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 Stop, children, what's that sound 
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Post Stop, children, what's that sound
OOC: Continued from here. /OOC

"Do not doubt," he'd said, and she could remember the way his eyes had gleamed at her, like an animal peering out of the darkness, too green and otherworldly. Right when he'd spoken, she had believed, but once his hand traversed the arc his arm had described in the air and he had turned away from her, she was back to herself.

That feeling of security had lasted until he'd begun telling his story. It started innocently enough - none of the trumped-up 'once upon a time' or 'as the rosy fingers of dawn' nonsense - with a boy in a small village.

She began to see the events in front of her, not in her mind's eye, but as if a miniature version of his story was playing out on the wood of the table in front of her. When he got to a swordfight, she could see the sweat and the blood on the participants, hear the clash and ringing of steel…

She looked up at him (only once; the tale was too engrossing) and his limbs appeared like shadow. "Do not doubt," she heard, and then, more quietly, "do not…"

As to the rest, she couldn't begin to describe it, much less follow the events in her head; everything had been shining and shadow and any attempt to remember much beyond that brought her head to pounding. At some point, she'd woken up, but not her room with the scattered papers - that would've made it too easy to explain, especially if a bit of drink had been involved.

She'd be happy with a little drink, now - well, satisfied, anyway. She'd be happy with a large drink. She might even be able to forget, even temporarily, that she'd woken up on a cold stone floor in complete darkness. It was some time later now, and she hadn't moved, but neither had the darkness.

She reached down with a hand to assure herself that she was still in possession of her legs and feet, and then struggled into a standing position. She lurched forward a few steps and staggered into the side of something warm, something that gave slightly while her shoulder pressed into it.

Her heart pounded in her chest; her palms were damp with sweat. She'd heard stories like this before, dreadful tales of men with strange abilities and young women and…

A soft whicker interrupted the theatre of horrors dancing about in her thoughts.

"Kageri?"

Something pushed into her hands, and she felt the familiar outline of the horse's nose. She threw her arms around his neck, then (or at least as close to his neck as she could approximate), and stood for a moment, glad for something familiar.

There was a flicker of light off in the distance to her right. She shook her head, unsure that she had seen anything at all, but then it happened again, and then again, like someone was lighting candles…

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Wed Sep 14, 2005 9:20 am
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She wasn't going to believe any of it; she absolutely refused.

The library had been closed, locked, barred for…she couldn't even remember. A year - and even that seemed an enormous stretch of time spent here in this desert of moulding parchment and cracking bindings - at least; it was probably more than that, maybe stretching past the second now. She felt a surge of hopelessness at the thought, and then remembered her current situation and resumed her earlier panic.

She'd heard the noise. She hadn't been outside in…well, another ridiculous amount of time that she really ought not to be considering at the moment, under these circumstances. In any case, regardless of how long it had been, she knew that the noise belonged to an animal of the equine persuasion, and that having such a creature in a building like this was…

Was…

Definitely not in her job description.

And then, that whisper that sounded like relief, sounded like a name…

Talking horses were beyond not being in her job description.

She wondered, briefly, if she even had a job description any longer. Certainly no one had come to inspect the building's state of repairs (not that she probably would've let anyone in, but that was another matter entirely) - but she'd always done a cursory glance around the shelves and among the rafters, and nothing had so much as started to leak or complain in the slightest.

That, of course, begged several questions, but she knew the answer to one of them and the only other one that was pressing began to beat itself into her head, over and over. How'd it/he/she/they get in?

That, of course, caused another several rounds of questions to fire at once, and she had to grit her teeth and clench her fists to keep from being (more) overwhelmed.

That's when she remembered the candles, and she spent several long moments scrabbling on her desktop for the flint and tinder she usually kept on one of the corners just for such emergencies…

…usually kept…

…well, maybe the other corner…

There. She let a sigh slip between her teeth and then stepped toward the candelabra and began the frustrating process of attempting to light just one of the many wicks she had available. When one of the candles was lit - finally - she felt the beginning of a rhyme tugging at her brain.

One for sorrow.

She lit the rest with the first candle, the remainder of the words sing-songing as they unrolled in her mind.

Two for mirth. Three for a wedding. Four for a birth. Five for silver. Six for gold. Seven for a secret not to be told.

She saw the shadows of black birds flying up between the flames.

She wasn't sure she wanted to turn around.

She wondered why she'd been in complete darkness earlier.

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Wed Sep 14, 2005 10:20 pm
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She blinked several times, slowly, as the world around her was partially revealed. She probably would've been able to discern what sort of person, thing, or otherwise had done the lighting, but she didn't find herself ready for that, yet. She was determined to keep her head firmly turned in any direction other than the illuminated one.

Kageri lowered his head and eyes to the ground, as if giving her permission to pursue her ridiculous inclination to explore. She felt a half-smile tugging at her lips, but it fell away as she turned in a small half-circle among the flickering shadows.

…and I thought I'd gathered a large amount of parchment…

She approached the nearest shelf with slow, careful steps. She reached a hand up, traced her fingers against the bindings of the books, felt the grit of dust against her skin. She pulled her hands away and peered at them carefully. They weren't nearly as dirty as she would've expected - just slightly discoloured, a little darker. It was obvious no one else had touched the shelf recently, and it seemed the dust should've been thicker, not like this light coating that did little more than serve to reassure her that these items were old.

She wiped her hands on the hem of her shirt and turned back to the horse.

"Well?" She felt better - slightly - when she was speaking aloud.

Kageri lifted his head.

"So…don't people always talk about walking towards the light?"

The horse fixed her with an implacable stare.

"Yeah, I know that's supposed to be after we die, but who's to say that…"

Another stare, this one more firm.

She wondered exactly how much he was able to understand.

