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Amietia last won the day on January 1 2018

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  1. Amie woke slowly. The air on her face was chilly, but the rest of her was warm. She sighed. Then she waited. She breathed again, an experiment in personal sensation. She felt... not happy, no, but... calm? Centered. She felt balanced and that, after feeling suffocated for so long, was almost as good as happiness. She examined the source of this feeling. The hurt for her sister was there, still. Amie knew that Kerala was dead, somehow, and this truth had not changed. The lack of proof, of closure... it was disappointing and it made the hole in her heart that much wider, but now that uncertainty didn't seem to quite dominate everything. She could feel things beyond aching loneliness. She didn't feel betrayed and abandoned anymore. She just felt... herself. Just her. Whatever had happened with her sister... it wasn't meant to effect her, she knew, but that hadn't stopped her from grieving. Amie wasn't the most important thing in Kerala's life, she never had been. The druid was self-centered, always, and to just vanish and go off by herself... well Amie supposed most wild things did that, in the end, didn't they? It still hurt, if she dwelled on it, but the pain was... manageable. She would survive. Amie breathed in the cold air again, as much as she could fit into her lungs, just to experience the icy numbness that occurred in her windpipe. Then she puffed out little clouds of mist, like a goblin or gnomish machine. Memory from New Year's Eve suddenly occurred to her. It came back in a rush. The ice cream cool in her throat, the warm pie filling a soothing contrast and so very sweet on her tongue. She remembered the booms and remembered her friend. "Jinny?" "Mmph," came a very muffled groan from a pile of blankets nearby. "Jinchan wake up, it's morning. Happy new year." She crawled out of her cocoon, snapped her teeth at how much she had underestimated the coolness of the air. She prodded the monk bundle impatiently. "Nooooooooooooo," Jinny complained. "It's been a week, Amie. Merciful Mother, please lemme sleeeeeeeep." Amietia frowned. A week, gone by? "But... why?" "'Cause I'm tired." "NO. I mean why am I missing a week? What did you do? What happened?" With each question the seer yanked at a different blanket corner, peeling the monk free in layers like an onion. "It's freezing! What is WRONG with you?" Jinny, now fully coherent, and irritated, snatched for the covers back. Missing, she grabbed instead for Amie. Jinny rolled and the cocoon swallowed Amie, pulling her into the warm embrace of the older girl's arms. Amie was surprised, but also cold, and she submitted into the hug after only a moment of token protest. Jinny snuggled closer. "Mmmm." "You healed me, didn't you?" Amie persisted. "How?" "No," Jinny lied. Amie elbowed her immediately. "Ow! Well gee, Amie, if we knew that I'd be a right proper mender, now wouldn't I? I could be helping save lives in some forward post infirmary tent. Or, I dunno, Sanctuary has a great fallback set-up in their little mini castle or whatever. Instead I'm just the Skytotem token cripple. I'm a mascot." "You're not a mascot you silly thing. What did you do? Come on, I feel much better. Please share with me?" Jinny's cold snout buried itself against Amie's neck. It made her reply both ticklish and hard to understand. "You did what with huh?" The second repetition didn't make any more sense to Amie. It sounded like Jinny was talking about her string game, something about knots. She shifted away from the monk's breath blowing first moist warm air through her fur but then sucking ice on each inhale. "Amie, do you remember when you used to tell me about the rainbows?" Jinny suddenly asked. "...Yes. I can't see them anymore." Jinchan was quiet for a long while. The warmth finally began to equalize between them. Amie's internal quivers settled again. The silence was comfortable, the blankets were cozy. Amie relaxed enough to drift off slightly before Jinny's voice startled her awake. "The soul would have no rainbow, if the eye held no tears. You told me that, once. Do you remember?" "I remember." Jinny had been heartbroken after failing to save a hunter's strider companion. The bull had not been able to remain near Jinny and stalked off to grieve alone, leaving the monk alone cradling the poor bird with it's neck flopped over her elbow so grotesquely. Jinny had sobbed so hard. And Amie had told her that. One of many in the collection of useless platitudes. "Have you cried?" "Of course I've-" but wait. Had she? Suddenly Amietia couldn't remember the last time her eyes had leaked the emotions of her soul. "I bet when you do, you'll see the rainbows again. And I was thinking..." Jinny's speech was interrupted with a yawn, ..."I was thinking about that other one, the stupid one." Well that could be anything. Jinny was religious, but not of an organized sort, and she thought much of what Amie said was stupid nonsense. "Which?" "The mist one. About courage." "As long as mists envelope you, be still. Be still until the sunlight pours through a dispels the mists, as it surely will. Then act with courage." "Yeah, that one. It's dumb, you know." "Howso?" "What kind of courage does it take to walk or travel or act whatever, when the sun is shining bright and you can see everything clear as... clear as day? It's not brave to hop across the creek when the water level is low and you can see the stones, Amie. It's when the mist is all around, that's when it takes courage." "I suppose I never thought of it that way." "I know." Jinny yawned again. "You've never been down and out like that before." "... no. I haven't. And I still don't understand what you did to help me. How do I help others if I don't know how?" Jinny burst out laughing. "Faith?" she echoed Amie's word of New Year's Eve. The seer had to admit it was clever. "I'm not sure..." "Amie. Let me tell you a secret. You have to promise not to tell anyone else, okay?" Amie nodded within the blanket cocoon. "It's alright to be sad. It's alright not to know everything. It doesn't mean you're broken, you know. It's okay not to know exactly what you're doing. Sometimes it blows up in your face. I mean, I wouldn't recommend that strategy when dealing with boobytrapped goblin locks, for instance- those things make powerful big explosions if you screw it up- but you know what I mean don't you?" "Maybe." "Look. You're a seer. I get that you think you're supposed to know everything, or act like you do. But you're wrong. What you see is a gift given by the Earth Mother, right?" "Yes." "Well guess what? Our Mother is BLIND, okay? She's got one eye on night, and one eye on the day. There's only a limited field of vision there, don't you think? And what about all those places the light of her gaze doesn't reach to? The deep places in the myths. The dark is where monsters take solace. And do you know why little shu'halo are afraid of the dark outside the campfire's glow, and the high spot at the apex of the tipi?" "They are afraid of the dark." "No! They afraid of the unknown. The thing you can't see in the blackness could be anything. It could even be nothing. They are afraid of the *potential*, Amie. The dark itself is innocent. The dark can contain a million possibilities, but once there is light, you can only see just the one. I think your visions are like that. So maybe try not to be too upset if you can't See, okay?" Amietia would not have been surprised to hear rolling thunder and a crack of lightning accompanying such a monumental revelation. A million possibilities in the dark, but only one in the light.... suddenly she felt as if the world were a lot larger, and perhaps she might once again find her purpose in it. She was suddenly confident again that there was one, for her. And that felt alright. What a wise little thief, was her friend. Amie mulled over the possibilities long enough that she never knew when she crossed from imagining and back into dreaming. The girls slept several hours more through the cold morning. When next the seer's eyes opened, it because she'd grown overly hot. Jinny was gone, and in her stead was a rolled up mat against Amie's back and a glowing brazier a safe distance away shimmering heat into the little home. She dressed quickly in layers, for the first time in a long while taking the care to choose what she put on. The tent flap whacked against the hide wall behind it when she burst out into the day. She had to laugh at it. All around her was a thick, gently swirling fog. She couldn't see beyond a few paces. Daylight was distant and directionless. Remembering Jinny's sleepy secret, Amietia wandered among the strange shadowy shapes all around her, imagining every thing that they could be except what she mostly knew them to be. She thought that maybe today, today would be a day when she could learn to appreciate the beauty of gray.
