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The Endless Wall - Chapter 2
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Argonaut



Joined: 11 May 2006
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Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:55 pm    Post subject: The Endless Wall - Chapter 2  

Chapter 2

The road is soft and damp from the melted snow. It winds through hills covered
with the new growth of spring. My heavy heart grows lighter with each step I
take away from the Wall. There is a spring in my step, I swing my walking stick
merrily and whistle a poor imitation of the song of the birds.

The hills rise wild on either side, as the road leads me down into a valley. I
stop to look around and smile. From here no trace of the Wall can be seen. The
high noon sun shines reflected in shallow pools of standing water at the roadside.
I cannot resist the urge to make a splash. I jump.

Water surrounds me. It presses down upon me, forces itself into my lungs. I am
drowning. How long will it take? Will I see mother again? Father?

The pain is excruciating. Water pours from my mouth onto the dirt road as I cough
and retch. Finally I breath again, huge gasping breaths, hungry for air. I lie on
my back, slowly I regain my senses. I am on the road, beside the puddle, it's
surface is deceptively calm, but I am soaked to the bone and shivering.

Now I notice the wolf, it sits before me, studying me with a bemused expression.
The wolf is huge, perhaps the size of a horse. My shivering becomes shaking. I
reach for my small knife, ineffective as it seems against a beast so large.

"Don't worry, I won't eat you" It speaks, but it's mouth does not move. "I saved
you from drowning." It shakes some water from it's fur to illustrate the point.

"Th-th-thank you." I stammer.

"You should be more careful. Things may not go so well for you, now that you've
abandoned your place at the power station." The wolf winks at me.

I can only stare dumbfounded as It stands up and steps into the puddle, it's feet
firmly in the mud just inches below the surface. It dips it's muzzle into the
water and comes up with my walking stick clenched in it's teeth.

"It looks as though water has become your enemy." The wolf says, "Those who try
to defy the Wall will find more enemies than friends."

I reach out timidly for my walking stick and the wolf places in gently into my
hand. Struggling to my feet, I find the strength to speak.

"Are you a friend? How do you know all of this?"

"That stick is your friend." The wolf chuckles, "I am the ruler of this land, I
know everything about my subjects. Now you should go back to your place, if you
want to stay safe." It turns and bounds effortlessly up the hill.

"No!" I yell at the wolf's back, "I will never go back! I will leave this place
forever!"

It turns to me as it reaches the top of the hill, it seems to smile. "You're much
stronger than your father." It says, then disappears behind the hill.

My hands hurt from clenching the stick so tightly. I avoid the puddles as I walk
out of the shaded valley, and into the warm sunlight of the fields. They are much
larger than I could imagine. Vast emptiness stretches away on either side, broken
by the remains of rotting fences. I come upon farmhouses, empty as the fields,
ancient weathered wood, and dust covered furniture. These buildings are sad and
lonely, their depression threatens to overwhelm me. I hurry onward.

I come to a field full of growing things. Row upon row of tall plants line the
roadside. But they are thistles, spiny and hard. The road bends and I stumble
suddenly upon a trio of farmers. They sit around a small blanket, their tools
leaning against a nearby fence. In the center of the blanket is a pile of spiny
thistle buds. As I watch, each one takes a bud in turn and eats it, chewing the
jagged morsels without expression.

"Hello friends." I call out hopefully.

The three turn slowly to face me, their sunken eyes look gray and lifeless. They
blink slowly as they continue to chew, their features devoid of any expression.
Their gaze weighs uncomfortably on me. I feel no malice in their blank stares, but
still it is unsettling. I force myself to try and communicate with them.

"Why is it that so many fields lie fallow?"

The answer is so long in coming that I think perhaps they cannot speak. At length,
one ceases chewing as replies.

"Those fields belong to the beasts." His tone is as flat and emotionless as his
face. The trio returns to their meal, chewing slowly and staring into space. I
wonder briefly if I should ask them more, but I do not wish to face that unnerving
stare again. I tread gingerly around them but they take no further notice of my
presence.

It is nearly evening and I can see the town in the distance. I eat a small meal as
I walk, it feels good to be away from the thistles. The sky turns a beautiful
orange and I stop to stare at it a while. I look back down and see a bit of orange
in the road. It's like a piece of the sky fallen to the ground.

As I approach I realize it is a small mirror with a wooden handle. Standing over
the mirror I look down at the reflection of my face. Who could have left such a
thing in the middle of the road?

