Lost Legends

DeletedUser25825

Fren sat on the dirt for some time, watching the assembled legends in silent awe. For her, it was not so much the fact that they were legends, as they were animals she'd never seen before. Her wanderings had taken her to just about all areas of Soria, and she'd seen things others never had, but this was one place with a variety of new things to her senses. She stood up, and brushed her dirty hands across her dress, flattening it slightly. She began to climb down the slope yet again, ignoring the feeling of sorrow that still hung in the area like a bad stink.

She watched the animals curiously as she moved closer. They did not really regard her, as most all other animals had, but they didn't show any indications that she was not welcomed in their company. She moved as close as she dared, and sat down again to gaze upon the different animals. She looked around the valley, and noted there was a difference to the area. It felt less oppressive to her. She looked back at the animals, figuring it was their doing. She pulled her reed flute out and began playing a made-up tune with a light-hearted air, that while feeling out of place for a place that was as somber as they come, still somehow was fitting to the new hope that was being unknowingly presented by the legends return.
 

DeletedUser28032

Running had definitley been a bad idea Cercei thought to herself as she limped painfully down the hill although thankfully they had about reached the edge of the valley's lip.
Cercei stopped for breath, holding her injured leg off of the ground as she did so.
It was whilst in this slightly awkward pose that she caught the strains of a tune drifting up to her "are you hearing what I am hearing?" she inquired quietly to Jonanthan who had paused beside her. Slowly moving the last few paces to the valleys edge she gazed down in wonderment at the host of creatures assembled below "Jonathan! come quick you've got to see this" she called as loudly as she dared, waving frantically for him to join her.
She couldn't believe it they were all here, many of the magnificent creatures assembled were unknown to her but the ones she did recognise were a truly inspiring sight to behold.
All the while she was gazing down at the creatures of myth and legend she could still hear that melodic if slightly shrill tune being played. Scanning the valley she quickly found the musics source, it was a girl about the same age as she was playing a simple reed flute. However it appeared that she wasn't the only one to have heard the music as the great wolf Fenrir slowly turn to face the girl, a snarl coming to his great jaws, Cercei paled, suddenly fearful for the unknown girls life but also fully aware of the fact that there was nothing she could do to save her.
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Jonathan caught up to Cercei and his mouth fell open. The Valley was filled with Legends. Almost every Legend from any story was present, and the implications were staggering. "How...we...no one's seen them in ages...why are they here now?" he murmured. "This...is incredible!" He then heard the music and saw Fenrir's reaction. "Oh...oh that's not good..." he groaned. He wanted to do something, but what could he do against the greatest beings in Soria?

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Fenrir's ears twitched as he looked for the source of the music. He finally found Fren, and though his initial reaction was to snarl...it was obvious that there was something wrong with the girl. He spoke up about this in the language that the Shades had grown up learning. This began a short debate, which ended with Fenrir leaving his seat to approach Fren. He first tried to communicate with her in every human language he knew, but to no avail. He then attempted talking in his natural language, which elicited a response. He told Fren that they had enjoyed the music, and that a gift was in order. He told her that she had to come into the center so that everyone could hear and enjoy the music equally. He hoped that it would be enough to get her to come...he wasn't sure what else he could do...

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The Shades had just stopped, thinking they were safe, when Gunnar had the Call hit him again. Lara and Kyana tried to get him to wake up, but to no avail. Mandan was still unconscious, and the rest of the group was exhausted from getting away, so they couldn't continue to run. However, the Call seemed to pass, allowing the Shades to relax. Mandan slowly stirred, then shot bolt upright. "What happened?" His siblings relayed first their escape...then the entire rescue, as Mandan remembered none of it. He was in disbelief that he had actually stopped time around Cthulhu, but both his sisters insisted he had. Seeing that everyone was beat, the Shades decided that they should make camp. Lara and Kyana soon fell asleep, as did all three animals. Mandan had willingly taken first watch, as he felt wide awake and knew he couldn't sleep. He sat near Gunnar, cleaning, stitching, and bandaging his various wounds. This was something all three of the Shades had learned how to do, living on their own for so long. As he worked, he tried to recall how he had been able to stop time...thinking.......
 

James the Hunter

Gunnar slept still. He was tired. When he finally did wake up, he saw the violet Shade cleaning and working on his injuries. He looked up at him and began to speak.

