(to save future posts)
As Teros approaches Elandor, the kender successfully squirms free of the vines that held him tight.
Anyone searching the leader find a strange, bead draped staff, crowned with a skull, a black sash, strung with beads, skulls, bones, and shrunken human heads...sacks filled with various, organic substances, and an evil, horned, skull mask.
Rushing up to the dead goblin, Elandor, without hesitation, ripped off the skull. The goblins hidious black face stared lifelessly through glazed, yellow eyes. Blood trickled from his gaping, fang lined mouth.
The skull stared sinister into Elandor's eyes from his hands. Though he was imune to fear, the kender was highly sensative to the feelings around him. This skull was evil.
(none of the other goblins carry more than allready mentioned.)
Derek was relived to have maade it threw such a unbalanced battle. He was lucky to have made it threw with only a simple stap from a spear. He held his wound firmly to stop the bleeding. He would be fine but what about his other teammates? Damien had suffered some coma type spell from the ring leader goblin. Who knows what the outcome of the spell would be, for Derek wasn't too familiar with the ways of magic. The possibilites of magic were mind boggling to him though. If it weren't for that vein spell from the goat lady who knows what the outcome of the battle could be. Derak nodded back at Teros, he was indeed a good swordsman. The two of them paired were a match not to be messed with. Their talents combined was like mixing oil and fire, a leathal combination. Derek smirked at the bodies piled before him. For Derek had some doubt in his mind if he was going to make it out of that whole ordeal, but that was what Derek's mistake was "doubt". He dwarfen teacher had always taught him to fight as if it were impossible to lose, and sure enough as soon as the thought of doubt drowned his focus he felt the sharp pain to his side. He had broken one of his own rules, he debated to himself that it would never happen again. He walked over to one of the carcasses poking it with the tip of his sword. "little bastards sure can put up a good fight if delt with enough numbers!" That was another thing that Brotter his dwarfen teacher had taught him, superior numbers win the day. But perhad master brotter was incorrect in this case. He looked around to the little feller getting released from the veins, Derek cared little for the litte one. What good could that guy do in battle, Derek pondered to himself. He wasn't much bigger than one of the children in his hometown. As matter of fact the kender didn't make one swing during battle, he is just another mouth to feed. If it was up to Derek he woulda left the little bugger dangling in the veins. However, Derek held his tongue, he didn't think that a opinion wasn't exactly appropriate at this time. "Everyone ok?!" Derek shouted even though Vilyamar and Teros had already begun to tend to the severly wounded. By the way that Vilyamar guy was pretty handy for onely useing those weird weapons. He was man of extreme talent and his body had been crafted threw extreme practice into a weapon. Their was a monk at his hometown Pellsville, but not as good as Vilyamar. The way he was taking down goblins was almost graceful, almost like a dance or a play. It was fasinateing to watch him in battle. Even though Derek could only catch a few quick glimpses of Vilyamar threw the chaos. He was proud to be part of such a deadly alliance, perhaps they all weren't as bad as expected.....
Mahou held her bow tight ready to draw another arrow if the one she'd prveiously fired did not down the goblin she had aimed it at. Mahou's hazel eyes met with the black skined mage as he took his final breath falling to his knees. Mahou coudn't pull ehr eyes away from him as he fell face first to lay liveless ont he ground.
Feeling a shiver run down her spine at the sight of this seemingly great mageshe had killed Mahou had a mix of emotions, worry for the repurcutions killing someone such as him would bring, pleasure for having the strength to take something down...Mahous thoughts trailed on this though as she remembered why she had acted so quickly, turning Mahou turned to face Damian who also now lay upon the ground. What ever magic the mage had woven was tht of evil.
Mahou hurried to Damiens side kneeling down upon the grass she looked him over trying to determind wht exactly had happened. Tucking lengths of aburn hair behind her horns and ear's Mahou sat a bit dumbfounded at what had happened. Mahou chanced a look around to see that the others had finished off all still liveing tht might threaten them. once assured that all where safe mahou turned her gaze back to damien adjusting him tell she thought he could lay comfortably and waited for the others so they could decide what to do from here.
