Murphy Timmuns (Platypus Season)The magician shot a sudden glare at Sano. "Oh, fancy that. You must possess a brilliant mind to be able to so exactly determine precisely what a person would or would not mind. What an impressive talent that is- do work on honing it to perfection. However, I think in the spirit of the hour, perhaps we should let dear Damien decide for himself? I don't think you would mind that, now would you? Or perhaps sir, you would not mind being our little pack-animal? I don't think you would mind it, and that incontestable fact should indeed be enough, yes? So then, I think I may as well go ahead and do it, yes? Yes?" Mud had stepped closer to Sano as he spoke, and his glare had evolved into a very wild and wide-eyed stare.
Recap of SST: Campfire
This is for Tehpillowstar and anyone else who is interested in joining, and/or wants to know what has happened thus far.
Damien, a man with more machine parts than human parts, is resting at an old abandoned gas station in the middle of the desert, near a dying campfire built of scraps. A girl named Quon approaches. She only lasts for two posts (due to the controlling troper's ban) and does not bear significant impact on the thread. A young man named Felix approaches. He is looking for a place called September. Damien does not know where this is. A young girl named Bianca appears, having been resting in the gas station. She has been lost for a while, and has a broken arm. A bloody and wounded soldier named Philip staggers in. He coughs blood everywhere. Bianca introduces herself to the rest of them. They return the favor. A velociraptor (yes) approaches. She seems unable to communicate with the others, but knows herself as Whitetip. The others are initially apprehensive, but Damien holds out his arm in goodwill and soon it is revealed that Whitetip is intelligent enough to communicate in some forms, and the tensions bleed away. A large bulky man and a smaller, somewhat effeminate young man approach, named Charles and Mai'iq, respectively. (Motree, the writer of these characters, was sidetracked shortly thereafter, without being able to do much with the characters, however, she has told me that she may rejoin, but is undecided.) Those gathered mingle a little, Charles and Mai'iq introduce themselves and Charles chats with Bianca, Felix attempts further communication with Whitetip, Philip begins to feel hungry, and Damien retrieves a map scratched into a sheet of metal. Later, Felix determines that the gas station is some for of universal crossroads. Philip points out a spot on the map labeled "Animal Den" A man dressed like a magician, later revealed to be called Mud, and a large glowing white dragon-like being called Razugual appear from behind the gas station. Mud reignites the dying campfire quite explosively. Some of the others are apprehensive. A man in a bright white techno-suit named Nathan appears, having been using high-tech camouflage to the point of invisibility. Damien decides that it would be a good idea to investigate the animal den. He gathers a group to trek to the animal den, eventually consisting of himself, Mud, and Felix. Meanwhile Bianca appears to be able to understand Whitetip on a linguistic level. The animal den group decides instead that it is more important to find water, and change goals. Before the water trekking group sets out, Damien shows the others that the area surrounding the gas station is teeming with large (perhaps supernaturally so) vicious wolves, however, they've been avoiding the light from the campfire. The water seeking group makes a hasty and reckless start to their search. Nathan, meanwhile, uses a blast from his suit to quickly slay several of the wolves. The campfire group prepares to skin and cook one of the beasts. After a short/long (you decide) time on their journey, the water trekking group finds themselves seemingly no closer to water. Mud strongly hints that they would have a better chance of finding the water if he were to turn on of them into a bird, to get a birds-eye view of the desert. Damien complies, surprisingly without needing much convincing. The magician allows him to choose from a deck of bird cards, but he makes a mistake, and the magician turns him into a dodo bird. Rather than rectifying the mistake, the three continue searching by foot. Meanwhile, Philip coughs up more blood, and Razugual shows concern. The wolf is soon cooked, and those by the campfire start eating. (Note; at this point, Whitetip has left, her writer having decided to leave the thread. Also, Felix is possibly gone. It has not been explicitly stated, but writer Collen has not posted for him since, so he is effectively frozen.) Overhead, a hot air balloon passes by, and a man named Sano falls out near the water trekking group. They go to him. He manhandles Dodo!Damien to Mud's displeasure, and Damien's nonchalance. They soon sort things out and introductions are made, with Sano joining the group. Meanwhile, the balloon itself sinks to the ground and wrecks, the nameless man inside running off into the vast desert. Nearby in the desert, a husband and wife Matt and Chiara respectively, appear, having been journeying in search of their daughter Bianca. They end up finding the gas station and reuniting before finally leaving together. (Crystal Glacia leaves the thread) Also nearby, at the waterhole the water trekking group is looking for, two men John and Thomas are found, considering drinking the water. The water trekking group soon approach and make introductions. However, shortly thereafter the two men... I don't know, phase out of existence (Writer Masterofchaos quickly departed.) Back at the campfire, Razugual is bothered by the fact that Philip hasn't gotten food yet. He expresses this rather fervently, much to Philip's discomfort. They chat about Philip's seeming low regard for his own life. Two adolescent boys, a preteen named Corey and an older teenager named Ian approach the campfire. Corey sneaks up, disguised as a dead wolf, and is nearly blasted to smithereens by Nathan. Ian berates Corey, and they introduce themselves. Razugual shifts his concern from the bleeding man to concern for the two youngsters lost in the desert. This is where the campfire group is NOW. (QQQQQ reappears, disappears) The water trekking group, having filled up all their canteens and bottles and whatnot, begin to return to the campfire. On the way, they decide to stop by Sano's crashed balloon, where they find many supplies. This is where the water trekking group and the thread are NOW.
