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Author Topic: Finally in the valley of the Brownies  (Read 26949 times)
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Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels
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« on: February 13, 2007, 02:17:07 AM »

The Vale
« Last Edit: February 13, 2007, 02:20:38 AM by Talia Sturmwind » Logged
Talas Anthavin
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2007, 01:31:26 PM »

As Ta’las exits the Gorge through the area known as ‘The Gate’, he holds his one free hand above his eyes until they adjust to Injera’s light, and his mouth opens as he gazes upon the Vale of the Brownies.  To the north and just immediately to the south and east he sees two snow-capped mountains that rise abruptly and enclose a dense forest.  The Shendar notes that the forest canopy to the south of the river is particularly thick, and looks impassable.  Beside them, the river winds its way noisily over a stony riverbed through the forest valley far to the north and east.  The gravel-strewn passage out of the Gorge follows along the river for a time, but in the distance it is difficult for Ta’las to see whether it continues along the river, or works its way into the forest.  The air here is clear, the sky blue and free of clouds.  Above them, an eagle flies from an aerie nestled in a large rock outcrop in the face of the mountain behind them, and soars out over the treetops in pursuit of its prey.

“It is beautiful,” he murmurs to himself as takes a few steps forward, far enough to allow the others to exit the Gorge, and then he stops.  He glances over at Lady Terra, and sadly notes the innocent look in her eyes.  Then, for some unknown reason, he finds himself recalling their meeting with the elves in the Quallian, in the candlelit room where Siroled addressed them all.  Almost as if he were there in the room, Ta’las remembers the following stanza that had been directed at Lady Terra:

A scattered soul will only heal
if light falls in the dark
and only if you dare to feel
past sorrow as if new
No fear though needs to chase your soul
for friends will guard your path
and evil will be writhering
where your blade meets its wrath.

He shakes his head as the memory recedes, but the words are still in his mind.  He tucks that thought away and decides to think more on it later.  “If it is alright," he says, looking at the others, "I would like to stop as soon as we find a suitable place to rest.  Kenrill is heavier than he looks.”
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Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2007, 07:27:42 AM »

It doesn‘t take long, till they find a suitable place to sit down and rest. Soft green grass invites them to lay down and relax. On the other side of the path the river gurgles in his bed, hurrying towards the gorge, but not knowing yet about the turbulence its waters will meet.
A few boulders are guarding their back, tall fir trees are to the left and right, but the sight on one of the most prominent mountains around, the Mount of Chieftain is undisturbed.

Talia wishes swing, her aj‘nuvic, could be with her now. Swing would love this soft grass, though she was always a bit cautious as if she would not believe, that such plenitude was possible. But there is no Swing. Talia puts her rucksack onto the ground and just plumps down  on the green carpet, a sigh escaping her throat as she meets the hard ground.

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Terra Artemos
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2007, 03:26:09 PM »

Terra walked close beside Ta'las the whole way to where the group begins to take a rest, her cheeks reddening and a shy smile coming to her lips whenever she looked at him. It's quite clear she has a chrush on Ta'las long before they reach the resting place. Terra watches Talia settle in for a rest then looks at Ta'las.

"Lets go sit by my mommy!"

Without waiting for an answer rushing over to Talia taking off her pack almost carelessly throwing it on the ground before flopping herself down beside her. Terra looks over seeing the wishing and longing in Talia and cuddles up close.

"You miss your big riding animal, don't you mommy? I miss my horsie to. I'm sure they will be okay. That nice man will take care of them."

Terra tries to reasure Talia then suddenly switches topics excitedly.

"Mommy, I found a boy I like! He's cute and strong and calls me lady! When we camp at night can I play swords with him?"

Terra looks up at Talia and waits for an answer excitedly.
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Morcaanan
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2007, 04:08:37 AM »

"I think, Old Wolf, the answer to that should wait for a little while, so as to avoid repeating myself without need."

He followed the others into the sunshine; he felt that they should keep going on into the Vale...but already the party seemed pretty intent on resting. Perhaps they were right.
He set 'Teri down gently on the green grass and took a knee beside her - his attention for now focused solely on her. "How do you feel?" he asked.
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Eden Blunter
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2007, 05:13:07 AM »

When they come to the resting spot, Eden is glad to rest her sore legs. She was not used to such short bursts of energy and exertion. The dwarf finds her spot by the gurgling waters, sitting down on a clean, dry rock. Looking down, the cleric spot something most atrocious.

