RPG #16 - Barteris

Discussion in 'RPG # 16 - Barteris' started by Nienor, May 11, 2006.

  1. Nizati

    Nizati ShadowDagger

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    Wow…. After the whole event between Kabora, Raven, the Elven Prince, Fen couldn’t help but bite her cheek to hold back the giggles. The look on the Odnalro’s face was priceless! Why would the elves stop Raven from loving anyone she wanted anyways? And….. Fen didn’t notice it until now, but there seems to be more then one kind of elf… Kabora wasn’t a forest elf so they didn’t like him…. How silly, really. Fen would think that, if anyone, Elves would dislike humans more then they would dislike a different kind of elf. Oh well. It was soon over, and Fen went back to gabbing to anyone who would listen about her dreams (It seemed nice that someone cared about them, and didn’t think her crazy for having such strange and sometimes frightening dreams).

    As afternoon started to come, Fen finished up her stories, and started to notice some changes around her. For one, the trees were becoming bigger and bigger with their top branches touching each other, covering the entire floor in a light shadow. The elves too, seemed to be changing: they seemed more serious and cautious, and all of them had their bows and arrows at hand and ready. Quite a few times, Sed had stopped to use his flute/wind relic to send musical messages to other elven scouts. And Fen, after hearing the tune a few times, was starting to be able to pick up the responses from the others as a tiny breeze floated by her ears.

    At one point, the group found a clearing and decided to stop and have a break. Fen dashed for the spot and reached her arms out for that light. “Sun!! There you are!!!” Fen said as the rest took their time to reach the spot and sit and relax. The elves warned that the forest was only going to get darker, so Fen decided to enjoy this as much as possible.… Then, as the others started to sit, Fen saw something odd happen… a little black line came across… “Ummm… someone?? What’s… what’s happening to the sun???”

    Cambei was the one who came first, and looked up as that sliver slid across the sun, making it darker and darker. “It’s an eclipse Fen, don’t worry, these things will be over in a few seconds, and are actually quite pretty.” Fen nodded as the shadow slid over the sun, only leaving a thin ring left. But, seconds started to slip into minutes and the darkness did not just leave.

    “Cambei? Is… is that supposed to happen?”

    “Well… usually… no….”

    “Please, tell me the sun will be back! I don’t want it to stay like that!”

    But, no one said anything, other then giving Fen the odd hug, to show that even if the sun left forever, they would still be there. But… why did it leave in the first place! And, why wasn’t it back yet!!!!?!?!? Just as tears started to come to Fen’s eyes as she gave up hope in seeing it again… it was what? Almost half an hour now? Ok, maybe less, but Fen couldn’t tell, it was just an unnaturally time and that’s what scared her. But, right in the middle of her sobbing, the black cover started to slide away, and the sun came out once again. Everyone gave out a sigh of relief, and Fen was the first to speak. “Well, that was weird.” She said, trying to lighten the mood that was brought on by the event.


    Soon, after a longer break so Fen could enjoy the light the elf prince had stopped the band and addressed the group. “Newcomers, I ask you go as silent as possible for the rest of the journey. The heart of the forest is filled with many dangers. Even our most skilled scouts don’t travel these parts alone. But, as long as we stay on the path we have set, there should not be any trouble.” Fen slowly shifted over to the toughest and least scared person: Fugg, at the idea of danger, and tucked herself between his long, red jacket and his giant leg. Fugg raised an eyebrow at first, but unsurprisingly, did not speak and even after a few minutes walk, rested a strong hand on Fen’s shoulder.

    As they went on further into the forest, the trees became so large, that the trunks seemed about the same width as a normal house, and up…. Well, they just when up and up forever into the darkness of their own branches which now choked up most of the light, making about as dark as night itself… Fen remembered the goblins and the gross, gross spiders and almost held her breath the entire time while clutching Fugg’s waist.

    Someone Fen had no idea whether it was an elf or one of her friends, had noted that the sun was now low in the sky. How could they tell? Fen had no idea… it just looked like the same sort of eternal darkness to her.

    Now, almost out of no where, they came up to something a bit different: to Fen, it looked like a wall that was half vines, half sharp, killer, and probably poisonous knives. The natural wall of ropes and blades seemed to stretch on forever to the left and right. And although there was a top, it seemed very… very… very high up… Fen couldn’t imagine the most nimble of squirrels being to climb that wall without being stabbed to death, let alone the entire band of elves and the group. “Oh… We’re lost, aren’t we?” Fen said from under Fugg’s jacket.

    How the heck were they supposed to get out of this darkness now???
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2006
  2. Smurf

    Smurf Finrod Felagund

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    "Sedril, isn’t it?” Was the reply “For starters, I am Rapture. Raven is the other girl.” Sedril realised his mistake and nodded in understanding and apologized silently “You’re certainly welcome to come with us – I’m not about to stop you. You mentioned the elven escort. Why won’t they be coming immediately?”

    Sedril shrugged, the real answer was rather long and would take forever to explain. And his orders were complicated by the elven prince that led the company. He wondered what was so important that the prince himself would come too. He never really understood the boy. “I’m sure they have their reasons. They don’t always explain themselves, you’ll find.” Rapture nodded, apparently satisfied with the explanation. He felt her will stretching out to read him, “So she uses telepathy, clever.” Sedril noticed that they needed to get to the clearing soon for the others would be arriving. “Shall we go?” Rapture nodded again and took point. The three moved off, killing the off the odd spider or goblin who got too close.

    “You’re pretty handy with those katanas,” Rapture spoke up.

    Sedril was not really interested in small talk. He tended to stick to his thoughts and what was important at the time. He said in a fleeting manner “You’re not half bad with that flail and gun,” he noticed her glancing at him, she seemed to be sussing him out studiously. He let her, it wasn't doing any harm.

    They reached the clearing and set down to wait for the others. There were still some sounds of a faint struggle, but the general fighting had died down. Rapture and Fen were relaxing around the place and Sedril decided to keep his distance. He began thinking about the past events of the day, the fight with the goblins and creatures. He was worried that there was a massing of these creatures in the forest, usually they would stick to the outlying edges of the forest. But to be coming deeper into it... It seemed to Sedril that this was a cause of the group - especially that giant of a man. Maybe the reason for the escort was to get them quickly and safely out of the forest to prevent more damage to them and the Elves. No matter - he thought - the reason would reveal itself in due time.

    Sedril realised that he had dosed off into a thought lapse and woke up abruptly. The rest of the group had joined them and they were beginning to drink and eat. He noticed that the military man - Mason - had taken an injury to the arm. It looked nasty but treatable nonetheless. He decided to edge closer to the group, yet stay out of the conversations. They seemed to work well as a group – if with a little tension at times. Sedril wondered what brought them all together, these people of different races and backgrounds.

    Sedril realised that he was dosing into the thought lapse again and was brought back out of it by a sudden tension in the group. It came from Raven who jumped up with a yell. Sedril came back to full consciousness and saw that it was typical of the Elves. He thought - So they had come, about time too. Suddenly the clearing was greeted by the escort who came bursting in. Sedril winced at the action and thought that this was not a good start to friendly relations between them and the group. Why did the prince have to be so rash all the time? There was some tension and finally a voice came booming from the Elvish lines. Sedril recognised it as Prince Odnalro.

    “Release my sister…NOW!!” Sedril was confused by this, who could possibly be his sister? He knew that all of the royal children were kept at the city in the court. However, there was one instance ... Raven rushed forward saying
    “Gwador!! Al!! They are my friends my brother! They saved me after I ran away!" Sedril suddenly thought - ok there we go then, Raven is the sister. This was news to Sedril and certainly gave him the conclusive reason to why there was an escort to the group. He should have known. The mood changed from alarm and tension to surprise and more relaxed. Then the Prince spoke again.
    "May we join your camp for the night? It is far to dark to make the journey home.”
    Rapture was the one to pierce the moment “So, who wants to explain how you all know each other and why you presumed we were keeping Raven here as a prisoner?” Rapture inquired, but the prince didn’t finish his answer, Fen had hit him in the back of his head with an acorn and then fled to the forest, Raven ran behind her practically begging her to stop and then reached the girl; Sedril raised an eyebrow at this and wondered how the young Prince would react. Fen seemed confused to the level of tears at this revelation.

    They continued the discussion about family ties and Sedril decided to ignore it – retreating instead to his own thoughts. So she was the foster child. All the elven court knew about the kings adopted daughter that he loved as his own, and how she suddenly ran off one day. Although, Sedril had joined the elves months after this had happened. Yet at times he still heard an elf singing a song of morning for the lost daughter of the king.

    “Is that the truth Raven?"

    "Yes, every word of it!" She answered.

    The Prince stepped forward saying “She left no note or had left word with anyone as to her leaving. I had honestly believed that who ever had left her in the state she was found in had found her and taken her away from us! I swore on the morning we found her missing that I would not rest until I discovered what had become of her. When I heard her name being spoken and the sound of her voice among your group I had immediately thought that she was your captive"

    "How could you NOT know what your sister looked like? Just how long were you gone Raven?"

    “A little over two years! I changed my appearance some so that no one could recognize me. This odd patch of hair is what is left of my original hair color along with the style of clothing he was use to me wearing!" She explained.

