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Author Topic: An Adventure in Black - Chapter II  (Read 30389 times)
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Serpentfang
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Psyrpent


« Reply #105 on: May 07, 2012, 02:32:48 AM »

The psyrpent shifted his weight uncomfortably in the cart. The bumpy road is not helping alleviate the pain caused by the wounds he sustained from falling down the tree. He let his dog sit on the floor of the wagon, keeping a wary eye on him in case he decided to sniff around the cart. There are a lot of dangerous looking containers on one side, and he cannot afford to have him ingest some of the substance. The cart was wobbling a little and he felt that uncomfortable, foreign feeling again. He was used to walking beside wagons, not in them, since he was often assigned as a caravan guard. Another jolt and he hit his chin on the shaft of his maul and accidentally bit his forked tongue.

He muttered a muffled curse, stuck out his tongue, gave a quick glance at his travelling companions, and looked down on his tail. It was tucked between his legs with the spikes rubbing and occasionally jabbing at his ass and legs. Not wanting to talk to anyone, he decided to remove the dried mud and some tangled vines that are wrapped around it, while keeping the sharp protrusions away from his butt.
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Irid alMenie
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« Reply #106 on: May 08, 2012, 12:15:03 AM »

Irid closed her eyes as Alýr worked her magic, turning her focus inward. Though she was no magician herself, she tried to make Alýr's task easier by not fighting her influence. As such, she felt the soothing effects of the magic quite consciously. As the other elfess retreated, Irid took a few deep breaths - something she had not been able to do since she had woken up in Tak's cart. The freedom of just that little act was incredibly relieving. She felt sure that when the old woman's paste had run its course, she would not feel a return of the pain, even if her body still had the last bits of healing to do by itself.

"Dierás qué én erashím, styréfthé?" Irid opened her eyes when Alyr addressed her thus. She smiled reassuringly at the earnest expression that met her eyes. She made a small gesture that expressed her gratitude. "Néh, unsíti erásh. Arná iú erán zeián."

[No, the pain has left. I am able to breathe again."]
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Stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus.
Irid al'Menie
Deklitch Hardin
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« Reply #107 on: May 08, 2012, 09:11:32 PM »

The old woman looked around the cart that she was on, and then over at the other one. She looked away, and said, "Yes dearest, time is wasting and we need to get underway, particularly if they are to do what they need to do."

She looked at Alýr, and smiled again at the indigo eyed elf, then the old woman began to talk. She spoke loudly enough for her voice to carry to everyone, but she wasn't shouting, and to gnome, elf, human and psyprent it was as though she was speaking in their native tongues, "you must get along, get out of here. Where they were, more will follow. Two are coming to meet with you. One is powerful, but limited, and the other has a power. You, mistress Alýr have worked with the latter, and probably the former as well. I was called to your group, not because of your powers, but because of some things you carry with you. One of you has a time piece on you, and one of you have a ruby. In healing lady Irid and archer Gilith, in the acceptance of me by guider Alýr even in the avoidance of me by warrior Juliette, I came to a realisation of why it is I was drawn to you. I have to give up my essence so you can continue."

Tears stained her cheeks as she said that, and she sank to the base of the cart. "I will no longer know Dearest, and I know my death is not far off. But I will do what I can  to help you on your way."

"What sorcery is this," Juliette demanded from the other cart, "look around us, the trees, the animals, we are moving too fast. Stop the woman! She's going to kill us all!"

And sure enough, the ponies and their carts were going much quicker than they should have beyond some kind of power that was unknown to them all. It was quite fortunate that no one was nearby while they were in the forest, as they would have seen nothing more but two streaks heading through the forest as ponies and carts and their crews moved much faster than elf, human, psyprent, gnome, dog or pony had ever gone before.

A distance that should have taken hours to traverse seemed to be over in mere minutes, and the travel had dropped to a more sedate pace as soon as they exited the forest and were in eyesight of the gates to the city that was their destination.

