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Author Topic: Respite in the Vale  (Read 36096 times)
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Talas Anthavin
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2007, 09:45:16 AM »

Capher

There is a short pause as Capher considers his answer.  Every delay gives Eckra more time to gather his forces, but if they wish to succeed in finding the Sword of Fury, he must be at his strongest.  He looks down and sighs.  "Yes, I believe we may have to travel to Ximax to find someone who can help me before we go any further, though my heart tells me to push forward."

He looks to the others in the cabin for reassurance that this is the right decision – Morcaanan, 'Teri, Kenrill and Ta'las.  Capher wishes he could speak to Talon to seek his counsel, yet these people were looking for him to lead the way.  He remembers his failure to control his power – first, on board the ship, and then later, in the gorge.  The old wolf begins to tremble and wonder if he will ever be in control of himself again, but then he recalls the image of his master calling to him, “Capher, I need you.  We have a job to do.”

He straightens, breathes deeply and looks inward, allowing himself a glimpse of the strength that courses through him.  When his eyes open, he looks more at peace with himself.  "Once we are finished here, we travel to Ximax,” he replies.

"For now though, I wish to speak with the leader of the brownies.  It has been many years since I've visited the Vale, and I have much to catch up on."  He smiles at the others and nods to them.  "My friends, I will return later today."  Then Capher picks up his pack, which he shrugs over his shoulder, and exits the hut.

Ta'las

The Shendar watches his friend leave the hut and raises his eyebrows.  “That answers that question, though we still have much ahead of us.  First being, what is the best way to get to Ximax?  If I recall my geography, it may be quicker to travel overland rather than by ship, as it is an inland city that is protected on the north, west and south by the Zirkumire and Magic Sickle mountains, which I do not think we will be able to climb.  The land route will take us north through the Anrios Gap and near the Shivering Woods, which are best to avoid.”

He looks up at Morcaanan and Kenrill.  “What do each of you think?”
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Morcaanan
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2007, 03:08:03 AM »

Morcaanan scratched the hair on his chin and shrugged. "Seems to me the decision has been made. I don't know that there is much more to discuss." He picked up his sword and stood. He was dressed in his breeches and undershirt, but made no move to put the rest of his clothing on.
"I am going to go practice, if any of you care to join me."
Without waiting for a reply he strode from the hut and went around it, following the vague track that he and Ta'las had taken to the quiet glen the day before - it struck him as a good spot to be; he noticed a Brownie astride an owl float past him as he walked.
When he reached the glen he slipped the belt of his sword and scabbard over a shoulder and reached for the sky in an intense stretch. Then he began to jog around the glen.
It was a short jog - just enough to make him perspire a little and make his heart beat quickly. Then he stopped, reached for the sky again, bent down and touched his toes for several long moments.
This ritual performed, he drew his sword and held it above his head, beginning a series of practice strikes from above and stepping slowly forward until he was halfway across the glen, then turned around and came back, repeating the actions in a slow, precise exercise.
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Aueniteri
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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2007, 04:33:35 PM »

'Teri fully expected Tulpje to climb her hand up to her shoulder - that was the reason. Now, with the brownie, she steps out the hut, noticing Morcaanan leave behind her. A brief sigh escapes her as he passes, heading around the house, and she takes her path in another direction. Not far off, she finally sits again, leaning against a tree.

"Yes, I'm fine now. No more hurting. It wasn't a bad hurt anyway, but I am thankful... I think."

If she didn't feel attracted to Morcaanan, something in her heart asks, how could she be grateful for anything? He had given her life, twice now. No, she was grateful to him, but something was wrong, something was strangling the desire to be with him.

"Iuá cár'reóll móh," 'Teri whispers, and then turns her head a little toward Tulpje. "I am lost... in here," touching her chest. "Do you know about that?"[/font]
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Tulpje Sweetshade
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« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2007, 01:57:38 AM »

Tulpje looked earnestly to the side, where 'Teri's head was quite close. She had a suspicion that the woman's words had to do with the man who had left behind them, Tulpje didn't remember his name. She'd heard - and felt - the sigh that had escaped 'Teri's lips.

"Do know." she nodded. "Is like... heart? wanting fly, but staying by earth. Like you here, but other you else place. I feeling too, long time. Not now." She didn't know why she did it, but she leaned over and placed a very light kiss on 'Teri's cheeck. "Be right. Only needing time." There was probably a better way of saying what she wanted to say, but she didn't know Tharian well enough to say it in any other way.
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Tulpje Sweetshade
Talas Anthavin
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« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2007, 10:46:33 AM »

Ta'las looks at Kenrill.  "We are left alone, Kenrill, but I think it might be good to visit with Morcaanan today.  We can get you some practice with your sword," he says, glossing over the obvious fact that he thinks Morcaanan could use some company. 

