"Perhaps you are right Damien, we all march to our deaths. but better we march towards out deaths in the name of everyone else. then to sit here and let the evil take over hte world with out a fight." Mahou sucked in a breath contimplating what all has been said.
"Take the time you need to make up your mind Damien. no one can force you to take up this task, we can all only plead with you. i do not think the gods would of picked you if you didn't have some significant meaning to the group."
As the dark bard moved away mahou watched carefully. only time would tell if Damien would accept his chosen path, not a soul here could make him come. Mahou hoped the others would realize that everyone must deal with this in their own way. Kneeling down Mahou scooped up the large Gemi into her arms and trotted after Damien. Walking up behind him she watched him silently listening to his silent words.
"Perhaps a bit of both." Mahou said lightly after several moments of silence. "i think hope and ignorence can walk hand in hand. their families, their homes. their cultur. to them it is all worth fighting for. dispite the cost it might bring." Mahou sighed looking up at all the houses. "i don't think i've ever seen someone so misrable before. in the mists of all this hope and rejoice of a chance. what do you hope to come of it?"
Damien was silent a few moments, not turning to look at the satyr behind him. His cloak flapped slightly when he shifted about, catching upon a slow gust of wind. "I don't know what I hope to come of it." He said in a low voice. His beautiful tones had returned to him, the words seductive to the ears. "Everybody has hope, except for me. Why? I have nothing to hope for... This world has nothing for me. There is no pleasure, there is no happiness. Maybe... Maybe for this darkness to be lifted from my soul, for my release to be granted... Maybe...thats what I can hope for..."
Mahou raised a brow, adjusting Gemi under his arm. a soft squeak emited from the large beast as Mahou held him a bit to tight. "This world has so much to offer. if you are willing to open your eyes and accept all that is there." Gemi slipped from Mahou's arms plopping on the ground and scurried around her feet. light steps that dug into the dirt beneith them, carried her closer to Damien.
"you need to open your heart to the world around you damien. weed through the darkness, look around to all the glorious light about us. A life lives here in everything. even the trees speak of age old secrets. they all deserve a chance to thrive live and share. would you deny them that, and deny yourself the chance to find happyness." Mahou's voice shone with wonder as her eyes focused on the huge trees around them.
"As of yet, the world has done nothing but hurt me, Mahou. I feel no true reason to help save it, if I'm even capable of it. Teros and Derak, they don't want me in the group. Surely you can see that. Elandor... He can't focus on anything for any length of time. Vilyamar, that pompous ass, won't stop thinking himself so much higher than the rest of us. You can see it in the way he speaks to the elves. Then, there is you, the only one who seems to have any sense about them. How can we possibly hope to contend with such a great power?" Damien turned to look at Mahou once, briefly, before turning away and taking a step away from the satyr. "Why did you follow me out here, Mahou?"
Mahou bit her lip lightly and looked at damiens turned back. " i followed you because weather we like it or not, i feel our lives are connected now. and to me, that means as much as your actions effect my life, so do my actions affect yours. for good or bad damien. Yes the others in their own right have their problems, something we shall all have to deal with. You seem to have many lessons still left to learn. if after all these pain and sarrow you clam to have happened has taught you nothing." Mahou paused shaking her head. her voice seemed to waver in her words, the angelic tone that it ussualy carried felt stiff and a bit unsure.
"Some things are harder to deal with than others, Mahou. I would have never chosen to undertake such a quest had I known what it really was. That bastard Tharanduil deceived us. He deceived you, he deceived me, he deceived all of them back in the hall." Damien whirled around, pointing to back where they had come from. "I.... I don't know what to do, Mahou. Everybody wants me to act the way they think I should. Its not so easy. Some things get to people the way you wouldn't believe..."
Shutting his eyes, the bard turned away once more, placing his hands beneath his cloak so that Mahou could not see them at work. Secretly, he pulled forth one of his silver daggers, holding it in his slender hands, admiring it without looking. Pushing back his sleeve, he placed blade to the outside of his forearm, pressing it hard against his pale flesh. Drawing it across, he felt and heard the light tearing of skin. His blade was sharp, and cut smoothly. "Mahou," He began, turning around to face her. His arm dripped blood, a four-inch long cut running from the top of his wrist towards his elbow. His dagger was painted red. "I will accompany you, but only you. Not them. I don't like being manipulated. Thats why I abandoned my faith. Tharanduil can go," Damien spoke a rude word with a thin smile on his face. "I am going to do things my own way."
Mahou took a step back, her eyes fluttering to the hall where Damien pointed. for a brief moment she wanted to accept his words as truth, Shaking her head Mahou turned her deep aburn eyes back at the dark bard. her face took a look of worry as she saw Damien turn back toward her arm dripping with Blood. Mahou's eyes drated between the cut on his arm to damiens face. "Damien, what have you done." The words Damien spoke before seemed to have washed out of her mind, as she looked upon the pale face of the dark bard.
"The wound will heal, Mahou. It will heal on it's own. Proof of my turning." He smiled grimly at her shock. "Such wounds are miniscule to those in my soul and heart."
Mahou shook her head, moving forward her hand reached out grabbing the handle of the dagger as she tried to take it from him. at the same moment her other hand grabbed Damien's bleeding arm, just under the cut. Soft words sprung from her lips as she look in his eyes. the small cut began to heal (use of cure light wounds if it needs to be said).
"small or large Damien, means nothing. draw no blood of your own person it shows no meaning but your own weakness. let the evil draw your blood in battle and let that blood be proof of your your turning."
Damien snorted and wrenched his arm away, though he made no effort to reclaim the dagger. "You have your ways, I have mine. Do you seek my help, or do you want me to walk away?"
Mahou held the dagger in her hand, the crimson blood slide off the blade falling like rain dropps to the ground. Mahou's eyes focused on Damien. "Alright Damien, do what you will. i ask you to stay and help us all, and i ask that you let me help you as well."
Damien stared at her briefly before looking down to his cut. Reaching out, he dabbed his fingertips in the crimson, lifting them out and admiring them. "You are the only one in the group I admire, Mahou. You are the only one I respect." He looked to his dagger in her hands. "May I have my dagger back?" He asked, unusually polite. Reaching out the bloodied hand, he placed his fingertips against Mahou's neck, letting the blood soak into the soft white shirt. Slowly, he dragged his hand downwards, painting four stripes onto her neck, leading down to her breast. After a moment of looking at the streaks, he smiled slightly, though it was a sad smile. Without words, he extended his marred arm to her.
Mahou felt her breath catch as Damien ran his bloodied fingures across her neck. her eyes slightly fearful and slightly intreged dove into his with question. Rolling the dagger in her hands she pointed the hilt towards Damien and raised it silently holding it out to him. she couldn't predict what actions he would take next, but she had no reason as of yet to fear that he might hurt her.
