Adventures of Caelereth

Archives => Thalambath's Heart => Topic started by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on January 07, 2009, 07:20:18 AM



Title: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on January 07, 2009, 07:20:18 AM
The old Kyranian capital of Caelum is about to close its gates for the night when a group of six weary travellers enters the town. An old, whitebearded man asks for the next acceptable inn and is directed to the "Longhorn", a tavern nearby, with fair prices, but good meals and soft beds.

It has taken them three weeks to ride from the Vale of the Brownies past Kordonion to the Wind Bay and up the coast till Naios, a route more secure and faster than along the steep cliffs of the Western Rimmerinns ring. Talia would have loved to see the Anaios Gap, the location of the elvenfall where Diraton of Caelum found his death and with him an elven army, but as Capher needed to get quickly to Ximax, they choose to take the faster route. Two more days quick riding and they had reached Caelum. There were only five left out of the eight who entered the vale, Capher, the old man and initiator of they journey, Terra, the Sophrionian warrioress and Talia, the Shendar adventurer, both  of them being part of the party from the beginning, then Ta'las, the Shendar Man who said he was sent to help Talia and  Teri, the half elven woman who had battled her own brother. Morcanaan and  Kenriil had chosen to take another road and it was not sure, that they would ever rejoin the group, though Talia missed Ken from the day she had to learn, that he had left due to troubles with the Brownies. Teri surely missed Morcanaan even more. It must be hard for her to loose her love a second time. And Z'doth, he was just gone and the aj'nuvics and horses had been left alone.  But they had gained another companion,  Roosje, the strange white Brownie on her red fox. Capher always hopes, that Seyella would lead them, and Talia hopes dearly, that this will be the case. What sense does it make to loose valued friends?

The 'Longhorn' turns out to be as cosy as promised and soon the six are sitting around a table eating their evening meal, a stew out of the famous Kyranian cattle with the last of the fresh vegetables available in autumn.

After the first hunger is stilled, Talia asks:

"Has anyone of you visited, or well, maybe just travelled along the Shivering Woods? I have heard strange things about it and our path will touch it I have heard. We will be there in a few days or a week or so, if we still get a ferry over the Dorashi river. Capher, you are have visited all of Santharia, have you ever been there? Or anyone else?"



Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on January 07, 2009, 08:45:51 AM
"I have heard of this place," Ta'las says in a subdued voice.  He sets his dish down on the table in front of him and scratches his bearded chin.  He silently looks forward to settling in for the evening so he can shave and make himself look respectable again.  The Shendar clears his voice and looks darkly at everyone.

"The woods are said to be haunted, though I expect those rumours are not well-founded.  However, evil dwells within the Shivering Woods.  Perhaps dark drow or some other fell folk live in them, but we are well-advised to avoid them if possible."  For some unspoken reason, Ta'las has grown morose following their journey from the Vale, and this manner of speech, though uncharacteristic for the Shendar prior to reaching the land of the Brownies, has become more common.  During the evenings when the others would sit and converse around the fire, Ta'las would often remain quiet and sit a little distance away from the group, even Lady Terra.  The Shendar was unsure what was most troubling: not understanding what was wrong with him, or why he could not speak about it with her.  He looks at Terra, and a momentary glimmer of happiness shines in his eyes before he turns back to the rest of the group.  The hunted look in his eyes returns.

"I've heard that the trees shake at the slightest sound, and will bleed if they are broken.  We must give the woods a wide berth."  Ta'las leans back, having said his part and crosses his arms.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on January 08, 2009, 01:01:19 AM
Capher cleared his throat to answer Talia's question when Ta'las began to speak.

Capher's eyebrows rose as he listened to Ta'las. There was something wrong here, he thought. A Shendar boy who has never been out of his own continent should know in such detail about such things.

Ta'las then stopped speaking in that morose tone of his that began more and more the more they went farther and farther from the Vale. At first Capher had thought it was a natural reaction to going from almost pure bliss and and a budding love, to the reality of their quest, but now Capher was not too sure.

"Ta'las, my boy. How does such a one as yourself know so much about a place that is hardly spoken of, even by those who live near the Shivering Woods? And why so despondant? You sound...like a Black Hart in rutting season," Capher finished off, not thinking of anything else to describe how he heard Ta'las. He knew it was a poor analogy, but it was the best he could come up with at the moment.

Capher twisted his head toward Talia and could audibilly hear the bones in his neck crack. His bones and muscles were slowly mortifying and he now knew he needed to get to Ximax and find that accursed stone, as much as he did not like it. "Talia, I think we should go by the Shivering Woods, even if it is just to quell this talk of hauntings and such. Besides it is on the way to Ximax so it will not take us too far out of our way. What do you others think?" he asked, looking slowly around the table and finally resting his eyes on Ta'las. He waited to hear what the young man would say and perhaps confirm his suspicions.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on January 08, 2009, 06:46:04 AM
For three weeks now the small white brownie had been travelling together with the group of Big People, and she was starting to like them all really quite a lot. She was especially fond of the old man with his long white beard, who kept acting so much younger than he looked. The Storyteller, they called him at her home. With a capital S. In the past three weeks she hadn't seen too much of his storytelling, but then they were on a pretty serious quest - even if she didn't know exactly what that quest was yet.

She knew that they were going in the direction of Ximax, but what they were going to do there, or what lay next, she didn't know. For now, she was content to just go along with the group and to help them in whatever small way she could. She had even gotten around to contributing a few rabbits and small game for the evening meals, using a poison that quickly killed the animal but left no aftereffects for the humans eating it. Of course, afterwards she'd had to get someone to actually carry the rabbits back to the campfire, but she was still glad that in some small way, she could help.

During the journey Inuya was laden quite a bit less than usually when Roosje was travelling. All her belongings that she needed on the road fit quite neatly in one of the saddlebags - really taking up a lot less space than everything the humans needed. She hadn't been sure, when she'd seen the huge beasts that the humans liked to ride, if her fox could keep up the pace. Normally she travelled alone, without having to worry about keeping up with anybody. But the fox had pleasantly surprised her by loping at more or less the same speed as the horses, flitting next to the road more than on it so that the horses wouldn't get scared by a streak of red. Of course, after a few days, the gigantic beasts were used to her small little mount, but she still made sure to stay out from under those hooves. She also made sure to take extra good care of Inuya when they rested, letting the fox know just how much Roosje appreciated her. The red-furred animal still acquitted herself well, despite her age.

As they went, Roosje noticed how the weather was getting colder. Where in the Vale she had still had some trouble with a red running nose and teary eyes, as they progressed it grew noticeably less, and now she even felt simply healthy. The 'Now' in question was in an inn in some town that she didn't know the name of. She was sitting on the table, surrounded by her human companions, and leaning against Inuya's warm body. The conversation was about the Shivering Woods. As Ta'las spoke of hauntings and bleeding trees, Roosje tried to recall the maps recorded somewhere in the Council Tree, which she had studied extensively for her job of messenger. Just when Capher, having taken the word from Ta'las, was done speaking, Roosje started up with an 'OH!'.

She sprang up and cried out (hoping that everyone could hear her that way): "I remember the place you're talking about! I had to pass them once. I didn't know they were haunted, so I went through them. Well, a little bit into it anyway. Nothing bothered me, and I certainly didn't see any bleeding trees... But then, I'm really just a small thing in the eyes of the Great Ghosts, or whatever is haunting there. Not worth their notice, and all that." The white brownie grinned at her own humour. She was a small thing in the eyes of just about anything, and as often as not nothing more than a quick crunchy snack. She had always managed to give most of her would-be eaters the slip - just because she was so small. Her size was not a curse for her, usually - even though she felt at a definite disadvantage sometimes when she compared herself to her companions. Ah well... no matter. The advantages were still big enough to satisfy her.

Having had her say, Roosje was content to sit back down against Inuya and listen to the rest of the conversation.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on January 08, 2009, 10:24:46 AM
His grey eyes scan Roosje for a moment as she speaks - she has been a quiet companion thus far, and she is a bit of a curiousity to Ta'las.  The Shendar listens quietly to the brownie and shrugs.  "Perhaps your brownie heritage protects you from the evil in that forest.  For the tales I've heard were not told to me by a man prone to tell stories." 

Ta'las then looks at Capher and anger rises in him.  He leans forward, and hits the table top hard enough to knock over his mug of ale.  He even considers lashing out at the old man, but then looks around at the group, and sees the concern in their eyes.   Once again, his gaze meets Terra's, and the Shendar realises he is acting a complete fool.  He badly wants to reach out to Terra and hold her, but something inside him keeps him from doing so.  What is wrong with me?!?   His eyes soften, and he looks almost pleadingly at Terra.  He tries to tell her something is wrong, but he is unable to speak.  Then, he looks over at Capher, and as soon as he does so, the anger overtakes him again.  The Shendar shakes his head, as he leans back in his chair. 

"You must remember, old man," he says between clenched teeth, but looks down at the table to avoid everyone's gaze.  "I served as a caravan guide for merchants travelling to Strata for many years, and I've met people from around much of Sarvonia.  One of the guards of a Nermeran merchant told me of the Shivering Woods, and of these trees I mentioned.  They are called Larkentir."

He looks up at Capher, anger flashing once more in his eyes.  "Perhaps the mighty dragon is more in need of healing than we thought, if you cannot recall such a simple fact as this." 

Ta'las stands and looks around at the others.  "Go whichever way you wish - it matters little to me."  With that, he turns away from the group and seeks the solace of his room.  Once inside, he locks the door and throws his equipment onto the floor.  He sits down on the bed and closes his eyes, trying to calm himself, but the thought of continuing further on their quest continues to unsettle him...


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on January 10, 2009, 02:33:28 AM
Before Capher could say anything, even apologize for forgetting Ta'las leaves the group and supposedly goes to his room.  Capher slowly looks around at the remaining companions. "There is something terribly wrong here. As long as I have known Ta'las he has never lost control like he just has. His disposition has always been optimistic. I had at first thought that his actions were caused by leaving the Vale, however I believe now that something or someone else is influencing him."

Capher paused, shaking his head slowly. "I have failed you. I have failed you all, I am afraid. I do not have control over the powers that I possess or else what has happened to you all would not have taken place."  Capher knew that most of what he just said was true, but he also knew if Eckra had somehow come back from the underworld he would be the most powerful and evil sorcerer the world has ever seen in thousands of years and even then those sorcerers, the ones called the "Chosen Ones" are considered myth-only Capher and his mentor, Ethan Hawke, the Wizard of the White Tower knew better, and Ethan has been incommunicado for several months now a concern that only Capher felt was his duty to keep to himself and not tell the others.

"I think Terra that he wants to reach out to you, but whatever has happened to him is preventing him from doing so. I also think that it would be best if we keep our conversations with him to a minimun as well as our contact. Whatever is affecting him, may be passed along, however I think that you, Terra and you too Talia are protected, for at least awhile, because of your healing and the Brownie Magic that imbues you both at this time."

He leaned back in his chair, absentmindely stroking his beard, his eyes staring off into who knows what. "If only I had my powers I could go into his mind like I did yours Talia and find out what is happening. The only other type of person that could be of use to us would be a mindsoother, but they are rare and I doubt we would find one here, so our only course of action is to get to Ximax as soon as possible, find the stone that will hopefully restore me to my full powers, and then I can try and help Ta'las."

He looked at Roosje. "I know you are a Brownie, but I am not sure if whatever malady Ta'las has will affect you, so I suggest that you too, try and minimize your contact with him."

Capher slowly stood, using his cane for balance. "I think we should all get a good nights sleep and then head off toward the Shivering Woods. We can take the ferry there, cross the river and then continue north toward Ximax. Of course that is just a suggestion, if you wish to sit here and talk amongst yourselves for awhile that is your own buisiness." He gave a crooked smile, "Me, I am old and need my sleep. Good night, see you early in the morn."

He slowly walked off, his back hunched, his steps small and halting to his room.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on January 10, 2009, 06:34:31 AM
Terra had noticed Ta'las growing distant in there ride from the Vale. She had thought and worried that his worries mirrored her own, that they would change in the battles ahead and no longer care for each other as they do now, but as he lashes out at Capher she realizes that is not true. Her worry deepens, and as Capher suggest that he may want to reach out to her, she had already decided to go to him, what he said after was lost to her. She rises from the chair and heads toward their rooms with her gear, before she leaves the room she turns back to the other, her eyes can not hide her concern.

"It may well be that you are right Rooje, and Capher as well. That there is nothing to fear there. Even if something does seem to defy what we believe to be right or natural. Ta'las may also be right in that who ever or what ever resides in the forest may not be best for us to find."

Having spoken her piece, all she could say or wanted to say, she continues to there rooms stopping at Ta'las' she tries the door and finds it locked. She knocks and calls his name, her voice soft and filled with concern, though projecting in presence.

"Ta'las? Love? Will you speak with me a time?"

She waits apprehensively for his answer hoping he will speak with her, not caring in the moment what he speaks with her about.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on January 12, 2009, 12:22:17 AM
Talia's eyes get dark with concern when she follows the conversation at the table. Though she has already realised, that something is wrong with Ta'las, it was not so obvious as till today. He has always been such a friendly, caring man. And Shendar education should have told him, that it was not acceptable to speak in this way to an old man, well dragon? And then Capher spoke his warnings with such a desperation, as if he thought he would never reach Ximax to be whole. Why did he want to visit the Shivering woulds, if it would be just a diversion from their way to Ximax, the path touched the forest and she only had wanted to know, what the others knew...

And then Capher left, and Terra as well. Teri, Talia and Terra shared one room and Talia was curious, if she would find her in her bed  - or not. Ta'las room was just next door.

So only she, Teri and Roosje are left, the little white Brownie not looking very happy either. No wonder, it had not been a good atmosphere at the meal and she was quite new in the group. Ta'lia had not had many opportunities to talk to her.

"Roosje, I feel sorry for you. This was not a nice evening. I hope you do not regret to have us joined. But believe me, Ta'las is acting strange, he was such a warm, caring man and Capher is not himself either. He is - deteriorating quickly, his body and his powers, and that makes him well, unhappy.
I find it fascinating, that you have been already in the Shivering Woods - and did not encounter any evil. Maybe only the people who want to find something will see something, that would be not for the first time! Well, I'm for going to Ximax as quickly as possible. I hope, we do not have to wait too long for a ferry. They don't cross the river every day so late in the year I have heard. "

Talia looks at the little, lonely looking brownie and would like to touch her, lay her arm around her shoulder to comfort her a little bit, but her small size prevents this. So she only reaches out to give the fox a short stroke, a touch which is meant for Roosje.

"Roosje, I'm sorry, you are looking so lonely, is there anything I can do for you? Shall I carry you up to your...  where do you sleep this night? You and your fox. I think nobody has ordered a place to sleep for you! Do you want to share out room? "


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on January 13, 2009, 01:30:01 PM
There is a long silence, during which Ta'las remains seated and says nothing, resting his head in his hands.  His tirade and his outrage are both inexcusable, and yet Ta'las cannot shrug off the sense that he was justified in speaking this way to Capher.  In the dark, lurking part of his mind, he almost wishes he had struck out at the old man.  He sighs and walks to the door, which he unlocks and opens.

His tall frame fills the doorway, and his grey eyes, though hunted, are alert.  He looks both strong and composed, and though he does not take a menacing stance, Ta'las looks every bit the Shendar warrior.

"Are you sure you wish to listen, Terra?  I cannot promise that anything I say will give you any peace of mind."  He leaves the door open but retreats into his room, this time opting to stand before a small window that looks out into a muddy street.  He looks up into the sky, but a veil of clouds hides the moon and the stars.  "Were I to have the same conversation with...him again, its outcome would be no different."

He looks back at Terra, and once more, briefly, the darkness leaves them as he remembers how it felt to be with her in the Vale.  How she looked in her white dress...  The crushing weight of the presence is lifted from his mind and he wants desperately to tell her what is wrong.  "Lady Terra," he says, but the presence returns along with other dark thoughts.

"You may come in, if you wish."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on January 14, 2009, 06:40:24 AM
Terra places her belonging next to the door as she enters, closing the door behind her as she joins Ta'las at the window with a paradoxical mix of relief and worry on her features. Her brown armor ways heavily on her as his eyes break from hers as they share the memory of time together in the Vale. Perhaps she would have been better received in her dress? No if he is to except her, he will have to except her as a warrior as well as a woman, and understand she will stand beside him on his "Warriors Path" as her blood flows along this path as well.

"No Ta'las I don't suppose the outcome would be different with whatever burden you now bare upon you."

She slide her hand into his and squeezes it.

"You know my heart Ta'las, and I know yours feels the same. I agree it is the wrong time to get sidetracked in proving who is right and who is wrong. Myself, I believe neither of you may entirely be correct. It may be that The Shivering Woods is little different than Cyhalloi, greatly misunderstood by those who choose to venture there. I know well the tales of "Ghosts" on the snow drifts, for a time I was such a specter to those who could not make sense of what they saw any other way. I know well the drifts red with blood. Yes it is a brutal place, but not evil."

Terra places her other hand on his arm.

"It is only my opinion on the side matter, truth is now is not the time to prove who is right, if we mush go there it should be only if it will aid in securing our peaceful future. Do you not agree? I hope it does not anger you."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on January 15, 2009, 05:47:22 AM
Roosje was decidedly taken aback by the sudden outburst of Ta'las. Especially because just a moment before he'd talked to her more or less neutrally. Of course, the fact that she felt herself lifted for a moment from the table from the sheer force of his hand hitting the table. Suddenly she's scared of him, and of the intensity that she can see in his eyes. She crept a bit closer to Inuya, who was the only one not paying attention - not even Ta'las's knock could get her out of her nap.

When he leaves the table she relaxes slightly. She listens to Capher, but the only thing she really takes in are his words to her - stay away from him, just in case. Normally she would not have avoided anyone for so silly a reason (what, not talk to him because you MIGHT get emotional?) but he had scared her too much for her to be close to him right now, so she simply nods at the Storyteller that she will heed his advice. She feels sorry for him, when she sees the way he goes to his room. Somehow Ta'las's outburst made him look even older.

The white brownie keeps seated against Inuya's warm body for a while longer, thinking over everything she heard this evening, when she suddenly noticed that apart from her, only two people are left - Teri and Talia. Everyone else had gone to their rooms. And she? Well, she could always take Inuya to the low-burning fire and sleep nice and warm. Or else find a dark corner somewhere where nobody was likely to step on either herself or her mount. She didn't really mind that they overlooked her - if a group of brownies was travelling with a creature the size of their hand, they would probably forget about it too for such simple things as sleeping arrangements.

But just then Talia starts talking to her, telling her how sorry she is about the way the evening had gone. Roosje shrugged her small shoulders. There was nothing to be sorry about, the desert woman (Roosje had understood in the past three weeks that 'the desert' was where she and Ta'las were from, though the brownie herself had never travelled quite that far south) had done nothing. She couldn't have changed anything, no matter how hard she tried, so there was no sense in apologising.
The woman said something about Ximax, and mentally Roosje shrugged again, though she didn't show it outwardly. Ximax was just a word to her, she couldn't see anything in her mind, and she didn't really care if they went there or somewhere else. She had promised to help this group of people, and help she would - wherever they were.

Talia finishes speaking and seems about to go to her room as well. Teri has already left, and suddenly the inn's common room seems very large and empty - despite several patrons still lingering. Roosje pulled up her knees and put her arms around them, resting her chin on one knee. She feels terribly alone suddenly, despite thinking just moments before that she didn't mind.

What Ta'las's hard knock on the table couldn't accomplish was done by the soft stroke that the desert woman gave the furry fox's head. Opening an eye, Inuya yawned widely, showing her sharp teeth and curling pink tongue, then stretches - looking somehow more like a feline than like a canine. Then she sat up on her haunches and nudged her mistress with her wet black nose. In that position it was obvious just how much bigger the wolf was than the white brownie. Looking up at the nudge, Roosje realised that Talia was still there. A bright smile suddenly lit up the white features. She nodded vigorously, that yes, she would love to come with Talia. "But carrying me is not necessary, really." She took the ropes that made up Inuya's 'harness' and nimbly climbed up it. The red fox rose up and jumped off the table onto a chair and then down to the floor, the Brownie on her back easily keeping her balance despite seemingly not holding on to anything but the reins, which ran to Inuya's cheeks and were braided with the hair there. Sitting cross-legged on the animal's broad back, she followed Talia up the stairs, catching up with her about half way and ending at the top before her. Talia's kindness had quite dispelled the gloom that had for a moment overtaken the little Brownie, and she laughed a happy tinkling laugh as she fell in step beside the desert woman, letting her lead the way to their room.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on January 15, 2009, 12:56:32 PM
Ta'las looks out the window and shrugs.  He breaths deeply, enjoying Terra's closeness and her touch, even though he still feels seething rage when he thinks of Capher.  The Shendar closes his eyes and takes another deep breath as he attempts to push any thought of the old man from his mind.  "It does not matter whether either of us are correct in this - it is, as you say, nothing more than a side matter."  He traces his fingers across an imperfection in the window pane and shakes his head.  "The Shivering Woods will be the least of our problems.  Truthfully, I only commented on them because he sounded so smug."

When he looks at Terra, there is a dangerous fire in his eyes.  "That old fool will lead us to our demise unless we are careful.  I have been doing some thinking on what we learned at the Elven Circle, and on what has happened to us along the way.  He has led us astray more than once, and I think that is what the Siroled was really trying to tell us."  He turns her to him, but when he notices he is shaking her arms, he steps away from Terra and clenches his fists.

He raises his voice, loud enough to be heard outside in the hall, as well as in the rooms across the hallway and adjoining his.  "Even before I joined you, did you not lose many others during the course of your quest?  And remember the demon that Capher turned into at the rock bridge leading into the Vale?  And now, even though he promised to return from the Halls of the Tenthrum with both the Halfling and the Stone, both are now missing!  As is Morcaanan!  Who will be next?!"

He points at Terra, and lowers his voice, though it still boils with emotion.  "I love you Terra, and I will not let him take you away from me."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on January 15, 2009, 08:04:53 PM
The last two members of this unhappy party are leaving the inn, Roosje on her fox, and Talia with her. When they reach the upper level of the inn where the rooms are, they suddenly hear Ta'las speaking, not only with a raised voice, but with so much anger and mistrust in it, that Talia just stands still and listens. She does not understand all what is said, but some is quite clear to hear:

"Even before I joined you, did you not lose many others during the course of your quest?  And remember the demon that Capher turned into at the rock bridge leading into the Vale?  And now, even though he promised to return from the Halls of the Tenthrum with both the Halfling and the Stone, both are now missing!  As is Morcaanan!  Who will be next?!"

Talia gets pale. Quickly she goes over to the door to their room and opens it for Roosje.

"Roosje, I'm sorry, but I fear, Capher is right, there is something terribly wrong with my Shendar brother, that is not how I got him to know during the time we travelled together, nor would any Shendar man behave so, so uncontrolled. Especially not one who seeks to become a warrior of the second reality. No, there is something wrong.

Just look for a place in our room and make yourself comfortable. I don't know, if I should enter his room, or still wait. Terra seems to be in there, so .. oh, I don't know what to do!"


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on January 16, 2009, 07:14:11 AM
Other than a deepening of her concern Terra seems little phased by being shaken, and even dares to take his shaking fists in her hands.

"I know you do Ta'las, and I do not intend to let myself be taken from you, or you from me. Yes I have left friends and comrades behind. I have also gained much in meeting them as well, in meeting you, in being healed so that I am free to return your affection, had I not joined with them, do you think I would have these things? Capher is not well, I admit as much, his mind is catching up to his body. You are not yourself either, I have not seen you act like this, not even to our foes, and so I worry."

Her lips draw into a brave smile as she watches his eyes knowing in every angry shiver of his body this is not him.

"I do hope my love, that you will trust me enough to tell me what is wrong. But not yet, you said is yourself, now it would be no different. Just remember me, and know I will stand at your side no matter what troubles you."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on January 16, 2009, 12:55:05 PM
"I know, Terra," he says nodding his head.  "And yes, I do trust you enough to know that I can tell you what ails me."  The gleam in his eyes is now feverish.  "What ails all of us," he adds spitefully, as he looks at the door.  "It is him - he has brought this evil upon us."  The Shendar looks back at Terra.  "I know you would help me do what is needed to end this, but I cannot risk losing you.  It is too dangerous.  However, if I should fail, and be destroyed by him, you must ready yourself."

It must be before we reach Ximax.   Ta'las is unsure where the thought comes from, but it is compelling and urgent.  I cannot delay.

The Shendar sits down on the bed and rubs his chin, as he contemplates how he can possibly solve his dilemna.  "I must be wary, for though he is greatly weakened, he is still powerful," he starts, but sounds as if he is speaking to himself, and once again his eyes seem distant.  "But all sorcerors have a weakness, don't they?  I must simply bide my time - observe my foe and learn when it is best to strike."

He glances up at Terra and his vision clears.  He smiles and pats the bed beside him.  "For now though, we should not speak of this.  Surely there are other better things to talk about."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on January 23, 2009, 07:50:56 AM
Terra can only shake her head quietly as she smiles worriedly taking his hands in hers as she settles in next to him. Try as she might she could not shake the unsettling feeling of Ta'las's actions and statements, they are so unlike the man she fell in love with, almost as if he had been driven mad. Her thought drift briefly to her days among the Kasumari, how many saw her as a mad woman, how they would keep their distance seeing her as dangerous, unpredictable, deranged. Could whatever is happening be an attempt to drive them away from Ta'las? She wonders to herself, putting on a brave face determined to not let what is happening shake there love, but she can't let him hurt any of their friends either.

"Ta'las my love. Tell me about "The Warriors Path", I know you mentioned it, but I would like to know more."

She smiles squeezing his hands reassuringly.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on January 23, 2009, 01:43:53 PM
There have been few times in his life that Ta'las can recall speaking about 'Second Reality' - or what he has referred to as the 'Warrior's Path' - so he raises his eyebrows when Terra mentions his personal quest to search for the truth that lies within himself.  The Shendar shrugs.  "There is much to tell, Terra, and it would take much of the night for me to speak of this," he says quietly and his irrationality begins to subside.  He looks down at her hands, holding his, and he smiles a little.  "I suppose there is no better time than this, though, is there?"

He furrows his brow as he contemplates where to begin; he speaks slowly, and haltingly.  "While Shendar believe in the Twelve, and especially follow Baveras and Foiros - and others like Seyella - there are some of my kin who seek spiritual enlightenment along a second path in addition to this faith."  Ta'las pauses to consider how to explain next, for it is not exactly the same as religious faith, though he has heard some argue it is.  "Though some believe that Second Reality is just a part of one's religious leanings, there are others - particularly those that have actually taken this journey - that feel our beliefs in the Aviaría are very much separate."  He looks down again to think about how to explain further and then looks back at Terra.  "I think that a Shendar Warrior must find his own way - perhaps neither explanation is particularly right.  But what I do know, is this 'Warrior's Path', or 'Second Reality', is a way for us to look further into ourselves for answers...to the...truth...behind our.......perceived...reality."  He frowns a little and looks down.  As he continues, the feverish gleam in his eyes begins to fade, and he looks around a little startled.  "I- Lady Terra, what was I talking about?"



Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on January 26, 2009, 01:57:45 PM
Terra draws herself tight to Ta'las absently as she listens nodding agreement to certain things he said but keeping quiet except for her soft breaths content to just listen. She had been taught to focus her mind and sharpen her senses, to see things others would let pass, to hear things others would fall deaf to, to feel the things others would numb themselves to, all things that most would cast aside as insignificant or tricks sight, hearing and touch, these where things that allowed her to survive among the Kari. She feels herself growing heavy, sleep, a thought creeps into her mind that makes her blush as is forms in her worn mind. Before she could shun the thought of sharing the bed with Ta'las, the thought is driven from her as he suddenly stops and asks what he had been talking about. Suddenly she is sitting bolt upright, her eyes having been heavy and worn now stand wide with worry as she slips a hand from his and reaches for his forehead. Could it be he has been deranged with fever and they had not noticed, she had not noticed? She wonders as she feels Ta'las's head with her palm, then the back of her hand, her alarm growing as she could not feel a fever.

"You were telling me about the "Warriors Path". Do you remember what happened earlier? Before we came up here?"

She asks with great concern trying to gauge how lucid he had been as they ate.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on January 26, 2009, 08:35:25 PM
Roosje watched on with big eyes as she heard Ta'las shouting and Talia became suddenly more indecisive than the white brownie had seen her in the past couple of weeks, since she left the vale. Her first reaction was to tell Talia to go and get Capher, but then she thought better of it, remembering the exchange from earlier at the table. Capher was probably not the best person right now to calm the Shendar down.

Instead of giving a suggestion - she did not know herself what to do about the situation, not to mention giving Talia advice - she turned her fox and the animal padded into the room that Talia had opened. There seemed to be three beds there, though Roosje figured that only two humans would be sleeping there - Teri and Talia. The third woman of the party, Terra... well, chances were she would not be spending the night in this particular room. So Roosje steered Inuya to the farthest bed and let the fox jump up on it for a minute. She assumed that she could use it if she wanted to, but the thing was just a little too high for her tastes. Instead she let the fox take a corner of the down pillow in her muzzle and pull it off the bed, nimbly jumping behind the falling object. She then dragged (or rather, had Inuya drag) the pillow closer to the other two beds, depositing it somewhere in the middle between the two. She figured that she'd be conspicuous enough not to get stepped on. Teri was sitting in one of the beds already, though she was peering out of the door to see what was happening with Ta'las.

Roosje busied herself with removing the harness from Inuya's back, giving the animal freedom to sleep. From the bag that habitually hung on the fox's back Roosje extracted a blanket that was small enough for her, not at all like those unwieldy and especially huge things that Big People called blankets. If one of those landed on her, it could well crush her! Inuya curled up in the middle of the pillow to go to sleep. Lazy animal, as if she hadn't had enough sleep on the table earlier, Roosje thought tenderly. She wrapped herself in her blanket and tucked in nice and close to her riding beast, and decided not to worry about Ta'las, though she did keep an out on the door to see when Talia came in.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on January 27, 2009, 06:33:03 AM
Talia stands in front of the closed door and feels just unwell. Eavesdropping on a friend is nothing her education allows to, even if it might be only for the best of her friends. She looks worried at Roosje, back to the door - and on the floor, investigating her boots as if they could give her an answer. When Roosje does the only thing which makes probably sense - to go to sleep, and when Talia doesn't hear any loud words from the room behind that door, she moves away as well. But as she is already about to enter the room and to lie down in her bed , she decides otherwise. Sleep would not come to her soon anyway, after what has happened this evening. She closes the door silently and goes back in the tavern and out to the stables where their horses and aj'nuvics are kept for the night.

 Swing and Desert Rose are still standing in their places, though they would, unlike horse, settle down during their sleep. Talia first caresses her own bonding partner, burying her face in the dense fleece and searching for some consolation. She has been so happy in the first week after they had left the vale. Though she has still felt somehow vulnerable, she now has again the impression to be whole. But it is, as if she has only a very thin, soft skin, which needs to thicken and harden out first before trouble may storm in again on her. But it seems, that she has not gotten this time. Desert Swing stamps with her paws, and Talia goes over to her to give her a hug as well. She seems to be nervous. Does she feel that the man who is the closest being in her life is somehow different? Behaves unusual? Surely, and Talia will watch desert rose closely, she will be the best indicator if even more goes wrong with Ta'las.

Swing starts to tenderly bite her in her arm, so Talia goes back to her own aj and when Swing suddenly lies down, Talia decides to spend the night with her instead in her bed. Tears of exhaustion and of desperation are rolling down her cheeks until finally sleep comes to her as well. Why can't her life not be a bit easier, Capher well and strong and Ta'las his old self? Then they could fight any foe, be it mighty and powerful, but it seems her group is about to fall apart, Morcannan missing again, Teri very silent, Capher nearly not recognisable and she as weak as a newborn baby, so un-Shendar like. But when she finally sleeps, dreams are coming to her, of strange  flying men, carrying and protecting a child, and then she falls in a deep, sound sleep.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on January 27, 2009, 07:23:38 AM
"The Warrior's Path?" he wonders aloud to himself, curious about why he would bring up such a topic.  Not that it was something he wished to hide from Terra - in fact, he was pleased that she would be so interested in his personal quest for enlightenment.  However, it was not something they'd spoken much about before, and it seemed unexpected that there was such interest in it now.

"But to answer your question, yes, I remember dinner," he says with a shrug.  "Dinner was fine, but I was tired and wished to come to bed," is his simple response, completely glossing over his tirade as if it hasn't even happened.  He takes Terra's hand from off his forehead and gently holds it once again.  "I expect the others will be in their own rooms soon, if they haven't gone to bed already."  Then he smirks at Terra.  "Do you look so worried because of what they will say about us being together in here?  Talia is very protective of you - she reminds me a little of my mother-sister."

Ta'las senses, however, that something is bothering Terra more than what their friends may have to say about them spending time together.  He furrows his brow and peers into Terra's eyes, concern is etched on his features.  "Please, Lady Terra, what is wrong?"


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on January 28, 2009, 04:28:59 AM
His answer only draws her deeper into worry, only a fever, a bad one could cause one to be so deranged and yet in such a haze without recollection. Has his fever broken and he merely does not recall, or has it moved deeper into him. This question worries her deepest as she replies as if the fever has not truly broken his life could hang in the balance if it's not treated.

