Gathering of Warriors: Search for the Harp

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Who is your favorite character out of Search for the Harp?

Nare
0
No votes
Brina
0
No votes
Cali
0
No votes
Elias
1
50%
Larys
0
No votes
Thor
1
50%
 
Total votes : 2

Postby Teleri123 » Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:48 am

The ride was very quiet, but Brina felt unsettled by something. She wasn't sure what it was, and stayed alert for most of the day. After some time she saw thin lines of smoke rising some miles away. Stopping for a moment to decide if it was indeed from Dumar and Gien, she took the chance and rode in the direction of the smoke.

"There's smoke rising in the distance. If i'm not mistaken, it's from Dumar and Gien." Brina said, still looking toward the smoke.

"What if it's not?" A voice she recognized as Cali's said.

"Don't worry." She turned and gave Cali a small smile. "We should know before we get there." Brina turned back around and kept moving.

Within and hour or so, they came very close to the rising smoke. Brina stopped, turned Skye around and rode up to Cali, who she felt was the best person to discuss this with.

"It might be wise to let me go check and make sure it's safe before we get there. If it's dangerous, we don't want to bring injured people there." She looked at Cali, who appeared somewhat surprised. "To be honest, I'm not sure if it's just two cities full of people, including whoever sent those goblins, or if it's two cities that have been completely taken over by those responsible for the goblins. Not many people live near here."
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Postby Iavasel » Tue Jul 26, 2005 10:05 pm

Cali frowned slightly, but she nodded to Brina. She sat back on Kent and signalled to Elias to slow down as well and let Brina spur her horse ahead, but caught with a second thought rode quickly to catch up with her again, Kent's ground-eating canter that he seemed to live for quickly brought her beside Brina again.

"Brina" she said, catching up to her. "Just...don't be thinking that you've got to protect us all, alright? If it's dangerous it'll be no good for you to get hurt too. If it's dangerous, even though we're not in the best shape, it'd be better odds than you by yourself, and if it's something really dangerous we should avoid it entirely, right? Even if it does mean" she regretted this a bit "that we'll have to make due with the supplies we have. I just.. hope you don't get yourself in a fix for the rest of us. Be careful, I guess, is all I'm saying."

Brina nodded, smiling a bit. Cali wondered if she had sensed her reluctance to let that sentiment about the food escape her mouth.

Cali slowed her pace and allowed Brina to continue on ahead and waited for Nare and Elias to catch up on their fine finicky horses, bringing little Thor with them.

Cali glanced up at the sky, as though this might give her some clue as to the outcome. After the heavy rain of the night before, the sky was a pale, washed out blue-grey. A bit hazy with warmth and wet. But Cali was no seer and read nothing in the weather or in the land around her that might indicate what Brina's report would find, just a few far off puffs of smoke on which to judge their position.
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Postby Teleri123 » Thu Jul 28, 2005 4:23 pm

Brina rode on to Dumar and Gien without stopping. It was late afternoon by the time she could see the large metal gates, though she noticed one of the gate was not there. Slowing down to get a better look and decide whether or not she would approach or not, the uneasy feeling she had grew stronger as she heard movement in the trees to her left.

Cautiously getting off of Skye (something she later felt was a somewhat stupid thing to do), she grabbed her sword and took a few steps closer to the area in which she had heard the noise. All of a sudden, she heard a soft "meow" as a small ginger cat strolled out of the trees. Giving a sigh of relief and lowering her sword, Brina suddenly realized that cats do not live in the forest. The cat looked up at Brina curiously for a moment, and then continued on its way.

That cat must belong to someone. She thought to herself, and paused with her sword half up to see if anything or anyone else was hiding, but only found herself standing in silence. Looking back up at the broken gates, a thought came into Brina's mind. No, surely not. She tried to convince herself something else must be the answer.

She hastily got back on Skye and continued on, again trying to decide whether the cities were safe to approach, though her uneasy feeling stayed with her.

When she was on the edge of the forest surrounding the cities and the large clearing that contained Dumar and Gien, Brina stopped and listened. Nothing. Looking up, the smoke she had seen before was still there. Just one thin line. Her thoughts from earlier came back, but Brina did not want to believe it, though, at the look of thing she might be right.

Finally, after much consideration, she decided she would approach the city. Surveying the area to make sure it was alright to go further, she saw not one guard, let alone a single person. She rode quietly and slowly to the gates and paused. Taking in a deep breath, she looked inside where the missing gate would be. She sat there for a moment in complete shock. Her fears had been confirmed.

The cities had been overrun and used by whoever had sent the goblins. Riding throughout the cities, Brina found the gates to Gien in the same condition as the ones to Dumar and all the occupants of both cities dead. Slaughtered, Brina assumed, by the goblins. By the looks of things, the goblins had been here, but only for a day or so. It was not the fact that they had stayed for a day or so that bothered Brina, but the fact that they had slaughtered all these people, and for what? A day.

Suddenly, Brina remembered the line of smoke. Looking up and finding she was not far from it, she turned and headed in that direction, keeping alert. Upon reaching the smoke, Brina found it was coming from a small house that, luckily, had not been completely destroyed. She jumped off Skye, grabbed her sword and walked to the door. After a moment, she hesitantly knocked on the door. It opened slightly. Brina pushed it open a little more and slid inside.

"I knew you'd be back. Just kill me, then. I'm not afraid of the likes of you." A quiet voice suddenly said. Brina turned around and saw a woman lying on a pile of hay, bleeding from what looked like her side, next to a lit fireplace.

"I...I'm not here to kill you." She said.

"If you're not here to ki.." The woman coughed up some blood on her hand. "To kill me, then why are you here?" Brina looked around, put her sword away and walked over to the woman.

"I was sent here to see if I could find information concerning a large group of goblins that were sent to Viornos." She paused. "Would you like help with your wound? I have a knack for healing." The woman looked at Brina curiously.

"Well, you're too late. They were here days ago, I'm not sure how long. Killed everyone and everything they got their filthy hands on, made camp for a night, and left. I don't know how I've managed to survive, but I know I'm not going to make it. Don't bother trying to help me." Brina tried to protest.

"But-"

"No buts. It's my time, and I've come to accept it. I have nothing to live for anyway, the rest of my family is dead. My husband, my child, all of them." The woman pulled herself up a little more with a pained look on her face, wiped her hand on her skirt, and held it out. "I'm Sandra, by the way." Brina paused for a moment, surprised, but took the woman's hand with a small smile.

"I'm Brina."

Brina stayed with Sandra, talking, telling her the goblins that had attacked her cities were all dead, and trying her best to help until the woman turned very pale, closed her eyes and fell into a sleep from which she would not wake. Wiping tears from her eyes, Brina folded the woman's arms and placed a blanket over her, wishing she could do the same for every other body that lay in the walls of these cities. She lit a stick seeing as it was now nighttime, put out the fire next to the woman and left the house without looking back.

Before leaving to find her companions, Brina went through the cities once more to take what supplies she could find. With one more look at the destroyed cities, she began the ride back to the group.
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Postby Iavasel » Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:28 pm

When they saw her coming, the little party urged their horses to a trot to meet Brina. They knew before she had even spoken. Her face was grim and slightly pinker than usual, and her bearing was hard but not urgent. Whatever danger it was was past, but Thor would not enjoy a stable tonight.

When they met they stopped their horses, as the cities being their original destination they now were irresolute as to which way to turn and so their conference was held by standing still, which was in itself slightly troublesome, as the trees by the road showed no break large enough to make camp, but the ride had taken the better part of the day and evening was impending.

"How bad?" Asked Cali.

"Anyone left in the cities is dead. Whether some escaped or were taken I don't really know, but I doubt that goblins have much use for prisoners. I found one woman, Sandra. The smoke came from her house, but she was too near death for me to do anything but see that she did not die alone."

Cali and Elias equally thought of their own village. Ravaged as it had been, they had been lucky. Elias closed his eyes breifly and to himself said the words of an old blessing on tradgedy. Cali thought sorrowfully that the area was too remote a place to give the people much hope. There had been no band of renegade knights nor no angel in silver to deliver them, as there had been for her and Elias ten years ago.

As they sat, a large fat rabbit scampered out from the tree cover, and just as suddenly it flopped over and lay still, dead or unconscious. The occasion had been so fast that Cali nearly missed what caused it, a small, smooth rock that had hit it in the head, though the direction it came from was not possible to tell.

After a moment's hesitation a small, thin, curly headed boy darted out onto the road and scooped up the rabbit and tried to make retreat again, but that Cali recovering herself wheeled Kent in front of him. "Hey, hey!" She exclaimed as the boy ducked under Kent's huge frame and darted out the other side. Cali leaned out of her saddle and swooped down up the boy, pulling him up onto the horse with her.

"He's mine! I got him first! Leave me alone!" The little thing yelled, nearly succeeding in kicking Cali in the face while keeping a firm hold on his prize.

"I don't want him!" Cali yelled back at him (which wasn't entirely true, she was hungry), but she certainly wouldn't take food away from a kid to satisfy herself. "I just want - hey!" She exclaimed. This time the boys foot had been somewhat more successful, glancing her chin and making her head go a way she didn't want it to.