"Think, think, think! I said!" Sano says while staring back. It seems like Sano's assumption that the magician would ask Damien specifically before turning him into something didn't fare well. "Of cource it's his decision. But he have either been this talking flightless bird all his life or have been transformed into it, possibly by you, right? In either case he might even like to make this transformation a permanent upgrade." Sano turns to Damien and asks. "Hey birdy, what do you say? Would you like this man to turn you into an elephant, buffalo or something?"
edited 21st Oct '12 8:40:55 AM by m8e
De rienNathan shifts his gaze to Raszugal "We're on earth, that's for sure. It looks like it feels like it and if we are to believe my equipment has magnetic fields like it." He sighs. "The question is what year we're in, petroleum..." he gestures towards the gas station, "has been obsolete in my time for hundreds of years already." He tilts his head a bit to the side, "It's a bit odd we all seemed to have been traveling somewhere before this. I for instance..." He trails off, pausing then biting his lip. "I had some things to get away from."
edited 21st Oct '12 8:32:59 PM by Aqueos
Being coherent on the internet? I'll try.
PIDamien considered for approximately no time at all. "Sure, " he said. "This dodo thing was kind of a bust anyway." He wove through the scattered boxes, trying to get a sense of how much they would need to carry. With some picking and choosing and consolidation, they might be able to manage it as three humans, but the supplies were not the only thing of value at the crash site. "If we haul this balloon back, it could be our ticket out of here." He clawed at the deflated canvas. There was a lot of damage, but there were blankets and tarps back at the gas station, and they had plenty of time. "If we fold it back up, and if you can think up something big enough to carry it."
Murphy Timmuns (Platypus Season)The magician halted, still staring into Sano's eyes. His pursed lips broke into a smile that wasn't exactly cold, but was very far from friendly. He tipped his head downward slightly, still staring at the other man, and backed away, saying, "Waaatch yourseeeelf..." in quiet, sing-song voice. After he had withdrawn from Sano a substantial distance, he whirled around to face Damien. "Volunteering again, how impeccably good of you! Though I am, I think, disappointed that you did not enjoy your brief spell as a dodo to a greater extent. Completely unique, you've been. Nay, not another creature alike is alive on the face of this place. Then again, and then once more, I suppose we do not always make the best choices for ourselves, and it's all a part of the learning experience. And I do terribly hope it has been a learning experience for you." He withdrew from his pocket what looked to be the same deck of cards as before, and started shuffling through them. "Mmm, yes the balloon, ' lets get outta here ', brilliant idea. Something big enough to support such a mass... oh, I do believe that gives me the glimmerings of an idea. Certain cards of mine, inadvisable to be chosen from. For nature can only provide so much, but the minds of men can stir up the rest. Creatures of myth, creatures of legend— aye, beasts without existence, except... perhaps..." He lowered his cards, and raised his gaze. "...for tonight. Choosing time. No mistakes now." He held out the cards for Damien to pick from once again. This time, rather than containing pictures and names of different birds, the cards showed several larger pack animals— an ox, an elephant, a yak, to name a few, as well as several creatures that may or may not exist, depending on where one was from. A large hippogryph, a warg, a European dragon... "Take your time, but do hasten up." Too tired to write for Raz right now. Hopefully other people can respond a bit too.
