Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll
Posts : 101
Join date : 2015-03-25
|Subject: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:09 pm|| |
This is going to be a repost and continuation.
Vytha huddled under the trees just out of sending range from Blue Mountain. The colorful and cheerful preservers were not daunted by the darkness of the open night and instead pointed out each new star and dew drop they encountered with glee. Having them perch by turns in her long white hair made the strangeness of leaving her home bearable for now.
Lord Voll had not known of her departure. The touch of her mother's mind to his had kept him instead in dreams much like a preserver-cocoon for trapping thoughts. Thoughts Vytha herself did not understand.
Many times she had fed on the dreams of the Chosen Eight, learning the skills of hunting from their sleeping minds. She also knew other things they felt; fear of change, fear of their own childlessness, and most of all, fear of her mother, Winnowill. The self proclaimed
'Mistress of All Fancy" in Blue Mountain had been slowly spinning her webs of power and control for as long as the Gliders had been shapping the stones around them.
Vytha was tempted to go back. The power that others feared had always upheld her; Winnowill may have been driven and overprotective, but her devotion was clear as well. The last sending from her was still circling in Vytha's skull... **You must find the ancient home of our race, daughter. No other path will see you fullfilled.**
In this wilderness outside, Vytha was as alone as she had ever been. If not for the faithful guides who pointed to the palace, she would not endure the journey.
Tyldak had wanted to join her quest. The winged elf was the only other besides the Chosen Eight who had experience in the wider world, but Winnowill had glared and the tense sending that Vytha could only feel and not hear had put an end to his plea. Tyldak was many times her elder, yet he was the only male in the Mountain that ever dared to show her the least affection, aside from her befuddled father. This forbidden flirtation was Vytha's only defiance of Winnowill.
There was no denying her mother's vision. No possible dreams that did not include her leaving. The Great Egg knew that the Mountain was too limited, even if Lord Voll himself refused to see it.
Vytha's albino skin and glowing red eyes caught the light of the Two Moons and she began to move silently through the trees toward
her destiny once again.
Winnowill was sure there must be other children of the High Ones who survived. Others who would be able to unlock the crippled magic of the elfin race, or at least those who might lend strength if all else failed. The will of those in Blue Mountain had been crushed by eons of rock and time, and Vytha thought rebelliously, by her mother's intractable designs as well.
Gliding periodically over mossy trees and silver streams, Vytha kept her passage swift and secret. Leaving no trails for those who might be sent to seek her should her father awaken. She felt her duty to him would be best served by this course. If her mother was right, the protection he insisted upon was poison and she had to shed it to cure them all. If Winnowill's desire didn't rule the entire world and the palace of the High Ones couldn't be found, then only Vytha had risked herself in the task and her father could be proud of her service when she returned.
Dawn's purple stain in the sky made Vytha's thin limbs ache. She had not ever spent an entire night in motion, and even her pliant youth was no protection from weariness. Mindfull of predators and the many warnings about humans in particular, Vytha commanded Petalwing and Berrybuzz to hunt for a safe sleeping place and call even the most far flying palace-seeker to rest.
Traveling only in the darkness that mankind shunned should lend her some peace from their primitive violence.
Dreaming on her own was something she had not practiced in many eights. Without focus she had trouble closing her eyes and turning off the pressures in her own spirit. Normally, she would share and direct the dreams of others, and the green glow of sunlight thru the leaves was not familiar and soothing either. This nook in the trees was the best shelter her little travel companions could find and they had all ceased moving except for faint breezes twitching their gossamer wings.
Finally, a thin spider began creeping toward the white strands of her hair that drifted down like webs and that sight was so comforting and normal that she relaxed her muscles in the day's heat.
A web...glistening, shivering, floating on each puff of air, it waited. Patient, serving the purpose of its maker, sticky to the touch. She was a web spun from the dreams of her people, her mother the spider, her father now wrapped and ensnared. He didn't feel the stings,
didn't know anything but the gentle blanket which surrounded him on all sides. She would set him free before he became completely bloodless. If only he would wait. Her mother used her eight legs to push her into the wind after cutting the last chord. Twisting, bending in on herself in the tearing currents of air, she must hold together...must keep her shape and purpose. What direction? How to fly true? Claws and beaks pulled her slender tendrils apart, frayed her edges. Great wings and transparent alike made wakes that pushed her off course and into a whirlwind funnel, debris beside her blocking out the light, moving faster into oblivion. She was being sucked down to the stones and dirt. Into the heart of a dark egg, a core of molten swirling things without form or meaning, lost to all but those who laughed without moving. Madness, endless, faceless, dead and unable to let go...unable to escape...
Her sweat soaked skin itched as she bolted upright from the nightmare. The tangles of her hair and the tattered edges of her elegant white gown were touched with grime and the forest's small bits. The preservers were bleary streaks as they circled her tree.
It was still full daylight, but Vytha would not be able to sleep more just now. Aching and feeling as filthy as a tunnel-rat, she floated down and called to her companions. "Find me some clean water," she asked as they clustered nearby.
After a decent rinse, she began to walk carefully after the flying swarm. Drying slowly felt good and she was still too tired to be aloft herself.
Watching the way her guides pointed and chittered as they made loops in the air felt good too. The preservers were made for this task and so was she. The palace had to be attainable. The preservers knew somehow it was there in the distance. No matter how many eights it took she would reach it without a bond-bird.
Remembering bond-birds, she knew that great eggs were about to hatch in the heat. The Chosen Eight would be busy training the fledgelings to fly under command. The Mountain's life would go on in the usual pattern, like lattice laid out in stone. A wave of longing for that life filled Vytha to the point of tears.
Water blurring her vision, already strained by overly bright sunshine, she slipped on the uneven ground, but caught herself halfway with a burst of power. Floating with her toes brushing the grass and her arms extended downward yet not connecting, she imagined how absurd she would look to anyone watching.
To fly or to walk? Both seemed impossible just now. She let herself settle down to lie full length against the earth. She would
get up again in a moment, she thought. Would call to the preservers, would find something to eat before starting out for another night...
Last edited by Nightsea on Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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Join date : 2015-03-25
|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:16 pm|| |
Shivering and moaning in shock, she opened her eyes to increasing rain and pure darkness. The winds pulled her hair into a fury and lashed her with it as she struggled to rise from the damp
mud. Screaming in fear she could barely hear her own panic and didn't receive any reply from her guides. They had obviously kept flying when she fell asleep and probably couldn't backtrack
in this storm. Whipping and ripping, her gown threatened to fly away in search of them and leave her completely exposed to this torrent.
Crying, stumbling, she made a few starts in different directions. With no idea where shelter might be found, no idea how to get back towards home, no idea how to run to the palace, she could only hug herself into a huddled ball of misery. Her sniveling was almost drowned by the angry hiss of the rain and her limbs were starting to feel numb after being pelted so strongly with cold darts.
Winnowill had told her often that shelter was the most important need, and she could now understand the reason. To die here alone and defeated, useless to everyone was so incomprehensible. Reaching with her mind, she sought help, communication, direction.
No answering voice, but the faintest almost-touch came back. So slight she was certain she imagined it in pure need, she tried anyway to pick a path to the dim echo. Locking her knees under herself, she took one step and then another, head down against the onslaught of the
Lightning began to strike out in wild bursts, lining items at random in her limited line of sight.
Trees, upright, cut in half, leaves flailing, the glimpses did nothing to ease her terror. Then the
glossy dash of water falling over large rocks was illuminated and she struggled to reach the promised
solidity of stone.
A cave recessed into the land and greatful as never before for a roof of rock, she pushed herself into the thin opening. Natural erosion had made this crack and it was not deep. Indeed, water continued to splash along the farthest portion, but she could wedge herself away from both this stream and the water dashing outside. In this narrow band of respite she finally allowed her sobs to creshendo then cease.
Her taxed and frozen muscles continued to spasm painfully, and she thought how firestarting or healing would be a true gift. Her father was always saying how she was bound to have a talent, being the product of recognition, but her mother had apparently given up on any hope that Vytha
would do more than glide.
Something besides cold nagged at her mind. That odd tingle of magic used. Not in the stone beside her chilled face, not in the scent of the wet air, but nearby perhaps. Like a song that had been sung eights ago yet the melody repeated faintly somewhere in the distance.
To step out again was crazy, but to shake to death when there might have been help was equally unthinkable.
Breathing deeply she pushed her hands along the edges of stone until she was hugging her way out of the cave and along the face of a tall pile of boulders at the base of a cliff. Her usually clear night vision was not helping in this unfamiliar world and her confusion reached a new high when her hand skimmed over a taut leather hide. The slickness of the stretched skin compared to the roughness of stone made her wonder what other animal was caught motionless by pain. Gasping as her nerves finally registered more textures, she pushed her whole body against the slightly smoke-smelling sheet. There had been fire here recently!
Humans, she thought, oddly unmoved by the usual pang that word evoked. Her mother had believed that humans would eventually be tameable, an amusing diversion instead of a threat. Her father's insistance to the contrary seemed dim in comparison to Winnowill's belief now in the face of this haven they may have provided.
Pushing past the barrier with her whole body, she tripped over the charred remains of a firepit and into the drier space of another, bigger cave.
There were sitting stones arranged around the center and she dropped to the one closest to the interior wall, out of the colder wind that the torn door-flap ushered in. It slapped about like
a broken bird wing, flinging chilly drops of runnoff after her in revenge for the damadge she had caused.
To rekindle the fire was now her only desire. No magic inside herself would suit the task, and her few items were drenched to the core. The blackened bones of the previous blaze mocked her with their absolute death.
Despairing, she nevertheless grasped two stones between unfeeling fingers and struck them together sharply in hopes a spark would blossom. Blowing to push warmer air around her own bones, she used the strength of her tremors to smash the stones again and again. Hugging her arms, dancing in a circle, she tried every method she knew to keep her blood from stopping cold.
"Ahhh High Ones!" she shrieked as her tender foot came down on a stabbing rock poking up through the dirt floor. Her turned ankle made the last reserves of stamina flee.
Some time later, a loud crack just past the flying hide made her twitch from her prone postion and squint again into the black-and-grey streaked world beyond. To her amazement, tiny bits of orange sizzled on the leaves of a fallen oak. Lightning had torn the great tree almost in twain, and now leaping fire was winking in the effort to finish the job before it was quenched.
Moving again was horribly difficult, but fetching flame and setting it into her dark little nest would keep her alive.
That dream was long to accomplish, but eventually, with a pitiful, smoking group of sticks beside her,
she let go of consciousness.
There was a wolf. White, pure white like Vytha's hair, dancing on two legs under twin moons.
Moons that spun in an endless space, black like the deepest cave. Tiny lights glinted and sparkled in
the vast distance, but reaching them took only a thought.
The wolf was not alone, but there were no others who were wolves. No one else heard the same song and found the tones compelling. The feel of your throat constricting around the air and pushing
out your joy, your fear, your being...they didn't know this way.
The way of flesh and binding yourself to the pack, sharing blood in all the ways there were.
Vytha's dreaming self began to wonder who in the Mountain she was touching. These images
were strange even for immortals with endless imaginations, she thought as she twisted
in her sleep.
The slender thread of her connection to the dreamer seemed to shiver for a moment. Vytha's
years of training rewove the bond without effort. Dream-feeding was a secret taught by Winnowill only to her.
Bolting upright, Vytha's eyes opened on the brown interior of her cold cave. Winnowill was out of range, which meant that all the other elves of Blue Mountain were unreachable as well!
Who then, was dreaming of beasts?
Tugging on the chord to emerse herself once again, Vytha's mind received images of twisting forest paths under flying paws. Chasing warm-meat no-tails until she could sink her jaws into the tender neck of the slowest or least fit. Scratching off a bit of mud with her hind leg, being careful to keep her claws in, she thought briefly of her son with the yellow eyes who could tear flesh like no other as she yawned in the yellow light of day.
The dreamer was waking, yet the flow of thoughts and odd images did not end.
Vytha began to feel a sinking fear that this animal would find her based on her intrusion. She had never been aware of the dreams of other beasts, but then she had never been alone so long.
Her memories must have blended with this wild creature to create such strange images. Wolves couldn't dance on two legs or fly through the stars like a rider on the great birds!
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:22 pm|| |
Vytha had never felt so vulnerable. This not-dream kept meshing with images of elves and flight,
obviously her own being and not that of some killing brute. Pack animals that wished for flight seemed ridiculous.
The absurdity and danger of this situation were increasing her heartbeat alarmingly.
Vytha tried to pull back the bond. The normal way she left a dreamer was nothing they would notice; the faintest trail like a slug might leave under a rock would not even stain their memories.
But now, Vytha was feeling herself being tugged forward, deeper into the disturbing aura of this soul.
It felt almost like a lock-send! Her control was slipping off like shaking water off a shaggy coat of
Dizzy as images overlapped, she closed her eyes and for a moment was lost in a running dash under dappled and spotted leaves.
Sheer panic pulled her back into her own shell, grabbing her arms, she lurched against the rounded stone wall.
Just then a howl reverberated in her ears. The calling of victory, of finding the prey; somehow Vytha knew the sound's meaning.
Vytha's small weapon, a silver curved dagger, was in her hand before she could even think how ineffective she would be against a wild wolf.
Screeching, high pitched voices were also growing closer.
"Fix Growler's teeth together!"
"Shoo! Go way!"
The flurry of multicolored wings outside the torn doorflap made Vytha gasp in momentary
relief. She would not face this monster alone.
Her body jerked backwards as her double-senses took in the sight of the preservers in flight.
Outside, the wolf-thing was seeing them from another angle and Vytha was still linked.
Sitting back on her haunches, a puff of air blew the closest chittering creature away from her snout. Their snout. Nose. It was called a nose.
"I know you", she heard the mind-voice say.
Confusion flooded every being.
The preservers stopped swooping and began to hover and actually pet the white fur of the now-sitting entity. They could feel the "elfness" and were not sure if Vytha controlled the savage animal, or if the elfness was unique.
Vytha dared to push aside the curtain and approach with timid steps. It knew her? She had never laid eyes on anything like the carnivorous predator before. There were no wolves inside Blue Mountain. No animal could send like an elf!
The wolf knew the little preservers. Their shapes made her tingle with memories. Loves past, times
past, purposes past. Not from NOW...but from THEN. Shaking her wide apart ears in the breeze they made she studied them with wide eyes. Then the other form appeared and the mind-link she had been feeling, like a vague itch, grew. This was a child! An...an elf child! Shimmering in the remains of a white gown, shaking with fear and exhaustion. The smells of sweat held a tang of prey. But elves were never prey. Elves were packmates. Elves were...elves were...Timmain! As the mental drifting of untold centuries focused more and more on the young elf, Timmain stretched in a way she had not tried to stretch in milenia. Her body tissue was strong and healthy, but would not melt into her previous shape. Sighing at her inability to change, she remembered that this elf was sending.
**I am Timmain. Are you Orolin's child?** she asked internally, her lips parting from old habit.
**You speak! What are you? Am I awake?** Vytha kept her sword weaving in front of her as she sent.
The tones of demand, pleading, confusion...these the wolf sorted first. This pitiful creature wanted to assert herself yet was completely puzzled and afraid. With an effort, Timmain reset her awareness...this creature was an elf. She did not need to find her place in the pack, she needed communication of a different sort. The preservers flew to this girl, began to pick out the tangles in her long white hair and cling to her arms and shoulders. Seeing them kept Timmain thinking in
more ancient patterns.
**I am Timmain. Kin. ** the golden eyes met the red ones as the mental connection held.
**I am Vytha, daughter of Lord Voll and Mistress Winnowill of Blue Mountain. I do not know anyone called Orolin. Why are you wearing that shape?** Vytha's nose wrinkled in disgust as the wolf kept panting.
**The singing called to me. I survive, I hunt, I howl, I live free.** the drifting memories swirled again; visions of humans with clubs bashing with amazing strength as frail loved ones bled, flight and hunger, cold and death, renewal by bonds of blood and flesh. Tearing, fighting, struggling for survival, heat, joy and life, Timmain knew these things in endless cycles that were always now.
Lowering New Moon, Vytha decided that this was real. An immortal elf, able to shape flesh, as her mother had done for Tyldak, was actually this blazing white whelp with four paws and dripping long tounge. Pushing her hair out of the way she stood straighter, smoothed out the tatters of her gown and cleared her throat. Those glowing ferel eyes kept a lock on her own and kept the lock-send open without cease.
Vytha felt a push, like sniffing in her head. **Show me you.** the swirling of Timmain's being began to dig through the pile of Blue Mountain, scratching to catch memories and meanings from things inside Vytha's mind.
