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 December Grab Bag 2015

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TrollHammer

TrollHammer

Posts : 649
Join date : 2012-07-31
Location : O'er Der.....

December Grab Bag 2015 Empty
PostSubject: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptyWed Dec 02, 2015 2:43 am

All stories, poems, lyrics and art, must be ElfQuest related (not necessarily the ElfQuest canon characters, we all know and love; but take place within the "ElfQuest" Universe). Stories/poems/lyrics must contain all elements, while art just needs to contain at least one:

A Gift
Freedom
Waiting
Bonding
First Snow (Can be either first snow of the year, or someone experiencing snow for the first time)
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TrollHammer

TrollHammer

Posts : 649
Join date : 2012-07-31
Location : O'er Der.....

December Grab Bag 2015 Empty
PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptyMon Dec 07, 2015 5:39 am

Bring on the holiday cheer, guys! Where's dem poems?


A Gift
Freedom
Waiting
Bonding
First Snow

you might want to read November’s grab bag entry before this one or it won’t make much sense.


Her toothy grin seemed to surround him. Between the wall and shadowy trees towering around him, the boundary of sunlight at his back, and the seemingly far-too-distant tribesmates behind Braids, Grubfinder felt as though he was caged in; with the bars of her teeth as the doorway. Trolls were not known for having the same fear of enclosed spaces as some Elves seemed to be, but Grubfinder now felt the weight of the world pressing in around him on all sides.

Somehow, he still retained some sort of empirical sense, or perhaps the suddenness of this news left him unable to cope with the events of the day, but Grubfinder found himself asking questions as though this wasn’t any big surprise. “Why would you tell me this? Just trying to shake me up again?” Indeed, after the playful tackle he had received from her, he was wondering if he could ever take her seriously again.

As it was, she had a half crazy, mischievous look. It was as though she was daring him to react, just to see what he would do. “Truth be told, I’ve grown rather fond of you. We’ve got a rather rag-tag band of misfits here, individuals that don’t play well with a normal group, think for themselves, and are rarely afraid of what others will think. Especially your folk. The Elves still do what they have to to survive, and that hasn’t changed the tribe much, but the Trolls were kicked out for not fitting in, and I get the impression you were more of a misfit than the rest. You didn’t do anything wrong, just tried to do your own thing, and suffer because of it.”
“The other Trolls brag about their antics that resulted in their exile, and these generally center around pranks that went a step too far, or actively opposing the others in charge, but you just want to be you, and left alone about it. I understand that, and I respect you for it. Even all this time up here and you never really change who you are, and you could care less how the others feel about it.”

“Did anyone ever tell you how our little tribe came to be? Where we come from?” Braids asked Grubfinder.

The sound of her voice had lulled Grubfinder into a near-placid state. He found he could barely shrug, for fear of breaking the seemingly unsteady stillness around him, so tense with possible outcomes. “Other than the stories you just told me, and the legends of some sort of home your kind might have come from, not really.”

“I don’t know it all. I was young and reckless when I was told, and was more concerned with having adventures than learning about the past, but it seems that, long ago, the original tribe we came from split several times. The last of these splits happened when my father was young, and it wasn’t pretty. The prior split was still fresh in the minds of the Elders: the strife and confusion of breaking ties with others they had lived with for so long weighed heavily on them, and they were opposed to any hint at repeating it. “

“But they also had some goal in mind for the Tribe, a seeking out of our legendary home or something, but without any sort of sense of direction or plan. They just plodded long, risking starvation, contact with Humans, and all sorts of hardship without any sign to the younger cubs that there was an end in sight, or even a clue what they were doing. They said they ‘just felt it’, and that was supposed to be good enough for the rest of us.”

Braids went on. “Some of the younger tribesmates got restless, though. The journey was long and full of danger with no real bennifit to anyone. They tried to shed their unease with the Elder’s decisions by hunting, sparring with each other, and taunting Humans. The youth weren’t afraid of danger, or adventures, but they wanted a purpose that they could feel meant something to them. The games occupied them only for a short while before they felt as though they had to find some other outlet.”

“Long story short, they ended up leaving. No arguing, no big, formal split of the tribe to get lectured about; they just left one morning before the sun rose to shine on the first snow of the season. They left their defiant footsteps in that fluffy white stuff leading away from the path their Elder’s took. They could care less where their path led, as long as they didn’t feel like they were wasting their time on the fever dreams of one who died long ago.”

“And so my mentor’s tribe was born of misfits, defying the others and even the world as they struck out with nothing but what they carried with them. The prospect of a winter without dens or huts, without a clue where their next meal might come from, provided them with the challenge great enough to feel like they had a purpose they could reach out and touch. A goal within their grasp.” Braids didn’t hide her admiration of her father’s peers at the time.

Grubfinder listened, but had some thoughts of his own. “Sounds a lot like you were when you were young. Why did your Elders complain so much about your own spirit of adventure?”

Braids chuckled. “It was a lot of the same reasons they broke away from their tribe, I think. After they broke away, spend a few turns of the seasons raiding Human camps, scrounging for food, and nearly starving through the seasons of white-cold, they finally settled down in a forest that seemed to have plenty of all the things that could sustain them. They never found any grander purpose than a full belly and lost their high-spirited drive that caused them to leave their own elders. In the end, they became just like those they had left, but without and goal to drive them to keep moving. Humans nearby ended up threatening the ease of finding game, the safety of the tribe, and as they grew older, the Elders frowned more and more on the antics of one as free-spirited as I was.”

