6th day of the 8th month: Temoth Ore
Lady Quilanday took Elessarae close to one of the windows opposite the door of the inn. She looked at her younger friend for a while before speaking, the words obviously struggling to come out.
“I don’t know how to tell you this… I just came from Sillarion, where the council is working really hard on controlling this situation. All forces have been ordered to return to their home base. There was a reading by Olian Demanili, one of the elder sages of the Aerie of the High King. Your parents were there….
Afterwards, when people were going home, there was a large attack of twisted forest cats. Your mother was killed in that attack, Elessar. I’m sorry. I have a letter from her general for you here.”
She handed the letter over, and placed a hand on Elessar’s shoulder. Comrade, who had been watching from a distance, came closer now and nudged his nose into Elessar’s arm.
The letter didn’t tell her much that Quilanday hadn’t already told her. Her mother’s funeral was in three days, enough time for her to speed to Sillarion. But it would mean that she would have to abandon her quest and leave the party for a long time. It was a hard choice to make.
Elessarae took the letter and opened it, She stared at it but for a while she did into see it. A flood of memories swept around her as if she were standing in the center of a whirlpool. Her mother cuddling her, tickling her, and holding close her when she was hurt or ill, to soothe away the pain. She remembered her mother coming home from duty and whistling in her special way. Elessarae, as a three year old would break from her father's arms to run to her, and her mother would lift her daughter into the saddle whereupon Elessarae would flail her short legs against the saddle to make the stallion prance and she would giggle and laugh as she was bounced in the saddle. Later she learned that her mother signaled the stallion to do so, even to pointing where he was to go when a Elessarae would lift the reins and wave them about on the horse's neck.
Her mother’ face was always alight with the joy of life, she was......had been........quick to laugh and take delight of the simplest things. Elessarae remembered when they were at the Moon Horse River, chasing dragonflies and falling in the river doing so and laughing as they did. Her mother had bought her, her first sword and began her first lessons with it, both her mother and her father had helped train her at a young age so that she had been more than prepared to be a Bladesinger and it was her fondest wish to have them attended the ceremony of her graduation into the ranks of Bladesingers. A ceremony that never happened as Elessarae had quietly gone from Trainee to Bladesinger without ceremony. She was not even sure her parents had gotten her letter about her elevation to Bladesinger status.
Elessarae did not feel the first tear that traced its way down her face, glistening in the light from the window. Elessarae looked up to Quilanday breaking the cycle of memories. Memories she knew would always be there when she had time to lose herself in them. She now read the letter which in essence conveyed the Commander’s sympathies on her loss and a brief explanation about the events leading to her mother’s death.
The steel blade that she had become in the past week transmuted into something stronger and more Elven, it glittered in her eyes and shown in her being--Mithral.
Even as she meet Quilanday's gaze she knew her mission. It had begun in Megilindar Nost, transmuted in the nameless village, intensified here in Hith Elee with the deaths of the villagers and transformed again into a lifelong duty, with her oath to defend Sylvaria.
Refolding the letter, now spotted with teardrops, she tucked it away. "Lady Ouilanday, will you send my deepest sympathies to my father." She would not even take time from her self appointed task to do that. "There may be time to grieve and to write when my mission is complete. I can best honor my mother and serve Sylvari by saving trees and destroying the mutated creatures."
Elessarae took a deep breath and her hand clutched Comrade’s long mane
"And have you heard anything as to the nature of my mission as it was first laid out?" Things had changed, she had changed, maybe the mission had been changed. “I sent a message to Sillarion that I believed that what has happened with the trees was developed by a far more evil intelligence than that of simple Goblins.”
Posted on 2008-02-09 at 19:42:14.
Edited on 2008-02-10 at 23:39:14 by Dragon Mistress
Quilanday stood uncomfortably at Elessar's side. For all her toughness in battle and her rebelious attitude towards Sylvari customs she did not know how to handle this situation. Did anybody ever get used to dealing with grief?
It was remarkable how determined the young bladesinger was to finish her first quest.
"Lady Ouilanday, will you send my deepest sympathies to my father. There may be time to grieve and to write when my mission is complete. I can best honor my mother and serve Sylvari by saving trees and destroying the mutated creatures."
The older bladesinger started to speak:"Elessar, we would all understand..." but Elessarae continued.
"And have you heard anything as to the nature of my mission as it was first laid out? I sent a message to Sillarion that I believed that what has happened with the trees was developed by a far more evil intelligence than that of simple Goblins."
Quilanday shook her head.
"I have had contact with Gyvontill, and he let me know that your mission remains the same. He thinks you are doing very well. You've discovered much usefull information. But why do you think there are larger forces at work? No matter what, your mission remains to investigate what the goblins are up to. If an intelligent evil is behind this, report about it, alright?"
Quietly Malius watched from the Inn’s roof top his Sylvari senses on full alert for any type of movement. Through his connection with Podo and Codo, they themselves searching, the dark skinned Ranger knew for the moment whatever had slaughtered the townsfolk was gone.