    Then Odnarlo walked towards Fen and spoke to her: “I do hope that you can for give me for wishing to steal you big sister away from you little one! It looks as if these woods have just received a second Princess as well now. My name is Odnalro Prince of the Great Forest" Sedril noticed the familiar generosity from the Prince, he noted that at times he was a bit rash but he certainly had a positive streak in him. He continued

    "Please forgive me for blaming you for a crime that you never committed! I would like you all to join us in our Kingdom as a token of my apology. You all will be welcomed as heroes for saving the life of Princess Raven!"

    Fugg seemed amused by this and stepped out of the shadows "Heroes you say! What makes you think we're worthy of that title?" Odnalro looked at Fugg as if trying to recognize where and when he had seen the giant; “I’m more than positive that you all have earned the right to that title after what you had done the other day....and in the past"

    Sedril kept his distance as he would speak with his Prince later. For now he left the group to understand the turmoil that was presented.

    -----

    It was a little while after the events of the Prince's arrival and Sedril was relaxing under a tree away from the group. One by one the group fell asleep, but Sedril decided to stay awake and see if he could catch the Prince before he too entered the slumber. The Prince was wandering around and told an Elf to set up a watch timetable. Sedril managed to catch his eye as he turned his way. The Prince understood the gesture and made his way over. Sedril stood and greeted the Prince. They decided to converse in Elvish

    "Mae govannen my Prince, I trust that you are well?"
    "Suilad Sedril, yes everything is well."
    "I had hoped that the meeting would be less hostile, but it has turned out reasonably well."
    "No matter, we will be in the city soon and that's what's important at the moment. Father requested that we move quickly, he seems to becoming more erratic as the days go by. He keeps talking of danger and that we are all in danger somehow."
    "I have seen this first hand, earlier in the day we encountered a massive of Goblins and other nefariou creatures."
    "In the forest itself? Then if this is true, times are certainly changing. I sense a dark cloud coming to the land."
    "I sense it too, it worries me that this forest could come under jeopardy. But now I must bed down for the night."
    "Losto mae Sedril, till the morning."

    -----

    It was dawn and the now enlarged group with the addition of the Elves set off through the forest. They were heading straight for the great city itself and began at a more than medium pace. Sedril knew the urgency that they needed to be at the city and focussed on the walk. He never looked at the trees when walking through the forest, he had been living here for long enough that it just became the scene. But today he saw himself looking hard at the ancient oaks and elms. They seemed somewhat different today, almost a strained feeling which worried him still that even the trees seemed to be noticing the change in the air.

    The group continued on walking and a while through the trek Fen spoke up in her ever-cheerful disposition. She started to talk about her dreams, Sedril was always intrigued by the Elven fascination in dreams. Yet these dreams seemed to be of particular interest to him. She talked of dreams where she was in a Laboratory and encounters with Mercs, who he had only heard of as they had never had dealings with the forest while he had been there. Then there was her talk of these “strange people that glowed” and their beautiful cities and lights. “I wonder how much she actually knows,” he thought to himself. It was as if she was viewing their history as she spoke too of their times of tribulation and warring. And most interesting of all to Sedril was her description of “The Dark Man” and his dark deeds. “Could he be…”, he nearly ran into a tree. His thoughts were beginning to overwhelm him. Then finally she spoke of a girl who lived in a river that flowed through everything. “I wonder about this girl, how much of this can we take for real? I’ll have to tell the king about this.”

    They continued on walking and the Prince signalled that they should stop in a clearing that they had entered for a rest. Fen was delighted as the area allowed some clear sky to be seen and to Fen’s delight it revealed the sun fully. She quickly rushed into the clearing and exclaimed about it. The group followed and the Prince warned that the forest would get darker as they went deeper into it. But then a look of bemusement came across Fen’s face, Sedril looked up at the sun – where she was looking – and saw that a solar eclipse was taking place. It was not unusual for this to occur but the timing felt a bit out and...where was the moon. Sedril couldn't see any sign of a moon, only a dark shadow. Sedril muttered to himself “Not good” and exchanged worrying looks with the Prince. He said to the Prince

    “Minya Tengwë”
     
  3. LadyRaven

    LadyRaven Sanzo's girl

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    The Deeper they all traveled into the forest the older and thicker it became. The tree tops had grown so thick that the sun was blocked and it was nearly as dark as night. A few of the Elves could be heard talking about how the Spiders would come and snatch unexpected travelers and take them away to be food for their queen, or how the goblins would rather kill you as soon as look at you. No one could really tell if they were speaking in jest at the expense to those who have never traveled this deep into the Great woods or not. Then everyone was drawn to a halt when the came upon what looked like an unending wall of dagger length thorns.

    Walking up to the wall, Raven new that they were starting to become annoyed with the path being blocked. Looking around at the rest of her friends, she took in the tired and concerned looks about their faces before she turned to her brother. By the looks of things he had no intention of handling the situation and was leaving it up to her, “By the will of the ancients...let me remember how this goes again” she thought to herself. Raising her arms high above her head Raven began chanting something in Elvish. Everyone watched her closely, at first that were confused at what she was saying but then they were amazed as the vines started to unwrap and began to pull themselves open. With in seconds hidden passage way was was being revealed in front of there very eyes. Once Raven finally stopped chanting and lowered her arms.

    “Its is done” Raven replied sounding tired “ Although it would have been easier if you would have simply taken us to the OTHER entrance...Brother! She replied almost bitterly.

    The Prince just looked at the others and not Raven as he spoke to her “Simple yes! But I needed to be cretin that you were in truth who you say you are!”

    Ravens blood began to boil “You pompous ass....I cant be leave you!” she practically spat back at him. Turning on her heals Raven looked at the rest of her friends “ Come, You all are welcome to rest here for as long as we need! Our mounts will be well cared for and our belongings will be taken to our rooms for us. But first we must meet with my father...The King and the one True ruler of these woods!” that last bit Raven spoke in spite of her brother the Prince.

    With a wave of her arm, Raven led her friends inside of the barricade where the look of the forest changed completely. From near deadly and almost as black as night it instantly became a one of the most beautiful and alluring sights that any has had the honor of beholding. The sun light looked almost like diamonds as it reflected off of the leaves in the ancient trees. Walkways were seen going from tree to tree looking as if one magic was the only thing keeping them from falling. The grass was lush and green underneath their feet giving them the feeling as if they were walking upon the clouds in the sky. And in front of them was a tree that was the largest that any had even seen, it looked as if it was older than the world itself.

    “This is the tree of the Ancients! It is the Oldest living tree known to inhabit this world” Raven explained. She knew that she would be flooded with even more questions from Fen and a few of the others..But right at that moment. Raven was only happy to being the only place that she has even known as home.
     
  4. Wolf star *

    Wolf star * I walk alone.

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    The leather reins clutched tightly in his hand, Mason walked along quietly beside Cambei quietly after seeing the solar- eclipse. The path would only allow two to walk abreast with the vegetation crowing around them.

    Mason had a bad feeling in the bit of his stomach. Some thing wasn’t quite right about some thing; he couldn’t place his finger on it. He kept his eyes on the path and watched for any sign of danger. Over and over and over he tried to think what was different but the task grew only more difficult. But always he went back over events, and now, he felt that he was getting close the thought only vanished from his mind.

    Cambei nudged him from his thoughts with a friendly tap on his arm, “Were finely here.”

    Mason looked up and noticed Raven standing at the head of the line, looking over a massive and unfriendly looking barrier. He couldn’t here what she was saying but he could see she was chanting something and making gestures with her hands and arms.

    Mason didn’t know any elfin language so he felt that if he was close enough to here, he wouldn’t understand any way. He watched with narrow eyes as the barricade moved as if to her command. He stood with his hands to his side and waited for the precession to move once more.

    As Mason walked though the entrance he took every thing in. not for its beauty but for its defenses and week points. Trying to judge for himself what kind of survivability rate he would find if things went bad. From what he witnessed so far it wasn’t good, but he thought to himself, when be it ever good. He jugged it to be a one percent survival rate if he needed to be out quickly and for some strange reason he smiled to himself. He had always liked those odds more because he had survived more then one encounter in the past were sick and twisted Barons had always thought that they were virtually impregnable and could deal with any situation.

    Mason thought about a small island village that he had visited in the days he had run with his Father selling low grade ammo to the costal islands. The self proclaimed Baron was one sick individual with having fathered most of the children on the island through incest and coupling with his own children.

    Needles to say there were more than a few deformed children from inbreeding, living in and about there protected compound. Protected it was with old black powder cannons forged in there own smithy. Every twenty foot high rock wall was covered with at lest a good dozen cannons that lobbed five pound steel balls a quarter mile and others they would load with broken glass and pieces of scrap metal that would travel a lot further depending there own weight.

    The Baron invited the traders in with open arms until the door closed. They wanted the powder for there cannons but didn’t feel the need to pay for it.

    Mason smiled as he thought about the past and how ruthless his Father was. He was a hard ass and one cold hearted man but Mason knew he had to be with dealing with greedy customers. Roman told Mason as they entered, that they had no chance in hell, fighting down the doors with the armored vehicle. There was only one week spot in there defenses he told Mason and it was behind there lines Most Barons become too comfortable with there own security and think there untouchable.