She grabbed both skinny ankles with one hand and held him in place on the saddle with the other, lest in his struggles he fall off entirely. He tried to bite her, but with his feet higher than accostomed and his arms wrapped around the rabbit, this was not so easy.

"Look, I don't want you're rabbit. I just want to talk to you."

"Yeah, sure." The boy told her, and tried to get her to let go of his feet by squirming wildly, so much so that he slipped a bit and Cali had to yank his legs to prevent him from falling the long distance to the ground.

"Ow! You're hurting me!" The little thing screeched. "Get off!"

"Cali," Elias admonished.

"I'm not hurting him!" Cali defended herself. "It's just, he's got to be from one of those cities, doesn't he? There isn't much else around."

"Listen," Elias told the boy. "No one's going to take your rabbit, we just want to talk to you for a moment. alright?"

The boy looked doubtful, but he stopped kicking, though his hold on the rabbit never wavered and he squinted in a fiece manner at all of them.

"Where do you come from then?"

The boy shrugged.

"What's your name."

He shook his head.

"How many are with you out here?"

"Some."

Elias looked over the boy's head at Cali. Cali shrugged. "I dunno." She said, "What do you think?"

Another rustle in the trees emmitted a tall, thin woman obviously pregnant who stopped when she saw the four of them. "What do you want with my son?" She asked, a frown darkening her young forehead that already gave into that expression too much.

"Sorry." Said Cali, and jumped off Kent and went to assist the boy but he scorned her help and awkwardly scrambled down, which Kent patiently endured. "We just.., well, we wondered that other people live out here. It seemed strange."

The woman surveyed all of them. They looked experienced, but not entirely dishonest, she decided. Night was just beginning to blush into existance and this road was certainly no good for travellers anymore. She could not in good conscience leave them there, either to get attacked by something on the road, or to follow her, unknown back to the camp.

She tilted her head slightly and Cali caught the flash of a mark in the hollow between her ear and her jaw. A little blue star tatooed there.

"You're a - ?"

"Witch." The woman supplied. "Yes." She was still frowning and turned slightly as if to make back into the trees. She finally seemed to decide something. "If you would know more, then follow us." She told them. "Some things are better not spoken on the road. Names included." She added, as Cali opened her mouth to give her hers.
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Postby Elf*Moon*Forest » Sat Jul 30, 2005 12:45 pm

Nare’s head snapped up instantly as the word ‘witch’ floated into her train of thought through the murky grey of twilight, her mare shifting slightly beneath her. This woman’s magic was stronger than hers. If anyone could eliminate Larys entirely, this woman could.

As they wandered between the well-spaced oaks and maples, devoid of leaves and any serenity that a forest would normally hold, she began to hold a shadow of a doubt. Larys hadn’t troubled her in a while now; if she tried to get rid of him completely, he might come back. Silently, she decided against it. Provocation wasn’t a variable she wanted to get caught up in.

Elias rode up beside her, slab of a hand strangely calming as it rested on her shoulder, fingertips massing her nape. The woman leading them leaned on the boy’s shoulder for support, before Brina rode ahead of her and dismounted.

“Get on.” She said, dropping the reigns as she offered her hands to make a stirrup. The witch stared for a moment, before a faint glimmer of what could just as well have been haughty pride as downright malice shined in her eyes for a fraction of a second. The boy’s face was grim, and with impertinent authority wriggled out of his mother’s grasp and shoved her gently at Skye. He wrenched the rains off the ground and stroked the horse’s neck, glaring all the while. With a huff of impatience, the woman struggled up onto the beast’s broad back, with Brina’s help, before her boy scrambled up after her. There was no ‘thank you’, no nod of acknowledgement. Only the dim light that shone off of Brina’s pale hair in the impending dark as she walked along between Cali and Kent and the near-black of the forest, trailing her fingers along the trunks of the trees, floating like a wraith in the still.

Nare sighed regretfully as Elias’ hand slid down her back before resting on his thigh. Stealthily, as if Cali had eyes everywhere, he fingered the corner of his jacket, worming a finger inside to drag the bauble out, and clasped it around his neck, pulling the collar tight around him. Nare smiled, squinting out into the deep expanse of black, her skin glowing in the night, seeming to cast off its own ethereal glow. She was that pale.

It was calmly, rigidly silent. There was no noise other than that of the horses crunching through underbrush and dead leaves. The girl stared around her, attempting and failing to penetrate the thick blanket of night. For the first time in a long time, serenity had enfolded her cloak in every direction around her, and its feathery tips had finally graced over Nare and her group.


She couldn’t foretell whether this woman was on their side or not, but at the moment she was more preoccupied with the prospect of a peaceful night’s sleep.
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Postby Iavasel » Sat Jul 30, 2005 9:08 pm

Cali stared at the woman for a goodly amount of time, trusting Kent to navigate the trees (indeed, he was probably better at it than she would have been). She could not see her all the time, as trees and dark cut off her view, but every now and then she caught a glimpse of her in faint moonlight.

She gently directed Kent closer to them, and Kent took the hint and continued to weave through the trees in a closer pattern than he had been doing.

A flash of moonlight caught both of them and she found that the boy had been staring as intently at her as she had watched his mother.

"Your hair is funny." He informed her.

Cali snapped back her immediate response which would have been Your face is funny And instead only said "Thank you." And then asked "What's your name then?"

The boy twisted to look at his mother, and by some small sign of assent that she gave him he turned again and told her. "Azrael."

Cali nodded approvingly to herself, and because she knew he could not see this added "A good name."

"How would you know?" He asked in the darkness.

"Well, I like it."

"Doesn't make it good, does it?"

"Charlie" his mother said warningly. She sighed, recognizing the incongruity of the two things the boy was apparently called. "Azrael," she said, "was his father's doing. I certainly would not have picked such a prophetic name. I don't think his father really thought the name through, just thought it sounded beautiful, or perhaps only knew the literal translation. His second name is more serviceable for every day use."

"And your name?" Cali asked.

"Rheia. Kind of prophetic too, isn't it?"

They came to a place where the trees cleared and they hit for a few moments a bright spot of moonlight. Rheia wore a slight frown of worry or concentration, it was difficult for Cali to tell.

She was thin and slightly tall for a woman. Whatever weight she had seemed to be centered on her rotund little stomach, testifying that there would soon be another worry for Rheia, and Cali wondered what she would call this one. After all, what did you name a child after your first was called Azrael?

Her face was pleasant enough, and would be quite pretty if it were not always knit together, though Cali saw now wrinkles in the girl's face, and thought then that this expression, though now frequently used, was relatively new. Her nose was short and up-turned slightly. Her eyes a clear gray and long hair that would be honey colored in the sunlight was braided and wrapped around her head like a golden crown. She sat very straight, and this coupled with the way her skirt flowed around her and the horse made her look very regal.

A thin knife in a plain leather sheath hung at her belt, though Cali guessed that this was more for cooking and herb-gathering and the occasional defense rather than for any serious fighting.

The boy shared his mother's honey hair, but his was short and fiercely curly. His nose was small too, but had none of the upturn, and where his mothers eyes were grey his were a frank brown gaurded by two strong, serious brows.

Elias, who had been half listening, rode closer and called softly to Rheia "My sister is lacking in her courtesy, good friend. My sister here is called Calid, and I am Elias."

Rheia smiled faintly in acknowlegement and lost a bit of her frown. "Thank you, Elias."

They re-entered the trees and after a short time were hailed by a low whistle. Rheia responded quickly with a different noise.

"I would...be careful." Rheia said after a moment. "I feel that the people who have survived out here are not naturally violent, but desperate times make people do strange things. It's made all of us especially jumpy. No one intends you harm, but if you startle them they may lash out."

Like dealing with a wild animal , Elias thought. In a way, this woman reminded him of Nare. There was something about them, perhaps it was some special other awareness that they both seemed to share, an extra care for things that he could not see or understand. Nare lost it sometimes with him, but to this woman it seemed a constant connection, a sort of dual and overlappig awareness. It was the kind of thing that made people go quiet just to watch and wonder what it was that Rheia might be listening to.

A few lights flickered through the trees, and Rheia in the now semi-darkness close to the fires guided them paralell to the fires for a while until she found her own.

Charlie was quick to scramble down and make for the fire with his rabbit. Brina offered a hand to Rheia to help her down and after a moment, Rheia accepted and slowly lowered herself to the ground.

As soon as she had she was hailed by another child. "Mother! I wondered where you'd got to." A thin little girl half a head taller than Charlie with a thick fringe of auburn hair sheilding grey eyes like Rheia's wrapped her arms around Rheia's legs for a moment and tilted her head back to seriously consider her, ignoring the others.

"Persephone, get some more wood from Tam's fire, and then help your brother with the rabbit please. Mum's had a long walk out to find your brother and a long ride back."

The girl surveyed the new company that she was obviously being sent on this mission for, her serious grey eyes telling Elias that this little girl would have the same gift her mother did. Then released her hold on her mother and skipped away to find her neighbor and ask for wood.

