Linnix took the package from Loriel's giving hands. Carefully unwrapping the paper, her eyes widen as she sees the gloves and bracelet.
"Oh wow, thank you!" Linnix says, examining the bracelet in her hands, "I hope you don't mind if I don't wear the gloves right now." She adds, indicating her apparel for the evening.
She takes the bracelet however and slips it onto her wrist. There, it fits perfectly with the silvery nature of her dress.
A myriad of emotions flows beneath the surface of Linnix, and strangely, the dress she wears seems to reflect it subtlely, with the flickering candle and lamp lights playing on the faint colours in the dress itself. Shimmering and changing from one colour to the next, in the same movement as Linnix breathes. Largely, however, Linnix feels very nostalgic. 'With all the will in the world.' Linnix had heard that phrase before.
Linnix closes her eyes, feeling her well of emotions and memories. "I'm ready." She murmurs.
Elesia and Bartholomew were a couple of opposites to be certain. While Elesia was dressed like a storybook princess, and danced with a grace so elegant it was a divine spectacle to watch, while Bartholomew, a simple farmer, was dressed in but a clean white tunic, his rugged rustic features trimmed of the travel’s growth for the evening, and he followed his leading lady around the cobbled streets, though more than once he deftly moved her feet with a quick two-step to avoid having her delicately painted toes and silken sandals with crystal tassels trod upon by her partner. They danced, and they laughed, before making their way to the table where their companions sat.
“You ladies look beautiful” Bartholomew said with a gracious bow that seemed somewhat stiff from years of toil in the field.
“And You Xaris, look so handsome tonight” Elesia added. Loriel turned to them and spoke of sharing wealth and good fortune as she presented them all with gifts. To Bartholomew, a belt of sturdy leather, embroidered with silver and with sturdy pouches along its length for easy access to coin, vials or other small items. For Elesia, a silver flute, etched with gusts of wind along its smooth polished finish.
Like Aelistae, Bart tried to deny the kindness, having nothing to return, but Elesia openly accepted her gift, with a gracious curtsey and a thank you. “May I play many happy tunes upon this flute as a sign of gratitude Loriel.” Elesia said as she placed the flute to her lips and blew a few soft practice notes for good measure.
Bartholomew simply shook his head, and attached the belt, compete with buckle around the top of his pants, an exquisite contrast between his light tan shirt and his dark brown leggings. “Thank you Loriel, it is lovely.” He managed to say though his cheeks were still filled with the blush of embarrassment for all the attention he had received this evening.
Bart pulled out a chair, and bid Elesia sit, before finding one of his own. As Aelistae and Linnix prepared to dance, Elesia smiled and urged Linnix to give it a go. “Dance like there is nothing else in life but the dance, and you may even enjoy yourself darling.” With a soft smile, the bard and the farmer took to wait for the show about to begin.
Loriel closed Aelistae’s hand around the gift she had placed there in order to encourage her to accept it, and despite her best intentions the drow woman found that she could not refuse.
“Well…I am grateful for the kind thought,” she commented with a nod of her head, as she unwrapped the gift. It was a brooch, almost as intricate as the one she currently wore but fashioned from materials of a far higher quality. Pale gems sat in gold inlay and were arranged to depict a full moon.
“It’s beautiful, Sister. Thank you,” the drow woman added, even as she wrapped the brooch up once more, and placed it safely upon the table. “I promise I’ll wear it later.”
Linnix looked in her direction, and softly worded her desire for Aelistae to fulfill her promise – to show her the Dance. Her eyes revealed her unease, as did, strangely, her dress, but Aelistae could not tell whether that was out of simple nervousness or something more.
‘Whatever it is, I hope you can provide some peace for her,’ she thought silently as she exended her hand out once more, and led Linnix into the middle of the courtyard.
Around them lovers lazily floated in their partners’ arms, others sang, and a few even traded suspicious glances at seeing the hue of Aelistae’s skin and the unsheathed sword that she carried. But Aelistae paid them no heed. She closed her eyes, and three small silvery balls of light appeared that floated ten feet in the air and covered the courtyard in a soft, silvery light.
“If you are unsure follow my lead,” she whispered to Linnix, “at least until you hear the Song within you, and grow unashamed to dance to that tune.”