"You were not yourself at dinner. You were not quite yourself since we left to The Vale, but as I had felt pangs leaving the place I thought it no more then that till tonight. You truly do not recall what happened between eating dinner and coming here? And again to forget what you had been speaking of just now. It is as if you have a fever, a bad one. That is what worries me as I can not feel a fever in your head."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on January 29, 2009, 12:30:15 PM
"I do not feel any fever, nor do I feel ill.  Perhaps I ate something at dinner that has disagreed with me."  He stands now, and tries to recall what happened at dinner.  "You say that I was not myself at dinner, but in what way?  As for what happened between dinner and coming here, I remember you coming into my room and we spoke about... about.  I-"

Intense hatred flows through him, its source unknown, like dark shadows around all around him, and a fog starts to descend over his mind.  He cannot understand the source of this feeling, but it is directed toward his friend.  However, before he can warn Terra of what is happening, Ta'las feels a great weariness overcome him.  "I'm sorry, Terra, but I feel tired."  He lays down on the bed and closes his eyes.  "Must sleep," he slurs, and a deep sleep overtakes him.



Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on January 30, 2009, 03:12:36 AM
Capher sleeping down the hall from Ta'las's room suddenly awakes! He feels terror and extreme anger swallowing his friend. He gets out of bed to rush to his friends aid, but he is blocked by a force; holding him down.

"Eckra, this is your doing?" Capher mutters, "But thou shalt not have him!"

An eerie laugh from deep in the bowls of the earth echo in Capher's ears. "Ye grow old dragon, and ye powers dwindle each blink of time. I have my kingdom now secure in the north. I now turn toward the south and soon my armies will spread over all the land and ye and your accursed wizard can do nothing to stop me..."  The laughter grows to enormous propotions and then disappears.

"We shall see Eckra," Capher mutters once again.

Capher lays down and becomes completely at rest, not fighting the force holding him down. Capher closes his eyes and begins to slowly go into his mind, he wants to rush, but knows if he does he may not gather the power he needs.  Slowly, ever so slowly he goes deeper and deeper into his mind, weaving a path of doors and corridors and traps behind him to catch anyone trying to follow him as he goes deeper into the recesses of his mind and the center of his power.

Finally he reaches the center of his mind and in it he concentrates on Ta'las and soon an image of Ta'las standing up, anger rising in him, his mind being controlled by dark shadows. Capher realizes that if it continues the anger will grow out of control and he may stike at Terra, or come after him. Capher knew that there was only one thing to help his friend...

He put Ta'las into a deep sleep...there the shadows would have no control over him. He watched as Ta'las sank back into his bunk, and then fell into a very deep sleep.

Capher sighed and slowly came back to conciousness leaving the corridors and traps left in place in case Eckra decided to try and get into his mind again.  He would know.

Capher swung out of his bunk. He was sweating profusely, he rubbed his right hand over his head and was astonished as his hand felt a protrusion rising out from the back of his head, behind his right ear and curving upwards.

Capher's eyes widened in horror and he rushed to light a candle and then look at himself in a looking-glass. He turned his head and saw the protusion, he turned his head to the left and the same protusion was there as well. Then he noticed the skin on his head was begininng to look more like scales instead of human skin.  He quickly looked down at his hands and they too were beginning to look scaly. He opened his robe and looked at his body and his whole body had the same look.

Capher slowly closed his robe and saddened sat back down upon his bunk. He did not have much time, he thought. I am turning into my true form and once I do...I die!


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on January 31, 2009, 04:49:47 AM
Terra watches over her love through the night even as her body grows heavy in her armor, she sits and watches Ta'las ready to aid him should the illness return. As the night draws on, her body and her eyes grow heavier as she tries to remain awake, worry motivating her to stay awake, the ill ease stay sleep, but only for a time. Finally in the late hours of the night her body gives our to the weariness of travel and she collapses into the bed next to Ta'las, a slight ring of the light mail of her armor, her sleep fitful with worry at first but is drawn ever deeper. Though her worry, Ta'las being so near her offers comfort enough to rest deeply into the morning.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on February 01, 2009, 02:16:40 PM
The following morning, Ta'las wakes feeling well rested, but it is the sight of Terra lying next to him, still sleeping, that makes him smile when he first opens his eyes.  Light streams in through the small window, and the din of the inn's patrons in the common room manages to make its way faintly into their room, though it is not loud enough to be more than subtle background noise.  The Shendar sits sideways on the bed next to Terra, and smiles as he gently rubs her hair.  Yesterday's events at the dinner table, and the anger he expressed in his room are blocked from his conscious thought - hidden away by a magic he cannot detect - and so he is ignorantly blissful of both Eckra's 'possession' and Capher's protective enchantment.

He is not sure how much time passes between his rising and when Terra finally awakes, nor does he care.  If I could spend the rest of my days here with her, I would go to my Journeyon fulfilled of all I could ever want, he thinks to himself. 

When she finally opens her eyes, Ta'las smiles softly to her.  "Good morning, Lady Terra."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on February 02, 2009, 04:22:08 AM
Capher awoke early the following morning. The night before gone and in the past, however the effects of it were quite visable and that is what was concerning him now.  He would have to wear a cowl over his head all the time now and so he was busily sewing one on the top edge of his robe. He had ripped his blanket to make the cowl and though he did not like it as the color of his robe was gray his blanket was black, but it could not be helped, he thought, as his fingers slowly put stitch after stitch into the fabric.

Finally the last stitch was sewn. Suddenly his cane began to glow and so did the cowl and changed right before his eyes and soon the glow ebbed and the cowl was now the same color as his robe.  He stared at the cane. He knew it was not his magic that had created it, so who's was it? He pondered that question as he began working on the task of sewing gloves for his hands; again he used parts of his blanket and when the last stitch was done on both of the gloves, his cane once again glowed as well as the gloves and when the glow ebbed his gloves were the same color as his robe.

He slipped them on and they fit perfectly, as if they were molded to his hands. He once again picked up the staff and stared intently at the strange archaic symbols. Some of them he knew. He had seen them in a book lying on a table in his Master's study.  An ironic smile crept across Capher's face, Master He called Ethan his Master, though it was Capher who taught his father, but then the father soon outgrew even Capher's abilities and the son was even stronger, so now Capher was the student and Ethan his Master.

Capher tried to recall what the symbols meant, but he could not recall any of them except one and that was the symbol for his kind: ShapeShifter. The symbol was the Draconian language of a ShapeShifting Dragon. It went completely around the pole with the tail at the end and the dual head of a dragon at the top of the cane's headpiece. However with all of the other symbols intertwining with it, unless you knew what you were looking for you would never see it.

Capher stood with the cane in his right hand. He knew the magic was not Brownie either so he was completely baffled and puzzled about the cane, but something told him it was not given to him by an evil source, so he would keep it until the mystery would reveal itself.

He quickly packed his few belongings, threw the cowl over his head and walked out of his door, closing it behind him and headed toward the common room where the tantalizing smells of breakfast's of fresh eggs, bacon, ham, beef, dark brown bread and other delicacies awaited him.

He turned slightly toward the other rooms, and sensed that Ta'las was awake, refreshed, and back to his normal self. However how long, would depend upon when Eckra would attack again.

Suddenly from deep inside the bowls of the earth that laughter once again came forth. "Ye are weak dragon. Do ye think that I would waste my time on the boy? He is an annoyance that one of my apprentices is playing with. Nay, dragon, my powers are meant for opponents worthy of my talents. Soon enough my apprentice will break your puny spell over the boy. But why do ye fight for these puny humans? Come, join me and I will give you treasure's that you have not seen in thousands of years."

Soon, precious stones the size of small boulders floated in front of Capher's eyes. Then mountains of gold, and other precious metals, including the most precious of them all, Uryant. Capher's heart thumped wildly at the sight.

"Yeah dragon, all of this could be yours if only you would come to my side," Eckra's said, his voice smooth, like a polished stone and softly deceptive.

Capher paused; as if he was considering Eckra's proposal and then he laughed outloud. "Ye are the one who is decieved Eckra. Ye know nothing of me as ye were destroyed by other 'Chosen' before we met. Nay, Eckra I do not crave riches, but wisdom and I serve one Master and one God; Seyella."

"So be it dragon," Eckra replied, his voice quietly maelovent and then it was gone.

Capher leaned heavily on his cane. Persperation ran heavily down his forehead and dripped off his nose. It had taken almost all of Capher's powers to repel Eckra as they talked to one another. What will it be like when I finally meet him...face to face? Capher thought.

The hallway was empty and the conversation he had with Eckra had not woken anyone up; at least not enough for them to open their doors to investigate. Capher slowly made his way down the stairs toward the common room, gaining strength each step of the way.

He entered the common room and looked around. He could not see any of his friends in the room and the room was filling up fast. He quickly chose a table large enough to accomadate all of them once they all came down and sat down. A waitress came took his order and then left. She came back shortly with a pot of hot water, tin cups and assorted teas.

Capher thanked her and then taking one of the teas put it into his cup, and poured the hot water over it.  He let the tea steep and drew in deep breaths of the aroma into his lungs.  After several blinks, he took a sip, savoring the taste and waited for his food and his friends to arrive.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on February 03, 2009, 03:24:50 AM
Terra slowly wakes to her consciousness her mind slowed from so little sleep, but is soothed by the loving sensation on her head. She lays a long while mostly asleep, only really conscious of the soft bed under her and the loving touch long her hair, the worries of the previous night yet to awaken and steal her contentment from her. Eventually though she wakes to the consciousness of her sight, her eyes open and look up at Ta'las smiling down at her, smiling her special smile in return holding the moment in her mind as long as she can, feeling the previous nights worries stirring. Her hand raises to check his forehead for fever, looking for relief from her worries as she props herself up.

"Good morning Ta'las."

She replies in kind, her heart fluttering simultaneously with joy and worry.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on February 03, 2009, 03:39:09 AM
It is still dark, when Talia awakes with an aching back, for though Swing has been warm and soft, leaning half on her belly or curled together next to her on a pile of straw is not exactly the most comfortable way of spending the night. But she is in a good mood, even thinking at the strange acting Ta'las of the night before or the weak looking Capher do not trouble her strongly. It will be better today, all will be better.

She tends  Swing for a while, but when she hears noises from the main building, she goes over to see, what the morning will bring - hopefully a good breakfast. But first there is some toilet needed, her hair is full of straw and her clothes crumbled. A water barrel full of fresh raining water is what she sees and uses immediately. Well, that is not really enough, but she does not want to go up in her room where the others might be still asleep. So she enters the tavern with a clean face and washed hands and  a freshly braided plait. She does not notice the few straws in her hair though, but her smile with which she please the kitchen maid outshines anything disturbing.

When entering the main room of the tavern where the breakfast is served, she sees, that among the many guest who are already here Capher sits at a table, obviously waiting for them all to come. She hurries quickly to him, gives him a hug and takes a seat next to him.


"Good morning Capher! How was your night? I hope Ta'las ugly words have not troubled you too much. I don't know, why he has behaved so strangely, so... unshendar-like. All will be better today, I'm sure about it!

What do you have here, hot water, an herbal infusion, cha'ah? It's great you have ordered breakfast already, I'm so hungry!"

Talia's friendly chatter ceases though, for though she is excited, she feels, that there is something different with Capher, something wrong. She looks closer at him and realises, that this strange feeling comes from his unusual clothes, not just from his altered appearing. Was there a cowl on his robe yesterday, and why does he wear gloves, inside a building?

"Capher, is there something wrong with you today?" she asks him in a low voice. "You are wearing gloves and a cowl?"

She would like to throw his cowl from his head, but with so many people around, she does not dare to do so. But she takes his one hand and removes some of the glove at the wrist. The skin there has a scaly feeling to the touch. They had never before spoken openly about his abilites as an shapeshifter, about the fact , that he was not human. But once he had been Bium, and now?

"Capher, can't you control your abilites anymore?" she asks him with concern in her eyes.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on February 03, 2009, 12:10:57 PM
There is no mistaking the concern evident in Terra's features, though Ta'las also recognises the love in her eyes.  The Shendar does not remove her hand from his head this time - he knows that something is wrong.  For a brief moment, he tries to recall the events of the previous evening, but all he can remember is coming back to his room, and speaking briefly with Terra before a deep sleep overtook him.

He keeps his voice low when he speaks.  "You look worried again, Lady Terra.  Last night, you said that I was not myself at dinner, and that I acted as if I had a fever."  He pauses for a moment and sighs.  Know he is concerned about what he has done, for it was obviously out of character for him.  His warrior's instincts have returned, and he keenly feels uneasy about being so close to so many people here in the inn.  Ta'las also feels a sense of urgency to get to Ximax for Capher's sake.

"Whatever I did last night has upset you, but I think we should speak of this when we are on the road, away from any who might hear," he says with a nod toward the door.  "And in the presence of our friends."  He takes and kisses the back of her hand once.  "We need to be away from here and get to Ximax."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on February 04, 2009, 01:21:26 AM
A glimmer of relief comes to her face as Ta'las recalls at least a very little of the last night, her worry fades considerably as he takes her hand from his head and kisses it. Her special smile shine brightly from her lips.

"Do you recall talking about the Warriors Path, perhaps you can tell me about it over breakfast? We should see if the others are up and ready. You are right, if the others are up we should be away quickly. Capher needs to get to Ximax to be healed."

She begins to slip from the bed, accompanied by a soft creaking and jingle from her armor.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on February 05, 2009, 03:25:06 AM
Capher was silently contemplating as well as savoring his tea when suddenly Talia hugs him. She sits down.

"Good morning Capher! How was your night? I hope Ta'las ugly words have not troubled you too much. I don't know, why he has behaved so strangely, so... unshendar-like. All will be better today, I'm sure about it!

What do you have here, hot water, an herbal infusion, cha'ah? It's great you have ordered breakfast already, I'm so hungry!"

Her chatter was bright and cheerful, almost bubbly. It made Capher smile. He was happy for her. The Brownie's magic had did its work.  He noticed some bits of straw in her hair.

"It is good to see you Talia," Capher replied. "I too hope that Ta'las is better this morning as well."

He reaches over and plucks out a piece of straw from her hair. "Where have you been, Talia? Sleeping with Swing instead of in a nice warm confortable bed?" He asked rhetorically, not expecting an answer.

She asks about the tea and breakfast and then in a low concerned voice she askes a question that Capher dreaded, but knew that eventually would have to be explained.

"Capher, is there something wrong with you today?" she asks him in a low voice. "You are wearing gloves and a cowl?"

Capher was about to reply when she reached over and pulled one of his gloves down. He almost roared no and pull his hand away but it was too late. She noticed the scales on his hand.

"Capher, can't you control your abilites anymore?"

Capher took a deep breath, straighting up, well as much as he could, and began to speak in a low voice.

"In a way Talia. It is hard to explain, but I will try."

He sighed.

"To tell you the truth Talia I did not want to tell anyone what is happening to me, but you have been a dear friend and have been with me since the beginning; never giving up hope, even when I had disappeared for awhile, Fighting and almost dyiing for something you hardly understand and still willing to go on. You, above all others deserver to know the truth. I am dying."

"I am not sure if the Orb of Ximax will help, but I will go and see. I am old Talia, much older than even you can imagine. It is time for me to go and return to the dust of Caelereth. Unlike the races of this world, I am an animal, though I can and have been a human, I cannot deny the fact that I am an animal.  I wear the cowl because I am slowly turning back into my draconian shape. Each time I use my powers more of me comes out. Ta'las was being attacked by Eckra, well at least I thought it was Eckra, I was wrong. It was just one of Eckra's apprentices. I know this because Eckra and I had some conversations; one last night and the other right before I came down here this morning. He tried to woo me to his side," Capher laughed. "As if he could woo me away from my Master and Seyella my Goddess"

Capher turned his head more and saw the concern in Talia's eyes and face. He put his hand upon hers. "Do not worry. I am not dead yet and I have a task to finish. One, that I promised to my Master and Seyella to finish and I have never, yet, dissapointed them yet. I just ask one favor from you. Please keep this information to yourself. I know that is asking a lot from you. But the others, especially Ta'las, do not, can not, know...or else we may lose this war."

Capher leaned toward Talia and whispered into her ear. "It is a war. Eckra told me something last night that made my blood run cold. He told me that he nows controls his kingdom. If what he says is true then the old kingdom that Eckra controlled when he was alive during the War of the Chosen is the upper peninusla and Tak'Din'al is, or was its capitol.  He controlled most of the population there with Losh-Oc Orcs- they are the most fearsome, degenerative, menacing race on Caelereth. They eat their enemies flesh; supposedly by doing so helps give them power.  If Eckra is using Losh Oc Orcs then the Dwarves are in deadly peril, not to mention any that get in their way...I, I fear for the human settlements for besides Dwarves, humans are the Losh-Oc's worst enemies and what they do to them...is unspeakable."

Capher leaned back, and took a sip of his tea. He then proceeded to make a cup for Talia and give her the cup. "I hope the others will awake soon, we must eat, pack, get supplies and move on. I will tell the others what I have just told you, what Eckra told me last night and I trust that you will keep my secret."

The waitress came and placed several steaming plates of ham, beef, bacon, mutton, as well as freshly baked dark brown bread, eggs and a plate of a variety of friuts.

Capher put his hand out on the table and a silver bard appeared when he removed his hand. The waitress gasped.

"There will be others joining us shortly, please make sure the platters are full," Capher said.

The waitress quickly scooped up the bard. "Yes M'lord." She then scurried away.





Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on February 05, 2009, 11:25:29 AM
Ta'las gets up with Terra and picks up his belongings which he shrugs over his shoulder.  "I do not remember telling you anything about my quest for enlightenment, though I do remember coming out of a trance, and you speaking of this last night."  He sighs as he tries to recall the events of last night, but again he can remember nothing except feeling tired and wanting to come to bed. 

"But I will tell you about the 'Warrior's Path," the Shendar adds with a smile.  "I think us being together is important for my journey, Lady Terra.  And even if it wasn't, I am happy that we are together.  Thank you for being with me last night." 

That is when he notices how hungry he is, and his stomach rumbles.  He opens the door and holds out a hand to her. 


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on February 07, 2009, 04:45:53 AM
„........You, above all others deserve to know the truth. I am dying.“

Talia is shocked to hear Capher talking of his death. She freezes inside and can barely follow Capher‘s explanations, because the sentence ‚I am dying‘ is constantly ringing in her ears. Only as he takes her hands and says:  „Do not worry. I am not dead yet and I have a task to finish,“ she seems able to breath again.

He explains more to her about his contact to Eckra, this evil force and that he is strong now again. She has been so cheerful this morning, like a dreamer, full of optimism, and now reality has caught her again. But before her mind gets oppressed again, an inner power arises and helps her to fight this unending melancholy inside her.

When he has finished his story, he makes Talia some new tea, and with the hot cha‘ah new confidence is growing in Talia, despite all the worries and circumstances which stand against them.

„Capher, you might be ill, your magic is somehow broken, or unreliable, weakened, what ever. But I saw you in the Thirsty Herald and later and you did not appear dying. I don‘t think, that your high age is the reason for your weakness, but that this is the doing of Eckra, and if you can successfully fight it, you will be whole again, and strong. I doubt that decay is coming so quickly for somebody like you who is so long-living.“

For some minutes they are sitting silently, and though there is so many people and their noise around them, they seem to be alone, but it is not an uneasy silence, but a moment full of closeness. Finally Talia takes Capher‘s hand, slips her other arm under is, her head rests slightly on his shoulder, her face hidden in the cloth of is robe. And then she whispers:

„Capher, don‘t become desperate, don‘t loose hope. And know, to whatever you might turn, I will always love you.“ 


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on February 08, 2009, 02:24:25 AM
„Capher, you might be ill, your magic is somehow broken, or unreliable, weakened, what ever. But I saw you in the Thirsty Herald and later and you did not appear dying. I don‘t think, that your high age is the reason for your weakness, but that this is the doing of Eckra, and if you can successfully fight it, you will be whole again, and strong. I doubt that decay is coming so quickly for somebody like you who is so long-living.“

Capher thought long and hard about what Talia said. He rested his hand upon hers again. "Perhaps, Talia. It may be that the Orb of Ximax will give me back my powers, at least enough I hope to finish my task." He chuckled, "You still recall the first time we met? Do you recall Bium and what happened afterwards, when I drank too much of that rejuvenation juice? Wow, now that would be something I could use now, just not as much," he chuckled again. "I would not want to...well you know," he said softly." He took his hand away from hers.

He drank some tea, and put some meat, tore some bread and slid some eggs of the platters and placed them on his own. He ate some silently, drank some more tea and then sighed. "I miss Koldar and Avour. I truly thought Koldar would lead this expedition and Avour! She was the most innocent elf I had ever met," He laughed, as he thought of the green elfess.

Then there was this silence, though the din around them was deafening, it was a silence of closeness, of a bond that only two who had been through so much could have forged and then Talia put her arm in his and leaned her head against his shoulder. He could smell the rainwater she must have used to wash with and her hair, though in its usual pony tail, was soft against his chin and then she whispered.

„Capher, don‘t become desperate, don‘t loose hope. And know, to whatever you might turn, I will always love you.“ 

Capher turned his head to look into Talia's eyes. I will always love you. The words bombarded his mind like the power bursts he had just had to fight when he talked to Eckra. They consumed him to the point where everything else was nothing. He fought back tears. How he had asked Seyella to grant him his wish of actually being a human! But his desires must have fallen on deaf ears by his Goddess, or else it was not meant to be.

But to hear such words come from one so...beautiful, on the inside as well as the outside; so young, so full of life, how could she love me? If I do not regain my powers and turn into my original form, will she love me as a pet? At least until I die. Even that love would suffice, he thought. But what would it be like if Seyella did grant him his wish and he became truly human? Would she love an old man? Or is there another type of love she is speaking of? Love of friendship. Love of bonding. Perhaps that is what she meant, not the love like what is happening between Ta'las and Terra. With that love, he could go on. He could focus his energies on his task. That was the love she is talking about, the love of friendship, of bonding, Capher assured himself.

He held her tighter to himself and whispered back, " How could one despair? How could one lose hope with you by their side? No, no need to worry about me Talia and I love you too."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on February 09, 2009, 08:59:04 PM
Roosje was somewhat slow in waking up. Normally a light sleeper, somehow this night she had been well away in dreamland, although now she could not remember any of the dreams she had. She'd noticed that before now - if she was allowed to sleep uninterrupted, and wake in her own time, she never remembered her dreams, though she was convinced that she had dreamt anyway. If her sleep was interrupted for any reason, she was far more likely to remember something of what the dream had been about, though it often faded within moments.

She was lying on her pillow in the middle of the room for a little while, waiting for her body to wake up properly, when she realised something was not quite right. The door was standing open still - nobody had closed it the night before. When the little brownie looked over to Talia's bed, she saw that it had not been slept on. But that was not what was bothering her. It was only when she glanced over to the other bed that she knew what it was. 'Teri was not there anymore, and Roosje had not heard her leave. Had she gone down for breakfast without waking the brownie? It was a possibility, but Roosje felt that it was not the right answer.

The bed was made, though obviously slept in. From her pillow, she could not really see what was on top of the bed, but she could see a corner of something - paper? - sticking out from it. Quickly getting up and strapping Inuya in her harness, she was soon giving her fox the command to jump up on Teri's bed. She had been right, on the bed there was lying a piece of paper, with writing on it. Of course it was Tharian writing, and she could not actually read it (not to mention the fact that she would have to pretty much walk on the paper to try and decipher it) but it was obviously written by Teri.

Roosje instructed Inuya to drag the paper down from the bed, and then she somehow managed to get the square form onto the fox's back, strapping it down a little bit with the harness. Roosje didn't really care that Inuya probably looked rather ridiculous like that, she just wanted to get the piece of paper down to the others as quickly as possible. She didn't stop to think that maybe they weren't in the common room yet, she just assumed that since Talia had not come to bed, she must be downstairs somewhere.

Inuya, not used to the feel of the paper on her back, glared at her mistress a little before setting off. Roosje apologised with a little scratch on the animal's back. "I'm sorry, Inuya. You know I would not normally do this to you, but I need to get this paper to someone who can read it. I think it might be important."

With that, the two of them left the now empty room and headed downstairs to the common room. There she saw Capher, for some reason cowled, and Talia, sitting at a table full of interesting looking food. Somewhat less elegantly than normally, Inuya jumped up on a chair and from there on the table, careful not to jump into the platters of food. Roosje gracefully slid off the fox and then released the paper, dragging it over to Capher. "I found this on Teri's bed, and I don't see her here, so I think it has some message or something." She told the Storyteller. She stepped back a pace to let him read it, then walked over to the platters (which looked like huge mountains of food to the small brownie) and broke a tiny bit of bread off a bigger chunk, adding some omelette to it (to the human eye so little that it looked as though nothing had been taken). Then she looked around for some kind of cup-like thing that she could use to drink something from, though on first sight she could find nothing. Munching on the bread, she looked over at Capher to find out what the paper was all about.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on February 10, 2009, 07:00:11 AM
Terra smiles her special smile just for him as she gathers her gear getting is balanced just right and takes his hand as they continue down to the common room staying as close as there path will permit. It soothes her to have him near, she ponders what he had said the night before and wonders if they had each started down the same path. Was what she had been taught merely a Shender belief her mentor thought would help her, or was it also a Karii belief? If the Shender and Karii share a common belief, did the Sophronians also, and if they did what of others?

Her head sinks to Ta'las's shoulder as they enter the common room and could walk side by side to where the others were already gathering, and whispers,

"I love you Ta'las. I would like to know all I can about you."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on February 10, 2009, 12:26:03 PM
He replies in a similarly soft voice, "I will tell you what I can - though I may leave out some of the more embarassing things I did as a young boy.  My mother-sister often scolded me for acting like a brinney or not listening to her.  If feel sorry for her sometimes - I think she may have aged more quickly because of me."

Ta'las smiles as he looks at Terra as they walk hand-in-hand down the hallway and into the common room.  The sounds of many conversations and the smell of freshly baked bread are the two things Ta'las notices first.  The common room is warm and comfortable, and though he is still on his guard, he does not sense any danger here when he glances around at the various patrons in the room.  When they arrive at the table the others are sitting at, Ta'las looks at them a little uneasily.  Especially when he sees Capher.  He takes a seat next to Capher, leaving room for Terra to sit between them.

"Good morning friends.  I have been told that I gave you cause for concern last night.  I am sorry."  He looks at Terra for reassurance, and then back at his friends.  "I think perhaps the inn is not the place to speak of it, but that we should wait until we are on the road."  He lowers his voice so only Capher, Talia and Roosje can hear.  "Though this place does not particularly concern me, we never can be sure."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on February 11, 2009, 01:33:39 AM
Capher was holding Talia closely and just savoiring the moment when a fox jumped up on the table. Capher let Talia go and under his cowl his eyes narrowed and then he remembered Inuya and of course Roosje. Who could forget a white bark skinned Brownie? Capher thought. Perhaps it was because of the way they entered and interrupted the moment that had passed between Talia and himself, that made him a bit cross.

Then Capher noticed a piece of parchment upon the fox's back. It must have been something to see Roosfe try and carry that thing and put it on her fox's back, he thought. She jumped down and almost tore the parchment getting it out from underneath Inuya's bridle. She dragged it over to Capher.

"I found this on Teri's bed, and I don't see her here, so I think it has some message or something."

Capher took the parchment in his hands and began to read.

Dear friends; My heart is broken. I do not think that I can go on without Jehriad. I am going to go look for him.  Teri.

Capher thought a moment. Another warrior gone. Will Seyella bring us another one to replace her? Or will our numbers continue to dwindle? Either way I do hope she finds Morcaanan, for he is the only one who knows where the Heart is and without the Heart, why go on?  Capher immediately noticed the melancholy mood and quickly shook it off.

He handed the letter to Talia. "It seems that we have lost Teri," he told her softly.

Suddenly a chair was pulled out and there stood Ta'las and Terra, each of them with one of their hands in each others. Ta'las did not sit next to Capher but put space between them; allowing Terra to sit between them.  They both sat down and Ta'las spoke.

"Good morning friends.  I have been told that I gave you cause for concern last night.  I am sorry." he says apolgetically.

Capher smiled, though he doubted anyone could see it under his cowl. Ta'las, at least so far, is under his spell, but how long it will last, only blinks will tell.

Ta'las looks at Terra for what seems like reassurance or maybe it was just a look meant for two who are falling in love, Capher thought. Ta'las continued speaking, "I think perhaps the inn is not the place to speak of it, but that we should wait until we are on the road." 

Capher nodded in agreement.

Then Ta'las spoke low, so that only those at the table could hear.

 "Though this place does not particularly concern me, we never can be sure."

Capher again nodded in agreement. "I think you should all know that Teri has left us. She left ua a brief message. I have read it and I have given it to Talia. I am sure that after she has read it she will allow you two to read it as well.

He stabbed a rather large piece of beef and munched on it, washing it down with large gulps of tea, and then refilled his cup when it was empty. He looked around at the those at the table. "I suggest you eat and eat fast, for we must be on our way. I am sure you have all noticed my appearance. We can talk about that when we are on the road. As mine and our friend Ta'las has stated, 'though this place does not particuarily concern me, you never know.' I agree with him. So eat hearty, for who knows when we will be able to eat like this again?"


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on February 13, 2009, 04:47:19 AM
Talia sits near Capher, still feeling the mental warmth she had just shared with Capher, and looks at that innocent looking piece of paper Roosje had brought from their room, the room she hadn‘t shared this night. Teri gone?  Would Teri still be here, if she, Talia, would have come upstairs and shared the room, so that she would not have been alone? Roosje had been there, but she was so new and probably no comfort to Teri, if she has felt badly because of the absence of Jeheraid.   She forces herself to read the few lines.

Dear friends; My heart is broken. I do not think that I can go on without Jehriad. I am going to go look for him.  Teri.
I do not think I can go on without Jehriad...
Talia can‘t say anything in the moment, she doesn‘t really notice Terra and Ta‘las at first, when they come in and take a seat nearby, though she nods towards them.
Why was all breaking apart? Ta‘las acting strangely, Capher shapeshifting uncontrolled, now Teri gone, not to speak of Morganaan himself. The heart lost.
She would miss Teri terribly, her quiet way of doing things; it was just not feeling right, that she wasn‘t here. I do not think I can go on without Jehriad...   Of course he was for her more important than any other member of the group. She had killed her own brother not long ago and though he had tortured her her life long, it had been her own blood nevertheless. Maybe therefor she needed a loving hand to keep her sane. But all these thoughts did not make it easier to bear with Teri‘s absence.
Dear friends; My heart is broken. I do not think that I can go on without Jehriad. I am going to go look for him.  Teri.
I am going to go look for him
Would there be someone who would care as much as Teri cared for Jeheraid if she would be gone?  - Yes - was not Ta‘las sent to help to get her back to from the dry lands and did not Capher come and risk his life to bring her back?
She looks at Ta‘las and Terra. These two are still here, but if something would happen with one of them, would the other be gone as well? She looks a last time on the notice and hands it then over to Terra, silently, for she does not yet trust her voice.
She puts her shaking hands firmly around her cup of cha‘ah, so that their trembling is not so obvious. All the splendid food on the platters are not appealing anymore.
„Let‘s go to Ximax soon.!“ is the only thing she is ale to say in this moment.



Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on February 13, 2009, 05:14:50 AM
Terra sets down her gear near by, then embraces Capher as if a daughter embracing her ailing father before take the seat Ta'las had left for him. She smiles to him her special smile just for him as reassurance and plants a kiss on his cheek her blushing in self conscious modesty, then settles into her seat close to him, her cheeks still glowing as if she was still not certain that others would approve of her love. Quietly she sits as Ta'las and Capher speak, content to be close to Ta'las as long as she can, she feels a pang as Capher mentions not knowing when they will be able to eat so well next, her thoughts drift to not knowing when she will be able to be close to Ta'las like this again.

"I agree, we should eat our fill and be on our way as soon as we can be ready. You don't look or feel like you are so well Capher, we should see what help we can find you in Ximax as soon as we can."

She looks briefly as Ta'las before continuing.

"I think we should avoid any side trips where possible until we get there. I do hope Teri well, but I don't think there is much we can do for her, as much as I think we may want to."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on February 13, 2009, 12:06:04 PM
Returning Terra's smile, Ta'las also blushes, though it is hidden well beneath his sun-drenched complexion.  He enjoys Terra's closeness and breathes in the scent of her hair.  Then, his stomach reminds him that he had not eaten much the previous evening, and he turns his attention to his meal with a vengeance, downing three servings in short time.  He adds to the conversation between mouthfuls.

"True, we cannot go after Teri, and I think it would be impossible to bring her with us without Morcaanan.  It is unforunate, for both were skilled warriors, and Morcaanan has a level head."  He stabs a sausage which he shoves into his mouth, and he eats hungrily. 

"Blessed Seyella, this food is good."  When he realises he is eating like a pig, he slows down and gives Terra a sheepish smile.  "Thus far in my life, I have not begun to grow sideways.  Hopefully, my apetite will ease itself before that happens."  He looks down at his plate and then back up at her with a grin, but still he eats a little more before he continues.  "If our destination is to be Ximax, we will need to head northward toward the Shivering Wood.  I have heard stories of the place, but if we skirt the outer edge of the forest, we should be able to find a ferry from there that will take us close to the city."  He says all of this matter-of-factly, without the disparaging tone he used the previous evening, and with no obvious recollection of what he had said.

