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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 5:38 pm 
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The following journal is a collection of letters, notes, journal entries written to, as well as by, the Shu'halo Druids - Huatha Blackhorn and Jasseh Younghoof after they rediscovered one another following the Cataclysm. This is the story of their budding friendship and whatever may occur beyond. -played by ArtofMagic and Badsquishy-

Jasseh,

What an incredible event it was to have you suddenly appear before my eyes on the streets of Orgrimmar this day! I had thought you lost with the many others of our people in the wreckage and aftermath of the Great Upheaval that has destroyed so much of what we once knew.

It is a shame we had to part in such haste, yet to know you still live lightens my heart. Therefore, I felt I must write.

The Zuro Tribe is no more, Jasseh, with the death of it's founding member, Zubjumi. Remember how he had dreamed of being a Druid like us? It is sad to tell, but he fell before the gates of Mulgore while attempting to defend a party Shu'halo children from the Alliance assault. The children escaped yet he did not. A bittersweet tale to be sure.

I only recently heard the news while in Bloodhoof Village. In fact, I heard it from a Troll Druid!

Can you believe it? Troll Druids? I never would have believed it possible, yet here they are. It is sad that Zubjumi never lived to see this day. He would have danced a jig and told us he knew it all along. Dem bones dey be tellin em dat!

So, my friend, where have you been hiding? I miss our travels and now that the world has turned upside down, it needs us more than ever. Myself, I will be making my way to Mount Hyjal. I answered the new warlord's call and plan to head there tomorrow.

if you get this letter, please write back. I would so enjoy hearing your tale.

Until that time, may the Earthmother guide you and shine upon you with her wisdom and glory!

Your Friend,

Huatha Blackhorn

-played by ArtofMagic-

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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 6:16 pm 
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Huatha,

It was wonderful to see you again after so much time. I am saddened to learn of Zubjumi's passing. He was a strange Troll, but one with a big heart and, as it turns out, not so strange dreams. Troll Druids! I had not thought his fancy possible, but perhaps he was much wiser than either of us had thought. In any event, he now walks along side the Earthmother. I am certain She is caring for him and giving him plenty to do with the Ancestors.

As for my own doings, after the Cataclysm, I spent many days flying around in a daze, trying to understand why the Earthmother would allow such destruction. I ended in the Barrens, at the edge of the now Great Divide. The Earthmother did not speak to me directly -- not that She would; She is very mysterious -- but after sitting there for many hours, I felt at peace, or at least in as much peace I could under the circumstances. The Earthmother would not give Her children more than they are capable of handling, of this I am certain. This is a difficult time for the Shu'halo and the Druids with Hyjal under siege and Garrosh (I cannot believe Thrall left him as Warchief! An outrage!) killing our forests in Ashenvale. It hurts me to my soul, but I shall persevere. I have been helping the Keepers in Hyjal, as you are about to undertake. Perhaps we shall run into each other again, and I sincerely hope we do. I truly believe that the Earthmother had a hand in our re-acquaintance. Sometimes, I think only a fellow Druid can really truly understand me.

Keep in touch, my friend, and may the Winds guide you.

Jasseh

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 9:58 am 
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Jasseh,

What a surprise to receive your reply to my letter so quickly. I must admit that when I sent it, I was not expecting to hear back from you so soon. I am pleased to no end.

Can you believe that we can now fly in Azeroth? I have spent the past several days soaring over our homeland, perching upon mountaintops I had always wanted to see yet up until now, had never been able to. In fact, I perched atop Stonetalon Peak and watched the sun set then the moon rise, bringing with it a blanket of stars. I could feel the Earthmother's presence caressing me, stroking my feathers as if to tell me I mattered and I would help heal our lands....

It was a spiritual moment, true, but one filled with sadness.

I have always felt that my lot in life is to wander the lands in solitude, alone. Archdruid Runetotem told me something very similar. That our work was our life, that the land was more important than ourselves and that other people, other races would have a hard time understanding us. Not just because of what we do, but because of what we are.

