Elandor sat at the strange wooden table and watched the whole scene in awe. He couldn't believe that he was a spectator to this all. Even more, he wasn't just a spectator, he was actually participating in these festivities.
He shut his mouth and straightened his back as he came to the conclusion that he was now a real adventurer and that a real adventurer wasn't awed by such things as merry-making. Trying hard to look as normal as possible he watched the elves with a face as if this was the most common thing in the world. Still, he reasoned, a real adventurer was allowed to be hungry and he reached out to the bread, fruit and other delicacies and placed them on his plate.
He broke off a piece of his bread and held it in front of elven nose that stuck to the grey/green cloak next to him.
"You want some of this, sir? You're not really paying attention to this meal I see, but I suggest you try some because it tastes SO good. Do you think they'll allow us to take some of this with us when we continue our journey?"
He took a fork in his hand (assuming there are any, you never know with elves) and pricked it in a piece of fruit. He brought it to his mouth and took a juicy bite. Remembering to swallow before he spoke he addressed the monk that sat next to him: "Vilyamar, how did YOU end up being an adventurer? I mean... I know how 'I' ended up and it wasn't really too special, but maybe your story is a different one?"
While waiting for a reply he continued eating his fruit. When his fork is empty again he brings his hands to the seat he's sitting on and pushes himself up to look around the table to see what it has to offer. As the hand that holds the fork comes near his belt it starts a life of its own. Totally not intending to do this the kender takes out the fork he borrowed from the inn and replaces it with the elven fork. When he reaches out to stab another piece of fruit from a bowl he uses the inn's fork, the elven fork placed nicely under his belt. (In other words, he uses the sleight of hand skill).
He then watches Vilyamar again, waiting for a reply.
The elf looked at the bread that was held before his face, and shook his head. His golden maine fell about the sides of his smooth face. "I know the flavour of our food full well." He said flatly, ignoring the follow up question that the kender had. Folding his fair hands in the lap of his robes, he continues to eye the kender.
Perhaps Elandors hand DID come to life on its own...as is the excuse of all kender. However, it never reached its goal. As Elandor awaited Vilyamars response, the hand that held the mithril fork started for one of his many bags. In mid-reach, a gentle yet firm grip closed around his wrist. Elandor looked up in shock, and the Elf smiled grimly and shook his head.
Teros was in pure awe of the beauty around him, a much diffrent beauty than that of the southlands, but still beautiful none the less. As he approached the table he almosted stoped breathing in awe of the sight, this was truly awsome.
As he sat down he looked around the table. To his right was the massive warrior who had carried the bard the whole journey. To his left came an elf. The elf looked him over before talking. Teros listened to each word carefully. When he mentioned the name of the forest he froze..this was the forest they were supposed to be in..or at least thats what he thought he remembered, he wasn't 100% sure, but enough so to be cautious to some degree.
Turning to Derak he shrugged with a slight confusion in his eyes. "Might as well.." he muttered as he turned to the man to speak. "We have been sent out to this very forest to search for..a leaf..the leaf that was supposed to be planted by the goddess of nature herself. I know not of the signifcance of this leaf, but I fear that your kind will not like it if we take it." He paused then started up again. "At least I think this is the right forest, surely that name you said was the same as the name our employer gave us.." he trailed off, looking at the elf. Then once again snapped out of it before he could speak. "Where are my manners? I am Teros, it is nice to meet you." Now he was truly finished.
Mahou seated herself on the vine chair, her eyes wide as they looked at the magical faces and things around her. Even for something as rare as her self, this was a treat. It wasn’t every day you met elves. Mahou’s horned head bobbed back and forth as eyes scanning those who sat near them, time and time again they landed on Falienor’s delicate face. What stories she would have to tell when’s he returned back to her people. What wonders she had seen in her life failed to compare to this moment now.
Mahou cleared her throat finally allowing her attention to settle on one thing. Food! The food that was served seemed to be just as plesent as the surroundings. Taking a bit of bread Mahou slung her back around and into her lap, Gemi’s large form had once again been slung into the modified bag. It wasn’t easy carrying him around in the backpack, but sometimes it was all that Mahou could do to keep her animal companion near her. Gemi had grown a bit over the last few months from the size of a wolf cub to the size of a modern muttly dog. His squat body snuggled into the patchwork leather bag with barely enough room to close it. Mahou pulled the drawstrings letting Gemi peer out to his soundings. The black triangular tipped nose rose into the air sniffing deeply before huffing and darting back inside the confinds of the bag. Mahou frowned slightly moving the bag so she could see Gemi better.