Reaching forth a slender hand, Damien took the dagger by the blade, cleaning the blood away with his fingers before wiping it dry upon his cloak. Looking up, he smiled slightly to her before reaching out and clasping her shoulder. With a deft twist of his wrist, he deposited the dagger back where it originally was held. "What do you wish to do, Mahou? Tell me, and I will listen."
"I'm not so sure i have the answer to that now Damien." Mahou said taking a deep breath. "Only the passing of time shall help us all. the hour is late now, and i beleive that we both need rest. the morning brings our travels close." Mahou paused glancing back to the tavern where their group gathered. "i think it better we both go to our rooms now, if you accept our my plea for help, then i shall see you in the morning."
Damien listened to her words carefully, and watched the satyr walk away from him. She had influenced him, but was he able to will himself to fight the Dark Lord? Reaching up, he clutched his head, the blood remains smearing on his pace flesh. He didn't care. "Is it truly worth it?" He whispered to the night before following Mahou slowly, silently.
Mahou headed towards the hall, Gemi close at her feet. a stray hand reached up pulling the end of her shirt to smear wip clean the blood that damien had put on her. thoughts ran rampid through her brain as she headed to find a place to sleep for the night. what the mornaing would bring surely pressed heavly on her thoughts. would anything she said help damien...
Teros nodded and slowly followed Derrak into the hall. As they entered Derrak gave the bard a harsh look, Teros just chuckled under his breathe without looking at him and went to his seat. He had no idea what was going on, or where everyone was, but it didn't matter much in his mind.
Deciding to enjoy himself for a little while he began eating and drinking. He didn't want to get drunk, but the drink was so good. He had to make an effort to stop, and was more then a little sad when he put it down and continued eating food until he was full. He sat there for a while in silence, thinking over what had happened over the past few hours. He took out the leaf that he had put in his pocket and looked it over. It didn't look very special, but it had become very close to him in the little time it had been with him. He smiled at the leaf and then put it away. He knew what he had to do, his life now had meaning beyond what he thought.
He then stood up and went to Raidros.
"So, what did I miss? Where are we going to sleep tonight?"
OOC:I have no idea where everyone is. Ok well I know where Mahou, Damien, and Derrak are, but where are the other two?
August 8th/Saturday EveningValnor Forest/Near the Northern Thollin Border
The trees do not feel emotions like men. The fire of passion does not burn within them, nor does it consume their very being. They were as old as the mountains, and as constant as the sky. While tension crackled between the members of the party, and Derak stood upon its shoulders, shouting in rage, a soft whisper gently lifted from it’s great boughs. Though ages wisdom was locked within its massive trunk, the great Avelon could not comprehend such pettiness. It had accepted it’s being long ago. It understood its destiny, and respected that of those around it. Ferns, moss, and ivy clung to its twisting feet. Forests of smaller trees stood, embraced by its massive roots. Even the elves dwelt amidst its boughs. A balance had been woven, a system; delicate and perfect. Such beings, ablaze with fury, were not accepted by the pattern. They must not stay. On that breeze that rippled black waves across the canopy, the elves were reminded of this fact.
Closing the ivy laced, oak door behind him Vilyamar stepped onto the porch and stood beside Riadros. The night lapped his heated face, cool and serene.
“Fear not, cousin, this shall all be over soon.”
The elf said nothing. He stood resolute. His slender face shone pallor in the silver of the lanterns. His large eyes stared unblinking into the courtyard, where Derek’s husky voice began to rise. Though it could only be softly heard, the muscles in Riadros’ jaw knotted, and his hands had balled into fists at the sides of his robes. Following his gaze, Vilyamar discovered he could see the stars.
“They seem different now. After one knows something of what the future holds, they see things in a different perspective. Or perhaps it is just the height of these trees, forcing the stars closer…”
Riadros didn’t seem to hear. This was the first time the monk had ever seen him without a smile on his face.
“There is change in the air, Riadros. The humans know this, the kender knows, the satyr knows. Can you elves not sense it? This quest will change forever the face of this planet and its inhabitants, but for good or ill, we know not…Trust, do not speak against the human bard. His wounds are deep as you already know, and tomorrow morn, we are departing. I trust you and Falienor or Tharanduil or some others will get him and the others out as quickly as possible tomorrow. I sorely wished this had not come to pass, but humans do as humans are…”
Riadros turned suddenly, and looked at Vilyamar. For the second time this night, Vilyamar saw rage carved into the delicate features of the elves.
“Humans do as humans will.”
He repeated. His voice was cynical. Venomous. These elves were not like those that the monk was accustomed to. He was learning this every moment he spent with them. They were…extreme. Looking into their eyes, he had discovered, were like peering into deep wells. They rippled with both joy and sorrow. Wisdom and innocence lapped in them. So often, it seemed they could draw a veil over their thoughts. Their faces could harden into void masks. Unreadable. Yet anger, it seemed they could not hide…or chose not to, this night.
“You speak as if your veins are vacant of their blood. But when I look at you, I see human. Will you do as humans will? Or are you unable to say? Yes, half-elf. We can sense change, better than most.”
Sighing and facing the courtyard once more. Riadros paused. Derak’s shouts could no longer be heard. A gentle breeze tugged at his robes. His braids fluttered, rippling in the silver lantern light. When he spoke again, his voice was laced in ice.
“Had it not been for change, we would have never allowed human blood beneath our boughs. This week we have welcomed it. It was a mistake. One that will never be repeated. I shall personally see to that.”
As his words came to a close, the Hall door opened once more, flooding the courtyard in a golden light, and revealing that Derak and Teros were making their way back to the hall. Riadros stepped aside and let them pass. His face was no longer carven in anger. It was a hollow, stoic mask. The one who had opened the door was Elandor. He stood, a black silhouette against the inner hall. Holding the door open for the two humans that passed, he stared back towards the corner that Damien and Mahuo had settled in. Once Derak and Teros had passed, he closed the door, letting the darkness engulf them once more. Approaching Riadros, he piped up in his shrill, child voice, asking about whether or not he could get his leaf magically preserved, and adorned with a golden star, and if he could get an ant tattoo.
The now shadow-veiled figure of Riadros looked down at the little kender. Perhaps he smiled, perhaps he frowned. His voice was void of emotion.
“When yawning sun’s first rays touch our boughs, I will have someone awaken you, and anyone else who wishes to have the same done with their leaf.”
Speaking up, Vilyamar said
“Then I too shall have my leaf preserved.”
Was all that Riadros said.
The door opened again and Damien and Mahuo walked past. No words were exchanged. When they had gone by, the elf said.
