Avatar: The Last Airbender RPG
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Avatar: The Last Airbender RPG

420 years after the fall of Ozai, decades of tranquility have brought about an era where peace is no longer only a mere philosophical abstraction. However beyond the grasp of the Four Nations, a long lost legacy resurfaces.
 
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420 Years
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It is currently the year: 420 AO (After Ozai)

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Kaniehtí:io "Ziio" Aarushi

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Emperor Nobunaga Ezofuji
Tekonwenaharake Ojitsah, Waneek of the North and South
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Zhekt Garasu
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PostSubject: The Western Desert Dunes[Open Topic - NPCs/Baddies Also Welcome]   The Western Desert Dunes[Open Topic - NPCs/Baddies Also Welcome] I_icon_minitimeSun May 22, 2016 8:40 pm

It was only a glimpse on the horizon - a momentary flash of light reflected on something glass.  It was enough, though - he could have seen the refection of dew on a leaf from the oasis from this distance.  The sun was nearly high enough to reflect anything today - the sky was unmarked by clouds or colour - just the steady familiar blue.

Caravans had been leaving later and moving slower this week - he could tell the rhiocerous beetles were bored of walking the same stretch of sand for the last month.  How could he blame them? He was bored of watching over their journey.  What kind of adventure leads to and from the same place every day?

Still, the pay was good - the wind was with them even - but it wasn't enough to settle the strange feeling inside.  The nagging urge to cry for no reason. He felt lonlier than he had in the five years he'd spent in this sand - lonlier than he'd felt before Monty sailed over his head and landed in his path.  Ironically, this was the most time he'd been able to spend with another person in half a year.

Stretching with an audible pop, he takes a deep breath and looks upward toward the clear sky.


"Three more hours and we'll be at the border and they'll be fine to pass through - they're desperately trying to make up for their lack of territory but maybe he'll tip us another branch of cherries today..."  Maybe that's what he liked about being out here - knowing he could talk to himself, to Monty, to the wind that gently moves through him without his bending - the lack of judgement.

Chittering in response, the Sugarglider pokes his pink nose out of Rigzden's shirt and licks the salt from the young man's skin in agreement.

With a smile he pulls the staff from his back and taps the first lever.  A brilliant yellow fan opens across the top of the staff and he places his left foot onto the base.  Leaning forward onto the wood, he clicks his tongue twice.  Monty disappears into the folds of cloth and Rigz kicks his right leg off of the sand.

This was freedom - this was limitless.  This was desert-surfing.  Right arm extended beside him, his wrist flicks and turns his palm from facing the hot earth to the blazing sun.  Each twist propells air into his fan and circles the current around his body - curling air to sail across the sand, balancing on the ball of his left foot.

Gleefully howling out into the empty desert, he directs himself toward the oncoming caravan, and over the largest ramp he can find.


Last edited by Rigzden on Wed May 25, 2016 8:24 pm; edited 4 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Desert Dunes[Open Topic - NPCs/Baddies Also Welcome]   The Western Desert Dunes[Open Topic - NPCs/Baddies Also Welcome] I_icon_minitimeMon May 23, 2016 8:29 am

Ripples of sand break like waves against the end of Rigzden’s staff and he hurls himself down another sandy valley. His stomach had been groaning its reluctance for the last two hours and he could barely ignore it anymore. Meditating would be an easy way to pass the time – find the highest place to sit, wait, watch the trail-master drag his poor Rhinoceros-beetles down the same road again. It wasn’t like they’d hadn't walked this path twenty times before.

Every time it was the same – they’d hire him for the least they could pay and threaten him with his life in the same breath. They weren’t evil, though – they didn’t mean to be rude. He wasn’t blind and he wasn’t as naïve as his first days in the desert. They didn’t want to ask his help, but they were occasionally glad to have it. It was a lot easier to spot a sandworm tail or a rival camp from the air. Rigz could be proud of the occasional nod he’d earn. After so long in Ilyd territory, he would be glad to move on.


One more week… Still, he doesn’t feel reassured, even by his own voice. It didn’t matter – he wasn’t here to think – this was the time he felt most alive.