“Don’t be so shy.” She muttered offering a piece of bread to him. Greed paws reached out yanking the food from Mahou’s hand before darting back into the bag to eat their prize. Mahou shook her head and decided to enjoy the bounty before her. Picking lightly over the different things to eat Mahou let her attention wander with every new flavor. When she had eaten her fill she rolled back in her seat and glanced to everyone else. Again her eyes falling to the elf at her side. He’d called himself Falienor, and he like every other elf was as beautiful as nature herself. With glassy eyes Mahou stared at him for a long moment. Finnaly a thought came to her mind.
“Excuse me, Falienor, but, I can hardly pass up the opportunity to learn more about your wonder full people. I wonder if you might have a story teller, or a library where I might pick up knowledge and history of your kind. Something to share with my family and friends at home.” Mahou paused, thinking she’d better explain herself a little more. “you see, my people don’t get out much, we prefer to keep to ourselves and well, I’m an exception to that, and have choice to roam these lands free in nature herself. I plan to go home one day and tell my family all that I have seen. I have seen many things, but you must understand that nothing is as great as what I’m seeing now. And to have tales to tell from the very mouth of elves, would surely be wondrous for all.”
Mahou’s lightly tanned flesh pinked as her lips spread into a smile, with just the thought of telling an elven story learned from elves themselves. Taking a deep breath Mahou’s aburn eyes focused on Falienor waiting for his reply. She wasn’t sure if it was to forward of her to ask such a thing. Perhaps she should offer something in return. “I’m sure I could delight your friends with a story of my own, a fair trade as it where.”
Derek was in awe of the spectacular wooden structure, it was the work of a god (or so it seemed). Works of art chizzled into perfection so perfect that even the greatest of woodmakers would be put to shame. His body fell ungracefully into the wooden chair slumped over rubbing his sore shoulders from his long days travel. He cared little for presenation at this point, he was to hurting,fatigue, and famished to impress anyone.
A grin formed on his face as he seen the elves bring out plates of food. The set it neatly in front of his seat. He nodded at Teros as he began to tell the elves of the mission. He began to bite into to the food ravagely until the plate was desert of any food. "ok fella's the appetizers were good but where's all the good food like meat and stuff, these little berries aren't gonna quench a hunger as big as mine" He say's in a rather loud abonoxious voice patting Teros on the back and ending the sentence with a laugh.
Derek was glad to be out of the wild for the time being, if he had to carry that bard another yard he would have flipped out. He had become more mellow, and calm. His traveler's seriousness and focus had faded away while under a safe roof. He had never seen elves before but they were spectatcular beings indeed.
"Diolle, Falienor, we are most gracious for your help," said the monk with a slight bow of respect. Vilyamar watched as the elves inspected Damien and then moved off, easily lifting the feverish bard, despite appearances. The monk started behind them, stopping and turning as the others went to catch up.
The place where they dined was quite elegant. Memories of his own home town, Belfalas, arose in the monk's mind as he walked through the boughs of the Elven forest. His home town had less of a clear air than this place, and he looked around taking in all he could of the marvelous work the elves did with the trees and other foliage. It was obvious that the elves worked WITH nature, as no hands could produce such lovely works of art nor such sturdy buildings.
The meal was soon presented as they sat at great tables within the hall. Vilyamar looked at his surroundings once again, still taking in the hall. His eyes briefly glanced over the other elves milling about, who also looked back at them. He guessed that the elves didn't get many human nor other guests very often for them to cause such a scene just by arriving.
He heard the kender's question, but didn't immediately reply, deciding whether or not to even tell the truth. After a few seconds and the slight incident with the elf on the kender's other side, he decided it couldn't hurt. Taking a bite of the bread set before him, as he had touched little else on his plate, he turned to the kender.
"My story is long and boring, Elandor, so I shall cut it down for the sake of your short attention span. I became an adventurer after my village was razed by orcs. Very few survived the attack, myself and my father only survived because we were off hunting with the group of elves. We missed the signs, we had grown lax in our vigilance of our borders and the foul beasts made it through. Curse their kind, for it was a horrid sight indeed. It quite unnerved me, and I do not mind saying so now. I ran, far away and soon found myself begging for mercy at a monestary of martial arts. The headmaster agreed to take me in, and with their help I calmed my fiery spirit. But I recieved a call in my heart and soul, bidding me return to my home. As I returned, I found my father ill and old, as he was human. I told him of my exploits and he told me of his, how he and the others rebuilt the village and avenged the deaths of my kinsmen. He told of other things, but soon he passed on. I was left to wander and many events passed before this day and after that one. It is a long story to tell, indeed."
With a sigh, the monk went back to his meal, not really fully focused on eating. But his ears pricked and he listened to the conversations about him, some in elvish, others in common, picking up bits and pieces. After a little while of just sitting and listening with head bowed, Vilyamar got the attention of Falienor.
