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March-April 2008 Grab-Bag Writings & Art

krwordgazer

We don't have as many elements this month, but the ones we have are a challenge!

Bones
A belated gift
Intoxication
A pickle (or a cucumber-type vegetable, or such a vegetable "cured" in some way)

Remember, writings can be canon-based, alternate universe, original character, etc., as long as they are related to EQ-- but the story must contain all the elements.

Art can either contain all the elements, or be an illustration of one of the writings.

We're late getting started this month. Any votes for or against making this thread be for March and April?

asinas

I have the perfect story forming.

It was a nice warm sunny day. The kind of day that fills you with energy, and invigorates you by the warm sun. Doeskin and Rainfall were in the healer's hut alone today. Doeskin's father MorningShade was out in the forest gathering ingredients for his medicines. One would think that with two healers a village would have no use for the human medicines MorningShade has learned. In truth most of his medicines get traded to the nomad elves, and to the human village that taught him this art.

Doeskin sighed and rubbed her swollen stomach, her best friend was yet again trying to get her to go take a nap. Though every time Doeskin would Reply that when she laid down the baby was too active to let her sleep. They were both currently busy stringing decorative stones, feathers, shells, even small jewels onto necklaces. Doeskin kept on pestering Rainfall to tell her who her necklace was for, but her lips were sealed.

"Aw! You know who my necklace is for, Rain. Why won't you tell me who you made your's for?" She held up her necklace, the leather had been dyed a bright green, and the small stones spaced here and there were a darker color green. Between the stones were long thin clay beads, made with care by the potter specifically for the purpose of necklaces. The center of it though? A light sparkling blue gem.

Rain shook her head and flushed as she looked to her best friend. Her own necklace was a bit of leather cord, not dyed any color. Small dark round stones was set between red clay beads. The stones looked to be metal, and was most likely Hematite. The center piece of her necklace though, was a small white seashell. "Ah...I don't know how he feels about me. I wanted to give this to him..to tell him..."

Doeskin smirked a little, half tempted to pounce her friend. That was before a kick from inside her belly told her to do otherwise. Shaking her head she reached out and patted her friend's shoulder. "How could he not like you? You don't have to tell me unless he-"

She was interrupted by the sounds of heavy stumbling footsteps, and the beaded curtain being shoved aside. Both girls looked up to the sight of two drunken elf men. One was collapsed and supported by the weight of his twin brother, who didn't look too steady even just standing there. Both girls could smell what the humans called alcohol on their breathes. These were two elves that had been banished from the village by Rainfall's father, why? Because they were far too wild and he thought them a danger. Though, Abyssfern had too been Banished like them, but ShadowShift never said anything to -him- about his banishment.

Doeskin and Rainfall both stood quickly, setting their necklaces aside. Rainfall was quicker to stand then her friend, and took the unconscious brother. She could see a deep gash in his forehead, almost enough to see his skull. She also recognized him as Farsight. The alcohol in hi system was making him bleed out faster, and more then he should of even for a head wound like this. Frowning Rainfall took him over to her mat and moved to sit with his head in her lap, immediately falling into her healing trance.

Doeskin looked up to the other brother. He was still awake, and still quiet drunk. Looking him over she saw his arm was broken midway from elbow to wrist. Both bones had snapped and she could see them sticking through the skin. Sighing she rubbed her forehead before looking up to the warrior's Dark brown eyes. "How did this happen Gorescream?"

She should of known not to get a serious answer from the man. "We was..." He trailed off for a moment, falling silent before suddenly perking up and half shouting "drUNK!" Giving a satisfied nod as if he had said something of influential power he nearly fell over. Sighing she grabbed his good arm and lead him over to her own mat for once thankful the pair had been too drunk to feel the pain. Then again this pair would more then likley not show the pain even if they were sober.

She pushed him to sit down and poked at the bone for a few seconds before shaking her head. She wrinkled her nose a slight bit and pushed the protruding bones back under the skin where they belonged, ignoring the comments from the drunk. After getting them close to where they should go she too fell into a healing trance.

After the brothers were healed, Farsight had the 'privilege' of telling them what had happen when he awoke. Doeskin went back to work on her necklace, but took note that Rainfall had hidden her own work in progress. Gorescream was still too drunk to make much sense. Farsight was seated between the healers. pulling them close to him as he relaxed against the pillows and furs they had let him rest on.

"Gorescream decided we were going to have another contest you see..." Doeskin eyed him before shaking her head. "Who could get hurt the most?" He smiled at her slightly, "Why lady Doeskin I'm hurt by that." She eyed him and leaned back on a pillow. "Liar." Looking over to her friend she noticed she was unusually quiet, and rather flushed as she sat next to the smooth talking warrior.

Gorescream stood and walked over to them, seemingly starting to sober up. "Wes had a contests....On the cliffers!" Doeskin shook her head. Two drunks plus a high cliff. Already that sounded bad. Gorescream sat down on the other side of Doeskin, and dug in his pouch some cucumbers. No doubt he probably raided a human garden for them. Farsight continued with his explanation. "We were having a contest, to see who could eat more of those things." He motioned to the cucumbers in Gorescream's hand. "But the human who we..borrowed them from chased us down and we tried running away..off the cliff."

Rainfall seemed to quietly hang on his every word. By now it was far to obvious who her necklace was for. Unfortunately, Farsight never seems to look at the healer in that way. She felt she was inadequate physically compared to the other women he spends his time with. Doeskin eyed her friend, who looked rather putout as Farsight and Gorescream stood to leave.

Turning around to the girls Farsight smirked a bit before winking. "Ah yes. For your trouble...I'll bring you back the most magnificent of gifts." Gorescream eyed his brother, and grinned. "Not if I don't bring them something better." Farsight just snickered and walked off, yet another competition had started between the brothers.

