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Author Topic: An Adventure in Black - Chapter II  (Read 31931 times)
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Alýr (Rayne)
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« on: February 07, 2012, 01:06:15 PM »

Outside the town, where the road leads to the next city and and then the next and onward still to where no men had yet made footpaths through the wilderness and the desert and the snow, the morning was aging lustrously. It had matured from its gray lassitude of Firstflame into effervescent radiance of Lightthrive, and brightened with each passing hour (much to the dark elf's dismay). The winter sunlight dove upon the land, drinking the dew from the pale yellow grasses and scanty leaves.

Though the light swam through the air like dolfolk through sea, the chill added its solemn air to the hiemal day--all the more so to offset the ebullience of the refulgent morning light, like a thin shadow that casts a shade of grey upon all things.

Under the light and in the chill, Melspath road slithered like a river southwards toward the forest of Thaelon--or rather, to the westernmost forest of Thaelon, the Már'cál'ethrón. While much of the eastern portion of Thaelon was known for its beautifully mysterious inhabitants--light elves and wisps--the Már'cál'ethrón was notorious for its ill omens and evil spirits. More than a few poor souls had disappeared in these woods, and there was a great deal of conjecture as to its unearthly residents.

Though the gelid gusts and grabbed many leaves from their branches, the forests of Thaelon seemed always thick, and so was, too, was this with the Már'cál'ethrón, for a traveller upon Melspath might easily see the fragments of night caught in the canopies--fragments that may have raged to free themselves from the quagmire of the wood before succumbing to fate at the breaking dawn--and now lying limply in the tree branches, like insect carcasses in a spider's web. The swamps and darkness, though, were but a meager few threads in the forest's web of dangers.

Willing, it would seem, to face the dangers of the Már'cál'ethrón were a group of travellers thrown together more or less by chance. Hailing from lands both near and far, from a mix of races and backgrounds, they had all been brought upon the road snaking away from the city, unknowing of what lay before them. They moved at a moderate pace toward the wood, on foot.

Seeming to casually lead group was an elf--and though her face was partially hidden by her hood, which seemed to throw no shadow upon her fair complexion, and her ears could not be seen, any who had ever known of elves could not have questioned her race. Even in the slight adumbration of her lithe form by the movements of her robe as she walked, and in the graceful ease of her gate, and in the mystical yet slightly aloof air she assumed, there could be no mistaking her as an elf.

She walked aside another elf with black eyes whom she addressed as Quáel: "For how long have you had these visions? How often to they occur?" she was asking solicitously, her voice musical and kind.
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Irid alMenie
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2012, 08:21:29 PM »

As they walked deeper into the forest, Irid felt the tension drain out of her system. As usual, she did not know how tense she was while in a human town until after she had left it behind. The smell and feel of such a crowded place always overwhelmed her. No matter what might hide itself in this part of the Thaelon forest, at least the trees did not crowd her the way humans did. She did not feel a menace coming from the trees themselves.

Still, there remained something of that tension, because she had still not been able to tell the rest, except for Alyr, about her condition. First not everyone had been there, and then when they were Quael  had come down with some sort of vision - sent by Keeshaunka, whoever that was. A strange name it was, in any case. At least she was not the only one with problems, though at least Quael retained a sense of self during her visions, as far as Irid could tell.

She wondered when the best time would be to tell the others. The longer she waited, the more difficult it would be to actually say anything, until it was too late and she blacked out, catching everyone by surprise. That would not do. She would have to say something soon.
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Stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus.
Irid al'Menie
Termat Geirskun
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2012, 11:00:15 PM »

There was a light clip-clop of hooves as a cart moved along the forest. A donkey pulled it and a young man - there was a poise about him that could not be called boyish, despite his lack of height - led the donkey. Nobody else came with it, and from that and the young man’s dress - a dark blue cravat and a smart, earthy-green, wool jacket with a matching waistcoat - one might well draw the impression that the travelling cases which sat in the small cart were his. A short stick was in his hand, and he murmured as he walked, before breaking out into what sounded like the last lines.

