Carmine picks up a needle, and threads it with care, then smiles down at Corve, only a little nervously. "...Try to stay still, this might hurt..." The needle shinies in the Dawn light as it descends.
Xar'Rex watches, head tilted to one side. He's never seen anyone do this before.
Corve has his eyes closed. "I figured," he murmurs, rolling his eyes under the lids as he braces himself for the curing touch... which hurts, ironically enough.
Storyteller Or at least Corve thinks it would hurt. In fact, the touch of Carmine's gentle hands is soothing and wonderful! It takes a day of rest, meaning a day of no travel for either Corve or Carmine, but the vicious cut that had laid open the Assessor's chest and the smaller wounds that had marred Carmine's body are closed and gone with only a light scar on Corve to give evidence they existed at all.
Corve stretches after a day of resting, his body a little stiff, but other than that feeling great. Much better than a while before when he'd been no more than a pile of bruised and slashed flesh and bone. Cracking his neck, the Assessor looks at his companions and smiles. "Well... that was interesting."
Xar'Rex "We should go soon. You are okay now?"
Carmine looks at the small scar with a little amazement. She didn't think she could heal quite that well...
Corve nods a little. "Fine. Carmine did a perfect job." He pulls out Judging Thunder and makes sure the weapon is completely loaded.
Xar'Rex paces in a circle around the camp once again, as he has been doing since they laid down to rest
Storyteller A well-guarded Sunspider Silk Caravan is trundling up the red glass road towards the Circle's campsite. Being the season for Sunspider harvesting, these caravans are fairly common. It's a bit odd you haven't seen more of then as you travelled the glass road from Chiaroscuro.
Corve sighs and slides his rifle back into its awkward holster, making sure he has everything. "We *should* go now. Before something else happens to keep us off-track." Inside, he's seething. Falling Blackness was going to be very, very sorry. At some point. Cocking his head towards the caravan, he looks at Xar and Carmine. "Head's up..."
Xar'Rex "A caravan, Sunspider Silk."
Carmine "...sunspider silk?"
Storyteller The caravan contains the normal mix of barbarian tribesmen in their light, airy garments of revealing nature, the barbarian tribeswomen in equally revealing garments of light, airy nature, Guildsmen and their escorts in work-type clothing and the occasional civilian out to try their hand at the harvesting for a bit of money and adventure. Of course, most of them die horribly.
Xar'Rex "Yes, they take the webs of the sunspiders, they take away the sticky, then make fine, light, very soft clothing. Many people desire it."
Xar'Rex "The silk is also protection against the unclean. One can make armor, or weapons with it as well."
Xar'Rex "Maybe Myrrh will buy some for us."
Corve blinks a little, looking at the Sunspider caravan. "Hmm. It might be too good to pass up, really," he murmurs.
Xar'Rex "All my charms are gone already."
Carmine "It looks so fine...the way it shimmers..."
Myrrh "Well...I can see if I can. I still have the infertility charm left..."
Xar'Rex "It needs a blessing though, to work"
Corve smiles a little. "We've got a *little* time. Maybe we can trade a favor. People always need *something.* We're pretty capable..." he says, all the while thinking how much against his persona morals it would be to sneak into the caravan at night and just steal the stuff. Too good to pass up...
Myrrh "I'm sure we could track down a few of those spiders for them. They can't be too tough."
Xar'Rex "Hmmm I have not seen one myself, but I hear tales of their poison."
Corve nods a little, snapped out of his reverie by Myrrh's more lawful idea. "Poison?"
Xar'Rex "Not many live, who are bitten. Or so they say."
Corve "It's worth investigating," he murmurs, looking at the caravan as it comes ever closer. "Besides, if it'll bring us a step closer to that bastard's level..."
Xar'Rex "After the city, though."
Carmine "We could always visit on the way back, yes."
Xar'Rex "The spiders will stay, long enough. More than nine days."
Corve "I hope we have time after visiting the ziggurat..."
Myrrh "Yes we don't want to miss out on a chance to catch these maniacs with their...uh.." Glances at the locals mode of dress. "loincloths down?"
Xar'Rex "It is hot." he observes.
Corve chuckles softly... and then looks at Xar with a raised brow. "Uh... right. So, city?"