"Could this day get any worse!" she whines quietly, picking up the hem of her robes and examining with disdain the large muddy tear she had put into it. Smacking her lips, the dwarf sets to work rummaging through her workpack for a needle in thread, but in the process glances up at the rest of her party. Injury, possession, mutation... she was of no place to complain. Ashamed of her moment of materialistic weakness, Eden glances down at her robes. It is now she also realizes that she has maybe pulled her robes up too high and was revealing too much of her short, yet very shapely, legs fit for a woman of the rock. She blinks twice and looks up sharply, her face red with blush behind her beard, and quickly smooths down her robes hopefully before any sort of treacherous man caught a glimpse of her incredibly hairy legs.
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Talas Anthavin
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2007, 11:49:56 AM »

"Yes, we will rest here next to Talia, Lady Terra," the Shendar says with a smile.  He finds a soft piece of grass-covered ground free of tree roots and rocks, and then grunts as he carefully eases Kenrill to the ground.  He removes his cloak and rolls it up to place it beneath the halfling's head.   Looking at the size of Kenrill, who is actually thin for a halfling, he guesses he is tiring because of the battle in the Gorge.  This should not be, he thinks to himself, remembering the many times he travelled through the Rahaz-Dath and needed only a few hours rest to recover his strength.

He sits down next to the Talia and Terra, with Kenrill in between himself and the two ladies, as he catches his breath.  He also notices Eden stop to rest, and he nods to her.  "You did well in there, Eden, both with your magic and battling the strange creature that tried to drown 'Teri.  We are fortunate to have you with us."

Laying back on the soft grass, Ta'las closes his eyes and ponders what has happened - the fight that nearly cost them their lives, Morcaanan's return, Capher's transformation, Terra's condition, and his failed gambit.  It angers him that they needed luck to succeed where vigilance and preparedness should have been sufficient.  What an utterly foolish thing to do, he thinks again.  My actions almost killed 'Teri and Kenrill.  A Shendar should know better than -

His self-indulgence is interrupted when he realizes he is feeling sorry for himself.  Ta'las imagines the words his mother-sister would have for him.

He rests only a few moments longer before rising.  He checks Kenrill's bandages to be sure they are still secure, and then collects some dry wood - mostly broken branches to make a small fire, and then refills the pot.  As he does, he listens to Terra and Talia speak, and wonders how to treat Terra.  He crushes a few tea leaves into a small mug and adds some boiling water - it is not truly medicinal, but just something refreshing that he has always found eases his mind.  Then he sets the kettle on his blanket to warm it up - not too much - but just enough that it will slowly heat the halfling's chest, as Eden had mentioned in the Gorge.

When he is satisfied he has done what he can for Kenrill, he approaches Capher, his eyes still revealing his uneasiness around the old man.  He quietly asks, "Capher, is it best to speak to Lady Terra as a young girl, or should we treat her no differently than we normally do?"
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Kenriil
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2007, 09:51:58 PM »

"Sunlight," Ken comments, even before he opens his eyes. He mutters on, going from sunlight to grass and trees to birds to shortbows and stone-tipped arrows to blades to death, mentioning his brush with it, to thinking aloud about his past and future, which is a jumbled mix of his own fantasies and some mildly amusing incident. Finally again on the ground, he opens his eyes and begins groping about, looking for something.

Slowly, carefully the halfling stands, and begins to look about, while it can be obviously seen that the blade is in its sheath across his back, still Ken hunts about for it. Finally, he approaches Ta'las, asking, "Have you seen my sword? I picked it up right after I whopped on you - sorry about that - but then- I just passed out. I don't remember what I did with it, although I usually put it right here... Oh! There it is! (drawing it out and examining it) Why, the poor thing looks so neglected, it's probably been days or weeks since I've taken proper care of it. Say, you wouldn't happen to have a stone handy, would you? A stone and a rag, I think, and I'd be happy. I think there'll be plenty of water on the trail, so I could probably use my canteen for that without trouble - I need to wash my canteen out anyway. The water's been in there for a week now. It isn't good to keep it in there for too long. It turns..."
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Aueniteri
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2007, 10:31:02 PM »

"Morcanaan? Let's not go near the fire..."

She finds herself blushing deeply even at the suggestion, but it truly is what she wants - just to be alone with him. Eventually, she decides to answer his question. "I feel alright, I guess. I don't know why we're stopping - but maybe... you're probably
tired from carrying me. I'm sorry."


She looks up into his eyes again, and smiles. "I wish I could have gotten out of these wet things... but I don't think any of my clothes are dry anymore..."