Persephone thought Cali. Another one. She had only known witches briefly before. She met them occasionally and had no complaints against them, but others always seemed wary of them and she had certainly never spent so much time in their company.

"Please." Said Rheia, gesturing to them places where they could sit around the fire.
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Postby Teleri123 » Sun Jul 31, 2005 4:19 pm

As Brina walked through the darkness that seemed to be overwhelming, she heard Cali talking with the woman and her son. Their names were Rheia and Azrael, and their conversation went on. After a few minutes Brina heard Rheia say something about being careful, that the people who surivived out here are not naturally dangerous, but if startled they may do something. Brina looked up to see fires scattered throughout the area, each seemingly to be a different family.

On their way to one specific fire, Brina's hazel eyes caught with a pair of alarmingly blue ones that belonged to a figure sitting a few fires away. The figure leaned slightly into the firelight, and Brina saw it was a man who looked as though he was stuck between adolescence and adulthood. He looked at her for a moment, then went back to his work. Brina turned her gaze back to Rheia, who had just stopped near a specific fire. Helping Rheia down, she took Skye's reins back from Azrael.

They were greeted by a young girl named Persephone who also belong to Rheia, and were directed toward the fire. After everyone was seated, there were a few moments of silence. Brina hesitated, but felt something had to be said.

"Rheia," She began. "Are the people here suriviors from the attack on the two cities some miles up the road a week ago?" Rheia looked at Brina for a moment.

"No. We've all been here as long as I can remember. There are the occasional visitors, but none recently besides yourselves. Why do you ask...?" She paused at the end of the scentence.

"Brina." Brina replied quickly, feeling stupid for not introducing herself before asking questions. "I ask because there was an attack on two cities, Dumar and Gien, about a week ago by a group of goblins. As far as I could tell there were no survivors. I wondered if perhaps you had come upon anyone." Rheia glanced over the scattered fires.

"Ah, yes. I heard about that, which is another reason to be cautious. The attacks caused us to bring a higher level of security in our camps. Everyone is shaken by the whole thing and worried we might be next." She paused and turned to Brina. "It is unfortunate no one saw the goblins coming, or else some might have escaped." Rheia's eyes flashed and at the same moment Brina heard what seemed to be a thousand voices screaming and dying out as quickly as they had come. Brina turned slightly pale as she heard Cali's voice come into the conversation, though not hearing what she said.
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Postby Iavasel » Sun Jul 31, 2005 9:42 pm

A small discrepancy hit Cali. Small but significant. "Wait," said Cali, now on her gaurd and doubting Rheia's motives. "You say no one saw them coming, but if there were no survivors, how do you know that?"

Rheia looked at her and a series of images suddenly flooded through Cali, a sudden black cloud, a fire, a blade, someone dying. Cali gasped and Rheia suddenly dropped her gaze and tried to compose her face.

"I'm sorry." Said Rheia, the frown back with full force. "I forgot. You asked and I wasn't thinking, it just came out. The children have...natural sheilds against that sort of thing."

"What sort of thing?" Cali asked, nearly breathless. She suddenly understood why Brina had gone pale a moment before. Elias looked confused but Nare was gazing at the woman intently.

"I, don't know what you'd call it." Said Rheia, searching for something to make them understand. "Let me explain to you how it works rather than what it can do or what it's called, for both of those have too many answers.

Witches" she began "are to begin with a very diverse group. Some of us are stronger than others, some of us embrace it and some do not. It is not so much a race, like man or" she glanced at Brina "faery. But more of a people who are born with or who develop a certain sense. Mine is particularly strong. Persephone promises to have a great deal of it, and Azrael has some but his is less pronounced. It comes and goes with him.

The Earth" she continued "is living. Not thinking certainly, but it vibrates with a sort of resonant force that connects everything, more power than you could think of rides just below the surface if you knew how to tap into it. People have this life force too, just like anything else.

Some with a sort of everyday witch sense feel things about people they are very close to. Some mothers know instantly when their child is hurt or in danger. The thread that connects a mother and child vibrates when the child sends out shock or fear and the vigilant mother feels that something is wrong.

Now, that is only one thread. But an entire city, two entire cities, each person unconsciously channeling fear and hate and pain...I was struck by waves upon waves of images and smells and sounds that I had not looked for and could not control.

A wave like that hits the strongest the hardest, and then trickles down. Persephone wept for days without knowing why, and Azrael had nightmares about people he'd never met.

A memory like that you do not easily forget, and so when you asked it came back and I did not bar it strongly enough. Forgive me, for I fear some of it lashed back at you."

Cali, who a few months ago would have said that that was an interesting theory and dismissed it as no more than that, now sat quietly and a bit shaken at what she had seen, realizing that these were memories of people now dead.

Persephone had returned with an armful of wood and dropped it by the fire in front of her mother, and then went to help her brother with the rabbit. Rheia watched them and continued softly

"It can be channeled by looking or by touching or by simply thinking, if the thought is strong enough. Any form of energy really, and so, if you are strong in it is particularly difficult to gaurd against, since you don't know if the slightest flash of eyes or brushing of skin will transmit that energy. A memory, a feeling, anything. Persephone one year had an earache and had not learned how to control herself. She succeeded in making the rest of the family have one too.

But I'm sorry. I know to gaurd myself, I should have been better prepared."

Elias who had been sitting regarding her with a serious and intent expression now voiced his question. "Could you then," he asked "know how I feel if I wanted you to? Or know what sort of person I am?"

"Yes." Said Rheia. "And sometimes even if you did not want to I could tell what sort of person you are, or what your motivations were. But generally I don't try to pry into others minds. Leaving myself open to just recieve all that information from everyone all the time is about enough to drive someone mad. But, would you like to try?"

Elias nodded slowly and extended a large hand. Rheia met it with her own small but work-roughened one and held it palm to palm in front of the firelight for a moment. She kept all of herself back, not wanting to give him anything he didn't want, and let him wash over her instead. There was a soft but firm feeling that ran over her as he touched her palm, warm and calm.

She smiled. "Very nice, Elias." She told him, and let his hand go.
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Postby Elf*Moon*Forest » Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:50 am

As she sat hunched over the fire, Nare gave Elias a probing, sidelong look. He shook his head slightly, with a small smile. She knew it would be better to ask him later. Nare jumped a bit as a heavily shaking hand descended upon her shoulder. She turned around to be nose to nose with a very old, and much wrinkled man.

"Sir, would you like a seat?" She asked, standing up quickly and dusting off the rock she had been sitting on. He smiled, a toothless grin, before folding into a cross-legged position beside her on the ground. With a bit of awe, she implored “All due respect, won't that hurt you when you need to get up?" His eyes caught her worried frown, and he laughed.

"Man's only mortality is his consciousness of Time." Suddenly, deep black eyes were boring into hers. "You know about time, I expect." He added in a soft whisper.

She nodded grimly, and he stood up and offered her his hand. "Come with me. I want to show you something."

As she followed his bent frame in a weave through numerous trees and fires, once again a calming sensation slowly floated over her. She viewed faces and clothing and houses in a near-euphoric haze, as the sound of water slowly invaded her thoughts. Before long, waves were crashing heavily upon white shores. The water was strangely clear, and a gull or two combed the beach in search of something to eat.

"This is the Sea of Aereth" He boomed, hands clasped behind his back, staring out into the place where tide meets heaven. Storm clouds rolled menacingly over a cliff far out, flashes of lightening cracking in the twisted potion that makes up the sky, the roar of wind and surf deafening Nare’s and the old man’s human ears.

It was as if they were standing on the brink of the world before the Fall—sole witnesses to the last calm.

Hands still in fists behind him, the old man slowly made his way down the sandy shore to stand in the water up to his chest. The wind howled as it pushed a cloud that was obscuring the moon out of the way. His arms were raised in a ‘V’ shape above him, channeling the silver-white river of gleam to cut out a pale shadow behind him. Nare stepped forward, to better see what he would do.

Suddenly, he threw his head back and laughed, the sound echoing off the rocks and cliffs in the distance. His eyes flashed, and his deep voice drowned out the wind and the waves.

“The lotus has withered, but rarely does the cold of winter destroy the hope of flowers in the spring.”

“A fire held in stone has escaped its confines before. Soon, there shall be a need for it. However, all shall end in good, not evil. Dreams will not plague them again.”

He lowered his arms slowly, and turned to her. His smile was broad. The winds had died down, and the storm cloud was nowhere to be seen. The girl standing before him as he crawled out of the ocean looked very much like a silver statue, her ivory skin and pale dress catching the light of the moon.

“Them?” she whispered. Her eyes were strangely serene in the half-light; not that the old man could have known that. He looked at her strangely.

“Them.” He echoed. “Two of the people with you, I suppose. It seemed like two, maybe as many as three, but no more than that. Yes. Two.” He assured her after a moment’s contemplation.