The quiet whisper was followed by song. It was not loud nor boisterous, but soft and melodic like a quiet whisper of wind in the dead of night.
"A Valsharess tu’jol l’Phor Siyannen!
A ssussun ulu udossa gh’nindel
hí 'aladhremmin lorugen.
A Eilistraee Gilthoniel
ph’linath lu’killian i gelair..."
The words of the song faded, but the tune to which it had been set continued to be sung by Aelistae and her body responded to it. Like the song her body moved to slow, sensuous movements. Her bare feet curled as she stood upon her toes alone, and lifted her leg, bent at the knee, behind her. Her right hand, and the sword within it, reached towards the heavens and the globes of light she had conjured.
And then, as if a dam had burst within her, she broke out into a flurry of action. She spun upon her standing foot, threw her sword in the air and caught it effortlessly in her arm behind her back. On and on she danced, brief moments of activity punctuated by long moments where she held positions of unnatural grace and poise. The only constant was her long, silvery hair, which seemed in perpetual motion, and her eyes, which remained fixed on the night sky.
OOC: The globes of light is from her innate drow ability to cast dancing lights.
The words to the song are:
"O Queen beyond the Stars Above!
O light to us that wanders
here amidst the world of woven trees.
O Eilistraee Star-kindler
whose song and sword guide us…"
(Backposting) “Thank you, all three of you for saving my life. I am indebted to all of you, and if it takes my life to do it, I will repay my debt.”
Artanis received no response to her pledge. Feeling that, despite the fact that they had saved her, they were probably upset with her for acting so rashly and almost getting herself killed, and as such, causing Loriel, Kas, and Xaris to go out of their way to save her. She felt deeply ashamed and could do nothing but find a spot to sleep.
Sleep came quickly enough, but it was a fitful sleep. She was uncomfortable, and there was no way she could lay that didn’t hurt. On top of this, she woke every few minutes to shift as carefully as possible, not wanting to damage the dress Elesia had given her.
Much too quickly, the sun crept out of its hiding place bathing the land in its colorful glory. Artanis’ eyes fluttered open, and she looked around. Aelistae was there with a kind smile as she said:
“I altered the straps slightly, on the armor we took from Kas’ battle-captive. I think it should fit you, if you wish to try it,” she added, handing over the hauberk and leggings of chain mail armor.
Artanis gratefully accepted the armor. “I don’t know how to thank you, Aelistae. You are so kind to me.” Without thinking, she hugged Aelistae, then realized she didn’t hurt anymore. She looked at Aelistae with wide eyes and hugged her tight again, whispering, “Thank you.”
With a huge smile on her face, Artanis rushed off to the privacy of the cave, chain mail in hand, picking up the extra set of clothes along the way. Carefully removing the dress and folding it neatly, Artanis quickly donned the clothes and armor. She stretched this way and that, testing the fit and feel of the “new” items.
As Artanis emerged from the cave, ready to show Aelistae how well the items fit and to thank her, she stopped in her tracks. She did not hear the full conversation, but came in on the tail end of it. Kas was telling the group that they were not a team by a long shot.
Artanis placed the gown in her pack. She decided to keep her mouth shut and stay out of it. As the confrontation finally died out, she made her way over to Aelistae. She spread out her arms and turned a full circle. “It fits perfectly. Thank you so much.” Then she hugged Aelistae again. (hope that’s ok Ginafae )
(Jumping ahead to the tavern)
After the rooms and baths were paid for, Artanis decided to find a shop that sold hygiene items. She purchased soap, shampoo, and a pouch of bath petals. There was a scent of jasmine in all three items. She also searched out and purchased a simple hat.((Just something like a winter hat, only not so warm, that she can pull down over her head))
Her new items in hand, Artanis went back to the Inn. She went to the bar, requesting that a hot bath be brought up to her room. She glanced briefly at the group as they made a commotion. Apparently Xaris had won some money. She smiled, happy for him, but was not deterred from her goal. The bath ordered, she went to her room.
Once the bath had been brought up and filled, she thanked those who brought it up to her, and locked the door behind them. Artanis undressed and stood next to the tub, she sprinkled a bit of the bath petals into the water, and inhaled deeply as the intoxicating scent wafted up to greet her senses. Artanis stepped into the bath, sinking slowly down into the water until it was lapping gently at her chin. She closed her eyes and sighed heavily.