Our ability to shapshift into animal aspects frightens people, I think. Even fellow Shu'halo shun me, it seems. How could I choose to be a Cheetah, or a Great Bear or even a Seal? What sort of person would WANT to do that?

I see it in their eyes, Jasseh. I say I am a Druid and they instantly back away as if I am something to be feared, dirty almost. I hate it yet that is what is.

So when you say, "only a Druid can understand me" I would agree. Still, Jasseh, our work is most important and I hope yours is going well.

Best Wishes to you and may the Earthmother Bless you and Guide you always

Yours in Druidism,

Huatha Blackhorn

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 10:55 am 
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The following reply is sent about two weeks or so later.

Huatha,

Sorry for the late reply. I've been extremely busy with the Keepers in Hyjal. I trust you're keeping safe? I pray that the Earthmother watches carefully over you.

I'm glad you understand what I mean about life as a Druid. I, too, get those looks. Either they look at me as if I'm a freak of nature or they look at me dismissively, as if my opinions are ridiculous because I happen to think that saving trees, our forests and nature is a noble cause. I see how uncomfortable it makes others when I suddenly transform from a Shu'halo into a cheetah. I know it bothers my cousin Alyee, but then again, she's an engineer. How terrible is that?! Working with gizmos and doodads, not caring so much about nature. I don't understand her sometimes. I love her, but I don't understand her.

And speaking of others I don't really understand all that well, I have to tell you. I ran into an old acquaintance of ours. You'll never guess. HARLO. She's married now and working with a crew of pirates. PIRATES. That's exciting, don't you think? She offered me a job, and since I need the gold to help fund my save the trees project, I accepted. I have the perfect name for this society. Tell me what you think:

Society for the Protection and Rescue of Unarmed Trees and Shrubs. (Shorthand, we will call it SPROUTS. Good, eh?!)

There you have it. Protecting Hyjal and becoming a pirate. My life takes some interesting turns, doesn't it?

I hope you are well. Walk with the Earthmother, Huatha and stay safe.

Your friend,
Jasseh

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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 7:54 am 
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The following letter is written as if in a hurry and occurs one month after the previous letter from Jasseh

Jasseh!

I am sorry it has taken me so long to reply but with the way my life has been, I am surprised I have time to do so now. Please excuse the sloppy handwriting, but I am about to mount up for an attack into the Arathi Valley against the Alliance and time is short.

It was so good to hear from you and learn what you have been up to . SPROUTS - I love it! What a noble name for a group run by yourself. Your passion for the flora of our world has far surpassed mine and you are the perfect person to head up such an organization. I hope it goes well for you.

So you ran into Harlox, did you? (crossed out sentence, illegible). Is she well? It has been a long while since I last saw her. Is she still with Aurelion, the Paladin? Last I saw of her she was sitting in an orphanage in Nagrand tending to children of the Mag'har. Seemed strange that one so... flighty would immerse herself in such a noble pursuit.

Pirates? You? I must say that surprises me a bit. I never looked upon their kind as being a group you would find yourself associated with. But then again, the world has changed so much, maybe we all have as well.

Hmmm.

I must hurry to finish as the commander is gathering the troops for the rush.

I, myself, have rejoined with the Horde Expeditionary Forces in fighting back the Allliance insurgency into Horde territory. I signed my name to the rolls shortly after the upheaval and have been fighting ever since. I do take time to work in Hyjal but for the most part, my time is spent on the field of battle.

You might not believe this, but I have also begun exploring Balance. I am not very talented with it yet and most times, find myself fighting in my feral forms. However, there is something alluring about the Lunar and Solar energies that are the mainstays of Balance.

Still, it is foreign to me and I am not sure I was meant for it. When I am in my Moonkin form I feel so slow, so cumbersome when lumbering around. Besides, there is nothing quite as thrilling as prowling through the shadows as a black lion. That, my dear, is power and grace!

Oh! There's the call to arms! I must go.

I pray my letter finds you well and you accept my apology for the lack of timeliness in sending a reply. Hopefully, we can meet again... soon?