In response, he pushed his nose firmly into her side and nudged her backward. She took this hint with a deep breath, braced herself to turn around.

One…two…two and a half…

Kageri nipped her shoulder.

"Ow! Fine," she muttered, keeping the you stupid beast strictly inside her head, and turned.

At least he wouldn't be able to make her open her eyes.

He nudged at her again; her eyes flew open.

She caught the candelabra, a mess of a desk, and the blank-eyed woman all in one glance.

"Hh…hello?" Her voice sounded impossibly small.

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Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:18 am
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Evangeline decided to proceed with bluster.

She stepped toward the girl (and the horse, standing behind) with quick steps that she hoped looked firm and sure - and they'd better, with the amount of force she was putting behind her feet. The girl met her gaze as she approached and Evangeline found herself unable to do much other than continue to walk forward. She'd wanted to hang back a bit in her final steps, let her mind catalogue the girl's appearance for later study, but her legs didn't so much as slow until she brought herself to a halt.

She planted her hands carefully on her hips and attempted not to shift her weight between her now-protesting feet. Her supposed bluster was beginning to fade, and was rapidly being replaced by tension. Before she could so much as consider opening her mouth, however, there was a scrabbling noise behind her, in the direction of the library's doors.

"Uh-" she managed, and then nearly tripped over herself as she bundled all her nervous energy into fleeing toward the door.

She stood facing the wood for a moment, wondering if she should wait or attempt to unbar the door. The matter was decided for her when the noise outside stopped, and a small slip of paper slid between the threshold and the door's bottom edge. She knelt and brought the paper near her eyes with one smooth motion.

It was nearly too dark to read, but she struggled with the available light anyway; she wasn't keen on returning near the girl with an unknown bit of writing in her hand. After all, it could be a warning about the very person standing not that very many feet away from her…

She shook her head and pressed on with her eyes.

Quote:
Greetings esteemed Colleagues of faith and mind,

First of all let me say that although I may disagree with your particular faiths and beliefs, I respect them. I come to you not as an enemy, but of a person of mutual divine and spiritual interests.

I have sensed, or should I say felt; an Ominous presence of dread in my mind. It has grown stronger by the hour and I am convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that it is not caused by my Lord Barnabas, or has anything to do with my faith at all.

It is with keen interest that I inquire as to your states of mind.
Am I alone in this?

I respectfully await your replies.

--}Ristin Pieare{--
Cardinal of the Warstate of Altercation


She made a soft noise of surprise between her teeth, tucked the note carefully into the pocket of her skirt, and then walked toward the nearest shelf. She pulled down several volumes, which released a large cloud of dust into the air, and then carried them back to her desk. She didn't bother to sit; instead, she leaned over the first book, opened it carefully, and read as quickly as she could.

---

An hour or so later, she'd practically forgotten about the girl. She'd finished reading and was now compiling a large list of notes on the backs of several scrap pieces of parchment; her fingers were dotted with ink stains.

"Hrm," she said. "Hrm."

---

Another hour later, she looked down at her carefully lettered draft with a grim smile. She'd need to bring it to the pigeon-master, of course, but at least he could handle the duplication.

It was possible she was wrong, of course. It was possible that everything had been coincidence.

But the idea had gotten her blood moving again, had brought the light of curiosity back to her eyes. It wouldn't be fair to abandon it, not after all the prophets - her eyes drifted down over the stack of books - had done their work. They'd always hated being forgotten.

Quote:
Greetings:

You are invited to attend an exploration of signs, prophecy, and recent events at the Library of Tonan in three days' time.

New information has come to light that may interest you and the entirety of your kingdoms.

Reservations are neither required nor requested; all interested parties are invited to attend. Please refer to the map on the reverse for directions.

Respectfully yours,
Evangeline
Library of Tonan


It was just vague enough. There was no point in inciting panic - not yet.

---

She looked over her shoulder at the girl. "Evangeline," she said, by way of greeting. "I'll be back. Make yourself at home."

---

The pigeon-master had looked at her with dismay, but he'd taken her note and assured her of its delivery to the leaders of Tonan's kingdoms. She'd smiled at him, tried to avoid the stares of those standing around his shop.

She had no idea what to tell the girl.

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Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:36 am
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She stared at the woman's back as she left the building. Her face couldn't decide between horror and bemusement, so it settled into a neutral and ineffective frown.

"Evangeline," she said, for no reason in particular. The name sounded solidly foreign in her mouth. Kageri nudged at her shoulder at the sound of her voice, and the gesture made her feel helpless and angry and alone all at once.

"Yeah, I know," she said, without having any idea what that knowledge might be. "Let's…take a look outside?" The woman had left the door open, and the half-darkness of the library and its one candelabra wasn't much helping her mood. She nodded at the horse, which began to make his way to the door. She spent a few moments standing and staring at nothing before she walked to the desk, grabbed the few pages of scrawled-upon paper that the woman had left, and then followed Kageri outside.

---

The sun was out, the air was warm, and the town around her still seemed cold.

She shivered a little as she studied the library's façade - the building's angles and even its materials looked a little strange to her. It was like it had been constructed a little too perfectly in anticipation of the eventual rot that consumes all structures, except that the rot had never happened. She turned around in a circle; everything around her looked similar - the two buildings down the street, the three up the street, and the few she could see across the square…

There was also an oppressive weight of age, though. The two distinct impressions clashed and jarred in her mind and made her teeth ache.

Kageri was perusing the buffet of grasses available to him in the square, but even he looked uncomfortable while he ate, with his ears drawn back flat against his head.

She couldn't see anyone else outside, which shouldn't have surprised her, she supposed; it was late afternoon, judging by the way the sun was moving down amongst the trees. Still, a glance of someone - anyone - would've helped.

She turned her attention to the woman's notes and saw what was likely several different drafts of an invitation. She'd watched Evangeline reading and taking notes, but she didn't see anything like that among these papers. Maybe the woman had decided to keep that information with her, just in case.