"Well, what are you waiting for? pick it up." Says my reflection.

"what?"

"You heard me. pick up the mirror." Again the voice comes from my reflection.

"Who are you?" I ask the mirror.

"Who do I look like? I'm you. Now pick this mirror up, it may come in handy
someday."

"I don't know." I take a step back warily.

"wai-" The voice cuts off the moment my face leaves the mirror.

I am intrigued despite myself. I carefully reach out and pick up the mirror
without looking directly into it. Facing it away from myself I wave my hand in
front of it to no effect. Finally I give in and look directly into the mirror.

"I don't know what this thing is but I'm glad you picked it up." My reflection
says.

"Mirror, do you know anything that will help me get past the Wall?" I ask.

"I'm not the mirror, I'm you. I only know what you know."

"Oh." I sigh in disappointment.

"Just put this thing in your bag. I have a feeling there'll be some use for it
yet."

I tuck the mirror away and continue down the road. By nightfall I will reach the
town.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks to everyone who gave suggestions for chapter two, even the ones I didn't use. The fact that people kept throwing out new ideas for this gave me the gumption to actually sit down a put another chapter together. Now let's see if we can't make chapter three.

As you can see I am about the reach the town. Now that you all have a better idea of the kind of stuff that happens in this world, let's see some suggestions for what I find in town. What kind of people are out at night? What are the buildings like? will we see some re-occurring themes? All new stuff? Invent me some characters and buildings and props. They can be fantastic or mundane, just throw them at me and I'll try to make use of them.
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LordoftheNight



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Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:41 pm    Post subject:  

That is one pretty cool mirror. As for suggestions, how about a group of one legged people. If you really want, give them giant feet, so they look like mushrooms when laying on their backs.

This is a completely orginal idea. Honest.
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Chinaren



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Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:46 pm    Post subject:  

Quote: "Those who try to defy the Wall will find more enemies than friends.

Cool line! Loaded with implication!

And I f5 Lordy, that's one cool mirror. Wish I had thought of that.

I think a plotline is beginning to emerge here.

The Wall. Oppressor. Looming over those below and casting a shadow over their lives.

The town will have Wall agents. Sinister types in long coats and wide hats, covering faces permenently in shadow, which no one has ever seen. Of course, all are identical.

The other citizens go about their life, looking over their shoulder. Scared of leaving the city because of the animals.

If only the mythical 'Breaker' was real, and could come and save them! But no one comes from out of town, and anyone who says they are must be a crazy, and destined for the Orange House.
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Oniko
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Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:16 am    Post subject:  

WOW! I love it!
What if you make it to the town before night fall, still dusk. And the people seem normal enough, until it starts to get dark; and the black covers the sky or (like "Silent Hill" or "Siren") a horriable siren goes off. Every one boards up their windows and door and runs inside the buildings and homes. They all drop whatever they are doing.
In the commotion someone notices you and pulls you inside their home, and tells you to be as quite as possiable and speak in whispers till morning.
Maybe the towns are staggered so that they are only a day's journey apart because of what ever happens at night.
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Geek_girl72
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Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:29 am    Post subject:  

There is something really grabbibg about this. How about all the people seem normal at a distance but when you get close tey have teeth marks all over them? This could make him wonder baout the big wolf he's just seen and if he saved him out of benevolence or for some other purpose.

The line about water being his enemy was cool. The idea of the world itself hating you is truly unerving. Maybe when he gets to the town and as he continues his quest, other elements turn against him to?

Quote: This is a completely orginal idea. Honest.

Lol, is there a frustrated magician involved?
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Masterweaver
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Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 9:02 am    Post subject:  

Ooh! Ooh! I know!

A man with a split personality, on of whom insists that they are all in a web forum (nobody but him knows what that is, to his surprise), and the other of whom only speaks Kikachickrrrrrrrck, or the language of the butterflies, though he understands many more.

Niether knows about the other, as they both are convinced they control their body all the time (and even have seperate memories of doing such).

Or there could just be a giant chicken.
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Geek_girl72
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Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:02 am    Post subject:  

Masterweaver: You reallylike those giant chickens, dont you?

Maybe the farmers have something to do with the town? Maybe everyone there eats thistles? In any case you should have another wolf appearance, there's a lot of possibilities for him.
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Argonaut
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Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:19 am    Post subject:  

well it looks like the ideas I'm getting now are even more random than last time :) so much for the idea that more chapters will make the suggestions more cohesive haha.

let's see what I can say about the suggestions so far.