May the Earthmother Bless you and Guide you always

Your Friend,

Huatha Blackhorn

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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 6:56 am 
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The reply letter is sent almost immediately after Huatha's letter is received.
Huatha,

Oh my Earthmother, do be careful! I feel terrible that you are out there, fighting for us when I am stuck sitting around in a desert. Yes, you read that right: a desert. The group I've joined is less pirate-y and more like treasure hunters (and even then, it's debatable) at this point. Do you believe they don't even have a ship? Their solution isn't to, oh, perhaps find another ship. It's to wander around the desert in Uldum in hopes of finding treasure. What kind of pirates operate in a desert? There's barely any water around and certainly no ship to navigate, which was supposed to be my role in this operation: navigator. Ah well. At least I enjoy the company. Alaia is here, too, having joined Harlo's crew. It's nice to have a friendly face to calm me down, especially when I have to deal with that arrogant Lyzander. He's an engineer as well! It's like I'm surrounded with them. I'm convinced he lives to frustrate and tease me. He called me a Bovine Beauty the other day. He says it was meant as a compliment but his timing was mid-argument, therefore I have decided it was meant to aggravate. I told him to shove it and that the next time he calls me that, he risks eating my Moonfire. I think my verbal altercations with Lyzander amuse Harlo, but they seem to annoy her husband, Dastin (and no, she's not with this Aurelion. Her husband is a man named Dastin, who is the captain of this little non-pirate outfit. They seem. Very loudly enamoured? With each other is all I'll say.), but that might be because he and Lyzander seem to fight over Harlo.

In any case, I am glad to have your letter as distraction from my very mundane (yet periodically annoyed [a few words are crossed out, though one suspiciously reads like "Lyzander"] existence. Actually, your letter is giving me an excuse to stall getting ready. My aunt has decided that I'm getting too old to be running around unwed and has made it her mission to find me a suitable bull to marry. My aunt is a lovely person, but stubborn and hard-headed. Once she gets an idea in her head, no one will get her to change her mind! (Shut up, I'm not at all like her. Not one bit. Okay, I am, but that's beyond the point.) I've tried to convince her that I am quite content to be on my own and that if I do decide to marry, that I can find my own husband. Apparently, I can't be trusted to pick my own dates. In an effort to [words are lightly crossed out, and can be read as "shut her up"] make her happy, I've agreed to meet with this bull she has decided is perfect for me. I remain quite skeptical. Hopefully, the evening will find itself pleasant (I'm not holding my breath).

The hour grows late, and I should let you get back to your duties. Is it strange for me to long for battle and purpose? I wish we could fight along side each other once again; I would love to see you waddle around as a Moonkin. I've done it for so long that it has become second nature for me and I often feel more comfortable walking around in fluffy feathers than I do as a cat. I have seen your lion form and you are definitely strong and graceful. I, on the other hand, am the most uncoordinated cat to have ever prowled. It's funny how I have more coordination as a giant fluff ball than as a sleek lion. Perhaps I shouldn't be too surprised. I seem to do always end up doing things the hard way.

Take care of yourself, Huatha, and please stay safe, because I would like to see your face again, dear friend.

Walk with the Earthmother.

Your friend,

Jasseh

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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 6:19 pm 
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The following letter is dated one week after receipt of Jasseh's. It is written with a clear, steady, if somewhat heavy hand

My Dear Jasseh,

How do you manage it? I have spent the past week attempting to do battle using the powers of Balance and have been absolutely inept at it. The powers are quite interesting and the moonfire much more powerful, but still - slow and feathers? Bless the Earthmother... I am not meant for Balance.

Therefore, I visited with Archdruid Runetotem this morning and re-learned my Feral abilities. I cannot go into battle without my claws.

So, unfortunately, we will not be fighting together in the same form. But, my claws and your moonfire could be quite deadly against the evils of the Alliance. What a force we could make!

In regards to your venture in the non-pirate group of pirates... Halrox is married? I am shocked to no end. I never thought that women could get married yet alone want to be that way. Aurelion and her were very close, I even thought they would be married.