"Heru, we must speak sometime, for we have other business in this forest than to seek your kind, forgive my pressing of these matters, but I would feel more at ease with more professional matters dealt with as soon as possible."
(I think monastery is the right word, correct me if I'm wrong. It's not the best, but its done.)
As the feast went into full swing, so too did many conversations of great interest. All about the travelers elven voices spoke, sang, and laughed. At their own table they held their own conversations, either amongst themselves, or intermingled with their hosts.
On the side of the table on Falienor’s right, Vilyamar and the heavily surveyed kender shared tales of one another’s past. The monk was sure to shorten his history, putting it into terms the short attention span of a kender can understand. The golden haired elf that sat, watching Elandor never let his eyes stray, but remained, steady, and ever watchful...Perhaps it caused the kender some discomfort, perhaps not...
On the other side of the table, Teros was deep in conversation with Riadros. Upon hearing the elf’s inquiry as to why they were here, Teros decided it was best not to hide the truth. After all, Riadros had said this was the Valnon forest....Wasn’t that where they were heading? The way the desert warrior saw it, it was best not to keep secrets from elves when you where in their forest. Running a dark hand across his turban wrapped forehead, he began to explain just why they were here.
Riadros stared with wide, green eyes, listening intently as the warrior told his tale. Perhaps Teros would notice that as he spoke, other conversations lessened, and a few, scattered elves turned to face him. When the warrior had finished, Riadros paused, studying him; his slender fingers gently tugging on a leaf laced, copper braid. When he spoke, his words surprised Teros. “We had expected as much, Teros Razorsun, for that is your full name.” The elf smiled brightly knowing he had the full attention of the man before him, and, lacing his fingers together upon the wood woven table, continued. “Your tale sets the final stone in place. You arrive at last, and we know what we must do with you.” Teros’ olive skin paled, and the elf laughed again. His voice was like water on a leaf. “Worry not, my friend. We understand you are not a threat to our forest, or our lives. Therefore, why would we wish to harm you? You seek a leaf, not a life. You will have your leaf. You all will, and with it, many questions will be answered. Inenhalla’s tree is very willing to give you this gift, as it longs for these answers just as bad as we do...”
Meanwhile, Vilyamar began to press the issue of their purpose here. Perhaps he did not notice the conversation that was taking place across the table from him. At the same time, Derak glanced up from his chowing, wondering where the meat was. With a laugh like music, Falienor said “My dear friends. Enjoy what you have. Listen to brother Riadros if you wish to press matters. Tonight we feast, tomorrow we may settle your “business.”” Turning his gaze to the large, fuzz faced, shirt stained man, the elf continued. “We apologize if we are unable to fully satisfy you. We are only in a grove, and bring only what is easiest to carry. Tomorrow you will come with us. When we dine, there will be more than enough flesh to satisfy your carnivorous desires.”
The elf kept his silvery blue eyes locked on Derak, as if studying him with interest, until the cheery voice of Mahuo chirped up. “Excuse me, Falienor, but, I can hardly pass up the opportunity to learn more about your wonder full people. I wonder if you might have a story teller, or a library where I might pick up knowledge and history of your kind. Something to share with my family and friends at home. You see, my people don’t get out much, we prefer to keep to ourselves and well, I’m an exception to that, and have choice to roam these lands free in nature herself. I plan to go home one day and tell my family all that I have seen. I have seen many things, but you must understand that nothing is as great as what I’m seeing now. And to have tales to tell from the very mouth of elves, would surely be wondrous for all. I’m sure I could delight your friends with a story of my own, a fair trade as it where.”
It was obvious the satyr felt uncomfortable with her request, but the beautiful smile, and delicate laughter that Falienor gave in response was enough to comfort her. “I will accept your offer, sister of the forest. I could not turn down a request for knowledge. However, in return, we ask for a tale from you. One we might remember, on future nights that we spend communing in this grove.” Setting his slender hands on the twisted wood of the table, the elf rose to his full height. Indeed he was tall, and to those sitting before him, he appeared to be one as ancient as the mountains, as beautiful as the stars, and as terrible as thunder. Raising his hands in a soft arch above his silver flowing head, he allowed his fingers to intertwine, before saying “To one who wishes to know about the elves, it would be most suitable to teach of our origin.” Slowly, his hands slipped apart. To the surprise of the companions, so did the boughs of the trees above their heads. The full moon hung overhead, pouring its silver radiance over the company. The velvet black of night blossomed with the liquid glimmer of countless stars. Falienor spoke.