This made more sense to Grubfinder, who found it interesting how much like his own King the Elves’ elders were. Get comfortable and defend that comfort, resist the rest. The Trolls might seem to have some sort of grander purpose in defined education, to help each Troll become the best they could be, but the hoops they had designed for this ‘apprenticeship’ was simply stumbling blocks to help keep one’s position of power and comfort. For years, Grubfinder thought that if he either buckled down and went through the training, or lucked out and showed his worth, he might get the position he had always wanted, but he just realized that no Troll he knew of ever truly took a step ahead. A fellow cart-driver might get some sort of promotion, which was usually accompanied by praise of ‘hard work’ and ‘time spent training’ and whatnot, but they only gained that promotion when the one above them also got a promotion or died, both of which were rare.

Grubfinder remembered his own ‘promotion’ to cart-driver from grub-finding and realized he had only gotten it because it benefitted someone else: A massive cave-in had crushed a mining crew and cart-drivers, meanwhile reducing the number of mouths to feed. This made him nearly worthless as a food gatherer compared to the need for more cart drivers to replace those that had died. Therefore his ‘promotion’ or ‘award’ of a better job was only because it didn’t displace anyone else above him, and allowed the others to be more comfortable (after all, if Grubfinder didn’t pull the cart for someone else, they’d have to pull it themselves and get less in the bargain.)

All this discussion and thoughts of jaded nostalgic times did well to distract him from the here and now, but as he came around to remembering that the reason he was up here was due to another ‘promotion’, he again realized he was not safely in a tunnel. The terror of the surface that every Troll felt but suppressed set back in and became highlighted for Grubfinder by the fact it was still mid-day, the Suncoil had not been captured, and was indeed close by, in a manner of speaking.

He didn’t realize he was speaking out loud as he sighed, “So what are we gonna do….?”

“Messes with your head, huh?” Braids replied in a mildly derisive tone. “Think how it is for me, having to deal with it on a personal level for this long?”

But Grubfinder made a brushing gesture. “No, I’m still stuck with the thought of how to deal with this. The other Trolls and I thought the stone walls might be a problem, and we’d been trying to come up with other ways to trap the Suncoil, but we hadn’t thought it would be this kind of a problem.”

“Oh, I think the solution is quite obvious, Grubfinder. Doesn’t take much thought at all either, and even less effort. You’ve got a knife, use it!” Braids’ eyes had a half crazed look at them, pleading with him to end her torment, but fearing for her life as well.

Grubfinder stared back, but he was sure he looked quite dumb, like a lazy grass-eater loafing in the sun. “You’re right, that’s an easy solution, but since when has anyone here done anything easy?” The whole situation made him feel the way she looked: far passed the breaking point, nearly breaking into giggles and madness. It would be so easy to let himself slip into the gaping chasm that tried to swallow his mind ever since his audience with the king, and now it strained to swallow him, waiting to chew him with teeth of stone pillars. Internally, he reflected the madness back at itself, mentally kicking at the gnashing maw, kicking those stalactites in and rendering it toothless. “Besides, if that was what you really wanted, you’d have told the rest of the group instead, and you’d have done so long before you met us Trolls.”

“True. If there’s a single one of this lot that would understand that, it’d be you… but you still haven’t come up with any other answers.” She chided. “How are you going to protect all the others from the Suncoil without ending my life? We are one and the same!”

A faraway thought called to him. It was wandering the tunnels of his mind, and would find him eventually, but he needed to pick at the vein of thought a bit more. Make some noise and let the thought come to him. “How much are you and the Suncoil the same? You chase and destroy anything that moves as the Suncoil, but care for your tribe and lead them to attempt to capture you? Are you cruel, or caring? Who are you, Braids?”

The Troll’s pet name for her was rarely uttered around her. They simply didn’t refer to the Elves by name, but would rather remove themselves from conversation to keep from having to say the flighty and complicated names the Elves had for each other or otherwise find ways to get around it. Grubfinder didn’t intend it as an insult, but it did have a punctuating effect on the situation. Braids sat down, trying to take some of the tension out of her thoughts and relax.

She checked to see how far off the approaching edge of the shadow from the wall was before explaining: “It’s hard to explain. To a degree, you could say that when my father tried to heal me, part of my spirit had already left my body, that I was already dead, but stubbornly denying the inevitable. He, too, refused to give up, and accidentally pulled the spirits of the animals into me as he used their strength to heal my body. “

“The animal in me is completely mad, predator and prey fused and circling one another. The whole of the cycle of life is melded into one! The prey draws life from the ground, the predator stalks the prey, the insect stalks the predator to bring it back to the ground when it dies, but within me they are one and the same and trying to flee and consume itself at the same time. In the power of the sunlight, their spirit wins out and defeats me, and while they cause trouble all I am able to do is hang on to my sanity for dear life and wait for the sun to go down, or for them to slip up and enter the darkness. It’s a struggle, though, and many times if a branch’s shadow crosses our path, I can’t regain control of my body fast enough to stop in that shadow before I fall through the other side and Suncoil takes back over.”

“But when the sun sets and I get my body back, the animal in me has no power, and I’m free.” Braids looked out into the sunlight that had so much control over her life. She was calm and peaceful for a moment before the manic terror returned to her eyes. Grubfinder realized he’d seen it before, all the time, but hadn’t understood it until now. She added, “but I’m not free even then. I sat back and watched as Suncoil tore my father to pieces and I did nothing to stop it. That image comes back to me constantly.”

“But it was not YOU doing it, it seems to me. It was those animals.” Grubfinder tried to help pointing out.