  2. The night was cold. All around Thunder Bluff, folks were still active. They gathered, some for early revelry, some for the warmth of friendships. They clustered and they drew together around flickering flames. Like moths. Amietia kept on. One hoof in front of the other. They knew the way on their own. The pattern of rounded paving stones fell away beyond her steps homeward bound. Her mind was free to focus on other things besides the empty tent awaiting her. The Longwalker had disturbed her, of course. She had spent so much time on her own, isolated and cocooned within the solitude of the passing moons that she had forgotten the cold cruelty of the world. It was a bad habit, she supposed. She still felt, niggling at the roots of her mane, guilt at having so abruptly abandoned her duties to her people. It had been her job to be so optimistic. It had been her calling to look through the uncertain mists and know that beyond them somewhere was Light. She was the Seer. A snort exploded from her nose, half composed of impotent fury and dark humor. The Seer who could no longer See. How useless was she? That still did not excuse that young bull for his infuriatingly close-minded ignorance! Purple monkeys indeed! Where was the place for such prejudices anymore? How could such people still cling to their hatreds when the very world in which they lived was so threatened? Was there not enough evil to contend with that they could let go of their own? As always when on this path of thought, the imagery of a cracked skull, bloody and malicious, entered her mind. Grim, it was, and the multifaceted meaning of the word she also found ire in, as had her sister. Silly words. Familiar, the hem of her house crept into view of the ground. Amietia reached for the flap. Hesitated. She could not simply hide forever. This is what her old friend Bombina had been saying so repetitively. Amietia was not hiding. Her hand dropped. She swiveled to one side, taking pleasure in the way her hooves dug divots into the soil right in front of her home, marring the ground. Bombina did not understand. How could the old shaman comprehend? Even Amietia was not sure why she felt so broken. Despite her best attempts to cultivate a relationship with the woman she supposedly once shared a womb with, it was never as if she could pretend they were real sisters. Real twins. That Kerala was gone... why did it matter? What made this time any different than the others? Amietia trailed her fingers along the faded lines of dye decorating the exterior of her abode. Even were it not night, even if An'she shone brightly blazing in direct rays to light up the surface, she had lost the ability to distinguish color. The patterns appeared to her in varying shades of one hue. Gray. The world became gray for her the same day the visions ceased to change. Now there were only two. The colors had leeched, too, from these dreams. In her visions she watched the great tree burn white now, while the dark shapes of familiar people huddled around roots and the flickering light turned darkness at the edge of vision into seething shadowy evils. She looked upon a white stretch of land and down at the pair of gray stone doors. The once-pretty vines were black now, like veins in a dead landscape. And the doors always swung shut. Gray, even in her dreams. She missed rainbows, so. It made Amietia's chosen surname, Greydawn, so entirely funny, didn't it? What was not funny was the certainty that Amietia had seen her sister for the very last time. She felt bereft. Gutted. Something vital was missing, and she didn't know how to cope with the loss. Bombina had been sympathetic at first. Kerala had been absent a suspiciously long time this time. Then when that troll had appeared in Thunder Bluff with Kerala's stick... well all the Skytotem girls had gone to extra lengths in the search for their elusive friend. All of the people represented by the voodoo dolls had turned out to be perfectly fine and unharmed. Except for the staff, Amietia had no reason to connect the troll with her sister, but the coincidence was just too suspicious. As the months passed and no word came from the druid, Amietia became further and further depressed, and her friends no longer argued when she voiced the belief that her sister must be dead. It was hard enough to get up, get dressed, and go outside the quiet confines of her tent, and then when she does and meets one her own shu'halo brothers, that Oenn, who makes her question why she bothered...? Amietia sighed. She followed the pattern, tracing the paintwork and stitches around the tent wall to the backside and the open edge of the bluff. Black night air yawned cold and vast before her, a great void of nothingness that beckoned invitingly.
  3. The terrorist, gangly and thin, was blasted off her feet. The bluffwatcher's shot caught her in the middle, but off-center. The troll twisted like a wobbling top and, like the child's toy, crashed against the platform's rail. Anura's wrinkled fingers on Lomani's arm was the only thing that kept the furious seer from trying to get down to them, or from trying to cast the same spell again to make the murderous woman burn in holy fires of her own. There was enough already in ashes. Lomani let the old shaman turn her from the sight of her brother guard standing firmly over the crumpled form of the troll, rifle aimed and ready. The entire clearing around her was bare The force of the troll's wind gusts had scoured the ground. Pine needles piled in an eery ring around them all and new dark soil dotted the circle where grasping thorns had sprung up. Smoke leaked in sinuous lines still from the wreckage of what had been the entire collection of the witch's dolls. "Mother have mercy. What have I done?" Aziris was crying. The Forsaken pulled figure after blackened figure from the ruined blanket. Many were too delicate to withstand being touched, and crumbled into fragments at the handling. Her movements were frantic, bordering on panicked. Anura covered her mouth with both hands, staring. Lomani had an idea of the trauma in the old healer's mind. This had not been at all what was supposed to happen. Were the dolls active? The possibility that they had just let this witch incinerate every friend they knew, and possibly aided in that, was staggering. It threatened to overwhelm her, except that's exactly what Aziris was going through. This was no time to fall apart. Lomani put her hand gently to Anura's elbow, making the old healer turn to see her. "Go help her. Try and see if you can determine if..." Lomani couldn't put voice to the thought. She trailed off, but Anura nodded slowly, understanding the request. She went to Aziris. Lomani turned to the nearest tauren. "Send the longrunners to the guilds Sanctuary, Borrowed Time, and The Grim. Make the Forsaken open portals if necessary, but go with haste. Take a healer. See if they are alright." The bull put fist to heart and then sprinted for the tower. The silver seer gestured to two others. "Come with me." Her neck twisted as she glanced over the edge of the rise. The troll was still down, still safely beneath the gaze and trigger finger of the watcher and his rifle. She hurried along the path to the longhouse, not entirely certain what she would do when she got there.