Xar'Rex launches himself into the air, sending up a cloud of sand in his wake.
Corve nods again and moves to the side, nodding to Carmine so she can mount Jaks. "Let's go then."
Carmine swings up behind Corve, wrapping her arms around him
Xar'Rex swoops down and picks up Myrrh in his talons, and ascends into the clear sky once more
Corve pats Jaks on his long, reptilian neck and smiles as the raptor starts into a quick gait.
Myrrh "Ai-..thank you Xar!"
Xar'Rex "You are quite welcome, Myrrh."
Xar'Rex soars in wide circles, riding the desert thermals, and keeping a keen eye on the surroundings.
Xar'Rex finds 'keeping up with the raptor' boring, and starts attempting to count the rocks around them.
Myrrh "I spy with my little eye something that begins with S!"
Carmine whispers in Corve's ear
Xar'Rex "S? Sand?"
Myrrh "Correct! Since it's only S and R..."
Storyteller On the road ahead everyone can see plainly another traveling group, this one composed of a few camels and ostriches instead of turtle-drawn wagons like the silk caravan behind you. Corve nods slowly at Carmine's comment, leaning back to whisper into her ear as well, smiling.
Carmine gives him a look as if to say 'careful' but nods?
Xar'Rex "Do you have a big eye?"
Xar'Rex "I spy an O."
Myrrh "No, just these two." Smirks and looks at the caravan.
Myrrh "O....ostrich! I wonder what they're trading in."
Corve looks up at their two flying companions and sighs.
Xar'Rex waves to Corve
Corve puts his fingers to his lips, looking up and letting a shrill whistle blow out. He then waves his hand to gesture for them to come down for a minute.
Carmine looks slightly contrite
Xar'Rex circles once, then drops down low to deposit Myrrh near the others, and circles back around to land, himself.
Myrrh "Huh. I guess he's seen something."
Corve whispers back to Carmine with a smile before the others come down.
Xar'Rex "What do you whisper about?"
Corve slows down Jaks' progress and heads towards the others. "Nothing," he says, a small smile flaring. "I saw something... thought it best that this time we communicate."
Corve looks at Myrrh and tilts his head. "I think we have another group of Solars up head," he says. Myrrh and he have met other Solars in the past, excluding Carmine. "We need to be careful, even if they *are* Solars, nothing guarantees they'll be friendly ones."
Xar'Rex "Why would they not be friendly? We are all of the Sun."
Myrrh "I'm with Xar. I'm sure everything will be fine."
Corve smiles at Xar. "And you'd think that would be enough... but sometimes it isn't. I'm just asking everyone be on their toes... it's not like we'll be attacking them first, but we can't afford to be lax." That's his stance, anyway.
Xar'Rex shrugs a little. "As you say."
Corve shrugs. He's just trying to be cautious. "Alright, let's keep going then. Just wanted to let you two know."
Storyteller As the group travels towards the golden lights on the desert they becoming increasingly distinct. They don't seem to be localized around any of the figures visible near them, rather they are apparently coming from the ground. How strange.
Xar'Rex "Sunspider webs, maybe?" He points to the shining ground
Myrrh "Maybe, could be some sort of environmental disturbance. Maybe it's a demense?"
Corve is thinking the same thing, and voices it to Carmine. "I wonder how hard it would be for Myrrh and Xar to forge us some extra protection out of some of that silk," he murmurs...
Xar'Rex "Hmm we will look closer."
Xar'Rex increases his speed, and flies on ahead to see what the glow could be
Storyteller Xar's guess is confirmed as he draws closer to the area of glowing lights. The figures are harvesting sunspider silk, disturbing the spiders and causing them to set their webs to glowing. This must be a fairly large colony of the sunspiders for the glow to be so large...but if it is so rich and so close to the road, why is it not being harvested by a caravan?
Storyteller The answer becomes apparent quickly as the figures resolve themselves into the shapes of women.
Storyteller The one closest to Xar as he and Myrrh swoop in to investigate is nearly twice the height of Corve and broader in the shoulder then even Xar. Despite that, her figure is incredibly shapely and the burnished bronze-gold of the lizard skins she wears compliments her tanned skin. Tribal tattoos in brilliant blue ink make her even more exotic then her 10-foot-plus statue and dark, inky hair normally would. Wow, she's a hottie!