(sorry for the vage post, i just wanted to get something out. Mahou will stay by damiens side, i'm not sure if she knows what spell was cast upon him, or what it's effects are. i beleive either way she'll suggest that the others scout around to make sure there is no badies left because they'll need to stay put untell Damien awakens)
The monk looked over at the kender as he rushed up to rip off the skull helm of the evil goblin. As soon as the kender picked it up he wore a strange look upon his face.
"What is it? Is there something wrong?" Vilyamar asked him quietly, following his gaze to the helmet. Even from a distance, Vilyamar could feel the evil radiating from the skull. He, too, threw a revolted look upon his face, but immediatly cleared his face of emotion, following a practice of the elves to deal with turmoil.
He was at the time examining the staff, though he wasn't too sure about anything on it, he thought it was just normal. But the skull however, was not normal. It had some pretty evil properties to it, or so he thought.
He thought of making for the kender and the skull, but he did not think the kender would be dumb enough to cause damage with it. Besides, Teros and Derak could deal with it and Vilyamar could easily deal with the kender even with the help of a magical item or two.
He turned his attention towards Mahou and Damien, an expression of worry clouding his face.
"Do you know what happened to him? I heard naught but a scream and when I saw he was enveloped in darkness and passed out." Vilyamar said.
Listening then to her request to keep a perimeter, he nodded curtly, agreeing that they shouldn't try to move Damien, not until he awoke and they found what had happened. Vilyamar then runs up the hill, towards the caves to see what might've happened to the goblins that escaped their.
Teros wrapped his wound in the material the Kender had given him (assuming that he did), and then looked at what the shaman had. As he looked at it, he felt an aura of evil. He shivered and then left. Immediatly the sight of the goblins squirming in the vines caught his eyes.
"Well someone has to take care of them.." he said shrugging slightly. Taking his time, he pulls out his sword, and calmy dispatches each one with care, giving each a swift death. After killing each one he checks up on Damien, says a short prayer to his goddess.
Moving hesitantly, as if deciding what to do, he looks around, mumbling words to himself, and then finally advancing up that path (around 500 feet). From here he takes out his sword and keeps watch to make sure that no one tries anything from the rear.
Elandor took the helmet of the Goblin leader in his hands and held it up to his face, as if it was somebody's head facing the little rogue. He sensed the evilness inside and tried to find exactly what made him realize he'd better not place this thing over his head.
"Hmmm," he said to himself, while turning the mask this way and that, "what is it in you that gives me this weird feeling?"
The skull didn't answer so Elandor cast a doubtful look at Vilyamar, explaining that there was something he didn't get about the mask.
When Teros asked for something to wrap his wounded arm Elandor again looked at the skull. Staring it straight in the eye-holes he asked it: "Do you have anything to wrap Teros' arm?" With his hand he let the skull go from left to right and back again, like the skull shook itself in a denying gesture.
"Hmmm, alright then. I'll find something myself!" Elandor put the skull down and went for the goblin that lay closest to him. Ripping a strip of cloth from its outfit, at a spot not stained with blood, he created some sort of primitive bandage. He handed this to Teros, at a lack of having any better material.
After that he took a piece of rope and tied it through the skull's eye-holes. The two ends of the rope he tied together, thus creating a loop that he wore over his shoulder, the skull dangling at his back. He then went to the place where Damien was still lying flat, taken by the magic of the goblinleader.
As Teros started down the path, he listened for any sound that might refur to living goblins, but he heard none. Finally reaching his designated gaurd position, he haulted, eyes and ears open. He neither heard, nor saw anything, however.
There are no living goblins outside of the cliffs at this moment. However, faint yelps and gravvely screaches can be heard, emminating from the several tunnels thar mar the smooth stone surface. It seems there is a very living colony still withing the cliffs.
