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Enter the Silk Fox
(2) Yeled: There are seven good ways in and out of the school that don't involve the main gate. At least, seven that are known by Dawn Star, Tetsuko, and Kaimi, which means there are probably only seven. This particular night they were using the one behind the shrine. The key is to wedge yourself between the shrine and the outer wall and climb until you've reach the top. Then its a simple matter to drop down to the other side and no one will be the wiser to the fact that you've managed to sneak out again. Kaimi hadn't explained where they were going this night, but she seemed rather excited about it. Unfortunately the whole thing was forgotten when the three of them were halfway up the wall. That was when they saw the blinding flash of light out of the corner of their eyes and heard the scream of pain and surprise that seemed to originate from inside the school grounds, on top of the hill. The light had lit up the night sky for the briefest of moments, and then dimmed to a faint glow
Sook glances at kaimi,then dawn star,then back at kaimi,"not good...we cant go now"
Sook: Tetsuko is huge...7' 8" tall,and a bit over 375 pounds,all taut,bulging muscle stretched tight over his massive bone structure...his skin is a deep,woody tan,thick and rough to the touch, with many variations of pigment in places he gets lots of sun...he has long,shoulder blade length silvery white hair with a slight greenish tint,that grows all over his head and hangs down over the right side of his face most of the time,adding what is in truth an insignifigant covering over his most striking feature,a green jade plate over the right quarter of his head,including his right eye,which is shaped very finely like an eye and socket,with white and black jade filling in the parts of the eye that are those colors...he has a stong,sharp,stoney straight nose,a strong but not terribly prominent brow,and his left eye is slightly sunken but round,with a dark greyish brown iris...he has strong,thin lips and straight,white,well cared for teeth,and a slightly pointed,stiff triangular chin,with high cheekbones..he has a long,thin neck,and he tends toward long features with prominent joints,large knuckles,elbows,knees,etc....he carries himself slightly hunched,though this is more due to the fact that he spends much of his time trying to pull himself down to the level of those around him,and walks with a loping yet disciplined gate.
Sook: Tetsuko is wearing a simple yet functional brown fighting monks robe,with a cowl he rarely has up,and dark green silk pants,a basic brown linen sleeveless tie-button shirt,and a simple green linen sash. He does not usually wear shoes,and is usually carrying a simple,unshaved branch as a walking stick. On his sash are various small leather sacks and bags,that he uses to gather herbs and carry various gardening implements...these can be removed with ease by removing the sash...he removes the robe when he spars.
(2) Dawn Star: "What was that?!" asks Dawn Star, her mournful voice full of concern.
Sook lets himself relax and drop to the ground,with a surprising lack of noise...though not surprising to those who know him
Dawn Star looks to Kaimi to see what she will do
Sook moves silently to the edge of the shrine,and looks up at the hill,while he waits for dawn star and kaimi
Kaimi hesitates, looks dissapointedly at the top of the wall then drops down lightly byside Sook
(2) Dawn Star: A faint golden glow is lighting up a grove of trees near the summit.
(2) Dawn Star: "I wonder if anyone else heard. Maybe we should go back; warn Master Li."
Sook gasps when he sees this,and in a rare moment,forgets to wait for the other two...he darts out and begins to jog in his loping gait to the top of the hill...his face carries a worried,stricken look
Kaimi: “Hey wait!”
Kaimi hurries after
Sook: "hurry...if its a fire..."
Kaimi: “It's probably some exalted student making mistakes.”
Sook loves that grove like it was his child
Dawn Star 's face goes even more pale than normal -- if that's possible-- as she watches the other two advance up the path.
Kaimi: “but hey lets check it out”
Sook keeps his eyes on the grove,trying to see if the worst is true,if it is on fire....his face looks more stricken with each moment he isnt sure of the groves fate
Dawn Star reluctantly hurries after.
Kaimi strides foward
(2) Dawn Star: The clearing in question is one of particular interest and intrigue, for it hides one of the school's most mysterious places.
Sook runs at a full jog up the hill,clearing much distance with each large step
Sook: ((can i tell what the glow is,or more importantly,can i tell if its fire?))
(2) Dawn Star: Sook knows exactly what it holds, and Kaimi and Dawn Star realize it pretty quickly as well...