He looks at Talia and Roosje, and takes note of the fact that neither is eating much.  Of course, with Roosje it can be easily explained by her stature.  "Talia, and Roosje, would either of you like to share my meal?  I think I have eaten enough for three already."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on February 14, 2009, 02:31:14 AM
Love comes and goes Capher thought as he felt the hug from Terra and then saw her kiss Ta'las on the cheek.  Capher could not help but notice Talia's reaction to Terri's letter. He felt compassion for her as Terri and her were close and Capher guessed that the sudden parting of ways between them would weigh heavily upon her.

He reached for her hand, as she passed the letter to Terra, but she had grabbed her cup of tea with both; so he placed it on the table in front of him.

"Roosje, I thank you for the letter, though it brings sad news to us all. You have proven that you will be an asset to us all."

Capher watched Ta'las with fascination as he ate and talked at the same time. Capher wondered if love makes one hungry? He turned his attention to Terra, who was mentioning something about his appearance, looking to see if she ate as much as Ta'las; but it did not seem so. Did only the male in love eat more and the female eat less or the same? Capher thought.

He placed both hands upon the table and pushed himself away. "I need to see to our supplies. I noticed that we are short on many things. I believe a vendor should be open by now. You three finish your meal, it has already been paid for."

He rose from the table, "Oh, is there anything that you three want for the trip?" He asked. Then he turned to Talia and asked, "Would you care to join me?"


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on February 17, 2009, 07:32:21 AM
Terra blushes softly as she watches Ta'las eat what seems to be continually, yet still find room to talk, she is not quite sure if it is adorable or embarrassing, but returns his smile. "I will fight for you, and I will die for you if need be.", she thinks despite his eating habits as she eats at a measured steady pace that had carried over from when she was far more restrained in nature and not really well of mind as she now discovers. As Talia passes the letter to her, she finds herself trying to read its contents, it's not long, and she knows the words have meaning but can not associate the two except for a few scattered instances but without contextual meaning. She passes it to Ta'las and asks,

"Will you read this for me?"


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on February 18, 2009, 05:29:06 AM
As the note was passed from one person to another, Roosje steadily ate more breakfast. To Big folk it did not look like she ate much, but taking her size into account she was not that much behind Ta'las. When he offered her to eat from his plate, she could not do anything but politely refuse. She really was quite stuffed by the time she was finished. However, she was growing rather thirsty.

'No thank you, I ate quite enough.' she said, walking closer to him over the table-top to make sure he heard her. 'I would, however, like to drink some milk. Do you happen to have anything that I could drink from?' She knew that she really shouldn't drink anything, if she did not want the itching and red bubbles on her arms, but it had been some time and she was just craving the taste of it, despite its consequences.

When Capher asked if anyone needed something she shook her head. She wasn't sure if the 'three' he asked it to were the three other big folk, or else the two lovebirds and the little brownie, since right after his question he asked Talia to join him. Either way, she didn't really need anything that needed to be bought especially. She had also already brought her stuff down with her, Teri had taken her own things and Talia hadn't even slept in the room, so the room was empty and Roosje was ready to leave whenever everyone else was. But still, she really would like some milk, if anyone could find her a cup small enough.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on February 19, 2009, 01:52:57 AM
Ta'las and Terra did not answer his question and Roosje shook her head no, so Capher took Talia's hand and helped her stand. He took a few steps toward the door and then turned around. He looked at the three at the table.

"Remember, as we travel farther north it will become decidely colder and since we are nearing the end of the Harvest Season, it will even snow. So just be prepared," He said and then turned around, took Talia's arm and led her through the common room and outdoors.

The breath of fresh air hit Capher like diving into a snowbank; refreshing, yet cold upon is lungs. Instictively, he wrapped his arms around Talia, to keep her warm.

They walked liked that through the streets of Caeleum taking their time as they looked over the wares that were being hawked in the streets. Capher carefully chose food that could be carried for long distances and yet hold their flavor, taste and not rot. Tea was a staple of their diets, as well as salted jerky and other meats. Vegetables were chosen very carefully, as were fruits, as most would rot and would have to be thrown away within a week or so, unless eaten.

Some stalls they had to stay away from as the animals near them would become nervous and some donkeys would buck and bray when Capher came near them. Stray dogs would rush up and bark at them until Capher would turn and look at them and then the dogs would yelp, and turn with tails between their legs and run away.  People gave them strange looks, but when they saw the silver bards; their opinions quickly changed.

One stall was selling heavy woolen cloaks, and heavy leathered, fur lined boots. Capher bought four of each and asked for a very small piece of scrap, which was given gladly when the owner received a two silver bards for the cloaks, and boots.

Capher and Talia were now carrying a lot of items and decided to take them back to the Aj"s and the horses and pack them.

Throughout that time, they did not speak, except when Capher spoke to the vendors, but to each other they did not; it was as if just being together was enough, without having to say a word.

When they began to close in to the stalls where the animals were kept, Capher could hear the animals become more skittish. "Perhaps, I should stay out here and you should pack the animals," he said to Talia, shrugging his shoulders. "I forgot that the more I turn into myself, the more animals and people, if they should see me, will be afraid of me; but especially animals, as they are more attuned to danger," he asked, his voice a bit saddened.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on February 19, 2009, 01:06:29 PM
He accepts the letter from Terra and nods to her that he will read it, but before he has a chance to begin, Roosje asks for a small container to hold milk.  Ta'las looks apologetically at Roosje.  "I'm sorry, little one, but I do not own anything small enough.  But, I can ask the waitress to bring something over."  The Shendar waves to the waitress who is busy serving the inn's patrons, and as they wait for her to arrive, he reads through the letter.

"Hmm, there does not seem to be much here.  She writes, 'Dear friends; My heart is broken. I do not think that I can go on without Jehriad.'"  Ta'las looks up at Terra and Roosje.  "I see why she left.  Ever since leaving the Vale, Teri was quiet.  I know she and Jeharaid were very close, and it must have been difficult to leave him behind."  He pats Terra's hand and smiles, glad that they are together, and looks back down at the letter.  "Then she says, 'I am going to go look for him.  Teri.'"

He pauses a moment and folds the letter.  "It is possible that Teri and Jeharaid may still have some part to play in our quest, but Seyella's plan is difficult to determine.  Perhaps Capher has a better explanation."

The waitress then arrives.  "You have need of more breakfast, m'lord?" she asks, sounding a little surprised by the amount of food the Shendar has consumed, but Ta'las shakes his head.

"No, we are looking for something for our friend here to drink milk from," he replies, nodding to Roosje.  "Do you have something small enough?"

The waitress looks appraisingly at the little Brownie and thinks for a moment, before snapping her fingers.  "Just a moment - I may have just the thing you need."

As the waitress rushes away to bring back whatever item she has just thought of, Ta'las smiles at Roosje.  "Perhaps our dilemmna will be solved after all."  A few moments later, the waitress returns with a small wooden thimble filled with milk.

"Will this do?" she asks, carefully holding the thimble out toward Roosje.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on February 24, 2009, 09:28:37 PM
Roosje took over the thimble with a delighted smile on her lips. "Yes it will, thank you very much!" Sipping carefully, she had soon drunk her fill. She wanted to give the thimble back to the waitress, who just laughed and told her to keep it, that it had been a spare thimble of hers anyway. Roosje laughed back and thanked her with a florid bow from the top of the table. She stored the thimble in her pack, and then climbed on top of Inuya, nimbly finding her usual place.

"Alright, you two lovebirds need to get some fresh air! The Storyteller should be done by now, so lets get out and get a move on!" she called. Her fox leaped down off the table in what for the Brownie alone would have been a death leap. However, she firmly kept her seat, even though she was not holding any of the gear ropes. Once down on the ground the little red animal quickly trotted over to the door, which was just then opening as some customer entered for his breakfast. Roosje slipped outside, and there waited for Ta'las and Terra to catch up with her.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on February 25, 2009, 12:10:26 PM
"That sounds reasonable."  Ta'las stands and with Terra, collect their belongings.  "We will take just a few minutes to ready our mounts and then we can be on the road."  The Shendar opens the door for Roosje and Terra, and the trio head toward the stables.  Desert-born, he notices the chill in the air, and wraps his cloak more tightly around himself.  He is glad to have his aka'pis blanket, but he knows that once they reach Ximax, he will need to purchase more appropriate clothing for the journey.

"Capher was right about the cold," he murmurs to the others, now regretting not having heeded his friend's wisdom about supplies.  However, when they they meet up with Talia and Capher just outside the stables, he notices Capher has already purchased enough clothing for everyone.  The Shendar smiles widely and claps Capher on the shoulder.  "As always, you take care of us.  You are the best of friends!"

"Come, let's ready the animals and then we can be on our way."

In short time, Talia, Terra and Ta'las prepare their mounts for the journey and stow away their new supplies.  Before the second hour of Daybreak is able to pass by, the group begins to make their way out of town, following a winding gravel road northward through the gates of Caelum.  Above them, the sun begins its ascent toward its azimuth.  Their breath hangs in the air around their faces for just a few moments, portending the impending winter, but the leaves, which are just beginning to change colour, still cling to the trees. 


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on February 27, 2009, 02:13:14 AM
At first the animals were not to happy to have Capher near them, especially the horses, who bucked and looked at him with wide eyes; even the Aj's sensed something and they were stomping their huge paws when he got too close to them. Talia had to some sweet talking to Swing to allow Capher close the animal without him stomping and almost biting him; even Capher's horse had to be handled a bit more roughly than Capher would have liked just to bring him around. Eventually, though everything worked out, though the animals would once in a while still turn and give Capher a wild eyed stare.

Ta'las was glad that Capher had purchased the woolen cloaks and fur lined boots; even Roosje after Capher had told her what the small pieces of wool were for understood and was thankful. Capher just wondered if she would be able to make herself a cloak and boots out of them as they rode toward the ferry that would take them across Wind Bay.

The ride was pleasant enough even with a blustery cold wind blowing down from the Northwest.  The leaves on the trees had changed color and though most tried to stay on their limbs, the strong wind was slowly tearing them off their summer perches. The leaves of all sorts of colors swirled around the hard rutted dirt road as they left the gravel road of the city of Caelum, some looked liked small whirlpools as the wind blew them about.

Capher rode a bit farther forward than the others so that he would not scare the other's animals and though he would have liked to have had Talia near him, just to talk or even feel her presence near him, he knew this was the best for them all.

He could see Roosje and her fox leaping along through the Altho grass that grew tall along side the road. It was quite a sight. Sometimes Capher would see a flash of red and then a white head and then another flash of red again as the fox kept up easily to the easy trotting of the animals as they continued on. Capher mused that on any other day, that in any other time, or circumstance this would be a very a very nice ride, however that was not the case and so they pressed on.

A blast of wind whipped at Capher and he felt his fingers and arms grow suddenly cold and numb. He could hardly hold onto his horse's reins. He shook them to see if that would help and soon the cold and numbness subsided until it was gone. Capher stared at his hands for a long time wondering if it was a spell of Eckra or something else? Then it dawned on him, as long as he was a human he could handle any type of weather thrown at him, but the more he turned into a dragon, a cold blooded animal, the more the cold would affect him. He had not considered that as they will be going up into the Prominent Mountains where it will be cold if not snow.  However, they would be going to Ximax before going onto the mountains and if the Orb of Ximax did as it is purportdley supposed to do, then he will have his complete powers back and he will be human once more and all of what is happeining will have no effect upon him.

He would just have to wait until they got to Ximax, until then he will have to just suffer through the cold. He was glad that he had put on his woolen cloak under his robe.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on March 01, 2009, 08:21:28 PM
The day is sunny and bright, though there is a chilling feeling to it as well. It is not very windy, the Ximaxian peninsula seems to protect the Bay of the Sky which lies to its South.  The Injérá warms their backs, but their breath seems to be visible for a moment. Talia dries to ignore this unknown, wet-cold feeling. Capher has purchased enough warm clothes. They could travel up to the icetribes with them, Wison hides could not be warmer. Though a protection for the face might come in handy, when they will reach the Tandalas.

But Talia pushes these thoughts away and enjoys instead the magnificent view which presents itself to the riders. The Bay of Sky is shimmering in an icy blue, behind it the distant mountains of the Ximaxian peninsula are soused with a soft orange by the rising sun. It is a promising view. Behind these mountains is Ximax, the city with the orb which will hopefully bring health, strength and power back to Capher. And some new information about the whereabout of the anvil. Talia is very curious to meet the Zirghurim dwarves. „Bright Heights Clan“ - what an unusual name for a dwarven clan! But they are not yet there! Time enough to cherish this bright, colourful day! Only autumn or near winter ever produces such a clear light and strong colours. The leaves of the trees are glowing in yellows, oranges and reds, like flames aiming for the brilliant blue sky.

Ta‘las and Teri are riding close to each other, Roosje‘s fox is jumping at their side, close to the roads edge, but avoiding too long grasses. Their group has got small, without Teri, Jeheraid and all the others who once were part of it. A sad feeling overcomes Talia, but as the thoughts of cold weather she pushes it aside.

Capher is riding with some distance to the rest of the group, leading them. Talia wonders, if he wants to be alone, why he has set himself apart from the rest of them. The horses have reacted strangely this morning, even Swing and Desert Rose have eyed him suspiciously, though they never would react so headless as horses! Should his partial turning to his true form be the reason for this?

Talia is pondering for a while, if Capher truly wants to be alone, but as she has not really much to say to Terra and Ta‘las, apart from some teasing words for Ta‘las, she moves Swing closer to him until they ride side by side. She accepts his silence though, there is no need to say anything. Enjoying the others company, the „nearness“ is enough.
But then they reach a low height and have a splendid view on the Dorashi river - and the shivering Woods in the distance.

„Hey, look, there is the ferry! Who is first?“

And she gives Swing a sign with her feet and storms down the hill. Still acting silly like the girl she does not remember.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on March 03, 2009, 04:17:05 AM
Terra rides close along side Ta'las wearing only her drown leather armor and boots against the chill that does not bother her much, such a chill is nothing compared to the biting cold of the Cyhalloi, a cold that had nearly taken her life and so though this chill does not bother her the warning rings loud and true with her. Yet even with the chill she feels warm from within when she shares a special ageless smile with Ta'las. She is content to leave what had happened before for now and just share in there closeness, perhaps on the ferry they can relax and talk, curiosity still gnawing at her about his Warriors Path. She wonders idly if they share the same path in this as well as their hearts path, are they perhaps one in the same?

The ferry comes into sight before them and Talia spurs her Aj on. Terra looks to Ta'las wondering if they to should quicken there pace, her expression is neither for quickening there pace as she enjoys the time together, or against it realizing the urgency of there journey.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on March 04, 2009, 02:19:09 AM
They had crested a hill and in the valley below was the river and the ferry. Capher could see some people on the ferry and some ready to board when all of a sudden he hears a challenge coming from Talia who had slowly gotten closer to him, but had not spoken, and now this challenge to get to the ferry first.

Her AJ flew down the hill, Talia's braid flying behind her like a horses tail. She looked and sounded like a little girl. Capher laughed, why not, you only live once  He spurred his horse and raced after her, looking back behind him at Terra, Ta'las and Roosje, he yelled, "Last one to the ferry makes camp for the night!"

He turned back around and let his horse fly, his beard flying behind him.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on March 04, 2009, 11:27:37 AM
Something about the chill in the air and awe-inspiring view of the Bay of Sky causes Ta'las' blood to surge, and he grins widely as he is about to rush after Talia and Capher.  The smile leaves his face, however, as a shadow once again flits across the Shendar's mind.  Instead of cheerfully charging down the slope toward the ferry, Ta'las shakes his head.  This foolishness is dangerous.  We rely on our mounts to get us safely to our final destination, and yet they risk twisting an ankle, or worse, breaking a leg.

Despite the mild irritation that overtakes him, Capher's spell keeps the invasive probe of Eckra's subordinate from dominating Ta'las.  Without realising it, Ta'las shakes off the attempt to control him, and he then smiles wearily at Terra.  "I suppose we should not keep 'the children' waiting, however I do not wish to risk injuring Desert Rose.  And, it would not be fair to leave little Roosje behind."  Accordingly, he increases Desert Rose's pace a little.  His Aj'nuvic snorts and stamps its hooves, but Ta'las clicks his tongue at his mount.

The Shendar shivers and looks over at Terra.  "The cold does not bother you, Lady Terra," he notes, seeing how comfortable she is without the coats and boots Capher purchased for them in Caelum.  "You are an amazing woman - one day we will return to my mother-sister's dome so that you can meet."  He smiles even more when he considers the strength of their personalities, and he looks appraisingly at Terra.

They wind their way down the slope toward the ferry - Talia and Capher are already nearing the bottom - but Ta'las still does not rush.  He notes the curious look in her eyes, and for the hundredth time loses himself in them for a moment, before shaking himself from his daydream.  "You look as if you wish to ask me something, Lady Terra."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on March 05, 2009, 01:26:27 AM
Terra simply smiles and gives a little nod in response, part of her though wants to rush off giddily with Talia and Capher, the part that wins out cherishes the time they spend relatively alone. She feels good though to see such energy still in Capher and fills her with hope for him.

"It is much colder on Cyhalloi, I did not wear this of course. What I wore would be much more like Caphers cloak and cowl, without it the biting cold would freeze me to the bone, and such cold once nearly took my life. I was fortunate not only to survive but to have all my fingers and toes. I guess compared to that experience this is really not all that cold, but I am always mindful of it."

As they continue down the road Terra pulls her gaze from Ta'las and glances into the grass to make sure Roosje was still keeping pace in there haste, and then back to Ta'las as he puts words to her curiosity.

"I was just wondering it you would tell me about the Warriors Path while we are on the ferry. I would have asked before the last night you do not recall as I had been curious about it, but I was lost in my own thoughts and worries."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on March 07, 2009, 01:53:44 AM
Talia storms down the low hill as if she is still a young girl which is fond - and capable of - riding fast. With the cold air in her face, the eyes watering from the wind and wide jumps of Swing she feels, as if she could leave behind all the trouble, all the burden which presses her down. Though the threat they are facing is so vague, it is nevertheless real; maybe it would be better they could face a real danger, not one which grows each night in her mind.

Short before the ferry and the there waiting people she stops, turning around immediately to see, who has followed her, accepting the challenge! Capher! Only a few peds behind! This old man only pretends to be old. Talia laughs happily at him, when he reigns in his horse.

Terra and Ta‘las are still farther away, not hurrying, but absorbed in their conversation. They take Talia‘s request for a little competition as opportunity to be alone for a while. Well, that was not Talia‘s idea, but she thinks it is fine and perhaps they even assume, that she is so congenial to have planned this, and she will not reveal, that it was not meant this way.

But they have another companion, Roosje and her fox! Talia has not thought at those two when giving out her challenge. She has no idea how fast a fox can be, and so she looks out for the little brownie and her riding beast, but cannot see them.  A bit worried she looks at Capher, but he is looking up the hill and so Talia refrains for the moment to ask him about Roosje and the fox. Are they here already, how fast is such a fox? Could it run as fast as Capher‘s horse? Then the two might be here already. A moment before Talia was quite happy, but now she feels a bit silly not having thought at Roosje and her fox.

When her eyes skim over the people at the ferry searching for a red spot the size of a fox, she sees a strange figure nearby. It seems to be a woman, the size, the way she stands, the little curves one can see through the clothes which cover her entirely. The fox is forgotten, as her other companions.

"Her" whole body is covered from ankle to wrist, allowing only the eyes, hands and feet to show.  A  long-sleeved shirt and loose-fitting trousers in a thin, but opaque silver-grey enshrouds her whole body, a scarf of the same material covers her hair and the lower part of her face. Talia moves her aj‘nuvic a bit nearer, ignoring the uneasy views she gets from the other waiting passengers just to be able to have a closer look.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on March 07, 2009, 04:18:22 AM
Roosje was surprised for a moment when Talia took off, and close behind her Capher. Her head swivelled, but although Talas and Terra quickened their pace slightly, they did not seem about to set off after the two companions. Looking back after the retreating backs, she decided to leave the two love-birds to their companionship and spurred on Inuya to follow as fast as she could. The small red body bound away, seemingly flying over the road, its paws barely touching the ground.

Roosje bent forward in her cross-legged position, encouraging her mount with shouts of glee. The wind whipped in her face, but the Brownie hardly noticed, so caught up was she in trying to catch up with Talia and Capher. And she did, bound per bound. She arrived at the ferry approximately at the same time as Talia, finding herself darting suddenly between feet. Looking up, she saw a bunch of Bigfolk, apparently all waiting to board the ferry. The one closest to Roosje was wearing grey clothes, but the most of what Roosje saw were baggy trousers. A mischievous thought crossed Roosje's mind, and she quickly slipped behind the bagginess to be hidden from her companions, who were now on the other side of the baggy trousers. Peering around them carefully, she saw Talia looking her way, but her face was not looking at the ground. Rather, they were aimed at the person behind which Roosje was now hiding. Despite her forty years of age, the white Brownie giggled like a little girl and decided to see how long she could stay hidden. Besides, Inuya deserved a little rest.

While she sat there and calmed down a little, she absentmindedly scratched her left arm. Then her hand strayed to her cheek and scratched there. Her right shoulder was the next to itch. It was only after she had scratched four or five times in quick succession that she realised what she was doing. She looked down at her arms and with an irritated sigh saw what was causing the itching. She knew she shouldn't have asked for that milk! Red spots were appearing on her arms, and she knew that her face was taking on a slightly yellowish colour. Already her stomach was starting to feel unsettled. Well, it had been long in the coming this time. She ignored the sinking feeling in her stomach and returned to seeing if her companions were looking for her yet.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on March 07, 2009, 04:49:15 AM
Capher reigns in his horse suddenly and almost flys off of the saddle, but contols himself and saves his dignity. He sees Talia jump off her Aj, smile at him, and then a worried look creases over her forehead and she begins to look around.

Capher looked back and saw Ta'las and Terra going a bit more faster down the hill but not much and he could see that Talia had seen the same but she was still looking worried and looking around. Then it dawned on Capher on who she was looking for, it was Roosje and her fox.  Capher looked around himself and there they both were sitting on the ferry's boom, the fox's tongue lolling out as if it were laughing at them, however, in the next blink of an eye they had vanished.

Capher got off his horse and walked toward the ferry, intent on finding out how much it was going to cost to ferry all of then across the river; it was then that he noticed that Talia was not interested anymore in anyone except what seemed to be a woman standing amongst the crowd. Why Talia would be interested in her only she knew but it intrigued Capher and it also sent alarm bells off in his head at the same time.

"'ow many in yer party?" Capher's attention was diverted by the young man standing near a small wooden box on a pole. A small hut, with an outside stable was just a few peds away. The stable held two horses and one small pony.

Capher looked down at the boy. He had a shock of unkempt brown hair, with a lock that fell over his left eye. His eyes were gray in color and showed intelligence. The boy's complexion was clear but his hands showed calluses of hard work. He was dressed in dark leather pants, sturdy work boots, a dirty brown shirt over which he had thrown a dusty brown sheepskin vest. Capher smiled down at the boy, who just frowned back at him.

"There are four adults, one Brownie, two Aj's, three horses and a...

"Two Aj"s? What are those mister?" The boy asked.

Capher pointed to Swing. "That is an Aj and the other is coming down the hill," Capher answered.

The boy swept the hair away from his face and stared at Swing. He turned his head around and yelled, "Pa, Pa, come take a look!"

From inside the house a gruff voice yelled back, "Look at what?"

"An Aj," the boy yelled back.

"A what? An A what?"

"An Aj, Pa. Come on out and look! Never seen not'in like it," the boy yelled back.

Capher looked at the hut and an old hunched back man wearing dark pants and what was once a white shirt came hobbling toward the boy.  He got closer and took a look at Capher, "Morn to ya," he said.

"Good morn..." Capher was about to reply but was interrupted by the boy who tugged on his father's shirt. "Look Pa, an Aj," he said pointing to Swing.

The man looked over to where his son was pointing. "Well, I will be, what is that thing?" He asked, as he walked closer to Swing, Capher and his son following.

"It's called an Aj, right mister?" The boy asked Capher.

"Well Aj is short for Aj'nuvic," Capher answered, "They are from the deserts of Rahz," Capher continued, "but I would not get too close to them sir, they can get a mite skittish around strangers," Capher said quickly as the old man was about close enough to touch Swing.

The old man, quickly took his hand away when he saw Swing turn her head around and give him a stare.

"They be dangerous?" The old man asked.

Capher shook his head no. "No sir, except to those whom they do not like or if they try to harm there bond-mates," Capher answered.

The old man turned around and saw the boy. He cuffed him across the top of his head, "What ye be doing here? Ye should be watching the money boy, now git," he said.

The boy ran quickly back to the wooden box on the pole and stood there waiting for his Pa and Capher to approach.

"Youngsters never seem to listen or learn?" The old man mumbled, not to Capher per se, but to himself.

The few peds to the box was over and the man looked at Capher and rubbed his hand over a scraggly, peppered beard. "Name is Vern and this here scrap of a boy is Sam," he said introducing himself.

"Capher is my name and the young lady holding the reigns of that Aj, whose name is Swing, by the way, is LadyTalia. And there is a fox somewhere with a Brownie on top it, her name is Roosje, our other two companions are coming down the hill. The one riding another Aj is called Ta'las and the woman warrior who rides next to him is called Lady Terra," Capher answered.

"I 'ave seen many a strange folk pass over this river, but in all my years never like you bunch. Where ye be headed?" Vern asked.

"Ximax," Capher answered.

Vern shook his head, "I should 'ave figured that." He shrugged his shoulders. Well, if that be the way you're going, make sure you take the southern path and not the northern one," he added.

"Why?" Capher asked. "Would not the Northern path be faster?"

"Yep, but it takes you near the Shivering Woods and no one wants to go near there," Vern answered quietly.

"They say those woods be haunted, mister," Sam said, with a frightened voice and wild eyed look in his face.

Sam got cuffed again. "What I tell you 'bout spreading lies," Vern said to his son.

"Are they lies, are the woods really haunted?' Capher asked.

Vern scratched his beard and squinted up at Capher with the same color eyes as his son, but they were a bit dimmer in color with age. "Let's say that those who live up around the place don't go near them, when someone does, they don't come back," Vern answered again very quietly, "Best ye just take the Southern path, it take a day or bit more to get to Ximax but at least ye get there."

He watched as Ta'las and Terra got closer and began scratching numbers on some parchment, all the while looking back and forth at Capher, and his party. "Re'kon, since I never seen those what you call them,"

"Aj's Pa," Sam said. Vern glared at the boy, "Those Aj's I am gong to 'ave to charge ye double what I charge a horse, seeing that these Aj's are bigger than them." He squinted up at Capher, and scracthed his beard again, "Cost ya twenty sans and I throw in the fox and Brownie for free, what ye say?" Vern asked.

Capher straightened up, and looked around as if he were thinking about it.

"I guess I could go down to fifteen, but that be my lowest price," Vern said.

"No Capher," replied.

"But.."

"That is too small of a sum for such a large party, with animals. I think a fair sum would be a silver bard each for the Aj's and an extra silver for the rest of us," Capher said cutting off Vern's rebuttal holding out the bards in his right hand.

Vern and his son Sam just stood there. Sam's jaw had opened wide and Vern just stared at the bars in Capher's hand. That was more money than Sam had ever seen in his life! Vern finally came to his senses, and cuffed the boy again. "Well take it and give the man his 'eciept" Vern said a bit shakily.

"Yes Pa," Sam took the bards and stood there looking at them in his hand as he handed a piece of parchment to Capher. "Here ye be mister,"

Capher smiled as he took the receipt from the boys hand. "I suggest that you put that away quickly, you never know who may want it more than you." Capher said.

The boy looked up and eagerly handed the bards to his Pa. "Thank ye mister. Thank ye!" as Vern scuttled as quick as he could back to the hut.

"My pleasure Sam. Could you do me a small favor?" Capher asked.

"Sure mister, anything? What is it?" Sam answered.

"Do you know who the lady is that is wearing some sort of silver pants and shrit and is covered from head to toe with it, along with the scarf that covers her head?" Capher asked pointing over to where Talia and Swing were standing next to the woman.

Sam looked to where Capher pointed looked down at his parchment and then replied, "Says her name is Aminah. That is all. Why do ye ask?"

"Just curious, Sam. Just curious," Capher answered as he walked away toward Ta'las and Terra who had just reached the bottom of the hill.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on March 07, 2009, 10:47:24 AM
Ta'las smiles at Terra.  "I will tell you everything I can of The Warrior's Path, though you should know it will differ depending on the person who seeks enlightenment.  The Vale was a good place for me to start, and though I have much yet to learn about the truth within myself, I believe I have made a good start."  Then his look turns more thoughtful.  "I will tell you this, and perhaps you can share with me your thoughts and worries - I might be able to help, if you would have me."

He looks down, briefly worrying about what he did at the tavern in Caelum to upset everyone so much, but quickly catches himself.  It will do nothing to feel sorry for himself, rather he must face what he has done...when the time is right.  And with all these strangers here at the ferry, the time for that is definitely not right. 

He looks up again and notices Capher approaching them.  His friend looks even older, however, his display of horsemanship tells Ta'las that there is much more strength in Capher than his stature would indicate.  Again, Ta'las recalls Siroled's verse:

Wisdom will fail
and strong wings will weaken
the wolf will die
is not old magic
renewed in the eternal spring

His face goes wan, and his eyes open wide.  "Lady Terra," he says quietly.  "We must get Capher to Ximax as soon as possible.  We cannot delay."

A shadow draws itself over Ta'las mind once again, this time trying with urgency to turn him against Capher.  The Shendar puts his hand on the hilt of his dou'kilij, and he begins to draw his weapon, as the sorceror's rage fills his soul.  Then, inside his head, he hears, "you are nothing but a pawn of the dragon - follow in his footsteps and you will perish, desert-warrior!"

This time, Ta'las realises the rage is not his own, and that someone is attempting to possess him.  He closes his eyes and grits his teeth as he pushes away the murderous thoughts that threaten to overtake him.  Ta'las pictures his friend Capher the first day they met, south of the elven wood, their time in the Elven Circle, and the journey to the Vale.  The memories of his friend, and Capher's spell are enough to help Ta'las once again fight off the sorceror's magic.  "To the abyss with you, dog of Eckra.  Capher is my friend, I will not kill him," he whispers harshly between his gritted teeth, not realising that he has spoken loud enough for Terra and possibly Capher to hear him.

"Then die yourself!" the voice hisses inside his head once again.

This time, Ta'las feels the sorceror's magic unleashed upon him in a burst of energy that tears inside of him.  "Lady Terra," he calls weakly and reaches out for her before he goes unconscious.  The Shendar groans as blackness overwhelms him, and he falls sideways off of Desert Rose onto the snowy ground. 


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Aminah on March 11, 2009, 09:52:59 PM
Aminah and Jadwa stood together, waiting patiently for the ferry to load and carry them off across the water.  The crowd was bothering her slightly, partly because the noise and proximity of the animals bothered her own horse, and partly because the people’s emotions were running high, and the Mindsoother could feel them tickling on the edge of her consciousness like moths around a candle.  She fidgeted, stamping her feet in the cold air.  Despite the woollen underclothes she had bought for the autumn weather she still felt chilly.  And damp.  So much damp!  Even though the sun was shining it didn’t really seem to be having any effect at all on the cold damp ground.

Hearing distant cries from across the valley basin, the young woman looked up and saw two riders racing gleefully down towards the little docking point.  Two more followed them, and out of these four mounts only two were horses.  The others were….well, strange.  Big, hairy things. As the racers quickly drew close, Ami continued to stare at it in fascination.  She’d heard something about these other riding animals before, from people who had travelled to the Santharian desert, but she’d never seen one.  Aminah could not help starring, watching the way it moved, its huge eyes fluttering their eyelashes. 

Suddenly she realised the animal’s rider was watching her, and quickly dropped her luminous copper eyes, blushing under her veil.   Well, at least for a second, because as she looked downwards two things happened in quick succession.  Firstly there was a red shir behind her, standing happily among the rest of the people.  And on its back was….well, Ami didn’t know, but it was alive certainly and radiating a certain mischievous glee which suggested it was sentient.   Before she could get over the initial shock, Jadwa suddenly pulled backwards, tossing her head upwards in fear.  But fear of what?  The Mindsoother quickly sort to calm the black mare, throwing a glance at the fox-rider just to make sure she hadn’t been dreaming.

 “Erm, hello?” she tried, once the mare was standing still once again.  She was a bit worried that the little creature wouldn’t reply, but it was all she could do to prevent herself coming out with “What are you?!” or something like that.  However, she didn’t get a moment to listen to the answer, because as the other horse-riding racer moved back towards his group, her mare went wild again and Ami had to soothe her some more.  Well that was weird, it was not as if he was doing anything particularly scary.  It wasn’t just her horse either, other mounts were shying away from the old man if he came too close as well.  Ami allowed Jadwa to move away from him a couple of paces, and, very quickly, used her own special skills to investigate.