Lord Voll doted on his daughter and held her on his lap so often that everyone said he now looked strange without her perched on his knees. He told her stories of the past as they sat on the great throne and his soft voice cajoled her towards sleep. Her favorite tale was about the recognition that
The white feathers and soft black fur of his cape matched the smoothness of his voice, saying again how Winnowill had healed his broken arm after the rockfall, how he had looked into her ever-changing eyes and suddenly seen, known his Beloved in a new way. The need she had, the raw desire for change, growth, healing, him. He could never let her fly away. She was all that was
precious and lovely and she would birth their child and their future. He was all love, tenderness and protection, and he would keep his family safe as an egg under his wing.
Her father faded under the bright blue-green eyes of her mother's gaze. Her strange mix of shame and pride were evident in the smile she directed at her tiny offspring. The weakness in Vytha's heart muscle felt the workings of magic as her mother reinforced the proper pattern of beats once again.
The paleness of her own skin was so like her mother's...so stark against the black gown and hair.
Vytha's smile vanished as deep intrusion of her being threatened to make her heart skip. Her soul name was forming into a sound, one that would be audible to Timmain's self if Vytha could not break the contact. Vytha gathered herself into a tiny egg, a shell unbreakable, something you could not see inside.
Timmain had never felt anyone retreat like that before. The rejection, the isolation, they smelled like the moldy Mountain depths where this elf had grown. Letting go completely, Timmain sat still in the warming sunshine and waited for what would be. This egg-child might rot unhatched if she couldn't learn to break free.
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:28 pm|| |
Currents of air drifted past. The unusual metal-smell kept drawing the wolf's keen eyes toward
the white-haired child. So rare, to be white at her age, so rare to have that sharp extra-fang
and yet seem so completely helpless. The preservers were patting her with tiny hands, trying to revive her from her curled-up position of fear. The mental image of the egg was mirrored by her
Timmain's strong maternal instincts knew that she now had a new cub.
It was good to have a packmate again. Her last running-mates had been captured in traps she
remembered vaguely. Things that were were hard to keep.
"Needs wrapstuff" Petalwing insisted yet again. "See, is all still-quiet." His small hands
rested lightly against Vytha's closed eyelids as he hovered in front of her face.
Things that were. Those words dripped like slow errosion through the layers of memory that Timmain
had shared with Vytha in the lock-send. This elf had kin, had a mother who waited for her
return. But something was not right. The kin seemed dead-in-spirit, twisted, foul. Trapped, like her packmates of before, in deep ground.
The urge to flee welled inside and Timmain could no longer wait. Lapping at the pale face, pushing,
nudging the cub into motion, Timmain could not stop herself from whinning for attention.
Vytha could feel the beast's pawings, yet was unafraid. She wasn't under attack. The preservers were with her, were twittering excitedly as the wolf pestered and nipped at her exposed ankles. The mental intrusion was gone and so she was safe. Shoving back against the large body with her forearm, she finally stood again and resheathed New Moon.
The wolf paced around her, still seemed to need to move. How could that be an elf? All Vytha had been taught of graceful forms and nobility, quiet dignity and higher thoughts, the things that made elves unique, all that was missing from this frantic ground-runner.
Or was it? Vytha looked again with a more critical eye. The lines were long and sleek, the cryptic
eyes held secrets untold, reminding Vytha almost of her mother's gaze.
Vytha had always respected power, and this Timmain was certainly strong of will and gifted in magic.
Winnowill would be able to withstand the sending; would tame the wildness and instinctual behavior
back into the native majesty of an elf.
Vytha's stomach made a terrible rumble. The discomfort of hunger and another unfamiliar
clenching made her halt her speculations.
If she went back to Blue Mountain without the Palace, without finding a mate of her own, her
mother would deem her a failure. As the only child born in many many eights her mother had
told her that she would never have offspring of her own without new choices for lovemates. Lord
Voll had heard this whispering and had actually laughed. He looked on his own recognition as
a sign that new generations would follow in their own time. The talk elsewhere in the Mountain was furtive, whistful; and their sideways glances full of pity and envy as Vytha passed by. Vytha's coloring matched the way that other deep-dwelling creatures changed in the underdark, and while her almost translucent hair was in fashion, her red eyes startled most elves. Winnowill was furious whenever she detected such thoughts, and her own eyes often shifted into a blood red color.
Eyes were looking at her now...golden eyes that held a trace of menace. Without meaning to break
the pack rules, Vytha had been staring at Timmain. Gazing away and down quickly, Vytha bowed with respect. Much had been sent in their short, previous bond...parts of Timmain's life as a wolf were in Vytha's awareness, and Vytha knew that her own history had been shown to Timmain as well.
Unwilling to risk sending again, Vytha decided to tell Timmain what was most important for the moment... she patted her thin tummy with one hand and licked her lips.
Tyldak would have laughed to see her act out so. Thoughts of him gliding beside the great bond-birds and copying their poses flashed in her mind and she missed him terribly as she waited to see if the wolf-elf would understand.
A tiny face was peering up from the hole in the ground, eyes and whiskers and a pink nose all
centered in the tunnel which was squishing the ears on either side. The critter had bolted into it's burrow moments ago, yet was now warrily assessing if it was safe to venture out again. It must also be hungry, Timmain decided.
Normally very patient, she would have chosen to wait in stillness until it was fooled into emerging within reach, but today she had more than one mouth to feed and this was only a few bites worth of meat.
Looking behind her at the silent albino, she started off toward the distant waterfall. In her concentrated thinking based on the needs of the moment this was actually long range planning. To go someplace that wasn't in sight and wasn't your den was unusual.
Smells of the forest kept catching her attention. The sap of a tree ahead, the scat of the tunnel-dweller behind, the summer scents of bugs and the few puddles of mud left in the trail after that last rain all came to her clearly. The strange twist of was-once-hot metal kept wafting nearby too, carried by Vytha on her belt. It also held a trace of those trappers-of-kin. Timmain shook her head trying to catch elusive words. Sword. That sword was not made by elves, but by the kind of beings that had once served the Guiders. Perhaps they made weapons to seek revenge against those who had saved their kind from the death of the last world. Traps and snares had been set for her before by those lumpish three-fingered troublemakers.
Her ears swiveled to fill with the sound of a bird above. It was calling about beatles.
Fish and cool water would fill the rumblings for her and her new cub. She picked up her pace in anticipation.
Following with care, Vytha stepped over the detrious in the faintly defined trail. Large trees with mossy sides kept the eye-piercing sunlight down, much to her relief.
It had seemed unwise to leave the shelter of her cave, but then Timmain had set off with such a determined gait that she could only follow or be left alone again. She would have to find a way to communicate with this strange being. The beast knew how to thrive in this wilderness, but Vytha wanted to know more than the skills of hunting and hiding. Where was Timmain from? How old was she? Would she ever be able to shape herself for talking in a civilized way? Another slap from a back-bending twig caught Vytha across the knees. She paused to allow more space so that Timmain's passage wouldn't casue these lashes. It occured to her that Timmain would be clever enough to choose a path without these whipping branches, so perhaps she picked this way on purpose.
More likely she was accustomed to being alone, Vytha thought with charity. Being away from
her mother she felt a freedom to trust the motives of others. This being didn't need anything that Vytha possessed, little as it was. Looking at the thin fabric of her gown almost made Vytha cry. This was her least favorite, but it had been beautiful. Now the flowing folds ended in soil-stained
shreds. Vytha had not wanted to meet other elves in the tight travel clothes favored by the Chosen Eight. Now she regretted that choice.
She was just wondering what Timmain thought of her clothing when she noticed the flicking of
white tails ahead. Timmain was giving chase to a thin-legged deer. The preservers were high in the trees and now had time to settle around her as she waited for the outcome of the hunt.
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:35 pm|| |
Timmain's bloody jaws kept closing over the neck of the deer. Shaking the life out of its eyes and limbs, grasping the warmest, softest parts while the rest grew stiff and cold, she was a pure predator.
Vytha continued to sit away from the carcass, and no matter how often Timmain nudged bloody chunks in her direction, she would not eat.
Vytha held herself as still as the dead deer. She had often eaten this same type of flesh, but had never personally witnessed the slaughter. Dreams of hunting from the Chosen Eight had never had the same visceral impact on her awareness.
Curling herself away from the smell and mess, Vytha closed her eyes and tried to envision something clean and safe. The filigree of stonework merging from one form to another under Egg's guidance
came to mind. Often he played out scenes of life and death, cycles repeating, smooth patterns without end.
Drifting inside his web of stone was peacefull. He was a skilled weaver, holding aloft multiple
layers of delicate lines, the whole having a unity that challenged viewers to find themselves
as they sank deeper into the puzzle. Winnowill praised his art as the pinacle of elfin achievement.
The Great Egg was the heart of Blue Mountain in many ways. The stone was as ancient as
anything the elves had ever found on this world, yet never ceased to blossom anew under the guiding care of its shaper.
Elves dreamed of this flowing state, floated in memories and let their spirits drift free from their bodies as they contemplated.
Winnowill alone seemed to seek an answer the others did not; the very meaning of form itself. She had changed Tyldak after he had begged to soar higher and faster without a bond-bird, and ever since she had obsessed over shapes in a strange way. That, and Winnowill's choice not to let go of the ground, made her obviously unique amid the Gliders. Her less visible distinctions were secret.
Vytha's life had been filled with purpose by Winnowill's conjectures and choices. Although Vytha herself could not see exactly how finding other elves or the lost-home would answer the mystery, she wanted her mother's approval and believed that her quest was necessary for many reasons.
As her mind drifted in the tracework of thought, another awareness joined hers.
Not the same wide engulfment of Timmain's previous connection, but a subtle coiling, something like vines growing around her gently.
A tickling urge to grow, to push out of the shell and reach for the sky, the sun, the stars,
the warmth of a powerful spirit of giving...
Vytha's questing could not find a place to nest, a point from which to spin her web, no anchoring post, no firm soil to sink roots, there was no substance to catch. With a chill she knew without question that her dream-feeding had caught another spirit, but this one did not have a breathing body to support and sustain it. There was no single shell holding the being that she had summoned with her nocturnal energy net, and thus no way to gain strength from this union. Knowledge perhaps, but no fortification.
**Who are you, soul-sister?** Vytha asked the emanation.
**I am, I was, I remain the forest.** was the confusing reply. The self-definition of tree limbs and leaves, deep roots and soaring branches showed a life devoted to the wood.
Vytha was exhilarated as she realized that another shaper had joined her quest. Flesh and now trees!
**Let me have a name to hold** Vytha coaxed, sounding in her own thoughts very much like her hungry mother.
**Kas...Kaslen.** the mind-touch flickered as the wind pushed against the tallest leaves.
It was only a tribe-name, Vytha knew, but it enabled her to extended a comforting blanket around the remaining vitality, to draw her down into a small seed and gather this trusting, contented essence to her own core.
Timmain's nose was red as she sniffed in the direction of the plaited dreamers. The new companion was old kin, blood-of-her-own, red-haired green-grower and no cause for alarm. No howl-challenge was needed, so Timmain continued to crunch marrow as the crickets sang in the warm night.
The sending hit her like a slap. Cold, wet, demanding. Vytha awakened to Timmain's paws pushing down on her chest and a mouthfull of slippery river fish being forced between her lips.
Days without food or stolen energy from others had made her beyond weak. She sat up, and with a dizzy nod acknowledged that Timmain was right, she needed to eat the fish. At least raw fish was preferable to the remains of the deer not far away.
Her meal consumed, she dared to send to Timmain again; **I need to wash. Show me to the water.**
Trailing the wagging tail, she chose a walking-stick from the fallen wood nearby. Leaning to steady
herself, she began to feel a rythm to moving in the woods. Listen, move, pause, sniff, move, move pause, repeat.
The wolf proceeded until they could at last drink from the flowing waterfall.
Splashes nearby showed weary Vytha that her preserver guides were also enjoying the cool
She knew that she had only begun to travel, that the journey would require much more strength and resilience. She decided that she would need to remain here while she gathered her resources yet again.
Obviously something would have to be done about her attire.
In the following eight of days, the preservers were helpful in weaving white down from nearby nests, webbing of their own, some little bits of Timmain-wolf fur and Vytha's own hair into the remaining threads of her torn gown. The dress was not the same as it had been, hemmed much higher to allow for all the undergrowth she would encounter, but it was again a regal design worthy of her quest. As worthy as a band of preservers and an exhausted supervisor could accomplish anyway.
Timmain's warm body curled into a pillow was surprisingly comforting and the rest period restored Vytha's slight frame to mobility bit by bit. The trembling in her heart muscle occassionally made her
feel faint, but that was nothing new.
The spirit of Kaslen also proved helpful; Vytha sometimes woke to a magical breakfast of berries or tubers just within reach.
Stuffing her new sack full of the latest edible growth, Vytha asked the preservers to once again point towards her future and the elvish past. She floated behind them, enjoying the way she could read surprise in a wolf's expression.
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:40 pm|| |
**Help me.** the sending repeated again and again, a frantic wish for rescue.
**Where are you?** Vytha sent back.
**Beaks and Claws! I was certain I would never be answered. I am Karok, rockshaper of Blue Mountain, captured by this awful Troll and made to hunt for gemstones and ore. How many of you have come to save me?**
Vytha thought about her answer as she looked at the white muzzle and diaphanous wings of her companions. She had heard of rockshapers who disappeared before. Many rumors said they traveled to the very core of the world and melted in the molten fires. Some claimed they fell prey to their own gifts by tunneling off into pits and losing the strength to return. Never before had she thought about them being taken by others.
Timmain began to paw at the ground as if she couldn't dig fast enough to get at a juicy bone. She whined and hopped back on her hind legs in frustration. Clearly she understood that digging wouldn't reach the elf below, but wasn't arriving at another plan of action.
The open sending proded again, **Are you there? Lord Voll, the Chosen? Bird-riders and Talon-whip
**I am only Vytha, daughter of Voll, and I am unaided by other elves from the Mountain** she replied, sending only the truth. She would try to explain her quest and company when he could verify the facts with his own eyes.
Timmain's distress showed in her pacing, and she eventually put both her front, dirt-covered paws
on Vytha's poor gown.
**Vytha? Alone? But you are only a weak little hatchling** Karok's disgust and anger were like overflowing lava.
**I am not as weak as you think, and I did not say I was alone** Vytha defended. She had been unsure if she should save him before, thinking perhaps that he would drag her back to Voll's throne room in her tatters, but now she was determined to somehow secure his will in her endeavors. If the preservers, a shape-changer and a long-dead spirit could be made to join her, then obviously someone like him, who had allowed himself to be captured once already, would fall right into her
His feelings of betrayal and self-pity bubbled up like escaping gas. **Who is with you then? The High-Ones?**
His sending was like the scratching of a beak on the inside of an egg before it breaks, Vytha thought
to herself. The sharp sound might make your flesh shiver, but it didn't actually hurt.
**Worry not about how many are here, tell me instead how many hold you, rockshaper. And why you are not able to worm your way around them?**
**I am bound.** the sullen answer was all Karok was willing to admit. **I am not allowed
food or rest unless I do as commanded.**
Timmain's golden gaze filled Vytha's vision and she suddenly saw the chamber below where a green-skinned hulking form towered over the male elf. It was as if she could smell and taste the beings amid all the dirt, metal and rock.
**I will come for you. Keep sending to me** Vytha told the captive glider below as she shook off
Timmain's strong grip. The mental bond with the ancient shaper had given her a clue...the tunnels
below did join to the surface in some places. Rocky dens nearby snaked down into deeper
passages where darkness kept the air chilly.
Vytha could feel that he was weary and petulant, but he could withstand the abuse if he kept his wits.
**I am forced to shape until the gemstones and metalic rocks are exposed. It is tiresome and
difficult as this area does not contain much that Trolls desire.** he did seem to be relaxing as the contact continued.
**I am sure Lord Voll thought it a sign of respect to send his most favored treasure after me. But
you must admit that the Chosen Eight with talons drawn would seem a wiser plan?**
**Lord Voll mourned your passage eights ago.** Vytha had a certain satisfaction in puncturing
his illusions of importance. Her father had indeed shed a tear upon hearing that another of his beloved flock was missing, but he hadn't even dreamed of sending out searchers beyond the
Mountain. Rock-shaping was just dangerous, everyone knew.
**How overjoyed he will be when I return then.** the sourness was so palpable that Timmain actually spit. She was running toward a deep-dirt place again before the preservers could land on her.
The warmth of their joined bodies pushed aside the lingering dampness of the dark cavern. Her
hair was her only garment and his fingers curved around her in small caresses and tender gestures.
Vytha knew she was feeding on his dream. His imaginings of her were quite detailed; the
very redness of her lips and eyes sparkled against his grey and black.