(2) Dawn Star: ((its not fire...it doesn't flicker. its more constant, golden))
Sook relaxes a bit...evidently he is assured it isnt fire...he also slows a bit,to let the girls catch up
(2) Dawn Star: ((roll dex + awareness as you reach the grove))
Kaimi emerald eyes widen and she hurries foward with little caution to investigate
(2) Dawn Star: ((sorry, perception + awareness)) Sook: [6d10] => [8,10,8,6,3,7] = (42) (2) Dawn Star: [7d10.vs(7)] -> [4,4,4,3,9,3,8] = (2) Kaimi: [5d10.vs(7)] => [8,5,8,5,4] = (2)
(2) Dawn Star: The first thing you realize as you enter the clearing is that the glow is much brighter than you realized, and your eyes take a moment to adjust to a light that is not unlike the dawn.
Sook puts up his left hand to shield his face as he approaches, slowing to a slow walk as it gets brighter
(2) Dawn Star: It originates across the grove from where you currently stand, in what has always been one of the schools most interesting and mysterious places. The round door stands out in stark contrast to the serene setting of the school and the otherwise simple architecture that dominates the grounds. First and foremost, it’s made of solid Orinchulum, intricately carved in exquisite detail depicting the terrible Tyrant King of the Jade Isle at its center and his beautiful but wicked queen offset to his right. Around the perimeter of the door are markings and writing in Old Tongue that, to anyone with knowledge of the sorcerous arts, are clearly arranged so as to form a seal of some kind. No one is sure if the seal keeps outsiders out or insiders in, as the seal has never been broken and the door never been open as long as anyone can remember. And Kaimi, Sook, and Dawn star have certainly tried to do so.
Kaimi peers forward in excitement, her long black hair fall in her eyes and she impatiently flicks it out
(2) Dawn Star: In front of the glowing door is a feminine silhouette, backlit by the bright light coming from the door.
Sook approaches with care and worry, two things that rule much of his life
Kaimi: ((wait is the door open then?))
(2) Dawn Star: The figure is pacing nervously in front of the door.
(2) Dawn Star: ((no, its shut))
Kaimi: ((So the light is coming from around its edges))
Sook stops a good 15 paces from the figure (probably 20 paces for most folks),and lowers his hand, and stares
Kaimi stops beside Sook and grins at him
(2) Dawn Star: As you draw closer, you can see that it is not the door that is glowing. Its merely reflecting perfectly the light emanating from something in its center. As the figure paces out of your way for a moment, you see that its a sun-like disk in the door's center that certainly wasn't there yesterday
Kaimi: "Well this is new"
(2) Dawn Star: The figure whips about at the sound of your voice, crouching low in a defensive stance, almost like a startled animal
Sook has an almost-frown on his face, mouth ever so slightly agape, and remains silent, staring
Kaimi: "And Interesting"
Kaimi looks around for Dawn Star
(2) Dawn Star: She is wearing all black, her clothes apparently intended to give her camouflage in the night. She also wears a veil that covers her nose and mouth, obscuring everything but a pair of beautiful almond shaped eyes.
Dawn Star is right behind you, a few steps back.
Sook speaks with a voice that is not as deep as one would expect it to be, one that is very soft, lacking any nasal quality, and slightly gritty...he speaks slowly, emphasizing each word, and pauses often..."what are you doing in my grove?"
(2) Dawn Star: The figure looks at you, and her eyes dart about the grove, either looking for more of you or a possible escape route. She takes a step back but does not move further."
Kaimi: " Hey, I'm impressed. We've been at that door for years and it hasn't so much as creeked. You got it to glow!"
(2) Mysterious Stranger: "Just stay where you are. Do not interfere!" she commands in a strong voice.
Sook ignores kaimi for the moment, his full focus on the odd figure
Kaimi cocks her head curiously
Kaimi: "And what is it that we might be interfering with?"
Kaimi: "After all this is our home."
(2) Mysterious Stranger: All of you. Stay away!" She is a slight figure, about Kaimi's build, and yet her voice carries a certain authoritative quality. "This doesn't concern you."
Sook looks around at the trees, then at her, "uhm...yes...this does...concern me...i tend this grove"
Sook: "you arent going to,uhm,hurt my trees,are you?"
(2) Mysterious Stranger: "I care nothing for the grove!" she spits. "It is this door, and what lies beyond."
Kaimi: "Sook! Forget the trees! Look at the door!"
Sook: "doors that cannot be opened may as well lead to nowhere,for what use we get of them"
The Strange Woman turns quickly and reaches for the sun disk in the center of the door, then wrenches back in pain and lets out a cry of pain and anguish.
Kaimi: " Doors that don't open sometimes glow apparently. What is she doing?!"
(2) The Strange Woman: "Curse this door!"
Sook looks at the woman,"you may not care,for my grove......",he winces at her pain
Sook: "just dont hurt it...are you ok?"