"Three days' time," she read aloud, and then repeated it again.

She supposed the woman knew something - she was a librarian, after all. But she had been so blank, so cautious before she'd gone over to the door, and then it was like she had been replaced with someone else, someone capable and quick and focused. Someone who hadn't seen me at all anymore.

That was what scared her, Kaiten realized: that the woman didn't need to see her any longer, because she'd already made up her mind about her, about the horse, about how they'd appeared in her building when there were apparently - she referred to the papers again - "signs, prophecy, and recent events" - happening in other parts of this world.

This world. Not my world?

---

There were stables adjoining the library, and she had been somewhat unsurprised to find them; if there were to be a gathering, there would obviously need to a place for horses. Kageri hadn't so much as tried to bite her when she let him into one of the stalls. He almost looked defeated.

She carefully closed the stable doors behind her as she left, though she knew his running away wasn't a danger. She re-entered the library with her head down - she didn't much care to see the librarian, not right now.

She was hungry, but she ignored her stomach's complaints. She'd closed the library's doors, but hadn't locked or barred them. She noticed, as she settled down on the floor near Evangeline's desk, that the building seemed a bit brighter, a little more welcoming.

She fell asleep quickly, despite the cold hardness of the floor.

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Sat Sep 17, 2005 6:14 pm
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'Ehara ko matou anake - others see it in the night, hear the echoes in their dreams'.

Soft earth moved underfoot as the half-giant loped up the mountain-side. As his village fell from sight, the path gave way to shingle and then paved stone. It had been well used in times past but was now being reclaimed by grass and creeper. His senses sang with the remembered banter of his people and the smell of the fish they would daily cart to trade with the Tauiwi - the foreigners who had dared tread the veins and dwell in the heart of the sacred mountain.

'Chiefs across the land are being infected with the fears of their advisors-'.

'That's nothing new', another voice cut in, 'Chiefs nowdays are imbeciles. Give a man a fishing-rod and a clump of grass and all of a sudden he's an aristocrat'.

'Ae e Hine, truth eh?', said yet another voice , 'And if you find enough money, the gods are handing out land like their followers used to hand out death'.

'Ae, used to hand out death... those were the days. Bloody great. Cleaving limbs with axes and plucking out eyes. Makes me wish I was a young girl again'.

'And alive, e Hine, don't forget alive...'.

Tohu shut out the voices as he neared the stronghold of the Ministry of Stone. The fortress set in the mountain seemed weary. It had suffered much of late - internal wrangling, a change of leaders... a change of gods.

'Anei, e tama - come hither'.


Tohu stopped midway through the town that sat in the Mountain fortress' lap. He approached the voice of his grandfather and stood before a rather worn door. A piece of parchment was nailed there.

'The Library of Tonan, never heard of it'.

'You wouldn't of, you uneducated tree-trun-'.

'Kati, E Hine', his grandfather's voice cut off the other spirit before addressing Tohu again. 'This interests us, grandchild. We sense this site may yield some answers'.

'Which way?'

'Anei'. The reply could be heard from a distance.

Tohu shrugged his expansive shoulders and set off at a lope down another forest path.

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Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:09 am
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She knew she'd been a terrible hostess - and that was only to change for the worse, once other people began to arrive (if anyone did, in fact, take her invitation seriously) - and she also knew she wasn't capable of remedying the situation to any respectable degree. Still, she'd do what she could. She needed the practise.

She wondered, though, as she looked for a clean mug and something to fill it, if it was even worth the attempt. From what she could tell, she'd been surviving on a dwindling supply of tea; there was relatively little food to be found, and anything she did have was running toward rottenness with reckless abandon. She supposed she'd been eating, but there were no signs of it. There were mugs, though - stacks upon stacks of them, the bottoms of each stained and gritty with the remains of the contents.

There were two clean mugs sitting apart from the others; she would almost swear that she'd looked in that corner before. Something about the tea was tugging at her mind, too. It had been a gift from…someone…and he'd said…

She shook her head, put the kettle atop the fire.

I thought the fire had gone out.

She shook her head again. She didn't want to think about it.

---

She approached the girl with quiet, unsure steps. The girl was stirring, moving away from sleep, though her eyes were still closed. Evangeline wondered how she could've been so rude as to not have asked the girl her name. Now, of course, she didn't know what to say without it.

Evangeline crouched down and set one of the mugs near her feet; she laced her fingers around the other one, looked at the girl through the steam.

"Hey," she said, a little too loudly. "I've made you something to drink, and I know I've been terribly rude, and I'm awfully sorry about that, but it's been so long since there's been something happening that I just forgot myself in the midst of all of it, and unfortunately that left you confused and here alone and…" she took a breath, hating herself for always speaking like this - she'd never been able to do anything about it; her words were always rush-and-tumble, fast as they could find their way into the air - but knew she needed to continue on, "…anyway, I've fed your horse and he seems to be okay with that, I think - I mean, he let me feed him so I guess that's worth something - and I forgot to ask you your name and everything else, and I'm sorry about that, but since we're here now maybe you can tell me?"

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Sun Sep 18, 2005 10:24 am
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"Wha…?" Kaiten sat up and rubbed her eyes in the same slow motion.

"He what?" With that, she was thoroughly awake, and came very close to spilling the mug near Evangeline's knee. "Strange. Would be disturbing if it didn't make me feel a little bit more secure…"

Kaiten failed to notice the faint smile that briefly shaped Evangeline's lips; if she had, she would've found that comforting, too.

"Oh," she said, remembering the words that she'd vaguely heard in her sleep-dulled ears. "I'm Kaiten. The horse - infernal animal though he can be - is Kageri. I…I don't know what else to say. I was listening to a storyteller and then I woke up here and it was dark." She saw the mug in Evangeline's hands, processed through to the understanding that the one on the floor was meant for her, and then picked it up and took a series of small, grateful sips.