It had been many days and perhaps nights that they had trailed his sendings through the underground. Timmain's tail twitched in her sleep and Vytha felt herself move too as the dream images of the rock-shaper played in her mind.
She knew Karok would deny any such desires when he was awake. In fact his feelings about
her were like many others in Blue Mountain, he felt that she was oddly disturbing. A mix of
her parent's temperments...dreamy and distracted yet potentially cruel.
The thought of cruelty made the dream morph. Now the dreamers suffered under the ugly rough hands of the Troll who held Karok prisoner. The inability to escape was maddening to the proud elf. His attempts to snare the Troll in rock were defeated by the surprisingly wily dirt-dweller. Once the Troll, named Smelt, had rolled himself in soft moss so that a pocket of wiggle-room later enabled him to smash out of the enclosure; another time he had slept right underneath the bound elf so that any rock that trapped him would also doom Karok. When the grey-haired creature was awake he was constantly shaking the tied and tired shaper. The headaches were terrible. The memories of humilation stung so much that Karok swam toward consciousness.
That would not be his escape, Vytha knew. With a sigh, she disentangled from him and repositioned
her head on the warm flank of the other shaper. Two grumpy preservers let her know they disliked
being awakened by her motions with glares and small sharp elbow jabs.
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:49 pm|| |
"You think because my ears are round that I don't hear them sneaking up, don't you, elf? Ha ha, but they won't get the jump on me here in my dark world." Smelt jostled the carrying sack onto his massive shoulders and tugged the helpless rock-shaper's bundle off the cold ground.
Gasps as the ropes bit into his arms were Karok's only answer.
"Greymung thought he could best me, yet see how I am the one carrying the prizes?"
The glittering of the Troll's white eyes showed his pride and glee as he patted the hide full of valuable stones.
"I know you guide them, but just wait until they face my maze ahead. I mean for you to tunnel me a kingdom of my own and I have already started some of the work!"
**Vytha? Hurry! He has done something to the caverns ahead, you need to find a way to save me now!** Karok pleaded just as the Troll had expressed.
Vytha picked up the pace as she replied, **I am not far behind you.**
Timmain had been following the scent-trail since they had risen. Without the steady pad of her paws and the flapping of little wings, either the preservers or perhaps flying cave-mice, Vytha would have nothing to distract herself from the rough-hewn monotony of this place. It was good that Karok was finally awake too.
There was, of course, no telling day from night here in the blackness. They slept when they could go no farther or when Karok reported that they had also halted ahead.
There were no torches to relieve the darkness, but Vytha's adapted vision did well; allowing her to detect the faintly different shades of the side-walls and to avoid the odd root or stone in the uneven ground. She lead the party for a change, as Timmain did her best to follow the smells in the stale air. Even the night-sight of wolves was not as keen as someone bred underground.
Karok had been complaining about the lack of light relentlessly. He was used to being underground, but never without a lamp or at the least some luminescent moss. Vytha had begun to think of him
as even younger than herself. His own projected image was soft of feature and had the rounded cheeks of an eggling. Yet she knew that he was of an age with Winnowill.
A scrapping sound ahead made her halt. The sound of loose gravel being shifted by heavy weight was unique. Timmain's low growl resulted in another noise. The heavy Troll was running!
Holding back Timmain by the scruff of her neck was difficult, but Vytha managed. There was no point in running into a trap. Drawing New Moon with her free hand, Vytha kept grasping wolf fur with the other as they walked cautiously forward.
Many preservers were clusted on Timmain's back, unable to see well enough to fly freely, they had chosen to ride. The growl had frightened a few so that they now fluttered around Vytha's face and
hair trying to find a safe place to clutch.
Karok's frustration echoed her own as she tried to keep her eyes focused on the gloomy patch before her. More slipping sounds confirmed that they were close, yet Vytha could not see one clear
path ahead. Odd angles and multiple doorways confounded progress.
Utter silence. Utter darkness. Sendings to Karok resulted in fuzzy, useless mumblings. Somehow the
Troll had knocked him unconscious or worse. The preservers had split up, trying the multiple tangents of trails that led from the branching point. Timmain's sniffing led Vytha down the far left corridor, farther from the last place they had rested. All sense of direction had now fled from Vytha's awareness and her attempts to mark the walls only led her to discover that they found the same point over and over. She could not imagine how that was possible! They had tried left, right, straight, backwards... each direction somehow looped upon itself until they emerged into the same chamber, the same scratched egg symbol that New Moon had etched on the wall. The starting point, the ending point, how could it be the same? How could the Troll know her mark and repeat it?
Exhaustion and discouragement pervaded the little band of searchers as another preserver flew in and cried it's dissapointment, "Awww is always here. Again."
They had been brave, flying close to the walls in the blackness, but somehow even their constant sense of "home-place-that-way" failed.
"Go circles" Berrybuzz said as it held its little head in its hands. They were so cheerful normally, it was heartbreaking to see them so despondent.
Timmain's nose wasn't helping either. The Troll had been in all of the tunnels, often and recently she insisted.
Vytha thought that perhaps she had simply gone mad. It wasn't uncommon in Blue Mountain
for elves to somehow get lost inside themselves, unreachable for a while to others.
Karok couldn't be reshaping the spaces if he weren't able to send. How could a Troll move walls?
Thinking about walls, Vytha began to feel warmer. Something golden and green seemed to becon her toward that idea. Growing, pushing through... That was it! If you couldn't stay inside, you
forced your way out...like a seed breaks the earth to reach the sun. Vytha knew that Kaslen's
spirit had been working in the background of her consciousness, germinating as usual.
Timmain couldn't indicate which wall might be best to break, or even the most "troll-smelling".
The preservers had all gathered again and while they could clearly point to "palace" they had no idea where "out" might be.
Vytha tossed back her head like a hatchling in need of help when again the idea of "up"
struck her as a good, warm place.
Face up, she allowed her hands to feel the ceiling as she floated along. When her fingers
pushed into an empty spot, she knew she had found the secret. Reaching her arm into the
hole, she found a rocky projection that moved as she pressed.
A soft hiss of air pushed her gown and hair as a portion of the tunnel towards her head began to move. The walls kept their shapes, their proportion to each other, but Vytha could tell that the
whole section now tilted in a new direction.
He had been moving the walls!
Smelt couldn't help but smile as he watched her. He knew that elves were clever and he was lucky
to have fooled her for so long. The band would still need a bit of time to figure out the only combination of moves which released them, but he had no doubt that with the winged-one's aid they
could coordinate and accomplish the task soon.
What he couldn't understand after days of watching from carefully placed peepholes above the maze was why a wolf tamely played along. No ordinary creature would stay willingly beside such tender flesh and not even try for a taste when no other food was available. The few mice that he had sent her way would not have dampened the ravenous urges of a normal four-legs.
He had thought of asking his captive if their race had learned to control the beasts, but he
knew that to awaken that sleeper was to invite company all the faster. He had no doubt that
their race could and did mind-speak as well as melt rocks with their will and float like ashes
in forge-heat. It was no wonder that Greymung desired to capture more of these gifts for himself.
Alas, that leader did not know that his messenger had decided to keep the power for himself.
Smelt had seen the beaten and abused forms shivering under Greymung's boots and had known that the lazy King had stood on them to build his kingdom in more ways than one. Now that he had his own elf, he would be able to expand tunnels and find treasures at great speed. The mushrooms he fed the elf would keep him pliant without the need for brutal cutting.
If he could somehow dose the female below before she could command her wolf to attack, he might even have a breeding pair!
Picking himself off the packed-dirt, he reset a few levers so the challenge would continue below. His new Kingdom was already growing!
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:51 pm|| |
Vytha had always feared that other elves would twist her, sicken her with their own needs and desires as her mother constantly warned. She had never been particularly close with anyone besides her parents and stolen moments with Tyldak. Karok's recent sendings had only confirmed for her the perils of letting another elf contaminate her purpose. She was no longer hopelessly lost, but
she was still tramping towards danger without regard for her own goals. The way he demanded rescue was becoming as tiresome as the reeking and cramped tunnels. She had half a mind to abandon him just for spite.
Timmain showed no hesitation as she put one steady paw after the other. Vytha suddenly envied her resolve and courage.
Tightening her grip on the sword below the round pomel, she advanced behind the wolf.
Without warning the wolf dropped down out of sight. The howl of surprise ended in a whoosh as Timmain obviously hit the bottom of the pit-trap.
Flying up from the hole the preservers cried alarm after alarm.
"Ohh nasty bad Dig-Dig made White-Fur fall!"
"Save her, lift her, Other-White-Fur!"
"Too heavy for us to lift. Can float her like can float you?"
They patted Timmain and checked her all over for injuries but reported none to Vytha.
Moments later, Smelt stood on the opposite rim. "You won't be freeing her, Little White Bird-Bones. You, the other from your nest, and
your guardian beast are now my subjects."
As he had expected her to do before, she now rose into the air, right into his net of strangleweed.
It was too bad that he had to startle her himself, but no matter, the result was the same. Beast and Bird-elf were both safely snared.
He was astounded that the little winged companions made a run at him, spitting goo and screeching in high pitched anger. He hadn't expected them to attack, but rather to stay with the one they obeyed.
Swiftly slipping the cover over his floor-trap, he crossed in time to catch a bit of silver falling from above. Using the toy-sized weapon to cut webbing, he fled down the chamber and out of sight and hearing.
The preservers left off the chase and returned to find Vytha close to tears as she tore at vines which encircled her waist, arms and legs. A new growth was starting to tighten around her neck when abruptly it went slack. Another and another of the green tendrils then began to carefully unwrap.
**Oh thank you, Kaslen!** Vytha felt strange sending to a spirit which she carried, but there was no other explanation for her deliverance. Once again the plant-shaper's beneficent talent was working.
Just as she was planning to ask for assistance getting the vines to lift Timmain, the sound of air changing pressure made her ears pop.
No sounds of a cave-in, but perhaps there was yet another trap here.
Rescued out of the pit, Timmain's licks of gratitude made Vytha slightly queasy, her mouth still smelled of mouse-meat. Her fangs would have to be their weapon now as New Moon had been taken.
Vytha remembered being gifted with the sword and told that it had been found by a rock-shaper. Perhaps it was a kind of balance that she would lose it in saving another rock-shaper.
A task not yet accomplished, she reminded herself.
**Karok, tell me where you are.** she demanded.
**I am held inside a...a...cage? Like the Chosen Eight describe making for animals! This Troll thinks I am an animal; thinks I will feed him his gems and stones. I would like to make him eat them until they shred him inside!
I am sick of this. I want to fly free of here. Can't you come and get me now? Please? Hurry. You have to save me. You can't just let him
keep me like a bond-bird in harness. I'm so tired and hungry. I need...**
**Enough! I am doing what I can to free you. Be still for now and try to remember how you traveled. What direction are you from
where you can feel me? Say something useful!**
**I don't know!** his wailing was almost audible. Actually was audible, faintly in the distance, to the large lupine ears of Timmain. She leaped after the noise with an excited "whoof!"
No doubt headlong into more Troll traps and tricks, Vytha thought sardonically to herself.
Karok's clear recall of Voll standing beneath the brown plumage of his enormous bond-bird Tenspan was a sharp image laced with longing. He was recalling how safe he had felt then, under the guidance and protection of his ancient, wise Lord.
The sending made Vytha wince. She did not want to be reminded of what she also missed.
The metal bars of the cage would not yield to Karok's magic, Kaslen's vines nor the teeth of Timmain.
Karok had been gaining clarity as they approached and was now completely lucid. The effect of the noxious fungus the Troll had force fed him had worn off.
Timmain closed her eyes and curled into a sleeping pose. When there was nothing else to be done, you took a nap.
Preservers held to many of the iron posts of Karok's cell. None could locate a weakness with their smaller hands and great attention
Lifting himself off his fur blanket, he decided that Vytha looked far colder than he in her thin gown. Offering it to her was the first considerate gesture he had displayed thus far.
It proved to be his best move. Once the brown animal hide was lifted from the floor, the strange parts along the bottom edge were revealed. His cube of entrapment did have a means of escape.
"Now to figure out how this Troll trap works," Vytha said, a tinge of both excitement and doubt in her words.
The space around them held many items that no one could identify. Timmain remained alseep, so Vytha picked up a few of the metal bits and moved them closer to the cage. None seemed to cause any change as she wiggled them near the parts of the box that looked unique.
One long set could make a pinching motion, so Vytha tried to pry at the bars for a time, with Karok lending his hands to the task.
It was all the noise they made that prevented Timmain or the preservers from hearing the Troll's approach.
"I see you cannot master my tools, clever elves!" his grin was wider than any mouth Vytha had ever seen before.
Her own mouth open in shock, she pressed her back to the metal grating. "Why do you want to trap us, Troll?"
"I had use for rock-shapers here in my new Kingdom. That is, before you gifted me with the very key to an enormous fortune already made. Now I think I will dispense with using elves for what I can steal with a clear conscience instead." He held New Moon in one massive hand, and a ring with tiny bits of metal in the other.
"What is a key?" Karok asked.
"That sword is mine, Troll! But if you will trade it for all our freedom, then it is yours without question." Vytha offered, thinking fast on her feet.
Timmain's bared teeth made her look like she was growling, but no sound came forth. The look of her suggested she might attack at any moment.
"Keep your beasts away and I will take your bargain, Bird-Elf!" Smelt said as he tucked New Moon into his wide belt and advanced with the jangling bunch from his other hand extended.
Smelt was unlocking the cage slowly, speaking while he still had the captive gave him the upper hand. "I had not thought your race so capable yet. I am glad my strangleweed did not choke you. Perhaps if you joined your many talents with me we could all have a portion of the vast wealth of King Guttlecraw."
"Who?" Karok asked as he stepped back to avoid the reach of his captor. He would stay in this little prison rather than be tied up again, he vowed to himself.
The Troll had clothed himself with long pants, a square belt buckle and leather belt, furry boots and he now carried a pouch full of water
in addition to the bag he had before. To Karok he looked even larger as he glinted more in this neverending darkness.
"You have never heard of King Guttlecraw, richest Troll of them all? I find it hard to believe that even recluses like you would overlook such glory. His domain is to the North, under a land of snow and ice. He holds a treasure worth taking to be sure! And the legend of
how he keeps it has reached even my lowly ears." at this Smelt stepped back from the pen and raised an entire side of bars, allowing Karok to slip free.
Timmain sniffed Karok's hands as he walked toward Vytha. Another cub to keep away from this kin-crusher!
"I only know my own Lord. Voll, of the Gliders. I intend to return to Blue Mountain without delay!" the rock-shaper tried to muster some of his shattered dignity by smoothing out a feather on his tunic that had been bent out of shape.
"Wait, Karok." Vytha's years of watching her mother and father diplomatically change minds gave her the idea that the Troll's goals would work to cover her own with the fussy older Glider. "What this Troll, Smelt, offers might have value."
Smelt wasn't surprised that she knew his name, considering he had told the male. This female could be quite a danger.
But then, walking back into the army controlled tunnels of the King would be no slug-hunt. If she would be an aid to
him he would even let her keep a fancy stone or two he decided.
"Value? Little Bird-Bones, you cannot even imagine how much!" Smelt chuckled loudly enough to make the sensitive
preservers fly behind Vytha and hide in her hair.
"No tricks, Troll. We will journey to the north with you but you must swear on this treasure you hold dear that you will never again cause us the least bit of harm."
"But Vytha! Lord Voll would never allow..." Karok got just that far before her blazing red eyes made him stammer to a halt.
"As you suggest." Karok chewed his lower lip in silence as the travelers began to gather even more of Smelt's gear. When the strips of dried meat were passed to him, Smelt tore into his portion and thought nothing had ever tasted so wonderful even though he had
feasted on rich foods before.
Timmain would not eat from the Troll's hand, regardless of how much the smell of meat made her drool. She tossed her head to clear her nose of him and his distrustworthy offering.
Between bites, Vytha whispered to the preservers that they were not to mention the palace, or home-place, or any such words while the others were near. It was hard to rely on discretion with them, but she really had no choice. She wanted Karok to join her quest, but she knew that he would fly back to roost forever if he thought they were following the course of the giddy little fliers. Preservers were somewhat indulged in Blue Mountain, but no one took them very seriously.
Like her mother, Vytha now had secrets to keep. She gathered the new fur around her shoulders as the increased band set off on her chosen path.
Last edited by Nightsea on Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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Join date : 2015-03-25
|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:54 pm|| |
Scowling like a giant hawk squinting at something edible, Winnowill jabbed downward with the sharp sword again. Making her points with the glinting talon exposed, her searing anger tore into Vytha like fangs. "You weakling! I should have let your heart fail after you were born. I wasted my talent and life energy to create you and you have done nothing but disappoint. I am no part of you. There is no
strength, no power inside your weak little shell."