Looking over to her friend, she saw that Rainfall had pulled out her necklace. It was already finished, and was perfect without a bead or string out of place. "Why didn't you give him your necklace?" Rainfall looked up to Doeskin, her face so flushed she looked like it would pop. "I-in front of his brother? That would just embarrass him!" Doeskin shook her head and leaned back to pick up and finish her own necklace. "If you don;t give it to him and tell him how you feel...You might loose him to those busty women he is always with. Besides, if you always hide how you feel about him, and everything else, you'll never get what you want."

Rainfall looked stunned. Ever since she was a child everything she wanted had been pushed aside for the wants and needs of her father's second mate, and her younger half-brother. Her step-mother had even tried to give her brother -her- name. Though her father told her no, and Rainfall's brother became Raingiver. Everything had been given to her brother Raingiver, because he would be the next chief after their father.

"I have everything I want..." Doeskin eyed her before grinning a bit. "You don't have Farsight." Rainfall looked like she had been struck, but smiled softly in defeat. "Yes..I don't have him. I'll be content to just watch.." Doeskin shook her head before snatching away her friend's necklace. "G-Give that back!" Rainfall tried to grab it away form Doeskin. "Why? Your not giving it to him, yet you worked so hard trading for the leather and beads, collecting the stones and finding just the perfect shell. Why not give it to him? Are you just going to let your hard work go to waste like this?"

Rainfall bit her lower lip before shaking her head. She took her necklace back and held it to her chest. "I...I'll give it to him, but not yet. I'll give it to him when I'm more beautiful then StarWing. Oh!" She blushes and hid her face. She rarely spoke that way, so full of confidence, and never an ill word about her father's mate. "You think you can be more beautiful then my aunt?" Doeskin flashed her a playful smile. "I think your already more lovley then her. You just don't show it enough." Rainfall smiled a little in relief. She leaned close and hugged her friend tight. "I'll tell him tomorrow then. I'll tell him how I feel, and I'll hope he doesn't become offended."

