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Djinn&Juice

Frozen Footed, Hot Blooded (Shawnee)

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Shawnee had experienced a fair share of tragedies such a short time as the terrible faction known as the Legion Of Doom had befallen it's frozen landscape, heating it's frozen air with warfare and massacre. The forces being repelled when the neighboring clans were forced to work together against the innumerable odds. The truce among them fracturing as all ice eventually did in Shawnee. The Rime-Wind Clan the strongest voice in their pursuit to unite all clans in Shawnee so that this tragedy does not happen again. A race of wolven giants that used the frozen mountain tops as their home; A hearty people if not prideful in their strength and size. Istravi, their mystic and chief attempting to maintain their truce under the banner of their Kalikotus Festival. A festival where they celebrated The Kristal-Kotus who gifted them their lives and the very snow capped homes they thrived in. Each clan having their own beliefs, yet all worshiped The Frigid Goddess and so It was Istravi' belief that they could hold the festival with promise of a truce; each clan giving their strongest warrior to perform in their harshest tradition; The Trial Of Frostbitten Bones. It was a tradition the other clans could not deny and so both The Urumon Tribe and Hask-Hisk with many other smaller tribes agreeing to hold a collective festival for the clans of Shawnee. A Kalikotus Festival to be remembered.

The Clans converging in the frost shocked valley between two vast mountain peaks where the glassy surface of the ocean spanned toward the horizon. A gathering of hundreds of tribesman and women of both human an inhuman races were beginning now as the gargantuan Rime-Winds kept vigil on any infighting that would inadvertently break out.  Each tribe having their own encampments that mingled with others as relations were still tense after the bloodshed they had experienced from Dredge's forces. Bonfires and torches beginning to dot the festival landscape and light up the twilight night around them as the twelve foot wolven sat in a formation that created two colossal lines. Their drums beginning to resonate across the festival as Istravi, who was strangely much smaller than her kin, brought her voice soaring above the drums so that they all would hear her.

"Hear me! Uromon, Hask-Hisk, survivors of The Legion' devastation, and beyond. We are united here by The Kalikotus Festival under our goddess of a thousand winters. It is by her frigid eye that we are all here, enduring through countless conflicts." Her voice calling to them, stirring their pride and worship. Collective cheers resounding against the steady drum beat now underlying her voice "Through the trial of frostbitten bones, we shall all find common ground and unite under traditions entrusted to us by our ancestors, for those of you who are younglings fresh to our customs may I say welcome to what is hopefully a newfound tradition for future generations to come! The Trial of Frostbitten Bones calls the bravest of souls from our clans and families, to fight a primordial force entrusted to The Rime-Winds by The Goddess ourselves. Our champions shall fight, stripped of all weapons and armor, against the element that has nurtured us and pushed our limits all our lives...You shall face an ancient water elemental with only your training and wits to see you to victory, It is a harsh trial I know, one that has cost me two of my sons...but it is the shawnee way. There can be no held punches when our own home strives to see us frozen, killed, and broken every single day...May this be a festival to remember my brothers and sisters! If we endure together than we shall prosper together!"

A vitality surging through the clans as they roared cheers at her stirring words. The festival commencing in full swing now as The Wolven acted as the ever present guard toward unknown forces. Two at either peak overlooking the festival grounds as they kept their eyes peeled with several continuing to roam clans and make sure no disturbances occurred. The trial would soon begin and unbenknownst to Istravi...A new champion would emerge.

@TheElementHunter

Edited by Djinn&Juice

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At first the sun shone hot on his back for days on end, relentless except for its night vigils on the other side of the planet. Dust choked him and filled his lungs with fire, as if to warn him of the great ice to come, as if to tell him of the mistake he was making. Days later he’d look back and wish for the fire that coursed through his lungs as ice rained down on him in its stead.

The days spent in The Wastelands were many. Sometimes it felt as if he was going nowhere, that the steps he took did not carry him further into that endless sea of sand. It was only when he’d see the occasional cactus or shrub that he knew that he was traveling at all. In the right direction? He was not always so sure. Delirium would wake him in the middle of the night, knife drawn, fireball in hand. But it was always nothing. A small rabbit, tumbling weeds that creaked across the landscape. In those nights he wouldn’t fall to sleep, instead opting to cuddle Silverstrike and watch the sky change from black to blue to purple and blue again.

At the end of the first week he hit the ice. There was no cold accompanying it though, only a slick feeling under his feet as he walked. At first he thought it was in his head and began to trudge forward at a brisker pace. Then he slipped, the thin layer of sand under his feet giving way to the tension.

“Shit,” Sikko sits up and puts a hand to the floor. The sand scatters, revealing a smooth ice, whiter than he expected. “Guess we’re going to have to be more careful, huh Silverstrike?” He chuckles at the quizzical ‘mew’ that escapes his ocelots mouth, standing up and brushing the sand off of his bottom.