“I try telling myself that, but I have to remember that they are a part of me, and they are only here because I’m here. I head out trying to find a creature to hunt that might be the end of me, as I can’t do it myself.” Her voice pleaded with Grubfinder as she spoke.

Grubfinder grinned though, as he realized, “…so if you’re being here is the reason the Suncoil is here tormenting your tribe and my clan… somehow, though I don’t know why the King is so worried about it… but if that’s true, then perhaps there’s an even easier way to deal with this than a knife!”

Fearful hope glimmered in Braids’ eyes, but doubt still clouded her face.

Grubfinder’s rare smile cracked open and showed teeth on either side of his nose as he explained. “You just need to not be here.” He savored the feeling of this turnabout, teasing her for a change, but he didn’t string her along any more. “You need a place to live—away from sunlight—but not alone. Somewhere you can watch your tribe but without the fear of the sun sneaking out and ruining their day… I suggest you live with us, the Trolls, underground.”

Immediate objections tried to articulate themselves at the same time. The animal spirit tried to resist this separation from the light, removal of their source of power. The Elf spirit objected to being separated from her kin. Reason asserted itself, however, and she pointed out the most obvious objection. “You and I both know the King won’t allow it. We tried asking to live below when we found you, and he wouldn’t hear of it.”

“So after all this you’re just going to give up? I’ve gotten tired of just accepting things that happen to me. I got kicked around down below, kicked up here where I’ve had to fight for my life constantly while I build a massive do-nothing for someone else… I’m tired of pouring my life out for a King that would rather I die doing all this.” Grubfinder’s voice was gradually taking a solid, gravely tone that even startled himself.

It startled Braids as well, but some steel appeared in her eyes as she pressed him. “So what are you going to do about it?”

He paused as he mused a bit, smirking. “Well, truth be told, I’m not going to do much. When it comes down to it, this is your problem, so you’re going to fix it. Here’s what I’m thinking….”

***

Grubfinder’s shadows cast two black columns into the darkness as he strode through the door. He couldn’t believe how dark it seemed, black on black in the tunnels. He could hardly make out the form of the door guard, much less the challenging look on her face, and pretended not to notice as he walked in. He guided Braids into the darkness and heard the door guard’s gruff voice chime in, “And just where do you think you’re going?”

Grubfinder finally paused a moment. He didn’t recognize the guard, which wasn’t unexpected as he hadn’t socialized much with anyone when he lived here, much less the guards. He would have remembered the guard who had opened the door on his way to the surface, but that was over eight-eights of the turns of the seasons ago. Guards rotated far more often than that, but to get door duty they were generally the same: wanting to throw their weight around but not really wanting to do much, as the door was rarely visited.

None-the-less, Grubfinder stared her down. “We’re here to see the King. The real question is, are you announcing us, or staying here to keep the draft out?”

“Just as long as you realize you’re going to get it for bringing an Elf down here.” The guard growled at them. “You both obviously have a death wish.”

“We have a wish we want to discuss with him” Grubfinder posited as the only lead the guard would be able to gossip about later, “but we’ll be sure to mention your warm greetings to us surface dwellers, how welcome you’ve made this outcast and Elf Chief. He’ll be glad to hear how good of a job you’re doing.” The odd pair chuckled as they wandered off down the tunnel as though they knew where they were going.

He found he was able to remember that last trek through the kingdom and arrived at the door to the throne room. He was dimly able to make out the wide eyes of the King’s minions watching them pass. Elves were not unknown here, but the Elf Chief was famous for her prior visits of old, and Grubfinder’s exile was sure to have well circulated over the turns of the seasons.

It was hard for him to put on this ‘strong’ approach, but the whole thing relied on getting the upper hand on the King before he could sort out what was actually going on. Grubfinder pushed passed the few others in line and through the door. Bursting into the throne room, he made a show of walking passed the current addressee by knocking him to one side with his shoulder. Braids kept a straight face as she watched the larger Troll fall to the ground like a sack of mash-root, lest she break the spell Grubfinder was attempting to weave by chuckling. If they pulled this off, there would be plenty of time to laugh about it later.

Grubfinder had thought this through for weeks. He had remembered old stories of great warriors, hunters, and other figures in history taught to him when he was young, and he thought about each detail of what made these heroes of old so commanding. It had been hard, as he hadn’t been all that interested in listening when he was little, and it had been so long ago. Nevertheless, he had a rough idea how close he could stand to be imposing enough without causing enough alarm to get skewered by a guard trying to make a name for himself. Braids struck a non-threatening but intimidating posture on his right.

The King was nonplussed, as intended, and took a moment to react. “The mighty Worm Hunter returns with a maggot, eh? And what makes you think you’re welcome to approach the throne?” The King was not a fool. He knew something was up, but he was not about to allow his guards and other audiences any reason to doubt his authority, nor that Grubfinder was outright challenging him just as he had challenged the King before him. Hopefully that was forgotten history. Sneering, he challenged Grubfinder back. “I presume you wouldn’t dare coming here without completing the job I gave you. Have you dealt with the problem up there?”

Grubfinder drew strength from his hatred of this figure before him, and put as much authority in his voice as he could muster. “We have found a solution to the surface problem, and have returned with a gift!” Braids held up a small wooden box ominously, presenting it as one leader might to another.

At a gesture, a guard came over to take the box up to the King. It had a traditional wax seal that was easily understood as ‘for the King’s eyes only’, and as such, the guard did not examine the contents before bowing and setting it on the pedestal next to him. The guard resumed his post, and silence hung heavily in the chamber while all awaited the King to open the ‘gift’.