Doeskin sighed and snuggled close to her. "No. You'll tell him and hope appreciates your effort. There is no way he would be offended at such a lovley girl as you falling in love with him."
`````````````````````````````````````

Eh Rainfall has a cute 'schoolgirl' crush on Farsight. I don't know how Farsight would react to that, I'll have to ask Bunny about that one. Gorescream and Farsight belong to Death Bunny. He said I can use his boys for my stories, and it fit so much better to have those two or Abyssfern coming in drunk, then it would of if it had been Morningshade and ShadowShift (The girls' fathers.)

Abyssfern already has a necklace from Doeskin he wears, but this new one is a thank you for the gift he had gotten her baby.

RedheadEmber

Right... Here I go...

Memorial

He was alone. Alone in the rumble of the fallen mountain. Two-Edge had left after nursing him, Aurek who had been Egg, back to health.
None lived in the area except him.
The half troll had left food, something he’d called pickle and a few other things noted for their ability to stay fresh. When he’d eaten Aurek stood and began searching for his fallen tribe mates in order to give them a proper funeral so nothing could disturb their bones. He found Brace and the female Door rather easy; knowing vaguely where their place had been. He knew looking for the male Door would be in vain; the Hoan G'Tay Sho had brought him south as a living god. After a while he also managed to uncover Kureel, Reevol, Oroleed, Eresir, Talno and Yeyeen but no matter how long he searched he couldn’t find Tyldak and Aroree. Could it be? Could these two have escaped Winnowill’s intoxication of the Blue Mountain? The thought of other survivors filled his heart with joy.

The years went by. Kahvi and Tyldak came and left again. Seasons followed season in an endless circle but his life was almost the same until the day a dark haired boy stepped inside the rumble.
*What’s you name?*
The boy, no he wasn’t a boy, he was a young man. So young in Aurek’s ancient eyes but nevertheless a man and not a boy. The young man gasped; clearly he wasn’t used to sendings.
“Who’s there?” he asked shaking.
“I, Aurek the Father of Memory. Who are you?”
“No name”¦ my mother is Dodia. My father was Door. This is the Blue Mountain?”
“Well”¦ it was”¦ a long time ago”¦ But why don’t you have a name?”
“My mother”¦ well”¦ she’s not completely healthy”¦ she”¦”
“It’s okay”¦ Door was always one of the closest to Winnowill. Can imagine her madness must’ve rubbed off to him”¦ and then onto your mother when the recognized. But you still need a name. I think I’ll call you Leet because that’s what you are, a gift. Under the stagnation we thought we’d lost the ability to recognize but then Tyldak recognized Dewshine of the Wolfriders and Windkin was born. Then, when the mountain had fallen and I was awake after Two-Edge had nursed be back to health I rejoiced for the survivors but feared we’d once again lost the ability to recognize. But here you are, Leet, witnessing that life goes on.

asinas

I found that very sweet. Thank you for it.

RedheadEmber

Thank :D

Hehe... Got a "huge" trouble with that darned pickle...

Apogee

Here goes! *my original reply a few days ago got eaten by the great Forum Void* boo! I think this should be a March-April thing because it is a bit late in the month :D


***

No Apology Needed


His name was Uktui, and he had been from Blue Mountain. He now knew that his birth place (had he really been among the very last actually born to the Gliders? had he? he'd never even seen a child until...) was gone, in its place nothing but rubble and bones and flies. Even the humans had gone, apparently.

But now they called him Bones - because he was a bone-shaper. He wasn't even really fit for the Glider title, he couldn't fly. But he did have use once... while in Blue Mountain. He shook off those thoughts. He hadn't been there for many, many eights. No, he'd left long before the mountain fell, and considered himself lucky now to be alive at all.

Alive, and in good company! Bones looked around him: he was in a new Mountain holt - Bald Mountain. Where others even older than he lived, but most were all but children compared to Uktui's age. He felt the stirrings of life, all around him. And, there was one who he favored with company, more often than others.

She too had been a captive of the Trolls, below the wide plains where they'd been captured. He had been taken long before she, but Soothe was kind and enjoyable, and she always mananged to do what her name implied. They were not really lovemates, and certainly not going to Recognize, but they were friends.

And he had something he wanted to give her. They'd escaped the Trolls with the aid of the very clever Weeds, but while they were there, each of them had made their own way around life. Soothe had a strong mind and a caring heart - but she was also sturdy in body and had a spirit that could not be defeated.

She'd lost her child and her Recognized mate before being pulled under ground - lost those to Humans before her eyes. Eventually after arriving to Bald Mountain, she grieved - it was hard on everyone, because no healer could truly wipe away those blood-born tears.

And she was so young! Well, nothing could replace the life she'd born, but she could be urged to move on with her own. Since arriving here to this place where elves rode great dragons and patrolled their territory (which included friendly humans as well as other... things...) Uktui felt renewed. His ability to shape bone had kept him busy in the Aeries at Blue Mountain, so now he knew he still had good work ahead of him. But he sought out another whose magic would be useful for his needs: Kolgar, the rock-shaper.

It didn't take even a few moments to do what was needed. Kolgar hinted that the gift would probably lead to better things - but Bones waved that off, knowing that this was merely for friendship.

He then looked around for Soothe herself. He found her shortly, she was mending some cloth with the aid of a sharp needle and thread - which even he was keenly aware had been made by the Humans in their village some hours walk to the west.

Soothe looked up, eyes blinking from refocusing from her close up work, to him. He grinned, "I have something for you, Soothe, I wanted to give it to you earlier, but couldn't find a way."

"Oh you don't have to--" She said, putting down the sewing, but he urged her to take it anyway. Soothe tilted her head, "it's heavy..."

The package was wrapped in a scrap of leather, simply covering a rounded object. She pulled a flap open, and saw a glimmering item. A heavy bracelet, one made of gold and fit with gems!

"Oh this is ... this will go very nicely with my arm band," she suggested. "How did you get it!"

