Elora Brimley - September 29, 2010 03:37 AM (GMT)
The blunt end of the fishing knife handle impacted the back of Elora's dak haired head with enough force to render her unconcious. As she slummed to the soft damp shore, she heard the distant echo of voices, saw the blurred, shifting silouhette of men's legs moving about her, and then the world fell dark and silent. She awoke to feel the cool of night washing over her pinkenned cheeks and curled bare toes, and to hear insects chirping along the slow moving river beside her. The last she remembered, she's been sitting in the mid afternoon sun, basking and contemplating a dip to take the edge off the heat. What hapenned between that moment and now as she lay flat on her back on the shore was a puzzle her aching head could not piece together. A strong scent stung at her nostrils. It was mineral spirits. Her heart sunk as even in her semi conscious daze she knew something had been done to her paints.
Her head flopped to the side where she saw the small boat she used to transport her things around the iles overturned, its contents scattered among reeds and sand. Nothing seems to be taken, only demaged or destroyed. An openned suit case spilled a swirl of clothes. Books were scattered about, open end muddied, and glass pots of paint were shattered, thier pigments spattered and seepting into the earth. Ultramarine pooled about her head, mingling with vermillion - no. That was not paint. Even in the moon light, Elora knew that blackish red to be blood. It pooled about her head like a dark halo, the sight of which sent chills cascading down her spine. Her imidiate efforts to right herself were met with little success. She flopped back to the shore, her cream dress twisted about her.
Who could have done this-and why? Her journey had been faring so well until this most unfortunate development. She'd abandonned her usual Dartfai route and headed North to neutral ground to perform forthose whom had left thier families and homes behind on the front. Her curiosity eventually pulled her further along the waterways into ethereal territory where she had her first exchanges with elves, aquiring a few of thier stories, and offering some of her own. Elves shared much with the Selkie, or so Elora would believe. In her exchanges with them she'd come to think of them as her earthbound cousins. Perhaps she'd been idealistic or naive in her understanding of thier ways. Perhaps she was more thier ennemy than she understood. The attack seemed utterly pointless as nothing was taken. She'd angered someone - some noble who's request for an audience she'd dodged. It was the only explination which came to mind, even if it was vague and unsubstantiated. Whomever it had been and what ever thier reasons, it seemed rather useless to devote any more thought to the mystery before she managed to make her way to the nearest town. She'd have to abandon her things, cut her losses. Swimming seemed quickest way to reach a settlement to resupply. Swimming - her skin! Breath floodded from her chest in panicked heaves as she tossed her head about in search of it. Her frantic gaze finally settled on the white scarf that was her teather to water world. It dangled from a brach above, gently twisting in the cool night breeze.
She breathed a sigh of relief, but the breath stilled in her thraot. A twig snapped in the distance. Perhaps it was somone who could offer help, but more likely it was some beast drawn near by the scent of her blood. She grasped about, finding only a stick. She rolled her eyes at the flimsiness of the wet wood, and tossed it aside. Next her small hands fell upon a stone - smooth and round. She clutched it tight in a white knuckled grasp as if she could squeeze good fortune from it.
This could not be her end - what a sad and unsatisfying denoument. She'd barely breached her second act!There was so much more to be seen, so many more adventures to be had, so many more tales to tell. She refused to accept outright that her mother had been right about the folly and danger of her decision to leave thier small seaside home, and yet here she was, laying blooody and defensless in the black of night, clutching a stone as her skin dangled above and out of reach. At the very least, she could console herself with the knowledge that should she make it out of this pinch alive, it would make once marvel of a tale.
Angevin di Montagne - October 2, 2010 01:07 PM (GMT)
1. a deviation from the common rule, type, arrangement, or form.
2. an odd, peculiar, or strange condition, situation, quality, etc.
3. an incongruity or inconsistency.