    Mason had learned and learned quickly from his father about exploiting peoples weaknesses, he had too if he were every to survive.

    After the fighting started it was over quicker then Mason would have thought possible but with there fixed cannons only pointed away from the center of there own compound they only had to deal with crude home made single shot weapons that would fire when they felt like it. After the entire killing had stopped, Mason could remember throwing up every thing he ate, for a few days when ever he smelled cooked meat.

    They had killed every one. Masons father told him that a dead enemy would seek no revenge and it would stand as warning to others as well, to never cross a trader who comes in peace.

    Mason was stopped and pulled out of his thought when he entered the Elvin city. Hunters approached him and looked over the many weapons he had on his belt and chest. They smiled and showed him there bows and finely made arrows.

    One hunter showed Mason he could speak his language from talking with travelers who come to the forest edge. He Explained that his name was Shar,quin and puffed his chest out proudly.

    “That is one very fine looking Bow,” Mason said sincerely.

    “Would you like to see it?” Said Shar,quin wile removing it from his shoulder.

    Mason nodded to him and accepted the finely crafted weapon. It had perfect balance and a smooth pull back. Mason thanked him for allowing him to examine the bow and telling Shar,quin how beautiful and deadly it was.

    Shar,quin smiled and spoke to Mason as if he was a long time friend, “If you would like perhaps you could join me for a hunt later.”

    “That would be greet, It would be my honor to hunt with you,” Mason handed back the bow.

    Shar,quin strung the bow around his shoulder once again,” I shale bring my spare bow for you to use. It was built for my size but for one hunt I believe it should fit you nicely.”

    Mason Believed it would,for the elf was almost as deep in the chest as him, “thank you, it will be my honor to use your bow.”
    Shar,quin smiled and waved bye towards Mason as he scurried off.
     
  5. Smurf

    Smurf Finrod Felagund

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    Sedril watched as the Elven 'Princess' hailed the viney gate to open before them. Much to her annoyance that Odnalro hadn't used the other - less complex entrance to the city. Within minutes they had left the dingy murkiness of the deep forest and were in the relative calm of the great Elven City. The beauty of which was always astonishing to Sedril even though he had seen it a huge number of times. The group too were surprised at its beauty, he saw mason wander off and engage in conversation with a local hunter. However much Sedril wanted to stay and admire the city he needed to be off. He faced the group and in a general manner said

    "It has been wonderful to make all of your acquaintences but alas I must depart your company. I trust that Prince Odnalro will make arrangements for your accomodations."

    With those words Sedril was off, he gathered his cloak around him and walked swiftly off into the city. He needed to meet with the King in counsel, the first sign had appeared which would mean grave news indeed.
     
  6. LadyRaven

    LadyRaven Sanzo's girl

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    It was well was almost dawn now and Raven was still awake and sitting out in the small garden thatwas not that far from her old bedroom. Raven was dressed in a simple Elven night dress with ansilken cape draped around her. She was almost afraid that if she went to bed that she would wake up far from this wondering if this had all been a dream. There were many things that she needed to think over, including the insodent between Kabora and her brother and herself. Did she truly mean what she said about him? After all these years since "his" death...was she truly inlove once again "Inpossible..." she spoke softly to herself " I hardly know him! Its probly just gratification for him saving my life like he did" she tried to speak reasion back into herself.

    "Raven...Your up early" a fimilure voice suddenly called out to her..

    Looking back She saw kabora standing at the end of the garden... she felt confused her head was beginning to spin. "I'm Sorry" was all she could get out as she turned andheaded quickly out of the garden.
     
  7. Wolf star *

    Wolf star * I walk alone.

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    Mason had found him self a place to sleep and store his gear. He truly didn’t expect to find such splendid condition considering the elves nature of, not welcoming outsiders into there forest. It was truly a self sufficient community and it made Mason look at things in a new light.

    The air smelled crisp and clean. Mason breathed in deep breaths and relaxed in the peaceful atmosphere. Small wild animals ran in and out of tree houses and small huts looking for any free hand outs that they might find or fallen morsels of food that accidentally fell from tables. Some more adventurous creatures were not so satisfied with there finding and ventured too table tops for better scavenging, only to be shooed off just as quickly by laughing elves and playful children who treated it as a fun game.

    Mason never noticed Rapture sidling up beside him on the hand carved bench he was sitting on. “Mind if I join you?” she asked.

    Mason shrugged as if it didn’t matter.

    “A person could really settle down in a place like this couldn’t they?” Rapture didn’t look at him but watched as two small Elvin children chased a thieving raccoon out of storage room. The children laughed as the raccoon spat at them for disturbing his foraging.

    Mason knew Rapture really didn’t want an answer. He thought she only wanted to share her feeling with someone so he kept quiet not wishing to disturb the tranquility. Rapture smiled as she watched the children play.

    It wasn’t a part of her rough and hard nature to see her smile but Mason was glade to see her having some enjoyment out of the children’s merriments. Still he knew it would only end too quickly for every one before they found themselves on the road again filled with danger around every turn. For now he was relieved to find some peace be it only short lived.

    Mason reached into his pouch at his side were he kept some emergency horse feed. He never knew when or if he was going to be riding a horse again but he always knew it was something good to have on hand. He opened his hand and gestured for Rapture to do the same. Rapture looked at him funny but held her hand out as he did. Mason slowly opened his fingers allowing oats and hops to fall into Raptures open palm.

    “Now hold it out but be very still,” Mason spoke quietly and showed her at the same time.

    Rapture watched him and followed right after. She was about to turn her hand over and allow the seeds to fall on the ground. She felt kind of silly for holding her hand out for no good reason other then to feel foolish but then she noticed a pair of eyes peering from a low branch on her left. The maple hung down low enough to allow three small brown squirrels too rush out quickly and land on her shoulder. One of the squirrels seeing her food was about to be spoken for, moved down her arm and quickly leaped to Masons arm.

    The squirrel’s small feet made Rapture laugh with delight as they patted and danced around her palm. Mason couldn’t help but laugh with her as his own curious little thief decided to use his hat for a perch before deciding on the food in his hand.
     
  8. Nizati

    Nizati ShadowDagger

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    As Fen walked in a half-conscious daze, she could distantly hear Raven yelling something at the prince before talking to the rest. “This is the tree of the Ancients! It is the Oldest living tree known to inhabit this world” The Ancients… The tree…. It seemed to have a light of its own like the ones in the land of the People who Glowed… They were Ancients she saw in her dreams… they must be.

    Fen, not able to peel her eyes from the tree, reached out for Raven blindly. “Raven…” She said as she finally held her sister’s sleeve. “Could…. Could we stay here…. For at least four more days?”

    “Hm? Why four, Fen?”

    “Cuz… then I could have my birthday here.”

    Raven smiled and looked around at her old home. “You really like birthdays, don’t you, Fen?”

    “Well, it’s the only thing I celebrate…. And on the streets, it shows how long you have survived. That’s important to them, you know.” Fen said, not really knowing what she was saying… Right at that moment, she could only admire the beauty of the elven city, and be excited at the idea of celebrating.

    Raven patted Fen on the head, saying that she would see what she could do, before going off to probably be greeted by every single elf in the entire city (as they all seemed excited to see her back).

    After staring for a good four or five minutes, Fen was able to snap back into reality and, as usual, wanted to train. Most of the group were already gone… she couldn’t blame them, could she? There was so much to see here. So, Fen went and after asking a few elves, found Whiplash being treated for his spider bites. The healers told her that to get better; the Meir would need to do some activity that would help get the medicines coursing through his body. Fen, being as smart as she was, decided to kill two fish with one spear, and took Whiplash to the river that flowed through the town. There, she willed a couple balls of water with her relic to come forth, and after a bit of coaxing, (and a few small water-bombs to the feline face) Whip was playfully chasing after the spheres as Fen willed them to fly around just keeping them out of reach of his claws. What could be better then training, and playing with her beloved kitten at the same time? As she thought it, the answer came: in the form of more floating balls of water, lightly teasing and now confusing Whiplash…. But… she wasn’t controlling them… What the?!?

    Fen looked up, startled at the realization. As she did, she lost her control over her water relic and soaked poor Whip as well as a few random patches of grass. Laughter bursted out of everywhere and Fen followed the voiced to a large group of elves that have surrounded her: most of them had water relics…. All of them were kids.


    As the sun set something wonderful happened to Fen that she never thought would ever, ever happen to her: she had a whole group of friends that were children. Even more, they knew how to use relics, and enjoyed testing their strength in sparing… Just Like Her! That whole evening and night was filled with playing and learning about each other. First of all, she found out that these elven “children” could be as old as seventy-one (as the oldest of the group was) and still look and act like a kid.. No wonder Elves seemed so wise! They have forever to learn! But, Fen was sure proud of herself for being able to equal a lot of them in the ways of fighting and using relics…. Often, they would ask if she was fully human. Ha! Of course she was! What else could she be!!! Well, that went on and on until the large moon was high in the sky. And no, she never found her room that night.. instead, she spent it with the other children, lying on the giant branches, gazing at the stars until sleep finally overtook them….

    Ah…. What a perfect, perfect way to end the day!!! But… Fen couldn’t help wondering… as she started to slip into shadows….. What would be the price this time for her moment of happiness?
     