“There was once a time when the mountains where young. A time before the earth callused, and its bones rose like horns to the heavens. Gorthon, Father Craftsman had completed his work, and took this time to rest in the heavens. Of course, Alhanna, though complete, was bear and empty. Inenhalla, Mother of All stooped over Gorthon’s craft, and she loved it. However, she felt its emptiness, and shivered with its lonesomeness. She overflowed with the radiant beauty of life, and longed to spread this energy. So, with her own essence, she dreamed up the trees, and the great, endless forests rose up, reaching for the face of she who gave them life. She crafted all other forms of plants, in the hopes of giving her first born, the trees, companions. Now she looked down upon what she had created, and she loved it. However, though the trees and other plants flourished and spread beneath the rays of the young moon, they where silent, still, and lonesome. Now Inenhalla was overcome with emotion. Joy at the life she had created filled her so much that it could only be matched by the sorrow that pained her for the loneliness of the trees. And so, overcome with emotion, our mother cried. Her tears flowed and flowed. Each was filled with the beautiful essence of life that filled her. Her tears continued to fall, until they had settled in all corners of the void above us. Those are the stars. Their silver faces still reflect the beauty of that which they fell from. Now, as she cried, she longed for another form of life. A being that would befriend the trees, and talk to them. A being that would fill the forests with radiance and beauty. She longed for a being that could reflect the joy of living through voices. As she dreamed of this, 6 silver tears slid from her eyes, and fell through the heavens, where they landed on the grassy slopes of Eril Enin. When she saw this, Inenhalla peered into Alhanna, to discover that where her tears had landed, sat six beings. The sight so pleased Inenhalla, that she came to Alhanna herself, to commune with her youngest children. Those six whom the Mother visited where the first of the Sidhe, the Brothers of Stars and Trees; the Elves.”
The flowing music of his voice came to a gentle stop, and Falienor let his hands drop to his sides. The trees once again closed into their overhead arch, veiling the night sky overhead. Without a word, the elf took his seat once more, and studied
Falienor's response was swift and to the point. Either the elf was uncomfortable with the pressing matters which still haunted Vilyamar, but wasn't likely the case, or the elf knew he was in such control that he felt the matter no longer pressing. Vilyamar returned to his thoughts, though he did pay attention to the story told by Falienor. It was somewhat similar to the stories he had been told by his mother, but they had the same principles.
He looked up from his still half-full plate to see the others captivated by the story that had just been told. Vilyamar didn't know if it were true or not, but given the long lives of the elves, he didn't doubt that most of it was true. He risked a glance to his left at the kender and beside him, Elandor's elven guard. The monk knew that the guard was most definately not there for the sake of Elandor, but was there for the sake what was AROUND Elandor. Of course, the kender was doing naught but staring at Falienor, for what else has he done whenever someone made some sort of speech or told a tale. Vil snickered at the sight of the stammering kender for it was quite comical at the time.
"Falienor, I am curious, what has happened to Damien, our fallen companion?" asked the monk after his moment of laughter was finished. He was curious to the condition of his companion as he was not one to leave another behind, not ever again.
Teros was stunned for a moment. He feared for his life for a brief second, but then it passed. Still unsure of what to say, he searched his mind, calming himself, and forcing something to come to his lips.
"How do you know my full name?" was all that he could get out. He decided not to press "buissness" until later.
Meanwhile the story of the elves begining caught his ears, mainly cause of the trees overhead seperating caught his eyes. He stopped a listened for a few brief seconds, getting the general idea of what was beign said. It was a nice story, but he didn't know how true it was, probably very true since these beings seemed very close to the trees and all the other forms of life that made of nature.
But once he got the quick overview, his attention was fully back at Raidon. His hands were picking at the food, bringing it to his mouth where he would eat slowly.
Reply | Edit
what about kender?
Posted on 4/10/2004 at 4:35:33 PM (CST)
Elandor had been listening to both Vilyamar's tale of his past and the tale Falienor told. But though both stories had his attention a part of his brain was still settled on the fork that lay shimmering and welcoming on the table. He looked at the fork that he had borrowed from the inn, before the start of this quest, it was metal and had enough teeth to do its work properly. He really didn't see why the elves didn't want that fork. Imagine how many mouths that piece of cutlery had fed. Imagine what special spices it had carried. Who wouldn't want such a fork. Why would he want to trade it for that mithril thing on the table. He saw no point in wanting the fork anymore and his mind focused on the speech fully. It came to a surprise to him that after several seconds he found his hand on the mithril fork again, covered once again by the slender fingers of an elven hand connected to the elf next to him, who wore his features just a little more aggravated this time. He looked up with an embarrased smile. "Don't tales make you hungry? hehe... I just wanted to feel it a little, I mean, it's so smooth and such. Ah well... It's pretty interesting how you came to existence. Do you think that my race came to life like that? Did that lady cry more often?"
