction right after he said he was fine. She stared at Kate, her mind spinning wildly trying to think what to say or do to explain what had just happened.

"Wh...what are you...I mean...You...you heard...what did you hear....?" She didn't want to give away more than she had to if Kate had heard something else. She needed to get a handle on the situation, to try to recover herself and think clearly.

Part of her was telling her that Kate would be safe to tell about Calden, but what if she was scared enough to out her to someone? What then? Would they simply drive her out of town....or worse...?

Online SainTopic starter

Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #84 on: March 04, 2015, 04:35:46 PM »
Kate's stare of disbelief lasted some moments. Her mouth remained as wide as the eyes that stared right into Astrid. She looked frozen in the moment. The steady clanking of anvil and hammer could be heard from below; sound muffled by layers of roof. Wind howled at the opening, ruffling some hay at the corner of the hideout. The sound went unexplained. Kate could see the same sort of surprise and fear that her face must have shown mirrored on Astrid. Surprise could not last forever in a young kid's mind, it was soon quenched by waves of doubt. It could have been someone outside. One of the workers yelling maybe, or perhaps it was the wind? Maybe it was just her? Astrid sure can make strange voice. Maybe I just imagined it? Kate blinked, seeing that Astrid was still fretting over it she began to feel sorry for startling her.

"Um, never mind. Heh, sorry. I just spaced out for a moment, thought I heard something. Sometimes the workers get really loud, that's maybe the one bad thing about this hideout." Kate spoke trying to hide embarrassment, but her eyes jumping around the room yet never looking straight at Astrid betrayed her lost composure. Furthermore, Kate had picked up the coin again and was fiddling with it nervously. "Heh, your camps are probably much nicer. You sleep right? Uh... sorry no I mean you've went through the mountains right, and you said you came from the forest. Must have been so pretty there."

There was a very quiet, almost inaudible, whisper from below Astrid's right ear. "Sorry about that," said Calden. He was immensely relieved, feeling something on par with when they had for the first time realized her flames could ward off their nightly haunters, even though Kate was of course nothing nearly as threatening. He was glad that it was just a little kid they were dealing with. It would be almost too easy to keep things hidden from Kate.

Offline PennySludt

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Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #85 on: March 05, 2015, 08:02:50 AM »
Astrid smiled kindly with some relief at Kate when the girl changed the subject.

"Yes, I sleep" she said with a grin. "My camps?" She cocked her head slightly in confusion. "You mean, when I stopped for the night? They were mostly crevices and caves in the rock actually. Not very comfortable...but it kept the nasties out." She looked out over the town again as the memory of so many night's spent huddled on cold, damp earth against cold stone came back to her. She turned back again after a moment and nodded with a little smile.

"Yes, it was quite pretty." In truth, she hadn't really paid much attention, especially in the beginning. Most of the time she'd been too scared or searching for food and water to appreciate it's beauty. But towards the end, especially the few nights after their brush with July, she had had the time, confidence, and inclination to look around and take in the prettiness of the place and it's creatures. Well, most of them anyway.

"It was also terrifying, to be honest." She didn't want to make the young girl think that it was all beauty and wonder, and have her go off to explore and never return. "There were things in there that hunted us at night and stalked through the darkness crying out to each other. There were swamps and ledges and brush to push through, and it was hard to find food and water...especially the water..." She didn't want to scare the child though. "But yes, it was pretty at times, too." She smiled.

She didn't realize her slip of 'us' when she was telling Kate about the things in the forest. She had been occupied with her memories and thoughts about their experience to remember to say 'I'. When she heard Calden's whisper she simply said, "Mhhmm..." softly, almost a mumble or a sigh. For some silly reason, she almost wanted to tell Kate about their experience with the God. What had happened to them. About Calden. Perhaps she just wanted someone to share the burden with. The secret and guilt was weighing heavily on her and she felt so very isolated and alone. She appreciated that Calden was with her, at least in spirit and mind, but she still felt like she was carrying the brunt of their endeavor on her own. She was still quite young, and the burden of the last few weeks was becoming very taxing, both emotionally and physically. She wanted comfort, help, sympathy....kindness...But to find that in a child of Kate's age was likely impossible. In fact, to find that from anyone was probably a fanciful wish that was completely impossible. She sighed softly and looked out at the view again.

Online SainTopic starter

Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #86 on: March 06, 2015, 03:37:05 PM »
Calden chose to remain quiet for now, consciously zipping it. He could not bear to cause any trouble here. He could not bear robbing such an opportunity to relax from Astrid. He kept rolling around in the socket, looking at the faint auras that remained visible even through clothing, continuing to practice his vision while the steady conversation lulled him to feel safe.