"Saved? I...I'm free? It's been days since I've felt...free. I remember everything. His gaze, his...power. I feel...he's here. I can feel him inside my...head and my soul. What's wrong with me? I...I don't feel...free. I feel...different. Who else is here? I remember...three of you. I know the other one...with the squid. I bet...she's very pretty under her...mask or whatever. Angry sort of but...tell her thank you. For the last time she saved me too. Thank...all of you."

Gunnar rested, letting the Shade finish his job. It was hard even talking. Or breathing for that matter. Probably would not be able to stand even if he had tried.
 

DeletedUser25825

Fren lifted her eyes toward the animals as the largest wolf she'd ever seen, turned its head to snarl menacingly at her. She tilted her head to the side slightly, as she kept playing as one eyebrow lifted and she added a slight trill to her playing. The wolf perked its ears curiously, and returned its attention forward. She watched the group of animals, until the wolf hopped down from its perch and approached her guardedly.

She stopped playing her flute, and grinned at him lopsidedly, obviously not understanding most everything, as he spoke to her in several dialects. She watched Fenrir's body language, as she'd always done with animals. It wasn't the noises they made that conveyed messages, as much as the movements made while making noises. As Fenrir began a series of growls and yips directed at her, which might have sounded ferocious, Fren observed Fenrir's ears were up, hackles nowhere to be seen. She smiled widely at the legend, completely at ease, because if he was intent on eating her, she was completely unaware of the impending doom. Fenrir turned from her, and she reached out to brush her hand gently against his rear haunch. Fenrir jerked its head toward her yipping in surprise, as though her hand were scalding, and looked uncertain, most likely not used to being touched. It huffed at the girl before moving back toward the circle.

She watched Fenrir begin loping back to his perch. He paused, and looked over his shoulder at her, seeming to beckon her. She stood and began walking after him. He hopped back onto his throne, and she stood in the center of the animals. She tilted her head while spinning slowly in a circle as she curiously looked at each of the assembled legends, which in turn stared back at the small girl. She smiled widely, and looked up at the sky above, and then around the valley. She laughed and pointed off toward a small stone hatch that flew tentatively into the once unwelcoming valley and call out in a sudden burst of bird song, which to Fren sounded extremely jubilant. She lifted her flute to her lips, and played a counter melody to the bird song as she danced a thoughtless jig in place.
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
The Legends watched Fren for a minute or two, then discussed among themselves again. This time, an argument broke out, although no one else could understand it due to the language being spoken. Finally, a consensus was reached. The Queen of the Pegasus flew down and landed in front of Fren. She waited until the girl realized that she wasn't a threat and stepped forward. She then looked directly into Fren's eyes...and hesitated. She waited for a moment, then turned back. Speaking in the common language, she said, "I won't do it. The girl...likes being the way she is. I will not change a person's nature just because we think she should change." Saying that, she flew back to her perch. Lardan's Dragon nodded. "I CAN RESPECT THAT DECISION...AND WHY ARE WE SPEAKING IN THIS LANGUAGE NOW ANYWAY?" The Queen looked startled. "Hadn't realized I changed..."

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Mandan had started when Gunnar had essentially said that he liked Kyana...and not just as a rescuer. He recovered quickly and said, "She's not bad...we...had a traumatic experience when we were a lot younger...we all coped with it in different ways...Lara handled it the best and didn't change much...I became resentful and turned inward...Kyana did the opposite and raged at everything else...however...today's events...have changed me, at least." He thought, then pulled off his cloth that was covering his face. Without his covering, Mandan looked less forbidding, looking more brooding and thoughtful than anything. "Actually...the time of mourning is over...we have returned our tribe to its former glory...granted it's just the three of us, but...I think it's safe to say we can take off the cloths from our face now...the rest will stay, obviously." He made a final stitch, dressed it and bandaged it. "There...all done. I'd advise staying away from creatures who want to use you to bring about a new age of terror...and then eat you." Mandan sat back. "It's...odd...having violet hair now...I kind of liked the black, actually...and then there's that whole archmage business...I have no idea how I stopped time...I don't even remember doing it...I...was wondering...do you remember anything about how it happened?"
 