“I have rituals yet to be performed ere the moon sleeps. I will show you and the two inside where to sleep.”
So it was that Riadros let Teros and Derak finish their meal, before leading four of the six companions to a smaller, domed structure beside the Hall. The interior of the building was made up of a simple hallway. On either side, there were 5, wooden doors (totaling 10).
“We do not possess locks, for we bare trust for one another.”
His words were flat.
“I’m afraid you will have to do the same for a night.”
August 9th/Sunday Morning
Valnor Forest/Near the Northern Thollin Border
Whether or not the night passed soundly depends on the individual. It did pass peacefully, however, and those who had been sleeping were awoken by a female elf that they had not yet met. Her hair was as golden as the sun whose light now poured into the courtyard, and her face was as pure as the dew on the flowers. Her beauty, however, surpassed even that of the stars who slept, tucked behind the pale blue blanket of the sky. Her greeting, however, was not as casual as what might have been the previous day. It was short and formal, and she gave them a short time to clean up and gather their belongings, before leading them to the Hall of Council wordlessly.
Entering the Hall, they found themselves greeted by the sweet, warm embrace of the scent of baked fruit, sweet breads, and juices. The tables had been rearranged to sit, sprawled and scattered as they had been the first time they had entered. On the far counter sat the food, far from as decorative as it had been the night before, and at one of the tables sat Falienor, Riadros, and a golden-haired elf baring an already drawn Katana. It lay on the wooden table before him, burning in the sunlight that flowed through the windows. Smiles did not grace their faces. Sitting at another table; one with six chairs, where Vilyamar and Elandor, munching away at a stack of bread and fruit they had piled themselves. Tharanduil stood, still in his night blue robes, several feet from the table at which their two companions sat. He studied the party, but no hint of his thoughts could be read.
**Both of you have gotten your leaves magically preserved, and adorned. The leaves are long, slender, and tapered. The top is a dark, rich green, while the bottom is a velvety gray. In the star/moonlight, the gray radiates silver. The very center of Elandor’s leaf is inlaid with gold, the shape of a star. The very center of Vilyamar’s leaf is adorned with 10 small sapphires. They are set in the design of a star, each is in each corner of that star. Also, Elandor, you will need to specify the tattoo you got, and where in the QA. The leaf alterations cost 20 gp, while the tattoo cost 15 sp. I have taken that out of your totals, at the bottom of your character sheets. (Everyone should keep track of their money)**
Gathering what food they please, the members sat at the table with Elandor and Vilyamar, as they were ushered to do so by Tharanduil. Once seated, he began to pace, slowly, contemplatively. When he spoke, his voice was rich and full, but filled with information alone. Not emotion.
“Interestingly enough, you have all decided to come to this hall. In doing so, you lead me to assume you will all be…heading out together. Or, perhaps you have come, simply to receive the reward I promised you.”
Approaching the table, and reaching within his robes, the Elder pulled out six white diamonds. As he spread them onto the burnished, wood of the table, they shimmered and danced in the new suns rays. It was as if he had plucked them from the sky the night before. Not giving an opportunity for comments, he took a step back, and continued to speak.
“You have completed your task, and you have been rewarded. The questions have been answered. This chapter is finished. I neither will, nor can force you to follow the path the Gods have set aside for you. It is the only way they have effected any life on Noldaria since the Wars that ended the Age of Twilight. Whether or not the effect is to be only a memory of the worlds only hope in six minds, as they watch the world collapse around them, that is for you to decide. I have done my part. I have found you, and I have enlightened you. The rest of the tale is your own. Do as you will.”
The old man hesitated a moment, letting his words find root. Tilting his shaggy, white head, he glanced at Falienor, before looking back to the party and continuing. His voice remained rich, yet empty simultaneously.
“No matter what your decision, the elves demand you to leave their forest. You will do so immediately upon finishing the meal they have provided you. You will be escorted down the Avelons trunk, and to the path. From there, you are to continue, until you leave Valnon Forest. If you stray from the path, or are caught under the forests eaves after the sun has set, you will be shot down.”
The final words fell from his lips in sorrowful drops. It was obvious that this was not his mind. He was relaying a message for the elves. Apparently, they had ended their fellowship with the party as a whole. When the Elder spoke again, his voice was strong, resolute.
“If you wish to save a doomed world, then you must head to the Ralnarian Desert, to the South. Remember what I have to tell you. The location of the four God Stones can only be found with an artifact located in the midst of Hajin Ra, known by some as the Land of Glass. Whether or not you have heard of it is of no consequence. Aside from those on the coast, every village in Ralnaria is found on the Siris river, which runs from North to South. Hajin Ra is located West of the Siris, in the barren and empty desert. Quasal is the village closest to Hajin Ra, so I suggest you find your way there, if you intend to find this artifact. First, however, you should follow the road that led you to this forest, until you come to its first branch left, to the east. There should be a sign that says Elderast, and an arrow pointing down that branch of the road. If you did not already know, Elderast is Thollin’s capital. From there, catch a windship that is heading to Ralnaria. It is likely that one would go to Kubal, the desert’s capital. Luckily enough, Quasal is not far north of there.”
Reaching into his robes once more, he pulls out a diamond the color of sapphire. Laying it on the table, he continues.
“Windships are for nobility and cargo. The prices are high. This should be more than enough to suffice. Once you reach Kubal, simply get a boatsman to take you north to Quasal. As for the “object” you are to find in Hajin Ra; It is a scroll. It alone possesses knowledge on the Stone’s locations. I have given another object to your party. This morning I handed it to Vilyamar, seeing as he was the first of the party to greet me. It is the handle of a dagger. The blade for such a weapon has not yet been forged, for it is to be crafted from the Light Stone itself. You must plunge the blade deep into the flesh of the New Dark Lord himself, in order to defeat him. But do not worry about that yet. We must take one challenge at a time.
The old man sighed, and sat down. Fatigue had left its shadow beneath his sparkling blue eyes. They were bloodshot now.
“Of course you can decide to collect your reward and forget about last night. In that case, follow whatever road feels best to you, and use it to flee from memory and guilt. That is all I have to say. As the elves have requested, finish, and leave. You are not yet hero’s, nor have you made the slightest attempt at returning their good graces. So it is that they will treat you like anyone else who enters Valnor.”
Needless to say, the rest of the meal was not the most enjoyable. Tharanduil left the Hall, followed by Falienor and Riadros. The three were replaced by five elves, robed in the customary gray and silver, baring gleaming katanas. They regarded the party through masks carven from ice. If spoken too, they did not respond.