If she was worried, she didn’t show it. Instead she only followed the man back to her own fire and sat down. It wasn’t long before she was lost in the flames.
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Postby Teleri123 » Mon Aug 01, 2005 7:46 pm

As Brina listened to Rheia's explanation, she grew ever paler. She couldn't believe what she had heard. Not to mention Rheia somehow knew she was part Faery. As Brina saw Rheia let go of Elias's hand and smile, the witch turned and once again caught eyes with Brina. Brina suddenly felt a breeze pass her and her hands begin to shake. Making her hands turn into fists in an attempt to stop them from shaking, she stood.

"I need to go check on Skye." Not knowing what else to say, Brina walked away from the fire as fast as she could and decided she might as well go see how Skye was. On her way to the area where the group had left their horses, Brina suddenly felt a hand over her mouth and an arm wrap around her waist as she was pulled behind a large tree. The figure turned her around and Brina found herself face to face with the man she had seen earlier. She recognized his blue eyes, and saw he was taller than she was and had black hair. The man released Brina and spoke.

"I'm sorry for startling you, but I must speak with you." He said in a slight whisper. Brina paused for a moment, surprised he wanted to talk with her.

"Speak with me? About what?" She asked. The man looked around for a moment, checking to see whether it was safe to continue talking.

"Your quest." He replied, turning to look at Brina, who looked slightly dumbfounded.

"How--" She began.

"You cannot stay here, or else you will most likely be found." He said, interrupting her. Brina looked at him, trying to see if he was lying.

"Who are you?" She finally asked.

"My name is Lennox." He replied.

"I'm Brina." She paused, not sure if her question was appropiate to ask. "Are you...are you a witch?" He smiled slightly.

"Yes, but not everyone here is. There are the select few."

"How do you know about our quest and how do I know you're not lying?" Brina asked, her curiousity getting the better of her.

"Were you not listening to Rheia when she talked of witches and the earth? I saw you. I heard you. You and your companions. When you entered the camp I recognized you." He again checked to see if it was alright to go on. "There is something else. I also saw that there are others looking for what you seek. I do not know how far behind you they are, or who they are for that matter. All I know is that you musn't linger here, but continue on your way across the Sea of Aereth." He grabbed Brina's shoulders and looked her straight in the eye. "As for proof, I cannot offer you more than my account of what I saw and my word."

Brina studied Lennox for a moment, going through everything he said. He gave the impression of just finding himself, though he almost seemed too wise for his age. She realized after a moment that he was not lying. She had an odd feeling that told her to trust him.

"I believe you," She said finally, glancing around slightly and realizing her companions were probably wondering where she was. "Look," she said, looking back at Lennox. "I have to go back, or they'll start searching for me." She began to walk away, but stopped and turned back to him. "Thank you. Perhaps we will speak again before I depart." He acknowledged her words with a slight nod and smile, and slipped back into darkness as she quickly checked on Skye and returned to the fire.
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Postby Iavasel » Mon Aug 01, 2005 8:15 pm

For a few moments, Cali found herself alone with Elias, Rheia and the children. Nare and Brina had by some strange lapse in her attention vanished away before her.

Azrael gave Cali a hard glare from the other side of the fire and tittered something to his mother in a language that Cali did not understand. It sounded almost like regular speech but stopped just short of being complete words. Cali felt that if she let things meld together she could almost hear the words but not quite. His mother ruffled his hair and then held his gaze seriously while she tittered back.

She smiled as he scowled and gave Cali a last hard look before turning away from all of them.

Seeing that Elias' attention was occupied by Persephone, Rheia leaned over to Cali and whispered in her ear, "He sees that you're a theif. He thinks you're after his rabbit."

Cali looked indignantly at the little boy, who was in fact hunching rather defensively over the rabbit still and giving her hard looks.

"I would never - "

"I know." Broke in Rheia, "but he can't make the distinction. As I told you, in the children it's not as strong, but theiving is...a necessity for you, isn't it?"

Cali looked guiltily at her brother who now had Persephone on his lap, the thin little girl dwarfed by his stature. And yet it made quite a handsome picture. She had wrapped her fingers in his hair and was twirling it absentmindedly, and Elias had to bend his head at an awkward angle to allow her to reach it. He caught Cali looking at him and smiled softly.

"He doesn't know. Not even a suspicion" Rheia assured her. "He thinks the world of you," she added after a moment.

She passed Cali a bowl and began filling it for her, and she and Cali ate silently and watched Elias and Persephone.

Persephone had produced a handful of stones with little markings on them, and she and Elias took turns tossing them, but evidently Elias wasn't playing right, try as Persphone would to get him to understand. Every time Elias did something wrong she would chatter at him and pull his ear or his hair, and he laughed and asked her something that made her sigh in an exaggerated way, and bend his head closer to make him listen properly.

Seperately, Brina and Nare drifted back to the fire. Cali eyed them suspiciously. The two of them had gone away and come back almost dreamy and somewhat paler than before. Cali frowned in an expression like the one Rheia frequented, but held her peace.
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Postby Elf*Moon*Forest » Tue Aug 02, 2005 8:23 am

Nare stood and peered over Elias' shoulder. The stones were scattered about on the ground, some in little groups and some alone. Carved into them were markings, lines and dashes. Persephone glanced up at her, her hands brimming with the stones.

"Do you know how?" She asked with her eyes rather than her voice. Nare smiled, smoothed her hair, and kneeled down beside her.

Making a little pouch with her sleeve, Nare dumped the stones into it and shook it vigourously. Then, she reached in and pulled out ten different stones, aligning them systematically in rows of one stone, four stones, one stone, four stones. The little girl peered at them for a moment and beamed.

"She knows." She whispered in Elias' ear, giggling. He smiled, eyes running over the planes of Narenial's face. She was intent on looking at the stones, seeming to divine some deeper meaning in the markings on them.

It was all there.

A young woman. Troubled childhood. Tragedy. The unknown. Deceit. False Hope. Regained hope. Calm. Deceit. Exploration.

The lines on the stones bored into her head, so that when she looked up at the fire they were faintly outlined. Persephone stood over her shoulder, frowning slightly at the marks. Without warning, the scraggly little girl hugged her around the neck.

"I'm sorry." She whispered. Nare smiled slightly, her eyes downcast. With one arm she hugged her back.

When the girl pulled away, Nare grinned up at her.

"Is there a boy named Hades who lives here?" she asked. Persephone's eyes widened.

"He's my best friend!" She exclaimed with a child's wonder. She pointed to a tiny leanto not far away. A small boy with shocks of curly hair squatted next to a fire.

"That's him." she said.

Still grinning, the maiden pulled her close and whispered in her ear. "The next time you see him, make him share his food with you."

The little girl smiled, gave Elias a final hug and a quick kiss on the cheek, and bounced off to bed.

He slid closer to her, tentatively wrapping his arm around her shoulder, as if she might break. she looked up briefly and smiled, staring down at the stones by her feet. One by one she picked them up and dropped them into a little leather pouch Persephone had left behind. Elias watched intently as she put them away; she caught his glance and recognized that he was a bit lost.

"They're casting stones," she explained. "It's a form of divination. You can read your fortune."

She paused with the last stone at the lip of the bag.

"Do you want me to read yours?" She asked timidly. He smiled, covering over her hand with his own.

"Not now." He said, standing and offering his hand to help her up. "Maybe tomorrow morning, before we leave. If we leave, that is."

They shared a look, before retreating to the other side of the fire to keep Cali and Brina company.
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Postby Iavasel » Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:58 pm

Cali watched Nare and Elias approach their side of the fire and join in the little half ring of bodies. She wondered at how quickly they had fallen in together and knowing hardly anything about the other had melted into an easy courtship, as far as she could see without quarrel or embarassment.

No sooner met but they looked; No sooner looked but they loved; No sooner loved but they sighed; No sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason; No sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy. Cali wondered where the words had come from. Ordinarily she had no head for keeping verse, especially such a silly one. Perhaps something Elias had read to her long ago, or perhaps the very nature of the place and the people she was with filled her with strangeness, either way, Cali had to admit that it fit.

Rheia had risen to check on the children and to kiss them to bed, and when she came back to the fire and settled down with them to share in its quiet contemplation, Cali realized that it was getting on in the evening and she had seen no sign of Rheia's husband. "Rheia," she said tentatively "if you don't mind, where is your husband?"

Rheia smiled. "My husband Warren," she said "is a go between for us and the rest of the world. We get along tolerably well, but the camp needs things from time to time, like buttons, or pots, or knives, things that we can't make ourselves. He doesn't mind, he was not born as one of our people and so from time to time misses the city, or the sea, or real houses.

So, when the weather is good for travel and the camp has accumulated goods to be sold, he goes out and finds a market for them. We have lingered here a little over-long. It is not good for us to be in any one place for too long, as there are not many places that welcome a gypsy camp, especially one that carries witches. We expected him back, but we may have to move on before he comes."

"And he's able to find you?" Asked Cali.

"Well," said Rheia "he is not a witch -witch, not warlock, that is something else-" she added firmly "but I asked him once how he found us. He admitted that he didn't really know, and that he didn't really know when or where he would find us, but that everything else just felt wrong, and if his heart was easy, he knew he was heading in the right direction."

Cali nodded.