"Skepticism is unbelief in cause and effect. A man does not see, that,
as he eats, so he thinks: as he deals, so he is, and so he appears; he
does not see that his son is the son of his thoughts and of his actions;
that fortunes are not exceptions but fruits; that relation and connection
are not somewhere and sometimes, but everywhere and always; no
miscellany, no exemption, no anomaly,óbut method, and an even web;
and what comes out, that was put in."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The apples were ripe enough for cider. He'd come to find this as he'd been offhandedly staring out of his window while washing his breakfast dish. Snapping out of his daze, he'd noticed a dryad circling beneath one of his apple trees, her tanned arm disappearing into the green foliage, only reappearing when her hand contained a plump, red fruit. Shaking his head as he chuckled to himself, he waved to her as she looked in his direction, biting into her prize before skipping off into his strawberry patch. The apples were ripe for cider, which meant the apples were ripe for pie.
October on the brink of the horizon, he'd nearly milked his land for all it was worth, save the swine. He'd already taken a trip to Ad'hira and been given glass jars to contain the milk he'd laced with sugars to flavour them into chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, banana and the like. He'd then taken only one cow this year, the jerky drying out as he'd placed his dishes among the others in his cabinets. What he couldn't use immediately lay on ice for stuffed cabbages, pot pies, roasts and the like. Cans of jams lined one of the walls in his kitchen, though a few were already missing that he'd sent to his sisters. He couldn't keep the boysenberry away from Cśssana and had sent her five jars of that alone. Once he had the apple butter to accompany them, he was set to go.
Laying out a pumpkin pie in the open window, already sliced for the dryads -- they'd been placing hints about his house ( such as drawing pumpkins on his windows with berry juice ) that they were craving one -- he'd rubbed his face, belly filled and his mind now centered on what he required of himself today. He was in need of more wood, having slept against a dead fire the previous night, bundled up in the heat of five blankets. With the coming of the autumn month had come a wintery chill, the pressure of the coming snow already on October's toes. Unprepared, he'd made up his mind before he'd fallen into sleep that he'd see Su'te on the morrow. So slinging his satchel over his shoulder, he'd whistled for Sola Fide who'd been grazing lazily and took off on the day's adventure.
Only having his horse for company, Angevin had been singing his way through the Wie'ste, taking note of a few plants the pixies had been cultivating that smelled like a few herbs he'd been needing to stock in his pantry. And it'd been there, on the border of the Su'te and Wie'ste, strolling alongside the river dividing Meleth and Voren, that he'd taken to a rather odd smell. The smell of copper. And in such pastures, there was hardly any metal. Before long, coming upon the small lake that pooled the waters flowing in from the Sparkling Sea, his nose had bent his senses enough to know better. The smell of blood was thick in the air. He just couldn't see the carca-
Better yet, he couldn't see the girl.
The daylight having closed into night from the length of his journey, his eyes had already adjusted through the transition enough to see a stick get tossed towards the shore. The hand was small as was the rest of her body. And blanketed around her head, in the damp sand, was a pool of blood that was only growing. Hoping from his horse, confusion soon turned into skepticism as he halted. A young girl lying in her own blood near the border of Voren? Something smelled amiss. Whether this was ploy or she had already encountered what was dangerous.
Hands gripping Sola Fide's reigns, he slowly cooed a few paces away from where the girl lay. "Good evening," he said softly, eyes roaming through the trees and along the shoreline quickly. He knew he could sound cold, simply standing there while the girl lay distressed, making small talk for conversation. But caution before action was always one's best defensive in such an offensive setting. It would be worse to be caught unaware, even as fond as he were of Drow.
"Fairing well this fine night?"