"I had been doing research of a sort - about guilds and gods and… It seems a little embarrassing, now, but I guess I was trying to find a home. Sad, cliché, and true." She shrugged.

"And so…I guess there are things happening here, too? I've read your notes about the meeting tomorrow, and since you haven't yet asked me to leave, I suppose I've some part to play?" Kaiten studied the mug in her hands.

The question hung in the air between the two women.

---

Hours later, the two were still talking, but the conversation had turned to more mundane topics. Kaiten wouldn't have said that she'd found a friend in Evangeline - certainly nothing as strong as that, not yet, whatever Kageri's feelings on the matter - but she felt comfortable here, at least as comfortable as she'd been in her room in the inn with the stack of parchment at her side.

Evangeline vaguely outlined the speech she'd planned, though she readily admitted that what she was thinking now and what would come out of her mouth then were potentially two wildly different things. She danced around the topic of Kaiten's role with more skill than Kaiten liked; it was all "there was a prophecy this" or "someone wise once said that" or "this book contained a passage which".

She was willing to admit that it wouldn't be anything embarrassing.

Kaiten had chewed on a knuckle through all the hedging and had decided, at the end, that she certainly didn't know why she was here, and if Evangeline's way of linking her appearance and the rest of it together could explain everything, she was willing to stand up and be used as an example. Of course, that gave her the leeway to decide if the explanation was suitable; if it wasn't, she supposed she could always ask questions later.

They'd continued to talk until Kaiten had begun to yawn. Evangeline excused herself with a thoughtful nod toward her books.

Kaiten spent several minutes inspecting her hands and thinking nothing. She was satisfied; she was ready.

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Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:35 pm
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The half-giant had not let up his pace for hours on end, covering the ground in long easy strides; the spirits of his ancestors giving his limbs strength when needed. His path had been deserted, it seemed. Although anyone could have been forgiven for allowing the formidable creature to thunder by in peace.

Tohu had slowed to a walk now and tried to shut out the incessant chattering of his entourage of spirits.

'He's got my stamina'. One voice exclaimed proudly.

'Ae, and your brains, Hoiho'.

'Hee hee, your still the only one here not to die in battle, Hoiho'.

'Ae, Hoiho, what were you doing outside of your sister-in-law's window anyway?'

'Not a stitch on, eh Hoiho. Tripped and broke your head. Looked like you'd been in a rush!'

'And your sister-in-law asleep inside, flushed but hadn't heard a thing when your brother woke her!'

'Wh...what about Haki? He died of old age!'

'And what! That's 'cause I'd won every battle worth winning and survived, you little shi-!'

'Anei, ko tenei te wahi - we have arrived'.
His grandfather's voice silenced them all.

Tohu had already entered the town and was now ambling through what seemed to be the town-square. There was a strange feel to the place - then again, all Tauiwi towns gave Tohu an uncomfortable feeling.

'These Tauiwi have a funny sense of space - they build such ugly whare'.

'Ae, we build to keep the unwanted out and they build to lock themselves in'.


'Ko tehea te whare pukapuka?'

'This one, grandchild'.

Tohu studied the Library of Tonan with a frown which his tattoos transformed into a scowl. The building looked much the same as every other Tauiwi house. A pang of doubt clawed at his stomach but quickly dissipated. He hoped the spirits had not all gone mad. He would make a fine picture knocking on some midgets door asking about a Library that may not even exist.

'Kia tere - enter, there are souls within, a couple of them living'.

Tohu sighed and turned back to the grass in the centre of the square.

'Three days, the note said. We have time yet'.

He rolled out his cloak and lay down before any protest could be made. Although he knew it would be a while before he was allowed any peace.

'He's like a crayfish, all the tiko is in the head! Impudent mongrel - no respect!'.

'Enough, Hine. He's where he needs to be... our fears will rest for a time'.

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Mon Sep 19, 2005 6:12 am
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She'd been adjusting the curtains for what seemed an eternity. They had all been closed when she began, and the windows had visited every permutation between de- and re-curtained before arriving at the current, fully uncurtained arrangement. She was now forced to keep her hands occupied by reshelving the books she'd kept on her desk; whenever her path took her too close to the wall, she had to step quickly to avoid investigating the hang of each piece of fabric.

She'd also spent several minutes agonising over the door; she'd swung it from open to closed and back again several times in her indecision. It was propped open for now, but she wasn't sure she'd manage to keep it that way for long.

This was nervousness, of course, but it was also more than that; Evangeline was terrified. She was fine with most ideas - and most creatures and people, too - in theory, but she had a strange, sinking feeling that her reality was going to be pushed to previously unexplored limits. There was that, which was enough, really, coupled with the suspicion that no one was going to show up after all, and she'd been spending her morning making increasingly minor adjustments that no one would ever see.

There was also the possibility that people would come, and then fall asleep in the middle of one of her sentences. That'd be good, too.

She pressed a thumb and a finger into the bridge of her nose. At least she'd had the foresight to send Kaiten outside, so as not to have the girl in the midst of her manic adjustments and insecurities. On the other hand, a distraction might've been nice…

---

Someone had come in bearing a note with a person named Nagash's regrets. The messenger had looked dazzled by the amount of light streaming into the building, and peered at Evangeline as though he suspected that the librarian was a phantom. She skimmed the note's contents quickly and then dismissed the messenger, who departed with a relieved sigh. There was no point in composing a reply now; she was too scattered.

Kaiten entered the library with a smile for the library's sudden brightness and a nod toward Evangeline. She joined Evangeline behind the desk. The two women stood without speaking; each was fidgeting in her own way.