That sparkle of curiosity which only the little kids could have had returned to Kate's eyes. Her stare was lifted from the surroundings and got firmly fixed on Astrid as she began to describe her life in the wilds. She could never hear enough of these kind of stories. Kate was an adventurous kid too, always searching for the way to get up on highest and best spots in the town, always roaming the area around and exploring forgotten parts of the fields. Never had she went as far as to venture beyond the farmlands however. The flame of curiosity had yet to feed her bravery enough to overcome all the tales that the parents had fed her of the scares and dangers of the world beyond the hills. She had formed her own ideas of what bandits, witches and things of legends might look like, but could never get enough. Even the little details were treasures she would recall for a many long years to come.

"Terrifying? Ooh..." Some little fear was beginning to creep into Kate when her imagination ran wild in trying to picture these nightly stalkers. An image of tall dark things was dispelled by Astrid's smile before it could really assume shape. It had to be really pretty if someone as pretty as her said so, was the line of thought going through the kid's head. "Heh I see! Sounds wonderful, well maybe pretty tough too, but still amazing. You must be pretty clever then if you could deal with those stalker thingies. They sound pretty bad... I probably couldn't get away so easily, but when I'm a bit bigger I'm going to go adventure too. Travel I mean." Kate corrected herself at the end. She knew that most travelers had their reasons and good ones, words like adventure was more fitting for legends and stories. She was a little bit embarrassed over such blurt, for some reason feeling like she had insulted the older kid.

It did not seem like Kate noticed the 'us' again. She was starting to regard that as one of the many weird quirks of Astrid. It was only natural for travelers to be a bit different from the regular towns people. That gave them strange charisma. Kate was so thoroughly smitten by the audience with a real traveler, especially one so young that she had forgotten how to treat quests. That realization could be read on her face in as a sudden shift back towards embarrassment. "Oh, no!" She yelped, bringing both little hands to cover her mouth. They fell back down right away as Kate turned to crawl around the hideout, checking frantically through big clay urns and pots and causing quite some clatter while toppling a few. "Sorry, I didn't offer you anything yet. You must be hungry and I did promise to give you some food. Wait, just wait a bit." Kate could not stop to look towards her quest. She felt the heavy load of responsibility and urgency, recalling the rumbling of Astrid stomach from the street.

There was some bread, dried slices of vegetable that could not quite be identified and bit of jerky on the makeshift plate - urn lid - when Kate had finished looting her own wares. She quickly shoved the offering towards Astrid. "Here you go. I don't have any of that bread though, but I can go get some if you want."

Sun was still rather high, though it had began setting some time ago it would still be long before it descended behind the mountain range in the west. The scene was still bright and colors of the city vibrant. Some chirps of birds that had by the sound of it made nest on the roof of a nearby building mixed together with the clank of anvil from below. All in all the soundscape was barely any different from home village, and by the looks of it the kids (or at least this one) were the same too. Well, maybe not in every aspect. There had not been signs of magic and mystery here yet. It was almost as if this place lived in a reality a step removed from the one that Astrid had been born to.

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Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #87 on: March 09, 2015, 09:27:16 AM »
Astrid watched the young girl's face as she described some of what it had been like, and was thankful she had mentioned how terrifying and dangerous it was also. She could see the sparkle of the adventurous streak in the child and was fairly certain that if she hadn't mentioned any of the bad things, that the next the she knew, Kate would be off and into the forest in search of adventure and excitement. She had barely made it and she knew that, even with her feable magic. Kate would hardly stand a chance and would probably be lucky to last one night.

She smiled when Kate corrected herself from 'adventure' to 'travel'. It was an adventure, really. Albeit one taken grudgingly. But the way Kate had of looking at it made it less of a fate and more like a choice. After all, they didn't HAVE to go trekking across the world after a rogue God in the faintest hope that they would somehow find a way to return Calden to his body...They could accept what had happened and just get on with their lives as best they could as they were. But they were CHOOSING to take the more difficult path. And, in a sense, it was an exciting adventure.

At Kate's sudden outburst of 'Oh, no!', Astrid's eyes widened in shock and she was quite taken aback and worried. "What's wrong!?" she asked in concern as she watched the young thing begin searching through her little camp desperately for something. She was about to ask what she was looking for so she could aid in the search when Kate answered her question. Astrid's face broke into a smile and she shook her head.

"Really, you don't have to worry. I'm not angry. I can hardly expect-" she broke off when Kate thrust a makeshift plate toward her, filled with tidbits of scavenged provisions. When the girl said she would go get some of the other bread if she wanted, Astrid shook her head and smiled at the child.

