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Author Topic: Time of Healing  (Read 35409 times)
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Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #45 on: October 04, 2007, 02:38:29 AM »

Talia is eyeing Terra carefully. Is the old Terra back, the adult? Not really, Terra seems to have reached a stadium again where she acts like being grownup, but it is a different Terra, one that seems to know more about her past than the one before they came to the Vale. But how tightened is her new personality? Is she still in danger to retreat again in her inner self? Will she be embarrassed if she tells her, that the Terra child had shown a big affection to Ta‘las and the teen as well? Denying it was no option and surely not helpful either. So Talia struggles again to find the right words, and the right tone.

After a short wordless time she smiles at Terra, it is a little smile, her face mostly earnestly looking, but her lips curl slightly, her eyes  twinkle a little and it is a slightly amused note in her voice when she finally answers.

“You had retreated into your mind after the fight in the gorge - do you remember the fight? You acted at first as if you were a little girl of six or eight years. You thought I would be your mother and Capher your father. And this little girl was very fond of Ta‘las and asked if she was allowed to play with him as soon as we would reach our resting place at the Brownies. But there was never time for play, so there never a situation occurred, where you could actually ask again. Then after the water-healing you have been a teen, and as all teens do, you sneaked away in the middle of the night. I haven‘t talked to Ta‘las yet, but I think you were so tired you just slept in his arms.   And Ta‘las “ and now Talia‘s smile broadens and she looks directly into Terra‘s eyes:
“ - I think he was very pleased to hold you in his arms, though he had a slightly bad conscience as well because of the healing I assume. He carried you very tenderly in his arms when the brownies told him to bring you to the camp.
Btw, the others are gone to look after Ken, for he has left us because he had some - quarrels - with the Brownies. Maybe they try to get to the dwarves as well to ask for the anvil while we are completing our healing. We will see. But Ta‘las stayed here to look after us. And he did well. He addressed you always as Lady Terra, even  when you were acting like a child. He likes you, Terra!“


Now waggishness sits in Talia‘s eyes and she waits for Terra to blush. But suddenly she is sure that those emotions only can help on the path of healing.
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Terra Artemos
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« Reply #46 on: October 06, 2007, 03:59:04 AM »

Terra blushes deeply as Talia had suspected at the recount of events, she becomes lightheaded both from the blood running to her cheeks and from the wild torrent of pleasing emotion and dreams for Ta'las. It takes her a long moment to regain some of her composure, gracefully placing a hand to still her fluttering heart, but finally she manages composure enough to speak though her cheeks still glow deeply.

"Talia, I like him to. I began to feel for him when a caught his lingering glances in the caves. I could not remember receiving such glances before, and still can only must memory of lusty leers. With Ta'las they are different though, softer, caring. I want to tell him I like him to, but I never seem to be able to put the words of my mind and... my heart to it, I seem to say something totally different."

Terra sighs deeply, slumping against the tree, her face a confused wash of disheartenment and dreamy joy for a possible future.
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Talas Anthavin
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« Reply #47 on: October 08, 2007, 12:48:52 PM »

At the same time Terra and Talia are discussing the events of the last few days, Ta'las stands motionless in the small clearing just outside the cabin.  The evening sun warms his face, and its rays glint off the blades of his dou'kilij.  The Shendar has turned his thoughts inward, as he recounts his actions in the Gorge.  He sees Garrek emerge from the shadows, the mullog swoop down to entangle 'Teri, the red elves and the Kari'ii engage them in combat.  Ta'las remembers his actions - the dangerous gamble he plays to draw Garrek's attention away from Capher - and suddenly the memory recedes.  He resheaths his weapons, somehow feeling that they are not needed for this challenge.

The Shendar looks down at the ground in dismay.  Every time he feels himself take a step down the "Warrior's Path" and relives something from his past that he regrets, he loses focus.  "The path to inner truth is the path of the warrior," he recalls the words of the husband of his mother-sister, Kal'manth.

