World of Fantasy: The Waters of Rajann

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World of Fantasy: The Waters of Rajann

Post by JageshemashFTW »

This is Book 2 of the World of Fantasy series. You can read Book 1 here: viewtopic.php?t=4528
Okay, so, the People, right? That’s what you wanted to talk about?

Not surprising, given your own history with them.

So, you already know the basics. The People of the Open Road are nomads, four tribes that wander the region of Babylon, never staying in one spot for too long.

There are, of course, the Telani, the fire-dancers. The best of the People, in my humble opinion. We’re probably the tribe that has the most interaction with all the ‘civilized’ cities and towns of Babylon. Whether through entertainment or trade, we know how to give the people of Babylon something to remember us by.

Then there are the Rajann, the mountain-climbers. The ones you’re so familiar with, in more ways than one. They’re probably the most isolated of the People, living on top of one of the four tallest mountains in Babylon for one year before migrating to the next mountain. This pilgrimage between the mountains is sacred to the Rajann… For reasons you are very well aware.

Next are the Gevrud, the under-dwellers. I’ll be honest, even as one of the People myself, I’ve always thought the Gevrud to be a bit odd. Their choice to live underground in a labyrinthine network of caves and tunnels that spans all of Babylon… Well, it isn’t a choice I would make. But that hardy living has given them a preternatural relationship to rock and stone. You will never find finer stonemasons and craftsmen in all of Babylon.

Finally, there are the Zephros… And, to be frank, I’m not entirely sure they exist. Nearly all of the tribes' stories and legends always reference the four tribes, and Zephros is always among the four… But no one seems to be able to recall anything about when they were last seen in Babylon. No tribe member I have ever spoken to has ever remembered seeing a Zephros in any of the big gatherings between the tribes.

Some among the People believe them to be a metaphor of some grander purpose of the other three tribes. Some believe the Zephros are real, just in hiding until they are needed. Needed for what? Who can say.

Unfortunately, the most likely scenario is that the Zephros did exist… But they don’t anymore.

Supposedly, they carry the epithet of the cloud-scratchers… If that means to imply that the Zephros live up in the sky… Then I think the Zephros might just be a little bit more than just another tribe…

…Hmm? Oh, sorry. I was just… contemplating. Nevermind that, that’s neither here nor now.

Anyway, that’s the long and short of each of the four tribes. The rest, you pretty much know. Tattoos, breaking bread, the works.

Huh? Oh, Efreet? You want to know if the other tribes have a spirit like him?

Heh, you’re perceptive, aren’t you? There are… Legends of other primordial spirits that exist beyond our earthly plane, this is true. But I swear to you, I know of none of them beyond Efreet. If the other tribes do have a spirit watching over them the same way Efreet used to watch over the Telani, they are keeping that fact close to their chests, even among their fellow People.

The Decaying Mule was more or less the same establishment since Peanut propositioned Bino for a job there all those weeks ago. The same unruly, legally-questionable clientele causing a ruckus well into the night with inebriated debauchery.

Even if they technically didn’t need the coin anymore, Prince Keene having been good on his word to give Zach and his brothers a home in the Gold District of Griffonrock, Zach still enjoyed playing the Bard for the lively folk of the tavern. It was good practice.

It was happenstance that Max had joined Zach that particular evening, and chance that their conversation eventually turned to discussing Max’s tribe and the others that made up the People.

“Beyond all that, There’s really not much more I can tell you.” Max said, downing the last of probably his third mead of the evening, but who’s counting? “We mostly just like to keep to ourselves. There’s a lot of old wive’s tales about some of our more secretive traditions, but those are mostly just ceremonial.”

Zach nodded, nursing his own drink. “Are… Are you allowed to enter other tribes’ territory?”

Max gave a shrug. “I don’t see why we wouldn’t be. We’re all part of the same family. Some of our relatives are just a bit more… distant than others.”

“So… If you were to suddenly show up at a Rajann camp, they wouldn’t turn you away?” Zach asked.

Max paused just as he was about to flag down the tavern-keeper for another drink. “Why do I get the feeling we are deserting the realm of the hypothetical?”

“And, if they did allow you in…” Zach continued, pointedly ignoring Max’s question. “Would they also accept any guests you brought with them?”

Max turned and gave a hard stare at the lapin Bard. “Zach, turn your back to me.” He said, uncharacteristically serious.

“I-I don’t-?”

“Turn around.”