Then he winks at the halfling and smiles.  "Especially if you intend to take on Garrek and his minions on your own again."  He pats the halfling on the shoulder.  "What do you say?  Shall we go outside and enjoy the fine weather?"
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Talas Anthavin
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« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2007, 11:25:17 AM »

Uncertain whether Kenrill intends to follow him outside, Ta'las nods to the halfling and then exits the small hut.  Not knowing which way Morcaanan has gone, the Shendar decides to first follow the path up to the river.  The river gently laps against the river's edge, and aside from a few brownies hovering above him well out of hands' reach, the area is unoccupied.  Ta'las returns back to the hut and then turns down the second path he and Morcaanan had followed the day before.  He finds Morcaanan in the quiet glen, already well into his exercise routine. 

The Shendar then begins his own exercises - he takes several deep breaths and bends forward, to either side, and backward.  After a few minutes of stretches to loosen his arms, legs and back, he draws his dou'kili blades and focusses on a spot at chest height about one ped in front of himself, and at least ten peds away from Morcaanan.  Ta'las aims a series of attacks at that spot.  His strikes at first are slow and fluid, and he moves forward, then backward, and from side-to-side. 
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Aueniteri
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« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2007, 01:05:45 AM »

'Teri smiles when Tulpje kisses her lightly on the cheek, and she wants to give the little brownie a hug, but that is hardly possible. She contents herself by resting a hand up next to Tulpje, and thinking. "How does time make it right? Often it is said, time heals all, but is it really all? And really always? I wonder. I think we have to reb- m-make us, ourselves, right, but can only do it over time."

She tries to vaguely echo the brownie's ability with the Tharian vocabulary, only adding what she feels is necessary to get her point across.

"Tulpje, the man is good. He has done much for me. I am.. told him, not talk anymore, I did not always feel right. But... maybe... it is me that is wrong. Maybe I should just... thank him more. Be more happy for him, even if I do not see things to be happy about. Tulpje, would you like to see him? Talk to him?"
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Kenriil
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« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2007, 05:05:02 AM »

Ken watches everyone file out, and follows Ta'las, although he is a little behind. Soon, however, before he reaches the clearing, the halfling is lost in his own thoughts and commentary, wandering from the path and into the trees. He attempts several times to communicate with them, but the brownies treat him with caution - almost with fear. Ken begins to wonder why, if it could be something he's done, or just because he's a big person - yet if they are truly afraid of him, why is it that one or two, sometimes three, can always be seen following him around, either on foot or astride an owl? Ken's ponders this question extensively.
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Tulpje Sweetshade
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« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2007, 11:19:54 PM »

Tulpje considered 'Teri's words. She wasn't entirely sure what she was talking about. Saying something about 'the man' implied that it had to do with the one they'd passed, as she'd guessed, but she didn't know anything about their previous history, so she couldn't say where the problem lay. Perhaps she should ask, but first she answered to the first questions.

"Time not heal. You healing self. You say, 'this my way', and then you having peace. But always you needing time before say. All needing time. That reason why say 'Time heal wounds'. Before, I not good... did bad. I go away, go to lands of Big People, learn language, a little. But I not whole; I wound, inside. Loving Vale still, yes. So I come back. I ask sorry bad thing. That my say. Now I better, almost. I not knowing what your say. Maybe is thank you. Maybe is sorry, I not know. You know. You only one who knowing." She is silent for a while, then suddenly smiles an impish smile. She's not made to be serious for a long time. "I meet man, yesh. What name? I forget."
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Tulpje Sweetshade
Talas Anthavin
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« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2007, 12:23:45 PM »

As he stretches, Ta'las runs through the various fighting stances he has learned over the years, and in even less time than before the group had entered the gorge, he finds his focus again.  The Shendar's movements are fluid, as he thrusts and cuts with his swords - his body is constantly in motion.  He sheaths his weapons and launches himself into the air, aiming a circle kick at a point at shoulder height in front of himself.  When he lands, he reverses direction and flips backward, somersaulting in the air.  Ta'las lands again, but this time remains still.  He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, clearing his mind of his thoughts.  As he travels deeper inside his conscience, memories from his childhood once again assail him, but this time he controls their flow and focusses on the most recent events since beginning the quest.

He first recalls finding Capher and the others outside the Quallian, then Talia's healing and the meeting with the Elven Circle, their time in the gorge and finally the Vale of the Brownies.  Once again, the Shendar feels pressure at the edges of his mind, but he keeps it in check until he has searched through the flood of memories up to today.  When he opens his eyes, he feels rejuvenated.  Ta'las continues with his routine, mindful of what is happening around him in minute detail - he moves with ease and finds he is able to practice a little longer without tiring.  When he is finished, Ta'las resheaths his weapons and without a thought wonders how the others are doing.  In particular, he wishes he knew how Lady Terra's healing is going.

Once again he recalls his mother sister's words.  "Stop listening to your mind's words, young one, and open your mind to what's inside your heart."  This time, however, their meaning is clear to him.  Ta'las sets his jaw and heads off in the direction of the Council Tree.
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« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2007, 02:03:59 PM »

"The man's name is Jeharaid Morcaanan," 'Teri replies, her own expression lightly echoing the feeling she hears in the brownie's voice, and stands. "Yes, let me show you to him.

