Advancing down the alleyway, Erihsehc thought back to the last time he met up with Lennier Greycloud. It had been at least several seasons past at his home before Erihsehc set off on the Azaer Campaign. It had been Lennier who recommended to him the adventure and therefore might be a chance that he would know the true identity behind the person who arranged the campaign and possibly why then it had gone disastrously erroneous.
It was a clatter that broken his thought and stopped him dead in his tracks. Though the sun was out and strong the light was unable to penetrate the area Erihsehc heard the noise from. It was particularly dark and so to be sure he slowly drew his dagger from its sheath with his left hand. Though Lennierís humble abode was not far, this disturbance was enough to make him investigate. Narrowing his eyes and concentrating on the area the clatter came from; there was no obvious large shape that could be recognised. Still caution needed to be maintained as the possibility of a shape shifting or invisible creature entered his mind. With his dagger at the ready Erihsehc moved slowly towards the darkened area ready for whatever was there!
Posted on 2008-04-12 at 09:55:51.
Edited on 2008-04-12 at 09:56:44 by Cheshire Cat
The woman nearly stops in her tracks, seeing the stranger advance on her. *sigh* Well, how can I blame them? I'd probably advance too, seeing a stranger in an alley and I am in the dark here. the girl thinks to herself, continuing to walk into the light.
"There's no need for that." She says, her voice slightly surprising her, being gentle and calm but firm, and with a pitch and resonance different and seemingly older than her normal voice; she had forgotten this body's voice, since she had not used it for a while now.
Stepping into the light, the woman curtsies to the stranger, "I'm sorry if I startled you, but I wasn't expecting to come across anyone going this way."
She smiles warmly, "Well, I imagine you are busy as well, so I won't take any more of your time."
The woman steps forward, passing the stranger, "Take care." She says in farewell.
It was an overwhelming sense of familiarity that came first followed by the appearance of a woman from the shadows. It fully caught Erihsehc off guard, half expecting a beggar, drunk, assassin maybe but not a creature so exquisite. What, whom and why came to mind. Was she in trouble, hiding from someone, was it worth getting involved or just turn away and ignore the incident.
Without a blink of an eyelid the woman just calmly made polite small talk before making her way past Erihsehc as if it was the most natural thing to do. He could not be sure but on the occasions these sensations have taken over him he was sure that this woman was part of it. What was happening to him recently he could not understand was it another part of his quest to find answers like his nightmares!
"Wait" Erihsehc finally managed to muster. He felt ashamed to ask standing there in his adventurers clothing that had seen better days. He was glad now that the inn he stayed in allowed him the opportunity to clean before he left, still he felt it inappropriate to stop the exquisite woman but putting away his dagger he boldly asked anyway, "Have I seen...have we met before?"
The woman turns, and regards the man carefully, her hand moving to her chin in thought as she takes in his appearance.
"I don't believe so; I'm sure I would remember." The woman says finally, the lie smoothly hidden in her steady, matter-of-factly voice.
In truth, it wasn't even that much of a lie; her form now is quite different from her real form, and so she was basically a whole other person, and they hadn't even met when she was in her natural form, separated by several metres as she flew above. As for the beginning question stopped so abruptly by the man, it was quite true he never saw her; at the time, she was invisible. With the half-truth, the lie becomes lost from sight.
Hidden in the form of an elven woman, the little sylph girl once again turns to leave.
Erihsehc listened as the woman politely and assuredly spoke that the two had not previously met. Taking her word and having no reason to stop the woman on her travels, he watched as she turned and made her way out of the alleyway. For what ever reason she was there it was really not of his concern and therefore this thoughts turned back to his own quest, that of Lennier.