  9. Luther_the_Great

    Luther_the_Great The Amazing

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    Miles away, back in Paradise, things were not so blissfully contented. Just outside of where the group entered the forest of the elves a group four of dark figures convened a meeting. Two of them had just arrived from the nearby beach. They had no lights and spoke in a low murmur scarcely to be heard over the sound of the nightly noises.

    They had not been idle. Following the baggage train they had trailed the Meirs to the where the group was. They were not at all pleased with what they had managed to find out. As the two agents began to report the events of the past days from various eye witness accounts and visible evidence from the battle. Merc had struck again and they had not been there to protect the group.

    Even in the attack in the woods, while they had managed to form a parameter around Mason, saving him from unseen archers in the underbrush, attackers had still managed to get at him. They had examined the relic that had been found on the goblin mage and knew that the spell had to have been fatal. Why he was not dead was a puzzle that they would not forget.

    Neither group member nor elf had seen the two agents that had been positioned around the clearing. Now the group was in the city and the elves would soon hear what the group had to say and elves would be able discover that agents had been pursuing the group. Their plans would have to be changed. Yet there were a few gain which they were pleased with.

    "Does 42 still have the Merc?"

    "Yes, he's waiting for us in a sheltered place a few miles from here. He's interrogating him now. But what of our agreement with the other one... do you think she will up hold her end of the bargain?"

    "Leave that to me..."

    Looking down, the leader amoung them saw what looked like a puddle but it was solid. Though the darkness seemed to be complete the agent could see the shape of a dragon with a dagger in the center.

    "Curious..."
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2006
  10. Wolf star *

    Wolf star * I walk alone.

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    Mason said good night to Rapture and followed a small trail back to his bed roll. He had decided to sleep in a small hut surrounded by massive trees. The slanted roof was covered with years of fallen leaves and pine needles. The soft carpet of fallen foliage on top of his hut was thick enough to allow small paints and flowers to take root and disguise the long hand cut poles that supported its small eco system. There was a small stone chimney, blackened from years of use towering a few feet above the roof giving it a welcome home feeling as Mason approached the dwelling snugly nestled in between an ancient popular and towering cedars.

    The smell of cedar was over whelming, but truth be told Mason enjoyed the smell and couldn’t help but smile inwardly to him self as he approached the front door. Beside the wooden entrance door, stood a small stack of cut and split fire wood. Mason gathered an arm load and decided to replace the wood he used before he left for the road once again.

    With his free hand he opened the door to the quaint little hut and made his way over to the hearth, he dropped the wood with the few remaining pieces that hugged the stone fire place. Mason placed a few pieces of kindling into the opening, on top of old ashes. He started the fire quickly and watched the soft, flickering light play over the stones like dancing ghosts.

    With the fire going good he moved over to a small oak table and lit a small candle that sat on a hand carved stone holder. Old wax ran in rivers down around the candle holding it in place beside the candle rested a plate of bead and cheeses. Mason couldn’t be sure in the dim light but he thought the plate was made out of gold.

    With the candle and the now good burning fire Mason was able to see around the hut and find his pack and gear. He unrolled his bed roll on a small pallet and found some nice furs the elves provided. He rolled one up and placed it as a pillow. The few others larger furs he appraised as deer, he opened up for extra coverings for the chilly night.

    Mason didn’t want to go to bed immediately so he decided to sit at the small table and wait for sleep to force him too his pallet. As he looked around his quaint little hut Mason decided that it would be a good time to get a better look at the maps and key cards that he had tucked away safely in his pack.

    He moved the small candle out of the way so he could open the folded map with out the danger of catching it on fire from the small candle. His hand played over the faded paper looking for hidden entrances to North fort. The main entrances were marked out clearly but also some of the secret entrances and tunnels that led into the lower parts of the city. Mason was sure the map was genuine because, if it wasn’t the tinker knew that Mason would be back and taking out not just the compensation he was owed but also a peace of the mans hide. It was a hefty price to pay for the information but so far Mason was more then satisfied. Some places he recognized right off, having smuggled things into the city from time to time but he knew those routes were too dangerous now for any rescue attempt.

    Just then there was a soft knock on his door. Mason hurried but took care not to damage the map as he stuffed it back into his pack. “Enter,” spoke Mason in a husky voice.

    The door swung open slowly with a pair of eyes peering in, “I hope I am not disturbing you?”

    Mason looked into the face of the elf he had talked to earlier when he had first arrived, “Not at all, ..come in come in,” Mason placed his big boot on a chair opposite of him and kicked it out from the small table.

    The elf smiled and moved into the hut as gracefully as only his kind could move, closing the door behind him. “I hope it’s not too late, I just wanted to make sure you still wanted to go for that hunt tomorrow that I promised you.”

    Mason scratched his chin eradiated that the stubble on his face was slowly turning into a small beard, “As soon as your ready let me know,” Said Mason.

    Shar,quin smiled and brought his hand from around his back, “this was my grandfathers, But I am sure he would be honored if you were to use it tomorrow." Shar,quin held a ebony black bow out for Mason to see.

    Mason touched it lightly with his fingers, feeling the richly engraved wood, “I am honored that you would bestow such a gift upon me,” Said Mason in honest admiration.

    The elf smiled, “I am glade you like it, tomorrow we hunt.”

    “Tomorrow we hunt,” nodded Mason. He laid the precious bow on the table with a small quiver Shar,quin had produced as if out of thin air.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2006
  11. Luther_the_Great

    Luther_the_Great The Amazing

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    As the black of night cajoled the western world into the blissful forgetfulness of slumber, great events occurred that would set the course for a planet long bereft of direction.

    “Wake up Fen, I’ve got a surprise for you!”

    “huh…wha?? Oh its you! I’ve had the best day! I met all of these cool elves and…why are you laughing?”

    “Oh nothing little one, its just that I was there. But we can talk about that if you like. On the other hand, you could let me take you on a journey.”

    “huh? What journey?”

    “Open your eyes silly!”

    Fen opened her eyes to see that she was in a large valley surrounded by mountains and trees. It was around dusk but she could still see the vast expanse of a lake that was in front of her. She saw her friend with the jet black hair. She seemed somehow taller than the last time.

    “Where are we??” Fen asked, her eyes wide open in wonder.

    “We are at the gate of Anoron. It is beginning to open, and now its big enough for us to go through together.” Seeing the confused look on Fen’s face, “It’s hard to explain. We don’t have much time so you will just have to let me lead and ask questions when we get where we are going”

    “Okie doky, you know this place better than I do. Where do we go first.” Fen didn’t know why but she was really starting to like this girl. It was almost as if she had known her forever.

    “Ok, in you go!” and without warning the girl grabbed Fen by the hand and quick as a flash they were both in the lake. Fen expected to get overwhelmed by the turbulent visions, thoughts, and feelings. But instead it was like regular water. Well… it seemed that the water tingled on her skin and energy flowed through her every pore. She found that she could breath the water, it smelled sweet and fragrant bringing back memories of things she had never seen. It was a family, a mommy and daddy and a baby. And there was also another guy sitting at the table with them (as they were all eating together). He must have been an older son of theirs. Then the memory faded and Fen saw something ahead of her in the water.

    It was a bright shining blue dome. Its radiance lit the entire lake bottom. Wispy figures could be seen emerging from or going into its surface or simply swirling about it. Fen suddenly realized that she wasn’t really swimming. She was just sort of following her special friend toward the dome. But she didn’t know how she was doing it. She noticed that the closer they got to the dome, her friend began to change. The little girl was beginning to glow, her body was becoming elongated. Fen kind of thought she looked like the ghosts in the stories they used to tell on the streets, only she looked beautiful instead of scary.

    She did not notice that the same thing was happening to her but she began to feel things differently. Instead of seeing just straight ahead she could see in all directions, but for some reason it felt natural. It was strange yet ordinary. She began to see that there were many other shining figures around her, hundreds, thousands, more than she could count. They were all flying around this way and that in an orderly fashion around the dome. It seemed chaotic at first but to experienced eyes it was quite orderly. They all moved in lines and patterns that were hard to see with all of them moving at once.

    They were getting closer, Fen could hear music, it was if all of the figures were singing. It was all a bit overwhelming for the poor child. There were thousands of glowing figures, thousands of voices, thousands of songs all working together to form an overall melody that was immeasurably complex yet simple in a way. It was a grand orchestra of voices and all were in harmony.

    They approached the surface of the dome and Fen saw that it wasn’t solid. It was like a bubble made of some strange liquid. She really couldn’t describe it but she didn’t have much time to analyze as her friend disappeared into it. Fen excitedly followed, this was a grand adventure. Yet as she did there was a disturbance at the surface of the lake. Suddenly there was a violent flash of red and like a rocket, something like a red flare erupted into the lake, shattering the harmony. It speed like a comet to the blue dome and crashed into its surface and was gone. The dome wobbled and wavered and the graceful dance of the Ancients was sent into a chaotic scatter. The dome continued to waver for a moment and then became still.

