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December 2007 Grab-Bag Writings & Art


Here are the elements for December!

Seeing a spirit or ghost
A warm moment within a family
Lots and lots of snow
A chief's failure
Something transparent, gauzy, translucent, or see-through
A child's toy or something a child plays with

All works must be related to Elfquest, whether canon-based, original character, alternate universe, or whatever. Writings must contain all six elements. Art can either contain all six elements, or illustrate one of the writings.


I pictured Trollforge with a "santa beard".



Timmain said, "Only Timmorn's descendants go where they
will after death. The rest of us are bound, soul and flesh,
to the time and world in which the palace exists."

One-Eye heard his lifemate howl for him, brushed by
her and his sharp-eyed cub. The moment swirled into
an eternal caress, replayed within him and echoed into
the reawakened crystals of the palace. He was dimly
aware that he did not need to worry about them or his
body anymore, but he enjoyed thinking of his lifemate
and offspring and feeling them close.

Many of the spirits within the palace
had the choice to be whatever or wherever
they would like. The peace and flowing energy
here was like being part of a harmonizing
song, singing one note until it built into
a great thrumming peak, then another until it
also changed. There were hints of the melody
being led, some could cause the beats
to march faster or to elongate, but the song
continued even without direction. In an
endless, effortless howl to the Two Moons,
One-Eye belonged to the pack.

A tiny snowflake landed. One lone little crystal
from the sky against this ancient crystal vessel.
Rushing to it, One-Eye whispered to keep
it from melting away. He loved the snow!

The color of his beloved's hair, the way her eyes
would sparkle with moisture in the moonsglow,
the fairness of her skin amid the furs, these
things were blended with snow somehow. Every
white-cold season was a chance to hold her
tight, to enjoy the long days in the den,
secluded with his family's love.

He did not need to hold her now. He knew
in a way he could not have explained in words
that she was never apart from his soul. They
had exchanged their secret names, become one.
Time, distance, life, death, these concepts
were irrelevant to the way they touched.

One-Eye felt the tiny bit of lace-like ice
shiver against his skin, the palace's wall.
He kept the six delicate spokes in place,
admired each branch, each intersection of
angles. He had often overlooked just such
bits of beauty when he was hunting and sleeping
and living. Eternity was not time enough to
experience all this wonder.

His focus called others to him, each singing
a tune of their own, each creating only one
joined sound. They weren't substance, but
shimmers in the air, waves and motions, essences
and memories.

Two-spear drifted closest. **I remember snow**.

This Chief had been only a mystery to One-Eye before,
but now he was transparent in many ways. His past
deeds, the cares he had carried, burdens of failure
and snow-blazing rage, these things had leaked away
and been absorbed by the atmosphere of acceptance
that animated the palace. There was no need to
recount past traumas, place blame or hold accountable
one who had done his best for his tribe in a time
of deep white-cold. The spirits vibrated together
as soul-brothers, equals with the shared understanding
of snow in all it's glory and potential for pain.

The powerful sweep of Adya chimmed in
**Snow has many faces on many worlds. I have held globes,
children's toys, that fascinated with little storms**

With the thought, her sending formed a bubble out of
the glassy shell of the palace, filled the interior
of the circle with Clearbrook's image and bits of
white flakes which drifted as the three spirits
laughed like the twinkling of sparkling powder in light.




:insert much needed bow emote here:

You mean... like this? :bow:



draw (then color it, then animate it!)

I'll let you in on a little secret, Tymber...
I don't draw! All my images here are done straight
into computer with Paint Shop Pro 7 which I start off
in color. Usually I use the airbrush tool to help me
get the shapes...then I refine it with details later.
It is backwards of how most people work I know...
but the only way I can use my "artistic eye" to get
closer to the right image. Sort of how a sculpture happens
when the creator takes away what shouldn't be there to
reveal what should. I erase alot!

It isn't as hard to animate an image as you might
think. There are plenty of methods and software to
help out there.