It was only a short walk away was the home of Lennier Greycloud. The out side had changed little and knocking on the door a few moments later an old woman answered. "I am here to see Lennier?" The old woman spoke that she had not heard of such a person and quickly closed the door. This was not what he expected and the fear of his last lead disappearing made him uneasy. He was about to knock again to question the woman further when a voice from behind him spoke weakly, "I knew a Lennier, once." Erihsehc turned to see a beggar sitting with his back against wall head down and in much need of a good clean and food. Erihsehc took out a piece of bread and his water pouch and walked over to the beggar. Handing the beggar the refreshments he asked what he knew of Lennier. The beggar took a bite out of the beard and after chewing for a while began to talk. He explained how he was the resident beggar of this particular alleyway and how Lennier often looked out for him. He would aid Lennier to gain ingredients for his potions as he had begun to dabble in alchemy. Not that the beggar knew exactly what he was up to but if he got the ingredients Lennier asked then food and drink was always on offer. He then spoke that sometime ago a man only known a Von Vliess came to see Lennier once a week. Sometimes arguments would fair up and Von Vliess would storm out of the house. It was a day after one particular flare up that Lennier then disappeared not to be seen or heard of since. The beggar thought it odd that even the administration had not taken interest in his whereabouts and soon moved someone into his home. The beggar did try his own find out himself he felt that he needed too but no one had answers. The only tad of information came from a fellow beggar who described a creature like none he had seen before came to this particular part of the town and was seen leaving with a large sack. The beggar did not like to put two and two together but he surmised that Lennier had been taken and he would not see him again.
Erihsehc asked if he knew anything more about this Von Vliess, tracking Lennier was not an option but this man might have an idea of who or what took him. The beggar began to rub his head and Erihsehc knew it would take more that bread and water to get anything more out of the beggar. Rummaging in his pocket he pulled out a small silver coin and flicked it to the beggar. With his eyes now wide and jumping up at his new found fortune the beggar fled but not before he told Erihsehc where he could find him.
It would be a two day journey to Von Vliessís home and it meant going on part of the notorious muggers trail. Still all was not yet lost. Gathering himself Erihsehc knew he needed to make a few supply stops in Raongreddinn before he began on his new quest.
The woman exited the alleyway, unstopped, and mentally she breathed a sigh of relief. He had seemed to tell somehow that she was there before, and that unnerved her a bit. Oh well, she would disappear soon enough.
She casually wanders around, until she spots a vacant alleyway. She finds it considerably more difficult to ensure she is not being watched, since she can't simply fly and check on all the windows, but she still had acute senses, and paced several times through the alleyway, as though she were waiting for someone, when in actuality she was ensuring no one was looking.
In the blink of an eye, she vanishes. Just as before, she sets her bag out. Placing the elven dress in the bag carefully, she pulls out her sylvan clothing, which was little more than a silken skirt and backless and sleeveless top. With just a thought, she ends her spell, and her body slowly shifts back to her natural form, with her small stature and dragonfly wings. The invisible girl dresses, and sets her bag back along her waistband. Stretching her wings for just a moment, she takes off into the air.
The sensation of free flight after being encumbered on the ground felt so liberating for her, no matter how short an excursion she took with her elven form. It almost made her regret having to take an earthly form at all, but well, she would undoubtedly draw attention in her natural form if she was seen. Well, she didn't have to really worry about that, since no normal person would be able to see her while invisible anyway.
Ascending above the tops of the buildings, she stops at a clocktower, and sits on its roof.
Despite being away from Raongreddinn for a considerably time, it did not take Erihsehc long to navigate around the place to pick up the few supplies that he needed for his trip. First stop was to get a horse.
The marketplace was good source of picking up supplies and soon found a horse trader. Studying the horses from a distance, weary of getting involved in chatter with any traders, he soon had an eye on a chestnut coloured horse. It had seen better days but he only needed a horse that would be stronger enough short term and the finer horses would be out of his price range. Giving the horse a closer inspection he made a swift deal with the trader and left the horse where it was ensuring that the trader gave the horse a feed and drink until he got the rest of his supplies. Some food rations, clothing, herbal remedies were readily accessible.
His last trip was to a metal smith. Getting his dagger sharpened, stocking up on crossbow bolts and acquiring a good strong short sword were on his agenda. The first two he had no problem with however he could not find a sword. They were too heavy, too expensive or just plain. About to leave from the corner of his eye he spotted a warhammer. Then something hit his mind, a flashback of sorts. In many of his nightmares he had seen himself using a warhammer. That was not strange for in his dreams the warhammer would certainly be the weapon of choosing. He can not however remember using or having a warhammer. Still for no real reason he went over picked it up and the sense of familiarity once again came over him. It felt so natural and despite the weight did not hinder his movement with it. The metal smith trader looked over at him in a strange manor and when Erihsehc enquired about the warhammer he practically gave it away before ushing Erihsehc out the door. Not going to quibble over his good fortune he gathered himself and made his way back to his horse.