Ta'las notices the circular medallion hanging around his neck.  The one his mother gave to him before she died, and absently rubs its metal surface.  He remembers Kal'manth teaching him to be wary of regret.  "It unbalances you.  Pushes you from the warrior's path by causing you to reconsider past choices.  You must not regret your actions, Ta'las.  Think before you act, so you will not feel regret later.  Once you have acted, all that is left to do is to live by what you've done. "

The Shendar closes his eyes again and faces toward Injera.  Once again he recalls the events in the Gorge, and even sees himself challenge Garrek to combat.  This time, rather than worrying over his reasons for his actions, Ta'las focusses on the real challenge of accepting what he has done.  It provided the group time and a distraction to respond to Garrek and his minions.  He breathes deeply as a cool wind blows across his face. 

Regret slips away, to be replaced by content.  And thoughts of Lady Terra...
« Last Edit: October 08, 2007, 01:30:10 PM by Talas Anthavin » Logged

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« Reply #48 on: October 11, 2007, 12:23:57 PM »

Ta'las spends the remainder of the day until Sundrown practising with his weapons and training his body to hone his timing and increase his endurance.  The Shendar remembers how tired he felt when they exited the Gorge, and he had carried Kenrill a fair distance.  He fears, however, that much greater trials will lie ahead of them, and that he must be ready physically for any challenge they face.

As Injera's light slowly recedes beneath the horizon, Ta'las finally stops and sheaths his dou'kilij.  He returns to the camp, aware of the few brownies flitting through the trees at the periphery of the small clearing, but feeling no sense of the earlier animosity toward their group.  Just a sense of curiousity.

The Shendar returns to camp, quickly washes himself, and eats a light meal.  Once he is finished, Ta'las settles in for the evening and listens to the sounds of the forest.  As he feels sleep begin to overtake him, he looks inward again.

***

"You've managed to find peace within yourself, Ta'las?"

Ta'las looks around at the ar'pun grass swaying in the breeze, and above the constellations shimmer in the night sky.  His mother-sister waits in front of the water mirror, which this time glows with a soft blue light.  The Shendar approaches the still water.

"Inner peace?"  Ta'las shakes his head.  "I have found a measure of acceptance for my actions, but you know as well as I that inner peace cannot be so easily attained."

His mother-sister looks at him and raises her eyebrows.  "I daresay you've also gained a measure of wisdom, my boy."  She pats his shoulder, and to Ta'las surprise it seems to him that her hand feels solid.  "You seem happy as well."

The Shendar smiles and nods his head.  "I am.  I must be.  The others need me to be strong."  He catches the little sigh that escapes his mother-sister's lips, and asks, "is that so wrong?"

"You overvalue physical prowess and your own importance.  You are but one part of this."  There is a brief pause as the glow in the water-mirror dims.  "You speak of need as if it matters above all else.  What about simply being happy for the sake of itself?"  She turns to him, and this time looks sad.  "You have taken your first steps on the 'Warrior's Path' and you have done well, Ta'las.  Be wary that you continue to move forward."

***


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Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #49 on: October 13, 2007, 06:18:54 AM »

Talia smiles at Terra, she feels happy inside, just because Terra seems to feel better. What for a great remedy love could be!

„Terra, that is totally normal and it will go away!“ She gets up and moves over to Terra, embraces her lightly out of joy and gives her a kiss on the cheek. Still kneeing in front of her, she looks into her eyes and assures her:
„Don‘t worry, your love will grow and you will be happy, your past just a shadow which is chased away from the sun. “

Talia gets up and with a „I‘m back in a few minutes!“ vanishes in the bushes to relief herself.

The day passes and nothing eventful happens. Finally the Brownies bring them a light meal and after that Primrose introduces them to the next part of the healing, the Earth-Healing.

“The next three intervals you will be exposed to the earth. Earth means strengthen your mind and body, consolidating what we have achieved already during the process.
The first step will be the easiest one, for earth will be mixed with water, no stress will be exerted on your body and the soul will hopefully follow. You will comfortably sit over there in the warm mud. It may well be, that you sleep during the first part, during the night. Dreams will come to you, either in your sleep, but as well if you are awake. But you might not remember any, not yet, not now. During sunrise you need to leave the mud, wash yourself and try you up. We will offer you a drink and then immediately the second part will start.