"No, no. This is fine, thank you, Kate. You're wonderful." She took a bite of the jerky and sighed. It was delicious. She'd been living on whatever she could dig up or pick while she had been in the forest, and the meat was a wonderful treat. She offered the plate to share with her as she took another bite, her mouth watering with the goodness of it.

The rays of the setting sun were beaming into the little hideout, glinting off Kate's mussy brown hair, illuminating the normally invisible threads of gold and red that were interspersed with her plain brown, making it look like her head was glowing in the light. The heat from the blacksmith shop rose and warmed the little space, along with the last rays of the sun, and it was the most comfortable Astrid had been in weeks. She could feel her eyes growing heavy with exhaustion as she relaxed. While she certainly hadn't eaten enough to fill her empty belly, it was at least not biting at her anymore, and she was utterly worn out enough that it wasn't enough of a bother to keep her from sleep. She cocked her head at Kate, her eyes threatening to close of their own accord at any moment.

"Kate...? Would you mind....Could I....May I sleep here tonight....?" she asked tentatively. If the child said no, Astrid would need to leave immediately to find some other shelter before she was too tired to move.

Online SainTopic starter

Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #88 on: March 10, 2015, 03:41:04 PM »
Kate was very happy when it was apparent her gift was well received. Wide smile spread on the little face accompanied by a giggle. "Hehehe." She began eating something herself as well, from the quantity of urns and such it seemed like the kid had really stored quite a mass of food there in form of dried snacks and such. She just sat there quietly like she did most of the time, though now instead of peering down at the village her eyes would every now and then steal a glance of the older girl.

It was quiet for a moment aside from the crunching and munching that overwhelmed all fainter sounds from below. Kate was a bit surprised even when Astrid broke it with a question. "Uh no, no. You can sleep here of course. Didn't I already promise you could?" She was sounding lively again, though not as pushy as back in the city. It was probably in part her sponging off of Astrid's seemingly calm demeanor and part just dropping some of the act due to familiarity she had already grown to feel in her presence. Kate noticed right away the drowsiness which was creeping upon Astrid.

"You can take all the blankets, they should be warm enough. I've even slept here during winter once and now it's still almost summer." She pointed at the big pile in the back of the hideout. There was enough to use as covers and as some sort of cloth mattress. Kate got on her feet, though she stayed crouched in a little ball she still retained nimble moves, able to make it all the way to the entrance with a few hops. "I've got to go sleep home though. I already slept here yesterday so Mom might get worried. You can't sneak away during night though! You need to promise that you stay at least until I get here in the morning, okay?" Worried, she glared at Astrid with a small frown.

Kate was on her way. She didn't want to pester Astrid if she felt sleepy and as soon as she got to bid her good night and protection of some strange God with an unfamiliar name, Kate quickly slipped out into the twilight lit city. Breeze was already beginning to feel colder. Not enough to raise goosebumps, but lacking that wholesome warmth that a midsummer wind carried. None of it reached the slightly staler air inside the shelter. Only a faint howl against the doorway and the waves washing over fields below reminded of its presence.

Night fell around Hill Town very differently from how it came in the forest. The disappearance of sun behind the tallest mountain in the west was very sudden, almost unexpected even if everyone could see it coming by just looking at the sky. Still the shreds of clouds spread across the horizon held some more vibrant shades of evening for long moments and orange light shone from behind the silhouette of the range. Sky above was still bright as if light had forgotten it was supposed to leave. Nevertheless, the valley was already wrapped in a deep blue shadow of night. The little lanterns and torches that the villagers set up cast only a small sphere of light near themselves. They did not obscure the stars. Their cold light shone in an unorganized sea of twinkles with borders that tricked the observer to paint their halos in blue, green or red. The sounds of village died gradually and silence even deeper than that of the wilderness fell upon it. No clank of anvil, no stray cricket or bird and no strange chitter or chirp of those phantom creatures.

In the morning Kate was already waiting in the opening, before sun crept to light up the valley again. She peered from the entrance and watched, fiddling nervously, but staying quiet.

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Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #89 on: March 12, 2015, 08:39:58 AM »
Smiling when Kate made her promise not to run off in the night, Astrid nodded.

"I promise. I'll be here." She watched the young girl creep out of the hideout and off into the early evening before she moved to create a little nest for herself out of the pile of blankets. She laid some of them out on the floor as a pad, then used the rest to pull over herself, folding one into a little square for a pillow. When she lay down and her head hit the makeshift pillow she sighed. It was so soft, comfortable, and warm. It seemed forever since she had felt comfort like this. She turned on her side to face the entrance, pulling the blankets up to her neck. As the sky grew darker and the stars began to show more brightly in the sky, Astrid looked out at the dark blanket of night.