  4. "Okie. ...Ya. Good." said the troll. The gangly woman seemed to settle somewhat, accepting that her request was being honored. She slowly pulled her feet beneath her to crouch in a more conventional posture, balanced now on her toes to wait. Lomani watched Anura press four totem spikes into the earth around where she was knelt, and then she bowed her head. Everyone waited. And waited. Derecho brought her hands into her lap and clasped them in a patient manner. Then she scratched at her head. She shifted weight from one ankle to the other. Then back again. After a few more minutes, the troll abruptly let herself fall backwards onto her behind with a sigh. Her movements were haphazard in the way of a fidgety child, mostly telegraphed and exaggeratedly careful in deference to the weapons aimed at her, but almost as an afterthought. "Be still," Lomani ordered. The troll obeyed, mostly. She sat quietly in the grass and occupied herself with nibbling long pine needles, choosing them one at a time with one hand while the other gripped her bare feet. The silence broke in a long, low rumbling sound. A gurgling gut. She propped her chin on her fist and her elbow on her knee. Her gaze reflexively swept over to the abandoned picnic blanket strewn with dolls before she directed it somewhere else. "It be takin long?" she asked. Her voice was loud and held a whine to it. An attempt to draw attention to direct it elsewhere? Aziris noticed the glance to the dolls, however, and she was not the only one. Lomani did too, and her eyes hardened. She waited patiently on the outside for her counterpart healer to complete her task, but inwardly, the tauren was frantic. Anura had found the staff propped against the pine tree. Anura remembered the details of the scout's report and made the connection. The older woman had a much clearer head than Lomani herself did right now, but it was Lomani's sister. The thought of her being hurt somewhere alone, or possibly even dead already... the seer had heard rumors of attempted murders even in the public crowd of the Cantina. Those rumors spoke of hexxers and dolls. She was not in the mood for any trollish games. The seer glared at Derecho. "Demon or not, a promise has been made to you. Against my better judgment, I intend to follow it, as such words are not used lightly in this family." Behind Lomani, Aziris flinched. "You will wait for this witness to arrive, and we will hear the judgment regarding your involvement in my sister's disappearance, possible injury, or even death. -IF- you are innocent as you claim, you may leave Thunder Bluff immediately, and I would recommend you do. However it will be without these gruesome 'dolls'." "Wat!?" Derecho protested. She was going to continue hollaring, but Lomani simply kept talking without raising her voice at all. In the interest of hearing the quiet words, the troll had to shut up again. "If the witness indicates otherwise, you will be confined for the duration of time necessary to investigate my sister's absence, the nature of these dolls, and if they were used in other recent attacks of horde members and dear friends of mine. If I find out that you had a hand in any of these occurrences, I will personally ensure that atonement for these crimes be satisfied by the surrendering of your life." The little clearing beneath the pines became rather silent. The short little silver seer had just stunned everyone with this very serious declaration. Lomani had not said it aloud, but in her heart, it was a sort of promise too. She meant every single word. The troll, for once, had nothing to say after that.
  5. Lomani froze, pins pressed between her lips and fabric held in place. After a moment, the bride-to-be noticed and tried to twist to peer at the seamstress. Lomani had done her the honor of agreeing to sew a special dress for her wedding ceremony. Seeing the faraway look in the seer's eyes, however, she politely excused herself to come back some other time. Lomani let her make her escape, despite the momentary distraction having nothing to do with visions or the Earth Mother. This was a far more mundane worry. The silver seer snatched up her mace as she exited the tent. She heartily disliked the weapon, but thanks to regular sessions she was at least proficient with it. The seer relied more upon the gifts of light granted by the Earth Mother. She waved to a bluffwatcher, ever vigilant, and requested a runner be sent to fetch the elder shaman Anura from spirit rise. At this time of year, with the weather turning colder, it was a sure bet the old healer was taking refuge in the naturally heated springs within the rise. Lomani was young, very much so in comparison to the elder, but even she could often feel the beginnings of weather sense between her horns. She held sympathy for the elderly and their aches and pains. The bluffwatcher surprised her by immediately going himself. Perhaps he was bored and longed for the exercise. Lomani paused, a hand on the pendant hanging from her neck. The source was much closer than she expected when receiving such a summons. Like a hearthstone for communication, Skytotem healers often created warding charms for those they chose to care for. Coqui made dozens of them, and gave them out liberally to all the children she interacted with. If Chanchu ever gifted one of her wards with a jar of her homemade preserves, there'd be a little peach pit charm tied with ribbon to it. While she never officially claimed a ward, Lomani had crafted a trinket for her niece, the small Forsaken that Kerala had taken a liking to. It was this charm being activated that had caught her attention. Aziris needed help. Sure in her destination, Lomani strode for the flight tower. She ascended the ramp to the next rise and made her way to the back of it. The Bluff's residents all nodded greetings to her or called briefly, but did nothing to waylay the purposeful seer. Lomani turned abruptly between vendors, stepping among delicious scents of roasted kodo ribs and stew and the distasteful odor of this morning's lake catch hung for drying. The entirety of the shu'halo people were busy bringing in harvests and stocking up for winter and so there was a lot of this mingling of celebration for the present and solemn preparation for the future. Lomani eased carefully around a pile of bones stacked carefully on the outside of Kaga's cooking tent and paused, listening. The Mistrunner vendor, for all her curiosity, did not bother to poke her head around to see what the crazy seer was up to, though surely she was itching to, if only for a story to relate later around a cozy fire. The ways of the Earth Mother's chosen were their own, and were mostly respected. If she called, there would be a formidable force assembled within moments ready to assist her. "...ain't had no pa like ya had, to buy nice tings fo me." someone was saying. "I would have rather had him close, to spend more time with him. Presents are great, but they aren't a very good substitute for a parent." Aziris replied. She didn't sound distressed in any way. Lomani stayed back, confused. The two must be just ahead beneath the pine trees talking. Aziris' companion hacked, gasped, then coughed more usually. "Are you alright?" After a moment, "I be okie. Be not drinkin and breathin wit de same tubes, it be not workin out so well!" She coughed again. "Ya be mad at ya daddy, fo bein gone?" "...sometimes." Lomani shifted quietly, leaning slightly to see around the tents she stood between. Aziris sat facing her, and the undead met her gaze briefly in that uncanny way of always knowing who was around her. <Hello, Lomani.> the little priest's voice whispered inside Lomani's head, soundless. The girl's companion, a troll, crouched with her back to the spying tauren. She continued speaking on the topic of absent parents and material things while another conversation took place at the speed of thought. <I'm not in any danger, probably, but I really thought you should see this.