The Strange Woman holds her hand as if it has been burned, although you see no marks in the light of the door.
Sook: "i can bandage that for you....dont want it to get infected"
Kaimi: "Maybe she really shouldn't be here"
Sook doesnt,however,move closer to her
Kaimi: "Even if She got the door to glow."
Sook: "yeah....prolly shouldnt"
(2) The Strange Woman: An alarm--the loud beating of a wooden drum--sounds below. Apparently someone else is aware of the intruder.
Sook: "hey...what did you do...to make it...glow?"
Kaimi: (( what is the background behind this door again? We don't know right? But the sun king and moon queen were bad news right?))
Sook seems to be looking past the woman for the first time, and, eventually, in his way, noticing the door
Sook: ((thats the story...and really all its ever seemed to be was stories, myths, fairy tales))
(2) The Strange Woman: The woman's eyes go wide at the sound of the drum, and in a panic she flings herself at the sun disk, using both her hands to try to pry it loose from the door. Her body contorts in pain and she screams again before falling to her knees.
Sook: "hey,uhm...maybe you shouldnt...you know...do that"
Kaimi starts foward in alarm
Sook puts a firm hand on Kaimi’s shoulder when she gets to arms reach limit, preventing her from moving closer
Kaimi: "Sook! Let go!" Sook: "wait...."
(2) The Strange Woman: The door, as I said, is made of solid Orinchulum (a golden metal with magical properties) and is engraved with images of the Sun Tyrant and his Queen. The Sun Tyrant, as every child of the Jade Isle knows, was a cruel monster that ruled the Jade Isle ages ago, enslaving its people and creating a vast kingdom on the sweat of their backs...evidence of his reign can be seen all over the Isle in the form of the ruins. However, this door, unlike the ruins, is in perfect condition.
Sook steps foreward,until he is in front,then lets go
Sook: "i think something...is about to...you know...happen"
(2) Dawn Star: "What do you think is going to happen?"
Kaimi: " And although I would love to know whats in there who is she to open it?"
Kaimi: " We don't know her!"
Sook shrugs slowly,"i dunno....but with the alarm going off,and this woman torturing herself on this door that we have grown up with,yet until now,has never glowed.....i think something is going to,you know...happen"
The Strange Woman 's body is shaking from what must have been intense pain.
Sook turns to the woman
Sook: "and at the moment...she doesnt look too...you know...dangerous"
(2) The Strange Woman: Nothing seems to be happening, although you can hear a commotion from below where the main school compound is located.
Kaimi: " I don't care if she looks dangerous, I care if she is.
Sook looks down there,but probably cant see much from here,then turns back to the woman
Sook: "hey...are you...dangerous?"
Sook looks across to her face,looking like he is peeking over a fence or something
Kaimi ducks under Sooks hand and takes a few quick steps out of his reach.
Kaimi: ((foward out of his reach))
Sook could have caught her,if only his mind were quicker...as it is,she is fast enough to get away before he knows to react...which irks him,and causes him to jerk forward,if only,at this point,to keep up with the girl
The Strange Woman looks up at Sook and scowls from under her veil. "Get away from me, lummox!" she snarls. She looks like she might lash out at him.
Kaimi: " Echo I think our three masters aught to at least know about this."
(2) The Strange Woman: there is now sounds of people coming up the path from below
(2) The Strange Woman: hurried voices and many footsteps
Kaimi: "And lady you have about three seconds to explain yourself before I...
Sook stares at her
The Strange Woman cocks her head, listening, then gazes longingly at the disk.
(2) The Strange Woman: Suddenly she leaps up and begins to run.
Sook looks after her, content to let her leave
(2) The Strange Woman: She moves quickly along the rock wall, scurrying up it without effort
Kaimi sprints after her
Sook moves after them,in his loping jog
(2) Dawn Star: "Kaimi, what are you doing?!!!"
Kaimi follows right along after the women over the wall.
(2) The Strange Woman: The rock wall is about 10 feet...but it’s not hard to climb...it’s a natural feature of the hill.
Kaimi: " Finding out what in the *&^@ she was doing here!
(2) The Strange Woman: The woman is quick, but slows as she reaches the far side of the hill and the outer wall of the school.
Sook takes a casual leap, not having far to go to grab the top of the wall, and pulls his large frame up on top
The Strange Woman quickly glances about for an escape route over the wall, and finding none scurries along it.
Kaimi sprints all out after the woman, reaching out to catch her.
