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Under The Hot Desert Sun

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These people seemed unstable, petulant, and potentially violent. Dust liked them already. If she hung out with them long enough, she was sure to see someone get hurt. Good.

A tall redhead, who could apparently produce balls of fire with her hands, walked around her and rambled on about someone named Famine. Dust had only been alive for a week or so, as far as she could remember. She had not had occasion to consider her own mortality yet. This woman appeared to be powerful and capable of great destruction, and she seemed suspicious of Dust. 

I may actually die here... She thought, but it occurred to her that she did not care. Whatever she was, it was not her natural state, and it was pure torment. Death would be sweet release.

She giggled a little at the tall woman. She could feel the dry cloth that was the “skin” on her cheeks crack every time she smiled.

”I don’t know who Famine is, and I don’t know what a ‘spy’ is. You seem to have a violent and cruel nature... We should be friends.” She held her hand up and extended the long retractable black claws from her finger. When she wiggled her fingers, it made a series of delightful little clicking sounds that reminded her of dry bones clattering together. “My name is Dust, by the way.”

Dust looked around, wondering where that promised water was... Her eyes landed on a small, silver-haired girl. She smiled at her, showing her fangs, and waved her clawed fingers. I wonder what she tastes like...? She thought to herself.

Edited by Radioactive

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She glared slightly at Audrey. She did however show a same type of love for cats Scarlett had, and it was possible for the two women to be friends... Not that Scarlett would let anyone know. 

"Ms? My first name is Scarlett. My last name is unnecessary, long, and disgusting. Don't ever put 'ms' in my name again."

She gave Audrey a slight smile after this. 

"You almost love Philip as much as I do. And try not to stutter. It makes you look weak."

Audrey's tense body slumped like a ragdoll with its strings cut. Relief cut through her stiff body, relaxing its muscles. This was the first time she had relaxed since she travelled a long, tiring journey through the desert. She sat near the campfire and took a deep breath. "Do not worry Audrey. You are in safe hands now," she silently reassured herself. She looked at the red-haired woman, "Scarlett.. I-I-I.." she stuttered. "Ehem..." she coughed and tried again, "Scarlett... I will try to stop my stuttering but..." She swiped off the sweat from her sticky, wet forehead, "I am a bit tired and all so, no promises." she smiled back. She continued caressing Philip's soft black fur.

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Khepri set the bag down and pulled out several cups, she filled them with water. Next she pulled out some oil, put it in the large fire pit in the center of the temple and lit it using the Goddesses fire. 

She sat cross legged next to the fire and indicated they all join her, "Now you will all sit, drink, and tell me what brings you here and what you know about the destruction of my temple. There is a reward for those of you that want to help restore the light and seek retribution on him that did this. It is not our custom to ask luar - ah outsiders - for help, but my sisters are all dead and I need an army to wage war -" 

Audrey took one of the offered cups, "Thank you Ms. Khepri." She took a quick sip. The water flowed generously through her insides, restoring the bits of energy and life that left her in her tiring journey. While resting near the campfire, She listened to Khepri talk about how her sisters are all dead and why she needs help. "Umm... Ms. Khepri," Audrey called out, "I may be of help..." She took out her sheathed saber and proudly showed it to everyone. "I am a Sword Sister, as you can see." she laid her sabre flat on the floor. She glanced over the orange, burning campfire and mentally casted a simple illusion over it, revealing beautiful, blue butterflies which flew off everytime the fire crackled, "And my illusion magic is proficient enough to be used in battle. I hope I could be of help." She took Philip and played with him a little.

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Dust looked around, wondering where that promised water was... Her eyes landed on a small, silver-haired girl. She smiled at her, showing her fangs, and waved her clawed fingers. I wonder what she tastes like...? She thought to herself.

Audrey noticed the strange female, who introduced herself as Dust, showing off her fangs and waving her clawed fingers. Audrey's skin went a bit pale and she shivered, "Eeep!" she held up the black cat, hiding herself from Dust. "She looks scary..." she thought. She looked up from the black cat where she was hiding herself with and noticed that Dust was still waving at her. She slowly put Philip down and hesitantly raised her hand, "Maybe she's nice too..." She slowly returned the wave, "He-He... Hello..."

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On 4/8/2018 at 1:51 PM, Trevor Wisegem said:

"Honey. I AM war."