LordoftheNight:
I'm not sure what those one-legged people are from. Nor am I certain they would look like mushrooms when lying on their backs, but Geek Girl seems to know what you are referring to.

Chinaren:
Yes the Wall is a symbol of oppression definitely, but considering the style of this place I think "agents of the Wall" would be far to overt. Since I was almost killed by a puddle I should think the dangers of the town should be at least as subtle.

The "Breaker" is a cool idea if I can make it less fantasy-adventure seeming. And the orange house, an insane asylum, could be pretty sweet.

Oniko:
A sudden change coming at nightfall sounds very cool, maybe someone will suggest a character for the person how might take me into their house :)

Also let me clarify; there is only one town, the fields, the lake, and some wilderness areas inside the Wall. The town is fairly large and there may be other buildings away from town like the power station where I lived. Those are the boundaries, everything inside of these locations is unknown to me until you suggest it :)

Geek Girl:
Teeth marks eh? Thats... unsettling. I suppose other inanimate things could turn against him, if people suggest them :)

I'm glad someone suggested another wolf appearence, but more thistle eaters might get boring. Those guys were too slow and zombie-like for real character interaction.

Masterweaver:
References to modern things like web forums would be out of place. A split personality character is plausible but may cause a lot of confusion. Giant chickens are always popular :)

Zephyr:
Interesting that you think of the main character as a girl, I had been trying to keep it undefined, I wonder what everyone else thinks.

Well the miniature village is certainly surreal, but "blood spirits", stealing bodies, hunting me down? That doesn't seem to have the right feel.

Keep those suggestions coming everyone. I have the feeling the next chapter may come together faster than the last, if not more coherent. :)
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LordoftheNight
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Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:36 am    Post subject:  

C.S. Lewis - The Chronicles of Narnia. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. One of the islands they stop off on is inhabited by one legged people with giant feet.

And a wizard.
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Geek_girl72
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Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 4:34 pm    Post subject:  

Yeah, what did they call themselves, Monopuds? anyway that's off topic.

I was looking at the idea of a change coming at night and had a thought, what if the wolf changes shape at night? He could be human, or something else. Would that fit?

Oh, and as for the gender thing, I thought the main character was boy, but I hadn't thought about much, it could be either.
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Oniko
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Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:40 pm    Post subject:  

:D ha ha ha Giant Chickens! just like Chocobos. Wild on the plains!
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Phang
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Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 9:43 am    Post subject:  

Hmm...what about people, who just so happen to be born with wings, and gradually develop bird's feet and so on as they get older...until they end up as giant birds?

Of course, they may just have to be birds of prey... :-D
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Masterweaver
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Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 1:49 pm    Post subject:  

The chickens are more of a signiture really, but you seem to be takeing it seriously!

On the split personality guy, replace web forum with book. I still want sombody who speaks at least a dialect of Butterfly.
What? You didn't know there was more then one dialect?

P.S. Phang that Idea of yours sounds like harpies...
P.P.S. They were originally Duffledrums (a tribe of dwarf) and the wizard transformed them into monopods (Lewis took this from an already exsisting myth) but eventually called themselves Dufflepods.
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Phang
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Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 1:17 am    Post subject:  

Masterweaver wrote: P.S. Phang that Idea of yours sounds like harpies...

Aye, but these are cooler.
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Masterweaver
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Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 1:19 pm    Post subject:  

How so?
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Phang
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Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 8:32 am    Post subject:  

Masterweaver wrote: How so?

Because these people aren't just half human, half bird. They go from one to the other gradually throughout life.

A seemingly-normal person could, for example, be hiding a beak which could peck you in the back...
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Geek_girl72
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Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:12 pm    Post subject:  

(Thwack) Yay! I finally found bob!
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Masterweaver
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Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 6:45 pm    Post subject:  

Ape dog. Hmmm...
Is an apedog going to be in this story?
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Argonaut
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Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:43 pm    Post subject:  

let's see what's new...

Geek Girl:
The Wolf turning human at night? A possibility, but then I'll need to determine what gender it is :) Still It all depends on what else happens at night. Gotta make these suggestions all fit together.

Oniko:
Chocobos... I can't decide if a town full of people who ride giant chickens is surreal or silly :)

Phang:
Bird people, interesting, but if they can fly they can go over the wall too easy.