Elora Brimley - October 2, 2010 06:11 PM (GMT)
It took all of her restraint not to send the clutched stone hurtling in the direction of the of the approaching soft thumping in the dark. Her vivid imagination ran wild with every monstrosity imaginable on hoofed feet come to consume her, but a wasted shot would do nothing to defend her against any of them. At best it would sooner alert the creature to her location, and at worst it would stirr its temper. The selkie was not the praying sort, and couldn't recall the last time she'd paused to commune with a god or spirit, but as she lay there, with eyes clenched shut, all manner of silent prayers and promises rushed through her head - she'd even begun to bargain with the Maker. She'd be a better person, a better daughter. She'd abandon her wandering ways and settle at last if only fate would deliver her from this miserable circumstances alive and intact. In her desperation, she nearly added taking up the duties of a good wife and mother to the bartering pot, but was prevented from doing do but the soft interjection in the dark. Elora peered with a squinted gaze, using what strength and focous she could muster to tilt her head in the direction of the soft -if indifferent- utterance. The tension that had built in her muscles released with the expulsion of a long breath. She was spared from being torn to shreds, if only for the time being. The sparse distance between her present location and Nightwalker Land was not lost on her. The waterways near to the border made for ease of travel, and in her youthful brazenness she'd believed herself immune to peril. Nothing had troubled her thus far in her travels, and she saw no reason why that ought to change as she settled to sun herself on the shore that afternoon.
Only as she lay flat on her back in the mud with her worldly possessions scattered around her did she see the err in her logic. Whatever star of good fortune had shone over her had long dimmed, leaving her alone in the dark with this stranger, who she would not leap to assume had stumbled upon her with heroic intentions (she'd be the first to admit she'd encountered more heroic tales then heroes of flesh and blood in her wanderings). All pains and perils considered, she couldn't' help but find amusement in his words as they ruminated about her aching head.
"Oh fine and well, thank you. Simply enjoying a view of the night's sky. Feel free to join me should you like. It's spectacular, really." She mused with a small weary wave to the shore next her. If the stranger was a friend, hopefully her tired humor would be well received. If he was foe, well, at the very least she'd meet her end with the same playful mischief which had guided her life.
A wet saucer sized yellow leaf, which appeared brown in the moonlight, was released by the tree that had birthed it in the spring. It spiraled downward through the night air toward the shore, where landed directly on Elora's face with a damp splat. She flinched at the slimy sensation suddenly stuck to her cheek, and grunted her displeasure. Her small hand reached out in search of the fallen foliage, patted her cheek and forehead before finally falling on its target. A scowl circled her lips as the leaf was tugged over them and free from her face.
A bullfrog had settled not far from her blood encrusted head, croaking its nightly sermon. Elora rolled her sights to the side, meeting its bulging golden saucer gaze. She couldn't help but wonder what thoughts churned behind that empty myopic stare, and whether the creature felt longing, or merely hunger. At times the animal realm felt so close to her understanding, and others so far. She was afraid of death, and the though that peering into the eyes of a plump amphibian would be her final recollection terrified her ever more so, but she could not bring herself to look away. It was easier to be distracted by the inflation of the frog's pale bulbous throat rather then dwell on the likelihood of her own demise.
Angevin di Montagne - October 7, 2010 09:28 PM (GMT)
"No no, I'd rather not," he said, releasing his grip on Sola Fide's reigns. "You seem to have this situation under control, actually. I was just passing by and happened upon you. Nice to make your acquaintance."
His eyes, though glued to the girl as he slowly paced his way around her, were everywhere but upon her. His ears were roaming through the grasses of the thicket he'd just escaped, nose adjusting through the scent of blood to examine if he could make out any other specifics. This was no trap here, feet having steadied themselves through the sand to feel for any buried wire, any gaps in which Drow or other mischievous company could have laid out a present for the soon-to-be deceased. It seemed that whatever had transpired, this girl was all that was left of the scruffle. And, as was common with people who were out for their own end, she'd been left to die due to the injury to her head. Stopping beside it, he squatted down, fingers gently attaching themselves to the sides of her temples.
"Do you feel any pain down your spine when I do this?" he asked, gently lifting it from the glossy pool that had been collecting around it. "Or lightheadedness? I merely want to know if you'd be able to sit up or... walk. I would ask if you had anything with you, but I surmise they are with you anymore..."