    Fen found herself on cold damp stone, a luminous being no longer. Her friend was nowhere to be found. She looked around and saw two great ornately carved doors opened just a crack. Fen saw that she and the doors were on an elevated platform in the middle of what looked like a stone stadium with no seats. Well…Fen thought of it as a giant bowl. Then there were bright objects spaced evenly apart ever so often in the bowl. Their glow illuminated the gigantic bubble that surrounded them. She was surprised that she was out of the water but the wavery blue sky told her she was inside the dome.

    “Excuse me child but are you going in the door?” Came a friendly voice from behind her. She turned around saw to her astonishment and horror that it was the dark man of her dreams!
     
  12. Luther_the_Great

    Luther_the_Great The Amazing

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    “Don’t talk to him little one…don’t let him in” came the voice of her friend in her ear. “He isn’t supposed to be here. He could have followed us.” Fen backed away, fear would have prevented her from doing much of anything. Even though he was not emanating with fear this time, her memories made this man an object of terror in her dreams.

    “Come now dear, I’m not going to hurt you.” He got down on one knee, somewhat painfully by the look on his face. “There now, come here child” he beckoned with his hand.

    Fen would have done anything at that moment but go towards him. However, somehow she felt her legs start to move toward him. It was as if the rest of the world was a black emptiness and the only solid ground was the short space between her and him. She tried to turn, she went forward, she tried to stop, she stepped forward, she tried to go back, and yet stepped forward again. She was so close he could have grabbed her. He reached out his hand, but did not grab her. He simply held out his hand for her to take. She did not.

    “Now take my hand dear.” He said in the same soothing tone, although it didn’t seem soothing to Fen who felt like a giant spider was kindly asking her to climb into its web. Yet her hand went up and clasped his and she held his hand without wanting to do it. But to her surprise it felt warm and soft and not icy and cold. Its was like fearing a monster and finding out that it was really soft and fuzzy. Yet she remembered all of the things she had seen this man do and was still deathly afraid.

    “Resist Fen, don’t do what he says. He doesn’t know who you are. He just wants to get into the gate and he would do anything to get in.” The voice of the child was like water in the desert. But Fen didn’t know how to resist.

    “There we go, you can call me Mr. Tyndell. I was just moving along the stream and I felt you. You helped me find the lake and this place. You are a very clever child. But tell me, how did you know the way?”… Fen said nothing. Seeing how afraid she was and that it would be useless to try to get any information out of her, the Drake decided on a different approach.

    He gently turned her around so that she was facing out towards the giant bowl they were in. “Just look at my beautiful collection here. Don’t they just pierce your heart with their beauty?” He was motioning to the shining points of light in the bowl. “You can’t see them all here, there are others on either side of this door.” He rose again, with another painful grimace. Fen thought he looked old, though he had the body of a man in his prime, the face of someone in their fifties, maybe late fifties. But somehow he struck Fen as looking old, very old when he grimaced.

    He led her around the platform. It turned out that one could walk all the way around the door. Fen was confused that nothing was on the other side. The door looked exactly the same as it did on the other side. It was still slightly opened outward. It was odd that a door could be opened outward on both sides at once. Yet she was not able to see if she could see the other side of the platform through the crack. The Drake still had her firmly, but gently, in his hand.

    “Just look at them all. Each one has its own personality, its own hue and brightness. Some of them glow steadily others are erratic. There are 47 in this collection. I only have 38. But I’m going to get the rest and then this whole place will light up so brightly. It will be as beautiful as it once was. I’ll bet you would like to see that wouldn’t you?” Fen’s tongue was dry and stuck to the roof of her mouth. He looked slightly annoyed but after a second of two smiled again and looked into Fen’s eyes. Fen tried to look away from his piercing green eyes but could not.

    “Where are your parents child? Are they going to meet you here?” Even though it was still the same seemingly friendly voice this time it seemed to Fen as a command. She felt the irresistible words form in her throat.

    “No sir, I don’t have any parents… I’ve been on my own for all of my life ACHH” the lie seemed to rip out her tongue. “No no, I’ve been on my own for years I was born in the labs.” She could hardly believe what she had just blurted out. She was deathly afraid, her mind was screaming danger, and she like a puppet who was unable to get free. She began to cry out of desperation. The smile vanished from the man’s face.

    The man started spinning around her, or was she spinning around him. No! The whole world was spinning the gate, the lights in the bowl, and everything else. “I must take you back now little one” she heard her friend say. Suddenly she felt a great rush of wind and then SMACK. Fortunately a bush broke Fen’s fall from the tree where she had been sleeping. All of the elven children were standing around her. She had been screaming in her sleep.

    Despite having just fallen from a tree Fen jumped up and shouted “NO NO NO NO NO GET AWAY AHHHHHH” and began screaming and shouting and darted off blindly. She stopped abruptly as she ran into a nearby tree. When she woke up again she saw that she was in the lap of one of the older children. Most of the sky was blocked by the myriad of other elven faces who standing over her. He had her head in his hands. She was starting to murmur something inaudibly. Dawn was breaking. She heard some a man shout in elvish.

    He was saying “back away, let me in” but Fen didn’t know that. She saw the indomitable form of Fugg lean over her and gently pick her up. His face was flushed as if he had run a long distance very quickly. An elf, his guide, was beside him telling the kids to go home. “Not too hurt…” he muttered. “Take me to a doctor I want to be sure she’s alright.” The elf led the way and Fugg followed. Fen being safe in friendly arms again let herself slide back into darkness.
     
  13. Nizati

    Nizati ShadowDagger

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    Her new friend…. They were in the river… then in the giant flood-light bowl… the light was a gate…. Other glowing things floating around… and the glowing people.. so pretty… so beautiful!.......... The dark man…. For some strange reason, he seemed more real this time… more like a normal person…. A very bad person… But a person….He saw her… he talked to her… he… he forced her to move and talk…. No! Why can’t I run away! Stop it. Stop It!! STOP IT!!!!!!

    A fall…. Pain…. Fugg…. Still so tired…. Rest…. Rest again…..
    As Fen surfaced back to the waking world, she could already feel the two streams of tears that were constantly running down the side of her face. She was sleeping on a soft bed, her face to a wall… her back to everyone else in the room…

    “She fell out of the tree, got up, and started running while screaming?” Asked Cambei in a voice that was less surprised and more worried.

    “That is, until she ran into another tree.” Said an unknown voice; probably an elf.

    So… it was that bad, eh? The dark man… He saw her…. touched her… grabbed her…. Forced her to talk and move, just like he did to the water baron…. This guy wasn’t just some horrible form that scared her to death…. He was a real man, and somehow, he was really running around in her dreamland now. This was a killer too…. But… he didn’t kill her… Why? Did he want something from her? That gate, maybe? And…. If he found her again, would he kill her??? The idea was absolutely horrifying as Fen lay there on the bed, pretending to still be asleep. These nightmares… and everything… it keeps getting worse and worse as other things seem better and better…. And…. And all her new friends…….. For them too now… how long would it be until they all…..

    Fen thought back at all the times she had thought of simply giving up. How easy would it be to just not try anymore? No more mercs, No more people dying because of her, and now, No more dark man or horrible nightmares. Of course, Fen could never never do that. She had a goal. And she was on a twenty-year quest to finish it….

    ~*~

    Fen always knew that the most important things she learned, was at North Fort…. How to steal, how be sneaky and how to live. Fen, as well as the rest of the street kids of north fort, was taken in by an old healer who more or less taught everyone, everything they knew. He was brutally hard on the kids, but in the end, it saved their lives. The old man kept saying the same things over and over to them. “The greatest thing any of you little brats could be is a survivor. Now! Who can tell how they could become a survivor?”

    “A survivor is someone who can live for more then twenty years from the streets.”

    “Why?”

    “Because, only with the survivor’s will could someone last that long.”

    “And what is the survivor’s will?”

    “To do whatever it takes to live. Never Give Up! Never Surrender!!”

    Fen remembered that chant… she would chime in and she took every word to heart. But, after a few months…. the Mercs found her.... She didn’t know how, the city was in chaos and there were threats of the entire city going into lockdown. Luckily, thieves’ loyalty to each other was stronger then even the militia’s loyalty was to its own country, in North Fort. So, when the word spread that the mercs were looking for someone that went by Fen’s description, the thieves passed the word to the old healer….. Even to this day, Fen could remember the little goodbye he gave her before sending her with a large band of trusted merchants.


    “I can tell you this already, kid. Life is gonna be more tough on you then it will be on most street kids. So, I’m putting you on a quest. You must be constantly traveling as you continue trying to reach the survivor. You hear me? I know you can do this…. You WILL make it...” The merchants were telling the old man to hurry… there wasn’t much time. “Now, before you go, tell me what is the survivor’s will?”

    ~*~

    I will do what ever it takes to live… I will never give up…. I will never surrender… No merc, or dark man or anything else will stop me. Why? Cuz i'm gonna be a survivor

    And, with that, Fen calmly wiped her eyes, rolled over and smiled as sweetly as possible…. “I’m sorry for all that weird stuff.” She said to the elves there. “If you like, I can tell you everything…. I know how you like listening to dreams……”
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2006
  14. Wolf star *

    Wolf star * I walk alone.

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    Rapture looked up quickly, disturbed by the shouts suddenly drifting in from along the fringe of tangled forest growth. She stood with in ear shot of Mason who was trying to finishing dressing the first kill of the Morning.