"As I told you" Rheia went on after a moment "the Earth is living if not thinking, and it responds to energy. When two hearts are so strongly in accord, the Earth will move to help them, and they will find each other again."
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Postby Teleri123 » Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:30 pm

After returning to her companions, Brina was somewhat quiet, her mind going in so many different directions. She was going over what Lennox had said and was thinking she should discuss it with Cali, Nare and Elias, but had a slight feeling she shouldn't.

Finally deciding she would keep the conversation to herself, for now at least, Brina returned to the discussion. Cali and Rheia were talking about Rheia's husband. After a few moments, Cali turned to her.

"And where have you been?" She asked in a somewhat knowing tone. Brina looked up at Cali and gave the girl a small smile.

"I went for a walk. Checked on Skye." She said, though she had a feeling Cali knew she was lying. Cali rolled here eyes and looked at Nare.

"And you?" She asked, as though expecting her to say something besides the truth.

"Walk." She mumbled, looking as though she was deep thought. Cali sighed.

"Whatever you say." She said, knowing they both were being less than truthful and planning to approach the both of them later on. They sat there for a few minutes in silence before anyone spoke.

"Well," Brina said suddenly, standing up. "I think I'll go get some sleep."

"Let me help you." Rheia said, standing up and walking over to Brina.

"Oh, thank you." Brina replied. She turned to her companions. "Night." She heard mumbled replies as she and Rheia got blankets and set up a place for Brina to sleep and placed more blankets next to her for Cali, Nare and Elias to use.

"Thank you so much Rheia. We really appreciate it." Brina gave the woman a smile. "Good night."

"Good night, Brina" Rheia said, before pausing and turning to Brina. "I wouldn't take what Lennox said lightly. He's a smart man and knows what he's talking about."

Before Brina could say anything in response, Rheia was gone.
Last edited by Teleri123 on Thu Aug 04, 2005 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Iavasel » Wed Aug 03, 2005 10:25 pm

Rheia woke after only a few hours sleep. She felt it, whatever it was that was after this company. She looked down at the four sleeping around the fire and sighed, putting one hand protectively to her stomach. If she had been young and wild she would have tried to sheild them. She might even have gone with them, but she had two children and a third on the way, and besides that duties to this camp. There were more children here in the camp than her own that were less able to protect themselves, and to draw attention to the camp by trying to save four travellers was something she could not justify, sorry though she might be for them.

She checked the saddle bags that the sleepers had left out, and filled out what they lacked to the best of her ability, adding provisions, sharpening knives, she even swapped a pot with a broken handle that had been in Cali's pack for one of her own, knowing that she could mend it later but that Cali might not get the chance or have the patience.

When the sky began to gray with the approaching dawn and dew began to make the air thick, she woke Persephone and Azrael and ordered them in whispers, allowing the others to get a few more precious minutes of rest. Azrael was argumentative until he heard the bell that Rheia had known would come, and then he went about uncomplaining.

"Azrael," she told him quietly, "go see if the others need help, and when you come back bring your father's horse. Persephone, help me with the shelter."

Lennox had accompanied Azrael back from his mission and he briefly scanned Rheia's camp. "You'll be ready in time then?" He asked, his blue eyes lighting briefly on Brina's sleeping head.

"Yes" affirmed Rheia.

"I'm sorry we could not wait for Warren."

"Me too." Said Rheia. "He will be disappointed, and so will the children, but he will find us."

"They'll need a guide then, back to the road?"

Rheia looked at the four around her fire. "Yes," she said, "I think it's best. We don't want them to accidently lead whatever's following them on to us."

Lennox nodded and turned his horse. "I'll arrange it." He assured her before riding off again to attend to the camp business of moving.

Rheia at last woke her guests. While Persephone and Azrael packed up their father's horse with items from the camp, Rheia explained to them that whatever it was that was following them had spooked the camp and that given their lack of fighting ability and burden of old and young amoung them, the camp must move.

She pushed warm breakfast into their hands and apologized that they would have to eat it on the road and not by the fire at their leisure, and then they were all of them ready to go. Azrael hung back, holding the horse. Persephone clung uncharacteristically to Rhiea's skirt, her lip out and her brow heavy.

"Before you go." Said Rheia, "one thing more. Let me take your hands, one at a time. And let me channel that Earth's power through you."

She did so, starting with Brina and working her way then to Nare and finally to Cali. She took both her hands in hers and closed her eyes, and Cali felt for a moment whatever it was rush through her. It made her very bones vibrate and ache with a sort of uncomfortableness that she could not tell whether it came from heat or cold.

"I don't know what that will do, if anything for you." Said Rheia. "That was but the smallest thread. But you have felt it once, you know now where your enemy lies at this moment, and that is all I think I can give you."

Persephone, instead of her mother, took Elias' hands and performed the same service for him, and then began to cry big, silent tears. Elias knelt by her and tried to smooth them away with his big, rough hands, but they were too quick for him and flooded on.

When he stood she attached herself in a melancholic way to his legs while Rheia spoke quietly to him over her head.

"She thinks this is the biggest tradgedy of her life." She told him, smiling gently. "I told you, she can't quite differentiate yet, she feels the love that you have for your pale one and she feels it as though you had intended it for her."

Elias gazed down at the auburn head buried in his thigh and swept the little girl up to look her in the face. She was sniffling loudly now, but puffy eyes and wet cheeks and all he gave her a real kiss and then set her carefully on the back of the horse Azrael held.

"A guide will meet you to take you back to the road, or set you in whatever direction you please. I wish I could give you more, and where ever you go may the Earth reach out to help you."
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Postby Teleri123 » Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:08 am

When Brina woke up, she saw that everyone else was already up and about, cleaning and packing up.

"You're moving camp?" She asked Rheia, who was in the process of waking the others.

Rheia explained the situation to the four of them, and Brina nodded silently before going to make sure she was packed and ready to go. When she, Nare, Elias and Cali were all ready to go, Rheia gave them some breakfast to eat on the road and also gave them some of Earth's power. Like Rheia, Brina wasn't sure what it would do for them, but was thankful all the same.

They said their goodbyes, and were told a guide was waiting to help them on their way. As they reached where they were told the guide was going to meet them, Brina saw two figures. One she had never seen before, and one she recognized as Lennox. They both were on horses, and it looked as though they were talking. As they approached, they both rode up to the group.

"I came to see that you left safely. This," He gestured to the other figure, "is Evan, your guide. He'll help you get going in the right direction so you may reach where it is you plan to go." He paused and turned to the group. "Now it is time I left. I wish you the best with your journey. Farewell. I will see you soon Evan." He began to ride off, and as he did, he hastily gave Brina a small package. "This will help you and your companions." He gave her a quick nod and rode off. Brina shoved the package into her bag, deciding she would wait until later to open it.

After a few moments, their guide, Evan, finally spoke.

"Alright." He said, looking them over. "Where is it you would like to go?" There was a moment of silence.

"We need to cross the Sea of Aereth."
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Postby Iavasel » Fri Aug 05, 2005 8:23 pm

Evan arched one eyebrow at the response, but gave no further argument than to cluck to his horse, who pricked his ears and began to move forward. Evan seemed to hesitate just for a moment and then decided something, and directed his horse slightly more west, which would make them intersect the road slightly farther down and cut out a few hours of their journey.

Cali regarded Evan's receeding back, and watched him make fine adjustments to his direction every now and then. She wondered if he was a witch too. She didn't know how many in the camp had been witches, although certainly that was all they had met, although Rheia had said her husband wasn't. There was no little blue star on him that she could see, but that was a mark by choice and not by birth, it had been tattooed on. Perhaps only stronger witches had them. Perhaps it was a mark of rank. Rheia and the one or two witches she had met before had had them, and in the same place, the hollow between the bottom of the ear and the end of the jaw, but that didn't mean all had them.

She thought it was likely that he was a witch, even if he didn't show it, because then it would be easy for him to find the camp again that had already begun to move. Or maybe these gypsies just had an innate sense about things like that, or maybe they had some secret sign they left as a trail.

"What do you think, Kent?"

Kent seemed undecided.

It was too complicated, Cali decided to stop thinking about it.

Something, however, bothered her about his apparel. No, she corrected herself, it was not his, it was Elias' apparel that bothered her. Not having any other men in the group Cali had not given it much thought before. But the day was warm and sticky, and whereas Evan's collar was wide open for the air, Elias' was tight around his neck with an unnecessary zeal.

Cali turned in her saddle to glare suspiciously at him. She made a note to discover later why he had so jealously gaurded his neck from sight. Maybe, she thought, the wound she had stitched up for him had gone wrong. He seemed alright, but he was a big man and might just be braving it out. Stubborn. She decided. She would confront him about it later.

Evan turned left and let them up a steep incline that took several minutes to reach the top of, but when they reached the top the landscape spread out green and leafy beneath them.