After relaxing in the steaming water for a while, Artanis began to scrub her body thoroughly. She went to wash her hair, purely out of habit, but had to stop herself. She looked at the bottle of shampoo and frowned, “Well, that was a waste of money.” She shook her head and finished up. She got out of the bath and decided to lay down for a little while.
After getting a couple hours of sleep, Artanis awoke. She dressed quickly, and left her room. She pulled her new cap down over her scalp as she closed the door behind her. She went downstairs and saw the group sitting at a table. As she made her way to their table, she wondered briefly if she should have worn the dress rather than the clothes of a man that didn’t fit her well. She shrugged, and figured these clothes were better matched to the bald head beneath the cap than the elegant dress was.
She greeted everyone and pulled up a chair. She sat quietly next to Aelistae.
Posted on 2008-05-14 at 22:56:11.
Edited on 2008-05-14 at 23:07:55 by DarkAutumn
Linnix watches Aelistae nervously. Deep inside, her self consciousness claws its way out of her steeled heart. She feels herself beginning to back down, to run away.
"Don't you want to dance with me?"
The voice is soft and gentle, and Linnix recognizes it right away. Her eyes widen, and she calms down. Not this time, Linnix tells herself, I can do this.
Linnix begins with a slow twirl, the blue of her skirt rippling like the waves from a raindrop that disturbs the surface of the ocean. She leaps forward, the gown flowing along behind her. In the leap, she raises her arms, with the stone of turquoise glinting in the light of the orbs above. Upon landing, she arcs herself back, opening her arms and herself to the night sky. Then, with the stomp of her foot, she flips back, folding her legs and the skirt over them. She lands erect, and now feels it. The sounds of the others had vanished. Even Linnix's surroundings had vanished. Only the Song, and Aelistae's on dance are there, in the plains beneath the lit moon, broken by a few scattered trees. Linnix was far from finishing. She twirls, drawing the likeness of the wind with all of her body. The flickering of fire, the drops of water upon the world, the shifting shadows of the night; all this she captured in her movements, as her emotions fueled her, and drew her on.
The shadows lengthen, and from them another figure appears, to dance alongside Linnix and Aelistae. Her gown is silver and black, but her skin and hair colour are the same as Linnix's. Only the length of her long hair and her eye colour, a warm shade of brown, sets her apart. Then Linnix understands. So long as she too learned to dance, she would always stay connected with these two: her friend, Aelistae, and her sister, Caera.
Suddenly, as though she had finally opened her eyes and other senses, Linnix feels and hears another heartbeat alongside her own. She nearly stops in surprise, but continues the Dance.
Aelistae? Linnix wonders, her thoughts echoing in the soothing and unseen night, Is this real?
(Aelistae would probably be able to see Caera too, although, since this is kind of now separate from the others, the others only see the dancing of Aelistae and Linnix. Also, the dialogue in the beginning is in Linnix's imagination. Oh, and for the curious, the 'c' in Caera's name is actually pronounced in a manner similar to an 's')
Posted on 2008-05-14 at 23:49:26.
Edited on 2008-05-14 at 23:58:58 by Reralae
No words were spoken from Aelistae as she continued her dance. Any onlookers who only took notice of the focused expression on her face or the thin beads of sweat that began to line her frame would only have seen a dancer devoted to her art. But each pirouette and leap she made had a wider purpose, and slowly, imperceptibly, its rhythm and form began to change to complement Linnix’s own.
Aelistae? Is this real? Linnix asked. The question was not expressed with words but with subtle changes in her dance, and was expressed in response to another figure joining their communion. To Aelistae’s drow eyes she seemed almost to be Linnix’s twin, except that her hair was longer and her eyes darker.
Yes, in a way, she replied enigmatically, communicating her thoughts even as she gracefully leant forward and extended her right leg straight out behind her at an angle beyond ninety degrees. The Dance shows that which you need to see, and that which your heart yearns for. So for this moment she is as alive as you or I.
Posted on 2008-05-16 at 12:23:08.