"When we were captives, they would leave those things just laying about, all the time." Bones said. "And you know Trolls, how often they liked to indulge in their drinks. They have games, at least the guards in the forge pit played one. They had a big barrel which had those awful spiced roots - those things that get shriveled and smell so bad?"

"The pickled beets and greens, oh I remember... they'd come out whole sometimes..." Soothe shuddered and gulped back the memory of dumping out their waste into the big pit...

"Well in that barrel they had a contest. Apparently someone'd once lost a chunk of gold in it, but no one wanted to go in and get it. Too deep for an arm, and apparently their women wouldn't lay with them if they came back to the den smelling of that juice!"

"Well I can't blame them!" Soothe laughed.

"So one night after my shift they were drunk, and one of them asked me to fetch that chunk of gold." Bones said, casually. He noted Soothe's expression. "So I did, it was horrid, the stuff burns, but I just... held my breath and dug around at the bottom."

"They could have sealed the barrel on you! You'd have been pickled elf!"

"Well they didn't, I don't think they even thought of it. I found it, brought it out, and they were so impressed - and so drunk - that they let me keep it." Soothe laughed, and put on the big bracelet. It was heavy but it felt right. "And then I had Kolgar shape it, for you. The stones are from his den, they're everywhere."

"Well I love it, it's wonderful!"

Bones let her get back to her work... And set out to find his own gift to himself too.

asinas

Ohhh! Another very good one. I really liked it, are you going to continue more stories with the characters? Their very interesting.

Apogee

They're actually up on my Bald Mountain website waiting for dragon cyberpets :)

http://www.geocities.com/apogee_elf/weeds.htm and /captives.htm continues their story. This story would take place shortly after their arrival to Bald Mountain and just before Bones goes off (he's the first) to find a dragon.

I've been dying to actually have this as a rpg but it's kind of specific. :) There used to be an old-old Pern-EQ crossover somewhere, but when I was able to read any of their posts it was largely pornish. Not too interested in that bit, more the stories and interaction between intelligent dragons and bonding-based elves.

RedheadEmber

Great story Apogee!
The prospect of pickled elf made me chuckle... Grin Man I'm a meanie!

LadyArill

Silence reigned for a short while as Jadis and Winnowill stared at the dead body of the Mary Sue. The two women looked up from the body and blinked at one another.

"Now what?" Winnowill asked. Jadis pursed her lips and pulled her knitting needle from the Sue's throat, seemingly unconcerned by the sparkly pink blood that was now trickling onto the floor.

"Well...we could chop her up and pickle her, then serve her over rice." the Witch said thoughtfully, reaching down and plucking the Dwarf made ring off of the badly written OC's stiff finger. She examined it for a moment, then tucked it into her pocket.

It would make a wonderful belated birthday gift for dear Helen.

Meanwhile, Winnowill was gaping at her, looking half nauseated, half intrigued.

"Y-you are jesting, yes? You simply [i:c14ec6109d]cannot[/i:c14ec6109d] be serious about [i:c14ec6109d]eating[/i:c14ec6109d] her." the Elf scoffed. Jadis tilted her head.

"Why not? She's not of either of [i:c14ec6109d]our[/i:c14ec6109d] races, and Aslan tells me that Sue meat is very sweet and lasts a while if preserved correctly. Besides, I could carve her pretty little bones into the needles I need." Jadis smiled, pacing around the florecent pink garbed corpse.

Winnowill shuddered.

"There is something very wrong with you, dear. Very wrong."


00000000000000000000000000000
Though Jadis' murderous, disturbing behavior has calmed since I put her on Midol, she does still have odd tendacies. I will never be able to use my cooking utencils without gagging, now....

Apogee

*snickersnorts* sparkly pink blood :) awesome.

Willowspring

o.0 *falls out of her chair laughing* thats horrible in such a great way!!!

The_Wylde_Wynd

Mwuahahahaha! GO JADIS AND WINNIE! :twisted:

The_Wylde_Wynd

“Come on birdie! Bottoms up!”

Voll chuckled to himself, watching as Kureel (straight-laced, taciturn Kureel!) tossed back another mug of what the Wolfriders called “Dreamberry Wine.” A cheer erupted as the Chosen set the mug back down with a resounding thud, grinning in triumph as he did. Then he fainted dead away. The group, including his thoroughly smashed lifemate Hoykar, promptly burst out cackling.

Sounds of celebration rung out across the banquet-hall of Blue Mountain, filling Voll with joy. This was what Blue Mountain had been missing for so long. Life.

A happy hum slipped up from his lap, turning his attention down to the figure curled up into him. His fingers brushed against the soft, dark skin of his new lifemate’s check. Rayek chuckled softly, trying to nip teasingly at the finger but missing, likely due to the large amounts of alcohol in his body.

Next to the two Winnowill sat, perfectly sober, enjoying the spectacles everyone was making of themselves, and brushing her fingers through her young Recognized’s dark hair. Voll beamed as he looked at her, knowing what awaited them. How long had they waited, hoping beyond hope for such a gift. And now”¦ he laughed gently as the young hunter finally managed to catch his finger. Not only the healing of his love, but a child and a beautiful new lifemate. How many blessings could they receive in so short a time?

“Come on Lord Voll! Join the celebration!”

The red-head Pike nodded sagely, astoundingly sentient considering the colossal amounts of wine he had consumed, “Aye milord! As one of the expecting fathers it’s your solemn duty!”

With that, he shoved a large mug into the Glider Lord’s hand.

Voll stared at the tankard in his hand. It smelled quite nice. Surely, just one wouldn’t hurt.

##########################

Light streamed though a high window, waking Voll with a sensation not unlike having needling shoved into his eyes. Slowly, so very slowly, Voll rose to his feet. He yawned softly, wincing as the action caused a shooting pain through his head. He must have knocked it against something. Hmm, that would teach him not to sleep on the floor.

”¦

Why had he been asleep on the floor?

Voll turned, staring down at the stone floor of the banquet-hall as if it would answer him. Why was he even in-

“Ah, Lord Voll [i:dff3edc143]”“hehe-[/i:dff3edc143] good [i:dff3edc143]”“snrk-[/i:dff3edc143] morning.”

“Did you”¦ [i:dff3edc143]-snrk-[/i:dff3edc143] sleep well”¦ milord?”

