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ROLEPLAY


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It was the beginning of Autumn and I had returned from a hunt to find a tightly rolled parchment placed on my windowsill. There were four pages in total and last page contained one single line of writing. I read over it again.

The Karavan are not who you think they are.

Hands shaking, I read the sentence again and again. My heart was pounding in my chest and I thought for a moment I might be sick. The pages slid from my hand, falling softly to the floor. I regained enough composure to grab my gloves and fled the room.

I walked aimlessly through the winding paths of Yrkanis trying to process the contents of the mysterious parchment but wherever I turned I saw a Karavan and I grew anxious, unable to focus. I headed to the guild hall and after a few deep breaths I decided to try and forget by busying myself with dinner. I only managed a few bites. The bodoc meat tasted like ash in my mouth. I soon found myself back in my apartment, avoiding the mektoub in the room.

Questions flooded my mind. Firstly, who placed the parchment in my room… Could it be fake? A Kami ploy to deceive? Highly doubtful, as things were looking they had nothing to fear from us. A Marauder plot maybe? Some Marauders are known to be cunning but how would they know all this and if they did why not tell all of Atys already? This was hopeless.

So what to do now? Maybe if I took it to the Karavan they could shed some light and explain that it was all wrong… Or maybe they would destroy it and me, rather like the poor Trytonists. I shivered.  At some point I would need to devise a plan if they ever did learn I had this information.  My mind grew tired as I thought of safe places from the Karavan.  At some point sleep consumed me and I dreamt of dwelling in caves in the Prime Roots like a primitive.

~~~

I awoke to the sound of banging on my door.

“Elv! They are moving the kipcuka today! Get your lazy ass out of bed!”

I listened for Alee’s receding footstep and groaned.

~~~

A small crowd had gathered at the Matis Arena where the kipucka was being relocated. There was a tingle of excitement in the air. Officials buzzed around, trying to act important. Everyone fell silent as the Kipucka was brought in, strapped to the wagon. It was covered in its own filth.  It was just wrong  meddling with such creatures.  Just like the Fyros miners were wrong to slaughter the first Kitins they encountered. Maybe so much of our history would have been different if that event had not happened. Are we Matisians so different from those Fyros? No, we are clearly just as arrogant if not worse and we may just prove the undoing of our world. Huh.. our world...  My mind grew dark thinking of the letter again.

“Elv are you… ok?”

Deep in my thoughts I had not noticed Alee approach. I composed myself and nodded.

“Its not what I expected,” Alee said hesitantly.

“What did you expect...? That it would not be suffering? Does that look like a creature that should be held in captivity to be poked and prodded? That we are vastly superior and we have a right to do this?” My fists were clenched.

Alee looked me over again, his face betraying concern.

I sighed and softened my voice. “Lets just head to the Karavan meeting”.

~~~

The Karavan meeting proceeded in its usual dull fashion. The same topics were brought up, the same conclusions were drawn and I had no doubt the outcome would be the same as well. I nodded here and there as was appropriate. Two hours later my head was aching and eventually the homins who had fallen half asleep during the meeting were all of a sudden showing some interest the second ‘outpost materials’ was uttered. How hollow our achievements have proved. We snatched an outpost out of Kami hands only to have its produce trickled to us by our own. Damn them all. Let them drown in their gluttony.

By this point I cannot deny I felt something strange stir inside me. I have followed the light of Jena just like my family and our ancestors without question. But now there were more important matters to consider.

I felt someone’s hand on my shoulder. “Elvy, everyone's gone so we’re going back to Yrkanis.”

I turned to Sj. So young and innocent. What I have done and wouldn’t do to protect her. So much she may never know.

“I’m going to stay here for a while. There is bodoc stew in the guild hall.”

Alee, Mely and Sj looked at one each other awkwardly. Maybe I shouldn’t have snapped at Alee like that earlier. Maybe I shouldn’t have done a lot of things...

“I’ll be there in a bit, you guys go on ahead.” I forced a smile as I watched them break their teleport pacts and they vanished.  I returned my gaze to the campfire deep in thought.

By now the sun was beginning to set and the warmth of the campfire was inviting. I felt I had an important decision to make. I could no longer make excuses for what I had read. As much as it would hurt me I vowed my family should never find out about it. I took it upon myself to protect them and I will continue to do so even if it means they will hate me for it.

As for myself, I would pay Virg a visit in the Marauder camp. With that decided I stood up and brushed the dust from my Karavan skirt. I broke a teleport pact and found myself back in Yrkanis, the moon light here casting a formidable shadow over the Karavan surrounding the teleporter. 

As I got closer to my apartment entrance I noticed Anichi Antonio.  At this time the apartment caretaker was usually taking care of himself with a drink or two at the bar not actually taking care of the apartments.

“Oh Elf yoo in foo a trey!” he said as he devoured a sweet shooki bud.

I raised one eyebrow at him. He gulped.

“I said, you are in for a treat! They said they were going to surprise you with the sweets!” he beamed. 

My heart skipped a beat. I pushed him out of the way and sprinted up the stairs. I banged open the door of my apartment and there they were. Mely, Sj and Alee with the parchment in his hands. The blood had drained from his face.

"Elv... this... what IS this..." he whispered.

I snatched it and threw it on the floor casting fire at it. “How much did you read?” my voice quivered.  The silence was all the answer I needed.

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