Within the next few days, heat turns to biting cold and the perpetually blue sky turns gray with clouds. Ice sears Sikko’s skin as he walks, numbing his face and neck. He dares not look in the direction he is going, fearing the full wrath of the storm in his eyes. An occasional break in the clouds provide momentary relieve and it is in one of these breaks that he spots a hut. Leaning low, he makes his way towards it.

Spoiler

 

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The shift from the searing dessert to the skin biting winds attempting to assault both his body and spirit were a testament to the wintered legacy Shawnee' lands had accrued. The distance of the hut only half a mile more, yet the blizzard continued to blanket blinding white snow. Sikko' footfalls growing more labored as he was forced to kick through tumultuous snowfall. A frigid ten minutes passing before he started to see this hovel in greater detail. A worn exterior of wind stripped wood with an oval shape that betrayed it's initial size. The thickly woven goat fur door standing nearly twelve feet tall as the hut itself nearly doubled that. The thatch that made up the roof seeming to buffer much of the wind and so as Sikko approached this bizarre hut; he was able to adjust his vision. A lantern providing a beacon against the quickly approaching dark, swinging on a hook next to the door itself. Sikko nearly being crushed by the door as it swung open mere inches from his frost bitten form. Heat pouring forth from the interior as though it were a furnace. A massive wolven greeting him with a brusque "I could smell you a mile away, You hairless ding dongs are gonna freeze if your not prepared for shawnee."

The wolven a race that existed primarily in the high ice caps of Shawnee; Giant humanoid creatures that used their wolf attributes to survive this harsh environment and even thrive. A primarily selfish people who did not rob nor pillage, but nor did they treat outsiders well. The well being of their tribe always paramount. This wolven stood nearly as tall as the door frame with the pointed ears perched at the top of her head being squished as she stood in the threshold. The giant adorned in a sleeveless breast-plate of black wrought iron and greaves of the same make. Her fur peppered black and grey with swirls of white that curled up her arms and perched at her cheeks. Her muzzle contorted in a cheshire smirk as her potent blue eyes scanned him and his companion over. "Well shit, I can't let your ass freeze out there so come on in." She said, turning around and sweeping her tail so that it cleared the snow from her porch, closing the door when he entered.

Warmth started to seep into their bones as though it were a cherished spirit returning to it's body. the interior cozy and staggering in it's scale differenct from many inns and stops he had made elswhere on his journey. A single table with chairs with a pot of fresh stew just put out to cool. A fireplace in the back, crackling with hungry flames as the wolven threw another log on to keep the flames bright. A large singular bed tucked into the corner with a chest and a single shelf for belongings, a small stove with a single cabinet making up the kitchen. a freshly carved rabbit hanging off to the side. A ladder leading to a second floor fused to the wall just to the left of the entry way. "Ever since those black hearted fucks tried to destroy this place, ive been stuck out here in the watchtower...making sure nothing shady goes through this pass. The only thing I get out here are stranded horse hitches freezing their asses off!" She grumbled, sighing as she sat in a chair with a wooden groan, waving an idle hand over to the fireplace "Go sit over there and get yourself warmed up dumb-sicle. Names Rivana." She said with a snort, continuing to stir the stew. 

"So what the hell are you doing all the way out here anyway? Most people steer clear, mostly now 'cuz of the damned legion shitbags."

Edited by Djinn&Juice

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What in gods name...

Sikko didn't know what to expect when he'd been approaching the hut, but it sure as hell wasn't a wolf. He didn't flinch when it swung the door open, mostly because of his whole body being frozen, but his heart jumped three beats when he looked into those canine eyes. They weren't feral, not even a little bit, he'd even go so far as to call them king, but that didn't make him any more at ease.

On 12/2/2019 at 11:17 PM, Djinn&Juice said:

"Well shit, I can't let your ass freeze out there so come on in."

Was it wise to trust this creature he'd just met? Probably not. He could hear Sanso's nagging voice warning him of his stupidity. 

Investigate before you infiltrate, Sikkoran!

But the heat licked his frozen nose as the creature turned around and walked into its abode. It was the first warmth he'd felt in days, and it was intoxicating. he could imagine that lick soaking into his face, down his spine, and filling his whole body with its delicious touch. Before he knew it he was stepping inside and sitting in the place Rivana told him to.

On 12/2/2019 at 11:17 PM, Djinn&Juice said:

"So what the hell are you doing all the way out here anyway? Most people steer clear, mostly now 'cuz of the damned legion shitbags."

Sikkoran didn't answer for a long moment. One that stretched from seconds, to minutes, five before he even began to stutter a response. He feigned the delay as a simple matter of inability, wiping icicles from his lashes, trying to stop the chatter of his teeth, but the fact of the matter was he didn't know whether to trust her. He'd read about wolven creatures that lived in these arid lands, seen the drawings of their rabid eyes and blood soaked mouths. Rivana was nothing like those pictures, bbut who was to say that she wasn't just buying her time, waiting to eat the helpless, human boy?

