Here are the elements:
Something mystical/mythical (besides the elves)
A relationship that changes/grows (for the better, I think, is implied)
Writings must be EQ-related in some way and must contain all the elements. Art can contain all the elements, or be an illustration of one of the writings.
I tried to squash this into a limerick again... but it came out sounding like one of Twoedge's insane rhymes. Limericks should be humorous, but I only had room for sorrow. It was really, really hard to squash all the elements into this, so a lot is left up to knowing the events I'm writing about:
Cutter's heart was eclipsed like the sun;
The Palace stole his love, heir, and son!
He counted the years ascend
His candlelight vigil's end,
But his counting has only begun.
That's nice, Sharptalon! Excellent rhyming, and how you manage to fit all the elements into five lines is still beyond me.
One thing, though-- the limerick rhythm seems a little, I don't know-- light-hearted for the subject matter of that poem. A nice quadrain would have suited better, I think.
One thing, though-- the limerick rhythm seems a little, I don't know-- light-hearted for the subject matter of that poem. A nice quadrain would have suited better, I think.
But it's still really well done and sad.
The candles flickered in the warm night breeze, Krim clung to Shenshen's hands, her nails biting into the midwife's soft brown skin.
**Come on, push!** Shenshen sent, oblivious to the pain. She bit her lip as Krim gasped out a cry, arching her back. The child wasn't coming - it was too long, it had been too long...
Oh, High Ones, not again. No one deserves two misborn children...Please...
But her hopes seemed in vain. The child was too weak to survive the birth. She sighed and sat back, pushing her sweat-soaked curls from her face.
And then Krim's eyes flew open, and she stilled. "Cheipar?" She whispered.
Shenshen saw a flicker out of the corner of her eye, and she turned to see a ghostly spirit hand join with her own on Krim's. The child-spirit looked and up smiled a smile painful in it's innocence.
And the child was born.
As Krim held her new son in her arms, smiling proudly up at Pike, Shenshen went outside to let the winds cool the sweat from her body. As she stood, the night seemed to get darker, and the moonlight under the trees disappeared. Curious, Shenshen looked up to see the Daughter Moon slowly shrink to merely a crescent. She smiled up at it. An eclipse. She had seen one only once before in her long, long life. It was a wonder. A wonder had happened tonight, in this small forest home of theirs.
She looked back at the den behind her and saw a small, ghostly, smiling face.
No. Two wonders.
Wow! Just lovely, Jade Owl!
Aaaaaw! That was so sweet Jade! I loved that Cheipar came to be with his momma as his little brother was born!*hugs Cheipar*
Oh that was beautiful! I really like seeing Shenshen by Krim's side. *sighs*
Sweet story, Jade Owl!
That was really lovely! what a touching story!
Wow! Nice use of the elements, Jade Owl. A great story! :D
Once again the shadow was growing on the little moon.
It appeared for the moment that there might even be
three moons, one of blackness growing between two parents.
But Winnowill knew the trick of light, and she
explained it to Aurek patiently.
"Imagine a candle held before you, it casts your
shadow large onto the cave wall." She
began to send her idea about the movement of
the moons that must cause this mystical seeming,
rare event, which she called an eclipse.
Aurek's long golden hair fell around his face in
lovely waves as he nodded. This wasn't the first
time he had seen the moonshadow, but it was the
first time he had tried to understand it.
His father had never been one for explaining,
rather he was always pushing Aurek to other mental
improvements; regaining the old powers of
the High Ones. He had dreamed that the next
generation would not be so crippled in their
use here because they were born on this soil.
The memory of his father laying crushed under
rock from the cave-in made Aurek wince. That
pain would not heal, the gash in his heart
from their fighting before the collapse, the
words he had hurled at his father's feather-clad
back night after night about how magic
was only part of life and not life itself...
Winnowill grasped his shoulder with fingernails
like bird talons, "Do you not wish to learn?"
Aurek sent her a reply filled with chagrin.
"I do. I see how the moons must fit in the
sky." Once again his eyes sought the soft glow
of lights above him, but not before he had
seen how the remaining light played on the
skin of the dark-haired figure standing
in front of him.
Frowning she began to probe toward his thoughts.
*I feel your pain leaking out, your shame at the
way you refused your father's purpose, and the
purpose of all who dwell in Blue Mountain under
Lord Voll. Let me draw out this venom and
unite you with us all,* she sent to him,
without any hestitation that her vision
was more worthwhile than the illusions
"No!" he shouted aloud, stepping back quickly
from the pale-lit mind-shaper. "I will use
the memories to make new use of my gifts,
as have you, Healer."