Zach, confused but not wanting to challenge Max on this, turned his back to the black cat. Max, in full-view of all the other patrons, grabbed the bottom of Zach’s shirt and lifted it up to his neck, exposing his back for everyone to see.

“Wha-?! Max, what are you doing?!” Zach cried, taking note of all of the eyes suddenly on them.

“As I thought, you still have your tattoo.” Max said, pointing to the black, thorned spiral in question on the back of Zach’s shoulder. “Therefore, you are just as much part of the People as I am.”

Max finally relinquished Zach’s shirt as the poor Bard turned back to face him, utterly mortified by the continued stares they were getting. “Did you really have to-?!”

Max held up a hand to silence him. “You are Rajann, Zach. Now and forever. You do not need me to play the gatekeeper for you.”

Zach clammed up as he looked to the ground, dejected. “You know the story behind that tattoo. The Rajann still think my brothers and I betrayed them.”

“Betrayal or not, that doesn’t change what that tattoo means.” Max said. “You say you were framed? The Rajann will hear you out. They will always hear out one of their own.”

Max turned back towards the bar, leaning against his chair as his usual jovial demeanor returned. “Now, whether or not they believe you? That’s a different matter entirely, and completely on you to convince them. But even that won’t undo everything that tattoo entails.”

Zach still seemed unsure. “I was only meant to be a Rajann temporarily. I’m not a true member of the tribe, I never was…”

“You were meant to stay with the camp temporarily, but you would still be Rajann regardless of where you go and you are still Rajann now.” Max stated adamantly. “You owe it to both yourself and the tribe to speak to them and make your case.”

Max turned to Zach once more, and Zach was surprised to see a look of pleading in his eyes.

“The Rajann deserve closure for the tragedy they faced on that day. And you deserve to find peace with them.”

Zach only retreated further into himself, trying to make himself appear as small as he felt. “It’s been two years…”

Max shrugged. “All the more reason to get to it, and sooner than later.”

Zach was still for a good few moments before he roused himself up, leaned back in his chair, and gave a heaving sigh. “You really think it’s that simple?”

“Simple? Oh, absolutely not. This will feel like you’re pulling out your teeth the entire time.” Max admitted. “But that doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do.”

Zach stared at the back wall of the tavern for a bit, looking beyond the wall and borders of Griffonrock. Looking beyond the green plains all the way to the snow-capped mountains that sat on the border of Babylon.

“Then I shall go.” Zach said. “And finally bury these ghosts.”

“Excellent!” Max said, giving a hearty slap to Max’s back. “When do we leave?”

Zach was jostled out of his short-lived stoicism by Max’s slap and his words. “W-We? But… I thought you said I had to…?”

“I said you had to make your case yourself. I never said I couldn’t be there to give you emotional support.” Max said, giving one of his overly toothy grins. “After all, we’re family, aren’t we?”

World of Fantasy: The Waters of Rajann
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Krytus The Dreamer
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Re: World of Fantasy: The Waters of Rajann

Post by Krytus The Dreamer »

Good to see you back at it! Hopefully there's a ton of D&D-esque misadventures further down the line.
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Harry Johnathan
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Re: World of Fantasy: The Waters of Rajann

Post by Harry Johnathan »

Horray, you started this up again. I honestly can't blame you for leaving it behind for a year and a half lol, I've done the same numerous times (writing is hard).
Pray for those who have fallen away, to be brought back to God. To their loss they are crucifying the Son all over again and mocking him.
Hebrews 6:6-7 (Paraphrase)
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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: World of Fantasy: The Waters of Rajann

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Really happy that you started this up again! I really liked the previous story and I am sure I am gonna like this one also!
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Re: World of Fantasy: The Waters of Rajann

Post by CunningFox »

Glad to see this is back.
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Re: World of Fantasy: The Waters of Rajann

Post by NHWestoN »

Exciting restoration. Nothing says a perilous situation like an expedition into potentially hostile territory - especially territory filled with aggrieved relatives.
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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: World of Fantasy: The Waters of Rajann

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

We all are gonna be patiently waiting for the continuation as we know it will be so grand!
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Re: World of Fantasy: The Waters of Rajann

Post by trekkie »

Nice world building, and character development, I’m in a Max and Zach adventure.
“Freedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric.” - Thomas Sowell

“The only time I ever enjoyed ironing was the day I accidentally got gin in the steam iron.” Phyllis Diller
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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: World of Fantasy: The Waters of Rajann

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

You would never thought that those two would work together but you made it work! Wonderful work!
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