It was now time to begin his journey and like so many one his must do on his own. He reflected on his day especially the meeting in the alleyway with the strange woman half thinking where and what she was up to. He mounted his horse and gave a glance around. Who knows when he might travel back this way. The late afternoon sky was clear so there would still some useful daylight hours left before he would need to camp. Kick starting his horse he began his journey out of Raongreddinn and to the home of Von Vliess, unsure of his what to expect.
Out of the corner of her eye, the girl can see a horse leave town. Upon it is the rider whom she had followed earlier, and even more recently actually ran into, albeit in a different form. What are you up to? She wonders, leaping from the clock tower and into the air.
However, even as she flies high above and catches up to the rider below, the girl feels a shiver. It was a calm day, with no breeze or anything, but it is not the weather that caused her to shiver. Oh no... how long have I been here? The girl wonders, glancing up at the sun above to judge. It has been at least a week, and still there was nothing... was she wrong? She desperately hopes so, but she pushes the thought out of her mind, feeling the gentle air beneath her and holding her aloft. She soon forgets, feeling the tranquil motion of flying and allowing it to calm her nerves.
Pensive, the girl continues flying, invisible to all sight, and she follows the little dot that is the person below.
With the pleasant weather Erihsehc had made good progress. He started on the maid road where traffic was rife with the arrivals and departures of such a large town. With in hours and taking a side road the meeting of other travellers grew less and less. His horse was, for his age working just fine. It was never going to win a race but it was use to being travelled on and gave him no trouble. It seemed content on the road and every so often they would stop for a break and a refresh.
With the sun making a slow retreat it was time to think about camp for the night. Erihsehc knew the muggers trail that he needed travel on was not too far away and he would prefer to travel it by daylight. Finding a suitable spot close to a brook he allowed his horse to drink and graze while he built a small fire. Taking a days ration he ate and drank, which was welcome. As the sun disappeared the nightís sky was clear with the stars twinkling brightly. Securing his horse to a nearby tree he then settled down himself sitting with his back against the trunk. Thinking about the last few days he was no closer to any answers and felt more distant then ever. Thinking of tomorrow he knew an early start was essential as the sooner he got on and off the muggers trail the better it would be.
It was his horse that awoke him. Instinctively he drew his dagger and searched around. Something spooked his horse again as it tried to escape lifting his front two legs in the air as if trying to beat something off. Still nothing the darkest made it increasingly difficult for Erihsehc and before he could defend himself a creature came flying out of the blackness knocking him clean to the ground and his dagger flying out of his hand. Feeling a trickle of blood down his face he looked up to face the creature that now had him pinned down. It was a yeth hound and with his dagger now out of reach he looked directly into the creatureís eyes and waited for its next move.
The girl watches the stranger's plight below; she didn't need to sleep, and didn't need to eat either. If I interfere... what will happen? the girl wonders, they might come, and if they do, what will I do? What do I do? A bead of sweat drops from the girl's forehead.
Down below, the drop hits the hound's nose, and the hound sniffs, catching an unexpected scent. It tilts its head as high as it can go, to no avail; even those who can see in the dark cannot see this girl. Oh dear, it noticed me; I have to do something now. the girl thinks, glad that the decision was made for her, but still apprehensive of the repurcussions.
Still sniffing and looking, the hound doesn't even get to react until it is too late. It cries out in pain as something hits it quite hard in the side, which throws it back and shows that its side is now cut open and is bleeding. A silvery scimitar appears, dropping to lean against a tree trunk to the side, the moonlight glinting off of the parts of it not covered in the hound's blood. The hound, now hurt, leaps into the air, trying to follow the scent of its attacker. However, the air is the girl's element, and even the hound cannot track her in the air.
Posted on 2008-05-13 at 00:35:36.