(2) The Strange Woman: ((roll dex + ath)) (2) The Strange Woman: [8d10.vs(7)] -> [2,4,3,3,10,8,10,10] = (4) Kaimi: [9d10] => [2,1,10,5,8,5,1,2,4] = (38)
The Strange Woman navigates the rough terrain of the hillside like a wild animal, so sure footed and nimble is she. All Kaimi can do is keep up, but the woman is putting distance between them.
Kaimi doesn't slow but tries to speed up.
The Strange Woman seems to come to a decision and leaps unto the wall, catching hold of it and digging in like a cat. She starts scurrying up it.
(2) The Strange Woman: ((rolls dex + ath again, Kaimi)) Kaimi: [9d10] => [2,5,4,2,5,3,9,9,9] = (48) (2) The Strange Woman: [8d10.vs(7)] -> [1,2,9,10,10,7,3,3] = (4)
(2) The Strange Woman: She reaches the top of the wall just as Kaimi gets below her. She stares down at the Kaimi from above. "Foolish girl, who do you think you are to persue me?"
Kaimi: " A stead fast fan of yours." Kaimi stares up at woman, unwilling to climb up was for worry of leaving herself open to attacks. She grins and stands at the ready.
Sook jogs up,huffing
The Strange Woman just chuckles derisively. She stands there momentarily, considering the girl. As Sook jogs up, she drops down to the other side.
Sook glares at kaimi a moment,the after the woman
Kaimi cocks her head and smirks, gesturing to the wall "shall we?"
Sook: "i dont...think its a good...you know...idea. she didnt take anything"
Kaimi: "she tried"
Sook shrugs,slowly, "she failed"
Kaimi: "She might try again." Kaimi starts to climb the wall
Sook: "why wont she fail..again?"
(2) Dawn Star: ((roll dex + ath again)) Kaimi: [9d10] => [4,7,9,4,10,9,8,5,3] = (59)
Kaimi: "Who knows? Do you want to find out? I mean I do but you're suppose to be the cautious one here." Kaimi scales the wall easily.
Sook: "i dont think we should...you know..do this", he looks back at the main grounds of the school with trepidation
Sook looks to dawn star...who also looks concerned.
Kaimi: "Come on! We were going out anyway! and how can Master Li blame us now?"
Kaimi: "What we do we do in service to the school"
Dawn Star sighs too
Sook nods to dawn star, and holds his hands out to boost her up
Kaimi peers cuatiously over top of wall
Dawn Star sighs again and then puts her foot in Sooks hands as he lifts her effortlessly onto the wall
Kaimi stands on top of wall looking down
Kaimi: ((if there was nothing to worry her on the other side that is))
Sook hops up, again the wall not being very much above his reach, if even that
Dawn Star climbs up and stands beside Kaimi.
(2) Dawn Star: The other side of the wall is black forest.
Sook leaps down first, just to be sure
Kaimi: " Don't worry. We won't go into the swamp. Unless she does that is."
Sook: "no...if she goes if,we do not follow"
Kaimi doesn't wait for Sook to give the ok and leaps lightly down beside him and immediatly starts off.
Sook keeps on her heels best he can
Kaimi halts when she realizes she doesn't really know which way to go.
(2) Dawn Star: "Where are you going?" asks Dawn Star as she leaps down as well. "You don't know where she went?"
Kaimi: "uh no actually I don't"
(2) Dawn Star: "You dilly dalied talking to us."
Sook scans the area,able to pick up a trail with relative ease unless she took measures to mask it..but not necessarily willing to admit he sees it when he does
Kaimi quirks her eyebrows at Dawnstar
(2) Dawn Star: "Its true."
Kaimi sticks out her tongue
Dawn Star shrugs.
Kaimi: " fine next time I won't wait!"
(2) Dawn Star: ((Roll Perception + Survival, Sook)) Sook: [7d10] => [6,9,2,7,4,10,8] = (46)
(2) Dawn Star: Sook quickly finds her footprints in the soft earth beside the wall, and can follow them into the woods.
Sook: "ok...you dont know where she went...will you give up now?" Sook stares at kaimi
Kaimi: "Huh, what? oh. No." Kaimi shrugs and smiles. "This is too much fun to quit."
Sook looks at her nonplussed
Kaimi: "When was the last time that anything this exciting happened? Really!"
Sook: "ive done my best to forget"
(2) Dawn Star: "So what are you going to do? We don't know where she went?"
Sook tries not looking at the trail as he argues with her
(2) Dawn Star: "We might as well go back and tell Master Li what happened."
Kaimi: "Quick lets get going before anyone finds us out here"
(2) Dawn Star: "Going? Going where?!!!"