“And hope that someone gazing in
Will see what hidden lies.”


Certainly, after that he stopped and walked in what would have been companionable silence, had he had a companion other than the forest to share it with, until he caught sight of the small and rather motley group ahead. When he did, he pulled out his handkerchief and whisked a monocle from his waistcoat pocket. Polishing it briefly, he soon stopped and screwed it into his left eye.

“Interesting. A disproportionate number of cloaks, I think, considering the weather. At least two rather sensitive to the cold, perhaps?”

Regardless, for now the brief glimpse through the trees was past and he continued in silence until he rounded a bend and found himself face to face with them.

“Good morning, Sirs and Misses all.” he said politely, stopping his donkey and nodding affably to the cloaked leader with the gait of a young woman, “To what do I owe the unexpected pleasure of company in the Thaelon? And the company of such a group, too?”
« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 11:03:16 PM by Termat Geirskun » Logged

Gilith
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012, 11:03:40 AM »

This was home. At least very much like home. Forests were not always the same but they had a certaijn feel to them. This was turning out to be a great day for travleing a nice sun yet not at all to hot.

Gilith heard the question asked by Rayne. he found the elfs visions to be unerving but oh well.

Then Gilith saw the lone man with donkey and cart aproach them “Good morning, Sirs and Misses all.” He said then continued. “To what do I owe the unexpected pleasure of company in the Thaelon? And the company of such a group, too?”

Gilith gave a small bow more of a head movement then anything yet it gave him an excuse to steady his sword in case he had to draw it. He did not know if he was supposed to release information about their journey so to be safe he did not.

He responded "And a good morning to you to. We are simply travlers about the road on our own bussiness."

« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 08:42:07 AM by Gilith » Logged

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
Alýr (Rayne)
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2012, 01:31:41 PM »

From behind them, on the road leading to the forest, Alýr heard the quaint tread of a hoofed animal and the turning of the wheels of a cart. She noted it, but paid it very little heed--for, after all, Melspath was a road, and travellers were not unheard upon such. This one, however, greeted them convivially:

“Good morning, Sirs and Misses all. To what do I owe the unexpected pleasure of company in the Thaelon? And the company of such a group, too?”

She turned her head briefly to look upon the speaker, and smiled subtly (a smile so faint that it seemed to vanish into the spirituel air perennially upon her) to see that it was a young gentleman. His smart dress and monocle detracted little from the effect of so few years passed upon his brow. Her indigo eyes sensed something in him, though his years were young, though she could not quite identify the feeling or place its source.

The elf glanced to Gilith, who seemed to speak cautiously to the young man: "And a good morning to you to. We are simply travellers about the road on our own bussiness."

Alýr turned back to the young man, and supplemented Gilith's answer with her own: "We are also on our way into the Thaelon Forest. Do you go in alone? It can be rather treacherous road."

This traveller seemed so green, and while he had cart and donkey to perhaps expedite his journey through the forest, she could not help but concern herself with his safety, for this part of Thaelon could be quite hazardous (for more reasons than one). And particularly if his path and theirs should meet together within the shadows of the Már'cál'ethrón, with what she possessed and with those who pursued her... she worried for him, though with her calm disposition, she did not show it: there was no hint of it in the graceful ease of elven footsteps, nor in the gentle gleam of the indigo eyes.
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Quáel
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2012, 10:50:54 AM »

"For how long have you had these visions? How often to they occur?" Quáel gave a short laugh that had no hint of happiness in it whatsoever, "They come and go as he desires." He being Keeshuanka, but Quáel assumed Alyr could figure that out for herself. When she was about to answer the second question, a young man, well dressed with a cart and donkey approached.

“Good morning, Sirs and Misses all. To what do I owe the unexpected pleasure of company in the Thaelon? And the company of such a group, too?"
"And a good morning to you to. We are simply travlers about the road on our own bussiness."
"We are also on our way into the Thaelon Forest. Do you go in alone? It can be rather treacherous road."