On and on, the dream image pierced and berated. Vytha wiggled right out of the furry blanket, out of Timmain's encircling front paws, and sat up to wipe tears from her eyes.
Karok perched not far away, his attention fixed on the loud snoring of the Troll. Vytha was relieved to know that the nightmare had not made her cry out loudly enough to attract notice.
Tears splashed onto a preserver wing and ruined her secret as it looked up and complained, "Whyfor rain?"
The sensitive sprite seemed embarassed as it pushed the moisture off itself and repositioned on Vytha's chest. It stretched twiggy arms to offer a consoling mini-hug and said nothing more.
Karok did finally send, **Awake? Is anything wrong?**
**It is nothing. I will watch Smelt while you take your turn asleep.** she replied.
**You did not sleep long. Are you sure you will remain alert?**
**I am confident. You can rest easily until I wake you.** Vytha's light step didn't even echo in the darkness as she handed over the fur to Karok.
Timmain saw with one eye open that her girl-cub was wandering, but the rest of the group was still prone. The pack rested now, even with the one who was still an outsider nearby. It rubbed her fur the wrong way, but her trust in the packlaw said that slow acceptance was possible. Something in her wasn't convinced, and she noted with approval that her cubs felt the same. The green one would have
to earn her favor bit by bit if at all. If he didn't, there was always the option of eating him. Timmain had found a large-clawed-tunneler to devour earlier but was still very very hungry. With a snort, she rolled over and let her cubs keep watch while she rested.
New Moon was out of sight, somewhere under the slack-mouthed bulk of the heavy Troll. Vytha's guilt at giving away her weapon was the deeper meaning of her dream, no doubt. As someone who had lived vicariously through the personal symbols of many others, she had no trouble understanding her own nightmare.
It was not Winnowill's wrath but her own that made her pace further into the lightless abode of the Trolls.
Dripping water sounds pulled Vytha into a rocky chamber, hollowed into columns and pillars by the pool in the center. The gentle sounds of falling echoed off the many surfaces, rebounding and eventually fading off. The effect was calming to Vytha's senses and she sat for a while by the green water's edge.
Just as she was rising to return to her group, a glint of gold caught her attention.
As her feet slipped on the loose stones she looked down to secure her footing. Upon looking back up, she was riveted by the amber gaze of a tall male elf. Unable to move, speak or send, she did't even have time to panic.
"Be gentle, Brownskin. She is young and fragile." a voice from someone unseen urged.
"She is helpless for now, Teacher. It is wise to be careful." he replied, resheathing a golden dagger behind the folds of his red cape.
His bound, black-hair swayed as he continued, "It is not only Trolls who can change your path." the rue in his voice was unmistakable to Vytha. She had heard tones of loss and regret before often.
While her thoughts were sluggish, they did form. Like the time it had taken the pillars to build up from the cavern floor, her thoughts pilled one on top of the other ever so slowly. With effort, she blinked, but still could not escape the force of his will.
His eyes boring into her, he didn't miss the movement. His exclamation seemed shocked that she had even that much control.
"Ahh so pretty and strong," the upbeat voice did not match the haggard, abused form of the speaker as he limped into view.
Vytha was starting to register the shock. Her body's heart, normally strained and beating irregularly, reacted to her delayed fear with a jolt. She was unable to gasp or even to fall, but her eyes conveyed her utter horror just before she lost consciousness.
Karok awakened to a preserver tugging on his ear. The little one had a look of worry and it said that Vytha had not returned in "muchlong wait time."
When his sending went unanswered he also wore an expression of worry. If he woke the Troll without her, he might find himself captive again. If he tried to rouse the white one, he might find himself facing a snarling beast.
Deciding to wake them both at once he first shaped himself a shield of stone before he announced loudly, "Wake up! You two, wake up now!"
The wolf shook and was on all four feet so fast that Karok was glad of his precaution.
The Troll was much slower to rouse, leaning back on both his elbows as he raised only his torso to stare at the elf. "What's the rush, rockshaper? Eager to get to the jewels and gemsto..." he trailed off as he realized the female was gone.
Smelt was instantly more than irritated. The little thief was off without them all, trying to beat them to the goods, no doubt. With her unusual combination of powers, so unequaled in his previous spying on elves, she would be able to float right under the King's warty
nose straight to his treasure vault! And now he was left with her minions, probably as a reward for guarding her escape. He swiftly gathered his possessions, relieved to touch the silver key, all the while grumbling to himself.
Timmain knew the Troll's confusion had formed into anger. The smell of him was challenging, blood pounding fast, rushing chemicals in his body making him move quickly, muscles bunching as if to attack. She looked to the male elf to see if he would jump for the throat, and seeing that he was motionless decided the kill was hers.
Bounding forward with her jaws wide, she reared up as high as she could as she slammed against his tough hide. Biting and snarling, she tried to lock fangs upon exposed and tender places.
"So you want first bite, beast?" Smelt fended off the enraged animal with a hammer in hand. He had dragged it out of his bag just moments before the charge and his feet were balanced under his weight firmly as the wolf pushed and pressed. "You may get it!" he
said as he swung mightily for her head.
He missed, but not by more than the wingspan of a preserver. The flurry of them buzzing by his head had gone unnoticed
while he was struggling with the canine, but now their ensnaring webs were making him feel sleepy. "Again?" he thought as his eyes closed under the thick-spun whiteness.
Timmain's instincts calmed as she beheld the growing cocoon. Barking to release her pent up emotions, she retreated toward her second cub. He was safe, still behind a cage of his own design, thick bars made of stone held him out of reach of her muzzle as she tried
to lick him. The shape of wings spread out in stone was a sight that reminded her of how differently her children reasoned in this world.
Karok began to melt the beaks and outstretched claws he had formed from rock. It was oddly reasuring to pet the white
fur as he watched the preservers encase the Troll's feet.
"He'll sleep until someone unwraps him. But now how do we find Vytha? She doesn't send." he mused aloud, not thinking of being answered by the tame pet of his former rescuer.
**Scent her that way** Timmain replied as she padded into more darkness.
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:55 pm|| |
"She is not breathing!" Rayek's alarm made his voice rise.
"Lift the pull of the world from her body, Brownskin" the ancient elf's smile melted like ice in a hot steam pool. Ekuar had been thinking
how she resembled a long drip of ice, so thin and colorless...if not for her eyes of fire. But now the eyes looked dull, the living essence seemed to be fleeing at this very moment.
Rayek feared to release his stunning power, but his mentor's command was the only action that might help.
She was wilting like a flower in the desert heat under his gaze.
He jumped forward to break her falling, to hold her with both his arms and his mind. His grip was awkward and dread poured energy into Rayek's power, made her body float away from the stones and him. Lifting her he wished fervourently that Leetah was here to heal
this delicate one. His gifts had never before seemed so useless.
His desperation and guilt pushed him to send to her, **Oh please do not leave.** Flashes of hearing Cutter say "No elf must die" on the Bridge of Destiny made him twist with self-loathing. His experiences with the Wolfriders had made him overreact when he saw her, and
his attack was killing this defenseless maiden somehow. Squirming internally, he turned his mind to Ekuar.
**What can we do?**
Gently, the elder rock-shaper placed a maimed hand on the pale flesh floating before them. So familiar the look of death, the sight of ultimate escape from suffering. His long captivity to the Trolls had never hardened him against this pain. She was impossibly young to let go. And there was so little reason now.
The rocks merged together as swiftly as water under Ekuar's command, rose to cradle her and began to pulse against her back and chest; squeezing her suspended body in the tempo of life. If she would not do it for herself, she must be reminded, Ekuar thought as he shaped the substance of the earth into pushing hands. As his new companion's vitality had reminded him of the many reasons why it was best to continue the struggle, to fight for the moments of joy and satisfaction, of happiness and love, even if they couldn't last. The strength of youth that he no longer had in body he mimiced with the flowing stone, all but pounding out his demand for her to breathe!
Vytha's spirit was tangled with some sort of growing plant, being tied to the endless repetition of fleshy cycles the way leaves were tied to roots. Kaslen's embrace was so unlike her mother's yet insistent in a similar way. There was no leaving, no letting go when you were bound this way, Vytha knew. She could hear the others, but had no freedom to move, to wiggle out of the warm green envelopment and understand what they wanted. It was different from being in a preserver cocoon or her mother's webs, yet there was safety just the same.
**I am here** her open sending didn't seem well focused, and nothing about her face betrayed awareness, but a gurgling intake of air was soon followed with an exhale, and the dripping water chamber's echo of this little sound was like a shout of victory. Rayek's own held respiration also resumed with a whoosh after that moment.
He resisted the impulse to shake her awake, to demand answers, to demand anything. Instead he had never felt so greatful for confusion. Let her be a mystery, only let her be! It seemed there was no end to the ways he would be humbled here in the lightless world away from the sun.
Sunspot's toes curled deeper around a patch of white wolf fur. "Sharpdark Highthing say always take care of Dreamer-hair Highthing."
Twigcurl, also clinging as the wolf paused to sniff, answered, "Growler-mother will find her. Might be dreaming when we find her too, she much tired by now."
The worry in their whirling eyes was lost in the darkness, but the preserver's voices told Karok that he wasn't alone with his fears about Vytha.
He was still astounded that the wolf had sent, but very relieved when he had heard Vytha many moments ago. Perhaps she would not
answer him again, but she would no doubt be guiding this bond-animal now. Her message, "I am here", had sounded weak, but he would be patient until he could ask her himself how she had changed this pack-beast into a more intelligent creature. It was about time that this unusual daughter of his Lord and Lady had shown her true talent, Karok thought. He was secretly pleased that it involved mastery of lower forms, instead of pain-giving or something more fearful. Many in Blue Mountain had anxiously wondered what her gifts might mean for them all. He would be so pleased to explain to them on his return just how humble her powers were.
Imagining how he'd be encircled by tittering and fawning crowds, he completely missed the motion of the wolf ahead. It took Berrybuzz tugging on his ear to start him walking again.
Karok stumbled over a jumble of fist-sized rocks. His mind registered the substance after he had failed to balance with his overused appendages. Angrily, he flung one of the larger bits up and away from the abused souls of his feet. "Go trip a Troll," he thought vehemently.
The crack of impact made him duck, but the sound and strength of the larger rockfall made him rise just as quickly, shoving the rump of the white beast ahead of him and covering his head with the other arm. He had not meant to cause a cave-in, but being ahead of it was better than being buried under such weight. Bracing the remaining structure with his magic, he kept the path ahead from tumbling apart like the path behind.
Moments passed as he sweated in the cool chamber, but finally, when he was certain that his head would not be rained on by tons of material, he opened his eyes to see the soggy and snarling shape of the wet wolf. Apparently his push had sent her into the shallow end of a large underground water basin. He would have laughed out loud if he didn't fear her exposed jaws accomplishing the crushing that the stones could not.
The greenish glow on the slippery walls made this place slightly brighter than the rest of the caverns they had recently traversed, but it showed nothing but flittering preservers, the fur-flipping mutt, and his own black-clad form amid the pillars and collumns ringing the lake.
Timmain did not enjoy being dunked in the stagnant water. The taste of it was slimy as she tried to lick herself clean. Shaking in sections, she did her best to remove the moisture. She had scented her white-cub here before, but now her nose was clogged with the green gook that collected like thin-moss on everything here. The other-cub was lucky that males were dominant, or he'd find himself dragged into this filth too. Her golden eyes narrowed in his direction as she felt the winged-ones helping her dry off with webs and wings.
Last edited by Nightsea on Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:57 pm|| |
"Hhhst, Grubber! Over this way." the lantern pointed in the direction of the water hub as Finglefoot urged his fellow scout to follow.
"Air's different now, blowin' from a new direction alright," Grubber said as he kept his spear angled into the darkness beyond the glow of their light.
Ekuar's new passageway wasn't immediatedly visible as the two Trolls entered the ring of stalactites and stalagmites that surrounded the still pool, but they soon followed their noses to the opening.
"This wasn't here before, and the south tunnel's collapsed. We'd best tell Greymung fast." It wasn't loyalty that made Finglefoot hurry to
inform his King, but rather he figured that any excuse to return to the safe chambers was better than scrambling about in the unknown
facing unseen enemies.
Turning, Grubber assented quickly, "Reporting intruders is going to get us smacked, but I'd rather he be the one with the heavy hand than to mess with whatever can tunnel this fast."
After the Trolls departed, Karok's clever hidding device, a thin bubble of rock, was reabsorbed by the wall behind them. He was not the first to shape this stone, he could tell. The potent effects of another shaper had created this entire route recently. He knew that it would branch ahead into an even older thoroughfare. Trolls were apparently like termites, digging themselves twisting nests that criss-crossed and wandered, unlike the elegant designs that were carefully planned in Blue Mountain. Which of his fellow stone-shapers had crafted this connection to the greater labyrinth just ahead of them? Was Vytha's mission to collect every last lost elf?
Vytha needed strength. She reached in her special way, creeping through the green-growing spirit to reach someone with more substance to share. Her brushing past the leaves wasn't rushed or forced, she mimicked the movements of her forest guide, pause,
sniff, move, pause; until she was no longer ensnared. A twinge of guilt for tricking Kaslen with the natural rhythms faded as soon as she found the dream.
A glorious corona of red hair surrounded her lovely face. The glowing undertones of her brown skin begged to be caressed. Intense desire changed slowly, but the knowledge of her choice was undeniable. The three white curved claws from her necklace scratched at
him until he backed away. They moved from attacking him into her mouth as if they had always been there, like the teeth of Cutter's wolf.
She snarled at him before running off to join the howling of the wild pack. He twisted, finding that he could not follow her because she had tied his ankles with her pink scarf. Anshen's sheer fabric somehow held him, pulled at his arms and legs, and no matter how much he desired to break free he was unable. He called to Savah, wailed for Ekuar, beseached Sun Toucher, but none of them understood. The sheerness of the fabric had worn off, made him less visible, less audible, he was fading. Lacking color, lacking light and heat, he looked down to see his hair had gone white, his flesh like clearstone. With horror he knew that his eyes would be red instead of golden like the desert sands. He did not want to be like her; without a voice, still as a dead ravvit. He rose until the warmth of the daystar burned him brown again, colored his eyes with heat and passion. He used the power of his gaze to release himself from the gauze. His shadow spread beneath him, covering more huts as he eclipsed the sun. The slithering snakes and scurrying lizards below filled up the dark places, gathered together swiftly so he could find no place to land that was bare of them. He had no desire to squish them, but
he needed a place on the ground, the effort of keeping aloft became a strain, made his legs and arms ache as if he had been running. He was aware that the effect was not how it normally was, that using his magic drained him another way, but now he could feel the muscles
burn and contort intensly. He moved and felt that he had been sleeping against hard earth, that the ache was real and the pain pulled him awake.
Last edited by Nightsea on Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:59 pm|| |
Kahvi halted her mount near the Troll tunnel. Without much wind to sneak the cold flakes under her warm furs the ride had been
pleasant. The heavier falls were soon to start, and there was the slight hint of that dry smell in the crisp air.
Her plans for the tribe filled her head as her green eyes scanned the terrain. Vaya's muscles are still young and learning the motions of spear fighting, so I'll have Yif speed up her lessons before the ground gets slippery. Skot and Krim keep trying for a fawn, but meanwhile I need them to hunt us up some tender bear meat for a proper feast. If I can drag them out of their furs before the next
New Green I'll be lucky. No movement in that tunnel still, Guttlekraw knows we watch this route.
Turning her eyes toward the treeline, she scanned the distance for possible game. A ravvit or even a bird would be delicious gifts for Vok to thank him for the envigorating wake up.
He was still annoyed about her going alone on these little jaunts, so perhaps a morsel for his cookpot would soothe. He'd never understand that there was only so much thinking a chief could do with the lodgesmoke up her nose and the tribe underfoot.
Still, if anyone else had asked to do the same she'd have pinned their hides to her shield. Risking an encounter with the deadly Trolls, however unlikely, was a chief's right. Her lips curled and she took in another great chestfull of fresh air as she turned her
And halted him with a sharp tug on his neckfur. What under the Great Ice Wall was that?
Emerging from the darkness into the cold blue and white world, Rayek was momentarily blinded. This was not a glare he was used to, not a directionless, engulfing blaze, but rather sharp points of refracted dazzle, pure white energy piercing his eyes. Still,
it was sunlight and he blinked tears of relief and joy as well as pain. The pounding of heavy hooves made him squint and shade his eyes with his brown hands as he tried to focus. It was almost as big as a zwoot, with a rider encased in storm-cloudlike colors.
"Your skin is not green, stranger, but I would know what you are doing in a Troll tunnel just the same!"