It was much brighter here. The stars seemed to twinkle, almost like some of the little glowing creatures that lived in the forest. She hadn't been able to see the stars in the forest. The trees had been too thick to see through, even if she hadn't been cowering in caves by the time night fell, her fire blinding her to any stars that might have peeked through the thick cover of the green canopy. It was beautiful. Almost magical. It made her feel that the Gods were much closer and gave her a sense of comfort and reassurance. After a while of looking out at the peaceful sky, she spoke softly.

"She's a sweet thing, isn't she, Calden...? It was so kind of her to take care of us like this. To be honest, I was quite afraid when we arrived here. Everything is different. Busy, loud, crowded...everyone seemed in such a rush, and like they didn't care for one another very much. I thought maybe we weren't going to be welcome without the money. It seems to be very important here. It was pretty, wasn't it? Oh, sorry...you couldn't see it, could you? It was round, and little, and so shiny. It had markings on it, like some kind of rune perhaps? Maybe that's why it's important...maybe it brings good fortune, or protection or something...? It certainly was interesting. I rather wish she'd let me get a closer look. Perhaps tomorrow..."

Her musings came further apart and more quietly as she began to relax and sleep began to overtake her little body. Gradually, her eyes drifted closed and her ramblings turned to mumbles and eventually became silent. The only sound was her deep, slow breathing. She was warm, comfortable, and if not full certainly not as hungry as she'd been before, and could have been if it weren't for Kate's generosity. She slept soundly, even more so than she'd been since they began carving the runes in the forest and had finally been able to ward away the evil creatures. She was fast asleep when Kate returned early the next morning.

The rays of warm sun streaking through the entrance finally drew Astrid from her sleep and she surfaced slowly, stretching with a groan before she forced her eyes open. She jumped when she spotted the figure standing in the entrance, watching her intently. It took her a moment to recognize the little form of Kate, shadowed as she was by the sun behind her. She sat up with a sleepy smile for the girl.

"Thank you, Kate. This was wonderful. I haven't slept so well in a long time." She gestured for the girl to join her on the little makeshift bed, moving over a little to make room. She looked out the entrance at the rising sun as the sounds of the town began waking up and beginning a new day. The sun streaming into the little room showed the tiny, sparkling specks of dust dancing in the air around them, swirling with the gentle breeze that dipped slightly into the very outer edge of the entrance without intruding on the warmth of the shelter. She drew her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around her legs, turning her head to look at her little friend.

"How was your night, Kate?" she asked kindly.

Online SainTopic starter

Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #90 on: March 14, 2015, 06:48:55 PM »
"Mmmhm..." He mumbled in agreement in a soft and unhurried pace that came almost like he was lying there with her. "It really is strange this place. Sorry about that scare heh, we were kind of lucky that she didn't notice anything. Kind of eerie how different some people live yeah. I don't think the money was magical though, I couldn't see anything on it, but... hmm... could be some weak magic perhaps or a lucky item yes. What's really strange though is I didn't see any witches here. You know how inside you I see a bright dancing array of lights, like it could be anything at any moment but the people on the streets they all had just really small lights and all were kind of monotone. I don't mean like grey or boring, but just simpler. Moreover I tried looking around when you ran in the city, for anything from protective glyphs to small spells, but there wasn't anything at all! It's like this whole town doesn't know magic and not just Kate. Pretty weird huh? Wonder how they revere the Gods if their elders haven't even studied shamanism." Once again the same nightly scene repeated itself where Calden rambled on top of Astrid's ponderings until he noticed a calmness spread in her aura and recognized it as her having fallen into steady slumber.

"Good night..." He whispered after she was already fast asleep. Again he had the night to himself. Silent darkness paced by the rhythms of her body. His thoughts turned inside. Calden was growing more accustomed to their predicament by each passing day and now as they finally had proper refuge from the wilds he needed not even worry whether or not some strange creeper would approach Astrid whilst she slept. He could relax, focus on the strange world that the cursed eye saw and wonder on the meaning behind every subtle hue and shade. Sometime in past midnight he noticed a sensation even further hidden beneath the flood of visual stimuli. A tiny irritating sensation that could not quite be described. A presence echoed in him. It was far behind planes and mountains at first, but slid across the vast distance of imaginary scenery in blink of an eye to stand before him; Calden's reflection stared back at him. Calden winced and grunted quietly as he shed the ugly image of that sinister God. He hid that memory for now, knowing that if he would tell Astrid she would in all likely hood hurry to chase that phantom and leave this rare oasis of peace behind.



