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Avatar The Last Airbender RPG

737 years after the fall of Ozai, and the world is once again on the brink of collapse. Sudden, random rebellions supported by unknown parties have sprung up across all nations. With the next Avatar undiscovered, the world's hope begins to crumble.
 
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 Stepping Lightly

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TheMoJo
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PostSubject: Stepping Lightly   Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:20 am

The ports of Vermillion were abuzz with travelers and merchants as Kai stepped off the fairy from the avatar temple island. He stepped into a crowd of busy bustling people of many different shapes and sizes and dress styles. He walked amongst the people as the wave of people carried him further into the city until he found an opening to slip out into.

Stepping out into the crowd he turned around to look at all the people. He accidentally walked backwards into someone and heard something crash. He looked behind him to see a big burly man with a broken pot behind him.
"Why don't you watch where you're going?" The burly man asks.
"I was watching all the people." Kai answers strait forward.
"Don't be smart with me, kid." the man says.
"I'm sorry, I was just answering your question."
"Bah, you're just a kid." He grumbles before storming off.

Kai shrugged as he watched the man walk away. He went over to the market and looked at some of the food. Watching people exchange money for the food. He only had a little money at this point, but he was supposed to use it for something else. He walked over and sat on the fountain and sat down, watching the other people that came into the plaza.
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PostSubject: Re: Stepping Lightly   Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:20 pm

Zesh hated the city of Vemilion. To be fair it didn't have anything to do with this city in particular, that distaste spread to all capital cities. They were monumentally ostentatious piles of tackiness and jingoistic obsession. Little more than a nation pulling down its pants and screaming its capital was bigger than yours. He hated them about as much as he hated armies and national sports teams. Such a waste of potential, money that could be spent elsewhere, intelligently and usefully, was wasted here. It wasn't really the city itself he hated though, and certainly not the people, they were just the same as people anywhere, if a little more self-absorbed, what he hated was the waste of potential he saw. How many could have been fed if some imbecilic noble had not decided he needed more useless golden ornaments on his estate? How many children could have had their education paid for in full by the amount of money Emperors and Kings wasted on themselves and their palaces every day? He'd done the research, he'd run the numbers, he knew the final figures and they didn't paint a pretty picture. Then again maybe he'd just spent too much time away from the opulence and hustle and bustle of large cities.

He wasn't here to stay anyways. He was expecting to stick around no more than a day, he was just passing through, hoping to make use of some hotel's bed and warm food for the night before setting off into the wilderness. Still there were several hours left between now and a time deep enough into the night when he could finally fall asleep. There were plenty of things to do in the city, but most of them weren't his cup of tea. 'Hmm... tea? I could do with a cup of tea' he thought. He knew of several small stands in the city where he could fulfill this sudden craving, one of which was right next to a very nice little fountain near the markets.

All of this he pondered as he limped off the boat and onto the docks, thankful for the feeling of solid ground under his feet. Unlike many of his Water tribe brethren he wasn't fond of boats. He'd been sick for nearly all of the trip, and he still felt as though the world was rocking to the ceaseless pummeling of the waves on a hull, but his stomach was feeling much calmer and steadier now that he was standing on something that only felt like it was moving.

He walked with the crowd, keeping up a steady pace despite his missing leg and he reached his destination quickly enough. He bought the steaming cup he'd so been craving for, surprised to find the stand he remember exactly where he remembered it, and moved off to the fountain which he found with ease. It was a little removed from the crowded marketplace, you could still hear the laughter and talking and general crowded mess of sound coming from the market here, but it wasn't as loud or oppressive as it was when you were actually standing in the middle of the market's crowd.

The fountain was the centerpiece of the square, surrounded by stone pots of greenery which added a welcome touch of nature to the place. The fountain itself was rather bare, with a circular basin and a simple slab of stone in its centre. On it was engraved a quote from whoever the place had been built in honour of. Zesh had looked up the guy out of curiosity, as it turned out he'd been a poet of some description, popular enough to get an entire square made in his honour.

A kid was sitting on the rim of the basin, observing the entrance. The old traveler noticed his unusual clothing and recognised the garments as being those of a monk. The kid looked a bit young to be one though. Zesh had met his fair share of monks, and he'd rarely met one that was younger than twenty years old. Maybe the kid had stolen the clothes, in which case he was foolish to openly wear them. Either way the kid was interesting. He limped over to the fountain, sitting a polite distance away from the kid and taking a sip from his cup.