MasterWeaver:
There will of course, be no ape dogs appearing in this story :)


This story has definitely taken over my head, but I think I need some more blocks to build the next chapter still. So keep giving me your ideas. Make them subtle, make them strange, and make them something I wouldn't think of myself :)
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Geek_girl72
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Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:43 pm    Post subject:  

Maybe other things start talking to him that shouldn't be able to?
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Masterweaver
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Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:40 am    Post subject:  

SPLIT PERSONALITY!
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Phang
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Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:11 pm    Post subject:  

Argonaut wrote: Phang:
Bird people, interesting, but if they can fly they can go over the wall too easy.

Maybe there's a law saying they have to have their wings clipped...oppression! :-o
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Argonaut
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Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:30 pm    Post subject:  

I'm liking a lot of the suggestions so far, but I notice no one has really suggested any specific buildings I might find, or characters I might meet. I'd also like to ask for little details, not every suggestion has to be huge and amazing :)

By the way Masterweaver, repeating yourself in all caps is a sure way to get your suggestion ignored.
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Chinaren
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Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:17 pm    Post subject:  

Well, I suggested the 'Orange House'. :(

How about madly shaped houses? Tall thin and crooked. Or short and round. Ones leaning at odd angles, or bending around their neigbor.

Oh oh. I have just thought of a new SGame idea! :shock:

...ah, carrying on...

A food shop. Selling delicious giant beetles. I like the brown ones best!

A work house, where people do strange things for apparently no reason and get paid for it. (I will leave you to think of what).

Uhh... I am out for the moment. Will return if I think of anything else.
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Masterweaver
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Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:47 pm    Post subject:  

Has anybody played avernum? There are some cute giant talking spiders that could make a cameo here...

Also I saw a fire-breathing butterfly. It's true!
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Geek_girl72
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Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:03 pm    Post subject:  

Hmmm. for another character, how about he meets someone who hates the wolf and thinks he's evil? Or vice versa?
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Masterweaver
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Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:04 pm    Post subject:  

Is it a he? I thought i was a she.

Ah well.
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Geek_girl72
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Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:38 am    Post subject:  

Actually, I don't think Argo has disclossed the gender of the hero anywhere, I just said 'him' to avoid saying 'it'
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Masterweaver
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Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:10 pm    Post subject:  

Thinking worms!

And this is where the hero meets the split personality guy!

*Ducks various objects*
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Chinaren
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Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:25 pm    Post subject:  

Zephyr wrote: ooooh... I just had an idea that HAS to go in here... screaming raindrops... they yell in terror as they fall to the earth!

Or maybe they shout at our hero and try to hit him/her. (I thought of the hero as a 'him' myself, but that could just be because in times like this I default to the author's gender).
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Masterweaver
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Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:05 pm    Post subject:  

Centaurian slug! Giant crabs! Sea lizards! Grass-cow hybrids! talking lightning bolts! A queen of spades!

I really can't decide.
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LordoftheNight
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Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:40 pm    Post subject:  

chinaren wrote: Zephyr wrote: ooooh... I just had an idea that HAS to go in here... screaming raindrops... they yell in terror as they fall to the earth!

Or maybe they shout at our hero and try to hit him/her. (I thought of the hero as a 'him' myself, but that could just be because in times like this I default to the author's gender).

He seemed to be male to me as well. It never occured to me otherwise, until someone (Geek_girl maybe?) mentioned them as feminine.
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Masterweaver
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Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:27 pm    Post subject:  

I think the only way there would be screaming percipitation would be if it's sleet, but hey...
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Oniko
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Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 3:32 pm    Post subject:  

Something that might be interesting ~ what if the ground, Earth, becomes his enemy, like Water has become. The path under his feet could move, subtly an unnoticeably, so that he does not ever make it to his destination. He could start going in circles or deeper into the center of the compound. Or it could attack him out right with earthquakes and landslides.
(Funny. . .I picture the main character as a young man as well).

As for the people that our main character meets. . . if you use my suggestion of someone saving him at night. . . I keep thinking of a guy either the same age or a year or two younger that saves the main character. And this new character has also been thinking of escaping the wall for a long time. When they meet it might be a good opportunity to introduce a “side-kick”.

There is something different about this new guy, tall, thin, awkward, but intelligent. He is an orphan and, even in a small way, has an understanding about the workings of this place ~ and maybe because of this he is an outcast among the village of people who live their life in quite unquestioning, complacence. I think Jake is a good name. :)
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Masterweaver
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Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 3:34 pm    Post subject:  

And a split personality!

Yes I am obsessed.
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