Storyteller Looking around, the other dozen or so women gathering the spidersilk are just as impressive in both stature and appearance.
Xar'Rex "I did not know your people were so large."
Corve approaches on Jaks, with Carmine behind him and raises a brow. "Well then, you don't see *that* every day.
Myrrh "I didn't either! This whole spider harvesting thing must be a local business."
Corve blinks and looks over his shoulder at Carmine. "Well, I don't know what women look like where *you're* from, darling, but I'm not used to them being twelve feet tall."
Carmine grins softly at him
Xar'Rex keeps circling around the really hot giant girl. He tells himself it's because he's trying to determine what sorts of lizards made up her garments.
Corve finds the giant hot chicks very distracting, but tries to keep Jaks on a steady course.
Carmine eyes the Giant Woman with a touch of ... jealousy? in her eyes
Myrrh "Wow...I wonder how they can catch the spiders when they're...that big."
Corve scratches his chin and then looks up at Xar. Oh boy. He really doesn't want to have to fight hot giant chicks. Though...
Xar'Rex "To show the glow better."
Corve chuckles a little, trying not to sound as if he's making fun of the woman.
Corve ... or the fact that her speech and Xar's are very very similar.
Xar'Rex "I apologize, Tonidra." he alters his flight path to avoid scaring the spiders
Tonidra "What big flying lizard doing in spider-patch of Bronze Hills Tribe?"
Corve hums softly as he continues, entering what he suspects they consider the 'spider-patch.'
Xar'Rex "We travel, to Stzang-Ouol"
Myrrh "Uh...just passing through m'am."
Carmine starts to scowl ... slightly ... at the pretty woman over Corve's shoulder
Tonidra giggles girlishly as she notices Myrrh seated on Xar's back. "Little tiny man! Cute!"
Corve doesn't notice Carmine's scowl, but he tries to keep his eyes on the back of Jaks' head. He does, however, snort at Tonidra's comment about Myrrh... only realizing a second later they'd probably laugh at him the same way. Ah well.
Myrrh "Tiny? I wonder what their men look like..."
Xar'Rex "They are all this size, and smaller."
Tonidra "Tonidra know that. Tonidra not stupid, see tiny little men in the city when go visit."
Tonidra "Tonidra still think tiny little men cute. Other Bronze Hill women say tiny little men strange and ugly, but Tonidra think they just covering up secret interest."
Corve really can't hold his laughter, another chuckle slipping through his lips as he looks at the back of Jaks' neck.
Xar'Rex looks down at Myrrh, "I think his interest is not very secret."
Corve snorts... he doesn't know how much longer he can hold his tongue.
Tonidra "You alone, big flying lizard and tiny little man?"
Corve finally speaks. "No. They're with us." He smiles at Tonidra.
Tonidra looks down at the now-approaching Corve and Carmine. "Oh. Greetings, tiny little man and woman."
Corve bites his lips and smiles. "Greetings."
Corve tilts his head, turning around to smile at Carmine. She seems a bit... aloof.
Xar'Rex "You have much silk, the spiders must fear you."
Tonidra looks over her shoulder at the other women harvesting the silk, none of them seem to have noticed Tonidra's visitors. She smiles at Xar's comment. "Spiders not smart enough to fear Tonidra, but still get much silk. Spiders cowardly. You staying with Bronze Hill tribe for dinner?"
Xar'Rex looks over at his companions, "Yes I would like to have dinner with you, Tonidra."
Tonidra "Tonidra honored, Big Flying Lizard. What of you, tiny little men and woman?"
Corve looks at Carmine and... winces. Oh yes, he winces.
Xar'Rex "My name, is Xar`Rex, pretty Tonidra."
Corve "It *is* about time to take a rest..."
Tonidra nods at Xar. "Tonidra will remember, Xar'rex."
Tonidra "What are your names, tiny little men and woman?"
Carmine "I am Glorious Carmine Elegance." she says
Corve blinks a little. "Corve..."
Tonidra "Will Glorious Carmine Elegance and Corve be joining Tonidra for dinner too?"