The old woman seemed to be little more than skin and bones as they reached the edge of the forest, and she was nothing like the woman who was muittering about having her sleep disturbed. Her eyes now appeared to be those of a mad person, and she looked around at them, incomprehension in her eyes. She was, however reaching at her neck, at the necklace she wore, which had an emerald in the middle. She looked at Irid, and held the necklace to the elfess, and said, "here, take this. Promise Martje you'll not let her down." The grasping of the emerald for some reason seemed to fill the old woman, now revealed as Martje, with renewed vigour.

The necklace was nondescript, the emerald was small, and seemed to have a protrusion on it, it was likely not very expensive, and it seemed to be of a poor quality and cut.

"Promise me," Martje said again, pulling herself up to her full height and looking at Irid intently. Martje let go of the emerald, and said, "here I leave you. These woods are my home. I was born here, I lived here, and I will die here. Farewell. Reflect upon what I told you."

Remis and Juliette watched the old woman get off the cart and hobble away, no longer muttering to her 'Dearest', and seeming to be less and less 'there'.
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Seeking the truth, whatever the cost! - Deklitch Hardin, Elf Friend
Tak
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« Reply #108 on: May 09, 2012, 12:13:38 AM »

Tak watched everything pass by so quickly he wasn’t sure what had just happened.  One moment they were traveling at a brisk pace, and the next everything, the trees, the road, was just a blur.  This woman was talking to him in Gnomish from a cart away and Juliette started screaming something about killing us all, and Tak’s stomach felt like it had been left three fores behind.  By the time it all ended Tak’s head was spinning.  He fell out of his cart, stumbled a few places, and heaved into a bush before falling backward and passing out.
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"There’s Nothing Worth Doing That Isn’t Worth Overdoing" - Tak "The Magnificent"
Roy Tmofl
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« Reply #109 on: May 09, 2012, 01:28:06 AM »

Though Roy was no stranger to magic. This sudden speed was still a little bit of a surprise to him. So much so that when it happened he fell onto the floor of the wagon knocking over at least three barrels or boxes of something. There he lie in his small spot of utter chaos cursing under his breathe. When his hands found his staff he picked grabbed hold of it and picked himself up. His hood had come down and his normal air of mystery was replaced by one of confusion. What just happened? Where were they? What had that old woman done?

He did not know but as soon as he possibly could he would be getting of this cart. Tak's vomiting did nothing to help his own stomach. But somehow he managed to keep down his food. Little though it was.
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Stupidity is also a gift from God, but one musn't misuse it.

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Gilith
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« Reply #110 on: May 09, 2012, 01:31:37 AM »

"Whaaaa!!!" Was the only sound that escaped the large warrior as the cart speed forward faster than seemed possible. Though Gilith was very well balanced do to his time spent aboard the rocking ships of his home he found this entirely different. As a result he fell to the ground with a loud "oof!". "I'm fine!" he said as he quickly got back up and adjusted his gear.
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Aye, I've my fair share of scars. Perhaps a bit too many to be honest, decent sign of a careless man. But those don't bother me, they heal, and even if they don't heal right I've always found a way to deal with 'em. The ones I can see at least, the others...the ones inside. They aren't so easy to forget about, they don't heal like the others do. They might heal in a day, a week, a year. Or maybe some like mine, won't ever heal at all. There's no getting past these scars, you can't treat it, you can't cover it up, and you can't find a way around it. But, there comes a day, when you learn to live it, and you stop living in the past, so you can do what your able for the future.

Gilith
Irid alMenie
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« Reply #111 on: May 09, 2012, 07:07:17 PM »

Irid paid little attention to the surroundings - a glance was enough to tell her that if she did, she would start thinking about it too much, and that would leave her lightheaded and nauseaus from looking at the blurred world around them. Instead of looking at what the woman was doing, she firmly closed her eyes, so that she would not have to see anything. Still, the motion of the cart forced her to open her eyes, as nausea crept up anyway. Determined not to look at the world, she focused on what the woman looked like. She did not even pay attention to Gilith falling over, staring only at the woman. As the minutes ticked by, she looked more and more drawn, as if her very being was draining away.

And then suddenly they slowed down again to a more natural pace, and they had reached the edge of the forest. Again Irid banned thoughts of what exactly had happened firmly from her mind, since she would never find out. She was quite certain that whatever the old woman had done, it was not Ximaxian magic. She did not know enough about any other magic to know for sure if this sort of thing was even possible. Maybe she was a witch?