Following the parties meal, the “guards” led them through the city which, in the daylight was very difficult to distinguish from the rest of the tree. Buildings seemed to be only twisted clusters of branches, or knots of the trunk itself. Of course there was still the courtyard. Its flower beds shimmered and danced, radiating like living rainbows. The great oak stood, like a lone sentinel, within its wall of white stone.
Leading them through the gates, the elves wasted no time in ushering them down the path that led down the tree. Once on ground level, they led them away from the living giant that was the home of the elves, and to the path that they had followed the day before.
“Follow it directly, and do not stray.”
Was all that they said. So it was that, with such parting words from the elves, the party walked away, following the trail under the grim eyes of the guards, who stood with their weapons drawn, until the party was out of sight.
The forest they trekked through was not the same that they had enjoyed the day before. Yes it looked the same, and perhaps to some of the humans it was more or less identical. But for Mahuo, and anyone else with an even remotely sensitive, or alert side, it was different. Birds did not sing; at least, not near the party. No squirrel or chipmunk could be seen, and not butterfly danced upon the breeze before them. Infact, the very flowers that had previously graced their path were now closed, and distant. The air was thick, almost malleable. They were being watched, but bye what? A tension hung, heavy, suffocating overhead. It was as if the very trees themselves might attack the party at any moment. Indeed the air was threatening.
The path remained that way, and the party saw no person nor animal the duration of the day. Unease began to run high, when the shadows began to grow, and no end of the forest was in sight. The party picked up their aching and weary feet, and hurried on, until they stumbled from beneath the boughs, which almost seemed to rake at them as they fled.
Outside of the forest there was still some time until dark. The sky clear and was washed lavender, and the hills before them were ablaze with the fire of evening. Scattered trees and groves cast stretched shadows across the land. Standing before the party, as if anticipating them, where two figures.
Both were tall, casting an imposing aura before them.
The first was an old man, or, appeared to be. He stood nearly six and a half feet tall, and despite his flowing, silver main, he stood straight, and emanated a strange power. He wore gray, flowing robes. His face was thin and proud, with high cheekbones, and a sloping forehead. His eyes shone a strange silver, and, though his face was shaven, he bore a trimmed, silver beard on his chin.
The other was perhaps far more mysterious, and definitely more imposing. He was certainly the tallest being any of them had ever seen, peaking near seven foot-a head taller than even Derak. Dark, purple and blue robes flowed from his broad shoulders to his feet. Not much more could be said for his appearance, however, as his face was entirely covered. It seemed that he wore a broad brimmed hat pulled low over his face, which was entirely wrapped in black cloth. Only a slit was visible, revealing two, strangely glowing, orange eyes. Over his right eye was a tattoo, a red Chevron around the side, a blue one broken on the inside, and underneath his eye was a tattoo of a bloody tear. The hood of his robe was pulled up, casting what could be seen of his wrapped face in shadow. Long, gnarled black hair, streaked with silver and blue flowed from the depths of the hoods shadows, and over his chest. Standing at his right side was an enormous scythe. Its base was formed from strange, twisting wood, and the blade seemed to be carven of a sparkling, bluish white crystal. Perched atop the blade was a black raven. It stood, unmoving, eyeing the party.
Stepping forward, the old man smiles a very knowing smile, and says.
”Greetings Travelers. We have waited long for you to emerge from Valnor. At last you have, in time to bear witness to change. Indeed the prophecies can change. You shall see that tonight. After the first are chosen, the others shall find them! I have helped by bringing one of the lost chosen to you. He may be the only one, he may not. Nonetheless, he will be accompanying you.”
Pausing a moment, the old man added
“Fear not, for I know as much as you do about your quest. Tharanduil has kept me most informed. Your new friend here also has the same knowledge as you. No more, no less.”
Regarding the party a moment, the old man laughed a deep, joyful laughter.
“Here I am, rambling on with you. I have places to go, people to see; you need to become acquainted with the person you just met. So, I have wasted enough time waiting for you.”
Brushing by the party, he began making his way into the dark eves of the Valnor Forest.
Shouting back, he said.
“We will meet again, but for now, farewell!”
If anything is said to him, he does not reply. He did not give time during his “ramble” to say anything to him. He is disappearing into the forest you are forbidden to enter.
(Sorry if the post is a bit dry. As most of you know, I’m a bit down on sleep, so…deal with it . Hopefully I didn’t say anything that doesn’t make sense in my fatigue.)
Mahou was rather quick to wake this morning, as Gemi nibbled at her silky hair. Batting at her companion Mahou pushed herself up out of bed. The door to her room opened letting in a lovely elf who promptly told her to gather her things and come for breakfast. The mannor of formality was a bit strange to Mahou still, and she for one would be glade to start their journy and earn some of the title they had been thrust into.
Gathering her things Mahou slipped her shirt on, then her breast plate. once finished, the overly spoiled Gemi was stuffed gently into the large backpack Mahou carried. If you keep growing like this Gemi, you'll have to walk from now on. Mahou thought to herself as she pushed the backpack over her shoulder. Gemi was big enough now that his head and front arms hung out of the bag, though not big or heavy enough to be a problem for Mahou to keep him in there. yet anyhow.
Mahou took a few extra moments to part her hair, putting two braids that ran down either side of her head back behind her curlled horns. once finished Mahou grabbed her bow and quiver and headed out to the hall. The air to the hall was not the same as the night before, and mahou slowed her joyfilled steps walking carefully to the table. Taking a little food for herself and Gemi, she munched as she listened to everyone. When Tharanduil mentioned the elfs wanting them to leave Mahou almost chocked on her bread. her eyes darted to the hollow faced elfs. a sudden empty feeling welled in the pit of her stumic and she suddenly found herself not hungry anymore.
Mahou pushed her plate forward and crossed her arms, carefull not to lean back to far and squish Gemi.
~*~at the end of the forest~*~
As they broke the edge of the forest Mahou paused turning to look at the glory of nature they where forbidened to enter ever again.
"This is a wonderful start to the journy." she mummbled to herself. "all that knowledge sacrificed now, leaving us with an empty loney road ahead." Mahou's words where muddled with her own feeling of saddness and fear. The walk through the forest left MAhou feeling drained and quit. she'd hardly spoken the whole time, and still now seemed as drawen in to herself as the woods before her had been.
Turning around Mahou looked at everyone, large redish eyes pearing at them all in turn, she breathed a heavy sigh. "Let us not waist any more time." she said in a rather accusing way as she walked past them. Mahou's hooves dug into the dirt as she saw the strangers before them. she crained her neck in almost aw as she looked over the large dark figgure. the rammbling of the other man seemed to push right in one ear and out the other. she caught only a brief bit of it, before she realized the silver haired man was disappearing into the forest.