We will guide you in this cave over there, down a gallery and after a short while we will enter another cave. There you will spend the day, with only very little light. You will be surrounded of rock, hard rock, but this cave is special, you will see.

At sundrown we will fetch you again for the last part. Then you will half sit, half lie in a little hole filled with a mixture of earth and sand. At first this might be  - well uncomfortable. Having a lot of earth around you and not to be able to move is a hard thing in the beginning. But you have the stars above you to watch and I promise, the morning will see you strong and healthy.


The good mood which Talia was in the whole afternoon since her talk with Terra melts away and fear creeps in her heart. It sounds not very dangerous, sitting in a mud, then in a cave, but somehow all these actions must have some strong effects, otherwise they would not be practised  and that starts to frighten her suddenly. Not knowing about the power behind what awaits them. But she doesn‘t allow her fears to surface, she doesn‘t want to infect Terra... and then they are asked to go over to the mud area.
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« Reply #50 on: October 16, 2007, 07:16:10 AM »

Terra begins to smile in new hope as Talia's works of guidance soothes her lost heart, and she thinks that perhaps it is that she tries to force the words from her mouth that is the problem. She now remembers clearly what had happened in her mind, her memory of what went wrong clouded in the panic of the moment, she had not fallen into the turbulent water but thought she  heard Ta'las call from the water and leaped without thinking realizing to late the strength of the currents that would catch her. Now with Talia's guidance she realizes the folly she had made, she is now confident she could once again meditate without repeating it, but she feels no need for it now the chaotic flood has ceased and now the river of emotion that had been held back flows smoothly. Terra thinks of these things as Talia goes to relieve herself, then then stands and meets Talia as she returns taking her hands in friendship.

"Thank you Talia, I am sure my mother would have said the same if she were here."

A tear of morning runs down her cheek in spite of her smile and being generally happy and content with the path her life is taking, the wounds of loss still fresh after all the years of being covered up. They sit and talk the rest of the day until the brownies arrive, then eat a light meal and listens to one brownie describe the next phase of their healing process. Terra notices tension seep into Talia as the healing is described, even as she tries to keep it within herself, in response Terra places her hand on Talia's shoulder and gives a reassuring smile.

"I will keep my promise to you Talia to be with you through this. We should not fear what is to come, though it may be difficult, I do not think the brownies would have us do anything that would cause harm."

As they are instructed to move to the mud Terra takes a few steps then pauses looking down at the white dress that she still wears.

"Could I have a minute to change into something not easily spoiled?"

Receiving an indication that it was except able she disappears to a private place in the woods with her pack returning in what would have been a modest outfit years ago, but now proves taught and revealing a little more of her chest then appropriate, the top buttons of the shirt obviously imposable to fasten properly. From then she seems more than eager to have her body hidden beneath the mud.
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Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #51 on: October 19, 2007, 03:00:01 AM »

So that should help to strengthen their body, mind and soul?

Talia was half sitting, half lying comfortably into the warm mud, covered up till the neck. The hot water well somewhere nearby guaranteed, that their „bed“ would stay as warm as it was. Though the dark brown moor had not been a very inviting sight  when they stepped in, the feeling now was a great one. It was as if they lay in silk, so soft was the moor to the touch, just a bit warmer. As soon as the nose was accustomed to the not everyday experience there was nothing which went amiss. She wished she could talk to Terra. Was the ban to talk of the fire part still valid? She didn‘t know. The stars above in the cloudless sky were a grandiose sight. Her thoughts wandered randomly. This time she did remember a lot of things of her past in the desert and her voyage, but it was not such a frightening encounter like during the fire healing. She could think at the fire demon without falling in panic, though her heartbeat accelerated slightly.

Talia must have slept at times, she noticed the moving of the bright stars above her. Quite a part of the long night must have already passed, when a fine mist started to cover the whole area. It might have been only a fore high, but became quite dense with the time. There had been some water vapour in the air before, gases rising from the warm mud into the fresher air, but they never clouded the sight to the nearby trees and mountain slope.