Quáel absorbed the words as they were spoken. She and the rest of the party awaited the responce of the young, lone traveller. 

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Nothing peirces the soul more than eyes do.
Quáel
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2012, 11:07:25 PM »

Termat pushed the donkey back a little way in order to gain an uninterrupted line of conversation before he remembered his monocle and, taking it out of his eye, stowed it safely in his waistcoat pocket. Absently straightening his cravat he replied.

“Am I going into it? I certainly didn’t intend to, I meant to be coming out of it - although I should probably have taken the road you came from, then, rather than the one you took. It appears I am going in after all. However, I note - who could miss - that your party contains a number of ladies. I hardly think it would be chivalrous of me to turn back without offering to continue with you through the forest. As you say, it is a treacherous road.”

As he spoke he briefly surveyed the group, noting as well as the superfluity of capes the strange preponderance of weapons and the mixture of backgrounds.

“Also, I have to confess, you seem to be on a far more interesting journey than my own - I travel only to Nyermersys, and I’m afraid the trip has been rather dull since Churican - and I hope you’ll not take it amiss when I ask to join you? I may not be as overtly warlike as some of your band, but at least now I know which end of the sword you hold.” He glanced at his right hand wryly before looking up.

“You seem well-prepared for danger, anyway, so I doubt my meagre martial prowess would win you over; but I won’t take no for an answer. Actually, that’s not true. I would take no for an answer if you gave it, but I’d really rather not. I’ll simply offer my help - anything I can aid you in, please ask - and leave it at that, Miss. -?” He broke off with a quizzical look and a hint of carefree amusement in his face, moving his hands slightly to invite a reply as the cart trundled quietly along the road.
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Serpentfang
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2012, 09:23:31 PM »

Today promised to be a very wonderful day, if not for the dark, creepy forest looming up ahead and the various noises coming from every corner, hole, and bush the forest had. For the first few distance from the city, it was pleasant; the sunlight playing on the forest floor and the chirping of birds upon trees above their heads. But as they go further in the sounds died down, followed by the din of hidden creatures of the woods. Jarrox took his weapon, a massive maul made out of black iron and crafted by the dwarves, and held it in both hands as he walked carefully. His bow would have been useless in a forest, where bandits and other nasty creatures can use the greenery for cover. David, however, appears to be unperturbed by the sounds of the forest. He was skipping around the psyrpent, occasionally sniffing a plant and going to a nearby tree to mark the area as his territory.

He glanced towards his employer and saw her talking to the crazy elf from earlier, the one who started trembling and shaking awhile ago. The psyrpent kept a wary eye on the crazy one, for no sane person acts like that. But his employer appears to trust her, and so the psyrpent let it go at that. She knows what's best for the group anyway, not to mention she is a mage. Mages, according to what he knows, are capable of reading other's thoughts.

Their path was blocked suddenly but briefly, by a strange traveler going through the forest accompanied by a donkey. The stranger, who appeared to be wealthy with all that trappings he wears, was talking with Alyr. Jarrox looked on with suspicion. Here is a traveler alone in the woods, with no companions except a pack animal, who suddenly appeared and offered his aid to the group. Nothing makes sense. Instincts tell him to leave them alone; it's not his concern. But loyalty to those who have been kind to him dictated otherwise. They soon continued the journey, this time with the stranger accompanying them.

He gripped the shaft of his great maul with both hands, followed the purple eyed elf and the wimpy looking stranger but maintained a distance.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 02:17:23 AM by Serpentfang » Logged

Alýr (Rayne)
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2012, 01:33:26 AM »

Alýr smiled at Termat. He certainly had a whimsical air, a element of silly but good-natured sarcasm to his gestures and tones, but he seemed to her a child. His face was clean but she could not tell whether the hair he might grow upon his chin would be his first. His eyes seem to glisten as one unaccustomed to danger. Besides the scar she noticed upon his hand, which he glanced at upon mentioning his knowledge of swords, his skin seemed an accurate reflection of his younger years--which seemed even smaller in her advanced elven age.