The King waited to open the box in an attempt to rattle Grubfinder, slow his charge, as it were, but eventually he had no other choice but to make the next move. He showed great disdain while he picked up the box, cracked the seal, and looked inside. He betrayed no reaction while he gestured the guards to leave.

The effect was subtle confusion. There had never been an instance that the guards were ordered to leave while the King was in-audience. In a few moments, though, they shrugged off their stupor and left, taking any others with them, leaving the King lone with Grubfinder and Braids.

The King stepped down to face Grubfinder and Braids directly. There was good reason he had taken the throne, why he was only referred to as The King: he stood nearly as tall as a short human, and was proportionately equal to any warrior Grubfinder knew. Somehow his throne and podium was designed to make him appear only reasonably larger than the average Troll, shrinking him as to keep from terrorizing anyone too much to speak. Grubfinder found himself trying to look imposing to a belt buckle.

“Well, you have my attention. What do you have to say for yourself?” rumbled the King. Physically, Grubfinder was no match for him, and it was ridiculous for an outsider to imagine any scenario where the two were any kind of equals. In a half mocking tone, he asked. “I suppose you’re here to demand my throne as your own?”

“No, my King, nothing so petty or worthless as your preferred place of relaxation.” began Grubfinder. “Rather, I have a nice proposition that will benefit us all. My comrade and I have asserted control over the Suncoil of the surface. As long as we wish, it’s no longer a threat to you or the Elves.” He waited a moment to let this sink in.

“And obviously this ‘service’ comes at a cost. You figure to ransom a kingdom? And you call my Throne ‘petty’?” The King’s voice had an edge of annoyance to it.

“Again, you judge me by your own standards, O King. You and your underlings took everything you value from me and threw me into the worst nightmare you could concoct, then expect me to value what you treasure?” Grubfinder scoffed at the King.

Braids chimed in, just as provocatively as she could any other time, but still respectful. “What we suggest that you consider is a nice alliance where we all make out well. We keep the Suncoil out of your kingdom, and give you the general benefit of our labor, and you leave us alone. No demands, no harassment.”

“And what, pray tell, might be your labor that I might benefit from?” the King responded.

“We will be out exploring the outer reaches of the old tunnels, prospecting. Should we find something that will interest you, we’ll trade them fairly for things we might need.” She explained.

“Though this is an odd request for an Elf, I suppose this might be adequate explaination for one such as you, as a leader of standing, but how does Grubfinder fall into it? He’s about as worthless as it gets, even if he did grow a spine,” jabbed the King.

Grubfinder noted the honorific that the King used his full, current, proper name. The attached insult was more of an observation that he had not been able to climb the levels beyond whatever he was handed. As far as the Trolls were concerned, Grubfinder was a bottom feeder, and pretty much a body to fill whatever position had a hole to fill. The King would not “show throat” as it were, but he was not going to completely insult one who could threaten him so. Grubfinder smirked internally at himself how well he was doing at controlling himself, and how well he was standing up to this giant!

Braids provided more information. “For as ‘worthless’ as you find him, Grubfinder alone found the way to control the Suncoil and save everyone from it. Without him, the Suncoil will continue to plague Troll and Elf alike. Again, I would suggest that the best solution for you may be to allow us free access through the door so I may visit my tribe occasionally, and allow Grubfinder to find his own name among the far off tunnel of the old kingdom. This doesn’t cost you a thing, but you gain the removal of a thorn in your side.”

The King stood there for a moment before returning to his throne. Without any more debate, arguing, testing, or opposition, the King announced, “Very well then. It seems as though you have thought this out, and as you say, I do benefit from this. So long as you repeat none of this outside this room, this bargain is struck. Be quick and be gone. You may return to trade and visit the surface, but otherwise you will never return to live in this Kingdom, or I will consider it a personal challenge to the Throne and react accordingly. Do you understand?”

Grubfinder simply nodded. He was afraid his voice would betray that he had gotten exactly what he wanted from his nemesis, and any potential profit for the King would only benefit himself more. He did not delude himself with imagining that he had fooled the King or otherwise made some grand conquest, but he did get what he wanted, and that was good enough.

***

“But you did fool him, Grub” Braids pointed out as they trekked down a lonely tunnel, half a day’s walk from the last sign of the active Kingdom. “You pulled it off, ‘solving’ the Suncoil threat without him realizing I was the source of it. I figured he would ask how you did it, but he didn’t! He ended up handing you the world as you wished it and you didn’t have to give anything up!”

“Yeah, but he would have demanded it if we had even hinted we knew he had some other purpose in the project above. As it is, the trade was even. He knows that we know the wall above wasn’t intended for the Suncoil. We know he could have cared less about the Suncoil, that his purpose was to build a wall. We still don’t know that purpose. It’s definitely not to benefit your tribe. It’s a stalemate: he didn’t ask about the Suncoil and kicked us out to keep us out of the way, and we still don’t know his ulterior plans, to which, perhaps, the Suncoil’s secret might pose a threat.” Grubfinder found that since his butting-of-heads with the King, he had been able to think quite clearly in the half a day since. The King still had the upper hand, and always would, or Grubfinder would lose his freedom. As it was, Grubfinder exposed his supposed ability to defy the King’s plans, but he could not do a thing about it without formally challenging the King. Whatever the King’s plans were for the surface, it most likely did no one but the King any good.

Grubfinder had at last attained his Prospecting position he so desperately wanted his whole life, but the victory felt hollow, as he now wondered if he had saved those he had come to care about from one fate and pitched them into a worse one.
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Shadowpath

Shadowpath

Sagittarius Tiger
Posts : 1360
Join date : 2015-11-07
Age : 33
Location : That really dull place.