The trench of sand began to level under his feet and the speed of his decline whipped a torrent of sand tumbling down behind him. Looking up at the next mound of sand, Rigzden laughs loud enough to hear himself over the rushing air. The endless flick of his wrist is caught still as he raises his arm over his head. Balancing both feet on the end of his staff, he focuses all his energy into his palms. Both arms extended before him, fists clenched tightly with fingers wrapped around each thumb, he does not release.

There was a moment, where the edge of sand would bend and his arms would have the perfect angle against the floor behind him, but it wasn’t here. There was time to find his breath and hold his palms, to let the staff bend with the wake, and he could almost feel it the way they did – the sandbenders that he watched over. Somehow, they could move these billions of tiny pieces as one – like he could move the air. Waiting, trying to read the vibration beneath him rather than the one whirling around him, he tried to hear the sand speak to him. But, again, there was no voice.


Not this time.

There was still no disappointment in the thought – this was one of the best inclines he’d found in the last week. The west side of this beetle trail and been shallow, with smaller ridges and less places to hide. He’d quickly abandoned it in favour of the eastern side.
And the moment came, pulling him from his thoughts. The yellow fan begins to lose its lift as his staff slows. The sun has been buried by the dense desert landscape – all of his senses become obscured by his surroundings, but the monk remembers how to control the flow of his thoughts. The rolling wave of sand behind him is louder, pelting him with tiny shards as he holds his breath.

Memories of the paintings still play in his minds eyes as he follows the motions. Slow exhale, open palms gently, turn wrists away from centre. Inhale sharply, deeply, fully – hold.

Rigzden throws both his hands behind his body and exhales deeply, rolling his wrists through the motion of his shoulders. Twin tornadoes roar from his palms and Rigzden exhales all his breath through a long sharp burst. Immense force propels him up the steep slope and he kicks the base of his staff. A second fan opens against the top of the sand to steady his ascent. Counting the fractions of time in his head as he rises to the top, he takes another breath and howls excitedly as he breaks into sunlight once more. Sand and air mix in a single wide torrent behind him as his glider kicks through the last foot of the massive hill.

His focus wasn’t lost – he was being paid to be out here, and trying to maintain his respectful position as outsider – but he wasn’t dead inside. He could enjoy his time in the sand however he chose. Sailing higher and higher, he began to slowly turn with a tilt of his body. The glider casually twirled, giving ample time to scan the surrounding area for anything unusual – after this long on such a short trail, he could have surely drawn every dune by memory.


Nothing – not even a trail around for me to imagine we could follow. Another long day without any curiousity. But that wasn’t true either. The man had signaled Rigzden as he’d taught them to when these runs began. It had taken weeks to get them to trust him enough to speak with him during his scouting – and to earn that respect he’d successfully prevented an ambush from the south east.

Sliding his left foot forward on the staff, he leans into it and levels the glider over the sand far below. Riding the top of the glider, taking hold of the bottom with his right hand, he balances perfectly on the light breeze and sails toward the caravan.

This was one of the smallest he’d lead but the most heavily guarded. He was sure the straw-man was taking something important, or something valuable. The massive food sled was always in front, setting the pace for the smaller one behind it. The Rhinoceros-beetles pulled through the sand with ease – massive brown and green mounds against the sand – and even lifted an eye or two as Rigzden began closing the distance between them.

Waiting until the group was just below his glider, Rigzden clicks his heel against the wooden shaft and both fans fold away into the stock once more. Lazily tilting his body, he comically freefalls a few feet before taking control of his descent. Snatching the wooden staff from over his head, he places it onto his back and descends gently toward the leading beetle.

The tips of his right toes right first and test the beetles memory. It doesn’t react to him – simply striding as directed and shuffling giant legs over the sand. Landing on the carapace, he offers the straw-man a bow of his head.


“Anythin’ air-head?” They’d called him many things, but this was actually the one he liked the most. Sometimes it seemed like they wanted to ask his name but then someone else would invent another for him and it would be like starting over. At least this man chose to speak to him without threats. Rigzden simply shakes his head in response.
“Good. Rhinok should be fed – might as well feed the other one, too.”