Edited on 2008-05-16 at 12:34:20 by Ginafae
Kas sat down and remained quiet. As others of the group danced and chapped, she just watched a listened. At one point her opened her harp case and drew it out. Her hand lovingly caressed the beatuifully carvel lap harp. It had been carves out of a single pieces of golden heart wood, though first it was sung into its initiale shape by an elven Woodmaster, capable of the art of woodsinging. The main piece of the harp was the upright in the form of a sinuous dragon whose body, feet and tail become the main structure of the harp. the Dragon was wound through a forest of trees of all type; ash, oak, pine, spurce, holly and rowan bushes and cleverly hidden in the tress were animals; deer, bear, wolf, fox, owl, eagle, and more. Kas knew there were others she had not yet located all of them, such was the skill of the master craftsman who carved it.
She remembered her great joy at receiving it, on her 120th birthday, but for the life of her she could not remember who had given it to her. She stated to finger the strings blending her harping with the musicians that was being played for the dancers. She woven intricate harmonies to the music they played. Kas sought to losose herself in her harping, it had always been a balm to her when she was troubled, and she was troubled, for she had a great hole in her memory and she was becoming very aware of it.
The same strong fingers that could grsp a sword in battle not produced beautiful music. One thing Kas did know, she had always wanted to be a Bard, but something, now lost in the emptiness of her mind had changed that and sent her down the path of a warror.
"I still want to Believe That You Will Return to Me"
A few tears fall from Linnix's form as she twirls and dances in duet with Caera. Subtly, Linnix's dance changes from one that is slightly sporadic, reflecting on her nature, to that of one which is filled with a single emotion. In spite of their separation, the love Linnix feels for her sister remains, and it is this that now encompasses her dance. She pushes her body, which is already showing wear from her exertion, to do more.
In her dance too is two wishes. One remains obscured within the depths of her heart, but the other is displayed openly in her dance. May I dance as my sister danced, in the shadows under the moon.
A few more tears fall from Linnix's eyes as the memories are sparked. Before, they made her sad, but it didn't seem so bad now. Linnix's dress too displays the shimmering velvets of her love, and the watery hues of her tears.
May we honour her always, Aelistae added as her dance drew slowly to its conclusion. She had wanted to ask Linnix who the woman had been in life, and what she had meant to her, but she could see that the wounds of grief were too raw and too recent.
Aelistae spun on the point of her foot, and assumed the posture she had begun the dance with. Her leg was lifted behind her, while her the sword she held was once more raised in salute to the heavens. Unlike before, however, she did not assume the position for long. Instead she broke it, by walking over to Linnix and embracing her.
“We will honour her, as we honour all those who were dear to us and have been taken away,” she whispered quietly.
"We will honour her, as we honour all those who are dear to us and have been taken away,"
Linnix ends her dance as Aelistae does, slowing her movements, moving just slower and slower, until she stops. She returns the embrace given by Aelistae, the tears flowing freely down her cheeks. The image of Caera vanishes from the sight of her eyes, but remains in her mind's eye.
"There's... something I should tell you." Linnix says, "But not here... will you come by my room?"
Feeling very nostalgic, Linnix wanders off to her room in the inn, unsteady, and very much like someone who is daydreaming.
Posted on 2008-05-18 at 19:15:26.
Edited on 2008-05-18 at 19:38:53 by Reralae
Linnix still wears the dress, even as the moon rises towards its peak, giving her gown the shimmering appearance reminiscent of that of a ghostly figure. She had taken off the eyeshadow and lipstick; the blush had disappeared with Linnix's tears. She sits cross-legged on the floor in front of the window, staring at the moon above.
"Aelistae," Linnix says, "When I first saw you dancing, under the moon, it reminded me of my sister's dancing. That woman that appeared when we danced held the same likeness as my sister, even her favourite gown. Her name is Caera."
"Caera loved to dance. If she had a choice, I honestly believe she would dance forever if I let her." Linnix says, chuckling slightly.
Linnix turns to Aelistae, "She wanted me to dance too, and I promised her I would try. It is a promise I only fulfilled just now."
Linnix smiles, "I wish Caera got to meet you; you two would have connected quite well."
Linnix turns back to gaze at the moon, "Caera loved dancing in the shadows under the moon. I would ask her why it was always the moon, and she told me that there was a lady that liked to watch people dance in the moonlight. She said that the Lady felt everyone was equal, if not the same, in the rays of the moon, uncoloured by the sun. Caera called her the Lady of the Moon."
