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 Post subject: Borders of Valis
 Post Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:26 pm 
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Location: Forest of No Return
After another long day's travel, the caravan reached the foot of the mountains at the main highway out of Flaim and into Valis. Valkyria parted ways with them here, earning heartfelt gratitude from Seri and fond farewells from her new found siblings. The group soon continued northwards, one half-elf short. While Seri intended to just go straight home to the Forest of No Return, she had no idea that now the very focus of the search she had abandoned was now coming straight to her.

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 Post subject: Re: Borders of Valis
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:38 pm 
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The sight of Valis was a welcome one. The desert had not treated Orion or his white clothing well. Tired from being on edge and fighting bandits and scorpions on little water and next to no sleep, the knife fighter was on his last legs. For the first time in his memory, he was eager to see his responsibilities disbanded. With Kitsa's hopes of seeking her own family ties, Orion found himself wanting the same thing. But, no matter Seri's words on the matter, they had to see things through with her.

Never before had he found himself wanting a bed and a bath so much in his life. More than anything, he wanted the same for Kitsa. While Orion was willing to handle such conditions, he preferred that she not have to. Of course she was capable and he did not wish to belittle her, but she deserved better.

So he rode on. He rode on the hope that soon he would make her breakfast, surprise her to something beautiful. And less... sandy.

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 Post subject: Re: Borders of Valis
 Post Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:27 am 
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Kitsa still sat upon the top of the carriage. After leaving the desert, she relaxed, and now lounged as best as she could manage on the wood roof. There were possibly bandits to concern themselves with, but the quarter-elf couldn't help but feel as if the dangers of Valis's mountain pass were droll in comparison to those of the desert. But, she was exhausted as well. Sand seemed to permeate every pore of her body, scratch at her skin from inside her clothing, and cover her scalp.

The thing that most concerned her at this point--despite all her dutiful diligence during the desert leg of the journey--was a hot bath, clean clothes, and gallons upon gallons of clean, cold water to drink. As the carriage rumbled beneath her, Kitsa begun to fantasize about the water that had to be coming down off those mountains from the spring snow melts. So cold, so crisp, so clean... The quarter-elf's mouth watered with what little fluid it could spare for saliva.

"Kitsa," Estas's voice called from the flanking side of the carriage. The dusky-skinned quarter-elf leaned toward him to see the high elf. "You may relieve your position," he spoke. "I would imagine you would like to sit some place more comfortable? Perhaps on the bench or riding on Ilavirin?"

Kitsa smiled slightly at the high elf's concern for her comfort. She couldn't ride Seri's horse, but she could at least sit next to Air and Y'ezela on the bench. The quarter-elf crawled carefully to the front of the carriage, then slipped into the seat beside the half-elf bard.

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 Post subject: Re: Borders of Valis
 Post Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:44 am 
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As Kitsa moved into place next to Y'ezela, the half-elf gave her a small, weary smile. Everyone was eager to reach Lolan, the next city. Y'ezela had been there before many times on her mother's route, and she knew the amenities it offered travelers fresh from the desert. The only thing that kept Y'ezela at her post was the promise of the mountain city up ahead.

After another couple hours of long riding, the walls and towers of Lolan came into view. There was a tension on the group as they tried to hold themselves together and push their horses for one last mile before the city.

"I know a good inn we can stay at," Y'ezela called to Estas.

The high elf's horse moved to bring Estas up to the front of the wagon. "Very well then, Y'ezela. Lead the way," he said simply. Though he hid his discomfort well, the half-elf knew that he had to be just as miserable as the rest of them.

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 Post subject: Re: Borders of Valis
 Post Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:35 pm 
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Seri knew nothing of what was occurring outside the wagon, but the high elf was not in a pleasant situation. She was low on water and dehydration made her false labor contractions more painful. All the high elf knew was that they had left the desert and were climbing in altitude. The air was cooler and moister, and the spirits of nature had a more noticeable presence. Without wanting to stop the caravan, Seri soldiered through the pain every time her uterus seized up. She gave a sharp gasp as another test contraction clenched, and she gripped her seat until it passed. If this was painful, just how bad would it be when the baby actually came.