At any rate I greatly appreciate your comments on my
work. I don't have all the art tools and skills that many others
possess. For example I use a regular old mouse,
no fancy pen tools here! But I enjoy the challenge and
I hope that others would be inspired to give it a try too.

It is fun to share! (As your "Santa Troll"would agree),


Okay then! Here's my try!

Chief’s cub.

The snow storm had taken her by surprise. If only she’d listened to her mother’s advice about not straying too far from howling rock none of this would’ve happened. Now she huddled together with her wolf friend in her relatively safe hiding place, toying absent minded with the feather necklace her cousin had given to her.

*Crocus! Crocus! Where are you?* the chieftess of the Wild Hunt was worried. The snow fall had caught them unaware and she knew that her daughter was out there.
“No words of her?” she hadn’t heard the tanner.
“No Tyleet! No word! She’s out a sending range!”
“You know Ember, Crocus is not stupid. She’ll be able to find shelter!”
“I know”¦ still I can’t keep worrying”¦ is that wrong?”
“No! Of course it’s not! She’s your daughter! Parent’s worry about their children!”
Well, if Krim of all people could say that”¦
*Let me tell you something! I know exactly how you feel! I’ve lost a cub once. Cheipar. He died a winter while we waited for the Palace to return!*
*I’m sorry!*

When was the storm going to stop? Only the High ones knew how long she’d been hiding.
*MOTHER! FATHER!* no answer! All was silent!

*Oh Teir”¦ this is my fault I shouldn’t have let her go out alone when Scouter saw the clouds! What if she’s dead?*
*She’s not Soulmate! Besides, if our cub is just a little like her mother she would’ve gone anyway!* her Lifemate’s remark tricked a smile upon the chieftess’ face. Of course he was right.
*When the storm’s over we’ll go looking for her!*

Was what that sound? Of course, it was silence; the storm had been howling so long she’d forgotten the sound of silence. Slowly she went out and saw a marvellous sight; they entire plain was covered in snow. But where was the Howling Rock? She’d been forced to walk for a while in the snow and now she had to accept that she was utterly lost.

“Ember”¦ where are we going to look? She could be anywhere! And the snow will have covered every track!”
“We go to the lake! She always enjoys being there!”

Suddenly the ground just disappeared beneath her feet and she was sucked down into a cold and wet place, for a few seconds she fought the freezing cold before her body gave in.
*Wake up child! Who are you?*
Where was she? The snow was gone.
*Crocus”¦ I’m the daughter of Ember and Teir! Who’re you?*
*My name’s Joyleaf!*

“She’s not here!”
Her sweet little cub. Where could she be? Loosing hope Ember sat down and looked over the frozen lake. Strangely beautiful in its stiff transparent way.
“What Scouter? What do you see?”
“There! Under the ice!”
For a moment she was unable to see anything but then she saw it. It was an old sling shot like the ones she’d played with as a cub. Then she recognized it.
Oh dear cub. Don’t die for my mistake. I saw you go hunting, the complete opposite direction from Howling Rock than this lake.
Finally they found her, stuck under the ice of the creek. Without hesitation Teir jumped into the freezing water and hauled their precious cub to the shore.
“Quick Mender! Heal her!”
*I can’t Ember! She’s not wounded! Just cold!* the sending was open.
“Let’s get her back to the rock!”

She was drifting. Slowly her senses came back and she realized she was lying in one of the small caves of Howling rock, buried it what seemed to be every single fur found there.
“I’m here cub!”
“Where’s father?”
“Right here!”
Her parents sad down beside her and she snuggled into their arms.




It would be interesting to me to hear what Crocus looks like.
As the daughter of Tier and Ember, I wonder if she'd have
red or black hair? I'm not aware of her as a canon character...
is she or is she yours, Redhead Ember? Either way,
a description of her would be nice.



She's mine!

Red hair, green eyes, slightly tanned!


....I'm SO doing this challenge! Sorry I was gone for so long, (things a we bit hectic lately..) BUT! I'm -so- doing this one, and I already know who my victe-er-star is going to be....*Grins* Abyssfern! Death Bunny has agreed to let me use Abyssfern and his boys in the newest installment of my little group. (Yes Abyssies finally gets his own story, where Doeskin takes second place.)