Shifting, she removes her pack and sets it beside her, pulling things out and laying them in the sun. Her paper and charcoal are ruined, her fiddle, wrapped in a leather case, still mostly dry, but even it has suffered some damage. Her clothing, it turns out, is in somewhat better condition - the only dress that is not completely soaked turns out to be one of a dual-toned blue. For the most part, the single piece dress is a darker royal blue, with an open V in the front, which would run almost down to the navel. This V is filled with a lighter tone of blue, and tightened with a white lacing across the V.

Carefully, she lays her dresses out on the grass - one blue, one green, one a simple brown, one a soft pink-and white, and one simply white. "I'm going to have to change, I guess. I can't keep wearing this. I... think I can stand, a little, now. If only I had some place to change."

With a steady, deliberate motion, she turns her attention back to him. "Morcanaan..."

There are no more words. 'Teri, then, resorts to wrapping her arms around him and drawing herself as close to him as she can.
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Morcaanan
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2007, 09:26:07 AM »

Her worry about making him tired almost caused him to laugh; when she smiled at him, he felt as if could have carried her to Nybelmar and back without tiring.

He settled next to her as she pulled out her belongings for inspection, his eyes studying her face as she went over every item. Again, he felt the shame of leaving; such a fool he'd been, such a fool.

When she said she would need to change he began to suggest that she return to the tunnel entrance, as it might offer a semblance of privacy: and then her arms are around him and he doesn't say a word; he merely pulls her in and holds her.

"Aueniteri" he whispered. He wanted to apologize again, for leaving, for hurting her, for not being there...instead the words just never seem to come.
He pulled away a little to look her in the face. When they made it to their destination, he determined that they would have time together, hours, away from everyone else. He reached up and lightly stroked her cheek. After a few minutes, he reluctantly released her and said "You should see about changing if you can stand." He glanced over at the others. "Rest or not, we'll probably be moving again soon enough."
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2007, 11:10:43 AM »

"Alright," she says, putting a hand on his shoulder, "help me up."

She fails in her first attempt to stand, however, giving a tiny squeal as she tries to put weight on her legs. Sitting again, she looks hopelessly down at them, and then up to Morcanaan, smiling a little. "When I woke up this morning, I felt like a caged animal." 'Teri turns her gaze back to her legs and kicks them up and down a little. "Now I feel like a broken marionette. They're all... swollen and tingling. I guess- if they leave us, we'll have to catch up later."

This is said with a smile, and she leans forward and begins to gently rub her legs, trying to improve blood flow.
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Capher
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2007, 01:36:24 AM »

Capher whispered back to Morcaanan before he went and tenderly laid Teri down upon the grass, "Same goes for me to, I guess."

Injera felt good upon his face and he turned it toward it.  Capher could never figure out why his family loved caves so much.  Of course in the winter and high up in the mountains to be secluded deep inside a mountain where its lifeblood flowed, that could be the reason.

He smiled at Injera and then continued on his way out into the vale.  Capher took a quick glance to the east of the cavern entrance to see if he could see Garrek or his minions about and with his eyes he could see nothing but deep dark green lush forest. Capher thought about sending a tendril of magic to see if he could sense anything, however he shook that thought away quickly.

Magic was going to be something he would only use if and only if it was a dire emergency until he came face to face with this "rock" or "stone of Ximax"  It was purported to be here in the world long before he was, even the elves and that Capher found to a bit incredible; for the elves were the first children and his kind was born from the Tree of Life when Coor cracked it in down the middle.

Capher stood apart from the group surveying them and their surroundings. He watched Ta'las approach him and could see their was a bit of wariness toward him in his eyes; Capher did not fault him for it.  He smiled as Ta'las came up to him and asked,"Capher, is it best to speak to Lady Terra as a young girl, or should we treat her no differently than we normally do?"

Capher flicked his eyes toward Terra and Talia as he mused upon the question.  It was a valid one and one that Capher had not considered. To talk to Terra as a child would only support her view as one, yet it was also necessary, for he had seen inside her mind and knew that she had to go back as a child to finally confront the "blackness, the barrier, that held her back from being totally whole.

The barrier was of her own making, Capher knew, it must have been something so tragic and traumatic that as Terra grew up she just shut it away far down into the recesses of her mind, but now, for some reason Capher had not figured out yet, it had surfaced.

But, for us to continue the illusion, was it bad or good?  Capher did not know.  On the other hand to talk to her and expect her to act like the woman she was could only confuse the little girl that has manifested itself. Only the life magic of the brownies was her only hope now, as Capher did not trust his magic anymore.