Her next action surprised the elfess. Why would she choose her to give her necklace to? And what exactly would she be promising? But she was so insistent, and she seemed to have given up so much, that she felt there was not much of a choice. At her second question to promise, the elfess nodded and closed her hand around the jewel, since it seemed so important to the woman. "I promise." she said, still unsure what exactly she was comitting herself to. How could she avoid disappointing Martje if she did not know her expectations? What had she meant with the two who would meet them? As she clutched the emerald in her hand, she looked after the woman as she hobbled off, back into the forest. She had left behind more questions than answers.

When Irid could no longer see the woman's back, she turned her attention to the necklace in her hand. What was so important about it? Not its value, it was not the best made piece of jewellery she had ever seen, nor was the emerald very big. And yet there must be something more to it than meets the eye. She remembered how the old woman - Martje, she reminded herself, the least she could do was remember her by her name - had looked somehow more alive as she touched the necklace. And yet Irid could not immediately feel anything special about it. Not knowing what else to do with it, she hung the necklace around her neck, which was after all what it had been made for. She figured that would be the safest place to keep it without losing it. Taking the emerald, she hid it below her clothing, which was where Martje had kept it as well. It lay against her chest, though she could not feel it - the effects of the Miyu paste had not yet worn off, so there was still a whole patch of skin where she could not even feel her clothing, let alone a small jewel.
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Stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus.
Irid al'Menie
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« Reply #112 on: May 10, 2012, 05:03:19 AM »

The cart went up and down over roots and bumps in the path. But it soon became a very soothing motion, sending a wave of drowsiness over Quael. She hadn't quite notices the fatigue before, now it was very apparent. Quael started dosing off, closing her eyes, and nodding herself awake. But two things kept her eyes wide open after that: when she closed her eyes for the fifth time an image of Keeshaunka played on her eyelids like a movie screen, the second thing that kept her awake, was Gilith falling out of the cart.

Quael changed her thoughts, so as not to think of Keeshaunka and torture. It wasn't too difficult, for in this forest no one thought stayed in your mind for long. 
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« Reply #113 on: May 10, 2012, 11:09:21 AM »

As the old woman turned to her and smiled, Alýr sensed something strange, for it was clear that this strange old woman was not as she appeared. Her words were heavy with prophesy and gravity, and the indigo eyes upon her were like pools, rippling quietly with the comprehension of each solemn utterance. As the tears rolled down the cheeks of the old woman, the elf felt her heart grow heavy, and the light upon her face shone with compassion.

"What sorcery is this?" Alýr heard Juliette shout from the other cart, "look around us, the trees, the animals, we are moving too fast..."

The slender elf turned to see the trees rushing past, each shadow blurring into a single darkness behind the trees. Faster ad faster they went, and suddenly Alýr felt breathless. She took in a breath and felt herself lose her body a moment. She stumbled back briefly, and to her true eye she saw darkness and chains and demonic alters. Husky voices met her ears and a sick cold crawled over her skin. She took a breath and retreated into a memory of song, and her heart trembled a line:

"Artanté énh aelién shatóría énh mór valanajthián iuá
é án silarná'ór'sae'llanías fá án entiná'jeinís..."

["White wings bless my deep dreams
With moonlight music of an ancient time."]

To those upon the cart, she must have almost seemed to flicker--or did she? No, not a flicker, but something else. It was as though she was present, but wasn't, like a beam of moonlight temporary obscured by a passing cloud. Eyes closed, the wind flooding around the dark strands of her hair, she almost looked as though she might vanish all at once. Then, as the cart slowed, she seemed a bit more real, and she exhaled. Her eyes opened again in familiar shades of indigo.