Voll nodded dumbly, staring in bewilderment as Oroleed and Yeyeen bowed and hurried the other way, stifling laughter as they went.

”˜What in the-?’

“Oh! Lord Voll! Good morning!”

He turned sharply at the sudden noise, eyes falling on the Wolf-chief Cutter and his soul-brother. Both of whom were coughing thickly.

“Quite a”¦ night we had last night”¦ wasn’t it?”

“I”¦ suppose?”

For some reason, the Wolfriders seemed to find this amusing, as both began coughing even harder, tears brimming in their eyes.

“Yes well [i:dff3edc143]”“ahem-[/i:dff3edc143] we”¦ [i:dff3edc143]-snrk-[/i:dff3edc143] should be going now. Good day Lord [i:dff3edc143]”“snrk-[/i:dff3edc143] Pickles.”

For the second time in his scant moments of wakefulness, Voll stared as a pair of snickering elves ran away from him.

”¦

[i:dff3edc143]Lord Pickles?[/i:dff3edc143]

############################

Something was terribly wrong.

Hastening (a Lord did [i:dff3edc143]not[/i:dff3edc143] hurry, [i:dff3edc143]ever[/i:dff3edc143]) down the corridors of his Mountain, Voll knew this clearly.

No. not even ”˜terribly’ wrong. ”˜Terribly’ was Kureel forgetting Hoykar’s life-day. ”˜Terribly’ was Ember getting stuck in the eye-socket of a stone bird-sculpture. ”˜Terribly’ was discovering that it was not Winnowill or Rayek who had slipped into the hot-springs with him while he was napping.

This”¦ this was [i:dff3edc143]horribly, obscenely, [b:dff3edc143]catastrophically wrong[/b:dff3edc143]![/i:dff3edc143]

He had not been awake a full half-hour, and already he had been laughed, giggled, snickered and chortled at by half the Gliders and nearly all of the Wolfriders in the whole bloody Mountain!

Aurek! The wise, the calm, the High One in first-born’s skin, had taken one look at him, then promptly fallen on the ground laughing hysterically!

Dread flowed through Voll. What was the cause of this?! Were his people under some sort of bizarre magic? Were they ill? Were they drun”¦k”¦

Oh dear sweet High Ones.

###########################

“Winnowill! Rayek!”

Voll tore into their chambers, breath coming in sharp gasps and hair hanging in his face.

His lifemates, both finishing the last fastening on their clothing, stared at him in shock.

“What did I do last night?!”

The shock deepened.

“You”¦ don’t remember?”

They exchanged a look, then broke down in a fit of mad laughter.

“Rayek?! Winnowill?! What did I do?!”

“Oh nothing dearest,” Winnowill tittered into a delicate hand, linking her arm with Rayek’s as they turned to leave, “nothing at all.”

“Oh and there's no cause for worry lifemate.” The young hunter smiled sweetly, pausing for a moment to brush a finger against his bare arm, “I, for one, will never stop liking your”¦ ”˜[i:dff3edc143]bones[/i:dff3edc143]'.”

With that, his lifemates left him alone with his utter confusion, and their ringing laughter.

[i:dff3edc143][b:dff3edc143]“WHAT DID I DO?!”[/b:dff3edc143][/i:dff3edc143]

RedheadEmber

LOL! Arill... Gotta write more stories about that... Winnie and Jadis... *shudder*

Willowspring

o.0 what did poor voll do

asinas

Death to the Mary Sue. I find PINK GLITTERY blood more disturbing then eating her anyways.

Poor Voll. What oh what, did he do? Dunk gliders Drunk Gliders ^______^ Fun! (If you can not tell I'm slightly hyper. Its raining, and near flooding outside, so I feel like I'm at home, but I'm a little home-sick. Fweh.)

LadyArill

Aw, poor Voll.

Bad Rayek and Winnie for leaving him on the floor. What did he DO, anyways? Or is it one of those things where we're better off knowing??

And...Voll/Rayek?

Good...bad...good...wrong...(Mind fizzles)

Deeerrrrr...DRUNK KUREEL! WHEEE!

(Tackle hugs Asinas)

asinas

*Eeps and hugs Lady Arill* I bet its something -really- embarrassing, and unbecoming of a lord.

The_Wylde_Wynd

Let's just say you (probobly mainly Arill) don't want to know the whole of it. ...However... it does involve alot of drunken rambling... and some shirtless table-top-dancing. :twisted:

LadyArill

(Beats head against table to get rid of the disturbing-yet appealing- mental images)

LadyArill

For some reason, Evita Peron and Fidel Castro are having a lightsaber duel in my living room. While they do that, I'm gonna write.
00000000000000000000000000000000000000

Leila giggled as Windkin nibbled at her neck, growling slightly like the wolves his mother's tribe called kin. She sighed, leaning back against him as the weak Newgreen sun shone down upon them. Nearby were the scraggly dreamberry bushes that Uncle Pike and Redlance labored so carefully over...they were going to be upset when they found out how many of the plump berries the two young Gliders had consumed.
"Do you suppose that Uncle Pike will be [i:73b6ee586f]very[/i:73b6ee586f] angry with us? He's so fond of those berries..." she mumbled, allowing Windkin's hands to roam her willowy form. Her lovemate kissed her ear and gave a giddy, drunken laugh.

"Pike? Nah. He's too good natured to get burrs in his tail over it. He'd probably laugh!"

He began untying the front of her tunic, hands touching with bold curiosity.
Leila giggled again, envisioning how her father would react if he knew what she and Windkin were up to. Mother would laugh and tease her, of course...but Father...oh, dear. Windkin would be flying for his life if Father knew...

But fortunately, both of Leila's parents were helping with the cucumber pickling in the Palace. She was supposed to be [i:73b6ee586f]aiding[/i:73b6ee586f] them, of course, but it was one of the first relatively warm days of the year and she thought she deserved a little bit of a break from being cooped up in the Palace after another Frozen Mountain winter.

Slyly, looking so like her mother that it was remarkable, the teenaged daughter of the Lord and Lady of the Gliders slipped free from her young lover's arms and darted away, tossing a teasing glance over her shoulder.
"If you want me, beloved...you shall have to [i:73b6ee586f]catch[/i:73b6ee586f] me first!"
She was in the air in an instant, laughing with manic glee as she dodged Windkin’s attempts to capture her. The dreamberries affected the curly haired lad's aim, and Leila was suddenly thankful that she hadn't eaten more than an eight or so.

Windkin, giving a mock snarl, charged her and got a good grip on her narrow hips. Squealing, his fellow Glider wriggled free and hurtled for menacing the gray mountain not so far from the Palace where members of the four Elfin tribes lived. She intended to find some of the stubborn scrub plants that clung to the craggy cliffs, to try and hide...

Ah ha! There was a likely clump! Giggling evilly to herself, the young Elf floated closer to the cluster of scrub plant...and promptly let out a horrified scream.