He looked into Ta'las's questioning eyes. "Ta'las, I am not sure. I have two trains of thought on the matter, either one is valid, but either one could be wrong as well. My best guess would be to treat her as you would treat any other young lady you may come across until either two things happen; one, her mind finally comes to the point of the "barrier" she herself has built and will need to confront it and it will either destroy her or she it; which will take time, depending upon what age she thinks she is and what age she built the barrier or we find the brownies and with their life magic they can help her go right to the root of the problem and then help her confront and hopefully win over the "barrier" in her mind.  Myself, I plan on treating her as she treats me until something else comes along."

Capher shrugged his shoulders. "I am afraid my friend that that may have not been what you wanted to hear, but it is the best I can do. I do not trust my magic, therefore I cannot help Terra like I could nor Talia."
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Talas Anthavin
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2007, 01:22:19 PM »

It shocks him to see Capher so unsure about himself.  He places his hand on his friend's shoulder.  "My friend, as I have said once before, you are more human than you think.  I understand that you are reluctant to use your magic right now, and perhaps that is for the best.  But also remember the many times you have given aid to Lady Terra."  He glances at Terra and Talia, and then back to Capher.

"Even without your magic, you can still help Lady Terra."  He lets his hand drop and smiles.  "You just need to learn to trust yourself again."  Ta'las nods eastward, toward the Vale.  "For starters, I suspect you will have some part to play in finding the Brownies, who will be key to healing Lady Terra and Talia."  Then quietly he adds, "Whether it is your magic or your wisdom, your friends still need you.  All of us."

Ta'las claps Capher on the shoulder.
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Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2007, 01:05:08 AM »

"Mommy, I found a boy I like! He's cute and strong and calls me lady! When we camp at night can I play swords with him?"


Talia puts her arms around the woman with the mind of a child and answers as honestly as possible.


“Could well be, but let‘s wait for the evening, yes? We don‘t know yet, where we will sleep and how the circumstances are by then. I like Ta‘las as well. He is of the Shendar tribe I‘m part of as well. It is nice to have someone familiar around when the gods send tryouts to test our strength an our belief!“

Though somehow it is sad to see Terra in this juvenile state, it is refreshing to see her undisturbed enthusiasm as well. it is as if a little sunbeam has found the way in Talia‘s heart and she smiles, not especially to Terra, but more to herself - or to all the others as well.

Ta‘las sits down, with furrowed forehead - what does he ponder about? He looks after Kenriil whose mouth regains its consciousness before his eyes - as was to expect. The little man seems to be ok, despite his head wound.

Morcaanan puts Teri gently in the grass. She is all wet and Talia feels the urge to get up and offer her second set of dry clothes, but then she decides otherwise -  and Teri unravels her package and reveals several dresses - one of them is nearly dry. To Talia‘s surprise she doesn‘t go to change behind the next tree or boulder, but wraps her arms around Jeheraid. Talia has to look twice, before she can believe her eyes - Teri has been always so shy and contained. If that was the reaction of her nearly drowning or alternatively freezing to death in the river? Many of the group seemed to walk on the edge of their sanity.

Capher neither seems  to be his old self - what is not surprising either. Talia wonders about Morcaanan, Ta‘las and Eden. What is it, that has brought Jeheraid back? What drives Ta‘las to help them - just the word of his mother-sister? And Eden, who has arrived like a present of the gods?

Talia wonders, what lies before them, in the Vale of the Brownies, if the brownies would be able to help..

“Capher, Morcaanan, have you been here already, do you know if we reach a brownie settlement tonight? And do they have any accommodation for big people or do we have to camp under the trees?“





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Capher
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2007, 12:44:53 AM »

Capher smiled at Ta'las's suggestion. "Perhaps, my friend. Perhaps."

Talia then asks Capher or Morcaanan where the brownie settlement was and if they had accomodations for big people.

Capher looked at Morcaanan who was trying to help Teri up. Capher assumed that Teri was going to change clothes by the way she spread out her clothes from her pack, but that she was having trouble standing up.  It was then that Capher wondered how Morcaanan got into the vale and into the cave as he was far behind them the last time they had seen him.

Capher's eyes narrowed as he chewed on that bit of information and then recalled that Morcaanan told him he would tell all when they were all together.

Capher walked closer to Talia and Terra for he did not want to yell. When he became close enough to talk normally to Talia he answered. "The last time I was here Talia, you and the rest were not even born.  The brownies at that time did not live in what we would call settlements. They lived in the trees; their houses were made of leaves, twigs, wisps of fur and feathers from the animals they killed.  I recall at the time that there was one central place where all of the different tribes of brownies met under a huge towering Eur'Oak tree in the middle of the forest but I do not know if they still meet there and if even I can find it again."

He shrugged his shoulders, "Perhaps Morcaanan can find a trail or if we are blessed by Seyella we will come across a band of them."
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