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Plot Update 10 March 2021

A year has passed since Fire Lord Zuko ascended the throne, and it seems like trouble is brewing between the Fire Nation and the Earth Kingdom once more. The Fire Lord and the Avatar began the Harmony Restoration Movement to restore the Fire Nation Colonies to their pre-war state by bringing any Fire Nation nationals back home, but for many of the citizens — of mixed Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom … Read more ›

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Nothing Goes To Waste [Tag: Charumati]

Post by Nirav on Sept 24, 2020 11:52:49 GMT -6

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Even though he had only just spoken this new name, Nirav almost did not respond upon hearing it from the woman's mouth. It would take some time to adjust to this new, false title. The hunter could not help but sigh; regardless of the reason, it still sat ill with him to possess more than his own, real name.

Nirav could not help but give mirthless snort as Rohana described the Fire Nation's towards the spirits. Ignorance born of arrogance!

"If Fire Nation come to Wild Mountain and attempt to seize it from the Bhok for their own, they will swiftly learn both respect and fear," the hunter stated, tapping at a twisted, gnarled iron talisman pinned to his sleeveless jacket. His voice held pure certainty as he spoke. "At least, they would, if any survived. However many are sent, that many shall be destroyed. So it is."

Leaning over to throw more wood on the campfire, Nirav rubbed at his nose as he considered Rohana's question.

"Plan was to go up north. See the Wild Mountain once again, from distance. Then, back to the eastern Earth Kingdom, to south, west, then back to north. Cross the country, onwards. No other plans," he announced. Sejun gave a low bleat at the thought of all that walking. Lazy beast.

"As for skill... I can hunt. Shoot bow. Wield khukuri, as tool or weapon. I can fight. Climb, run, swim. I carry heavy loads often. Make many things from nature. Do not know if a Great Lady has any need of someone who can do these things," Nirav finished, holding up his hands, palm up. "So long as the work is done, I will work as needed."
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Post by Charumati on Sept 26, 2020 1:32:18 GMT -6

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Charumati laughed, but there was no humour in her voice. 

"I would love to see them try it, though," she said wryly, with just a hint of bitterness. "If the Bhok thins out their numbers, that makes our job a little easier."

The Fire Lord and his military were just the kind of arrogant fools to disregard local legends and tales. The Earth Kingdom had long respected the spirit guardians that roamed their lands, and it wouldn't be the first time the Fire Nation did such a thing. She had heard tales of multiple shrines and forests being razed to the ground by the ever-expanding Fire Nation army, and Charumati could only hope they made the error of challenging what was clearly a very dangerous spirit.

She listened as Nirav listed out his skills, musing over the not unexpected list of abilities.

"Rohana could use a body guard," she finally said. "My driver currently does both, though she has no one when she is not taking her carriage."

Charu grazed the tip of a finger cuff delicately across her cheek bone as she thought of how to make a thing such as hiring a mountain man to be her personal body guard as opposed to any of the well reputed mercenaries available locally.

"It is unusual for someone of the wealth that Rohana possesses not to have a personal guard at all times. There are guards for the house, and for her warehouses, but no one for her herself. Tomorrow, my butler shall meet you here."

In the dirt between them, she sketched out an outline of the town, marking their current position with a cross shape, then tapping the place where the market place was and drawing another cross.

"For the benefit of anyone listening, he shall say that his mistress was impressed with the skill of your hunt and the quality of your knifework, and that she wishes to turn those talents to her personal use. You will agree, but make it seem real — be surprised, at first, hesitant. Argue with him, and say that you had meant to move on. He will offer you money; reject it at first, and let him raise the price twice before you agree.

"Once we get you to my house, we will be able to speak freely. How does this sound to you?"
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Post by Nirav on Sept 30, 2020 6:13:51 GMT -6

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Nirav frowned once more at Rohana's thought that she may have enjoyed the Fire Nation attempting to conquer the Wild Mountain. The hunter had seen the results of those that had crossed paths with the Bhok. Even to this day, such memories made him shudder, a cold feeling running up his spine.

"If you saw what was left behind when that spirit has fed, you would not speak like this," Nirav said. "To live in such state... there are things you do not wish on even your enemies."

There was a tone of reproach in the man's normally monotone voice. He heard that bitterness, and knew in his soul how the woman felt. He felt it too. It was why he had agreed to join her. But there were things that should never be wished. This was one of those things.

The suggestion that he could pose as a bodyguard made sense to the hunter; during his time, he had been called on to fight. For the first part of his life, it was mostly against the elements and wildlife of his mountainous home, but recently he had been forced to defend himself against bandits, and the occasional Fire Nation soldier that attempted to rob him.

He watched wordlessly as Rohana created a map in the dirt near the campfire, nodding along as she spoke to show that he understood her words. It was all a bit more complicated than what he was used to; he preferred a more straightforward approach. A shame that this was how it had to be.

"I go to market again. Man comes, they say you wish to hire me. I am surprised, want to move on, am persuaded after two more offers. He bring me to house, we speak again," Nirav repeated, as if burning the sequence of events into his brain. With a grunt, he nodded as he scratched at the remaining lump of his ear, accepting this scenario.

Still, he gave Rohana an uncertain look.

"There will be space for Sejun, yes? He is getting a little fat," he said, these last words a whisper. Despite the hushed tones, the gemsbok bull's head still reared, a deep sound of annoyance sounding from him. Nirav waved placating at the beast. "No, no, I say wrong word. Big! Strong! He is big and strong."

Sejun huffed and laid his head back down. Seeing the gaze averted, Nirav shook his head slightly at the woman across from him to indicate what he said first is what he meant.
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Post by Charumati on Oct 2, 2020 19:27:34 GMT -6

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Charu smiled one of her full smiles again and cast a fond look at the beast of burden.

"There is plenty of room for dear Sejun. We have a lovely stable with all the food he can eat and the most comfortable straw for him to sleep on. He'll become a little spoiled, likely, and I do apologise in advance for it."

She laughed at the beast's offence at Nirav's words. 

"Pay him no mind, dear," she told the creature. "You will be much welcome at my home and you can show all the other creatures how majestic you are."

With a soft grunt, she stood.

"I will see you tomorrow, then, Nirav," Charu used his real name for the last time, putting as much emphasis on it as she could so he hopefully understood why she used it.

She turned to go, but then remembered something. She turned back, and added:

"I do not wish for them to meet your spirit, not really," she clarified. Her words were low, but flat and devoid of emotion. "Only that it would be what it is called just desserts. They are a greedy, arrogant bunch in the Fire Nation army, and such an end would be the kind of end you would hear in a fable or mythic tale about hubris."

Somehow, it was very important to her that Nirav understood that she wasn't a bloodthirsty individual; that any blood she spilled, directly or indirectly, was like cutting off a little piece of her soul for the hope of a better future, even if it was one in which she herself were damned.

Charumati smiled again, but it was her closed off smile. Flat, with only the slightest upturn of the corners of her mouth.

"See you tomorrow."

[OOC: I think it's new thread time, yeah?]
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