---

Had she looked up? Had she seen if there was anyone sitting, standing, or crouching among the shelves? She didn't know, and it didn't matter; it was time.

"Hello and greetings and welcome to the Library of Tonan." She was hesistant, and her words were self-conscious. There wasn't anything she could do but continue on and hope that she'd keep her babbling to a minimum. "I am certain that you all have brought your own concerns here with you, and I hope that we will be able to discuss them - but all in good time. To be honest, I would have been perfectly willing to have left the library closed and dark as it had been, even upon the receipt of Cardinal Ristin Pieare's note, even with the books I had read, even with the uncomfortable dreams I have been growing accustomed to… Even with all of that." She drew a breath and glanced over at Kaiten.

"But something happened, made me take notice. Something saw fit to draw me in, to concern me with these things, to not let me sit here in the dark and let the world pass by. I suspect that something similar has occurred for many of you, though I am certain there are some that would be here even if nothing had struck them personally, due to their concern for their kingdoms and allies and their world." She felt her voice growing steadier; she wondered if she ought to gather an audience the next time she decided to speak, too, so as to avoid the prattling that happened when she attempted to speak to just one person at a time.

"Whichever it is, and whatever your story - again, welcome." She took a small sip of water from the mug sitting in front of her, and steeled herself for the rest of what she planned to say.

"I have been reading the prophets since I sent my invitation, and I could tell you of the countless signs and portents which they used to frighten their readers. Have the birds begun to fly in large numbers, blackening the sky? Have the crops begun to wither? Have your wells begun to dry? Has the water of the rivers turned red, has it begun to flow backwards?" A pause. "Or has it all been a vague sort of dread?"

"The woman standing next to me is a sign mentioned in a number of the texts on the shelves near you. She doesn't know her part, and I believe she's already played it - she arrived here right before the Cardinal's note did. She's the reason I haven't left the door locked and the world outside. She's what Austinian called 'the advance guard' - the one whose arrival would spur the heavens to move." Another sip, another pause.

"That movement will happen - according to all the calculations I've been able to find and verify - today. She came to Tonan from another place in order to signal to us that things are about to turn, to change." She looked at Kaiten; the girl was staring down at her hands; her cheeks were red.

"As to what will happen later today, several hours from now, I can't be certain. Prediction can only see so clearly. I can't say what will happen after, either - that is for others to see and decide. Some may see today's event as a cause for war; others as a cause for prayer. If the heavens move, perhaps the earth is to follow. I suspect the skies will be the worst of it." One final, deep breath. "This library and this town have been here since the beginning; this is likely the safest place for you to make your observations."

There. That was all of it. Just like a prophet, she had said everything and nothing.

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Mon Sep 19, 2005 10:23 am
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Talus had postponed his entrance to watch the night-dog eating the sun. Only after he was certain that the sun maanged to escape the beast's belly did he enter the library.

Passing through the open door, Talus stomped his feet and then rubbed them to get the grime of the streets off. Next he pulled off his traveling cape and shook the dust off it. With this done he walked further in, glancing around.


Mon Sep 19, 2005 7:15 pm
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The room smelled of dust and age. Tohu staved off a sneeze and sighed. He had ducked in to the building in time to observe a curious sight. Two women standing nervously in one corner so intent on themselves they noticed little else.. The speech of the one, halting at best, had at least confirmed he was in the right place. As for its worth...

'Well that was a waste of time', his deep voice reverberated though the shelves.

'Patience, grandchild. Every extra hand to the paddle sends our inquiry more swiftly along its course'.

'Hee hee, yeah, against the current', another spirit chimed cheekily.

'Alas, alas', another piped with no small amount of drama, 'we're adrift at sea'.

'Silence! Listen!'

Tohu winced as a great din arose throughout the town. He strode purposefully towards the entrance and looked on in wonder as night swallowed day and consumed the earth. Keening howls sent silence scurrying and punched through the heavens, as if running before the darkness. And the darkness was alive, the heavens twirling and twisting as birds launched from their perches.

'Grandfather, what sorcery is this!'

At first he could not make out the reply as the spirits of his ancestors seemed to drone from afar. Slowly their voices gained in volume.

'...wai, whenua, ha, ahi, wai whenua, ha, ahi...'

Four words, over and over, even as the light returned to the earth, beast to its corner and bird to its perch...


'...water, earth, air, fire...'

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Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:28 am
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The journey was simple enough. The young demon had destroyed three kingdoms as he made his way towards the library. His contempt for faith and those who held it had gotten the best of him.

As he entered the city his form seemed to blur almost smear keeping his identity unknown to unskilled eye. With his cold breath bellowing forth he made his towards the Library. Most seemed to pay little attention to him as he moved through the streets. He liked this.

As he reached the library he quietly slipped in the door.

[sorry for how crappy this post is but i'm tired and wanted to get somthin in]

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Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:59 pm
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Silverwolfe had arrived some time earlier, and shifted to his half sidhe, half human form so not to draw attention. He had never been to the Library, but had heard of it. During his long life, granted by his sidhe blood Silverwolfe had heard of many great things and seen many more.

Leaning against a bookshelf now, he noticed that a few others were among the shelves, but turned his attention to the woman who was now speaking. Walking a few steps closer to better hear what she was saying, Silverwolfe was intrigued. He had been wondering if everything he had heard was happening around the isle was true. This was confirmation that it was.

Silverwolfe listened intently to the librarian's speech, noting the woman standing next to her when she was mentioned. Temporarily taking his attention off Evangeline, Silverwolfe looked around, amazed at the amount of books and tomes sitting on the shelves. Shifting his weight, he returned his attention to Evangeline.

He listened closely now, taking in and carefully sifting through everything she said. Her last statement sticking out in his mind. The library would be the safest place to be. Whatever happened was going to be big. And from her statement, dangerous. Shaking his head, Silverwolfe decided he needed to ask some questions.

