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Dressing the stage for battle
#1
The Tribe each received a parchment, presumably their roles in the upcoming battle at the Citadel. Senne did not read hers, she simply tucked it away, for another time. She did not want to know what was expected of her in the forthcoming battle, she would do it, unquestionably, but for now, she simply wanted to forget about it.

Sreng was speaking, she had seen little of the leader of the Tribe. She remembered being there for his retirement, and being surprised when he returned. He seemed a man of good spirits. He had not received a summons to the battle -- she wondered why. He was asking Deeke to sing. Deeke obliged after some minor protestations that he couldn't. She was amazed to hear that he sang in a voice so clear - he rivaled the great bards in execution, but it lacked... it lacked heart. She thought a moment, is that right? Can a song be so perfect, and still empty? She made a mental note to ask him about it.

She scanned the gathering for her sister, Nande, to no avail. It had been months since Nande had attended a gathering of the Tribe. She sighed almost inaudibly to herself, Nande. Nande would not be attending the battle, she was a self-proclaimed non-combatant... whatever that meant. Nande did not seem to have any issues when applying her craft on "test subjects" -- often resulting in serious injury to the unsuspecting individuals -- but, she would not take a stand on the ongoing war. Nor would she actively further the cause. She wasn't againt the effort, she just said it was for others, her work was to discover, test, and theorize. Senne often wondered how she was so different from her younger sister.

A prospective inductee snapped her back to the gathering. She focused across the flickering flames of the campfire. He was talking about what brought him to the Tribe. Senne had met him on the field, and recommended he join the gathering. He was seeking answers, belonging...place. Senne could not help him, but she felt if anyone could, it would be the Tribe. She smiled encouragingly at him as he spoke. He was another one that had served the other side, and had come to the Horde. She tried not to feel sorry for him.

She discovered she was biting her lip, a bad habit she had when mulling something over, or trying to change her perspective on things, she hated it. Her brother, Jarret, had called it a "tell". He often laughed at her, saying she was too easily read. Jarret made himself scarce. He preferred to spend his time with darker sorts - Senne was just too "shiny" for him, or so he often said.

The gathering continued.

Senne suddenly felt the gathering tent was too small. The fire too bright. The noises too loud. She looked around quickly, no one would miss her if she stepped away. She took a few steps back from the gathering and summoned her drake. She offered a forced smile and wave to a few and left the gathering.

Senne needed to think -- or to not think. She wasnt worried about the battle. She had been part of many battles, and knew she would be around for many more. She was concerned that the Tribe would allow some of the others to fight -- the child especially -- but, she also knew better than to judge someone without really knowing their capacity. She knew the Tribe would not jeopardize anyone they hold so dearly.
Senne landed on a small island and dismissed her drake. She had found this deserted place a few years ago, and had visited it often. She liked the small wooden stage. She didnt know what it had been made for, originally, but it suited her purposes when she needed to think.

She walked quietly to the middle of the wooden stage, her bare feet making no sound on the weather-aged planks. As she moved, she slid a shimmering, lace glove-like garment over her right hand. The softest tinkling of tiny silver bells accented her steps as she fitted the glove. Her walk was deliberate and slow, one dainty foot being placed in front of the next as she finalized her preparations. She scooped her hair up and tied it neatly out of the way with a collection of brightly hued ribbons. Even in the soft light of twilight, she glowed. Her luminescence, combined with her choreographed movements, made her appear more spirit-like than corporeal.

She turned and faced the front of the stage. She was now clad in many layers of diaphanous silks. Color upon color, the outfit was fitted tightly to her body, in spite of its many layers. The colors spanned from the richest of yellows to the deepest of reds. The scarves were tied across her hips and chest, leaving the rest of her skin exposed. She had one scarf of gold tied around her right bicep, with its’ twin on her left thigh – from these scarves glimmered strings of silent tiny bells.

She lifted her voice in song as her foot started to tap the deck delicately -- keeping the rhythm of her song. Still, the bells were silent. Her song, though unheard, was beautiful and sad. It spoke of family, friends, and loves lost and found. It spoke of forgiveness and acceptance.

Her body fell into the rhythm of the song, the bells accenting the melody. Her movements were both seductive and innocent… the paradox would have a mesmerizing affect on any watcher -- had there been any. Her voice rose and fell with the dance, at times it would echo off the abandoned buildings nearby, and others it seemed barely a whisper.

The dance carried her across the stage. She whirled and moved from one side to the other, using the railing to lean back into a back flip to change directions when she would reach the end. Her hands glided over her body, accentuating the subtle undulations of her hips and abdomen. When her hands passed over her hips or chest, the scarves would shift and a new color would be exposed - resulting in a continuously changing outfit.

The bells slowly took over the song. Their delicate ringing became more of a harmonized melody. Her voice fell away, leaving only the bells. She took the center stage and her pace quickened. She rose on the toes of one foot as she spun, her left leg bent just slightly and held to the other. Her movement speed increased again and she became a blur of color – two vividly hued bands at the height of her hips and chest.

The bells fell silent as she stopped. She sat on the stage, one leg extended in front of her, the other tucked under her seated form. She was stretched out over the extended leg, her hair loose about her shoulders.

She sat up, pushing her hair back behind her shoulders, revealing that her chest was now clad in the gold scarf that once was tied to her arm. She stood, the colored scarves falling about her like autumnal leaves. Around her hips was tied the remaining gold scarf. She bowed low, scooping up the discarded scarves, her hair swept across the planks.

She re-summoned her drake, as she carefully redressed. The plate fit as comfortably as the silk. She read the summons. She nodded to herself. She would heal the Tribe during the battle. She smiled softly, confident that she would do everything she could to protect the Tribe.
[Image: 3453992ixyXB.png]
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