It was then that he noticed a change in the air. A sound approached his ears, and then both Ferrets heard it too sending to him their impressions. A horse was coming towards the town at a rapid pace and within moments, Malius and the Ferrets could see it through the trees, baring on its back the Lady Quilanday.
As Malius watched, she reached the front of the Inn and the others now gathered there at first taking no notice of the dead townsfolk. It was only when she had descended from her steed, and walked up to Elessarae that she realized the picture of this town was wrong. Her mouth dropped open, and she glared at those companions on the ground in disbelief.
Without any words spoken at her shocked discovery she quickly took the rest of the party with her into the Inn.
Malius, now alone of the companions yet outdoors did not move from his perch atop the Inn’s roof. Whatever news Quilanday had to tell them could be repeated to him at a later time. For the moment the Sylvari Ranger would remain where he was and keep watch with Podo and Codo. Whatever had killed the townsfolk was yet on the loose and though gone for the moment it could as quickly return, if it did Malius would be ready and waiting.....
Posted on 2008-02-10 at 03:25:01.
Edited on 2008-02-10 at 03:27:46 by TannTalas
"Was there anything is the Sage's reading that might be of use to us?" Elessarae keeps her voice level and free of the emotions that fill her being. It would be so easy to collapse in tears and rail at fate, a week ago that might have happened, but not now. She had no idea what Lady Quilanday thought of her, as she listened stoicly to her words and when Elessarae read the letter.
Nothing could change the fact that her mother was dead, and she would understand Elessarae's intent. Sylvaria First, all the rest second.
"Excuse me," Elessasrae turns from Ouilanday, "Please gather together, she calls to the group. "We need to prepare to find the mutated tree and then deal with the beast the struck here. We are going to need a few things if we want to get to the tree safely."
She turns back to Ouilanday, "There must be some who survived, the serving girls and the cook here, and others elsewhere. Will you see to them as we prepare and if you find a druid alive I would like to speak to him or her."
Elessarae looks about but does not see the silent Ranger, "Can someone tell me where the Ranger went, we will need his expertise on the nature of the beast that attacked the village."
Posted on 2008-02-10 at 04:57:20.
Edited on 2008-02-10 at 23:45:10 by Dragon Mistress
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Geim sighed deeply as he lowered the Sylvari;s hand to the side. IT had felt the innkeeper's final breath and now his body was still and quiet in death. Geim’s healing abilities did not include bring back those who had died. The old rune master offered a quick prayed as he rose on his sturdy legs. "May his soul fly quickly to his own deity. And now Kharox, I am going to go out to see if I can find and kill this new beastie.
Geim exits the Inn looking about but all hes sees are the others that got out here before him and the dead in the street. What amazed him is that they had heard not one scream or cry out. He moves over to examine one of bodies.
Just as he got to the first he felt more than saw the pounding of hooves against the ground somewhere in the distance. They keep coming closer. Then, he saw the dust kicked up by a fast move mount that finally resolved itself into a horse and rider. When they got closer he could make out a a familiar face. Lady Quilanday.
She drew rein close t where the others were standing just outside the inn. Geim moved back over to hear what she had to say. He got there just as she exclaimed over the dead, almost as if she hadn't seen them.
"Aye, Lass it be rare nasty business here." The old rune master replied. He called them all lass, perhaps not a queen, but certainly ony he had meet before and been on good terms with, even though Lady Quilanday most likely was much older than Geim was.
We be in there introducing ourselves, the young miss there, a bladesinger she said." Geim hastily includes, "And I have no reason to doubt her but she is mighty young for one of your kind. Begging your pardon, Lady Quilanday and meaning no disrespect."
After she is finished relating her news to them she walks off with the young Bladesinger private like and talks apart. While not wanting to eaves drop he wished he knew what was going on between them.
Geim turns to the others. "Now why would they send the Lady Quilanday out her to give us this news? Surely any messenger would do?" His mind tries to puzzle this out. The old rune master worked on it like a dog worries a bone that he was trying to crack to get at the marrow.
Posted on 2008-02-12 at 19:30:31.
Edited on 2008-02-12 at 19:37:07 by Brianna
Really this was becoming a fascinating sort of adventure. Far more had come out of it then he ever would have expected, back when he agreed to accompany the hired party into the Chakran Mountains. Draven smiled to himself as he nonchalantly rolled a corpse onto it’s back with his foot. Somehow he knew it would be…Funny how those things happen.
As he reflected on his most fortuitous circumstances, and the faint, yellow glow of his eyes reflected in the fading eyes of the dead elfs face, frozen in terror, a new sound came to his ears…Someone was approaching.
The exchange that would follow, between the returned Lady Quilanday, and their newest companion, Elessarae, was of even greater interest to him, and the ghastly warrior, drabbed in black, listened, hovered over the fallen elf like the reaper standing over his harvest, to all that was said.