Well, that was odd.  He didn’t feel right.  That was all she could really say, not right, not like everyone else.  It was all more complicated….really Ami couldn’t even describe it, because there just weren’t the words.  Like her horse was different from people, because the people had many more emotions and thoughts flashing around them, so this old man was even more complicated than the other people.  Ami, fascination making her forget politeness, tried to get a clearer picture, as if he was her patient and she was searching for what was wrong.  Something stopped her though, a barrier of some sort.  The young Mindsoother was intrigued….and then realised what she was up to.  She quickly stopped, embarrassed by the use of her skills.  People didn’t like their minds pried into!

A fleshy thud caught her attention and she turned to see what it was.  As soon as she saw the man on the floor, unconscious, Ami rushed towards him to help, dropping the reins of her startled horse.   As she bent down toward him, she naturally extended her senses towards him too, instinctively trying to find out what was wrong in any way she could.  Immediately her mind was filled with a raging uncontrollable anger, coming from him, or coming from something around him.  Ami just knew that it wasn’t her own anger, nor was it directed at her, but it filled his mind, swooping around and tearing and destroying. The grey-clothed woman cried out with pain and shock, ripping her gaze from the unconscious man and covering her face with one arm as if that would protect her from strange forceful anger.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on March 11, 2009, 11:24:04 PM
Talia is still looking impolitely direct at the cloaked lady as the woman returns her gaze , but  quickly lowers her eyes. Talia thinks, she is even blushing after that direct eye contact. A bit ashamed herself for her directness, she bites her lips and looks into another direction , pretending that she is interested in the other people as well.

The folks waiting for the ferry naturally looks up at her riding beast, the aj‘nuvic, for it is not often the case, that they are able to see one. They keep their distance though, for its an ai‘nuvic height is impressive as are its big paws. Capher walks among the crowd with some bits of parchment in his hands and Talia assumes, that he again has covered their expenses, paid for the ferry. He is emanating authority, or so thinks Talia, for the people, but more so the animals they have with them, give way and are strangely nervous. They even forget to keep their distance to her and Swing.

Talia is still looking towards the river, when suddenly her sword begins to hum and  behind her commotion arises. The cloaked woman abandons her horse and runs past her. She quickly turns around and what she sees brings her blood to freeze. Ta‘las is lying on the ground, obviously unconsciously, Terra is kneeing next to him, her hand touching his face. She sees the foreign woman next to Ta‘las, crying out, and covering her face with one arm as if that would protect her from strange forceful anger.

An eye blink later Talia is kneeing on the other side of her Shendar brother, calling out to him „Ta‘las, Ta‘las, brother!“. Cold sweat is trickling down her back, her heart feels as if squeezed by an unforgiving cruel force. She takes a deep breath and puts her hands on his chest, but much time has past since she last time used her meager healing abilities. She soon realises, that it is no use, she can only focus her forces and achieve something when she is calm enough. But, Ta‘las, so she suddenly knows, has no illness of the body. She recalls his strange acting yesterday evening in the tavern - and her sword is humming.    A sign, that some strong evil magic is around. Talia hesitates to draw it, though she knows by now, that it is capable to repel strong magic, but what if the magic is in Ta‘las, would he be hurt?

Looking in his face, so dear to her as he is her only bond to her desert home, she knows suddenly in her heart, that he is surely not evil, not yet, and so she gets up to draw her sword and lies it onto his body, hoping that any evil force which might be still around will be driven away. 





Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on March 12, 2009, 01:06:34 AM
As Capher began to walk toward Talia to give her her pass on to the ferry, he immediately noticed the horses rearing up, and trying to move away from him, donkey's were braying and bucking, making the owners of both animals try to calm down the animals. Capher realized what they were scared of and tried to conceal more of his true identity, but the more he used magic the more he felt himself turn, so he quickly stopped using his magic and decided to walk away.

Before doing so, he caught a glimpse of Roosje's fox hiding behind the woman that Talia was interested in. Capher had found out her hame was Aminah, and then suddenly he felt a presence in his mind. At first he thought it was Eckra, or one of his minions, but the probing did not have any evil intent. Capher let the probe knowing that there were many blocks he had set up in his mind a long time ago to prevent any from crossing into parts of his mind he did not want them into. Only Eckra had found a weakness, and after that encounter, Capher had put up a stronger barrier.

The probe was soft and gentle and he could feel a female presence behind it. Then suddenly it just disappeared. Capher scanned the crowd and he saw the woman in sliver-gray pants look away. But just then there was the sound of a thud on the ground behind him. Before Capher could turn and see that it was Ta'las the woman in silver had rushed past him and knelt down beside him.

Capher watched intently as the woman, Aminah, that was her name, knelt at Ta'las's head and just seemed to look at him. Terra was on her knees as well, caressing Ta'las's cheek and softly calling his name.

Suddenly a chilling scream of terror ripped out of and through Aminiah's throat and out of her mouth as she raised her arm over her eyes as if she was trying to not to see something. Talia had rushed to Ta'las's side as well and Capher knowing that she had some healing skills watched and after a few blinks of time realized that whatever was wrong with Tal'as was not physical in nature.

Capher took in a deep breath. His mind a whirl. He knew what it was that Ta'las had in its or his grip; it was one of Eckra's wizards. The apprentice wizard either did not know what he was doing or had decided that Ta'las should die. Capher knew that he could stop Ta'las's suffering with one thought, but using magic and depending upon how strong Eckra's apprentice was would cause more of his true idenity to be revealed and he could all ready feel protrusions juttiing out of where his shoulder blades were: those protrusions were the beginning of his wings.

Capher was in a quandry. He watched his friend, unconcious, yet in pain, and his other friends, especially Terra feeling helpless and in pain for him. The woman! Aminah, she must be a mindsoother! It would explain the probing he felt before and her reaction when she tried to help Ta'las. But if a mindsoother could not help Ta'las because of Eckra's apprentice's magic, then Capher had to step in.

Capher did not run, but picked up his pace and within a few peds stood beside the four, he knelt down beside Talia who was near Aminah and gazed thoughtfully at his fallen comrade. He turned and looked at Aminah who stilll had one of her arms over her eyes and shaking and trembling at what she must have encountered.

Capher shook his head, how could he ask a total stranger to help him and Ta'las? he thought. Then he heard a humming sound and looked at Talia's sword and recalled the story told him of how her sword had magical properties in of itself. Properties that weilded off evil or was summoned whenever evil was around.

Capher turned and looked at Talia. "Talia, quickly draw your sword and plunge it as close to Ta'las's head as you can. Your sword should help him, as I fear I cannot at the moment," Capher said hurriedly.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on March 14, 2009, 03:14:33 AM
Talia is terrified. The healing in the Vale has made her whole again, but not strong, and not calm. There is nothing left inside her from the tranquilness every true fighter knows before he plunges into a fight. And the fear for Ta‘las makes her shiver inside.

"Talia, quickly draw your sword and plunge it as close to Ta'las's head as you can. Your sword should help him, as I fear I cannot at the moment!“

Plunge it as close to is head as possible...  plunge it as close as possible

With shaking hands she takes her sword and tries to pile it in the ground, but the ground is frozen and she dares not to hold it high first to gain more power to push it in the ground.
Tears are coming to her eyes and obscure her sight while she holds her humming sword with trembling hands to the ground near Ta‘las head.

„Terra, help me! Help me! „, she whispers, crying.



Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on March 14, 2009, 06:18:47 AM
Roosje was still busy watching her companions to see if they discovered her when a soft voice - or relatively soft anyway, for a bigfolk - saying hello. The white brownie quickly looked up to see kind brown eyes looking down on her from over a veil. She was just about to answer when the kind eyes swung away, followed by her hiding place, as the woman's legs hastened off to - where? Roosje's eyes followed her, and all thought of hiding slipped away when she saw one of her companions lying prone on the ground. Roosje quickly spurred her fox to go to where the rest of the group had already gathered, as well as the kind brown eyes and a bunch of lookers-on.

She wasn't sure what she could do - in fact, she didn't even know what had happened, but at least she could be there. She trotted over to where Talia was leaning on her sword, whispering for Terra to help her. Roosje couldn't give her the strength to push the sword into the ground, which was obviously what she was trying to do, though the Brownie didn't understand why. Instead, though, she made her fox brush against Talia's leg and reached out a small white hand to pat her on the knee. She was trying to let the desert woman know that she was not alone - even if the tiny woman could do nothing to lend strength.

Hoping that she had communicated that, Roosje then jumped down off Inuya's back with an agile jump, and leaving the fox near Talia, she walked up the length of Talas's arm, until she was standing on his shoulder, from where she reached out the same white hand to touch the desert man's cheek. She wasn't sure herself why she did it. Maybe she tried to tell Talas the same thing as Talia earlier, that he was not alone. With her hand still on his cheek, she asked to nobody in particular: 'Can anybody help him?'


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on March 14, 2009, 01:17:07 PM
As Talia places the blade of her humming sword into the snow close to Ta'las, he hears the sorceror cry out, whether in pain or just in frustration, he is uncertain.   His body stiffens and then relaxes, his pulse begins to slow and he no longer feels the hatred of the sorceror overwhelm him.  However, the spellfire that had torn through his mind ceases, and he can no longer feel the insidious presence of Eckra's minion inside his head.  Still, he feels pain - the after-effects of the wizard's spell remain - and he groans. 

In his state, he calls out weakly for Terra several times, and tries to pull himself out of his stupor.  Something touches his face, and he hears a small voice reach out to him, but Ta'las remains unconscious.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on March 15, 2009, 02:10:42 AM
Talia finally understood what Capher told her to do, but she did not have the strength to push the sword into the ground. Capher was going to throw caution away and grab the hilt and help her, even as she asked Terra to help, however Terra seemed to be in shock as she just knelt besides Ta'las.

Capher saw Roosje and her fox leap near Talia and the little Brownie gently patted Talia's pant leg. Then Roosje did something that made Capher curious; she walked up Ta'las's arm right up to his head and there she stroked his cheek with her tiny hand. Capher wondered if perhaps Roosje had magic that he was not aware of?

Suddenly Ta'las's body stiffenend as a board, and the completely went limp, but not before he whispered Terra's name several times and then slips back in unconciousness. Capher was certain that whatever spell that had been on Ta'las was now gone, at least for the moment.

He could hear behind him whispers of "Magic" and turned snd saw some turn away and head back to the ferry, sitll others stared in awe at them and especially at Talia's sword, who's humming stopped as soon as the evil was gone.

Sam pushed their way through the ones still hanging around and came up to Capher. "Mister, is yer friend ok?"

Capher turned at Sam's voice. "Yes, for now. But he needs rest," Capher answered.

"I could ask Pa if'n you could bring him into our hut, but Pa gets ornery when visitors come a callin." Sam said.

"It is ok Sam, if you could just get these people on the ferry and give us room and time to do what we have to do, then we will be fine."

"Will do, Mister Capher," Sam replied, "Alright folks please leave these people alone, and go back to the ferry. It pulls out soon."

The crowd dispersed, with whispers of 'you seen magic once you seen it all,' come from some, while others shook their heads and said, "nothing like that sword of that young woman, and what about the one who screamed when she just looked at the young man. He has such a handsome face too."

Capher gently put his hand upon Talia's which still was trying to push her sword into the ground. "It is ok, Talia," Capher said softly, "the danger has passed. I am not sure if it was your sword, or if our little friend here," Capher pointed at Roosje, "or if this young lady," Capher put his other hand upon Aminah's shoulder, "or if it was a combination of all three, whatever it was, the evil is gone. You can sheathe your sword now," Capher said, as he stood up and felt and heard almost every joint in his back and legs crack with age, some of it was quite painful, but Capher stoically shook it off.

"We need to get Ta'las back on his Aj, and all of us need to get on that ferry, and that means you too Terra!" Capher commanded. perhaps this budding romance between these two was not such a good idea? Capher thought.

He looked down at Aminah. "Aminah, are you all right?" Capher asked.

Far in the front of the ferry stood a hooded cloaked figure. He was dressed all in black; even his face was covered and only his eyes could be seen.  He watched with great interest at all of the commotion; under his cowl a weak smile crossed the figure's face. They were here all of them just as was described. the figure thought as it turned and stared out at the river and the huge bay glistening in the distance...thinking.

The figure smiled once again under his cowl. They will die this morning as will those unfortunate enough to be along with them.

The figure closed its eyes, concentrating as its fingers hidden by the long sleeves of its clothes began weaving a complex set of figures.

Far away in the Bay of the Sky deep down in its depths the water roiled and a beast rose and headed toward the mouth of the river. 


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on March 16, 2009, 04:39:50 AM
For eternity it seems Terra was caught up in the moment, full of fear, panic, worry, angry at herself for now realizing it was an outside force acting on him in the last night, and hate for whoever had done this to him. She does not realize the passage of time past that moment, that singular instant, and then Ta'las whispers her name. Time seems to slingshot forward, everything that had happened while she was trapped in the moment rushing through her consciousness, this alone is disorienting as she is not quite able to grasp events in her mind as they rush by. As her consciousness catches up to the present things begin to clearer, finally as Capher told her that had to move on Terra was able to clear her mind and nod in response.

"Talia?"

She calls still holding Ta'las's hand as her other slips under his shoulder in preparation to lift him.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on March 19, 2009, 08:30:02 PM
OOC: I think I should quote here how riding an ai‘nuvic works, just imaging a net which covers its body, maybe I should even add, that the leather bands run under the belly as well.
The first thing what is to mention is that the Aj‘Nuvic will not allow a lead on its head or anything touch its head in general. It is a sign for a very close relation between an Aj‘ and its human if the Aj‘ allows him to caress it between the ears. So the rider has to tell it where to go either with signs with his/her hands or feet or by shouting different words in several distinct modulations and a combination of both.
To give its rider some security and allow him/her to ride in a fight standing on his back more easily, a broad leather band runs horizontal around its chest and to its back, under its tail and back to the chest. From this leather band several smaller are running over the back to the other side, which are fixed to each other in a complicated manner, varying from family to family. Attached to this "net" are several bows in which a foot can slip and gain hold and support while riding. A saddle is not used very often, the Shendar wants to stay in direct contact to his Aj‘ and allow its skin to breath, a blanket is the only thing which is used sometimes.
Beginners and "guest riders" often have the problem that the Aj‘s back is quite pronounced and that therefore an inexperienced rider tends to move in the direction of its neck - if the Aj‘ is in a bad mood it just lowers its head and its rider greets the sand.



„It is ok, Talia, the danger has passed...You can sheathe your sword now,"

Talia is still trembling inside, but Capher‘s soft voice caresses her frightened self and so she manages to get back to normality, though she is still in captured in a kind of daydreaming, her senses  heightened. Terra‘s voice however, showing her the necessities of the moment, wakes her up,  she sheathes her sword and bends down to help lift up Ta‘las, when her eyes fall on his aj‘nuvic Desert Rose. The animal stands not far away from Ta‘las, but with a weird expression in its eyes, motionless.

It has witnessed what has happened to Ta‘las, Talia realises, therefore it is so frightened as I have been. And now it still senses, that he is unconscious. She looks back at her Swing, which stands right behind her, but her ai only nudges her shoulder. Talia turns to Desert Rose again, slowly advancing to not scare Ta‘las companion away. Avoiding to touch the head and neck, which would be much to intimate for somebody not bonded with it, Talia just grips some of the soft fur of the chest, whispering the name of the beast.

"Desert Rose, my friend, don‘t worry... dont‘ worry, sweatheart. Ta‘las is not gone, he will come back... don‘t worry."

Desert Rose still doesn‘t move nor show any sign, that she has heard Talia nor felt her tough.

Desert Rose, Desert Rose, come on, we need you, move!

Talia dares not to do more than to run her hands through Desert Rose‘s fur. Desperately she looks back to her Swing, which comes over and without any warning bites Desert Rose in the neck. A jump back, an angry shout and Ta‘las‘ aj‘nuvic‘s mind is not longer absent. But now the danger is great, that it attacks anyone which might happen to stand near Ta‘las, thinking that they are the case for the trouble. Quickly Talia steps forward, grips again  the chest fur, talks to the animal in an urgent tone to prevent any dangerous reaction, then she touches its leg as well.

Listen, Desert Rose, Desert rose, we need you, Ta‘las needs you, come on, you need to carry him, carry, carry, he is ill. Carry him, he is ill.

Softly pulling the animal close to Ta‘las and touching the leg again Desert Rose finally knows what is expected from her - to sit down. Something which is nearly never done, exept during the Journeyon rituals, no healthy Shendar ever would ask his aj to lie down for him so he can mount.

And Talia bends over Ta‘las to lift him up.

We need to place him stomach down and his face in the direction of the back on Desert Rose. This will be the most comfortable way of carrying him, his head, looking sidewards, will rest on the fur, that can only be good for him. The legs can then hang down on both sides, we can fix the body to the net, she tells Terra.

With great effort both Terra and Talia manage finally to put and fasten their friend on his aj, as comfortably as possible.

Now, let‘s go on the ferry, before it leaves without us - and let‘s hope, that the eyes of our fellow travellers will not fall out of their sockets.

Somehow she is surprised about herself. Was that a bit of humour in such a dreading situation, maybe things will get better after all, despite all the trouble.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on March 21, 2009, 06:00:41 AM
When Talia and Terra make a move to heave Ta'las on top of his ride, Roosje quickly jumps off the shoulder she is standing on. She lands rather heavily, hurting her ankle in the process. With a sigh she massages it a little bit, then limps over to her fox and climbs up to her previous position. She watches with interest how Ta'las is strapped onto the Aj. Funny, she's been travelling with these people for a while now, but only now does she see how similar the Aj's 'saddle' (if saddle it could be called) is to the contraption on her own Fox's body. There are also some differences, such as the pommel-like instrument around which she curls her legs, but the similarities are obvious enough that she wonders how she could have missed earlier.

Shrugging it off, though, she takes the reins - another difference from the way of riding an Aj - and approaches the woman who she had been hiding behind, and who had been so quick to try and help Ta'las when he fell. The shock seems to be wearing off a little, if Roosje is any judge of those monstrously big faces of the Bigfolk. She wonders what had made her cry out so, but decides that it is not her place to ask. If it has to do with Ta'las, she will find out. If not, she might still find out, but then it was less important. Reaching out - far enough that she almost, but not quite, falls off her riding animal - she manages to grab a fistful of loose grey pants, and she tugs.

"Are you coming, lady? The ferry is almost leaving, we're among the last people still off it, and I'm sure you don't want to miss it any more than we do." She is pretty sure that the veiled lady will understand what she is saying, as she is still sitting on her knees, and is therefore not quite as far removed from the reach of Roosje's voice as the rest of the Bigfolk.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on March 22, 2009, 11:33:26 AM
Ta’las stands before the water-mirror beside his mother-sister.  The ar’pun grass is still, like the obsidian coloured pool before him.  Above, he cannot see the sun or any other source of light, yet, he can see as if it were the middle of the day.  “Mother-sister, what has happened?  I recognise this as the same place I have always traveled during my search for Second Reality, but nothing is the same?”

His mother-sister shakes her head.  She smiles sadly at Ta’las and tries to place her hand on his shoulder, but her hand brushes through him.  When she opens her mouth and tries to speak, the Shendar cannot hear anything she says, and then slowly, her form dissipates, and she vanishes.  Ta’las calls for her a few more times, but there is no response.  He stands alone in a stand of ar’pun that stretches around as far as he can see in any direction. 

Except to the north, where he sees a dead tree standing on a small, featureless hill.

 The Shendar exhales and starts toward the hill.  It is difficult to walk here though, as the ar’pun is thick and tall, and the ground is soft and muddy and relentlessly clings to his boots.  It begins to rain, and the sky turns dark before he has even closed a small portion of the distance between the water-mirror and the tree.  Lightning tears across the sky and thunder crashes around him, bringing him to his senses…

***


When Ta’las finally opens his eyes, he squints – the sun is so bright, he can hardly see, but he can make out shapes of people around him.  He is laying on the soft fur of his Desert Rose – that, at least, he knows, for he and his aj’nuvic have been together for so long, that he instinctively knows the feeling and smell of his bondmate.  However, what is interesting to the Shendar, is that he cannot see his aj’nuvic’s head.  Then, Ta’las realises that he must have passed out, and Talia, knowing the best way for his mount to carry him, placed him backward across Desert Rose’s broad back.  The Shendar smiles and pats his mount.

“It is good to see you again, my friend,” he says weakly, to which his aj’nuvic responds by stomping a paw and warbling out loud.

He groans a little at the pain that still tears inside his head, but is thankful that his thoughts are his once again – that the insidious presence of the sorcerer has gone.  He lifts his head a little and thinks he sees Terra standing close to him.  “Lady Terra?  Is that you?”


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on March 23, 2009, 08:51:43 AM
Capher watched intently as Talia and Terra picked Ta'las up and even saw Roosje jump off Ta'las's shoulder, and it looked liked she landed wrong as he noticed her limp some before jumping on her fox.

Soon, Ta'las was strapped to his Aj. Capher thought it a funny way to stap a person to an animal, but he did not know Shendar ways as well as he would have liked to. As old and as much as he has seen over the centuries, there are still things he knew nothing or little about. He wondered if there ever would be time enough to know everything?

They were now all ready to go, except the young lady who had tried to help them; Aminah. Capher was going to take her arm and lift her up when he noticed Roosje tugging on her silvery pants. Capher was going to help Roosje when he heard Ta'las's voice.

The young man's voice was weak as it called out to Terra. Capher went behind Desert Rose until he could see Ta'las and Terra was next to him. "Ta'las my boy," Capher said excitedly, "it is good to hear your voice. You gave all quite a scare." Capher could see in Terra's eyes that she wanted to speak to Ta'las alone, so he just patted Ta'las on his shoulder. "Perhaps with Lady Terra's help, we can get upright and then we must all get on the ferry. The owner will not hold it up much longer."

He turned his attention back to Aminah and Roosje, hoping that Roosje could help the young lady out of her shock. He smiled up at Talia. "Ta'las seems to be ok, a bit weak, but ok." Capher paused as he stroked his beard and then he felt it...the aura of someone using magic.  He looked at Aminah, and there seemed to be in her eyes the same realization, but she still knelt down.

It was not Aminah, no one else in his party knew magic, so it had to be one of any of the number of people on the ferry, but which one, and was the magic for ill or good? Capher thought, as he began scanning the crowded ferry.

Then another thought hit him. He was probably just being paranoid; after all were they not heading to Ximax, the magic capitol of the world where many came to be taught the secrets of the mages? It was probably just a novice, trying out his skills....at least that is what Capher hoped for as he waited for his comrades to board the ferry.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on March 24, 2009, 12:36:53 PM
Terra takes Ta'las' hand as he groans and awakes, her lips bursting into a revealed smile.

"I am sorry I doubted your health. Had I known... No it would have taken me far to long to teach you, and even then it would be reckless for me to do so. Though I have been taught to focus my mind inwardly, I was not taught the techniques to draw another our if they sink to deep into themselves."

She continues to hold his hand as he regains his bearings, and watches him close in case he moves wrong and begins to fall.

"Are you ready to sit up?"

She asks hoping he had not caught her ramblings, perhaps in time she will tell him this, though she silently wonders when or if she should tell him what she discovered of herself in the healing tree. She wonders if she will ever have to, maybe it was just the healing tree that allow her to do such things, her ability seems to have faded since she left the tree.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on March 26, 2009, 09:48:28 AM
Ta'las nods, and with Terra's help pushes himself up into a sitting position.  Though he does hear Terra mention her mind 'focussing' ability, he does not understand what she means, and he is too occupied with righting himself on Desert Rose to respond.  "Thank you, Lady Terra," he says with a smile.

Then to Capher he nods.  "I am ready my friend - though I doubt I will be 'dancing' with my dou-kilij today."  He then pats Desert Rose and taps his flanks with both heels, lightly, indicating that he does not wish to ride too quickly.

By the way he rides, Talia will recognise that he is still too weak to keep himself on if Desert Rose were to suddenly sprint forward, just by the way he is leaning forward.  Ta'las does his best to stay away from his aj'nuvic's neck, and by the time they reach the ferry, he is almost winded.  His face is wan and covered with a cold sheen of sweat.  "Lady Terra, Talia, I fear I must get off of Desert Rose and rest.  Could you please help me down?"



Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on March 27, 2009, 02:16:38 AM
Finally Ta'las rights himself on Desert Rose and with Terra by his side they both ride onto the ferry. Capher walked behind Aminah who had just stood up and began walking toward the ferry, but she had not said anything yet. Capher hoped that her mind would soon adjust to what she must have seen and heal. He saw that Roosje and her fox had jumped aboard as well.

Capher had just stepped onto the ferry, the wooden swinging gate closed behind him, when he heard a whip lash, with Sam's voice urging on his animals to pull. Capher looked behind him and saw Sam leading a team of donkeys that were hitched to the ferry on one side and his father was leading another team on the other. The heavy ropes rode on grooves in the iron pulleys and as the animals went forward rope went taunt around the pulley and slowly the ferry began to move across the river. He then heard Ta'las ask for help to be taken off of his Aj.

*********************************************************************************
Out in the middle of the bay the beast rushed out of the depths gaining strength and power from the water itself and began to head toward the river's outlet and the ferry.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on March 28, 2009, 06:03:57 AM
Talia is shocked and she stares a blink at her Shendar brother, unable to move.  Ta‘las needs help to demount form his aj? Wasn‘t he fit and healthy just half an hour or less ago, before he fell so suddenly from his aj? Now he looks so wan, all the fresh desert colour has turned to a sickly grey. What has happened to him, that he is now as week as a newborn child - no worse, a newborn child is able to support its own weight. Fear reaches for her, but she tries to stay calm and to meet the demands the situation requires.

Stepping towards Desert Rose, she pats the aj‘nuvic the second time on his leg to tell him to sit down. Then she helps Terra to move Ta‘las down from Desert Rose, though she wishes, that he would just have rested in the position on his friends back she had put him while he was unconscious. She would have preferred that to sitting on the dirty planks of the ferry, with all people around staring more or less openly. Both the woman manage to lean Ta‘las against the warm side of his aj‘nuvic. He has sweated profoundly and Talia reaches for her pack of medicine to look for something, but cannot find something she would need right now except ormelin, so she takes just a piece of cloth, adds some of the fluid to wipe the moistness on his forehead away.

Hesitantly she puts her hand on his chest. Hasn‘t she some healing abilities? But it is so long that she has used them, she doesn‘t know how they work either, but in her desperation she closes her eyes and wishes with all her heart, that Ta‘las will be well again soon.

Talia is so focussed on Ta‘las, that she doesn‘t realise, that her sword is starting to hum again, not loud, but with increasing strength. Only as Roosje‘s fox is biting slightly in her arm, she awakes out of her trance. Enquiring she looks around, and is suddenly aware of the humming and another weird sound, which might have disturbed the fox.  - The flute, which she has put in her back bag this very morning is emitting its strange noise, not only emitting a single pitched tone, but many at the same time, which results in a very dissonant sound.  Panic floods Talia. The sword is humming, meaning evil magic is around, nearer than shortly before, the flute is playing in a strange way - her friends are in danger, great danger.

She jumps up, draws her sword again, though she is uncertain, in which direction she should point. So many now annoyed and partly frightened people are standing around, blocking the sight. The sword wavers slightly in her hands, as if it doesn‘t know, where to point, but then Talia is forced to turn in one direction -  towards the middle of the bay.


Her hands are trembling and she wishes, somebody would assist her in holding this sword, which is suddenly so heavy. With a rasping sound she whispers more, than shouts:

Capher! Terra!


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on March 29, 2009, 01:08:49 AM
Capher was watching intently on how Talia got Desert Rose to lie down and then she and Terra helped Ta'las off of his Aj. Ta'las's skin was a palid white and he was sweating profusely. The magic that had enslaved Ta'las should have been destroyed by Talia's sword, if not the caster him or herself. Ta'las was the strongest of us all, yes, he would be weak, but this weak? Was the spell that Eckra's apprentice that strong?

Capher felt helpless as he had to allow his companions to take care of themselves. His own body, after that rush of adreniline he had received from racing Talia down the short hill had wore off and he felt weaker than before.  He knew if he used his powers to try and help that that would not only weaken him more, but also cause him to change into his original form much faster than what it was doing now.

Talia is ministering to Ta'las; rubbing some sort of fluid on his forehead and then she places her hands on his heart and closes her eyes. Capher's eyes widen a bit as he feels a small amount of magical force coming from Talia. His brows furrow in confusion. Talia weilds magic? How? What kind? Capher thought, his full attention upon Talia. Capher sees Roosje's fox lightly bite her on the arm. That's odd. What is that all about?

Suddenly Talia draws her sword. People around her, press forward to get away from the sword and the madwoman who weided it. She was swinging it that way and then the other, finally the point of the sword stopped and its blade was pointing toward the bay.

Capher could now hear the slight hum of the sword and he could hear a very disconcerting sound coming from Talia's backpack; it was her flute and it was playing a very unusual melody, to say the least. Capher knew that both of those items were magical; the sword could sense and protect from evil. The flute he did not know much about he sensed that the flute also could sense evil and send up its own unique warning, as it was doing now.

Capher turned toward the bay and could see nothing amiss, but something was out there! Something evil! The sword was never wrong! But then why could he not see anything? Capher slammed his fist down upon the rails of the ferry in frustration.

Then he heard his and Terra's name being called in desperation. He turned and saw that Talia's hands were shaking, and her sword arm was drooping. He rushed toward Talia's side and grasped the pommel of the sword to help take the sword away from her.

Ice! Cold! Arm Freezing! His blood thickening, like molasses. His heart straining to receive the precious blood! His lungs burned as they gasped for oxygen! His eyes widened in horror! He was dying!

With all of his remaining strength he opened his fingers and let go of the sword. Immediately he could feel warmth again, his heart began beating, he could feel his blood course through his veins once again and he could breathe.  He took a step away from Talia and her sword, "I...I am sorry Talia, but I cannot help you," he gasped out. "Terra, you will have to help Talia," he said.

Capher felt a tear in his shoulder blades. He fell to his knees in pain, but with will power, stood back up, blood trickling down his back; his shirt soaking up most of it, but some droplets fell onto the ferry floor. Capher thought of yelling to Sam and to his father to bring them back, but they were too far out into the river. Whatever Talia's sword and flute were sensing he could not see nor it seemed could he help, unless he wanted to turn into himself in front of all of these people and that was something he could not. Must not do!

Piercing eyes were watching the group and when one of the women drew a sword and swung it around until it finally rested, pointing out toward the bay; toward where his creation was coming for them. The cowled figure's right eyebrow rose in amazement and in thought. Could the reports be wrong? That it was not the old man who was the most powerful, but this woman and her sword?

The eyes watched as the woman began to have a hard time holding onto her own sword and the old man went to her aid, but something must have happened, for he quickly let it go and stepped away from the woman and her sword. Again, another raised eyebrow, this time in puzzlement. Why could not the old man touch the sword? Could only the owner of the sword weild it? Was it the sword that gave them so much power and not from the old man, who was reported to be a powerful wizard.

The more the figure thought about it, the more it was convinced it was the sword and the reports of a powerful wizard traveling with them were in error. Well it did not matter anyway for soon all aboard this ferry would perish as soon as his creature attacked this ferry.

***********************************************************************************

Out in the middle of the bay were men out in fishing boats trying to catch fish to sell at markets. The water around them was begininng to roil and waves began to grow larger and larger. The fishermen, thinking that their nets were becoming full of a school of fish were tugging at their nets pulling them in.
Suddenly one huge wave rose out of the water, towering high over the fishermen's boats. It seemed to have eyes and a semblance of a face and then in an instant it attacked! The fishermen had no time to scream, no time to defend themselves, and in several blinks of time the fishermen and their boats were swallowed up by this creature and then it disappeared, the bay calm and serene once more; underneath the bay the creature began its relentless progress toward the ferry following its master's command.   






















Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on March 31, 2009, 12:27:29 AM
Terra kneels to the other side of Ta'las holding his hand as Talia attempts to help him. Worry is etched on her brow, but she remains silent allowing Talia to concentrate. Then a low hum begins from Talia's sword, and a foreboding melody from the flute taking up harmony with the sword.

"Whats wrong?"

Terra asks as she watches Talia draw the sword, jumping to her feat and waving it to and for until suddenly settling on the bay. Still she hesitates to leave Ta'las' side and is at first relieved when Capher moves to help Talia as she struggles. However Capher drops to he knees Talia sword tumbling to the deck, only then did she dare leave Ta'las hoping that there new browny companion could keep an eye on him. Something bothered her though, something was not quite right, the seemingly wild swinging of Talia's sword nagging in the back of her mind as she takes it up, holding it so Talia could easily get a grip on it.

"Be strong my friend. Talia we will need to stand together."

As Talia takes up her sword once again that nagging in her mind causes Terra to scan the faces in the direction the sword had waved. Most bare fear or panic, but one stands out like night in the daylight, not the face though, it was cowled, but the eyes watching without fear, in amazement and puzzlement. Once Talia had a firm grip on her sword, Terra squeezes he hand reassuringly, then draws her own with many of the fearful faces more so at the distinctive sound of the Kasumarri weapon being drawn. She kneels now at Caphers side, she speaks low, and soft.