Winnowill could not deny that Aurek had hit
her with his words like a talon whip hit prey
below the Chosen Eight. She had indeed found
"new uses" for her gifts and some were born
in pain that others could not comprehend.
This night of moondark was another reminder
of just how long she had felt without a use
of her own in Blue Mountain.
No longer smiling, she turned her back on his
piercing eyes and entered the perfectly dark
You decide if anyone learned or grew...with eternally
lived elves, lessons can be forgotten I'm sure.
PS: Enjoyed yours very much, [b:8b78542f7f]Jade Owl[/b:8b78542f7f]!
That's beautiful and dark, Nightsea! Wow... I really liked that bit about Aurek's history.
Ooh. That was haunting. Both the picture and the story.
Nice job, Nightsea!
(PS. My story will be here in another few days or so. . .)
Warning: I haven't written fanfics in some two or three years. I haven't written Elfquest fics in even longer. And I'm really not very happy with this. Still, it can't hurt, can it?
Leetah had been terrified of eclipses. Toorah wondered how she would have reacted to this one, now, when she had lived through so much.
Would the presence of her lifemate and children have made a difference? Would the knowledge of the origin of the elves, or all the events she had experienced, lessened her fear?
Would she have been here to see it?
The candles wavered a little, and Toorah paused her cleaning of the wound on Jarrah’s arm. Jarrah had tripped in the darkness, scraped her arm on a sharp rock and started bleeding. Now they were in the basement of Toorah’s hut, where she had been bringing out all her old healing supplies ever since Leetah left. However...
“I think Mender has enough magic now to heal this,” Toorah remarked as she resumed cleaning the wound.
Jarrah winced; from pain? Or something else? “I would rather not trouble him,” she said.
Toorah shrugged and put away the washcloth, picking up a needle and sticking the point into the candle’s flame. She did not know why, but doing this lessened the chance of infection. Jarrah would only need a few stitches. Jarrah’s arm would not be hanging useless, the way her son’s once had.
[i:92e99fc881]Your son stole away my daughter.[/i:92e99fc881]
She threaded the needle and gave Jarrah a drink to dull the pain. Upstairs, she could hear soft voices. Dewshine, with Windkin, talking to her lifemate.
[i:92e99fc881]Your son stole away my grandchildren.[/i:92e99fc881]
She began sewing, ignoring the soft whimpers Jarrah gave from the pain that could not be dulled.
[i:92e99fc881]My other daughter is still in this time, but stranded because of your son.[/i:92e99fc881]
She finished sewing and tied off the thread. Locating a salve in an earthen bottle, she gave Jarrah instructions on keeping the wound clean, put away her supplies and accompanied Jarrah upstairs. Dewshine was sitting on the floor with Windkin leaning into her, listening to Sun-Toucher explaining what an eclipse was. The Wolfrider maiden looked at them, and wrinkled her nose ”“ scenting them, Toorah knew, probably without realising that she was doing it. She remembered the look of genuine surprise on Cutter’s face when she had asked him about it. Scenting everyone in the room had been pure instinct for him.
She saw Dewshine’s eyes narrow in confusion as Jarrah edged away on her way out of the hut.
[i:92e99fc881]Your son stole my daughter and grandchildren. He reduced my chance of seeing my other daughter again. But...[/i:92e99fc881].
Jarrah had not wanted to go to Mender. She had edged away from Dewshine. And she had always hung back when Dart led his Jackwolf-riders through the village.
[i:92e99fc881]They did not mean to, but the Wolfriders stole your son as well.[/i:92e99fc881]
She put a hand on Jarrah’s shoulder and asked, “May I come with you? I would like to share your memories of our children.”
Note: Something mystical; time-travel counts, right?
Ooh, that was terrific, Ingvild. I hadn't thought of that before-- how uncomfortable Jarrah might be, after her son's crimes. Wow. And Toorah's realization and forgiveness-- so beautiful. You may not have thought much of it, but I loved it! You should write more!
And now here's my offering:
Something was wrong with the sun.
As young Leetah watched, frozen with horror, darkness moved inexorably over the light. An eerie dimness crept across the sky; grayness seeped over huts and fields. Leetah shuddered. Her mouth went dry, her throat constricted. She turned, half stumbling, to run indoors--
And her father was there, as if her living fear had drawn him, without words, to her side. Wordless still, Suntoucher took his daughter in his arms and held her close.
“Leetah,” he said at last, “it is only the greater moon’s shadow passing before the Daystar.” He wrapped a fold of his robe around her. “Do not fear the dark, child. It always passes. This, too, will pass quickly.”