Dastin... I remember that name from somewhere. So, she married him? Interesting. Well, it is all for the best. We were close friends once yet never felt more than a pet, especially when she called me, "kitty". I know she meant well, but much like your Elf friend, Lyzander, who called you a 'Bovine Beauty', it still hits hard. They seem so arrogant in their ways and many times, I would rather not be around any Elves at all.

So your Aunt is trying to marry you off, eh? That is funny. Well, maybe not for you, but it seems the same with all families. One of the reasons I have stopped visiting my tribe is due to the constant nagging about why I am not married, why I have not found a doting bride to help sustain the tribe.

Bless the Earthmother, but that's the last thing on my mind. Well, marriage anyway. Besides, it's terribly hard to find anyone I would (crossed out and unable to read)

Between the last battle and now, I have taken up archaeology. I never would have thought that digging in the dirt would be so much fun! I have found so many interesting items, oddities and trinkets. Now that I think of it, seems much like your sand pirate treasure hunter group you have joined up with. Except there are no name calling Elves to deal with.

Thank you again for replying so quickly. I would have responded earlier, but the battle lasted much longer than I would have imagined. Now that I have finally decided upon Feral for combat, I am settling into the role and making the Alliance suffer for their attempts at taking our land.

May the Earthmother Bless you always,

Huatha Blackhorn
Battle Druid of the Blackhorns

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 6:15 pm 
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The reply is sent a few days later.

Dear Huatha,

Last night was probably the worst night I've had in a long, long time. TERRIBLE. I'm still livid. I cannot believe the type of bull my aunt has decide would make a suitable husband for me. He was downright offensive. I wonder if he was the first man of my age she happened upon, because I can't even. I'm so. Furious! That's what I am! I won't go into the gory details of the actual 'date' but suffice it to say he was not a gentleman and for his actions, he became intimately acquainted with my Moonfire. I also sent a swarm and my Treants after him. He deserved it, I assure you. I'm starting to think there are no decent men out there. Well, save you, of course. I can't imagine you would ever treat anyone with disrespect. (I do have to say my uncle was very proud of how I handled myself.)

Be thankful you don't have an aunt running around throwing potential brides at you. It's a headache. You'd also think that this 'incident' would deter my aunt and set her straight away from her (terrible) matchmaking. Alas! She has arranged for me to meet yet another potential suitor. I wanted to scream when she told me, but I didn't. Instead, I nodded and agreed like a good girl and really, why would I do such a thing? I don't have any trouble standing up for myself in other situations. Why is it so difficult with my aunt? Maybe it's because no matter how many times I say no, she goes ahead and does what she wants anyway. Maybe it's because I feel guilty that she took me in when my parents died and I feel I owe her so much. I'm at a loss.

And, I'm rambling. I'm sorry. I seem to have made all of this about me and that's not very fair. I have to confess that I am a bit sad you've decided to go back to your feral ways, if only selfishly because of my preference for Balance. However, I have seen you fight as a cat and you are fierce and strong. I can see why it suits you best (And I promise never to call you 'kitty.' How ridiculous for her to call you that. Elves. They don't seem to understand how disrespectful they can be at times. All because we have tails and hooves. They could do with a little more tails, that's for sure). Do be careful. Being in such close quarters combat is dangerous and I'd hate to see you injured in any way.

Stay safe.

Your friend,
Jasseh

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 6:41 pm 
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The letter is written very hastily, almost scrawled. The paper is wrinkled and specks of dried, brown stain the surface. It is a week old

My Dear Jasseh,

Your letter finds me in a bit of a spot and I am using what little down time I have to reply. We have been hard-pressed by the Alliance in Tol Barad and the fighting has been fierce. They have decided they really want this speck of land and we are determined to defend it to the last man. The Warlord is demanding and we will suffer many losses, yet the Horde is a mighty force and well organized. We will hold.

I had forgotten how intense it can be in close melee. Fighting as a Balance Druid is vastly different than dancing the claw as Feral. One almost 'becomes' the cat in the middle of carnage and danger. Many times, I have found myself balancing on the edge of reason, trying not to lose myself in the aspect.