"Hello there. Nice day for travelling isn't it?" it was true, today had been nice, the skies were mostly clear with only a few clouds providing occasional moments of blissful shelter from the sun.

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Last edited by PineApocalypse on Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Stepping Lightly   Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:16 pm

Kai sat watching the many different people walk past. He was interested in all the different styles of clothing many had on. Some were nearly covered with what they wore. Others seemed to have very little clothing covering them. The many colors of the clothing were very interesting to him. All he'd ever really worn were the reds, oranges, and blacks that the temple gave him to wear. The people here were adorned in greens, blues, and many other colors that appealed to Kai.

He watched the people come past the merchants of the square. Kai observed what they were buying, how they acted when they bought it and where they went afterwards. He didn't know the city that well so he couldn't make very many inferences about where one might be going with what they had just purchased.

Kai felt a slight emptiness as his stomach growled lightly. He'd fasted before, he thought he could hold on a little longer. He was supposed to save his money for a ferry anyways, He didn't know which ferry or boat he was supposed to take, but it seemed like it was up to him where he went first on his journey.

Kai was trying to decide where he would go first when a voice addressed him. "Oh, Hello." he said, standing up to bow to the older man, before sitting back down. "Yes it is a nice day for traveling." Kai replied. " Except I don't know where it is I'm heading." He continued giving a smile and shrugging. He looked at the older man a little more throughly. He was a lanky bald man with a long, unruly beard. " Are you traveling too?"Kai asked, watching the man take a sip of his tea.

((OOC: I'm going camping this weekend, so I probably won't get back to you on your reply until Sunday my time.))
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PostSubject: Re: Stepping Lightly   Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:38 pm

"I am indeed. Have been for over thirty years," Zesh replied pleasantly. "I guess you could say the wanderlust got me when I was still young. I was nearly as young as you when I started, a little older maybe. Travelling around, meeting new people and experiencing new things, it's the best way to build character. You live, you travel, you learn. I'm glad to see some young people still give the wanderlust a chance. As for not knowing where you're going, well that's quite normal. Choosing a road and travelling down its length with no idea where it's leading you is the entire point isn't it? You'll discover the most when you lose yourself into the wilder lands, just make sure you have the skills and supplies to stay alive," he replied, placing his cup gently down next to him and looking up at the people passing by the square as they trundled about the market.

After three decades of travelling he liked to think he could tell a lot about people simply from looking at them. For instance the fat man that was shuffling past right now was probably an Earth Kingdom merchant given the predominance of green and yellows in his outfit. Rich enough to sustain his eating habit, but not rich enough to afford people to carry him. A middle class man then. The next passer by was quite the opposite, stocky and short, with red clothes that screamed of the Vermilion Empire mainland, but a certain wild look about him that probably meant he was a fighting man. His posture screamed of a lack of discipline though, so he wasn't a soldier, just a sword for hire.

"You're a monk right?" the question was rhetorical. Much as he had been able to tell much about the strangers in parading in front of the square in their errands about the market he could tell a few things about this kid, and one of them was that he wasn't a thief. The only other option to explain the monk's clothing on his back was that he was a monk, a monk of what or of where though/ That was another question for another time. "Your clothes scream it for all to see. Which is good, people are less likely to attack monks, either out of respect or because you guys don't usually carry a lot of valuables on your persons. Still, I feel that I should warn you, you monks have a habit of being thoroughly ignorant of the dangers of the world outside your temples. If you intend on travelling prepare yourself, and learn to read people. Knowing how to tell whether someone is hostile or not can be a life saver, especially if you're unwilling, or unable," as he said that he tapped his mangled leg, the wooden prosthetic limb let out a solid thunk in reply, "to fight," Zesh looked calm on the outside, but on the inside he was quite giddy. He loved teaching, he always had, and now he had the chance to impart wisdom on travelling.

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PostSubject: Re: Stepping Lightly   Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:14 pm

Kai listened to the older traveller as he spoke of traveling and the learning experience of traveling with no real set information. He watched the man who seemed to know quite a bit about the subject of traveling. Of course, Kai knew that with age came wisdom. Many of the monks had much wisdom to show for their years.