Mahou opened her mouth to say something to the retreating man, but closed it again quickly. Turning back to the tall stranger she narrowed her eyes. Gemi gave a dissatified hiss from behind her. Pushing a long braid behind her shoulder mahou cleared her thoart as she looked to the others.
"Are we going to object to this?" She questioned lightly with a half smirk as she glanced over derak and teros. Her slender brow rose as she waited for an answer. this hardly mattered to her. she knew none of them enough to trust fully yet, what was one more. in the least they would need the extra muscel, and this being look as if he had a few to spare.
The monk sighed, crossing his arms. The anger that hung in the air permeated his being to his very soul, and it made him very uncomfortable. He turned from Riadros then, walked back to the hall, though the elf and kender followed. He did not look back at the elf, but did listen and follow him to their quarters for the night. Riadros left them then and the monk turned into his own room, shutting the door behind him. For about an hour he sat upon his bed, legs crossed and meditating. He opened his eyes then and sat unmoving, his mind cleared of all thoughts and sensation. For him, time slowed to a stop and the air about him seemed to flow in and out of his lungs on its own accord. He knew nothing more of the night, for he slept soundly until the elven maiden came at daybreak. He was waiting for her of course, for he left his rest before the dawn broke on the horizon and he stood at the window watching the fiery sun peek over the horizon. As he watched, his thoughts turned to his home once more and a mist almost fazed over the sun, but then again, perhaps it was just his imagination playing tricks upon his mind. “Aaye. Gather your things and meet out in the hall before the sun clears the horizon, you request shall be granted…” said the elf woman curtly, he beauty dimmed by a sadness that the monk felt when he looked upon the controlled rage that coursed through her soul. He turned upon her words and sighed as he picked up his pack and walked out to the hall. As soon as he and Elandor were prepared the elf took them to the smithy. A male awaited them there and as they approached he requested that they give him the leaves from Inenhalla’s tree. He used his magic to preserve them and as he was doing so Elandor was taken to have his tattoo done. Vilyamar watched as the leaves became rigid and hard, the colors on them changing with the magical enchantment. Upon one he saw a golden star and upon the other were 10 sapphires of a most excellent quality. The smith returned to him the one with the sapphires and the monk looked into each one, examining them before placing it in the leather pack in which he carried his few items. He knew not what he was examining the stones for, but perhaps he was searching them for an answer to one of the problems he had here. He did not despair here, for time was on his side in this and though the elves memories were sharp and they would not forget the crimes committed these past days by the humans, the monk felt positive that one day in the future the balance would be achieved once more. Elandor returned then, smiling widely at the tattoo magically engraved upon his skin. Vilyamar could only smile weakly back for he knew that the elves had done this out of a strained version of responsibility to their wishes. The monk put up his hood, hiding his face from the elves as he walked in, and he took his seat in silence.
He took a glance at Falienor and the others but he quickly looked away and began eating. Slowly he drew back his hood, for being rude was not wise at this time, and Falienor may have taken offence to one who hides himself while under their roof as a guest. Hunger was not a priority of the half-elf, but he ate his fill in silence nonetheless, knowing that there would not be such ample supplies upon the road. As the others entered, a scowl drew across the monk’s face. Mahou came in seemingly unaware of the tenseness that radiated from the elves. The other three humans came in silence and sat down at the table and began to eat. Then Tharanduil spoke. He spoke of the warning from the elves and then it was that despair crept into the monk’s mind, but even as he banished it from his emotions, it left a small scar, letting him know that never again will the elves be so inviting to outsiders of any heritage, least of all humans. He saw shock upon Mahou’s face and he supposed that he was the easiest prepared for such a decision besides the life-hating bard, as he knew best among them the emotional tendencies of an elf. “I’meiva natankuva” he muttered, not caring whether anyone heard him or not. He looked up to see seven jewels sitting upon the table, six white diamonds and one larger diamond. All were very valuable. Tharanduil continued to speak and he told them of their mission, should they choose to accept it and he gave them the paths they should tread to continue on their mission. To Vilyamar he gave the hilt of a dagger, its guard and grip ornately decorated. It was the holder of a blade yet to be forged and only with that blade could the dark one be vanquished. The half-elf took it reverently and placed it in the same pouch as his leaf. He also gathered his own diamond from the table. Referring to the larger crystal, he said, “Here Elandor, thou should take this, for thine pouches may hold more than our packs combined.” But truth be told, he alone knew that Elandor had the least chance of being consumed with a greed that could jeopardize the entire party’s safety. Soon, though they were on their way and the anger that flowed from within the elven capitol flowed out under the boughs of the forest, nearly suffocating the group. The monk walked continuously, following behind the others, making sure everyone kept up to speed, glancing harshly at those who began to lag behind him or slow them down. The shadows began to grow long and they all grew afraid of the consequences of remaining under these boughs. They quickened their pace. After the entire day’s journey they plunged from the forest, breathing easier now that the anger of the elves fell behind them. But upon the road before them stood two strangers, both imposing a fear and awe upon the party. The old man spoke and power radiated from his words and body, as did Tharanduil’s. the other was a being of immense size, much larger than even Derak. “Elder,” whispered Vilyamar under his breath, inaudible to the others. The old man told them of changes to the prophecy and very skimply introduced them to the being, who seemed to be their new companion. The monk just stood and watched the man go by them and disappear into the Valnon forest. He cared not for the man and believed that he would not cause them any harm, nor would this new companion. He believed few even knew of Tharanduil’s existence as an Elder, let alone his name. “No, Mahou, I do not think we should. If this is how the fates wish it, then so it shall be, but we all must be moving now, our time with light is short and I for one would like to distance myself from the anger of the elven nation before nightfall. Not all of their kind may be as restrained as those we saw today.” Said Vilyamar as Mahou questioned the intention of the beings. The half-elf turned to the large being that still stood with its scythe.
“And if you wish to join us, then you must at very least provide us the courtesy of your name.”
August 9th/Sunday Morning
Just Outside Valnor Forest/Near the Northern Thollin Border
The footfalls of the companions within the shade of the dense canopy of Valnor forest could be heard long before their figures exited from the embrace of the trees extended branches and came into view. With golden rays finding holes within the boughs, like water seeping through even the smallest cracks in a dam, did the sunlight illuminate the coterie of strangers Feng Gell was to meet, and accompany for the next leg of his journey.
Having traveled nearly a week with the man he knew as Soragrin, Feng Gell, more often referred to as Scourge had found himself walking a path shrouded in mystery, and darkened by a future even his communions with the Chieftain of the Gods, Erenall God of Judgement could not shed light upon. From the Northern Thollin Border did they travel, and with only the word of this stranger did Scourge carry his heavy steps southward.