"Capher, are you alright? There is one on this ferry that is not right, the cowl, what should be done? Talia's sword swung his way before settling on the bay, he has not fear of what is happening, though he seems amazed and puzzled by us."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on March 31, 2009, 10:08:54 AM
Accustomed to physical injury and long days of relentless travel in the desert, Ta'las was shocked by how poorly his body responded after the sorceror's attack on him, but what scared him even more was the pain that had torn through his head.  That was until Talia - his Shendar-sister, had placed her hand upon his chest, followed by a quiet hum that seems to come from her sword.  He feels something rush through him - a force somewhat akin to that of the sorceror inside of him.  Rather than a vicious malevolence, he feels warmth begin to spread through his body, that starts with Talia's plea that he regain his strength, and continues with the humming of Talia's sword in intensity.  His arms and legs begin to feel lighter and the pain in his head starts to subside.

Many things happen around Ta'las almost at the same time - Talia stands with her weapon, which appears to wave around in her hands as if it has its own mind.  She calls out to the others for help.  Capher stands to help Talia, falls and rises again - the way his friend moves, it looks to Ta'las like Capher is in great pain.  And then Terra rises to stand with Talia and draws her weapon, calmly speaking to the others to reassure them.  She is a true warrior! he thinks, fiercely proud of the woman he loves. 

His attention is drawn back to Talia's weapon, whose humming increases in strength, which now points toward the middle of the bay.  Ta'las can see nothing over the people standing around him, so he pushes himself up from his resting position.  He is surprised that he is now able to push himself up to one knee, and he begins to feel his strength returning.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on March 31, 2009, 07:35:59 PM
Roosje looks on with interest as Talia closes her eyes and places her hand on Ta'las's chest. She does not know what the woman is doing, which makes her curious. However, when the sword starts humming - just like it did earlier while Ta'las was lying on the ground - and Talia does not react, the little brownie wonders if something is wrong.

The humming seems to her somehow urgent, so she directs her fox towards the desert woman to bite lightly in her arm. Nothing serious, of course, not even hard enough to draw blood, only hard enough to get Talia's attention. It is only as she comes close to Talia that she realises she had been hearing another sound as well, though she cannot guess what it might be, it is nothing she has ever heard before.

After that, several things happen in very close succession. Talia is waving her sword around, almost as if she cannot control it, and she is calling for help. Capher tries to heed her call, but for some reason lets go of the sword as soon as he touches it. Terra proves more of a help, and she stands by Talia as she tells Capher about a cowled figure who is had been looking at them. At the same time, Ta'las is pushing himself up to his knees, and it looks to Roosje as if he will be able to stand up without help. Not that she could give any.

The sword is pointing towards the bay and humming very loudly now. However, with all the bigfolk legs around her, there is not much she can see there. Instead, she slips inbetween said legs until she finds some cover behind a couple of crates, where mister cowl can't see her. If she can't help at the bay, she can at least try to find out if Terra was right in her assessment.

There are many advantages to being the size of a tall cup, not the least of which is that people very often overlook you, even if you're white and riding a fox. Places that will not even cover the whole leg of a big person are high enough to completely hide her from sight, and the smallest passageway, provided it is big enough for her fox, can take her to places that sometimes bigfolk can't even get their foot into. And so it is that Roosje comes quite close to mister cowl, while pretty sure that she has not been spotted. She and her fox lie quietly between some crates, from where she has a good view on mister cowl, who is still intent on the scene with the sword. There she waits, until he will do something that betrays him. Perhaps he can even get a glimpse of what lies hidden under the cowl, though admittedly that is more out of curiosity than any sense that it would help her prove Terra's words.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on April 01, 2009, 02:07:57 AM
"Capher, are you alright? There is one on this ferry that is not right, the cowl, what should be done? Talia's sword swung his way before settling on the bay, he has not fear of what is happening, though he seems amazed and puzzled by us," Terra tells him.

Capher gazes toward the front of the ferry and yes, there was a cowled figure whose head was turned toward them. The figure was fully clothed with a billowy dusky gray robe. Capher wished that Aminah could speak or hear. He then would have asked her to search out the mind of that cowled figure, but she was still in shock.

Terra had drawn her weapon and the people in the ferry were now becoming more agitated, first Talia's sword swinging wildly around and then pointing out toward the bay and then this other woman draws a weapon that none have ever seen and are afraid of.

"What is happening?" A woman's voice cries out from the crowd.

"Yeah, why are you drawing weapons, and where is that strange humming coming from?" Asked a male voice.

"I will be fine. Terra, sheathe your weapon for now. We cannot afford a panic on our hands. But try and get closer to that cowled figure, but do it as inconspiciously as you can. I will watch over Talia," Capher sees Ta'las come to his knees and look out toward the bay, "It seems Ta'las is gaining some strength, which is good. I do not see Roosje anywhere, but she could be in the midst of this crowd. Now, go on and try and get closer to this cowled figure," Capher said.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on April 03, 2009, 12:18:51 AM
The air became still. The clouds seem to stop moving. The birds that had been following the ferry suddenly disappeared; deer drinking from the water, jerked their heads up, their ears twitching, head turning toward the bay, with a leap they were gone running back into the forest that lined the river. Otters who were playing using the bank as a mud slide, suddenly dove into the river and were not seen.The river banks shrank, leaving water marks where it had been, large schools of fish; prey and predator all swam together upstream as if they were trying to get away from some unseen thing.

The horses, donkeys and even the Aj's stomped their hooves and paws. The horses with wild eyed looks, began to buck and rear as their owners tried to calm them down. The donkeys began to brey and kick as well, it kicked at the fencing and was beginning to crack the boards. Children, scared, began to cry as mothers tried to calm them.

All eyes were upon Talia and her sword, even the cowled figure watched silently, its attention drawn to the humming sword wondering what kind of power it possessed? She did not notice that a red headed warrioress was slowly inching toward it, nor the fox upon which a white colored Brownie sat upon spying on it.

Finally curiosity got the better of it and slender hands came out of the flowing robes. A large ruby ring adorned the slender, feminine right ring finger. The hands began to weave a simple spell, when it was finished she released it toward the sword. Immediately, she was knocked back as if an unseen person hit her in the stomache, her cowl slipped off her head and her face and short, almost as short as a young boys, blonde hair were uncovered; Sea green eyes glared at Talia. Her thin lipped mouth was tight and taunt.

She straightened. She began to weave another spell, this one much stronger...A woman screamed and pointed toward the bay...The sorceress turned her head for a moment, looked at her creation rising out of the water, turned back, glaring at Talia once more, gave a wicked smile and then gave a slight wave of her hand and released her creature.

***********************************************************************************

In the river's mouth the creature had stopped, gathering more strength and power as it waited for its masters command. It was hungry, thirsting. The boats and men in the bay had just been a tidbit for it. It wanted more and as it began to rise up and out its body pulsated and radiated with anticipation. It felt the power releasing it and began rushing forward, rising each blink, towering, watery eyes staring at its prey...the ferry and alll those upon it.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on April 04, 2009, 06:34:57 AM
Talia‘s sword is humming, but what is worse, it is vibrating heavily in her hands, which are wet with sweat, and it nearly drops down. But then Capher is here. Confidence is growing again when Capher‘s hand closes around her own on the pommel, but a freezing coldness she never experienced before is crawling up her arm as Capher touches her. He releases his grip and the sword drops on the ground.

"I...I am sorry Talia, but I cannot help you," he gasps out. "Terra, you will have to help Talia! „

And to Talia‘s horror he falls on his knees, but with an enormous will power stands up again. Talia stands like frozen, until Terra picks up her sword and holds it so she can easily get a firm grip on it again.

"Be strong my friend. Talia we will need to stand together."

It is as if Terra‘s confident voice has pulled Talia out of her rigour, suddenly live floats back and she stands more upright than before. She still feels that the sword is pulled in two directions, but now she can master it,  does not fight against the movement from one corner of the ferry to the open bay and as the evil which seems to approach comes from the bay, she holds her sword more in this direction, tip nearly on the ground, for there is no need to raise it, but allows it to swing slightly from left to right and back.

Now Talia is aware what happens around her as well - some of the folk look at her with frightened expressions on their faces and more - and Talia realises, that they are afraid of her! But she can‘t change that now. Some voices ask in an menacing tone about the humming, but Talia is not able to give any answers. Suddenly Swing is behind her and if there was one man who wanted to come close, he must have decided otherwise. 

The humming  is much louder now and suddenly Talia feels as if something has hit her and she steps back, but this attack has not come from the bay, but from the corner of the ferry. When Talia looks in that direction, she  discovers Terra approaching the corner carefully, casually. That‘s god, so Talia can focus on the greater danger coming from the bay, whatever that might be and with no idea, how to fight it.

But as the humming gets stronger, the calmer Talia gets. She steps forward to the railing and with a movement of her sword tells the people to go away and out of sight.  Not too close at the railing, feet firmly on the ground she waits, and then suddenly something rises out of the floods in front of them.


As if a huge wave piles up, the water before them is rising and rising into the sky so that Talia has to bend her head back to see the ‚head‘ of the ‚creature‘ which is forming before their eyes. And it looks as if it is a head: Dark watery eyes look down at them, an abyss of an mouth, a  maelstrom ready to devour them all. Watery talons grow out of the wall of water, grow towards them in slow motion.


With the danger now visible, Talia gets calm, no fear disturbs her readiness to fight. Unafraid now, she looks with the determination to resist whatever will come at the creature - ready to die, but to live as well. Her hands hold the pommel tight, the tip of the sword is now pressed on the beams of the ferry, forming a solid triangle with her feet. A last glance at the water elemental before her - then she closes her eyes and concentrates on the sword and its humming.

Teri and I have escaped the Demon Lord of the Fire. I visited the Dry Lands got back and those who helped me are here!  The Brownies have healed me and given me back my strength - and more, glimpses of my past : and this will help to to withstand!

And Talia recalls strong protecting wings soaring over a vast desert, sun on her face and with the will to withstand whatever will come and to throw back all evil magic, as strong as it will be, she opens her eyes again.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on April 06, 2009, 02:45:15 PM
From her hiding place, Roosje saw how mister cowl was making some gestures with his hands. She didn't know exactly what it was he was doing, or what the result was, but he seemed so intent on Talia that the conclusion was inevitable: Terra must have been right. However, things did not seem to go the way he wanted, as he was knocked back violently enough for the cowl to slip over his head. Over her head, as it turned out. So it wasn't mister cowl at all, it was madam cowl. Roosje quickly glanced at Talia, but the woman was still standing, so whatever madam cowl had done, it must have backfired instead of reaching its intended goal.

The small Brownie does see the effect of the next spell released, even if she doesn't not see the actual hand gesture. Mostly she gets an impression water. Lots and lots of water, rising up out of the bay and confronting the ferry, rushing towards them like the biggest wave she has ever seen (though admittedly, she has not seen many). It is a terrifying sight, and Roosje is hard put not to bolt somewhere safe. They were on a ferry, nowhere was safe. There was nothing she could do against the creature, anyway, so she did her best to return her attention towards madam cowl. In doing so, she noticed Terra, who had almost reached her. The cowl was back in place by then, and Roosje didn't know if Terra had seen her gender. She debated whether to call it out to the wariorress, or not, but she decided not to draw attention. She just hoped she would get a chance to warn Terra soon, after madam cowl's attention was drawn, which should happen any time now. With an effort of will, Roosje stayed focussed on madam cowl and somehow managed to ignore the rushing water, even if Inuya was becoming very edgy.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on April 08, 2009, 11:45:47 AM
From where Ta'las rises, he watches the water elemental intently, looking for any weakness that can be used to their advantage in battle.  The creature seems completely fluid; its open maw and terrifying face, and even the talons that begin to form flow like a turbulent wave toward the group.  He walks through the crowd, which has begun to thin out, directly toward his Shendar-sister, ignoring the accusatory glares of those few passengers who have not run away from the side of the ferry where Talia faces the ominous creature.  The Shendar draws his dou'kilij and separates the weapon into two separate blades.  He does not flourish his weapons as many warriors might - there is no need for showmanship when facing an enemy in battle, and that is not the way of the Shendar Warrior.  Though he still feels the remnants of the sorceror's spell in his mind, he calms himself, knowing that fear and anger dull the senses to the truth of Second Reality.  He gives himself and Talia enough room that they will not be in each other's way during the upcoming battle, but close enough that they can hear one another over the sound of the rushing water that makes up the elemental's constantly shifting form, and the panicked shouts of the ferry passengers.

"Let us see how far this takes us along the Warrior's Path, Shendar-sister!" he calls over the din on the ferry.  He nods to Talia and then turns his attention back to the elemental, as he draws back his blades.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on April 09, 2009, 04:01:09 PM
Terra makes her way through the crowd as if looking for something, something in the woman's directions but plays at not being interested in the woman specifically. Her yes cast about suspiciously towards those not of their group, seemingly focusing a little more on those who seem not to happy with Talia or her companions. Steadily though her weaving path takes her toward the cowled woman, her gaze more urgent as the water beast rises, all the while her unseen attention is to the woman, likely a sorceress? This seemed more than just likely, and so as her path takes her closer she plots her moves. She knows she will have to take the woman quickly if not by complete surprise and be done with her quickly as if the woman bares the powers Terra fears she does a prolonged fight could prove quite futile. She notes with a glance that the woman remains closed to the railing, this is to Terra's advantage as she plots her moves hoping to knock the sorceress woman overboard with a solid sudden blow. Terra passes the sorceress now sure of her power felling her water beast looming to a girl that had gotten away for her parents terrified and sobbing but arms length from the sorceress, bending down and speaking softly and calmingly to the girl till the sorceresses attention who she had caught in passing returns to the battle to begin.

The girls sobbing softens and Terra convinces her to return to her parents where she would be safer, at least from the immediate battle Terra hopes will end in a single strike. Terra seems to watch the girl go for a moment, then quickly takes a step closer to the sorceress as she spins around leveling the powerful strike or her palm against the sorceresses chest while her free hand goes for her Moonblade in case her first strike fails to achieve her goal, and she does not hesitate to begin to draw it. The sorceress is indeed staggered but catches herself on the railing before she could topple over, but already Terra spins to bring the blade down, hoping the battle ends quickly before the sorceress can muster her powers against which she has no defense.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on April 09, 2009, 11:52:13 PM
Hera intent upon seeing this woman and her sword destroyed by her creation had momentarily forgotten about her companions until she saw a young man with the same coloring as the woman stand up, draw a blade that split into two and standing a few peds away from her faced her creature. Hera smirked and almost laughed. Steel cannot harm water foolish boy! She thought.

Suddenly out of the corner of her eye she saw the red headed warrioress and felt a blow to her chest. She fell backwards, a gasp escaping from her mouth, as she grabbed as hard as she could to the top board of the fence that surrounded the ferry hoping she could catch herself before she fell into the river.

Fortunately she did right herself. Her cowl had fallen back off. The look of surprise and anger mirrored her face as she faced her opponent who was drawing a weapon that Hera had never seen before, but it was a weapon of steel and though her creation could not be harmed by it, she could!

Immediately, she struck back with a blow of her own: a force of wind, hoping to send this woman flying backwards, over the far railing and into the river below.

In the meantime Capher saw what faced them. A water elemental? It would take a very powerful person to creaater such a creature, he thought. He sensed magic being thrown at Talia and watched as the magic was reflected back toward the person that Terra was slowly creeping toward. The person who had thrown the magic was knocked a sudden blow. Capher saw the cowl fall off and saw that it was a woman whom, after she righted herself, glared at Talia wiht a look of srprise, confusion and pure hatred.

Capher had two choices help Terra or help defeat this creature. He saw Ta'las draw his wepon as well and stood near Talia ready to fight the enenmy, but steel would not hurt water. Capher had to make a decision that would probably cause his death, but his friends needed help as well as all of these innocent people.

Talia was standing calmly with her sword in front of her, point downward, gently resting on the ferry floor. Capher gently touched her shoulder. "Talia, I may never see you again unless Seyella deems it to be so. If I do not I hope you find all of the happiness that you deserve and that goes for Ta'las and Terra and all of our companions as well."

Capher then jumped into the river.







































































Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on April 15, 2009, 12:34:32 AM
Terra is hit by a hard gust of wind that would have at least knocked her against the railing, at most sent her tumbling over, but she is caught by a second gentler yet still forceful wind. Terra is still baffled by how she could do the things she had been able to do, or how such power now comes to her aid, but she does know her conscious control of it has long faded since she left her tree and the Vail. She is only thankful that it had aided her knowing she can not rely on it in this fight or any that follows. It to will fade as did her control over it, but she knows now it had been there long before she met the brownies, when she was a child.

Her momentum is broken however as the blast drives her back, her boots sliding against the planks, upon catching herself, Terra is forced to charge aggressively to build it back up her momentum, reassured that her only chance is to somehow end the fight quickly. The tip of her blade starts near the deck, she draws the tip up in an arc toward the sorceress but before the blade can slice into its target Terra is hit with another violent blast of wind from the sorceress, this time her power is not so helpful and she topples to the deck. Her skill however had not faded with the strange power inside, with a cool mask on her face not showing hate, nor fear she allows her body to start to roll as she falls and uses the momentum to bring her back to her feet for the next charge, her blade high and ready to this time arc downward upon the sorceress.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on April 15, 2009, 04:18:27 AM
Roosje watched wide-eyed as Terra charged the sorceress and was knocked back by a violent gust of wind. She was afraid for a second that the woman would fall overboard, but somehow she managed to right herself and attacked the sorceress again. It was a cue for the small Brownie, she spurred Inuya into action. At the same time that Terra charged her with sword raised high, the fox snarled and bit at her ankles. Roosje knew there was not much she could do to help Terra, but at the very least she could distract the spellcaster, giving the warrior woman more of a chance.

It was a sign of just how much Roosje had been caught up in the fight that she did not even remember her bow, and more importantly her poison-tipped arrows, until she was already in the middle of it. Now she didn't have the time anymore if she had a poison that would help at all. Instead, she focussed on guiding Inuya so that they were constantly in the sorceress' way, without actually getting kicked either by her or Terra. Every time there was a chance, Inuya bit at the ankles again, in an attempt to get in a good solid bite. Even if she managed to sink her teeth into flesh just once, it would be the best diversion Roosje could manage.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on April 16, 2009, 01:41:01 AM
Hera was surprised that the red headed warrioress did not fly off the ferry but something held her. Does this woman have magical powers? Hera thought as the warrioress attacked again, Hera hit her with another blast of wind, this time the warrioress, tumbled to the deck but as quick as a blink was back on her feet and charging once again.

Hera prepared another spell to throw at the warrioress when suddenly she felt something attacking her ankles. She glanced down, her eyes widened as she saw what looked liked a ghost riding a fox and snapping at her ankles. What kind of magic is this? Hera threw the spell at the fox that she was going to throw at the warrioress, but that was enough of a distraction for before Hera could weave another spell the warrioress's blade swept down, Hera jumped back, hitting the rails behind her. She felt the blade cut through her robe, the tip searing a bloody trail down from her left shoulder across her chest and onward past her right ribcage.

Hera gasped in pain. Out of hera's eyes blasted twin bolts of fire at the warroress.

***********************************************************************************

Inside the river Capher used his powers to turn into a fish and began swimming up stream. To turn into a frost dragon right after he dove into the river he figured would not be wise. The people on the ferry were scared enough. The idea of the frost dragon hit Capher as he thought of how Talia and Ta'las could fight water: they could not with steel blades, however frozen water was entirely possible to fight.

Capher swam as far and as fast as he could up river and then stopped. He then concentrated on turning into a frost dragon. He felt excruciating pain as the wings ripped out of his shoulder blades, his arms shrunk and became claws, his face elongated, his eyes became narrow, scales formed on his body as his clothes tore apart as the beast took form.

Far up the river it roiled and a huge whirlpool formed and then the water exploded upward and outward, sending wave upon wave upon the two shores. A column of water rose from the middle of the whirlpool it rose higher and higher...the water fell away and a frost dragon hovered in the sky, its wings beating slowly.

It turned its head toward the ferry and began to wing itself toward the ferry high above it.

Women and children who saw the beast screamed. Hera, stared at the beast as it flew by and headed toward her creature. Where...Where did that come from? she thought.

The water elemental looked at the huge creature who was flying toward it. It had a confused look upon its watery face. It rushed forward toward the ferry determined to destroy all aboard as its master had commanded.

The huge creature stopped in front of the elemental, its wings beating slowly. The elemental let out a roar that sounded like a thousand waterfalls and rushed toward the beast that barred its way. Capher let out his own roar, but his roar was the roar of icy breath as his head swayed back forh spraying the frosty breath at the elemental.

In blinks the elemental was completely frozen.  Capher felt his power fade. He could do no more to help his friends. He flew up high and over the other banks forest until he disappeared from sight.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on April 16, 2009, 04:00:40 AM
Where Roosje normally stayed firmly seated on top of her riding animal, she suddenly found herself tumbling headlong and landing flat on her back on the deck of the ferry. She was dazed for a moment - what had hit her? She shook her head to clear it when she heard a scared yipping from behind her. Inuya had gone almost overboard because of the gust of wind that had hit them, strong enough to be used against a human but instead sent to the much lighter Brownie and her fox.

Inuya was struggling to get back on deck, scrabbling with all her might, her nails scratching the wood. Roosje flew towards her and tried to grab one of her paws to haul her back up - in vain, of course, she was not nearly strong enough for the task. She tried nonetheless, screaming for help at the top of her lungs. Of course nobody heard, everybody was too busy being scared of either the fight between the warrioress and the sorceress, or the fight between the desert woman and the water elemental.

Nevertheless, there was one pair of hands that was suddenly there to help her. Gentle hands, they were, reaching down to where Inuya almost fell down and lifting the animal back up to the deck, saving her from plummeting to the roiling waters below the ferry. The animal lay panting on the deck, shivering violently from the fright it had had. Roosje hugged her, burying her head in the fur for a moment in sheer relief. Then she looked up to her saviour. Gentle copper eyes looked at her with a smile in them, from above a grey veil. A sweet smile curved around Roosje's white mouth when she realised that the same woman who had helped Ta'las when he fell ill, had now come to her aid.

Then the small brownie turned towards the fight that she had been part of, and the smile faded from her small white face, leaving her clear, colourless eyes hard and determined. Quite purposefully, she took her bow and strung it, then took one of her more poisonous arrows. That woman had been the reason she had almost lost her mount and dearest friend. Roosje was only the smallest of things on the ferry, but she would help to stop that witch, if it was the last thing she did.

The poison she used was not lethal - not for humans, anyway. It was lethal enough for the small things that Roosje usually hunted, but for a human it was not really much more than an inconvenience. From her position some distance away from the sorceress, she took careful aim, drawing back the string as far as it would go. Then, with a barely discernable 'twang', she let go. Immediately she strung another arrow, tipped with the same poison, and aimed again. At first the sorceress would feel not much more than pinpricks in her legs, if the arrows hit, but soon enough the nerve ends around the pinpricks would start to go numb. And Roosje was about to make damn sure that at least a few of the arrows hit their goal. While it would not kill the woman, it would make things really, really uncomfortable for her to stand up.

After having sent four arrows on their way towards the witch's legs, she waited for a little to see what effect they had so far. In the meantime she instructed Inuya to go hide between the boxes where they had been watching earlier. The fox had recovered enough to understand what was wanted of her, and dragged herself there, so that she could lie down again. Roosje herself took her bow and arrows and ran across the ferry to the other side of the fight. She hoped that the witch would be too occupied with fighting Terra that she did not have time to go looking for a minor inconvenience. And once she took her eye off the brownie, it would be near impossible to find her again in the confusion, as small as she was, and now that she was not with her fox anymore. As soon as she had a clear view of the fight, Roosje knocked another arrow and aimed for the other leg. The tips were getting less poisoned, but the brownie was planning to put as many of them into the witch as she possibly could.

*******

Aminah had been in a state of shock for some time now. The evil that she had felt in the fallen man had badly shaken her. She had boarded the ferry, and even made sure that Jadwa was well taken care of, in a mechanical way, without thinking or later on remembering that she had done so. Instead, she kept feeling that same sense of evilness, over and over in her head. She hugged herself, but it did not keep the memory out.

What snapped her out of it was a suddenly strong wave of fear washing over her - mass fear. It was not directed at her, where she was standing to the side, but towards the woman who she thought was a companion of the man she had helped - at least she had rushed to his aid, and maybe said his name? Aminah didn't remember. The fear was so strong that she was almost overwhelmed by it, and she found herself almost instinctively turning against the woman. It was only when the man she had tried to help went to stand next to the woman that she realised what was happening, and she closed her eyes, gripping the railing of the ferry hard. She didn't know how she did it, but somehow she managed to separate the mass fear from her own feelings, keeping a shield between the two - a precarious shield, but a shield nonetheless.

She was not sure why the fear was turned against the woman, or what had happened exactly, but she remembered the look of concern on her face when the man had fallen, and she knew that whatever the cause, this had more to do with such a mass of people being together than with anything the woman had or had not done. She decided to attempt some help, though she was frightened at the thought. Even with just one person she gets overwhelmed so easily, let alone a whole crowd like this! But she could not look at the woman and man standing together, facing the bay, without at least trying to help. Scraping together every bit of her courage, she started to think calm thoughts - The desert sun of a morning, reaching out its first rays of light towards the houses of her people. Standing next to Jadwa, one arm around the horse's neck, looking out over a wide, strangely green landscape. A small lake in that landscape, calm water rippling on the shore, a lot calmer than the water of the bay right now. Slowly, with her eyes closed and her thoughts as calm as she can make them while fighting off the waves of fear, she tries to somehow push out the calm thoughts towards the people closest to her. Once she almost loses her concentration, as another heavy wave of fear crashes on her shield of calm thoughts, but this one is not directed at her or the people she is trying to help, and it ebbs away while she is still frowning with her concentration.

After a while, the fears seems to somehow shift, extend to something beyond the two people. Aminah opens her eyes, losing her concentration and her shield, but it seems to be no longer necessary. Out in the bay, a liquid horror has manifested itself, and started fighting with the woman and her sword. The people on the ferry finally seem to have realised that the woman is not the real threat. Aminah feels suddenly dizzy, and a headache crashes down on her. She takes a few steps, then sits heavily down on some boxes. She breathes in and out heavily, trying to get the better of the nausea, which she assumes has been caused by her attempt just now. She just hopes that at least it helped to stop the people from attacking the woman, else the whole thing had been for nothing.

It is only as she sits there that she realises another fight is ensuing, and she realises that the other wave of fear had emanated from the people who witnessed it. A warrioress with a sword is taking on an unarmed woman, but she gets knocked back by a gust of wind that Aminah can feel to where she is sitting. At their feet something moves as well - oh! That is the small... thing... that had been hiding behind her, and the fox it was riding. For a moment she forgets her headache when she sees a renewed gust of wind sending the fox reeling over the side of the ferry, scrambling for a foothold. The small white thing is up in a flash. The feeling of worry emanating from it is so strong that it takes Aminah aback for a moment - a thing so small, and yet such worry. Then she springs into action, lifting the fox back up on the deck. The smile of gratitude on the little face leaves her in no more doubt, even if the strong emotion moments ago could have... This thing was close enough to human to be treated in a humane way, even if it is strangely small and white. Then Aminah grabs her head and knows nothing for a while, as black dots dance in front of her eyes.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on April 16, 2009, 12:01:32 PM
Ta'las' attention is so drawn to the water elemental, that he is unable to respond before Capher leaps into the water.  He watches in horror as his friend enters the river and then disappears, and though he would like to follow after Capher, the danger presented by the water elemental holds him in place.  The Shendar steps forward, weapons at the ready, wondering whether his blades will find any purchase in their enemy's aqueous form, when something else bursts upward from the water.  Through the watery spray, he sees a dragon!

"Blessed Seyella," he whispers, his voice hoarse.  Fear's icy talons do finally grip the Shendar, and all he is able to do is stand and watch as the dragon bellows and breathes on the water elemental.  Ta'las watches as the water elemental slowly turns to ice, its form roiling as it bellows - whether in anger or pain, he is uncertain.  The frozen water elemental crackles, sunlight glistening off of its now frozen surface.  In awe, he watches as the dragon lifts up into the sky and careens away, leaving the ferry passengers alone to face the frozen water elemental. 

Frozen!  It's body will have substance, he thinks.

"Talia!  Strike now!"  The Shendar lunges forward, dodges away from a large chunk of ice that crashes to the deck of the ferry.  The creature's head is still too far up for Ta'las to strike, so he launches a flurry of slashes at the water elemental's torso that break away a ped-sized chunk of ice from it.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on April 17, 2009, 01:43:06 AM
The elemental was surprised that it could not move anymore. It looked puzzled and then it felt pain as something began to cut its body. It looked down and saw a puny man swinging something that was sharp and it cut at its body again.

It bellowed out in pain and rage. It's clawed frozen fingers suddenly shot forward several spears of ice toward the man and his sharp thing.

One of the spears shatters in thin air as it came close to another puny human with a sharp thing in its hands, but this human was not cutting at it, just standing there with its sharp thing pointing downwards. It was the other puny human that the elemental was enraged at. Though puzzled at why one of its ice spears would shatter in mid-air, it sent more; especially toward the one that was hurting it.

***********************************************************************************

Hera posing herself for another blow from the warrioress almost laughed as she saw that pesky fox scrabbling for its life and its owner trying to stop it from falling into the river.

A motion from the warrioress's blade took her attention away from the fox and its owner. She prepared another onslaught of wind and fire this time. "Let's see if you can dodge this, you red headed insect" Hera screamed furiously as she sent a stonger blow of wind and another twin bolts of fire from her eyes.

Suddenly Hera felt a tiny prick on her leg. Then there were more. They did not hurt, but they did distract her and she needed no distractions at this time and moment. It would not matter anyway, she thought, for soon her elemental would crush everyone on the ferry and this warrioress along with them.

Hera was facing up river when she saw the water spray upward and out of it came a Frost Dragon! "By Coor, where did that come from?" she whispered. She was more afraid of the dragon than the warroress. She watched as it flew toward them and then over them and attacked her creation! She heard her creation roar in pain or frustration as it was frozen solid. Hera saw the dragon lift high and thought she was next, when surprisingly it flew over the forest and disappeared.

That is most unusual. Where did that thing come from? She took a chance and glanced over the crowd. The old man! He was not here, though he could be hidden by this mass of humanity, but Hera doubted it. She recalled her master's warning. The old man is very powerful, watch out for him. But if it was the old man, then why did he not finish the job? He could have frozen her right on the spot and no amount of magic she knew would help her.

Then she heard the young man tell his companion to strike and Hera then heard her creature roar in pain again, she could not take her eyes off of the warrioress to see what was happening, but heard a huge splash and water sprayed over all of them.  Her other leg then too felt pin pricks, but not as distracting as the others. Hera took several steps away from the railing to give her more room to maneuver, when her right leg, made her stumble, just a little, but it was enough to distract Hera from the warrioress.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on April 21, 2009, 12:41:02 PM
Terra could smell her hear and armor singed by the fiery gaze, she had to let herself spin an extra time so her hair would not catch alight. By the time her blade swept blindly to where the sorceress had been she had already stepped form its path, so Terra let it sweep high for another strike. Barely catching sight of the sorceress she hears her scream and before she is able to react she is hit by another blast of wind, the streams of flame would have caught her square to if it had not been for the mysterious power of wind in her deflecting it, not the less the blast sent her tumbling and rolling backward till her feet could gain purchase on the deck. Gaining her feet she let her legs be compressed a little more by the force of the blow before releasing it in a desperate charge. The blade tip trailing behind her as if preparing to strike though as Terra gets close enough she does not strike with the blade but spins hers and levels a powerful kick toward the sorceress's stomach. Terra could feel her body getting closer to its limits, if the battle lasted much longer it would give out.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on May 02, 2009, 01:43:42 AM
Sweat runs down Talia‘s spine, it is strenuous to hold the humming sword, even for only a short moment. Her thoughts of her vision of a foreign land keeps her somewhat steady, but she feels as if she is permanently at the brink of breaking down. Time stretches endlessly, the transparent blue colour of the elemental floods her senses, she feels as if she will drown in the next blinks in this depth of crystal blue.

Fear creeps up, that she will not be strong enough to shoulder the impact of the magic building up before her,  she feels more than she sees Ta‘las at her side and  nearly looses her grip on the sword when Capher lays a hand on her shoulder whispering her some reassuring words in the ear.

And then, suddenly, the pressure, the weight lifts, though it doesn‘t go away entirely. The enormous wave does not crash on them and swallow them as she had awaited, but to her surprise the watery threat changes in a blink to a solid rock of ice.

"Talia!  Strike now!" Ta‘las calls out to her.

He starts to attack it with his sword and succeeds in breaking out big chunks of it. Ice shards are raining down on them and they seems not to hold any magic, for they are not deflected by the swords shielding abilities. Talia tries to lift her sword to do as Ta‘las does, but her arms cramp from the former tight hold on the sword - and she sees not, how it could damage the elemental considerably, huge as it is, reaching several peds above their heads. Once if they have carved out what is in their reach, they can do nothing more. And with each big chunk falling on the ferry more damage can be done to them, to the ferry, to them, to their animals. Talia‘s thoughts are racing. The elemental himself is still a magical creature, somehow, and has to be enforced with more spells, as she recalls Silfer telling her at one time in the past. So what if she would disturb that working of magic by forcing her sword into the midst of the creature? Would the magic of her sword force itself through the ice?