"That" he said, pointing to long thin break in the trees that wound slowly out of sight "is the road. And that" he added, this time pointing to what from that distance seemed like only a distant glitter in the sun "is the Sea of Aereth."
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Postby Elf*Moon*Forest » Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:50 pm

The sky was bright with puffy white clouds and a startlingly pure sun, glinting off the water like diamonds in a roofless hall as they rode slowly toward their destination. The air was just on the other side of warm as sister Spring shone graciously down upon them, shimmering gently over the hard-packed dirt of the road. Nare stared quietly at the dapples of light and dark that were scattered across the avenue; mosaic grey-scale shadows of good, evil, and the undecided. So much like the people they'd encountered. The people they would encounter . . .

The smell of salt was soon on the air; Nare heard Cali inhale deeply and sigh. Brina rode behind her with a small smile on her face, visage unclouded by the tiny little worries that would normally wrinkle her brow.

Elias, on the other hand, sat staring straight ahead into the blinding streak of white and blue, his expression slightly grim.

"I've never seen the ocean before," He confessed in a whisper over Nare's shoulder. "It's a bit frightening."

Narenial smiled and patted his shoulder, faintly noticing that he still clutched possessively at his collar. So Cali was in the dark even now . . . .

Green fields rose up on their left, as well as a single windmill and several houses. Shingles hung precariously from the outside walls of the buildings, sagging roofs covered in seabrine, sand, and moss. And past all of it, where the green faded and gave way to pale bluish sand, arose the calm yet furious majesty of the wide ocean.

A ricketey gate greeted the group as a plummeting red sun fell out of the sky into the forest behind them. And with as much authority as if it were her own town, Nare stepped forward and pounded the door . . .
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Postby Iavasel » Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:55 pm

The sea beyond the cluster of houses pounded hungrily at the beach, a constant rumble that sounded like thunder echoing off itself.

Cali had to check Kent who had pointed his great black head in that direction and half-moved towards it. She patted his shoulder and felt him quivering. There was something about the sea that resonated in the two of them, horse and rider. Something strange and powerful that vibrated through the half-wild girl and her war stallion. She shivered a little, and as she checked Kent she also had to pull her own attention away from the surf.

Elias sat more grim-faced with a look that Cali could only describe as moody. He surveyed the horizon as one might do looking for a storm. He wondered if whatever it was that was following them could go over water like that, or if it even knew that the Sea of Aereth was the way they were headed.

One hand rested on his waist and the other held the reigns loosely in front of him as he considered the sea, his eyes a miniature version of the blue-grey water.

He glanced at his sister which did not reassure him. She did not seem afraid, but he supposed she wasn't afraid of a lot of things, and that he hadn't seen her scared that often. She was looking at the water with a sort of intensity that threatened to break out into a smile that would dare the waves, and to him that meant trouble, and possibly stupidity.

He watched Nare pound on a rickety little door, and wondered what else was in store for them.
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Postby Teleri123 » Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:22 pm

Brina looked over the view before her with a small smile on her face. She had always loved the sea and its shores, not only for it's beauty, but also for its simplicity. Life was calmer here. After a few moments, Brina's gaze moved from the Sea to the town beside it. As she looked at it, she was happy to see it was quite the opposite of Viornos. All the houses were scattered about in no specific order. Brina saw they were made of wood, and were all different sizes with some slightly darker or lighter than others.

There are hardly any worries here, for these people beside the sea. She thought as her attention was brought to Nare pound on a old gate leading to the small town. After a minute or so, Brina saw a woman peer over the top of the gate.

"Alright, alright. Keep yer skirts on. I'm comin'." She said as she disappeared. A moment later the gate opened. The woman was older, with long silver hair and faded red skirt. She looked at the group with one of her green eyes open and the other squinting slightly.

"What do you want?" She asked, brushing a strand of silver hair out of her face.

"We're heading across the Sea." Brina said, taking a small step forward.

"Cross the Sea? Well, alright Come on in." They entered and the woman looked them over for a moment or so. "Food and rest, that's what you need. Food and rest. C'mon, follow me." The group looked at eachother for a moment before following the woman to one of the larger buildings. When they got inside and sat down, the woman walked over to a slight of stairs and started yelling.

"JOHN, COME DOWNSTAIRS! WE'VE GOT VISITORS!" The woman paused, and hearing no response, continued. "JOHN DAVIES, GET YER ASS DOWN THESE STAIRS NOW BEFORE I DO IT FOR YA!" Suddenly, steps were head above them, and an older man appeared, rubbing his eyes.

"Ye've never thought of coming upstairs and calmly shaking me awake, have ye, Lee?" He said, sitting next to the woman who sat down near the door.

"No, I haven't." She replied. "Anyway, we've got some guests 'ere." She gestured to them and the man looked at them for the first time.

"Oh, you'll have to scuse me, I didn't see ye." He said. "I'm John. You've already met my wife, Lee." Cali smiled.

"I'm Cali. This my brother Elias, and our friends Nare and Brina."

"Its a pleasure." John said, nodding. "Now, whats going on?"

"We're headed across the Sea. That's why we're here." Brina said. John stroked his beard for a moment while Lee looked at him with her arms crossed.

"Well?" She asked, still looking at him. John ignored her.

"We'll need to get ye a boat, then. Tha won't be too hard." He turned back to them. "When're you leavin'?"

"As soon as possible, I think." Brina said. John nodded.

"Alright then, I can take ye down to the docks. I'm sure they've got some boats you can buy or sumthin."

"They're not leavin until they've been fed." Lee said, looking at Johnas though he was mad. "Look at 'em, they're famished."

Finally, after some arguing between Lee and John and then having some stew Lee made for them, the companions left with John for the docks. They made a couple small stops along the way, making sure they made everything they needed before leaving. Upon reaching the sandy shore of the Sea, they saw a line of boats for sale. It didn't take them too long to find one that was big enough for them that they could afford.

After saying their good-byes and thank yous to John, the companions packed up, made sure everything was set, and cast off, and began their way across the Sea of Aereth.
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Postby Teleri123 » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:08 pm

The first hour or so on the ship was a quiet one. Elias was given the job of making sure the ship was going where it was suppose to, directly northeast, Brina, Nare and Cali all sat down in silence. As Nare and Cali started a small conversation, Brina looked down at her bag, and after moment she picked it up and grabbed the package Lennox had given her from inside it.

As Brina held the package in her hands, she found it slightly heavy, and round. Noticing a slip of paper attached to the package, Brina took it off the package and opened it. It was a note.

Brina,

Hopefully you will read this before opening what I gave you. I wanted to tell you that, despite the fact we have known eachother only a short time, I feel we came to know eachother well enough. I have faith that you and your companions will complete your task successfully. I also have faith that we will meet again, sooner and in different circumstances different than what you might think.

Now, onto the package I gave you. It is something that will help you find what you seek. It is a rare and valuable thing, so keep it safe and with you. There are some who may try to take it from you. I wish you the best of luck on your journey and hope to see you again.

Love and Faith,
Lennox


Brina read the note over again, trying to understand what Lennox had meant. Shaking her head slightl, she put the note down and unwrapped the package. Her eyes grew wide as her gaze fell upon the crystal ball. They were a rare and beautiful thing, made of quartz with not many able to make or use them.

"Brina," Nare said, suddenly noticing the girl and the crystal ball. "What's that you're holding?" Cali turned as well, and Brina realized she would have to tell them.

"It's a crystal ball." She paused. "Lennox gave it to me."

"Who's Lennox?" Cali asked, looking slightly confused.

Brina then went on to tell them everything. Who Lennox was, about their conversation the night they arrived at the camp, how he had given the gift to her before they left.

"Well, it looks like we have a bit of advantage now, thanks to your friend." Cali said when Brina was finished. Nare, on the otherhand, looked thoughtful.

"Can I see the note he gave you?" She asked after a moment. Brina nodded and handed her the piece of paper. Nare read the note over and turned to Brina.

"I think," She began. "That it's like a riddle to tell you what to do with it."

"Yeah, I think I know what he meant. I've heard tales about Crystal balls. People think they're just for telling fortunes, asking things like 'what will happen today?' or 'will I ever find love?'. But it's more about answering questions concerning now. It's about whether or not you're able to put the right kind of energy into the crystal and ask the right questions. The right type of questions would be like 'what is it I seek?'."

Cali nodded. "That makes some sense. I guess they're complicated things, right?"

"Yes, very complicated. I don't even get why he gave it to me, I don't think I have the right en--" Brina stopped short.

"Brina?" Cali questioned, sitting up.

"The right energy!" She said, smiling and looking down at the mass of quartz in her lap. "Remember the energy Rheia gave us? Maybe it can help us to use this!"
Last edited by Teleri123 on Thu Aug 25, 2005 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Iavasel » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:34 am

Cali's first action on the boat was to make sure that Thor and Kent were sufficiently settled and would be fine for the journey. Kent seemed to take the boat as a matter or course, but Thor took some convincing, and if a horse could look green, Cali was sure that Thor did, just a little.

Her second was to run all over the boat (nearly falling off twice, and witnessed once by Elias who made a dive for her and then nearly fell off himself, and then threatened to tie her to the mast if she didn't behave), checking the sleeping quarters and kitchen (the "galley" she remembered. If she knew nothing else about boats she had taken care to memorize that. It was rather exciting to have a real kitchen, which meant that as long as they had firewood they could have real meals) and then fiddled with the sails for a bit, which luckily Brina caught and corrected before Cali had a chance to do any real damage.