Hauling back on the reigns of his beetle, the man stops the pair of sleds and the men and women guarding them. They exchange a few words – the others understand that it isn’t going to be a long break, that the strange white-haired kid won’t be around them for long. Slipping down the thick shell of the beetle was fun – even if he ended up flopping onto his butt against the sand – it reminded him of something he couldn’t remember. Feeding the beetles was not something he enjoyed, however. It seemed like they would only eat rancid meat no matter what he’d presented to them otherwise.
On the front of the food sled was the bag with their dinner – kept well away from everything else under the tarp. Grabbing it by the string, he holds it as far away from his body as he can and turns to drop it in front of Rhinok.

“Kid!” One of the sand benders shouts at him suddenly, and Rigzden drops the bag and holds up his palms.

“Trust me – I wouldn’t steal anything, but I really wouldn’t be stupid enough to steal that.”

Strange – they laughed. Not the way they always did, anyway. There was something honest this time.

“Settle it, air-head. You’ve been runnin’ ahead for us on this road a while. We know you’d have turned south if you were really interested in profit. Last month has been quiet as the clans figure out what’s comin’ next, but you still keep us from surprises. We decided – you’re ugly skinny, kid. Look at’ya. We get hit – what are you gonna do ‘cept blow hot air? Green bag is for you – eat it.”

Rigz turns away with a smirk and finds the bag. It’s heavy, bumpy, as long as his forearm and very full. Reaching inside and pulling out a plump yellow fruit, he hears the roar of laughter from the members of the Ilyd tribe.

Oh well – sand pears were better than nothing.


Last edited by Rigzden on Wed May 25, 2016 8:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Desert Dunes[Open Topic - NPCs/Baddies Also Welcome]   The Western Desert Dunes[Open Topic - NPCs/Baddies Also Welcome] I_icon_minitimeWed May 25, 2016 7:54 pm

Grinding through a pear was an interesting thing – there wasn’t an art to eating such a rude fruit or anything, but it was an experience. You always remember the first time you bit into something that looked so satisfying but had almost no flavour. It really was like chewing a mouthful of wet sand, complete with the irritating, scraping, grating grains that stuck to your mouth for hours. Well, most people’s mouths.

Like anything in the desert, survival depends on adaptability. Learn to live with something as though you couldn’t live without it.

Rigz had spent nearly an hour gagging and trying to wretch the sand out of his throat when he’d first eaten them but today they disappear bite by bite, barely chewed between each savage tear through flesh. There may be no art to eating them, but there’s a trick. Don’t let the sand get you, and you won’t have to swallow any sand.

Like anything in the desert, survival depends on memory. Learn to live with what could kill you as though it couldn’t.

One hand isn’t enough to satisfy his crazed desire any longer. The drawstring of the wide bag seemed to be too long for the sac, but long enough to slip each arm through and wear it as a backpack. Both hands free, he is free to tear through pear after pear without having to pause. Before long, he can’t reach from over his shoulder to pluck another but quickly finds another soultion. Pulling the bottom of the bag tightly between his hands, he whistles inward and sharply blows. A small bullet of air passes through both sides of the cloth, barely large enough to wedge another apple through.

Pleased with himself, Rigz begins to walk toward the entourage of unwelcoming faces. Maybe it was boredom finally catching up with him or maybe it was the pear lust, or maybe he was just tired and actually concerned – whatever brought his feet to move, they didn’t slow as he reached the huddle. Tapping the tallest person on the shoulder, he clears his throat.

People talked too much – that was something he noticed during his first year in the sand. If it was ever avoidable, Rigzden was sure to try. Pointing, miming, and simple facial gestures were usually enough to get through a full conversation.


No one is really listening anyway, airhead. They’re just talking at you and waiting for you to nod so they can keep going.

It should be strange to hear her voice again. It’d been three months since he swore off the city walls. Traetura was too much like the old fishing villages. Too much like looking backward.

“I got nothin’ else for you, airhole--”The woman says as she begins to turn toward him. He waves off the words with a subtle swipe of the back of his hand.