“Huh!” The harsh voice behind them was Rayek’s. He moved forward, shoulders erect, scanning the sky. “Is that all? Then I might as well go on with the hunt.” He spoke scornfully, but Leetah could hear a faint tremor in his voice.
“Do not gaze directly at the darkened Daystar,” Suntoucher warned softly. “By all means, go on with your hunt, Rayek, but do not presume the Daystar’s power is diminished simply because it is darkened.”
The moon’s shadow moved into the center of the sun, and halos of colored light glowed around the black disk. Leetah closed her eyes, not wanting to see more. Her heart was still pounding. She heard Rayek’s footsteps moving away, and wondered how he could even feign confidence.
That evening Leetah sat silently at her window, staring out into the darkness, ignoring Suntoucher and Toorah’s soft voices as they moved about the hut. She had watched the sky return to normal, had healed the eyes of those few villagers who had forgotten Suntoucher’s warnings and gazed too long. The day had resumed its normal flow, and the sun had gone down.
But though all else was now as it should be, her mind and heart were not. Fear’s icy clutch had not loosened, and wild images sped across her thoughts. What if the Daystar should really disappear one day? What if darkness came and would not leave? What if--
A thumbprint of glowing light was gliding down the slope outside her hut. The moons had not yet risen, but Leetah could just make out a tall shadow moving behind the light. Savah. Bearing a candle.
Where was she going?
Leetah turned. “Mother, Father-- I am going for a walk.”
“Very well, kitling.” Toorah smiled. “Do not go too far.”
Leetah followed Savah’s form through the darkness, trying to make no sound. On Savah went, past the last hut, past the cultivated fields, on to where the rocky hills jutted black against the stars. Overhead a needle of rock joined two up-thrusting spars. The Bridge of Destiny.
Savah stopped directly below the Bridge and set down her candle. As Leetah watched, she began to sway and bend from side to side. Her slender, upraised hands seemed to stroke the sky. Savah was dancing.
Leetah drew in her breath at the ancient maiden’s grace and beauty-- and Savah turned, her soft smile gleaming in the candlelight. “Who is there?” the Mother of Memory called.
Hesitantly, Leetah moved a little closer. “Leetah,” she answered.
“Come forward, child.” Savah beckoned in welcome. “I did not seek company tonight, but I am glad of it.”
Emboldened, Leetah moved to Savah’s side. “What are you doing, Mother of Memory?” she asked, looking up into the regal face. “And why did you bring a candle? Can you not make a light around yourself, as you do in your room?”
Savah smiled. “Of course I can. But Yurek loved candlelight. I come here from time to time, to the spot where he met his end, to remember him.”
“You-- you loved him very much.” Leetah found herself filled with sorrow for this great-great-grandsire she had never known. She reached out impulsively and took Savah’s hand. ”˜You miss him.”
“Yes,” the old one said simply. “Sometimes I am certain his spirit has left us-- gone to join our forebears in whatever lost place the dwelling of the High Ones lies-- but something always happens to change my mind. I believe somehow he is here still, deep within the rocks and hills he loved so deeply.”
“Why did he have to die, Savah?” Leetah asked suddenly, her voice breaking. “Why could you not save him?” The fear that had been upon her since the Daystar had disappeared in shadow, now thrust the question from her lips. It sounded almost like an accusation, and a pang struck her as Savah drew back a little in surprise. “F-forgive me, Mother of Memory. I didn’t mean--”
The Mother of Memory laid a finger on Leetah’s lips. “Hush, kitling. I am not offended.” She was silent a moment, thinking. Then she drew Leetah down beside her onto a rock and put an arm around her shoulders. “Sometimes things happen we can neither prevent nor control.”
Leetah gulped. “I know. The Daystar today. . .”
Savah stroked her hair. “That was part of the stars’ dance, little one. As natural as Flood and Flower.”
“Then I don’t like the stars’ dance,” Leetah said. Savah laughed. Aware that she had sounded even younger than her eight-and-four years, Leetah went on somewhat defiantly. “Rayek was frightened, too, for a moment. I could hear it in his voice. But when he came back from hunting, he had forgotten all about it. [i:6caddd69b0]Everyone[/i:6caddd69b0] has forgotten-- except me.”
“Rayek’s fears are different from yours, child,” Savah said soothingly. “Everyone has fears that are his or her own.”
“Do [i:6caddd69b0]you[/i:6caddd69b0] have fears, Savah?” Leetah asked, surprised.
Savah nodded. “Sometimes I fear for my children.”
