Episode One: Painted Sparrow

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Episode One: Painted Sparrow

Post by Chavah on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:32 am

Episode One: Painted Sparrow



So this is the low down about the world.


As you can see, it's in ruins or for some reason, it's on fire. I think it is more for dramatic effects, but I'm just the narrator of this plot. Anyways, this rock is in bad shape right now. That's because 200 years ago, there was a big old fire storm between two large kingdoms about whom had the right to mine for some magical element called "Star Rifts." The working theory is that is comes from the blood of the Sky People that fall from the heavens. Where these star people died, the land became blessed with their magical auras since no one could survive a fall from that high.

When mining began, the Oren Kingdom and some Other Place began duking it out. With rockets, tanks, and other things that cause a lot of pain. This was all before my time, so don't go pointing flaws out in my narrative, got it? Anyways, of course, the nameless other place lost this conflict and was burned off the planet forever. In modern times we call it the Rift Wars.

Now I'm gonna jump to 90 years before the present. Other than a few oil embargoes and sea gulls there hasn't been much going on around these parts, save for the final phase of the Rift Wars. In order to end the war, a successor to the Tsar of Oren decided that he needed to proclaim that the throne had been ruled by an illegitimate son and had to be replaced with someone of a proper bloodline.


Upon coming to power, he blew what remained of the Other Place to kingdom come. A few weeks later, peace was made but various smaller villages were formed from the Other Place. The Tsar hoped to wipe all memories of the war from the memories of his peoples, so he created a "democratic" system allowing for survivors to become citizens of Oren. Of course, the only way to become citizens was to fight your way to the top.

I'll explain more about the Star Rifts and the Star People as time goes on. But for right now, that has nothing to do with our story.


We're going to start in a small village on the coast of the J'ino Sea. It's a small hamlet called the Painted Sparrow, were our main character, Jonathan lives. Let's see how his journey is going thus far...


Last edited by Skie Videlin on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Episode One: Painted Sparrow

Post by Chavah on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:33 am

Johnathon decided he no longer wanted the peasant life. His family wanted him to marry a crazy woman named Cara, have kids with her and live off of the profits he'd get off of his farm. Although it was traditional, he wasn't willing to follow through with it... Aside from the fact it sounded downright boring, he had no interest in Cara.

With all of his wanted belongings gathered, he approached his brother, who was out working in the fields. The brother set down his rake when Jon announced that he was leaving and said,

"Johnny boy, you’re an idiot. A flamboyant idiot. If Father were still alive I’m sure he’d smack you!"

Jon didn't care. He bid his brother adieu and put his large brimmed hat on to his head, making the mistake of bypassing Cara's residence along the way. Jon made a sigh and stopped walking, looking over to the complaining woman,

"Dammit John. You seriously cannot be plotting about leaving again. It’s always about you ain’t it? Never about us…Or as a matter of fact, me!"

The young man heaved a sigh and said, "You're welcome to come along..." Of course, she colourfully rejected the offer, as he hoped. With a sarcastic smile and a wave of his hand, Jon walked far away from Cara while she continued to rant and swear. It was such a relief to Jon's ears when he could no longer hear her!

Before walking completely out of the territory, Jon turned around to get one last good look at his home. Instead of shedding a tear or whispering a final goodbye, he raised a fist in the air, his middle finger extending outward. He held that position for a few seconds, and then was on his way.

It felt like hours since he left his home... In fact, he felt lost. 'Shit!' he thought to himself, not taking a moment to stop and think. He only kept going with hopes that there would be a sign.
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Re: Episode One: Painted Sparrow

Post by Chavah on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:33 am

As Jon began looking around at his surroundings, one thing was clear, he was in very rural region of the countryside. For miles around him there was nothing but tall golden grasses. He had wandered out into the prairies of Zine. It was a very calm area, but for a young male with a fevor to start a new a place like this could drive him insane if he weren't careful. However, his path was an easy one. The road went straight in both directions. He had two choices, go forward or go back. Jon had no desire to go back, as his gesture revealed.