"Hey! Good morning," Kate greeted when she noticed Astrid stir to her presence. She immediately climbed into the hideout and sat herself on the blankets next to Astrid with a big smile on her face. "I'm glad you like it. Isn't it just the best hideout ever?" When Astrid shifted to allow her even more room on the bed Kate shuffled to the other side to lean her back against the wall. It was hard stone so she took a smaller bundled up blanket and placed it carefully between it and her head. She had a fresh change of clothes. Tiny leather shoes that barely reached her ankles, slightly bagging pants and little too big woolen shirt. Somebody had folded the sleeves and pant legs to be just right length for her.

She was eager to answer and explained with eager devotion her happenings, "I slept good. Our home is almost as nice as my hideout. Well, the house is a lot bigger, but it's a lot lower on the hill. Mom was pretty happy when I told her all about you. She was a bit worried because you're a traveler, that you might be one of papa's friends, but I told her you weren't." She took a small pause there, hesitation entered her as her gaze averted from Astrid and lower lip was partially sucked inside the frown. "Mom thought that I should have asked you to come over to our house instead. She thought letting you sleep in my hideout was a terrible idea...  Um, sorry if it was bad. I didn't think, but I guess... maybe people should actually sleep in houses and not secret bases, at least guests should."

She brightened up again, expression shifting fast back to joy. "But she gave me some breakfast to bring you! Now we eat! Here!" Kate produced a little twined box and placed it hurriedly on the blanket between them. She twisted open a little wooden lock mechanism in it and revealed strange looking bakeries. Many near identical little twirls of bread with perfectly golden crust. Between their folds was sprinkled into the dough small cubes that could be anything from fruit to meat. Even if the bread was cold the faint scent that emanated from within the basket was still thick enough to rouse appetite. Kate shoved the box towards Astrid a little bit and picked two of the bread up herself. By the speed with which she began eating it was obvious that the meal was her breakfast too. "They are pretty good. Grumbles usually gives mom leftovers like these. If I wasn't going to be a traveler I would go work in bakery instead."

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Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #91 on: March 18, 2015, 02:18:36 PM »
Astrid looked curiously at the girl when she began telling her about her mother, and how she had been worried Astrid might be one of her father's friends. She tucked the question away until Kate had finished telling her all about her night and the morning and apologized for letting her sleep there. She had been about to speak when Kate suddenly brought up breakfast and produced the little box. Astrid watched eagerly as the girl opened it and pushed it toward her. Her tummy rumbled hungrily as she reached in and took one of the buns, biting into it with a grin. After a few bites and some chewing in silence, Astrid finally spoke, now that Kate's mouth was full and she could get a word in edgewise.

"I'm glad you let me sleep here, Kate. Don't worry! It was the best night I've had in a very long time. Thank you." She smiled brightly, hoping the child would believe she was being sincere. She wasn't sure if it would have been such a good night if she'd been in someone else's home.

"Who's Grumbles?" she asked curiously as she took another bite, giving Kate some time to answer. After some more time had passed, and the curiosity had chewed a massive hole in her mind, Astrid asked, "Why would your mother be afraid of me if I were one of your father's friends....?"

Online SainTopic starter

Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #92 on: March 21, 2015, 05:06:33 AM »
Kate's cheeks bulged with the bread stuffing, which indeed somewhat hindered her ability to speak on top of Astrid. Her eyes and attention shifted up from the basket and got fixed on the older girl. At first she tried to speak something in response, but it came out as mumbles so incoherent that even the little girl realized it was best if she wait and chew. Her eyes moisted a bit as she took a painfully large looking swallow of the food to quickly get her mouth empty. "Guuh... no but our house would have been better," she insisted even after Astrid had complimented her stay at the hideout.

This time around, when Kate picked up another bakery she was more careful. Instead of munching the whole piece in before she had time to even gulp down the first bite, Kate took carefully deliberate nibbles.

"Grumbles? Grumbles is the baker of course. He made these things," Kate said knowingly while dangling one of the food pieces back and forth like a pendulum. The bottom of the basket was starting to show as the girls made their way through breakfast. Kate didn't dare to put her hand into the casket when she saw that only few were left. "Well papa travels too so of course she'd be worried. He visits pretty often, but sometimes he sends friends to bring news instead when there has been some problems or trouble and mom always worries when we get those. They never tell me exactly what is wrong, just that it'll be a little while longer till papa comes back. Once though, hehehe..." Kate seemed quite proud of this one as a grin more smug than any she'd worn so far spread across her face. "I sneaked to listen when mom and one of papa's friends were talking. I was hiding, lying hidden on top of a wooden beam on top of the narrow alley so they had no way to know I was there. I heard this friend, he was a really short person with a tail that came from under the cloak, he had pretty weird voice too. He said something about 'e-li-mi-na-toon unsuccessful will have dire con-se-quu-ense'. It sounded pretty cool, but mom was not so happy, so yeah she was pretty glad that you aren't one of his friends." Kate finished with a bright smile.