DeletedUser28032

Cercei watched the preceedings avidly from her vantage point amazed that such creatures still existed in the world.
However what amazed her more was how the girl with her simple reed flute had seemingly welcomed amongst them "I can't believe it...Fenrir is one of the most powerful figures in my peoples religion....and she petted him like a dog" she muttered in amazement Your only jealous because you know that if you tried that he would have eaten you well there was no arguing with that logic.
A cool wind blew across shoulders causing her shiver, tearing her eyes away from the gathering of mythic creatures Cercei realised that she had been sat here for hours "I think its time we moved on" she said quietly getting to her feet, unfortunately her bad ankle chose that precise moment to give way causing a shower loose stones to cascade down the mountianside, into the valley below.
 

James the Hunter

Gunnar sat up, feeling each of his scars. Feeling the stitches on his oldest one, his smile.

"Remember? A little. Not...much. Your sister pulling me away. You saying...something. I just remember the voices. The voices...and your sister carrying me away before the shock took me over. She's strong. I'm a heavy man, moslty because of my build and height," Gunnar said with a laugh. He grabbed his face quickly, the pain hurting his face by the movement.

Gunnar asked,"Do you have any food? I'm starving my friend. And where is your sister err...your sisters?"
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Jonathan inhaled sharply as the stones ran down the mountain. He froze and watched, petrified, as they came ever closer to the Legends. They eventually came to rest at the bottom. After waiting a minute, Jonathan relaxed. "I think they either didn't notice or they know and don't care...we should be going...here, I'll help..." He put his arm around Cercei, supporting her as together they descended away from the Valley.

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Mandan gave a wry smile, then frowned. "It...feels odd not having that cloth around my face...perhaps I'll still wear it while traveling...In any case, we have some vegetables...but Lara has them, and she's sound asleep...as is Kyana." He gestured to the area where his sisters were snoozing and called mentally to Shak, who stalked over. "As for Kyana's strength...the three of us had to learn to be strong after..." he broke off. "Anyway, I'll go find something to sate your hunger...DON'T wander off...Shak will watch you...the three of us think Cthulhu tampered with your mind...be careful, aye?" With that, Mandan sprinted off into the surrounding forest.
 

Peril

Baldrick and Sneezle walked down the small and winding path that lead home. There had been a strange silence about the forest ever since Baldrick had said goodbye to his family, it was seriously unnerving to Sneezle, who's teeth now sat on edge. Sneezle felt as if he had been judged by his friend's family and found poorly lacking, he was in a rather foul mood as a result. Thinking of the look on the Baldrick's Mother's face made Sneezle think of the looks he had been getting his entire life, a profound mixture of pity, annoyance and distaste, he'd gotten the same looks from his father, mother, what few friends he had. Sneezle just wasn't a big beefy son with lots of guts and glory on the side, he was, different and that hurt Sneezle, somewhere deep down.

Reaching up, Sneezle plucked Baldrick from his shoulder and held him in front of his face, under each of his arms. Trying to use his mind only this time, Sneezle thought "But you, you didn't think I was incompetent the moment you saw me, did you?"

Baldrick tilted his head at an angle that implied that he was thinking, before he nodded and replied "No, I just thought to allow you a small amount of care, before you passed out of this world. I didn't know this would happen."

Sneezle smiled and sat Baldrick upon his shoulder, resuming his plodding steps down the steep path. It was just as Sneezle decided to stop for a rest, sitting against a large boulder that had long been there, that the rumbling began to occur. From all around him the trees began to sway mightily, as if an angry god had blown on them and now they shivered with fear. The ground underneath Sneezle's boots began to tremble, as if the earth and rock underneath his feet was a giant dog who had just gotten out of a pond and was shaking the water from it's coat. Limbs began to snap and plummet to the ground all around Sneezle, as the rumbling worsened, caused by the rockslide, but unknown by Sneezle.

Suddenly, Baldrick looked up as a crack sounded from above them and a great tree limb began to fall towards the pair. Reaching up, Baldrick tugged on Sneezle's ear, while screaming "RUN!" in his mind. Sneezle bolted forward, barely avoiding the branch, which smashed into the ground where he had stood only a few seconds ago. All about the forest, trees were uprooted and began to roll downhill, taking other trees with them. Animals ran about in blind panic, as they saw their brethren taken up in the downhill tumble. Baldrick pulled on Sneezle's ear again, once more insisting "RUN!".

