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Avatar: The Last Airbender RPG

420 years after the fall of Ozai, decades of tranquility have brought about an era where peace is no longer only a mere philosophical abstraction. However beyond the grasp of the Four Nations, a long lost legacy resurfaces.
 
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It is currently the year: 420 AO (After Ozai)

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Cao Cao
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PostSubject: Re: The Union of Nobility (drakendottir)   The Union of Nobility (drakendottir) - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSun Mar 25, 2012 7:40 pm

Xun Cao made a waving motion and said, "Oh it won't be long at all dear, I would be the terrible hostess if I didn't allow my guests to indulge in what they loved. Come this way, we won't be long." With that, Xun Cao led the young Shang across the court yard towards what looked like a large dome that was letting sunlight into various spots keeping the area warm and clean. As Xun Cao opened the door into the dome she smiled and said, "Railja, this is Cao Cao's bird sanctuary. He spends a great deal of time here, caring for all the birds insdie as if they where his own children."

The insdie of the dome looked like a massive bird environment with numerous trees and bushes that held a multitude of birds of various sizes and colors. some where parrots, macaws, and even a few eagles and hawks flapping around in cages or open evironments. A group of swans, flamingos, and peacocks where going about near a pond. A beautiful hawk opened it's mouth and sqauked proudly in a nearby cage as the two walked by it. As she guided Railja through the sanctuary, Xun Cao pointed at a cage in the distance and said, "These are his favorites, his song birds. Lovely little things I find and thye seem to calm him and bring him peace whenever he returns from campaigns."


Opening the cage, Xun made a coming motion to the birds inside and a red song bird hopped into her hand. Carefully removing it and shutting the cage, she made a soothing noise and gently brushed her finger across the bird's head causing it chirp happily and lick her finger. Xun Cao smiled a bit and reached over to a container, pulled out some bird seed which she held out to the bird. The bird flapped over to Xun's other hand and started to peck and eat the seed, flapping it's wings happily.

"They are called song birds becasue they react to music and singing. hearing a song for the first time causes them to remeber it, and they will sing it from that point on. i find him in here reguarly listening to them sing, he servants have taught them many new songs, but not so much lately. I feel he would like to hear something different for a change" she explained.
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drakendottir
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PostSubject: Re: The Union of Nobility (drakendottir)   The Union of Nobility (drakendottir) - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSun Mar 25, 2012 7:51 pm

Railja's eyes widened as they entered the dome and she could see the full extent of the bird collection. There were birds of all forms, sizes and colour, beautiful in their unique way, gracious or funny or plain, each of them seemed to be special.
She stopped at the hawk's cage, pitying it - she just knew how it felt, being so close to finally flying, and never being able to extend its wings - and then she followed Xun towards the song birds. She had never seen or heard of that race before, and strangely, right now they were quiet. As Lady Cao started to feed the little bird, Railja took, after a quizzical look, some of the seeds in her soft little hand and moved over to the cage, putting her hand in there carefully. At once, some of the birds flew up, and after they had calmed down, hopped onto her arm and started to feed out of her hand.

The picking feelings made Railja smile, the first open, true smile since she had gotten here. At once, she looked less like a young woman and far more like the child she had been only a short time past. "They are beautiful... A shame they don't sing right now." She answered Lady Cao, and, as the seeds were eaten up, carefully patted one of the birds that had remained on her arm through the bars.

It was strange, being in here, in this place, gave her a sense of melancholy, as well as showing her a whole different side of the man she had not met yet. The more she heard of him, the more curious and confused she got. But she also grew more certain, that he would probably just see a child in her, like all her esteemed family members did, too. And what else was there to see? Not that much, really.

_________________
Stand fierce, bow deep, live honest.

Zexenuma j'nah, vaex bekiw, waph vis.