edited 22nd Oct '12 3:01:29 AM by Ryuhza
PIDamien did not take the cards. "Considering how well this went last time..." He did not know whether he should distrust the magician or the cards, but the end result would be the same. "Surprise me, " he said, because whatever went wrong this time would not be his fault. When he tossed aside his cigarette it was almost cavalier, but if birds had lips, he would not have been smiling.
edited 23rd Oct '12 6:33:39 PM by PsychoFreaX
Murphy Timmuns (Platypus Season)The magician frowned, at first in confusion, then in benign concession, with a little shrug. "Very well!" Mud exclaimed. He drew his cards up to his face and began looking them over, tipping them to the side with his finger, one by one. As he examined them, he spoke, "In my experience, most men, women, and birds usually leap at the offer to chose for themselves, lest they end up as something... oh... not quite to their own diacritical tastes. But not knowing, ah, there's a pervasive element of adventure in that, both commendable and respectable. And dangerous. The magician gave Damien another one of his wild-eyed stares over his cards, before snorting it off with a laugh. "Ah, here. Suitable, I think, in keeping with our avian leitmotif." He pulled out a single card and tucked the rest away into his pocket. "Considering the considerable size you'll need to be for the preceding task, I'm afraid my hat is considerably too inflexible. So, we'll try something similar." As he spoke, the magician had reached under his cape and began to unfasten it's various hooks and bindings. When he had finished speaking, he swept it off of his shoulders and held it out before him. He looked at it with a duskiness in his eyes. "Prepare yourself Damien. I'm going to be brief. Growing large may be an entirely different experience than growing small." Mud's voice was quiet, not filled with it's usual swelling incandescence. In fact, it almost sounded as though he were speaking in a different accent altogether. "-Or it may be just the same! Regretfully, I couldn't tell you." With that, his voice returned to its typical boisterous nature. "Mind yourself now." He flung the cape over Damien, then stared at the card in his hand in perceived concentration. Satisfied, the magician tucked it into his pocket with the rest of the cards. Then, he swept his hand under the cape-covered Damien and, in one swift motion, he seized the ends of the cape, holding it like a sack with a presumably upside-down Damien inside. "Are you ready to be astonished, ginoo Sano?" Mud asked, looking at the man with pure merriment. "Transfigurationi incipit, nunc." The somewhat globose shape of Damien within the cape began to shift and expand, and with it, so did the magician's cape. Both grew larger at an increasing rate until Damien was almost three times the size of his dodo-self and the cape no longer expanded with him. At this point, the magician grabbed the cape with both hands, pulled it back, and released the thing inside with a swing of great gusto. The beast that popped out of the cape was exceptionally large and had the head, wings, and talons of an eagle paired with the body of a lion. A gryphon. "Ta-da." Said Mad rather offhandedly, as he refastened his cape, which was without fur or feather or even a sprinkling of dirt. "How do you like that?"
PIDamien the Gryphon staggered into his new center of balance. Slowly, his wings stretched from his body, feathers quivering. These, he could tell, were no dodo wings. There was a sharp intake of breath from the newly transformed gryphon. He gripped the hard-packed sand with his talons and his paws as if he would fall into the sky if he ever let go. Then, with a flap of his wings and a whirlwind of dust, he did just that. He climbed steadily into the air and he thought about nothing.
Sano stepped back a few steps when he saw the wizardry. He tried to hide his surprise, but the resulting blank expression just made him look dumfound. "There he goes. Do you think he's coming back down?" he says with a smile, lookning up at the flying beast. "I guess I'll go and fold up the balloon and get everything ready. It will take a while, so he have plenty of time to come down, so to speak."