She seemed to be the only visible stain upon the sand for quite some distance, which had initially made him question whether or not she had been apart of some elabourate ploy to sidetrack wayward travelers from the road. Securing one hand beneath her head, he curled his hair behind an ear. The wet of her injury accidentally left a stain along the curve of his jaw, lips curling downward before he attempted to swipe the red off his face with the back of his hand. He could feel where her skull was splintered, taking care not to press his fingers into the blood attempting to clot about the wound only failing on how quickly it could do so. He needed solvents. He needed to clean it up and perhaps take a needle to the skin and stitch it. But he was fighting with himself, having just recently done the same for another, another that had come be quite the nuisance. He didn't want the responsibility of interacting with people and yet he'd already found himself in the midst of trying to help this girl. Because it's what his sister would have done without question and it was the mentality she had bred into him when he was young.
This was going to be a headache all in itself. He could smell the trouble radiating off of this girl. Because there was also the thought that she could have deserved this. What if it wasn't so much that she were bait for a trap... what if she were the trap? What if she'd been discarded simply because she had been called out for being such? That whoever had left her was relieved they'd finally escaped her, that they'd settled the score between one another and left her to make her own grave? Such a fragile looking thing, she could have injured herself, stacking out to wait for the next available person willing to help a perfect stranger escape their deathbed. And there were always the shifters. The dangerous ones that could change shape, spies for this abominable war. These causes for doubt made him look down upon her, eyes narrowing in the dark.
"How did you manage to find yourself in such a comfortable position," he said slowly, whistling lowly for Sola Fide to approach. Though there was doubt, he was still allowing himself to be led by his instincts and they told him this girl was no threat. She had to have been lying there for quite some time and any villain posing for a victim wouldn't have allowed themselves to drain out so badly. So as the horse slowly trotted over, his nuzzle burying itself into the girl's cheek before he sneezed and attempted to nudge her to pet him, he reached up with his free hand for the canteen that still swung along the horse's side from his movement. He would be able to clear the blood away from the injury with the salt water a few meters away. And it would help to heal it until he could get enough light to see what needed to be done. But not knowing how long she'd been lying there, he could be sure she'd needed to be hydrated before he attempted to move her any further. He didn't need her to pass out or even worse, vomit all over him.
"If you don't mind me asking. And what are you doing on the border of Voren? You are no Drow. This couldn't possibly be your home."
Elora Brimley - October 9, 2010 12:45 AM (GMT)
Control. It was a word reviled by Elora and most her kin. Chaos was much preferable state of affairs - though it would seem as if she'd ended up on the underside of lawlessness this cool dark eve. Freedom isn't free, and the dues for her personal sovereignty had been bought and paid for in blood and broken bone. Even as she lay defenseless against the intentions of the mounted stranger, Elora was reluctant to admit to herself any regret for the choices which had lead to her present predicament. The fleeting feverish promises of sedentary reformation she'd offered up to the powers that be were all but forgotten as the stranger laid hands on her. It was peculiar to be touched, even in a purely practical fashion. She'd become well adjusted to being watched during her travels, bur the sensation of the stranger's finger pads grazing her temples was altogether foreign. It stalled her responses to his queries, as her mind fixated upon the work of his hands rather then the words tumbling out his lips. Even under the mild pain of his prodding she remained still and silent, squinting slightly in an effort to make out the stranger's features in the moonlight.
Whatever dazed calm she'd settled into under the stranger's touch was ruptured by the soft velvety prod of his horse's nose butting into the warm, soft curve of her cheek. Her eyelids flustered in the wake of the animal's hot, moist breath. Horses were peculiar creatures: beasts of burden. Intelligent in their own right but sat upon like mobile chairs. Her grandfather looked upon domestic horses with disapproval and mild distaste. "Broken creatures", he called them. All the better parts of their wild nature had been bread or beaten out of them. Elora couldn't help but smirk at the animal's inquisitive precociousness, and parted her lips as if to address the creature. Before she could speak, however, the stead released a sneeze- a healthy portion of which managed to make its way into her face and into her open mouth. Her nose crinkled and brow tented in breathless disgust, which was likely lost on the stranger given his inquiries about her motives for encroaching on Voreen.