“It’s not about that. I’m content, thank you.” A slight bow of his head, tilt of his cheek, flick of his chin toward the beetles. “One of them is falling asleep while I’m feeding it. I’m not sure what’s worth so many guards – on foot-“ Pointedly flicking his gaze around the gaggle as he pauses. The escort seemed too well armoured, each carrying multiple weapons – that he could see, anyway – and a large metal box being towed seperately?

I’m never getting in a box. I will never be caged. I will always be free.
Too many forgotten voices today.
“I’m tired, anyway – this is stupid. No one even knows I’m out here, or why, or where--”
How many of my ghosts are out haunting today? Why is this happening – why now?

The metal box begins to vibrate on its cart and the delirious airbender takes a step back, realizing this voice had come from within an actual vault and not just his mind’s. Guards circle the cart, taking fluid but sturdy stances in a ring around the box. The sand beneath them all begins to ripple like water from a central source – whatever, or perhaps whoever, spoke from inside must be important. In one fluid motion from person to person, the cart whirls in place and sinks into the sand, rooted firmly beneath. An ornate door worked seamlessly into the metal box slides open and a fierce looking woman steps forward into the sun.

Tilting his head to meet her gaze, Rigz begins to smirk. The corner of his mouth pulls slightly and his eyes soften despite the strain to hold them open against the bright sun. The strawman follows the hidden woman’s gaze and raises a suspicious eyebrow at Rigzen.

Despite the beating sun, her dark skin doesn’t show a bead of sweat. Each step she takes through the sand is fluid, determined, and dismissive to many of the confused sounds and half-sentences.


“But you shouldn’t be--” “We need to get--” “We don’t know that guy!- What are you--”

She silences them all with a glare over her shoulder. Wide brown eyes narrow sharply on her guards but her stride remains smooth. Turning back toward Rigzden, chestnut brown braids sweep down her blue robes and her eyes lock onto him. The excitement in his face has mixed with an odd hesitation as she offers no indication whether she’s friendly. Still, he lifts a hand a wiggles a few fingers.

“Uh-hey… hey?” She takes a few more steps. “Hey – hey!” He holds up a hand, still caught between a smile and raised brow. A blur of motion, a shot of blue fabric, and his hand stings sharply by the sudden blow. In his fist, a heavy water-skin begins to sag.

“WHOOOO!” He calls out wildly and adds a sharp whistle. Everyone covers their ears, the woman flinches and groans, and he throws up his right hand apologetically. “Oh, right – air…” He snorts a laugh and upends the skin with his mouth firmly wrapped around the opening.

It doesn’t matter, he isn’t careful – this is life in his fist. Guzzling as much as he can, the excess spills down his chin and over his throat. Monty briskly scurries up to drink as much as he can from Rigzden’s skin – they look identically ridiculous.

Finally sated, he drops his arm and the rest of the water sloshes in the skin. Shaking his head sharply, he feels renewed. A laugh erupts from him, interrupting all his worry and boredom and feelings of being lost, and he looks at the woman with a grin.


“You know, after I left, I thought if I’d saw you again--”

The echo rings further than his surprised yelp - maybe it was propelled by it – regardless, he should have finished what was left in the skin. Maybe he wouldn’t have been whipped across the cheek.

Even with the heavy tan, his cheek glowed with a bright red hand print. She told him she was fast – guess he believes it now.

Maybe.
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Desert Dunes[Open Topic - NPCs/Baddies Also Welcome]   The Western Desert Dunes[Open Topic - NPCs/Baddies Also Welcome] I_icon_minitimeThu May 26, 2016 7:12 pm

Even though a few hours had passed, the red print still lingers on his cheek. Rigzden knew he’d deserved it for leaving so abruptly. Spending time in the city hadn’t been bad though. Especially with new friends.

”The break was a good idea – how’d you know about this place?” She was a different soul when she was near her element. Rigzden only shrugs as he stares ahead. Trying not to let his eyes hang onto anything for too long, the bright green circles flick between objects of no interest. The oasis spanned wide across his view – a health length and breadth to swim, but he had no desire to. For once, he was content to sit beside the water and smile at his friend.