Kaimi: "Well we wanted to go out tonight, didn't we?"
Sook: "you wanted to go out, and you refused to let us know where to"
(2) Dawn Star: "So we're on to the original plan?"
Kaimi: "How can we get in trouble for it now? We were defending the school. And still are."
Sook frowns, not looking quite convinced...but he is thinking about it
(2) Dawn Star: "Don't you think we should tell Master Li what happened?"
Kaimi: "Anyone have any idea which way she went?"
(2) Dawn Star: "Don't look at me. Sook's the naturalist."
Kaimi sighs again.
Sook looks to dawn star, then to kaimi, then back to dawn star with an irked look, then guiltily back to kaimi
Sook: "hrm?", he tries to sound distracted
Kaimi: "You do know don't you?!
Kaimi glares forcefully at sook
Kaimi: "C'mon. Out with it! If you know where she went we can at least show Master Li."
(2) Dawn Star: "Yeah, that's true...but if I know you you'll just want to follow her now."
Kaimi: "Normally you would be right but this was a little to close to home for comfort. Master li should know, I guess."
Sook picks out a branch,and breaks off the most leafy,in the way stems,and heads off down the obvious trail the woman left behind,using it as a walking stick...but he doesnt hurry
Kaimi blinks. "And I tried to do the responsible thing and there he goes." Kaimi shakes her head wonderingly, looks at Dawn Star, shrugs, then follows Sook.
(2) Dawn Star: Sook heads down the path with the others in tow, easily following the obvious path. Suddenly he stops in his tracks, and he looks stunned.
Kaimi: "What? What is it?"
Sook takes up the entire path, so when he stops, everyone behind him stops ,too...in fact, he seems to make a smaller path than one would expect a man his size to make...but he is stopped now, and doesn’t appear to be moving anytime soon
Kaimi: "Uh, Sook?"
Sook frowns "uhm...i dont know"
(2) Dawn Star: "What? What is it? Did you lose the trail again?"
Sook turns to the side, so they can see past him....he seems to be pointing at the ground in front of him
Kaimi strains foward to look
Sook: "look...dont you see?" When he sees they do not he sighs.
Kaimi: "Sook what is it?" she asks, exasperated
Sook kneels down, low to the ground, and motions them close
Kaimi sighs impatiently and kneels beside him
Sook draws outlines in the air above the trail...it takes a bit,but you can see there are the slightest impressions in the ground...the shape of a human sized boot
Sook: "this...these are her tracks"
Kaimi: "Ok... so we're going the right way....?"
(2) Dawn Star: "Then why did we stop?"
Sook moves forward,about 1 running step,for a human.....then he traces the air on the ground,this time in a much smaller pattern...you eventually see slight claw imprints,and little pad impressions,in the tiny shape
Sook: "this,is the next step"
Kaimi: "Huh? What? I don't understand?"
Sook: "you really should pay more attention when i try to teach you this stuff...you know"
Sook: "i dont know..."
(2) Dawn Star: "Me neither. I don't mean to be cruel, but maybe that plate needs to be adjusted."
Sook: "this is the last imprint she made..."he points to where eh showed the boot print,"...and this fox trail begins right after....no more boots....no fox prints where the boots were"
Kaimi: "That 2nd print, you're sure it's the next one? Maybe she double back."
(2) Dawn Star: "Did the fox eat her?"
(2) Dawn Star: "I don't get it."
Sook: "though we probably could have guessed....from what she did with the door...that she was a sorcerer"
(2) Dawn Star: "A sorcerer? Oh, Kaimi, I really think we should go back."
Kaimi: "or maybe she climbed a tree, it's what I would do. If I needed to hide that is"
(2) Dawn Star: "Let's go back now and tell Master Li. Please."
Sook: "either she dropped a fox...then flew....or she became a fox....id say the second one....if she is,in fact,a...you know..sorcerer. And we cannot follow a fox...it can go where we cant fit"
Kaimi laughs "Dropped a fox?!"
(2) Dawn Star: "Kaimi!" Dawn star stomps her foot in the mud.
Sook: "i dont think...it was that one"
Kaimi looks at dawnstar
Sook: "master li..would know more"
Kaimi: "Fine Echo! You don't have to get angry. We'll go back"
(2) Dawn Star: "I'm not angry. I'm just...nervous."
Kaimi: "I agreed with you anyways" muttered
Sook nods and begins loping back along the trail, not having to follow the woman’s slight impressions and instead following the trail the four of them have worn. The others follow behind.