Walking towards where Evangeline was standing, Silverwolfe, shifted to his half icarii, half sidhe form. His true form.
"From your speech, I've figured that whats going to happen will be dangerous. Are the bastards residing in the heavens playing their deadly games with us as they have so many times in the past? Or are the coming events going to be on a much grander scale?

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Tue Sep 20, 2005 10:59 pm
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*Ristin entered the library slowly regaining his composure from a truely horrifying flight via griffin.

He looked about the room with unease not really accustomed to traveling without Shayanna being present.

"Probably for the better.
I woundn't want to face Evangeline's wrath for having the Warlady chewing on a priceless tome."

He thought to himself as he picked up a random book, sat, and began to read while he waited*

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Thu Sep 22, 2005 3:14 am
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She found her way to the library with it was time, in time to hear what was to be said. She did however hid behind several stacks as she listened before showing her face.

She looked over the books, knowing that this place was sacred to those who lived here. So it seamed that her vision had been true. Though suddenly the place she feared for most was her precious river valley.

She revaled herself as she added. Anything that could turn the desert into an eternal sandstorm has to be dangerous. Considering what I saw was correct. That being the Lady Angelique as if deceased in the middle of a great sandstorm.

She waited for what anyone else had to say on the matter.

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Thu Sep 22, 2005 10:40 am
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Toph pushed through the doors of the library of Tonan, and breathed in the musky aroma of the place.

"so many books..."
he whisperer, awed once more by the sight.
Unlike many others, Toph had been here before, had actually spent quite a bit of time here with Llardorwyn, hunting for spells and clues to the past. Toph was slightly surprised he had never returned. The overwhelming sense of time in this place was immense, enough to make even Toph seem like a mere child. It was... an odd feeling.

But Toph was not here to feel like a child, no, he was here to discuss with others the events happening throughout all of Tonan. Put simply, Toph was worried. Llardorwyn was worried too, and Dragons, as a rule, did not get worried. This, of course made Toph even more nervous.

But clearly not as nervous as the librarian, Evangeline, who was just now begining to speak. Toph listened silently, and when she was done, nodded to himself.

"Ooookkk..."
Toph said quietly. Toph wondered if they would get any elaboration to this "movement of the heavens." Surely, they didnt mean the eclipse that was happening at the moment, because that would be... silly.

Toph walked quietly over to Silverwolfe and smiled at his old friend. The icari-sidhe shapeshifter and he had quite a history, and had saved each others lives... quite a few times. After listening to Silverwolfe speak, Toph quietly said

"Silverwolfe, we Sidhe have seen Gods be forsaken for prophets, prohets for new gods, and then seen the names of the old Gods reborn in the leaders of these lands. Do you really think that the Gods, if they exist, would have been so... carefree as to ignore such shifts, and only now decide to strike us down? No, my friend, I am worried that this will be different from anything that has come before."


Toph blinked in surprise as Adriana revealed what had happened to the desert.
"Lyssia...." he breathed.

His oldest friend, Lyssia, one of the only other Sidhe (he counted 3.5 at last check) to still walk the island, had been avoiding the rest of Tonan for quite some time now, and Toph feared that she had been hiding inside her desert home. If this maelstorm was as fierce as reported, then... what had happened to his friend?

Toph forced his breathing to slow... Lyssia was the best sorceress he knew. If anyone could fight off a silly sandstorm, it would be her.

Slightly more at peace, Toph waited to hear more.

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Sat Sep 24, 2005 5:47 am
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She'd closed her eyes when it was over and retreated behind her desk with a force of habit strong enough to not require her sight. Once there, she remained standing, with the familiar feel of the top edge of the wood pressing against her legs.

She opened her eyes again and looked toward the place Kaiten had been standing. She'd expected the girl's absence, hoped she wasn't off sharpening a dagger or running away. She had seemed steady and centred enough, but Evangeline hadn't ever had much opportunity to be a judge of character.

With a shrug, she decided to look out among those gathered - and they were gathered, at least a few of them; she could hear the rustling and restlessness.

---

There was a man - well, a man, certainly, but with the added bonus of wings - walking up to her. She willed her feet to remain rooted to their current positions; turning tail and hiding would strike a rather large blow against her credibility. She knew, however, that her previously steady speech would be gone, and she'd be back to her customary rambling.

Poor man. Has no idea what he's in for…

"From your speech, I've figured that what's going to happen will be dangerous. Are the bastards residing in the heavens playing their deadly games with us as they have so many times in the past? Or are the coming events going to be on a much grander scale?" His words echoed around in her head.

She ventured a small smile. "The bastards? Suppose you haven't found much favour with the gods? Too confusing that, what with the old becoming the new and the middle fading away into nothingness - I don't think, with all of that, they have much time to play games with all of the pawns standing below. Too much happening to keep them to their own concerns, I'd think, and hasn't it always been that way? Let the machines of war roll where they may all in the name of one of the three?"

Evangeline forced her mouth closed, mentally recounted her words. As of yet, it didn't seem as though she'd even made an attempt of finding a point of intersection between his question and her words. She tried another, less cautious smile. "I think that they are certainly paying attention, but I have my doubts if there is anything they can do." There. That was better, though she hoped that what would be wasn't as serious as this conversation had made it sound.

Besides all that, I never said I was a prophet. I suppose I've done more than a prophet's share of predicting, though…

She felt cold. She hoped Kaiten would come back soon.

---

She heard a woman's voice, but couldn't quite force her ears to pick up the words. Another man had joined the one who had spoken to her. She was counting the people she could see, over and over. It was growing dark outside - darker than it should be, this early…

---

She'd moved to the open door, had watched the sun swallowed in night. She kept her hands clenched tightly together until a hazy nimbus of light had been revealed again. There were words echoing in her mind, mingling with the counting she'd been doing previously.