Avyana had removed her ornate blue robes and promptly sank into the pool. The tight white wrapping beneath her robes was very like the cloth most sandbenders were known to wear.  Loose, long lengths of cloth – easily unraveled in the blazing heat and adaptable in the cold nights.

She’d sighed contently and smiled, which she rarely seemed to do around the others. They had protested his detour vehemently but Avyana was stubborn and authoritative. They could not disobey their employer’s daughter, and she knew it.

Frustrating by the lack of response to her question, she rolls her shoulder and fluidly follows through with a wave of her arm. The roll, the slight extension, the inconspicuous flick of her hips as he body turns with the movement of her shoulder. It happens in an instant – the resulting wave crashes over Rigz and he snickers before spouting water into the soft brush beside him. He could dry himself easily, but he won’t.


This isn’t water. It’s friendship dripping off of you.

“C’mon – get your head outta the clouds and just be in this moment for me.”

She had his attention already, even if he wasn’t looking at her, but he often forgets how much it bothers people not to absorb your full attention. Sometimes he feels he owes them that much. Rigz offers a smile, focusing on Avy as she wades waist deep in the water. Drawing lightly against the surface with the pads of her fingertips. It’s difficult to tell where she begins and it ends.

“So?! Story time – let’s go, I wanna know.”

”I’ll trade for it.” He raises a brow, waiting with a smirk.

”Fine – I’ll go one for one. No lying this time! You have to answer, too – with your mouth and words. No airhead stuff.” The harsh tone doesn’t match her cool posture. Her fiery eyes are daring and curious.


Why can’t all people be like her? He asks himself.
Because if they all were she wouldn’t be. A ghost answers.

“I read about it when I was young… back home. We always had so many stories – everyone could tell you something different about the world – old or new – that you’d be surprised you never knew… yet you felt skeptical to believe. Maybe that’s the nature of truth though. Anyway – there as this one tale--”

“Sheeeesh I take it back, I don’t wanna listen to you reminisce all day, old man--”She smiles, clearly teasing while listening earnestly. The icy tone of her voice as always there – true to the cold, with a bite.

“There was a town here a long time ago. It was built around what they called an oasis at the time. The town itself would have been no bigger than this place is now. The oasis was at its centre, a bit behind you there where the water is deepest – and it was frozen solid. The water was like a fountain, springing out of the dense sand and reaching over twenty feet tall. They say that it was as though the frozen mass was alive. Light danced inside, appearing to be bent by flowing water inside. During the night, whenever the light of the moon could touch it, they said it would change and morph and reform anew. The people had something entirely unique to admire each day – the water communicated through its own stances and dances.”

His toes excitedly drum against each other, fidgeting with blades of grass as he remembers the story. The bottoms of his feet press together and his knees rest comfortably on the ground. The story reminds him of the man who had told it to him, which reminds him of the same mans death. The drumming stops and his toes are still once more.

“So this happened when it all melted?”

“Cheater. It’s my turn.”

Avyana clicks her tongue and rolls her eyes. They slide back to a sly sideglance and she raises a brow, pursing her lips. She’s waiting.

“Why are you going to Aelouanath territory? This is supposed to be a trade route – same as the last few weeks.”
“Drellan.”
“The city – doesn’t answer my question though. Why not where, splashy.”

Anyana sinks into the water looking utterly deflated.

“You suck the fun out of everything airhead.” She mutters bleakly before dipping her mouth below the water. Bubbles sprout around her nose, ears, and below her smug gaze.
“So the ice thing melted?”
“Hey, no fair!”
“What? I answered, it’s not my fault if you didn’t hear it.”
“I’ll go two to one if you’ll answer – what’s this all about? One week I’m running cabbages and carrots and the next a wild woman in an iron box. Avy – why are you so important?”

She scoffs, rolls her eyes and pulls a braid down into her hands. She fidgets with the end and looks across the surface of the water. The playful light in her eyes has dimmed into a deep dark stare.

“It’s not me who’s important. This isn’t real life anymore, Rigzden. It’s politics. I’m heading to the pompous city of frilly love-drunk idiots. There, I’m marrying some other not-important, non-bending nothing of a man because my father owns our trade route and Baron Von-stupid’s father owns theirs. Shut up and stop making ‘I’m sorry’ faces. It’s pathetic.”