Rabbit stew, fire roasted Rabbit legs,a new pelt sewn together for booties, and lastly, the bones for jewelry and tools. These thoughts usually were enough to keep the night-time hunter warm, but not in this snow! It was everywhere and made tracking the by now, snow white animals even harder. Just why was this archer out in the snow, dressed in furs and leathers, followed by his 'pack' of animals? To hunt the infernal long eared creatures. Doeskin had seemed to take a need for their meat, and he wanted the soft furred pelts they would make. There was hardly anything Abyss would deny of those large needy Grey eyes from his smaller friend.

One of the wolves at his side growled. Above head his eagle screeched and circled before disappearing from sight again, for seemingly the millionth time to chase after small rodents who scampered through the snow. His attention was brought to Frostclaw's growling which had grown
louder, and more aggressive then what would be a rabbit or field mouse.Tilting his head, Abyssfern watched as the old timber wolf's fur bristled on end. The animal bonder looked ahead to see a tall figure standing in the shadow of the trees. Something that held a familiar feeling to it, and the way it looked was an almost comforting thing to him.

He walked closer, signaling his wolves and bear-cub to stay put. The figure was at first blurry, but the closer Abyss came to it, the more he could make out. It was tall, taller then he himself. It was male, and definatly not human, but not as small as the other elves in the village. This man was lanky and seemed to reek with self confidence. Abyssfern knew this male, he knew he was a Glider who had come to the island with his bond bird long ago, and that he was Abyssfern's father. His dead father.

Abyssfern stood there staring at the image of his father, it was just clear enough for him to know the man, but the falling snow made it hard to see the details about him. He looked around trying to see if this blasted snow had frozen his body and he was somewhere dead. Looking to his father he gave a soft grin deciding ti was illusion from the snow. After all why would his father suddenly pop up when he was out hunting for Doeskin?

"Say something boy, or I'd think -you- were the ghost." Illusions didn't talk to you. At least not the illusions created during festivals or by magic didn't. He stared now, the thing had spoken to him, and in his own father's voice. He was young when his father and mother died. They had died fighting with the troll king in a valiant fight. Though they fell, the troll king was defeated, and the trolls had been driven away from the village. He had always felt proud of his parents, of his brave father who defeated the king of the trolls himself!

"Father?" The tall glider nodded and gave him a grin. "Yeah its me. Your shorter then I'd think you would be by now." This comment earned him a glare from his son. Though short, he was taller then most others in the village. The figure nodded to the rabbits he had at his side, already he had two, but he would need another before returning. "So she wants rabbit meat? What will she want next, fish from the frozen river? Shes always had a difficult to please taste hasn't she?" Abyssfern frowned, Doeskin has always had to be difficult. Often as a child, she would beg her father for berries during the winter, and fall-time nuts in the spring! "How did you know I was hunting for her father?"

His father just winked and walked over to him, or at least seemed to, he didn't leave any footprints. "You and her have always been by each other's side, without that other boy the only other one she would come to depend upon would of been either you or...the Chief's son." Abyssfern growled lowly. "Rainfall's mother, and her father are siblings. Their relation is far too close." His father's spirit leaned down pressing his face close to the hunter's.

"And? Her mother and your mother were half sisters. Thats just as close as a relation. Yet here -you- are out hunting for her." Abyssfern growled slightly. He hated when people used logic against him! The triumphant smirk on his father's face was something he and never missed. Turning away some he started to walk off to continue the hunt, his own wolves had long since wondered away in search of rabbits. His father followed him, no longer walked but now -floating- as eh had in life. As if he -needed- the extra height it gave him over his son. The grin fell from his face as he watched his son stomping away. The snow had by now stopped falling, but what was on the ground came up to the boy's knees, almost to the top of his boots. "The baby isn't your's...is it Abyss?" This question earned him a death glare from the dark haired elf.