> Lomani looked. <What is it that I am seeing?> she asked, confused still. <This troll and I are having a picnic. She spotted Emily and brought out one of her own dolls. And then dozens more. All the major guilds are represented, and many of them are people we know and are friends with. I didn't know what to do.> A hexxer in the middle of Thunder Bluff? Voodoo, as far as Lomani knew, was an actively discouraged practice. That a witch woman was here, freely brandishing their effigies? The troll was either extremely powerful... or perhaps touched. <...give me a moment.> Aziris nodded. "Right," she said to the troll, "and having Emily close helps to remind me of him." The troll cocked her head. "If ya want, I can be givin ya a dolly of ya momma." Lomani blinked hard, willing herself to See with the gifts given to her by the Earth Mother's grace. It was like a forceful refocusing of the eyes to supernatural. The world changed in her vision. Everything living became multi-hued and luminescent in glowing prisms of color that were almost painful to behold. It was chaos and it was beauty. The seer peeked around the now pale white barrier of the tent wall obscuring the sight of her adopted niece and the stranger sitting with her. She frowned. There was no one there. <Where did she go?> The slim rainbow form of Aziris regarded her, the emotion center low in her abdomen swirly with patterns of confusion and anxiety. <She's sitting here.> the mental voice whispered tightly. Lomani grimaced, a hand to her temple as she bid her vision to return to normal. A passing bluffwatcher paused, eying her. When she shook her head slightly then raised it to see him, she beckoned. "Brother, I need you." He jerked his chin in the direction of the longhouse as he stepped between the tents without question to aid her. "We're with you." The hand gripping his ax was deceptively loose, but Lomani had seen the watchers at their practice. She knew the kind of assistance he was ready for, the kind she was afraid she needed. The use of the collective 'we' reassured her too. With the guard at her back, the silver seer tried to calm her panic. There could be a perfectly logical reason why a troll woman would be carrying around a plethora of little dolls. Maybe she sold them for a trade. Her heart didn't buy the logic her mind tried, and too she could not ignore the overwhelming fact that the woman had been invisible to her Sight. Myths and legends abounded with tales of the creatures hidden from the Earth Mother's eyes, none of them good. Lomani burst from between the tents to confront the troll that was not a troll at all.
  6. Lomani had never imagined, when she decided to leave her tent wearing the white, that she'd quite end up where she did. The seer scope of enormity left her rather shaken, and cup after cup of hot tea wasn't doing anything to ease the shivers up her spine. Lomani was a seamstress. She was a caretaker and a soother, a guide and a warm embrace for her people when they caught ill, when they needed encouragement to make the right life choices, when they celebrated the happy times or remembered fondly those that had departed. Her life was busy, yes, but it was predictable. It was mostly quiet. Almost serene. She stitched the ray burst tabards and was content to send Kerala out with her raiding party night after night under Mu'sha's watchful eye. They'd come back battered and sore sometimes, or others invigorated and charged from victory, but Lomani had never really paused to consider what they actually went through while they were out. Now she knew. She remembered now seeing all the fidgeting and anxiousness. She remembered the tense banter that mostly failed to contain real humor. At the time, she'd been curious about it, remembering her lessons. She stood still and calm, conserving her energy, not stressing in the slightest. She had confidence, then. She'd had ignorance. The trip by boat was terrible for her. Ever since losing her horn, most types of motion not directly in her own control caused an awful nausea and lingering sense of falling down somewhere endless and unknowable. When everyone else eyed the shore highlighted in fel green and recognized the start of awful conflict, she was actually glad to see it. How silly that seemed now. Immediately the fighting had begun, and Lomani quickly realized that she was out of her element. It wasn't just her dizziness, though she tried to tell herself this was the main reason. It was the movement. Everything moved. If it wasn't alive and swinging or casting, it was aflame and licking. Everything moved. She quickly fell behind, losing track of the people she was supposed to be protecting. There wasn't time to think. She couldn't tell who was friend or foe, except that obviously the ugly fel ones were foe. Still, she mis-aimed her spells a few times in the frantic haste to close any oozing wound she could see. Only the grace of the Earth Mother kept her from renewing fallen demons to fight again, but she only realized later that some of those failures hadn't been due to the snuffing of spirits she was trying to save. Being slow like she was meant she encountered more of the dead than healers in the leading ranks. Their companions fell around them, she supposed, but they had no time to register and regret- there were countless more still standing to attend to, an endless sturggle to keep them from the same fate. It wasn't long before the seer began seeing faces she recognized. Just last week, she'd blessed that warrior's new son. Here lied an elder shaman that just had a bad bout of waterlung. They'd shared a meal together two nights ago celebrating her successful recovery. The woman had been planning to visit her greatchildren. Lomani came upon these lifeless bodies and her heart ached to leave them there without last rites, but there was no TIME. For every three or six or ten she stepped over, there might be one still hanging on. She clung to that hope and rushed after the main forces, trying to stay close enough to make a difference. In the end, she felt she'd failed utterly. She saw so many eyes glaze, so many lights go out. The horns had sounded and she was one of the ones who couldn't comprehend. Suddenly she was surrounded. She was shoved and bullied along by a reversed tide of strangers with more sense than she, until once again she heard the clunking of deck planks beneath her hooves instead of gravel or stone. It wasn't until the sails caught wind with a resounding snap that she fully registered that it was over. They were leaving, and they were so few. She couldn't cast anymore. She didn't have the strength for that kind of focused healing in this sort of fel-shocked numbness, but too she could not just numbly sit and do nothing, think of nothing. Some did. She did not fault them. She could not. Too many lights... too many lights were dark. The wind was blowing. She could see it filling the sails, carrying them gently. Lomani's voice was small at first, wordless and weak. She couldn't seem to keep her eyes from leaking, nor did she try to. She knelt where she was by the mast and turned her face up to the wind. She grieved. She hummed. The tune was soft, but gradually she was able to, with repetition, keen it out louder into the breeze. Slowly she heard other tauren join her. Most did not know the words, but this was a tune older than memory. Lomani found her voice, and she sang the divine hymn for all those that had been lost. She cast out the taurahe words to the winds. Let the Earth Mother hear her. Let Her gather the lost Children. Let their spirits find the way home to Her arms. Lomani sang their death song. Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there; I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning's hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft star that shines at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there; I did not die. I am home.