Kai sat in silence watching the old man as he seemed to watch other people. He watched him with curiosity until he turned back and started talking again. He started off by asking him if he was a monk. He was about to answer the question, when the man continued answering it for him. The man explained pros and cons about him being a monk. Kai was told he should prepare. "The monks at the temple gave me some supplies and taught me firebending when I started to show signs of having that ability. And I read a lot at the temple." Kai says. " But I can see the value in knowing a little more about things before setting off." He says. "I'd be willing to take a lesson before beginning my journey." Kai says before standing up. " Though first thing I think we each should learn, is each others names." He says holding out his hand. " My name is Kai."
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PostSubject: Re: Stepping Lightly   Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:34 am

"You want a lesson huh?" Zesh asked, sounding just as surprised as he was. Few young men actually sought knowledge, and while this young monk was not seeking knowledge for knowledge's sake, which in the old man's eye was the purest form of learning, Zesh was more than willing to oblige him. "I guess I could spare some time to give a potential lifelong wanderer a hint or two.

"Well to start you should throw out the age old adage not to judge a book by its cover. I've found it's usually untrue for both books and people. There's much you can tell from a person's appearance if you look closely enough, and we as humans have a tendency to pass judgement based on observations anyway. Clothing alone is a good start, the colors, the fabrics used, the quality of the materials and the weave, the ornamentation, the accessories. Every aspect of a person's look can tell you something,"
out of the corner of his eye Zesh noticed a prime example to illustrate his point passing by the mouth of the square.

"This woman for example," he said, pointing at the passer by. "I can tell you she's from the water tribes, she's wearing a traditional betrothal necklace around her neck. Her clothes are fairly traditional of the Southern Tribe too, light blues, white furs and tiger seal skin boots are pretty good tells as well. Her skin, darkened by the strong sun of the poles is also a dead giveaway, much like your clothing. The rough, obviously worn and homemade look of her gear implies she's been on the road a while and that the cloth wasn't all that good quality in the first place, implying a comfortable but not well off family," as he finished she passed out of sight. "There were more signs to pick up, the shape and colour of the face, eyes, nose and mouth are also good indicators of a person's origin.

"As I'm sure you noticed these observations require some prior knowledge about the different nations, and much of the speed and confidance I have comes from experience. When I first set out I couldn't tell the difference between a Vermilion Empire native and an Earth Kingdom subject. Time and a lot of research certainly helps. As for what you've read in books I'll say one thing about, don't trust that information blindly. Second hand knowledge is inarguably useful, but make sure to keep an eye open for a chance to confirm or refute any information you know, and when in doubt trust your own judgement. After all information given by someone else is just facts wrapped in opinion and personal preferences. I'd encourage you to keep written notes on anything of interest that you encounter. The mind can be a tricky thing, and people remembering things with crystal clear clarity is usually the stuff of legends more than reality,"
he took a quick sip of the rapidly cooling beverage to clear his throat before resuming.

"Of course you're likely to meet people who are harder to identify, whose clothes are mixed and matched, whose skin and other physical features are not clearly recognisable due to mixed parentage or who might be intentionally wearing neutral clothing in hope of not being recognised. There's no good way of identifying and classifying such people other than a ton of experience. Thankfully what you absolutely need to know about reading people is how to read their disposition towards you. That skill is invaluable both when haggling with merchants for supplies, which you will have to do at some point, or when gauging how likely a passing traveller is to attacking you. Body language is key here. Staring, profuse sweating, fidgeting and restlessness, muscle tension, flushing or extreme paleness in various combinations with one another can all be signs of aggression. Noticing if the people you pass are armed is also a good idea, although if someone is armed doesn't necessarily mean they're going to pounce on you and stab you in the throat. Most people on the road carry some weaponry just for protection, and in all honesty I'd say you should too, a simple knife would do. Keep it exposed too, you'll discourage most potential human aggressors just by wearing a weapon, even if you don't know how to use it, because they don't know you don't know how to use it," Zesh delivered that line with a sly smile. "Of course your body language will betray you, but again, most people don't know how to really read someone's reactions.

"As for you being a fire bender, well consider yourself lucky. Starting fires and scaring away wild animals should be fairly easy for you. When I was travelling with my sister the best she could do was put out the fire,"
he added with a small laugh. Spirits did he miss her. She'd been so much more useful than a glorified fire hose. From creating shelters to catching food to fending off potential threats to doing something as minimal as keeping him dry when it rained. He cleared his throat with a rough cough before continuing. "Anyway, if you keep these pointers in mind you should considerably increase your chances of being fine on your travels. Before I let you go though let's test whether you were listening to this old man or whether you were dosing off," he added the last part in a gruff, but not unkind tone. "Tell me all you can make out of this woman," he ordered, pointing at a lady whose profile was exposed to them as she browsed the inventory of a particular stall.