Her inspection of the boat (during which she discovered there was no name painted on the side and no figurehead either, both which she deemed as bad luck and made her rather miffed) occupied her until they were just about out into open water, and so her third action was to dangle over the prow of the boat watching the waves, which made her promptly and violently sick, and she retreated, her entusiasm slightly abated, towards the other end of the boat (the stern, she thought proudly), where Brina and Nare were sitting quietly and seriously.

Cali had indeed been on a boat before as she had told Brina and Nare a few days earlier. Whatever else Calid was she was not accustomed to lying. She had, however, neglected to tell them that she had been on a boat exactly once, and that the boat was a ferry from a small peninsula to the mainland. What she knew about ships or their navigation amounted to very little.

Brina took out a package that was oddly shaped, and from her handling of it, seemed to be pretty heavy for its size.

After it had been unwrapped and explainations had been made, Cali was still a bit skeptical. As children crystal balls had been something they joked about, closing their eyes and waving their hands mystically over an ordinary ball and then bursting into laughter at the predictions they made in long drawling voices with heavy accents. She had never taken the prospect of an actual crystal ball seriously, but surely if anyone would know, Brina with her faery blood should, so Cali shrugged off her doubt and tried to figure out what having one of these mysterious things could mean for them.

"The right energy!" Brina said, suddenly smiling and looking down at the mass of quartz in her lap. "Remember the energy Rheia gave us? Maybe it can help us to use this!"

Cali frowned again at that. Rheia channelling through her had been a strange experience, as though Rheia had been carefully but blinding guiding her towards that sense of awareness that she needed to be able to feel that force of energy. Cali's eyes flicked in the direction of the crystal ball in Brina's lap, thinking.

Looking at is gave her no conclusions as to how she could access that energy again or how she could begin to apply it to the ball Brina held, but a conclusion she did reach was that Lennox had chosen well in who he gave this gift to, as it seemed Nare had enough visions without their being amplified, Elias had little desire to know the future or anything like that, and she herself would most likely have abused the crystal by seeking the answers to things like why Elias still had his collar tightly fastened about his neck.
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Postby Teleri123 » Tue Aug 23, 2005 9:03 am

Brina glanced up at Cali and Nare and bit her lip. She breathed deeply, put both her hands on the crystal ball and stared into it, her concentration never failing.

What is it I desire? She asked, over and over again in her mind. Suddenly, she felt her hands heat up slightly and a vision began to appear in the quartz.

A man. A woman. Children. They were sitting around a fire. Laughing. Smiling. Loving eachother. They were a family.

The vision was becoming clearer, and Brina recognized the woman as herself, only different. Happier. She only saw the back of the man, and she didn't know the children. Just as the face of the man was become visible, Brina broke away. The crystal ball fell into her lap. Straining for air, she looked down at the item on her lap.

"Brina? Are you alright?" Cali had leaned forward and was looking at her concerned. "What happened?" Brina leaned her head on one of her hands, and finally was able to calm down.

"I...asked the wrong question." She said quietly. Composing herself, she picked the crystal ball up again. Seeing what Brina was doing, Cali placed a hand on Brina's shoulder.

"Maybe you should wait." She said. Brina turned to her and smiled.

"I'm fine. I just...need to see something." With a comforting smile toward Cali and Nare, Brina turned once again to the crystal ball, doing as she did before, though she asked a different question.

Where is what I desire? She asked, wanting to find out more about her first vision. After a few moments, her hands heated up again, and a different vision began to appear before her eyes.

As what she saw became clearer, Brina recognized the place. Again, she broke apart, though she was better prepared for it this time. She told Cali and Nare she hadn't seen clearly enough, and would try again in the morning.

Wrapping the crytal ball and placing in her bag before grabbing it to take with her, Brina went below deck and sat on her bed, trying to understand.

Why had she seen the camp that they had just left?
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Postby Iavasel » Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:35 pm

That Brina had not forseen whatever she saw in the ball, Cali was sure, but that she had not seen clearly? No, Cali thought rather that Brina had seen something very, very clearly. Her face and the sudden departure she made made Cali sure of that.

Cali got up after Brina left and Nare companionably stood as well. A comfortable and quiet distance apart, they both drifted towards Elias, a seemingly instinctive drift towards company out here on the lonely sea. Nare stopped a short distance behind him while Cali went over to the starboard side of the ship and leaned over the rail (her experience of a few hours ago having taught her nothing).

"Cali" said Elias warningly. It made him nervous, having to keep one eye on the compass and the horizon to keep the boat on course, and having to keep the other on his sister. "I'm not jumping in to save you."

Cali looked at him over her shoulder. "You would too." She said, a bit smugly.

Elias frowned. He would, and he knew it, it was instinct, he couldn't lose Cali. And more than that, he knew he would do it for anyone, he couldn't let someone else just drown while he stood by. He sighed and turned his attention back to the water.

The late sun, getting on towards evening lit them from behind and to the left, casting long shadows across the deck. The sky was cloudy, and the sea was an iron grey in this light, tinged with the rusty gold of the dying sun.

Cali's attention was turned intently towards the water and her brother sighed again behind her back.
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Postby Teleri123 » Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:39 pm

Brina didn't know how long she sat on her bed staring into the floor. She just knew that all of a sudden the boat appeared to have hit something and that she was thrown to the floor. Rubbing her lower back and a spot on her head head gingerly, Brina began her way above deck when the same thing happened and she fell once more.

"What's going on?", she asked when she finally made it to her friends at the front of the boat. Elias was still controlling the boat, though he kept glancing at Nare and Cali were looking over the side of the boat, as though looking for something.

"Not sure," Elias replied, glancing at Nare and Cali again. "We thought we hit something, but when it happened again we weren't so sure."

"I think there's something down there," Cali said, pointing to the water. Brina walked over to the side of the boat and looked to the water. She could barely see in it. After a few moments she was about to give up and say it was probably some pieces of wood or something when the boat bumped up and down rather sharply. Brina was thankful she still had a hand on the edge of the boat, and looked once more.

"Look!" Nare said suddenly, pointing out about fifteen feet away from the boat. Brina saw nothing at first, but after a moment she realized what Nare was pointing at. Barely visible at the top of the water was what looked like a very long, red neck of some sort of creature in the water.

"I think...I think it's coming back." Nare said, backing away from the edge of the boat.

"Grab onto something!", Brina said sharply. "If it's coming back it'll hit the boat and we can't have you falling into the water." By this time the neck was right near them and before they realized it, it had disappeared. The boat was hit once more. "See what I mean?" Brina said.

"C'mon," Cali said, placing a hand on Brina's shoulder. "You too Nare. Elias, keep the boat moving. We'll be right back." She headed toward the stairs that went below deck. Brina and Nare followed, not sure what Cali was doing.

"What are we doing, Cali?" Brina asked when they reached the bottom of the stairs. Cali turned to her.

"Getting our weapons." She paused and looked at the two standing before her. "We've got to kill it, you do realize that? Otherwise it'll kill us." After a moment, Brina and Nare moved toward their own belongings.

"I don't use these much, and I'm not much of a bowsman, but I can get a good shot sometimes." Brina said, grabbing some arrows and a bow after getting her sword out first.

After a few more bumps from their swimming friend, and after grabbing something for Elias to use, the three surfaced.

"Well," Brina said putting an arrow in her bow and preparing to aim and shoot if necessary, "we have to find it in order to kill it. So, keep a look out."

The three took various places on the boat, looking for the red creature that was swimming around.
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Postby Iavasel » Tue Aug 30, 2005 9:06 pm

Elias turned over the long dirk that Cali had pressed into his hand. She hadn't given him enough time to argue, and so much to his disquiet, he was stuck at the wheel, fretting. He did not worry so much for the safety of his own person as for that of his three companions.

He knew that they were better fighters and that someone had to man the wheel, but he couldn't help feeling alone and slightly useless. He knew if any of them were wounded it would fall heavily on him, knowing that he had stood safely by while they beat back whatever shadowed them. He twisted to look for them, but the cabin was in the way and effectively hid them from view. All he could see was the tip of Brina's bow peeping over the top. And they were silent. He had only the vaguest of notions of how they all fared.

Cali had managed to find a long hook on a pole, which she assumed had something to do with the management of the boat but couldn't fathom what. This she held under one arm while with the other she held a short sword ready. She had never fought on a boat before, and the rocking unnerved her a bit, not being able to tell which way she might fall if she had to jump out of the way. Additionally the long hook weighed her down. Her motion and speed were limited, and for a fighter as small as Cali, this was a disadvantage.

The water was quiet for a long time, and then Cali felt rather than heard it. It vibrated up through her feet. Whatever it was was brushing slowly and deliberately past the boat, as if testing it. A bump came from behind her, and then suddenly one to her left. Was it that big? Cali wondered, Or that fast? Or was there more than one of whatever this thing was? She staggered a bit when the third bump hit.