Damien is pale, cold, and clammy. A first glance, followed by a second, longer glance would still lead one to believe the bard is dead. His black cloak, and raven hair lie, spread about his grey skin in a ghastly appearance. However, a very faint heartbeat can be felt, fading warmth comes from his gaping mouth. Any potions that you have, or spells, have no immediate effect, though, you can still attempt to any that you think may help.
If the party wants to make a quick retreat to the road, where they can find a place to perhaps hide, or hurry on down the road, then Damien IS light enough for Derek to carry over his shoulder. Or, if you feel that comfort is more of a comodity than haste, there is a broken door leaning against one of the sheds. (The sheds are empty...simple gaurd huts). The door could be made into a sled if any of you have rope.
So it was that with the fall of their leader and his skull mask torn off, the goblins retreated. Those they fled from, however, felt no glory. No taste of victory graced their lips. Only a dreadful horror, a painful sorrow stung at their eyes. Damien. One who had, despite his withdrawn repose, stepped forward into a position that some might consider leadership. He lay, now, staring into the azure of the sky with glazed, unseeing eyes. His skin was drawn tight across his face, which had sunken in. His mouth still gaped wide, twisted in the horrendous pain that he had felt, before he felt nothing at all. His always-pale complexion was now ghastly. It was so white that it looked nearly gray.
Mahuo’s careful inspections found that life still clung weakly within him. However, the spell that had stricken him could not be identified, and so, how long he would live could not be guessed. Teros, seeing no reason for his presence, brushed by and started down the trail, where he would stand guard. Who knew what still lurked in the woods beyond? Let alone the caves that wormed their way into the cliffs that stood, towering over the body strewn clearing! Vilyamar, still wrapping his wound, approached from the mound that held the fallen shaman. Elandor accompanied him; his newly acquired mask bobbing up and down against his back, where it had been tied. From the path approached Derak, rubbing his precious sword clean of the black blood that coated it.
“Is he alive?” Asked Elandor, gingerly poking the black cloth of Damien’s pant leg. “He’s alive.” Responded Mahuo, rising to her feet and staring into the pale face of the bard. “Though I don’t know how long he’ll last.” “We need to put these caves behind us.” Muttered Vilyamar. “I’m certain they aren’t finished with us. The next time they hit will be harder.” “I agree.” Grunted Derak, shifting his girth, and sheathing his blade. “Them li’l bastards’ll be sure ta strike again. We don’t want any more of us in his position.” He gestured towards the bard. “So what do we do?” Asked the kender with wide eyes.
The decision was a quick one. Whether haste made it foolish or not would yet be determined. Wrapped tightly in his black cloak, Damien was slung over Derak’s shoulder. His black, silken backpack was carried by the half elf monk, who was sure to keep it away from the kender, and his weapons were handed to Mahuo. They would strike up on the road again, and continue as they were. By the look of Damien’s health, turning back towards Aldoris would be pointless. He would never make it...Or so it would seem. Perhaps help lay further down the road? They would see.
Reaching the alter marked fork in the road, they made the right that would take them over these hills, and hopefully away from the goblins. The road was wide, and easily followed. It was a highway, after all. The goblins had chosen an ideal position for there colony. How easy it would be to pick off and ambush unwary and unprepared travelers. However, none in the group could fathom how any form of local village authorities could simply let them be. So it was that they concluded the colony had to be new.
The highway carved itself into the side of one of the hills, and overlooked a shallow, wooded valley. The crowns of the hills were bare, but nestled by woods like ancient, bearded men. The sun was lowering over the peak of the hill across the valley like a golden crown upon its head. The land beyond the hills was ablaze with the fire of the setting sun, and rolled like the waves of a golden sea. It would have been beautiful, were they not fleeing from danger, and dragging a life on the balance.