December Grab Bag 2015 Empty
PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptyFri Dec 11, 2015 12:41 am

*Apologizes if I do something wrong*
Beyond and Uli starting to bond with each other after their month or so long Recognition denial.
December Grab Bag 2015 Winter_bonding_by_muse_of_chaos-d9jpktw

*Flees into the night*

Edit: Fixed Uli's glove.


Last edited by Shadowpath on Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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TrollHammer

TrollHammer

Posts : 649
Join date : 2012-07-31
Location : O'er Der.....

December Grab Bag 2015 Empty
PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptyFri Dec 11, 2015 2:01 am

(Phone ate my post, dang it!)

Cool, more artwork! Nope, didnt do anything wrong at all! Images only need to have one element, but your's could be interpreted as having all of them (assuming the white ground is the first snow, the month of postponed Recog is the waiting, the answered Recog could be considered a gift, Recog itself is a bonding, and some have felt that they feel a bit of freedom after answering Recog... so yeah, looks like you nailed it!

Looks good too, and while Im not as familiar with the story as I should be, I hope I interpreted it the right way.

Great entry!
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Tymber

Tymber

Posts : 782
Join date : 2015-05-06
Location : Location, Location!

December Grab Bag 2015 Empty
PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptyFri Dec 11, 2015 4:00 pm

@Shadowpath wrote:
*Apologizes if I do something wrong*
Beyond and Uli starting to bond with each other after their month or so long Recognition denial.
*Flees into the night*

Amazing piece of art! I am not familiar with the story? (Is it one of yours? If so is it posted on this forum somewhere?)

___________________________________________________
December Grab Bag 2015 Ba_tym10
Signature image by Embala. <3
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Tymber

Tymber

Posts : 782
Join date : 2015-05-06
Location : Location, Location!

December Grab Bag 2015 Empty
PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptyFri Dec 11, 2015 4:00 pm

A Gift
Freedom
Waiting
Bonding
First Snow (Can be either first snow of the year, or someone experiencing snow for the first time)

“Is everything all right?” Buren asked. Though he could speak the Elf tongue now, after two years of learning; there was still an accent when he spoke that made it distinctly different sounding, even when the words he spoke were correct.

Stream smiled and stood up from the log she had been sitting on. “More than all right,” she said and walked towards him. She unbuttoned her leather blouse and exposed her chest to him. Buren’s jaw nearly collided with the ground as he dropped the logs he had been carrying in his strong arms. Stream smiled, wrapped her arms around him, and felt the warmth of his body pressed against hers; she could hear and feeling his accelerated heartbeat pounding in his chest, rhythmically bouncing against her breast as she pulled him closer. Their lips met, and slowly they sank to the forest floor.

The small flecks of snow that fell and touched their bodies, sizzled away, as the heat of their passionate escalated.

As Buren and Stream laid next to each other, he placed his hand on her stomach. “Do you ever worry that I will never be able to give you the gift of a child?”

Stream smiled gently at her human lover, “I do not worry,” she replied. “I would give up ever having a child if it meant being in the arms of one I know who loves me so deeply.”

“I do,” Buren returned her smile as he ran his fingers through her hair, “love you so deeply. My father,” he said, thinking back to the vile man who he had not seen now in two years; and never spent a moment missing him, “had always told me, when I was young; to find a woman to bare me many children; because the more children I had, the better chance that one of them will be a boy, and grow up to be a strong enough man to lead the tribe. My father never believed in emotion; only that women should be used to sire children to continue the bloodline. And now,” he looked at Stream, “with you, his bloodline ends with me.”

Stream suddenly looked concerned, “Do you… wish to have a child?”

Buren saw her sudden concern and smiled genuinely, seeing that she cared deep enough to suddenly be concerned. “No,” Buren smiled. “That is, if it can not be with you, then I see no need for children. You are all that I need.”

She smiled and pulled him close, their lips meeting in a loving kiss. For most of her life, Stream was certain that she would never find her Soul Mate. She spent her days, healing those around her, while her own heart ached desperately for love. Never in her wildest imaginations, did she think she would find love and compassion in the heart of a young human.

Her heart felt liberated around him; she found joy and laughter in everything he did. He was never afraid or ashamed that he was not as graceful as his fellow Elf tribe members. He made the most of it, and often showcased his lack of agility and skill.

As Buren got up from the furs and threw on his leathers, Stream could tell; though he had said he did not want children; his heart ached to hear the sound of young cubs. But it was impossible. Perhaps with powerful magic it could be possible – could it not? She placed her hands on her stomach. It had been several years since she lost her magical ability to heal others; sacrificing her power to heal Buren when he was a young boy.

What if… what if it was in her … to make it possible? She closed her eyes and waited…



REGULAR SURVIVING STONE HOWL:
• Shadow (Male Soul Name: Tyru) – Black Hair, Tanned, Green Eyes (Elder brother to Purespring, Chief)
• Foxhair (Female Soul Name: Loun) – Red Hair, Green Eyes (Hunter)
• Snowspring (Female, Soul Name: Tylo – Black Hair, Green Eyes) – Seven years old. Daughter of Shadow and Foxhair.
• Spearclaw (Male, Soul name: Lren) – Brown Hair, Green Eyes (Scout)
• Vineweaver (Male Soul Name: Reyk) – Auburn Hair, Blue Eyes (Tree shaper, Soul Mate of Stillbreeze, Plant Shaper)
• Stillbreeze (Female Soul Name: Hewl) – Brown Hair, Brown Eyes (Soul Mate of Vineweaver, Tanner)
• Echo (Male Soul Name: Ayav) – Brown Hair, Green Eyes (Cub of Stillbreeze & Vineweaver, Magic)- About Sixteen years old.
• Windfetcher (Female Soul Name: Burm) – Auburn Hair, Brown Eyes (Cub of Stillbreeze & Vineweaver, Next Potential Chief… If She Has Her Way!) – About sixteen years old
• Snowcloud (Female, Soul Name: Mill) – White Hair, Green Eyes (based off white lions)
• Stream (Female Soul Name: Vree) – Red Hair, Green Eyes (Healer)
• Buren (Human, Brown hair, hazel eyes) – About 18 years old in human years