But I manage, barely.

I was amused to read your accounting of the date you had with your aunt's choice. Sending a swarm and treants after him is funny and made me laugh while reading. One of my mates, a massive Orc, a Knight of the Ebon Blade, that goes by the name Hulkadeath overheard and gave me a hard time about your letter. All in good fun, I assure you. He is as fierce as they come and the Alliance knows his name quite well. His axe is feared.

Bless the Earthmother, but I am tired! We have held out for the past week on little to no sleep and pitiful rations. I have been eating fish stolen from a Human village known as Rustbucket, as well as the occasional conjured foods provided by our mages. Still, it is difficult.

We must remember to honour our elders, even when they are doing us no good. Your Aunt is trying to help you and that is why you are not fighting back with her. Just taking it out on the poor soul who she sets you up with. I laugh along with your uncle. Well done, my dear Jasseh, well done.

Poor bulls!

I hope you find a worthy one among the lot. Who knows, the next Bull she finds might just be your future mate, so give it a chance and what will be will be.

The horn sounds and the Alliance are making another attempt at taking the fortress. This place is in ruins and I have no idea why they would even want it. Why do WE want it, is what I am beginning to ask.

Farewell, my dear Jasseh and may the Earthmother bless you always!!!

Huatha Blackhorn
Battle Druid of the Blackhorns

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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 8:44 am 
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The reply is sent almost immediately after receipt.

Dear Huatha,

I am both worried and a bit jealous to hear that you are still in the thick of battle. Worried, because I want you to be careful, but a bit envious because this pirate group is still idling in the desert, hoping to come across treasure, with no ship or sea in sight. It is, not to put too fine a point on it, boring. I travel to Moonglade often, if only to spend time with the trees, away from all that sand. It has the unfortunate habit of getting everywhere, including places sand should never find itself. I'm growing increasingly discontent with the lack of purpose, even though the company is good (even that Lyzander. I manage to outwit him in our arguments, something that always catches him off guard and by surprise. I don't know why it would; I'm quite clever when I want to be). Sometimes, I think I must be mad to wish for combat. I don't think it's necessarily the combat I miss, but the drive to protect what we hold dear and sacred.

It does worry me, I confess, that you've been close to losing yourself in your Feral form. I know it's sometimes seductive to remain in that baser way of thinking -- things are always just simpler -- but you need to be careful. I'm sure you know that already and I won't go on about it further. I just fret, that's all. (Also, what a strange name for a village, Rustbucket. These Humans are very, very odd. I am not sad you are eating their stolen fish, though. You need to keep your strength up!)

As for the continuing saga of my aunt finding me a mate, it still ongoing, though the last 'date' was actually pleasant. I met up with an old friend from childhood, actually. He is a priest now. It was very nice to catch up and the meal was lovely. No chance whatsoever of anything other than a meal happening, but it was pleasant nonetheless. Let's hope that this satisfies my aunt, at least for a little while. I need a breather between these matches she comes up with for me. (And, actually, that reminds me. Why is your friend Hulkadeath giving you grief about my letter? I'm sure he's a formidable opponent, but I'm not afraid of giving him a stern talking to if need be.)

Anyway. That's all that's been happening with me. How exciting, right? I hope you keep well and that you manage to get out of Rustbucket to make your way back to Orgrimmar. I'd love to see you again (and, yes, I admit that I want to make sure you're all in one piece, too. I worry about you!). Keep in touch. Get the Alliance. Stay safe. Be strong. Hopefully, we'll meet again soon enough.

The Earthmother's blessings be upon you.

Your friend,
Jasseh

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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 12:38 pm 
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This letter is sent almost immediately after receipt of the previous letter from Jasseh

Dear Jasseh,

Thank you for your concern, Jasseh, but do not fret over me. I can handle myself quite well and my mates are there to back me up. I have always felt the urges of being Feral and once or twice given into them. I know the edges and can walk it.