It was getting slightly scaring. Once paying more attention Talia heard a lot of noises she had not noticed before. She wondered, if the Brownies were nearby and if they were strong enough to protect them should any wild beast decide to get an easy meal.
She tried hard to think at nicer things, forced her thoughts to remember hot days in the Ráhaz-Dáth, but to no avail. There had been rivermaids who pulled their raft up the river. Where rivermaids lived, could there not house swamphags  as well? Was not their natural habitat moors and little deep ponds? But no, they didn‘t exist, they were only myth. Nothing than lore to frighten little kids away from dangerous places. The mud seemed to become colder with the time, or at least Talia thought so. If she only could talk to Terra! Talia hoped that she woudl not have such frightening ideas..

It seemed to Talia that ages had passed till it began to dawn and with relief she saw the brownies arrive who gestured towards them to get out and to the river to wash the dark brown substance from their bodies.
What would come next? Had Primrose already mentioned what it was? Talia couldn‘t remember, but feared, that she would get to know it soon enough, there was no restday planned in-between.
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Talas Anthavin
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« Reply #52 on: October 24, 2007, 10:39:22 AM »

Ta'las wakes the following morning just as the first rays of Injera stream through the window of the small hut.  He eats lightly and dresses quickly.  Today, the Shendar puts on his full 'suit' of armour, including his headscarf, which he wraps around his face, leaving only a thin slit to see through.  Finally, he buckles on his weapons belt sheaths his dou'kilij, shoulders his pack which contains a change of clothes, and exits the hut.  Ta'las strides purposefully to the small clearing where he had watched over Terra as she slept the previous night.

Why here? he wonders to himself, as he looks around at the large oak and ash trees that stand at the periphery of the clearing, except to the east and west, where the first and last light of the setting sun will blaze through two openings in the trees.  Ta'las looks down, and again notices the gold medallion of Foiros hanging around his neck.  He finds himself thinking of his time in the Rahaz-Dath with his tutor, Kal'manth.  He closes his eyes and remembers a sweltering hot day beneath the hammering rays of Injera, only a few days after bonding with Desert Rose.

Ta'las feels the heat on his brow as if he were there...

***

He opens his eyes - the clearing has disappeared - and in its place he sees the vast openness of the desert.  Rolling dunes of sand stretch around him for miles, a harsh wind throws sand at his skin, and his parched throat cries out for water.  Standing before him is Kal'manth, dressed in gold rahez-estar armour, with his arms crossed.

From behind his headscarf, his gravelly voice reaches Ta'las.  "You may find, Ta'las, that once you begin the Journey to Second Reality, that you will be drawn to certain places - areas of Santharia strong in energy.  Remember this, Ta'las, for the energy of these areas will help you gain...insights.  And that energy will help you in your physical training as well."  Kal'manth spreads his hands and adds, "this is one such place of energy."

"Here?" Ta'las asks incredulously, looking up at Kalmanth who seems as tall as the sky.  "How can you know this?  And even if you did, how would you ever find your way here?"

Kal'manth glares at him.  "Do you not listen, young one?  Places of power draw you to them - if you know how to perceive them.  This is something you must learn, Ta'las - how to perceive without using your sight."

Ta'las blinks in confusion.  "You want me to see without my eyes?"  Then, though his tutor's mouth is hidden beneath his headscarf, Ta'las imagines Kal'manth smiling at him in approval.

"That is exactly what you must do, Ta'las."

***


The Shendar opens his eyes, and realises with newfound knowledge why he chose this place to resume his training.  And perhaps, this is why he unknowingly brought Lady Terra here the previous night.

Ta'las draws his weapons and begins his weapons' practise in earnest.  The Shendar calms his mind and focusses on perfecting each move, and pushing his body to the limits of his endurance, speed and flexibility.  Hours pass by without him realising how much time he spends, until finally the evening light streams into the clearing.  When he is finished, his body feels fatigued yet somehow strengthened.  Though his pulse races, his mind is at ease, and he calmly returns to the hut.