It all started as a feeling deep within the pit of his stomach, one which when looked back upon could be deep founded intuition, or merely indigestion from his often undercooked meals. The game that night had the potential to be a tender morsel indeed, but far be it from Scourge to care what went into his gut, so long as it gave him the strength to carry out his oath. It was as though he had some spell cast upon him, for his mind and heart were set with a need to travel south towards Aldoris, and without a more pressing mission with which to draw his conviction, he left that same night towards the distant town.
Upon arriving in Aldoris Scourge was met by the same man with which he arrived this morn. The old, silver locked man inquired as to Scourge’s presence, and being unable to rightly answer, the deceivingly frail looking man took up his hand and read his palm as though it were a great text from the spiraling tower libraries of Medoras, the ancient city of splendor. The lines, etched into his palm from years of labor, lines embedded in his flesh since birth were no longer as they had always been. Instead they mapped out something only the elder could determine, and as he matched the reading upon the palm with the stars in the night sky, he told me of the reason of my arrival…
That had been days earlier. Now, standing here watching the group of people emerging before him, Soragrin at his side, and Orion, his raven familiar with feathers black as pitch perched atop his crystalline scythe blade, Scourge could not help but begin to ponder of the greater scheme of things. The ‘chance’ meeting of this Elder, his sacred quest bequeathed to him by Erenall himself, and the vision he did see in the night sky, all gave reason to believe that there was more than the doings of mortals at work.
Standing at nearly seven feet tall, Scourge could be considered imposing, his massively broad shoulders were natural; no armored pauldrons were to be blamed. His features were kept hidden from all prying eyes, the thick cloak wrapped tightly about his form ensured as much, and a cowl matched with a wide brimmed hat kept low would ensure that all anyone could view were his piercing orange eyes, aglow with intelligence, ablaze with determination.
Shadowing his features more so still was the hood which wrapped around the sides of his face, angular and chiseled. The fabric which he wore like a second skin was adorned with purple and blue filigree, interwoven amongst the strands of ebony velvet. This cloak did not flare out behind him, but remained close to his person, forming what could be best described as a drawn curtain around his figure, even masking whatever he might have been wearing for footwear.
First to acknowledge the presence of himself and his traveling companion was a creature the likes of which he had never witnessed. He was unsure as to whether the beast, feminine appearance should be used as a mount, or if some poor creature had received the unfortunate attraction of a charging goat while her attention was distracted. She as well as he and the others listened to the words Soragrin had to say, before deftly taking his leave of all present, disappearing into the forbidden realm of Valnor Forest.
The first to actually address him however was not the slurry of man and goat, but however was a man with some Elven blood running through his veins. A lick of his lips was masked by his black cowl as he thought about times past, when Elven flesh and goblets of their crimson wine were a delicacy amongst his people. Now however, serving a higher purpose, such desires were behind him… for the most part.
Tilting his scythe out to the side a ways, letting the elm wood base lean into the folds of his cloak, the suns rays illuminating his scythe to the point where it reflected a brightness equivalent to a Daylight effect. When the blinding flash had subsided, the raven fluttered its wings before looking at Vilyamar with an eerie pair of similar orange eyes.
“I am known in the north as the Scourge of the Vile, and in recent times been called the Fist of Erenall. The Elder has informed me of the task at hand, and I have been ordered by He himself to accompany you all.” The answer would have been a typical one, given the circumstances; however the being’s lips did not stir, and it was Orion, the raven which answered the monk’s inquiry. “I am Orion, the raven spoke, and my companion here may simply be referred to as; Scourge.”
Elandor left the elven city richer than he had ever been in his entire life. Not only was his wealth multiplied considerably, he was emotionally at a peak. A great joy had spread out from deep within his body that morning.
It started with being awakened by a beautiful elven lady. Not that the kender had any lustrous feelings towards the elven women. He simply admired their grace, their purity and their obvious natural perfection. He greeted the lady as courteously as possible with his messy hair and sleepy mind. His glasses were back on his nose quickly, eager to sharpen every detail of this elven wonder.
Then Elandor went with Vilyamar to prepare their leaves by one of the elven smiths. As the monk waited while the jewelry was completed Elandor went to get the tattoo he wanted. He was taken to an elven artist that burned the image of an ant deep into his skin, never to come off again. The adjusting of the ink burned a little but the pain was nothing compared to the agony of being forced to sit still, especially with so many interesting tools and equipment within reach. Still Elandor had vowed to himself to leave the elves a good impression of himself. So he managed to sit still during the process, thanked the artist for his marvelous job, handed back the vial of ink that had magically materialized into the kender’s pouches, and left for the main branch where he exploded into one big ball of energy.
Somewhat lower on the scale of hyperactivity Elandor arrived back at the smithy. He hung the leaf on a chain around his neck, picturing Blaxis’ face if he could see him now, looking all important and stuff. The old mage would have to take his words back!
His happiness was even pushed to greater heights by gaining the biggest gem at the table. It immediately disappeared into one of his pouches, in fear that somebody wanted to object.
His mind rattled on Tharanduil’s words though. He spoke his thoughts out loud:
“I don’t really understand why these elves would be so unwelcoming to us next time. Aren’t elves supposed to be closest to the earth? Shouldn’t they be closer to emotions as well then? I mean, emotions are earthly and natural, there’s no denying that. So why won’t they understand the doubts we all have. Is the bravest warrior the one that steps into danger proudly or the one that recognizes his own fears and deals with them first? Why would they.... what was I saying again? Oh well.”
Elandor didn’t hear a single word the old man told them. His eyes were constantly on the even bigger man who was completely lugubriously mysterious. The kender peered deep under the wide-brimmed hat, into the orange eyes that burned there. It came as a stunning surprise that it was not the man himself but the raven that spoke. Elandor found that very odd, but extremely interesting as well. He looked up to the raven, took the goblin mask and replied:
“Orion the raven, can you ask Scourge if he would be interested in this mask? I’ve been carrying it around and it’s getting heavy. Besides, I think it looks better on him then on me. It came from a goblin that was as dark as his robes. And maybe you can ask them as well if he can remove that hood, because I can’t really see his face like this, can you see his face Mahou? Derak?”
Elandor continues investigating the man’s whole being, even walking around him if his reply takes a long time.
Teros awoke the next day to see the face of a beautiful elven woman. Last night had been akward at best, and he knew the elves would think ill of them, but he could care less at this point. He shrugged off the tiredness that on him and prayed quickly in a patch of sunlight. When he was finished he exited the room and headed down the hall as he was supposed to.