War, a chill crept its way up Khepri's back. War was talked about in a revered whisper amongst the sisters, her temper as infamous as the good fortune she brought to whom ever she thought should win. Khepri's very own power was thought to have been born from the very same that was possessed by war - that is why she was chosen to be a priestess, she had both the light and dark within her. An insane mix that would likely someday be her demise. 

Khepri bowed her head and put her fist to her chest in greeting, "Ngabagéakeun salah ngahormatan" (Welcome honored one) 

She grinned up at war, could she possibly be so lucky as to rain down great destruction on her enemies that will likely be passed on in tales? 

Khepri's attention was drawn away for a moment when she heard a rustling. The man was searching for something in his satchel. Before anyone could blink Khepri had a throwing dagger in hand. 

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“ Ok so What’s the material used for the Blocks? The techniques used to carve them? The location they came from?” @ODSTDRAGON

She relaxed with a sigh and stared at him in confusion.

"For your safety lalaki, do not make sudden moves - " She said, "I get twitchy around men." 

He wanted to know about the temple? She would have to think for a moment to see if she could remember. 

"The temple is made of the only stone you can find in the desert - a combination of desert rose and sandstone." She answered, "The goddess herself - well - it was rumored that she was made of a stone that she put in this very spot. What it is or where it can be found is a mystery. But if you wish to restore my temple, then you may yet gain my respect lalaki." 

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Dust looked around, wondering where that promised water was... Her eyes landed on a small, silver-haired girl. She smiled at her, showing her fangs, and waved her clawed fingers. I wonder what she tastes like...? She thought to herself. @Radioactive

A clacking sound drew her attention to the final two in attendance. The strange looking one Dust and the melting girl - Audrey. 

"I do not know what you are made of." Khepri decided to address Dust first. "But the sun can crack and ruin most materieals. You may have water if you wish, or I can give you oil to make sure you do not get ruined by the sun." 

She pointed to a recessed wall with several jars, some broken, some were not. 

Audrey took one of the water cups with her thanks and pulled out a gleaming saber, she set it on the floor. 

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 "I may be of help...I am a Sword Sister, as you can see." @JackDoggo

Khepri smiled, "adina Wilujeng sumping." (Welcome sister) 

She stood and stretched herself for a moment, "I can see that the Goddess has drawn us here to do what is just and right. I will see that my temple is restored and you are all rewarded after. As most of you are not designed for travel in the sands I shall have to think of how we will engage the enemy." 

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Scarlett smiled. She was starting to like Khepri. She had a fire, and knew of Scarlett's great power. She was quite a sight to behold, even for War. She passed up on the water. An eternal flame did not need food or water. 

She watched the man. Men.. no one compared to them. 

She listened to Khepri talk.

22 hours ago, DarkHorse said:

I shall have to think of how we will engage the enemy." 

Scarlett scoffed. 

"Why not just allow me to scout them? I'm fast enough. I'd be in and out within seconds, no one will see me. I'd get out with little casualty."

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He wanted to laugh at war and her as Scout. None would see her? He was pretty sure a Blind Dog could see her from miles Away! When she rode that horse all she did was Blaze across the desert like a shooting star!  He could feel the heat from her Over the fire!  He’d seen sneakier Oliaphants than her!   The smile crept under his lips as he thought of that, good thing his head was covered lest she may smite him for some devilish Trick that he wasn’t even preparing. 

The preistest’s response to the stone of the statue was Vague, it really didn’t help him much at all.  He understood the supernatural phenomen around Gods, they’re Gods, but if that were the case then the Statue couldn’t be repaired, maybe a new one could be made but it wouldn’t ever be the same, he sighed as he took one last glimpse of the work, the walls were easy, just quantity would be an issue.  His hand left the wall as he came over and sat by the fire. “ Well then  if the Goddess made the stone that made that statue I don’t think it can be prepared in any worldly way.  The damage will  be permanent, besides, I doubt a being of such power would be happy with normal stone of the world.”  He took the water. He didn’t appreciate the way all Four of these Females were treating him, like a killer, some secret Devil, the patient spider, and the treacherous Snake! Even they at this point seemed to get better treatment. 