edited 26th Oct '12 4:52:52 AM by m8e
Murphy Timmuns (Platypus Season)Razugual shifted his unfaltering stare to one of the gas pumps. He uttered a low, rumbling "Hmmm..." and thought about it for a moment. "Petroleum and gas stations like these are still very common on earth in 1992, but this place is so decrepit I couldn't guarantee that it was even from the same couple of decades." He took a closer look at one of the fuel dispensers— there weren't many to choose from, one seemed to have been entirely removed from the ground and was missing. The other two were in terrible condition. One had some electronic parts ripped out, leaving a couple of stray wires and an empty rectangular space. Both were covered in an obscene amount of dried bird droppings. He chose to examine the one that was covered in a hill of bird droppings, rather than a mountain. The pump did not quite resemble any he was familiar with, but that was to be expected. Unfortunately, most distinguishing markings had been rubbed or peeled off, or were suffused with bird crap. However, the numbers and letters that Razugual could see were strange. "The price listings are strange." he said, eying a backwards three next to an upside-down... y? He would have passed it off as someone else marking over it, graffiti, but it was printed on the price sticker itself. He was drawn out of his contemplation by the younger of the two boys, Corey. "The gas station?" he said, questioningly, glancing over at the main building. "Well no, I haven't checked inside personally, but Philip over there-" He glanced over to the fire where Philip had been resting. "Philip? ..." "...Philip?" Razugual approached the fire on two legs, leaning and twisting his body around, checking behind everything. He pulled himself onto the roof of the gas station and checked all the horizons, hoping to see a dot somewhere in the near distance. Somewhere in the far distance. Somewhere? Perhaps he was overreacting, again...
Perhaps... Philip— bloody, ragged Philip— was gone. To where, Razugual did not know. He hoped it was home. Razugual heaved an enormous sigh on the rooftop, almost a shudder, really. He didn't hear any wolves yowling, but he couldn't help but think of them as he climbed back down and returned to his position, awkwardly and a touch moodier than he was before. "Philip was inside earlier. He found those bits and pieces in there." Razugual gestured to the pile of bric-a-brac* near the fire with a lazy sweep of his arm. "I don't know what he was intending to do with them." Razugual stared sadly at the gas station's building again. His curiosity had suddenly faded.
The gust from Damien's wings was powerful enough to blow the magician's hat clean off, so that he had to scramble to retrieve it. He managed as much, however, before it even touched the ground and he held onto it with both hands, gazing up at Damien as he ascended. After a few moments, he looked down at Sano and blinked a few times. "Well, I take that as a very positive sign. Aye! Satisfaction. He'll be back..." he stared squinting at the ever-heightening figure of Damien, becoming blurred with the night. "Now about those boxes; have you any rope in this rubble meneer Sano?" asked Mud, tapping his foot gently in the dirt.
edited 26th Oct '12 11:47:24 AM by Ryuhza
Have no idea what to write. Just to keep this going. "Only the dropline and those that's part of the balloon." Sano answers while struggling with the balloon, tying it up into something resemble a snake. "I guess we could use those if we are careful or find something to replacement them with at that gas station."
edited 26th Oct '12 10:37:24 AM by m8e
Murphy Timmuns (Platypus Season)Mud nodded and reasoned, "Well, this balloon is not going to be transporting anyone anywhere any time soon, so I see no harm in reusing assets of your balloon for the time being. We can rustle up these boxes and fashion them into something measurably more wearable. Possibly." The magician tilted his head and rubbed his goatee. "If we have enough rope. You don't need much, you really don't— and it should not be difficult to mend, I really don't think." He began piling, grouping, and otherwise organizing the boxes that they would be keeping for the return trip, collecting a few spilled things in surprisingly normal form. When he had the boxes ordered to his pleasure, Mud then turned his attention to the basket and the thick rope that was attached to the badly torn balloon. Without a moment's thought he began snipping different lengths of rope off— using his gloved fingers as scissors— and collecting them over one arm, pausing only to glance skyward.
PIDamien circled lower over the campfire's glow, his wingbeats kicking up dust and disturbing the flames. Tiny embers jumped out of the fire as he touched down near the group and looked around. "I've got water, if it's still a pressing issue for anyone, " he said. The girl, the velociraptor, and the two men travelling together were gone, leaving only the white dragon, the wounded soldier, and the man from the future. He looked at each of them, and at the flesh and bones and blood in the fire and on the ground, and he tried not to jump to conclusions. "Where did everybody go?" he asked.
edited 28th Oct '12 11:43:33 AM by DaeBrayk
Murphy Timmuns (Platypus Season)Razugual was suddenly shaken out of his dampening gloom by the sudden and unexpected appearance of... what?? He stared at the large bird-beast for a long time before finally asking, in supreme confoundment, "...excuse me, who... are you?" Something about the creature struck him as familiar. Upon a second examining, Razugual believe he recognized it as something from a mythology, though of which mythology, he was not sure. But it was more than that. Razugual was forgetting something. Water?