By the time they had crossed the hills, the sun had set, leaving the sky a velvet purple, laced with the silver of the first rising stars. In fear, they pressed on. Precautions had to be taken, and who knew how far the goblins would pursue them. They would spend the night hunting for them, hopefully in vain. Nonetheless, they should put as much land between them and the colony as possible. There was no moon in the half clouded sky, and the land was hard to distinguish. Trees rose in dark groves, like sentinels of shadow on either side of the road, and the horizon was a high one. The night was cool and laced with the clean, crisp scent of late summer. Crickets and frogs sang in a relentless drone. There might be rain tomorrow. After a couple hours into the night, they pulled to the side of the road, under the eaves of a draping grove of willows. They would stay here. At first, it was argued whether or not a fire was wise. The pale flesh of Damien was so cold and clammy, however, that they determined a fire was worth the risk. Besides. They were far from where they had encountered the goblins. If they had pursued them this far, fire or not, they would be found.
The night went by peacefully, and faded into a gray dawn. The companions hit the road again, and in the grim, cloudy daylight, could see they had passed into lowlands. The grass was tall and reedy. Willows and tall spruces lined the road, littering it with their feathery foliage. Cloaks were drawn tight in the cool breeze. The weather would not be promising on this day.
Soon after midday, a faint trickle began, quickly emanating into a steady sprinkle. The rain, though not heavy, didn’t end, and soon, they found themselves cold, wet, and unhappy. Of course, Mahuo and Gemmi didn’t seem much effected. They were used to the elements, and a little drizzle, and a cool wind were far from extreme. The others, however. Where miserable. Despite his massive size, and apparent strength, Derak became horribly weary. His shoulder was sore, and his back hurt. They had already taken two breaks that day, due to his fatigue. But they were still forced to take an early halt that evening. Wrapped in their soggy cloaks, the group sat under an ancient willow on the grass lined bank of a clear pool. After a miserable doubt of water, and a bite of wet bread, they turned their attention to Damien.
How odd it was. The bard had begun breathing heavy...Too heavy to be normal. No longer was his flesh cold and clammy. Not even in the chill, wet air. Though still horribly pale, it burned in a high fever, and his fists opened wide, only to clench in a tight ball again. Was this a good sign or a bad sign? Who knew? One thing was certain, however. As it was, his fate was out of their hands. They could only continue.
No fire could be started, which made things worse. The night was cold. The rain became heavy. Sleep came faintly, if at all. Damien’s sharp gasps and shrill groans of torment tore into the minds of everyone else, adding to the impossibility of sleep. By now, even Mahuo and the ever cheerful kender were unhappy....to say the least.
When the shamans staff aimed for the bard, he didn’t know what to expect. He hadn’t long to wait, however. For within seconds, a horrible, sharp pain stabbed through his brain, which began to feel as if it was twisting and contorting. The pain in his head was unlike any he had felt before. Perhaps any he would ever feel. It grew in intensity. The battle began to twist and spin. Color was blended, and shape was melted. Suddenly, his brain twisted in one final spasm. Losing strength to stand, he dropped to his knees, and a terrible cry of pain, anguish, and terror was torn forth from him. The shadow that hung over him plunged down his throat. He could feel the presence of something unholy; something evil inside his very body. His very soul was under attack, and there was nothing he could do.
He no longer felt. he no longer saw, at least, not the world around him. Memories flashed before him, starting with the oldest he had. Ones he had forgotten completely! From his early childhood up until the moment he dropped to his knees, the memories flashed before him. The most terrible of memories seemed to linger longer than others, before finally switching to the next. When all had been seen, certain memories were played over, and over and over again. Not good memories. Now he only saw the most terrible parts of his life, over, and over, and over again. He saw her falling over and over and over again. He saw her eyes deaden over and over and over again, until finally, all was lost. There was nothing. Damien no longer thought. He no longer felt. He no longer was.
Who’s to say how long his deadness lasted? But eventually, he came to being again. He was in shadow. Cold, empty shadow, in a void of nothingness. It was him, but he had no name. Infact, he had only one memory. She was falling. He had two emotions. Horror, and sorrow. How long did this last? An eternity. It swept from one eternity to another, until finally, a strange light surrounded him. The orange, hellish glow of flames infernal. They surrounded him, swaying and dancing. Great, wheeling flames closed in on him, this nameless one with one memory. He felt only pain, suffering. His flesh withered and burned, only to continue to wither and burn. His torment was relentless, never ceasing. He saw was fire and her dead eyes. All he felt was pain.