As there is no time to think this proper through and Talia always has been somebody to follow her feeling what is the right thing to do or the right action in this very moment, she just follows her instinct. She might be entirely wrong, but who knows?

The will to fight the evil and thinking at her friends and her aj‘nuvic gives her the unbelievable strength which can only be mustered in time of great needs. Collecting all this energy, she jumps on the railing of the ferry , utters a warcry she has not know she would be able to and throws herself with all her might towards the center of the ice elemental, sword pointing towards it in her strong grip..


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on May 04, 2009, 10:51:16 AM
Ta'las disengages from the water elemental - or perhaps more accurately, dives away from the base of the creature - as spears of ice slash through the air and nearly pin him to the deck of the ferry.  He attempts to cut his way through the lethal rain of ice shards, and is initially successful at cutting through several spears.  However, even his formidable endurance is tested by the effort of continuously swinging his dou'kilij or dodging ice spears and his previous encounter with the sorceror, and Ta'las realises he must find cover.  However, what concerns the Shendar even more, are the passengers.  Some of the passengers still remain on the ferry, huddled beside crates, animals or whatever they can find.  Other passengers have already left the ferry, though in the panic, Ta'las can see that a few who attempted to leave were either trampled or struck by something, and are lying still on the deck.

"Blessed Seyella," Ta'las whispers hoarsely, as a passenger hiding behind a pack mule is struck through the shoulder by a spear of ice, and falls down screaming.

Ta'las's eyes open wide as Talia hurls both herself, blade first, and a warcry at the elemental.  Though he wishes he could help the passengers, he will not leave his Shendar-sister to face the water elemental alone.  Instead he shouts at the passengers, as he continues to cut his way through ice shards.  "Get off the ferry!  Get to land!"  Tentatively at first, a couple of passengers rise and run off the ferry. 

"GO NOW!"  Whether it is the tone of his voice or the grimace of anger on the sword-wielding warrior's face, he is not sure, but the other passengers begin to leave.

The Shendar dodges another ice spear and slashes through a second, and then lunges toward the ice elemental again.  Before he can attack, another shard of ice hurtles toward him.  He twists away from the ice shard, but he is not fast enough, and it glances off of his left arm, spinning him toward the railing.  Ta'las crashes into the railing, and falls over it into the cold water.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on May 06, 2009, 12:48:10 AM
Hera saw the kick coming but could not block it. She grunted in pain as he breath gushed out of her lungs like a geyser. Doubled over, she heard her creature howl in such pain that it even reached her, far into her subconcious. It stabbed at her head like sword inside her brain. Hera stumbled backward, her hand reaching behind her until it touched wood. Hera stood up and screamed: both at the red headed warrioress, and the pain in her head.

Hera glared at the red head and moved forward again, her legs swayed, and almost gave away. Puzzled, she pulled away from the railing to give herself some room. Crash, an ice spear the thickness of her arm came crashing down, splintering wood and itself as it did so.

More and more of the ice spears came crashing down on to the deck. Hera barely heard the man boy yell at the passengers to jump and swim for safety. Hera saw that the red head was near exhaustion and during that interlude allowed herself the blink to turn to look at her creature.

Hera was shocked. The dark haired woman had shoved her sword deep into ther creation, creating a crack that ran from the point of the sword upwards and downwards and the crack was widening! How? Impenetrable.  Hera screeched. "My creation! What are you doing to my creation?"

Pure hatred glowed from Hera's eyes and her focus was on killing this dark haired woman and that damnable sword of hers. But that was a mistake for as soon as Terra saw Hera take her focus of of her she struck...


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on May 07, 2009, 12:03:27 AM
Terra did not allow herself a moments hesitation as her sorceress opponent turned her attention away, striking with a slash against her apponent, and then her blade falls again, her blad picking up speed gaining deeper purchase. Her blade whistles around her as the final strike falls, cleaving deeply to finish the sorceress, and the battle that would eventually claim one or both of them. Terra is to exhausted to join the fight with the others and so finds a place to rest a moment taking shealter behind some crates finding there new companions fox also seeking there shealter. Terra knows she to should take Tal'as' instruction as her MoonBlade  slide back into it's sheath, but knows with her armor and without her second wind she would never make it to shore. Her only hope is for the ferry to hold together, or for her second wind to come before they must abandon it.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on May 07, 2009, 12:42:32 AM
Hera felt the blade strike deep as it swept across her body. She screamed in pain. Twin bolts of fire shot out of her eyes but went nowhere as she felt another slash of the red head's sword cut a bloody swath across her body once again. She raised her head and screamed in pain. Her head went flying with it's mouth still open and landed in the raging river. The headless body stood with blood gushing out of it's headless neck for several blinks before it slowly slumped to the deck of the ferry.

The elemental in so much pain rained ice spears upon everything and anything on the ferry.

Suddenly the creature felt the power that created it die. It bellowed a cry, as if it were scared, and then in blinks it began to break apart. Huge chunks of ice fell from several peds above the ferry and crashed onto the decks, killing some passengers, and wounding others. That threw the ones who had stayed behind into a panic and they rushed for the back gate, threw it open and shoving their animals they, their belongings and animals all went into the river.

However the river was almost as dangerous as staying aboard the ferry. As the elemental fell died and fell apart the river became a maelstrom of rushing water out to the bay. The elemental continued bursting apart and huge ice chunks tore up the ferry. The ferry began to lean on one side as water rushed in.

The elemental let out one last cry and then it's whole body exploded sending chunks of ice flying through the air, some cutting down the first tree line of the forest on the other side of the bank, others went crashing far up river and still other chunks flew back toward the bay and the other side of the bank. Passengers, goods and animals were swept out to the bay as the elemental in its last gasp of life came crashing down upon the ferry, breaking it in half....

***********************************************************************************

What happens to our adventurers only they can say....


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on May 08, 2009, 05:32:54 AM
Roosje stopped shooting when she ran out of the worst poisons. She had some poisons left in her pack, as well as some clean arrows, but she could not use them now. If she wanted to hunt her own food, she would already have to ration her supplies.

Before she could think of what to do next to help Terra with the witch woman, large chunks of ice started falling on the deck. Without knowing what was causing that - she had been too intent on this fight to know anything about the other one - she followed the flying chunks with wide, scared eyes. And saw how one large chunk flew against the crates between which she had left Inuya.

The witch woman was forgotten, the whole fight no longer mattered. The small Brownie started running towards the crates, but as she ran she knew that she was too late. She could do nothing but watch in horror as they toppled over and slid into the roiling waters below, taking a red streak with them. Roosje ran doggedly on, though she could hardly see from the tears that started streaming from her eyes. Her face was contorted as she crossed the distance, which did not seem to diminish, as if she had landed in some nightmare. She was surrounded by running feet, panicking people trying to find some safe place, either on the small deck or away from it, in the water. She paid no head to the falling ice, but grabbed a piece of the railing, where it was connected to the floor, the lean out as far as she could over the edge, searching the water.

"Inuyaaaaaa!!!"

Once, only once, did she scream the name, trying to see where her fox had gone underwater, if she even was alive. There was no time for more, as a violent lurch threw her off balance, sending her after her friend. She landed in the water, swallowing mouthfuls of water. The water was wild, there was nowhere for her to hold onto. Wave after wave washed her this way and that, and she was powerless to stop it. When she hit her head against something, it was only pure instinct that enabled her to grab the piece of wood and somehow climb aboard. It was a small piece, not much larger than a man's hand. She lay on there, her head throbbing where she had hit it against the wood, exhausted from her struggle against the water. Somehow she knew that she was lucky for being so small, if she had been bigger she would have drowned for sure. As it was, she could only lie there and weep for her fox, who surely had died in the roiling waters.

When her little 'raft' reached a bank, Roosje had no idea which side of the river she was on. The water had calmed, she knew not at what point, and her piece of wood was knocking against some root reaching out over the bay. From somewhere deep within, some last vestige of her will to live deep in her gut, she found the strength to climb up onto the root, and from there to the foot of the tree where it sprang from, but that was as far as she got. She collapsed, face-down, and fell asleep, too exhausted even to cry anymore.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on May 08, 2009, 06:50:53 AM
Talia doesn‘t know, what to expect to happen, when she throws herself towards the ice elemental. To her surprise, her sword melts slowly into it, causing a crack from the point of the sword upwards and downwards, widening. For some moments she is in an awkward position which would surely bring her Shendar brother to laugh - sword still in the elemental, slowly vanishing into it, but feet still on the rail, forming a bridge between the two. But as the sword moves more quickly now  through the elemental, the gap  between the ferry and the elemental widens and Talia sees where to it will lead soon - her falling in the water like Ta‘las. With a last effort she tries to push herself away from the elemental, but while doing so, she turns around, sees her aj‘nuvic dancing around to avoid the ice shards with wild eyes, and cries out to her:  Swing!!! and falls into the water.

And her bond mate follows immediately after her into the cold water.

And Talia, her hands still holding the pommel of the sword desperately, sinks , close to the elemental ice form, towards the bottom of the river, air bubbles coming out of her mouth.

I can‘t give up my sword, is all she can think of. But suddenly she feels a nudge, and Swing is near. With a great effort of will, she releases one of her hands from the sword and holds onto Swing. The aj‘nuvic struggles to get back to the surface and succeeds to get above water. The current of the stream has taken both away from the ferry and the main place of events. When they look back, they see the elemental break apart entirely , a big wave of water mixed with debris hits them, but fortunately nothing of the ferry or the remains of the ice comes close enough to hurt them. So they are lucky in the middle of a disaster. When the big waves die away, they swim to the nearest bank, the one closer to Ximax. Though both are exhausted to death, they scan the water, if there is any sign of their friends.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on May 09, 2009, 10:00:05 AM
In the maelstrom of ice, water and broken planks, the Shendar has to fight to keep his head above water, as he is pushed downstream more than one hundred peds from the ferry.  There are a few tense moments, when an underwater eddy actually drags him down beneath the churning water, but the Shendar fights his way upward, sputtering when he finally resurfaces.  Without having to look, Ta'las knows that Desert Rose is near.  He hears his bondmate warble, softly at first, and then more loudly when the Shendar doesn't respond.  "I am fine, Desert Rose," he says and reaches out a hand to rub the matted down fur on the top of his aj'nuvic's head, and also to steady himself, as he is greatly weakened from the intrusive spells of the sorceror, the fight with the elemental, and then battling the raging water.

"Let us get to the shore, my friend," he says wearily.  The bondpair reach the same shore Talia has only moments before, and Ta'las drags himself up onto a muddy bank on the edge of the water.  He spends a few moments resting on his knees and catches his breath, as he looks out across the lake and down along the shore.  From his vantage, the Shendar can see a few other passengers.  His greatest concern however, is what has happened to his friends, and foremost on his mind: "Terra," he says quietly, and then a great fear washes over him.

"Stay here, Desert Rose, I must find Lady Terra!"

The aj'nuvic warbles at him in annoyance, but stays as he was bid, knowing that his bondmate is safe.  Ta'las however, rushes back along the shore of the lake, looking for Terra and loudly calling out her name.  "Lady Terra!"


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on May 13, 2009, 11:53:13 PM
Terra finds herself on the shore sprawled out next to some part of the ferry, she could not tell what it used to be. Her body exhausted, she lays on the shore her head just above the waves, her limbs heavy and limp, and her thoughts on her friends and Coore her horse and companion through the journey. She tries to call for help but her voice hardly works, if anyone heard her it would be but her. As the cloud of exhaustion slowly lifts she begins to recall the maelstrom of ice and broken wood, latching onto the piece of wreckage that now beached itself beside her pulsing still with the waves as if trying to return to the lake from where it had come, but is stuck fast. Terra can not remember much of the journey to the shore and can only assume she passed out in exhaustion along the way, what begins to trouble her mind more is if the others survived, what shore is she on? Would anyone find her?


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on May 15, 2009, 12:41:04 AM
Capher heard a roar and opened his eyes. He stared up through a canopy of green foiliage. He was surprised to be able to see a hawk way up high in the sky circling searching for prey. His eyesight was never that good, he thought. He reached up with what he thought was his right hand to wipe something crawling on his face and was horrified to see a claw with huge nails instead. He twisted his head to look at his left hand and it too was a giant claw. By Seyella! It has happened! I have reverted back to my draconian form, he thought.

He looked down the rest of his body. His robe somehow covered him but he was much much taller and out from the bottom of the robe were two huge claw feet with large nails, larger than his hands. He lay there and he wanted to cry, but no tears came; dragons do not have tear ducts. He then remembered his friends and tried to sit up, but he could not.

He thrashed on the forest floor to right himself. Trees fell, roots became uprooted, animals ran, and birds squawking; flushed out of their roosts flew away. Capher roared in frustration as he tried to use his wings to flip himself over. Finally after much effort he flipped over and stood upon his legs. His head reached over most of the trees in the forest. He looked one way and then another and in the distance he could see the shimmering, glint of water.

It has to be either the river or the bay, he thought as he stomped on his way. Wait, he thought again. Why walk when I can fly? He looked at his robe. There was no way to take it off. His clawed hands could not do it. He wondered why his robe could stretch and cover himself without tearing. There was also another nagging thought that ran through his brain; why could he think like a human? There definately was some unusual things going on.

He stretched his wings and was not surprised that his robe stretched right along with them. The problem he found out was that he still could not fly. The robe hindered his wings to flap to help him rise off the ground. He refolded his wings and began his trek toward the water wondering what had happened to his friends. Were they alive? What happened to the female sorceress and her water elemental? Did Seyella smile upon them and help them destroy their enemies? So many thoughts ran through his head as he stomped on his way.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on May 15, 2009, 03:44:29 AM
It is good to lie flat on the banks of the river, no fighting for breath, no up and down, no dreadful swimming with all the heavy clothes on. No permanent fear, that the only thing which connects her to her past will glide out of her stiff and cold hand and vanish for ever in the depth of this river. She is so tired and her only wish is to sleep. But this rest is a dangerous one. Talia is not lying on a warm beach in the Seven Jewels, but on the chilling ground of a bright and clear, but cold day which might well bring the first snow.

She doesn‘t have the will to get up, not long after she is more or less swept on this shore, but Swing, her bondmate, nudges her shoulder and face mercilessly, until she tries to get up. Which she does, though very slowly. She presses her head to the fur of her aj, but this is not as comfortable as normally, for the water is still dripping out it.
Swing seems not much affected by this cold bath though, but she is not too happy either and shows Talia her impatient side, stepping deliberately on her feet or trying to eat her braid.

„Stop Swing, I‘m exhausted and terribly cold! We need to get to a dry place, I fear there is nothing which is not wet inside my saddleback. Wait, my cloak should warm me nevertheless, wet or not. Thanks to this Ráhaz-Èstar which gave me its skin!“

While Talia searches for her cloak, she hears suddenly somebody shout:

"Lady Terra!"

That can be only Ta‘las and he seems quite near! Talia turns in the direction of the shout and there he is, not too far away! Relief floods her. If Ta‘las has made it, so might have the others survived! Quickly she rides to him.

„Ta‘las, you live!“ A broad smile lightens up her face.

„Let us search systematically! You ride in one direction and I in the other. When we have found somebody we use a grass whistle to notify the other. Do you remember the signs? One long, I found something, three, please come and so on? I go to the east along the shore, ok? I hope we find them soon, for I‘m terribly cold and need a warming fire soon! Let‘s meet over there, near the group of baych trees.“


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on May 16, 2009, 12:03:59 PM
A wide smile crosses Ta'las face when he sees Talia, relief floods through him at the knowledge that he is not alone, and this gives him even more hope that Terra is alright.  Once she finishes outlining her plan, he nods his head.  "Yes, Shendar-sister!  I will search to the west then."  Then he gives her a hug and nearly lifts her off her feet in his excitement.  "Back there then, at the baych grove."

The Shendar pats her shoulder and then heads westward along the shore in the direction opposite Talia, still calling out Terra's name, but also shouting for little Roosje and Capher.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on May 17, 2009, 05:41:07 AM
Capher's heightened hearing and eyesight because he was more draconian than human heard Talia's voice. She was speaking to her Aj, Swing. He smiled inside and headed for that direction tearing down trees, uprooting the underbrush, and making anything alive scatter for safety as he stomped on toward Talia's voice.

He stopped to reacquire her voice and heard another one. Tal'as! He made it!, he thought. Another inward smile and he continued on, but that was just two. Where was Terra, Roosjie and Aminah?

Why the strange young girl came to his mind he did not know but Capher thought it significant. Perhaps Seyella has sent us another to replace the others we have lost, Capher thought.

He stomped through the forest until it became less and less crowded and then he stepped out on the river bank. His toes were in the water and his clawed feet sunk into the muddy bank. This is where she should be? Capher thought, as he swiveled his head one way and then the other.

From his height he could see Talia on Swing heading east along the bank, and when he looked in the other direction he saw Ta'las running westward calling out for Terra, Roosje and his name.

He opened his mouth to answer them. A huge roar came bellowing out instead of speech.  Capher was stunned. He could think like a human, but he could not speak like one.  What would his friends do when they saw him? Would they know him? How could he make them understand what he wanted to say?

He stood there perplexed at his dilema; yet he also looked for Terra, Roosjie and Aminah. Roosjie he knew would be the most difficult to find and see because of how small she was. However if her fox had made it with her, then it would not be that hard.  He began looking. His eyes peering down the banks; down one side and then up the same.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on May 21, 2009, 06:27:04 AM
Talia is shivering despite her Éstar cloak and can only imagine, how cold the others must feel - if they are not already dead, drowned. But she puts that thought aside, she does not want to think at that, and having found Ta‘las alive gives her confidence.

Though this confidence is nutating, when she finds first a dead woman lying on the shore, and then a child. Is it not impossible for Roosje to survive, small as she is?  Filled with a deep sadness she walks along the river, fearing to find not only more dead people from the ferry, but one of her friends. Then she hears terrible roars from behind. She turns frightened around, but there is a bend in the river which hides the place where she has started out. Is there another elemental , maybe this time an earthern one?  She looks back in fear, but when it stays silent for a while, she continues searching, but with much more caution.

There is no time to deal with monsters in your back. I need to find roosje, Terra and Capher. Capher, he turned to a dragon, where might he be now? Surely he is back in his old form by now and searching us as well, maybe he is luckier than me!

After a while the vegetation is growing closer to the river and Talia is forced to move away from the waterline in some places. Swing is following her, not liking the wet, the cold, and the dense growth. Talia has just gone around another big willow, when she realises, that Swing has not followed. A questioning shout, but Swing does not join her, but utters some noises which Talia can only interpret as „Something interesting“. Quickly she climbs back and then her heart nearly stands still. There, on the root of the tree, which reaches towards the waterline, a little white something is lying, which one could well interpret as a bit of wet cloth. But Talia immediately knows what that is, better - who. Tears well up in her eyes, for she can only imagine, that Roosje is dead. How could such a tiny brownie survive the freezing water? Carefully she takes the little body up to cradle her, when she realises a very faint movement.

„Roosje! Are you alive?!“

She holds the little Brownie in her lap, but she does not react to her voice. Warmth! That is the most important thing now. But how to warm a little person , without a fire? Body warmth.  Carefully Talia removes most of the wet, almost frozen clothes and lets Roosje slip in the internal pocket of her blouse which she had used for her dune mouse once. And this one is close to her heart, between her breasts. There is no warmer place right now, and hopefully Roosje will not be too scared, when she awakes.

As it becomes more difficult to follow the shoreline, the path to howl boats seems to have disappeared, Talia decides to get back to the grove to make a fire, which they all will need desperately. Ta‘las has not yet whistled, has he not found Terra yet? Sorrow washes over Talia. It is so cold, they have to find their friends soon!

On her way back, she sees another woman lying on the bank, wrapped in a lot of cloth. She demounts to look after  her and suddenly realises, who that is - the strange woman from the ferry! And she is alive! With her last strength, she lifts her up, carries her to Swing, and somehow manages to get her on her riding animal, despite the heavy , dripping clothes. A fire, we need a fire! But when Talia is not far away from the baych tree grove they wanted to meet, horror strikes again - there is a mighty dragon standing on the bank, a strange one though, for a robe covers its body.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on May 22, 2009, 11:43:24 AM
From around the bend of the river Talia and Swing come into Capher's view. He calls out her name and only a roar comes bursting from his lungs. Capher stomped his right clawed foot in frustration sending shock waves throughout the bank, river and forest behind him; felling trees and creating waves of water as high as five peds crashing against the far shore and even out to the bay.

He stopped when he realized that all he probably was doing was scaring Talia, Swing and anyone else who might be near. Think! Capher told himself. There must be something you are not seeing, not understanding. He turned his head toward Talia, who looked frozen in fear. Swing looked liked she wanted to run, but would not leave her bond-mate behind.

He towered over them all. He so much wanted to speak to Talia. To tell her who it was she was staring at, but he could not speak. How do I talk to her? How do I communicate with her? Capher's mind asked himself over and over again. I am missing something. I know it. I just cannot logi... That's it! Capher would have shouted for joy if he could have.

I am almost all dragon, however I can still think like a human, which should be impossible. I should be thinking like a dragon, but I am not. Why? The answer is I still have some magical powers.

Capher coiled his neck, bringing his head down until it was as close to the ground as he could get it. He turned and faced Talia. His long snout, with its sharp teeth was just a few peds away from her. He looked at her with his golden eyes and spoke to her; not physically but through his mind to hers.

"Talia, do not be afraid. It is I, Capher. Thank Seyella that you are safe. I have heard Ta'las's voice as well so I know that he is safe as well. I see that Swing and Desert Rose have also survived."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on May 23, 2009, 04:45:15 AM
It is one thing, to know something with your mind, it is a different thing, if you experience what you have theoretical known. Then only the heart can help.

Talia has known for a long time now, that Capher was no true human, but a shapeshifter. She witnessed him changing into Bium, an ogre, on their way to Strata. She saw him turn into a demon on the ship from Strata to the North, she saw his scaled hands in the last inn and knows, that he is truly a shapeshifter dragon, possibly the last of his kind. But to see him standing before her, in all his splendor, red (?) metallic scales reflecting the light with ever colour possible,  the two horns growing back from the crest of the skull, the golden glowing eyes, is just too much to grasp. She just stands and stares.

And then that mighty entity lowers its head and puts it more or less in front of Talia, who is past every fear, stunned by the sheer strangeness of the present situation. Only when she suddenly hears a voice in her mind, she awakes to full awareness of herself:

"Talia, do not be afraid. It is I, Capher. Thank Seyella that you are safe. I have heard Ta'las's voice as well so I know that he is safe as well. I see that Swing and Desert Rose have also survived."

Capher, he has changed to his dragon form, is that good or bad? How can we now bring him to Ximax and in the dome to the orb?

Somehow, she is not afraid of this big head and the terrible sharp and dangerous looking teeth, but goes slowly towards him, until she is close enough to lay one of her hands on the bridge between his nostrils. It is a strange sensation, to touch a real dragon and Talia shivers with excitement.

„Capher, my love, what have you done, how will you get into the dome to renew your strength? Or does this form mean, that you are whole again due to a strand of luck? Or the help of Seyella?  - Capher we need to find the others and get a fire going to warm all up, or they will die from cold, though they have survived the water. Or do you have magical means to get us warm, even if you cannot breath fire? Do you know if Ta‘las has already found Terra and her horse? Oh Capher, I‘m so glad that you are here. „

With a sigh Talia rests her head where her hand has been, but only for a moment, then she smiles to the dragon.

„It is hard to hug you in this form, you know! And your robe looks somewhat ridiculous!“


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on May 24, 2009, 11:24:07 PM
The massive explosion and torrent of water has strewn rocks, tree trunks and other debris along its bank, so Ta'las must travel more than a few peds away from the river.  Still, his rangy build allows him to move quickly, and he soon meets up again with Desert Rose. 

"Come my friend, let's find Lady Terra," he says as he jumps up onto his mount and speeds away.  In amongst the jumble of ruined trees, rocks and mud, or at the water's edge, he occasionally spots a person milling around, calling out for a loved one, or even a few people together, crying out happily that they've found a loved one.  However, he does see a few dead bodies in the wreckage.  Tears fill the Shendar's eyes, and he utters a quiet prayer, for though he is a hardened warrior, these people were caught between two powerful opposing forces, and not by their own choice.  He stops Desert Rose suddenly, when he spies a still form with bright red hair and armour the colour of Terra's, lying on a large sun-soaked boulder sunk down into the mud.  Though he is too far away to see her face, he knows it is Terra.

The Shendar dismounts and rushes to her, climbing over a massive tree trunk and slogs through knee-high mud, and finally reaches the boulder.  He climbs up on the boulder, breathing heavily and tear-stricken, fearful that he has lost her.  He gently places a hand on her head to push back the hair covering her face, and finds that she is still breathing. 

"Blessed Seyella."  Ta'las holds her to himself for a few moments, before lifting her up and hauling her over his shoulder to Desert Rose.  "Please carry her for me, my friend."
The aj'nuvic warbles softly to Ta'las, and even lowers down its might frame so the Shendar can more easily place Terra onto his back.  "Now, to find C-"

He is interrupted by a terrifying roar that shakes the ground.  "That is from where we left Talia," he says grimly, and draws his dou'kilij.  "Come, quietly."  With a quick hand motion, the Shendar directs Desert Rose to follow a short distance behind and to his left flank, away from the riverbank, until they reach the baych grove where he had agreed to meet Talia.  From here, he first catches sight of what can only be a dragon - a huge winged creature covered with metallic scales.  The creature is bent down, perhaps looking at something on the ground, or perhaps eating, hiding its head and part of its neck behind the trees.

Ta'las is about to direct Desert Rose to aim toward the dragon's flank, but his aj'nuvic warbles at him.  He looks back, and sees a small white form huddled at the base of a tree.  "Inuya," he smiles and kneels down as he spots Roosje's little fox.  The creature is shaking and dripping wet, but still filled with enough bluster to growl a little at him.  "I am glad to see you are well, little one.  Is Roosje with you?"

The fox approaches and looks up at him, but stays put even when Ta'las holds out his arms to offer to carry him.  "That is your choice, Inuya."  He stands and returns his gaze to the dragon.  "Now, what to do about that?"  He is about to direct Desert Rose to remain here in the shelter of the baych trees, but the little fox suddenly bounds away.  In the direction of the dragon!

They are too close for him to call out for the fox for fear of alerting the dragon, so  Ta'las holds up a hand to beckon Desert Rose, and makes his way into the trees, keeping himself hidden in whatever foliage he can find, and moving quietly as if he hunting.  The Shendar winds his way through the trees until he stands near one of the dragon's massive front legs, and motions for his aj'nuvic to stop.  He looks questioningly at the familiar robe covering its massive body, and finally is able to see Talia and Swing standing in front of the dragon.  However, they do not seem to be in any danger, rather, his Shendar-sister is touching its nose!  And, though they are some distance away, he can see the small, white form of Inuya bound into view at Swing's feet.

The Shendar stands and sheaths his weapons, and calls Desert Rose forward.  Walking toward Capher, whom he knows is a dragon, though until this moment he still had a small amount of doubt, he smiles.  "I've heard that a swim in the river can be invigorating.  I never would have thought it could do this."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on May 27, 2009, 12:57:13 AM
Capher almost breathed a sigh of relief realizing that he could speak to Talia's mind through his own, but he held it back fearing that if he did he would blow Talia, Swing and Roosjie back into the river, so he satisfied himself with an inward sigh instead.

„Capher, my love, what have you done, how will you get into the dome to renew your strength? Or does this form mean, that you are whole again due to a strand of luck? Or the help of Seyella?  - Capher we need to find the others and get a fire going to warm all up, or they will die from cold, though they have survived the water. Or do you have magical means to get us warm, even if you cannot breath fire? Do you know if Ta‘las has already found Terra and her horse? Oh Capher, I‘m so glad that you are here. „  

She sure does ask a lot of questions, he thought. However, if Capher could have he would have smiled for he knew that she just cared. Finally he began answering her. "I did what I had to do Talia. I made the sacrifice so that you and the others could possibly defeat that sorceress and her elemental. I thank Seyella that you did.

I did some thinking as I was walking back to this shore; for Eckra to send such a powerful sorceress after us must mean that he really does not want me, us, to go to Ximax. So to Ximax we go.

No, I am not cured, being in my original form confirms that, for if I were cured I would be in the form you know me as. I am sorry Talia, but I do not breathe fire, as most of my cousins do, so I cannot help you make a fire except perhaps gather dry wood instead of all of this wet wood.

No Talia, I do not know if Ta'las has found Terra or Coore. Aminah, my horse, and Roosjie's fox, Inuya are missing as well.

"I have mixed feelings about being here Talia. I am glad that we are alive, but I do not wish to be a dragon. Dragon's have a tendacy to scare everyone and everything, except for those who think it is a good thing to kill one. There are so few dragons left in the world it is a shame when one of us dies; either by old age or by someone killing us. I, as a shapeshifter dragon are the rarest of us all, and I have not come across another one in a century. I sometimes wonder if I am the only one left in this world," Capher sighed inwardly as he answered her questions and thought about his kind.


Then Talia walks toward him. Capher gave her a curious look, as if to ask 'what are you doing?' but he stays where he is and then she reaches out and touches his nose. That simple gesture sent tingles up and down Capher's spine and gave him a warm, loving feeling; even in this form Talia cared enough for him to touch him! It boggled his mind, but warmed his heart.

With a sigh Talia rests her head where her hand has been, but only for a moment, then she smiles to the dragon.

Then she puts her head where her hand had only moments before had been. Capher could feel the softness of her skin and was concerned his scales may cut her, so he did not move a nailsbreath, then she took her head off his nose, smiled at him and said.

„It is hard to hug you in this form, you know! And your robe looks somewhat ridiculous."

"I wish I could hug you as well, Talia. And the robe is a mystery to me. Did you perchance happen to hang onto my staff?" Capher asked hopefully.

Before Talia answered Ta'las comes striding into the small grove, leading Desert Rose and with typical youthful humor as he sheathe's his weapon he remarks, "I've heard that a swim in the river can be invigorating.  I never would have thought it could do this."

Capher chuckled deep down in his belly, making a sound like a hundred thunderstorms.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on June 04, 2009, 01:34:30 AM
Capher noticed that Terra was swung over Desert Rose's back like a sack of potatoes. She did not seem to be concious. He recalled Talia saying that they needed to set up camp, start a fire and warm themselves up. Capher could see some of the surviors of the ferry gathering together, shivering from the cold and still frightened and confused.

He could also hear much weeping from those who lost loved ones. He vowed that Eckra will pay! But now they needed heat, dry clothes and Terra to awaken, as well as find Am... He noticed that she was thrown over Swing like Terra was thrown over Desert Rose. Why Capher thought Aminah should be included in their group he did not know, but somehow he sensed that she should be.

That was all Capher could do and frustration showed in his eyes as he tried to think of what else he could do. dry wood he thought. Capher shot a quick mental thought to Talia, I will be back with dry wood and took off crashing through the forest.

Capher quickly collected the wood, came back and placed it on the ground near the group. Capher then paused his work as he thought of how to start a fire. The tinder that they were carring was more than likely wet. He knew Ta'las was thiniking also on how to start a fire as he looked at Terra.

Suddenly Capher heard a whinny and saw Terra's horse Coore trying to swim against the current to get to their shore and wonder of all wonders, floating near Coore was his staff!

Capher turned to Ta'las and almost shouted in his mind. "Coore needs your help and I need my staff. Please get both of them they are coming down the river fast and will be here soon. Quick Ta'las, please save Terra's horse and try and retrieve my staff."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on June 09, 2009, 11:28:29 AM
The immenseness of Capher's voice ringing in the Shendar's mind was almost enough to overwhelm Ta'las, but the enormity of the task his friend has placed upon him leaves him momentarily stunned.  Save a horse from a fast river current?

He then remembers the many lengths of rope the group has with them.  "Talia, I will need your help.  Capher, you too.  I recall seeing something called 'horse taming' at a fair in Strata.  I did not think it was so humane, nor did it tame the animals.  However, it was effective at stopping them.  We will need to tie off as many ropes as we can to something heavy, tie loops in the other ends, and I will attempt to place them around Coore."  Then he looks out at the water and makes a face.  "I hope Coore will let me near him," he mutters to himself.

With the others' help, four ropes are tied to Swing and Desert Rose, and in the other end he ties a large loop held with a bow knot, so that it will sit snugly against Coore's coat, but not tighten against him.  "I will place the ropes around Coore's saddle, but do not start pulling until I can get them all secure, and make sure the saddle will not come off."  Then he looks over at Terra's still form, hoping his plan does not fail.  Coore is coming closer, Ta'las can see the mighty steed thrashing in the water, and managing to shorten the distance between himself and the shore.  The staff was nearby.

Ta'las pats Desert Rose's flank.  "My friend, you must pull when I call for it."