edited 29th Oct '12 4:38:52 PM by Ryuhza
Sanely InsaneWell, I hate to bump threads like this, but I'm wondering if this particular thread is still ongoing, considering that no one has posted in it since Monday. I'm asking since I really want to get back into this sort of thing, but Character Dig Site isn't my cup of tea, and I want to know if it's time to discuss this thread and then move on to another one or if this one is simply sleeping.
edited 2nd Nov '12 12:35:09 PM by Yomegami
"Hell if I know": My life philosophy.
Murphy Timmuns (Platypus Season)I'm still going to be posting in it so long as there are others. Dae Brayk might just be busy. m8e may just have nothing to add at the moment. I don't know what Aqueos is up to, but the thread may have slipped his mind. Psycho Frea X is taking a break after being kicked out of Dig Site.
Sano will be occupied with the balloon for a while. So yes, I have nothing to add at this point.
edited 2nd Nov '12 1:35:47 PM by m8e
Sorry, I can post soon. Just got too addicted to Pokemon all over again during my break.
PII was worried about too much back and forth between just two or three people, so I've been kind of hanging back to see if anyone else is still here. Yomegami, why not jump back in with a new character? If you're bored with this scenario, I think trying to bend it into a new adventure will be more fun and more of a writing challenge than following the unfortunate pattern of getting the characters all introduced, running out of things to say, and switching out for a new thread to do it all again. You could even jump cut to a new setting entirely, and we'll all have to pull out a new character to interact there, or connect this campfire to wherever you are, or both. The gryphon blinked and tilted his head slowly. Things were turning in Damien's mind in a way they had never turned before. While becoming a dodo had altered his senses well within the comprehension of his human imagination, being a gryphon had tuned him in to another level of the nonphysical world. It was like he had six senses of smell, all for different aspects of his environment, and he was not smelling with his nose, but with the way his skin tingled and the way the ground felt against his talons and paws. He could hear the dragon speaking and he could hear the fire crackle, and he could hear the silence around it well enough, but at the same time the fire sounded like jingle bells and sinister laughter. He could hear a hum in a hundred different frequencies from the wolves in the distance, every single one of them out of tune. The dragon took him a moment to discern— like the echo of something that had echoed until it was unrecognizable, and was echoing still very quietly in the dragon's head. Damien had stood in silence working all of this out with a peculiar expression on his face. When he finally answered, he said "I asked first, " because the question "who are you?" had suddenly become very complicated, and he was going to need a minute.
Sanely InsaneIf we're allowed to screw with the setting, then I think I can come up with something...not going to screw with it right now, though. I'll wait until everyone's back in one group. Morgan awoke to find herself sprawled over what appeared to be some sort of shelf, or at least what was once a shelf. A quick look around told her that this was a building, albeit one that she was not at all familiar with. She briefly wondered where she was at, but quickly concluded that she definitely wasn't home. All she remembered was running around in the woods, trying to find one of those artifacts the old hag wanted, and then darkness. Next thing she knew, she was sitting here now. She shook her head, and then slowly got up. She made sure she was still in one piece, and then took a closer look around. It was quite dark in here, though she didn't quite realize that at first since her eyes had long been adapted for such situations. However, there was a light of some sort towards the front of the building - judging by the patterns it was making, it was probably a fire of some sort. Perhaps there were people out there, who could tell her where she was? On the other hand, going right out there immediately was quite possibly a good way to get herself killed. Morgan looked human at first glance, but only at first glance - she also had unusually pale skin, claws that tipped every finger, a pair of fangs that jutted upwards from her lower jaw and were just barely visible above her lower lip, and most noticeably a pair of large, batlike wings that sprouted from her shoulders. She was a vampire - a cursed vampire, to be specific - and she knew how most people tended to react to vampires. It was quite possible that the people out there, if there were people out there, were paranoid and willing to shoot anything that moved. She debated the best plan of action for a few moments, and then slowly made her way through the building until she was just behind the door. She cautiously opened it up, and took a peak outside. If she didn't reveal herself right away, her chances of not scaring the crap out of anyone out there should go down quite a bit. She failed to consider the other potential outcome, that being secretive like this would just anyone else here paranoid. Sure enough, the light indeed did come from a fire, and there were indeed beings around it - an odd, glowing dragon and a griffin. No humans to speak of, or at least none that she noticed. ...Great. Well, no one was stopping her from leaving. If there was no one to talk to here, then perhaps they might be somewhere else in this place. She decided that leaving would probably be the best plan of action, and so as quietly as possible she exited the building, closing the door behind her, and slowly tiptoed her way past the fire, keeping an eye on the beings there the whole time.