{"Oh Falis, let us be able to rest soon,"} she quietly prayed.

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 Post subject: Re: Borders of Valis
 Post Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:38 pm 
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Sairina looked on at the walls of Lolan longingly. Ever since mounting Aeru again, the Cha Za priestess's rump was aching. Oh, how she longed to get out of the saddle! And to sleep in a soft bed again, to bath, to drink cool, clean water from something other than a hot waterskin! Just a little further... she thought, eager to reach the inn that Y'ezela had mentioned.

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 Post subject: Re: Borders of Valis
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:00 am 
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Luria rode along with the group, staying quiet for the most part for once. The mood was too desperate due to Seri's condition. There were no games or spelling lessons with Phaeton on the road this time around. It was too hot and dry to spend words on anything except what needed to be said.

Being unkempt was not new to her as a poor traveler, in fact she hated taking baths. The ride had been so unbearable however that a bath sounded good even to her at that point.

The sight of the walls of Lolan perked her right up. She began to point and looked at the others. "We're almost there!" she called out, excited.

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 Post subject: Re: Borders of Valis
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:32 am 
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Y'ezela couldn't help but smile at Luria's enthusiasm. Everyone was eager to be passed those gates, and even the horses seemed to show it at as the caravan's pace increased. Soon, they passed through the gates of Lolan and a collective sigh of relief seemed to come over the group--at least until they were faced with the number of options of just where to go in the city.

"Look for the Gilded Throne Inn," Y'ezela called to the group. "It's here on the main street, a large building."

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 Post subject: Re: Borders of Valis
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:27 pm 
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Seri heard Luria's call, even through the walls of the carriage, and soon enough the sound of stone under the wheels was enough to help the high elf relax until another contraction seized her. Wincing, Seri could only pray that they found an inn soon. She laid her hand on her stomach, feeling the tightness of the muscles, until they released. Her child wriggled inside her after the tension subsided, little feet tapping at the top of her stomach.

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 Post subject: Re: Borders of Valis
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:18 am 
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It did not take long. Orion, being at the head, was the first to spot it. "On our right," Orion replied swiftly. Pulling Soiff to the side of the lane, he dismounted, much to her delight and his own. Everyone was eager to get into the shade and anything besides the desert, so Orion had no interest in wasting time. "Shall I go in and get lodgings sorted?"

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 Post subject: Re: Borders of Valis
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:30 pm 
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"Oh, I need go in with you!" Y'ezela called from the bench. After all, the staff would know her and perhaps offer a discount to one of their recurring customers, even if she came in the company of someone other than her mother. However, she couldn't just leave the carriage out in the street. "Orion, just go ahead and come back to the stable with us, I have to get the carriage off the street, then you and I can go in and handle the arrangements while the others take care of the horses," the half-elf explained.

Once the pale elf understood, Y'ezela drove the wagon team on final short distance into the wide stable-yard behind the inn. As it served many merchants and lesser nobility, they had room for several wagons or carriages, as well as a broad stretch of stables for horses. There was already one wagon, which looked like a merchant's wagon, and several horses stabled.

As Y'ezela drove the team into the center of the yard, she frowned, worrying that the inn wouldn't have room to accommodate everyone. Several stable hands appeared to assist them, and Y'ezela hurriedly squeezed by Air to hop off the bench so that she and Orion could make the arrangements. "Come on Orion!" she called to him as she scurried to the rear entrance of the inn.

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 Post subject: Re: Borders of Valis
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:55 pm 
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Y'ezela's eagerness made him wonder whether or not he was actually necessary. After all, if she thought her presence so important to them getting arrangements managed, then what purpose had he? Still, he was not apt to arguing. So Orion didn't bother to beleaguer things. He simply followed.