  7. Hi, I noticed something odd. I logged into the character Lomani (Kerala is the main) to post to the calendar, since that character is hosting. It just now showed up in the upcoming events.... but at 3pm instead of 7pm EST. How do I fix that setting for all the characters so it matches my actual timezone please? I couldn't find such a setting in Profile or Account Settings even for my base account.
  8. Amietia

    [H] Stickball

    Please let me know if I didn't explain anything clearly or if you have questions. This year's solstice happened to fall on a full moon, so stickball season is officially underway already (oops). My husband has no closing shifts this week for me to host a game, but keep your eyes on the calendar for one coming soon, hopefully next week! Expect late afternoon/early evening, I'm thinking a start time of 18:00 server time to allow late people to arrive and still give 2 hours for RP before my RL duties need me to log off at 20:30. If you are tauren, feel free to host your own and post it so we can see! When copying logs from Elephant, you can retrieve system messages in the Misc section to record those rolls.
  9. Amietia

    [H] Stickball

    Anejodi, or stickball, is a traditional full contact Shu'halo sport. Anejodi is a shu'halo word meaning "little brother of war" and is a game invented during a dark time in tauren history when tribes still warred on one another. The game taught younglings to work together, to not fear injury in close combat, and improved hand-eye coordination before they were old enough to ride in true battle. Today, the games are still held at least once during the year to solve minor tribal disputes, to bring the community together in friendly competition, and to remember an important part of racial history. Typically the first games of the year are held the evening of the first full moon on or after summer solstice. These games are often the most important, and most highly attended, for disputes are often solved through this full-contact and often bloody pastime. Some tribes only host games on this night, while others continue the tradition of summer-long competitions. Regardless of which method a tribe chooses, the rules are simple and widely agreed upon without deviation. The game field can be any size with two goal posts, one at either end (One traditional location can be seen outside Thunder Bluff, where the grass is still reluctant to encroach upon the bone-shaped field though the original goal totems have long since decayed away. The Darkmoon Faire sets up their portal here once a month.). A small rock that is padded in linen and then stitched in hide serves as the game ball, and is no bigger than a closed fist. Anejodi sticks are specially crafted in the old traditions. As long as a player's arm, with one end worked and bent back into a loop which is then stitched across to form a netted cup, these are jealously guarded weapons that may not be used for any other purpose. Players may use any natural means necessary to stop the opposing carrier and take the ball themselves (punching, biting, stomping, tackling). Magical abilites are strictly forbidden! Male players may not strike women with their sticks. Female players have no such restrictions, and may also carry the ball with their hands. Players move the ball across the field and score when they either strike the goalpost with their stick while the ball is cradled, or if they manage to fling the ball from a distance and strike the post. This either ends the game, or resets the field to center if a certain number of matches has been agreed upon. It is considered a trick to pass the ball to another player, and cowardly to dodge an opponent. Each player participating must buy their way in with a wagered item. In current times these can be simple momentos or tokens, but in historical matches between entire tribes, the items wagered were often of incredible value. A player's bet can be anything- that they will be the one to score, that they may cause the most injuries in a game, or sustain the least, that they will be the best defender...etc. Any item wagered may be selected by a player winning their bet, otherwise the items are returned to their owners at the end of the game. Occassionally if a larger game is hosted by a tribe, items wagered may be considered gifts to the host and kept for their benefit. OOC: Players must use a specially-crafted Anejodi stick to play. Priests, Warlocks, Mages, Monks, Druids, Hunters, Shaman and Warriors may use a Quarter Staff purchased from the weapons vendor in Thunder Bluff. This is a white item that does not bind, so your host can and should pass these out to you. ROGUES, PALADINS, and DEATH KNIGHTS cannot use staves. These players should purchase their own Apple-Bent Bough offhand weapon for 168 gold from Legacy Justice Quartermaster Rugok in Orgrimmar (requires level 85). Alternatively you can quest in Azshara for the Chopped-Off Ancient Limb mace (level 9), or search the auction house for a dropped Giant Club mace or the dropped Runic Stave and Runic Cane offhand weapons. ROLLING RULES: Everyone begins at 100 life, and rolls a regular (1-100). Rolling within 5 of max life is a natural critical (special). 1-5 is critical fail- you injure yourself. If your roll is lower than half of the highest roll, you become injured (if the highest roll could be 100 then injury occurs by rolling 50 less than the highest actual roll in that round). Injury- occurs in steps of 10. Example- If you are injured once, your life drops to 90 and you roll (1-90). You cannot be healed, and your rolls are reduced the rest of the game. The game flows as follows: 1= POSSESSION- everyone goes for the ball! Everyone rolls, the highest roll wins the ball and carries for their team. 2a= TACKLE- everyone rolls. Higher than the ball carrier is a successful attack against them. Don't forget if you don't win versus the carrier you can emote on opposing teammates not carrying to block them if they also rolled a failure. A team moves across the field for each tackle phase. They must move 4x from the center to be within their goal range. If the opposing team manages to gain the ball, they must reverse across the gained ground and then do their own 4x to their goalpost. 2b= Drop? The carrier rolls for each successful attack in a tackle phase to see if it causes them to drop the ball [less than half their life total is a drop]. If the ball is dropped, there is a new fight for possession. 3= GOAL?- 5th Tackle from center. Just like a tackle phase, everyone rolls. The carrier must score highest to not be considered blocked. If blocked, they roll as normal to see if they keep possession or drop. If the carrier rolls highest on a goal phase, they score if their roll is higher than 50% of their life total and the game is ended. If a certain number of matches has been agreed on, the ball is instead reset to center to start the next match. If lower than 50%, they miss somehow, and play is continued. (In some smaller games or games among very young children, a missed goal attempt also results in the ball being reset to center, rather than requiring the opposing team to gain possession and fight across the whole field to reach their own goalpost. This decision is up to the players or supervising adults.) See an example game from 2015 HERE