"Your horse - it sneezed! It sneezed right in my mouth! What a rescue: A hearty inquisition with a side of horse snot! Perfect!" Elora gagged, rolling her tongue about inside her mouth.
No sooner had she grumbled her protest and swept the peppering of saliva from her cheek was she overcome by the sting of remorse mingling with her head pain. What little blood she had remaining flooded her cheeks, darkening her complexion in the moonlight.
"I'm sorry, forgive me, the pleasure is all mine, I assure you - the pain too it would seem. There was a bit of hurt when my head was tilted, and I would have gotten up and moved to less bloody, muddy ground to enjoy the absolutely captivating starscape had I the ability... I suppose this is what comes of shortcuts..." She apologized, eyes fixating on what remained of the blood smear on her rescuer's cheek. Her explanation derailed into silence as she stared upward.
"You're an elf, aren't you? Or some kind of elf-kin." She beamed a satisfied smile as she tilted her chin upward, apparently pleased with herself for her identification prowess. "Sameah says you're all boring stiff misogynists, and that I'll be made equally as boring and stiff if I allow myself to linger too long in your company." She grinned, her gaze suddenly shifting from the dark silhouette looming over her to the fringe of long hair, which, in the dark, reminded her of sea grass tendrils drifting about an undertow.
" Your hair is very pretty." She remarked approvingly. Sometime between the stranger's arrival and her captivation with his auburn locks, she'd begun to lose a firm grasp on her thoughts and the speech that came of them. Even in retrospect, she'd never be able to pinpoint precisely when...
Angevin di Montagne - October 12, 2010 04:07 PM (GMT)
"It's better with salt," he mumbled off handed to the girl, so low it was almost as if he'd been muttering to himself. "Horse mucus, that is... gives it more of a refined flavour. Also good for stopping head colds and nausea. Something like what you're experiencing now."
Twisting off the cap of the canteen, his eyes rolled over her, corner of his mouth twitching downward with discomfort. He hated finding himself in these situations, absolutely abhorred it. It made him feel responsible for situations that had come to be without his approval nor knowledge of their existence. But when he came across them, there wasn't a way that he could simply walk away from someone in need. Who knew how long it would have been before another strange passerby had come across the girl... and being a girl caught in such unsettling circumstances, who was to say what they would have done to her when she couldn't defend herself properly? Women were such fragile things, after all. Of all the ones that he'd ever known, they were always easier to break before they became stronger. But in some instances, what would broken could only be mended so far. Thankfully, this wasn't such disastrous wreckage that she was torn apart.
"This is what comes from treachery," he corrected, not finding it amusing to waste time upon her sarcastic wit. However she may be trying to find solace in the situation, he wasn't prone to taking his mind off of the severity of such occurrences. Why imagine that things were easier when they weren't? It didn't take as much effort to admit that you were staring at the stars because you were nearly immobile, did it? Why fabricate such a ludicrous story? "Drink this. You need to hydrate before I m-"
Her thoughts on his breed stopped him in his tracks, eyes snatching up to stare into her own as it hit him he'd yet to actually assess what in fact she was. The term, "elf-kin" gave him the immediate impression that she most certainly wasn't from around here. And if here were such kin, she weren't from any neighbouring territory either. A hydriad was the easiest to place her within. Close to the water, she wasn't complaining that she were being aided by the enemy as would a mystic... and she'd yet to use magic to aid herself. Which, in her disposition, he would have already called upon the forest for aid... something he was hoping he wouldn't have to resort to doing. Otherwise he wouldn't make it to his destination. It took far too much out of him to try traveling for the next two days.