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 Post subject: Re: Borders of Valis
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:21 pm 
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The bard bounded up the steps, her loose white skirts swinging around her bare olive-toned legs and her sandals slapping on the cement. Entering the inn, she led the way down a tiled hallway. A few doors lined the hall, but their destination was the common room straight ahead.

The hall opened up into high ceilinged dinning room, the tile floor continuing throughout. From the polished bar carved of dark wood to the finely crafted tables and matching chairs, the inn spoke of prosperity and a privileged clientèle. There was a fireplace, carved out of granite and adorned with a modest arrangement of gold vases and a statuette of Cha Za--who obviously had been generous in his blessings to this inn. There was a small party at a table near the door, and a few maids about, but this inn was quiet. The Gilded Throne made it's money not on quantity of customers, obviously.

Y'ezela leaned up against the bar, slipping between a pair of barstools and peered into the kitchen for the innkeeper. A plump, friendly middle-aged fellow shortly emerged from the back of the inn, grinning as he saw the half-elf.

"Well, if it isn't the young miss Bedira!" he called, approaching from the bar across from Y'ezela. "Here with your mom?"

"Err... no, not this time about actually, I'm on my own," she replied.

"Oooh... left the nest I see," the innkeeper replied. "Well, what can I do for you then?"

"I'm traveling with another caravan, and we need lodgings for..." Y'ezela paused to do a head count. Myself, Seri, Estas, Air, Lannie, Orion, Kitsa, Sairina, Luria, Phaeton... Y'ezela thought, counting off all ten fingers. "Ten."

"Hmm... Well, I'm afraid I don't have a lot of room left," the innkeeper mused. "All that's left are three double rooms. Sorry, honey."

Y'ezela sighed and thought it over, then turned back to Orion. "Hmm... Perhaps we should break up our group, or go elsewhere? I know this place has good amenities though--like baths!"

"Hey, Miss Bedira, I'll let the rest of your company eat dinner and enjoy the baths here as compensation, if you like," the innkeeper offered.

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 Post subject: Re: Borders of Valis
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:13 am 
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"Rooms and beds can be shared, if necessary," Orion stated quietly, just to Y'ezela. "Not many inns have the space for our horses and carriage. And Lady Seri will need such amenities at the least." Orion looked back to the innkeeper. "We have a woman heavy with child. Is there a room on this floor available?" He was sure she would desire to avoid stairs at all possible.

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 Post subject: Re: Borders of Valis
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:54 pm 
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The innkeeper eyed the hallway Orion and Y'ezela had passed through thoughtfully. "Well..." he started. "I suppose we can work something out. If anything, I would be willing to give up my own bed for the lady." The innkeeper's attention returned to Orion. "I will make arrangements while you and your company sup. If you intend to double in the available beds, I won't add any extra charge, and I'll see what I can do for your pregnant friend. Just how far along is she?"

"Oh, pretty close to the end, I believe," Y'ezela replied, though she wasn't too sure about that. She'd never really dealt with pregnancy, being an only child.

The innkeeper nodded. Knowing that made it all the more imperative that she were to stay downstairs. He could only hope that his bed--or any other bed--wasn't soiled if she went into labor. "Well, bring your company inside. Would you like me to draw up baths?"

"Yes please! We have six ladies and four men," Y'ezela eagerly replied. "I call dibs on the bath for the girls first!" She said to Orion with a teasing wink.

With the arrangements settled, Y'ezela practically skipped back down the hall, overjoyed at the prospect of the upcoming bath.

The bard stepped back outside while the rest of her company was busy gathering up their belongings and seeing to the stable boys to take care of their horses. Y'ezela hopped down the steps as the mercenaries, her siblings, and high elves moved toward the door. "Alright, there is limited space in the inn, but the innkeeper is offering us all meals and a bath. There are only six beds open, plus whatever the innkeeper can find for Seri on the ground floor. We can all share the three rooms left, or if you want your own bed, you can probably find room at one of the neighboring inns."

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