 Trying to at least have a little ground with at least someone here he looks to the most shy and Tender, the one who jumped at talking cats, ran from fiery war. Not bad reactions, they were normal but it did let people know what to use against her. “ Your Audrey Correct? May I inquire as to  what makes you so tame and Calm around this place?” Hoping it would be a decent start, although he was pretty sure her heart was Pounding her chest to Escape and Shoot back to her home, she wasn’t as crass and loud as War, nor as sexual against him as the Priestess. He may be able to get somewhere with Dust or was it dusk?  He’d reaffirm later. However he did sense a feeling she wanted someone to get Hurt.

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Audrey raised her eyebrows, a bit suprised at the sudden question. She combed through Philip's fur which provoked a satisfied meow from the black cat. She looked at the man and smiled. "Well... I feel calm because..." she paused and deeply exhaled. "I kind of trust all of you already, " she said. Her blue eyes turned to Khepri, then to Scarlett. "You guys have treated me-" She pointed at herself and said, "A complete stranger..." She looked down at both Philip and the cup of water she received. She mumbled, "With kindness..." The slow crackling of the campfire caught her attention, diverting her gaze from the ground. "How could I not feel relaxed?" She played with the empty cup in her hands, tossing and turning it on the stone ground. Her warm eyes turned and met the man's gaze. "How about you, Kuya?" she asked, "Why do you want to help Miss Khepri?"

(Kuya = Older Brother :D)

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Khepri began to unroll her bedroll and some blankets to sleep on. She was overtired and she needed sleep, she would do no good tired. She turned and looked at Scarlett.

"Scouting them out will be helpful." She said, then she grinned, "I care not how many casualties you take, strike a little terror into them if it amuses you. It would certainly amuse me." 

She then turned her attention to the man and thought for a moment, she sighed, "Perhaps the goddess's statue will not be restored - Once I get my retribution I will seek out more knowledge on it....I am sure it is written somewhere....For now though - I need sleep, I have traveled a long way and I am tired."

She shot him a glare, "Try nothing while I sleep. My bayangan will be watching."

She motioned to the dark corner of the room where a shifting, hard to distinguish form was watching. Its energy being pulled from the darkness around it. With that she lay down, rolled herself into her blankets and fell asleep as soon as her head touched the roll. 

______________________________________________________

Khepri awoke as the sun was bleeding a red dawn across the sky. She stood and stretched with satisfaction at sleeping so deeply. Even though the temple was destroyed - it was still her home, and she always slept well when she was home. She noticed Audry - the Sword Sister - was gone. Dust too was mysteriously absent. They must have left some time in the night. Khepri hoped she had taken enough food and water to sustain her. Ahab was still sleeping, proving himself true in his intent to fix the temple and do no harm to her. 

She walked to the sooty pillars that marked the entryway into the once lush garden, the bubbling oasis making sweet music. The plants were trampled, bits of ask and stone littered the garden beds. Above the crumbled stone wall she saw the sun, the glorious sun, its heat already rising in waves from the sand, distorting the view of the desert. 

"Soon you will be restored." She said to the rising sun, "Soon your walls will be whole again and your Oasis a safe harbor for any who need it. There will be blood today - and it will not be mine. I will hang his head from the temple gate as a warning to any that wish to destroy this sanctuary again." 

A hot breeze snaked past her, a common phenomenon as the warmer air met the freezing night air. She smiled and eagerly awaited to hear from Scarlett and what she found. 

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Scarlett gave a devilish grin when Khepri allowed her to scout them out. Strike a little fear? She chuckled. It was almost unnerving to hear.

"Honey, fear... Is what I do best." 

She turned to Khepri's gaze. As she said this, wings slowly, and intimidatingly appeared. They looked torn, as if broken many times. They looked like they were supposed to be red, but looked more burnt and damaged. They didn't look like it was natural. It was clear she had past experience of someone or something harming her greatly. Especially the wings. 

With a flash of fire she was gone.

 

The next morning Scarlett came down from the sky, landing gracefully. Her wings then folded up and vanished. 

She had the look of satisfaction in her eyes. 

"They were a very large group. The camp I found was large, but I could not find the rest. Because of this I decided to do a bit of interrogating. They only thing I could gather was that they were from a large camp, more of a headquarters actually. 

Don't worry, love. The camp is nothing but ash now. I let some escape, so we could follow their trail. No doubt they'll know we're coming though."