Finally, at some point in the middle of the night, the rain let up, as good as that would do. They were soaked, with no light and no fire to warm up to. Somehow, however, they managed. The first, rosy fingers of an early dawn stretched through the delicate, hanging boughs of the great willows. As tired as they were, they decided they should head out. They were soaked, and soar, and Damien was in rough shape.
The morning became graciously warm. (Whoever is secure enough can take off there cloak and shirt.) It would be a while before all was dry again, but one must be thankful for what they are given.. By midday they had left the lowlands, and were crossing an ascending, swaying grassland. By now, perhaps some in the party were beginning to wonder if this Valinon forest even existed! They would be thankful, when they saw in the distance, the faint, green haze of a forest on the horizon. On they went, ignoring the griping of Derak. He was tough, he could manage. The day wore on, and the trees loomed nearer. The sun set, casting the land in a golden mist, and still they went on. The silver, near full moon rose, and the stars peeked down on them, and still they went on. Finally, about an hour into the night, they reached the towering, thick boughs of this ancient forest.
“Maybe we should stay here for the night. No use tramping through a forest in the middle of the night. And my damn shoulder is killing me.” Grumbled Derak. His complaint was a righteous one, and the others were about to agree, when Vilyamar hushed them, and carefully approached the shadows of the forest. “Shush” He hissed, cocking his head. “Do you hear that? It sounds like singing.” The group fell silent, with the exception of the gasping bard. It was true. Singing could be heard, but in no voices any in that group had heard. Save one. Voices carried through the night, as clear as a stream, as delicate as fern, and as unworldly as the silver moon. The hair stood on everyone's neck. Even Damien’s torment racked gasps died down, as if eased. A melody as drifting as the breeze swept over them, filling each a strange blend of sorrow and joy. “Elves!” Cried Vilyamar, hopping on a log, and peering into the forest. “Iv not such beautiful voices in all my life.” Gasped Teros. Before Anyone could stop him, the kender pointed and cried “Lights!” Before plunging into the forest.
They followed him, even the grumbling Derak, who had slung Damien over his shoulder once more. True enough, lights could be seen, flickering between the thick trunks of the trees. The way was strewn with logs and fallen branches, but they made it. They stood in a clearing. Before them grew a strange, grove of trees. They grew in line, and there boughs swept towards one another, forming a roofed hall. Strange, silver lanterns clung to their trunks, and in the center leapt a fire of....silver! Elves stood all about, staring strangely at them. The most beautiful creatures any of them had ever seen. The moonlight fell silver in their long, glossy hair, and their tall, elegant forms were cloaked in grays, greens, and silvers. There were many of them, at least thirty, and though most stared unmovingly at the company, the beautiful, mysterious song still hung in the air.
((I know its long. I wanted to get you guys moving and making progress, though. Plus, hehe, as I told you when we started. This game is detailed! Anyways. We are back in full swing. I hope you enjoyed my post, I look forward to yours. You are all standing there, staring at the elves. Say or do whatever you want.))
As the group set out in a hurried pace to get away from the goblins, Teros appointed himself front man. He stayed in front of the group making sure that nothing would try to get to weakened group. His sword stayed out most of the time as they moved and he didn't say much, just kept to his thoughts.
As the rain began to fall he took of his turban, enjoying the cool drops on his naturally hot head. It was fine the first 2 hours, even ok for the next 2. But after that it began to get really annoying. His white clothes stuck to his chest, showing his bear skin below, and his teeth chattered under the cold that he was not used to. His temper was rising, but he kept it under checking, not wanting it to lash out with words against others in the group.
As Derak began to complain, Teros wondered why no one thought of giving the man to him for a while. Teros was strong, almost as strong as Derak if not equal. He was significantly slimmer but he could help take the burden from off of his shoulders. He thought about saying something more than once, but bit his tounge, wanting someone else to say something that would never come.