A long, red tail glided smoothly past her, just under the surface and a moment later she heard a yell. "Brina? Nare?" She asked.

"I'm alright." The answer came a bit weakly from the starboard side, Brina she thought. Whether hurt or simply shaken she couldn't tell.

A muscular, red, scaly head surfaced near the boat beside Cali and she foolishly leaned forward and jabbed at it, aiming for an eye. She hit it and the beast roared and shook it's head and lunged for Cali, who skittered backwards towards the center of the boat, dropping her sword and clenching both hands on the hook. All the force she had in her she used to swing the hook and hit the thing in the side of the head but it came at her again, screaming. She brought the hook up quickly and caught it under the chin. It tore itself free, roaring in anger and disappeared under the waves again, leaving a thin ribbon of red behind.

Whatever it was gave the boat a particularly nasty bump that nearly raised the front end. Cali knelt and tentatively touched the blood that had spilled on deck. She rubbed it through her fingers and found that besides being a rather slippery quality, it glittered a strange red-gold.

A vision of the water below, of the bottom of the boat, of a thin ribbon of red suddenly flashed in Cali's mind. She gasped and quickly wiped the blood off on her pants, realizing that that strange, bone-vibrating feeling she'd had when Rheia channeled through her had come with the vision and just as suddenly left. She shuddered, thinking about what Rheia had said. Blood, from something living, it could transmit energy, couldn't it? For a moment Cali had felt that Earth-magic again, linking her briefly to the huge life-force attacking their boat.

She stood up shakily as the boat shuddered again.
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Postby Elf*Moon*Forest » Wed Aug 31, 2005 11:01 am

Narenial wished she could see the others, but they were hidden from her view. She stood hidden by a mast, nervous to move and see if they were all right.

A rather vicious knock lifted the boat about ten feet. Nare lost her balance and fell, sliding into the starboard decking. She struggled up with the help of her sword as a lever -- Her left arm was covered in deep gashes all the way from her wrist to her elbow. With a grimace, she clutched the mast again.

A flash of a purplish-red, and it was gone. Swallowing her fear and her pride, she shuffled her way to the port rail.

So transfixed was she in searching for the creature, she didn't notice the tiny trickle of blood dripping down her pinky finger into the waves. Brina and Cali made their way toward her as quickly as they possibly could with the rocking of the boat.

"What are you doing?!" Cali demanded, taking her sword from her and pulling somewhat roughly on her right arm. "You're either going to fall in or its going to eat you or both, and then where would we be?!" Brina simply gave her a nervous, worried glance.

"Don't worry!" She exclaimed, gently shaking Cali off of her and taking her sword back. "I think I know what I'm doing."

Cali looked as though she wanted to yell, but no sound came out. She only sulked and looked on as Nare dangled her arm over the railing.

Crimson stones fell into the deep, engulfed by the little waves breaking on the sides of their ship.

She leaned back, watching the water for the flash of an eye or a limb.

"We wait now, I suppose."
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Postby Iavasel » Wed Aug 31, 2005 9:23 pm

Cali felt like vomiting again. The adrenaline that had rushed through her while fighting the beast still flowed strong, but had abated just enough to leave her with the shakes. She made her way to the mast and leaned heavily on it, the pole with the hook on it held loosely and her arm slack. She sank down near the mast, dizziness washing over her, the thin tendrils of hair at the back of her neck damp and curling.

Killing and fighting was not in her nature. Smallish in stature, thin, and light she was much better at running than fighting and it had kept her alive this far. She fought if she had to, but it always made her feel a bit ill. She couldn't run here, or talk her way out of things. Her size gave her no advantage and her speed couldn't save her if the boat capsized.

After a few moments, the dizziness calmed and Cali stood back up. She pulled her sleeve down over her hand and wiped at her brow and neck. She breathed, and twisted the hook in her hands and made her way slowly towards the railing again where Brina and Nare still stood, watching and waiting.

She paused for a moment but could see no change. The water was quiet, but a thin, dark stream of Nare's blood twisted strangely suspended around the thicker ribbon of red-gold below them. The movement of these tendrils far slower that Cali thought the waves should allow. Perhaps it was only something about her condition that warped her sense of time.

She made her way to Elias to reassure him, but wasn't much help.

"Nare? Brina?" He asked.

"Alright." Cali told him. "Nare's got some scratches, but alright. All limbs where they should be."

"And you?" He asked.

"Still standing." She said and leaned into him for a moment. "My soul is tired." She said quietly at last. "I miss home."

Cali, his intrepid traveler, his incorrigable pest, he thought, and hugged her with one arm, the other still steering.

She allowed herself another moment or two of self-pity and comfort and then stood straight and patted her brother once on the shoulder. She returned to the rail and looked out at what Brina and Nare were watching, and beheld their new challenge.

There were now grey shapes in the water, she could see two or three of them.

"Sharks" said Brina, putting a name to the creatures. "They smelled the blood."

"But they're not attacking that thing. It's bleeding in the water and they've left it alone, why?" Asked Nare, more knowledgable about sharks than Cali.

"I think," said Brina "that whatever it is we're fighting, is too big for the sharks to take down and they know it. They're waiting, either for it to capsize us, or for us to kill it so they can feed on it."

That was not good, thought Cali, and looked up at the sky briefly, telling the universe with her eyes how supremely bad she thought this situation was.
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Postby Teleri123 » Thu Sep 01, 2005 6:44 pm

Though Brina was looking around the water, her attention kept drawing back to the sharks. As far as she saw there were only about three of them. So why wasn't the creature attacking them? From what she could tell, it probably could easily take all the sharks. There're probably more more something, She thought. Or maybe it doesn't like the taste of shark. Smiling and shaking her head, Brina looked up into the distance. It was nothing but Sea. As she was about to go find Cali and Nare, thinking maybe the creature had gone away for the moment, there was suddenly a rather hard bump and the boat almost capsized. Brina tumbled on deck, and when she sat up, realized how lucky she was not o have fallen off.

"Brina?" A voice came from her side, and Brina saw it was Cali with Nare close behind. "Are you alright?"

"I'm okay. A few scrapes and bruises. It could have been worse, believe me. You okay?"

"Yeah. We're all fine." Nare replied. Brina slowly stood up.

"I guess our friend down there's getting impatient, and even worse, hungrier." She laughed slightly, until something hit her. "Wait a minute..."

"What is it?" Cali asked.

"What if we fed it?"

"I mean, if the beast is hungry give it food." Brina said, trying to explain. "Our friend down there is hungry, so maybe if we tempted it with food..."

"We could kill it." Nare replied, beginning to understand what Brina meant. "The only problem with that is what're we going to feed it? I don't think we have anything to give to it."

Brina thought for a few moments, one hand held tightly on the rail just in case. She glanced into the water for a moment and it came to her. She turned to her friends, a questioning look on her face.

"What about..." She nodded to the group of sharks treading perfectly still in her water. Cali and Nare looked at the sharks for a few minutes, thinking over the suggestion.

"Let me get this straight." Cali said, still looking at the sharks. "You want us to kill a shark or two because it might lure our friend over here so we can try to kill it?" Brina nodded.

"It's not the best idea, but it's worth a try at least." Brina bit her lip and waited.

"How would we kill the sharks?" Cali finally asked. Seeing the surprise on Brina's face, she smiled. "It's worth a try, and it's not like we're going much else."

"Alright then." They spent the next few minutes discussing and planning their attack. It was decided they would lure the sharks closer with a dead chicken on a string(the chicken would be thrown out into the water and pulled closer to the boat with a string) and shoot them when they apporached. It sounded crazy, but it just might work.
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Postby Elf*Moon*Forest » Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:47 pm

Nare stared quizzically at the mass of meat Cali held clutched to her chest. Methodically, she made her way to Elias and whispered in his ear;

"It's time for you to learn, now. Don't worry that Cali will know. Just trust me."

She reached up to unbutton his collar as he glanced at her with wary eyes, hands still glued firmly to the wheel. Gently, she unclasped the bauble from around his neck and pressed it to his lips, his brows knitting in a frown as confusion swept even more strongly over him. The girl only tugged at his wrist and led him over to the others.


"Cali," she murmured intently, placing her hands lightly on the girl's shoulders. "I need you to do something very important for me." Cali gazed into her eyes, and nodded. A stoutly resolute expression came over her features, and she shot a look at Elias.

"Why's he got your necklace?" She questioned suspiciously, but Nare only shushed her with a finger to her lips.

"Can you swim?" she asked the shorter girl; Cali nodded again. Narenial smiled, relieved.

"Good." She said, stepping back towards Elias and raising his left arm out in front of him, the chain draped over his clutched fingers and the stone swinging heavily beneath his fist. She whispered several words of guidance in his ear, and he nodded intently, staring with a fierce, determined gaze at both Cali and the sea before him. Nare stood before Cali again and pressed her lips to the girl's forehead.

"Be safe," Cali heard her murmur. "We'll all protect you. You won't be harmed."

With that, and a gentle, almost motherly shove to the shoulder, Cali toppled over the railing and into the frothy waves.
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