He finds a nearby stream, quickly undresses and bathes, enjoying the feel of the cool water on his skin.  Ta'las spends a few minutes on the bank of the stream, just looking into the water - he wonders how Lady Terra and Talia's healing is going.  He finds himself smiling when he thinks of Lady Terra, and wishes he could be with her.

Ta'las clothes himself in his clean clothes and returns to the hut.  He falls asleep at once - once again, his dreams find him.
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« Reply #53 on: November 08, 2007, 12:00:46 PM »

As Ta'las strides through the ar'pun grass, he is surprised that he can now smell the faint earthy scent of its leaves.  He reaches out his hand and feels the grass brush against his fingertips.  The Shendar looks up ahead and the scent of the brackish water reaches him as he approaches his mother-sister.  The night air is filled with the sound of a multitude of different insects, as well as the swaying of the ar'pun grass.

"Mother-sister," he says in awe, his voice fills with fear, thinking that perhaps he has passed into his Journeyon.  "What is happening?"

She looks at him and shrugs.  "You are becoming aware, Ta'las."

The Shendar smiles proudly.  "So I am walking the Warrior's Path."

His mother-sister shakes her head.  "Don't be so sure, young one.  You are taking steps, but there is more than awareness that is needed before you may call yourself a 'Warrior'."  She sighs and waves a hand over the water-mirror, which begins to shimmer.

"Ta'las, can you remember when you bonded with your Aj'nuvic?"

He looks into the water-mirror and smiles wistfully.  "I do - it was cold and raining.  Desert Rose was irate and tried to bite me when I first tried to feed him."

His mother-sister waves her hand.  "No.  You are remembering what you saw with your eyes.  Why did you persist?  Why did you and Desert Rose bond?"

Ta'las furrows his eyebrows a moment and considers her words.  In his mind, he reaches back to that day and tries to recall how he felt.  The 'Grounds' were windswept and a rare heavy rain pounded the earth.  He remembers seeing a small Aj'nuvic standing alone near a dead birch tree, shivering in the rain with its fur matted against its back.  However, when Ta'las came near, the little Aj did not run or hide - it simply stood and waited.  He and Desert Rose watched one another for hours, until the storm reached its peak, as the wind and rain slashed against the night.  He recalls walking toward Desert Rose then, and his Aj also walked toward him, until they stood inches away from one another.  Kindred spirits - stalwart in the face of adversity. 

Fierce pride fills the Shendar's heart, and he nods at his mother-sister.  "We both honour strength in those who carry on despite what they face.  I must prepare now."

He turns away from his mother-sister, who shakes her head.  "Still so far to go," she whispers.

***


Ta'las rises and has a short breakfast.  Then, as yesterday, he returns to the small clearing, and resumes his training.
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« Reply #54 on: November 15, 2007, 06:52:11 AM »

Terra was more than eager to slip into the dark warm mud after it is finally explained that they were to be naked. She could not help but to blush in modesty at being naked before so many eyes and made haste to hide her nakedness beneath the mud. It was surprisingly warn and soothing where she had expected mud to be cold and uncomfortable, she never had an experience like this, for her mud has always came with oppressive rain.

As Terra settles into the soothing mud memories of her childhood arise, she remembers much to her parents horror how she would revel in going out to play during rain storms when she was little. It did not matter then that she was soaked to the bone, mud up to her knees and looked like a half drown rat. It was a time of innocence and joy. She remembers clearly being called in, pouting all the way to the wash tub that she could not stay out and play longer. But after all the pouting, bathing and a warm meal she would curl up in her mothers lap under a warm blanket and listen to stories till she fell asleep.

When she slept, her dreams were of Ta'las. Being in his arms, imagining what it must have been like to sleep in those arms, feeling his warmth, feeling protected, the peace of knowing he is there with her. Contentment and hope fills her heart, fear becomes a distant memory, she sleeps as if Ta'las's arms still encircle her protectively, a smile gracing her features as dreams dance through her mind.

