Leafiara (prime)/Tales/Return to Form

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Original Story: Eoantos 29, 5119

Most of the crowd dispersed for the night, another day of practice complete, but a lone giantman approached his trainer. "Got ta admit, Miss Leafiara," he said, "the way ye dress I was kinda skeptical of training wit' ye... was askin', is this really the lass who went 'n won the [[::Ta'Vaalor|elves]]' [[::Festival_of_the_Fallen_2017|combat tournament]] for us two years ago? But I kin see it now. The way ye move, the way ye speak."

Leafi grinned. But your instincts were right, actually, until three days ago... "Skill isn't everything. Compared to then, my talent's grown, my blades are sharper, my armor's tougher, and I'd thought through my strategies more... and yet this year, I couldn't see the trees for the forest."

"Er--ye mean the forest for the trees?"

"Nope. Like a half-[[::Sylvankind|sylvan]] would misspeak on forests?" She winked and the giant chuckled. "I'm saying I would've lost to the Leafi of 5117 because she had something more important than any of that: determination and focus. Sometimes the fire is stronger when you're taking the first and toughest steps. So maybe keep that chip on your shoulder, huh?"

"In any case... tournament titles aside, I'm no 'champion of the fallen.'" Leafiara shrugged. "Sure, I fight in part to avenge."

She pressed against her shimmering trinket, briefly showing off a circlet with a [[::Rysus|rook-etched]] bleakstone centerpiece, Gracie's purple hibiscus, [[::Cyph Kestrel|Cyph]] and Drandea's necklace, [[::Mynalari Anodheles|Mynalari]]'s gown, and [[::Reannah Kestrel|Reannah]]'s anklet, before pressing the trinket again to reveal her normal attire--shifting every aspect of her clothing save the constant of her militia badge.

"...but if I want to champion anything, it's the living." Leafiara swept her hand out toward the rest of the town, beyond the training courtyard. "And this is the liveliest place I know."

The giant grinned, his eyes sparkling, and he bowed before heading away to rest.

She's in the eyes of all these recruits and they’re reviving her in me too... that Leafi of 5117. She glanced in the direction of the outpost and the portal to the Bleaklands. Welcome back--just in time.