Several hours went by. The once glorious blue sky had faded into a drizzly grey. Jon sighed to himself. His large floopy hat kept the rain off for the most part but he was starting to get cold. The black military surplus jacket he was wearing didn't really shield him from anything since it was a heavy cotton material. He felt like the chill in the air was going straight to his bone. Jon then sat down on the ground.

As he did this, he thought his brain was getting the better of him, when he saw a strange little man in a top hat with a large bag over his shoulder skipping his way.


"You kidda. Whys you waaaay out here in dis raine?" The little man said in a squeaky voice when he saw Jon, "Yousa shoulda know dat raine ist badd for yous health."
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Re: Episode One: Painted Sparrow

Post by Chavah on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:34 am

Jon was just about to decide he was miserable until a creature he'd never seen before came up and started talking to him. The way this Mole Man talked was painful! While drenched from the rain and holding his knees to keep warm, he made a confused look towards the creature. Luckily for Jon, the speech was steady enough so he could have some time to interpret what the words are.

"It's none of your business. Leave me a-"

He paused when he noticed a giant sack on the Mole Man's back. This little bastard was short, fat and had really thin arms... Stealing from him would be a piece of cake! He probably had some food in there, or maybe a map of the land. Committing theft sounded a lot better than asking for help. While smirking, he stood himself down, setting his backpack against a tree with his hat on top of it.

"Wassu doooin', boy?" The little guy asked, taking a step back. "I'ma gonna hurtchu!"

Jon made a laugh and lunged for the pack on the Mole Man's back, finding that he couldn't even go as far as to touch it. His eyeballs felt like they were going to bulge out of the sockets as a sharp pain went to his stomach, causing him to fall on to his knees and clutch it with an arm. He grit his teeth and looked into the creature's face with much cross, even growling when he seemed to laugh at him.

"Sucha stupida." Laughed the Mole Man, his humor fading so he could give a serious statement to Jon, "Yous a goin' to da Capidal? I pointchu iin da right direction, even doh you try da steal."
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Re: Episode One: Painted Sparrow

Post by Chavah on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:35 am

Several daysbefore Jon's encounter with the Mole Man:

Selina moved like the wind. A few strands of whitish hair glemmed from beneath the rice hat that she wore on her head. She wore an off white scarf that covered her face. Since she was not native to this particular region, she thought it was best to try and blend in with the Rice Growers as much as possible. The tall grasses and rice patties were her play ground. It was a good means to practice her skills since she had to dodge many water ways, animal traps, and roaming bandits.

It had been more than a year since her clan, the White Wolves, had been on that raid...They had been double crossed by another band of roaming warrior bands. Ever since the collapse of the Other Place, the old army that once patrolled the former kingdom ended up becoming bands of roaming militias or gangs that went around terrorizing the countryside. They had found her lying facedown in a ditch, apparently her back had been broken, as if she had fallen. The girl had no memories of what her life was like before that time. It really didn't bug her that much, after all she was only 11 or 12 when it happened. No parents ever did claim her, so she fought her way to the top of the gang. She led many successful raids in the past, except for one. She lost almost all her men, save for herself. This was a crime and exile was the only option for a former clan leader that was well liked. None of the lower officers had the balls to kill one of their best.

The rain pounded her rice hat with much fury, but Selina loved to force herself to go beyond the norms of humans. She was a very sadistic person after all, she even considered her own body counted more as a tool of pain than a vessel for a soul.

"3.5 hours. Could have done better. This track is less than 15 miles long, I should be able to make it in less than two." Selina thought to herself. Selina was known to be a very skilled individual who relied in speed and agility; in addition to her exceptional physical skills. Thus, Selina was the sort to believe that she could do anything within a short period of time and if she couldn't then she was clearly a failure. Of course, she didn't take into account the fact that she was traveling through heavy rains with a full pack on her back...

