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Nightsea

Below is something I wrote for the Shadow Vale Holt fanzine.
The Softfeather Fanfic I began ages ago and never finished:

Softfeather sat patiently in the dusky light filtering into the calm aerie. Most of
the bond birds and tribe were sleeping, and the world was still in the pale dawn. The
shadows were long as his hands curled the leather strips around the thin twigs he was holding.

The trap would need to be strong enough to hold a cave mouse, but not as strong as for
a tree-wee, whose agile hands might untie such knots. Big enough for the bird to turn in,
with bars close together so the head wouldn't be able to escape. Last time he had an
eagle in a cage, the bird had worked its head between the bending twigs far enough
to get caught and choke. He wanted this bird to avoid such a fate. He wouldn't
want to cause it any more injury. Thus he had chosen very hard sticks.

He had noticed the wounded eagle on the hillside not long ago, and knew that if
he could capture it, he could ask the healers for aide, or bind the wing into a sling himself.

Wondering how the eagle had broken its wing, he continued his task silently.

He would soon need it to be finished if he was to place it outside before
the other elves were about. Nightbringer didn't like elves to leave the
mountain, and the last thing he needed was to be on her bad side.

Finishing the little "door" on the cage which he would use to release the
bird, Softfeather smiled thinking that doors came in many forms.
Hopefully, he wouldn't be setting the bird's spirit free, but rather
fixing its body to once again soar high.

Lifting himself and his new made creation off the cavern floor, he moved
softly to the entrance in the wall above. His big feet covered in the softest
white boots, he made little enough noise. The roosting giant hawks in the
cavern continued to doze on their nests in peace as he passed.

Outside, the world seemed colder and fresher as he descended the peek of the
mountain. He crossed a hidden path to ascend the next crest, and began to
whistle snatches of birdsong as he traveled. It felt good to be outdoors.

As he moved, so did the sun over the horizon. Soon it was peeking at him
with golden rays, and his own "song" was joined by a chorus of twittering
bird sounds drifting up from the forest below.
Pausing to listen, he pictured the birds which made the noises, identifying them all.

Continuing, his feet now found it harder to find purchase amid the crags and crannies
of the rock face he ascended. Shifting the cage onto his back and knotting the
strap around his neck, he began to lift himself with his muscular arms as well.

"Eagles always nest so very high!" he thought to himself.

Finally, just below the nest where he had first glimpsed the eagle, he
secured the little cage to a sapling growing up from the cliff. Putting
the dead mouse inside as bait, he carefully loaded the little trap to
fall shut when it was jostled. He hoped the eagle enjoyed the mouse,
as it had been hard to find a dead one in the cave last night. He
wouldn't have brought a live one, and killing one for this was hard
for his soft heart. Luckily he had found this one asleep forever
in its nest after his duties with the birds allowed him time to look.
Seeing the eagle not so far away he hurried to get away from the trap.
He knew eagles were proud hunters and that this one would not feed
while he was nearby. Its wing dangling pitifully, the bird obviously
was going hungry.

"Take the bait, little friend," he whispered as he climbed down.

Happy in his task, he had not noticed the full blossom of daylight.
Now, he crossed onto his own mountain again in haste. If the
birds were up, they might alert their riders of his absence!
And if they knew...so would she.

Forgetting to be cautious, he scrambled up without watching where
he tread. He cried out in pain as he stepped sideways between
boulders and caught his ankle in a crack. Sitting suddenly,
his always expressive eyes shed tears as he held the injured
foot in his hands.

"Oh beaks and claws! I've done it now. Gone out to help
the lame and become lame myself!" Gloomily he removed
his boot to look. Feeling the bruised flesh, he exhaled
in relief when he determined that it was not broken.
It would be sore for a while, but he might be able to
hide that if he walked as little as possible for the
next eight of days.

Just as he was thinking all this, a shadow covered his
sweating brow. He didn't need to look up as the draft
from the giant wings tugged at his black hair. One
of the hawks was out flying and if it held a rider,
he was in trouble. Bracing himself for the send or
shout of reprimand that was sure to come, he winced.

Hearing none, he ventured to shade his eyes and look
skyward. There, outlined now against the sun, was
the form aloft...wings spread full, and praise the High Ones, no rider!

Slipping his swollen foot back into the boot was
painful, but he did it fast.
To Be Continued... (or actually not really)

images of Softfeather:

Heromachine base, in greyscale.

Torso from Bunnystick, I think.

pencil on paper, with computer text (horribly done by me!)
New batch:

tektek dreammaker base

eloui candybar base

Character description physical:
black hair and eyes
well built/developed extra large torso (chest, arms & shoulders are more
muscular than most EQ male elves)
slender waist
tall, like other gliders (yet he cannot fly)

Wears: black velvet pants
white fur boots
feather/silver ornaments (optional)
sash or belt of "Eggkeeper".... this item is a long white velvet cloth
that has two sending stars and an egg in center. It can be worn across
the torso as a sash, used as a belt or dangled from the pants in the front.
He has many of these and some have two eggs and one star instead.

Eggkeeper is a title in this Blue Mnt. alternaverse, meaning he is the
non-gliding elf who looks after the giant birds and their eggs.

He has minor firestarting talent. Personality is calm and easygoing,
gentle and quiet. He stays to himself as much as possible, and loves
animals. He can mimic birdsong and knows birds and their habits well.

Smile
--Nightsea