Drawing himself up Rayek met another new pair of eyes. Hers were green like Leetah's but there the similarity ended. Narrowed at him, they held a flinty confidence, and a hint of promised danger. Her eartips poked out under a white fur mantle, and aside from her face, were her only exposed skin.
He was about to speak when Ekuar interjected, "We are leaving it to join you in the free air, Braided Beauty!" Ekuar stood on his one crafted leg and let his natural limb take the next step forward. Walking again, talking with elves, it was all so wonderful. And now to be above ground...he thought he was going to explode with bliss. A pity these youngsters looked so unhappy.
Kahvi took one look at the elder and instantly knew that he had been under Guttlekraw's rule. Something in her heart melted at the way his round eyes searched every inch of her and the wide world with wonder and awe. He hadn't been in the free air in too long she was certain.
As for this other, he seemed unable to grasp the situation with any speed. Perhaps he also had been abused in a way not as obvious.
"Welcome then. I am Kahvi, Chief of the Go-Backs. We have a warm fire-pit to take the chill out of your bones, if you are able to make the short journey with me?" She dismounted and gestured for the elder to ride. He looked like he might fall into a jumble of mismatched and brittle parts, but his face beamed with tranquility and intelligence.
The black-haired one informed her, "We would be greatful to be warm again. But there is another who needs aid." He withdrew back into the tunnel and remerged a moment later with a pile of white folded over his shoulder. Astonished again, Kahvi saw that it was a girl, her hair falling like a great avalance behind them.
"She's bled white, there probably is no saving her," Kahvi said bluntly. Still, she didn't object further as the dark one helped the one-legged elf up and positioned the unconscious body across his lap. Leading the deer by tugging on his neck-scruff from the side, she finally learned their names.
"I am Ekuar, and this strong friend of mine is Rayek. We seem to have frightened this child too much and so we do not know her name, but I think that she was always this white." his soft chuckle seemed to shake his frame as he carefully balanced on the walking deer.
"Do you have a healer in your village?" Rayek's serious voice sounded nothing like his companion's.
"No need for them, Black-Hair. They only soften up the weak. If that white one wants to live she'll have to fight for it, as your elder has done." Nodding approval at Ekaur's attitude, Kahvi wondered what this other one beside her was about. He was obviously in good shape physically, but something about him wasn't adding up. Asking for magical aid was probably the explanation; if he was one of those throwbacks dependant on tricks of the mind to survive it was no wonder his natural reactions seemed dulled. If you didn't use your
instincts, you lost your edge.
Rayek had never dreamed that healing would be so undervalued or misunderstood. He was less impressed with this gruff female than he had been by the red-eyed one who could resist his immobilizing stare, even if it had cost her her last ounce of energy to fight him. There was something almost tickling him as he continued to follow...a tug like sensation, as if he should hurry home.
Vytha was aware of the warm furs and the even warmer bodies beside her. On both sides she could feel the radiating heat from bare skin seeping into her own flesh. She should be alarmed, should demand to know who was risking the wrath of the Lord and Lady of Blue Mountain for being so familar. But it was too comfortable! Her toes wiggled under the furs, she sighed contentedly and rolled her head closer to the strong shoulder on her right. The smell of smoking meat clung to him, but his own musky aroma was pleasant underneath. From the other side, his companion's low chuckle made her cease her movements. She did not want to be ejected from this finely feathered nest!
"She sighs for you, Yar. Even half-frozen they prefer your company," the teasing followed the chuckle in a similarly low register.
"Ah, brother, we both know it is not my thrusts that thrill them." The second voice almost matched the first, but for a bit less jocularity. Something more contemplative colored his inflections.
"If you led with your sword instead of your lyre you could be just as successful!" He kept his voice low, mindful of the sleeper, but he clearly was not the type to remain quiet long.
"I'd show you the strength of my sword arm if not for this one's need for it," the dry threat wasn't vehement, just more familial teasing. He did gently rub his hand over Vytha's chilled arm, spreading warmth and tranquility in a practiced way.
Vytha began to feel a slight skip in her heartbeat. The kind of dreams she had often shared with others seemed possible for her now, and that idea was both thrilling and frightening at once.
"That's the Wordloaner I know...always ready to spare advice or an arm, whichever is faster!"
"You should spare the hot air you waste on me for this frosty female, Vez." he continued to stroke her in a way that reminded Vytha of how she had pet Timmain, slowly and rythmically. The pace of it helped her concentrate on her breathing enough to feel her heart steady.
Vytha was so full of curiousity about her bedmates that she could no longer keep her eyes closed. The nook they occupied
was dimly lit, being enclosed on all sides by animal hides. Brown and white furs were piled around the trio so high that a good view of the speakers was impossible from her current position. Angling her head with tiny moves she peeked at the one who had spoken first.
Vez, she had heard him called, by his brother. His hair was as black as a starless sky, with eyes almost as deep. His smile was so a part of his face that a crease framed it on either side, but his cheeks had that rounded look common on the young. A jostling gave her an excuse to switch her sights and she was startled for a moment to see the exact same face at a different angle. They were twins! It was even more rare than her own coloring, but Vytha knew that it was possible for elves to birth in pairs. Looking more closely she noticed the tiny difference in their expressions; Yar certainly had the musician's temperment.
Just as she was wondering what she could possibly say, her eyes were met and held by Yar's dark orbs.
His father's death in battle with Trolls had hardened into a steady anger. His mother, Jadna, lost through the ice, had scratched a sadness into his heart. The desire to be different from his brother when they were younger had changed into a more steady knowledge that they were different in many ways and less of a need to prove it to anyone, including himself. The sweet sound octaves, made from
strings of deer-gut stretched, belied their ugly origins the way his own battered soul reached to find a perfection and purity that
was just out of reach. Sometimes he could not say all that he knew or felt to be true, but his melodies fit his brother's lyrics in
just the right ways sometimes after a hunt or a wild night let him loose enough to recognize...recognize...
And before Vytha could blink at the resonance in her own being, she suddenly knew Wlad, every dream and vision and ache, all his
sacred history and his confidence in Going-Back to the Palace one day. Yar; player and warrior, lover and fighter, simple and complex;
he was Wlad.
Her eyes turned away from his, like falling off a bond-bird in mid flight she felt the separation like a rush until another pair
of eyes, just exactly as black and bottomless as before, caught her.
Dawl, he was the echo of his brother, having a ready talent with weapons and a love of fighting he could gleefully disembowl a Troll
so quickly that it would not even guess it was dead. He enjoyed testing himself in every way, swimming in the ice-covered lake
before rushing back to the waiting embrace of a lovemate, using strategy to outwit game or enemies at every opportunity, creating
clever games for the lodge children to amuse and delight. He was always ready for a challenge of any kind, and keeping himself
as keen as the silver edge of his longsword was his goal until he could sire. He never told anyone how much he longed for
offspring, feeling that he might dishonor the bond of his only living family if he should allow his feelings to be known. His fierce love was sometimes hard to bear, he knew, so he did his best to blunt the force with jibes and jests.
Vez; ready wit and speedy combatant, tested and tried, first to the fight and lasting in love, he was Dawl.
Last edited by Nightsea on Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:01 pm|| |
Vez knew Eth: the sound of her, the slender white being beside him...So delicate and fragile, and so impossible to defeat. There
was something about her own determination which was like the Great Ice Wall itself...timeless. She had withstood so many reshapings of her spirit, so many demands had washed through her, that she was clean and clear as water in herself.
Yar knew Eth: she had learned to be the web instead of the spider; having substance did not depend on the forms or patterns others
wove with her, it only mattered that she would be the same spiritual essence, just as the web was always made from the same translucent fiber, both weak and strong. She was not the specific goal, but the very idea of potential. She could bend and break, but always when she formed again she would be whole and fresh like a newly laid egg.
Dawl understood Eth: becoming was her desire...to become the task, the dream, the vision, the bird in flight. It did not matter that the goals changed, she would always be becoming. The perfect daughter, the hope for the Glider's future, the seeker of the Palace, the only child amid ageless others, she was always something new to everyone and the pressure had pushed down on her until the invisible core became all.
Wlad understood Eth: eternally about to hatch, eternally newly woven, eternally herself. Self was everything and nothing at once, and others could shape as they desired but could never really touch her.
A scratching sound pierced through the beauty of the moment for all three beings within the sleeping area. Kahvi's strong voice carried past the closed hide, "Should I celebrate your threemating, or call for a team to drag her cold carcass away?" A moment later, her uncovered head pushed past the furless curtain and she tilted it at the motionless forms.
"Not dead then," she concluded, her eyebrows pushed together in puzzlement as she took another step into the space, standing
at the foot of the sleeping shelf.
It was hard for him to look away from her snowy mane, to hold back saying her name which pulsed in his mind and tingled through his body. He wanted to shout, whisper, sing: Eth! But Vez addressed Kahvi dutifully instead, "My Chief, I, we, ...seem to have revived her."
Vytha's red eyes moved up and down the female Chief. She was so short compared to the forms in Blue Mountain, but dressed in familiar shades of white and grey. The green eyes looked on with a blend of curiousity and impassivity, as if whatever happend mattered not at all, but she needed to know regardless. Vytha knew that look of command.
"I am Vytha, daughter of Lord Voll and Mistress Winnowill of Blue Mountain. I am not dressed for meeting, and would like to know why."
Yar wanted to soothe her, to claim the role of her protector. Eth, she was his lifemate, he was certain. But no words could get past his lips, so he once again gently caressed Vytha's soft skin. He did not even take his eyes away from her to acknowledge his Chief or his brother as they all continued to speak.
"Dressed! You were barely dressed when you arrived, Vytha of Blue Mountain. That frost-thin covering was no protection at all and
you were frozen as still as a dead ravvit. So I loaned you my two best heat-givers to keep you from making the journey to the Palace before your time." Kahvi's fists rested on her hips in one of her most common postures.
"I didn't arrive alone, did I?" Vytha recalled the last dream she had viewed; the rejected sun-dweller with the ability to glide must have carried her here. And there had been another, someone unknown who had been his teacher. And what of Timmain, the preservers, Karok and Smelt? Reaching within herself, she could feel the quiet seed of Kaslen hybernating as in a white-cold season. And like their bodies still pressed close, two other spirits now tied their needs to hers. In Blue Mountain Vytha had never dreamed it could be so hard to keep track of so many new elves!
Winnowill's red marble bath was filled to the brim with warmed water, laboriously hauled and heated by her latest human pets.
There was no end to their usefulness, the Mistress of Blue Mountain thought as she disrobed. While elves were happy to shape her gifts of stone, they were less keen to toil in other ways. Magical creativity was a world away from meanial pursuits.
The strain of keeping Voll sedated had left Winnowill tired of late. He asked about Vytha less and less as she worked on him, but he was Lord for a reason; his persistance and determination surpassed that of any elf Winnowill had ever known and his attatchment to his
offspring was matchless.
Sendings from the last hunting party had almost roused him fully. They claimed to have encountered brutal killers who had shot a bond-bird. According to Kureel, these savages were elves! Vytha had been sent in the opposite direction, toward the legendary lost home, and so was not in danger from these malformed degenerates.
As her black hair floated over her legs, Winnowill decided that even this gentle motion was too much effort. She needed to sleep before the Mountain's peace was threatened.
Before closing her dark eyes, Winnowill sent to Door, **Call to me if you hear the human pipes. Do not OPEN without me.**
Last edited by Nightsea on Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:03 pm|| |
art by Wendy, recolored by Nightsea
"I hear that the white one is awake, Rayek." Ekuar's gleeful expression had not diminished since they had arrived at the Go-Back's Lodge.
"I will bring her some warmer clothing then," Rayek said as he rose from where he had been reclining. "Kahvi's daughter might be of a size."
Vaya brought her spare tunic as an excuse to join the gathering. Informed that the outsiders valued privacy, Kahvi had ordered everyone but the brothers to keep their distance from the fragile girl while she recovered. Vaya was curious to see this latest addition to the tribe.
Kahvi was still facing the trio in the furs when the three others arrived. The small space was flexible because the hide covering stretched, but otherwise would not have held them all. "The other two that were with you are here now," Kahvi said indicating those pushing their faces closer.
"I am Rayek and this is Ekuar." his amber eyes did not quite meet hers as he spoke, but his shoulders were squared and his posture straight. "And this is Vaya, a member of the Go-backs, who is willing to give you clothing more suited to this cold environment." His brown hands gestured as he introduced everyone.
"I hope this fits!" Vaya interjected, squeezing her way forward.
Vytha reached for it, aware as she had never been of so much attention focused on her. In Blue Mountain, it was polite not to stare even if you did whisper behind your hand as someone passed. The scrutiny of the dark-eyed twins seemed most intense. "Thank you for the gift," she said as her hands closed on the soft fur collar.
"We'll leave you to dress and then if you are up to it, we can feed you some bear-fat broth. You are nothing but bones and won't withstand the winter if you don't plump up, Vytha of Blue Mountain. Our Mountains here are white for a reason!" Kahvi's tones and motioning arms ushered Rayek, Ekuar and Vaya out before her.
"There, Brownskin, you see she is doing well now." Ekuar would have liked to hug his young rescuer, but his balance depended on the walking stick he held. The proud Rayek might have found such a display condescending anyhow, Ekuar mused as they continued to walk away.
"Indeed, you can rest easy now, Air-Walker. Your little icicle is unfrozen." Kahvi's teasing barely hid her jealousy. She had watched the handsome newcomer brood for days. While he insisted that they were strangers, something in his behaviour said otherwise. If not for the corroboration of his more sensible elder, she would not have given his account credit as she watched him pace and chew his lower lip in worry. Seeing him introduce himself just now had finally dispelled the idea that the waif would be competition for his affections.
"Yes, I am relieved I did not harm her beyond recovery. I have never seen such a reaction to my power before and will never try to imobilize another elf again!" his vow sounded completely earnest.
"For the best! Those ancient ways never did work well enough to count on," Kahvi nodded.
In a sunless section of cavern not far away, another elf was making vows too, "If we can't find her soon we should simply go back to Blue Mountain. I swear I would fly there now if not for all you pests!" Karok's patience was gone. He was hungry and cold, tired and damp, lost and confused. The preservers had taken to nesting in his hair for the heat, and the wolf had no sense of decorum as she evacuated whenever it seemed necessary after eating Lord and Lady knew what vermin. The smell was unbearable! And to make matters worse, a band of Trolls was approaching again. He was unable to do more than hide behind a thin partition of rock and wait for them to pass.
"You hear something, Snailsnout?" a warty warrior asked his nearest fellow.
"It came from that bump in the wall," replied the aptly monikered Troll. "Let's have that lantern here!" he shouted.
Finglefoot dutifully dragged his flame-holder toward the duo. Bearing the burden of light was the worst duty you could pull; the limits
it imposed on your own sight, the hampering of your ability to wield a decent weapon, the general disregard of the others, he sighed
as he recalled the transgression that had earned him this hated assignment. It would never happen again, he vowed to himself as
he angled the lamp toward the irregular slope.
Grubber arrived and poked his spear at the tunnelside. "This looks like a big mushroom, growing where it ought not."
Timmain could stand it no longer. In the forest, few animals made a wolf cower, and if you could not hide from them you had to
fight. She made the most feroucious sounds she could as she clawed at the veneer of rock between her and her foes.
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:04 pm|| |
Yar reluctantly put on his own tunic, feeling like he wanted to be doing the opposite. He'd much rather be laying down again next
to Vytha, who suddenly seemed so deeply seductive. Previously he had given her the same attention he would have given a sick fawn, he had been tender but only dutifully so, he had caressed her, but only to keep her warm and safe. He knew that there would be endless talking and meeting and eating and touring before he could be alone with her and the thought of enduring that long as others entertained her raked at him like bearclaws. He could send to his brother for support, but then he would have to admit to Vez how deep his emotions felt for this new prize. If he knew his brother, the challenge of stealing her away would be irristable even if Vez was not already drawn to the chase. Normally he did not compete for lovemates, he just waited patiently until they drifted his way like ice in spring melt. But he did not want to wait for this one, she had touched the chord true, he was thrumming inside with impatient desire. Finally, his lifemate was here!
Vez's admiring eyes concealed none of his thoughts. One glance at his brother confirmed that they felt the same. Yar's turned back and fumbling fingers told Vez that he would have to be careful with his sensitive sibling as he won her away. It was only natural, the new and unknown being so interesting for him, but he would have to make Yar understand that she was not just another lovemate. He would
be fine in time, as they all adjusted to a life as a family together. Yar licked his lips as he thought of how he would impress Vytha, his
Eth, with his prowess. All his previous practice would finally find good use with a proper mate. Vez was tempted to console his brother now, send to him as they did secretly, connecting thought to thought, but no point in making him suffer yet. The tribe didn't favor
such contacts when there wasn't an immediate intimacy or a pressing need, so later he would find a time.