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Cao Cao
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PostSubject: Re: The Union of Nobility (drakendottir)   The Union of Nobility (drakendottir) - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSun Mar 25, 2012 8:03 pm

Xun Cao smiled at Railja as she feed a bird, and then placed the bird in her hand back into it's cage. "Well my dear, I find at times they just need a little encouragement and some inspiration" she said with a smile as she placed a bit more seed into Railja's hand. Watching the girl feed the bird for a moment, she suddenly looked up as if something had caught her attention. "Oh my my! It seems that someone didn't refill the eagle's feed box. Apologies dear I will just be a short moment, some times I believe Angi enjoys watching me do this labor" Xun said before quickly walking away with a slight skip and out of ear shot of Railja, seemingly leaving her all alone with the song birds.

In reality, she had quietly slipped near an exit and cracked the door open a little, she smiled as she made a motion to a nearby guard and handed him a note. The guard read the note and bowed to Xun before leaving with it. Xun then silently stepped out of the dome and left the door cracked open a bit as she waited and listened.
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drakendottir
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PostSubject: Re: The Union of Nobility (drakendottir)   The Union of Nobility (drakendottir) - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 26, 2012 7:13 am

Railja turned around confused, as the lady suddenly told her about the eagle’s feed box, and opened her mouth to weakly protest as she was left alone. “But… Mylady… won’t your son mind me being all alone in here…”
But Lady Xun Cao had already left the dome. Railja found she was alone with a building full of birds. The first thing that caught her mind was how weird it seemed, that the mistress of the household went herself to look for bird fodder, the second was already suppressed by her curiosity.
Would these birds really adapt any song they heard? It seemed a bit exaggerated, but on the other hand… Maybe it was true? There were many wonders in the world, why not a bird so clever, that it could remember any song it heard?
She took another bit of fodder, and fed it to the birds in the cage, smiling happily as they picked on her hand with their sharp little beaks. It was such a shame they were not singing…
“It is really too bad you don’t sing, but I get it… I don’t always like to sing, either, you know?” To her surprise, the birds reacted almost immediately to her voice, all of them turned their heads to her. They obviously liked being talked to. “They will make me sing later on… I don’t even know if your master cares much for music. But you do, don’t you? You like songs… you remember them..:” One of the birds hopped up her arm, and she took it out carefully, closing the door so that none of the others would escape. Holding the little, light, fragile creature was a weird, but a beautiful feeling.
The bird felt sad to her - birds were supposed to sing, but these here were all quiet. Maybe they really needed just some inspiration, some motivation, to start singing again.
Out of nowhere, she just began to hum silently, only for the birds. Nothing too fancy, it was merely one of the small songs that she had learned when she was a young girl, one of the first ones she had learned to play on the lute, too. An old Fire Nation song of hope, longing and patience, it was almost forgotten by most people, but some still knew and taught it. It was her brother Rozan’s favourite, Railja remembered, and since she missed him so much, it did not only seem appropriate right now because of its theme, it also felt right to sing it - at least very silently, carefully, just for the birds.

“Somewhere, along the road
Someone waits for me.
Beyond these present storms that blow,
Waiting patiently.
No secrets held in an open heart
A spirit that soars over mountains…
Somewhere, along the road
Someone waits for me.”

Her astonishingly dark, but warm young voice was still very quiet, as she carefully intoned the song without wanting to alarm any nearby people – if there were any. The bird that had before been twitching between her soft fingers became very calm suddenly, and she had the feeling the whole room was listening. But they were only birds; they were a thankful, yet silent audience. She fully turned to the singing birds’ cage, turning her back towards the doors without thinking twice, as she did the second verse as well.

“Somehow, a guiding light
Always shows the way
To those who lose their way by night,
Waiting for the day.
A day away from happiness
Tomorrow will bring a new sunrise…
Somewhere, along the road,
Someone waits for me.”

She grew stronger in her intonation, enjoying the slightly melancholic, but beautiful and varying melody, her natural voice filled the dome with its clear volume and deep sorrow, but unfolded some yet unused registers when it came to the hopeful part at the end of the verse. Trusting now, that no one else was here, she dared sing the third verse in her full, normal voice that reached till the last part of the dome, filling it with a string of tunes like pearls. None of the birds made any more noise, they all had stopped as if they were listening closely.