Derek replied to the elf with a nod and a slanted grin. For he was rather pleased that he wuold get a real meal the next day.
Derek began to slow down the pace of his devour, for his hunger had been somewhat satisfied to the point where he was no longer famished and could rest with ease after his elf meal.
Derek found himself isolated from the group discussion as usual. It didn't bother him at first but his curiosity ate away at him. He wondered what the others thought of him, he had proven himself to them already. For he was indeed a valuable teammate. The more he thought of it the little he cared for the others consent, for they hadn't even thanked him for lugging the limp body for miles. He could have easily given up that burden and left the matter in someone lses hands. However, he was too arrogant to do so.
He pondered away until his thought dwidled into a listening of the elf. He displayed the night sky with a single motion of his hands as he went into the beginning of the planet. Derek was fasinated with the sky peering through the opening in the overlively trees. It contained a certain essence this night that put a certain suave feeling over Derek which caused a type of spell of beauty in which Derek couldn't take his eyes off of. He had never felt this way before so relaxed and in aw. Perhaps the aura of the elven keep made him feel this way. He dazed off thinking of things in his life that had lended a helping hand to his success today. His dwarfen trainer Brotter his parents hiw sword Jilly. He sat in an orgy of relaxation and he stared into the sky with the reflection of the moon gleaming off the moisture of his big brown eyes. The story of the elf was blocked out by the daze and the deep consentration.
This trance was broken off as the sky over head closed off and Derek shook his head out of his daze replying "what jus' happened?" in his deep grunty voice. It sent chills up his spine and he questioned his sanity for a breif moment.
Derek caught him self in a yawn as he tapped Teros's shoulder asking "eh where can you get some shut eye around ere?"
(seeing as I can post, I guess I will, plus it will bring us way back to the top)
Teros turns to the massive man and listens to his question. With so much happening all around him he continues looking at him for a second as if he was still saying stuff, before he shakes his head.
"Sorry, got no idea where we are going to sleep. Ask Raidros here, he seems to be a nice guy." he sits back in his chair a little so he can see Raidros and motions for Derek can see him. He stayed like this while they were talking, occassionaly grabbing a small piece of food..or two. He really liked the food, and hadn't even disocovered the pretty silverwear yet...
Valinor Forest/Friday, Agust 7
Having finished his tale, the tall elf tilted his head slightly, letting the silver moonlight dance off his hair, before returning to his sitting position in the twisted, ivy-laden chair at the head of the table. He received no applause, nor did he expect to. The custom was considered obnoxious and rude among the elves. Of course, the particular guests he had this night knew nothing of that. They where simply to far in awe to respond in such an enthusiastic manner.
After a moment, a minstrel struck a tune on one of the strange, harp like instruments. The lone note hung over them like a drop of sweet nectar for a long moment, before twining the rising voices of singing elves. The rest of the tables began their conversations once more. Their joyful voices ringing as variously, and as beautiful and those of song birds.
Finally, members of the party spoke. Tragically, it was both Vilyamar, and Elandor simultaneously. Both voices cut the air, and sputtered, before the monk nodded for the kender to go on. "Don't tales make you hungry? hehe... I just wanted to feel it a little, I mean, it's so smooth and such. Ah well... It's pretty interesting how you came to existence. Do you think that my race came to life like that? Did that lady cry more often?" Falienor smiled and Kender were not born of Inenhalla, but of Tysilphos (God of innocent Mischief, Feasting and Cheer) and yes, I’m certain tears were shed.
Turning his eyes, now shining like twin sapphires in the silver firelight, to the monk, the elf gestured for him to go about with his question. “I am curious, what has happened to Damien, our fallen companion?" Falienor could see the concern that sprinkled Vilyamar’s face. With a sigh, the elf determined that the monk would not let the matter drop until his concerned thirsts were satisfied. Pausing a moment, the elf rolled a bit of bread in his slender fingers, before breaking off a piece, and replying “Your friend Damien was not hit with a spell. No, the dark magics of the savage tribes are not so strong in the arcane, but in the earthly, and the etherealms. The bard has been possessed, that I will say. I also tell you not to fret. The elves have talents enough to cleans. You and your friend will be reunited in the morrow.”
"How do you know my full name?" Teros sat, staring at the copper-braided elf; puzzled surprise furrowing his dark face. Riadros only smiled. A knowing light shining in his green eyes. “We have been forewarned of your arrival. Do you think the elves would have welcomed just any random traveler into our ceremonial midst? Ah! But you will soon learn enough of what I say.” The elf held up a glass of wine. The light splayed off its molten, slender base, and danced with the acorns and autumn leaves that hung, intricately intertwined in his hair. “For now let us drink to fortune, fate, and a hopeful future!”