"Talia, you must make sure Swing and Desert Rose pull slowly, and keep in step in the same direction."  With that, he grabs the four free ends of the ropes and jumps into the water.  He wades out - Coore is only ten peds from the shore, but the water is deep and moving impossibly quickly.  The Shendar soon realises there is no possible way he will have enough time to tie off all four ropes, and so he quickly readjusts.  Ta'las lets three ropes go, drapes one over his shoulder, and then swims out to where Coore will pass by them - dangerous, considering he will only have seconds to get onto the horse's back and tie off the remaining line.  The Shendar bobs in the frothy surge and when the horse is near enough, he jumps on to Coore's back.  The horse kicks wildly and nearly throws Ta'las away, but he has been greatly weakened by his battle in the raging torrent.

The Shendar ties the fourth rope around Coore's torso and grabs the staff and the horse's reins.  "Now pull my friends!"



Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on June 10, 2009, 12:00:08 AM
Capher watched with pride as he saw how Ta'las sized up the situation and then went immediately into action. The boy is not only quick-witted, smart, strong but also very resourceful, Capher thought.

Capher watched intently as Ta'las waded out into the river and then he swam to Coore in the most dangerous part of the river, whose current was pulling everything downstream very fast. Ta'las caught Coore and then yelled for them to pull Coore out of the water after he had wrapped a rope around Coore's saddle.

Talia urged Swing and Desert Rose to slowly pull. The rope tightened and slowly they began to pull Ta'las and Coore out of the river. There were some tense moments when they almost lost Coore and Ta'las to the current pulling at them, but the rope held. In moments, which felt like years, Ta'las, Coore and Capher's staff were safely ashore.

Good job Ta'las. I am very proud of you, Capher said as he mind talked with him. Everyone was wet and Ta'las even more so. Capher knew that if they did not start a fire soon, Ta'las could probably go into shock from the cold; even now his teeth were chattering and he was shaking uncontrollably. Somehow even with all of that going on Ta'las placed Capher's staff into his right claw.

Suddenly the staff began to glow as did Capher's robe. Certain symbols of the staff and robe to glow and Capher could feel power flow through him. The other's just stared and watched as it seemed the same symbols on the staff and robe both glowed together forming a dusky blue hue that slowly bathed Capher.

Capher's eyes widend in amazement as the tops of the trees that he could see just a blink ago began to grow taller and he had to stretch his neck upwards to see them. Capher looked down and saw his friends look at him with jaws dropped in pure awe. Finally Capher was almost eye level with Ta'las when then the hue began to dissiapate and the symbols on his staff and robe slowly paled until the glow was gone.

Capher looked and saw that he was still mostly a dragon, but a very small one, and his right claw was grasping his staff. His robe covered him as it did when he had been much larger and the hood could cover most of Capher's face, though it could not completely cover his draconian nose and mouth.

Capher's thoughts were a jumble. He could not speak. He just stood there staring at Ta'las and Talia.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on June 13, 2009, 04:28:07 AM
Warm...

That was the first thought that entered Roosje's head. Then she snuggled back against something and drifted into deeper regions of sleep again. What woke her up finally was a sneeze. A small one, but enough to make her whole little body shake. Then she lay still, her white eyes looking around to find out where exactly she was. There was some light filtering through, but she was definitely inside somewhere. She reached out a tentative hand and found that to both sides, there was something, fabric? enclosing her. The difference was that on one side the fabric gave way a little bit, and on the other it did not. There was something underneath the fabric, which Roosje poked a few times, trying to figure out what it was.

She wasn't entirely sure, but in any case the warmth that she felt radiated from there. She used the relative firmness of that side to clamber up. From up above her there was more light coming in, so she thought that maybe if she stood up she could look out. As it turned out, she could, and the first thing she discovered was that from whereever she was at the moment, the world was quite a bit further away than she was used to seeing. However, that did not worry her so much, as she did occassionally get a ride on someone's shoulder, and that was even higher. No, what arrested her attention as soon as her eyes alighted on it was the form of an actual dragon right in front of her. The sheer size of the thing boggled her mind. All she could do was dive right back into what must be someone's breast pocket, with a squeal accompanying the dive.

Soon enough though, there was lots of talking and moving about, which made Roosje curious enough to overcome her fear and leave her comfortable 'bed' (she mentally adjusted her earlier assessment to 'a woman's breastpocket'). The small brownie poked her head out of the pocket again, this time to be confronted by the sight of the two strange desert riding beasts. Intrigued, Roosje forgot all about the dragon, absorbed as she was in what was unfolding - behind the riding beasts, she could see Ta'las in the water, tying a rope around a horse's neck. Talia - Roosje had decided it must be her, who else would work with these animals except for Ta'las, who was in the water? - was talking to the aj's, and somehow with a lot of team effort they succeeded in bringing the horse to shore. Roosje clapped happily, her own ordeals quite forgotten, and even the sight of the dragon forced to the back of her head.

She remembered him though, when she saw a sudden glow, which was concentrated around the huge beast. When the glow was gone, the dragon was still there, but he was a lot smaller - just the normal giant size, instead of so large that it could just as well have been a mountain as a moving animal, so large that she was about the same size as one of its eyes.

Since the others didn't seem to mind the presence of a dragon, Roosje soon dismissed him as a threat, instead focussing on something red streaking towards Talia's feet. Another squeal escaped Roosje's mouth, this one from pure delight. Inuya! Inuya had survived the raging waters, and had somehow dragged herself to shore, and to the right shore at that. The old little fox looked as bedraggled as she had ever been, and nevertheless Roosje had never in her life been happier to see anything, it was the most beautiful sight she had ever seen. Her excited moving and dancing in the breastpocket was bound to attract Talia's attention; when it did, she would ask the woman to put her on the ground. Nothing was more important now than being reunited with her own riding animal, who she had thought lost when she had flown overboard.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Aminah on June 17, 2009, 02:57:51 AM
Never has Aminah's mind felt so confused, so pulled in all different directions.  Was this conciousness or just another different dreamlike state?  It feels more like conciousness than not, but there is still something unusual tickling her senses.  She struggles to put her finger on it, but the warning is coming from her other sense, her ability, and that is hard to control even when her brain doesn't feel full of fog.  She is lying on something soft and smooth, but someone is moving her off it, lifting her away from the source of warmth.  Her eyelids flutter once, twice and she tries to make a noise but her body reacts slowly, floating gently and gradually into consciousness.

Ami hears the scene before she sees it, splashes and shouts assail her ears as she breathes deeply, regaining her strength.  A few moments later, although it feels much longer to her, she is able to open her eyes and push herself up into a sitting position.  There is a red-haired woman near to her, also unconscious, but no sign of her horse.  Her eyes travel upwards, towards the sounds, and rest on the huge mighty bulk of a dragon.  Fear and amazement wash over Aminah in equal measure as she gazes at the beast and she cannot move, is spellbound with awe.  The others don’t seem to be bothered by its presence though, or at least they aren’t running away.  One of them is in the water.

The Mindsoother pushes herself to her feet to get a better look at what is going on, but only to a crouch so as not to draw the attention of the dragon.  Someone is in the water with a horse, and two long ropes stretch to two of those weird beasts she saw for the first time on the ferry.  Another woman is helping to pull too, and Aminah suddenly realises that this is the group she saw earlier, all of them, apart from the old man who didn’t feel like a man.  And of course the dragon, who she definitely would have remembered.  Although hadn’t she seen a frost dragon attacking on the boat?

Ami surreptitiously moves over to the red-haired woman, checking to make sure she is still breathing and to see if she is too cold.  She is cold, but still breathing fairly strongly.  Aminah is not good enough at healing to know much beyond that.  The young woman quietly rubs her hands up and down the stranger’s limbs, trying to rub a little warmth into them.  There is wood in front of her but no tinder, nor does Aminah have anything to strike a spark.  Her tinderbox is most likely at the bottom of the river.  She remembers it was in Jadwa’s saddlebag, and feels a pang of worry for the horse.

A glowing light from the dragon catches her eye, and it begins to change form.  Aminah has no idea if this is normal for dragons, but cannot take her eyes of it.  She wonders if she should flee now, but somehow she doesn’t think these people want to harm her.  They could have saved her from the water for all she knows.  It’s as if Allahra brought her into their care.  Reaching this decision she rises, feeling less dizzy than she thought she would, and picks a handful of scrubby, scratchy grass from several clumps as she moves towards the group.  They seem distracted by the arrival of the gorgeous red shir, who in turn seems very excited about seeing the woman.

The dragon-creature’s face makes her gasp involuntarily as she catches sight of it, and she bows her head in a mixture of respect, fear and embarrassment.  She shivers, mainly because she is cold and becoming increasingly aware of it as she gains consciousness, and addresses the group without looking at them.

“Thankyou for helping me, I am truly grateful.  Your friend over there with the red hair is very cold, and I would have started a fire if I hadn’t lost my tinderbox.  I don’t know how else to help her.  I do know how to tend a cold wet horse though.”  She indicates the beast they have just rescued from the river. Her face is worried, as she is thinking about her own mount, who will also be cold and wet and is most definitely not used to either.

****

Aminah's black mare had jumped ship when the ice shards began to rain down on them, the stinging hail driving her into panic mode and telling her to flee in any way possible.  She had followed the lead of a number of cattle who were being herded into the river by their frightened masters.  Their kicks and cries had mingled with the rush and thrust of the fast-moving water but the smells of the other animals around her kept her going onwards.  The Azhorhrian horse was built for stamina and she didn't give up, even when a couple of the cows around her were sucked under by the current.  Aided again by the other beast's masters, she followed the herd to a shallow beach where they could scramble to safety.

And then she stood ashore, dripping and exhausted, her own tortured breathing mirroring that of the handful of beasts who made the shore with her.  She barely even noticed the men beginning to round up their rescued cattle until one comes and takes hold of the reins to lead her away.  There is another horse beside her and neither belong to him, but he's lost at least three of his herd and will happily take these to make up for them.  Jadwa, however, is still awash with terror and he cannot replicate the comforting touch of her own mistress.  Rearing suddenly, she pulls away and his numb hands cannot keep hold of the sodden reins.  The saddle, little more than a blanket tied around the mare's middle, has slipped backwards onto her hind quarters and the rope digs in around the soft fleshy part of her belly as she rears.  A quick buck does nothing to dislodge it and the strangeness of the rope spurs her into another onslaught of panic.  She pushes into the other horse who is blocking the way out, nipping viciously to get it moving.  The two animals begin a flight along beside the water, galloping at first but quickly slowing to an exhausted lope.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on June 18, 2009, 12:41:35 AM
Capher's mind slowly unjumbled itself as it comprehended what had happened. Somehow the staff and robe worked in tandem and shrunk him to his original height as a human, however for some reason they could not make him human, so a dragon he still remained, all except his thoughts. Once again Capher realized that he was still thinking like a human instead of a dragon.

He glanced down at the staff being held by three claws instead of a hand. He pondered the significance of the staff and robe; the walk down by the river in the Vale, a piece of wood that suddenly changed, his robe changing as well and then himself. What or who could have caused all of this? Eckra? No. He would not help Capher in anyway. His master Ethan? Could he have possibly found a way to break through Eckra's magical webs to help him? That could be a possibility, but not probable as Capher could not even communicate with him through his book and that too a lot less magic than what took place here. There was one other possibility, but that possibility boggled Capher's mind...Seyella.

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending upon how you veiwed it, Capher's thoughts were interrupted by the young girl they had met on the ferry before all of this happened. Capher recalled her name was Aminah and that she had the special power to reach into people's minds...a mindsoother, they were called. She had seen his cowled face, and bowed her head. Why would she do that? Capher thought. She then spoke.

“Thankyou for helping me, I am truly grateful.  Your friend over there with the red hair is very cold, and I would have started a fire if I hadn’t lost my tinderbox.  I don’t know how else to help her.  I do know how to tend a cold wet horse though"

Capher looked at Terra. If they did not get heat soon she could become quite ill. He glanced back and forth from the dry wood he had gathered and his staff and a thought began to form. He looked at Talia, but she seemed preoccupied with her animals. Ta'las was also dripping wet and needed warmth as well, however as soon as he heard that Terra was cold he had rushed to her side.

So the only other person, besides Roosje, who Capher did not know where she was and hoped that she had survived, though he did see her fox, jumping around Talia and Swing, which was making Swing nervous and it was quite comical seeing Inyua jumping around trying to not get stomped on by Swing's huge paw feet; even Desert Rose was becoming agitated by the fox's yipping and jumping, was Aminah.

Capher directed his thoughts toward her. Aminah, tell the others to move away from the wood. I am not sure of my powers. It never occured to Capher that Aminah had never heard someone speak directly to her nor who that person was? Capher just reacted or acted as he saw fit.

Capher faced the wood pile, picked up his staff and pointed it at the wood. He thought, fire and again some of the staff's symbols began to glow, and a stream of fire shot out from the tip of the staff and lit the wood. Capher was so happy that it worked that he forgot to stop the fire and it soon began to consume more and more of the forest behind the beach, until it started a forest fire.

Capher panicked, he thought no but that did not work. Then Capher thought no fire and the fire stopped coming out of his staff. But a raging firestorm was eating its way through the forest behind them. Capher knew that he had to stop that fire, but how? He looked up into the clouds, pointed his staff up and thought rain, again his staff glowed and suddenly there was a crack of thunder and it began pouring and pouring putting out the forest fire but also putting out their own fire.

Capher thought, no rain and the rain slowly stopped, and the sun came out, but now all of them were drenched. Capher was at his wits end. It would be no use trying to get dry wood now, everything was wet. What a mess he made of things. Capher sat down right into a puddle. He did not even care. The more he tried to help, the worse things had become. Eventually though it became discomforting he absent-mindedly thought, I wish I was dry and again his staff glowed and he could feel heat, the puddle dried up as well as his clothes. Capher stood up astonished.

Capher then looked around and pondered how his staff worked. It seemed that he had to think of specific's, not generalities. Capher thought. Capher decided to put his theory to the test. He directed his thoughts toward his staff. Dry up my friends.The drying spread to the others and soon their clothes and bodies were dry.

With astonished looks his friends looked at one another. Capher now turned his thoughts to the animals and to the astonished animals, they also dried. Capher was elated. He then looked at the wood pile and the forest beyond and knew that their surviors who were also drenched so without thinking specific he just thought dry to their pile of wood and down the beach and the rain soaked forest and the...river. Capher quickly turned and saw that the river was steaming and rapidly drying up. no dry!] Capher thought, and soon the heat left and the cold of Autumn returned.

Capher sat down on a burnt, but dry log...exhausted and exhilerated at the same time.



Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on June 18, 2009, 05:03:18 AM
Exhaustion is overcoming Talia, but finally Coore, Terra‘s horse is safely out of the water, for Ta‘las has done a great job. But they are all still terrible cold and wet, Ta‘las even more so, as he had to go back into the cold water. ‚A fire‘ is all she can think of, and at the sight of the wood the Capher-dragon has collected her confidence sprouts again a tiny little bit, like the first green buds on a branch.

 But how should they light the fire? All things are wet, or lost. She is about to look, if her tinderbox might be still dry, when  the next assault on her sanity is showing - Capher is shrinking until he is not much bigger than a man. A first, Talia doesn‘t know, if that is good or bad, but then she is relieved, for it is at least easier to travel with him to Ximax though he has still most of his draconic features.

She has not thought about the little being she is carrying until a red something is jumping around her and between Swings paws.

Roosje! How is she!

And then she feels a familiar touch on her chest, though a bit different than it was when she still had her dunemouse. Roosje is awake and rummaging inside her breastpocket.

„Roosje my dear, your fox is here, let me put you down!“

Very carefully - with much more caution than she has ever used for her dunemouse, she takes the fragile little body of the white brownie out of her pocket. She looks at her, smiling, and as Roosje smiles back, the world is whole again for a moment.

„Was a pleasure to carry you and see you alive again, if you are too tired to ride your fox, be my guest again.“

Inuya though is standing on her hindlegs, her forepaws scratching on Talia‘s trousers, whining to get to her mistress. So there is no  time for more conversation. Talia has to tell the shir first to stand quiet, which she obviously understands, for she quickly presents her back to Talia. A moment later Roosje sits on her back. 

Talia looks again to the heap of firewood, notices, that the strange girl she found is awake and bows to Capher, that Terra is still unconscious. She wants to find a way to burn that heap of firewood, when again things are starting to get weird, simply weird.
Capher is playing with his staff and using magic, but obviously he has to learn it first, as Talia horrified notices. The firewood starts to burn, then the wood behind it, then a heavy thunderstorm with  down pooring rain follows. The rain ends and somehow they all get marvelous dry, then the river boils, and calms down again.

In the end Capher sits exhausted on a burned, but dry log. All, including the animals, seem to be warm and dry.

Talia has given up to wonder about anything, or to be horrified, thinking alone too long about what has just happened would make her doubt her sanity. So she puts all away with a mental stroke, as if she would clear a table from now not needed items. She goes over to Capher, bows down to him and embraces him, drawing his bent down head to her chest, not minding his strange appearance and pushing the  slightly uneasy feeling to have a dragons  head in her hands away.

„Oh Capher, you have done well, we are all warm and dry now, now there is nothing more to do than sleep to recover.“ And while she caresses his head and back, she cannot help but to tease him, tired as she is does not prevent her from being a little bit high-spirited. Maybe it is just, that she is relieved.
„Maybe next time you don‘t need to upset the elements first and it will work without a big fire and a thunderstorm? And it is great that you are smaller now, your big nose was not so enchanting that I miss it.“

Finally she releases him and stands up.

„Lets find a place to sleep now, I think we need it all.“


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on June 18, 2009, 08:54:26 AM
Despite having spent many months in Capher's presence, the Shendar is noticeably astonished by the transformation - both physical and magical - that has taken place in his friend.  Ta'las keeps his thoughts to himself after having seen Capher struggle to control his magic for more than a couple of reasons, the primary one being that this group needs to find a place to sleep, as Talia has suggested.  Worry still fills the Shendar as he looks at Terra's unmoving form.

"Thank you for seeing to Lady Terra," he says quietly to Aminah with a tired smile.  "You are welcome to travel with us if you wish.  I am Ta'las, of the Shen'Kasi, and this," he says patting his aj'nuvic's flank, "is Desert Rose."  Then he looks critically at Lady Terra, who is still laying on his aj'nuvic's back.  "I hope there is nothing more wrong with her than the chill of the water, but it is very possible she was injured by debris or the rocks on the shore of the river."

He looks at Talia, Capher and little Roosje.  "There is a small clearing not far from here.  It is dry enough to spend the night and not too far away.  I do not want to move Lady Terra very far until we know she is all right.  I also think you should avoid using your magic at the moment, Capher.  I think you will need time to grow into it, my friend."  He looks over at Aminah and nods.  With that, he leads Desert Rose back through the pathway he took to get to Capher and crosses a small rocky streambed that turns north into a grove of maple and ash trees that surround a grassy area about fifty peds wide and nearly twice as long.  He travels slowly enough so Desert Rose doesn't jostle Lady Terra and so the others don't fall too far behind that they can still see him through the trees.  Coore is right behind them, occasionally nudging Terra with his nose when he gets chance.

Once Ta'las reaches the clearing, he finds a spot protected from wind and lays down his aka'pis blanket and bedroll, both of which are surprisingly dry as a result of Capher's magic.  Then, he sets down Lady Terra on the blanket and covers her up.  Coore stands protectively beside her.  The Shendar then looks around for some dry wood and begins to start a fire.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on June 23, 2009, 01:33:13 AM
Capher listened to Ta'las and shook his head in wonderment. What clearing? He looked and all he could see was balckened tree's, standing like the earth had become one huge porcupine, and scorched earth.

Capher curious followed Ta'las lead them to a patch of sooted soil, took out his bedroll and laid it on the ash, gently took Lady Terra and laid her on it and covered her and then began to look for firewood, and with blackened, crumbling pieces of wood tried to start a fire.

Capher could not believe his eyes. Was Ta'las under some sort of spell? No, he had been fine when he jumped into the river and rescued Coore. So what was making him act so strange? The cold! The cold of the river must be affecting his mind, as well as his coninually worry over Lady Terra. Ta'las was in more danger than Terra was!

Capher thought. He had to do this delicately or else they could lose Ta'las. But his mind speech would not do, until Ta'las was ready to accept the truth. He glanced around him and saw that Talia, Roosje and even Aminah had followed, but they too were looking at Ta'las with puzzled looks upon their faces.

Capher spoke to all of them at the same time, though he did not know if it would work, but he had to try. Do not be afraid. I am talking to your mind directly. This is Capher in case you do not know. Ta'las is very ill...he has a sickness of the mind caused by the freezing cold of the river. He was in it too long and his worry over Terra has taken his mind to a different place. Aminah I need you too relax, soothe, his mind so that when I speak to him and show him the truth he will be able to see without too much shock to his mind. Talia and Roosje pretend to go along with Ta'las until he acknowledges the truth and then we all can get moving on the road to Ximax and perhaps find an inn along the way to rest up. Terra is fine, just exhausted, and not wet nor cold anymore. My magic, or I should say my misuse of magic did all this and as we and our animals are warm and dry, so is Terra, except in Ta'las's mind. If you understood everything I have just told you, tell me. I can hear speech, just cannot speak it.

Capher awaited their replies. In the distance he heard a horse whinny and trot toward where they had been. He was a bit curious, but he quickly turned his attention back to the matters on hand.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on June 23, 2009, 03:40:23 AM
At first Roosje was too excited about being reunited with her mount to pay much attention to what was going on. She had no idea that the fire had gone quite as far as it had, though she did notice the downpour and the subsequent drying, which happened quite a lot faster than it should, leaving herself and Inuya rather warm and comfortable (even if the fox's fur did stand out a bit). The Brownie followed the others, though she didn't really realise what was happening while she was scratching Inuya's special spot.

It was only when she heard a voice inside of her head that she jumped up to find that they had reached some kind of burned-out glade. She watched it with open mouth - had the fire really been this bad? And where did that voice come from? It said it was Capher, but Capher wasn't here... or was he? Roosje's eyes widened and her mouth dropped even more when she connected the human-sized dragon with Capher. All she could do was nod her head that she had understood him, though she didn't even know if he had his attention on her to see her nod. Ah well, better to show him she understood by doing what he had asked, anyway.

Nudging Inuya, she made her careful way over the charcoal until the red fox reached the bedroll where Ta'las had put Terra. Roosje was never any good trying to help set up camp, too small to be of any use, but at least she could show Ta'las that she was worried about Terra too - even if she was more worried about him, after Capher's explanation. Still, she tried to act as she would if Terra was really still cold and wet, though she wasn't entirely sure how that was. She let Inuya settle close to Terra's cheek, so that the soft animal fur stroked her face with each breath the fox took. Then Roosje climbed up on Terra's arm and started tucking in the blanket even better than Ta'las had done, even if it was not really necessary, considering the care he had put into covering the woman. Still, she wanted to do *something* to feel useful, a feeling she always had around the time they set up camp.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on June 24, 2009, 06:45:27 AM
Terra begins to stir ever so slightly under the blanket tucked around her, the warmth spirred by Caphers magic finally sinking into her chilled core and rousing her from her heavy sleep. Her body though is still to heavy and stiff to sit up or open her eyes, noises around her are a mere inaudible murmer. Try as she might she can not drive the heavy wait of the long enforced sleep from her mind or body, nor has the dry warmth sunk deep enough into her to drive away the last of the cold chill in her. Still she repeats to herself, "I must wake up. I can't let the cold win.".

This had been a different cold though, it was not exposure to icy winds, nor had she awaken rested in such cold. She had been exhausted from the battle and then the struggle to stay afloat on whatever she could cling to, the cold came from the water and penetrated through her armor, saturating it and her body. The struggle to cling to floating debris did not help warm her, nor did she have enough strength left when she made it to shore to do any more than draw her head above the tide.

Slowly though she could feel herself wake, the weight lift, the warmth driving away the chill still lingering in her.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Aminah on June 25, 2009, 09:36:33 PM
The being wearing the cloak seems to be deep in thought when Ami gets to him, and she feels almost guilty when her words startle him out of his reverie, then immediately defiant - they really did need to warm people up.  She jumped to work at his words, only realising moments after that she hadn't actually heard them with her ears.  But she had heard them.  Ami turned to look back as she was reaching the others to see fire roaring out of   She drops down on the floor with her arms over her head.  Well, for a few moments at least, until her curiosity overcomes her fear and she sneaks a look at the action.  Flames rush upwards from the branches and trees around her and Ami feels the heat from her position. 

Then, almost as suddenly, it stops and rain begins to pour down from the sky instead and she is as wet as she was when she came out of the river.  It is the cloaked not-quite-man, it must be, and from the way he held the staff it seems as if it was coming from there too.  Who had she found?  Who were these people?  As she began to get up she noticed that her clothes were dry too, as instantly as the rain had started and the fire had stopped.

She smiles a little nervously at Tal'as's words and follows the small group to another patch of soot-covered grass.  To be honest, this wasn't what she looked for a clearing really, but maybe these people wanted soot for some reason?  She waits patiently whilst the man took Terra off his beast, Deset Rose he had called it and lays her down on the ground before him.  Ami watches, confused but not wanting to say anything, until the cloaked figure's voice sounded in her mind once again. Then she wants to say too much, but isn't sure how to phrase it so that it wouldn't disrupt whatever healing Tal'as had to go through. How did he know what she could do for starters?  How could he possibly know when she barely knew herself? Still, that man did need help.  Could she really justify leaving him without it just because she was getting a bit freaked out by his friend?

Going over to where Tal'as is standing, she gently takes his hand, hoping he won't pull away and smiling and emitting as calm an aura as she can, begins to attempt to work her magic.  She pushes the worries and bad thoughts to the back of her mind, breathing slowly and listening to the soothing sound of the gentle waves on the shore.  She reaches out for the other hand, hoping he will take that too.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on June 30, 2009, 11:39:24 AM
Ta'las smiles back at the young woman - he has not met and Azhorhrian before, and there are as many different ways of greeting someone new as there are tribes, so he accepts what he thinks the greeting is, for the moment.  "I uh - hello.  I - huh?"  Then, however, he begins to feel a sense of calm wash over him, and something like an ocean tide.  He sees her reach out other hand, and briefly he considers disengaging from her, but the sound of the ocean waves is very compelling, and reminds him of his mother-sister.

The Shendar looks around at the group - something in their eyes tells him that something is wrong, and he wonders if he has been acting strangely again.  However, the presence of the evil sorceror - the one who would have him murder Capher - is no longer there in his mind.  Just this sense of calm.  When he takes Aminah's other hand, a sense of peace like he has not felt since leaving the Vale washes over him.  Briefly, he feels an urge to open himself to his Second Reality, but this is neither the time nor the place.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on July 01, 2009, 06:00:13 AM
Capher watched with interest as Aminah first took one of Ta'las's hands and he saw Ta'las's face lose its worry lines, tight knit brows and skin around his mouth to a calm and when Aminah took his other hand Ta'las's face seemed so peaceful, it looked liked it was in a meditative state. Capher was pleased. Aminah's powers were working. Now it was his turn.

Capher thought about approaching the two but decided against it. It may break the tenous bond that Aminah has with Ta'las at the moment. Capher decided to just speak to Ta'las. Ta'las, this is Capher. Please listen to what I have to say and do not become alarmed. The cold of the river has somehow affected your mind. We are not in a grassy grove. Do you not remember I accidently burned some of the forest? You have put Terra on sooty ground and the wood you are trying to start a fire with is crumbling dust. Believe me when I tell you these things. Try, with Aminah's help to see the truth of what I am telling you.

That was all Capher could do, now it was up to Ta'las himself along with Aminah's help.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on July 02, 2009, 05:00:46 AM
Things are not right, nothing is right. Ta'las has wanted to lead us to a clearing to rest and has stopped in the part of the forest which Capher has just burned down. Why? And now this unknown, strange woman is holding his hands as if she knows him from his childhood! Who is she and what does she want?

Talia sits unhappy on the ground and watches the group. Terra starts to stir, Roosje and her fox is near her as well and Talia considers going over to them also, but somehow her body doesn't move. Staring at Ta'las and the woman she suddenly feels jealousy, but wonderes herself why. She has never had the feeling towards Terra.

Oh Baveras, why is life so complicated.

She puts her head on her knees , not trying to watch anything and just waits for whatever would come next. Her aj'nuvic is restless as well, shaking its head and scrabbling in the dusty ash.



Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Hieronimus Kupfdrubus on July 08, 2009, 07:39:42 PM
Two days ago a cart, fairly old and worn looking, has left Ximax with the destination Caelum. It is looking, as if it has undergone some repairs lately, the greying wood of the side-walls has new, light marks, where a new canvas out of leather, spread over some wooden bows out of willow, was freshly fixed to it to provide some shelter from rain or wind. As the canvas covers all sides, a look inside is not possible, but one wonders what could still be in there, for various objects like pans, plates, mugs and other tools for repairing things and some bags are hanging along the outside, clanking and rattling while the cart moves along.

The horse which is pulling the cart is a good fit - it is as grey as the cart and as worn, though a considerable amount of strength seems still to be in it. Sharp tongues claim, that a baneg must have been one of its ancestors, because it s back is so broad and its head looks weird. But otherwise it is thin, rawboned, stronger  and more persevering than expected. His back is sacking, but its legs are strong.  The hair is scrubby and its mane shaggy,  but it is grey, overall dark grey, just the mane and tail is of a lighter shade.

And so it is called „Grey“ by his owner, an old man, who is currently driving his cart towards the ferry over the Dorashi river. The Shivering Woods lie already behind him, which heightens his mood, for this strange forest did never please him. If the horse named ‚Grey‘ harmonises with the (older parts of) the cart, the more does the man match his horse.

Grey are all his clothes, dark grey his pants, a slightly lighter grey has its hooded robe, which he cut to a length just  under his knees. A rope serves as belt, he has various pouches with useful things hanging from it. He says, his hair is silvery, and so he needs only something white to have all colours he likes most: silver, grey and white. For this purpose he carries a piece of cloth with him, nearly the size of a ped in each direction, a blow-rag, which he uses frequently. Sandals grey with dust and bleached by the sun complement his clothes, summer as in winter, what he wears underneath his robe nobody has seen yet.

He is a rawboned, thin, but sinewy old man.  His nose is protruding a bit more than he liked when he was young, his ears have starting growing again with the coming age as well, his eyes lie like grey lakes on a rainy day deep in his wrinkled face . They are accentuated by the nice dark tan of his skin which he has required through former voyages and his recent travels. His lips are thin, but they seem  to smirk somehow all time. Most times. Not when his eyes take on a stormy color, should he be upset. To his despair his hair has lost its former glory, and though he is not bald by any means, it gets thin on top of his head. But nevertheless, it is thick enough to allow soft silvery grey curls to fall on his shoulders.

But there is a bright spot on this cart as well. Next to the old man sits a girl of around eleven, though her age is not easily to tell. Red curly hair frames a little pretty looking round face, her skin colour is  of a healthy tan, though it seems not to be very clean and so what is really sunburned or dirt is not to be judged easily. Especially around her mouth traces of the meals of today can be seen which melt easily with the freckles on her nose and cheeks. But her huge green eyes let you forget the dirt in her face. Under a blanket which covers her shoulders she wears, with the grace of a princess, a dress which might have been green once. Her feet are lost in boots which look warm, but are definitely too big for her small stature. Currently she is very cheerful and charms the old man next to her with her laughter and jokes, while they drive along the road to Caelum, only a few strals away from the ferry.

„Hiero, do you know, what‘s the difference between a kuato and a cart?“

„No, of course not, my sunspark, was is it? Tell me!“

The girl giggles before she answers, leaning towards him and searching the warmth of his company: „The kuato runs up trees and the cart is made out of trees as well!“ She giggles even more, if that is possible and Hiero only shakes his head in amusement. In the distance strange noises could be heard, the screaming of men and beasts alike, but as the old man has problems with hearing well and the girl is distracted, they go unnoticed.

Until suddenly the world in front of them, the trees of the forest they are travelling through burst into flames. This is no natural, slowly beginning fire, but a tremendous assault towards the forest and its inhabitants. From whom? Only a mage could possibly do something like this, a Ximaxian mage, a damned Ximaxian mage, the old man thinks.

The horse shys at the fire, but the old man reigns it in with firm hand and brings it to a stop. Then he stands, hands high in the air in a wide posture and calls:

„Grothar, you almighty god of the weather, I call for you help, send water from the sky so that this evil fire will  be expunged from the earth to your eternal glory!“

And to his surprise, it works, Grothar has heard his prayers and now a very heavy rainfall is soaking all, the forest, the old man, the girl and the horse, though the horse is more used to it, than  its humans. Hiero sinks back on his seat in wonder‚ Grothar has forgiven me whatever I have done wrong long ago , all my doubts...

„Hiero, Hiero, it has worked!!!! Grothar has listened to me! I imagined a huge wall of water falling down on that fire and he did it, he did it! I didn‘t even pray, I just wished it! But it worked!“

Hiero‘s joy and pride falters, is put out like the fire before them. So it was not his prayer which extinguished the fire, but the wish of his young apprentice. So young and already this powerful - and close to his god. With a little smile, trying to look not too disappointed, he takes the girl in his arms, wet as they are both. He wants to say something, but he can‘t.

And then things get even stranger, more frightening. They dry up, all dries up without no reason, the clothes, the horse, the cart. Magic, damned Ximaxian magic. Who is out there? Who is so irresponsible to do such big magic and hurt the normal beings and violates their right to a normal, undisturbed life?