Bones! There were [i:73b6ee586f]Elfin bones[/i:73b6ee586f] tangled up in the scrub, covered in the tattered remains of Go Back leathers. Weak young mountain grass was struggling to grow through a ribcage bleached white from the elements while gleaming finger bones still curled defiantly around the rotting shaft of a spear. A warrior even in death.
[i:73b6ee586f]/Oh High Ones...oh High Ones...this must one of the Go Backs who tried to climb over.../[/i:73b6ee586f]

Leila stifled a sob, reeling in the air. She felt like she had been stabbed in the belly. As a sheltered Glider child, she had never seen death in such a careless, unexpected matter. She knew some Elves died, yes. Some by accident, others by choice, like the Wolfriders. Her friend Ember would die, she knew...but that was far away....[i]this[/] was so close, so real.
She felt wiry arms about her, thin lips brushing her ear as Windkin worriedly peering over her shoulder to see what was wrong. Brown eyes widened as they fell upon the sad remains on the mountain side.

“Oh...”

They hovered there for a long while, Leila sobbing silently and Windkin holding her, staring at the remains of the brave climber.
They had both been born after the great Palace war, had been sheltered from the horrors of the endless stream of battles the older Elves had fought in. Their parents were protective of them, the children they had all waited so long to have, and the two families had always worked to preserve the innocence of Windkin and Leila. But they were old enough to roam on their own now, and here was something frightening that parents could not shield them from.

“I”¦I think we should go back”¦” Windkin mumbled, slowly lowering them onto the shining battlements of one of the many towers of the Palace. Leila nodded and choked, wiping at her anguished blue eyes as she stepped away.

“I-I shall s-see you t-tomorrow, then. Fare well.”
She was gone down the trapdoor of the tower before the lad could even respond.

-0-

Later, in the living room of her parents’ chambers, Leila sat cuddled between her mother and father, her fear soothed away by their gentle words and comforting touches. The young Elf sighed and laid her head against Mother’s shoulder while Father stroked her hair. She was two eights old, independent, headstrong and intelligent to the point where it got her into trouble”¦and she was not ashamed of running to her mother and father for comfort. Sometimes”¦every once in a while”¦it was wonderful to be coddled and protected as if she was a little fledgling again.

Sometimes.

0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Okay, you guys remember that baby Winnowill was making booties for in my last Grab Bag? Well, this is her. As you can see, she's grown into a little flirt and Voll has yet to stop spoiling her rotten... :roll: Wink

The_Wylde_Wynd

Awww! Poor Leila! No one should have to run into something like that.

[i:05e0a97be3]Azari: My Lela!*python-embrace* There there, it's ok. The icky bones are gone![/i:05e0a97be3]

Uh Zari... she's turning blue.*tries to pry Azari off before Rilly loses are character*

krwordgazer

Well, I'm back from vacation, and I've got a story to post here-- but I wanted to comment on everyone else's first. :)

Asinas, I like your characters. The two young elf lads competing against each other were funny!

Redhead, good Aurek story! I like your conjectures. The idea of Dodia's son bringing renewal of life is good, but I agree with Tymber that it seems a bit unfinished. I think Aurek's explanation is a bit rushed, and the ideas might have spun out better as a dialogue between him and Leet, rather than as a monologue by Aurek. Perhaps it could end with Leet agreeing to stay and rebuild, and Aurek happy that life can go on?

Apogee, your story of the finding of the jewels in the troll's barrel was very entertaining! I like your characters and the scenario you have set up. A good read!

Arill, your first story is a kick! A bit disturbing, but a kick! Grin I do wonder where the "intoxication" comes into it, though.

Wylde Wynd, that was fun! Poor Lord "Pickles"! (snerk) Well written, as always.

Tymber, I enjoyed that very much. I'm glad to see that at last the tide of the story is turning Shadow's way a bit. I have grown to like him. I like the new character Echo a lot, too. :D This last sentence seems a bit fragmented, though: [quote:2d8b1ac186]Unknown his shadow had a deeper Shadow than usual. [/quote:2d8b1ac186] But good job!

Arill, interesting scenario on your second story, and I like Leila! I take it [i:2d8b1ac186]she[/i:2d8b1ac186] is the "belated gift"?

LadyArill

Very grand to see you again, Gazer!

Yes, Leila is the 'belated gift'. A little present from Winnowill to Voll, one might say... Wink

And as for the intoxication thing in the first bit...Jadis had been trying to knit when the Mary Sue attempted to attack her. To even come [i:b26446bd07]near[/i:b26446bd07] Jadis when she's knitting, one must either have one hell of an escape plan OR they must be mortally drunk. All else would just be stupidity. (Shifty eyes)

(Waits for Gazer's story)

krwordgazer

OF GOOD DEEDS AND PICKLES

[size=9:89897e34f7][i:89897e34f7]Elements:
Bones
Intoxication
A belated gift
A pickle[/i:89897e34f7][/size:89897e34f7]


Rayek toyed with the roast strutter-fowl bones on his plate. The oil lamp on the table shed golden light on the wooden staircase leading down from these private rooms to the common room of the inn. There was no door at the bottom of the stairs-- the eating area was on a sort of landing, with the bedroom door behind it-- and he could hear laughter and the chink of glasses from the main room below. He was grateful that the farm chores he and Ekuar had found to do had earned them enough coins to stay here tonight, for he was weary of camping in fields-- and the common sleeping area on the bottom floor was out of the question.

A stirring within his mind made his gut tighten. *Out of the question, lovemate? Too good, are we, for the simple travelers gathered below?*

"You know that is not the reason, Winnowill," Rayek murmured between clenched teeth. "Even if I could or would sleep-- which I will not-- you would be toying with the humans as soon as I closed my eyes."

*Come now, Rayek,* she sent petulantly. *So long without entertainment. Are you not longing for a little. . . excitement?*

"Not such as you would provide," he replied shortly. He glanced over his shoulder at the closed door behind which Ekuar lay resting, too worn out to eat. Rayek would give his companion as long as he could, but he knew that should the battle prove too difficult, he must and would call for help. Of all he had lost since taking the Black Snake's spirit into his body, the pride of not needing help was the last thing he should regret-- and yet he did regret it. Regretted the demands he must make on the one to whom he owed most.