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Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #93 on: March 23, 2015, 03:02:33 PM »
Astrid smiled and shook her head when Kate said again that their house would have been better. "Honestly, Kate. This was perfect." She listened carefully as Kate began answering her questions, trying not to look or appear too curious when she talked about her father, and especially when she mentioned the strange visitor she'd overheard talking to her mother.

"What does you father travel for? What does he do?" She was intensely interested in finding out about her father. "That friend of his...How was his voice weird? Do you think you'd recognize him if you saw him again? When was that? When was the last time your father was home? How long does he usually stay home? Does he go out after a certain amount of time, or does he get messages to go?"

She paused with a guilty expression, realizing she had been asking far too many questions far too fast. "Sorry, I didn't mean to pry..." she said awkwardly.

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Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #94 on: March 25, 2015, 01:48:36 PM »
Kate gave Astrid a puzzled look as if the older girl was a little daft when she asked what her father does. Travelers travel, was there something else to it? "Hmm... papa is a traveler. I dunno. What do travelers do other than go different places. That is their job," she stated. She smiled a little and shook her head. She could forgive this as just another strange personality quirk of Astrid's. Travelers truly were a unique breed. Kate's eyes wandered to the low hanging ceiling of the hideout as she strained to recall the strange friend. "Hummmm... he... it was like 'pshhh!' and 'zhhhh' and 'hiiii'," Kate hissed with her best lizardy voice imitation, adding in angry yet strangely silly looking expression as an extra.

"I didn't see him that well. Just from behind. I was spying on them from above!" She squinted her brows a bit into a quizzical look that carried over to speech. She felt it bit weird Astrid was suddenly so interested in what her father does. Did they know each other after all? "It was some moons ago. Papa usually comes visit every so often for a few days. I don't know...  I can't spy papa all the time. He moves very slippery."

Kate assumed an understanding smile and nodded when apologized to. Astrid was just a curious girl, she thought to herself, accepting her queries. "No worries! I already told you a big secret when I said I'm a thief so it's alright. Everything else is small compared to it." She noticed that the breakfast box was empty and reached to pull it off the bed and stove it in the corner with all those other little food containers. Kate fell into her own thoughts for a moment. Her fidgeting and gaze wandering out of the hideout towards the valley basking in the morning made her intentions obvious before they worded. Kate had made some mistakes that her mother had scolded her by letting Astrid sleep in the hideout so she wanted to be a bit more cautious this time instead of simply grabbing her hand and pulling her all over the city. She asked in a subdued tone, "Do you want to to see some more city then? I can give you a tour if you want to."

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Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #95 on: March 30, 2015, 11:18:13 AM »
When Kate looked puzzled when she asked what her father did, Astrid smiled, "Well, usually there's a REASON to travel. Either they have business somewhere else, or they're looking for something, or they're trying to get away from something. People don't usually just wander around for the sake of wandering around. At least, I don't think they do." She cocked her head when Kate explained how the stranger sounded. She had never heard anything like how she was talking, but then again, Astrid really had no idea about life beyond the village until the little glimpses she was having now on her own journey, so who was she to talk?

She grinned when Kate said she had already told Astrid her 'big secret' of being a thief, so everything else was minimal. Kate really was quite cute. She was about to ask the girl if there was something wrong when Kate sat fidgeting on the makeshift bed, but the child spoke first, asking if she wanted to see more of the city. Astrid grinned and nodded.

"I would LOVE to! And I'm sure you can give me the best tour!"

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Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #96 on: April 02, 2015, 04:46:19 PM »
Astrid was led then around every place that the child saw as worth showing. She did not pull the traveler girl forcefully along like she had last night, but simply always jogged a little bit ahead when they moved, eager to get to the next spot and the next! The city was at a closer look quite cozy looking in certain ways even if the forest was far away and houses so clumped together. Those narrow alleyways and routes through hidden back gardens were sort of like passageways through thick woods or shortcuts past bushes.