Present... Selina had been walking for more than 13 hours straight, her heavy pack was still strapped across her back. She had some labored breathing, but other than that she felt lively. She often wondered why humans felt pain after such a short time on the move. Then again, she normally saw most humans as being little more than weaklings from birth. Selina knew that she wasn't fully human, she had a high magic and physical potential and these were rare characteristics.

Case in point, the young man in front of her getting beaten up by a Mole Man. Selina then grabbed the long blade that was strapped across her back and charged at the small creature with great speed. Screaming like a demon, her icy blue eyes locked onto her prey. The rest of her face was veiled by a white scarf that kept her face protected from the elements. If there beings she hated more than humans, it was one of the native speices of the planet, the "Mole Men." They were known to be liars and liked selling goods more than what they were really worth. She had the bad luck of being swindled by one...Now, she took her revenge on every Mole Man she saw...Of course, it should also be noted, Selina was not going out of her way to help Jon.

"Don't believe a word this freak says!" She then said as the blade was now level to the Mole Man's neck and the top of Jon's head. He panicked, while the Mole Man began peeing his pants. He knew damned well whom the sword belonged too.

"These fuckers demanded payment for everything. Even "help."" She then kicked the Mole Man with her foot, which then slammed itself into Jon's forehead.

"Heya whatsa matters witch yoo?" The Mole Man protested.

"Silence! Or I'll lob your head off!" She snarled in response, leaving Jon wondering what the hell just happened.
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Re: Episode One: Painted Sparrow

Post by Chavah on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:35 am

Jon didn't even want to ask the little man for help, especially after he punched him in the stomach! Before he could even say a word, a woman was charging towards him and threatening the Mole Man. He stared calmly, but fearfully at Selina, holding up a hand and saying,

"Err, ma'am... It's okay. Really."

She was an interesting looking person. Never in his life had he seen such piercing, cold eyes of blue. He felt like he was a jewel thief staring at a pair of crystals that were worth a fortune. He felt so hypnotized that his body was petrified, though that was probably best since he was on the ground with a sword at his head.

Since this was the first time he left his pathetic little town, he didn't know how other people looked. There was an oriental feel from her because of the garment she wore, along with the hate. He could remember people in outfits like these passing through, but never actually talked to one.

The man shook his head to break free of the spell he felt like he was under. When he looked to the Mole Man, he made a glare and felt like punching the bastard into the stomach. Resisting, he crossed his legs and put an elbow on one of his knees so his head could rest in the palm. His eyes were on the ground, the other hand pulling up random blades of grass.

"Do people always pick on outsiders like this?" he asked, not expecting an answer.
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Re: Episode One: Painted Sparrow

Post by Chavah on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:36 am

Selina now had the mole man by the scruff of his vest. "Now get the hell out of here, you little scum bag!" She then tossed him down on the road, where he rolled for several feet before getting back to his feet. Selina then lowered her sword to her side. All she had to do was give the being an evil glance with her unforgiving icy blue eyes.

"Yousa must be dat White Witcha....Yousa very stronga, mes see wry mes allies fearz ya." He said brushing the mud off his vest as he got back on his feet.

Selina then spoke, "I said get your ass moving. You're lucky I've decided that I'd let you live in the first place."

"Fines, fines. Yousa a bitcha anyways. Me no help kidda gets to Capital nows. Hrmph." The Mole Man said, readjusting his pack as he started to walk the other way, towards Jon's village most likely.

Selina then withdrew her sword and walked over to the disgruntled Jon. "Getting your ass kicked by a rodent. I sure do pity you stranger. Normally, I'd drill your sorry ass for getting whomped by a weakling but I'll let it slide since you're an greenhorn." She then grabbed a hold of his pack and got him up without a struggle. "I'm guessing you're headed towards Oren, since the Mole said something about the Capital. I guess the gods have a sense of humor, since that's where I'm headed to. I guess I can let you trail with me until we reach the gates."
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Re: Episode One: Painted Sparrow

Post by Chavah on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:37 am

"Good riddance." Jon mumbled to himself as he watched the Mole Man be forced away. This woman was probably the toughest one he's ever met. All the other females in his town worked long hours in their homes or on the farms, but this one... She had an amazing looking sword, fighting skills and the most threatening gaze he'd ever seen.