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TrollHammer

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PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptyFri Dec 11, 2015 5:25 pm

Hey... you glossed over the good part... uh I mean... pale

Good, fun episode, full of possiblities! Awaiting the next episode eagerly. In my theory of EQ magical powers, and in particular: healing, the talent would manifest from within. One can feel themselves more easily than they can feel others, and grow and develop by practicing on themselves more easily than others. If Stream is going to learn/regain her powers, she'll first notice it where it would be the least effort: within herself. This is all personal thought/opinion, but what I'm saying is that this lead up feels right. She might be shaping-blind to others due to the burn out, but can still feel her own body without power to sense. Shoot, she doesn't even need to have her shaping ability completely burned out to not be able to use it, just losing the ability to sense another person's body (rendering her 'blind') would prevent her from being able to heal someone else, and perhaps not occur to her that she could still attempt to heal herself without an ability to sense (since the sense of feeling should still be perfectly fine). Sorry, rambling and over-analyzing things. Enjoyed it though!

Couple small things:

"...as the heat of their passionate escalated..." I'm assuming you meant "passion", or there was another thought in there that didn't show up (as often happens for me. Very frustrating to lose track of a thought while waiting for it to appear on the screen, then have to change or delete the line because I can't get the right 'flavor' of words as I intended)

"“love you so deeply. My father,” " threw me a couple of times until I forced myself to read farther and realize the period was there. I read it as “I love you so deeply, my father.” then got mixed up again and read it as “love you so deeply. My father (had always told me)” then finally read the whole thing and made sense of it. It's all proper, sentence structure is correct, and all that, but I seemed to be crossing my eyes or something and getting it wrong.
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Tymber

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PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptyFri Dec 11, 2015 5:39 pm

@TrollHammer wrote:

Hey... you glossed over the good part... uh I mean... pale
Good, fun episode, full of possiblities!  Awaiting the next episode eagerly.  In my theory of EQ magical powers, and in particular: healing, the talent would manifest from within.  One can feel themselves more easily than they can feel others, and grow and develop by practicing on themselves more easily than others.  If Stream is going to learn/regain her powers, she'll first notice it where it would be the least effort: within herself.  This is all personal thought/opinion, but what I'm saying is that this lead up feels right.  She might be shaping-blind to others due to the burn out, but can still feel her own body without power to sense.  Shoot, she doesn't even need to have her shaping ability completely burned out to not be able to use it, just losing the ability to sense another person's body (rendering her 'blind') would prevent her from being able to heal someone else, and perhaps not occur to her that she could still attempt to heal herself without an ability to sense (since the sense of feeling should still be perfectly fine).  Sorry, rambling and over-analyzing things.  Enjoyed it though!

Very good point! (I have no idea where I am going with this... if the idea of her healing coming back or a child being possible... Just started writing ... and that's where it ended up). I always try to include the previous month's (ending portion of the) story in the beginning portion of the next month's so that it feels like it just flows as one ongoing story (and it was amazing how much of last month's story actually met the qualifications of this month's story, which is probably why it's as short as it is!) But I like your idea; that she would know within herself (and possibly have her own ability to heal herself, just not others)! Let's see if that seed planted in my head by you carries into the story for Jan 2016!

@TrollHammer wrote:

Couple small things:
"...as the heat of their passionate escalated..."  I'm assuming you meant "passion", or there was another thought in there that didn't show up (as often happens for me. Very frustrating to lose track of a thought while waiting for it to appear on the screen, then have to change or delete the line because I can't get the right 'flavor' of words as I intended)

Hah! You are correct! I think it's incorrect in last month's too (this is what happens while you're writing a story at work!)

@TrollHammer wrote:

"“love you so deeply. My father,” " threw me a couple of times until I forced myself to read farther and realize the period was there.  I read it as “I love you so deeply, my father.” then got mixed up again and read it as “love you so deeply. My father (had always told me)” then finally read the whole thing and made sense of it.  It's all proper, sentence structure is correct, and all that, but I seemed to be crossing my eyes or something and getting it wrong.

Hah! Yes, I can definitely see that - it should be changed to add more text (as you had pointed out) so that it's not as jarring.

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Startear

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PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptyFri Dec 11, 2015 7:52 pm

Huh, I didn't know artwork only had to incorporate one element? Unless it decips a scene in someone elses fanfic?

Anyways, I intend to get something for this month.

Trollhammer, I haven't read the previous installment, so I have to get back to you later.

Shadow, I love your entry! I like the tender expression those two have on their faces. Honestly, I don't think I've seen you draw Uli as vulnerable as she looks here... drained even! I like the contrast in Beyond's clothes, I don't think I've seen him in such light colors before, it certainty suits him. I like the fur, it's tricky to give sense of where legs go, but you did it well!