Once again the splendor of the elven food was before him. He knew that this may very well be the last time that he would eat this good food, so he ate well. The conversation around him passed him, only knowing that the elves would no longer tolerate them, a dagger that could destroy the dark lord, and something about going back to his homeland. He smiled at this. The thought of the sweet sun on his skin, of meeting old friends, perhaps even of avenging his father and mothers death, filled his mind. However he knew that it would soon be time to move on, so he kept on eating the food before him, drinking only small amounts of the wine.
Finally they were to move down the road. He stayed silent, moving close to the front so he would be close to a fight if it happened, and so he could stay out of conversation in case any started. He was in his own world, and thats the way he liked it.
As his thoughts roamed from his homeland, he looked up to see a strange man. The massive man stood there, his face masked from Teros. Surely this massive man was a warrior. He was thinking random thoughts when the man spoke, introducing himself. He missed the name, but he didn't miss the name of the talking raven. 'Talking raven? Maybe a mage...' Seeing the kender circle him in awe, Teros stepped forward.
"I am Teros. It is good to meet you sir."
He gave a warm smile to the man as he looked up at him. The thought of this man suddenly stepping on him made the smile even bigger, and he almost laughed.
Scourge stared blankly, stoically with an emotionless expression at those who were congregating before him, even as the raven addressed the group and introduced himself and his large companion. The first person to take more than a casual interest in Orion and Scourge was the shortest in stature, if not largest in brazen curiosity.
Orange hues from twin sets of eyes gazed down at the little Kender, and with a ruffling of his feathers, Orion spoke once more. “Scourge speaks little more than grunts and groans, having his tongue cut out by a necromancer in times past, and his face is often hidden for the visage of his features is often more hideous than most can bare. It is said that those who gaze headlong into the eyes of the Scourge, can feel there hearts slow to a crawl, as though his very orbs steal with life from those who would quest to reveal his identity.”
Picking at something under his wing he looked down once more and continued. “Don’t mind him, he spoke, he’s got more feathers than brains. I would however suggest you heed his warning and accept that I choose to keep my identity hidden, it is better for everyone.”
The raven flew down towards Elandor and grasped the mask in his claws, beating his large blackened wings to carry it over and behind Scourge, presumably to place it in his pack. “Scourge thanks you for your gift” was what he said, and he came forth with a black bandana similar to the one Scourge wore, flying over and dropping it in Elandor’s still outstretched hand. “A show of kindness deserves one in return” was his reply and he perched upon Scourge’s shoulder, tucking his wings under his sides. With a step forward the brutish figure lowered his scythe from a vertical pose to a horizontal one, the crystalline blade easily leaving a gouge in the earth as though it were a hot knife through butter.
Meeting his advance was a man who introduced himself as Teros. Scourge stood his typical quiet ground, and the bird nodded in acknowledgment, before taking to flight once more about the man, then circling higher to take a look about everyone who had gathered, taking in those who had yet to come forward (Derak, Damien) and then returned to his perch. “Greetings to you all” came a standard greeting. And then; silence.
Strange. Trust will be hard won here, thought the monk as he watched Scourge and listened to him and the raven. Immediately a sense of distrust had swept Vilyamar. The monk held a certain level of prejudice and misunderstanding for those who dabbled in the arcane but he knew that only those who did held a special bond with a chosen animal. But then, they did not wield weapons like this scythe neither. It seemed that he would have to judge Scourge through more than his appearance and his words. Luckily, only time would tell and of this they seemed at the moment to have well enough to go around.
He averted his eyes from the light glinting off of the scythe and thought about what Tharanduil had said. He had said they were to go to the desert areas. Perhaps it would be near to where Teros came from, for he was a desert man. The monk made a mental note to ask. The light subsided and he looked back to see the raven float above them and then heard Scourge greet the silent Damien and Derak. Vilyamar snorted softly, remembering just how loud those two had been only the night before. Now their silence betrayed their personalities. Vilyamar shook his head and walked past Scourge, the large man towering over him. He drew up the hood of his cloak and pulled his pack up higher on his shoulders. The sun was well on its way to its western destination for that day and the hues began to redden the scene about them.
"We have far to go and not long left this day to travel it. Let us go and find a suitable place to rest for this night and then we can begin anew in the morn. Welcome, Scourge, Orion, to the chosen few...You may find more here than you bargained for..."
And with that Vilyamar began to walk down the path away from the forest of the elves. He did not look back...
Derak awoke to the face of an elven women, she was a rather pleasant person to wake up to. Her face was uplifting and calm. Unlike the faces Derak has waken up to in the past such as a screaming half-orc whose bad breath could pry even the deepest of sleeps into reality or an ogre standing over Derak, licking his lips in famish. Derak leaned up from the bed as if a string was attached to his forehead. He stood up and stretched cracking bones in his back and arms. “Thanks ma’am” Derak said with a smile. He remembered how the night before was rather odd. The elves moods had shifted for the worst Derak thought. Their once happy faces were now devoid of any expression whatsoever. Their kind personalities too had changed into cold unempathic moods. He pondered if this “mood” still lingered within them. Derak felt hungry so he grabbed a chunk of jerky from within his pack and too a second to savor the taste. Derak had realized that when the elf women came in his was in no cloths. Derak always slept like this unless if he was adventuring or in the wilderness. Derak shrugged it off and decided to get prepared for the new day. Derak was led out into the hall; it was filled with an awkward silence, which had answered Derak’s question, the elves were still displeased with the night before. Derak had his doubts about last night’s escapade but he didn’t regret it.
He noticed that the Kender and the monk had gotten their leaves magically preserved. Derak found this idiotic, it was unmindful to waste money like that. Who knows how long their quests would be and what necessities they would need to get through money. Derak felt deep down in his pocket and jingled 4 gold coins around in his pocket, it was all the money he had left to his name. Although Derak was happy to see the elf present them with their reward which he had forgot about. A diamond sat glistening on the table ahead of him. It sparkled like dew in the morning rays of the sun. He unhesitantly plucked it from the table and slid it into his pocket. The elf began to give them directions where to go, Derak listened attentively. The group was hastily rushed from within the boughs of the elven keep….
The woods abruptly ended and at the end waited two figures, one looked like he could pass for the god of death. He sent chills creeping up Derak’s spine. He was then informed that that same “person” was to be working with the group without their approval. Derak didn’t like this at all. And he felt like the group had agreed with him in their current silence. Teros greeted the man, Derak was impressed with Teros’s courtesy. The raven began to speak for the “scourge” as he put it. What the hell is up with this guy? Derak thought to greet the man but he didn’t want to pass himself off like he was fine with this whole thing but at the time he didn’t want to be rude to the fella because looks can be deceiving and who knows, maybe he was an alright fella, only time would tell. The raven began to flutter over Derak’s head. Derak put his hand up as if he was ready to swat it from the sky. Derak resided there biting his tongue, he was stuck on words to say and baffled on what to think of the man. Derak always found spell casters as mysterious people. By the time everybody was done with the welcome Derak wasn’t apart of Derak said in an unsteady voice “ahh, if everybody is done here we should carry on” Derak’s voice got stern and he said to Teros “eh Teros, aren’t cha from the desert? Can’t you guide us there with ease?”