He couldn’t help his stupid face. He couldn’t imagine not being free.
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Zhekt Garasu
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PostSubject: Re: The Western Desert Dunes[Open Topic - NPCs/Baddies Also Welcome]   The Western Desert Dunes[Open Topic - NPCs/Baddies Also Welcome] I_icon_minitimeSat May 28, 2016 10:50 pm

The game ended abruptly, but afternoon was still pleasant. Avy commanded her guards to relax – it seemed like such a silly thing to have to tell a person to do. After some confusion and objection, they reluctantly agreed to at least sit for a meal before moving on. The food was incredible – Rigz had eaten enough to worry he may not glide properly for the rest of the day. Feeling sluggish and tired, he began to regret his fourth and fifth helpings.

The remainder of their journey was calm. No one bothered to insult or threaten him and he wasn’t chased away like an irritating insect. Curious glances and hushed questions among the sandbenders was a welcome change from their usual japes and jabs. For almost an hour, he could forget being alone. They even walked together across the sand and as the sun began to edge toward the horizon their shadows became darker and longer.

The border was in sight, clearly marked by the banners of each tribe standing opposite the other. Rigzden wondered how many bones were buried beneath them.

Walking behind the guards and carts, Avyana began to slow her pace and take hold of Rigz's hand. Normally, he would recoil, but there was a confidence in this woman that he found in few others.


“Once I cross those banners, I think we’ll be saying goodbye. I’d like you to come to the city with me, but you’re an outsider.” She pauses, clearly wanting to say more but being unable. Her eyes scan Rigzden’s cold expression for any changes. He swallows noticeably and looks at his feet.

“I’ll visit you.”

“No, you won’t.” He knew it, too.

“I’ll think about visiting…”

“For a little while, but you’ll forget until you remember, then forget again.” He knew that, too.

“It isn’t because you aren’t important.”

“Oh, I know.” She taps his chin and forces him to meet her gaze again. “It’s because I am. Don’t think you’re so clever, airhead. I see you the way you see me – there’s no point lying. You won’t come to see someone stuck in a cage for fear you might join them. You’ll never love a person because you’re too afraid that they’ll leave or die or root you to the ground.” Her words seemed sharp and cold, but their honesty and sympathy outweigh their pain. “But you still owe me. Six answers. And I’ll trade them all for one favour.”

They’ve long since stopped walking, turned to share the honesty in their eyes, and ignored the looming end to their journey. Rigzden smiles despite how sad he feels and nods once.

“Whatever I can do for everything I owe you.”

“Find the man I lost to the sand – the one I actually wouldn’t mind marrying. I’ll be safe in the city, playing my part in this stupid game until he finds me. Tell him I’ll melt the city to a puddle when he does. Tell him everything we’ve said and done. Give him this-“ A letter appears into his hand from a pocket in her sleeve. Without letting go of his hand, she had shaken the paper loose into his palm.

“How will I know him? What’s his name? You’re not giving me much to go on here… kinda sounds like you want me chasing spirits in the sands.”

“He’s a sandbender and a nomad. His tribe holds land to the south east – they’re closer to your people than anyone in the desert – I’ve heard they’ve been collecting a lot more relics and texts recently. Anyway, he left them a long time ago to find something in the sands. He is so much like you – perhaps worse – and I know you are the only person he will trust because you’re the only one I do. We’re all outsiders here, Rigz. We need eachother.”

Their time was up – the sun was edging over the horizon and Avyana had hours left to travel. There was no more time to say goodbye. Kissing his cheek, Avy lifts her lips gently from his skin and blows cool air across it. The red print disappears and his cheek tingles. Rigzden blushes and scratches the back of his head, looking at his feet again.

“By the way – almost forgot.” Her dark eyes dance between his, her bottom lip pulling up between her teeth briefly before she grins.”My father plans to have this lot kill you if you ever found out I was in there so – yeah, sorry – RUN!”

With a wink and a whisk of her braids, she twirls away gracefully.
The guards advance and Rigz howls laughter before kicking backwards off the sand and into the air.
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