It was not excitement Rayek craved, and he had long since given up hope of peace. No, what he wished for now was simply this-- that for once he could be more than a walking prison. That he could somehow do some real, lasting good, rather than simply fighting to contain the reckless insanity of his prisoner.

Rayek picked up the remaining uneaten item on his plate and turned it over in his fingers. It was a vegetable, that was plain, long and green-- but strange in texture and smell. He bit into it. Sourness burst over his tongue, and his eyes widened. She who dwelt within him fell silent a moment, apparently as startled by the surprising taste as he was.

"That's a pickle." The immature voice came from the stairs. Rayek jumped to his feet, the table rocking as his long legs jolted it. The staircase had appeared empty-- but a small brown head was now peeking over the top of the last step. Wide blue eyes met his as the human child stood up, smoothing down her homespun dress. "Ma makes them. Haven't you ever had one before?"

Rayek stared at her a moment. This was the innkeeper's daughter; he had seen her tagging along behind her father when he had shown Ekuar and himself these rooms. "You must not be here," he said, his voice harsh with apprehension. "Go back downstairs at once!"

The blue eyes did not leave his as the child climbed up the last few steps. "Haven't you ever had a pickle before?" she said, as if he had not spoken. She was very young, he saw now: not more than four or five years.

"Please," he said more gently, "go back to your mother. She is probably worrying about you."

"No," the girl said matter-of-factly. "She's still mad at Pa for forgetting her birthin'-day. He'll bring her something shiny tomorrow, though, and that'll make her feel better, even though it'll be late. He told me so." Her voice sank to a confidential tone as she said this, and she drifted closer to him. Rayek backed away.

"What's the matter?" she asked bluntly. "Are you scared of me?" She eyed him suspiciously. "You ain't drunk, are you? A lot of men who come here get drunk, and then Pa won't let me talk to them. It makes 'em say bad words and do stupid things. An' I guess someone like you bein' scared of me is pretty dumb." Her eyes on his ears, she laughed a sweet, clear laugh. In spite of himself Rayek's heart lifted at the innocent, care-free sound of it. How long had it been since he had heard a laugh like that?

"No, I am not intoxicated," he said, setting the strange vegetable on the table. "But it is still-- dangerous-- for you to be here. Please go."

The human child sighed. "Oh, all right," she said. "But I'll take your plate down with me. Ma would like that, it bein' her birthing-day an' all." She reached for the plate with its piled-up bones, then suddenly jerked back, her eyes gazing with terror into his.

"Who's that?" she gasped. "Who's in there with you?" The plate fell to the floor, scattering bird bones, as she began to back away.

*She sees.* The voice in his head was like icy syrup. *Is this another of the gifted ones? How. . . [i:89897e34f7]interesting.*[/i:89897e34f7]

"She is only a child," Rayek grated. "Leave her be."

The little girl stiffened, still staring. "There[i:89897e34f7] is[/i:89897e34f7] someone else in there! In your eyes! And you just talked to--"

"Her." Winnowill's voice spoke for a moment through Rayek's lips, and he closed his eyes, fighting her with every fragment of his strength. She must not hurt this little one!

"H-her," the child stammered. She wheeled, then, and ran for the stairs. But all at once she turned back. Her clear eyes regarded Rayek fiercely. "I'm not afraid!" she said. "You can't scare me!"

*Such a pretty human,* Winnowill cooed. *So like the pets I had in Blue Mountain, long ago.*

"Yes!" Rayek snapped. "Humans who trusted you! And you put them in cages! They gave their lives to you-- and you starved them!"

The words struck home; he could feel it. Nothing she did to humans in this time seemed to cause Winnowill the slightest remorse, but at times he could still shake her with memories of a time she had still known responsibility-- and shame. Her dark spirit withdrew into someplace deep within him. With a deep, relieved breath, Rayek looked down at the child, whose mouth had fallen open.

"W-were you. . . talking. . . to [i:89897e34f7]her[/i:89897e34f7]?" she asked breathlessly. "Who is she? A ghost? How did she get inside you?"

Suddenly weary to the bone, Rayek rubbed his eyes. "Do not ask me these questions, little one. Return to your mother. Please."

Slowly she nodded. "I'm going now." She took a little hop and a skip as she started down the stairs.

And then her shoe caught on a nail, she gave a scream--

And Rayek's hand shot forward, power rushing from his fingers in a river that caught the small figure as it fell, floated it gently, gently, down the stairs. He stepped forward, guiding the child downwards till her feet came to rest on the floor.

She stood looking up at him. There was a moment of complete silence.

Then, "That was fun!" she said. "Do it again!"

Rayek shook his head, trembling a little. "I cannot."

She sighed prettily. "Oh. Well, goodbye, then!"

"Goodbye, child." Rayek stood watching from the top of the stairs as the girl skipped out of sight. Then he, too, sighed, his lips curving into what was almost a smile. A small deed-- but he had had his wish.

He moved to the table, bending to scoop the fallen bones back onto the plate, which, he was glad to see (for the child's sake), was not broken.. Replacing it on the table, he walked slowly across to the bedroom door, opened it, and lay down beside Ekuar's sleeping form, propping his head on one arm. He gazed, slightly bemused, at what he held again in his other hand. Then he raised it to his mouth.

He might as well finish the pickle.

THE END.

LadyArill

Ooh, Gazer, that was wonderful! So well written and in-character...it put a grand ol' smile on me face! :hug2:

The_Wylde_Wynd

Ooooh! So sweet! Wordgazer your stories are always full of warm and fuzzy, but this one just brought happy-tears!

PCoquelin

Interesting scene.

What I find rather strange, considering, is Winnowill's change of attitude all along millenias : from her "this world is not ours", "humans are endlessly amusing", to her desperately looooooooooooooooong waiting for the Palace, her awful "toying with humans" (Redeemer time), her death at the Djun's hands (how ironic), and her ending in Rayek's skull...

Mabe she just learned to wait.
She certainly learned far more, but Rayek isn't to find out, clearly...