“But why? We are all safe here.”
“I know.” Sadness had crept for a moment into Savah’s voice. But an instant later it was gone, as she clapped her hands lightly together. “But now is the time to honor Yurek. Will you dance with me?”
“Yes, Savah.” Leetah felt a rush of affection. Somehow Savah had become more than just Mother of Memory to her this night. She had become a friend.
The two elf maidens, old and young, rose as one and took hands. And Leetah did not skip and spin as she would have done on her own-- she bent and swayed in harmony with the graceful one at her side.
Then the ground beneath them quivered. They stopped, startled. Around their feet sand spun up from the earth, eddying around them like one of the tiny whirlwinds that sometimes happened before storms. But the stars still shone brightly, and the rest of the desert lay still and silent, without a breath of wind.
The candle flame dipped and bobbed as grains of sand flowed through it. Leetah felt a touch on her soul-- a warm, laughing mind brushed across her own, amused and delighted with her and with her companion. Then the sand swirled again, and it was gone.
Savah sat down all at once on the rock. Her hands fluttered weakly at her sides. “Yurek!” she whispered. “He [i:6caddd69b0]is[/i:6caddd69b0] here! Oh, beloved, I will never doubt you again.”
Leetah sat down beside the Mother of Memory and put her arms around her.
And as the night drifted on, the moons slowly rose over two elf maidens sitting unmoving in silent embrace, each lost in her own thoughts.
Wordgazer, thank you. Whenever I get too out-of-character, whenever I get too lost in my own AU, you always bring me back to earth and make me remember why I love the characters in the first place.
Aww, that's so sweet of you, Jade Owl. :hug:
ingvild, that was wonderful and sad in a way. A very good idea to give a look into Toorah's mind during the time her daughters and grandchildren were snatched away.
Wordgazer, I enjoyed your story immensely. It really touched me. That image of Savah and Leetah dancing for Yurek is so powerful. Thank you!
Ingvild and Gazer-- those were both so lovely.
I liked the glimpse of life through Toorah's eyes-- and how she was able to find forgiveness for Jarrah.
Wordgazer-- yours was very quietly touching. Just like Savah herself. A wonderful story!
That was lovely, Gazer...simply wonderful... :)
I think [b:ea2c7c1d46]Ingvild[/b:ea2c7c1d46] tapped into something very matronly
when she wrote about blame and forgiveness.
[b:ea2c7c1d46]krwordgazer[/b:ea2c7c1d46], I enjoyed the image of the spinning
sand joining the dance.
I had just posted a memory of Yurek image in the naughty
thread...but think it is PG-13 enough for here as well:
ingvild, that's a very touching and sad story.
Krwordgazer, as always, I love your words, so beautifull, so moving.
Nightsea, that's a very yummy Yurek
Thank you :)
I feel so silly, bumping this thread up to the top after several days just to thank people who said nice things about my little story. But I'm doing it anyway. I'm glad people liked it.
Krwordgazer, your story was one of those where I don't feel so much that I'm reading as watching images play before my eyes. One of those where I'm not so much reading the words as feeling them.
In case you wondered, that's a good thing.
I liked the Yurek image too, Nightsea. Not to mention your painfully sad?haunted?lost? Winnowill earlier.
Man we've got some good stuff this month!
Wordgazer and Nightsea, I loved your works so much! Really delightful. But currently... my fav has to be Ingvild! You rock so hard!!!!*glomps Ingvild* Go you!
I'm working on something too and since school is out (HELL YEAH!!!!!!!) I'll hopefully have it in soon!
Hey, thanks, folks. :)
Thanks for the comments on my art and writings, all!
My Mom is still in hospital but I spent a moment relaxing
by pushing some pixels around to make another image;
this one is for [b:800623aeec]krwordgazer[/b:800623aeec] because she is always
posting such nice things!
(Also I was just in a "Mother and Memory" sort of mood):
Stop and smell the flowers, folks!
That is really beautifull Nightsea!
Thank you, [b:613f4984d4]Arthis[/b:613f4984d4]! I appreciate you posting
nice comments too!
One for you:
[quote:6faaa80be8="Nightsea"]My Mom is still in hospital but I spent a moment relaxing
by pushing some pixels around to make another image;
this one is for krwordgazer because she is always
posting such nice things! [/quote:6faaa80be8]
I hope your mom continues to recover well, Nightsea.
And that's so sweet of you! Such lovely, flowing green! :)
This one's not my official post for this month, but I'm posting it anyway at the encouragement of Jade Owl. :) It's a sillly little writing w/ Strongbow and a Phoenix. I did take some liberties in writing it, and it's definitely not polished.