Sneezle began a clumsy half run, trying to keep his footing as the ground continued to shake and rumble. Now it wasn't the original rock slide that had threatened the legends that caused the rumbling, but the tons of rock, dirt and debris that had been dislodged outside of the valley. Sneezle looked up and merely had time to dive to the ground, as a giant rock flew just above his head, moving on to crush a running deer under it's giant weight. Sneezle cursed the luck that brought him up here. On this mountain, the slightest little jolt in the earth could cause massive landslides, because the entire mountain was made of loosely packed rock and dirt. Suddenly, Sneezle realized the kind of danger Baldrick was in, so he reached up and snatched his friend from his shoulder, holding him between his two cupped hands. Sneezle began to run again.

All around Sneezle, boulders, trees and animals crushed in the massive rush of stone and wood and sudden death rushed past him, rolling downhill. The small teenager could feel the tiny life he clutched between his hands and so he pressed on, putting one foot in front of the other and swinging his shoulders, trying to get enough momentum to carry him out of the forest, which was slowly beginning to topple down around them. Sneezle saw a branch fall in front of him and he threw himself over it, more then jumping. He landed in a roll that knocked the wind from him. Sneezle gasped for breath, but it wouldn't come to him for a long moment, so he simply curled around his hands and tried to keep his friend from harm, as he prayed for the rumbling to stop.

As suddenly as it had begun, the tumble of rock and wood stopped, allowing Sneezle to lie motionless as he caught his breath. He didn't want to stand a survey the horrific damage the landslide had caused, didn't want to face the sheer might of the mountain again.
 

DeletedUser28032

Cercei allowed herself to be picked up off of the ground, placing her slender tattoo'd arm around his shoulder Cercei began to limp painfully away from the valley "This is the second time you've had to carry me...I'll have to find a way to repay you"
In the background Cercei could hear a rumbling sound coming from somewhere in the valley, it sounded like a rockslide which didn't suprise her too much the mountains were prone to them.
In the distance Cercei could see a small lake sparkle between the tree's, it would be nice to go there it'd be ever so peaceful that and the chance to wash my hair wouldn't be too bad Cercei ran her free hand through her long red hair pulling long silvery threads of web from it as she did so.
"Do you eat fish?" she blurted the question suddenly, unaware that her mind was even thinking of the topic "I..I ask because theres a lake over there and I ...I may be able to catch one for supper?... that is if you eat them.... because i know some people don't and I wouldn't want to offend" she babbled with a slight hint of panic in her voice.
Meanwhile a short distance away from where Cercei was currently making a hash of proposing dinner, her owl wheeled over the devastation caused by the rockslide. I was in this pile of dirt and tangled branches that it spotted a boy and something that looked suprisingly like food.
 

DeletedUser13682

Rolf continued watching and recording the Legends and their proceedings, when a girl, around 18 looking, but acting a lot younger, came into the valley, passing right by Rolf, not noticing him somehow, and sat down near the Legends. She was playing a reed flute, appearing as if its origin was around the Mentartown area. Rolf thought for sure she would be attacked, as the wolf, Fenrir was bearing down on her. But, when she was allowed to go in the middle of the Legends, and play her flute and dance, Rolf reasoned that, at least for those whose intentions had nothing to do with the Legends, there was no risk of harm. Still, Rolf didn't want to go up to them at the moment, until it was proven that nobody at all would be attacked by them.

After observing everything concerning the Legends and the girl, Rolf noticed some rocks falling. Following the valley wall up from the point the rocks hit, Rolf saw two people, one of them a male, dressed in the style of Malkirktown Region, and the other, a female, appearing to come from one of the tribes that frequented the southwest. Rolf supposed that they were companions, evidenced by how they walked together, and decided to leave them alone. The Legends were more interesting to Rolf then a couple of starstruck people.