Water - one - earth - two - air - three - fire - four…water - one…

---

Eventually the mental chanting had stopped, a normal dusk had settled outside, and she'd moved back to her desk.

She sat down, kept her back as straight as she could, and flipped idly through the pages of a book. She had no idea what she was supposed to do now.

All the books in the world, and I don't know where to look.

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Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:06 am
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The young demon was leaning against a shelf of dusty tomes, his arms folded accross his chest, his eyes closed, his ears open. He listened ot them talk quietly amongst themselves, he heard them walk, breathe, hell he could even hear thier heart beats. He could almost taste the scent of sweat in the stale air as he opened his eyes at long last and watched the woman walk to the door, her hands seemed steady enough as did her breathing, but her eyes gave it away.

Turning Nether noticed the sun blink. Standing tall once again he quietly moved to the door, as he arrived she turned and walked back to her desk, apparently oblivious to his presence, which was fine. He prefered not to be noticed. Curiously he traced the walls, dodging in and out of the shadowed aisles between the shelves, seemingly fading from existance everytime his form was touched by light only to reapear once in the shadows again.

He walked along the edge of light, his form bluring then becoming clear again, as if his body could make up its mind on whether to fade from sight or not in the darkness as it did in the light. His footsteps were light and soundless as he made his way closer. He knew not of ancient prophices, or much of fate. The most he could remember were scenes of war, pain, loss, sufering, and her face. The one who turned him. The one who nurtered him, and showed him the world as he now saw it. Full of coruption, and blasphemy.

In his mind, if the god's had indeed started to dispose of the occupants of the Isle, it was about damn time.

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Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:21 pm
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The journey was swift from the tavern to the outskirts of the great library, it had been so long since he had been here. That it seemed everywhere he looked something he noticed seemed to have the allure of being new to him. But Pyren had walked these lands for some time and had seen much in his journeys, the grandeur of the library was still somewhat breath taking in it's simplicity of construction.
He approached the main doors and with a gentle yet firm push the door swung open a little more forcefully then he had intended and it resonated it's displeasure with a bang that faded to a ringing.
Cursing under his breath he entered the waiting chamber, several others had gathered their aswell and had quickly turned their attention to the bang of the door.
My apologies, for the disruption i sometimes forget my own strength.
Closing the door with a more controlled motion he turned back to those gathered of which some he knew and some he had not as yet met and to the master libraian's echoing words...
Evangeline wrote:
Besides all that, I never said I was a prophet. I suppose I've done more than a prophet's share of predicting, though…

The problem with predicting is your always at least half right and half wrong, M'lady Evangeline. But alas i along with many others it seems have travelled both short and long to your halls in search of a....clue or insight into these ominous and foreboding concerns, have you garnered.... insight into the cause or extent in which many are troubled and vexed with this day....It had doned on Pyren that he was acting ill mannered at not introducing himself first to the host of the gathering, bowing first he then stood and removed his hood, then introducing himself to the lady of the house and to those gathered.
Forgive my rudness a second time dear lady and nobles gathered, I am Pyren Arkanis titan lord and master of arms for the sidhe council, i serve no god nor guild banner anymore only a house of a sidhe bloodline is my charge now. I have only recently returned from a journey to where even the gods themselves travel with intrepidation.
But since returning i to have noticed or felt an ominous disconcerting feeling of dread, so if you could answer our combined concerns please do not keep us in suspense, time it seems is not an ally here.

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Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:50 am
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The smell came first, fetid and foul. The stink of decaying blood on a battle field. The stink of bodily fluids spilled across armor and brush. That thick oily stench of death on the move. There, in the shadows of the deepest recess' of the Library a pair of golden orbs opened. Twin suns blazed with malice and hatred upon everything they touched. Lips, however, quirked into what appeared to be a rather delicious smile before hoof shifted with a grating sound, hip swiveled and the Demoness emerged, reaching out a taloned hand to catch Nether as he blurred from the light towards shadow. Forked tongue flickered against his cheek. "Nether...Nether..where are you going, Nether? I sense dischord in your being, it calls to me, it begs my presence. Tempted, indeed, to rend the flesh from bone and suckle the meat from sinew in an attempt to seek it's source." A heavy sigh given, far too heavy to be serious. The talons released his form.

Stepping further into the open, towering in her natural state, exhailing noxious fumes from nostrils. That mane of hair seemed to writhe as face canted to the left, looking towards the sounds of the conversation. "It is as I said it would happen. Chaos has come to claim the realm. How they panic and rush about. They do not understand they are the reason this has happened. Blame the Gods. How it disgusts me. Yet at the same time..my sweet, it is to be rejoiced and purred over. The utter collapse into Chaos, into nothingness." Horns scraped along a shelf, knocking a few tomes to the floor, they were ignored.

Though her attention had seemed directed towards those gathering to debate and discuss and hope, never once had she allowed Nether to escape her attentions. Slowly, as if the ancient tendons in her neck creaked, she turned head and leveled gaze upon him. Forked tongue flickering between rows of sharp teeth blackly charged with death. That mouth which had tasted the marrow of all races and countless enemy. "Why have you summoned me with thoughts, Nether. What am I to be witness to?" Almost gently hand brushed against his cheek. This, one of her greatest creations, for he did not pity nor fear. He was powerful and strong. He killed at his whim and will, took what he wished. And yet..there was something.. amiss.

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Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:55 am
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Tohu watched silently as the woman moved from the half-giant's side at the door and busied herself at her desk.

'Water, earth, air, fire...', he mused. For once the thoughts in his head were his own and markedly alone at that. The spirits were silent now, and his head was blissfully emptied of their interminable chatter - right when he could probably do with some answers.