When the sun came up he gave a bright smile to the sun and gave a short prayer to the goddess in thanks. They continued on, their clothes drying and tempers gone with the bright sun. As the day wore on a forest came into view. They picked up speed, morale rising fast. And as they approached sound reached their ears.
Teros was the first to see the elves. He stopped and straed blankely as the other followed suit. They were so beautiful in both face and song. He cound himself starring hopelessly at them, soaking up the beautiful song.
In the silver glow of the fire Elandor's body was like a statue as he stood unmoving for several minutes with his mouth opened wide. After several minutes of just staring at the elves in unbelief a silent gasp escaped his lungs.
"They're more beautiful than Marian Waybridge." he whispered to himself, refering to a young girl he had been desperately in love with several years ago.
Then he finally recomposed himself, as far as that's possible for a kender, and took several shy steps, exposing himself fully to the cool gazes of the beautiful elven eyes.
Gaining confidence as he didn't get any rejection on sight he straightened his back and looked one of the elves deep in the eyes.
"Ehm, sorry to interupt you, mister sir. But we were drawn to your voices and light hoping to find ... ehm... a safe place. HEY, you're elves! You stand close to nature and know a lot about magic! Can you help our bard? He fell asleep after a goblin attack and didn't wake up. He isn't dead because he's gasping all the time, and though he isn't very friendly he probably is pretty ok a guy when you get to know him, so maybe you can take a look at him because I think you may be able to do something about his state of being."
He swallowed heavily after this rattle of words, still looking at the elf in expectation, hoping they would help their companion, without kicking his @ss for the rudeness of interupting their nightly rituals. He felt a chill running down his spine as his still clammy clothing got colder and heightened the trembling his nervousness caused. He wanted to ask for food and a place near their fire but he didn't want to push his luck too far.
"Shhh! Listen!" said Vilyamar, his head cocked and his ear pointed towards the sounds he heard coming from their forward direction.
"Look! Lights!" said the kender who also ran off at a moment's notice, none being able to stop him. All the party followed the little fellow and all nearly plowed him over as they came to the edge of a clearing where they saw the elves. Their radiance almost lit the grove where they danced and sang, seemingly oblivious to the world around them. The monk knew just how dangerous elves could actually be, though many of the other races simply took them as weak because of their frail appearance. In truth, many of them could best most human commanders in a one on one duel.
The entire party just stood and stared, losing all concious thought for a few moments. The first to collect themselves, was of course the Kender, who promptly greeted them in common, quite rudely interrupting their dance and song.
As he finished yelling his questions to the confused elves, Vilyamar walked forward, leaning down and placing a hand on the Kender's shoulder's.
"Thank you, Elandor, let me speak with them please. I know the language." he whispered in the little one's ear. Then the monk stood and bowed, saying greeting.
Elandor looked up at the half-elf as he laid his hand on the kender's shoulder. He stared at the monk with his mouth opened wide. What a beautiful language he spoke. The kender had heard the elven song, the sound still captured in his ears, but had considered it just a string of amazing sounds. Never had the thought crossed his mind that they had actually meant anything. Now he realized that there had to be a message behind that chanting song curiosity started to grow inside him. At first it lingered like a snake in high grass but steadily it became stronger untill the nosiness manifested in an unstopable urge to question the elves further.
Already forgetting the healing the elves could possibly give his black-minded companion his voice again rose up to the elves.
"Hey! That song was sang in your language! What does it mean? Tell me, please!!!
Mahou stepped up just behind Vilymar her ears twitching at the song like words that he spoke, she understood perfectly each elven word. Truning Auburn eyes to Damien she caught the look of the others as Vilymar spoke. thinking for a brief moment she guessed not everyone was fluent with the elven tounge. Clearing her throat Mahou stepped closer to the others.
"He greets them with respect" Mahou paused as she directed whispered words to the others. "and begs them for their healing knowledge to help Damien. in return he's offered help for what ever they might need." the translation was rushed and hardly as graceful as what the half elf had actualy said. But Mahou thought it best they know what had been said lest they suspect Vilymar of something wrong.