Derrek had been in awe of the beauty of the elves, and their strange connection with the forest in which they dwelt. When the trees had parted at the bidding of Falienor, the warrior had stared, captivated by the stars that hung above them like a rain of shattered diamonds. Now, he was scarcely aware of the warm blanket of sleep that had began cloaking itself around him. Yawning, he tapped Teros on the shoulder, and asked where they could sleep. The fighter shrugged, and recommended he ask Riadros, who replied cheerfully that they would rest here, cradled by the trees, and drawing in their energy.
Anybody who frowned upon the autumn haired elf’s news soon forgot their disappointment. The feast came to an end, and, following the elves example, the party soon found themselves sitting in the tall, grass in a circled clearing at the end of the “hall”. The elves sat about, singing or speaking amongst themselves. The party found themselves isolated, but enshrouded by the beauty of the elves, that had begun to radiate about them like a strange silver light. The voices seemed to weave themselves about the group, and they began to feel as if they were in a dream...Infact, soon enough, they could not distinguish what was real and what was dream. In all the days of each of the adventurers, they would think back on that night, question what was real, and what was dream. Each memory was so warm, and so wonderful, and so unreal, that it could not be of this world. As it was, they soon drifted off to dancing starlight, whispering trees, and singing elves.
They woke to the singing of doves. Rising, they found that they had slept in a bower made by a living tree with branches laced and drooping to the ground. Their bed had been of fern and grass; deep and soft, and strangely fragrant. Rosy fingers shone through the fluttering leaves, and fell on the gleaming dew of the early morn. They where in the hall, but the elves where gone. Despite the presence of many bodies the previous night, the grass was not bent, or matted, but stood tall and green. In the sunlight the tables and chairs seemed far more living than the night before. Leaves rustled from their legs and backs, and the wood that they were of was twined and writhing in healthy freedom. There was no evidence of a fire, or even a feast. Not a trace was left of the night before. Perhaps the group would have sworn they had dreamt it all, and that none of it was real, had they not awoken feeling refreshed and energized to a level that rivaled the royal beds of Medoras.
Rising to their feet, and stretching, they where startled, when Elandor pointed excitedly to a path at the far(north) end of the hall. An elf was standing at its mouth. He stood with his slender hands dipped into the folds of his green and silver robes. His hair hung, gleaming and braided over his shoulders, like the copper leaves of an autumn forest at the foot of a peak. It was Riadros. His clear green eyes shone like the grass laden dew.
“I pray you slept comfortably.” He said with that same joy that Teros had noted about him the night before. “Today we go to Celeval, our city in the boughs of our elders.” Starting for one of the tables, he pulled from a silver, silken sack that had been draped over his back, several pieces strange, green fruit, and a flask. The contents tasted of the same, refreshing flavour that the drink of the night before had. “Eat quickly. We must leave. Tonight will be the night of your test.”
The pain had been unbearable for 9 eternities now. The nameless one had huddled in his nothingness, in the nothingness that was all for ages past. Memory did not exist. Free thought was impossible. All that was seen by lidless eyes was shadow, and all that was felt was fire. A malicious force pounded the nameless one deeper into the burning shadow with its own hate. Hate that was like a blow. Contempt spewed over the quivering one. The one feeling the nameless one had was horror. Horror that tore at it from within, in an attempt to flee the malignance that roared down on it from above. The source of this Hate was unknown....perhaps it was the darkness itself, who would know. The nameless one didn’t think, and so these questions had no delver.
9 eternities had passed, when suddenly, Hate shivered. Contempt stumbled, and for a moment, the nameless one was free of horror. The black fire flickered, and the roaring died. It was only for a split second however, before they all struck once more, as hard as ever. Nonetheless, the one moment free from pain, free from guilt, and free of the eye of Hate had been like a taste of perfection. The feeling was far stronger than Hate that smothered, and Contempt that tore at. It was apparent to the nameless one. There was a greater power. Its heart, after quivering for eternity, beat, pushing back the torrents of pain. They wavered, and hesitated. The soul began move, shaking off its film of poison. A single image appeared. A woman. Her beauty was beyond reckoning, after so long of terror, shadow and flame. She reached her arms for the nameless one, and lifted it up. She looked into the eyes of the nameless one, and in her own were depths unfathomable of love, and life...life.