Others had gathered in the library, some had even spoken. Yet, they were a curious lot. A disjointed, juxtaposed band of inquiring minds some better suited to the battlefield than a room stacked with books; or, perhaps, hell for two in a dark corner. Even the Sidhe seemed to be over-represented for a race that now claimed so few. Tohu raised an eyebrow as he scanned the room, rolled his massive shoulders, and approached Evangeline in the corner.

'Excuse me', his voice was a low rumble, 'but what are your intentions beyond your... speech? It's a... pleasant enough... place', Tohu cast a doubtful eye over his surrounds and those gathered as he searched out his words, 'but... begging your pardon miss, I could have had a better show in any market place from any soothsayer and in reach of much more pleasant company'. He looked hesitantly once more around the room. 'Do these scrolls have the answers'

Tohu was not at all used to being polite.

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Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:55 am
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She had fled outside just after Evangeline had begun speaking. There hadn't been much content in what the woman had said, but it had been enough to frighten her, to send her heart to hammering.

Especially if she was indeed what Evangeline had said, and there wasn't much doubt in her mind about that. She'd never heard of anyone being taken out of time and space - well, aside from the never really having heard of anything like that at all, ever - for the purposes of a vacation or for the sake of someone else's amusement.

If it was for the latter, she hoped that someone was laughing very hard indeed.

---

"Hey, Kageri. You ever heard that story about the four horsemen?" She'd stepped into the sheltered darkness of the stable with her heart still pounding its rapid-fire tattoo. As soon as she saw the outline of the horse's ears, she felt the slightest bit better.

He looked over at her, watched her approach.

"Well, even if you haven't - sounds like we're one of the four, you and I." She laughed suddenly, sarcastically.

Kageri stared.

"It's like…these four horsemen - or women, I guess - come galloping through and everything in their wake is destroyed. Each one of the four stands for something, but I can't remember what, and it's not as though that's really the important thing. Just destruction and desolation after they pass, clouds of dust and not much else…" Her hands were in her hair.

There was silence for a moment, and then the horse snorted nervously.

"Hm?" She was lost in her own thoughts and confusion.

Another, louder snort.

She turned around, glanced out the stable doors, and saw the sun being covered. "Oh…"

The turning of the heavens…

---

It took several carrots and an apple after the sun had reappeared to convince Kageri that it wouldn't disappear again.

"I'm not so sure you were as nearly put out about that as you've tried to make it seem, sir." She was braiding his mane idly. "I don't know how much I believe in the healing power of carrots."

Still…in the middle of it, I wasn't so sure the sun was going to be back, either…

---

She walked back into the library on feet that she pretended were steady. There were more people gathered among the shelves now - not enough to be a crowd, but certainly enough to put her fully on the side of nervous. There was a small group gathered around Evangeline, and Kaiten felt a surge of pity for the woman, who appeared decidedly out of her element.

There was the rumble of the tall - very tall - man's voice; Kaiten saw his rather dubious glance around.

She hurried over to Evangeline's side and then stopped, suddenly. She had no wish to be in the woman's way.

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Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:18 am
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She walked over to a window and watched as the sun fell. The eclipse didn't last very long, but it seamed to prompt something strange. Something that she didn't feel was quite right. Though she couldn't quite shake it off.

She began to wonder just how true this vision of hers was. She only hoped that for once it might be wrong. Though she knew that it was not.

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Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:28 am
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The doors swung backwards on still-gleaming hinges, venting fetid air and a billowing cloud of dust out into the early morning sun. Darkness loomed within, and held the door briefly before retreating back into the chamber beyond when faced with advancing line of students bearing flickering torches. Though the world outside of the library's bare stone walls was held in the grip of autumn's slow decay, entropy had no hold within. Scroll upon scroll lay stacked in pigeon holes across every wall, with darkened doorways offering the students the hopes of more knowledge held within the shadows.

As the students busied themselves by cleaning out the wall-mounted torch brackets to receive their flaming brands, Chalchiuhtotolin and two of the other resident archeologists of his dig team moved to the centre of the room and peered closely at an ancient parchment which they held to the light.

"Straight ahead, and then there should be a corridoor to the left."

Not paying any attention to the students who attempted to read the map from over his shoulder, Chalchiuhtotolin led the small group forwards through theopen doorway which stood before them. He looked around the empty chamber once, ignored the perfectly preserved wall hangings and the finely mosaicced floor, and immediately walked departed down the corridoor which had been indicated upon the map.

"And we should be... there."

The group stepped into a cramped antechamber, and peered around to the light of one guttering torch. Though the shadows danced across the walls, in turn revealing and then concealing the intricate mosaic artwork which depicted in glorious colour the worship of a series of bloodthirsty man-gods, all eyes fell upon a pitted and ancient chest which stood unassumingly in the far corner.

Chalchiuhtotolin placed the torch in a bracket upon the wall, and bade his teachers leave to explore the rest of the ancient library. If his research had led him to the right place, the tome in the chest would be for very restricted reading indeed.

------

"You - saddle me a horse, and fetch me enough rations for a ride to the grand library. Hurry up about it."

Chalchiuhtotolin clutched the tome to his chest, wrapped in a cloth to protect it from the damp air. Damp air, but no rain, he thought - and promptly cursed into the quiet clearing. Hurrying along towards the stables, he changed direction to avoid one of the dig supervisors and instead approached the building from its rear. The student was tightening the saddle against the riding horse when he slipped inside the stables, mounting the beast even as the final buckles were jerked into place.

With a "yaa" and a kick of his heels, he urged the horse out onto the thin woodland trail and into a gallop, leaving the dig site behind after the months of interminable progress towards their final breach of the library's doors. Iron-shod hooves kicked dry dust into the still air as the horse galloped its way back towards civilisation, and their destination of the grand library.

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And thus I clothe my naked villainy
With old odd ends, stol'n forth of holy writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.


Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:58 pm
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