It may well be the disappointment which drives the normally merry old man into rage. He does not consider, that such a mage might not be pleased to be disturbed by an ex-cleric of Grothar. He sets out to find this man. He does not have to drive for a long time. After a stral or so, a huge tree  blocks the road and he has to stop. But not far from the road he sees a movement and determined to bring the mage to justice, he jumps from the cart and goes towards the people, the girl unnoticed by him follows him.

He sees a group of people gathering in what might have once that nice clearing near the road. One woman is lying on the ground, another sitting with her head on the knees, a third, strangle dressed holding the hands of a strangely dressed warrior. Apart from two horses even stranger looking animals are standing aimlessly around, and a red fox!?!  But he doesn‘t really notice them, he only sees a hooded man sitting on burned log, holding a staff in his hands. That has to be the culprit!

And he goes near that figure, outraged, and stirs with his own walking stick, pocking the man-like figure.


„What do you think who you are? Setting a whole forest on fire and using evil magic to dry things up in an uncontrolled way! Have you not learned at Ximax, that you shall not disturb the nature! That you should use your magic with care, and only for the good of the people? What for an irresponsible guy are you? Go back to your towers and stay there!“



The girl who had followed the old man slightly plucks at is sleeves. Unwillingly he shakes off her hand.

Go away Mimi, this is not your business, you could be hurt.“

But Mimi continues to twitch his sleeve, but this time she whispers.

„Hiero, don‘t you see, that is no man, that is a .. big lizard!“





Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on July 09, 2009, 04:11:27 AM
Capher sat on the burned log waiting anxiously for Ta'las to say or do something. Aminah was doing her part for when Capher spoke to Ta'las he felt her magic upon Ta'las and it even affected him for as long as he was in touch with Ta'las's mind.

Suddenly there was movement behind him and a gravelly voice yelling. „What do you think who you are? Setting a whole forest on fire and using evil magic to dry things up in an uncontrolled way! Have you not learned at Ximax, that you shall not disturb the nature! That you should use your magic with care, and only for the good of the people? What for an irresponsible guy are you? Go back to your towers and stay there!“

Capher paused, thinking. If he turned and faced this man the man would see a dragon instead of who he thought he was yelling at which sounded liked he thought Capher was a Ximaian mage. Which under the circumstances that this man had probably just gone through; the fire, the rain and then the drying up, was understandable. Capher really had no idea of the powers of Ximainian mages, nor did he care for them as they were strangers to magic; they learned magic, whereas Capher and some others, like the Brownies were born with magic inside them. The only reason they were going to Ximax was because of the supposedly Orb that would help him recover his full powers.

He heard the man say something to someone, "Go away Mimi, this is not your business, you could be hurt.“

There was a pause and then he heard a girlish voice say, „Hiero, don‘t you see, that is no man, that is a .. big lizard!“

Capher almost chuckled except for the fact that he could hear fear with a slight slice of awe in the girl's voice. It was that fear that made Capher's decision for him. He did not turn and look at the two behind him and hoped that Talia, who had seemed to have lost her cheerfulness and optimisum, was sitting on the ground with her head on her knees would say something. There was no one else except Roosje and would those two be afraid of her as well? Not many have seen a Brownie and especially a pure white one! Though the way the man spoke, it would seem that he knew somethings, since he seemed to know something about magic and how it should be used. That was the most curious thing about the man, Capher thought.



Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on July 09, 2009, 11:49:58 AM
Ta'las is still lost deep in thought when Capher's voice speaks into his mind.  The sound of his friend speaking inside him is enough to jar him from his contemplation, though Capher's words shock him.  What does he mean, by sooty ground?  The clearing here is a green meadow surrounded by tall trees-  And then another enters the clearing - or rather two others enter the clearing - an old man and a young girl with red hair, who almost looks like Terra, except that the girl's hair is curly.  And then he looks at the woman standing in front of him, as if he has never seen her before.

Why am I holding her hands?

And then it dawns on him that the air around him smells like burnt wood.  It is a smell he remembers from his early days as a scout, when he had come upon a village that had been burnt to the ground, and nothing remained but the blackened shells of several small houses.  He lets go of Aminah's hands as the clearing comes into focus and he sees things for what they are - the ground and the trees around them are black and dead - burned by fire, though it does not look like any fire he has ever seen.

"Sorceror's fire," he whisperes to himself, and then recalls the time they came upon the clearing where the others had fought the demon that had nearly killed Talia and Lady Terra.

"Lady Terra!" he gasps, as he notices her lying in the soot for the first time.  He kneels down to pick her up.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on July 10, 2009, 02:56:11 AM
Terra's eyes heavily slide open as arms slide beneath her, through the disorientation of such a long sleep she can tell from the way his arms are under her that the fuzzy form over her must be Ta'las. The smell of ash and soot fill her nostrils and so she stiffly turns her head trying to focus her eyes. They fall upon a robed figure on a log with a staff as they finally begin to come into focus, the face of the figure makes her gasp in start before her mind can begin to put it all together.

She takes note of the unfamiliar man and girl behind the figure, but something failure keeps her attention on him as the takes in every carving on the staff, every stitch of the cloak before looking back to Ta'las with a questioning look.

"Capher?"

She asks as she stiffly begins to sit herself up.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on July 10, 2009, 03:22:35 AM
When Roosje was done tucking Terra in, she stood for a moment leaning against the woman's chin, considering what to do next. Ta'las and Aminah were holding hands, part of the instructions that Capher had given, and the dragon himself was intently facing them both, though Roosje could not hear what he was 'thinking' to them, since it was only directed at the two humans and not at anyone else in the group. Talia was sitting down, apparently not paying attention to anyone. So naturally, when a rickety cart drawn by a grey horse moved towards them, the Brownie's natural curiosity took over, and she climbed up on Inuya to take a closer look.

Out came a just as crickety old man, who purposefully strides over to Capher and starts prodding him with a walking stick. Roosje urged Inuya closer, trying to hear what he was saying, but it just confused her. Did the Storyteller even have a tower? Ah well, he might, she was discovering every day that what her people told about the Storyteller was not even close to what he really was.

The next thing she heard made more sense though. A girl had joined the old man to point out that he was actually poking a big lizard. Roosje had Inuya trot around to where she could see the old man's face, wanting to see his reaction. She didn't think that she might attract the attention of either of them - they seemed too intent on Capher to pay much attention to anything else, especially something as small as she was.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on July 18, 2009, 01:52:32 PM
Relief is evident in Talas' feaetures as Terra regains consciousness and speaks Capher's name.  The Shendar is still embarassed for mistaking the soot in the clearing for a grassy meadow.  He looks to Capher, awaiting his friend's response to these newest arrivals, and whispers quietly to Terra.  "Our friend is showing even more signs of change, as the elves of the Quallian had predicted.  We must reach Ximax soon."  As he spoke those last words, Ta'las shivers.  For once, he is looking forward to the comfort of an inn - the events of the last couple of days have greatly weakened him, but the Shendar refuses to show it.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on July 23, 2009, 06:31:28 AM
Talia is lost in thoughts, she is far , far away in a land where the winds are warm and the smell of water means life, not being wet and cold. She waits for things to come and go, and maybe finally they will be in an inn, in a bed, safe. For a moment she thinks she should go over to the still unconscious Terra, but she doesn‘t find the energy to get up, to do anything. Roosje is with her, and surely that woman will look after her and Ta‘las. Ta‘las, he should not be here, he should be back home in the Raház-Dáth, guide people unknown paths, gamble his fortune away in a night - all would be better than this.

But suddenly she is pulled out of her mental absence - someone is railing at Capher and she looks up!

„What do you think who you are? Setting a whole forest on fire and using evil magic to dry things up in an uncontrolled way! Have you not learned at Ximax, that you shall not disturb the nature! That you should use your magic with care, and only for the good of the people? What for an irresponsible guy are you? Go back to your towers and stay there!“

To her surprise she sees an old, grey-bearded man pocking Capher with a stick and scolding him! And next to him a red-haired girl, telling him, that Capher is no human, but a lizard! A lizard! Talia nearly chuckles.

In a first impulse she wants to get up to defend her friend, but then sinks back, for Capher is surely able to fend for himself. Somehow the situation has a funny aspect and Talia is watching what might come.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Hieronimus Kupfdrubus on July 23, 2009, 06:47:56 AM
„Hiero, don‘t you see, that is no man, that is a .. big lizard!“

The old man blinks at the words from the little girl. A lizard? A lizard???

Hieronimus Kupfdrubus does not know, what to do with these words. So he just walks around that hooded figure to have a look at its face. Definitely not human. But what... a mask! That must be a mask!

As his eyesight is not the best anymore and such things like spectacles are only for the famous persons like Dalá Valnnía and as the mind sees what it wishes to see, Hiero sees a mask.


So, you not even dare to show your face, I didn‘t know, that the Ximaxians are such cowards. But with such stuporous magic as you did I do not wonder, that you want to hide your mug. Believe me, I will report to those who have a say in the academy, what I have seen today!


With that said and a bit uncertain what he could do at all and fearing a bit, that this mage might be dangerous - so irresponsible as he had acted he might be even a villain -  he orders Mimi to follow him, turns around and leaves the clearing, with no look at the companions of that mage.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Mimi Dorgren on July 23, 2009, 07:06:51 AM
Mimi is exited. Lately it has been a bit boring, though travelling with Hiero is definitely better than staying in Nepris, but as they didn‘t do any wonders, no cloud pushing or letting it snow on a warm day, the allure of the first weeks has made room for some monotony.

But now - never before she has seen her old mentor so angry and shouting! He is such a nice companion, friendly and patient with everybody! He walked straight up to that person and pocked him! Mimi is fascinated. Even more, as she discovers, that there is no human face under that hood, but, well, a lizard one. Should that be one of those psss, pssyr-something she has heard about?

Of course she doesn‘t follow his advice to go away, nor the second to come with him, when he leaves the place, still in rage. For the lizard man might be very interesting, there is something much more fascinating - a fox, a red fox and on top of it a tiny, white, living doll!  A doll like only a princess might possess it, with a procelain (or what was the word for those fine white mugs in the temple she had been with Hiero?) face, so finely made. She never saw such a doll, but she always imagined, that a princess‘s doll must look like this. And it was alive!

In admiration she sits on the ground, where she holds out a hand towards that fabulous little person.

Come to me, I won‘t hurt you....


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on July 24, 2009, 03:14:01 AM
Capher had tried to keep his true appearance hidden from the old man but the man after hearing from whom Capher assumed was his daughter told him that he was a lizard, the man instead of leaving walked around and stared at him. He began yelling at him, calling him a coward and threatening to tell the academy. The old man,heiro, Capher thought the young girl had called him still thought that Capher was an academy mage gone amok.

Capher was uncertain what to do. He certainly could not mind talk to the man; that could cause more problems than it was worth, yet somehow Capher knew that this crotchety old man and his red-headed daughter were sent to help them. How? Capher did not know. The old man turned and left after his rant and ordered his daughter, Mimi, to come with him. However as Capher turned his head to look he saw that Mimi had a mind of her own and had become fascinated with Roosje and Inuya and was trying to talk to Roosje.

Why Ta'las nor Terra or even Talia did not speak up on their behalf he had no idea but Capher had one chance. He spoke to Roosje. Roosjie, tell the girl who we are. We need her and her father's assistance."

Capher hoped that Roosjie could convince the daughter and her father to help them.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on July 29, 2009, 06:31:39 AM
Terra though still a little under shock and bewilderment of waking up to such strange surroundings and situation absently rubs Ta'las' arms as he shiver. She considers  asking what had happened, but seeing Capher eye the old man she thinks he may be of significance and attempts to stand stiffly using one of Ta'las' shoulders to aid her. She attempts to pursue the man, her stiff legs slowing her, her mind like her legs stiff in thought, it does not occur to her at first that the man may be a danger. Eventually both begin to wake, and as she begins to catch him in her pursuit, as the fact he may be dangerous reaches her cautiously she moves her hand closer to her Moonblade.

"Sir. I am not sure what friend may have done to anger you, but if I may ask how far we are from Ximax?"

Despite her call to the man he seems so caught up in his rage about whatever may have occured that he does not respond at all. Terra resides herself to not getting answers from him and stands considering what to do next. She decides to return to the clearing and her friends, she gives Ta'las a reassuring smile as she approaches Capher taking a seat on the log beside him.

"You don't look well my friend. Is there anything that can be done to help you?"

Her hand raises to rub in a gentle worried manner at his back seeming no more concerned by what she feels then worry for his health.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on August 07, 2009, 02:27:17 AM
Capher was waiting for Roosjie to tell the girl Mimi who they were and that they needed their assistance when Terra got up from off the ground and chased the old man, but did not seem to reach him, though he heard her yell for him. Perhaps the old man is a bit hard of hearing, Capher thought.

Terra came back, sat down next to him and rubbed his back and even asked him how he was! Capher was astonished! She could see that he was mostly a dragon but she seemed to have no fear. Was their group that tied together that no matter what happened they would know each other, even if their complete body would change? That was an intriguing idea and he would have to meditate on that. But for now he decided to mind speak to Terra and see what happens.

Terra, I have turned into my original form. I am astonished that you show no fear and that you seem to know me, though my appearance has changed so drastically. But that is for another time. Right now I believe this old man and girl was sent by Seyella to aid us. I have asked Roosjie, whom the girl, whose name is Mimi, to tell her what we are and that we need their assistance, but either Roosjie cannot hear my mind speech, or she has been terrified because of it. Anyway, could you please try and talk to the girl and try and convince her and her father or grandfather, to help us?" Capher asked.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on August 07, 2009, 04:10:52 AM
"Come to me, I won't hurt you."

Well, it looked like she had drawn someone's attention after all. The little girl was looking at her, a light of curiosity shining in her green eyes. Hmm. Not the most ideal situation, Roosje thought. She'd had some experience with human children before on some of her missions, and many of them - some exceptions notwithstanding - seemed to have trouble grasping the idea that she was actually a living being, capable of feeling pain. Being squeezed by grubby children's hands was not something she particularly enjoyed, and so she was planning to stay on top of Inuya where it was safe - until, of course, that voice came again from out of nowhere, asking her to tell the girl who they were.

Roosje was getting suspicious of this voice. It was all well and good telling them that it belonged to Capher, but did it really? She had accepted it as such before, but then there had been happening so many things all at once that she'd just kind of automatically reacted. Nevertheless, the dragon-form that she had earlier connected with Capher did seem to be looking at her as Terra rushed past towards the old man - she would say expectantly, but she was not quite familiar enough with lizardy faces to be quite sure of the emotion to be read under the cowl. That would seem to corroborate the words in her head. What made up her mind, though, was Terra returning and sitting down next to the draconic figure, and actually rubbing his back. She can't hear what and if she is talking to the dragon, but if she can be so friendly with it, its words that it is Capher must be true.

So, despite her reluctance to be anywhere near grubby hands, she got off Inuya, climbed up the proffered arm and managed to get up to the girl's shoulder, where she pushed some red curls to the side so that she could talk directly into the child's ear - which was all quite a lot easier than having to shout just to be heard. She was not quite sure how much she could say, but she decided to go for a shortened version that would undoubtedly tickle the girl's fancy.

"Ok, so! The group of us that you see here, we're a band of adventurers trying to do something really important, something that will save the whole of Caelereth! And our... robed friend... there on the log, he's actually our leader, and he has all kinds of talents, but there's a bad guy trying to take his talents away from him. We need to get to Ximax to make him strong enough to fight the bad guy, but we would need your help with that. Do you think you could convince your grandfather" - she was taking a chance with that one, she had no idea what the relationship between the two was but it seemed to her that the guy was too old to be her father - "could help us?"


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Mimi Dorgren on August 09, 2009, 07:15:45 AM
Mimi is terribly fascinated, when the little doll - no it is no doll, but very much alive - is climbing up her sleeve - after hesitating only so slightly before taking up the task to conquer such a steep ‚hill‘. She makes herself comfortable on her shoulder and speaks directly in her ear, removing some of her hair, which tickles Mimi slightly. Mimi tries to look at her until her eyes nearly vanish in their sockets and start to hurt. The little magic person on her shoulder tries to tell her about what the group wants, but Mimi is still too carried away from the experience to have a white living doll sitting on her shoulder, that she doesn‘t take much notice of it. Only when Hiero is called her grandfather, she starts to laugh and answers her new acquaintance.

„Oh no, Hiero is not my grandfather, he is my mentor, he is a cleric of Grothar and I‘m his apprentice! You know, I think Grothar granted me a wish and put that fire out your mage initiated.“

The mentioning of the „mage“ brings Mimi‘s attention back to the hooded cloak, and suddenly her childlike joy of seeing and getting to know this small, white person is pushed back, she realises, that the situation is not as harmless as she has thought. Her cautious intelligence of an eleven year old child is back.  As she doesn‘t dare to touch, or even take the little one in her hands, she just asks her to get from her shoulder.

„ Please, little one, climb down, I need to catch up with Hiero. I don‘t think, that he wants to help you; we are on our way to Caelum, he has there important business. And your story is not very convincing - your lizard person has burned down that forest, at least Hiero thinks so, why should he help you? But ask him yourself, if you dare. He is really very angry. You see, he loves the trees and the forest - and hates magic which is .. misused, especially if it is done by Ximaxian mages.“

Waiting for her guest to climb down, Mimi looks now around with more attention for the other persons  - and animals. And sees two very strange ones she has never seen before.

„What is that?“ she asks, pointing to the ai‘nuvics. Again her intent to follow Hiero is weakened.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Hieronimus Kupfdrubus on September 28, 2009, 06:33:19 PM
Hiero realises, that Mimi has not followed him. Angrily he turns back and sees her still sitting in front of that strange mage. Uneasiness creeps over him and he shouts for the little rascal.

"Mimi, Mimi, come at once! Now!"

I should have not taken over the task to look over that young person, I‘m to old to watch over children, be they gifted or not. But then, whom else do I know who would have done a good job? Not many. This child needs its freedom - as I do.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Mimi Dorgren on September 28, 2009, 06:39:09 PM


Mimi is disappointed, that nobody answers her question. Not her little new, cute acquaintance, nor that strange mage-lizard Hiero is so angry with. And now Hiero is shouting angrily at her. That means he will be grumpy for the next hours.

Carefully she places her little living doll on the ground, telling her:

„I‘m sorry, I would have loved to play with you! It would have been fun for both of us! But if you don‘t want, I can‘t help.“


Getting up from her position on the ground, she yells back at Hiero: "I‘m coming soon, don‘t worry!"

A last critical look at that lizard-mage : [color=greyStrange, that I don‘t fear him, shouldn‘t I?[/color] And she turns around to have a last look at these strange animals. A woman is sitting on the ground next to one of them. Slowly she advances her, maybe she will give her an answer. Hopefully - for she doesn‘t want to loose a lifetime‘s chance to get to know something about them! Hiero has to wait. After all, he is only his mentor and not his father.

Turning now her attention towards the woman with that animal, she asks - from a safe distance of course:

"Hey, you, what‘s that for a beast you have here?"

The woman, who has watched so far the whole scene with more or less interest, suddenly smiles at Mimi:

"That's an aj‘nuvic, she is called Swing. She is my.. well, she is very close to me, and we are coming from the very south of Sarvonia, from the desert Ráhaz-Dáth. But you better hurry now, your companion is calling you. But wait, could you tell me, is there a place to stay over night somewhere near?"

Mimi is surprised about what the woman has told her. She would love to stay a little longer, but suddenly that ai‘nuvic makes strange noises and looks somehow straight at her - not like a beast, but like a human, and that frightens Mimi more than the lizard mage. So she answers quickly:


"Oh, there is an inn the way up to Ximax, just half an hour away, or so. Not very nice, Hiero says, but well... "

And suddenly she feels unwell, and is glad that Hiero is waiting over there.

„By!“  She waves to that woman, turns , including all the others as well, and then runs over to where her mentor is waiting impatiently.

Strange folk, definitely. Maybe it is better they are away now.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on September 28, 2009, 07:12:58 PM
Tired to the bones, Talia gets up.

You have heard yourself, what the girl has said, so let‘s move and get to that inn.

It doesn‘t need much persuasion, all are trying their best to get their stuff together to move on. Ta‘las helps Terra, and so all are finally on the way to that tavern, where they will stay for the night.

The next day sees them refreshed, but not in a very good mood. Capher‘s condition is worsening and so they try to get to Ximax on the very same day. They look for an accommodation and find a decent inn just inside the walls of the town. When all have settled down, Talia insists, that Capher will see the people in the academy now. Finally he agrees, and Ta‘las and she are going with their weak and changed friend to the gates of the academy.

The gatekeeper is not happy to see the late visitors, but when Talia resolutely pulls Capher's hood away, exposing his dragon head, they get entrance granted immediately.

Talia does not know, who it is who greets them finally. He has not introduced himself to them. Should it be the archmage himself? His clothes are very finely done, expensive looking, though not adorned as much as one could expect. He simply asks, what they want, and as Capher seems not to want to speak for himself, Talia says:

Our friend here needs help, as you can see. He is a shapeshifting dragon, the last of is kind, and we think, that only you can help him, as you are closest in magical power as one can get to him. And we have a prophesy from the elves. I‘m sure now, that this stanza is Capher‘s :

Wisdom will fail
and strong wings will weaken
the wolf will die
is not old magic
renewed in the eternal spring.


Maybe you know, what the eternal spring could be?

"I might," is his answer.

He bows to Capher.

"Welcome, master, please be our guest. Please follow me, we will do for you what is in our ability. I hope the orb...  "

The mage leaves with Capher  without even saying good-bye to Ta‘las and Ta‘lia, leaving them alone. But they have not the time to talk about what has happened so surprisingly quick, as another, obviously lower level mage enteres the room and leads them out to the gate.

When will we see our friend again.. is what she wants to ask, but the door is already closed.

"Oh Ta‘las, what have we done? Was that alright? What will happen to Capher? All went so qickly, I‘m so afraid."

Tired to the bone and emotionally exhausted she hugs Ta‘las, looking for some comfort.
The bed in the inn is comfortable, the blanket soft, but Ta‘lia worries so much about Capher, that she doesn‘t come to a rest. She cries into her pillow, not wanting the others who share her room to notice it. Finally she falls to sleep, but in her dreams she tries to question that mage...


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Capher on October 01, 2009, 02:48:00 AM
Capher understood human speech he just could not speak it anymore. The little girl tells Talia of a tavern up the road where they could get some rest and then she and her father, at least that is what Capher thought the old man was, left, going on their way. The rest of the party gathered their things and packed the Aj's and horses and since none of the animals would come near him, especially his horse, he walked behind tham.

The time it took to get to the tavern did not seem very long at all. They all got rooms and some sleep, except Capher who could not because his thoughts kept him awake.

The following day found them riding fast to Ximax and they enter into the outer city of Ximax. Capher had felt its magical energies briefly at the tavern but inside the outer city the ebb and flow of magic was almost palatable to him.  They found a nice comfortable inn, settled in and then Talia insisted that they take Capher to the academy, even though it was a bit late by now.  After much persuasion from Talia, Capher finally agrees and they go to the academy where they are met by a gatekeeper.

The gatekeeper is not happy to see them, but when Talia pulls off Capher's cloak off of his head the gatekeeper immediately grants them entrance.  Soon they are met by someone, no introduction on his part just the question of what they wanted.

Talia quickly explains; "Our friend here needs help, as you can see. He is a shapeshifting dragon, the last of is kind, and we think, that only you can help him, as you are closest in magical power as one can get to him. And we have a prophesy from the elves. I‘m sure now, that this stanza is Capher‘s :"

"Wisdom will fail
and strong wings will weaken
the wolf will die
is not old magic
renewed in the eternal spring.

Maybe you know, what the eternal spring could be?"
She asks.

"I might," he answers her and then welcomes Capher and leads him away without so much as saying good-bye to Capher's friends and the door is closed to them.

Capher turned his head as the door closed and if he could have a tear would have fallen down his scaled cheek.










Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on October 01, 2009, 11:28:05 AM
It almost feels like he is walking in a dream, as they finish the trek to the city of Ximax.  Even their meeting with the wizard of the academy does not register with Ta'las.  He does not even have the presence of mind to wave to Capher, as his friend leaves with a stranger in this strange place.  At the inn, he is finally woken from his stupor when Talia hugs him and voices her concerns for Capher.  Uncertain what to think or say, he simply hugs her back.  Looking over her shoulder, Ta'las sees the compassion and concern in Terra's eyes; they are both worried for their friend.  He isn't surprised when Talia lays down in her bed and immediately falls asleep.  Ta'las pulls the blankets over her to cover her, and then turns to Terra.

Though he is tired, Ta'las does not want to sleep.  The group has been through much on the road since leaving the Vale, and the Shendar still is disturbed at having been possessed by the dark mage - first at the small tavern, and then again at the ferry landing.  Though the sorcerer had been the source of his murderous intentions and hostility, the after-effect of the possession is that Ta’las 'feels' like they had been his own.  Ta’las draws strength from her presence – he knows those feelings are also false.  A remnant of a spell designed as a last, embittered attempt by their enemy to divert them from their quest.  The Shendar embraces Terra and sighs – it feels good to hold her again.  

Strong is your will, your friendship true,
but evil is sly, deceives the best
be watchful to not to fall
for cheap diversion.

"I haven't felt like myself since leaving the Vale, Lady Terra, but I think I am better."  He says quietly, as he rubs the small of her back.  “From what I can tell, our enemy used only a small fraction of his true power.  The Elven elder, Aikirana, was right – we will need more than what we have to beat him.”

Ta’las strokes Terra’s cheek and then kisses her.  “I’m not sure, but I think all along Eckra has been trying to keep us from looking for something.  This sorcerer’s spell that overtook me earlier could be the ‘cheap diversion’ that caused me to lose sight of our goal.”  His voice drops a little.  “We nearly didn’t get here alive because of it.”

“Tomorrow morning, we start looking for someone who knows about the armoury of Tris.”


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on October 03, 2009, 12:35:07 AM
Terra allows herself to be easily drawn into Ta'las' embrace, it feels to her safe, peaceful, as if in those moments the battles just stop. His hand on her back made her body go slack into his arms, she gives herself over to the embrace, the worries of their journey melting away as her head sinks to his shoulder. Her mind seems to go blank of all but him as she listens in attentive blissfulness.

"I am sure we will find what we need Ta'las, my love."

Her words are soft with bliss, she wishes the moment would never end as he brushes her cheek, and then blushes as she bashfully returns his kiss. She finds it strange how she has not become accustomed to the intimacy they now share and yet longs deeply for it when it's not present. The feeling though is quickly dismissed as she gives herself over to the moments she longs for, the warrior in her telling her always their may not be another in life.

"Battles, Wars are filled with such diversions my love. They are often fallen for, but it is in how we react to the realisation of them that will determine if the battles we fight are won or lost. Do we use our heads and do something our enemies themselves will not expect, or do we continue our blind charge hoping things will turn in our favour."

Despite the boarder of bliss, Terra speaks as a warrior, the things she has learned, and the things that are in her blood, and yet her body remains slack and relaxed against Ta'las as if it were only natural they would speak of battles and war.

"Do you think this armoury of Tris will have something that will aid us?"


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Roosje Greenfields on October 04, 2009, 08:41:11 PM
Roosje does not sleep. Inuya is dreaming, she can feel the involuntary muscle movements beneath her where she is  lying against the warm body of her mount. She does not know what is keeping her awake, she is tired enough from the ride here.

She is annoyed. Quite likely, that is the reason she cannot sleep. These people came to the Vale looking for help, and she was sent with them with exactly that purpose in mind. And then? Then they went on to practically ignore her. She feels like she is tagging along because that was what she had promised, but what is it bringing her except for life-threatening situations? The need to have Inuya run all the time to keep up with those impossibly long-legged things, and to shout all the time if she wants to be heard, because they can't hear her conversational tones unless she's sitting on their shoulder, next to their ear.

The problem is, of course, her size. She knows that it is easy to overlook something as small as she is, so she does not really blame them for it. That's always the problem with these great lumbering giants, anything that they don't immediately see is quickly forgotten.

With her blanket wrapped around her, Roosje gets up and walks around the dark common room. She had opted to stay out here, rather than be locked into a room that she couldn't open the door to. The fire was banked when the innkeeper went to bed, but it is still emitting some warmth. The white brownie goes to sit next to it, staring thoughtfully into the glowing embers. She wonders what the day will bring. She will stay, of course. She promised, and she is not one to break a promise. But she does wonder if there is no way to get the others to pay more attention to her.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on October 06, 2009, 10:05:17 AM
"If what Leofin told us is true, then that is where we need to look for the Sword of Fury.  It, along with the Anvil and the Heart of Thalambath will all be needed for us to defeat Eckra.  The Elves seemed to think it would be difficult to find someone who could tell us how to find the lost armoury, but surely there must be someone in a city of scholars who can help."  The Shendar is so caught up in his thoughts as he speaks them aloud, that he does not immediately recognise how close Terra is, and the warmness in her voice.

Ta'las continues.  "Which brings us to another problem - how do we get back the stone? We left it behind with the dwarves in the Halls of the Tenthrum.  I wonder if..."  An odd thought strikes Ta'las, giving him the feeling that Capher had purposely left the Heart of Thalambath with the dwarves, but he shrugs it off.  Terra's hair smells nice, and the dim candlelight highlights the colour of her eyes.  "There's a lot left to do, Terra - we must ready ourselves."  For some reason, he thinks of Terra in her white dress, and he begins to lose his train of thought.  "Starting tomorrow, I will visit the library at the Academy.  And we...should..." 

Ta'las forgets what he was about to say and kisses Terra full on the lips.  He feels a mad rush of emotion.  "Let's find another place we can continue in private."


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Terra Artemos on October 07, 2009, 12:32:41 AM
Terra gives herself over to returning the kiss, her heart seeming to flutter and soar, in that moment there is nothing but him, and yet her cheeks take on a bashful glow.

"I would like that my love."

She breaths her reply softly, staying close even as Ta'las raises and tucking herself against them as his arm wraps around her. They encounter the innkeeper who had come to check on the last of his awake guests before retiring for the night himself, he nods and smiles with a twinkle of recognition in his eye at Ta'las' request for a private room for the two of them. Leading then down the hall the innkeeper remarked how they remind him of when he had falling in love with his wife, finally stopping before a door, unlocking it and handing the key to Ta'las. Terra is two busy swooning in Ta'las' arms to really acknowledge and exchanges as the innkeeper turns to retire and leave them to slip into the privacy of their room.


Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Talas Anthavin on October 09, 2009, 09:59:32 AM
Ta'las too, takes little heed of the innkeeper as he carries Terra into their room, and kicks the door shut behind him.  Desire overwhelms the Shendar as he kisses her, tasting the sweetness of her lips, and he breathes in the smell of her hair.  He has waited for what seems like an impossibly long time to spend this night with Terra, and Ta'las savours every moment - which takes the two far into the night.  He is both a fiercely passionate and considerate lover, losing himself in her embrace.  At the close of their night together, Ta'las lies next to Terra, holding her and watching the fluttering candlelight play off the features of her face.  He strokes her cheek and smiles softly, as he falls asleep in her arms.  The night passes the lovers by, and soon, the first rays of light angle through the window.



Title: Re: On the way to Ximax
Post by: Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels on October 14, 2009, 07:54:46 PM
It is past dawn, when Talia awakes. The soft, warm bed, the undisturbed silence and the relative darkness of the room compared to a night under trees have let her sleep much longer than she would normally. For some minutes she stays in bed, thinking about what all has happened in the past days, but then her unrest is too great and she rises from the bed.

Nobody is here, she is alone, and as she realises this, she sits down again on her bed. Terra, she assumes, is with Ta‘las, and while thinking at the two, a smile crosses her face. At least something which can lighten the heart. But there is no Terri either, and she misses her dearly. So many of their companions of their journey are now elsewhere. And she had thought always, they would stay with the group till the end, where ever that end would be, or when. Only Capher, the leader of their group and Terra are left from those who initially started out in the Herald. Later Ta'las was sent.. by the gods, to rescue her an she dearly hopes, he will not vanish as so many before. Capher. Her heart gets heavy again. Hopefully he is alright! Hopefully they can help him.

She is about to fall in a very dark mood again, sits on the edge of her bed and stares into the nothing,  but then her stomach rumbles, she shakes her head, being angry with herself. Finally she dresses to get down to look for a breakfast and possible Terra and Ta‘las.

And there, in the common room, she finds in a corner, on a stool, a red, curled up fox and close to his belly, protected by its legs, a tiny white little person. And Talia blushes. How could she have forgotten Roosje! Has she not already fought with them for their lives! Has she not slept near her heart to warm up.

She knees down to observe the two a bit closer. She wants to caress the Fox and the tiny white hair of the brownie, but her hand hovers over the fox and she dares not to touch one of them in their sleep. The fox finally opens an eye, but only looks shortly at Talia. It realises, that there is no danger and closes its eyes again. Talia stays a little while to look at both and promises herself, that in future she would not neglect that lovely little person anymore. That is not, what she deserves.

 Her stomach reminds her, that food is an essential for living  and so she leaves both, fox and brownie to order a breakfast for a human and a brownie. Terra and Ta‘las would have to do it themselves, the danger, that a hot breakfast might be cold when they arrived seems Talia to high. And again her heart gets lighter.

All will be well with Capher soon! And then we search with new power for the anvil!