    Like Mason, Rapture had been more then happy to accompany the hunting party into and dark forest when they had asked her if she would like to join them. She as like Mason was dressed in a rather tight fitting dark green forest garb that the elves had provided for the morning hunt. But unlike Mason who had wide muscular shoulders and tree trunk like legs, there was no hiding her feminine curves and coiled athletic form in the flimsy but surprisingly strong Elvin material.

    She didn’t like to leave her clothing and personal possessions with strangers but she had to admit that the lighter covering had made it easer for her and Mason to traverse the tangled thorns and intertwining branches, with ease, specially that she didn’t need to carry her bulging shoulder pack.

    She had placed all her things along with Masons. Changing quickly inside of Masons quaint little hut She had noticed Mason had left all his weapons and that little black stone he had been carrying for the past week or so. The assortment of weapons covered the plank table surprised even Rapture, that some could carry so much and still move about freely.

    From the direction of the shouts, Fen sprang from the dark wood, waving her hands in excitement. Fen had enlisted her self in the morning hunt at the last moment when she noticed the Elvin hunting party gathered about the forest edge at Masons Hut. Mason was Grateful to have her along and not surprising to him she could move around the forest like a fox. Mason only had to show her a few things to quiet her movement but she took to moving around the forest like a duck to water. She held at her hip tied securely was the leather sling Shar,quin had given her that morning along with a small pouch of river bed stones for the sling.

    Mason was dressing the deer on a large out cropping or lime stone. After finding no mutation in the animal he had decided it was fit to eat. The mutations in the animals were rare but still it never hurt to look for signs of deformity. He could remember one time when he had caught a hair only to find out later after it was well cooked that it had scales just below its outer skin. He had felt sick to his stomach for almost a week afterwards with every smell of cooked meat.

    Mason dropped his blood covered skinning knife at his feet and reached for his bow. With blood and gore covering his hands he wished that he had wiped away the blood first. He could feel the bow slightly slip in his fingers as he pulled back the finely made arrow too the draw string, pulling if tight.

    Rapture had her bow already locked and was scanning the wood from were Fen had quickly emerged in fright for and sign of danger.

    It was not fright as they had first thought when they watched Fen waving her arms out over her head and bounding towards them. She appeared to be excided not frightened. She stopped quickly at seeing there deadly reaction with wide eyes. Fen gathered her labored breath and sank down to her knees in front of Rapture. Rapture like a coiled snake didn’t take her eyes off the wood. She was waiting for what ever it was that scared poor Fen into such a run.

    “No ,Its ok…. Sorry about rushing in like that,” Spoke Fen after she gathered what breath she could.

    “We thought some thing was after you.” Spoke Rapture in a cold tone. She dropped the point of her bow only when she watched Fen shack her head.

    “NO..No ,” defended Fen, waving her hand lightly. Mason had dropped his bow as well but didn’t say a word; he waited for fen to continue.

    “Come ..Come you must see,” Fen reached up and tugged on Raptures hand trying to pull her along.

    “See, See what?” Asked Rapture.

    “I can’t explain it.” Spoke Fen excitedly, still trying to pull a less then enthusiastic Rapture behind her. “You have got to see it for your self…. There is no time to explain.”

    Rapture gave a defeated look towards Mason who only gave her a shrug of his shoulders before he spoke, “well lets go and see what has got her so worked up.’ Mason placed his Bow over his shoulder cross ways and returned the feathered arrow back into his quiver.
    He quickly wiped his hands clean and started after Fen who had Rapture still clutched in her hand.

    “They are so pretty, you are going to love them… I found a path but Shar,quin is there now…… I am going to see if I can keep one, but he tells me it’s imposable.” Fen Rushed so many comment that Rapture and Mason hand no time to ask there own questions before she said some thing stranger.

    They Followed Fen who had let go of Raptures hand and was now eagerly rushing them along an animal path. Every so often when she thought that they were becoming to slow she waited and taped her foot asking them to hurry.

    “Come we are almost there.. its only up a little further.”

    The ground quickly changed from soft vegetation under foot to hard stone. A light started to cascade through the leaves basking the three in a fine orange glow. Mason reached for his bow but Fen gave him a scow that set him back.

    As then broke the tree line they stood with dropped jaws. Mason didn’t see any thing like it in all his years.

    Before him stood a tree growing out of the very rock. The twisted glowing trunk moved as if breathing. Branches shot out in all directions moving from an unseen wind, making them drift and twist. At the very end of each branch balls that looked like over size water droplets shimmered and detached. They didn’t fall as was expected but floated in the air as it they defied nature. Orange glowing droplets the size of a human fist floated on an unseen breeze. They filled the area and the above.

    Fen danced and tried to catch the balls. But every time she touched one it would quiver and pop sending out a light note of music. Then Mason realized that as the sphere broke on any thing they touched they played a different tune or note on the wind, especially when one hovered in front of him and he gently touched it with his fingers. It shimmered and broke sending a pitch of music to Mason’s ears.

    For some reason Mason couldn't help but smile as the sphere broke.

    “That is the Life song tree,” Spoke Shar,quin from across the other side of the stone that the tree grew on.” We must be weary in a place like this, if we should not respect the tree, bad things could happen. It is protected.” With that Shar,quin fell silent and looked not to the tree but, to the stone that was at his feet.

    Fen at hearing his warning stopped dancing around and trying to catch the song spheres. “Protected .. How?” she asked before Mason could.

    “Fear not Fen,” Shar,quin reassured her, as long as you have no intent of harm in your hart towards the tree they will not come.

    “Who?. Will not come.” Asked Mason with a serious tone.

    “The protectors of the tree, the ones who dwell with in the mountains and below the rivers and land.”

    “You meant Dwarfs?” Asked Rapture as she pushed a sphere out of her line of sight.

    “No not dwarfs, they would not be welcome. The dwarfs live with in there kingdom as a flea would live on the back of a dog. They are the true maters of stone, they are of stone.”

    Masons eyes narrowed, “You can’t be serious, and they are only myth and legend.”

    “Believe what you will, children of man. We are the long lived and know more then any one the truth behind most legends. Believe what your mind will allow but do not temp legend, the Rock lords are far too real.

    From behind Shar,quin a voice sounded as if it was crushing rocks, “Brothers of the living tree speak with the truth on his tongue.”

    Mason his eyes quickly snapped to a rock face. Three forms shrouded in black cloaks stepped out of the rock as would a man step out of a door. There massive forms stood with a powerful presence. There forms were hidden from view with the black soiled cloaks covering them from head to toe. There hands were tucked up into the opposite draping sleeve, there faces hidden with a great hood stared as if they could see with out drawling them back.

    Two stood just behind the first too each side with out speaking a word as they moved from the stone face.

    Shar,quin bowed quickly, “lords you honor us with your presence.”

    The cloaked figure in front raised his hands to silence the elf. He reached up and pulled back his covering, revealing his face for all to see.

    Mason pulled back and reached for his colt only to find it missing.

    The face of the cloaked figure was made out of stone. Cracked and shaped into a human like face but missing an obvious nose and ears. His eyes pulled Masons gaze with such power he felt naked and powerless. Mason knew if he had his side arm he didn’t think there could be much he could do, let alone hurt such a creature.

    The stone man looked down towards them and smiled.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2006
  15. Nizati

    Nizati ShadowDagger

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    Fen could see the worry in everyone’s face as she retold what happened…. Her dreams were getting worse… Fen could see the question that was drifting around all their heads: what was going to happen next? But Fen, more or less lying through her teeth, said that it was all ok and was soon out into another beautiful day in the elven village.

    As it was still super-early in the morn (the sun wasn’t even up yet), so Fen was able to join Mason, Rapture, and a bunch of elves and go hunting. Although complaining at first, Fen was finally coaxed into leaving her cloths behind and putting on the elven clothing that they provided. Fen made sure to keep her relics and dagger anyways as they didn’t really hinder her movement that much. Then it came down to choosing a weapon for the hunt.

    “We have a bow that you may be able to use… or, if you are not trained in the ways of the bow, we could give you a crossbow.”

    Fen had a crossbow once… but until she left it behind, she never realized how bulky that thing was. So, Fen decided to take option number three: “Nah that’s ok, I’ll just use my sling.”

    “Sling?”

    “Yeah! I usually use it as a belt, and had to hold my pants while using it, but these cloths don’t slip.”

    “In a dense forest like this, it is very difficult to use a sling… and to bring down larger animals, its nearly impossible.”

    “I used to feed myself on what I got with a sling! You may not have to kill it… just maim it so it doesn’t run off.” Fen said with a smile. Ah, she hasn’t used her sling in like, forever! It was always good to practice what one has already learned and mastered. And with that, Fen ran off with the other hunters.

    First, Fen got a few lessons on how to prowl through the forests all super-quiet and sneaky. Then, the party split off even further… Fen was left with Shar,quin (who Fen has accidentally called ‘sharken’ a few times now) and one of the eldest of the children, an elven boy named Carnil who has become friends with her since yesterday, and (looked) like he was only a couple years older then her. As the three of them went out, the first prey they spotted was a big, super-ugly bird. It looked like the fatter, more stupid cousin of the vulture. Shar,quin told them that it was a wild turkey…. Turkey, eh? So… that’s why vultures tasted to good cooked.... Well, Fen had brought down a vulture before, so this should be no problem at all.