Alýr watched the woman, Martje, hand a necklace to Irid and then step off the cart. As she vanished slowly into the distance, the indigo-eyed elf looked after her, then turned to Irid, looking at the emerald curious, trying to escape the things of which she had been reminded.
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Ridgen Sú'ufanán
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« Reply #114 on: May 14, 2012, 05:44:52 PM »

Everything went by in a blur. A tired Ridgen stared out through his one good eye, as the carts sped by the forest, too tired to notice anything amiss. Even as everything else sped by at an incredibly fast speed, he dismissed it as his own fatigue affecting his perception of time and space. He was sure that they were moving at normal speed until Juliette's panicked exclamation made it clear that it wasn't just his fatigue - they were, in fact, moving at impossible speeds, and moving over great distances in mere minutes instead of the hours that it would normally have taken them.

"What sorcery is this? Look around us, the trees, the animals, we are moving too fast. Stop the woman! She's going to kill us all!"

"What sorcery is this" indeed. What kind of magic would allow them to move through space at such an insane speed? Was she a wind magician of some sort? That question was never answered, nor given voice, but there was really never any need to. All that mattered now was... actually, what did matter? Getting away from whatever it is that they were running from? Just plain getting to safety? It's not like anywhere is safe.

Out of the corner of his eye, Ridgen saw the old woman take off her emerald necklace and hand it over to Irid. A small ticking sound began to give itself some voice, but it was drowned out by the sound of the old woman's - Martje's - voice. Something about the forest being very important to her, and then hobbling off to someplace else, seemingly fading away into the foliage.

These events were curious indeed.

"So... where to now?"
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"Everything is a game - some people just don't realise that."
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Serpentfang
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« Reply #115 on: May 14, 2012, 07:39:02 PM »

Another sharp jolt sent the spikes up his ass, sending out a sharp pain in response. The psyrpent's brief girly squeal of pain was completely left behind by the cart as it hurdled forward with an unnatural speed. He held onto his dog with his legs, for fear of him being swept away by the sudden fast movement of the cart. David appeared to be enjoying the trip; his tongue was dangling at the side of his mouth with a dopey look of amusement on his face. Trees became a green blur and the objects outside the cart appear to be shrinking in a rapid rate, caused by the speeding cart as it traversed the area.

A few slow and careful movements later and he got used to the travelling speed, but as soon as he was able to the cart quickly jolted to its normal speed, sending the psyrpent forward. Luckily he was able to hold onto the side of his seat, or he would surely be flung towards the driver's seat. But the maul beside him was not secured in any manner, causing it swing forward and hit the psyrpent's head. Another squeal escaped his lips, with the same girly tone as the one before it. This trip, without a doubt, will involuntarily improve his singing skills.

The cart stopped moving, giving the psyrpent enough time to jump out of it and get a few breaths of fresh air. What the hell happened? He was still feeling woozy after that trip and the hammer blow. He used the maul as a support, leaning over it like an old man. He was happy to be standing on solid ground again, and not flying through the forest at breakneck speed. David got off the wagon too, jumping and prancing around the psyrpent. Obviously, he enjoyed the trip.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 07:48:06 PM by Serpentfang » Logged

Termat Geirskun
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« Reply #116 on: May 14, 2012, 11:11:37 PM »

All of a sudden, they began to speed up. Termat wasn't quite sure how it was happening, but soon he realised that running - or rather, being almost dragged by whatever extra-natural force was propelling them along - at such a pace beside his cart was exhilarating, if also terrifying. Whoever had done this, he reflected with a calmness of mind that, all things considered, was probably a fairly irrational response to this turn of events, had clearly not considered the fact that he was alongside the cart rather than safely within in. Wondering why he was so calm about the fact that he was going so fast, Termat realised what it was. They were moving so fast that his mind refused to accept the idea that they were, in fact, moving at all, and instead insisted that they were stationary within a blur of scenery - nevertheless, the wind was strong enough that Termat was glad he had removed his jacket. It wasn't large, but at this pace would probably have billowed to such an extent that he would have looked like an earthy-green and woolly bat. As it was, his snug waistcoat kept to worst of the wind off his torso, though he could feel the gales whipping his hair.

As they whistled along at their breakneck pace, Termat heard a female voice shouting in concern.

"What sorcery is this? Look around us, the trees, the animals, we are moving too fast. Stop the woman! She's going to kill us all!"

