[OOC The true and honest history of Lacuna’s adventures in Atys Nullius]
The sadness swells within her; she feels like she is unravelling, coming apart. She raises her cup to her mouth, hesitates…
She has been travelling for a few weeks, following the rough map that Aen gave her. She crouches in the forest undergrowth and watches what appears to be a Kipekin. It is not the first apex creature she has seen since setting out from Silan. Travelling through virgin forest has not been easy. There are no roads or pathways to follow, only animal trails. It was from following one that she had stumbled onto the frippos. She did not know boss frippo existed and her curiosity of it caused her to approach too closely. She had to flee from it and the unusually aggressive guards; all the while experiencing the disconcerting feeling of having her sap reserves drained. She needs to be more careful on this journey; she does not want to wake up back in Silan all because she was careless. She will have to move round this spawn, but for now she is lost in thought. Memories of happier days come to mind…
The thrill of the hunt: the successes and the failures. She remembers being shouted at for training her hand to hand skills while tanking Kinkoo. The madness of killing Madakoo inside Deadtree Hole. Being within moments of killing Kizokoo with Marichia, Babel and Altyra, and then all hell breaking loose as every herbivore in the Cattle Room became enraged. The chaos caused by running through the Cavern Cranks camp with Mederi and Nuno, then escaping into the Jubla forest south of the Cursed Cavern, with the bandits, Rakoo and its guards in hot pursuit - all the while trying to find a moment of calm to regroup and engage Rakoo.
She thinks of Nuno, who taught her so much about hunting and crafting. She remembers running around Deadtree Stronghold with Spettra, Nuno and the twins, firing spells at an enraged Madakoo, and wishing Nuno would put on some clothing. His obsession with hunting Gubakoo. She smiles at the thought of him dancing in front of Kinkoo, waving his staff. The secrets he taught her and Marichia about Kizokoo. Still no matter how much she admired Nuno’s skills as a hunter, there were others…
She stands at Furtive Waters, awestruck, watching Maja and Triplex battle Kipekoo. She knew you could mage-tank the likes of Aranakin. She, herself, had mage-tanked Yelkoo with Spettra and Nuno, but this… this was something else. Not only were they killing Kipekoo, they were doing it in one of the most challenging boss spawn locations in Prime Roots. Lacuna focussed all her attention on Maja. She must be using Triplex simply as bait, a meat-shield. She was so focussed on watching Maja, trying to work out the secret of their success that she never realised that Mederi was talking to her, until she feels a sharp pain of a small piece of bark striking her on the ear.
‘I said they are impressive. Have you heard anything I was saying?’
‘Yes. Yes… you were talking about declaring for Elias Tryton…’ and her attention drifts back to Maja.
As she comes back to herself with the thought of Tryton and his followers. She has never trusted the disciples of Tryton, and considers them to be secretive meddlers, hiding in the shadows. She remembers that GoS renounced the Kami and relocated to Fairhaven, where they declared themselves Trytonists. Then they vanished without a word. She remembers how not long after making a militant declaration for Tryton, Mederi, too, disappeared without a trace. Is there a sinister secret here?
She thinks of others who who vanished, suddenly, without a word. Joabu screaming a warning at her and Spettra to get out of the way as she ran towards the Hall of the Mountain Bane Stronghold, with what appeared to be half the kinchers in the Forbidden Depths in close pursuit. She remembers laughing so hard that she nearly threw up at the sight of Beeficus and his entourage being brutally slaughtered by Rugukin’s guards, after the idiots ran straight through the spawn. And Aikoon, who she and Spettra often trained with in the Void. And how they they tried to convince her that all males must die. Bambamseven, she feels real surprise that she misses a homin almost as much as her sisters. Soynuggets, who she and Marichia would threaten into cooking for them. Divinesoul, without doubt, the ugliest Matis male whoever lived. Mely, who she had hoped would join them in Lost Girls. All of them, here one day and gone the next.
Thoughts of the vanished focuses her attention again on memories of Maja and Triplex. Over the months her awe of the skill of the two homins grew. She would see them kill creatures that she just did not think was possible for two homins to accomplish. It would lead to her own desire to imitate them in some small way. She remembers how she and Babel spent months practising on the smaller apex creatures, like Ocyketh, Shakan and Torkan. The triumph she felt the first time they killed Yelkoo. How they sharpened their skills on the plant and herbivore bosses first; Psykokoo and Kipeeketh and others would fall to them. The long hours they spent at night tweaking spells and discussing equipment and strategy. The failures against Mekoo and Kibakoo, before finally, after a brutal battle, they triumphed against Rakoo. How she thought after defeating Goakan that they were, finally, ready for Kipekoo, and how pride comes before the fall…
She realises that it is time to move on. She has spent too long here lost in the past.
[OOC Coming soon the totally non-libellous account of Carl’s first date. ]