  10. You look at Shokkra. [Lomani]: Hello there. [Shokkra]: Hi I heard there was a game or something? [Lomani]: There was. It seems to be over now. [Shokkra]: Oh. Uh, okay. [Lomani]: Sorry, friend. Unless you fancy a one on one game. Lomani cocks her head, to the left. [Shokkra]: I...sure, okay. [Lomani]: Really?! Shokkra nods at you. Lomani immediately slides off her kodo and grabs two sticks. You smile at Shokkra. [Shokkra]: So how do you play? [Lomani]: I have a crate of [Skyreach Sunrise] over there that says... that you, as an orc, will wreck havoc and score. Do you have anything to bet? You must place a bet with some small item to play. [Shokkra]: I have this. *she reveals an [Ornate Spyglass]* [Lomani]: Very nice. And your wager? [Lomani]: Bet to win, that you will be able to snatch and carry the ball, that you will cause your opponent to drop the ball... anything you wish, large or small. [Shokkra]: Oh, uh, I bet that I'll grab the ball? And do...something with it? [Lomani]: Very well! Lomani places Shokkra's spyglass with the rest of the wagered items, safe on her kodo. Lomani holds a stick out to Shokkra. The end is looped back, and forms a small little netted cup for ball-carrying. Shokkra nods at you. Shokkra takes the stick. [Lomani]: Ok so, there is a pole on both sides of us. That one will be your goal, and this other will be mine. [Shokkra]: Okay. [Lomani]: The object is to get to the pole and touch the ball to it. Either whack it with your stick while you carry the ball, or try to hit the ball with a throw. [Lomani]: Hit the pole, I mean. Shokkra nods at you. [Lomani]: Anything goes when it comes to stopping the ball-carrier- hitting, tackling, biting, whatever. Just no magic, no special you know... things. [Lomani]: Just a good old-fashioned game. [Shokkra]: Right, okay. [Lomani]: Any questions? [Shokkra]: Don't think so. Lomani produces a tiny ball, basically a rock with hide sewn around it... [Lomani]: So that it's fair, I'll throw the rock up, and you declare when it's in play while it's airborne? [Shokkra]: Sure. Lomani tosses the ball up, ready for Shokkra's word. [Shokkra]: Uh, go! Lomani immediately shoves Shokkra out of the way, and catches the ball. Full contact sport, surprise! Lomani runs toward her goal post. Shokkra jumps towards to tackle the ball away and roll towards her post. Lomani gets tackled... Lomani doesn't drop the ball! Lomani kicks back at Shokkra with a hoof and regains her feet. Shokkra attempts to tackle, but trips and bites the dust. Lomani runs unencumbered toward her post... Shokkra attacks from the dust! With a possible tackle... Lomani thought she was well out of reach, but Shokkra's stick totally trips her up... Lomani manages to keep the ball a second time as she hits the dirt. Lomani is dazed... You lie down before Gazelle. Shokkra grabs the ball and runs toward her post! Lomani gets up and goes after Shokkra and the ball. Shokkra keeps running....I think... Lomani swings at Shokkra with her stick, but just isn't... quite... close enough. Lomani grunts and FLINGS her stick overhand at Shokkra's head in an attempt to stop the orc. The stick THWAPS into Shokkra's head and she stops to regain her focus. Shokkra regains her focus and keeps on truckin. [Lomani]: Ack! So fast... Shokkra sprints towards her post. "Slowpoke!" Lomani tries to grab her stick as she passes it but misjudges and loses grip as she runs. She plays hot-potato with the blasted thing before it smacks her in the eye and she loses it for good. Stupid thing! [Lomani]: Slow down a minute and gimme that ball! Lomani squints at Shokkra. [Shokkra]: Never! For Justice! Shokkra trips, rolls, keeps on running. Lomani picks up a rock from the ground as she runs... Lomani chucks the rock at Shokkra! Shokkra narrowly, very, very narrowly dodges the rock. [Shokkra]: Almost there... Lomani had slowly gained on Shokkra despite her snatching for ammunition, and she grabs for Shokkra, but misses. Lomani grabs the back of Shokkra's head this time and stuffs the orc toward the ground. Lomani pants heavily. Shokkra grunts and throws the ball towards the pole. [Lomani]: HA! [Shokkra]: Damnit! Shokkra misses. Lomani dives for the ball! Shokkra does so as well, but fails. [Lomani]: Mine! [Shokkra]: Argh. Lomani snatches the small ball from the dirt... Lomani uses the ball in her fist to turn and punch at Shokkra. It's weak, but enough to let her get to her feet and start back toward her goal. Shokkra fumes and runs after the Tauren. Shokkra throws her stick at Lomani's upper-hoof. Lomani leaps over the stick, but then it rolls further and she lands on it, stumbling. Now both players have no sticks. [Lomani]: Gah! Lomani keeps her hand firmly closed, though. Shokkra curses. Lomani reaches the centerline of the field, and knows that Shokkra is RIGHT behind her. Eep! Shokkra vaults herself at the Taureness! Flying her face right into the back of Lomani's elbow. [Lomani]: GAH! Lomani keeps running Shokkra mumbles obscene curses of Tauren and breeding. You frown with disappointment at Shokkra. Shokkra jumps onto Lomani's back. Lomani is overbalanced, and faceplants with an orc piggyback. Lomani 's hand opens under the impact, and the ball goes flying! [Lomani]: OOMPH Shokkra leaps off Lomani's back to grab the ball mid-air! Lomani grabs Shokkra's hand in her own and slowly forces the orc's fingers open. The ball is hers again! Lomani shoves away, climbs to her hooves and goes for her goal again. Shokkra runs after the Tauren. Shokkra throws a bunny at Lomani. Lomani gasps. [Lomani]: Wha...? Lomani throws for her post, which was a stupid idea, because she missed. [Lomani]: Noooo! Lomani looks at Shokkra. Shokkra takes a deep breath. [Lomani]: More? [Shokkra]: Yeah, sure. Lomani eyes the orc's bleeding face. Shokkra wipes some blood off with her mask. "I can fix that later." [Lomani]: Let me heal you. That's a miss for each of us, and to be fair, you look like you've never played before. I had the advantage. Shokkra nods at you. [Shokkra]: ...thanks. Lomani