A few minutes after they left, Rolf felt a trembling in the earth, growing in intensity and sound by the minute. Soon, it felt like an earthquake was tearing the earth apart. He turned away from the Legends, looking for the source. And find the source he did, all hundreds of rocks, boulders, pebbles, trees, seemingly half the contents of the nearby mountain descending on the valley. Rolf stuffed his paper and pencil into his bag, and quickly got up to leave, right before the rockslide stopped, leaving the valley in peace. Rolf, realizing that the rockslide wouldn't hurt him, but the Legends might, quickly ducked down into his hiding place again, hoping the Legends hadn't seen him.
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Jonathan smiled at Cercei's question. Fish were the only animal that people ever ate, as for some reason they almost never had any power or intelligence. In truth, they were the only true animals in Soria. "I'm from Malkirk...it's one of the largest fishing towns in all of Soria. I love fish!" He ran over to his pack and dug around in it for a moment. Eventually he pulled out a rod that had been separated into pieces for ease of transport. He quickly set it up, then pulled another rod out and did the same. "I always bring a spare in case something happens to one of them." He handed one to Cercei. "Let's work together...we'll catch something faster that way, aye?"

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The Legends had noticed the large rockslide, but didn't think much of it since those had happened often, even in the old days. All it took was a strong enough wind to trigger one. Some of the mountains were nothing more than loose dirt, but those that ringed the Valley were solid rock, creating insulation from the outside. They continued discussing various things, oblivious to Rolf's temporary moment of being out in the open.
 

James the Hunter

Gunnar went back to sleep. Shak watched over him, before the beast itself fell asleep.

The Voice came back while Gunnar slept.

Return.

Gunnar's eyes shot open. They were pitch black. "Return," he whispered. He stood up, walking back towards the way the castle was. He looked at Shak. He spoke in an ancient language, unknown to all but the priests of the Ancient Old Ones. A cage of darkness surrounded the creature.

"Return," Gunnar whispered again. He started slumbering off back towards the castle. Towards the ocean. Towards Cthulhu.
 

DeletedUser28032

Cercei looked slightly embarrassed as Jonathan handed her the strange contraption of wood and string, this would be one of those cultural divides she'd been worried about.
"Errr...I don't know how to use this" she mumbled apologetically as she handed back the rod and line. she knew how to fish and was in fact pretty good at it but she'd always been taught to use a spear or a net and coracle to catch fish it'd always made sense to her before but now made her feel somewhat uncouth for want of a better word.
"I am just going to..." she said quietly motioning towards the tree's near the lake's shore before retreating towards them leaving a somewhat confused Jonathan behind her.
Cutting a decent length branch Cercei quickly set about carving and trimming the branch into a rough spear shape using the her Kukri. Sitting cross legged under the shade of the tree's Cercei realised that she had made herself appear foolish, stupid even the thought saddened her because she so wanted him to like her.
It took her the best of an hour to craft the spear mainly because she'd had to restart twice and then sliced her thumb open another time, crafting wasn't her strong suit. Once she'd finished Cercei shyly left the tree's and approached the lake where upon she removed her boots and rolled her trews up past her knee's.
The water was clear and cool as she waded out into the lake the spear held poised above her, all she needed now was patience and a fish.

The owl watched the small brown wriggling thing in the boys hand curiously, normally he would have swooped down and plucked it from its perch there and then, a quick and easy meal before it went to sleep. Yet...Something in the back of its brain kept saying No you can't eat that...it's wrong to do so This worried the owl after all such thoughts had never troubled it before, why now?
Taking flight the owl flew off disgustedly in search of a roost, perhaps it would find a more acceptable food source during the night.
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Jonathan merely managed to stammer as Cercei handed the rod and walked off before he could say anything. Slowly folding one of his rods back up, he put it back in his pack. He figured the reason for her rapid shutdown was because she didn't seem to like being taken out of her comfort zone. Her response to new things seemed to be to shut down and get out of the area. Deciding that she needed some alone time, Jonathan hooked the other rod and grabbed a worm that was half underground. He speared it, went a little upstream, and threw the line out. With a start he realized he left his pack back where they had stopped, and it had his tools in it. He sighed, resigning himself to trekking back with the fish...he'd have to gut and clean them once he got back. He sat, thinking, waiting for a bite.

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Mandan had only been gone for ten minutes when he returned, carrying several edible roots. The sight of his animal locked behind a cage of darkness made him drop the roots in shock. As he watched, similar cages sprang up around his sisters and their animals. Gunnar was nowhere in sight. Cursing, Mandan pulled his sword out and started hacking at the darkness that was Shak's cage. However, this yielded no results. His sisters were still sleeping, oblivious to what was happening. Breathing hard, Mandan stopped and, feeling foolish, tried to will the cages away. This too, caused no change. Cursing more vividly, Mandan pulled his cloth back over his face, then, with a glance to Shak and his sisters, ran off back the way they had come, figuring Gunnar must be heading back towards Cthulhu.
 