    At first, she got a bit of a complaint from Carnil about the fact that she was going to hurt someone by swinging the rock and cloth around. But, after a little curse and determination, spun the smoothed stone with her sling and…. Just as the ugly bird moved juuuust right… Now! *WHUMP* and like that, she nailed the bird’s right wing, causing it to break. Of course, the thing took off as fast as it could, and Fen, not hearing the others, shot off like a Meir that was stung by a wasp after that turkey. Fen knew her shot wouldn’t kill the bird: just keep it from flying…. This was the tricky part: Chasing the bird with all she speed she could while loading her sling again… aming… and SHOOT! Ha! This time she got the thing in the back, hurting it more and causing it to bleed…. After a few more minutes of wild-turkey chase, Fen finally managed to weaken it to the point where she could just run up, and finish bash it’s skull in with her dagger. Ha!! Just like in the old times with vultures! Ok, the forest made it really hard… but she did it! And it was nice to know that her survival didn’t count on this bird… But instead, it would make a great meal for an Elven family or for the feast that night.

    As she stood over her trophy, Fen heard a light sound behind her… *ping* it was like single, pretty note from some distant chime. Fen turned to the sound… there was a light just beyond those trees… and *ping* a different, but still really pretty note…. What was it?? Fen pulled back the branches and came into the light of an old and magnificent tree. It seemed to grow out of the rocks and breathe with its own life. Instead of growing fruit, it created these glowing, glass-like bubbles that floated around the tree on their own. As she stared, one of the bubbles floated by her, brushed her cheek and popped *ping* making a wonderful note in her ears…. Wait… Oh no!! She must have fallen asleep!!! This tree was….

    “That is the Life song tree,” Shar,quin said as he finally caught up to her. He’s here? Which means she… wasn’t dreaming???

    “Oh I gotta show Mason this!!!!” Fen said and ran off like a bolt of lightning in the direction the others said they would be.

    Fen, not the best tracker, was lucky Mason was so big…. His footprints were easy enough to find in a small area of mud to follow him. And soon enough, she had found them and with all the excitement of the world, she dragged them back to the tree. Mason and Ras too gawked at the tree. Fen couldn’t help but be overjoyed that her friends could see this tree too and couldn’t help but go after a few bubbles while Shar,quin explained the tree to them, but stopped at the warning that disrespecting the tree could be dangerous and was protected. “Protected .. How?” she asked… her mind whirring with a thousand worst-case scenarios.

    Fen, half-wanting to chase after floating notes again, decided to listen to the description of the guardians of the tree. And just as Mason started to say that the sort of guardians the elf was describing didn’t exist, he was proven very wrong. The giants stepped out of the very stone itself and were absolutely huge! They made Mason look like a child!!! And then, one of them took off their hoods to show that, like Shar,quin said, they were made of stone.

    Mason seemed to panic in front of them and was very lost without his gun… Fen understood that this was a serious matter and that these were serious beings… Good, Fen had a serious question. Copying the elf hunter, Fen bowed and straightened up to look the giants in the eye. The thing looked down at her and gave a rough smile... Shar,quin said they were friendly… so, she believed. “This tree...” Fen said. “The ancients had them, didn’t they?”

    The man of stone nodded. “Back then, there were many Life Songs… Now….” Fen nodded… She thought so… She had seen these trees in her dreams, growing wildly on the ancients’ buildings and homes. Now they were almost nothing more then a dream-memory.

    “Ok then… Do you mind lifting me up then?” It was almost funny how a stone-face looked like with an eyebrow raised. “I wanna reach the top of the tree…. Don’t worry, I promise I won’t hurt it.” Fen could hear Mason saying a string of warnings and random (are you nuts?!?!?). But, Fen ignored him and the stone giant bent down, and held Fen in his hands as if she was a delicate chickadee. Now surrounded by the living branches, and nearly at the top, Fen moved her finger through her dreads and pulled out a feather she had from the sandbirds. Fen always thought of the birds as magical for their ability to be so tiny, but survive in the harsh desert with only their blue chests and sandy backs as camouflage. And… This was all she had to show respect to the tree who had lived with the glowing people of her dreams. With a light smile, she places the feathers amongst the branches, and not to her surprise, the branches actually curled, and held onto the feathers as if accepting her tiny gift.

    “You seem to understand much, child of flesh.” The stone man said as he placed her back onto the ground. Fen smiled and wiped a tear away, understanding that this tree was also a memorial as well as a survivor. And with that, she popped another note before leaving with the rest…. Although some wanted to stay and hunt, Fen decided she had enough of hunting and went back.

    ~*~

    Back at the city, Fen was more or less attacked and dragged away to get cleaned up for the feast that evening. Fen understood that yes, it was late in the afternoon, and that this feast was important, but did she haaaaave to be clean?!?!?!? AWW she should have stayed with the hunters!!!! But, as it was she was stripped away, and instead of thousands of maids attacking her, only one, elven maiden stayed to wash Fen up. She soon found out that this lady was sort of respected as the mother of the village for she had five kids, although that seems like nothing to humans, to the elves, it was a lot. And she said it was sort of her job to watch over and care for the other children as well. She was kind, and was very gentle with Fen and then… she did the impossible….. she didn’t just wash fen’s dreads… she actually….. DETANGLED them!!! How do elves do stuff like that?! Fen still could not figure out. But, even to Fen’s surprise, her hair was much, mush longer then shoulder length. Actually, all this time, Fen had never taken a knife to her hair; instead, she would just fold her dread in half, the rubbed together until it was a shorter, thicker dread. And finding random things hidden in her hair like her baby teeth, the teeth of people she punched out (all Fen counted as trophies) a few beads and feathers, her hair now came past her butt. Fen was thrilled and sat to see her hair so long and pretty! Oh! It sparkled like the rest of her skin and was very nice but….. Fen had never brushed her hair in her life! And, knowing her lifestyle, how could she ever expect to keep her hair so nice. The elven mother laughed, and promised that the next day, she would fix that problem for Fen so she could keep her hair.

    As it was, when Fen entered the feast, she not only had her hair long and beautiful, but she was wearing a soft, light-blue elven dress (which although comfy, she would never, never, NEVER wear while traveling or doing any normal living activity as it would get torn to shreds or she would trip on if for sure).

    …. I… I wonder if anyone will notice me? Maybe… Maybe after Cambei would want to dance with me because I’m all pretty at this moment. Or, I could just sit down, act like I always do where there’s food, and scarf may face full. Look! They got Turkey!!!!!
     
  16. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    As the others were away on various errands, Cambei took to exploring the city itself. He had never been in an elven city before, but he was familiar with various aspects of their daily life through stories he'd been told by numerous travelers. The closeness in which they lived with nature was something he had to admire. He and the monks had lived with some harmony with nature, but the fact that the elves seemed to work with the forest, rather than around it was a thing of beauty. While there were many buildings he was curious to see, he had some difficulty locating individual structures, never being quite sure what was just a tree and what housed something more.

    He didn't let this get him down however, this was one of the only places they'd been since starting this adventure that he could let his guard down and relax. Very few would be able to sneak past the elves, and even fewer would be able to do much if they did get past them. However he found himself oddly perplexed. They'd been constantly in danger for some time, and he had for even longer than most of the others, he almost missed the sense of danger that had accompanied them at every pass. So he decided to find the military temple. If nothing else he could learn a thing or two from the elves, and perhaps get some practice duels in.

    By the time he actually found the temple the day was mostly spent. The elves were winding down their training and were all but done for the day. Luckily for Cambei, his reputation preceded him. The students of Grand Master Fei Hung were renowned for their skill amongst those who remembered them, and thus, he was able to get a handful of duels in after all, as well as trading a few tips and tricks with the older elven masters.

    For the most part he was able to stay a step or two ahead of the elves he sparred against, but there was one in particular that was able to equal him blow for blow. The two traded blows for several minutes without one gaining an edge, that is, until the elf did something unexpected. Rather than try to simply knock Cambei to the ground, the elf lunged at the monk, grabbed hold of him, and pulled them both to the ground. Within a few seconds the elf made Cambei submit to a joint lock maneuver. Cambei had been caught by a wrestler, a mistake he'd have to avoid in the future.

    With that they all got cleaned up before heading to what was supposed to be quite the feast. The elves didn't disappoint, it was by far the biggest banquet Cambei had ever laid eyes on. And, while he didn't eat much he was certainly thankful for having the opportunity to do so. Conversely to this, he felt a bit shabby in his regular old robes sitting next to everyone else in their fine banquet clothing. It was in the midst of these two thoughts that another one was born. Given the way things had been going thus far, in addition to their penchant for finding trouble, how long would the peace last?
     
  17. Luther_the_Great

    Luther_the_Great The Amazing

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    The elven feast was like something out of a dream for most of them. The place where they were eating was called The Great Hall by the elves but it was actually out doors. It was a cleared area surrounded by dense forest, bordered by gigantic trees (the height of which could only dimly be guessed at in the dark), with huge trees equally spaced apart running along the center.

    Indeed it looked much like a great hall of kings with the arched bows of the trees forming an arched roof of canopy hundreds of feet above their heads. The trees running lengthwise down the center looked more like great pillars carved out of the bones of the earth. There was no guessing how old they were.