"No, I am not," he said, capping the bottle before rising to stand, scanning the border of the thicket in case it would press that he'd need to borrow some energy. He wasn't as adept in asking sea life for its life force, finding it easier to call upon the land and its grasses. Eyes landing on a sturdy tree, he looked down at her with a sigh. He was almost afraid to move her, hands coming up to rub the frustration from his eyes. But he'd need her close, far much closer if he were to actually succeed in this. "I am a demon. I'm going to rape you. In this condition you're exceptionally ripe for the taking. You'll give me three children before I sacrifice you to vampiric young. We will have a short and miserable life together. Amen."
Her stared at her dully. He hoped she weren't daft enough to take him seriously.
Ignoring her compliment, he squatted back down beside her, securing his arms behind her head and underneath her legs before looking her face over. "I won't be moving you too far. Over to the tree. You don't have enough time... pick a star and try to focus on it. Whatever you do, stay here with me. Focus on your... Samaeh if you must."
Lifting her from the ground, he headed over to the tree, wincing at the sight of red that already stained his shoulder. These trying times were no good for him, anymore, these attacks striking closer and closer to home. Even the Drow couldn't be accounted for all of these doings, no matter how conniving they were. They wouldn't have afforded this to be successful. How much could you have gained in gold from doing this?
Elora Brimley - October 13, 2010 05:07 AM (GMT)
There wasn't any time to object to being moved. The smile stretched across Elora's bloodied and weary features shrunk into a grim tight line. What little colour remained in her features drained entirely, leaving her with the palour of an otherworldly spectre. Once settled at the base of the tree, her large doe eyes widened, pupils narrowing to terrified pin points as they stared up imploringly at the professed demon. In her tenuous grasp of reality she'd struggled to make sense of most of what the stranger had said, his jokes on snot seasoning lost on her. What reached her as clear as the night sky this cloudless eve were two syllables which made her heart leap upward and lodge in her throat: vampire. Why she hadn't though of it before, she could only guess at. Perhaps she had simply blocked her exchanges with the vampire king and his frigid female companion from her memory. She'd thought her humiliation had served as an end to their encounter but perhaps she'd underestimated their vindictiveness in a very real way - a way which would cost her her life and then some.
Time seemed to slow to a crawl as she sat slumped against the trunk. Her body was sluggish and unresponsive but her imagination was quick to stretch the stranger's sarcasm into hyper realistic waking nightmares which assaulted her mind's eye: Her bloody unresponsive body stretched over the cold, hard, unforgiving expanse of a stone alter, the stranger's unwanted touch traversing the expanse of her aching body, the dozens of tiny vampiric mouths boring into her flesh like fist-fulls of needles. Her heartbeat began to pound with such intensity she could feel it's feverish rhythm across the surface of her skin, the hot sensation of which only fueled her panic. Cold sweat slicked her flesh and her breath became elusive. It was as if an ever tightening knot had been bound about her lungs.
Her eyes flickered from the stranger to the stars to which she'd been directed. Elora attempted to select a single light through her murky sight but their white light seemed to bleed together in a network of gold and silver. In her desperation she thought of Sameah, but could only guess at how her queen managed to contact her over the vast distances in which she did. Elora was only ever on the receiving end of those lengthy communiques.
Where was her Zeke with his incomprehensible, but ever reliable defenses? It appeared as if she'd exhausted not only all her good fortune, but the good graces on which she'd come to depend as well. She returned to the same dark place in which she'd found herself before the stranger's arrival, a muddy shoreline where she would die alone - with not even a soul about to tell her tale once she was gone. Her eyes fell from the heavens to her crumpled torso to the expanse of her useless mud encrusted limbs, to the stranger who'd found her once more. The muscles along her jaw set with determination, and a glimmer of resistance flickered across her worn eyes.
"This is what comes of treason?" Elora parroted back with defiant ire in her tone. "You can tell your king this is what come of tyranny, and pompous aristocrats who shrink back under damage to their delicate over inflated egos!" Her voice cracked despite her best efforts to keep it steady.