It was at this time, that the malicious shadow swept up, and prepared to slam down upon both the angelic maiden, and the nameless one, but another force suddenly appeared. A white light, radiant with a strange power, life, shot through the shadow, causing it to quiver, and hesitate. The light began to grow, and in its depths were sensations that would cause perhaps enlightenment. The light rippled with an energy. An energy that was only describable as life, and love. An energy that tore through the shadow. The Shadow was death. Hatred; and it bowed before the light, quivering and fading. A wave flowed over the nameless one, and no longer was he nameless. He was living, he was energy. He was Damien LeBlaque. Rising from the shadows, he stepped into the light, and watched as what remained, was torn apart. The final, shredded ribbons of shadow hesitated in their powerlessness, before being washed away. Feeling began to return, as well as all the memories of life, and earth. The light faded, replaced once more with darkness, but this was a peaceful one, a warm one. The darkness of sleep. It was only a fleeting darkness, however, because in that moment, the bards eyes opened.
He did not recognize where he was, but he was not frightened. The beings that huddled about him looked at him with faces far more beautiful than anything he had seen on this earth. Their slender faces where draped with hair, molten in silver and gold, and their clothing were robes of silver and green. The room in which he lay was wood, but not carven. The walls seemed to be of branches, tightly woven, and lined with fluttering green leaves. Through an open window fell a golden light, and a fragrant breeze gently ruffled his long hair. For a moment, he thought he was dead, and that these where some form of celestial beings. But as his mind settled back in, he realized they where elves. The memory of the battle washed over him, startling him, and causing him to shoot to a sitting position. “Do not fret, friend.” Said one of the elves in a soothing, voice of liquid. “The Shaman was powerful, and his magic dark. You had been possessed. But not by a being. By a piece of the actual essence of the darkest corners of hell. Through our praying and pleading, the gods have intervened, and have torn it from your soul, before shattering it with their hammers of light. You sit now in the Valnor Forest, in the presence of the elves. Your friends are on their way past here, to Celeval. City of the elves, where you will be tested. That is why you are here. Come, you must meet them.
With that, the elf bent forward, and helped the bard to his feet. He felt horribly weak, but the strength was quickly returning with his full consciousness. More than anything, he felt hungry. Leaning on the slender shoulder of the tall, golden haired elf, he was lead through the doorway, to find that he stood indeed in the midst of a forest. The trees seemed ancient. Their thick, mossclung trunks rose like mighty pillars along a grassy path running before him. Golden specks lay, shimmering all about him, as the sun fell through the fluttering leaves. Damien was alive....
He turned around in the depths of the abyss, trying to find any light that could possibly illuminate the dark recesses within which he had been cast into, hoping to find out just where he might be.
A hundred thousand questions burned through his mind, unanswered riddles that were consumed within the thundering darkness that was hatred. Hatred of self, hatred of all, destroying the nameless creature that was hiding within it’s cover. Cowering, he struggled to recall something of himself, though every attempt was crushed beneath the oppressing hatred. For so long, he struggled, but after so many passing centuries beneath this dark cloud, he became idle, mechanical. The creature resembled a machine, unthinking, without any will or power of self.
An unheard question.
Thunder in his inactive consciousness.
Around him, the darkness wavered. The horrors that taunted him rippled like a stone tossed into a calm pool of water. However, this respite was only temporary, and pounded back into him once more, sending him spinning into the depths of oblivion. The momentary peace within his soul was ambrosia, though, and he hungered for more of it. That calm, that time devoid of the hatred, that single drop of it was more powerful than the oppressive darkness could ever hope to be.
Like a knife slash through the shadow, feelings began to emerge within the one without name, feelings stirred from deep within his mechanical body, unknown to him for so long. From his very core, sensations raced forth, slowly flowing through his empty veins, sending his pulse moving once more. Through the darkness, a figure appeared, a woman of such incredible beauty that one could not avert eyes from her form. She reached forth, taking up the machination with arms emanating all the purest emotions of life: love, hope, relief...
Behind, the darkness that prevailed for so very long rose up, sweeping towards them like a vile tidal wave, ready to smash them to pieces so fragile, if not for a sudden bolt of radiant light that lanced forth, piercing the shadows like blade through flesh. Thoughts of self began to pour into the nameless creature like rivulets of water flowing down a stone slope, collecting in a pool at the bottom.
Damien... The name sounded familiar, the voice, his own? Was it just imagination, pleads for a voice to call his own?
He began to feel, began to remember. An image came to surface of the pits of this strange place. A thin man, pale as death. Garbed in black. Death? No... He carried a rapier, his hair flowing black, streaked with crimson strands. A silk-like pack upon his back. His eyes, grey pools of sorrow, his face, though handsome, always wearing the expression of nothing.
I think, therefore I am.
I am Damien LeBlaque.