retrieves the abandons sticks, and the ball. [Lomani]: That was a good game. [Shokkra]: Yeah, it was. [Shokkra]: Haven't really had fun in a pretty long time. [Lomani]: But now that I've caught my breath... you know if it's alright I'd rather not play again just now. I wasn't planning to play in the first place, they just needed a fourth. You smile at Shokkra. [Shokkra]: Yeah, right, sure. Shokkra nods at you. [Lomani]: It's better with a big group of people. Tiny ball, everyone trying to hit everyone else.... it's really fun to watch too. [Shokkra]: Yeah well, if you ever plan something like this again I'll try to roundup more people. Lomani retrieves Shokkra's spyglass from her kodo. Shokkra hands the stick back over. [Lomani]: Here... neither of us scored, so I keep your spyglass, but another orc tonight lost his bet. Lomani trades a bottle of peaked Dalaran red wine. [Shokkra]: You'll probably have a better use for it anyway. [Lomani]: It will come in handy for birdwatching! You smile at Shokkra. Shokkra nods at you. [Shokkra]: I guess I'll see you around then. [Lomani]: I look forward to playing with you again sometime. [Shokkra]: Yeah, me too. [Lomani]: Until then, may the winds guide you, friend. Shokkra nods at you. [Shokkra]: STRANGER!!! wait wrong one. Lomani blinks at the worg's name. [Shokkra]: KONRO!!! You eye Shokkra up and down. Shokkra waves at you.
  11. Lomani cheers at Kiraleen. "Hooray!" Khorvis grumbles. "I do think that one used magic..." Mersee claps for Kiraleen, clearly unimpressed. Then her fingers return to her face, where she promptly erases the painful wound of her bitten tongue. Kiraleen looks at the stick and ball in surprise. "I.. -scored a goal?" Lomani gets up slowly, dusting herself off. "With my stick!" she laughs/ Kiraleen cheers. Turning to Mersee, she smiles apologetically. "I'm sorry you lost your bet." The other elf shrugs. "I lost my bet. Pay the girl." Lomani walks over to the stack of wagered items. She indicates several small cages. "Who won?" ask Syreena. "Lomani and I." informs Kiraleen happily. Syreena peers at the elf for a moment, then turns and cheers for the tauren. The seer stands before the pile of wagered items. "Choose one, friend." Kiraleen looks over the cages. "The little goat" Khorvis grumps but congratulates the victor. Lomani smiles at Kiraleen as she hands over the magically shrunken cage with tiny goat inside. "He's very cute!" "He is!" The Outrider elf smiles back. "Thank you. It was a fun game." Kiraleen bows before Khorvis, then Mersee, who congratulates her. "I do think my bet was valid was it not?" Lomani smirks at Khorvis. The silver tauren then takes a moment to heal all of the accumulated wounds from the game. Other than her elbow, they were all minor. It had been a good first game. Khorvis hands Lomani the stick when she finishes and gestures to the onlookers. "And I did not break this stick. May be one of them can!" Lomani nod at Khorvis, humoring him in his grumples. His pride, she cannot so easily mend. "Your [Bottle of Peaked Dalaran Red] won't go to waste," she assures him with a small smile. Syreena blinks. The rogue peers. Syreena leans over and whispers to Lilly. "Is that Khorvis??" "Aye. A good game." he mutters. The Grim High Inquisitor turns to go. "Mok'rah, the flames of Ashran are calling me." A round of salutes, a curtsey, a good luck wish from Kiraleen and a few farewells from the treeline meet the departing orc's back. "Shall we play another?" asks the seer. "We'll need someone to take Khorvis' place." Kiraleen points out. Mersee begs off. "I'll be a spectator this time, I do believe I broke a nail." Lomani smiles, knowing her friend is only here in the first place for moral support. She turns and greets all the folks who arrived while she was busy running from flailing sticks bent on her destruction. "Duty calls," Malhavik says politely, "but I'd bet Miss Syreena would love to play!" Syreena, who had been smirking at the broken nail comment and muttering something about elves, turns to glare angrily at the warlock. He chuchles, Rakaganje grins wickedly at her. "Farewell good people." The undead takes his leave, acknowledging waves from Mersee and Lomani and any others he passes. Rakaganje stands silently and pads away as well. Lomani looks at Syreena. "How about it, friend?" "Um, I guess...but I don't know how to play." Syreena frowns. "If the ball isn't in your teams hands- get it back." The tauren grins at Syreena. "Score against the goal post to win." Kiraleen nods. But, Syreena isn't listening. She calls out before Malhavik is completely out of earshot, asking him to take someone else to meet Leyujin. The Grim who had gathered during the game, perhaps solely to watch their superior, quickly disperse like dandelion fluff in the wind. Kiraleen stands awkwardly. "Well.. .it looks like the game is over...?" Mersee gives her friend a gentle hug. "Thank you for this invitation." Lomani smiles down at her, and nods to Kiraleen's question. "I am glad you could come." she tells both elves. "I guess.... I guess it is over. It was a rather short game..." She can't help the disappointment creeping into her voice or the slight downturn of her mouth. "It was great fun," Mersee reassures. "Are these games a monthly tradition? I know they're based in history, so I'm just curious." "This is the first time I've played." Kiraleen says. "During the summer, yes. As often as anyone wants to play." "It is the fire festival, Lomani. Things get hectic." Lomani nods at Kiraleen's words. "Set up another one for later in the month, maybe?" "Surely." Mersee waves at Kiraleen, offers one last hug to Lomani, then leaves. "Thanks for playing." The elf nods. "You're welcome. Thanks for inviting me. I'll take my leave, then." She waves, first to Lomani, then to someone apparently still lurking beneath the trees. Lomani blinks, for she'd thought everyone else had gone already. Syreena smiles and approaches after Kiraleen has left. "I have to go to Warspear. Ley needs me to help kill Alliance tonight." Lomani sighs. So that is why they had all left in such a haste. The peaceful seer wishes many things, and discards them all as silly in a moment. How ironic that old traditions seeded from a tragic past of war and kept to remind of the costs, are abandoned in favor of current violence. All she can think of polite to say to the Shadowblade is "It's nice to see you, Syreena." "You too!" Syreena smiles. "Stay safe." Lomani wishes. The rogue waves goodbye. The tauren sighs, not watching the undead go. Instead, she summons her kodo and begins packing up the discarded game sticks and various wagered items left behind, unclaimed or forgotten.