"Hell if I know": My life philosophy.
My writing's gone a little sloppy lately. I'll try getting better again.
Murphy Timmuns (Platypus Season)Razugual lowered what may have been his eyelids. "Of course, of course. The indomitable rule of asking first. I almost forgot abou-" He stopped, his eyes narrowing further. "Wait a minute." He stared at the Gryphon for a moment longer before it hit him. He recognized the creature's voice. It was the same voice that belonged to the man who had left with Mud to go get water. The water. Razugual wasn't sure if he had caught the man's name but— oh, wait, no, now he remembered. "Damien? Is that...?" His eyes widened to their typically large size. "Oh no... Jesus, it was Mud wasn't it? Oh... that dumbass. I shouldn't have trusted his lying ass to keep to himself." Razugual dragged one set of claws across his head, then shut his eyes and let out a long "Auuuuuugh..." After a moment, he looked up and said, "I'm very sorry. Don't worry though— I can get him to change you back. Probably. Where is the guy?" Razugual briefly twisted his head towards Corey and said, "Not exactly." Will get to Morgan in my next post. Sorry, I just don't want Raz to suddenly move onto an entirely different tangent without a response. Too much happening too fast to write it well.
The magician had almost finished a long series of looping and clenching hand gestures performed before the large assortment of ropes he had assembled next to the boxes. When he was done, the collection of ropes had reassembled themselves in the form of some sort of elaborate pack-saddle, designed specifically to carry the boxes from the balloon. This done, Mud stepped back and looked directly up into the sky. "Hum. Now where could mister Damien possibly be? I'd expected him to have bestowed us with his returned presence by now. How very troubling." He tapped one gloved finger against his mouth and looked over to Sano, who was managing the large deflated balloon itself. "However, if we are to be without him, there are still two of us, and one of you." the magician smirked and crossed his arms. "Which is still plenty enough to handle the job. Only if worst comes to worst, of course. Of course. Of course."
edited 5th Nov '12 1:59:39 AM by Ryuhza
There were so many reasons not to waste time on the balloon. The damage on the envelope was too great, the last propane tank was empty, the other tanks had been dropped in the desert to save weight and now the magician had cut some of the ropes. Getting this balloon airworthy again would take some time, maybe too much, if it was possible at all. The sun will go up in a few hours and probably make it too hot to work on the balloon or maybe even to hot do anything at all. Just like the previous days when Sano and his companion was sitting in the balloon. Sano knows that they will come to that gas station, maybe this morning, maybe in a couple of days, but they will come. That is his real way out of here. He also knows that he might need the white box and he don't want to depart from the box labeled misc. So doing this seemingly meaningless task was still the best way to get these boxes to that station. The others wanted to take all of it to the station and humoring them meant that they would do it, and even if tiny there still was a chance that the balloon would fly again. Maybe Mud could do some magic. Sano was proud over the big pile he created. He hadn't done it right but he had done it alone and he had done it fast, really fast. The plan was to undo it soon anyway, so there was no need to do it right. Hearing Mud's comment Sano quickly returned an "Of course". He then goes straight to the misc box. Takes out a weird looking gun, point it straight up and shoots of a flare. "I think he will get the hint."
edited 4th Nov '12 2:37:50 AM by m8e
PI"Yes, of course it's me, " said Damien, and glanced back towards the gas station, distracted. "Do you smell violins?" he said. "I smell violins." He padded towards the unidentifiable sensory input. It was like the dragon and like the wolves, but new, and different. It was neither good nor evil that Damien could discern, but it smelled, indisputably, like the sound of violins. "I swear there's something over here—" Fsshhhht! He wheeled around to face the flare over the balloon crash site. "Aghh...right. Them." He clawed the ground indecisively. "But... but where are you?" he adressed this question more quietly, towards where someone or something magical was trying to remain unseen.
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