"Um... My name is Linron, but you can call me Lin." He sits up straighter, allowing Silverstrike to scramble out of his bag and onto his shoulders. "I've come in search of the elemental that is rumored to rule these glaciers. I am going to find it, and kill it." He stands looking her in the eyes, ready for anything.

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Most of the ilk that came across her hut always had much to say when it came to her wolven nature considering it wasn't a race known across the world. Rivana finding it curious that this guy seemed intent on watching his words, despite the harshness of the weather. She always figured the warmth of the interior was enough to get them to open up; she liked that Sikko was different. The five minutes passing with Rivana setting a bowl of stew in front of him as she started in on her own, slurping it down with a heavy sigh as she leaned back and pat her stomach a few times. their gazes crossing a few times in the silence and they both appeared to be gauging eachother. Her eyes having no malice, viciousness, or darkness...but rather a will of fire that seemed to steam off her thick arms and chest. He could tell that she was a warrior through and through. Something she saw too, in Sikkoran's own pupils. A wide smile spreading across her maw as he finally spoke up.

"Well Lin, that is a crazy fucking reason to trek through one of the most dangerous regions this side of Terrenus...I like it"

The large wolf barking a boisterous laugh at the concept of anyone other than the shawnee clans taking on such a task. If he didn't look so serious when he met her gaze she would've thought he was just lying his ass off to be macho, but damned if she didn't see he was willing to go through with this search of his. Rivana finishing her stew and tossing the bowl onto the table as she used one of her claws to pick her teeth. Istravi had given her rules on who to watch out for and who to let in. She could practically feel the underlying talent this one had. He would be one hell of a contender. Rivana stretching out her legs and kicking up onto the table

"If your looking to tangle with the elemental then your after The Trial Of Frostbitten Bones, actually, it's a tradition my clan started!" She said with pride swelling in her muscled chest, brandishing her hand toward the tapestry above the doors that depicted the clan of giant wolves surrounding an elemental force surrounded by watery tendrils.

"We used to be a bunch of bloodthirsty marauders that fought with anything and everything that came through here, but grandma thought shit needed a change if we were going to survive and fought Chief Ragnar for leadership. She may be old as dirt, but damn is she strong! I only heard stories about it, but she whipped his ass out of the clan and led us on a different path. Istravi knew that her people were still warriors and if we weren't gonna be fighting fair skins and their ilk then we needed something else to fight. That's where she came up with The Trial Of Frostbitten Bones. A fucking mouthful, but damn if it isn't cool. We hold a festival every year where our strongest warriors gather together and one on one fight The Elemental with only their fists and combat prowess! Your in luck cause the festival is being held tonight with a few other clans too! Those cock weasels that attacked before made the clans desperate enough where they are w orking together on this festival so you'd probably be able to get in if your good" Moshra pouring a tankard full and giving it a hearty drink 

"The Krokahten are the wolf clans, which thanks to grandma aren't hostile to folks like you...but the other clans and their crazy ass ways will likely try and kill you dead so I'd be careful...well...actually. I was going to fight the elemental myself this year and show those assholes what a real warrior looks like, but I got stuck out here instead. If you can get to Istravi, she'll grant you amnesty from the other clans and I bet she'll even let you fight in my stead, but you have to win! That'll show them that even all the way out here I can still kick better ass then they can! Tell them that and they'll sure as shit now who sent ya" She said with another boisterous laugh, giving him a leather strapped necklace with silvery crescent moon sidled next to a bright blue crystal; a depiction of a howling wolf seeming to animate within. Her gregarious nature almost making the interior even warmer now as Sikko' bones continued to drink in the warmth. 

Rivana content on getting shitfaced as she poured another tankard and started to them one after another.  

"That's my dad's pendent, when you beat the elemental and totally don't die in the process...bring that back to me will ya? He told me to help an outsider lookin to fight winter's heart and my gut says your him"

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Sikkoran sipped the stew as the woman talked, the saltiness setting his mouth ablaze and saliva pouring. He quickly slurped down most of the contents, chewing especially slow on the meat, swishing its tangy flavor around his mouth before swallowing. He gave a few pieces to the cowering Silverstrike, before setting the bowl to his lips, tilting his head back, and letting the warm juice slide down his throat. He mostly nodded at the information she gave him, taking out his notebook to write it down. He didn't think he'd have to contend with semi-hostile wolf people, but it wasn't necessarily a big problem, especially with the moon that now sat on his chest.

He fingered the moon as the woman drank, the edges of the pendant cold and sharp on his fingers. Did he really want to do this? Sanso had told him how impossible, how crazy this would be. Did he mention wolf people, no, but this one didn't seem so bad. With the pendant, came amnesty, with amnesty came a better chance of killing that Elemental. He looks at the woman in front of him a moment, before smiling and grabbing a mug of his own.

If he wasn't going to live through this, might as well go down with a full belly.

"Mind if I stay a night?" He said as he poured his own tankard. "I could get out of your hair now if you want though." He gulps down the sweet liquid, burping as it turned to fire in his throat and warm embers in his belly.

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