Edited on 2008-05-13 at 00:42:49 by Reralae
Just as the hound was about to continue its inhuman attack from seemingly out of nowhere another creature flew out of the darkness. Erihsehc caught a glimpse of a silvery object probably a weapon of sort strike the hound firmly. It was enough to knock the hound back and for the time it was no longer interested in him. Whatever or whoever caused the damage was swiftly out of sight. The hound eyes were concentrating on the nightís sky and this was enough to allow Erihsehc to take action himself.
Not able to locate his dagger his crossbow was equipped. With the hound still searching the air Erihsehc took aim and let fire a bolt. It hit the hound squarely on the hind. With another cry and though it was no fatal shot it was enough to convince the hound that this was not a battle to continue with. Mustering whatever energy it had left it dragged its wounded body back into the darkness.
Erihsehc stood in the darkness listening as the houndís cries faded into the distance. It soon went quiet even his horse had calmed and was at a standstill. It was then he caught sight of a silvery object leaning against the tree trunk. Walking over and as he got nearer he noticed it was a scimitar and the weapon that must have inflicted the hound first wound. He did not pick up instead he looked into the nightís sky wondering what or who had saved him and whether they would return to claim back the weapon.
The sylph girl hovers in her spot several feet above the tops of the trees. It seemed that the stranger had an interest in her blade, of course. It did come out of nowhere after all, but now how was she going to get it back without revealing herself to him?
The answer came to her quite quickly, being naturally gifted with magical capabilities. Still invisible, the girl murmurs softly, beckoning the sword up with her words and motions. The sword pulls itself up from the wooden trunk it rests against, and, without apparent cause, flies into the night sky. The girl makes sure that it flies around a bit, making sure to loose the stranger if they followed the sword with their eyes, until it comes to her, hidden above a thickly leaved tree. As soon as she touches the blade, it too disappears from sight, and she puts it in her bag.
Her interference is now complete, and the girl shivers as she looks at the moon, flying to a higher altitude as she does so. What repurcussions, if any, could this bring about? The girl doesn't know, and hopes in her heart that it is nothing.
If it was not for the awareness of blood trickling down the side of his head what happened next could have easily been part of his nightmares. The scimitar started to rise above his head taking Erihsehc by surprise as he was still looking towards the sky when he caught sight of it from the corner of his eye. Trying to follow its path was not straightforward. Though the silvery weapon should have stood out against the black backdrop the swiftness and changeable movement made it impossible to follow and soon it vanished from view all together. Try as he might to find it again it was no use the weapon and his apparent saviour was gone.
All he could do is stand in the still of the night and contemplate who or what aided his plight against the hound. Though his nightmares often offered clues to his quest he had never had visions or sense of anyone looking over his like a guardian angel. It might just have been a one off someone passing and taking pity but why not introduce themselves?
It was too early to make a move and the horse needed rest after its fright. Tending to his wound which was thankfully a flesh wound he tried to get some rest himself. On his guard at first the tiredness soon took over and the remainder of the night went without incident.
At first light and after a feed for both himself and his mount and checking his wound it was time to make haste. With luck his journey onto the muggers trail would go without any conflict otherwise it could be an eventful and disastrous day. Gathering his belongings he mounted his horse and began his journey. It would be an hour or so before he hit the trail and he would have to be on his guard as anything could happen but once he passed this part of the route and would only be a short time to the home of Von Vliess.
The girl did not sleep that night. She was too anxious, too nervous, and besides, the ground might have betrayed her presence if she landed to sleep. However, it's not as though she needs sleep, so it's not that much of a loss.
Morning. Bright and warm, with only shadows to hide the darkness. From her view up here, she can see a flowering cherry tree. Time for a detour! There is a myth among sylphs of a special type of blossom. It only blooms on cherry trees, and even then it is quite rare, being a seemingly unnatural occurance. Unnatural it may be, the rainbow blossom, a cherry tree flower with a larger number of petals that display the whole spectrum, is very pretty. Its core is a bright white, said to glow with varying intensity, growing stronger the darker it is. It is even said that the flower is immortal, never aging or dying, a true witherless flower, even if taken from the tree.