"I think, my good sir, it would be best for you to continue the road to Nyermersys. If you take the road back through Voldar, there should be another heading north through a well-worn path in the Warnaka Mountains. You should be able to reach the city in little time."

She moved like an easy wind as she spoke, gliding as elves often do. They had passed into the borders of the Már'cál'ethrón, though the trees were still merely sprinklings in the land they traveled. The shadows were stretching for the small group of advanturers, but could not reach them yet with the trees so bare with the gelid season, and so dwelt down the road, waiting.

So, too, seemed to be waiting a shadowy figure on the path. Far off, where the forest's light shade darkened into an obscuring twilight, someone stood on the road. Who it was, she could not see, for the shadows masked it almost completely, but Alýr recognized the shape of the man whose demonic companions had attacked them in the inn. She stopped, and stared, fighting the feeling of horror. Behind him, she thought she saw the faint adumbrations of others, but they were only there for an instant--in the next, they were gone, and the road was empty.

The elf turned to Termat, her indigo-eyed meeting his in quiet and firm concern: "For your own safety and ours, turn back and continue on your road. Let our dangers not be yours. I thank you sincerely for your offer, and wish you luck on your journey."

She then continued walking into the shadows of the Már'cál'ethrón, where she was beginning to understand the dangers that awaited them.
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Gilith
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2012, 03:13:40 AM »

Gilith waited content to let Rayne do the talking. She told him that it would be best if he left. Gilith agreed for the most part. If their mission was about speed or moderate secrecy as small a group as possible would be best.

Yet unfortunately for Gilith he happenend to glance in the direction that Rayne did. He saw the strange shadowy figure appear. He tightened the grip on his sword considerably after he saw it dissapear.

He called after Rayne saying "wait a minute. If we are being followed then wouldn't it be dangerous for him to go on alone. If he was seen with us i'm almost positive that he would be captured and tortured to death for information. I don't know if this is a better idea but it might be safer for us all if he came with. At least until we reach the nearest town or city."

He was nervous about that figure though he didn't know exactly why.
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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
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2012, 10:38:36 AM »

The path ahead, where the figure had stood, was now clear of any form, and yet it seemed to Alýr that the shadows breathed a blacker darkness than before. She heard Gilith call out to her, and she turned to meet his

"Wait a minute. If we are being followed then wouldn't it be dangerous for him to go on alone. If he was seen with us I'm almost positive that he would be captured and tortured to death for information. I don't know if this is a better idea but it might be safer for us all if he came with. At least until we reach the nearest town or city."

The elf sighed, glancing ahead to the path ahead. "They have all the information they need," she said, her voice like a melody. Then, in a note that sounded almost like despair, she added, "They have everything they need..." ... and the note shone softly with the hesitant alacrity of persevering hope... "... except the box." Her fingers lightly touched the place in the folds of her robe where the box was hidden, so slightly and so subtly as to go almost unnoticed. She recomposed herself, and glanced again into the youthful face of the traveller. "No, if they decided to capture and torture him, it would be for their own pleasure and sport."

She paused for but a moment. "Yes, I suppose you are right, Gilith," she conceded. Here she addressed the youth: "It might be better for you to join us after all. Tell me, good sir, what is your name?"
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 12:20:33 PM by Alýr (Rayne) » Logged

      
Termat Geirskun
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2012, 09:12:00 PM »

A figure had seemed to occlude the path ahead, deepening the shadows even of the Már'cál'ethrón and causing an incredible reaction on the part of the petite elf - elf, because no human could move with such preternatural grace or, more concretely, have such deep purple eyes, and petite despite the fact that she had a good few nailsbreadths on the young Avennorian; elfin delicacy was perhaps the root of this perception. In one so seemingly restrained and peaceful, however, the sudden start and the fear that kindled in her eyes - belying the calm, concerned, and sincere voice in which she had exhorted him to have a care for his own safety - struck Termat like shouts of hopeless despair.