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Ahab slept in late, often laying down in a restless unending journey of thought before sleep took him. 

 

He finally arose to the sound of the only two women left talking, Great! The one chick he actually liked, because she didn’t hate him for having male gentails, which in turn was utterly depressing and disheartening. Who else was he suppose to be a Kuya for?! He hoped it wasn’t something bad. 

 

He got up and went to work inscribing the proper details where they were suppose to be. Then he would either remove or add stone where it was needed to make the walls prime and proper, then the sanding to smooth it all out. Before finally doing what was nessary to get the right color and texture, this was a huge under taking and thus far he hadn’t made it much past the entrance ,but what he had done  looked amazing, like one had went back in time and  pulled it through history. 

 

“ this place is huge... I’ll be dead before this is done”

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On 5/21/2018 at 4:15 PM, Trevor Wisegem said:

"They were a very large group. The camp I found was large, but I could not find the rest. Because of this I decided to do a bit of interrogating. They only thing I could gather was that they were from a large camp, more of a headquarters actually. 

Don't worry, love. The camp is nothing but ash now. I let some escape, so we could follow their trail. No doubt they'll know we're coming though."

Khepri smiled, "Good, then lets not waste any more time. I will get Sei prepared and we can leave." 

She strode into the temple to find Ahab awake, he was scribbling down details about something or another, likely the temple. He looked - disheartened? Stressed? Khepri didn't know the ways of men so well so she could be sure. 

"You." She approached him, "Builder. You did not kill me in my sleep - why I am not sure - so I shall trust you with fixing my temple. I am assuming you require help fixing this, yes? I will send slaves and volunteers to help you. They can do the heavy lifting and hard work, you just need to tell them what to do. Scarlett and I are leaving to take revenge on my enemies, we shall be back as soon as we are able. Should you need anything, send word using Gaia." 

She held out her arm and chirriped. A large winged bird swooped into the temple and landed on her arm, its long talons encircling her entire forearm. The strain the bird placed on her arm caused her muscles to bulge from the weight. Gaia screeched and with a lift of Khepri's arm was dismissed to fly off. 

She continued out of the temple and found Sei, her Oliphant, rolling in the dusty remains of the garden. She let out a shrill whistle and stopped rolling and approached her, greeting her with a nudge of his trunk. 

Khepri began to unload the armor and spikes she packed and methodically began to saddle and arm Sei. She swung up and down the beast as if it were nothing more than a small creature. Finally, she unfurled the spikes that ran down the tusks of the beast, held on by notches carved into them. 

She let out a joyful yip and Sei moved forward, out of the garden and to the front of the temple. 

"Are you ready to destroy?" She called down to Scarlett as she passed her, "Lead the way to this camp!" 

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"Destroy? Honey, I'm ALWAYS ready to destroy." 

Scarlett winked towards Khepri, and then whistled loudly. Suddenly a course emerged from the ground, it appeared to come up from lava and looked to be made of fire. This was the horse she first arrived on: Fred, AKA: Fiery Hatred.

Phillip on the other hand, rolled his eyes. He did not enjoy riding on Fred's back. He may have been a magic cat that helped Scarlett keep emotions, and more importantly, show them as much as she could. Then he looked at Khepri. She looked fierce, like Scarlett. He then smiled and hopped on her lap, in a way that was not in the way at all. 

Scarlett saw this and chuckled. "Hope you don't mind Phillip there. He finds Fred too hot to ride on. He seems to like you though. And if he's a problem, just let me know." 

Odd... Scarlett almost smiled at Khepri. What was she doing? SHE WAS WAR! Why would she smile to a mere mortal? 

In any case, Phillip got out of the way more by hopping atop Khepri's shoulder. He purred a bit and snuggled up to her. He was soft. Silky soft. Scarlett then rode off, rather quickly. 

 

Edited by Trevor Wisegem

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Ahh now that Ahab was alone he could finally work in peace! He began by gathering labor skilled and unskilled and putting together different teams to get the most done in the shortest of time.  Irrigation and restoration of the fountains ,streams, and the other water works were a major priority, especially the grand female bathing chamber. 

