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Author Topic: On the way to Ximax  (Read 27678 times)
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Capher
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« Reply #105 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.
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Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #106 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.
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Capher
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« Reply #107 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."
« Last Edit: May 22, 2009, 11:45:09 AM by Capher » Logged
Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #108 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!“
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Talas Anthavin
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« Reply #109 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."
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Capher
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« Reply #110 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.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 01:01:12 AM by Capher » Logged
Capher
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« Reply #111 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."
« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 10:19:15 PM by Capher » Logged
Talas Anthavin
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« Reply #112 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!"

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Capher
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« Reply #113 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.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 12:28:44 AM by Capher » Logged
Roosje Greenfields
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« Reply #114 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.
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Aminah
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« Reply #115 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.
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Capher
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« Reply #116 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.

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Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #117 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.“
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Talas Anthavin
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« Reply #118 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.
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Capher
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« Reply #119 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.
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