Opening eyes slowly, the tortured being, his soul beaten and torn, stared up to see faces he did not recognize, did not know. Slender faces, ones he had not seen before, looked down at him. Their faces were draped by masses of shimmering gold and silver, their beautiful hair. Shrouding their bodies, clothes of green and silver.
Such beautiful beings. Heavenly in appearance, and masterful of various forms of art. A true wonderous creation. Voices from inside, his thoughts, he realized. Knowledge he once possessed. He could remember.
The people around him spoke in melodical tones, similar to his own, though theirs were much more pleasant. Damien had been told he had the voice of an elf, though it was long ago. They spoke of dark magic, of possession, of hell, of a shaman.
Ah...the shaman... I... I remember...
They told him how the gods had intervened, freeing him from the tormenting prison that once bound him so solidly, whipping him into submission, breaking him. He was told where he currently lay, what had so recently happened to him.
Valnor Forest... Elves... I.... I know this...
They told him that his friends were waiting for him, though this part struck him as alarming news. His friends?
I have no friends...
Damien felt weak all over, but with every pull of breath into his battered lungs, every moment consciousness was with him, he could feel strength return to his body. He had been sundered in the depths of oblivion for nine centuries, destroyed a hundred thousand times, over and over again.
Hunger swept over him, and the bard truly wanted something to eat at this time. Food would help him recover faster, and he needed his strength. The elves had mentioned something to him of a test. Though he was unsure as to what the test might entitle, he wanted to be ready for it. He needed rest, he needed food, he needed his strength. A walk would have done him good, but he doubted he could make it on his own. An elf with a mane of golden hair offered his shoulder, and Damien took it.
“My name is Damien... I am Damien LeBlaque...” He said in a hissing voice, finding it unusual to speak words again. It had been so long since he last had used his once-harmonious voice.
“I think...therefore...I am...”
Without resistance, the bard let himself be guided out, into the forest. He did not know where they were going, but he had little say in the matter, little concern, as well. All he knew for certain was that he was alive.
I think, therefore I am.
He was afraid, weak, beaten. His soul had been shattered hundredfold times over. He was unsure of everything, his memories laced with those of the darkened abyss in which he lay as time passed by him.
Therefore I am...
(OOC: I hope this is alright. Its been a long time since I last was able to post in this game, and was kind of unsure as to how to write a decent post for someone who has been in the situation Damien was. I'm glad to be back. Its been awhile...)
The feast continued.
Elandor sat between Vilyamar and the elven fork-guard, the latter explaining the struggle of their bard companion was coming to an end. Though the information wasn't directed at the kender directly he listened to it with his mouth opened wide.
The feast continued.
It blended with Elandor's unconsciousness and went on and on in his dreams. More food was lain upon the tables, more exotic and juicier than it had been during the festivities when the kender had been awake. Elandor totally missed this declination and continued lifting bread and fruit on his plate, vague images of meaningless conversations passing his brain. Then through all the talking and consuming a shade emerged from the fire, its silhouette sharp and familiar.
Elandor woke up to find that he was lying on a soft bed of grass. Nothing hinted at the festivities of the night before. All his dream-images of elves and food had vanished.
But... was that correct? If so, then why did he still see Damiens silhouette in one of the openings of this elven hall?
Elandor jumped up, ready to rush over to the bard and give him a firm welcoming hug, to find that it was not their dark companion, but one of the elves, that stood there waiting for them.
He pointed at the elf.
"Hey, look! It's one of the elves."
With that he walked with his companions to receive more of the delicious food, ready to start their journey to the elven city, his mind already full of expectation.
The night seemed to go by in a blur for Teros. He was lightheaded, and everything around him seemed to be an illusion, a figment of his imagination. Still he found himself laying on the grass and watching elves dancing, or at least he thought they were really there.
He didn't know when he fell asleep, but he awoke fully refreshed. Standing up he surveyed the area around him, and to his surprise it was completely void of items from the party last night. Perhaps it was a dream. Still he dragged himself through the trees, regreting each step that dragged him away from that wonderful spot on the ground.
When he saw an elf that looked familiar, he began to wonder if it was a dream after all, and when he spoke he realized it wasn't, or at least parts. He took the food began to eat it quickly, but not in a disgusting manner. It was spectacular. He wanted more, but he didn't ask. Perhaps they would give them some after this "test" he spoke of, but it didn't really matter.
Finally he saw the Kender run off and hug a man. It soon hit him that that man was Damien. He was happy and sad at the same time. That man brough that happiness levels from 75 to 25. He was a depressed person, and sometimes it brought them all down. Still they didn't talk a lot, which was a bane and blessing. Shrugging he continued to eat.