Vytha felt alive. The softness of the new dress with its white fur trim was delicious. Her skin seemed so aware of every tickle and touch as she moved to adjust the fit. The beating of her heart seemed regular and stronger than the tempo of birdwings claiming the air.
Vytha knew recognition from stories, but the reality of it was so much more. And more indeed...two soulnames ran through her mind, each like an echo of the other, yet distinctly different in tone. One somber, the other jocular, one who pretended not to care but was so
in love with life, the other who seemed to brood, but actually laughed inside. How was it possible? You couldn't have two matings result in one offspring. What if it wasn't Vytha who recognized but rather something that Kaslen had done? But no, that spirit slept just now.
Was she supposed to choose one or the other? How could you take only one side of a door? Or one half of your heart? And what did they each know of her? She had felt a jolt as she met their eyes, her soul had met theirs...both of theirs. She wanted to ask Winnowill for help, tell Voll her troubles and have him calm her, even to tell Tyldak she was sorry, his wings could not keep her enclosed. But they were so far away. Not even a preserver remained to lighten her burden. Her body continued to glory in every sensation, while her mind struggled to find the words and make plans.
Timmain's jaws closed over the wooden spear, near the dangerous point. Her bite diverted the weapon away from her boy-cub. His attempts to use the flowing rock as a barrier and then a weapon had only kept the Trolls dancing away but not in retreat. Being cornered, surrounded, trapped drove her into a frenzy and her mouth was slippery with foam. The hard wood crunched under the pressure of her teeth, but while she had been biting, a rope had been tied around her neck and another snare set for her back legs.
Karok was unable to hurl the rock-matter with enough force to drive them away. His barrier was no match for the brutes as they hacked and bashed and even the winged assitants could not keep the Trolls from overwhelming both him and the animal.
"Fly to get Vytha, to get help!" he commanded before a large green hand clamped over his lips.
The swift little wings hummed as the group escaped.
"Find her at homeplace?" Twigcurl asked as it pointed.
"We do!" Petalwing's anger made it fly faster than ever before.
Troll hands unbound another elsewhere.
Smelt woke up feeling disoriented, as if he had been having a dream that he could not remember. A cool splash of water to
his face made him much more alert. Before him, on a portable version of his normal stone throne, Greymung sat drumming his fingers.
"I thought you had died long ago, Smelt. You might wish you had when I am done with your disobedient hide." Threats impressed
the guardsmen the way that gold impressed females, Greymung figured. He needed all the fighters he could throw at Guttlekraw.
The Northern King's first strike against his band had cost him nearly half his population. The remnants of his kingdom marching
with him to retaliate were too weak, he knew, but he was hopeful that he could harry from the sides and regain the numbers he needed to be victorious. At the least, he wanted his Oddbit back.
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:09 pm|| |
The smoke curling up from the large central fire-pit kept licking the deer on the spit. Turning it to even out the roasting made the juices sizzle as they dripped into the fire.
Kahvi's entire tribe had gathered around the newcomers, and as usual, were more than happy to have a reason for a general celebration. Kahvi's decree that they could now ask all the questions they liked of the recent arrivals made the Go-Backs eager. The cooking smells and laughter were barely contained by the round lodge interior.
"Aside from the Wolfriders, I do not know of other elves," Rayek replied to one of the Go-Backs. "Except for these two who were hidden underground." His golden eyes met Ekuar's but refused to focus on Vytha's as he nodded in their direction.
Vytha could not tell why this bothered her. Something had happened between them, she recalled, but exactly what was unclear. There had been fear, but she knew from his dream that he reserved his fears for his own failures, like she herself did. In his dream he also
had revealed that he was enamoured elsewhere; so much so that the flame of his passion probably colored her hair. Vytha felt uneasy and was unsure yet how she could control him. Power over others was necessary, Vytha knew from her parents. Her own goals would
never be met if she couldn't manage to focus others' efforts.
"I haven't seen other elves underground myself in..." Ekuar's eyes misted for a moment as he gazed down at his hands, "untold eights upon eights. Indeed, I had thought, at times, that perhaps I was the last." His face blossomed into a smile for everyone as he pivoted his head to take in the encircling crowd. "And yet above me..." his joy was contageous as he searched each new face as if he would replicate them all in stone later.
Vytha recognized something in his spirit. Something that had been crushed from without, but yet remained internally strong. He was discovering again how to interact and it would take him time. His advanced age was perhaps like her father's, yet he seemed somehow more innocent in spirit. As if being controlled had protected him from the decisions that calloused your compassion. This one would follow as long as he did not sense he was being led. Vytha's smile for him when it was her turn to bask in his attention was genuine.
"Yes, we have been above the Troll tunnels, fighting your captors, our enemies, for a long time, friend Ekuar. But you, Vytha of Blue Mountain, have only recently arrived here, am I correct?" Kahvi's sharp focus was like facing a drawn blade.
"Yes, tell us, where are you from?"
"Where is Blue Mountain?"
"Is it very far? Why did you come?"
Queries flew into the air like the Chosen Eight in formation.
At her right, Yar's hand squeezed hers, and to her left the curiousity and desire of Vez radiated in her direction.
Vytha opened her mouth to answer, to soothe, to cajole, to begin her tactics and gain even more information for
herself, but was unable to utter a syllable before a high-pitched cacophony interrupted.
"EEEEEEEEEE, in here!"
"We find! Must come!"
"Hurry, help Growler-mother. Help Sour-puss Rockshaper!"
"Long fly, must go fast!"
Some elves grabbed for spears, others stood with mouths wide open, and some swatted as preservers filled the rafters.
The swarm converged on Vytha unharmed. Littlesky's face was exhausted and it was one of a few that seemed
too tired to tug or exhort as it landed on Vytha's new garment.
"Calmly, calmly. I will help when I can understand you all." Vytha's red eyes and comforting voice commanded peace and obedience.
"What are they?" said a baffled Go-back.
"Are they yours?" asked another.
"How did they get in?" the little elf-girl who stood farthest from the window had not seen them slip through the knot-hole in the wood.
Glorying in this excuse to show off her leadership skills, Vytha stepped forward with the circling, colorful preservers and announced, "They are Preservers. They follow me."
"Littlesky, you will tell me what has happened. The rest of you need to settle now." Stretching out her arms as roosts, she was soon covered fingertip to fingertip in tiny bodies and folded wings.
"Dig-digs come and take them. Sour-puss say go fetch you for help, we do." the light-blue-skined preserver's tiny hands went palm up in a gesture between supplication and a shrug as it explained.
Winnowill's hold on the ancient seeker's spirit fluttered like a moth's wings around a flame. Capturing her soul by the hem of a long gown had been difficult. She had been out seeking Vytha when she encountered the older essence and ensnaring her had been a draining task.
After covering for Vytha's absence with Voll and the rest of Blue Mountain, training her human pets and seeking traces of Vytha on
her own, Winnowill's energy was ebbing low.
Fighting to keep hold of the sun-wizened lizard in green was more difficult than the Mistress of Blue Mountain had anticipated.
There was plenty of fight left in the spirit she held, but Winnowill could sense that her captive also grew tired the longer she was
kept away from her shell. Struggling to control, consume, use or penetrate the energy of this long-lost sister was like many of the games she had taught Vytha. Calculating to exploit the weakness once you found it, pouncing on the prey to rend it for your own nutrition...the
methods of a hunting bird swooping from above had been well learned.
Tyldak's flapping announced his arrival in the Egg Chamber. He landed softly before the bench where Winnowill's meditating form was as still as Aurek's. **The strangers have arrived, Mistress.**
The intrusion into her thoughts gave her the burst of anger that Winnowill needed to again clamp down upon the spirit she held. The internal battle was not yet won, but for now her talons held the prisoner securely.
The coldness in Winnowill's eyes as they snapped open made the winged-elf step back. "Lord Voll summons." he squeeked fast like a cornered cavemouse. "He sent me to find you because he needs you!" his clarification of his previously ill-chosen words tumbled out almost as rapidly.
Gathering her tresses and dark-robe, she wordlessly swept past, leaving Tyldak to walk in her wake like a sepia shadow.
Arrayed in the Throne room her people showed signs of struggle; unbraided hair, scratches, scrapes and tears in their rich garb. Their shock at encountering resistance was also emphasized by the tension in the air and the exposed weapons in almost every hand.
Somewhat isolated in the center stood an auburn-haired, short male and a similarly colored wolf.
"Winnowill, there you are. I'm told they call themselves Wolfriders and you can see, indeed, they have the very beasts with them even now." Voll's dull voice drifted down from his bird-bone-covered perch like an abandoned feather.
Winnowill's small head tilt hid her smile. His slow speech told her that her last ministrations had not yet worn off.
"Yes, beasts! Why should the killer's mount live while mine has been slain?" Kureel's outraged demand rang loudly through the crowded chamber in sharp contrast to the almost disinterst in his Lord's utterance.
"Briersting!?!" several voices answered at once, expressing shock, protection, anger.
"You will not harm Briersting!" the barrel-chested, pale-crested speaker strode forward. "We have told you, again and again, we were hunting and did not intend harm. Since you have said that you were hunting also, our tribe will bring you meat to make up for your loss."
"Intended or not, little Wolfrider, the harm has been done." Winnowill's smooth strides matched her silky tones as she slid forward. "Now Kureel will have to await the next hatching, then wait further until the new mount is fledged, trained and ready to fly the hunt. How much meat could your tribe provide while you also ate and strained our stores? No, I think that a life for a life is more in order."
"NO!" The unity in the small band was obvious.
"It is unthinkable! You cannot believe that an accident deserves an intentional slaughter. Elves do not kill for no reason!" Cutter's
appeal was his last attempt to use Joyleaf's reason instead of Bearclaw's strength. "And High Ones help us, you are elves, right?"
"High Ones. Elves. It is the same. We are all that is left of that noble race." Voll's voice seemed again to float out of
the clouds from some distance above the proceedings.
Their mouths gasped and their eyes reflected mistrust and denial, Winnowill saw. "We are the High Ones. No doubt you have heard legends of us and to see us in the flesh overwhelms you. It is sad indeed how our scattered descendants have degenerated, in size and in their diminished sense of justice."
"Justice? What good will another death accomplish? It is your 'justice' that is flawed here!" the gruff voice of a blonde-bearded Wolfrider interjected. "I've not seen the like since Madcoil! And you've his madness to be sure, dark-robe!"
**Aye, and his stench of malformed evil.** the archer sent to his tribemates.
Strongbow suddenly felt his own thoughts turn on him, pierce him like knives. The agony and pain behind his eyes was like being tightly blindfolded and then torn apart. His scream as he clutched at his head reminded his tribemates of Madcoil's attack.
"I do not know the name you mention, but be sure I have more power than anyone you've known before. I can shatter you from within
if you continue to challenge me!" Winnowill's mask of calm had fallen and her anger was raw and naked on display.
"Winnowill!" Voll's eyes focused fully on her, a few steps below him on the dias. "You will not harm them. This I command!"
"As you say, M'Lord" Winnowill seldom felt chastened, but her own overstep and outburst had crossed the subtle line.
"You aren't the High Ones!" the bitterness in the female's tear-streaked lavender eyes as she looked up from beside her fallen mate was
obvious. "I don't believe it." she continued as she craddled him.
"They can't be, Moonshade" comforted a slender youngster to her left. "The High Ones wouldn't be so full of lies and tricks!" her azure eyes searched the crowd with defiance until suddenly they seemed caught by the gaze of the oddly shapped being standing with his wing-fingers crossed in front of his chest. Something in her registered a shock of need, an instant attraction that was quickly answered with a wave of disgust. Lies and tricks! she thought as she shuddered.
"Winnowill should not have hurt you. But you must understand that what she says is true, not a trick or a lie. You from outside cannot understand the burden of upholding our elevated society. It is our duty to preserve what our forbearers created. Our right and our duty. For so long we have maintained...maintained the standards and traditions, the elegant legacy, maintained it all through endless eights, time you cannot imagine. I see that even your eldest is but a child like my...like my..." his confusion grew as he struggled to remember something vital.
"Your flock! Like the rest of us compared with you, wise leader, Voll." Winnowill's finishing of his sentence seemed full of flattery as she again made a slight bow in his direction.
"M'Lord Voll is ancient beyond your understanding. His rule has kept Blue Mountain free of the forces which have produced you, Wolfriders. We borrow the wings of the great birds, but our bond with them is that of master to servant. I can see your affection for your beasts is different. Tell us, why would the death of one wolf matter so much to you?" the surface of utter tranquility was back in place again as Winnowill smiled down.
Cutter stood with his fist held to his heart, "It is true we have the blood of wolves in our veins. Since the time of Timmain the self-shaper
we have been beside the wolf pack as brothers. Eight and one of the chiefs before me have kept to The Way. Only I have ever asked the Wolfriders to accept other elves, to trust that our race is of one heart and one mind and to seek our distant kin. I have not believed until now that I was wrong."
"Your quest is honorable, Chief..." Voll paused for the name.
"Chief Cutter. I can see that you have passion and have led your tiny tribe well to keep them alive in the dangerous world outside. You were not wrong to seek others, to seek more than your ancestors possessed. After all, we want what is best for our children." Again his own statement seemed to hint to him of something forgotten. The puzzled look on his face told Cutter that the patronizing elder's attention was diverted again.
"As a parent then, you will understand that our desire to protect our own is not something we will abandon." Cutter's quiet avowl was not meant as a threat or a challenge, just a simple statement of fact.
"Lord Voll is a father to us all," Winnowill cut in. "Whatever he commands will be done."
"We are free and will decide for ourselves what will be done, feather-face!" spat a blue-clad, white-haired member of the tribe below.
"Powers of the High Ones or no, you cannot force us all." the determination in his voice seemed like an attempt to convince himself.
He clutched a crude pendant as he spoke.
A talisman like humans used to ward off evil, to wish for release. Winnowill laughed internally as she compared her own experiences with the so-called magic in such things.
"You are in Blue Mountain now, and you will show respect." the hissed threat slid out of the pretty lips with ease.
"Yes, respect, Winnowill." Voll floated down from his perch with the assistance of two of his Chosen. He stood before the Wolfchief
and met his blue eyes. "As a Chief, Cutter is due a token of respect. I order that he be given a robe befitting his status. Have it made immediately." the casual wave of his hand showed that he was still thinking, not yet done deciding things. "And we will let you all remain here as our guests for now. The matter of attonement will wait."
Kureel's barely stiffled cry was the only audible sound for many moments.
"Lord Voll, my tribe and I will hold a council. A place to talk alone would be appreciated."
"Show them to the grotto then, Tyldak." Voll commanded as he again ascended toward his throne. "My Chosen will bring you food
and anything else you require while you are here. We have not had guests to test our hospitality in far too long."
**I say we find our way out that aerie under cover of darkness first chance, Lad** Treestump's open sending was addressed to Cutter but shared with all.
**The wolves had to be carried by claw before, Treestump. It is a steep slope.** One-eye's concerns were also shared around.
**Leetah and the twins are safe for now with Redlance and Nightfall. But we've got to get back to them soon or we'll never find a way to help Savah.** Cutter's sending affirmed the goals of their current quest again. His thoughts dwelled on his family, picturing the green eyes of his beloved and her pride and devotion as she held the two babies, one in each arm. She had been terrified to leave Sorrow's
End with such small children, but Savah's dire need had compelled them all. Curse Rayek for making the Mother of Memory hunt for him! There was no end to the trouble that rock-climber caused even in his absence!
"We know Savah is being held, and my gut tells me that Winnowill is the kind it would take to do it, Cutter" Skywise said out loud.
Large gusts of air made the wolfrider's hair blow as Tyldak flew into the space. He approached Dewshine silently, meeting her eyes as if he had no choice.
"Leave us alone, you winged bundle of sticks!" Pike shouted until he noticed Dewshine looking back at the unusual figure.
Her expression was enraptured.
Scouter's keen eyes looked toward his lovemate as she stood. What he had hoped for, what he had assumed would one day happen for them...Dewshine was recognized to that, that...thing!
"What do you want here, Birdbones?" Treestump stood, his axe handle in one hand behind his back.
"Little Cousin?" Cutter stepped forward as he also began to comprehend the moment that was happening between the Wolfrider and the flying elf.
"I had to come." was all that Tyldak said, still holding the golden aura of the slender elf in his gaze. She was not pure...tainted with the wolfblood from her tribe's past she was part beast in a way that baffled him and yet he could not look away. Something about her was also familiar, as if she had been with him forever and he was just now aware of it. Like flying, she was necessary to his existance.
"You! I...you...no, this cannot be... Cutter, save me!" Dewshine turned into Cutter's arms and hid her face as she burst into tears.