“Sometime, when winds are still,
Unexpectedly
Perhaps beyond those silent hills
A voice will call to me.
Raise your eyes to see my world
Raise your voice and sing out:
Somewhere, along the road,
Someone waits for me.”

With these last few lines, she had opened the cage and put the little song bird back in, realizing that the birds were still watching her as if they were stupefied, she smiled at them warmly. Animals had always been her friends; they were trusting, warm creatures without second thoughts or agendas. All they had done was listen to her song, not judge her at any level. She felt free staying with them, free and out of worries for once.

((Railja has a voice ranging from mezzosoprano towards counteralto, just if you were curious ^^.))

_________________
Stand fierce, bow deep, live honest.

Zexenuma j'nah, vaex bekiw, waph vis.


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Cao Cao
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PostSubject: Re: The Union of Nobility (drakendottir)   The Union of Nobility (drakendottir) - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 26, 2012 11:21 am

Cao Cao himself had just finishing to dress himself when he heard that his mother had requested his presence at his bird sanctuary. Confused he walked to the bird house in a quick pace to see what she wanted, not wanting to keep the guests and soldiers waiting. Dressed in formal red and orange Fire Nation robes with his family crest on the back, he slowly approached the bird sanctuary and entered it, not seeing his mother smiling happily as she watched form behind a pillar.

Cao Cao himself entered the dome and looked around for his mother. As he did, he stopped when he heard a voice singing in the background. Confused, he walked towards the singing and as he did, he saw his brids all looking in the same direction to the source of the singing. As he walked he soon saw Railja Shang herself near his son birds singing. As he listened to her song verse for verse, the young General took her in as much as he could and he found she did have an impressive figure for her age. As he listened to the song she sang he soon relized he had heard the song before, one of his captains sang it at camp once and it stood out to him.

As Railja finished singing, his song birds suddenly started to flutter thier wings and then all started cooing in chior the same song Railja herself just sang. As the birds cooed together, Cao Cao swallowed a lump in his throat and approached Railja while clearing his throat to announce his presence. "That was very beautiful Lady Shang, it has been a long time since they had heard any new songs. I think they really liked it" he said as he walked up to the cgae and stood next to Railja looking at the birds, trying to fight the tears that had started to form after hearing her sing.
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PostSubject: Re: The Union of Nobility (drakendottir)   The Union of Nobility (drakendottir) - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 26, 2012 11:52 am

With a small shriek she whirled around, she had not heard him coming and he had startled her. "General Cao..." She blushed, but not a little, this time, she blushed all over, her fine whitish skin becoming a dark rose tone. But after her first startle, she managed to pick up courage, and stood up straight. "I'm sorry, General, you startled me. Excuse my intrusion here, I was... I was just waiting for your mother to return. I did not realize you were listening... I mean... Lady Cao was so kind as to show me this wonderful dome, you are a very lucky man, to possess so many astonishing birds..."
She tried to find the right, the proper words, but around him, she still felt like a stupid little child, blurting out what she thought rather than what she was supposed to say, to do next. Had he really liked her song, or was he just being polite? No, she had the impression that his eyes were glittering. Strangely, that touched her, she had never before seen someone hold back tears because of her singing. Maybe there was more to him than just the brave soldier he had shown to be... Maybe he was more than just an honoured General of the Fire Nation.

It had all happened so quick, suddenly, magically, she had him all for herself. She could ask him whatever she wanted, but strangely, all the questions had left her mind. Blankly, she turned haflway back, to listen to the birds sing, not aware that her profile shimmered in the soft light of the evening sun as she did.

_________________
Stand fierce, bow deep, live honest.

Zexenuma j'nah, vaex bekiw, waph vis.