Corve "Well... uhm... we can't just leave Myrrh and Xar behind," he murmurs, suspecting there will probably be repercussions because of this.
Myrrh "Uhh Myrrh!"
Carmine "...No." she admits, reluctantly.
Xar'Rex "We can catch up to you tomorrow, if you wish to go on."
Corve leans back into Carmine, tilting his head back and whispering into her ear.
Corve doesn't seem entirely convinced by whatever Carmine said, but he leans back forward and nods to Tonidra. "We'll stick around for dinner, sure."
Tonidra "Tonidra very honored to have so many guests for dinner! Enough spider-harvesting for today anyway, Tondira getting tired of bending over so much."
Xar'Rex "The spiders are very small. Smaller than the tiny men."
Tonidra nods. "Yes, small spiders very annoying. Tonidra's back hurt something fierce."
Xar'Rex "Xar`Rex can make something for Tonidra's back."
Tonidra stretches her back with a series of pops and cracks, treating the Circle to a view of her 100% utilitarian upper body clothing. A band of some kind of snakeskin designed not for coverage but simply to lift and allow ventilation. Sexy and functional!
Tonidra "Tonidra very appreciative. Perhaps in the morning. Follow Tonidra back to Bronze Hills for dinner! Tonidra's second husband very good cook, you see!"
Xar'Rex "Yes, let us go to Bronze Hills. You are very kind to us, Tonidra!"
Corve looks away when she stretches, albeit *very* reluctantly. There's something very persuasive about having a woman with a big sword made of sunlight directly behind you.
Tonidra "Tonidra has great reputation for kindness."
Xar'Rex "Tonidra has two husbands?"
Tonidra "Tonidra has three, but is looking for more!"
Corve leads Jaks in line to follow the giant hot chick.
Xar'Rex "What will you do with more?"
Corve ... and gulps at her statement.
Carmine scowls at the hot chick's back. Not that she's in anyway jealous. at all.
Tonidra "Tonidra plans to start own clan, of course. Tonidra ready to prove she own woman, not just pretty girl."
Myrrh glances at the looks Carmine is giving at Tonidra then shrugs.
Corve looks at Myrrh and coughs, shrugging.
Xar'Rex "Tonidra kills spiders well. She has three husbands. How can any think she is not her own woman?"
Tonidra "Tonidra not kill spiders, Xar'rex. Tonidra only harvest silk. And Tonidra must found own clan to be own woman. Is law. Until then, Tonidra is part of father's family."
Xar'Rex "Tonidra could, if she try."
Tonidra "Tonidra not want to kill spiders. Spiders all gooey inside."
Xar'Rex "Silk is better, yes."
Corve licks his lips slightly, and starts to think about something. Something that makes *him* uncomfortable.
Carmine 's hand just happens to end up resting on Corve's chest over his latest scar.
Corve sighs, closing his eyes as Jaks follows the giant woman to her domain.
Tonidra The Bronze Hills Tribe's homeland is apparently not all that far away. It only takes about an hour of travel at Tonidra's rather incredibly fast pace to reach the valley between two unspeakably huge sand-dunes where a thriving village of giant humans lives. Tonidra waves at several of the giant villagers, who wave back and giggle, snicker and otherwise point and laugh at her visitors. Finally, the group is guides to three large, inter-connect
Tonidra Finally, the group is guides to three large, inter-connected dome-shaped tents, which turn out to be Tonidra's home. Inside are waiting two men, just as large as Tonidra.
Xar'Rex looks up, "These are your husbands?"
Corve dismounts Jaks and offers Carmine a hand to help her down, though he knows she doesn't need it.
Carmine blinks at the unexpected help, but actually smiles at corve as he helps her down.
Corve smiles and then pats Jaks' side, waiting for introductions. He looks at the tall, tall, tall men.
Storyteller "Two of husbands! This Normid and this Kukulak." The two men nod their heads at their names. Normid is slightly younger the his companion, black-haired and ruggedly stubbly with big, bulging muscles. He is easily as handsome as Tonidra is stunningly sexy. He seems to favor a minimalist approach to clothing, wearing a loincloth of lizard skin. Big lizard.
Carmine eyes Normid ... appreciatively. That would be the phrase.