Most remarkably there were a lot of shops in the higher hills of the city. A whole little street packed with a dozen or more small houses each filled to brim with different kinds of merchandise be it clothes, food or some some strange trinkets. Kate explained that money was for those, that the people of that village gave coins to people who sold things in return for their goods. She could not quite explain why they did it, apparently it was something that was pretty much a given. "Even papa says that everywhere else you use coins too, though they might look different than the ones we have," Kate had added on that subject. To those coins was indeed related this town's main livelihood. On the very top of the hill was the inaccessible chief's mansion that the two could only peer from afar, but around it were numerous smithies, all puffing out black smoke into the sky. Many of the village men worked in those, tending to the big furnaces and large vats filled with strange orange hot liquid. Kate said that it was silver. They spied from one of the windows set high up close to the ceiling how the men below funneled that molten metal from container to container with grooves embed on stone. Kate could not help in explaining what was actually happening as she had very little knowledge of the intricate processes involved, but nonetheless she liked to watch. Even from afar the hot glow of silver felt warm on the skin. They had to take small pauses though as the brightness at times left black spots in the vision like when one has stared at the sun for too long. Eventually that liquid ended up in a variety of different molds. There was one whole room filled with stone tables that had little empty slots for coins carved on them, though the men weren't using that one today. It was all very different from how the elder who did blacksmithing back home handled things; the scale in comparison was here ten or hundred fold!

Astrid was also explained in length by Kate that most of that silver came from underneath the hill. There was one big mine. Some were also working down there, but it was a lot more dangerous so the kids weren't really allowed anywhere close and even Kate did not know of shortcuts to get there unnoticed. The entrance was right there in middle of the furnaces, a big tunnel opening into the side of the hill into a cave. Inside there was allegedly some sort of wooden elevator that helped raise the diggers and haul back up, but it could not be seen. It was not a very interesting sight to stare at for long though as only occasionally people would just come out with a big cart filled with rocks and then go back in with an empty one.

People were certainly a lot busier than back in hometown, but all in all they did seem pretty much the same. Some that worked in the same jobs had friendly quarrels, kids even smaller than Kate ran where they pleased on the streets. Maybe life in this kind of village wasn't so bad either. Everyone seemed to give the two girls smiles and sometimes waved when they passed. It could not be said though if the villagers were always this friendly, it was pretty obvious that everyone seemed quite fond of Kate which was not all that strange all things considered.

There were still many things to visit. Kate seemed to never run dry of ideas. Whether it was some fat black cat at certain old lady's backyard who was had just recently had had many kittens or some old man on the opposite side of the hill who would, on request, play songs on his his harmonica, Kate had just countless of things to show. However, midday caught them as did hunger. There was of course always some dried food at the hideout, but Kate herself yearned for some real food too. She also had a good idea where to get some. Having pulled Astrid to some dark alley  which supposedly hid them from curious eyes, Kate whispered, "I'll show you my awesome thieving skills now. Back at the smithy they have this big lunch cauldron. The men there eat a lot as you can see from their tummies, but the cook always makes too much. If we go up there and wait for good moment, I may be able to sneak a cup or two."

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Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #97 on: April 03, 2015, 05:24:14 PM »
Astrid felt like she was being swept up in a whirlwind as Kate led her around the town, showing her seemingly every inch of the place and everyone in it. It was quite thrilling actually, and rather exciting in a more peaceful way than the sort of excitement they'd experienced up til now. Kate seemed to know every nook and cranny of the place and gave Astrid a glimpse into every window and door it seemed. Astrid was fascinated by the hustle and bustle of the people here but she was also relieved to see that they seemed reasonably friendly, at least as far as Kate was concerned. It might not have been the same if she was without her tour guide, but Astrid didn't think that was a problem, or even at all likely that Kate would leave her alone for very long at all.

Once again, the coins caught Astrid's curiosity and she was happy to watch the transactions going on everywhere. She turned to Kate at one point to ask if she could see her coin more closely but the girl had already grabbed her hand to whisk her off to the next stop on the tour. The idea of men working under the ground seemed quite strange and she had begun to wonder if Kate was making that up when a man came up on the contraption she called an elevator with a cart full of rocks. Astrid couldn't fathom why men would spend their entire day digging holes under ground to collect rocks! Couldn't they gather rocks above ground? Why gather rocks in the first place? These people certainly were strange...

Her mind was spinning with questions by noon when Kate finally seemed to grind to a halt and pulled Astrid between two tall buildings and whispered to her about the food at the smithy. Astrid cocked her head in confusion when Kate said they could sneak a cup or two.

"Why do we have to sneak it? Couldn't we just ask them for some?" She still didn't quite get the concept of the coins and their value, or the fact that the people wouldn't just give them anything extra they had to spare.