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PostSubject: Re: The Union of Nobility (drakendottir)   The Union of Nobility (drakendottir) - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 27, 2012 9:55 am

Cao Cao nodded and with a kind smile turned to Railja. "My apologies Lady Railja, I did not mean to startle you. I must also apologize for this deception, it seems we both feel for my mother's creative manipulation. I was summoned here due to a summons from her but did not find her, as for you I assume she wanted to introduce you to some of my birds before finding an excuse to leave temporarily. In my opinion she would have made a better military commander then all the Caos for her planning" he explained.

Walking grabbing some bird seed, he made a throwing motion and the seed feel to the flamingos and the peacocks who all walked over and started to gobble them down. "I have spent much of my life in the Military and training for the military, yet when I come here thier is no military. No worries of the world, or concerns of the Cao family; to come here is the one place I find peace" he said with a smile to the birds. Cao Cao then became very serious and turned toward Railja with glance and then spoke in a gentle but also calculating tone. "I want to be frank Lady Railja, I can understand how this is rather obtuse for both of us, expecting to marry a person they have just met today. Yet I can honor our families wishes as is expected of a honored noble. That being said, if we are to make this work, and I do wish too, I must ask a few things if you would honor me?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Union of Nobility (drakendottir)   The Union of Nobility (drakendottir) - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 27, 2012 10:22 am

Railja bowed her head. He spoke kindly, but frankly as well, and somehow, his polite, yet determined tone gave her a rather brave feeling. She did not know where she found the strength, the words, but suddenly she heard herself answer: "You may ask me anything, General Cao, but only for a prize."
She answered his curious look with a smile. "No fear, I merely ask a fair exchange. I, too, am willing to accept my family's wishes and to defer to them, in honour of my ancestors and my elders. But I have something to ask of you, too: For every question I answer you, you shall answer one of mine, if you don't mind."

Right after that, she bit her lower lip. What was she doing? Where had it come from, this cheeky behaviour? This was not at all ladylike! She was supposed to be submissive, polite, and elegantly mysterious, not treat him as if he were her brother Rozan. He was above her in the order of society, not on her level!
But she had spoken up, there was no way to take it back now. All she could do was hope that he would not take her forwardness as discourtesy.

_________________
Stand fierce, bow deep, live honest.

Zexenuma j'nah, vaex bekiw, waph vis.


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PostSubject: Re: The Union of Nobility (drakendottir)   The Union of Nobility (drakendottir) - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 27, 2012 12:01 pm

Cao Cao stepped closure to Railja with a neutral look on his face. As he did he seemed to lean close and then with a gentle smile reached out and carefully brushed a lose starnd of hair form her face back to see her beauty completely. "Your strong my Lady, not afraid to speak your mind and your belifs. I find that truely attractive in a soicety where women are expected to obey and speak when spoken too. Rare though it is, it always a treausre to find. Very well then I except your offer and your terms. That being said, my first quesiton is a simple one" he said as he held his arm out.

"If you would honor me, I would like to escort you to the dining hall where our attendance is no doubt anticipated. May I escort you Lady Shang?" he asked with an extended hand.
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PostSubject: Re: The Union of Nobility (drakendottir)   The Union of Nobility (drakendottir) - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 27, 2012 12:46 pm

The corners of Railja's mouth twitched, and then formed a real, honest smile. "Yes, General, you may."

She took his hand and let him lead her back to the mansion. While they stepped outside the dome, she thought about what she could ask him in return. Being too personal seemed wrong now that he had started with something as irrelevant as the escort.
"I think we should not count that first question, though, as it was one you might as well ask anyone." She finally said. "The answer was quite obvious, and although I of course enjoy your company, there would have been no socially acceptable way to say no. Therefore, it might be considered as rhetorical, don't you think?"

She followed his lead lightly, walking tall and elegantly, and wondering all the time what kind of a question he might wish to ask her, really.

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Stand fierce, bow deep, live honest.

Zexenuma j'nah, vaex bekiw, waph vis.


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