Of course, it is still just a flower, but beauty is still beauty, no matter the source, whether it be from stone or wood. Still, the pretty things of other worlds is exactly the reason why this girl wanders throughout the worlds, collecting little tokens. The girl dances through the air around the cherry tree, searching for the mythical flower. After going around the whole tree several times, the girl stops, pretty sure that the flower isn't there. Oh well the girl thinks, maybe there'll be one on another tree.
One thing about the myth that this girl was not told, however, is that on the same tree that has a rainbow flower, it also always has a pitch black flower bulb. It only blooms when the rainbow flower is taken off of the tree, and when it does, a monster is created from its pollen, and the monster pursues the one with the rainbow flower. The flower only gives off enough pollen to make one, and then whithers into dust, but often one is enough. The monster appears as two black orbs, each with a white circle on its 'front' with three silvery spikes arranged at the top, side, and bottom, and on the other side is a black chain that connects the two orbs. The spikes are usually retracted, keeping the two orbs spherical in shape. They float and hover through the air by unknown means, and their chain can increase or decrease in length, giving them quite a formiddible reach. These monsters are referred to as Black Guardians.
Finally, the dust from the original black flower would gather and solidify into a single black arrow, which would then multiply several times, resulting in twenty arrows in total. These arrows are slightly unstable, being made of a bizarre substance, and when they impact something from being fired, they cause an explosion of blackness that does further damage to the object or creature they hit.
The girl lightheartedly returns to following the stranger on the ground below, unknowing exactly what would happen if she did find and take the rainbow flower.
Erihsehc started the journey at a steady pace not wanting to use up too much energy in case he needed his mount to make a sudden charge or escape. He felt that the weather was not too his advantage either. As the morning wore on the clouds evaporated to make way for a sunny blue sky and a sweltering temperature, perfect for a good dayís ambush.
The muggers trail that he needed to journey upon was only for about twenty or so miles and although it would only take a few hours it was still enough for an encounter. The trail was well known and was part of a main route between large trading towns. Banked by hilly forests and hidden caves it was an ideal place for the thieves to go about the muggings. It was largely suspected that the thievesí guild paid off the elite guard of the towns to ensure that the road was not too patrolled and therefore making it a trouble-free place to go about mugging traders, the wealthy, the poor just about anyone. Of course there was another route but this would take a three day trek on a mountainous path that bordered a large goblin clan. Taking that route put you at risk of being robbed and killed where as by talking the trail only the stupid or brave took on the thieves who would otherwise just take your wares and vanish.
Throughout the day, Erihsehc felt as if he was being watched but he put it down to slight paranoia of the area he was in and quickly turned his mind to the task in hand. It had been trouble-free hour on the trail and apart from a trader passing the other way who was wary of Erihsehc despite his best effort of a warm greeting; he was starting to feel at ease in the warm afternoon sunshine. Rounding a bend soon charge the situation as a head Erihsehc spotted three figures in the distance heading his way. Alert knowing that this look like danger he grabbed hold of his warhammer in his left hand and taking the horse reigns with his right. Pausing he watched as the three figures stood in the middle of the road watching his move. Erihsehc could not turn back or go around. Forward was the only option. Giving his horse an encouraging kick Erihsehc began a charge towards the three figures. As he got nearer he could make out that the figures were three human males; two were average sized and one male at least 6í5 in height and burly with it.
Building up speed his horse was appeared ready for the battle ahead. Despite the charge the figures stood there ground. One pulled out a short handed crossbow aimed and fired. Erihsehc was too quick dodging the bolt and readying his warhammer aloft he brought down a crashing blow to one of the smaller men. The blow hit his square on the head sending the men flying and spraying Erihsehc and his horse with blood. His horse bolted sending Erihsehc crashing to the ground. No longer grasping the warhammer he quickly made a grab for his dagger and got too his feet. The man he hit was lying motionless by the side of the road and the other smaller man was by his side. He did not stay, choosing instead to disappear into the woods. This just left Erihsehc and the burly man sizing each other up. His opponent also had a dagger drawn and wanting to say something to try and avoid a fight he knew deep down and by the look on the other manís face that any words would be ineffective. It was going to be a fight and one to the death.