The very moment her eyes left his, Tyldak took off in flight.
"Cubbling?" Treestump ached to hold his daughter and comfort her himself, but Cutter's strong arms were already around her. His suspicion that she had just recognized that flying monstrosity was growing by the moment as he listened to the sound of her sobs. A similar sound had echoed in the cave near Leetah's hut a few nights until the healer had accepted the match, he recalled.
"Oh Cutter, how do you fight it? He knows me, somehow. I do not want him, Cutter! I could never love him...not like I love Scouter!
I don't even understand how he has chosen to be so...so...." her sobs started again in place of words she could not find.
Clearbrook silently rubbed Scouter's back and then came forward to hold Dewshine.
Cutter stepped away and looked at his tribemates who all wore expressions of deep worry, fear and resignation.
The unspoken words "Now what do we do?" were stamped on every face.
Last edited by Nightsea on Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:12 pm; edited 4 times in total
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:10 pm|| |
After more discussion, durring which many questions about Vytha's lost companions were sidestepped, Kahvi's patience for
the dialogue ended. "At sunup when the way is clear and we are rested, we will fetch your friends from Guttlecraw's grasp." Kahvi's orders were met with calm. The Go-Backs were used to battles to rescue kin.
Vytha's subsequent command to the preservers to rest in the rafters had made Petalwing upset, but even that normally vibrant self-appointed leader couldn't stay awake. The long journey underground and cold flight in search of Vytha had exhausted the band of preservers.
Yar watched her movements as she checked on them. His black eyes sparkled in the firelight as he observed her lithe form stretch to rescue the bright yellow one from falling off the top of Ekuar's fur hat.
"Sunspot likes you, Elder," she said as she placed the curled preserver in the gentle rockshaper's lap.
"I remember sendings from my Mother that contained such beings." he said as he gazed at the winged sleeper. "At times I thought I had made up many of the images in my mind, but my memories were true. I can see her golden gown as she floated like one just such as this." he stroked the air around the delicate creature, almost touching, but not wanting to wake it.
"She sounds beautiful, Rockshaper. Would you share a sending with me?" Vytha asked.
The rich contact let Vytha see the aloft shape; a gliding vision in light colors, her long wavy hair and golden garments swaying in the winds above a range of blurry mountains in the distance.
A sense of loss and longing attatched to the scene made Vytha feel the bittersweetness of the memory.
"So long ago." he said, tears in his eyes as the image in front of him replaced the one in his mind.
"So your folk had the old gifts and allies." she said, growing excited by this hint of elfin power. To find others with magical
skills had been a great part of her mission. "Where do they dwell now?"
"Ekuar dwells with us as kin." Rayek said, striding quickly to put his hand on his mentor's shoulder. "But you haven't said yet about your own home."
"Yes, tell us all about it, and yourself!" added Vez who joined the group.
Vytha shivered inside as he neared. She could feel the tug of the third thread in this tangle as well...she didn't have to turn in his direction to know that Yar's eyes were locked on her from across the room. His shyness was unlike his brother's boldness, but both were a contradiction of insecurity and confidence. She had not yet even exchanged so much as words with them alone, but she knew deep truths about them both. For a moment the delima of choosing seemed to overwhelm her thinking as she sorted internally for an answer. Which did she feel most drawn to? Which possessed more skill? The knot seemed impossible to untie and made all her muscles tense the more she tried.
"Vytha?" Rayek was loathe to meet her eyes or reach for her, but all his instincts screamed at him to do so. He crossed
his arms and wore an expression of consternation instead of concern.
Aware that she had paused too long, Vytha finally said, "My...I'm... I'm tired. I need to rest."
"Kahvi will rouse us before light. You will need to help us find your companions. Rest now while you can and we will talk more on the journey." Rayek returned to speaking with a trio of Go-Backs who were planning which supplies to take and which tunnels might be the most likely to contain captured elves.
"Yes, come lay down again!" Vez said with barely contained glee. He reached for her hand and his leering smile seemed full of promises.
Before she could even react, Yar was behind her, sweeping her off her feet and carrying her toward the enclosed pile of furs they had all shared before.
The contact made her dizzy; her sense of belonging in his arms was almost overwhelming. It seemed more important than taking air for her next breath.
"Careful, Brother!" Vez's barely contained frenzy as he tugged at his sibling's arm was a pull in another direction for Vytha's senses.
Floating herself, she hovered in the air above the furs.
Both sets of ebony eyes reflected their astonishment as they looked at her.
"I...I was being careful, Vez. See? She is not hurt." the words from Yar were quiet, almost whispers.
"Not hurt, no. But we all know what has happened." Vytha followed the pattern of confronting a problem with force in imitation of her parent's style. She trusted that someone would suggest something that she could rule upon when she had heard all their answers. She had no idea what to do otherwise.
"Yar does not know," Vez said, all but gritting his teeth as he faced this challenge.
Turning to face his twin, Yar sent, **I know the truth, as does she. It is you, brother, who should step aside and let lifemates be lifemates.** The deep feeling he had for his brother was communicated also in the contact; the intimate and private message was
full of both condolences and pleas.
**Lifemates? She and I are lifemates, brother. I know her as I have known no other. You may fancy her because she is new and lovely, but your needs cannot compare. I have recognized her!** Vez's reply was also for his brother only.
**I have recognized her.** Yar's certainty was shaken. In all their sendings of the past, only the truth had flowed from twin
to twin. How could his brother believe he knew Eth?
**I can sense your sendings...but I can't hear your thoughts. Send to me, not to each other!** Vytha's imperious tones concealed none of her indecision.
Again two sets of eyes locked on her in complete shock. Neither had ever been contacted by anyone else in such a fashion.
As both sent her soulname to her in answer, she crumpled onto the furs in a swoon.
Last edited by Nightsea on Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:50 am; edited 2 times in total
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:14 pm|| |
What Has Gone Before...
Vytha, daughter of Winnowill and Voll has begun her quest to find other elves on the World of Two Moons. Winnowill's only child, Vytha's red eyes and weak heart make her different than most Gliders.
Finding Timmain in wolf form, they follow the swarm of palace-sensing preservers north.
The gentle spirit of Kaslen, ensnared by a web of dream magic, leaves her forest to join Vytha.
In the tunnels below, Karok a captured rock-shaper from Blue Mountain, calls for release from his troll captor, Smelt. Smelt has cleverly constructed a moving maze and plans to use elfin powers to build his own Kingdom.
Smelt's plans change when he discovers Vytha's sword New Moon. He treks toward the realm of treasure-holding King Guttlekraw.
Vytha wandering alone in a cavern, is stunned and nearly dies when she meets (post-Cutter) wary Rayek. Life-affirming Eukar resuscitates her and they take Vytha's unconscious form out of the tunnels.
Kahvi finds the trio and brings them to the Go-Back's Lodge, where she assigns the male twins of the tribe, Yar and Vez to keep Vytha warm. Vytha wakes and recognizes both brothers.
Meanwhile, Cutter, his own twin babies and his tribe have left Sorrow's End on a quest to help Savah. The Mother of Memory let her spirit leave to search for Rayek and has since been trapped by Winnowill.
The Wolfriders have killed Kureel's bond-bird as they hunted for food and are now confronting the Blue Mountain demand of "a life for a life". Tyldak and Dewshine recognize when eyes meet eyes.
The swarm of preservers reach the Go-Back Lodge and ask Vytha to rescue Karok and Timmain, who have been captured by Guttlekraw's forces. Smelt, unwrapped from preserver webbing, has been recovered by Greymung's Troll army instead.
Winnowill's sleeping form moved, her arms curling over her womb in memory.
In her dream, she was again using her skills to create new life. The healer's gifts forced into herself, into Voll, into growing Vytha. To start the cycle of life was not easy for elves; the female organs needed special coaxing and the male contribution also needed an assist, to say nothing of the spiritual convergence involved. The magic to encourage the process was demanding; to force it was almost impossible. But Winnowill had triumphed. Inside her, the tiny being struggled daily to hold on to precarious life, and was nourished by every essence Winnowill could summon or steal.
It was durring this time that she had learned how to feed on dreams. To siphon the energy of Blue Mountain's sleeping people and push it into the hungry form of her daughter.
The secret of these stolen visits belonged only to Winnowill and Vytha.
Just like the secret of Vytha's weak heart. The one defect that would not repair under even the most exhausting effort of the dark-haired healer continued to threaten her willowy, albino offspring.
Fragile, lovely Vytha, with her blood-red eyes and spider-silk white hair, made the rest of Blue Mountain nervous and envious all at once.
They would not know she walked in their dreams, observed and even interacted at will. She had gifts of mind, if not of body.
And sometimes she inspired gift-giving.
The curved little sword of brightmetal, found by one of the first rock-shapers, had been presented to Vytha. She wore it now, far away from Winnowill's magic, far from the safe womb of Blue Mountain.
Winnowill awoke feeling very cold and drained. Her mind now focused intently on the worry for her only child, her schemes
and plans, and she admitted to herself that she had refused to even think of failure. What would she do if Vytha never returned?
The horror of that last thought made her shut her eyes again. Better to be blind to all reality than to face such a future.
March 2009 Grab-Bag elements:
--Doing the impossible
--A new life of some kind
Last edited by Nightsea on Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:15 pm|| |
The intense flood of emotions unleashed as her shell dissolved under their need. Her long habits of control or retreat both failed, she had no choice but to meet them, and now no desire to hide or to conquer.
But which one to meet? They were like two streams of water that should have been one river. They flowed into her, were one with her, yet were separate torrents from each other. Each was like a reflection of the other, images distorted slightly but moving in perfect synchronization.
Neither was stronger than the other; there were only distinctions they held dear in order to remain unique. They were not exactly
the same, they were not exactly opposite. There was no way to deny them. The cascade of their souls pushed in rhythmic patterns like the musical waterfalls in Blue Mountain. She kept her eyes closed but lifted her arms to them both.
**Wlad** she sent to Yar.
**Dawl** she sent to Vez.
The brothers both clung to her as she lay between them. The urge to fight was abandoned as the truth became clear. She had recognized them both.
Hesitantly, Vez sent to Yar, **There will be a child.** The fragile hope and tragic sacrifice he willed were both contained in the sending to his twin.
Yar had not known the true depth of his sibling's desire for offspring in the past, but the ultimate offering in the sending told him how much his brother was willing to give up for him. Vez's blunt exterior hid from most of the tribe his true depth of feeling, but here, together like this, there was no deception. Yar's own dreams of fatherhood felt like harmony to Vez's melody. **We will raise your fawn together.** he answered.
Vytha could feel the bond of love as they sent to each other, could feel them caress her in awe and desire and could at last let herself swim in that emotion as well. Her normally faltering heartbeat was pressed between their strong bodies and all three hearts beat strongly to give life to yet another.
The night seemed far too short, there was much that she could not express in words and so many questions that were only answered with more questions. How had she never understood this joy before? Was it only recognition that made her body feel so perfect, all traces of weakness gone? Would her child bear the weakness instead? Why had the brothers chosen as they did and would both feel that the demands of recognition were answered?
Without regret she focused on a few new things that she did know: she had found not one but two new mates and she was not the last child of the High Ones, she was near the ancient home of her race and would see it soon, and she would never be alone again.
Watching the patterns swirl in the Great Egg, Winnowill thought of it again. The flesh bending, growing, changing. Yet always she had to
coax, to convince the living will to work with her demands. It was a collaboration; the changing of another's form. Like changing their minds, it took subtle persuasion.
They always said that rock lived, but she could find no essence to influence. It seemed such a slow process when it changed
naturally, so little altered by wind or water that she was not sure it would change at all if left alone. The aloof stars above
displayed more motion and volition. The secret of Egg's gift eluded her no matter how long she looked.
She had dedicated time, but something in her did not have the patience, could not reach the same level that whatever
animated stone must have.
In a fury over her inability to penetrate this barrier, to understand the inteligence of the form, she again shook the captive spirit she
did contain. There were hints of power, hints of command and understanding, yet this being did not wish to share knowledge. The old
sun dweller instead sent to her of peace, of love, of other useless emotions. When she thought of power at all, she directed it to soothing thoughts of healing.
All that hot, radiating energy like the sun made pale Winnowill flinch. Yet she felt the weakness too. The strength that sustained
the elder ebbed as her spirit remained held away from her form. The battle of wills continued.
Rising, her dark robe and swirling hair traced behind her like a snake writhing forward. She would see how the beast-blooded ones fared at Voll's table. Surely now he would see the brutes consume like animals and eject them from their purely elfin haven.
Nightrunner had been too tired to follow. Only one rheumy eye had opened when Cutter had stood to join the others as they filed
out toward another chamber. The soothing sound of water flowing nearby lulled the old wolf back into slumber. It was silent and dark here, and other wolves stood guard.
In the center of the chamber that the Wolfriders approached, a low stone table was surrounded by benches and held platters of edibles. The Chosen Eight rose and even the elder Voll lifted himself from his position at the head of the feast. His throne here was less ornate by far, but still dominated the scene.
Dewshine felt herself relax a bit as her gaze found no trace of Tyldak. His scent was faint in this chamber. Perhaps he ate elsewhere, being as different in diet as he was in form from the rest.
"Welcome, Wolfriders. My dining chamber usually boasts the best of what the Chosen Eight provide. I invite you now to enjoy this bounty with us." Voll's voice seemed brighter, less distant as he concluded his speech. His broad gestures indicated polished platters of fish, eels, and greens, and large pitchers full of refreshing liquids.
Each Wolfrider was invited to sit beside one of the Gliders, and the platters were passed around with plenty of food for all. The hungry
Wolfriders did not hold back, their slippery fingers pushed bits into their eager jaws with all the manners of their four-legged kin.
Amid the Sunfolk, their broad appetites had been somewhat unsatisfied for the few years they had been away from the forest. Fresh fish was a rare treat after so long, and it was consumed in speedy delight.
"I've never tasted fish like this! What flavors!" Clearbrook said between bites. Her reflection watched from the empty platter in front of her as she munched.
"It's raw. That's all I care about" One-Eye managed before he let a small belch escape.
Picking up on the opportunity to lighten the mood, and hoping to drop a gentle hint, Skywise offered, "Try chewing instead of inhaling! You're missing a treat!"
Pike's opinion of the drink followed, "MMMM, not dreamberry juice, but almost as good!"
Just as Aroree was about to inform the interesting newcomers about the ingredients in the beverage a loud howl began outside the chamber.
At once every Wolfrider ceased to smile, to eat, to drink. Most were on their feet and headed toward the archway before anyone could ask why.
Arriving at the grotto, Cutter's fears were confirmed. Nightrunner did not move as his packmate, Briersting howled above his still form.
Forgetting everything else, the entire tribe joined in the next ululation. The lament was united, a deep affirmation and tribute to their fallen pack leader.
Baffled by this mourning and noise, the Gliders stood uncertainly nearby.
**Tam, the wolves howl. What has happened beloved?** Leetah's sending from outside the mountain was faint, but he could hear the echo of the howl of the wolves that remained outside in the forest below. Of course the layers of stone kept out most sounds, but the pitch of that particular howl carried well.
**Nightrunner has followed the trail to its natural end,** he sent in reply. Something in him was not only sad at this loss, but feared losing more...his children and lifemate should not be vulnerable to these Gliders, so he kept the contact brief.
Newly arrived Winnowill stood beside Voll and noted how her people still gaped at the upset group. That erie howling had awoken
primal fears in the sheltered Gliders and many of them still shivered.
"He was one of our oldest." Normally silent Strongbow was the first to speak. His arms stroked Briesting but his eyes looked to Cutter.
"Shall this then, be a life for a life?" Winnowill's taunting tones sliced thru the grief striken silence. "Or is it only the lesson of Death that your tribe carries in its very blood?" her blunt words shocked everyone. Even Kureel, who had demanded retribution for his own slain mount, could not hide his disgust and fear as he looked at the corpse.
A deeply paternal sending then enfolded the Wolfriders, **I grieve that you have suffered this loss and see now how you are ill adapted to our life. Perhaps you should return to the world you know best, leaving Blue Mountain to those who cannot face loss so bravely.**
The unsteady beat of large wings brought Tyldak to the gathering.
Last edited by Nightsea on Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:03 pm; edited 3 times in total
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:17 pm|| |
The flames of the central fire pit flickered as fresh dawn air flowed into the Go-Back lodge in the wake of his exit. Vok had permission to wake Kahvi just as the sun's disc was mid-way over the horizon. The rescue party would follow the new talking bugs and take
back stolen kin from the underdark trolls as soon as her boots were on.