That was probably true, but rather than yelling in sensible terror or scrambling to get inside his cart, or even both concurrent or consecutive - any of which were logical responses to this summary of their situation - Termat simply laughed. It was a single peal of unadulterated joy, such as he had not felt for a long time; this was a far cry from his home in Manthria, with a grieving sister and two young children of a deceased but callous brother to be responsible for; this was a far cry from the false condolences of his sister's intolerable suitors. There was a wild ecstasy in this moment, a novelty that frightened but mostly thrilled, a sense of mortality in the utter recklessness of their speed that was nevertheless bound up with a vitality so strong it seemed immortal, and in that moment he laughed for joy, laughed because there was no other response, laughed because to laugh was to buy into that moment wholly, entirely, to grasp it with both hands and make it a part of himself.

And as suddenly as they had started, they stopped. Termat straightened his waistcoat and turned as he heard the old woman speak once more - but now she was emaciated, papery skin stretched over a feeble-looking skeleton.

"Here, take this. Promise Martje you'll not let her down." She pressed a pendant on one of the women in Termat's cart before continuing: "Promise me; here I leave you. These woods are my home. I was born here, I lived here, and I will die here. Farewell. Reflect upon what I told you." Having said her piece, she dismounted and began to walk towards the trees, towards her death, it seemed. The recipient of the emerald - so it appeared to be - hung the chain about her neck, brushing her dark hair out of the way to do so, and tucked the gem itself away, looking a little perplexed.

Termat looked about him, drinking in the new sights and absently opened his watch. The slight resistance of the spring; the shifting of his finger to catch the lid as it opened; the brief glance down to the elegant hands on their mother-of-pearl face; the little scratch on the edge of the glass that just caught the light; the warm weight of it in his hands; the reassuring softness of the metal, nestling in his palm; the satisfying click of the lid as he closed it with a single finger and returned the timepiece to his pocket; all were achingly familiar. The smallest hand had barely moved.
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Deklitch Hardin
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« Reply #117 on: May 15, 2012, 09:40:19 AM »

"Are you alright, learned one," the red haired young man asked his travelling companion.

"I don't like being roused at firstflame," the midlde aged man at his side grouched, "I don't like travelling on foot, and I don't like being away from the Academy and Misty."

"Ah, so yes, you are alright," the red haired young man replied, and then laughed, "can I ask you another question?"

"Of course, Master Hardin, it does make the travel go quicker," the older man replied, "what do you want to know?"

"I really don't understand why you can only control earth, learned one. Why can't you control air, or water, or fire?" the younger man asked.

"Learning magic is a lifetime of study, and in that lifetime you get taught how to recognise, caress and control the parts of one of the four elements. I was most interested in the element of Earth ..." the older man said.

By now, the pair of them were in sight of the two carts and their crews of tired adventurers.

The younger man looked at the carts and picked out Rayne almost immediately.

"They are here, Learned One," the younger man said to the older man, then he ran up to the carts, "Rayne!" he called out as he did so.

Rayne would, of course, know him as Deklitch Hardin, Dek for short, a researcher for the compendium. The keen indigo-eyed elf would also undoubtedlyrecognise Dek's older companion as Tenvin Jolith, one of the arch mages of the School of Earth from Ximax. The arch mage was Avennorian by ancestry, and was relatively young for one in his position.

Dek looked at Rayne and her companions, he noted that there were some injuries amongst the group that seemed rather an unusual group ... humans, elves, a gnome and even a psyprent. This would prove somewhat interesting, Dek thought to himself, undoubtedly they had their own story to tell, and Dek wondered if theirs were as eventful as his own journey. The sea trip down, the near explosion in academy when Dek touched something magical that he shouldn't have touched, the even bigger near explosion that occurred when Phlegah learnt he was in Ximax and tried to leave without letting her know he was there, and then the meeting between him and the orcess which proved to be almost as dangerous to his health as the other explosions that had almost taken place, when he said she wasn't able to travel with him.