Only thing sligtly bothering me is uli's thumb, or rather the line. Now the sowing line, but the other one. It kind of makes it look like it was pasted on. It might be fixable by giving it crosses, or erase the line so it doesn't cut the thumb?

Still, it is a great image, with lots of elements that you really nailed, like that winter-sky! Bluish dusk with gray clouds is not easy. I love it!

Tymber, I really like yours! Nice to see more cross-species couples. Granted, I don't remember much of Stonehowl, I stopped reading when you went off the grab-bags at the scroll, and haven't gone through these threads much, (shame on me) so I was surprised to see them back in action! though it was a very fun group. That does mean that I don't think I ever met these two. Liked the scene, and Stream is very perceptive, to see that Buren does wish for children, even if he isn't ready to fully admit it.

Slight critisism, this sentence: "Buren saw her sudden concern and smiled genuinely, seeing that she cared deep enough to suddenly be concerned." Bothered me a little. I think it is because the sentence repeats two words, sudden/suddenly and concerned two times, maybe three if you include the previous sentence.

Not too sure how to properly fix it though, if that's what you want. Like, in this sentence: "Stream suddenly looked concerned," you could maybe change the concerned part to alarmed, and maybe even drop some sudden/suddenly's, but that could alter the pacing, so. :-/ I do notice that you use a lot of tell, and it does work for your stories (show don't tell rule isn't as strict binary as many wants to make it) so describing might not work either?

Hope it was helpful, and either way this was a great read. Smile

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Tymber

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PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptyFri Dec 11, 2015 8:32 pm

@Startear wrote:

Tymber, I really like yours! Nice to see more cross-species couples. Granted, I don't remember much of Stonehowl, I stopped reading when you went off the grab-bags at the scroll, and haven't gone through these threads much, (shame on me) so I was surprised to see them back in action! though it was a very fun group. That does mean that I don't think I ever met these two.

The fact that - 1. You read the previous stories is flattering! And 2. That you can remember anything from my rambling is even MORE flattering! You are quite correct - Buren is a very new addition to the story. Stream was in the stories but a background character throughout most of the stories.

@Startear wrote:

Liked the scene, and Stream is very perceptive, to see that Buren does wish for children, even if he isn't ready to fully admit it.

I think deep down we all wish to have offspring. Even when we say and think we don't. Smile

@Startear wrote:

Slight critisism, this sentence: "Buren saw her sudden concern and smiled genuinely, seeing that she cared deep enough to suddenly be concerned." Bothered me a little. I think it is because the sentence repeats two words, sudden/suddenly and concerned two times, maybe three if you include the previous sentence.

Not too sure how to properly fix it though, if that's what you want. Like, in this sentence: "Stream suddenly looked concerned," you could maybe change the concerned part to alarmed, and maybe even drop some sudden/suddenly's, but that could alter the pacing, so. :-/ I do notice that you use a lot of tell, and it does work for your stories (show don't tell rule isn't as strict binary as many wants to make it) so describing might not work either?

Hope it was helpful, and either way this was a great read. Smile

Yes, that's VERY helpful! And you're completely right about the sudden/suddenly twice in there - if I was more focused (I typically write these while I am at work, between calls) - so more often than not, I will begin writing something, get interrupted by a call, and continue with my train of thought, which may not be completely correct. So the situation like you (and Trollhammer) both pointed out happens! I always just post whatever I write without doing a very thorough edit (which I need to focus on more!)

As for the stories, they're all here:
http://tawmis.com/stonehowl/stories.html

But you can spare yourself the read the synopsis of each one here in nice bullet points:
http://www.tawmis.com/stonehowl/stonehowlrecap.html

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Shadowpath

Shadowpath

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PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptySat Dec 12, 2015 4:38 am

@TrollHammer wrote:
(Phone ate my post, dang it!)

Cool, more artwork!  Nope, didnt do anything wrong at all!  Images only need to have one element, but your's could be interpreted as having all of them (assuming the white ground is the first snow, the month of postponed Recog is the waiting, the answered Recog could be considered a gift, Recog itself is a bonding, and some have felt that they feel a bit of freedom after answering Recog... so yeah, looks like you nailed it!
Goodness, that didn't even occur to me. XD
I very it it's been well received.
@Tymber wrote:

Amazing piece of art! I am not familiar with the story? (Is it one of yours? If so is it posted on this forum somewhere?)
cheers
Not yet, but I am trying to write something at the moment (the gab-bag got me started). I think my writing is rather weird, but I'll post to my thread I get something done. =)
@Startear wrote:

Shadow, I love your entry! I like the tender expression those two have on their faces. Honestly, I don't think I've seen you draw Uli as vulnerable as she looks here... drained even! I like the contrast in Beyond's clothes, I don't think I've seen him in such light colors before, it certainty suits him. I like the fur, it's tricky to give sense of where legs go, but you did it well!

Only thing sligtly bothering me is uli's thumb, or rather the line. Now the sowing line, but the other one. It kind of makes it look like it was pasted on. It might be fixable by giving it crosses, or erase the line so it doesn't cut the thumb?
*Snaps fingers*
Nice catch! I knew I was missing something. That part was giving me problems and in the end I just forgot it! Fixed it in the post.

The blue most likely suits Beyond because it's the inverse colour of the orange in his hair.

I'm really happy you guys like it! =D

I think I'm gonna look up your other stories Tymber!=D
Same to you Trollhammer! (Might take some time!) =D
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PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptySat Dec 12, 2015 4:54 am

@Shadowpath wrote:

@Tymber wrote:

Amazing piece of art! I am not familiar with the story? (Is it one of yours? If so is it posted on this forum somewhere?)
cheers
Not yet, but I am trying to write something at the moment (the gab-bag got me started). I think my writing is rather weird, but I'll post to my thread I get something done. =)
I'm really happy you guys like it! =D

I am really glad you shared it! I love seeing people's artistic side - whether it be writing, art, painting, dancing - this world needs more creativity in it and less negativity.