DeletedUser25825

Fren watched the Queen of the Pegasus soar over near her and land effortlessly. She grinned lopsidedly at the Pegasus as it stopped close enough to touch. She reached out and brushed her fingertips gently along the mare's haunch, giggling as the powerful muscles quivered. She looked into the soft eyes of the mare, who eventually snorted derisively and turned its head whinnying at first, and then talking the language of people. The Pegasus took flight again, and re-settled on her perch. Fren looked at the gathered Legends regard her for a few moments, before they returned their attention to each other. Fren slid her flute under her sash and wandered away from the group.

She looked over her shoulder at the Legends for a few moments, before paying closer attention to her footing as she began her ascent out of the valley. She paused as she heard the rumblings of a rockslide, and saw the dust rise from the other side of the valley. She spied Cercei and Jonathan at the rim of the valley. She vaguely recalled knowing the girl, yet couldn't quite place her. They disappeared from sight, and Fren returned her attention forward. She climbed up the valley slope, and re-entered the forest. She moved amongst the foliage, her eyes constantly wandering as she proceeded further into the woods. She'd occasionally pause to examine something that caught her eye, but mostly wandered aimlessly
 

DeletedUser28032

She'd messed things up of that much she was certain I should have just ask him to show me how it works she thought to herself as sat waistdeep in the cool water washing the tangles out of her hair.
She'd given up on fishing she was too agitated and kept missing one thrust had come perilously close to striking her own foot it had been at this point that she had decided to give up and wash her hair instead, although she had managed to catch one fish which she had left lying on the bank by Jonathans pack where she had also left her clothes fully intending to have finished and once more fully clothed before he came back.
She had been right about one thing though...It was peaceful down here, humming quietly to herself she watched the small birds in the distance absently wondering where Gealaí Rinceoir currently was, Probably out hunting something small and furry.
You realise your going to have to find a way to make it up to him, you probably hurt his feelings she knew that and felt badly about it she'd make it up to him somehow.
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Jonathan had spent the last hour or so fishing. He had managed to catch three fish...none of them huge, but definitely enough for a meal...two if Cercei had caught anything. Refolding his rod, he grabbed the fish and headed back.

It was clear when he got back that things had changed. A fish, speared from the looks of it, was lying on the ground next to Jonathan's pack. A short distance away were Cercei's clothes. Realizing the tenacity of the situation, he quickly grabbed his cleaning tools out of his pack and went back to where he had been fishing. He was grateful that they had stopped a short distance away from the water...otherwise things would have been awkward...far more so than they had been during the fishing pole incident. He sighed, wondering what he could do to fix things. He absentmindedly grabbed one of his fish and started cleaning it.
 

DeletedUser13682

Rolf had been observing the Legends for hours, recording everything that was said. Most of it sounded like the languages of animals to Rolf, the bit at the end was easy for Rolf to understand. They wanted to change the girl's nature somehow, though the pegasus would not do it, she liked the way she was. Rolf did not understand what that meant, but wrote it down anyways. When the girl left, she passed by Rolf. He attempted to get her attention, by touching her shoulder, but it was as if he did not exist to her. Maybe she was preoccupied with something else. Understanding into the Legends would be lost of he did not talk to her, but Rolf felt recording the Legends and their actions was more important at the moment.

A few hours later, Rolf had filled up nearly every piece of paper he had about the Legends, mostly their talks, some of it in animalspeak, the rest in humanspeak. It was as if they accidentially switched to humanspeak, usually in the middle of sentences. Very odd observation, but possibly an important one. Also included were sketches of all the Legends that were there, their meeting place, thrones, the valley itself, and of the girl who came. Rolf had been there for many hours, neglecting his body for the sake of chronicalizaton of events. He did not want to leave, but he had no food, and his stomach was starting to growl. It was starting to be annoying. "Gormless stomach, shut up!" It complied. A few more minutes here, and then he would get some food, water, and relief, Rolf promised to himself.
 
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