While this was being done he established that there would definitely need to be more vegetation as the sands and raiders had ruined most of it. Getting in the big tall shady trees to make the entrance way a much nicer place was not easy, but by the end of a long tedious process to get them properly irrigated all was as it shoukd be, finally finishing up the Fauna he included a few gardens here and there on the temple grounds. 

The Third thing to be worked on as this all happened was the towers looming over and watching the temple the nice preistests used to be all seeing of travelers, and the walls that supported them. 

The fourth and final project of the day being the restoration of the Library, resting quarters and the place for magical healing. He didn’t trust the workers with the most delicate and precious of the temples rooms alters and religious centers without himself being present to make sure every detail was right.

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Khepri rode for a long time, a week to be exact, until, when the stars were out in the sky and the sun was sinking low in a fiery ball, the encampment came into view. Along their travels she sent slaves, freed Priestesess and found volunteers, all willing to go back to the temple and help Ahab. If he restored the Goddesses sanctuary, she swore she would personally find a way to thank him. She heeled Sei and hopped off at a safe distance, observing the tent city swarming with men - and women - preparing to bed down for the night. She hauled a bag off of sei and took a water skin out of it, she took a drink, swishing it in her mouth and passed it to Scarlet.

”Whiskey.” She said with a grin, “I will need an army - there are a lot of them.” 

The red markings on her arm began to glow and swirl, she began to hum and sing in a low husky voice, pulling shadows from the sand and sending their waivering, hungry forms dashing towards the encampment. They crept along the ground, Khepri’s song echoing with them, when she stopped singing, the shadows sank beneath the sand’s surface, just at the edge of the camp. 

Tanned canvass and wood dotted the landscape, colorful blankets laid out on the ground for sleeping, weapons lying near their masters. Many fires burned to keep off the desert chill that seeped into the air without the sun overhead. 

Khepri smiled, an eerie stillness and silence fell over the sands, her eyes glowed red instead of their usual golden hue. She looked over at Scarlett with a wink, Khepri had become one with the night. She may have been chosen as a priestess for the sun, but she contained the black of night within her. 

”Are you ready?” She asked.

She held up three fingers, and dropped them as she counted silently, 3......2......1......

She sent out a shrill whistle and out of the sands all around the camp burst the hungry shadows. An ungodly howl filled the air and the blackness began to consume the soldiers from the inside, forcing them to fight their comrades. Khepri was singing again, a low hypnotizing sound. 

“An army for you m’goddess.” She said to Scarlett. 

‘KHEPRI!!!!” The angered voice bellowed from inside the camp.

”Ah, my revenge - she calls me.’” She sighed, happy to have a fight on her hands. She wrapped her scarf around her face and head so only her eyes were visible.

She held out her hand and her scythe appeared, its curved blades gleamed on either side of the staff that housed them, half moon blades hugged the staff where her hands would fit so she could use it to ram shields or opponents that were too close. 

With a smile, she crouched and then ran into the chaos that she created, a war cry escaping from her lips. 

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Scarlett turned down the whiskey. She looked at Kehpri. She got off her horse. It burst into flame and vanished. 

"You want an army? How bout I make it so theirs has no way out alive? We kill them all. And cause fear in their puny eyes." 

Scarlett seemed impressed with Khepri's abilities. As she ran, Scarlett held out her hand and slowly and dramatically a large two handed sword formed in her hands. It looked normal, all except that it was as black as charcoal, and sharper then any other blade most have seen. It had glowing red symbols, impossible to identify, on each side. The handle was made of dragon hide. It was a blade to fear. She spun it around and stabbed it deep into the earth. This created cracks around the entire camp. The people closest to them tried to run in fear, and almost made it.. until 12 foot high walls of fire erected out of them incinerating anyone who tried to go through. Then Scarlett walked through. And thus the chaos ensued. 

She walked past dozebs without her armor, slicing through them in one hit. Many tried to hit her, but all failed. This was the beginning. The beginning of war.

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The work was hard but it was good and when all was said and done the temper looked better than ever. At least for he hall ways  and non important religious areas. Those have to be specially done and that was what he was working on today. He pulled together some special skills and was very careful to keep with both the aesthetic  and the principals of the temple. As the main place of worship he made sure to keep with any religious texts for how it should be and any restrictions as well. 

By days end it was a beautiful main chamber with the walls painted with murals of all sorts of the goddess and her glory.

Edited by ODSTDRAGON

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