( Still on the "when will you learn to love ?" obsession, the poor one )

Now, there's the perfect symbol in the Tarot "game", for Rayek :
The Tower.

Nightsea

Trinket's green stubby fingers caressed yet another
little golden present. The pile behind her was
still large; heaps of gleaming jewlery, hair
ornaments, and assorted miniature items made
more to her size than the enormous furniture
common in the troll caverns. The little
replica of her father's throne where she
sat was surrounded by the objects she
had already examined from the treasure
that had accumulated in her long absence.

Oddbit's expression as she looked on was
full of envy. She hadn't been showered
with gifts like that since she
and Picky had first...well...in
a long while.

"Your face looks as sour as
this pickle I'm eating, dearie" her
brown-robed matron cackled as she
crunched into another of the cylindrical
vegitables.

A loud belch from the other side
of the wooden table where the
tipsy King Picknose sat echoed
in the cavern.

"Bring him some more of this and you'll
eventually get his attention back!"
Old Maggoty said, shoving a tray with
fermented beverages in stone mugs
and bones covered with juice-dripping fowl-meat
on large platters at Oddbit.

With a sigh and a pat on the head
for her spoiled offspring, Oddbit
continued the celebration of
Trinket's return.

****
In my head I can see the comics page this
would be if Wendy drew it.
--Nightsea

LadyArill

Hey, Nightsea, could you please draw me a pic of Voll threatening to kill Windkin if he lays a hand on Leila? Pretty pweeeeeze?

I like your story, by the way. I get hilarious mental images of Trinket on her little throne. (Hugs Trinket)

manga

I like the "Rogues's Curse" story, Wordgazer. I've often wondered about Winnowill's attitudes towards humans and how they've changed too.

Nightsea

[quote:472e5b29bd="Lady Arill"]a pic of Voll threatening to kill Windkin if he lays a hand on Leila?[/quote:472e5b29bd]

I imagined a game of "keep away" easier than a death threat
from Voll...so this poped into being:
[img:472e5b29bd]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v477/Night_sea/keepaway-1.jpg[/img:472e5b29bd]
I am not wild about it, to be honest. So I did a closeup
of a stern Voll:
[img:472e5b29bd]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v477/Night_sea/vollforyou.jpg[/img:472e5b29bd]
If you give me specifics I can try again.
:?:
--Nightsea

LadyArill

Heee, that's great Nightsea! So much fun! But, um, I should mention a few things...

1. Leila is white haired and blue eyed like her daddy...

2. The story arc takes place in the Frozen North, so Windkin would be regretting that outfit choice, methinks. Wink

And...erm...can Voll be just a leetle more 'Touch my daughter and you die'? Please, oh mighty one? Like, as in, Voll grabbing Windkin by the shirt and holding up a dagger?

Thank you for bein' so nice an' stuffs, and for doing this in the first place!

In payment, would you like me to write you a oneshot? Any characters you waaaant...any situation you waaaant...hmmm?? :poke:

~Rilly

PS: Am I the only one seeing Voll with his thumb out, going: "I killed an Elf...with [i:933980b3fc]this[/i:933980b3fc] thumb..."

SNAP!

Nightsea

[quote:b79bc2c0c3="Lady Arill"]1. Leila is white haired and blue eyed like her daddy...
[/quote:b79bc2c0c3]Oops, I read your story in this thread
[quote:b79bc2c0c3="Lady Arill"] looking so like her mother that it was remarkable, the teenaged daughter of the Lord and Lady of the Gliders[/quote:b79bc2c0c3] and
thought she'd be more Winnie's color scheme.
I'm reworking the whole image!
I'll also make a new warm outfit for Windkin and
draw Voll as you suggest.

As a "payment"? Hmm...well...I like Nightfall's character...
let's see her hunting or something...that feral side of her
nature that is hand in hand with her capacity for love.
Fighting, playing...something wild and fully in the NOW
would be fun. Please? If nothing springs to mind with
her...then anything that you'd like to create just for me
would be a treat!
[img:b79bc2c0c3]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v477/Night_sea/vollagain08.jpg[/img:b79bc2c0c3]
Image soonish,
--Nightsea

krwordgazer

That's a cute story, Nightsea! I've gotten spoiled now, though-- I want a picture of Trinket surrounded by gold now! Grin

PC and Manga, that's an interesting topic-- Winnowill and humans. I think I'll quote your posts in the Winnowill character thread and see what kind of conversation it engenders. :)

Glad my story engendered thought! :D

LadyArill

Yeef!

(Glomps NS)

Thank you so much! I'm almost done with your Nightfall story, and you can have me rewrite it as many times needed until it is TWEN PERFECTION!!

asinas

Tymber- Sorry about the nickname thing, I do have quiet a few bad habits I need to break while I write. The Rain thing would also be confusing when talking about both Rainfall and her brother. I tried to fit in as much diversity within this tribe as I could, while still keeping it believable. MOST of the elves in this tribe are pure blood though, and some are even strong magic users other then healers.

What the first note was supposed to mean was simply this:
Rather then having the fathers of the two healers walk in drunk. (Does MorningShade even drink?) I used Gorescream and Farsight, who love to drink and are very competitive with each other. Also, I was giving a small disclaimer, since Gorescream and Farsight are property of my betrothed.

Second note: Doeskin had given him a necklace a long time ago, but since in a previous story by Death Bunny he had given her a special gift for the unborn child, she made him a new necklace in return. I hope that helped to clear them up?

krwordgazer- The idea of the two brothers being so competitive lies with their creator Death Bunny. For an even better story with these two in it, I would suggest reading his story. "A Promise." That is the story which comes before my own as well.

Nightsea

[img:ab5c4f3e49]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v477/Night_sea/trynumber2.jpg[/img:ab5c4f3e49]
Ok, that was try number two. The composition is still horrible...
my lack of image creation skills is really showing in this piece.

I'm not the best artist on this board, to be sure!

In fact, I had attempted my Trinket image before I gave
up and just wrote it instead! While I can envision how
Wendy might render it, somehow that does not mean
I can replicate the scene from my head with my hands.
*sniff*
:oops:
--Nightsea

PS: If the image above isn't to your taste I hope you'll
forgive me and still share the Twen Tale, [b:ab5c4f3e49]Lady Arill[/b:ab5c4f3e49].
You can also always give me more time and feedback and
I can see how it goes for try #3.