The official one (to be posted later... probably tomorrow) deals w/ Rainsong and Woodlock, and it takes place in Sorrow's End. :)
The light of the sun faded from view as the greater moon passed in front of it. Fireflies danced, lighting the forest like candles. The stag paused at the sudden darkness, arching it’s neck with an upward glance. Strongbow’s arms were taut and ready to release the bow. A screeching from above startled him, and the arrow flew, missing the intended mark. The stag, sensing it’s danger bolted, and Strongbow let out a grunt. He looked up. Perched in one of the branches above him, Strongbow saw a large, aged bird. It’s feathers, once vibrant greens, golds, reds, and blues, were faded. He remained poised on his wolf, considering whether or not to fell the bird. His eyes widened as the bird let out a haunting song.
Listening, he remembered. Long ago, when just a child, he’d heard that song. His mother told him it was a rare bird, a phoenix. She’d implied that only a few of these birds existed in the world, and she’d told him that he should never hunt them. He’d promised.
Truly, the song is sweet, but is that the only reason not to hunt this bird? It is old. Why should it’s life not be shared? Moonshade needs fresh meat! Dart hasn’t had any luck with his hunting. I can’t return empty-handed.
Considering Moonshade, Strongbow knew what he would do. The flesh of the bird would feed only Moonshade, but he knew he could wait and eat later. The bird is old. It looks healthy, but it cannot live much longer. It is The Way. He argued silently with his mother. Taking an arrow from his quiver, Strongbow aimed at the strange bird. It had moved to the forest floor. As he let the arrow fly, he watched in amazement as the bird burst into flame and turned to ash before the arrow reached it.
Strongbow dismounted from his wolf. The flames had died, and only ash remained on the ground. He moved around the ash to retrieve his arrow. Singed by the mystical fire, it burned his hand. He recoiled from the pain, dropping the arrow. Strongbow did not know what to think””his mother had not told him that a phoenix would burst into flames if it was shot at. Thinking about the faces of the others when he shared the story, Strongbow laughed out loud.
When his laughter ended, a small chirping song startled him to look at where the ash lay in a heap on the ground. His eyes widened as he watched a small chick emerge from the ashes, sputtering and coughing as it tried to sing.
Strongbow knelt, carefully reaching out toward the bird. It looked at him, it’s eyes piercing his own, and Strongbow suddenly understood what his mother had tried to tell him. Compassion and awe filled him, and he knew he would never hunt phoenix again. The bird’s eyes held wisdom and age beyond time; Strongbow wondered how many times the bird had died to live again.
In his stillness and reverie, Strongbow failed to notice that the phoenix had already grown a little. It moved toward him, a tear in it’s eye. The tear dropped onto his burned hand, and Strongbow felt a cool, healing magic flow into him. He watched as the small singe on his hand disappeared. Not knowing why, Strongbow sent to the bird, **Thank you.**
Later, Strongbow would insist that the bird had replied, **You’re welcome,** before it spread gleaming wings and flew away, but in that moment, Strongbow was overwhelmed by something deeper. As he stood and turned back toward the holt, he sensed mother and father there with him; and with them, he knew, Crescent. Awash in their love for him, Strongbow simply stood silent in the forest. Before they left, Crescent silently chided him, pointing out he’d been gone longer than the others expected, and that if he didn’t return soon, Cutter would have a group out looking for him. She then pointed out to her father that the stag had returned.
Strongbow turned, quickly took aim, and the stag fell.
I'm so glad you took my advice! :D It's very well written, though I have to say that a Phoenix may not be the most probable of birds to appear in EQ-verse, unless Winnie got bored....and resurrected Zarhan somehow....and they worked together.... :?
But I do like it a lot! The themes were woven seamlessly! I actually forgot what the requirememnts were, and I was thinking, "She can't have included them...they don't stick out!" And then I went back and looked and you had, all of them, and they were so perfectly fitting in the story that I didn't notice. :clap:
Hmm... maybe Zarhan helped a bird sometime in the long forgotten past, and shared his gift w/ it? And a healer got involved somehow? I like your idea of plausibility (as far-fetched as it is)... because I originally didn't want to post it b/c I know Phoenix aren't really EQverse... But thank you for the encouragement!
I'm really glad you enjoyed it!
What a lovely story, Snow Wren! There's no rule against the stories here being AU, and in another universe I can certainly picture Strongbow having exactly this encounter with a phoenix. It's completely in character.
Beautiful, haunting imagery, and a lovely ending. Well done!