Before he could thank her for helping him, she was forcing him to his feet and...insulting him!? He smoothed out his shirt even though it was wrinkled from being soaked. With a sour face, he asked, "A what-horn?"

He reached for his hat and then put it on his head, not taking his eyes off of her for a second. So she was going to the Capital too? Refusing her suggestion that they travel there together sounded unwise... Either she'd chop his head off with that blade or he'd just run into her again at some point, which could be awkward.

"Fine, fine. Oh. My name is Johnathon, but you can call me Jon." Despite the face she gave off a dangerous vibe, he politely put out his hand for her to shake. He was always cursed with insane women, but he knew how to be a gentleman. "And, you?"
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Re: Episode One: Painted Sparrow

Post by Chavah on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:37 am

"A green horn, is what I called you. A newly arrived immigrant; newcomer." Selina said as soon as he asked what the term was. She at first avoided eye contact with Jon, since she had noted that he had a weird attraction to her eyes. She was glad that she decided to wear local dress verses her military uniform. With her face covered, he couldn't gawk at her face. "Don't view it as anything more than that."

A few seconds later, Joshua extended his hand, as a sign of friendship. Selina mentally sighed, she hated formal greetings but he was being circuitous, so she returned the favor. "I am Selina Orion. I have no nickname, so you may address me as Selina." She shook his hand with a firm grasp but didn't hold it for long. "I have a few ground rules for you to follow. One, stay on the road unless I address you to hide. Second, it is still a two day hike from here. You're going to slow me down since I don't require as much sleep as you do. I have a tent in my pack, I'll split it in half. There will be no closeness between us during the night when we sleep. Third, you will help me with hunting since it looks like you're already low on food. Fourth, don't ask me what I really look like, I wear this viel for a reason. Is that understood?"
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Re: Episode One: Painted Sparrow

Post by Chavah on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:38 am

"Nice to meet you Se-"

Johnathon was cut off by her long list of expectations. His lips instantly closed while he listened, not minding it at first. The tone of her voice and, basically, bossing him around is what was beginning to make him irate. He put a hand on his side and made a crooked frown, his eyebrows furrowing. He honestly had no problem with her leading this exhibition... After all, she was clearly more experienced than he was. Jon did not want to be treated like an idiot, though.

"I understand, princess." he said with a smirk. "I'll do as you say and try not to slow you down."

Ice princess... Such a fitting name for her. She was more beautiful than any woman he's ever seen, but had icy eyes and from the looks of it, a frigid heart. He could tell he'd get no kind of sympathy from her, probably not even a hug if he were to say how his Father died.

Maybe he was judging too quick, though.

He wanted to get a move on, especially since she said this was a two day hike. "I'm ready," he said with a sigh, waiting for her to lead the way.
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Re: Episode One: Painted Sparrow

Post by Chavah on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:39 am

"Princess? Hardly." Selina scoffed at Jon's statement. She wasn't one that always understood sarcasm, because her humor was a little more...Well, best to say out there.

"Royalty is overrated. Always has been always will be. A Monarch as the head of state is undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful. All that power belonging to a tyrant. Hah. Don't make compare me to such losers." She said this whiling taking several strides forward. Her pace was still quick, she was already 15ft in front of Jon, while he started walking.

"Ah right. Humans can only walk about three miles an hour. Haven't walked that slow in ages."

She slowed down, just enough to allow for Jon to be a few paces behind her. "What brings you out to these parts anyways? Oren isn't exactly a place I'd recommend young blood like yourself going. Full of back stabbers, pirates, slave drivers, and other filth of society." She mentioned, "Of course, you might just be interested in seeing the great art and culture of the nobles. People always are attracted to viewing things they can never have."