She stands, and making sure Tulpje is still firmly seated, begins a brisk walk toward where Morcaanan has gone. From her throat and lips breathes out an eery, yet happy tune, although it fades away when she enters the clearing, smiling softly. She lifts Tulpje from her shoulder and sets her somewhere high and safe, yet relatively close. "Wait here," she whispers to the brownie, then confronts Morcaanan, drawing her blade. "Care for some company?", she asks, smiling.
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Morcaanan
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« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2007, 12:32:24 AM »

When Morcaanan completed his high-guard exercises, he began a series of fluid cat-walks, spinning the sword to each side of his body with one hand while taking measured steps forward - more intimidation than a battle technique, better suited for a staff or club. But it forced concentration: misstepping or cutting the blade too close to his body and he would slice an arm or his face.

He continued his walk, the blade spinning faster and faster until it was an indistinct shining shield of singing steel on three sides of his body. The blade produced a slight whistle as it sliced the air.
The feat required concentration, but as his arm fell into the practice his mind began to wander a little. Back to the same questions as before: just why was he here? Should he go on with the others? Had the elf been right when he left the Quallian? She might be immortal, but it didn't mean she was perfect. Did 'Teri really care about him, or was he just some hero out of a story that she needed to latch onto?

He became so engrossed in the exercise and his own thoughts that he didn't notice Ta'las leave. The whistle turned into an audible "whiz" as his arm tired a little.

"Whiz-whiz-whiz-whiz-whiz-whiz-whiz-whiz-whiz-SNICK!"

The blade spun out of his hand and embedded itself in the soft earth of the glade. He took in a sharp breath - he had grown careless. He examined the the cut in his undershirt; no blood or flesh, just cloth. He sighed in relief and went to retrieve his blade, growling at his foolishness.
There was the slightest whisper and ringing sound as he pulled his blade from the earth. He whirled and his sword rang across another pointing at him.

"Care for some company?" asked 'Teri, smiling. It seemed a very impish smile.

Seeing her so unexpectedly caught him completely off guard. By Loreán, she was beautiful! He felt his heart catch and took in a deep breath. "I am not sure I have the time to train you." 'Teri had never struck him as being very comfortable with a weapon in hand, so he wondered if she even knew how to wield the sword she had in hand - but he put his foot back and took a more suitable battle-pose, in case she decided to try and make him eat his words.
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« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2007, 02:49:08 PM »

"Yes, I carry a show-blade, don't I? It's because it's all I could get..."

She takes as few steps toward him as she can, to put herself just outside of his striking range, and launches herself into the air, landing on her feet behind him with a single twist - timed for the end of her jump, and extending into her attack. She aims the flat of her blade toward his ankle, going down into a complete crouch, and, when the attack is carried through regardless of success, she somersaults away into a handspring, and back on her feet, finishing, "Off my father's carcass, where Garrek's assassins left him to rot."
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Talas Anthavin
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« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2007, 12:05:54 PM »

In the distance, the large Cinnabark Pine towers above the trees surrounding it – trees that have seen three times as many winters as the young Shendar.  Ta’las follows the forest path, aware that he is now being watched by several Brownies as he approaches their city.  What he can’t see, is that a large clearing nearly one hundred peds in diameter surrounds the Council Tree, because of the denseness of the forest understory.  Until he reaches its edge, where he pushes aside the branch of a small sapling and stops.  His mouth is agape as he looks upon the hub of the Brownies’ realm.

At the fork of the River of the Reeds and the Snake River stands the Cinnabark Pine that was magically encouraged to a height greater than a hundred peds.  Its blue-green needles stand out in stark contrast to the emerald green of the rest of the trees around it.  Adding even more to the ethereal nature of what Ta’las is seeing, is the great number of brownies flitting amongst the branches of the tree.  Blessed Seyella, there must be thousands – maybe tens of thousands! 

Undaunted, the Shendar steps into the clearing.  His smile widens as he nears the Council Tree, for he can now see the many doors and even small structures that have been built on the branches and even in the trunk.  He is now less than fifteen peds from the Council Tree, and finally several brownies on owls, eight with brown skin, and one who is green stop him.  Some carry blowpipes while others have bows – there is no maliciousness in their eyes, but they do look wary.

“Is the one called Capher here?”
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« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2007, 01:31:04 PM »

He stepped forward under her leap and whirled so as not to leave his back to her. He saw her descending into a crouch and jumped back, her blade swishing under his feet as she struck for his ankles.
Her nimbleness took him by surprise; but a person as light and lithe as she couldn't have much in the way of stamina - or so he guessed. He brought his sword back to a low guard and cautiously advanced.

"A show blade? It fits you." A touch of bitterness crept into his voice as he spoke and continued his advance. "You seem to be capable of quite a lot of show, come to think of it."

He stepped forward and in the same motion, cut his weapon up her left side and down again to her right, intending to crown her with the down-stroke if she side-stepped to avoid the up-cut. Using the momentum of the attack, he stepped forward again and spun, the blade coming up and around to aim for the side of her skull and bringing him back to face her in his starting battle pose.
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