Abyssfern looked as shocked as he did angry. Taking a deep breath, he slowly released it letting the steam puff out before floating away. Taking in another deep breath, he then shouted in the spirit's face "HOW DO YOU KNOW THESE THINGS?!" The ghost just grinned and floated away in the cold drifts of wind. "I've been watching you boy. Ever since I slipped on the rocks." Abyss now looked confused. "Slipped?" His father nodded. "I know theres a way to come back, so I can die as a warrior should. Not like some clumsy....land bound thing." Abyss stared at his father. "You....But..But the troll killed you!"

The spirit began to respond, but a strange growl made them both turn to a new figure. It was stocky, big, and had a warty face. The troll stared at the two of them, growling and practically snarling. "And that, my boy would be the Troll King." The troll growled lowly, but something in the light caught his eye. The weather had frozen some snow over a vein of silver. This silver laid in the rocks at the edge of the cliff, it over looked a rocky outcropping in the ocean. In truth they weren't so far away from the village that overlooked the beach.

The troll ran for the silver, but failed to see the cliff stopped just a few feet short of where the rock stretched over the cliff. Even though he was a spirit, his greed for the metals near the cliffs had kept him bound to the area, and the troll suddenly found himself being pulled down towards the silver in the rocky outcropping of the ocean, all the while screaming "MINE! BEGONE YOU DOGS!" Abyss stared in utter disbelief of the thing. His eyes went back to his father, and emerald eyes slitted into a glare. "You were killed by...THAT?..." His father nodded. "I kicked him...and he fell on top of me...Making me hit my head on a rock.." Abyss shook his head and continued walking, now disillusioned of the brave fight he had once thought his father to fight.At least his mother had died bravely right? After all her family had been plains elves who had followed game to the sea, and then found the island while following fish! They were strong nomads who now roamed the island, certainly she wouldn't of slipped on rocks!

Abyssfern wondered in the snow, catching up to his bear-cub, the wolves still only tracks in the snow. After all they needed meat for their own, so he just left them to their hunts. The night had fallen deathly still, and quiet. The cub kept close to his 'two legged father' ambling besides him and playing in the snow. All Abyssfern could hear was Wisp Walker's diving into the crunching snow. Thew bear cub's playing startled a snow rabbit out of hiding and it bounded across the snow with the elf boy on it's tail. Against his hip, opposite his rabbits slapped his saber, and his bow bounced on his back. He pulled his bow, and knocked an arrow slowing behind the rabbit as it tried to hide itself in the snow. Abyss grinned and eyed the snow-covered bush as he took aim.

A quiet voice frittered through his ears. "Trolls......ed...me.." Blinking a bit he looked around. Father had not followed him, and he could see no other spirits. This voice was a soft voice. Something in his mind stirred. Gritting his teeth he retook aim and tried to block out the noise. Yet again it floated through the air, but only closer and clearer. "The trolls...ed...me..." He growled and looked around again. This time he saw another figure. Like the others it was almost see-through, a soft transparent figure. Unlike his father this one was not tall, nor was it big like the troll. This was a soft shaped and small elven female, and he knew it as his mother!

He though, had enough of spirits for a lifetime. Turning away he retook aim one final time, and just as he went to release his arrow, the voice right in his ear startled his arrow off mark. "The trolls scared me" He turned towards the elf woman and, like he did to his father, screamed. "I'LL SCARE YOU IF YOU DON'T SHUT UP." Huffing he turned away, only to see the rabbit had ran again. Grumbling he followed after the rabbit tracks, he was -not- going to lose his dinner. The ghost mother followed him. "The troll king...he was so ferocious I fell over in dead fright....Have you seen your father Abyssy?" Abyss twitched and eyed her before turning away. "I left him by the cliffs with his troll-friend." She looked about ready to die of fright...again. "Ah..."