As for your story being weird - rest assured, it's probably no stranger than some of the stories that have appeared here - definitely my own included. We're a weird bunch - but that's what makes us whole - being able to share that strange fascination about ElfQuest through our various mediums!

@Shadowpath wrote:

I think I'm gonna look up your other stories Tymber!=D
Same to you Trollhammer! (Might take some time!) =D

I'd be honored! I have them all on my site (but as I have mentioned somewhere in this thread, I believe) - I also have a synopsis of all the grab bag stories for my "story arc" - so that may spare you some sanity unless you really want to plunge into reading them!

And I'd strongly recommend reading Trollhammer's stuff - he writes longer stories, but they're very well written and very, very detailed.

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Redhead Ember

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PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptyMon Dec 14, 2015 10:48 am

Aroree’s Tale

You took to the skies
astride your bond-bird.
A taste of freedom,
from stagnant mountain.

Then came the day when all things faded;
first snow you saw,
coloured red with blood.
Your home was gone,
your tribemates dead.
All alone,
you’d lost your way.

For years you waited for lovemate’s return,
slowly you found a new gift of belonging.

(Not so cryptic this time. Aroree Sad )

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Tymber

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PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptyWed Dec 16, 2015 4:22 am

@TrollHammer wrote:
Bring on the holiday cheer, guys!  Where's dem poems?
Grubfinder had at last attained his Prospecting position he so desperately wanted his whole life, but the victory felt hollow, as he now wondered if he had saved those he had come to care about from one fate and pitched them into a worse one.

This rocked from start to finish! I liked this chapter more than the previous! I think because it had more dialogue and I am a fan of dialogue; because it not only develops a character, but the interactions I think really create a visual. I feel like I got to know Braids much more in this chapter (both in her madness as to her "curse", as well as the development of how her tribe had come to be!) And I think Grub got to shine as well, during the dialogue with the king.

This "wraps up" this segment very nicely (but leaves it wide open, as your final sentences indicate!) wide open for so much more.

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TrollHammer

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PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptyWed Dec 16, 2015 7:59 am

@Redhead Ember wrote:
(Not so cryptic this time.  Aroree Sad )

Huh? I dont get it...? Lol

The piece fits her so well, her usual (well, earlier on at least) mournful gaze longing for belonging, torn between an alien but welcoming and forgiving place in one tribe and the place that had been made for her in another tribe by design that never fit her right. Pulled by both yet scared to choose either.

Then her choice made for her, and perhaps she was the first in WoTM that might have truly understood the phrase "you can't go home again". But this proved later to be a freedom she would need to accept a new home.

Thanks for the poem, Red!


Thanks for the kind words, Tymber. Last month was rushed, and I wish I could go back and add more dialogue. There were chances for other characters to grow and a better explaination possible, perhaps. It might have been better broke up, and I wanted to break it so many times, but as with Hail, Snubnose and Wartfoot, if I broke it up it would have been even longer and never gotten "done",perhaps. Needed to push through before I over thought it and spoiled it.
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Redhead Ember

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PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptyWed Dec 16, 2015 9:54 am

I had a period where I'd write really cryptic poems and then it would be up to the reader to interpret who/what it was about.
This time... well... it says it right there in the title who it's about.
As for the Aroree-emoticon being said, well... the Aroree-emoticon just is sad.

Aroree Sad

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PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptyWed Dec 16, 2015 12:37 pm

@TrollHammer wrote:

Thanks for the kind words, Tymber.  Last month was rushed, and I wish I could go back and add more dialogue. There were chances for other characters to grow and a better explaination possible, perhaps.  It might have been better broke up, and I wanted to break it so many times, but as with Hail, Snubnose and Wartfoot, if I broke it up it would have been even longer and never gotten "done",perhaps.  Needed to push through before I over thought it and spoiled it.

Oh! Let me be clear! There was NOTHING wrong with last month's at all! It was VERY well written. I am just a dialogue junkie. Plain and simple. (For example, if you ever watch the web series I did called Neverending Nights - there is VERY little action! 98% of the series is simply dialogue and banter, because that's just what I love!) Smile So don't think anything was even remotely wrong with last month's piece, good sir!

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PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptyThu Dec 17, 2015 12:23 pm

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Startear

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PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptySat Jan 16, 2016 7:54 pm

Hehe! Nice one Elwing!

December Grab Bag 2015 Cone%20mourns%20starfire_zpsw85bf6ap

And slight teaser from a fanfic I'm trying to get done to acompany this image;

The first snow of the white-cold had laid a thin white blanket over the holt, when the news were broken to the tribe. Starfire, daughter of the chieftess was dead. The news had spread, laying a clammy hand on their bellies.

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PostSubject: Re: December Grab Bag 2015   December Grab Bag 2015 EmptyWed Apr 08, 2020 9:39 pm

Awww... Elwing's contribution is gone. Sad


Rediscovered something - it was supposed to be here:

She took the freedom to choose
a lifemate at very young age.
The bonding felt right
waiting for Recognition to strike.

She took the freedom to share
making her soul a gift to him.  
Reaching out for the beloved one
thus the bond will never end.

They took the freedom to ask
for a gift from the healer.
Their love and grit rewarded
by a cub with hair of first snow.

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