He remained silent for a short while, until the elf - whom his mind insisted on thinking of as a young woman - took the advice of the broad-shouldered man with the bow - Gilith, it appeared - and recanted her refusal: “It might be better for you to join us after all. Tell me, good sir, what is your name?” Rather rich, he thought in mock offense, considering she missed a hint as broad as day to tell me hers.

“My nominal appellation -I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist. My name is Termat Geirskun; and now it appears that you have the advantage of me, Miss - ?” In a mock-conspiratorial tone, he continued: “I think, in the circumstances, you could probably just introduce yourself. I doubt we have any mutual acquaintance hanging around.

“No, glancing over your companions leaves me with none to address as my excellent good friends. Worse, however, than that - a condition I’ve lived with for what to me feels like an age, but to an elf is probably no more than an evening gone - is the distinctly morbid tone that this conversation has taken; it appears I’m now to join you not for your well-being but for my own. Probably more accurate in any event, but it implies that you fear more than the forest. The trees are treacherous, indeed, but I doubt they - what was your charming phrase? - ‘torture for their own pleasure and sport’. ”

He idly brushed his fringe back from his forehead. It needed cutting and another serious brushing.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 08:05:13 AM by Termat Geirskun » Logged

Alýr (Rayne)
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2012, 12:19:51 PM »

Alýr caught the slightly offended tone in the young man's voice. It was true that in the discussion over whether or not to include the traveller in their journey into the forest, she had not given her name. She had assumed it wouldn't be necessary to share it--for after all, she had assume he wouldn't be joining them. Part of her still wish they didn't have to--not out of acrimony for his mordant tone, but out of concern for his greenness.

How she was suppose to feel in response, though, was lost on her. Though she had at least mildly ruffled his feathers--should could not help noting how full of pride and passion young humans are!--she had no notion of how to respond, and in her typically airy elven manner, seemed to float above it, like the wind above the tussled grass.

"My name is Alýr, though most humans call me Rayne. I apologise that the subject of discussion should so quickly fall to the tenebrous and morbid though the day is generous of sunlight. It has been a dangerous journey, to which many of my companions have born witness. Much has been lost of sacrificed thus far." A flash of a shadow across her eyes--or was it merely the wind through the canopy throwing wayward darknesses across an otherwise luminous face? It was only a moment, and when her eyes again fell on the young man, she smiled as though to balance out the passing shadow. "I hope you'll not take too much offense of my concern. Regardless of your prowess in battle, to which I can certainly not attest, I'm sure your company will be valuable. We should continue on our journey, though, if we hope to make headway through the Már'cál'ethrón before evening falls."
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Gilith
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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2012, 07:57:45 AM »

Gilith was not one for fancy words. Nor did he care to listen to them much. As it was he didn't catch much of the conversation. He simply wanted to leave this place as fast as possible he was still a little daunted about the shadow like figure.

When the conversation was ended he began to wonder how well this Termat could use a sword. He would have to ask him sooner or later so perhaps in a while when they stoped to eat or anything else.
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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 #14 on: February 18, 2012, 12:54:06 AM »

Irid had listened to the conversation erupting between Alyr and the newcomer. She was not sure if it would be smart to take him, but then she was not sure if it was smart to take herself, so it was up to Alyr. She moved forwards a few paces, eager to enter the deeper part of the forest - the sooner they entered that, the sooner they would be out of it. It was then that her progress was halted, when in the distance she could see a shadowy figure.

A growl escaped her lips, as it had before when she had sensed the demonic creatures. Her body tensed, ready to spring to action should it prove necessary. A blink later and there was nothing more to be seen on the road, and Irid came back to herself. Without realising what had just happened - not even remembering that she had seen the figure - she turned around to see whether the young human would be coming along with them.
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Stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus.
Irid al'Menie
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