Upon waking again her memories turn to the Kar'ii lands and her arrival as a young woman, not prepared for the brutality of what she would encounter, worn down by the brutality she had to try to bare to get there. She remembers the gasplly sight of dead orc and humans staining the snow red, and the woman who took so much pride in task of killing before her wounds claimed her as well. Her mind skip quickly through training with her Moon Blade, many of her piers were jealous at how quickly she picked up sword skills they had been taught since their childhood, and more so the latitude she was given to deviate from them.

Again her mind skips, now she is sleeping, her mind unsettled, clawing at the edge of sanity trying to return. Terra's heart sinks that she had once been like that, so consumed by the things she had experienced she could not handle the truth of them, remembering her mind manufacturing demons of the mind to cover the truth. She feels many hands on her, she tries to struggle way but they have her fast, she can't call out. Then she remembers bitter cold, every inch of her body seeming stabbed with needles, cold snow pressing against her naked body as she wakes and her only thought is to not die without her mothers Moon Blade, though she did not recall it's origin at the time.

She remembers standing, freezing snow against her feet feeling as if the soles of her feet had been cut away and she was being forced to walk over searing coals. Her skin feeling as if the very wind were flailing it from her flesh. Dispite all this she walks in her memories, intent on getting her sword back, her very will staying off death, yet her flesh becomes pale from cold. She remembers no other thought but the sword, no relief as the village appears before her, no time for modesty as the Kar'ii take in her pale naked form entering their village. She recalls the shock on the faces of the Kar'ii that had dragged her from her bed and left her for dead, having left the elements the actual task of killing her and her state of mind to cover their deed. She remembers holding forth a hand towards her sword, then her memory seems to skip, without apparent explanation her sword is in her hand, being raised to strike down the Kar'ii that had lead her death plot. The blade falls followed by his head, and then darkness.

She sleeps again only to wake to being beaconed from the mud, and to wash off. She can see Talia's fears rising and give her a reassuring smile, the rigors of this healing seeming not so bad when compared to recovering from the brink of death it's self.

"What troubles you, my friend?", she finally asks.
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Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #55 on: November 28, 2007, 08:20:21 PM »

„I can't say. Maybe it is just because...“ Talia pauses, stares at her feet, but continues after a short while  „maybe because I thought by now I should be more confident, more my old self. It is a bit better, I remembered what happened when we met the demon and did not panic, but then as the night advanced unreal fears entered my mind and I could not push them away. I am ashamed that I have such unproductive fears and though I know that my Shendar family would never abandon me I  have the feeling I'm not longer worth to belong to them. I know this doesn't count with them,  but I tell myself, I'm only adopted and don't belong to them truly. And I'm longing so much for a place where I can be sure I belong to. Not to be there all the time, but to know that there is one.“

Meanwhile tears are falling down her cheeks, one by one, but she wipes them away with a determined move of her arm and says with half a crying  and half laughing voice to Terra. .

„See, I'm weeping like a lapdog where I should be strong, that's not the me I am, or at least not the one I want to be. But you are here, and that is a great help for me.“ Out of a sudden impulse she embraces Terra firmly. When releasing her again she smiles at her. It is only a little smile, but shows a tiny little bit of the confidingness she is lacking and aiming to recover.

„Isn't it strange, that another weak and broken human being can be such a great ..ah..  tower of strength for me? But that is for I know that you are so strong inside, even when you are lost and searching yourself .“ And after a few seconds of silence, Talia adds, and this time she shows a bit more of her genuine smile:
„I think I was very fortunate to meet you in the Thirsty Herald!“


.
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« Reply #56 on: November 29, 2007, 04:30:04 AM »

Terra listens intently to Talia, the woman from which she takes wisdom and guidance, but now she must impart the wisdom and guidance the healing has granted her. When embraced she returns it, when Talia laughs crying she laughs with her and when Talia smiles Terra smiles with her.

"Talia, I miss my mother very much though my memories of her are only of when I was very young and barely able to grasp the concepts of the world around me. While we were in the mud, I dreamed pleasant dreams, remembered things pleasant and not, but I also wept silently for my mother missing her dearly."