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Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #98 on: April 07, 2015, 08:37:41 AM »
"Hehe!" The corners of Kate's lips widened into a toothy grin as she snickered at her own brilliance. "You see, this is what being thief is all about! You have to do it secretly or otherwise they would know. You will learn! Come, you just need to watch." Kate's mood had went from good to the very edge at which it seemed like the little girl might burst to giggle at any moment, yet somehow she still persisted with only occasional chuckle. It was obvious how much she enjoyed this act of thievery.

They took a rather inconspicuous approach while returning to the forges, avoiding the main streets and taking those same back alley and rooftop routes to which Astrid had been introduced to on her first day in the village. The roof tiles had been warmed up by midday sun even as the air remained chilled by the wind. They radiated a little bit of heat, though it would have not been enough for to be of any notice had the girls climbed up the other side of the hill, the one catching those winds rolling over from the open horizon.

Near the destination Kate took a jumpy step back and placed a hand on Astrid's shoulder to pull her down to crouch with her. They were at the edge of the roof and down below, some few meters off the building's little cliff was a shadowy opening. Kate's thick brown brows furrowed into what was probably supposed to be an expression of serious intent. The wicked grin remained however. She hissed, "Shh, quiet now. It seems like we are in luck!" Her gaze turned back to the opening. A wooden door opened on a side of one building. Out backpedaled a thin tall man whose face looked just as rugged and unkempt as his food stained shirt. He did not seem to mind though as he was throwing some sort of jest back indoors to his friend that came soon after. The friend was a rather big woman in more than one sense of the word. From the looks of it she was somewhat entertained by whatever he had been saying. Between them the two carried a huge and heavy looking cauldron. Their steps were more waddles than real strides, so heavy was the pot.

The pair moved with labored motions, aiming towards the center of the little opening. They relieved themselves of the heavy load and lowered the pot to wait outside. Up on the rooftops the kids could hear that the cooks thought the hardest work was done. They only needed to fetch some dishes and tell the men to come pick it up. "This is it!" Kate squealed in hushed tone. "I thought we could get some soup once its cold, but now we get the best parts."

For all her enthusiasm, Kate seemed to possess a strange patience when it came to this hobby of hers. She awaited patiently for the cooks to carry some large loads of bowls and spoons outside, then waited for them to close the door before setting to motion. Kate hopped off the roof, her little cloaket fluttered to the sudden motion as she began falling. Her little hands wrapped around an outwardly pushing corner of the building's wall to stop her descend. She let go a few times to hop down in a controlled manner and landed softly; up to the roof her landing sounded only like a distant and quiet thump. Kate proceeded with haste, quickly scuttling over to the pot. She took a hold of the lid and pulled. Clank. It did not come off. She tried again; another clank. Kate walked to the other side and a frown appeared on her. She looked up towards Astrid and tried to communicate in some hand motions that really made no sense whatsoever.

Offline PennySludt

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Re: Bound by curse (Sain and PennySludt)
« Reply #99 on: April 12, 2015, 12:52:47 PM »
Astrid shook her head at Kate when she tried to explain why they had to sneak around, but she followed the young girl through the alleys and backways of the town, finally returning to the smithy. The tiles were pleasantly warm on her hands as she climbed the roof to look down on their target. She could imagine they would get quite hot during the summer months when the sun shone down on them all day, but today they were nice against her skin.

She almost fell when Kate suddenly leapt back and pulled her down by her shoulder, and she gasped softly as she crouched next to the girl, peeking over the top of the roof to the doorway below, wondering what that was all about it. When the door opened she understood, and she watched the two people staggering outside with the biggest pot she had ever seen in her life! Her jaw dropped slightly as she looked down on it, watching the steam rising and glinting in the sun. She turned to look at Kate when she squeaked that now was the moment. She frowned slightly, not really sure they should be doing this. It was one thing to take the leftovers after everyone had already had their fill, but to take from the pot before everyone had their servings...that just seemed wrong...

She was about to bring this up to Kate when she suddenly jumped down off the roof. Astrid gasped, leaning forward slightly to watch her land effortlessly, as nimble as a cat! Astrid was rather impressed actually. She watched as the girl dashed to the pot and grabbed the lid. It looked like she pulled, but the lid didn't budge. Another pull and it stayed where it was. When Kate looked up at her and began gesturing wildly, Astrid frowned in confusion and shrugged her shoulders, her hands palms up in a gesture of not understanding. She peered down the way Kate had gone, looked back to the girl, and shook her head. She was fairly certain that if she tried to go down that way she would break something, either on the building or herself!

"What should I do, Calden? She's down there alone, and I THINK she wants me to come help her. I don't think she can get the lid off...I don't know what to do. This doesn't feel right...." She gestured for Kate to return, hoping the girl would come back up and talk to her, but from the look of it, it didn't seem likely.