"I needed to find you Rayne," Dek said, "and Arch Mage Jolith joined me on the journey. The Arthyron and Blue Druids found something that concerned them, and they sent me to Ximax to get it looked into. The magi there were also concerned and said that it was something that you were dealing with, so they sent me to find you. They said they believed you would be around here somewhere. Strange things happened on the journey. We had fine weather all the way down to Ximax, and the captain said we made better speed than he had ever made on that trip. That trip, Rayne, it just took us three days. And would you believe that we left Ximax yesterday morning on foot, and we arrived here today. Arch Mage Jolith tells me he had nothing to do with our fast travel, and I'm certainly not magical. Nothing happens if I wiggle my nose, nod my head or snap my fingers. As you know, Rayne, I'm clueless when it comes to magic."

Dek took a deep breath at that point, and said, "well, I'm rabbiting on, sorry, I am just please I reached you and we are all safe. If you go into Cemphiria with us, we'll show you to the inn rooms we've got booked in this city, and we can talk about what is going on."

During the prattle by Dek, his older companion reached them and once Dek had finished, greeted the indigo-eyed elf fondly and said, "Alýr, I am so pleased to see you again. You have been missed by the magi of Ximax since you last graced our towers with your presence. Your lectures on the 'Fabric of the Dream' has caused much discussion and debate amongst our students and teachers. I look forward to discussing Dek's presence here with you further. I believe it has impact on your own mission. But lets get out of here first."
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« Reply #118 on: May 15, 2012, 11:30:48 AM »

"Rayne!"

Alýr glanced up, distracted and distant for a moment, as though she were lost--but the feeling was brief as she found herself looking upon the familiar countenance of Deklitch Harden, her fellow-researcher and good friend. She smiled joyfully, and the radiance about her face seemed to brighten just a little; the clouds cleared from her indigo eyes and a glisten returned to them, like starlight to a twilight sky.

"Dek!" she called affectionately, and she stepped off the cart like an easy wind to embrace him warmly, setting a kiss at his cheek as softly as a summer breeze. She glanced up to see his companion: Tenvin Jolith, Archmage of the Earth School, and her smile was her greeting. Tenvin seemed to smile, in spite of himself, for the elf had a calming presence to him.

The indigo eyes returned to the young researcher as he began to explain his fantastic journey from Ximax to here, outside Cemphiria. She listened curiously; it seemed that at the same time celerity had descended upon their own party, it had also descended on Deklitch and Tenvin. They had both been accelerated across spaces in a brief span of time. Whatever forces they were now dealing with, they were powerful.

She mused on this as Dek took a breath, for he had nearly told the entirety of the journey in one breath. "Peculiar," she whispered to herself, and glanced back toward the forest. Martje, though, was nowhere to be seen. This mystery was a tree blossoming before them, and yet of all the questions blooming there, none had ripened into fruit of knowledge. She looked back to Deklitch as he continued:

"Well, I'm rabbiting on, sorry, I am just please I reached you and we are all safe. If you go into Cemphiria with us, we'll show you to the inn rooms we've got booked in this city, and we can talk about what is going on."

"That would be lovely, Dek. We have come a ways, and though our journey through the wood, like yours, was somewhat accelerated, it has not been uneventful."

She turned to Tervin as he approached. She had known the earth mage for a very long time: Decades ago she had found him when he, a Gifted, cast a spell that made his father's boots too heavy, effectively cementing the poor man in one place. Tervin had been just a boy when the elf had felt him pulling the threads of the fabric, and had brought him to Ximax for training. Tervin had been there ever since.

"Alýr, I am so pleased to see you again. You have been missed by the magi of Ximax since you last graced our towers with your presence. Your lecture on the 'Fabric of the Dream' has caused much discussion and debate amongst our students and teachers. I look forward to discussing Dek's presence here with you further. I believe it has impact on your own mission. But lets get out of here first."

The elf nodded; there was something solemn and wise about the way she did so, and Tervin's bushy eyebrows furrowed a little. He looked into her indigo eyes, but she could feel him exploring something strange in her. She let him; she would not hide a secret she knew he would see, as one who knew her, and had known her for so long. He seemed to catch his breath. "Y-you're..."

There was a soft shake of the head from the elf, and her dark hair fell wistfully across one eye. There was something suddenly sad in her smile. "Let us discuss it later."

Tervin seemed greatly troubled, but nodded his consent. The group, carts and all, headed into the city of Cemphiria.
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