Terra pauses a moment, smiling though her expression clearly shows how much her mother is missed.

"You are like a mother to me Talia, you offer the advice and guidance she would if she was here. Tears are not weakness no matter what anyone says, I only wish I had learned that long ago, if I had I would not need this healing now. Cry if you must Talia, I am sure your tears are for a reason even if you do not remember why, I will be here for you. You are not weak, don't let your pains become demons like I did."

Terra takes Talia's hand in hers and gives it a squeeze, her smile brightening a little more.

"Come I am sure the brownies are eager to see us though the next stage of becoming stronger whole people again... And I would really like to se Ta'las again soon."
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« Reply #57 on: December 10, 2007, 08:08:51 AM »

Talia blushes a bit due to Terra's compliment that she is like a mother to her.
"Oh Terra, you are honouring me, but I'm surely not as old to be your mother, though I don't know my true age. And  I'm surely not as wise as I should be!
But you are right, see, over there Primrose is standing and looking quite impatiently if I can read that little face properly. Let’s follow them wherever they want to lead us, we have no other choice I fear."

Primrose orders them to eat a little, to dress lightly, but to take their sleeping role with them and to carry a bundle which they seem to need later on. Then she gives some advice what will await them.
“In the beginning you will have some light, but it will get dimmer with the time and in the end you will sit in the darkness. However, your other senses will be heightened by then and that is what we aim at. You will not eat there, but you are allowed to drink from the water you will find down there. You may sit, lie, go around, be awake or sleep, that is up to you. You may even talk this time, but you have to know yourself, what is good for you. I wish you all the best. Let us go now!”
They are walking, with Primrose  on Terra's shoulder for a little while towards the end of side canon when the path opens to a small clearing with the open mouth of a cave before them. Three other brownies, Gentlesmile, Bluesky and Quickfoot are waiting for them. The sky just starts to get lighter outside with the rays of the Injera greeting the tops of the tallest trees when they enter the dark abyss - at least that is what it looks like for Talia at first. 
The Brownies ask  to carry  them and so each of the two women have two Brownies sitting on their shoulders, little fists clinging to their hair, not bothering if the hairstrands they are holding to are twitching or not.  The path leads through a tunnel which is  high enough so that the humans can go upright. With outstretched arms they are able to touch the walls to the left and right side. After the first few peds a turning cuts of the light of the entrance and suddenly all is dark and black, their path unlit.
"Wait, a little voice commands and to Talia's surprise suddenly a tiny, soft glow is coming from the fist of the brownie on her shoulder.
“What’s that?”Talia exclaims and she feels like the little brownie on her shoulder straightens in pride as he says
“That is a special burning stone! No smoke, just warmth and light!”
“Oh!” is all Talia is able to answer. She knows what burning stones are, but had never expected to find them in the valley of the brownies in a dark cavern and has not yet seen such a small, but bright one as well.
Now they  Terra and Talia are asked to unravel the bundle they had to carry and out come two special made torches. On a  stick a burning stone is fastened which gives some warmth and is glowing in a warm, soft light after a brownie has hit it lightly. But it is nevertheless dark, they barely see where they put their feet.
After a  walk of probably only a few minutes through the darkness with only the light of the burning stone the walls seem to vanish in nothingness. The  burning stone gives light only to a small area, but their other senses, a little draft and the echo of their steps  tell them, that a huger space has to lie in front of them. Talia stops walking and Bluesky urges her to set him down on the ground. After a bit of Brownie talking he takes another tiny torch out of his bag, lits it and runs into the darkness. Suddenly in the center of what turns out to be a miraculous little hall of maybe ten peds diameter and ten peds in height several bigger exemplars of  burning stones are starting to glow in a warm yellow light and what this soft, but intense light is now revealing takes Talia s breath. 
They are in a sacred place, at least that is what Talia thinks. White slender columns of stones are hanging from the ceiling side by side. Some are a bit taller than others, especially those to the side seem longer. In the middle of the cave where the burning stones are placed the ground is fairly even, but around the walls other slender white columns are seemingly  growing upwards and at places those from the ceiling have joined with those from the floor, forming one whole strut reaching from the ground to the ceiling.
The floor around the burning stone is dry and smooth and Tera and Talia are placing their sleeping mats on opposite sides of the “fire”. What now? Talia looks questioning at Primrose, not daring to speak a loud word and Primrose herself doesn't say anything, but only signs her with some movements of her little arms to take place on their blankets. Talia follows her orders.
The four Brownies move around the cave till they have obviously reached a certain place each. Nobody speaks. And then again they start to sing.
It is an eerie sound. The little voices have all high pitches, but nevertheless are quite distinctive each. The tune is at least unusual, of beautiful harmonics, never heard before. Cold shivers are running down Talia’s spine, but at the same time a peace is entering her heart not felt for a long time. She does not know how long they are singing, she doesn’t even realise when they stop and quietly leave the cavern. The music is still in her head some time after they have stopped. She sits quite still for another timespan, not knowing how long. And then she realises, that there is a noise in the silence surrounding them, a steady plop, plop, plop. Listening intensely she cannot figure out what it is and so she gets up and takes one of the burning stone torches the brownies have left. The one in the middle is still as bright as in the beginning, but its light does not reach to the walls of the cavern and so Talia is getting up .