Selina never would never reveal what her intentions were to a random hiker on the side of the road. Of course, she knew that a man his age would expect at least some kind of chit chat. She never was a fan of such simple things. It'd be inaccurate to call her a loner, since she was the head of her clan for more than two years before the disaster struck.

"We'll take a break about every two hours. Since you are not a soldier, I cannot expect you to do what I've been trained to do." She said to continue the idle chatter. By nightfall, we'll reach a village that is called Fenwick. It's located on a marsh, so don't go wandering into the wetlands. You're from the East, so you aren't immune to the gasses that come from the remains of the war machines from the Rift Wars."

With that they continued moving forward.
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Re: Episode One: Painted Sparrow

Post by Chavah on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:41 am

He made a mental note that was nailed deeply into his brain: Selina has no sense of humor. Explaining what he really meant seemed pointless, so he just rolled his eyes and shook his head at her. It was so delightful to know that the first person he met outside of his home was an arrogant, bossy woman. That's the way she was acting, anyway.

Her pace was surprisingly quick. Jon did the best he could to keep up, hiding the strain it was causing him. He was a farm boy, so he was used to lots of labor. There was no job at his home that required this much fast paced walking, though! Unless cattle got loose or something.

She asked him a question and threw in some dangers. He HAD to avoid sarcasm, so his answer was painfully plain, "I was sick of the way I was treated at home. I'll keep an eye out for all that...filth."

Art didn't even cross his mind. That would definitely be something interesting to learn about during his journey. While he imagined what he might see, he was silent during their walk, only nodding his head in places it was called for. Even if she was a mean lady, he felt like he should say something,

"What happened during the Rift Wars? In my village, we don't really get any kind of news or history."
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Re: Episode One: Painted Sparrow

Post by Chavah on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:42 am

Selina didn't insult Jon for his lack of knowledge about the Rift Wars. There were a lot of people that didn't know much about the affair, especially since it had long faded into the realms of memories.

"It was a war of professed intentions and real intentions. You've heard of the Star People correct?"

She stopped walking for a moment, taking a drink from her canteen. Jon then nodded yes. He had after all told stories about the local star woman. It was about the only thing in his village that was worth remembering.

"Good. 200 years ago, the Kingdom of Oren and nation that is no longer around went to war to fight over a resource called StarRift. Apparently, this mineral only comes from the blood of star people that fell from their celestial homes in the sky. Anyways, the kingdoms fought each other for decades to get the crap, only to ruin the countryside in their wake. Your people are lucky if the war didn't touch your village. We're still feeling the aftermath today."

She took another drink and handed the canteen to Jon, "It's a weak combo of herbal tea and wine. It'll help increase your stamina for a few hours. "

"Anyways, the war didn't prove to be much of a commerical success for either side, until the Oren Tsar decided to hit the capital of his foe with a nuclear bomb. The Tsar unwittingly destroyed any trances of Starrift and now has to deal with a displaced peoples population. It was totally a waste of human life and resources, if you ask me."

She then continued to walk.
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Re: Episode One: Painted Sparrow

Post by Chavah on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:43 am

Selina, to Jon, was an excellent story teller. She obviously knew what she was talking about and asked him it he knew about something before wasting her breath with an explanation. It burdened his heart to hear that some parts of the land were still suffering from something that happened a long time ago. As much as he despised where he came from, it was indeed fortunate that nothing touched it. However... Would anyone even miss that place, let alone notice it was gone?

He looked down to the canteen in his hands, looking at it with some mistrust. That combination didn't sound too delicious, but he took her advice and took a drink anyway. The fluid didn't get anytime to settle on his tongue. He shuddered as it crawled down his throat, causing a bit of a burn since he was so hasty.

So that he wouldn't fall behind, he recapped the canteen and joined in step with her. "I agree, that does sound like a waste of life."

After handing the canteen back to her, he slid his sleeve across his lips and fixed his gaze onto the sky, noting that the gray clouds were still there but were being merciful to the two travelers. His mind went back to the story of the Star Woman he was told about and wondered what it would have been like to meet one.


End of Episode One
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