Tilting her horned head to one side Mahou turned to look at the elfs with great interest. even a child of nature such as herself had not seen many elfs around the land. this truely was a gift and a blessing. Waiting Mahou moved next to damien checking his well being as she had contently done through out their travels her face lined with worry and guilt. If you and i had not been showing off perhaps this would not of happened. do not worry Damien, this will pass she thought to herself keeping her ears on what was being said incase more translation was needed.
Derek couldn't beleive it, he only knew this guy one day and already he was carring around his limp body like a horse pulling a wagon. He paced his steps curseing the goblins every footstep he made. He cursed this "mission" even more. The tought of some bard dying over a leaf made him squeeze his fist til his knuckles turned white. At one point Derek let his grumpyness get the best of him throwing the limp body to the floor yelling "ahh the goddamn guy is dead it don't take no goddamn genius to tell ya that" he was completely fed up with the extra cargo and felt it was unnecessary to carry it any further. That is until the gasping gave broke his plea's and he threw the body over his shoulder yet again. He wanted to ask someone else to carry the body but his ego refused, perhaps this was his chance to prove just how powerful he was. (even though his apperence already gives away most of this) Derek patience with the matter at hand surprised even himself as he carried onward through rain and through night. However, the second day of travel a rather odd event happened, supposedly elves where singing somewhere near by. Derek had never seen elves and could care less for them at this point. Vilyamar began to yell some foreign language into the woods, the fed up Derek replied by saying "what in burning hell are you doing! They can be singing on how there're gonna kill us for all I know!" Derek says not realizeing that Vilymar can understand them. Odd lights could then be seen in the distance as Derek eyed them cautiously.
OOC: Sorry for taking so long to post, work is killin' me.
For what seemed like an eternity, the weary, dirty, and grumpy travelers stood, gazing at the elves. The wondrous singing had trailed into silence. More of the beings had gathered, and stared at the wanderers with interest welling in their fair faces. Finally, the kender, unable to control his curiosity, took several, tentative steps towards them, cleared his tight throat, and peeped "Ehm, sorry to interupt you, mister sir. But we were drawn to your voices and light hoping to find ... ehm... a safe place. HEY, you're elves! You stand close to nature and know a lot about magic! Can you help our bard? He fell asleep after a goblin attack and didn't wake up. He isn't dead because he's gasping all the time, and though he isn't very friendly he probably is pretty ok a guy when you get to know him, so maybe you can take a look at him because I think you may be able to do something about his state of being.” Before even the elves, (if they so wished), could have reacted to his requests, Vilyamar had grasp the kenders shoulder, and, after whispering words of encouragement, had addressed the elves in their own, fair language. After the melodies of the elves, the voices of the kender and half elf were like shrill obnoxiousness, and gruff arrogance. Mahuo, who had remained half shrouded by the overhanging eaves of the ancient, sleeping oaks with the rest of her group, took this time to briefly whisper a translation of what was said for to the rest.
The elves didn’t move while the monk spoke. Their eyes remained transfixed upon his, and no reflection of their thoughts rippled the star glimmering surfaces. Immediately following, the kender tossed in another shrill request, and at last, the elves began to react. Smiles, reflecting great joy and deep sorrow graced ageless faces as they turned their eyes on the little one. But that was all he received, for now. Their gazes merely brushed over him, before locating and settling on the limp bard. Whispers swept across them like a gentle wisp of wind, before one elf, raised a slender hand. He eyed the monk for a moment, before stepping forward and resting his palm against his silver robed breast in greeting.
“Vedui, Ran’a.” His voice was like a flowing stream, a sweeping wind. As golden as the sun, and as silver as the moon. It was as melodious as the song, and wonder to listen to. In his voice was joy, but his greeting seemed detached.