    The tables were long and ran lengthwise across the expanse allowing for wide isles for people to walk up and down the hall as they needed. Kabora couldn’t help but notice that the they were actually planted, with their legs growing like slender tree trunks out of the ground with outstretched branches holding up a crystal tabletop that sparkled in the light. If one looked one could see the leaves through the semitransparent surface.

    The seats which had looked like long benches from a distance were actually trees themselves, only their long, smooth trunks grew horizontally against the ground for the length of the table before bending upward with outspread branches laden with silvery leaves, sweet smelling flowers, and birds. Yes birds, whose chirping made lovely melodies that charmed the heart to hear. The bark of these trees was strangely soft and they were surprisingly comfortable to sit on.

    Here the guests got quite a different impression of the elves than they had during the day. There were no animals running about the place in a chaotic manner or waiting to grab scraps of food from the table. This was a “chamber” of the palace of the great elven king. They were treading on royal ground where all of nature was bent to the will of that ruler.

    The hall was lit with great bond fires, located between the tables and the outer trees, that burned with a pleasant scent that seemed to change constantly in a subtle manner, recalling memories of things that no mortal man had ever seen. Though the fires were bright enough to illuminate the tree trunks up to where the great boughs formed a great arch above their heads, there were many shadows in the hall that seemed to dance about like sprites set free from long bondage.

    The “hall” was much longer than it was wide so that if one did not have elf eyes, those seated near the back would be unable to make out the kings table at the other end. The group however did not have to worry about this as they were seated in the place of honor, which was at the kings raised table. They were all seated together by the king, Raven was seated directly on his left and the prince on his right.

    Suddenly there was a sound of loud horns. Heralds called out, “Good people of the forest! We celebrate many things tonight! Up most on all of our hearts is the joy the returning of our lovely princess whom we all thought to be lost forever.” Great cheers echoed throughout the wooded all. Raven simply nodded. Mason nearly had to take in his breath. The elves had adorned her in shining jewels and a magnificent dress that made her look more like a queen than he’d ever imagined. Her face, however, was careworn as if she was troubled and trying to hide it.

    The heralds continued, “And we wish to welcome her most distinguished guests” and the names of all six members of the group were named one by one. “And finally we would like to dedicate this night’s ceremony to the eleventh birthday of the child Fen. May her days be long and full of happiness.” And of course there was much more regalia involved but that was almost entirely in elvish and so most of the company paid no attention to it.

    When the heralds had ceased the king clapped his hands and the flames from the bond fires leapt up into a pure white flames, which then began to fade in and out of various color combinations. And the minstrels began their sweet music which seemed to touch the soul like a fresh spring to a weary traveler. At the sound of their playing the company saw the entire canopy light up as ever leaf of every tree in the “hall” began to glow a in all kinds of colors.

    It was amazing to see the dance of the colors on the ceiling. Fen imagined she could see pictures in those dancing lights. Even the low thick shrubs that held up the tables began to glow and the light of the leaves made the crystal tabletops shimmer and dazzle the eye.

    The entire scene was like something out of a dream as the birds sang sweetly with the music. Such was their wonder that most of the group had forgotten they were hungry. Yet they were soon reminded when from out of the trees small childlike figures walked with trays and dishes swirling about them. Fen half expected to see her little elven friends from the previous day. However these children looked different. Their faces where fair but they neither looked young or old and their eyes shown with a curious light.

    Their voices were that of children but their manner was quite strange for a child. It was altogether confusing to Fen. When the food had been left at the kings table and the little “children” had moved on for the moment Fen leaned over to Cambei, “Who are those kids?”

    “Why they’re wood imps. One can usually only find them in very old forests but they are usually wild and mischievous. It is said that they are not born as we are, they simply made by the forest, perhaps for protection from outsiders. Nature infuses a relic into each of them, hence their magical abilities that you see. It amazes me to see them being so obedient and tame. Elves are wondrous people, even after hundreds of years they can still amaze you.” The monk grew reflective and silent, leaving Fen to wonder exactly how old he really was and if he still remembered when his birthday was after all of these years.
     
  18. Wolf star *

    Wolf star * I walk alone.

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    Mason watched as banners of every shape and conceivable patterns, fluttered in the drifting breezes. Elvin house banners were stationed on long pikes, driven into the solid ground and others were attached to balconies that draped towards people below.

    They had returned in the early morning with already a good size crowd gathered awaiting the up coming feast. Fen had quickly disappeared into the crowd with excitement and Mason thought it might even be partly because she wanted to explore before the great meal was served. He couldn’t blame her for her excitement; it seamed to every one in the community something that only happened on the rarest of occasions.

    Fen was drowned out of sight, in the gathering crowd as Mason made his way back to his own hut. He quickly retrieved his gear and changed back into his well worn traveling cloths. Although he was giving up a fine set of Elvin clothing he, for some reason felt more comfortable.

    After strapping his pack to his shoulder he checked his colts at his hip and made sure his extra ammo was easily accessible. With a grunt of satisfaction, he spun the hand blaster around in his fingers and drove it home. The heavy feeling on his hips gave him a reassuring feeling.

    It was already late afternoon before Mason made it to the large tables were every one gathered. He found him self a place to sit quickly and started to join in the fancy feast.

    Succulent pigs, baked potatoes, grapes, apples, pairs, dumplings and freshly baked bread mounded the table around him. Boats of gravy and finely crafted plates decorated the great tables offering some of the most extravagant food Mason had witnessed gathered in one place. Most human barons and war lords that Mason had the pleasure but most of the time displeasure of eating with had an abundance of food surrounding them wile all the time there own very people starved about them.

    Know one went hungry with in the elves. They shared every thing they had and enjoyed in doing it. That alone brought a smile to Masons face.

    Mason noticed Cambei picking quietly at his plate of simple grapes and watching the musicians start into a new and lively song. “Not hungry,” asked Mason as he ripped off a piece of fresh bread and dipped it into the gravy. The hot gravy tricked down onto his fingers and the smell of added spices assaulted him with wild smells.

    “This is a great fair but it is not my way to indulge so greatly. I am a humble man and have simple needs,” with that Cambei popped another grape into his mouth. Mason smiled in under standing. His penetrating eyes looked towards the crowd and watched as everyone rejoiced and celebrated.

    The music broke off suddenly as the Elvin king asked for silence with a raised hand. There from behind him stood a wondrous creature. Mason had to look twice and refocus his eyes when it was announced that it was Raven. He had never witnessed her in such fancy attire but it was a treasure to see, such things from some one so use to seeing most women in traveling cloths that the sight of her made his breath get caught in his chest for a brief second. Then he noticed that although Raven looked splendid she also looked uncomfortable and a bit uneasy. Mason stood like every one else and waited to see what was about to happen.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2007
  19. Smurf

    Smurf Finrod Felagund

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    The feast was going well with the guests drinking merrily and eating the beautiful food that was prepared for them. Such a grand social occasion was to mark the returning of the Elven Princess, Raven. She had entered moments before and surprised everyone with her stunning beauty. Proceeding to take a seat on the royal table the feast soon returned to the normal chattering and eating. Musicians played flowing and melodious tunes as was expected of the studious Elvish musicians. It seemed that everything they did they strove to do it at a standard that was higher than any human could achieve.

    The feasting continued on and the guests were enjoying the wonderful atmosphere. Coming through the entrance to the elvish hall was a rather hurried Sedril. He had just gotten back from a meeting with the king's advisors and was quite late for the feast. He walked quickly but elegantly around the outside of the tables and up to the king's table. Bowing before the royal family and sharing a serious look with the king he then turned and made his way towards a spare seat. Looking through the aisles he spied one near tables on the left hand side. Wandering over to the table, Sedril took a seat beside the girl.

    "Hello Fen! Are you enjoying the feast?"

    "Sed!" Sedril cringed at the nickname, but shrugged it off. "Yes! It's wonderful!"

    The two continued to talk for a while about many things. Mainly the Elvish city, to which Sedril mostly listened to Fen's excited exclamations. But Sedril soon turned the conversation somehow to discussing Fen's dreams. He seemed interested about them ever since hearing about them in the clearing many days ago. The feast continued as the night went on.
     
  20. LadyRaven

    LadyRaven Sanzo's girl

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    She hated haveing everyone making a Big fuss over her return. Why couldn't her father keep everything quiet and let her and her friends rest while they were hear and not have to go about with all of the formalitys. Raven picked at the food that was set before her for a while before puhing the plate away from her.

    "Is there anything wrong my child?" the king asked in a soft whisper.

    "No father, Im just not hungry! May I be excused?" she asked in a voice that was barly above a whisper.

    "No..This is a celebration in honner of your returnRaven! you have to stay in attendence" he replied firmly.

    "I have no honner father..I ranway from you and everyone! I dont deserve to be here!" She retorted.

    The King gave her a stern gaes That forced raven to bow her head inshame and sink back (unladylike) into her chair, "Fine!" she muttered angrely under her breath! Looking around she knew that her friends were still looking over to her between bites and conversations. It was like they were just seeing her for the first time..and she didn't like it at all..This is NOt who she is..she's a murderof the inocent, a cold blooded killer..she was No princess.
     
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