Storyteller Kukulak is...less attractive then either of the other giants. He has bright blonde hair, true, but it is matted and tangled in hopeless masses of nasty-looking dreadlocks. He smells slightly and favors heavy layers of ill-cared-for clothing. What he looks like under the clothes is up to speculation, but given the scars criss-crossing his face it probably isn't appealing.
Corve mutters something in Brumish under his breath.
Storyteller Tonidra: "Kukulak, dinner is soon? These travellers come to join Tonidra's family for dinner. Is great honor for all."
Storyteller Kukulak: "Dinner is soon, Tonidra. Kukulak not expect so many, so he must go add more food to pot. Dinner ready in hour."
Corve looks at Tonidra. "Uhm... Tonidra... can't Jaks... my raptor... get something to eat?"
Xar'Rex "Thank you Kukulak."
Storyteller The big, somewhat smelly, man excuses himself, grunting acknowledgement of Xar's thanks. In the other tent, strange and widely varied noises start being produced as the giant man works on his cooking.
Storyteller Normid: "What raptor eat?"
Myrrh smirks at Corve's comment and looks around the huge tent. "Quite the place!"
Corve scowls for half an instant and then turns to Normid. "Meat."
Storyteller Tonidra: "Normid have a dead cow in back. Good enough?"
Corve nods a little. "Should be. Go eat, Jaks." He pats the raptor's neck softly.
Storyteller Normid guides the raptor out to the dead cow, then returns to sit on the cushions strewn about the inside of the tent. Upon inspection, the tent is actually made of a cream-colored silk. That would explain the giant desert spiders tethered about the outskirts of the camp, of course.
Storyteller Tonidra: "Until Kukulak finished cooking, we talk. Tell Tonidra and Normid about selves, travellers. We eager to hear."
Corve looks around slowly, slipping his coat off and looking at Carmine, then at the seats.
Carmine settles herself on one of the silk cushions gracefully.
Storyteller Normid: "Yes, sit. Normid happy to have you use his cushions."
Corve sits down next to her and leans back, draping his coat over his knees and scraping his chin softly.
Xar'Rex "Xar'Rex is from the South, long way from here."
Myrrh sits down on one of the cushions, smiling greatfuly.
Corve "Myrrh and I are from Brume. The floating islands."
Carmine shifts perhaps a tiny bit closer to Corve. Though maybe him sitting just meant she had to adjust her pose. "I am from the desert..."
Corve smiles a little. He doesn't know what else to say. "So... do only the women gather silk?" It's an awkward question.
Storyteller Tonidra: "Not only women ever, but only women today. Men chores keep them in village today. Tonidra's day off today, so Tonidra to go gather silk. Nomid much better silk-gatherer though."
Storyteller Nomid beams with pride, but attempts to appear humble.
Corve nods a little. "I see."
Xar'Rex "How do you gather so well? We want to gather some from other spiders - not yours."
Storyteller Nomid: "Tomorrow Nomid's day off. He take you to spider-patch and show you how it done."
Xar'Rex "We have to get to city soon, can we stop and learn on our way home?"
Corve shifts closer to Carmine and looks around for the first time. *Really* looks around, taking in the large accomodations. He gathers that for the giants, this isn't that big a place, but for him and his friends this would be quite comfortable.
Storyteller Nomid shrugs his massive shoulders. "Nomid not see why that be problem. Nomid happy to show you how to harvest spiders when you return."
Xar'Rex "Thank you Normid, you are kind to us."
Storyteller The big man smiles in a very happy way. "Nomid glad you say so. Of all things Nomid reputed for having in quantity, kindness one of most prized."
Corve leans over to Carmine and whispers.
Myrrh bites his lower lip.
Xar'Rex "Then I will say it again. Thank you for your kindness!"
Corve "So... where's your third husband, Tonidra?"
Storyteller Tonidra: "Third husband is in Stzang-Uoul, trading for silk-blessing materials. Silk must be blessed as harvested or it go bad."
Xar'Rex "If we see him there, we will say hello!"
Xar'Rex "Maybe I will learn how to bless the silk in the city, and then come to you to bless yours, in return for your kindness."
Carmine yawns politely.
Storyteller "Tonidra be very pleased if that happen. But Kukulak return now with food. We talk more after dinner.