He found the rabbit again. The thing was holed up under another bush, panting for dear life. By now though, the hunter was far too irritated as he drew the arrow and took aim. The death was quick, and as painless as an arrow could give. Picking up the rabbit he attached it to the others and whistled. His pack came bounding from all directions to his side as he began his way home. Above head his Eagle dipped through the openings in the forest only to soar back into the sky. The eagle lead the way, and Abyssfern could see by the way the wolves's and bears tummies pudged their own hunting had gone better then his own.

The hunter slipped into the village. Snow-time festivals had taken place, and lasted even now into the late of the night. Children snoozed with their parents, held close against the cold, while they listened to their cheif. ShadowShift told feverant tales, especially when excited by drinks from the humans, or those made of fermented berries. Though by now he was stumbling and tripping over the stories, weaving several of the tales together, and completely forgetting where he was. It was not often to see him as such, and he was soon on the ground face down having failed to finish his story. Not far away one of the few children who were awake was too busy laughing at her father's efforts to entertain the tribe, obviously she too had shared in the intoxicating drink, more then likley having sneaked it. Shaking his head he knew she would get it in the end, she always did.

He finally came to the small hut he shared with his dearest Doeskin. The small healer was inside. Her long brown hair was pulled into a braid that fell down her back, and she was wrapped up in warm bear furs. Underneath she wore a thin, almost see-through green dress, with another smaller but thicker dress to keep her warm. It had only been in mid-summer when she recognized, and now it was Mid-winter. Not even one full turn of the season had gone by yet, but already she craved things! The animal bonder had been away on one of his trips, it was during this time the healer had met with his desert dwelling nomadic cousin and recognized. Their was no fault to blame, and he did not feel jealousy over what had happened between the two. Still that did not stop him from seeking his cousin and starting a fight with the other elf. The reason? He had finally realized he could not always be by Doeskin's side to protect her, and that eventually she would have to face danger by herself. Though his cousin and recognition posed no threat to the healer, it did make him angry to feel that he could in some way fail to keep safe the most important person to him.

He pushed aside the curtains and stepped into the warm hut. A small fire burned in the pit warming the air to keep the healer from catching ill, and she slept so peacefully having left the celebrations early to rest and not make herself overly tired. Abyss crouched besides her, rubbing the fingers of his ungloved left hand over her braided brown hair, before resting it against her tummy. Though he was not the one to recognize her, they had since come to live together, and he had already vowed to look after her child. She was what he had left as family, and he would do anything for her. The feather light touch of her friend had roused her from her sleep, and she rolled over to look up to him with a sleepy yawn. Those grey- blue eyes stared up to him through half asleep dreams that were already fading away.

He pulled back from her and moved over to prepare the rabbits for her. Doeskin sat up and smiled a little moving over besides him, laying her head on his side before closing her eyes again. She had become, quiet as of late, with a small smile quiet unlike that of the wide playful grin she used to flash him when teasing. Looking down to her he saw a small thing in her hands. It seemed to be a broken toy, something that looked to be hardened leather stretched over a circular frame, much like a small hand drum, only it had beaded strands coming from it. Doeskin tapped her nails on it lightly and grinned at him a little. "Father dropped this off. He said it was one of his toys when he was younger, I think its a drum the humans use..." Abyss nodded and went back to prepairing the rabbits, letting her lean on his side as she tapped the small drum. Abyss could not deny that she was attractive, and oddly had seemed to only grow more attractive after the summer as she now glowed in a way, with such vibrancy the healer had not seemed to show before, or at least not since FlameWhisper had died.

Setting the rabbits to cook, he moved over to strip of the heavy furred hunting clothes, letting himself strip to just a pair of brown leather pants and laying out the others to dry. Settling back into the furs on the floor he pulled Doeskin against him letting her rest her head on his chest, keeping her tiny frame against him. Plucking the toy from her hands he eyed it before beginning to tap on it before handing it back to her, pulling her close to him. Though if anyone asked, he would deny it had anything to do with keeping her close, and simply say he wanted her heat on the cold night.


December was so crazy I never even had time to read these, let alone write one! But now I've read them. :D I enjoyed them all. Good work, everyone!