Pausing on the last word, his almond eyes flashed over the others. His eyes lingered for a long moment, as if savoring the site, before he spoke again. “Ten’ i’n’atie, lye quenuva i’lammen en’ilya.” Pausing momentarily, his gaze fell on the kender who stood so amazed before him. Smiling, he said “This night we sing of many things. We dedicate this night to all who are older and wiser than we. We sing of trees, who whisper secrets to those who listen. We sing of the river, who can carve and nourish both at once. We sing of the mountains and their eternal slumber. And we sing of the stars, the guardians of all.” Smiling again, he turned his attention to the rest, and said. “My name is Falienor Anfalias’is. On behalf of my people, I welcome you beneath the ancient boughs of the Valnon forest. We know of your toil, and your misery, and we welcome you to join us in this night of merry-making. Do not strife, for your friend is in the best of able hands to save him.
Turning, he spoke quietly with the others for a moment. Three elves rushed forward, bending over the fallen bard, whom Derak had laid down yet again. After a brief inspection, they lifted him with more ease than their delicate frames would suggest, carried him off, down a path on the far side of the clearing. “His fate is out of your hands, oh faithful companions.” Said the elf solemnly. Then, turning, he started for the great, fire lit hall of trees. Halting he motioned for the companions to join. The other elves had turned back to their business, and a soft dreamy melody drifted overhead once more.
Beneath the curved boughs of the hall, he led them to a large table. Sitting at the head, in a great, oaken throne, he motioned for the travelers to do the same. There were several tables, and, as the companions watched, most of the elves had already taken to them, and were preparing to feast. Conversation and cheerful laughter danced lightly in the air, and from somewhere, the notes of a strange, stringed instrument joined the fluid melody of the singing.
Approaching the table, the companions noticed that, though it was made of wood, it was not carven. No indeed! Through magic, the will of the tree, or both, it had grown in such a way as to form an intricate, beautiful table. Glossy, green leaves, climbed its twisted legs and lined its edges. The chairs were finely braided of some sort of vine. Overhead, silver lanterns dripped like the tears of stars from the arched boughs of the halls trees. None could recall seeing such beauty before. Ever...Except perhaps Vilyamar.
The companions sat, tentatively testing the seemingly fragile chairs. They held well, surprising the large Derak. (You sit in this order-Falienor’s left-Mahuo, Derak, Teros. Falienor’s right-Vilyamar, Elandor.) Because there are tables on either side of the parties, the group is basically surrounded by elves. Elves even sat at the table the company was at.
An elf braided hair the color of fiery copper, and twined with leaves and acorns sat next to Teros, smiling with a face as bright as the moon. He sat, eyeing the dark skinned warrior for several moments, before putting his palm to his robed breast and dipping his head slightly. “Greetings, warrior of the southlands. I am Riadros. It’s been long since any other than the Wilder Elves have ventured beneath our eaves. Your purpose is, no doubt important. I wonder at it, actually. Might you quench my curiosity, and tell me why you enter our forest?”
The elf sitting next to Elandor was sure to keep his green/gray robes tight about him. Wiping a strand of golden hair from his slanted, green eyes, he turned so that he was facing the kender more than the table itself. He sat, watching the kender closely.
In moments, food was brought on carven oak plates, but, strangely, the party recalled little afterward of either food or drink, for their minds were filled with the light upon the elf faces, and the sound of voices so various and so beautiful that they felt to be in a waking dream. But they remembered bread surpassing the savor of a fair white loaf to one who is starving. There were fruits sweet as wildberries and richer than the tended fruits of gardens. The drink none could recognize. It was filled with a fragrant draught, cool as a clear fountain, and golden as a summer afternoon.
Falienor sat at the head, eating from his plate, and listening curiously to all that was said. This was clearly a time for feast and merry-making. Falienor explained that when the time came, questions and answers could be given and received, but for now, eat, and merry- make.
(Yes, this is another convo interval. Muahaha. Please try to converse a little....Get to know one another a little. You can even converse with the elves as you like....They are all around, as you know. I don’t expect intricate conversations. But a little conversing will please me. And you want a pleased DM )