He hurried back inside. His eyes met hers as they opened; her look changing from sleepy to avid anticipation as she recalled their task for today. He frowned at her for a moment, thinking how her eagerness for conflict was somehow unhealthy, but wound up echoing her grin as her green eyes blazed with the force of her determination. He could no more deny her passion than he could his own. To subdue her spirit would be a tragedy, and very likely beyond doing by any means.
He handed over her second boot and next a pouch he had gained on a previous troll encounter. "You could use this instead of that," he said, waving the bag in the direction of the spear leaning against her bed. The yellow coins inside clanked together with the motion.
"You know as do I that trading those Mush-Brains coins for kin would only make them think to hold more of us for profit. I'll not suffer their greed for flesh, but I will give them all the metal they will ever need!" The spear-tip danced forward in emphasis of her last words.
His sigh was long-suffering, all the old arguments included in that one overdone noise. She was a War-Chief to the marrow and he was glad of it as he held the hide up for her to proceed. Who else would he ever follow so willingly into the rock-warrens of the enemy?
May 09 Grab-Bag Elements:
Eyes Meet Eyes
Last edited by Nightsea on Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:17 pm|| |
The day of walking had seen them enter the Troll tunnels on silent and chilly feet. Vytha was still amazed that so many could move along in seeming unison.
The two that moved with her, one twin on either side, seemed to be like extra arms, or even strong, external hearts.
The night of recognition, so sudden and unexpected, seemed now to be something that had always been. Had she been alone? Had there not been two soulmates mirroring her movements, echoing her joy at all times?
The preserver clinging to the point of her left ear hugged it nervously once again. Being in the underdark was not for beings such as these who would rather fly free in sunlight. They had never been tame unless Lady Winnowill had commanded them to focus on some task or other, and leaving them untended or unconfined inside Blue Mountain had been unthinkable.
Kahvi's demand to speak to Vytha once again was relayed down the line until both Yar and Vez reached to guide her forward.
The Go-Back leader's grip was tight on her spear; the worn leather of her glove produced a slight squeak against the grain of wood as she set the non-lethal end upon the tunnel earth on her final stride to meet the trio. Her former position at the head of the line had been delegated to Vok.
Vytha knew that others expected her to have knowledge of this space, or to use her tiny guides, yet all she could recall of the dark environs had been wrapped up in confusion, annoyance and fear as she had related to her former companions. The white wolf self-shaper, the petulant Glider and the unfathomable mass of green-skinned troll had kept her attention far more than the rough-hewn walls and branchings.
Her sendings to that lost group were premature, she could tell they were not yet in range.
The preservers, when asked, could easily point to the entrance they had used, as it apparently lined up somehow with the mystical force of the Palace they all obeyed, but gave conflicting answers when asked to recall where they had last seen Karok and Timmain.
"Big-rock bubble fall, Growler-Mother and Sour-puss Rockshaper say go fetch you, we do!" said the purple one who liked blossom-hats as it pointed toward the left passage.
"NOOOO NOOO," interjected the sky-blue one with more colorful wings, "was that way when the Mud-Grubbers smash hiddey place!" The thin arm and sharp-nailed finger extended down the opposite path.
Rayek, from farther down the line of travelers, finally approached with Ekuar in tow. The elder's slow progress had made Rayek frown as he had fought the desire to join the discussion earlier. He could have lofted himself above all the party and been in front of Kahvi much sooner, but for the sake of his hobbling mentor.
The pause in movement was a welcome respite for the one-legged elf who grinned and caught his breath. He was just about to offer his own directions when a low rumble reached everyone's sensitive ears.
Rock was moving ahead, lots of rock.
Eukar reached his hand to the wall, smiled reasurrance. "It is only a shift. Natural pressures rearranging below the structures we tread. It will hold for us."
"That tears it. If this tunnel is as safe as we'll get, we rest here for a while." Kahvi's command was quickly followed and elves unburdened themselves of packs which held skins, dried meats and water containers. Most simply sank down to sit where they had been standing, but a few organized a watch at either end of the troupe.
Laying against the warm chest of one of her new lifemates, Vytha's eyes closed swiftly. She was warm both front and back and knew not which mate was which but was content that both were there.
The dream she found to feed on belonged to the daughter of the Chief:
On deerback, he waved his spear and tossed his black hair. He had blue eyes like moonlit snow and his fair skin was blurred by the lodgesmoke which surrounded him, made him seem less and less substantial as the images swirled.
The massive stag below him reared, silver-covered horn tips swinging up violently, glinting points like deadly spears.
The pointed cones of spears were the same shape as on the ice dangling from the evergreen tree branches. The ice swayed in the northern winds and the green trees revealed themselves to be green Trolls in ambush. Shaking off the snow disguise they lumbered forward, grasping the daggers of ice and thrusting them into the poor elf who had been so happy and so young.
His chest gushed the bright, terrible crimson color which so contrasted all the deeper blues and darker greens and muted whites of the landscape. The deer bleated his last as he pinned the leg of his rider below him.
The lodgesmoke between Vaya's eyes and the horrible scene reappeared, made her blink, tear up.
The soggy, melting images replaced her horror with a more distant emotion. This had happened before. He had been gone so long.
The smoke billowed, formed into her beloved's face. He smiled in perfect health, restored. His eyes sparkled at her, reflected in them was a high edifice of ice, spires glistening, breaking all the light into an entire spectrum of colors. He was a Go-Back! His birthright had been fairly earned.
The Great Wall of Ice held no beauty or awe compared to this delicate structure full of majesty and magic. It was warm, despite being translucent. The gathered spirits inside the radiant brilliance outnumbered the bodies of the living Go-Backs who had only the lodgefire and each other to fight the cold.
The spectre joined the dancing, singing, tingling mass of love and heat in perfect harmony. He sent to her clearly, "You will reunite with me!"
Then he was absorbed into a sparkling tower.
A shiver of longing was immediately followed by a frightened jolt as Vaya woke with sweat on her brow. The haunting memory of his send echoed in her thoughts as some other part of her registered reality once again.
Then Vytha lost her connecting thread.
Vytha slept on, her exhaustion lessened by the stolen energy from Vaya. The new life inside Vytha made few demands at present, but the residual emotions of Vaya's dream made Vytha squirm a protective hand between the sinewy thigh of the mate below her and her own not-yet-swollen belly.
Stirring while Vytha slept, and reawakened by the draw of the Palace, the kind spirit of Kaslen extended a tiny tendril of power to the pre-born. Wrapping the essence in green-growing knowledge and forest wisdom was the best the benevolent tree-shaper could do without protective arms of her own.
To be continued...
elements for November:
The spirit of a dead person/animal/thing
Last edited by Nightsea on Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:18 pm|| |
Dewshine's face was still streaked with tears as she looked from the
remains of Nightrunner to the descending Tyldak. He landed beside
Winnowill, but seemed unsteady on his legs as they took his weight
from the air.
Again, she was surprised to feel a tugging sensation, as if her body
were a fish on a line tied to him and he was pulling her from the water.
She resisted motion, only turning to face him but not stepping ahead.
Her eyes closed to defend against the dizzy headache that gyrated
Tyldak scowled at everyone assembled, but some part of him was filled
with compassion for the fragile yellow-haired being who grieved and
denied. Why must he recognize someone from outside, filled with the
essence of a beast? Where was his lovemate Vytha now and did she
not deserve more of his care than this ground-bound child before him?
Did this she-jackal not even feel the bonding between them? His eyes
missed the blue of hers, the opening to her sky-light soul. He wished
to fly with her, into her, and carry her into his own dreams of limitless skies.
His breathing grew faster as he trembled with yearning and his wings flexed
at his sides, agitating the air.
Voll had sent to the little group, yet none had responded. Tyldak's arrival
and fanning motions were the only audible answer. Voll's ancient thinking
patterns gave a jolt as he became aware that these were not his subjects
and that they would not instantly obey him. He had not led these elves
for eights of ages; had not earned even their trust. His brows drew
downward and he struggled to come to a decision about what to do next.
Winnowill was not beside him, she was instead reaching out to lay her
feather-white hand on Tyldak.
Cutter's throat felt raw from the howls he had uttered for Nightrunner, and
his voice was gruff. Speaking slowly, he looked at his group even as his
words addressed the Gliders, "We may not belong here, may not know
your world best, but we have come for many reasons and we will not leave
without answers. No talk of more death will serve either of our tribes. I think
instead that we must talk about the life of the future." His words hushed at
the last as he laid eyes on Dewshine and then moved to take in the tall,
winged elf too.
"How can you suggest that there should be new life when you and your
entire band of curs all expire so swiftly?" Winnowill's sharp nails dug into
the brittle-boned forarm she had clasped and Tyldak hissed in pain and
looked abashed. She began at once to engulf him in her healing energy,
negating all the urgency in his desire. She could not change what she
now knew had happened, but perhaps if she delayed it long enough no
one but Tyldak would ever know he would sire with the outsider.
They would be ejected in short time and then he could fly and take
her like a prey-bird takes what it needs; in a rush of violent speed,
swiftly over with the necessary yet unpleasant.
Skywise held his talisman tightly as he stepped forward. "All things die to
make room for the new, even the mighty stars glisten and blink out. Why do
you worry about how long someone lives instead of how well?" He had meant to
sound demanding, to match her apparent anger, but standing next to his
soul-brother so soon after the wolfpack leader's death he had softened his words.
Voll had been thinking too long. As if the words exchanged around him had
been held off, he let the meanings finally seep past his layer of oil-protected
feathers and become cool raindrops that touched the skin. They were talking
about life, new life, and that meant that someone in Blue Mountain had recognized!
And what had the little white-haired one said, that lives should be well-lived
not long? Wasn't there some layer of implication here that he was missing?
Something like a pattern inside the center egg? If his Vytha were here
she would explain...Vytha! His own daughter...where was she?
Voll rose into the air, pushing his gliding skill as he lifted his heavy robes
and long sleeves up as well as his frail body. His arms extended and he
again sent, **There is new life in Blue Mountain. Is it Vytha who has
recognized at last?**
Some of the Wolfriders looked to Dewshine to see if perhaps her soul name
had been the unusual name in the sending.
Winnowill's face froze in horror as Voll reclaimed his memory of their offspring.
Tyldak took her momentary lapse in attention to shake off Winnowill's
clutching hand and he also rose to float before his Lord Voll. "I fear that
I have failed to recognize your lovely Vytha, my Lord, and instead some
impulse controls my attention toward one below. I do not want the contact,
and I daresay that she does not either. If you make them leave, she will die
and so will I as we fight to ignore the command of the High Ones' bloodsong.
If it is your will that we part to maintain the dignity of Blue Mountain I will
seal myself in my own chamber to await the end or again attempt to fly into
Tyldak bowed his head toward his dark-toned chest in an awkward pose
as he maintained his postion in the air. His previous folly at trying to fly
to the golden orb had only resulted in the deep bronzing of his flesh and
an unconscious spiral to the clouds below as he had gone beyond the air
into the void. He had been lucky to wake when the dew hit his face, yet
he would prefer to plunge again rather than wait alone locked in a tiny cell.
"No!" Dewshine had not intended to say anything and her hand flashed to
her lips as if to stuff her sounds back inside.
Scouter was beside her and he removed his hat as he sighed. "I make you
this promise, Dewshine. If you will bear his child I will love it as my own,
because it will be part of you. Do not refuse this recognition, please. I can
not imagine any world would be better or more dignified without honoring life.
It will not matter to me if the cub has wings or your own sunny-gold hair,
I swear I want it to be what it will be and for us to be a family."
"There, you see, Tyldak, the ones below have a grace to rise as high as
your pride. I think perhaps this match is meant to bring new strength
and beauty to us. I was wrong to suggest they leave, instead
they are all most welcome!"
Voll's floating made his huge cape wave subtly like a piece of shadow
in the wind.
"Let us return again to our feast, where lots of food will fill our mouths
instead of harshness, and where passion will dwell again inside our hearts!"
Voll's gestures directed most of the Gliders below toward the dining hall
and only Cutter and Skywise remained beside Nightrunner's body when
the crowd had gone. With heads close together they whispered that
Nightrunner would rejoin the pack pelt and all and they would see him
outside as soon as could be.
Dewshine was silent and held on weakly to Scouter's neck even as they
moved to sit again at Voll's table.
Tyldak hovered off to the side, uncertain what he should say or do now
that he so obviously had a rival for his recognized. It had not occured to
him before, that like himself, she would love another. He had given no
thought to her beyond seeing with his eyes and feeling with his loins.
Looking at her now he could envision not only the aura of her being, but
he could hear a sound, a fluttering, repeating sound...Lree, Lree, Lree!
He knew her deeply, needed her intensely and could suddenly understand
why she was so loved. She was swift and fierce, shy and savage, full
of a wildness that he only mimiced hollowly.
Winnowill had left without being noticed. She was frantic to be with Voll
alone again, to surround him in a delicate egglike shell of forgetting. It would
take half an eight of days to again remove his thoughts of Vytha, and in
the meantime those with whom he spoke might also remember the pale haired
daughter of the Lord and Lady. But only she and Tyldak knew that she was
questing beyond Blue Mountain's slopes, a journey that had put her well out
of sending range now.
In her chamber, Winnowill placed a hand on the small cage she kept covered
on her shelf.
Inside the bat-winged preserver called Sootstreak, the last of its kind
in the Mountain, blinked tiny eyes at the moon-white face of its captor.
"If I freed you, and asked your help, useful one, would you do as your kind
is made to do and serve?" She seemed to talk more to herself than to the
shape-changed little flier. "I think not, after all. There is too much risk
of more awakening, more rebellion, and more of us leaving our safe nest before
the time is right if you were to be seen."
Replacing the cage, she slid a small bite of fruit between the stone bars
before she recovered it in dark cloth.
She waited for the sending or summons that Voll would surely issue. He would
only be distracted by the wolf-tribe for so long before he recalled that he
was missing a devoted daughter. She would rest and prepare to battle
his will again amid all the other webs she wove in the dark corners.
Dec 2010 Grab-bag elements:
Lots of food
Contact (between two people)
An amulet or talisman
Posts : 1251
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|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:23 pm|| |
Timmain sniff-greeted her former pack-leader as he circled her. She turned up her face to lick under his chin, showing her willingness to be vulnerable to him, to stop his growls of challenge. He was lean and grey, with fierce eyes and a disposition that allowed little play. But he was sharp of wit and soon his body language said she was welcome to follow him, even in this tight, low space that appeared to be her new home. It divided her mind to think in pack ways just as she had been recalling the elf side of her nature more clearly, but the needs of the moment were always paramount to survival. There could be no confusion or doubt when it came to fitting in with your pack.
The light from above flickered as the dice-tossing Trolls wagered again. The game was a welcome distraction for the trio of Trolls who took this otherwise dull guard shift.
"You couldn't cheat that well, Picknose. Your luck has to run out sometime, and I'm betting on now!" The weapon the troll was named for had a large chip missing from the hammer head, but it still swung menacingly enough from his belt while he squatted to toss the dice.
Picknose replied; "What luck is it to be stuck here guarding snarling beasts? My only consolation is that it beats mining in the pit."
"Probably due to the charms of Oddbit that you've pulled this easy assignment." grumbled the third as he reached toward his pile of mushrooms to add to the center. When the others weren't looking he had taken a wee bit from their food shares so he felt no loss at wagering with stolen rations. "You've luck in love as well as games."
"Oh? How lucky is it that Guttlecraw, richest King of them all, is probably this very moment giving her a shiny gift?" Picknose's tones of jealousy echoed in the cave as he swept up the winnings. His anger caused him to crush the soft edibles in his massive hands.
"If you won her from Greymung before as you claimed, then I bet she'd abandon the throne again for you. Besides, you'll be as fat as the King if you eat all our mushrooms!" standing, Hammerstrike eyed his weapon, the pile, and both other Trolls. The gleam in his cold eyes hinted that he was considering taking back his loss and then some.
The sound of the wolves crunching on bones just then made Wimple hand over his mushrooms to Hammerstrike with a look of unease. His position nearest the ledge all but made it certain that any scuffle in the small space would tip him in. "I'm not hungry. You can have mine!"
"Northern Trolls." Picknose mumbled between bites. "You've a mean streak wide as a run of ore, but nothing to mine with." Picknose's tap to the side of his head as he winked frightened the simple one so much that he began to leak onto his knocking knees.
June 2015 Grab bag elements:
A Broken Weapon
A New Home
Posts : 1251
Join date : 2012-06-24
|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:55 pm|| |
Another wonderful addition Nightsea!!
You totally nail the trolls line of thinking about things!
Compliments go to Embala for bringing a British cat and an American dog together via Photoshop!
chibi cutter compliments of katcombs!
Cutter egg 2018 from Embala
|Subject: Re: Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll || |
Vytha--what if daughter of Winnowill + Voll
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