Hulkadeath's comments were in jest - simply giving a mate a hard time as men tend to do when taking a respite from the heat of battle, where death is always walking side by side with you. He respects the fact that I have someone to write to and understands the importance of it. He, being a "Death Knight", one of those freed from Arthas's grasp, has no one to which he can share with... That was a funny term. A Death Knight sharing... HA!

Might I make a suggestion? If you are bored in the desert, why not leave and move on to other things? There is not much a Druid can do out there, I would imagine, and your trees do need you. What do they think about your organization, SPROUT? Are they willing to lend a hand with it? Or simply root around in the sand like cats in a litter box?

We could use your skill in the Horde Expeditionary Force. If your powers are as you claim, the Alliance would cringe in fear and run from the sight of your feathery self!

I am due to rotate back to Orgrimmar in three weeks for some rest and respite. Hulkadeath is trying to get me into the Arenas again during our break, but ever since we lost our warrior partner during the Cataclysm, I have not had the motivation to do so. Besides, how much battle can one person take? Hulk will have to find someone else to wet his bloody appetite with. I want a break!

I am pleased to hear that your date went well and that it was a pleasant experience. See? Your Aunt isn't doing all bad. She is trying to do what she feels best and in that, you still must honour her wishes. Hopefully, she will get the message that this is not what you choose to be doing and leave you well enough alone.

It is good to hear you have a place to escape the boredom of treasure hunting and being a sand pirate. Maybe you could make a ship with wheels or some sort of sled type of apparatus to sail across the sands. You said there are engineers there. Surely they could rig up a 'sand ship' and skitter across the dunes like a slithid.

Speaking of which, have you found anything noteworthy in your treasure seeking? Funny, I never thought the deserts of Tanaris... oh, I see. You said Uldum. I have not been there, as of yet. I have heard tell that is a place of wonders, yet I have been too busy in other endeavors to seek out fortune in the mysterious Uldum.

Well, Jasseh, I had better let you go. I need some rest before our next engagement. We still hold Tol Barad, yet it is tenuous at best. But for you, I will keep my claws sharp and my wits sharper so we may have a moment to meet when I return to Orgrimmar.

Best Wishes and May the Earthmother Bless you always.

Huatha
Battle Druid of the Blackhorns

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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 10:10 pm 
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A reply sent about two weeks after receipt of Huatha's last letter.

Dear Huatha,

I know you said not to fret, but I can't help it. I'll try to keep my worry in check, but don't be surprised if you are on the receiving end of multiple letters to confirm you are indeed alright. Think of it as doing my part in keeping the Horde post service on their toes and running efficiently.

Your friend Hulkadeath was giving you 'a hard time as men do?' I'm not sure if I'm curious or frightened to think about what kind of jest you men get to when there are no women around, though I'd have to think there are SOME women in your ranks. How do they give you a hard time? I'd bet those ladies are quite fierce in their own right. And speaking of fierce, I took your advise and am trying some new things to hopefully alleviate the boredom of the desert (also, no, I haven't found anything of note yet, but to be honest, I'm not doing much looking; digging in the sand isn't at the top of my fun times list). I've signed myself up for Calls to Arms and have begun taking to battle grounds. Perhaps we will run into each other! If we do, I promise not to fret over you if your friend is around and I will let you be manly and tough as men are. (Am I giving you a enough of a hard time? I am smiling very hard at the moment.)

Before I sign off, I bet you're dying to know about my aunt's tireless efforts in finding me a mate. Well. Things came to a head when she tried to persuade a lovely merchant to please have dinner with me. It was all kinds of awkward (for both of us, especially since I am of the wrong gender, if you catch my meaning). I was mortified when I found out. This was the final straw, Huatha. I did what any person would do in this situation: I lied through my teeth. I told my aunt thank you but no thanks because I was already seeing someone. Don't look at me that way! I was desperate! You have no idea how tiring it is to fend off all these set-ups. This way, at least she'll leave me alone for a while. I hope the Earthmother forgives me for this.

On that note, I better let you get back to the battle field. May the winds guide you in your journeys.

Your friend,
Jasseh

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