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10/21/2001 1:53 PM

Taranis soared precisely one mile above Palanthas, her enormous condor wings worked evenly at her sides as she tried to figure out exactly where she was. She did not recognise anything she saw. "Where am I?" she wondered aloud. "How did I get here?" She hovered, looking down at the city. "And how in blazes am I going to get out of here?" She was a young Avatar- a powerful magical being that looked like a woman with the wings of a bird of prey. Her wings were as ebony-black as her hair, and her slitted green eyes harbored an unearthly, dragonish glow. Her black trenchcoat fluttered in the updraft as she looked around for a place to land. Her black coat against yher pallid skin made her exceedingly visible to anyone who happened to look up- especially because she was rapidlky descending to earth. She wondered if here, the people knew about angels. Would they think SHE was one? "Yeah right," she muttered as she grabbed hold of a spire sticking up from a nearby tower. "As if I was one." Reflexively, she reached for her silver longsword which was strapped across her back. The blade glowed faintly blue with her own magical essence.
"Now..." she said, looking around, " I had better get down from here. I can only hope no one sees me." She leaped from the tower and glided down, folding in her wings as her feet touched the hard-packed road. She shut her eyes and willed her wings to vanish- and like always, they did. She sheathed her sword and stared at her strange surroundings. One hand slid into her left coat pocket, bum,ping against the enchanted jewels she kept there. Black opal, ruby, emerald, azurite, moonstone and amber- ranging from as large as her fist (the ruby) to the size of a single gold coin (the amber). Her pouches of steel, copper, gold and silver coins hung from around her waist. She fished around in her pocket until she found what she was looking for- her dark glasses. She put these on, fitting them neatlybehind her pointed ears. Better if people didn't see her eyes- which stayed slitted no matter what form she took. She smiled to herself, exposing her overlong, gleaming canines. Time to meet the locals.
As she started along the street, she felt the flutter of a hand in her pocket. Her own hand grabbed the strage one and she whirled around. "That's mine, you little thief..."

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