Aelistae breathed deeply. She was tired and her muscles ached from her dance, but that was not the cause. Linnix had revealed why she had wanted to dance with her and who Caera was, and the truth of it stole her breath away.
“I…I’m going to tell you something,” she managed to utter as she moved to sit by her friend’s side and placed her sword beside her. She pulled her legs to her chest as she did so, in a mirror image of how she had sat when they had first met. Her eyes followed Linnix’s gaze until they fixed themselves upon the Moon.
“There was once a girl, long ago, who lost all of her family. But…it wasn’t the tragedy you might think it. In her heart she knew they had never loved her; that they were incapable of doing so even had they wished it. All the evils they had performed in their lived had emptied them out from the inside, and all they felt was hatred and burning ambition.”
“Still she was saddened by their loss,” she continued. “They were all she had known. And hearing and seeing their deaths nearly drove her into madness….”
For a moment tears glimmered in Aelistae’s eyes, but they screwed themselves shut as if deciding on their own volition that they would not let them fall.
“But…she did not. In her heart she heard a song. It had always been there, she had just never taken the time to listen to it. It whispered of the Moon, of the Dance, of how her people could return and live in peace with all those upon the surface.”
“That girl followed that song and became me. And I learnt that that song came from Eilistraee.”
“Caera – your sister – followed that song too. She might not have had a name for the Lady of the Moon that she danced for, but it was Eilistraee. And if she has passed on, do not feel sad. She dances still under the forests of Svartalfheim in a place so beautiful that no words can do it justice.”
Aelistae smiled, and the smile remained as her eyes opened once more.
“I do not fear death because I know what awaits me. If…if you wish it. It can await you too.”
And so they danced, well into the evening, the song and merriment rose up from those gathered and all enjoyed themselves truly for the first time in quite awhile. As the night dragged on, the crowd began to thin, as fatigue and morning responsibilities claimed much of those gathered. Linnix and Aelistae too left the festivities for a more private setting. There they talked, growing closer to each other with each word exchanged, and Linnix closer perhaps to something that might change her entire life.
(allowing about ten minutes of conversation to pass between the two)
There was a knock upon Linnix’s door. A feminine voice, soft and laced with fatigue followed suit. “Misses, I bring you a bottle of wine, some hot tea, and some fresh drop biscuits as a courtesy from a man downstairs. Before leaving, he wanted me to extend his sincerest gratitude for the show you put on, and can only hope you’ll be around again in the future to provide such a spectacle.”
Downstairs, Bart rose and bid everyone good evening, before excusing himself to bed. Elesia moved off to court a fine looking nobleman of some twenty years, her silver tongue easily eliciting the desired response from the wealthy man, and soon they too had parted with but a wiggle of her delicate fingers in a wave to her friends, as they walked north along the street into the night.
Those who were still gathered, with full stomachs, musically pleased ears and now droopy eyelids were preparing to call it a night themselves, when a woman came rushing down the street in a frantic panic.
“Fire, Fire!, My house is on fire! Please someone help me, My baby and Mr. Wuggles are inside!” She grabs onto a nearby dancer and shakes him violently in terror, tears streaming down her face as she trembles. Sure enough, if one were t stop and look down the road some 200 yards, smoke plumed forth from not only the chimney, but the windows of a two story home on the corner, and flames already licked up into window sills on both floors, a pair of outside wood shutters already burning, as one falls from the hinges to smolder and eat away at itself on the street. A small crowd can be seen gathering at the spectacle of it all, and a pair of lads take off up the street (North) calling for “Guards, and a need for a Fire Brigade!”
(Linnix and Aelistae can backpost a bit,sit and enjoy some fine wine and tea as their room does not face the blaze, nor can they hear the commotion outside)
Posted on 2008-05-19 at 14:20:19.
Edited on 2008-05-19 at 14:25:23 by Kaelyn
Kas leaps grabs the woman by the arm and races to the door. "Who is Mr. Wuggles and what room are each in?" At the door she grabs someones cloak hanging on a peg and brings it with her. If she passes a horses's watering trough she dunk it in to wet it.
Kas knows there is little time and drags the woman down the street as fast as they can go. Her information would be vital to saving the child and Mr. Wuggles.
SHe knew Loriel and Xaris will still their and from what she knew of them they too woiuld be with her.