Glancing sidelong at her, through streamers of black hair, swept into the wind, his eyes narrowed as hers rained silver tears, and then flashed with hardened determination. She was stronger then age would tell. The other fools would do well to realize this.
Suddenly, she spoke, loudly, directed towards him and the others, in a demand for them to gather around. He stood where he was and watched.
"Please gather together, she calls to the group. "We need to prepare to find the mutated tree and then deal with the beast the struck here. We are going to need a few things if we want to get to the tree safely."
At that, Draven nodded in confirmation. Throwing his hair over his shoulders, and his long, flowing jacket behind him, he strolled towards them.
“I couldn’t agree more, M’lady. We do need a few things. I’m going to be getting mine right away. Hate to hold everyone up.”
Slipping past the group and through the open, tavern doors, he strolls behind the bar, grabbing the bottle of Trogladytes Tears, before turning, bowing respectfully before the dead tavern keep, and promply placing two gold coins in payment, over the dead man’s open eyes.
Rising from the body of the tavern-keep, bottle in hand, Draven looked at Elessare as if she had just told a joke he didn't quite get.
Looking back over his shoulder at the tavern full of alcohal, he frowned, before lifting his bottle to his lips, and stepping back through the doorway. He wasn't one to so carelessly waste a good bottle.
On the other hand...the village must have an alchemist shop...or a magic shop. With that thought, Draven headed down the street.
Thondrek had listened to the Bladesinger's assessment of the situation, but was more concerned with finding supplies and possible survivors in Hith-Lee. He moved about the village looking for survivors, first and foremost heading towards any structure that may have housed an apothecary, magical wares, or soothsayer/sage. Any magical aide that could help Thondrek either assist those wounded but alive, or to help in the endeavor of quelling the rampant infection of the afflicted Oak would be a blessing indeed. So with a prayer to Khorax, the Duskblade moved on in search of supplies.
Posted on 2008-02-13 at 05:07:28.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Geim looks back into the inn. "I will check for hard liquor they might have. and I'll bet I can find some cloths to stopper them with.
The lore master heads back into the tavern area and the kitchen for the liquor supplies and clothscloths and any thing that will start fires quickly. He spots the two gold coins on the innkeepers eyes. It is good to know that Draven showed some respect for the dead man, or perhaps it was a perverse payment for the battle he took. One could never be sure why Draven did what he did. It waas a marvel though that that man was still with them.
Geim eventually ( I believe he can without to much troble.) found a variety of distilled spirits and a few towls and a table cloth to load everything into
Posted on 2008-02-13 at 05:35:41.
Edited on 2008-02-13 at 05:36:48 by Brianna
Malius could feel the quiet of the town now that most of its inhabitants were dead; it was a very eerie feel. Though death to most was a natural thing, to Sylvari it was more a passing thought due to their long lives. As Malius sat and kept watch, his attention sorely on preventing another massacre, he knew at once when someone came outside from the inn. Though he knew not who it was at first he was yet taken by surprise when it was revealed to be the young bladesinger calling out to him.
"Ranger, I have need of your knowledge."
“I am here bladesinger, above you on the roof, what knowledge is it you seek from me.”
Elessarae looks up and spots him, "I wish your aid in examining the tracks of the creature that flashed by and from them try to deduce the base creature that it has been mutated from. It may give us an idea how to combat it."
Wasting no time Elessarae move up carefully to where she had seen the creature pass. She moved out with her sword drawn and her senses alert to her surroundings. She moved her head, keeping tuned to the sounds and movements. She prayed that some had been saved and hoped other would see the that. As much as she wanted to go to the aid of any survivors, she knew every minute spent on such activities would allow the creature to kill even more Sylvari.
Given the size of the creature, she did not think that it would be hard, even for her, to find its tracks. When she thinks she found them she will signal to Loda to look at them. She look behind to see if the Ranger had joined them and will signal him forward if he is there.
She has had a couple of ideas about what the creature might be, as yet unvoiced, and one of them was one she hoped was not corroborated.
Posted on 2008-02-13 at 17:31:18.
Edited on 2008-02-14 at 04:01:49 by Dragon Mistress
“I am here bladesinger, above you on the roof, what knowledge is it you seek from me.”
Malius watched as the young bladesinger turned and spotted him crouched on the roof.
"I wish your aid in examining the tracks of the creature that flashed by and from them try to deduce the base creature that it has been mutated from. It may give us an idea how to combat it."
For the moment he was unsure if he should drop from the roof and his vantage point of the whole village but she had a point. The more they could know of this creature the better they could kill it and in doing so avoid another battle as with the giant maggot in the tower.
His bow slung, arrows returned to thier quiver, he quickly scaled down the outside of the Inns wall and joined the Bladesinger on the ground. A smile almost broke his stony face as he found that both Codo and Podo had beaten him to her side and the two ferrets were watching her closely, though not in a hostile way but more so in curiosity.
Without a word hoping the brief flash of a smile had gone unnoticed he knelt and examined the creature’s tracks.