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Talas Anthavin
Uderzan Wanderer
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Human, Shendar, Shen-Kha'si


« Reply #58 on: December 11, 2007, 01:54:47 PM »

Ta'las continues to test the threshold of his endurance, balance and agility through the day.  Practicing both his sword stances and movement, as well as conditioning his body with various exercises he has learned from his mother-sister's husband, Kal'manth.  The Shendar attempts to focus on the energy of this spot, as his tutor had instructed him to do in his youth, and though Ta'las feels strengthened through his training, he cannot 'perceive' anything other than the forest around him.

He stops shortly after Injera has reached its apex in the sky and looks down at the weapons in his hands.  His dou'kilij feel good in his hands - their weight is next to nothing - and he also feels his reflexes are faster, his sword strokes smoother.  However, Ta'las does not feel the energy of the small clearing.

"What am I missing?" he asks himself.

The Shendar sheaths his weapons and closes his eyes.  He feels a gentle breeze on his face; the forest smells of cedar and pine, and the sun's rays warm his body.  Ta'las relaxes himself and tries to imagine the place where he feels the most calm and at peace.  He expects to "see" himself standing with Kal'manth in the rolling dunes of the Rahaz-Dath.

Instead, he sees himself just standing with Lady Terra, here in the clearing.  It is late at night, and the stars are shining overhead.  Ta'las focuses on the image for a while longer, and when he is ready, opens his eyes again.  He continues his sword practice until the evening light begins to fail, and returns to the small hut.
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Terra Artemos
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« Reply #59 on: December 18, 2007, 07:48:20 AM »

Terra sits as she was instructed, awestruck by the cavern they had been led into, though as the brownies began singing their eerie tune she found her hand raised to her ear in discomfort at the high pitch of their voices. They could no know that her training with the Kar'ii had taught her to focus her senses, adapt to the fact her eyes were blinded from the light off the snow, her skin was numbed by the cold, and her ears constantly hounded by the howl of the winds. Yet she bore the discomfort with grace, allowing the singing to continue, even if it did not help her perhaps it would Talia. Even after the brownies ceased singing their voices linger in echo, gently subsiding, this is the only time she can truly take in melody of their song though she does not know the words of their language. Once the melody had trailed off Terra notices Talia had taken up a torch left by the brownies, and raises to follow, though by now the torch is a mere beacon light in the darkness beyond the center of the cavern. She follows confidently listening her her foot step carefully, feeling the movement of the air, and keeping sight of the beacon of the torch as she draws nearer.

Terra comes up beside Talia stopping a mere hand span or two from the edge of a pool and the source of the sound Terra had been aware of and that had drawn Talia to this spot. She looks to Talia trying to gauge her expression in the pale light of the torch, not sure herself of what will come.
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