Derak began his journey south, as for the new member he would have to gain Derak’s trust with more that a welcome and a handshake. Maybe the rest were naïve enough to hand over their trust so easily but Derak wasn’t.
Teros watched as Derak showed discomfort at the man. It was not unnatural, but Teros knew that Lavuria showed all he goodness, and so should he. Besides, this man was a choosen as well. These thoughts went through his head as Derak spoke to him. His eyes shot to life as he turned to face him. Immediatly he could feel the sun on his body, feel the sand between his toes, and see Myas body. Ah, if only they were...
"We are going to Quasal!" his voice was filled with joy that they had never heard from him before. Sure he was friendly to everyone but the bard, but this was different. The smile on his face was that of a child getting candy, pure. He stopped his little half-dance thing he was doing, realizing he looked like a fool to turn to the Derak.
"Yes of course! I took an airship here, so I know little of how to get there, but it shouldn't be too hard. We are to go to the capital, went there once on a guard job once. We shouldn't get lost in the desert, but the city is a whole different thing. Now as for Quasal.." he beamed for a moment, to happy to speak. "That is where I spent a good portion of time, that is were my love waits..." Once again he stopped this time looking off. But his thoughts wandered, and soon he thought of his home. He would be able to vist it if it still stood, to vist the graves of his family. Immediatly his smile faded. It was replaced by hidden sadness. He gave quick glances at the group.
"W-we should go. Every minute is better spent on the road right?" He thought that by talking his memories would stop comming in, but they didn't. He knew what would come next, he relived the fight in his mind. He felt the blow that left a scar on his face. For a moment it hurt, and his hand went to it. Where sadness had been, rage replaced it. A single tear fell down his cheeck.
"I'll avenge you mother! I'll avenge you father!" he said in harsh Ralnarian
Derak was pleased to have Teros apart of the team; he was probably the only one here that he had gotten along with so far. Even though Derak thought he was getting to know the Desert man well, this day Derak seen a whole other side to the man. Perhaps it was joy or even love.
The desire he seen in his eyes was foreign to Derak, Derak had never known of love before and never bothered to get involved. Sure Derak had heard plenty of this so called love. He had traveled with others who had to felt this emotion; they would pull a small pocket size painting of their beloved one and look at it as if it would disappear if they didn’t take their eyes off it.
Derak had seen some of the strongest of men change their entire ways of life for a woman. Derak thought of love as a weakness, however he didn’t find it wrong. Becoming intertwined with another being though love was strength between the two that were in love but love would be a weakness to the world around them. It was a very complicated thing to Derak, love was too complex to give an exact analysis on.
Derak once knew a fella who was bound down by love. He was a great fighter but one day met some elf lady and he changed his entire ways for her, even though all his life he knew only one thing…battle, he was willing to hang it all up and study in the arts of the druid. Derak found it idiotic and a feeble attempt at life.
Yes love could too be a trifle, which Derak preferred not to get involved with. If took the wrong way love could spiral out of control and bring the most powerful of men crumbling to their knees. Derak observed it many times before and knew to take much caution when getting involved with it. Derak noticed that Teros began to speak of directions on were to go he listened and began to walk south.
The stranger before them drew Damien’s eyes with dark suspicion. It seemed that this man was to be joining them, only he was a part of the group without their consent. It took him only a moment to release his tension, however, when he thought about it. Similar to most other things in this forest, I guess, he figured, shrugging lightly beneath his draped cloak as he eyes up the dark man.
His gaze was quickly turned, however, as a brilliant burst of light erupted from the great swooping scythe blade that he carried, blinding him. Damien swore and his hand darted in to wrap about his rapier hilt. Impulsive, though he did not release it. Rather, he remained ready, wary of the stranger and his speaking raven, which seemed to be his voice.
Slowly, after several moments, the bard let his fingers unwrap from the thin hilt of his sword, easing up slightly, though he remained silent while the others went about their introductions and speeches. The sight of Teros expressing joy was almost amusing to Damien, though he did not acknowledge this with a smile or laugh. Silent, his cloak wrapped about his thin form, was how he chose to remain in the presence of this unusual man.
The sight of Elandor trading his skull mask for a black bandana confused the dark minstrel, not understanding the reasoning behind such a trade. He suspected that the mask held great power, might which could be used to aid them in this otherwise seemingly hopeless task. Not wanting to draw the brunt of the others and their being unable to understand him and his thoughts, he held his mute, watching intently.
Vilyamar greeted the ‘Scourge’ with welcoming, informing him of their titles as The Chosen Ones. This caused Damien to cringe slightly, shutting his eyes tight for a brief moment and looking away. He still did not like being one of such ‘saviors’, but he had agreed to join Mahou, even if it wasn’t the others he was intending to help. They had turned on him or lied to him, cheating him in some way. Mahou was the only one unlike them. It was her alone that he bore any trust towards.
“You are chosen, like us,” Damien spoke in a bitter tone, breaking his hold on silence. “Do you possess one of these wretched leaves to signify it?” He reached to a pocket and produced his leaf, folded and tattered from its inappropriate holding. Rotating it by the stem in his slender fingers, he released it, letting it drift slowly to the ground. Watching it hit the earth underfoot, he dug his toe under some loose dirt and buried the leaf.
“Whether you like it or not, you’re in. By your own choice, or somebody else’s, you’re with us now.” A dark laugh escaped Damien’s thin lips. “Allow me to introduce myself,” He flashed a quick smirk at Teros. “I am Damien LeBlaque.”
Elandor looked up at the raven as it sailed down towards him, its wings extended silently but suddenly flapping in a loud hover above the mask. It took the mask to his master, to return with a black bandana. A great gift in the eyes of the kender. To receive something in return from this impressive man was a very special thing.
The kender caught the bandana as the raven dropped it. He looked at it in joyful admiration, gently stroking the soft textile. He then took it in both hands and placed it on his head, tying it firmly under the knot of hair at the back of his head. His hair was completely covered by the black cloth, except for his knot that bounced from under the bandana.
People started to get moving. Elandor listened closely to Teros’ story and caught a hint at something most interesting. He moved up to where the big desert man was walking and looked sideways to him as he tried to keep pace.
“Teros, tell me about your girl, if you want to. If not, then I’d be very happy to hear your tales about the airship you mentioned. I’ve always wondered if there was such a thing. It must be wonderful to own such a vessel. Imagine where we could fly!”