  12. Khorvis rolls 63 (1-100) Lomani rolls 89 (1-100)* Mersee rolls 13 (1-100) injury! Kiraleen rolls 76 (1-100) Lomani starts moving as soon as the ball leaves the troll's hand. Being tallest, Kiraleen wisely doesn't fight her teammate, but instead interferes with Khorvis' lunge for the ball. "Go, Lomani!" The seer reaches for the ball with her stick, and is completely surprised to actually catch it! She brings her arm and her weapon down to earth again... right onto poor Mersee's head. The elf falls to the ground, obviously stunned. "Hit her in the kneecaps!" Khorvis yells. Over in the grass spectating Rakaganje cackles. Lilliana places her staff on the ground beside her. She flashes a quick grin at the troll with blue hair and shrugs, then goes to quietly watch whatever it is the group is doing. She eyes Khorvis for a moment, since she hasn't even really said a proper hi to him, but like, whatever. Khorvis Rolls 09 (1-100) injury! *Lomani rolls 36 (1-100) Mersee rolls 60 (1-90) Kiraleen rolls 92 (1-100) Kiraleen manages to dive in front of the other blood elf and the orc, giving Lomani time to move. Khorvis nearly impales himself on his own stick as he gets spun around and falls to the grass. His breath whooshes out, the expression on his face showing that the jugging to his gut hurt him. The slender Outrider spreads her arms wide in an attempt to keep Mersee and the orc away from her teammate as they all regain their feet quickly. Lomani grins a thanks to Kiraleen as she runs with the ball. Lilliana eyeballs the sunburned elf. Khorvis rolls 78 (1-90) *Lomani rolls 33 (1-100) injury! Mersee rolls 86 (1-90) Kiraleen rolls 51 (1-100) Lomani rolls [100] (1-100) NO DROP! She charges toward her goal while everyone races to catch her. This is certainly -not- what she had been expecting at all to do today! Mersee charges in with her stick, attempting to stop Lomani. Khorvis swings his weapon. He manages to connect his stick with a passing dove. A critical hit and explosion of feathers! Kiraleen tries to lunge after Mersee. One arm swings wide an in attempt at tickling, but connects instead with Khorvis accidentally. Rakaganje grins at the new come Rogue. "A gift?" Syreena winks slyly at Rakaganje. Mersee leaps for the tackle. The seer staggers, manages to stay up a few steps, and then goes down, overbalanced. She tucks her shoulder into the fall, knowing to roll with it, but she doesn't execute the maneuver quite right. Her elbow hits too hard, and a shock of pain shoots through her arm. Lomani finishes the roll onto her hooves, obviously hurt. Her stick drops from numb fingers on the injured side, and she snatches at it left-handed. She catches it! Even she is amazed. The ball is still safely pocketed too. The Earth Mother is certainly with her. Syreena leans over to Lilly. "What are they doing?" Khorvis rolls 65 (1-90) *Lomani rolls [90] (1-90) Mersee rolls 71 (1-90) Kiraleen rolls 93 (1-100) Khorvis attempts to gore Lomani with his tusks but only catches the Mulgore wind. He's apparently abandoned the use of the traitorous stick for now. Lomani uses her momentum from the roll to slip just out of reach of more take-downs, running with the ball for all she's worth! That fall had really hurt, and she's keen to avoid others. Kiraleen grabs Mersee by her belt as the other woman extracts herself from the dirt. Lomani's teammate starts to pull back, and keeps the other elf out of play for a few moments, but ultimately Mersee struggles enough to twist free. The slender priest vaults to catch up, with Kiraleen right on her heels. Khorvis rolls 43 (1-90) *Lomani rolls 20 (1-90) injury! Mersee rolls 80 (1-90) Kiraleen rolls 46 (1-100)* Lomani rolls 63 (1-90) no drop! Khorvis dives for Lomani's hooves but misses. He whomps to the ground in front of the tauren, who has to halt suddenly, then dodge to the side to avoid grasping arms. His teammate comes charging in on that side and simply leaps. Mersee grabs a handfuls of Lomani's mane and simply clings, trusting in her weight to overbalance as she attempts to wrestle her friend-turned-ball-carrying-enemy to the ground again. "Ah!" Lomani goes down! The seer clutches the stick to her body this time to prevent the ball jarring loose of the pocket. She lands on the hard wood. Breath whooshes from her lungs and she is left gasping, in a short-lived panic to pull in air. The ball is still in her stick though! She wheezes. She has to get up, the goalpost is right there, but so is everyone else. Then something strange happens. Kiraleen grabs Lomani's stick and hurries for the goal. Forgetting herself, Mersee cheers Kiraleen on. "Bloody elves!" Khorvis shouts. Kiraleen laughs. "TOO MUCH PORK, ORC!" Khorvis rolls 14 (1-90) injury! Lomani rolls 77 (1-90) Mersee rolls 25 (1-90) injury! *Kiraleen rolls 58 (1-100) GOAL! Khorvis heaves his stick at Kiraleen! He forgets to actually let go of his weapon, however, and the thing pivots in his fingers, obeying natural laws of physics to whip around and clobber his own face. He just stares at it. Mersee lunges at Kiraleen, attempting to slap her stick from her hand with the shovel. She misses as Lomani gets a handle on her. The little elf reaches a sudden stop at an angle in midair, her ankles tethered in the seer's grasp. Lomani yanks the supports out from under her and Mersee swiftly descends. There is an audible CLACK as the woman's teeth connect each other, and she exclaims immediately in pain. Hands clamp to her mouth. Kiraleen smacks the goalpost! The wooden thud reaches the ears of everyone else sprawled on the ground.