((OOC: I'm leaving how successful and how the woman looks like up to you and your character))

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PostSubject: Re: Stepping Lightly   Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:36 pm

Kai stood there looking over his shoulder as he older man assessed the water tribe woman passing behind him. Eventually he turned all the way around watching the woman pass by. He watched until the man began talking about his experiences with other people. Kai looked around at other people picking up some details such as posture, clothing, and body type. He looked back at the man as he mentioned noticing if people were armed or not. He listened as he was given advise to start carrying a knife around, even if he didn't know how to use it.

Then the man moved onto the subject of his bending and its usefulness for traveling. He listened as the man talked about his sister and their traveling days together. Then the man looked as if he was in a thought about something for a short little bit. The man wrapped up his lesson after a small cough. Then he told Kai to analyze a woman at a vendor stall to make sure he was paying attention.

Kai looked at the woman for a little bit. " Her clothes have a green hue to them which might mean Earth Kingdom, but her physical features speak differently. The higher bridge of the nose is normally a trait of Fire Nation people, as is the paler skin tone. The holder of her hair has three prongs which means she is of nobility, her posture speaks it as well. Possibly lower nobility if he is out and about here. Though what she is doing out here, isn't really clear to me." He says finishing up and turning back to the man.
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PostSubject: Re: Stepping Lightly   Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:34 am

((OOC: Sorry for having taken this long to reply, I was busy and then yesterday I was pretty darn sick.))

A smile spread on his old face as the young monk dutifully, and mostly correctly, read the target. He had missed a few things, minor ones though, but the skills he'd shown were certainly advanced enough to serve him well on his travels. After all a deep understanding of the subtle ploys of nobles, lower or otherwise, was rarely a necessity when travelling. Encountering nobles on the road was exceedingly rare, and when a noble wanted something they rarely did it themselves anyway, and the men and women they hired were much easier to read.

"She's wearing green because she does not want to be recognised as being from the Fire Nation. Which she is doing an exceptionally poor job of given the hair brooch, her posture and the quality of her clothing which you so pertinently noticed. To be fair thought most people would pass on their way without taking notice of the number of prongs. As for her business here given how she's presented herself I'd wager she's meeting a suitor," he explained evenly. "Or rather she's having an affair. If this was a question of a noble marrying off his daughter there would be at least one chaperon around her and the father himself would probably be present. Not to mention that a meeting for such affairs would almost certainly never be held in a marketplace. Additionally she does not seem young enough to not be married, nobles have a tendency to sell off their daughters to husbands as quickly as possible in hopes of cashing in an interest,” a very noticeable note of disgust had crept into his tone as he’d said that, but it disappeared as suddenly as it had come up when he moved to the next sentence. “You might have been a little too young and innocent to suspect such things though," he paused a second before chuckling. "Plus nobles are too strange, even for me," he added as a man in green who looked very much like a commoner waved at the woman and approached her in a very informal way not befitting of his social status, or of hers.

"Other than that you've proven yourself to be a quick study," Zesh admitted as he swirled what little of his beverage remained in his cup before drinking it in a single quick sip. "You're more than ready to handle yourself on whatever path it is you choose to take. Just remember to stick to the main roads as much as you can. Forging a path through the wild lands can be rewarding, but it is also much more dangerous," the travelling scholar pushed himself up with the help of his walking stick, struggling a little to regain his balance, but managing nonetheless. "My name is Zesh Suassen by the way. In all of my excitement about enlightening a younger mind I seem to have forgotten to introduce myself. Many apologies for that. Maybe we'll meet again Kai, but in the meantime may you have many pleasant days, and may your feet always take you where there is the most to learn," the old man dusted his back as the Fire Nation woman and her lover left the marketplace to go off on their own little adventure.

((OOC: We’re nearly at the end of this topic I think. I’d say your next one should be the last post.))

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PostSubject: Re: Stepping Lightly   Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:25 pm

((I can totally understand, I've got finals coming up so focus will be guided more towards that.))

Kai looked at Zesh as he graded Kai on his analysis of the woman. He listened as Zesh added information that he wasn't aware of. Kai Listened as Zesh commended him on his learning speed, and gave him a few tips for the road. He watched as Zesh stood up, He started to smile. " Thanks for the help." He said. " I guess we'll be going our separate paths then?" He said. "I guess if luck has it, we'll meet again sometime down the road in the future." He says shaking the Zesh's hand. " I've now got an idea of where I'd like to start." He says smiling. "Thanks again for your help." Kai says before rushing off to his next destination. He'd decided that he'd try and see the rest of the fire nation before setting off towards the other regions. He figured he should see the rest of his home country first.
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